Boy scout lag

2nd Year Volume 3 Summary

2020.10.25 03:02 Ingr1d 2nd Year Volume 3 Summary

Chapter 1
>!Test rules:!<
>!An area will be designated. First group to get there will get 10 points, The 2nd group 5 points and the 3rd group 3 points. In addition, every individual who arrives will receive one point for their group. So a group of 3 can potentially get a maximum of 13 points whilst for example, someone running solo can only get a maximum of 11 points. However, when calculating the order of arrival, it counts from the moment when every single member of a group arrives at the designated area. Additionally, if the designated area for example moves from D2 to D3 then back to D2, anyone who hasn’t yet left D2 will still get the one point for arrival but won’t be eligible to receive the reward for arriving in the top 3 rankings. Every single day the designated area will be announced 4 times. These times are 7 to 9 AM, 9 to 11 AM, 1 to 3 PM and 3 to 5 PM.!<
>!All the movements of the students and the points they earn are monitored by a watch. The school can also monitor students’ body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, sleep hours and stress levels and if any parameter exceeds the acceptable limits, a warning alert will be sounded from the watch. While the warning alarm, will only be given for 5 seconds, if the student’s relevant parameter hasn’t reached acceptable levels after 10 minutes, the alarm will ring again. After another 5 minutes, the alarm will ring again and this time won’t stop ringing until the student turns it off. When this happens the student must return to the starting point within 24 hours to receive a medical check. Otherwise, if they ignore the alarm or are unable to reach it, medical staff will rush to their location by GPS tracking.!<
>!In order to prevent cheating, the watch requires a special tool to attach and remove. If the watch is forcefully removed, it will stop registering points. Additionally if the watch is damaged, it will also stop registering points. However, the student will not be penalised and can simply go to the starting point to have it exchanged for a working watch.!<
>!The groups are separated into 12 different routes for the designated points so that not everyone is moving to the same place. If a large group is formed during the exam, all members of the group’s routes will become the same.!<
>!Kiyotaka is mildly cautious of the possibility of Tsukishiro messing with his watch but thinks that it’s unlikely for him to able to repeatedly mess with Kiyotaka’s score unless he wants to arouse suspicion.!<
>!There’s also special tests for the first few groups to arrive at every designated spot which provide opportunities to earn more points. They include things like mathematics, shotput and fishing.!<
>!One of what I feel like is the biggest advantages for being in a group is that every student gets 5000 purchase points to spend, with the group leader getting another 2500. Large groups can pool together their money and things like multi-person tents are a lot more cost efficient per person than single person tents.!<
Chapter 2
>!The items that Kiyotaka chose were a tent, 2 Litres of water, 12 servings of portable food, a torch, a spare phone battery, pot, lighter and set of paper cups for a total of 4960 points. The first graders disembark from the ship first and when all the first graders have disembarked, the first designated areas will be announced at 9 AM. This is done with the intention of giving the first graders a slight handicap. Since the classes disembark from A to D within each year group, D class is at a considerable disadvantage for the first designated area. Kiyotaka’s first designated area is D7 whilst Horikita’s is F9. Horikita tells Kiyotaka that she won’t worry about what he does but to make sure to get at least one of the top rankings. He replies that it wouldn’t be funny if he got expelled after all this. Horikita says that she would be troubled by that because Kiyotaka still owes her money.!<
>!There are 100 areas in total. Each is 500 m by 700 m. Kiyotaka has to first move from D9 to D7. Since there is no chance of catching up to the first years, he is in no hurry and leisurely waits at the starting area. Kiryuuin comes up and asks why he is still at the starting area. The first designated area for both of them is D7 so she suggests that they go together but Kiyotaka declines by saying that he doesn’t know whether he can keep up with her pace. Kiryuuin says it’s easy to tell whether that’s a lie and moves forward. Kiyotaka waits for a while but is unable to see Nagumo amongst the disembarking 3rd years so he also leaves for his designated area. On the way, Kiyotaka passes by the group of Airi, Haruka and Akito. Their first area was D8 so they had collected the three points of arrival already. Kiyotaka arrives at D7 and confirms on the tablet that he had received the point. There he meets Nanase. Apparently, Houzen and Amasawa had gone on ahead to scout the surrounding area whilst she stayed behind to look at their competing groups.!<
>!Kiyotaka takes a look at the wide array of special tests nearby. He sees a large amount of students heading towards the English test, perhaps because they don’t want to take any strange tests that they are unfamiliar with. Kiyotaka heads to the grip strength test in C6 but is informed by Hoshinomiya-sensei that he was 5 minutes late and didn’t make the 120 minute entry deadline. Kiyotaka is about to leave but is stopped by Hoshinomiya-sensei. Kiyotaka mentally notes that since Hoshinomiya-sensei saw his performance as the command tower in the end of year exam on top of his full marks in maths, she should have a rough idea of his abilities. Hoshinomiya-sensei asks why he decided to get full marks in maths since she thought he was someone who didn’t like to stand out. She points out that there was a question in there that even she wouldn’t be able to solve. Kiyotaka says that quite a few students in the school would probably be able to solve that question. Hoshinomiya-sensei says even if there were such students, they would probably be in A or B class. She points out that Class D is full of defective students and in the middle of them, there is Kiyotaka is someone with terribly high specs that are unsuitable to being in Class D. She says that it’s the first time a class that she has led has ever dropped to Class C and expresses a little dissatisfaction since she thought that this class could have had the potential to be Class A. When Kiyotaka points out that it’s the homeroom teacher’s job to do something about that, she says that she has a brilliant idea and invites Kiyotaka to join her class in the same way Katsuragi joined B class. Kiyotaka doesn’t think it’s a brilliant idea at all and puts it at about the same level as Ishizaki since even if he had the 20 million points, he’d be better off just holding on to them since he doesn’t know who would end up being class A at graduation. In the grip measurement test, Sudo takes first place and takes the 5 points.!<
>!After that, Kiyotaka tried going to another 2 task areas but both had been quickly filled. His second designated area was B7 and his third was D7. The only points Kiyotaka had accumulated were the arrival bonuses and with just a total of 3 points, without a doubt he was amongst the lowest point scoring groups for the day. In a place close to where they met earlier in the day, he runs into Nanase again. Once again it looked like she was moving alone. Her group had collected 8 points for arrival bonuses since Nanase didn’t arrive in time for the 2nd, but got 1st place in one of the tasks she competed in and hence got a total of 13 points. After exchanging information about their circumstances, they separated. Kiyotaka sets up his tent in a cool area in D7. He pours his water into a paper cup because drinking directly from the bottle would lead to the possibility of germs from his mouth entering the plastic bottle. Whilst the food and water from the beginning would be able to last the first 2 days, it was imperative for him to compete in tasks which gave them out as prizes. However, those tasks had significantly greater competition for entry.!<
>!Kiyotaka wakes up in the middle of night and contemplates about Tsukishiro’s involvement in the exam. The most direct way to expel him would be to drop him to the bottom 5 ranks but that would most likely not be possible. It could be possible that the points displayed on his tablet right now were fake and a different number was inputted in the system but Kiyotaka doesn’t think Tsukishiro wants to get into trouble with the school. Hence, if Kiyotaka were in his shoes, the most appropriate action would be to cause him to forcefully retire from the exam due to an injury. The forest has minimal surveillance and a white room student would probably have the ability to hide any human involvement and make it look like an accident.!<
Chapter 3
>!Kiyotaka wakes up at 6:30 and eats his portable servings and drinks some water before waiting for the notification of the next designated area at 7 AM. His next designated area is E8 which was closeby so he immediately began moving and increased his pace compared to the first day. As he arrived in the area, he immediately received the notification that he had achieved first place and received 10 points. At 9 AM his designated area was E6 and he arrived in 2nd place and received 5 points. At 1 PM, his third designated area was F7 where he once again arrived 2nd and received another 5 points. Most of the tasks that were within his reach had a participation requirement of at least 2 members in the group. With the 23 points from today in addition to the 3 points from the first day, Kiyotaka now had 26 points. He once again ran into Nanase for the 3rd time. At this point they both wondered whether they had the same route. Kiyotaka is a bit concerned about the high encounter rate. Even if they had the same route, the tasks that they would participate in would be different and it was unlikely to run into each other so many times. It was also impossible to acertain whether Nanase was actually on the same route since she still had Amasawa and Housen in her group who could at least collect 2 points at every designated area even without her participation. Just as Kiyotaka was about to leave, Nanase requested to accompany him. Kiyotaka is confused since there was absolutely zero merit for people from different grades to accompany each other. Nanase says that last night Housen and Amasawa got into a fight and decided that it was better for each of them to act alone. Nanase wants to follow Kiyotaka because he had arrived before her at each of the last few designated areas. She says that she will always let him enter first and if only one spot is remaining for a given task, she would concede that spot to him. Kiyotaka challenges her to keep up with her pace and the possibility that he may choose very steep paths. In the end, Kiyotaka allows her accompaniment.!<
>!At that point, a quiz task point appears at F8. Kiyotaka suggests to head for that and Nanase agrees. He actually wanted to go to the ‘lifting’ task in E5 but since it had a tougher path, he decided to go to F8 instead to first ascertain Nanase’s physical capabilities. In the group task, every single person in the group can participate. Hence the more people in a group, the greater the advantage since there would be more brains in the group and hence more trivia knowledge. Nanase questions whether he really wanted to go to E5 so Kiyotaka says it was 50-50 for him and he wasn’t really leaning either way. Nanase says that’s fine but tells him to not mind her and to please make the same decisions as he usually would. Sudou sees Kiyotaka and tells him to hurry since there are only 3 spots remaining. Kiyotaka mentions the grip strength test and Sudou dramatically expresses his relief that Kiyotaka wasn’t competing with him. Apparently Ike is still feeling down from the Shinohara incident but Sudou doesn’t know about it because Ike is trying to cover it up. Sudou then notices Nanase’s presence and drags Kiyotaka aside to ask him about it. He warns Kiyotaka that Nanase might still be trying to expel him but Kiyotaka barely reacts. He tells Kiyotaka to tell him if any problems come up. The last group comes and the quiz starts. The first question is about an anime and Kiyotaka is stunned because he has absolutely no idea. He hears someone say “easy” and looks at the multiple choice answers with a perplexed expression. The second question is also about an anime. Kiyotaka realises it was a waste of time to participate. After completing the 20 questions in 10 minutes, Kiyotaka closed the tablet. He got 4 answers right with a final score of 20%. It was even below the 25% probability that came with multiple choice. Sudou’s group was first with 95%. Ike and Hondou were apparently good with this kind of stuff. Nanase comes up and says “It was full of difficult problems, wasn’t it?”. She got 25%. Kiyotaka notes that this is the first time in this school that Hondou has made such a big contribution since up until now. It looked like this test was also able to look at other factors besides academics and sports. Before the test he was worried by the unbalanced Sudou group but it might just be a good combination.!<
>!The fourth designated area is I7. To get there with the shortest possible distance, they needed to cross a mountain. To choose a safe route, they would have to take a big detour. Rather than score at the designated area, Kiyotaka chooses to challenge the maths task in G8 and English task in G9. Since their next designated area will be near I7, he doesn’t want to set up camp too close in case he accidentally camps in the next designated area. Hence he decides that they’ll set up camp in H9. Sudou overhears and they agree to meet up together on the beach at 5:30 since Sudou’s next designated area is H9. After they meet up, Kiyotaka notices that the other 2 members of Sudou’s group look exhausted. They had been keeping up a high pace and aggressively taking points wherever they could but Kiyotaka questions whether they’ll be able to keep it up. Sudou asks Ike for camping spot suggestions. Nanase points out that Ike isn’t really being the mood maker that Kiyotaka said he was, to which Kiyotaka replies that there are personal circumstances. Everyone aside from Ike starts to grill him for the cause of his mood and because the flow of the conversation became like this, Kiyotaka naturally joined in. Sudou and Hondou say “it’s not going to be anything important anyway” and the two best friend/bad friends pressure him. Ike eventually confesses that he likes Shinohara. Sudou is confused because he’s used to Ike always arguing with her and saying bad things about her behind her back. Nanase ends up giving romance consultation to Ike (LOL).!<
Chapter 4
>!The next morning the first designated area is H7. It would be tough to reach it within 2 hours. Sudou’s group’s designated area is the same for halfway. As such, Kiyotaka decides not to do anything hard that would leave Ike and Hondou behind and stay together as a group, hence giving up on reaching the designated area. The next designated area then arrived. After splitting up with Sudou’s group, when Kiyotaka was in J6, he received a notification for a Beach flag competition. He chose to forgo it and instead aimed for the arrival rankings for the designated area. After stepping in J5 it was confirmed that Kiyotaka got 1st place and Nanase must have gotten the arrival point. The finish order would be dependent on Housen and Amasawa also arriving. Next they returned to the beach flag challenge in J6. They found that a large number of people had gathered even though there was no one when they had just passed by it earlier. It requires even numbers of men and women to participate. All the men’s spots were filled up but there was one position remaining for the girls. Nanase offered to leave but Kiyotaka told her to participate in return for conceding all the area entry rankings to him. Student council vice-president Kiriyama was among the competitors. Nanase changed into a bikini swimsuit here while 5 of the 8 girls changed into school swimsuits. She just replies to Kiyotaka’s questioning that everyone in the beach flags competition she saw on TV wore swimsuits like this so she thought it was normal. In the men’s tournament, Kiriyama wins. Nanase wins the women’s tournament. Kiyotaka notes that she won with quite a large margin and wasn’t showing her full strength. He feels like Nanase’s B+ physical rating on OAA was insufficient and that it wouldn’t be strange for her to have an A or A+ rating. Here, Kiriyama approached Kiyotaka and warned him not to say anything unnecessary while looking towards the sea. Kiyotaka followed his gaze and saw student council president Nagumo. Nagumo invites Kiyotaka to also swim but Kiyotaka replies that he can’t afford the luxury to rent a swimsuit. Nagumo, Asahina and some other third years are not only wearing swimsuits but are even playing with a beach ball. Tomorrow the top 10 and bottom 10 rankings will be revealed tomorrow. Nagumo warns Kiyotaka that if there is any 1st year or 2nd year group in the top 3 positions, he will personally make sure to drop that group with no exceptions. Nagumo gets called away by some other 3rd year and after confirming that there’s enough distance between them Asahina comes over to Kiyotaka’s side. She comments on Kiyotaka going solo and says that probably was the right choice because otherwise he could have caught Nagumo’s attention.!<
>!Nanase asks Kiyotaka why he’s acting alone. He lies and says he couldn’t find anyone to group up with. She says that it’s hard to see that from his personal relatiomships. She says that Kiyotaka’s movements when up against Housen were not those of a normal high school student. Kiyotaka replies that if she could understand that, then she wasn’t a normal high school student either. Nanase says that she used to laugh more when she was in junior high. She says that she doesn’t know whether it’s Houzen or Amazawa but someone in her group is earning more points than her. During the free time between 11-1, Kiyotaka wants to complete a task. Nanase is resting and drinking water. She’s afraid of being left behind by him but Kiyotaka recommends that she rest here. They separate temporarily and Kiyotaka looks to challenge the history test that will start soon. Kiyotaka notices multiple groups moving in the same direction so he takes a different route and runs. He arrives there before them and is the 7th group to participate. Of the remaining groups, Hashimoto is in the lea, followed by Kamuro. A bunch of first years following right after them. The last member of Hashimoto’s group is far behind so Hashimoto grabs Kamuro and says that they’ll participate with just the two of them, taking the final spot. Kiyotaka takes first place, scoring 100 points. A 3rd year group takes 2nd place with 80 points and the Hashimoto-Kamuro pair take 3rd place with 70 points. Hashimoto asks where Kiyotaka is going next. Kiyotaka answers chemistry. Originally he probably would have chosen to go to the same place, but to the disgust of Kamuro, he chose to change to a different task. After that Kiyotaka also took 1st in the chemistry test and accumulated another 5 points. At this point, Kiyotaka now had 48 points.!<
>!The last designated area for the day is I4. Nanase has recovered and they quickly head in that direction with the intention of claiming the ranking rewards. However, they soon find that the terrain was quite difficult and in the worst case, it would be possible for students to fall and injure themselves. Since both of them are running on their last 500 mL of water, they decide to head to H3 which on top of points, also provides water as a reward. Since other groups were likely falling into the same crisis, the battle for drinking water was likely to be fierce. Even more so because the strongest groups would take first 4 or 5 times a day and all the groups who ran out of water would soon have to return to the starting area and be unable to compete for points. Nanase raises this concern and Kiyotaka says that in the worst case scenario he can boil water in his pot and disinfect it that way. Nanase points out that they’re running slightly off the track from the designated area but Kiyotaka finds Sakagami-sensei setting up for a task which opens at 3:30 PM. As soon as the clock strikes 3:30, they announce their participation. Nanase checks her tablet to see what kind of task it is. Sakagami-sensei says that they’re lucky and that this was simply a task to give water based on the order of arrival. 2 litres and 3 points were given to the first place Kiyotaka whilst 1.5 litres and 2 points were given to the second place Nanase. When they arrived at I4, they weren’t in time for the ranking rewards.!<
>!When they were setting up camp by the river, they ran into Ike who signalled for them to head upstream and join him. Ike shows them a bucket containing several fish which he had caught and invites them to eat dinner together. As Ike is roasting the fish, a nearby voice says that “there’s a nice smell” and comes over. Unexoectedly, that voice belonged to Kei. Kei’s group members are both from 2nd year Class A. Kei pressures Ike into also giving her a share but he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t like her. When Sudou tells him that she might know something about Shinohara, Ike lets her join. Hence even though Kei was half joking, they ended up camping together. While waiting for Ike to cook the fish, the two go into the forest away from the eyes of other people. Over the 3 days, Kei’s group has scored 37 points. She gets a bit jealous and interrogates Kiyotaka about him working together with a first year girl. He gets her to shut up by kissing her while she was pouting. He then says that everyone will get suspicious if they don’t return soon and leaves her in a state of shock.!<
Chapter 5
>!The next morning at 5 AM, Nanase and Kiyotaka are awoken by a faint distant ringing alarm sound. Nanase wants to go help but Kiyotaka reckons the school’s staff will probably get there first. When he sees Nanase’s determination to go alone if he doesn’t cooperate, he goes to wake up Sudou’s group. As they get closer, they realise that it’s actually 2 alarms that are going off. It’s Komiya and Kinoshita from Class B who are unconscious. Shinohara who should have been the 3rd member of the group is nowhere to be seen. Komiya and Kinoshita appear to have each potentially broken one of their legs. According to Komiya, he felt a sudden shock to his ankle and fell down the slope. Kiyotaka feels like if this only happened to one person, it could have been an accident but since the exact same thing happened to two, unless Kinoshita was trying to help Komiya and the same thing happened to her, it was unlikely to be an accident. Ike tries to climb up the slope which Komiya and Kinoshita fell from and Kiyotaka chases after him. Ike almost slips and is helped by Kiyotaka who then tells him to follow after him. At the top they find a scared Shinohara who says that she hid without screaming for help because she saw someone push Komiya and Kinoshita. Kiyotaka asks if Shinohara saw anyone last night who could have been the suspect. Shinohara doesn’t remember so he changes direction and asks about who they were camping next to. Shinohara remembered a group of 3 first year girls and one first year boy.!<
>!Back at the ground, after Kiyotaka and Ike leave, Nanase notices the presence of someone watching them. She entrusts the two injured people to Sudou and puts the tablet on the ground before chasing after the presence. She is confident in her own running speed but the opponent is even faster and the distance between them only widens. She loses the person and meets back up with Kiyotaka, Ike and Shinohara before returning together to where Sudou is. As they are waiting for the teachers to arrive, a group of first year students arrive. It’s a group of one boy and 3 girls that includes Sakurako Tsubaki.!<
>!Chabashira and Sakagami also come but end up with the conclusion that Shinohara is lying because there was no other GPS signal in the area other than Shinohara. Komiya entrusts Shinohara to Ike for the rest of the special exam. Kiyotaka suggests for Shinohara to just wait the special exam out at the starting port and receive whatever help she can from passing groups. Shinohara is prepared to have to leave the school, however, Ike refuses to give up and wants to save her. As is the Ike specialty, he hides this by saying that he has to help her for the sake of class points. However, Shinohara says that it would just be a burden to Sudou and Hondou. But in the end, with the support of Sudou, Ike decides to support Shinohara as much as he can, even if they have to lose points as a result of a merger between the two groups.!<
>!By the time they return to the tents and set off again, it is already 7:30 AM and the designation area announcement was half an hour ago. The top 10 and bottom 10 ranking were released today. Amongst the bottom 10 rankings, 7 are 3rd graders and 2 are 1st graders. The only 2nd graders is the group consisting of Akito, Haruka and Airi who are currently 9th from the bottom with 28 points.!<
Chapter 6
>!The next day Akito’s group has left the bottom 10 whilst Shinohara’s group has entered the bottom 10. Kiyotaka had been wanting to meet up with Ryuuen to talk and had been considering using the GPS function which opened tomorrow but coincidentally ran into Ryuuen and Katsuragi fishing. As it turns out, Kiyotaka was currently 74th with 52 points, Ryuuen and Katsuragi’s group was 10th with 92 points and Kouenji was in fourth place with 126 points despite going solo. Out of all the top 10 groups, he has the most first place finishes. Kiyotaka brings up the Shinohara case. Ryuuen doesn’t appear to concerned but when he hears from Kiyotaka than Komiya and Kinoshita have retired, his expression freezes. Kiyotaka conveys some kind of plan to Ryuuen who agrees to it but we as the reader do not know what this plan is. Kiyotaka and Nanase continue on to a tug of war task. They thought they would be the first there due to how close they were but Kouenji was already there. He doesn’t appear to have any luggage including his tablet and merely carries a bottle of water in his hands. Kiyotaka deduces that the reason he is able to move so quickly was because of the lack of weight he was carrying. Just as usual, Kouenji’s actions are incomprehensible. Since it is a gender divided 1v1, Kiyotaka has to face Kouenji. Kiyotaka wants to just concede the victory to Kouenji since he has a much better chance of claiming top 3 in the overall rankings. However, Koenji didn’t pull at all and refused to move until Kiyotaka took it seriously. In order to end things quickly, Kiyotaka put in more strength which Kouenji matched until Kiyotaka eventually let go and ended the match. They return to the starting port with Nanase just one minute behind. Once again Kiyotaka is impressed with Nanase’s physical endurance for a first year female student. At the start point, there is a open water swimming task which is a competition to swim 2 km. Since the difficulty requirement is high, 20 points are up for offer. Kiyotaka arrives too late for the boys and finds Kouenji already in the queue. He sends Nanase off to participate and goes to meet his primary aim for coming – Sakayanagi. Kouenji has now leapfrogged Kiriyama’s group into 2nd place and were he to win in the open water swimming task, he would take first place overall. Sakayanagi knows about Kiyotaka working with Nanase because she receives information from all around the island. In the swimming challenge, Kouenji was leaving the other contestants behind his trail. Sakayanagi says that while Ryuuen may participate because it has value for his class, Class A doesn’t particularly see any merits in cooperating. Kiyotaka believes that Nagumo will also use a similar strategy in the second half of the exam.!<
>!Kiyotaka discretely talks to Mashima who tells him that Tsukishiro hasn’t made any obvious moves to hinder Kiyotaka. The only thing suspicious was that he prepared 2 rescue boats rather than just one. In the open water swimming contest, Nanase achieved 3rd place while Kouenji took 1st in the men’s. Onodera from Class 2D took 1st place in the women’s. Kouenji has temporarily claimed 1st place but from now on Nagumo’s group will increase in numbers and have an even larger advantage over Kouenji. After reaching the final designated point, Kiyotaka and Nanase are setting up tents but he is called out to by Class 2C’s Tetsuya Hamaguchi. He invites them to come for yakiniku. Ichinose’s class have set up a system where they bought stuff like a barbecue stove and having a few people responsible for feeding the entire class since moving a large amount of utensils and ingredients would be difficult. Essentially, the reason for inviting Kiyotaka and Nanase to dinner was because they wanted to hear whether Kiyotaka had made any progress with Ichinose since recently they often heard her say his name. It isn’t in a malicious sense but in a friendly teasing gossiping sense since they think at least 80% of the 2nd year boys like Honami. Kiyotaka is exasperated by the fact that they were gossiping in the presence of the person involved.!<
Chapter 7
>!On the 6th day, Kiyotaka got first place at the first designated area B6. The next designated area was A5 but he was unfortunately unable to place in the top 3 ranks. At 1 PM, the third announcement required them to move to C3 but the closest way of doing that would be to cross a mountain. Rather than taking a detour, that’s what they decided to do. They came across a 10 m cliff which they needed to climb. Nanase insisted that she could do it so Kiyotaka let her try but she fell back down. Kiyotaka decided that was the limit of her abilities and that it was time to part ways after 6 days. However, after climbing, he soon felt her presence following after him. Nanase says to not worry about her. Kiyotaka wonders why she’s going so far to follow him. He wonders whether she’s going to sabotage him by attacking his legs. But seeing her determination and not wanting to waste any more time, he lends her a hand. After he reaches the top, Kiyotaka didn’t wait for Nanase and kept walking ahead. Although Nanase lagged behind, her determination to follow him didn’t change. Kiyotaka began mentally comparing her to a dog. Kiyotaka arrives first and receives the first place reward. Although she didn’t get the second place reward, Nanase still sighed in relief.!<
>!All of the main 1st year members have been gathered together to listen to what Tsubaki has to say. This meeting was predetermined at a specific location on a specific date from the beginning of the exam. Since Tsubaki herself doesn’t have any significant accomplishments, it would have been difficult to find people to listen to her so she had Yagami help her gather everyone. At the meeting they accuse each other of aiming for Ayanokouji even though each of them said they weren’t planning on participating. Tsubaki uses Kushida as blackmail material to threaten Yagami into spilling his plans whilst Utsunomiya holds him from behind. Yagami ends up spilling the beans on Kushida’s past and the fact that she wants to expel Kiyotaka because he knows her secret.!<
Chapter 8
>!At the start of the 7th day, Kiyotaka is in 51st place with 67 points. He plans on turning it up a gear in the second half of the exam. Kouenji was continuing to make good progress in 2nd place with an 8 point difference between him and the first place Nagumo’s group. Ryuuen and Katsuragi’s group are also in 9th place. The top 10 groups have 6 3rd year groups, 3 2nd year groups and one first year group. The first year group is Yagami and Utsunomiya’s elite group. That day, Kiyotake notices that Nanase is in a bit of a daze and that her concentration levels aren’t as high as they usually are. Kiyotaka was the first to arrive at the designated area. The next designated area is E2. It is quite close to but for the closest route, crossing a mountain is once again necessary. However, the weather looks like it might start to rain soon. Concerned about the danger posed by the ground getting muddy, Kiyotaka proposes that they take the long detour but Nanase is so determined to take the mountain route that she even said she would take it by herself if necessary. Kiyotaka decides to accompany her but notes that she was convinced he was going to choose that route. On the way, Nanase is struggling and breathing heavily so Kiyotaka carries her belongings for her. Nanase says that she’s going to finally reveal the real reason why she accompanied him for this entire week. She apologises saying that Kiyotaka won’t be able to reach E2. Kiyotaka jibes at her asking for what purpose did she have them take such a difficult route if that wasn’t her intention. She says it was to guide him here, to area D3.!<
>!Kiyotaka realises that there’s the presence of other people. Nanase says that he only has three choices. 1. Stand here and fight, get injured by her and be forced to retire from the exam. 2. Defeat her and leave the evidence of him severely injuring a first year girl and be retired due to violating rules. The teacher who will come will be Tsukishiro so any situation where he defeats Nanase would paint him in a bad light. 3. Put down his belongings and run away. But without his tablet and food or water, it would be impossible for Kiyotaka to continue the exam. It turns out that Nanase has created some kind of pseudo-personality of Matsuo’s son and Kiyotaka mentally breaks her down during the fight by saying that with only this level of ability her attacks will never reach him. Whilst that wouldn’t be true if they fought forever, since none of Nanase’s attacks hit him, she feels like it’s the truth. She ends up collapsing in despair.!<
>!Meanwhile Kushida had been trailing the two of them after being tipped by Yagami that there was an opportunity to get her hated enemy Kiyotaka expelled. She now realises that the number 1 enemy she must expel isn’t Horikita but rather Kiyotaka. She blames herself for not finding it suspicious after Ryuuen suddenly stopped looking for X in Class D last year. However, as she’s about to start recording before Nanase and Kiyotaka’s fight, Ichika who she’s never interacted with, randomly comes up and interferes. She tries to play her usual personality but Ichika just keeps slapping her and even punches her once to eventually draw out Kushida’s true personality. She asks why Ichika is doing this to which Ichika says she came to save Kiyotaka because he was a very important person to her.!<
>!Kushida: “Huh? What does that even mean? Do you like him?”!<
>!Amasawa: “I don’t want you to describe my relation to him in such an unpleasant way. Rather than like, it’s more that he’s precious to me? Yep, something more than that… I think. More than something like love.”!<
>!Amasawa says see you and turns to leave but Kushida tries to attack her when she has her back turned. However the attack is dodged and Kushida is just sent sprawling to the ground again. Kushida thinks back to how this all started. After noticing Yagami’s strange relationship with Kushida, four other 1st year students confronted Kushida and got past out of her (Housen, Riku, Tsubaki and someone from 1A). As a result, she lost a lot of trust in him but he says that as long as Kushida cooperates and expels Ayanokouj, he will give her the private points and then expel the other 4 first years. He insists on her doing it because it would be suspicious if a man were to simply film a fight without stepping in to stop it, while Kushida could just pretend to be too scared to intervene. Being the paranoid bitch that she is, Kushida says there’s a chance her class could turn on her for selling out their classmate so Yagami says she can just send him to video anonymously.!<
>!Ichinose had accidentally tripped by the riverside and broken her watch on a rock. As such, the GPS function and some of the health monitoring functions of the watch had broken. Without a functional watch, she wouldn’t be able to collect points and hence needed to return to the starting area to have it replaced. Since she couldn’t navigate without her watch, Shibata accompanied her for a 2 hour walk until they were almost back at the starting area. Ichinose told him to go back since she didn’t want to hold him back any longer. As she walked towards the starting area through a forest, she heard the voices of Tsukishiro and first year Class D homeroom teacher Shiba-sensei. At first she only wanted to ask them directions to the starting area but thought it would be a student’s own responsibility for breaking their watch so decided not to approach them and hid herself, instead following them back to the starting area. Originally, she wasn’t focused on their conversation but they mentioned Mashima and Chabashira being Ayanokouji’s allies which caught her attention. She only picked up bits and pieces of information like Ayanokouji being from a place called the White Room and the fact that Tsukishiro and Shiba were planning on having him expelled. Eventually, Tsukishiro and Shiba noticed the presence of someone following them and turned around. In a panic, Ichinose threw her bag into the nearby bushes and ran but tripped and was caught by Shiba. Although she didn’t hear any concrete information, Tsukishiro and Shiba treated her as if she heard everything and said that if she spoke about this matter to anyone, they would have a group of class 2C students retire from the exam. They are fairly confident that Ichinose wouldn’t risk her classmates to help a powerful enemy from another class. !<
>!Nanase says that since coming to this school, she realised that Kiyotaka won’t receive any news from the outside world. She reveals that she is Matsuo Eichirou’s childhood friend. Kiyotaka’s father’s harassment caused him to move schools but even after moving, the harassment continued so he eventually had to quit school altogether and get a part time job. Eichirou’s father eventually ended up committing suicide. She said that Eichiirou was always better than her at everything and even after everything that had happened, refused to give up and continued to have a smile on his face. On February 14th when she went to visit Eichirou’s apartment she found he had given up on living. At this time, Tsukishiro told her that the reason Eichirou’s life became messed up was because a person named Ayanokouji had escaped from a place called the White Room and enrolled in this Advanced Nurturing High School. Nanase understands that Kiyotaka didn’t do anything wrong but she just wanted someone to take her anger out on. She apologises and says that the least she can do will be to drop out from school since she failed to do what she was brought in to do. Kiyotaka says that him being at this school was the only resistance he could form against that man (his father). He says that if she wants to honour Eichirou Matsuo’s memory, the best thing she could do was cooperate to help him stay at the school since Matsuo had gone as far as disobeying orders to allow him to enrol. Nanase shakes his hand and promises to help him. Mentally, Kiyotaka is already measuring her usefulness as a tool.!<
submitted by Ingr1d to ClassroomOfTheElite [link] [comments]

2020.10.23 23:35 Crispy_toast_frick Help for scout.

I need tips for scout. Would playing against boys help? I’m lagging quiet a bit. What guns should I use?
submitted by Crispy_toast_frick to tf2 [link] [comments]

2020.10.21 01:26 mctheebs How It Could've Gone Down: A Reimagining of S8 (Episode 4)

