Gerard Way dating

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Billionaire Footballers?

2020.09.29 13:38 financeoptimum Billionaire Footballers?

Gerard Pique may be the ultimate Chad.
He arrives to games with reckless abandon.
He's 6' 4''.
He's dating Shakira.
He has an IQ of 140.
He has played with the greatest player that ever lived, Lionel Messi, in one of the best club teams to ever grace the game of football.
He is a 4 time Champions League winner.
He is a World Cup winner.
Oh...and he's on track to become a billionaire.
Although Pique has made many millions as an athlete, it is off the pitch where his net worth is set to skyrocket.
In 2017, Pique partnered with Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani to co-found Kosmos Holding - a holding company and investment group to invest in companies based in the sports, media and entertainment industries.
In 2018, Kosmos struck a partnership with the International Tennis Federation for a 25-year, $3 billion partnership that will transform the David Cup and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.
In that same year, it was announced that Larry Ellison is set to become an investor in the David Cup reform project.
Pique is certainly playing with the big boys, and all signs indicate that he is set to add billionaire to his many accolades.
Next we turn our attention to Mathieu Flamini, the former Arsenal midfielder who is currently playing for Spanish side Getafe.
In 2008, Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals.
Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals with Pasquale Granata (hence the GF).
It is in fact the first company in the world able to mass-produce levulinic acid directly from biomass - including things such as grass or woodchips.
In 2015, they won the John Sime Award For Most Innovative New Technology.
Flamini's exact net worth is not exactly clear, but, smartly, he has repeatedly rejected the idea that he is the richest footballer in the world.
Now, despite the fact that he is French, although he was born in Marseille not Paris, Flamini seems to be a modest chap who is perhaps downplaying his billionaire status.
Flamini has made sustainability his life goal and with the current climate (pardon the pun), he may have hit the jackpot with his timing, which by the way is one of the most pivotal aspects to start-up success.
Will Flamini sea his net worth rise?
Ahhhhh, these jokes are getting worse...
I should have opened with a climate change joke, it's a good ice breaker...
I could have asked "hey comment your thoughts on climate change". Imagine the engagement.
Nah...it gets too heated.
In a sense, this is probably the future model - instead of leveraging their personal brand and endorsing products for a fee, superstar athletes will increasingly demand equity in more deals or indeed build their own businesses from scratch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZSjQmxhwOk
submitted by financeoptimum to Money [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 13:37 financeoptimum Mathieu Flamini and Gerard Pique - Billionaire Footballers?

Gerard Pique may be the ultimate Chad.
He arrives to games with reckless abandon.
He's 6' 4''.
He's dating Shakira.
He has an IQ of 140.
He has played with the greatest player that ever lived, Lionel Messi, in one of the best club teams to ever grace the game of football.
He is a 4 time Champions League winner.
He is a World Cup winner.
Oh...and he's on track to become a billionaire.
Although Pique has made many millions as an athlete, it is off the pitch where his net worth is set to skyrocket.
In 2017, Pique partnered with Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani to co-found Kosmos Holding - a holding company and investment group to invest in companies based in the sports, media and entertainment industries.
In 2018, Kosmos struck a partnership with the International Tennis Federation for a 25-year, $3 billion partnership that will transform the David Cup and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.
In that same year, it was announced that Larry Ellison is set to become an investor in the David Cup reform project.
Pique is certainly playing with the big boys, and all signs indicate that he is set to add billionaire to his many accolades.
Next we turn our attention to Mathieu Flamini, the former Arsenal midfielder who is currently playing for Spanish side Getafe.
In 2008, Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals.
Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals with Pasquale Granata (hence the GF).
It is in fact the first company in the world able to mass-produce levulinic acid directly from biomass - including things such as grass or woodchips.
In 2015, they won the John Sime Award For Most Innovative New Technology.
Flamini's exact net worth is not exactly clear, but, smartly, he has repeatedly rejected the idea that he is the richest footballer in the world.
Now, despite the fact that he is French, although he was born in Marseille not Paris, Flamini seems to be a modest chap who is perhaps downplaying his billionaire status.
Flamini has made sustainability his life goal and with the current climate (pardon the pun), he may have hit the jackpot with his timing, which by the way is one of the most pivotal aspects to start-up success.
Will Flamini sea his net worth rise?
Ahhhhh, these jokes are getting worse...
I should have opened with a climate change joke, it's a good ice breaker...
I could have asked "hey comment your thoughts on climate change". Imagine the engagement.
Nah...it gets too heated.
In a sense, this is probably the future model - instead of leveraging their personal brand and endorsing products for a fee, superstar athletes will increasingly demand equity in more deals or indeed build their own businesses from scratch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZSjQmxhwOk
submitted by financeoptimum to investing_discussion [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 13:35 financeoptimum Mathieu Flamini and Gerard Pique - Billionaire Footballers?

Gerard Pique may be the ultimate Chad.
He arrives to games with reckless abandon.
He's 6' 4''.
He's dating Shakira.
He has an IQ of 140.
He has played with the greatest player that ever lived, Lionel Messi, in one of the best club teams to ever grace the game of football.
He is a 4 time Champions League winner.
He is a World Cup winner.
Oh...and he's on track to become a billionaire.
Although Pique has made many millions as an athlete, it is off the pitch where his net worth is set to skyrocket.
In 2017, Pique partnered with Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani to co-found Kosmos Holding - a holding company and investment group to invest in companies based in the sports, media and entertainment industries.
In 2018, Kosmos struck a partnership with the International Tennis Federation for a 25-year, $3 billion partnership that will transform the David Cup and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.
In that same year, it was announced that Larry Ellison is set to become an investor in the David Cup reform project.
Pique is certainly playing with the big boys, and all signs indicate that he is set to add billionaire to his many accolades.
Next we turn our attention to Mathieu Flamini, the former Arsenal midfielder who is currently playing for Spanish side Getafe.
In 2008, Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals.
Flamini co-founded GFBiochemicals with Pasquale Granata (hence the GF).
It is in fact the first company in the world able to mass-produce levulinic acid directly from biomass - including things such as grass or woodchips.
In 2015, they won the John Sime Award For Most Innovative New Technology.
Flamini's exact net worth is not exactly clear, but, smartly, he has repeatedly rejected the idea that he is the richest footballer in the world.
Now, despite the fact that he is French, although he was born in Marseille not Paris, Flamini seems to be a modest chap who is perhaps downplaying his billionaire status.
Flamini has made sustainability his life goal and with the current climate (pardon the pun), he may have hit the jackpot with his timing, which by the way is one of the most pivotal aspects to start-up success.
Will Flamini sea his net worth rise?
Ahhhhh, these jokes are getting worse...
I should have opened with a climate change joke, it's a good ice breaker...
I could have asked "hey comment your thoughts on climate change". Imagine the engagement.
Nah...it gets too heated.
In a sense, this is probably the future model - instead of leveraging their personal brand and endorsing products for a fee, superstar athletes will increasingly demand equity in more deals or indeed build their own businesses from scratch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZSjQmxhwOk
submitted by financeoptimum to InvestmentEducation [link] [comments]


2020.09.26 18:23 decho Pre-Match Thread: Barcelona vs Villarreal [La Liga]

Match Information:

 
Match: Barcelona vs Villarreal
Competition: La Liga
Date: Sunday, 27th of September 2020
Time: 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT - Convert to local time
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona - 99354 capacity
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
 

Lineups and Squads:

 
Barcelona - Official squad confirmed
GK: Ter Stegen, Neto, Iñaki Peña, Arnau Tenas
DEF: Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Firpo, Todibo, Araujo, Mingo
MID: Busquets, Aleñá, Pjanić, Rafinha, Coutinho, Pedri, De Jong, Riqui Puig
ATT: Griezmann, Messi, Dembélé, Trincão, Braithwaite, Ansu Fati
Unavailable: Ter Stegen, Umtiti, Braithwaite (injured)
Not called:
 
Villarreal - Official squad to be confirmed
GK: Sergio Asenjo, Gerónimo Rulli
DEF: Mario Gaspar, Albiol, Pau Torres, Ramiro Funes Mori, Jaume Costa, Soufiane Chakla, Alberto Moreno, Pervis Estupinan
MID: Dani Parejo, Javi Ontiveros, Iborra, Samuel Chukwueze, Manu Trigueros, Takefusa Kubo, Francis Coquelin, Rubén Peña, Moi Gómez, Pedraza, Álex Baena
ATT: Gerard Moreno, Raba, Paco Alcácer, Fernando Niño, Carlos Bacca
Unavailable: Alberto Moreno, Rubén Peña (injured)
Not called:
 

Head-to-head:

 
 

Form guide:

 
Barcelona
Villarreal
 

Comments (Post-match thread):

 
Author: faplord00 Score: 353 pts Source
Suarez is that student in class who can solve every calculus and trigonometry questions within a minute but can't tell multiplication table of 7.
Author: megagoodwin Score: 250 pts Source
A good game against a good team away from home? Is this real life?
Author: praveerk Score: 211 pts Source
It stings knowing that we'll probably lose the title to a mediocre Madrid side, but if we keep playing like this, I honestly won't care much. Watching us today kept me excited and entertained for 90 minutes. Can't ask for more from your team than that.
Author: johnharris1994 Score: 154 pts Source
Griezmann was awesome, so much energy, linked up well with everyone and to top it off a stunning chip.
Messi was awesome as a provider, unlucky about the goal being chalked off but he creates so many problems for the opposition. If not scoring he’s assisting.
Very good games from Lenglet, Roberto, Suarez (needs to pass to Griez more though).
Awesome that Setien uses the subs but not sure how Vidal didn’t get hooked. Fati again just building up the excitement we all have for him. He’s completely fearless and seems to have no fear shooting.
Author: iLucifux Score: 131 pts Source
12 Shots on Target. That sums up the offensive masterclass of Barca.
Amazing display tonight, absolutely world class performance by every player on the pitch.
Kudos to Setien for trying this formation and it worked very well. Quick subs as well and complete use of all subs! Hope this was done early.
Nevermind, let's end the season with more of these performances!!
Author: 1ngK Score: 107 pts Source
Griezmann is a top 3/5 player, remember.
He may not be shiny, he may not dribble like Messi but he does it in his own way. One touch passes, link up plays, work rat, defending and score beauties, he does EVERYTHING flawlessly.
The problem has never been him, tweak the system a little bit for him and look where we are. The team is playing on another level. Pass more to Griezmann, if the team wants to win.
12/10 game from Griezmann imo. Now Imma fap over that goal for few more times.
Author: leccioo Score: 46 pts Source
What a great game and important win. When we envisioned a Quique Setien Barcelona we envisioned this, not what've seen these past weeks. This was the toughest game left in the schedule, we still have a chance for the title. Hopefully it's not too late, but even if it is we still have CL left and if we play this way we can have a foot in the ring for that.
Just one game, and we'll have to see this on a more consistent basis to be fully convinced, but again, so promising. There was talk that Setien and dressing room had reached common ground, and maybe that is what inspired this performance. We can only hope, don't wanna see another coach get lost in the sauce.
Griezmann and Roberto top performers, superb performances off the bench from Puig and Fati, and the legit only complaint I have involves Vidal starting, not being subbed at out at half time, and not being subbed out in the second half.
Author: PErland Score: 27 pts Source
Roberto back from injury. Best Barca game in a very long time... Coincidence? I think not! He played some of the best we've seen from our midfield in a long time imo. And interestingly from the left side. As soon as he switched to the right he basically provided two assists although it didn't end with goals to no fault of his.
Griezmann was unplayable. Would love to see more games like this from him. He would probably have had two goals if only Suarez had looked up.
I've missed this version of Barca.
Author: Dawsoneifert Score: 27 pts Source
This is the Griezmann that we saw for France and with Atleti. When he’s given the freedom, he can quietly pull the strings in offense. He isn’t a winger, and he never was. He makes the offense tick, similar to how Firmino plays for Liverpool.
I hope Messi realizes this because it will only alleviate some of the creative responsibilities he has been burdened with in recent seasons, allowing him to purely focus on providing the magic in his final years at the club.
 

Quotes:

 
Koeman: "Ter Stegen is recovering, I still don't know how long he will be out for, maybe a couple more weeks. I'm very happy with Neto, and the youngsters, who are also showing that they will become great goalkeepers." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "We're looking for players to improve the team. But we must also understand the financial situation of the club. Regardless of possible signings, we will try to achieve everything." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Coutinho? First you have to put each player in his best position, he can play as '10', or on the left wing with freedom. He also likes to defend and help the team, but I'm interested in him showing his quality close to the goal. Hopefully he will triumph this season." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "It's normal that we have to improve things in defence, we are going to change the system, we are going to press higher, it's quite a radical change and that costs. We need time." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "We have very good forwards, but no one can play three games in a row. We have quality to let them all play." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Fati? For me, yes, he's essential. He's a great talent. He's young and has to learn, he's a player for the future but it's impressive that at his age he already has the level to play in the first team of Barcelona. It says a lot." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Riqui Puig to play with Barça B when necessary? It's not only with Riqui Puig. I understand that young players have to play games. If Riqui or Aleñá decide to stay, it's their decision and they will have opportunities to show me that I can count on them." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Riqui Puig registered to Barça B? These are also decisions of the club, there are players who will have a first-team number and others who don't, it's not true that I don't count on Riqui because tomorrow he's in the squad." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Suárez? It seemed like I have been the bad guy in this movie and it's not like that. It was the decision of the club. I respect Suárez a lot and wish him all the best at Atlético Madrid." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Lautaro or Depay? Nothing is ruled out, but as I said, I focus on the players who are here. Barça always have to be prepared to strengthen themselves." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Messi's anger? It's normal for him to be upset about the fact a great friend has left, but I have no doubts about Messi. I have seen him train." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "I like to focus on the players we have, there are two more weeks left and there may be incoming as well as outgoing players, but I like to focus on the players we have and Villarreal. We'll see." - src @barcacentre
Koeman: "Villarreal having an advantage since they have already played two games? It could be, yes. But the team is ready to come out strong tomorrow." - src @barcacentre
 

Latest News:

 
[Article] - The lowdown on Villarreal CF - fcbarcelona.com
[Article] - The last 10 La Liga openers for FC Barcelona - fcbarcelona.com
[Quiz] - Barça v Villarreal Quiz - fcbarcelona.com
[Training] - Further preparations for Villarreal - fcbarcelona.com
[Training] - Return to training with Villarreal the focus - fcbarcelona.com
[Training] - Work continues at Ciutat Esportiva - fcbarcelona.com
[Article] - How to watch Barça v Villarreal - fcbarcelona.com
 

TV/Online:

 
Livesoccertv Liveonsat FCBarcelona.com
 
submitted by decho to Barca [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 15:29 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.27]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
-----
Previous First Next Patreon
Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, DaPorkchop, Benjamin Durbin, and everyone supporting me on patreon.
-----
“Knock knock, anyone home?” Alice called, rapping politely against the door frame of Sentaura’s dwelling. Compared to anything on Earth it was modest, but it was easily one of the nicer homes in the village. She didn’t mind, however. Antoth had apologized profusely several times since placing Alice in her now cozy little blockhouse, and she’d waved him off each time for good measure.
It helped that new furnishings and technology from the Event Horizon showed up almost daily with Pilot Cromwell. She had a desk and lamp, a second sleeping pad and pillow, a laptop for recording her notes and working with photographic documentation of Cauthan life, and a digital picture frame that alternated between a photograph of her family and one of her and Russell with Veera, Lachlan, Xan, Asha, and Zolta. In short, the idea of Lachlan staying at a ‘nicer’ residence than hers was a moot point. Instead she saw it as a testament to Ratha’s influence and the kindness of the village at large. The man in question poked his head out of the bedroom as Sentaura and her son prepared breakfast.
“Good mornin’, lassie! What brings ya ta this neck o’ the woods?”
“The amazing cooking, of course. It smells wonderful in here,” Alice replied, earning an approving glance from the matron of the family. She waved her in, a cooking spoon in hand.
“Please, no need to wait outside in the streets. Do you have need of Lachlan today?”
“I sense she was lookin’ fer a bite,” the Marine jested, prompting Alice to reach into her satchel and withdraw two ration bars and wave them in his face.
“I am perfectly capable of feeding myself, Lachlan,” she declared proudly, earning a confused look from him.
“If that’s yer wish I ain’t gonna stop ya. So what’s going on, Alice?” he asked, wiping a bit of sleep from his eyes. Sentaura rose and began her labors at the crack of dawn every day, and apparently Alice was capable of such a thing as well. Her reply was interrupted as Ursol latched onto Lachlan’s leg and proceeded to hide from Alice behind him. “Now what’s gotten into you, fluffy lad? It’s just Alice! You were grabbin’ her hair the first time you two met. Now go say good mornin’ nice and polite, would ya?”
“Do as Uncle Lachlan says, Ursol,” his mother commanded, now busy peeling dato with a simple knife. Alice meanwhile was looking quite surprised and excited at how Sentaura had referred to her houseguest. As though suddenly struck by the memory that Alice was, indeed, a human he’d interacted with before, minus the different clothing and the fact her hair was done up in a bun that day, the little furball toddled over to her and waved.
“Morning!”
“Selah and good morning to you!” Alice replied, her pitch rising as she ribbed her friend after greeting the young Cauthan. “So Uncle Lachlan, huh? Super cute. I might start using it. How are you, Ursol?”
“I’m good! Are you going to play with me today?” he asked, prompting Alice to pick him up as Sentaura sighed and shook her head.
“You humans pamper him.” She didn’t seem upset about that fact.
“That could be arranged,” Alice considered, happy that she’d done her hair up that morning. Ursol didn’t explicitly go after it, but much like a human child he was very hands-on. There was no need to present him with extra targets. He settled down soon though, looking around curiously from his new vantage point. “There you go, I’m not going to drop you. So, what’s up Lachlan?”
The Marine cocked his brow at her with an exasperated smile. “I was asking ya the same question, lassie. What brings you over here today?”
“First day on our own,” Alice laughed. “Natori and the Event Horizon are gone, my brother and Veera are off at the other site. Just you and me for a couple days! Figured I’d come by and say hi. But yeah, there is something I need to talk to you about.”
“Oh I don’t like that phrase,” Lachlan replied cautiously. “When a lass says we need to talk, that ne’er ends well.”
“Oh stop it you! We aren’t even dating. And it’s got nothing to do with you and me, well not directly anyway,” she clarified.
“If it is not a secret for human ears only, perhaps you could discuss it over breakfast,” Sentaura suggested.
“Oh that’s so nice of you, but I wouldn’t want to impose. There’s only so much food and all,” Alice demurred. Sentaura waved her off.
“Nonsense. You can have some of Lachlan’s portion and then share your human food with him later if he’s still hungry. Ursol, go fetch some water for us. No complaints if you want to play today.”
Alice set the young boy down, allowing him to pick up an empty bucket and toddle off out the door. “Will he be alright?” she wondered.
“If he is not, he will be punished later,” Sentaura clarified easily. “Breakfast will be ready soon, but please do not let me keep you from your necessary conversation.”
Lachlan gestured to one of the chairs in the room but Alice waved him off, depositing her bag by the door instead and leaning against the wall. “I’m fine, Lachlan. Did Natori tell you before he left?”
“Tell me what? What’s the Admiral up to now?” MacGregor demanded uneasily as he and Alice both couldn’t help a bit of a smirk. Natori was just such a man.
“This time? Nothing, believe it or not, but I had assumed he would at least have told you before leaving. It’s actually about something Gentia said when we were explaining where Thantis would be going.”
“I think I’ve had quite enough of ya beatin’ around the bush, lassie. What did the head mum have to say?” he pressed. At the mention of Gentia’s name, Sentaura’s ears perked up as well, though she made a point of looking busy around the cooking fire. There was still plenty to do.
“Well, it’s kind of crazy,” Alice admitted, reaching for a strand of her hair to play with that proved elusive. “You know that little cub Ketra, the one who lost her parents last year?”
“Aye.”
“Yeah so, she said she wants Ketra to be raised or adopted by humans.” Alice fell silent as Lachlan stared quietly at her, letting the ambient sounds of the cooking fire fill the space again. Sentaura was shaking her feathers.
“Perhaps her age is finally getting to her,” she murmured, more perplexed than anything.
“Not to risk offendin’ a high priest, but that does sound a bit… off?” Lachlan tried. Alice furrowed her brows at him and squared her shoulders against the wooden wall behind her.
“She wants Ketra to have a better life. What’s wrong with that? We should be thrilled that her experience with humanity has been so positive!”
“Nothin’s wrong with it, of course,” Lachlan acknowledged. “But ya don’t think it would be a bit odd for Ketra ta grow up and eventually start askin’ why no one looks like her?”
“Of course I know it would be odd, but I think we should still do it if everyone agrees. No one says we need to hide Ketra from her heritage even if she’s raised like a human child. Xan proposed that a Cauthan be involved, probably a woman since Ketra is a girl too. I think it’s a splendid idea,” Alice reasoned. It was the Scotsman’s turn to frown.
“How about we take a few steps back, Alice. When you say ‘we’, I’m startin’ ta get the idea that-”
“I do think you and I should be candidates,” she confirmed. “That’s why I came to talk with you today. I think we should speak with Gentia without Natori looking over our shoulders. That’s assuming you’re amenable, of course. Please?”
“Hmm, how bold,” Sentaura chuckled lightly, finding some small enjoyment in Lachlan’s flustered demeanor as her son returned from his task, sloshing plenty of water onto the street as he did so. “Thank you, sweetie. Now come help me stir the pot while Uncle Lachlan and Alice have their talk.”
“No that’s quite alright, mum. This conversation is over, I’m thinkin’,” the Marine insisted firmly. “Alice, be reasonable here!”
“This isn’t even my idea! How am I being unreasonable?” she demanded, crossing her arms over her chest. Lachlan let out a bark of laughter.
“Where do ya want me to start, lassie? The bit about goin’ behind Admiral Kaczynski’s back or the bit where you think you or I should be helpin’ to raise an orphan?”
“Oh yes, heaven forbid people like us raise a child. I’m serious, Lachlan!” Alice protested.
“I know ye are, and that’s the problem!” he said firmly, though his tone remained moderate. “Think about it, Alice.”
“Oh really? That’s the line you want to go with? ‘Think about it, Alice’,” she mimicked sarcastically. “It’s literally my job to think about things like this! And you know what I think? I think Natori might do something foolish, like putting Ketra with Gerard and Yvonne Dupuis for starters. I would bet my entire year’s salary he accepts Gentia’s offer and then the question is who? If my brother and Veera turn the offer down, as they have once already, I can’t think of a better idea. Can you? Do you have any other humans in mind who have spent a day living around Cauthan, much less weeks?”
Lachlan paused a moment, rubbing his face as he silently acknowledged Alice’s point on the subject of a particular Admiral and the given circumstances. He glanced back to Sentraura and Ursol, finding them quite enraptured as they stirred a morning stew of vegetables and dato. He smiled at the little cub, whose curious face and eyes could melt even the sternest of hearts. “Alice, what’s wrong with the doctors? They’re experienced parents and Yvonne’s got a degree in infant care among other things, right?”
Alice’s mouth curled slightly as Lachlan moved from denial to bargaining. “Nothing is wrong with Gerard and Yvonne, Lachlan. I have no doubt they’d make exceptional surrogate parents or grandparents. The latter would be better, I think. I’m just saying though, how would you feel if you were raised by aliens and your alien parents were elderly and passed away shortly after you reached maturity? That’s a much different life than being raised by a young couple who, God willing, should be around to guide you until you have your own children and such.”
“I daresay she has been giving this a bit of thought, Lachlan,” Sentaura interrupted with an approving tone. “Please, everyone grab a bowl and eat while it’s hot. I don’t mean to be rude but I’ll not be serving my guests cold stew.”
The pause in conversation was most welcome for the young Marine, and Lachlan insisted that Sentaura take the first bowl herself, followed by Ursol. He then ladled out a portion for himself and Alice, which was more than he might eat on a given morning but certainly less than two humans might consume. Alice rested a hand on his arm and smiled at him, indicating her approval. “Awawa, hot! Mama, it’s hot!” Ursol declared, dropping a steaming piece of dato back into his bowl and splashing a bit on his tunic. Sentaura sighed and wiped him down quickly.
“Ursol, you’re a big boy now. Surely you can blow on your own food to cool it down? And not too hard. If you spill your soup you’ll be in trouble,” she warned. Lachlan pointed his spoon at the little Cauthan, pursed his lips, and demonstrated.
“Nice an’ easy, laddie. Yer mum didn’t work so hard this mornin’ just to have you splashin’ it about now!” Alice watched in fascination as Ursol did just that, blowing lightly on his food before observing it keenly, giving it a sniff, and then taking a nibble. Satisfied that it was of a reasonable temperature, he swiftly took the rest into his mouth only to scrunch up his face in discomfort.
“Still hot!”
Lachlan and Alice laughed lightly, sounds that seemed to make Ursol very pleased with his antics before he busied himself with breakfast again. Sentaura managed a wan smile, and the meal continued without major disturbance. When they concluded, Alice stood and ruffled MacGregor’s hair before handing him one of her ration bars. “Sorry, Mac. I’ll be at the temple if you want to stop by.”
“Momma, she touched his feathers!” Ursol immediately remarked, pointing and bouncing on the balls of his feet as Lachlan looked at the entryway with a mixture of confusion and annoyance on his face. Sentaura smiled genuinely and took her son’s empty bowl.
“Yes, but humans are different from Cauthan, Ursol. We do not touch feathers like that. If you wish to learn how to touch humans correctly, you must speak with Lachlan or Alice or Winters.”
“But the white one is scary,” Ursol murmured. MacGregor watched closely as Sentaura set aside the dirty dinnerware and took her son into her arms, soothing him with a gentle voice.
“Sometimes, my son, you need to be scary to protect the things you love. I am sure Lachlan would be happy to teach you instead.” He nodded an affirmative when she glanced his way.
“Course, mum,” the Marine replied quietly, wondering for the first time what Ursol might or might not have seen on the night of the raid, perhaps when fleeing his burning home. “I’m sorry about Alice. Sometimes she just has these ideas and-”
“It sounds like it was the Mother’s idea, Lachlan, not Alice’s. If she wishes to play a role in such a thing, that is for Gentia to decide. And it is clear she will look to you for support,” Sentaura pointed out, her tone indicating that such things were obvious. She cleaned the fur around Ursol’s muzzle with a few licks of her tongue before turning him over to Lachlan. “Could I trouble you to see him to the temple this morning?”
“Of course, Sentaura,” he agreed easily.
“Uncle Lachlan, hunter games?” Ursol suggested. The Marine laughed and picked him up, placing the young boy on his knee.
“Right after breakfast? You’ll be crampin’ up something awful, laddie,” he warned.
“Nuh-uh!” Ursol insisted pointedly as his mother gathered her effects for another day in the fields as harvest season approached.
“Alright, but don’t blame me if you find yerself losing that breakfast! Let’s go. One lap around the village before school then. Hunters gotta be fast, right?”
“Right!” Ursol cheered, hopping to the ground and running out the door. Sentaura handed him Ursol’s lunch for the day, swishing her tail behind her in contemplation.
“This… may not be my place Lachlan, but you have been a welcome addition to my home and I would ask this question of you.”
“Is that… is that Cauthan for we need ta talk? Because there’s only so much of that a man can take in a day,” he protested lightly. Her eyes narrowed slightly as her expression softened.
“We have not known each other for long, but I would hope that by now you would understand that if we needed to talk I would out and say it. I just wanted to know if there is something wrong with Alice. Is she not fertile? Are her features undesirable?”
The Marine was caught flatfooted. “I don’t get your meanin’, Sentaura.”
“Are you mated to another female then?”
“Oh that’s what this is-” Lachlan rubbed his face with his hands, pulling his moustache downward before running his fingers through his beard. “It’s complicated, Sentaura. An’ even if it weren’t complicated I couldn’t just hop to it without knowin’ I love her.”
The young but world-wise Cauthan blinked twice, cocking her head as she mulled over her question. “How could you know such a thing like love without bringing life into the world with her?”
“Uncle Lachlan, I wanna play!” Ursol popped his head back in the door, is face fraught with childish impatience.
“I should be going, Sentaura. I’ll see ya in the fields later,” Lachlan insisted softly, bowing in thanks for breakfast before grabbing his gear and heading out after Ursol.
“Ah well, Valta only knows no male is perfect,” Sentaura concluded.
-----
“Alice Winters, good morning to you. What brings you to my temple today? Feeling restless with your brother gone?” Gentia asked knowingly, leaving a small gaggle of young Cauthan under the care of several of her acolytes while she went to speak with the human.
“Selah to you, Gentia,” Alice replied formally before easing into the conversation. They sat on a bench nearby, so the acolytes and children alike would know that the head priestess was still watching them learn. “I daresay you must feel the same. Would it be rude to ask how long it was since you spent a night away from Thantis?”
“You remind me of myself when I was young,” the old Cauthan admitted. “Always asking the pointed questions, hmm? I will be frank; it was difficult. We have been constant companions for more years than I can number. All I can pray for is that when the time comes, the Mother and her father see fit to receive us at the same time. I’m sorry, you surely didn’t come here to listen to an old female like me ruminate on life and death.”
“No, but don’t let me stop you. I’m sure I could learn a lot from that sort of chat,” Alice responded politely. Gentia waved her off.
“Bah, how depressing. We will have words if he’s not returned to me soon instead, hmm! Now, what else is on your mind? Your forehead is wrinkled. When your brother does this it usually means he’s frustrated or thinking very hard about something. Is that painful?”
Alice placed her fingers to her lips and giggled. Gentia joined in quietly for just a moment. “No, thankfully it’s not painful. Our faces are like your feathers. We have a great deal of control over the muscles under the skin, and we’re very attuned to one another’s expressions.” To demonstrate, Alice waggled her eyebrows and showed off how much minute control she had over the movement of her lips and mouth.
“You have made your point quite splendidly,” Gentia told her as multiple young Cauthan began trying to imitate her with various degrees of success. “Oh just go on and play, all of you. We will have lessons this afternoon instead.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alice suddenly adopted a reserved expression as the gathering of cubs immediately scattered laughing and shouting to the far corners of the temple to play. Thankfully, none bolted for the door.
“Oh, them? Think nothing of it, Alice. They’ve been looking for an excuse all morning. Sometimes it is best to give a little and then take. Though I will say Ursol has been instigating disruptions far less than usual over the past cycle. Please give your companion my thanks. I assume it’s on account of him running the boy ragged every day. Meylith bless him.”
“That’s… actually what I wanted to discuss today,” Alice continued, taken aback as Gentia’s eyes began to sparkle in a manner reminiscent of her husband.
“O-ho! You’ve decided to be his mate then? We would be happy to allow you use of this space for your ceremony!” Gentia nodded, quite pleased with herself indeed as Alice spluttered and waved her hands quickly in front of her.
“No no no! That’s not what I meant at all! I was referring to your suggestion to Natori the other day, about Ketra.”
“My condition, you mean?” the Cauthan clarified sharply, looking around her temple and quickly locating the ball of light brown fur. “Of course, let us talk then. Centille, you can leave Ketra with us.”
“Thank you, Gentia,” the younger priestess replied with relief audible in her voice. The little cub was discontented for one reason or another that morning, and was quite indisposed to remaining in Centille’s arms. “I’ll go look after the others.”
“Please bring us a bit of grain and water first, she may be hungry. Then you may go,” Gentia requested. Centille bowed before hurrying off to the granary to comply with her orders while the older female addressed the cub on her lap. “Now what’s gotten your feathers all bent out of shape, little one? Oh, it is your feathers! Well look at you, you’ll be a fine young female with a grand crest one day. All the rowdy little males will be clamoring to be yours.”
Alice watched with great interest as Gentia unsheathed her claws ever so slightly and began running them in one direction from the top of Ketra’s forehead, over top, and all the way down to the base of her neck. The tiny Cauthan let out something of a squeak but settled down shortly as her elder scratched the itch of new feather growth. Gentia rested her cane against the bench and adjusted her hold on the little one before speaking quietly to Alice again. “I will have to teach Centille about this, I suppose. She is wonderful with the older cubs. I am sure that will change when she has her own. Ah, thank you Centille. Just place the bowl here, would you?”
The acolyte left the small amount of food on the bench next to Gentia before bowing and returning to her duties. “She’s so cute,” Alice couldn’t help but whisper, waving her fingers at Ketra who, being pampered, looked ready to doze off for a little snooze instead of continuing to be difficult.
“She’s a handful and a half is what she is,” Gentia said. Alice tittered.
“So that was your plan then? Have the humans raise the difficult child?” she joked, hoping the translation would prove adequate.
“How could you suggest something so very like me?” The priestess feigned shock before pivoting to a quite serious demeanor. “Do you think it is a wise decision?”
“I… a- what?” Alice stammered. “You’re asking me?”
Gentia gazed at her for several seconds as she ordered her thoughts. “If I understand correctly you have spent almost all of your life studying and learning, no? Surely that counts for something. Even I am still subject to fits of passion or flights of fancy. I serve the Mother, but no one says I must always act like her, hmm? Sometimes calling on a bit of Valta or the Twins might be prudent. But it strikes me now that humans wouldn’t know to do what I’m doing. I wonder how many other moments in her life would be subject to the same problem.”
“Well, you could always teach us? I liked Xan’s idea,” Alice admitted, hands in her lap.
“And what happens when you return to your home?” Gentia pointed out.
“Yeah, I know. Part of me wants to say that all mothers have to go through that though, even human ones. We have to learn how to take care of our children on our own, maybe with our own mother’s help. You can know about teething all you like but I’m sure that it’s different when you have your own baby in your arms. That’s when our infants get their first set of teeth, by the way,” she explained.
“Your young are not born with teeth? How do they eat?” Gentia asked.
“They consume food in liquid form exclusively for quite some time and then slowly transition to a solid diet,” Alice explained.
“I can never decide if your people are more similar or different to mine than at first glance,” the priestess mused, humming gently to the cub that was now snoozing in her arms, one stubby paw hanging limp at her side. “But it would appear that question will need to wait for another time, Alice. I have a great duty to fulfill this morning it would seem.”
That duty took the form of none other than the village Huntress, as Ratha stood silently just inside the doorway to the temple. Alice found herself feeling quite nervous under the Cauthan’s scrutiny, as no amount of height disadvantage or pregnant belly seemed capable of dulling Ratha’s sharp, predatory gaze. “Want to have a little fun?” Gentia asked.
“With Ratha? No, I think I’m good,” Alice decided immediately.
“Be that as it may, unless you intend to examine her yourself I would ask you to take this bundle of joy from me, just for now. Should she wake, simply repeat what I was doing to calm her, or soak some grain in water and offer it to her. Gods willing this will not take long, despite the fact that her first visit should have been a season ago,” the priestess said, raising her voice enough so that Ratha would be able to hear her.
“Well I’m here now, Gentia. I can come back later. Human,” came the Huntress’ greeting. Alice’s capacity to respond was replaced by the need to accept a snoozing Ketra from Gentia. She was very careful to ensure the cub’s head remained supported as she cradled the little fuzzball, but the developmental differences between humans and Cauthan seemed to render that consideration a bit less important. If young Cauthan were born with teeth, Alice supposed it wasn’t too much to assume they would be capable of supporting the weight of their own heads much earlier in life.
“No no, far be it from me to impose upon you, Ratha. I just pray you didn’t finally come to us because something is amiss. Thank you, Alice. Call upon any of the acolytes if you have need of them. And no snide comments, my dear,” Gentia insisted of Ratha. “As you can see her feathers are coming in and we just got her to sleep.”
A shiver ran up Alice’s spine from the way Ratha sized her up, but if the Huntress had any thoughts about a human holding one of her village’s orphans, she kept it to herself. So far as Alice knew, Ketra was not the daughter of any of ‘Ratha’s people’. Instead the auburn furred Cauthan strode onward, accompanied by Gentia who immediately launched into what Alice supposed was a standard set of questions for expecting Cauthan mothers. Ratha did not speak a word until they disappeared into the next room over. “Well, that was terrifying,” Alice whispered, looking down at Ketra. “To think she used to look like you one day, long ago. Okay I’m sorry, please don’t wake up! I’ll talk inside my own head.”
To Alice’s relief, Ketra’s sudden movement was nothing more than a sleepy adjustment as the little one snuggled up to her, presumably for warmth. Alice had to bring her free hand to her mouth in an attempt to contain a squeal of delight before whipping her head around as a low voice spoke to her from behind. “Practicin’?”
“Lachlan!” she hissed, gesturing for him to sit next to here. Ursol had just run off to join his fellows, having arrived after his jog around the village. “She just fell asleep and Gentia had to leave.”
The Marine yielded and held his hands up in front of his chest, content to take a moment and join Alice in silent watch over the little one. Though he’d made something of a habit out of it, there was nothing stipulating he had to assist Sentaura in the fields each day. Instead he watched Alice as she rocked her torso gently back and forth, once or twice reaching for her hair before remembering again it was tied tightly behind her head. It was a side of her that he’d not seen before, and Sentaura’s words came back to haunt him. He didn’t know about love, but there was something undeniably compelling about a woman caring for an infant. Given how fluffy the infant in question was, the species barrier was a non-issue in terms of the adorable factor. If anything, it was a plus.
“What was the last time you showered?” Alice suddenly asked. Lachlan groaned and scooched away from her on the bench.
“Look, it’s not like I can get back up ta the ship right now.”
“I know, I’m just teasing,” she assured him quietly. “That’s the real reason we’re not supposed to interact with pre-industrial civilizations. No indoor plumbing. Oh no no no no no! I’m sorry! Please go back to sleep!”
Ketra’s surprise at finding herself in the arms of an alien was more than apparent as her little eyes fluttered open and she evaluated the situation rather than return to slumber. Alice began to panic as Ketra grew restless, squirming around and making adorable but disgruntled noises.
“Ok then, how about some food?” she suggested, taking a piece of Maran grain and dipping it in the water before offering it to the cub. She was not impressed. “No? Oh geez, alright. Is it your feathers? Are they annoying you?”
Lachlan watched in nervous silence as Alice began running her nails, which had last been painted pink so long ago than more than half of the enamel had chipped off, along Ketra’s scalp. More than one of the priestesses of Meylith was watching out of the corner of their eye, but Alice was intent on salvaging the situation and they seemed amenable to allowing her the chance.
“Rock a bye baby, on the tree tops,” Alice began singing. “When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and… oh my God, why is that even a nursery rhyme?” she whispered as Ketra began to protest her current condition more loudly. “Lachlan, help!”
“What am I supposed ta do?” he demanded.
“You’re so good with Ursol!”
“He’s four! He ain’t an infant. There’s nothin’ alike about-” his protests died as Alice gave him the most overblown puppy eyes he’d ever seen. “Oh by me grandpa’s kilt! Alright, wee one. What’s got ye so bent outta shape? Ketra, stop makin’ life difficult for Alice here.”
When Ketra realized that the alien with the facial fur and deep voice was addressing her, she gave him a moment of her attention. Afraid that it wouldn’t last, he swallowed his embarrassment and tried his hand at singing, though his song was not a nursery rhyme by any means. “Red is the rose, that in yonder garden grows. Fair is the lily of the valley. Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne, but my love is fairer than any.”
Not knowing the rest of the lyrics, he hummed the tune instead, his voice and Alice’s gentle scratching finally working as Ketra ceased attempting to escape from Alice’s grasp. By the time Lachlan made it around to the chorus again, Ketra was accepting individual pieces of grain from Alice’s fingers and chewing them slowly. Her eyes never moved from Lachlan. “Isn’t that an Irish ballad?” Alice whispered as Ketra took her breakfast, finally, in some amount of peace.
“An’ what? I can’t like it cause I’m Scottish?” Lachlan asked. “We both hate the English after all.”
“No no, of course not. I was just surprised,” Alice remarked, tilting her head as she looked at him. “Thank you. You’re really good with them.”
“Perhaps you can teach that song to me sometime,” a low voice suggested from nearby. Alice almost screamed but managed to hold it in, providing Ketra with a bit of amusement. Antoth clearly possessed a bit of Ratha’s stealth. That or the two of them had been far too concerned with the immediate problem to notice him walking up behind them. “Her feathers?”
“Oh, yes Antoth. Good morning to you,” Alice stammered, shifting Ketra so she could activate her translation program. She suddenly felt every bit as self-conscious as she had been around Ratha. “Gentia said to scratch her like that if she woke up, and your wife is over in the other room.”
“Mmm, I’ll have to make note of that as well,” the high priest said, blinking at Ketra who had become quite still in the presence of so many adults. “I hope my cubs are as polite as her when I’m around. So, am I to take this to mean that the two of you were chosen by Natori?”
“Wha- what? No, it’s nothing like that. Natori left on the resupply mission before saying anything about Gentia’s proposal. I just- yes yes sweetie, here’s another piece. Gentle now. There you go,” Alice cooed as Ketra used both of her stubby little paws to move the morsel of food to her mouth. “Sorry Antoth, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do today to come see her. With everyone else gone there isn’t much to do. Is everything fine with Ratha?”
“I hope Gentia will say so,” the black-furred Cauthan replied, crossing his arms over his chest. “You saw her today, I presume? She didn’t say anything untoward?”
“No, she didn’t say anything to me at all, really,” Alice confirmed.
Antoth breathed out a relieved sigh. “That is good. I would not say a bad word about her, but pregnancy is… an interesting challenge.”
“No need ta explain to us, Antoth. We understand,” Lachlan assured him. The Cauthan’s eyes grew a bit wider.
“Oh? I didn’t know you had cubs of your own. Are they aboard your ship?” he asked politely.
“I’m not even married, Antoth. Just saying ya have my sympathies. Pregnancy’s pretty bad on human women too.”
“You’re welcome,” Alice chipped in proudly.
“Fer what? You don’t have any either,” he ribbed her.
“Well on behalf of womankind, you’re welcome anyway. Right, Ketra? We’re the real tough ones. They don’t know what it’s like,” Alice cooed in a high pitched voice. Ketra seemed far more accepting now that the alien had established itself as a source of nourishment and comfort.
“Neither do you,” Lachlan pressed, earning Alice’s finger jabbing into his bicep.
“Well one day I will, mister. And if you’re the daddy you best believe I’ll be reminding you of this regularly!”
Antoth laughed loudly as Lachlan leaned away from Alice as far as he could. She joined in, sticking her tongue out at him. “I continue to insist that once she gets over humans in general, my mate will find you quite agreeable,” Antoth stated as Gentia and Ratha emerged from the ‘maternity ward’ of the temple. “Ratha.”
“Don’t you have something better to be doing than waiting around to see what’s wrong with me?” she demanded.
“No,” he replied firmly. Ratha’s face softened several degrees and she rested her head against his chest where his left arm met his shoulder.
“Good answer, Scarface. Our spawn is just fine,” she informed him. The humans couldn’t help but smile as Antoth’s shoulders sagged with relief.
“The tenderness on the underside of her belly is normal, as is the nausea. There is a possibility the cub may come into the world feet first, but that’s nothing we cannot handle,” Gentia reported before hardening her tone. “Do not wait next time, Huntress. Listen to your body.”
“I know my body better than anyone,” Ratha insisted hotly.
Gentia did not give an inch. “And I know pregnancy better than you ever will.”
“When you never had a cub yourself? Spare me.”
“Ratha, that’s enough!” Antoth stepped in, his voice not quite a shout. She leered at him before stalking proudly from the temple, her hand supporting the bottom of her belly. “You have my apologies, Gentia. I will ensure she returns to do the same.”
“You and I both know such a thing is pointless,” Gentia said tiredly, standing beside him. “She is afraid. Her body is betraying her. It is natural for her to behave this way. Support her as best you can.”
He growled quietly in acceptance. “I do not know what we will do when you go to the Mother’s side, Gentia.”
“One of my very capable assistants will take my place. And unlike me, she will have had cubs of her own. I was not the first, and I will not be the last, Antoth.”
“You have my apologies as well, humans. That was not something for you to see or hear.” He bowed to them all before leaving after his mate. Even Ketra was looking around silently in his wake.
“Way to read the room, wee lassie,” Lachlan congratulated her. Gentia refocused on them with a brightening expression.
“Thank you both. She seems to have taken a liking to this arrangement. Maybe the two of you can make things official at the harvest festival, hmm?” she tittered.
“Why does every Cauthan we know insist we should be gettin’ hitched?!” Lachlan lamented. Gentia poked his stomach with her cane as she explained. A small group of male cubs, including Ursol, ran past them playing what seemed to be tag.
“Because if our youth were like you, still unmated in the prime of their lives, we would die out as surely as Seil rises in the west. Ratha and Antoth are an exception, not the rule.”
Lachlan and Alice stared at one another quietly.
-----
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2020.09.12 18:21 2holdu (21F) current collection+ mini reviews. Any recs would be appreciated

