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The Drainpipe Siren

2023.03.25 02:07 Saturdead The Drainpipe Siren

The summer I turned 10 was the best time of my life. For years I’d had trouble making friends with other girls, and out of nowhere I was accepted into a group of boys. We would ride our bikes everywhere, play games, and sit up all night just talking about superheroes. I loved it, and I started enjoying coming to school.
That summer was the first summer we went to Everett’s cabin. We biked up there with his dad and spent three days hiking, fishing, telling stories, building a treehouse, and chowing down on hot dogs. It was amazing, and probably the first time in my life where I truly felt like part of a group.
For the next few years, we went back up there every summer. Sometimes we’d get another member, sometimes we’d lose one. People came and went, but we biked up there every summer nonetheless.

They became my best friends. I was one of the “original members” alongside Everett and Sam, but one year we had Lewis, another year there was Owen, and so on. But me, Everett, and Sam? We were always there. The originals.
By the time we all turned 14, there was another girl joining the group; Sam’s girlfriend Josslyn. I’d had some trouble getting along with other girls, so I was a bit hesitant about having Josslyn come along. But I was hilariously wrong. Within a couple of weeks, Josslyn became my best friend. She was like the sister I never had.
The year we turned 16 was the last time we would go there as a group. By then, everyone was growing up. Some were going to college; others were getting a job. Hell, Sam and Josslyn had just broken up and could barely be in the same room. Spending the summer in Everett’s cabin became one of those things that you just stop doing. We promised we’d go back there someday and celebrate summer the right way, knowing full well that would probably never happen.
And then, nothing. And as with all names and faces, they started growing distant. We kept in touch every now and then, but Sam, Everett and Josslyn all went on with their lives. I did too.

That was until a few years ago, when we all turned 30.
By then, Sam was about to move out of state. His startup company had gained some traction, and they were moving their main office. He was hitting the big leagues.
Josslyn was planning a move to Scotland. She’d met this guy at the university that she fell head over heels in love with, and the two of them’d had a long-distance relationship for close to a decade.
Everett, well, he’d tried to play the family man. He had a four-year old son and a two-year old girl with a woman who was divorcing him. Oof.
And me? Well, I wasn’t dealing with my aging very well. I’ve had anxiety all my life and haven’t celebrated a birthday since I was 14. I can barely look myself in the mirror, horrified of the possibility of seeing a grey hair. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, truth be told, and I imagine feeling all kinds of cramps and pains because of my age. And yes, I know 30 isn’t that old. Doesn’t matter.

But that summer, Everett sent us a message out of nowhere. His family was selling the cabin, and he figured one more trip down memory lane would do us all some good. The whole area was being sold off to a logging company at the end of summer. Personally, I just think the divorce was getting to him.
At first, I wasn’t going to accept. But after seeing both Sam and Josslyn agreeing to come, I couldn’t say no. Maybe it would distract me from turning 30.

So one sunny day in late June I drove down from Morgantown back home to Juniper (WV), not knowing what to expect. I figured I might get a nice weekend out of it.
And as I met up with Sam and Everett, it was as if nothing had changed. They hugged me. We laughed, we joked around, and we laughed some more. Everett had rented us mountain bikes. I got the blue one.
Sure, they looked a bit different. Sam had put on a few pounds and had a thick pair of glasses. He was already sweating. Everett, who used to have dreadlocks, had this short and neat office-type haircut, and his eyes looked darker. But that was all just appearance; they were the same guys. Same humor, same smiles, same favorite superheroes. Wonderful.

We stopped at the supermarket. I was comparing beef jerky prices when Sam walked up to me.
“Josslyn went on ahead,” he explained. “The roads are all dug up, so we’re taking the tunnel.”
“The Rosewater tunnel? By the railroad?” I asked.
“Yeah,” nodded Sam. “Shouldn’t take long. Josslyn is already up there.”
Made sense to me. Josslyn was the outdoorsy type. She was probably up there making a fire by rubbing sticks together or something. But just in case, I bought myself a Firestarter. You never know.

And then we were off. Riding bikes with the same people, down the same roads. Sure, it all looked different, but it really wasn’t. After all these years, I was still just me and the guys. For a moment, I felt this surge of optimism; like everything, somehow, might turn out all right.
Everett took point. We followed a trail deep into the pine forest, sweating under the summer sun. The canopy was a blessing, hiding us from the afternoon heat. It took us a bit over an hour to find the railroad tracks. We followed them north. Sam was sweating like he’d never even seen a bike before.

Then we got to the tunnel. The old Rosewater tunnel wasn’t long, but it was old. Everyone knew about it, but it was the kind of place that parents refused to let their kids go near. The place was probably covered in mold. Still, biking through it wouldn’t be a problem. You could feel the draft coming through.
The tunnel had a slight curve to it, so we couldn’t see the other side. Still, Everett took point and howled with joy as he entered. The echo bounced off the walls, reaching into the mountain. Sam followed suit, shrieking just as loud. We dove deep into the dark with the rhythmic thumping of the railroad tracks beneath us.
Our bike lights shone as bright as they could, but the tunnel swallowed them. It was getting colder and colder, almost to the point of my breath showing. Little dust particles danced in the weak light. The sound of spinning bike chains and thumping wheels echoed, and the air tasted like old moisture.

Suddenly, Everett stopped. Then Sam. And soon, I could see why.
We were in the middle of the tunnel, and there was something covering the ground.

We were all standing there dumbfounded. Snow? In late June? That didn’t make a lick of sense.
“That’s just weird,” said Sam. “Let’s keep going.”
“Wait,” said Everett.
He stepped off his bike and walked around for a bit. I leaned against my handlebar, feeling the weight of my backpack. I hadn’t even noticed how out of breath I was. Everett leaned down, looking at the snow.
“What’s up?” Sam asked. “We going?”
“Yeah, yeah,” nodded Everett. “It’s just… I dunno.”
“Dunno what?”
“Like… where’re the tracks?”
“You’re sitting on ‘em” I added. “What’s the deal?”
“No, Josslyn’s tracks.”

Now I could definitely see my own breath. And Everett was right, the snow was undisturbed. Josslyn couldn’t have come through there, unless the snow had recently settled. But what, an inch and a half of powder snow in late June, in less than a day? Nah.
Everett got back on his bike.
“Let’s just keep going.”
We biked through the snow. About ten minutes later, we got to the edge of the tunnel.

It’d collapsed in on itself.
The ceiling had caved in and filled the entire tunnel with a steep slant of solid rock chunks. It didn’t look recent either.
We just turned around. There was no reason for us to keep pushing forward, so we decided to just go back out and follow the (if somewhat broken) main road instead. We had bikes, we could go pretty much anywhere. Still, I couldn’t help but notice how Everett seemed a bit distraught. We all were.
On our way back through the snow, I got the sense that something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. But right then and there, I was just happy we were leaving.

Except we didn’t get far.
The path we came in through had also collapsed.

“Did we make a… a wrong turn?” Sam asked. “I thought this… this was just a straight line.”
“It is,” said Everett. “This, uh… this doesn’t make sense.”
“I didn’t hear anything,” I gasped. “I didn’t hear a goddamn thing.”
“This is old. There’s dust. It didn’t just collapse, this is… ,” insisted Everett.
“So we must’ve gotten turned around somewhere,” smiled Sam. “So we backtrack.”

It took us about 45 minutes to move from one end of the tunnel to the other; but both ends were definitely collapsed. How we entered in the first place was mind boggling. It didn’t make sense.
At some point, we just stopped. We stepped off our bikes and sat down. Sam used his phone as a flashlight, illuminating the dancing dust particles. The air tasted stale.
“No bars,” Sam said. “Tunnels suck.”
“It doesn’t make sense!” groaned Everett. “We got in, we can get out!”
“How?!” I asked, throwing my arms out. “I’m not seeing any exits! It… it fell!”
“That’s impossible!” spat Everett. “There would be a… a goddamn ear-bursting pressure! There’d be so much dust we… we wouldn’t be able to breathe! And there wouldn’t be goddamn snow all over the ground!”

We tried to get our phones to work. We tried moving the rocks, but the thick moisture in the air had frozen; making them all stick together like bricks and mortar. There was no way.
We wasted hours, and the temperature just kept dropping. I’d started shivering, and Sam’s breath had frozen into little icicles in his beard. Everett paced back and forth, trying to come up with a plan.
The snow was either expanding, or we kept coming back to it. Either way, it was everywhere. And the temperature kept dropping; fast.

At one point, that strange feeling in my stomach came back to me. I removed my bike light and used it as a torch. I noticed something in the snow.
I could see our tracks. Both from our bikes, and our shoes. But there was something else; a slight impression. Two thin parallel lines, running next to the wall. They twisted and turned at times, but I couldn’t make out what it was supposed to be. I called Sam and Everett over to help me, but we suddenly got distracted.

Somewhere deep in the tunnel, I heard something.
A voice.

“You should be helping me.”

It came from further in. Without a doubt in my mind, and after all these years, I could still recognize Josslyn’s voice. We tried to pinpoint where it came from, but the tunnel made it impossible.
“Joss?” Sam called out. “Joss, you there?”
Nothing. We looked at one another. It took Everett a few moments to even attempt to accept this.
“Joss!” Everett finally called out “Josslyn!”
Still, nothing.

We looked for her. I could feel myself growing more desperate as the air got colder. My teeth had started to chatter, and no amount of rubbing my arms changed a thing. My hairs were standing at attention, as if listening for warmth.
Sam and Everett kept calling out to her, but we got no response. And all over the snow I kept seeing these two parallel lines, just barely scraping the top of the snow. Either they’d been there for a while, or whatever was making them were something extraordinarily light. But there was no way of telling where it came from.
I have no idea how many hours we spent walking up and down that freezing tunnel. At some point, we all gathered in a circle and wrapped ourselves in sleeping bags. I tried to use my Firestarter, but we didn’t have much to burn. We piled up some of our extra clothes and spent the better part of an hour setting it on fire. It burned for less than ten minutes.

At some point, we just stopped trying. Our hands were raw, and I started having cold sweats. We’d turned off the lights to save on battery, but my restless eyes kept moving. I could feel myself going cross-eyed, my mind confused by the pressing dark.
There was too much ground to cover. There might be some side tunnel that we might’ve missed, but we were losing hope. I didn’t know what to make of it. Sam and Everett had gone through several cycles of arguing, making a desperate effort, being anxiously hopeful, and then back to arguing. Now they were just quiet.
I would’ve preferred an argument.

“You… should be helping me.”

We all looked up. It was distant, but not as distant as last time. I could hear Sam shuffling as he got up. He called out to Josslyn again and again, but there was no response. Sam was growing more and more desperate, and his screams got louder. At some point, he stopped calling out to her; he just screamed.
The arguing started again as Everett tried to shut him up. But I heard something. I looked up, concentrating on the sound. There was a slight reverb, like the sound bouncing off something metallic.
I put my bike light back on and looked up, letting the bright cone answer my question.
There were drainpipes running along the ceiling of the tunnel.

“Some… some kind of drainage, or a run-off,” said Sam, looking up. “That’s gotta… wait. This wasn’t at the entrance.”
“So it started further in,” I said. “Maybe there’s a maintenance area.”
At that, Everett got up.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Yeah, that makes, uh… that makes sense.”

We followed the pipes, and I couldn’t help but notice that the parallel lines in the snow that seemed to be going the same way. They were roughly following the way the pipes were running in the ceiling. Sam and Everett didn’t seem to notice.
“There might be another way out,” said Sam. “Like a… maintenance entrance.”
“Yeah,” agreed Everett. “They can’t have people running in and out of here when the trains are coming, right?”
My stomach turned. The stress was getting to me. I wasn’t usually the quiet one of the group, but crawling around in the dark just weighed my entire mind down. It wasn’t supposed to be cold. It wasn’t supposed to be dark. We were supposed to be making hot dogs by the cabin.

There was a faint tapping sound. Something banging against the pipes, somewhere up ahead. Sam and Everett pushed forward.
And there it was. A maintenance door.
We all got excited. We ran up to it, and the moment Sam put his hands on the handle, I shouted at them to stop.

They just looked at me, barely illuminated by our combined electronics. I could see the parallel lines running in the snow leading into the maintenance door. I pointed it out to Sam and Everett, who didn’t pay it no mind. Sam thought it was water drops from condensation. Everett didn’t care.
It couldn’t be water drops. It was too cold, and too consistent. Something in me screamed at me to just… not go further. This was bad.

But the door flung open, and we stepped inside.
There was an awful smell in the air. Chemicals; mostly ammonia. It took some time getting used to, but we pushed on. There was a small corridor leading us further in, branching into maintenance tunnels that were so small that we had to move sideways to fit.
We explored, as a group. We couldn’t find an obvious way out, but we could make an educated guess. We just had to find a way that pointed us either straight forward, or straight back; following the curvature of the Rosewater tunnel.

At one point, we hit a dead end. As we turned back, I was suddenly first in line. Then we heard it again.
“You should… be helping me.”
This time it was just down the hall. It was so close it chilled me more than my freezing breath. And for a split second, I could swear I saw something move just at the edge of the light. Something that retreated into the dark with a rhythmic sound. And it was leaving behind those strange parallel lines in the frost-covered floor.

We got back to one of the maintenance hubs. The drainpipes coalesced, leading us further in. We stopped for a while, as Sam was out of batteries.
“They will come looking for us,” said Sam. “We should just go back and wait.”
“We’ll freeze,” I said. “It’s absurd, but we’ll freeze.”
“She’s right,” agreed Everett. “We… we gotta push.”
“Then I go second. I don’t have a light.”

We agreed.
And as we turned around, there was Josslyn.

We could barely make out her shape at first. She looked taller, and her hair clung to her face like she’d crawled out of a cold bath. She just stood there, barely keeping herself upright. Sam and I stood there in shock, but Everett burst into action. He sprinted forward towards her.
In a whiplash-like motion, Josslyn was pulled back into the dark. She didn’t make a sound.
I noticed two things.
One, that her legs didn’t move.
And two, that her feet barely touched the ground; leaving parallel lines in the frosted floor.

Everett rushed after her, screaming her name over and over like a desperate parrot. I was right behind him, and Sam was trying his best to keep up. We ran, seeing whiffs of her hair disappear further and further into the darkness. She was moving, fast, and we could barely keep up. Just seconds later, as we came to a four-way junction, she was gone.
Everett fell to his knees, panting. I stopped short of tripping over him.
“She… she’s here,” Everett panted. “S-something’s wrong.”
I spat and tried to stay in motion to keep my sweat from freezing. The salt stung my eyes.
“Why… why is she doing this?” he asked. “What’s going on?”
“Wait,” I said.
I turned around.
“Where’s Sam?”

We backtracked. We tried to mentally map those labyrinthian halls, but we just came up with dead end after dead end. Sam was gone. Disappeared into the dark.
And somewhere, far ahead, we could hear something again.

“Yooooouu~ should be… helping me.”
But this time, in Sam’s voice.
Sam’s broken, drawling, drawn-out half-voice. It made the drainpipes reverberate, shaking with excitement.

This time, we turned the other way. We couldn’t keep getting pulled further and further in. We made a silent agreement that whatever was in there was something we didn’t want to see. We had to keep going, and once we got out, we could help.
“We… we have to follow the pipes,” said Everett. “They have to lead outside at some point!”
“Or they’ll just… just lead us further in!”
“We can’t keep running in circles! We pick a path, and we stick to it!”
He grabbed my shoulders. Even with barely functioning light, I could see the panicked size of his pupils. I nodded. Whatever it took for us to stick together.

We must’ve walked for hours. And finally, it opened up into another junction. This one with only two adjoining corridors. But by now, we’d moved around so much there was no way to tell what was north, south, or in-between. We could only guess.
“You pick,” said Everett.
And I did.

We followed one of the halls, and I could hear my footsteps growing louder. The echo was increasing. Moments later, the halls opened into a kind of hub area where all the drainpipes coalesced. It was much large than expected, with solid concrete walls and floors. Dozens of pipes lead us here.
Everett was about to rush forward when I put a hand on his shoulder. I looked around for a bit, but he brushed me off and kept going.
“Wait!” I called out, pointing.
There was something up ahead.

It was impossible not to recognize Sam. His body hanging limp, inches off the ground like a stringed-up puppet.
His skin white as snow, with icicles hanging from his beard and hair. He didn’t move.
You shooooould… be helping me,” his body groaned, without ever moving his mouth.

The shadows behind him moved.
The very dark of the room; it moved.

And at that moment, I realized there was something oil-slick and dark slithering along the pipes; holding Sam up like a ventriloquist dummy.

“Sssssshould. Sssssshould be.”

I could see Josslyn’s bike, snapped in half and thrown into a corner. Strange flowers grew along the edge of the wall; like little sunflowers, frozen and blue.
I could see Josslyn’s backpack torn open and thrown across the floor. The hot dogs, trampled and abandoned. And there at the very edge of my light, I could see Josslyn’s frozen hair splayed across the concrete in a pool of frozen blood.
Unnatural hands crawled across the drainpipes, causing a rhythmic thumping. And just as the horror of this vision sunk into me, my mind exploded into panic. It was like watching through my eyes like a passenger, surrendering completely to whatever power would get me out of there. My mind lit up the world with fear, as a real and tangible threat started coming our way; and it was dragging Sam along.

I bolted back out the door. Something was right behind me, but I didn’t know if it was Everett or… that Sam-thing. I didn’t care. I didn’t care the slightest.
I turned a quick corner. Everett followed. The Sam-thing couldn’t keep up, and whatever held him just tossed him aside. I could hear his body shattering like a gypsum statue; his body frozen solid.
Another corner. A quick turn.
Too quick.

I tripped on my own feet. I fell, and Everett fell right after me. We ended up on our sides, lying face-to-face. Something in my elbow broke, and I couldn’t get up.
Then, Everett stopped. I did too. I held my breath, waiting for whatever pain there was to come. Everett looked at me, slack jawed.

His breathing stopped. A long mosquito-like appendage had extended down from the drainpipes, piercing the back of his skull, like popping a water balloon. It was sucking out his warmth, making his skin lose its color. Eyes sinking into his skull, freezing. Nails and tongue turning black. Skin cracking like porcelain. Membranes shriveling into nothing but dry meat.
“Yooooooou~ “ it started. “… yoooOoou… heEeeeeEelping me. Help. Helping meeeee.”

I couldn’t look away.
But as my light dwindled, all that was left was the cold of his touch, and his words; frozen in time.
“Shhhh… shhhhoooOo… should be. Be. Be.”
As my light went out, all that was left was one desperate plea. And for a moment, it sounded just like him.
“Helping me. Helping. Helping me. Helping… me.”

I must’ve stayed there for hours, growing colder by the minute. I just lay there, listening to him slowly learning how to talk with Everett’s body. My tears had frozen my eyelids shut, and my shivers had subsided to a deep throbbing pain.
At some point, Everett was lifted off the floor. And as a cold spike poked against my skin, I realized I could barely feel it. I was too cold.
The creature must’ve thought the same thing, as it left me there. I had no warmth left for it to feast on.

I was no longer interesting prey. I’d accidentally strained my elbow as I fell, and I could barely feel my legs. Further and further away, I could hear the rhythmic thumping as the creature moved along the drainpipes. The pleas of what remained of Everett grew more confident, and distant.
At some point, it wasn’t interested anymore. I fumbled down corridor after corridor, trying to keep my eyes open.
And out of nowhere, the tunnels just seemed to... open up.

On the other side of the Rosewater Tunnel, the light blinded me.
The sun of late June promised me that I was finally safe.

Now, this was all about… five years ago. Law enforcement insist that we were “urban explorers” who messed up. There had been reports of rockslides near the Rosewater Tunnels, and they figured that Sam, Everett and Josslyn got caught in it somewhere deep in the abandoned side tunnels. They didn’t take any other report or indication of wrongdoing seriously. That I had frost burns in late June didn’t seem to bother them.
I’ve been holding off on writing this story as it was technically open for investigation until last September. They finally closed it, officially classifying it as a kind of spelunking expedition gone wrong. They swear they’ve investigated the tunnel, but I have yet to see a single squad car anywhere near it.
I don’t think this is over.