Catch up here with Episode 1 and Episode 2 and Episode 3
A crow soars through the sky and eventually lands on a branch. It watches as GOLDEN COMPANY soldiers stomp northward and then examines the giant dragon killer scorpion crossbows they’re hauling along with them.
BRAN blinks awake. The door opens and MEERA REED enters with some hesitation. BRAN turns his head and stares at her like a particularly creepy department store mannequin. This makes MEERA angry and she walks over to him and sits down across from him with purpose. She stares daggers at him and he stares back serenely. Some of her anger dissipates when she realizes that BRAN’s humanity is truly gone. She asks him what he saw. BRAN tells her that soldiers are attacking them from the south. MEERA looks down and says oh.
DANY, JON, TYRION, GREY WORM, SANSA, and MEERA REED stand around a table while BRAN sits in a corner. They all stare at a single lion token on the map, south of their position. JON asks if BRAN is certain they are coming to attack. BRAN says he is and TYRION backs him up, saying that BRONN told him the same thing. Everyone looks at DANY, who seems furious. JON starts to lay out their options for courses of action and DANY interrupts him to say that they are going south. She declares that they are going to crush this force and then go straight down to KING’S LANDING and fuck up CERSEI’S shit. SANSA starts to object, saying that they’ve just settled here and that it would be hard for the troops to pack up and move out again. DANY says that she doesn’t care. That they will not be able to protect anyone from the ARMY OF THE DEAD if they have to keep looking out for CERSEI. She tells them to make the arrangements and leaves them to themselves.
BRIENNE sits at the foot of JAIME’s bed looking sad. JAIME’S condition has not improved. BRIENNE gets up, walks over to JAIME’s side, and takes his hand. She closes her eyes and cries quietly for the dying man she loves. When she opens her eyes she sees ARYA standing across from her. ARYA’s expression is flat and empty. She looks down at JAIME and says that his time is close as if this is at all comforting for anyone. She looks over at BRIENNE and tells her that she shouldn’t cry for him, even if she loves him. He has had a long, hard life and he will finally find peace. BRIENNE looks down, knowing that this is true. BRIENNE correctly observes that ARYA isn’t afraid to die, possibly sensing that she has Harry Potter-tier plot armor protecting her. ARYA shrugs and asks BRIENNE if she’s afraid to die. BRIENNE says that she was, once. She looks down at JAIME and remembers those brief moments where she had died on the battlefield at the hand of the ARMY OF THE DEAD. She touches one of the scars on her cheek and shakes her head. ARYA stares at her, realizing what had happened in WINTERFELL.
THEON and DAVOS are standing around watching the soldiers do their thing as the snow has momentarily stopped falling. DAVOS takes a deep breath and says that he kind of likes the swamp air, though it's no substitute for the sea. THEON looks miserable, remembering the last time he was at MOAT CAILIN and how he betrayed his own men. DAVOS looks at THEON and realizes that he’s a troubled young man in need of some guidance. He turns and looks at the battered castle and remarks that even though the fortress is worse for wear, it is still standing despite everything and that there’s something to be learned from that. He holds up his fingerless hand and says that the best thing to do is let the damage serve as a reminder of the mistakes of the past and to avoid repeating them. THEON nods, though he is still pretty upset.
JON SNOW approaches the two of them in a huff. DAVOS greets him cheerfully, but JON is clearly in no mood. He pauses when he sees THEON and is briefly overcome with contempt as he remembers how he betrayed the STARKS. Then he remembers that there are much bigger things to worry about and tells THEON and DAVOS that they need to get ready to travel south immediately. DAVOS asks where they are marching and JON tells them that the two of them aren’t marching anywhere, they’re going to take all the VIPs on the IRON FLEET BOAT down to KINGS LANDING and that they’re probably going to have to sneak past a blockade. DAVOS tells JON that he’ll do whatever is required of him but asks why they are moving again. JON looks down and tries to control his irritation. He says that their queen has ordered them to march against the GOLDEN COMPANY in the RIVERLANDS and then to take KINGS LANDING. All three men turn and look at the dark clouds coming from the North and look down. The snow starts falling again.
TYRION and VARYS are drinking wine and watching the soldiers pack up and get ready to march again. They both look very unhappy with what is happening. Finally, after a long silence, TYRION says that it’s likely for the best, though it’s clear that he thinks otherwise. VARYS plays along, saying that he trusts their queen’s judgment. TYRION gives him a side-eye and VARYS stares straight ahead out the window. Finally, TYRION sighs and asks VARYS if he thinks they are doing the right thing. VARYS plays coy and says that he doesn’t mind traveling. TYRION tells him to cut the shit with nothing more than a smoldering glare. VARYS shrugs and says that it’s hard to tell what the right thing is anymore and that everyone’s chief concern should be survival. He adds that he personally believes his best chance for survival is to be on the side of the person commanding the giant army and the flying fire breathing monsters. TYRION asks VARYS if he thinks anyone else could do a better job than her at ruling. VARYS says almost certainly but warns TYRION that she is the only person who can control the dragons. TYRION nods and drinks more wine.
Both try not to jump when the door opens as they discuss treason and GREY WORM enters, looking like someone just pissed in his cereal. He tells the two of them that they need to get their things together and get on the boat. They tell him they’ll be right on their way and GREY WORM stares at them before leaving them alone, looking particularly grumpy and suspicious.
SANSA sits at a table, writing another message. JON SNOW enters and SANSA looks up from what she is writing. She quickly covers it and greets her not-brother. JON asks who she is writing a message to and SANSA says it’s to their Uncle EDMURE TULLY, instructing him to ready his soldiers to march SOUTH toward KINGS LANDING and evacuate the RIVERLANDS and all the surrounding areas as soon as possible. JON looks like he doesn’t buy it and warns SANSA that if something were to happen, he would not be able to protect her from DANY. SANSA plays dumb and asks him what could happen as she seals her message to CERSEI shut. JON shakes his head and tells her that it’s time to get on the boat. SANSA rises and says she will get down to the boat as soon as she gets this message out. JON takes it from her and tells her that he will make sure it goes out, clenching the sealed scroll in a fist. SANSA looks like she wants to protest but ultimately says nothing. JON leads her out.
JON and SANSA approach the party of VIPS who will be going to KINGS LANDING by boat. THEON, DAVOS, BRAN, VARYS, TYRION, MISSANDEI, SAM TARLEY, and GREY WORM all stand (except BRAN) around with horses, a cart of their luggage, and a small escort of soldiers. DAVOS greets SANSA and JON and tells him that they are just about ready to go. JON nods and turns to SANSA. He tells her that he will see her soon and to be careful out on the water as he helps her onto the horse.
GREY WORM embraces MISSANDEI. She tells him to be careful on the battlefield and that she is going to miss him. GREY WORM tells her that he is going to miss her, too. He tells her he loves her and then helps her up onto her horse.
DAVOS nods to JON SNOW and leads the team down the road to the boats.
JON and GREY WORM start walking away. They see DROGON circle and land in a field nearby, where DANY is standing and waiting for him. JON pulls out SANSA’s message. Like an absolute fucking idiot, he gives it to GREY WORM and asks him to get this message from SANSA out, as he has to go speak with DANY. GREY WORM agrees but looks annoyed about being some mopey jerkoff’s errand boy.
JON approaches DANY. She looks at him first with bitter heartbreak before her face becomes a mask of regal aloofness. JON asks her if she’s sure that marching south is a good idea. DANY tells him that yes, she does think it’s a good idea. JON tries to warn her, but she interrupts him and says that her decision is final. She then tells JON to go and get the troops ready to march. JON says okay. DANY pointedly tells him to address her as “your grace”. JON says okay, your grace, and starts walking away, pausing for a moment and looking down like he just realized he might’ve colossally fucked up by backing DANY as she mounts her dragon and flies off.
BRIENNE enters to find an empty bed and looks confused.
THE HOUND rides south toward KINGS LANDING, lagging behind him is JAIME on a horse looking like absolute dogshit.
GREY WORM stops and looks down at SANSA’s note. He looks over into the courtyard and glances at the line of soldiers marching south. He then breaks the seal and reads the note. He looks up, looking furious as he realizes that SANSA has been making backchannel communications with CERSEI and was attempting to undermine DANY.
YARA stands on the shore with some IRONBORN waiting in rowboats behind her. THEON gets off his horse and greets his sister. He thanks her for her help, and she tells him that there isn’t much choice in the battle against the dead. DAVOS, SANSA, MISSANDEI, TYRION, and VARYS get into rowboats to be shuttled to the fleet. YARA motions to BRAN, looking like an off-brand Halloween decoration as he sits in his chair and asks her brother what his deal is. THEON explains that BRAN is the THREE EYED RAVEN and that sometimes he has visions or something. YARA wonders aloud what BRAN is seeing.
BRAN walks through the snow. He is standing in the smoldering remains of a pillaged village. Black smoke pours from the ruins of houses as white snow whips in a whirlwind all around him. He pauses to examine the corpse of a woman on the ground. Its eyes peel open revealing vivid blue irises. It sits up and gets to its feet. All of the bodies littering the town stand up. BRAN turns and sees THE NIGHT KING standing behind him, his arms raised up as he reanimates the dead and adds to his army. He gives his trademark icy smirk, making him look like the love child of Darth Maul and Smurfette. He then points at BRAN.
BRAN snaps awake and winces. He looks down at his arm and sees that it is almost entirely blue underneath his sleeve.
JON SNOW is riding on his horse with GHOST, the goodest boy, at his side, along with BRIENNE and GENDRY as well as all of the Northmen behind him. Periodically, he glances over his back at the dark clouds hanging over the northern sky as the sun begins to set. A scout comes riding up and tells JON that the GOLDEN COMPANY forces are not very far from where they are.
JON considers this and decides that their best bet is to make camp here and prepare for battle in the morning. He motions for everyone to stop and tells the scout to relay the message to GREY WORM and the rest of the forces and then ride to RIVERRUN and meet with EDMURE TULLY, that he should be expecting them because SANSA had sent him a message.
DAVOS stands at the helm of a ship next to YARA. He looks into a telescope and spots the IRON FLEET BLOCKADE at the mouth of THE BITE. The sun is just about set. DAVOS says that once night falls they should be able to sneak past the blockade relatively easily. YARA asks if he’s sure because if they get caught they are basically gonna be torn apart. DAVOS assures her that they will be fine. They slip past the blockade with ease.
EURON GREYJOY stands on the helm of his ship illuminated by torchlight. An underling looks through a telescope and says that YARA’s ship is attempting to slip past the blockade. EURON tells him to let her through, they can surround them when they get to the blockade at BLACKWATER BAY. The underling gets his fifteen minutes of fame and screams the order to let the boat pass and a signal goes up to the other boats. THE NEXT MORNING IN THE RIVERLANDS CAMP
JON SNOW stands in his tent before a makeshift map planning out troop movements. GREY WORM comes stomping into the tent with two UNSULLIED soldiers flanking him. JON looks up and greets his counterpart and then asks where DANY is. GREY WORM, looking somehow even more surly and agitated than usual, growls that DANY won’t be joining them and that she instructed him to make the battle plan. JON looks down at the map and back up at GREY WORM and quietly asks if that includes the NORTHMEN. GREY WORM repeats that the entire army is under his command. JON tells him that the NORTHMEN are there to serve at DANY’s pleasure, though he warns GREY WORM that they won’t take kindly to receiving orders from someone who is not one of their own. GREY WORM says that the penalty for insubordination is death. JON shakes his head slowly but ultimately agrees to follow GREY WORM’s command like the stupid pushover that he is.
CERSEI sits on her throne looking bored and smug. THE MOUNTAIN stands behind her like a murder-statue. QYBURN enters and announces that he has a message for the queen from THE GOLDEN COMPANY. He hands her the scroll and she reads it and frowns down at the parchment. She looks up and asks if that is the only message that they’ve gotten? QYBURN says that it is and CERSEI wonders aloud if SANSA’s communication was a trick. QYBURN asks if she has any orders for THE GOLDEN COMPANY and CERSEI says that they should attempt to hold the RIVERLANDS as long as possible to slow the northern invaders.
GOLDEN COMPANY soldiers stand at the ready in orderly lines. They have built some modest fortifications and have set up some of the dragon killer scorpion ballistae. Off at the top of a hill some distance away, the NORTHERN ARMY pokes its head up as they reach the top of the hill.
JON SNOW stands at the top of the hill with his soldiers. GREY WORM stands beside him and gives JON the nod to lead the initial charge of NORTHMEN, who will likely suffer the most losses at the hands of the GOLDEN COMPANY.
THE GOLDEN COMPANY commander, who isn’t even important enough to have a name, orders his archers to knock their arrows and get ready to start killing people for money, as mercenaries are wont to do. Before he could tell them to loose, a dark spot on the horizon appears. He squints up at it and tries to make out what it is. By the time he figures out what’s about to happen, it’s far too late. DANY comes swooping down upon them on the back of DROGON raining fire and death on their stupid sellsword heads with RHAEGAL following behind shooting streams of fire as well but DROGON is doing the heavy lifting here.
Their ranks are shattered and those who aren’t BBQed make a hasty retreat crying to their mommas and the battle is pretty much over before it could even begin. JON looks relieved and GREY WORM looks pissed that JON wasn’t somehow killed with friendly fire. DANY doesn’t even bother landing. Rather, she just cruises by on her dragon and gives JON a look that says “if you’re not careful, this shit is gonna happen to you next.”
They all continue marching south on the King’s Road.
SANSA, TYRION, MISSANDEI, VARYS, and BRAN are sitting below-deck. BRAN is warging and everyone is trying to pretend that they aren’t totally creeped out by him. TYRION sighs and says he wishes that they brought wine. SANSA coolly tells him that it’s better they keep a clear head, as they have a lot to think about it. VARYS says that while there is much to think about, there isn’t much they can do at this moment. SANSA agrees and adds that these moments of inaction are perfect for planning. TYRION asks SANSA what she could possibly be planning. SANSA glances at MISSANDEI and cryptically says that there will be much to do once they get to KING’S LANDING.
MISSANDEI doesn’t like the way SANSA is looking at her and asks her what her plans are once they get to KING’S LANDING. SANSA tells her that they have a war to prepare for. MISSANDEI reminds SANSA that DANY that she has the final say on all their war plans because she is their queen. SANSA asks her what makes her so sure that DANY is their queen. MISSANDEI grows angry and says that without DANY they would almost certainly be killed by THE ARMY OF THE DEAD and that it is by her grace that her brother, JON SNOW, is alive. She adds that DANY is the heir to the Targaryen throne. SANSA smirks and asks MISSANDEI what makes her so sure that DANY’s claim to the throne is the strongest. TYRION and VARYS look at each other as MISSANDEI stands up and declares that there is nobody better suited to ruling than DANY, that she is the strong, kind, merciful leader that they need, and to suggest otherwise is essentially treason.
As MISSANDEI’S anger reaches its peak, a bolt bursts through the hull and impales her, killing her almost instantly. Water starts pouring in through the hole in the ship.
YARA and THEON and DAVOS are running around with the rest of the crew as arrows, crossbow bolts, and harpoons on chains are flying at them from behind, as EURON pursues them on SILENCE. YARA looks into her telescope and confirms that their shitty, second-rate punk rocker uncle is indeed the one chasing them. DAVOS looks ahead of them and spots the blockade of the BLACKWATER BAY and announces that they are trapped.
YARA directs the crew to turn the ship around to meet SILENCE directly, as they have no hope of getting past the blockade as they take on water. TYRION pokes his head aboveboard to see the chaos happening all around and informs the remaining VIPs that they’re better off taking their chances with the water below deck.
EURON watches YARA turn their boat around and start looping toward them and laughs like an off-brand unlikable Joker-wannabe and draws his sword, looking excited to murder his niece and nephew. He orders his crew to hold their fire as YARA’s ship loops around until he gives the command to resume shooting.
YARA orders the IRONBORN to ready themselves for combat, as they are going to attempt to board and capture SILENCE. THEON asks her if she really wants to do that, as EURON is still their uncle. YARA says she doesn’t give a fuck about their uncle and really, he started it so he’s gonna get what’s coming. THEON looks slightly conflicted about this but understands.
As they get closer to SILENCE, there’s a moment of tension where both crews stare each other down. Clearly, the IRONBORN crews are slightly uncomfortable with murdering their kinsmen. Then the boats get within attacking range of one another and EURON gives the order to start firing and all hell breaks out.
THEON realizes that their boat is getting clobbered and the people below-deck, but especially BRAN, probably need to be saved from drowning. He runs away to go save them as YARA is about to lead the boarding party, mirroring that other time he totally bailed like a huge coward and left her hanging out to dry when she needed him most. She leads the boarding party without him disappointed but not completely surprised.
THEON goes below deck to see that the water is up to their waists already as several more projectiles have pierced the hull. SANSA, SAM, TYRION, and VARYS along with the other crewmembers are scrambling to get above deck and save as much cargo as they can. BRAN is, somehow, still warging and so is completely unaware of the fact that his lap is underwater. He runs over and yanks him out of the chair and starts carrying him back above the deck.
Meanwhile, YARA and some of the IRONBORN are slicing and dicing EURON’s crew of mute weirdos. EURON and a few non-mook members of his crew strike back and cut down a chunk of the YARA’s crew. YARA’s boat catches on fire just as night has fallen and the flames start climbing up the sails. YARA and EURON catch eyes in the flickering light and start working their way toward each other.
THEON is carrying BRAN and trying not to panic as the flames start to take over the boat. He is desperately searching for somewhere safe to stash everyone’s least-favorite living Stark. In his search, he is caught off-guard by some of EURON’s crew, who immediately realize that they have the last male heir to the GREYJOY name right where they want him. Before they can do anything to him, they find themselves coming down with a bad case of sword through chest, as DAVOS and SAM and SANSA save him with some salvaged weapons. THEON and SANSA have a moment and he silently expresses his thanks before passing BRAN’s limp body over to DAVOS like an unwanted sack of potatoes. He runs to help YARA.
YARA and EURON face down on the deck of SILENCE and the other IRONBORN hang back to watch these two legends duke it out. They exchange some words about who’s the better pirate and EURON says some dumb shit about his dick that doesn’t make any sense and get down to dueling. YARA starts out doing okay, but it becomes increasingly clear to all concerned that EURON is actually really fucking good at sword fighting and gets the upper hand. He wounds YARA, which causes her to fight defensively until she finds her back to the edge of the ship. EURON tells her that she can either die like an IRONBORN or jump overboard like her coward of a brother.
THEON tries to fight his way to EURON and YARA, but the massive amount of torture and psychological damage he has taken during his time as REEK has really dulled his edge when it comes to fighting and takes a few nasty hits along the way, including a dagger to the side, but still manages to dispatch all of the fighters in his way, though he loses his sword in the process. By the time he gets to YARA he’s running mostly on pure adrenaline and knows that he’s too wounded to live through this ordeal, as he’s tired of scrapping and scrounging to live a life of dickless suffering and agony.
Just as EURON is about to strike the killing blow on YARA, THEON comes out of nowhere and tackles his uncle, knocking them both clear overboard. THEON pulls the knife out of his side while sinking underwater and stabs EURON in the chest. As the blood curls around him, THEON looks up through the dark murky depths and sees his sister staring down into the water with sorrow and appreciation and THEON GREYJOY dies a hero, while EURON dies having never living out his dream of banging CERSEI, meaning all of this for him was largely for nothing.
With their captain dead and drowned, the crew of the SILENCE quickly loses their enthusiasm for battle and surrender to YARA, who commandeers the ship and has all of the survivors, including the remaining VIPs, brought aboard to the ship that is not currently on fire.
SANSA asks YARA where THEON is, though she already knows the answer. YARA shakes her head and looks down. SANSA wipes a tear from her eye and says that he was one of the strongest people she knew and that most people would never be able to endure what he endured. YARA said he died a true IRONBORN and that he’s feasting with the DROWNED GOD now and this weirdly provides them both with some comfort.
SAM TARLEY (remember him?) watches BRAN’s empty expression and wonders aloud what he’s watching.
A crow perches on a branch and watches JAIME LANNISTER, who looks like he’s still moments away from dying, and THE HOUND approach the city gates of KINGS LANDING on horseback. The guard starts to ask who goes there, then realizes who it is and quickly grows pale before calling for the gates to be opened. The pair ride through opened gates and enter the city.
Click here to go to Episode 5
submitted by mctheebs to freefolk [link] [comments]

2020.10.15 14:42 S1lv3rw1nd Super Smash Bros x Cave Story

Quote enters Smash!

Ah, Cave Story! I played this game recently, instantly loved it. It's a Metroidvania type game developed by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. A remake, Cave Story+, was developed by Nicalis Inc. for the Wii and DSi, that's important. A port of Cave Story+ was made for the Switch 2 years ago, it was a huge deal. I only got the game last year, though. My point is this game is perfect to be represented in Smash, given its history with Nintendo. But that's not all. It's from the classic era of indie games, along with titles like Binding of Isaac and I Wanna Be The Guy. It's considered one of the greatest indie games, and is maybe an inspiration for Undertale? The main character, Quote, has even shown up in other games, like the fighting game Blade Strangers (also produced by Nicalis), Runner2 (the sequel to Bit Trip Runner), and Crystal Crisis, a puzzle game that also features Astro Boy. He was also in a TF2 parody game, but that's not important. If there were to be an indie rep, one that would appeal to Japanese and American gamers alike, it would be Cave Story. Reimu's probably more likely for an indie rep, but I don't know how many people in the west know about Touhou. So without further ado, here's Quote as a Super Smash Fighter! By the way, be wary of minor spoilers. OKAYHEREWEGO-
Background: Quote was a scout robot sent to a floating island to destroy the Demon Crown, but failed and was left there deactivated. Enter Cave Story: Quote boots back up with no memory of who he is or why he's there. He then goes on an adventure, helping the residents of the Island, the Mimiga, and finding out more and more about his past. Quote is a quiet guy. He can talk, but very little. He reminds me a lot of another robot in Smash, Mega Man, so I will be comparing the two a bit. I might as well get something out of the way. Quote's main weapon is the Polar Star, a sort of laser revolver? I considered having his basic attacks be him firing the Polar Star, but I think that should be Mega Man's unique thing. Instead, I borrowed some moves from his guest appearances in other games for his basic attacks.
Appearance: Quote's idle animation is similar to Mega Man's animation. Or rather, lack of animation. Quote just stands still, occasionally blinking. I don't think he should have the anime appearance he had in Blade Strangers, or that weird Funko Pop look his sprite has. There's already lots of artwork where Quote has a normal sized head. I also thought that there should be some fun animations for other actions:
Swimming: A bubble surrounds Quote, like when you're underwater after you get the air tank.
Perfect Shield: Quote parries with the Missile Launcher, like he does in Runner2.
KO: Upon a regular KO, Quote explodes, and the death sound from Cave Story is heard.
Damage: When taking damage, the amount of damage you took is shown above Quote, which is what happens in Cave Story. The same thing happens when Quote damages another player.
Series Symbol: The Demon Crown
Boxing Ring Title: Soldier from the Surface
Weight: Similar to Mega Man, for obvious reasons.

Jab: Quote's x3 light attack from Blade Strangers. Quote strikes with the hilt of his sword, melee attacks with his Polar Star, then swings his sword.
Dash Attack: The kick from Runner2.
Side Tilt: Quote's heavy attack from Blade Strangers. Quote swings his sword downwards.
Up Tilt: Quote's anti-air attack from Blade Strangers. He rises his sword upwards from the side, in a sort of chopping motion.
Down Tilt: Quote's crouching heavy attack from Blade Strangers. He stabs at the ground.

Neutral Air: The Whimsical Star. It looks similar to Mewtwo's n-air; three green stars of different size orbit chaotically around Quote, dealing small flinching damage.
Forward Air: Snake. Quote shoots a square fire projectile that moves in a wave.
Back Air: Nemesis. Quote fires a blue and yellow bolt behind him. This is something you can do in the secret level, Blood Stained Sanctuary, which I have yet to complete. Angelic bastards!
Up/Down Air: Machine Gun. Quote fires in a way similar to Mii Gunner's b-air. True to the game, the recoil pushes Quote in the opposite direction, but not enough for it to be used as a recovery, sorry. If you hit someone at the maximum range of this attack, they get spiked.

Forward Smash: Spur. Similar to Mega Man's forward smash, Quote charges up the Spur and releases a powerful blast. Its hitbox, however, is more similar to Palutena's up smash.
Up Smash: Speaking of, Quote's up smash is the same as his forward smash, just upwards.
Down Smash: Nemesis. Quote fires into the ground, splitting the blast into a yellow bolt and a blue bolt that travel in either direction, similar to Olimar and Pac-Man's down smashes.

Grab: A basic grab with Quote's left hand, similar to his grab in Blade Strangers.
Pummel: Quote shoots from the hip.
Forward Throw: Quote shoots the opponent, launching them forwards, like with Fox's throws.
Back Throw: Same as above, but backwards.
Up Throw: Quote launches the opponent upwards with the Missile Launcher.
Down Throw: Quote slams the opponent to the ground and shoots them with the Fireball three times.

Neutral Special: Polar Star. Now we get into Quote's gameplay mechanic, his gimmick, that makes him unique. In Cave Story, you can temporarily level up your weapons with experience points. In Smash, dealing damage has opponents drop yellow triangles, like in the archaic GRAB THE COINS! game mode. Like coins, you need only walk through them to pick them up. These experience crystals will level up your weapon, from a peashooter (2% damage), to a double shot (4% damage), to a powerful bolt that can be fired twice in a row (8% damage). Sounds small, but the projectile is quick and has little end lag, so you can rack up damage easily. Three different sizes of crystals can be dropped. Small crystals give one (1) point, medium crystals give five (5), and large crystals give twenty (20). You need 10 points to reach level 2, 20 to reach level 3, and another 20 to max it out. How much experience you have is shown below your player icon. The drop rate could be random, fixed, or dependent on how much damage you deal, I couldn't care less. Also, if you hold down the special button, you can aim in four directions.
Side Special: Blade. This sword belonged to King before he died, spoilers, and rather than being used normally like in Blade Strangers, Quote throws it! Please note that all projectiles in Cave Story are mechanically the same, so I'll take a few liberties with how they work in Smash. In this case, the Blade will pass through opponents when thrown, and deal small flinching damage. Like the Polar Star, it can be leveled up. At level 1, it can deal up to 30% damage total. At level 2 (30 points), you can deal up to 36% damage total. Please note that the blade attacks multiple times, and you only deal that much damage if every hit attacks the same player. At level 3 (60 points), rather than the Blade, King's spirit is thrown! He attacks with a flurry of slashes, each dealing about 4% damage. Holding down the special button has this attack last longer, and if King hits an opponent, the radius of the slashes increases.
Up Special: Booster. Quote takes off with the Booster 2.0, a gift from Professor Booster. This recovery works like Pikachu and Pichu's, and you can change direction three times. You don't become helpless after using this attack, you just can't use it again until you hit the ground.
Down Special: Weapons Change. Quote brings with him to Smash three other weapons: The Missile Launcher, the Fireball, and the Bubbline (not the adorable Adventure Time ship). Weapons Change works like Shulk's Monado Arts; you can rotate between the four weapons, or hold down the special button to select from a menu. Buckle up, cause this'll be a doozy. They each deal a different type of damage. The Missile Launcher and Fireball deal explosive and fire damage, obviously, and the Bubbline deals non-flinching damage. Of interest are the Missile Launcher and Bubbline, which function differently at higher levels. At level 3, the Missile Launcher fires three missiles instead of one. At level 2, the Bubbline becomes a rapid fire weapon, and at level 3 it fires bubbles which orbit around Quote as long as the special button is held. The oldest bubble pops and launches as a bolt after the same time it takes for 14 more bubbles to be fired. All bubbles pop when the special button is released. Now for the numbers.
Missile Launcher 1: 15%-24% damage, 10 points to level up.
Missile Launcher 2: 24%-40% damage, 20 points to level up.
Missile Launcher 3: 40%-60% damage, 10 points to max out.
Seems a little powerful, so now's a good time to mention something about experience points: They are super easy to lose. If you take damage, you lose experience for whatever weapon you have equipped. The Blade can lose experience too, but only if you take damage while using it. The experience you lose will definitely be proportional to how much damage you take, so be sure to dodge and block like crazy if you want to keep your Stand King. Back to the weapons.
Fireball 1: 4% damage, 10 points to level up, can fire 2 at a time.
Fireball 2: 6% damage, 20 points to level up, can fire 3 at a time.
Fireball 3: 8% damage, 20 points to max out, can fire 4 at a time.
Remember, the Bubbline deals non-flinching damage, so it will be the weakest weapon of the bunch. They are bubbles, after all.
Bubbline 1: 2% damage, 10 points to level up.
Bubbline 2: 4% damage, 20 points to level up.
Bubbline 3: 6% damage, 5 points to max out.
Now, in Cave Story, you can run out of ammo on the Bubbline, and will have to wait for it to reload. In Smash, it'll just stale if you use it for too long.
Cave Story is NES hard, for lack of a better term. Similarly, this moveset would require skill in both dealing damage and avoiding damage. Do not main Quote unless you're a pro.
Final Smash: Huzzah! I decided to incorporate one of the three characters commonly shown in the artwork: Balrog. Although he starts out as a minion of the antagonist, he later (begrudgingly) becomes an ally. This will be a stage wide attack, similar to Pit's first two Final Smashes. A resounding "HUZZAH!" is heard, as Balrog drops from the sky. This landing deals damage, which we'll get back to. Balrog then hops around the stage, kinda like Petey Piranha, and fires missiles everywhere, kinda like Jeff Andonuts. When the attack ends, Balrog flaps his little wings and flies directly to whoever he attacked when he landed, tackling them once more. During this flight, he fires more missiles at them. This, I feel encompasses Balrog as a boss battle and a character. He's a huge jerk!

Entrance: Quote materializes from a Teleporter, which are everywhere in Cave Story, and the only way he can travel to different areas.
Up Taunt: Quote does the Hopak dance, which you may know as the Kazotsky Kick. This is something all characters can do in Runner2, which Quote guest stars in.
Side Taunt: Quote falls to the floor face down, kinda like Lucas' up taunt. This is something that happens to a lot of characters in Cave Story.
Down Taunt: Quote looks at the background, and a question mark appears above his head. This is what happens in Cave Story when you press down while not in front of an object.
Victory 1: Quote runs around while balancing five puppies on his head. One of the things you do in Cave Story to progress is return five puppies to an old witch.
Victory 2: Quote types on a computer, and looks at the camera. This is in reference to the computers that activate the teleporters.
Victory 3: A Flying Dragon drops in from the top of the screen, with Quote on its back. This is what happens in the endings. Speaking of endings, don't think we're done!
Victory Theme: You may laugh, but part of the reason I wanted to make this concept was because of SiIvaGunner's King For Another Day tournament, featuring Quote. He didn't win, at all, but his victory theme was this. I would want the victory theme to be something like that, but shortened. The tune that plays when you defeat a boss in Cave Story could also be used, but the victory theme from Mega Man isn't used for Mega Man's victory theme in Smash, so it could go either way.

Quote's costumes will have two outfits: His regular outfit, and his regular outfit plus a Mimiga mask.
Costume 1: Default Red
Costume 2: Default w/ Mask
Costume 3: Yellow, based off his appearance in Easy Mode.
Costume 4: Easy Mode w/ Mask
Costume 5: Light blue with human-like skin and blonde hair, based off his appearance in Hard Mode.
Costume 6: Hard Mode w/ Mask
Costume 7: Dark blue with red eyes, based off his Halloween appearance. This could also be a reference to his beta design.
Costume 8: Halloween w/ Mask, which looks like a Jack-o-Lantern.
Kirby Hat: Quote's hat and headphones. (Kirby's neutral special becomes whatever weapon Quote had equipped when he was swallowed)


Curly braces herself!

Echo Fighter: Curly Brace, a fellow robot who Quote meets on the Island. She seems perfect for an echo fighter. I feel like if there's gonna be an echo or semi-clone, they would have to be important to the character they're a clone of. Luigi is Mario's brother, Dark Pit is Pit's mirror copy, Ken is Ryu's best friend and rival. Curly is so important to Cave Story. She's a companion for Quote, who's mostly doing this adventure alone, with no memory of who he is or why he's there. She's described as the only person Quote trusts, and her bubbly personality is an excellent foil for Quote's stoic personality, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Curly's an echo fighter, so here are the differences.
Curly's Boxing Ring Title: Ally of the Mimigas
Curly's Weight: A little bit lighter than Quote.

Curly's Aerials: The u-air and d-air are replaced with the Polar Star, which Quote can give to Curly in exchange for her Machine Gun. Speaking of, her f-air uses the Machine Gun, similarly pushing her back.
Curly's Smashes: Curly's up and forward smash are replaced with the Machine Gun as well, and work like Mii Gunner's forward smash. Instead of charging a shot, she revs it up, which she does in her boss fight.
Curly's Throws: With Curly's forward and back throws, she launches with a burst of bullets rather than a single shot.
Curly's Neutral Special: Instead of the Polar Star, Curly has her Machine Gun. Like with the Bubbline, using it for too long will cause it to stale.
Level 1: 4% damage per bullet, 30 points to level up.
Level 2: 8% damage per bullet, 40 points to level up.
Level 3: 12% damage per bullet, recoil pushes you back, 10 points to max out.
Curly's Final Smash: Koron Rush. When you meet Curly, she's looking after four Mimiga orphans (who may have been the inspiration for Asriel Dreemurr) called the Korons (or Colons, get it? Quote, Curly Brace, Colon?). In her boss fight, they assist Curly by tackling you. This will be the basis for Curly's Final Smash. One of the Korons (I'm calling them Korons because Colons make me think about intestines) will dash forward, and anyone hit by them gets caught in a cinematic chain attack, similar to Shulk's Final Smash. The four Mimigas dogpile the helpless foe, and attack in a cartoonish puff of smoke. Think of the Assist Trophy, the Prince of Sablé. Curly then revs up her Machine Gun and fires at the opponent, launching them.

Curly's Entrance: Same as Quote's.
Curly's Up Taunt: A Koron appears behind Curly, holding a pot. They dash to the front of Curly, then trip and fall over.
Curly's Side Taunt: A Koron appears next to Curly, flapping their arms, and says "Nyaa!"
Curly's Down Taunt: A Koron shyly peeks from behind Curly.
Curly's Victory 1: Curly lies unconscious on the floor, then wakes up, looks around, and raises her arms up in celebration. I went with this, because she falls unconscious in the game three times. You're more likely to get this victory screen if you win with high damage.
Curly's Victory 2: Curly fires her Machine Gun while facing away from the screen, then strikes a "looking behind" pose.
Curly's Victory 3: The four Korons cheer, celebrating Curly's victory. Except for one, who is sleeping. Curly bashfully smiles.

Curly's costumes were a bit tricky. I could've just used Quote's palette swaps, or the alts from Blade Strangers, but that would've been impersonal, and I think a character's alts should represent their role in their game. So here's what I did: You can play as Curly in a game mode in Cave Story called Curly Story. Also, in the Switch version of Cave Story+, the second player can play as different NPCs met in the game. So that's what Curly's alternate costumes will be based off, the playable characters in Cave Story+. The Korons will also get alts.
Costume 1: Default red, or is it pink? Koron has a light green shirt and brown pants. That sounds familiar...
Costume 2: Pink with light blonde hair and red eyes. This is one of the alts from Blade Strangers, but there weren't enough characters for a full set of original palettes. Koron gets purple fur and a dark blue shirt, in reference to the character Chako.
Costume 3: Color palette based off the character Professor Booster. Koron gets a blue shirt, in reference to the character Sue Sakamoto.
Costume 4: Color palette based off the character King. Koron gets a dark green shirt, in reference to the character Toroko.
Costume 5: Color palette based off Sue as a human (long story). Koron gets a white shirt, in reference to the character Itoh.
Costume 6: Color palette based off the Team 9 Robot. Koron gets a sepia palette, in reference to the ending screens.
Costume 7: An alternate outfit where Curly wears Samus' Power Armor. This is something that happens in the Switch version during Halloween. Koron similarly wears their Halloween outfit, a Quote cosplay.
Costume 8: An alternate outfit where Curly wears a Santa hat. This happens during Christmas. Koron wears a set of antlers.
Kirby Hat: Curly's hair and headphones.

Likelihood: Cave Story, like I said, is one of the most famous and influential indie games, in both Japan and America. I feel like its only rival for being represented in Smash is Touhou, which definitely has the advantage of relevance. There's also the issue of the gameplay of Cave Story. Did people enjoy the game for its gameplay, or its story? I think that's one of the reasons Sans was only added as a costume, because Undertale is a story-centric game. It has fun gameplay, but the story is the important part. I think it's the same for Cave Story. Of course, if there WERE a Cave Story rep, I would want the moveset to reflect the NES level difficulty, as I feel that's the most prominent thing about the gameplay. I personally just want Quote to appear in any way, even as a Mii costume. It would also be nice to have a third (and fourth) robot fighter.
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2020.10.14 22:13 Stevenasaurus We Are Operators Episode 13: Contact

