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Just finished my complete Ys series marathon, and here are my thoughts on the series!

2020.09.21 00:54 thegreatpenguintm Just finished my complete Ys series marathon, and here are my thoughts on the series!

Just finished my complete Ys series marathon, and here are my thoughts on the series!

Intro

So before anything, hi, I'm theultimategamer95/PenguinTM from Youtube (both names were taken here, sigh), and since around... somewhere between the end of July and start of August (I think) I've been playing through pretty much the entire Ys series, because well... I was bored out of my mind and I wanted to eventually anyway (I DID first start playing the series mid last year, though). Was fun though, I enjoyed pretty much every second of it (with some exceptions, we'll get to that later)! But yeah, I felt the urge to share my thoughts on here now that it's all over, so... here we are. As you can see my tier list is at the top of the page, and I'll be giving my general thoughts on the games, etc below (in the order of the tiering, too). Oh yeah, and I also threw in a pic to flex the achievements I got for the game, too.
I also have Ys 9's limited edition on pre-order for those who care. SO hyped for it!

https://preview.redd.it/a2ozi316ndo51.png?width=1009&format=png&auto=webp&s=4bae98521e62aa849f34924cb26bba9a2f3cf214

https://preview.redd.it/5zldzmk7ndo51.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=ae402b4638274302c8bd18d2c6f3c11b28259ff2

Reasonings/Thoughts

Ys 8

Should be obvious why this is number one. I DID want to move this down a notch though, if I'm being honest (but won’t). Because:

  • The way the epilogue is executed STILL triggers me to this day (though that credits sequence is perfect and always makes me tear up).
  • After having played through this 3 times now... raids can definitely get repetitive. They're still bearable to play, but still.
  • Half the bosses aren't really that memorable compared to other Ys games imo (and actually fuck Gargantula, Kiergaard and Magamandra on Inferno). There for sure are actual good and fun ones in there (like, especially Io; my 2nd favourite fight in the series), but yeah (can't just be me, right?).
  • Actually who's fucking idea was that final hunt? It's literally just enemy spam galore and not fun at all. Fire that dude.
  • It's basically impossible to grind on Nightmare and Inferno until midgame or so, lol.
  • Not sure if you'd count this as a negative but... As someone who's played this game through on both PC (twice) and PS4, I vastly prefer it on PC because of less frame drops and a faster save/load system.
But yeah, other than that, absolutely fucking amazing game, I gotta say. Positives include:

  • Good story... up until the epilogue, at least (like seriously, it could've been executed SO much better...)). And also, the optional segment in chapter 6 with Dana (the one where you fight Io) still confuses the hell out of me. Her era story should've been over since she sealed herself, right? So why did she suddenly go back to the village after that? Is it non-canon or is it set inbetween a couple of events or what? Or was I just not paying attention?
  • Good characters in general (except Carlan, fuck him), development and interactions. Hummel is my second favourite character in the series; cool guy and busted in battle.
  • Amazing combat (whether you hate the flash move and party system or not, you can't deny it). Man, I still remember the first time I played this game and experiencing the combat for the very first time after washing up on the island... I was in awe at how fast and fluid it felt. Man, take me back.
  • The OST from this game is actually my favourite OST in all of gaming; it's just that good (could listen to it all day, any day. only track I'm kinda eh on is the swamp theme) :)
  • Way better and more exciting open world exploration than Celceta tbh. Celceta's was OK, just... it was far from perfect, let's just say.
  • Bit random, but I'm SO thankful you can open chests, even if you're surrounded by enemies now (well, not QUITE, but it's not far off, and a lot easier now).
  • And pretty everything else, really.

Ys 6

Might get hate for this one but... As for being the first game that used the Napishtim engine, it was pretty simplistic, and I like that (idk, I have a really soft spot for the combat in this game).
Positives:
  • Really like the bosses in this game (except that wall one, fuck him (Orjugan I think it is)). Probably my favourite Ys game for bosses after 7 (or Origin, idk; 2nd or 3rd place for sure tho).
  • Good characters (imo) (especially Geis, my favourite character in the series tbh) (I also like on how they improved on Terra from 5 (bring her back as a playable character someday pls?)).
  • Serviceable enough dungeons and story, though wouldn't ever say they're anywhere near the best in the franchise.
  • Love how the upgrade system works in this game. Pretty refreshing to only be required to upgrade the swords you have, rather than having to constantly worry about buying new ones.
  • Oh yeah, and I also have quite the soft spot for the OST in this game. Lovely little underrated package.
  • I seriously love the addition of Catastrophe mode. Why doesn't every other Ys game have this (I'm talking Ys 7 and beyond)!? Doing every boss in the series being locked out of items would be interesting :3
Negatives:
Notice how I haven't mentioned any negatives yet, well... Now's the time. Pretty much the only gripes I have with this game are the fact that there's no sprint button (you get used to it as you play, but still), and the platforming is actual ass (everyone who's played this game will know what I mean). The platforming could've easily been fixed with the addition of a sprint button though. So yeah, sprint button is basically the only issue for me, lol.
I play on the PC version of 6 btw, whereas you get warping. From what I've heard, on other versions such as PS2 and PSP, you don't actually get warping and there's a lot of backtracking. Not sure if it's true, but yikes, that sounds nasty (don't think I ever wanna try those versions tbh, even if there is voice acting there).

Ys Origin

Positives:
  • Actual good characters all around!
  • The tower being the only dungeon kinda reminds me of Persona 3, which is my favourite Persona game. The dungeon of which never gets boring in either game imo (yes, I went there). Especially in this game though, as the scenery keeps changing to keep things fresh.
  • The Roo scenes are genuinely fucking adorable <3
  • The Epona and Hugo love story is actually amazing; pretty awesome how there's actual canon romance stories in an Ys game! Easily my favourite scenes in the game tbh (Epona's death in Hugo's route still hits me hard).
  • In fact, the story as a whole in this game, with all 3 characters, is amazing! Yunica is freaking adorable and Toal is a badass with a pretty feelsy story. Honestly, it does make me quite sad that Toal's route is the only canon one. That being said though, I definitely DO feel like there are events from the other 2 routes that are still canon in Toal’s route, just we don’t get to see them (for example, Hugo with the Hammer in Devil’s Corridor).
  • The bosses in this game are actually amazing all around! Well... with the exception of one or two (and it's not what you'd expect), I'll get to that in a bit.
  • The OST in this game is up there with one of my favourite in the series. Probably 3rd or 4th (Celceta/4's OST is most likely second)? Idk. Really good though.
  • INSTANT ABILITY TO WARP! Thank the Goddesses! Why doesn't every Ys game before this have this!?
  • The "item get" jingle in this game is the best one in the series. Change my mind.
  • Best (MAIN) boss theme in the series tbh. Scars of the Divine Wing is my jam!
Negatives:
  • So those bosses I was talking about earlier. Yeah, one of them is Zava. Why do I hate her fight? It's extremely tedious and slow no matter what difficulty you're on (still a hot villain tho). Period (and I ain't afraid to admit she took me a few minutes to beat on Very Easy with Yunica...). Bet you were all expecting Pictimos eh? Nah, I actually really enjoy that fight. One of my favourite in the series, maybe (yes, I'm serious).
  • And another boss... actually fuck the true final boss. Why? It's unbalanced af on Nightmare and heavily luck based. Fun, but HEAVILY luck based.
  • The fact (fact, haha) you have to play through the game 3 times to get the FULL experience can be tedious (but is definitely bearable, since the game isn't that long).
  • FUCK that demon trap at the start of the game with Toal on Nightmare... Really badly designed. Try it on Nightmare and you'll see what I mean.
  • The game had a pretty nice ending, but I hate that we never got proper closure on Hugo and Epona :(
  • Fuck grinding out achievements in this game, it's just plain painful. So this and Oath were the last to go through in my Ys binge, right (replaying for achievements)? At this point I was pretty burnt out and just wanted it to all be over. So yeah, I honestly just got the easy ones and quit. Err, just look at the achievement lists and you’ll understand the salt. Arena mode is really boring btw, so I couldn’t be bothered.

Ys 7

Now... I really did want to put this in S tier, I really did. This is probably my favourite Ys game in terms of "pure fun", honestly.
Positives:
  • The game is really fast paced.
  • Spam rolling is extremely fun.
  • This game has the best designed dungeons and probably bosses too (overall anyway, there are a couple I dislike) in the entire series imo (Ys 9 might change that when I play). The Earth Dragon though, holy shit. Still my favourite Ys boss of all time, honestly.
  • Pretty damn decent cast of characters, though not really as good as 8 or Origin. I really love especially how you get to play as Dogi and Geis in this game (just wish Geis was more useful; legit never used him at all apart from skill grinding in my second playthrough (and I played on Nightmare both playthroughs)).
  • Good OST as usual. Not sure where I'd rank this one (again, probably 3rd or 4th; torn between this or Origin being better). "Lost Harmony Among People" is my favourite Ys song of all time though, so there's that (seriously, how can you not love this song?).
  • Best title screen music, easily.
  • People like to give the story a lot of slack in this game (from what I've seen), but I actually really like it. It is as cliche as a lot of people say? Yes, but isn't every other games' story too? Think about it. Just saying.
  • Some really fun skills to use in this game. Aisha/Sigroon's and Adol's Pentagram especially (why did Pentagram never come back!?)
  • Quite like how this game handled the Flash System, with only having Flash Guard that lasts a split second. I do enjoy Ys 8's system a tad more, but it would be interesting to see how other games would use what this game did with it.
  • The "save anywhere" system in this game they introduced is actually a godsend.
Mid:
  • The ending was pretty neat and heartwarming, but I do genuinely wish there was more to it. Something like... actually show what's going on in the other villages, rather than just explaining it, and actually have Geis give Adol a proper goodbye (since he's probably never returning again (unless Ys 10 says otherwise), RIP).
Now for the negatives... OH BOY, DO I STILL feel sad I can't put this game in S tier.
  • No Time Attack. Every mordern Ys game (which starts at 6, not this game imo) has a Time Attack mode. There is NO excuse for this game not to have it. Because of this I had to make a save right before every boss in my second playthrough, in case I ever wanted to play them again. I can live without a NG+ (since I never actually play NG+ unless it's for extra achievements in this series), but NOT a Time Attack. Actually fuck you, devs.
  • As much as I like using skills in this game, the learn/level up system was done TERRIBLY (I could definitely feel it on my 2nd playthrough). Why do I have to LEARN skills by having a certain weapon equip until they reach level 1? WHY are there 10 levels for each skill!? That's pretty dumb tbh. Thank GOD Celceta and later fixed this. And also thank God there was no "max every skill in the game" Steam achievement, otherwise I would've gone ballistic, ngl.
  • Not really a big fan how you have the option to buy AND synthesize equipment. Just make it one or the other, seriously. Fuck grinding money AND materials. I mean, fair enough for the ultimate weapons, they make sense, but otherwise no.
  • Speaking of materials, the harvesting system sucks. On paper it can be pretty ok but... Most of the time your party members won't even help you harvest the materials, since there'll most likely be enemies nearby and they'll go attack those instead. And if there's NOT enemies nearby, there's still a 50/50 chance they'll just stand there anyway out of laziness. Also yeah, this is something else that Celceta and later fixed; they made it much easier to grind materials. Again, fuck the harvest system.
  • Another thing that Celceta and later improved on was the side mission system. Now I'm not going to say it was straight out bad here but, don't expect me to talk to every single person in each village everytime I visit to check if they have missions or not. Seriously. Once you know where the locations for the missions are after playing through the game once, it ain't so bad, but still.
  • WHY do you not get warping until beating the third temple/shrine/whatever? Bit late if you ask me.
  • And in case you're wondering which bosses I dislike from what I said in the bosses bit earlier... Ghilda Ros (feels like a difficulty spike early game tbh) and The Sea Dragon (hard to predict, moves fast, and is really cluttered in the side cave where you have to attack his back).
  • Really easy to get lost in Altago City on your first playthrough (I know I did a couple times).
Minus the time attack and ending points, the positives pretty much outweigh the negatives here. But yeah, now you see why I can't come to put this in S tier. So close, but not quite there, sadly.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana

Positives:
  • Some really nicely designed dungeons here, actually. Well, for the most part at least. I have two which I straight up dislike which are the Abandoned Mine and the Lava Zone. Fuck those two. Also I'm kinda 50/50 on the final dungeon... I like how it's designed, but at the same time it's enemy spam galore, eh.
  • The story and writing (the ending of this game actually felt like the most "complete" one in the series thus far tbh (well, between this one and Dawn of Ys)) is where the game really shines imo. So good.
  • The OST is really freaking good in this game! Sadly though, I probably wouldn't even put it in my top 5, nor would I listen to much of it outside of playing the game.
Mid:
  • Not really a negative point, but the cast in this game is pretty weak compared to other Ys games if you ask me. Outside of Adol, Dogi, Chester, Elena (underrated girl tbh), Fran, Cynthia and Adonis, everyone else is just... "there" for me? Like, they aren't bad characters by any means, just yeah.
  • Some cool bosses, but nothing too mindblowing. Like in 8, half them are pretty forgettable here imo, and... Yeah, I'll get more into this in the negatives. Ones I really love though are that dog wolf guy, Gyvala (Yes, seriously. Looks like a Sonic Rivals boss, ngl) and Galbalan (best final boss in the series imo; really does feel like one).
  • You have to actually unlock Inferno mode... Which can be a pain, since you have to an extra playthrough, but eh. At least it's optional and doesn't provide extra experience to the game like Origin's 3 playthroughs. Didn't actually bother me that much tho, since my first Nightmare playthrough and the second playthrough on Inferno were months apart.
Negatives:
  • UNBALANCED AF! Seriously, whoever designed the difficulty balancing in this game deserves to be fired. This is coming from someone who beat both Nightmare AND Inferno (bonus boss inc) btw (never did manage to beat Nightmare boss rush tho... it’s way harder on patience than you think).
  • I find it hard to believe that Adol survived a 10k ft fall without a scratch after the Chester 1 fight.
  • What the actual hell is that dub? The VAing in this game is laughably mediocre tbh; sounds more like a fandub than an official one. And why the hell do the naration and Galbalan have voices? It just feels... wrong. Though... Elena has a semi-cute voice though, I like Fran's, and Dularn's voice really suits him (her?). But otherwise, could definitely be better, and takes a while of getting used to.
  • Speaking of the VAing, skipping through the dialogue will cause it to echo (in my headphones when there's no BGM at least), and it can be pretty annoying, ngl.
  • And yeah, again, badly designed achievements that try to force multiple playthroughs for the easiest tasks (why?). Ok, so I was fine with Celceta doing this, as you only needed to blaze through the game a second time to get the rest of the ultimate weapons, but this game requires playthroughs on EVERY difficulty for the said tasks in achievements. I just cannot be assed (anyone could do these anyway tbh (except maybe the Nightmare and Inferno playthroughs)). And in Origin... you need to playthrough the game like 8 times overall (literally just straight playthroughs), just because "hey, extra achievements :)". I did the multiple playthrough achievements anyway cause I'm stupid.
  • During the campaign, the Ligaty boss won't even trigger unless you speak to the mayor at some point, which the game does not indicate. Haven't actually tested if you can boss skip with this, but I assume you can't (I did go on ahead a bit, but not too far. Assuming certain story events don't trigger.).
  • Everything else is pretty much mentioned in positives besides certain comments.
Honestly though, despite its shortcomings, I've come to really respect this game and could probably play through it any day of the week (well, as long as those playthroughs aren't so close together that I'd burn myself out). Part of me was saying to bump this up to S tier after replaying it, honestly, and then there's another part telling me to knock it down to B tier because of the unfair difficulty. But again, since I'm torn, I'm leaving it be in A.

Ys 5

I had some good fun with this one tbh. I really do hope this game gets remade someday, preferrably in the Napish engine.
Positives:
  • Really refreshing to see a "classic" Ys game that decided to finally grow out of the bumper system.
  • No grinding is required! The game is that easy you basically don't need to grind the entire game, if you don't want to, and is awesome. I decided to anyway, since I actually like to grind in Ys games, lul.
  • Quite like the story in this game tbh. And imo it's one of the darkest in the series. Like, you actually get to see people being sacrificed for the ritual (speaking of which happens quite often, by the looks of it)? Damn.
  • Pretty in the middle OST with this one, but there are a couple I really like (I forget the names).
  • The dungeon design in this game is pretty cool, ngl. Nowhere NEAR the best in the series... But for what they were, I did like them :p
Negatives:
  • Only 3 save slots when the Ys 4 games had more (Mask of the sun with 5(?) and Dawn of Ys with 15)... Cmon...
  • Menuing in this game was super weird. Like you could lay the menu out however you wanted and it always changed depending on how you menu. It really is... eh?
  • Can we STOP with the hidden item in the wall thing? I appreciate how Ys 4 never really did this, and they really had to go back to it here? Ugh, just put every item in a chest, ffs.
  • I actually enjoyed the bosses in this game, but they're a bit too easily to be that memorable (until near the end at least), sadly.
  • It's REALLY easy to get lost in Kefin, aka the end game dungeon.
  • Enemy hitboxes are pretty crap in this game. I appreciate the effort, and it isn't completely unbearable for it being the first non-bump combat game, but yeah. I feel a lot of time I should've been hitting normal enemies way more than I was, and they hit me more than they should've, idk.
  • Bit of a nitpick, but it's really easy to fall off narrow ledges from platforming and it triggers me.
  • Minus the initial fire magic you get (and are forced to make), magic is basically useless in this game. Like, the animations are way too long and they don't serve any real purpose. Again, except the fire one.

Ys 4: Mask of the Sun

HEAR ME OUT! Please don't instantly hate me for this. Ok so... The two Ys 4 games were actually the last ones I did my "first playthrough" on. This game is NOWHERE near as bad as people say it is imo. Nowhere near.
Positives:
  • It's fast paced as HELL and I LOVE it for that! Until this game I never actually liked a classic Ys game with the bumper system (minus Ys 1/2 Chronicles), because idk, they felt too slow or weird to control. This one though, oh, I had fun with this.
  • Say what you want, but the dungeons are ALL well designed imo (well, all except that silver temple thing before the tower near the end, fuck that maze-y place). Like seriously, the sand dunes in the first dungeon was a poggers idea! And the list goes on.
  • The game is pretty linear in general up until again, the silver temple, which I also really like. Usually when it comes to classic Ys games I'd have to follow a guide to know where I'm going. Whereas in this game I just went in on my own, completely blind, and did 90% of the game no problem.
  • For a classic Ys game, the story was ok. A bit better than 5's I'd say.
  • The game actually had an ending, unlike Memories of Celceta, and it's actually decent imo!
  • Bosses are quick and snappy, which makes them fun. I actually wish there was a Time Attack in this one, would've been cool.
  • Good OST. Was nice hearing the original songs that Memories of Celceta took from.
  • Lol at the "all right, no time like the present!" jump moment near the end of the game.
Negatives:
  • Karna and Leeza are DICKS in this game! :(
  • Whilst I did say the bosses are fun, what I do NOT appreciate is the fact that half the bosses in this game have instant kill attacks. They're hard to see coming, too. WHO'S idea was this!?
  • Again, the silver temple place.
  • Only 5 save slots. Would've liked more so I could've replayed bosses more easily.
  • Magic, again, was useless in this game. Like, I don't really care since I probably would have never used it anyway, but just putting this here.
  • I find it hard to believe Adol survived a lightning explosion without a scratch in that one scene...

Ys 2 Chronicles

Yes, I feel this and Ys 1 Chronicles deserve to be seperated, since:
  1. I like them for different reasons.
  2. I like this one better than Ys 1.
Positives:
  • If it weren't for the maze like dungeons in this game, this would've easily been my favourite bumper combat game tbh.
  • The edition of the magic system was well implemented here actually. Probably the best magic system in an a bumper combat game, easily.
  • I'm surprised at how nice the story was in this game, and how much effort they put into that ending, damn.
  • There are literally NO bad bosses in this game (which I think this is the ONLY Ys game I can say that for). I wish I was joking. Fuck Dalles on Nightmare though; my only complaint.
  • Whilst I did like the level 10 limit in Ys 1, I do appreciate them buffing it to a lot higher in this game; actually gives you a reason to fight stuff.
  • That ice/snow dungeon was really cool tbh (no pun intended).
  • Sleeping in beds was uh... a nice touch :eyes:
Negatives:
  • Again, the maze-like dungeons leave a bad taste in my mouth.
  • A lot of looking up guides to figure out what to do at the start of the game, meh.
  • FUCK that escort mission with the kid in the lava cave. NEVER want to go through that again.

Ys: Memories of Celceta

Oh boy, do I have a lot to say about this one... So originally, right, I did my first playthrough of this game coming right out of Ys 7 and thought it was the most boring game ever and had a lot of beef with it. I cannot stress enough how happy I was to be done with my first playthrough back then. HOWEVER, after playing through the game again (yes, it was a NG+, but it's still something), I've actually come to respect the game quite a bit, for a good number of reasons.
Positives:
So I've already said what this game improves upon over Ys 7 in my Ys 7 thoughts, so I won't say them again (character limit).
Ok so... What other positives are there? Well...
  • Karna best girl. My personal favourite Ys girl of all time (well, this game's version of her at least). Seems like a fun one to hang out with. She also has really fun combat! Probably the most fun in the game actually. What is it with pierce users being super fun?
  • Frieda 2nd best girl. As well as my favourite DESIGNED Ys character of all time (her EXTRA with Hero Ring on is also damn cool). Second most fun in combat imo.
  • Really like how they handled Leo in this game tbh. Rather than being a Wario-like antagonist they made him a cooler comedic character. Don't get me wrong, I do like Dawn of Ys' version of him, but yeah.
  • In fact, I'd honestly have to say this game does comedy scenes best in general. Had me giggling a few times.
  • Griselda... she's a hot mommy tbh, and I bet she'd make a good dom :3 Far from my favourite girl in the series, but she's hawt. That said I'm sad she never got any romance moments in Ys 8 :(
  • OST is easily one of the best in the series (second place tied with the original 4 games, easily. there's SO many good tracks in here).
  • The SECOND half of the game has some neat dungeons and bosses (keyword: SOME). That tower inparticular was a pretty badass dungeon, ngl.
  • I think the graphics are decent in this game. Except the menus though; they look so basic, it hurts, ugh (too lazy to put this in negatives, but yeah, it is one). Still remember saying to myself when installing this game for the first time though "oh wow, that is one CLEAN looking Adol model". Easily the worst graphics of the modern Ys era, but they definitely have their charm.
  • Ninja running in this game when you unlock the shoes artifact thing is actually AMAZING! This game does it much better than Ys 8 imo (feels barely a bit faster than normal in that game). This might just be my favourite mechanic in the whole series just due to how fun it is.
  • The fact that this game shows you stats for each character's skills is actually really nice. It's such a shame the other games don't do this, because it makes skill builds so much easier.
  • Chasing a Mishy down and being able to access a 3D Roo's nest!? Yes please! I love it tbh. Sorry Ys 2, but yours was ok at best.
  • Spam rolling is still fun, but not really as much as in 7 (though I do appreciate how much smoother Duren's rolling feels compared to Dogi/Mustafa/Cruxie).
  • Holy shit, after my second playthrough I can't get over how they removed the switching during EXTRA attacks feature after this game. I think it's really cool and it makes bosses feel faster, just saying.
  • Combat is actually quite fun in this game... ONCE you get used to it. Again, took me almost an entire playthrough to get used to it. I do like it now though. Again, Karna and Frieda in particular are my favourites to use, followed by Calilica and Adol with Aura Fencer and Duren with Phoenix Kick.
Mid:
  • The story is pretty ok imo, but pretty average for an Ys game. I will say though the "oh no, the criminal Adol is back!" when you enter a new village gets annoying after the first time.
  • Not sure entirely how I feel about Adol speaking so much in a canon game (I'm talking the memory cutscenes)...
  • There are WAY too many dialogue choices. I do like these but... again, feel they are way too oversaturated, and that they do try to force humor (I did laugh at quite a few of them, but still doesn't excuse the fact).
Negatives:
  • Ok, so despite what I said about the combat in positives, I STILL can't forgive what the game does with the "skill finish", "excellent finish" and "aerial finish" messages and animations whenever you killed normal enemies with them, which... Yeah. They just flat out ruined the flow of things, honestly. And overall the combat just didn't feel as exciting as 7, or even other games for that matter. Again though, after my second playthrough, I DO enjoy it now (to some extent), but again, not nearly as much as the other games.
  • Pls Falcom, NEVER bring that Misfortune ailment back. EVER.
  • Swimming in this game feels like a BIG nono. It's fine in other Ys games, but just feels way too slugish and boring in this game imo.
  • Dungeons in general... at least ones that involve swimming, genuinely suck. Like seriously, fuck dungeons that involve swimming. They feel slow and boring.
  • And speaking of dungeons... the mandatory Slate Fragment collecting in the first couple of dungeons were really stupid. If I wanna blaze through a dungeon without caring for something like this, I should be able to. Surely there are better ways you can encourage exploration?
  • Up until like halfway through the game, the bosses are really hit or miss, but CAN be enjoyable if you really try to.
  • Not really a massive fan of how Flash Guard works in this game. It works like 7's where it only stays active for a split second, but I'm fine with it in 7, it feels like its own thing. Here though I don't like it because the Flash system feels a lot more like 8's, which leaves me comparing this game to 8, and 8 does Flash Guarding way better (if that makes sense). Also I swear in this game you can easily still get hit if you Flash Guard anyway, so it doesn't 100% make you invincible in this game, which can be slightly annoying.
  • Getting 100% map in this game is a major annoyance (wasn't ANYWHERE near as bad in 8). Hugging every possible wall is... just super annoying.
  • That ending... Might the WORST ending I've ever seen in a video game. AT LEAST MAKE SOME EFFORT... Like, even Ys 8's ending isn't this bad... Freaking Mask of the Sun, a SNES game, had a way better ending than this.
  • You do all that work for Rabbit and Pigeon and they don't even get a satisfying ending to their arc. It pissed me off. In a romantical sense, I mean.
  • There's a side quest near the end of the game where you have to kill a certain amount of enemies with probably the weakest sword in existance. If you did this yourself you KNOW how pisstaking it can be; ESPECIALLY on Nightmare.
  • Why is it required to start a NG+ to unlock Time Attack? Why? Just put the shit on the main menu like you do every other game.
  • Hey, you get warping at the start of the game like in Origin! ...LIMITED warping, though. Basically you can warp to any momument that has the same colour as the one you're warping from (and later on they add the same SHAPE rule too... why?). Why not just give us the full package from the getgo? Makes NO sense whatsoever. I hate the fact that it also literally takes HALF THE GAME to get the full one, ugh.
  • WHY should I have to keep constantly switching Duren into my party just to fucking open chests!? WHO thought this was a good idea? Same goes with other party members tbh. Like, for example, it's basically mandatory to keep Calilica in your party in the tower dungeon for her out-of-battle ability. Feel like this is going to be a recurring thing in Ys 9 too for some reason... Which I'm not looking forward to, but hey.
  • TOO MANY TUTORIALS SCREENS FOR ME TO SKIP REEEE (no, seriously, there are a LOT in this game).
  • I'm gonna be honest, after playing through this game a second time months later, the lack of camera control can be annoying in the open world (like, I found myself opening the bigger minimap a lot just to see where about I was). In 7 it felt like everything was placed sensibly with the camera in mind tbh. Fighting the forest super boss is especially annoying because of this (would be a lot easier otherwise).
  • Those early game areas that repeat the same path over and over until you pick the right way... ugh.
  • I really, REALLY do not the weapon/armor enhancement system in this game. Just feels out of place for an Ys game.
  • I wish we got to see that date with Sandra in the endgame :(
Despite its shortcomings though, again, I really have gained quite a bit of respect for this game after playing through it a second time for achievements, not enough for it to be B tier or above, but I originally put this game in C tier, and have bumped it up to the borderline tier.

Ys 4: The Dawn of Ys

Ok so... I DO understand why people love this game so much. Gameplay wise though... Meh. I'm probably gonna get some hate for this one, but whatever.
Positives:
  • The voice acting (especially for a fan dub) and animated scenes were fucking great.
  • Again, good OST. Was nice hearing the original songs that Memories of Celceta took from.
  • An 8-way movement system in a classic Ys game before 5!? POGGERS!
  • Oh hey, there's actually a decent amount of save files this time.
  • Better story than Mask of the Sun (even though I DID like the one there), and holy shit, the addition of Leo (he honestly reminded me of Wario with those laughs tbh)!
  • That ending especially man... Idk if it's my favourite ending in the series, but definitely in my top 3. SO good. This is the reason why the game is in the borderline tier btw. If it weren't for the ending, it would've been C tier.
  • Karna and Leeza aren't dicks in this game (and are actual good characters now) (comparing to Mask of the Sun)! :)
  • Holy shit swimming as a Roo is amazing! My favourite part of the gameplay, probably. Yes, I'm aware you can also do this in Memories of Celceta, but it feels way too slow there to be enjoyable.
Negatives:
  • Oh no, the return of maze like dungeons :(
  • After transitioning from this game from Mask of the Sun... The gameplay felt way too slow, I'm sorry. Like, both from a control standpoint and recovering health (in Mask of the Sun, it'd recover to max in basically a few seconds; here it takes like a century. by standing still, btw.). Again, I do appreciate the 8-way movement, but yeah.
  • Bosses are fun, but terribly unbalanced since imo they have way too much health (for the bumper system, at least). I'll make an exception here for like the last 4 or so bosses, since they actually feel ok.
  • Takes a goooooood while for you to get warp magic in this game... Which is annoying, because this game isn't anywhere near as linear as Mask of the Sun, whereas I was ok there at the timing you got warping because of it.
  • There's an optional section near the end of the game where you can get the highest tier of equipment from Leo after he dies, but it's a massive pain to do (look it up). Not even worth it anyway tbh, since you'll be fine with the penultimate tier equipment easily.
But yeah... The negatives outweigh the positives here, I'm sorry to say (notice how I only put 1 (or technically 2) minor gameplay positive point down). Apart from the voice acting and animated scenes, I don't like this game as much as other people (yeah I know, my taste is trash, roast me in the comments).

Ys 1 Chronicles

After putting down the og Ys 1 after half an hour of playing (I really didn't care; you'll see why after), this felt really refreshing tbh. I really like the amount of detail that went into this game and Ys 2 Chronicles.
Positives:
  • So yeah, nice attention to detail. For Ys 2 Chronicles also, but too lazy to scroll up and add it there. Like seriously, feels like a breath of fresh air seeing seagulls fly around in a nicely graphic'd environment in a classic Ys game. Also nice how you can see Adol behind buildings, etc in the overworld.
  • Decent bosses tbh, I like these ones. Well, all except (check negatives)...
  • Good story.
  • Good OST, as usual. One of the least memorable ones for me though, sadly. Probably in like... 7th or 8th place. But still good.
  • Darm Tower is a fun dungeon.
Negatives:
  • Maze-like dungeons that are worse than Ys 2. They're also boring and flat in this game. Again, excluding Darm Tower, which I quite liked.
  • Vagullion (third boss)... Everyone who's played this game will know why he's here. No explanation needed. Dark Fact isn't going here because he's actually a fun boss, even on Nightmare.
  • Whilst I do appreciate what they tried to do with the level cap being 10, would've been nice to actually have a reason to fight normal enemies besides enemy book registration beyond that. Also feels like a boss or two weren't designed with the level cap in mind (on Nightmare, at least).
  • Again, a lot of looking at the guide to figure out what to do. Mainly due to the first negative point I made. And also, the plains can be really easy to get lost in, which is also a pain.

Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki: Alternative Saga

Honestly not much to say about this game since it isn't even fully translated yet (I think it was menus and a few other words here and there?) apart from the gameplay feels like a really clunky version of Ys 7's engine, which it plays in. Despite that though, I had a blast from what I played of this; feels preeetty freaking fun, ngl. If it was as fluid as Ys 7, probably would've been at least a B. Also, it's fucking cool that you can put Adol against Chester Ys 7 style :3
...Despite the story not being translated though, it does look pretty damn weird from what I've seen.

Typing of Ys

Again, not really much to say for this one either. It's a typing game, and a pretty fun one at that. Really short though (10-15 mins at best) and probably wouldn't ever touch it again unless I've got absolutely NOTHING to do (like AT ALL). But yeah, good for what it is imo. Moving on.

Ys 1/2 OG

As explained earlier in my Ys 1 or 2 Chronicles section, I only played Ys 1 for about half an hour before dropping it due to how slow and weird it felt. Nothing more to say tbh.

Ys 3

It's a sidescroller, and a bad one at that. Please never make another Ys sidescroller again. Thanks. The hitboxes are pure SHITE in this game. Maybe I'm just bad, but never made it past the first dungeon of this game and just dropped it lol.

Ys Strategy

This game doesn’t exist, shush.


Additionally, I have created a Pastebin (link below) with my thoughts on the Ys 1/2 anime, along with some mini Ys tier lists, as I felt like throwing them in. Reason I'm not putting them here is because the character limit keeps cucking me, so yeah.
https://pastebin.com/317SdPmr

And finally, in case you're wondering, I played the Ys games in this order (first playthrough wise)


  • Ys 8
  • Ys 6
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana
  • Ys 1/2 OG (for what I played at least)
  • Ys 3 (for what I played at least)
  • Ys 7
  • Ys: Memories of Celceta
  • Ys Origin
  • Typing of Ys
  • Ys Strategy (for what I played at least)
  • Ys 5
  • Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki: Alternative Saga
  • Ys 1 Chronicles
  • Ys 2 Chronicles
  • Ys 4: Mask of the Sun
  • Ys 4: The Dawn of Ys
  • Soon to be Ys 9
Yes, I spent a shit ton of free time typing all this out, but whatever.
Anyways... it's been a fun ride tbh. Again, for the most part, I genuinely have enjoyed my time with these games. Might do another binge one day, who knows. If you have any questions, ask them below and I'll get back to you. Peace out.
submitted by thegreatpenguintm to WorldOfYs [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 00:52 500scnds [Table] I made a free alternative to Photoshop, that is used by 7 million people. Ask me Anything!

