Man har online dating profiler

Welcome to r/Geedis home of the mysterious Land of Ta!!! Start here to dive into all things Geedis!!!

2020.09.06 13:44 RowdyWrongdoer Welcome to r/Geedis home of the mysterious Land of Ta!!! Start here to dive into all things Geedis!!!

Welcome to Geedis

Thank you for finding us!!! We are community devoted to all things Geedis and The Land of Ta
Join us as we create lore, create art, and spread the absurdly silly fun that is Geedis and the Land of Ta. WTF is Geedis? That's up to you!!! We have a rich history full of mystery, fun, and some really great people. Join the other Geeders in our community and celebrate all things geedis!Read the information bellow to dive into all things Geedis!!

Summary

Pronounced Ghee-Dis
Geedis is a character found on sticker sheets and an enamel pin. The sticker sheets make up The Land of Ta. A mystery arose when comedian Nate Fernald asked the internet "WTF is Geedis" after finding the now famous Geedis Pin. Geedis was soon found on stickers which was his original medium. Land of Ta sheet 1 Land of Ta sheet 2 The Women of TA
The Podcast Endless Thread investigated the mystery of wtf is Geedis and found the artist behind Geedis and the Land of Ta!
Listen Here: https://www.wbur.org/endlessthread/2019/08/23/what-is-geedis
Youtube Channel Whang! Also has 3 great videos on the topic.We highly recommend listening to the podcast before watching the second video.You can find his first Video here and his update Video here as well as a 3rd follow up Video here.
Remember to read the rules in the sidebar
Spoilers exist past this point for Endless thread and both videos.
Wtf is Geedis? What mysteries exist in the Land of Ta?
We did not know who drew Geedis or the Land of Ta art until a podcast came along to take up our case. Endless Thread followed leads generated by this community to the Framingham Historic Center. The FHC Curator Stacen who had previously passed on leads to this subreddit, gave Endless Thread contacts with former Dennison employees who directed them to the family of Sam Petrucci.Geedis is a character drawn by Sam Petrucci for the Dennison Mfg Company from Framingham Massachusetts. We know Sam drew 2 of the 3 Land of Ta sticker sheets of which the first featured Geedis.

Our Goals

What do we hope to accomplish?Spread the characters from the Land of Ta far and wide. A Geedis in every home.Solve the remaining mysteries of Ta
What mysteries do we want solved?
  1. Who made the Geedis Pin, When, Where, Why?
  2. Who drew the Women of Ta
  3. Wtf is Tammy?

The Mysteries of Ta?!?!?!

Since Nate's original post he has acquired several more Geedis pins from a collector who acquired a large collection of vintage pins from an ill man unable to do business anymore. Most of the pins in this collection were said to be dated pre 1983 but not all. The earliest listing of the Geedis pins on ebay we can find to date to 2014
User sadtacobell found these pins at a small gift shop in Cheerokee NC. The current owners of the shop do not know when/how the pins were originally aquired. These Geedis pins look completely different both front and back as shown in this comparison by groovyorangealien who acquired one of the pins.
All known Geedis pins Thanks groovyorangealien
We have confirmation that Dennison never made Pins. “We never made enamel pins, at least not in the 25 years I was there.” This info came via The former National Marketing Mgr for Consumer Products at Dennison during this time period. They went on to be the GM over Dennison-Carter after Dennison bought Carter Ink. This persons name is withheld privacy. Framingham Historic Center is responsible for this information please donate FHC
Our current feeling is the pins were produced by a now defunct company and sold in bulk to souvenir shops. There seems to be about 100 geedis pins in the wild thus far. Nate Fernald owns roughly 80 of them.
Sticker sheet 80-224Women of Ta
Here is a pic of Women of Ta in the packaging thanks GeedisGirl
Does Tammy have anything to do with this? If not....wtf is Tammy?Some believe they share the same manufacture.

