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US Presidential Election & covid-19 updates: Trump, Biden, transition, results, cases, latest news

2020.11.28 16:11 redditlslsafsda US Presidential Election & covid-19 updates: Trump, Biden, transition, results, cases, latest news

News summary:
Electoral college votes (270 needed to win)

Joe Biden: 306
Donald Trump: 232

US covid-19 cases: 13.1 million

US covid-19 deaths: 264,859 (Source: JHU)

- New stay-at-home order imposed in Los Angeles County as cases continue to rise

- Election fraud lawsuit donor sues Trump for $2.5 million after another defeat in Pennsylvania

- Pfizer's covid-19 vaccine begins its journey to US from Belgium ahead of FDA aproval

- Final days in office could see unprecedented activity from Trump

- Furious Trump tells WH reporters: "Don't talk to me that way, I'm the President of the United States"

- Denver mayor forced to apologise for flying for Thanksgiving, after telling people to "avoid travel"

- Biden's Thanksgiving message: "The small act of staying home is a gift to our fellow Americans"

- Trump to utilise military to distribute the vaccine, starting 'next week'

- Over 2,000 coronavirus deaths in US on both Tuesday and Wednesday

- Attorney Sidney Powell files typo-ridden lawsuit against election integrity in Georgia

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Time is running out to pass a new bill through Congress this year that will provide sweeping support to individuals struggling to make ends meet.

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Sidney Powell typos submitted to Georgia court
Powell is attempting to overturn the election result in the Peach State based on no tangible evidence of voter fraud.


Finally, some GOOD NEWS!
According to the Wall Street Journal, the strong early results for two covid-19 vaccines have implications beyond the current pandemic—to treatments for cancer, heart disease and other viruses.


Coronavirus vaccine in transit from Belgium to US
As drugmaker Pfizer seeks regulatory approval for its covid-19 vaccine, shipments have already begun making their way to distribution centers via United Airlines charters, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the shipments, which require the vaccine candidate to be packed in dry ice, according to CNN.

"As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA today is supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine," the agency said in a statement Friday.

The chartered flights, which began Friday, were reportedly between Brussels and Chicago, the WSJ said. They represent one leg of a chain, which will extend from Chicago to distribution hubs around the US.


Lockdown in Califoirnia: new stay-at-home restrictions in Los Angeles
The California county becomes the latest to impose new covid-19 rules to address the rise in case numbers after a busy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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Joe Biden gains votes in Wisconsin county after Trump-ordered recount
Joe Biden gains votes in Wisconsin county after Trump-ordered recount
A recount in Wisconsin’s largest county demanded by President Donald Trump’s election campaign ended on Friday with the president-elect, Joe Biden, gaining votes, according to a report by The Guardian Saturday.

After the recount in Milwaukee county, Biden made a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, the Democrat gained 257 votes to Trump’s 125.

Trump’s campaign had demanded recounts in two of Wisconsin’s most populous and Democratic-leaning counties, after he lost Wisconsin to Biden by more than 20,000 votes. The two recounts will cost the Trump campaign $3m. Dane county is expected to finish its recount on Sunday.

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Overall, Biden won November’s US presidential election with 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232. Biden also leads by more than 6m in the popular vote tally.

After the recount ended, the Milwaukee county clerk, George Christenson, said: “The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure.”

Joe Biden asked to bring back fast food menu items
You'd think that there would be more pressing issues given the multiple urgent crises the US and the world are facing currently; climate change, coronavirus pandemic and economic crises...but the internet has spoken. The next leader of the free world should use his newfound power to reinstate beloved items on fast food menus. It all started with Taco Bell...

Top of the list were potatoes, quesarito and shredded chicken at Taco Bell, McDonalds' all day breakfast and Burger King's cheesy tots.


yosemite thanksgiving donald trump covid-19 coronavirus mask mandate california
PHOTO: Yosemite Valley, California, United States. Mask wearing Thanksgiving day visitors took advantage of the weather strolling many of the paths and trails at Yosemite Valley National Park 26 November 2020.

Despite warnings of health officials to stay home due to the increases of covid-19 cases through out the states, some people are still traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AOC played Among Us last night
AOC played Among Us last night
Did you miss it? Watch the whole live stream again on Twitch.

US coronavirus case wake up call
As you can see from this breakdown, the US is now adding a million new official covid-19 infections every week. Back in the spring it took around a month to amass as many new cases.


Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.

- Pennsylvania appeals court opinion in Donald Trump election case

Stephanos Bibas, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Next coronavirus surge will be "destabilising" for the US - health expert
CNN - The next coronavirus surge will be “destabilising” for the United States, according to a health expert.

Health experts are predicting a surge in covid-19 cases following Thanksgiving, beyond the record-breaking numbers the US is currently experiencing.

“We're going to be regularly hitting 2,000 deaths per day, but then going up to 3,000 deaths and 4,000 deaths per day,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN on Friday.

“We're talking about numbers that are approaching what we experienced in the 1918 flu pandemic, except it's happening over a much shorter period of time,” he added.

US reports decline in covid-19 hospitalisations for first time in two weeks
CNN - For the first time in more than two weeks, the US reported a slight decline in the number of people being treated in hospitals for coronavirus on Friday, according to the Coronavirus Tracking Project.

It is still not yet clear if the data being reported was disrupted because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the CTP said. Some states and territories did not update their reports on Friday, including Florida and Delaware.

Organisations collecting data on the coronavirus expected to see a dip for Thanksgiving and the three to four days after the holiday, however an increase in reported cases of diagnoses, hospitalisations, and deaths are expected for next week and beyond.

The US surpassed 80,000 daily hospitalisations on November 19 and set new records for 17 days straight until Friday, according to CTP.

Pennsylvania court attacks Trump campaign lawsuit
Another lawsuit from President Trump's legal team fell flat in Pennsylvania after an attempt to dismiss the state's already-confirmed election results was rejected. President-elect Joe Biden was victorious in his hometown state by a margin of over 80,000 votes. The court found that the Trump campaigns accusations of fraud have no merit.

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, after returning the verdict. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”


Trump makes bold coronavirus vaccine claim
After Pfizer and BioNTech recorded positive results for their covid-19 vaccinations, President Donald Trump is eager to get them distributed to Americans. In his Thanksgiving Day address he remained bullish about the prospect of millions of vaccines being administered before Christmas.

The President said: “The vaccines are being delivered, literally it’ll start next week and the week after”.

Stay-at-home order imposed in LA
Los Angeles County has announced tonight that a new stay-home order will be introduced from Monday, as coronavirus cases surge out of control in the nation’s most populous county. On Friday, the county reported 24 new deaths and 4,544 new covid-19 cases. Across the whole US there were over 200,000 new cases, despite many areas not reporting.

A statement from the county health department read: “Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others."


Another recount concluded in Wisconsin
A recount in Wisconsin, requested by President Trump's legal team, has made no material difference to the outcome. President-elect Joe Biden's winning margin actually grew slightly.

The Trump campaign had attempted to use the recount to disqualify 238,420 ballots which were cast as absentee ballots in person or by those who count themselves as 'indefinitely confined', allowing them to vote absentee without meeting the state photo ID requirements.

The ballots in question were in Dane and Milwaukee counties, but Trump's legal efforts have so far been unsuccessful. They could still sue and have the case heard in court.


Joe Biden's lead over Trump continues to grow
The all-important matter of the Electoral College votes was settled weeks ago but as the count continues in some states President-elect Joe Biden's winning margin continues to grow in the popular vote. His lead in the popular vote lead climbs to 6.28 million, representing a margin of four percentage points.

This makes no difference to who will be in the White House come 20 January, but does help to show the futility of the President's ongoing legal challenges. After dismissing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on Friday, the Judge noted: "The number of ballots that it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory [in the state]"
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2020.11.28 11:58 verbsnounsandshit [FIGHT THREAD] Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce & live round-by-round updates

DATE Saturday 28th November 2020
LOCATION Church House, London, UK
TELEVISION BT Sport 1 (UK), ESPN+ (USA), Cable Onda Sports (Central/South America)
TIME 7:30pm (London), 12:30pm (LA), 3:30pm (NYC), 6:30am Sunday (Sydney)

Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce

12 Rounds

Heavyweight Division

Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce
15(14)-0-0 RECORD 11(10)-0-0
23 AGE 35
6'5" HEIGHT 6'6"
78" REACH 80"
244.5 lbs WEIGHT 257 lbs
Orthodox STANCE Orthodox
London, UK HOMETOWN London, UK
5(5)-0-0 LAST FIVE 5(4)-0-0

Undercard

  • Hamzah Sheeraz vs Guido Nicolas Pitto
  • Jack Catterall vs Abderrazak Houya
  • Jack Massey vs Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid
  • Louie Lynn vs Paul Holt
  • David Adeleye vs Danny Whitaker
  • Joshua Frankham vs MJ Hall
  • Mitchell Barton vs Matt Gordon

Live Round-By-Round Coverage

Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce

Round 1

I'm so pumped for this. Let's go! Joyce jabs to the body. And again. Joyce throws a right, but it's ridiculously slow and Dubois evades it by about 3 seconds. Dubois lands a right up top. JJ's jab may have scored there. He does score to the body, but Dubois responds with a right cross up top. Joyce jabs to the body. JJ jabs to the head. Dubois with his first decent jab. Joyce jabs. JJ to the body. He's relying on his jab, but it's working so far. Joyce's rights are hilariously slow. They exchange jabs.
Joyce 10-9 Dubois

Round 2

Dubois' right lands and makes Joyce stumble. Dubois coming out with more intent this round. They tie up, and Dubois lands a cheeky hook to the head. One-two from DD. His best shots of the fight. Good jab Dubois. Joyce jabs to the head. Dubois jabs. Joyce pawing away with the jab. Big right from Dubois may have hurt Joyce. They get up close, and Dubois lands a clubbing right hook to the head. Joyce in a bit of trouble here. He's over the worst, but his face showing the signs of a beating. Dubois jabs to the body. Left hook up top from Dubois. Dubois jabs to the body. He's dominating here. Big right Dubois. Stiff jab Dubois. Right lands from Dubois. Dominant round.
Dubois 10-9 Joyce - Draw 19-19

Round 3

Joyce's face has reddened. Big right Dubois. Joyce in trouble again. He's taking huge shot after huge shot from Dubois, but there's that granite chin Joyce is famous for. Joyce jabs. Dubois may need a breather after that onslaught. I thought Joyce might have been on his way out then. Joyce lands a jab. So does Dubois. Dubois with another jab. Not a lot has landed in the last 45 seconds. Joyce ties up. JJ jabs. And again. Joyce jabs to the body. Dubois with a combination that ends with a hard body shot. One-two Dubois.
Dubois 10-9 Joyce - Dubois 29-28 Joyce

Round 4

Dubois straight out with a jab. Joyce with a soft hook to the ribs. Big jab Dubois. JJ jabs. Dubois jabs. Joyce to the body. Dubois' uppercut just missed. Nice jab DD. Right through the guard from Dubois, followed up with a shot to the pubic region. Joyce's right fell short and allowed Dubois to counter. Right from Dubois. Dubois jabs. Double jab from Joyce. They exchange jabs, but Joyce's was the harder. Hard body shot from Dubois. Joyce ties up and uses his size to push Dubois back. DD to the body from the clinch. Joyce throws his right with the speed of my gran moving after she had a stroke (RIP).
Joyce 10-9 Dubois - Draw 38-38

Round 5

They swap jabs. JJ to the body, but we've got a quick break in the action as the canvas gets a wipe down. Joyce winning the battle of the jabs. Dubois with a big one-two. Dubois jabs. Another jab from Joyce. Dubois' face is marked up. Dubois with a hard jab that sends Joyce's head snapping back. Big jab DD. Dubois to the body then a right to the face. They swap jabs, with Dubois landing the stiffer. Dubois jabs. Right to the ribs from DD. Another right up top from the Greenwich man. Another big right up top from Dubois. And another. They tie up, and Dubois lands a right hook to the head. Joyce ate a lot of leather in that round.
Dubois 10-9 Joyce - Dubois 48-47 Joyce

Round 6

Joyce to the body. Dubois jabs. And again. JJ lands a jab up top. They tie up, and Ian John Lewis lets them cuddle for a bit. Dubois jabs. Joyce lands a right counter. His right hasn't found a home too often tonight. They tie up, and Joyce with a cheeky hook to the ribs. Big right from Dubois detonates on Joyce's chin, but the Putney boy can take cannonball. They swap jabs. Fantastic jab from JJ catches DD on the way in. Dubois' left eye is closing. Another big right from Dubois. Short left hook from Dubois. Two big jabs from Joyce. Dubois ends the round with a jab. This is fascinating stuff.
Dubois 10-9 Joyce - Dubois 58-56 Joyce

Round 7

They trade jabs, but Dubois catches JJ on the way in with a big right. How did he stay up from that?! That was Homer SImpson stuff from Joyce. Right from Dubois. Jabs are traded, with Joyce getting the better of them. Big one-two from Dubois. Dubois jabs to the body. Joyce with a hard body shot. JJ jabs. Dubois with a great jab. One-two from Joyce. Dubois to the body. Hard jab from Dubois. Dubois misses 3 or 4 shots by miles, and Joyce ties up.
Dubois 10-9 Joyce - Dubois 68-65 Joyce

Round 8

Dubois straight out with the jab. Clubbing hooks from Dubois miss the target, but his right lands through the guard. Good jab Joyce. Dubois' jab catches Joyce on the way in. Joyce jabs. And again. Right lands from Joyce. Dubois jabs. Joyce with three unanswered jabs. Joyce to the body. This has probably been the quietest round. Dubois is reprimanded for a low blow. Good jab Dubois. Dubois to the body, but Joyce's stiff jab keeps him honest. Hard jab Dubois. Joyce's right hook somehow scored. Dubois with a one-two. Hard jab DD. Right hook from Dubois. Close round.
Joyce 10-9 Dubois - Dubois 77-75 Joyce

Round 9

Dubois jabs. So does Joyce. Joyce beats DD to the jab. Stiff jab from Joyce snaps Dubois' head back. Another solid jab from Joyce. They tie up, and Dubois with an uppercut into the body. Joyce scores with a soft right. JJ jabs. Big right cross from Dubois. He's so much more explosive than Joe Joyce. Right lands from Joyce. That right hand is so slow, but Dubois' left eye is shut. Dubois scores twice to the body. Joyce jabs. Hard jab JJ. Right lands from Joyce. And a jab.
Joyce 10-9 Dubois - Dubois 86-85 Joyce

Round 10

Dubois with a jab. Joyce with a double jab. One-two from Joyce may have scored. Hard jab Dubois. Big jab from Joyce to the eye AND DUBOIS TAKES A KNEE! WOW! I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING. HE'S NOT GETTING TO HIS FEET. HE LETS THE REFEREE COUNT HIM OUT. JOYCE HAS WON BY A KNOCK OUT!

JOYCE WINS BY ROUND 10 KO

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2020.11.28 00:20 tjaylea I'm a Pathologist who performs autopsies on nightmares. This autopsy talked back.

