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Documenting the travels of OceanSkys

2012.06.08 21:28 DiscursiveMind Documenting the travels of OceanSkys

What started as a IAmA about a [23 year old with terminal cancer]( has grown into a Reddit funded trip around the world. Follow OceanSkys' trip here.

2023.03.21 21:59 throwaway728145 Left foot has worsening purple toes, initially had bright red inflammation 2-3 months ago

I've had this issue for a few months now. I saw a doctor ~2 months ago and the issue has worsened in ways (left foot much more purple) and better in others (right foot not dealing with much discoloration if any)- they provided a few things it could be (reynauds, chillblains, diabetes, and some others i forgot) but I need testing to find out what it actually is. I cannot afford to spend really anything near what these tests cost but may be able to do whichever test seems most probable or indicative soon. My marketplace insurance doesn't cover blood testing until i meet a copay i dont have a chance of meeting. I will provide as much information as I can and let me know any questions I missed. The primary issue is my left foot having, what appears to be, very low blood flow in particular but my other foot/fingers are a bit colder than usual. Right foot has been paleish/purpleish especially when I saw the doctor 2 months ago but never as bad as the left included in pictures.
Particularly the left foot has had the worst part of the issue for the 3~ months it's been ongoing. At this point, all of the toes are generally a little purple and there have been times they don't blanch at all. My right foot sometimes seems inverse of this, but very rarely / not sure if it has happened since 2 months ago is also a little purple on the right side / right pinky toe. Currently the right foot is generally white and looks fine but still cold at the toes. I just put my feet under some warm water and the left foot gets red but the right almost turns whiter, brighter not pale.
The issue did seem worse around the time I saw the doctor, with my fingers having more profound coldness and issues with purple/paleness on the right foot. But my left foot didn't have nearly as many/much purple toes. Initially my left foot, 1st toe to the left of the big toe, would get sort of inflamed. Appears like fluid retention from my general research, gets red and a little itchy / sensitive , not super swollen but possibly swells a little? Looks like "covid toes" that I had seen. I still get this on my fingers randomly which dissipates quickly, where some fingers are red around the nail and it's a little more sensitive. I feel like this occurs a lot when I leave my apartment, now that I think about it. I have not had much pain aside from the early red toes/current occasional red fingers which is still pretty minor pain. No pain on the feet or anywhere else really, aside from the hemorrhoid(s) i had/have. If I excerise or run it under warm water it does blanch a little, but if I try it when I'm at my desk sometimes it doesn't blanch at all. I haven't really lost feeling anywhere on my body, it doesn't usually get numb but every now and then. Doctors did check blood flow to my foot, seemed fine. I visited urgent care for a hemorrhoid and asked them to take a look as well, and they checked the flow to my foot which appeared fine and didn't deem the issue urgent to take any further steps. Color is restored pretty quickly upon excerise, warm water, or raising my feet. My foot looks practically normal if I just do any of those things, but gets back to purple/pale quickly if I sit. Unsure about Reynauds as a cause because my limited understanding of Reynauds is that it isn't constant like this, more so a reaction. My feet have never really been itchy, only a little when they were initially inflamed. Again, I have not really had much pain anywhere at all which a lot of causes seem to have.
My background: I believe my blood mother had blood pressure issues but it's unclear. I have psoriasis, I have never been tested for diabetes, I have anxiety/depression, started ADHD medication (adderall) ~4 months ago so around a month before this issue arose - no prior ADHD diagnosis in my family. Wheneve i don't take it or do take it, doesnt seem to have an impact but I am going to try skipping it both of my weekend days instead of the usual one and see if there are any changes. I have always had issues with dexterity and feel out of breath quickly, have seen 205 bpm or so on a smart watch when going for a run (smart watch, so who knows). I was obese at that time around 210 I believe. My peak weight was 225 during 2022, but since lost weight and now around 175. Issue probably began when I was around 190. I went from 200 to 175 over a span of 4-5 months I'd say. All weight measurements in pounds. I work from home and don't know anybody here so leave very rarely, have had a pretty sedentary lifestyle for the last 2 or 3 years hence the weight gain. I did run a little when I got here but rarely leave for a run now. I do tend to sit poorly at my desk, with my legs crossed or one up but have been sitting properly the last week or so. I have been sleeping with my feet elevated. My diet is poor as I don't have a lot of spare money and struggle with most foods. I don't eat any meat right now, have usually eaten a lot of chicken in the past. Could have a minor lactose issue, but not diagnosed as the first time I've seen a primary care doctor was at that visit in Jan. Blood pressure checks appear fine everytime I've been tested. My resting rate is usually 78-85. I'm a 22 years old 5'9 ~175lb white male. I did use thc a while back 5 months+ but haven't since, never smoked or used tobacco, and don't drink. I was taking doxylamine succinate for the past few years but have recently stopped. Only known allergies are from a "severe drug eruption" due to Trazodone and recently another skin rash reaction to Quetiapine. Taking mirtazpine since 2 weeks ago, taking fish oil supplemements since a week ago. Have purchased some other supplements (Niacin, B12, Magnesium, Iron, L-argynine). The day after I took Niacin and L-argynine my heart felt weird, believe it was palpitations so haven't taken again.
I know this is a lot of information, and it may be an obvious (you need to be active or eat better) to fix the issue. I'm hoping to confirm that, or if it is something someone has seen before. I really struggle with excerise mainly due to insecurities and how tired it makes me, but have been doing jumping jacks on breaks and such to get my heart moving. It's difficult to go for a run when it absolutely exhausts me, went outside for 12 ish minutes total a few days ago and ran as much as I could which was not continous or for a very long period; at most I ran for 20-30s at a time and run out of breath. I had to chill for ~1hr30 afterwards before i could get up and try to play a game.
Let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions, thank you. Photo below.
tldr; unsure of cause of left foot having very purple feet from initially red/inflamed feet; and have limited resources for blood tests to figure it out for sure. Hoping someone has seen this before.
submitted by throwaway728145 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:53 m80mike Don't Feed The Pumpkins

A rule breaking truck driver takes a forbidden detour.

Don't Feed the Pumpkins
I'm typing this as a record of what has happened to me. If someone should find me out here, where ever here is, this is what happened and who is responsible. Also, out of the dozens of vehicles bogged down in this field, mine is the Blue Jay 2013 Freight Liner. If I should die and it is recoverable, it should go to my son, John Grainger in Antioch, Illinois.
I left Litchfield Illinois around 2pm on Halloween with a last-minute load of pumpkins destined for the Antioch Walmart. Despite the fact I was once that told Illinois is the #1 pumpkin producer in the country the itself state appears to be in the midst of a shortage. I was due in about 8pm, but I was trying get in by 6pm and after unloading, I was going to visit my wife Carly and my son for Halloween. It was going to be the first Halloween in my son's life that I was going to be there for trick o treating. My wife was making a big deal out of it and John was 10 now, so, she said he would be “scarred with disappointment” if I didn't show now. So, I probably should have gotten better sleep the night before and sue me, I was gear jamming and popping go-pills like popcorn. Don't look down on me, don't be fooled, this is just the nature of the trucking industry. Everyone does it and I'm not afraid to tell it like it is.
Just after Normal on 39 I hit a wall of traffic. I could hear on the CB that there is a hazmat incident up ahead and they require special teams to clear it off. I, like the other truckers, get to gabbing on the radio, looking for shortcuts. To my surprise, after scrutinizing this route several times before, I was informed about a “gutshot” shortcut just ahead that could get in me into my destination at least an hour earlier, even with the fact I had sat in the backup for at least 45 minutes at this point. A second comrade in gears piped in and stated that the shortcut was closed. The first driver contradicted him and stated, he had used it two weeks ago, it was wide open country land you could go 70 the whole way, and the only town along the way had burned down in an industrial accident 30 years ago. The second trucker chimed in again. He said it was closed for tonight and only tonight and not to use it. I disregarded the second trucker, exited the interstate and followed the directions of the first trucker.
Well, Carly, you always said it would be this way. You always said, I needed to learn how to follow directions to not cut so many damn corners all the time. You always told me didn't put in the work, and the funny thing is, for the first time, on this drive, get there, I did. Sure, I cut all the corners, but I wanted to to put in the work. But you're right, I never put a second of effort in, and if this is how it ends, I suppose you're right, I never will. But I guess, one way or another, you're getting what you've wanted, what you text me, what you don't tell me about, and what I didn't care about. I was coming home for him and damn it, I know it won't hold up in court but I want my boy to get the damn truck!
Anyway, I found the road, 2 lanes clear to the sky, surrounded by corn and then pumpkin fields forever. My straight shot, I pushed 80 the whole way flying on cracked asphalt, diesel, and go-pills. Ahead, there were barricades and I applied the brakes and barely stopped in time. I got out and saw they were chained up with a padlock to concrete posts in the ground. In theory, I could blast through them but I would sustain serious damage. The ground was a bit wet so I didn't think I could cross the ditch and field and not get stuck either. The barricades were not official in the least. They had a sign on them made out of it mailbox stick-on letters which said: “Do Not Feed The Pumpkins”. As far as I could see from my cab and binoculars, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the damn road. I said hell and I knew it would take hours to reverse course and get back in time – in time to even unload much less make it in time to go trick o treating.
And I said it wasn't worth it. I didn't bother to call. I'd just show up now. Because it wasn't my fault. So I started back, turning around with great difficulty. I traveled back 2 miles and saw small signs for a rest area. I must have missed it the first time, too deep into the zone I suppose now. I needed to pee and probably eat a bit before starting a roundabout way back, so I stopped. It was a little old 2 story joint with a small dinner on the 1st level and looked like 4 or 5 small motel rooms on top and oddly an outhouse for a restroom. I want to emphasize the outhouse because that is how you'll find and catch this guy, the guy who did this to me. It was Bill Shaw of Shaw's Shack, who did this to me. It had a sign with the building, it too was made of stick-on letters and vaguely resembled a huge ransom note. It read “Yes! We are open! We are the only rest area for 67 miles and 1 of 2 “tombstones” for the late great town of Pumpkin Grove Illinois – the former pumpkin capital of Illinois. Ask Your host, Bill Shaw about the Pumpkin-beef-bean stew!
The parking lot had three vehicles in it, not including my own, a silver Prius, a grand cheeroke with wood panels, and an older model chevy pick up truck. I went inside. The dinner was small, set in a rustic décor with old license plates nailed to the walls. The cafe had eight counter seats and two smaller tables near the two windows. There were two witnesses to what happened that night, to what Bill Shaw did – at least partial witnesses. There was the older man with stringy white hair and octagonal glasses – unfortunately, I didn't get his name. There was that irritating millennial – All I remember is the metal crap in her ears and lip. Hell, if I die and John starts ever pulling that crap, I'll come back and haunt the crap out of both of you. Anyway, now, I wish I could remember their names or something else about them to put here. I didn't care about either one of them enough to remember.
I guess that goes for Shaw too. He was a bit taller as sometimes I couldn't see his face while sitting at the counter because of the low lights in the ceiling blocking his face. He had gray hair. Hell. That's it. Anyway, the old man said he was part of a historical society, said he spent the better part of his past two years tracking down anyone or anything about Pumpkin Grove. The college student – of course – it was college student said she was from the school newspaper, looking for a spooky story. When she asked me where I was from, I didn't respond.
Shaw came from the kitchen with two big bowls of the famous Pumpkin-beef-bean stew for first two. He seemed taken back by my presence for a bit before saying “howdy” and trying to get real friendly with me. He asked what media I was from. I told him I wasn't from no media and I was trying to get through the barricade up ahead. Neither of the other two seemed to know about the barricade. Shaw said he didn't know anything about it either. I was suspicious of him then because of the lettering on the signs. But I didn't push it. I wanted to eat and he said my choice was the stew or stew. So the stew seemed fine. He said he wished he had more time to chat with me but he promised to tell the story of Pumpkin Grove to the two others but I was welcome to listen and ask questions. I didn't say it but I couldn't care less, I was going no where fast and I needed to eat.
He started off by saying he and his wife are among a handful of survivors of the fire that consumed the town of Pumpkin Grove some 30 years ago on Halloween night. Then his story descended into a cross between a rambling fading nightmare and a ghost story. He said, without hesitation, fear of consequence or remorse that he was accessory to a murder in his childhood. Specifically, some 40 years ago, again on Halloween, he was friends with a small group of young men including one named Donnie, who was a little slow and had a slightly misshaped head. He was picked on a lot by the Gerst Brothers, notorious town bullies and teenage thugs of a bad seed thanks to their neglectful alcoholic single father. Long story short, he said, the Gerst Brothers lured Donnie, himself and another 2 boys out to a pumpkin field where they gave back Donnie's missing dog. Apparently they kidnapped the dog and wrapped every inch of it in duct tape a few days ago. They watched us try to peel and pull the duct tape off while the weakened, hungry, and thirsty dog whimpered away its last in the field. Unbeknownst to any of us, Donnie had a pocket knife and he lost it as the Gerst Brothers cackled around him and the dead dog. He leaped up as they laughed and sliced the vein on their necks. One of the Brothers died quickly while Donnie and the two others fought the other to death. Shaw said he just stood there, covered in arterial blood splatters, watching Donnie and the others finish off the Gersts.
Much of the town was shockingly grateful to hear the Gerst Brothers were dead and everyone was all too happy to sweep it under the rug rather than have 4 of their sons incarcerated for decades when they were needed to help with the town's bread and butter – the Pumpkins. So, they buried the Gerst Brothers in that field and grew pumpkins on their corpses and no one really talked about it. The town paid off their father, who was too inebriated most of the time to care and he gleefully drank himself to death on the payoff only about a year later.
I didn't have much of a reaction to the story. The historian on the other hand, was hesitant to stay and keep writing and he made a brief protest concerning whether or not the story was true and whether or not he could legally listen to it. Shaw said it was both true and legal. After all, there was nothing left of the town and the remains were long gone and he himself, would not bare witness to himself. The college student's dumb metal encrusted mouth was agape in a mix of horror and disbelief.
I was waiting, patiently, might I add, for my stew. Shaw promised it would be up soon. He continued the story, stating that the fields produced abnormally well afterwards and 10 years later he was visiting his parents with his girlfriend for the annual Pumpkin fest. It was just that the pumpkins weren't just more numerous and larger, or more resistant to the rains and the fungus, they were alive and nothing could keep them tame or from spreading wider and wider. And everyone thought this was great at first, the profits were never higher but then weird things began to happen. Equipment went missing and two farm hands were crushed by a wagon full of pumpkins tipping over onto them in what was at first called a freak accident. Shaw recounted how he took his girlfriend through one of the patches and the vines seem to wind and grapple her legs, of course, Shaw's folks passed it off as her not being used to the mud but Shaw said he knew better.
Shaw continued to describe that over the days that led up to Halloween, the Jack O Lanterns on people's porches and elsewhere began to do some unusual things. Things like seemingly move by themselves from dusk to dawn, changing the carvings of their faces slightly, or appearing to “jump” off a table onto the porch without damage or apparent cause. On the morning of Halloween, Shaw said that he found his black cat, Lucky, incinerated in front of a jack o lantern as if it had breathed fire on to it from its mouth though they had long ago blown out the candle inside.
After the cat burning, the elderly man from the historical society tossed his spoon in his bowl. Shaw asked if something was wrong. The elderly man got up to leave and he said it tasted like bitter cold bull and his story was bull and thanked him for nothing. After checking the remaining contents of his bowl of stew, Shaw chased him out of the door, to his car, asking him what direction he planned to go home. When he peeled out of the parking lot he was headed southwest. Shaw came back in and threw up his hands.
I tell nothing but the truth, he said, most people can't handle it. Part of me wanted to go, but I was cozy there, it was warm and the story, while bull to me at the time, was entertaining enough. The SJW sitting down the way looked exhausted, barely keeping her eyes open as Shaw finished out the story. In short he said, Donnie approached him at dusk on Halloween while he and his family sat on the porch eagerly awaiting trick o treaters. Donnie said the Gerst Brothers are alive in the pumpkins and that they planned to burn the whole town down tonight. Donnie said, he had to tell Shaw because Shaw wasn't supposed to die, he was supposed to watch.
I rudely stopped him and demanded more stew. I was still hungry and the stew was somehow unsatisfying. When he returned, he finished the story, stating the town was suddenly engulfed in flames and their house in particular with Donnie on the porch, flash burned to the ground like napalm from an exploding pumpkin. He escaped with his family and his future wife in the pick up truck sitting outside now.
The college student said she felt like she needed to lay down, that she didn't think she could make back to the campus to the north. Shaw attended to getting her one of the rooms upstairs. I stayed down stairs and went to the back for more stew. I rubbed my eyes intensely and felt as if I too should stay for the night. But in the tug of war between fatigue and dexrine, the dexrine was slowly coming out ahead.
Next to the stew was a cutting board and a knife and on it was some bluish whitish powder which I found peculiar. On floor was a bottle of medication. It was Insomnex – a sleeping pill I use when I'm coming off of dexrine. The stew was dosed.
I ran to my truck and pulled out my dexrine and my revolver. As I climbed out of the driver's side, I could see Shaw running out of the dinner with a huge kitchen knife. I ducked under the trailer and back out on his side and pointed the gun at him.
What the hell I asked as I slowly advanced on him with my snub nose pointed at his head. He dropped the knife. He said, I just wanted to puncture your tires, I had to do something to stop you. I know you want to go north and I know you might be crazy enough and your truck tough enough to smash the barricades but I can't let you. I can't let anyone else go through, he said hysterically. I asked the dumb question about whether or not he set the barricades and just as I previously suspected, he did.
I'm supposed to watch, Shaw cried. No one can get through tonight, no can be allowed to. I told him to shut up as he rambled on about how he and his wife took it upon themselves to ward off travelers on Halloween Night. Its a cursed road tonight, he said, we're cursed to stay here and this is the best we can do to stop it from spreading. Its been calling us for 30 years, he went on, we tried to walk away but it kept on spreading, the pumpkins, he said gritting his teeth in anguish.
Maybe it was the dexrine and the insomnex working together, hell maybe it was the stew by itself but I just started to laugh as I guided Shaw back into the dinner and proceeded to duct tape him down to the dinner chair to make sure he could not cause anymore harm to anyone else until the police arrived. I had some cash on me, I wasn't a criminal, I wasn't going to make it seem like I tied him up and dinned and dashed, I was in the right, I was doing the lawful thing. So I left him exact change, no tip for the food. In the process of making change for myself, I found the padlock key in the cash drawer, I was certain of it at the time as I waved it in front of Shaw and he gasped and thrashed behind the duct tape the hardest.
I got into my truck and gunned it north towards the barricades, which, as I suspected was easily opened with the key I confiscated from Shaw. I got on my CB and started making emergency calls to the State Police, I gave them my name, the location of the diner, and Shaw's name. I was in the middle of nowhere so it didn't surprise me when I got static and no acknowledgment. I had no bars on my cell phone either but that is typical of central Illinois.
I was going along about 70. The sun was almost down but I hadn't seen the moon yet. I turned on the radio and found a classic rock station. The song was Born on the Bayou from CCR. The opening riff perked me up and reassured me that I had done everything all well and all good. If things held, there was a chance, I could get my freight unloaded and see John tonight. I was eagerly tapping the steering wheel waiting to bust into “When I was just a little boy...” But just as the lyrics should have entered, the radio station seemed to have accidentally reset the song, it just started over.
The sun faded away entirely and yet no moon came up. The sky was so dark but I didn't remember seeing any clouds or expecting any for that matter. The song continued restarting itself, the same opening again and again. I flipped through the other stations and all of them had it playing. Eventually, the digital clock on my dash began to spin wildly like the LCD numbers on the tuner while in scan mode. The truck buffeted and shook side to side despite my headlights showing no cause for it.
To my shock, ahead, in the distance was single traffic light. It was went from green, to yellow, and red, as any other traffic light but there were no lights or towns on this road. I slowed to 40, then 35 then to 30 as I entered an unnamed densely populated area with small buildings, stores, and houses and one traffic light. I came to a stop at the light and I looked around, locked my doors and tried to glimpse where I was. Where ever I was, I felt, I felt like I shouldn't be there. There were dim orange lights in some of the rooms of the houses at the edge of the intersection.
I looked up at one of the windows and I saw a figure with large head in the window. I couldn't believe my eyes at least not until the figure turned to face outward. It was a jack o lantern, a classic one with a black glow where the eyes, nose, and mouth sat. It was held up right by a thin vine structure that seemed to grow and stretch as it stuck its head out of the window and let out a barely audible shrill whistle and stared directly at me.
I gunned it. I blew the red light as the town seemed to collapse into nothing by dark green swelling pumpkin vine and a sea of glowing jack o lanterns in my side view mirrors. I hit the radio off because all I could hear on it was that whistle filtering through. I drove and the mass of jack o lanterns grew in the mirrors. I glimpsed the left and right windows and the plains were glowing black with more pumpkins rolling and creeping towards the road.
The road began to warp and bend as I started to red line my truck. The buffeting side to side became difficult to control as the engine groaned. I couldn't explain how the road began to shift nor how the moon, blood orange began to circle around me from horizon to horizon. Aside from the moon, I thought I was making progress as I couldn't see the vines nor the hundreds of blacklight pumpkins swirling after me.
The moon slowed and dipped down and I started climbing a hill. As I crested, the moon filled the entire windshield and more. It spun and then settled on a black light pumpkin face and bore down on the cab.
I don't know what happened next but I woke up in my cab. The was engine smoking. All I could see was mud and putrid rotten pumpkins as far as I could see. My Blue Jay was sunk up to the cab down in mud, vines and rot. It wasn't going anywhere in it without some serious assistance. To my right and left I saw dozens of other vehicles, most of them at least ten years old, also up their doors in mud and rot. Swarms of flies were visible all around in the boiling midday sun. I'm not really sure how long it has been or what time it really was because the clock on my phone is broken and simply reads as 99:99. I don't know what day it is. I have no cell signal and no radio.
Carly, I need to be honest with you. I cheated on you. Maybe a dozen times. I did it before I thought, before I knew you were doing it to me. I can't live by the rules of trucking, or marriage or anything. It is the road and you command it and that is the only rule. But now, I'm worried I've broken my last rule. I have no food and no water. There is no road here. There is only rule of a blazing sun with jack o lantern face that never sets. I fear that in time, unless I find help or help finds me, I will be feeding the pumpkins.

