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FAQ and Questions Megathread (Read before posting, gacha pulls after day 1 belong in the gacha megathread)

2023.03.21 21:23 Argly902 FAQ and Questions Megathread (Read before posting, gacha pulls after day 1 belong in the gacha megathread)

Please give the FAQ below a read, as well as the guide (also linked at the top/side) to see if your question is addressed. If your question remains unanswered, then feel free to comment here or make a separate post if your problem warrants deeper discussion.
Gacha pulls are allowed for the first day, after that pull screenshots should go in the associated megathread
Original Resources Thread
FAQ (Updated Mar 2023)
This list likely won't cover all possible questions, which is why this megathread exists. However, it should address a lot of the basic question posts that come up. Optionally, you can join the discord linked at the top/side of the subreddit or in the welcome/resources post for a more livechat-esque response with other players.
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2023.03.21 21:19 SovereignOne666 [Terminology] Non of the definitions I found regarding creationism are consistent or adequate enough, and its meaning can be rather broad

Such things bother me. I attempted to make a definition of creationism a few times now but they always end up being too long, too complicated and still vague! Thus, it is not clear where one draws the line between creationists, and acreationist theists, in fact, one could reasonably argue that all theists and even some atheists are creationists, making the term obsolete (kinda like how "evolutionists" or "Darwinists" mean whatever the fuck supports the agenda and currently made falsehoods of whichever fundie uses these words to describe a group of people they don't like). I hate ambiguity, but what I hate more is when the definition of terms is false and thus dishonest (ever looked up what an animal is in colloquial dictionaries? Yeah).
For instance, there are most likely many Christians who accept evolution while simultaneously believing in the stories of the Garden of Eden and the Noahian flood being historical accounts, and then there are Christians who don't believe in these things or at least the Bible being infallible, but that Jesus performed jinnie magic and that the fundamental constants of the universe are fine-tuned. Are these folks also creationists? Are they not? What about Theodosius Dobzansky (I may have fucked up his name), who believed organisms to be related to other organisms, but that life was created by God, or every other theistic/creationist evolutionist?
In my eyes, and if I'm allowed to say this, they all believe in impossibilities, absurdities of the highest possible degree for insufficient and logically incoherent reasons and regardless of how much they swallow or reject because they are inherently unbelievably dishonest and unreasonable. It's not about what the facts are, but rather what they want reality to be, as if your mind could somehow change the universe. Un-believable smh
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2023.03.21 21:16 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, Part 630

The Dauntless

“I lost track of all time playing that game!” Ambassador Tal complains as they walk into the main governance building together.
“An unfortunate side effect of entertainment. You stop counting the minutes and just indulge.” Admiral Cistern notes.
“No kidding.” Ambassador Tal notes as she cracks her back a bit and sends her breasts bouncing somewhat.
“There you two are!” Lady Ticanped exclaims walking up. “At least you’re both presentable! But do you have any ideas about the rumours I’ve been hearing?”
“My people are doing a great number of things in a great number of places. I require context.”
“Rumours of a new species!? A massive raid on hugely influential women!? How about Biological Horror Constructs and an attempt to create an Axiom God!?” Lady Ticanped asks.
“... I honestly expected all that to get out sooner.”
“You’re confirming it?!”
“Yes. In our pursuit of rescue and cooperation with lawful authorities The Undaunted have been placed in situations where we have intercepted a crazed clone’s attempt to forcibly convert her original into a god-like entity. The agents involved were later setting up a sting operation and stumbled onto a massive child trafficking ring and the overall rescue effort on the lost colony Lakran has caused the emergence of new Urthani strains on the galaxy.”
“And the rumour that one of those strains is the second Primal Species to ever arise?”
“I do in fact have a Primal Urthani under my employ.” Admiral Cistern answers.
“And the Axiom God?” Ambassador Tal asks with a huge smile on her face at the absurdity of things.
“Professor Grace? Yes, him and his daughters.”
“Daughters.... wait! Those adorable little Khob girls that the whole ship is doting on?” Nikta asks excitedly. She’d seen a soldier chase down a tiny Kohb girl while covered in pink glitter and had tickled her into submission after catching her. Once he stopped she had clung onto his uniform and cheered when he explained that they were going to see her father.
“Yes. His clone created twelve more clones and I’m proud to say the reaction from my men for having a dozen tiny children running everywhere has been more piggyback rides and friendly patience than annoyance. Those little girls are going to spoiled absolutely rotten at this rate.”
“Of course the supposed Axiom God would be a male. Let me guess, human too?”
“Partly? He’s spliced human traits into himself. So he’s considerably taller than the average Kohb.”
“And the Primal Urthani?”
“He’s on the opposite side of the galaxy. Still on Lakran. Which is also where I’m keeping him for as long as reasonably possible because as bad as rumours or confirmed rumours of a new Primal Strain is, actually having one anywhere in a thousand lightyears of Centris is infinitely worse.” Admiral Cistern answers.
“Thank goodness. And the supposed raid on influential women?”
“I don’t have all the information. Much of it is tied up in a huge amount of litigation and court freezes. Even the information I have is heavily redacted for legal purposes.”
“What can you tell me?”
“An enormous child trafficking ring was recently broken wide open by some of my men with the help of local police forces. This ring kept a list of all their customers as well as recorded evidence of their many crimes and that has been seized. The Police of Lilb Tulelb have placed a massive gag order on all information and have frozen the assets of the accused until they can be properly legally processed. They want to ensure that everything is done flawlessly so they’re taking their time.”
“Some may argue that’s an abuse of power.” Lady Ticanped notes.
“Not at all, so long as the personal property and persons of the individuals being detained are not damaged or sold off by the police then they are legally permitted to hold someone until their court hearing.” Admiral Cistern says and Lady Ticanped considers.
“That... hmm... yes that would explain all the rumours. Not enough information going about. Even you don’t have the information.” She realizes.
“I have guesses and approximations, but that is what everyone has at the moment.”
“I see. Okay, this is easily workable.” She says before leaning in and giving Admiral Cistern a kiss.
“Still, I’ll be making sure you smell more of feather than engine grease.”
“I don’t smell like engine grease!” Ambassador Tal protests.
“Let’s agree to disagree.” Lady Ticanped says in an agreeable tone.
“I don’t!”
“Of course.” Lady Ticanbed answers as she snaps out a fan to cover her slight smile. “Anyways darlings, the next council session is soon to begin. I advise you both to find your way to your appointed booths.
“Honoured representatives! Astute Ambassadors and Noble Scions! I Lady Ticanped, as Speaker for this Galactic Council, do declare the session as officially open! May all the gods you worship, all the oaths you have sworn and all the peoples you stand for look fondly upon you. It is time!”
The regal Pavorous scans the massive chamber and nods. “To begin this august session we have the concerns of the Almari Collective directed towards The Undaunted.”
The booths with the Almari Collective representative and Admiral Cistern respectively project images of Representative Val Miriti and Admiral Cistern. Things are set up so the projected images look like they’re speaking to one another.
“You! We have heard that you are experimenting with Urthani men to try and create super-soldiers!” The representative, a Tret woman in a formal outfit, accuses.
“... Well... only from the most twisted point of view. One of my soldiers in the Titan Program is an Urthani, as per the Titan Program he’s of equal stature to a Bull Cannidor and often finds himself in power armour and wielding capital ship scale weapons. That’s fairly super for a soldier in my professional opinion.”
“And the rumours that he’s a Primal Urthani?”
“He is.” Admiral Cistern states and there is a sudden massive uproar through the room as everyone starts to speak and their booths start automatically project them to try and accommodate the debate but the system is quickly overwhelmed and it all becomes a chaotic mess.
“Order! There will be Order on my Council!” Lady Ticanped calls out and after a few minutes of yelling and her flexing her new power to forcibly deactivate the projectors she has order. “Now then, would the representative from The Undaunted be so kind as to elaborate his statement?”
“My Urthani Soldier on Lakran has ascended into a Primal Urthani during the fulfillment of his duties.” Ambassador Cistern says simply. “What more is there that requires elaboration.”
“Perhaps how ascension into what many religions consider a living god can be considered part of a soldier’s duty.” Lady Ticanped asks pointedly.
“The Undaunted strive to be the best they can be. Why is succeeding in one’s goals a surprise?”
“That’s a bit above and beyond the call of duty.”
“Yes, so the debate as to how highly promoted and how well paid he will be is still underway. Exemplary service must be met with exemplary pay and accreditation.”
“Admiral Cistern, please take this situation seriously.”
“I am. I hold no special view of Primals excepting what I can learn from them. Otherwise they are merely more citizens of the galaxy to me. If I have to chose between recruiting a well trained and responsible Greater Plains Nagasha or a disobedient and untrained Primal Nagasha I will hire the Greater Plains Nagasha. That Sergeant Skitterway ascended into a Primal Urthani merely meant to me that his official documentation required updating. It’s what he did in the process of ‘ascending’ that was more valuable to me.” Admiral Cistern explains using his fingers to draw the airquotes around ascending.
“Why did you... does it really not matter?”
“It’s interesting, especially to my Research and Development departments. But my primary concerns are funding, logistics, legality, movement and tactics. Whatever the official name of my soldier’s species it matters very little to me so long as their recruitment is a benefit to the Undaunted and not a hindrance.”
“But you have a Primal Urthani in your army, yes or no?” Representative Miriti demands.
“Yes.” Admiral Cistern states.
“Then the Almari Hive Collective demands the release of this specimen to their care.” Representative Miriti states. Not a bad play, a full fifth of all Urthani in the galaxy live in that area of space. Unfortunately for her, Doctor Skitterway was not a citizen of the Collective and neither was Emmanuel.
“Denied, he is needed at his post.” Admiral Cistern’s response is swift and unquestioning.
“His homelands call to him. He belongs with his people!”
“Sergeant Emmanuel Skitterway is not and has never been a citizen or subject of the Almari Collective. And even if he was, not only would his legally binding oath of service to The Undaunted supersede this but his death and following resurrection would further annul any legal bindings you have to him.”
“... Did you say death and resurrection.” Lady Ticanped asks.
“I did.” He replies.
“... Could you clarify?” She asks.
“Is it relevant to the subject at hand?” Admiral Cistern asks.
“Is this the same soldier Sergeant Emmanuel Skitterway?”
“Yes.” Admiral Cistern says as the entire room explodes again and minutes are spent muting everyone and getting things under control.
“Admiral Cistern, we don’t appreciate being lied to.”
“Why would I lie when the truth is both far more absurd and far more entertaining?” Admiral Cistern answers with a grin before accepting a coffee. “Thank you Private Stream.”
“Sir! You’re welcome sir!” The overeager private replies and he takes a sip of the steaming drink in front of the entire galaxy.
“Admiral Cistern. This body does not appreciate double speak or silly games. You will explain yourself.” Lady Ticanped threatens.
“Very well milady. Roughly three hundred years ago a young Urthani man by the name of Emmanuel Skitterway was killed in a power core containment failure. He was survived only by a medical clone that was intended to be used to replace lost limbs or organs and a grieving mother. This mother held onto the unawakened clone for centuries until she got her hands on a mental engram of an Undaunted soldier who had volunteered for a restorative coma. For reasons I have yet to have explained to me, she placed these memories into the clone of her son and jettisoned the pod at a failed colony world named Lakran.” He takes a sip of his coffee.
“In summation, shenanigans ensued, he established contact with The Undaunted and temporarily took the name Jasper Blue as both an identifier distinct from the soldier who’s memories he had and as a bit of a joke. Further nonsense followed on that world and he somehow retrieved all the memories and emotional experiences of Emmanuel Skitterway in full. Essentially becoming his own reincarnation but as he identifies himself as Emmanuel we’ve referred to it as a resurrection. Further nonsense happened as our rescue and relief force was on the way and by the time we arrived the man had grown to have the stature of a Cannidor, had alloyed his fur, claws and bones with a metal that makes most starship hulls seem fragile, reinforced his claws, grew extra antenna, adjusted and expanded his proboscis, his wings are now segmented and twice their former size, and his digestive tract and internal redundancies are robust to the point that he could potentially survive in Cruel Space.”
“And... that makes him a Primal?”
“He describes in his reports a spiritual experience and claims to have not only seen a woman become a Primal Nagasha, but claims to have seen other races ascend as well. He claims the next race to achieve Primal Status will be a Wimparas.” Admiral Cistern explains. “He describes the process as entering a realm beyond time, then you must define yourself, reject yourself, define yourself again and reject yourself again until you reach a point of critical mass and become all of your selves simultaneously. This creates the Primal.”
“... Admiral Cistern.” Representative Miriti states after a bit. She looks supremely unimpressed. “If rumours are inaccurate you are permitted to say as such. Don’t make up absurd stories to feed into them. It’s unbecoming.”
“I will keep that in mind. Though please remember that denying a rumour often has people assume that as proof of it’s accuracy. Or that someone must be hiding something or something else of the sort.”
“If that is all?” Lady Ticanped asks testily.
“Until I am questioned again milady.” Admiral Cistern says raising his mug in a toast and then his projector deactivates.
Why lie when the truth itself is MORE than enough?