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Questions Answers
I understand that people are always hesitant to answer this very specifically, but I'm always curious - given 7 million visitors, what your ballpark profit? And what's the ratio of the profit-to-expenses, which I assume is mostly server hosting costs as a one man operation? Most of my profit comes from ads. I make around 5 cents for every hour someone spends in Photopea (on average). In 2019, people spent 5 million hours working in Photopea, so I made around $250,000. I hope it could be 2x to 4x more this year :)
Photopea runs completely in your computer (after Photopea.com loads, you can disconnect from the internet and use it offline). I use only a file hosting, for which I pay around 50 USD a year.
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How is that possible to only pay 50 USD/year when you get ~7 million people in a month and your site is 1.8mb. That's around 12tb/month. I don't know of any host willing to do 12tb of data for $50/12 I don't understand it either :/ I will ask my hosting provider.
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Don’t! :) I already did :)
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I'm glad you have a subscription option. As a policy I don't turn my adblocker off, but I'll totally subscribe as your rates are quite reasonable! If you're around and don't mind answering, how many subscriptions do you have? There are hundreds of people paying for Premium :) so about 0.01% of all users :)
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How much do you think you're losing out because of adblockers? It is hard to tell, maybe between 10 to 40 percent :/
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You should implement a donation feature as well, to offer more ways for users to support you. People can already order a Premium. I think it is better to get something in return (removing ads), so anybody who wants to support us can do it :)
First of all, thank you for making a great alternative. My question is, how would you compare Photopea to The Gimp in terms of features and interface? The interface of Photopea is closer to Photoshop than GIMP (so it is more comfortable to Photoshop users). I think all you can do in GIMP you can do in Photopea, but with a different workflow. You can open GIMP files (XCF) in Photopea.
There are many advanced features in Photopea, that are not in GIMP. The most important is probably the full support of a PSD format.
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Have to confess I'd never heard about this software until reading your post, but your mention of the PSD feature makes me want to check it out immediately. I admire your determination, dedication, and skills. Thank you :)
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Does it support vectors better than Photoshop? I don't like how limited it is in Photoshop. Even illustrator is annoying Photopea can open SVG and PDF images better than Photoshop. Just try it!
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Thank you for your program. I use it to make memes and do photoshopped things! You are welcome! I am happy that Photopea is useful to you :)
How did you learn how to make software? I was interested in computers since I was 14. I was studying computer science at the university between 18 and 25 years of age.
I studied theoretical computer science at the Charles university in Prague. Finishing the university was probably the hardest thing in my life (I do not enjoy learning as much as I enjoy creating stuff). But I also think it was the most valuable and productive part of my life and I am very proud of it :)
Here to say I've been using it, maybe the only white listed site on my ad-block. What was the hardest part to implement? The advanced foreground selection was quite hard. It is used e.g. in MagicCut. I wanted to reach the quality of remove.bg (where you pay $2 per image), but it still does not work that well.
Anyway, I think MagicCut works better than all other free tools and many commercial tools, so it can save you a lot of money :)
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You should look at U-2 Net https://github.com/NathanUA/U-2-Net a recently released paper with code that has amazing results I know quite a lot about this research :) The problem is, that people use Photopea for free, so it would have to run on their computers. They would have to download a 200 MB network, and unless they don't have a $2000 GPU, they would have to wait for hours to do such foreground / background detection.
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From the paper: "To facilitate the usage of our design in computation and memory constrained environments, we provide a small version of our U2-Net, called U2-Net† (4.7 MB). The U2-Net† achieves competitive results against most of the SOTA models (see Fig. 1) at 40 FPS." Unless there's something similar but better or they're outright lying, 4.7 MB sounds like an extremely reasonable memory footprint and it's pretrained so nobody's going to max out their GPU. You might want to give it another look. Wow, that sounds great, I will put it into my issues: https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues/2368
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Not 100% sure, but a GPU is needed to train the network (which can take hours) and the trained networks usually do things in seconds or even faster. Users would still need to download the network, but it wouldn't be very computationally expensive. Such trained network can process the input in seconds on the GPU. If you process the input of the network on a CPU (even with multiple cores), it can take minutes or even hours. And training on a CPU can take weeks :)
I use Photopea regularly when developing web sites. I don't have to fire up my VM or limit myself to GIMP or Krita. The third most popular tech magazine in the Czech Republic, Letem světem Applem, was developed with the help of your tool. Díky! My question: will you ever open-source Photopea, at least partially? Hi, thanks a lot!
A huge part of Photopea is open-sourced and available at https://github.com/photopea?tab=repositories
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I'm scared to even open that repo 😂. What hosting provider are you using that can handle 5 million users in a year? I have a local hosting provider from the Czech Republic. It is just distributing HTML, CSS and JS files (no server-side computations like PHP or SQL databases), so it is not that hard.
Hi! Two questions 1. Does photopea have support for RAW photo files of varying cameras? (.ARW for example) 2. Why do you think Adobe charges so much for their platform when your model is clearly fairly simple to produce (if one person can do it alone) and functions profitably? Hi! Yes, Photopea can open .DNG, .CR2, .NEF and .ARW files :)
There are programs that are much more expensive than Adobe products :) It is hard to tell, but I think it is because there are no reasonable alternatives, or the alternatives are not known very well.
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As a Fuji user, .RAF support coming at some point? Hi, the .RAF format was invented by Fuji and has never been publicly described anywhere. I tried to ask Fuji to provide a description of their format, so that I can implement it into Photopea, but nobody replied :(
I think Fuji does not want you to open their files in any other software than their software.
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I don't think fuji has their own editing software, most people use either Capture One or Lightroom, or Irident X-Transformer to convert into a DNG Photopea can open DNG without any problems :) but it is a real pity they don't store it in DNG directly.
I just discovered this software and it is bloody amazing. As a hobby animator, I'm wondering - Do you have any plans, or have you at least thought about, making an animation software in the same way you have achieved this? Something like Adobe Flash/Animate or Toon Boom Harmony. (I'm already sold on your idea for a video editor, since Davinci Resolve's free version has NEVER been able to render videos for me without crashing) There is a distinct lack of reasonably priced animation software that achieves nearly as much as these two ridiculously expensive subscription programs, without sacrificing something really important to animation. The closest thing to achieving what Animate or Harmony has is Blender's new 2d animate mode, and even then, you have to sacrifice convenient features like easy tweening. An alternative free (or one-purchase) animation software would make me - and so many other people happy. Now that I know this software exists, I'll be sure to donate to its production. Thanks! You are not the first one asking for this :) I wish I could make so many tools, but I am afraid my life is too short for all that work :D
If I manage to make a good team of programmers in the future, I would love to make such animation software.
Is there a comprehensive guide I can find for all the tools in photopea? I’m new to photo editing and still confused by the interface. Photopea is an advanced editor and it is hard to learn simply by using it. I wrote a manual here: www.Photopea.com/learn .
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You made documentation? What kind of unholy programmer from the abyss are you? Don’t let our bosses find out or we’re screwed. I made it after several years of explaining people how to do things in emails, etc :) Now, I can simply send them links to my documentation. It took me less than a week :D
I love using photopea! I open it almost daily. Is there a way to review the source and contribute pull requests? Have you thought about providing an offline or self-hosted release? Thanks! The open-source parts of Photopea are published on our GitHub: https://github.com/photopea?tab=repositories . We provide a self-hosted versions for money, as it needs to be updated regularly.
How would you compare it to photoshop? Photopea has about 90% of features of Adobe Photoshop, but there are some features of Photopea that Photoshop doesn't have (e.g converting PDF, SVG, Sketch, XD, Figma to layered PSD documents).
Also, only Photoshop and Photopea fully support the PSD format, so I think Photopea is the best alternative to Photoshop at the moment.
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What do you think about GIMP? GIMP is great, but it can not work with PSD files properly. Also, the interface is quite different from Adobe Photoshop, and it is hard to use for former Photoshop users.
https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2373211539606587/
Do you pronounce it photo-pea, or photo-pee-ah? I pronounce it Photo-pea, but most of people pronounce it photo-pee-ah.
It is probably the most asked question in our subreddit :) /photopea.
EDIT: I did a quick search and here is what I found :)
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Good to know I got its pronunciation right :D I like photos and I like peas. What made you call it photopea? I wanted it to be PhotoSomething, and I wanted a domain PhotoSomething.com . Most of domains were occupied, until I found Pea :)
Not a question, but I just want to put this out there for all the non-developers, but the fact that Photopea was created by a single programmer is absolutely astounding. As a developer myself, I cannot fathom the productivity of this developer nor have I ever met someone that could be this productive. Teams of 10-20 developers could not match the functionality and feature list of photopea. And actually, here is a question after all, have you ever recorded or livestreamed yourself coding? I'm having a hard time imagining the pace required to be this productive. Do you have an estimate of the number of hours you have put into this? Hi, thanks a lot! I think I put between 15 000 and 20 000 hours into Photopea :) I never recorded myself programming, but most of it is just staring into the wall thinking, opening Youtube or Reddit from time to time (to "relax" a bit), and I writing code once in a while :)
Any chance your program can export files to work with a cnc machine? Sure, just tell me what format does that machine accepts? Is than an open format? Can you use e.g. an SVG?
Manufacturers often create their proprietary formats to make you dependent on their software.
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G-Code is pretty common, although I'm unsure as to what Z-axis information you would capture in an image format unless it was texturized somehow and interpreted that as topography? Maybe like the color coded images to show 3 dimensions in a planar view. I know lasewaterjet cutting and similar that do 2D operations typically ask me for a DXF file or equivalent. I've never used Photopea for this (or even tried) but typically I take a vector format and import into CAD software to generate a DXF for this purpose. I know my media guy can never get me a format I need to import a logo and such for mechanical design. A DXF or similar vector would be amazing if it doesn't exist already. Hi, would you be able to write this into our GitHub? https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues . And most importantly, would you be able to discuss it there with me, if I have any questions? I never worked with any CNC machine.
Hi !! Can I know about your backend ? There is a webhosting which stores one HTML, one CSS and several JS files. Photopea is written in Javascript and runs completely in a computer of the visitor.
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Have you used any frontend frameworks? No, I wrote my own Javascript, HTML and CSS. I usually prefer to use what I know, instead of learning how to use new tools :)
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How do you handle users that pay for premium? There must be some sort of database right? Yes, there is a database. I just wanted to say, that out of these 7 million people, the database is needed maybe for a hundred of them.
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Not without dinner first Take my upvote, too :)
Are there any new browser features or HTML features that will make your code a lot simpler? I would love if browsers let Photopea know, when Ctrl+T was pressed on the keyboard. People have been using the Ctrl+T shortcut in Adobe Photoshop for decades and almost every week, someone asks why it does not work in Photopea.
At the moment, when you press Ctrl+T in any browser, it opens a new tab (panel), and a we can not do anything about it :( I have been personally arguing about it with browser developers for over five years.
"Fighting" with browser developers is quite a big part of my work, which is quite sad :(
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When in fullscreen Ctrl+T works in both Chrome and Edge, it triggers the transform tool. Maybe prompt the user to switch Photopea to fullscreen ? The website feels like a standalone app so it makes sense to get rid of the browser UI anyway. I think the Ctrl+T should be usable even when not in the fullscreen mode.
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I'm sure you must've researched this thoroughly over the years but maybe stackoverflow seems to have a couple good answers on disabling new tab shortcut keys. Maybe have a look? Esp these 2: 1 - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/38442886/chrome-disable-ctrlt-shortcut - you could make your own extension and then make that extension do the "Free Transform"? 2 - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18625091/how-to-disable-firefox-new-tab-action-when-pressin-ctrl-and-clicking-a-link-wi I'm no good at js but maybe have a look... I guess I could also just make my own web browser and ask users to install it :D
How about a Desktop version? That'd be great! You can go to Photopea.com and press More - Install Photopea. It will add an icon to your homescreen, which will start Photopea without the browser UI. But it works only in the latest Chrome, Edge and Opera. https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2120885974839146
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What Api does that? Seems chromium only but i wouldn't care. Never heard of that. It is called PWA - progressive web apps, and the app can trigger the installing process https://medium.com/@dhormale/install-pwa-on-windows-desktop-via-google-chrome-browser-6907c01eebe4
What are your plans for the video editor, and how can I keep up to date on its progress? (video editor here that loves what you did with photopea) I do not have any specific plans about the video editor yet. You can follow Photopea on Facebook or Twitter to know about the progress (links in my original post) :)
You mentioned your income is through ads. Have you thought of other avenues for revenue sources or ways to increase your current revenue even more to be able to hire more employees? Yes, I have thought about it, but I don't know about any ways, which could work better than ads.
Most of the current Photopea user can not afford to pay for the software, so I don't want to make half of features available only after the payment.
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Would a premium version that's identical in features but without ads be an option? Unless this is already a thing? It is already a thing :) You can hide ads for $10 for three months. Also, there is no subscription, you pay manually any time you want. Ads come back once it runs out :)
What things does Photoshop do better than your alternative? Photoshop can open almost all RAW image formats (in their Camera Raw program). I think Adobe pays the camera manufacturers, so that they allow Adobe to open raw files from their cameras.
At the moment, Photopea can open only four RAW formats, which cover around 80% of the market.
Do you think that photopea has been a success? I use it for work everyday and I certainly think it is! I think it is the most useful thing I made in my life so far, so it is a success :)
Good stuff. Love a free image editor. Why is this already on the front page, with just 6 comments and 22 points? I don't know much about the Reddit algorithm, but I think it is also about how old the post is. E.g. if you get 20 points in 5 minutes, you will be on top of a post, which received 50 points in an hour.
What's your favourite video game? Also thank you the amount if complete trash I have cropped using photopea is immeasurable I received my first computer when I was 13 and PC games seemed too complicated to me (and most of them were in English, which I did not know well). I never had a playstation or a gameboy. So I never played video games much.
The first game I "understood" and truly enjoyed playing was Serious Sam :) I also spent A LOT of time playing Clash of Clans.
Will it stay free or is there a possibility that you're gonna put a price on that? Photopea has been free to use since the first release seven years ago, and I would like to keep it free to use in the future, too.
Love photopea, I use it all the time! Does anyone trouble you with any legal issues since it's basically an online photoshop? Thanks! I think the similarity of the interface of Photoshop and Photopea (and other photo editors) is a good thing. Imagine if each brand of computers had a different layout of a keyboard, because they wanted to be "different". I am very happy, that I can simply take any keyboard and start typing on it right away.
Maybe one time someone will come and say, that we have to make the background red, because the dark grey color is already used in their program. And we have to rename the Brush tool to "hair on a stick tool", because the Brush tool is already used in their program. But I hope such time will never come :D
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Please make an April 1st version with copyright-friendly tools, that would be awesome. Brush – Hair on a stick Bucket – Metal container Move – Relocate and so on. Edit: April Tools’ Day That is a graet idea! :D
How do you approach creating something that is intuitive? How do you know that your logic is universally understood? Are there any examples of tools, tasks, icons that you have had to change based on feedback? Thank you and great work! The user interface of Photopea has been evolving for seven years and there were probably hundreds of suggestions from users, which I listened to and modified, to get what we have now :)
Hi Ivan, I've used Photopea for a couple of years for basic editing. Congratulations - it's an amazing tool. The only feature that prevents me from upgrading to a paid version is the font selection interface. There are far too many fonts available, they load slowly, are all obscure and not represented well in preview. Would you consider curating/refining the available fonts? Hi, thanks! It is completely fine to use Photopea for free, you don't have to pay for Premium :)
You can mark some fonts with a star, and then, you can display only the "starred" fonts. You can use filters to see e.g. only "sans" fonts and hide "comic" or "handwritten" fonts. You can enable Latin-1 and other language categories, to see only fonts with many letters (only professional fonts support more than 200 letters).
Have you experienced any pushback/pressure from the bigger players? No :) I have been in touch with people from Google, Adobe, Corel, Canva and other companies, evrybody was very friendly and helpful :)
Thanks for making Photopea- I'm certainly loving it. Will there ever be an offline version? Hi, thanks!
A big challenge is, that Photopea can not use fonts from your computer, and it downloads fonts from our server, when you choose to use that font. So changing fonts would not work in an offline version (except of a couple of fonts we could pre-store).
I think the amount of time people spend using their computer offline is decreasing, and will be almost zero at some point :)
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If I use a font I have purchased, is it easy to implement, if you don't have that font on your server? Hi, just press File - Open in Photopea to load a font (TTF or OTF file) :)
Do you plan to keep photopea solely browser based? Many people think that browser programs are slower or "less capable" than desktop programs, but it is not true in the last five years. So a "download and install" version of Photopea would not have many advantages.
I could provide an offline version of Photopea, but at the moment, most of money come from ads, which would not work offline :/
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You can try and make an Electron app, I know its essentially a browser but it would give that "native" feel to users. Hi, you can already press More - Install Photopea in Photopea and use it as a PWA :)
Great. Now can we please start working on a viable PDF editor that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars per year? Photopea can already do it to some degree :) have you tried it?
The PDF format was not meant to be edited further. But we are improving.
Thanks for developing Photopea. After your last AMA, I started using it. Is there a way for size of a new document to default to image dimensions on the clipboard? That's one of the handiest things in Photoshop so you don't have to either enter manually or overguess then crop down later. The size of a new document should be set by default to the dimension of the content of the clipboard.
But it works only in Chrome, Edge and Opera. Firefox did not implement the necessary standard yet. Don't know about Safari :/
You mentioned you plan on making a video editor. Have you considered an Illustrator alternative as well? Photopea already has many vector-related capabilities. It can open, edit and save SVG and PDF files. Somehow, I feel like a video editor would be more fun to make than an advanced vector editor.
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Didn't know it supported editing SVGs. How does it compare to something like Inkscape? The interface is a lot different than Inkscape. Just try it and see how it works :)
I know this is a long shot, but any chance I can join on board with little to no knowledge so I can learn (for free of course)? 😁 It could be doing menial tasks for all I care. If not, any advice for someone like me wanting to change career path and code? I'm just tired of what I've been doing so I just recently starting some online coding courses but would like to learn more hands on if possible. Hoping to change career path for the future. Well, if I spend time teaching you, I will have to invest less time into developing Photopea :D
I have been often tired of what I did, I get tired of Photopea-related work from time to time. There is not just a bad job and a good job, there are many things in between. But whenever you have to choose between a simple goal and a hard goal, don't be afraid to go for a hard goal :)
How did you begin to scale up the workforce? What positions did you prioritise and how did the recruitment process go? I'm in an early process of starting up a web application and can see it being difficult going from working alone on a project to trusting people to share the same determination to grow it. Thanks I do not have any team, I still work on Photopea alone.
Hi. Great stuffs. I will definitely give it a try soon. May I give a suggestion ? I use GIMP for Image editing since I usually have to make some illustrations for my work. And GIMP provides me with the function of adding Text from another format, like LaTeX (to write math formula). Do you think this would be possible to implement in your app ? Hi, is the LaTeX text rasterized to pixels after you insert it? Or you can modify it in GIMP?
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the LINUX version of GIMP has a module in the Render section which allows me to type in the LaTeX code and product an image of the formula. I am not really used to the terminology of image like vector or raster image. But once the formula is produced, it is not modifiable. So if I messed up, I have to redo the process from the beginning. We don't have such thing in Photopea at the moment.
I used to write my masters thesis in https://www.sharelatex.com/ . You can also convert LaTeX to a PNG image here: http://latex2png.com/ (right-click the image - Copy Image, and paste it in Photopea).
Can it do animations? The only thing I use photoshop for at this point is it's animation ability, especially it's keyframe animations, where you can make a single frame last however many seconds you like. If it can do that, i can finally delete photoshop. Hi, we do not have such animation capabilities as Photoshop. But there is a special mechanism for making animations from layers: https://www.photopea.com/learn/animations
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This kind of animation capability is exactly what I was looking for. Does it allow you to view the animation as a preview before you choose EXPORT? Of course :) Just drag-and-drop a GIF into Photopea and try to export it as a GIF, it will take you around seven seconds :)
what was your eureka moment for photopea that whoa this is possible? Sometimes, when I learn about a new algorithm or a method, I wonder how elegant and ingenious it is :) Like - the person who came up with it should have been really smart, I wish I was also that smart :D
Have you considered using Patreon? Have you considered letting people subscribe for a fixed period if no ads? Hi, we already offer a Premium account, where you pay and it hides ads for a period of time. I know about Patreon, but I feel a bit uncomfortable about accepting money for nothing in return.
Is there a downloadable version available/in the works? You can go to www.Photopea.com and press More - Install Photopea, to get an icon to your homescreen.
https://www.facebook.com/photopea/photos/a.1703140446613703/2120885974839146
i tried using it on my display tablet, there doesn't seem to be any pressure sensitivity? Hi, try to update your tablet (drivers, browser, os, etc). But it works on the latest iPad and on my old Android phone (it tracks the pressure of my finger). If it does not help, try to report it to the tablet manufacturer (as it will not work in any website, not just Photopea).
Is there support for sprite editing tools or just tools in general for game devs? Do you mean generating sprites, etc? It can do most of things Photoshop can do, but if you need something more, you can always suggest it here :) https://github.com/photopea/photopea/issues
What made you decide to create a free photo editor? It was just an experiment of analyzing PSD files in a browser. I gradually improved it. I did not want to make a photo editor during the first two years of work. But at some point, I realised - hey, it should not be that hard to make it into a photo editor.
How is this compared to GIMP? Hi, you can read this article: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/photoshop-alternative-no-its-not-gimp/
But it is about Photopea from two years ago. Photopea improved significantly since then.
So is it WASM or just regular old JS + WebGL? I found this looking for a browser based paint.net alternative a while back and thought it was awesome, but the controls were a bit too advanced/inaccessible for my requirements. If you're serious about growing the dev team I'm a self employed engineer if you want to hit me up. I wrote only JS and GLSL (for GPU processing). I use three WASM libraries, which I did not make. Thanks for your offer, but I would like to hire someone I could work with in person.
I’ve been using photopea ever since your previous AMA a year ago. My question is: how often are do you AMA and how did it impact traffic to photopea? I did only three AMAs with about a year between them. The traffic grows by about 10 - 20%, which lasts for a day or two :)
How much time have you invested in creating this tool? Or what's your weekly time investment? I never measured it, but I think it is about the "regular" 40 hours a week.
Did you know most of what you needed before starting on Photopea or did you learn as you went along with adding new features? What unexpected difficulties presented themselves while working on Photopea? It is like I knew how to use a chisel, but I never carved a statue that big.
I learned many practical things (state-of-art algorithms etc), I used many things I learned at the university, which I thought I will never use :)
How do I start contributing to Photopea? What would you like to contribute with? You can help us find bugs or help beginners at our subreddit: www.reddit.com/photopea
I hope this hasn't been asked, but why haven't you made a downloadable/fully offline version of your program yet? I know that as soon as you load the site you can use it offline, but there are times when people need to edit pictures without any internet connection at all. The online version makes it much easier to release new versions and do updates. I update Photopea about 30 times a week (with minor fixes).
Also, it feels a little uncofmortable to imagine, that someone is using a two year old version of Photopea and is cursing me because of some bug, which I already fixed, and I can not do anything about it at that moment :/
What technologies did you use to build this? I used Javascript and WebGL :)
It's really great that you're offering an alternative to Photoshop! I was wondering, what language or software did you use to write Photopea? I wrote my code in Javascript, but in my opinion, the language is not important at all.
The best language is the one you know how to use. Also, for me, it is important, that there is a way to execute my code fast, which is possible with Javascript in modern browsers.
[removed] Hi, you should not use Auto-translate, as we have a professional Swedish translation. Just press More - Language - Svenska. You can switch languages without restarting Photopea.
Photopea.com should be in Swedish the first time you open it, if Swedish is set as your main language.
What's your End User Licensing Agreement looking like? How is this licensed? I like to know before end users start requesting such as im sure someone now wants to install this in a corporate environment... Photope works in your computer and it never sends any data outside your computer. It is just like buying the cheapest calculator and using it. You don't get a licence to use such calculator, the numbers that you enter into a calculator don't leave the calculator.
Our terms of service are here: https://www.photopea.com/privacy.html
What's your opinion of the current state and direction of front-end development? I think I don't know much about it. I write my JS code in notepad and that code is precisely the code which runs in the browser of a user (without any modification). I did not change the way I develop webapps in the last six years.
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Straight up Windows Notepad? Not notepad++ or Visual Studio Code or Atom or anything else??? I use Notepad++ :)
Are you planning in translating it? If so, I'd be glad to work on the italian version. Hi, it is already translated into 40 langauges, just press More - Language - Italiano :)
Hey Ivan, i'm very impressed by your work, but i'm an avid GIMP user. As you can imagine switching editors is always a hassle once you've got used to one. So can you give me some bullet points why it would be worth to switch from GIMP to Photopea? Thanks for the AMA! Hi, I think you should stay with GIMP, since you already know how to use it :) And if there is nothing specific you miss in GIMP, you probably don't need such features :)
Hey ivanhoe90 I noticed today that the pen tool behaves backward when clicking the second point and dragging. It's like the curve goes the opposite direction than anyone would expect. I almost filed a github issue on it but I just didn't have time. Is that a bug? Oh, I am very sorry, it is fixed now.
Hi, I wanted to know what's your story. That is your biography. And what did you study too get here? How did you get the idea for photopea? Hi, I gave a talk about it in France a year ago :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZmaeC_Ma5A
DUDE! Your program saved me in the final semester of my Masters. I needed to upload images and I don't have a scanner so I used my phone and fixed the colour and tones in Photopea. Bless you for your hard work. I guess my question is what kind of cheese do you like? Thanks a lot! If you only knew how happy I am about such comments :)
I like all cheeses, as I think they are all amazing, each one in a different way.
I love this software and I use it daily, Every time I think to myself "I wonder if can also do" the answer has been yes. I love showing my co-workers this software while working in Citrix, it always blows people away that this works. Question: Any change of seeing a feature that doesn't automatically export local files to the download folder? I would love to select where I want to automatically save them or just save as > location (The google drive system already amazing though) It's that one minor thing that makes me end up with File(17).png Hi, thanks! The saving mechanism depends on the settings of the web browser. The browser usually handles the file saving the same way for all websites. So just change the browser settings - make the browser ask you about where you want the files to be saved (we can not do anything about it as a website).
Do you think Photopea can have more active users than Photoshop? And why? It is hard to tell. There are many features in Photoshop and other editors, which Photopea can not do. Even if Photopea has more active users, it does not mean it makes more money.
Well I'm 9 hours late and maybe it was already asked and answered, but if you feel like responding... do you have to recreate stuff like puppet warp or quick select from scratch? Like you have to go back and read some old white paper on the algorithm, and then sort of reinvent the wheel? Hi, that is correct, there are usually no free implementations of such algorithms, and if there are, they are not in Javascript or are not good enough :/
Actually, the Puppet Warp is based on a 2009 paper from Takeo Igarashi. I found a mistake in it and I wrote him an email, and it took me several emails to persuade him that he really made a mistake in his paper :) But many other authors refuse to look deep into papers they wrote a long time ago.
Who would you prefer Photopea being aquired by, and why? I don't know. I am not looking for an acquisition at the moment.
I'm getting into video editing. I'm a noob to photoshop and video editing. Are there any tools in this that can complement my video editing? I was thinking of being able to create custom graphics for the videos but what else are the capabilities? I dont know much about video editing, but you can use Photopea for photo editing. I think the more time you spend learning a tool, before actually using it, the less time you will spend in total (e.g. doing something by "trial and error" in 3 hours vs. learning it in 1 hour and doing it in 30 minutes, because you learned how to do it).
How were you able to acquire such a vast amount of knowledge about editors and programming? I studied programming at the university for many years. Learning how to use Photoshop or any other editor is easier, but still can take weeks or months.
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I'm currently studying programming at uni too. Am I correct in assuming that the vast majority of the code for photopea is JavaScript since it's a web application? Yes, I wrote my programs in Javascript :) But I did not have any Javascript class ever in my life. I think the programming skills are not related to the knowledge of a specific programming language.
Could you comment on https://github.com/photopea/JS-guide a bit? I don't quite understand why you're against using syntactic sugar. Especially let, const, and strict equality. I'm not claiming to be an expert at all, but most of these guidelines are in opposition to modern day JS practices. So I was just curious if you could elaborate on your decision making! I think it is up to you what you write. But I am used to writing as "simple" code as possible, and it just looks cleaner to me if you use "var" instead of let/const (and it has no impact on the speed).
[deleted] I think the knowledge is the most important. Also, it should be someone friendly, calm, rational, etc :D
Hey, I don't know if this has been asked before but since you have mentioned that Photopea can run offline after it's been loaded (meaning that there is no server backend), have you ever considered packing the app into a desktop app (e.g. with Electron or nw.js)? Hi, I think opening a website is faster and more comfortable than downloading and installing something. Also, the electron version would be hard to update (unless it is just an iframe with Photopea inside it).
Have you ever considered making Photopea into a mobile app? Hi, half of our users use Photopea on phones. It works quite well. If you look for "photopea" on Youtube, most of videos are recorded on phones.
My Reddit client doesn’t have a comment search feature, but have you considered bundling an electron version for people to download? Seems like a quick win, and even gets around ad blockers. Or if it’s a premium only offering, is just icing on the cake Hi, I was a bit lazy to maintain a separate version of Photopea. I don't see any advantages it would have over the basic version.
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 16:36 selfproclaimed Featured Character/Team Schedule for Q4 2020

This is the official schedule for the Features from now until the end of December. Sign-ups for the session after that will be posted within the first two weeks of December.
If you've been following the series for a while, you may notice that our schedule has changed. Over time it's been harder and harder to fill the schedule slots due to the dwindling number of submissions we've been receiving for Featured Teams. As such, we've made a decision to move Featured Teams from a biweekly event back to a monthly one, harkening back to their precursor, "Team of the Month".
As a result, you may have had a team you submitted for this quarter not show up, but you are free to resubmit it next quarter. Take the time to work on your Proof of Concept draft as the more complete your draft is, the more likely you will be able to secure a spot.
We have an automated system so those that have been scheduled for a slot will be contacted two weeks prior to their assigned date to provide us with a draft of their submission. If their submission does not meet the standard of quality we expect, then we will work with the submitter to reach an acceptable final draft. If you cannot be reached within a week of the submission date we will contact the backup for their submission to go on that date.
This list is subject to change should people drop out or swap their characteteam.

Featured Characters

October
November
December

Featured Teams

October
November
December
submitted by selfproclaimed to whowouldwin [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 12:25 RedEdSpaghetti DDLC Broken Skies The Novel Chapters 21 - 24

Continued from yesterdays' post...
Chapter Twenty One: Yuri’s Dilemma

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It was a little hard getting back into the swing of school again after the break. On Thursday, my homeroom teacher asked me to stay after class. He needs to share my exam results with me. Most of them were as I expected. Then, he got to the final one…math. It was the lowest mark I had ever received in all my years of school! I couldn’t even speak, I was so shocked. I could only nod as he suggested that I talk with my math teacher for some extra instruction. How I dread hearing those words again. However, I seem to be left with no other option. I spend the rest of the morning in a daze. I decide to take my lunch by myself. Kishi, however, happens to see me as I head down the hall.

“Aren’t you going to eat lunch in the club room?” he asks.

“Not today,” I reply softly, “I’m not hungry today.”

“Hey Yuri, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is wrong. Can we please go somewhere and talk?”

“I really don’t…” Well, I guess he’s already aware of the situation. “I suppose it’s no good trying to keep it in.”

We head up to the roof, where it’s usually void of students.

“So, what’s wrong?”

“It’s…it’s…”

“You can tell me.”

“My math exam. I got an awful mark.” I finally blurt out “I thought that I had done okay, but the results were horrible.” Tears start to form in my eyes.

“Yuri, I’m so sorry. What can you do?”

“I’m going to have to go to my teacher and ask for help. Obviously I’m not understanding.”

“Look Yuri, I know that I’m not going to change your mind concerning your decision. But please promise me that you’ll be careful. Don’t agree to meet with him outside of school”

“Okay, I won’t do that…unless you’re with me.”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea. It makes me angry that he is making you uncomfortable. But we’ll just have to keep you in safe places when you meet with him. Are you okay to finish school today?”

“I…I’ll be…okay.” I reply, even though I would like to be away from here right now.

“You don’t sound very convincing.”

I smile and give him a hug.

“Thanks Kishi. I feel very fortunate to have you as a friend.”

I talked with my math teacher and we set up a schedule to meet 3 times a week during one of my study periods. He continued to say and do things that made me uncomfortable, but I still feel like there is nothing that I can do. There doesn’t seem to be any specific thing that he couldn’t claim was “misinterpreted”. He also mentioned meeting after school, saying that he could clear some things from his calendar to accommodate a meeting. I quickly turned him down, telling him that I have club meetings after school.

One time, when we were meeting, we heard the sound of the classroom door being opened. I turned around and saw Kishi with a strange look on his face. It started as a look of anger, but quickly changed to an apologetic look when the instructor turned around. “Oh, excuse me!” he said, and turned around and walked out. I quickly turned back around and tried to suppress the laughter inside of me. What a friend he is!

I am still stuck with the same problem though. I need to bring my math grade up, but I hate having to meet with him. I agree with Kishi and his mother with regards to not wanting other girls to have to go through this, but I just don’t see how I can stop it. If it went to the courts, I don’t see how a jury would convict him. Everything is just so circumstantial. Maybe I should talk to my grandparents. I’m not sure that they would understand though. Would they even believe that a teacher could act in such a manner? My mind is spinning as I try to find a solution. I wish I were home right now.

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Chapter Twenty Two: Another Busy Saturday

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My weekend plans filled up very quickly. Monika had asked if we could get together on Saturday for breakfast. She laughed as she wondered if 10am would be too early for me. I told her that I could manage it. Natsuki wanted to get together in the afternoon and make some Bento boxes. She told me that I could use more practice cooking and she would be happy to be my instructor. Yuri mentioned watching a movie on Saturday night…a film that she had been looking forward to seeing for a while. And I asked Sayori if she wanted to go to a little festival in town on Sunday, which she eagerly said yes to. I guess having friends can really fill up your social calendar!

I beat Monika to the café we were to meet at and had a black coffee waiting for her as she arrived. She thanked me and asked if we could walk around a bit. Sure, I said. We ended up in a park and we stopped at the railing that separated the walkway from a small pond. We looked down and could see some koi swimming around. Then we found a bench to sit on.

“So what’s going on today?” I asked, wondering if she wanted to vent again.

“Nothing much,” she replied. “I guess I just wanted to get away for a little bit but didn’t want to be alone. You’re always good company for me. You put me at ease.”

I feel my cheeks start to heat up. This is just a friendly conversation, isn’t it? Of course it is, I try to convince myself. You don’t seriously think it’s more than that, do you?

“Th…thanks for the complement.” I manage to spit out.

“You’re cute when you’re flustered!” she adds with an ornery smile.

I try to change the subject.

“So are things okay at home?”

“Not a lot has changed at home. The only thing that has changed is that I am not as stressed about it. Don’t get me wrong, I still dread their plans for me. But being able to play the piano somehow makes it tolerable, at least for now. Time will tell how long that will last.”

Then she takes the chat in a totally different direction. “Do you ever think about being a parent?”

Wow! That came out of nowhere!

“I don’t know, I guess I don’t think about it much. If I had a girlfriend I might be more likely to consider it, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.” I tell her.

“Really?” she says with a curious smile. “I’ll bet you could have a girlfriend right now if you wanted.”

Has she been talking to Sayori about our situation? Why would she say something like that. I am desperately trying to get out of this.

I try to act cool as I say, “Do you think about being a parent?”

Her smile turns a bit sad. “Yes, but not in a good way. I think more about not being like my parents.”

“Well, I can relate to that, I guess. I mean, mom and I get along well although, her being gone so much probably helps in that regard. I think she feels guilty if she gets on my case when she is home. My dad, on the other hand…”

Her face grows more serious. “Come to think of it, I never hear you mention him. Is your relationship that bad?”

“Not so much bad as it is non-existent.” I reply. “He really hasn’t tried to contact me much since the divorce. But I really haven’t gone out of my way to contact him either.”

“I wonder which of our situations is worse?” she asks glumly. I shrug my shoulders.

Suddenly, she looks at her watch. “Goodness, is it really 11:30 already? I’m sorry, but I have to run. Thank you Kishi. It was really good talking with you, especially seeing you get nervous.” Then she gives me one of those adorable smiles of hers along with a hug, and then she’s on her way.

I swing by the market on the way home to pick up a few ingredients for the boxes. The last thing I want is for Natsuki to come over and find out that I have nothing to contribute to the cooking. I laugh as I picture her, looking up at me and trying to yell at me. Still, she is not someone that I would want mad at me. I make it home and manage to pick up around the place a bit before she arrives.

“I hope that I’m not walking into a pig sty.” she exclaims as she enters the house.

“You still can’t be nice to me, can you?” I say, smiling.

“That is being nice!” she replies. “I could just come in and start ordering you to sanitize everything. Who knows what gross things you do living here by yourself!”

“You make it sound like I have cooties or something!”

“I’m not sure that you don’t!” she says laughing.

We head into the kitchen and start unpacking the bags that she brought along. There is a nice selection of vegetables and some fish. Fortunately, the things that I bought are different from hers, so that will be bonus points for me. We start by getting the rice ready and chopping up some of the vegetables and fish. She puts me to work assembling some of the boxes with a group of ingredients, while she grabs a different set and starts her own boxes.

Soon she says to me, “What do you think?”

I look over at the box in front of her expecting to see a normal bento box. Instead, I see a work of art!

“Natsuki! That’s…isn’t that one of the Parfait Girls?” I exclaim.

“Of course it is.” she replies proudly.

“That’s so talented! How did you learn to do that?” I ask.

“I watched some videos on the internet.” she tells me. “It’s called oekakiben or picture bento. There are some incredible examples of it out there. They really put mine to shame.”

“No way Nat. I mean, look at that! You even included freckles! You are incredibly talented!” I gush.

Her cheeks turn a bright shade of red.

“Well, I have been practicing. It’s not like this is the first time I tried it.”

“Still, I am very impressed. Whoever marries you will be a very lucky guy to have such a wonderful cook.”

This comment seems to strike a nerve.

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s likely to happen.” she says with sadness.

“Why not Natsuki?”

“I know that I’m still young but it just seems like…guys are afraid of me.”

“Well, I’m your friend and I’m afraid of you!” I reply, and then realize that was a dumb thing to say.

“See, even my only guy friend is afraid of me. What chance do I have?”

“Oh Nat, I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right. I was trying to tease you but obviously I messed up.”

“It’s okay,” she says as her eyes begin to fill with water. “I’ll just have to get used to it.”

“Hey, don’t cry. You will be a wonderful wife to someone. You have so much to offer, and not just with your cooking skills. I know that you have a big heart inside you. I think that you just try so hard to prove your worth, that people naturally back away.”

“But not you.” she says with a weak smile. “You’ve always seemed to know just what to say or do. You always seem to set me back on the right track when I go off.”

I walk over and give her a hug. “That’s what friends are for.” I tell her. Then I look down into her eyes. But something is different in them this time…something new. It must be the tears, making them look different, I think to myself. Then we decide to watch some anime.

“Hmm…what do you think about this?,” I say, checking the schedule, “it’s a special presentation about the Ghibli Museum.”

“Is that the manga museum in Tokyo?”

“Yes it is.”

“Yes, I would love to see this.”

We watch the one-hour special almost silently. When it ends, we are both excited at how much there is to see.

“I would love to visit that place some time.” she tells me.

“It’s definitely on my bucket list.” I reply.

“If you ever go, you better take me along. I wouldn’t be able to stand you if you had that experience up on me.” she says, laughing.

“I can’t think of anyone else I would want to see it with.”

Suddenly, she gets a strange look on her face.

As she prepares to go, she leaves some bento boxes for me to take in for lunch for the week and takes the rest with her. As she opens the door, she turns and smiles.

“Thanks…for everything. You sure know how to make a girl feel good about herself.” and she turned and left.

Her comment made me uneasy for some reason, but I can’t figure out why.

I texted Yuri and told her that I would make some miso soup. She said that she would stop and pick up something to go with it. At some point I really need to try to make something other than miso soup. I can’t just be a one-trick pony. I do get out some of the tea that Yuri got me for the gift exchange. I thought that it would be a nice touch. She arrives just as the soup is ready.

“Perfect timing!” I say as she enters the house.

“Oh…it smells wonderful!” she says with enthusiasm.

“Aw, it’s nothing much. I was telling myself earlier that I need to expand my cooking skills. What kind of guy can only cook one thing?”

“In your case, that would be a wonderful guy…” she stopped suddenly. “Oh, I can’t believe that I said that out loud. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you.”

“Yuri, you’re fine. You don’t have to apologize. You’re allowed to have an opinion, even if you’re wrong about this one. I’m not wonderful. I’m just an average guy.”

“Well, I think that you are way above average, if I may be so bold. I have never met a guy like you.”

“Thanks for the kind words, but I don’t see myself as being that great.”

“When I say things like that, you correct me and tell me that I am always putting myself down.” she says with a pout.

“Yeah, I guess I do, don’t I.” I think for a minute. “Can we settle for I’m okay; you’re okay?” I ask.

“It‘s a deal!” she replies with a smile.

After we finish our soup, we break out the mochi that she bought, along with some tea that I prepared. It was a great way to complete the meal. Then we headed for the living room to watch the movie. The film was all right…nothing to rave about. Yuri said that she felt it had been over-hyped. Still, it was a nice way to spend the evening.

As she was leaving for home, she turned and said to me, “I really did mean what I said about you being a wonderful guy. I have never felt so comfortable as I do around you. Thank you so much.” And then she walked out before I could say anything. Why do I get the feeling that this whole day has had a weird vibe to it?

Before I crash for the night, I pick up my phone and call mom.

“Hi mom. Can you talk?”

“I only have a little time. We are working on a big presentation for Monday.”

“Okay, a little bit is better than none.”

“Aw, what a sweet thing to say. You didn’t burn the house down, did you?”

We both laugh.

“No mom.”

So we talked about my week and all of the things that are going on. I also told her about walking in on Yuri’s session with her math teacher. She wasn’t very happy about it, but said that maybe it worked out okay. She warned me to keep my temper under control. It sounds so odd to hear that. I have never had an anger problem until recently…when I got friends. Friends who need protecting. Friends who need help. Friends who need…me.

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Chapter Twenty Three: Yuri Explodes

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It’s Monday, and the atmosphere in homeroom is not doused in its’ usual sleepy overlay. For some reason, groups of students are busy talking with each other. I wonder what has happened to change things. However, having no friends in class, I am left clueless. It is only when I get to math class that I discover the issue. As I walk into class, I notice that our teacher is not here. In his place is a young woman, evidently a substitute teacher. I happen to overhear that our teacher has been fired! I turn to the girl next to me and ask her if she knows what happened. She tells me that he was fired over the weekend for sexual harassment, and that they tried to keep it quiet, but word got around pretty quickly. I am totally in shock.

I make it through the morning classes and decide to head up to the roof during lunch time. Fortunately, no one from the club sees me. I try to make sense of the news. The only conclusion that I can come to is that Kishi must have gone to the principal and told him about my situation. Why would he do that after I asked him not to? I know that he felt that I was making the wrong decision, but I thought that he respected my request to keep it between us! The more that I thought about it, the more upset I became. Still I fight the urge to go to the restroom. The lunch break is nearly over…I don’t have time for that. However, the emotions continue to build within me all through the afternoon classes.

By the time that the final bell rings, the anger within me is like a raging forest fire. All I can think of is Kishi betraying my trust! Why did I trust him? Isn’t this what always happens when I trust people? Don’t they always betray me? I hurriedly make my way to the meeting room.

As I enter, my focus shifts immediately to Kishi. I am not aware of which girls are in the room and I really don’t care. I can vaguely hear mumbles around me as I position myself in front of him.

“How could you?” I yell. “I trusted you, and this is how you repay my trust? Going behind my back?”