Unknown Time
The snipers and casters let out a ferocious volley of projectiles and energy that cut down the first wave of Reunion with shocking immediacy. Over a dozen enemies fell to the ground while another dozen halted or were wounded in the carnage. Despite the damage done, the Reunion fighters defiantly continued their charge toward E4's defensive line.
Jay gripped his spear tightly as he readied himself on Alabaster's left flank.
There's too many of them!
“Snipers and casters!” Nearl called. “Fall back to the statue with the medics and supporters! Defenders, guards, and vanguards! Fighting retreat to the statue!”
Jay looked around him and stepped back alongside the pace of everyone else. The melee line carefully moved backward while keeping themselves orientated toward the enemy. As they got closer to the statue the gaps between the defenders tightened and the snipers and casters were resuming their barrages with an added high ground advantage.
“Let the line hold off the enemies at the front! Snipers and casters focus on protecting the flanks of the line!” Nearl shouted as she braced her shield up and readied her warhammer to meet the enemy.
The hail of ranged fury that had provided a screen for the melee line immediately went away as the snipers and casters shifted their focus on the left and right of the massive blob. Without such cover, the enemies rushing toward the line were finally able to close the gap and crashed into the defenders while everyone else rushed to fill any gaps or hold a flank.
Jay kept to his spot and thrust his spear between Alabaster and Chaser's shields. He felt the momentum of his thrust immediately stop and a scream followed. It felt weird... After training with animatronics for so long, Jay had gotten used to his spear getting stuck on bits and pieces of metal. But this sensation... it was kind of like stirring a spoon in a mildly thick liquid.
As Jay pulled his spear out of the Reunion fighter and watched him collapse in front of the shieldwall, it had dawned on him that he had just taken a life. This was by no means the first time he was ever in a life-or-death situation against someone with a weapon, but those times usually always ended with one side running or minor damage. In his contemplation, he almost forgot to continue stepping back alongside the rest of the melee line.
He looked to his left to see Chaser fending off Reunion with a long baton while to his right was Alabaster keeping his shield up while the occasional Reunion impaled themselves on his halberd that he had stuck into his shield.
Even further to the right was Labcoat on Alabaster's other flank. She looked confused, even saddened. While she made no attacks against the Reunion fighters, she did defend herself whenever someone broke through or took a swing at her.
“You in the pink labcoat! Help out!” Lyric, E4's male Sarkaz guard yelled while he stabbed at enemies with his trident.
Labcoat reluctantly used her clawed gauntlet to swipe at enemies that got too close to the shieldwall. With her now entering the fight, Jay went back to fighting against the Reunion forces as well. However, he did so with similar reluctance.
Meeka's drone was whizzing around in the air above the fighting. Watching the drone made Jay realize the skies were darkening while the clouds coalesced around Chernobog. It was a sight that Jay had never seen before.
Is this what a catastrophe is? I've only heard about these things on the news.
“Enemies with firebombs! 12 o'clock!” Meeka yelled.
Meeka's drone whizzed past the fighting and Jay did a little jump to see several people in hoodies carrying bottles with a piece of cloth in them.
“Casters! Keep holding the flanks! Snipers! Take out the firebomb throwers!” Nearl yelled as she ruthlessly beat down any Reunion that tried to pass her.
Arrows and crossbow bolts along with bullets from Eddron did their best to stop the firebomb throwers. Despite their efforts, several throwers were able to release their bombs at the line while several others threw them at nearby buildings.
“Kill the filthy Chernos!” many of the Reunion started yelling.
“They're attacking civilians too!” an E4 operator cried.
Jay knelt behind Alabaster and Chaser's shields as the first of the firebombs landed nearby and either crashed on the shields or behind the line. He immediately dropped to a fetal position when fireballs engulfed the line. Thanks to the shields of the defenders and the slow retreat backwards, the flames of the bottles had mostly inflicted harm on the Reunion fighters but Jay could see Alabaster had suffered some burns on his arms from flames that shot through the gaps in the shieldwall.
“Alabaster! You okay?!” Jay called.
Alabaster did his best to keep his shield up while trying to avert his eyes from the pressing horde of Reunion. “They are minor burns! I will hold for the sake of my allies!”
“I want some medics up here to treat anyone that's been burned badly!” Nearl yelled.
Jinna, Yellow, and Libra—E4's female Sarkaz medic—emerged from their hiding spot behind the statue and rushed to the front. They walked down the line and did visual inspections of everyone fighting while keeping low to avoid becoming a target of Reunion.
As the medics did their rounds, Jay noticed the doors of nearby buildings opening up and civilians coming outside in a hurry. The fires from the firebombs that struck the civilian buildings were beginning to spread and many second floors were starting to be fully doused in flames. Some of the civilians fled while others tried to find hiding places nearby. Fortunately, it seemed like only the firebomb throwers who had been taken care of were concerned with the civilians at the moment as the regular Reunion fighters continued their assault.
Jinna came by and noticed the burns on Alabaster's arms and immediately brought out a bottle of liquid and a cloth from her bag. She drenched the cloth and began wiping Alabaster's burns which made him wince, the sudden shock apparently weakening Alabaster enough to end up letting a Reunion fighter push through.
Jay immediately stepped to meet the enemy and ran his spear into the fighter, making him fall before he could attempt to attack Alabaster or Jinna. With no further distractions, Jinna took her staff and cast some sort of arts that shed off some of the burned skin and allowed the layers underneath to repair themselves.
“We need some help over here on the left!” Aero's voice called.
Alabaster nodded at Jinna as she put away her things and moved onto the next operators. “Jay! We can handle things here! Our flank must not collapse!”
“Okay!” Jay acknowledged as he ran off with spear in hand toward the left flank.
The left flank was being held by Aero, Belt, and several E4 operators with support from Spark and Wave—E4's female Cautus caster—shooting their arts at the enemies. Jay arrived to see Belt wildly swinging his giant mace around at the crowd while Aero fought in a more refined way with his greatsword nearby Chaser's left to keep her safe.
“I'm here!” Jay announced as he readied his spear.
“They're trying to wrap around us! Shore up the far left, Jay! Aero yelled.
Jay nodded and headed to the very end of the line where he could see Reunion running around to get to the elevated statue platform where all the snipers and casters were. He also noticed that the defensive line was getting dangerously close to having their backs against the platforms of the statue, risking getting crushed by the enemy onslaught.
Jay threw his spear up on the platform and climbed up so he could stand with the snipers and casters. He made his way to Spark who was desperately shooting lightening at any enemies trying to climb up to the statue.
“Don't worry, Spark! I'm here!” Jay called as he stood next to her.
Spark continued shooting at the enemy, an expression of worry on her face. “There's too many of them!”
Jay used his spear to either kill or push away anyone trying to climb up to the statue. With only swords and clubs, the Reunion fighters couldn't hope to reach him from where they were which gave Jay a massive advantage.
Still, with more and more of the enemy getting the idea to avoid the melee line, the situation was getting quite desperate as the enemy still looked to have half their strength remaining.
“Unknowns incoming from our 10 o'clock! Wait! They're friendlies!” Meeka yelled.
Jay looked to Meeka's drone which was watching the street Reunion had crossed to charge the plaza. Not a moment later, Jay could see over a dozen friendly operators arrive at the scene and immediately had their snipers and casters engage Reunion's rear.
“Friendlies are here!” Meeka called again.
“This is it! Hold the enemy back!” Nearl shouted in encouragement.
With a new wave of destruction behind them, the mass of Reunion fighters eventually dissolved as they began to scatter in multiple directions. Most tried to flee through other streets or alleyways while a few dared to try to break into civilian buildings but were immediately dispatched by ranged attacks.
“Snipers, cease fire! Conserve your ammo!” Nearl commanded.
Almost every melee operator fell to a sitting position as they all began to catch their breath, Jay included. He dropped his spear and looked at the battlefield littered with dead Reunion, marvelling at the fact that it looked like they had taken out almost a hundred Reunion, mostly on the flanks as the shieldwall only really kept the enemy in place.
The sight wasn't new to Jay either as he had seen so much carnage in video games and movies. Still, it was sobering to see it in reality as he could smell and feel the blood he had shed that day. The eerie silence was only filled with the sounds of the new arrivals walking up to Nearl who was also catching her breath.
As Jay was a captain within the element, he felt like he had to take part in any discussion with the new arrivals and confirmed those thoughts when he saw Aero also begin heading toward Nearl. The elite operators were people he couldn't recognize, but Jay vaguely recalled the faces of a few of the operators from reserve teams C3 and C4 as he approached.
“I'm glad you all made it when you did. We were heavily outnumbered back there,” Nearl said while bowing her head.
“Are your comms jammed as well?” an elite operator—a male Lupo with two short scythes—asked.
Nearl nodded. “Yes... wait... Aren't you Element E3? Where's Ace?”
“He lead us near here before going off on his own to link up with Amiya's team. He wanted us to confirm the rendezvous point was safe,” the elite operator answered before gesturing the entire squad to follow him as he headed in the direction of the park.
“Where are you going?” Nearl asked.
“Ace has probably linked up with Amiya by now, if there's anything blocking their way to the rendezvous point, we'll hit it from behind. Just make sure you're still here when we get back,” the elite operator explained as his unit got into advance formations and marched into the park.
“There could still be Reunion and Ursus forces fighting in the park! Be careful!” Nearl yelled.
Jay stood at attention when Nearl turned to him and Aero. “Your orders, Nearl?”
Nearl sighed. “Give your people some time to rest; the first battle's always the hardest. I'll have my squad deal with the civilians in the meantime.”
“Yes ma'am,” Jay acknowledged.
“This isn't my first battle. Let me help you,” Aero said.
“Some of your team don't have such experience. Help them make it through this time,” Nearl argued.
“Yes ma'am,” Aero acknowledged.
“That goes for you too, Jay,” Nearl said.
Jay swallowed a lump in his throat. “It was my first battle too.”
“Yes,” Nearl said with a nod. “I can see it clearly. But as a captain you must set an example. Go on then, you two, my squad will handle the civilians.”
Jay crossed his arms and looked back at the statue where his squad had already gathered and were sitting around. He was so caught up in staring at them that he got startled when Aero put a hand on his shoulder.
“You and your people fought well,” Aero said.
“Thanks,” Jay said as he left Aero's side to rejoin his squad.
As Jay got closer to his squad, he could see their faces more clearly. His squadmates ranged from exhausted to anxious as they were all sitting or laying down on the platform around the statue. Jay climbed up to join them and nodded at them as he sat down next to Spark who was inspecting her staff.
“I'm glad we all made it through okay,” Jay said.
“I'm glad they all wore masks and looked the same. I... I don't think I could've fought back if I saw their faces,” Spark said in a solemn tone.
Jay sighed. “I'm thinking that as well. I almost froze when I killed my first.”
“Such is the horror of battle. But I think we should all be happy we survived rather than dwell on what happened back there,” Alabaster said as he rose up from laying on the ground, the sleeves of his disguise covered in singes or holes.
“Yeah. You're right... How're you holding up, Eddron?” Jay asked.
Eddron loaded a new magazine into his pistol. “I'm doing okay. This kinda isn't my first sticky situation; although, a bunch of guys shooting at each other is kinda different from a massive war I guess.”
“What about you, Meeka?” Jay asked.
“One of them got close to me, I thought I was going to die,” Meeka said softly while having her knees against her chest in her sitting position.
“You gotta learn how to defend yourself, Meeka! If you want, I'll teach you all the stuff I learned watching the Kung-Fu Gauntlet movies,” Eddron suggested.
Meeka let out a quiet laugh. “I'll pass, thanks.”
“I was worried I was going to be overpowered too back there. If I was braver, I could've easily swung my halberd and clawed my way through their ranks like my ancestors did,” Alabaster said.
“Come on, Alabaster, you held your ground against them; that's pretty different from when I first met you,” Jay said.
Spark nodded. “Yeah, you'll get there eventually so why complain about your progress?”
“Thank you for the kind words,” Alabaster said with a subtle smile. “Frankly, it's what I might become once I get more accustomed to combat. Will I still have the ideals I have or will I become more like my brother?”
“I say you need good friends to keep you grounded,” Spark said.
“Indeed,” Alabaster said, his smile growing to be more noticeable.
Jay turned his head over to Labcoat. “Labcoat? You doing okay? You haven't said anything yet.”
Labcoat had taken off her gauntlet and laid it next to her while she rubbed forehead with both hands. She looked deep in thought and had her eyes closed. At first Jay thought she was crying, but he couldn't see any streaks of tears nor could he hear her sniffling.
“I didn't want to fight other infected, but when those guys threw those firebombs at the houses, I knew I had to stop these people. I just wish I didn't have to,” Labcoat said.
“If it makes you feel any better, these Reunion guys are probably attacking innocent people all over the city. Fighting them is doing the right thing,” Jay said while already feeling a bit of regret for being so blunt.
Labcoat crossed her arms and looked down at the ground. “It does a little... I just wish they were thugs or criminals, not people like me.”
“Miss Labcoat, they are mercilessly slaughtering people, they are not like you,” Alabaster argued.
“Would all this be happening if us infected were treated like people?” Labcoat asked sternly.
“Probably not, but people are always gonna be shitty,” Eddron said.
“Eddron!” Spark whispered loudly.
“Sorry...” Eddron said meekly. “I'll talk about something else. Do you think that Kevin guy was here?”
“I hope he was, that sand actually kinda hurt,” Labcoat said.
“That guy was so weird announcing his attack like something out of the Terramon games,” Meeka said.
“I didn't see any guys throwing sand during the fighting,” Jay joked.
Amidst the sound of distant fighting all around them, a loud pop coming from the north made everyone's heads turn. Beyond the park to the north of the rendezvous point was a flare that shot up prominently among the tall buildings of Chernobog. In a sky full of dreadful atmosphere, it shone brightly like a ray of light breaching through the clouds.
“We've sent away as many civilians as we could! Everyone rally to me!” Nearl yelled.
Jay stood up and jumped down from the statue platform to move ahead of his squad and rejoin Nearl.
“Whose flare is that?” Jay asked.
“That has to be from Dobermann and Amiya's team. If they shot that flare, then something is going really badly over there. We need to link up with them,” Nearl answered.
“But what about the rendezvous point?” Jay asked.
“If the main unit is wiped out, there won't be anyone to rendezvous with us,” Nearl argued.
“Alright, my squad's ready to move,” Jay said.
Nearl pointed at Aero who was coming over with his squad. “Is your squad ready?”
“Yes, ma'am,” Aero acknowledged.
“Everyone form up in advance formations. We're going to doubletime it to our ally's position,” Nearl commanded.
Unknown Time
The park between the rendezvous point and the allied position was a large expansive space with winding paved pathways that weaved between spread out trees and small hills with a small pond near the centre.
Just like with the plaza, there was much carnage as bodies of Reunion and Ursus soldiers littered the grassy fields while dropped weapons and equipment were plenty enough to form makeshift roads. It was distressing to see so many dead and the sounds of battle only confirmed there would be way more to join them.
Jay stayed right behind Alabaster as the three squads of E4 advanced straight through the park at a quick pace. They moved so quickly that it was difficult to keep an eye on the flanks and rear in case there were still enemy holdouts in the park somewhere. Although, considering how open the park was, it really only seemed like any threats would attack them from the front.
Suddenly, something pinged loudly and Alabaster stopped immediately.
“Contact!” Nearl yelled.
Jay got as tightly as he could to Alabaster while Meeka and Labcoat tried to do the same. With not that much room to hide behind Alabaster, Spark and Eddron got down in a prone position and crawled forward, keeping their weapons pointed ahead.
“Can anyone see him?!” Nearl asked loudly as she held her shield up.
Meeka threw her drone in the air and began flying it around while Jay peeked past Alabaster's shield to see where the enemy could be hiding. The only major pieces of concealment ahead were a few trees nearby the pond, scattered rocks, and a few dips and rises in the grass.
“Two of them behind that rock to our 11 o'clock! One shooter hiding in a tree at our 1 o'clock!” Meeka shouted out.
Nearl started pointing her warhammer at targets. “Snipers and casters! Take them out! C2! You're closest to the rock! Advance on it!”
Jay tapped on Alabaster to move forward while looking down at Spark and Eddron who were still prone. “Stay as low as you can and give us covering fire.”
“You got it, Jay,” Eddron said as he began shooting his pistol in regulated bursts at the rock.
While Jay, Alabaster, Labcoat, and Meeka advanced on the rock, Jay could see projectiles and arts fly at the tree which immediately resulted in a Reunion crossbowman falling out of it. With the shooter in the tree down, several snipers and casters turned their fire on the rock which kept the enemies pinned down as C2 advanced.
Before Jay could charge forward to overrun the enemies behind the rock, the two crossbowmen hiding behind it collapsed. When Jay arrived at the rock, he could see the crossbow bolts were in their backs which meant someone had shot them from behind. He looked to the west and could see a small squad of Ursus soldiers which featured three crossbowmen.
The soldiers didn't have time to come over as one of their men immediately went down, causing the Ursus soldiers to engage an enemy that was out of Jay's view.
“Keep moving forward! We don't have time to help the Ursus soldiers!” Nearl yelled.
As soon as Spark and Eddron rejoined the rest of C2, Alabaster resumed advancing forward toward the new objective.
Unknown Time
The sounds of fighting grew more intense as Jay could hear everything from guns, arts, and the clangor of steel. Beyond the park was a main road that was covered in abandoned or destroyed vehicles that formed a makeshift labyrinth. It was in that mass of vehicles that Jay could see explosions and stray shots come out from.
“They're fighting in there! Let's move it people!” Nearl yelled as she moved even faster than before, leading her squad well ahead of C1 and C2.
With all the chaos going beyond the wall of cars and buses, it sounded like the battle there was desperate for one of the sides. Considering the use of the flare, it was safe to assume the side in danger was the other Rhodes Island operators.
Meeka's flew her drone high above the street. “Our allies are surrounded on all sides!”
“Then let's break the encirclement!” Nearl commanded as she was the first one to storm into the maze of cars.
C2 was closely behind her squad and Jay could see that there was a wall of Reunion fighters waiting past the first few cars. However, they were mostly fixated on whatever was in front of them as they all had their backs to Nearl when she charged in and began smashing people around with her warhammer.
With such fury in Nearl's blows, enemies even flew into the air. As several more Reunion were dispatched by Nearl and her team, the enemies finally turned around in mass and tried to hold back the wave of operators that was now being joined by C1 and C2.
Jay rushed ahead of his squad and joined in with fighting alongside Nearl, thrusting his spear into an enemy that was distracted by an E4 operator.
“Huh... What's going on? Why are people getting knocked in the air?” a shrill boy's voice whined.
Eddron took a few point blank shots at several Reunion which made them drop as Labcoat rushed past to keep them from mobbing Eddron. Alabaster also joined in on the fighting and swung his halberd at an enemy, immediately cleaving him in two which made any nearby Reunion immediately step back keep their distance.
“What... the hell is that?” the whiny boy's voice asked.
Nearl pushed through the Reunion line, completely separating it into two. “You guys sure took your sweet time. I even had time to relocate the civilians.”
Jay tried to keep up with Nearl and her squad who were effortlessly cutting through the Reunion encirclement that was still reeling in shock from the sudden ambush. As he got through the Reunion line himself, he could see the other operator teams in a circular formation and facing off against enemies from all sides.
“Out of my way!” Nearl shouted as she swung at more Reunion with her warhammer.
“Woah!” several Reunion members exclaimed as they continued giving ground to E4's advance.
“Let's hit em' even harder! Don't give the enemies a chance to regroup!” Nearl yelled.
“Miss Nearl!” Amiya's voice called.
Jay watched Nearl let her squad continue fighting while she ran ahead to join up with Amiya. They chatted for a moment before they were joined by Dobermann and a strange person in a black coat and helmet with a visor that covered their face. Soon, Nearl extended her hand out to the person in black and said something, with his distance and the chaos around him, Jay couldn't hear anything they were saying.
“What's with this woman...” the whiny boy said loudly.
Jay looked to the source of the voice and spotted a short young boy standing on top of a toppled city bus. He had short white hair and wore a white outfit that kind of looked like a chef's uniform. As for his weapon, it was a strange contraption that looked like a mechanical arm with a spear tip at the end of it. Before he could examine the young boy some more, a Reunion fighter charged at Jay and forced him to take his attention away.
Jay held his spear perpendicular to the incoming sword strike and caught it with the shaft of his spear. He immediately brought the bottom of his spear up and whacked the Reunion fighter on the head with it, causing him to stumble backward and grab his head. Without giving him a chance to recover, Jay charged forward with his spear and ran the Reunion fighter through.
“You there,” Nearl called as she pointed at the boy. “The Reunion forces worked like a well-oiled machine when they took over the Chernobog military strongholds.”
Nearl was interrupted by a Reunion fighter attacking her which she expertly dealt with in short order. Jay directed his squad to follow him as he fought his way through to get to the main force where Amiya was so they could be near Nearl while she confronted the boy who Jay assumed was a Reunion leader. Labcoat and Alabaster personally escorted Meeka to the defensive circle while Jay, Spark, and Eddron still were among the fighting as C1 and several E4 operators were still making their way to the main force.
Once Jay and his squad made it to the main force, all they could do was watch the proceedings as a lull arrived in the fighting as both sides watched Nearl and the boy speak to each other. Jay didn't trust Reunion to hold back and readied his spear in case the enemy made another charge.
“But your men act like deranged thugs. Mindless slaughter, burning down the city, hunting down innocents... This was all for your sadistic pleasure was it not? Someone base enough to plot these senseless crimes at a time like this... could not possibly have designed the plan to take down an entire city. Your commander probably ordered you to cause chaos, but you succumbed to your perversion and tastelessness,” Nearl spoke passionately, her tone of contempt obvious to everyone around her.
The young boy looked upset at the furious indictment. “Faust. I want her shot through the mouth.”
Jay noticed a strange sight that almost looked like the haze one would see in a desert on a hot day on top of one of the cars to Nearl's left. Without warning, a massive crossbow bolt that left a trail of arts energy shot out from a strange silhouette and headed straight for Nearl. Fortunately, Nearl was able to see the bolt in time and held up her shield.
When the bolt impacted her, she took two steps back and grabbed at her shield arm. She looked like she was in pain and Jay wanted to rush to her aid, but Nearl gestured to everyone that she was fine.
“Nearl!” Amiya called.
“Their sniper... is ridiculous!” Dobermann yelled. “If Nearl gets hit again, she won't be able to defend herself anymore!”
Amiya stepped forward beyond the safety of her fellow operators. “Nearl, you need to retreat!”
Nearl defiantly stood up straight while continuing to hold onto her shield arm. “I can't... He's too powerful. I can't afford to let him hit our squads. I have to intercept his attacks!”
“She managed to block Faust's ballista... with only a shield--?! Unbelievable... Impossible!” the Reuinion boy exclaimed.
The boy frantically pointed at Nearl. His expression was terrifying as he had a great amount of rage that gave him a ferocity well beyond his years.
“Do it again!! Blow her to pieces!” the boy shouted.
Another bolt shot out from nothingness, however, this one came from Nearl's right from a different toppled bus that acted as a raised platform.
Nearl immediately reacted to the incoming bolt. “What... it's coming from my right?!”
“Oh no! Hurry, dodge--” Dobermann called.
A man of great size with sunglasses and a thick beard pushed past Jay and rushed ahead at a quick sprint. “As if I'd let you!”
He held up his shield and jumped in front of Nearl just as the bolt smashed into his shield. Just like Nearl, he held onto his shield arm momentarily before defiantly returning to a ready stance.
“Ace!” Amiya called.
“Snipers! Take aim! Target the raised platform to the south. Fire!” Ace commanded.
Eddron joined in with the snipers from E3 and unloaded on the toppled bus the second crossbow bolt came from.
“What? How dare you... How dare you!” the boy screamed.
The Reunion fighters let out a great roar before they resumed their assault and charged forward, crashing into the vanguards, guards, and defenders, that formed the outer layer of the defensive circle. Jay did his best to keep the enemy at bay, fortunately he had many operators by his side and he only needed to focus on everything in front of him.
“Did we get him?” Amiya asked.
Ace shook his head. “I doubt it. The most we can hope for... is to put some pressure on him. Unfortunately we don't have the time to dissect our enemies' tactics.”
Dobermann shot her whip out at an enemy before stepping back from the front. “He's very mobile and has high firepower. The longer this drags on, the less likely we'll be able to block his shots.”
“We can't give him time to set up! Amiya, make your move while Team E3's snipers keep him occupied!” Nearl yelled as she took up her warhammer again and helped fight off Reunion.
Amiya nodded and raised her hand. “Understood! Team E1 snipers, come with me and suppress Reunion's forces! Team, E2, use all the firepower you have to break through their defensive line!”
Amiya lead a group of snipers out of the defensive circle and directed them to fire at the Reunion to the south of the formation. Meanwhile, snipers and casters from E2 stayed within the defensive formation and joined Amiya and E1 in attacking the enemy line. As for the snipers and casters from the other teams, they engaged enemies from all other directions to ensure E1 and E2 could attempt their breakthrough without being hit from the rear.
Jay pushed away a Reunion fighter he was clashing weapons with and retreated back a few steps as he noticed the operators to his left and right had fallen back a little as the defensive circle tightened.
The Reunion boy rose up from cover, a look of confusion and anger on his face. “You filthy vermin... Why won't you just obediently roll over and die? Why can't I just put an end to you all right here?”
Eddron loaded a new magazine into his pistol and took aim at the boy. He fired several shots which prompted the boy to take cover. After Eddron emptied his magazine, the boy rose up from cover again, this time with a blank expression on his face as if some force had taken control of him.
“I want to kill... every... single... one... of you...” the boy said loudly in an ominous tone.
Ace swatted away several Reunion effortlessly as he fought as a rearguard for the defensive circle as it began to gravitate toward the holes Amiya and the operators with her were making. “Nearl, now's your chance! Hurry!”
Nearl rushed to the south where Amiya was and raised her warhammer. “All members of Team E4, we're going to break through their formation! We're going to clear everything out of their way in one fell swoop! Let's run wild!”
Nearl rushed ahead past Amiya and her firing line with several of her E4 operators behind her. Jay charged ahead with Labcoat, Spark, and Eddron right behind him. A bit behind Nearl and to her left was Aero leading C1 although Alabaster, Belt, and Chaser were lagging behind.
“Alabaster! Help me out here!” Belt shouted.
Jay stopped and looked back to see Belt was holding onto one side of Chaser's shield on wheels. Knowing they were going to try to catapult Chaser into the enemy line, Jay continued forward as Nearl and her operators were rushing straight into a line of enemy crossbowmen guarded by swordsmen.
“Fire! Fire! Don't let her get any closer-” a Reunion officer yelled while pointing his sword at Nearl.
Nearl picked up the pace and began to get ahead of her operators so that she was soon alone in her charge.
“What?! She was just twenty meters away just a moment-” the Reunion officer exclaimed while desperately pointing at Nearl.
Soon, Nearl was right up in the officer's face and swung her warhammer with great strength.
“Guhh... Aarrghh!” the officer screamed as he flew backward from the warhammer's impact.
Nearl swung her warhammer again at anyone near her. “If you wish to stand against a Kaizimierz knight, come back after you've trained a few more decades.”
Before the line of crossbowmen could recover from the shock of watching their officer be sent flying, Chaser and her shield rolled straight into them and crashed through the line while Chaser got a few hits in with her baton. The timing was perfect as everyone was beginning to catch up and engaged the scattered Reunion frontline, eventually clearing a path.
“Dobermann! Follow me!” Nearl called.
“Understood!” Dobermann acknowledged. “All units! Push through the opening E4 created! E3! Form a rearguard until the Doctor is safely out of here!”
“E4! We're going to hold this opening until everyone's out!” Nearl yelled as she turned around and held her shield up high.
The defensive circle began to dissolve as operators fled in a large column. C1 took to the right of the column while C2 held the area to the left. Spark and Eddron provided covering fire while Labcoat and Alabaster waited around to engage any enemies that got past E3's rearguard. As for Meeka, Jay gave her permission to retreat alongside the rest of the main force.
As more and more operators made it to safety, Jay could hear more fighting erupt behind him, likely from Reunion desperately sending forces to plug the hole Nearl had made.
Near the middle of the column was Amiya and Dobermann personally leading away the person in black. With how bulky the coat was and the lack of any skin being visible, it was hard to tell if this person was male or female. Jay had heard Dobermann refer to them as the “Doctor” which didn't give him much to go on.
Since he had never seen the Doctor before, Jay assumed this was the person everyone had come here for. He wondered why all this effort was being put toward rescuing them, what role would the Doctor play once they were back at Rhodes Island?
“Alright, almost everyone made it out! Ace! Let's move!” Nearl called. “E4! Let's fall back alongside the rest of the teams!”
“E3! Let's get the hell out of here!” Ace yelled.
Jay lead Spark and Eddron away from the fighting while Alabaster stayed behind to make sure the last of the operators made it through while Labcoat joined him for some unknown reason. With a quick hand signal from them to assure Jay that they'd be alright, Jay confidently escorted Spark and Eddron out of the combat zone.
Outside of the maze of cars in the clear street before the park was a line of snipers and casters from all the teams that made it out. Behind them were a few defenders and guards while everyone else continued retreating toward the park. They occasionally let off a shot or two as Reunion tried to escape the maze to pursue the retreating operators.
Spark and Eddron joined the firing line while Jay stayed with them to make sure Alabaster and Labcoat made it out along with taking a chance to catch his breath. After a few more retreating operators trickled out, Jay could see Alabaster and Labcoat leaving the maze while Ace and several E3 operators still held off any pursuers.
More and more Reunion began to appear as Ace and his people left the maze. Without worrying about hitting anyone inside the maze now, the firing line ruthlessly opened fire on any white hood that dared peek out. The moment Ace and E3 made it to safety, the firing line began to step backward while continuing to shoot at any pursuers.
“We're in the clear! Everyone catch up with the other teams!” Ace called.
Unknown Time
Jay anxiously kept his spear close to him as the column of operators advanced down a road leading toward the outskirts of Chernobog. It had been awhile since the decisive engagement at the street clogged up with cars, but Jay couldn't help but think there was still enemies around, especially since there was still sounds of fighting echoing through the city and new plumes of smoke emerging every minute.
Instead of advance formations, they simply marched like a disorganized parade down the street. If there was an ambush, they could've easily wiped out a good number of operators before everyone could get to cover. Although, there was still a good number of elite operators and defenders around the group of people that included the Doctor.
“Everyone halt!” Dobermann called.
The column came to a complete stop. Several operators took it upon themselves to head further out to watch for threats while everyone else relaxed as Jay could tell it wasn't just him that had aching legs.
An elite vanguard from another squad arrived at Dobermann's side and nodded to her. “We can confirm all pursuing forces have been eliminated or broke off.”
“Good job, get some rest,” Dobermann said as she walked over to join the inner circle of elites and the Doctor.
Jay got close to listen in on the conversation, wanting to know more about the Doctor considering he was risking his own life to rescue them.
“Scouting complete, I can confirm that the enemies pursuing us have been eliminated. We've managed to break through their encirclement. We'll be at the outskirts of Chernobog soon,” Dobermann reported.
Ace sighed. “Even though the enemies we defeated today were just a small portion of the whole force... At least we're safe for now.”
“Thank you for what you did back there,” Nearl said as she bowed her head at Ace. “I am forever in your debt.”
Ace snickered. “Don't say stuff like that. I don't have the right to ask the Radiant Knight for repayment anyways. Anyway, let's talk about that sniper, Nearl.”
“Sure. Putting aside the destructive power of that ballista... I think... he might have set up several turrets in advance, as well as other automatically firing devides. I was targeted from different directions... but I saw only one sniper,” Nearl explained.
“I had the same feeling. The first and second shots exploded at about the same time, but there was a noticeable delay between them. Those shots weren't fired from the same repeating ballista. At least, when we returned fire, we weren't targeting the same sniper,” Ace said.
Jay stepped away from the conversation, thinking that the Doctor wouldn't be getting a chance to speak. He rejoined his squad who were standing around in a circle.
“Thank goodness we're almost out of here. I don't think I can take anymore fighting right now,” Spark said.
“We're not out of the woods just yet, there could still be Reunion out there. I can hear them at least,” Jay warned.
“Let them try to fight us. Look at all the badass people we have with us. They can't do shit to us,” Eddron said in a cheerful tone.
“Most of us are exhausted, Eddron. If the fighting keeps up, we will eventually be cut down,” Alabaster argued.
“After seeing all the dead people, I don't care if I'm really tired. Reunion can't get away with all this killing!” Labcoat declared.
Meeka had her hands in her pockets and looked at the ground. “One of them ran up to me again back there. I'm starting to feel a little useless...”
“Hey now, lil' sis, that drone of yours has helped out Nearl a lot. You're like her eyes,” Spark said with a smile.
“Lil' sis?” Jay asked.
Spark giggled. “It's a long story.”
“Is it just me or is the sky getting darker?” a guard from E1 asked loudly.
Jay looked up at the sky to see the horrors of a looming catastrophe. Clouds circled around the centre of the city like a hurricane while bright rays of light shot through with strands of lightening constantly raining down at the city. While frightening on its own, the worst part about it was how close it looked to Jay.
submitted by Stevenasaurus to arknights [link] [comments]

2020.10.04 16:12 E-37 A collection of advanced tips and tricks

Ive put almost 900 hours into DRG, most of which has been messing around in lower hazards. As such, Ive tried a lot of really dumb things and a few of them turned out to have a practical use. Here is a long list of more advanced tricks in no particular order. Most of them were collected more than 6 months ago so there is a small chance that an update affected one or two of the more glitchy ones. (or that a future update will)

Gunner's revolver can shoot down red sugar. One shot usually drops a chunk and 3 shots to the base are usually enough to saw off the whole thing and drop you a bunch of health. This works with the autocannon as well but it is much less accurate.
You take no fall damage if you land on teammates heads. This works on downed teammates as well but it requires extreme precision.
Throwing c4 at downed teammates and then detonating it to kill all the bugs on them can let you get an easy revive. Using the fear mod makes it even easier. Drilling under them, placing the c4 and then detonating it makes it safer.
If you are cornered, running at big creatures like praetorians, oppressors and dreadnaughts, then jumping on to them, and bouncing to the others side can be a good way to escape.
Fully built sentries block projectiles.
You can build a sentry then place it on top of itself. Do this several times to give your sentry a height advantage on flat ground. This works with one or two sentries and can be useful for shooting over teammates heads. You used to be able to do this with just the stub of unbuilt sentries but it appears that they have to be fully built now. Probably the same reason why unbuilt sentries don't block projectiles anymore.
If you have used the zipline's downhill speed boost and want to stop suddenly, jump to disconnect from the zipline and press E right after to reconnect instantly. That will cancel all your momentum. Useful if a something nasty appears at the end of the zipline and waiting to slowdown before reversing could be fatal.
Impact Axes deal area damage. (not the full damage, but only a part of it and it won't heal you) Hitting the ground right next to a bug will damage it but still allow you to pick up the axe as it only hit the ground. Requires a lot of precision and not usually useful.
The drills can stunlock bugs in a very wide area in front of you, shredding armor and applying a strong fear effect once you stop. Yes, I said stunlock. Useful for escaping from swarms when you are surprised in a tunnel. Beware that this drains a huge amount of fuel.
Glow trees are insanely overpowered. Not only do they provide as much light as one of scout's flares, but they last for like 5+ minutes. (I don't know the exact number, but it is really long) Also if you stand on the top of them, melee bugs can't get you. They can only walk on ground and the glow tree isn't ground. You can also do this on rock trees and pretty much any other solid thing that doesn't dig like normal rock and is high enough to put you out of their reach.
The elemental resistance perk does not protect against Acid Spitters despite the devs specifically stating that it gave resistance to acid damage in the patch notes. It also does not protect against Spitballers, Mactaras, or explosive damage. It only helps with fire damage, freezing, praetorian acid spit and gas cloud and radiation. It says that it protects against electricity too, but the only natural cause of that that I can think of is the lightning crystals in the crystal caverns.
The cave leech grabber has a hitbox. The tentacle connecting it does not. If you hear hissing and turn around to find that you are about to be yoinked, power attack and you can kill the leech. Leeches have 120 hp or less depending on hazard level meaning that even without the power attack damage upgrade you can always get a one-hit kill. This also works on Mactera Grabbers. (It won't kill them, but you do enough damage to make them drop you right after) It is hard to hit grabbers coming for you if you are not the host as you have to powerattack early. This isn't really a problem with leeches and it is easy to powerattack them even with a bit of ping.
Your weapon reload finishes before the animation. If you pull out your pickaxe or laser pointer for a split second when the number on you hud changes, you can cancel the rest of the reload animation and cut a short time off your reload. This requires some multitasking to do in combat and doesn't really save that much time. But if you had a script... Not saying that I do or anything.
Nanite bombs are excellent weapons. If the bombs spawn in a bad spot, you can easily hang around them and throw spares at the bugs. If you have a good team and don't care about the event, start it when a swarm comes and use the bombs to conserve ammo. This requires a bit of teamwork as mission control usually only gives you 15 seconds warning before a swarm.
You can catch nanite bombs midair and they won't explode. This can be used to create a throw chain for fast transportation.
Change weapons to drop nanite bombs. This can be used to create a large pile of bombs that will all explode when damaged. Each bomb does a lot of damage. This can be used for some hilarious shenanigans such as insta-killing teammates or doing massive (even lethal) damage to a dreadnaught.
Many of the bug aoe attacks deal friendly fire. If you know you are going down, you can try to die close to a high value target such as a spitballer. The praetorian's acid spit attack can damage and even kill the spitballer. Spitballer projectiles are easy to abuse if you know it will target you. (they have a pretty big splash as a bonus!) Since spitballers don't lead their aim at all, just listen for the sound of it firing and sidestep. If you are lucky any bugs running after you will take it instead.
Grappling right over a bulk's head will cause it to stomp. Even without the faster grapple pull speed mod, you will always get out of range safely. You have to get pretty close to make it work. You can even scrape along its body and still get away safely so don't worry about going to low. Grapple back and forth between two points and the swarm will go back and forth over the middle - right where the bulk is! Kaboom! This also works for the ghost if it is targeting you.
Brood nexuses are safe to stand on and can act as a platform where bugs can't get you. Brood nexuses are solid to you but bugs can't walk on them. If you are far enough from walls, there is no way they can reach you. And if you evade projectiles they will likely hit the nexus.
When a ebnoite event ends, it kills all bugs in a certain radius and the rest tunnel away. Bugs outside that radius aren't effected. You can use beast master to tame an ebonite grunt and when the event nears the end, lead it far away from the event. Steeve will survive the end of event kill blast and you will now have an immortal pet. This is especially great with bulk detonators as steeve will aggro bugs onto him and the bulk will stomp steeve over and over (but will be unable to damage him) murdering huge amounts bugs in the process.
Edit: Apparently this has been patched.
Not a tip but wall eyes have the same voicelines as error cubes when you ping them with your laser pointer.
Dreadnaughts often target whoever is closest or broke their egg. Gain their aggro and jump on a slanted zipline. They will just sit there helplessly looking at you and try to dig midair to get at you. Meanwhile your team can have the time of their life shooting it. If it fireballs you, just use the ziplines downhill slide to evade it. Its stupidly long aggro often lets your team deal half its health before it changes target. Bonus points if you can shoot it as well from the zipline. This requires a bit of practice to do and can lead to you dieing like an idiot if messed up. Note: Their AI seems a bit different from when I wrote this originally. It seems a lot harder to get them to target you while you are on a zipline.
Sticky goo greatly reduces fall damage and is good for defense as it has a very powerful slow and bugs don't try very hard to path around it.
Rocky mountain lets you destroy compressed granite and bedrock in 2 hits.
Driller c4ing teammates might be a funny meme but Ive taken far far more friendly fire damage from fat boy and horribly placed proximity mines than from c4. To any reckless engies reading this: you are the real teamkillers. If proximities are meant to kill the bugs why do you keep putting them where we stand? Just because you have an overclock doesn't mean you know how to use it. (and indeed most fat boy engies only use it for its direct damage - the radiation is an incredibly powerful tool)
LUREs don't take damage from fat boy's radiation. Chuck one in the middle of the radiation and watch the bugs line up to take that damage. Radiation damage will kill the weak bugs and make sure that the LURE is constantly pulling new targets.
You can ledge grab while falling. If you lose your footing, fall past a ledge and just when your feet pass the floor next to it, walk into the ledge to grab and negate damage. This requires a bit of practice and is a lot harder to do when you aren't the host thanks to DRG's terrible lag compensation.
Praetorians make great landing platforms. You will bounce off them and take no fall damage and they move slow enough that they are easy to hit. Same goes for bulks but it is probably better for your health to take the fall damage instead. Works with dreadnaughts as well.
If you are grappled high up to wall, need a platform and the engineer won't hear your screams, call molly. You can stand on her.
submitted by E-37 to DeepRockGalactic [link] [comments]

2020.09.24 23:23 Sushimaster412 ****Ohio Medical Marijuana Program People of Influence Megathread****

I think it is important create an avenue of access for Ohio Medical Marijuana patients to better understand the organization, individuals represented, and what we can do as a collective patient body to help institute the changes in the Ohio Medical Marijuana program we want to see, and how to best direct our desires, concerns, and energy in a positive way. All of the information collected is public information. I have tried my best to figure out the correct contact info for each of these individuals, please correct me if I am wrong so I can edit them accordingly so that we can direct our energy correctly.
I think most of us agree that there has been a great disconnect between what the proposed ‘Guiding Principles’ were when instituting the program versus what we as patients are enduring currently.
Guiding Principles
Medical Marijuana Control Program is:
  1. Patient-centered and safe.
  2. Responsive, data-driven, and transparent.
  3. Flexible, scalable, and sustainable.
  4. Characterized by consistency, integrity, and collaboration across one program.
It is quite obvious the current program is not patient-centered (it seems to be centered around profitability, bottlenecking expansion in terms of licensing, and preventing accessibility in terms of cost of entry to get a card and get a recommendation by a physician, and medicine itself) not responsive, data-driven, or transparent (there has been little progress in terms of responding to patient surveys of satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction in the program, there has been little progress in terms of expansion of cultivator licensing, dispensary licensing, testing lab licensing, and transition between tier 2 and tier 1 cultivators, as well as a lot going on behind closed doors that is enabling the stagnation of our Medical Marijuana Program that is not transparent to the public) not data-driven (there is a propensity of evidence showing the way in which our program is lagging has been a detriment to patients in terms of preventing them from gaining access and being able to afford medical marijuana as a means of providing them with a better quality of life, primarily being in terms of cost, and secondly in terms of the unethical chokehold employers have over their employees as medical marijuana patients and their ability to terminate their employment for the use of a State approved prescribed medicine for their qualifying conditions by a State approved physician as seen in this study:, and this rule within our program, not flexible, scalable, and sustainable (it seems there has been very little change in terms of flexibility within the program, very little scalability in comparison with other States such as Pennsylvania which started at a similar time to our program, and said system is unsustainable with terms of scarcity of medicine due to a lack of cultivator license expansion), and lastly without a sense of integrity (none of the following listed conditions have patients as the primary point of focus, all of the listed conditions have been enabled and created to the detriment of the patient).
****As a disclaimer, I 100% do not condone, or promote any kind of harassment, threats, or any other form of misbehavior towards these individuals. It is fine to voice your concern, wishes, wants, needs, difference of opinion, what your opinion is of their points of view, etc. and try your best to direct that energy to the appropriate individuals and to do so in a decent manner and in a way that is substantiated with proven facts versus opinion. It is important to understand that even though these people may have vastly different points of view from your own, that does not give you the right to harass them, to threaten them, or to do anything that is unlawful.*****
Three state government agencies are responsible for the operation of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program:
• The Ohio Department of Commerce is responsible for overseeing medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and testing laboratories.
• The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is responsible for overseeing medical marijuana retail dispensaries, the registration of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, the approval of new forms of medical marijuana, and coordinating the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.
• The State Medical Board of Ohio is responsible for certifying physicians to recommend medical marijuana and may add to the list of qualifying conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended.
If you are frustrated that there has been a bottlenecking of cultivator licensing and expansion in the program you should direct your concerns accordingly to the Ohio Department of Commerce and voice you desire for more licenses to be granted, cultivators given the ability to expand into a Tier 1 category enabling them to operate on a larger scale.
Greg Mcilvaine
Senior Policy Advisor Ohio Department of Commerce
Email - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Direct mail to the address below:
Direct calls to the phone number below:
Ohio Department of Commerce
77 South High Street, 23rd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6123
Ohio Department of Commerce Phone # (614) 466-3636
“Greg McIlvaine was appointed Senior Policy Advisor for the Ohio Department of Commerce in June 2019 to oversee the Medical Marijuana Control Program. Throughout his career, McIlvaine has served in various leadership and policy roles on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Prior to joining Commerce, he served as vice president and advocacy director of the Cypress Group where he advised on financial services, budget, and tax issues and worked together with policymakers and industry stakeholders to address policy challenges and implement solutions. McIlvaine received his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and his bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.”
From the article by Carrie Ghose (please support this news agency if you can)
“By Carrie Ghose – Staff reporter, Columbus Business First
Jun 12, 2019, 4:00pm EDT
Ohio's medical marijuana program has a new chief regulator over cultivators, processors and testing labs.
Greg McIlvaine has been hired as senior policy advisor for the Ohio Department of Commerce, which has oversight over those parts of the program. He'll be introduced at Thursday's monthly meeting of the state Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.
Mark Hamlin, who led the agency's recovery from a rocky rollout, is leaving for the state Department of Insurance. He'll stay in his current position through June 21.
McIlvaine is coming to Columbus from Washington, D.C., where he'd been vice president and advocacy director of Cypress Group LLC, an advisory and lobbying firm. He had focused on fiscal policy and worked to grow its practices in the insurance and consumer finance industry, according to a cached biography on the firm's website.
He also had headed a nonprofit coalition advocating for more access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Previously, he was a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine – who's now Ohio's governor and thus his boss again – and to former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican.
A Xenia native, McIlvaine has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. He also studied international political economies at the University of Hong Kong School of Economics and Finance.
Hamlin joined the medical marijuana program last June, just as accounting firm EY was issuing a report on the Commerce Department's disputed process for scoring cultivator license applications. Overall, 69 rejected applicants appealed, and Dave Yost, then the state's auditor and today attorney general, launched a review that flagged IT security flaws.
The agency had to exceed the 12-license cap it had set in rules for each type of cultivator. There are now 16 large-scale licensees – half of those are open – and 13 for smaller grow houses, nine of them operating. Just four of 39 licensed processors are open. Two of the five lab licensees decided not to open.
The first sales of medical marijuana were in January, four months after the deadline set in the 2016 law creating the program. The state Board of Pharmacy oversees dispensaries and the state Medical Board certifies physicians who can recommend cannabis and eligible conditions for patients. “
If you are frustrated with specific procedures in which dispensaries must abide by, such as the section (N) which specifically states no medical marijuana requiring refrigeration can be sold by a dispensary. Upset that your medical marijuana concentrate consistency is melted, that the terpines are not being best preserved sitting on the shelf and not in the best possible condition when you receive them? Direct your concerns about this matter because as the statute is written, the dispensaries cannot refrigerate your medicine. Are you are frustrated about the lack of dispensary licensing and how many hours and hours and how many miles you have to drive because of the lack of dispensary licensing requiring you to unnecessarily go from sale to sale just to afford your medicine. Contact Steven Schierholt with your thoughts and concerns.
Steven Schierholt, Esq,
Executive Director, State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
Direct Email’s to - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Direct mail to the following address:
Direct phone calls to the following office:
State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
77 South High Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Phone Number: 614-466-4143
Fax: 614-752-4836
Steve Schierholt serves as the Executive Director of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. He is responsible for administering all orders of the Board as well as directing agency operations. Steve has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement and agency administration. Prior to joining the Board, he was the Assistant Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In that position, he oversaw all operations of the Bureau including the unprecedented reduction in the average DNA evidence processing time from 125 days to 22 days. A native of Lima, Steve received his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctorate from Capital University
Do you feel like there are qualifying conditions that should be included in our program and you have academic level research and studies that you thing should be brought to the attention of the State Medical Board of Ohio which has the power to expand the list of qualifying conditions? You should forward this input to the State Medical Board of Ohio, and Gary Wenk who is the representative on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board Advisory Committee who represents the seat for Academic Research.
Stephanie Loucka
Email - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Address to direct mail:
State Medical Board of Ohio
30 E. Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
State Medical Board of Ohio Phone Number - 614-466-3934
File a Complaint: Click here or call the State Medical Board of Ohio's Confidential Complaint Hotline at
1-833-333-SMBO (7626)
"The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) announced today that it has unanimously approved Stephanie M. Lock as its Executive Director, effective November 14, 2019. Ms. Loucka previously served as the director at the Ohio Department of Aging. Prior to that she held senior leadership positions at both the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the Ohio Department of Aging. Most recently, Ms. Loucka served as the Human Resources director at Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools. She received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Otterbein College and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law"
Gary L. Wenk
Email - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Please treat Dr. Wenk with the utmost respect, he is a champion for our program and is an amazing guy who is incredibly accomplished.
“Gary L. Wenk, a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, is a leading authority on the consequences of chronic brain inflammation and animal models of Alzheimer's disease. He is also a member of the OSU Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair. He received a B.A. degree in psychology and biology from Albion College and a Ph.D. in Neurotoxicology from the University of Cincinnati. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Drs. Peter Davies and Robert Terry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He joined the faculty of the Departments of Psychology and Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University for nine years and served as a Program Director for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory & Biological Basis of Behavior Program, Division of Behavioral and Neural Sciences, at the National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona and was a research scientist in the Division of Neural Systems, Memory & Aging for 15 years. Professor Wenk has had continuous RO1-level support from the National Institutes of Health since 1984 and has served as chairperson of three different NIH study sections since 1997.
Dr. Wenk is the recipient of the Vernon & Virginia Furrow Excellence in Teaching Award, The Five Star Faculty Teaching Award, The Distinguished Teaching Award from Ohio State University, The Joan N Huber Award for Outstanding Scholarship and The Harlan Hatcher Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award. Professor Wenk's research is focused upon the investigation of drugs that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and rescue the brain from the consequences of normal and pathological aging. He has been interviewed about his work by many magazines and radio stations, including NPR, WBZ, WJR, CBS News, & WABC, numerous local and national television programs, including CNN and The Dr Oz show; he was interviewed by Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Amanada Productions for a 2-hr TV documentary on the topic of cognitive enhancers.
Professor Wenk was elected in 2008 to the rank of Fellow by the American Assosciation for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in the field of neuropharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammatory processes. This rank was first given in 1874 to members of AAAS whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."
Professor Wenk is currently also Director of the Neuroscience Undergraduate Programs and was recently appointed by Governor Kasich to the Governor's Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee as the Academic Research Representative.”