Death is a taboo topic for so many of us. Something we shy away from, beat it over the head with a stick and scream at it to go sit in the corner until we’re ready to deal with it. It permeates every aspect of our daily lives without us often even registering it, yet we still run from it.
Because despite our various faiths, practices and beliefs; we don’t truly know what is beyond this existence. And that’s terrifying for so many.
Not for me, though. For me, it’s just work. Over here at Death May Die, we have a system that has remained unchanged for all the years I’ve worked here. It’s one I will apply to every entry in my strange life that I share with you.
Every 3 days, a new body winds up at my morgue with its own story about how it got there.
Every 3 days, I'll report back to you all with what I find.
Some corpses are contorted, misshapen from the decomposition, rotted or burning. Yes, still burning when I finally dump them on the cold table. Ritual deaths are tricky and require big rubbery gloves. Mine have a few fun stickers from the local music scene, gotta represent.
But they all have one thing in common;
Every single one of them is a product of nightmares. Literally and figuratively.
Now I’ll say here for those of you already rolling your eyes so hard they’re already prepping to become billiard balls; I’m not expecting you to start up petitions for nightmare integration or to start on your creature feature dating sim. It is not my job to convince you. Sturgeon is a weird fuckin’ place.
I’ll lay it all out now; Sturgeon has a serious nightmare problem on its hands. We all know they walk where we dare not tread and the folks like it that way. Unless you’ve been sentenced for crimes that shall go unmentioned or it’s near the end of their life, you are never likely to meet any of their various ilk.
A barrier separates Sturgeon’s denizens or “Daywalkers” from those who inhabit the darkest corners of our fears and those who came long before we stepped out of our caves. Cryptids, Nightmares, Beasts and so forth. They have their own histories, legends, infirmities, fears and flaws. Most importantly; they all die. That means someone must tend to them, set their bodies right and perform whatever practice they held dear to them.
Being the only mortician that is willing to cater to their final rites, it falls to yours truly; Fala McNamara, to do what needs to be done and provide them with their last rites, maybe learning something about them along the way.
With the latest iteration in the Tournament of Nightmares now over, my business has been… busy, to say the least. Bodies coming in covered in cuts, limbs totally eviscerated and organs simply gone. They love to keep a girl busy, that’s for sure.
But that’s not why we’re here today.
We’re here today because of the nightmare of the forests that was hauled in last week.
And what was inside of him.
-
I always hated early morning calls. Let it be known that Dr. Fala McNamara is not a fucking morning person. Not in a cute “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee!” type of way, either. Miss me with that bullshit, I enjoy the quietness of night where the sun cannot expose my exhausted face and dishevelled frame like the judgmental bitch he is. Makes me love the Winter all the more.
As my bones rattled in the early morning chill, my mind wandered to a familiar question; Was med school really worth it? To become Sturgeon’s sole nightmare pathologist AND mortician? Looks borderline comical on a resume. Well, not like I could quit now…
Hobbling downstairs from my apartment, Khali hands me a glass of something with a cheery grin and nervous hands.
“Mornin’ chief! Sorry to get you up so early, our next client wasn’t scheduled until after dinner, but you know how it is… I hope you’re not mad?” They fumbled with their hands and flinched as I took a sip before nodding at nothing and rushing to clean the reception counter. Khali was sweet, more nervous than a shelter animal meeting a foster owner and easily the most alive thing in this entire building. They were good at their job, though, and always thinking of new ways to bring efficiency to the business, so I would always tread lightly when they had a nervous spell.
“You know you don’t need to call me chief. Morgues just have Morticians. Don’t worry about the early start, I’ll nap after. The hell did you give me, though?” I feel the kick in the back of my throat and my eyes widen, my feet feel lighter. Khali shouts back as they go to answer the door.
“Mellified Man! Vendor told me it’ll wake anyone up pretty damn quick, enjoy it, chief!”
I was halfway through a mixture of confusion and anger when the door opened and a burly man towering over us both sauntered in, a friendly smile over his face as a cold snap hit me and I rushed for the nearest coat or blanket.
“Hey, hey! Khali you little scoundrel, thanks so much for opening up. Wouldn’t have called if we could’ve waited, but uhh…” He turned his head back outside and waved for his subordinates to wheel in the body. “This one was special. Figured you’d appreciate it when you saw.”
The man standing in my funeral home was Detective Chino De La Sturgeon, head of the L & M Nightmare Detective’s establishment that handled relations and issues between the two groups. Cavalier, fiercely loyal and, at times, tactless. He was a reliable colleague and the sort of guy you could rely on in a pinch, even if…
“Oh GOD Chino, what is that under your fingernails?!” Khali recoiled as he went in for a hug before looking down at his hands, bemusement written across his face.
“This? Ah, it’s just corpse pieces, stiff got a little uhh.. “mulchy” when moving him, but you’re not gonna let that stop a refreshing morning hug, are ya?” He grinned and let out a bellow as Khali jumped over the counter to spray themselves down, repeatedly muttering “nope,” under their breath.
“If you’re done terrifying my staff, shall we get down to business? I’ve suddenly found my morning zest and I wanna get this started before I find myself passing out with a hacksaw in my hands. I don’t need another Christmas party incident.” I walked down with my arms still draping a nearby blanket around me like a makeshift cape; hardly professional, but Chino was a friend. He nodded and shook my hand as we escorted the body to the main room.
The building was built in such a way that accommodated both the funeral and more grisly research aspects; The greeting room Khali handled was small and dignified on the street level, portraits of animals in admiralty uniforms and nightmare creatures or Cryptids looking peaceful in their caskets or atop funeral pyres were also commonplace and brought a sense of peace to those with families that sought us out.
I’m not going to go cliche and postulate the notion that “what if HUMANS are the monsters?” because that would imply absolutism and to be frank; it’s fucking stupid. But if it exists; it has kin and those kin need closure. I provide that first in the reception area and the bulk of my preparation in “the chamber” that is situated behind and below. It is an area the size of a small warehouse, fitted with lockers of all shapes and sizes for all manner of creatures, a workstation with a speaker attached for both music and communications from the front desk, a slew of my own personal oddities in jars, antique collections for both enjoyment and ritualistic purposes.
A small alcove in the corner was dedicated specifically to what I called the meeting room. It housed my taxidermy animals from my earlier medical days and my council of spiders a dear friend had gifted to me some time ago. The council were superb soundboards for particular queries, concerns, or general advice I needed. Two dozen spiders ranging from the polarising Madame Rumble (Aphonopelma chalcodes) to the always comical Duke Strassburg (Theraposa Blondi) and last but not least; my near-constant companion jumping spider (Phiddipus Audax) Minerva with her blue striped and iridescent abdomen, piercing eyes and constant desire to nest in my hair. They all provide excellent advice in exchange for good feeds and decent space.
It was my own personal safe haven from the world above. Where the main companions I kept were either solitary like me or unable to respond at all. Immediately I felt the safety blanket envelop me and I got to work observing the basics of our new resident;
The body was seven foot, nine inches and weighed 272 pounds. An XL tray accommodated him decently, and the smell of burnt wood and moss filled my nostrils.
As soon as Chino unzipped the bag and the deer skull popped out, antlers mid-shed and the right stalk snapped in half, I knew what I was looking at. Folks called them many things; lords of the woods, forest devil, the woodsman and even master protector.
But whether he was revered or vilified, he was respected under one unifying name across the western world;
Leshii.
-
I gathered the tools and studied my grimoire for the area depicting forest beings, their anatomies, and their burial practices. “Mister Woodenhuser’s Guide To the Mythically Dead and Magically Charmed: a One Stop Guide For Every Ritual and Anatomical Blunder” I found the damn thing in a yard sale when I was six, it’d never steered me wrong before, even if the name was a fucking eyesore. Flicking through the thick and yellowing pages, I found the section on woodland beasts and how to both conjure them and bury them.
This was going to be rough.
Since he was found with no next of kin available, it’d fall to me to send the body off after I was finished finding out what happened to him. Joys of being both coroner and mortician, hoping nobody came to claim him in case we fucked it up. While I rummaged for the right tools, Chino told me what happened;
“It was nine minutes past six in the morning when we found him. His body was hanging by the ankles from opposite sides of a tall gate bordering on the Williams’ Estate. Shit was nasty… I think some passers-by spotted him, but they damn sure didn’t say anything.” He shook his head and sighed, running his hand across his five o’clock shadow and an incessant scratching noise echoing around my sanctum that set my own hairs on end.
“Chino… we talked about the noises, remember? We had a whole discussion about how they make me feel.” I felt my teeth grinding as he put his hands up and walked back.
“I don’t recall a talk, just you screaming to get out with a scalpel to hand.” He smirked wryly. “You mentioned something about castration and I promptly left.”
“Then you know not to make the mistake again, don’t you? Was there anything else? Or can I unwrap my present before this mellified man turns me inside out?” I wheeled myself over to the table and began unwrapping the Leshen from his plastic bag, laying out the tools I’d need for the procedure.
“Nah, nothing else. I’ll go grab a coffee with Khali, but uhh… Fala? Do you ever think about your future?” I looked up, and he was leaning against the door, arms folded and concern on his face like a big brother or a father figure ready to give the lecture of a lifetime. “I mean, y’know, beyond this place?”
“Get hotter. Get older. Learn more. Die. Feed the ground. Become particles and travel unconsciously. All pretty standard to me. Why?” I thumbed the pages of my book and looked at where I’d need to start, most likely the chest cavity, figures. But should I crack the ribs first or cut it open and see what happens?
“Don’t you want a family? Maybe someone to do this with you? Someone to come home to?” His voice dropped an octave. “I worry about you here. Five years I’ve worked with you and never seen you with anyone. Well, not since…” He let the moment hang in the air like some mistletoe I was expected to saunter under, but I gestured around me without looking up.
“There’s over 200 bodies in here, each of them with their own stories, loves, fears, hates and passions unfulfilled. I’m with them every day, they’re just as much my friends as you are.” I shook my head and gave him a blank expression, hoping the message would sink in. “Everything else is just white noise. I like it that way.”
From the council in the corner I could hear murmurings of agreement and phrases such as “Solitary hunters are kin too.” and “You truly WILL be on your own if my mealworm is late, child.” I chuckled and when Chino met my gaze, he shuddered.
“Alright, alright. When you start talking to The Council, I get unsettled, so that’s my cue to bounce. I’ll be upstairs so just call me when you have anything, I believe in you chief!” I couldn’t even retort before he chuckled and headed back up to the reception, the thick steel door slow to close and Chino’s voice booming out with a triumphant “Hey, Khali! Wanna see what partial spontaneous combustion looks like? Little demons really have no control, so the first thing to sizzle is their-” while Khali screamed their goddamn lungs out in protest. It was like having two grown-up, hairy children.
Nevermind, distractions are removed. Time for work. I put my dictaphone on play and left it on the side table as I slipped on my apron and began walking around the body.
Patient #621b - A Leshii. Male. Middle-late aged, most likely in their late 500’s. The thick black chains at the joints were seared his green, moss covered flesh. The branches and foliage that adorned his body had been pruned, ripped out or cauterised. Not a single leaf was spared, every edge was furled in plastic. Over his head was a thick bag with a hose attached to a car exhaust, still running when discovered by passers-by. A black substance oozing from the sides of his mouth, ears and eyes. Cause of death…
Look,. I don’t think I need to tell you that you can’t suffocate a plant, but you can certainly put it to sleep with enough deprivation. Some sick bastard decided to let the poison do its work while our Leshii was in a barely conscious state and unable to fight back.
Leshiis come in all shapes and sizes; some are able to adopt the visage of tall humans when they’re still powerful, but many lose their abilities as they get older, instead looking similar to towering trees with oak limbs, a broad face with thick antlers forming a small crown. Regardless, they are revered all around the world as defenders of the forests, sometimes even violently if they feel they or their kin are threatened. I once dealt with a scorched female Leshii who had tried one too many times to reason with deforestation workers in a small Slavic town. They thought her a demonic entity and “cleansed her” with fire. Her son looked upon me with bright, amber eyes and told me every tree would know of what she had done.
This particular one was still in his armour when he died, the deer skull still affixed over his head, defensive abrasions across his forearms and legs. Clearly trying to defend himself against something but ill-equipped to do so.
Nothing more for it, I suppose. I picked up the scalpel to make the Y incision. For those of you morbidly inclined; it starts on the shoulder, running to the lower end of the sternum and then downwards in a straight line over the abdomen to the pubis. Cutting through with some degree of effort, noxious fumes rising up out of the cavity, I set the scalpel down and gripped both sides of the incision on the shoulders and pulled.
When I let go and looked down, I had to stifle a scream as I backed away to the safety of my meeting corner, the council of spiders all crawling out of their burrows to either console me or get a better look.
“Is it food? We would appreciate food, very much so, yes.”
“Is the chairwoman well? We do not wish to lose our primary feeder.” My chest tightened and my legs shook, I was used to all manner of oddities when dealing with these kinds of creatures. But to imply I was desensitised to the unusual would betray the human elements I still harbour within me.
Taking small, tentative steps back to the operating table, I pulled the movable desk around and craned the light down over the section where his organs should be. Strange, green and filled of fauna they would be, yes, but the grimoire was never wrong.
Instead, I was staring down at a sprawling, densely packed city running from pubis to clavicle, the spires on top of houses and municipal buildings jutting up to just beneath the last layer of skin the Leshii had, their black brick design reminiscent of Victorian era housing, but with an immediately far more uncomfortable atmosphere surrounding them. I peered down and saw small creatures cavorting in long flowing robes, their faces hidden and only small spindly appendages coming out where hands should be. Some spoke openly on the streets, others were ferrying large carts of foods, pieces of the Leshii’s organs, from one place to another. I saw small picnic tables where these things gleefully tore pieces off of the Leshii’s flesh, spewing a viscous black liquid around their dwelling and pasting it to the walls.
Wherever the black liquid touched, the internal walls would start to grow a vile mould that sizzled as it spread.
In the centre of this strange, macabre town, lay a pedestal atop a series of brilliant marble steps. A pair of statues depicting two figures in black robes and painted skulls for heads gripped a pair of obsidian shovels with pride, standing on either side of a pyre that connected to a thick black pipe. A larger cloaked individual stood in front of a crowd, speaking impassionately in a language I couldn’t understand, but his hand signals and accompanying imagery certainly explained his agenda.
Sacrifice.
I could do nothing but watch as a small, screeching individual was brought forcibly by members of the crowd, now chanting eagerly as the poor soul was thrown at the preacher’s feet, struggling to get up and staring around for help from someone… anyone.
But nobody came to their aid. They simply pointed to the pyre.
The dark flame was lit and I swear my own operating light flickered, I was enraptured in the worst of ways as they shoved this person onto the fire and sang a chorus. The hood fell down, and I felt my eyes widen in an even greater fear. That of inaction.
It was a little girl, by all accounts human and with only small deformities that were transfiguring her hands into the same spindly limbs her contemporaries had. She begged for clemency, for help. In any language, that’s universal.
Eventually, her resistances ceased, and the body fell limp over the pyre before being pulled into the black pipe. A guttural whooshing sound filled the body as it travelled up through the city and past the throat of the Leshii.
I was at a loss for words. No amount of medical training or living in this town prepared me for this. I furtively glanced down at the Grimoire and hoped for some information. Unfortunately, little sentient towns living inside woodland beasts were not among their vast swathes of knowledge. Goddamnit.
In a flash, the bulb on my light fixture burst and shards of glass rained down on my head, plunging me into an imposing darkness. I cursed, but remained thankful I had a surgical cap covering my black hair.
A light erupted from the body, a horrific & forbidden colour that I was never meant to see; that no person should ever gaze upon. Minerva, my jumping spider, crawled out of my chest pocket to perch herself on the top & stared intently at the sickening hue, her little pedipalps shaking.
Casting my eyes up & away from the glow, I saw something that days on is still haunting me.
The Leshii was awake.
His eyes glowed a strong Amber, and the jaw encased inside his deer skull grew slack, as if accommodating a great weight trying to pry itself free from his gullet.
Then, he spoke.
A booming voice that bounced around the walls of my building, growing in ferocity and power as the observation windows above threatened to shatter & my ears rang, my skull splitting.
“I see a place housing the dead. A realm where the barrier is broken down and all that remains is flesh & unresolved business.” His head jerked and snapped, the deer skull following me as I moved, desperately trying to get out of his purview. “I see shadowy figures taking this vessel and putting it to work for their greater purpose. I see… I see…”
The voice grew discordant, manic even as the body regained life and it too began to jerk and thrash.
“I see Sturgeon bathed in twilight, the unliving standing tall on the bodies of the greeter and the keeper. The dead will come to greet the living and all secrets will go to the grave. I see all things unravel, an endless spiral of decay and death. Fractals upon fractals.”
Something began to manifest in the back of the room, arms gripping either side of the near 100ft wide span and propping itself up as it took shape. A blackened, featureless representation of the corpse laying in front of me, still bleating out unhallowed prophetic drivel as my nose started to bleed.
“The Orders will clash and brothers will spill their blood in the place with no name. The devourer of sins will be brought to her knees and there will be no more spaces in between. All will converge under the light of the dusk walkers before falling silent.”
My vision was swirling, and this shape started crawling towards me, featureless save for a hungry, gaping maw of a mouth, locked in a static expression of apathy that set me more on edge than any wide smile or angry grimace ever could. I backed up into my corner with the council, but there was no room left to maneuver. I didn’t even notice Chino bringing down an axe on the throat of the corpse, severing the head from the body in one swift motion. The splitting of wood and the screeching of so many living things at once put me in the fetal position as it ripped through the room. After a few seconds, I looked up and saw Chino covered in sweat and staring at the spot where he’d made the strike. Mustering up what little courage I had, I got to shaky legs and walked over, Minerva cowering in my pocket. The spectre from the back was gone, a thick cloud of ash hung in the air where it had reached out, some 10 feet away from grabbing me.
The Leshii’s eyes still shimmered and the deer skull started cracking, the twitching less pronounced. Eyes shifted from Chino to me before fixating on a spot above us and espousing one final proclamation;
“In time, all the stars will go out. One by one. And we will remember.” With that, the light faded and a thick pungent smoke left the mouth, making me gag at the first whiff. Adjusting my mask and exchanging a look with Chino, I stared back down at the city of creatures in the chest cavity.
Every single one of them was staring at us. Red eyes like fireballs glistened behind dark hoods. Smaller children hid behind their parents and frail members shook with fear, but the rest simply looked at us as a threat.
A single voice rang out from the town hall, a small shovel in his hand that he brandished with authority and they turned their backs to us, some shutting themselves in their homes while others huddled together. The two statues glowed bright as black smoke running through the town and enveloping the entire town until nothing but the spires were visible.
When the smoke cleared, only the cloaks remained.
Every single one of them had vanished, and now only the empty city remains.
“I’m guessing this is not what you usually find in a forest lord, huh?” Chino remarked, breathing heavily and letting the axe drop with a thud, wiping his brow. “Any ideas?” I didn’t immediately reply, the fear of my own mortality still sending shock waves through me. Though I am for the most part at peace with my calling and the idea of death, there’s something to be said for not going out on your own terms and the terrifying idea of being here one moment and gone the next. I just about avoided making a fool of myself and passing out by clutching the edges of the steel table and letting my breathing slow.
“No. No, that’s not normal for a fucking forest lord, Chino. Flowers, moss, bugs, even small pure water deposits where the bladder should be. THOSE are normal. An entire city of little people complete with still alive corpse? Yeah, fuck that. Fuck that right in the ear. Jesus christ…” I pinched my nose and took a breath, thankful the man in front of me understood my hot-blooded nature and lack of social decorum. “I need to finish the job, hand me the circular saw, would you?”
He blinked in surprise before obliging and taking a step back. “You’re not even going to take a break? Seriously? Nobody would blame you, y’know.” He frowned as I grabbed it with shaking hands, gripping the handle tightly to steel my nerves, taking my mind back to the lessons I’d learned over the years and finding my footing once again. I would not let this beat me.
“I’m here. I’m alive. I’m well enough to continue. Plus, for his burial ritual, we need to be done by first light in some 90 minutes, so less chattering and more skull scattering.” The deer mask now crumpled away and the frightened but definitively dead face of the Leshii staring blankly up at us, his hazel eyes, humanoid mouth and thick nostrils caked in the black substance that had spewed from the town in his chest. Some kind of poison. I scooped a portion up from the saliva, ocular, nasal and what remained of the bladder to put it into a vial for toxicology testing. Whoever did this had wanted him unconscious with the plastic wrapping and ensured maximum suffering upon waking up. Poor bastard…
First making a triangular incision on the top of the scalp, stretching from one ear to the other and ending at the crown, I used the saw to cut through the bone and protect the soft tissue, not wanting to cause any more of a mess than what already existed.
When putting the circular saw down, however, I noticed a brand on the back of the Leshii’s neck, just above the vertebrae and still clearly visible in spite of the clean cut Chino had made. I scanned my Grimoire fervently in the hours following this and came to find a match for what I saw;
It was a circular sigil with three distinct rings. In the centre lay the earth, rings running out, and each circle means something new. The central circle represents death, next life, outermost birth. The skin peeled off the middle circle, making it abundantly clear that this was no ordinary murder; it was a message.
Instead of finding a brain, however, I found something far more disturbing. Something that would ultimately set me on the path I find myself on now.
In the place of any kind of brain was a mass grave of the creatures in the Leshii’s chest cavity. So many of them were malformed, frozen in agony and charred. Thousands of them spilling out onto the table and disintegrating the moment they came into contact with the steel.
I marked the cause of death as poisoning and a homicide. Unable to remove any of the now ruined city from his body, we instead sewed him up and prepared for the ritual.
A Leshii is tied to the forests they inhabited, and while they have physical forms with lifespans, they are more spiritual than we could ever imagine. Their births, lives and deaths are indicative of that. A new Leshii is born every five years on the 20th of March, the dawn of the spring solstice, and a Leshii must be buried before the Winter solstice on the 21st of December, lest they spend months wandering and causing decay in their own dwellings.
With only an hour to spare, we ferried his body to the edge of the Sturgeon Old Forest and a hole in the ground hastily dug by Chino’s subordinates. No embalming, no headstone, no chemicals, just the soil. As we lowered him in, the sunlight crept over the horizon and the last rites were given. When the sun touched his body, a soft flame started at his feet and worked its way over his body. As we piled the soil over him, flowers sprouted out of the ground and within moments had covered the spot in its entirety with wildflowers, rhododendrons and a single Lily.
“Your son has been returned to you, a new guardian, to watch over your lands. Let him bask in your light and grow anew. From the soil, we return.”
Chino and I hung our heads as the light finished covering the gravestone and made sure not to look upon the source of the rustling in the trees, the crunching of leaves or the scuttling in the bushes. Our respect was necessary, not our eyes. After a couple of minutes and a soft breeze whisked through the air, we knew we were done.
As we left, I could’ve sworn I saw a pair of thick, spiked antlers jutting out from behind a treeline some distance away.
Perhaps a family member watching from afar.
Perhaps this Leshii found his way home.
-
During our walk back, it became clear there was going to be a lot of red tape and work to be done. I resolved to write up my report and work with Chino on anything he needed. Whatever this was, no matter how horrifying, I would send myself to an early grave with stress if I didn’t see this through. He told me things would be fine. I could tell he was lying.
As we got to the front desk and began our goodbyes, Khali burst out in a fluster, covered in the leftovers of our Leshii from downstairs. I always felt guilty for making them do cleanup, but it was this or feeding the council and I don’t think Khali is prepared for what they’d say to them just yet.
“Chief, you got a letter, I think… I think you may wanna open it.” They clasped it in filthy, shaking hands. I raised an eyebrow.
“You shaking because of the gunk? I know you’re particular about the messes, but…” I trailed off when I looked into their eyes; darting for a safe place to decompress. I shook my head. “Go clean up and get a coffee. We’ve got this.”
Khali bowed and ran for the bathroom with such speed I didn’t think was possible. Running my hands over the envelope, I felt the fine paper and my name embossed in perfect white cursive against the charcoal backdrop. As if it were calling to me.
Inside, the note was simple and to the point, written in a thick green liquid. The blood of the Leshii. Making my own run cold as my eyes scanned the warning;
“More will come.Memento Mori.”
A sigil scrawled beneath it, the exact same brand I’d seen on the Leshii’s body, but with the flesh covering the patch that was missing from his corpse. Two shovels intersecting in front of a painted skull. A name etched around the sigil in golden writing.
”The Order Of The Gravediggers.”
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2020.11.27 03:01 Daeridanii [r/WP] Cutting-Edge

Originally Written 26 November, 2020
[WP] As the patch rolls out across the globe, humans awaken to find their bodies updated Human V1.1, a fairly minor update that works out many common complaints. Inexplicably, you awaken to find yourself updated to V3.0 Alpha.

“If we’re being honest, the original release of Human was an absolute classic. Substantially increased cranial capacity over the prototypes, and tons of groundbreaking technology like sweat glands, kneecaps, and forward-facing eyes. It’s no surprise than Human Version 1.0 was absolutely dominant on the African savannah, and it’s been a real pleasure to see how well that design has continued to perform into the twenty-first century.”
The well-dressed spokesperson continued in an excited, business-presentation-like tone. He had this notable habit of pointing towards the camera every time he said something that he really wanted to get across, like a recruiter trying to seem “hip with the kids.”
“But since we’re being honest, it’s been a long time since Human Version 1.0, and we think the world is ready for the future. That’s why we’ve rolled out our first major quality-of-life update: Human Version 1.1. It’s still got that classic Human feel that you’ve come to know and love, but we’ve polished up a lot of the rough edges and addressed many of your complaints. Version 1.1 includes features like soft-tissue regeneration, closed-cycle endometrial recycling, and 63% reduced existential dread. We think you’ll love Human 1.1, and so we invite you to try it out. If you’d like to learn more, the full patch notes are inscribed in your long-term memory. Thank you.”
The spokesperson got up from his table and walked out of view of the camera. Eager to get some discussion on this juicy new announcement, the program cut to Oswald Ritterton, who began to introduce some scientists who would no doubt give their expert opinions on Version 1.1. I turned off the television before that, however, because something wasn’t quite right.
You see, I was checking my memory for the patch notes when -- oh! Oh? Ohoho….
Version 1.1 was in there, all right, but there was also something named “Version 3.0 Alpha NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE.” Intrigued, I probed a little further. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by this chilling feeling that left me paralysed, standing in my kitchen in a robe, staring half-lidded at the deactivated television. Was I breathing? I couldn’t quite tell.
Then, with an equally chilling feeling, I was released and crumpled to the floor. At the top of my vision, a set of words appeared: “Test Build - Human Version 3.0.” I stood back up, a little unsure and unsteady. Seconds later, another set of words appeared. “Feature Walkthrough y/n?” Well, I suppose it could be useful…

“Hello. Thank you for selecting the feature walkthrough of Human, Version 3.0. Please note that this is a development build and that features may change between now and the final release.”
A luminous figure stood in my kitchen in front of me, calmly gesturing to the objects in the room. It was semi-transparent and strangely insubstantial in a way I couldn’t quite describe, as if it wasn’t really there.
“As you can tell, we’ve decided to repurpose the Hallucination software for a more user-friendly approach. Interactive walkthroughs like this are just one of many things that can be done with the new system, which we’ve merged with the Dream framework for a more cohesive user experience. If you look to your right, you’ll see a notepad containing more information on the features we’ll be demonstrating today.”
Indeed, an illusory notepad sat to my right on the countertop, shimmering slightly but clearly legible.
“When we first introduced Cell, it was a major breakthrough, and it’s been the foundation for much of our work since then. However, we’re interested in giving it a refresh for Version 3.0 with up-to-date technology. Cell is now over fifty times more resistant to external attack, has an integrated antivirus, and produces energy orders of magnitude more effectively.”
My arm started moving forward out of my control. Horrifyingly, it gripped the blade of the chef’s knife on the table. My fingers clamped down on the knife’s edge, but no blood issued from them - in fact, they were making dents in the blade. With an almost theatrical finish, my hand began to glow and the knife melted, dripping onto the floor and coagulating in a puddle of molten steel.
“Now let’s talk Brain. Brain was the main area of focus for Human 1.0, and with Version 3.0, we have improved it significantly in multiple areas. Processing speed is nearly 400 times faster, and we’ve improved the Memory system in both capacity and reliability. Finally, we’ve also taken the liberty of including a basic Knowledge Package, which includes 90% of current mathematical and scientific methods and all extant human languages.”
La voz extraña dentro de mi mente me dijo la verdad. Pude sentir en la cabeza información nueva y recuerdos que pensé que los había olvidado. ¡Que emocionante! Wait, what?
“And finally, ever since the boys in the lab got into those comic books, we couldn’t pry them away, so we’ve also included a few of the more… aspirational abilities that are still being tested. These include self-powered flight and instantaneous teleportation, but we advise you to use them with caution as there are still a few bugs that we haven’t completely worked out.”
With a whoosh, I disappeared from my kitchen and re-appeared in my bedroom. Steam rose off my feet and I could taste distinctly the pungent smell of ozone.
“We’ve also done streamlining on many of the existing systems, but we’ll leave that to explore at your discretion. Thank you for your attention, and we hope you enjoy Human, Version 3.0.”
The figure disappeared and I was left holding the notepad of changes. I read through all four hundred and fifty pages of it in about three seconds, and ready to try everything out, leapt out the window. The wind on my face was newly refreshing and I could feel the warmth of the sun on every individual exposed hair. Milliseconds before I would have irreparably damaged the sidewalk, I decided against it and instead floated gently off over the city, ready to revel in this exciting new world.
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2020.11.26 21:09 luminescentGobul An unexpected connection - Chapter 4: Further assurement