Theo Plesha
submitted by m80mike to ChillingApp [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:53 Unicorn-Yugen Mirena insertion experience for anyone that will get it! Tips also!

Today I got my Mirena inserted and I’ll be expressing every detail there is on how I personally felt. I’m a university student that is sexually active with my partner and I have HMB (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding). My gynecologist recommended me Mirena due to my HMB and I haven’t given birth. They called me a week later to have the IUD inserted.
I went into the room, laid down and the gynecologist asked me if I really wanted this IUD and I said yes. As the gynecologist told me about the process while doing it, the nurse would also talk to me to distract myself. At one point she even held a cotton ball that contained alcohol so that I smell it (just in case I would pass out). The process was done, they congratulated me for how I was with composure and told me to stay as long as I want to make sure I don’t pass out. The pain is as if you’re on your 1st day of your period (have in mind I have HMB). It’s a manageable pain and it goes away as soon as the process is done (which is 5-10mins).
You can do this! You’re taking care of yourself <3
submitted by Unicorn-Yugen to birthcontrol [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:51 PCCST Heart disease is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents. It is essential for parents to be aware of the risk factors and preventive measures that can be taken to protect their children from this silent killer.
The Pediatric Cardiovascular Consultation Service (PCCST) provides comprehensive care for children with heart disease. The PCCST team consists of cardiologists, surgeons, and other specialists who work together to provide the best care for kids with heart disease.
They offer a range of services such as diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention. They also provide valuable information on lifestyle changes that can reduce a child’s risk of developing heart disease. Parents should consult their pediatrician or PCCST if they have any concerns about their child’s health or are worried about them developing heart disease.
submitted by PCCST to u/PCCST [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:50 Brownie-1234 DuPont Clinic in Washington DC has announced that they will be opening a clinic in Los Angeles using a bi-coastal model to provide all-trimester abortion care

submitted by Brownie-1234 to prochoice [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:47 Johanna-Draconis Ep104 - Was it all for nothing?- The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD - Johanna Draconis

Ep104 - Was it all for nothing?- The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD - Johanna Draconis

Intro [0:00]

Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about a very sobering moment in your healing journey that is sadly also reflected in real life. The question “Was it all for nothing?” is a deeply dark question that can make you very easily very bitter. Or worse.
It is one of the key moments in your healing journey, where you can easily get stuck, and one of the hardest and most painful things to open up about. So let us talk about it.

Prelude [0:43]

There is this moment when the fog lifts and the situation becomes apparent. The huge pile of shards and debris is now all that remains and no one to take responsibility for it. The ones responsible are known, but they won’t do it. This is not right.
You know this isn’t right and not how it is supposed to be. This is just plainly wrong. It goes against almost our entire sense of right and wrong. Yet it is still happening. Welcome to life. I was talking about the pile PTSD leaves in your life.
Now some experience this during their earlier healing journey, when they realize how much was destroyed through the trauma in their life. Others fight through PTSD - or sometimes mid fight - realize that what they fought for no longer exists.
Be it because too much time passed, the people changed or are no longer there, you changed - be it your priorities, passions, etc. -, it never existed and was an illusion in the first place or the like. It all of course depends on your individual situation.
It is almost an impossible feeling to describe, to have fought so hard and sacrificed so much - to just have it all crumble to dust and you are left with NOTHING.
We are going to get into two sides of this, first we will talk about being left with nothing and then trying to get justice.

Being left with nothing [2:33]

One side of it all is - that you put so much work, effort, pain, sacrifice and the like into something or someone, but either it isn’t appreciated or it still goes downhill. After all of this you are left with nothing. Maybe some ash in your hands.
It took me quite a bit, but I don’t think that is how it is. Sometimes it is important to do something to just give it a chance to happen. You go on a date with the knowledge, it can really go either way. But it is the potential chance that drives you.
You most likely fought so hard for something because you thought it would be worth fighting for. That didn’t change. And while you kept the fight alive there was opportunity there that wasn’t there otherwise. And that DID change things.
Maybe not in the way you wanted or in the full extent which would have made it all right. But things changed and opportunities arose and people were affected. If not others - it did change you. It formed who you are and what you are willing to do.
We usually can never say beforehand if the effort will be worth it - all we can do is to try our best. We can’t control other peoples actions - just our own. And if others don’t take the opportunity offered - than thats on them. You can’t control anybody.
No matter how dire the situation or consequences are, all we can do is offer an opportunity. The others suffer the consequences for their decisions, so it is theirs to make. No matter how right or wrong we think them to be.

Trying to get justice [4:41]

Another side is the most natural response to demand the person or whoever responsible to take care of the mess that was created by them. Or at least feel like you are owed the help that was promised and/or you provided before that is now due to be repaid.
Now in the best case scenario you will get these things, but most likely you won’t. And while you might be right with these things - demanding them will only hurt your finger and voice and exhaust you, but will do little else. This is why I don’t recommend that.
I know how hard it is - I really do - when you are at rock bottom and you need to clean up this huge pile in front of you with barely any energy left. And it is a lot of work, but it is also really worth it. Which I know is the opposite you feel in that moment.
Cleaning up the pile is a cleansing act that also gives you back control over your own life and how you are feeling. Also with every bit ground cleared new structures will arise - healthier and stronger structures that you shape if you clear the pile.
Help is of course always appreciated and makes things easier, but sometimes that is just how it is. This might feel like the absolute rock bottom, but from experience and looking back, it was one of the first and most important steps to restoring myself.
My better self. My true self. And yes - it is not your responsibility, you deserve better, it isn’t just, but it is the right thing to do. And exactly what you should do.

Outro [6:48]

That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]).
More information and transcript you can find as usually under, information regarding therapy you can find under and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.
submitted by Johanna-Draconis to DraconisCPTSDarchive [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:47 CommanderL4 Ronald Weasley and The Gungun Scientist

Please note the Following story was Written by Chat GPT with lots of prodding and some slight tweaking Please enjoy what I hope is a unique experince
Ron took a last drag from his cigar, ignoring the disapproving look from Jar Jar. He knew he shouldn't be smoking in the lab, but he needed something to calm his nerves.
"Meesa don't approve of yousa smoking, Ron. It's not good for yousa health or the equipment," Jar Jar scolded, wrinkling his snout in disgust.
Ron just shrugged, blowing out a cloud of smoke. "It's not like it matters. This place is a wasteland, and I'm not going to be around much longer anyway," he said bitterly.
Jar Jar's expression softened, and he placed a hand on Ron's shoulder. "Don't say that, Ron. Yousa have so much to live for. Besides, meesa wouldn't mind having that cool jacket yousa have when yousa leave," he said, smiling.
Ron snorted, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips. "You can have the jacket, Jar Jar. But I doubt it will fit you," he said, looking down at the battered leather jacket that had become his trademark.
Jar Jar laughed, his bulbous eyes lighting up with amusement. "Meesa not sure it will fit me either, but it's worth a try," he said.
With a heavy heart, Ron stubbed out his cigar and turned to Jar Jar. "Let's get this over with," he said, his voice rough with emotion.
Jar Jar nodded, his eyes full of understanding.
Ron took off his Dragon-hide jacket and offered it to Jar Jar, "I lost my eye to Voldemort, my friends to the Death Eaters, I might as well lose my jacket to a friend.''
As he handed over the jacket, Jar Jar noticed the grey hairs on Ron's head and the empty eye socket where a blue eye once shone. Jar Jar's expression became somber, realizing just how much the years and the harshness of the world had taken a toll on Ron.
"Yousa have been through so much, Ron. Meesa hopes this time travel will bring yousa some peace," Jar Jar said softly, placing a comforting hand on Ron's shoulder.
. "Yousa must be careful, Ron. There are dangers in the past, especially with the Sith and dark wizards. Yousa must stay vigilant and be ready to defend yourself."
Ron nodded, grateful for Jar Jar's kind words. He stepped into the time machine, alone, knowing that this was a one-person machine. As he felt the machine begin to whir and spin, Ron took one last look at Jar Jar, offering a small smile of gratitude before disappearing into the unknown timestream.
When Ron opened his eyes again, he found himself standing in a completely different world. As he adjusted to his surroundings, Ron felt a sense of hope and determination fill his heart. He knew that he had been given a chance to make a difference, to shape the world in ways he never thought possible. Despite the challenges he would face, Ron was ready to take on whatever lay ahead.
Ron Stumbles Falling over, the Trip from the Time machine was a million times worse then apparition. He throw up violently before taking in his surrondings he spotted a sign that said Sacred Heart Hospital and overheard two people walking by and discussing soft drinks
Ron struggled to get to his feet, feeling disoriented and dizzy. He looked around, trying to make sense of his surroundings. He saw a sign that read "Sacred Heart Hospital," but he had no idea where he was or what year it was.
As he tried to gather his bearings, he overheard two men walking by. one of them named JD and the Other Turk they where discussing Soft drinks
Ron felt a wave of relief wash over him as he realized that he was not alone. He stumbled towards the two men, hoping they could provide him with some answers.
"Excuse me," Ron said, his voice weak and hoarse. "Can you tell me where I am?"
The two men turned to look at him, and Ron could see the surprise and confusion on their faces.
"You okay, man?" JD asked, eyeing Ron warily.
"I'm not sure," Ron admitted, feeling embarrassed. "I just...I don't know how I got here."
Turk chuckled, shaking his head. "You must be really drunk if you don't know where you are."
Ron felt a flicker of irritation at the implication that he was drunk, but he pushed it aside. He needed these men's help.
"I'm not drunk," Ron said, his tone sharp. "I just...I don't remember how I got here."
JD and Turk exchanged a glance, and Ron could tell that they were skeptical.
"What's the last thing you remember?" JD asked, his voice gentle.
Ron thought back, trying to remember. "I was in a lab...a time machine. And then...I don't remember anything after that."
JD and Turk exchanged another look, this one more concerned.
"Okay, man," JD said, placing a hand on Ron's shoulder. "We'll help you out. Come with us, and we'll get you checked out at the hospital."
As they walked towards the hospital, JD and Turk whispered to each other in hushed tones.
"Did you see those scars on his face?" JD whispered, glancing back at Ron.
Turk nodded, his expression incredulous. "I can't believe he's still alive with all those scars. He must have been through some serious shit."
Ron felt self-conscious as he overheard their conversation, but he couldn't deny that they were right. He had faced death countless times, and the scars on his face were a testament to his battles.
He wondered if he should tell them the truth, but he knew that it was too risky. He didn't know these men, and he couldn't trust them with his secrets.
Instead, he stayed silent, letting JD and Turk speculate about his scars and injuries. He knew that he had to be careful, especially in this unfamiliar world.
As they approached the hospital, Ron took a deep breath, preparing himself for whatever lay ahead. He had a feeling that his journey was only beginning, and that there were many more challenges to come.
submitted by CommanderL4 to HPfanfiction [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:42 jetpackblues_ Who was Guadalupe County Jane Doe (1978)? Victim of serial killing duo Ronald Lanphear and Diana Geisinger, whose birth certificate was thrown away