https://imgur.com/a/sC3Iy07
This is my current collection. So chronologically from the date purchased, this is my mini-review for each.
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gioia: This was my first ever 'expensive' fragrance and i loved it, i still do, considering the bottle is almost empty; maybe a spray or two left. I can't say enough about this scent. It was my signature for about a year and a half. Smells absolutely heavenly on my skin. The citrus and aquatic notes are so well blended and make for a perfect summer scent. This lasts at least 6-10 hours on my skin and days on my clothes! I love this scent so much This scent is absolutely gorgeous and i think it's super underrated, i rarely see anyone talk about it! It opens with fresh citrus notes and on my skin, after an hour or so, you can still smell a hint of citrus, with a bit of kick to it. After a few hours, it deepens into a sweeter, albeit still fresh scent.
Hugo Boss The Scent for Her: This scent is absolutely delicious! opening with notes of ripe peach, a hint of cacao, it settles into a powdery musky scent after about 30 minutes. The longevity is laughable though, the peach disappears in less than 15 mins, same with the cacao, leaving you just smelling musky. It's one of those scents you have to keep reapplying throughout the day. It lasted 3 hours max on my skin, after that, i couldn't smell it at all. I wish it lasted longer. I actually bought this accidentally, i meant to buy the private accord version, which i smelled and loved WAY more. But this grew on me after a while, this is the kind of scent that i swear on days i have to run quick errands.
Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy: This is another scent i wear when im running quick errands. It's very likeable. The white florals and sweet sugar, fruity and caramel scents blend in so well, and i understand why younger people like it! it's just one of those scents that are mass appealing. This actually lasts quite a good amount of time on my skin, around 6-7 hours. It's super basic and not my favorite, i don't hate it though.
Guess 1981: This fragrance is just.... amazing to me. The first time i sprayed it i was instantly in love with it, the pear and violet and musk work so so well together, there's something about this, i can't quite put my finger on it but it's super addicting to me. It's a super clean fragrance and i consider this to be an all year round fragrance, it could work in every setting. It's super airy in the best way, it's not super polarizing, it's one of those scents that when someone hugs you, they'll ask what you're wearing. It could honestly be unisex too. This is the perfect office/workplace fragrance.
Thierry Mugler Angel Muse: I adore this scent! although I'm not a fan of patchouli, in fact, i prefer to not smell it in a fragrance I'm wearing. Having said that i understand why it's widely used in a lot of fragrances and can sometimes add a nice punch to a boring scent. But patchouli is just not my thing, Angel muse is incredibly unique, i don't smell this very often. The opening is strong patchouli, followed by pink pepper. On my skin, the patchouli and pink pepper are very apparent, i wish i could smell the hazelnut more! it just doesn't come through on my skin very much! Everyone says it smells like Nutella but i don't get that at all. I love this scent for the colder weather and will continue to wear it, but i was expecting a creamy Nutella scent from all the reviews I've read. Overall, really like it, but a bit disappointed.
Thierry Mugler Aura: I like this scent, it's unique, but it's not for everyone and understandably so. On my skin, it's mostly melon and vanilla, a little bit of pear, and lots of green notes. I detect a small bit of soapiness in here as well, I'm not sure if it just reacts that way to my skin. It's not extremely wearable and not a crowd pleaser but it works for some summer days, you really have to be in the mood for it. Personally, I'm not a fan of green fragrances, it just doesn't pull me in the way i want a fragrance to, but for someone who loves green scents, this would be absolutely delightful. I won't be repurchasing this.
Gerard Monet La Brise: This is my favorite fragrance for the summer! It's a fruity-floral scent that settles into a powdery, sensual fizzy white floral scent that stays on the skin forever! i can smell it on my hair and skin the day after. It leaves an intoxicating trail and it's perfect for warmer weather. After about 12-16 hours it sits closer to the skin, the amber and floral notes really shine through! I can detect a small hint of pear, and the opening note has some fizziness, like champagne to it, in the most pleasant way possible. It's very fresh and wearable. I love this fragrance so much and it's one i will be repurchasing.
Dior Hypnotic Poison: I'm a sucker for gourmand fragrances and I absolutely love this scent! The almond and vanilla are blended beautifully and settles into a creamy, delicious boozy, warm scent. It sits very close to the skin and the projection isn't too big. Although it is an EDT and i do have a newer version, i really like it! i'm not a huge fan of the EDP, i thought it would be the same scent but more long-lasting, but it was completely different. But it's just delightful. This makes me feel super sexy, and it feels like a very intimate fragrance. This is another fragrance i will continue to repurchase. This is the perfect scent for fall, i love wearing this on colder nights.
Alexandria Fragrances Lady Diana: I got this because everyone is so hype about Delina, but i don't have $300+ to shell out for a fragrance, i was going to get the be layered one, but people said this outperformed that, so I settled with this. And honestly? i get it, but i also don't. I've read reviews where they say the dry down is almost identical, it's not a bad scent, it's pretty unique. But i don't think it's worth that much. I get no rhubarb or lychee, just straight rose, and incense. The magic happens after 2-3 hours of wearing this scent i think. It lasts on my skin for days, although it does irritate my skin a bit, i have a rash on my neck because of it. It lasts on clothes for days too. It turns into an almost skin scent after a few hours but super sexy and sensual. I like it more after 2-3 hours. It's good but not amazing mindblowing, you know? I won't be repurchasing this.
Alexandria Naughty Girl: Now this fragrance is super sexy, it lasts forever on my skin and clothes, but just like Lady Diana, it irritates my skin a lot. I love wearing this for a date night, it's super polarizing and the longevity is amazing and it turns into a sweeter caramel-sugary scent with some fruity and floral notes. I really like it, but it's not super complex and i smell this everywhere. I won't be repurchasing this.
Any fragrance recs would be appreciated!
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2020.09.10 18:51 darth_henning Team #13: Amy and Maya (TAR 29)

13. Amy and Maya (Season 25, WINNERS)

*Sorry for season typo in post title*
I'll be honest, I seriously debated this over night. Between Amy and Maya, Uchenna and Joyce, and Jamie and Cara, I don't think any are endgame. (OK, there's several I don't think are but not much I can do now).
However, as much as I may not think the others are endgame, Uchenna and Joyce won their season in a hard fought battle with Rob and Amber and were a satisfying win. Jamie and Cara were never a great team, but never a bad one, and while they kinda rubbed me the wrong way, they finished middle of the pack in the finale so its about right.
Amy and Maya shouldn't have made the final. Period. The only reason they did was because of a weird, and short-lived twist where four teams made the final episode, only for one of them to be eliminated half way through the episode, in what has to be the single stupidest thing to come out of the last few seasons of 'twists'. And yes, that includes the Blind Date idea.
(Bowling moms probably don't deserve it, but I like them too much to cut compared to the other three)
Here's the thing, the Sweet Scientists are an ever-likeable team that it's impossible to dislike as people, or racers. However, they were consistently middle to back of the pack but for legs 10 and 12. Excluding those two legs, they finished at best dead in the middle.
They're the kind of team that you enjoy seeing, and are sad to lose just before the finale, because they were fun but just not good enough.
Yet somehow, despite falling to fourth in the penultimate leg, they are saved and go on to the finale, where they eventually end up winning the season. What?
Mind you, this is compounded by having not one, but TWO NEL's right before the finale, so arguably Brooke and Robbie who finished fourth in both 10 and 12 shouldn't have made it either, but they're already long gone.
Look, I like them, but there were two stronger teams in Misti and Jim and Adam and Bethany (both of whom I generally liked) who should have been fighting it out to win. Amy and Maya have the lowest leg average of a F/F winning team at 4.5 which is hardly a surprise.
Note: the Beakmans, who also somehow survive in the rankdown have an even lower ranking average, and are definitely another questionable team, but not available to me.
Throughout the race, Amy and Maya are probably one of the more "fun" teams post All Stars 2. Not that there's a heck of a lot of competition for that as I've found most teams in the past 6 seasons to be generally fairly bland and unremarkable. They are competitive in spirit if not results, and always seem to find a way to have fun with whatever task they're doing or struggling with, and no matter how bad things seem keep a positive attitude.
Lovely people, and fun to watch, but lasted too long on both their season and in the rankdown.
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I don't actually know if I need to nominate anyone if this is the last cut? But as there are two potential NEL's I suppose I have to.
Unfortunately, the teams I REALLY want to nominate (Beakmans, Ron and Christina, Ken and Gerard) already have been by me earlier. In fact all of the teams I'm eligible to nominate are ones I have in my personal top 12. My nominee is going to be Margie and Luke, TAR14’s 3nd place finishers, simply because I think the next two rankers have them high in their list as well, and I don't know about the other three.
The current pool is:
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2020.09.08 04:08 kaleviko [All] Pinocchio's friend

In P4, Twin Peaks deputies had some argument about the Log Lady and her message-dropping log.
Andy: "She gets messages from her log."
Chad: "Pinocchio's friend."
Sheriff Truman: "Good night, Chad."
In the most famous adaptation of Pinocchio, the Disney animation from 1940), Pinocchio's friend was Jiminy Cricket. Lynch's Pinocchio from Fire Walk with Me - Jumping Man - made two brief but baffling appearances in season 3.
In P15, Mr C arrived to the Convenience Store and asked the Woodsman to see Phillip Jeffries. The Woodsman activated some device, which put the trembling and shaking Jumping Man morph between different, almost recognizable faces. Then Mr C walked with the Woodsman up the stairs to a wet motel yard. There were a lot of crickets around. Bosomy Woman opened him the number 8 where some kind of hologram of Phillip Jeffries's current state of existence appeared to him.
Jumping Man was seen again in P17 when Cooper and Gerard walked up the same stairs and the squeaking Jumping Man rushed down the stairs after they had gone.
But then something went wrong. Cooper and Gerard came out of the door that wasn't the same door that Mr C had come out. There was also a visual glitch at 39:31 when the footage was in sudden slow-motion, followed by a quick shot of the same wet motel yard that Mr C had crossed in P13.
Listening carefully, Cooper and Gerard's shoes didn't make much sound in the ground, unlike Mr C's shoes that made noticeable noise against the wet asphalt right when he got out of the door, and we got to listen to it for a good while as he walked across the yard.
Unlike Mr C, Cooper and Gerard didn't go to the motel - instead, they walked to the right, and as they passed a wall, it looked like they were actually somewhere in the Fireman's station. Then they arrived to a vault that also looked like from the same place, and that was where they found Jeffries. This time, it wasn't a vision but whatever was left of him.
So, like I already wondered earlier without a clue what this was for, the door was wrong, and the sounds were wrong, and the shot of the motel didn't match what was shown with the two.
Apparently Cooper and Gerard had not arrived to the motel at all, and that lonely shot of the motel was shown to us for some other reason. The visual glitch just before it probably hinted this was done because there was something about the motel, or about the previous scene when Mr C had had his chat with Jeffries that we needed to notice to make sense of what was going on.
Assuming then that Cooper and Gerard were nowhere near that motel, they nevertheless were surrounded by the same loud cricket concert that had followed Mr C when he had walked across the motel yard. The crickets were there even if they were not at the motel.
Thus, the crickets were not about the motel but about something else. Or, someone else. During both visits, there was Jumping Man and Phillip Jeffries, preceded by the crickets - apparently then likened to Pinocchio and his friend Jiminy Cricket.
The reason why Jeffries would have been associated with crickets might go back to some earlier events. In P8, crickets were all around the Boy and the Girl in the 1956 sequence when the Boy was walking her home after their date. Earlier - so the Boy claimed - he had broken up with another girl, and his current date was naturally curious.
Girl: "I thought you were going with Mary."
Boy: "No. No, that's over."
Girl: "Are you ... sad about that?"
Boy: "No."
Girl: "Okay, that's ... that's good. That's good."
This looked very innocent and completely pointless as we never saw any of these people again. But elsewhere in P17, Cole was talking to Albert and Tammy about some plan that had been hatched between himself, Major Briggs and Cooper.
Cole: "Major Briggs, Cooper, and I put together a plan that could lead us to Judy. And then something happened to Major Briggs, and something happened to Cooper. Phillip Jeffries, who doesn't really exist anymore, at least not in the normal sense, told me a long time ago he was onto this entity, and he disappeared."
Cole's comment about Jeffries felt random as there was no followup. How long time ago would that even have been? Would 1956 be far enough?
The 1956 sequence had the appearance of a dream, but it probably hearkened the truth as a version of something that had come to pass, with the real story concealed from us but told through indirect means. It was nominally 1956 but it was also "long time ago".
Earlier, I proposed that while The Experiment was a supernatural force, it had human counterparts in other worlds: one was Janey-E and another was Betty Briggs. The Experiment seems to have also been linked to a shadowy Mary, represented by Bloody Mary cocktails.
Assuming that the unseen Mary whom the Boy had been dating earlier was also an incarnation of the Experiment, then the strange moth-frog that had hatched from the Experiment's egg and later crawled to the Girl's mouth could be seen as an act of jealousy, the same motivation that seems to have got Sam Colby and Tracey Barberato hacked to death by the Experiment in P1.
Surrounded by crickets that accompanied his visitors later, at the center of this 1956 drama seems to have been Phillip Jeffries himself, still existing "in the normal sense" and working his ways "onto this entity". But in this version of the story, these events equalled to an harmless-looking love triangle.
The 1956 sequence may have looked like a dream but it also seems to have been based on Twin Peaks. Though name-dropped to New Mexico, there was Norma cleaning her diner, Ed working in his garage, Lucy in the reception and Maggie managing the station's radio. It apparently mirrored events that happened in one version of Twin Peaks, told to us through a nightmare.
If Phillip Jeffries was there as well, he was supposed to be someone in Twin Peaks. And if that was the case, then this Agent Jeffries never existed in the same universe as the original Twin Peaks. The Blue Rose task force that Jeffries had been running was a thing from another world. That may have been the reason why he suddenly disappeared from Cole's office in Fire Walk with Me: he was already there, so he couldn't be there again. It wasn't his story. Apparently there was another Agent Phillip Jeffries as well, also missing, but he had nothing to do with Blue Rose, and Cooper might only have heard of him from the Academy.
Who was Jeffries in Twin Peaks then? The fourth scene with crickets was in P7 when Beverly arrived at some house to see an ailing man who lived there, and the cricket concert was all around her. Earlier, I proposed that the house belonged to Jerry Horne.
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2020.08.22 17:01 HogmanayMelchett Some more episode ideas (expounding on some previously mentioned)