Having checked my alarm seemed to have paid off since I managed to wake up in time the next morning. With more time to spare I got up slow as usual, ate something for breakfast and got ready to leave for work. I was excited to see how Kazuma and I would do without Asumi‘s assistance. It couldn‘t possibly turn out to be that bad as long as we would just sticked to what we were used to doing. I went into my room one last time and looked at my headphones. Normally, I wouldn‘t leave without them since I loved listening to my playlist but now that I knew that Kazuma had pretty much the exact same way to work as me, I figured that it might be best to not take them with me at all because he probably would like to talk to me on our way. I decided to leave them home and ultimately left my apartment, heading for the nearby bus station. I left my street and already saw Kazuma standing there waiting for the bus to arrive. To my surprise he wore headphones. “Well that‘s kinda awkward.“, I told myself and caught up to him. Now I felt kinda dumb for not bringing my headphones with me as well. Still while approaching him I began wondering what music he listened to. Kazuma didn‘t seem to notice me while I got closer to him. He looked really elegant standing there in black clothes just as yesterday. He had his hands in his pockets and his right foot stepped on the ground to the beat he listened to. When I was just a few feet away from him he finally took notice of me and turned towards me while taking off his headphones. “Good morning!“, I greeted him and smiled. “Good morning, Masashi!“, he smiled back at me. “I see you’re early today.“ “I swear to god, yesterday was not what I‘m usually like.“, I said clearly and Kazuma laughed as a response to it. “Don‘t worry that didn‘t leave a bad impression.“, he said and turned his head as the bus approached our stop. We entered the bus and took a seat further back. It was Kazuma‘s choice since he went first and I didn‘t really have anything to say against it. As we sat there Kazuma gazed outside the window. He looked like he was dreaming so it took me several minutes to find the confidence to talk to him. I cleared my throat and asked: “What were you listening to earlier?“ I was oddly afraid of interrupting his moment but he reacted really kindly. “Oh you wanna have a listen for yourself?“, he suggested and my eyes widened upon this sudden offer. “I mean ... uh ... yeah, sure.“, I accepted the offer. He got his headphones and at first I thought he would hand them over to me but when I was going to take them he said: “No no, it‘s fine. I‘ll do it.“ He smoothly put them on my ears and looked me in the eyes. Just as they sat directly on my ears I almost complete deafened. The noise cancellation was amazing and wearing them felt really good because of how soft they were. When he was done adjusting, he slowly took back his hands and carefully ran his right index finger over my left cheek. He unlocked his phone and opened his playlist. After swiping down a bit he stopped all of a sudden and smiled at me shortly. Then he tapped on the display and just as he did so a sparkling sound flooded both of my ears. It caught me off guard and I flinched at first. When the sound slowly faded out, I heard the voice of a woman saying: “I love you.“, with a rhythmic emphasis on every single one of the three words. Right after it, a smooth almost playful “la la la la la“ followed and the sound started shifting from the left to the right headphone and vice versa. The woman started singing now while sounding kind of muffled.
“Give me a chance to say all the things I‘m still shy about Let me follow you, follow you to the end of happiness Love me, love me my baby boy“
Now a male voice continued, similarly muffled.
“I love you la la la la la I will forever be the one to protect you so that you cannot be parted Here are my hands, just take them, you won‘t have to worry“
Lastly both voices sang a line together.
“I don‘t wanna be your friend“
And with that the sound became crystal clear on both headphones. The core rhythm got established by a repeating snap and I immediately got the impression of a chill and comfy vibe. I looked at Kazuma. His blue eyes were shining and he smiled subtly. I started smiling too since I would be happy as well to give someone a listen of my favorite music. The snapping got replaced by a looping drum beat and just as the switch took place, the female voice started singing again.
“I suddenly awoke early today I startled myself when I remembered that we were both no longer friends Last night, someone said things that made me couldn‘t sleep the entire night“
And like that, the male voice continued.
“It wasn‘t just you losing an entire night staying awake I also kept laying down thinking of you and smiling by myself while daydreaming Baby I miss you, I just wanna be your man“
This was when I realized that the lines from the beginning had actually been the chorus all along since now the female voice repeated her lines with the music picking up in pace after a small drop when she once again repeated the three words from that start: “I love you“ The rhythm was truly addicting. I had to really focus on not just fully giving in and moving my entire body to the beat. Still it sounded so good and the theme of the song was beautiful in itself as well. It appeared to be about a couple who wanted to take the step from being just friends to actual lovers. It all was mutual. Both had the same intentions and were fully committed to devote themselves to their loved one. They were ready to tell the other exactly how they felt and open their heart. It made me smile again because this wasn‘t as fictional. Sometimes two seemingly random people would find each other and as if it was set right from the beginning they somehow knew that they were meant for each other. It gave me hope. Maybe one day, a person like that would find me as well. And so would Kazuma. In the end, it would all just be a matter of time.
After the chorus ended, Kazuma stopped the music and I took off the headphones. He looked at me with his eyes wide open, waiting for a response to the song. I was kind of unsure whether what to say so I went for rather generic statement. “It‘s really good. I like it.“, I said and saw his eyes sparkle again. “You do?“, he seemed genuinely surprised. “Definitely!“, I assured him and nodded. “It‘s a beautiful song and although I usually don‘t really listen to tracks with vocals all that much, it got me right from the start.“ “It makes me happy every time I listen to it. It gives me hope that one day I‘ll go through the same process as the two people in the song.“, he told me and looked me deep in the eyes. I noticed him was slowly getting closer to me. “And I feel like I‘m pretty close to it.“ “Well!“, I said and laid a hand on his shoulder, keeping the distance between us. “I wish you best of luck to achieve it! By the way, we‘re there.“ I got up and he followed me. We left the bus and headed towards the company. As we got there we met Fujio who was just about to open the main door. “Morning, Fujio!“, we both greeted him at the same time. He turned around and I saw a smirk on his face. “Well would you look at that. Look who‘s up already.“, he laughed and held open the door so we both could enter. “This will haunt me for rest of my life, won‘t it?“, I said to myself while looking at the ceiling. “Ah come on, Masashi!“, he said and softly boxed my shoulder. “Only the ones who can laugh about themselves truly understand humor and comedy.“ “Well, that sounds oddly philosophical coming from you.“, I countered and gave him the same smirk which he has given me earlier outside. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?!“, he asked confused and upset. I ignored his question and pushed the button at the elevator. While we were waiting Kazuma was standing close next to me. There was a nice scent coming from him. It smelled like flowers and had a subtle sweet note to it. “Asumi is gone for the rest of the week, you two are aware of that right?“, Fujio broke the silence. “Yeah, we are.“, I responded. “Doesn‘t that mean that you two have basically the entire office for your own?“, he asked and looked at me from the side. “Correct!“, I looked back at him and smiled. I hugged Kazuma from the side with one arm and said: “But we‘ll do fine!“ I noticed Kazuma‘s hand on mine and looked over to him. He blushed a bit while looking down to the ground. I was slightly confused. Was I making him uncomfortable? Kind of abrupt I took back my arm and in the same moment the elevator‘s doors opened so the three of us stepped in. Fujio left us at the second floor as usual while we stayed to reach the third one. We said goodbye to each other and promised to eat lunch together again. When we reached the third floor I exited the elevator but Kazuma stayed behind me. “Kazuma?“, I asked, uncertain as to why he didn‘t follow me. “This is the third floor.“ “You go ahead. I have to meet up with Mr. Kanoh. Seems like my ID card is ready after all.“, he told me and pushed the button to the fifth and last floor. “See you in a minute.“, he said and smiled at me again. As the doors close I kept looking at his eyes. They were like diamonds, shining through the gap which got thinner and thinner the more the doors closed until they completely vanished. I caught myself standing there for a few more seconds but then went on, heading for the office. I sat down at my desk and logged into my computer. It seemed to be an ordinary day with no real complex tasks. Not that I would mind that of course. It was pleasant to start off easy without Asumi. I started working on my own but constantly thought of Kazuma. It had only been about two minutes yet they felt like hours. Being all alone in the office made me feel oddly hollow.
»This is truly weird to me since I usually really enjoy being in my own. I don‘t need people around me, in fact I feel like I‘m doing best when no one‘s around. It also gives me the freedom to talk to myself if I feel like it without making me look like a psychopath. This might sound strange but talking to yourself is one of the best things to do to get to know yourself better in my opinion. After all, there‘s no one who listens to and understands you better than yourself.«
I kept working and soon spotted Kazuma walking down the hallway through the glass wall. It put a smile on my face and when he walked through the door into the office I greeted him: “Welcome back!“ “Did you miss me?“, he asked and smiled back at me. My heart skipped a beat as he said that. ‘Did he just read my mind?‘, I thought and looked for an answer to hide my emotion. “It got boring, you know.“, I replied. He walked over to Asumi‘s desk and sat down on her chair. “Holy wow!“, he shouted and leaned back in the chair. “And she gets to sit here every work day?“ He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Oh yeah, I remember that feeling all too well!“, I added and thought back to the days when she had let me sit on her chair. “This is by far one if not the best chairs I‘ve ever sat in.“ Kazuma opened his eyes and looked at me. “We can switch if you want to.“, he offered me. I opened my eyes widely out of surprise and argued: “Hu!? No no no, it‘s your place now! I‘m fine over here.“ “No I mean, every PC is connected to the company‘s network, right?“, he asked me. “Yes, they are.“, I responded. “So what?“ “We could do it like this: We have four days left in this week. Next week Asumi will be back again. So we could switch every second day. Meaning that today and Thursday it would be me sitting on Asumi‘s chair and tomorrow and Friday it would be your turn.“, he explained. “Whaddaya think?“ I was genuinely speechless. This was so incredibly generous of him but in the end I would gladly accept the offer. “Well, if you‘re really fine with it then sure. Sounds good! Thank you!“, I said and we had yet again another moment of eye contact. This time though it was Kazuma who broke it. He pulled up a sheet of paper which Mr. Kanoh must‘ve given to him. “Just in case, if I face some kind of trouble or problem would you help with it?“, he asked and logged into his account with the username and password from the sheet of paper. “Of course I will!“, I replied without hesitating. “Don‘t be shy to ask. You‘ll never bother me.“ And with that, Kazuma and I finally started working as a team in our own little office.
Work went smooth all throughout till noon. Only once Kazuma asked for help and I performed the same method I had used yesterday where I would lead his right hand and therefore the mouse for him. It was fun working with him. We seemed to have a very similar taste in humor which led many extremely funny scenarios and conversations. It felt odd that even though I only knew him for roughly two days it felt like he was already as much of a friend to me as Fujio. The time until lunch break went by insanely fast. We went down to the cafeteria together and as usual Fujio was already waiting for us. After getting our food we sat down together in the same constellation as yesterday. “You two are doing okay without Asumi?“, Fujio asked with his mouth full of noodles. “Totally fine!“, Kazuma replied for me. “Yeah, so far it‘s really no problem at all.“, I added. “Still her being absent is kinda weird.“ “Mhm. I see.“, Fujio mumbled and kept eating. “Oh by the way!“, he suddenly stopped munching and looked at both of us. “Among Us!“ “Fujio, make sense.“, I demanded and stopped eating as well. Kazuma also stopped in his movement. “You got a date?“, he asked. “Exactly!“, Fujio replied. “Wednesday. 8:00 pm. It‘s gonna be awesome!“ “Oh wow that‘s perfect! Thank you, Fujio!“, Kazuma seemed extremely happy upon hearing Fujio’s announcement and looked over to me. “How good are you two at lying?“ “Oh ... uh ...“, I blushed and tried responding but Fujio spoke up before I could even try continuing. “He! He‘s as transparent as a wall made out of fine glass.“, he laughed and grinned at me. I looked back at him in an upset manner. “I‘m not that bad, I swear. Just not particularly good at it either.“, I explained to Kazuma. “Matches me, I guess.“, Kazuma replied. “I sometimes struggle acting convincing too.“ “Well, I guess you both still have to learn a lot then.“, Fujio smiled and got back to eating. “I’mma show you guys how to effectively lie to people.“
When we were done eating and enduring a bit more of Fujio showing off his amazing Among Us skills, we went back to work. On the way to floor three I checked my phone to see if Kiyomi had already shot me a message regarding the meetup in the park later on this day. Though there was still no response of her. I made a bit of a worried impression which Kazuma must‘ve noticed. “Is everything okay?“, he looked at me kinda worried himself and I put away my phone swiftly. “It‘s nothing.“, I said and thus we went back to the office to continued our work.
While we were being busy, I frequently checked my phone every time I was sure Kazuma wasn‘t looking. I didn‘t want to give him the impression that I was being worried, though I was. I really hoped that Kiyomi would find some time to spare in the afternoon since it looked like Kazuma and I were going to be done rather early today. It took a while but then there was the long awaited salvation. A message by Kiyomi stating: “I‘ll be at the park at around 4:20 pm. See ya there!“ It made me genuinely happy. I was curious how the two of them would react to each other. I mean I didn‘t really expect them to suddenly turn hostile towards each other or anything like that. In fact I was fairly confident in them getting along really well. But in the end, all I was able to do was speculating. Kazuma and I were done with work at around 4:00 pm. Funny enough Fujio also seemed to have had a rather easy day since he joined us in the elevator on our way down. “Well would you look at that.“, he said, looking at me. “The two servants of Ms. Takahashi.“ “Happy to see you too.“, I replied and stepped aside so Fujio could stand next to me. “So! Kazuma!“, he said and looked over to him. “I know it‘s only been two days but how are feeling about this glorious company and the people that work for it? Better or worse than expected?“ “It‘s good.“, he replied but shortly after he exhaled through his nostrils and looked over to me. “Or should I say, better than expected.“ A short moment of silence later which made me feel somewhat awkward Fujio continued: “Well happy to hear that! After all you seem like a nice guy as well so I guess I can adapt to you being around.“ This made Kazuma smile and he looked forward again. “Thank you, Fujio. I feel like I already have adapted quite well thanks to you two.“, he told us. We arrived at ground level and Fujio held open the main door just as he had done in the morning. We walked outside and Fujio said goodbye while he headed for the nearby parking lot to get to his car. “So, do you wanna go home right away or do you wanna join me in the park again?“, I asked Kazuma. “There‘s nothing I‘d rather do than joining you in the park.“, he said and walked a little closer to me. I could subtly feel his breath on my cheeks. It was warm and his eyes sparkled ever so slightly. “Well then! Let‘s go!“, I said and walked past him. He followed me with a few seconds of delay but caught up fast. On our way to the park, I wondered how he would react to Kiyomi showing up out of nowhere. That however was only if Kiyomi wasn‘t there already. I started walking a little faster and Kazuma matched my speed. “Are you in a hurry?“, he asked. “I ... uh ...“, I noticed that I didn‘t really have an answer to his question without spoiling my surprise for him. “I ... wanna get a place on my favorite bench. So we better get there quick.“ This was such a stupid explanation but fortunately Kazuma had no clue that it was totally common that there was barely anyone around in the park at this time in the afternoon. “Oh, got it. Well, let‘s not lose any time then.“, he responded and walked even faster so I actually struggled keeping up with him.
We arrived at the park in less than four minutes and I chose a bench on top of a small hill further back in the park. This way I would definitely spot Kiyomi when she would arrive. Kazuma sat closer to me than yesterday. Once he sat down next to me on my right, he put his left hand on my left shoulder with a smooth touch and his left thigh touched my right one with subtle pressure. I felt a little weird at first since him and I only knew each other for merely two days. Still Fujio also used to hug me from the side a lot whenever we were at university and especially back then at school. I guessed Kazuma was, just like Fujio, a man of expressing his friendship more through actions and contact than just through words like I was used to doing it. And to be honest, I didn‘t mind it. “These next few days are gonna be really fun, I can feel it.“, Kazuma said while leaning back and closing his eyes. He took a deep breath and looked over to me. “To be honest, yeah! I think we‘ll have a great going as a team.“, I felt proud saying so. Something about Kazuma felt different. Different from how it felt when I had spent time in the park with Kiyomi. I couldn‘t really tell what it was exactly but there was something. Speaking of whom, I saw her walking down the left way into the park and as it was her sixth sense she looked up to me after just a few seconds. Her view switched immediately over to Kazuma who hadn‘t spotted her yet. Kiyomi headed right towards us and when she was just a few feet away from our bench Kazuma‘s head shot forward, focusing on the approaching Kiyomi. He looked over to me again. “Is this-“, he started but cut off at the end, looking at me as if he already knew the answer. “Kiyomi Nakamura.“, I finished his sentence and stood up from the bench.
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2020.11.26 01:09 500scnds [Table] Iama guy who has been living alone in an abandoned ‘ghost town’ for over 6 months. I bought the town just over two years ago. AMA! (pt 3/3 FINAL)