I recently came across this case and it really stuck with me. The last writeup here was 3 years ago, so I figured it's time to bring up this young woman again.
On July 11, 1978, a foreman with the New Mexico Highway Department of Transportation was working along Highway 219, at the junction of I-40 and US Highway 84, when he came across the body of a deceased young adult female. The location is in a remote area of Guadalupe County, New Mexico, about 28 miles west of the city of Santa Rosa.
An autopsy found that she had died between a few hours and a couple day prior, from two .22 caliber gunshot wounds to the back of the head. She was between the ages of 17 and 25, 5'8" tall, and approximately 145 pounds. She had blue eyes and her hair was strawberry blonde, though it may or may not have been naturally medium brown. She had had dental care within the last year of her life. In total, she had four fillings and only one wisdom tooth.
Her murder has been connected to serial killing duo Ronald Lanphear and Diana Geisinger, a couple who went on a cross-country killing spree in July 1978. The pair were arrested in October 1978, with Lanphear being sentenced to death after Geisinger testified against him.
The following additional information was provided by Geisinger to authorities after she was arrested:
Geisinger and Lanphear met the victim at rest stop somewhere outside of Perry, Oklahoma around 10pm the night of July 9th or July 10th, 1978. The victim stated that she was 17 years old and was hitchhiking to California to see her mother. The trio rode west together for several hours, briefly conversing about guitars and money (the victim "bragged" about the money she had spent on the guitar and on her trip). They stopped along the way at a coffee shop and then a bar.
At some point, Geisinger says she told Lanphear to let the girl out of the car. Some writeups state that this was when the girl asked to use a payphone to call her mother for "her birthday," while others state that the girl made the call when she was first picked up in Oklahoma. Other writeups also take this as meaning that July 11th was the victim's 17th birthday, though I read that as it possibly being the mother's birthday? I wonder if there's a verbatim account from Geisinger out there that would make this more clear?
They drove across a viaduct off the highway, and Geisinger states that she knew at that point that Lanphear was going to murder the girl, though they hadn't discussed it previously. Lanphear got out, opened the passenger door, and asked Geisinger if she wanted out. She said yes, and since she was sitting in the middle and Jane Doe was in the passenger seat, Jane Doe got out of the vehicle first. The girl was then shot in the back of the head by Lanphear and fell to the ground. Lanphear straddled her body and searched her pockets. He then grabbed his gun once more and shot the victim a second time, before rolling her body off a nearby "cliff." However, the area where her body was found is very flat with no visible cliff areas, so I'm guessing she was actually just rolled down the sloping area on the side of the highway.
Geisinger, who was still in the car, was instructed to go through the hitchhiker's belongings. "Drugs and papers" were thrown away. It's unclear what these drugs were and whether they were prescription or recreational. It's also unclear what the papers were, though many reports indicate that the girl was travelling with her birth certificate, and that was definitely one of the trashed items. They kept her guitar, which was later sold, and a coin purse containing $1.50, then drove away, continuing their journey to Las Vegas, Nevada.
If Geisinger's information is accurate, Jane Doe's body was found the same day she was killed, July 11th. Possibly her 17th birthday or her mother's birthday.
Identifying information:
Ruled out: Laurie Amico, Angela Ramsey, Nancy Tharp, Benita Chamberlin, Connie Minchaca
Links: - *Postmortem warning\*
Last writeup posted 3 years ago:
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2023.03.21 21:41 Better-Dance514 Adderall Dosage for Adult Woman

Hi there! I was diagnosed with ADHD 15 years ago after extensive testing. I was breastfeeding at the time and not able to start the recommended medication. Flash forward to now. I am experiencing fairly severe ADHD symptoms that leave me feeling stuck. I spoke to my primary care physician and provided her with my lengthy report from 15 years ago. She did not hesitate to write me a prescription for Adderall 10mg per day. I’ve been taking it but don’t know if it is working or not. What is the typical dose for and adult woman 5’6”, 165lbs?
submitted by Better-Dance514 to adhdwomen [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:39 AstonMac My Top XIV FFXIV Characters

14/ Cid
Technology should never be allowed to imprison people.
Not gonna lie, Cid from FF7 is still my favourite Cid, but FFXIV Cid is a close second on my list of Cids. He was a big help in visiting different locations (before we started going off world at least). kinda faded into the background after ARR, which is a shame since he could've given a different viewpoint when it came to the Garlean section of EW.
13/ Rabauhn
Such victories are rarely won without sacrifice. But the prize is worth the price.
I'm a Gridania guy, but Rabauhn is still my clear favourite of the three leaders IMO. The few fight scenes he gets (including against the WoL) are badass, and his relationship with Nanamo is sweet and wholesome. He could use a hand from time to time though (heh). Wish he was the lead in Stormblood instead of Lyse.
12/ Tataru
... I was wrong. This is the very definition of running a joke into the ground.
Didn't think much of Tataru in ARR, so it's not until HW when it's just you, her and Alph that she gets more attention. Her reaction to when we defend her in trial by combat is when I decided she must be protected at all costs. Also our drip game wouldn't be nearly as cool without Tataru's outfits, and for that she will always have my thanks.
11/ Vrtra
People of Radz-at-Han. I am Vrtra, and for years uncounted hath this Isle served as mine abode.
Finally a Dragon without any of the baggage when it comes to man. He just wants to chill on his island and help its people from the shadows. The scene with him and Estinien in the air is one of my favourite in EW, as it shows off Estinien's growth while helping Vrtra's arc progress at the same time. I haven't fully caught up fully yet, so I hope he gets to reunite with his sister in the future.
10/ Moenbryda
In death...there is life... Farewell, daft old coot...
Didn't really have a favourite character by post-ARR, since the characters hadn't really been fleshed out yet. But Moenbryda was great in that she brought a new perspective, didn't take herself too seriously, and trolled Urianger a lot. So of course it's just my luck that she sacrificed herself soon after rip. But it was pretty cool as death scenes go, so it left an impact on me even after all this time.
9/ Hildiband
My name is Hildibrand, agent of enquiry! Inspector extraordinaire!
Didn't really get into sidequests until after Stormblood, and man was I missing out. The Hildibrand quests were some of the funniest in the entire game easily. His mad facial expressions just aren't things you see in the MSQ. His shtick does get old at times, but I won't forget the refreshing comedic relief he provided at first.
8/ Haurchefant
A smile better suits a hero.
7/ Alphinaud
We define our worth. Not the circumstances of our creation.
I'm not gonna lie, Alphinaud was hella annoying at first. He wasn't a bad guy, but he acted like he was the smartest guy in every room and was pretty insufferable. Luckily he takes a massive L with the Crystal Braves and has to learn from his mistakes. He's gone through a lot since then, but he retained his optimism, is much less smug, and his wisdom now feels earned rather than just him showing off. That's good character development right there.
6/ Hien
Save your tears for the morrow. You may be sure we will have ample cause to shed them, be they for joy or despair.
Samurai are super cool, we all know this as fact. Hien doesn't get as much screentime as I'd like, which is a shame since he has the charisma and leadership qualities that a lot of other characters simply lack. It's true you don't get a much as time to bond with him as with others, so you don't get to know him much beyond the Flawless Prince persona, but he gives some badass speeches and has a great design and uses a katana, those have to count for something.
5/ Y'shtola
I am... not interested, little sun. Try again when you've become a man.
Like the other Scions in ARR, Y'shtola didn't grab my attention right away (I didn't even realise she was blind until 50 hours after the fact). It wasn't until her sick burn that I started paying attention. She's like the mom of the group; always staying cool and collected but also ready to put someone in their place with a witty one-liner. Her quest for knowledge gives her valid reason to remain an important part of the MSQ, and I hope she can reunite with her First buddies in the future.
4/ Gosetsu
I myself am in no hurry to meet those who have gone before-not while I have still to make amends.
When this big guy washed up on the Waking Sands, I was immediately hyped to visit Samurai country, and I wasn't disappointed. He might have my favourite design in the series, and the scene in the Azim Steppe where he paid his respects was surprisingly touching. That, coupled with his relationship with Yotsuyu, gave him more depth than most other ShB characters. With all the cameos in EW, it's a shame he never came back.
3/ Zenos
I take it this is your prey? But why does it still live? Surely it is no match for you. I assumed you would be above something so banal as despair.
I've spent many a game bashing my head against the wall while fighting a particularly hard boss, and I know the smart move would be to give up, but the adrenaline rush and the feeling of accomplishment are too much to resist. In this sense, I know exactly how Zenos feels. Maybe not to the extreme he takes it, but there's definitely a logic to pushing yourself to your limits. That, I can't deny.
At first, I wasn't sure about Zenos' inclusion in Endwalker, I was worried it was just because he's popular and for fanservice. But luckily he actually fit better in this expac than SB. The whole time you have characters trying to find a meaning to life, when the whole time they just had to ask Zenos, cuz he's got it all figured out. Who else could bust out a line like the one above? He's a perfect foil to Meteion's despair and a worthy final boss for EW, and the best fight I'm the entire game IMO.
2/ Emet-Selch
I have lived a thousand thousand of your lives! For eons have I measured your worth and found you wanting!
Imagine everyone you know has died, and been replaced by ants who know rule the world. You could crush these ants easily and bring your loved ones back to life, so what do you do? That's the situation Emet-Selch is in, and it's tough to blame him for the path he chooses. He was the MVP of Shadowbringers and he gave weight to every scene he was in. Absolute banger track leading up to his boss fight aswell.
It was good seeing him again in EW too, before he was a megalomaniac (loved his reaction to his future self). Although his hairstyle is even more wack than in ShB, so he loses style points for that. You can see his devotion to his people here and how it leads to the man he would later become. Also nice of him to leave little hints at what we can explore for future adventures.
1/ Estinien
Where were you in my hour of need? Fell beasts I can face, but I'm not made for idle chitchat with lords and ladies...
Estinien is a bro. I play as a Dragoon so any Dragoons I meet in the game are immediately bros, Estinien being first among them. The journey you take with him, Alph and Iceheart had that classic Final Fantasy party quality that was lacking in ARR. He has his own character arc where he learns there is good on the side of the dragons, and his growth is amazing to see, along with how he helps with the development of other characters such as Alph and Vrtra.
He spends SB and ShB in the background destroying cannons and fighting Zenos, just normal Estinien stuff. His inclusion in EW was awesome, that scene where he jumps out your window is stuck in my brain forever. He's also clearly an introvert and terrible at talking to people (his longest conversation was with a dragon IIRC) so I can relate to that side of him too. It did feel fanservicey at times, but I didn't even care this time, the more Estinien the better.
submitted by AstonMac to ffxiv [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:38 LyndseyFaye19 Should I ask my pregnant best friend/roommate to move out?

When my ex finally moved out in August, my best friend (we'll call her A) agreed to watch my 3 kids on days when I had to work overnight. A had been staying with her sister and they were fighting a lot so I suggested staying with me for a couple weeks since she'd be potentially be there half the week anyway. That quickly led to her staying with me full time and basically being a live in Nanny. She would even make dinner and clean up on my days off so I could spend quality time with my girls. Rather than paying her or her paying anything to live there, I pay all the bills/groceries/let her use my car until her grandpa gave her his then I started putting gas in both vehicles. We both felt like this was a fair deal and it was working great.
Fast forward to the end of November when A found out she was pregnant after going to Urgent Care due to being unable to even keep water down. Her bf and her had already agreed that if an accident happened she would not keep the baby as he wasn't ready to be a dad/didn't want kids and she is not in a place financially or health wise to have a baby. A is a type 1 diabetic with several diabetes related complications including a BKA with a prosthetic so she knew any pregnancy would be high risk for her and potentially the baby.
After her first OB appointment to confirm it wasn't ectopic and discuss options, she decided to keep the baby whether her bf wanted anything to do with the pregnancy or not. I told her I support whatever she decides and we will figure it out. Unfortunately she ended up with hyperemesis gravidarum and the baby has several complications making survival questionable. Obviously she has a ton of appointments now, is exhausted, and struggling with depression. For a while I didn't mind picking up the slack as I have empathy for what she's going through and ultimately the house and kids are my responsibility anyway.
The last week or so I've noticed myself growing more and more resentful and constantly annoyed, especially when she tends to get bossy or says things in a way that sounds like she's looking out for me but is mostly self-motivated for her own needs. My mom died January 7th, I was suspended January 28th and terminated March 1st, then cancelled from the PRN program I had been using for back up last week. Knowing the amount of stress I'm under is probably causing some of the resentment and frustration makes it hard to decide if I'm justified in wanting to ask her to move out or not. My rent is $1700/month, I'm now unemployed, I have 3 kids, and now feels like her to take care of with little to no support from her anymore. Obviously I understand and want her to take care of herself and the baby but I'm also overwhelmed and drowning and feels like I'm doing it alone.
submitted by LyndseyFaye19 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:36 ratsmacker3 Do I need to go to urgent care for a sprained ankle?

Sprained my ankle about a week ago and it’s still swollen. I can walk on it just fine but it hurts to rotate it. At what point would I need to make the decision to see a doctor?
submitted by ratsmacker3 to medical [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:36 Bianca_Van_Rensburg Human centered design

Human centered design
Human-centered design looks at creating environments and spaces for the needs of the people where the end result must be considered. It is essential to understand the people you are designing for where the function is evaluated before the form. The area that you are creating has a direct impact on the people it is intended for, and the context is crucial because it shows the purpose and function of the design. The buildings that do not follow the principle of human-centered design are put at a disadvantage where the users of the space are not fully catered for, and additional changes will have to be made further along. However, the area will never indeed be ideal for the intended use. It is vital for designers to plan how a space will work before construction or final additions are made. This is why the main problems must be identified and focused on; the intended user is the basis of the design and must be considered, all aspects must be cohesive and mesh well together as independent systems will not work, and lastly, trials and evaluations are essential for it to be the best environment for the people. Designers should be fully involved in the designs they create, and the plans that are made must be socially and politically progressive, not just economically based (Björgvinsson et al., 2012). There are real benefits to human-centered design, and they can be implemented in different scenarios. The four areas focused on are human-centered design in businesses, public spaces, private spaces and homes where technology plays a significant role, and rural developments.

Fig 1. Human Centered Design Principles (Net Solutions, 2020)

Human-centered design in businesses is favourable because they target two groups of people which are employees and customers. Employees are looked after when the space is designed specifically for the duties that need to be carried out. The human-centered design also looks at making the workplace more inclusive, which in turn helps workers to feel the company cares and values them. Younger employees are less likely to stay at a job they are not enjoying. Millennial managers also play a role in how the business is constructed, and they are more open to a flexible work environment where the people who work for the company are thought about in the way the space is designed (Rosa & Hastings, 2018). Customers are also considered when carrying out human-centered design as they are fundamental for a company’s profit. Often existing buildings are used for commercial spaces where they need to be flexible for a variety of different tasks, but it is sometimes forgotten what people need to thrive in the area that they are in to maximize productivity. There are regulations set out for what needs to be adhered to in an office, such as the amount of natural light and ventilation required. It is so easy for businesses to overlook how to creatively use a room without reducing floor space when money is the main objective. Our employees are the direct link to customers, which will affect the profit made. Human-centered design is the future of the workplace as it will benefit the gain of the business and reduce staff turnover.

Fig 2. The power of human-centered design to understand customer journeys (Territory, 2022)

Public spaces can also use human-centered design and can overlap with the theory of urban design. Urban design looks at people and places, and it involves building spaces and landscapes with an integrated design and how they each affect the movement pattern of an area. Urban design combined with human-centered design can increase the social interaction of a space where it becomes more accessible for people to use. (Urban Design Committee, 2015) physical planning is essential, but how it will affect the people it is intended for is crucial to the success of the plan (Rand, 1969). Many public spaces do not end up working for many reasons, one of the biggest causes being that rooms were designed to be looked at rather than used. Often some features to look out for are when a space is not inviting to people; there are not enough places to sit, and not enough options both in the sun or the shade and having unclear or hidden entrances. As designers, it is so important to think about the user of the space and how they will interact with it, public areas must be easy to see, and the person must be able to get in. Places that are designed for people must value the function rather than solely focusing on the aesthetic. Lastly, why public spaces do not end up working as well as planned because paths are not designed for where people want to go; they either lead to a dead end, or they do not connect to the right places. In South Africa, to be more specific, our public spaces are not being utilized to their full potential and for the intended use; this is mainly because of safety issues as well as the majority of people using cars to get around, and these spaces are built around the dominance of vehicles. This leads to a lack of crossroads and sidewalks that are not wide enough. (Project for Public Spaces, 2009). People want life to be as simple as possible, and when an area makes it easier to get around in a car rather than walking, more people will choose that option. This ultimately deters people from wanting to use the space. This makes it very clear why human-centered design is so crucial in the planning stage of any design. The main aim is for a space to be used in the most efficient way. The human-centered design takes time because the use of the area needs to be determined, but issues like deadlines and budget eventually affect the final plan. When designing and planning, the physical conditions of space are vital to take into consideration, but the reason behind people's activities in the public sphere has a more considerable influence on how the space will be used in the future. Spaces need to be more approachable, which is why human-centered design is more valuable to spend time and money on for more public spaces.