The People

The GeedFather. Sam drew sheets 1 and 2 of the Land of Ta and created the character of Geedis who ultimately spawned this whole mystery. Endless thread the podcast helped lead us to Sam.
The following bio is taken from SamPetrucci.com
"Sam was a premiere commercial artist working in the Boston area from the 1960s through the 1990s. Best known as the original packaging artist for Hasbro’s GI Joe, Sam also used his talents to create logos, branding, and packaging for numerous high profile clients including Poland Springs, TJ Maxx, Hasbro, Smokey the Bear, the World Wildlife Fund, Dennison, Fluff, Sunkist, Oceanspray, Gillette, Friendly’s, Dunkin Donuts, BASF, BOSE, Gorton’s Fishsticks, the Massachusetts State Lottery, Venus Crackers, Jose Cuervo, Polaroid, Boston College, Harvard, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Red Sox, Liberty Mutual, Hewlett Packard, and many others. After starting two design studios, Thresher & Petrucci, and then Sam Petrucci & Associates, Sam worked at Gunn Associates on Newbury Street until his retirement in 1994.
*"*EndLess Thread the podcast that solved everything brought Sam daughter Linda along for an AMA. You can find that AMA here
We also maintain LandofSam as a tribute to the artist who spawned all this fun stuff.
Nate is a comedian who currently writes for the Late Late Show. He found the first Geedis pin and made the tweet heard round the Land of Ta
www.Natefernald.com
AMA can be found here!
Endless Thread is a podcast in collaboration with Reddit and WBUR a Boston based NPR affiliate.They took up the cause and contacted members of this subreddit as well as followed leads generated within this this community. This lead them to the FHC, then to former Dennison employees and ultimately the name of the artist.
You can find that podcast here along with their other episodes. Very fun show, they are Geedis Family.
AMA can be found here!
Thank you Ben Brock Johnson, Amory Sivertson, Josh Swartz and the whole team Endless_thread .
Check out their subreddit too! EndlessThread
Framingham Historic Center and Curator Stacen have been a huge joy to work with and so very helpful. Stacen and others have dug through archives and reached out to folks in the know. They were the ones to connect everyone together.
If you love this mystery consider making a small donation for all the wonderful work they have done https://framinghamhistory.org/support/donate/
AMA with Stacen the Curator here!
Who are Geeders? We all are! You are now too! Look how far you are down a welcome post of this weird sub?Geeders come from all cultures, political leanings, religions, and belief systems. However none of that matters when you are a Geeder. We check that at the door. Together we are simply people who love Geedis and the Land of Ta. We are cool, kind, helpful and silly. Geeders support each other.
AskMeAbout_Sharks and Standardeviation2 helped Found this subreddit and did lots of the original research. Their contributions are immeasurable.
u/IHad360K_KarmaDammit sent the mystery viral with this legendary comment!!!
There is a hoax Lunch Box that gets posted, this is a bogus lead. I think its simply fan art from Storybreak fans.Carrie Zinn is a known hoaxster, more info here in the original posts

From the Nate AMA this image of a Zoltan pin has appeared. It was first listed 2 months after Atlas Obscura did an article on this mystery. The seller seems unreachable and has sold nothing else. Its authenticity is a very debated topic among this sub. This is the only known picture of the pin. You can find some comparison pictures and debate here.This pin was found to be a hoax. A pin company named PSA Press started planting these around the last few years and released them on april 1st for sale. It was a hoax and they had hoped some would turn up in the wild online. This never came to pass. Check out theirAMA here
_____________________________________________________
More Videos and articles on the Geedis and The Land of Ta!
AtlasObscura (Article)Nimpods The Frances Brothers podcast.
nimpod, (video)Nimpods second Geedis video Nimpods #39
The Black Sheep Broadcast interviews mod Rowdywrongdoer about all things Geedis (podcast)
Corona House episode 9 From the creator of The FP (Geedis gets a mention!)
Keto Connect talk about Geedis. Link goes to time stamp 5:23 where the conversation starts. (video)
Story Break covered Geedis and the Land of Ta (podcast)
Sam Petrucci Wikipedia entry featuring this mystery!! created by u/Legok9KnowYourMeme entry on Geedis
What If Podcast episode on Geedis
Land of Ta entry at Fandom.com
_____________________________________________________
Merch?
Please check Sampetrucci.com for any official merch from the family of The Geedfather Sam.
Look for "Geeder Created Merch" for Geedis merch made by Geeders in our own sub!
Geeders support Geeders. Also look for the Merch thread on who here sells what!While we await any offical merch from Sampetrucci.com we encourage our users to make Geedis merch, make home made items and generally just spread Geedis around the world!
_____________________________________________________
**Deeper Dive (archives)**Many of you use an App or old reddit that does not display our menus at the top of the page. You can access those links here. You can also find more information including much of the info below in the archive located at /GeedisHistoricalCentr this is both an archive of where we have been and what we are working on. its mainly a resource sub.
Pin Topics, Character Topics, Comparative Art, D&D Topics, Already Contacted, Geedis Look A Likes, Transparent Character Art, Welcome post 1.0, Welcome Post 2.0 Welcome Post 3.0 Nate Fernald AMA, Stacen from the FHC, AMA Summaries, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit Chat, Land of Ta (fan art), Frammingham Historic Center, Endless Thread
Weekly Round Ups
Was a special series by mod and Geedis Legend Standardeviation2. It was a weekly news letter with links to everything that happened on the sub reddit that week. This covers a ton of our history in is a great resource for deep dives.Archive of all Weekly Round Ups
_____________________________________________________
More?
LandofTa for fan art, comics and a all kinds of fun creative fan made things!
LandofSam A subreddit dedicated to all things Sam Petrucci. Please help us fill it with content. Its a small shrine of love to the artist we wanted to find so bad.
GeedisHistoricalCentr our Geedis Archive of all things related to the past and present of the mysteries of Ta
Sillymysteries a sub reddit where we hope to harness our powers to solve more mysteries like Geedis
LandofTaRPG Working on a Geedis themed RPG!! Join in!!!
_________________________________________________
This is a living document and will be updated as needed, anything you'd like to add? Please let us know!!
submitted by RowdyWrongdoer to Geedis [link] [comments]