First Last
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2023.03.21 21:16 determia 22F can anyone help?

Hi! I have this problem which makes me really stressed out and frustrated and unfortunately I don't have anyone else to ask. Almost two months ago I went to an eye doctor because my left eye hurt. He measured my eye pressure and it was 23. My corneas are super thick tho, like 580 mm. My right eye was 25. He said that it might be glaucoma and prescribed me glaucoma eye drops. I went there again after three weeks for a check up, we did the visual field test and CT scan. My right eye had some borderline areas on the CT scan. The nerve was asymmetric and on the visual field test I had some blind spots on the side closest to nose. He said that it was suspicious and told me to keep taking my glaucoma drops for the next 4 monts. (does anyone know why exactly 4 months?) He didn't say that I have glaucoma for sure. But now my eye dryness got worse in my left eye and I'm super scared that the drops are worsening it. I'm scared that i will develop dry eye on my right eye too. When i tried to talk to my doctor about the glaucoma drops and me being scared of them making my dry eye worse, he told me that I need to take the glaucoma drops and prescribed me some new eye drops that are supposed to help my dry eye. Idk, is he reasonable about that? Like it's not for certain that I have glaucoma and I risk getting another dry eye... It makes me really frustrated... Am I wrong for feeling that way?
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2023.03.21 21:15 Few_Text_62 I miss my buddy so much.

It’s been two months and I feel like the grief has gotten so much worse. I almost feel like I’ve gone backwards, starting with acceptance and slowly deteriorating over time.
I’m so broken over it. It was just me and him. I feel like my life has no meaning anymore. I’m thinking of getting a puppy or a dog since it’s so lonely, but the thought of looking into a dogs eyes and not seeing my pup is just fully depressing.
I’m not really looking for anything specific in this post. Just realized how heavy it felt today and how I can’t really go to anyone about it because it’s “silly.”
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2023.03.21 21:11 TheAmazingButtcrack Advance review of Nightborn: Coldfire Rising by C. S. Friedman

This advance review of Nightborn: Coldfire Rising has just been posted on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist:
When C. S. Friedman got in touch with me to see if I'd like an early read of the forthcoming Coldfire prequel Nightborn: Coldire Rising, needless to say I was extremely excited. Not only would we get the story of the founding of Erna, but the book would also include a revised edition of the novella Dominion, which I read and reviewed back in 2012. It's been a while, that's for sure. Crown of Shadows, final installment in the original series, was published in 1995. Since then, the Coldfire trilogy has remained in print and very few SFF works can boast of such longevity unless they're quite good.
Friedman has always been adamant that there would never be a sequel to the Coldfire series. And nearly three decades down the line, it doesn't look like she will change her mind. However, the market for shorter works, especially novellas, has been expanding in recent years. So much so that she realized that the time could be ripe to explore ideas and concepts that, while they lacked enough material to warrant a novel-length project, could be turned into books that couldn't have been published just a few years back. Dominion was the first such project and it turned out to be a wonderful read.
Nightborn: Coldire Rising focuses on the Founding of Erna and what led to the First Sacrifice. Fans might recall that it's a tale hinted at in the prologue of When True Night Falls. Dominion recounts the story of how Gerald Tarrant mastered the Forest and became the Hunter. This novella takes place 613 years following the settlement of the colony on Erna and about six centuries prior to the events of the Coldfire trilogy. Friedman realized that Erna has a rich history that is hinted at in the series and that there was a wealth of material for potential prequels. Mapping out such story arcs, the author envisioned a set of novellas that would also explore the Age of the False Messiahs, the Neo-Gothic Revival and its Unification Wars, the great Rakhene Genocide, the transformation of the Forbidden Forest into Tarrant’s private hunting ground, and the Church’s doomed war against him and his minions. All of which has this Coldfire fan pretty excited!
Some readers unfamiliar with the original trilogy will wonder if Nightborn: Coldire Rising makes a good starting point for newbies. Yes, it is a prequel and efforts were made by the author to make this book a somewhat stand-alone work that can be read and understood without having read the Coldfire trilogy. And yet, why would you want to do that? The Coldfire series is a seminal work of dark fantasy that has withstood the test of time, so why would you want to pick up this one before reading the original material? Though Nightborn: Coldire Rising can be read on its own, without the context provided by the original trilogy you'd be missing out on lots of things and not just a few nuances. You might enjoy Dominion without having prior knowledge of Gerald Tarrant, but if you actually know the story of this fascinating badass character you'll be ecstatic. This new one is slated to be released in July, so there is ample time for you to find out for yourself just how brillant the Coldfire trilogy truly is by starting with Black Sun Rising. Follow this Amazon Associate link to learn more about this title and its sequels. Believe you me: You'll love them! And you'll be up-to-date when this prequel hits the shelves this summer.
Here's the blurb:
A prequel to the lauded Coldfire trilogy, Friedman's latest novel mixes the best of dark fantasy and chilling sci-fi.
A ship full of colonists arrive on a seemingly hospitable planet, only to discover that it harbors a terrifying secret. Soon the settlers find themselves caught up in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, bringing a person’s greatest fears and darkest nightmares to life.
As Colony Commander Leon Case and Chief Medic Lise Perez struggle to find a way to control the fae before more people die, other settlers have ideas of their own…and they may prove more of a threat to colony than the fae itself.
Nightborn: Coldfire Rising is a tale that blends sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, suspenseful and emotionally intense, as a handful of humans struggle to survive on an alien world that seems determined to kill them. In the end they will have to draw upon both scientific knowledge and mystical traditions to save themselves.
Whether you're just discovering the Coldfire universe through this prequel or returning to it as a classic favorite, Nightborn: Coldfire Rising is the perfect entry point to this unique, genre-blending space fantasy epic.
As mentioned, Nightborn: Coldire Rising is the story of the Founding of Erna. It focuses on the horrors that the colonists had to face when they first encountered the mysterious and all-encompassing force they'll come to know as the fae. Coming out of cryogenic sleep after decades spent searching for an habitable planet, the leading faction of the settlers discover that their ship has been observing Erna for ninety years before waking them up. There are obviously some anomalies that prevented the ship from approving the planet as an acceptable settlement for their colony, but they can't find anything concrete as to why the process took this long. In an essay she wrote for her Patreon, Friedman says that one of the most interesting facets of the Coldfire Trilogy is its science fiction background. The people who landed on Erna were rational, scientifically minded people, from a culture not unlike our own. Yet a thousand years later they would have lost all their technology, mastered the fae (as much as anyone could), and adopted terminology and trappings from mysticism and sorcery. How did they get from point A to point B, changing not only their technology but the very tenor of their society? This is the question that she tried to answer with this newest work. How did the colonists figure out what the fae was in the first place? Fans of the trilogy will know that there were no adepts when the colonists landed on Erna. Hence, nobody could see it without Working their sight, but human beings hadn’t learned to Work yet. According to Friedman, this was the biggest challenge to address. If the colonists couldn’t see the fae, didn’t even know it was there to begin with, and had never encountered anything like it to make them suspect it even existed, how did they figure out how to See it, much less control it? That ended up being the main theme of Nightborn: Coldire Rising: a group of colonists trapped on a planet where a seemingly supernatural force was manifesting their darkest instincts and wildest nightmares, who were struggling to figure out what the hell it was and how to gain a measure of control over it before it killed them all.
And time is running out. When I started reading the book, I believed that the tale would cover the span of several months. Imagine my surprise when I realized that Nightborn: Coldire Rising only covers a period of about twenty days. Less than three weeks, that's how long it took for everything to go down the crapper. This lends a tense and suspenseful atmosphere to the story and forces characters to make questionable decisions as their lives and their chances of survival continue to unravel with each passing day. Though I would have liked for the story to cover a bit more ground and give us more than a glimpse of the colonists' early days on Erna, there's no denying that it is self-contained and ends with the aftermath of the First Sacrifice. You reach the ending wanting more, but this new Coldfire tale does what it set out to do. Understandably, it's more scifi than fantasy, and might feel a little discordant with the original material, at least stylistically. Yet a settlement story couldn't be anything else, and I'm sure that fans will enjoy discovering how it all began.
As for Dominion, well it was a doozy! Even though I read the original version a decade ago, like all Coldfire fans I relished the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite SFF characters of all time: Gerald Tarrant. And even though this one occurs more than six centuries into the pass, Friedman recaptured the feel of the Coldfire books. This makes this one impossible to put down and you'll likely finish it in a single sitting. As I mentioned in my first review, Friedman sets the mood perfectly. The narrative grabs hold of you and won't let go. The prose is evocative and the Forest almost becomes a character in its own right. Sure, some will say that hardcore fans are already won over. But it's no secret that the author knows how to draw readers into her tales and Dominion is no different.
The novella features the POVs of two protagonists. The first is that of Gerald Tarrant, first Neocount of Merentha. Although the thirty pages or so don't provide enough of an opportunity to fully appreciate this chance to see Tarrant in action and witness events unfold through his eyes, I loved every single moment of it. Hot damn, I want more! The second perspective is that of Faith, last survivor of a band of knights of the Church hunting faeborn creatures in the Forest. She possesses a special gift known as the Earth's blessing; the fae does not respond to her. Both characters find themselves in the heart of the Forest; one trying to escape, while the other means to best it. I think Friedman created a good balance between the two POV sections throughout the novella. I also enjoyed how the author introduced Amoril and how he became part of Tarrant's entourage.You reach the end too quickly for my taste, but again this tale is as long as it needs to be.
If all goes according to plan, Friedman says that the next novella will be a tale from the Neo-Gothic era, when a young idealist named Gerald Tarrant brings faith to his world, even as darkness begins to take root within his own soul. The author believes that fans of Gerald Tarrant will love to watch that corruption unfold, as well as seeing parts of his personal history that he hinted at in the original trilogy. So Coldfire fans unite! Unless Nightborn: Coldire Rising is a success, we might never get to read that new story. And I for one cannot countenance such a thing! I also want to read every other planned Coldfire novella, so we need to make it happen!
Original link: https://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2023/03/nightborn-coldfire-rising.html
I'm so excited to read this one!:)
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2023.03.21 21:04 ComeWriteWithMe There is an evening class happening at my London University, but it's unscheduled and no administrator I've spoken to seems to know anything about it...