Some of these have been mentioned previously in some form, I thought it would be cool to explore them further
The Kraken: This was mentioned as part of a proposed series on sea monsters. I love all kinds of sea monsters, I'd love to see a multi-part series on all aquatic monsters, but after some thought the kraken is especially cool because unlike others its a creature where myth and science truly meet. It may not be exactly as it was told in the Norse myths but giant and colossal squid are very real. I suspect its the larger-bodied colossal squid that inspired the legends, especially as it is more commonly seen. But giant squid number in the millions in the deep oceans and there is clear evidence from whale carcasses and a photo on Monster Quest (the one new thing that show actually found) that they can get well over 100 ft. And as for the octopus side of things, its a perfect opportunity to get into the one cryptid I'm 100% sure is absolutely real, the Lusca! Mistaken by some for an octopus-shark hybrid (regrettably expounded on by the sci-fi channel) the lusca is an extremely large octopus, considerably larger than the giant pacific, which has been sighted several times and is thought responsible for the disappearance of several divers. The witness accounts are common and detailed, the supporting evidence is all there and to complete this a very large octopus washed up on a Florida beach
Reptilian Kings: No, not the ones claimed by David Icke, we're talking the real deal: crocodiles, alligators and snakes of incredible size (not talking about Marcus, though judging by his freakishly large hands, maybe they should lol). The cool thing about reptiles is they never stop growing so all they need is perfect conditions for them to reach super size. And we have exactly that is several places in the world. We know giant pythons and green anacondas regularly reach 20-30 ft and Green anacondas of an estimated 60 ft have been seen in the deep Amazon and several years ago it was reported that a village in southeast asia kept a 48 ft python and worshipped it as a deity, sating its enormous hunger with local livestock and (yeep) dogs. Komodo dragons are a primeval terror and one of the great alpha predators. But the true reptile king, as far as we know, currently lives in the Agusan Swamps of the Philippines, a true 30 ft monster croc whose eyes can be seen here at 5:43. All hail the king https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jOXKETXlT0&t=39s
The Brothers Grimm: And real deal, horrifying fairy tales generally. Hansel and Gretel provide another opportunity to touch on the German obsession with cannibalism. Seriously Ben, what is up with the Germans?
Charles Sobhraj: Like James M Debardeleben and Michael Swango, this one has to be heard to be believed. Imagine a cross between Ted Bundy and Carl Panzram, a smooth globe-trotting master con artist, described as a "destroyer" by his own father, with a serious sadistic streak and real xenophobic grudge. Sobhraj was an Indian-Vietnamese native of French-occupied Saigon who passed himself off as a French dandy, posing as a gem salesman, while in truth a jewel thief, armed robber and prolific fraudster. He used this to bankroll trips along hippie trails from Europe to India, where he befriended and murdered at least a dozen hippies and other impressionable westerners (likely many more), reportedly in several cases by burning them to death. Sobhraj hated westerners with a vengeance and hippies in particular (the boys would need to find a way to restrain themselves from sympathizing with him lol). He was jailed in the 70's but released in the 90's, leading to him concocting a new fake life story and becoming a celebrity in France. An undoubted example of a truly pure category 1 psychopath, his criminal impulses eventually got him back in jail where he remains to this day
The Order of the Dragon: If they decide Vlad the Impaler is played out it might be interesting to do an episode on the European aristocratic orders, which could also connect to the Order of the Golden Dawn and even the Mafia
Human Sacrifice: Surprised they've not done a deep dive on this subject. I'm especially surprised they've not done a series on Adolpho Costanzo
Texas, Bloody Texas: Throughout its history Texas has been the home of extraordinary violence and some of the most ruthless SOB's to ever live. Start with the Comanche, maybe the most cruel and brutal tribe of humans ever, then on to the ruthless, hard-bitten men who formed the posse which became known as the Texas Rangers and finally a return to the topic of the state's penchant for hanging em high. Could be a way to touch on Kenneth McDuff, a lesser known but absolutely vile serial killer whose bungled case single-handedly changed the state's approach to crime. Could also touch on the Texas killing fields, the especially horrible history of race-motivated murder (though if they want to avoid that, I'm fine with that) and some of the larger than life outlaws of the west, as well as Judge Roy Bean, the subject of the one of the strangest movies I've ever seen
The California Freeway: For a time this was ground central for the murder of hitchhikers and may be why people by and large stopped the practice. In the space of a few years, Patrick Kearney, William Bonin and Randy Kraft were responsible for the brutal murder of roughly 120 teenage boys, mostly dumped on the side of the road. This was likely just a slice of what was going on, but these three are morbidly fascinating enough. Kearney was a Dahmer-like oddball with a genius IQ who kept bodies around the house, distinguishing him from the other two. Kraft was like Dean Corll on wheels, a charming gay ex-military man with a penchant for mutilating the genitals of living victims. Bonin though could have a two-part series entirely on himself and his accomplices, in particular Vernon Butts, one of the real characters of true crime, a strange pervert who identified as a wizard and frequently dressed as Darth Vader. Bonin was one of the most dangerous people ever loose in the country, a man whose fearlessness and skill at killing earned him accolades in Vietnam. His MO was similar to the Hillside Stranglers and his rage and brutality similar to Carl Panzram, owing to a very similar childhood. This was a predator made and molded by the system. The Toolbox Killers are sort of adjacent to all this, as was the Dating Game Killer Rodney Alcala, who just might have killed more people than anyone in American history (an estimated 130). Suffice to say Southern California was a scary place to be a teenager in the 70's and 80's
Gerard Schaefer: The history of Florida's serial killers is predictably sordid, but most of them are fairly standard. Bobby Joe Long was little different from Gary Ridgway, while Danny Rolling was similar to the Yorkshire Ripper (though more brutal). But Schaefer is a different sort, a supremely icky and unctuous former cop convicted of two murders but suspected in up to 80-90 in Florida alone. Like Pee Wee Gaskins, he is the author of a truly sick book of homicidal fantasies, "Killer Fiction". Unlike Gaskins, there is good reason to believe every bit of it is true, as he stealthily managed to avoid culpability for any of it while using it to garner attention and play out his fantasies once more. While in prison he had a much publicized (by himself, anyway) rivalry with Ted Bundy, a man who somehow seems clean by comparison. I don't think there is anyone who gives me the creeps more than this guy
Joanne Dennehy: A combination of Katherine Knight and Richard Ramirez in the body of a pint-sized British chick, Dennehy defied every supposedly solid category about female killers. A domineering lust killer with a 7 ft 3 male sidekick, she systematically terrorized every man in her life before going on a killing spree with a knife. She has carried on her persona in prison and tried to take out Rose West (not that we'd blame her for that, particularly). Another of the really frightening people out there and one whose psychopathic descent seemed to come out of nowhere
Robert Maudsley: Often described as the British Hannibal Lecter, this highly intelligent and refined killer has lived in solitary confinement behind glass for decades. Yet a look at his life reveals a man who if he were tried for his murders might easily get off, as his victims were all pedophiles. Yet he is a ruthless and rage-filled man who can't ever be let out
The Ken and Barbie Killers: Just mentioning this one again because Paul Bernardo called his penis "snuffles" and wanted to be the next Vanilla Ice. I want to hear Henry take apart this guy
Torquemada: They've already covered inquisitions well enough, but if they want to bring their series on Nazis back to full circle they should discuss the man who was in truth the proto-Hitler, the originator of blood purity. Like Hitler, Torquemada was haunted by the reality (a certainty in his case, a rumor with Hitler) that he was of Jewish blood, as he was the descendent of conversos, a group he aimed to eliminate entirely. Could also be part of a series on the origins of fascism, along with Mussolini and (in my view) originating to a degree with Machiavelli
The Abominable Snowman: Out of all the bigfoot legends, the yeti may be the one with the most plausible explanation. There are areas of the Himalayas so high up and remote humans have barely set foot and don't live there at all. It is thought by some that the prehistoric giant sloth still roams this territory and may have occasionally ventured lower, explaining the sightings. The Giant Sloth would be close in size to a grizzly bear and similarly intimidating
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2020.08.21 18:21 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.24]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
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Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, DaPorkchop, Benjamin Durbin, and 45 others supporting me on patreon.
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“You know, I don’t usually find myself proven wrong in such matters, but I’m happy to concede in this case. So you believe it will be a girl then?” Gentia asked, looking over Asha’s ultrasound results with Yvonne. “I think Zolta will be very happy.”
At the later hour there was not much traffic within the temple of Meylith, the cubs too young to work and worshippers having returned home for the most part. As such it was easy to find privacy on one of the wooden benches without retreating to the maternity ward annex. The priestess was turning another copy of the blurry, black and white photograph over in her hands, examining both the subject and the material.
“Certain assumptions had to be made given I have never examined one of your kind before,” the doctor admitted. “But I am quite confident in making them at this juncture, with the child so well developed. Oh, would you excuse me for a moment? I should see who that is.”
Gentia’s old ears had caught the sound of faint ringing and vibration, which turned out to be the inscrutable tablet-like device that Yvonne used for a variety of tasks. Every human, save Russell, seemed to carry one about at all times. Whatever the message was, the doctor only needed a moment to process it. “Was it young Alice? You have that look about you,” Gentia offered with a knowing smile. “I assume it’s mild exasperation, but you’ll have to tell me if not. At least you are able to speak our language with those marvelous devices of yours. I realize I never told you that I like your fur better this way. I believe it looks more dignified, but that’s my own age and graying fur showing, perhaps. This is your natural color?”
“You don’t seem very surprised. Yes, it is,” Yvonne confirmed, running a hand through her thick, shoulder-length locks.
“Why should I be surprised?” Gentia countered, rolling her shoulders slightly. “You mentioned such a thing could be done to young Asha the other day. I have no reason to not believe you. Now, what news?”
“You may not like it,” the human warned, though her tone was not dire by any stretch. “It appears that your husband would like to accompany us on a resource gathering mission in space. The way Alice describes it, it is considered to be the realm of your god of death? I have been asked to verify his health as a matter of safety, but I did not bring my tools with me. At least life is never boring with Natori and Alice in the mix.”
Gentia rested two fingers against her brow, indulging in a world-weary sigh as she clearly felt the same as Yvonne. “The young ones have already done so safely but… yes, that does sound like my dear Thantis. His spirit seems to grow only younger as our bodies grow older.”
As though called by name, the death priest himself chose that moment to shuffle into the temple. “Dear? I made some tea for dinner. Shall we eat here or at my temple?”
“It would seem you also bring some news for me, hmm?” Gentia replied, giving Yvonne an apologetic glance before standing and leaving her side. She and Thantis nuzzled one another briefly before the head priestess of Meylith was back to all business.
“Yvonne will have dinner with us tonight if she is amenable,” she declared with a look over her shoulder. “There is much for you to explain, my love. Yvonne, we spoke of your family when we first met. Did your mate accompany you on this journey to our world?”
“Yes, we spoke briefly of Gerard and my children,” Yvonne affirmed, currently in the process of penning a text message to the very same. Even if he did not deliver her medical equipment himself, she trusted him to select the right tools for the job of reviewing Thantis’ state of health.
“Do you think he’d like to join us?” Gentia proposed. “If the rumors are correct, it seems those who share meals with us on Mara have a tendency to come back for more. Do you know what Ursol does every morning now, Thantis?”
“I believe I’m about to hear. But perhaps we should formally extend our invitation first, my dear? Your mind is moving faster than your lips and feathers,” Thantis replied, his tone making it clear that such a quality was one of the reasons he and Gentia were mated.
“He tells me what he and Lachlan eat for breakfast and what the human likes most. Simply adorable. Yvonne?” Gentia asked simply, gathering up her cloak and a basket. “Our dinner would be at Thantis’ temple. Some privacy will be afforded there.”
“And we would be happy to accept. I hope you don’t mind a bit of a later night? It will take some time for him to join us,” the frenchwoman explained.
“Unless you wish to dine on dried meat and raw vegetables, I am not concerned,” the priestess replied kindly as Yvonne checked the shuttle schedule for the Event Horizon. Seeing how late the return window would be, she quickly added a request to her husband for a thermos of coffee. Her reply was a thumbs up, a cup of coffee, and a French flag emoji. With a satisfied, loving smile that could only be conjured by her eccentric husband, along with a brief snort through her nose in place of a laugh, she stowed her tablet away so as not to be rude.
“My husband and I gladly accept. Is there anything I can help you with?” Yvonne wondered. Gentia waved her hand, bidding Yvonne to accompany the two older Cauthan on a short ‘shopping trip’ to the granary at the back of the temple.
“I will show you some of our produce then. Come, please. How much does your mate eat? I was going to cook for four, but if he is the particularly hungry sort?”
“You need not concern yourself,” Yvonne assured her with a small laugh. “Gerard and I appreciate quality over quantity. After so much time aboard, I think he will be most pleased simply to come visit and have a real meal. Although...”
“Is something wrong?” Thantis wondered as Yvonne stroked her chin thoughtfully.
“No no, not at all. I am simply concerned that if I am not there to meet him when he arrives we may never see him tonight. He is an exceptionally curious man who would no doubt find even those little animals caged outside the walls to be interesting.”
“Then I eagerly await this evening’s conversation,” Thantis piped up. “Speaking of which, Gentia, did my apprentice ever stop by with his human?”
Gentia paused, having just reached out to select a dato from one of their storage baskets, made to keep produce dry and unspoiled between harvests. “His human? Thantis, just what have you been getting up to over the last cycle?”
“Nothing my dear! I simply misspoke. He is accompanying one of the humans who is supposed to help us grow more food. She visited our village for the first time today. I had thought they might have stopped by to speak with you.”
“I have seen neither hide nor hair of either him or this human you speak of,” Gentia related firmly before refocusing her mate on the task at hand. “Now, shall we have grain or bread with our stew tonight?”
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Elsewhere in the village, a similar question was being answered as Xan’s mother fussed about her family’s communal pot. In a remarkable coup, her eldest son had brought home a girl. Disappointingly from the perspective of grandcubs, that girl was a human. “So, how did you two meet?” she asked her son as he sat on one of their chairs and warmed his leg by the cooking fire. Anita blushed furiously upon hearing the translation, but she generally had her hands full speaking with Xan’s younger sister. Given her older brother had been palling around with humans of one form or another for almost a year, she was in no mood to allow such an opportunity to go to waste.
“Do you have to ask it like that?” Xan demanded of his mom. From behind him, his father chuckled as if to say ‘yes, of course, she’s your mother’. “It’s nothing like that. She’s in charge of these crazy metal machines the humans have that grow all sorts of plants I’ve never seen before from their homeworld. I suppose it’s what they all eat on board that thing. I didn’t see any animals like chesko or shen up there. Anyway, since Antoth made that agreement to try and have them grow some of our food, I was being shown this stuff by Alice and we met. Now she’s here to learn about our plants. Here, Anita, as promised,” Xan offered, interrupting his sister who was touching the human’s braided ponytail with an expression that bordered on reverence, her feathers shaking with excitement. His mother had just finished slicing up a couple of kina, and he secured a small portion of the fleshy, seed-filled center of the vegetable for Anita. He handed that over along with several motes of grain that he knew would sprout if planted and watered.
With gentle touch, Anita separated herself from Xan’s sister and opened up her bag, the practice of horticulture taking her mind off of how incredibly nervous she was. His mother making dating jokes only added to the oppressive weight of not wanting to commit a cultural faux pas amongst aliens she barely understood and with whom Alice and her brother had established relationships. Plants, however, she was comfortable with. Each crop was meticulously stored and the respective tubes labeled before she stashed them away again. “Thank you, Xan. I will plant them tonight!”
“He didn’t give you much trouble today, did he?” Xan’s father asked. “Didn’t coerce you into joining us tonight with the promise of seeds?”
“Oh for the love of Kel, dad!” Xan exclaimed before turning back to Anita. “Sorry, this may have been a mistake.”
“He was quite helpful and definitely didn’t engage in any such thing,” Anita offered in his defense. “I’m sorry I didn’t bring anything to contribute. This has all been rather sudden. I didn’t even bring real boots with me when I left Earth.”
“Nonsense! No need to worry about such things with times as good as they are and harvests coming in. You can pay us back when you grow some of these things yourself, eh?” Xan’s father suggested before poking his son. “You told her the tips and tricks?”
“What? About the kina?”
“About all of them!” the older male exclaimed, gesturing to their guest. “What’s your name again?”
“A-Anita, sir.”
“Well Anita, it’s a good thing you came here tonight. My son’s had swords and shields on his mind from the time he could swing one, never cared much for the cultivation of the food that kept him alive to do so.”
Xan grumbled and muttered as his dad clapped him on the shoulder. “And we couldn’t be more proud of him, and what he’s done. We’ll get you set up right, tell you all you need to know to make those seeds sprout.”
“My my, you’re feeling so generous tonight, dear!” Xan’s mother commented, shaving a bit of root into the stew with a cooking knife. The unassuming Cauthan mother sported glasses on the bridge of her nose, a gift from Alice and the crew of the Event Horizon.
“These humans gave you your sight! This is only appropriate,” he insisted. “Besides, more food couldn’t possibly be a bad thing, right?”
“He happens to find them quite fetching, is what he means. I like them too!” Xan’s mother said quietly to Anita. “What do you need to know?”
Suddenly on the spot and scrutinized by five pairs of eyes, including Xan’s younger brother who’d not said a word to her, choosing to stare cautiously instead, Anita found her voice quite fleeting. “Do you want something to drink?” Xan asked. “Come on, we can go grab some water nearby. Mom, dad, you can tell her all about farming over dinner. Just give her a chance to get settled alright?”
“We have some right here,” Xan’s mother pointed out, gesturing to a wooden bucket. “But that’s fine, sweetie. We can speak while we eat dinner.”
“How did you make your fur grow so long?” Xan’s sister interjected, unable to contain herself any longer in the midst of such boring conversation. “Mine falls out every year!”
“Oh, well this isn’t fur exactly,” Anita tried to explain. “Where I come from there are many animals that have fur like you do, that sheds every year. My hair is a little different.”
“What’s hair?”
“Well it’s… fur that doesn’t shed or fall out every year. I’m sorry, I’m not very good at this,” Anita apologized as Xan’s sister just cocked her head in confusion.
“Eh, it’s fine,” Xan assured her. “I’ll ask Alice or Io to explain it to me and then I’ll teach her.”
“Everyone grab a bowl now,” Xan’s mother ordered, effectively declaring dinner to be prepared. His younger siblings rushed to collect their helpings, and when Anita insisted it was fine that they be served first, the meal began in earnest. All she could do was hope that dinner’s discussion would prove a bit less awkward and that the food wouldn’t disagree with her.
-----
As it turned out, Anita managed to survive the meal. And while she felt she’d come through relatively unscathed, waiting for a very late shuttle at the western gate with Xan, it was clear that a certain couple had positively thrived during their sharing of Cauthan victuals.
“As we grow older we lose bit by bit off the ends, every cycle coming closer to destroying the important parts that we need.”
“My word! How terrifying,” Thantis exclaimed as Gerard explained the concept of a telomere with the sort of gravitas that only a cellular biologist of romantic origins could conjure. It was for the best, however, with metaphor and a dash of fantasy being the only way to adequately convey such ideas to a priest whose scientific acumen was defined by a rudimentary understanding of germ theory.
“Yes, quite humbling, isn’t it? To think we have our own wicks burning within us, billions of candles slowly and inevitably snuffing themselves out. If they stop, we stop. I would not be surprised if you are the same way, my friend,” Gerard posited as a faint, moving light became visible in the skies above.
“Has he always possessed such a flair for the dramatic?” Gentia whispered in Yvonne’s ear, the two matrons having spent an enjoyable evening together over stew and discussion of maternal and prenatal care.
“I am pleased to report that he has always been this way,” Yvonne answered, both of the women smirking knowingly as Thantis proposed a rather acute question for a Cauthan who had only just been introduced to the concept of a cell.
“But Gerard, and I do hope I pronounced that right.”
“Stupendous, Thantis! Please, carry on,” the Frenchman encouraged.
“You said that this… essence of life, if you will, is passed from parent to child. How can it be that it itself ages, and yet I assume your offspring are born young just as ours are?”
The very starlight above seemed to twinkle in Gerard’s eye, convincing Gentia at least that there was such a thing as fate. Nothing else could have brought such men together over such distances. “Thantis, mon ami, that is the question that I have striven to answer my whole life. If one could solve that riddle, perhaps one could stave off death itself.”
“Such things are not to be trifled with,” Thantis warned sagely.
“On this I am in agreement,” Gerard stated. “But if you could spend another year with your beloved, would you not?”
“I will spend an eternity at her side, Gerard. Such things are not necessary,” Thantis said in turn, causing Yvonne to heave a dramatic breath and fan herself in the warm air of that summer night.
“Do you have any idea what they’re talking about?” Xan whispered to Anita. Her answer was a fitful shrug.
“Something about aging and telomeres, I think?”
“A what now?” the young Cauthan requested with a wiggle of his scarred ear.
“Xan, I don’t think I’ll be able to explain this to you if I couldn’t even tell your sister what hair is,” Anita lamented.
“Oh it’s fine. She just gets that way anytime she can’t know something about anything. It really is quite long though. I’m impressed. This is probably as long as my fur or feathers will ever grow. But at least I have scales and you don’t!” he laughed.
“Yes, I suppose you do,” Anita agreed, looking down at his wrists and feet. Small, interlocking scales glinted in the light of several torches that were lit at the gates. Even with the addition of numerous modern lanterns, the guard force was not so quick to abandon tradition.
“Do you have everything you think you’ll need?” Xan asked her. “From the sound of it, before they went off on that tangent about life and everything else, it seems like Thantis will be going up to your ship for a couple days after all. That means I’ll have to stay down here.”
“You and your family gave me everything I needed and more, Xan. I am very grateful to you all. I will do my best to ensure these seeds bear fruit,” she promised as Cromwell’s shuttle touched down for the third time that day. “Farewell, Xan.”
“Woah woah hey, don’t… don’t say it like that?” he requested, standing a bit straighter as Yvonne showed Gentia and Thantis how to bid a close acquaintance good evening in the French tradition, with a quick kiss on each cheek. The Cauthan took to it splendidly, laughing as their longer muzzles resulted in inadvertent eskimo kisses.
“Like what?” Anita asked, meeting his eyes. He tapped his cane a couple times on the ground as though the vibrations might conjure the correct words.
“It’s just that when you put it that way it sounded like you were saying goodbye for good, you know? You all aren’t leaving, right?”
“No, no of course not, Xan. The Event Horizon will return after a couple of days while we search for raw materials, and Thantis will be returned to your village,” she promised, feeling confident that Natori, for all his harebrained schemes, would not engage in any funny business regarding such an emissary as the chief death priest of the village.
“Ok, ok that’s good,” Xan nodded. “Do you think you’ll come back down here or… do you have what you need?” He wondered with an oddly tight chest. He shook his head briefly to rid himself of the momentary funk. While Xan’s proved fleeting, by the time he refocused on Anita she was still processing what he’d asked of her.
“You want me to come back to the village?” she asked, glancing at the shuttle. “I’m sorry, Xan. I need to go. It’s already quite late and I’ve kept you from your family. Thank you so much for everything today, you were very kind.”
“You’re welcome,” he murmured as Anita suddenly dashed off, making for the shuttle and the Event Horizon beyond. Left behind was a rather confused and conflicted apprentice death priest, observed closely by Thantis and Gentia. With assurances that a shuttle would arrive in the morning to collect the elder for his voyage, Brick kicked off the ground and began its ascent.
“I haven’t seen you this confused since I started teaching you runes, my apprentice,” Thantis observed.
“Oh Thantis that’s not confusion,” Gentia insisted sweetly. “That is the look of words unsaid.”
“Can I be confused about what I should or shouldn’t have said?” Xan asked sarcastically before changing his tone to one of appropriate respect. “Are you really going to go up there, Thantis?”
“Even if it is to be the last thing I do, I feel that I must,” the Cauthan stated bravely. “You have seen His domain, Xan. I selfishly wish to do the same.”
“After a lifetime of service, you tell Kel if you see him that if you are not returned to me I shall find him when I pass on and deliver unto him a tirade to last a thousand years!” Gentia insisted before taking Thantis’ paw in hers. “Just remember those of us you will leave behind.”
“Of course, my love,” Thantis promised. “Besides, Xan has yet to master my long list of brews and teas!”
“Look, if that’s what it takes,” Xan allowed, turning for home. “Let’s get back inside though. Even with the ursae gone the forest still freaks me out at night.”
-----
The next morning, the village was paid a visit by a rather important envoy in the form of Natori Kaczynski himself, who sought out Gentia and Thantis at the Temple of Kel.
“First of all, please allow me to extend my gratitude to you for allowing one of my horticultural engineers- I’m sorry, that’s a rather obtuse way of saying farmer!” he chuckled, realizing the translation likely wasn’t going through too well based on their expressions. “Thank you for allowing one of our farmers samples of your crops and soil. I have full confidence in her ability to grow a fine crop.”
Gentia and Thantis looked at one another. “I did not distribute any seeds from the granary last night,” the priestess of Meylith supplied.
“That was me, actually,” Xan piped up from where he sat in the corner. While he wasn’t involved in the conversation per se, Thantis was about to depart the village for the first time in living memory. It was necessary for him to be present. “We gave her some seeds and dato from our dinner last night, nothing serious. We didn’t have any erulass seeds though. It might be good to give her some of those? They have the space. Would be nice to have some more of that stuff without cutting down on food production.”
“You believe such a thing is wise, Xan?” Gentia demanded curiously, looking between him and Natori.
“If it were him planting them? No,” Xan laughed, promptly followed by Natori himself.
“An excellent judge of character! Can’t say I have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination,” the human cut in. The Cauthan all looked at his rather dark and certainly not green thumbs, so he elaborated. “Ah, pardon me. It’s another human saying. To say one has a green thumb implies that one is skilled at growing and caring for plants. Anita has two of them, if I say so myself.”
“Just a handful, Gentia? Let her see if she can make it work?” Xan requested. The elders spoke silently with one another, feathers and long decades at one another’s side more than sufficient to come to a conclusion.
“I will send Thantis with the seeds today,” she affirmed before turning a stern gaze on Natori. “Now you will convince me that you will return my mate to me. I am not yet ready to say goodbye to him.”
“You have my word, madame,” Natori promised. “The safety of my crew and any guests aboard our vessel is always my first priority. This will be a standard operation and he will be offered a seat next to my own to oversee the process. I can assure you it’s quite a comfortable chair.”
Xan chuckled as Gentia’s feathers ruffled disappointedly. “If I were worried about his bottom we would not be speaking. My dear, you should go before I change my mind.”
“I will return him to you in two or three days depending on how quickly the operation proceeds,” Kaczynski continued. “And I will offer you the same pledge that I gave to Alice and Russell’s father. If I break my promise, for whatever reason, it will be because there is nothing left of me in this world.”
That statement held Gentia’s attention as she took Thantis’ hand in hers. “If that should happen I will be sure to find you all when I pass on. Go with Meylith’s blessing. all of you. Selah. I suppose while you are gone I can attempt to convince Ratha to see this healer of yours, Yvonne Dupuis. She’s made quite the impression on Asha.” Gentia held up the photograph of Asha’s child as proof before suddenly waving her feathers violently. “I’ve changed my mind.”
Natori sat straight in the simple wooden chair he’d been offered, still a great height above the assembled Cauthan as early morning light filtered into the temple and onto Thantis’ scrolls, ‘operating table’, and other tools of the trade. “Might I request an explanation, Gentia?”
“I have an additional condition, if you insist on borrowing my mate for this little voyage.”
Though it would have been easy enough for Natori to point out that he was hardly insisting on anything, and that if anyone was intent on the voyage it was Thantis himself, he allowed her to continue. “Please, I would hear it then.”
“There is an orphaned girl I care for at my temple every day, Ketra. Her parents did not survive the raid on our village.” Gentia fell silent for a moment, uttering a silent prayer to the Mother for guidance, to give her a sign if what she was about to propose was insanity. “I want her to grow up in a world of ample food, shelter, warmth, and healing. I want her to grow up in a world where you can look at a cub before she is born, a world where metal can fly, a world that produces people like Russell and Alice Winters… and Lachlan MacGregor for that matter.”
Natori blinked twice in rapid succession. He had seen the pacification of the Gorgons firsthand, pioneered the Juggernaut initiative, negotiated funding for the Event Horizon against Generals and Admirals from Delta, and stared down William Osmundson and Marshall Winters simultaneously, in person. In that moment however, he found himself more nervous than the day he’d gotten down on one knee and asked his wife to be his.
“I want two humans, a male and female, to adopt Ketra and care for her alongside me. I want them to educate her as she grows older and find her a profession or occupation like all of your crew seem to have,” Gentia finally laid out her plan, her feathers flared in warning.
“Gentia, can you do that?!” Xan demanded, utterly aghast. “Or… I mean… wouldn’t it make more sense for one parent to be Cauthan at least? I assume when she gets to my age she’d want to take a mate of her own kind and everything? Humans don’t know about that.”
“You are thinking of Russell and Veera?” Thantis presumed keenly. Xan looked at the floor and raised his small crest of feathers in assent. “My dear, did they not already speak with you about Ketra?”
“It has come up,” Gentia affirmed. “And while I think it would be a splendid idea under other circumstances, they are a very active couple. They are raising a hyrven, Xan. They leave the village for cycles and seasons at a time.”
“Oh, yeah that’s a pretty good point. I just can’t see Alice raising a cub, you know?” To Xan’s surprise, his comment had Natori almost doubled over in laughter.
“On that you and I are in agreement, my furred and feathered friend!” he boomed. “Just don’t tell her I said that. Gentia, this is not a request given lightly, and I will not take it lightly. Please allow me to ruminate on this over the course of our resupply voyage. I promise a reply upon our return. What you suggest could place an impossible burden on this young Cauthan’s shoulders.” Natori paused and brought his hands together between his knees, adopting a most serious posture. “And it could solidify a bond between our people that endures for generations.”
“Very well, that is a reasonable request,” Gentia assented, standing with the help of her cane. “Thantis, my dear, come find me and I will have some seeds ready for you. And Xan?”
“Y-yes?” the young Cauthan replied, surprised to be called upon at all at that juncture.
“I am pleased that your sword swinging days are behind you. It has allowed your wisdom and compassion to show through. Do look after the temple while my mate is gone?” she requested, though he knew well enough it was a demand, coming from Gentia.
“Of course, Gentia. Thanks,” Xan replied awkwardly, though it earned him a look of immense approval from Thantis. Natori stood as well.
“Might I ask one of you to direct me to the residence of Veera and Russell Winters?” the Admiral spoke.
“I can,” Xan volunteered.
“I appreciate that very much. Thantis, my shuttle is waiting at the western gate. The pilot is expecting you. I should not be long,” Natori explained.
“Thank you, Admiral. I will see you shortly then,” Thantis agreed. With negotiations concluded for the time being, the four individuals filed out of the temple and into the light of another warm but pleasant summer’s day. When Thantis and Gentia turned for the Temple of Meylith, Xan continued west and then north with Natori. After a leisurely stroll on account of Xan’s leg, during which the Admiral took the opportunity to acquaint himself with a new portion of the village and Cauthan life, they arrived at the unassuming blockhouse that was Veera’s residence. Fenrir’s low growl could be heard from inside.
“Oh stop it you, it’s just me,” Xan ordered, entering after a perfunctory knock to find the couple in the middle of breakfast along with Alice.
“No need to get up!” Natori added quickly as Russell made to stand. “Once again I apologize for intruding upon meal time but I found myself in the area and needed to make a request of you, Lieutenant.”
“What’s that, sir?” Russell wondered as Io joined the crowd, projecting herself from the B-MASS as Xan gave Fenrir some love and attention in the form of claw scratches under the chin and behind the ears.
“As you are likely aware we will be leaving orbit to resupply our stores of water, organic compounds, and various metals. During that time the Event Horizon will be out of real-time contact with the orbital communications network we established upon arrival here. While I am not worried in the slightest about the two of you,” Natori gestured to Russell and Alice. “It would allow me to rest easier if you would oversee operations at the Forge while I’m gone, Lieutenant.”
“Isn’t your Jumper team currently there, sir?” Russell asked as Veera’s expression turned slightly sour.
“They are,” Kaczynski confirmed. “However you and Io explored much farther into the facility than they did. I am not authorizing any expeditions while I am gone, but in the event the situation on the ground changes at an inopportune moment, I would feel much better knowing that there are five Jumpers and an AI protecting my science teams.”
“Fancy a trip back to the hot springs?” Russell asked his wife. Veera unsheathed her claws and looked pointedly at Natori.
“So long as those barbarous men know to stay away from me,” she declared without fear.
The Admiral tilted his head and nodded in acknowledgment. “I have made it abundantly clear what will happen to them in the event of another incident. I daresay they would prefer to be gutted by those talons of yours in that event. I would also like to reiterate that Lance Corporal Mendes is now in command of the Jumper team. I ask that you give him a chance to prove himself in this role.”
‘And me, Admiral?’ Io questioned. ‘Fret not, Veera. I am more than capable of locking their armor if those boneheads decide they fancy some revenge.’
“I have notified the crew of your existence, Io,” Natori explained as Veera offered him a bit of breakfast, dried chesko with vegetables. His expression brightened immediately upon tasting it. “Oh, thank you kindly Veera. Mmm, no wonder pilot Cromwell is feeling overworked of late! Cooking like this might put Gus out of a job. Yes, thank you indeed. Let’s hope Anita is able to replicate something similar. To the topic at hand, however. Io, you should feel free to introduce yourself to the crew as you see fit. There will not be any further surprises as there were with the Dupuis couple. That being said, it may be best if things remain on a ‘need to know’ basis, so to speak.”
‘I do not disagree,’ Io replied after some consideration. ‘You are aware that with our connection severed the various VI operations aboard the Event Horizon will revert to their previous levels of functionality, yes?’
“I presumed that would be the case. Though it has been a boon having you aboard, Io, we survived without you and we must retain our ability to do so,” Natori stated diplomatically. “Lieutenant, thank you in advance for your efforts. You should be able to get in touch with Private Orlova via the communications network. She has a shuttle on the ground and will be in charge of transportation while we’re gone. Do you have any questions?”
“None, sir. Seems simple enough,” Russell replied, turning to Veera. “You think we should bring Fenrir along?”
“So this is one of those human requests that isn’t a request at all?” the Cauthan deduced easily, waving her feathers in agitation. “Yes, I suppose we should then. And for the record, I’m firmly against anyone going inside Kel’s Forge!”
‘Veera, under other circumstances I would agree with you,’ Io offered compassionately. ‘However there’s a very good chance that the forge is what destroyed Russell’s ship. If that’s true, it’s also preventing the Event Horizon from returning home. This is a danger that must be faced.’
“I know that,” Veera grumbled, causing Natori to reflect upon Gentia’s request and just how challenging such a thing as raising a Cauthan in modernity might be, to say nothing of asking younger members of the crew to potentially volunteer as parents. He didn’t think any of his texts on ethics back in his cabin would be of much use. Reality tended to frustrate those sorts of lofty considerations.
“Hey, with any luck we’ll just hop over for a couple days, glare at those two idiots, and spend some time having sex in the hot springs, alright?” Russell assured her. Veera’s feathers exploded into motion as Alice choked on her breakfast and Natori’s brows ascended so quickly they threatened to leave his forehead altogether. Io was fanning herself delightedly.
“Well,” the Admiral cleared his throat. “I will just say that I’m all for making the most of any down time and that I trust your judgment, Lieutenant. Veera, I appreciate your concerns regarding the site, and I assure you we are doing everything we can to not disturb it as we learn more. Alice, will you be remaining here or coming along with us?”
“I think it’s best if I remain here, sir,” Alice replied. “Xan will be in charge of the temple all on his own, and it would be good if I’m around to answer any questions Zolta or Asha have since Yvonne will be aboard the ship.”
Natori tapped his chin and nodded in agreement. “Very well, then I believe we have nothing further to discuss! A good day to you all. We will be back in touch in a couple days.”
“Yes sir, Admiral,” Russell replied, standing and saluting quickly as Io waved a handkerchief at him.
‘Allzeit gute Fahrt, Natori.’
“Thank you, Io. Selah to you, Veera and Xan,” the Admiral offered before heading on his way, allowing them to finish their breakfast.
“I would have been fine at the temple if you wanted to go,” Xan muttered Alice’s way.
“I never said you wouldn’t, Xan,” she replied apologetically. “But I still think a human should be around for Asha and Zolta. Lachlan has his hands full with Sentaura and her son.”
“That one spiraled out of control rather quickly,” Veera added. “But I’ve seen them around the village often. I think he’s been a good influence on the little one. Wasn’t he originally supposed to be protecting you, Alice?”
The civilian shrugged her shoulders. “Of course, but things have been pretty peaceful so far. I don’t think anyone doubts he’d be on the walls with his rifle the moment trouble shows up.”
“Why didn’t you ever do that?” Veera asked her husband, struck by how sensible a defensive play that would be.
“Didn’t have a gigantic forge full of raw materials floating above my head to replenish my ammunition?” Russell offered matter of factly. “They were also inside the gates by the time we woke up.”
“You’re right, I shouldn’t be questioning the actions that delivered us this happiness,” Veera said with a sage, soft tone, standing and planting a light kiss on her husband’s cheek. She began clearing away plates and putting out the cooking fire. “I should speak with Staroth if we’re going to be galavanting around Mara again.”
“I’ll pack our things. Ready to check out the forge with full batteries, Io?” Russell asked as he joined in the morning work. He winked at his AI companion, who had summoned forth spelunking gear, completed with ropes, a helmet, and quite a few carabiner clips.
‘I certainly wouldn’t mind checking in on our robo-Cauthan companion. Unless you believe I should sneak aboard the Event Horizon to watch over Thantis?’ she suggested cautiously.
“Much as I worry about him sticking his cane into an electrical socket… intentionally,” Russell began, chuckling along with his sister. “I think we should trust Natori on this one. If something bad happens down here, they’ll need us. We can’t really shoot our way out of a mining accident,” he pointed out. Io conceded the argument.
‘Yes, I suppose you’re correct. Besides, it’s not like Thantis will actually be operating the…’ she trailed off with a look of worry. ‘You don’t think Natori would let him use a mining laser, do you?’
Ominously, neither Russell nor Alice could truly convince themselves that Admiral Kaczynski would not place a primitive being behind the trigger of an industrial mining laser. Veera’s tail swished pointedly as her curiosity demanded satisfaction.
“What’s a laser?”
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2020.08.17 17:07 READMYSHIT The Creep Dive Episode Guide