Governor Mike DeWine currently holds the power to appoint many of the individuals whom serve on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board Advisory Committee:
Are you upset at the fact that Employers in the State of Ohio currently have the right to limit your access to using medical marijuana as a means of treating your qualifying condition? Do you think it is immoral for an Employer to have the power to dictate your quality of life outside of work? Do you think it is illogical for an Employer to limit your access to medicine which has been deemed legally permissible by the State of Ohio to be prescribed to qualifying individuals by State licensed physicians? Do you think the quality of life of the employee inside the workplace and outside the workplace outweighs the paranoia of Employers legal concerns? Do you think it should be illegal for your place of employment to control and determine which route of medical treatment you and your physician think is best for you and your health? Direct your concerns to Governor Mike DeWine to change this detrimental policy, and to remove his seat appointment on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board Advisory Committee, Michael Stanek whom currently represents Employers on the Advisory Committee, views medical marijuana as “Opening Pandora’s Box,” and is adamant that Employers have the right to terminate the employment of individuals who choose to use Medical Marijuana as a medicine in the State of Ohio. The seat appointments will be up for reappointment in 2021 and according to the current statute exist for 5 years!! Let’s influence Governor Mike DeWine to appoint someone whom is a business owner, who supports their employees enabling them to having access to medical marijuana if qualified through their conditions and by a State certified physician allowing their employees to have the best quality of life possible in and outside of work. It is logical that if someone requires to use medical marijuana recuse themselves from a position that uses heavy machinery, or requires driving in the best interest for themselves and their employer. It is illogical for an Employer to be capable of firing an employee without cause because of the medicine they are prescribed by a licensed State Physician which has been deemed the best possible means of treating their condition. Giving Employer’s this kind of power is immoral, illogical, and unethical. Get Michael Stanek out of his current position of influence, he does not represent, nor does he hold the interests of the Medical Marijuana Patients of Ohio in mind. He only represents the small self-serving interests of the few Employers in terms of selfish unnecessary legal paranoia in place of the much larger body of interests with regards to the over 100,000+ registered Medical Marijuana Patients of Ohio. Let’s do everything we can to get this selfish person out of his seat of influence and get Governor Mike DeWine to appoint someone whom is a business owner with our interests in mind.
Governor Mike Dewine
Office of Governor Mike Dewine Phone Number : 614-644-4357
Governor's Office Address for letters:
Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High St.Columbus, OH, 43215
Michael E. Stanek
11m19s-12m17s Michael talks about how he is involved in a program where he hires past felons and his MMJ Program Involvement starts at 37m42s - 50m where he states directly his view of medical marijuana as, ‘opening pandoras box.’
Michael describes his position against the interests of medical marijuana patients and how he wants them to be fired for using medical marijuana, and how he is committed to ensuring legislation favors and protects the Employer in their ability to fire employees who use medical marijuana because he views it as a drug not medicine, using the caveat of having a ‘Drug Free Workplace,’ as the grounds for his unethical and selfish position. From this podcast and interview Michael Stanek is in favor of felons having more access to jobs than qualified medical marijuana patients without a criminal record, whom he views as drug users who should be fired because he views the qualified Medical Marijuana Patients of Ohio as drug users whom violate ‘Drug Free Workplace Policy.’
This academic level study done by the Ohio State School of Law showed:
#2 Identifiable reason individuals in Ohio whom have qualifying conditions enabling them to use medical marijuana bettering their quality of life but cannot do so is because of fear of being fired accounting for 29% of people (Page 10 on the PDF found on Figure 4). Almost 30% of people are not doing what is in the best interest for their health because of Employers having a chokehold on what medicine Ohio citizens can have access to beyond the recommendation of their State licensed Physician in terms of the best course of action with regards to their health and quality of life.
"Michael E. Stanek is a co-owner and chief financial officer of Hunt Imaging LLC, a manufacturer of electrostatic toners and developers for use in printers and copiers. Headquartered in Berea, Ohio, Hunt Imaging serves markets worldwide and produces toner for most of the major printer manufacturers. Mr. Stanek’s passion for small business and advocacy shows through his involvement on numerous boards at the local, state and national levels. Locally, he is a member and immediate past chair of the board of directors of COSE, and he is also a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Mr. Stanek is a Cleveland State University alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Accounting in 1982."
Do you think a patient should be represented on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board Advisory Committee? The seat representing patients is currently VACANT!!! If this program is instituted according to their #1 Guiding Principles being “Patient Centered” how do they not have this seat filled so that someone is responsible for representing patient views, concerns, desires for improvement etc., to this Advisory Committee so that the improvement of the program can be expedited? If you think this is concerning, and you think it is of great importance that someone fill that seat to be responsible for representing Patients in a Medical Marijuana Program you need to contact The Speaker to the Ohio House of Representatives Robert R. Cupp. If you think you are qualified to fulfill this position please write to Robert R. Cupp and explain why you would be a great candidate to fill this extremely important seat on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board Advisory Committee.
Robert R. Cupp
Email – [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Speaker to the Ohio House of Representatives Office Address:
77 S. High St.13th Floor Columbus, OH 43215
Office Phone Number: (614) 466-9624
or Call 1-800-282-0253 to reach your Representative.

The Journey to Becoming Speaker

"The Speaker of the Ohio House is elected at the beginning of every General Assembly. Prior to the first day of each General Assembly, representatives-elect of the majority caucus nominate and vote on the position, which must be decided by an absolute majority. Nominations are collected by the Clerk of the Ohio House at that time.
The position is then officially voted on during the first session day of the General Assembly by all House members. The new Speaker is officially sworn in on that day as well. Typically, the Speaker is a senior member of the House, and must earn the trust and support of the majority of the members in his or her caucus."

The Role of Ohio's Speaker

"As the head of the Ohio House, the Speaker guides the agenda of the chamber, presides over session and provides direction to fellow members and staff. Along with the House Leadership team, the Speaker decides when bills sponsored by individual members reach the House floor for a vote and determines committee chairmanships and leadership positions in his or her respective caucus.”
“Hours after voting unanimously to remove Larry Householder as its speaker on Thursday, members of the Ohio House of Representatives elected state Rep. Bob Cupp to replace him.
Householder was arrested last week in connection with a $60 million racketeering conspiracy involving a 2019 nuclear power plant bailout bill that he helped pass, allegedly in exchange for payments. On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Householder with conspiracy to commit racketeering, a charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison.”
“Bob Cupp grew up working on his family’s farm in rural Allen County. A graduate of Columbus Grove Local schools, he earned his political science and law degrees from Ohio Northern University.
Representative Bob Cupp is serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He has served as an elected official in all three branches of government and at both the local and state levels: as an Allen County commissioner, a four-term state senator, a court-of-appeals judge, and a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He also served as a city prosecutor and as Chief Legal Counsel to former Ohio Auditor of State, Dave Yost.
In the Senate, Bob served two terms as the President Pro Tempore, the Senate’s 2nd highest leader. For his legislative accomplishments, he received numerous “Legislator of the Year” awards from various organizations, was named a recipient of the “Watchdog of the Treasury Award” five times and was awarded the prestigious “Guardian of Small Business Award” from NFIB/Ohio. In 2017, Representative Cupp received the Dick Maxwell School Finance Award from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).
In addition to his public service, Bob engaged in the private practice of law in Lima for more than 25 years and has taught courses in leadership studies, judicial process, and state education policy at Ohio Northern University.
He is the recipient of the State 4-H Alumni Award; past president of the 13-county Black Swamp Area Boy Scout Council; a member of Lima Trinity United Methodist Church, and the Allen County Farm Bureau."
submitted by Sushimaster412 to OhioMarijuana [link] [comments]

2020.09.21 19:25 fantastic1ftc [RF] The turn of the tide

I look around myself and watch the smoke rising into the dark stormclouds over my head. I watch the freshly lit fires destroying what I loved: I passed my burning schoolhouse and watch my 4th-grade teacher narrowly escaping and joining me and the other new refugees. I sprint past one of the town farms where our food is grown that had been set alight. I am too focused on getting away to feel the throbbing in my legs from sprinting away from my town, and I am much too focused on getting away to worry about how the other women and children I know are running with me are doing. I hope they can keep it up, as I flashback to the trauma starting at the beginning of the day, watching the man who lived in our house shot in the head, then reeling through the following events of escaping and starting to run.
The day before I would never have fathomed what was happening so close to us: I had helped Didier and my mother, Mary, attach the signature epaulet of a Lieutenant Colonel to prepare my father’s uniform so he could lead his troops in Boston, but that was 25 miles away. I could never have imagined what was happening today. I was out on a morning walk around the town with my friends when we saw the enemy ships under the looming stormclouds steaming towards our defenseless town. My friends and I decided that they would be just passing through, on their way to attack their next target. We decided to stop and watch them go by when we saw the scout ship drop her anchor and the fleet begin to slow. We look up and see the storm clouds darkening and lowering. It suddenly became evident that they were targeting our defenseless town. My friends all looked at each other and split, each trying to get home. I sprinted the short trip up Elk and Main Street, desperately trying to get to my mother, hoping she might be able to save us. Her eyes widened, and she abruptly ran to the door to see for herself. She took a good look then hurriedly wrote to Hammond:
My dear Hammond Please turn back; Concord has been overrun, the enemy has anchored on our shores. Your love, Mary
She desperately gathered what little money we had in the house and dragged me on to the now nearly abandoned town hall on Bedford Street where she paid the mail boy all the money she could find and told him to go as fast as his horse would take him and intercept the town’s warriors before they got too far.
We made it home and Mother told Didier it was time to pay for his stay and ordered him to get dressed and ready. We began to prepare our house for what we hoped would not follow: we threw water on the floors and walls, soaked our bedsheets, and boarded up our windows. No sooner had we sealed our cabin then did we hear a loud thunderclap. I could see through the cracks in our walls that our dark ceiling was continuing to close in. It was dark enough to feel like dusk. I continued to peer through a crack, with Didier watching through another, his facing the river. I watched the turbulent skies as I heard a gasp from Didier. I looked back and watched him recoil, spring for his bayonet, and station himself next to our door. I went back to watching through the crack, and noticed a new haze, accompanied by an orange light. Mother peered through another crack facing the river and exclaimed what she saw: South Bridge and Elm Street had been lit aflame, and the fire was spreading fast. Mother took me into her arms and reassured me. Moments later, a man dressed in a red jacket with a white sash burst into our house. He looked disdainfully at Didier, asking why he wasn’t with his men. Didier proudly responded that he was French, and the rest of his men had not yet arrived. Hardly allowing Didier to finish his sentence, the soldier raised his pistol and killed Didier. My mother squeezed me tightly and covered my eyes, but I could still feel the soldier’s glare land upon us. “This should teach you about harboring traitors,” he said and closed the door. My mother uncovered my eyes to see a small fire the soldier had left. I looked at my mother fearfully, and she reflected my look. We put the fire out and covered Didier’s body with one of our damp sheets. It had seemed that we saved our home, but we soon saw smoke pouring in through the gaps in our house as we began to get hotter. Eventually, it became obvious that we could not weather the siege. Mother and I burst outside and quickly took account of what was left of our surroundings: the clouds were so low and thick that once mixed with the smoke of our burning town, the flames were the only source of light. Mother and I began to run towards Boston, joining the other recently created refugees as we sprinted down Thoreau Street into the woods that surrounded our town. I looked around and saw my mother was beginning to fall behind the group. Knowing nothing else, I instinctively slowed down and kept by my mother as we ran past much of our hometown. She told me to continue running with the group; she would meet me once it was all over. I hoped she was right, and looked back to see the soldiers several hundred yards behind us in pursuit, destroying everything in their path. I saw there were several others who were lagging behind, and I could do nothing more than pray that they would make it through.
I look around myself and watch the smoke rising into the dark stormclouds low over my head. I watch the freshly lit fires destroying what I loved: I passed my burning schoolhouse and watch my 4th-grade teacher narrowly escaping her home and joining me and the other new refugees; I sprint past one of the town farms where our food is grown that had been set alight. I begin to feel the effects of the run I have endured, but I am too focused on getting away to feel the throbbing in my legs from sprinting away from my town, and I am much too focused on getting away to worry about how the other women and children I know are running with me are doing. We continue to run deeper into the woods, keeping to a thin path used by buggies, praying we can lose our invaders, despite them being just a minute behind us. As I am running, I begin to feel the sweet drops of rain on my sweaty, smoky face, and before we know it, we are running through a downpour. I clench my teeth and continue to run through the now mud and focus on getting through the woods. I hear my father shout “hold”. I shake my head, thinking I was hearing things, but I hear him shout “fire”. Our group is jarred out of our running daze by the sound of 50 simultaneous gunshots around us. Startled, I trip and fall. I stand up and look around. Several others are also getting up, covered in mud. I look deeper into the woods, and watch my father shout “push” and see all of our fighters from our town step out of the woods and begin to make their way back to Concord. As we all gather our wits, it occurs to us that our town is ours, and, not only had we made it out, but we will be going back.
Several hours later, after the Concord Regiment push the intruders back to the coastlines and their ships, we are brought back into our town. Over the next several weeks, we begin to rebuild. My father and several other soldiers dressed in their most formal uniforms escort Didier’s body to Boston. Upon his return, I finally gather the courage to ask what happened. I ask why he goes to Boston so much. I ask what happened to Didier. I asked what happened to our town. My father takes me into our half-built house and pulls up a chair, and continues to tell me everything. He explains that the colonies had elected to break away from England and the rule of King George. He explains that the British are fighting for control of Boston as a city from which to base their forceful takeover of the colonial governments. He explains to me Didier was a French soldier who was staying with us as he was waiting for the rest of his men to come to assist the colonies fighting the British, and the British do not like the French. He explains to me that our town supplies the colonial army in Boston when the city is held under siege by the British navy.
The next day, I am told to clean myself up as best I can, and we make our way to the town hall, where much of the town is gathered. I see my father and his commander, Brigadier General David on the stage. Brigadier General David awards my father the rank of Colonel, and gives a brief speech:
“Lieutenant Colonel Hammond led the men that took back control of our town, and has rescued a critical source of resources for the Continental army. In the weeks since Hammond commanded his men to attack the pursuing British soldiers, the tide of the entire war has turned. I have been told by my commanders and colleagues that they have felt the impact of his attack all along each of our fronts. I venture to presume that this brave counterassault will go down in history, and given its effects, it may perhaps go down as ‘the shot heard around the world’”.
submitted by fantastic1ftc to shortstories [link] [comments]

2020.09.18 05:55 lettertoapostle Are Mormons a Virtuous People?

I genuinely wish that the true Gospel is just as the Mormon church teaches; for what an amazing and beautiful future it portends. To be forever together with loved ones, walking with the Savior, growing and learning and progressing forever.
But the truth is that the Mormon Church has also done and continues to do irreparable harm to many. It teaches youth that being gay or transgender is evil in the eyes of God, and that premarital sex is next to murder. The Book of Mormon teaches that dark skin is a curse of God. It tells women not to pursue a career that takes them out of the home as their most important role is to take care of their husband and their children.
While these things are certainly problematic, I feel nothing but love and affection for my fellow Latter-day Saints., but history has shown that we are not altogether a virtuous people. In the Greek virtuous (ενάρετο) means more than good, it means courageous, it connotes someone who has the audacity to stand up to authority, who demands truth and personal freedom, someone willing to question the status quo. And, if you will forgive me, Mormons are not that. Latter-day Saints are largely a tractable lot. Too often obedience has replaced critical thinking and conformity has replaced courage.
Perhaps this is why during the civil rights movement of the 1960s when men and women of goodwill in this country were marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seeking equal human rights for ALL of God's children. When we saw Catholics, Protestants, Jews, even human secularists display the courage to speak up, we did not hear from Mormons. Rather, they bowed to their prophet and his apostles who continued to preach discriminatory racist doctrines and policies harming persons of color.
I am troubled by the fact that Ezra Taft Benson, later to become the president of the church, was one of the Mormon hierarchy's most strident voices opposing the national crusade for African American civil rights.
In 1965 and 1967, Benson stated in televised sermons from Temple Square that the 'so-called' civil rights movement, as he referred to it, was a Communist program for revolution in America. Benson's rhetoric intensified after, despite his best efforts, the federal Civil Rights Act was ratified.
Benson wrote the forward for a race hate book, The Black Hammer: A Study of Black Power, Red Influence, and White Alternatives. The cover of this vile little book shows a thick-lipped, low-browed, decapitated, bleeding head of an African American man superimposed upon the symbol of Communism - the hammer and sickle. I find it hard to accept that this man was God's spokesman on earth..
As late as the 1970s the Mormon church was banning Black boys from becoming boy scout troop leaders. These leadership positions were reserved exclusively for White priesthood-holding Mormon boys. In fact, it took the NAACP to file a federal lawsuit against the church in 1974, to force the church to reverse this hurtful and discriminatory policy
Indeed in 1966, the NAACP issued a statement criticizing the LDS church, saying the church maintained a rigid and continuous segregation stand "and that the church had made "no effort to counteract [its] widespread discriminatory practices in education, in housing, in employment, and other areas of life."
In 1978, as we are all aware, president Spencer W. Kimball shortly after meeting with US president Jimmy Carter announced he had received a revelation reversing the priesthood ban on African Americans?
The nature of this change, like the prohibition on polygamy, and more recently the unpopular banning of membership of the children of gay parents, can lead one to question if these changes were in truth a direct response to American political pressure, withering PR or simple expediency.
In a rare interview of a Mormon apostle by an outsider, Wesley P. Walters recorded the following conversation with LeGrand Richards:
Walters: "On this revelation, of the priesthood to the Negro, I've heard all kinds of stories: I've heard that Joseph Smith appeared; and then I heard another story that Spencer Kimball had had a concern about this for some time, and simply shared it with the apostles, and they decided that this was the right time to move in that direction. Are any of those stories true, or are they all?"
LeGrand Richards: "Well, the last one is pretty true, and I might tell you what provoked it in a way. Down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it's hard to get leaders that don't have Negro blood in them. We just built a temple down there. It's going to be dedicated in October. All those people with Negro blood in them have been raising money to build that temple. If we don't change, then they can't even use it. Well, Brother Kimball worried about it, and he prayed a lot about it."
On the question of Blacks in the priesthood, some of the church's apologists deny that president Carter's meeting with Kimball had anything to do with this timely, 'revelation.' Some even claim that president Carter never even broached the subject.
This is not true.
Anyone interested can view President Carter's note to me at
President Hinckley when questioned by the press maintained that "... these things (Mormon racism) are in the past" and yes that is true, and, regardless of their motivations, the church of late has made moves to do away with much of its racist past.
But one must ask why the Lord's church would not have led the charge for greater equality, integration and acceptance rather than lagging decades behind and actually working to oppose social justice?
The problem the church still has to deal with is the unbridled racism that forms an integral part of the Book of Mormon itself.
The Book of Mormon abounds in racism and paints a very narrow viewpoint regarding the concept of beauty. The message of the Book of Mormon is that white is good and black is bad. It teaches that those whose skin pigmentation is darker are "filthy", "loathsome" or at the least "not enticing."
"21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
Second Nephi; Chapter 5, Verse 21
6 And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, which consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
Alma; Chapter 3, Verse 6
15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
Third Nephi; Chapter 2, Verses 15
"…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people."
2 Nephi 30:6
I think that most people of good will, and I would include the majority of Latter-day Saints here, would agree that the condemnation of another human being, because of the color of their skin, is not just unChristian, it is wicked.
Is this concept of white supremacy something the Lord would countenance let alone give such prominence to in 'another testament' to Him?'
I think this Mormon mindset - obedience over independent thought is why during the Second World War, not only did German Mormons, 'go along to get along' with the Nazis, but as David C. Nelson, comments in his book, Moroni and the Swastika, "Mormons were not just tolerant of Hitler [they were] downright enthusiastic about his policies."
This is straight talk and I know it can be upsetting. and if you are a TBM this may be when you leave. Cognitive dissonance is real and you might be experiencing it right now. I too suffered as I discovered that things are not as I was taught, but I hope you will summon the courage to read on.
It is like Gloria Steinem said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."
Hatred. lies and deception need to be attacked without mercy and I make no apology for doing so. In Ephesians 5:11 Paul tells us to expose the evil deeds of darkness. The Lord called out the Pharisees. In Revelation 2:6 and 15 He tells us he hated the practices of the Nicolaitans, and those who held to their teachings. In 1 Timothy 1:20 Paul names the Hymenaeus and Alexander and john names the false Diotrephes, (3 John 9). I could go on.
But I must tell you that the one thing that gave me pause in writing this examination, is the sad truth that when people leave Mormonism, as they are doing in droves today, sadly, they, too often, also leave religion altogether. 'Once bitten twice shy.' This troubles me as I do not want to lead anyone away from a belief in God.
Mormonism and Christianity are however not the same thing. If you reject the former you can still fully embrace the latter.
I have discovered that one need not read anything beyond Joseph Smith's writings, LDS periodicals or the Mormon scriptures themselves to come face-to-face with myriad problems and inconsistencies.
A critical examination can be difficult, troubling and painful. Ignorance is easy and, as the saying goes, really can be bliss.
But some of us believe that it is important, regardless of the discomfort, and even heartache it may bring, to reject the siren call of self-delusion; and seek a reality not based on wishful thinking, emotion or the proverbial 'burning in the bosom.'
Edward Abbey put it best:
"Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion."
Faith is important. At its core, faith is the expectation of good things to come. It goes beyond hope. Hope lives in the mind, faith resides in the heart.
Life can be hard and faith in the Almighty can help us get through it; for it provides us with the knowledge, deep down inside us, that things will get better. It can provide the courage to take the next step, even when we can’t see the staircase below.
But God gave us a mind, so we might come to know what is true and what is not. He tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "... to test everything [and] hold fast to what is good." In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord pleads with us to, “Come now, and let us reason together.”
As the British philosopher, Austin Farrer noted, "Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.”
Humble reasoning is a vital and reliable mechanism for obtaining religious knowledge and theological truth. Religious beliefs acquired using reason as well as faith are more likely to be true and enduring.
So, no matter how appealing Joseph Smith's 'Plan of Salvation,' might sound, it must be authentic, it must be true, designed by Deity and not merely the musing of a brilliant, ambitious, 'ploughboy prophet.'
Was Joseph Smith what the Mormon church would have you believe, or was he a sexual predator, liar and beguiler, who committed one of the greatest frauds in American history?
As the bible warns us, we must take care. Jeremiah 23:16 says, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord."
There is a wonderful allegory in Book Seven of Plato's The Republic often referred to as 'Plato's Cave.' It tells the story of men held prisoner, chained and shackled such that they cannot look to their left, their right or behind; rather they can only see forward at the wall directly in front of them.
Behind them is a blazing fire and between them and the fire a corridor along which men walk carrying statues, tools, and all nature of objects. All that the prisoners can see, however, is the shadows of the objects that are projected on the cave wall in front of them.
Witnessing these passing, transitory shadows, the prisoners argue as to what they represent.
Some older prisoners, 'the elders,' have developed explanations as to the true meaning of each of the shadows.
One day, a prisoner is released.
Now free to wander the cave, he sees the fire, and the objects being carried in front of it. This former prisoner comes to understand the origins of the shadows, and to his amazement, he sees that they had often been misinterpreted.
He hurries back to share with his fellow prisoners the true meaning of the shadows, what the truth is. But rather than welcome and embrace this new knowledge, his former friends ridicule him, particularly the elders, who even seek to take his life.
You and I are like those prisoners. We see as it says in Corinthians, through a glass darkly. We live in a world where, like the prisoners, our knowledge is imperfect; a world of conjecture and illusion.
Some 'elders' presume to know what the shadows mean, but they too are prisoners, and their shackles are as firmly in place as our own.
I don't presume to be that prisoner freed from his chains who now longs to share the truth as only he can see it. I am a fellow prisoner, viewing the shapes and shadows on the wall, but seeking the truth by asking those questions that the 'elders' hope are never asked.
We will all leave the cave one day and will discover in that day, as we enter that new world filled with that dazzling brightness of light and truth that our lives have either been spent wisely engaged in a true and worthy cause, or that we have been well-meaning but credulous dupes, desiring so much to feel good about our present and our future, that we had become victims of an attractive fraud.
Paul Douglas
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2020.09.16 23:08 Stevenasaurus We Are Operators Episode 9: Element E4 Part 2