2020.08.05 14:29 RowdyWrongdoer Re writing the r/Geedis Welcome Post (utility post)

Welcome to Geedis

Thank you for finding us!!! We are community devoted to all things Geedis and The Land of Ta
Join us as we create lore, create art, and spread the absurdly silly fun that is Geedis and the Land of Ta. WTF is Geedis? That's up to you!!! We have a rich history full of mystery, fun, and some really great people.
Read the information bellow to dive into all things Geedis!!

Summary

Pronounced Ghee-Dis
Geedis is a character found on sticker sheets and an enamel pin. The sticker sheets make up The Land of Ta. A mystery arose when comedian Nate Fernald asked the internet "WTF is Geedis" after finding the now famous Geedis Pin. Geedis was soon found on stickers which was his original medium. Land of Ta sheet 1 Land of Ta sheet 2 The Women of TA
The Podcast Endless Thread investigated they mustery of wtf is Geedis and found the artist behind Geedis and the Land of Ta!
Listen Here: https://www.wbur.org/endlessthread/2019/08/23/what-is-geedis
Youtube Channel Whang! Also has 3 great videos on the topic.We highly recommend listening to the podcast before watching the second video.You can find his first Video here and his update Video here as well as a 3rd follow up Video here.
Remember to read the rules in the sidebar
Spoilers exist past this point for Endless thread and both videos.
Wtf is Geedis? What mysteries exist in the Land of Ta?
We did not know who drew Geedis or the Land of Ta art until a podcast came along to take up our case. Endless Thread followed leads generated by this community to the Framingham Historic Center. The FHC Curator Stacen who had previously passed on leads to this subreddit, gave Endless Thread contacts with former Dennison employees who directed them to the family of Sam Petrucci.
Geedis is a character drawn by Sam Petrucci for the Dennison Mfg Company from Framingham Massachusetts. We know Sam drew 2 of the 3 Land of Ta sticker sheets of which the first featured Geedis.

Our Goals

What do we hope to accomplish?
Sovle the remaining mysteries of Ta
What mysteries do we want solved?
  1. Who made the Geedis Pin, When, Where, Why?
  2. Who drew the Women of Ta
  3. Wtf is Tammy?

The Mysteries of Ta?!?!?!