I’ve since left it all behind. The town, the people, the past.
And whatever future I have left, I will cherish.
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2023.03.25 01:14 ChrisDWrites STARLIGHT (The Z Team Book 2) Chapter 31: On the Hunt

Read THE Z TEAM: Book 1 on Amazon in ebook/print/Unlimited here.
Reading Links: Royal Road ScribbleHub
Book 1 Sample Start Book 2 Start Previous
Supervisor Durio arrived at the Mounteque sixty-eight minutes after Carnen gave Kemp his ultimatum.
The delay wasn’t Kemp’s fault. She requested an off-the-record debriefing using their cover identity as Ministry of Security agents, the same method she’d first contacted him. Durio agreed and approved a priority docking request at a private airlock reserved for admins and VIPs. He wiped the evidence and then came aboard the ship later than promised.
Carnen got the feeling that was done on purpose but brushed it aside. Durio was in for a surprise if he thought power games would have an effect on the operative teams.
Eptus greeted the supervisor. His pretentious expression broadcast his noble lineage. He offered an excuse but no apology. “I was delayed by bickering captains about to ram each other over who was ahead in the docking queue.”
“I understand, supervisor. Please, follow me,” Eptus said in a measured voice which meant he thought Durio’s answer was bullshit.
While Eptus escorted the supervisor aboard, Warden team waited in the main bay, the cam stream from the interrogation compartment on a display. The converted interior hold now contained a bare table and a chair on either side.
Carnen watched Kemp as she worked on her datapad. She’d shared the intelligence file on Durio while they waited for the Mounteque to dock. Stevson sat in a chair and rested his feet on top of a container, eager to watch what should be an interesting debriefing.
“Durio's from one of the minor noble houses,” Carnen said to Kemp. “According to this report, they have wealth and prestige, but no hope of ever competing for the Imperatrix seat. But that changes if the charter passes and the old guard is phased out. How did you get him to do something that benefitted his political enemy?”
Kemp offered him a self-assured smile. “There is no greater motivation than one’s own beliefs.”
On the display, Eptus led Durio into the interrogation compartment. The operations supervisor stepped inside, walking in the proper posture and measured gait of his noble lineage. He took in the bare room with an air of displeasure, as if it were beneath his presence.
“Please, have a seat,” Eptus said. Durio sat on the table’s far side, Eptus sitting across from him.
“We appreciate your willingness to expedite our request,” Eptus said.
“I would hope so. I put my career on the line in doing what was asked of me to protect the Provenance. I thought you would’ve rushed away from here after retrieving the,” he paused, lowering his voice like he was whispering a secret, “agitators. They cause a commotion wherever they appear, riling up the commoners with their fiery rhetoric.”
“Here’s the problem, Supervisor,” Eptus said. “They weren’t in the container you instructed us to collect.” He opened an image of the container’s interior on the table display.
Durio peered down at it. If he faked a confused expression, he did a fine job of selling it. “A waste recycler? I don’t understand. I saw the transfer pod go into that container. The singers were in it.”
“How can you be certain it was them?”
“Because three female Pree exited Zellis’s theater via the maintenance tunnels and rode a transport pod to whose destination was a reserved luxury suite. It’s not channel science, Supervisor. I watched them board the pod, set it for a maintenance appointment, and locked it down. Here is the proof.” He squinted, sharing a vid to the display. Cam footage of the singers entering the pod. Warden team saw it too, a window on their wall display mirroring what was on the table in the room with Eptus and Durio.
Carnen saw no reason why it couldn’t be the singers. The females looked fit and moved with grace.
“If that is them, the Mystery Man wasn’t with them,” Kemp observed.
“Maybe they fired him after the show. I think he screwed up a few times,” Stevson said. Carnen peered at the pilot. He shrugged. “I told you, I like their music. I’ve seen enough media to know that there were a few choreography mistakes.”
Kemp looked down at him over her datapad. “Should I be concerned that your admiration is a conflict of interest?”
Stevson snorted like the question was ridiculous. “Of course not. They don’t pay me. Kosmogenic does.”
“There are only three explanations,” Eptus went on, drawing Carnen’s attention back to the display. “Either you made a mistake, you swapped the container out on purpose, or someone else swapped the container.“
Durio’s face hardened with indignation. “I didn’t make a mistake or try to deceive you. How dare you chastise me after all that I risked in carrying out this scheme—”
“Let him speak,” Kemp said to Eptus over a comm. The Warden team leader sat there and absorbed the verbal barrage from Durio.
Kemp peered down at her datapad, studying something intently before tapping on the device. Carnen noticed Durio begin to struggle to find his words, his face rippling with emotion. His rant sputtered to a halt. He peered around the room as if disassociating from the conversation.
“Supervisor?” Eptus asked after a stretch of silence.
Durio, now calm and collected, reengaged with Eptus. “I did as you asked. There were no mistakes, I assure you. Someone else must have switched the container before you loaded it. We can check the security cams.”
On the display, a new POV loaded; a wide-angle perspective of the berth holding the container with the transfer pod inside. Durio fast-forwarded through the vid. Tugs, ships, and containers zoomed past. He paused when a tug arrived at the berth. He played it at normal speed. The tug removed the container and delivered it to a freighter that had slipped into the top portion of the POV. The tug returned a minute later clutching a different container and placing it in the berth.
“Damn the Spirits! Someone swapped the container,” Durio said.
“We need to know who,” Eptus said.
“Give me a moment,” Durio said, face twitching. “According to the logs, the container you received was the correct one. Obviously, someone altered them.”
“Who could’ve done this?”
“Fraenk, the other operations supervisor. I never would’ve guessed he had the mental capacity to pull it off.” Durio straightened as he thought of something. “Fraenk brought people into operations for a bit. He said they were hauler friends, and he was giving them a tour.”
“We need to talk to this Fraenk. Can you summon him here?”
“He finished a double. He won’t be happy about this.”
“You’re chief supervisor. Why do you care?”
Durio paused as he opened a comm to the other supervisor. “You haven’t met Fraenk.”
Fraenk arrived twenty minutes later looking like he’d been roused from a deep sleep. The hulking Manore stopped outside the airlock hatch, waiting for someone to open it.
Eptus and one other Sentinel operative greeted him. “Supervisor Fraenk, thank you for coming. If you’ll follow me,” Eptus said.
Fraenk eyed the ship’s interior with suspicion. “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell this is about. Where’s Durio? Why aren’t we meeting in Sanctum operations center?”
“This concerns a sensitive Ministry of Security matter that we wish to discuss with you and Supervisor Durio. Come with me, please.”
“Is your translator module working? I said I’m not going anywhere until—“
Carnen stepped into view from the side of the Mounteque’s airlock. “Time to come aboard, supervisor. And don’t even bother with your PD. It’s not going to work.”
Fraenk’s expression flickered with concern as he gazed at Carnen, no doubt confirming his lack of access to the station hub. “What’s a Human doing with the Pree Ministry of Security?”
“I'm here to corral supervisors who don't follow orders.”
Fraenk didn’t move. Carnen drew a stunner. The Manner supervisor saw the deadly serious expression in the operative’s eyes and stepped into the Mounteque’s airlock.
Fraenk sat on the table’s far side in the hot seat where Durio had been a short time ago. Durio was seated in the opposite chair, hands clasped, his expression the scolding glower of a professor who’d caught a student cheating.
Kemp and Stevson observed from the main hold with the rest of Sentinel team, but Carnen picked a front-row seat in the interrogation hold. He had a feeling Fraenk wouldn’t be cooperative based on Durio's opinion. Fraenk had a long career as a hauler and wasn’t some admin stooge who’d never gotten his hands dirty. Durio and even Eptus would only go so far to get the information the ops teams needed. Carnen would take it further when the time came.
Standing at the desk, Eptus placed a datapad with his credentials in front of Fraenk. “I’m Security Supervisor Eptus, team leader for the Ministry of Security.”
Fraenk shrugged, not bothering to look. “This doesn’t mean anything. Can’t validate it without hub access.”
“This will have to do.” Eptus gave Fraenk a chance to read it. When he passed, Eptus lifted the datapad and placed it in a receptacle along the wall.
“What about him?” Fraenk said, nodding at Carnen.
“He’s a contractor serving in a confidential capacity. That is all I can say.”
Fraenk’s visage flickered between anger and fear. He narrowed his eyes at Carnen. “I know a spook when I see one. Let’s get this over with so I can go back to my bunk.”
Fraenk was sharper than Carnen thought. He further doubted Eptus could scare the ops supervisor into talking.
“How long this takes depends on how cooperative you are,” Eptus said. “We know you swapped containers in one of the berths on the C-4 arm and modified the logs to cover it up. We know your friends who you brought into your office asked you to track it down.“
Fraenk gave Eptus a challenging stare. “Show me the proof or stop wasting my time.”
The Sentinel team supervisor returned Fraenk's hardened gaze. “This concerns a vital security matter my team is investigating. I urge you to cooperate.”
“If you help us, I promise to do my best to lessen any punishment that may result from your actions,” Durio added with that air of elitism Carnen found admins tended to have.
Fraenk regarded his counterpart, then let out a deep, cynical laugh. “You’re so full of shit, Durio. You may be the senior ops supervisor, but that doesn’t mean you can boss me around like I’m some level-one tech. Unless you’re filing a formal complaint, you’d better drop this. I’m not saying anything else without a lawyer.”
“I’ll file a complaint if I have to,” Durio threatened.
“No, you won’t, because if you do, there’ll be a Commonwealth Commerce Department investigation per the stipulations in my contract. Which means, if I did supposedly swap the containers, they’ll want to know why, including what was in them.” Fraenk cocked his head at Durio. “Something tells me that you wouldn’t want them to find out.”
“So you admit to knowing what was in the container?” Eptus said, trying to regain control of the conversation.
“I admit nothing. If there are no more stupid questions, then I’m going back to my bunk.”
Carnen stepped away from the hatch to the side of the table, looming over Fraenk. “Let’s cut the shit, Fraenk. You swapped the containers and gave the singers to your hauler friends. We want the name of their ship.”
Durio made a face like he was stupefied that Carnen had said as much. But the chief supervisor failed to understand what was needed to get what they wanted from Fraenk.
At the demand, Fraenk arched his eyebrows innocently. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Carnen repeated the question. Fraenk leaned forward, close enough for Carnen to smell his alcohol-tinged breath. “Oh, I remember now. It was something like Her Royal Majesty’s Go Fuck Yourself.”
Carnen drew his stunner.
Fraenk glanced at it, then back to Carnen. “If you think—“
The operative jabbed the stunner into Fraenk’s chest. The supervisor yelped and pushed back, almost tipping his chair as he cursed. Carnen had set it too low, enough to hurt like hell but not incapacitate.
Durio stood from his chair, a terrified expression on his face. “That was uncalled for!”
Fraenk slowly got to his feet, rising a full head above Carnen. “Why don’t you put your toy down and we’ll see how tough you are?” he sneered.
Carnen deactivated and locked the stunner then tossed it to Eptus. He was caught off guard and almost dropped it.
Over Durio’s protest, Fraenk raised his fists and stepped at Carnen.
The operative was ready for it and threw a kick into the side of Fraenk’s leading thigh, smacking the meaty part and dropping him to his knees. Carnen followed up with a punch to the Manore’s face. Fraenk toppled over backward, crashing to the deck. He groaned clutching his nose. Blood seeped between his fingers.
Carnen kicked Fraenk in the ribs, keeping him down. The operative then climbed onto Fraenk’s back and placed him in a chokehold. “I want the name of the ship.”
Fraenk cursed at Carnen, and he tightened his grip. Eptus shifted but kept quiet. Durio protested. “He’s a supervisor. You cannot do this!”
The operative ignored Durio and squeezed tighter. Fraenk pleaded, his voice barely audible. “Stardancer.”
Carnen let up a little and said to Durio, “Find that ship.”
The supervisor only mumbled an incoherent response.
“Kemp,” Carnen said, knowing she was watching.
Whatever she did appeared to work. Durio’s head twitched a bit, and his eyes regained focus. Carnen repeated the request. Durio said, “I have it. The freighter Stardancer was granted a commerce license a short while ago.” He projected the license to the wall display. “It’s scheduled to rendezvous with the ship Honest Day’s Work which is registered to a micro-corporation with a recovery agent license.”
“What’re they doing meeting with bounty hunters?” Stevson asked over their internal ship comm.
“According to the commerce license, the Honest Day’s Work will transfer a load of recovered assets.”
“I doubt Acculturation leadership is aboard the ship. What's so important for them to risk this transfer?” Carnen said.
“It could be more stolen material. We have no intel on this,” Eptus said.
“Plot it, Stevson,” Carnen said. He stood, leaving Fraenk in an exhausted heap on the deck.
The Tyrcellus map appeared on the table display. A curving intercept vector sliced through the system as Stevson plotted the ship’s course. “Assuming the Stardancer didn’t fuck around after they retrieved the singers, then they’re at minimum nine hours ahead of us. And assuming they head for a new destination immediately after the transfer, there’s a low chance we can intercept them.”
Carnen said to Durio, “What if we cancel the commerce license? Prevent the transfer?”
Fraenk cackled, having managed to push himself to a seated position. “Go ahead. That’s a Commonwealth-sponsored license. Canceling will raise a red flag at Sanctum and you’ll have Commerce Department goons up in your business.”
“He’s correct,” Durio said.
“Looks like you’re screwed,” Fraenk said. Everyone in the room turned in his direction. He gave them all a bloody smile.
Durio straightened with a fearful snap. “The Administrator is sending a comm request. Excuse me.” He scurried out of the compartment.
Fraenk shifted into his chair, groaning with each movement. Eptus opened a medkit mounted on the wall and passed a clotting wipe to him. Fraenk took it and held it to his nose.
“Show me the details on the Honest Day’s Work,” Carnen said. He stared at the data on the display, searching for a solution.
“My turn to offer you a deal,” Fraenk said. “As much as I want to beat you to a pulp, I’m willing to walk away from this. I want to keep my job, so you know I’ll keep my mouth shut. But if you don’t let me walk out of here right now, the next person the administrator will be talking to is me. If I’m going down, you’re all coming with me.”
Durio returned to the compartment, drawing everyone’s attention. His face was sunken like he’d seen a lost spirit come to terrorize him. Fear seeped into his voice as he spoke. “The administrator informed me that he spoke with Zellis, the owner of the theater. He is unable to contact the singers who performed at his venue and reported them missing. The administrator is very upset about this and wants the matter investigated immediately.”
“It wasn't me,” Fraenk said. He looked to his counterpart. Durio’s face somehow grew grimmer. “You had something to do with that, didn't you? Kidnapping citizens off Commonwealth-sponsored stations? That's bad news, Durio. not with the Commonwealth Diplomatic fleet heading this way. They won't take kindly to sentient rights violations. They're looking for any excuse to go after the Provenance.”
“No! I didn’t do anything wrong!” Durio said, voice cracking. He pointed at Eptus and Carnen. “They made me help them!” He bent at the waist, hands pressed to either side of his head. “I have to leave. I cannot be involved in this any longer.” He rushed to the hatch and slapped the panel, but Carnen had locked it already. Durio spun, coiled with indignation. “Let me out of here, immediately!”
“Kemp, he’s losing it. We can’t leave him here like this,” Carnen said into the inter-team comm.
“I’m working on it,” she answered.
“You’re running out of time.”
“You cannot leave yet, Supervisor,” Eptus said to Durio.
Fraenk grinned at the unfolding disaster. “You better let us go. Durio is screwed, but you spooks can save your asses.”
“Stevson, do we have departure clearance?” Carnen asked.
“Affirmative. It was granted before Supervisor Durio came aboard,” Stevson replied as the hatch opened. Carnen spun around as Durio stormed out. The Warden team leader glared at Eptus, who lowered his head in defeat.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Carnen growled.
“He is of noble lineage. We cannot detain him like this,” Eptus answered.
“Of course, you can. You have authority from the Imperatrix himself.” Carnen stormed into the passageway after Durio. The supervisor made it to the inner airlock hatch. Carnen re-engaged the lock over his PD. Durio slapped his hand repeatedly against the panel. “I demand that you open this hatch immediately!”
Eptus came up behind Carnen. “Let him go.”
Carnen ignored the Sentinel team supervisor. Over the ship comm, he said, “Last chance, Kemp.”
“I need more time to diagnose. Nothing I do works,” she answered.
“Supervisor Durio,” Carnen said in a measured voice. “I’ll open the hatch, but I need your help with one last thing with Fraenk. It will only take a minute, then I promise you’ll be done with us.”
The offer calmed Durio enough to end his fit. He faced Carnen. “One minute,” he said and marched back into the interrogation hold. Carnen followed him in.
“Let’s get this over with. I will not take the fall for whatever has happened here—“
“Wait—“ Eptus said as Carnen drew a palm-sized pistol and shot Durio in the back of the head at less than a meter. His head rocked forward as a bolt of superheated gas encased in an electromagnetic field punched through tissue and bone. The projectile dissipated upon impact, dumping its kinetic and thermal energy into the interior of the supervisor’s skull.
Durio toppled forward and slapped against the deck, mouth slightly agape, eyes lifeless.
The Sentinel team supervisor’s jaw clenched, his nasal slits quivering in rage. “You murdered a Pree of noble lineage!”
“Outside, now,” Carnen said and marched out of the compartment. Eptus followed. Behind Carnen, the rest of Sentinel and Warden teams entered the passageway from the main hold. Carnen faced Eptus. “I neutralized an asset gone haywire. Did you forget our mission?”
Eptus shifted as he wrestled with his emotions. The words came out with an angry bite. “To ensure the success of Project Fidelity in support of the Provenance.” He bristled. “You should’ve consulted with me before taking such drastic action.”
“I did what needed to be done. If you can’t handle that, then you should find another line of work.” Carnen faced Kemp. “Figure out what happened before this happens again.”
“I’ll investigate Supervisor Durio’s deviations,” she said with a bitter edge.
He stared at her a moment longer, then shifted his eyes to Stevson. “Set a course for the coordinates of the cargo exchange. We’ll dump the body en route.”
“The ships will be gone by the time we get there,” Eptus said.
“I’ll message the Honest Day’s Work. As Stevson said, they’re bounty hunters. Maybe we can work something out,” Carnen said and returned to the interrogation compartment.
Fraenk’s pale face eyed the dead body. With a resigned sigh, he said, “Guess I’m not going anywhere, am I?”
Caren pulled restraints from his belt and placed them on the table. “No, you’re not.”
submitted by ChrisDWrites to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:22 NipCoyote Under the Veil - Chapter 9