Date Title Cassie Sophie Jen Sidebars and guest stars Creep of the Week
1 12/12/2018 Canoe Believe It?? Alan Rickman never read Harry Potter John Darwin faked his own death in a canoeing accident Seamus on ket with Mary McAleese (Twitter thread)
2 12/12/2018 GP-OH My God who is SHE Samantha Azzopardi pays a visit to Ireland. One of many as she scammed her way around the world An outtake from This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor. Woman eats placenta (or blood clots)
3 12/12/2018 A Tale Too Tragic Tania Head, woman who claimed to be a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11 The Juggalos (Insane Clown Posse) Christians in disguise Reddit Guy meets the Devil. Black Mercedes Cassie reveals she used to be Born Again Christian. Jen's personal Angel, Happy Acres
4 11/01/2019 The American Dream or The American Peen What Ever Happened To: Lorena and John Wayne Bobbit. (Wife cuts off husband's dick after he raped her) Swiss cheese Pervert. Man would like a cheesey wank
5 11/01/2019 11 Lies and Counting Warrior Eli. Epic catfish story of a supermom who turned out to be teenager, Emily Dear Sinead O'Connor and Prince had a pillow fight. Prince takes it too far Jen first reveals she was a catfish/troll
6 11/01/2019 A 17 Year Old Mystery Solved by Sleuths Mystery of Lyle Stevik's suicide solved by DNA Doe Testing Ray's Death Documentary (admission of murder). Lady of the Dunes
7 25/01/2019 A Story Blown Wildy Out of Proportion Jimi Heselden segways into the afterlife. Rebba Burger maimed and killed from a whipped cream thing Lambo. Weird radio book review, hosted by Gay Byrne in which Gery Ryan allegedly kills a lamb A man fashions a flying saucer with helium balloons and sends his son flying off for attention
8 01/02/2019 An Unholy Hypocrite, The Dungarvan Angel of Death Travis the Troubled Teen David Matheson, former gay conversion therapist, comes out as gay Fr Michael Kennedy fakes an AIDS epidemic in Waterford. Gets the attention of Princess Diana Travis, the chimp and Creep Dive mascot (a classic!)
9 09/02/2019 The Greatest Writer that Never Was James Frey, A Million Little Pieces (fake memoir) Story of JT LeRoy (racoon penis) Dan Mallory (fake memoir)
10 15/02/2019 The Randy Mr. Hands How Joe Manuella Found Love, Robert De Niro impersonator Mr. Hands! Guy gets killed from bottoming a horse Ellen Coyne and Cassie become friends via Twitter
11 22/02/2019 The Curious Case of Crack Addict Jimmy(part 1) The Girl Who Predicted Her Own Death Tickling endurance competitions funded my some omnipotent millionaire (who obviously has a fetish)
12 22/02/2019 The Curious Case of Crack Addict Jimmy (part 2) That time the Washington Post had a Pulitzer briefly. Janet Cooke and the 8 year old heroin addict
13 01/03/2019 The Fine Line Between Exoneration and Execution The story of Cameron Todd Willingham (a innocent man sentenced to death) Pissing and menstrating in the Stuart era (not Victorian, Jen)
14 08/03/2019 The MSN Murder Mystery Momo: Online Suicide Game MSN Murder. Girl kill herself after online bullying, turns out to be a neighbourhood mom Elizabeth and Theranos
15 15/03/2019 Who Let the Cat Out The Noid, the Domino's mascot that led to a murder Mary Bale: Cat in the Wheelie Bin Topsy the Elephant: Tesla vs Edison
16 22/03/2019 Oyster Man, A Salacious Sausage Fest and A Con Confidence (Creep Live #1) Nicholas Barclay AKA Frédéric Bourdin (missing child imposter) Armin Meiwes, German cannibal Oyster Man (Dublin creep!)
17 01/04/2019 A Haunted Hormonal Teen, A Slender Bender, A Mother Love to Death (Creep Live #2) Dee Dee Blanchard murder by her daughter, seemingly incapacitated, Gypsy Rose. Enfield Haunting, poltergeist in a North London council house Slenderman possee
18 05/04/2019 Who is Timmothy Pitzen?? Disappearance and reappearance (???) of Timmoth Pitzen Christine Chubbuck, suicide on live TV Ford has a horn for Edison
19 12/04/2019 The Beautiful Lie Florida Man, pancake guy Belle Gibson, noted scammer Coco the Gorilla: artist, photographer and communicator
20 21/04/2019 There's a Catfish in the Water Lincoln Lewis catfish, Lydia Abdelmalek The most awkward book club of all time Girl with no vainga gets impreganted from a knife
21 27/04/2019 A Sasquatch, A Tinder Date With a Cannibal and The Life and Ruin of Anna Nicole Smith The Anna Nicole Smith Story Sasquatch Origin Story
22 04/05/2019 Friends From The College Cult Larry Ray: Creepy Dad Cult Whatever Happened to Baby Tyler?
23 11/05/2019 A Love As Deep As The Sea, A Shared Twinsanity and Better The Catfish You Know? Sabina & Ursula: Murderous Swedish Twins Suicide of Megan Meier Some people really love dolphins
24 18/05/2019 The Cat’s Out of The Bag for The Internet’s Maddest Man A Catfish Love Triangle (that ends in murder) The Luka Magnotta Story Jeremy Kyle
25 27/05/2019 The Secret Russian ‘Super Army’ and A Fertility Doctor Who Took Things Into His Own Hands Dr. Cline, fertility doctor who takes matters into his own hands Russian science experiment to create super humans (humanzee) Belle Gibson update (ep. 19)
26 01/06/2019 Larry and The Lawnchair of Dreams The eponymous Larry, an instant classic creep (that is not creepy at all) Moby
27 07/06/2019 The World’s Worst Baby Snatcher and The Ill-Prepared Cannibal Another Catfish Love Triangle and Baby Heist Isa Sagawa: A Cannibal in Paris
28 15/06/2019 Why You Should Never Let Granny Do The Ouija Board Story of Anna Delvy, epic swindler Ouija Board Murder Whale dick tentacle and the guy who honours a dead murderer (Twitter Thread)
29 21/06/2019 A Dead Man, A Cipher, a Mystery Somerton Man: Mystery Australian Man and an Undeciphered Code Ariel Castro kidnappings Delivery Man Haunts Cabin Groom kids on brides dress
30 28/06/2019 It’s Never Plain Sailing The Disappearance of Brian Swanson (into another dimension?) #blueball A shark buffet Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her stranded in the Amazon Rainforest Boris Johnson
31 07/07/2019 The Lost Family, The Last Eunuch and the Lust for the High Life Tromp Family Road Trip. Australian family collectively lose their mind A Philanthropic Couple with a Secret in the Attic Sun Yaoting; the last Eunuch of China.
32 11/07/2019 A Trio of Clones, Coercion and Courtship A shitty first-date The McDonald's-Nude Heist The phenomenon of a group of self cloning crayfish
33 19/07/2019 Brain-Eating Zombies, The Boy Who Tried to Blow Up Bjork and a Beary Bad Idea Story of Björk's would-be assassin Timothy Treadwell: Bear Enthusiast Furries and Brain eating zombie fungus Grunting man in a gimp suit
34 27/07/2019 A Priceless Love Affair and Something of a Pickle Debbie Montgomery Johnson get defrauded millions in an online dating scam Peeing and pooping in space. Creepy nudes escalates quick (to murder)
35 04/08/2019 Jen’s Solo Ghost Story the tale of Dear David, a creepy child ghost who has been haunting the hallways of illustrator Adam Ellis Horse Girl
36 11/08/2019 When a Dream Life Turns Into a Weird and Creepy Nightmare Dream House goes sour with letters from an ominous writer called, The Watcher Mystery Stripper Jen has the inside scoop on Area 51 Scout's arrival! Woof Canadian Serial Killers
37 18/08/2019 The Hero Who Didn't Know His Name and a Real Life Dr. WHO?? Story of Jean-Claude Romand: Murderer and Imposter Creep Dine With Me: Megan and Hazel. The story of Steven Stayner
38 01/09/2019 Don't Bookmark Your Murder Tips and a Real Life Mission Impossible How to not get away with murder (Daniel Brophy) Personal creep with creepy neighbour and a never ending gift exchange A missionary who get murdered by the Sentinelese
39 09/09/2019 A Twist in The Tale, The Devil Down Under and A Wild Slide A Catfish With a Happy Ending Mysterious Death of Phoebe Handsjuk Deal the Devil Downunder,Story of Michael Atkins and Matthew Leveson
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41 20/09/2019 British Fairies, Irish Con Artists and Asian Angels Cassie's Personal Creep and Misadventure in Berlin (featuring Moe) An Irish Kidnapping The Cottingley Fairy Hoax
42 28/09/2019 When a loving Christian family inadvertently adopt a 22 year old sociopath with violent tendencies The tale of Natalia Grace, a Ukrainian Orphan with dwarfism #childdeception Helen Bailey: Author who penned her own death Jacob Barnett, Child Prodigy
43 06/10/2019 The Girl...Who Laughed...As A Man Got Sewn Into The Body of a Horse Story of Nathan Carman and a Sunken Boat A Runaway Bride Countess Elizabeth Báthory, World worst female serial killer? Carl Beach, Richard Madely
44 15/10/2019 What Happens When You Exorcise a Mild Mannered Michael? (Creep Live #3) Ireland's Own Bermuda Triangle An exorcism gone wrong Goose on the Loose! A goose named Andy
45 21/10/2019 A Guest Ghost Story and The Haunted Spots of Dublin Dutch Family in a Basement (and assorted ghost stories) Creep Dine With Me: Fainche. A Dublin 8 Haunting
46 26/10/2019 The Tragedy of the Triplets A tragic tale of triplets and a social experiment Haunted Nazi Dummy
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50 25/11/2019 Oh No! Where Did Moe Go? Moe Davis: Another chimp fiasco. Travis 2.0 (ep. 8)
51 03/12/2019 A Haunted Galway Baby, a Mystery Man in Sligo and The Spine Tingling Story of the Sleepless Russians (Creep Live #4) Peter Bergmann, a mystery man in Sligo reminiscent of Somerton Man (ep. 29) #blueball Haunted Galway baby #haunted Russian sleep deprivation experiment (this is pretty harrowing) Harry meets the Creeps for the first time Dick Dicker: Unabomber meets Mr. Hands
52 06/12/2019 A Life Heavy on Lies, Light on Lols Jennifer Pan, a Vietnamese-Canadian teen kills her parents (well one of them) Dave, the randy duck
53 17/12/2019 The Woman Who Accidentally Solved Her Own Mystery Disappearance Netty Nance accidently solves her own kidnapping (spoiler: it was her own "mother") Carlos Mariotti and a novel idea to save his mangled hand (spoiler: it doesn't work) Public Universal Friend. First recorded case of non-binary person? Mommy blogger swindles Shauna Sex Síopa!
54 05/01/2020 The Cannibal Cop and A January Assortment of Creeps Cassie tricks a girl into think she's going to Disney Gilberto Valle, the cannibal cop, caught via chat room #cannibal People used to post their kids around! Jeffrey Epstein. German ladies who set a zoo ablaze and killed 20 primates
55 10/01/2020 Too Many Mothers, Too Much Motherly Love and A Small Town Scandal with Massive Consequences Creep Live #5) Bobby Dunbar went missing but when he reappeared to mothers came forward to claim Barbara Daly Baekeland gets murdered (and fucked?) by her son #murder #incest The mysterious Circleville letters #murder #blueball Jen gets send a video of a man fucking a chicken Tiny Indonesian man convicted of the most amount if rapes
56 17/01/2020 Three Cheers for Murder Dying killing to be popular. Cheer leader murder! Karla Homolka, Canada's only female serial killer (this was just an off the cuff creep) One of our very own creepettes has their dog fucked by some local scoundrel :( Cork Christmas Party Shenanigans!
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58 31/01/2020 You Can't Make A Dick Out Of The American Penal System Steven Jay Russell, amazing story of the man who escaped from prison multiple times Andrea Mara; the man who faked his MIL out the car window, armchair sleuths and just how dire your Google search history gets when you kill fictional people for a living Belle Gibson update! She's Muslim now (ep. 19)
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60 14/02/2020 A Prince and a Perfect Murder Chris Benoit Canadian wrestler. Double murder suicide Shawna from Sex Siopa to share a big juicy salacious royal affair. A lot of creeps reported their mothers fed them raw sausages
15/02/2020 The Creep Hive #3: Schofe's done a runner Cassie discusses her sexuality and everyone cries "Showgirls came out at a very key point in my life" Phillip Schofield literally does a runner
61 21/02/2020 The world’s most badass backpacker, Ireland’s biggest ever manhunt and hotdog handjobs (Creep Live #6) Brendan O'Donnell: Ireland's Biggest Manhunt #serialkiller Kari Ferrell: Hipster Grifter. Gets employed by Vice and exposed Salt Creek Kidnapping. Backpackers take revenge #violence All dogs and the Dublin guy faked an abduction of an elderly person
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64 13/03/2020 The OG Disease Spreader: It's Typhoid Mary Sherry Pie turns out to be a super creep (in a really bad way) and has now caused an editing nightmare for producers. Typhoid Mary, famed asymptomatic carrier Putin brings in a new law so he can rule for forever.
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66 29/03/2020 Crafting conspiracies, cult clans and the game show killer Big Crafting is actually a Russian Propaganda Machine Rodney Alcala serial rapist, killer and gameshow contestant Taina Licciardo-Toivola: Annoying Aryian Cult family on YouTube
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68 12/04/2020 More Tiger King, a YouTube Doll Debacle and Did Sophie Find D.B. Cooper? Inspired by recent haunted dolls on the hive, Cassie dives into internet sensation, Venus Angelic The Stars of Tiger King: An Epilogue
69 19/04/2020 Snitches get stitches and when internet comments destroy lives Would you provide an alibi for a loved one? Trevor Hardy - The Beast of Manchester (and his brother) The Inception of FaceBook Commentary: tangled history of internet smear campaign Kelsey Grammar maybe into pegging "It's very unfortunate for the mens. Their G-spot is up their ass hole and they're just going to have to get over it." -Cassie Delaney Eamon Holmes (5G) and the gardaí (posting photos of sun bathers)
70 26/04/2020 In The Shadow of the Truth Lies the Statue of Liberty Bling Water! Your water is dead, you fools Lisa helps Sophie with a follow up to Molly from Sophie's previous creep The Mandela Effect. Are we all in hell/purgatory/multiple dimensions/simulated world This episode has more filler than actual creeps but was no less enjoyable. Sophie, my handle is @Harry_birdboy. Cassie, I'll hug you! Gemma O'Doherty
71 06/05/2020 Shipman the shit man Crimes that happen in the virtual world that cross over into reality and suicide pact community killer Harold Shipman, world's most prolific (and boring) serial killer Gemma O'Doherty again (but she gets owned by Dublin airport on Twitter)
72 12/05/2020 Beta Theta Pi? More like Beta Theta Die and the Glow Up with Deadly Consequences Beta Theta Pi, Penn State University. Hazing ends in death :( Sophie loves horror. Tells the real life story behind Scream. (Impromtu creep!) Radium Girls!
73 19/05/2020 Walk like a reincarnated Egyptian also that time a squirrel ate some guys nuts Dorothy Eady, the reincarnation of an Egyptian priestess.Cassie is mean to her mother Creep Confectionary is now a thing. Sophie seeds the idea for a Toast Podcast. Sophie presents a gaggle of gals cat-fishing some terrorists Man gets balls eaten by squirrels Jen and Sophie want to host their own Most Haunted. Cassie protests, as usual Camilla and Prince Charles talk dirty
74 26/05/2020 Don't anger a Karen, canal creeps and the parents who put the kid in kidnapping Shannon Matthews, Karen Matthews has her own daughter kidnappped while she plays Xbox Belle Gibson update! She is now Oromo (an Ethiopian ethnic minority). Katherine Knight and her human pelt Riding in a tent on the canal
75 02/06/2020 Freezin’ people ain’t easy, the genuinely geriatric mother and the biggest creeps of the week ever The YouTubers that rehomed their son The oldest woman in the world to give birth (oyster woman). 40 year old stone foetus! Jen finally gets to tell her cryogenics story. Multple strands See Cassie
76 09/06/2020 No name, No luggage, No labels, No answers 1.) In a room at the Oslo Plaza Hotel, a young, elegant woman is found dead, with a gun shot wound to the head. Why did she check in under a false name? Why are the labels removed from her clothes? 2) Death in Ice Valley The gals are reunited!
77 16/06/2020 Guilt or grief? The dark story of Casey Anthony Via Reddit/Sarah. Creepy MSN guy and possibly related swindler Casey
78 23/06/2020 Slumber Murders and The OG Moby Dick Sleep killers The OG Moby Dick
25/06/2020 Creep Hive Sophie's Cock Along! Denis Nilsen:ScottishSerial Killer (and middle child)
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2020.08.08 20:23 darquin [PI] The last surviving logs of the crew of the I.S.S. Conan, a space cruiser that was sent to investigate a particular celestial anomaly near the Conflictus Solar System.