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I subscribe to your YouTube channel! Are you still seeing that one ghost? Have you gone back into that building? I completely redid that building because it creeped me out too much. It had dark carpet, dark walls, lace curtains. I ripped out the carpet, left it wood floors, painted the walls white, took out the curtains. Feels better in there, but I still don't really like being in there.
You mentioned opening it up for short time stays, would you market by leaning into the supernatural elements? Staying in a ghost town sounds perfect in my opinion. If you are a believer, then the history will make it exciting. If you are not a believer, then the absolute stillness sounds pleasantly perfect. I don't think we'll lean into it, but not lean away from it either. I won't have 'ghost tours' or anything like that, but if people want to come and look for ghosts, that's their issue. Cerro Gordo's history is what it is. It's very public. Some are 100% convinced there is paranormal history here, some think that's bogus. I don't want to push one way or the other. People can do what they want once here...
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I understand that. Not trying to tell you anything to do with your work but I really would think about marketing to some. At least think about a Halloween/October takeover that leans into it for a few weeks. If your ROI increases from some small adjustments to the town, it couldn't hurt. But you also may have zero interest in actually turning a profit, which is equally acceptable as it is your town. Prior marketing manager here so hard to turn off the ideas. Great work with the town so far! totally! Around certain holidays it would definitely be fun. I just don't want to use it as a crutch, you know? Some towns lean on that so much. I think Cerro Gordo is much bigger than just that one element, so don't want to be known for JUST that...
Hey! I was watching your 6 month update last night. Heck of a coincidence. I love your work. The trickle supply for the water out of the mine probably needs a tank somewhere, are you storing it further up the mountain? Or is it just trickle straight into the town? Thanks for checking it out! I have a few tanks. Two 2,500 gallon tanks a bit above town. That is where water is flowing right now. Then there is two 500 gallon tanks that sort of backup those two 2,500 gallon tanks. The water comes around 400 gallons per day. Although it stopped yesterday weirdly. So we're going back down this coming week to see why.
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Is it possible to rig up a cistern to catch rainwatesnow? Maybe some way to melt the snow, to supplement your water supply from underground and give you a backup in case of emergencies? My grandparents lived on Grand Cayman for a few years and they used a cistern for laundry and the like. I've been going over different options along these lines. There are some weird regulations about capturing water around here, but I think we may be able to do some variation of that long term.
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Good luck!! I look forward to seeing what you do with Cerro Gordo and how you solve these problems :) Thank you!
I just watched the 6 month update video on YT, and I think the only time I got nervous for you was when you were sitting on that cart and it started to shift! How are you preparing for this winter after spending the end of last years in the town? A lot of ways. That first winter was all new to me. I grew up in Florida and lived in Texas. My truck was 2WD with street tires.
I have already stocked up on wood, slowly stocking up on food, and have a 4WD Tacoma with chains ready.
I'm sure I'll learn a lot this winter too, but I'm in a much better place than last year...
I think I may be too late to the party. But I’m a unique age that allowed me to remember your first ama on here, and then also happened to follow the sam and Colby videos when they came to visit. I was like no way I know this place! I was so sorry to hear about the hotel. How was it working with Sam and Colby? Did their videos help raise some funds towards rebuilding the hotel? Was it interesting to host the group there when you’re usually more of a lone wolf? Sam & Colby are great. Really nice guys. We've stayed in touch. Their fans are amazing and really helped towards rebuilding the hotel. I hope S&C come back for the opening party!
As the owner of the town, can you just change the name? Or is there some kind of process that needs approval? I probably could, but I like the name, also the history of the town is why it's interesting to me, so I'd like to keep it the same...
Do you get many people drop by out of the blue? When it's good weather, yeah. It's a weird situation because the town is technically 'closed' because of the pandemic and I'm trying to do work on the town.
So if I'm in a remote part of the town and someone shows up to main area, it's weird to come back and find people basically waiting/looking around your house.
My email is public and there is a sign with a phone number at bottom of hill. I just wish people would arrange visits ahead of time...
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I guess Cerro Gordo Rd that runs through town is still a public easement, and you can't put up a gate? Technically a 'utility road' because DWP/ATT/FAA use it to access stuff.
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Ouch. No chance of getting it vacated then. Although it's probably less likely you'll get trapped for long by a rockslide or something. Congrats on living the dream, dude. I used to travel a ton around NM and southern CO when I lived in Texas, and always fantasized about buying something way abandoned, way out in the desert. Thanks for helping preserve a critical part of our history that many people overlook. Appreciate that!
Weren't you like trapped there last winter? Lol anyway are you gonna get that place up and running soon? I sure was. Not this winter! I'm much more prepared this time around.
I hope to have people coming to stay overnight by this time next year (pandemic allowing)...
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I for sure wanna go when you have it running! I remember that you got sick while trapped right? I'm so happy to hear you made it out and back in ok!!! I can't wait for you to open up. I'm not too far away (a couple states over). Better now! I had a few rounds of appendicitis. A few rounds because first time they treated it just with antibiotics because of pandemic. Then it came back again and I had to have surgery to get it removed. Not a lot of fun, but better now!
Have you thought about busting out a metal detector? I did a few weeks ago and found these badass Chinese coins. I need to use it more but there is so much scrap metal/nails around it is hard to find just the good stuff...
[deleted] Damn, that is one good username...
Hi Brent - just started following you and the Cerro Gordo account on IG! You’ve said that the approach increases 6,000 feet in elevation in 7 miles. What’s it like driving up? I imagine it’s 7 miles of razor sharp switchbacks? What speed do you take it? You’re 32 - do you see yourself dating in the future? Last question: have you watched Schitt’s Creek? The road can be intimidating at first (and especially at night) but I'm used to it now. I've done it a bunch that now I just get to enjoy the view. At first I was so focused on road I couldn't see anything else haha. I used to go around 10MPH all the way up. Now I hover around 20 if I'm in my truck and maybe up to 30MPH if I'm in my Polaris side-by-side...
Need a brewery? Always. I thought the 'hoist house' could be a cool brewery one day.
Can I come visit? Let's let the pandemic die down a bit, then sure! why not
How do you cope with the isolation so well? Do you meditate or anything like that? Long walks. Introvert.
Reddit.
How do you know the silver there is really played out? That's what I've been told and fancy companies determined, but I hold out hope. You could be a few inches away from the vein and not know it. One day, maybe...
Hey I've seen your YouTube videos before! Any more ghost stories? I remember you telling one about seeing a little kid in a bunk house I believe. None as concerning to me as the bunkhouse story. I still don't like going in that building.
The other one recently involved my wallet. I came back from town one day and put it inside on top of some laundry I had just done. I came back in, and the wallet wasn't there. It wasn't ANYWHERE. To the point where I had to order new cards such. Then, months later, I brought in laundry, and my wallet was back on top of this new stack. So some mischief for sure being played...
This might be a dumb question but since you put 1.4m into it, how are you still making money to buy food and stuff while running ghost town? I have a 'day job' that luckily I can do from my computer.
How do you go on about getting basic necessities like toilet paper, food, etc.. I guess, what I'm asking is, how close is the nearest Walmart? Nearest walmart is maybe 2 hours away? 2.5 maybe? I usually get supplies every 2 weeks or so in a town called "Lone Pine" which is just over an hour from the town. The store is small and variety is limited, but gets the job done
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Can you get things delivered? I can’t see a UPS truck or a USPS mail cart making it anywhere near the town. And how is that handled if you decided to move there permanently? Do you have a registered address? How would you handle any 911 type situations? I can't. My PO Box is in Lone Pine. About an hour or so drive each way. I think that's my only option. I have to go there when I get groceries and pick up whatever is there...
911 is tough. A 7 mile steep dirt road isn't easy. Maybe helicopter if situation is bad enough?
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Obviously there’s heaps liability having this awesome destination with potential hazards (old mines, etc.).. on one hand I’d think the state and/or federal government would have to extend basic emergency services to the town, but since you own the whole town they may not have to actually offer any support. Do you know what the situation will be? Have you started any conversations about this with any government offices about what will be available once you’re commercially operating and open to the public? With the BLM and the FAA having interests close to your town, it seems feasible that the govt at least has the capacity to get to where you are regularly. This just signs interesting as hell, I can’t wait to go watch all of your videos! FAA will theoretically clear the road in the winter if I call in the favor. It isn't a set rule, but I'm supposed to look after their stuff a bit when they're not here, and they help when they can. That type of relationship for now. But I do know people at both BLM and FAA and probably should have convos around when we're fully open...
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As a fellow Texan I’d never been too keen on going back to Cali.. but your town has changed that. I’d love to road trip over with my husband and check your town out once you’re up and running. I’ll be following this over the next year or so and look forward to having the opportunity to eventually make it happen! Thanks for checking it out! Come on out
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I love lone pine and would love to come say hi one day Lone Pine is the best! Is that where you live?
Is this your website? https://store.cerrogordomines.com/ Correct
At what point will you start dressing up as the Miner Forty-Niner and scaring teenagers who drive through the town? Who's to say I don't already...
Oh wow I discovered your channel not too long ago, what was your main driving motive for all of this? Seems like an impossible project personally Gotta also ask, how are the kittens doing? Kittens are good! Eating soft food now, which makes my life easier haha.
The drive has changed over time. When I started, I think I was looking for a cool hospitality project. Now being here so much and learning all the history, there is this overwhelming sense of responsibility. Of duty. That I HAVE to get this town to a place where more people can experience it, and leave it for generations to come. Probably going a bit nuts
Do you live there by yourself? If not, what do others do? I'm here by myself. Some people visit occasionally to help work on town, but nobody else lives here full time.
I remember when you first posted about this. So glad you've kept it up. What has been the biggest surprise you've learned about yourself during the time you've spent in your town during quarantine? Hmmm. I think I've learned to slow down. I used to rush rush rush. Mainly to avoid doing important things or sitting with certain ideas. Now I'm comfortable just sitting in a chair looking at the mountain for an hour. And not being anxious that I need to be doing something else...
[deleted] I think it's slowed me down a lot. I used to run around doing all sorts of tasks that seemed so important. But they were just distracting from things I didn't want to sit with or think about or act on. I don't get those distractions here. It clarifies things for me...
What kind of camping is available in the area? There is surrounding BLM land in the area that is available for camping. I hope one day on the back of our property to offer camping options, but for now it would be too much to manage
I follow you on tiktok! One question that bugs me sorry if you've already answered is what can you do about all that unstable dynamite, is there not a way to get a bomb disposal or similar? I just leave it there. Not worth the hassle to try to remove and I'm the only one going in most these mines, so I keep a metal record of where it is...
Hey! Love the YouTube channel! found it a few weeks ago. Curious, have you slept in the mine lounge yet? I am sure you've answered this already. Thanks for sharing with us! Hope to visit some day. Take care mate! I haven't slept in the lounge, but I did sleep in the mine the other night. That's actually what my next video is about.
I took the hoist down into the main Union Mine and had them take up the hoist so I had to be down there from around 6pm-8am. It was QUITE the experience...
I’ve seen a few comments mentioning internet access, and your mention of the ATT hot spot that does the trick for you. Do you intend to maintain the atmosphere of a relatively internet free setting, or do you intend to bring in WiFi for visitors? You stated you want people to come see the town and experience the history, and I feel some of our modern comforts would greatly detract from that, especially WiFi. It also brings me to Edward Abbey -esque thoughts on paving the dirt roads that lead to special places in the desert (don’t do it) I'd never pave our dirt road. It's difficult, but it needs to be difficult. It takes a long time, but during that time you build anticipation. And RIGHT when you want to say 'fuck it' and turn around, the town reveals itself to you, and it takes your breath away. Then you feel like you've 'earned' the stay in a weird way. And you don't want to leave.
In terms of WIFI, I don't want super fast wifi. Something so people can communicate with world if they need to, but we're not a co-working space.
Have you met any famous people? Jeff Goldblum came to film something here. That was pretty cool. He's really nice. I guess that counts?
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Oh wow, that counts, what did he film? An episode of his show "World According to Jeff Goldblum" - it was about denim.
Hi! Just watched a couple of your videos - so cool. I love that you're filming all this! I gotta ask if you've got names for all the goats and kittens yet? I know you mentioned a couple names but not 11 names! :) OK! Here it goes. Goats - Tofu, Beretta, Bubba, Elon, Senorita Juanita.
Kittens - Gordo. The rest are still unnamed. Any suggestions?
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Reading through your other comments, Levi has to be one of their names for sure.. Excellent call!! I like that.
[deleted] The town has a very rich history. Biggest producer of silver in California, more gunfights that could be recorded, 'ghosts', hidden treasure, everything.
I never get bored here...
Do you experience any form of corporeal inequality or tension between you and the remaining ghost populace? I imagine living in a ghost town would give you a comprehensive insight into ghost culture and society, are they actively trying to involve you in the community or are they giving you the silent treatment? I know where they like to hang out. They know where I hang out. We respect each other's space
Have you thought of getting amateur astronomers up there to take some pics of the sky? It would be an awesome place to go for a weekend to get the stars. Stars are amazing. This winter that became my obsession - long exposure photos. I'd never taken any in my life but this place is prime for them. I've really enjoyed it.
I've watched hours of your youtube channel man you are so good at it! Fascinating story. I do think you are fuckin mental wondering around by yourself up there. On that note when you are exploring mines are you careful about gas build up? I've watched other exploration videos and sometimes they have a little device that alerts to harmful gases, which you might not be able to smell. Wow, thanks for checking them out! I'm glad you like them. I bring a 4-gas monitor with me into the mines
What a coincidence! I've been getting your vids in my recommeded for weeks and decided to give in yesterday, and now you show up on the front page of reddit. Nice. I absolutely love this kind of project. Maybe because I basically grew up in one myself, my parents bought a 19th-century french textile factory and we've been renovating it for the past 20 years to receive guests in it. Do your long-term plans include rebuilding some of the old buildings that weren't there? Some of the missing 478? Also, with tourism likely to increase, how are you planning on keeping it authentic? Definitely want to rebuild some buildings lost. I have a photo from 1890s that shows a TON of buildings that aren't here anymore. However, given the buildings that are here, I can piece together where they should be...
Hey Brent, I've been following your journey for a few weeks now, just want to let you know how much I enjoy your videos! It's obvious you put a lot of time and care into the content that you edit and release. I know you just got the kittens - have you considered getting a dog as well? Thank you for watching! It definitely takes a long time for each video. That isn't my background. I'd never made a video before April, so it's all new and I'm slow. But I enjoy it
How much of the original hotel that burned are you able to salvage? was anything found in the ashes that could be incorporated to the rebuild? How are you planning on getting water for the resort? Do you wear an oxygen mask when you go down into the mines? When do you expect people will be able to come and stay at Cerro Gordo as a resort? Thanks for the AMA! I don't think resort is the route we'll take anymore. It doesn't fit the place. It also isn't the type of place I like to stay. I think it will be more like a lodge or a bed/breakfast. I think it fits the vibe here much better.
We'll have to truck up water for now, unless we find a different solution.
Not much of the hotel was left, but some original floorboards will be incorporated into the new floor
Might be too late and have missed you, but i love the YT channel, thanks for sharing such great videos. My question: how's the feeling of freedom there? Do you ever just divert from what you were planning on doing, and...decide to walk/drive in a different direction and see what you see? I feel like that would be an amazing feeling. Totally. Almost everyday. I almost plan on getting 'lost' in the late afternoon.
I'll set out with a plan. See something interesting along the way. Hike there. See something else interesting. Hike there. See something interesting. Repeat that for a long time and get 'lost'
It is an amazing feeling for sure.
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I just watched a bunch of the videos. Two questions: 1. When you were exploring the mine where 30 people had died, where you a bit worried (or perhaps anticipating) to find them? They died in a collapse. Meaning dirt and rock fell on them in such amounts that others couldn't rescue them. So I don't think it's likely we'd stumble upon them. They'd still be under the collapse
Here is an article that mentions the collapse: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-oct-08-me-then8-story.html
"Cerro Gordo’s deadliest mine disaster struck in the early 1870s when a cave-in killed at least eight and as many as 35 Chinese miners. They were mining in limestone below the 200-foot level and failed to shore up the tunnel with timber, former Cerro Gordo mining foreman Fred Fisher told a Times reporter in 1950. Their bodies were never recovered."
2. Also, why are the mines full of jeans? Would people just run around butt naked when their jeans got teared? I've heard a few theories. First, they sh*t their pants and left them back there. Next, they had a pair of work pants and a pair of everyday pants and changed once they got there. Next, the pants were expensive and belonged to the mine not the miner so they stayed at the mine. Next, they ripped and they threw them in trash heaps back in the mine
Have you elected yourself mayor yet? Just for the heck of it. And do you allow tourists? Just now. Mayor Brent! Elected. Unanimously from all parties present :)
What’s the coolest thing you’ve dug up? I found some Chinese coins that are apparently 300 years old or so. I found some pocket-watches, old pants, dynamite boxes. All sorts of crazy stuff. Here is photos of some
Most of the tunnels (you use another term, I forget it now) look like walking while standing up straight might be an issue. How high is the ceiling in the easier to get to places? and how wide? I was watching the 'Most Dangerous' video so not thinking about that so much, but the places people might normally explore. It can be annoying. I'm 6'2" tall, so I have to hunch over in a lot of the mines. Hours of hunching over doesn't feel so good the next day! But I think it's worth it (obviously)...
What is your water access like there? You must have wells. No water! It's an ongoing issue, but I'm working on it...
What kind of temperature variation do you see at that altitude right next to Death Valley? And how are the night skies? I don't imagine you have much light pollution. So the other day it was 130 in Death Valley. A World Record I think. The Weather Channel somehow called me to ask how it was living in such inhospitable conditions. But when they called it was maybe 85 or 90 here. So I had to tell them I wasn't really in any danger.
The fact the town is at 8,500 ft really helps. It's crazy the difference, especially considering how close we are to Death Valley. The property is only 7 miles from the park's border...
Can you see Mt Whitney across the valley from Cerro Gordo Peak area or is it obscured? Yup! You can see Mt Whitney from almost all the buildings. Well, the wildfire smoke is impacting it right now, but usually. Also if you hike to the other side of the property, you have full views of Death Valley. An interesting high/low experience.
I know how to brew beer. Your town seems to be missing a brewery. Trade you brewing lessons for a stay? I'm listening...
Hello! What do you hate the most about living in the ghost town? Hmmm. I really think the positives outweigh the negatives, but lack of access to fresh vegetables and fruit is something that comes to mind. I miss my blackberries and spinach...
That video where the bar burnt down was super brutal. Were you able to salvage anything? Some things, but not that much.
The only 'silver lining' (outside the fact nobody was hurt), is that the icehouse next to the hotel was the original dump location for the hotel. So nobody has been under there in nearly 140 years. There are a lot of artifacts I hope to put in the new hotel that would have never been recovered otherwise...
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Do you think any of the metal items may be intact enough to be restored (eg. the stove, range etc)? I'm hoping the wood burning stove from the common area, as well as the cast iron stove from the kitchen. Both took a good beating, but I'm certainly going to try. Would really tie the place back together...
Have you met the people from Ghost Adventures? Yeah! Zack and crew came out and filmed here. I didn't interact with them much, but I was here when they were filming...
After reading resortdude's excellent advice and industry insight, it occurred to me that there is a flaw in his thinking: He is thinking like a resort operator. A resort operator is in the business of supplying luxury, convenience, and serving the whims of picky patrons. However, your enterprise doesn't have follow that path: In fact, it probably shouldn't. I believe you are targetting a very different, almost opposite market: What you have to offer is an authentic frontier-style experience. And that experience is far from luxurious! It's closer to camping. I wonder if a camping operator has to adhere to the same requirements as a luxury resort operator? I imagine you'd be leaning away from modern sewage systems, and toward long-drop toilets. Surely those are still legal? And rather than feeding your guests chef-made three-course-meals, you'd be feeding them baked beans, cowboy style. And who needs propane when you're cooking everything over an open fire! Or, if you want relative luxury, you could serve modern, military-style MREs. The one thing you can't escape though is the need for a large water supply. Also, I believe fire-suppression systems are not required in single-storey buildings below a certain size, provided they have multiple exits. Anyway, just some ideas. I may be way off-base, but I still think you should check out the regulations for outdoor camping operators, and see if they differ from those of luxury resort operators. Good luck! I hope to come and visit if ever I'm in the USA ; ) I think you're right. For a while we were considering a more 'resort' type thing. But it seems crazy now after being here. It will be closer to a lodge type atmosphere..
I followed you on Youtube recently and I'm a huge fan! Are you ever scared of finding a human skull in the mines? How high is the probability of finding one? Thanks for watching! I don't think it's too high of probability. If someone died back there, they probably died being collapsed by rock/dirt, so I wouldn't find their remains. If they didn't die in a collapsed, there probably was somebody with them to take them out. I can only see someone getting into some bad gas and passing out and nobody knowing where they were as an option to find someone...
Can I come up on the weekend and you can put me and my son to work? We’d bring our own tent and food etc. It would be a good trade. We get a weekend in the mountains and you get some extra hands. Shoot me an email! [email protected]
Youtube suggested me your videos and I liked them. Have you ever been in a situation of danger while exploring a mine ? Btw I have been very sad when your hotel burned down :( It was such a beautiful building. Good luck tho The closest to real danger I've had in the mines (that I'm aware of) was 2 times: 1) Early on, I wasn't paying enough attention and stepped on a board that cracked over a bit pit. Luckily not all my weight was on it and I corrected before falling. It taught me a big lesson about boards and pits. 2) recently I explored a collapsed level of the mine (the 200 level if you saw the video) getting in and out of that was really sketchy because the roof keep collapsing big rocks when trying to get out...
How's the local McDonalds? haha, far away! There is one in the town of Lone Pine. But that's about an hour away if you factor in the dirt road
I’ve been watching your videos on YouTube for a couple months now. I’ve always wondered, when you go down into the mines, (especially the recent video of the 200 level) how do you keep track of what passages you’ve gone into? Have you ever gotten lost? Thanks for watching! I haven't gotten really lost yet. I usually use a marker. For instance I'll follow the cart track if there is still track and if I leave the track, I'll leave something where I left the track. That way, I just find my way back to the track. Not a perfect system, but works for me
I follow you on tiktok! Have you found any denim yet? And also has any old dynamite gone off down there? Lastly, what is the weirdest thing you have found down there? I've found some denim, but not THE denim. As in, not Levi's jeans yet. No dynamite has gone off yet, or I wouldn't be typing this...
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The denim is in the cribbing! My friend and his mining partner discovered the oldest blouse known to exist and sold it to the Levi’s company. He had to free climb up the cribbing (stacked waist rock wall) about 80-100 feet. He saw a glimpse of blue from his light and reached his hand between the rocks. Pulled out the blouse but one of the sleeves ripped off. They sold it for a lot of money. Best of luck! Damn, getting this type of tip at this time of night. I feel like I need to abandoned this and get into the mines ASAP
Wait didn’t you show up on Sam & Colby? Indeed. They came out and explored. I like those guys
I was watching your video where you and a friend (I assume?) were exploring a certain floor of a mine that had collapsed where 4 miners died I believe you said. The entrance had collapsed but you found another way in? Where are those dead miners? Were they on the floor you managed to enter? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see if you could find them? I remember you said you will make sure nobody ever goes there again after you visited it The 200 level of the mine. It was probably closer to 30 miners. They died in a collapse, meaning under a bunch of rock and dirt. So I don't think we'd see the bodies. When the accident happened a lot of people tried to rescue them but couldn't, so I don't really want to go digging around to disturb them.
Here is an article that mentions it:
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-oct-08-me-then8-story.html
"Cerro Gordo’s deadliest mine disaster struck in the early 1870s when a cave-in killed at least eight and as many as 35 Chinese miners. They were mining in limestone below the 200-foot level and failed to shore up the tunnel with timber, former Cerro Gordo mining foreman Fred Fisher told a Times reporter in 1950. Their bodies were never recovered."
How are the goats doing? Love your videos! Goats are good! They're getting bigger and expanding their territory around the town. I'd like to train them to free roam and come back to a bell or something. But haven't nailed that yet...
Doubt he's still here but perhaps someone else can answer this: What is the legality regarding appointing yourself mayor, writing your own town constitution that allows you to hold the offices of mayor, secretary, etc etc, at the same time, and then create city wide ordinances that are favorable to your life style? You know? I'm still here! Where am I going? Not too much else going on Sunday in a ghost town haha. I think the county still has some jurisdiction over a lot of that, but I could try. I've also watched a documentary on 'sovereign nations' where they basically declare themselves their own nation within a different country. But you raise a good point and one I should look into more.
Do you ever hope to make money out of this town? i.e. maybe the bare minimum you'll need to survive? Or are you looking to live completely without money at some point (from the land etc.)? I hope eventually the town covers it's own expenses (and mine). But I didn't get into this to make tons of money.
Was your town ever on the show ghost adventures? If so do you think it’s haunted? It was! I actually sleep in the room they think is haunted by two children ghosts.
I don't think it's 'haunted'. Is there spirits or paranormal activity? Maybe. But if so, I think they're more curious than anything...
This is great! Good for you! I remember seeing this for sale at one point. Questions ( sorry if they have already been asked)... 1. Does Amazon deliver there/do you get mail? 2. What kind of wildlife is out there ( lizards? Snakes?) 3. Are you finding lots of photos to guide your restoration? Again...I’m so glad someone bought it who is interested in restoring it. I’m going to check out your videos. 1. No! I have a PO box in Lone Pine, which is a little over an hour away. 2. Bobcats, rabbits, birds. Not too many snakes because of elevation. 3. Yes, luckily there are quite a few photos of the town at its peak
How do the stars look at night? Insane. You can see the Milky Way, almsot every star.
This doesn't do it justice, but is a photo I took this winter...https://www.instagram.com/p/B-YQ7Tag39a/
Brent, huge fan and I’ve watched all the YouTube videos and can’t wait to see Cerro Gordo with my own eyes one day! What are your plans for exploring the mine? I saw you explored the 200 level but are there any other spots in the mine that people have not seen since the mine was active? Awesome, thank you for watching! There are a few areas that have been closed off for a long time. The one that is most interesting to me is called the "Omega Tunnel." It may actually connect to the 200 level from the outside. But the portal into it is collapsed big time. I've tried digging it out, and Robert even used 10 sticks of dynamite to try to open portal, but it's really collapsed. But it holds my imagination and I hope I can get into it one day...
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I can’t wait to see the day you get in there! If you’ve ever heard of or been familiar with FPV systems, that may be a way to send an RC truck through a small hole to explore ahead for you. (Finding the right radio frequency to propagate through the mine also helps) I’m out in Los Angeles and when I make my way up to Cerro Gordo one day I’ll bring some FPV camera stuff for you to check out. Keep chipping away at that portal though! (Pun intended) Will do! Thank you. I'll look into those more too.
What makes an abandoned town "an important part of history"? Cerro Gordo is the reason Los Angeles is what Los Angeles is today. It shaped California. It was the largest producer of silver for the state and an important part of mining history. It's just been overlooked for a long time.
Do people often come over from the back way into town? From the racecourse or teakettle junction in Death Valley? A decent amount. If weather is good, and the weekend, maybe 4 people a day?
The issue is when people come up the main road in a vehicle that barely made it up and think they're going to take the back road to Death Valley, or even worse, that they're going to take the Salt Tram road. Have you every taken that road? It's not a joke.
After getting a YouTube recommendation, I binge watched all your videos on Sunday and thought to myself "this guy should do an AMA". Synchronicity! Were you able to connect with the man who left a comment saying he was a previous caretaker in the 80s? It would be fun to hear what stories he has to offer! Oh wow, I've never seen that comment until now! Thank you for calling that out.
Are you looking to start a business like the Old west town in New Zealand had/has https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/old-west-replica-town-sale-scli-intl/index.html Is that your end game? how you raised the capital? or just for shits and giggles? EDIT: I just followed links in the CNN story I linked, and they link to YOU!! haha haha. Awesome
Will you have buzzfeed unsolved stay overnight there? I’d like to see more footage of what’s been caught on tape They had me do a little video earlier this year. I'd love to invite them up if they'd come...
Wow thats in the middle of no where. Any incentives to get people to move there? I suppose the silver is all gone if the town was ghosted? Silver vein apparently is lost. I don't necessarily want people to move here. Just visit for the weekend or so. I think the middle of nowhere nature will attract people to unwind for a bit and experience the history and natural beauty here...
Ever plan on trying to pull more gold out of any of the mines? You said in another comment you're always exploring them. *silver! Maybe, who knows. They apparently lost the vein and there isn't enough left to make it financially viable. But you never know
Have you thought about mining silver? Just for fun? I'd like to refine small batches of the ore still here to make jewelry or something for the town...
Are there tailings piles around the mines? Have you found any interesting mineral specimens in the mines or otherwise? Yeah! Huge tailing piles. I just went through them Friday for a while looking for rocks. Found a bunch of galena (which is what they were mining here), smithsonite, turquoise, and some other stuff...
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Awesome! Would love to see some over on rockhounds! Would you ever consider allowing access to the piles? I greatly appreciate the people who are generous to allow collecting on their property. (Though I can certainly understand why a lot of people do not, some folks just don't know how to behave) I live in NC and have not yet been west but I hope to some day soon! I let people come. There is a Gem & Mineral Society in Lone Pine and they did their 20th annual dig up here this past weekend. I have an appreciation for rocks that is growing now that I have the town...
Been loving the videos. Any sketchy things happen on the 200 level we didn’t see? My condolences to the american hotel. How big of a challenge will the delivery of rebuild materials be? The 200 was really weird. I filmed all that on my iPhone where usually I'd use my GoPro or Sony. Both of those were dead (I had just filmed a different video), so I used the iPhone. So whenever I saw something, I had to consciously think to take out phone and record. I didn't always do that because I was so in the moment taking everything in. There was a lot more dynamite in the area where I talk about dynamite. But just didn't think it was interesting to show 5 minutes of just dynamite.
Getting supplies up here is tough. That is the logistical challenge I'm thinking about right now. We need to get a loader and/or backhoe up here, but you can trailer it up. So we have to walk it up the mountain, which will take a whole day and who knows how much fuel...
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How’s the water situation? Pump back running? Really great for the towns people to help get that going for ya. I’d freak out in the elevator. And in the mine in general knowing there’s 32 souls down there. Every noise would have me on edge. Can’t wait to visit. Pump was running, but it stopped yesterday again. So we're going to go back down this week to see why that is happening. Hopefully it's something easy to fix...
The cage definitely is freaky. Even after being down it a few times...
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2020.11.25 00:19 gooselives_ The Transplant's Guide to Laredo

Buen día!
Welcome to The Gateway City. You're probably reading this because you are relocating to Laredo for work. Moving somewhere new can always be a chaotic experience, but I hope this extensive guide on all aspects of Laredo living will help make your time in Laredo as memorable as mine was. Grab a Dos XX with Tajin or a Margarita and enjoy. A bit about myself: I lived in Laredo from early 2016 - to late 2017 after I graduated from college for work. I periodically go back to visit friends since I live in Houston now. I didn't make a ton of money when I was there for my flying job, but I still had the time of my life. Please keep in mind these are my opinions and thoughts from my time there. I had a blast being there in my early 20's, but I know priorities and interests change as people age, however, I've tried to be objective when writing this guide for everyone.
Mods please please feel free to pin this post to help others out down the road.

Overall thoughts:
The best way I can describe Laredo is that it's like you took a trip to Mexico, but you get to keep all the cool benefits of being in the United States. It's kind of the best of both worlds, and I found both the people and culture of Laredo to be great. There is nothing like grinding at work during the week just to make it to hang out at the pool day drinking with your friends doing Carne's (short for Carneasada aka cookouts), going out, and the afters (after parties) on the weekends. Oh, I forget to mention the food is AWESOME. Also worth noting, anyone that is not Latino in Laredo is a minority which is kind of a cool experience in itself.

The Weather:
Take a look at your weather app for Laredo right now, if it's winter you'll notice that it's probably in the 50-70 degree range. In very rare circumstances it has snowed in Laredo, but being from the Midwest I found the winters are super mild. Summer on the other hand is a whole other animal, expect hot temps in the low 100's especially in mid to late summer. In reality, there is Summer and Fall in Laredo. Fortunately, it is a normally dry heat. It can get slightly humid though if the winds are out of the East from the Gulf, but it depends on the day. It's usually sunny a majority of the time though which is cool. Your summer wardrobe will be in use 9-10 months of the year.

Where to live:
Like anything this depends on your budget, however, Laredo is a very affordable city when it comes to renting and buying. I lived off Bob Bullock Loop and 359 (Southside). Like anything, economically driven rent in the city fluctuates but is extremely affordable compared to almost any other city. I paid 1000/mo for a nicer 2 bed 2 bath. Around town, a nice one bed runs in the 600-850/mo range and 2/2 runs in the 1100-1200/mo area at the nicer complexes.
My roommate and I lived where we did because we flew out of the airport so it was a quick drive for us, but if I had to do it again, I would have probably lived in a bit more of a "busier" part of town in the McPherson and Delmar area or on the north side since we found ourselves driving there when we'd go out most of the time. This area is also considered to be some of the more "higher end" part of town with nicer houses and stuff. apartments.com has been my go-to source the past 6 times I've moved, give it a look if you are shopping around.
I highly recommend picking a place with a pool and/or a grill if you're remotely interested in that sort of thing. Due to Laredo's climate the pool and grilling out are a way of life. It's also a great place to meet people.

Getting Around:
Having a vehicle is the most practical answer for Laredo, however, Uber and Lyft markets have popped up in the last few years. The bus system for the city is called El Metro. Laredo is pretty easy to get around, the only major highway is 35 which starts at the river (the Rio Grande crossing downtown) and goes to points North like SA, Austin, and Dallas. Bob Bullock Loop orbits the city to the East.
**Important Notes About Driving in Laredo*\*: Uninsured motorists are abundant meaning expect some sort of increase in your car insurance. I thought I knew how to drive until I came to Laredo. People drive fast, yellow lights mean speed up, and red lights/stop signs are optional. For some reason, drunk driving is also a very abundant thing, especially in the evenings/late night hours. I'm hoping this issue has improved since I lived there since Uber and Lyft are now a thing. Either way, stay alert, be a defensive driver, and you'll be fine.

What to do:
Many locals cite "things to do" while living in Laredo to be the toughest category to fill. Bottom line, it's a small town, however, there is something for everyone in town!
Bars:
Going out is the big thing to do in town most weekends as drinking is considered one of the biggest activities. I loved it, but I also know it's not for everyone. However, there are a wide variety of bars to pick from each having a different vibe. I've listed some of my favorites below. A lot of bars/restaurants have a DJ or band after a certain time. Bars are spread out across the city, but cluster in the McPherson/DelmaJacaman (pronounced Haca-man) area and now downtown. Bars close at 2 AM but people love to party till the sun comes up so after-parties at people’s houses are common.
Restaurants:
So many good ones that can range from cheap to expensive, but the food is good at all of them! Here is my list of local spots, but Yelp is usually a good place to check for updated options.
Activities:
https://www.facebook.com/365thingslaredo Is a great group to follow to get daily updates on things going on around Laredo.

Where to shop:
This one is a big no brainer for me personally, but HEB, the big Texas grocery chain, is the move. They have great selections (especially their meat and produce) and pretty good prices. If you want to save a bit more, Fiesta or Walmart is your only other big options that are worth a look. Laredo also has any major brick and mortar retail store Best Buy etc and a Mall with all the normal Mall stores. The outlet mall on the river is a super cool spot to I recommend doing some retail therapy at.

Where to Workout/Active Stuff:
There are all sorts of gyms between cross fit, yoga, Orange Theory, and your brick and mortar gyms (Crunch, Anytime, Golds, etc.) If you're into outdoorsy trail stuff North Central Park has a nice set of trails and Lake Casablanca State Park on the East side has some pretty good trails for the area also. If golfing is your thing there are a couple of golf courses, Casablanca Golf Course is your run of the mill Par 3 and the Laredo Country Club is the nice golf course in town. I know Laredo also has some rec sports adult leagues if you're into that like Flag football and stuff, Google should be able to help you find out more about those.

Safety and Crossing the border:
Laredo like any mid-size city has its share of crime, however, there is a very large presence of Local and State Police, DEA, FBI, and Border Patrol in the city due to its proximity to Mexico. Like any major city, lock your doors and take out any valuables in your car. The few homeless people stick to the I-35 corridor mostly. Lock your doors and windows and you'll be fine. There are sketchier parts of town the further south you go, but I never had issues as many of these people are often very humble and respectful people.
Cartels:
I remember watching the Border Wars show before I moved and thinking "Oh shit, what did I sign up for?" Cartels are simply a reality of life especially on the border, but they also exist in any major city around the world, they just happen to be a bit more prevalent in their activities at the border. They exist and have a hand in many things both in Nuevo Laredo and Laredo (businesses, politics, etc.). Like anywhere keep a street smart head, vigilant attitude, and don't hang out with the wrong types of people and you will be fine in Laredo. LADIES, please carry some sort of protection with you like mace and stay in groups when out, especially when downtown.
Crossing:
I'll start with this disclaimer that I'm a 6' white guy, so I don't blend in that well. However, I dated a girl I met at a bar who lived across in Nuevo Laredo for 10 months so I got my full share of the crossing experiences. I'm witting this during COVID times so things are a bit different atm. The crossing is an experience I could and probably should do a thread about on its own, but I'll summarize what I can here.
There are two ways to cross: 1. Driving or 2. Taking the footbridge both located downtown. I walked every time because my GF at the time would pick me up on the other side, but a word of caution. If you drive understand that having non-expired US plates and a nice car makes you a target for robbings and other non-fun stuff. I recommend getting a bank such as Charles Schwab with zero international ATM fee's and that gives you a 1:1 exchange rate when pulling out cash from an ATM, however, the border exchange places near the bridges work in a pinch. Cash is king there. If you do cross you need to at least have a remote working knowledge of the Spanish language or be with someone who does, it's amazing how different life can be across a 20-foot body of water.
I often heard stories where people crossed to go to places like Jose Frog's and other bars and shops every weekend in the ‘80s, but times have unfortunately changed since. There were relatively calm periods and today there are periods of literal war in the streets. Please ask one of the many locals that commute to Laredo daily for work if they think it is safe to cross for that day since it is truly a dynamic environment. If you work in any sort of government or law enforcement line of work, DO NOT CROSS.
If you do want to cross, understand that I recommend the following:
Looking back I was pretty reckless at times when I went across because I was with my GF, her brothers, or her family most of the time so I felt relatively safe. Please live through my experiences if you are dying to push the envelope with crossing. If you're considering a visit to "La Zona", don't. It's cool, but you can get the same experience in Vegas without the fear of being kidnapped or killed. Going out over there is super cheap, but the bars all pay a "toll" to the cartels weekly to operate. It's not out of the ordinary for Federales/Cartel to come through a packed bar with AR-15's or the cartel to kick everyone out if the business didn't pay that week. We got stopped by the cartel a few times asking why I was visiting so much. They watch the bridges 24/7, they know the second you step on their turf, and they know what you do and who you do it with. Remember that you can also easily get mixed up with the wrong people on the Laredo side of the river which is equally as dangerous. Know who your friends are!