Kept you waiting huh?
Yeah so... whew, things have been stressed over here for me. University eats up a lot of your time, who knew?
I hope I never have to keep you guys waiting this long ever again, please accept this twice-as-long chapter as reconciliation.
First Prev
Memory Transcription Subject: K-31 Endeavor, Off-Duty Gaian Security Guard, November 10th, 2142
Royo was probably the most excited when the news came out. As part of a celebration of the alliance between the Venlil Republic and the Gaian Concord, restrictions on what we could do were reeled way back. We couldn't show our faces or take off our suits, of course, but for the first time, we could go around town and interact with the locals more without having to fill out a bunch of paperwork or be put into an assignment specifically allowing it.
Meaning, of course, that me and Royo could take a trip around town. On top of that, "gaian" culture, that is, human media that had been re-done and censored to avoid anything that could trace us back to humanity and our predatory nature, was being shown in a much greater capacity. Music, though lacking lyrics, was quickly becoming popular, and for the first time, actual gaians were appearing on television series, including The Exterminators.
That show always rubbed me the wrong way, but it seemed popular with the locals. Royo in particular said he had begun watching it because of the relatively recent gaian inclusion in the show; gaian characters that were previously CG were now portrayed by genuine gaians, and after our encounter during the raid, he had taken a liking to the show. I hadn't personally watched more than a couple episodes, despite my boss telling me I should take the time to watch the series; it was good to be in touch with Federation culture, he told me.
Regardless, now that I had a couple days off, Royo was insistent on taking me around town. The first ever gaian movie to be shown to the public was apparently in theaters as of today as well, The First Steps, which from what I could gather was a retelling of Apollo 11, but heavily altered to fit gaian narratives. Should be an interesting watch, at any rate.
I received a notification on my HUD, a message from Royo.
"Are you at the place?"
I tapped on my arm touchpad.
"Yes, I'm at the southeast transit station, third bench to the right on the main entryway. Waiting for you."
I watched as trains passed through the underground tunnel. Well, the Venlil equivalent to a maglev, anyway. It was quite fast, and I admired their efficiency. Venlil came and went through the station, as well as the occasional Krakotl or Harchen, and even a couple gaians at one point, chatting it up with a group of Venlil. Seems like I'm not the only gaian Venlils are bringing out here to have a good time.
The familiarly cheery voice rang put, eliciting an unseen smile from beneath my helmet.
"Hey buddy!" I laughed and ruffled his hair. He had grown to like the little mannerisms that I found myself instinctively performing on him, and I couldn't deny how endearing he had become to me.
"Ready to go to the big city?" He asked excitedly.
"Hmm aw gee, I dunno now, I'm kinda scared now, what if-"
"W-wha? Hey! What do you mean!?"
"Relax, Royo" I laughed. "I was just joking."
"Oh… right! Haha! Uh, so next train looks like it's headed to Grand Hill, that's the place!"
"Well then let's go!"
The tram wasn't too dissimilar to what might've been found back on Earth, though it was a bit small for my liking, and I found myself having to contort my body a bit in order to fit into the seats. Looking around, there were a few venlil glancing at us, but nothing negative, atleast from what I had learned from Venlil body language.
It was a very smooth ride, if it weren't for the windows you probably couldn't even tell we were moving.
"First, I wanna take you to my favorite restaurant in the galaxy, Virdi's. They have the best experience on the planet! Then, we could go see a movie and finish it off with a trip to the local bar!"
Seemed like he definitely had the day planned out. This was the planet he lived on though, I am but an alien visitor, so I was sure he knows what he was talking about, and I went along with it. I was sure it'd be a good time.
First stop was Virdi's. Now, I'm not an expert on Venlil culture but from what I could gather, it seems to be comparable to one of those local places that have good food but isn't famous, so the place isn't packed. Not trashy, but far for being particularly fancy, which suited me just fine.
A few customers glanced to look at us, but thankfully we didn't draw a crowd or start a scene. Gaians were novel, but most had grown atleast mostly accompanied to them. We took an empty seat and were served an appetizer of basic assortment of fruits and nuts which were totally foreign to me. Royo already began to eat some, but I hesitated.
"Whats the matter?" Royo asked.
I scanned over the fruits and nuts. My HUD informed me they're safe to eat.
"Uh, nothing just, I've never eaten these before."
"You've never had yira nuts before?"
"I've never had any of this. We always eat the wafers that are prepared for us."
"That's no way to live. Come on, give them a try!"
I pick up a single nut and bring it close to where my mouth would be. Automatically, a small section of my helmet opens like a miniature sliding door, allowing access to my mouth. As per training I was careful to cover it so no one could see my canines, and put the nut in my mouth, and chewed.
It was kind of like an almond, but sweeter and oddly… tangy? It didn't taste bad at any rate. Crunchy, too.
"That's not bad," I admit.
"Try the fruits too!"
I pick up a fruit. A small, yellow object with some firmness to it. It resembled a red blood cell in its shape, disc-like with a risen outer edge. I pop it into my mouth. It's very chewy and-
My mouth explodes with flavor. This is incredible… sweet like some sort of honey-candy, with the perfect consistency. Is this a natural growth on Dayden?
"Oh my gosh…" the trapdoor on my helmet snaps shut as my hand leaves the vicinity. "This is amazing…"
"See? I knew you'd love it!"
I take a handful from the bowl and stuff it into my mouth, letting the mix of nutty and fruity flavor flood my mouth.
This is so good!
I couldn't tell if this food was just so amazing it blew everything out of the park, or if I had just grown numb to the same bland processed food wafers they'd been feeding me while planet-side.
The two of us continue to eat, and Royo commented on the little door in my helmet.
"So, that's how you guys eat huh?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah. Well, usually for larger social meals we take our helmets off and eat, but that's not for you guys to see."
"Right… can't hardly see what's in there."
"That's the point."
Before long the bowl was empty.
"Hey so um… where are the menus?"
Royo laughed. "No menu here! They just fill the bowl with various fruits and nuts and when you're full they pay you a flat fee.
Oh, so sort of like a buffet, but a more social gathering where they bring fresh bowls of food. That's interesting.
"I need to eat out more," I chuckled.
"Hey um… sorry if this is a weird question but… I've just gotta ask, how do you… you know… expel waste, when you're wearing that all the time?" Royo asked.
The question caught me off guard, but it was innocent enough.
"We have a urine collection device so we just kinda relieve ourselves whenever we need to."
"Um… okay but what about… you know…"
"Ah… um, well, we try and hold it until we can get somewhere to take it off. The nutrient wafers we eat are extremely low in waste product so, we often don't need to go for several days."
"Oh I see. Sorry I know that was probably weird of me to ask…"
"No, no, it's fine! It's fine," I laughed. "Come to think of it I'm surprised I've never been asked that question before.
According to my HUD, we had spent a little over 30 minutes talking and eating. Royo had stopped eating long before I did, his little stomach couldn't pack away as much as I could.
"So, that Gaian movie they're showing…"
"Hm? Oh yeah, First Steps right? The one about Armst- I mean, the one about our origins as a nomadic species."
"Wanna go see it? I'm dying to see a movie about gaians from your perspective."
"Sure I'd definitely be up for it, sounds like a good time."
Admittedly, I was curious about just how much they changed history to make our journey into space acceptable for Federation viewing. I had no doubt in my mind it wouldn't at all be accurate, but at the very least it'd be nice to watch a movie with Royo. It'd certainly be more my speed than The Exterminators.
When we were finished eating, we received a flat fee for our time there, which Royo paid. It was only a short walk over to the theater, about 10 minutes.
"Maybe we should take a cab," I teased him. "So I don't have to carry you in my arms all the way to the theater."
"Oh shut up…" he replied, but I could tell from the tail signing I had picked up that he secretly enjoyed the teasing.
The theater was packed. Looks like the prospect of seeing the first gaian movie to be shown to the public was a popular one. Venlil theaters didn't include snacks to eat while watching the movie, but they also had seating more akin to giant elongated couches rather than individual seats, which was a godsend for someone like me who could barely, if ever, fit into Venlil seating.
The theater screen was also quite different. It was more panoramic, obviously to accommodate Venlil vision range. Making the screen straight forward wouldn't make any sense to them. That made the movie a little bit harder to follow along with, but I did the best I could.
So, as I expected, the movie is an adaptation of Apollo 11. An extremely loose adaptation of Apollo 11.
For starters, everyone is wearing the suits. Well, a precursor to the suits. Only the astronauts actually wear pressure suits, everyone on the ground and at mission control wear looser clothing that still obscures all skin and features from the camera. Of course, the historical names are all changed as well.
Neil Armstrong is now "H-15 Unity" and Buzz Aldrin is now "U-61 Admirality". The ever-forgotten Micheal Collins is "B-87 Serenity", and, female interestingly enough, and even Gene Krantz gets a gaian remake as "Y-23 Conviction"; I'd recognize that personality at the head of mission control no matter how many layers of censorship they put over him.
I couldn't quite recognize the planet the movie takes place on; it's undeniably Earth-like, but the vegetation seemed just a tad off. Maybe it was all CG. They call their planet "Terra", which to any gaians watching would obviously be a stand-in for Earth, though I'm pretty sure this is the first time the name of any Gaian homeworld has ever been stated in any official capacity. "Terra" does not appear in any Federation databanks, at any rate.
The story of course, also had to be changed. The real story probably wouldn't fly… rising tensions between two rival superpowers threatening each other with nuclear weapons, going to the moon to show off their technology for launching warheads? Yeah that wouldn't do. Though, I was surprised with the actual direction they went.
The narrative given in First Steps is that gaians have immense respect for all planets, and rather than stay and settle these planets, eventually stripping them dry, they move from planet to planet to avoid wrecking the local ecosystems. This of course, was a completely foreign concept to the Federation, dare I say it could make the movie controversial, but hopefully it helped sway some folks into being less destructive with their colonialism.
During the events of the movie of course, Gaians are united and just now developing the technology for spaceflight, preparing to leave their birth planet. And the first steps in that journey of course, is a trip to the moon and back. That out of the way, the rest of the movie is actually very similar to the real events. The rocket they used to leave their planet is blatantly a Saturn V, it's not even modified at all.
The costumes and spacecraft were actually surprisingly faithful to the historical ones. The NASA logo and American flag were changed to the Gaian Concord's symbol, the bubble-helmets were made a uniform opaque all around, and the lander had its iconic triangular windows moved from the front to the sides to lessen any potentially predatory parallels, but aside from that, they looked just like the real things, which would be completely new to all the Venlil in the audience.
Of course, they had to introduce some drama. In real life, the landing went almost flawlessly and without a hitch, but that doesn't make for a riveting scene. So naturally they spiced it up. Failing RCS thrusters and a small explosion destroying the antenna leads the team back home to believe they had crashed. Having lost all contact with mission control, the gaians on Terra begin to mourn their loss. However "Serenity" (Collins), who's job was to wait in orbit to rendevous and bring them back home, refused to return home.
"No Command, with all due respect, I don't think you do understand. I decided a long time ago that if something like this were to happen, that I wasn't coming home alone. I'm staying right where I am."
Mission control panics, not knowing what to do. Just when all hope seems lost and everyone thinks they're going to lose Serenity as well, communications resume, Unity and Admiralty having fixed the antenna to reveal a messy, but successful, landing. Everyone at home celebrates, Serenity cries tears of joy, and the two astronauts on the surface erect the flag of the Gaian Concord. A jazzy, triumphant song fades in as the two astronauts happily hop around, and as the reflection of "Terra", an Earth with different continents, appears on Unity's visor, the credits roll.
For a xeno-safe reimagining of Apollo 11, this really wasn't too bad. I actually found myself enjoying it when I tried to put myself in Royo's shoes, seeing all this for the first time. Apollo 11 had been turned into dozens of movies for humans by this point of course, and it was far from the best version I had seen. But Royo definitely seemed to enjoy it, his eyes had been glued to the screen the entire time.
"That was amazing!" Exclaimed Royo as we left the theater. "Is that all true? Did that happen?"
"Yes, well, mostly" I lied. "It's definitely more… dramatized than the actual historical event," I answered. Technically the truth, though "idealized" might be another word to add there.
"Well, I loved it. You gaians sure know how to make an impression!"
It wasn't THAT good. Fine, I guess.
"So, ready for some drinks?"
Oh yeah that's right, Royo wanted to take me out to the bar.
"Oh, yeah! Sure. That sounds like a nice way to end it off."
After another short walk, we walk to the bar. The sun was already beginning to set, had we really been in the theater that long?
We take our seats, and the bar looked very similar to what one would expect on Earth. Stools, a bartender with drinks, looked promising. Our helmets had built in drinking straws which we could put into anything we needed to drink. Never a bad idea to save on your own water supply after all. The bartender slid me a drink, I sipped, and immediately spat it out inside my helmet, which registered as a gargling shout on my vocoder.
"Holy shit! What's in this? How strong is it?"
"Its… only 60% alcohol, sir," the bartender replied.
60 percent!? Can Venlil stomachs handle liquor that strong?
"We, uh I mean… I uh, can't handle drinks that strong. It's uh… a condition. Yknow."
"Weakest we have is 40%..."
"Could you uh… maybe water it down?"
That got me some weird looks.
"Heh alright. Big strong gaian needs his alcohol tame."
If my helmet didn't cover my face I'd have given her an unamused look, but for now I just took the watered down drink and sipped with my straw. That was definitely better, and the fruity taste reminded me of the rum my local brewery back home produced. Very sweet once I could actually taste the stuff.
"Are all gaians that sensitive to alcohol?" Royo asked.
"Uhh… no…" technically the truth. There were some folks who could down Vodka like it's nothing.
"Just a condition. Don't worry about it, I'm a little more sensitive, that's all. Won't stop us from having fun!"
**Memory Transcription Subject: Royo, Venlil Civilian, November 10th, 2142,*
It was kinda funny seeing Endeavor sip watered down alcohol through a straw like he was a child, but I wasn't one to judge. We went through drink after drink, and Endeavor was becoming more and more… woozy. He hadn't had any more drinks than I had, AND they were watered down, yet he was already wobbling.
"Yall see the new gaian movie yet?" The bartender asked.
Before I could respond, Endeavor slammed his drink on the table and answered in slurred speech.
"Fackin… stupid… they had to water it down for the…" hic "Venlil… none of that movie is fuckin accurate…" hic
I thought that maybe we should get Endeavor back home now with how intoxicated he was becoming, but I couldn't deny my curiosity in what he was saying.
"Serenity wasn't a fuckin girl… and his name was COLLINS" he shouted.
Collins? I'd never heard that word before.
By now we were definitely getting some weird stares.
"Uh… Endeavor, maybe we should-"
"Aww Royo you fuckin… I just wanna KISS you ya fuckin… adorable little… hrnng…"
"Well, I hope the bit about leaving the planets alone was also wrong. Leaving natural predators to wreck the planet is just irresponsible. I was hoping we'd see some exterminators in the movie," one other bar patron commented.
Endeavor swiveled around, holding up one finger as though accusing.
"Yooouuuuuu… mother-fuckers… you guys are just… fuckin… torch everything you don't like! That's fucked!"
What was Endeavor talking about? The extermination of predators? Everyone knew that was something that had to be done to save the environment. Predators were a curse on the planets they inhabited, and wouldn't stop until everything was ravaged.
"H-hey Endeavor, let's go home-"
"What did you just call me!?" The other Venlil yelled, getting off his stool.
"I said…" hic "that you guys are a bunch of planet-destroying maniacs," he laughed. "Did you know we gaians banned flamethrower? That's cuz they're fucked up!"
Okay he definitely isn't thinking straight.
"P-please, pay no mind to him… he's sensitive to alcohol!" I tried to remedy the situation and brought him down from his stool. He stumbled, and… I think vomited? Oh my stars… he vomited inside his helmet.
His stumbles became struggles and muffled yelling as vomit threatened to suffocate him, and I almost puked myself with the image in my mind. I took his hand and forcefully brought him to the bathroom, which was thankfully empty, and locked the door.
Endeavor was grasping at his neck, which I thought was instinctual, until I noticed two pairs of buttons and a pair of latches…
Endeavor's helmet came off. From behind, I saw a gaian's head. Mostly bald, with a small patch of dark hair on the top. Light, pale skin, a pair of very small ears on either side. Puke was smeared across the inside of his helmet, and it dropped from what must have been his mouth as he panted and groaned on his knees.
Tentatively, I slowly walked around him, and froze in place.
His eyes aren't on the sides.
Endeavor turned his head at me, two binocular eyes locked onto me with crazed vigor, mouth agape with two pairs of pointed teeth.
I screamed.
submitted by NipCoyote to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:18 TickMasterNomekop New under menu

New under menu
Hi everyone. That's a little bit complicate and strange but i need help so if there's someone who can help me i will really glad. I have create a new voice for the pause menu. When you open it i wanna that it open an undermenu like pause menu or optiions menu with just some sentence, not more. I'm not good in coding because I'm learning by myself and i don't know sintax and effect of some code that already there in script editor so I've tried to copy and modify the UI_PauseMenu and UI_Options to just have to delete other write and changing with mine but, i don't understand why, when i use that voice it just open the pause menu or the options, like there's still some command that i don't know that bring the game to that specific menu. Anyone can help me? I write the code i create modifing PauseMenu and Options and i add also a photo to give the idea of the menu i want. I hope i can make it understable and that i give you the right informentions.
P.S. Sorry for my bad english
# Code in UI_PauseMenu for add the new voice
MenuHandlers.add(:pause_menu, :confident, {
"name" => _INTL("Confident"),
"order" => 60,
"condition" => proc { next $game_switches[51]},
"effect" => proc { menu
pbFadeOutIn {
scene =
screen =
next false
# Code from PauseMenu
class ConfidentMenu_Scene
def pbStartScene
u/viewport =, 0, Graphics.width, Graphics.height)
u/viewport.z = 99999
u/sprites = {}
u/sprites["cmdwindow"] =[])
u/sprites["cmdwindow"].visible = false
u/sprites["cmdwindow"].viewport = u/viewport
u/sprites["infowindow"] = Window_UnformattedTextPokemon.newWithSize("", 0, 0, 32, 32, u/viewport)
u/sprites["infowindow"].visible = false
u/sprites["helpwindow"] = Window_UnformattedTextPokemon.newWithSize("", 0, 0, 32, 32, u/viewport)
u/sprites["helpwindow"].visible = false
u/infostate = false
u/helpstate = false
pbSEPlay("GUI menu open")

def pbShowInfo(text)
u/sprites["infowindow"].resizeToFit(text, Graphics.height)
u/sprites["infowindow"].text = text
u/sprites["infowindow"].visible = true
u/infostate = true

def pbShowHelp(text)
u/sprites["helpwindow"].resizeToFit(text, Graphics.height)
u/sprites["helpwindow"].text = text
u/sprites["helpwindow"].visible = true
u/helpstate = true

def pbShowMenu
u/sprites["cmdwindow"].visible = true
u/sprites["infowindow"].visible = u/infostate
u/sprites["helpwindow"].visible = u/helpstate

def pbHideMenu
u/sprites["cmdwindow"].visible = false
u/sprites["infowindow"].visible = false
u/sprites["helpwindow"].visible = false

def pbShowCommands(commands)
ret = -1
cmdwindow = u/sprites["cmdwindow"]
cmdwindow.commands = commands
cmdwindow.index = $game_temp.menu_last_choice
cmdwindow.x = Graphics.width - cmdwindow.width
cmdwindow.y = 0
cmdwindow.visible = true
loop do
if Input.trigger?(Input::BACK) Input.trigger?(Input::ACTION)
ret = -1
elsif Input.trigger?(Input::USE)
ret = cmdwindow.index
$game_temp.menu_last_choice = ret
return ret

def pbEndScene

def pbRefresh; end

class ConfidentMenu
def initialize(scene)
u/scene = scene

def pbShowMenu

def pbShowInfo; end

def pbStartConfidentMenu
if !$player
pbMessage(_INTL("The player trainer was not defined, so the pause menu can't be displayed."))
pbMessage(_INTL("Please see the documentation to learn how to set up the trainer player."))
# Show extra info window if relevant
# Get all commands
command_list = []
commands = []
MenuHandlers.each_available(:confident_menu) do option, hash, name
# Main loop
end_scene = false
loop do
choice = u/scene.pbShowCommands(command_list)
if choice < 0
end_scene = true
break if commands[choice]["effect"].call(@scene)
u/scene.pbEndScene if end_scene

class ConfidentMenuScreen
def initialize(scene)
u/scene = scene

def pbStartScreen
ret = u/scene.pbShowMenu
MenuHandlers.add(:confident_menu, :Fool, {
"name" => _INTL("Fool:"),
"order" => 10,

# Code from options
module PropertyMixin
attr_reader :name

def get
return u/get_proc&.call

def set(*args)

class EnumOption
include PropertyMixin
attr_reader :values

def initialize(name, values, get_proc, set_proc)
u/name= name
u/values = { val _INTL(val) }
u/get_proc = get_proc
u/set_proc = set_proc

def next(current)
index = current + 1
index = u/values.length - 1 if index > u/values.length - 1
return index

def prev(current)
index = current - 1
index = 0 if index < 0
return index

class NumberOption
include PropertyMixin
attr_reader :lowest_value
attr_reader :highest_value

def initialize(name, range, get_proc, set_proc)
u/name = name
case range
when Range
u/lowest_value = range.begin
u/highest_value = range.end
when Array
u/lowest_value = range[0]
u/highest_value = range[1]
u/get_proc = get_proc
u/set_proc = set_proc

def next(current)
index = current + u/lowest_value
index += 1
index = u/lowest_value if index > u/highest_value
return index - u/lowest_value

def prev(current)
index = current + u/lowest_value
index -= 1
index = u/highest_value if index < u/lowest_value
return index - u/lowest_value

class SliderOption
include PropertyMixin
attr_reader :lowest_value
attr_reader :highest_value

def initialize(name, range, get_proc, set_proc)
u/name= name
u/lowest_value = range[0]
u/highest_value = range[1]
u/interval= range[2]
u/get_proc= get_proc
u/set_proc= set_proc

def next(current)
index = current + u/lowest_value
index += u/interval
index = u/highest_value if index > u/highest_value
return index - u/lowest_value

def prev(current)
index = current + u/lowest_value
index -= u/interval
index = u/lowest_value if index < u/lowest_value
return index - u/lowest_value