I attend a University in London, England. Without doxxing myself, it's both renowned and very established, dating back hundreds of years. Even during the day, when I take a wrong corner and end up in a silent corridor or the such, I spook myself out.
One evening, about a month ago, I found myself pulling an all nighter to get an assignment finished. You know how it is, gotta burn the midnight oil. I found myself with serious cramp in my back at about midnight so decided to call it a day and head back to dorms. The space I was working in was the older section of the University and it was mostly empty by 7pm, save for a few janitors here and there some nights. That night, I had been completely alone and uninterrupted while I worked.
On my way to the stairs I heard deep voices which I assumed to be coming from outside. The old windows were single glazed and let in both noise and a nasty draft when the weather turned cold. Baring it no mind, I continued my way to the stairs, but noticed the bass in the voices get louder as I made way. It was only after the last turn, when I could see the stairwell in sight that I realised those voices weren't coming from outside, nor of some otherworldly origin, but from a class that seemed to still be in session! Honestly, it was a relief to find out I wasn't there alone and sense of comfort returned to my worried steps.
Curiosity got the better of me when I wondered what sort of class could be happening at this late hour, so as I swiftly made my way to the stairs I turned my head to take a quick peek through the open door. It was literally only a second, and I kept moving, but I swear whatever comfort knowing there was others up there with me was taken away when I tried to understand what I saw happening in that room.
The room was dark, except for a glow that was emanating from a part I couldn't see for the door. At the end of room I made out the a young girl, her eyes completely glassy and white, dancing- no, moving erratically in such an unnatural way, and with such force and tempo that I was filled with a dread or guilt that I had seen something in that instance that I was not meant to have seen, something that should have not even been possible. So weird that my mind didn't even think to double back and confirm what I saw- or perhaps, not wanting to.
By the time I reached the bottom of the stairwell I had convinced my better sanity that it was in fact something innocuous. I would like to tell you that I didn't think on the matter for the rest of the night but the image of the girl contorted in such a unnatural position, her eyes rolled into the back of her skull as she flung her body with such abandon flashed in my thoughts during the ride home, at dinner with my roomate, and took stay in my feverish nightmare that evening.
The next morning I inquired our online University scheduling system to see which class, club or tutor had booked the space. Nothing. I approached the front desk at campus and spoke to the receptionist with whom I had a good rapport, and asked her if that space was used last night. Annoyingly, she consulted the same scheduling system I had and confirmed what I already knew but added that sometimes students will use rooms adhoc when their regular classroom had been taken.
I thanked her for the theory and then truly let it leave my mind so I could begin my day's work on my thesis, enough time had been spent on spooking myself out on curiosities I had no right in having, not with the a thesis deadlines looming over my head. I had no other sightings of the mysterious class for the next couple of weeks though admittedly avoid that wing of the campus. But just yesterday I saw her. The girl that performed that movement. Except there in the daylight and surrounded by students and lecturers she looked normal, like any young student sitting amongst her friends; talking, laughing and enjoying each other's company
I confronted her there and then. I know it's not polite, especially here in Britain where social norms between strangers err on the side of muting anything more dramatic then a friendly smile, but I felt a compulsion to know.
I interrupted her mid conversation and asked whether she studied dance. she looked confused, as did her friends, and answered negatively. I then told her that I saw her the other day in the east wing, at midnight, where she was practising dance. I kept emphasising the word dance when I spoke, not knowing what to call what I had seen, but hoping it would make her betray something on her face. Nothing, she declined again. I swear I saw no tell on her face that indicated to me that she was lying. I was almost convinced she was telling me the truth and that she knew nothing about it, except for the swarthy fellow who she was seated next to. He was staring death at me. I could see something in his eyes- that he knew exactly what I meant and I bet everyone on that table knew as well.
Unable to stand that fellows deathly glare for much longer I excused myself and told her I must be confused. As I made my way out of the canteen I looked back, and sure enough the entire table was looking at me- which admittedly, I don't blame them for. I must have seemed like a rambling mad man, but I had a feeling I stumbled onto something I shouldn't have.
There is actually another part of this story that I haven't told you yet, and that I wish to tell you- but truth be told, since that encounter and the following one which I have yet to elucidate, my nerves have been shot. Even recounting this much of the story has effected my disposition negatively and filled me with dread. I am to see my doctor tomorrow to prescribe me some salts to help with my fraught mind, but until then wish me a better health. I'll endeavour to finish the recounting of these events then.
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2023.03.21 21:03 Foglamp03 I confronted my parents for the truth, and my dad confronted me with a knife

It feels gaudy to post again so soon. In my last post I mentioned my mom miscarried in her recent pregnancy after a bad fall. Something didn't smell right about the information I got after all the comments I received about it. So I decided the only way I was going to get the truth was to go straight to the horse's mouth. So I went to see my parents on Sunday. They were both home, and resting. They both look like hell too. My mom aside from needing crutches to walk more than a few feet, has a lot of marks and bandages all over her face from that fall she took. And my dad, well just see his description after the beating I gave him in my last post to see how he looked.
My parents were beyond shocked I showed up. And I demanded to know if there ever really was a baby. Or if it was all just some half-assed plan to guilt me for not coming home. My dad said I had a lot of nerve showing up and just letting myself in after what happened. But my mom broke down in sobs and said she really had been pregnant. She lurched into the bedroom and retrieved a small but kinda ornate looking urn. And it had ashes inside it. I even checked to see if they smelled looked or smelled like ashes from cigarettes or a barbecue or something. But they didn't smell anything like that. In fact, I barely smelled anything at all.
I asked why they brought home the urn claiming the ashes were in it before. I checked online and it said seven to ten days at least to get ashes back. And mom was in the hospital no more than five days. My mom said they bought the urn online, and expected to get the baby's ashes back when they went to the crematorium. And were really upset they couldn't bring the baby home yet. So they just waited until they could get the ashes a few days later. And then went out to get drunk. Mom claimed the crematorium did things a little quicker because she begged them. There was genuine tears in her eyes. I've seen her crocodile tears many times. But this didn't look like that.
I got more information as to what happened about how my mom fell. She was running late to see her doctor. An OBGYN, or whatever they call them. Mom explained that she overslept while taking a nap, and was trying to hurry out to make her appointment. Then slipped on a toy while trying to get down the steps. The guard rails for the porch had rotted and broken off like two years ago, and dad never fixed or replaced them. So my mom had nothing to grab onto in order to stop her fall. And down she went right off the porch and landed face and then belly into the ground. She even showed me marks all over her stomach from where she landed. She told me the baby would have been another boy. I've got two brothers and two sisters, and there would have been one more brother. Then mom told me that a doctor warned her against ever trying to have another baby. Because her body might not be able to handle it again due to her age and prior injuries. I kind of figured that was the case after somethings people messaged me about it. But it didn't make it any easier to hear in person.
Finally, I asked the big question. Why did she blame me? Mom started to say that day they showed up at my apartment was just really bad, or something like that. But dad finally spoke up and interrupted her. He yelled that it's because it 'was' all my fault. If I'd done like he said and moved back home at Thanksgiving, then I would have been there to help. And now a baby is dead because of me. I yelled at him that if he'd actually bothered to fix the damn porch, then mom might not have ever fell. And that's on him. Plus, he didn't even bother to tell me mom was pregnant back at Thanksgiving. Not that it would have changed anything. We continued yelling at each other, and rather than side with anyone, my mom just left the room crying. My dad looked like a lit match from how red he was, and he brandished his old hunting knife at me while yelling to get out of his house. As I was leaving, he said I was no longer his son. I told him that I'd not seen him as a father in years, because he was always a terrible dad.
But before I went out the door, I said to him that I'd be filing for a restraining order. And if he ever lays a hand on my siblings like he tried to do with me. Then next time he'll lose more than a couple of teeth. And I won't hesitate to call police or CPS if he tries the same crap with my siblings as he did me. He yelled plenty of insults at me from the front door, like "You son of a bitch!". I said back that was an insult on mom, and he got red in the face again. Then I gave him a one finger salute before riding away on my mountain bike. So yeah, I guess that's as good of an answer as I have for anyone. If this isn't the truth, then I don't know what is. But, does it matter anymore? I'm filing for a restraining order as soon I can. And I'll be looking to move apartments after I start bringing in money from my new job. I don't know if I'll feel like updating again after this. I'm just gonna be depressed remembering all this. So I think I may be done here. Unless my parents decide to do something bad to my siblings. But hopefully I've gotten my point across to them. I've already beaten dad up twice, and he still looked somewhat afraid of me while clutching that knife. It felt like he was looking at a monster. Maybe I am in his eyes. But if my being a monster to him means he never hurts my siblings. Then that's fine. I'll be the monster.
Sayonara everybody.
submitted by Foglamp03 to entitledparents [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:02 herodothyote How Costco's chicken bakes took over my life