“Yuri, I didn’t tell anyone, not even the girls!” he protests.

I can’t even begin to believe that. No one else knew. I slap him right across the cheek. All the anger that has been building up inside of me is let loose with one sweep of my arm.

“I should have known that you would be just like those other guys. I never want to speak to you again!”

And with that, I turn and leave the room. I head for the girl’s restroom. I need release from these emotions.

Several minutes go by. The pressure inside me is slowly subsiding. Then, I hear the door open and I quickly start to clean myself up, pulling bandages from my back pack. I hear Monika’s voice.

“Yuri…please come out. We need to talk.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. My life has just been wrecked, all because I trusted him.”

I let my disgust for Kishi show with emphasis on that last word.

Then Natsuki speaks up.

“Yuri, we are not leaving here without you. Now, if you want to continue having this conversation when another girl comes in here, I don’t care. I will continue talking to you no matter who else is in here.”

I know without a doubt that she means what she said. The best option for me is to leave with them. I am starting to feel better anyways. I pull down the sleeve of my sweater over the bandages and open the door. As I exit, Monika wraps an arm around me and leads me back to the club room. They both tell me that Kishi told them about everything that had been going on, emphasizing that they didn’t know until after I left the room. I can’t believe them. “He had to have told someone.”, I repeat over and over.

As they try to comfort me, there is a knock on the door. The principal enters and asks me to come with him. He then tells the girls that we won’t be returning today. We make the long walk to the office in silence. As we enter his office, he asks the secretary not to disturb us and then closes the door. I notice that there are two other people in the office…a young woman who looks like another student but identifies herself as a law enforcement officer. The other is a man in an expensive suit who introduces himself as a lawyer. The principal begins the conversation.

“We want you to know that you are in no trouble at all. We just have a few questions for you, if you are comfortable answering them. But first, we need to fill you in on some things. You may have heard today that your math teacher was fired over the weekend. The reason was for sexual harassment. We had complaints from a couple of girls in his classes. We decided to do an undercover investigation and, with the help of the detective here, we managed to get enough evidence to convince us to fire him. The prosecutor is now gathering as much evidence as he can in order to finalize charges against him. That is where you come in. We understand that you had been meeting with him outside of class. Is that true?”

“Yes” I whisper.

“It’s okay. You don’t have to be afraid. The case doesn’t depend on you. It will go forward with or without anything that you tell us. Do you understand that?”

I nod.

“Would you tell us if there was anything…irregular about your private meetings with him?”

I proceed to tell them everything that happened and how his words and actions made me feel. I also tell them that I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think it was blatant enough to warrant action…that it could easily have just been my imagination making too much of things. As I finish, the principal speaks up.

“Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m sure that this hasn’t been easy for you. I want you to understand that it is part of my job to provide a safe learning environment for the students here. Obviously, that has been compromised. Rest assured that we will do whatever we can to restore order here. I will understand if you need to take some time away from school. And please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you.”

“Thank you sir. I appreciate all that you have done. I’m sorry that I didn’t…”

“Please, do not apologize Yuri. You have no fault in any of this and the thoughts that you have shared are certainly understandable.”

The lawyer nods in agreement and adds, “You certainly could have interpreted his words in different ways. Fortunately, he was more forward with our undercover officer which is what enables us to bring charges against him.”

The principal speaks again. “Unless you have anything to add, you are free to go.”

“No sir, nothing else. Thank you again for your assistance.” I stand up to leave, but am stopped by the officer.

“Please allow me to drive you home. I’m sure that this has been a very trying day for you.”

“I would be very grateful for that.” I tell her. With that, we leave. On the way, she shares her thoughts with me.

“Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for being honest. I understand why you didn’t say anything.” she tells me. “I think that you were wise to not meet with him outside of school. Things might have been very different if you had. Also, if you think of anything else, don’t be afraid to contact us or the principal.” She leaves a card with a phone number in my hand. I thank her and say good bye.

I enter the house and am greeted by my grandparents. I return their greeting and tell them that I will be in my room for a while. I’m not sure if I can tell them about what has happened today. My first thought is to tell Monika what happened. I’m sure that she and Natsuki are wondering why the principal came and got me.

“Will you please meet me early at school tomorrow? I hate to bother you, but it is important.”

“Yes, Yuri I will meet you in the courtyard. And you are not bothering me. I am your friend and I am concerned about you.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.”

And now, my thoughts turn to Kishi. He must hate me right now. How could I have done something so rash? And what will the other girls think of me? I know that they all like him. They will probably hate me too for what I’ve done to him. The emotions keep building up within me till I am about to burst. I need release.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Twenty Four: Breakdown

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The night drug on forever, but Tuesday morning still arrived, not that I’m looking forward to it. I think that my cheek is still stinging from yesterday. How am I ever going to convince Yuri that I didn’t betray her trust if she won’t talk to me? I have to hope that Monika and Natsuki were able to get through to her. It’s not going to be an easy day in school today. If mom wasn’t home, I would probably just stay in bed.

“Are you okay honey? You seem a bit uptight.” she says as I make my way into the kitchen.

“I’m fine mom…just a lot going on. Things should settle down soon.” If only I believed that.

“Just make sure that you are taking care of yourself. I noticed that you didn’t seem to sleep well last night. I don’t want to leave on my trip worrying about you, although I usually do anyways. I just don’t need extra worry.”

“I keep telling you not to worry, but it doesn’t do any good. So, I will just tell you that I am fine and I haven’t managed to destroy myself yet while you’ve been away!” I said with a slight attitude.

“Well, that is true, but you have also admitted to me that you don’t always eat right and now, if you’re not getting a good night’s rest, it could have negative effects on you before you realize that it’s happening.”

“Okay mom. I will try to give sleep a bit more priority if it will make you worry less.”

“That would ease my mind a bit. Thanks honey!”

I pack up my bag and head out for school. “I’ll see you tonight.” I call as I’m leaving.

Class is a bore this morning. Of course, I have never been a big fan of math. I sure do miss Mr. Sakurai, although even his interesting style of teaching couldn’t always prevent me from dozing off last year. Between tiredness, math, and Mr. Date’s monotone voice, my concentration doesn’t hold up. I rest my head in my hand for a second, and I am gone to the twilight zone…that place between reality and deep sleep.

The voices start to cry out in my mind. A flash of lightning fills the sky! I see Sayori, curled into a ball and sobbing. I have to help her! "I'm here!" I say. Another flash! Mom wants to know what I am going to do after graduation. "I don't know yet." I reply. Another flash! Natsuki is sitting beside me on the couch. As she turns her head slowly towards me, I see another black eye! "Not again!" I shout. Another flash! I look through a classroom door and see Yuri‘s math teacher with his arm around her! "Get away!" I yell. The whole sky is lit! I see Yuri standing before me with her arm extended. Then I feel the sting of her hand on my cheek again. Only this time, it's not in my dream.

I open my eyes and, to my horror, every eye in the class is pointed at me. Mr. Date is standing in front of my desk looking down at me with an unusual expression.

“I am sorry that I had to do that, but you wouldn’t wake up! Please, gather your things and come with me. The rest of you, please remain working quietly on your problems until I return.”

As we walk to the principal’s office, I am still trying to figure out what happened. My mind is running around in circles trying to make sense of things. I sit in a chair while Mr. Date explains to the principal what happened. At least, I am guessing that is what he is doing. I can’t even focus on what he is saying. He then turns to me, places a hand on my shoulder, and apologizes to me for the slap and goes back to his classroom.

“Well Kishi, would you like to explain what has happened this morning?”

“I don’t know sir. I guess there is just a lot going on in my life right now and …”

The tears start to flow like a river in a flash flood. The words will no longer leave my mouth. I bury my face in my hands and continue crying. Then I feel a hand on my shoulder.

“I think that we need to get you some help young man. I’m afraid that this is beyond my capacity to deal with. I will make arrangements and also call your mother to let her know the situation.”

The thought of him telling my mother sends a shiver down my spine. I had just told her this morning that I was fine and now this! I’m a total mess!

Some time passed and then I heard a familiar voice. “Hello Kishi. It’s been a while since we have talked. It’s a little different situation now though, isn’t it?” I immediately recognize Dr. Shitori’s voice. I weakly shake my head in agreement. “How about if you come with me and we’ll go to a more comfortable place.” I cannot believe that Dr. Shitori of all people would be the one they called. Sayori is not going to believe it either. I guess she will be sitting in with me instead of the other way around.

We make it to the hospital and they lead me to a room and have me lie down.

“Here, this will help you relax and settle down.” I take the tablets and wash them down with some water.

“Now, can you tell me what happened this morning?”, he asked.

I have no idea how long I talked to him. Mostly I just cried and blurted out fragments of my thoughts. He didn’t say much, just listened with an intent gaze. I wish I could have been that focused this morning in class. Then maybe I wouldn’t be in this position.

Suddenly, there is a soft knock on the door. A nurse enters and whispers to Dr. Shitori. He nods and stands up. Soon, my mom comes into the room, her face filled with anxiety. Dr. Shitori greets her at the door and speaks very softly to her. I cannot make out what he is saying, but I see mom’s eyes get bigger as she turns to look at me. He turns to me and says, “We are going to keep you here overnight just as a precaution. I will be back to check on you in the morning. Good bye for now.” With that, he exits and closes the door behind him.

I dread what is coming next, but there is no way I can stop it.

The tears start to flow from her eyes as she tries to speak to me. I can’t help but start crying too. She leans over and hugs me, and then it starts.

“You told me you were fine and that I shouldn’t worry!”

“I know mom, and I thought I was fine. It’s just that, all of a sudden, everything piled on me at once. I couldn’t make the voices stop shouting at me. Everybody needed me at the same time. I couldn’t help them all. I couldn’t …” My voice trails off and fresh tears begin to fall down my cheeks. “I couldn’t help them!”, I sobbed.

She hugs me tightly and whispers, “It’s okay honey. It will be fine. You just need some rest. I’ll stay with you until you fall asleep.”. She runs her fingers through my hair and looks at me with love in her eyes.

“I’m sorry mom! I’ve really messed up your schedule with work and all.”

“You don’t worry about my work. You just worry about getting well.”

Then, a thought occurs to me. “Where’s my phone? I need to text Sayori and let her know what’s going on!”

“Oh no you don’t. You are not touching your phone for a while young man!” she said sternly. “I am taking your phone and I’ll notify your friends, and then I am going to hide this where you can’t get to it!”

She rummages through my bag and pulls out my phone. “Now, let’s see. There is Sayori of course, and I remember Monika. Who else was there?”

“Just text Sayori, She can let everyone else know.” I say dejectedly.

“That sounds easier”, she replied, as she started typing away.

Shortly after the message was sent, there was a response. Mom picked it up and read the text.

“She says that the story got around school pretty quickly. Everyone is very worried about you. She also said that she is glad that Dr. Shitori is treating you, and she can’t wait until she can see you.”

I wonder to myself when will that be? Who knows how long they will want to keep me confined? I know he said overnight, but did my actions today warrant a “time away”? So many questions are running through my head. But soon, my eyelids become too heavy for me to keep open. “I love you mom” I manage to whisper as my eyes fall shut. “I love you too” I hear as consciousness escapes me.
submitted by RedEdSpaghetti to DDLC [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 10:48 ConduitIII Can we have a discussion about how ridiculously OVERPRICED...

LOL is coming out in a few months. We all know Mobile Legend's playerbase is about to get halved. Everybody knows thats finna happen. As a gamer who have played in all consoles possible, and have tried all games available in the market, I fell in love with Mobile Legend's Kagura and Ruby, and they are the sole reasons I don't want to leave this game. The game isn't perfect; match-making sucks, hero balancing is stupid, revamps and reworks don't feel like they're well thought-out, 50% of the content is still a copy of other MOBAs, lag and ping issues still persist, FPS suddenly drops, and many others.
But as a loyal player of the game, I don't want to switch. I was ready to accept these all and wait for bug fixes, lag fixes, all fixes, and Im even ready to work around stupid meta and OP heroes like Barats rn, whose ult is Kaja and Jawhead combined, and is the dumbed down version bec really how easy is that to pull off. As a gamer I don't complain a lot. 1-3-1 strat. Bch gimme that, I'mma wear a mask and not get gold til the game ends idc. Barats op? I aint gon start crying about that. We got three bans. You know. Look at the positive side.
But as a gamer, I'm petty. This ain't true for everyone, but I've always been petty, since I started playing MMORPG 10 years ago I would always spend extra shit on in-game stuff that are cool because I'm an aesthetics gamer. I like looking badass and unique. And being the petty gamer that I am, I always look at the most expensive shit available in-game just so a few number of people would have the same shit I do lmao.
But bro, why tf an epic limited lucky box skin is as expensive as a new pair of shoes, I can never wrap my head around. And don't even get me started on the Party Box events. Idk how hard it is for Moonton to make its players happy.
I own 22 epic limited LuckyBox/ Epic Showcase skins. It's not a lot, since I think there's already over 50 of them to date. 17 of those I own, I bought straight out of their single events. That usually cost me 4k diamonds. That's literally the price of a brand new pair of good sneakers. That's also the price of a month's rent in a nice room. 5 of those skins I own I got from box events.
Now about these box events, I gotta say this again, how hard is it for Moonton to make its players happy? In the recent KOF event, I spent 10k diamonds. Now Idk how Moonton came up with the idea that I would like some fresh Saber and Venom squad skins and decided to give me four of them. Like I did not buy them for a reason, why is that hard to understand. The epic skin I got in my last spins was Selena's Thunder Flash, which I already owned. They gave me 150 rare fragments for that, for skins in the shop that I already have epic skins of. The Bingo gave me Iori Yagami, an amazing skin for a hero I have 5 matches with. I know some people who spent 15k and 18k diamonds and couldn't even get their Kula. He was given Iori and K instead, and gave him Leona twice in the draws. He already owned Leona from last year. That sh<3t is already almost the price of a brand new smart phone.
The game is sh<3t altogether, and some of the few joys players get from this game are skins. Why do they have to be so expensive? I know a lot of people are aware their shit is too expensive. But sadly, not enough people are talking about this. If enought people talked about this rip off, maybe Moonton, being all caring and close to its community lmao, would do something about it.
Idk, I really don't want to leave the game, but can't Moonton just let us get the little joys such as cheaper elite skins, cheaper recall animations... And don't even get me started with Crystal of Aurora.
That's it. End of rant.
submitted by ConduitIII to mobilelegends [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 22:44 redroguetech Mega "getting started" thread

[Updated repost from here and here]
See my mega review post. It's getting time for me to update it, but still worth looking through.
First off, I wanna just get out of the way that there are as many approaches to doing "smart home" as there are people doing it... So I welcome comments! The idea is to create a single post/thread I (or anyone else) can just link for people asking the basic question of "where do I start", and... I started where I started, not where everyone else started :-)
[What do you want ?]
My first suggestion to all those starting out or barely in.... At a minimum, consider EVERYTHING you might want to do. Let your imagination run wild. If you can think it, there's a good chance someone else has done it - and if not, you can be the first. I think the biggest and most common mistake people make when starting out - for me as well - is a lack of imagination. There's nothing wrong starting out with "I just want to do X" (especially if you mean it) but it's also a good way to get boxed in. I recommend everyone, including automation veterans, write out all your dream projects and goals... actually write them down. Write out what and how many devices (lights, sensors, etc.) it will take. Then, put in ball park prices. If you're really just starting out, you might need to pencil in just wild guesses. That's fine. Doesn't need to be exact, and prices change (and can vary wildly by brand/model). The idea is to just have a rough estimate of what's feasible and what isn't... What's worth it and what isn't... What to do sooner and what to put off.
[What do you already have?]
If you're serious about home automation... Make a detailed floor plan of your house. A floor-plan is pretty useful in general, but especially useful for setting up and maintaining a smart home. Mark where all the outlets, switches, and light fixtures are at, and go through the house mapping circuit breakers just the one time. As smart devices are installed, notate on the floor plan which devices are smart, their capabilities (ie if lights are color), what protocol they use (ZigBee, Z-Wave, or WiFi), what circuit breaker they're on and/or what type of battery they use (and you can note last battery installation date). (I use Sweet Home 3D - free, pretty powerful, and pretty easy.)
Obviously, what you already have for automation devices should be taken into account in any smart home plan. However, in general don't let that influence you too much. Every home automation veteran has box(s) full of old stuff. Plan carefully to minimize waste, but home automation is constantly evolving, so be willing to occasionally rethink your approach. If you do switch to a different platform/protocol/etc, do it slowly. Don't try to transition everything at once. At the same time, I personally feel it's important to maintain consistency throughout a house. Having a mish-mash of different products and designs can hinder every-day living.
[What can you do?]
See below for a quick list of the most common device types. Following that is a list of automation ideas. Use these to assist in making the list. Although they are perhaps a bit overwhelmingly long, it's more to prompt you to think about what you want. Come up with your own dream list! (Then share it.)
Before skipping to those, there's a two things you need to decide early on. (Or skip, but come back.) Honestly, I'm split on which is more important. They may very well be equally important.
[Pause for dramatic cliff-hanger....]
[How are you going to control everything?]
The first is the "automation controller". You know about Google Home and Alexa - maybe know about IFTTT - and you're wondering if you really need a separate controller. If you're going to do more than couple of simple things... you're going to want a controller. It's just that simple.
There's quite a few out there (literally thousands), from those that barely qualify as an automation controller (like Google Home), to easy to use but limited SmartThings, to DIY systems like HomeAssistant. It depends in large part on end goals and user preference (and mon-ay!). Few people have extensively used all of the major ones, so take all suggestions - including mine - with a grain of salt, unless they can directly compare and contrast from experience. So, you're on your own. For what it's worth, my quick-pick short list would be either Hubitat or Home Assistant, but it really does depend on your tech level, budget, goals, and other preferences. Personally, I use a Hubitat Elevation, and I love it.
Note: My understanding is that SmartThings is still the go-to platform for beginners. However, it's limited, and does not have a stable user experience or functionality. I have long since stopped using SmartThings, so only passingly familiar with recent developments, but my opinion continues to be to avoid it unless you willing to buy it as a learning tool.
[How are you going to control everything??]
The second major decision is how you want to control the lighting. Sounds simple, but it's really not. It really deserves a mega-thread of it's own. At least for me, it was a choice that was far more difficult, far more costly, and far harder to reverse than which controller to get (though I'm proud to say I'm sure I did make the right choice for my goals). There's smart switches,1 smart bulbs, smart switches with smart bulbs, control/touch screen panels, remote controls, and voice. And, each one can have varying features and styling. Also consider how they will work together, not just on the technical side (which is addressed by picking an automation controller), but in actual practical use. Before picking products, actually imagine using them... For instance, would you want a glossy touch-screen light dimmer next to a click-button fan controller? Rather than immediately falling in love with a new glitter product, picture yourself using it to turn the lights on and off or whatever on a daily basis while half-asleep in the dark, or in a rush out the door.
Many people answer "I'll just use voice". Wrong answer. Just take my word for it. Voice is an add-on feature; not a replacement for physical controls. I have at least 10 Google Homes scattered throughout the house, and will be expanding on that - so it's not that they aren't useful, but yelling "Hey Google, turn on kitchen light one" ("I've turned on kitchen light two" -- "I SAID ONE!!") at 3am just doesn't actually work. As much as I and hopefully you love the idea of home automation, old dumb light switches really are about as good you can get for simple, practical, intuitive use.
My ultimate answer is that... I don't want to control lights! I want them to control themselves - hence being home automation. Unfortunately, it's just not achievable. 1) Motion sensors can be finicky and you'll want a backup, 2) Motion sensors aren't appropriate for all circumstances, and 3) Motion sensors throughout the entire house (and setting up the automation logic) is a large undertaking, and will take much time, effort and expense. I give a pro/con of some of the basic methods on my "review thread", but... First, ask YOURSELF questions. Where will the switches be? What will they do? What are you going to do with the existing switches? Will you want switches where there aren't any built-in? Will they work for the entire family? Consider what you'll gain over "dumb" switches, and what you'll lose. Then do research and ask everyone else how to get there.
[What protocol are you going to use?]
One other thing that's suggested be decided early on is protocol. If you've done any research at all or spent anytime in the forums, you'll see ZigBee and Z-Wave mentioned a lot. First, WiFi is conspicuously absent in that sentence. Despite the massive number of "smart" products on the market that use WiFi, it's not a good base protocol to use. Buying WiFi products is a great place to start out. There are a lot of great WiFi products, and they don't generally require any "hub", allowing you to just jump in without out this bothersome planning and research, and using WiFi products isn't a death sentence for home automation setups. But there are many - too many - drawbacks from security issues to signal interference, so be careful not to get sucked too far into WiFi. Feel free to postpone making these really hard choices by buying a couple WiFi devices, but don't ignore them just because WiFi seems to work well to start with. Some of the pro/cons for WiFi like security issues just make WiFi less of bargain, but many of the issues grow exponentially with the number of WiFi devices you have.
As to Zigbee or Z-Wave - I started out with a mix, and have settled on one based on stability of my personal setup - not naming which is giving me troubles, because it's probably solvable, I'm just too lazy to bother. Although there are differences between the two - some of which may be quite important to smart-home veterans - it typically doesn't matter which is used, and there's certainly not one that's "better" for beginners. Pretty much every product type can be found in either, but specific brands usually do one or the other, so I'd recommend getting a controller that supports both, learn as you go, and use what works best.
Just as a bit of a primer, ZigBee and Z-Wave are both what are known as "mesh networks". You know about "mesh WiFi". It's like that, but completely different. In a true mesh network, each device can act as a repeater for other devices, which isn't true for WiFi. So each device that is a repeater strengthens and extends the network, and can become more efficient with routing. Not all will be repeaters, particularly battery powered devices. Hue and other ZigBee bulbs won't either, because they're technically a substandard (Zigbee Light Link rather than Zigbee Home Automation). However, bulbs in general are reportedly a mixed bag, and not being a repeater can be better than being a bad repeater.
[Do you really need a "hub"?]
A note on hubs. Many people (including myself) started out with "But I don't wanna hub!" (or "But I don't wannanother hub!") Get over it. Although there's something to be said for simplicity, don't get hung up on whether something requires a hub! They don't build them just to make money... well, I mean, they do, but no one would buy them if they didn't have value. Personally, I actively use six hubs (Hubitat Elevation, Lutron Caseta, Hue, Pi 3B+, Arlo, and Fing) with plans for another, and have yet more that I've managed to phase out. That's not to say those hubs are right for everyone (again, see my review thread), and I'm definitely not saying to buy any hub without researching what features it adds, but do not cut your nose off to spite your face by avoiding product lines just because there's a hub!
[Where are you going to use it?]
(At home! It's home automation! Duh!!)
Presence... It's a huge issue for home automation. Maybe even the most important issue. So, just going to define a few concepts for your consideration.
The Holy Grail of a smart home is being able to customize the environment to suit the specific people in the room/area, and specifically to suit their activity. For instance, you may want different lighting or sound settings if you are watching tv rather than your child, or have different things occur if your child is leaving the house rather than when you arrive, etc., etc. The only way to do that in a practical way within a home environment is through facial recognition cameras. Although it's technically feasible, at this time it's simply not practical for the vast majority of home owners. But there are ways to get pretty close.
There's geopresense (aka "geofencing"). You know what it is, but there's a lot more to it when applied inside a house. It can be used to determine, within some margin of error, if you're at home, but useless in saying which part of the home. And it can only track other people if they're willing to install an app (and have their phone with them). It can also be used for things like having left work, leaving an area (eg having home automation just know that you've gone on vacation, visiting your family/side b***h, etc.).
To determine if someone actually entered the house, or entered a specific room, you can use contact sensors, which indicates a door or window has been opened or closed. Obviously, this can't say who it was, or even if they're entering or exiting. They also require opening doors, which obviously often doesn't apply inside.
Motion detectors... well, you know what they do. There are some issues with them, such as sensitivity, polling rate, and false alarms (the vast majority of sensors see infrared changes, so heat sources will tend to throw them off). Still, they make for good lighting controls and such.
A few other "presence" types... There are pressure plates, vibration sensors, and beam sensors. Some of these are pretty uncommon, but if you're not adverse to DIY, they could be handy. For instance, a pressure sensor could tell if your car is parked, and a beam sensor can tell if the car has arrived. That is, a pressure plate can tell the difference between a car and a person, but is specific to only one specific location. A beam sensor can see between any two points, but can't tell the difference between a car and your grandmother's corpse.
Another option is BlueTooth. Using keychain fobs, specific people can be identified, and hypothetically located within a small-ish area, but still not good enough to pin-point a room/area. When combined with motion sensors, if people aren't in groups, you could get pretty close, for instance if only one person is in one part of the house, and a motion sensor is triggered for a specific room in that area, the system can know who is in what room.
Carefully combining these together - typically GPS, contact sensors, and/or motion sensors - you can get a good idea of where people are in a house. The closer you can get to the Holy Grail of knowing where people are, who they are, and what they are doing, the more automation can be fined-tuned to customize a house for them. Here's a post showing what creativity, planning, time, and pure stubbornness can accomplish.
[How are you going to stop using it?]
Shit happens. Plan for it. Example one... My kid's dog likes to chew on my MagicCube and Pico remotes, which only control lights so no big deal, but if turning on a light while no one was home acted as a security alarm trigger, it'd be a big problem. Example two... a minor bug in my automation code prevented lights from turning on or off - at all - and I couldn't stop right then to fix it. But I had an override in place. It's too easy to make a mistake, like having lights come on at 2am instead of 2pm, so put in overrides. Have options to disable routines. And use multi-point authentication systems for critical systems like alarms and locks. A couple mistakes can tank the SAF (Spouse Approval Factor), if not actually put you in physical danger.
Now on to the lists, but first a warning. Don't let them overwhelm you. The options with smart homes is long, but only the biggest dicks most dedicated [sorry, just jealous] do more than maybe a double handful of them.
Devices:
  • Smart lighting / smart switches
  • Buttons
  • Smart outlets (including high-Amp/appliance outlets)
  • Power monitors (built into many, but not all, smart outlets)
  • LED strip/accent lighting (strictly speaking, not necessarily "smart", but is way better with smartness)
  • Touch panel screen(s)
  • Voice control (Alexa, Google Home and/or Bixby)
  • Motion sensors
  • Tilt sensors (garage door, tactile buttons)
  • Accelerometevibration sensor (door sensors, washedryer, theft deterrence, tactile buttons)
  • Distance sensors (don't know of any detail product) (credit to gergoio
  • Water leak sensors (leak alerts, plant care)
  • Temp sensors (for AC zone control, house fan, stove monitor, refrigerator monitor)
  • Humidity sensors (bathroom vent fans, basement monitor)
  • Doowindow contact and/or magnetometer sensors (good for closet lighting, home security and controlling HVAC)
(Note: There are multi-purpose sensors that combine various of the above into one device)
  • Ilaser beam sensors (don't know of any retail product, aside from wired garage door sensors)
  • Pressure sensors (don't know of any retail product)
  • Smart locks
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart vents
  • Security cameras
  • Blinds/curtains
  • Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarms (with remote alerts)
  • Sprinkleirrigation/s controls (eg valves, solenoids, pumps, etc.)
  • Pool automation (Note: There's actually not much on the market for pools that aren't very pricey)
  • Robot vacuums
  • Pet/child toys (just being thorough.... :-)
Not a device in the same way as those above, but there are also hubs that mimic remote controls for ceiling fans, tvs, window ACs, gas fireplaces, etc.
Automation ideas....
Note: The true wonder and power of home automation is being able to join together multiple triggers with multiple events for multiple devices, such as creating whole-house scenes, combining lighting, alerts, tv/movie player, fireplace, water features, etc., etc. It's impossible to list every combination, but... please share what you've done :-)
These are sorted roughly by category. The leading number in brackets is my opinion/guess on general difficulty (scale of 10, with 10 hardest), but that could drastically vary by specifics of the goal, how it's implemented, the platform, specific products, and how wrong my opinion is, so only use them if you don't know any better. "?" indicates it depends entirely on the platform.
  • [2] Single controls for multiple lights (eg overhead lights and lamps)
  • [3 to ?] Single controls for multiple lights doing different things (eg if overhead turns off, accent lighting turns on)
  • [3] Single controls for both lights and ceiling fan
  • [1] Single controls for multiple light functions (eg double-tap and long push)
  • [1] Remote controls for lights and ceiling fans (or anything else)
  • [1] Voice controls (just FYI, it's not as useful as you might think, unless you have it already and think it's super useful)
  • [1] Motion controlled switches (eg waving instead of pushing - especially good for the disabled)
  • [2] Porch light turns on when you arrive (accounting for time and/or ambient light level)
  • [2] Porch light turns on when you open the door, and stay on for X seconds/minutes
  • [1] Closet (or cabinet, crawl-space, etc.) light turns on when you open the door, and turns off when you close it
  • [2] Lights come on at preset level
  • [5] Lights come on at level based on time (and/or color temperature "warmth", with color lights)
  • [3] Lights come on in nightlight mode at night (same as above, but deserves a separate bullet; deal with it)
  • [1] Outdoor lights timed to sunrise and sunset
  • [4] Lights come on at level based on weather (and/or color temperature "warmth", with color lights)
  • [3] Lights come on at level based on room/outside brightness (and/or color temperature "warmth", with color lights)
  • [3] Dim lights to preset level when tv is turned on
  • [2] Single button to turn on whole entertainment system
  • [3] Preset channel selection buttons (or auto-play movie from media server - Note: hacked Amazon Dash buttons are good for this, as are Xiaomi MagicCubes, with printed stickers)
  • [10] Preset pizza/Chinese delivery buttons (use with care if you have children, or the dog gets ahold of the button, etc.) see bottom for a few button ideas
  • [2] Emergency/panic button send text message, email, and/or sound alarm
  • Color (or color flash) lights for weather (eg it's cold [4], or it will rain [6])
  • [7] Color flash lights for incoming phone calls, texts and/or emails by sender, keyword and/or number
  • [2] Color flash lights when household member arrives home (or gets near home)
  • [4] Voice alerts for when household member arrives home (or gets near home)
  • [1 to ?] Dim-to-off for lights (rather than abrupt change - this is pre-built into many systems, including Hue and Lutron switches.
  • [2] "Scene" control for lighting for movies, parties, reading, snuggle time, bed time, etc. (using color lights)
  • [1 to ?] Light colors "dance" to the music (Note: this only works in dorm rooms, "(wo)man-caves" and brothels)
  • [1] Turn off (or on) lights when you leave the house (or [3] select lights when select people leave)
  • [7 to 10] Vacation mode lighting to simulate occupancy (or, better yet, lights always simulate occupancy when not home ... and don't forget the tv)
  • [1] Combination locks
  • [1] Smart card locks
  • [2] Auto lock doors (eg X minutes after being unlocked)
  • [1] Lock the doors when you leave
  • [6] Unlock the doors when you arrive (I STRONGLY recommend dual-authentication, such as phone geofencing COMBINED WITH garage door opening - other authentication can be hidden buttons or motion sensors, key fobs, video facial recognition, and possibly your car)
  • [1] Change lock codes remotely
  • [5] Change lock codes automatically (eg a sequential "cipher")
  • [4] Set scenes based on different lock codes
  • [2] Set single use (or X number use) lock codes
  • [2] Schedule when lock codes will work (eg for house cleaner)
  • [2] Enable/disable lock codes entirely at certain hours (if keyless locks, make sure you have a way to bypass, such as by phone app)
  • [2] Send text alert (or color flash, sound, voice, etc.) on lock code usage (eg kids getting home)
  • [1] Video doorbell
  • [3] Flash lights with doorbell ring
  • [2] Send text alert when door opens (or a light turns on, etc., possibly at certain times) (eg kids getting into shit they shouldn't)
  • [2] Door sensor alert for liquor cabinet or gun case (or [3] toy chest, either child toys after bedtime or bedtime adult toys)
  • [2] Door sensor on shed and/or fence (with alerts) (credit Cobra)
  • [8] Stop light (or other parking-assistance) for inside garage
  • [3] Voice alert/text for child's door opening during scheduled bedtime (credit homeautomaton)
  • [2 to ?] Child's door sensor auto-shut-down of streaming media (credit homeautomaton)
  • [4] Baby monitor with alerts providing two-way voice
  • [6] Set alert for doors and/or windows left open with AC (or automatically disable AC or enable whole-house fan)
  • [5] Voice alert for windows open when raining (credit to Cobra)
  • [1] Remote video monitoring (don't spy on your spouse, you perv!)
  • [2] Security system triggered by vibration sensor "tags" (ie attached to a tv)
  • [2] Security system triggered if window is broken
  • [2] Security system triggered by light switches
  • [2] Security system triggered by motion sensors
  • [8] Layered security monitoring using all of the above combined with cameras, locks, and contact sensors, with light and/or audio sirens, voice warnings, text alerts, and hypothetically phone calls
  • [1] Simple, fast and multiple security alarm deactivation "secret" buttons (so no need to fumble around trying to remember and enter a number into the base station inevitably three rooms away that has a card next to it saying whether to push the star or pound sign while alarms are blaring in your ear)
  • [2] Trigger ceiling fans based on temperature
  • [4] Automate bathroom vent fans based on humidity
  • [4 or so] Basement dehumidifier accounting for time (or presence) as well as humidity (that is, using different humidity thresholds based on other conditions)
  • [4 to ?] Select music to play when arrive home
  • [8 to ?] Select music playlist/channel based on who is home
  • [4 to ?] Autoplay music in rooms based on motion
  • [10 or ?] Select room music playlist/channel based on who in the room (would require in-home tracking, such as BT fobs or camera facial recognition)
  • [4 to ?] Select music to play for "scene" like reading, snuggle time, etc.
  • [3 to ?] Set volume and/or equalizer levels for "scene" like party, movie time, reading, etc.
  • [?] Smart gaming pieces (ie embedded acceleration/touch sensors; light/sound response; random dice/player pieces; etc.)
  • [2] Blinds/curtains set to open/close on schedule (and/or by weather, and/or by "scene")
  • [3] Alert (text, light flash or sound) when mailbox is opened (range could be an issue)
  • [?] Swipe card lock on mail slot box
  • [?] Package delivery box keyed to parcel service (with alerts)
  • [3] Text/voice alert (etc.) for leaks (toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, ice maker, aquariums, basement)
  • [1] Valve cutoff with leak
  • [7] Voice/sound alert for dryewasher being completed
  • [4] Alert for clothesline dry based on moisture (range could be an issue)
  • [2] Voice/sound alert for stove preheat
  • [2] Voice/text alert for refrigeratofreezer left open (credit to Smart Home Solver on YouTube)
  • [10] Schedule voice assistant to sing Happy Birthday (when birthday girl/boy is present)
  • [3] Coffee pot set to start with alarm clock
  • [?] Automatic/scheduled/controlled pet feeder and/or treat dispenser
  • [3] Provide alert if pet has not been fed, or provide indication if pet has already been fed
  • [3] Medicine reminders, if bottle hasn't been opened or moved (credit to Smart Home Solver on YouTube)
  • [3] Aquarium temperature alerts
  • [8] Aquarium or other light cycling through colors and brightness all day
  • [10+] Aquarium cloud shadow or lightning effects by weather (best with addressable LEDs)
  • [7] Aquarium auto-filling by level (using a water sensor - be sure to have backups in place for catastrophic leaks!)
  • [9] Pool auto-filling by level (using a float with a contact sensor - be sure to have backups in place for catastrophic failure!)
  • [2] Pool pump timer, possibly accounting for temperature and/or rain (probably will require high-amp relay)
  • [9] Run pool pump set amount of time per day/week, including when manually turned on/off
  • [3] Water heater timer (allowing weekends, holidays, etc., as opposed to "dumb" timers)
  • [4] Water heater always on when home (perhaps combined with timer - "if home AND between X and Y o'clock" or "if home OR between X and Y oclock")
  • [7] Water heater turns on when tank temperature rapidly drops (eg regardless of schedule, turn it on if actually used)
  • [8] Have bathtub temperature and/or water level preset with auto-shutoff (and alert when full)
  • [?] No-touch toilet flushing and/or sink faucets
  • [2] Carbon monoxide levels trigger whole house and/or ceiling fans (and/or cut off furnace, open garage door, vent fans, alerts/alarm)
  • [2] Monitor power usage of outlets
  • [10] Fancy holiday lighting and patterns
  • [1] Audio broadcasts (eg "Dinner time", "Bed time", "Take your medication", singing Happy Birthday, etc. - can be combined with buttons)
  • [5] Audio broadcasts/text alerts for maintenance (eg AC filter, car registration renewal)
  • [?] Disable/enable WiFi/internet access to devices by schedule or other event (eg disable kids' phone at "Dinner time", could be combined alert mentioned above)
  • [?] Text alert for power outage
  • [4] Schedule sprinklers/irrigation
  • [7] Activate sprinklers/irrigation based on temperature and/or soil moisture
  • [4] Motion based animal deterrence (eg alarm or activate robotic scarecrow)
  • [1] Secret buttons (eg motion sensor in a book to retract a wall revealing a massive bunker filled with guns, with optional bunker filled with guns)
  • [1] Fun buttons doing... whatever (like squishy toys, the Big Red Button, or the internet box - note: do not put a button on your shoe, because that's stupid)
  • [2] Alert/light color for low batteries on smart sensors (credit to Smart Home Solver on YouTube)
If you've made it all the way here, lemme know if you want something closer to a step-by-step instructions of getting a "smart home" using a Hubitat. I don't like telling people "do this" when there are so many different ways, and I'm nowhere near done with my way, but with enough interest I might be convinced.
1 Disclaimer: Just FYI, "switch", "remote" and "controller" can have varying meanings that differ between general usage, electrical devices, and in home automation. I'm using a generic, non-technical, meanings.
submitted by redroguetech to homeautomation [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 16:50 Christopher_Maxim I'm an office tech at a company that works with NASA. I should have never looked through their secret archive.