Since Nate's original post he has acquired several more Geedis pins from a collector who acquired a large collection of vintage pins from an ill man unable to do business anymore. Most of the pins in this collection were said to be dated pre 1983 but not all. The earliest listing of the Geedis pins on ebay we can find to date to 2014
User sadtacobell found these pins at a small gift shop in Cheerokee NC. The current owners of the shop do not know when/how the pins were originally aquired. These Geedis pins look completely different both front and back as shown in this comparison by groovyorangealien who acquired one of the pins.
All known Geedis pins Thanks groovyorangealien
We have confirmation that Dennison never made Pins. “We never made enamel pins, at least not in the 25 years I was there.” This info came via The former National Marketing Mgr for Consumer Products at Dennison during this time period. They went on to be the GM over Dennison-Carter after Dennison bought Carter Ink. This persons name is withheld privacy. Framingham Historic Center is responsible for this information please donate FHC
Sticker sheet 80-224
Women of Ta
Here is a pic of Women of Ta in the packaging thanks GeedisGirl
Does Tammy have anything to do with this? If not....wtf is Tammy?
Some believe they share the same manufacture.The People
The GeedFather. Sam drew sheets 1 and 2 of the Land of Ta and created the character of Geedis who ultimately spawned this whole mystery. Endless thread the podcast helped lead us to Sam. The following bio is taken from SamPetrucci.com
"Sam was a premiere commercial artist working in the Boston area from the 1960s through the 1990s. Best known as the original packaging artist for Hasbro’s GI Joe, Sam also used his talents to create logos, branding, and packaging for numerous high profile clients including Poland Springs, TJ Maxx, Hasbro, Smokey the Bear, the World Wildlife Fund, Dennison, Fluff, Sunkist, Oceanspray, Gillette, Friendly’s, Dunkin Donuts, BASF, BOSE, Gorton’s Fishsticks, the Massachusetts State Lottery, Venus Crackers, Jose Cuervo, Polaroid, Boston College, Harvard, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Red Sox, Liberty Mutual, Hewlett Packard, and many others. After starting two design studios, Thresher & Petrucci, and then Sam Petrucci & Associates, Sam worked at Gunn Associates on Newbury Street until his retirement in 1994. "
EndLess Thread the podcast that solved everything brought Sam daughter Linda along for an AMA. You can find that AMA here
We also maintain LandofSam as a tribute to the artist who spawned all this fun stuff.

Nate is a comedian who currently writes for the Late Late Show. He found the first geedis pin and made the tweet heard round the Land of Ta.
www.Natefernald.com
AMA can be found here!
Endless Thread is a podcast in collaboration with Reddit and WBUR a Boston based NPR affiliate.
They took up the cause and contacted members of this subreddit as well as followed leads generated within this this community. This lead them to the FHC, then to former Dennison employees and ultimately the name of the artist.
You can find that podcast here along with their other episodes. Very fun show, they are Geedis Family.
AMA can be found here!
Thank you Ben Brock Johnson, Amory Sivertson, Josh Swartz and the whole team Endless_thread . Check out their subreddit too! EndlessThread
Framingham Historic Center and Curator Stacen have been a huge joy to work with and so very helpful. Stacen and others have dug through archives and reached out to folks in the know. They were the ones to connect everyone together.
If you love this mystery consider making a small donation for all the wonderful work they have done https://framinghamhistory.org/support/donate/
AMA with Stacen the Curator here!
Who are Geeders? We all are! You are now too! Look how far you are down a welcome post of this weird sub?
Geeders come from all cultures, political leanings, religions, and belief systems. However none of that matters when you are a Geeder. We check that at the door. Together we are simply people who love Geedis and the Land of Ta. We are cool, kind, helpful and silly. Geeders support each other.
AskMeAbout_Sharks and Standardeviation2 helped Found this subreddit and did most of the original research. Their contributions are immeasurable.
u/IHad360K_KarmaDammit sent the mystery viral with this legendary comment!!!