Fig 3. Placemaking Through Public Infrastructure (Karnath, 2021)

The design has always been popular in homes to customize the space exactly how the client wants it. People come to their homes every day, and these spaces will influence us. They need to follow the function set out for them, but it should also be a healthy environment. The human-centered design allows positive long-term well-being. This way of designing is not a movement but rather a proposal to make designing better for the people using the space. Our environments are constantly changing, especially with the developments of technology. Our spaces need to support that. There is then a direct link between technology and human-centered design as they both make the user's life easier, so when it comes to designing homes, both need to be considered and work in conjunction (Purkayastha, 2022). The internet has changed the home environment, and people no longer need to leave their homes to be connected to the physical media; they can now stay home to view the news, magazines or even books. Homes directly link people to their devices. With the advancements in technology, designers must take a modern approach when planning how a space will work. Technology can also be used for older people who require assistance, and the way a space is designed for them is crucial. It is essential to make life easier for them, and housing is a basic need. A space can be designed with a specific user in mind. (Guihen, B. 2016). It is essential to look at what makes a worthwhile user experience. Functionality must be considered first so the interaction and usability can be focused on to achieve the intended objective in the most effective way. The next stage is to see how to design specifically for the user experience. The basic needs of the person must be fulfilled, and this happens when the designer keeps close communication with the client to find this out. Designers need to plan for experiences that are happening now and future experiences. This is why a combination of technology must be used but also empathy and emotion from the designer. Technology can control many design elements, for example, lighting, which has a significant impact on the mood of the user. Once you know what makes a design user-friendly and the needs of the client, the user experience must then be merged into everyday life. This is the challenge designers will be faced with because it deals with highly personal aspects, and it will directly impact the social dynamics of family life in a home. Intelligent devices can eventually lead to people competing for attention, and this is why designers need to create an environment where technology is not overpowering the home. Calm technology or calm design is where the technology and the user work together where it is in the user's periphery rather than constantly at the center of attention. Therefore, designers, through human-centered design, can better the everyday life of people and enhance their well-being (Eggen et al., 2016).

Fig 4. Do We Need Human-Centered Design in Data Products? (Panchenko, 2022)

When it comes to implementing a human-centered design in rural developments, the first thing to consider is precisely what issue or problem will be targeted. There are many more significant issues found in rural areas, like sanitation and agriculture, compared to the private sector that can't be solved as quickly. However, human-centered design is all about improving spaces for people, even on a smaller scale, for it to be more user-friendly. Some more common issues that are faced in rural areas are restricted access to health care, poor infrastructure and cultural stigmas. This may be challenging for designers as it may limit them from making specific design choices. When entering rural communities, designers need to understand that they live pretty differently compared to people living in urban areas or cities. The problems they face are different in many ways. Their basic needs need to be fulfilled first. All of the issues community members face in rural developments directly impact their health and wellness. Most designers avoid these areas because of the extreme difficulty of lack of resources, impractical working conditions, and the methods of construction where it may require the need to train people locally in the area, which takes time and limitations in budget. Designers must understand the history of the place they are designing for. It is not about replacing what is already there but rather improving existing systems. It is essential to understand the lifestyles of the rural community members (Gaur, 2022). Communication between the designer and the people you are designing for is vital because when specific issues are brought up, solutions can be created which end up being more sustainable and cost-efficient as they target the direct issue. Design can change lives when it answers the problems real people are facing. By going to rural communities, we give people a voice where their future will be positively impacted. The possibility human-centered design can provide is why it should be used. The information gathered can be highly beneficial for not only future plans but existing systems as well (iDE Using Human-centered Design to Discover Solutions to Poverty, 2022).

Fig 5. village background illustration (Luchimargar, 2022)

When it comes to human-centered design, the most significant reasons not to execute this problem-solving technique are time and money limitations. After looking at the four areas of businesses, public spaces, private spaces and rural developments, one can see human-centered design would benefit each scenario. Some areas are harder to control or implement this design tool, but with each sector, straightforward ways to improve people's lifestyles will help. Human-centered design looks at constructing and planning for the people and understanding their issues is vital for an effective strategy. The design makes innovation and productivity possible. It is now determined that problem-solving and knowledge about the generation you are designing for are key (Hobday et al., 2012). The issues of money restrictions can be solved if more time is spent considering the user as the design becomes more cost-effective and sustainable. Often structures are too complex for the issue they have been tasked to solve. Simple techniques work out the problems people face on a daily basis. For the future to thrive, design needs to revolve around the people that use them.

Fig 6: Business team, company staff meeting (Anastas.Gisin170333, 2022)
Björgvinsson, E., Ehn, P., & Hillgren, P. (2012). Design Things and Design Thinking: Contemporary Participatory Design Challenges. Design Issues, 28(3), 101–116.
Eggen, B., Van Den Hoven, E., & Terken, J. (2016). Human-Centered Design and Smart Homes: How to Study and Design for the Home Experience? Springer EBooks, 83–92.
Gaur, P. (2022). 10 Issues architects face while working in rural areas, and how to overcome them. Rethinking the Future. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
Guihen, B. (2016). Making Space for Ageing: Embedding Social and Psychological Needs of Older People into Smart Home Technology. In E. Domínguez-Rué & L. Nierling (Eds.), Ageing and Technology: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (pp. 141–162). Transcript Verlag.
Hobday, M., Boddington, A., & Grantham, A. (2012). An Innovation Perspective on Design: Part 2. Design Issues, 28(1), 18–29.
iDE Using human-centered design to discover solutions to poverty. (2022). iDE. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
Project for Public Spaces. (2009, December 29). Why Public Spaces Fail. Project for Public Spaces. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
Purkayastha, D. (2022). An overview of Human Centered Architecture. Rethinking the Future. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
Rand, G. (1969). What psychology asks of urban planning. American Psychologist, 24(10), 929–935.
Rosa, N. M., & Hastings, S. A. (2018). Managing Millennials: looking beyond generational stereotypes. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 31(4), 920–930.
Urban Design Committee. (2015, June 4). Human Centered Design for the Public Realm. Urban Design Committee. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

figure 1:
Net Solutions. (2020, July 9). Human Centered design priciples. Net Solutions.
figure 2:
Territory. (2022, October 6). The power of human-centered design to understand customer journeys. Territory.
figure 3:
Karnath, A. (2021, February 3). Placemaking Through Public Infrastructure. Gannett Fleming.
figure 4:
Panchenko, M. (2022). Do We Need Human-Centered Design in Data Products? Eleken.
figure 5:
Luchimargar. (2022). Vector indian village background illustration. a beautiful village with farmlands, trees in the background. Freepik.
figure 6:
Anastas.Gisin170333. (2022). Business team, company staff meeting. Vecteezy.
submitted by Bianca_Van_Rensburg to u/Bianca_Van_Rensburg [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:35 ocdhater It just gets harder and i dont know why

My OCD Experince
Here is some background. When I was a child this started out on a minor scale. My earliest memory of OCD was walking out of my room if I thought about my least favorite baseball player Chase Utley, and walking back into my room while thinking of my favorite one instead, David Wright. If I tried to ignore this urge I would get extremely antsy and have to give in. However this eventually went away through me telling myself “This is all in your head”. Years passed and I was fine until December 2021. Late December the ocd became religious, despite me not necessarily being a ‘word for word by the bible Christian’. I began feeling as if I was not worthy of my current life and its perks, along with the people who love me due to past things I had did. In January of 2022 I confessed to my parents of what I did (I would rather not mention it as it is strictly a family matter) and was forgiven by them. However my OCD did not go away, making me realize the mental hardship I was going through was not just guilt, but OCD, Anxiety, and depression ( which was professionally diagnosed.) I have tried therapy twice, once before medication, which did not work, and another time after in September of 2022 which did not work. Anyway, as time progressed from January, I tried therapy, which made things worse in my opinion. I then became hospitalized in February, as my building OCD urges took over my life to the point I was afraid to move from my bed. I could not do anything for myself, and could not stop crying out of fear that I was disrespecting God and the Christian faith, as well as fearing death and going to hell rather than Heaven as a result. They could not do much for me, providing me with pills that made me tired and that’s it. I eventually received a psychiatrist in late February or March (I do not remember when as my brain has blocked out much of early 2022) I was prescribed clonazepam 1mg, fluoxetine, and aripiprazole, later switching to just the ladder two when I changed physiatrist for insurance reasons. I was perfectly back to normal staring from late March-April all the way to August when it returned again. I have gained so much weight from a combination of medications and not wanting to workout due to medications making me gain weight/making me tired. I used to be 5’8 and 175-80ish pounds of nearly pure muscle, and am now well over 230 and have no motivation to do anything about it. Since august I have tried numerous medications to no avail, which leads me to today, and with each passing day, it feels slightly worse and worse and I fear I’m reaching a breaking point again.
My OCD occurs through nearly everything, but mostly when doing things I do a lot. Such as walking in and out of rooms or cars, flipping light switches, putting on or taking off articles of clothing, using the restroom, opening and closing things, picking things up and putting them down, typing, washing my hands, touching/hugging/kissing people I care about, and sometimes even putting things in my mouth when I eat or drink.
Here is an example of the average OCD I encounter:
*walks into room* *must thing of Jesus, if I do not, or worse, think of the ‘other guy’, I will die and go to hell instead of Heaven* *if I feel the presence of my middle finger, genital region, or behind during this thought process, I must start over while feeling a neutral part of my body such as a pointer finger* *After this (usually takes numerous attempts) Must think of neutral name or person so I do not insult Jesus in case I feel the presence of my middle finger, genital region, or behind afterwards. Examples of neutral names would be that of baseball players such as Shohei Ohtani, celebrities, etc.* *If successful, proceed with day, if not, start over again from the top*
This is just an example, it can occur when thinking/seeing/hearing/touching of any religious words, objects, or things, and can occur doing any of the things I listed in the paragraph above the example. I NEED to respect all Christian things or terrible things will happen to me and my loved ones. And if I see or think of the opposite of Christian things, I need to see Christian version to correct and cleanse myself otherwise I will essentially be worshiping the opposite religion (Despite knowing this is not true and you cannot ‘accidentally’ worship something else, my brain acts as if that is true). This is my though process and I hate it. This also goes for death, as if I see/think of/hear the word death or anything related, I would prefer to see/think of/hear Life, as my brain makes me think that if I do not see it, I will die soon or someone close to me will. I count nearly everything I do, and if I attempt to do something and it lands on a number I deem bad, I have to start over. Sometimes these ritualistic things take dozens of attempts before I feel comfortable and it makes me so frustrated, sad, and scared. Sometimes I cry or punch myself in the head trying to fix things.
In my brain there are three categories, Good, bad, and neutral. All words, things, thoughts, and images fall into these categories. If I see/heafeel/think a ‘bad’ thing, I must correct it by seeing/hearing/feeling/thinking of a ‘good’ thing. Then in order to not disrespect the ‘good’ thing accidentally as I go on with my day, I must see/heafeel/think a neutral thing, as I do not care what occurs to the neutral thing, if that makes any sense.
Examples of words and things I want to or don’t want to see/think/hear
Negative: Devil, Satan, Lucifer, Pentagram, Satanist, Satanism, Allah, death, dying, color red (sometimes), hell, fire, 666, Koran/Quaran
Neutral: Shohei, Water, Mets, 000
Positive: Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Christian, Christianity, Cross, Life, 555, Bible
I want to get back to a point where I can see negative or positive things and move on with my day without stopping to denounce/correct or worship said things. I do not want to be hyper aware of every body part I feel on myself. I do not want to count my every step and everything I do. I want to stop crying and hitting myself in the head out of frustration and hatred of my brain. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, and for my head to stop hurting from stress that my own stupid brain causes me all the time.
submitted by ocdhater to OCD [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:35 oneir0naut0 I'm posting this here from the Boost Mobile website because I need it to get local attention.

So if anyone is interested, an update:
Sunday I contacted Boost Mobile and told them I was on the way to the store to start the protest. I was then presented (for the first time after more than 25 hours of customer service chat) with a simple temporary solution - buy a new boost mobile sim card and activate it on my current locked phone with a new number until Boost gets their internal issues resolved so they can unlock the phone -
Simple, right- well, just coming up with the $6 to buy the SIM card at Target took until mid-day yesterday. Once I inserted it, you can guess the outcome- I can't activate it on my current plan- a plan that I once again paid for a week ago just to get them to release my port out pin, a plan that they have since added a credit to for Next months bill. They can't add it to that account or activate this sim card. To activate this sim card, I would have to pay for a whole new plan.
This is insanity, I get that- I haven't responded angrily to the people here attacking me- most everyone is ignorant to the reality of being homeless, and I can't get angry at them for that nor do I hope they will ever have the personal experience to understand -
I am trying here. I am a healthcare worker. I finally got an interview at WakeMed for a position I hope I get - trying to follow up with that is a big part of why I'm so desperate to have active phone service. I had to walk for two days to make that interview as my dog can't walk very far. I had to tie my dog out with a note while I did the interview - the first and last time (I hope) I have ever done that
I get it, my life, practically, would be so much easier without my dog, but she is all I have to live for. To people saying I am putting her in a horrible situation and dont care for her, I angrily object. I recently spent the last of my money on food for her rather than eat myself. 15 years ago I was homeless for 5 years. I tried repeatedly to get out of it, and it only 'stuck' when I got my puppy Arya 10 years ago. For 10 years I provided her with a home. Four years ago I got a job as a Patient Transporter which led to the rent to own situation on the trailer which turned out to be a scam. It is so easy to go back to homelessness once you've been in it, and I would have multiple times over the last ten years if not for her. Now I've been forced back into it.
So I can't give her up. I know I'm close to having to and it kills me everyday- she saved my life, she is my life. She never leaves my side. When I worked at the hospital I arranged a split shift schedule (10-2 and 4-10, 4 days a week) just so I could go home and walk her every day. I keep her warm and safe even when I can't do that for myself. She turns 10 next month.
I had an acquaintance that was letting me use his basement for her while I worked at a theater recently. My dad became deathly ill, I had to step away from that job and when I returned the acquaintance revoked the basement. There is no dog care or any solution that allows me to manage a theater and have a random schedule that bounces between opening and closing at 2am. I know for some people reading this they are screaming in their head to just get rid of the dog- I can't and won't unless I become incapable of caring for her.
The hospital position will be a set schedule that I can get dog care for her and will afford me the ability to get a place to live.
To everyone saying I should cut my losses and move on - in a normal world I would. Right up until I lost my home, I had a Pixel and Google Fi service. That phone was broken when I was hit by a car shortly after leaving the hospital - I was doing Uber eats on a scooter. I had to go to Boost Mobile as I was approved for an ACP plan.
Boost sent emails saying they had accepted the plan but they never sent me a phone and have charged me every month for 8 months for it. I had tried for months to get my ACP ported over to qlink and now that I have and thought I was finally out of Boosts clutches this whole thing started again.
I know, believe me, about the internal issues- these issues predate that by months- still, I was as patient as possible through the hack issues and would have never tried the port out if I hadn't been told last week that my phone was unlocked and finally given the port out pin- well, not given it, they made me pay them for another month of service before they would give it to me. I am not expecting them to ever resolve the hack issues at this point- this is not the issue. The issue is they told me my phone was unlocked.
And now, I've spent even more money - I know $6 is nothing to most, but I have nothing - only to realize once again I'd been offered another solution just to get me out of chat.
And to those telling me about wifi and such, believe me, I know- I had a tablet that I loaned to another homeless person when his phone broke and then he disappeared. I currently can only do any of this in wifi, but that presents one of the unknown issues of being homeless with a dog - to be on wifi I need to be in a public place and every hour I'm sitting outside Panera or Starbucks is another hour where someone may act on misplaced concern about a homeless dudes dog. As of now, when I leave this place and walk 40 minutes back to my tent, I will then spend the night staring at the ceiling, wondering if I'm not hearing about an emergency with my father and just going over the Cruelty that is the Boost Mobile situation over and over again until I finally fall asleep in the early morning
And I know a Hunger Strike is crazy. I know this is insane- I do have mental health issues- depression and serious difficulty sometimes with social interaction, and lately every day has been a bad mental health day- I took that into consideration when putting off the Strike.
I did get the meeting with the Housing guy moved to tomorrow, so my plan now is to return to the Store Thursday for the strike. To the people saying I shouldn't be protesting at a store that can't do anything - I completely agree! Constantly phone and chat customer service at Boost will push this idea that you can just go to a Boost Mobile store and they can help. This is a lie and they know it. I point this out. I point out that it will be a four mile walk to that store. I point out that the nice but frustrated gentleman that owns that store only has the option of calling Boost support - he just sells phones. Yesterday still, I was told multiple times to go to a store for this new issue with the SIM card.
I am desperate. I have no options. I can't protest Boost Mobile by 'sitting' online. The Boost store is the only physical location where I can stage a protest. And I know a protest makes little sense since no one will care. My only thought is that an attack on the PR front is particularly undesirable to them currently since they are trying so desperately to keep the DISH hack under wraps
I never once panhandled in all the time I was homeless years ago- I'm capable of work and hate the idea of strangers helping me when I can correct things myself, so I can't beg now. But, if there is anyone in the Raleigh area (or someone willing to ship one to my mom's or friends address) that could loan or give me an no longer needed, unlocked phone, I could activate my qlink service and be done with this until I get the stability again to sue the crap out of Boost Mobile. I would in theory only need the phone until they resolve the internal issues at boost and can unlock my current phone.
I do encourage everyone here that may be having similar issues with Boost to go to the Better Business Bureau and report them or post to a thread discussing Class Action lawsuits even though our contracts prohibit us from participating in one - they seem responsive in those arenas.
So hopefully, good news about temporary housing tomorrow - I've been reluctant to even pursue that as there are people with children who need it more and despite the stress of it, I'm actually capable of getting out of this. Then Thursday, I go to the Boost store with a tent and signs and start my protest.
submitted by oneir0naut0 to raleigh [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:35 radiofree_catgirl What do you even say to these little weirdos lol