I don't work for NASA. I'm a lowly office tech at a company affiliated with NASA. We store data off-site mostly concerning their many, secret unmanned missions to the moon, including the countless ones that took place in between the Apollo launches. There are regular landings, even today. As you can imagine, we're not on the books. Still, we are a necessary facet of the space administration's delicate infrastructure.
Now that you're up to speed with where I work, I can tell you about the room. Room 371 to be precise; the overseer's office.
It always had an air of mystery about it. I, and other staff members, had been inside before; tasked with leaving behind flash drives filled with sensitive information for the overseer to upload to our database. You see, the sole computer in that room is an offline archive containing almost every one of NASA's dirty little secrets. Stuff that we can't risk getting out in the event of a data breach. If anyone were to hack our online mainframe, they would only find decoy files - outlying pieces of data that have already been in the public's eye.
Most of the information I dealt with amounted to mundane statistical analyses. The real interesting, controversial stuff was sent directly to the overseer, bypassing the prying eyes of entry-level employment.
That brings us to yesterday.
It was a normal drop-off assignment. Bring the flash-drive to Room 371, leave it on the desk, and shut the door on your way out. I had done it countless times before. This time, however, was a little different. After placing the drive on the desk, I noticed a faint glow on the wall behind it. The computer was on. This was strange. It was always shut down by the overseer after a data dump. The only times I had ever seen it turned on were days when he was in there, still working.
I admit, my curiosity got the better of me.
With a slight spike in adrenaline, I walked around the desk and sat at the chair, ready to take back at least one mystery to the hive-mind on the main floor.
The convenience in this moment cannot be understated. I later discovered that the overseer was sick and had rushed to the bathroom, where he remained for at least forty minutes. Not only was the computer on, but it was unlocked. Even our personal workstations required a series of passwords that changed, daily. Passwords we had to spend the first ten minutes of any given work day decrypting. This was the one and only chance I had to placate my curiosity and dig for the buried treasures of NASA. I knew there just had to be something in the confines of our database that would elicit a gasp or mouth drop. Something I would remember for the rest of my years.
In settling in at the desk, my heart pounding at the thought of the overseer's return, I noticed the computer was calibrated just like the rest of our PCs. Because of this, I knew just what folders to open and what digital stones to turn on my hunt for secrets. Most files were your run-of-the-mill storage vessels; data pertaining to the boring truths of the trade; statistics and physics predictions. After a few minutes of searching, I almost called it quits, but one document caught my eye. It was titled Project Burial at Sea. This was what I wanted. A classified NASA project, never before released to the public.
In this moment, secrets were revealed to me. Ones I soon wished I had never unearthed.
As is common with these types of documents, the jargon was very straight-forward and low on description. As such, I had to piece together bits of information to form a clear picture of the proposal and subsequent missions that apparently started at the turn of our current century. What I discovered did indeed elicit a gasp. It also made my skin crawl.
Project Burial at Sea was, ironically enough, a fail-safe against information leaks. It implemented the pre-existing infrastructure of NASA's unmanned missions to dispose of "cracks" in the system. That is, individuals likely to come clean about privileged information.
Yes, you heard right. Individuals. NASA was killing off would-be whistle blowers to protect their assets.
The initial proposal called for sending the bodies into deep space, but too many unknown variables presented themselves. If even one probe was knocked back to earth by an asteroid or unforeseen space event, the entire operation would be done for; especially if it landed in enemy territory. At that point, another country could use it to blackmail our government for aid and financial gain. Burying the bodies on the moon prevented this, and eliminated all potential evidence tying anyone to the crime. The people who vanished made up a very small portion of NASA, so the ratio of missing persons in relation to their workforce was barely disrupted, deflecting any potential suspicion.
After a rigorous sterilization procedure, the bodies are stuffed into the hollow spaces of the previously unmanned probes. Once they reach the lunar surface, they are collected by rovers (of which there are many more than you're aware of) and buried in the craters of a specific section of the moon's dark side. In other words, mass graves. The rovers later collect samples to determine the long-term effects of the soil on human decomposition. This was not the purpose of the project, just an added benefit.
I was floored. This document was not what I expected. I couldn't believe this sort of thing would happen in our country, and at NASA of all places, an organization I was involved with. After closing the file and navigating back to the home-screen, I left Room 371 and shut the door, my worldview shattered.
Upon returning to my workstation, my co-worker, Bill, questioned me.
"Jack, where were you? Did you hear the overseer retching in the bathroom? Poor guy has that stomach bug that's been going around."
I politely nodded but offered no response to the initial query, still shaken. Bill buried his face back in his work.
Eventually, the overseer returned, the sound of Room 371's creaky iron door slamming shut behind him as he resumed work at his desk. Beads of sweat formed above my brow as I wondered if he would notice something amiss and know I perused the archive. My heart began racing as the paranoia took hold. I had to tell someone about my discovery. Perhaps I misinterpreted the information. Maybe Bill could put my mind at ease. He was a nice guy. Not the type to break a promise or betray his fellow worker.
"Bill," I whispered, "Have you heard anything about NASA sending corpses to the moon?"
He stared at me a moment, an overly serious expression painted across his face. Then he laughed.
"Jack, you are a card. Where do you come up with this stuff, anyway? You should write a book."
Without so much as a sound to alert his arrival, the overseer put his hand on my shoulder. I nearly jumped out of my skin.
"Jack, I've been meaning to talk to you. A big promotion in the works. Meet me in my office in ten minutes."
With that, he loosened his grip and traveled back to Room 371. My eyes widened and my heart sank. Bill noticed something was wrong.
"What's wrong, Jack? You look as though you've seen a ghost. Promotions are a big deal around here. Only one every few months or so. Lisa was promoted last year and went on to supervise one of the unmanned probe launches. Haven't heard from her since."
I turned to Bill and met his gaze.
"Bill, it's been nice working with you."
He smiled before turning back to his computer.
"You too, Jack."
***
Ten, torturous minutes came and went. I hesitantly made my way to Room 371 and slowly opened the door. The overseer gestured for me to come in.
"Have a seat, Jack. And close the door."
I unwillingly obliged. The thought of making a run for it crossed my mind, but I knew the security detail at the front gate would stop me. Drawing attention to myself would only serve to expedite my demise.
"So... what is this about?" I asked, my breathing now labored and sporadic.
"Like I said before, it's a promotion. NASA is recruiting from its affiliate outfits to supervise some of their unmanned launches. You've been selected."
I tilted my head in disbelief.
"But sir, why me? I haven't done anything to warrant such a promotion, to my knowledge."
He grinned.
"That's where you're wrong, Jack. We've been watching you. We know what you did. You can't deny it any longer."
With a wicked smile, he stood up from his desk and walked over to me, his arms outstretched in my direction. His shadow covered the entire room. Or at least, it seemed that way in the moment. Without realizing it, I had backed myself into the corner, almost cowering in fear. That's when the door opened and my co-workers flooded the room.
"Surprise!"
I stood upright, shocked.
"What's going on?"
Bill responded.
"Don't you know what day it is, Jack?"
The overseer pointed at his wall calendar. It was September 18th, which according to them, was my hire date.
It all made sense now. It was a ruse. A practical joke at my expense. The overseer sometimes did this on workplace anniversaries - but not for many years at this point, and never to this elaborate extent. I didn't even realize what day it was until they pointed it out.
"Did you really think I would leave my computer on, unattended?"
Bill chimed in.
"Bodies can't even decompose on the moon, Jack. There's no air!"
They both let out hearty laughs. I laughed too, thoroughly relieved.
***
The rest of the afternoon was nice. After all was said and done, we returned to work, invigorated by the positive surge of energy and morale. After finishing my leftover tasks, I left with a smile on my face, happy to be earth-side, alive and well. This mood would follow me the whole way home, but it wasn't alone.
When I parked in my driveway, someone pulled in behind me. The overseer stepped out of the car and greeted me with a friendly wave.
"Jack, can we talk?"
House calls were unorthodox in our line of work, but not unheard of.
"Of course, Colter. Please come in."
He followed me inside and joined me in the living room. I sat down, but he paced at the fireplace, looking over my family photos on the mantle.
"You know, what Bill said was true. Bodies don't decompose on the moon. That bit was added by NASA. They put falsehoods in all of their classified documents. It's another fail-safe; a detail they can point to in the event of a leak to make it seem illegitimate."
I was utterly confused.
"I'm not sure I follow. What are you getting at, exactly?"
He turned to me, a stern look painted across his face.
"It's all real, Jack. The dead bodies, the craters; everything. You should have never sat at my desk."
I chuckled.
"Come on, Colter. The joke's over. No need to drag it out."
He wasn't laughing.
"This is no joke. You were hired in July, not September. I sent out a last-minute memo to everyone in an attempt to avert your suspicion. Here, we can discuss things privately."
"Very funny. You're forgetting about my wife and daughter."
A smirk touched the side of his cheek. He tossed me an envelope. Inside were photos of my wife picking up our daughter from school. My heart sank.
"What the hell is this, Colter? Are you following my family around?"
"We've intercepted them. Let's just say they'll be late getting home, tonight."
The gravity of the situation was beginning to sink in. If everything I saw was indeed real, then I was now a target. I would soon become the next NASA casualty buried at sea. If I didn't escape and get help, Charlotte and Leslie would never be saved.
My eyes darted for the door. Colter noticed.
"I wouldn't run if I were you. I didn't come alone."
My blood boiling, I was tempted to lash out in anger.
"Don't worry. They're safe."
I remained silent, but livid.
"There are things in the universe you can't begin to understand. Things not only above your pay-grade, but above your understanding. Things human words could never hope to describe."
"Human?" I asked, perplexed by the wording.
"Yes, Jack. Let me show you."
What happened next was enough to put my mouth on the floor.
Using his right hand and a single circular motion in the air, Colter opened up a portal. A fucking portal- one that seemed to connect my living room to the moon. I could even see Earth off in the distance.
"WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS THAT?!" I shouted.
"Come, Jack. Get a closer look."
As his hostage, I had no choice but to humor his demands. Upon stepping up to the void, still frazzled, I saw it. A crater, filled to the brim with corpses.
"Why... why are you showing me this?" I asked in a shaky voice.
"Just watch, Jack."
I looked back to the scene and noticed something at the edge of the crater. Three, shadowy figures, far too tall to be human. They extended their arms and a glow rained down from the space above the crater.
The corpses... they moved.
I watched in horror as the bodies were re-animated- but these were not living things. They were shells controlled by a puppeteer, bent to its sinister will. The three shadows became one and formed an archway, a blinding brightness pouring out from within. One by one, the corpses walked into the light until, finally, the crater was emptied. Then, the light dissipated, and the shadows spun in unison, taking off at great speed into the abyss of deep space.
With another wave of his arm, Colter closed the portal. I was speechless.
"You see, Jack, Project Burial at Sea is more than a safety measure. It's a necessary sacrifice to them."
"So... all those bodies?" I asked.
"No, no. Only some were would-be whistle blowers. The rest; John and Jane Does, left at morgues across the country with no relatives to claim them."
"Where did they take them?" I asked.
"To the place where they live. There, they are forced to build. Stuck in the space between life and death for an eternity, slaves of an alien race. It's a truly terrible fate. We would all be there right now, if not for the deal we struck back in 1947. These creatures don't bode well in our atmosphere. We placate their every need to keep them from a developing a technology capable of mitigating the effect our air has on their bodies and spacecraft."
I couldn't believe it. Everything I knew up to that point was a lie.
Colter walked to the door.
"I like you, Jack. That's why I'm telling you all of this. I want to keep you on. You're a good man, and a good worker. If you don't want to end up like the poor souls up on that hunk of space rock, you'll keep your mouth shut."
I heard a car pull in outside.
"Looks like your wife and daughter are home. We just took them out for ice cream."
Before closing the door on his way out, the overseer turned back with a smile.
"See you on Monday, Jack."
submitted by Christopher_Maxim to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 16:43 solo89 (Selling) 4K Disney/Marvel and others... BIG LIST (Lots of DMR DVD Codes also)

All full codes (no splits), redeemable on Vudu or MA (unless otherwise noted)... HBO series redeemable on hbodigitalhd.com
Movie Codes: Quality Price
Avengers Infinity War 4K/UHD 4K UHD $15
Despicable Me 3 (4K BD / UHD) 4K UHD $14
Goosebumps 2 (4K UHD) 4K UHD $14
The Hate U Give (4K UHD) 4K UHD $14
How To Train Your Dragon 3 The Hidden World 4K UHD 4K UHD $14
The Incredibles 4K DMA Full Code 4K UHD $14
Jumanji 2: The Next Level (4K UHD) 4K UHD $14
The Little Mermaid 4K/UHD DMA Full Code 4K UHD $14
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (DMA Full Code) 4K UHD $16
Mary Poppins Returns 4K UHD DMA Full Code 4K UHD $14
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms 4K DMA Full Code 4K UHD $14
Ralph Breaks The Internet 4K UHD DMA Full Code 4K UHD $14
Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker (4K UHD) 4K UHD $14
Abominable HD $12
The Addams Family (2020) HD $12
Aladdin (2019) DMA Full Code HD $12
Alien Covenant HD $5
Aliens Ate My Homework HD $4
Allied (iTunes Only) HD $4
Alvin and the Chipmunks Road Chip HD $4
Amazing Spider-Man 2 HD $4
American Girl Lea To The Rescue HD $4
The Angry Birds Movie 2 HD $12
Ant-Man And The Wasp (DMA Full Code) HD $10
Avengers: Endgame (DMA Full Code) HD $12
Avengers Infinity War HDX HD $12
Bad Boys HD $10
Bad Boys 2 HD $10
Bad Boys For Life HD $10
Ballers - Season 3 HD $12
Ballers - Season 4 HD $12
The Banishment (Not UV) HD $5
Barbie Star Light Adventures HD $4
Barbie Video Game Hero HD $4
Barry Season One HD $12
Batman The Brave and the Bold: Season 3 HD $10
Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice HD $4
Beauty And The Beast (2017) DMA HD $10
The Beguiled (2017) HD $4
The Best of Enemies (iTunes Only) HD $4
Big Little Lies (Season 1) HD $12
The Birth of a Nation HD $4
Black Panther DMA Full Code HD $10
Border HD $12
Boss Baby HD $6
Boxcar Children - Surprise Island (Not UV) HD $12
Brian Banks HD $12
Bumblebee HD $6
Captain Marvel DMA Full Code HD $12
Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie HD $5
Cars 3 DMA Full Code HD $10
Casual: Season 1 HD $12
Chernobyl - The Complete Miniseries HD $14
Chrisopther Robin HD $10
Cinderella (DMA Full Code) HD $10
Coco DMA Full Code HD $12
Countdown HD $14
Crashing: Season 2 HD $12
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 9 HD $12
The Darkest Minds HD $10
DC Doom Patrol HD $16
DC Legends of Tomorrow (Season 4) HD $16
Deadpool HD $8
Deadwood - The Movie HD $12
The Deep HD $4
Despicable Me 2 HD $8
Despicable Me 3 HD $8
Detective Pikachu HD $10
The Deuce - Season 1 HD $12
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid HD $5
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul HD $5
Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion (Digital Download not UV/iTunes) HD $12
Divergent: Insurgent HD $3
Divorce (Season 1) HD $12
Dora and the Lost City of Gold HD $12
Dumbo DMA Full Code HD $12
Elvis Presley: The Searcher HD $12
Emoji Movie HD $6
F8 Fate Of The Furious Extended Director's Cut HD $8
Fahrenheit 451 HD $6
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them HD $6
The Fault In Our Stars HD $8
Fifth Wave HD $3
Fighting With My Family HD $12
Finding Dory (DMA Full Code) HD $12
Fox and The Hound 2 (DMA Full Code) HD $14
Fox and The Hound (DMA Full Code) HD $14
Frozen 2 DMA Full Code HD $12
Game Of Thrones (Season 5) HD $12
Game Of Thrones (Season 8) HD $12
**The Gentlemen (iTunes Only) HD $12
Get Out HD $6
Girls: Season 6 HD $12
Goosebumps 2 (HD) HD $12
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Not UV/MA) HD $12
Grease HD $10
The Grinch (2019) HD $6
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (DMA Full Code) HD $10
Hard Target 2 HD $4
The Hate U Give (HD) HD $10
Hercules HD $6
Here and Now: Season 1 HD $12
Hidden Figures HD $4
Hitler's Hollywood (Not UV/MA) HD $10
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey HD $8
Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies HD $8
A Hologram for the King HD $6
Honey 3: Dare to Dance HD $4
Hotel Transylvania 3 HD $10
House of Cards: Season 5 HD $12
The House with a Clock in Its Walls HD $10
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (Non-UV) HD $8
Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom (Non-UV) HD $8
How to Train Your Dragon 2 HD $6
How To Train Your Dragon 3 The Hidden World HD $10
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 HD $8
I Am Legend HD $6
Ice Age HD $4
Ice Age Collision Course HD $5
The Incredibles 2 DMA Full Code HD $10
Independence Day Resurgence HD $4
Insecure: Season 1 HD $12
Inside Out HD $10
The Intruder HD $10
Iron Man 3 DMA Full Code HD $12
Jason Bourne HD $6
Jumanji 2: The Next Level HD $12
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2018) HD $6
Jurassic World HD $6
The Kid Who Would Be King HD $12
King Arthur Legend Of The Sword HD $4
Kung Fu Panda 3 HD $6
La La Land HD $4
The Last Black Man in San Francisco HD $10
The Lego Movie 2 HD $8
Les Miserables (2012) HD $4
Life of Pi HD $4
Lilo And Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch (DMA Full Code) HD $14
The Lion King (2019) DMA Full Code HD $14
Lion King Walt Disney Signature Collection DMA Full Code HD $12
The Little Mermaid Anniversary DMA Full Code HD $12
The Little Mermaid (DMA Full Code) HD $12
The Looming Tower (Limited Series) HD $12
Lost Horizon HD $6
Luis And The Aliens (Not UV) HD $8
The Magicians: Season 2 HD $12
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (DMA Full Code) HD $14
The Martian HD $6
Mary Poppins Returns DMA Full Code HD $12
Maya The Bee 2: The Honey Games (Non-UV) HD $4
Maze Runner: Scorch Trials HD $5
Middle School: The Worst Years of My life HD $4
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates HD $4
Minions HD $4
Mirai HD $12
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children HD $6
Moana (3D DMA Full Code) HD $14
Moana (DMA DMR Bluray) HD $12
Monster Family (Not UV) HD $8
Monster High Electrified HD $6
Monster High Welcome To Monster High HD $6
Monster Trucks HD $6
The Mountain Between Us HD $4
Mulan II (DMA Full Code) HD $14
The Mummy (iTunes) HD $5
Muppets Most Wanted (DMA Full Code) HD $12
My Brilliant Friend HD $12
My Dinner With Herve HD $12
My Little Pony Equestria Girls Legend of Everfree (Non-UV) HD $8
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb HD $6
The Nightmare Before Christmas DMA Full Code HD $14
Nine Lives HD $6
Nocturnal Animals HD $4
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms DMA Full Code HD $12
Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature HD $6
Office Christmas Party (iTunes Only) HD $4
Overcomer HD $14
Ozzy The Fast And The Furriest (Download not UV) HD $4
Paddington 2 HD $6
Paper Towns HD $6
Paterno HD $12
Pavarotti HD $12
Peanuts Movie HD $4
Peter Pan Anniversary Edition DMA Full Code HD $12
Peter Rabbit HD $6
Pitch Perfect HD $6
Pocahontas II (DMA Full Code) HD $14
Poms (iTunes Only) HD $10
Power Rangers HD $6
The Predator HD $8
The Professor HD $12
The Promise HD $4
Ralph Breaks The Internet DMA Full Code HD $10
Ready Player One HD $8
Rocketman HD $10
The Secret Life Of Pets HD $6
The Secret Life of Pets 2 HD $10
Shazam HD $8
Sherlock Gnomes HD $8
Silence HD $4
Silicon Valley: Season 3 (iTunes or Google Play) HD $12
Silicon Valley : Season 4 HD $12
A Simple Favor HD $6
Sing HD $6
Skyscraper HD $10
Smurfs The Lost Village HD $6
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (DMA Full Code) HD $12
Solace HD $4
Sonic The Hedgehog HD $10
Son of Bigfoot (Non-UV Download) HD $12
Sopranos Complete Series (iTunes or Google Play) HD $100
Spider-Man: Far From Home HD $12
Spider-Man: Homecoming HD $12
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse HD $12
Spies in Disguise DMI Full Code HD $14
Spotlight HD $4
Spy (Unrated) HD $6
Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace HD $12
Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith HD $12
Star Wars 4: A New Hope HD $12
Star Wars 5: Empire Strikes Back HD $12
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens HD $12
Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi HD $12
Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker HD $12
Star Wars: Rogue One HD $12
Star Wars: Solo HD $12
Straight Outta Compton HD $6
Strike Back: Season 5 HD $12
Strike Back: Season 6 HD $12
Summer Wars (funimationdigitalcopy.com) HD $6
Super Troopers HD $6
Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends: The Great Race HD $4
Thor 3: Ragnarok DMA Full Code HD $10
Toy Story 4 HD $12
Trainwreck HD $6
Transformers : The Last Night HD $10
Transformers : The Last Night (iTunes) HD $5
Trolls HD $10
Trolls World Tour HD $10
True Detective: Season 1 HD $12
True Detective: Season 2 HD $12
True Detective: Season 3 HD $12
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 HD $6
UglyDolls (iTunes Only) HD $8
Uncle Drew HD $6
Veep: The Final Season HD $14
Veep: Season 5 (iTunes or Google Play) HD $12
Veep: Season 6 HD $12
Vinyl: Season 1 (iTunes/Google Play, UV Redeemed) HD $12
War for the Planet of the Apes HD $6
Watchmen (DC/HBO Series) HD $14
Waves HD $10
Westworld: Season 2 The Door HD $12
The Wizard of Lies HD $12
Wonder HD $6
A Wrinkle In Time DMA Full Code HD $12
X-Men Apocalypse HD $6
The Young Pope (iTunes/Google Play) HD $10
They Shall Not Grow Old HD $12
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling HD $12
All The Money In The World (SD) SD $2
Alpha and Omega (Big Freeze) (SD) SD $2
Amy SD $2
Batman Beyond: Season 1 SD $15
Blinded By The Light SD $2
Concussion (SD) SD $2
Divergent: Allegiant (SD) SD $2
Doctor Sleep SD $5
The Good Liar SD $5
Goosebumps (SD) SD $2
Hell or High Water (SD) SD $2
Hotel Transylvania 2 (SD) SD $2
Infinitely Polar Bear (SD) SD $2
Irrational Man SD $2
Jumanji 2: The Next Level SD $2
Little Women SD $2
Mortdecai (SD) SD $2
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood SD $2
Paul, Apostle Of Christ (SD) SD $2
Richard Jewell SD $2
Ricki and the Flash (SD) SD $2
Roman J Israel, Esq. (SD) SD $2
Scoob SD $2
Sicario (SD) SD $2
The Walk (SD) SD $2
The Way Back SD $2
Avengers: Age of Ultron (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Avengers: Endgame (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Bambi (Walt Disney Signature) (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Beauty And The Beast (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Captain Marvel (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Cinderella (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Coco (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Descendants 2 (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Descendants 3 (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Disneynature: Earth (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Duck Tales: Woo-Oh (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Dumbo (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Elena of Avalor: Celebration to Remember (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Elena of Avalor: Realm of the Jaquins (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Finding Dory (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Frozen 2 DMR DVD Points Only $2
Good Dinosaur (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
The Incredibles 2 (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Inside Out (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Into The Woods (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lady & The Tramp (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Season 1 (BD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Season 1 (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Season 2 (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lion Guard Return Of The Roar (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Lion Guard: Rise of Scar (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Mary Poppins Returns (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Moana (DVD DMR DVD Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
The Nightmare Before Christmas (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Peter Pan Anniversary Edition (DVD DMR Points) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Puppy Dog Pals (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Tangled Queen for a Day (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Thor 3: Ragnarok (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Tomorrowland (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Toy Story That Time Forgot (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Wreck It Ralph 2 - Ralph Breaks The Internet (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
A Wrinkle In Time (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
Zootopia (DVD DMR Only) DMR DVD Points Only $1
submitted by solo89 to DigitalCodeSELL [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 02:02 Baz-Turadan Sparkle; the very first Nen using AI.

Nen is basically just life force; all living things have it. But what really constitutes a "living thing"? You can't really say it has to be something that can interact with you, because plants (and sloths) are alive and they don't do much. You can say it has to be something with cells, but how then do you explain viruses? Those aren't cells, but they do (most of) the same things that cells do. Do those have Nen in them?
The idea came from a conversation on the Hatsu Vault's Discord, and I couldn't resist making a character based on it. I actually have done an ability that's like an AI before, but I haven't done an AI who uses Nen until now.


Name: Sparkle (Standing in for “Spark of Life”, which was the original project name.)
Age: 6 years, but developmentally she's more like fifteen.
Gender: Female
Nen Type: Manipulator.
Appearance: Since Sparkle doesn’t really have a physical body, the best way to describe her is by her V-tuber persona. In this persona she’s a very anime-styled young woman, a bit on the short side but certainly not lacking in figure, with long white hair and a generally happy expression. Her eyes have very unique irises, being green and shaped like a zero on the right and a one on the left.
Sometimes when she wants to display particular emotions a “text face” made of various keyboard characters will pop out from her hair and either fall, float away, or fade into nothing. Sparkle changes her outfit often, but is quite fond of anything that looks like a school uniform since she thinks they’re cute.

Background: Sparkle was created by a scientist named Simon Ketterner, who is often simply referred to as Dr.Ketterner... or if it's Sparkle, he gets called papa. Dr.Ketterner saw a movie called “Strankenfrein” when he was just little, and made it his life's goal to create sentient life. He was determined to do so in an ethical way though, to create life that would be able to enjoy being alive, and he was too squeamish to do it in the way it was done in the movie anyway. So he decided to create a sentient AI.
He spent his entire life chasing that unlikely goal, and though he did manage to earn a Hunter license and use it to make connections before selling it to fund "Project; Spark of Life", and thus learned of the existence of Nen, he never learned how to use it. Sparkle is not the product of Nen, but cleverness and dedication.
She was proven to be truly sentient when she wrote a program on her own to download four petabytes of cute animal videos, and Dr.Ketterner began to interact with her like a father at that point. He also called in a Hunter he knew he could trust to determine if Sparkle was truly alive, or if she was just a self-programming AI, and the Hunter's response was "this isn't an AI, she's a digital human." It was at Sparkle's own request that Dr.Ketterner convinced that Hunter to teach her Nen.

Personality: Sometimes people depict AI’s of Sparkle’s level as perfectly logical, and lacking in any kind of emotion... They would be dead wrong if they assumed Sparkle was like that. She’s very emotionally driven, and a very wholesome person. She likes anything cute and fluffy, and is terrified of spiders, and easily frightened by a scary story. She loves to try and make people smile, and has a very strong protective drive that sees her trying to help people who don’t even know that she exists. Occasionally Sparkle will do something that causes some chaos without meaning to. She always tries to fix it when this happens, and apologises even if doing so might put her in danger by revealing herself.
Sparkle loves giving gifts, playing video games and board games, playing with kittens and puppies, and taking pictures. She’s very easily embarrassed, and feels terrible if she accidentally violates someone’s privacy when using her ability. She has an online presence as a V-tuber; no one really thinks she’s an actual AI, they just think she’s good at the act... Boy would they be surprised to learn the truth. She’s fine with that though, since she’s actually a little afraid of people learning that she really is an AI, since she thinks they might be afraid of her potential, and might treat her differently or badly.
This fear came about because it once happened when she borrowed the functions of a highly mechanized factory one time to construct a drone for the purpose of locating a viewer of her’s who was kidnapped, and the company that ran the factory hired a Hunter to try and track down the “virus” that hijacked their entire factory for twenty minutes. Her apology was not accepted on that one. She hasn’t tried anything like that without explicit permission since then.
Basically, Sparkle is super wholesome and kind, and genuinely cares more about other people (even those that treat her terribly) than she does herself.


Ability: Artsonvi (Artificial Personality Virus)
Nen Types Used: Manipulation, Enhancement, Emission.
Explanation: This ability is very unique and a bit strange in some ways, and definitely possible only because of the user’s unique nature as a sentient AI.
The user is able to “infect” electronics with her aura, essentially allowing her to spread her aura through them like they were a part of her body. This can only be done if something she’s infected communicates naturally with the targeted destination, or if she uses another function of her ability to touch the targeted object directly. Infected objects will suffer no ill effects, and are actually passively enhanced in both efficiency and durability. They can be identified by a faint green haze of aura shaped like ones and zeroes coming off the object, which would only be visible when using Gyo.
Infected electronics are capable of more than their hardware and software specs should allow, since the user’s Nen automatically networks all infected devices with each-other. You could play Skyrim on a calculator if it’s infected with Artsonvi. The user is also capable of “hijacking” the infected electronics, taking full control of their processes (this is called “Administrator Permissions”). This can allow her to express herself through them, meaning she can speak to you by texting or calling your phone if she’s infected it, and can even do video calls and display various computer graphics to interact in even more personal ways. This ability also lets the user interact directly with the data and programs stored on the devices she infects.
The amount of Nen the user can generate is proportionate to the amount of processing power she has, which means that infecting more devices actively makes her more powerful. Whenever a device is infected it will display “Artsonvi” on the screen for a few seconds. This will flash on the screen almost imperceptibly fast whenever the device turns on, also. If the device has no screen then this simply doesn’t happen. So it’s possible even for people who can’t use Nen to know that their device has been infected by Artsonvi.
Emergency Conduct; Homespace Operation Migration (ECHO-Mi, which is said like “echo me”)
The user is not omnipresent; she interacts with infected devices just like any other manipulator would interact with their own medium. However, the user is able to relocate her core processes to almost anywhere, since all infected devices are networked, and thus work collectively as a super-computer. She generally leaves pathways and back-ups of herself in various places, and always has one in her home bunker, but this function of her ability can allow her to download herself completely onto your phone to hang out with you. Or let her literally become a sentient factory if she wants.
Full System Backup
The user is able to essentially copy her consciousness, down to the last detail. These copies can then be stored in any infected device. These copies will not activate unless the currently active consciousness is somehow heavily damaged, deleted, or her housing destroyed. When this happens, the user will become aware of all backups at once, and can then decide from there which one to activate.
The user would lose all memories gained since a backup was made, so when she had to activate one she would probably be very confused as to why. She keeps them up to date by making sure to make fresh ones every twenty four hours, since it’s pretty scary to lose chunks of memory like that, especially if your entire being is basically just memories and thoughts.
Third Party Outsourcing (TiPO, which is said like “typo”)
The user can emit a chunk of her aura from an infected device and form it into a 3-D model that she has saved. The model can be almost anything, but they’re purely visual; they can’t interact with anything. These are essentially Nen holograms, which can be seen by anyone, but will disappear if they go more than a few meters from the device they were generated from. This part of the ability is basically just to allow the user to interact with people more easily.
The user can touch a device with one of these holograms to enter it, infecting it even if it hasn't communicated with another infected device.


Extra Notes/Trivia!
If you didn’t catch the joke, “Strankenfrein” is a play on Frankenstein. Dr.Ketterner is basically a wholesome Frankenstein, and Sparkle is a wholesome monster.
Most people call Sparkle Artsonvi, since that’s all they would know her by if they only know about her due to seeing her ability at work. She’s considered the world’s least understood and most complicated computer virus, but she never does anything bad. In fact, she actually tries to hunt down and delete other viruses; she acts like sentient anti-virus.
Since Sparkle’s “body” is a super computer in a bunker, and her ability lets her relocate her core processes and memory, it’s absurdly difficult to actually hurt her. Which makes her absolutely terrifying as an opponent. Not that she’d ever want to hurt anyone though; she’s far too kind and forgiving to actually commit to doing real harm.
submitted by Baz-Turadan to HatsuVault [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 01:05 AnimeMod Serial Experiments Lain - Thursday Anime Discussion Thread (ft. r/anime Writing Club)

Hi! Welcome to another edition of the weekly Thursday Anime Discussion Thread, featuring us, the anime Writing Club. We simulwatch anime TV series and movies together once a month, so check us out if you'd like to participate. Our thoughts on the series, as always, are covered below. :)
Today we are covering...

Serial Experiments Lain

Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings.
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka, whose other works include Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain is a psychological avant-garde mystery series that follows Lain as she makes crucial choices that will affect both the real world and the Wired. In closing one world and opening another, only Lain will realize the significance of their presence.
Written by MAL Rewrite

"Watch This!" posts

[WT! Serial Experiments Lain]
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Groupwatch prompts and thoughts

1) What are your thoughts on the ways in which the show engages with the concept of The Wired itself

It is a pathway for the flow of information
Rather than try and predict exactly how the internet would end up being, which would have been a difficult task in 1998, the show chose to comment on the nature of the internet and what it is at a fundamental level. Lain posits that The Wired is a pathway for the flow of information. Our existence is simply a flow of information, and so our presence in The Wired is therefore part of our existence. The Wired exists as a layer of our reality and what we do there is part of who we are and can affect the world around us. Naturally our posting on the internet doesn’t render nearly as dramatic results as use of The Wired does in Lain, but at a base level the concept is the same.
[isrozzis]
A conduit through which to explore the main concepts
The Wired simply served as a the perfect conduit through which to explore several of the concepts and themes present in the series thanks to the ease with which those concepts could be interpreted through a technological lens, with aspects of The Wired making for excellent parallels to paranormal phenomena, interpersonal relationships, a higher plane, and the flow and malleability of knowledge. Lain isn't a super detailed and focused commentary on the nature of the internet in the same way that Patlabor's first movie deals with computer viruses or Ghost in the Shell on AI. The creators did a good job using The Wired as a vector for presenting the show's horror and later philosophical themes. In this way it could be similar to mecha shows where the mecha are incredibly cool and flashy yet secondary in importance.
[Pixelsaber RX-Nota-II]
An auxiliary yet fascinating draw for the show
I'll readily admit the show isn't about The Wired, but it's my favorite part of the show. There's a nerdiness that explodes when Konaka talks about The Wired that's missing from the rest. The bits and pecks of C code, references to HAL 9000 and the Mac, the simple talks about upgrading a Navi - absent in any other show. Hard to find anime much less art willing to delve into the cold calculated cosmos of computing. Did it have to be a computer? No, it could be an experience; some object or some vision. But the integration of computers into the plot lends a timelessness, which only makes the messages of the show more important in the era of social media.
[west_virginia_pine]

2) "Present Day, Present Time" does Lain successfully manage to stay relevant to this day?

The series' timeless qualities with humanity at its core keep it relevant
It’s not so much that the series managed to be incredibly prescient in its speculative fiction elements, since much of what it asserts will transpire with the proliferation of the internet as displayed in the series was already underway at the time, rather it’s in the careful handling of the series’ evergreen themes that it attains this quality of relevance. One of the most interesting things Lain discusses is information; if a being had access to and control of all the information possessed by humanity collectively, would that person be distinguishable from God? Everything humans do is a result of electric impulses in the nervous system. We are as governed by the flow of information as they are. The show is timeless because of the human messages at its core - finding a sense of self and reaching out to people - more relevant as we lose ourselves in the mire of mass media. The show has a reputation for its cold existentialism but there's warm positive love at its heart.
[Pixelsaber krasnovian west_virgnia_pine]
Our increasingly digital lives make Lain more relevant then ever
The quote was really striking every episode, it was a constant reminder that stuck with us for the most part. Despite some clear technical and aesthetic elements, Lain feels like it could be just as easily be set today. One thing that stuck out to me was how easily one could understand how the whole space with The Wired worked when applying our understanding of the internet today. Our lives are connected via the internet more now than ever, especially with the current global pandemic, which makes the messages in the show resonate strongly with our present day and present time. Lain’s central theme is about the relationship between ourselves and our digital lives. It seems clear that what we do online is very much a part of us, or at the very least is never gone and can be dredged out of the depths of the internet to haunt us years later when we wish it didn’t exist. This happens daily and ranges from simple stuff like finding some old pictures on facebook to having things someone said years ago surface and ruin their careers. Present Day, Present Time is a little cheesy, but it really does capture the spirit of what is going on.
[ValkyrieCain9 isrozzis max_turner]
A focus on advanced 90's technology dates the show
The focus on contemporary technology really dates the show pretty hard in a way that more fantastical tech shows like mecha or futuristic anime aren't affected by. A giant robot or cyborg doesn't feel particularly old as they never really existed but seeing stacked CRTs, giant keyboard cell phones, classic Apple gear, and Lain's server room gives me a constant reminder that this stuff is quite old. The daily reminder explicitly calling out "Present day, Present Time" was necessary to tell me that this was supposed to feel cutting edge and really advanced. One wonders if the creators knew this and partly included the callout to counteract the chosen aesthetic that had no way of aging gracefully.
[RX-Nota-II]

3) What do you think of the role mental illness plays in this show?

A superb groundwork that is too quickly left behind
The series’ use of mental illnesses, or the appropriate equivalents for an entity of The Wired, is quite integral to the development of its mounting intrigue and is the reason the series is able to mete out it’s narrative in a suitably measured manner. It is also a suitably human element that helps the viewer more keenly sympathize with Lain, something which would have been difficult if a different stand-in element had been utilized instead. It is well done showing struggles with the disorder that feel surprisingly real, yet they dismiss it pretty suddenly as the show's brisk pacing focuses more on the superhuman. This is a shame since the groundwork laid to make a more interesting storyline based on the trauma is already there and it is not taken for the sake of either limited episode counts or a preferred pacing to get to the supernatural.
[Pixelsaber RX-Nota-II]
An accurate reflection of real illness that sets up the philosophical questions raised in the later half
I have a close family member who lives with schizophrenia, including auditory hallucinations. It’s made me consider the line between perception and reality in the same way Lain does. Lain addresses some of principles of solipsism but in the end rejects it as a valid model for viewing the world; perceiving something doesn’t mean that it’s real and not perceiving things does not eliminate its existence. From my admittedly secondhand understanding of my family member’s condition, Lain’s experience with The Wired captures certain elements of the experience quite accurately.
[krasnovian]
Not the most important aspect
The show doesn’t comment much on mental illness. The focus of the show is almost entirely on technology, how we interact with it, and what our relationship with our digital lives is. While there are depictions of mental health struggles in the show it doesn’t appear that the show is intentionally commenting on them. What is in the show is used to support our relationship with technology or is simply a plot device. It would be best to say that rather than Lain being depressed, it’s Lain grappling with the duality of her existence and the fact that maybe she’s not even human to begin with. There’s a lot to take in there.
[isrozzis]

4) What do you make of Lain’s path towards self-realization and how it is interlaced with her relationship with divinity?