Closing tips:
-Laredo is what you make it, if you do nothing and sit around it’s going to suck so make the best of it.
-I wish my Spanish was a bit better before I moved there. It comes in handy A TON as Spanish is the preferred language and a majority of folks speak it. Knowing it will make your life easier.
- Get one of those windshield sun shades for your car, they are a necessity in the hot weather
- Gentlemen. If your single don’t be creepy, go talk to that girl and ask her to dance! Latin culture is very cool, open, confident, and fun.
- Embrace the culture and enjoy it
- Go to a Quinceañera and a traditional Mexican wedding
- Learn how to Line Dance and Cumbia!
submitted by gooselives_ to laredo [link] [comments]


2020.11.24 15:21 DJSwaleswritesbooks PARIS: HOW I ESCAPED THE CLUTCHES OF A DARK CURSE IN THE CITY OF THE CATACOMBS

I don’t often talk about why I left Paris last year, but my mind won’t leave it alone. Memories of my neighbour, Madame Blankenfelde, jolt me with the realization that there are things out there that want to hurt us. To hunt us. By things, I should be clear . . . I mean entities of this earth, but not formed of flesh and blood. This last quality is perhaps why they covet us.
I had left Dublin for Paris as a struggling poet – following in the footsteps of James Joyce and many Irish writers and poets who had their “Paris phase”. I even journeyed to the City of Light in the same manner of those luminaries – by boat and train. No low cost airlines for me! There has to be some hardship, I thought, I mean, I’m not escaping the mass deaths of the Irish famine, nor grinding colonial oppression. Nope, I had merely been performatively dumped by my girlfriend during a slam poetry evening. Our explosive argument practically shut down the event. I was so embarrassed – another reason to leave Dublin. It didn’t help our chances that my poetry had received twice as many votes as her own.
On top of being dumped, the gourmet burger company I slaved for, near Trinity College, fired me without explanation. I later heard from Niamh, a co-worker from Donegal, that my beardless face, ginger curls, and generous Guinness waistline just weren’t “hipster enough”.
“Hipster enough?” I cried. “For fuck’s sake I’m literally a starving poet!”
***

I can still feel the relief as I finally stood outside the sadly yet gracefully decaying Residence Rimbaud mansion block on that sweltering August day, after picking my way through the dog turds that peppered the pavement. Graffiti covered the length of the building as high as hands could reach. Being August, Paris was half empty, but the air was still thick with weed. At the base of the building were large incongruous foundation stones, the sad remains of a medieval abbey that now made up the building's basement, and apparently had a secret tunnel leading into the bone-filled catacombs. Five hundred years of dog piss had stained the noble stones like an abstract painting.
Behind me, a metro train roared out of the iron lattice of the raised Barbès – Rochechouart Metro station. I squinted at the hideous carvings in the honey coloured stone – gargoyle faces and macabre twisting vines and wilting flowers. They surrounded every door and window of Residence Rimbaud.
I think I sweated three bottles of Evian just lugging my huge suitcase up the first four flights of stairs. I remember pausing and leaning into the stairwell, trying to figure out the origin of some arabesque music that echoed around me as it very often would on the streets of what is now a very Tunisian and Algerian neighbourhood. Within walking distance were the picturesque hilly cobbles of Montmartre, made famous to some by the movies Amélie and Moulin Rouge, and known to others as the haunt of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Monetmartre was where I’d really wanted to live, but the rents were higher than the dome of Sacre Coeur, the neighbourhood’s crowning glory.
Shit! I jumped. A frail, thin little lady, hair the colour of snow, was watching me, emotionless, from the top of the stairs. I laughed at the absurdity of it, grabbed my suitcase and, out of nowhere, she was suddenly next to me. “Oh, excuse me,” I said. “I hope I’m not in your way.”
She looked into my eyes, crossed herself like a good Irish Catholic, then muttered something inscrutable as she melted down the stairs. That was weird, I thought. But I got used to it. That was my first experience of my decidedly eccentric neighbour Madame Blankenfelde.
***
A month after I moved in, I recorded Madame Blankenfelde’s routine passing phrase and posted it among my usual Instagram poetry stories. One of my followers is Latvian and she told me the words “var ļaunums palikt prom no jūsu durvīm” mean, “may you keep evil from your door”.
For my first few months in Paris I just wandered the streets by day, writing spontaneous poems and eating too many pastries. My Instagram profile and various blogs gradually attracted a meagre following of insomniacs, weirdos, and two potential stalkers. By night I pulled pints in The Foggy Dew, one of the hundred Irish pubs in Paris, but the only one that can lay claim to have been the haunt of Oscar Wilde, after he left England a broken man. It was hidden down an alleyway in the medieval district of Le Marais, next to a tiny gay bar, an old synagogue, and opposite a snooty interior design store where you had to ring the bell for entry. Bram Stoker was also said to have drunk in The Foggy Dew, after visiting the city’s skull-filled subterranean catacombs.
After work I’d lay in bed, listening to Gothic podcasts and working on my journal. I was researching the history of the Irish in France. Aside from when Irish famine refugees were ordered to stay outside the port city walls at night, the Irish had a glorious history in the country.
“There were Irish regiments in the French army,” I once explained to Patrice, one of the heaviest regular drinkers at The Foggy Dew. “They fought for France, but also to free Ireland from the British,” I explained. “It was actually an Irish General – MacMahon – that liberated Paris from the Prussians and the horrors of the Commune.”
“Ah!” said Patrice, “When the citizens turned on each other in every twisted savagery. Cannibalism! Madame Guillotine! Unspeakable acts! Not even babies were sacred. Bah! All so some fucker could write a musical called Les Miserable!
Moments later I was on my knees in front of Patrice, mopping up his vomit. It was then that I looked up and saw a small face in the window. Madame Blankenfelde!
I dashed outside, my brow lined with confusion. She was shaking. “Are you cold?” I asked, but it was a warm night. Her face looked haunted. It was fear. Terror!
“Please!” she said, urgently pressing a thick envelope into my palm, conjuring the saddest weak smile. A few seconds later and I watched her speed away in her waiting taxi.
***

When I emptied the envelope behind the bar I found her keys, two hundred Euros and a small note, all in CAPS, saying:

HELLO RYAN. I MUST GO LATVIA. GRAND PROBLEMES FAMILY.
PLEASE FEED CLEAN DRINK CAT KAKIS. MONEY. ONE WEEK
KAKIS GOOD CAT.
PLEASE PRAY ME GOD.
MERCI – KATARINA

I showed the note to Patrice.
“Pull some fish out of the river, feed them to the cat, and pocket the money!” he advised. His breath still stank of vomit and I pulled away, lost in thought but now tasting my own bile at the back of my throat.
***

Three days into cat-sitting Kakis, I saw Mustafa, the janitor of the building, a broad and towering sixty-something mustachioed Algerian. He was mopping the tiles of the reception area, where a full time attendant once sat in better days. The wood of the desk was worn and scratched. On its warped surface a few thumb-eared tourist brochures had been abandoned by departing Airbnb guests. A large chandelier, missing most of its crystals, hung precariously on a cable that stretched up the full seven storeys of the building’s stairwell.
Mustafa spoke five languages if you included his spattering of English. He paced nervously on the spot, in open-toed sandals, as he explained that Madame Blankenfelde had been a housekeeper for a wealthy family in the 16th arrondissement for thirty years. This was only the third time she had returned to Latvia, the other times being the deaths of her mother and father.
Thirty years? I thought. How can that be, her flat is less than spartan. She has virtually no belongings. I didn’t mention the dozen crucifixes nailed to every wall and bibles laid around the edge of the floors in both rooms. The only faded black and white photo in the place was pinned above her bed. The faces of two adults were scratched away. I figured they were her parents, with the girl nestled between them being Madame Blankenfelde. All three of them stood in front of a thick wooden door, from the top of which three small symbols dangled from ribbons. One looked a little like a Swastika, while another was a triangle. Others looked a little more complex, but all angular.
“She no like go home,” pot-bellied Mustafa said, shaking his head ruefully. His fingers sought the chain around his neck, hidden under the I LOVE DUBLIN t-shirt I had passed on to him after putting on too much weight. The chain was taut on his thick neck as he pulled out a golden holy Hand of Fatima, rubbing it between his fingers as he spoke. I recognised the talisman immediately– said to protect Muslims from evil. I’d seen them sold at markets near the beach in El Gouna, Egypt. “You want?” asked Mustafa, seeing my interest in the object.
“No, no, just admiring,” I said, and trudged upstairs swinging a bag of cat food tins. I stopped in mid-step and swivelled to call down one last question: “Where is her husband? Latvia?”
Mustafa shook his head and, without looking up, said: “Bad thing happen, many bad thing.” A vintage telephone blared from a side room. He stalked away to answer it.
On the sixth night, I checked on Kakis after returning from work. It was 2 a.m. As usual, the affectionate Kakis was at the door with the first scrape in the lock. It wrapped itself around my legs and then tailed close to my ankles as I stepped over the creaking floor. I smiled to see the blue silver-haired feline attentively watching the world from the window ledge, in a gap between several small bottles of Lourdes holy water. In fact I was wishing I had a few more days of me and my new buddy.
My eyes blinked in the dark. It was 4 a.m. Urggh, less than two hours of sleep, thought. I heard footsteps through the wall next to my head. Madame Blankenfelde is back? No sooner had I thought the words than the footsteps grew louder. They seemed to stop right next to me, just through the wall. I’m not sure how long it took me to drift off again, but I didn’t hear another step.
I had a pounding headache all day at work and left early. Constance stood in for me, a hazel-eyed, half-Irish girl from Bordeaux with a “thing” for poets and writers. She had legs up to her neck and one eyebrow forever raised in a state of circumspection. On my first day at work she became my unrequited crush the instant I walked through the door. Her laughter, her words of easy temper and swift forgiveness were all delivered through lips that rich people might suffer a thousand injections to mimic. Just being close to Constance’s forever sun-kissed skin and long shiny hair – like dark satin – made each shared shift a joy. But, conversely, her absence made the achingly boring hours of pulling pints and lugging barrels a grind. Either way, I needed the money.
Constance’s family had a fancy vineyard in Pomerol, but she wanted to be a wild child in Paris for a few years – and she liked Irish men. I wasn’t complaining, we’d made out drunkenly a few times after locking up. But the mind-blowing kisses always ended with her confessing I wasn’t really her type. “But I love your accent,” she’d say as if it was compensation for not getting any further with her.
As I fumbled with my key at the front door of Rimbaud Residences I heard a car door slam behind me. I turned to find Madame Blankenfelde paying her taxi driver, her luggage at her feet. What the hell?
“Bonjour Madame,” I greeted her as she stepped forward. I was ashamed that my French was still utterly useless, cursing myself for working in a bar where people either spoke English or wanted to.
“Bonjour Ryan,” she responded, allowing me to pull her small suitcase. In her weariness the words hardly escaped her lips. Not only was her hair somehow whiter, but the blood seemed gone from her face, her eyes almost lifeless. Her skin was like a walnut, with deep furrows across her forehead.
***

I would not have thought it possible but Madame Blankenfelde’s face turned even more ashen in the hallway, as Mustafa translated what I’d heard the night before. Her hands dropped to her sides, with a look of defeat.
“Deaux minutes,” said Mustafa and gently pulled her to the side, where they exchanged whispers. Feeling awkward, like I was intruding, I bade them goodbye and hauled myself upstairs. The headache roared back, threatening to split my skull. As I passed Madame Blankenfelde’s flat I saw the line of light under her door. I thought I saw a shadow . . . something bigger than Kakis. For a second I was rooted to the spot, but heard Mustafa guiding my returned neighbour up the stairs. I’m sure it’s nothing, I thought. If there’s anything odd Mustafa will take care of it.
The next day, at exactly 11.11 a.m. I was awakened by sparrows chirping on my sunny window ledge. The headache had gone and I had a text from Constance saying: I’m coming over at 11.30. I’m bringing food.
“Suddenly everything is right with the world!” I said aloud, burying myself in my duvet and wondering if I had time for a shower or just a wet wipe “whore bath” as my sister called it. Will she want to play nurse?
“The door’s open!” I shouted when I heard the knock. After buzzing Constance in I leapt back into bed after drawing the curtain to cast myself in a more flattering glow.
“You have a gift?” asked Constance, as her smile filled my pokey two room flat.
“Huh?”
“Someone left you something.” After leaving a shopping bag on the floor she twisted and plucked a small bag off the door handle. “Here”
“Oh, maybe it’s from Madame Blankenfelde, my neighbour.” I stretched my hand towards her.
“Ooh la la, an admirer? Am I interrupting a romance,” Constance said, pushing my hand aside, walking over the discarded wet wipes, and throwing herself onto the bed.
She felt so warm. I buried my nose in her long brown hair and kissed down to her neck. Her clothes peeled away. My hands, arms and legs enveloped her as she surrounded me. She smelled like mangoes and papayas. This is the Parisian dream, I thought, forgetting about the little bag.
That evening we were on the bullet train to Bordeaux. The new high speed line had just opened, her parents were away in Martinique, and we’d have the farmhouse to ourselves for five days. As the train whistled through the night I finally opened the bag in the cabin’s ghostly white light.
“They are so creepy,” said Constance, holding the carved wooden geometric symbols close to her face. She had just read me the note that accompanied them:

RYAN. THANK YOU PLEASE.
ONE IN WINDOW. ONE DOOR. ONE POCKET.
VERY IMPORTANT**. FROM LATVIA.**
– KATARINA

“Ah, yes. I saw these in that old photo in Madame Blankenfelde’s flat.” I knew there was something familiar about them.
For the next twenty minutes Constance searched through webpage after webpage, reading me her findings. The symbols were from Latvian folklore, dating back to Pagan times and an ancient tribe called the Latgallians. They were and still are used to ward away evil and attract blessings.
When we pulled into Bordeaux, Juliet was waiting for us. I’d met her a few times in Paris at The Foggy Dew, learning in the process that she was nowhere near as accomplished a kisser as Constance. Juliet had been the main influence for Constance moving to Paris, then bottled out when she was supposed to join her. The matter was a sensitive subject once enough booze had been consumed.
Juliet leapt out of an old beat-up Citroën CX Familiale like a scalded cat. She flew across the ground, her stick-thin legs a blur of bright orange leggings. A huge baggy black turtle-neck sweater appeared to give her open arms wings. It was moth-eaten and looked like it had belonged to her father. “Your chauffeur awaits!” Juliet said, flinging her slight body into Constance’s arms and wrapping her legs around her.
Even with more changes of style than a chameleon, Juliet always looked striking. Her elven face greeted us that night with dark Gothic eyeliner, black lipstick and deathly white foundation. Her Elvira Queen of the Night look was framed by severe straight bangs and an angular bob – at its longest in front of ears, which were studded with a junk yard of metal.
Juliet pulled open the car door for us, bowing theatrically. I saw her long and perfectly manicured nails, painted with black varnish and couldn’t help imagining them scratching down my back.
The car had three rows of seats – one each! I lay back for several minutes then folded my arms around Constance from behind. The wheels screeched as we careened down roads flanked by endless lines of vines.
“Pomerol, directement!" demanded Constance, laughing.
“Of course my lady,” answered Juliet from the driver's seat, like an English aristocrat. Her black eyes glanced in the rear view mirror more than she looked at the road, joining Constance in constant laughter and machine-gun French. I hardly understood a word and I didn’t care. I could have spent a lifetime listening to Constance.
The first night the alarm at Constance’s family’s rambling stone manor house went off several times while we slept, scaring the shit out of us, but it was kind of fun as we searched from room to room for any interlopers – clinging to each other.
On the second night Constance was unsettled by shadow standing in the corner of the bathroom. “It didn’t disappear in the light!” she said, after racing back to my open arms in the warm bed.
“Of course your mind is going to see weird things in a five hundred year old chateau, miles from anywhere,” I said. “But you’ve got me now.” If anything the unexplained shared experience just brought us closer.
On the third night we put up the Latvian talismans in our bedroom window. We were undisturbed the rest of our trip.
***

Constance and I parted ways at Montparnasse station, exhausted, happy, blissful. With my tired eyes I glanced back at her as she climbed into her Uber. She waved from the window as it pulled away, warming my romantic heart. I’m such a love fool, I thought, as my heart panged at her absence. With that, I descended into the hot air of the Metro.
Back in Residences Rimbaud, I passed Madame Blankenfelde’s door.
I saw movement in the weak bar of light at its base. It swiftly went black, blotted out like night had fallen beyond the door. Hmm, Kakis must have laid down there, I thought, hearing scratches from the base of the door. The poor moggy misses me, I thought, aiming to knock on the door in the morning.
Unpacking my backpack I found the small bag and the wooden symbols. I read Madame Blankenfelde’s note again then did exactly as she had asked. Why was I so suddenly compliant? I don’t know. Something made me do it. A compulsion perhaps, or some primal previously untriggered instinct. I placed one talisman on the window, one on the door hook, and the last one in my pocket.
BANG! There was a huge thud against my wall.
“Shit!” I jumped out of my skin. I felt a cold surge of adrenaline. Ponderous footsteps, close to the wall, faded as they walked away. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I whispered as I heard them quicken and return. Another huge thud! The room shook, like a car had slammed into the wall. Goosebumps bristled over my skin. Cold air pressed in around me.
“Fuck it,” I said. I quickly headed to the door and into the corridor.
“Not another bloody note?” I stooped to pick up the torn paper outside Madame Blankenfelde’s door and heard the key scrape in her lock.

WELCOME BACK RYAN.
PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME?
IT’S THE CAT. SHE HASN'T EATEN FOR DAYS.
MAYBE SHE MISSES YOU.

What the hell? I thought. Did she read my mind? And now she knows how to use apostrophes in English?
The double lock scraped again. The handle turned. An inch gap opened, revealing a strange absence of light.
Sunset is hours away, I thought. “Hello? Bonjour? Madame Blankenfelde?” I asked, without answer.
Where is Kakis? I thought. His expectant eyes and curious face usually tested the thinnest gap between the door and frame. I sensed something was wrong.
I waited, listening. There was no sound. Even the Metro trains at Barbès – Rochechouart station and beeping cars beyond her window were silenced. Then I heard the voice. Shivers of ice still trowel up and down my spine at its recollection.
“Ryyy –annn,” it said, in a thin, lingering hoarse voice. Like that of old woman sore and stricken with tonsillitis, who has to choke up each word. “Ryan, please come in . . . we’ve been waiting for you.”
“Sorry to hear that,” I said, my voice cracking. “Are you ok in there? Should I get Mustafa?”
“No!” ordered the voice, suddenly sharper.
The air around me was so frigid I saw the cloud of my own breath.
The door creaked open on its hinges. I didn’t dare step closer. Instead, I inched backwards, turning my feet towards the stairwell.
“Ryan?” asked the now impatient voice,deeper in tone, and exuding a latent threat.
As I backed away, the floor creaked. No, no, it can’t be Madame Blankenfelde, I thought, the penny dropping, neither the note nor the voice. She knows damned well that her beloved cat is a boy!
I felt an intense heat on my upper thigh, moments before heavy footsteps advanced from where I knew her bed to be. That’s where I put the old Latvian talisman! I remembered, hand on my pocket, as I fled for the stairs.
My short fat legs hardly touched the floorboards.
Halfway down the marble staircase I almost collapsed from the exquisite terrifying anticipation of those footsteps catching up with me in the stairwell. Instead, I heard a thunderous slam of a door.
***

The police called me at Constance’s flat that night. I was not prepared for what she would relay to me from the phone.
“When Mustafa and the police broke down the door Madame Blankenfelde’s room was destroyed,” she said. “Many crucifixes and the metal and wood from her dismembered bed were sticking out from the wall closest to your room – all thrown with inhuman strength.”
The worst was yet to come. Constance was weeping as she translated each line. “Oh my god. They looked inside a small high cupboard . . . they needed a small step ladder. Buried behind clothes and books . . . they found her body!”
“Madam Blankenfelde’s body?” I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
“Brace yourself for what I am about to tell you,” said Constance, her face grey. “Poor Madame Blankenfelde was crushed . . . into a small suitcase.”
“No! How?” I asked, spluttering. My heart was broken. “Impossible. I helped her carry that suitcase into the building. No one could fit inside it, hardly even a child.”
Constance gasped and covered her mouth in horror as she listened, the phone pressed to her ear. “Her neck and limbs had been snapped like twigs.”
I slumped to the floor and wrapped my arms around her legs, my head in her lap. She stroked my head as she spoke.
“The police think she was murdered about four days ago. There was an old photograph in the suitcase with her, with three faces scratched away.”
“Three? No, I saw only two had been scratched.”
It was then I realised Madame Blankenfelde had lived every day knowing one day she would be found. By what I do not know.
***

The love that Constance and I shared was a light soon snuffed out by the darkness of what transpired at Residences Rimbaud. On my thigh I still bear the red angular scars of the talisman Madame Blankenfelde gave me. I wonder if the being that hunted down the members of her family was too strong for the symbols, overcoming the faith held in them. Or, long ago, had some dark act by someone in her family invoked the hunter, nullifying their power – like those foolish people who were said to invite vampires over their thresholds?
Before Constance and I broke up for the last time we travelled to Riga together, the capital of Latvia. Supposedly it was to enjoy the romantic Christmas markets. We also sourced more of those ancient carved wooden talisman symbols.
Kakis was never found . . .

x
submitted by DJSwaleswritesbooks to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.11.24 04:43 Anoraks_Palace Looking for Dual Monitor Setup for Work and Gaming during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Extra info or particulars: I know a lot about software, but absolutely nothing about hardware. As mentioned above, I would actually love to LEARN about these parts. What they do. How to properly install them. A breakdown of what each part adds to a build would be extremely appreciated. And any pointers as to where to learn how to put this together would also be stellar. I have a friend I can call on to help me build, but I want to learn for myself as well.
This community is great. I love the concept, and the speed at which replies are made for specs. Amazing stuff, and I look forward to possibly being more involved in the future, if I learn well enough.
submitted by Anoraks_Palace to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.11.24 03:02 WizardMama WATCH LIVE: Gov Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference at 2:30 PM on 11/24

Louisiana is backed in Phase 2 (modified)

LINKS TO WATCH
This conference was announced last Thursday

Pre-Conference Question - What do you think he'll announce?