Hoaxes
There is a hoax Lunch Box that gets posted, this is a bogus lead. I think its simply fan art from Storybreak fans.
Carrie Zinn is a known hoaxster, more info here in the original posts
A Zoltan Pin? Just a Clever Hoax
From the Nate AMA this image of a Zoltan pin has appeared. It was first listed 2 months after Atlas Obscura did an article on this mystery. The seller seems unreachable and has sold nothing else. Its authenticity is a very debated topic among this sub. This is the only known picture of the pin. You can find some comparison pictures and debate here.
This pin was found to be a hoax. A pin company named PSA Press started planting these around the last few years and released them on april 1st for sale. It was a hoax and they had hoped some would turn up in the wild online. This never came to pass. Check out theirAMA here
_____________________________________________________
More Videos and articles on the Geedis and The Land of Ta!
AtlasObscura (Article)
Nimpods The Frances Brothers podcast. nimpod, (video)
Nimpods second Geedis video Nimpods #39
The Black Sheep Broadcast interviews mod Rowdywrongdoer about all things Geedis (podcast)
Corona House episode 9 From the creator of The FP (Geedis gets a mention!)
Keto Connect talk about Geedis. Link goes to time stamp 5:23 where the conversation starts. (video)
Story Break covered Geedis and the Land of Ta (podcast)
Sam Petrucci Wikipedia entry featuring this mystery!! created by u/Legok9
KnowYourMeme entry on Geedis
What If Podcast episode on Geedis
Land of Ta entry at Fandom.com
_____________________________________________________
Merch?
Please check Sampetrucci.com for any official merch from the family of The Geedfather Sam.
Look for "Geeder Created Merch" for Geedis merch made by Geeders in our own sub! Geeders support Geeders. Also look for the Merch thread on who here sells what!
While we await any offical merch from Sampetrucci.com we encourage our users to make Geedis merch, make home made items and generally just spread Geedis around the world!
_____________________________________________________
Deeper Dive (archives)
Many of you use an App or old reddit that does not display our menus at the top of the page. You can access those links here. You can also find more information including much of the info below in the archive located at /GeedisHistoricalCentr this is both an archive of where we have been and what we are working on. its mainly a resource sub.
Pin Topics, Character Topics, Comparative Art, D&D Topics, Already Contacted, Geedis Look A Likes, Transparent Character Art, Welcome post 1.0, Welcome Post 2.0 Welcome Post 3.0 Nate Fernald AMA, Stacen from the FHC, AMA Summaries, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit Chat, Land of Ta (fan art), Frammingham Historic Center, Endless Thread
Weekly Round Ups
Was a special series by mod and Geedis Legend Standardeviation2. It was a weekly news letter with links to everything that happened on the sub reddit that week. This covers a ton of our history in is a great resource for deep dives.
Archive of all Weekly Round Ups
_____________________________________________________
More?
LandofTa for fan art, comics and a all kinds of fun creative fan made things!
LandofSam A subreddit dedicated to all things Sam Petrucci. Please help us fill it with content. Its a small shrine of love to the artist we wanted to find so bad.
GeedisHistoricalCentr our Geedis Archive of all things related to the past and present of the mysteries of Ta
Sillymysteries a sub reddit where we hope to harness our powers to solve more mysteries like Geedis
LandofTaRPG Working on a Geedis themed RPG!! Join in!!!
_________________________________________________
This is a living document and will be updated as needed, anything you'd like to add? Please let us know!!
submitted by RowdyWrongdoer to GeedisHistoricalCentr [link] [comments]


2020.07.14 02:34 flyons4 Ash #Date4Lily

Ash #Date4Lily
Name: Ash
Gender: Male
Height: 5’9”
Species: Kitsune (Fox)
Interested in: Female
Interested in species: Kitsune (Fox)
Body type: Slender, some muscle
HaiFur color: Red, some white
Profile:
Well, first off, I’m a bit of a weeb. I could watch anime all day. And, yes, I watch "Offbrand" too. I prefer ones with a good story that make me care for the characters. It’s more about the relationship for me, not about the “fluff”. But my real passion is rebuilding bikes. There’s nothing better than that first ride after completing a build.
Other interests include; Video games, Being watching YouTube (That Nux Taku is hilarious), and dancing (Although, I’m horrible at it).
Ideal Date:
Just something simple. I feel people typically stress themselves trying to make a good first impression. Or the pressure of a one on one dinner gets to them. Let’s just have fun. Maybe go to an amusement park where we can just be ourselves.
Views this week: 69 Likes: 4 Matches: 0

Ash: (Sigh) … Another one unmatched me. And the ones that like me have blank profiles.
Ash fell backwards onto his pillow, still holding his phone. A small dog was startled by the thud and turned to face Ash.
Ash: (Sigh) … I thought online dating would have been easy. Man was I wrong. It’s been two years and I’ve not had a single date.
The dog jumped up onto the bed and curled up next to Ash.
Ash: (Smiles) Oh, Bell. Come to comfort me?
Ash reached over and pet Bell.
Ash: {Maybe I should try going to that bar Toby talked about? … Ah, who am I kidding. I’d feel completely out of place there. … I wish there was some place I could go that was more me.} (Sigh) … {It’s 6:00pm} … Alright, Bell. Want to go for a walk?
Bell raised her head quickly and her tail began to wag.
Ash: (Smiles) Thought you would. {Maybe it would help take my mind off things too.}
Ash reached over into a drawer and pulled out a leash. He linked it to Bell’s harness and the two of them headed out of the apartment. Once outside, they began walking towards the dog park.
Ash: … {I should just delete the dating app. It’s done nothing but cost me money and make me feel depressed. … But where would I go to meet someone?}
submitted by flyons4 to lostpause [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 23:23 Didittowinit Asking women out on dates should be considered a crime, and the degree of punishment the men get should depend on how popular the woman is.