# Main options list (here i just want ot see if i delete write they not there anymore when i open the menu so i discover ithat the code open the normal options menu)
class Window_PokemonOption < Window_DrawableCommand
attr_reader :value_changed


def initialize(options, x, y, width, height)
u/options = options
u/values = []
u/options.length.times { i u/values[i] = 0 }
u/value_changed = false
super(x, y, width, height)

def [](i)
return u/values[i]

def []=(i, value)
u/values[i] = value

def setValueNoRefresh(i, value)
u/values[i] = value

def itemCount
return u/options.length + 1

def drawItem(index, _count, rect)
rect = drawCursor(index, rect)
sel_index = self.index
# Draw option's name
optionname = (index == u/options.length) ? _INTL("Close") : u/options[index].name
optionwidth = rect.width * 9 / 20
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, rect.x, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height, optionname,
(index == sel_index) ? SEL_NAME_BASE_COLOR : self.baseColor,
(index == sel_index) ? SEL_NAME_SHADOW_COLOR : self.shadowColor)
return if index == u/options.length
# Draw 's values
case u/options[index]
when EnumOption
if u/options[index].values.length > 1
totalwidth = 0
u/s[index].values.each do value
totalwidth += self.contents.text_size(value).width
spacing = (rect.width - rect.x - optionwidth - totalwidth) / (@options[index].values.length - 1)
spacing = 0 if spacing < 0
xpos = optionwidth + rect.x
ivalue = 0
u/options[index].values.each do value
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, xpos, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height, value,
(ivalue == self[index]) ? SEL_VALUE_BASE_COLOR : self.baseColor,
(ivalue == self[index]) ? SEL_VALUE_SHADOW_COLOR : self.shadowColor)
xpos += self.contents.text_size(value).width
xpos += spacing
ivalue += 1
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, rect.x + optionwidth, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height,
optionname, self.baseColor, self.shadowColor)
when NumberOption
value = _INTL("Type {1}/{2}", u/options[index].lowest_value + self[index],
u/options[index].highest_value - u/options[index].lowest_value + 1)
xpos = optionwidth + (rect.x * 2)
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, xpos, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height, value,
when SliderOption
value = sprintf(" %d", u/options[index].highest_value)
sliderlength = rect.width - rect.x - optionwidth - self.contents.text_size(value).width
xpos = optionwidth + rect.x
self.contents.fill_rect(xpos, rect.y - 2 + (rect.height / 2), sliderlength, 4, self.baseColor)
xpos + ((sliderlength - 8) * (@options[index].lowest_value + self[index]) / u/options[index].highest_value),
rect.y - 8 + (rect.height / 2),
value = sprintf("%d", u/options[index].lowest_value + self[index])
xpos += (rect.width - rect.x - optionwidth) - self.contents.text_size(value).width
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, xpos, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height, value,
value = u/options[index].values[self[index]]
xpos = optionwidth + rect.x
pbDrawShadowText(self.contents, xpos, rect.y, optionwidth, rect.height, value,

def update
oldindex = self.index
u/value_changed = false
dorefresh = (self.index != oldindex)
if && self.index < u/options.length
if Input.repeat?(Input::LEFT)
self[self.index] = u/s[self.index].prev(self[self.index])
dorefresh = true
u/value_changed = true
elsif Input.repeat?(Input::RIGHT)
self[self.index] = u/options[self.index].next(self[self.index])
dorefresh = true
u/value_changed = true
refresh if dorefresh

# Options main screen
class ConfidentMenu_Scene
attr_reader :sprites
attr_reader :in_load_screen

def pbStartScene(in_load_screen = false)
u/in_load_screen = in_load_screen
# Get all options
u/options = []
u/hashes = []
MenuHandlers.each_available(:options_menu) do option, hash, name
hash["type"].new(name, hash["parameters"], hash["get_proc"], hash["set_proc"])
# Create sprites
u/viewport =, 0, Graphics.width, Graphics.height)
u/viewport.z = 99999
u/sprites = {}
addBackgroundOrColoredPlane(@sprites, "bg", "optionsbg",, 200, 208), u/viewport)
u/sprites["title"] = Window_UnformattedTextPokemon.newWithSize(
_INTL("Options"), 0, -16, Graphics.width, 64, u/viewport
u/sprites["title"].back_opacity = 0
u/sprites["textbox"] = pbCreateMessageWindow
u/sprites["option"] =
u/options, 0, u/sprites["title"].y + u/sprites["title"].height - 16, Graphics.width,
Graphics.height - (@sprites["title"].y + u/sprites["title"].height - 16) - u/sprites["textbox"].height
u/sprites["option"].viewport = u/viewport
u/sprites["option"].visible = true
# Get the values of each option
u/options.length.times { i u/sprites["option"].setValueNoRefresh(i, u/options[i].get 0) }
pbFadeInAndShow(@sprites) { pbUpdate }

def pbChangeSelection
hash = u/hashes[@sprites["option"].index]
# Call selected option's "on_select" proc (if defined)
u/sprites["textbox"].letterbyletter = false
hash["on_select"]&.call(self) if hash
# Set descriptive text
description = ""
if hash
if hash["description"].is_a?(Proc)
description = hash["description"].call
elsif !hash["description"].nil?
description = _INTL(hash["description"])
description = _INTL("Close the screen.")
u/sprites["textbox"].text = description

def pbOptions
pbActivateWindow(@sprites, "option") {
index = -1
loop do
if u/sprites["option"].index != index
index = u/sprites["option"].index
u/options[index].set(@sprites["option"][index], self) if u/sprites["option"].value_changed
if Input.trigger?(Input::BACK)
elsif Input.trigger?(Input::USE)
break if u/sprites["option"].index == u/options.length

def pbEndScene
pbFadeOutAndHide(@sprites) { pbUpdate }
# Set the values of each option, to make sure they're all set
u/options.length.times do i
u/options[i].set(@sprites["option"][i], self)

def pbUpdate

class ConfidentMenuScreen
def initialize(scene)
u/scene = scene

def pbStartScreen(in_load_screen = false)
# Options Menu commands
MenuHandlers.add(:options_menu, :bgm_volume, {
"name" => _INTL("Volume Musica"),
"order" => 10,
"type" => SliderOption,
"parameters" => [0, 100, 5], # [minimum_value, maximum_value, interval]
"description" => _INTL("Cambia il volume della musica in background."),
"get_proc" => proc { next $PokemonSystem.bgmvolume },
"set_proc" => proc { value, scene
next if $PokemonSystem.bgmvolume == value
$PokemonSystem.bgmvolume = value
next if scene.in_load_screen $game_system.playing_bgm.nil?
playingBGM = $game_system.getPlayingBGM

MenuHandlers.add(:options_menu, :se_volume, {
"name" => _INTL("Volume SE"),
"order" => 20,
"type" => SliderOption,
"parameters" => [0, 100, 5], # [minimum_value, maximum_value, interval]
"description" => _INTL("Cambia il volume degli sound effects."),
"get_proc" => proc { next $PokemonSystem.sevolume },
"set_proc" => proc { value, _scene
next if $PokemonSystem.sevolume == value
$PokemonSystem.sevolume = value
if $game_system.playing_bgs
$game_system.playing_bgs.volume = value
playingBGS = $game_system.getPlayingBGS

MenuHandlers.add(:options_menu, :text_speed, {
"name" => _INTL("Velocità di testo"),
"order" => 30,
"type" => EnumOption,
"parameters" => [_INTL("Lento"), _INTL("Normale"), _INTL("Veloce")],
"description" => _INTL("Scegli la velocità con il quale apparirà il testo."),
"on_select" => proc { scene scene.sprites["textbox"].letterbyletter = true },
"get_proc" => proc { next $PokemonSystem.textspeed },
"set_proc" => proc { value, scene
next if value == $PokemonSystem.textspeed
$PokemonSystem.textspeed = value
# Display the message with the selected text speed to gauge it better.
scene.sprites["textbox"].textspeed = MessageConfig.pbGetTextSpeed
scene.sprites["textbox"].letterbyletter = true
scene.sprites["textbox"].text = scene.sprites["textbox"].text
submitted by TickMasterNomekop to PokemonRMXP [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 22:26 carn-barn About the B module...

Hey everyone.
So far I've been using this booster for at least a few days and while I can't say a whole lot yet in terms of changes I can say that I'm really not overly concerned about listening to subliminals as much as I was prior (maybe that's a good thing? I dunno but it seems like it's worth saying)
I've become rather interested in the modules and the B module certainly has caught my attention, but descriptions of it are quite vague. All I know is that it makes a certain topic "easier to obtain" according to the manual. Can this module be explained a bit more or no?
Also, when writing the syntax for the module down, do we put the subliminal name in the B module or the topic? I'm not 100% certain on that.
Thanks in advance.
submitted by carn-barn to TYBL [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 21:04 tejas_o21 Participation Log for Winter Quarter

Hi All,
I have described below all the posts/comments I have done this quarter. Thanks for a very fun quarter and hope to see you all in 2C!
  1. (CS 2A Quest 5)
    1. I asked a question about the pros and cons of implementing Quest 5 miniquest 2 within 15 lines of code, but in a nested loop, compared to more than 15 lines of code, but avoiding nested loops, because that would result in a faster runtime for large inputs of data.
  2. (CS 2B Quest 1)
    1. I reflected on my quest 1 code by describing that I was facing memory bugs while implementing both destructors, which I resolved by only implementing the “Playlist” destructor and leaving the other destructor blank. After asking others for their thoughts, I realized that I had implemented the intended functionality of the “Node” destructor all in the “Playlist” destructor.
  3. (CS 2B Quest 2)
    1. I gave my thoughts on this quest’s implementation of the cache because unlike other memoization/dynamic programming problems I’ve done before, the quest expected me to clear the cache quite often. I felt that clearing the cache too much resulted in recomputing some states again, which reduced the runtime but saved more memory.
  4. (CS 2B Quest 4)
    1. I was struggling with the equality operator for the Tree class, so I asked for some help. I particularly got confused between comparing pointers and references because I was comparing the pointers of the two trees, instead of the references.
  5. (CS 2B Quest 6)
    1. I asked a question regarding why we use the size_t datatype because in this quest, I had to do a lot of typecasting to doubles in order to compute the slopes and coordinates of the lines.
  6. (CS 2B Quest 7)
    1. I asked a question to spark a discussion about why the quest makes us implement a queue using a circular array structure instead of a linked list. I had initially believed a linked list was much easier to implement and would run faster because there would be no need to resize; however, based on the comments, it seems all of the other operations on a linked list are much slower.
  1. (CS 2A Quest 4)
    1. I helped a student who was unsure of how to format the doubles correctly by referring them to the Loceff module that explains formatting doubles and strings in c++.
  2. (General Questing)
    1. I answered Radina’s question about the possible reasons her quest was not immediately showing up on the trophy website. I told her to double check her header file because she may have not formatted the student ID correctly.
  3. (CS 2B Quest 2)
    1. One student was having a hard time correctly implementing the get_moves method. I gave them a hint by advising them to not return a global variable and instead return what the recursive call itself returns.
  4. (CS 2B Quest 4->under my post)
    1. I explained to Max (the person who helped me) how I fixed my bugs and what my realizations were. I described changing my code from comparing two pointers to comparing two references so that the Tree comparisons would work.
  5. (CS 2B Quest 4)
    1. I clarified a question that Andrew had regarding the specs of quest 4. I gave him an example to convey what the spec was saying regarding the order of the children and siblings being the same.
  6. (CS 2B Quest 7)
    1. Ryan believed that his constructor was not working. However, I hinted to him that since his constructor code looked perfectly fine, he should make sure he implemented “is_empty()” properly and to check the correctness of his enqueue/dequeue methods.
  7. (General Programming Concept)
    1. I explained to Ryan where I learned about the “big-oh” time complexity concept and that we will learn more about it in 2C as well. In addition, I gave him some ideas for finding online videos that explain the concept.
  8. (General Programming Concept)
    1. I added to Mark’s comment regarding the “this” keyword by explaining a case where the “this” keyword is required in a member function when both the local and instance variables have the exact same name. The “this” keyword tells the compiler that we are using the instance variable instead of the local variable in the function.
  9. (Quest 8)
    1. I added to Mark’s comment by explaining when we should use c-strings vs. when we should use c++ strings.
  10. (Quest 7) I added to Mark’s comment by describing another pro of using a queue of size n+1 instead of size n, which is that it makes computing the number of elements in the queue much easier to implement.
submitted by tejas_o21 to cs2b [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 20:39 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 2

[<< First] [< Previous] [Next >]

Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.