I can't help myself, I've got a problem: I'm utterly, irrevocably, and undeniably OBSESSED with Costco chicken bakes. I swear, every time I step foot in that warehouse, it's like my heart starts racing and my taste buds tingle in anticipation. I'm an Instacart shopper by trade, or at least I used to be. Nowadays, I'm more of a chicken bake aficionado.
Oh, those heavenly, cheesy, succulent chicken bakes. They've got a hold on me like nothing else. I've tried to fight the urge, tried to convince myself that I could just walk past the food court and accept the flood of batches like a responsible adult. But nope, I'm like a moth to a flame – powerless against their delicious allure.
It all started innocently enough, just a quick snack between Instacart batches. But soon, my love for chicken bakes evolved into a full-blown addiction. I'd turn down batch after batch, prioritizing my precious chicken bakes over actually making money. And then I discovered the wake and bake.
If I thought I was powerless before, combining the euphoria of a wake and bake with the decadent taste of a chicken bake was like a one-way ticket to paradise. The perfect storm of indulgence, I couldn't get enough. But paradise comes with a price, and in this case, it was my once-thriving Instacart income.
I know it sounds ridiculous, a grown woman unable to resist the siren call of chicken bakes and wake and bakes, but trust me, it's a struggle. I've tried everything: therapy, support groups, even meditation. But every time I close my eyes, all I see is that warm, gooey, chicken-filled goodness. And when I open them, there's that sweet, sweet smell of freshly baked dough wafting through the air, tempting me back to my downfall.
I've become something of a legend on my facebook group, the "Chicken Bake Queen" they call me. But if I'm being honest, it's not a title I'm proud of. My once-enviable Instacart income has dwindled, my reputation tarnished by my insatiable appetite for Costco's finest creation.
So I write this as a cautionary tale, dear reader. If you ever find yourself shopping at Costco, completing Instacart orders like the responsible adult you are, do yourself a favor: resist the temptation, don't become another victim of the almighty chicken bake.
submitted by herodothyote to instacart [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:01 Feeling_Salt_2114 i’m sick of people valuing my possible fertility over me, who’s in unbearable pain

hi everyone! i just wanted to do a rant because i’m very frustrated right now. for background, i’m a high schooler (freshmen) who suffers from endometriosis. the majority of women in my family carry it (including my mother), and i started to show signs of it back when i was 10 and had just gotten my period. from there, it’s been torture, and has only dramatically worsened. the sharp pain i feel every month is so bad i can never leave the house during that time. i faint so often from the bloodloss too. i’m practically bedridden and the bleeding is so heavy, it lasts for around 10-15 days.
my mother is a strict christian who basically believes a women’s purpose is to bring children into this world. she was devastated when a doctor told her that there was a chance i can’t have kids due to the endometriosis. and yet, she STILL won’t let me get any form of relief or treatment because it’s “against the will of god”. i respect everyone’s religious beliefs, but when i miss a third of my education because i’m in so much pain, it becomes a problem.
i’ve spoken to my general doctor begging for something to help me get through this, but, and i quote, “deal with it, you’re a woman now.”
i once asked my mother why i couldn’t get access to anything to help me, and she said “because i need you to make grandchildren from me.”
is that seriously my only purpose in her eyes? she literally suffered through the SAME thing and has no empathy.
my father is the only one of the family who is actually trying to help me, but everytime he mentions something about it, my mother freaks out because apparently she cares more about my uterus than me.
anyways, that’s about it. thank you all for being a very supportive subreddit!! :)
submitted by Feeling_Salt_2114 to Endo [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:00 The_Fallen_1 [THJVerse] Arcane Starfarers - ep 1 - To the stars

Hi all, I’m back with the full series following on from my last mini-series, Angland U. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it, as it serves as a prologue and an easy entry into the THJ Universe, which started with The Hunter’s Journey. I have tried to make it so reading THJ isn’t necessary if you read the prologue, but it will provide more insight into the world than my prologue will (it’s a lot easier to go into the full depths of something with around 2,000 pages than it is with around 40-50 after all.)
Fair warning, there will be some adult themes in the series, so reader discretion is advised.
So, without further ado, enjoy!
Prologue / Previous / Next
Daniel rolled his left arm in its socket as he read his new assignment once more, excited to finally be getting out of constant lessons, training, and parades. He shut off the holoviewer and retracted it back into his bionic arm, allowing his hand to snap back into place, banging the back of it a couple times to make sure it was seated properly, and letting out a small sigh of relief that it was still holding up after so much punishment in basic training. He quickly checked his bags once more, making sure he had everything on him, completed one final check of the room, and then exited it. He walked down the hallway and hopped into the lift, heading down to the ground floor. Once there, he walked over to the reception, where he checked out of the hotel, and then made his way over to the hotel's subway entrance.
Upon entering the subway, he identified the military door and scanned his pass, letting him through the secure door to the private platform, where a half filled carriage was waiting. He quickly boarded and found a seat, watching the door for another 30 seconds before they closed and the carriage began to move. Less than a minute later, the carriage slowed to a halt at the other platform, and everyone began to disembark. Once he was off, Daniel quickly pulled his uniform straight, making sure the creases were still crisp and that his brassard was sitting correctly, before touching his headdress to make sure it was on straight, and he then began to walk up the stairs and left the subway.
Looking out onto the runway, he spotted his transport almost completely loaded, a massive 350 metre wide behemoth of a flying wing, an ASWT-16. As he walked towards the military security terminal of the spaceport, two privates stood to attention and saluted him, which he acknowledged quickly so they could get back to their business. He scanned his pass on the security terminal, and then walked through the attached gate, scanning him and finding nothing of concern. He quickly removed his headdress now that he was on an active airfield, and stored it in his bag before jumping on the nearby shuttle bus, which collected a few more people before the doors closed and silently drove towards the transport, coming to a stop just before the ramp. Everyone quickly disembarked, and the bus headed back to the gate the instant the last person was off, and then the group all quickly boarded the transport, rushing to get one of the better seats. Daniel didn’t rush though, and instead headed to the subtly comfier seats with an actual real window that peeked over the surface of the wing, reserved for officers like himself, and he stuffed his bags under it.
As he waited for boarding and loading to wrap up, he flicked his metal hand back and checked his messages on his holo once again, looking to see if any of his family or friends had responded. As expected, he had a quick good luck message from his Dad, and absolutely nothing from his Mother, but all his childhood and University friends had responded, barring the one person he really wanted to hear from. He knew she had read it, the app indicated as such, but she hadn’t responded. He hoped she was just writing a really long message congratulating him and wishing him luck, but he couldn’t just help but worry that she hadn’t taken the news well.
He forced it out of his mind as the loading ramp began to close and the transport crew called out their final checks. He raised both his arms off of his lap as a crew member checked to make sure his belt was on, and once the crew member had checked everyone on the row, they found their own seat and sat down. Less than two minutes later, a low rumble could be heard as all twelves thrusters roared to full power, and the transport began to quickly accelerate down the runway, taking off with its full 4,000 tonne load.
Daniel watched the fields blitz past out the window, each one getting smaller and smaller as they ascended faster and faster, until he could just about make out the curvature of the Earth, feeling a small jolt as the thrusters switched from their air breathing modes to their vacuum modes. It didn’t take long until all he could see out of his tiny window was the black void of space above the wing. The wing in question suddenly became a hub of activity as numerous panels began to wing open or retract, allowing a pylon with a long pod on the end to raise up, which began to glow a dull blue as the star formations visible to him began to distort.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please,” one of the crew members began. “We are now at warp, and it is safe to walk around the craft. ETA for Mars orbit is 30 minutes, so please make sure you are buckled back in before that happens. The gravity generator isn’t the strongest on a transport like this, so the docking manoeuvres could pose a danger. Also, please don’t enter the cargo grid, gravity is weaker there, and any magnetic objects could be ripped from your body. I don’t fancy having to retrieve your body for the medic because a piercing got ripped out.”
Daniel looked over to the other passengers, noticing that one of the plain clothes personnel was grimacing and holding their legs tight together, while their friend next to them bumped their shoulder with a poorly masked grin. He shook his head and got to his feet, giving them a stretch while he had the chance, and checked his holo to see that it was now disconnected from the network as expected. He snapped his hand back into place, finding that the connection for his little finger wasn’t engaging properly, so he gave the back of his hand a firm smack and thankfully managed to regain control of his extremity.
“Should probably get that looked into, Sir,” the Lieutenant sitting next to him said.
“Yeah, I’ve got a replacement ordered. It’s been messed up since basic, and I’ve finally gotten approval for the latest model,” Daniel explained.
“Is requisition that bad at the moment?”
“Only for the full suite I need.”
“What do you need that’s in short supply?”
“Sorry, but that’s need to know,” Daniel told him, knowing that the parts weren’t restricted information to someone of his rank, but he was still happy to use it to avoid unwanted conversation at the moment.
“Of course, sir. My apologies for asking.”
“No harm done,” Daniel assured him as he straightened his shirt and made his way towards the front of the transport.
He opened the doorway into a corridor, and then immediately made his way into the office space, taking a seat in one of the four cubicles and logging into one of the computers, pleased to see that his travel profile had been uploaded before takeoff. The data was sparse, but it was all he needed at the moment, which was mainly the bios of his soon to be subordinates, and more importantly interview and trainer notes. None of them had any real world experience in the world of electronic subterfuge, though they did all pass the training and tests with perfect grades like him, even if the tests missed off a few handy tricks he’d utilised on occasion. It meant that he would likely be irreplaceable if the ship was in a dangerous situation, though he knew that would be the case just from him being in a position of authority. He was a little disappointed by the prospect of almost always having to be at his post, but such was Navy life.
He continued to look more closely at their bios, making a mental note of the comments made against them. They all seemed to be by the book types, which means that he would have to teach them some dirty tricks at some point, but it at least meant that he wasn’t likely to have a rough time with them. They all originated from various colonies though, so he was wary of the tribalism that could cause. It should have been trained out of them so they all acted as a single unit, but pride was often something hard rooted.
“Five minutes till Mars!” a crew member shouted into the room, before moving onto the next.
Daniel took his que to wipe his profile in case it got missed due to tight schedules, and logged off. It might not be his responsibility to do so, but he’d be damned if someone else messed up and he and his new team got hurt for it. He left the cubical and made his way back to his seat, buckling in and allowing himself to be inspected once again.
He looked out the window once again as the warp pylon powered down and the distortion effect stopped, causing the green and blue surface of Mars to take up the majority of his view. It remained in his few for only a few moments though, as the transport began to turn and roll as it aligned with the station. The warp pylons quickly stowed themselves in the wings again, and the transport edged forward, sliding into the hangar after a minute or two of travel. There was a small bump as the craft touched down, followed by a droop as the hangar’s gravity was turned up to normal levels.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Mars Stardock 02. Please disembark to allow for unloading of supplies,” the crew member from before announced.
Not wanting to get caught in the crowd, Daniel jumped up from his seat, picked up his bags quickly, and was the fourth person to exit the transport. He looked at the unloading tractors that were entering the room, noticing that they had a particularly large one usually reserved for ship modules. He was surprised that something like that would be coming from Earth given Mars’ manufacturing capabilities, but he probably couldn’t find out what it was without putting his rank at risk, so he elected to ignore it. Instead, he headed over to the hangar exit and scanned his pass, confirming his presence aboard the station.
As he began to walk down the corridor of the station, following the signs for the habs, he checked his messages once more, finding that he still hadn’t received the message he was hoping for. He did his best to hide his frustration, and continued on until he reached the nearest short stay habs, walking past the honeycomb array of pods designed to pack in the lower ranking spacemen of visiting ships if the ships weren’t serviceable. Thankfully for him however, he was able to keep walking until he reached the officer’s cabins, picking an empty one and assigning it to himself.
His temporary accommodation was little more than a small bed, a desk, and a stool, but it served his needs. He dropped his bags on his bed, and quickly activated his arm’s scanners, checking the room for any bugs, which he found none of. He knew there was practically no way of someone knowing which room he’d end up in, but he couldn’t be too careful. Happy that he was safe, he opened the makeshift compartment on his arm, removing the memory chip that had sat there for almost five years at this point. He carefully hid it in the ceiling light cover, and exited the room, locking the door behind him. He knew that after five years of no-one looking for it that was probably safe, but he wasn’t going to take the risk.
He began to look at the station signs again, managing to find a layout map. He quickly committed it to memory the best he could, and made his way to the station’s clinic. Once he finished the short walk there, he checked himself in, and was assigned to a room, which he entered and sat down on the bed within it. He let out a small sigh as he looked around the room, waiting for the doctor to arrive, and began to study all the posters and displays, containing information on a bunch of medical advice that was inapplicable to him.
“Sorry about the wait,” an old and balding man in a medical uniform apologised to him as he entered the room, carrying a large long black case.
“It’s not a problem,” Daniel assured him.
“I’m Dr Middleton,” the Doctor informed him. “Now, may I just confirm your identity please?”
“Lieutenant Commander Daniel Hardbrooks,” Daniel replied, handing over his military ID.
“... Indeed you are. Just a couple of quick questions before we get onto why you’re here. Can you please confirm the purpose of your visit?” the Doctor asked, handing his ID back.
“To receive a replacement mechanical prosthetic arm, containing equipment I am not allowed to disclose.”
“And can I confirm that you don’t need a socket upgrade?”
“No, I have the latest socket after my last one broke during basic training.”
“Perfect,” the Doctor replied, checking a few boxes on his holo display. “Will you be recycling your old arm, or will you keep it?”
“Recycle. This thing will probably break if you look at it wrong,” he explained, taking off his shirt and holding up his scratched and dented arm.
“A mk IV-C. I’m surprised it’s still working. Well, you’ve got a nice new mk XXII-NM. I’m pleased to inform you that a starsteel heatsink was successfully sourced, as well as some other components that are simply blank on my display,” the Doctor told him as he handed Daniel the case. “The profile from your old arm has been transferred onto this one, but you will have to map any new functions.”
“Of course,” Daniel replied, pressing the lock and allowing the case to scan him.
After almost ten seconds of waiting, the locks popped off, and the lid opened to reveal his new arm. It looked almost like a real arm in shape, except he had given it a custom carbon black with white trim paint scheme, and replaced the plates that visually simulated muscle with armour and electronics. Happy with his new appendage, he grabbed hold of his current arm and popped it out of its socket, laying it on the nearby table before picking up his new arm and locking it in place, checking to make sure the seal engaged properly.
He rolled his shoulder, surprised at how smooth the motion was, making him realise just how bad his old arm was performing. He then began to twist his arm and wrist while flexing his fingers, finding that each motion felt like it had less purpose, but they instead felt much more natural like his real arm. He then performed a systems check, making sure none of the secret stuff was displayed, before giving the doctor a thumbs up.
“It’s working perfectly. Thank you for your help,” he told the Doctor as he put his shirt back on.
“You’re very welcome. Please tap here to confirm your appointment has been completed,” the Doctor instructed, pointing at his holo display.
“There. All done,” Daniel replied, performing the action.
“Thank you very much. Any issues and concerns, please check back here or to any other military approved clinic as soon as possible.”
“Will do. Thanks once again for your help,” Daniel told him as he left the clinic.
Daniel made his way straight back to his hab, entering it and testing out his new scanner, finding it to return the same readings of his room, but he could now read practically every electromagnetic and aetheric signature within half a kilometre, with the larger signals of the station’s fusion generators easily detectable from almost two kilometres away. Satisfied, he quickly retrieved the memory chip from the light cover, and stored it within the new secret high security compartment he now possessed.
Satisfied, he left his room once more and entered one of the nearest lifts. He punched in the button for the observation deck, and braced himself slightly as the lift accelerated rapidly, bringing him to his destination in a matter of seconds. He stepped out of the lift and into what was essentially a ball of transparent metal, overlooking the whole station. He walked over to the edge, and took in the sight of the disk shaped station floating over the distant Martian landscape. He could just about make out some of the smaller hangars from his vantage point, but what he was more interested in was the docking arms on the outside of the disk.
He could make out three corvettes dock on a single arm, and another one on an arm of its own. The next three arms were empty, with the next two servicing a frigate each, followed by three arms servicing destroyers. He was able to identify the classes of the destroyers, identifying two as direct combat ships, and the third as a light drone carrier. Finally, he rested his eyes on a single ship taking up two arms that were far longer than the others, the expedition cruiser, CNS Trailmaker.
His soon to be new home.
Prologue / Previous / Next
submitted by The_Fallen_1 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:56 AerwynFlynn Conflicted about giving info to Irrational Irene- UPDATE