Summary

NOTE: The summary of this press conference is transcribed LIVE. The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors which until it is able to be corrected once the conference concludes.
NOTE: The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors.
Gov JBE
Dr Kanter

Questions for Dr Kanter about data

Related to Halloween? Seems people are willing to gather for Thanksgiving. Are we going to see a worsening 2 weeks after Thanksgiving
We are already seeing just about as steep of an increase as we can get it really can't get much steeper than that. I don't know, looking back to Halloween, it was part of it. I think increases from other states was bleeding over into our particularly in Northern LA. Plus we are tired, COVID fatigue is real, and it's easy to get complacent. Even without Thanksgiving coming ahead we will continue to get worse. I don't know how much worse it gets with Thanksgiving. I cannot emphasize this more than enough if you need to make a decision for your family talk to someone who has had it, experiencing the disease, or someone who has worked in the affected healthcare facilities during those two surges.
How much is being driven by small gatherings indoors and if so it doesn't seem restrictions matter than much
Small gatherings have been a larger component than months ago, there is no question about that but that is just one slice. We continue to see a lot of cases tied to bars, restaurants, events, and churches as well. Mitigation measures are going to be significant in their effect but not absolute. The other side is that people really need to make responsible decisions when no one is looking. No one will police who parities but I want families to take it seriously and know what the real risks are and make an informed decision. The more families are informed the more they will be likely to say for this year, for my family, it is just not worth it.
Gov. JBE

Questions

Epidemiologists in Louisiana say we may be getting diminishing returns on our introduction of restrictions than what we previously saw. Are you concerned that the impact of the introduction of these restrictions will be more gradual and the implications that may have
I am concerned about an awful lot as it is related to COVID19 and this pandemic. There is not one easy decision I have made nor one that has brought me joy. I am convinced that if the people of Louisiana will embrace these mitigation measures and restrictions, be patient and selfless, and ensure compliance that we will flatten the curve again. That is what I know. There are no magic tricks to be worked here. The only way to stop a surge is with restrictions and mitigation measures. So with the numbers increases here and around the country as they are the sense of urgency that you see coming out of leaders in Washington right now, as seen with Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force the other day, everyone should understand that this a very very serious situation. We have to do our part in order to slow the spread. It has to be a collective effort. No one should say is 99% of the people do it that's good enough I don't have to personally do it... that doesn't work. We all have to see it as a common effort that we all play our part. If someone would have presented a better option to flatten the curve I would have taken it. I know we have COVID fatigue here and around the country. If there was something other than wearing masks, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick, and so forth I would embrace it. It doesn't exist. That is why you hear this coming out of Washington and all the other healthcare workers how important these are. So let's do it. Let's flatten the curve again. I feel very comfortable that in several months, not sure when we will have enough of our population vaccinated that I believe we can start putting in the rear view mirror. Until now and then we have to do what is necessary. I do not know if there is another surge after this one, I pray not, but we know we are surging now.
Are you trying to change the way enforcement has been handled on these public health issues. Obviously the problem is people aren't following previous guidelines.. so are you making changes to enforcement?
We will continue to work with businesses of all types and venues to ensure that they understand that the restrictions are what rules they have to abide by. Individuals and businesses can get more information at opensafely.la.gov and you will get more information. Will there be enforcement? Yes, there will be, but I am going to say what I've said back in March and every time since then, if the people in Louisiana insist we enforce our way through this we are doomed to failure. There are 4.66 million Louisianas and 10s of thousands of business and quite frankly we cannot enforce our way through this. We are going to be asking people to comply, do compliance visits, respond to complaints, and where people refuse to come int o compliance you can expect enforcement. That will not get us through this surge. That will not protect the health of our fellow Louisianans, it is better than not doing any enforcement. We need to have people doin this because it is the right thing to do. They need to embrace it, not because it is pleasant but at the end of the day this about people's lives are talking about. We are doing our very best to strike the balance between lives on one hand and livelihoods on the other. When it comes to economy, to business, to employers, to livelihoods, the best thing we can do is put this virus behind us.
Are the rules for temporary conditional permits allowing bars to operate as restaurants remain in effect?
Yes and we currently have 372 bars using conditional permits to operate as restaurants. They are not a hybrid, they are not part bar or part bar. They operate as restaurants if they are operating properly and they follow all rules for restaurants. For other establishment that continue to operate as bars they need to follow the way we outlined bars operate today.
What are you doing for your Thanksgiving celebration. You have a son who is coming home from college because LSU is going virtual for Thanksgiving
Yeah I have a son who actually lives here in Baton Rogue and he will likely be coming home to spend some time with us. I will tell you we will stay in baton Rogue at the mansion and have a Thanksgiving meal that consists of the immediate household. We will gives thanks because even during this pandemic which has been so tough on people, even after the 3 hurricanes that hit this year, we have so much to be thankful for. God has truly blessed us. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and that is important to me and my family and we are going to do it, but last year I remember my 84 year old mother came, my 6 siblings all came with their spouses and children and grandchildren. We had 80 or 90 people. You will not be seeing that this year and you will not see it at Christmas either. I hope and pray that if you are with me on Thanksgiving Day of 2021 you will see that. I believe that you will, but between now and then we all have to do our part.
Did you tell Legislative leaders about these new restrictions before you came out here today? What was their response?
Yes, I did. You need to know that I routinely send data and information to the Speaker and to the President. We have complete transparency on the data we are relying on because we update it every day aside for Saturday. We also have sent Legislative leadership, and I believe every member of the Legislature, every White House Coronavirus Task Force report whenever we get them. This morning in a addition to those things we presented all gating criteria slides to the Speaker and the President. We talked about where we were especially in light of our hospital capacity and our need to go back to a modified Phase 2 in order to flatten the curve again. They asked some questions, expressed concerns to makes sure whether the Fire Marshall or ATC will work with proprietors and bar owners to maximum extend possible so they can know hat is expected of them and be given an opportunity, if they are operation in good faith -- of which the overwhelming majority of businesses are -- to come into compliance. That has been our approach throughout the pandemic. We have always bent over backwards to make sure individuals know what the rules give them every opportunity to come into compliance and only after persistent shortcomings/refusal to do any real enforcement actions like citations take place. I assured him our approach would not change.
Does the influx of new vaccines change our prognosis at all
We have a draft plan in Louisiana that we continue to update and revise daily. The reason it is a draft plan is that we still don't know the day that we will get the first vaccines nor the number of doses that will be there. I have every expectation that around mid-December we should receive some doses of the Pfizer vaccines first. We don't know how many it could be as few as 30,000 or might be 60,000 we do not know for sure. We think the first doses of the Moderna vaccines would come weeks later, perhaps with a smaller number available initially. We continue to work with our federal partners. We were on the phone with Azar yesterday and talked about the logistical aspects of Project Warpspeed. Once the vaccine gets the EUA from the FDA we will have the vaccine in route to our location(s) of choice in 24 hours. The first shipment will be prioritized to healthcare workers, then high-risk groups (nursing homes, assisted living centers, congregated shelters), then the list expands from there out. Ultimately we want to get to a place where we put a call out to the general population they can go to their health unit (hospital, doctor's office, or pharmacy) and get the vaccine. This is not a one and one vaccine, it requires a second dose, depending on the manufacturer that could be between 21-28 days later. More vaccines may come only over time and some of these things may change. I do not want talk of the vaccine, it is critically important and no one is more excited than I am, but I do not want the talk of the vaccine to cause people to not pay attention to what is imperative right now. That is why you hear Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Azar, talking about the term of bridging to the vaccine and needing to double-down on measures until the vaccine is widely available. The vaccine will not be here in the numbers we need soon enough to reverse the trajectory and numbers we went over today.
I do want to mention I have every confidence that when the FDA issues that EUA that that vaccine will be safe and effective. I hope my fellow Louisiana will embrace the vaccine. A vaccine saves 0 lives but vaccination can save a lot of lives. The vaccination requires the vaccines and an individual to receive that vaccine in two injections. So please understand the FDA has not cut out any steps required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. In fact, the trial sizes were 5x-6x more than one would normally see in a trial. They took steps consecutively instead of sequentially to make this vaccine thereby shortening its time for production. They started the mass production while trials were still happening. So if that authorization comes they have the vaccine to distribute and more to be distributed and you don't have to start that manufacturing process up from the beginning. So I really want people to embrace this and understand they will be safe and effective once the call goes out to start vaccination.
Does the state have enough cold storage for the vaccines or does the state have to put in some money for that?
We've identified the cold storage capacity that we need pursuant to our plan to administer the Pfizer vaccine. Its a combination of cold storage capacity and dry ice. We will be in good shape there. This is why you have to have really good hard work going on hard in advance. That way working with hospitals and universities you are able to identify all the cold storage you have, where is available for these vaccines and then you plug that into your plan. That will not be a limiting factor in terms of receiving the vaccine. Logistically it makes it more complicated because you have to receive it at those sites and distribute it from there. They are still evaluating how long the vaccines remain stable once they thaw out. We will be all over that so we will make sure if that vial falls out it will be administered while it is stable and making sure that people come and get the second dose as well.

Closing remarks

submitted by WizardMama to Coronaviruslouisiana [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 22:04 diogenesl Football Manager 2021 - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Football Manager 2021
Platforms:
Trailers:
Developer: Sports Interactive
Publisher: SEGA
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 86 average - 90% recommended - 11 reviews

Critic Reviews

33bits - Euyen Esquefa Pons - Spanish - 90 / 100
Football Manager returns with a continuous installment that focuses on fixing problems with the game engine, speeding up processes and adding quality of life improvements. He is still the undisputed king, but it is time for a competitor to appear.
GamesRadar+ - Ford James - 5 / 5 stars
Football Manager 2021 may not revolutionise the series, but instead it adds countless quality-of-life improvements – including ones to the match engine – that make it the best Football Manager game to date.
God is a Geek - Chris White - 9 / 10
Football Manager 2021 is a deep, detailed football management sim that rewards you for paying attention to your team. From the board of directors to your under-18 team, if you are willing to put in the time to achieve success, every win reaps tons of satisfaction.
IGN Italy - Davide Mancini - Italian - 8.4 / 10
Football Manager 2021 is the best episode ever of the series on the pitch, where the experience is nearly perfect in terms of simulation, while off the pitch the game has really a clumsy and obnoxious user interface. Overall, the experience is great and the football world feels tense, realistic and dynamic as never before, but there's still more room to improve the game in terms of narration, flow and emotional storytelling.
Metro GameCentral - Jay Jaffa - 9 / 10
Despite a lack of big ticket new features Football Manager 2021 delivers its best ever matchday experience and the series' most realistic on-pitch simulation of football.
PC Gamer - Phil Iwaniuk - 85 / 100
With a newfound litheness on the pitch and deep data analysis, FM21 gives you an easy excuse to relapse.
PCGamesN - Ian Boudreau - Unscored
I’m still working my way through my first season at the helm of the semi-pro Bath City FC (a team I’ve chosen as a way to connect with my coworkers in PCGamesN’s hometown), and so there’s still more I’d like to see before assigning a score – particularly, the initial patch that updates the beta build I’ve been playing. But my impressions of Football Manager 2021 so far are largely positive. This is a clear step forward over last year’s edition, even if some of its new ideas don’t completely work.
Screen Rant - Toby Arguello - 2.5 / 5 stars
It's an improvement over Football Manager 2020, but even so, it might be difficult to justify an upgrade to Football Manager 2021 except for dedicated fans who are willing to shell out, even if it only means minor additions and upgrades in the grand scope of the franchise.
Spaziogames - Italian - 8.5 / 10
The pandemic didn't stop the folks at Sports Interactive: even this year, their product is the undisputed king in the genre it created. A deep and rewarding medicine for all the weeks spent indoor.
The Games Machine - Gabriele Barducci - Italian - 9.2 / 10
Football Manager 2020 is another confirmation of Sports Interactive's ability in crafting a great title every year. No revolution is to be expected, but many smaller improvements bring the game ever closer to technical perfection. FM 2021 is clean and optimized, probably also thanks to the fact that the game will also release on Xbox One and Series XS.
Wccftech - Chris Wray - 9.5 / 10
Football Manager 2021 is by far the closest representation to the beautiful game you can find. With an improved matchday engine, improved AI and even more datapoints than ever before, all represented in a more digestible method, making it more accessible than ever before. However, there's still no doubt that the series is still going to have a high barrier to entry, and it has some irritating issues, such as repetition in the press conferences and other interaction aspects. Issues aside, this is yet another improvement and superior entry to the series.
submitted by diogenesl to Games [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 17:15 lbabinz [Amazon] Updated Black Friday Deals MegaThread

Deals Nintendo

Item Sale Price Reg Price Retailer Date Available
Catherine Full Body $39.99 $69.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Final Fantasy X / X-2 $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Final Fantasy XII $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Fire Emblem 3 Houses $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Jump Force Ultimate Edition $34.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Luigi's Mansion 3 $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
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NBA 2K21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
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New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Mario Kart 8 DX Nintendo Switch Bundle $399.99 $499.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Rune Factory 4 $42.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
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Splatoon 2 $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Super Mario Maker 2 $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Sonic Forces + Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Double Pack $39.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Trials of Mana $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Yoshi's Crafted World $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020

Deals PlayStation

Item Sale Price Reg Price Retailer Date Available
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim $59.95 $79.99 Amazon Nov 22, 2020
Bayonetta & Vanquish Bundle $34.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Borderlands 3 $9.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Blood & Truth $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
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Days Gone $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Death Stranding $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot $29.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
God of War $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
God Of War III Remastered $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Fast & Furious Crossroads $29.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Ghost of Tsushima $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Ghost of Tsushima Collector's Edition $189.99 $229.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
FIFA 21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Final Fantasy VII Remake $49.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Granblue Fantasy Versus $45.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Granblue Fantasy Versus Premium Edition $55.99 $99.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Kingdom Hearts III $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Life is Strange 2 $14.99 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Little Big Planet 3 $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Marvel's Avengers $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
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Marvel's Avengers Mightiest Edition $169.99 $269.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Marvel's Ironman VR $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of the Year Edition $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Need for Speed Hot Persuit Remastered $39.99 $54.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Nioh $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
NBA 2K21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
NHL 21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
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Nioh 2 $19.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Nioh 2 Special Edition $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Persona 5 Royal $44.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Project Cars 3 $34.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Ratchet & Clank $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition $19.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Star Wars Squadrons $29.99 $54.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
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The Last of Us Part II $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
The Last of Us Remastered $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
The Outer Worlds $35.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 $49.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Transformers Battlegrounds $34.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Trials of Mana $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
UFC 4 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Uncharted The Lost Legacy $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Until Dawn $9.99 $19.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Ys Memories of Celceta Timeless Adventure Edition $42.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020

Deals Xbox

Item Sale Price Reg Price Retailer Date Available
Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle $37.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Bleeding Edge $19.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Borderlands 3 $9.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot $29.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
FIFA 21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Forza Horizon 4 $24.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Gears 5 $9.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Gears Tactics $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Halo Wars 2 $12.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice $12.99 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Life is Strange 2 $14.99 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Maneater $33.40 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Marvel's Avengers $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Marvel's Avengers Deluxe Edition $54.99 $105.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Marvel's Avengers Mightiest Edition $169.99 $269.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition $24.99 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
NBA 2K21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
NHL 21 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Need for Speed Hot Persuit Remastered $39.99 $54.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Ori and the Will of the Wisps $12.99 $29.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Sea of Thieves $24.99 $39.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition $19.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
Shovel Knight Treasure Trove $39.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Star Wars Squadrons $29.99 $54.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
State of Decay 2 $12.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
The Outer Worlds $35.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 $49.99 $59.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
UFC 4 $39.99 $79.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Months $29.99 $49.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020

Deals Misc

Item Sale Price Reg Price Retailer Date Available
LEGO Super Mario Starter Course $49.99 $69.99 Amazon Nov 21, 2020
SEGA Genesis Mini $59.99 $99.99 Amazon Nov 19, 2020
submitted by lbabinz to VideoGameDealsCanada [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 05:08 Tenbatsu95 How does one "temporarily move on"

This whole thing is a little bit hard to explain in one bit, so i might add more info in reactions to comments wherever it seems fitting.
Me(M25), and my now ex(F27) for 11 months, were together for about 2 years. Most of this was LDR. I flew to LA twice, and she flew over to The Netherlands once. (around 5500 mile distance)
To give some background info, we've been friends for 6 years, were in an LDR for 2 years, and engaged for about 4 months until we decided to put an end to it for now. We're both "damaged" people with a lot of bad experiences behind us, and quite some baggage on our backs.
Everything's mostly been going well during these 2 years, like every relationship, it's had a few downs, but we always got back on top of things, and i'd say the general line of happiness was above average.
In her case, she needs physical affection, which i sadly can't give her due to the distance, and Covid taking away my very well paying job, throwing a wrench in the plans i had made.
The problem i am facing now, however, is that i understand both sides of the situation, yet still can't come to terms with it.
1st, She needs someone physically near her, to feel good. I get this, and respect this, but as it's not me specifically, i can't find a way to deal with it. 2nd, in my case, i can't wrap my head around how she can just date someone else, just because he's close to her, even if she doesn't have plans made for "them" in the future. Like, she doesn't plan to marry him, for example.
I don't get how you can just say no to someone that you've 99% of the time had a perfect time with. When "he's the one", and then settle with someone else temporarily.
Especially when i'm "still in the running" so to say. For me, the plan was to move to LA, regardless of whether she's single or not. Being there with her would just be an added bonus. And when she's single again, and i'm there and single, too, she would looove to get back with me again, and give it a proper try, without the limitations of distance.
I guess my question in short would be, how do i keep myself from feeling like a failure, because i don't think i make progress fast enough, and am slowly losing her to someone else. How do i keep my mind off her, when my goal isn't supposed to be her, yet i can't exclude her from my goal? She's the one i want to be with, the one i want, to want to be with me, and grow old together.
Instead, now i'm in a constant emotional rollercoaster trying to find out how i feel, how to speed up the process, how to feel better, and wondering how she really feels..
submitted by Tenbatsu95 to dating_advice [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 01:05 Snoo_44245 Going on R&R from Iraq and back.

Balad to Oregon and back, circa December 2003.
My second bout with being Aircraft Commander (first was taking our ADVON to Kuwait) occurred when coming home on leave/R&R). We were authorized 14 days leave from the time we hit the US and that’s exactly what we got.
Getting to the US started at Balad Airbase (LSA Anaconda). A full C130 of Soldiers departed with a somewhat thrilling combat takeoff (spiraling up and away, just in case bad guys with guns were hanging around). We flew to Kuwait to spend the night before catching a charter flight to Boston. During the remainder of the day, they had travel personnel help each of us arrange round trip tickets from Boston, to home and back to.Boston. I noted that we would be arriving on 10 December and reporting back in Boston on December 24th. I was hoping that this report date was not true, that no one would do that to us.
Again, I was appointed Flight Commander and again, I expected (and got) no problem from our homeward bound kids. We got to Boston very early in the morning and were heartily greeted by the VFW and others (very nicely done). As we came into the terminal several of the VFW guys asked for our tickets and went behind the counter with the reservation folks. They were trying to get us out on earlier flights than were had been scheduled for (very nice again).
I was informed that my new flight departed in 15 minutes and was given a gate number, far, far away. Several of us were on that flight and we sprinted as far as TSA where things slowed down. Well, thanks to the inventor of speed laces we made it just in time. This flight was to LA and being a red eye was totally uneventful. We slept. My next flight to Portland was a mid-morning flight. By this time I realized that we did not smell very good. While our uniforms were clean by our standards, we (at least I) came from a base where we burned the human waste we produced. With the poop of 16,000 people making a brown cloud the swirled around the base impregnating everything with a certain smell. I was very pleased that none of my fellow travelers mentioned this.
We took off and got to altitude and the drink cart started coming down the aisle. When the stewardess asked me what I would like. I responded that "I have been dying for a glass of red wine for nine months". She said just a moment and went forward towards first class. She returned with a real wine glass and told me that this was what they were drinking in first class. Wow, thank your personnel for me United.
Later in the flight, the same stewardess came back to me and presented me with an unopened bottle of red wine, saying "this is for you and your wife tonight". Again, thanks United.
Upon arrival, I met up with my wife just outside TSA (nice). We drove home and had a wonderful two weeks. During that time, I hoped against hope that the Army would somehow change that report date. It was not to be.
At the end of my leave, my wife drove me back to Portland International and parked in short term parking. My wife's intent was to go with me and wave me off at TSA. On getting out of the car, I realized that my emotions were running high (going back to Iraq). With tears in my eyes, I told her I wanted to go in alone as I would make a scene if I had to say goodbye in public. We parted in the parking lot.
I don’t remember the flight to Denver at all. I do recall that when I got there, I went to a lounge near my next flights gate and ordered a beer. The bartender would not let me pay and as I finished my beer, another patron bought me a second. Thanks to you good people. I decided to avoid more free beer and left for my gate. There was only one other person there in uniform, a sad looking Private. I sat next to him and chatted him up. Yes, he was going back to Iraq on my charter flight. As they began the process of boarding, the guy behind the counter told us to, stay where we were. When we finally were told to board, he had moved us to first class.
Being a late afternoon flight, we were served dinner right away, followed by requests for drinks. The Private next to me was looking a little dejected at this point, so I leaned over and said "You know that rule about drinking in uniform?" He nodded. "Son, we're going to Iraq." He smiled and we both ordered a drink.
Landing in Boston, I found that the VFW and several other organizations had coordinated to cordon off an entire section of a concourse for my Soldiers (yep, as Aircraft Commander they were mine again). They provided us with a complete Christmas Eve dinner. They also had several tables off to the side covered in cell phones. They invited us feel free to call our loved ones and wish them a Merry Christmas. This almost made up for having to be there on Christmas Eve. Almost!
What really made me proud of these kids, was when we had our final headcount, every Soldier that flew in with me was there to fly back. No AWOLs, no sick, lame or lazy, no missed flights, they were all there.
The flight was uneventful, even forgettable (I don't remember). Upon arrival in Kuwait, I realized I was back in the Army when I heard the greeting "Merry Christmas, line up over there".
submitted by Snoo_44245 to MilitaryStories [link] [comments]


2020.11.19 08:35 Chroments What you are looking for is..... (Link in the Desc.)4

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2020.11.19 08:23 Angurce1 What you are looking for is..... (Link in the Desc.)1

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submitted by Angurce1 to u/Angurce1 [link] [comments]


2020.11.19 07:00 iamthebrooksguy Meat

The first time I experienced sleep paralysis I was 15 years old. It wasn’t entirely like the horrifying playground rumors made it out to be. I didn’t have monsters screaming in my face or a demon at the foot of my bed; it was more of a vague person shaped shadow in the corner of the room. I’m not going to pretend like it wasn’t absolutely terrifying, but it certainly wasn’t like a scene out of a horror movie. It happened maybe two or three times
About 10 years went by before it happened again. I was lying in bed and saw the shadow. Panic set in. Why couldn’t I move? Is that a man in my house? I need to scream! I need to warn my girlfriend! I need to get up! I kept trying and trying to move and through sheer force of will I was able to. I just sat up in bed and screamed. My girlfriend, Priya, shot up in bed, startled and panicked as to why her partner was screaming.
“What?? What’s wrong? Morgan, are you okay??” she stuttered
“Yea… yea i just had a nightmare.” I managed to get out, trying to catch my breath. “I got it like, once when i was a kid but it’s been a bit”
She pulls me in close and kisses me on the forehead three times and walks her fingers across my shoulders. We were friends in college before we started dating, and she used to do that as a “friendship thing” (in retrospect, I think she just always liked me). It carried over into our relationship and now it always calms me down. She’s leaving tomorrow to spend a few days with her parents back home in Seattle, and goddamn, am i going to miss her.
My eyes shot to the corner where the shape was, half expecting it to still be there.
It was extremely difficult to get back to sleep that night, so i just messed around on my phone until it was time to get ready for work.
I was a page at my local library. It’s a fairly small place in the middle of a suburb so it’s not exactly the busiest job in the world, but i like it. The only downsides are people trying to sleep in the aisles, tracking down lost books, and, of course, weirdos watching porn. The porn is the worst part - the county doesn’t really dictate what we can or can’t allow people to do online, so we just have to look at them disapprovingly until they stop.
“Hey! Hey Morgan!” I hear a disembodied voice say. My heart jumps a little bit as I look around.
“Hey!” the voice hisses.
I look over to see my coworker, Carlos, waving me over. I walk over, trying to pass off the fact I've been insanely on edge all day. Didn’t exactly sleep well last night.
There’s some really fucking weird smell over by the nonfiction, you wanna check it out with me?”
I follow Carlos to that end of the library. It stinks over here, like meat and bad eggs.
“The fuck happened over here? Did someone shit themselves?” I mutter as I cover my face with my t-shirt. I looked over at the corner shelf and noticed some of the books were pulled out and knocked over. There was a weird, dark-colored goo caked onto the shelf.
I walked closer, the stench getting worse. Against my better judgement, I pulled out the books. I heard a sickening plop as a dark shape fell down in front of me. I stumbled back, throwing up in my mouth a little bit. The smell of rot was unbearable. My heart started racing, I couldn’t breath. My vision felt hazy and I collapsed to the ground. I steadied myself on my hands and knees, fighting the urge to vomit. I grabbed the nearest shelf and raised myself to my feet. It had a large gash on its side. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I was lost in the crimson decay of the crumpled heap in front of me. I snapped back to reality. I looked down to see the corpse of a raccoonIt was probably attacked by some other animal and snuck in here over the weekend to hide and bleed out. It smelled fucking terrible. Carlos and I called sanitation to come pick the thing up and dispose of it. Even after it was gone, the smell lingered and it left a reddish brown stain in the carpet.
That night I had another night terror. Again, I couldn't move. The shadow in the corner stepped closer than the night before. I swear I could smell rotting meat. I shut my eyes, hoping that if i just ignored this it would all be over soon. The smell faded, and when I opened my eyes the shadow was gone.
I always hated the smell of meat. I couldn’t stand that rancid, eggy, stench that seemed to last for days. I grew up on a weird street in LA. I was over in this little valley near a sharp corner. There were no other cross streets, just this sharp blind spot infested corner. We had car accidents every other day from assholes thinking they could just speed through wherever they wanted. Alongside the car accidents we had a lot of roadkill, and I mean A LOT. It seemed like every other day some poor unsuspecting squirrel, raccoon, even a few dogs would be hit by someone who couldn’t see around the corner. I became all too familiar with that rotting meat smell. Half of the time just that smell alone will send me reeling. My neighbor Nora, who was about the same age as me, always felt the need to come by and tell me when a new animal showed up - not because she was interested in them, but so that I could “watch out for the stinky.” She’d pull up on her yellow bicycle, knock on my door, and wouldn’t stop loudly calling my name until I'd open it. She’d greet me with her pigtailed red hair and a gap tooth. Helmet matching that yellow bike of hers. She’d point and yell about the dead animal in the middle of the road and then ask to come in and play. As odd as it sounds, that girl was my childhood best friend.
The next morning i felt even more exhausted, i couldn’t stop thinking about that shadow, about that smell. I went into the library, another slow day. I found myself coming back to the nonfiction aisle a lot that day. I’d just stare at the brown stain on the carpet and zone out, trying to pretend that smell doesn’t still linger in the air. People would complain; Ii’d just have to tell them the smell would go away shortly, that we’re “working on it.”
We weren’t working on it, we were only hoping the smell would go away in a couple days.
I spent the rest of my shift texting Priya complaining about the raccoon, the smell, how much I couldn't stand the scent of rotting meat. She was leaving that afternoon, so I wouldn’t be home by the time she was gone. A few hours later, my shift ended. I looked at the stain on the ground, thought “goodbye,” and went on my way.
When I got back to my apartment I opened the fridge to see it was stocked with pre-prepared foods with a note from Priya: “Vegetarian, so you don’t have to worry about meat at home.”
I laughed and opened a container of chow mein with tofu. I’ve never been a big fan of tofu, but Priya is a phenomenal cook. I ate my dinner, watched some tv and then got ready for bed. Even when she’s not around me, Priya finds a way to cheer me up. I went to bed that night feeling refreshed and relaxed for the first time this week.
I’m awoken by the feeling of Priya giving me her usual three kisses on my head and walking her fingers along my back. I settle back into bed and once again fall asleep. I woke up that morning feeling absolutely fantastic, the first night in a week where I felt like I actually slept. I look over and notice Priya isn’t there. That’s odd. She generally doesn’t have work until after me. I open my phone to a text message from her:
“I’m gonna have to spend a few more days with my family :( car broke down so can’t go anywhere for a bit”
My heart drops into my stomach. I must have had another night terror - maybe a dream? That previously-wonderful restful feeling drops. I feel exhausted, tired, I can't deal with this for very much longer. I drag myself out of bed and head for the library.
When I show up, Carlos is there. He’s acting all proud of himself saying he “cleaned the spot” but i still see it, i still smell it. I stare at the spot for hours. I think of the smell, I think of the raccoon, I think of the blind corner road kill, I think of the day I saw a white sheet in the road, a broken yellow bicycle beside it. Crying families and that horrible, horrible stench. I lose myself in staring at the spot.
My boss calls me over. She’s worried about me. Claims I’m not myself today. I tell her I haven't been sleeping well, the excuse being “animals in the alley.” Didn’t exactly feel like talking about nightmares was work-appropriate. She let me go home a little early that day.
I got home and devoured some of the food Priya left me. I felt like shit and decided I needed a drink. I went to the grocery store and picked up a six-pack of beer to take home.
Watch a movie, have a couple beers, try to relax. Sounds like a fucking perfect night.
I had a few too many and stumbled off into bed. I crashed immediately.
That night I saw the shadow again, but it started to move closer. The room was filled with the stench of rotten meat. I couldn’t move, I could only stare as the shadow got closer and closer to my bed. A hand reached out from the darkness and onto my leg. It walked its fingers up my leg as the shape came into view. The smell was unbearable. It looked rotten. Shallow sockets for eyes, assorted animal teeth shoved into where its mouth should be, forming an unsettling grin. I closed my eyes tight, knowing that it wasn’t real, it’ll go away. I peeked my eyes open only to see it got closer. I quickly shut them. I felt it press its head against mine. I tensed up, awaiting what happened next. The smell faded.I kept my eyes shut for as long as I could. I opened them and the thing was gone. I shot up in bed, jumped around, screamed, freaked out. I did everything I could to remind myself I am awake right now and that was a dream. I had another beer and went back to bed.
The next morning I got up, and I slept in late. Thank god I have today off because I'm insanely hung over. I walked into the kitchen to make some breakfast. I kinda want bacon and eggs. I began chopping up vegetables for the scramble. I started to think about how much I missed Priya. How I’m excited for her to come back home. I thought about the little finger walking thing she does, almost like I could feel it. And then I smelled rancid meat.
submitted by iamthebrooksguy to scarystories [link] [comments]