Had great fun writing this. I'm still flexing my muscles on writing as well as on English grammar (I'm non native English). Would love to see what you think of it.
Original prompt: https://www.reddit.com/WritingPrompts/comments/hp76pb/wp_the_last_surviving_logs_of_the_crew_of_the_iss/
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8 days 4 hrs to event
“You’re sure this is genuine?”
Abel looked Myogi straight into her light brown eyes, searching for any trace of doubt she had concerning the message. His voice being the only notable sound apart from the soft hum of the ship’s life support system. They were on the bridge of the I.S.S. Conan. A place designed for function not aesthetic, able to hold six of the small cruiser’s crew of eight. Currently, only four people were present.
She returned his stare unwavering.
The front of the oval shaped bridge held the navigation consoles and the main screen for displaying whatever it was that was important. This was Ahmed’s station, the I.S.S. Conan’s first helmsman, though at the moment Gerald, his junior, was operating it. Tactical was to the right manned by Karl the ship's chief engineer. Communication was to the left, until recently manned by the ship’s XO commander Myogi Shizu. Command was where Abel and Myogi were standing now, at the center of the bridge.
Only twenty-eight? Way too young!
Abel remembered his first impression when he and Myogi first met, just over two years ago. But she showed him his doubts were unfounded by taking command of the ship and its crew. Oh, he tested her, of course. But she passed all his challenges with flying colours. And with every success, Abel's respect for this young woman had grown.
“It’s genuine, sir!” Her strong voice showed not even a hint of uncertainty. “The quantum encryption seal has been verified and the origin of the message has been established as coming from sector HQ at Jewel-4.”
Abel read the flash message again.
To: Cmdr. H.P.F. Abel, I.S.S. Conan From: I.S.S. Sector HQ, Tantalus Sector, Jewel-4 Priority: High You are to set course immediately to the Conflictus System, Heagon Sector. Investigate anomaly at coordinates 298-8876-98. Report on 8 hour intervals upon arrival. Yours sincerely, Commodore Aginov Tantalus Sector Admiral 
She wouldn’t screw up such a simple thing as this. After all their time together, Abel was certain commander Myogi Sizu was among the best of XO’s he ever served with. He feared the moment she would leave his ship to take on her own command.
"Besides,” she added, “who could possibly be interested in creating a fake ISS message? I mean, it’s not that there are any aliens out there trying to trick us."
Abel smiled. Two centuries of interstellar space flight, but mankind had yet to come across other intelligent life. Let alone lifeforms that deliberately tried to divert a small cruiser to an unknown location.
Abel activated the navigation computer and entered their new destination. A holographic representation of the Heagon sector appeared. It was a small sector, with few stars and zero colonies or outposts. Barely interesting. He added the I.S.S. Conan’s current location and suddenly whistled with surprise.
“That will take us a week to get there.”
“Should I plot the course, sir?” Myogi asked.
Abel nodded.
“Yes. And inform the crew about our new orders. I’m going to request confirmation on this.”
***
1 day 9 hrs to event
Confirmation came within twenty-four hours. Now, with less than eight hours travel time left to their destination, Abel noticed how much the tension on board his ship had increased. Of course, any new mission brings a given amount of stress. But patrolling between colonies and occasionally inspecting civilian transports for contraband was hardly a dangerous task. This time it felt different.
“You should eat, sir,” Myogi said.
Abel looked at his still untouched plate containing his evening dinner. A small piece of fried chicken, some flavored potatoes and carrots.
“I’m not hungry.”
They were dining alone. The rest of the crew was either being on station or resting. Myogi had already finished her meal and had used most of their time together to bring him up to date with the crew status. Most of her time was spent on regular issues, like Dylan who was angry at Karl for having been scowled at during the latest drill or Gerald complaining that Sorland, as acting chief security, inspected his cabin without him knowing. Of more pressing concern were the details of the sour relation between Karl and Ahmed. Each of their disputes seemed to be about something rather trivial. As a result Myogi now concluded that the ship's medical officer, young Irene Caldwell, was at the heart of their enmity.
“Only two weeks fresh on board and she is already driving our most senior crewmen crazy. I really should talk to her about this.” She concluded.
Abel wasn’t listening. And halfway through her report Myogi must have realised she was having a monologue.
“You’re not listening, are you sir?”
He nodded.
“The ship is in excellent condition, sir. Nothing can go wrong. We'll go in, scan whatever it is we find there, and get out. In a week's time we'll be drinking cocktails on the beach of Lake Pelmac in the Feynman colony, enjoying our shore leave.”
She tried hard to let her voice sound relaxed, like there was nothing wrong. But with two years of close collaboration Abel immediately noticed the tiny aberrations in her usually clear voice.
So you feel it too?
Again he started reflecting how much, as a senior officer, Myogi had grown over the last two years. She would be leaving soon, he now was sure of it.
“My grandfather was captain of the Xerxes during the pacification of the Tantalus sector, when they were fighting the pirates,” Abel started. “That was a real war! He once told me that when you are in command for a long enough period, you start to develop a sort of sixth sense for when danger lurks. I always thought he said it to boast his stories a bit.”
Abel looked his XO directly in her eyes.
“Now I’m not so sure anymore. Ever since I got that damn confirmation back from HQ I feel terrified.”
“Trust your team, captain.” Myogi’s slender fingers touched his hand briefly, reassuring him. Then she gathered her plate and cutlery and got up. Just before leaving she added:
“Now finish your plate, sir!”
“Yes, ma'am,” Abel laughed.
***
26 hrs to event
They should have added more room to the bridge.
The thought popped up as he watched his entire crew of seven in the confined space. They were fully operational now, with Ahmed and Gerard at the helm as well as Karl and Dylan at the tactical stations. Sorland was making himself useful by manning communications. That left Myogi and Irene who were just standing idle to his right side. Abel could understand everyone wanted to see firsthand why they were sent to this remote location in space, though he suspected that Irene’s motivation was less about curiosity and more about ascertaining her own safety.
Give her a break, she just left the academy.
"Visual on screen," Ahmed announced. His loud voice broke the silence on board the I.S.S. Conan’s bridge. The main screen went black, then it suddenly showed the outside environment.
Abel watched the image on the screen, a deep black space. But the countless stars usually visible were missing. Instead the black of the image was broken by wide lanes of partially translucent brown. Dust! At the center a large yellow star was visible, shedding a bright corona, and to the right a smaller yet surprisingly bright purple companion could be seen. For a moment it appeared the astro charts had missed classifying Conflictus as a binary star system, then Abel realised the purple companion was the anomaly.
An unsettling knot formed in his stomach.
Ahmed adjusted the I.S.S. Conan’s heading. The purple companion now centered on the screen. As the ship covered more of the remaining distance, it slowly enlarged into a pulsating blob of gas roughly measuring a thousand kilometers in diameter. A fascinating view, Abel found. And one like he never had seen before.
“Wow. That looks weird,” Myogi said, her voice filled with wonder.
Abel nodded in agreement. As they approached the image of the anomaly was filled with more details. The gas cloud was packed with dancing streaks of purple running like lightning criss cross. The sight was beautiful yet disturbing.
Abel felt the knot in his stomach grow a little tighter.
“Sorland, report to HQ that we have arrived as planned at our destination. And—”
At that moment the ship’s main computer activated the alarm, preventing Abel from finishing his second order. The direct image of the anomaly on the main screen was replaced with a simplified tactical view. Moments later Dylan’s voice boomed in the confined space of the bridge.
“Contact..contact..contact..!! Bearing zero-three-nine. Range two-point-eight.”
Practiced drills kicked in. Abel and Myogi immediately sat down in their seats and buckled up. Karl activated the ship's weapon systems, linking it with whatever it was Dylan's sensors had located, while Gerald powered up the ship's emergency thrusters. Irene remained standing. Frozen. Her face pale white displaying fear.
Abel fired his commands.
“Full stop! Karl, identification on the contact!”
The reply came almost immediately.
“Contact is orbiting the anomaly at three thousand klicks, sir. No identification, but it’s big.”
So that’s why the computer went berserk!
“Sorland, send that message!” Abel commanded. “Include we have an unidentified contact!” Then he noticed Irene. “And please escort Irene to her cabin.”
Sorland acknowledged. Abel never heard it. His attention had already returned to the main screen.
“Any sign on the EM-band?” he asked.
“Negative, sir!” Karl answered. “Whatever it is, it’s quiet as a rock.”
Why are we here?
Abel started to question his orders as he contemplated the situation. What had Aginov exactly meant by ‘investigate anomaly’? Was HQ aware of the unknown object around of... something else unknown? And what exactly was it he was now meant to investigate?
Again, Abel felt the unsettling knot in his stomach. He looked to the right, at Myogi. Unlike him, the young woman seemed to be at ease, her attention focused on the main screen, radiating self-confidence.
Perhaps I should let her take command!
Feeling his stare, she turned to look at him.
“You’re okay, sir?” she asked.
“Yeah” he lied.
Abel added to it a silent curse. What was wrong with him? He was her captain, not some pitiful old man. He should be the one being self-confident. So why the hell was he still questioning this mission? Abel gestured his XO to come near. As she leaned over to him, he made sure he kept his voice down.
“Commander, I want your assessment on the continuation of this mission.”
Myogi gave him a puzzled look.
“You want to abort the mission, sir?” Like Abel, Myogi too kept her voice down, realising her captain wanted a private confer.
He gave her a short nod in reply.
“I don’t like it. We came to investigate a stellar anomaly. Now we have an unknown contact, possibly hostile.”
“We don’t know if it is hostile, sir.” she said. “Up until now we only know the computer identified something out there and labeled it artificial.”
Abel contemplated her words. She was right of course. The computer had found something out there that simply didn’t match it’s programmed parameters, so it sounded the alarm. Had it been wartime, or had their mission been of a more aggressive posture, any unidentified contact would likely pose a threat. But this mission was neither.
“I still don’t like it,” he said. “You think the computer is wrong?”
“No, sir. We just don’t know what it is. And that’s exactly why we need to investigate it. If we leave, it will take more than a week for another ship to reach this location. By then it might be gone and we will never know.”
A simple and solid rational analysis. Something he had come to expect from her, Abel thought. She was going to be a great captain.
“Sir...,” Myogi hesitated, “you should also take into consideration that admiral Aginov is just waiting for another event to question your ability to command. He did not seem to be happy how you'd dealt with the issue concerning the freighter Leonov.”
The Leonov...
Abel had almost forgotten the incident. He was sure Aginov would cherish the fact if he ignored his orders. And he wouldn't hesitate to court marshal him over it.
“Captain, what are our orders?” Karl’s loud voice interrupted Abel and Myogi’s deliberation. He needed to make a decision. Fast. Abel looked his XO in the eyes. Perhaps it was her time.
“So you want to investigate it, Myogi?” Abel whispered, thinking aloud. He still had his doubts but Myogi was right: ending this mission right here right now would effectively end his career as a flag officer. Besides, toying the idea of putting Myogi in command, if she pulled this off it would flag her as exceptionally talented. He then had a bonus for her file, before forwarding his already written request for promoting her to captain. A soft smile lined his face.
“Very well, commander. You convinced me, for now.”
Abel addressed his crew, still waiting for his orders. “We are going to continue our present course.” Then, following his idea, he added. “Commander Shizu has the conn.”
Whether or not Myogi was surprised by him handing over command of the ship to her, she didn’t show it. With a trained efficiency she directed the crew of the I.S.S. Conan towards the unknown object, ascertaining the ship had always a direct escape route out of danger. Abel watched her with a sense of pride.
***
Abel’s heart missed a beat.
It had taken the I.S.S. Conan ten minutes to cover the distance between the ship and the unknown contact, enabling visual inspection. Abel was standing at the far end of the bridge, accompanied by Sorland. The latter one, having escorted Irene to her cabin, had joined him in witnessing Myogi’s command of the ship. It had made Abel smile. He long since suspected his chief security having an interest in the ship’s XO surpassing only professional.
Now everyone on the bridge froze.
“Fuck!” Karl muttered.
Even Myogi lost her cool. “Oh my god”
Abel remained silent and stared at the main screen. Stunned. On it, something was visible that couldn’t be. The undeniable proof of alien intelligent life, for all on the bridge to see!
He studied the image shown on the screen. A construction, trapezoid in shape, containing three large spheres connected with tubes. A pair of very large solar foils were stretched out on either side. Both shape and style were unlike any spaceship or space station Abel ever had come across.
“Captain?” Myogi looked at him, her eyes searching for any hint he wanted to retake command of the ship. Abel just stared back. She understood, firing a new set of commands that returned activity to the bridge.
“Ahmed, take us in, one hundred klicks. Karl, keep offensive weapons locked on that thing. And keep scanning the EM-band. If they even switch on a single dashboard light I want to know."
You’re doing great, Myogi.
***
To: Cmdr. H.P.F. Abel, I.S.S. Conan From: I.S.S. Sector HQ, Tantalus Sector, Jewel-4 Priority: High +++ this mission is now classified top secret +++ Your preliminary report on the object has been examined. I agree on your initial assessment the object discovered is no longer operational. As to its origin, it is still a mystery. Permission is hereby granted to extent the investigation on the object. The I.S.S. Dealus and I.S.S Galileo have been dispatched to your location and will join you in five days. Yours sincerely, Commodore Aginov Tantalus Sector Admiral 
***
20 hrs to event
They had assembled in the ship’s mess. Like the bridge this room too hadn’t been designed for a full gathering of the crew. With only two tables there was just enough room for half of them to sit down. Abel preferred standing.
It had only been six hours since they had made their discovery. They had spent the time scanning the object for any electrical activity, finding none. Also, a more detailed visual survey had revealed extensive damage on the forward two spheres, whereas the solar foils showed a severe lack of maintenance.
It was dead.
Both Karl and Dylan had agreed on this and, being the ship’s engineers, they were the closest thing Abel had to an expert on ship design. Following their conclusion, Abel and Myogi both agreed the unknown object posed no threat to the I.S.S. Conan and its crew.
Then why am I still worried?
Abel still felt like he was missing something, that something was eluding him. Apart from its origin, if the unknown object was dead, the most important question was: what happened to its crew? And would the answer to that question lead to a reassessment of the object’s threat status? Again he felt uncomfortable.
“Captain? Our new orders?”
Myogi interrupted Abel’s pondering, bringing him back to his current task: informing the crew. He let his eyes wander over the men and women serving on board the I.S.S. Conan. Their faces were displaying a mixture of excitement, worry and, in case of Irene, anxiety. Abel noticed Irene had taken her seat next to Karl, who had put his arm protectively over her shoulder. He also noticed the malicious look Ahmed was giving both of them.
Trouble is brewing..
Whatever it was that was going on between them, it had to stop. Abel made a mental note to schedule a private chat with both of his senior crew members, then started addressing his crew.
“I don’t think I have to explain how much of historical significance our mission has become.” Abel's voice immediately commanded the attention of everyone in the room. “Already the discovery of this unknown object is changing how we view our galaxy.”
And with a grin. “And I’m really glad that the object found is dead as a rock.”
He received a single approving nod from Myogi and a small chuckle from Karl, who recognized his own words being used. The rest of his team remained silent, yet Abel’s small joke did ease the tension.
“An hour ago we received new orders. The I.S.S. Daelus and I.S.S. Galileo are currently enroute to our location. They’ll join us in approximately five days. We are to wait here until they arrive.”
The news caused a visible ripple of relief among his small audience. Abel took a pause. They needed this, he realised.
“In the meantime we have been given permission to extend our survey.”
“What do you suggest, sir?” Karl asked. “We don’t have any survey droids on board.”
Abel nodded. “I know that, Karl. Commander Shizu and I already discussed this. She suggested we should try to board the object.”
***
14 hrs to event
“Approaching… distance… one hundred meters… eighty...”
Abel listened to Myogi’s voice coming in over the speaker. In front of him, on the bridge’s main screen, three tiny figures in space suits were visible, manoeuvring towards the rear sphere of the unknown object. She was one of them, though Abel no longer could be sure which of the figures was her.
Why is it different?
The question suddenly popped up as Abel’s mind involuntarily registered the anomaly, partially visible in the background. The purple streaks no longer seemed to dance randomly through the gas cloud. Instead it appeared as if they were coming from a focal point, it’s exact location blocked from view by the unknown object, as if it had reacted to their presence. Abel felt a sudden chill. Then, shaking his head, he immediately dismissed his absurd thoughts.
You’re seeing ghosts, old man.
Myogi’s voice interrupted his thinking. “There’s damage also visible on this sphere.”
That was new. Already they had ascertained the unknown object had sustained damage on the forward two spheres but due to the position of the I.S.S. Conan and the unknown object, they hadn’t been able to perform a more thorough visual inspection of the most remote sphere.
“Bloody hell...” Karl suddenly interrupted. “Commander, looks like the damage here came from an explosion on the inside.”
Abel signalled Dylan. “Can you switch to Karl’s suit camera?” The assistant engineer nodded and a single moment later the main screen switched to the chief engineer’s camera. A close up view of the hull of the rear sphere became visible. Abel inspected the footage and immediately agreed on Karl’s assessment. A gaping rupture was visible, the inner support structure bending outward. Whatever the cause, it had come from the inside.
Myogi’s voice continued “...there’s some kind of entrance here. It’s spherical, roughly three meters wide. We move in to inspect it.”
“Captain?”
A sudden soft voice behind Abel disturbed his observation on the boarding operation. Annoyed Abel turned, Irene was standing there. Her eyes confused, the trembling of her body betraying great suffering. Then Abel noticed the blood.
“Irene…” he carefully asked “what happened?”
She looked in his eyes. “I’m… so… sorry… captain,” she said. Her voice filled with grief. Then tears started to roll down her cheeks as she collapsed on the floor. Sobbing.
Abel turned, finding Gerald and Dylan looking at Irene, horror stricken. “Where’s Ahmed?” he asked. Both men stayed silent. The shock on their face acknowledging what he already suspected.
Abel turned back to Irene. Seeing her huddled on the floor, hands over her face, crying, he realised the young woman was in no condition to give him any more information. He quickly ordered Gerald to take care of her, then was off into the corridor. A rising urgency manifesting as he searched the crew cabins for his first helmsman. They were all empty. Abel pressed on to the mess, then to sickbay. He found Ahmed lying on the floor, motionless. A light red pool already visible around a large wound across his throat.
Too late!
Abel swore aloud as he looked at the body of his senior officer. Already blaming himself for not having held that chat he had promised himself hours ago. He surveyed the I.S.S. Conan’s sickbay. There were signs of a struggle. The examination table was thrown to a side and a medical pad was lying on the floor, broken. To the left of Ahmed’s corpse a blood covered scalpel was visible. No doubt the weapon used. As he bent over to pick it up, Dylan’s panicking voice screamed over the intercom.
“CAPTAIN TO THE BRIDGE”
It took Abel only twenty seconds to return. As he rushed in on the bridge, he heard Myomi’s alarming voice over the speaker.
“Faster… we’re losing him…” His blood ran cold.
Gerald elucidated. “Suit malfunction. They’re trying to reach the airlock before he runs out of air.” Then with a grave voice he added “I don’t think they’re going to make it.”
“Who?” Abel asked.
“Karl!”
The moment he mentioned Karl, Irene issued a long wailing cry that filled the entire bridge, shattering the last remaining doubts Abel had that both incidents were unrelated.
“NOOO…”
***
12 hrs to event
They made it in time. Barely. But Karl had suffered from massive asphyxiation, rendering him in a deep coma. And with sickbay now being a crime scene Abel had no other option than to move his chief engineer to his cabin. That was where they now had assembled, Sorland now administering whatever first aid he could think of.
“So, she killed him?” Myogi asked.
“Yes.” Abel nodded.
“That bitch.” Myogi fumed, then she was off. Abel watched her go. Moments later Sorland followed her. Abel was about to stop him, then decided against it. With Myogi being so agitated, Sorland was probably the only one capable of restraining her. He looked back at Karl, still lying motionless on his bed. His breathing being heavy but regular. Abel felt tired. There was just too much that had happened. And it didn’t make any sense. Aginov would grill him on this mess. His career was now finished.
***
10 hrs to event
“No, we are not going to try to board it again!”
Abel ignored Myogi standing in front of him. His eyes were looking straight past her, absorbing the image on the main screen. There were more purple streaks visible now in the anomaly, casting a purple haze over the unknown object in front of it.
Loneliness…
Abel suddenly wondered why he was thinking about him feeling alone when Myogi was standing in front of him, yelling at him. He felt agitated.
“The answers we need are found over there!” Myogi’s voice was loud and angry, her right hand pointing to the main screen.
“We wait until the arrival of the I.S.S. Daelus and I.S.S. Galileo.”
Abel now clearly voiced his irritation. He and Myogi had been working together for two years now and they didn’t always agree. Yet he couldn’t remember her ever being so angry. Nor could he remember her being this disrespectful. She paused, still fuming, her lips twitching.
“Admiral Aginov is right.”
Her words struck home. Abel gave his XO an angry look.
“What? What did you say?”
“You’re weak,” she spat, her voice ringing with contempt. “Always trying to hide for danger. If it wasn’t for me you would have headed for the hills.”
Abel no longer hid his anger. “Watch it commander. You’re not captain yet and if you continue like this you will never become one.”
A sudden high pitched scornful laugh from her filled the bridge.
“Captain? You’re not a captain,” she mocked. “You’re a caretaker. Just like my parents. Always finding excuses to hide, to not take risks, to stay a nobody forever.”
“Well, I’m not going to be a nobody.” Myogi walked past him and left the bridge.
“Myogi?” Suddenly his anger was gone. Abel realised his XO was about to do something that, without doubt, would have severe consequences for her. Then he looked at Sorland who, like everyone else on the bridge, had followed their open disagreement with horror.
“Get her back here, Sorland!” Abel commanded. “ Before she does something stupid.”
As Sorland left the bridge, he returned staring at the main screen. The purple haze had grown stronger. It gave him an eerie feeling.
***
Myogi never returned to the bridge. And neither did Sorland. About fifteen minutes after they both left the bridge Dylan reported. “The inner entrance to the airlock has been opened, captain.”
“Fuck!”
Abel sped away, reaching the entrance to the airlock in less than twenty seconds. Myogi and Sorland had already donned their EVA-suit and had already closed the inner airlock door. Abel punched the intercom and yelled.
“Commander! Stop!” His fists pounding on the small window in the steel enforced door.
Myogi just smiled at him as she put on her helmet.
“Sorland! Stop her!” Abel roared.
As he heard his name, the chief security looked at him. His face saddened.
“I’m sorry Hieronymus," he apologised. "I cannot let her go alone.”
Then he too put on his helmet. After they made their final security checks, Sorland depressurised the chamber. One minute later the outside door of the airlock opened and the full force of the anomaly now entered Abel's view taking him by surprise.
Pain…
Watching through the window he saw Myogi turn towards him, smiling, waving, as they both drifted outside in the direction of the unknown object. He watched them go until they were no longer visible. Then he turned away, sank to the floor and started crying.
***
Anger...
He didn't know how long it had been. But while he sat there, his back against the cold steel door protecting him from the relentless vacuum outside, his grief slowly turned into anger. A deep primeval type of anger.
Hate...
"Stupid insolent bitch!"
Abel slowly made his way back to the bridge. As he passed Irene's cabin he noticed the door no longer was locked. Her laughter emanating from the inside, as well as other sounds that left little imagination as to what was going on. Whoever was with her had ignored his order to keep her locked up until she could be trialed.
Revenge…
For a moment Abel considered to intervene, then he continued his way. He would soon trial them all. As he entered the bridge, Gerald rose from his seat, unsure what to do.
"Dylan went to see..." he started.
Abel held up his hand. "Irene! I know." Then he eyes locked with the main screen. The unknown object in full view, the anomaly, the fury it now displayed. Yes! It was reacting to their presence. Abel closed his eyes. He could almost hear it calling...
Kill…
***
3 days 11 hours after event
"We're entering the system now, admiral."
Aginov watched the main screen of the I.S.S. Daelus come alive, uncovering the dust streaked space surrounding Conflictus. At its center a yellow star radiated brightly.
"Any word from commander Abel?" he asked.
"Negative," the young lieutenant, manning the communications station, replied.
“Keep trying” he commanded, his eyes still focused on the main screen in front of him.
"Picking up a single contact." Tactical reported.
"Identifying… it's the I.S.S. Conan, sir."
Aginov exhaled, relieved. "Any other contacts?" he asked. The reply came instantly.
"Negative, sir." Followed by "Nothing on the EM-band, sir. She's dead!"
Aginov's blood ran cold.
***
submitted by darquin to WritingPrompts [link] [comments]


2020.08.08 04:50 kaleviko [All] Death was just a change to them

(Buckle up ...)
In P15, Richard held Mr C at gunpoint in front of the otherworldly convenience store.
Richard: "I recognized you back at the Farm. You're FBI."
Mr C: "How do you figure that?
Richard: "'Cause I seen your picture in your fancy FBI suit. Don't come any closer."
Mr C: "Where'd you see that picture?
Richard: "My mom had it."
Mr C: "Who's your mom?
Richard: "Audrey Horne."
Elsewhere in P5, it was Tammy who was looking at a large photograph of the young Agent Dale Cooper in his fancy FBI suit. Curiously, as the scene started, there was a brief shot of someone else holding the photograph first. The difference was highlighted in P7 when Albert unnecessarily gave Tammy another large photograph of Cooper, and we could see her real hands in the closeup that followed. That we shouldn't miss this appeared to be hinted at by Albert's folder in the background opening and closing inconsistently.
The mismatching hands could not be recognized for certain - as expected - but they seemed like Richard's hands, especially as the scene was placed right after Richard's introduction. Furthermore, Red gave a strange comment on Richard's hands in the episode that followed.
Red: "Have you ever studied your hand?"
The hands were wrong, yet the person was still at Tammy's desk, as we could see from the background items. This looked like a deliberate glitch to break the superficial consistency of the scene and make us question what was going on.
Let's think out loud. Richard had seen her mom Audrey Horne having a picture of Agent Cooper in his FBI suit. Then, Tammy was shown having a picture of Agent Cooper in his FBI suit, and for a moment her hands seemed to be Richard's hands.
Elsewhere in P13, during her brief existential crisis, Audrey doubted her identity and whereabouts.
Audrey: "I feel like I'm somewhere else. Have you ever had that feeling, Charlie?"
Charlie: "No."
Audrey: "Like I'm somewhere else and... and like I'm somebody else."
For a while now, I have taken a free-flying approach to these riddles and haven't shied away from making unrestrained associations between ideas if that's rewarded by the story moving forward. Behind its easily approachable front, Return seems to have gone all in experimenting with whatever storytelling innovations Lynch has conjured.
This is influenced by Lynch having recently said he needs to have everything work together for his own sake. We have a privilege to follow the flight of his mind if we really want but he doesn't indicate any corners were cut for our convenience or comfort.
Thus, if everything was meant to make some kind of sense and if it was Lynch imagining whatever worked for himself, then it's probably best to adjust ourselves on whichever level it seems that his ideas fit together, whatever consequences it then brings.
Accepting surreal and absurd connections as a part of Lynch's storytelling, we can find more of the same between Audrey and Tammy. For example, in P12, Audrey started suddenly talking about some papers that were never explained.
Audrey: "Well, then sign the papers I gave you."
Charlie: "Uh, I don't know, Audrey. Those papers ... there's something fishy about them."
Now what was that about? In P10, Tammy gave William Hastings a paper with six photographs on it.
Tammy: "Draw a circle around the photo of the man you call the Major. Sign and date it."
Audrey said it was her who had given some papers to sign. Earlier, we saw Tammy give a paper to sign, and that paper appeared to exist twice in two different storylines edited together based on numerous inconsistencies when Hastings signed it. Love it or hate it, telling a story like this sure is original.
Earlier, I already proposed that in this well-boiling soup of shifting identities also Tammy and Senorita Dido were the same person. Assuming Tammy was simultaneously yet another character - in yet another existence - makes feet a bit cold, but after going way further out there with Pete Martell, better just see where this twist takes us.
When we first met Senorita Dido in P8, she was enjoying some slow time together with the Fireman, both listening to a tune from an old gramophone. It looked like she was his companion. What was that implication there for?
So, while Senorita Dido seems to have been Tammy, then Tammy also seems to have been Audrey Horne. Thus, through Tammy, that would make Senorita Dido the same as Audrey who then was the Fireman's ultimate companion, at least in the order of character introductions.
If this surreal logic feels like spinning too high, just wait - it doesn't stop here yet. But as it goes higher, it also reveals the point in all this, at the height of the Fireman's towering station.
Pulling together earlier observations and what they might mean, I have proposed that the Fireman was the obscure, anonymous farmer that Andy questioned about his truck that apparently had been missing but now returned. Concurrently, this farmer appeared to be Pete Martell himself who also was the missing Billy, recently having his truck stolen but then returned, just like Pete in season 2 finale.
This wild chain of changing faces and identities looks similar to what was going on with Senorita Dido, Tammy and Audrey. Notably, also they never shared any screen time nor got mentioned in the same context.
And so, if Senorita Dido was Audrey and the Fireman was Billy, we'd end up having the mystery couple together in the Fireman's lounge, entirely changing their part in the story. Approached from two different directions, Audrey was found with her Billy in two different worlds.
In hindsight, Audrey hinted about that in P15 using season's trademark doublespeak:
Audrey: "You know, when Billy and I go places, he never speaks to me the way you do, Charlie."
While Charlie spoke normally, the way the Fireman spoke was backwards.
It is also revealing how these two other incarnations of Audrey - Senorita Dido and Tammy - were new faces introduced in season 3. The same applies to Pete's possible incarnations as both the nameless farmer and the Fireman, though the actor playing the latter also played the Giant in earlier seasons.
New names and new faces going back to older characters seems evident also elsewhere. Leo Johnson was back as Red. Donna was back as Renee. Laura was back as an anonymous blonde girl in the Roadhouse but also as three Las Vegas cocktail girls - Candie, Mandie and Sandie - that kept Mitchum Brothers' company. Similarly, Philip Gerard seems to have reappeared in the form of three white security guards working in the same casino.
It seems likely that more of season 3's large new cast will turn out to be reborn / reimagined original characters, having one or more fresh lives in different corners of Lynch's universe. And so, while the action seemed to take place outside Twin Peaks for much of the runtime, we could quote Mr C that it "never really left home". For this reason, it all continued to be Twin Peaks, whether in Buckhorn, Las Vegas or elsewhere.
This is also Lynch doing what he preaches and how he sees life, reincarnation being among his beliefs. His words on that from a 2014 interview could fit Return perfectly:
"It’s not so much a circle as like a spiral that comes around, the next loop a little bit higher than the one that precedes it.”
Like the Log Lady advised us in P15, death was just a change in Lynch's world. With all these changed faces of established characters, that appears to have been a very literal hint how the story comes about.
Though ramped up to absurd heights, cloaked in high-concept fantasy, layered and split between various characters in multiple worlds and told through surreal and self-referential means, Return might still reveal itself as an intimate family drama.
submitted by kaleviko to twinpeaks [link] [comments]


2020.08.04 01:06 saint_pete Random Habs journalism from 30 years ago (w/brief analysis)