3:13 PM
Training Facility
Aero kept his eyes closed as the hustle and bustle of the other operators around him in the precinct went on. Conversations, people checking their equipment, and the occasional sound of a gunshot from Jay's squad mate Eddron coming from upstairs constantly droned on as everyone waited for the vanguards to return from their scouting mission.
“Captain,” Jinna's voice called.
Aero opened his eyes. “Yes?”
“Are you hungry?” Jinna asked as she brought out a ration bar from her pocket and presented it to Aero.
“I'm fine, Jinna,” Aero said. “But thanks for the offer.”
“Still, you should keep it,” Jinna said with a smile.
Aero took the ration bar and put it in his pocket. “Thank you.”
“So... Are you gonna tell us what's wrong?” Jinna asked.
“Leave the poor guy alone, Jinna!” Chaser's voice called.
Chaser came and wrapped her arm around Jinna's neck as if she were about to put her in a headlock. She left enough room for Jinna to breathe comfortably but definitely kept her tight enough so that her squirming couldn't get her out.
“The Captain's problems are on a need to know basis. If you don't need to know, then you don't get to know; that's how it is with a chain of command!” Chaser explained.
Aero was about to order Chaser to let Jinna go when he spotted Lukewarm and Yellow in the corner of his eye.
“Hey! Let her go!” Lukewarm yelled.
Lukewarm and Yellow arrived which prompted Chaser to turn to them with Jinna in tow.
Chaser smiled and let Jinna slide out of her grip. “Jinna wasn't in any danger. Right?”
“Yeah...” Jinna said while rubbing her neck.
“If she was, she certainly wouldn't be looking as pretty as she does now wouldn't she? Although you know a thing or two about how pretty she is don't ya Lukey boy?” Chaser asked with a mischievous grin.
“Shut up,” Lukewarm warned while pulling out his bow and swiftly readying an arrow, his cheeks starting to turn red.
“Belt's not around to give you a good smack on the head so now's the perfect time to take the shot,” Yellow joked.
Aero snickered. “Alright, guys, calm down. I'm fine if that's why you're checking up on me.”
“I know it's need to know and all, but are we eventually gonna get the run down on what's got you down?” Chaser asked.
“Eventually,” Aero answered.
Chaser shrugged. “Good enough for me.”
“Not for me,” Yellow said. “Come on, Captain. What's up?”
Aero stood up and picked up his greatsword that was leaning against the wall before walking around the precinct with his squad following him. Eventually he came across Nearl who was approaching him.
“Aero, I'd like to speak strategy with you for a moment,” Nearl called.
Aero nodded. “Yes, ma'am. Everyone, go back to your business while I speak with Nearl.”
Aero's squad bowed their heads and headed off in different directions while Nearl gestured Aero to follow her. He did as commanded and stayed behind her as she lead him to one of the interrogation rooms.
At first Aero grew nervous about having to go back inside the interrogation room, but his anxieties were alleviated when he saw that Nearl had laid out a map of the battlefield on the table in the centre of the room.
“With the guard precinct in our hands, I expect the enemy to form up all their remaining forces north to block our objective,” Nearl explained.
Aero put down his greatsword so he could sit down and discuss with Nearl. However, he noticed Nearl was keeping an eye on it very obviously.
Jay... you better have not...
“Are you planning to move along the major avenue northeast?” Aero asked, trying to ignore Nearl's interest in his equipment.
Nearl nodded. “The wide open space will allow our operators to move around freely. And if the enemy meets us, it will also provide a good space for our snipers and casters to attack the enemy.”
“A major roadway like that will likely have lots of civilians around,” Aero warned.
“We can only hope they flee the moment we approach. Although, that could mean the buildings on the flanks of the streets won't be an option if the civilians flee into them,” Nearl said.
“Without the buildings,” Aero started, “I don't expect there to be much cover for us on the avenue. We don't have enough defenders to keep everyone protected.”
“We'll know how much there is when the vanguards return,” Nearl said with a reassuring tone.
Aero kept his eyes down on the map and crossed his arms. In the peripheral of his vision, he could see Nearl leaning against the door, looking hesitant.
“I couldn't help but notice the initials on the crossguard of your sword don't match the name that was given to me when I was briefed on C1 and C2,” Nearl said.
From the distance she was at, there was no way Nearl could've seen the initials unless she knew about it in advance.
Aero gritted his teeth. “It belonged to someone else.”
“From the looks of the craftsmanship, it must've belonged to a Kaizimierzian Knight,” Nearl said.
She's leaning against the door so I can't leave... Jay... you bastard...
As much as he felt he wasn't ready, it actually felt somewhat reassuring that he was going to get it out of the way now. After taking a moment to calm his uneasiness, Aero looked straight at Nearl.
“Yes...” Aero said softly. “His name was Jaromir Antczak. You know him?”
Nearl shook her head. “I've vaguely heard the name but never had the pleasure.”
“He supported you all those years ago, before you were ousted,” Aero said.
Nearl lowered her head and sighed. Her arms were crossed and her eyes fluttered for a moment before shutting completely. She stood silent for some time before raising her head back up and looking at Aero.
“I can't imagine what happened after I left. The fact that you have his sword tells me he didn't make it out of the purges,” Nearl said with a solemn tone.
Aero nodded, tears welling up in his eyes. “He was one of the few that didn't shut up when you left. He was sent on a suicide mission and was killed.”
“What was he to you?” Nearl asked, giving off an impression that showed she knew the answer.
“I was his squire,” Aero muttered.
“I'm sorry,” Nearl said softly.
Aero clenched his fists. “I never went back to the knighthood after that day. I just ran.”
“It wouldn't have done you any good going back; they knew who you were and would never let you get knighted,” Nearl said.
“The knighthood's only gotten worse ever since I left. No one wants to say anything now,” Aero said with a slight whimper.
Nearl scratched her forehead. “Maybe it isn't worth saving in its current state.”
“How can you say that?!” Aero yelled abruptly. “From the age of seven I devoted myself to the knighthood! It can still be saved!”
Nearl held her hand out in front of her, staying Aero's rage. “Or it can be rebuilt.”
“Rebuilt?” Aero asked.
“My time travelling and being here at Rhodes Island have only strengthened my resolve for moving forward. There must be a new knighthood, one that fights for true chivalric ideals and for the rights of all, even the infected,” Nearl explained passionately.
Could it be done?
“Why not reclaim the knighthood and rebuild it from the inside?” Aero asked.
Nearl sighed. “The Grandmaster and his senior knights have spent decades securing their positions; they will not give it up willingly. From a moral and strategic standpoint, it would be best to found a new order based on righteous ideals and rally the disgruntled people to overthrow the corrupt.”
After all the years that passed, Nearl was still the knight Aero remembered her to be. It was common to hear to never meet one's heroes, but seeing her passion and sincerity still remain intact moved Aero to even more tears.
Master, you didn't die for nothing after all...
“If there was such an order... would you consider coming back to join it?” Aero asked reluctantly.
Nearl paused to think about it for a moment before shaking her head. Aero looked down at the table and felt crushed at the reply.
“Why not?” Aero asked.
“I fight for all infected now,” Nearl declared. “A new knighthood may protect the infected in Kaizimierz, but what about the ones in Ursus or any other nation? There are people who need help everywhere and it's from Rhodes Island that we can reach out to all of them.”
“That's noble... It was selfish of me to want you to come back. I was just... so nostalgic for those days,” Aero said, averting his eyes from Nearl.
“Not entirely selfish,” Nearl interjected, “rebuilding the knighthood would save many others and help our people.”
“Thank you for that,” Aero said, looking back at Nearl.
Nearl smiled. “Those days, huh? Did you ever fight under my banner?”
“When you rallied the knights to fight the rebel barons, Jaromir moved to answer your call. We were there when you avenged that slaughtered Elafian village and when you finally captured Casimir's fortress,” Aero answered, a brief smile returning to him.
“You and your master have been around then. I'm sure he'll approve of where you are now wherever he's watching from,” Nearl said.
“I think he does,” Aero said while wiping his eyes with his arm. “Just one more thing, did Jay tell you about this?”
Nearl paused for a moment before nodding. “He did.”
Aero grumbled to himself and clenched his fists.
“He also told me to not go to you about this and wait for you to be ready to talk. He wanted me to know why you were so shy around me but also wanted you to speak to me when you were ready yourself,” Nearl said quickly.
“Why'd you come to me then?” Aero asked, calming himself.
“Because while this is only training, we're still in an active combat zone and I need all my operators on their highest effectiveness. You best be done dwelling on the past and be ready to fight now,” Nearl answered sternly.
Aero stood up and clutched his chest where his heart was with his right hand, a standard salute for the Kaizimierzian Knights.
“Like I said before: there's no need to salute. Get your squad ready to move; Fast Lane and Hoop have returned and I expect Jay and Belt to soon,” Nearl said.
“Yes ma'am. Thank you... Nearl,” Aero said softly.
3:19 PM
Training Facility
Jay could feel his lungs imploding on themselves as he kept running with Belt right next to him. A crossbow bolt flew right past him and bounced off a newspaper box on the sidewalk of the avenue they were running down.
Behind the two were several pursuing animatronics with crossbows that had suddenly moved to engage them when Jay was busy making a sketch of the enemy position. They had only recently caught up and began shooting as Jay and Belt were slowing down from exhaustion.
“How much farther?!” Jay yelled, catching his breath between syllables.
“Not that far! I can see the precinct!” Belt answered, looking unfazed.
A crossbow bolt flew between the two of them.
“Ah shit!” Jay yelled as he began running in a serpentine fashion.
Belt continued to run straight and soon gained some distance while Jay maintained his evasive manoeuvres.
“Jay! Just run straight! They're not accurate when they're running!” Belt warned.
Jay did as suggested and ran straight but was unable to catch up to Belt as he still maintained his own pace. The suggestion however was good as the crossbow bolts were missing him or missing him just enough that he could feel the air of it whizzing by.
“They don't lead their shots that good! When they're about to shoot, get a burst of speed and they'll miss!” Belt yelled back.
“Easy... for you... to say!” Jay struggled to yell back.
Belt began waving his arms in the air frantically. “Hey! Friendlies headed your way! We're being chased here!”
Jay looked forward and could see the vague movement in the windows of the precinct. As he got closer, the vague movements became silhouettes which soon became familiar faces of snipers and casters pointing their weapons out the windows. On the second floor, he spotted Eddron pointing his pistol out of the window with a face that showed he was eager to pull the trigger.
Jay immediately dived for cover in front of a car as a few shots from Eddron's pistol preceded the arrival of a barrage of arrows that all precisely struck at their targets.
“Clear! Cease fire!” a voice called.
Jay stayed down while his breathing regulated and his chest wasn't as pained. Before he could stand up, Belt's legs were in front of him and he looked up to see Belt offering a hand.
“You can't run for shit, Jay,” Belt said while laughing.
Jay took Belt's hand and stood up. “I'm not a marathon runner, I'm a sprinter.”
“Come on, we only ran a few blocks,” Belt argued.
“How many city blocks do they run in a 100 metre dash? Like one?” Jay argued with a smile.
“Ah stop whining and let's go tell Nearl what we saw!” Belt said while slapping Jay on the back and leading him back to the precinct.
As the two approached the door at the corner of the block the precinct was on, Nearl stepped out followed by several operators.
Jay reached into his pocket and pulled out the sketch he made of the enemy formation. He unfolded it and presented it to Nearl when he stood in front of her.
“The objective is a tunnel at the very far north. Just like you said, the avenue northeast and then heading north at the major intersection is the best way there. But it looks like every last animatronic still standing has formed up to stop us. It's a really good thing we dealt with this precinct now instead of later,” Jay reported.
Nearl took the sketch and looked at it. “And what about the civilian animatronics?”
“Most of them fled when we got chased by those crossbow bots. The way's pretty clear for now but they'll come back if things stay quiet for a bit,” Belt answered.
“How did you get such an in-depth view of their formation?” Nearl asked.
“I stood on a car and looked over the shieldwall. That's kinda how Belt and I got spotted,” Jay sheepishly answered.
“Judging by how close their crossbows are to the shieldwall, I expect them to use a standard tactic in opening up gaps in their wall for the crossbows to fire through,” Nearl said.
“We've got the firepower, but cover's not that good in the middle of the avenue. All we got are cars, lampposts, newspaper boxes, and other things on the sides,” Jay warned.
Nearl nodded. “Then we'll have to split into two columns when we arrive at the intersection and advance along the sides in cover. Take a moment to catch your breath, but don't take long, I've already ordered everyone to move out.”
Jay and Belt nodded as Nearl walked off to oversee a few other things. The next group of people to come out of the precinct was everyone in C1 lead by Aero. Jay looked away and pretended he was scouting something else as he could feel Aero's eyes on him.
“Captain,” Belt called while saluting.
“Everyone, move on ahead, I need to speak with Jay for a moment,” Aero said.
Jay watched the operators in C1 walk by him while still feeling Aero's gaze on him. Knowing there was no escape, Jay turned around and faced Aero. The man's right hand was gripped tightly around the hilt of his greatsword as he approached Jay which only made him squirm.
Oh god I regret everything!
Aero gently placed his left hand on Jay's shoulder and nodded. “Thank you.”
Jay didn't even get a chance to respond before Aero walked past him and joined his squad. He scratched his chin before looking at his hand and noticing it was shaking. Although, with the threat of an angry Aero gone, his hand eventually stopped.
“Uh... You're welcome?” Jay whispered.
“Jay!” Spark's voice called.
Jay looked at the door to the precinct and spotted his squad leaving the building with their equipment.
“Are you alright? You look terrible,” Spark asked with concern.
Jay smiled and scratched the back of his head. “Oh I'm fine. Were you worried about me while I was out there?”
“Of course I was worried!” Spark answered.
She cares about me!
“What would we do without our captain?” Spark asked abruptly.
Aww man...
“I totally saved your ass back there, Jay,” Eddron said with a smug grin.
“You didn't hit a single thing; you're lucky you didn't hit Jay,” Meeka argued.
“Whether you hit something or not, thanks for the covering fire at least, Eddron,” Jay said.
“We're on the final stretch right? I can't wait for this to be over, I'm getting a little hungry,” Labcoat whined.
Alabaster leaned his halberd against his chest and pulled out a ration bar from his pocket. “Miss Labcoat, you had two whole bars over the break. But if you're still hungry, you can have mine.”
The last of the operators stepped out of the precinct which prompted Nearl to raise her hand for everyone to see.
“We're all ready. Move out! Advance formations!” Nearl yelled.
3:28 PM
Training Facility
Jay tapped Alabaster on the back to halt him when he saw Nearl gesture for the captains to get to her position. Nearl's squad was positioned at the end of the wall of a building on the corner of the intersection of the avenue that lead north to the objective.
Once his squad was halted and took a defensive position, Jay moved forward past C1 to Nearl who was kneeling with Aero.
“The enemy's shieldwall is strong. We'll split up into two groups and advance on both sides of the street. With our advantage in snipers and casters, we can afford to engage at range to soften the enemy formation,” Nearl explained.
“I can take my squad across the street,” Jay said.
Nearl nodded. “I'll split my squad to take positions on both sides. Wave, Fast Lane, and Lyric, you're with Jay's squad for now. We open fire on my order.”
Jay nodded and gestured Alabaster to come to him. After a doing the gesture a few times to get Alabaster to come, he eventually arrived with the rest of the squad.
“Alright guys, here's the plan: we're gonna cross the street with some of Nearl's squad and move into range of the enemy shieldwall. From there, we hit them with everything we got to soften them up. Got it?” Jay explained.
“Yep!” Labcoat acknowledged.
“That avenue is too wide and open for us to just cross without being seen. The fighting will probably start as soon as we move,” Spark warned.
“Yeah, you're right. With those shields, it's gonna be hard to see what the enemy's got going on behind them once things get going. Meeka, I want your drone in the air and getting a good view of the entire enemy formation,” Jay said.
Meeka nodded and unfolded her drone that she was carrying like a football. “Got it.”
“Alright, Alabaster, let's get moving,” Jay said while tapping Alabaster's back.
Alabaster started moving up along the sidewalk and stopped once he was right next to Nearl. With two taps in quick succession from Jay, Alabaster started to sprint across the street. The rest of the squad along with several of Nearl's operators sprinted across the street to the right side of the avenue and took up cover positions behind cars, newspaper boxes, or Alabaster.
Once the team was secure and Nearl was beginning to move on the other side of the avenue, Meeka let her drone fly in the air as high as it could.
“They're moving a lot now. Crossbows are lining up behind the shieldwall,” Meeka reported.
“They've spotted us. Move up along the cars,” Jay said while pointing forward.
The operators stayed low along the cars as they moved forward. Ranged operators readied their weapons or primed their arts as the response from the enemy shieldwall was still silence. Suddenly, the shieldwall opened up with the animatronics tilting their shields forward, exposing animatronics with crossbows aiming them straight down the street.
“Take cover!” Nearl yelled.
Jay immediately got as low as he could as crossbow bolts either whizzed by or made loud thuds when they embedded themselves into cars.
“Return fire! Hit the crossbows while they're exposed!” Nearl yelled.
On Jay's side of the street, Spark, Eddron, and E4's caster Wave—a female Cautus—engaged the shieldwall. Bullets, strands of lightening, and crescent waves of destructive arts energy shot down the street from the right.
Jay kept low but slowly made his way up to Alabaster who was standing at the final car of the line before a large gap between it and the next parked car.
“Jay,” Alabaster called. “These are Ursus tactics, more specifically the guard regiments that handle domestic security. I know them well.”
Training to fight an actual military seems above our paygrade. Why Ursus soldiers of all things?
“Alright then, what's next after this?” Jay asked, not hiding the worry in his voice.
“If they either take enough of us out or feel their crossbow fire isn't enough, they'll begin moving down the street to engage us in hand-to-hand combat. They'll advance in an orderly fashion with their shields which will make it hard for us to hit them,” Alabaster answered.
Jay looked down the street and could see the ranged barrage barely making a dent in the shieldwall. Even after a few of the animatronics went down when a lucky shot got through the exposed portions, another animatronic immediately took its place.
“My bullets aren't doing shit to those shields!” Eddron whined.
“Well you're using rubber bullets!” Jay yelled.
Eddron ducked down and reloaded his pistol. “Even if I was using real ones, I still think they wouldn't do shit!”
“My lightening arts aren't doing much to those shields either!” Spark called.
“Wave! What about you?” Jay asked loudly through the sounds of Eddron's gunshots.
Wave was swaying her staff left and right, creating the crescent waves of her arts. “I can knock them over but I need direct hits for a kill!”
“Nearl!” Jay called.
Nearl didn't respond and was busy directing fire with Lukewarm and several of E4's ranged operators. Even after several attempts, the sounds of gunshots and arts drowned out his voice. He contemplated using his receiver to communicate, but even after being compromised, Nearl never gave the order to break radio silence.
Labcoat pulled Meeka down when a crossbow bolt smashed the window of a car she was hiding near. “Watch yourself!”
“Jay! They're bringing up a lot of guys with shields now!” Meeka reported as she regained her bearings.
“Alabaster,” Jay called, “do you think they're gonna start moving on us now?”
Alabaster closed his eyes whenever his shield shook from getting hit by bolts. “With us in two segments instead of taking up the whole street, the Ursus guards would exploit their numbers and advance straight through the middle and then surround both segments.”
“That's not good! We have to warn Nearl!” Jay yelled.
Jay contemplated running across the street but there were still a significant number of enemy crossbows still active. Biting the bullet, Jay put his finger to the receiver in his ear and tried to get as far as he could from Eddron, Spark, and Wave.
“Nearl! I know you didn't give the order to break radio silence yet, but we're in combat! The enemy's getting ready to advance on us! Alabaster says they're using Ursus tactics and will rush straight between us to cut us off from each other!” Jay warned.
“All operators! Begin falling back! Defenders cover the retreat!” Nearl replied.
Alabaster took a prominent position at the front while everyone began moving back. The enemy crossbows immediately rushed out of the shieldwall and formed up into two firing lines with two rows each on both sidewalks, letting out a suppressing barrage by alternating fire between the rows.
With the operators suppressed, Jay took a peek above the hood of a car he was hiding behind to see many of the shield and spear animatronics running forward down the avenue toward them.
Jay looked back at Eddron, Spark, and Wave. “Aim for the shields! Forget the crossbows for now! We can't get cut off!”
The ranged operators did as commanded and turned their fire on the shields who were already taking fire from Nearl's side of the street. As their flanks were exposed, many more animatronics fell from the ranged assault than before. However, there were simply too many and a large number of them managed to run past the defensive positions and begin wrapping around until everyone was surrounded. In a menacing display, the shield animatronics lowered their spears so a wall of thorns preceded their shieldwall.
Everyone stayed still for a moment as the animatronics didn't move, simply waiting with their spears pointed out. Eddron, Spark, and Wave resumed shooting at the animatronics, but there were fewer gaps in the enemy formation and the ones that did fall were easily replaced by another.
“We need someone that can make explosions or something!” Eddron called while shooting his pistol.
Wave and Eddron began to adopt a new tactic where Wave would use her arts to knock down shields or enemies to expose gaps in the shieldwall so Eddron could shoot through. Spark also quickly got in on the action which took down a sizeable portion of the enemy. However, the animatronics adapted and reinforced their line and had the ones at the back row support the ones at the front, preventing them from falling from the force of Wave's arts.
Alabaster started taking several steps back while Fast Lane and Lyric—E4's male Sarkaz guard—fell back to Jay's position.
Jay in a panic tapped Alabaster's shoulder. “What happens now?!”
“They'll choose which side to attack and crush them while keeping the other busy before finishing off the other side with everything,” Alabaster warned, a hint of fear in his voice.
“Meeka! Which side are they focusing on?!” Jay called desperately.
Meeka looked at her drone feed. “They're bringing up lots of shield guys for the other side of the street!”
“Meeka! Where are the enemy crossbows?!” Spark yelled.
“Still where they were! They're not doing anything!” Meeka answered.
“What're you planning,” Jay asked.
Spark climbed up onto a car and immediately shot out a great strand of lightening and let it run along the backs of the enemy shieldwall on Nearl's side of the street. Jay rushed to Meeka's side to see the damage Spark was causing with her rear attack. On the drone feed, plenty of animatronics collapsed which alleviated the pressure as Jay could see Nearl, Aero, and Belt putting in the most effort to hold back the encroaching mob while Chaser and several other E4 operators stayed back to protect the medics.
Jay could see some of the animatronics in the shieldwall on his side of the street moving forward and readying their spears. He rushed to the car Spark was standing on and grabbed her to pull her down. In his haste, he wasn't careful and she ended up falling on him, causing her to land on his stomach which made him groan in pain as it felt like a really bad punch to the gut.
Spark immediately got up and looked back at the five spears that thrust forward at where she was previously standing. After taking stock of herself, she helped Jay sit up while keeping his head low.
“Thanks,” Spark said.
Jay coughed while keeping his hands over his stomach. “No problem.”
“Jay!” Nearl's voice called on his receiver. “Are you in danger of being overrun?!”
Jay put his finger on his receiver. “No, ma'am!”
“Break out of your encirclement and open us an escape route!” Nearl commanded.
“Yes, ma'am!” Jay replied.
Jay looked around at the shieldwall surrounding his side of the street. After their attempt on Spark, the enemy was beginning to advance on them, favouring the sidewalk as the parked cars provided a makeshift wall.
“We gotta break out somehow,” Spark said.
“They don't have that many on us, maybe we could try to rush out and break their line,” Jay said.
Meeka crawled over and showed Jay the drone feed. “It doesn't look good on Nearl's side. They're running out of space with all those spears pointed at them and closing in.”
“If we focus everything on those guys blocking the way behind us, we could break the encirclement and encircle them back!” Spark suggested.
Jay nodded. “Sounds good. But how do we do that?”
“We get Labcoat mad,” Spark said.
“Are you kidding?” Jay asked. “We haven't used that in a long time. How do we know she won't turn around and kill us?”
“Think you can break through on your own?” Spark asked.
Jay reluctantly shook his head. “Alright, but I'm gonna ask Labcoat if it's okay first. Labcoat!”
Labcoat crawled over to Jay, dragging the claws of her gauntlet along the sidewalk.
“What do you need me to do?” Labcoat asked.
“We need you to get mad,” Jay answered bluntly.
Labcoat's eyes widened. “What?”
“We can't break out of here. We need you to do what you do best,” Spark said.
“I dunno guys, I've been working on getting a handle on being angry lately, but it still might not be enough; I might turn on you guys,” Labcoat warned.
“We'll give you a good ol' slap and then quickly get behind you so the first thing you see is the enemy. Will that work?” Spark asked.
Labcoat shrugged. “I don't know.”
“No time to waste, Nearl needs our help now!” Jay called as he stood up and rushed over to the part of the shieldwall blocking their rear.
“Everyone form up on Jay!” Spark called.
Wave and Eddron stopped engaging for a moment and joined Jay while Alabaster covered Fast Lane and Lyric as they retreated to Jay's position.
Labcoat walked to the front of the spearhead the operators were forming and took a deep breath as the spears from the enemy shieldwall got closer. Jay got in front of Labcoat and looked at her, receiving a reluctant nod from her.
“Let me stand behind her, if Miss Labcoat cannot control herself and turns on us, I will use my shield to protect you,” Alabaster declared.
Jay smiled. “That's real brave of you, Alabaster.”
Jay raised his hand to give Labcoat a slap but hesitated, even with the tips of the enemy spears getting dangerously close.
Damn it! I can't bring myself to hit a girl, especially when she's got a deadly weapon that could kill me really quickly!
Suddenly, Spark stepped in front of Jay and gave Labcoat two slaps in quick succession before pulling Jay behind Alabaster.
“Ah! Bitch!” Labcoat exclaimed. “I thought Jay was going to do it?!”
Labcoat immediately turned around and raised her gauntlet at Alabaster's shield, prompting a whimper from him. However, she immediately stepped out of the way of an incoming spear and let out a ferocious battlecry at the animatronics before turning to them and charging them instead.
“Oh thank god she's fighting the enemy! Move forward!” Jay called.
Labcoat grabbed a shield and pulled it away from her so she could claw the exposed animatronic. Taking advantage of the gap before it could be filled, she dived in and mercilessly dug her claws into anything around her, making an even bigger gap.
Jay charged forward with his spear and dug it straight into an animatronic that was turning to respond to Labcoat. Other melee operators joined in and soon the encirclement was broken with Eddron, Spark, Wave, and Meeka rushing away from the fighting to set up a firing line.
Jay looked behind him and saw the animatronics advancing on him from the other side of the sidewalk were charging forward.
“Go! I will handle them!” Alabaster yelled while he turned around and stuck the shaft of his halberd into the slot of his shield and planted it on the ground.
With Alabaster holding the enemies trying to advance along the sidewalk, everyone spread out along the avenue and formed a new battle line while a way out opened for Nearl's team thanks to ranged fire.
Operators from C1 and E4 poured out of the gap while Nearl was the last to leave, swatting away spears and shields alike with her warhammer. Without the enemy encirclement, it was an actual battle between two sides instead of a trap. It was hard to move around with the dozens upon dozens of shattered animatronics laying on the ground; operators and animatronics alike almost tripped over the wreckage of the once formidable enemy shieldwall.
The enemy animatronics started to fall back and form a new line from one side of the street to the other. Labcoat tried to run after them alone but Jay was able to catch up with her and get a few pats to the back of her head.
“Did we win?” Labcoat asked as she turned around and inspected the wreckage.
“Almost,” Jay said while pointing at the remaining enemies and catching his breath.
With the enemy shieldwall rebuilt, everyone hesitated and waited as they watched the massive wall of shields and spears. Even if they wanted to move, many of the operators looked tired from the sudden burst of fighting and were catching their breath or covering others that needed to.
“Ranged operators! Get on the cars!” Nearl yelled.
The enemy had gave enough ground that they were a respectable distance away from the closest cars to the operators' battle line. Spark, Eddron, Lukewarm, and E4's ranged operators climbed onto cars and started shooting at the shieldwall or crossbows still holding back.
“There's not that many of them left! We get these guys and the crossbows and we're clear!” Meeka called after looking up from her drone feed.
Arts, arrows, bolts, and bullets thrashed the enemy line. While the shields held well, the few shots that shot over the shields were able to hit the animatronics standing behind the front row.
“Watch for crossbow return fire!” Jay warned.
The ranged operators immediately got on their knees or moved onto the hoods of the cars they stood on to prevent the enemy crossbows from getting a good shot on them. As more and more spears dropped, Jay could see Chaser rolling her shield on wheels to the front of the operator battle line.
“Captain! I think it's about time we do that thing I wanted to try!” Chaser yelled.
Aero ran up to Chaser. “Now?”
“Come on, Captain, you always said in training we didn't need it but I think we need it now,” Chaser argued.
“What's your plan?” Nearl asked as she approached.
“We take my shield on wheels and push it as hard as we can right into that shieldwall like a wrecking ball,” Chaser explained with a smile on her face.
Jay watched the enemy animatronics attempt to have the ones at the rear hold their shields up high to protect against ranged attacks. Their inability to have a shield up along the entire line was a good sign.
“The enemy line's gotten really small. I think it could work,” Jay said.
Nearl nodded. “Clear a path through the wreckage for Chaser's shield!”
Defenders moved forward while the ranged operators continued shooting so everyone else could start dragging away the destroyed animatronics. Within minutes, a lane had been cleared to the enemy shieldwall.
“I need some really strong operators to get this thing moving!” Chaser called as she readied herself on the little platform behind her shield.
“Belt! You're up!” Aero yelled.
Jay waved at Alabaster. “Alabaster! You too!”
“Everyone be ready to move as soon as Chaser's shield launches at the enemy,” Nearl commanded.
Alabaster and Belt put down their weapons and each grabbed a side of Chaser's shield.
“On my command,” Nearl said as she raised her shield.
A sudden golden light burst out of her which almost blinded Jay and forced him to close his eyes and cover his face. Even before he could open his eyes, he felt reinvigorated, not needing to catch his breath anymore and the aches in his arms from all the fighting he did had dissipated.
Nearl pointed her warhammer at the enemy. “Now!”
Alabaster and Belt ran forward with Chaser's shield in tow. As they gained more speed, Chaser's shield began to lag behind the two of them which started to make their ensemble look like a slingshot. When they were close enough, Belt yelled something which made him and Alabaster immediately stop and push Chaser's shield forward to launch it at the enemy.
“Charge!” Nearl yelled as she ran ahead.
Jay went after her followed by everyone else. Just as planned, Chaser's shield smashed through the shieldwall and created a large gap that was immediately exploited by the snipers and casters. The enemy began falling back to reform a new line but had become disorderly due to their lack of numbers. More and more gaps formed that were also shot through by the ranged operators.
“Snipers and casters! Focus your fire on the enemy crossbows now!” Nearl ordered as she was the first to arrive at the enemy line and engage.
Jay let out a yell as he charged forward with his spear. He was only able to run it into an enemy shield but kept the animatronic busy enough for Labcoat to run past and claw it in the side. The enemy battle line had finally collapsed completely and the snipers and casters were finishing with mopping up the crossbows. Soon, the battlefield was clear as the remaining animatronics either retreated or were a pile of scrap metal at the feet of the operators.
“To the objective! Advance formations!” Nearl called as she moved forward with her squad.
Jay hastily gathered his team back into their advancing formation and followed E4 and C1 to the tunnel at the end of the avenue that lead to the other side of the battlefield. The moment Eddron—who was at the rear of the formation—stepped into the tunnel, a buzzer sounded which signalled the end of the exercise. Along with the buzzer was a green light that turned on above a door at the end of the tunnel.
Everyone began clapping, cheering, and patting each other on the backs. Jay collapsed his spear back into a baton and put it in his pocket before wiping the sweat off his brow. He looked around at his team who were all relieved the exercise was over.
“I definitely got more than you,” Eddron boasted to Spark.
I doubt it, but you've definitely gotten a lot better at shooting, Eddron.
Spark rolled her eyes. “You really think so? I defi- You know what? I'll let you have this one.”
Atta girl. Way to deal with those competitive impulses of yours.
“That was actually quite exciting,” Alabaster said, “I'm glad we made it through.”
You definitely got a little scared throughout this whole thing, but you've definitely come a long way, big guy.
Jay looked at Meeka and smiled. “Your drone was very helpful. You did a good job.”
“Thanks,” Meeka said softly as she hovered her drone in front of her so she could take it and fold it back up, her cheeks starting to turn red.
Looks like she's starting to care.
Labcoat took off her gauntlet and sighed from exhaustion. “I wonder what they've got in the cafeteria tonight.”
Heh, always thinking about food. At least she's taking the junk food restrictions well now.
Jay couldn't help but smile. Today's exercise was the most intense and difficult mission they ever took part in, especially since both sides used actual weapons and yet they prevailed. As a bonus, they most definitely made a great impression on Nearl and her squad. Still, he did have a strange feeling about having to go up against tactics employed by actual armed forces.
He wanted to wave it off as some sort of challenge mode in training, but the regulation of diets and formation of Element E4 gave him the sneaking suspicion this wouldn't be the last time he would encounter military tactics.
“Hey, Jay,” Spark called.
Jay turned to Spark. “Yeah?”
“Thanks for saving me back there,” Spark said with a smile.
Jay shrugged while adopting the coolest expression he could muster. “Anytime.”
There's a chance!
A softer-sounding buzzer caught everyone's attention as the door at the end of the tunnel opened to reveal Dobermann stepping out with a clipboard.
“Impressive for a first run,” Dobermann started, looking over a few sheets of paper on her clipboard. “You took a bit longer than I would've liked but I am satisfied with how the element worked together to overcome the odds we put against you. I want you all to run the operation again, this time, take a different route.”
Ah shit, here we go again.
Groans of displeasure came mostly from the reserve operators.
“No complaints! Let's get back to the starting area!” Nearl yelled.
submitted by Stevenasaurus to arknights [link] [comments]

2020.09.13 14:09 Aussie_Mantis How do I play British Tanks? Tea Bias and Masochism- British 2.7-5.7: An Aussie Mantis Review.

How do I play British Tanks? Tea Bias and Masochism- British 2.7-5.7: An Aussie Mantis Review.

Section 0: Important stuffs.

Guess who's back. Back again. Manti's back. Tell a friend. Or really just u/Verb_Noun_Number, who enjoys reading these reviews, of which I have done precisely one other. I have no credidentials for this. I am not some God of War. I am not a 6-trillion-years-of-tank-playtime player. I simply honestly enjoy British 3.0/3.74.0/4.7/5.3, and I want to teach people what I know from those BRs so that they may enjoy it too, as many people have difficulty playing at these BRs. This will not be a short post.
Now, first off, a disclaimer. I'm not the best tanker, nor the best pilot. If you see something you believe is wrong, tell me, and I'll see what I can do about it.
This post was made in response to u/thermicterror 's post on, "how do British Tanks compete at higher tiers?" I was intending on writing a nice, short little comment. The user claims that british tanks aren't fun to play above 2.7 and for that reason, they have stated that they will not play until Gaijin makes them "more fun to play", but... I know for a fact that they indeed are fun to play, as long as you have your head screwed on.

I realised that maybe- JUST MAYBE- some other people could benefit from this, so I decided to write a larger post. Fueled by tea and some Chicken Crimpy-flavoured Shapes, and in between watching John Scorese flicks and Blackadder... I began to write.

Table of contents:

Section I: Introductory Preamble
Section II: Dr. Solid Shot
Section III: Tactics and Tricks
  • Subsection A: How to into run away?
  • Subsection B: How Pley Chorchell?
Section IV: Doing your Lineups

Section I: Introductory Preamble

Or, the one where Mantis tells you his Life's Story.
A scene from when I was grinding this account for the first time...
And here I am now... a million miles away. Don't ask where all my GE went or you'll be disgusted at how much premium time and how many low-tier premiums I've been buying.
When I was a young boy grinding out the British Tree for the first time, there was only one thing that I had in mind- Garth Ennis's Battlefields series, or more exactly, the three arcs he wrote on British Tanks- Tankies (featuring a Churchill Mk IV/VII in France, 1944), The Firefly and his Majesty (Rhineland, Late '44/Early '45, No points for figuring out what that was written about) and The Green Fields Beyond (Centurion Mk III in Korea, 1952, featuring the Glosters). These all had the same character- this guy called Sargeant Stiles- who had been in practically every tank that the British had ever done, and, to quote him and his Geordie accent- "Ah've had ev'ry single woon o' them shot oot frae under me."
I remember the scene where he and another veteran from the Second World War- his Tank Squadron's commander- discuss taking a crack at a Tiger II with the gun on the Centurion III, and about its armour- and seeing as my family history is deeply involved with the Korean War and the War in Vietnam, where the Aussies would once more take the Centurion into battle against the NVA and the Viet Cong, I decided that I wanted it. The only thing that stood between me and that was the entirety of the British tree.
I was so sure that the grind would be so easy, and indeed it was good to a point. I got my Crusaders straight off the bat, along with the Daimler AC II and the valentine I, and learned to love them. I even could say that I had a whole 1:1 K/D in the Crusader III. Looking back now, that's... hardly something to brag about, especially now at level 100, but at the time... it was everything. I felt invincible.
Then I hit the cromwells and something inside me just died. Now, keep in mind- this was long, long before the Crusaders and the Valentine I were tier II, the Stuart I and III didn't exist at all, the Matilda III was a tier II tank that stood alone, the Val XI and IX were unfoldered, and I really had no idea what I was doing. My typical game plan was:
My extreme tactical prowess on display. Mind-bogglingly complex, I know.
Understandeably, I was flanked, backstabbed, and very much bamboozled. I would spawn in my cromwell only to die to something I couldn't see, spawn in my crusader and die again, and then in my A13 3RTR and die yet again. I shot at enemies and they never died on the first hit, and for some reason every time they shot at me, I got one-shotted immediately, and those (at the time) annoying little russian fleabags in their T-34s sat in points laughing as bounced 6-pounder shell after 6-pounder shell off their UFP, before they just stopped, stared and then I disappeared off the face of the earth. Years onward, I tried again. Again, I got to the same point with the Cromwell and the Crusader, and then died horribly. I gave up entirely because it simply wasn't fun.
Eventually, though... I came back. Here's the story of how I learned to love Britain.

Section II: Dr Solid Shot

Or, how I Learned to Stop Panicking and Aim for the Turret.

Pop Quiz!

You popped around a corner, and then a wild tank appeared and now it's staring quite threateningly at you and yet it has not fired yet. You are now in a situation that we experienced players call, "having a significant emotional event". Which of these would you do?

A: Panic. B: Panic and shoot at his general area to drive him off and hopefully hit. C: Give up and hold J to bail out D: "Oh, wait a minute. He's stopped. He's given up!" E: "DRIVER, REVERSE! REVEEEEERSE!" F: Aim at the turret and shoot G: Aim at the front plate and shoot.

Through careful scientific determination of people's responses to Significant Emotional Events in War Thunder Ground RB, I have determined that the most common things that people do are, in order, A, B, and E.
G and F are the most uncommon. As easy as it sounds, it's surprisingly hard to actually calm down and aim properly when you're panicking, which is generally the standard reaction of most players when you find something in front of you or something hits you. With most tanks, if you shoot, you penetrate and you immediately one-shot, because har har, HE filler. It's kind of like FPSes. You pop around the corner and you find someone, so you shoot back in their vicinity with your Generic FPS SpunkGargleWeeWee Level 42069++ xX_Assault_Rifle_Xx, backpedalling faster than a sane man from a Coronavirus Party, and hope you don't die.
(Again, much like the sane man running from the Coronavirus party.)

Unfortunately for you, you're British. One of the most distinguishing factors of the British Tree is its near-complete reliance on Solid Shot. Prior to the addition of the (quite frankly useless) 2-pounder APHE, the only explosive-filler rounds in the entire british tech tree were found on the Sherman II (an improved M4A1 with APCBC(HE) and T45 APCR). The rest of the APHE was found on the A1E1 Independent (Gunboat Diplomacy at its finest) and the Grant I (An M3 Lee with a roomier turret in the British Tree). Even now with the 2-pounder APHE, Solid shot is frankly just better to use, because 2-pounder APHE does less damage than the 2-pounder AP as the explosion doesn't create an appreciably larger number of fragments. This same issue in real life was the entire reason why the British eschewed explosive filler in favour of solid shot, in combination with a defective batch or two of M61 75mm shot making the shells act more like HE.
Aiming is tantamount, and frankly, when you're a new player to ground, it's hard to aim properly at the turret in an acceptable time frame in order to get the firepower kill on the enemy before they shoot half your crew out and leave you as a pillbox/expensive mobile roadblock/a burning wreck. However, when you're panicking, it's hard to breathe, shoot back, and aim while you're doing it. You need to get yourself into routines. You need procedures to fall back on, especially when you've gotten shot at by an enemy and you have NO CLUE how to react. As I keep saying- British tanks cannot simply shoot back at an enemy and get an instantaneous one-shot. You need to respond and aim, instead of reacting and just shooting, so start establishing these Standard Operating Procedures. as you go. My personal one is S I R I U S.
S top and breathe. Calm down and start looking for a way out. I dentify Direction in which the enemy is. Look for the gunsmoke/tracemuzzle flash. R everse/advance to cover (whichever is closer). I dentify target. U se your brain/rangefinder and aim properly, preferably at the enemy's turret/gun. S hoot.

These kinds of routines, once you drill it into yourself, with practice, become second nature. You'll be shooting back and getting kills in no time, tanker.
A tank is a relatively large armoured block with a gun and an engine. Without an engine, it becomes a pillbox, without a gun, it is a mobile radio vehicle, without either it is a rather top-heavy metal paperweight. You need to disable these to make it a sitting duck (top-heavy roadblock).
To do this, you need to know where to aim, especially with solid shot- you need to fire at places that get kill the gunner first, and preferably the driver at the same time, so you can finish off. For this- Protection analysis is amazing. Click on any tank and go to "customization" or "preview". Check that the sidebar is open and set the tab to display "armour".
Just below it all is a tab called "Protection Analysis", with which you can view all the different ways in which you can shoot at a tank. You can change the gun you're shooting at it with and the tank that is shooting, as well as looking at all the different types of ammunition it has. 500m is typically a nice standard engagement range. However, most fights do happen from below 400, especially if you're defending a capture point like the northern points on Jungle. I typically set it to 700 because I favour sniping and long-distance defensive engagement. Let rip. Keep in mind that you won't typically get a nice front-on shot so be prepared for that too! Using this tool, you can discover some weak spots on an enemy tank that you can shoot at! These include but are not limited to:
This really flat bit on the StuG IIIG (kills the driver, gunner and commander in one shot with solid shot 17 pr, or even 6-pounder in some cases.
This section of the Panther's hull just below that bevel is vulnerable to APDS from the Comet/Challenger. One good hit there kills the Driver, Gunner and engine in one fell swoop, and can also kill the commander and loader if you aim right.
The fat turret ring on a T-34 (instant firepower kill due to disabling turret ring)

Section III: Tactics and Tricks

Or, "what in Tesco's name is a reverse gear? I just want a rock."

In this section, I will discuss tactics and... things you can do. General tips that you'll get from everywhere apply- things like "use the binoculars from behind cover to see things in front of you", "Don't charge across open fields in a straight line or you'll die to snipers", "Take less than 30 rounds of ammo, or typically around 20-25" and "be careful around forested areas" not withstanding.

Regarding crew skills- the same applies for any tank crew here. Keen vision is not important, field repair is a "meh" priority- it's good to have, but it shouldn't take precedence over the Big Four- Targeting/Rangefinding for your gunner,weapon reloading for your loader, and Leadership for your TC. The first three are life-and-death, and the fourth boosts all of them.

At 2.7, most guns you face are 50mm and below, but once you breach 3.0/3.3, you start meeting things like T-34s and panzer IV F2s, which have formidable 75/76mm guns that can practically obliterate you with one shot if you're not careful and you overexpose- and there's half the battle. Play conservatively- not aggressively. Most of your tanks have paper armour and you generally only have decent mobility and a good gun going for you, which means that you're fucked as soon as you exit covego into anywhere open without a plan for what you're doing, since you can't one-shot anything from the side unless you hit an ammo rack, and you absolutely need to aim at specific parts of enemy tanks in order to get a kill, unlike with other tanks at the same BR such as the aforementioned Panzer IV and T-34. The point is that aiming matters- and since your gun reloads fast, you can typically put two shots into the enemy when they've only managed to fire one and start reloading for the next follow-up shot.
In game, as in real life, the British often have some of the most capable anti-tank weapons with high penetration values compared to other guns at their tier- a stand-out example is having a 17-pounder gun at 3.0 and 4.0, BRs where most guns struggle to penetrate above 100/150mm, much less nearly 200mm of penetration, and having a 6-pounder at 2.7- a BR where most armour is still around the 40mm-50mm mark, and you can punch just over the hundred and twenty millimeter mark. However, none of these shells have APHE. Also, as a general rule, if it's got a good gun for its BR, typically the armour is absolute dogshit.
Britain thus rewards you for aiming well at weak spots, knowing what part of an enemy tank is which, figuring out where to shoot the Big Scary Fat Man to ammo rack him/get a firepower kill, and typically if you aim right and have the experience you'll be getting one-shot after one-shot as comically large/fast/high-penetration shells for the BR go in one side of an enemy tank and out the other, or kill the driver, the gunner and the commander and then (of all things) destroys the engine too, because fuck your ability to run away or fight back, you stay right the fuck there and take this second follow-up shot in a ridiculously short reload time as I sip my tea, please and thankyou. What do I mean by "comically short"? The 2-pounder reloads in less than 3 seconds, the 6-pounder on the Crusader and Churchill in 4 seconds sharp, the 17-pounder in 5.9 and the 3.7-inch QF gun on the QF Ram at 5.3 that fires a full-bore 94mm shell penetrating 204mm/8in. of armour in 6 seconds. You don't need to bother with worrying too much about KILLING the tank on the first shot, because if you at least get a firepower kill, you'll be able to follow it up with a second shot relatively quickly.

Subsection A: How do I actually run away?

Or, "How do I use a 3km/h reverse gear?"

Something you may have noticed from the Cromwell is that British tanks should not ever reverse.
Want to have fun with British tanks? Don't charge headlong into the fray. Or, for the visual learners amongst you...
What a fucking surprise. Younger me's tactical brilliance was in fact mistaken. Who could've ever known?
Since you play Britain, you need to keep your situational awareness up. While it may be tempting to take your cromwell/Crusader and rush a point and shooty shooty bang bang, this is tantamount to suicide with your thin armour and inability to run in the other direction away from cover. Don't rush the point. Don't head STRAIGHT towards the gunfire at maximum speed or you'll just get thwacked.
As a famed British Philosopher once said in his famed treatise on the meaning of life-
Don't do it, don't you try it baby, Don't do that, don't-don't-don't, Don't do that, You got a good thing going now, Don't do it, don't do it, don't- Don't try suicide, Nobody's worth it! Don't try suicide, Nobody cares! Don't try suicide, You're just gonna hate it! Don't try suicide, Nobody gives a damn!
- Freddy Mercury, "The Game", Chapter 7, 1980.

But how does one... not commit suicide?

Something you may have encountered is that in forested areas you get blasted by tanks that are well-camouflaged, and the first you know of their existence is when their shell smacks into you. How do you defend against something like that? The thing with this is that you just need to look hard. Don't be the first to push- and if you are, look around real hard. Dead giveaways of enemy tanks include random barrels sticking out of bushes, antennae sticking out from behind rocks or near trees that there shouldn't be, and of course, smoke kicked up by a muzzle flash. Generally, they won't be moving, either, so aim carefully and shoot. Use the binoculars and sniper scopes to confirm whether they are tanks or not. The first few times you do these you'll be playing a game that I used to play, called, "Is that bush/rock a tank?" Sometimes you'll jump at shadows and shoot at rocks and bushes, but with practice, you'll be able to spot and destroy the enemy before they do the same to you.

In urban areas, stop and look both ways before you cross the street.
No, seriously.
Pictured: Your Churchill after you don't look both ways on a street in Vietnam, Advance to the Rhine, Berlin or any other map with streets and junctions.
When you're going towards a point, often you don't expect that little @#*$ing @%$* @$+^% #&$*@&!!!! who parked in a spot just around the corner who you don't see and get sidepenned by. Especially with British tanks, whose tanks already aren't known for their particularly impressive armour- with the exception of the Big Boys like the Matilda in Tier II and the Churchill III/VII in Tier III- you need to check both sides of the street before you cross. Stop just behind a junction and use freelook- typically bound to C, but in my case it is bound to Alt for easier thumbing- to look on both sides. Is it clear? Then cross and go wherever you need to go. Is it not clear? Traverse your turret in the direction of the enemy and push carefully. Especially with the thinly-armoured cruiser tanks (Cromwell, Sherman, Challenger, Avenger, Crusader etc etc) you might actually just be better off finding a way around. You're a cruiser tank. You go fast. Unlike many other tanks you have the leeway to zip around. But what if you're driving a tank that doesn't have that leeway?This leads perfectly into my next point.

Subsection B: How Pley Chorchell?

One of the main things I come across on WT forums and reddit is people saying that the Churchills are dogshit and Britain only has viable sniper tanks, which... well, let me explain.

At first glance, the Churchills do not look like heavy tanks at a BR where the next competitors for the role- the KV-1 ZiS-5- has one hundred millimeters of armour (flat). Unlike the KVs, whose guns can pen a lot of things at 4.3 or at least do acceptable post-pen damage when it does, the 4.0 Churchill only has 89mm of completely flat, unsloped armour with an awkwardly large gap for the MG port, and the 57mm gun only fires solid-shot AP that doesn't spall enough to do any damage beyond the place you fire at. The III plays more like a beefy, slow medium tank than a true heavy thanks to this, but if you angle, you can bounce german 75mm shells all day. The turret's flat armour is however a glaringly large weakspot that you need to protect, so don't think you can stick around for long in a hot zone. The armour will hold for as long as you need to reverse into cover.

The 4.7 one is subject to uptiers where the Jumbo and German Big Cats reign supreme, and the 75mm gun at 4.7 cannot penetrate much. The armour, when flat and unangled, is absolutely horrible and vulnerable to anything with a gun that has a caliber above 75mm, including tigers, panthers and the other german big cats.

Both Churchills need support from tanks with bigger guns to succeed, and typically you should squad with one person in an achilles and one in a churchill, so that you have a decent mix of guns and if you can't pen it, the Achilles will. The Achilles can lag behind and cover a narrow field of view in front of you while you leave light tanks/medium tanks to clear the flanks around you, and if you find something, designate the target and your pet achilles can roll up and take it out. Just like in real life.

With the Churchill, angle your hull. This can at the very least double the amount of protection you have against the enemy, or do funny things like:

Yes, you are reading right- that says 984mm of protection against one of the best guns at its BR. Nothing says \"Fuck you, I'm staying here\" than nearly a metre of armour.
When in an open area in any churchill- keep your enemies between 10:30-11:30, and 12:30-1:30. These angles maximise the amount of armour that you show to the enemy, and the 10:30-11:30 position allows you to shield your machine-gun port from the enemy- a weakspot universal on both churchills, and even the premium German version.

If you're in a Churchill... sidescrape or front-bait, depending on the BR. Generally, it'll be sidescraping (especially with the Churchill III) but if you're in a downtier against 4.7s with the VII, you can risk the front-bait. The only thing at that BR getting through you frontally is a Panzer IV/70 (A), one of the italian 90mms (when you're close and unangled), or a Flak 88 on the German Flakbus. The Churchill III simply does not have the frontal armour to withstand a hit from the 88mm or the 90mm, but with luck can stand up to the long 75 that the Germans have.
1 and 2 indicate the different phases. Dotted lines shows shooting, solid arrows movement.
While you're behind adequate cover, the enemy cannot shoot at you. While angled, the enemy cannot easily pen you. Aim for the turret/gun so that you can make the most out of the relatively small guns for your BR that the Churchills have. The 6-pounder is a little long in the tooth at 4.0 against heavier opposition (KVs and sometimes StuGs at certain angles), and at 4.7 the 75mm is a joke, useful only against the odd KV-1(C), M4 Tipo ICs, the odd Panzer IV and Sturer Emil, and Panzer IV 70 (A)s when they expose that large flat 80mm portion of their comically tall casemate.