Hey everyone! Repost because I got my timing wrong and updated before 24 hours were up (3rd shift problems lol). First, I wanted to start off by saying a huge THANK YOU to this community for being the voice of reason I need to cut through thr self doubt and confusion and to help put words to how I was feeling. Honestly, you guys helped a lot!
On to the update- I sat my DH down today and had a very very very long conversation about this whole "will we tell/won't we tell" situation. I used a lot of what you guys said here, especially the parts about becoming the bully if we tell her, and coming off as "you hurt me, so I'm gonna hurt you". I showed him all the comments about how this is just an absolutely horrible idea, and asked why he wanted to do it
The answer ended up really multi layered. The first layer was his coworker and friend that he is close to. I had commented to some that I thought he had gotten into DH's head. This guy comes from a very close knit family and is a grandfather himself, so that was coloring all the advice DH was getting from him. The Coworker was saying that DH not telling his parents about any grandchildren was cruel and that he shouldn't treat family that way. I pointed out that a person from a close knit family has no idea what it is like to have an unstable parent that lives to make your life miserable. And also that we shouldn't be basing our decisions around someone who has no experience in this area.
Then DH revealed that he is upset at thinking the rest of his family hates him and believes all the lies that his mother spreads about him. He is NC with almost his entire family at this point, and the (almost) last contact he had with extended family ended up in a fight where they gangpiled on him, calling him a POS liar, who believes he has a "made up disease" (it's not, but his mom has told everyone that it is) and who abandoned their mother for no reason. I guess the fact that we are starting our own little family (hopefully! Fingers crossed!!) has made him resentful of the fact that he really doesn't have extended family left. He hates that they listen to Irrational Irene over him and wishes they could see through her. He wanted to tell her and send her updates thinking that if he did that they would see that he isn't what she says he is. I pointed out they are going to look at him worse if he goes through with this. Like everyone said, it's just mean, cruel, and creating unnecessary drama that we really don't need in our lives.
The next layer is more complicated. A cousin that hadn't been blocked (or did the blocking) reached out to him and let him know that his mom is not doing well and has been in and out of the hospital. He's grappling with some complicated feelings about the possibility of her dying, and I fully understand that. I pointed out that just because she is sick it doesn't mean she has changed in any way, and might use that to ingratiate herself back into our lives. Once he cracks that door open she's gonna crash through it like the Kool Aid Man. I think he is going to seek out therapy soon so he can process these complicated feelings, since I'm not really objective enough to help with that.
Then I asked for clarification on the Facebook thing. He said he never intended it to be a full blown profile that we updated. He just wanted to send private messages to his mom without her seeing his real profile. We agreed that this wasn't really a good plan, and scrapped it completely.
In the end we decided that we were not going to say anything and maintain NC. If she finds out through the grapevine, she finds out, but it won't come from us. Telling her was not taking the high road, it was just causing drama.. If she starts harassing us by making her own fake profiles (as she does! I think we are up to 6?), he is going to shut it down immediately and tell her that if she contacts us again we will be issuing a ceast and desist, and if she continues after that then we will try for a no contact order. He will screenshot any messages without responding before blocking the accounts.
So, in the end I think it mostly came down to a lot of complicated feelings he's been having issues sifting through with a dash of misguided advice from a person he is close to. He was afraid of looking like the bad guy, but in this situation, in her eyes we are the bad guy. We don't tell her, we are assholes who didn't inform her of her grandchild, and if we do the breadcrumb thing we are monsters who are dangling those grandchildren in her face without actual contact. I told him that we just need to make a decision we can live with and accept that no matter what we are the bad guys to his family. I think that helped too, knowing that there is no way he can be considered "the good guy" unless he throws himself at Irrational Irene's feet and beg to come back into the fold which he absolutely will not do. (He literally recoiled at the thought).
So again, thank you guys for all the advice. I'm really grateful to everyone here! Wish us luck on the 29th!
submitted by AerwynFlynn to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:55 bat_and_breakfast Miss Wonderland

The chill runs her fingers down your spine illuminating each vertebrae and whispers her arrival.
Years have been wasted watching water freeze and precious time lost to the flakes that descend and disappear on your skin. Allowing them to sink into your flesh is the only reminder you are capable of warmth.
It’s that special time of year when the cold bleaches everything it touches and blends nothingness with chaos, sweeping away your senses and leaving you isolated.
Stoically you hold your position, as venturing forward with her only leaves you vulnerable to suffering. You let the waves roll over and around because waiting for it to end takes less energy… and fighting it makes you tired.
So tired.
This opaque sea of pearl is unforgiving and cruel; crashing with intention to burn and stab when you peek, punishing you for trying. She will deprive you of oxygen with a twinkle in her eye, and her screams steal your breath away if you open your mouth to respond.
Then, quiet.
Without violence controlling life the particles hesitate in the air like an ashen kiss blown from magma.
Delicately winking through the powder was something that stood out, and you start running, unsure if you are motivated by fight or flight.
Your blinded eyes had forgotten what the security of clarity feels like. Unclouded crystals and polished fractals had merged to create a tiny window to remind you of what awaits on the other side.
A sudden radiating warmth in the chest alarms you and a checklist of fatal symptoms rattle through until you realize it’s melting the numbness you learned to live with.
Grasping at the looking glass it slips your mind that your passion dissolves the fragile gifts sent from the universe, promising yourself that this time will be different.
For a moment…. it’s yours.
But it fades into your hands, and with wet palms you accept its decay was birthed from your greed.
With a shriek she returned to nip at your nose and change what remains of a treasure into sparkling needles.
Turning deep desire into pain, shaking you from the dream, welcoming you back with frigid arms.
Withdrawn once again you try to keep your chin up despite living in perpetual bleakness.
Searching. Waiting. Hoping to feel the fire that feels like home just one more time, but this arctic hearth is where you belong now.
You ignore that there is nothing left in you to thaw when the season ends. After so much time in this place, the relentless scream of white noise is the only constant you rely on. And now you depend on it to drown out the voices that say you will never see it again.

submitted by bat_and_breakfast to OCPoetry [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:55 BoredMigraine ChatGPT humor

ChatGPT humor submitted by BoredMigraine to ChatGPT [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:54 Amgydala_Man The Cycle of Life [MS]