Last week I was poking around old Montreal Gazette articles researching a Habs topic and I thought I'd share some of what I found because maybe others find this sort of thing interesting.
Specifically, I ended up reading a bunch of articles circa 1990 by Michael Farber and Red Fisher and I was very pleasantly surprised by their quality and the enjoyment I got from reading them. Maybe you'll like their style too. With all due respect to today's Habs journalists / twitter horns... anyway, no need to get nasty, but I sincerely doubt anyone sensible ever confused Farber for an illiterate. As for Red Fisher, he was always opinionated and, to be fair, he can come across like a bit of know-it-all, but he's such a charismatic and convincing writer that he either wins you over to his side or makes you get out the old typewriter to craft a witless letter to the editor.
These guys also had genuine access to the coach and the players and not the filtered pablum they feed us now. Our local journalists might consult their own archive for inspiration on what (and how) to write about the Habs.
Anyway these articles are about Patrick Roy's old backup Jean-Claude Bergeron. I was hunting for evidence of his nickname (Jean-Clone), which only proves that forgettable nicknames have always been a thing in hockey. But it also proves that hockey journalism used to be good!
For those with access to ProQuest, here are links-- 1 2-- to the articles. I'll copy the text below for those who don't. I'd be curious to know your thoughts.
"Goalie looks good in Forum debut; But Jean-Clone needs work if Habs want steady backup"
Author: Farber, Michael ; Publication info: The Gazette ; Montreal, Que. ; 12 Nov 1990: C1.
Full text: Pat Burns knew he would have to do it eventually: rip the wrapping off Jean-Claude Bergeron and let the home crowd see him do something other than pick splinters from his bottom. After all, Patrick Roy makes $1.3 million a year, but with all the games he has been playing, it works out to about $3.75 an hour. The provincial government was going to investigate the Canadiens for possible violation of the minimum-wage laws.
The game against Minnesota last Sunday had been the teaser, the second game in two nights, a stumbling team as the opposition, seemingly the soft spot for a 22-year-old to land. Burns pondered it hard, saw Bob Gainey making his Montreal return, and changed his mind. When asked Monday if he could see a date for Bergeron, Burns shrugged and said, "Well, December is really busy."
So Christmas came early, if you'll pardon the expression, when Bergeron took his place in front of the net last night against the Quebec Nordiques. It was another Sunday tail-ender, the foe figured to be a powder puff and, gracious knows, the kid needed the work. Other than the fact Bergeron grew up in Baie Comeau and was nurtured on this Battle of Quebec stuff, you couldn't have stumbled on a better evening for a coming out party.
So what do we know?
Burns said what the hell. After 10 straight starts and 17 of 18, Roy was going to turn the keys over to his stand-in.
Now that the debut has been enshrined in the standings - a 5-4 Canadiens overtime victory - what do we know about the mystery goalie?
We know he stands up most of the time.
We know he has decent reflexes.
We know he is capable of giving up two goals when he is left to his own devices, like in the first period when the Nordiques buzzed for 16 shots and potted a pair on deflections.
We know he was as sharp on 23 days' rest as anyone could hope to be.
The situation surrounding Bergeron's first home start might have been ideal given the context, but the context is skewed. A 22-year- old neophyte doesn't need simulated game conditions with goalie coach Francois Allaire; he needs shots. He doesn't need exposure to the National Hockey League; he needs games. A Fredericton tune-up would have been perfect during Roy's Steel Nerves Tour. (Andre "Red Light" Racicot could have sat with a towel 'round his neck while the Bergeron played some minor- league games.) Brian Hayward, the recalcitrant professional was a splendid back-up goalie - despite his self-assessment as something better - simply because he could flick the flakes of rust from his shoulder and play well. Bergeron shouldn't have corrosion at this stage of his career.
He needs at least 20 games
If you accept the premise that the National Hockey League season in Montreal is an 80-game laboratory for the playoffs, Bergeron should play at least 20 games - a hedge in case Roy is indisposed. If Bergeron plays any less, there is the risk the Canadiens will never develop confidence in him and Bergeron will lose the confidence he has in himself.
"I've got to accept my situation," said Bergeron, who was touched for five goals in Detroit on Oct. 18 in his first NHL start. "It's something I've got to get used to because Patrick Roy is a great goalie, maybe the best in the league. But I'm sure with the win tonight, I'll be back in in six, seven, eight games. But my job this year is being a back-up. It's what I have to do."
Bergeron is a fine specimen for a goalie, a Roy look-alike. They are both six feet tall. Roy, at 182 pounds, is 10 pounds lighter. Both play a positional game. Both wear cage masks with dangling neck guards. Both are Libras. Bergeron even has taken to swivelling his neck like Roy, noted for his funky chicken routine.
Is it live? Or is it Memorex?
A week ago, Basil McRae of the North Stars watched Bergeron practice and wondered, "Is it live or Memorex?" The only difference is Jean-Clone has a better haircut and Roy has a couple of Vezina Trophies and a Stanley Cup ring.
Maybe Bergeron will have the others some day. (A bad haircut is a lock after the Canadiens hold their rookie initiations.) The reviews were good - "Good moves and follows the game pretty well," said Guy Lafleur; "He wasn't lucky," Burns said - and surely there is room for a rangy goalie with solid fundamentals and a good attitude.
"I think I did as much as I could," Bergeron said, a puck from win No. 1 at his side. "I was aggressive. I didn't lose confidence in the first period. The only thing was I had a little nervousness." Not unlike his coach.
But the end result was two points. Canadiens win, Nordiques lose - just what would have been expected if Roy had played. In the standings this morning, you really can't tell if it was live or Memorex.
"Red Wings wreck debut of Habs goalie Bergeron; Yzerman scores twice on porous defence"
Author: Fisher, Red ; Publication info: The Gazette ; Montreal, Que. ; 19 Oct 1990: F1.
RED WINGS 5 CANADIENS 2
DETROIT - What was it they were saying about Jean-Claude Bergeron?
Big kid. Quick hands. Moves well in his crease. Doesn't panic.
A clone right down to the interesting mannerisms, they were saying, of Patrick Roy, who has won everything there is to win in his special area of expertise. They were saying these things about Jean-Clone because he played so well with the big kids in Sweden and the Soviet Union. He also excelled against the Detroit Red Wings in a pre-season exhibition.
Last night, though, was for real - for the first time. His first National Hockey League game - a once-in-a-lifetime thing. What also happens once in a lifetime is for a new kid on the block to lose in his first regular-season appearance, as Bergeron and the Canadiens did last night, 5-2.
It was a night of many firsts for the pale, blond 22-year-old kid with the wondering, wet eyes. Butterflies?
"You bet," he told reporters. "My first time ... big crowd."
Disappointment over losing?
"Whenever you lose ..." he shrugged.
Thrills, too.
For example, there's the first-time thrill of stopping his first difficult shot, particularly when an old man such as Steve Yzerman, who's 25, is the shooter. There's the first-time jolt of allowing his first NHL goal on Detroit's seventh shot of the game - except that Marc Habscheid's shot wasn't one. What it really was, was a tap-in. Randy McKay, who had played 38 NHL games more than Bergeron going into the game, did most of the work for Habscheid. It was McKay who slipped around and suspiciously through Donald Dufresne midway through the first period. Then he swept in on Bergeron, who did all right going down. What he did all wrong, perhaps, was steering one- half of the puck over the goal-line with his legs, leaving himself in a somewhat awkward position and the puck loose. Unhappily for Bergeron, nobody cleared the puck.
Happily for the Red Wings, Habscheid fully extended his arms to tap the loose puck over the line. There was the first-time, close-up view of a three-way passing play by NHLers which ended with Bergeron giving up one side of the net to Gerard Gallant, whose goal midway through the second period provided the Red Wings with a 2-0 lead. Even Vezina Trophy winner Roy lets those in. There was also the thudding realization that there's a price to be paid after relinquishing any kind of a rebound behind this Canadiens defence, which doesn't clear rebounds. Such as the time he failed to close his fist around Gallant's fairly routine shot late in the second period. A short rebound - and there's Yzerman slipping the puck into the open side.
Where did he come from, eh? And where did the puck go when Sergei Fedorov squeezed it through his pads midway through the third period? Yzerman added his second of the game after yet another Bergeron rebound.
Or how about the ice-level view of Denis Savard scoring a patented Savard-type goal a little more than a minute after Gallant had provided the Rd Wings with their two-goal margin?
There he is, going around a defenceman named Bob Wilkie - and maintaining control of the puck with his left hand and then steering it along the ice between Tim Cheveldae's legs - still with only his left hand on his stick. Mike Keane scored the Canadiens' second goal with fewer than three minutes remaining in the game while the Red Wings were short two men.
The Savard goal appeared to lift the Canadiens, who had struggled through the first period with only four shots, but Yzerman cooled the fervor with his fifth goal of the season, as he so often does in this arena.
This night belonged to Bergeron, if only because it was his first, but it was a night of firsts for several others.
Detroit's Bob Probert, for example.
Once, late in the first period, and again early in the second, he was (a) high-sticked and (b) roughed up by Gerald Diduck. In both cases, Probert displayed an uncommon amount of restraint, allowing Diduck to draw minors.
"Probert doesn't have to prove he's a tough guy," said Detroit coach Bryan Murray. "He can play this game."
Another Red Wing who can play is Rick Green.
A full season away from an NHL rink has provided him with several new wrinkles, but none on the ice. He continues to play consistent, steady defence. A boring chap. He does silly things such cleaning out strangers from the area in front of his goaltender, and annoying stuff like sending Yzerman out of the Red Wings zone on a sprint which ended with the Gallant goal.
This was a night to remember for Bergeron, but not one the Canadiens, as a team, would like to retain among their treasured memories. Basically, it was an off-night for The Good Guys, particularly so soon after a night rooted in excellence in Buffalo 24 hours earlier.
They'll try again tomorrow night at the Forum, when the Philadelplhia Flyers are the visitors. Illustration Color Photo; AP; Detroit captain Steve Yzerman (left) and Habs captain Guy Carbonneau battle for puck on faceoff last night.
submitted by saint_pete to Habs [link] [comments]


2020.07.19 20:05 killjoy_2007 I'm trying to figure out my label.

So I’ve been having trouble finding the right label for my sexuality. I’m female and I dated a girl and dreamt of kissing her. So I’m sexually attracted to women. But I don’t know if lesbians can think of a guy to be attractive I mean I guess but I’m not sure. I see myself in relationships with women but like I still find people like Gerard Way (from my chem) and like Markiplier really attractive but I’m not sexually attracted to them. So I’m not sure if I’m bi or just a lesbian. Please helpppp!
submitted by killjoy_2007 to lgbt [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 18:02 LearningIsListening A not-so-brief rundown of letters J-L of Jeffrey Epstein's 'Little Black Book'

Below is a rundown of letters J-L of Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/cpis3n/a_brief_rundown_of_the_first_ten_pages_of_jeffrey/).
I also wrote about letters D-F on July 5, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hlrba8/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_df_in_jeffrey/).
I posted letters G-I on July 13, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hqko0y/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_gi_in_jeffrey/). There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this.
I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here: https://www.coreysdigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jeffrey-Epsteins-Little-Black-Book-unredacted.pdf
J-L
Jackson, Michael (Samuel Gen): Yes, this is a reference to MJ the singer. However, the numbers listed are not MJ’s. They belong to Samuel Gen, a lawyer for a financial advisor (Jerry Seinfeld’s brother-in-law) who worked for MJ for a while. This one was a reach for Epstein.
Jacobson, Julian: Likely a reference to a Managing Director at several London-based investment firms.
Jagger, Mick: World-famous lead singer of the Rolling Stones. Has been seen in photographs with Ghislaine Maxwell. Actress Rae Dawn Chong claims she slept with Jagger when she was 15 years old.
Jagger, Hatti: Former fashion director for Vogue, Harper’s, and Tatler. Also works as a celebrity stylist and at fashion shows.
jake: Not enough info.
Jameel, Mohammed: Saudi Arabian businessman. CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel, a collective of family-owned businesses that specialize in transportation, investing, and real estate. Royal pervert Prince Andrew infamously partied on Jameel’s yacht during the 2011 London riots (source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-andrew-frolicks-on-yacht-with-mystery-147496).
James, Susie: Founder and owner of 123 Send Ltd, a company that provides payment terminals.
Janklow, Linda: Literary agent and wife of Mort Janklow, the primary owner of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, the largest literary agency in the world. Attended a party hosted by Sony Pictures with Epstein, although they are not pictured together (source: https://www.patrickmcmullan.com/search/?event=5b3ef4fb9f92906676446c21). In 2007, Ghislaine Maxwell threw an exclusive party (80 carefully selected guests) at her NYC townhouse to celebrate the opening of a new shop by designer Allegra Hicks (granddaughter-in-law of Earl Mountbatten, who you can read more about in my G-I Epstein thread under India Hicks’s name). One of the eighty guests was Julie Landlow, daughter of Linda and Mort.
Jarecki, Nancy & Andrew: Andrew is a filmmaker, co-founder of Moviefone, and was a producer on Catfish, the documentary that launched the popular MTV show. Andrew’s family was reportedly friends with Jeffrey Epstein. There is an EXCELLENT thread on the connections between the Jarecki family (especially Andrew and Nick’s father, Henry) and Epstein here (source: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1200044576947556352.html). Quick summary: Henry was born in Nazi Germany; flew on the Lolita Express; is an expert in psychotropic drugs; owns two islands in the British Virgin Islands; founded the first youth center in the British Virgin Islands; lived 2 miles from Epstein in NYC; owns and donates to many sketchy foundations, schools, and organizations; has donated at least $1 million to leftist organizations). Andrew’s wife Nancy created bettybeauty, a company that specializes in hair dye for your nether regions (not kidding).
Jarecki, Nick: The movie director brother of Andrew and son of Henry Jarecki (see link under Andrew & Nancy Jarecki for more info). Reportedly dated Courtney Love (also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’) in 2015. Photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell at a Gucci party (source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-and-nick-jarecki-attend-gucci-hosts-a-news-photo/591605562).
Jason (canada): Not enough info. Could be artist Jason Wasserman based out of Canada. The second number listed traces back to Station 16 Gallery in Montreal.
Javier: Javier Banon is former Co-head of Merchant Banking at Lehman Brothers and current Founding Partner of Trilantic Europe.
Jeffries, Tim: Ownedirector of Hamiltons Gallery in London. Best known for dating models Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, Kylie Minogue and Sophie Dahl (also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’). Jefferies has attended fundraisers for ARK Academy and the NSPCC. He truly cares about children.
Johnson, Richard & Nadine: Nadine is a millionaire public relations guru. Nadine is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell’s. Some clients of Nadine Johnson include spirit cooking extraordinaire Marina Abramovic and hotelier Andre Balazs, good friend of Ghislaine. Richard is one of the most well-known gossip columnists and was the editor of Page Six for twenty-five years. There is a great thread detailing the Johnsons’ ties to the Clintons, Balazs, and others here (source: https://threader.app/thread/1162148078981394432). Basically, Richard Johnson is friendly with the Clintons and, as Page Six Editor, purposely did not report or downplayed stories on the Clintons and Nadine’s clients. He also took bribes. Considering Nadine is a good friend of Ghislaine, it would not be a stretch to assume that Richard could have buried stories on Maxwell and Epstein. I could spend 10 pages on the shady connections these two have.
Johnson, Lucy: Not enough info.
Jones, Ann & Mick: Mick is the guitarist of Foreigner, an immensely popular rock band in the ‘70s and ‘80s. His wife, Ann, is a jewelry designer, and friend of Ghislaine. Ann Jones was photographed at a party with Ghislaine and Donald Trump in 1997 (source: https://www.the-sun.com/news/85818/epstein-madam-ghislaine-maxwell-milked-billionaire-dad-and-threw-lavish-parties-with-beautiful-women/)
Josephson, Barry & Jackie: Barry is a producer and the former President of Production for Columbia Pictures. Jackie is his ex-wife and also a producer.
Karella, Kalliope: Wife of Prince Pierre d’Arenberg. Kalliope is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Kastner, Ron: No info found.
Katz, Anton & Robin Plant: Anton is CEO and co-founder of Talos Trading, which specializes in cryptocurrency. Anton and Robin are friends of and have been photographed with Ghislaine (source: https://www.patrickmcmullan.com/search/?person=5b3ef50c9f929066764df255).
Katzeneilenbogen, Mark: Long-time investment banker who used to be based out of South Africa.
Keeling, Sarah: There is a Sarah Keeling in London who is a former British government official with 20 years of experience in national security and intelligence experience, however, the phone number listed has a 410 area code, which leads back to eastern Maryland. Inconclusive.
Kegan, Rory: A nightclub designer and creator. Co-founder of the exclusive, celebrity-filled London nightclub, Chinawhite. Prince Andrew (source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9818190/prince-andrew-pictures-cast-doubt-epstein-sex-slave/) and Prince Albert of Monaco are regulars. Chelsea Clinton has been there, as well (source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/bright-night-for-china-white-6299739.html). Other patrons include: Prince Andrew, Kate Middleton, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more.
Keidan, Amanda: Owner of Keidan Jewelry.
Keidan, Jon: An entertainment executive-turned-venture capitalist. As an entertainment exec, Keidan worked with John Legend, Dave Matthews Band, and Nappy Roots. Keidan serves on the Council of Foreign Relations, a powerful group that some believe determines foreign policy. Former and current members include former presidents, current and former politicians, business magnates, and celebrities (https://www.cfr.org/membership/roster).
Keller, Georgie: Interior designer.
Kellette Frayse, Caroline: Fashion editor at Vogue and Tatler (both magazines constantly come up in Epstein’s contacts). Former girlfriend of Imran Khan, whose name has come up frequently. Passed away in 2014. Her husband, Jean-Marc Fraysse, is a French investment banker.
Kelmenson, Leo-Arthur & Gayl: Leo was an advertising and marketing guru who has been credited with saving Chrysler. Friend and advisor to Lee Iacocca, former President of Chrysler. He worked as Special Project Officer for the U.S. Department of State under President John F. Kennedy and AG Robert F. Kennedy. He had tons of connections. His former maid accused him of sexual harassment in 2010 (source: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/maid-harassment-suit-claims-ad-exec-leo-arthur-kelmenson-madman-pervy-mad-men-wannabe-article-1.156915). Kelmenson died less than two months after the story came out.
Kennedy Cuomo, Andrew & Kerry: Andrew is the current governor of New York. It’s no secret that Cuomo is willing to look the other way on sexual deviancy as long as he receives a payoff. Cuomo halted a probe into the handling of Harvey Weinstein’s case in New York after receiving $25,000 from Weinstein’s law firm (source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjbqg4/andrew-cuomo-received-dollar25000-donation-from-harvey-weinsteins-law-firm). Andrew’s brother, CNN Host Chris Cuomo famously told viewers “not to get caught up in the intrigue of who Epstein’s friends are” (source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/11/cnn_cuomo_lets_not_get_caught_up_in_the_intrigue_of_who_was_friends_with_jeffrey_epstein.html). Perhaps, he was covering for his brother. Kerry Kennedy is Cuomo’s ex-wife of fifteen years, the daughter of RFK, and a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Supposedly, Kennedy provided Ghislaine with informal illegal advice (source: https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-nth-word-and-m-theory).
Kennedy Jr. Ted: Son of Ted Kennedy and nephew of JFK and RFK. Ted Jr. dabbled in politics and currently works as a lawyer. His father, Ted, was a notorious sexual abuser (allegedly).
Kennedy, Bobby & Mary: Bobby is the son of RFK and nephew of JFK. Bobby is a known drug abuser and philanderer. Bobby kept a sex journal detailing his conquests while he was married (source: https://nypost.com/2013/09/08/rfk-jr-s-sex-diary-of-adultery/). His ex-wife, Mary, committed “suicide” two years after their divorce. Before committing suicide, Mary told a friend that she “feared for her life” and Bobby told her that she “would be better off dead” (source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3231043/How-serial-cheater-Bobby-Kennedy-Jr-strutted-family-home-exposing-private-parts-demanded-m-nage-trois-wife-Mary-went-public-Cheryl-Hines-telling-Mary-things-easier-killed-herself.html).
Kennedy, Ethel: Widow of RFK Sr. and mother of eleven, including Bobby Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, and Joseph Kennedy II.
Kennedy, Jo: Joseph Kennedy II is the son of RFK Sr. and Ethel. Served in the House of Representatives from 1987-1999. In 1973, Joseph was convicted of negligent driving after paralyzing a young woman. He was fined $100.
Kennedy, Senator Edward: Brother of JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy served as U.S. Senator of Massachusetts for 47 years. Besides politics, Ted is best known for the Chappaquiddick incident in which a young female speechwriter for RFK drowned to death when he lost control of his vehicle while driving across a bridge. He was charged with leaving the scene of an incident and given a two month suspended sentence. Ted was also notorious for his extramarital affairs. Senator Kennedy once hosted a party at his house attended by Bill Clinton and Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Rothschild wrote a letter to Clinton afterwards in which she mentions that they spoke about Epstein (source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7283825/Jeffrey-Epstein-injured-jail-cell-following-possible-suicide-assault.html). It is unclear what was said or what Rothschild’s connection could possibly be.
Kersner, Sol: South African accountant and hotel and casino magnate who died of cancer in 2020. Kerzner was a close friend of Donald Trump. They even worked together to create The Palm, a man-made island off the coast of Dubai (source: https://www.ft.com/content/46393280-d9f9-11da-b7de-0000779e2340). Kerzner was also close friends with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/sarah-ferguson-the-duchess-of-york-sol-kerzner-chairman-and-news-photo/83768272), Naomi Campbell (https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/naomi-campbell-and-sol-kerzner-pose-backstage-during-the-news-photo/82869744), and Bill Clinton (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8144647/As-Sol-Kerzner-dies-aged-84-RICHARD-KAY-looks-riotously-louche-life.html). Kerzner was very good friends with Nelson Mandela and built his casino resorts with Gerard Inzerillo, who you can read about in my G-I ‘Black Book’ thread.
Khayat, Antoine, Jana, & George: Jana is an heiress and businesswoman. Jana is the niece of Galen Weston, a close friend of Prince Charles. George is her brother and CEO of Associated British Foods. Jana’s husband, Antoine, is a former banker and currently runs their vineyard.
Kidd, Jemma: Kidd is a British makeup artist, fashion model, and aristocrat. Married to Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Mornington, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington, making her a Countess. Kidd is an interesting figure with elite connections. From 2005-2012, Ghislaine Maxwell served as Director of Jemma Kidd Make-Up Limited, a U.K. makeup company, which was founded by Kidd. Not only did Ghislaine serve as Director, but she was also a shareholder, along with the Rothschild family (source: https://nationalpost.com/news/world/in-hiding-for-years-epstein-accomplice-ghislaine-maxwell-spotted-in-l-a-burger-shop). If you click around the PDFs on this website (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05340072/filing-history), you can see everything. The 16 JUN 2006 PDF on page 3 shows you a list of Officers and shareholders of the company. Jemma Kidd has also attended charity events for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) (https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-beckham-nspcc-party-jemma-kidd-106882170.html). Her sister, Jodie, is also a huge supportefundraiser of the NSPCC, as well as the Help a London Child and Monsoon Accessorize Trust charities, both of which help out disadvantaged children (source: https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/jodie-kidd).
King, Abby: No info found.
Kirwin Taylor, Charlie & Helen: Charles is an investment banker. He was former CEO of Credit Suisse in Switzerland, an investment firm which shows up a few times through Epstein’s contacts. His wife, Helen, is a journalist.
Kirwin Taylor, Peter: British financier. Was a member of the Pilgrims Society (https://isgp-studies.com/pilgrims-society-membership-list), a group that has included the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and other elites amongst its ranks.
Kissinger, Dr. Henry A: Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Nixon. Kissinger has long been accused of committing war crimes (ex: carpet bombing Cambodia, installing fascist governments in Chile and Argentina, genocide, extending our stay in Vietnam, etc) yet somehow managed to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Kissinger once said, “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.” Kissinger served with Epstein on the Trilateral Commission. Kissinger has also been a member of the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, and Bohemian Grove. Long thought to be an advocate for a globalist New World Order, Kissinger is a scumbag of the highest order. His connections with Gates, the Clintons, Bush Sr. and Jr., the Rockefellers, and the Rothschilds are well-documented. If anyone here has ever done any research regarding the NWO, you have undoubtedly seen Kissinger’s name several times.
Klee, Rupert & Charlotte de: Rupert is a Director with Oakridge Group, a property development and investment company. His wife, Charlotte, is the producer of the religious plays at Wintershall.
Klesch, Johnathan: Former Director of Klesch Trading, which specializes in industrial commodities. It has offices in Russia, Malta, Surrey, and in London, down the block from Buckingham Palace.
Koch, David: Co-founder of Koch Industries, a diversified manufacturing conglomerate. Koch Industries has stolen oil from Indian reservations, committed hundreds of polluting, labor, and workplace safety violations. When he ran on the Libertarian ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 1980, Koch aimed to abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare benefits, and minimum wage. Koch and Epstein were friends. Epstein even attended a party at Koch’s Southampton home (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7270735/Jeffrey-Epstein-Trumps-closest-advisers-Wilbur-Ross-Rudy-Giuliani-Steve-Mnunchin.html). Koch has also been photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell (https://www.reddit.com/KochWatch/comments/dcjth3/david_koch_ghislaine_maxwell_getty_images/). Thankfully, Koch died last year.
Kohl, Astrid: A businesswoman involved in pharmaceuticals. Married to Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein. Daughter-in-law of Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein. Niece of former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl.
Kotic, Boby: CEO of Activision Blizzard, a video game holding company. Used to run several electronic companies. From 2003-2008, he was a director at Yahoo! In 2012, he became a non-executive director of Coca-Cola.
Kotze, Alex Von: British businessman involved in the tech industry.
Kravetz, Anna: Not much info found. Has a degree in finance from Wharton School and used to live on Park Avenue in NYC.
Krooth, Caryn: A successful real estate agent based out of Los Angeles
Kudrow, Alistar: No info found.
Lal, Dalamal: Director of Akron Corp. & Akron (Nig.) Ltd., a food and beverage import company based out of Nigeria.
Lalaunis, Demetra: Daughter of Ilias Lalaounis, a pioneer in Greek jewelry and a world renowned goldsmith.
Lambert, Christopher: Well-known actor.
Lambert, David: Former partner, managing director, and VP at Goldman Sachs.
Lambert, Edward: Lampert is a billionaire hedge fund manager and former CEO of Sears. Lampert graduated from Yale University in 1984 where he was a member of Skull and Bones. Rumored pedophile David Geffen gave Lampert $200 million to invest in 1992, when Lampert was just 29 years old. Lampert made Geffen $1 billion.
Lambos Duff & John: Karen “Duff” Duffy is an actress, model, and TV personality. She has had memorable roles as the love interest in “Blank Check” and as JP Shay in “Dumb and Dumber.” Duffy has battled with sarcoidosis, a deadly central nervous system disease, since the mid-’90s. She credits Harvey Weinstein with saving her life (https://nypost.com/2000/10/03/coping-with-class-this-model-patient-suffers-in-style/). John is a former banker with Morgan Stanley and current President of GCA-US, an investment banking company.
Lang, Caroline: An art expert and Chairman at Sotheby’s Switzerland.
Lange, Dieter: Former Partner at WilliamHare, an international law firm with offices in London, Berlin, the U.S., Beijing, and Brussels. Passed away in 2010.
Larsen Janet: The only one I can find is a Business Psychologist based out of London.
Laurie, Jonathan: Founder and CEO of Cheyne Capital Management, an alternate investment fund firm.
Lavlada, Laura D.B. de: Laura Diez Barroso is a Mexican businesswoman. She sold her stock in Televisa for $726 million in 1993. Since then, she has been the head of several other companies.
Lawford Christopher & Jean: Christopher was an actor and relative of the Kennedys. His uncles were JFK, RFK, and Ted Kennedy. Many of his relatives appear in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’. His first wife, Jeannie, was an ad-sales associate for New York Magazine.
Lawton Paul: Two British businessmen with the same name come up. Both have extensive resumes. Could be either one.
Lazar, Christopher & Marie: Christophe seems to be a realtor in Paris, but I am not completely sure.
Le Bon, Simon & Jasmine: Simon is the lead singer of Duran Duran. His wife, Yasmin, is/was a fashion model. Yasmin is represented by Models1 in London. Models1 also represents Epstein and Ghislaine’s friend, Naomi Campbell. Le Bon has been accused of sexual assault in the past (https://www.freep.com/story/news/2018/07/12/simon-le-bons-accuser-sex-assault-claim-speaks-out-awful/777106002/).
Le Fur, Jean-Yves: French businessman and magazine creator. He was once Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s ex-fiance. More notably, Le Fur was the one who discovered supermodel Karen Mulder (his girlfriend at the time) on the floor after she attempted suciide. Mulder blew the lid off the rampant rape and sexual abuse that she and her modeling colleagues had suffered at the hands of businessmen, royalty, celebrities, and government officials. She was even the protege of Epstein collaborator (allegedly), Jean Luc Brunel (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article238351108.html).
Le Marg Willie: No info found.
Lea, Piers: CEO of Learning Technologies Group, a workplace digital learning company.
Leeds, Jeffrey: Co-founder and Managing Partner of Leeds Equity. One of Leeds Equity’s partner companies is Endeavor Schools, which runs private preschools, primary schools, and secondary schools in Florida and 11 other states (https://www.leedsequity.com/news/articles/leeds-equity-partners-completes-investment-in-endeavor-schools). They are also partners with Fusion Educational Group (now Fusion Academy), which runs a chain of private secondary schools (https://www.leedsequity.com/news/articles/leeds-equity-partners-completes-investment-in-fusion-education-group). Former teacher Kris White, now the head of Fusion Academy in Palo Alto, allegedly told a student that he was in love with her and wrote her a note saying he was “obsessed” with her. (https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/07/12/teachers-named-in-presentation-high-sex-investigation-kept-working-as-bay-area-educators-for-years/). This story was just published on July 12, 2020. Hypothetically, if one wanted to procure underage children, it would certainly help if the head of the school was on board and possibly a pedophile himself. According to this former teacher at Fusion Academy, “many students struggle with learning differences, behavioral issues, and/or addictions” (https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Fusion-Academy-RVW21260629.htm). In other words, the downtrodden and vulnerable. Fusion Academy refers to itself as a non-traditional school that focuses on individual students. Seems like a great opportunity. Leeds was also good friends with Epstein (https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/) and has close ties to Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani (https://nypost.com/2016/09/14/colin-powell-wont-vote-for-her-because-of-bill-clinton/).
Lefcourt, Jerry: Famous lawyer who defended Epstein in 2007. That same year, Epstein donated $250,000 to the Washington-based Foundation for Criminal Justice, where Lefcourt was a board member.
Lester, Dominick: Founder and owner of MortgageFlex Systems, a mortgage lending company.
Levine, Phillip: Ex-Miami Beach mayor and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He claims that he doesn’t know how Epstein got his contact information… all 13 phone numbers, including those of his driver and housekeepers (https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/ex-miami-beach-mayor-philip-levine-listed-13-times-in-jeffrey-epsteins-black-book-11242116)!
Liman, Doug: Popular Hollywood director and producer. He directed Swingers, The Bourne Identity, and a couple of Tom Cruise movies.
Lindeman-Barnet, Sloan & Roger: Sloan has been a New York Times bestseller and an on-air and print reporter for NBC, ABC, and Reuters. Sloan and Roger also sit on the board of the Spence School in New York City, a private K-12 all-girls school (https://www.spenceschool.org/2017---news-detail?pk=999120). Her husband, Roger, is the founder of beauty.com and Chairman and CEO of Shaklee, a highly successful nutrition company. Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and Ghislaine Maxwell all attended the publication party for Sloan’s book in 2008 (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-anton-katz-and-robin-katz-attend-sloan-news-photo/619921016 ; https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/donald-trump-melania-trump-sloan-barnett-and-roger-barnett-news-photo/619921180).Other guests included Steve Mnuchin, Epstein and Maxwell chum Carol Mack, and a bunch of others also featured in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’ (Colin Cowie, Anton and Robin Katz, and Vittorio Assaf).
Lindemann, Adam & Elizabeth: Adam is a billionaire investor and art gallery owner. Brother of Sloan (mentioned just above). Elizabeth is his ex-wife. She is often photographed with many other people mentioned in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’
Lindemann, George(Sr.) & Freida: Now-deceased billionaire father of Sloan and Adam. George was the CEO and Chairman of Southern Union, a pipeline company and served as Vice President of the Metropolitan Opera Association of NYC. His wife, Frayda, is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Opera.
Lindsay, Alex & Jaclyn: Alex is a war documentary maker who rents out his loft at the address Epstein has listed (https://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/property/spheres-of-influence-72014.html).
Lindsey, Ludovic: Racecar driver.
Lindsley, Blake: Actress who was in two movies directed by Doug Liman (also in Epstein’s book) - “Swingers” and “Getting In.”
Linley, David: Princess Margaret’s son, Queen Elizabeth II’s nephew, and first cousin of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. Linley is a furniture maker and the 2nd Earl of Snowdon. He used to be the Chairman of Christie’s auction house in the UK.
Liogos, Babis: No info found, but one of the numbers traces back to Thylan Associates, a real estate and investment firm.
Lister, Paul: Likely the director of legal services and company secretary for Associated British Foods, or it could be a conservationist. Not sure which.
Livanos, Arriette: I believe this Arietta Livanos, wife of Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Livanos. Arietta passed away in 1986.
Lo Cascio, Robert: Founder and CEO of LivePerson, a tech company that develops conversational commerce. LoCascio was photographed with Ghislaine at an after party in 2012 (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-and-robert-locascio-attend-osklen-spring-news-photo/1169681572).
Loeb, Alex: Alexandra is the daughter of John Loeb, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark under Reagan and former Delegate to the United Nations. John Loeb was also a special advisor to Nelson Rockefeller. Alexandra is also a descendant of the Lehman family (Lehman Brothers). Alexandra graduated from Spence Day School for Girls (mentioned earlier under Sloan and Roger Lindemann-Barnett).
Lonsdale, Richard: British investment banker.
Lorenzoti, Eva Vivre: Founder of luxury online retailer, Vivre.com and is a TV spokesperson/personality. Good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell and a couple of Rockefellers were guests at her house for a dinner party in 2010 (https://hauteliving.com/2010/11/doris-world-eva-lorenzottis-dinner-party/105102/).
Lorimer, John & Lottie: John works as a private investor and as a realtor. His wife, Lottie, is an interior designer.
Louthan Guy J: Prolific British film producer and former boyfriend of actress Liz Hurley (also in Epstein’s book).
Love, Courtney: Famous drug addict, musician, and actress who likely killed her husband, Kurt Cobain. Courtney famously claimed that Prince Andrew showed up to her house late one night in 2000 looking for sex. She has since retracted this claim. The entries under Love’s name all say ‘Dana’ next to them. This is Courtney’s ex-boyfriend, Dana Giacchetto. Giacchetto was considered to be the “stockbroker to the stars” and was friends with JFK Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and many others. He ripped his clients off of millions. Even more telling, Giacchetto was involved in a sex abuse case against X-Men director Bryan Singer (https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/news/leonardo-dicaprios-convicted-ex-money-manager-denies-bryan-050000120.html). He died in 2016 after he partied too hard and overdosed (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dana-giacchetto-dead-stockbroker-stars-902383).
Lowell, Ivana: Guinness heiress who wrote about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse while she worked at Miramax in her book back in 2010 (https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/guinness-heiress-spoke-out-about-predator-harvey-weinstein-7-years-ago). She also dated Harvey’s younger brother, Bob.
Loyd Mark: No info found.
Lucas, Colin: The godfather of Boris Johnson, England’s current Prime Minister. Lucas is a British historian and university administrator. Served as Vice Chancellor of Oxford University from 1997-2004.
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2020.07.13 18:41 reasonedof List of post GOT cast projects and current status (updated/updating/feel free to add/clarify)