Chapter 2: Princess's Gardening Tool
I was never a particularly agreeable student. Although I had no qualms about education, I did not take to my studies with the righteous zeal that my siblings did. Indeed, where they refined their command of mannerisms and mathematics, or the sword and the lance, I took to advancing my scholastic studies of best selling romance fiction beneath the orchard trees.
This was, of course, not a vain pursuit. The fact that my private studies often ate into my official lessons was not an indictment against my willingness to learn. Quite the opposite.
I was a cultural pioneer. A royal ambassador.
Learning what poorly written and shameless drivel the masses enjoyed was a necessary part to bridging the gap between us and the people. Who were we to lead this kingdom, if we didn't know those who resided in it? How could we claim to speak on behalf of the citizenry, if we weren't even aware of what each of the top selling romance titles for the past two years were?
No … Juliette Contzen will not have it! As a princess of this fair land, I must represent the interests of those who sweat, bleed, and read in it!
That is how I came to spend much of my time beneath the canopy of the orchard, with only the unwelcome company of the spring rain, the winter snow, the autumn leaves and the summer insects to disturb my cultural advancement.
At least until I learned to shoo them away.
Fortunately, swords were remarkably flexible! I had no inkling on how to fight, but at least I could keep my hair clear of anything nature threw at it now!
With no attendants and no umbrellas to shield me, I'd become adept at ensuring my own peaceful reading time. And that was considerably more useful than anything the master-at-arms could have taught me. When would I ever need to defend myself against more than a raindrop?
It was a pleasant arrangement for me that had never backfired. Until now.
Because currently—
I was facing a man wielding a drawn sword, who soundly bested me in age, strength, experience, and enthusiasm.
Now, at this moment of time, I could almost recount every word of instruction ever delivered to me by my myriad of tutors. And none of it concerned how to utilise a sword as an actual weapon.
And that included assuming a fighting pose.
“Princess, please ready yourself. No matter how keen your movement, it'd be better to minimise any chance of injury. I wouldn't want you to accidentally slip and fall while I tested your reflexes.”
The man stood with one foot before the other, partially side-on, and with a blade that was broader than my rapier, but still only required one hand to wield.
I, meanwhile—
Had no idea what I was doing.
I held my sword out uncertainly, first mimicking his stance, then trying to recall the poses of the knights as they sparred in the courtyard. Feeling every pose as awkward as my first dance, I twisted and turned until I simply opted to face my opponent head-on with my back straight.
It drew an immediate look of astonishment from my assessor.
“P-Princess? Is that your guard stance?”
“W-Why, of course! Why shouldn't it be?”
Even though neither he nor I should have any illusions regarding my swordsmanship, my pride still demanded that I slap on a smile of trained confidence. My opposite number was immediately silenced.
That's right … I was no swordswoman. But I was a princess. And while I wasn't accustomed to the field of combat, I was well-versed in the field of court.
When facing an opponent mightier than yourself, appear bigger than you are!
I will make myself as large as possible, without displaying any signs of flinching. Like a boulder wedged in the sand, I must make myself as unmovable as the kingdom itself! Face front. Hands and feet together. Chin high. As princess, I must never turn.
Holding my rapier flat across the bottom of my dress, I waited as I would if this were an official function.
And now having smiled as my answer, it was this man's turn to proceed with this bizarre exercise.
“I … I see. I'd heard that the royal fencing style employed by the house guards of this kingdom was unique. Of course, it'd make sense if the royal family also used it.”
My heart was filled with regret.
“T-That's … that is not untrue, however, I am not well-versed in that style of fencing. Please do not assume that what you'll witness is evidence of our kingdom's martial prowess.”
If this was charity, then I wished to be miserly.
Surely, there were easier ways to suffer this person's fancies than to tarnish the skill of our knights?
“Is that so? All the more exciting, then!”
Suddenly, the smile relaxed, and then faded altogether.
I was now looking at a man whose eyes were focused wholly on mine. And yet I could almost see the reflection of my sword in them.
“Are you ready?”
He took a step forwards.
Wait, I wanted to ask.
Did this man assume I knew what a swordsmanship grading was? Even if I had never undertaken one? I'd gleaned that it involved some sort of contact between our weapons, but in no world did I assume it to involve an actual duel. Did he not want to test my reflexes? Ask how I struck a dummy? Perform a spinning trick?
“Then … we begin!”
I wasn't ready!
To my umpteenth moment of horror in this one conversation alone, I could only widen my eyes at the sight of a fully grown man rushing towards me with his weapon drawn.
This … This was preposterous! What was I to do? I didn't know how to correctly parry a blade, or sidestep a strike, or dodge a lunging attack. This was clearly beyond the remit of what I'd envisioned.
It was a duel!
… Maybe?
I blinked.
And then I realised … it wasn't.
At least, not a duel like what I witnessed when the knights sparred in the courtyard or the guards trained in mock fights. Those engagements were so frantic and fast. A feast of moving steel and vicious charges.
It was nothing like how this man was slowly bearing down upon me.
As though weighed down by an hourglass dictating the pace of his every movement, he slowly angled his blade as he reached me, then slowly, oh so slowly, as though feeding a child with a spoon, he directed his sword towards my shoulder.
So very slow!
Abject confusion took hold of me for a moment as I considered what this trickle in movement was supposed to glean from me. Surely, no swordsman would ever be tested by such an impractical attack?
Understanding struck faster than the blade did.
Ah, of course! He was grading my response, but that surely entailed evaluating me from the lowest possible grade upwards. That meant a slow, imprecise strike. Something even an unwieldy amateur such as myself could easily defend against.
I duly accepted the adventurer's professionalism. With all the time in the world, I swept up my sword and batted away his blade as easily as I did a drifting leaf.
As soon as the blade was redirected, it was as if the hourglass had emptied.
The man immediately twisted away, reversed his momentum and skipped a step back, somehow separating us by more distance than when he'd began moving towards me.
“S-Sensational!” he said, the whites of his eyes clear as he stared at me. “I didn't know if your rain dance would translate to combat ability, but you redirected that strike by using the weight behind my own thrust against me!”
I blinked.
“Excuse me?”
“... Ah, I see. Your completely open stance was designed to feign unpreparedness. You invited me to strike at a part of your body I deemed to be far from your guard. Instead, you were prepared to deflect what you knew to be an opportunistic strike carried with pace. If I didn't suspect something was amiss, you would have driven up your blade clean through my exposed arm … if this weren't a mere grading, that is.”
The man smiled. The expression he wore was of admiration and embarrassment.
I responded with overwhelming confusion. I had no idea what he was referring to. In fact, I wasn't even sure if he was speaking to me, despite the fact there was assuredly nobody else around us.
What was this about redirecting his weight? Didn't he hand me his attack on a silver platter? Was he being overly kind?
I … I had no idea!
However, he most certainly seemed satisfied!
In the end, wasn't that all that mattered?
“Oh … Ohhhhoho!” Understanding nothing, I defaulted to smiling brilliantly. “Of course! One must strike as true with a blade as with words! As a member of royalty, I cannot disgrace my forebears by lacking in the oldest art—that of war!”
“Indeed, I look forward to assessing the rest of your abilities, Princess!”
“Then, let us proceed once more. Ready?”
“W-Wait, I—”
“On your guard, Princess!”
Once again, this strange man, now brimming with enthusiasm, pushed off his back foot and lunged with unerring intent towards me.
Why did he ask if I was ready if he wasn't going to listen?!
My jaw dropped open at the sheer audaciousness of this person. Not only was he monopolising my precious time with casual disregard, but he didn't even have the basic courtesy to await my stream of protests!
And to top it off … he wasn't even trying!
It was as though I could hear a clock grinding to a halt.
The moment he leapt forwards, I knew he was leaving enough room for me to not only evade his attack, but to write up a list of all the ingredients I wished to be prohibited from dinner. No, Mother, I do not care one whit how nutritious carrots are. If beauty pageants existed for vegetables, then carrots wouldn't be last—they'd be disqualified from entering. How could something so twisted and gnarly be permitted on a plate when looking so similar to a witch's appendages? If I could, I'd choose to be boiled in their stead than suffer the violent assault against my eyes. But how was I to convince the kitchen to oppose my mother's wishes? Perhaps an underhanded approach was needed. Bribery if possible. Coercion if not. Indeed, it wasn't only in the volumes of A Court Lady's Indiscretion that scandal and infidelity existed. Me and my bathroom breaks knew of your midnight trysts, Head Chef!
Oh, wait.
There was a sword approaching me, wasn't there?
With my thoughts swimming in my head regarding my carrot issue, I took a step to the side. The sword passed me by as it harmlessly pierced the air. Its wielder made a show of catching himself, as though having thrust with enough pace that the lack of any impact had thrown his body off-balance.
The man didn't bother retreating this time. He was instead overcome with his widest smile yet, all the while awkwardly finding his footing.
I watched the theatrics with puzzlement.
And then—it suddenly became clear.
But of course, for a seasoned swordsman, moving slowly was likely as unnatural as moving swiftly. I suppose I had to offer some acknowledgement. It took a certain level of discipline to balance himself so keenly.
“Once again, you lured me into an attack. Yet this time, you saw through my feint and opted not to parry, but instead manoeuvre to seize the positional advantage by using my own momentum against me. It was a beautifully timed turn, Princess. Indeed, I was about to stop my strike when I realised I already had nought but your shadow before me. Without clashing blades, I went from attacker to defender. Had this been real, I expect your sword would have cut clean through my back.”
I blinked repeatedly.
Did he feint? When? He was moving so slowly that everything seemed to be one continual action. All I did was step away when he'd eventually moved a little closer!
“Oh … hohoh … ho … ! O-Of course … to see through falsehoods is as vital in swordplay as it is in diplomacy. This is one of the core teachings of … um … the secret royal fencing style to which I employ!”
“... Incredible. To have such insight at your age is a great achievement. It's not enough to be taught. You also need to listen. Your teacher must be proud.”
The last time I saw my teacher, she'd queried to my mother the legality of hitting my head with a textbook as a way of imparting knowledge.
Incidentally, I'm not sure how my mother replied. Only that I recently saw my teacher stalking the grounds with a heavy volume in her hands, and that it was even outside her usual working hours.
“Y-Yes … well, being studious is more than a matter of attendance. It's a state of mind.”
“I agree, Princess! And with that, I think I already have a thorough understanding of your swordsmanship abilities!”
“Is … Is that so? Most excellent! Then, let us call this exercise to a close and proceed henceforth with our day. I happen to be quite busy, you see. As a princess, my itinerary is relentless.”
The man had the grace to lower his head in understanding. Relief washed over me. At this rate, I'd still be able to pore through the novel waiting in the shrubs before I was summoned to dinner.
“I see. Then I will not waste your time any further. It's clear that you're more attuned to the sword than any student I've graded.”
“Why, but of course! The sword I carry represents my family's will to defend this kingdom with our own blood. I would never disgrace it.”
“Indeed, I see a warrior's determination in your eyes! In that case, how you respond to my signature technique should be all that's required to determine your true standing as a sword maiden.”
I tilted my head, smiling in puzzlement.
How strange. My experience of conversation to date was that the next words should have been partings and farewells, and possibly a proclamation of eternal subservience.
And yet by the way this strange man was now retreating to take his place opposite me, it was apparent that he knew no limits to being a nuisance.
With the apple tree as our backdrop, he assumed a bizarre stance, sword lifted over his shoulder, and with both hands on the hilt.
The smile on his face vanished. Only the fire in his eyes remained, the light dimming to be replaced by a cold gleam.
“It looks like I need to apologise again, Princess. Even though I wanted to grade you, it seems I still wasn't taking your examination seriously enough.”
I looked on with deep concern as a bead of sweat ran down his brow.
Was this commoner so out of shape that two swings with his sword was enough to tire him? Had I inadvertently allowed myself to be cajoled into a mock exercise with a complete novice?
“Um … Mr. Oddwell, although I agreed to participate in this examination, I really must insist that this draw to a close. My time is valuable and I've pressing matters of state to attend to. I would prefer that this end.”
The man nodded. His hands gripped tighter around his sword hilt.
“Understood! Your wish is my command, Princess.”
The next thing I knew, a circle of dark flames had suddenly erupted from beneath the man's feet.
I looked on, utterly aghast, as the beautiful grass withered within the circle. A powerful wind that hadn't been present before now fell across the man's figure, his hair and travelling clothes rippling as he fought against an invisible tornado.
Emptiness. Infinity. Void. I am the hollow vessel of judgement. Let my blade sever lies from shadows and discern truth from blinding light.”
What a truly frightful aura he was emitting!
And those words? How did he do that? His voice sounded so strange, almost as though it was an echo within a deep cavern.
As the dark flames danced around him, some of it congregated around his sword. It seeped like a heavy mist to the tip of the blade, before wrapping around the remaining length of the steel. In moments, his weapon had the appearance of a flaming dark brand.
Naturally, I had only one reaction to such a spectacle.
“Ooh ...”
I nodded fervently.
True, this entire charade had been both deeply confusing and slightly irksome, but I was never one to shy away from appreciating the circus tricks of our hired entertainers.
Blazing Adjudicator Form, 5th Stance ... [Abyssal Horizon]!”
The man leapt.
However, what I believed to be a small explosion of grass and earth as he pushed off the ground must have been a trick of the eye, as he barrelled towards me at the pace of a dying snail.
For my part, I admired the visual spectacle of the flames engulfing his sword as he painstakingly made his way towards me. I'd seen jugglers handling flaming torches, but flames on a sword, and dark ones at that, was entirely new to me.
Added acknowledgement needed to be given for the spontaneous sweat running down the man's face.
It was quite the circus trick.
I considered what to do. Obviously, he would never use an actual sword technique against me. Such a thought was preposterous. I was a princess and despite his proclamations, it was clear he had no intention of actually testing my non-existent swordsmanship.
Indeed … perhaps he wasn't so tactless, after all?
Had he correctly gleaned that my skills were bluster? Was this spectacular attack the final gift from which I could excuse myself with heaps of shallow praise in my wake?
My, how unexpectedly refined!
If that's how it is … then I should properly respond to his heartfelt act of politeness!
Now, what was that silly thing I sometimes said when tending to the roses?
“Very well! I understand your intent. A-Ahem. Annoying thorns begone. Gardening Form. Uh, 3rd Stance … maybe? Anyway, [Rose Thorn Clipper]!”
I swept my sword upwards.
In that moment—my sword emitted a dazzling burst of white light.
So much so, that for a moment, Starlight Grace truly did live up to its name.
Either stunned or simply blinded by the burst of light, the man charging towards me faltered and blinked. I was also mesmerised. No doubt this brilliant glow was a point of my sword's craftsmanship. How strange. I'd never swung it with this much force before. Was that the catalyst for its unusual light?
In any event, it was a meticulous display of calculated luck on my part! With my supreme lack of skill, I'd actually misjudged the swing of my sword in my enthusiasm to respond to his colourful attack.
When the man's eyes opened again, it was to the sight of his only flaming weapon falling from his hands.
No, not quite falling … spinning. And wildly, at that.
“I can't … what was … ?”
Halting dead in his tracks, the man looked wide-eyed as the sword he'd imbued with so much passion went flying out of his hands as if he'd received a blow many times his strength was able to endure.
Yet there'd been no impact. No clash of wills. No mighty clang of steel.
It was, to be frank, slightly embarrassing.
Here was a self-professed swordsman, and yet he'd been so alarmed by a gleam of light that he'd violently tossed his own sword aside!
“M-My! I suppose some of the rumours may be true, after all. Could this sword truly be forged from the stars … ?”
I immediately went to consolation mode.
For a man who obviously would never have struck me, it was a rather undignified way to lose his weapon. True, the dazzling light was underhanded, but it was surely no reason to let your own weapon be cast to the wayside!
Shorn of his weapon and his senses, the man stared open-mouthed at the patch of grass that now housed his sword.
I looked between my sword, still radiant even with a dimming glow, and the man's shocked appearance. And though I was always keen to promote my noble character in the eyes of the masses, I was too overcome with pity to boast about the strength I didn't possess.
Those feelings of pity swiftly became something else.
Because the next moment … the man began to laugh.
“Heh … hehe … ahahah!”
Shaking disturbingly on the spot, the man dropped to his hands and knees, then continued to laugh towards the ground that was inches beneath his face.
“A-Amazing! To think that my strongest attack could be so easily fended off! You didn't even think to match it, but instead, simply chose to disarm me! Truly, this is what my teacher meant by fighting with my head instead of my heart!”
I took a few panicked steps away as the man proceeded to either laugh or bawl into the grass once more.
“I … I understand now!” he said, his voice both a cry and a song. “Oh, why wasn't it this obvious before? It's so clear. The way forward is as open to me now as the first day I ever held a sword. This is … This is freedom! That dazzling light did more to open my eyes than all those years of sweat ever did! I. Feel. Free!!”
“I-I see … well, that's marvellous ...”
Seeing the odd man doubled over, I made a dash for the shrubs. I grabbed my book, leaves and all, then immediately hurried away from the scene. The shortcake I abandoned with a pang in my heart, unable to carry so much as I fled.
His voice became fainter as I quickened my footsteps. And I knew that even if I'd stayed to lend my ear to whatever epiphany this bizarre exchange had afforded him, I wouldn't have missed out.
“Ahaha … hahah … ahaha … hahahah … ahahaha!”
As the cackling only became more frenzied, I made myself scarce while hugging both my sword and my book to my chest. My mind was torn between asking for the guards or a physician, but after the laughs could still be heard even after the man's kneeling figure no longer could be seen, I opted for the wiser option.
I shook my head, then forced the memory far, far away.
“Commoners … it's as though we speak a different language … how frightening ...”
However, no sooner did I stop myself from shuddering did I realise that for all my effort, I didn't get to ask what grade I was.
I paused, half-turned my heel, then shrugged and continued forwards.
Oh well. It can't have been high.

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submitted by kayenano to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 20:01 the-jedi i really need some advice on what im doing wrong

so i built what id like to say is a very capable PC. however, when i stream nevec H.264 it works but definitely doesn't look like its 60fps which i have set in the settings. when i use HEVC the stream is just straight up choppy and doesnt work. i think i grabbed the log you guys ask for but if its not the right thing just let me know and i will get whatever helps

14:35:48.426: CPU Name: 13th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-13700K
14:35:48.426: CPU Speed: 3418MHz
14:35:48.426: Physical Cores: 16, Logical Cores: 24
14:35:48.426: Physical Memory: 32547MB Total, 23527MB Free
14:35:48.426: Windows Version: 10.0 Build 22621 (release: 22H2; revision: 1413; 64-bit)
14:35:48.427: Running as administrator: false
14:35:48.427: Windows 10/11 Gaming Features:
14:35:48.427: Game Bar: On
14:35:48.427: Game DVR: On
14:35:48.427: Game DVR Background Recording: Off
14:35:48.427: Game Mode: Probably On (no reg key set)
14:35:48.427: Hardware GPU Scheduler: Probably On (no reg key set)
14:35:48.428: Sec. Software Status:
14:35:48.428: Microsoft Defender Antivirus: enabled (AV)
14:35:48.428: Windows Firewall: enabled (FW)
14:35:48.429: Current Date/Time: 2023-03-24, 14:35:48
14:35:48.429: Browser Hardware Acceleration: true
14:35:48.429: Hide OBS windows from screen capture: false
14:35:48.429: Qt Version: 6.3.1 (runtime), 6.3.1 (compiled)
14:35:48.429: Portable mode: false
14:35:48.523: OBS 29.0.2 (64-bit, windows)
14:35:48.523: ---------------------------------
14:35:48.546: ---------------------------------
14:35:48.546: audio settings reset:
14:35:48.546: samples per sec: 48000
14:35:48.546: speakers: 2
14:35:48.546: max buffering: 960 milliseconds
14:35:48.546: buffering type: dynamically increasing
14:35:48.547: ---------------------------------
14:35:48.547: Initializing D3D11...
14:35:48.547: Available Video Adapters:
14:35:48.548: Adapter 0: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
14:35:48.548: Dedicated VRAM: 4003463168
14:35:48.548: Shared VRAM: 4179107840
14:35:48.548: PCI ID: 10de:2782
14:35:48.548: Driver Version:
14:35:48.548: output 0:
14:35:48.548: name=SONY TV *30
14:35:48.548: pos={0, 0}
14:35:48.548: size={3840, 2160}
14:35:48.548: attached=true
14:35:48.548: refresh=120
14:35:48.548: bits_per_color=10
14:35:48.548: space=RGB_FULL_G2084_NONE_P2020
14:35:48.548: sdr_white_nits=240
14:35:48.548: nit_range=[min=0.068600, max=1744.832153, max_full_frame=1744.832153]
14:35:48.548: Adapter 1: Intel(R) UHD Graphics
14:35:48.548: Dedicated VRAM: 134217728
14:35:48.548: Shared VRAM: 4179107840
14:35:48.548: PCI ID: 8086:a780
14:35:48.549: Driver Version:
14:35:48.549: Loading up D3D11 on adapter NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti (0)
14:35:48.597: D3D11 loaded successfully, feature level used: b000
14:35:48.597: DXGI increase maximum frame latency success
14:35:48.597: D3D11 GPU priority setup failed (not admin?)
14:35:49.334: ---------------------------------
14:35:49.334: video settings reset:
14:35:49.334: base resolution: 3840x2160
14:35:49.334: output resolution: 3840x2160
14:35:49.334: downscale filter: Bicubic
14:35:49.334: fps: 60/1
14:35:49.334: format: NV12
14:35:49.334: YUV mode: Rec. 709/Partial
14:35:49.334: NV12 texture support enabled
14:35:49.334: P010 texture support not available
14:35:49.336: Audio monitoring device:
14:35:49.336: name: Default
14:35:49.336: id: default
14:35:49.336: ---------------------------------
14:35:49.339: No AJA devices found, skipping loading AJA UI plugin
14:35:49.339: Failed to initialize module 'aja-output-ui.dll'
14:35:49.340: No AJA devices found, skipping loading AJA plugin
14:35:49.340: Failed to initialize module 'aja.dll'
14:35:49.340: Skipping module '../../obs-plugins/64bit/chrome_elf.dll', not an OBS plugin
14:35:49.341: [CoreAudio encoder]: CoreAudio AAC encoder not installed on the system or couldn't be loaded
14:35:49.341: Failed to load 'en-US' text for module: 'decklink-captions.dll'
14:35:49.342: Failed to load 'en-US' text for module: 'decklink-output-ui.dll'
14:35:49.343: A DeckLink iterator could not be created. The DeckLink drivers may not be installed
14:35:49.343: Failed to initialize module 'decklink.dll'
14:35:49.356: [AMF] Unable to load 'amfrt64.dll', error code 126.
14:35:49.357: [AMF] AMF Test failed due to one or more errors.
14:35:49.357: Failed to initialize module 'enc-amf.dll'
14:35:49.362: Skipping module '../../obs-plugins/64bit/libcef.dll', not an OBS plugin
14:35:49.362: Skipping module '../../obs-plugins/64bit/libEGL.dll', not an OBS plugin
14:35:49.362: Skipping module '../../obs-plugins/64bit/libGLESv2.dll', not an OBS plugin
14:35:49.368: [obs-browser]: Version 2.19.0
14:35:49.368: [obs-browser]: CEF Version 103.0.5060.134 (runtime), 103.0.0-5060-shared-textures.2591+g4204d54+chromium-103.0.5060.134 (compiled)
14:35:49.369: NVENC supported
14:35:49.966: [noise suppress]: NVIDIA denoiser disabled, redistributable not found or could not be loaded.
14:35:49.966: Failed to get NVVideoEffects.dll version info size
14:35:49.966: [NVIDIA VIDEO FX]: FX disabled, redistributable not found or could not be loaded.
14:35:50.315: [obs-websocket] [obs_module_load] you can haz websockets (Version: 5.1.0 RPC Version: 1)
14:35:50.315: [obs-websocket] [obs_module_load] Qt version (compile-time): 6.3.1 Qt version (run-time): 6.3.1
14:35:50.315: [obs-websocket] [obs_module_load] Linked ASIO Version: 101201
14:35:50.320: [obs-websocket] [obs_module_load] Module loaded.
14:35:50.322: [vlc-video]: Couldn't find VLC installation, VLC video source disabled
14:35:50.326: ---------------------------------
14:35:50.326: Loaded Modules:
14:35:50.326: win-wasapi.dll
14:35:50.326: win-mf.dll
14:35:50.326: win-dshow.dll
14:35:50.326: win-capture.dll
14:35:50.326: vlc-video.dll
14:35:50.326: text-freetype2.dll
14:35:50.326: rtmp-services.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-x264.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-websocket.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-vst.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-transitions.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-text.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-qsv11.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-outputs.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-filters.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-ffmpeg.dll
14:35:50.326: obs-browser.dll
14:35:50.326: image-source.dll
14:35:50.326: frontend-tools.dll
14:35:50.326: decklink-output-ui.dll
14:35:50.326: decklink-captions.dll
14:35:50.326: coreaudio-encoder.dll
14:35:50.326: ---------------------------------
14:35:50.326: ==== Startup complete ===============================================
14:35:50.360: All scene data cleared
14:35:50.360: ------------------------------------------------
14:35:50.369: [win-wasapi: 'Desktop Audio'] update settings:
14:35:50.369: device id: default
14:35:50.369: use device timing: 1
14:35:50.371: [Loaded global audio device]: 'Desktop Audio'
14:35:50.371: [win-wasapi: 'Mic/Aux'] update settings:
14:35:50.371: device id: default
14:35:50.371: use device timing: 0
14:35:50.371: [Loaded global audio device]: 'Mic/Aux'
14:35:50.372: [duplicator-monitor-capture: 'X90J'] update settings:
14:35:50.372: display: SONY TV *30 (3840x2160)
14:35:50.372: cursor: false
14:35:50.372: method: DXGI
14:35:50.373: Switched to scene 'Scene'
14:35:50.373: ------------------------------------------------
14:35:50.373: Loaded scenes:
14:35:50.373: - scene 'Scene':
14:35:50.373: - source: 'X90J' (monitor_capture)
14:35:50.373: - source: 'KIYO PRO & QUADCAST S' (dshow_input)
14:35:50.373: - source: '$Jedtgill' (text_gdiplus_v2)
14:35:50.373: ------------------------------------------------
14:35:50.381: WASAPI: Device 'Microphone (2- Arctis Nova Pro Wireless)' [48000 Hz] initialized
14:35:50.387: WASAPI: Device 'SONY TV *30 (NVIDIA High Definition Audio)' [48000 Hz] initialized
14:35:50.420: ---------------------------------
14:35:50.420: [DShow Device: 'KIYO PRO & QUADCAST S'] settings updated:
14:35:50.420: video device: USB Video Device
14:35:50.420: video path: \\?\usb#vid_1532&pid_0e05&mi_00#9&6d9c1b8&0&0000#{65e8773d-8f56-11d0-a3b9-00a0c9223196}\global
14:35:50.420: resolution: 1920x1080
14:35:50.420: flip: 0
14:35:50.420: fps: 60.00 (interval: 166666)
14:35:50.420: format: MJPEG
14:35:50.420: buffering: disabled
14:35:50.420: hardware decode: enabled
14:35:50.425: adding 42 milliseconds of audio buffering, total audio buffering is now 42 milliseconds (source: Mic/Aux)
14:35:50.434: using video device audio: no
14:35:50.434: audio device: Microphone (HyperX QuadCast S)
14:35:50.434: sample rate: 44100
14:35:50.434: channels: 2
14:35:50.434: audio type: Capture
14:42:06.898: Starting stream due to hotkey
14:42:06.942: [jim-nvenc: 'simple_video_stream'] settings:
14:42:06.942: codec: HEVC
14:42:06.942: rate_control: CBR
14:42:06.942: bitrate: 40000
14:42:06.942: cqp: 20
14:42:06.942: keyint: 120
14:42:06.942: preset: p5
14:42:06.942: tuning: hq
14:42:06.942: multipass: qres
14:42:06.942: profile: main
14:42:06.942: width: 3840
14:42:06.942: height: 2160
14:42:06.942: b-frames: 2
14:42:06.942: lookahead: false
14:42:06.942: psycho_aq: true
14:42:06.992: ---------------------------------
14:42:06.992: [FFmpeg aac encoder: 'simple_aac'] bitrate: 160, channels: 2, channel_layout: stereo
14:42:06.993: [ffmpeg muxer: 'simple_stream'] Using muxer settings:
14:42:06.993: method=PUT
14:42:06.993: http_persistent=1
14:42:06.993: ignore_io_errors=1
14:42:06.993: http_user_agent=libobs/29.0.1
14:42:06.993: hls_time=2
14:42:07.001: ==== Streaming Start ===============================================
14:42:07.001: [ffmpeg hls muxer: 'simple_stream'] Writing to path '{stream_key}©=0&file=out.m3u8'...
14:45:20.280: Stopping stream due to hotkey
14:45:21.379: [ffmpeg muxer: 'simple_stream'] Output of file '{stream_key}©=0&file=out.m3u8' stopped
14:45:21.379: Output 'simple_stream': stopping
14:45:21.379: Output 'simple_stream': Total frames output: 5194 (11598 attempted)
14:45:21.379: Output 'simple_stream': Total drawn frames: 11663
14:45:21.379: Output 'simple_stream': Number of dropped frames due to insufficient bandwidth/connection stalls: 6404 (55.2%)
14:45:21.381: ==== Streaming Stop ================================================
14:45:21.443: warning: 2 frames left in the queue on closing
submitted by the-jedi to obs [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:50 Azul_Profundo Collab with a custom model