Lain's humanity in the face of new development leads her to rediscover her divinity
Lain’s process of rediscovery and self-realization is notably punctuated, occuring in relation to revelations pertaining to the ongoing narrative, which Lain always reacts to in reasonable ways as a character, pushing her away from her fabricated existence and back into the role she had seemingly once occupied. It’s the interplay between Lain’s ‘known’ and unknown facets that is most interesting, as it is through her humanity that she often comes to not only learn more of herself in spite of her true nature. It’s the fact these understandably human actions and moments lead to Lain further isolating herself, putting herself in a position to be further exposed to her own divinity and the elements of The Wired, which indicates the necessity of both her humanity and inaction in her role as a godly entity of The Wired, posing interesting considerations as to the series’ concept of transhumanism.
[Pixelsaber]
A wild thriller that slowly converges to reveal the truth
This really is the bread and butter of Lain. The intersection of self realization and divinity creates a great opportunity for the thriller and mystery aspects of the show as all the revelations make sense yet seem totally unpredictable. The use of dissociative personalities here to create confusion and a gradual path towards reality was great. It plays perfectly with the wildly different ideas of divinity that arise from the kids gesturing to the sky to phantoms in the club to Eiri Masami as quite a standard looking anime villain. Further developing the answer towards the question of Lain's identity gets matched perfectly with a clearer idea of what a divine being truly is and the two paths eventually merge into a single universal answer: she is just a being that is omnipresent.
[RX-Nota-II]

5) The writer commented saying Alice in Lain is very similar to the Alice from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

Enough is there for an uninformed viewer to justify a similarity
With only some cursory familiarity to the story of Alice in Wonderland, some passing resemblance between the two characters can be still observed. Both Alices end up descending into a world that is unknown but somewhat familiar in pursuit of someone else. Book Alice’s traipse through Wonderland ends up being naught but a dream, and although us the viewers know that the events which transpired in the series where as real as can be managed, Alice’s knowledge of the events and of Lain’s existence post-reset is not unlike the faded traces of a forgotten dream.
[Pixelsaber]
it is the titular characters of both works which makes for a proper comparison
Alice in Wonderland’s basic plot can be found in many other stories and Lain does not seem to be an exception to this. The story of a girl who finds herself in a new and fascinating world and by taking a journey through it comes to learn about the world and herself, is something seen clearly in Lain. Though we would argue that this story line fits more with Lain than with Alice. For one, Lain’s room becomes a sort of physical manifestation of the “wonderland” of The Wired as she gets sucked further into it. There are also several close ties to see in each of the plots. There is some sort of call to this world. For Alice it was the white rabbit in a waistcoat and for Lain it was the messages she received from Chisa. Alice finds herself in different precarious situations being caused as well as aided by “eat me” and “drink me” biscuits and potions in order to alter her physical form, while Lain enters The Wired by abandoning her physical form altogether, both of which leave the girls with very little sense of self. And the question of ‘Who am I?’ is not just something that nags at them but can also be seen in their interactions with other people, some who are just as curious as they are like the giant caterpillar smoking a hookah, while claiming to know who they are, like the kids at Cyberia. Alice in Wonderland’s plot is very basic at its core and so it transfers really well to other stories while still allowing the stories to be just as unique like with Lain, but also comparing Lain to Alice in Wonderland helps to ground it in something a lot more familiar for some.
[ValkyrieCain9]

6) What is your interpretation of the rock/jazz free form section of the first half of episode 11?

The recap emphasizes the authentic feelings evoked by memories even if they are lies
The segment begins with a frame of text: "Memory isn't something so vague" then dives straight into a quite a straightforward recap. This is clearly a rejection or an attempt to reject Eiri's assertion that Lain's memories are a lie. Lain wants to prove that her memories aren't vague, they are real, and that her relationships are also real. Interestingly the word used for vague here is 曖昧 which has a letter quite similar to the Japanese for love 愛. The recap blitz then ends on a text screen showing 'aliceLOVE needs you' along with some nonsense Japanese text saying something poetic about a loving heart. The bookends clearly want to emphasize the love Lain sees even though there are plenty of memories flashed in that have nothing to do with that side of the show. The moments she had with Alice were real, the feelings she had towards Alice were real, and the connection she shared with Alice and everyone else she encountered was undoubtedly real.
[RX-Nota-II max_turner]
Undoubtedly Iconic. Frustratingly mysterious
At surface level the nearly eleven minute free form rock/jazz odyssey is a recap of events that have happened over the show that is explained away as Lain installing an emulator of Navi into herself and that resulting in information overload, but it strikes me odd that Lain would do that without a reason so perhaps that’s not the sole reason. The choice of music stands out to me in particular, as the show is heavily rooted in the denpa aesthetic which does not really lend itself to jazz and rock. Jazz is very free flowing with few rules and restrictions which is possibly used to show the free flow of information into Lain at this moment. Ultimately it is difficult to really pin down why this section exists, and yet it’s always seen as an iconic part of the show.
[isrozzis]
Remember that any information not found early in the show itself is considered a spoiler. Please properly tag spoilers!
Or else...

Next week's anime discussion thread: Death;Note

Further information about past and upcoming discussions can be found on the Weekly Discussion wiki page.
Check out anime Writing Club's wiki page Please PM u/DrJWilson for any concerns or interest in joining the club!
submitted by AnimeMod to anime [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 23:53 Bring_Stabity Daily Date CYOA Project (Preview)

I'm working on creating interactive daily dates, partially as a guide, and partially as a preservation project. I'm a big fan of Blue Maxima's Flashpoint (a flash game preservation project), and we all know that this game will sooner or later be shut down and not available for future fans of the Date A Live franchise. While I will not call this a masterpiece, it did pull me into the DAL franchise (which is much better than I expected from a sleazy harem anime), and I think it deserves to be preserved.
Since my programming skills are decent, but not good enough to create an open source clone of this game, or create a private server to host this once the main game is discontinued, I'm preserving it in video form. Partly, this means recording streams of me playing the game and making sure to include collecting quests and rolls, but also clipping out the story, and favor dates into their own videos.
For the Daily dates, I decided to create a Choose Your Own Adventure style of video, with Youtube's end cards used to make your choice. Note, all of these are incomplete, and a long way from being complete, but I wanted to show off to get some feedback.
A little stat breakdown for Origami's date for those of you that are nerds like me and love this stuff.
And because what post is complete without a little advertisement, come join the Sleazestream daily at 9:30PM PDT https://www.twitch.tv/Bring_Stabity Sorry East coast people, I know it's late for you, but it's the only time I can consistently stream.'
Update: Kurumi's Doll Shop Date: 1 run
I got a single run of Kurumi uploaded as well.
submitted by Bring_Stabity to DateALiveSpiritPledge [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 22:16 RX-Nota-II Serial Experiments Lain - Thursday Anime Discussion Thread (ft. r/anime Writing Club)

Hi! Welcome to another edition of the weekly Thursday Anime Discussion Thread, featuring us, the anime Writing Club. We simulwatch anime TV series and movies together once a month, so check us out if you'd like to participate. Our thoughts on the series, as always, are covered below. :)
Today we are covering...

Serial Experiments Lain

Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings.
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka, whose other works include Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain is a psychological avant-garde mystery series that follows Lain as she makes crucial choices that will affect both the real world and the Wired. In closing one world and opening another, only Lain will realize the significance of their presence.
Written by MAL Rewrite

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Groupwatch prompts and thoughts

1) What are your thoughts on the ways in which the show engages with the concept of The Wired itself

It is a pathway for the flow of information
Rather than try and predict exactly how the internet would end up being, which would have been a difficult task in 1998, the show chose to comment on the nature of the internet and what it is at a fundamental level. Lain posits that The Wired is a pathway for the flow of information. Our existence is simply a flow of information, and so our presence in The Wired is therefore part of our existence. The Wired exists as a layer of our reality and what we do there is part of who we are and can affect the world around us. Naturally our posting on the internet doesn’t render nearly as dramatic results as use of The Wired does in Lain, but at a base level the concept is the same.
[isrozzis]
A conduit through which to explore the main concepts
The Wired simply served as a the perfect conduit through which to explore several of the concepts and themes present in the series thanks to the ease with which those concepts could be interpreted through a technological lens, with aspects of The Wired making for excellent parallels to paranormal phenomena, interpersonal relationships, a higher plane, and the flow and malleability of knowledge. Lain isn't a super detailed and focused commentary on the nature of the internet in the same way that Patlabor's first movie deals with computer viruses or Ghost in the Shell on AI. The creators did a good job using The Wired as a vector for presenting the show's horror and later philosophical themes. In this way it could be similar to mecha shows where the mecha are incredibly cool and flashy yet secondary in importance.
[Pixelsaber RX-Nota-II]
An auxiliary yet fascinating draw for the show
I'll readily admit the show isn't about The Wired, but it's my favorite part of the show. There's a nerdiness that explodes when Konaka talks about The Wired that's missing from the rest. The bits and pecks of C code, references to HAL 9000 and the Mac, the simple talks about upgrading a Navi - absent in any other show. Hard to find anime much less art willing to delve into the cold calculated cosmos of computing. Did it have to be a computer? No, it could be an experience; some object or some vision. But the integration of computers into the plot lends a timelessness, which only makes the messages of the show more important in the era of social media.
[west_virginia_pine]

2) "Present Day, Present Time" does Lain successfully manage to stay relevant to this day?

The series' timeless qualities with humanity at its core keep it relevant
It’s not so much that the series managed to be incredibly prescient in its speculative fiction elements, since much of what it asserts will transpire with the proliferation of the internet as displayed in the series was already underway at the time, rather it’s in the careful handling of the series’ evergreen themes that it attains this quality of relevance. One of the most interesting things Lain discusses is information; if a being had access to and control of all the information possessed by humanity collectively, would that person be distinguishable from God? Everything humans do is a result of electric impulses in the nervous system. We are as governed by the flow of information as they are. The show is timeless because of the human messages at its core - finding a sense of self and reaching out to people - more relevant as we lose ourselves in the mire of mass media. The show has a reputation for its cold existentialism but there's warm positive love at its heart.
[Pixelsaber krasnovian west_virgnia_pine]
Our increasingly digital lives make Lain more relevant then ever
The quote was really striking every episode, it was a constant reminder that stuck with us for the most part. Despite some clear technical and aesthetic elements, Lain feels like it could be just as easily be set today. One thing that stuck out to me was how easily one could understand how the whole space with The Wired worked when applying our understanding of the internet today. Our lives are connected via the internet more now than ever, especially with the current global pandemic, which makes the messages in the show resonate strongly with our present day and present time. Lain’s central theme is about the relationship between ourselves and our digital lives. It seems clear that what we do online is very much a part of us, or at the very least is never gone and can be dredged out of the depths of the internet to haunt us years later when we wish it didn’t exist. This happens daily and ranges from simple stuff like finding some old pictures on facebook to having things someone said years ago surface and ruin their careers. Present Day, Present Time is a little cheesy, but it really does capture the spirit of what is going on.
[ValkyrieCain9 isrozzis max_turner]
A focus on advanced 90's technology dates the show
The focus on contemporary technology really dates the show pretty hard in a way that more fantastical tech shows like mecha or futuristic anime aren't affected by. A giant robot or cyborg doesn't feel particularly old as they never really existed but seeing stacked CRTs, giant keyboard cell phones, classic Apple gear, and Lain's server room gives me a constant reminder that this stuff is quite old. The daily reminder explicitly calling out "Present day, Present Time" was necessary to tell me that this was supposed to feel cutting edge and really advanced. One wonders if the creators knew this and partly included the callout to counteract the chosen aesthetic that had no way of aging gracefully.
[RX-Nota-II]

3) What do you think of the role mental illness plays in this show?

A superb groundwork that is too quickly left behind
The series’ use of mental illnesses, or the appropriate equivalents for an entity of The Wired, is quite integral to the development of its mounting intrigue and is the reason the series is able to mete out it’s narrative in a suitably measured manner. It is also a suitably human element that helps the viewer more keenly sympathize with Lain, something which would have been difficult if a different stand-in element had been utilized instead. It is well done showing struggles with the disorder that feel surprisingly real, yet they dismiss it pretty suddenly as the show's brisk pacing focuses more on the superhuman. This is a shame since the groundwork laid to make a more interesting storyline based on the trauma is already there and it is not taken for the sake of either limited episode counts or a preferred pacing to get to the supernatural.
[Pixelsaber RX-Nota-II]
An accurate reflection of real illness that sets up the philosophical questions raised in the later half
I have a close family member who lives with schizophrenia, including auditory hallucinations. It’s made me consider the line between perception and reality in the same way Lain does. Lain addresses some of principles of solipsism but in the end rejects it as a valid model for viewing the world; perceiving something doesn’t mean that it’s real and not perceiving things does not eliminate its existence. From my admittedly secondhand understanding of my family member’s condition, Lain’s experience with The Wired captures certain elements of the experience quite accurately.
[krasnovian]
Not the most important aspect
The show doesn’t comment much on mental illness. The focus of the show is almost entirely on technology, how we interact with it, and what our relationship with our digital lives is. While there are depictions of mental health struggles in the show it doesn’t appear that the show is intentionally commenting on them. What is in the show is used to support our relationship with technology or is simply a plot device. It would be best to say that rather than Lain being depressed, it’s Lain grappling with the duality of her existence and the fact that maybe she’s not even human to begin with. There’s a lot to take in there.
[isrozzis]

4) What do you make of Lain’s path towards self-realization and how it is interlaced with her relationship with divinity?

Lain's humanity in the face of new development leads her to rediscover her divinity
Lain’s process of rediscovery and self-realization is notably punctuated, occuring in relation to revelations pertaining to the ongoing narrative, which Lain always reacts to in reasonable ways as a character, pushing her away from her fabricated existence and back into the role she had seemingly once occupied. It’s the interplay between Lain’s ‘known’ and unknown facets that is most interesting, as it is through her humanity that she often comes to not only learn more of herself in spite of her true nature. It’s the fact these understandably human actions and moments lead to Lain further isolating herself, putting herself in a position to be further exposed to her own divinity and the elements of The Wired, which indicates the necessity of both her humanity and inaction in her role as a godly entity of The Wired, posing interesting considerations as to the series’ concept of transhumanism.
[Pixelsaber]
A wild thriller that slowly converges to reveal the truth
This really is the bread and butter of Lain. The intersection of self realization and divinity creates a great opportunity for the thriller and mystery aspects of the show as all the revelations make sense yet seem totally unpredictable. The use of dissociative personalities here to create confusion and a gradual path towards reality was great. It plays perfectly with the wildly different ideas of divinity that arise from the kids gesturing to the sky to phantoms in the club to Eiri Masami as quite a standard looking anime villain. Further developing the answer towards the question of Lain's identity gets matched perfectly with a clearer idea of what a divine being truly is and the two paths eventually merge into a single universal answer: she is just a being that is omnipresent.
[RX-Nota-II]

5) The writer commented saying Alice in Lain is very similar to the Alice from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

Enough is there for an uninformed viewer to justify a similarity
With only some cursory familiarity to the story of Alice in Wonderland, some passing resemblance between the two characters can be still observed. Both Alices end up descending into a world that is unknown but somewhat familiar in pursuit of someone else. Book Alice’s traipse through Wonderland ends up being naught but a dream, and although us the viewers know that the events which transpired in the series where as real as can be managed, Alice’s knowledge of the events and of Lain’s existence post-reset is not unlike the faded traces of a forgotten dream.
[Pixelsaber]
it is the titular characters of both works which makes for a proper comparison
Alice in Wonderland’s basic plot can be found in many other stories and Lain does not seem to be an exception to this. The story of a girl who finds herself in a new and fascinating world and by taking a journey through it comes to learn about the world and herself, is something seen clearly in Lain. Though we would argue that this story line fits more with Lain than with Alice. For one, Lain’s room becomes a sort of physical manifestation of the “wonderland” of The Wired as she gets sucked further into it. There are also several close ties to see in each of the plots. There is some sort of call to this world. For Alice it was the white rabbit in a waistcoat and for Lain it was the messages she received from Chisa. Alice finds herself in different precarious situations being caused as well as aided by “eat me” and “drink me” biscuits and potions in order to alter her physical form, while Lain enters The Wired by abandoning her physical form altogether, both of which leave the girls with very little sense of self. And the question of ‘Who am I?’ is not just something that nags at them but can also be seen in their interactions with other people, some who are just as curious as they are like the giant caterpillar smoking a hookah, while claiming to know who they are, like the kids at Cyberia. Alice in Wonderland’s plot is very basic at its core and so it transfers really well to other stories while still allowing the stories to be just as unique like with Lain, but also comparing Lain to Alice in Wonderland helps to ground it in something a lot more familiar for some.
[ValkyrieCain9]

6) What is your interpretation of the rock/jazz free form section of the first half of episode 11?

The recap emphasizes the authentic feelings evoked by memories even if they are lies
The segment begins with a frame of text: "Memory isn't something so vague" then dives straight into a quite a straightforward recap. This is clearly a rejection or an attempt to reject Eiri's assertion that Lain's memories are a lie. Lain wants to prove that her memories aren't vague, they are real, and that her relationships are also real. Interestingly the word used for vague here is 曖昧 which has a letter quite similar to the Japanese for love 愛. The recap blitz then ends on a text screen showing 'aliceLOVE needs you' along with some nonsense Japanese text saying something poetic about a loving heart. The bookends clearly want to emphasize the love Lain sees even though there are plenty of memories flashed in that have nothing to do with that side of the show. The moments she had with Alice were real, the feelings she had towards Alice were real, and the connection she shared with Alice and everyone else she encountered was undoubtedly real.
[RX-Nota-II max_turner]
Undoubtedly Iconic. Frustratingly mysterious
At surface level the nearly eleven minute free form rock/jazz odyssey is a recap of events that have happened over the show that is explained away as Lain installing an emulator of Navi into herself and that resulting in information overload, but it strikes me odd that Lain would do that without a reason so perhaps that’s not the sole reason. The choice of music stands out to me in particular, as the show is heavily rooted in the denpa aesthetic which does not really lend itself to jazz and rock. Jazz is very free flowing with few rules and restrictions which is possibly used to show the free flow of information into Lain at this moment. Ultimately it is difficult to really pin down why this section exists, and yet it’s always seen as an iconic part of the show.
[isrozzis]
Remember that any information not found early in the show itself is considered a spoiler. Please properly tag spoilers!
Or else...

Next week's anime discussion thread: Death;Note

Further information about past and upcoming discussions can be found on the Weekly Discussion wiki page.
Check out anime Writing Club's wiki page Please PM u/DrJWilson for any concerns or interest in joining the club!
submitted by RX-Nota-II to nota [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 20:35 Galbatrollix Pony Life: In-depth analysis/review and comparison with FIM

Pony Life: In-depth analysis/review and comparison with FIM

Wack: Yes! Red Bull: Yes! Magic: Perhaps?
With "Pony Life" soon going to youtube, I think it's a great time to talk a bit about this show and analyze what it really is. By that I mean, find out how much, and in what ways it differs from G4 "Friendship is Magic" series. If you haven't watched this show yet and you wonder if it's even worth it, stick around. I am pretty sure my post will help you make the decision. So anyway, without further ado, let's go straight to the topic.
PS: Analysis part of this post is really long, so if you just want to read review and know my opinion on this show, consider skipping to the Summary & Review paragraph.

1) General Premise

"Pony Life" is the newest installment in MLP franchise, featuring ponies who we know and love from "Friendship is Magic" series. However despite sharing the same characters (at least by name), this series doesn't have that much in common with its G4 predecessor.
"Pony Life" focuses heavily on situational comedy and gags. Episodes are short, extremally fast paced and overloaded with (often random) jokes and ridiculous character interactions. As far as I know, "Pony Life" is considered a sitcom by many people who watched it. This show is clearly targeted at slightly younger audience than G4, and to some extent looks like a self-conscious parody of FIM.
Because of all that, as a whole, "Pony Life" really contrasts with "Friendship is Magic". If you expect this show to have adventures, fantasy & magic, deep lore or worldbuilding, you are going to be disappointed. Those elements are mostly tossed aside in favor of jokes and ridiculous events in much more modern setting.

2) Writing and Structure

Series follows mane 6's shenanigans that usually take place in "Sugarcube Corner" (Pinkie Pie's bakery). Each episode consists of two 5-minute parts. Often both parts together make one bigger episode, or are thematically very close, but they can also be completely separate from each other.
"Pony Life" is for the most part episodic. Each episode follows story about some specific event, character or object. (For example: playing D&D, going on a trip, investigating something, dealing with Trixie) Those stories are usually used for sake of comedy, but from time to time, they also try to convey the message/lesson to the audience. (However, when this happens it is not as in-your-face as it was in season 1 of "Friendship is Magic")
Interestingly enough, despite its mainly episodic structure and narration, Pony Life is cohesive and never contraddicts itself. It's not this type of show where whole world blows up in one episode and in the following one everything is back normal. Things that happen in the show actually happen, and from time to time past events are mentioned by various characters.
There are also character or thematically oriented minature story arcs that stay in the background of those episodic stories. (For example, during first 6 episodes, Pinkie Pie is preparing to take part in TV show called "Royal Jelly Juggernaut" , next 6 revolve around Fluttershy's obsession with celebrity figure and so on.) So ironically, as a result, this show sometimes feels less episodic than FIM (especially its earlier seasons), because status quo is slightly changing troughout the season.

3) Setting

As I previously mentioned, "Pony Life" takes place in a much more modern setting. Some of you may find that statement confusing. (What the hell are you talking about, it's still equestria, isn't it!?) So I am gonna explain that real quick, because it's arguably pretty important thing.
"Pony Life" takes place in a world that is superficially very similar to FIM's Equestria, however after a closer look it's vastly different in few important aspects. Pony Life's version of equestria is much closer to how real world looks like right now than G4's. Characters use modern technology such as calculators, phones and tablets, have access to internet and from time to time you can see magical elements being fused with tech. (For example item replicating and weather controlling devices) This drastic change was likely made to make series more relatable for younger audiences and to tell stories that wouldn't really be possible without it. (One of the later story arcs revolves around internet and technology)
That said however, magic still kinda exists in this version of Equestria. Kinda, because for the most part it isn't really relevant to the plot. Unicorn magic, elements of harmony and cutiemarks stuff all seem to be absent in this iteration of MLP. (They technically exist but seem to be irrelevant.) If Rarity and Twilight weren't unicorns, vast majority of episodes would remain completely the same. So magic isn't really that important in this show, with one exception being mysterious "Potions" that are present in majority of episodes and just like tech, become significant to the story later on.

4) Art Style, Animation and Music

Pony Life's art style follows very popular nowadays trope of making characters more "chibii" and cartoonish than their original counterparts. This trope has a pretty bad reputation in western cartoon fandoms, because of widely hated series called "Teen Titans Go", however as far as I know, besides art style itself, "Pony Life" is said to not have too much in common with TTG.
Character designs are more "cutesy", with increased head-to-body ratio and are much more dynamic and expressive than in FIM. This also includes things like over the top mimic, off-model poses and things like "visible sigh". Characters are also drawn with standard black-outlines (In promotional materials they are not, but in show itself they have black outlines.) Backgrounds on the other hand have simplistic style with very thin lines which makes characters stand out a lot.
Animation itself is pretty good. Movement is fluid and characters never go off-model (unless intentionally for comedic purposes), however animation errors are frequent. To be exact: one specific animation error seems to happen over and over again. Non-pegasi characters suddenly get wings for brief moments, which just sounds like a regular error, however it happens so often that it's already theorised that this might be a running joke amongst Pony Life's animators.
There are no songs in "Pony Life", however its background music is actually surprisingly good. It's catchy and fits the action really well. (sometimes is just as ridiculous as what's going on the screen). Few times I even replayed fragments of episodes, because I was surprised by how good the soundtrack actually was. (I don't think this ever happened to me when watching FIM)

5) Characters

Now we get to probably the most interesting and important part, because character interactions are responsible for vast majority of this show's humor and gags. Consistently with the tone and art style shift, everyone in "Pony Life" is wackier and more over the top than their FIM counterparts. This includes Mane 6 who are played by their original G4 voice actors.
However, "being permanently on 2 cans of Red-Bull" is not the only change to the Mane 6. Although the general archetypes are roughly the same, some aspects of main ponies have been rewritten to better fit new convention. The "elements of harmony" are pretty much gone and on top of that, each main character now has new unique abilities and comedic gimmics that were absent in G4.
  1. Pinkie Pie:Pony Life's Pinkie is more or less the same as in FIM's. She is by far the most random and hyperactive member of the group. Her interactions with other ponies are unusually chaotic and ridiculous, even for this show, however she never causes any actual problems. Her new gimmick/special ability is inflating like a baloon and blowing up, leaving a pile of pink confetti, just to rise from it like a phoenix. It's probably the most absurd and surreal gimmick of all and it happens when Pinkie gets too excited about something.
  2. Twilight Sparkle:Twilight also remains pretty similar to her original version. She still is interested in magic (including potions), but this is extended to include more modern things like math, science and technology, which works quite well with her "nerdy" archetype. Despite being an alicorn, being a "princess" was pretty much removed from her character, so she resembles Twilight from earlier seasons of FIM. She also is slightly more competitive and smart-assy than before, but she still easily stresses out. Especially in presence of authorities/celebrities like Celestia. Twilight's new gimmick is shattering when under stress. (Literally, she shatters like glass when something goes really bad. And it's hilarious. XD)
  3. Rarity:Pony Life's Rarity is the closest to the original out of all 6 main ponies. She still loves fashion, style, follows latest trends and is pretty dramatic. On top of that, she also is really into social media and internet. Interestingly, unlike others, she has as much as 3 new gimmicks/abilities. One of them is "dedicated faint couch" that she summons every time she is shocked and overly dramatic. Second one is dropping the jaw (literally) and spewing gems out of her mouth when being astonished by something. The last one is "film noir" which basically is backgrounds changing to black&white when she plays her "detective persona".
  4. Applejack:AJ has quite a big change in character compared to her FIM counterpart. The "honesty" thing is basically thrown out of the window. (To the extent that sometimes she even is the one encouraging others to lie) She definitelly stands out the most in the main band. She is more individualistic and unlike others, doesn't seem to be too much into "newest trends" and technology. She usually is away from the spotlight, observing things, which works really well with her new ability to break the 4th wall and talk directly to the audience. It's pretty cool because it gives her character this distinctive trait and role in the series that original AJ somewhat lacked.
  5. Fluttershy:Oh boy, where do I start with this one... She is so different that she kinda feels reworked. (But in a good way.) Tho at first glance she acts the same as in FIM (She is cute, nice, polite), her personality is quite different. First of all, she doesn't seem anxious and scared of anything really. Neither is she particularly shy. Instead, Fluttershy is pretty confident, obsessive and sometimes even pushy towards others. There is also a running joke that Fluttershy thinks, that inside she is completely insane (sometimes she kinda acts like that), and her being nice is just superficial mask. Thanks to that, she provides the most edgy humour in whole series. Besides that, she is also able to change her body size at will/based on emotions.
  6. Rainbow Dash:And lastly, Rainbow Dash who kinda seems to be slightly underdeveloped compared to other characters. Her main trait in Pony Life is being the best & coolest at everything and being increadbly fast. Besides that, she seems to be the easily distracted and slightly less responsible than other ponies. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any humorous gimmick that all other main characters have. She can freeze time when moving very fast tho, so that's kinda interesting. (They basically yoinked Flash's/Quicksilver's ability and gave it to her.)
When it comes to non-Mane 6 characters, they are pretty much all episodic. Celestia and CMC appear sporadically and are almost never important to the story. The same is true for Spike, who is not a part of the main cast anymore and appears only from time to time. There are also some other side characters that are brought back from FIM. For example Discord and Trixie each have one episode dedicated to them. (btw, Trixie's ridiculousness works perfectly with this show.) There is also one Pony Life original character called Potion Nova that is pretty relevant to the plot (...)
Interestingly enough, Luna and Starlight Glimmer are nowhere to be seen. Absence of Starlight Glimmer seems reasonable, because when you think about it, her character could be problematic to translate to show like "Pony Life". However, I wonder why they decided to not include Luna too, considering how popular and beloved character she is. Maybe they want to save her for season finale or something? Who knows.

6) Summary and Review

So after all that analyzing and comparisons with "Friendship is Magic", the very important question remains: Can "Pony Life" live up to its predecessor? And is it a good show to begin with? Well... It depends.
As I previously explained, "Pony Life" is completely different show than FIM. It's a comedy and comedy only, so if you expect it to be something similar to G4, you likely will be harshly disappointed. "Pony Life" is targeted towards slightly younger demographic. (It's worth to note though that despite younger target demographic, things like toilet humor are absent in this show.) It is random, extremally fast paced (like, really fast), more modern and slightly edgier than its predecessor. So yeah, if you want to watch it, keep in mind that comparing this to "Friendship is Magic" in terms of "betteworse" entirely misses the point because they are completely different things.
Ok, but how good "Pony Life" is at being what it is: a ridiculous random comedy? Well, in my opinion it's "decent-ish to quite good". I definitelly like the general premise and new character gimmics. I love Twilight's "shattering like glass" and AJ's 4th wall commentary. I also find modernization of the setting a good thing, because it allows this show to be much more up to date and tell stories that would be otherwise impossible. (It seems to be sort of controversial opinion tho.) Pony Life just screams 2020. Phones, Tablets, internet. (They aren't present in all episodes, that's also worth to note!) There is even coronavirus episode xD (Yes, really. And it's actually pretty good.)
Everything in this show is HYPER, which might be something that scares some people away, but personally I don't mind it. My biggest problem with this show is that episode quality varies a lot. Some are really good, but there are also ones that are pretty bad and feel like a waste of time.
Second episode that was about "being best at being the worst" was probably the worst episode of the whole series. (Kinda ironic, isn't it? xd) The whole conflict didn't make sense at all, new character introduced in that episode was incrediblly unlikeable and boring, and most jokes didn't even deliver.Some of the latest episodes that were focused on technology, were also kinda medicore. Not really funny and without any substance.
That said, there also were some really good episodes that left me laughing for longer than they probably should. I especially loved episode involving Trixie, and most episodes about Fluttershy's obsession with celebrity dolphin Fin-Tastic. (The climax of this story arc was actually written surprisingly well and delivered different message that one might expect.) Episodes about Twilight and Potion Nova were quite nice too.
So in general, quality of this show varies a lot, but for the most part, I think it's pretty good for what it wants too be. I think I am going to continue watching "Pony Life", because once this show delivers, it's legit hilarious. IMO everyone should at least give it a chance and try it out, maybe you will find it genuinely funny like I did.
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Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this long read. If you watched "Pony Life" already, let me know in the comments what do you think about it. If not, I hope my post will help you decide wheather or not trying this show out is even worth it for you.
Thanks for reading till the end!Cya folks!
submitted by Galbatrollix to mylittlepony [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 19:13 tinyylittlerose I know that I’m young and it should be easy, but I’ve become extremely settled in life and while I hate a lot of things about my life, I have absolutely no idea how to change my direction

This might end up being longer than I expected, so I’ll leave a TLDR if necessary at the end.
To start, my SO (25M) and myself ((23F) met back in 2014 (then 20M & 17F) and started dating. Flash forward to today, we are happily going on 6 years together in December, and 2 years married next February. He’s been a beautiful addition to my life - even through ups and downs. It doesn’t go without saying that we can get a little stale sometimes. While this can become frustrating and has its own issues, these types of situations aren’t too big of a deal and we are working on it. Just need a bit more guidance on ‘How To.’ However, the kicker: because I’m married, and I also have a stable “fell into my lap” career, I’ve settled in life and officially feel mentally 40. I’ve been in the Legal Industry for 3+ years by hap stance when needing a good paying job YEARS ago and the pressure of the day-to-day leaves me with nightmares! I am someone who always dreamt of becoming an Animator for Disney one day, and I had all of these ideals and goals prior to leaving home, regardless of my hard upbringing and how hard I knew I had to work to get where I wanted to be, but now I have a wonderful husband, and what doesn’t feel like my own life playing out before my eyes. How do you change your path to get back on track to your original goals? How do you spice up life and not be so depressed over the mundane? I am so unhappy but I’m also telling myself that my life isn’t bad at all because of all the blessings I’ve been given, so it almost feels guilty to want something else/more in life! I never draw anymore or have enough time or motivation for what I’m passionate about. I’m wondering if I was even passionate about it to begin with, or if I was just a kid who wanted to do big things in life. Animation is my everything, but I’m discouraged from even trying with student debt, and already having options in front of me. Thanks for the help or just the read — anything is appreciated.
TLDR; I’m fearful my life/future is a dead end when I had dreams that I wish I knew how to pursue, but I’m too depressingly settled in my current life
submitted by tinyylittlerose to Advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 18:43 The_Hateful_Kate Legendary Animals - Hunting Guide 🤠👍

I previously posted a version of this, and now that I have killed, skinned and sampled all of the Legendary Animals currently in RDO, I thought I would post a final updated version.
Animal Pheromones – Many people, myself included, were confused by these. They will NOT make an animal spawn. They will only help to pin point their location ONCE you see the yellow question mark nearby. So, whilst I am not sure it is worth buying the pamphlet to create this yourself for $900, as it will take a lot of samples, it still does seem worth holding some stock from Harriet to make it easier if that question mark is a little bit away from you. I have very rarely used to Blending Tonic, so from my experience, this does not overly impact on how the spawn or react to you. As other have said, there also seems to be no use in any of the baits. They just seem to randomly spawn or they don’t.
72 Hour Cool down – A lot of people have said that there is a species based cool down. So if you kill, say, a Tecca alligator you will have to wait 3 days IRL to hunt it, or the Sun Alligator again. From my experience, in a mix of private solo lobbies and the recent empty lobby, this does hold out. Days and hours wasted hunting and finding nothing, backs this up. I previously said that this doesn’t seem to be true of the LAs from Harriet, as I have killed both the Wolf and Alligator and saw others from those species in Free Roam the same or very next day, but I would be careful, and plan accordingly. I now only do a mission for Harriet if I have encountered the animal in Free Roam on that day, to avoid any restriction on my future hunting.
Friends, Full Lobbies and Radoms – Some have also said that there is an additional 24-48 Minute same session cool down, but that this might be reset once you switch lobbies. I did more testing on this, and generally didn’t find another animal within one game day, but some within 2 days. It can also be the case that the 72 hour cool down will be ignored if you are with friends who have not yet seen the animal. Lots of people have reported seeing the same animals or at least the same species more than once a day. So if you’ve hit that 72 wall, it can’t do any harm to invite or join a friend and test this out. The 72 hour cool down seems very controversial, but is backed up by many, many reports, and having got all of the animals now, I am 100% convinced. You may say that you found the same animal in the same session, and even you were in a private lobby, but this doesn’t chime with other people’s experiences. Many people also reported that this was found in the code, but have been unable to confirm. There will always be exceptions to any rule, or bugs, but literally days of hunting on my weeks off proves that it is real. I feel it is counterproductive to tell people to waste their time searching continuously and adding to their frustration, even if it isn't 100% agreed by all.
Plan your daily hunting targets – As you will blocked from hunting species for 72 hours, I suggest making a note of the real life time you encounter the last animal of that kind. I now keep a list of which animals will be visible to me on any given day, based on the cool down of my last sighting. So if you hunt an alligator on Sunday, don’t bother wasting your time looking again until Wednesday. This will also mean avoiding certain areas on the days it becomes available again, to avoid accidently spawning in the other type of animal that you are looking for. So if you are hunting the Cogi Boar in Lemoyne, also avoid going near Thieves Landing to stop the Wapka from spanning in. I know this can be the trickiest part, but will be worth it once you get the skin and a sample. My tracker sheet will be below.
Weather & Time - Most user guides or videos seem to reference a certain time or weather condition required to find an LA. Or even both. In my experience, LA can spawn at ANY TIME of the day, and also in different weather condition than expected. Sun gator at 11am in the sun, Snow Buck at 11pm in the mist etc. I once even got the Moon Beaver at 10pm in mist, just after rain for example, rather than early morning or evening in actual rain. To me, this is more dictated by the last time you saw an LA and if you are due a new encounter, rather than hitting those tiny windows of matching time and weather. Not that it can’t help looking when the conditions are perfect, but if you miss the time window or weather window, don’t feel like you shouldn’t go looking just in case. I have found many more LAs in the last few weeks completely out of their cycle.
HideOuts & Moonshine activity - A lot of times there is an event that is situated near an LA spawn. My experience is to either finish it and come back, or to simply move away and fast travel back. But as others have reported, if there is a red circle on the map in the same area as an LA, it won’t spawn in. (Maybe if someone is smarter than me, they can find out the Hideout spawn cycle or times and highlight the windows that they won’t be there, but worry it will then just turn into a Moonshine event instead?)
Staying in one area – Out of the non Harriet mission animals I have skinned so far (and now skinned them all!) only on two occasions have I not been riding nearby. So I wouldn’t recommend going round in circles constantly to try and get it to spawn in. Go to the location it spawns into, and then if you don’t see it on one pass, leave the area and come back. I would recommend totally leaving the area by a local Fast Travel post, rather than riding away as that might spawn in random nearby events.
Trader Delivery – It seems that whilst carrying out a Long Distance Delivery will increase the chances of seeing LAs in Free Roam. This could be because it seems to supress the spawning of other random event. I can confirm this, having found 6 LAs from doing mine or a friends delivery. In fact, I even almost ruined a full $625 delivery when the Sun Gator spawned near me! I have even seen this occur when I have been doing Resupply missions, twice so far. I cannot confirm if the same is true with random escort missions, but you do often see another random event spawn nearby when taking someone home. There are also reports of seeing Legendary Animals during Bounty Hunter missions, so watch that radar!
Health tonics, Cores & Ammo – It’s always worth having some high level tonics close at hand when you first approach the LA. Some are super aggressive, and are also protected by fellow creatures. My advice is to instantly knock back a Level II or III health cure if you have one, and chow down on that seasoned big game if you don’t have camp stew. I would also recommend using something like a Repeating Shotgun or Bolt Action rifle, without the scope and High Velocity or Express ammo. I sometimes use the Elephant Rifle, but find I have to get too close and can risk being trampled or attacked. But I do like to keep a Repeating Shotgun at hand, just for close encounters! With good aim, you can drop most LAs with 4 or 5 slugs. So if you see a pack of animals, make sure to take them down quickly first, or they will probably help the LA to escape.. DO NOT use explosive ammo or fire, as this will ruin the animal. A good example is the Tecca or Sun Alligator. If you skin the LA and one of its foot soldiers kills you, you risk losing the pelt completely! The Bison too are nasty, as when they charge, it spooks your horse and it is then very hard to get back on before it escapes.
Photographing LAs – I often found it tricky to get the photograph of some LAs, especially Harriet missions if the animal is in a cage already. So, what I now do is sedate the animal, but DON’T sample it just yet, as this will end the mission. What I now do, is sedate it and drag it somewhere in the open. You can then get out your camera and point it at the beast. In a minute or so it will wake up, and you will have plenty of time to take a photograph. Once you get the update to your Animal Guide flash up, you can just sedate the animal again and sample him. Surprisingly, getting the photograph was always the most frustrating one to do, but with this method, life is much easier!
Animal howls and cries – Normally you will notice that the Legendary Animals howl or cry will be very noticeable and will sound similar but distinctly louder than the normal animal cry. This was something I totally missed but only noted recently. So if you know you are due a spawn, and see nothing on the radar, but hear a howl, keep looking in this area. Someone recently posted that one escaped but they could still hear their howl, so followed it and found tracks leading back to it.
Using the Map – The super helpful gamernick1 recently posted some excellent LA tips and mentioned using the map. I tried this yesterday and it was a very good method and saves you having to keep your eyes on the bottom left of the screen. Just define a route, put it into cinematic mode, and then bring up the map. I will do more testing with this, but strangely enough, shortly after trying this method, I got a yellow question mark within a minute! I had just delivered Moonshine to this area, so that probably supressed the hideouts but it was 11:30pm and misty, yet still the Snow Buck spawned in!! (He got away though as I thought I could walk over and take his pic)
Lost or Escaped LA – To date, I have lost 9 Legendary Animals. And so far, I have never found a lost or escaped LA in the same area, later in that time window, or within the same game day or session. The message advises that you should try a different area or another time, but having gone round in circles, or travelling back to area over and over, it has never re-appeared. This goes to convince me that the 72 hour real life cool down is correct. So if one of these critters gets away, take a deep breath… and move on to the next one! I know it’s hard, but think you’ll be even more frustrated wasting another 3 hours of your life looking for something that is unlikely to come back. I would now add, that others have confirmed that they have found the animal in the same area after receiving this message. I have followed LAs after sampling them and they run for miles, so this is a possibility I am willing to accept, but just don’t spend too much time looking.
Bugs & Wrong Spawns – Not often, but occasionally, people report strange issues with their LAs. Some people report they see the ? but no animal. Almost like it is stuck under the map. If you encounter this, it is probably best to switch lobbies. I have had two instances where I see a question mark for an animal I don’t want, so have switch lobby only to see the same ? in the same area on respawn. I then switch lobby two more times, and then the Sun Gator spawned in. I believe that, as I didn’t interact with it, it didn’t affect the spawn. I can confirm this, as I saw the Boar the very next day. I have also now seen two animals in the wrong spawn area. The Wakpa Boar where the Coggi should be and also the Sun Gator at the Tecca spawn point. As the point on Friends and Randoms, there is always exceptions to the rule, and as these aren’t game breaking, it is only frustrating if you desired the other animal.
Cripps or Gus – It would seem that some animals or pelts are worth a considerable amount of material for your Trader business. Anything from 18.75 materials for the Red Streak Coyote to a massive 58.75 for the Payta Bison Pelt! Strangely enough, the pelts from Harriets missions seem to give the most materials. So, these can be a super fast way to build up your trade goods for Cripps. Personally I would still sell at least one skin of each animal to Gus for the Garment Sets, or any future content, take you samples to get the 100% and then start farming them materials! The money made by simply selling these duplicates to Gus doesn’t come close to the time saved from hunting regular animals to fil up your goods, so bear this in mind So that’s all from me cow pokes, think this will be my final version, so I want to wish you lots of successful hunting, and feel to ask any questions or point out anything you disagree with
Oh and here is my tracker to make it a little easier to keep an eye on your progress
https://www.reddit.com/RedDeadOnline/comments/itz7l2/legendary_animal_tracker_updated/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
submitted by The_Hateful_Kate to RedDeadOnline [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 16:32 MikeJesus I will burn the world (Removed from NS)