2020.11.19 06:42 iamthebrooksguy Meat

The first time I experienced sleep paralysis I was 15 years old. It wasn’t entirely like the horrifying playground rumors made it out to be. I didn’t have monsters screaming in my face or a demon at the foot of my bed; it was more of a vague person shaped shadow in the corner of the room. I’m not going to pretend like it wasn’t absolutely terrifying, but it certainly wasn’t like a scene out of a horror movie. It happened maybe two or three times
About 10 years went by before it happened again. I was lying in bed and saw the shadow. Panic set in. Why couldn’t I move? Is that a man in my house? I need to scream! I need to warn my girlfriend! I need to get up! I kept trying and trying to move and through sheer force of will I was able to. I just sat up in bed and screamed. My girlfriend, Priya, shot up in bed, startled and panicked as to why her partner was screaming.
“What?? What’s wrong? Morgan, are you okay??” she stuttered
“Yea… yea i just had a nightmare.” I managed to get out, trying to catch my breath. “I got it like, once when i was a kid but it’s been a bit”
She pulls me in close and kisses me on the forehead three times and walks her fingers across my shoulders. We were friends in college before we started dating, and she used to do that as a “friendship thing” (in retrospect, I think she just always liked me). It carried over into our relationship and now it always calms me down. She’s leaving tomorrow to spend a few days with her parents back home in Seattle, and goddamn, am i going to miss her.
My eyes shot to the corner where the shape was, half expecting it to still be there.
It was extremely difficult to get back to sleep that night, so i just messed around on my phone until it was time to get ready for work.
I was a page at my local library. It’s a fairly small place in the middle of a suburb so it’s not exactly the busiest job in the world, but i like it. The only downsides are people trying to sleep in the aisles, tracking down lost books, and, of course, weirdos watching porn. The porn is the worst part - the county doesn’t really dictate what we can or can’t allow people to do online, so we just have to look at them disapprovingly until they stop.
“Hey! Hey Morgan!” I hear a disembodied voice say. My heart jumps a little bit as I look around.
“Hey!” the voice hisses.
I look over to see my coworker, Carlos, waving me over. I walk over, trying to pass off the fact I've been insanely on edge all day. Didn’t exactly sleep well last night.
“There’s some really fucking weird smell over by the nonfiction, you wanna check it out with me?”
I follow Carlos to that end of the library. It stinks over here, like meat and bad eggs.
“The fuck happened over here? Did someone shit themselves?” I mutter as I cover my face with my t-shirt. I looked over at the corner shelf and noticed some of the books were pulled out and knocked over. There was a weird, dark-colored goo caked onto the shelf.
I walked closer, the stench getting worse. Against my better judgement, I pulled out the books. I heard a sickening plop as a dark shape fell down in front of me. I stumbled back, throwing up in my mouth a little bit. The smell of rot was unbearable. My heart started racing, I couldn’t breath. My vision felt hazy and I collapsed to the ground. I steadied myself on my hands and knees, fighting the urge to vomit. I grabbed the nearest shelf and raised myself to my feet. It had a large gash on its side. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I was lost in the crimson decay of the crumpled heap in front of me. I snapped back to reality. I looked down to see the corpse of a raccoon. It was probably attacked by some other animal and snuck in here over the weekend to hide and bleed out. It smelled fucking terrible. Carlos and I called sanitation to come pick the thing up and dispose of it. Even after it was gone, the smell lingered and it left a reddish brown stain in the carpet.
That night I had another night terror. Again, I couldn't move. The shadow in the corner stepped closer than the night before. I swear I could smell rotting meat. I shut my eyes, hoping that if i just ignored this it would all be over soon. The smell faded, and when I opened my eyes the shadow was gone.
I always hated the smell of meat. I couldn’t stand that rancid, eggy, stench that seemed to last for days. I grew up on a weird street in LA. I was over in this little valley near a sharp corner. There were no other cross streets, just this sharp blind spot infested corner. We had car accidents every other day from assholes thinking they could just speed through wherever they wanted. Alongside the car accidents we had a lot of roadkill, and I mean A LOT. It seemed like every other day some poor unsuspecting squirrel, raccoon, even a few dogs would be hit by someone who couldn’t see around the corner. I became all too familiar with that rotting meat smell. Half of the time just that smell alone will send me reeling. My neighbor Nora, who was about the same age as me, always felt the need to come by and tell me when a new animal showed up - not because she was interested in them, but so that I could “watch out for the stinky.” She’d pull up on her yellow bicycle, knock on my door, and wouldn’t stop loudly calling my name until I'd open it. She’d greet me with her pigtailed red hair and a gap tooth. Helmet matching that yellow bike of hers. She’d point and yell about the dead animal in the middle of the road and then ask to come in and play. As odd as it sounds, that girl was my childhood best friend.
The next morning I felt even more exhausted, i couldn’t stop thinking about that shadow, about that smell. I went into the library, another slow day. I found myself coming back to the nonfiction aisle a lot that day. I’d just stare at the brown stain on the carpet and zone out, trying to pretend that smell doesn’t still linger in the air. People would complain; I’d just have to tell them the smell would go away shortly, that we’re “working on it.”
We weren’t working on it, we were only hoping the smell would go away in a couple days.
I spent the rest of my shift texting Priya complaining about the raccoon, the smell, how much I couldn't stand the scent of rotting meat. She was leaving that afternoon, so I wouldn’t be home by the time she was gone. A few hours later, my shift ended. I looked at the stain on the ground, thought “goodbye,” and went on my way.
When I got back to my apartment I opened the fridge to see it was stocked with pre-prepared foods with a note from Priya: “Vegetarian, so you don’t have to worry about meat at home.”
I laughed and opened a container of chow mein with tofu. I’ve never been a big fan of tofu, but Priya is a phenomenal cook. I ate my dinner, watched some tv and then got ready for bed. Even when she’s not around me, Priya finds a way to cheer me up. I went to bed that night feeling refreshed and relaxed for the first time this week.
I’m awoken by the feeling of Priya giving me her usual three kisses on my head and walking her fingers along my back. I settle back into bed and once again fall asleep. I woke up that morning feeling absolutely fantastic, the first night in a week where I felt like I actually slept. I look over and notice Priya isn’t there. That’s odd. She generally doesn’t have work until after me. I open my phone to a text message from her:
“I’m gonna have to spend a few more days with my family :( car broke down so can’t go anywhere for a bit”
My heart drops into my stomach. I must have had another night terror - maybe a dream? That previously-wonderful restful feeling drops. I feel exhausted, tired, I can't deal with this for very much longer. I drag myself out of bed and head for the library.
When I show up, Carlos is there. He’s acting all proud of himself saying he “cleaned the spot” but i still see it, i still smell it. I stare at the spot for hours. I think of the smell, I think of the raccoon, I think of the blind corner road kill, I think of the day I saw a white sheet in the road, a broken yellow bicycle beside it. Crying families and that horrible, horrible stench. I lose myself in staring at the spot.
My boss calls me over. She’s worried about me. Claims I’m not myself today. I tell her I haven't been sleeping well, the excuse being “animals in the alley.” Didn’t exactly feel like talking about nightmares was work-appropriate. She let me go home a little early that day.
I got home and devoured some of the food Priya left me. I felt like shit and decided I needed a drink. I went to the grocery store and picked up a six-pack of beer to take home.
Watch a movie, have a couple beers, try to relax. Sounds like a fucking perfect night.
I had a few too many and stumbled off into bed. I crashed immediately.
That night I saw the shadow again, but it started to move closer. The room was filled with the stench of rotten meat. I couldn’t move, I could only stare as the shadow got closer and closer to my bed. A hand reached out from the darkness and onto my leg. It walked its fingers up my leg as the shape came into view. The smell was unbearable. It looked rotten. Shallow sockets for eyes, assorted animal teeth shoved into where its mouth should be, forming an unsettling grin. I closed my eyes tight, knowing that it wasn’t real, it’ll go away. I peeked my eyes open only to see it got closer. I quickly shut them. I felt it press its head against mine. I tensed up, awaiting what happened next. The smell faded.I kept my eyes shut for as long as I could. I opened them and the thing was gone. I shot up in bed, jumped around, screamed, freaked out. I did everything I could to remind myself I am awake right now and that was a dream. I had another beer and went back to bed.
The next morning I got up, and I slept in late. Thank god I have today off because I'm insanely hung over. I walked into the kitchen to make some breakfast. I kinda want bacon and eggs. I began chopping up vegetables for the scramble. I started to think about how much I missed Priya. How I’m excited for her to come back home. I thought about the little finger walking thing she does, almost like I could feel it. And then I smelled rancid meat.
submitted by iamthebrooksguy to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.11.17 17:34 TastyBananaPeppers Discord Group Invite Links List for Raiding, Sniping, Friending, Trading, and Battles [November 2020]

What is a Discord group?
How do I get Discord app?
Is it free to use?
Why should you join?
Help!!! I GOT BANNED? WHAT DO I DO?
How does my Discord group get added to this list?
Discord Invite Link Responsibility (added Sept 30, 2019):
Trades and Services within a Discord group disclaimer (added Oct 16, 2019):
How do I join a Discord group?
Discord Group Annoyance
Android Apps with special features:
Discord Groups (each name is an invite link):

If you need anything else, be sure to check out the real MEGA POST: Rules + Events + Android Spoofing Setup Guides + Other Android Guides + GPX Routes + Poke Maps + Discord Group Invites + Frequently Asked Questions
submitted by TastyBananaPeppers to PoGoAndroidSpoofing [link] [comments]


2020.11.15 19:13 cheryldlovejoy Seven Steps to Get a Girlfriend Fast

If you've made it to this article, then you are surely looking forward to leaving the singles club. Perhaps, yet you have no experience in dating, so that your knowledge of how to talk to girls is limited. Basically, you don't know where to start. Or, perhaps, your excessive desire to find a quick girlfriend is scaring all the girls.
In this article, we tell you why you have trouble getting bride, bride where to get and how to get a girlfriend, step pas without complications.
Trust us, this works, because all the points you will find in this article are based on the experience of other men, who have also been in the same situation.
And there are many who have already found a girlfriend by following these simple steps. They, too, were eager to have a partner and yet were unaware of their failings.
So, we are going to share with you very specific steps so that you have 100% success when it comes to finding a girlfriend. Today is the first day of a new stage in your life. Prepared?

Can't get a girlfriend? These are the reasons:

You can't get a girlfriend. And it's not because you can't find a woman or simply because no one likes you. There are real and quantifiable reasons. Here are some of them:

1. You are not trying

If you spend your life locked up at home and don't socialize, you clearly won't get a girlfriend. You can't hope to find one without doing anything. Maybe you are too focused on your professional career and do not have time to find a girlfriend or have a relationship. In any case, you are not doing your best.

2. You lack personality, experience and confidence in yourself

Appearances attract, but it is personality that retains. Even if you are a handsome man, if you are boring you will find it difficult to retain a girl. Not having any interesting stories to tell will make women run away, further undermining your self-esteem. And self-esteem is very important, since it is directly related to sexual attractiveness. Despite what it may seem, sexual attractiveness is not so much a function of physical attractiveness, but of self-confidence. Self-esteem amplifies your physical attractiveness.

3. You don't want to take the first step

Especially if you are a bunch, both in terms of physique and personality, you have to be proactive and take the first step. Very often when women are flirting they don't move on if the man is too shy or too nervous. You send them a signal that you don't like them, so they leave and get on with their lives. Most women won't give you a second chance, especially if you've just met.

4. You are out

Buddy, hasn't your mother taught you to behave? Like other human beings, women deserve respect and not be treated like objects. Stop whistling and making weird noises to get their attention, leave that tactic only to your pets. And most importantly, keep your hands to yourself when the situation calls for it. Believe us, since the beginning of time, the outcast never gets the girl.

5. You don't have 'social proof' or social proof

A man's 'social proof' increases his degree of attraction and self-confidence. If a man has no friends, women will most likely think 'God, if I go out with this one, I'll have him glued to me 24 hours!' and nobody wants that.
It doesn't mean you have to be friends with the creme de la creme, just have a group of friends.

6. You don't know how to talk to a woman

Do you usually screw up when you talk to a woman and get her scared out even before the flirting phase has started? Don't talk to a woman like she's one of your colleagues, especially if you've just met. He might not take it very well.

8. You are too absorbent

You have to understand that a woman wants to have her personal time and space. Chasing her and sticking to her like a limpet is something that turns most of them back. You too should do the same and have a life of your own outside of the relationship.

8. You don't take care of your appearance

Taking care of your appearance and having good daily hygiene is very important if you want a woman to notice you. Nobody likes dating a scruffy, smelly bum! Get a haircut, shave (or take care of your beard), use deodorant, and brush your teeth. They are basic aspects to take into account in your daily life, which you should take into account, even if you are not trying to find a girlfriend.

9. You have no real idea in your head of what love or a partner is

If you don't understand what it means to have a healthy, well-functioning relationship, it will be almost impossible for you to find a girlfriend yet. Maybe you're still stuck in your teenage days, where you don't like having to work to get things done and always having your way.
Awake! A healthy relationship is a two-way street.

10. You don't see women as human beings

It may be that you are afraid to approach a woman because you think you do not understand them. You don't know what to talk to them about or how to behave in their presence. So all you have to do is play silly jokes with your buddies. Let me tell you something ... all you do is show your insecurity and that gets you nowhere.
Women are not aliens. They are thinking living beings, just like you. Believe it or not, they will be able to understand everything you say. Let's just hope it's not inappropriate, that it makes you worthy of a good slap.

11. You have zero dating experience

Not having any kind of dating experience can be an obstacle, since you don't know the basic rules and you have no idea where to start. Don't worry, this article is made to help you.

7 safe steps to get the girl of your dreams

Getting a girlfriend shouldn't be that difficult. You can achieve this by following these seven steps:

Step # 1: It all starts with you

Before you think about getting a girlfriend, you have to mature and have confidence in yourself. So, start to mature and build your image to become the man you want her to see. Here are some things to help you do it:
Practice your passion. What do you like to do? Whatever it is, keep doing it and try to improve. When you have fun and are focused on something that you are passionate about, you become 10 times more attractive, seriously.
Live life and enrich it . Doing the things you like, such as traveling, will provide you with contact with other cultures and your life will be enriched. By experiencing things in the first person you will have more cultural baggage and more stories to tell, which will make you more attractive in the eyes of women.

Step # 2: Go out to meet girls

The next thing you have to do is get out of your house. Obviously, if you want to find a girlfriend, you won't find her within the four walls of your apartment. Go where the girls are.
Pay attention to the places they go out. Yes, there are girls everywhere, but you need to make a list of where to find them. Take a look at this section of our article .
Expand your network of contacts. Meeting new people at social events and meetings expands your network of contacts. Join a gym or classes that have to do with what you like. You could also change the places you go to regularly for others. For example, if you always go to the same bakery, try going to another. You could also try singles travel or just traveling solo. Both possibilities will allow you to meet people.
Always be prepared. No matter where you are or what you are doing, make sure you are always ready to flirt. That means putting on a monkey every time you leave the house. Don't be shy or look away when a woman shows interest to you. Say your name and prepare for a bit of inconsequential conversation. Life is full of surprises and it is unknown where or when it will make you cross paths with your soulmate.

Step # 3 Choose your goal

As if you were a sniper, the trick to getting it right is identifying your target. Now your approach will depend on the situation and where you are.
For example, if you are in a bar, you could buy her a drink. If you see them in the park, during your running session, you can start a small conversation about the weather or the advantages of playing sports outdoors. If you know her from class, make a comment about how that class is going. And if you've met her online, wait until you find out more about her before asking her out on a date.
But regardless of where you are, once you've seen a woman you like, put your heart on it and start a conversation. Here are some tips on how to be prepared in these types of situations:
Practice talking to women. Talk to a lot of girls before launching into the one you like. This way, when the time comes, you won't be so nervous anymore
Have some pickup lines ready . They are good for starting a conversation and introducing yourself.
Mentally prepare some topics for conversation. Sometimes you will run into women who are not good at small talk either, so you better train yourself to lead the conversation. You can ask her if she has done anything interesting lately or just how her day has been.
Do not stay without saying anything. Learn to listen to what she is saying and comment or give your opinions when she pauses. Be inquisitive and interested in what they are saying by asking appropriate questions.

Step # 4: Get the appointment

Now you've already talked to that woman you'd like to date. If you've felt connected, you could tell her you'd like to see her again and ask for her number. If he gives it to you, you can text him that night, or the next day. Just ask him how he's doing so you can start a 'message buddy' relationship first.
Later, when he gets to know you a little more and you've earned his trust, ask him out on a date. You can simply ask him if he has any plans for that day. You can do it by message, if you have met somewhere, by chance, or face to face if it is someone you see with some regularity (in class, in the gym, at work, etc.).
Plan the appointment. The date you prepare will depend on the interests of the woman you want to date. By now, she will have told you things about herself. It is impossible that you do not know anything about his life, unless you have not paid any attention.
Don't take rejection too seriously. If a woman is interested and is not available for the day you suggest, she will propose another. But if he says directly no to you, you should respect him. Of course, if you like him a lot, stay in the area and show him that you are a good boy and have good intentions. Maybe you end up being the one who asks you for a date in the future.

Step # 5: Make the appointment

A dinner out in a cute place is always a good idea for the first date . It will allow you to enjoy each other's company, get to know each other better, and see if you have enough connection and chemistry for you to start dating. After dinner, you could go for a drink at a nearby bar. It will be a way to relax, uninhibit and become a little more intimate.
Here is a list with some tips that you should keep in mind so that your date is a success and that it helps you get a second one:
Get ready . Spend some time and effort cleaning yourself. Brush your teeth (and floss), comb your hair, and dress appropriately. Appearance is a key factor on your first date.
Watch your manners . Rude men don't get a second date. Listen to what he is telling you and also share your stories, so that the conversation flows. Be polite - don't talk with your mouth full.
Assess compatibility. A first date usually allows you to assess whether you are compatible with the other person. It lets you see if you have enough connection with your date that you will go out again. If it does not exist, it cannot be forced. We don't choose who we like and who we like.

Step # 6: Explore your chemistry in bed (optional)

When there is chemistry, there is sexual tension. You may not feel it on the first date (although it can happen) but if there is, you will end up feeling it and you will end up in bed. You have to pay close attention to see if she feels the same way. Be aware of his body language and the signals he sends you.
Do it at the right time . You have to be careful when and how often you do it. You want a girlfriend, not a friend with the right to touch. You may want to wait at least three dates before taking action. This will show him that you are serious.
Don't disappear before he wakes up . If you want her to be your girlfriend, make her breakfast the next morning. Show him that you are not just looking for sex.
Frequent sex ends up leading to emotional attachment. Sex is a significant milestone in a relationship and compatibility in bed is important. The more passionate sex you have, the easier it will be for her to end up being your girlfriend.

Step # 7: From dating to dating

Spending time together helps you discover more about each other and increases the chances that you will end up being a couple. You get to see the different facets of the woman you like and assess whether she has the qualities you are looking for. The infatuation ends up arriving if there is chemistry and you spend time together. It is the result of deep conversations, moments of fun, experiences lived together and, also, the feeling of peace and security.
Realize your true feelings. Before asking her if she would like to go a step further in your fledgling relationship, you should be clear about your feelings towards her. Playing with another person is not okay in any case.
If you're only with her because it's comfortable to have someone by your side, but you're not in love, then she shouldn't be your girlfriend. It should be your friend and, if she agrees, with the right to touch.
But, if you want to spend every minute with her and if it's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning, then be clear, you are in love. And if you are and you think she could be too, dare to ask.
Ask her to be your girlfriend . It depends on the personality of the woman whether or not to make an official proposal. However, it's not like you're asking him to marry you, so you could do it more casually as well.

Places where you can meet your future girlfriend

There are many sites where you can search for a girlfriend. In fact, by proxy, you can find women anywhere! You just have to keep your eyes peeled when you leave the house and be ready for an innocent flirt at any moment. Do you hear me?
Even so, some guys want to know specific places and situations where they are more likely to meet women. If you want to get a girlfriend, pay attention:

1.Sites where girls go

Women, just like you, go everywhere. It is easy for you to meet women in normal places such as public transport, parks, shopping centers, gyms, bars and even in your workplace, if you have the right attitude and want it to happen. You just have to have enough self-esteem (not in an excessive / aggressive plan) to approach a woman and start a conversation.

2. Social events and meetings

Parties at local venues and get-togethers at your friends' houses are great places to meet women. But the quintessential place to meet people is weddings. Weddings often make singles feel like they also want to experience the love they see in the married couple. All feelings intensify, and women are more predisposed to flirting.
Also, if you can find a speed dating event in your city, try to attend. The women you meet on these types of sites are also looking for a boyfriend, so that should increase your chances of finding a girlfriend.

3. Through friends and family

Do you have aunts in your family who have been nagging you for a long time with setting up a blind date with a friend's niece? People who are trying to get you to date someone close to them - a friend or family member - will almost always match you up with a woman with whom you have a chance to connect. After all, they know you both. Also, if they do it is because they love you and care about you, so you should pay attention to them and stay with that woman they want to introduce you to.