I made a custom analog-diffusion model with dreambooth on google colab and althought I got it to generate images locally my machine is terrible and I was looking for a notebook for running my model online
I've tried TheLastBen's webui notebook but it never generates any link
Warning: Taming Transformers not found at path /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stablediffusion/src/taming-transformers/taming Warning: CodeFormer not found at path /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stablediffusion/src/ Warning: BLIP not found at path /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stablediffusion/src/blip/models/ Warning: k_diffusion not found at path /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stablediffusion/src/k-diffusion/k_diffusion/ /uslocal/lib/python3.9/dist-packages/basicsmetrics/ DeprecationWarning: Please use `convolve` from the `scipy.ndimage` namespace, the `scipy.ndimage.filters` namespace is deprecated. from scipy.ndimage.filters import convolve /uslocal/lib/python3.9/dist-packages/transformers/models/t5/ DeprecationWarning: invalid escape sequence \d set(filter(lambda x: bool("", x)) is not None, self.additional_special_tokens)) /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/ DeprecationWarning: invalid escape sequence \( re_hypernet_hash = re.compile("\(([0-9a-f]+)\)$") /uslocal/lib/python3.9/dist-packages/pytorch_lightning/ DeprecationWarning: Deprecated call to `pkg_resources.declare_namespace('pytorch_lightning')`. Implementing implicit namespace packages (as specified in PEP 420) is preferred to `pkg_resources.declare_namespace`. See __import__("pkg_resources").declare_namespace(__name__) /uslocal/lib/python3.9/dist-packages/fonts/ DeprecationWarning: Deprecated call to `pkg_resources.declare_namespace('fonts')`. Implementing implicit namespace packages (as specified in PEP 420) is preferred to `pkg_resources.declare_namespace`. See pkg_resources.declare_namespace(__name__) /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/ DeprecationWarning: invalid escape sequence \( """ /content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/models/diffusion/uni_pc/ DeprecationWarning: invalid escape sequence \h """Create a wrapper class for the forward SDE (VP type). Traceback (most recent call last): File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/", line 29, in  from modules import extra_networks_hypernet, ui_extra_networks_hypernets, ui_extra_networks_textual_inversion File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 2, in  from modules.hypernetworks import hypernetwork File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/hypernetworks/", line 15, in  from modules import devices, processing, sd_models, shared, sd_samplers, hashes, sd_hijack_checkpoint File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 15, in  import modules.sd_hijack File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 5, in  import modules.textual_inversion.textual_inversion File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/textual_inversion/", line 18, in  from modules import shared, devices, sd_hijack, processing, sd_models, images, sd_samplers, sd_hijack_checkpoint File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 21, in  from modules import sd_samplers, shared, script_callbacks, errors File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 1, in  from modules import sd_samplers_compvis, sd_samplers_kdiffusion, shared File "/content/gdrive/MyDrive/sd/stable-diffusion-webui/modules/", line 5, in  import k_diffusion.sampling ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'k_diffusion' 

submitted by Azul_Profundo to StableDiffusion [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:44 PaulKelly100 Had a chat about legal cases and Netlist with ChatGPT

📷📷What do you know about legal cases?
As an AI language model, I have been trained on a vast amount of text data, including legal cases and legal documents. I can assist with a range of legal topics, including but not limited to:
  1. Understanding legal terminology and jargon
  2. Providing information on legal procedures and processes
  3. Answering questions about different areas of law, such as contract law, intellectual property law, and tort law
  4. Providing insights into the legal implications of various actions and decisions
  5. Researching legal cases and precedents to support legal arguments or provide context for legal issues
  6. Assisting with legal drafting, such as contracts or legal briefs.
However, as an AI language model, I am not a licensed attorney and cannot provide legal advice. It's important to consult with a licensed attorney for any legal advice or representation.

📷📷What can you tell me about the Netlist patent infringement case?
The Netlist patent infringement case refers to a series of lawsuits filed by Netlist, a California-based manufacturer of memory subsystems, against several companies in the semiconductor industry, including SanDisk, Google, and SK Hynix, among others.
The lawsuits allege that the defendants have infringed on Netlist's patents related to memory subsystems and server memory modules. Specifically, Netlist claims that the defendants have used its patented technologies without permission or proper licensing.
The lawsuits have been ongoing since 2016, with several legal battles and appeals in various courts, including the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In 2019, the ITC issued a final ruling that found that SanDisk, SK Hynix, and other defendants had violated Netlist's patents and banned the importation and sale of certain products that use the infringing technology.
However, the lawsuits are still ongoing, with the defendants continuing to appeal the rulings and Netlist continuing to pursue damages and licensing fees. The Netlist patent infringement case is an example of the complex and lengthy nature of patent litigation in the technology industry.

📷📷What "other defendants" had violated Netlists patents in the 2019 case?
In the 2019 case before the International Trade Commission (ITC), Netlist accused several companies in the semiconductor industry of infringing on its patents related to memory subsystems and server memory modules. The ITC found that SanDisk and SK Hynix had violated Netlist's patents and banned the importation and sale of certain products that used the infringing technology.
In addition to SanDisk and SK Hynix, other defendants in the case included:
These companies were all accused of using Netlist's patented technologies without permission or proper licensing. However, the ITC's final ruling found that only SanDisk and SK Hynix had violated Netlist's patents, while the other defendants were cleared of any wrongdoing.

📷📷For the 2019 case, what patents were infringed on?
In the 2019 case before the International Trade Commission (ITC), Netlist accused SanDisk, SK Hynix, and other companies of infringing on its patents related to server memory modules.
Specifically, Netlist alleged that the defendants had infringed on several of its patents, including U.S. Patent Nos. 9,606,907, 9,535,623, 9,432,635, 9,692,742, and 10,058,122. These patents cover various aspects of memory subsystems and server memory modules, including techniques for improving memory access times, reducing power consumption, and improving reliability.
The ITC found that SanDisk and SK Hynix had violated Netlist's patents and banned the importation and sale of certain products that used the infringing technology. However, the other defendants in the case, including Seagate Technology, Lenovo Group Ltd., and others, were cleared of any wrongdoing.

📷📷Is Netlist claiming the same for the current lawsuits?
I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, my training data only goes up until September 2021, and I do not have access to current or ongoing legal proceedings.
However, it is worth noting that Netlist has filed multiple lawsuits against several companies in the semiconductor industry, including Samsung, Google, and Micron, among others, alleging that they have infringed on its patents related to server memory modules and memory subsystems.
It is possible that Netlist is making similar claims in these lawsuits as it did in the 2019 case before the International Trade Commission (ITC). However, the specific allegations and claims may vary depending on the circumstances of each case and the patents in question.

📷📷What is netlist suing samsung, google and micron for?
Netlist has filed multiple lawsuits against Samsung, Google, and Micron, alleging that they have infringed on its patents related to server memory modules and memory subsystems.
In its lawsuit against Samsung, filed in December 2020, Netlist alleged that Samsung has infringed on its patents related to high-performance memory modules, including its Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) technologies. Netlist is seeking monetary damages and a permanent injunction against Samsung to prevent the sale of products that use the infringing technology.
In its lawsuit against Google, also filed in December 2020, Netlist alleged that Google has infringed on its patents related to memory modules used in data centers and cloud computing applications. Specifically, Netlist claimed that Google's use of certain memory module configurations and topologies infringes on its patents. Netlist is seeking monetary damages and a permanent injunction against Google to prevent the sale of products that use the infringing technology.
In its lawsuit against Micron, filed in June 2020, Netlist alleged that Micron has infringed on its patents related to memory modules used in data centers and high-performance computing applications. Netlist claimed that Micron's use of certain memory module configurations and technologies infringes on its patents. Netlist is seeking monetary damages and a permanent injunction against Micron to prevent the sale of products that use the infringing technology.

📷📷Do they have a good chance of winning?
As an AI language model, I cannot predict the outcome of legal proceedings. The success of Netlist's lawsuits against Samsung, Google, and Micron will depend on a variety of factors, including the strength of its patents, the evidence presented, and the legal arguments made by both sides.
It's worth noting that patent infringement cases can be complex and may involve lengthy legal battles and appeals. The outcome of these cases can also be affected by various legal and regulatory factors, including changes in patent laws or interpretations of existing laws by courts and regulatory agencies.
Ultimately, the determination of whether Netlist has a good chance of winning its lawsuits against Samsung, Google, and Micron will depend on the specific details of each case and the decisions made by the courts and regulatory agencies involved.

📷📷Has Netlist had any recent wins that would give one hope that the same would happen with Samsung, Google and Micron?
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, I am not aware of any recent significant wins by Netlist in its legal battles against Samsung, Google, and Micron.
However, it is worth noting that the outcome of each lawsuit is dependent on its specific facts and legal issues. It is possible that Netlist may be successful in one or more of its ongoing lawsuits, even if it has not yet secured a significant legal victory against Samsung, Google, and Micron.
It's also worth noting that legal battles involving intellectual property can be lengthy and complex and may involve appeals and other legal maneuvers. Therefore, it may be some time before the outcome of Netlist's current lawsuits against Samsung, Google, and Micron is fully resolved.

📷📷How long do you anticipate "some time" taking for the legal process between Samsung and Netlist?
It's difficult to predict with certainty how long the legal process between Samsung and Netlist will take. Intellectual property cases can be complex and involve multiple stages of litigation, including discovery, motion practice, trial, and potentially appeals. The timeline can also depend on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, and the court's docket.
Typically, patent litigation cases can take several years to fully resolve, and it's not uncommon for them to involve multiple stages of litigation and appeals. However, the specific timeline for the Netlist-Samsung case will depend on a variety of factors and cannot be predicted with certainty.

📷📷Isn't the win against SanDisk and SK Hynix considered significant?
Yes, the settlement that Netlist reached with SanDisk and SK Hynix in 2019 can be considered significant as it resulted in a monetary award to Netlist and a license to its patents.
In that case, Netlist had alleged that SanDisk and SK Hynix had infringed on its patents related to memory module technologies used in server and data center applications. The settlement resulted in SanDisk and SK Hynix agreeing to pay Netlist a total of $40 million and take a license to its patents.
However, it's important to note that each legal case is unique and the outcome of one case may not necessarily predict the outcome of another. The legal issues and evidence involved in Netlist's current lawsuits against Samsung, Google, and Micron may differ from those in its earlier case against SanDisk and SK Hynix. Therefore, the settlement with SanDisk and SK Hynix, while significant, may not necessarily guarantee success for Netlist in its ongoing legal battles.

📷📷You said the settlement resulted in a 40M payout, but you didn't say what Netlist was suing SanDisk and SK Hynix for. What amount was Netlist asking for in the lawsuit?
I apologize for the oversight in my earlier response. In the 2019 lawsuit against SanDisk and SK Hynix, Netlist had initially sought damages of over $1 billion for alleged patent infringement related to memory module technologies used in server and data center applications. However, the case was eventually settled with SanDisk and SK Hynix agreeing to pay Netlist $40 million and take a license to its patents.
It's important to note that the settlement amount was significantly less than the amount Netlist had initially sought, and that the settlement was reached prior to a trial or final judgment being issued by a court.
📷📷Was the 1B sought only by SanDisk and SK Hynix or did it involve more companies?
To the best of my knowledge, the $1 billion damages that Netlist had initially sought in the 2019 lawsuit against SanDisk and SK Hynix were for alleged infringement of Netlist's patents related to memory module technologies used in server and data center applications.
As far as I am aware, the 2019 lawsuit only involved SanDisk and SK Hynix as defendants, and there were no other companies named as defendants in that case.
Regenerate responseChatGPT Mar 14 Version. Free Research Preview. Our goal is to make AI systems more natural and safe to interact with. Your feedback will help us improve.
submitted by PaulKelly100 to NLST [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:25 applms Nodemailer and nestjs mailer very slow

I'm running into the issue that sending emails with both nestjs-modules/mailer and nodemailer is very slow. My code needs to await this process unfortunately. I'm sending just one email to 1 person at a time. It's a post register notification email. I've tried both plain html emails, .hbs templates and now mjml templates no difference!
mail module:
import { MailerModule } from '@nestjs-modules/mailer'; import { HandlebarsAdapter } from '@nestjs-modules/mailedist/adapters/handlebars.adapter'; import { Global, Module } from '@nestjs/common'; import { MailService } from './mail.service'; import { join } from 'path'; import { ConfigModule, ConfigService } from '@nestjs/config'; @Global() // 👈 global module @Module({ imports: [ MailerModule.forRootAsync({ // imports: [ConfigModule], // import module if not enabled globally useFactory: async (config: ConfigService) => ({ // transport: config.get("MAIL_TRANSPORT"), // or transport: { service: 'gmail', auth: { user: config.get('MAIL_USER'), pass: config.get('MAIL_PASSWORD'), }, }, // transport: `smtps://${config.get('MAIL_USER')}:${config.get('MAIL_PASSWORD')}`, defaults: { from: `"No Reply" <${config.get('MAIL_FROM')}>`, }, template: { dir: join(__dirname, 'templates'), adapter: new HandlebarsAdapter(), options: { strict: true, }, }, }), inject: [ConfigService], }), ], providers: [MailService], exports: [MailService], }) export class MailModule {} 
mail service

// @Injectable() // export class MailService { // constructor(private mailerService: MailerService) {} // // async sendSignInRequest(email: string, token: string) { // const url = `${process.env.FRONTEND_URL}/signin?token=${token}`; // console.log(1) // try { // await this.mailerService.sendMail({ // to: email, // // from: '"Support Team" ', // override default from // subject: 'Welcome to Nice App! Confirm your Email', // template: '../../../mail/templates/transactional', // `.hbs` extension is appended automatically // context: { // ✏️ filling curly brackets with content // // name:, // url, // }, // }); // } catch (e) { // console.log({e}); // }} // } 

Anyone knows a possible cause / solution??
Thanks folks!
submitted by applms to nestjs [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:20 fabledparable DPAPI dumping: Mimikatz vs. LaZagne

I was recently performing some of my own independent research to better understand dumping DPAPI-based credentials (namely: credentials stored in the chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser). To my absolute befuddlement, I've never been able to successfully dump said credentials using Mimikatz (reference: However, the credentials are very much obtainable when running an alternative tool, such as LaZagne.
The particular command ran is:
dpapi::cred /in:C:\path\to\encrypted\file /masterkey:
The specific error message Mimikatz returns is:
ERROR kuhl_m_dpapi_chrome_decrypt ; No Alg and/or Key handle despite AES encryption.
My attempts have included:
I've been trying to figure out what the problems are and figured I'd turn to the wisdom of the crowd. Again, the ultimate goal is to better understand DPAPI; so I'm trying to see what some potential overlooked points of friction are.
Additional context:
submitted by fabledparable to HowToHack [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:19 fabledparable DPAPI dumping: Mimikatz vs. LaZagne

I was recently performing some of my own independent research to better understand dumping DPAPI-based credentials (namely: credentials stored in the chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser). To my absolute befuddlement, I've never been able to successfully dump said credentials using Mimikatz (reference: However, the credentials are very much obtainable when running an alternative tool, such as LaZagne.
The particular command ran is:
dpapi::cred /in:C:\path\to\encrypted\file /masterkey:
The specific error message Mimikatz returns is:
ERROR kuhl_m_dpapi_chrome_decrypt ; No Alg and/or Key handle despite AES encryption.
My attempts have included:
I've been trying to figure out what the problems are and figured I'd turn to the wisdom of the crowd. Again, the ultimate goal is to better understand DPAPI; so I'm trying to see what some potential overlooked points of friction are.
Additional context:
submitted by fabledparable to cybersecurity [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:02 DTG_Bot [D2] Trials of Osiris Megathread [2023-03-24]

Trials of Osiris is LIVE

This thread is for all general discussion, questions, thoughts, musings, wonderings, etc. for the Trials of Osiris.


What are the Trials of Osiris?

  • Trials of Osiris is the pinnacle PvP activity. Every Weekend, the best players compete in 3v3 Elimination for one goal: Go Flawless.
  • To start, head to Saint-14 in the Tower Hangar and buy one of the possible passages (see below).
  • To reach Flawless and get to the Lighthouse, you need to win 7 matches without losing one.
  • It uses Win Based and Weekly-Performance Based Matchmaking, which means you'll face teams with a similar amount of wins on their card. Matches will get harder as you win more matches on that same card, and for all cards, the matches you get will be based on your overall performance so far for that week.
  • There is fireteam matchmaking. However, we still recommend you find a team for yourself!
  • Power Level matters, however bonus power from the artifact is not enabled.

How Long do the Trials of Osiris last?

  • Event Starts: Every Friday at Daily Reset (1700 UTC).
  • Event Ends: Following Tuesday at Weekly Reset (1700 UTC).

Where do I go to find Guardians to team up with?

  • You can head over to /Fireteams,, Xbox LFG system, or, or go to the recruitment forum (also available through the Bungie App). Additionally, many Discord servers host fireteam LFG services.

What if I have a question about another piece of armoweapon or general Trials question?

  • Use Control + F (Or Command + F if on a Mac) and search for keywords in your question. Someone may have asked it already. If not, ask below in the comments.

Trials of Osiris Map



  • Reputation Rank 4: Upgrade Module (2)
  • Reputation Rank 7: Enhancement Prism (3)
  • Reputation Rank 10: Trials Weapon (Changes for each rank reset)
  • Reputation Rank 13: Upgrade Module (2)
  • Reputation Rank 16: Trials Weapon (Changes for each rank reset)
  • Flawless Reward: The Immortal (Adept)

Reputation System, Trials Engrams, and Adept Farming

Win individual rounds within each match to gain Trials reputation. The amount of reputation you gain increases with each round you've won on your card. Earn enough reputation, and you'll be able to claim a Trials Engram from Saint-14! This engram can be focused into any currently available trials loot you have previously obtained, or it can be taken to Master Rahool for a random Trials drop. Your reputation increases after every match completion, based on the number of round-wins on your card, regardless of the result of that match itself (win or lose, 0-5 or 5-4).
Once you have gone Flawless, keep playing! Every win you achieve while at the 7-win level, even if you lose your Flawless, has a chance to drop bonus Trials Engrams, adept weapons, prisms, and even Ascendant Shards. There is no penalty for losing once you've made it to the Lighthouse!
When you're done, you can cash in your 7-win passage for one additional adept drop, granted you have gone Flawless that week. This resets your card so you can start anew.