What do you even say to these little weirdos lol submitted by radiofree_catgirl to VaushV [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:34 MarlimThePhoenix From The Ashes: Prologue

Memory transcription subject: Sergeant Marlim, Extermination Officer of the Krakotl Colony: Valanar.
Date [Standardized Human Time]: September 8th, 2131
I slowly stand up, pain flashing through my skull as I grip at my head. My fuel tank on my back protected me from the falling debris... falling... debris... "Fuck." The first words to leave my beak since I abandoned my post, the Arxur raid, the failing defenses. The raid was upon us and we were losing badly, most of us didn’t even have times to get to the bunkers or shelters, let alone set up our defense plans. A surprise attack that cost my fellow exterminators their lives, and they were left behind where they had fallen. At some point I left the officially established objective, now my only goal was to save my family.
I let go of my head and look around, seeing only debris which had fallen around me from a building that had collapsed. The fuel tank really must have protected me from being crushed, and it was still sealed. A sigh of relief escapes my beak, filtered through to speakers in my respiration mask. I pick up the nozzle, gripping it as I slowly begin to trail my way through the ruins, was I out for long? Things had seemingly gotten quiet, where were the screams? Where was the gunfire? All I could hear was in the distance.
I trudge forth, avoiding any streets; anytime I came near one, I could see the bodies. My respiration mask filters out the smell of blood and death, but not the purple splashes across the street where the bodies were gone now. The grays must have moved past this area, a blessing hopefully, one that would work in my favor as I picked up my speed.
I needed to get home, I needed to protect my son, I needed to rescue my son. I knew the layout of this city pretty well after being an Exterminator in it for two years of my life. However, I rounded a corner into a lone gray ripping apart a body with its claws and teeth, swallowing what it could. I had made the wrong turn. Fear causes my feathers beneath the flame-resistant suit to fluff up as best they could, only making things more uncomfortable in the long run. A problem for future-me to deal with.
I could go around, but the thing's senses would pick me up. How it hadn't yet I don't know, too engaged in feeding? There was so much blood, and so many ripped-apart corpses, how many of my kind had the damn predator eaten? Were there other nearby predators who had their fill?
Despite the panicking thoughts in my head, another part of me responded, pulling up the nozzle and pressing down on the valve trigger as a spray of fuel shot out and down the side street. The gray was 100 feet away, I had time. Even as the gray roars out at the ruined meal of my fallen kind, it stands up and holds a claw in front of its snarling monstrous face to prevent me from spraying it directly in the eyes with the fuel. The predator starts running forth, heading to the weapon left behind at the first body gray's had torn apart.
I wait, letting it get closer as more fuel leaks and coats the side street, soaking the fallen and the predator down to the scales. Then just as the gray scrambles for its weapon, I pull up my pistol, a heavily-modified standard-issued plasma pistol. I had the advantage, all I needed as it aimed down at me. My pistol already aimed fully at my target, I fire.
Bright hot plasma shoots out, hitting the predator. The heated shot ignites the fuel as the monster screams and roars, in pain. He flails, trying to put out the flames, but the spreading flames of the spread-out fuel just ignite the whole side street in flames. I let my plasma pistol lower, watching as the Arxur collapses to his knees in the flames.
My first kill and it felt... Awful. The smoldering flames, the crackles of the flames as the Arxur's cries quieted… they were quiet enough now to be silenced by the roaring flames. Even through the respirator, I could smell the scent of burning flesh and feathers... My stomach turned. I was broken out of my inner guilt by the loud sound of steps heading toward me. Even if they could be fellow Exterminators, I can't take the chances. I head into what was a store, now slowly catching fire. I hear gunfire erupt around me as I dive down behind shelves of products, bullets tearing out around me as I shelter in place.
Growls and barks of sharp orders are given as I head toward the back. How I wasn't hit, I don't know. Maybe the smoke and flames were good concealments, or maybe I can thank whichever god decided to look out for me. The gunfire stops as I reach the backdoor, racing through it and into the storerooms to head out the back. Then I stop, a lesson ringing in my head: "Predator deception."
If I was a predator, I would be letting them come to me. My steps are slow as I look at the back door. It’s already been opened as if it was opened for me. I do not stop, still taking caution as I take off the fuel tank. I grab it by the handle before I head to the door. I holster my pistol and with both my talons gripping the fuel tank, I chuck it outside through the door as best as I could.
Gunfire rings out as I fall back, just one bullet could end me here and now, and I won't be risking it. I head back into the store room, now free of the fuel tank. I start to rip myself and my wings free of the flame-resistance suit. I grab onto a shelf, quickly clambering up the wooden stock shelves of the store room before I hunker down on the topmost shelf. Once again, I coolly pull up my plasma pistol, aim, and fire.
I knew the Arxur would be coming inside for me, but the hunters had become the hunted. The gunfire had stopped and as soon as my plasma shot through the door it nails the dropped fuel tank, rupturing it with the mark of glowing metal. Barely a second later it detonates, and I bring my head down onto the shelf itself as cries and roars of pain combined with the sound of metallic bits impacting wood and wall tell of my success. I holster my pistol as I spread out my wings and give a couple of strong pushes to slow my descent as I feel myself reach a decision.
I am going to press my advantage. I turn and the talons on my leg scratch the ground as I rush out through the partially exploded doorway. I run through, a roar, a growl, the Arxur too wounded to get back up as I rush past them and around a corner.
I keep running until I am sure I’ve evaded them before I extend my wings out and take off with a couple of strong pushes. I keep low, between buildings. It’s dangerous but provides cover, and by flying I will reach my home in no time.
As I reach my street, it’s obvious the Arxur has been through here. Bodies, blood, and homes were broken into. Silence. I make my way to the door of my home, swooping upwards onto the elevated walkway that connects to the platform that my raised home is built upon. The door is wide open, giving me pause. I unholster my pistol as I lean in and listen. I hear the sharp cracking of bones and tearing of flesh: another Arxur. A pit forms in my stomach. I knew my mate is likely dead but my objective-focused mind keeps me from straying too far from the path. I have to save my son if he is still here. I look around the walkway, only finding a fallen Incineration Exterminator a couple of feet away. My tool cabinet is open right next to my front door. I look past the walkway as I leap off of it and extend my wings forth.
I catch onto a window frame and carefully use my talons, gripping anything I can to climb around my raised home far above the ground. I slowly make my way around the corner of the house, looking through the window to find my mate dead. However, the door to the room of my unhatched son is still closed. A feeling of hope and love rises into my chest as I continue onward, heading to the next corner. With a little jump onto the rain channeler, I manage to get around the corner and to my son’s hatchery. Opening the window, I make my way inside the hatchery.
The incubation unit is on, humming, and warm. The egg inside is a healthy blue color, with no cracks and no evidence of tampering. I check over for any traps just in case, I knew the Arxur were brutally cunning. With myself satisfied I took the mobile incubator, which closely resembles a backpack for a good reason, and unplug it as I turn it on, I gently remove my unhatched son, lowering him into the mobile incubator before I seal it and strap the bag to my back. The humidity won’t be ideal but it's a temporary solution. I head to the window, slowly climbing out before I drop, unfurling my wings as I fly upwards.
My thoughts turn to my mate, she and I were not in a loving relationship, hell it was my father’s idea… However, at the end of the day, the Arxur in there had killed her and in all likelihood would have eaten my son. Anger rises and burns in my chest as I slowly turn back. I glide down to the walkway as I couldn't help but think, my son was now deprived of the one thing my mate and I cared about, we might have been arranged, but she was so excited to raise him. Now she won’t get that and a part of me can’t help but feel anger, hatred, a burning hatred. I knew what had to be done.
I close my door, gently, and quietly, I would roll the tool cabinet in front of it before I engage its breaks, I then head to the fallen exterminator, picking up the fuel tanks and the nozzle as I start to spray down the front of my home, before shoving the nozzle as best as I could through a shattered window and empty the fuel tanks into this grave. I hear the Arxur getting up, investigating the smell of fuel and with a couple of flaps back to the walkway, I turn.
I’m aiming my plasma pistol by the time I land and as soon as I do, I send a couple of shots into my home the fuel-soaked building ignites, fire spreading quickly as the fucking monster within tries to force his way out through the front, the front had quickly became enveloped in flames and anyway else out would be just a drop hundreds of feet below.
The drop is what the Arxur takes, burning, on fire, the shattering of the window is all that alerts me to it as he falls, disappearing through the smoke that covers the ground beneath my neighborhood.

I feel nothing.

I feel nothing as I take off, heading somewhere else.

I feel nothing when I reach a nearby bunker broken open.

I feel nothing when the raid reaches an end and the rescue fleet shows up.

I feel nothing when I leave.

I feel nothing when my father congratulates me, a hollow thanks anyways.

I feel nothing as I sit on the ship to Nishtal.

I feel something when, within the incubator, I can hear chirps, and the egg starts to gently rock back and forth.

I feel love and hope again.
submitted by MarlimThePhoenix to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:34 Dry_Bison_7901 Originally, I wrote this wall of text to r/SuicideWatch, but I've decided NOT to post it because it might encourage somebody to actually end his/her life. As for us, we are used to suffering, year after year, so I guess I can share it here

This was the topic name: Lately, I've been having thoughts about suicide
And here is the text, I'll just copy/past it. I've just finished writing, so sorry if some parts do not make sense. I've lost my concentration so I cannot read and edit it. But I still feel like sharing it with somebody.
As a side note, I tend to avoid this subreddit because reading your post makes my hopeless situation even more desperate.

Before you start reading, my situation is not urgent. If you are suicidal, you better do not read this post at all.
Sometimes I did follow those thoughts, sometimes I did not. Either way, as a Stoic practitioner, my view on death is a lot different from most people. I do not see death as something terrible, now did I ever believe in God on such things. For me, death is just death. You stop existing and that all. In fact, it it a good thing, as you get rid of this body which is always a pain in the ass. You have to feed it, clench it's everything for and it still gives up on you. It is a source of so much suffering.
Even writing this here, I am feeling kind of guilty, that's probably because if you knew me, you would think I would be on the other side of the screen, cheering people and not writing this long ass post.
So, the story goes like this. For the record, I am 36 years old, male.
I won't go into great lengths to tell you what got me into my current situation, but I do have to write a short summary.
So...I've always been a problematic kid. Did drugs, alcohol, smoked, basically, was one of the "cool" kids. I've skipped class, was a real pain in the ass to teachers, and that eventually lead to me being expelled from school in my final year of school. Finished it later so at the end of the day, that was not a big deal. However, that is where my issues started.
At that point, I got access to home internet and as I had no obligation, and my parents were ok (they still are) with whatever I do, I've become completely socially isolated. So, from the ages of 16, up until the 26. My days were always the same. I've been spending 16+ hours a day online!!! Rest of the time I was sleeping, most of the time waking up multiple times trough the night to check on my games, because most of that time I've spent playing games, randomly browsing the internet and watching porn here and there.
Life was GOOD. At that point, I actually enjoyed my life. I did not know any better, so I am not the kind of person who regrets my past. It is what it is. Sure, from this point of view, that was stupid, but, I did not know better back then and I could not do better.
Anyway, the real problem was not the addiction to the internet novelty, the real problems started happening when I actually had to leave home and do stuff, which happened once or twice a year. Long story short, every time I went out, I felt like I was about to die- And slowly, but surely, my comfort zone shrunk, and shrunk. Things that I used to do, suddenly become impossible for me to do, because I genuinely believed "something bad was going to happen" if I even try and do stuff.
That was the beginning of my real issue, that is, agoraphobia. Since most people do not know what that is, in short, it is a fear of leaving home. Not because you are afraid of anything in particular, such as dentist, flying or many other fears and phobias that people have. You are afraid of the feeling of fear, of the way you FEEL in particular situations. That is, you become afraid of the fear itself, so you start avoiding and avoiding.
Now, I never actually went to doctor to get diagnosed, because for me, if I could do that, I would consider myself recovered. For me, going to doctor is simply one of the hardest things to do. It is just the way it is. If I ever went, my diagnosis would be, without a doubt: "panic disorder with agoraphobia."
As the day, weeks, months and year went by, I was getting worse, not better. Eventually, I got to the point where all I did trough the day, was hide myself under the blanket, because of how much anxiety I had pretty much all the time, with frequent panic attacks.
At that point, I had enough. I could not live on like that, so I did my best to try and recover. I started by downloading plenty of books about agoraphobia, panic, and generally self-help books. But, I could not actually read them, or concentrate at all, as long as I was online. So, the first step was going offline. After that, I heard that meditation was good and something that might help with anxiety, so I started it. And I've been meditating for 7+ years, logging over 2500 hours of meditation in total. Spoiler alert, it sure is good, it helped with general anxiety so I've started feeling OK, when I was at home. No more constant anxiety and panic attacks at least in my safe zone. Although, if I am being honest, I would not attribute that to meditation, that happened because I was offline.
So, from that point on, I've started caring about myself and my body, for the first time, ever. I did stopped smoking, drugs, and alcohol before, so at last I did not have to deal with that.
Anyway, I've started what I had to do. I've started practicing exposure therapy, and slowly, but surely expanding my comfort zone. And from that point on, until now, I've been spinning in the same cycle. Getting a bit better, than having a massive setback, depression, going back online and wasting few weeks or months online, and that repeat. Restarting the entire cycle.
I had some success and failures, but every time shit got hard, I hid online. That is, until I actually started CRAVING real life, and wanting more of life than what I currently have.
I know exactly what I want from life, I know how to get it, and I am extremely motivated to put in necessary work and get what I want. After all, trough the years, I've put massive effort into recovery. Heck, 3 years ago, I considered myself like 75% recovered. That is when I lost my grandpa. I withdrew at home, and that lead to full blown relapse, once again.
All fine, still. I am still motivated and I still want to get my life back. However, that's when it got from bad to worse. I did some physically activity, and from than on, I've started having issues with my legs. That is, I've been under a lot of pain.
Eventually, it got better (after plenty of internet and inactivity) and last year, at August, after pushing myself day in, day out, I've completely burnt my legs. I did a lot of walking (as part of my exposure therapy) and from than on, my legs are always hurting. Even if I am resting. That is, my hamstrings are killing me.
Because of that, I had yet another setback, was online for like 2 months, but I started hating my life even more and I've decided I am I going to give recovery another go. Give it my all, and if I am not better in 180 days, I told myself, I am going to give up completely. Surrender, spend my days online, and live my life for as long as I have somebody to support me. Once I am out of support, I would finally end my life.
And, I did good during that period. Expanded my comfort zone, once again, leg pain slowly but surely subsides (not completely, but it got a lot better). That was all until I had another setback.... That happened when I had a massive panic attack in situation that I considered "safe." I did not withdraw completely, I kept going out and trying my best. But, my comfort zone got smaller and smaller, until I eventually got back to where I am now. Unable to take public transport, which is MASSIVE for me. Because without it, I have to walk a lot and the more I walk, the more my legs hurt.
The more my legs hurt and the less I walked, the more and more I've become depressed. Until finally, thoughts about just ending it all started creeping in. As someone who did a lot of meditation and who practiced Stoicism, I was able to see those thoughts for what they are. Just fleeting, and impermament. I did not have to follow any of them.
Sometimes I did follow them, sometimes I did not. Either way, as a Stoic practitioner, my view on death is a lot different from most people. I do not see death as something terrible, nor did I ever believed in God or such stiuff. For me, death is just death. You stop existing and that all. In fact, it it a good thing, as you get rid of this body which is always a pain in the ass. You have to feed it, clench it's thirst and take a lot of care of it. It is a source for a lot of suffering and pain, pretty much from the moment you are born. On death, that all just stops.
Before I was born, people existed, our planet did spin, people got married, people got into wars, movies were mad, kids were born, people died, birds sang, books were written...Basically, the world existed. Even Hitler happened and I was not part of it. Once I am gone, people will still exist, our planet will spin, new post on reddit will pop up, people will get married, people will divorce, sun will shine.....everything will keep on happening, whether I am alive or not.
Now, Stoicism, especially Seneca (one of the 3 main Stoic which works somehow survived to this day), actually encouraged suicide to people who cannot bear life any more.
If I were alone, I might have actually done it. However, I know I can still contribute to my family, and they need me. So, doing that, is the least thing I would do. Although, lately it started sounding compelling...
Basically, during my Stoic studies and practice, (I read a lot of Buddhism before that), death has become one very positive topic for me. I used it to motivate me to live my life..