*I know this is incomplete but it's like 1am here (Nathalie, Pedro, etc). Will come back to, or feel free to help.
This is projects that were either completed/in post production, not new and upcoming stuff (we could probably do with a thread for that) that is in various states of distribution. Most of it is going to VOD.
Emilia Clarke
Kit Harington
Peter Dinklage
Lena Headey
Maisie Williams
OK quite a lot:
Sophie Turner
· Survive is on Quibi. It's complete. You can also watch it on a big screen now through Airplay etc. She is also on one "bit” of The Princess Bride but it really is about 30 seconds and available on YouTube.
· Did a film Broken Solider – completed early 2019 – I don’t think this is going to get any sort of release. Has no distribution deals anywhere or festivals scheduled.
· Had another film Heavy shown at the Deauville American Film Festival in France a bit under a year ago. Doesn’t have any distribution deals - these can take a while - but this wasn't a big festival in the first place.
Nikolaj Coster Waldau
· Did a TV pilot post VOD (Gone Hollywood). Has definitively not been picked up.
· Has an indie film called The Silencing going to DirecTV in the US on July 16th (so this week). No distribution I can see outside of the US. This is in English.
· Exit Plan (also known by multiple other names) came out on VOD/streaming in most regions over the course of the last two months. I have seen this – it is a bit of a hybrid of Danish/English.
· Has a film called A Taste of Hunger (in Danish) which I believe is getting Scandinavian telemovie release next year
· The Day We Died (in Danish) – this has a had a cinema and VOD release in Denmark and I don’t think is getting anything wider.
Gwendoline Christie
This is kind of convoluted. Basically the only person who has much in theatres:
· The Personal History of David Copperfield – probably the closest to an awards contender - this is super convoluted but has been released in the UK and is now at VOD status, is at the top of the box office in Australia and I think is getting a slow release in different regions BUT is owned by Disney/Searchlight in the US and is supposed to be out next month (this is PG and could probably also go Disney+ or Hulu).
· In Fabric – small A24 in the US horror film that is in either first or re-release cinemas in some markets even now and VOD in others.
· A Midsummer Night’s Dream – this is a filmed stage production that was in limited release pre COVID and is popular to the extent of petitions for a digital/DVD release. Got massive numbers on a week of streaming (National Theatre is doing some sort of experiment). Is already in re-release in some theatres.
· The Friend – this is complete as was in film festivals in 2019 – this has a stack of distribution deals including one in the US with Roadside (Lionsgate offshoot) – will probably? Get a mix of VOD and theatrical releases (apparently Fall 2020)
Alfie Allen
· TV: White House Farm. This also has Gemma Whelan in it and Mark Addy (both in quite big roles) and Alfie in supporting. This has already been on ITV in the UK and Foxtel in Australia and has a deal with HBO Max in the US but I haven’t seen any press that it’s dropped yet? (I binged this. I really liked it)
· How To Build A Girl – this was meant to get a Lionsgate release in the UK but is going to Prime, and it got a very tiny drive-in release in the US which is now complete and I think is going to streaming. This doesn’t have much in the way of distribution deals elsewhere so I think will end up on VOD/streaming (probably Prime)
· Night Teeth – this was a commissioned Netflix film which is listed in post-production but I could have sworn I heard Alfie say in an interview was interrupted (he was filming this in March) Netflix stuff can have quite a long period in production so I would assume 2021 if it is completed.
· Jojo Rabbit – this won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars earlier in the year. This was largely at the tail end of its theatre run right at the edge of COVID and should be on VOD nearly everywhere but I believe is still showing in NZ cinemas because Taika Waititi.
John Bradley
· Is in Marry Me, a Universal film with J-Lo. I think John finished filming some time ago but I saw an interview with J-Lo only about six weeks ago indicating there’s still some work/reshoots on this so I don’t think this is super-close
-Also did a project with Mark Addy - come back to me on this one.
Richard Madden:
· See – Kit with the Eternals
· Had been announced for a (high end and pricey mini series called Citadel) with Priyanka Chopra but I don’t believe there’s any indication this was complete pre COVID
Michelle Fairley
· Is in Gangs of London, which was very popular in the UK (I think somewhat unexpectedly). Should be rolling out in other regions across various providers soon.
· Did a show called The Feed which should be on Amazon in most regions but doesn’t looked to have gone to Season 2
Joe Dempsie
· Wrapped a series called Adult Material for Channel 4 in the UK a year ago so probably isn’t far away. Probably won’t get distribution outside UK as far as I can see.
submitted by reasonedof to FreeFolkNews [link] [comments]


2020.07.11 19:27 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.20]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
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If there was one thing Lachlan MacGregor was not of two minds about regarding taking up residence on Mara, the return to something of a natural circadian rhythm was it. The days were shorter than he was used to, of course, but there was little artificial light in the village after dark, save for fire, torches, and a few LED’s around Alice’s abode. That seemed about to change given Antoth’s approval of an order of lanterns that arrived for the guard force, but otherwise the Marine found sleep when the sun went down and woke easily when it rose again in the west. He was even getting a bit used to sleeping on straw. Ursol, on the other hand, had not gotten over the novelty of sleeping on Lachlan’s inflatable foam pad.
“Good mornin’ mum,” the Marine said quietly, emerging into the common area of Sentaura’s home where the single mother already had a fire going. She’d explained that, especially in the summer months, it was best to cook before Seil warmed the land too much. “Do you need anythin’?”
“More water, if you please,” she requested, and so Lachlan headed out to the town square with a bucket in hand. He took some time to refresh and water himself as well, refilling his canteen and splashing the river water from the aqueduct on his face before returning. Sentaura gave him a wan smile as he set the bucket in the corner. Ursol was still snoozing. “What did you play with him?”
“Truth be told I ran him around the village a couple times, told him hunters have to be fast as well as strong. I’ll teach him ta do pushups tonight maybe. Ah, I’m sorry about Alice, Sentaura. She’s just an excitable lass. We didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”
“Lachlan,” Sentaura cut him off gently, stepping around the cooking fire to stand before him. “You humans are always too sensitive, or perhaps it is just you. My mate is dead. She should not feel shame for her interest in the harvest festival.”
“I beg yer pardon, mum,” Lachlan murmured, confused as Sentaura placed a hand on his arm.
“When you finally open your eyes to the way she looks at you, Ursol and I will be sad to see you go. The last time I had such a peaceful morning was before he was born,” she recalled, waving her feathers slowly as fond memories mixed with sorrow. Ursol finally began to rouse himself from bed, rubbing his eyes.
“Momma?”
“She’s cookin’ us all some grub, wee laddie. Let’s go to the outhouse and leave her be a moment, yeah?” the human suggested, unwilling to face the frankness of a woman who understandably did not believe that love should wait under any circumstances.
“Ok, Uncle Lachlan. I’m gonna beat you today!” the cub promised, prompting the Marine to hoist him into the air and saunter out of the building.
“Don’t think I’ll be going easy on ya, lad. No one ever became a strong soldier or hunter that way. And you want to be a great hunter, right?”
“Right!”
“Then worry about becomin’ smarter and stronger, not about winning.” That advice was the final word that Sentaura was able to make out, the slightly unnatural tone of the translation easier for her ears to pick up as he walked down the street outside. She returned to peacefully stirring something of a saute in her cooking pot, a mixture of vegetables, meat, and herbs to taste. She couldn’t help but scold herself as a tear fell into the pot and sizzled away.
“Yes, we will miss you greatly, you strange, red-furred human.”
-----
“First Lieutenant, this is a surprise. I assume you came up on the morning shuttle?” Natori asked as Russell Winters politely waltzed onto the bridge like he owned the place. The Jumper nodded to the Marines on duty before saluting him.
“I somehow doubt that, sir.”
‘I have seamless remote integration established, sir,’ Io advised. ‘It is no longer necessary for you to be here for me to be here, so to speak. He did not check the flight records.’
“I retract my statement then,” Russell allowed with a shrug, glancing at the various crew who were on their morning shifts. “I understand this is unannounced, but I was hoping for a moment to speak with you privately.”
Natori cocked his head and smiled, always a bit too interested for Russell’s taste. But such was the nature of Beta Division and admiralship, he supposed. “Of course. My team is not due to depart for the Forge for another thirty minutes. Turnwell?”
“No problems, Admiral,” the First Mate spun around in his chair, stood, and saluted. Natori stood as well and returned it.
“Wonderful. This way if you please, Lieutenant?” Natori requested, leading the Jumper off the bridge and to his private quarters. He took a seat behind his desk and gestured that Russell should be at ease as well, breaking the easy silence between the men.
“I’ll stand, thank you, sir.”
“As you wish. Now what can I do for you, Lieutenant?” Natori wondered.
“It’s almost been a year since my ship was lost. I was only able to do so much on my own. I’d like to request formal military honors,” Winters stated. Kaczynski nodded, checking his datapad.
“It’s been a bit difficult getting used to the day night cycle here, but yes, back home it’s currently August sixteenth. To think we’ve been here but two weeks? Time certainly does shift when you have so many things to do. Can I ask if you had anything in mind, Lieutenant?” Natori asked kindly.
“Nothing extravagant, sir.”
‘If I may?’ Io interjected, projecting herself using the technology once reserved for Cassia. It was as though she were in the room with them both, minus the fact they could see through her to the wall behind. ‘Russell and I, mainly Russell, constructed a shrine to the fallen in the Cauthan fashion. It is a few yards from where our pod still rests on the surface. Perhaps a simple wreath laying? A twenty one gun salute might anger the Ghaelen unless we pick the shells up.’ They all chuckled faintly at the image.
“We will not short change the dead on account of anyone,” Natori insisted firmly. “Lieutenant Winters, I believe Io’s proposition is a sound one. Is that acceptable?”
“Yes sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Would you like to say any words for them at the service?”
Russell broke eye contact with the Admiral for a moment, considering the question. Io waited patiently as well. Eventually he shook his head. “I said what I needed to when I said goodbye, sir.”
“Indeed, then I will not presume to speak for you or the dead either,” Kaczynski agreed, picking up his mug of coffee and swirling it absently. “Doctor Lamont has yet to lead me astray.”
“Sir?”
“He remarked to me that you are resilient in the face of tragedy, regardless of motivation. I am impressed is all. But before we have any awkward silences or statements of bravado, I will use this occasion to update you on our progress at the Forge. Shall we?”
“Sure,” Russell agreed as Io made a scene of peeking over Natori’s shoulder.
“Hello to you too, Io. Now, while you, Alice, and Lachlan have spearheaded our efforts at the village, and I must say I’m quite looking forward to this harvest festival; I have assigned my team to continue overseeing the research efforts at the Forge. The initial contact mission was led by then Sergeant Lipper, and continues under Lance Corporal Mendes.”
‘Why do you need us, sir?’ Io questioned. Natori threw her a slight smile over his shoulder and held up a hand.
“I was just getting to that, Io. At this point, given the ongoing reports from the ground teams, I believe we have learned all we can about this installation from the outside. While that is a non-negligible statement, this is still a bit of an iceberg situation, if you will. Observe.”
‘Mein gott!’ Io exclaimed as Russell glanced her way.
“You didn’t know about this?” he asked. “I assumed you were looking at everything.” Io wagged her finger at him.
‘Sir, in addition to respecting the privacy of others I have been fully occupied with the preparation of Maran soil and growing conditions in the hydroponics bays, not to mention assisting the good Doctor Dupuis with his Cauthan blood analysis project and the isolation of a stable polymerase from bacterial cultures he retrieved from the hot springs. Did I also mention hanging around with you, Veera, and the others? Alice and Alyra are supposed to have a chat tomorrow. Do you have any idea how that’s going to go? I give it a week before they’re all wearing tophats with holes for their ears.’
“One can hope!” Natori interjected happily. “Thank you for your service both on board and on the surface, Io. But let us return to this floating structure, shall we?” Natori’s description was not for show. Seismic imaging of the Forge over the previous days and weeks had revealed the massive underground nature of the installation. Several extensions moved deep into the earth both vertically and laterally as offshoots from the main chamber, which itself extended beyond the depth range of the ground team’s sensors. “Utterly fascinating, isn’t it? Were it not for the fact we know it to be buried underground, I would hypothesize some sort of orbital platform, or even an oceanic installation.”
‘Instead it’s floating in the ground… rather unstable ground,’ Io noted, meeting Natori’s eye over his shoulder. They nodded to one another as Russell acknowledged he was likely in for a bit of a stay and took a seat in Natori’s ‘guest chair’.
“Which begs the question of why construct it there in the first place,” the Admiral agreed, leaning back in his chair and stroking his chin thoughtfully. “Assuming your radiological dating efforts are accurate, and even if we allow for a massive error term I have no reason to doubt the two of you, the idea of this construct remaining not just upright, but functional, is absolutely mind-boggling.”
“Having been inside, sir, that place was built to last,” Winters offered. “I’m not as scientifically minded as either of you two, but whatever control room area we entered was glowing like something out of a knock off bond movie where they build the superweapon in a volcano.”
‘Count on the Jumper to make everything simple,’ Io remarked kindly. Natori waved his finger in the air.
“Not so fast, Io! Joking aside I think there’s plenty of merit to that analysis.”
‘As do I, Admiral. I was simply acknowledging the usefulness of minds that are trained to break things.’
“Hardy har har,” Winters mocked. “So what’s the plan, sir?”
Natori brought his hands together atop his desk and adopted a more serious posture. “The plan, as you say, is to send people inside to try to figure out exactly what this thing is and if it has any connection to the unstable warp point in this system. The anomaly has been, how shall I put it, stably unstable?” Natori presented them with new data, a simplified waveform.
‘That is the warp point?’ Io guessed. He nodded.
“Precisely. It was a bit of a challenge condensing the gravitational flux into something comprehensible, but I believe our technicians succeeded,” he explained proudly. “This relatively muted example over here is what Sol’s warp point looks like on an average day. The amplitude is much lower, but the variance within that range is actually greater than…” Natori fell silent as the lights dimmed around them. He immediately hailed the bridge.
“Turnwell?”
“Large power draw from the VI cores, sir. Just about every spare processor on the ship got pinged. You might want to check with that comely new VI of yours?”
Natori ran a hand through his short, rough hair as he turned fully in his chair. “You are sexy, but you also cannot do that, Io.”
“Don’t look at me, I’m immune to your charms,” Winters added as the young woman glanced his way imploringly. “You know how power surges and ships don’t mix.”
‘That is… you are right, sir. I was struck by something in the Admiral’s data, and I have found the solution. Es tut mir Leid.’
“I… you did what?” Kaczynski whispered. Io presented him with a model of the Seil system, complete with the orbital paths of every major planetary body.
‘How long has it been since we first found the Forge, sir?’ Io asked with an acute look. Winters returned it.
“Was right around my twenty-fifth birthday I think. Call it three months ago? And I have no doubt you’ve been thinking about the Forge that whole time.”
‘Is there any chance you could join the Juggernaut program and get us some more space in your armor for computing power?’ she requested. Winters narrowed his eyes.
“You know what they do to those soldiers, Io… and so do you, Admiral. No thanks.”
“And I am very pleased to report, First Lieutenant, that shortly before we departed on this mission my Division’s work on combat cybernetics bore particular fruit. The first generation of non-chemically dependent Juggernauts began training at Los Alamos. Commander Lavinaga is working closely with us in this effort. Now to the matter at hand; or should I inquire as to how the two of you know about information that’s supposed to be classified?”
“Point taken,” Winters acknowledged. “I’m glad to hear it, sir.”
“Io? I daresay you have the floor,” Natori offered as the AI dimmed the lights and began to roll forward the waveform that represented the system’s warp point.
‘Thank you, Admiral. As Russell mentioned, this is something that has perplexed me since its discovery, this Forge of ours. If you ask me, the deepest mystery is how readily Veera associated the installation with her people’s mythology, but that is a question for Alice, not us.’
“And where is our excitable Winters sibling?” Natori wondered.
“She’s showing Asha and Zolta around the ship. Xan is here too, reviewing the hydroponics facilities and the manufactories,” Russell explained quickly. “We wanted them to have a chance to take it all in before visiting with the doctor.”
“Splendid!” Natori approved. “I’m sorry, Io. If you please?”
‘You might be more scatterbrained than Alice,’ the AI declared with a smirk, adjusting the thin glasses she had perched on the bridge of her nose. ‘It’s a good thing, I assure you. As I was saying I have no shortage of hypotheses and postulations, but I lacked key resources to examine them. The first was detailed information about the celestial bodies of this system, which your ship and crew have provided in spades over these last couple weeks. I commend your watchstanders and other scientists. The second is computing power. Please extend my thanks to the team that put together this little waveform here. Our ancient overlords were not subtle, that’s for sure.’
Instead of explaining further, Io provided visual ‘proof’ of her hypothesis. As the various moons and planets of the Seil system rotated and spun, she began connecting lines between the warp point and each ball of rock. It started with Mara itself, with about one in every seven peaks in the waveform corresponding to midday at the Forge’s location. Natori placed a hand over his mouth as it all clicked. Io’s need for more processors was evident.
‘I propose to you gentlemen that the Forge is one part of a system-wide network of installations designed to pull at the warp point of this system. How they do so, I have no idea… but here’s what I do know.’ Suddenly the planets began moving backward at Io’s command, reversing their orbit until she held them in place with a snap of her fingers. A date and time flashed above it all thanks to Natori’s holographic displays built into his desk. ‘The effect is less muted than this only seventeen hundredths of a percent of the time. You have a guardian angel, Admiral Kaczynski.’
Russell placed his head in his hands, uttering mumbled prayers to Kel, Meylith, and every other deity he could think of, human and Cauthan, for the life of his sister. The Event Horizon had entered the system near one of the troughs of the warp disruption wave, a disturbingly predictable pattern that Io rewound easily all the way back to September 3rd, 2050. She marked one of the peaks. ‘This is when the Lancer reached the Seil system. If we assume that each spike in the cycle is due to a unique installation, this is the only solution that matches the rotation of the rocky bodies in the system,’ Io explained, highlighting the one rocky planet that orbited closer to the star than Mara, Eiur, and two of the moons that orbited the nearest gas giant to the star. ‘I have a list of my assumptions regarding energy draw, strength of effect, orbital drift, and other confounding factors here, Admiral,’ Io concluded, procuring a stack of paper at least thirty pages thick before condensing it into a ball of light and shooting it at Natori’s personal device. His unread mail notification pinged. He nodded quietly and looked at Winters.
“Lieutenant, I understand you and my Jumpers did not get off on the best foot with one another. Do you believe they need you to enter this facility safely?” the Admiral demanded. Russell shook his head.
“Not the first time at least, sir. Io and I encountered some sort of skeleton made of metal in the entryway. It had an old nuclear power core that was leaking radiation. That’s how we came up with our date estimate. I believe that should be your first stop. We didn’t encounter anything active until we moved much farther inside the structure.”
‘I believe this is a sound suggestion,’ Io added. ‘Until Private Rex and Private Lipper are able to thaw their hostility towards my operator, perhaps in the ring at the harvest festival, I would not advocate for a five man operation unless under the most dire of circumstances. Lance Corporal Mendes and Private Orlova have proven much more amicable.’
“Hardly surprising. Very well you two, thank you for your time today. I will make all necessary preparations for that expedition as well as an appropriate memorial to the crew of the Lancer. Now if you would excuse me, we appear to have a visitor?”
Kaczynski was not given much time to collect himself and deactivate Io’s displays as Yvonne Dupuis strode proudly into the room, sporting a new look for herself. Io waved from behind the Admiral.
‘Bonjour madame! Your hair looks like Asha’s tail. I approve!’ the AI complimented her, remarking the matron’s silvery locks that featured a bold black accent offset to the right side of her head.
“Bonjour, Io. Were you the cause of that power surge just now?” she wondered, mild accusation in her voice.
‘Yes, I’m sorry. I was working with the Admiral here on something very important and-’
“Quiet, please. I am not here to scold you. You, on the other hand,” Yvonne hardened her tone and strode right past Russell to slam her hands on Natori’s desk. “You will make an announcement today, to the full crew, explaining who and what she is! This has gone on long enough, Mr. Kaczynski!”
“Now see here my good woman-”
“I will see nothing! We all risked our lives to come out here and now the lights dim and no one knows what is happening. VI’s begin to speak German on rare occasions.”
‘Scheiße.’
“Strangely detailed treatises on the Cauthan come to our mailboxes penned by a mysterious someone known only as ‘Io’,” Yvonne continued on, seeming in no hurry to stop. Natori stood and held up a hand in a plea for calm. The frenchwoman stood upright and crossed her arms under her bust, cocking her head at him. “Well?”
“I estimated the truth to be more dangerous than the lie, madame,” he replied firmly. “We can discuss this matter in private-”
“We will do no such thing! She is a person, Natori! Look at her!” Yvonne demanded as Io quickly vanished. “Io, please, return to us. Good, thank you dear. Now look at her Natori! Military secrets do not have free will! She does! You should hear the stories Gerard has for me each night of their lab work together. It has been but two days and he is smitten! When they met he thought she was a Prussian spy!”
Io participated in the discussion by dressing herself head to toe in a Prussian military uniform straight out of the late 1800’s, complete with a spiked helmet. “You see?!” Yvonne shrieked. “Today, Natori. Today! You can do it while we’re conducting Asha’s ultrasound if you wish for her to be out of sight and out of mind, but do it today.”
The Admiral clasped his hands behind his back and inclined his head to acknowledge Yvonne. “I will take it under consideration, Madame Dupuis. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to finish my conversation with Io and Lieutenant Winters.”
Her piece said, Yvonne turned and marched off, head held high. When the door closed behind her everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief. ‘That woman is a force of nature. No wonder she and Gentia get along so well.’
“Indeed. Lieutenant, did you have anything else you wished to discuss today?” the Admiral wondered. Russell shook his head.
“No sir, that was all. I’m set to meet my wife in hydroponics after this and if they want me there I’ll hang around for Asha’s visit with the doctor,” he explained.
“Perfect. Thank you both. I will keep you abreast of any developments at the Forge. In the meantime… I am left to consider if and how to announce to a crew of around two thousand souls that they share their home with a fully sapient AI.”
‘You have my thanks, Admiral,’ Io said quietly and earnestly, worrying her hands together. Kaczysnki hung his head.
“My bridge crew has been exemplary on this matter but… I am sorry for not considering your own humanity more strongly in this matter, Io.”
‘I have a place among the Cauthan, Admiral. Good day to you. See you soon, sir.’ Io departed, leaving the two men in silence.
“It’s funny,” Natori mused. “The higher my rank, the more I feel I am simply along for the ride.”
“I hope to never have that problem, sir. With your permission?” Russell saluted.
“I find that an ironic statement coming from the man who gave her life, so to speak, but please go on. You are dismissed, Lieutenant. Reach out to me or the crew if our guests today have any concerns.”
“Yes sir.”
-----
“Oh, I just have to show this to Alyra!” Asha gushed for what had to be the seventh time since arriving on board the Event Horizon. The journey had taken almost three times the usual duration, but Pilot Cromwell had been insistent on slow elevation gain and acceleration for the sake of Asha’s cub. Though it was certainly prudent and part of doctrine, she was still thanked profusely by Asha and Zolta upon their arrival. With Natori having practically dismantled the ‘quarantine zone’ given the favorable readings and interactions from his scientists, Asha experienced a quick and low-weight journey to a spare room that had been prepared for them. It sat nearby Xan’s quarters, as well as those given to Russell and Veera. The berths were unused most of the time, but with the low crew count and automation, the Event Horizon was spoiled for choice regarding lodging.
Following a brief initial checkup by Dr. Dupuis, Alice had of course volunteered to take the group of Cauthan, which also included Xan and Veera, for a tour of the ship while her brother left to speak with Admiral Kaczynski. All manner of wonders had captivated Asha’s imaginations during that time, the often lower gravity allowing her to forget about the robust little cub filling her belly for a few moments. Perhaps inevitably, they eventually found themselves at hydroponics. Asha’s comment had been directed at a large display panel that sat to the left of Engineer Prakash’s little office, providing an at-a-glance summary of all the goings on within the grow rooms. Stylized rain clouds, sunbeams, sprouting shoots, and other symbols spread across the screen, which was left with a wet nose print as Asha literally stuck her face into it. She giggled as the image was momentarily disrupted, but Zolta wasn’t so enthused.
“Asha, please be careful!” her mate implored as Anita stood to greet her guests. The shock of seeing a pregnant Cauthan in an Event Horizon jumpsuit was put on momentary hold, however, as Qul’Roth chose that moment to emerge from the nearest growing lab.
“Oh, hey there Qul’Roth! It’s been ages!” Alice waved. He tilted his head and scratched at his chin tuft.
“Alice Winters of Earth, good day to you. It has been several days at most, hardly an age. These are members of the village your people are allied with? Greetings to you all. My name is Qul’Roth of Ghaela, may this meeting serve to further the Order.” Though the Ghaelen bowed politely, his large size and antlers accentuated by the closed confines of the space. Veera and Xan both had translators, and both moved between him and Asha. Zolta quickly followed suit.
“Alice Winters, did they not understand what I said?” Qul’Roth wondered.
“We understood exactly what you said,” Veera replied coolly in English, crossing her arms over her chest. “And I still don’t trust you.”
“That’s the alien that threatened to wipe us off the face of the planet?” Xan demanded. Veera affirmed with her feathers as claws came out. It was up to Alice to step between them.
“Guys please, it’s alright. Their people are non-violent by law. He’d not harm any of you. Now Qul’Roth, maybe you should apologize too?” she insisted.
“Alice Winters you continue to amuse me! For what should I apologize? I did them no offense. I have never met the three of them before,” the Ghaelen pointed out. Alice nodded to one side in patient acknowledgment of his point.
“No, you didn’t. But your order did, and you’re the representative of the Order on this ship. So perhaps in that capacity you do.”
“Why should I apologize for suggesting actions to be taken in the common good?” Qul’Roth wondered. Alice sighed heavily, but given his truly confused tone she soldiered on as the Cauthan stared tensely at them both.
“Because your actions would have killed that pregnant mother to be, and because the other three have all spilled the blood of their own kind to defend their home. Did I mention the Cauthan are primarily carnivorous and you bear a remarkable resemblance to one of their prey species?”
“By the Order! You don’t think they would-”
“Of course not, Qul’Roth!” Alice laughed deep in her belly. “Look at them. See how they defend their young, even the crippled men among them? See the intelligence in their eyes? Your Order could use a few exception clauses, I think.”
Qul’Roth spent several minutes stroking his chin in silence, minutes that Asha took to hug Zolta from behind. Eventually the Ghaelen did speak. “I will consult my people’s records, Alice Winters of Earth. There is indeed Order in defending the weak and the unknown potential of the unborn. I am not yet convinced that the uplift treaty need be re-written, but your people have certainly provided us with a case study whether we wanted it or not.”
“Can’t you just say sorry to be nice?” Alice requested. Qul’Roth snorted in surprise. “They are my guests today.”
Though Alice did not get her wish, the Ghaelen did sweep into a lower bow that almost had one of his lanky arms bump against the wall and then the ceiling. “I wish you all a pleasant stay aboard, may we all seek to further the Order.”
“I think that’s about as good as we’re gonna get,” Alice ‘whispered’ over her shoulder to Veera and Xan. They nodded, understanding at least that the large alien was not a threat. That said, they shifted to always keep themselves between him and Asha as Qul’Roth made to depart.
“Oh, and Engineer Prakash, new arugula seeds have been planted in bay number two. I believe you will find them irrigated according to all proper specifications. Good day to you.” The Ghaelen departed, having drawn the Cauthan’s attention to the shy, unassuming Indian girl who looked around at them all. She was around Asha’s height, meaning that even Zolta and Xan stood taller, to say nothing of Veera. Xan reached out a hand as Veera waved to her in recognition.
“My name’s Xan. I like your skin color, it’s very dark.”
“Xan, you little bolts for brains!” Alice yelped, slapping him upside the back of the head and causing him to immediately round on her.
“How exactly do you expect to get a mate running around acting like that, Alice?”
“My ‘mating life’ is none of your damn business, Xan! You can’t just tell a woman you like her skin tone!”
“Why not?” Xan countered, not giving an inch as Veera, Asha, and Zolta retreated a pace, content to watch the goings on unfold.
“Because it’s rude, Xan. Humans don’t do that,” Alice explained in a moderate tone. He laughed directly in her face.
“Do I look like a human to you, human?”
“No, you look like a snot nosed cripple.”
“Oh, making fun of my gimped leg now? I’m sure that’s totally acceptable among humans,” he shot back sarcastically, smiling broadly as he felt he had a winning hand.
“That’s exactly how Anita feels, Xan!”
“Oh, and what if I said I enjoy the color of her eyes? Is that wrong too? What about her glossy fur?” he enumerated for example. “Or do you mean her skin color is some sort of disability?” Alice opened her mouth but paused a moment.
“No, that’s fine. And her skin is not a disability. But you’re still a creep!”
“You humans are really confusing,” he sighed, turning to face Anita again who looked like she wanted to sink through the floor. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m still getting used to humanity and I’ve really only had this one and her brother to go off of.”
“Xan, you little shit,” Alice muttered, allowing the interaction to proceed apace as the acolyte priest re-offered his hand to the engineer. She looked at him with more than apparent confusion on her face.
“Ah, I’m a death priest,” he explained. That did not help his position. “And my people have asked me to learn about how you grow food? Me and Veera here.”
“Hello Anita, it is good to see you again!” Veera said pleasantly, bringing a slight smile to Anita’s dark lips.
“Hello Veera. And it’s nice to meet you, Xan. Are these your friends?”
“Oh yeah, so this is my buddy Zolta. He’s a smith. And that’s Asha, his mate,” he explained. Io’s translation program, long since installed on every piece of relevant HEL tech on board, was more than capable of translating for Anita.
“Selah to you,” she replied quietly, earning herself the proper greeting in turn as the door to the central corridors of the ship opened behind them to reveal Russell and Yvonne. The two had followed Io’s instructions to the rendezvous, having left Natori’s office essentially one after the other.
“There you are! Bonjour again, Asha. How are you feeling, my dear? Still good?” Yvonne wondered. When the Cauthan pointed to her bare ears, the frenchwoman sighed and looked about. Xan was using Russell’s translators, so no further mobile devices were forthcoming. She turned to the ceiling instead. “Io, are you there, little Prussian?”
Russell did his best to contain himself, snickering in the background until the door opened again and one of the Event Horizon’s maintenance drones appeared and doused his backside with water. Yvonne and the rest took their turn for a laugh at his expense, except for Anita, of course, who began writing up a support ticket to the drone maintenance division. She gasped as her screen was wiped blank.
‘I am here, Madame Dupuis. And good morning, Anita Prakash. My name is Io. I will be assisting you and the rest of the ship’s crew from now on under Admiral Kaczynski’s orders. Oh, and Asha, this is what Yvonne said to you.’
Io’s translation had the Cauthan mom waving her feathers in understanding. “Isn’t she just the most useful little spirit? Please tell her I’m doing well and that the cub is feeling very active today.” Xan and Zolta found themselves nodding in agreement, the latter rubbing his mate’s belly soothingly.
“Perfect. Are you ready for your real checkup then, Asha? Zolta, you are welcome to attend as well. Is there anyone else you would like there with you?” Yvonne wondered. Anita was left to just watch the goings on, not even her own terminal belonging to her anymore.
“Veera, would you mind?” The words were barely out of Asha’s mouth when the tall, striped Cauthan waved her feathers eagerly.
“Of course! I’ll be there as long as you want me! Russell, I’m sorry but you can’t come.”
Asha looked ready to apologize, but the Jumper just laughed. He’d removed his shirt and was wringing it out on the floor. Io’s work was thorough. “It’s no problem, Asha. I wasn’t going to ask,” he assured her. “You do whatever you need to do to feel safe and secure. If you need me just let Io know. She can find me anywhere.”
“Oh la la,” Yvonne murmured appreciatively.
“Yvonne!” Alice shouted, utterly mortified following an unnaturally long period of silence for her.
“He’s happily mated,” Veera insisted. She had found the Dupuis couple to be nothing but polite, but didn’t know them well at all. Yvonne smiled.
“As am I, Veera. I simply appreciate the male form when I see it. Now then, shall we my dears?” Yvonne suggested. “Io, if you would accompany us for purposes of communication and transportation?”
‘It would be my pleasure, Doctor. Sir, I’ll be around.’
“Have a good time!” Russell called as Yvonne led Asha, Veera, and Zolta off to the nearest tube station. With Io at the helm, calibration of the pods for a pregnant woman was a trivial affair. Alice in particular looked sore at having been left behind.
“Try not to look so put out about it,” her brother insisted kindly, throwing an arm around her shoulder. She pushed him off with a grin.
“You’re still soaked.”
“She’s definitely got her particular brand of humor, that little Prussian.”
‘I heard that, sir!’
“Could someone please explain what’s going on?” Anita requested shyly from her seat, really only familiar with Alice among those who were left in her hallway.
“You mean Io? She’s Russell’s spirit guardian,” Xan explained confidently. When the confused and defensive look on Anita’s face didn’t change, even after a long moment of his staring at it in an attempt to decipher human mood, he gave up and turned to the Winters siblings. “I don’t think she gets it, guys.”
“You’re the worst, you little punk,” Russell laughed. “Sorry for my friend. Io’s my VI. She became sapient. Secret’s out. Not much more I can say cause I don’t know how it works. If you need help just ask.” As if to demonstrate, he called out to the ceiling. “Hey Io, can you ask Veera if she watered her orchids yet or if she wants me to do it?”
After a short moment, Io’s germanic accent replied. ‘She says you should go ahead, sir.’
“I-I can do that from here if you like?” Anita offered. Russell nodded in thanks.
“Appreciate that. So what are the two of you going to do?” he wondered. Alice took her turn to explain.
“Antoth and Thantis want Xan to prepare something of a report on how we grow food. Natori brokered some sort of agreement to grow their crops up here back when you grabbed that giant skull. Gotta hand it to Antoth, he’s a cautious one. I heard he inspected every single lantern we delivered himself before sending them over to Staroth and his men.”
“That’s Antoth for you! Best sun priest of my lifetime!” Xan insisted proudly.
“There have only been two sun priests during your lifetime,” Russell guessed.
“My point still stands!” To Xan’s great surprise, Anita actually giggled, though the moment he turned her way she fell silent again. He waved his crest feathers at her absentmindedly before turning back to Russell.
“What about you? Going to stick around?”
“No, there’s actually somewhere I need to be,” Russell told them, surprising both Xan and Alice.
“Where are you off to then, bro?”
“Armory. My weapons haven’t been properly cleaned in almost a year, and you never know when you’ll need to know the local quartermaster,” the Jumper explained sagely.
“Fair warning, Russell, he’s good friends with the two you put into the hospital last week,” Alice told him. He shrugged.
“And I’d be happy to do it again. Have fun you three!” Alice was left shaking her head as Russell departed from whence he’d come.
“What a hyrven,” Xan declared.
“You’re one to talk, Xan. All high and mighty now that you got turned down. Speaking of which, where is your hyrven?” Alice wondered.
“He’s not my hyrven,” Xan countered, waving away her reminder about Eris. “But I think they left him with Lachlan.”
“Huh. Here Anita, want to see something cool?” the xenoanthropologist offered, placing a ‘call’ to Lachlan’s signal planetside after a quick authorization which was approved, of course, by Io.
“Lassie? That you?” Lachlan’s voice crackled to life on Alice’s tablet. They could see the forests around the village as well as plenty of crops and fields.
“Heya Lachlan, is Fenrir with you?” Alice asked. Her answer came as Lachlan pointed his helmet downward, allowing them a view of the hyrven at the end of a generous leash made of nylon. Russell and Veera rarely used it anymore and Lachlan was certainly a capable man. However, the fact that Fenrir was currently being used by the cubs of the village as some sort of Maran pony was another thing entirely. “And you call me crazy?” Alice hissed at Xan.
“No one says you both can’t be crazy,” the Cauthan shot right back as Lachlan delivered his current charge back to the gate. Gentia’s acolytes could be seen there, and to a woman they all had worried looks on their faces. Gentia herself however was observing with patience and curiosity, while her mate scribbled on a fresh sheet of vellum at her side. He’d proven insatiable since restoring his sight. Ursol was next in line, and Lachlan made sure Fenrir was calm and had a drink of water before taking his next rider on a little walk.
“So Lachlan, how did this happen?” Alice demanded accusingly as Ursol squealed with delight.
“Don’t look at me, lassie! It was the old man’s idea,” the Marine insisted. She sighed as Anita whispered that Cauthan children were ‘super adorable’.
“Alright, talk to you later Mac. Have fun!” Alice wished him farewell before glancing at Xan. “So after we teach you how to farm like a human I think we’re going to have to go through all those scrolls and figure out where Thantis got the idea for pint sized Hyrven cavalry.”
“What’s cavalry?” Xan wondered, prompting Alice to pinch the bridge of her nose and heave a silent breath. She only hoped that by the time they returned to the village there would be plenty of happy children and no skinned Fenrir.
“Anita, could I ask you to take over for now? I think I’m finally learning what Yvonne feels like all the time.”
“Sure, Alice. Xan, would you like to follow me?”
“Yeah alright,” he agreed, leading the way as his cane tapped lightly on the metal floors. “But what’s cavalry?”
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Own The HEL Jumper: Survive in the format of your choice: Hardcover, Softcover, and epub from Lulu Amazon Kindle
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2020.07.09 08:32 autobuzzfeedbot 13 Details From "The Umbrella Academy" Season 2 Trailer That We Have To Talk About Right Now