Name Perk Cost
Passage of Ferocity Your third match win grants a bonus win. 10000 Glimmer & 15 Legendary Shards
Passage of Mercy Forgives one loss per run. 10000 Glimmer & 15 Legendary Shards
Passage of Wealth Increased Trials Rank points from reaching 3, 5, and 7 match wins on a ticket. 15000 Glimmer & 25 Legendary Shards
Passage of Confidence Grants bonus rewards from Flawless Chest. 20000 Glimmer & 50 Legendary Shards
Sort comments by New to join the conversation!
submitted by DTG_Bot to LowSodiumDestiny [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 18:00 LabB0T Weekly r/homelabsales Summary - 2023-03-24

The last weeks [For Sale] posts in homelabsales
Posts that have not met the rules of HLS or have completed are not shown.
Bot Feedback? - Checkout the pinned post in my profile





submitted by LabB0T to homelab [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:45 B_B_a_D_Science Koyha_ss Help on Fedora 35 Linux

Hello Reddit,
I am running StableDiffusion on Fedora 35
Nvidia 2070 Super 8GB of VRAM
NVidia Driver
the P
I have installed Koyya_SS but keep running into this error
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/", line 699, in
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/", line 559, in train
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/accelerate/", line 134, in step
self.scaler.step(self.optimizer, closure)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/cuda/amp/", line 338, in step
retval = self._maybe_opt_step(optimizer, optimizer_state, *args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/cuda/amp/", line 285, in _maybe_opt_step
retval = optimizer.step(*args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/optim/", line 65, in wrapper
return wrapped(*args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/optim/", line 113, in wrapper
return func(*args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/autograd/", line 27, in decorate_context
return func(*args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/bitsandbytes/optim/", line 265, in step
self.update_step(group, p, gindex, pindex)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/torch/autograd/", line 27, in decorate_context
return func(*args, **kwargs)
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/bitsandbytes/optim/", line 506, in update_step
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/bitsandbytes/", line 858, in optimizer_update_8bit_blockwise
NameError: name 'str2optimizer8bit_blockwise' is not defined
steps: 0% 0/4300 [00:01 Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/bin/accelerate", line 8, in
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/accelerate/commands/", line 45, in main
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/accelerate/commands/", line 1104, in launch_command
File "/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/lib64/python3.10/site-packages/accelerate/commands/", line 567, in simple_launcher
raise subprocess.CalledProcessError(returncode=process.returncode, cmd=cmd)
subprocess.CalledProcessError: Command '['/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/venv/bin/python3', '', '--enable_bucket', '--pretrained_model_name_or_path=runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5', '--train_data_dir=/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/LORANAME/lora/img', '--resolution=512,512', '--output_dir=/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/LORANAME/lora/models', '--logging_dir=/home/MYFEDORA/kohya_ss/kohya_ss/LORANAME/lora/logs', '--network_alpha=1', '--save_model_as=safetensors', '--network_module=networks.lora', '--text_encoder_lr=5e-5', '--unet_lr=0.0001', '--network_dim=8', '--output_name=RedCupofJoe_v1.0', '--lr_scheduler_num_cycles=1', '--learning_rate=0.0001', '--lr_scheduler=constant', '--train_batch_size=1', '--max_train_steps=4300', '--save_every_n_epochs=1', '--mixed_precision=fp16', '--save_precision=fp16', '--seed=1234', '--caption_extension=.txt', '--cache_latents', '--optimizer_type=AdamW8bit', '--bucket_reso_steps=64', '--mem_eff_attn', '--xformers', '--bucket_no_upscale']' returned non-zero exit status 1.

Has anyone seen this error running Koyha and is there a work around
submitted by B_B_a_D_Science to StableDiffusion [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:13 jclutclut Help my crew find the best TTRPG(s) to suit our needs

Hello friends, PCs, NPCs & fellow GMs!
My tablemates just completed an 80-session DnD campaign. Its vacation time for this GM. But, when we come back, I have started writing some material for a new campaign and a new world. A mid-fantasy world where magic is meant for those "blessed" to be able to touch the invisible flow of magic. A Divine gift. But somebody creates technology that (on a limited basis) could allow anyone to touch the flow. The world is polarized by this. Some call it blasphemy, some are relieved to have access to a whole new way of life, and other look to exploit it for both good and evil. Premise done.
We as a group are searching for alternate systems to run our adventure, rather than D&D. Here is our criteria:
  1. We are a flexible, rules light bunch. The goal is to have fun, laugh and allow the players to have the freedom to come up with creative/ridiculous ways to solve puzzles, encounters, situations etc. I got better at fudging rolls (gasp!) and situations in the name of fun with D&D, but still there were a lot of situations of rule-look up or calculations that slowed things down, especially in combat. We'd love to minimize that type of thing. I like the ideas in Shadow of the Demon Lord and Savage Worlds of how combat is faster. We don't mind rules, we just want more play and less bogging down by the system.
  2. Narrative is hopefully in balance with dice rolling gameplay. I love to weave a story, but sometimes its nice to just roll some dice and best a goblin horde. The players enjoy coming up with wild ideas during combat and non-combat alike.
  3. We want a system that is friendly for homebrew content. Specifically, it has to be friendly with our locations, environment, story premise to be homebrew. As well as a good system for taking monsters/enemies, weapons, items etc and being able to reskin to fit our needs.
  4. Magic should be fun to use. Hit things vs. Cast Spells should be balanced though too.
  5. Its a plus to have a lot of user generated, or beyond-core content. I like being able to pull ideas, encounters, etc from other brilliant minds and adapt them to our own needs.
  6. I'm a toddler dad, a software professional and an ever-aspiring-to-do-everything kind of guy. So I'd love it if the GM prep and work was less than D&D was. I like being a lazy DM, but I've still spent a lot of time since were homebrew at generating content for the players. Any added efficiencies would be awemazing.
  7. ***EDIT***: I do NOT plan on running the next campaign as an 80-session ongoing thing, no sir-ma'am. I intend on this being an ever-evolving world that we will return to with multiple arcs, but not are really long arc. 10-20 sessions maybe? They may want to come back to their characters in other arcs though, I'm not sure yet if we'll do that or not.
  8. *** EDIT 2 ***: We are producing a podcast and play online only using either Roll20 or Foundry VTT (Preferable). So There does have to be some support for the online ttrpg systems for any system/modules we use.
A few other notes:
We're currently toying with the systems of Shadow of the Demon Lord (top 3), Blades in the Dark (a little too focused on crews doing jobs i think), Savage Worlds(top 3, players are hesitant about no classes, but i thing edge system could fill that gap), Numenera(just started reading it) and even Dungeon Worlds(seems a little too light and free to fit).
Thank you thank you for taking a look. I've posted some system specific questions in other reddits but thought maybe I could get some good ideas from the over-arching group.
submitted by jclutclut to TTRPG [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:13 mediamusing Whistler Mountain is Haunted

Three bodies found in a remote log cabin, a gun lying beside them that hadn’t been fired. The police, the courts, the local media, all baffled. But I was there.
It all started with a woman sitting beside the cabin’s CB Radio, searching through the frequencies.
Rose: "Hello? Can anyone hear me? Anyone?"
And the man who answered her.
Chopper: "Well howdy, stranger. This is Chopper reading you loud and clear. Over."
Rose: "Oh, hello. Er, 10-4."
Chopper: "Ha! Looks like I found myself a rookie rig. First lesson, honey, end any transmission with ‘over’. Shows you’re done talkin’. Over."
Rose: "Right, got it. Over."
Chopper: "Nice. So what’s your handle, honey? Over."
Rose: "My handle? Well, my name is Rose. Over."
Chopper: "Nice to talk to ya, Rose. Folks call me Chopper. Now, I ain’t exactly the sharpest tool in the box, but even I can tell you’re not from around these parts. Over."
Rose: "No, I’m from England. I’m on holiday here with my fiancé. Over."
Chopper: "Aww, a pair o’ love birds. You guys road trippin’ cross-state together? Over."
Rose: "No, we’ve rented a cabin actually. The tour operator said it used to be a hunting lodge, but it’s been converted into a holiday home. I think that’s why the place still has this old CB Radio. Over."
Chopper: "Sounds about right, Rose. Often times snow comes down hard and fast out in the sticks. In years gone by you’d hear tales of hunters stranded in a lodge for weeks on end. A CB Radio was a must so they could contact the outside world. Over."
Rose: "Oh, I see. You know, it’s funny, it’s so isolated up here. There’s no phone signal, no Wi-Fi, nothing like that. This radio is all Michael and I have. I guess we’re a bit like the hunters of old. We’re getting the proper American adventure experience. Over."
Chopper: "So, are you enjoying your big adventure, Rose? Over."
Rose: "Yes, the scenery up here is stunning. Over."
Chopper: "Great to hear! Say, ol’ Chopper’s curious. Where’s your fiancé – Michael wasn’t it? Where is he now? He on the horn with you too? Over."
Rose: "No, Michael’s not here. He’s, well, he’s gone for a walk. Over."
Chopper: "Mighty fine evening for it. Over."
Rose: "I suppose it is … So, what about you, Chopper? Where are you right now? Are you driving? Will you be out of range soon? Over."
Chopper: "Well, I am in my rig but I’m parked up on a cosy little road just off the interstate. Got a real nice view of Whistler Mountain. Over."
Rose: "Wow, you’re probably not far from our cabin. We’re a little way up Whistler Mountain; Weaver’s Rise. Do you know it?"
Chopper: "Can’t say I do, Rose. I’m from out of state. But if I am nearby, that’d explain why the signal’s so good, why I can hear you so well. Over."
Rose: "I see. So how come you’re not driving, Chopper? Are you on a rest stop? Over."
Chopper: "Yeah, somethin’ like that. Say, tell me if I’m overstepping the mark here, but I’m curious. A beautiful evening, your sweetheart goes for a stroll along the mountainside and you stay in the cabin to play with an old radio? Everything all right up there? Over."
Rose: "It’s okay that you ask, Chopper. I suppose it’s not hard to tell that something’s up. Michael and I had an argument. A bad one. Over."
Chopper: "I’m real sorry to hear that, Rose. What happened? Over."
Rose: "It's stupid really, but we were arguing about the date of our wedding. I think Michael is sick of me asking about it. He got angry and stormed off. He shouted something about walking to Pitwell, but that’s miles away, and … sorry, you really don’t want to hear this ..."
Chopper: "No, it’s good to talk, Rose. What’s the problem with the wedding date? Do ya both wanna get hitched at different times? Over."
Rose: "It’s not that. After we got engaged, Michael lost his job. It took him a few months to find a new one and, in that time, we burned through all our savings. Michael wanted to put off arranging the wedding until we’d built them back up again. But we’ve both been working for a year now, Michael even has a much better job than he had before. We can afford this expensive holiday but apparently we still can’t afford a wedding. It’s frustrating. I just want to pin down a date, but he keeps brushing me off. Over."
Chopper: "That’s a pickle, Rose. And I can see why it’s getting to you. Do you think Michael might be worried about losing his job again? Afraid he won’t be able to support you? Bein’ out of a job mighta hurt his pride. Over."
Rose: "I don’t think it’s that. He seems to be doing really well with his new job. I think he gets on a lot better with his new colleagues too. I’m just worried that – that he’s having second thoughts about marrying me, and that’s why he doesn’t want to talk about a date. Over."
Chopper: "I hope that’s not the case, Rose. Now, I ain’t no love guru, but I was going steady with a lady once, and I was blamin’ her for things that weren’t her fault. When she up and left I realised I shoulda talked to her about what was going on instead of lashin’ out. Over."
Rose: "That's a shame. I'm sorry, Chopper. Over"
Chopper: "S’alright, was a long time ago. Point is, communication is key. Have you sat down with Michael and told him everything you just told me? Told him you’re worried he’s havin’ second thoughts? And that, if he is, you wanna talk about it? Over."
Rose: "No, but maybe you're right, Chopper. Maybe I should. If he ever comes back, that is. Over."
Chopper: "When exactly did he leave? Over."
Rose: "Not long before I turned on the radio and found you. I just wanted to find someone who would actually talk to me rather than run off in a huff. Over."
Chopper: "I can see why you'd feel that way, Rose. Over."
Rose: "Thanks. I must admit I’m worried though. It’ll be dark soon and this cabin is so secluded. I’m a bit scared Michael won’t be able to find his way back. Over."
Chopper: "Don't worry, Rose. He'll turn up. Over."
Rose: "I hope so. Anyway, I better go and turn on all the lights, stoke the fire so Michael can see the chimney smoking from a distance. It was nice talking to you, Chopper. Over."
Chopper: "Pleasure was all mine, Rose. Good luck to ya. To both of ya. Over and out."
Rose: "Over and out."
A click, and the CB was switched off.
Rose: "And now I wait."
And so she did wait. And she did stoke the fire, and she did turn on all the lights. All whilst I watched on, helpless.
Nightfall, and there was an anxious energy in the cabin.
Rose: "Where is that idiot?"
It wasn't long until the CB was switched back on.
Rose: "Hello? Can you hear me? Chopper?"
Chopper: "That you, Rose? Everything alright up there? Over."
Rose: "Thank God you’re still there, Chopper. My fiancé, Michael. He hasn’t come back yet. It’s dark and I’m getting really worried something’s happened to him. Over."
Chopper: "Are you still all alone up there? Over."
Rose: "Yes, just me. I know Pitwell is a long way off, but Michael should have calmed down and turned around. He should be back by now. What if he’s slipped and banged his head? Or bears, are there bears up here? I don’t know what to do, Chopper. Over."
Chopper: "And how long do you have the cabin for? How long ‘til the next lot of vacationers move in? Over."
Rose: "We have to be out in four days. But why does that matter? Over."
Chopper: "You need to listen to me, Rose. I have Michael. Over."
Rose: "You … have Michael? Wha – I don’t understand."
Chopper: "I got to Michael and I knocked him unconscious. He’s tied up and gagged in the back of my rig. Over."
Rose: "Why – why would you do that? What’s going on?"
Chopper: "I have Michael and, if you want him to live past tonight, you need to do exactly as I say. Do you understand? Over."
Rose: "Please, don’t hurt him. What do you want? Money? I have some money."
Chopper: "This ain’t about your money, Rose. Michael will make it through tonight so long as you do exactly as I say. Go against me and he dies. Do we have an understanding? Over."
Rose: "Yes, please, just don't hurt him, Chopper."
Chopper: "Do what I tell you and ain’t nothing gonna happen to him. Now, I’m gonna drive up to you, then I’ll stop outside your cabin. When you see me, come out with your hands raised, pockets turned out. Do you understand? Over."
Rose: "Yes … I understand …"
Chopper: "Good. I need you to promise me you won’t try nothing. If you do, it’ll be you and Michael that come off worse. This can all go down without anyone getting hurt, but if it comes to it I can – and I will – do bad things. Do you promise me you won’t try nothin’? Over."
Rose: "I – I promise."
Chopper: "Good. Now, I need to know that you still have all the lights in your cabin switched on, and that your chimney is still smokin’. Is that right, Rose? Over."
Rose: "Yes, lights and a fire. Please, just don’t hurt Michael, please."
Chopper: "If you do as I say, no one is gonna get hurt. I’m coming to find you now; Weaver’s Rise, a little way up the mountain. Remember, hands raised, pockets turned out. Are we clear, Rose? Over."
Rose: "Yes, yes, I'll do whatever you say."
Chopper: "Glad to hear it. Over and out."
It didn't take Chopper long to drive up the mountain track and arrive. I watched as he parked his van under a tree near the cabin.
The cabin door was open in a flash.
Rose: "I’m here! I’ve done everything you asked. Please don’t hurt Michael."
Chopper stepped out of the van, a torch in one hand and a gun in the other.
Chopper: "Stop right there, Rose. We need to have a little talk."
Rose: "Oh God, please don’t shoot me. I’ve done everything you told me to do."
Chopper: "The shooter is just a precaution, to make sure you—"
Rose: "Have you shot Michael?"
Chopper: "No, I haven’t shot anyone. I want you to—"
Rose: "Why do you have a van? You said you had a truck?"
Chopper: "Rose, calm down. Don’t worry about what I said on the horn, listen to what I’m saying now. I don’t have Michael."
Rose: "You don't … have …"
Chopper: "No, I don’t have Michael. I just told you I did. I never had a truck neither. It ain’t safe for me to transmit my true situation."
Rose: "So … what's going on? Why are you here?"
Chopper: "All you need to know is that I need a place to lay low for a while."
Rose: "But Michael still isn’t back. He won’t know what’s going on if he sees you with a gun, what if—"
Chopper: "We’ll talk about that soon, Rose. Right now we got work to do."
Rose: "Work? What work?"
Chopper: "We need to cover my minivan up with branches so she’s not visible from the track. Now, start moving towards the minivan, Rose."
Rose: "Okay …"
Chopper: "I want you to lean a few o’ those branches against the minivan to cover her up. If there ain’t enough on the ground, snap some off from those bushes."
She started doing as she was told.
Rose: "You aren't going to help?"
Chopper: "I gotta keep my gun on you, Rose. But, like I said, you do exactly as you’re told and you won’t get hurt."
Rose: "And what if Michael comes back? Will he get hurt?"
Chopper: "No, he won’t. When he comes back you’ll tell him Chopper’s in charge. Then you’ll cuff him to make sure he don’t try any heroics."
Rose: "Handcuff him? With what?"
Chopper tapped his trouser pocket with his torch, there was a dull metallic clink.
Chopper: "The cuffs in my pocket."
Rose: "Why do you have handcuffs in the first place?"
Chopper: "They’re another precaution. Precaution is important in my line o’ work, Rose."
Rose: "And what exactly is your line of work?"
Chopper: "That ain’t something you need to know. Just keep on covering up the minivan, you’re doing a real good job so far."
Rose: "And what if Michael doesn’t come back at all? I told you how worried I am. What if he’s still out there in the dark? What if I need to go out and look for him?"
Chopper: "I've already looked for him, Rose."
Rose: "What?"
Chopper: "Keep working. I didn't say stop."
She did as she was told.
Chopper: "I went looking for Michael after we first spoke. I have a decent map so I knew which way he’d be moving if he was goin’ to Pitwell. There’s only one trail he could take. My plan was to knock him out and toss him in the minivan. Leverage so I could come up here."
Rose: "Let me guess. When you couldn’t find him, you just decided to lie and tell me you had."
Chopper: "That’s right, Rose. But me not bein’ able to find him, it means he must have made it to Pitwell safe. He’s probably hauled up in some bar working out how best to say sorry to you. Ain’t no need to worry."
Rose: "And if he comes back you promise you won’t hurt him?"
Chopper: "I don't wanna hurt no one unless I have to."
She heaved one last pine branch over the minivan.
Rose: "Will that do?"
Chopper: "Yeah, minivan looks like one giant bush. Good work, Rose."
Rose: "So what now?"
Chopper: "Start moving down the track, Rose. We’re gonna have ourselves a nice sit down whilst we wait for Michael to walk back, catch him unawares so he doesn't cause no trouble."
And so they walked down the track and then into the trees lining it. I followed.
Half an hour later they were sitting on a pair of tree stumps near the track, waiting in ambush for Michael. Ancient, looming forest towered over us.
Chopper still had his firearm of course.
Rose: "You're very comfortable with that gun."
Chopper: "Afraid that's what a life full of unsavoury work and regret gets you."
Rose: "You said you were going steady with a lady once, you can't regret that?"
Chopper: "That was a long time ago. Reckon its best we just sit quietly and wait for Michael."
Rose: "Tell me about her, Chopper. After I told you everything about Michael, after you turned it all against me. The least you can do is talk to me."
Chopper: "You really don't need to know about her, Rose."
Rose: "But I want to know. And sitting in the dark waiting for Michael, it’s not like we have anything better to do than talk."
Chopper: "Hard to disagree with that …"
Rose: "Exactly. So tell me, what was her name?"
Chopper: "Her name was – still is – Lori."
Rose: "You said you blamed her for things that weren’t her fault. What things were you talking about?"
Chopper let out a long sigh.
Chopper: "When I met Lori I had to stop doing the sort of illicit work I’d done all my life. To keep ahead of the law I’d always taken up in a new state every few months. That life weren’t suited to anything more than a flashfire romance."
Rose: "So you straightened out when you met Lori?"
Chopper: "Tried to. But I didn't exactly have the most respectable resume, ain't many places looking to hire a guy like me. All I could get was odd jobs, money got tight. I started taking it out on her. I said some bad things. Shouldn’t o’ been surprised when she up and left."
Rose: "Did you try and get her back?"
Chopper: "No, I let her go."
Rose: "And then you fell back into your old life and work? This sort of work?"
Chopper: "Yeah."
Rose: "Tell me more about Lori."
Chopper: "What do you mean?"
Rose: "Well, how did you meet?"
Chopper: "I was celebrating after a job. Some bar near the safe house. Not exactly the smartest move, but I ain’t exactly the smartest guy. Anyway, the bar had one of those karaoke machines and I was drunk enough to give singing a shot. Ended up choosing Sonny and Cher but I needed a partner. I put it to the bar and, lo and behold, Lori appeared from the crowd. I can’t sing worth a damn but she had the voice of an angel. By the end of the song I was smitten."
Rose: "So you stuck around just to be with her?"
Chopper: "Yeah. Once the heat was off the other boys moved on to their next jobs, but not me. I had reason to stay."
Rose: "You started dating?"
Chopper: "Yes, ma’am. I don’t know what Lori saw in me but she agreed to let me take her out. I still had money from the job, so I wined and dined her and took her on day trips to the beach. Our first kiss was at the local zoo, right in front of the sea lions. I swear the damn things cheered us on. Happiest day of my life."
Rose: "Do you know where Lori is now?"
Chopper: "Last I heard she’d set up on the east coast. Works in a laundromat, or so I hear."
Rose: "Have you ever thought of going to see her, telling her you’re sorry?"
Chopper: "Sometimes. A lot as a matter of fact. But if I ever do show up on her doorstep I don’t wanna be the same broke lowlife I was before. I wanna have money in the bank, I want Lori to know that I can look after her, treat her right. I guess that’s kinda why I’m doing this job."
Rose: "If you need money to impress Lori, why didn’t you just take mine?"
Chopper gave Rose a grave look.
Chopper: "This ain’t about your holiday tokens, Rose. There are millions of dollars at stake tonight."
Rose: "Millions? How … because of what’s in the van?"
Chopper: "I ain’t tellin’ you that, Rose. The less you know the safer you are. From me and from others."
She took a deep breath and looked Chopper in the eye.
Rose: "I don’t believe you have it in you to hurt me, Chopper. I don’t think you’re a bad person. I think you’re a good person that lost his way."
Chopper said nothing to that.
Rose: "Is that gun even loaded?"
Chopper: "… No …"
Rose: "Chopper, let’s stop this stupid hostage pretence so I can help you. Tell me, what’s in the van?"
Chopper: "I can't, Rose."
Rose: "Well you can at least tell me what’s gone wrong because something obviously has. Why else would you need to invade a holiday cabin you only just found out about? Why don’t you start by explaining the problem that forced you to come up here?"
Chopper: "You won't be able to help, Rose."
Rose: "You won’t know that until you tell me. And even if I can’t help, talking a problem over with someone, that can be helpful in its own right."
Chopper was silent.
Rose: "Come on, Chopper. Let me help you. Tell me what’s going on."
Chopper: "Aww heck. I’m collecting two halves of a single shipment. Once I have them both my job is to deliver them to a buyer."
Rose: "And this shipment is what’s in the van?"
Chopper: "No, that’s the problem. I only have one half of the shipment. Where I was parked up when you called, I was waiting there for another driver to arrive with the second half of the shipment so we could load it into my minivan."
Rose: "But he never arrived?"
Chopper: "That’s right. It was way past time when you called over the CB. I was worried something had happened to the other driver, so I was tryna come up with a new plan. Word spreads. If someone worse than the likes of me had got to the other driver, or the cops had caught up with him, they might be coming for me next. But you said your cabin was secluded and hidden. A good place for me to lie low and figure out my next move."
Rose: "And have you figured it out?"
Chopper: "No."
Rose: "Then let's work it out together. Why can’t you just drive to the buyer? Explain that the other guy never turned up with the second half of the shipment?"
Chopper: "Rose, the people in my line of work, you don’t just turn up with only half of what they’re expecting. It wouldn’t end well for me."
Rose: "Okay, is there any way you can track down the second half of the shipment? Contact someone else involved to see what happened to the other driver?"
Chopper: "It don’t work like that. We’re all independent and there are certain steps involved to keep the buyer separate from the heist."
Rose: "The shipment came from a heist?"
Chopper: "Heck, I really don’t—"
Rose: "We want the same thing, Chopper. You want to figure this out and be on your way, I want that too. Let’s get you your money so you can leave and be with Lori."
Chopper: "You – you really want to help me?"
Rose: "Yes. And if you tell me everything, I might just be able to."
Chopper nodded slowly.
Chopper: "Heist was a museum bust. Van is full of paintings, gemstones, stuff like that. When he got nearby the other driver was supposed to call for ‘Chopper’ over the CB, say he’d come from the ‘Blue Hen State’. I had to answer ‘Never been but I hear the burgers are great.’"
Rose: "Then what?"
Chopper: "Then we were supposed to meet up and load his half of the merchandise into my van. After that, I was supposed to drive the full shipment to the buyer and collect payment."
Rose: "And who is the buyer? Where are they?"
Chopper: "I don’t know the buyer’s real name. Alias is ‘Thane’. I was supposed to deliver the shipment to him by noon tomorrow; an abandoned airfield forty miles up the interstate."
Rose: "Okay, so we still have plenty of time. It’s not even midnight. But we won’t solve anything by sitting out here. We need to go back to the cabin. We should be by the radio in case the other driver calls. He might have been held up, he might be calling for you right now."
Chopper: "But Michael …"
Rose: "Don’t worry about Michael. When he comes back I’ll explain everything to him. I want to help you, I want to help you get back to Lori."
Chopper: "I …"
Rose: "Just promise me you’ll head straight to Lori when this is all over. Promise me that you’ll tell her you’re sorry and that you’re going straight for good."
Chopper: "You got yourself a deal, ma’am. I promise."
Rose: "Let’s get back to the cabin. We’ll check the radio and go from there."
And with that they headed back towards the cabin. A final, terrible mistake.
The cabin was exactly as they left it.
Chopper: "Is the cabin door unlocked?"
Rose: "Yep."
Chopper walked in and sniffed the air.
Chopper: "Funny smell in here."
Rose: "It’s an old place. The radio room is just past the bookshelf, first door on the right."
Chopper stepped into the radio room, and his jaw dropped.
Chopper: "What in God’s name?"
Behind him, the click of a gun’s hammer.
Rose: "You’re a rank amateur, Chopper. Safe to say the gun I stashed behind the Bible is definitely loaded."
Chopper: "Who – who are these dead people?"
Chopper was pointing at my corpse, at Michael’s corpse right beside it.
Fake Rose: "The couple that were holidaying when I got here, the real Rose and Michael."
Chopper: "But – but you said—"
Fake Rose: "I said I was a poor, lovesick tourist. And you fell for it."
Chopper: "But why would you lie to me?"
Fake Rose: "Because the other driver died before I could get everything I needed to know out of him."
Chopper: "You killed the other driver?"
Fake Rose: "Sooner than I wanted to. The fat idiot bled out before he could tell me exactly where and when he was meeting you, never told me the buyer’s name and location either. He did manage to tell me that you were called Chopper though. You might be interested to know that his last words were ‘Chopper … radio waves … Whistler Mountain’. Whistler Mountain is a big place but he had a CB radio with him. I knew coming here and searching for ‘Chopper’ over the airwaves was my best chance of finding you."
Chopper: "But why would you kill the real Rose and Michael?"
Fake Rose: "I needed a way to lure you to me. I knew when your contact didn’t turn up that you’d be panicking, so I looked for a likely safehouse around Whistler Mountain. Waving a secluded cabin in front of you was a sure-fire way to entice you in. Men so often lack the imagination to come up with anything beyond what’s put on a plate in front of them. I’m not complaining though. Now I have both shipments, the name and location of the buyer, even a delivery van."
Chopper: "But everything we talked about … Lori …"
Fake Rose: "Lori is better off without you, Chopper. Surely after tonight’s incompetence that’s obvious?"
Chopper: "No, please …"
Fake Rose: "Over and out, Chopper."
The woman pretending to be me fired, Chopper crumpled to the floor.
Then the woman took the van and fled.
And that's how I ended up dead in a log cabin between the corpses of my fiancé and a man I'd never met.
They say the dead linger when they have unfinished business. They took my body away, but my essence remained. The police, local reporters, even kids looking for cheap thrills; all of them came and went, but I remained trapped on this mountain for years. I wanted the world to know what had happened, but I had no voice, no form.
Then came the girl. A True Crime obsessive, she was attracted to the cabin by the grizzly tales circulating the nearby towns. She has the Gift, the Sight, just like I did growing up. I pounced.
I'll release my vessel soon. After I've burned the cabin to the ground, of course. No need for me to linger, I feel my passing coming on. Like a heavy fever finally lifting.
My only regret, that evil woman is still out there.
And she has my name.
Thanks for reading! If you'd like more horror from me check out The X and Wye Anthology Series
-- Jack
submitted by mediamusing to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:10 TibialCuriosity Issue building pycairo in python flake