4. Online Dating Sites

An online dating site is a good platform to meet girls and potentially find a girlfriend. This can come in handy, especially if you are rather shy when talking to a woman face to face, or if you are looking for someone of a specific race or religion.
There are different categories of dating sites and apps that you can choose from. It all depends on the type of relationship you are looking for. If you want to get a formal girlfriend, the dating sites are the best for you. If you are looking for something more erotic, you could try Sex Dating sites . And, if you don't want a serious relationship, but wouldn't mind hanging out with girls to see what happens, these Dating Pages are a good start.
submitted by cheryldlovejoy to AffiliXpro_Review [link] [comments]


2020.11.14 06:33 ETZ66 CVC 22350, Ventura County, 60 in 45

I read the 12 step guide several times .
I wrote back in January , sharing how this site showed me how to beat (2) speeding tickets, here is the link. https://www.reddit.com/CaliforniaTicketHelp/comments/f15a9z/2_cvc_22350_60mph_in_45_la_65_mph_in_50_ventura/
One of the same officers recently stopped me again (seriously) for speeding this past June. I don’t think he recognized me. The same day I emailed my guy (now in my contacts) at Public Works asking for the traffic survey for the location of my stop. Public Works (my guy) emailed me back explaining they were behind on traffic surveys due to COVID. He sent me a survey that expired in April. Bingo..... I won.... yay! I asked the court for 2 extensions and submitted my TBWD in October. This time I used the basic speed law, along with speed trap evidence. In addition, I asked that the prosecution attach a certified copy of current speed survey (wink, wink).
To my surprise I was found guilty . How could it be with an expired survey. I called today and the court emailed me all the documents. The officer attached all the required items...training , calibration , etc. . When I saw the officers attached survey, it was dated 6/29/2020. My ticket was issued 6/10/2020. The court accepted/didn’t notice or didn’t care about the survey and found me guilty. I am going request Trial De Novo. Can they say nothing changed between surveys..... my understanding is the survey must be valid at the time of the citation or the laser evidence is not allowed. on the officers declaration, he checked visual as well as laser..... I’m a bit nervous on how to approach the court with this situation ...... any advice?
Ticket https://imgur.com/a/1tE1hTn
Public Works email https://imgur.com/6W6X7Lg
Expired survey https://imgur.com/XXcVjAo
Officers Declaration https://imgur.com/a/vh2MQG0
submitted by ETZ66 to CaliforniaTicketHelp [link] [comments]


2020.11.13 04:22 BearLair64 Sunrise in Aztlan (Page 2 of 2)

**** * ****

~~~ PAGE 2 of 3

Silvio put on his turn signal and turned into the rest stop. He and Bjorn exited the car and entered the restroom. Art stayed and kept an eye on the tractor trailer and its escorts. There was an old white short bus stopped beside the truck. The windows were darkened but presently the back door opened, and several girls were ushered from the bus into the truck trailer. Art used his mini binoculars to check the logo on the side of the bus. It was from a local reservation. These girls were likely native girls… Americans, being sold to the slavers.
Art took over driving for a while since he was most rested. Due to Bjorn’s bulk, Silvio took the back seat. They left out ahead of the convoy but just ahead. They travelled just below the speed limit and before long, the lead car overtook them. When they reached a two-lane passing area, Art pulled to the right lane and let them pass. He stayed behind them and just sped up for occasional glimpses. He’d have to get closer soon, they were nearing the area where their intel said that the convoys disappeared, and it would be daylight in a couple of hours.
They’d been climbing for some time and off to the side of their car, Bjorn and Silvio looked out at the moonlight over the mesas. It was a stirring sight and each man sank into his own thoughts. At last the convoy turned onto a plain dirt track. There were no markings or signs, but it was well maintained. Art turned off the headlights and followed by moonlight and the red taillights in the distance. They wound through several of the mesas and low hills, and then turned onto a downward track that lead into a canyon. Art pulled into some mesquite brush on the right and turned off the engine. “What’s the idea boss? We may lose them.” Silvio opined from the back seat.
“We can track them.” Art said confidently. “There is nowhere else to go. Down into the canyon. There must be a settlement or something down there. Weird but hey, weird’s our specialty. That’s a one lane dirt road. If we go too far, we’ll have to stop behind them. If they drop off and do a turnaround, we’ll be trapped. Now, how about we unass the car, get our lights and night vision gear, some ropes, and take a shortcut down the canyon wall. Save us some walking down that dirt road which may come under unfriendly observation at any time and hopefully they don’t have much farther to go.”
**** * ****
They made it to the canyon floor and paralleled the track for a few miles. There was an odd, rhythmic sound from up ahead, as though drums and many voices rose in a chant. They looked at one another uneasily. The sound drifted in the dry dessert air, then abruptly ceased, started again for a moment, then stopped for good. They could see that dawn had arrived above the canyon rim but in between, the shadows prevailed. Up ahead, the road simply ended at a wall where the wide split in the land became a box canyon. The vehicle tracks led straight up to it and… vanished. Silvio led the others to a pile of rocks from which they observed, hopefully without being observed in turn. “This will do for now until we can figure out their security system and who may be watching.”
“I’d like to take a look at the box end wall,” rumbled Bjorn. “I can stay close to it and remain in the shadows. They should last a while longer.” He continued speaking before either of the elder men could raise an objection, “I know, I’m massive. However, I can move as well as anyone. In this outdoor space, the scale makes me as puny as either of you. Besides, I need to do something useful… I’m training, right?”
Art nodded and Silvio patted his charge lightly on the shoulder. “You have your spada bear cub?” To which Bjorn smiled in a manner that made it evident how he’d earned the sobriquet, “bear” as he patted the two-foot long blade sheathed at his hip.
Before any more conversation, the young giant was off among the rocks and sidling up to the wall. Once he was there, he blended into the surroundings surprisingly well. Had the two senior members of the team not known he was there they could easily have missed him. “Your trainee was well prepared in the Defense Management School. He moves well. I hear that Ed herself recruited him.”
Silvio beamed a feral grin at his team leader, “He’s green but surprisingly capable. He has no idea of course. I worry for the day that he realizes what a rare combination of talents he has. He’ll want to take over the outfit.”
Art glanced at where he thought Bjorn should be and then looked back at Silvio, “Maybe he should. I’ve lost him.”
Silvio chuckled, “I kept talking because I hoped you had eyes on him. I lost him before you first spoke… ah, wait… yes, there he is. Looks like he’s on the way back to us.
Presently Bjorn slipped down onto his belly beside his bosses. “Mystery solved. You’ll be able to tell when it gets light, but that wall is just a camouflaged rolling gate. Works well here, since the canyon narrows, and the area stays in the shade most of the day. I couldn’t really see inside but I heard some people talking and smelled cigarette smoke. Definitely guards on duty on the other side. I counted only two voices but... there are likely more nearby.”
“We’d need a full unit to take it straight on. Not really what we want to do until we have enough information to solve the mystery.” Art replied to Bjorn’s report. “Guess we’ll be climbing the wall again, then backtracking along the wall topside.” Silvio and Bjorn nodded ruefully, and the men began the climb and backtrack...
**** * ****
Daisy settled in among the other women in the back of the truck. She heard the locks engage on the outside, nothing to do but get acquainted on the journey ahead. She waited for her eyes to adjust to the gloom. Some light leaked in from the doors and there were small screens around the walls of the trailer that allowed some air and light to penetrate. Unlikely to suffocate, she thought, but still pretty murky, dark outside. She looked around her but all of the women… mostly girls, sat with their faces down, hair drooping, and were clearly wrapped in miserable thoughts.
She considered her own position. She wasn’t overly worried, and she trusted her team how talented they were, even though this gang had gotten the jump on her and Jay-bird. I hope he’s okay, poor guy, she winced when she thought of how it must have hurt him when the bullet entered his leg. It looked bad, top of the knee… She shook off those thoughts, unproductive! The men had questioned her briefly about anyone else following them. She’d insisted that she and Jay were not following them on purpose but had intended to rob the truck stop since cops were thin on the ground out this way. They’d been dubious but she was a decent enough actress and pointed out that she and Jay were both armed and had done some damage. It helped that she carried no ID and their vehicle had been pretty standard.
She once more let her eyes roam around the trailer rig. There, that one in the front corner nearest the cab. Her gaze was fixed, but angry rather than hopeless. Her clothes were nicer than anyone else’s, including Daisy’s… it was her! Daisy recognized her from the file photo, this was Reyna Marquez-Morales. No fuc… no way! She knew that the odds were astronomical. Then again, the trucks likely didn’t roll that often, Reyna had probably been held somewhere for a while to let the initial buzz settle. It really hadn’t been long since she’d gone missing, just over a couple of weeks, and here she was in a tractor trailer, shoved in among the regular girls like so much cattle. For that matter, so was Daisy.
She wanted desperately to talk to the girl but feared that some of the others might be snitches. She cleared her throat, “Anybody here speak English?” She tried to sound hopeful. Her Spanish was native and excellent, but they didn’t need to know that; …Crickets, apparently no one did. Only a few even bothered to look up at her. Reyna just continued to glare at a spot on the opposite wall. “Great, guess it’s going to be a boring trip.” She let a little defiance creep into her voice.
“I speak English, but I don’t want to talk right now. Maybe later. At the moment, I’m tired and angry and want to use a real toilet, not that bucket in the corner.” Reyna said as she flicked her chin to the opposite corner where there was a five-gallon bucket with a toilet seat and cover mounted in a corner.
Daisy had simply assumed that the reek of the place was produced by pent in humans, but the honey-bucket definitely added to the effluvium. “Thanks” Daisy nodded. “Can’t blame you. When you’re ready.”
**** * ****
Moctezuma placed his feathered cloak on the peg in his chambers. Servants did most things for him but only he touched the sacred garments and accoutrements. He eagerly awaited the arrival of the “special ones” the pair that would be sacrificed on the Day of Return. It was when Queztacuatl would return in fury and lead the people to reclaim this land. On the last Return, He was embodied in the Cortez, a conqueror, with a similar appearance and name to what was in the old prophecy. The priest king knew, based on later prophecy that this time, the Quetza would lead beside Moctezuma.
He'd only recently found the right Bride for The Sun, but he’d known the groom for years. The eldest son of one of the most powerful cartel bosses; the girl would be a good match for him, both the children of the ruling class from within the light and dark of society. The boy’s father had willingly offered him, he had plenty of other sons and this one did not show much promise as a criminal mastermind. The usual offerings… offerings, not sacrifices, were the discarded souls of the world who’d sought dreams of freedom and prosperity, but whose bodies were instead used up by cruel masters. Women shattered by the sex trade, men exhausted by work in fields and processing plants: mere peasants, those offerings. Yet these two children of powerful people would be a true sacrifice. Something special for the people, la raza, to offer The Gods as a means to gain Their favor and to welcome the coming of Quetzacuatl.
So, he had been taught as he grew into the role of the priest-king of his people. It had become more difficult of late to hide from the modern governments and drones and satellites, he’d had to allow modern technology to blend with the ancient ways. Yet that would soon all be done; the bride had arrived just in time. There were no ill portents as had preceded the arrival of Cortez; this time there would be triumph and The Gods would Return to claim this land for Their people!
**** * ****
Once they were up top and back at the car, the truncated DMTS team took a little time to more thoroughly hide the vehicle. The main concern was that these guys would have aerial surveillance, likely drones. They retrieved more gear and drank plenty of water. The dry air drained the moisture from their bodies with even slight exertion. Art contacted Pearly Gates on his closed channel sat phone.
“Looks like Jay’s gonna make it but he may end up with a new leg to match his arm. Kid’ll be a bionic man before it’s all done. We’ll have to start calling him ‘Blue-Jay’ with all that cobalt blue hide. She took care of the cleaning at the truck stop and the few potential witnesses were all well paid and frightened enough to have seen and heard nothing. Local LE has been redirected. All surveillance video for the date in question has been mysteriously looped. She was able to capture our coordinates. Of course, she and Jim Bui want to join us now that Jay is stable. They’ll contact us when they reach the turn-off to the dirt road.”
Bjorn pointed back along the roadway they’d followed, “Dirt on top but you can see it’s paved underneath the sand and gravel. No wonder it was in good shape, asphalt underlayment.”
Silvio nodded, “Good eye Bjorn. Now find us a place to bed down until we get the rest of our team.”
Bjorn did just that and they were soon ensconced among some rocks near the canyon rim. A place from which they could watch without being observed and rest in preparation for a busy night.
Toward evening, Jim and Pearly Gates arrived and soon had their new SUV hidden near the car. The entire group prepared to set out once full dark arrived. “Any word on Daisy?” Pearly Gates asked anxiously.
Art shook his head, “No Pearly Gates, we haven’t seen the occupants of the truck and it hasn’t yet left the canyon.”
As the sun sank until it met with the western horizon, they heard, very faintly this time, the rhythmic thumping and chants as the canyon acted like an enormous speaker and piped the sounds to them. Not many other people would have noticed but DMT Solutions Teams were trained to do so and most of this team had experiences that led them to notice far more than was common. Then the noises were drowned by the yips and wails of nearby coyotes, plaintively calling into the coming night. It was time to go…
They were unsure of what happened to the people who disappeared into the canyon, but they knew that Daisy was in grave danger. As a trainee, Bjorn had known her the least amount of time, but he’d learned to like and respect the young woman. She appeared small and soft but could pack a wallop when the need arose and had the energy of, “a BB in a glass bowl” as she’d proudly claimed on more than one occasion. He could see that Pearly Gates was the most affected. She and Daisy were like sisters. Pearly Gates had taken on a cold seething anger and he could see the struggle within her to maintain a calm approach.
They desperately needed information on the interior of the facility and how it operated. He and Pearly Gates now peered over the rim of the canyon wall through advanced night vision devices. The, “Technological” Team of DMTS had produced many near miracle tech devices and these were no exception. The canyon opened up dramatically after the choke point. The buildings along the sides were cleverly worked into the natural rock for the most part but the… city, there was no other word for it, extended onto the canyon floor as well. At the wall of the actual end of the box canyon, rose… a pyramid, a real live pyramid, right here in the good ole USA he mused. “If even only half those buildings are dwellings, we are looking at a population of around five to ten thousand. More if the caves extend deeply into the surrounding rock.” he rumbled to his fellow scout.
“Hhmmmnn…” Pearly Gates growled in return, possibly in agreement, but probably with some reservations. Her tawny locks gleamed a silver grey in the moonlight, for all the world like a puma. He was reminded of those creatures when her eyes flashed in his direction. “We aren’t going to get any more information from here. Let’s go back and see what the drones found and the satellite mapped.”
They returned to the makeshift camp inside the boulders. Silvio, in his vulpine manner, suddenly appeared from the darkness; it was almost enough to startle Bjorn, never a good idea, even though he’d been trained to control himself. Pearly Gates, already on edge, snapped at the lean field agent, “Seriously? You should know better Silvio, never jump out in front of fellow predators unless you are looking for a fight.”
Silvio nodded tightly in acknowledgement, “Yes, you know it works both ways though, the two of you were moving very quietly. No need to startle the rest of the Diablos Tejanos. We are all on edge with worry over Daisy. I’ve downloaded the Sat information to your devices. Art and Jim Bui are bringing in the drones and we can start sorting out our plan.”
**** * ****
“So, I don’t know much more than you.” Reyna spoke quietly to Daisy, who had moved to sit beside her, despite the proximity of the rank honey-bucket. “I was in Galveston with some friends, we have a beach house there at Jamaica Beach. A couple of girls I didn’t know came with a friend and I think they must have played a part in taking me. We hung out and partied for a while, then… I woke up in a dark room. They would turn on a red lightbulb when they fed me. I was able to figure out where the toilet-sink combination and the cot were. Everything was metal. I couldn’t really see the person… maybe people, who brought the meals, but I think they were all women. Maybe like these.” She waved her hand slightly to indicate their fellow passengers on the journey to misery.
Daisy nodded along but remained silent, she wanted the girl to keep talking. After a moment, Reyna obliged, “Then they came for me, the goons, the ones that put you in here with us. Neither one of us belongs here. The rest of the women are undocumented, I talked to a few, mostly prostitutes…” she whispered the last. “I can’t believe this. Do you know who my mother is? Has there been anything on the news?”
Daisy wasn’t ready to show her hand, “No idea, I don’t watch news, bor-ring! I’ve seen some things though. These chics don’t look like pros, they look like sheep. Sheep that have been kicked around pretty hard.”
Reyna shrugged, “Whatever, I just hope that my friends were able to get help. If my mom finds out, she’ll send someone to get me.” She again slipped into a whisper, “She’s in Congress, they’ll have to send someone. She’s pretty well known, even some talk of her being in line for a bigger office. I just have to wait.”
Daisy again remained silent, apparently the girl was spoiled and vacuous enough to assume that none of the other women would note or comprehend her whispers. She had to do her job but, what an arrogant little arse-tard! Definitely had to keep that to herself. Reyna had seemed to hold it together pretty well but now she sniveled a little, a small whimper and sniff of soft crying. Someone in this trailer seemed to be crying quietly at all times, like they took it in shifts. The truck slowed considerably and made one sharp turn, then headed down a steep grade. Eventually it leveled out for a while. Then it stopped.
There were rumbles and voices outside and the truck once again lurched forward. The poor light that penetrated the vents began to turn gray when the truck came to what felt like a significant halt. The driver took the vehicle out of gear and she heard the cab doors open and shut. Presently, the first bright light of the morning greeted her. It wasn’t too bad, there were still shadows since… ah, canyon walls, that’s what occluded the light.
The “herd” of women left the truck and women in plain cotton shifts with intricate embroidery met them and spoke soothingly as they were ushered into a plain building that Daisy quickly recognized as a dormitory… like in a jail but maybe a little nicer… a newer jail. While one of the elder women gave a short introduction, she focused on a different discussion that occurred just outside the still opened door. She noted that one of the eldest of the women spoke to the lead thug, “That was close. We have only one left, the one for sunset tonight. Tomorrow is the big day, but we still have to keep up the Cycle of The Sun. This won’t be the last load.”
The thug shrugged, “The Big M’s the one who ordered us to time it this way. We kept her close to where we took her until the immediate search was over. She’s feisty but empty-headed. Still, we can’t put her off for too long with stories about ransom. There’s another one, she’d be good for sunset today or tomorrow. She caused us some trouble. Might as well take care of it…”
“C’mon young one, we are going inside to look at the rest of the dormitory.” One of the women in the embroidered shifts smiled at Daisy and indicated with her hand that she should move along. Daisy saw that the smile did not touch her eyes, they were black and hard, like obsidian...
**** * ****
It had been relatively easy to access the city from the canyon walls, but the team then had to figure out how to move about without getting caught and then how to find Daisy and possibly Reyna among thousands of other people. They weren’t even completely sure that Reyna would be in the city. She could be anywhere on the trail of misery they’d followed. Still, she was their primary mission. Art had stayed above, their communication link with a Cleaner Team on standby. That group would take care of any unfortunate messes, to include avenging their deaths should such a need arise.
They’d decided to start with the pyramid… there was nothing else like it. Surely it was the center of whatever was happening in this place. The moon rose above the canyon wall and shed some light, but there was very little visible artificial lighting. It was likely that the community cooperated in keeping the location off the maps. The central plaza appeared deserted and the pyramid rose ahead in the gloom, massive and tall but wide enough at each level to still appear somewhat squat. The lowest level extended into the canyon wall. The second level appeared to be flush with it. The rest ascended in smaller platforms until at the top, a large basalt block rested free and clear of everything but its enormous base, the pyramid. It was set so the bottom of it was just above the rim of the canyon, high in the sky and in position to greet the rising sun and bid farewell as it set.
Bjorn and Silvio took a position near one of the structures from which no sounds of occupation emanated. Pearly Gates and Jim Bui tackled the climb from one of the sides. There were no deliberate steps on the south face, only the east and west faces but the surface was fairly rough and there were carvings and protrusions that in combination with the gentle slope, made the climb easy for their levels of experience. They made the ascent in under ten minutes. Bjorn watched as the scouts sunk low at the apex to avoid being silhouetted against the night sky with its bright moon and myriad of stars, all made clear by the absence of humidity. Had he not known they were there he would not have seen the few tiny signs that they displayed.
He was starting to get nervous and noted that Silvio squirmed as well, when a shadow rose from the silvery light. It was quickly joined by another. The scouts had returned. Pearly Gates spoke in low tones, “That thing is just what it looks like, an altar. It’s been cleaned but there are clear signs that blood has flowed across the surface of that block, it went into a drain in the center. The back of the block that faces the cliff has an opening, like a chute. It seriously reeks. Flashlight beam couldn’t find the bottom but there is definitely airflow, like the entire pyramid is breathing; very dramatic. There is a narrow stair that leads up and down the north face from the top of the second level; a door leads into the canyon wall. Apparently, anyone who needs to magically appear can simply ascend that stair and voila! The whole view from the top looks like this is a theater stage.”
Jim Bui watched their trail and remained vigilant during the report and added only, “There is a stench of death in that place. The basalt block had two slight indentations… as though two human bodies could be placed side by side with heads in opposite directions. Kinda creepy, like some old pulp story, Tarzan or Conan, maybe Cthulu… but with actual people dead at the end of the ceremonies. Maybe they needed so many people to fill up the pyramid with bodies, who knows?” He shivered a little. Jim Bui was tough but the situation had him on edge.
Pearly Gates remained cold, “We still don’t know where Daisy is or Reyna. Should we look around the buildings? There’s no way to tell when or even if they might be brought to this place.”
In the end, they decided to take a look around the city. Pearly Gates and Jim Bui started at the base of the eastern stairs and Bjorn and Silvio took the western end. The streets were squared off because of the buildings that lined them, yet it seemed that the buildings were staggered so that there were no direct approaches to the pyramid until one cleared the last offset, then it was a short walk into the plaza and to the base of the steps.
They maintained a leisurely pace, stalking quietly and staying close to walls that cast moon-shadows when possible. The night was moving on rapidly and it was eerie how quiet the complex was when they considered the number of people they’d observed and heard earlier. Every roof and upper wall was left in natural basic colors, but each lower level had been used as a canvas for murals of ancient native life and depictions of the myths and legends of pre-Columbian tribes in their glory days. It was difficult for Bjorn to avoid becoming engrossed in the tales that the artwork told, but then he saw one that he could not ignore. He touched Silvio’s shoulder and then tapped it and pointed to the pertinent wall.
It displayed the same feathered serpent or dragon figure that they’d observed at La Quetza Cantina. It appeared to fly above and preside over a pyramid. On the pyramid were figures, a brightly bedecked one stood above two others, very obviously male and female characters. The colorful person held a long, black object above them; it looked like a large knife that he intended to plunge into the chests of the supine figures on the dull black alter. There were two other figures in ornate dress, another male and female, who stood by with basins to catch the blood that would surely flow…
Bjorn and Silvio looked at one another briefly, then Silvio indicated with a nod and hand gesture that they should keep going. Yet at the end of the building, they had to halt. They’d reached the parking area, across which was a large garage shed that contained the tractor trailer and escort vehicles that they’d followed. Two men stood beside them, visible only because one was smoking. When the breeze shifted, Bjorn could make out brief snatches of conversation but nothing intelligible. Silvio signaled that he should wait and then he ducked around the corner to the front of the two-story structure. He returned presently and signaled for Bjorn to follow him. They reached the back of the building and rounded the corner together and once more, two figures emerged from the gloom of night. Pearly Gates and Jim Bui…
**** * ****
Daisey quietly scouted through the dormitory in search of an escape route other than the front or back doors on the first floor. She found none, there were no windows in the structure. Not even in the dorm monitors’ suite. The door at the top of the stairs had been locked but she worked for a company that focused on solutions. She heard light snoring from the two figures that were there as guides and guards. She crept past their open door and tried the back door. Locked. Looking at it, she decided that she could open it, but first she checked for alarms… none, the typical captives were cowed before they even arrived, and security had clearly grown lax.
She exited and was pleased to find a bright glowing moon above to greet her. She glanced around and saw a figure disappear around a corner. Odd, the rest of the complex was as quiet as a grave. Might as well follow, she figured she had about an hour to explore.
**** * ****
Bjorn felt a heavy tap on top of his shoulder and smoothly flowed into a kneeling posture as he came to a stop. He looked around first with his eyes and then slowly he turned his head. Silvio was ahead of him and Jim Bui was just behind. Pearl Gates was the rearguard. She was faced in the direction from which they’d come and based on her stance, she was prepared for a fight. Jim Bui had his heavy knife in hand and Bjorn realized that he’d instinctively drawn his own oversized scramasaex without conscious thought. He’d passed on the signal to Silvio, who now stood watch at the next corner, in the shadows. There was the slightest glint of the sharp edges of his stiletto. He couldn’t see it, but he knew that Pearly Gates would have held her pistol with the sound suppressor. They were completely prepared for an attack. He wondered if the men who had been out with the trucks had spotted them and followed.
Pearly Gates quickly stood and stepped forward, toward their stalker. Bjorn’s first instinct was to rise and assist her against the opponent who grappled with her. Then he realized that their shadow was none other than Daisy. The, “grapple” was a warm embrace.
**** * ****
The team continued their silent trek until they were near the plaza. They gathered around in a pool of shadow and spoke in sotto voce tones to make their plans. Daisy insisted on going back to the dormitory, “I have to protect Reyna. I don’t know when they’ll take her, but if we are sacrifices, we have to let it go forward until we can figure out a rescue for all of the captives. For that matter, they may take me first, I am a problem child.” She gave a wicked grin with that.
Pearly Gates slipped a small caliber pistol into Daisy’s palm, “Now you are a problema for these freaks.” Her grin was downright savage.
Bjorn presented her with one of his smaller blades, “So, what’s the plan?”
**** * ****
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