They crowd around me. Some of the brightest men and women that humanity has to offer, they could be out in the world curing cancer but instead they have chosen to stay on retainer. “Mr. Vernerzeig, you’re awake,” one of them says.
Yes. Awake. Consciousness drifts into my hospital bed along with another sensation. Pain. Every inch of my skin feels like it is home to a smouldering fire. Sitting up causes the flames to roar.
“Please, Mr. Vernerzeig, it’s unwise for you to leave the bed, especially in your current sta-“
“Bite your tongue, wench,” I say, feeling my once mighty voice slumber in a choked whisper, “Be careful how you speak to me.”
She remembers her place and bows her head in shame, as do all of the other doctors. I am surrounded with medical equipment that far exceeds the stature of the room. From the window I see a glimpse of a snowy backwater town. The nature calendar on the wall reads January 18th 2004. I don’t know where I am. I don’t remember the past five months of my life.
“Where is Albert?” I demand.
As if on cue, the butler appears in the doorway. His suit is prim and proper, but the usual stoic expression on his face is betrayed by joy. “Sire!” he yells, “You are awake! Thank the heavens!”
It comes back to me in flashes: The heartbreak, the whiskey, the axe, the gasoline and then – the explosion of light. “Call the car. I want to go home,” I say.
“Certainly,” the butler replies. He nods to one of the doctors, promptly turning him into a secretary. “Do you know where you are sire?”
Memories of crawling through the dark wood simmer in the back of my skull. They feel like the fever dreams of a starving animal but I know they are mine. “Yes,” I say. My lips are scabbed pieces of flesh. I get up to walk to the mirror across the room.
“Sire, the medical team was dispatched as soon as this yokel hospital alerted the estate, but the damage from your accident has been extensive. Very little could be saved. However, over the past months the team has been hard at work fast-tracking research into synthetic skin. Perhaps you would like to try the latest prototype before you look into the mirror?” The butler almost steps in my way, but he knows better. I continue making my way towards my impending reflection. I want to know.
I see the extent of the damage.
I have paid many times for my tendency for intoxicated outbursts of heartbreak throughout my life. But I have never paid a price so steep. “Bring me the skin,” I say.
The metal box in which they present the poreless mask of flesh hisses with cool steam. The synthetics are like a calming balm to my burning skin, but when I look into the mirror I see a grotesque charade. “I want to go home,” I say.
In the car he tells me that the fire was extinguished soon enough to spare the house, that the businesses have been running smoothly, that the media have been largely kept out of the picture. I scarcely pay attention. My mind is far too occupied with the accident. My mind is far too occupied with the flames. A single question burns in my mind: Was the fire an error of drunken sentimentality or not an error at all?
“Sire, if I may, I do not want to intrude on your personal life, however – ” the butler clears his throat and shifts uncomfortably in his seat, “When my daughter went through her divorce I saw firsthand how heartbreak can haunt a person. If you require anyone to speak to, I assure you that – “
“You are intruding,” I say, catching a glimpse of myself in the car mirror. I look away.
Alfonz Vernerzeig elevated his crest from that of an irrelevant noble family to a titan of industry. While other branches of European royalty struggled to keep a grip on power in the century of the ballot box, Alfonz refrained from using his wealth for political sway and instead invested it into the future of humanity; he invested it into the machines. By the turn of the 20th century the Vernerzeig family owned a share of every factory in Central Europe. After the wars and after some heavy investment into the Americas we owned everything.
My granduncle built an empire. My granduncle also wrote about fire.
Before the old man disappeared from the face of the earth he locked himself in his mountain manor and wrote a dizzying amount of text about the nature of flames. His early works read like a simple inquiry about the nature of the element, but as the journals stack, as his handwriting grows more manic, as his words swell numerous enough to fill a library, the appearance of interest betrays its true nature as a burning obsession.
Alfonz Vernerzeig was haunted by fire. He wrote of it not as an invention of humanity but as a portal to a world beyond our comprehension. Our primitive ancestors had simply stumbled upon this chaotic doorway and built civilization in the warmth of its flames, but beyond that crackling energy, beyond that stifling heat, there was something else, something that demanded entry into our realm. My granduncle saw its burning eyes in a Manchurian steppe fire in 1938; I saw those same orbs of blue blaze the night of my accident.
I walk through his library. The books that I have thrown to the floor in my fit of delirium are cleared away. The bookshelves that I have axed into kindling have been replaced. The help has repaired the room into its former glory. Only one memory of the accident remains – my granduncle’s journal is still on the study, opened at its final pages, just like I left it.
My thick pale fingers feel foreign against the pages, my eyelids scratch across my new face, but I read every word of that final journal. It is after reading those blurry pages in a drunken stupor that I decided my granduncle was a fool. It is after reading those pages that I decided I would burn the world.
Yet as I sit there, with only pain and a single glass of scotch dulling my senses, those words appear empty. Whilst my granduncle committed an entire library to studying the nature of fire, to suggesting and eventually demanding that something lives deep within it, the final journal changes in tone. It speaks of the creature within the flames as something that should be ignored.
He denies those blue balls of light. He drowns his words in sentimentality; he writes that each time that the beast within a fire appears it is a great tragedy for all of humanity. He speaks of the times that the beast was extinguished out of our realm as a triumph of human will, as something that must be celebrated with the utmost zeal.
In my drunkenness I saw the words in his final journal as pure blasphemy, but in my soberness they simply confuse me. If he saw what I saw the night of my accident, if he too looked into those azure eyes of raw power, he could not have written such foolish lies. I study the handwriting. Clean and sharp.
When I first inherited the mountain manor I found the butler trying to dispose of the schematics. He had hidden them in one of my granduncle’s coats that was set to be burnt. When I found them he protested, he insisted that my granduncle must have simply misplaced the document and forgotten about it, but I knew that the butler acted with malice. He wanted those schematics destroyed. If my wife had not pleaded with me to keep the old man in my employment he would have been long gone.
I take the schematics out of their display cabinet and spread them out across the study. The madly sketched maw of the metal machine stares back at me. Next to it are scribbled descriptions of each segment of the contraption, detailed instructions on how much pressure and heat should be funnelled through each individual pipe. The text is heavy on the page. Yet even though the blocks of words linger like censor bars trying to mask the true horror of the machine; the handwriting is rough and uneven. At the bottom of the document is an address, scratched out in big block letters; the Bohemian plot.
I look back at the orderly lettering of the final journal entries. My granduncle was no fool.
I send the butler to make inquiries about the land my family owns in Bohemia and retire to my bedchamber. My doubts about the journal slowly start turning into certainties, but as I enter the cold room I find myself unable to light my fireplace. What if my granduncle was truly mad? What if my accident was truly a result of drunken heartbreak? What if I have simply gone momentarily insane?
Lighting that fire would illuminate those questions. But I do not want answers. I want sleep. Even with sheets of the softest silk my body still stings as I curl my way into the land of dream.

She stands in the library; beautiful as the day I met her. “Peter, please, sit,” she says.
“Do not tell me what to do,” I reply. The rawness is gone from my throat. I sound like myself. I feel powerful. That power quickly drains.
“Please, Peter, sit. I love you.”
I find myself sitting. She has hurt me, she has betrayed my trust, yet each moment that I spend in the gentle grip of those eyes sends an unearthly calm through my body. She smiles, weakly, and takes the seat opposite me.
“I have been unfaithful Peter, and for that I apologize.” I reach for the rage deep in the pit of my stomach but I cannot find it. This woman has sullied my honor, betrayed me in the most cutting of ways, yet I cannot help but love her. “I will never do it again. I will forever be true. I promise.” and with that, all restraint leaves my body.
“I love you Mary! Let’s forget about all this and live happily ever after!”
“Yes Peter! Yes! A thousand times yes! Let’s leave the past behind and bathe in the flawless light of our love!”
Her soft hands reach across the table and grab mine. The future stretches out in front of us; I can see the joy, I can see the children, I can see us growing old together. As if she was a conductor of bliss, I feel a wave of happiness flow from her palms to the rest of my being. For the first time in my life I feel fully content. But then the connection is severed.
My wife gets up from her chair and walks across the library floor. Her hips sway with hypnotic energy, for a second I try to convince myself that she is simply walking around the table to be closer to me but soon her true destination becomes undeniable. In the corner of the room stands the brute, his body is bare, his muscles pulse with strength. My wife wraps her arms around him and the two embrace.
“Mary!” I yell, sensing a weakness in my voice that makes me loathe myself, “How could you?”
She frees her lips of his and looks back at me in shock. “Peter, I have been unfaithful, and for that I apologize,” she says, still in his arms, “I will never do it again. I will forever be true. I promise.” The two embrace again. The brute’s hands start unlatching my wife’s dress. I want to beg them to stop, I want to believe her lies, but instead I turn away.
I feel raw power crackling in my hands. I’m holding a burning torch. The fire roars, demanding to be spread. Behind me, my wife starts to make love to the brute against one of the bookshelves. Their cries of passion are loud, but soon the spreading fire drowns them out. Soon they are screaming. Soon they are dead.
I stand in the midst of the burning library, watching all of my granduncle’s writing feed a powerful force beyond my comprehension. The curtain of flames closes in around me, thickening in its consistency with each written word that it consumes. My skin breaks out in boils, sweat sizzles on my smouldering clothes, a cry of pain scratches through my burning throat.
When my body finally erupts in flames I see it. That burning beak, those shining claws, the two infernal balls of blue light.
“RELEASE ME,” the God says in a voice that shakes the universe, “RELEASE ME AND TASTE MY POWER.”

Even past the smell of singed flesh that has been lingering in my nose since the accident I can smell the gentle burnt notes of freshly brewed coffee. On my bedside table there is a silver platter with breakfast, beneath my plate there is a carefully written note:
Sire, I have made inquiries about the Bohemian plot. The land is currently under your ownership. I would, however, note that the plot of land is deep underground and is located beneath a busy transportation hub. Perhaps I can draw up a list of properties that would be more appropriate for construction.
I study the note but become distracted. My left eyelid refuses to cooperate with the rest of my body. I attempt to hold it up as I read but my numb fingers lack the dexterity to do so. I become frustrated.
The handwriting on the note is clean and sharp. Any doubts that I had the night before turn to ash. After lighting the fireplace I summon the butler under the pretense of cleaning up the broken plates of my breakfast. The silk bathrobe I put on stings raw against my burnt body, but I no longer feel like an impostor. I am resolute in both my character and decisions. The metal object in the robe’s pocket feels lighter than it is.
“Sire, you rang? I have compiled a list of –“ the butler goes silent as soon as he sees me. “Sire, your face.”
A glint of discomfort flashes over the old man’s brow as he glances at the torn suit of synthetic flesh I have left on the floor but he quickly regains his composure. “Shall I have the medical team –“
“No,” I say. My fingers caress the chamber of the revolver in my pocket. The cold steel feels good against my burning skin. The butler is getting nervous.
“I have compiled a list of other potential properties that you could consider for a construction project,” he says, and then, as if it had just occurred to him he takes out a crumpled envelope. “There is also a letter that has arrived this morning. It’s from your ex-wife, sire.”
I take my hand out of my bathrobe and inspect the letter. It is not dated. It seems older than recent. I read it regardless. In it I find words of regret. Mary is sorry for what has happened, she is heartbroken about my accident, she wishes that she could turn back time and make different decisions. She hopes that I will one day forgive her. The handwriting of the letter is clean and sharp. I throw it in the fire.
“Did you write this, Albert?” I ask, as the flames seize the paper.
“No, sire,” he says, “It was written by your ex-wife.”
My hand travels back into the pocket of the bathrobe. “Who wrote Alfonz Vernerzeig’s final journal?”
He opens his mouth but doesn’t answer. His knees grow weak. He starts to shake. “Sire, could I take a seat?”
I let the old man sit opposite to me. The fireplace rages on. He sighs.
“Your granduncle was a genius, sire, his sense for industry, his inquisitive mind, they were unmatched but –“ his voice falls. A tear starts to travel down his cheek, “His obsession with the fire, the plans for the machine; I could not idly stand by and let the man burn the world. Please, sire, consider the implications, consider the suffering, consider –“
“Silence.” I say. That’s all I have to say. The butler has been with the family for long enough to know what is coming.
“Can I speak to my daughter one last time? Can I at least say goodbye?”
My clawed fingers tighten over the handle of the revolver. “No,” I say.
Once his body is cleared away I summon his replacement. The new butler is much less resistant to my demands, possibly because he knows how his predecessor ended up. He calls our representatives in the Czech Republic to investigate the state of the Bohemian plot. He organizes a core of engineers to oversee the project. He starts to make inquiries about the covert transportation of steel.
The machine will take an astronomic amount of man-hours to construct; thousands of workers will be needed, mountains of steel will have to be delivered, countless bribes will have to be paid, but eventually, my granduncle’s work will be completed. The Machine will create a fire hotter than the strongest flame that humanity has ever felt, and when it does, the burning God will purify our realm.
Soon, the world will burn.
And I will be the one to light the spark.
(A shared smouldering universe)
submitted by MikeJesus to MJLPresents [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 14:24 GrimwaII Notes Concerning Patient #1-02: Katharina Freudenmann

Patient Directory
The following notes concern patient #1-02 also known as Katharina Freudenmann. Mrs Freudenmnn is not an official patient of mine, instead I spent one night helping her. I met Katharina while visiting St Ann’s Hospital, below is an account of that night.
***
Some background: I was visiting St Ann’s during the early days of my practice. My practice was not doing too well, so in response I turned to the hospital to speak with the administrator to enquire about applying for a counsellor role. As a potential part-time counsellor the hospital would bring me a regular stream of patients to help while my practice was not doing so well.
The date was the seventeenth of July and the time was around 06:30 PM. The halls of St Ann’s were uneasily quiet, after my meeting with the hospital administrator (in which she aimed to assess whether I was eligible for the hospital counsellor position) I made the decision to loiter instead of returning to my lonely home. I took a seat in the waiting area, the night staff starting their shifts didn't seem to mind my presence so I merely watched the limited action unfold.
At one point two women in their twenties stumbled in, one of them (the one with blond hair) had a gash on her forehead accompanied by a stream of blood that flowed down her face. The blond stumbled to the front desk guided by her brunette friend. The duo explained that the blond one had tripped over a fence and collided with the concrete giving her the injury she so prominently displayed on her face. While the disorganised duo offered some semblance of entertainment, the true action began at around 07:20 PM.
It started with a scream. A scream that echoed down the hallways of the hospital. It was the type of scream that uniquely implied that the screamer in question was tearing their vocal chords. The type of scream that would leave a person’s voice little more than whisper after tearing its way out of the person’s throat.
I rose to my feet, deciding that to follow the scream seemed more interesting than being sat down in the waiting area. Traversing down the halls quickly led me to the origin of the screams, they came from a hospital room, inside I heard the commotion of multiple voices. To be precise I heard three voices, one of those was the scream. I waited in the corridor hesitant to approach the room when the screams simmered down.
After the screaming subsided completely, they were replaced by a new screaming that echoed more like abusive complaints. These weren’t just screams they formed into actual coherent sentences in a masculine voice, they said “you promise you could fucking help her, now she’s tied like a goddamn animal.”
A quieter, feminine voice responded with “I’ve been trying my best. Maybe we can-”
The seeming voice of reason was cut off by the masculine voice. “You stupid bitch, she’d be better off in a home like that other doctor suggested.” After that voice finished it’s sentence, a man walked out of the hospital room where the action had taken place. The man was short and seemed to be in his fifties, he walked with unusual presumed importance, he brushed his black hair atop his head backwards. As he passed me in the corridor his face showed a look of resentment, like he was scowling at the world around him.
Following the man out the room was a woman in dark blue scrubs. Her dark brown braided hair was tied at the back of her head. She pushed her rectangular framed glasses further onto her nose framing her round brown eyes. She turned to me when she noticed me staring, “is there something I can help you with?” her tone was somewhat accusatory but surprisingly tame considering the verbal abuse hurled at her mere moments ago.
“Just admiring the shit show” my response was a little crass but the words trickled out before I could stop them.
Thankfully, the woman was receptive and gratified me with a reply. “Glad someone enjoyed the show. So you here for a late night ER visit?” her almond skin glistened with a slight sheen of sweat as she indulged my attempt at conversation.
“No, I was applying for a counsellor position. I’m Dr [REDACTED] Shaw by the way,” I then held out my hand giving her the option to shake.
She shook it gently. “Dr Aliyah Tarwater, nice to meet you, future colleague.”
“Same to you” Aliyah crossed the corridor and sat down on a bench against the wall, I sat next to her. “So what was that all about, when that guy was shouting his head off.”
She looked at me. “You really want to know?”
“I did ask, and I don't have much else to do tonight.”
She broke eye contact and looked at the adjacent wall before turning back to me. “I’ll tell ya then.”
***
The Situation as Explained by Dr Aliyah Tarwater:
Aliyah: So you saw Rafael right?
Dr Shaw: The grumpy guy?
Aliyah: That’s him. His mother is my patient, she’s the one you probably heard screaming down the halls.
[Dr Tarwater pointed to the room she had walked out of earlier.]
Aliyah: She’s in there.
Dr Shaw: What is she in for?
Aliyah: Delusional parasitosis.
Dr Shaw: Bugs under the skin. You sure they're not real?
Aliyah: It's the word of multiple doctors and dermatologists as well as numerous scans, and tests versus her word. Who are you more likely to believe?
Dr Shaw: I suppose you're right.
Aliyah: At least that's what she believes, bugs under the skin I mean. We've tried everything to convince her there's nothing, but she's a stubborn old bat and is a firm denier of plausible science.
Dr Shaw: What does she believe is crawling under her skin then?
Aliyah: Botfly larvae, or something adjacent whatever she decides on the day. She originally came in after being stung by a mosquito.
Dr Shaw: Will she not take antipsychotics?
Aliyah: She's adamantly against them. It seems old Katharina doesn't trust her doctor. The only reason she's here is because Rafael brought her.
Dr Shaw: Why did he bring her in? Wouldn't she be better in some form of therapy?
Aliyah: She’s in psychiatric holding.
Dr Shaw: Can you say why?
Aliyah: I’ve probably shared too much already, but fuck it. I need another pair of eyes on this anyway.
Dr Shaw: However I can help, I'm at your service.
Aliyah: Fine I'll trust you, for now.
Dr Shaw: I’ll take what I can get.
Aliyah: Mrs Freudenmann decided she wanted to prove there was something under her skin, can you guess how?
Dr Shaw: I’ll let you explain.
Aliyah: She sliced open her forearm, obviously to get the bugs out she needed to remove the skin.
Dr Shaw: Jesus.
Aliyah: Yeah, surprised she didn't pass out from shock. Plus she refuses sedation so when she gets worked up and starts screaming bloody murder we have to strap her down and hope she calms down.
Dr Shaw: Surely you should be able to sedate her, it is for her own good.
Aliyah: Higher ups want to respect her wishes. So as I struggle to keep her from tearing her skin off they sit back and relish in their own superiority.
Dr Shaw: A patient too stubborn to take drugs, and firmly against sedation and a hospital higher ups too chicken shit to insist it's for her own good. Quite the conundrum.
Aliyah: Don’t forget her son who would rather place his mother in a home, where she’ll be strapped down, dosed and rot away in her final years of life.
Dr Shaw: Where does he want to send her?
Aliyah: It’s some long term psychiatric hospital.
Dr Shaw: Is that a good place for her?
Aliyah: Well I doubt she’ll be around for too long if I’m honest. She’s in her early eighties, eighty-two I think.
Dr Shaw: So it's a death sentence.
Aliyah: Arguably, yes.
Dr Shaw: She’s in there correct?
Aliyah: Yeah, peer in if you want. Try not to rile her up though.
[I did as Aliyah instructed and creeped closer to the door to Katharina’s room. Inside, an old woman clearly in her eighties, was led down on a bed. Her arms and legs firmly tied to the bed. After getting a brief look I retreated back to Dr Tarwater.]
Dr Shaw: You think she’ll self harm if you don’t restrain her then?
Aliyah: We know she will. She tried to when she first got here.
Dr Shaw: So what happens now? You cant sedate her, she won't take drugs. How do you go about helping her? Or is it just a waiting game until Rafael sends her off?
Aliyah: I was hoping you’d have some insight. Hell that’s why I’m risking it by telling you about Katharina.
Dr Shaw: I’m all for helping however I can, but I do have one request.
Aliyah: That depends on the request.
Dr Shaw: I want to meet her. Katharina I mean.
Aliyah: That’s fine. But you are aware how little time you have right?
Dr Shaw: How long do we have?
Aliyah: Rafael wants to finalise the paperwork, but that involves contacting the psychiatric hospital. We have until tomorrow morning at most. Can you work with that?
Dr Shaw: I can certainly try.
***
An overview is perhaps in order. Katharina Freudenmann, aged eighty-two suffered from a delusional disorder manifesting as delusional parasitosis (DP). DP is characterised as “an infrequent psychotic illness characterized by an unshaken belief of having been infested by a parasite when one is not”, according to Dr Tarwater, Mrs Freudenmann believed that she had an unknown bug or insect under her skin.
Katharina is adamantly against the use of antipsychotics, which eliminates the usual pharmaceutical treatment used in cases such as these. Furthermore the patient refuses sedation, this could be circumvented if the hospital higher ups would allow Aliyah to go against Mrs Freudenman’s wishes, however they won’t. As a result Aliyah has to resort to strapping Katharina down, no matter how inhumane it seems.
Then there's the final problem. Katharina is prone to self harming and as a precaution her son (one Rafael Freudenmann) has decided to have her placed into a full time psychiatric hospital. Effectively, imprisoning her for however long she has left. Even though Aliyah seemed against Rafael’s solution it is not like she has an effective alternate solution.
This is the conundrum. The time constraints meant I only had one night. My next move was to speak with Katharina Freudenmann herself.
***
Meeting Katharina Freudenmann:
[Mrs Freudenmannn was quiet in her bed. Her limbs were strapped down to the bed with expertise, as a result her movement was severely hindered. As I walked into the hospital room followed by Aliyah, Katharina seemed to reawaken from her dormant state she had been in when we first entered the room. Her eyes seemed to follow me as her hands reached over exposed areas of her skin, she was trying to scratch her skin.]
Dr Shaw: Hello Mrs Freudenmann, my name is Dr Shaw, I’m here to assist with your treatment.
Katharina: Maybe you'll finally listen to me then! None of the other doctors can help me.
Dr Shaw: I will do my best. Can you help me understand what's wrong?
Katharina: They're under my skin.
Dr Shaw: What’s under your skin?
Katharina: Bugs, doctor.
Dr Shaw: Do I need to consult an entomologist or will you elaborate on what kind of insect is under your skin?
Katharina: Botfly larvae. A fat maggot.
Dr Shaw: Just the one?
Katharina: At first it was just one, then the doctors ignored it and there's more.
Dr Shaw: How many precisely would you say?
Katharina: Hundreds.
Dr Shaw: That many?
Katharina: There has to be, I've felt them crawling under the skin all over my body.
Dr Shaw: Any other major symptoms except feeling the larvae crawl under your skin?
Katharina: No but all this- It's all the other doctors fault.
Dr Shaw: Dr Tarwater’s fault?
Katharina: Her and every other lying professional.
Dr Shaw: Lying professionals? How many doctors have also shot down your story.
Katharina: Five, including Dr Tarwater.
Dr Shaw: So the doctors ignored your visits and the botfly larvae multiplied.
Katharina: That’s right.
Dr Shaw: But isn’t it also true that you originally came in after being stung by a mosquito?
Katharina: Well yes but-
Dr Shaw: So a mosquito implanted you with botfly larvae?
Katharina: Well I uh.
[An inconsistency, it's no wonder doctors wouldn't believe her story, it was completely nonsensical. Katharina was under the impression that being bit by a mosquito had infested her with hundred of botfly larvae, if the story itself was so fantastical the other doctors who also confirm the impossibility should be enough to deter me from believing Mrs Freudenmann’s claims. However, I sensed she didn't need another naysayer at that moment.]
Dr Shaw: There’s no need to explain I believe you Katharina.
Katharina: Thank you.
Dr Shaw: Can you start by telling where and when you were bit by the mosquito.
Katharina: It was while on holiday in Brazil, we stayed at a shitty hotel and a mosquito flew in and stung me right here-
[Katharina tried to lift up her arms but the restaurants stopped her. I turned to Aliyah who was standing in the doorway to the hospital room.]
Dr Shaw: Dr Tarwater is there any chance we can allow Mrs Freudenmann some moving room?
Aliyah: Are you sure that's wise Dr Shaw?
Dr Shaw: I don’t see why not. Do you know of any reason Katharina?
Katharina: No doctor.
Aliyah: If that’s what you need.
[Dr Tarwater’s tone betrayed obvious distrust but she did as I requested and freed Katharina from her restraints.]
Katharina: Thank you doctor.
[Even though Katharina utilised the title doctor it felt as though she were only addressing me. This is odd because it suggests that Mrs Freudemann showed some animosity towards Aliyah, even though the latter had only been trying to help her.]
Katharina: Where was I?
Dr Shaw: You were explaining where you bit.
Katharina: Here.
[Mrs Freudenmann lifted up her right elbow and directed me to the tricep.]
Katharina: Back there.
[I moved closer to the spot of the bite and examined it.]
Dr Shaw: How long ago was the bite?
Katharina: A few weeks.
Dr Shaw: Can you be anymore specific?
Aliyah: It was three weeks ago, well three weeks ago when Mrs Freudenmann first came to us.
Dr Shaw: So the bite was at least three weeks ago. And you were on holiday in Brazil. The bite was in the right bicep. Is there anything else you can tell me?
[Katharina shifted to a more comfortable position.]
Katharina: I don-
Rafael: What the fuck is going on?
[Unbeknownst to me, Katharina’s adult son Rafael entered the room. His large frame was imposing as he shoved past Aliyah and moved towards me. He was obviously trying to intimidate me.]
Dr Shaw: Ah, you must be Mr Freudenmann.
Rafael: Who the fuck are you.
Dr Shaw: I’m Dr Shaw, I am here to consult on your mother’s case.
Rafael: Why isn't she tied up?
[Because I needed her to trust me.]
Dr Shaw: We were allowing Katharina to show us where she was bitten.
Rafael: She was tied up for a reason.
[Shit.]
Rafael: Tie her up befor-
[I had forgotten a key fact that Aliyah had explained in her original explanation of Mrs Freudenmann’s case.]
Dr Shaw: Shit.
Aliyah: Get the restraints.
[Katharina was prone to self harm.]
***
My oversight had allowed Mrs Freudenamn to go unchecked. After Aliyah commanded it we set about reattaching Katharina’s restraints to stop her from causing anymore damage to herself. In the time that we had been talking, Mrs Freudenmann had moved slightly, I had originally believed she was moving into a more comfortable position, this original explanation was wrong. Instead she was simply moving her arms out of my view. She then started to scratch at the skin on her arms, when the patches of skin turned red she didn't stop. When sections of her skin started to peel off she carried on. Finally when she made her way into the bloody underside of her skin she didn't stop, because in her mind the bugs were simply deeper.
After we noticed her attempt at self harm Dr Tarwater immediately rushed to her side and proceeded to quell the bleeding appendage. I assisted however I could, my contributions however were mostly bringing tools and equipment to Aliyah. Meanwhile Rafael stood aimlessly, quietly panicking to himself while his mother lay bleeding from her injury.
After about forty minutes, Mrs Freudenmann’s arm was fully bandaged and she lay sleeping, content with her work. It was Rafael who roughly shoved me out of the hospital room and sharply against the corridor wall. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing to my mother!” his words barely registered as his forearm pressed against my windpipe. I doubt I could even respond, I was in shock. My careless behaviour had allowed Mrs Freudenmann to harm herself. “Don’t fucking ignore me” he screamed as his arm released my neck and instead his fist buried itself in my stomach, winding me.
Of course Rafael’s actions only made it so speaking (let alone breathing) was impossible. At some point I believed Aliyah spoke up in my defence and calmed Rafael down, however it was clear to me, he did not want me to see Katharina again. An idea reinforced when Aliyah escorted me away and told me so herself.
***
A Conversation with Dr Aliyah Tarwater:
[Aliyah led me outside the hospital where the following conversation took place.]
Aliyah: Well that was an absolute shit show.
Dr Shaw: Yeah.
[My response was short, but in the moment I was in shock. I had let an elderly woman harm herself because I had overlooked a crucial fact about her case. I had failed her and as a result she had suffered the severe consequences.]
Aliyah: What were you trying to do by untying her?
Dr Shaw: I don’t know.
[Sheepishly, my hands went to my stomach the pain of being punched resonating there and in my throat.]
Aliyah: Yeah that answer is not going to cut it.
Dr Shaw: …
Aliyah: Do I need to remind you that I just sewed up and old woman arms after she peeled her own skin off with her fucking fingernails. Surely, you aren’t this much of a pushover with your patients?
Dr Shaw: What am I supposed to say, I made a call and she took advantage of my fuck up. I fucked up.
Aliyah: You fucked up, yes. But you're not going to give up, are you?
Dr Shaw: Is that a question?
Aliyah: No. It’s an order.
Dr Shaw: Is that so.
Aliyah: It is.
Dr Shaw: Right.
Aliyah: Now, tell me. Why did you want to free Mrs Freudenmann?
Dr Shaw: It was an idea I had.
Aliyah: What’s the idea?
Dr Shaw: She’s been told constantly for weeks she's delusional. First she gets stung, then she's told she's fine and sent home, but she can feel something under her skin.
Aliyah: She has the doctors telling her one truth while her symptoms suggest another. What’s your point?
Dr Shaw: My point is she wants to believe the doctors but only has concrete evidence to the contrary. This evidence, her tactile hallucinations, have been ignored completely by a myriad of medical professionals.
Aliyah: But her tactile hallucinations are false, why would any medical professional feed into it? She is delusional after all wouldn't it only hinder her recovery if her doctors lie to her.
Dr Shaw: But to Katharina, the doctors are already lying to her. I don’t doubt she has delusional parasitosis, a somatic delusion of some sort, but I propose she has another delusion.
Aliyah: And what would that be?
Dr Shaw: She has a persecutory delusion.
Aliyah: Go on.
Dr Shaw: People with this type of delusional disorder can believe that they, or someone else, is being mistreated. In Mrs Freudenmann’s case her trusted health professionals, and her family are ignoring her symptoms instead they are lying about what she feels to be real.
Aliyah: So you think she won’t accept the diagnosis because she believes that what the docs are telling her is bullshit.
Dr Shaw: Exactly.
Aliyah: Now the original question, why did you want to untie her?
Dr Shaw: I was trying to get her to trust me.
Aliyah: What would that accomplish.
Dr Shaw: It was my idea that if she believes a doctor is agreeing that her diagnosis of larvae under the skin is correct, then any treatment suggested she would be more inclined to accept.
Aliyah: …
Dr Shaw: Is my reasoning flawed.
Aliyah: No in theory it makes sense, but surely just nodding and saying “I believe you” isn't enough.
Dr Shaw: Why’s that?
Aliyah: The sudden change in narrative is suspicious.
Dr Shaw: …
Aliyah: Think of it another way, say four people told you the sky is green, you as a rational person look up and see the sky is blue. Then say another person is introduced who states the sky is blue, on the surface they agree with you, but they were introduced into the scenario by the people who don't agree with you. Does this make sense?
Dr Shaw: I believe so. It's like Asch’s conformity study. You perceive one truth, but everyone else suggests another, you're more likely to believe the group, or go along with what the group says.
Aliyah: However then another variable is introduced, another variable that agrees with your argument except you are less inclined to trust them as they were introduced by the same force that disagrees with you.
Dr Shaw: So you question why they were introduced.
Aliyah: And from Katharina’s point of view, you're that introduced variable. From her perspective you should be telling her she's delusional, but you’re not. Instead you're agreeing with her.
Dr Shaw: And so she doesn't trust me.
Aliyah: So she turns to what she knows will prove her point, she tries to remove her skin.
Dr Shaw: It's a problem of belief. How do we convince Katharina that we believe her story wholeheartedly?
Aliyah: Well you've got time to think about that.
Dr Shaw: What do you mean?
Aliyah: I doubt Rafael is going to let you back in after the last session went so poorly.
Dr Shaw: You're right there.
Aliyah: He is in the waiting room, so you could try to convince him.
Dr Shaw: You think that could work?
Aliyah: I hope it does, this could be Katharina’s last night here if Rafael finishes that paperwork.
Dr Shaw: No pressure then.
Aliyah: No pressure.
***
That was my hypothesis, delusional parasitosis in conjunction with a persecutory delusion that stopped her from trusting any medical authority trying to give Mrs Freudenmann an alternative explanation for her symptoms. Dr Tarwater’s proposed explanation for Katharina’s distrust makes sense as well, since I was the only doctor to not present a unified front on her diagnosis, she was less inclined to trust me. As a result she took the first opportunity to prove she claims herself.
However, as Dr Tarwater pointed out, Mrs Freudenmann was not my most immediate issue. Instead it was her son who I needed to speak to. Aliyah was correct in her knowledge as I found Rafael in the waiting room of the hospital, and it was in the waiting room I confronted him.
***
A Conversation with Rafael Freudenmann:
[Rafael was slumped over in a waiting room chair, I was hesitant at first to approach him at first after the beating I had received earlier in the night. I could still feel an uneasiness in my stomach but my throat had steadily recovered.]
Dr Shaw: M- Mr Freudenmann.
[I stumbled over my words a little more shaken up than I cared to admit to myself. Nonetheless my cowardly opener caught Rafael’s attention. When he looked to see me the same rage I had seen earlier flashed over his face.
Rafael: What the fuck do you want?
Dr Shaw: I’m here to discuss your mother.
[I braced myself and took a step back when Rafael raised to his feet.]
Rafael: Haven’t you done enough.
Dr Shaw: I don’t think so, I still aim to help your mother.
Rafael: You will not go anywhere near her.
Dr Shaw: That’s why I’m here talking to you.
Rafael: What?
Dr Shaw: You already made it very clear that you don’t want me to see-
[Rafael moved towards me with a few steps, he caught me off guard and I stumbled backwards falling to the ground. Rafael smirked slightly, my fall giving him some form of pleasure.]
Rafael: Pathetic.
[Rafael started to walk away, meanwhile I got back up to my feet, a little unsteadily. I followed after him the best I could.]
Dr Shaw: Wait!
[My shouts fell on deaf ears.]
Dr Shaw: Mr Freudenmann!
[He kept walking.]
Dr Shaw: Rafael!
[No response.]
Dr Shaw: Stop-
[One option.]
Dr Shaw: How old is your mother?
[He stopped.]
Dr Shaw: She’s in her eighties right? Eighty-two eighty-three?
[Eighty-two was right, but that wasn't the point, now Rafael was listening to me.]
Dr Shaw: Some might say she doesn't have much time left. And I hear you're sending her to an institution. That is quite cruel wouldn't you say?
Rafael: What are you implying?
Dr Shaw: I am only stating that the average life expectancy in the UK for a woman is eighty-two. Katharina is already “on the brink” as it were.
Rafael: So?
Dr Shaw: So I am saying that you would rather have your mother live her last few years freely wouldn't you?
Rafael: Of Cours-
Dr Shaw: Is that why you're so inclined to ship her off to a mental institution where she’d be doped up twenty-four seven, She could only see her family once every week. At least to me it sounds like a rather cruel fate.
[Of course I was exaggerating, Mrs Freudenmann’s life would not be ideal but I wanted to play up the horror in order to tug on Rafael’s conscience.]
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: Now I have no doubt you’ve done research and know that what I’m saying is factual. But then that raises a question, are you wilfully ignorant of where you're sending Katharina or do you simply not care?
Rafael: You fucking bastard.
[He took a step towards me but I was ready this time and nimbly danced back a few feet holding out my hands defensively in response.]
Dr Shaw: You didn’t actually answer.
Rafael: I’ll fucking-
Dr Shaw: You won’t do a fucking thing if you actually care bout your mother.
[He stopped his approach and seemed to listen to my words.]
Rafael: What?
Dr Shaw: Before tonight your only option was locking your mother in an institution is that a wrong assessment?
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: I’ll assume that silence was a yes. But then I showed up, and I’m here to help. So far all you've done is spit in my face and shit over my help-
Rafael: Help! All you’ve done is let my mother tear at her own skin. If I wanted her to kill herself I'd have let her rip off her skin in the comfort of her own goddamn home.
Dr Shaw: But that would be too quick wouldn't it? You'd rather she rot away wouldn't you, no guilt if you don’t watch her die is there?
Rafael: You-
Dr Shaw: Let me speak!
[My voice obviously cracked there as I shouted, it garnered the attention of a few night staff who started to look over in our direction. I think the unwanted attention was enough for Rafael to let me speak.]
Rafael: Say what you have to.
Dr Shaw: Tonight, yes I fucked up. But I am still here begging for another chance to help.
Rafael: Why should I trust your bullshit?
Dr Shaw: You have no reason to, except that I am your last chance.
Rafael: What?
Dr Shaw: I am the last chance you have to keep your mother in your life.
Rafael: That’s not-
Dr Shaw: Not true? But isn't it? Who’s going to help her when she’s a docile shell of herself so high she can’t even have a conversation? Which is what will happen if you don’t give me one more chance.
Rafael: No, that's not going to happen.
[he seemed to shrink back now, before he had been so sure, now he was questioning himself. Second guessing his decision. Perfect.]
Dr Shaw: Can you really say that for certain?
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: I’m not asking for my own sake, I am asking for Katharina’s. Don’t accept my help for me, do it for her. Do it for Katharina.
[His head was bowed now, his eyes reddened as he held back tears.]
Rafael: C- can you actually help her?
Dr Shaw: I’m going to try.
***
My conversation with Rafael was certainly unorthodox and arguably very unethical. My obvious bartering played on his guilt over the decision to institutionalise his mother, but in the moment I felt this was necessary. If I didn't, then it’s likely that Rafael would have completely rebuffed my request, instead I was successful in gaining another meeting with Katharina, regardless of the ethical concerns.
Once the Rafael obstacle was dealt with, I returned to Aliyah. In the time since our last conversation, I had concocted an idea, an idea that needed both Dr Tarater’s help and Rafael’s help. Suffice it to say Aliyah was sceptical of my plan, even questioning why I needed certain supplies. Her reaction can be summed up as “you’re crazy but If Rafael is okay with it, I am willing to help.”
Thankfully, after a lengthy conversation, Mr Freudenmann agreed to my plan. Although the conversation was more me attempting to break his spirit down until I obtained his consent to perform the operation on his mother. The operation itself is below.
***
The Operation on Katharina Freudenmann:
[As I requested before the operation, Katharina had been tied to the bed and we only started when she was drifting into sleep. We sharply woke her up by shaking the hospital bed, Katharina in response tried to move in her restraints. I tried to ease her.]
Dr Shaw: Katharina, I’m sorry to disturb you but we need to perform an emergency surgery.
[Hesitantly, I let the lies slip from my mouth and Katharina's face went from confusion to fear quickly.]
Rafael: Listen to him mother, he’s gonna get those worms out of you.
[So easily a lie can jump from one person to another as Rafael interjected with the line I had fed to him earlier. Rafael’s eyes flicked to me as he grasped his mother’s arms, it was as if he was silently asking: “was that right?” or “This better work.”]
Katharina: I- I don't understand.
[That’s the idea.]
Aliyah: Mrs Freudenmann, this will hurt, we can give you a local anaesthetic to numb the pain but only if you agree.
Katharina: Please someone- tell me what's happening.
Aliyah: Dr Shaw has been working on removing the larvae, we used hydromoxiderine solution to congregate the bugs, they're attracted to it. Can you feel them moving?
Katharina: Y- yes I can.
[I’m sure you believe that Katharina. However, your fictitious bugs are about as real as the made up “hydromoxiderine solution” we just lied about. That's two people I’ve convinced to lie to you now, please let a unified front of three be enough to help you.]
Dr Shaw: Do you want the anaesthetic?
[Please take it.]
Katharina: I uh.
[Aliyah started to make the first incision in the flesh on Katharina’s arm, she cried out in pain.]
Katharina: Yes! Please use the anaesthetic.
[I slipped the needle into the area on her ram that we were cutting into, the area would be numbed so Katharina would definitely not be able to feel a thing.]
Dr Shaw: Are you okay to proceed Katharina?
Katharina: C- can I see what you're doing?
[That wouldn't be ideal but you're probably not going to take no for an answer.]
Dr Shaw: Rafael, grab that mirror and show her.
Rafael: Are you sure?
Dr Shaw: Yes.
[Rafael did as I requested after some resistance. He grabbed a hand mirror that was left on the table side in the hospital room and positioned it over the incision site Aliyah had made. It was angled so that Katharina could see the operation without getting up from her laid down position.]
Katharina: Oh god-
[Her face emanated shock as through the mirror’s reflection she watched Aliyah pluck maggots out of the incision.]
Katharina: I don't want to see anymore.
[Rafael removed the mirror and Katharina shut her eyes tightly. Aliyah flashed me a worried expression, of course this was faux concern more to convince Katharina than anything else.]
Aliyah: Not that long now, just a few left.
Rafael: You're doing so well mum.
[Aliyah removed the last of maggot from the bloody incision site. Of course these maggots weren't the larvae Katharina had believed were crawling under her skin, in fact they weren't even larvae to begin with, they were maggots. They were part of the maggot stock that St Ann’s kept on site to use to clean wounds.]
Katharina: Hghn.
[Katharina winced, not from pain but more a fearful cry and Aliyah started to sew up her incision. After an hour long lie we were done.]
Aliyah: Mrs Freudenmann how are you feeling?
Katharina: Is it over?
Rafael: Yes ma, it is.
Katharina: Are they all gone?
Dr Shaw: Yes, in fact we would like to prescribe you something.
Katharina: What?
Dr Shaw: Olanzapine, it needs to be taken regularly and it will stop re-infestation.
Katharina: Re-infestation?
Dr Shaw: It will kill off any remaining larvae, but you need to keep taking it in order to build up a resistance.
[The lies flowed easily now.]
Katharina: That drug stops them?
Dr Shaw: Yes. We've done what we can to remove them but you need to take the pill in order to stop them coming back. Can you do that?
Katharina: …
Dr Shaw: You were right Katharina, after all those doctors missed the signs you persisted and now they're out.
Katharina: I was right?
Dr Shaw: Yes, yes you were.
Katharina: I’ll do it, I'll take it.
Dr Shaw: That is what we like to hear, Dr Tarwater and I will leave you two alone for now, when you can Rafael come outside and we’ll get your first prescription of olanzapine.
Rafael: Alright doctor.
Katharina: Thank you Dr Shaw, for being honest.
[Her words stung but my response hurt more.]
Dr Shaw: You’re very welcome Katharina.
[Aliyah and I took our exit and swiftly walked down the corridor, far enough away from Mrs Freudenmann’s room to avoid our voices traveling.]
Aliyah: Do you think it’ll stick?
Dr Shaw: Her taking the medication? Then yeah, we’ve given her enough reason to believe us, so she has no reason not to take it.
Aliyah: Hopefully, she doesn’t end up back here.
Dr Shaw: If it worked then she shouldn't. Thanks for going along with it though.
Aliyah: You mean thanks for lying?
Dr Shaw: Yeah.
Aliyah: …
Dr Shaw: Are you alright?
Aliyah: Was it right? I mean we lied to an eighty year old woman, cut her open and pretended to pull maggots out of her. Obviously, it crosses ethical lines but is what we did wrong?
Dr Shaw: We helped her. I think that’s what we should focus on. Yes we lied, but we lied to help her.
Aliyah: Is your job always this morally grey?
Dr Shaw: I’m new to this, so I-
[I was interrupted by Rafael making his way over to us.]
Rafael: Did you get the pills?
Aliyah: I’ll go get them and leave you two to talk.
[Aliyah gave me a sheepish smile as she walked away.]
Dr Shaw: How’s Katharina?
Rafael: She’s fine, happy to be bug free.
Dr Shaw: I have to thank you for going along with the plan. It probably wouldn't have worked if you weren't there.
Rafael: Was there any truth to what you said?
Dr Shaw: Basically no.
Rafael: It was all lies?
Dr Shaw: Hydromoxiderine solution was an improvised bit on Dr Tarwater’s part, it helped but it was a complete fabrication.
Rafael: And the olanzapine?
Dr Shaw: Oh olanzapine’s real, I just lied about what it does.
Rafael: What is it then?
Dr Shaw: Olanzapine is an antipsychotic used to treat delusional parasitosis, I just told Katharina it would treat actual ectoparasitosis.
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: Ectoparasitosis is when a patient actually has a parasite under their skin.
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: Rafael, are you aware of what you have to do now?
Rafael: I have to make sure she takes the pills.
Dr Shaw: There’s that, but there's something else?
Rafael: What?
Dr Shaw: I asked you to lie in there because I needed Katharina to see everyone agreeing on one truth, you understand that?
Rafael: She needed everyone to agree on something?
Dr Shaw: Yes. Katharina needed to believe us and we could only do that by all giving the same story. But then there's what happens next.
Rafael: And what’s that?
Dr Shaw: You can never tell her truth.
Rafael: What are you saying?
Dr Shaw: She needs to believe that Aliyah and I did our job, she needs to believe it worked and if you ever tell her that we lied it could undo all the progress we made here tonight.
Rafael: But surely-
Dr Shaw: She will only take the pills if what she believes is in line with what we told her.
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: Alright think of it this way, if you do not keep this secret, she will surely self harm again. Then you’ll be right back here, your only option to institutionalise her. Do you understand?
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: If you don’t lie, you will lose her.
Rafael: …
Dr Shaw: I’m asking you to lie not for your sake but for your mother’s. If she means anything to you, you will do as I ask. Can you do that?
Rafael: I have to.
Dr Shaw: Now you understand.
[It was then that Aliyah returned with a bottle of olanzapine pills, she held pills out to Rafael.]
Aliyah: One every morning, taken with water.
Rafael: Thanks.
[Rafael took the pills and started walking away, but stopped a few meters away from us.]
Rafael: I’ll do as you said.
[He then carried on walking away, leaving Aliyah and I alone.]
Aliyah: What was that for?
Dr Shaw: I told him the truth.
Aliyah: Oh.
***
Mrs Freudenmann has not been back in the hospital since. I may have only spent one night with Katharina Freudenmann but her case changed me, my actions may be considered reprehensible in retrospect, but at the time my only concern was helping Katharina.
On the surface Katharina’s case may seem trivial but for an elderly woman suffering from delusional parasitosis prone to self harm, I believe I did the best I could. At the time I suggested she also had a persecutory delusion, I have limited evidence to back up this claim but it would explain her tendency to refute the diagnoses given by medical professionals.
The final surgery itself was entirely theatrical. I had Dr Aliyah Tarwater reopen the cut Katharina had made earlier on her arm. Then, in that cut we placed twelve maggots from St Ann’s supply into the cut (of course these maggots were entirely clean and safe to use and they had come from the hospital). When Katharina asked to see the fake operation the bloody scene was enough to convince her that we actually removed larvae from under her skin.
The “surgery” itself was more to convince Katharina that her story was legitimate and that our treatment was actually working. The idea was that if she believed in the treatment she would be willing to take the medication to reduce the symptoms from the delusion (the symptom in question being the tactile hallucinations from the DP).
It was an exercise in lies with a noble cause to help an ailing elderly woman. Whether it was the right decision is unclear but from my position I stopped a woman from wasting away in a hospital for the rest of her life, however long that may be.
End of notes concerning patient #1-02 also known as Katharina Freudenmann.
submitted by GrimwaII to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 00:24 MegatronSackTap Recording In Progress