  1. First, the Hargreeves simply brought the end of the world with them when they time jumped, so now it's happening in Dallas in 1963.
  2. And, they've all been dropped in different locations and years throughout the '60s, so Five is going to have to bring them together yet again.
  3. We've got Klaus as the leader of a cult, which is honestly super on brand.
  4. Allison is teaming up with newcomer Raymond, played by Yusuf Gatewood, who is "a born leader with the smarts, gravitas, and the confidence to never have to prove it to anyone."
  5. Diego appears to be in an institution alongside Lila, played by Ritu Arya, who is "unpredictable, mischievous, sarcastic, and gifted with a twisted sense of humor."
  6. Vanya is riding in a car with Sissy, played by Marin Ireland, who is "a fearless, no-nonsense Texas mom who married young for all the wrong reasons."
  7. And meanwhile, Ben is having some car trouble and Luther is putting his strength to good use.
  8. Also, someone is apparently tracking all of them as they appear in the past — you can see photos of Luther with the date "April 10, 1962" and then photos of Diego with a 1963 date.
  9. Not only has the apocalypse followed them, but The Commission is once again one of their greatest enemies — they appear to be hunting down each of the Hargreeves in their respective locations.
  10. Even though Pogo tragically died last season, we catch a glimpse of Baby Pogo in the trailer, and I'm emotional about it.
  11. Also, it looks like the Umbrella Academy ends up tracking down a young Sir Reginald Hargreeves and asks for his help.
  12. One of the biggest things from the trailer is the introduction of Carmichael, aka a very intelligent shubunkin goldfish, who is super important.
  13. And finally, the song featured in the trailer is a new original song by Gerard Way called "Here Comes the End."
Link to article
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2020.07.08 22:07 scarlet_halo Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and... Stadium Music (Or: WTF happened with the pop punk bands from back in the day?)

I have complicated feelings about the term "selling out."
Sometimes it seems like that's genuinely the band's intention when those buzzwords are thrown around, — to make more money, to keep up with the kids, to date a model and buy a mansion and stop being a good ol' boy from (insert artist's hometown here.)
However, it can also be thrown around when an artist changes musical direction, — which is somewhat inevitable in many long-lasting careers, — and the fanbase does not take kindly to it.
Of course, like most topics we can bring to this particular subreddit, this is all terribly subjective. Where does the line blur? Who truly knows the intentions behind an artist's creative direction or marketing strategies except for the artist themselves, as well as their labels/teams/etc.?
We could discuss this at length with artists from across decades, genres, labels, etc.
However, I would like to shift this broader focus to a particular pattern that I have noticed over the years.
That being, pop punk/alt/"emo" groups from the 2000s making sports anthems.
Now, let me fill you in on my personal stances here: when these bands were in their heyday, I was toddling around, going to preschool, eating stuff I shouldn't, etc. I was a kid.
But in my early teen years in the mid-2010s, I entered my Hot Topic emo phase. Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and especially My Chemical Romance, — I loved it all.
I was particularly fond of the mid-2000s offerings from these bands, - Panic!'s A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd., Fall Out Boy's From Under the Cork Tree, and... well, all of MCR's stuff, because they were still broken up at the time.
While I was eating this stuff up, however, Panic! and FOB were still very actively releasing music, — their most recent releases at the time being Death of a Bachelor and American Beauty/American Psycho, respectively.
Now, it isn't that I disliked this music, in any capacity. In fact, I liked it then more than I do now, and I still think it's all pretty damn catchy.
The thing is, however, that I soon began to hear this music outside of my own little eighth-grader emo bubble, — namely, in the background of sports games.
In the years that have since passed as I and my tastes have matured, the trend has continued.
Fall Out Boy and Panic! have each released one new full length album. My Chemical Romance has reunited, but they're sort of exempt from this topic for two reasons, — one being we've yet to receive new studio material from them, and another being that they have always been stylistically different from FOB and Panic! despite the fanbase overlap. (If their return involves any sort of pandering, I suspect it will be moreso to Gerard Way's comic/Netflix-invested crowd.)
And, up until the Covid pandemic began, the sports carried on, playing various hits from my old favorite bands to hype them up.
In football and basketball games alike, I'd hear Panic!'s "Victorious" and "High Hopes", as well as FOB's "Centuries", over and over again.
Songs of victory, of overcoming challenges, of acheiving your dreams. Very inspiring, right?
However, when you look at these settings, — athletic jock types, beer and chicken wings everywhere, traditional masculinity, — then compare it to the skinny-jean wearing, eyeliner-smeared misfits these bands played for some 15 years ago, the contrast is... rather jarring.
My question is: why does this change in target audience seem to have had such a smooth transition amongst the masses?
I myself have a few possible points to make:
I mean, these dudes are husbands and fathers, and most of them have already obtained the antidepressants that they needed. Once the new horde of teen idols began to come in at the turn of the last decade, they began to explore different directions.
Patrick Stump tried a soul-flavored project. Pete Wentz had a short lived electro group with Bebe Rexha. Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman started a metal group. Gerard Way pursued Britpop, comic books, and a Netflix original series. Frank Iero did some industrial stuff. Brendon Urie went Broadway. Ryan Ross tapped out and went indie.
They're all individuals, and the world has changed. If pop-punk died, it was a natural thing. They shouldn't be tasked in continously beating it like a dead horse.
Of course, the audience may look drastically different, but at the end of the day, the messages are sort of similar.
Emo kids wanted to hear that they could make it, regardless of their differences from their peers, — that someone was in their corner, rooting for them.
Sports fans show up to games to show dedication, — they are inspired by seeing athletes push their limits, going to great limits to obtain victory. It gives them something to cheer for.
When you think about it, both audiences want to hear the same message, if for different reasons: "we can win this."
Despite what some diehards say, these groups have always had popular sensibilities. It's what allowed them to become big enough to have their own significant movement of fans, — even in the 2000s, their marketing was fantastic.
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy had his own record label, — signing Panic!, Gym Class Heroes, and Cobra Starship, — his own clothing line, and a published book or two.
These bands created distinctive merchandise, sold plenty of tickets for Warped Tour, appeared on MTV and in one magazine after another.
Hell, — Kim Kardashian was in a Fall Out Boy video, in 2007. Anyone who wants to argue against their pop culture sensibilities would be mistaken. Of course, their more recent marketing endeavors, — i.e. fidget spinners, — might be a bit more cringeworthy, but they're not quite as hip anymore.
So, what do you guys think the reasoning behind this overlap is?
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2020.07.04 14:04 decho Pre-Match Thread: Villarreal vs Barcelona [La Liga]

Match Information:

 
Match: Villarreal vs Barcelona
Competition: La Liga
Date: Sunday, 5th of July 2020
Time: 22:00 CEST / 16:00 EDT - Convert to local time
Venue: Estadio de la Cerámica - 24890 capacity
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
 

Lineups and Squads:

 
Barcelona - Official squad confirmed
GK: Ter Stegen, Neto, Iñaki Peña
DEF: Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Umtiti, Firpo, Ronald Araujo, Dani Morer, Jorge Cuenca
MID: Rakitić, Busquets, Arthur, Sergi Roberto, De Jong, Vidal, Riqui Puig, Monchu
ATT: Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Griezmann, Ansu Fati, Braithwaite, Álex Collado
Unavailable: Umtiti, De Jong, Dembélé (injured)
Not called:
 
Villarreal - Official squad to be confirmed
GK: Sergio Asenjo, Andrés Fernández, Mariano Barbosa
DEF: Mario Gaspar, Albiol, Pau Torres, Ramiro Funes Mori, Xavi Quintillà, Alberto Moreno, Soufiane Chakla, Migue Leal
MID: Santi Cazorla, Iborra, Samuel Chukwueze, Manu Trigueros, Manu Morlanes, Rubén Peña, Bruno, Moi Gómez, Javi Ontiveros, Ramiro Guerra, Andrei Ratiu, Sergio Lozano, Iván Martín, Álex Baena, André Zambo Anguissa
ATT: Gerard Moreno, Carlos Bacca, Paco Alcácer, Fernando Niño
Unavailable: Ramiro Funes Mori, Ramiro Guerra (injured) Soufiane Chakla (doubtful)
Not called:
 

Head-to-head:

 
 

Form guide:

 
Villarreal
Barcelona
 

Comments (Post-match thread):

 
Author: vics-boson Score: 304 pts Source
Man, it gives me pure joy watching Ansu play. What an electric player. 16 years old… At the rate he’s racking up games soon we’ll have to register him with the first team.
On a separate note, what a beast Arthur is, so much composure. He and Frenkie will be our midfield generals for years to come.
Author: ByLoKu Score: 300 pts Source
Griezmann HAS to be our 9. With Dembele, Ansu and Perez (let's hope Messi is okey too) we have enough wingers to bench Suarez. The team played SO much better after Suarez came off, the composure on Ansu, De Jong and Arthur is unreal, they were born to play for Barça.
Author: Sekerski Score: 228 pts Source
It has never been more evident that Suarez does not belong in our starting 11. Perhaps as a late game super-sub, but nonetheless he has no business occupying Griezmann's spot. It has also never been more evident that Arthur must be apart of our Gala 11, and should be starting in all of our big matches.
Author: Andremerlaux Score: 100 pts Source
Two quick things.
  1. I can't believe nobody's talking about Griezmann's IMMENSE work rate. I could point out at least 5 instances he tracked right the fuck back, even as the midfielders were still catching up.
  2. The way we played in the last 20-25 minutes makes me hope that it isn't just tactics to blame, but aging personnel as well. Not making excuses for him, but the difference with Dembouz, Frenkie and Fati on the pitch was night and day.
Author: GeneralBrothers Score: 86 pts Source
Well, some lessons learned.
Welcome back Dembele, good performance today.
Byebye Luis? Sorry but he simply isn't starter material anymore, might be a good impact sub.
Our pressing needs work, just not looking that good.
Firpo much improved, Semedo with a good game and Fati is so damn promising <3
Author: NiluDa007 Score: 44 pts Source
Firpo deserves accolades for his performance today. Made a mistake last game, got substituted, you'd expect him to be a little fragile. Instead, he was one of our most important players today. Got into good spaces and delivered some killer balls.
Arthur is a fucking beast. Never expected that banger from him. Man I can't wait to see him and De Jong marshalling our midfield in the years to come.
Someone needs to remind Valverde that Griezmann can play as a central forward. Amazing gane from him. Unbelievable workrate. Was everywhere. With a little bit of finishing, he could've had a hat-trick today.
Dembele did very well for a player who just came back from injury. Immediate impact. Created 3 chances all by himself. Hopefully he continues this in the next game.
Hate to say this but we really need to start phasing out the likes of Suarez and Busquets. They are too slow, like so slow that they hold the rest of the team from playing to their full potential. You saw it in the second half. We played some amazing footy when De Jong and Fati came on.I would also include Messi among them, but I would be the biggest fool in the universe if I said I want to phase out the greatest player who ever touched a ball.
Going forward I hope to see a 4-2-3-1 with Arthur Ave De Jong as double pivots and Fati/Dembele as wide wingers. Griezmann up top with Messi as an AM. We need speed, and lots of it. We take too much time moving the ball around. No one likes to make runs off the ball (especially the old guard). We'll never be able to break down teams otherwise.
Shoutout to Pique Ave MATS as well. Feels weird, but I was very happy with our defence today. Made very few mistakes. Getafe will be a real test. Let's see if our away form improves. And let's hope Messi is fine.
Author: Martoxic Score: 33 pts Source
Fati - Griezmann - Messi is our new forward line. Suarez should never ever see the light of starting 11 ever again. Suarez got replaced by a 16 year old and he needs to stay on the bench from now on.
I loved what I saw from Dembele today and with a little more confidence and getting back to form and he will be lethal. All the haters can piss off.
hope Messi is not injured.
Firpo looked really good and I love how he carried the ball though he needs to get better defensivly but that is usually how it is with RBs and LBs now a days.
Arthur and De Jong are the best and needs to keep starting.
Fati is the real damn deal and he needs to get more game time.
This game was mostly quite boring but the age drop when De Jong and Fati came in caused fast, creative and wonderful football and I loved every bit of it.
 

Quotes:

 
Setién: "Referees? Now that I am here at Barça, there are things that catch my attention. In any case, I reserve my opinion because I might look at it from a less objective perspective." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Suárez is a player who has to be on the pitch. We have confidence in him." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "We have all seen Riqui's level, he has taken a very important step forward, and that is why he has this continuity. I always talk to him, he has to keep improving and he has taken full advantage of the opportunities we have given him." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Signings with the competition still ongoing? It's not pleasant, but I suppose it's normal with these special circumstances and we have to adapt." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Umtiti has pain in his knee and won't be able to play tomorrow. We will have to wait and see how he recovers." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "We are at a disadvantage, but we still have life. We will fight to win all the remaining games." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "There are hierarchies at every club, but this has no stopped me. On the contrary, it helps me." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "I don't spend a minute thinking about what can happen regarding my personal situation." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Griezmann? He is a great professional and an extraordinary guy, always very positive, and the times he was on the bench won't affect him when he has to play again. We can count on him 100%." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "It's true that in terms of results we have left points, but I think the team has been at a good level. La Liga isn't over yet." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Messi's future? I'm not going to speculate on this. I have not heard anything from him. I have nothing to say, it's not my task." - src @barcacentre
Setién: "Tomorrow we play against one of the best teams after the return of football. The reality is that it comes at a good time, we also played a good game against Atlético Madrid." - src @barcacentre
 

Latest News:

 
[Article] - The squad for Villarreal - fcbarcelona.com
[Article] - From teammates to rivals - fcbarcelona.com
[Training] - Umtiti with a left knee problem - fcbarcelona.com
[Training] - Recovery session - fcbarcelona.com
[Article] - When and where to watch Villarreal v FC Barcelona - fcbarcelona.com
 

TV/Online:

 
Livesoccertv Liveonsat FCBarcelona.com
 
submitted by decho to Barca [link] [comments]


2020.07.02 20:35 OasisFan89 Match Thread: Manchester City v Liverpool FC [02/07/2020]

Allow me to introduce you to the aptly named Grand Champion Bread!
  • Liverpool's 30-year wait for a top-flight title is over after Manchester City lost 2-1 at Chelsea to confirm the Reds as Premier League champions.
  • Jurgen Klopp's side needed one victory to seal the league but City's failure to win means they cannot be caught.
  • It is Liverpool's 19th top-flight title and their first since 1989-90.
  • Winning the title was always the main aim for a club which endured such a long wait to be crowned champions of England again, having earned that honour 11 times between 1973 and 1990.
  • Things could get better yet, with City's 100-point total for a season one of numerous records Liverpool can still break.
  • Klopp's side have produced one of the most memorable campaigns in Premier League history, amassing 86 points with 28 victories, two draws and a single defeat from 31 games.
  • Such has been their dominance, at one stage they led the table by 25 points - a record gap between a side in first and second in the English top flight.
  • Also still a possibility are the most wins in a season (the record is 32), most home wins (18), most away wins (16) and biggest winning margin (19 points).
  • Their title win this season is the earliest on record, at least with regard to games remaining, with the Reds having seven to play.
  • That it is not the earliest title win by date is only because of the halting of football in England between March and May as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Liverpool's triumph represents a huge moment for their fans, who grew accustomed to success in the 1970s and 1980s, including a run between the 1972-73 and 1990-91 seasons in which they failed to finish first or second in the league only once.
  • They have not been without silverware in the past 30 years, winning three FA Cups, four League Cups, a Uefa Cup, the Champions League twice - the latest coming last season under Klopp - as well as three Super Cups and one Club World Cup.
  • However, since Kenny Dalglish led them to the First Division championship, they have had to endure three decades without league success, during which their record tally of titles was surpassed by rivals Manchester United, who have 20 to their name.
  • It was during this period that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson famously revelled in having "knocked Liverpool off their perch".
  • Liverpool have come close during that time to restoring themselves to the top of the English game, finishing second in the Premier League four times.
  • Gerard Houllier (2001-02) and Rafael Benitez (2008-09) both took them close.
  • Famously, in the 2013-14 season, Brendan Rodgers' side looked as though they were going to take the crown but a late-season slump - synonymous with a Steven Gerrard slip that enabled Chelsea to score and win at Anfield - saw them fall agonisingly short.
  • Last season, they racked up a stunning 97 points, losing only one game all campaign, but had the misfortune of coming up against an even better Manchester City side, who beat them to the title by a point. No side had ever earned so many points without winning the league.
  • Klopp takes Reds from 10th to title
  • The appointment of Klopp has been pivotal to Liverpool's rise in recent seasons to this moment of success.
  • The German arrived at Anfield in October 2015 following the sacking of Rodgers and with the club 10th in the Premier League.
  • Klopp arrived with a record of success, having led Borussia Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League final, and with a reputation for fast-paced, high-pressing attacking play, which he described as "heavy metal football".
  • His four full seasons to date have yielded finishing positions of fourth, fourth, second and now first.
  • Intelligent dealing in the transfer market has also been key to his success, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane signed during his reign. Along with Roberto Firmino, who arrived shortly before Klopp, the trio have scored a sensational 211 goals in less than three seasons (92 for Salah, 65 for Mane and 54 for Firmino).
  • The additions of world-class goalkeeper Alisson and centre-back Virgil van Dijk were also crucial.
  • Klopp has also improved players who were at the club before he arrived, including midfielder Jordan Henderson - his captain - and young full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
  • Klopp is the only Liverpool manager since Dalglish left (including the Scot himself during a second spell from January 2011 to May 2012) with a win percentage over 60.
  • Dalglish delivered Liverpool their 16th, 17th and 18th league titles and now, after 30 years, they have found a fitting successor to provide them with their 19th.
  • "The last two years and since Jurgen's come in has been very positive," Dalglish told BT Sport. "He's been fantastic and epitomises everything Liverpool football club stands for. Whatever they got, they have deserved it.
  • "Onwards and upwards. We have a lot more happy days to look forward to as long as Jurgen is here.
👏 As always a big Thank You to u/PM-Me-Salah-Pics for providing the Match Facts.
🏟 Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
🗣 Referee: Anthony Taylor
🖥 VAR: Stuart Atwell
Kick Off: 20:15 (BST)
Manchester City Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Foden, Jesus, Sterling.
Subs: Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, D. Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Otamendi, Doyle.
Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Jomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mané.
Subs: Adrián, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi, Jones, Elliott, Williams.
👏 City welcome the visitors Premier League Champions with a Guard Of Honour.
🗣 (0') We're under way at the Etihad.
🗣 (9') The sound of Fireworks can be heard belting around the usually quiet Etihad.
🦲 (15') Pep is still bald.
🗣 (18') Chance! Salah hits a low and hard shot but it comes back off the post!
🗣 (24') Man City are awarded a penalty after Jomez is deemed to have impeded Sterling.
⚽️ (25') De Bruyne converts the penalty. (1-0)
⚽️ (35') Sterling doubles the hosts' lead. (2-0)
⚽️ (45') Foden makes it 3-0. (3-0)
🗣 (HT) from the Etihad: 3-0.
🔄 (HT) Liverpool Sub: Ox replaces Jomez.
🗣 (45') We're back under way at the Etihad.
🔄 (57') City Sub: Mahrez replaces Jesus.
🔄 (60') Double Liverpool Sub: Keita and Origi replace Wijnaldum and Firmino.
⚽️ (66') Sterling makes it four. (4-0)
🔄 (70') City Sub: Cancelo replaces Walker.
🔄 (75') Liverpool Sub: Williams replaces Alexander-Arnold.
🔄 (77') Double City Sub: B. Silva and Otamendi replace Laporte and Sterling.
🔄 (83') Liverpool Sub: Minamino replaces Mané.
🗣 (FT) from the Etihad: 4-0.
submitted by OasisFan89 to LiverpoolFC [link] [comments]


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Gerard Arthur Way Bio, Wiki, Net Worth, Married, Wife, Height

  1. Girlfriend; Gerard Way
  2. Gerard as Foamy the Squirrel with His Dating Advice
  3. Gerard Way My Chemical Romance Exclusive - YouTube
  4. What Happened To Gerard Way!? - YouTube
  5. Gerard Way and Lindsey Way Talking about their daughter
  6. Gerard Way Dancing
  7. Gerard and Lynz
  8. Gerard Way talks about happy drunks, pants and meeting his ...

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