To front-bait, angle and advance forward out of cover, covering the weak-spot on the left side of the hull (MG Port) by angling that side towards the enemy (the massive trackguards cover it up, making it harder to spot). Keep your turret angled and only when the enemy has shot their rounds, shoot back, so that they don't penetrate the flat armour on your turret. Front-bait with the enemy to your left in order to hide your MG port.

To sidescrape, angle and reverse out of cover, letting that thick side armour ricochet most of the enemy's shots, and again, keep your turret angled. Shoot back once they've shot their piece. Side-scrape with the enemy to your right in order to hide your MG port.

Move one track forward and the other one back Fuckin' slide around like on a Nordic Track Bait to the left, Scrape to the right, Angle your turret and go into the fight. It's the- It's the- It's the Churchie dance~

Section IV: Lineups above 2.7


At 3.3 and 3.7, you don't really have much choice. There is a 3.0 lineup that you can make consisting of the Valentine IX, Archer and the Churchill Gun Carrier (which plays like a tall churchill with good armour for its BR, neutral steering and a decent gun), but people mostly go for the 3.7 lineup, which is Cromwells, a single solitary sherman, and not much else unless you want to uptier the Archer or Valentine. The basic instinct that players have is to add the new shiny tank to their lineup Now, Now, now, and quite frankly for Britain you cannot do that as uptiers are already bad enough, and uptiering above certain BRs crosses armour boundaries that your tank cannot penetrate, which is where you start to have issues, since in the slower tanks (Valentines for the most part) you can't flank because they're so slow and their armour becomes literally useless. Starting at 4.0 you have an excellent lineup with a 17 pounder and a 6-pounder, and the 4.7 lineup is pretty good too, as is 5.3- but the thing is, notice how I say lineup. If you bring 4.0s into 4.7, you're gonna have a bad time. Let alone 3.7s. I've seen terrible lineups, such as a Sherman Firefly paired with both Cromwells or the Valentines (an excuse to die instantly to Big Cats), and things you'd never believe, like the 4.0 Churchill in a 5.3 lineup because their user "forgot" to grind out the 4.7 one, which is the only one with armour that even stands a chance at that BR. So, since this post is already long enough- here are my lineups and what each tank is used for. If you would like me to be more specific about anything, just ask me.
Matilda III: Heavy/Medium tank used for pushing points. No angling due to weak spots on sloped frontal armour. 40mm gun is 50/50 at 2/7 and often causes more problems than it alleviates.
Crusader III: Light tank that has the gun of a medium tank. An excellent point capper, with an amazing gun but bad armour. Stay mobile and move from one position to the other, and if possible stay in urban, cluttered or forested areas where you can use your low profile and good gun to get snapshots on enemy tanks (Urban/cluttered) or snipe enemies from afar with the good gun (forests) while staying hidden from the enemy and out of the open due to your thin armour. Also gets active scouting so that's another reason to stay on the move.
Hurricane Mk IV: 40mm CAS that is good at killing anything it sees, best used with 500m convergence with Vertical Targeting. Can be substituted for the Hurricane Mk IIB/trop, which has 12 7.7mms (best used with 300 or 400m convergence) and 6 RP-3 rockets that can one-shot anything... if it hits. This is hard for new players and hence why I encourage use of the Mark IV, as it uses guns.
Valentine XI: 75mm gun tank that is useful for sniping, capping points and when angled is a decent medium tank. The tank itself has a solid turret which is hard to penetrate, but the hull has some funny parts and weak spots you'll need to deal with. Always keep your enemy between 10-11/1-2 o'clock to maximize your armour. The tank is slow and will not reach cap points first and has weak side armour, so watch your flanks and peek around corners carefully. It can't front-bait too well but it can sidescrape decently if you get past the 2.8km/h reverse gear. This tank is a glass cannon due to its weird armour (when not angled) and the fact that it only has three crew. If the enemy gets a solid hit on the turret, you're out, so be careful!
Valentine I: same as the Val XI, but with a worse turret and gun but better side armour.
Crusader II: Crusader III but with worse gun and better turret and a front MG secondary turret that tends to catch APHE rounds and shield your main fighting compartment. If possible, angle it towards the enemy- it's worth losing a crewmember to protect the rest of the people in your tank.
AEC AA: Good AAA but also decent at killing tanks from the side if you decide to run around being annoying.
Wellington: Can be switched out for another tank (typically the Valentine XI). Carries the 4000lbs bomb which can clear a cap point assuming you get to the target.
Archer: Excellent sniping tank with an easy escape: you just drive forwards to go backwards. The gun is amazing. However, the tank needs a bit of range and a bit of cover to perform well as the tank's armour is absolutely pitiful, even with the volumetric armour update (which doesn't affect it that much).
Valentine IX: The same as the XI but with a better gun and no MG. It also has a much better turret.
Cromwell I/V: Essentially the same tank but the V has a worse gun. These tanks should be used like light tanks/oversized crusaders since their armour is absolutely pitiful. There's a reason why these 1944 tanks fight mostly '41-'43 tanks. Stay mobile, stay behind cover, make sure you look both ways before crossing the street, stay out of the open as much as possible. These tanks cannot reverse and if you need to go backwards, either neutral-steer around and do it, or go forwards towards another bit of cover instead. For their BRs, the gun is decent but it's still completely solid shot.
Sherman II: Dogshit. Sucks balls and I hate it. Has APHE but that's about it- the armour is a slightly better M4A1 hull with a slightly smaller 20mm weakspot on the hull roof. It still gets penned by wirbelwinds frontally and fortunately it doesn't have the 38.1mm sides that aren't worth shit. The .50 caliber machine gun is useful against low-flying aircraft and lightly-armoured targets like the annoying R3s and Pumas you come across at this BR, but against those types of hull-breakable ground targets there's no reason you shouldn't just shoot at them with the main gun.
Crusader AA MK II: A beefier AEC AA on the Crusader III Chassis.
Hellcat Mk II: A premium that carries 2*1000lbs bombs and 6 HVARs (which pen less but are easier to aim than RP-3s) as well as fifty-cals. Good performance against air targets and ground targets. Can be switched out for the Beaufighter Mk 21, which carries 8 RP-3s, 4 .50 cals and 4 Hispano Mk IIs, which is heavy but packs a formidable punch.
Churchill III: Decent armour for its BR, and a good gun, but should not be used without support from lighter tanks or from vehicles with bigger guns. Explained in depth above in Section III, subsection B.
Achilles: Good sniper tank with a low profile. Go hull-down behind defilades and typically in areas with lots of bushes to hide yourself, and let rip at an enemy. There is nothing at 4.0 that your gun will not penetrate and frankly it's just a meme. The armour is thin and the ammo is all in the side of the hull, and the turret does not rotate very fast, as well as being open top- watch out for enemy air attack, don't stay in one place too long, and play defensively. Don't stick your nose into areas you shouldn't when you could be firing at the enemy from far away with your excellent gun ballistics. Support your team from the rear by throwing 17 pounders at pesky sniping tanks that're bothering them, and use your decent maneuverability to get into good spots that overlook cap points or strategic choke points, or wherever your teammates happen to be pushing. Keep an eye on your flanks, though! You're a favorite target for Pumas, R3s and other mobile tanks, and if people recognize you, they'll make you a priority target due to your big gun.
Hellcat Mk II: Can be switched out for the Firefly Mk V when necessary at this BR, which carries 16 RP-3s- which is a significant load. However, as stated before- RP-3s are harder to aim than bombs or guns.
Tempest Mk V (Vickers P): A Hurricane IV for 4.0-5.7. At this BR its performance (the FM is the same as the 5.7 Tempest V) is ridiculous.
I kept the Achilles here because it has the same gun and there was no other 4.7 tank I could shove in.
Sherman Firefly/Sherman IC "Trzyniec": Excellent sniper tank with decent armour (when it has the additional armour package). The IC has extra armour on the side of the hull and most importantly in front of the gunner on the turret.
Avenger: A cromwell with a 17 pounder. Use it as such. It can be played like a more mobile M10 with turret traverse and roof armour if need be, but just be aware that if you ahve to push poitns or run around a city flanking and spanking, it can do so. Absolutely ridiculous on urban maps where you can zip around alleyways and appear in the enemy's rear or flank when they least expect it, but since it is a Cromwell (or at least the Chassis is a variant thereof), don't pretend to be a heavy tank.
Churchill VII: Heavier Churchill III. The gun is pitiful, and the armour amazing- be at the head of a push but don't go without support from your allies. Again, described in Section III, Subsection B.
Crusader AA Mk I: Has a Bofors and can now penetrate 72mm of armour if it has to, but it's still better as an AA aircraft. Fires slower than the Mk II but rewards more per hit- it's down to playstyle as to which Crusader AA you bring in.
Typhoon Mk Ib/Mk Ib/Late : Good CAS aircraft with RP-3s and Hispanos. Can be switched for the Brigand B1 or the Hellcat F II or the Firefly Mk V if you deem it necessary.
QF 3.7-inch Ram: An excellent ground gift vehicle from Operation Frost 2019-2020. The vehicle has an excellent gun and amazing armour penetration with the ability to slice through neraly 8 inches of armour with little to no effort, but unlike sabot it has trouble going through the front hull of panthers.
Comet I: First British tank you'll encounter with Sabot and thus the first one that can do the Two-Step Good-bye to Panthers- aim at the bevel on the side of the hull where the two holes in the turret are, kill the driver, gunner and commander in one strike, reload in 6 seconds and finish off on the other side of the hull. Still a cromwell hull but with a very good gun mantlet, especially after volumetric armour update- Go hull-down if possible so your hull isn't exposed, and stay at range. Cap points where necessary but don't overextend, and peek well around corners so that you don't get a nasty surprise. Play this like a cromwell with an even better gun.
Brigand B1: Heavy CAS option with a massive payload of 2*1000lbs bombs, or 2*500lbs bombs with 16 RP-3s. Excellent at demolishing enemy tanks. It also has dive brakes, which helps, and four hispano Mk Vs for taking on Me-410s. It's still not a fighter, though, and it will have trouble dealing with more maneuverable enemies.
Sea Fury FB 11: Lighter CAS option that carries 2*500lbs bombs or 12 RP-3s or 4 Triplex RP-3s. I haven't gotten the Triplexes yet, but with the RP-3s, generally you don't need to load them, as the 12 RP-3s still work at this BR from top-down shots that are much easier to aim than the side-on shots that the other aircraft can do. This plane also swats 190s and yaks out of the skies with ease with its maneuverability, speed, and fast-firing hispano Mk Vs.
Avenger: can be switched out for the Challenger at this BR, which is the same thing but with sabot, and a much higher profile. The Challenger is a good sniping tank but suicidal used otherwise. If you don't mind the uptier you can also use the Centurion Mk I- a tank that personally, I have never used (I went straight to the Mark III and the FV 4202 at 6.7, which are excellent tanks with good armour that make the low-tier suffering all worth it in the end). Apparently after Volumetric Armour the tank's weak spots have decreased, but the turret is still pretty flat and only 127mm, so... that sucks.

Concluding thoughts:

British Tier II and III are hard. DOn't get me wrong here- the grind is difficult, and often a long, arduous slog. But I hope that I can help you get the most out of your tanks, and at least give you some enjoyment, by teaching you some of the things which help you not get killed immediately after leaving the spawn. Solid shot is a pain when everyone else has APHE, but... hell. You've got those monstrous penetration values at all BRs, so...

The key to British Tank play is knowing what you're doing and playing with your head screwed on. DOn't play taking excessive risks- know when to push and when not to, be careful and keep your head on a swivel. Learn to aim at key components and key areas on a tank for maximal effect, because once you do...

You'll be here with the best of us.

Godspeed, young ones. I'll see you at the Centurions in the Green Fields Beyond.
submitted by Aussie_Mantis to Warthunder [link] [comments]

2020.09.11 02:13 A-Goose-With-Arms Things I don’t like because why not

Dad always gets defensive when someone’s opinion doesn’t align with his

grandma always takes control of everything even if she’s not qualified

Sometimes I don’t know how extreme of a joke I can make based on the situation

brother#1 doesn’t stop making weird noises

I can’t look at something I did without imagining what I should’ve done instead

friend#1 says communism atrandom times

Dad just sits there while the dogs bark outside and then yells at us when we don’t let them in even thought he has as much obligation to let them back in as we do

Dad gets mad for no reason

I can’t seem to remember things that are important

brother#2 can’t seem to do anything on his own

Low ping/lag in videogames

My lack of effort

When I’m forced into a spotlight

When you have a problem and dad says “ for example, you could, blah blah blah. And you know more about the situation than him so you try to alter his solution to better fit the situation and he shuts it down saying” no, it has to be my way.”

Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone all day and sometimes I can’t keep my mouth shut

Whenever we are watching some educational video and someone in the video offers a solution to the problem with lots of research and it’s a logical solution and dad is just like “ nah. That’s not what I think so can’t be true”

When people say “ just let it be a movie for kids” kids deserve high quality content too


People hating random things like the cyber truck

Dad has a couple points that he ties every conversation back to

Baby yoda is annoying it keeps filling up my reddit page with garbage reposts

Mom submitting to dad during an argument d: what are you talking about! m: I’m sorry your right and I’m wrong I won’t do it again

Dad thinks everyone else is wrong

Mrs. teacher#1 says she never gets through all the work she wants to do even though she talks for like 30 minutes every class period and she gets mad at us when we work while she’s talking and then she gets mad at us when we don’t finish all of our work

Dad feels like he deserves more than he gets

When people say “they deserved it”

people tolerating intolerance because “we need to accept and tolerate everything”

That one time I responded reeeet! To friend#1s autistic brother and now i'm officially going to hell

That one time I bullied some kid In elementary school

friend#2 bullying everyone

friend2# bullying friend#3 for failing math


Dad always has a solution to a problem that he unwaveringly thinks is right but it strayed from the point

Every time I talk to someone I’m freaking out on the inside hoping I don’t say something offensive but by freaking out about it I don’t think about what to do to avoid it and end up saying something anyway and I’m super embarrassed and freak out and mess everything up

Crappy education system

teachers are payed way too low

Age-respect ratio ( old people get respect even if they don't deserve it)

democrats/republicans won't stop yelling at each other instead of fixing actual problems

I have a very low work ethic

When dad makes a mistake he laughs it off and makes a goofy joke when We mess up he yells at us

I hate having to respect everyone

When adults look down to me

Stupid people who can’t follow instructions and everyone else pays for it

Whenever I do something terribly wrong and don’t regret it right away thinking that I was right to do that

In game purchases with real money (pay to win)

brother#1 randomly gets super stubborn for no reason

Video game hackers

Cycle of poverty

When parents make Kinkey sex joke I wasn’t supposed to understand

The fact that I’m too lazy and scared to do anything about any problems in the world

Dad gets really mad when he doesn’t know something even when someone is trying to explain it he’ll get really mad at them

Dad will call us down to watch something on the t.v. that no one cares about all the time

Dad will randomly interrupt what we are watching to watch something else

Dad is very hypocritical he’ll yell at us for doing something and the. Turn around and do that exact same thing

Dad will reject anything that doesn’t align with his facts

Boy Scouts

Religion (no offense but i think it's dumb)

When people use religion as an excuse to commit hideous acts

Why can’t people just love each other and get along and chill

Stupid inconsiderate people

Ignorant people who think they're right

People not following simple rules, rules that are so easy to follow

Dad is always talking about how I walk and saying it’s super weird

People not following the “ if you can’t take it don’t say it “ rule

People who get mad and try to fight you for no reason

When people don’t mind their own business

People who don’t support other people’s ideas

People who don’t respect others beliefs

When you don’t want to talk about it but someone asks what’s wrong (this one is kind of based on circumstances)

Trolls(internet and the movie)

Social norms

Toxic masculinity




When people just kind of forget about all the atrocious acts and war crimes and stuff America has committed



LGBTQ+ people who’s only personality is being lgbtq+

pedophiles trying to get in on the sexuality movement

People only react to exiting things. ( if there was a Bomb in some cigarettes packs and it exploded your head when you lit it people wouldn’t smoke ever again but when it causes boring old lung cancer people will smoke all day long)

Dad is kind of homophobic

People not accepting double standards

Dad gets mad when our dog wants to go out more than like 1 time a day

People getting mad about literally nothing

Funny cat videos

Talking to strangers

Stupid Karen’s who bleach their kids and shit

People who don’t think esports can be considered competitive

People who don’t understand that you can get good at video games

People who think they deserve Anything

Dad gats mad about the smallest things

Dry skin


People who immediately stereotype others by appearance alone

Dad turns everything into a lecture

Religious People who don’t read the Bible and then correct you on something in the Bible because then you have all of these sub-religions made by a centuries long game of telephone

Homophobic people

random sex scenes in movies

Dad gets mad if we talk and he can’t hear what he is watching but when he watches something he laughs obnoxiously loud in the middle of the joke and we can’t hear the rest of the jokePeople who say poor people are “lazy”

Dad always complains

people who think they’re entitled to anything . ( GFs, mom)dumbass politics


politicians arguing about dumb shit instead of getting stuff done

cancel culture

drinking culture

anti- homeless infrastructure


movies that are praised for being directed by a female, even if the movie is complete trash. because it doesn't make any sense to raise females on a pedestal it kind of takes away from all of the things that they actually accomplish in a mans world

people who refuse to accept that they are imperfect

when dad shows/tells me a funny joke he’s proud of and it’s not funny at all so i don’t laugh and end up feeling like crap

getting a boner at a really bad time

awkward pauses

things aren’t spelled how they sound

when alexandra is depressed while i’m in a great mood

when other people are in a great mood when i’m beyond exhausted

when people stop texting in the middle of a conversation

when i have to explain to my mom that yes this guy does record himself playing videogames for a living

sometimes it takes a long time for GF to text back

when i have a talent or something and someone asks me to show them

american football is dumb

the UN, CIA, FBI and a bunch of mega corporations have all been exposed of having child sex rings and stuff and then literally nothing happens

people just kind of forget about all the shit the cia did

when someone tells me i suck at something i’m really passionate about

when i buy something that’s already broken

not having much freedom because i’m a kid

being just an extension of my parents instead of my own person

dumbass prison system just gets people put back into prison

college board is dumb and it’s a private company that has a monopoly on state run education

prisons literaly have to fill a quota of prisoners or they get shut down

some people don’t even get a chance to live life to its fullest

sometimes “the system” just chews people up and spits them out

stepping in a mystery liquid

water caves

submitted by A-Goose-With-Arms to cleanagers [link] [comments]

2020.08.28 14:22 imagine_otherwise I'm stuck in quarantine, and something is wrong.

I moved a week and a half ago from the US to a European country for grad school. When I accepted the offer, back in February, coronavirus was little more than a footnote in the “World” section of my news feed; to the extent that I gave it any thought, it was with the comfortable assurance of the ignorant, safe in the assumption that what was going on “over there” couldn’t affect me at all, let alone my plans six months down the line. Well, we all know how that assumption played out, and while the pandemic has given me unexpected (and unfortunate) reasons to be glad to have left the States, it has certainly complicated the process, and has more or less led to my current…situation.

My new country is imposing a mandatory twelve day quarantine on any travelers arriving from “high risk” areas, which includes the good old US of A. They’re extremely serious about it, too; proceed directly from the airport to your accommodation, don’t leave except to go to a doctor or the hospital, get takeout or groceries delivered to your door, etc. If I get caught breaking quarantine, I’ll get at minimum a massive fine, plus possible deportation or even jail time, which wouldn’t exactly be an auspicious way to start this chapter of my life. So yeah, I’ve been staying put. I ordered pizza my first two nights, got a grocery shipment on day three, and settled in for a claustrophobic, but otherwise pretty chill, two weeks of Duolingo, anime, and hitting my head against the wall. Beyond a bit of jet lag, I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary until night ten.

I should begin by describing the building where I’m quarantining. I’ll eventually be sharing an apartment with four other people, but that sort of defeats the purpose of quarantine, so the company that owns that apartment is putting me up in a single in a different student housing complex for these two weeks. The room is one of those ultra-modern deals that looks and smells like an IKEA, and the building is a bit of high-concept architecture, a giant seven-story ring with rooms facing either side, and walkways circumscribing each level (more or less a panopticon, minus the guard tower). I’m on the fifth floor, looking out over the inner courtyard.

There’s a pretty significant time zone difference between where I came from and where I am now, and since time is fairly meaningless when you have nothing to do and nowhere to go (as many 2020 survivors can probably attest to), I haven’t really bothered trying to fix my sleep schedule. The time difference plus the aftereffects of initial jet lag means that I’m waking up around noon and going to bed around 4am. When it gets dark, you can pretty much see right into anyone else’s apartment from anywhere on the inside ring (barring those right above/below you). I’ve been passing the time by weaving little narratives in my head about my fellow residents, based on nothing more than glimpses of them coming and going, shadows flickering behind drawn curtains in the evenings, and what time their rooms finally go dark. The guy on the first floor who comes back every day in a shirt and tie and turns out the light at 9pm sharp? Definitely an android, or at least a cult member. The girl on the third floor with the multicolored LEDs going till 3am? Twitch streamer, and possibly TikTok-er if those shrouded gyrations are what I think they are. Voyeurism really isn’t a bad way to entertain yourself if you’re stuck in one place. The guy in Rear Window had the right idea.

This building only just opened this summer, meaning there aren’t any returning tenants, and the semester doesn’t start for another month, so most of the rooms are empty. Other than Twitch girl and the Jehovah’s Witness-bot, there are two rooms occupied on the second floor, one on the fourth floor, and one on the sixth floor (plus whoever is above or below me that I can’t see from my room). The walkways are lit by motion-sensor lights that illuminate the space from one stairway to the next (about a quarter of the ring). They’re bright enough that I notice immediately when they turn on after someone leaves their room, or returns late at night.

Like I said, things were fine until my tenth night here. It was about 3:30am; I’d had my fill of Netflix, and the people-watching had petered out about 45 minutes previously when Twitch girl shut down her operation for the night. I was on the brink of dozing off when the motion-sensor lights from across the courtyard brightened my room. I looked up, equal parts confused and irritated, to see a section of the second floor lit up, near one of the occupied rooms. My working theory for that particular resident, an otherwise nondescript young man, was Russian secret agent, so a rendezvous in the small hours of the morning slotted nicely into the gaps in my imagination. I sat up in bed to see if I could see what he was up to but, expecting to see motion, initially failed to notice anything. After a second or two, my eyes fell on the form of my suspected spy standing stock-still in front of his door. He was up against the railing with the lights behind him, and so appeared in my view as a shadowy black void in the shape of a man.

Or, almost the shape of a man. The more I struggled to make out details, the more I noticed the arms that were a little too elongated, the body a bit too tall, the head unnaturally oblong. The shadow had the build of an NBA player, but with thick, simian limbs reaching down to terminate just above the knee. I shivered a bit, stuck by the cerebral tingle down the spine that accompanies a sense of utter, profound wrongness. Who (or what) ever that was, it wasn’t my fellow tenant. After about 30 seconds, wherein the half of my brain wanting to creep to the window for a closer look negotiated with the half wanting to dive under the covers, and settled on doing absolutely nothing, the motion-sensor lights clicked off.

Even after my eyes adjusted to the darkness, the weak glow of the solitary lamp in the courtyard wasn’t enough to reveal if the thing had moved, or if it was still there. I was now weirded out to the point that sleep wasn’t gonna happen, so I grabbed the Boy Scout pocketknife I stuck in my checked luggage to make myself feel a little better, and sat on my bed thinking about (my possibly imminent) death until about 5:45. At that point, the sky had lightened enough for me to confirm that whatever I had seen had left the premises, and I finally let myself pass out.

I woke up seven or so hours later half-expecting to see police cars crowding the courtyard and blood splattered across the second floor, but was greeted by a perfectly pleasant, unremarkable afternoon. Sunshine and daylight have a way of making the terrors of the night seem ridiculous, and I pretty quickly convinced myself that “quarantine psychosis + fucked up Circadian rhythm” was a much better explanation for whatever I saw than “cryptid ghost demon thing.” I popped open my computer and nestled into another day of monotony, one eye on the apartment across the courtyard, waiting for the lights to come on or the Russian spy to walk out and put my lizard brain fully to rest.

Of course, the day passed without a hint of life from his apartment, and it remained dark as afternoon faded to twilight and the lights of the rest of the building’s occupants clicked on one-by-one. This didn’t confirm anything – I had seen the spy leave for a couple days shortly after I arrived, so this wouldn’t be the first time he was absent from my nightly observations – but things were certainly getting a bit trickier for Occam and his razor. I began feeling a nagging uneasiness, the same sort of sensation you get when you’re hiking on a mountain and see thunderheads starting to gather on the horizon. Not quite “oh shit,” more “I got a bad feeling about this.” Still, rationalization is a powerful force, and my Steam library proved distracting enough to push thoughts of the dark figure to the back of my mind.

Around 3am, my exhaustion from the night before started to get the better of me, and I laid down to try and get some sleep. I could see across the courtyard that Twitch girl was still going strong, which I found oddly comforting, like it was the two of us versus the darkness and its inhabitants, not just me. Plus, maybe she was streaming DOOM or something and had picked up some knowledge about killing monsters. I closed my eyes, but a few moments later a bright glare cut through my eyelids, and I opened them again to see the motion-sensor lights outside Twitch girl’s room lit up. Fuck. For a half second I kidded myself into thinking that she might have stepped outside for some air or something, but instead I saw her door firmly shut, and a tall, dark figure motionless outside of it.

I’d like to say I did something to try and warn her (although I’m really not sure what I could’ve done, it’s not like I had her contact information), but in reality I was principally concerned with a) not pissing my pants and b) not moving a damn muscle. Somewhere in my brain I was processing the fact that what I had seen the night before was real, and that whatever happened to the Russian spy was probably about to happen to Twitch girl, but those thoughts were submerged deep in a lake of pure, cold terror. All my anxiety about home invasions and serial killers was being combined with both the worst paranormal depravities of my imagination and the skin-crawling, revulsive dread that is the brain’s reaction to seeing something it knows shouldn’t exist.

Just as the previous night, the motion-sensor lights shut off after about 30 seconds of stillness, but this time the glow from LEDs inside the girl’s apartment was enough to let me see that the figure had vanished. At the same time, those LEDs began going crazy, changing from the smooth chromatic cycle that she favored to an erratic flashing. With the thing out of sight, I found my courage, and crept over to the window to try and get a view through her blinds. I expected at any moment to hear a scream, or banging, or chainsaw noises or something, but the night was silent.

This is where I really fucked up. Straining to see any sign of what was happening inside that apartment, I pulled my curtain out of the way and pressed my face up against the glass – and immediately recoiled as the motion-sensor lights outside my room flared to life. My heart rate jumped about 20 bpm, and panic started to set in. I spared a glance at Twitch girl’s room, and froze. Her LEDs had stopped flashing and settled on a dim, sickly yellow-green, and a shadow with an oblong head and long, thick arms had appeared behind her curtain.

I couldn’t see anything beyond the silhouette in the window, but I was absolutely sure that whatever it was, it was staring straight at me. I heard a high pitched whine as first my hearing started growing dim, then my sight. I wanted to move, or yell, or do *something*, but my body refused to move, like in one of those nightmares where you try to throw a punch but end up just waving your arm. I remember a massive headache starting to flare up, and the last thing I saw before I passed out was the lights outside my apartment clicking off.

That was last night. I woke up this afternoon to a sun already low in the sky and a bump on my forehead where I guess I hit the floor. I’ve seen no signs of life from either Russian spy or Twitch girl’s apartments. I really have no idea what’s going on, but I know two things for sure: whatever is haunting this apartment complex knows I’m here, and I still have one more night of quarantine left.
submitted by imagine_otherwise to nosleep [link] [comments]

2020.08.22 23:28 ZeroCharismaBard Jon-Chan and the Summit of Mount Dewnali: The Two Betrayals

As dawn broke, the Neckbeardians woke
In the arid Chadlands were they had rest, to see crags and hills that they must crest
To face the chads, normies and stacys too, their enemies numerous whilst they are a few
All these threats to find their MOM, for her tendies were the bomb
The expedition has grown worn under the scorching sky, their angst at an all time high

"Hey Joey could you walk a lil faster?" asked Hunter "The crags don't offer much room to get around you."
"Sorry bud, I just gotta jot a few things down real quick."
The neckbeardians were travelling single file through the jagged crags of Mount Deadlift, safe away from its steep mountainside. Still, the jagged rocks offered very little room to maneuver, some of the neckbeardians had their rucksack caught on jutting stone or sparse, tough vegetation that managed to survive and grow within the crags.
"Bro, c'mon you can write your lame ass poems later your holding up the line" complained a visibly pissed off Hunter.
Joey turned his back towards Hunter, only to find several of the Beards exhausted and barely holding formation "I'ma say X to doubt bud, besides whats your hurry anyway?"
"I ain't in no hurry fuck you!"
"Right back at you bud" Joey replied without looking back.
"You realize I'm a minor right?"
"Oh! Do you mine coal or Bitcoin?"
"Quit playin asshat!" Hunter then proceeds to adjust his step, so that he can stomp on the back of Joeys boots with every step.
After several blows to his heel, Joey performed a 180 faster than an Nice GuysTM attitude after getting rejected. "Alright listen you little shit-"
"Is there a problem gentlemen?"
Hunter look up past Joey, who also frantically turned around to discover Incelliot Rodger looming over them. "Your outrageous barking and whining could alert our presence to the enemy. I would prefer you fools to be quiet, rather than to attract Chad and his whorish hordes."
Incelliot looks towards the piece of parchment and pen that are in Joeys hands.
"Is this really worth the fuss?"
"Well, maybe not the trouble, but I sure wouldn't say its worthless." Joey replied "A poem can be a wonderful short retelling of our deeds and how we felt, wouldn't you agree?"
Incelliot didn't say a word. Instead he grabbed the parchment and proceeded to tear it into several pieces, discarding it into the dirt. "Now you have nothing, thus you have nothing to cry about". Incelliot turned around to follow the path. "Also, poems are for betas..."
Joey was particularly disheartened, his long nose became a pathway for a single tear as the worlds tiniest violin played. A sympathetic Hunter then patted his annalist friend on the back "Wow, what a dickhead".

Jon-Chan and forward element of neckbeards were perched and laying prone on the edge of a cliffside, scouting the valley below. Several, treacherous mountain ranges walled off the arid, flatland at the belly of the valley. Through their binoculars the neckbeardians could see sparse vegetation and trees, which isn't enough cover from the scorching rays of the sun or the watchful Chadian eyes.
The scouts were bored out of their minds, as they saw nothing in the valley below. One neckbeardian with a greasy ginger neckscruff and an ahegao hoodie (We'll call him...pervbeard) was so bored that he decided to piss in an empty bottled of water and stored it in his hoodie. The bastard reeked of ammonia and hot cheese, the stench cause the other two scouts to recoil and vomit.
Jon-Chan, set down his binoculars to scratch his ass, finding satisfaction in his search and with the disappearance of the itch on his left ass cheek.
"Alright, the coast looks clear. Lets tell everyone that were heading down there".
"Uh Jon I'm not sure going down right now would be a smart idea...we could get spotted by a patrol". said Pervbeard.
"What are you pervbeard, is you a bitch or what? afraid of a few chads?" Jon-Chan decided now would be a good time to put Incelliots lessons to the test. He had to show he was a conqueror.
"N-no Jon-Chan I just don't think we should take any needless risk" Pervbeard stammered.
"If your so afraid of a little risk, then I suggest you tuck tail and go to the back of the marching order! Coward!". Jon-Chan gave Pervbeard an educational slap across the forehead. As pervbeard stood up and fled from the belligerent CWC-born, the two other scouts watched with worry. However, their gazes were averted as Jon-Chan turned towards them yelling at them to get back to their survey.
Jon-Chan felt as if he had more control, more options than he did before. Smacking that scout was refreshing, cathartic. He felt as if so much angst had just disappeared in the moment, when he bruised the neckbeardians head. However, after the slap he felt even more anxious that those others had noticed him. It did feel good to remind them who the CWC-born was. He looked forward to the next time he could put someone in their place.
Incelliot approached shortly after Pervbeard departed "Excellent Jonathon, you showed that cuck what a true gentleman is. For a true gentleman isn't to be questioned be his lessers."
"Yeah he was a cuck isn't he?" Jon-Chan replied skiddishly.
"I suppose we shall be going through the valley? Good, that way we won't have to traverse the crags or the mountain side, we could get to Dewtonia quicker this way as well."

After an hour of resting in the cramped crags and on the cliffs edge, the neckbeardians descended from the cliff side and into the valley below. Upon their arrival the expedition extended themselves immediately, eager to distance themselves from one another and their foul stenches.
Jonathon went to rest under a small tree that was barely taller than himself. Upon nearing the tree, he notice that near the top of the tree grow a rather cumbersome looking black fruit. He circled around the tree to find that odd and large onyx fruits were mare plastic than organic and had the label "Whey" stenciled into them.
"That must be a Whey Tree" said an awestruck Joey "The Chads would migrate for hundreds of miles just to mix and consume the smallest teaspoon of protein power in these things".
"Blegh, just a stupid tree. I bet it taste like ass."
Joey was a little puzzled, but then smirked saying "Are you talking about the tree itself or the"
Jon-Chan sighed at Joey pitiful jokes and was about to make a comment until he was interrupted by a certain gentleman.
"Alright Jonathon, enough time has been wasted. We must move on" demanded Incelliot.
"Wait just a darn tootin minute Rodgers!" Joey objected.
"Ah, the scroll boy who couldn't move faster than a tortoise, is now approaching me with the speed of a train. Finally you have some pep in your step." Incelliot crossed his arms, his face becoming more smug than Pepe.
"Shuddup you jackass! We shouldn't be moving in the open during the day! We're too exposed and we'll likely be dead before we reach Hentaiopolis!"
"Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice that I-... I, you, and everyone else should take. After all, how will you feed the people of Basementia, your loved ones? Or will you let them perish because they lacked the necessary tendies to survive."
"Its likely that none of us will survive if we get ambushed by even one Chad!" Joey hissed, whilst slamming his left fist into his open right hand. "Jon-Chan we can't go do this, we should wait till dark when they can't see us. Please listen to me!"
"NO! NO! NO!" shouted the virgin with rage. "We stick to the plan, we can't just puss out whenever we FEEL scared. Quit being a cuck!".
"Jon-Chan don't be dumb" said Hunter "We really shouldn't take any risk to get to Dewtonia, we have plenty of time before-".
Jon-Chan slapped a Whey Protein fruit from the tree directly into Hunter. Upon impact the plastic fruit shattered and a thick cloud of chocolate protein powder covered the two neckbeardians.
The whole expedition had their attention towards the incident. It was uncertain as to whether Hunter was crying due to the intense exposure to the protein powder or due to Jons outburst. Jon could see everyone, Joey, Damien, Rebecca, Spearbeard, Thirstbeard, and the rest of his brothers in arms casted gazed of discontent at him.
"You know what Jonathon, the night we fought against those Karens was the night I began to think of you as someone truly special" admitted Joey "You were able let yourself become inviting, vulnerable, and to some extent you cared about your fellow man. But I see that it was a fluke. Your just like all the other people back in Basementia, you could care less about those around you. You just want your tendies, your waifus, and whatever else you can get out of this mission! Its especially evident, now that you are disregarding our safety to finish this as quickly as you can." Joey's face became redder and redder than a beet, with tears dripping down his face. "Fuck you Jon-Chan!".
Jonathon was irate at his loss of controlled. He thought to charge and pummel the Annalist for his disrespect. That was until Spearbeard toppled backwards and spazzed out like an upside-down cockroach on cocaine.
The neckbeards looked around and darted for cover in the sparse foliage. Jon-Chan, Joey, and Incelliot took cover behind a rock next to the incapacitated spearbeard, only to find a syringe with fin stabilizers embedded into spearbeards chest. "Holy shit, its a steroid syringe! Theres a Chad sniper out there!" shouted Thirstbeard.
Out from the crags behind the Neckbeardians came a series of war cries screaming "BRUUUUUUH!!!!!111111".
Several hundred marauding Chads and normies poured out of the crags and from the mountains. You can literally smell the axe body spray as they made their descent. One Chad was using a normie as a makeshift snowboard to descend down the mountain, the normie took selfies of himself as human sports equipment just to tag Chad in his Instagram post.
"Shit what are we gonna do Incelliot!" Jon-Chan asked, only to find Incelliot wasn't next to him, but running away in the opposite direction of the crags. "RUN!"
As the expedition ran, hundreds of steroid syringes and dodge balls rained down upon them from the mountain, striking several of the neckbeardians, killing them instantly.
"Remember" Joey started to say "Always move in a serpentine pattern!"
Some of the neckbeardians did move in a serpentine, only to stumble into one another and be left behind to be annihilated by the chads. "Oops, didn't mean for that to happen".
After a minute of running, the barrage stopped. Jon-Chan turned his head back towards the crags, only to discover several dozen Chads and normies gaining on them.
Pervbeard was the slowest of the herd. He was tackled by an alpha chad wearing a tap-out shirt and shades. Pervbeard managed to give the Chad a swift punch to the dick, yet Chads Magnum dong was as hard as titanium, which crushed pervbeards hand on impact.
In a last ditch effort, Pervbeard pulled out his piss jug from his ahegao shirt and performed Naruto Hand movements, despite his broken hand. The piss jug shook and seconds later erupted in a molten hot fragmentation of urine and plastic, consuming the chad and several approaching normies, ending the lives of all caught in the golden blast.
The Chads were rapidly gaining on the neckbeardians. Those who were lagging stood their ground to fight the Chads, slowing down their advance for their friends to escape. Yet, one by one neckbeardians were dropping like a simps bank account.
After several minutes of running through the valley, Jon-Chan and a cluster of neckbeardians reach the crags on the other side, taking cover within the natural fortification. Jon looked around to find Joey, Hunter, thirstbeard, and Incelliot in his presence. He found no sign of any of the others such as Damien or Rebecca in their midst. Perhaps they had fallen to the Chads.
"We gotta get outta here!" yelled a terrified thirstbeard.
"That horde is just going to hound our ass to wherever we mosey onto!" exclaimed Joey.
"No...not us" Incelliot said "Him"
Incelliot was pointing his fingers at Hunter, who was covered from head to toe in Whey protein powder. "They can track his scent; The Chads lust for protein"
"I can just wash it off!" stammered Hunter, who was already pouring some of his water on the protein powder. The Whey powder coagulated into a semi-solid matter, that stick to the arm and cloak of Hunter. Hunter desperately tried to lick it off, only to discover it foul taste. That Whey fruit was ripe.
"I-I-I can't get it off! Oh no!"
"Its okay bud, we'll try another way" Joey said, trying to calm his friends nerves.
"There's no time, we must leave the boy behind" Incelliot said, drawing his sword.
"WHAT IN TARNATION! Incelliot I know we don't see eye to eye, but that has to be the most cutthroat thing for even the likes of your self!" Joey then drew a blade as well, directing it towards the Supreme Gentleman. "We don't leave our own behind, what kind of world do you live in!?"
Thirstbeard then drew his Katana, raising it in the air, charging at Saint Rodgers with the speed of ten Lightning McQueens. As Thirstbeard neared his opponent, he let out a "TENNO HENTAI! BANZAI!" only to be silence and to be halved be Incelliots own blade.
Incelliot then slashed at Joeys legs, incapacitating the Annallist. Hunter drew a dagger and stabbed the Incel in the chest, right before being cut down by Incelliots sword.
"No- Hunter, Jon-Chan help!" beckoned a weak, bleeding Joey. However, Jon-Chan was frozen, uncertain of what he ought to do.
Incelliot walked in a determined, heavy stride towards Joey and pointed his weapon towards the poor neckbeards face "Welcome to my twisted world".
Joey's breathing seized after the sword was lodged right into his breast, ending the Annalist life. Incelliot then dug into the Annalist rucksack, removing a map to Dewtonia.
"You won't be needing this" Incelliot then turned to Jon-Chan, who was clutching his Sonichu Medallion, staring at the man who killed his friend. I do hope your intent was to not kill me with that. If so, prepare to be disappointed"
"You killed them; You killed my friends!"
"The very same friends who were just about to mutiny and leave your side" retorted the armored incel, chuckling maniacally "You were better off without them slowing you down" Incelliot steadily approached Jon-Chan, his eyes focused upon those of the CWC-born.
"Together we can find MOM, return to Basementia and wage a war against these monsters. Their 'sacrifices' will not be in vain, my friend. We restore neckbeardia and the Incels to their rightful place!"
"I-I can't, not like this Incelliot" Jon-Chan tried to back away, only to find his retreat to be shadowed by Incelliots advances.
"Well, if that is the case. Remember, that the foolish and indecisive will be left behind by history."
Jon-Chan ducked and rolled past Incelliot, grabbing thirstbeards Katana after landing on his feet. As Incelliot charged, Jon-Chan propelled himself towards his enemy like a coiled spring, using his masters training and techniques against him. Incelliots slowly retreated, reacting swiftly to Jon-Chans furious blows. The two were engaging in a fluid and furious dance of sweat, blood, and steel. The two duelist eventually made their way towards the edge of the crags, overlooking another valley in the Deadlift Mountain range.
Jon-Chan managed to land a blow on incelliots armor, causing the incel saint to stumble backwards like a giraffe that was totally plastered on whiskey mixers. This little blow encouraged a daring Jon-Chan to redirect his Katana for an overhead slash. After quick spin to gain the momentum necessary, his final turn ended in agony, his body trembling from an intense pain. He looked down to his abdomen to find a sword lodged six inches deep into his flesh; Blood was trickling out of the wounds like a broken dam. He was tricked, bamboozled, and now he was defeated.
"So long old friend" Incelliot gave his farewell and proceeded to lift his left leg. As he launched his foot into Jon-Chan, the CWC-born grabbed Incelliots leg and swung him over the edge, but not without Incelliot having established a gorilla grip on Jon-Chans Sonichu medallion; His strength yanked the medallion out of Jons neck, yet the force was significant enough to pull Jon-Chan with him. The two then proceeded to plummet to the earth below.