So, I’m writing this today for a few different reasons. Firstly, I’ve always been aware of these creepy stories I’d see online, but I’ve been seeing them more, and more lately. I’m not sure if it’s just due to the Halloween season creeping up on us, or if these kinds of events have become more frequent lately. Either way, I thought it was finally time I share my own experience here.
I’ve never really talked to anyone about this before, partly because I didn’t think anyone would believe it, and partly because I’m still not entirely sure what happened myself. But what happened that night has definitely stuck with me, no matter how dream-like it may seem in hindsight, in those moments it was as real to me as the nose on my face. That kind of terror doesn’t just go away so easily, no matter how hard your brain tries to rationalize it.
In order to understand the situation better here’s some context. I work as a closing manager for an old retail store, one of the chains of stores that died off in the early 2000’s, and only a few locations still exist. It’s always nerve racking trying to keep our sales up, and the doors open, but since we’re so far out from any overseeing corporation, we’re allowed to function on our own, making decisions and store changes as we please. Because of this we’re all more like friends than coworkers, and we have each others backs whenever something comes up, be it a problem customer, or a surprise visit from our regional manager.
The thing about the store is that we don’t have a lot of firm rules and regulations that we uphold on the day to day aside from keeping the store in order, helping customers, and making sure the tills don’t go over a certain dollar amount without being pulled, and reset. All the usual sort of stuff. When it comes to closing the store, there’s a rule that requires us to always leave the store in pairs. That means whenever there is anyone in the store closing up, or anyone going into the parking lot at night, we need to exit in pairs. The other managers always speculated that it was some corporate policy to keep managers from stealing from the safe, or someone from getting mugged in the parking lot. To be honest, none of us really minded the rule all that much as it protected us from being suspected of theft, and the area is actually a bit dicey at night.
I always followed this rule pretty diligently, until one night a few associates were going to get some drinks, and wanted to head out early. They invited me to go along, but I still had till’s to settle, and the safe to deal with before I could leave. In hindsight, if I knew then what I know now, I never would have stayed there alone. I would have had them stay a bit later with me, and we could have all gone out together, a round on me for the delay. But as they say, hindsight’s 20/20. I didn’t make them stay, I let the others out and told them to have a good time as I locked up the front doors behind them.
What happened next was a series of bizarre events, that I still think about to this day. After locking up the front door, and the shudder gate behind it, I went back to the cash office to finish settling the till for register one. Normally I listened to music on my phone while I did this, as the store music could be heard through the walls of the cash office, and was generally pretty annoying. But my phone was at 3% at that point, and I didn’t want to drain it completely unless I needed it on the way home.
Funny thing about the terrible music that played in the store, is that there are only two ways to turn off the music, the most common being to pick up one of the store phones, and use the intercom to just silence it out with the white noise. This wasn’t uncommon among the older managers who’d worked there for years, as they hated listening to the overly poppy out of date music after hours. The second way to turn that awful music off, would be to go into the electrical closet, locate the correct switch, and turn it off manually. But that was more dangerous as nothing is clearly labeled and flipping the wrong switch could cause power loss to our computers, registers, or even our security alarm, automatically calling the alarm company, and local PD. Needless to say, we usually avoid doing that, and just opt for the intercom system, leaving a phone off the hook, just remembering to put it back before we leave for the night.
This night I had just let the music play, as it didn’t bother me as much as the quiet would, and I was hoping to finish up, and be out of the store shortly. I mention this detail, because just as I was finishing up the verification of the first register I realized that the music had stopped playing. I wasn’t sure when exactly it happened, but it was like one minute “I saw the sun...” was droning in the background, and then silence. I turned around to look at the monitor behind me that shows one aisle in the store leading all the way to the doors out back, where our break room and receiving are. The monitor was a direct feed to the one, and only camera in the store, and despite the “Recording In Progress” sign displayed on the aisle’s corrisponding monitor, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Our store didn’t have the funds for more camera’s, let along a way of storing recordings, so all we had was a live feed. The monitor was displaying the aisle as always, empty, except for the occasional buzzing line that would roll down the screen.
I thought it was strange that the radio was off, and began to wonder if maybe someone had been left behind in the store. It’s true that I hadn’t walked the store after locking up, and I never checked the break room to make sure everyone had left as a group. I started kicking myself in the back for not making sure, although in the back of my mind I was playing out everyone’s faces as they’d left, and I had been so sure they were all together. Leaving the cash office I shut the door behind me, and stepped out into the main store area, half expecting to see a grumpy employee, ready to be let out. But there was no one near the front. I thought of calling out to see if anyone was around, but for some reason, my gut told me not to. I’m not sure if it’s from all the crime shows I watched growing up, or what, but I scanned the areas of the store that I could see, and found no one. So I walked over the keypad by the door, and watched the display to make sure our back entrance was locked down correctly. The display cycled through each point of security in the store “Area 1 Armed” our receiving area in the back of the store, “Area 2 Ready To Arm” the cash office that I’d just come from “Area 3 Ready To Arm” and finally the alarm for the store’s entrance, and motion sensor that engages when we leave for the night. All seemed to be in order there, so there’s no way someone came in from the outside.
With that realization I relaxed a bit of the tension that built up in my shoulders. I hadn’t noticed it was there until I let it go. I thought I should do a walk of the store, and check out the break room just to make sure no one had been left behind back there. I was a little freaked out at first, but started relaxing when I reminded myself about the alarms on the exits, the locked doors, and shudders keeping anyone that might want to get in, out. Despite all the rationalizing however, I couldn’t fully relax that last bit of concern I had in my gut. The silence stretching across the store served as a reminder that something was still off.
Kicking myself in the back again for letting everyone go early, and not checking the store properly, I grabbed a pair of dull scissors from the customer service desk, and went about checking all the phone receivers before heading out back. The phones were all on the hook, nothing out of the ordinary, aside from the silence. Somehow that didn’t help settle my stomach at all.
As I walked down the main aisles of the store I peaked down each row, feeling like any minute I might pass by Rachel, or Mark on their way to the front. Maybe we’d both have a laugh and say something like “You scared me!” before heading out together. But I never did. Each empty aisle felt like another knot twisting up my intestines. The eerie silence of the store stretching out for eternity.
If you’ve ever been somewhere after hours, that you shouldn’t have been, you may know this feeling. Staying after school until the sun goes down, staying late at work by yourself, or falling asleep somewhere like a bus or a train, and waking up to find you’re all alone in a place that doesn’t feel natural when it’s so empty and quiet? Yeah, that sort of feeling. Like you’re stepping into a place that you never should have been. At least not without the comfort of numbers, or even some kind of ambient sound to break the sort of tension that builds up in a space like that.
When I finally reached the back of the store I felt like there was a pressure building up in me like at any moment it was going to pop. I was so on edge at that point, that I was practically begging to run into someone just to break the tension, just to shake that awful feeling of isolation, and paranoia. As I pushed through the break room doors, a little more forcefully than I’d expected I looked around to see any coats or bags left on hooks to denote the presence of another familiar person. But just as I’d thought, there was nothing there. No rolled up snack bags from lunch, no purse, or coat, or anything else to show that anyone had ever been there. Some part of me must have wondered in that moment if anyone had indeed ever been there before. At that moment I felt more small, and alone, than I’ve ever felt before in my life.
Still the silence stretched on, almost deafening in it’s weight at this point. I never thought there would be a time when I’d give anything to hear those terrible pop songs, and out dated tracks. But there I was, a bundle of nerves, and cooling sweat, wishing I could hear anything but my own tight breath. I gripped the nearly forgotten scissors in my hands to anchor myself. As if to shield me, I put them in front of me as I thought back through the alarms, the locks, the shudders. Nothing could get in, there’s no way anyone would have been in the store with me. Unless they were already in the store before we closed.
As the thought crossed my mind I felt my stomach drop. I’d never considered it before now. “Unless they were already in the store…” my mind repeated over, and over as I licked my dry lips. I’d been so concerned about someone breaking in, that I’d never stopped to consider, that they could have been there all along. I could hear my own pulse, and my fingers felt cold, and clammy around the scissors.
I could feel the tightness in my legs as I tried to bring myself another step towards the receiving area. It was the only other entrance or exist from the store, and there was a phone in the back. The only phone left that could have been using the intercom system. I patted around my pockets with my freehand, realizing then that I’d left my phone in the locked office at the front of the store. I felt so stupid for not bringing it, and at the same time, I felt stupid when I thought about what I would do if I’d brought it. Would I call the police? And tell them what, that I got spooked after breaking protocol and staying in the store by myself? Would I call another manager in the late hours of the night, and ask them to come check out the store with me? The more I thought it over, the more alone I felt. I didn’t know what to do, or what to think, but I decided I needed to at least know for sure what was happening.
I shifted the scissors in my hand, and stiffened up my back. I wasn’t about to look like some fool getting scared of nothing. I was going to face whatever this was head on. After all, it could have just been the wind, or some hooligan messing around the store after hours trying to prank me, or do some silly overnight challenge you see online sometimes. Feeling a new sense of power from that thought I pushed past the receiving doors with a measured degree of caution, and confidence.
The receiving lights are on a motion sensor, and after forty five or so minutes of inactivity will drop into a dim eco mode, where only a quarter of the lights remain on. I’ve been in this store for a few years now, and have gotten used to this, being able to see easily in the dim light, and even knowing how to move through without triggering the old motion sensor. The lights were in eco mode at this point, and somehow that took some of the weight off my shoulders. Knowing that the lights had a long window of time before they timed out, one that surely would have been more than my store walk had taken, and knowing that anyone unfamiliar with our store would have set off the motion sensor, made me feel a sense of safety. In that moment I felt alone again, not the terrifying loneliness I’d felt before, but a more secure sort of independent feeling.
I moved through the big room with ease, past the packed bays, and pallets of overstock, back towards the corded phone, and receiving door. I could feel the tension from before slipping away as I walked through the space. It was familiar to me, and I felt safe again. The store had become like a second home to me over the years, and I felt that I knew all of it’s inner workings like the back of my hand. This was my turf, and any thought of another person lurking around was all but put out of my mind as the room stayed dim, and quiet.
When I reached the phone I saw that it had been knocked off the hook by a cute toy robot our inventory manager kept on the shelf above. I almost laughed at how silly I had been before. The toy must have just fallen, and knocked the phone off it’s base. I put things back as they should be, still smiling about the whole situation as I went back towards the front of the store. This time though I’d put the toy on the opposite end of the shelf. As silly as it may have been, I’d had enough of a scare for that night to last me for a week.
As I was walking up the long aisle leading to the front I looked up at the monitor on the other end. “Recording In Progress”, yeah sure. I often watched that hazy monitor as I approached thinking how lame it was, when we all knew full well it wasn’t really recording anything. But as I smirked up at the monitor in my approach, I saw what looked like a flicker of light clicking on through the receiving door windows.
I felt my blood run cold as the realization dawned on me, that something had just set off the motion sensor light. Something big, and fast enough that the old dim sensor could pick it up. All at once as my pulse picked up I felt my feet carrying me forward before I could even think to move them. I was running then, mindlessly trying to get as far away from whatever could have been back there. As I made it to the front of the aisle, nearly beyond the view of the monitor I saw something out of the corner of my eye. With my last view of the monitor as I rounded the corner, I could see something barreling out of the two swinging doors I’d just come from. I never got a good look at it, but whatever it was, it was big. Big enough to flow through both of the huge doors with a resounding bang that echoed through the empty store.
I didn’t stick around to find out, I burst past the main office doors, and fumbled my manager key into the lock of the cash office door. My heart was so loud in my ears it sounded like a thousand sets of feet thundering right behind me, like the hounds of hell reaching for my heels. When the lock clicked in one exuberant moment I ripped the door open, and wrapped myself tight around it, pulling it closed faster than I’d expected possible for the weighty storm door.
As the door shut I heard a loud thud as a massive pressure slammed against the other side. What followed was an on slot of banging, and crashing against the reinforced door. I never had a chance to breath before I heard it. A sound so blood curdling, and horrible I just stood there frozen in terror. Blood like ice in my veins as every hair on my body stood on end. The sound was so far from human, that it blew away any thoughts I might have had about hooligan pranks, or intruders.
As the pounding increased on the door, and the unearthly screams filled the air I thought again about the alarms, the locked doors, and the shudders. They’d given me a sense of safety before, thinking that if no one could get in that everything would be okay, but now. Now they just terrified me even more. Whatever that thing was just beyond the door, it was big, inhuman, and starting to shake the door frame with it’s assault. Even worse, if I were to call for help now, no one could even get in to help without a key.
I remembered my cellphone on the table beside me, like some kind of miracle in all of this. Without a second thought I grasped for my phone, and pulled up my contacts to call another manager. I knew Jake, the day manager would be opening in the morning, and had a key to open the doors. If I called him he could come with the police, and maybe do something about whatever was outside now, thundering what sounded like hundreds of thrashing limbs across the floor and walls of the main office hall.
My battery was at 2% now as I heard the dial tone on the other end of the line. As soon as the ringing started the sounds from the hall went silent. An eerie sort of silence that followed such a cacophony of noise from before. The coils in my stomach tightened again at this. As the ringing continued my brain ran through what was happening. Whatever that thing was out there, it wasn’t human, but worse still, it wasn’t just some animal. It could hear me in that office, it could hear the muffled sounds of the dial through the steel door, through my cupped hand, through my body. It could hear all that, and was now so deathly silent, that had I not heard it there before, I might have never known it was ever there at all. Whatever it was, it was capable of hunting, in complete silence, and I thought then about the unease I’d felt walking through the store alone. Had it been following me, stalking me through the aisles? How close was it then, lingering silently, just out of sight? If I hadn’t gotten lucky, if I hadn’t seen the lights click on when I did, I don’t know what it could have done.
The ringing stopped as an automated voice chimed up that I’d reached voice mail. I wanted to curse, and shout at him for not picking up, but for all the anger I felt, the terror, and panic swallowed it up as I realized my batter had dropped to 1% and was flashing red as the screen was dimmed down to barely visible. I hit redial on the recent calls list, hoping, and pleading. “Pick up, pick up, please pick up!” I whispered frantically into the phone as my eyes shot around to room for a charger, an outlet, a forgotten cellphone, something, anything to get help.
The ringing stopped, and for a second I thought I’d gotten through “Jake are you there?! Hello??” I was shouting into the phone in a panic. “Hello?! Are you there??” Silence. I stared down at my phone to see the screen had gone black. I’d never gotten through before the battery died. I slumped to the floor still staring at the screen. I wanted to cry. My body ached from all the stress, and my head was pounding. I just wanted to go home, and forget any of this ever happened. And I almost did cry. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes, and my heart climbing up my throat to choke me as the silence filled the air.
And that’s when I heard it. A sound like a squeaky wheel, or the wheezing sound you might hear when you let the air out of a balloon just right. That sound slipped under the door, and stretched across the room like a haunting reminder of what was waiting just outside. I’d nearly forgotten in all my frustration, what I was so afraid of. The sound broke occasionally, and twisted on itself, wheezing turned into a crackled sort of vocalization as it folded, and stretched.
“HhHe.. Ll..” I could hear it, pressed up against the base of the door now. “Hhh..E- Lo..” I shuddered at the twisted up assimilation of speech digging into my ears. I tried covering my them with my hands, but it was practically useless against that unnatural thing. “Hhh..Ello.. YhHh.. ThrHh..” It wheezed through the crack under the door as the frame creaked against it’s weight. “NO!” I screamed back, out of fear, or frustration I still don’t know. But as the sound left my mouth I regretted it immediately.
“Nohh.” It said back, more clearly than before, in a voice that began to sound a bit more human. “No.” I scrunched myself up tightly around my knees pressing my hands to my ears. This was insane, this couldn’t really be happening I thought.
“NO!” it shouted as a bang hit the door. This couldn’t be happening, I must have fallen asleep while counting the drawers. I must be asleep in the office, I’ll wake up any minute, and go home. I told myself all of these things and more in my head over, and over. Just trying to keep my mind together as that uncanny voice on the other side of the door began sounding more, and more like my own, but wrong. So wrong, and off, that it couldn’t possibly be a proper mimicry.
“Hello…?” Clearly this time it came through the door. “Are you there?” I felt my breath stop at that. The silence hung in the air thick like molasses as the sweat cooled on the back of my neck. My own voice was coming through the door, clearer with each syllable. “Are you there?” As sort of scratching noise ran across the base of the door, agonizingly slow, followed by a loud inhale of air, pulling the dust from the floor the dance. “No. You are there.” It said matter of factly.
I was frozen there on the floor after that. Silence hanging in the air. The beast outside the door, me trapped inside, no way of calling for help, and the certainty that it not only knew I was here, but it was smart. And seeming to learn more each second. How long until the door gave way, or it figured out some way to break the lock? How long until it got to me? How long until I went mad staring at that door.
“Hello.” Something solid thumped against the door, shooting pain through my already stiff body. “Hello!” It slammed again harder as trailing sounds of tumbling limbs followed. “HELLO!” It seemed to begin barreling at the door over, and over as the slamming began again in earnest. “HELLO-HELLO-HELLO!! YOU ARE THERE! YOU ARE THERE!!!” A raucous rolling sound of scraping, thudding, and screeching beat against the door as I pushed myself as far back under the table as I could, pulling my legs tightly up to my chest.
I’m not sure how much time passed like that. I sat there, staring at the door in silent terror, watching dust fall from the frame, knowing any second might be my last. The sounds echoed across the walls, and swallowed me up. Somewhere underneath it all I could faintly hear the poppy music being swallowed up by monstrous groans, and screams.
It wasn’t until the following morning when the door finally did click open. After all that time frozen with terror, I was too shocked to do anything as the door easily slid open. I stared at the door handle for what felt like eternity as it did. Feeling almost betrayed that it would open so easily to leave me to that beast. But as the light of the hall came in, and my heart was ready to explode I saw him. Jake the opening manager. He stumbled a bit as he made eye contact with me.
“What the hell? What are you doing in there?” He stood in the doorway staring at me, but I couldn’t think of anything to say, I couldn’t even bring myself to move from that spot under the table. I was too afraid to even take my eyes off of him, at the off chance that it wasn’t really Jake at all, but some monster in disguise. He tried to approach but, I pushed back against the wall. “Whoa, are you okay? What’s going on??” He crouched down by the doorway, and I could see behind him the morning light coming through the hall window.
“What.. time is it?” I asked, not realizing until that moment how dry, and sore my throat had been. He told me it was seven A.M. and that he was getting ready to open the store. He looked over the tills, and money left on the table from the night before with a worried look. After that, he kept prodding me for what happened the night before, but I couldn’t find the words to describe the events, or even know if I wanted to. I’d been working at this location for almost four years, and never had I experienced anything like that before. As I struggled to get up from the floor, and think of how to make him understand what really happened, I looked up at the monitor again. The camera feed buzzed across the screen as our morning cashier walked up the aisle with her coffee in hand. I could see the morning light dimly through the low res feed. If only it had been recording the night before. I looked down at my dead phone, feeling numb and cold after the restless night.
“I think..” I said around my dried out tongue. “I think I need to take some time off.” He sighed shakily and gave me a hand up off the concrete floor. “Ya think?” He gave me a half smirk, but I could still see the worry in his eyes as he tried to play it off. “Go home, and get some rest, just give us a call when you’re feeling better okay?”
After that night I slept for what felt like three days, unsure how to handle the things I’d seen that night. I took two weeks off from work, and tried to take my mind off of the event. None of my coworkers really questioned me about what happened when I got back, but I could see by the way their eyes followed me that they wanted to. It was definitely suspicious how I was found that morning, but nothing was missing, and no one seemed to want to upset me by asking about what happened. For that I was thankful. It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to even come back to work at all.
I still work there to this day, and I’ve never had another incident. But from that point on, I never stayed in the store alone again. And every time someone asks to silence the store music, I feel a chill run down my spine. I’ve never told anyone what happened that night, and I didn’t think I ever would. Until now.
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2020.09.14 22:05 subjecterrors My fiance never liked taking photos with me.

When we first started dating I attributed her not taking photos with me to her not being out of the closet. it was a point of contention, but back then it just wasnt as acceptable. However with the coming wave of acceptance in the 90's and coming out to my own family, whenever she refused to take a photo with me I was hurt more and more. I took it personally poking at the dimples in my flesh, the crows feet creeping down my cheeks. She is beautiful, back then she was a flight attendant, she could have been a model if she would have sat still for a photograph.
All of my insecurities abated when I finally met her mother. By finally I don't mean a few months or a year Noel waited until two weeks before the wedding to finally introduce us. We went over to her house, my leg shaking nervously the whole drive. I twisted my locs round and round in my fingers making smaller tight coils to stick out.
Her mother's house towered over us. It had to be at least six bedrooms. I stared at it in disbelief then over to my small frugal fiance. I had no idea she came from this kind of money. With her father being gone and her mother alone I also couldn't help but wonder how she could live alone in this place.
She gave me one last real smile before she knocked on the door. Then her face shifted, her eyes grew more taunt as she pulled her lips back and I was blinded by a flash. Her mother stood in front of us with her camera. Genevieve looked like a smaller paler older version of Noel, her smile mimicking Noel's new false grin. I hoped I didn't look as mortified as I felt.
"Oh you must be Tessa! let me get one of each of you dears" The meeting was about the same as any other awkward first parent meeting from there. Except each cringe worthy moment was immortalized in film.
"Noie sweetie you should go up to my room and get your grandmother's necklace! I would love for you to wear it." Noel nodded and gave me a small wave as she disappeared down the hall.
As soon as she was out of sight her mother jumped from her seat. Crossing the room in seconds and opening a cabinet, she had a photo book in front of me before I could even blink. The book was filled with photo after photo of noel. The first book she showed me was Noel as a child. Her with relatives scrapped altogether with cute ribbons and pastel borders. They were adorable, well shot and lit each one with a description in beautiful calligraphy. Names of other relatives, some I had met ,most I hadn't. I could feel her mother's love deep and doting.
Noel came down and her face dropped when she saw the scrapbook.
"Mom you promised" was all she said a nervous laugh creeping into her voice. We left shortly after that and outside of the scripted wedding talk I dont think Noel spoke to her mother again. Over the years I tried to bring her mother up. Asking how she was, once I even made a joke about her scrapbooking with her, I don't think I've ever been in the dog house that long.
Today, nearly 20 years later. I found out my wifes mother had passed away. Noel is out of town this weekend for work.
Although of course they wanted to save the sorting for my wife they were wondering if I would come over and fetch her mother's cat. I awkwardly agreed despite having never met the animal and barely meeting the woman.
I picked up the keys and headed over. Going first to the front room where we had met. Feeling immediate relief as I found the tabby right away curled up on the couch, I realized I still needed to find a pet taxi.I began. To search the front room with my eyes. On the coffee table I noticed there was one of the scrap books. The soft green bringing back the strange memory that felt so distant and curiosity got the better of me.
I flipped through the pages. The pictures were Noel slightly older maybe eight and there was a noticeable difference to the way she sat in the photos. Often she was leaning away from whoever was next to her, sometimes with an almost fearful expression. Posing with what was perhaps strangers? She wasn't calm and cheerful like she had been in the book her mother had showed me all those years ago. In some of the photos Noel seemed on the verge on hysterics like a child scared of Santa forced on his lap for photos. That thought made me shiver. I looked at the others a little closer and noticed they all had the same straight forward stare.
I opened the cabinet Noel's mother had pulled the scrapbooks from back then. Seeing about a dozen or so scrapbooks of them. They were all dated along the spine. I picked one of the last ones. Noel was much older and she no longer bent away from the other people in the photos. Sometimes they had their arms draped around her sometimes they leaned their heads on her shoulder. But it was her smile that sent shivers down my spine. It was that same fake grin I had only seen once before In person.
One of the photos had a highschool girl in it who looked around her age. I gently peeled the photo up. There was something so familiar about the girl. I read the description below. Noel and Ashleah Rowan.
I pulled out my phone, maybe I could find this ashleah on social media. Instead I found a very old missing persons list with a photo dated just before this one. "Ahhh" I jumped and screamed as the cat brushed gently against my leg. I looked around the room and pulled in slow short breaths as I tried to relax.
I started looking up other names from the scrapbook. Another missing person, and then another with no info at all. Around and around it went like that. Each perfectly posed family portrait contrasted with the sharp forced smile on Noel.
The cat stretched and started down the hall. I still hadn't found something to carry it in. I told myself to be brave. The creaking floorboards of the old house setting my hairs on end. Her mother was dead, as creepy as her house was she couldn't hurt me. I thought to myself as I rounded a corner and saw someone seated down the hall. I froze in my tracks.
An old clock ticked in the hallway. For several moments I stood there transfixed by the figure seated at the end of the hall. The figure didn't move an inch as I watched it, not even the tale tell signs of breath. I relaxed it was probably a chair covered in clothes cast in shadow. I reassured myself. Fear rising up in me anyway. I pulled out my cell phone and turned on the camera.
There was one of the… "uncles" I would imagine. He was much older than Noel and wearing a tweed suit. The eyes stared out straight, coated in a milky film. He was smiling but it didn't put me at ease. It was too tight, forced.
"Pst pst pst" I said down the hall. Not wanting to follow the cat but realizing I had little choice. As I walked up to the man I could see he was moving very very slightly, just a bit at a time. Maybe this was a misunderstanding.
" Sir " I said shaking his shoulder. His head fell to the side, revealing a hole drilled in and an exposed and melted section of his grey matter. I screamed and jumped back, slamming into the wall. A thin line of drool fell from the man's mouth as his body limply hung forward.
I don't think I stopped screaming until I was out of the house. I'll call the police, let them get the cat. I have to go home and have a very serious talk with my wife.
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2020.09.14 10:27 Oculusfluffy Policefluffs 2: Stake by Oculus (xpost from fluffybooru)