Metamorphosis, changing into something new. Fat hungry green caterpillars turning into vibrant lively butterflies that can fly to heights only those on the ground could dream to have. However, colors tend to describe liars and cheats. Those who can fly do it and avoid the ground as if it were a calling from the reaper of death. No one can stand to see such a magnificent butterfly next to the roaches and rats. A butterfly may flap its wings until the very parts that allow it to do so start to tear and rub against their bodies never wanting to be a caterpillar again. I don’t know what I am. Butterfly, caterpillar, rat... maybe even just dirt. The ground has always been my home in fact my being. This dirt feels week and malleable the rain making it weak and unpredictable. My thoughts and eyes work against their purposes. I see what I shouldn’t and hear, think what I shouldn’t.
Extending into the air raising quickly I pull down one of the beauties from their grandiose flights. Gushing and weaving my dirt through each wing feeling the squirm of the legs and silent cries. Is this not my nature? So, the butterflies say... In the past for years and years I have tried to let them fly with no abrupt change; however, as a result my soil flows with no nutrients, no life. Why must I suffer? But in change has come judgement as always.
Maybe my roots. My leaves, my body shouldn’t continue to flourish for it only causes pain. However, the only way I could meet the infinite abyss is by starving. Why within this cycle am I the last expected to starve? Because everyone else would suffer? A baseline for survival is my sacrifice. When I question, I am seen as cursed, angrily so, unaccepting of my duty to the ecosystem.
The butterflies being the greediest of the bunch. I wish to give more to the roaches and the rats; however, I am unable to give to them. In fact, the offer itself has become a taboo that only anger, and bitterness is produced from the exchange.
No more bitterness. No more judgement. No more hate. No more soap boxes.
I will starve.
Shriveling, turning brown, looking up at the sky I see the clouds and blissful trees. The trees that cannot see the ground, feel the shifts, and turns that occur from the day to day. From my earlier days, wanting to help becoming ingrained into the idea of living correctly and in such a pursuit my own home has become a pit in which I cannot dig up from. As everyone seems to get closer to the warm rays of the sun, I have only sunk closer to the unforgiving pull of the earth.
Accepting my wants I drift my face towards the dirt, towards my roots, hugging the ground. Cold and wet.
Taking my final breath, I see the storm approaching over the horizon. Dark grey clouds consuming the light blue sky. Raining, pouring, windy, and overwhelming. Holding onto the ground I begin to let go absorbing into my home. Face melting, melding with what had given birth to me many years ago.
submitted by Amgydala_Man to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:53 spacecircus Dog enlarged liver differential?

Hi, excited to find this community. I’m just looking for a differential of sorts.
6 year old (in a few months) female dog. Mix that we got from a shelter at like 8 weeks old. No health issues to date. Up to date on everything.
All of a sudden, vomiting and diarrhea for the last few weeks out of the blue. Basically stopped eating as well after always being super food driven her whole life. Started at about 42 pounds and has probably lost 7-8 now over the last six weeks.
Negative infectious work up. On her labs, pancreatitis was ruled out as the only aberrant lab was her Alk Phos which was very elevated. We got a abdominal X-ray that apparently only showed a very enlarged liver but no dilated bowel loops or anything. We are scheduled to see another doctor for an ultrasound + possible biopsy.
I didn’t make the X-ray visit but apparently the vet painted a fairly grim picture to my wife and implied liver cancer. I get that the enlarged liver can compress her stomach and explain the symptoms. However, does this sound like a normal presentation? And I know liver cancer is rare regardless but wouldn’t it be extra unusual for a 6 year old mix to get it? I’m a physician myself and am struggling with my lack of dog knowledge. But wouldn’t you also expect some other labs to be abnormal is she had cancer compressing things? In humans you have like AST and ALT or a bilirubin that might be elevated. Si know ultrasound and biopsy will be helpful but we are still having to wait a few more weeks and I’m just wondering if there are other things we should be doing or considering? Poor thing seems like she’s just wasting away before our eyes.
Many thanks to anyone who weighs in. I tip my hat to you as I realize more and more just how hard it is to make a diagnosis when your patient cant tell you anything!
submitted by spacecircus to AskVet [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:51 cr4pb4gs Is CAS in the room with you right now?

So I’ve recently been reminded of the fact that some people think Cosmic Armour Superman (CAS) “transcends fiction” or “outscales the writer of the story”. What a load of crap. How can a fictional character possibly outscale the person writing them. Is CAS gonna jump out the book and lay a beat down on Grant Morrison? No! Because he can’t!
But his comic came with 3D glasses so he could come out of the page!
Yeah but that’s contingent on you, the reader, using equipment to do it. So we can’t give that power to him
But he reached out to shake our hands!
Yeah he tried but he will never be able to actually touch you due to him being a blob of ink (or pixels)
You’re being too literal! He shoots lasers out his eyes and we just accept it even though it doesn’t make real world sense.
Yeah superman’s powers don’t make real world sense and we just accept what’s shown as fact. But that’s because he’s a comic book hero using comic book powers on his comic book enemies in his comic book world. Comic book logic is used. The feats are valid. But if you’re gonna claim that Superman exists in the real world on the same level as me, we can’t use comic book logic anymore. We’re in the real world. We use real world logic. And I don’t see superman flying around outside my window.
So yeah. No fictional character can actually “transcend fiction” unless they stop being fictional and come beat my ass for talking shit about them.
Btw this isn’t a straw man post. It was a real argument
submitted by cr4pb4gs to CharacterRant [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:50 BasementFlower Headache and pressure mostly on the left temple of my head. I can't determine the cause or the type of headache. Help?

So, this started last night. As far as I'm aware, I had no symptoms leading up to the headache, I just went to bed and laid down on my left side, and I started noticing pain in my left temple (and slightly above).
It isn't extreme at all, it's just a mild, dull, but annoying headache and pressure on the left side of the head. Sometimes the pain gets stronger and sharper, but never becomes extreme. It sometimes appears on the right too, but very briefly. There's no pulsating or stabbing sensation.
There's also mild pressure in the eye area, but barely noticable. It comes and goes throughout the day, but there's always that mild feeling of pressure and discomfort. I should also mention that straining and sudden movement of the head makes it worse, but only for a brief moment.
Currently it kind of feels like it's radiating towards the back and top of the head, it's all over the place but still mostly localized on the left temple. I do feel slightly sensitive to light too, but nothing too extreme.
It's worrying me because I pretty much never have headaches, period. The few I had just felt like muscle pain in my temples, and were all from irritated sinuses. This pain feels deeper. It also doesn't fit the description for any headache I know, and online resources are being kinda useless.
I can't see a doctor until Friday (or maybe even later), and I don't know if they'll even see me for just a mild-to-moderate headache.
Anyone know what this could be? I can only imagine it being some kind of tension headache (possibly from crappy neck and back posture), but I don't know why it's mostly in this one spot, or why it's still going after a whole day. I really need some reassurance that this isn't anything serious.
submitted by BasementFlower to migraine [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:49 pleasetrimyourpubes TIFU by getting plastered and totaling my car while being homeless and living out of it.

Obligatory this didn't happen today (it actually happened a month ago today). My mom died in 2021, and left me her car, well, technically she didn't, because she died without a will. While in the hospital she made it clear to my family I should get it. She died, with me by her side, but after spending a few months in her apartment while waiting for the estate to settle I couldn't handle it so I ditched with her car. While waiting for my brother to get the estate administered I lived out of the car. Figuring out how to hide amongst other cars, not getting a cop behind me, figuring out places to sleep. It was extremely stressful but I also was in a terrible mental state (lady friend issues, depression, etc). To top it off the car had a very bad oil leak that if the oil cooler activated a quart of oil would pour on the ground within minutes unless I drove it fast or floored the engine to keep the oil flowing. So I drove in small circles in places I knew were safe.
Fast forward a year and some change (selling my computer and other electronics like my switch to pay for gas and going to the food line for food). My brother tells me he got the estate settled. He sends me $150 out of the $1300 I should have got from my moms bank account. Any hope of getting the car fixed and legal was out the window (I could have fixed the gasket myself, just needed $100).
I spent a year waiting to do things the "right way" when had I simply got a job in that time and dealt with the oil leak I would have been good. This was eating at me and I had gone over 2 years without touching alcohol. I have had a history of drinking but being in the car I knew I couldn't, because I never knew when a cop would tap on my window and ask what was up with me sleeping in the car. It was my number 1 rule to not drink no matter how much I wanted to.
In Feb I decided enough was enough, I needed to get a job and stop sneaking around, it'd been months, and while winter was an excuse, being huddled in my car was not cutting it. I sold my monitors, and did the brakes on my car, got a full tank of gas. I planned to go straight to the employment office the next day.
But that same week I learned a gaming friend of mine had died. A drinking buddy. One of the best, nicest, kindest guys you could know. I would link his Reddit profile but it would expose me. Just know this guy was a pure hearted person who died way too young.
So being in a good mood (oh, and the aforementioned lady friend of mine and I had a fun conversation), having fixed up the car (mostly), and with ambition for the following days I went and got a bottle of vodka. So I could "pour one out" for my buddy. My problem is I have never, ever, been one to be able to just take a shot, get a buzz, and be OK with it. I drank the whole 1.5 liter bottle.
It came to my mind that I could go to the welfare office and get on Medicaid given that I was already homeless, and they could get me therapy, and I that could help with the mental decline I had experienced over the past year. I turned the key in my car.
I don't remember what happened next. I crashed. People banged on my window. I called 911. I got handcuffed. I spent 12 hours in jail. I was absolutely blown away they let me leave on my own recognizance. I guess because I didn't kill or hurt anyone. I confessed completely. Refused a field sobriety test and insisted on blood work. When I go into court in a little over a month I will plead guilty and accept responsibility for what I did.
I fucked up. And if it angers you that I drank and drove, it angers me more. I have always hated it when people did that and never in a million years thought I would ever do it.
Please don't drink and drive, you could have gone through a miserable set of circumstances like me, and wound up looking at 20+ years in prison and destroying someone else's life in the process. I am (we are) so lucky I didn't do that and I will tell the judge that.
TL;DR lived out of my car homeless, drank and drove and totaled my car, go to court in a month or so and going to plead guilty.
submitted by pleasetrimyourpubes to tifu [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:49 nonexistentgreen EN players - let's talk about cheating