The battered, bloody Jonathon Easton Chandler managed to crawl to a small crevice after his long fall. He could hardly see out of either of his eye, as they too were drenched in a sea of red. He could only crawl like a blind, limp mole to what seemed to be safety. Unfortunately, his resting place was found to be uncomfortable, as he had nary the strength or the help of his friends to prop him up. This left the wounded warrior laying on the ground, struggling to breath, focusing half of his concentration on manual breathing.
He wondered if he had acted quickly, his friends would not have been cut down. He knew that he could have done something, he was to pick sides. Jon-Chans breathing became more faint as time went on. He had continue his struggle to breath for what seemed to be an hour. Time was not easily determined when your sight and much of your feeling and bones were disabled.
There was no going home, there would be no tendies or friends and loved one to welcome him or even now to give him a proper farewell. At least he would die knowing he took out one evil in the world. His vision faded, his sense of touch grew numb, then there was silence.

"Yo come on bro! Gave me the fucking Pads dude!"
"Yo sorry man, Defibs right here"
"Clear this shitz ma guy"
Jon-Chan re-emerged from his silence, with his body full of electric life. "Holy shit, I'm alive" he thought.
His vision returned to normal and for the first time since his 'demise', Jon-Chan was witness to a fearsome sight revealed in the bright lights from above. Looming over the bench press table converted operating table was a 6'1" demi-god with blonde hair shaped like an anvil. The muscles on this remarkable specimen bulged and pulsated with every inhale. And speaking of bulge, it was very noticeable. The beings wore green sweat pants and a red A-shirt, with the word "OUCH! " drawn with chalk. But probably the most fearsome thing was its eyes, a deep blue sea of infinity and uncertain was forcing its way into Jon-Chans soul.
"Hey man, you gonna be okay, just fucking breath my guy. Its been a hot minute." said, or rather shouted the demi-god. "I need you in tip-top shape bro, I still gotta take you to yo MOM."
Jon-Chan was astonished. There was a Chad right in front of him and he hadn't even killed him. "Holy shit!" mouthed Jon-Chan, who was unable to even get the words out.
"BRO, BRO! RELAX! You two are in good hands now man" said the Chad. "I ain't gonna hurt you, now whats your name man"
"Ma name is a-uh-Jon" Jon-Chan was confused by "You two" he looked to the operating table to his right anticipating Incelliot to rest on the table, but was relieved to find Hunter, breathing and alive. He was glad to find one of his friends to have survived.
"Jon?" The Chadritch Horror repeated his answer "Figured you'd have a dorkier name like Ezekiel or Damien, but Jon's cool". There was an awkward silence that hung in the air; Well, it was awkward for Jon-Chan, but the Chad didn't seem unnerved by the quiet at all, almost like it had a lot on its mind in that particular moment.
"Okay bro, We probably shouldn't be doing this but I made a promise to MOM if any of you guys were to return, to take you to her ASAP!" As he said that, a young man wearing wiry frame glasses and a brown and tan rugby shirt, quite similar to Jon-Chans red and blue Classic approached from the darkness behind Hunters table. The young man had an innocent smile and an old-fashioned classical guitar in hand.
"Who-who are you?" asked the CWC-Born.
"The names Chad ThunderCock and this is my bard and faithful friend, Isiah Brandon Anderson. Were here to take you to MOM. You are coming home bro."

Alright you guys, This is the second to last installment of Jon-Chan and the Summit of Mount Dewnali. I will post the final chapter tomorrow, the day before I leave for work. I've been having a lot of fun writing this for you guys and I hope you enjoyed this. Stay alert for the next post and peace out, i'mma get sloshed tonight on whiskey mixers and Smirnoff with the boyz.
submitted by ZeroCharismaBard to MoonhorseStories [link] [comments]

2020.08.21 23:16 vivienneandpatch I'm 28 and I make $58,000 in Los Angeles working in public health

Background: I'm a 28 y/o girl living in a pretty expensive part of Los Angeles living with two apartment mates. I graduated from my public health masters program a couple of years back and I've been working in the field (epidemiology) since. I'm currently in a bit of a quarter life crisis where I am deciding whether I want to move up in my current job, take on a new role at another company, or jump ship and do a career switch to UI/UX design. I am also trying to move in with my boyfriend sometime, but my job soul-searching dilemma complicates when/where that will be.
Assets & Debt Total Net Worth = $9,700
Account Amount
Checking $5,700
Savings $19,000
Retirement - Roth 401(k) $11,500
Personal Investments $3000 between robo-investment and brokerage accounts
Student Loans $29,500 - undergrad $14k (3-5% interest), graduate MPH program $15.5k (5.25% interest)
Other loans (e.g., car, credit card) $0
Some details on my assets and debt
I make around $58,000. I receive $1,400 biweekly after a $250 contribution to my Roth 401k. Checking account is high because I move ~$2000 to my savings account at the end of each month, excluding my student loans described below. My short-term savings goal is to buy a car (at least half in cash) sometime next year and move to a new apartment, long-term... I guess a house downpayment and a wedding, though I definitely am YEARS away from both. I'm a very casual and noob investor, but I do try to throw in money on (profitable) companies with goals that align with mine - usually stuff relating to sustainability, biotech, etc. I had to take out loans and work multiple jobs to support myself throughout undergrad and graduate school unfortunately, but the debt is somewhat manageable.
Monthly Expenses Grand Total = $2,380

Money Diary

Day 1, Saturday = $51.86
Day 2, Sunday = $0
Day 3, Monday = $112
Day 4, Tuesday = $0
Day 5, Wednesday = $68.36
Day 6, Thursday = $0
Day 7, Friday = $9.99


Expenses Overview Total = $242.21
I spent quite a lot this week, but everything I bought had a purpose (I think). Though I try to save a lot, I still want to buy things that would make me happy. I'm always sad so anything helps lol.
In terms of finances, I’m trying to build a growth mindset. With YNAB and budgeting I am able to save and make do with what I got, but at this age my goal is to build my wealth (aka earning more). I’m not pleased with my income and student debt, but I am proud of how much I’ve grown financially throughout the years. For someone living up in a very low-income household without any financial guidance, I consider that a huge accomplishment.
Also looking back at my money diary, I realized how wonderful my support system is. Over the past few months I have been feeling alone and lost, but I don't’ know.. I guess I didn’t see that there’s a whole village behind me - my family, Nate and his family, my coworkers, and all of my friends. They’ve cheered me on throughout the years, even now. I’m in such a weird stage of life right now where I’m wondering if I should be comfortable/successful in my current job, work in the same field but different company, or take a huge risk by switching to a new career that could potentially be a better fit. I wish I could know which path is right for me, but as my boyfriend Nate keeps telling me - I CONTROL MY DESTINY! I kind of agree with that. I'm excited to see where I'll end up next year!
submitted by vivienneandpatch to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

2020.08.01 06:45 MostlyReadRarelyPost Preemptive Strikes (Steelshod 431)

Hey there!
I don’t post these daily anymore, so just in case you’re a newcomer and you’ve never seen a Steelshod post before… click here to start at the beginning
This is the latest chapter out of several hundred, and I don’t think it will make much sense without context. This isn’t an episodic story so much as one long narrative.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy yourself, and I’ll see you back here in good time. If not, no big deal. But I think if you start here you’re going to be very, very lost.
Table of Contents – includes earlier installments, maps, character sheets, our discord server, and other documents.
First Previous Next
World map
Here is a general lore doc including character profiles and here is a basic roster showing who’s where, and who is a PC: Steelshod Roster!
Note for Binge-Readers: This is generally live-updated to reflect the current state of the game! Hopefully if you’re binging you can keep better track of who’s going where, because you just recently read about them going there.
Steeshod has come to Victoria to bring them into the Coalition.
And James has come to fulfill the oaths he swore the last time he met Partholon, Druid of the Collar of Thorns.
They have met Partholon in a random clearing in the North Forest, part of what the Collar of Thorns call the “One Forest”
James brought a sack of antimony, fulfilling the promise he made to Partholon.
He tosses the antimony at Partholon’s feet.
“Here’s your antimony...” James says.
“And here’s the other thing I promised.”
James draws his sword.
Time seems to stand still for an instant.
The rest of Steelshod looks on, just as shocked as anyone.
This was not part of the plan.
Not even James himself was planning to do this. He was on board with the plan… meet Partholon, take his measure, discuss possible terms, etc.
But seeing the smug druid staring at him, all he could imagine was the hundred monks brutally slain to fuel Partholon’s misguided quest of replanting his One Forest.
So James draws his steel longsword and immediately surges forward.
Partholon’s eyes widen a fraction of an inch as James unleashes a furious onslaught, slashing and hacking past the old druid’s attempt to fend him off with a spear.
The rest of Steelshod tries to rally in support of James—this wasn’t the plan, but Partholon is the enemy.
Only one of them, however, is thoroughly calm and unruffled by the strange turn of events.
Felix was hiding in the woods, camouflaged up, bow ready.
He had no interest in talking to Partholon. That’s a job for Cara, Cyril, or the other folks interested in diplomacy and strategizing.
His only concern was to watch for treachery. He was ready to go, ready to loose an arrow at the first sign of hostility
He had been assuming that hostility would originate from Partholon, of course… but in the end it’s all the same.
When James hacks into Partholon, staggering the druid, Felix takes his shot.
He looses an arrow that pierces the druid through the back of his chest, embedding deep in the general region of his heart.
Partholon grunts, blood flecking his lips, and looks substantially more surprised than he did a moment ago.
He opens his mouth to speak, but the arrow has staggered him and broken his defenses.
James doesn’t give him time to speak. He raises his sword and sweeps it out, severing Partholon’s head in one blow..
The druid’s corpse slumps to the ground.
James stands over the body, panting, blood dripping down his blade. He’s still pretty much in shock.
Most of the rest of the company barely even drew their weapons.
It’s a hell of a mic-drop moment for James.
Once it was determined that I would attack as James, we rolled initiative. Steelshod beat Partholon, and he never got a turn.
Partholon had high defense and high protection through magic Druid bullshit, but James hit him decently hard. Then Felix did the real heavy lifting with a very potent arrow.
Technically, Felix is the one that dropped Partholon below zero, but since James was in the midst of a furious onslaught I ruled he went ahead and delivered the killing blow.
Steelshod recovers from their surprise quickly.
Cara confirms with the scouts that they’ve seen nobody out there but Partholon—he truly appears to have come alone.
"That was silly of him," Zelde observes.
Yeah, maybe. It's good for Steelshod, but she says they have to assume more Collar will be on the way soon.
Zelde asks if they should bring the head with them. Cyril asks why, and Zelde matter-of-factly that otherwise people might claim they did not actually kill Partholon.
Cara nods. Sure. Grab the head.
While that’s being done, Cara sighs and says before they go she wants a quick word with Cyril and…
“Eh, anyone but James, really,” she says.
James winces. Cara and a few of the others step aside to talk quietly while Zelde collects Partholon’s head and James stands around awkwardly.
He apologizes, mostly to Zelde since she’s the only one nearby.
Zelde just grins and tells James he did a good job. Good hit. Very well done. She approves wholeheartedly.
In the private conference, Cara and Cyril run through their situation.
The Collar of Thorns lost their druid, which might hurt their morale. But by all accounts their war-leader, Dolan, is just as bloodthirsty as Partholon was. So she doubts this is going to hurt their will to fight.
Indeed, Cyril says he assumes they will fight harder and more viciously now, take no prisoners.
Cara agrees. They never really got the chance to tell them the whole “we’re here as Steelshod, not speaking for Victoria” shtick, either.
The year of armistice is almost certainly ruined now.
Cara calls a few more people into the conference.
Drengi, Prudence, Felix, anyone senior.
Cara has a rough question to ask everyone…
Which is the thought that perhaps they should just give James to the Collar. Tell them he was acting alone, not for Steelshod and not for Victoria.
It’s an unpleasant idea.
Nobody really likes it, not even Cyril—not out of any sympathy or love of James, but because he doesn’t think they’ll be strategically benefitted by showing weakness right now.
Cyril confirms that James had made his promise to kill Partholon in front of witnesses… he did, which Cyril says gives them an out.
They just leave a note for the Collar telling them the same thing James said to Partholon before attacking.
James made oaths, and now he has fulfilled them. The antimony is delivered, and Partholon is dead.
Steelshod is here to wage war on the Collar until Dolan steps down or is deposed. They are here, not on behalf of Victoria, but rather to dissuade the Collar from killing more monks or innocents. Regardless of Victoria’s treaty.
Just the basic message.
Cyril asks Cara if her people have a writing system to speak of.
They do, of course. Their writing system is old and simple compared to, say, Middish…
It consists of, basically, a series of notch-like lines.
(Google the Ogham Alphabet to see what written Wncari looks like.)
Cara writes the note, and they set out.
They have a brief discussion of his corpse… should they bury him?
They decide to leave the body for his people to show their own funeral rites.
That discussion leads Cara to voice some more thoughts about his head… if they’re trying to be respectful, they probably shouldn’t take his head with them.
It’ll antagonize them more. Then again, does she care? Then again, do they gain much value from taking his head? Will anyone in Victoria even recognize it?
James interjects. In a somber voice he says “I know it’s not my decision…”
Cara whirls on him in a fury. “No, it’s definitely no’ your decision James!” she says. “In fact, I think it would probably be a good idea for you not to maje any more decisions for the rest of this trip. Alright?”
James nods. “Yes, of course,” he says. “I was just saying, I would prefer we not take his head. For… whatever that’s worth.”
It isn’t worth much. Cara rolls her eyes at him.
Cyril says that they don’t really need the head. They aren’t collecting a bounty.
If they do not wish to end up having to kill every single member of the Collar, he says they may benefit from showing some basic respect to their religious leader.
Cara nods. They leave the head. Zelde drops it on the forest floor. Cara leaves her note, and the bag of antimony, beside Partholon’s body.
And they head out of the woods with all speed.
They regroup with Agrippa and the others on the edge of the forest, and fill him in on what happened.
Agrippa frowns, says that he thinks Aleksandr would be very disappointed.
James is visibly distraught at hearing this.
Zelde says “But Yorrin would approve!” which… really doesn’t help.
Drengi leans over and tells James that, hey, if it makes him feel any better, Drengi has definitely had commanders in the past that were just as bloodthirsty and would absolutely murder a man during a parley.
Since 100% of Drengi’s commanders prior to Steelshod were Taerbjornsen and other bersarks, this also does not really help.
James falls silent as they leave.
As they head out, Cara complains that they’re going to end up with thousands of Collar dropping down on their heads once they return to the Basin.
Zelde asks why they don’t just attack the Collar first?
There are those old ruined forts that they heard were occupied by Collar of Thorns warriors. Why not attack them there?
That is… actually a great idea. Cara and Cyril agree.
They decide to strike north immediately, without heading back to the Basin to regroup with Perrin, Evan, and their hired army.
They decide that with the twenty Sons of Victory, their elite Steelshod team, and the element of surprise, they should be able to clear a small ruined fort.
So they ride due north, heading for the northernmost Cassaline Ruin—the one nearest the Ironblood.
They make good time. They met Partholon around midday, and they begin closing in on the ruins by dusk.
They scout the area around the tower, which looks something like this
They are fairly sure the tiny settled areas to the west are abandoned, but even at a distance they see movement on the hill amidst the ruins of the old tower.
The tower stands maybe half its original height, with most of the stone collapsed into rubble around it.
A few fragments of old palisade walls still stand, and trees and foliage have grown up all across the hill.
The remnants of an old road take a switchback up the hill. Aside from that trail, the hill is decently steep mixed with a few sheer ledges… not so steep that it is impassable by any means, but it will be slower going for anyone not taking the main path.
Steelshod gets a rough assessment of the terrain, and Cyril formulates a quick strategy.
They approach from the southern road, riding up openly at first.
They can see some movement on the hill as the Collar of Thorns goes on alert and they begin arranging more of their warriors along the broken fragments of fortification.
Steelshod does not ride directly for the hill, though. Instead, they veer northeast at the last possible fork onto the small side road.
If you look at the map you’ll see a small grove of trees that has grown amidst the road, on that final right fork.
That grove is the place where things shift, and their plan is put into action.
Agrippa and Borthul both stop here, and sit out the coming battle entirely.
Felix and nine others—the stealthiest of them, such as Prudence, Amos, Vigi, and a few of the Ulfskennar—break off in the woods here.
They will approach from an oblique angle, relying on the main force to draw attention and give them an easy surprise attack.
It helps that Cyril literally has the tier Surprise! — in mass combat this lets him pop a small force into existence, but he can also use it to drop in a group of up to ten specific PCs/NPCs that have been set aside for this purpose.
So I won’t need stealth checks for Felix’s team and their approach. It will be handled entirely through Cyril’s once per session Surprise! Ability.
The rest of the team breaks out of the grove riding hard to the east-northeast, cutting overland and riding for the switchback.
Steelshod can see the Collar of Thorns arrayed along the hilltop, bows ready.
They dot the broken wall, the crumbling tower, and some of the higher pieces of tower rubble. They also are scattered along the hill itself in the foliage and at the tops of the small cliffs.
I edited the map a bit to specify where the Collar forces are concentrated. I also took this opportunity to explicitly mark some of the steeper cliffs along the hillside. More detailed map here
As soon as Steelshod reach the base of the hill and pass the crude moat—caused by a natural creek filling in an old Cassaline battle trench—they break their forces up yet again.
They split into three groups.
The center group consists of a few elements. We have the core cavalry—Cara, Levin, James (and his squire Lucas), Gerald, and we’ll count Drengi too even though he’s on foot.
Ten of the Sons of Victory also ride up with them, ready to dismount at the hilltop and get stuck in.
At the rear of the center group ride up all of the archers—that’s the Ban Capall boys along with Ben and his longbowmen. These guys will dismount before the top. Basically once they are far enough up the switchback to be able to start shooting back at the Collar.
About half the “foot” focused troops dismount at the base of the hill, though. They begin charging right up the hillside itself, ignoring the switchback entirely, in two distinct forces
On the left, Bear, Tiny, and Lioness lead a team of a couple of ulfskennar and five of the Sons.
Bear has an often-forgotten “leadership” tier that only kicks into effect when he is leading a reckless charge, which will absolutely kick in here.
On the right side, Zelde and Snorri lead their own team of ulfskennar and Sons up the hill.
The foot groups are not expected to keep pace with the cavalry
But they are intended to draw a lot of attention, and help to keep Steelshod from ending up clumped up in too crowded of a row on the switchback.
I basically state that there’s no way the foot groups will get to the top before the riders, and ihaveaterribleplan takes that as a challenge.
He asks if Zelde launching herself up the cliffs and hillside counts as a “Feat of Strength”—of course it does!
He grins, and readies his dice.
The Collar of Thorns actually begin taking shots before Steelshod even reaches the base of the hill. And they continue especially when they reach the bottom of the hill and begin breaking into smaller groups.
That said, the initial volleys are awkward and sporadic. The Collar of Thorns are, in the end, hunters and not proper defensive archers used to shooting in volley from fortification.
A few arrows find their marks, but Steelshod’s frontline are well-armored and sturdy fighters—the arrows don’t do more than leave a few shallow cuts.
By the time the Collar has gotten their shit together and begun shooting in earnest, Steelshod has split into their three teams and are already advancing up the hill.
A lot of the shots are focused on the cavalry riding the switchback, since they are the most obvious targets.
The foot groups have more cover, but they’re also big and scary, so they are still targeted by a decent number of shots… especially Zelde’s side. She and Snorri make for very noticeable targets.
And they will only become moreso as this goes on.
At this point, the PCs involved are Felix (phased out of existence via Surprise and waiting to be spawned back in), Cyril (at the rear of the cavalry, observing and waiting to deploy any other strategies as needed), Agrippa (hanging back entirely), and Zelde. (And James, charging up with the cavalry, but he’s half-NPC while I am GMing.)
So for the advance up the hill we focus most of our attention on Zelde and her team.
Before I do that, a few notes:
Bear’s team operates basically as expected. They make good time, but move slower than the cavalry.
They draw some shots, but they are a bunch of beefy armored tanks. Even the non-Steelshod Sons are all level 5 with a tier or two, since the Sons of Victory are the elite pride of Victoria.
The average Collar of Thorns random hunter is level 3—by contrast, pretty weak. It shows.
It also shows against the cavalry. Cara, Gerald, Levin, and James are all well armored or sporting quick reflexes—or both.
They take a few hits, but nothing that hurts them much through armor.
My favorite moment with them is when several enemies focus their shots on Levin, who casually drops off the side of his horse.
He hangs from the pommel of his saddle as the arrows pass through the space he was in moments before, then lifts himself back into position easily.
The casualness of it, the disrespectfulness, is very Levin. As soon as they get in range, he tells the Collar just what he thinks of them by putting arrows into them while he charges up the hill.
The main focus of play during the charge, however, is Zelde.
When performing a “feat of strength” she gets a full +15 to athletics checks—slightly higher even than Snorri gets.
Though Snorri has the extra advantage of having a huge stride and long arms, so he can traverse steep slopes more easily by default.
The two of them leap and bound their way up the hill like shells fired from a morty.
Smashing crude stake walls out of their way, leaping up cliffs, smashing through thickets.
The ulfskennar in their group can keep pace by following in their wake, though the Sons following them begin to lag behind.
More and more Collars begin focusing their shots on Zelde and Snorri
They take four, six, eight attacks each round. Most miss, though the further they go some do begin to hit.
The Collar of Thorns have soaked their arrows in some sort of blood-letting venom, to add a little extra hurt.
But Snorri and Zelde can take it. Zelde takes the most damage by far, but even still… the arrows do not slow them down in the slightest.
Zelde and Snorri cut their way through a few Collars that were positioned partway down the hill.
They are in spots that felt untouchable from the switchback due to sheer cliffs, but Zelde scrabbles up the cliffs with ease, and Snorri is so tall he can basically just reach high pull himself up and over.
They cut down these poor unfortunates and continue smashing their way through.
True to Plan’s boast, they beat the cavalry to the top.
Cyril triggers one of his maneuvers, called “Gather”
That basically, if successful, forces enemy troops to move to a position of his choosing.
Cyril almost flubs his strategy check, but he’s good enough that he just barely succeeds.
He designates Zelde and Snorri’s arrival point on the hill as the gather point, and many of the Collars start converging on them.
Zelde and Snorri roar their arrival, and many of the Collars charge them with spears.
A messy, chaotic melee begins to ensue… but now they are really exposed, heavily outnumbered. With outnumber bonuses in the melee, they actually start landing more hits.
A tiny handful of Collars manage to stop before they engage Zelde & Snorri, and instead they take up positions at top of the switchback with their spears.
They brace themselves just as the cavalry arrive.
Levin, Gerald, and James go to ride them down. Cara spurs her horse forward, taking the lead, and then shifts her position to crouch on the saddle and leaps off just as her horse rears away from the spearline.
It’s been quite a while since we saw Cara’s true core competencies in action. This is her “Wild Maneuver” tier (and its various enhancements) in action, giving her huge bonuses once per battle when she engages in some ridiculous over the top bit of athletics.
She leaps over the spearmen, shooting from the hip as she comes down behind them.
A Collar of Thorns that had been shouting orders has two arrows sticking out of his chest, and he crumples, dead.
The spearmen are confused and shaken, and they collapse completely when the frontline cavalry crash through them.
Further down the switchback, Ben and his longbowmen have dismounted and formed a staggered line, laying down suppressive shots at the Collar of Thorns archers in high vantage points
They provide a little relief to Zelde and Snorri, who are still dangerously exposed
Snorri has huge armor and hit points, and he tanks the Collars effortlessly. His bellowing laughter can be heard across the entire battlefield.
This is what Snorri joined Steelshod for. Not fighting strange monsters or sorcerers or magic gates. Smashing skulls and crushing mortal foes in glorious, glorious combat.
Zelde, however, is feeling a few of the spear hits she’s taken. She’s still Rampaging through them, heedless, but too many more rounds of this and she might start getting injuries.
That’s when Cyril calls out a command to Drengi, who howls a signal.
Felix and his team have skirted the side of the hill and they emerge from the trees behind the Tower.
Prudence, Felix, Amos, Skogg the goblin, and the stealthiest of the ulfskennar all ambush the Collar from the rear.
Felix and Prudence have already identified a couple more of the apparent commanders—remember, their intel says usually Collar of Thorns warbands are thirteen men, including a serjeant of sorts. The Wncari word for them is “laochra”
Prudence drops one such laochra with help from Skogg. Felix targets the other.
This guy, surprisingly, dodges the attack with sudden grace.
One of their tier abilities in action.
He has no time to enjoy the victory against Felix, however, as a moment later from further down the hill Ben puts two arrows in the guy’s back and drops him.
Cara dropped one as well, of course. She begins shouting something in Wncari.
And just like that, the fight goes out of the Collar pretty much immediately.
There’s a bit of mop up, and they manage to take a few prisoners. They do their best to prevent escape, but a couple of the Collar manage to scatter in every direction, and they disappear into the scattered forests.
Cara commands her team not to pursue too far—it’s getting dark, and they need to get back to the Basin as soon as possible.
They already will have to take some time for Agrippa to treat friends and enemies before they move on.
So for now they regroup and secure the hilltop as Agrippa gets to work in his mobile hospital.
(His latest tier is, in fact, called MASH, and it enhances his Miracle Worker)
In the aftermath of this fight, we are reminded of the reality of how damned effective high tier warriors can be.
With no comparable enemy troops to counter them (even the Laochra are only tier 4 on average), warriors like Zelde and Snorri are a fucking tornado through these poor level 3 Wncari.
Even in these volleys, where I throw four or eight attacks against all of the charging frontline… it’s nowhere near enough. Not unless I get decently lucky, and I did not in this case. In melee they get outnumber bonuses, which means they can put some hurt down, but they also basically drop like flies.
So Steelshod is feeling stoked. Confident.
They killed Partholon in the opening salvo of this war.
And now they’ve wiped the floor with forty-odd Collar of Thorns warriors without taking a casualty or even any serious injuries.
Agrippa’s Immortal Heroes tier feels very appropriate right about now.
As does the bravado with which James scoffed at the Victorian Council
The Victorians wondered how a force of less than a hundred Steelshod intended to crush an army of several thousand wild Wncari barbarians.
But come on, this is Steelshod.
They knew they could handle it.
And now they’re quite confident that nothing the Collar of Thorns can throw at them will slow them down.
I’m sure they’re right. Winky face.
Sorry for the long delays between posts. We aren’t meeting a ton right now. I have maybe 1 more post of content queued up to write, which I’ll try to get out a little sooner than last time, but no promises right now. I may be in lockdown, but I work in business IT and for us this time is, in many respects, busier than ever.
Edit: Also, please check out /mostlywrites if you haven't lately. smcadam has continued to post fan renditions of Steelshod's roster bit by bit as they work their way through the story. Most recently adding Drengi, Hrodir, Felix, and Zelde. I love it, and I love them.
submitted by MostlyReadRarelyPost to DnDGreentext [link] [comments]

2020.07.04 20:03 SonKyle Everything wrong with the anniversary and ideas that could have helped make it less miserable

Hey, just to preface that this is obviously my opinion and my view of the anni as a whole and most of the ideas i'm gonna present aren't even that thought out and i'm sure most of you can come up with some that would easily improve the lackluster anni and overall lack of content in the game.
I'm pointing out that i'm a day 1 player who as always been active in the game, i'm usaully in the top 1k in pvp ( it's torture i know lmao). Not that that gives me any advantage over the rest of the playerbase but it does help that i've playing through the bad and the ugly and still hoping for the best.
1- Shenron ---> Porunga. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce Porunga. This isn't a major change and the process would pretty much be the same but the access to 3 different wishes with an increased wish pool would have been nice and it would have been something new and different.
2- 3x RP PVP ---> World Tournament. Oh boy, i'm not even going to start on the 3x RP shitshow and how awful the matchmaking can get along with what we all know.. lag, modders, etc..
Instead of this fuckfest, they could have had a PVP season based on the WT, something that is still missing from the game 2 years in. It could start off as a usual battle royale with those 21 tickets they give out and everyone that played all 21 matches would get 2k cc (same rewards and a lot less grinding compared to the 3x RP season).
After that, the players with the best records in each region would be placed in a bracket tournament (WT style) and the rest of the playerbase would be able to bet on the potential winners which was something i think we all enjoyed back in year 1. The champion of each region would get 10k CC.
Idk how hard it would be to implement or if it is something that's just good on paper but they could have easily made this into something much more interactive and memorable instead of a shitty season that just doubled rewards.
3- Choice battle, Super Scout Battle and Let's Fight 3 should all be permanent. 50 CC is half a fucking single and they could limit the scout battle to 1 time per day and just increase to 3 during big celebrations.
4- Shallot ---> SSJ4 and Giblet ---> SSG. First of all, i think they made a god job with God Shallot and i know most people who read this will disagree but it would have brought diversity, it fits with the characters, they could have made Giblet a F2P card and have SSJ4 Shallot learn Ultimate Moves which would bring purpose for the friendship mechanic.
5- Story events and Story Hard mode. Why the fuck did they stop doing these? There is no story event for any of the Buu Saga and they didn't even bother make some for the Future Trunks arc and Shadow Dragon arc. That pretty much confirms they've given up on those. It costs nothing to make these and would have been nice + free cc and new equipment.
6- Rising battle Piccolo and Nuova/Eis Shenron. GT got the short end of the stick so another option would have been nice and a F2P Nuova/Eis would have been cool. Piccolo from the Cell Games (Super Warrior) to mimic Ginyu Goku from last year.
7- Master's Pack 4, USTR revamp and raid boss Merged Zamasu. All of these are self explanatory and would have been very welcome additions.
8- SSJKK and Pikkon ---> Pickup banner with YEL Vegito, BLU Broly, 21, Bardock, Feetku, Raditz, etc
The rest is pretty much everything we all agree on. The zenkai revamp is cool but should have kept the missions, PVP needs a lot of work and just revoking RP off of cheaters isn't enough, time gating events is moronic and the lack of events and content shows a lot of laziness from the dev team and helps make this anni a complete bust in my opinion.
TL:DR - 2nd anniversary bad, dimps don't give a fuck, the game is actually worse than what it was a month ago. SSJKK and Pikkon = LMAO.
submitted by SonKyle to DragonballLegends [link] [comments]

2020.06.28 06:11 SabatonBabylon [OC] Chronicles of the Siren War [Chapter 60]