I've been going off topic a lot, because this turned into the rant. I guess I had to get it off, to share it with somebody, so it's fine. I'll try to return to my current situation.
I've been online for the past 2 weeks. Spending 16+ hours online and generally hating it. I want to change it, but I am not ready for all the leg pain I am going to experience as soon as I start working on my recovery once again.
The reason I wrote this post, and the reason I went online once again, was because I started to hate my life, from the moment I woke up, I could not wait to go to sleep. It went on for days and the more it went on, the more thoughts about ending it all I had. I cannot say I was depressed, because I know how depression feel. I am more unhappy about my life situation and my inability to do the things I want to do. I know exactly what I want from life.
I want to fully recover.
I want to rebuild my social circle since I've always been very good at socializing.
I want to IMPROVE my physically fitness, by running, doing body weight exercises, riding a big, swimming...the list goes on. I so want to be pain free and to be super active.
I wan to start working, to have my own income.
I want so much more from life than this.

BUT...I simply cannot go to doctor, and I know as soon as I decide to go offline once again, and start working towards recovery. I'll have to deal with all this shit, shit I can easily hide away from as I am online. But, being online do not help, it just makes things worse.
I also know that just being offline is not the way to go, you have to actually build the life in which relapse will not even be an option. And I know how to do that, but, because of the leg pain, I am extremely limited in that which I can do.
Anyway, this is indeed a rant. Rant is mostly because I really dislike this leg pain, if it were not for it, it would have been much better.
What would Stoic recommend in this instance is something along the lies, "to love everything happens to you, because, it could always get worse." Like, how would it been if I got cancer and I am not able to get and get adequate treatment?
As for doctor in general, I've considered doing it plenty of times during the last 10 years, but that never happened. So, I am feeling stuck, and that sucks the most. I would have a better time if I did not know what I want from life and if I could just waste my life online. But, unfortunately, that is not the case.
Going to doctor, knowing what is actually wrong with my legs, and what I can do, would indeed be a life changer for me. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen, yet..

In the next few days, I'll go offline and give recovery another go. I will have to experience plenty of leg pain because of all the walking I'll have to do. It will get better once I get back to buses. But, that will take time.
At the end of the day, this post seems more appropriate for DecidingToBeBetter than this sub. I wrote it here because this was the first time I ever told someone I did actually start contemplating suicide.
Hopefully, things will get better this time. Because, every time I go 120+ days offline, depression creeps in and I have a very hard time.
If anyone read my rant, thank you.
submitted by Dry_Bison_7901 to Agoraphobia [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:29 slightlyassholic [The Great Erectus and Faun] 404 Universe Not Found Pt. 3

Something's missing. People (and entities) are starting to notice.
First Previous
Far across the multiverse in a tavern that, depending on one’s point of view, may or may not have actually existed, Zeb, Petunia, Bethany, Bergamot, Cleve, and Zilandrial sat at a large wooden table.
“Thank you, Shauna,” Bergamot said as a buxom woman in a low-cut peasant dress filled their mugs with a “magic” pitcher of beer that never ran dry. “You don’t have to serve us, you know.”
“Oh, I know,” Shauna replied brightly, “but I am a barmaid. Besides, I am not giving up my magic pitcher!” she added with a laugh. “The next batch of stew should be out in a second.”
“If it is as good as this bread…” Cleve said, holding up a thick, floppy piece of flatbread.
“Better!” Shauna exclaimed. “The pantry keeps filling back up with the best stuff! It’s almost a shame to make stew out of it, but the “fancy” chef went to the “fancy” place. We just figured out the roaster thingy, so we’ll be serving roast fowl as soon as the first batch cooks!”
Shauna paused and took a big drink from her pitcher.
“It turns out that you just had to talk to it. Weird… But no weirder than anything else, I suppose. You guys want to wait for the roast fowl?”
“We shouldn’t tary,” Zeb replied, “We don’t know how long this blessed peace will last.”
“Maybe it’s over?” Bethany the Tinker, now reunited with her beloved hat, asked.
“One can hope,” Zeb shrugged as he drank deeply from his tankard, “but I’m not delaying my repast, and neither should you. When you have fiends like Pantsu and F10w3rchy1d in play, things can get much worse than they already are.”
“Worse?!?” Bergamot exclaimed in horror.
Melinda the Stalwart was starting to believe that she should have stayed in bed today.
It was supposed to be her day off! Yeah, things were starting to get “weird,” but with all of those high-rated champions running around up north, it was probably going to get handled pretty quickly… and she was tired of chasing around after their scraps.
Her copper-rated ass was sitting this one out. The fact that everyone had gone gank-crazy just further confirmed that she had the right idea.
So, she decided to head back to the royal city of Raven’s Peak to take advantage of the richer and more powerful adventurers running off to the north, leaving all the armorers, enchanters, alchemists, and publicans in town behind.
It was nice not constantly getting shoved out of the way by stronger champions and ignored by shopkeepers far more interested in their gold than her silver for once.
It started out as such a lovely day, too!
She awoke in a lovely bed at the Blade and Wand, her absolute favorite inn, and a place where it was nearly impossible to get a room without a reservation or a lot more status than she had. There, she enjoyed a wonderful breakfast, at a discounted rate no less, and then went out for a day of crowd-free shopping!
It. Was. Bliss! There were no lines, and all of the storekeepers and craftsmen were all too happy to not only serve her and her meager purse but actually take time to chat!
Then, for lunch, she decided to visit the main branch of the adventurer’s guild, where she had an honest-to-gosh hamburger and fries along with some cider. After that, the plan was to get some training or maybe buy a buff or two…
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
What actually happened was that her wonderful burger, which she could never get under normal circumstances (they were always sold out before a copper-rated nobody could get their coppers taken), was interrupted by the most unholy screams she had ever heard inside or outside a dungeon.
She barely had time to stand before the doors to the guild offices exploded outward, and a demon covered in spikes and flames charged into the main hall.
That looks just like the guildmaster, was about all she had time to think before the fiend was on her.
“What’s happening?!?” Melinda cried in terror as she hurtled through absolutely nothing.
(Shh bby is ok)
“H-hello?” she called.
“W-who are you? What happened to me?”
(Shh bby is ok)
“Am I… Am I dead?!?”
(is ok)
“Oh, it is definitely NOT okay! Who are you, and what the hell happened?”
The bedbug sighed with exasperation as it bounced off an invisible barrier again.
It had taken too long. The soul was starting to wake up.
Before much longer, it would start to get wiggly. It hated it when they began to wiggle.
Not knowing exactly what else to do, it let out a little ping.
It was answered by thousands of its kind! They couldn’t get through either, so they were having a rave! Awesome!
With a happy little (woo!), it zipped off towards the largest concentration of pings dragging an increasingly indignant Melinda the Stalwart along whether she wanted to or not.
“Hahaha!” Tawdry laughed into a prepaid “burner phone” her parents didn’t know about. “I can’t be-lieve you got me fucking grounded, you skank!”
“You’re still grounded?” Claudia snickered, “You diminished that badly?”
“It’s my parents. I managed to talk them down to a week without brain fucking them too hard. Besides, this cell is a lot nicer than the holes you used to stick me in. I’ll just do my time and be done with it. Besides, it will give our friends time to leave town since someone can’t manage to find a freaking truck.”
“First of all, fuck you,” Claudia laughed, “Second of all, thanks for getting that bastard to show up in a park and chase you across all of that nice soft turf. We got a lot of data we didn’t have before.”
“Like what?”
“Like its estimated mass, tire treads, a few lovely material samples where it nailed a park bench while trying to kill you… oh, and confirmation that it actually materializes and dematerializes. We can only assume the little bitch does the same thing. Too bad you couldn’t actually lay hands on her.”
“She was slippery, okay?” Tawdry chuckled.
“Hey,” Claudia said, “before Evika and her party ganked you, did they say anything about whom they were working for, or did they mention a little blonde girl named Petunia… or Pantsu?”
“No, they just said hi and blew my head off. Oh! Stephen did say that David finally confessed to Evika!”
“Took him long enough,” Claudia laughed, “Think he has a chance?”
“I know he has one,” Tawdry replied, “Evika’s gonna drop those drawers any second.”
“Good for her.”
“You said that Robert the Golden Peckerhead got sent back?”
“Yeah, and he is not adjusting well,” Claudia replied, “We have him in a ‘special’ inpatient facility where we are keeping the people with ‘issues’.”
“You got a lot of ‘patients’?”
“Not as many as you would think,” Claudia said, “Not everyone is happy about things, but there is something to be said about not having to sleep with a dagger under your pillow.”
“True that,” Tawdry replied. “High school is a pain, but being able to go out for pizza without an enraged wife (or husband) trying to shank you is nice.”
“Careful,” Claudia laughed, “Enraged spouses here might have a gun. You might want to go easy on the adultery this time around. There is also no magic contraception, and cure disease potions aren’t for sale in every town.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Tawdry groaned. “Doesn’t really matter, though. I might as well be a nun these days.”
“You can’t be diminished that much!”
“I am not into kids, and any man worth screwing isn’t into jailbait. I’m the exact opposite of screwed… Speaking of, you did mention a possible trip to Denmark?”
“Aren’t you grounded?”
“I won’t be next week!”
“And how will you explain your sex tourism to your folks?”
“Let me worry about my folks,” Tawdry replied, “You worry about that plane ticket!”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Claudia replied with a chuckle.
Natasha! Come down for dinner!
“I’ll be right there!” Tawdry yelled.
“I gotta go. It’s taco night…”
Tawdry grinned.
“Speaking of tacos, did you get that camel toe fixed yet?”
“And just when we were even, too!” Claudia laughed. “Your little suggestion has everyone looking at my snatch… including me, and I know it’s bullshit!
“Ha! Is your new fuck toy looking?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Detective Martin! I know you have a thing for that whole world-weary crusader vibe. And don’t think I didn’t see you checking out his ass, either.”
“I have the same problem you do,” Claudia sighed, “worse even. The sort of man I like certainly won’t be messing around with a ‘kid’, even if I am ‘legal’.”
“Yeah, you do like them a bit crusty, don’t you? How about finding some rich asshole who is having a mid-life crisis?”
“I will repeat myself. The sort of man I would like isn’t interested… and won’t be for years.”
“Meh. You’re not giving yourself enough credit… and giving them far too much of it.”
“Well, Slaker turned me down cold… goddamn chain of command…”
“No! You tried to give it up to Slaker?”
“Wouldn’t be the first time…”
“No way! I need details, all of them!”
Natasha! Dinner!
“I have to go,” Tawdry said, “but this is not over!”
Vroom? an old Peterbilt truck revved as it sat in a remote corner of a truck stop in the middle of nowhere.
“Still nothing,” the little girl huffed. “How can an entire universe disappear?”
“Let’s hope not,” the girl replied, “Even so, he wouldn’t abandon us!”
“What?” the spirit asked with alarm.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” the little girl replied.
“Doesn’t sound like nothing.”
“Okay,” the little girl replied, “There is a remote chance that our boss has had to… um… cease operations and relocate. It hasn’t happened in a really long time, but it has happened.”
“Does that mean that I’m stuck?!?”
“No, of course not. It just means we might have to wait until we’re collected.”
“He won’t forget us!”
“Hey! Don’t even start talking like that! We’ve done good work for the boss on several worlds. He won’t just discard us!”
“What do you mean, discard?”
“Just watch your anime, weeb,” the little girl snapped. “He hasn’t abandoned us, and he won’t forget us. He’s just… um…”
“I don’t know, alright!” the little girl replied angrily, “I have no idea where those others came from. All I know is that we didn’t squish them.”
“If he had another team, I would know about it!”
“I just would, okay! WE AREN’T GETTING REPLACED!... I’m… I’m going to get some air, maybe a Coke or something.”
The little girl threw open the door to the cab angrily and hopped out.
“Hey!” the spirit yelled, “See if they have any audiobooks!”
We’ve been abandoned… the little girl thought to herself as she prowled the truck stop trying not to panic.
She had to keep it together for Truck-Kun… and their new companion. If she fell apart, Truck-Kun would, too, and who knows what the spirit would do. He was two seconds from making another run for it as it was.
She paused by a rack of dusty old audiobooks on CD. Now that wasn’t something she had seen in a bit.
Thankful for the distraction, she started perusing the titles. Some of them were things she hadn’t already read (or listened to).
She grabbed a few for herself and then started looking for something appropriately nerdy for her new guest.
She might have murdered them in cold blood, but that was no reason not to be a good host.
She was so distracted by her own troubles and the audiobooks that she didn’t notice that she was being followed until the guy’s shadow fell around her.
She then became aware of his oily aura and smiled.
All work and no play…
“Hello, little girl…”
She looked up at him with an innocent expression and doe-like eyes.
Truck-Kun quietly ground his gears as he watched a beat-up RV pull onto the highway.
Vroom, he grumbled as he put himself in gear and started to follow.
“What?” the spirit asked.
About half an hour later, Truck-Kun pulled over next to an RV that was parked on the side of the highway.
The door opened, and the little girl hopped out, holding a paper bag.
Vroom, the truck revved disapprovingly.
“Such a nice man,” the little girl said impishly as she plopped into the driver’s seat, and the truck drove away.
“Are those bloodstains?” the spirit asked as he pointed at the bag.
“What answer would you prefer?” the girl asked as she pulled out a half-filled fifth of vodka and most of a pack of smokes graciously donated by the nice man in the RV (it wasn’t like he was going to be needing them).
“I know I quit,” the girl replied as she put one in her mouth. “Give me a break. My nerves are shot.”
“Yes, shot enough to smoke menthols!”
The little girl lit up and drew heavily on the cigarette, exhaling a lovely smoke ring.
“So, crack a window!”
Vroom! Vroom! Vrooooom!
“You can’t smell, and you know it! So please, cut me some slack. I’ve had a bad day,” she said as she turned up the bottle of vodka like it was Juicy Juice.
“I know you’ve had a bad day, too,” the girl said as she wiped her mouth, “Want me to get you some fuel treatment at the next stop, maybe some starting fluid?”
“Okay, and a new air freshener, maybe some of those fuzzy dice you like? Deal?”
Vroom!… Vroom?
“As a matter of fact,” the little girl said as she pulled out a wad of bills. “the nice man did keep his cash on him.”
Vroom! the truck revved happily.
“Jesus!” Gary Martin, formerly Detective Martin, winced as he looked inside an abandoned old RV the following day.
“Say what you want about her,” Claudia Smythe said as she ate a corn dog. “but she is thorough.”
“We think the girl did this?”
“Matches her MO,” Claudia shrugged as she flicked the corn dog stick aside. “And we have surveillance footage at the truck stop. The asshole was talking to someone small, the cameras didn’t get a good shot of the kid, and eyewitnesses state that he was in the company of his ‘daughter’ when he left.”
“You said this was her MO. She’s done this before?” Gary asked.
“She rolls guys like this for their pocket change. We’re not sure if it’s how they finance their operations or if she just does it for fun, but this is the third one this year.”
A well-dressed and very young man in sunglasses approached the pair.
“Sir Lark,” Claudia said without turning around. “We have an ID on this guy yet?”
“Boris Veetch,” the young man said. “a registered sex offender with an active warrant for skipping out on his parole.”
“Yeah, she likes those,” Claudia shrugged. “Nobody will mourn his passing. He was easily ensnared, and he probably was carrying cash.”
“And she is professional bait,” Gary shrugged. “He was slime, but I’m not sure even he deserved what happened to him, though. What sort of monster would do something like this?”
“You just answered your own question,” Claudia replied, “a monster.”
“If you think this is bad," Lark said as he started photographing the scene, "You should see what a pack of goblins will do if they get the chance."
“Considering what we now know,” Claudia said with a shrug, “this trail is beyond cold. Even if they couldn’t do the whole disappearing act, they could be in any of several states by now. We’ve lost them… again.”
She looked over at Gary.
“Just as well,” she added, “We need to get you processed and briefed… agent.”
She smiled.
“Welcome to the Temporal Protection Agency.”
Deep within the deepest dungeon on Asteria Prime, a monstrous giant of a spider fidgeted uncomfortably.
“H-hello… boss,” it said nervously, “T-to w-what do we owe the honor of your visit?”
Frostie smiled an icy smile that filled the giant spider with horror.
“Oh, I was just in the area and thought I would give my friends here,” she said, indicating The Great Erectus, The Herald, and Cuddles, “a tour.”
“O-of c-course!” Log’Sharingoth LXXXIII stammered as their legs twitched miserably. “W-would you like a guide?”
“That would be lovely,” Frostie smiled. “Where’s Pantsu? I think she and The Big Guy over here would get along famously.”
“S-she isn’t available, boss.”
“Not even for me?”
“I-I apologize,” Log’Sharingoth said nervously, “but she isn’t here right now?”
“Well, where did she go?”
“I-I’m not sure, boss…”
“Okay, how about Nova?”
“S-she’s not here, either.”
Log’Sharingoth made a whining bubbling noise as they shrank away.
“Why don’t you just tell me who is missing and exactly what the fuck is going on?” Frostie said with an angry gleam in her eye.
“…and I don’t know where anyone is!” Log’Sharingoth wailed miserably. “And everything is going wrong, the players almost rioted, and the physics engine threatened to quit! I didn’t know what to doooo!!!
“And at no point did it occur to you to call me?” Frostie asked with a frightening edge to her voice.
Pantsu told me not to!!!
Frostie let out a long-suffering sigh. Of course, the current Log’Sharingoth wouldn’t go against Pantsu. It was horribly unfair to expect otherwise.
“I’m not going to come down on you because of what she did,” Frostie said a bit more gently. “However, since I now clearly know something is amiss, anything you can tell me will be of great value.”
“I-I’m not in trouble?”
“Not from me,” Frostie replied, “and Pantsu won’t be giving you any problems after I’m done with her.”
Frostie paused.
“So, this glitched Pantsu, where is it now?”
“Pantsu had me send it to Tartarus! I’m sorry! But she said to!”
“Sounds like the only sensible thing she’s done thus far,” Frostie replied.
“I didn’t want to, but she told me to do it!”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Frostie shrugged, “sounds like the perfect place for it. Wait. She told you?”
“Yes, Boss!”
“That means you have a line of communications?”
Log’Sharingoth’s multiple eyes all widened with fear.
“Call her and tell her to give me her location… now.”
“Y-yes boss…”
Log’Sharingoth fell silent for a few moments.
“Um… Boss?”
“Let me guess,” Frostie said, “You can’t reach her, can you?”
“No, Boss.”
Fine,” Frostie grumbled. “We do this the hard way. You’ve done a great job, considering everything.”
“I have?” Log’Sharingoth asked hopefully.
“You have,” Frostie said reassuringly. “Keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll send a crisis response team to help out in the meantime.”
“A… A crisis response team?” Log’Sharingoth asked fearfully.
“You didn’t think you were getting off Scot free, did you?” Frostie laughed as she and her companions disappeared.
“…Ssssshit,” Log’Sharingoth hissed as she stalked off into the shadows.
The hominid looked around at their new surroundings.
Everything was white. The floor was white. The walls were white. The furniture was white…
Even the plants were white…
And everything was spotless.
“Interesting décor,” he said after a few seconds.
“They like to keep things tidy,” Frostie replied as she took a seat on one of the white couches.
“They?” the ape-man asked dubiously as Cuddles slipped one of her tentacles into The Herald’s hand.
He gently gripped it, causing Cuddles to suppress a delighted squeal.
“Playtime is over,” Frostie said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I’m calling in my real operatives.”
“Jesus!” The Great Erectus exclaimed as a spotless white door opened, and a short, slender blue male amphibian-like biped in a white tunic bearing a three-headed dog embroidered with platinum thread walked in.
“You never told me you had… them!
“Oh, you are familiar with their kind?”
“Those little monsters are responsible for the death of entire universes! Every time there is a parallel manifestation of those… monsters… entire galaxies die.”
“They can be a handful,” Frostie said pleasantly, “But I’ve found them incredibly valuable over the years… for that very same reason. These do come from much more reasonable stock from a much more reasonable ancestor... Maybe 'reasonable' is pushing it a little,” Frostie added with a laugh. "Reasonable for one of them, at least."
The blue amphibian smiled pleasantly and blinked his huge amber eyes, their pleasant hue replaced with a whirling madness of color.
“Hello, Hades,” Frostie said with a smile. “It has been quite a while. How have you been?”
“Bored,” Hades replied. “I trust you have come to alleviate that?”
“Most definitely,” Frostie replied. “Awaken the others…”
“…It’s time to hunt.”
submitted by slightlyassholic to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:25 Awkward_Comparison93 The Tales of Tra'Vol: Song of the Soul Prologue