So, Rank Match is coming to EN (in less than 12 hours as I’m writing this!). Maybe you’ve seen a few posts crop up on your twitter TL or randomly on this subreddit bringing up fear of cheaters. Maybe you haven’t and have only seen the ones saying “I’m no good, I’ll probably only languish in bronze” or something like that. But all the same, I think we need to treat with the topic.
Let’s talk about cheating. It’s rampant, and it needs to be recognized. It’s worth addressing. It’s worth keeping EN’s integrity as a server.
A little context, before I do: I'm a user from the community Sekai server (henceforth referred to as Sekaicord) linked on the sidebar. By habit, I am not a reddit user, and I apologize if this comes off too strong as a consequence. I understand this is a contentious topic, and I recognize that I might have perception bias if the only posts I see from here showcase the "worst" posts and not the actual "average" opinion on this — but, my impression is that, in general, this subreddit has a terrible track record when it comes to identifying cheaters, and an equally awful slate of defenses for their behavior. I'm writing this post not just to address some of these defenses, but also to open the conversation. The less we know about it, the less we can push the devs to take action on it. And likewise, the more we’re aware…
Some context for my viewpoints / experiences on the matter:
- I'm a Day 1 JP player, with 240+ Master FCs. I played EN from day 1 up until around Scramble, when the amount of external tiering drama got too much for me (and, if my handle on what happened during White Day is right, it hasn't gotten better). Level-wise, I’d be about Lv31-32 for FC skill and 26-28 AP-wise. Ask me for a handcam if you want. On Sekaicord I frequently talk to much better players — yes, even ones who can FC/AP 33+ songs (which are probably the most likely to get doubted). I asked a player with Lv34+ FCs (AMARA, 16bit, Intense Voice, Disappearance/END) to review this huge treatise before I wrote it out. I'm pretty confident as to their legitimacy and generally see some patterns that emerge as to why they are. I'll explain some of these here.
- I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to APs up to around Lv32 in the wild, but a lot of Lv33+ FCs tend to be more suspect for any number of reasons you can see from the co-op results screen.
- The atmosphere in Sekaicord around cheating is, as you can probably infer from my tone, highly distrusting. Cheaters are banned on sight once proof is established beyond doubt – so in fact, it surprises me that technically speaking, the rules on the subreddit’s sidebar don’t concretely penalize cheating!
But like many communities, it didn't start out like that. The dedicated gameplay channel was VERY happy to celebrate players' accomplishments (we used to have every 33+ FC pinned) and generally didn't ask for much proof — until Rank Match came on JP, and a player who we all thought was just insanely good got exposed (because JP caught and banned him). Here's the thing — he was a good player in his own right (i.e., Lv. 32+, but not good enough for the results he cheated), and the way he hid his results was much less blatant than some of the people later banned from the server for cheating, who… well, put in about as much effort as some of the cheaters that have been linked to me from here. This is how it goes for pretty much any community: break the established trust, and obviously nothing's the same afterward.
I will try to write this in such a way that it gives cheaters as few hints as possible on how to make their plays look more "legit"; I simply want to point out some of the common patterns that emerge when a cheater really is afoot (and which are never an issue for a legitimate player), and refute some of the more common defenses.
Another thing: yes, not everyone condescends to the level of some of these defenses I’ve written out. However, I’ve seen them appear enough in more or less these exact forms, unchallenged, that it’s worth quoting them in exactly the same way to give you an idea of what’s wrong with these viewpoints. This is not meant as a personal attack (moreso if you may have said something to these effects in the past); it’s simply an attack on the logic behind them.


(1) "Has it ever occurred to you that someone might just be that good? / Or maybe they're just that good?"
Statements like these are, to put it bluntly, passive-aggressive and condescending towards people who might have genuine grounds for suspicion. People weren't born yesterday; we're fully aware that people on the level of HPS, MaengZombie, nanoflower, REN, STK, SkisK… exist. (I've specifically excluded jack just because he's the low-hanging fruit and also to point out that if one’s only knowledge of a "good player" is jack, well… there’s a whole world out there).
But the reason people don't cast doubt on those players is because they have put in the effort to be deserving of that trust. Every one of the players I've mentioned has videographic evidence — YouTube, Twitter clips, the list goes on. They frequently compete to get world-first on APs, and they're well aware that if you do not have a video that shows your hands, your play means nothing. For example, tweets purporting to show world-firsts on Six Trillion Years and Overnight Story were, pretty much without exception, disregarded by JP players when the user was silent on the question of handcams.
(The first recognized AP of Six Trillion Years is from SkisK , at 1d 1h 19m after release.)
(A little aside: JP players can be pretty ruthless about cheaters. From the official JP Discord, I passed by this message of someone posting a Yaminabe AP tweet with no proof on release day and was (not) surprised to see a slew of X-to-doubt reactions -- and, as with the tweet above which I had to resort to Wayback Machine to show you, it was later deleted presumably after getting called out.)
I also want to be clear on this: this also means that a player you don't expect CAN come out of nowhere and stake their claim on an achievement, as long as they have the proof to back their claim up. Here's a good example: the maxed score on Arcaea's hardest chart, Testify BYD, was achieved by a player (005saikou) who otherwise wasn't known for any other world-firsts! And — you guessed it — he had an annotated video to back up his claim, commenting on which parts he thought was hardest, and other peculiarities of the chart.
There's a common counterargument to (1) that goes something like
(2) "Well, maybe some people just don't want to show their hands / dox themselves / don't know how to record / etc."
Let's do this point-by-point.
2a) "...don't know how to record / not everyone has a second phone or camera to record handcams with..."
The trial-and-error process required to reach the level of play we're talking about 99% demands the ability to record, review, and rewatch your play. Even if you're not going to post it, you almost certainly will have tried it at some point on the road to 33+ just for your own "where did I go wrong?" purposes.
This argument is also an insult to the intelligence of a player; recording ISN'T EVEN HARD. Recording is built-in on iOS. Recording on Android is as simple as typing "screen recorder app" into Google Play Store (or its equivalent, for Xiaomi and other no-Google builds) and downloading the first free option that doesn't have ads every 0.1 seconds. While screen recordings are less trustworthy than handcams because, well, you can’t see what the player is doing in order to get that result, they’re trustworthy enough in conjunction with players who, besides a recording, can talk about what, why, and how they do what they’re doing (more on this below).
As for handcams, please don't be intimidated by the fact that most well-known YouTubers have professional-looking, crisp 1080p setups: even a grainy 480p view is enough as long as it's clear you're not pretending to mash away while a bot automatically PERFECTs the 200BPM portions of Intense Voice. Google "handcam setups", or DIY one by cutting a slit at the top of a cardboard box and pointing a camera lens down while you play from the bottom (my preferred solution). I have seen players who record themselves using cheap $20 webcams not even clipped to anywhere stable, players who ask to borrow a family member’s phone or camera for a paltry five minutes… anything to be honest! For as many cheaters I’ve seen accused, I’ve also seen nearly as many people who put in the effort to be honest, which deserves a good mention.
Just about every case I know of someone who wasn't a cheater was willing to provide a handcam of some sort. It doesn't matter if they took 30 minutes, five hours, or three days — they came back and defended themselves. I've even seen it on the EN discord! The first instinct of a cheater, by contrast, is to either stay completely silent and let other people do the defending for them, or to get extremely defensive and use some of the many arguments here.
Incidentally, there are legitimate examples I know of of completely unknown players who pop up one day in Sekaicord with some godlike play, and the reason they were believed on the spot? Handcam.
2b) "...don't want to show their hands / dox themselves..."
I suppose nothing can be done about that, but on this point I'd like to point out that Sekai is hardly the first (and will not be the last) rhythm game community to have doubters. This is frankly small-time compared to osu! players doing this like it's a JOB. And that comes down to a fundamental truth about rhythm games: difficult skill-based achievements have always had value because people SHOW they can be done. Consequently, if there is no proof, there is no value; if you're willing to make an outrageous claim; you best be prepared to show some outrageous play, or risk it not being worth anything at all.
There are other ways to show you clearly did what you're claiming to that don't involve a handcam, mind you — but they involve knowing what you're talking about, describing the chart / your strategies in detail, and, well, generally a certain level of passion about the intricacies of the game that most cheaters don't really seem to have, because they're only really here for the one fleeting shot at attention (mentioned this above already; skip to “spotting cheaters” below if you’re curious enough to know how).
Moving on…
(3) "But they posted a recording of…"
Let me be clear on this point: I personally (and many others) are not wondering if they photoshopped a rainbow clear diamond on a song; anyone can do that in three minutes. I am also not wondering (and do not care) if someone has a recording of themselves scrolling through a list of songs with a shiny line of rainbow diamonds, because that doesn't really mean anything if they cannot demonstrate the ability to repeat it (and that a bot didn't do it for them). On this point, most players aren't so letter-of-the-law obsessed as to demand a recording of a re-AP (understandable: players like Mita Kousuke take months even to get a singular AP on What's up? Pop! and there's no guarantee the perfect moment will be caught on camera for most players) — I (and many others) just want to see a level of play that reasonably LOOKS like they can do what they’re claiming to have done. Put simply, I really just want to see someone’s fingers dancing where the notes are landing, not their hands flailing miserably against the glass screen while a bot does the actual playing.
What would "reasonable" look like? Take a look at the Mita video as an example. While he lists some of his current personal bests at the top, you'll find that the majority of these streams are him failing, sometimes incredibly early, sometimes amazingly -- but the overall level of play is high. Players who've just finished with a feat from the night before / day before / two hours / 30 minutes before don't "rust over". A few hours' rest (if necessary) for exhausted hands is almost always enough to show something approaching legitimate if the player in question is legitimate -- again, no one's asking for a second AP.
(4) "You're just jealous!"
And? So what if I am? Since when was emotion a valid reason to stop reading and avoid the possibility that even people driven by emotion can make valid points? But part of why this argument is unusually effective is because most aren't aware of the common patterns that drive cheaters, and so valid arguments are often dismissed as being down to jealousy if you're not aware of why some of these defenses for cheaters just don't stick.
Part of why I shared the context of where I come from with this was partly to dispel this argument. I've long since accepted that there are people much better than me, and I want to explain why people (who don't necessarily have that chance) react the way they do towards cheaters without resorting to ad hominems like this.
But never mind me. If me potentially being jealous is enough to discount it at my sub-33 skill level, then would you believe the distaste for EN cheating if it came from the world-first AP on Kusaregedou to Chocolate? Incidentally, I assure you he's got nothing to be jealous of: after all, he's going to Tokyo for Spring CS and rubbing shoulders with HPS and the rest of the Sekai gods.
(5) "It's just a game, why would anyone cheat on Sekai?"
If you've ever heard a variation of the common schoolyard boast (or jokes about it) "my dad works at Nintendo / Game Freak / Activision / [insert AAA video game company here]", the answer is: it’s for exactly the same reason immature people have lied since the dawn of society — attention and self-esteem. Of course they gain nothing from this, it is just a game, after all — but kids literally lie just to win arguments as petty and easily-forgotten as those in a schoolyard. Why would Sekai be the first skill-based game (of many, many rhythm games out there) immune to this?
(6) "It's just a game, calm down lol"
I genuinely struggled to write an answer to this without getting a bit irritated; I’ve seen this so many times in so many places for so many wrong reasons. But what’s wrong with being passionate about a game? What’s wrong with wanting the pastime you settle into after a stressful day of work or school to be a fair playing ground? Why shouldn’t a game be taken seriously when competitive PvP games fuel multi-billion industries, have university scholarships, and round-the-clock teams and sport scientists analyzing them, and ignite the passions of people just as intensely as any “traditional” sport?
“Because that’s esports, and this is just Sekai”? Here, tell me you can’t feel the room shake when Mita APs Brand New Day live on stream.
What’s wrong with being passionate about something in the same way others, you included, are passionate about things besides Sekai – enough to be offended if someone said this exact same thing to you? What’s wrong with wanting fairness for one thing and not another?
(7) "Trust the cheat detection!"
I hate to have to say this, I really do, but automated cheat detection for EN is TERRIBLE. It might not even exist. As evidence I'd like to point towards some of the more infamous cheaters: the T2 for Mesmerized by Mermaids in EN. There are some pretty damning threads from long-time tierers that have explained the point in much more detail than I could eloquently say. Now, this exact cheater was defended by someone using the exact same argument I'm about to reply to, and it's just as fallacious now as it was then.
Allow me to explain exactly why "trust the cheat detection" doesn't fly.
- T2, as the threads I've linked demonstrate, was clearly botting, and did so for the entire week the event ran. So why didn't the supposed "cheat detection" pick this up? Why was T2 allowed to play all the way until the EVENT ENDED? Why was the event title AWARDED to T2, denying the T4 (nara) the T3 as a result?
- The appeal to authority argument particularly disgusts me because of one thing: JP has had its own issues with cheaters of a different nature: those who share accounts so that they can tier 24/7 with no downtime. The example I know of is from Unnamed Harmony: not only did they outright admit to account sharing (and insinuated that the t2 who lost was probably also cheating), they weren't banned. I use JP as an example for this reason: JP, which actually, proactively bans botters in Rank Match, still has cheaters that are left completely alone. How then, can you expect EN to have better scrutiny when even botters need a public outcry and a LOT of angry support desk mails just to get one T2 banned? (oh, and come back, and get that account banned too, and admit to committing about 7k euros worth of chargeback fraud…) No offense, but EN can't even herd its official discord channels together; how am I supposed to believe they have time for botters?
T2 Mermaids is hardly the only example there is — only the most notorious one. But if even the cases of people high enough to be in the ranking spotlight take so much effort to call out (no thanks to people spouting uneducated defenses and convincing enough people), how much more botters who just roam the wilds with all perfects that show with 0 notes hit?
Put another way: why use a tiering cheater as an example for skill-based cheating when tiering skill boils down to whoever has the stamina to slap Envy for the longest time? Answer: they use the same tools. The person running around with an EmpErroR AP in public rooms may be doing it to show off, while a tiering cheater may be doing it so they doesn’t lose sleep or struggle the same way their competitors do, but the means are (almost) always the same: a machine does the work for them. And if the game isn’t banning one of them… how can you be confident they’re banning the other?
“Well, that was months ago! They’re better now, I hope!”
The proof is in the pudding. If you’re right, then I’d be happier than anyone else.