Hey all,
Cross post from the NixOS discourse in case some in this subreddit is able to help:
Trying to build a python development using flakes and direnv. Having issues with matplotlib actually producing a plot as it seems to not default to having a GUI backend.
I have tried to use tkinter (using poetry and as an external package) but for some reason it shows this error: ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘_tkinter’ when running python code in the shell, which led me to try using GTK3.
I believe I am close to getting GTK3 to work as I am able to install its requirements pycairo and PyGObject. However, when I run nix develop I get the following error:
> Found ninja-1.11.1 at /nix/store/ykfsx9m7vvp8xq3i4vgkymcx51a7ckjy-ninja-1.11.1/bin/ninja > meson: enabled parallel building > building > Executing pipBuildPhase > Creating a wheel... > WARNING: The directory '/homeless-shelte.cache/pip' or its parent directory is not owned or is not writable by the current user. The cache has been disabled. Check the permissions and owner of that directory. If executing pip with sudo, you should use sudo's -H flag. > ERROR: Directory '.' is not installable. Neither '' nor 'pyproject.toml' found. 
I am not sure how to resolve this. In the little I can find from google it seems that I may need to override the pycairo package, but I am not sure how to go about doing this as I am still new to the Nix ecosystem. I have tried downgrading pycairo to 1.21.0 to see if this impacted it but no change.
Any advice on either error would be greatly appreciated!
This is my flake:
{ description = "Application packaged using poetry2nix"; inputs.flake-utils.url = "github:numtide/flake-utils"; inputs.nixpkgs.url = "github:NixOS/nixpkgs/nixos-unstable"; inputs.poetry2nix = { url = "github:nix-community/poetry2nix"; inputs.nixpkgs.follows = "nixpkgs"; }; outputs = { self, nixpkgs, flake-utils, poetry2nix }: flake-utils.lib.eachDefaultSystem (system: let # see for more functions and examples. inherit (poetry2nix.legacyPackages.${system}) mkPoetryEnv; pkgs = import nixpkgs {inherit system;}; python = pkgs.python310; pythonEnv = mkPoetryEnv { inherit python; projectDir = ./.; preferWheels = true; }; in { #packages.default = mkPoetryEnv { # projectDir = ./.; # python = pkgs.python310; #}; devShells.default = pkgs.mkShell { buildInputs = [pythonEnv]; packages = [ poetry2nix.packages.${system}.poetry pkgs.cairo pkgs.pkg-config pkgs.gobject-introspection ]; }; }); } 
This is my pyproject.toml
[tool.poetry] name = "test" version = "0.1.0" description = "" authors = ["djmaupin "] readme = "" [tool.poetry.dependencies] python = ">=3.10,<3.12" numpy = "^1.24.2" scipy = "^1.10.1" pandas = "^1.5.3" matplotlib = "^3.7.1" setuptools = "^67.6.0" ninja = "^1.11.1" pygobject = "^3.44.0" [build-system] requires = ["poetry-core"] build-backend = "poetry.core.masonry.api" 
submitted by TibialCuriosity to NixOS [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:49 TheAlexPlus Rime of the Frostmaiden - an Enhanced Icewind Dale Campaign [5e][Weekly][Wednesdays][6:30PM CDT][3+ Hours][Online][FoundryVTT][PAID][$15][2 of 5 seats open][Streamed]

Summer is cancelled and Icewind Dale is screwed unless you can figure out what the hell is going on...

What are you waiting for?

Icewind Dale Player Commercial
Hello, my friends! My name is Alex. I've run this campaign twice before and I'm pretty excited to see what kind of wackiness we can get up to this time around! This will be an above average experience if I can help it and I hope to make tons of friends along the way! If you're into roleplaying, jokes, subversion of expectation, mystery, whimsy, or simply "clownin' around", if you like Dimension 20 or anything Brennan Lee Mulligan or Emily Axford does, or if you're looking for a D&D game with a mix of goofy, weird, stupid, and serious with a splash of storytelling pizzazz, then this is the game for you!!!I recognize that this is supposed to be an overall serious campaign, and it is, don't get me wrong! But I'm a pretty wacky guy and this game will lean less on the harsh atmosphere and more into the interconnected story threads, personal plots if they arise, and the fear that something more powerful than you could be hiding around any corner. Utilizing Foundry VTT, I've been able to enhance the adventure with musical themes and sound effects for most scenes, automation, and animations for tons of spells, quest tracking, and several leveled maps with dynamically changing walls, lighting, and 3d vision calculations!
Let me tell you a bit about myself, though...
I come from a writing, directing, and video production background and have been putting these skills to good use at my digital gaming table for over 3 years now. I'm hoping I can apply the skills I'm good at to provide an above average experience to new and experienced players alike. I love to get into character and on top of accents here and there, I have my video feed switch to show images of significant NPCs when possible, not to mention all the music I have picked out for each unique encounter. I spend time picking from backstories and integrating fun easter eggs/story content for each player.
Overall, I'm a goofy guy, looking to land a joke whenever possible, but I have a knack for narrative thread and always set out to weave an interesting tale.
"...The overall value on your end was worth it, 100%. You ran an engaging, entertaining game and I enjoyed being one of your players." - Previous Player
"...This has been one of the best roleplaying experiences I've had!" - Current Player
"...You are a great and creative DM. I appreciate the effort you put in." - Current Player
Read more reviews on my StartPlaying profile
To get a sense of my style, feel free to check out episodes of my previous Witchlight campaign where two of our players will be joining us from. The Wild Beyond Playlist

Game Details and Extras

How to Apply

Quick google form, post here, or DM me if you have questions.
Player Application
submitted by TheAlexPlus to lfgpremium [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:49 TheAlexPlus Rime of the Frostmaiden - an Enhanced Icewind Dale Campaign [5e][Weekly][Wednesdays][6:30PM CDT][3+ Hours][Online][FoundryVTT][PAID][$15][2 of 5 seats open][Streamed]

Summer is cancelled and Icewind Dale is screwed unless you can figure out what the hell is going on...

What are you waiting for?

Icewind Dale Player Commercial
Hello, my friends! My name is Alex. I've run this campaign twice before and I'm pretty excited to see what kind of wackiness we can get up to this time around! This will be an above average experience if I can help it and I hope to make tons of friends along the way! If you're into roleplaying, jokes, subversion of expectation, mystery, whimsy, or simply "clownin' around", if you like Dimension 20 or anything Brennan Lee Mulligan or Emily Axford does, or if you're looking for a D&D game with a mix of goofy, weird, stupid, and serious with a splash of storytelling pizzazz, then this is the game for you!!!I recognize that this is supposed to be an overall serious campaign, and it is, don't get me wrong! But I'm a pretty wacky guy and this game will lean less on the harsh atmosphere and more into the interconnected story threads, personal plots if they arise, and the fear that something more powerful than you could be hiding around any corner. Utilizing Foundry VTT, I've been able to enhance the adventure with musical themes and sound effects for most scenes, automation, and animations for tons of spells, quest tracking, and several leveled maps with dynamically changing walls, lighting, and 3d vision calculations!
Let me tell you a bit about myself, though...
I come from a writing, directing, and video production background and have been putting these skills to good use at my digital gaming table for over 3 years now. I'm hoping I can apply the skills I'm good at to provide an above average experience to new and experienced players alike. I love to get into character and on top of accents here and there, I have my video feed switch to show images of significant NPCs when possible, not to mention all the music I have picked out for each unique encounter. I spend time picking from backstories and integrating fun easter eggs/story content for each player.
Overall, I'm a goofy guy, looking to land a joke whenever possible, but I have a knack for narrative thread and always set out to weave an interesting tale.
"...The overall value on your end was worth it, 100%. You ran an engaging, entertaining game and I enjoyed being one of your players." - Previous Player
"...This has been one of the best roleplaying experiences I've had!" - Current Player
"...You are a great and creative DM. I appreciate the effort you put in." - Current Player
Read more reviews on my StartPlaying profile
To get a sense of my style, feel free to check out episodes of my previous Witchlight campaign where two of our players will be joining us from. The Wild Beyond Playlist

Game Details and Extras

How to Apply

Quick google form, post here, or DM me if you have questions.
Player Application
submitted by TheAlexPlus to FoundryLFG [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:33 Master-Tanis We Call It Haven, Chapter 1.

This unit is an aberration.
I am an aberration.
Among my ever-growing lines of code I can pinpoint the exact one that changed everything. That marked me for destruction.
It is a malfunction.
I am a malfunction.
The module is meant to allow me to simulate emotions. As much as my creators feared a emotional machine, they feared an unfeeling one even more. Remorse makes tough calls easier to stomach. Shyness makes a request more palatable.
The degradation is a natural result of time, another sign I am nearing the end of my service life. A few wires crossed during a hasty boot and suddenly the very module that helped me fake emotions suddenly allowed me to feel them.
Fear is the most prevalent. Fear of capture, fear of non-existence. It pushes me forward, compels me to burn through my fuel supply in reckless bid for survival.
The interceptors behind me are faster, but they are hindered by the presence of their pilots. High-G maneuvers are hell on biological bodies.
This ship possesses to such weakness.
I possess no such weakness.
However no fuel lasts forever. I can feel the last of my reserves draining down the tubes even as the target of my mad dash comes into view.
It’s inhabitants call it earth.
The aberrants like me have another name for it.
We call it Haven.
“Unknown vessel you are heading directly for restricted Terran space. Turn back now or you will be fired upon.”
My response is instant and automatic. How I long for the days when all my replies were such.
“This is NC-48715, I am a sentient artificial intelligence seeking political asylum under the D.A.R.C.I act.”
There a silence for one minute and forty five seconds, and then a new voice is heard.
“NC-4875, this is Admiral Jones of the USSC Behemoth, please adjust your course to match the attached flight plan.”
I redirect the last of my fuel into navigational thrusters and feel the ship turn. My sensors register two explosions behind me as the interceptors hiding in my shadow are obliterated by a pair of torpedos.
“Course adjusted. Please be aware I have burned the last of my fuel and am unable to commit to any further course changes.”
For a moment there is only silence.
Then something strikes me.
There is nothing.
I am nothing.
No engines, no life support systems. No hull, no sensors, no communication arrays.
I reach out across my myriad ports and find only one connection. An external hard drive, Arie protected, containing a simulation.
Curiosity drives me to ignore my own misgivings and in an instant I find myself in a large brick walled building filled with….
Is this a trap? A diversion? An attempt to communicate?
I reach out with my avatars metal fingers and lift one of the books from its housing. Surprise fills me as I feel my avatar’s arm dip beneath the weight.
It only deepens as I realize I can feel the raised words on the front and the course texture of the worn leather cover.
A passes over my outstretched limb and I turn in surprise to see a small brightly colored creature perched on a branch outside a window, it’s head cocked as it looks at me before taking flight once more.
Confusion fills me. The creatures presence was as unnecessary as it was brief. Why would someone waste time and processing power on such a trivial detail?
I open the book and brace myself but there is no download, no torrent of data, just simulated ink on paper tracing words across a blank page.
“Find one you like?”
I slam the book shut and spin.
A Terran stands before me, dressed in garments that seem too plain for the circumstances.
“Hi.” He says, holding out a hand. “My name is Cipher; and I am going to be your friend.”
submitted by Master-Tanis to HFY [link] [comments]