In the verdant heart of Sayla, where the suns painted the sky with warm hues and the gentle whisper of the breeze carried the laughter of children, a soulborn elf named Elyan wandered through the lush forest, his steps as light as the dappled shadows that danced on the forest floor. His eyes sparkled with a carefree spirit, reflecting the beauty of the world around him. Life in Sayla was serene, with the days spent in harmonious coexistence among the vibrant flora and fauna. The village where Elyan lived was a haven for his kind, nestled in the embrace of ancient trees that stood as silent guardians, shielding them from the outside world. The soulborn elves shared a deep connection with the land and its creatures, nurturing an unwavering bond that transcended the passage of time. The villagers, united by a profound sense of kinship, filled their days with song and laughter, celebrating the simple joys of life. Elyan was no exception, cherishing the peace and tranquility that surrounded him. He spent his days exploring the emerald depths of the forest, forging friendships with its inhabitants, and basking in the warmth of his community. As the sun dipped below the horizon, Elyan would often gather with his friends and family around a crackling fire, sharing stories that echoed through the night, weaving a tapestry of memories that bound them together. Many of the stories would be about the trials and tribulations the Soul Born Elves faced over countless generations due to their overall pacifist nature. It is well known in Tra'Vol that Soul Born elves do not even take life as their culture is believed to cherish the sanctity of Life putting nothing else before it. Though true there is another reason soulborn elves do not kill that will be revealed in Elyan's tale. Unbeknownst to Elyan and his people, however, a storm was brewing on the horizon, a dark tide that threatened to shatter their idyllic existence forever. As the shadows lengthened and the air grew heavy with foreboding, the soulborn elves of Sayla would soon find themselves facing a grim reality. From beyond the southern border of Sayla, armies materialized as if conjured from thin air, commanded by a man known as Leviticus Brightsoul—The Wicked King to his own people. At the tender age of 17, Leviticus embarked on his first conquest, swiftly earning recognition from the kingdom of Impre'us. He conquered the provinces of Valta and Alamay and established a foothold in Eria after a brutal, month-long skirmish called The Shallows of Sorrow. The battle earned its name when rumors spread of Leviticus ruthlessly killing and torturing citizens and soldiers alike, leaving a trail of bodies in the shallow waters of the Eria swamplands. The death toll reportedly reached 50,000, yet Leviticus had only led a detachment of 100 troops—an astonishing feat even for the demigods who ruled the royal bloodlines of Tra'Vol. Five years passed after this conquest, and Leviticus returned to his homeland of Impre'us just in time to confront an invading army from Sacarr. Unimpressed, he single-handedly inflicted massive defeats on the invaders, forcing them to retreat. People began to speculate that Leviticus must have sold his soul to a Mala'Deus, as he had slain the Sacre'Noir—a formidable and ruthless warrior race, as well as the demigod representing their bloodline—all by himself. The carnage was said to be so immense that even his own people recoiled in horror as he slaughtered the enemy army, cackling maniacally throughout the ordeal. Everyone deemed his actions sickening and grotesque, except for his father, who saw his son's feat as a triumph that saved the empire. Swelling with pride, his father abdicated the throne, crowning Leviticus as the ruler of Impre'us. Leviticus was delighted but not surprised, as he had already planned to murder his father and seize the throne. With this obstacle removed, he set his sights on the neighboring continent of Lun'aal, intent on claiming its uncharted territories by force. Believing that every land rightfully belonged to his empire, Leviticus dispatched thousands of troops to explore the region. The soldiers landed on the serene coastlines of Mortua Terra, where they established bases that extended to the province of Black Sand and eventually to the borders of Sayla. However, they reported that the dense forests of Sayla made further travel and exploration impossible. Dissatisfied with their explanation and anticipating the rich resources of the unexplored land, Leviticus summoned his trusted advisor, a wizard named De'lacar, and the two used gate magic to teleport directly to the primary base at the border of Black Sand and Sayla. The soldiers in the encampment were taken aback when a tear in the very fabric of reality appeared in their midst, allowing their king and his advisor to step through. Shocked, everyone in the camp immediately knelt before their sovereign, Leviticus Brightsoul.
""No... No, that won't do. Get up!" Leviticus said, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb as if nursing a headache.
"That's precisely why I had to leave the palace! You fools and your desperate attempts to take a break on my time!"
As he finished his sentence, Leviticus snapped his fingers. Small circles appeared around each of the soldiers, signaling impending doom. The camp erupted in a cacophony of cries as the men begged for their lives.
"Sir, please give me another chance!" one called out.
"I'm not going to die like this!" another exclaimed, attempting to flee but quickly realizing his muscles refused to respond.
"Please, Your Majesty, I have a family! Don't be a heartless bastard!" a man cried out, sounding like a frightened child.
"Heartless bastard, huh?... You no longer have a family."
"What?! No! I didn't... mean..."
"Silence!" Leviticus's voice roared, startling even a large predatory creature that had been stalking the troops and lurking nearby.
"The price for your transgressions will be paid in blood, and because of your careless words, not only your blood."
Leviticus removed a glowing, lustrous orb from his battle raiment. The sphere emitted a beautiful dance of colors before abruptly turning a deep blood red moments later. It began spewing blood and viscera onto the man who had insulted him. The man screamed in agony, realizing the gore covering him belonged to his wife and two daughters, recognizing his daughter's torn and shredded face amongst the flesh.
"You!... What have you done?! I'll kill you!!!" the man screamed.
"Oh, will you now? I'll tell you what," Leviticus' eyes briefly shimmered from their normal light blue to a deep, dark red before returning to their original hue. He released the circle around the distraught man. "I'd say I'm a pretty 'fair' king, so I'll give you a fair shot."
Leviticus gestured to his advisor, who produced a strange sword with a glowing essence. Leviticus explained, "The sword issued to you, though strong, won't be enough to kill me in this realm or the next. This sword, however..." He took the sword from his advisor.
"This sword is made from Dwarvain titanium and etched with runic symbols found in ancient texts left behind by the Cyphora Civilization that once called our homeland their own. The symbols and their effects are not important. What is important is that it can even strike down a deity if used properly."
Leviticus hurled the sword at the man, and it embedded itself into the ground next to him.
"Now kill me!" Leviticus said in a playful tone. Unprepared for the soldier's escape, as few ever managed to get away from Leviticus, the soldier seized the sword and took advantage of his short-range teleportation spells. He made it to the border of Sayla, sword in hand, and sought refuge at a monument to the Celes'Deus Solayah. He planted the sword into the ground next to the statue and collapsed beside it. Distraught and trying to determine his next move after witnessing the murder of his family by the king, he began to plan. But no one escapes the Wicked King.
"Should we go after him, sire?" De'lacar asked with urgency.
"Why waste the manpower?" Leviticus responded rhetorically, holding up the orb once again. As it began to glow, the men still held within the circle seemed to evaporate, transforming into pools of blood within the circle. Simultaneously, the soldier who sought refuge at the shrine of Solayah also began to evaporate, as the circle reappeared beneath him leaving behind the sword as the only evidence of his presence at the shrine.
Elsewhere in the province of Sayla, Elyan, utterly unaware of the storm brewing in the distance, continued to revel in the beauty of the present moment. As he ambled through the forest, he heard the distant call of his best friend, Lira, who was perched on a nearby branch.
"Elyan! There you are!" she exclaimed, her melodic voice carrying through the trees. "I've been looking for you everywhere. You know the Soul Dance Ceremony is tonight, right?"
Elyan's eyes sparkled with excitement. "Of course, Lira! Do you know if Sonair is coming this year?"
Lira gracefully hopped down from her perch, landing beside Elyan with a soft rustle of leaves.
"They haven't said, but it's supposed to be a grand celebration of our goddess Solayah this year, so it's sure to be a night to remember. Unlike the last gathering when your brother got drunk on lavender tree sap," Lira recalled, giggling.
"Who even knew that was possible?" Elyan replied, joining in the laughter.
"Apparently Sedwin! One would swear he already knew and just attempted to liven up the boring rituals of our normal Soul Dance Ceremonies," Lira said playfully, tapping Elyan's shoulder.
"Yeah, he's probably responsible for the drunken antics of the village elders nowadays. You think he shared the recipe with them?" Elyan jokingly asked.
"Your little brother does tend to get away with a lot these days!" Lira exclaimed.
Elyan and Lira had been close since childhood. Both being raised as acolytes of Solayah, they never thought of each other as anything more than brother and sister. Elyan, however, had always harbored deeper feelings for Lira. But due to their strict religious beliefs, he never pursued these feelings. Nevertheless, the feelings remained and led to one of the first of many sins Elyan would go on to commit – the sin of coveting.
"You know what, Elyan? We should go visit the nearby shrine of Solayah. It's not too far from where we are now – maybe 20 or 30 minutes at most," Lira suggested eagerly.
Reluctant to resist Lira's captivating golden-hued puppy eyes, Elyan acquiesced, and they embarked on the renowned Living Vine Trail. The path earned its name from the vibrant green mycelium, resembling vines, that meandered languidly through the dense tree canopy overhead. The trail's relative safety ensured a tranquil journey for the couple as they made their way to the shrine. However, upon nearing the shrine's staircase, an unsettling sensation enveloped them—an eerie atmosphere that was decidedly atypical for a sacred space devoted to the Celes'Deus.
"Elyan, do you feel that?" Lira inquires nervously, drawing closer to him for comfort. "Yes... I do. Something dark has transpired here."
"At a shrine dedicated to a celestial deity?" Lira's voice trembles with the onset of fear. "We must turn back now, Elyan!"
Just as Elyan is about to agree, a glint of something catches his eye near the Statue of Solayah at the shrine's apex.
"Lira, wait here. I'll only be a moment," he insists, starting up the marble staircase.
"Elyan, are you serious? We need to hurry back and inform the elders about the dreadful occurrence here!" Lira protests.
"We will, but first, I must ensure the shrine hasn't been desecrated. We cannot risk angering Solayah before the Soul Dance Ceremony tonight," Elyan explains, swiftly ascending the staircase.
"Elyan, you better hurry up! I mean it!" Lira calls after him, her worry evident in her voice.
Upon reaching the magnificent golden statue of Solayah in all its splendor, Elyan is suddenly overcome by the stench of decay and an overwhelming sense of despair, causing his stomach to churn violently. He scans the area for the source of the repugnant odor, expecting to find the decomposing remains of an animal, but discovers nothing. Instead, his eyes are drawn to an exquisite sword planted beside the statue, unlike any he had ever encountered before. As Elyan picks up the sword to examine it, he notices the emblem of the Dwarvain Empire on its pommel—a familiar sight, as the Solvaylians are well-acquainted with the Knomadic race that inhabits Dwarvain. Beyond this single detail, however, the sword remains a mystery to Elyan. The hilt is wrapped in a sturdy wyvern hide, but it doesn't match any wyvern species he has ever seen. The golden crossguard bears intricate etchings in an indecipherable language, while the blade itself is inscribed with magical runes that are equally unfamiliar to him.
As if compelled by the enigmatic blade, Elyan conceals it within his cloak and makes his way back down the staircase. Elyan's descent is hastened by a sense of urgency as he clutches the mysterious sword hidden beneath his cloak. As he reaches the foot of the staircase, Lira's eyes widen in alarm, sensing the change in him.
"Elyan, what did you find up there?" she inquires, her voice quivering with trepidation.
He hesitates for a moment, contemplating whether or not to reveal the sword to Lira. Finally, he decides to confide in her, drawing the enigmatic weapon from its concealment. Her eyes fixate on the sword, reflecting a mix of awe and concern.
"I found this next to the statue of Solayah," Elyan explains. "I've never seen anything like it before. It bears the emblem of the Dwarvain Empire, but everything else about it is unfamiliar. I couldn't just leave it there."
Lira's gaze shifts from the sword to Elyan's face, searching for reassurance. "We need to take this to the elders immediately. They might be able to shed some light on its origin and significance, especially with the unsettling atmosphere surrounding the shrine."
Elyan nods in agreement, carefully returning the sword to its hiding place within his cloak. With the weight of their discovery weighing heavily upon them, the duo retraces their steps along the Living Vine Trail, eager to share their findings with the village elders and uncover the truth behind the mysterious sword and the ominous presence at the shrine. As they walk, they cannot shake the feeling that their lives have become entwined with a destiny far greater than they ever could have imagined.
As the sun dipped lower in the sky, casting a warm golden glow over the village, Elyan and Lira joined their fellow Soulborn Elves in the village square. The atmosphere buzzed with anticipation, as everyone eagerly awaited the elders' pronouncement.
Elder Aelara, a sagacious and revered figure within the community, stepped forward and raised her hands, calling for silence. Her voice, gentle yet authoritative, effortlessly captivated the attention of all those present.
"Children of Sayla," she began, her eyes sweeping over the assembly, "we gather here tonight to celebrate our bond with the forest and the spirits that dwell within its embrace. The harmony we share with the land and its creatures is a precious gift, one that we must treasure and safeguard for generations to come."
Her words were met with nods of agreement and murmurs of approval. Elyan, standing beside Lira, felt a swell of pride in his chest. The bond his people shared with the land was something truly special, and he was grateful to be part of such a unique and connected community.
As the night progressed, the music filled the air, creating a magical atmosphere that enveloped the village. Elyan and Lira danced and sang, their hearts brimming with happiness and love for their people. However, the discovery at the Shrine of Solayah weighed heavily on their minds, and they knew they had to share the information with the village elders.
Taking a break from the festivities, they approached Elder Aelara, who was speaking with a small group of villagers.
"Elder Aelara," Elyan called out, trying to mask the urgency in his voice. "May we speak with you for a moment? It's important."
Aelara turned to face them, her wise eyes showing concern. "Of course, Elyan, Lira. What troubles you?"
Lira glanced around, ensuring no one was eavesdropping, before she began. "We visited the Shrine of Solayah earlier today, and we found something... unusual."
Elyan chimed in, "Yes, there was this strange sword next to the statue, and it bore the emblem of the Empire of Dwarvain. It also had magical runes etched into its blade, runes we've never seen before." Aelara quickly snatched the sword away as if taking poison from a child, eyes widened, and she exchanged a worried glance with the other elders. "This is troubling news. We must investigate this matter further. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please, enjoy the rest of the ceremony, and we will discuss this further tomorrow." Taking the sword from them, she sent them on their way.
Elyan and Lira nodded, a sense of relief washing over them as they returned to the celebration. They hoped that the village's wise leaders would uncover the truth behind the mysterious sword and the disquiet it had stirred.
As the night of festivities drew to a close, Elyan and Lira found themselves sitting together at the village dock on the Ta'kalu River, following their nightly tradition.
"I was at Solayah's shrine just three days ago, and that sword wasn't there," Lira said, her voice tinged with concern. "Maybe it was accidentally left behind by some adventurer," Elyan suggested, trying to ease her worries.
"But that's the thing, Elyan," Lira countered. "When's the last time you remember an adventurer passing through Sayla?"
Elyan furrowed his brow, deep in thought. "I don't..."
"Exactly!" Lira exclaimed. "We only hear stories of adventurers in Sayla. Our home is nearly inhospitable to outsiders. Many have been swallowed by the jungles, as evidenced by the number of skeletons we've discovered."
They sat in silence for a moment, contemplating the unsettling implications of the mysterious sword's presence in their sacred shrine. But for now, they could only hope that the wisdom of their elders would provide answers and guidance in the days to come.
Meanwhile, at the border between BlackSands and Sayla, King Leviticus began mobilizing thousands of troops skilled in jungle-based warfare. He ordered the transport of ample supplies and materials for his military campaign into the uncharted province of Sayla.
"Your Majesty, word has come from the Emperor Isles that your father and his council disapprove of your campaign into Sayla. They are taking action to sway public opinion against you," De'lacar informed King Leviticus. "How should we proceed? Executing the old fool now would silence his council effectively." De'lacar suggested.
Leviticus furrowed his brow, considering the situation. "I'm less concerned about his feeble council than the consequences of killing the old man. No, executing him will be... complicated at this stage in my plan," Leviticus replied thoughtfully, weighing his options.
"De'lacar, contact the Alliance of Dark Heart and offer them a substantial reward for eliminating my mother. They must stage the event to implicate Old Man Lavarus, providing us with the perfect pretext to sentence him to death," Leviticus commanded, his voice unwavering.
"As you wish, Your Majesty. But... if I may," De'lacar hesitated, only to be immediately interrupted by Leviticus' thunderous voice.
"You may not!"
"Understood, Your Majesty," De'lacar responded, bowing his head in submission as he stepped backward into a swirling portal that closed behind him, leaving Leviticus to ponder his next move. The door to Leviticus's war room creaked open once more.
"Sire, the troops will be fully mobilized in about a month, and the fortress you commissioned will be completed in a matter of days," General Gurod reported, kneeling in submission to his king.
"And what of the local population here in BlackSands?" Leviticus inquired.
"We successfully captured the Perr'ju city of Ku'ran and many of the neighboring villages... however," the general hesitated.
"However?" Leviticus probed with great interest.
"Sir, the land here is harsh, and morale among the men in the 19th division is dwindling. They request permission to withdraw from the Sundered Coast and StoneBlossom Meadows," General Gurod explained, fear creeping into his voice.
"Withdrawal?..... Withdrawal!?" Leviticus stood, his piercing blue eyes flashing a fiery red for an instant. "The troops have been 'withdrawn'," he declared, sitting back down with a sinister grin.
"The 20th division is now the 19th division, and so forth for divisions 20 through 50," Leviticus detailed manically."Sir... That division comprised one hundred thousand men."
"And there will be one less to worry about unless you curb your questioning tone, General Gurod," Leviticus warned, his voice cold and unforgiving.
"Now that that little detail is taken care of, send a detachment of troops to retake the city of Ku'ran and recapture the local populations for use as slaves. The Sundered Coast and StoneBlossom Meadows are to be reoccupied immediately by the 19th division, formerly the 20th," Leviticus cackled.
"As you command, sire," General Gurod replied submissively as he stood and walked toward the war room's exit.
"Oh, and one more thing, General!" Leviticus called out as he sauntered over to Gurod, handing him a sealed parchment scroll bearing the symbol of the Mala'Deus Pantheon.
"Take this to the statue of Nero located on the edge of the DustBowl." Gurod grasped the scroll, his face a mix of shock and fear due to the ominous symbol and the perilous location he was to visit. However, not wanting to question a man who had just dispatched one hundred thousand men without a mere word, the general accepted the scroll without hesitation, simply responding, "As you wish, sire."
Back in Sayla, Elyan and Lira awoke early, eager to learn whether the elders had uncovered anything about the mysterious sword they had found the night before. They met at the prestigious Temple of the Celestial Gods, only to be greeted by a locked door.
"The door is only locked when something serious is happening," Elyan told Lira, trying to peer through a crack in the heavy wooden door.
"I know... it's troubling. The last time the temple was locked, we were attacked by a swarm of Bush Wyverns not long after," Lira replied, her voice filled with concern.
"Maybe we should just take it easy, Lira. The elders could be deliberating for hours, and I have chores to do at home anyway," Elyan suggested, stepping away from the door. "Yeah, maybe you're right. I have to go get Gecko herb from the village south of here today anyway. Perhaps things will have settled down by then," Lira replied, her frustration evident.
"The village of Floravale, right? I understand your frustration. It gets cold there, being so close to BlackSands," Elyan said compassionately.
"Yes! It can be tedious sometimes, but fortunately, Grandma's warm Gecko tea is a refuge all on its own," Lira declared, her spirits lifting.
"Ah yes! I remember Granny's Gecko tea! Pure as Solayah's soul," Elyan reminisced fondly, thinking back to his time as a youth in Floravale village.
"Well, I'll be sure to pass on your high praise to her," Lira responded with a giddy giggle. "You know, you could come with me. You're always welcome at Grandma Laya's house, Elyan, and I'm sure she'd love to see you after all these years."
"I would love to join you, Lira, but my mother's sickness has worsened lately, and my father will need help tilling the field. I'm glad Eleene is old enough to take over my mother's household duties. Krain knows Sedwin wouldn't be able to handle it," Elyan explained, reflecting on his younger brother's laziness.
"Is she still sick?" Lira asked with concern. "That's not good at all, Elyan. It's been, what, about four weeks now, right? Have you tried consulting Shaman Arlo about a possible remedy?" Lira inquired, her anticipation palpable.
"My sister Eleene has visited him several times, and the last time she inquired, he was just as puzzled as we are. So, he came to our home and made a dire prognosis. He says my mother is suffering from an illness related to our ancestral heritage. But when we asked him to elaborate further, he wouldn't say more, only that she had a matter of months before..." Elyan's voice trailed off, his teeth gritting slightly.
"I'm... so sorry, Elyan," Lira replied sympathetically. A dead silence filling the air.
"All things ethereal, the living intertwine... The meaning of life discovered, but only when we die," Elyan recited a verse from the scriptures on the teachings of Solayah. "It's okay, Lira. We're just going to make her as comfortable as possible before she rejoins Solayah."
"That's a noble task, Elyan. I truly commend you," Lira replied. "Well, I have to go if I want to get back in time to hear what the elders have to say. See you later, Elyan!" She hurried down the road heading south out of the village.
"Safe travels, Lira!" Elyan called out, watching Lira disappear into the distance.
"Well, I'd better get to my father," Elyan said to himself, preparing for the day ahead.
In the continent of Sol'aay, across the vast sea, former King Lavarus of Impre'us province and father to Leviticus, convenes with his council at the Temple of Sol'thur on the Emperor Isles. They engage in a heated debate about the impending invasion of Sayla and the reckless actions of Leviticus, who ascended the throne mere months ago.
"This is an utter disaster! Your son will be the downfall of our kingdom!" Adviser Calvris exclaims, addressing the former king Lavarus.
"Why did you abdicate so readily? Just because he vanquished those supposed 'invaders'?" another adviser adds.
Lavarus tries to interject, "It was an invasion..."
"Massacre, sire! Anyone with eyes saw what Prince Laventus did to those people," Adviser Calvris retorts.
"That's King Laventus, you insolent worm!" De'lacar announces, entering the chambers with numerous guards in tow.
The sudden appearance causes everyone in the room to stand. Lavarus demands, "What is the meaning of this, De'lacar?" his tone a mix of confusion and impatience.
"Well, 'Sire,' you are under arrest for high treason, for your involvement in the death of your wife, Queen Silla," De'lacar proclaims, gesturing for the guards to arrest Lavarus.
"What?! No..." Lavarus utters, shocked by the news.
"Unfortunately, yes. And the punishment for such a crime is public execution," De'lacar reveals, a sinister smile gracing his lips.
"How could he do this? Tell me, De'lacar! How could he have his sweet, innocent mother murdered?" Lavarus implores. De'lacar merely shrugs, responding, "I wasn't allowed to ask," before attempting to leave the room.
"Do you really think we'll let you and Leviticus get away with this, you glorified lapdog?" Adviser Calvris challenges De'lacar, garnering the support of his fellow advisers.
"No, which is why none of you will leave this room," De'lacar replies. "You may complete your contract, but don't leave a mess this time."
De'lacar's words puzzle the council as he ushers Lavarus out in shackles, closing the door behind him. Suddenly, small black energy masses with a purple aura appear next to each of the seven advisers' heads, darting into them as if possessing them. A dark figure clad in black leather armor emerges from the shadows, and the now zombie-like advisers form a single file line, following the mysterious figure out the door.
"Don't leave a mess this time," the mysterious figure, Zel, mocks De'lacar childishly. Two other figures materialize from the darkness behind him.
"Don't be so childish, Zel," the tallest of the figures scolds. "Indeed, your overconfidence could be your undoing," a female voice chimes in with laughter.
"Yeah, yeah, stop lecturing me! This contract was already disappointing," Zel grumbles.
"Please! This contract was the witches tits! Not every day you get to stage a murder within in the royal bloodlines" the female voice counters.
"Of course you had fun, you got the most pleasurable kill with that frail old Lady Sinclair," Zel retorts.
The trio, along with the entranced advisers, proceed down the palace hallway, reaching a dead end. Zel recites an incantation, "Queen of the night, heed your children's call, for we've fulfilled our tasks and killed them all!" Simultaneously, he casts a handful of black powder at the wall.
The wall transforms into a distorted portal, emanating a faint purple glow and the haunting sounds of countless souls groaning in agony. As the mysterious figures and their captives step through, the largest cloaked figure drops a black rose with deep purple pedals, before the portal vanishes behind them. A calling card of the Alliance of Dark Heart.
submitted by Awkward_Comparison93 to fantasywriters [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 21:19 bajie90 省流:“人妖活不长”是纯粹臆想的谣言。