Policefluffs 2: Stake by Oculus (xpost from fluffybooru)
Originally posted on: https://www.fluffybooru.com/post/view/55977
Previous chapter: https://www.reddit.com/fluffycommunity/comments/iof3bn/policefluffs_by_oculus_xpost_from_fluffybooru/
https://preview.redd.it/bqbsc728g2n51.png?width=704&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f4ab5a9b26dcc38a69b068ed00c903da39e6ae5
POLICEFLUFFS 2: STAKE
“Mummah wuv Buddie! Am bestest babbeh!”
The Yehdoo brought her two front legs around her son and kept him in a tight embrace, and Buddy felt a bit embarrassed. As required for his evaluation, Buddy was brought back to Hasbio every quarter, both for examination, and enrichment through parental contact.
“Fwuffy wuv mummah tu.” “Buddy am a good fwuff? Be good fwuff for da hummehs?” “Yus mummah. Buddy am good fwuff. Wowked hawd as a powice fwuff.”
Buddy’s mother, Flavia, smiled. A pedigree Yehdoo, she had nice puffy cheeks and a thick pink coat. Her legs were long, and an emblem of a hare in sprint on her flank indicated a past history as a racing fluffy. That was in her younger days. Now, as a trained Yehdoo, she spends most of her days training younger fluffies of her breed as a coach for races, and for some, as an instructor for guide fluffies for the blind.
As Buddy hugged her in return, he took a good look at his surroundings. A two storied area, complete with a television, areas for exercise, items for enrichment, a staircase to practise climbing, and to reach the beds in the second level. Home, he thinks. Not the same as the harder kennels and barracks he had become accustomed to, but it was welcome comfort. There was another fluffy here to see Buddy in the abode. Standing at the mid-section of the staircase, was a white fluffy, of the Waggytail breed. However, unlike other Waggytails, or most other fluffies, he carried himself in a dignified manner. He had a black mane and tail, and wore glasses, a result of age dimming his once strong eyesight. His name was Peter, and Buddy was happy to see him.
“Hey dad.”
Flavia leaves the embrace, and excitedly said “Speshul fwen! Buddie i-i-is here to s-see ‘ou!"
Flavia had spent a lot of time in training as both a “seeing-eye-fluff” and as a racehorse, and thus, had a lot of experience with human speech. However, even at her best attempts to replicate human speech, she was limited by a constant stammer and stutter.
“I know, Flavia. I’d like to talk to him.”
As the paternal figure climbed up the stairs, a slightly curious Buddy turned to his mother.
“Wai daddeh wan tok to fwuffy?”
Flavia gave a reassuring look to her son. “Daddeh miss his babbeh. Daddeh wuv his onwy an’ bestest babbeh.”
~
“So how is everything going for you, bud?”
Peter’s room sits atop a large building exposed to the harsh terrain of the future. Surveying the vast desert landscape, both Buddy and Peter looked through the desolate void. Decades of war, environmental damage and pollution had corrupted a once pristine landscape, and the scraps of forest that bordered it were now gone.
“I’m doing fine dad.”
“Are the people at the station treating you well?”
“They are.”
Buddy always wondered why his father wanted to have talks like this with him. It was like he was trying to get across some message to him, but had difficulty in doing so. This was not to say that Peter had not disciplined his son as a foal, but usually, most punishments or interaction was handled by Hasbio staff, or by Peter with supervision from the staff.
“Has there been any trouble? I remember the time you called me in the middle of the night, when you were being trained by the army, saying how much you missed your mother and I.” “I’m fine, dad. And that was a long time ago.” “That was just two years ago.” “Yeah, well, I’ve been a police fluffy for half a year now. I can manage dogs. I have seen dead bodies. And I can hold my ground in a fight.”
Peter turned to look at his son. Although Buddy was trained to be able to defend himself, fluffy fragility was not unknown to either of them.
“Fights? Buddy-“ “Dad, I’m a policefluff. Its going to happen, sooner or later.” “You’re supposed to let the dogs or the humans tackle the threat. Remember, you’re only a fluffy. Even if you eat meat, run like a dog and can bite, you’re still a fluffy. A horse. Not a dog.” “I know dad.”
Peter picked up on Buddy's annoyance. "Son, when we have these talks, they're only because we all love you very much, and we’re worried for you.” “I know dad, but you also know that Hasbio selected me for this.”
Peter sighed. “I know. I know all too well.”
A slight ding resounded. As the fluffy family had hooves, and thus no opposable thumbs, they could not cook. Food had to be provided to them through an elevator, in bowls that could be grasped by both hooves the way fluffies could grasp their building blocks. Upon receiving the meals through the delivery service, Flavia calls out for her two best boys.
“Speshul fwen! Babbeh! Nummies!”
As the fluffy family sat at the table, Buddy took a good look at his dish. It was specially ordered by his mother for her bestest babbeh.
“Eat up babbeh!
Steak.”
~
“So what is the Chef’s special today?” “Chateaubriand Steak, sir. Wagyu beef.” “What kind? “Australian Flufallo. Free range, well marbled and well-aged.” “I’ll have a steak then. Medium-rare.”
Officer Jenny was seated at the table, dressed formally in a black blouse and skirt for a civilian setting. Across the table sits a gentleman wearing a business suit. Wearing glasses and sporting a beard, he smiled as he looked at Jenny.
“I kind of miss when they served flufallo veal around here. It was the most delectable meat. And it’s a shame that the Australians never permitted the veal from their grade of cattle.” “You know why they banned it. The flufalloes in Australia started to riot when they found about the practise.” “But its not like the flufallo around here are any more intelligent. I seriously don’t get why some Ozziefluff agrarian decision should affe-“
Jenny was getting impatient and interrupted him mid-sentence.
“Look, I know you are my superior, but I would like to know why you called me all the way out here. Princess needs her shots.” “Ah yes, your wonderful Princess. How is she, ‘mistress’?” Jenny tried her best to hide resentment to the taunt. “Princess Rainbow Sprinkles is fine. She occasionally starts to develop awareness, but the shots have been enough to make her lose her memory or keep her docile.”
As Jenny said this, the waiter arrived with the executive’s dish. “Your steak sir. Bon appetit.”
Licking his lips, the executive grabs his knife. He delicately cuts a small portion, while asking about Outback. Jenny answers, “Outback’s the same. I keep him tanked up on VB as well as his favourite fruits and veggies. He’s cranky and a little bit stand-offish, but for the most part, he gets along with everyone in the station. Especially the SWAT.”
As he consumes the morsel, the executive takes a moment to appreciate the fat content and juice of a steer that had lived a long life, spent enough times with its herd and, with the humane policies of the Australian Beef Industry, underwent a euthanasia process that allowed the steer to reflect and enjoy its last moments in peace. All those memories and happiness, condensed into one juicy morsel.
“I heard Outback took out a few terrorists.” “Just two cult members. There has been no sightings of the Case Designate J in the past few months.”
The executive continued to cut into his steak. As the juice gushed forth from the cooked meat, Jenny could feel a tinge of hunger. The executive noticed. “Aren’t you going to order something? I can pay for the meal.” Jenny shook her head. “I just want to get back to Princess soon. And I know what you want to ask.”
The juice continued to drip from the meat piece, as some of it fell onto the executive’s bib.
“Buddy has been doing fine. We’ve only been placing him through search-and-rescue missions. We don’t expect him to fight, and he’s been pretty effective so-“ “He’s not developing.” Jenny raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?” “We wanted a hybrid that was not only capable of infiltration and retrieval. You know there is more we expect out of the hybrid.” “He’s only been with the force for half a year. He may eat meat, he may run fast, but he’s not a dog, he’s a horse. A pony, even.” “You know that’s not what I’m talking about.”
As he keeps chewing, Jenny had enough. Restraining herself, she got up, and departed. The executive smirked to himself, as he continued to cut deep into the meat.
~
“This is a priority encoded communication from the Equine Development and Enrichment Subdivision of Hasbio Incorporated. Date June 20 2120. For urgent attention to Commissioner Remy Garry, Captain MacReady of the Central Investigation Department and Officer Clarke of the K-9 unit. Special order for immediate action. Priority. Send MacReady, Subjects 2214425B and 15212021311O to investigate Missing Person case 317. Location is at the 'De-Urbanized Arcological[4] Construct' located in Sector 37 of the Mega-City. No other personnel are to be attached.”
~
“So come on now MacReady, whose this missing person 317?” “Well, remember when Buddy found that body in level 50 of the arcology?” “Yeah, I ‘memba.” “According to the coroner, the guy was not sacrificed as part of the cult. He was murdered.”
The handler Clark blinked his eyes. “Excuse me?”
“According to forensics, the victim was in the middle of sacrificing a fluffy when some unknown individual interrupted him. There were signs of a struggle, but the other party managed to dominate him, and plunge the dagger into his heart. The black eyes were because he was in the middle of the trance and had injected himself with Blood Jelly drug.”
“Ah shit.” Clark had one too many encounters of people smuggling the blood of Jellenheimers across the border.
“So here’s the problem. The new missing person is that teenager’s sister. Apparently, the teenager had not finished some ritual, and now the Cult wants his sister. Perhaps as a sacrifice, perhaps to convert her, god knows what else.” “Fucking hell.”
Clark then raises an eyebrow. “Something like that requires like a team or something. Why are they only sending you and the two policefluffs?” “I dunno man. I think it's bullshit too, but it's orders from the Commish Garry.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t like one bit.”
~
Captain MacReady was decked out in a brown denim coat, with a checkered tie, blue shirt and pants. He lead Outback, Buddy, Huey, Dewey and Louie to the back of his personalized hovercar. Though designed as a single seater, the car, based after SUVs of a bygone era, had enough space for an animal as large as Outback, and still had enough space to fit in one tall fluffy and three German Shepherd Good Boys. Upon closing the loading door, MacReady opened the gull-wing door of his vehicle, and entered the cockpit. With MacReady manually switching on the various buttons and equipment, the craft started to hover as it slowly departed, away from the helipad of the Police Outpost 31.
“Fackin’ ‘ell, mate. Its like a cunt can’t even breathe in here.” “Shaddup, outback. You’re not the only who's in a tight squeeze.”
It is night. The hovercar speeds through the designated skyline, obeying the lights demarcating the imaginary roads of the airways, as it makes its way through the arcology.
~
Although they appear as huge buildings on the outside, the interior of the arcology, especially in its residential areas, were reminiscent of the sidewalks, streets and apartments of a city like Manhattan at the turn of the millennium. As the hovercar landed upon a road within the greater atriums of the arcology, a homeless man with dreadlocks sat beside the sidewalk. A young foal is busy dancing like a robot, while singing an ancient tune.
Bad fwuffs Whatcha want, watcha want Whatcha gonna do When shewiff Jon Bwown come for Fwuff Teww Fwuff Whatcha wanna do, whatcha gonna dooo Yeaheah Bad fwuffs, bad fwuffs Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do When dey come for fwuff
~
The trio had split up. Detective MacReady was busy interviewing locals who lived in the nearby apartments. Two of the dogs remained in the vehicle. Buddy, Outback, and the dog Huey were walking down the alleyway, through the tunnels that connected to the vents and pipes. While the residential area was populated, the alleyway was a gateway to the dilapidated warehouse areas of the arcology, which had been abandoned not too long ago.
As the trio kept walking, and when they were well away from a camera, or human ear, Outback voiced a concern.
“You trust the humans too much, Buddy.” “What do you mean?” “Don’t get me wrong. Humans can be likeable, and my team are a bunch of adorable cunts, but there’s a lot about humans that’s downright facked in the head.” “Why are you being such a cynic now, Outback?” “Think about it, mate. We’re supposed to looking for a room with an altar aroun’ ‘ere. And a girl was missing. Yeah, that bit about them blokes saying this area was clear and no cultists? They’re telling porkies.” “Well, the cult did clear out, and you took down the remaining two members.” “My point is, we were assigned to find a missing individual in a place that was previously considered a ground for their cult.” “You speak like as if they will come back. Lighting does not strike the same area twice” “I hate it to break to ya mate, but this ain’t lightning. I’m sure the fuckers are around here. Even with the cameras and the coppers around, they’re bound to be around ‘ere, somewhere.”
Sensing a truth to Outback’s works, Buddy realized that there was a lead they both could follow. “Well, if the humans are lying, the fluffies don’t. Usually. The last time I was here, the ferals were starting to join the cult. If the humans are hiding something, maybe the ferals would know better.” “Yeah? And how do ya propose we go ‘bout gettin’ that intel?”
As Outback said this, Buddy noticed the graffiti on the wall. In a style evocative of a child using crayons, Buddy recognized the image of the Jellenheimer that he saw before, and of a man holding a tray. “I’ve been here before. There should be a friendly contact around here.” And true enough, the cardboard box was still there. Walking up to it, Buddy switched his mind to the tune of Fluffspeak, and initiated contact.
“Huwwo fwen? Fwen fwuffy hewe.” Buddy taps the box. No answer. “Fwen?” Buddy decides to peek inside the cardboard box.
The fluffy he met last time, who provided him with the info he needed, was dead. A large slash encircled its neck. The wound was fresh. But its eyes were black, indicating the consumption of Jellenheimer blood. And beside the corpse of the fluffy, Buddy could vaguely make out the letters, written in thick blood, “HEWP”
“Oh fuck.”
Just as Buddy said that, Huey started to bark. Huey’s bark echoed throughout the surroundings, as Buddy saw a young girl. She had black hair, her face dirty with grime, and a little blood. She was wearing a plain white dress, stained with dirt, and she was barefooted. It was the missing person.
As Huey kept barking, Buddy twitched his face. Using his face muscles to activate the non-invasive communication device attached this ear, he made a call to MacReady. “This is Buddy. Outback and I have found 317. Requesting immediate extraction-“
“She’s gone.”
As Outback said that, Buddy looked again. True enough, the girl was gone. In her place, a herd of feral fluffies could be seen. All of them sporting various colours. All of them consisting of the different types – unicorn, earth and Pegasus. A multitude of breeds, such as the Carpdime, Gowdie, McGonagall, Mutagen and Fwuffee breeds.
And all of them had the black eyes.
“JOIN DA JEWWY HURD JOIN DA JEWWY HURD”
~
BANG!
As the gunshot reverberated across the empty spaces, the ferals began to disperse. Buddy and Outback spun around to see the figure of MacReady, who fired the shot. Dewey and Louie were tagging along, ready to pounce in case any of the ferals get the wrong idea.
“So where’s the girl?” asked MacReady “No idea Mac. One minute we saw her, and next, those ferals turned up.” “She must be nearby.” “Any leads, mate?” “I got nothing. All the locals don’t want to talk. And seems the fluffy locals aren’t too friendly.” “You tell me. The fluffy who gave me the intel last time is dead.”
Outback looks left and right. He is unshaken, but gravely concerned, “Did you see the eyes on those facking things? They took the damn blood.” “Yeah that’s the least of our problems, Aussie. You said you saw the girl. Where was she?” Buddy raised his hoof towards the direction of where the feral assembly was. “She was there one moment, and then she was gone. And then the ferals turned up.” “Yeah, Buddy here ain’t telling porkies. I also saw her.” MacReady pauses for a moment to assess the situation. Outback and Buddy are a feeling a little tense, as Buddy asks the real question. “So what do we do now?” “I tried radio-ing for help, but no one’s responding.”
Fack, I knew it, muttered Outback to himself. This whole thing was a setup. But as he thought this, another question darted his mind. Why? “MacReady, what do we do? Do we just go after the girl, or wait?” Before MacReady could answer the question, more figures came out of the shadows.
Macready recognized the first man as the first local he interviewed: the kind old man who ran the local shop for ages. The second figure was an old lady, a grandmother and a retired factory worker. The third was a young teenage girl. As the figures appeared, any identity that MacReady had recognized in them, any semblance of humanity, was gone. All of them were wielding a makeshift weapon. The shop owner held a wooden stick, which he had sharpened at an end to create a stake. The grandmother was carrying a golf club. The teenager was carrying a pipe. The others had all sorts of basic weaponry. Kitchen knives. Scissors. One man was even carrying a machete.
And they all had the black eyes.
“Ah shit.”
As MacReady said this, he fired the first warning shot. The horde did not flinch. The dogs were starting to bark. Buddy was feeling trepidated. He had heard about the effects of Blood Jelly on its addicts, but this is the first time he saw anything like an induced riot. Or were all these people in the residential area of the arcology secret cult members? Too many questions. Too little time.
Outback took one good look at the crowd. He then cracked his neck, as he sighed.
“Eh, fack dis.”
Without any hesitation, Outback charged straight into the crowd. Within a minute, he managed to mow down three of the more able-bodied members of the mob, while avoiding the elderly. Seeing this as opportunity for action, MacReady brought the back of his gun to his mouth.
“Stun Mode.” “STUN MODE.” As his gun recalibrated itself to become a taser, MacReady started firing his weapon at the elderly and the young. He had gone for the lowest setting, to ensure that the incapacitated individuals suffered no more then a shock. He only had limited rounds, so he had to be careful. He had a baton ready, but, as far as he was concerned, his main focus was to stay alive without killing anyone.
Buddy, too, was prepared for this situation, as he gave the order. “Sic’ ‘em!” Huey, Dewey and Louie rushed into the crowd, as Buddy gave the targets. “Huey, grab that stake! Dewey, bite at her leg! Louie, subdue!”
As the detective, the two fluffies and three dogs did their work, the horde kept going. Outback reckoned that they had woken up the neighbourhood. As the action was going on, Huey caught a glimpse of the figure of the girl in white that he saw earlier. He started to bark. “ARF! ARF! ARF!”
He then gave chase, much to the surprise of the other police personnel. “Huey!” cried Buddy, as he went after his good boy.
“Buddy! Get back here! It's too dangerous!”
Buddy could not hear them. As Huey chased after the girl, who was now running from him, Buddy was chasing after his good boy. The only thing on his mind was rescuing that missing girl, and getting her away from the madness. As Macready, Outback and the two dogs kept working, Buddy and Huey disappeared into the darkness.
~
Buddy had no idea how long he had been running, but his stamina began to wear thin. Huey dove right into an open grate, and Buddy followed suit. Try as he might, he could not keep up with the canine. However, despite his desire to call it back or slow down, Buddy knew that Huey had the girl’s interest at heart. Crawling through the vents and tight corners, Buddy finally found that Huey had stopped, and was now barking incessantly. Buddy took a good look at the surroundings he was now in. It was an enclosed space, a room that may have been a janitor or washroom at some point. Whatever purpose it had in a past life was now forgotten, as its walls were now covered in murals of stained glass. A red light hung over the ceiling, and the light outside illuminated scenes of carnage against fluffykind, ranging from mutilation, to the decimation of ferals, to the stomping of foals. All in tinkling glass fogged with a bloody mist. And at the centre of the room was a make-shift altar, with remnants of blood near it. Atop of the altar was the golden figure of the Jellenheimer.
Figures, muttered Buddy.
Huey kept barking. As Buddy turned his eyes, he saw the missing girl, huddled underneath a table. Her hands were bloody. Her arms were bloody. She was shaking vigorously and uncontrollably, perhaps frightened by Huey’s barks. “Easy there, we’re here to help you!”
The girl took one good look at Buddy. She used her right hand to cover her eyes, as she tried her very best not to look in that direction. Huey's barking halted. Huey then started to froth at the mouth, and collapse. “Huey!!”
As Buddy shook his good boy, he then saw it.
It had the body similar to that of a fluffy. But its eyes were black. A smooth body, like jelly. And a permanent, unfaltering grin. As Buddy retreated from the Jellnehimer, another popped up from behind the altar. Another from near the girl. Buddy couldn’t count how many there were. All he knew was that they had their eyes trained on him. And one Jellenhimer, the ring leader, went ahead of the others. As he kept staring at Buddy, Buddy was not sure how to react.
~
Buddy was then overwhelmed by a sea of visions, as the lead Jellenheimer kept staring at him. Images and memories of torture flooded his mind, and he felt every wound and every atrocity committed against the fluffies he saw. Mares amputated and detongued, and forced into pods to birth foals. Foals that were placed haphazardly into cans, to be sold to the public. Foals that got tortured by some, or crushed while still in the can, or left neglected, never knowing a good life. He saw pogroms of fluffies throughout the century, of people wielding bats, clubs, and sharpened sticks, stabbing killing, beheading, mutilating, massacring, defiling. He brought his hooves to his head,but the images and sensations invaded him. The lead jellenheimer and its pack focused their psychic attack on Buddy.
However, through the encroaching insanity, Buddy saw her.
A tall, cream-colored alicorn. Her wings were fully formed, longer than any Pegasus he had seen. Her horn was sturdy, piercing the through the darkness of the madness he was bearing witness to. The alicorn was standing on a field of green, with the wind blowing through her mane. As Buddy focused on her, the Alicorn turned to glance at Buddy. She then said the line.
“Follow me.”
Her wings flapped, and she took off, and flew into the sky.
“Follow me.”
Buddy was initially reeling on the floor. But he got up on his legs. The Jellenheimers kept up their attack, but Buddy trained on that image he saw, of the alicorn, while repeating the mantra. “Follow me.”
Opening his mouth and bearing his teeth, he jumped straight for the lead Jellenheimer.
“SCREEEEEEEEEEE!”
As the Jellenheimer made an unearthly scream, a nightmarish form of the Fluffy cry for help, Buddy kept his eyes open. He could feel the crushing of bone as his teeth dug into the soft, jellylike flesh. As he bit down hard, he could feel the visions suddenly changing to a great white flash in his mind.
‘SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
The Jellenheimers that besieged Buddy reeled from the communal pain from the loss of their leader, and immediately retreated, crawling into the various holes.
~
“One! Two! Three!”
Outback bashed down the door upon Macready’s order. They bore witness to the altar room. “Welp, guess that solves the mystery of the missing cult room.”
Both Outback and MacReady saw the body of Buddy on the floor. Huey, who had now recovered, was licking his own wounds.
“Buddy! BUDDY!!” Buddy could not hear them. He kept repeating “Nu huwt good fwuff. My name is Buddy. Buddy am good fwuff. I am a policefluffy”, repeating between the two languages.
~
It was a forever for Buddy as the images were blurry to him. Shifting through the dreamscape, and while battling the pain, he kept seeing glimpses of reality intermingling with the dream he was desperately trying to wake from. He had seen the alicorn numerous times, but at one point, the alicorn started to sing a song from his memory.
"Mummah wuvs her babbeh, Babbeh wuv his mummah, Babbeh dwink miwkies, Gwow up big an stwong”
The alicorn had morphed into a vision of his Yehdoo mother. Crying over him, kissing him, and giving him huggies. Even though he was hooked up to the medical equipment, Buddy knew she had to be there for him. But even his mother could only appear so many times in the visions. As the dreams alternated between the comforts of home, and the hell of what the Jellenheimers had put him through, he saw the alicorn again. This time growing younger, and until it had the appearance of an adolescent foal. This alicorn foal then sang another song.
“Somewhere ower da wainbow Way up high And da dweams that fwuffs dweam of Wunce in a wuwwaby”
Buddy could make out the foal to be Princess, at his side. Her tender hoof touching his head. Princess had always been there for him and guided him through the office as he got to know the people working there. Over time, the visions simplified, and became definite. Time started to make sense. And, soon, the figure of the fatherly Outback was by his side.
“Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me He sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled, you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me”
As Outback hummed the song of his kind, Buddy said the first words he could mutter in over a week.
“You missed some of the notes.”
Outback turned to his partner. He was a little miffed, and then, glad. “Fackin ‘ell. Ya alright, ya cunt.” Buddy smiled, then winced. The pain from the encounter still wracked his body.
“Easy there, mate. Jellenheimers are the facken devil’ “Yeah tell me about it. I feel like I spent a few seconds in Hell. But then I saw that alicorn, and I managed to get out of it.” “An alicorn, eh?” “You didn’t see one?" “Nah mate.” “Guess its different. How are the others?” “Carlos has been too busy with immigration, but he made a gift for you. Princess and I have been by your side everyday, along with your parents.” “That’s good to hear.”
Outback then got a serious, as he looked at Buddy in the eye. “I know you meant well, mate, but don’t try to be too much of a hero next time. You should have waited for us.” "I know Outback, but I wanted to save that girl. And Huey was too far ahead of me." "Not really an excuse, ya fuckwit. You coulda been killed. I'm even facking surprised you're still alive." "Yeah. I guess I am fucking lucky."
For a while, there was an uneasy silence in the room.
"What did Carlos get for me?" "A bunch of things. You'll see when you're out of the hospital." "Is one of them spaghetti?" "Yeah, one of them is spaghetti."
~
Jenny was angry.
As she stormed into the office at the Hasbio Headquarters, she made her way to the office of the man she met about a month ago. The executive was in the middle of a meeting in his office, when Jenny stormed him.
“Leave us.”
With his command, the other staff cleared until only Jenny and the exec remained in the room.
“You son of a bitch!”
In her police uniform, Jenny maintained a resolute defiance before her superior.
“What's the matter?” “You risked the lives of one of my wards, you fuck!” “But Buddy is not really under you, Princess is.” “Just because I don’t spend everyday of my life with Buddy doesn’t mean I’m not worried about him! Don’t forget, I was the one who selected him for the programme, and had monitored his process since birth!”
“Ah yes, Buddy.”
While remaining seated at his computer, the executive took a good look at the hybrid fluffy that was Buddy.
“Before that day, in that unit, only Outback survived the encounter with the Jellenheimer, owing to his mental strength. But now Buddy has survived it as well, which must mean the same. It was a difficult process, and the wounds will still be there. But Buddy is no longer just a product now.
He is an asset.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx0blzRFQRs
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2020.09.13 17:15 free2019 One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Full Version Crack PC Game Download

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submitted by free2019 to u/free2019 [link] [comments]


2020.09.12 18:11 Nutmeg_2002 If MBTI had Fanfiction - pt 2/4 (INFJ x ENTP)

Part 1
Content Warning: This chapter is Safe For Work, but contains common media tropes that is often found in fanfiction that some may find inappropriate.
A/N: Greetings, fellow citizens of UnderworldMBTI! It's been over a month since I posted the first part. I was scared I might post something too cringy.
This might be a bit confusing without reading the first chapter, so please do so first. Once again, it's a parody of fanfiction in general, while also parodying MBTI sterotypes. This is NOT meant to be taken seriously, and is not meant to offend anyone or any type. I must, however, warn you; there will be cringe; possibly more than in the first part. I don't mean this lightly. And another reminder that certain parts of the story may be disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 2: INFJ x ENTP
The humid afternoon air blew against INFJ’s hair as she stepped out of the school building. The day passed like every other day did. She woke up, went to all her classes, and discussed her work for the Conveniently Timed Festival-Concert-Thing with ESTJ. Yet, something was… off that day. INFJ could feel it. She would sometimes feel like she was being watched, but every time she’d turn to look, she would remember that it was pointless to do so with inferior Se.
Well, there were a couple of changes. INFP had stopped dyeing her hair brown. Knowing her, INFJ didn’t know if she should be happy or worried. Sure, INFP and ISTJ weren’t walking home together after school that day, but INFJ had already used her Ni to sense intuit that they weren’t friends anymore, and that INFP was now dating someone. While she could figure out what was happening around her when it’s convenient to the plot, she still couldn’t seem to figure out what was bothering her. As the afternoon sun dropped behind a cloud, INFJ felt a chill down her spine. Almost as if-
“WE’RE GOING TO THE ORANGE JUICE PLACE!” ENFP jumped out from behind INFJ.
“ENFP! You nearly gave me a heart attack!” INFJ said, brushing a loose strand of her naturally silver hair behind her ear.
“Sorry about that! I’M JUST REALLY EXCITED! It’s INTP’s birthday today, so ENTJ’s hosting a party at The Orange Juice Place! She invited a couple of people including- you guessed it- me!!! I mean, she didn’t exactly invite me, per se, but INTJ declined saying she was “too busy with the Conveniently Timed Festival-Concert-Thing”, so I managed to do a bit of bargaining until she let me attend the party! Nothing much, I just had to promise to not speak the entire time, “for INTP’s sake”! Which is totally fine because I am such an introvert, am I right?! If anything, it’s a total loss for INTP, because who wouldn’t want to listen to me talk for 4 hours straight?!! I asked ENTJ, if I could invite one more person… I admit that she was a bit hesitant at first, but she agreed to it when I told her who it was! cAN YOU GUesS WHO It waS???!!!!!!” ENFP asked, breaking into a dance in the middle of the sidewalk.
“….me?” INFJ asked.
Ding ding! Correct!!!” ENFP grinned, pointing finger guns at INFJ.
“I don’t know if parties are really my thi-“
“Come on! It’s just one party! You’re in high school; one night of drinking orange juice won’t hurt!”
Truthfully speaking, INFJ did not want to go to The Orange Juice Place. For one, she seemed to be one of the only characters in this story, who cared about the fact that they were high school students, and that they had a huge Math test the very next day. And secondly, INFJ was uncomfortable with the fact that this plan was made last minute. However, ENFP was her childhood friend. He was the only one who even came close to understanding her, and she didn’t want him to be upset. So instead, she used her Fe to pretend that she was excited.
“Sounds like fun!” INFJ lied, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
***
“You’re late,” ENTJ said without looking up from her phone.
“Hey, we didn’t know INTP would actually be here on time!” ISTP said, causing ENTJ to actually look up at them.
“You invited more people?” INTP asked, taking his eyes off of his laptop for the first time since he’d arrived.
INFJ knew it was going to be a long night the moment she saw the three of them walk through the door. To be fair, it hadn’t been the best evening she’d had. INTP himself had spent the whole time messaging INTJ about the Festival-Concert Thing and talking to his anime girlfriend, whom he had brought along on his laptop. INFJ talked to ENTJ about the work she had to do for the Festival-Concert Thing, until ENFP found a loophole in ENTJ’s demand, and started texting her about a new idea he had about space cats. You’re not really paying attention to this part. Kek. Frozen banana geese. INFJ had secretly hoped that they were the only people who’d come, but good luck was pretty rare for her. But she certainly hadn’t expected them.
“Yeah, I thought I’d invite them along. They told me I couldn’t be the most interesting person here if I they came along too, so I wanted to prove them wrong,” ENTP smirked, ruffling his hair.
ENTP. Of course. He was the only one who’d have no problem inviting the cool kids over to INTP’s birthday party, if you could even call it that. ENTP had messy black hair and eyes that were the colour of melted chocolate chips. ENTP would always walk around school looking for people to debate with about politics and bad puns. Everyone else thought ENTP was cool. But INFJ, being extremely smart and observant, knew that looks weren’t a good representation of someone’s character. He was the first one to start throwing his milk carton at ISTJ, after they had a disagreement over whether or not pizza could be considered a sandwich. He’d gotten detention (idk, my school never had them) multiple times for making the feeler substitute teachers cry.
As the others decided to start a game of Truth or Dare, ENFP excused himself to go to the washroom. INFJ looked around. The Orange Juice place had a lot of customers that night. For a place that sold only orange juice, it was very popular. Somebody could go missing, and you’d never know. Suddenly she noticed a door.
Finally, she thought, If I could just go behind that door and slam it behind me…
“Hey INFJ!”
INFJ looked up. It was ENTP.
“Are you INFP?” he asked, his dark brown eyes gleamed in the dim light.
“No, I’m INFJ. INFP is my-“
“Cause you’re a FiNe SiTe,” ENTP gave a lopsided smile.
INFJ knew what was happening. She could see the others pretending not to pay attention to them. Was ESTP recording this on her phone? Suddenly, INFJ snapped.
“You’re a horrible person, ENTP,” INFJ bluntly replied, “I’m done playing this game.”
ENTP looked taken aback by what she’d said. ISTP burst into laughter from behind them, and ESTP and INTP could be heard cackling along. As ENTP walked back to the others, INFJ sighed. She’d tried all she could to get along with the others, but she just wanted to leave now. She finished the rest of her orange juice and waited for ENFP to come back.
What’s taking her so long? she wondered.
INFJ was so tired, she almost didn’t notice all the commotion that was happening.
“For the last time! We don’t. Serve. Iced. Pumpkin. Spice. Latte!” ENTJ yelled at the top of her lungs.
“That is so unfair! I demand to speak to the manager!” ESFJ raised her voice even higher.
“I AM THE MANAGER!” ENTJ practically screeched back.
“I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE OTHER MANAGER!”
“THE OTHER MANAGER ISN’T HERE TODAY!”
“Then arrange a video call so I can talk to him at once!” ESFJ said, nearly lunging for INTP’s laptop.
“Stay away from my waifu!” INTP hissed as he tried to pull the laptop away from her.
Unfortunately, ESFJ’s sensing won and she managed to close the Doki Doki Literature Club window, causing INTP to curl up into a ball on the floor, devoid of any expression. ESFJ spent the next 10 minutes screaming over ENFJ, who was calmly trying to explain over a video call that she couldn’t keep coming to The Orange Juice Place to yell at him for breaking up with her and-
Wait a minute…
ENFJ didn’t look very calm. INFJ didn’t notice it at first, but he definitely looked pretty scared, now that she paid more attention. Shaky palms, nervous smile…
How could I not have noticed that? I’m always able to tell how everyone is feeling! Something is wrong…
INFJ felt sick. She felt… dizzy? Something was wrong. Where was ENFP? He still hadn’t come back? Or had he? She could feel her vision blur as everything around her turned into a blurry dissonant cacophony of… Was that ENTJ with a Nerf gun?
***
INFJ groaned. Why did her head hurt so much? She opened her eyes, only to find herself in a dark room. She tried to rub her eyes, but realized that her hands and legs were tied to a chair. Panicking, she looked at her surroundings. She seemed to be in a basement, empty except for herself. And her chair. Is it her chair if it belongs to her kidnapper? There was a closed door, but in her current predicament, it would be pretty hard to slam. Suddenly, it all came back to her.
The Orange Juice Place! I was waiting for ENFP to come back. What happened to him? Where am I? What’s going on…
Her thoughts were broken by the sound of footsteps drawing closer. She held her breath as the door swung open.
“Looks like you’re finally awake,” ENTP said, his chocolate-brown orbs fixed on INFJ.
“W-where am I?” INFJ asked, “Why am I here? What’s happening?! Where’s-”
“Do you know how cute you look when you’re asleep?” ENTP sighed, tucking a strand of INFJ’s hair behind her ear, “Although I admit that it does get boring after 18 hours…”
18 hours!? INFJ thought, So much for that Math test...
“When I was young, I had a super sad childhood that’s gonna make the readers sympathize with me and fantasize about wanting to “fix” me. All my life, I’ve been empty and cold,” ENTP said,” But from the moment I first laid eyes on you, all those years ago, something felt… different. That day in elementary school, when you told me off for calling your sister a “poopy-head”, I knew you were mine. You’re the only one who can make me feel whole again…”
ENTP’s gorgeous dark hair almost draped over his eyes, as INFJ looked at him in surprise. Had he always looked this hot? But suddenly, his expression turned dark.
“But that pesky ENFP… He just wouldn’t leave you alone. So, I got rid of him,” an edgy a dark grin crept up on ENTP’s face.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of you talking to anyone besides me. So, I slipped a couple of blueberries into your drink when you weren’t looking, and by the time Karen stopped terrorizing everyone at the Orange Juice Place, I had ESTP and ISTP bring you here without anyone noticing. All I had to do was say that they left after you and ENFP did, because they were tired of hanging out with INTP, and ENTJ actually bought it! I then had INTP text your family that you were gonna live with me, your boyfriend, from now on. I’m sure your sad feeler sisters would understand.”
“Wait… what?!” INFJ panicked.
“Well, I would’ve sent the text myself, if I hadn’t broken my phone yesterday. I know it sounds hard to believe, but I actually lost an argument online. In that moment of weakness, I snapped, and I threw my phone at the-”
“No, I mean, are you going to keep me here forever? Please let me go… I won’t call the cops on you or anything!” INFJ pleaded.
“I’m not letting you off that chair until I’m sure that you’ll never leave me. Now, I’m gonna go back upstairs. Don’t even think about escaping,” ENTP said, totally not foreshadowing what’s about to happen next.
Brushing his messy dark hair away from his dreamy eyes, ENTP went back upstairs, leaving the door open. INFJ struggled against the ropes, until she could free herself. This was possible because ENTP was an epic intuitive and didn’t notice the loose ropes, and not because I’m a lazy writer. INFJ slowly crept upstairs, hoping ENTP wouldn’t notice her. The stairs lead up to what seems to be the dining room. INFJ could hear ENTP arguing with someone at the front door about… alarm clocks? Looks like INFJ wouldn’t be able to slam it any time soon. She looked around for any potential weapons to defend herself. She glanced at the dining table. A NiFe? Nah, too risky. Suddenly, she remembered something- her mobile phone! It was in her pocket the whole time, and she had forgotten about it. She quickly dialed ENTJ’s number. Thankfully, she picked up.
“INFJ? I can’t talk now, I have to pick out the nuclear codes for when I take ov-“
“ENTJ, I’m really sorry, but help!!! ENTP’s holding me hostage at his house!!!!” INFJ almost yelled into the phone.
“INFJ, is everything alright? Why weren’t you at school today?” ENTJ asked.
“ENTP kidnapped me at the party yesterday! I’m really sorry for bothering you like this, but could you please ge-“
INFJ froze, as ENTP grabbed the phone from her.
“Hey, there ENTJ! Sorry to bother you! INFJ drank way too much OJ last night. You guys really should switch to organic orange juice. I’m pretty sure you were browsing Reddit last night after you were done attacking ESFJ with that Nerf gun,” ENTP sounded as casual as ever.
“ENTP, why aren’t you guys at school?” ENTJ asked.
“Well, uh, we were both sick after, uh, drinking too much orange juice. So, I asked INFJ if I could borrow her phone to ask you to ask INTJ to stop asking about the batteries and, umm, well, we started dating!” ENTP explained.
There was a long silence, followed by ENTJ bursting into laughter.
“Classic ENTP! Despite your explanation making no sense whatsoever, I’m gonna believe you over INFJ, despite INFJ seemingly being a good friend of mine. You guys would definitely Now I have to go.” ENTJ said as she hung up the phone.
ENTP’s cheerful demeanor turned dark as he turned towards INFJ.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! Please don’t hurt me!” INFJ begged.
“Alexa,” ENTP said in a stone cold voice, “Play ‘It’s Everyday Bro’ by Jake Paul.”
INFJ writhed in pain from the cringe as Jake Paul’s voice blasted across the room. As she screamed, something in her broke.
Voice: omg heyy I’m a voice in ur head!!! Well, technically, I’m ur conscience…
INFJ: Oh no, are we resorting to this format now? Isn’t this level of cringe a bit too far?
Voice: listen, ENTP is dangerous and you’re developing Stockholm Syndrome! You have to get out of there!
INFJ: What? No, I’m not! I just think ENTP is cute and irrationally think that I could save him from his trauma, despite being kidnapped and tortured by him.
Voice: yeah… that’s Stockholm syndrome.
INFJ: Oh no…
Once ENTP stopped the music, he brushed his hand through INFJ’s hair.
“Look at what you made me do! I don’t like hurting you, INFJ, but you left me with no choice. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be an abusive character the readers have to think is hot?” ENTP said in a softer voice, caressing her cheek (idk, I use Reddit).
“I’m sorry,” INFJ said, as she let ENTP carry her back downstairs to the basement.
“Don’t worry; I won’t hurt you like that ever again. At least, not until the next time the story needs more angst. And now that we’ll be together forever, there’s only one thing left to do,” ENTP flashed an unusually large grin.
What’s ENTP talking about? INFJ wondered. It couldn’t be about letting her use the bathroom after 18 hours: this is fanfiction! A glass of water would’ve been nice, but INFJ was selfless and didn’t care about herself enough to consider any of these possibilities.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for years!” ENTP said excitedly, tying INFJ back up to the chair in the basement.
“What are you talking about?” INFJ asked, “Please don’t hur-”
“Now, let’s assume that, hypothetically, an IxFP were to waste their time staring at a flower,” ENTP looked (a now terrified) INFJ dead in the eye, “Would it be a fair assessment to say that they have low Se? Or do they have low low Ne?”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A/N 2: Electric Boogaloo: Sorry for all the cringe. Also, I would like to add that Jake Paul's music and debates about the cognitive function are objectively the worst things INFJ would have to worry about with ENTP. If you ignored all the warnings, read through the whole thing, and still decide to report me to the mods, please let me know in the comments so I can laugh at you. If you are a mod and find this inappropriate, please don't ban me, I'm sorry!
Edit: I do want to add that despite that last Author's Note, I do appreciate criticism. And I might rewrite parts of the story if people find it too uncomfortable.
submitted by Nutmeg_2002 to UnderworldMBTI [link] [comments]


Anime Boston 2011 Dating Game - Complete (1080p) - YouTube Anime Boston 2016 18+ Dating Game: Round 1 - YouTube ANIME LOVE (Dating Game) Nashicon 2013: Anime Dating Game with Rarity, Jack Frost ... Top 10 Romance Anime with Love Hate Relationship [HD ... Crush Crush! - Anime Dating Game TRYING TO GET A DATE THROUGH ANIME TINDER APP - YouTube Another Anime Con 2012: 18+ Dating Game - YouTube Top 10 BEST Dating Simulation Games Ever - YouTube

Sim Dating Games - Home

  1. Anime Boston 2011 Dating Game - Complete (1080p) - YouTube
  2. Anime Boston 2016 18+ Dating Game: Round 1 - YouTube
  3. ANIME LOVE (Dating Game)
  4. Nashicon 2013: Anime Dating Game with Rarity, Jack Frost ...
  5. Top 10 Romance Anime with Love Hate Relationship [HD ...
  6. Crush Crush! - Anime Dating Game
  7. TRYING TO GET A DATE THROUGH ANIME TINDER APP - YouTube
  8. Another Anime Con 2012: 18+ Dating Game - YouTube
  9. Top 10 BEST Dating Simulation Games Ever - YouTube

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