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A/N: Please consider supporting my writing efforts on Patreon. You can follow this story and be alerted when new chapters release via
Special thanks to Tobi from the discord server for a double visual accompaniment today as well! They are not perfect representations of in chapter events, but they set a great scene nevertheless!
Azur Lane Pacific HQ, June 4th, 5:49 Hours
“I should have expected this much from you, honorable leader. You were always brave though, both you and your adoptive sister. Today we will see if your bravery is the sword that shatters the Union, or the other side of the coin of foolishness.” Shiranui closed her eyes, her ghostly body never tired nor hungry but ever worried and distant, and flipped the switch to the base’s alarm system. Their radar stations were picking up a formation of enemy aircraft at the very edge of detection range, headed towards a target due north of the facility. She was certain that sirens would soon be blaring at Midway, if they weren’t already. With nothing more to do than convey Thorson’s final orders, Shiranui picked up the radio receiver that would transmit her voice across the base via the air raid alarm system. “By order of idiot Shikikan Thorson, all ships and crew report to the docks. All ships prepare for immediate sortie. Those remaining behind should assemble at the labs and await direct orders.” When Shiranui finished and finally deactivated the alarm system, she could already hear the calls and shouting of her fellow Sakura, as well as many girls from the Union rushing from their beds and dormitories to the docks. Several ships out to sea sounded their horns, their operators having spent the night aboard in preparation for the battle to come. The ghost rabbit drifted through the desk and out into the pre-dawn light. A red sun was rising in the east. Her spirit fires burning brightly she headed for the docks, one final conversation weighing heavily on her mind.
It was easy enough for Shiranui to find her, her mannerisms, volume, and verbal tics easy to pick out among the crowd as she bid Arizona farewell. “I will be right with you, Arizona-san! Victory is at hand, nanoda!”
“Sister,” Shiranui hailed her calmly. The small neko destroyer turned around and smiled boldly.
“Nee-san, are you coming with us today? Yukikaze of Kure, the unsinkable lucky ship is ready to rumble!”
“Enough!” Kasumi let out a small gasp and fell into South Dakota’s arms as Shiranui’s fires flared dangerously. The ghost ship took a moment to compose herself before warning her sister. “Yuki, this is not a game.”
“I know that! You don’t need to treat me like a child, nanoda!”
“I treat you like one because you insist on acting like one! Akagi and Kaga are out there, and if the progression of this war is any indication they will be even less merciful than when they decided to kill me for speaking against their foolish betrayal. You will need all of your wits about you today, and all of your luck and skill. The others made their choice to stay, but I will not lose you to them as well.”
Yukikaze faltered for a moment before presenting a smiling facade again. “Shiranui-nee, what are you talking about? Surely your ship is around here somewhere, right? Right? You were just dealing with all the accounting and inventory stuff because Shikikan Thorson is an idiot, right?”
Nearby, Pennsylvania left Yuudachi with a final pat on the head, joining her sister and leaving the dog morph destroyer to wait for Yukikaze, which she did quietly and with drooping ears. Yamashiro and Shigure were already at their ships as Shiranui floated up to Yukikaze and hugged her softly. “You cannot hide from the truth of what they did any longer. I’m sorry, Yuki,” Shiranui whispered, unable to maintain corporeal form for very long. She slipped through Yukikaze’s fingers and straight through her body, hanging her head before turning to face her sobbing sister. Even in that moment though, Shiranui remained composed.
“Y-You really are… nanoda?!” she gasped.
“I am. And before the sun sets I fear that more of our sisters will join me. Kagerou-class will fight Kagerou-class today. See to it that you, one brave enough to flee and find your own way in this war, are the one who survives,” Shiranui commanded as Commander Thorson arrived on the docks along with Zed, Laffey, and Javelin. The trio promptly left his side after brief farewells and made for their own ships.
“Yuki, we need to go,” Yuudachi insisted quietly, taking her friend’s hand. Yukikaze nodded and dried her eyes, opening her arms and embracing Shiranui once more before heading out. Though difficult, the older sister did her best to remain solid throughout, resting her head against Yukikaze’s soft, furry ears before Yuudachi shepherded her to the water’s edge and the two of them sailed off for their ships, rigging gleaming in the sunrise.
“Will she be alright?” Thorson wondered, walking quietly to Shiranui’s side.
“She will. I have never known her to be one to wallow in sadness. It was easy enough for her to pretend all was well with me like this, but no longer. She has that battleship you love so dearly looking out for her. May her luck grace your fleet today, idiot Shikikan. Now give your orders, Midway is likely under attack already.”
“You and Miles have the base. Defend it if need be. Asashio and her sisters all have rigging, as does Shiratsuyu. Yuugure and Hatsuharu should be more than capable of operating anti-aircraft cannons. If they come in force… try to save the little ones.”
“That is one order that I would consider dying a second time to fulfill. I will make the arrangements.” Shiranui waved him off to more important matters as Akashi, fresh from ordering the bulin crew aboard her own vessel, prepared to say goodbye to her closest and oldest friend and business partner. Thorson joined Ark Royal, who was doing her best to comfort a trio of scared Sakura destroyers.
“What’s happening, Auntie Ark?” Mutsuki wondered as Kisaragi sniffled quietly and Mikazuki looked out at the water with a nervous look on her face. When Thorson knelt down the pink destroyer tottered towards him. He took her into a hug as she rubbed her nose on his sleeve.
“Kisaragi is scared; please don’t let them eat Kisaragi!”
“Shh now, I won't,” Thorson promised, beckoning Fredrick over with a wave of his hand. The young cook embraced Houston boldly on the docks, as a lover, before kissing her one last time and obeying his Commander’s summons. Thorson took heart in the fact that Houston seemed more saddened by the parting than the cook. “Kisaragi, I need you and your sisters to be good for Mr. Miles here and the others. Do what they tell you to do and they’ll keep you safe, do you understand?”
“But, what about Auntie Ark and Auntie Fusou?” Mustuki wondered.
“They’re coming with me,” Thorson explained. “We’re all going to sail out there and we’re going to defeat the ships that are coming here to try and hurt us. We’re going to win and then we’re all going to come home, alright?”
“Promise?” Mikazuki requested. Thorson looked at Ark Royal who shook her head once, trying to hold back her own emotions. He steeled his expression.
“I promise. Now all of you please be good for Fredrick. We’re going now.”
And so the three little ones, along with the remaining shipgirls who had no hulls, waved nervous goodbyes as Thorson boarded the Fusou and Ark Royal slung her rifle over her shoulder. She took a running start before hitting the water, skating quickly to her ship before her love for the little ones compelled her to abandon duty and stay. Fredrick held onto them as the rest waved their friends and sisters good luck. Shiratsuyu radioed Yuudachi to wish her a final goodbye and promise whatever meat was left upon her return. Michishio and the rest bade Kasumi fond farewell with hopes for a splendid battle at South Dakota’s side. And finally Ooshio, flushed with embarrassment but determined, transmitted a simple message to the Downes as Thorson’s fleet, eleven capital ships strong, sailed out of the harbor due north.
“I love ya.”
Approximately 175 Miles NW of Midway Atoll, June 4th, 6:16 Hours
“Hmm, how quaint. It seems our enemy intends to save us the trouble of killing them on the ground,” Akagi chuckled dangerously as her lead wing of Zeroes obtained visual on Midway’s defending air force. “Are those Buffalos? How offensive. Though I suppose I could go for an early morning snack.”
Across the waves, Kaga rolled her eyes before returning her focus to her own squadrons, deep in meditation on the bridge of her ship. The Union had mustered quite a few aircraft in their attack, but many of them were outdated models. “I am… impressed at your bravery,” she admitted quietly. “But do not think I will show you mercy. Soryuu!”
“Hai, senpai?” the elder of the Second Carrier Division replied, having chosen a spot on her top deck sheltered from the wind to relax and execute her portion of the battle.
“Let’s allow our sisters to have their fun with the small fry. Midway is an island installation and should have harbored several types of aircraft, including dive and torpedo bombers.”
“Yes, Lady Kaga. All I see before us now are fighters, Wildcats being the most threatening targets.”
“Threatening? C’mon nee-san!” Hiryuu interjected, punching and striking out on her deck as her Zeroes began tearing into diving squads of Buffalos. “Don’t you think you’re giving them a little too much credit?”
“Your sister is wise beyond her years, Hiryuu. Maybe if you spent more time listening to what comes out of her mouth instead of worshipping the contours of her hull you’d learn a thing or two,” Kaga insisted dismissively. “Soryuu, detach six of your Zeroes and have them return to us. With luck we will catch them together.”
“As you wish, Lady Kaga.”
“Hey, Soryuu has amazing ankles! It’s not my fault you can’t appreciate them!” Hiryuu declared.
“Sister… please,” the elder rabbit carrier implored, resting her head in her hand.
“What? It’s true! Your whole body is splendid, nee-san! I wish I was that elegant.”
“Let them have their elegance, Hiryuu,” Akagi insisted. “Join me in this slaughter!”
“As you wish, Lady Akagi! Take that, unworthy Union scum! Ha! Hiya!”
Soryuu and Kaga sighed quietly to themselves before the former radioed to her elder. “Well, at least she’s having fun. My fighters are on their way, Kaga-sama.”
Midway Atoll, June 4th, 6:47 Hours
“Open fire!”
“Did our fighters even scratch them? That’s gotta be more than a hundred aircraft!”
“Shit, hit the dirt!”
“Oh God, oh God damn the main hanger!”
“Damage control crews to the oil tanks!”
On the surface of Midway, valiant Marines at AA encampments and other fixed weapon positions did their best to weather the joint assault of Akagi, Kaga, Hiryuu, and Soryuu. Back aboard their ships, the kitsune of the First Carrier Division kept their tails at full spread, the tip of each burning with the flames of their spirit. The shipgirls of the second carrier division were similarly occupied by the long distance action, cards and talismans circling around them slowly as they directed their bombers in what they hoped would be a crippling air raid intended to clear a path for the invasion force. Kongou and Hiei remained patient and at the ready, shadowing the carrier group at a safe distance to the northwest on account of the known position of Thorson’s likely approach. Constrained by the nature of their being, the battleships were forced to wait while the carriers sought glory over the horizon. Path cleared by the Zeroes, the Nakajima bombers struck Midway first, carpet bombing oil tanks and AA installations and softening the available targets. Several were destroyed by the Union Marines, carcasses crashing into the ocean in flaming wrecks that soon disappeared into nothing. The Sakura carriers flinched and gritted their teeth, but pressed the attack undeterred.
Aichi dive bombers attacked next, destroying several more AA batteries and auxiliary hangars, as well as attacking the island’s power station in an attempt to cut the Marine bastion off from Task Forces 16 and 17. They were accompanied by the Zeroes, who took the opportunity to strafe any soft targets left in the open as well as drop their depleted fuel tanks on the island below. The pristine tropical atoll was turned into a burning hellscape of craters and oil smoke within minutes. Noting a time of 7:00 hours, Kaga shifted her fighters to make a final pass of the island.
“We will need to strike the installation again, sister. The runways are still operational.”
“We destroyed their aircraft! What do we care about runways? We should capture the island intact,” Akagi insisted as the entire fleet listened silently to their radio chatter.
“We do not know the position of the Grey Ghost or her battle group, nor do we know the position of whatever bombers were stationed at Midway. We also do not know where the Knight of the Union is or if he knows we have begun our attack. We cannot allow that infrastructure to remain,” Kaga explained firmly, not brokering any compromise.
Akagi paced her bridge, fuming silently at how commanding Kaga was becoming in combat situations. “You have grown bold, sister.”
“I have grown more cautious, dear Leader,” Kaga deflected properly. “If it makes you feel any better, the heavy shore guns also remain operational. They pose an unacceptable threat to our landing forces, even if they are crewed by humans.”
“Tch, very well. All carriers, prepare a second strike force!” Akagi ordered immediately, grinding her teeth loud enough to be audible as Kaga interrupted again.
“Belay that order. You will recall your aircraft and rearm them,” the white kitsune ordered. “Akagi, we are days from resupply in any direction and we just destroyed the oil tanks at Midway. We still do not have the supply line advantage. Please, do not let your love for Amagi blind you to these mundane considerations.”
“So long as you remember why I am doing this and follow my orders when we confront Enterprise, I will heed your advice,” Akagi warned her privately. “I will not tolerate threats to my command.”
“As you say, my sister. Give the order, please,” Kaga replied serenely, her red-bordered eyes sharp and deadly as she looked across the waves at the Akagi. The brown-furred kitsune relayed their demands to the Sakura fleet.
“Hmph, indeed. All carriers recall your aircraft for rearmament. Escort ships, continue to monitor radar and sonar. The Union knows they are hunted now. Oh, and Kaga?”
“I see them, sister, ten bombers. Do try to lend a hand if one slips through? I only have nine planes on hand.” True to her word, Kaga launched her defensive strike along with anti-aircraft fire from the ships of the combined Sakura fleet. She and Akagi had decided prior to the battle to keep their force close together and engage targets one at a time with overwhelming force. So far it appeared to be working. Of the six Avengers and four B-26 aircraft, the first element of the bombing force from Midway, only two survived to drop their torpedoes. Both aircraft targeted Akagi, the lead carrier in the formation. The first, chased by Kaga’s interceptors, chose to strafe her flight deck directly. “Sister, shield yourself if you would?” Kaga’s request was followed by a quick burst of machine gun fire that destroyed the first aircraft and had Akagi stewing at her sister’s arrogance as she was forced to deflect friendly fire. Such was her fury that the second aircraft, crippled and burning, was met with a fireball directly from the shipgirl as she strode out into the middle of her deck, her armored chrysanthemum brooch gleaming in the light.
“Die!” she screeched at the Union pilot who possessed the audacity to attempt a ramming as his dying act. The aircraft was incinerated just short of her bridge, as Kaga chuckled darkly.
“Another failing of the foolish humans that think they still run the Imperial Navy. Remember when they assured us Union morale was at rock bottom thanks to our victories in Southeast Asia?”
“Suicide runs against immeasurable odds are not the recourse of defeated men,” Akagi agreed with her, their anger fully focused on a third party. “Our next strike target will be what remains on Midway. None will be left alive when our troops arrive!”
Approximately 325 Miles NNW of Midway Atoll, Point ‘Luck’, 7:50 Hours
“Well that’s it then. Hornet, get to the flight deck. Fletcher’s ordered the launch from his station aboard the Yorktown. Admiral Spruance confirmed,” Captain Mitscher reported. The Union shipgirl threw on her jacket and hat, sauntering past him to head from the bridge to the flight deck to aid her pilots in preparation for take-off. Clad in the black and yellow of her namesake insect, she left with the same words she always had for him, including just before the Doolittle bombing raid on Tokyo.
“I know you hate to see me go, Captain.”
“But I do so enjoy watching you leave, Hornet. This is the big one; help them however you can.”
“Aye aye, sir. How’s my big sister doing, by the way?”
“Tough as nails, that one. It’s her planes that spotted the enemy formation, two carriers so far. Midway’s already come under attack; plan is to hit them as they reload. Us and Enterprise are up first. Yorktown’s wings are being held in reserve until we can confirm visual on the other two flattops we suspect are lurking around.”
“Works for me! Alright flyboys,” Hornet yelled as she leaped from the bridge and landed without a scratch on the flight deck. Standing to full height, her cloak billowing in the wind, she bared her toned, scantily clad body to the elements and a rather appreciative flight crew and gave her orders. “We’ve got us some Sakura upstarts to take out. Wildcats first, let’s go go go!” Taking a deep breath as her pilots headed for their cockpits and crew finished fueling and arming, Hornet glanced out at the rest of the task force that surrounded her and Enterprise. She waved at one cruiser in particular. “Ah, I love the smell of avgas in the morning. Howdy, Northampton! How you doing? I hear your sister made it back from Java. Let’s hope we can say hi to her sometime today!”
Hornet grabbed her hat and held it tightly to her head as the first wing of Wildcats launched from her flight deck. Across the waves she could see aircraft rising from the Enterprise as well. Eventually, one hundred and sixteen Union aircraft and their pilots banked and headed to the west. From her bridge, Enterprise saw them off, her cap straight and her tie tight and proper.
“Brave pilots, go now and be our sword. Know that we will stand with you even across the waves. Finally we strike directly against the Sakura Empire’s aggression!”
Sakura Main Fleet, 7:55 Hours
“Lady Kaga, your foresight and skill continue to humble me. Allow me to defend us now,” Soryuu requested, her detachment of Zeroes arriving back at their fleet after a sustained burst of speed that had her panting on her deck. The salt breeze soothed the sweat on her brow, but Kaga’s words remained cold.
“I would have been able to handle them. But as long as you are here we will pincer these dive bombers. I count sixteen in all. Make sure the rest of your air wings do not lag behind, Soryuu.”
“Hai, Kaga-sama!” the lagomorph carrier replied energetically, sending her fighters towards the tail of the attacking Dauntless formations. “Hiryuu, be careful!”
“I see them, nee-san! Oy oy, escorts, eyes up!” Hiryuu demanded as Soryuu and Kaga shot down fighter after fighter. Tone and Chikuma, along with a handful of destroyers and the battleship Haruna, sent flak and machine gun fire skyward. In the end, only four Dauntless survived to make their bombing run on the Hiryuu.
“Hiryuu, what are you doing?! Dodge!” Soryuu cried in distress as her sister continued to hold in formation, Akagi steaming them ever onward towards Midway.
“What? I just wanted a little scrap,” the younger of the Second Carrier Division replied confidently, shuffling her cards in her hand. With a smug grin she brought her arm across her chest and flung the talismans skyward as Soryuu claimed another kill, her Zeroes engaging in a dive so steep that it sheared their wings off as they pulled out. Two of the remaining fighters were caught as Hiryuu’s cards exploded, throwing up a perfect wall of flak that sent them into the sea. The final pilot released his payload, only to have it detonate against Hiryuu’s shields. “Aww sis, you really shouldn’t have. Planes are expensive you know!” she panted, clutching her side in pain.
“So are shields!” Soryuu insisted.
“Calm yourself, Soryuu.”
“Yes, listen to my sister, would you? Your incessant worry grates on my ears,” Akagi scoffed, silencing the radio chatter among her fleet. “If you intend to continue in the defense, Soryuu, I would get you aircraft back into the skies instead of worrying about your brave younger sister.”
Hiryuu smiled broadly at Akagi’s praise and wiped a trickle of blood from her split lip, the only indication that the courageous, inexperienced Marine pilots from Midway had achieved anything for their sacrifice. Out across the waves, more incoming aircraft were identified by radar. Fifteen B-17’s, initially dispatched to attack the misidentified location of the invasion fleet, were approaching from the southwest. The aircraft made no indication of reducing their altitude as they approached. “Soryuu, it’s alright. I’m fine. Just maneuver for now?”
“I’m in agreement,” Kaga affirmed. “Shielding a bomb dropped from that height will be almost impossible. Akagi, please don’t give them an easy target.”
“Keep moving forward!” the Sakura commander ordered immediately. “Serpentine is acceptable if you truly fear something like that.”
As it turned out, most of the Sakura did fear having explosives dropped on them at terminal velocity, and the fleets followed the lead of Kaga and the Second Carrier Division, all of whom began maneuvering at random to shake off the high altitude bombers. Akagi gritted her teeth but eventually did the same, not wanting to separate herself from the formation. The bombs all fell harmlessly into the sea, kicking up impressive explosions and columns of water, but accomplishing little else. During the brief respite, Soryuu was able to get six fully loaded Zeroes back into the air and achieve suitable elevation.
“Good,” Kaga offered the simplest of praise. “More are coming.”
The eleven Vindicators on approach suffered an immediate barrage of machine gun fire from Kaga’s and then Soryuu’s Zeroes, prompting the flight commander and the surviving five aircraft to break off and attack the lead battleship of the formation, Haruna.
“Wha? Hey, why me?!” the elegant, brown-haired shipgirl cried, finding herself in the middle of a bombing run as ordinance splashed around her hull and AA fire leapt from her deck. She managed to bring one plane down in the chaos. “K-Kirishima, did you see that?”
“Try not to wet yourself over the radio next time,” her older sister chuckled. “Good kill though.”
Haruna pouted on her bridge as the skies around the Sakura fleet finally cleared, the majority of Midway’s offensive aircraft destroyed or chased off with only one hit to their combined names. “Oh give her a break, Kirishima,” Kongou insisted, adjusting her cap as she surveyed the now silent battlefield. “You did well, Haruna.”
“Spoken like a true Royal,” Kirishima replied quietly, resulting in an awkward silence among the battleship sisters.
“Thanks, Kongou,” Haruna finally murmured as the fleet awaited the return of their Midway strike force and the next moves of the battle.
Union Main Fleet, 9:06 Hours
“Here we go again,” Captain Buckmaster declared as twelve Devastator torpedo bombers, seventeen Dauntless dive bombers, and six Wildcat fighters took off from Yorktown’s flight deck. “You alright?”
“The pain is nothing, Captain. It will not kill me,” Yorktown replied, seated in a chair that had been provided for her on the bridge of the ship. Though her hull was in usable condition and morale among the Union was high thanks to a third flattop in their arsenal, it was not easy sailing for the ship’s namesake.
“That’s not what I asked, Yorktown, but so be it. Any news from your sisters?”
“Their pilots should be approaching the enemy formation soon, but we have no confirmed visuals. Hornet has informed me that if they do not find them soon she will split her forces to cover more territory. If only you could fly as they do, Grim,” Yorktown mused, reaching up to stroke the bald eagle who sat stoically on her shoulder. “I’m sure you would find the Sakura in no time. Why don’t you go see them off?”
Standing slowly, the shipgirl moved the short distance necessary to allow Grim off the bridge and into the air, the eagle crying out as plane after plane took off from the Yorktown. “Any word from Midway, Captain?”
“None. At this point I think we need to assume the worst,” Buckmaster acknowledged. “Do you think it will be enough?”
“You mean our forces against theirs? Let us hope so,” Yorktown said in a resigned tone, looking after her aircraft as her pilots flew off over the western horizon.
“Coral Sea wasn’t exactly pretty. And I don’t know where that Commander got off to with his ragtag band of ships.”
“Then let us hope we can strike the decisive blow before he is needed,” Yorktown replied, suddenly sitting up straight in her chair. “Captain, a portion of Hornet’s aircraft and Enterprise’s lead elements have confirmed visual on the enemy formation!”
“Four carriers. They’ve adjusted heading due east, directly at us. Damn it, I knew something felt wrong. They must have scout aircraft about. There’s plenty of cloud cover today.”
“And the enemy air wings? Did we get them on the decks?”
An expression of creeping dread slowly covered Yorktown’s face as Hornet and Enterprise both cried out in sorrow. She met her Captain’s gaze and delivered the news. “Enemy bombers appear to be grounded but… all enemy Zeroes were loaded and airborne upon our attack. Only a handful of the lead elements survived.”
Buckmaster clasped his hands behind his back and looked out to sea. “Then let us pray their sacrifice buys our boys enough elevation and ammunition.”
Approximately 90 Miles North of Azur Lane, Thorson’s Battlegroup, 9:20 Hours
“Tono-sama,” Fusou called to him serenely, wrapping her arms around him from where she stood at his side. Never had she seen him so tense or worried, her touch barely registering on his face. “We are doing all that we can. This is the nature of the path you chose.”
“I know,” he replied quietly. “And I’m not mad at you. You, your sister, and Ark Royal have far too much ocean to cover with far too few planes. Even with Minneapolis and Kasumi guiding us this is all a shot in the dark. At this rate we won’t even reach Midway until tomorrow morning. We may end up bombarding our own installation.”
“Then we will bombard our installation and recover it,” Fusou assured him. “All Enterprise and the others need to do is hold on long enough. We will not lose against them.”
“You’re so confident?” Thorson wondered, finally meeting her dusky blue eyes. She smiled.
“If we survive to spot the enemy, we will show you how much your cause means to us.”
“Shush, tono-sama. There will be time for sentimentality and expressions of love and devotion later… after I have redeemed myself,” she insisted. Thorson turned to face her directly and took her chin in his hand. She seemed so small in comparison.
“You have already redeemed yourself,” he swore. She gasped at his forwardness.
“You may be my lover, tono-sama… Andrew… but you are not the gods.”
Commander Thorson breathed deeply and closed his eyes, forced to acknowledge her point. His fleet continued due north at all possible haste but every minute was torture, knowing that somewhere out there the carrier divisions of the Sakura were likely tearing apart the Union’s air wings. That was when the radio crackled to life.
“Knight Commander, my Fulmars have found them! Minneapolis was dead on! It’s the largest carrier fleet I’ve ever seen, four in total with dozens of escorts. Union aircraft are on approach…” he could hear the worry in her voice loud and clear. She sounded the same as when Mutsuki and the others were misbehaving and she didn’t know how to scold them.
“I understand, but hold your fire,” Thorson ordered. “Keep them in your sights and do not, under any circumstances, let them escape. Girls, we’ve got them. Get every plane you have in the air.”
“Thought you’d never ask, Commander! Indy-chan, it’s time to play at carriers!” Portland replied as she, Indianapolis, and every other Union cruiser and battleship armed their floatplane catapults and prepared to use a portion of their armament that had long lain dormant. The majority of his cruisers launched four Curtiss Seagulls each, the propeller planes leaping into the air from their catapults to circle above the fleet, waiting for the formation of Thorson’s full ‘air group’. Each was armed with two Browning M2 machine guns and a single 500 pound bomb. Joining them were three Vought Kingfishers from each of his Union battleships, similarly armed to the Seagulls. Fusou and Yamashiro were not to be left out either. The neko battleship to his right rested against him as her F1M’s in flight vanished and she rearmed her catapults. Her cheeks flushed from the effort, but soon the Sakura floatplanes joined their Union counterparts as Ark prepared her own air wing.
“Ark, what’s the hold up?” Thorson wondered, gazing at the Ark Royal from Fusou’s advantageously elevated bridge. He saw plenty of P-40’s on deck.
“Just waiting for… almost…” Ark replied, falling silent as she waited for the winds to pick up. As soon as a particularly strong gust hit her, she launched the first squad of P-40’s. Thorson cursed as they almost dropped into the sea, but he soon discovered why Ark had been timing her ‘shots’. Each Warhawk had been launched with its full armament of six wing mounted machine guns as well as three bombs each. Two 250 pound bombs hung below the wings and a separate 500 pound bomb rested underneath the belly of each aircraft.
“That madwoman,” Thorson stated in awe, unable to conceal a smile as the others in his fleet realized what Ark was up to.
“Oh fuck yes,” Tennessee shouted over the radio.
“Laffey is happy for Miss Ark, yes she is.”
“God save the King!” added Javelin.
“Take your time, Ark. You’ve got this!” California called supportively.
“I am truly glad we are fighting on the same side now, Ark Royal,” Z23 told her. “What a remarkable feat.”
“Yeah, thanks everyone. Don’t try this at home,” Ark panted, crouching on her deck and propping herself up with her rifle as she waited for the conditions to improve for her final fighter wings.
“Do not give up, Ark-sama! Akashi is here to help, nyaa,” the minty kitty exclaimed. “Commander Bulin, you have the helm!”
Confident her ship would not run aground or into anyone else, Akashi scampered to the storage rooms in her ship where she’d stashed batches of her ‘trademarked secret coolant’; at least she insisted it was trademarked. Brooklyn would not reveal whether or not she’d sent a telegram to the Eagle Union patent office. Regardless of the legal status, the bright blue drink was exactly what Ark needed when Akashi delivered a few bottles to her several minutes later.
“I feel like you lot don’t even need me anymore,” Thorson told Fusou approvingly as his fleet collectively did their best to ensure they could join the order of battle as early as possible.
“You know that is not true, tono-sama,” Fusou assured him, taking him by the hand. “We do what we do because you have unified us in a common purpose.”
He nodded and even gave her a thin smile. “Time to fulfill that purpose then. Ark?”
“I’m well, Knight Commander. You should know that Enterprise and Hornet have already engaged the Sakura. Their aircraft are getting torn to bits.”
“Then it’s time we make our move. Girls?”
“Yes, Commander?”
“Target the escorts. If you see Akagi or Kaga, taunt or annoy them as you so choose,” he ordered. “Now is not the time for foolish sacrifice. Now is the time to force their focus onto us and prove that we are the future of naval warfare. Now fall out!” Roars of affirmation spilled from his fleet as the most motley of air forces ever assembled took formation and departed to the north. “Just hang in there.”
Sakura Main Fleet, 9:25 Hours
“Well sister of mine, are you having fun yet?” Kaga demanded as Hornet and Enterprise’s aircraft finally began their first attack runs. The four Sakura carriers had managed to get their Zeroes airborne again, but only just. The next strike against Midway or the Union fleets would have to wait until the air was clear for Aichis and Nakajimas to launch. That time seemed to be a ways off, as a long formation of dozens of aircraft, strung out like a flock of geese, began their descent.
“What do you mean, dearest sister?” Akagi simpered as she walked proudly to the front of the flight deck and stood in the middle of the rising sun painted on her tarmac. Spirit fire burned at the tips of all eight of her tails as the first wave of Devastators from Hornet, fifteen in all, dove right at her. “I have never felt more alive!”
At her behest, Zeroes tore into the lumbering Union torpedo bombers, along with those of her fellow carriers. Fourteen did not even make it into torpedo range. The one survivor was incinerated in a brutal display of power from the leader of the Sakura, her balls of fire more effective than any AA gun. Its lone torpedo was blown out of the water by a final fireball as Akagi breathed softly on her fingernails. “And now it’s your turn, Grey Ghost… I will enjoy this.”
“It appears the Grey Ghost has no need of you… or her fighter escorts,” Kaga shot back at her sister, watching the fourteen Devastators drop from the clouds without any Wildcats to screen them. She promptly destroyed half of them with her own Zeroes and began to maneuver, only to have the remaining seven aircraft engage in a futile attack against Hiryuu. “Hmph, very well. I suppose even the bravest of men cannot stand before us. But they are brave, aren’t they?”
“More like stupid,” Hiryuu rendered her judgment as she took down the last of them.
“You will speak of the dead with respect, sister, or will turn my own planes against you,” Soryuu scolded her younger sibling, having had something of a backrow seat to the sacrifices of the Union pilots.
“I… sorry, nee-san.”
“It’s fine. Remain focused. This is far from over.”
“Yes, and it’s growing quite maddening,” Akagi agreed angrily as Yorktown’s air wings arrived in formation. For the first time, the Sakura Zeroes found themselves actively engaged by Wildcat fighters, each Zero lost felt by its respective carrier. Even with the distraction, only two of the twelve Devastators from Yorktown survived to drop their ordinance harmlessly into the sea and return to their own carrier.
“There is no rush, sister,” Kaga insisted. “We will have all the time we need once this is… wait a minute. Do you sense that?”
“I feel it too,” Soryuu replied, turning from the southeast to search the skies behind them. From the cloud cover, an undetected force of almost fifty Dauntless dive bombers were descending upon them from the west. “My Zeroes are too low. Hiryuu!”
“Mine are too! They were just dealing with those Devastators!”
“All escorts, open fire!” Kirishima yelled, urging the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers surrounding the four carriers to engage the enemy with their relatively weak AA complement. Aboard the Akagi, the leader of the Sakura stared the attack in the face, the air around her shimmering and shifting as she allowed her aircraft to fall into the sea and vanish. “Lady Akagi?!”
“Come then, Union pilots. Test your will against me directly!” Akagi challenged as the bombers screamed towards them, the majority of them surviving the flak from the Sakura escorts. Soryuu, Akagi, and Kaga were all being targeted. Seeing the futility of an air counter, Kaga issued orders.
“Follow Akagi’s lead! Abandon your Zeroes and ready your shields! Survive this or die, it is your choice!”
“Soryuu!” Hiryuu cried in distress, flinging her talismans skyward in an attempt to distract the Dauntless or blow them out of the sky. Her older sister was silent, working on her shields and summoning a ring of spinning hanafuda cards around her body that began leaping into the sky at the enemy planes. “Woah, Lady Kaga, watch out!”
Aboard the deck of the Kaga, the snowy kitsune stared bravely at the flak shrouded sky. She reached out as best she could, trying to understand the men she was about to kill, the ones so eager to throw their lives away for a chance to destroy her. Blue flames launched into the skies and a glowing shield marked with endless kanji and symbols surrounded the ship. Sweat dripped down her brow and her breath came raggedly as bombs splashed down within meters of her hull. She could not hope to take them all out, but many lives ended at her hands, their aircraft incinerated or dismantled before plummeting into the unforgiving sea below. There was one Dauntless, however, that continued to fall at her, refusing to release its payload. Bombs detonated on the Soryuu, leaving Hiryuu a shouting mess as she tried to re-establish contact with her sister. Even the mighty Akagi took a hit as several aircraft attempted to slam into her ship. “Speak to me… explain to me your sacrifice,” Kaga demanded. To her shock, an answer was given.
Arizona, I remember you.
As the Kaga was engulfed in fire and smoke, far across the sea Yukikaze looked up at Arizona, the two of them sitting on her deck as they sailed inexorably towards the conflict. “Arizona-san?”
A single tear ran down the battleship’s cheek as she gazed at the horizon. “And I will remember you.”
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submitted by SabatonBabylon to AzureLane [link] [comments]

2020.06.26 01:45 Funkyfreshprince 2020 NHL Draft Eligible Prospects: Cole Perfetti & Marco Rossi

Next on the list of prospects is the two OHL players Cole Perfetti & Marco Rossi. I've had a few requests on these two. I think these two will cause the biggest debate of any two prospects I do. The one thing they have in common that is typically used against them is size factor.
For those that missed : Jake Sanderson & Jamie Drysdale and Quinton Byfield & Tim Stutzle.
Again, these are the opinions of scouts from Hockeyprospects, Athletic, Podcasts, Recrutes, etc. This is more about painting a picture of the prospects and for you to decide whether you'd like for us to draft them or not and not necessarily "X player is better than X player".

Name: Cole Perfetti (#91 for clips)

Position: Left Wing/Center
Projected: Top of the first round. Ranked mostly around the 4-7 mark on most mock drafts.
Player Type: A 5'10.25" skilled C/LW.
(Decided to put negatives first for this prospect so I could paint a better picture. A lot of his negatives are compensated by his positives and I feel showing the negatives first will make more sense when you read the advantages later)
Now it is worth noting that even with all these negatives, and I'm sure you are looking at them and stating no way do I want to draft him. He's ranked 4th on most mock drafts in an extremely deep draft for a reason.
His hockey sense is just on another level. Most scouts rate Hockey sense as the #1 trait in a prospect. So you have to keep in mind, for a player to have such huge red flags regarding skating and skill be ranked that high is special in its own right.
An example given: Perfetti was on a 4 on 2 rush while carrying the puck. He looked to his teammate on the right, then leaned down to bait the defenseman into thinking of a potential shot. He then used his hands to switch his angle, giving him a soft ice to shoot far-side into the back of the net. He did not speed up the play, he slowed it down---knowing that the defenders need to respect his ability to find a teammate before wiring a perfect wrist shot. This play is an example of how Perfetti is always 2 steps ahead, and he was 2 steps ahead throughout the season.
NHL Scouts Comments:
Final Thoughts:
Oh boy, Do not really know what to say. For a prospect to have such glaring weaknesses and to be such highly regarded by Hockeyprospects, Corey Pronmann (Athletic), Scott Wheeler (Athletic), Grant McGagg (Recrutes), Bob Mckenzies list is just a very unique case. That alone shows you how much scouts value hockey-sense when looking at players. Hockey-sense always translates to the NHL.
He'd be a great addition, and almost all scouts think he will make it to the NHL. I'll let you guys decide this one.

Name: Marco Rossi # 23

Position: Center
Projected: Top of the first round. Ranked mostly around the 4-10 mark on most mock drafts.
Player Type: A 5'8.75" two-way center.
An example given, game against Sarnia Sting, Rossi received the pass directly in the high-slot. Rossi was looking off the goalie by staying square with his passing option instead of immediately taking a shot by one-timing the puck. He then held the puck for half a second before rotating into his release. He did this while simultaneously timing his placement behind a screen.
NHL Scouts Comments:
Final Thoughts:
submitted by Funkyfreshprince to OttawaSenators [link] [comments]

2020.06.25 04:08 seveleva 50 miles of torment

Cast: my older brother- b, piece of crap counselor: ec, me/i: me.
I used to be a boy scout, and every year or so my scout group would go on a week-long camping trip to wherever, and it was always super fun. The year before these events we did a week of airsoft and paintball wars and we had a blast.
But two years ago, during a planning meeting where we were discussing what we wanted to do one kid suddenly blurted out that we should do a fifty mile hike (80.467 km for my pals outside the US). No one liked that idea and disregarded it immediately except ec who put it on the board anyway. and long story short, that's what was planned. Roughly 10 miles (16.0934 km) a day for five days, and we all had a certain time to prepare.
B and I did not prepare enough.
Day one: To start us off, we had to wake up and be going to the mountain at a miserable 4:30 am for a hour and a half long drive to get there by sunrise, then we started hiking. B and I immediately started to lag behind which was swiftly reprimanded. About five hours in, b actually threw up, and during the few minutes that he took gathering himself, he was being yelled at by ec for trying to get attention.
I could hear every word that was thrown in B's direction and hated every syllable, but I just kept walking with tears filling my eyes (I wasn't very confrontational then).
That first day was full of b and me being yelled at by ec for being slower than the rest of the group.
Day two: "get your lazy butts out of that tent and get packing." Was the first thing b and I heard that day.
We didn't even have time to make ourselves instant oatmeal for breakfast, we just had to start walking. Later we found out that everyone got to eat and that ec purposely didn't wake us up until it was time to go.
The group stopped once for a midday snack where we were scolded for the fifteenth time that morning for being slower than the group, and after a thirty second rest for b and I, we started again. And the rest of that day was mostly uneventful.
Day 3: we were woken up the same way as the last morning and left without breakfast again, to which B's stomach didn't agree with and promptly emptied it's meager contents as protest, but that was just another reason to yell at us for ec.
B and i lagged behind again as the group went up a tall ridge to which ec sent a kid with a walky-talky just so that he could yell "get your butts up the mountain before you're stuck by lightning." despite the fact that there was literally no cloud in sight.
A half an hour later, we finally got up to the campsite, was yelled at for five minutes, and finally made some freeze dried food for dinner, and went to sleep.
Day four: day four started the same as the others but was uneventful for most of the day despite b dry heaving since he didn't have anything in his stomach to get rid of. And we finally made it to the top of the mountain where b and I could sit and chill for a half an hour. It was glorious. The group then went downhill into a valley, made camp, and slept.
Day five: b and I were finally woken up at a good time so we could have breakfast, but it was someone else from our group, not ec. We were now going mostly downhill and kept up with the group.
We stopped at a crossroads and ec told b and I to go hike more while the group rested because "you didn't go as far as the rest of us so keep going for a mile then come back".
We did it but when we got back they were gone. And it turned out that ec took the rest of the group two miles the other way because he wanted to go fishing.
After a hour of him fishing and catching nothing, we continued down the trail until we got back to the cars where we camped for one more night and had the best steaks we've ever had and one of the best nights of sleep we've ever had in our lives. But those opinions might have been influenced by exhaustion and starvation.
Day six: we were allowed to sleep in, have breakfast, and go home in a car. It was heavenly.
Thanks to whoever was able to read this to the end, I know it's a very long winded rant.
submitted by seveleva to redditoryt [link] [comments]

2020.06.24 07:17 seveleva 50 miles of torment

Cast: my older brother- b, piece of crap counselor: ec, me/i: me.
I used to be a boy scout, and every year or so my scout group would go on a week-long camping trip to wherever, and it was always super fun. The year before these events we did a week of airsoft and paintball wars and we had a blast.
But two years ago, during a planning meeting where we were discussing what we wanted to do one kid suddenly blurted out that we should do a fifty mile hike (80.467 km for my pals outside the US). No one liked that idea and disregarded it immediately except ec who put it on the board anyway. and long story short, that's what was planned. Roughly 10 miles (16.0934 km) a day for five days, and we all had a certain time to prepare.
B and I did not prepare enough.
Day one: To start us off, we had to wake up and be going to the mountain at a miserable 4:30 am for a hour and a half long drive to get there by sunrise, then we started hiking. B and I immediately started to lag behind which was swiftly reprimanded. About five hours in, b actually threw up, and during the few minutes that he took gathering himself, he was being yelled at by ec for trying to get attention.
I could hear every word that was thrown in B's direction and hated every syllable, but I just kept walking with tears filling my eyes (I wasn't very confrontational then).
That first day was full of b and me being yelled at by ec for being slower than the rest of the group.
Day two: "get your lazy butts out of that tent and get packing." Was the first thing b and I heard that day.
We didn't even have time to make ourselves instant oatmeal for breakfast, we just had to start walking. Later we found out that everyone got to eat and that ec purposely didn't wake us up until it was time to go.
The group stopped once for a midday snack where we were scolded for the fifteenth time that morning for being slower than the group, and after a thirty second rest for b and I, we started again. And the rest of that day was mostly uneventful.
Day 3: we were woken up the same way as the last morning and left without breakfast again, to which B's stomach didn't agree with and promptly emptied it's meager contents as protest, but that was just another reason to yell at us for ec.
B and i lagged behind again as the group went up a tall ridge to which ec sent a kid with a walky-talky just so that he could yell "get your butts up the mountain before you're stuck by lightning." despite the fact that there was literally no cloud in sight.
A half an hour later, we finally got up to the campsite, was yelled at for five minutes, and finally made some freeze dried food for dinner, and went to sleep.
Day four: day four started the same as the others but was uneventful for most of the day despite b dry heaving since he didn't have anything in his stomach to get rid of. And we finally made it to the top of the mountain where b and I could sit and chill for a half an hour. It was glorious. The group then went downhill into a valley, made camp, and slept.
Day five: b and I were finally woken up at a good time so we could have breakfast, but it was someone else from our group, not ec. We were now going mostly downhill and kept up with the group.
We stopped at a crossroads and ec told b and I to go hike more while the group rested because "you didn't go as far as the rest of us so keep going for a mile then come back".
We did it but when we got back they were gone. And it turned out that ec took the rest of the group two miles the other way because he wanted to go fishing.
After a hour of him fishing and catching nothing, we continued down the trail until we got back to the cars where we camped for one more night and had the best steaks we've ever had and one of the best nights of sleep we've ever had in our lives. But those opinions might have been influenced by exhaustion and starvation.
Day six: we were allowed to sleep in, have breakfast, and go home in a car. It was heavenly.
Thanks to whoever was able to read this to the end, I know it's a very long winded rant.
submitted by seveleva to EntitledPeople [link] [comments]

2020.06.24 03:40 SensDraft CP --

Next on the list of prospects is the two OHL players Cole Perfetti & Marco Rossi. I've had a few requests on these two. I think these two will cause the biggest debate of any two prospects I do. The one thing they have in common that is typically used against them is size factor.
For those that missed : Jake Sanderson & Jamie Drysdale and Quinton Byfield & Tim Stutzle.
Again, these are the opinions of scouts from Hockeyprospects, Athletic, Podcasts, Recrutes, etc. This is more about painting a picture of the prospects and for you to decide whether you'd like for us to draft them or not and not necessarily "X player is better than X player".

Name: Cole Perfetti (#91 for clips)

Position: Left Wing/Center
Projected: Top of the first round. Ranked mostly around the 4-7 mark on most mock drafts.
Player Type: A 5'10.25" skilled C/LW.
(Decided to put negatives first for this prospect so I could paint a better picture. A lot of his negatives are compensated by his positives and I feel showing the negatives first will make more sense when you read the advantages later)
Now it is worth noting that even with all these negatives, and I'm sure you are looking at them and stating no way do I want to draft him. He's ranked 4th on most mock drafts in an extremely deep draft for a reason.
His hockey sense is just on another level. Most scouts rate Hockey sense as the #1 trait in a prospect. So you have to keep in mind, for a player to have such huge red flags regarding skating and skill be ranked that high is special in its own right.
An example given: Perfetti was on a 4 on 2 rush while carrying the puck. He looked to his teammate on the right, then leaned down to bait the defenseman into thinking of a potential shot. He then used his hands to switch his angle, giving him a soft ice to shoot far-side into the back of the net. He did not speed up the play, he slowed it down---knowing that the defenders need to respect his ability to find a teammate before wiring a perfect wrist shot. This play is an example of how Perfetti is always 2 steps ahead, and he was 2 steps ahead throughout the season.
NHL Scouts Comments:
Final Thoughts:
Oh boy, Do not really know what to say. For a prospect to have such glaring weaknesses and to be such highly regarded by Hockeyprospects, Corey Pronmann (Athletic), Scott Wheeler (Athletic), Grant McGagg (Recrutes), Bob Mckenzies list is just a very unique case. That alone shows you how much scouts value hockey-sense when looking at players. Hockey-sense always translates to the NHL.
He'd be a great addition, and almost all scouts think he will make it to the NHL. I'll let you guys decide this one.

Name: Marco Rossi # 23

Position: Center
Projected: Top of the first round. Ranked mostly around the 4-10 mark on most mock drafts.
Player Type: A 5'8.75" two-way center.
An example given, game against Sarnia Sting, Rossi received the pass directly in the high-slot. Rossi was looking off the goalie by staying square with his passing option instead of immediately taking a shot by one-timing the puck. He then held the puck for half a second before rotating into his release. He did this while simultaneously timing his placement behind a screen.
NHL Scouts Comments:
Final Thoughts:
submitted by SensDraft to u/SensDraft [link] [comments]