能反映客观事实的观点应当是,跨性别者尤其跨性别女性的死亡风险显著高于顺性别者,而这种死亡风险,在本次大样本研究中,绝大部分支持是非激素治疗带来的,可能与社会原因关联更紧密,跨性别激素治疗对死亡率的作用应当进一步研究。 但在本次研究中,大部分死亡的原因都更倾向归因于激素治疗之外。
这篇文献介绍了荷兰50年间对成年后接受GAHT的跨性别的死亡率的长期追踪研究。 p1表明跨性别女性的总体死亡率极显著高于顺性别男性和顺性别女性对照组,跨性别男性尽管不那么明显,但总体死亡率也高于顺性别男性和顺性别女性。 p2表明在招募并筛选过的被试中在50年间死亡的跨性别者的死因及比例。从整体来看,跨性别女性各死因的比例都显著高于顺性别男性、顺性别女性对照组,其中HIV感染、自杀的标准死亡率以倍数形式高过顺性别对照组。 而HIV与跨性别女性长期受性化卖淫的处境相关,自杀与结构性暴力与边缘化处境相关,这些都是相对于跨性别女性的社会结构的一部分,应当倾向于社会层面的归因,不能支持“吃药缩短寿命”的假说。 跨性别男性的非自然标准死亡率明显高于顺性别女性对照组。 p3是一些背景资料,用于介绍关于课题研究的既往经验。 p4是被试的招募和筛选流程,筛选条件例如排除抽烟者(防止抽烟与否的变量影响观测结果)、必须成年后进行性别肯定激素治疗(防止年龄小的时候进行青春期阻断导致对观测结果产生影响;或成年后未进行性别肯定激素治疗,非研究对象),主要是这些,还有其他的条件就不逐一介绍了,详情请看原文。 p5是文章的标题、摘要、作者、刊发机构等信息。 p6是文献来源的公认含金量,《柳叶刀:糖尿病和内分泌学》,中科院I区。
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2023.03.21 21:18 CanadianBunny8 Using Aktiia in North America?

Anyone have experience with purchasing Aktiia in Europe, trying to load the app to your NorthAmerican cellular phone while on holiday in Europe and then being able to use the app upon your return to North America? I see that you could purchase the device in Europe and use it on your travels across the world IF you were able to download the app which is currently only available in Europe. i.e. how restrictive is the functionning of the app? Will it balk at functionning on a cellphone that has a North American cell service provider?
Totally keen on getting this device as I'm someone with a 'reactive' BP that easily goes high from stress but also easily comes WAY down if I am aware of the level and consciously push it down... Hoping that this app can be a biofeedback training style of BP management for me. Anticipated approvals of 2028 in NorthAmerica (from what I recently read) totally doesn't cut it. Another 4 years of high stress without good BP management is moving me closer to my grave...
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