Besides the whole "they get really defensive" / [insert argument above] things listed above, there are a few more tells that really go a long way towards sniffing out a cheater, and I'd like to go over some of them here (since they didn't really fit naturally into the counterarguments presented above). I'll skip over directly critiquing their results in the case that a prospective cheater reads this and takes notes on how to avoid getting caught.
Now, a little disclaimer, for fairness: most of the posts I’m aware of don’t actually involve the cheaters themselves risking getting caught on here, and so the uses for such red flags may not be easily applicable. But all the same, they go hand-in-hand with the (fallacious) defenses for cheaters, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for when someone inevitably comes here asking why they got banned (for “no reason”) assuming EN is any trustworthy when Rank Match hits.
Keep in mind: each of these ALONE does not mean someone is a cheater — it's when red flags like these, ALONG with refusing to provide videographic proof, come together, that someone becomes more and more suspicious.
(1) Unrealistic timeframes for improvement
Let's not mince words here: the highest levels of Sekai are HARD. As in, it competes with "pure" rhythm games like Arcaea, Lanota, Phigros, Cytus, Dynamix, CHUNITHM, maimai, ONGEKI… levels of hard. Sekai itself is unusually hard for a popular rhythm game (sorry Tokyo 7th Sisters, no one knows you) with funny PNGs you roll and pay for, in a market where the closest competition (and therefore most people's previous frames of reference for existing difficulty) is Bandori or Enstars. And, well, no offense… but Bandori doesn't have six Hell or Hell SPs (and it took THIS long to release the 33+ specials…) and a release schedule that promises more every three months, like we're getting with Yaminabe and Jinsei. As for Enstars? Two years to release Awakening Myth and Seishun Emergency SP (and they’re only roughly as hard as ~32lv. Sekai charts).
What this results in are cheaters who grossly underestimate the time needed to get to Sekai's highest level. You might hear things like "i was up all night / week / month getting this omg my fingers are so tired". To use an example from sekaicord / experience: most players who commit to the improvement grind tend to find that they'll improve really quickly from 26 to 30 — and then hit a major wall at Lv31, where the difficulty then spikes exponentially. The average time it takes legitimate players to go from Lv31 to 32? Six months or more. 32 to 33? You'll be lucky or just insanely good if it takes you six months.
Anyone claiming to be the exception to this pattern, put simply, needs the proof. People are willing to believe someone’s good if they can see someone play good.
(2) Not recognizing patterns when questioned
An actual story about a banned cheater from sekaicord: they claimed to have AP'd Don't Fight the Music on Master, and immediately fell through when people started asking them about patterns from other charts, including Hibana and KING. The issue? They were told that those patterns were from Don't Fight the Music. This is pretty much self-explanatory: you'd at least be expected to know the charts you're claiming to have beaten!
But besides that, people who have pulled off such feats (hell, pretty much anyone) always has a devil of their own. Everyone has That One Pattern they find, and which they hate. And if you're a devilish enough little Pattern (hello Greenlights / Bitter Choco Decoration), you'll be so absolutely evil that everyone will know you, not the other way around. Someone who picks out a pattern that is pretty obviously free to someone actually at that skill level OR doesn't have a least favorite pattern at all tends to stink from a mile away.
(3) Low-quality / vague explanations and/or misuse/lack of terminology/jargon
A common trope in TV shows, video games, and so on is a smart character (usually a scientist) who launches into a convoluted explanation with a LOT of jargon you're not supposed to understand, before a character stops them and says you're making my brain hurt. While silly, this trope has some basis in the fact that people who are good at something tend to be really passionate about it, and often won't hesitate to explain in a lot of detail exactly how they pull off what they do. The same almost always goes for rhythm game players — it's common for people who have just conquered a chart in sekaicord to follow up their FC / AP screenshot with a long-ass postmortem of the parts they hated the most, the strategy that finally got them through it, and pretty much everything in between.
As a cheater, it would be pretty difficult to emulate this. There's no adrenaline rush as you get through the part that you've been struggling on for weeks, possibly months, no sitting down staring at a chart viewer cursing the disgustingly hard part, no detailed "L-R-L-R(index)-R(middle)" big brain strategy just to pass something extremely cursed. There is nothing to explain. Most often, you will get "i was just shaking throughout it's all so hard", "uhhh i just mashed as hard as i possibly could" “go watch a video instead of bothering me” without reference to a specific pattern, and almost no way to describe their solution in terms any reasonably practiced regular would be familiar with. Did you jack this part here? Two fingers or multiple? Is there a BPM divisor that helps you get the rhythm down on this?
Let's go back to the 005saikou Arcaea example I mentioned earlier. Pretty much anyone at that level will have thoughts about their own achievements, and which parts they found hardest to conquer; look at the pinned comment (translation of the CCs) on his Testify video and see just how detailed they can get. I'm not saying everyone has to get to that level of detail, but someone with practically nothing to say about their achievements AND no video either is a serious red flag.

A brief conclusion

Why I took the time to write all of this is pretty simple: I would very much like if people were more aware of the players they're defending who don't deserve to be defended. Not only are there legitimate players out there much more deserving of your attention, but there's also a glut of illegitimate ones out there cruising along with the potential to make Ranked Match completely unplayable if we're just going to sit here and pretend it's not a problem. Perhaps you’re thinking it’s not going to be a problem for you if you only stay in Bronze / Silver / Gold / Plat. Good for you, but then that leaves Diamond and Mastery completely unplayable wastelands fit only for people who jump onto sites-that-shall-not-be-named for modded apps. Pretty much every time I talk to a JP player about EN and the prospect of ranked match, I universally hear back the words “cheating” and smell the implication that there’s no point to even touching it. There’s already so few legitimately skilled players on EN (let alone those who aren’t simply imported / previously JP players) and the last thing EN needs is to drive those players away.
Genuine question: If the playerbase is capable of raising enough of a stink to get an entire event memory-holed out of existence (I have not forgotten RMD), please tell me why it's not possible to push the devs to take action on people who will undermine the legitimacy of an entire game mode? It's easy enough to ignore if you're just running around co-op getting event points and can forget about someone who's not playing the game, but in a game mode whose basis is a fair and even competition between two players, surely there's some reason to get them to do something.
Call me jealous, salty, misguided, whatever you want, but if at the end of the day this post has you thinking a bit more critically about why people can be so suspicious of others (and why it's more legitimate than just jealousy), then writing it will have been worth something. Please, don’t throw these words by the wayside, and keep a more critical eye out for the people you meet, be it in ordinary rooms, on social media, or, well… on Ranked Match. If you could do something about RMD, you can do something about cheaters.
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for your attention and time.
submitted by nonexistentgreen to ProjectSekai [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:46 sadgirl34211 Losing marks on a presentation because of a lack of eye contact

I feel so defeated. I struggle with adhd, anxiety, and depression, and I just feel like I’m never good enough.
I’m in university for English, but I’m taking a French course right now because I live in a fairly bilingual city and want to improve my French. I got my mark back on a presentation I had to do and my prof deducted a lot of points for not maintaining eye contact and she underlined and circled that requirement in the evaluation grid and put a question mark next to it. I was already anxious because I’m not very comfortable speaking in French, plus I was getting graded on it, and combined with my adhd, eye contact (which is already difficult for me) was extremely difficult. I just feel so ashamed. I feel like I should be able to do this, but I can’t. At the same time, it feels so unfair to grade like that. This is a French class, not a presentations class, so why can’t I just get graded on my French skills? Maybe it’s just a small thing and not a big deal, but I can’t stop thinking about it.
And I don’t have accommodations because I never got around to calling my doctor to ask for a letter and then making an appointment with my school, etc. So I feel really guilty about not being able to do that, too.
I guess I’m just looking for some comfort or something. To know I’m not alone. Maybe some advice. Have others experienced anything similar?
submitted by sadgirl34211 to adhdwomen [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 20:45 IcarusPenn 32 [M4F] #Anaheim CA - My cat needs a strong female role model

Hello reader. I'm 32, 5'8, white, a bit chubby, auburn hair and beard kept most shortish, with dark brown eyes. I'm single, clean, vaxxed, and boosted. I'm funny and nerdy, and occasionally anxious.
I'm looking for someone to share individual experiences with while sometimes doing things together. I'm a homebody and have no siblings, so I tend to focus on activities that can be done single player. That doesn't mean I don't want companionship, though. I'd enjoy having someone to go to museums with, to try new foods, to play different games in the same room with. We can share pictures of our hobbies with one another and remind each other to call for doctor's appointments and do our taxes. We can kiss when the movie we're watching is less interesting than one another. Let's hold hands just because we can.
Ideally, you are: a cat lover, also politically leftist, monogamist, into supernatural horror as well as abstract and avant garde art / entertainment, feminist, independent, child free, nonreligious, sardonic, and always looking to learn.
If you don't match perfectly, that's fine. Send me a message if you're interested, meeting new people fosters growth and memorable living.
Please include a description of yourself or a selfie in your message.
I'm looking forward to your response, reader. Cheers.
submitted by IcarusPenn to cf4cf [link] [comments]