We all know that women enjoy ruling society through their sexual desirability. We've seen countless examples of men being ousted from their place of employment for mere things like making offhand comments around women, introducing themselves to attractive women or just being alone in the same room with a woman where any story can be fabricated.
In order to address the need for women to be able to filter unwanted suitors out of her life while making her career and romantic aspirations free of any interference I believe all approaches should be considered a criminal action.
In my system the woman can report any instance of approach by a male to authorities and she will be believed no matter what (this is a central tenet of females, the ability to punish males without evidence is part of a female's requirement to feel free and safe in Western nations.) However the female must have her looks rated by an anonymous internet board of reviewers in order to determine how much punishment she is able to dish out to the offending male. Females who want to enjoy the right to accuse men of the "crime of approach" must have their looks rated accordingly first.
Highly attractive women, like women who everyone wants, should have the greatest "punishment wall" so to speak.
Here's the best part. The women can report instances of unwanted approaches via a government run website so they can instantly report the offense and the offensive man via their cell phones. All they need to do is submit a photo of the man and the authorities will visit the man to either issue a citation or handcuff him.
Each man can also look up on this website the risk profile of each woman. So a man can determine if a woman is worth the risk of asking her out. Each woman will have a list of government approved punishments they have in store for each unwanted man, depending on his looks level. As I've said before the government only allows high punishments for women of great attractiveness, so most average women could probably only send men to jail for about a year at a time for the evil of talking to her when she wasn't interested.
This will all satisfy a central idea that underlies the West: Women should be free to approach the men that they want and not have to suffer with the situation in the other way around.
Women instinctively know that males, by nature, are designed to be complacent when a female is selecting from them such as when she shops from clothes or from an online retailer. This allows the female to chose the best men for herself, thus offering the best arrangement between the sexes in the West, peace of mind for the men who are selected and appropriate recycling of unselected types. Due to this we know there is demand from females in Western societies to send a clear message that the wrong people should be too intimidated to interact with them in a romantic way.
After all if women did need to accommodate unwanted males they would be forced to contend with the vast unmet sexual needs demanded by men, which as we all know are unremarkable and pointless in a society that harnesses men to create industries that offer women luxuries that allow them to, paradoxically, avoid their traditional role as the sexual nurse to men.
This system of punishments will go a long way at repairing the gender relations between men and women in the West.
/sarcasm
submitted by Didittowinit to MensRights [link] [comments]


2020.07.05 19:57 inkspring Why don't Chinese people hate their authoritarian government as much as we think they should? — Kaiser Kuo explains

I've been PMed by multiple people to repost this after my original SSC post was deleted, so here it is again:
The following was originally written by the talented Kaiser Kuo as an answer to a question posed on Quora, but for the sake of easier readability, shareability, and the mobile users who don't want to create a Quora account, I've decided to repost it in text post form. I've also added the last part of the answer and postscript in the comments because of Reddit's character limit. Apologies in advance if that breaks any rules. Anyway.
Why do many people feel that the Chinese can't possibly be basically okay with their government or society?
I’m going to attempt an answer in three parts.
First, I’ll look at the gap in political culture between China and the liberal western democracies, especially the United States. I’ll argue that there is little appreciation among most WEIRD individuals—that is, Western, Educated people from Industrialized, Rich, and Developed nations—for just how highly contingent political norms they take for granted really are from an historical perspective. I’ll sketch the outlines of the major historical currents that had to converge for these ideas to emerge in the late 18th century. Then, I’ll compare this very exceptional experience with that of China, which only embraced and began to harness those engines of western wealth and power—science, industrialization, state structures capable of total mobilization of manpower and capital—much later. And late to the game, China suffered for over a century the predations of imperial powers, most notably Japan. Hopefully, I’ll show why it was that liberalism never really took hold, why it was that Chinese intellectuals turned instead to authoritarian politics to address the urgent matters of the day, and why authoritarian habits of mind have lingered on.
Next, I’ll argue that a lot of unexamined hubris lies not only behind the belief that all people living under authoritarian political systems should be willing to make monumental sacrifices to create liberal democratic states but also behind the belief that it can work at all, given the decidedly poor record of projects for liberal democratic transformation in recent years, whether American-led or otherwise. It’s important to see what the world of recent years looks like through Beijing’s windows, and to understand the extent to which Beijing’s interpretation of that view is shared by a wide swath of China’s citizenry.
Finally, I’ll look at the role of media in shaping perspectives of China in the western liberal democracies and in other states. A very small number of individuals—reporters for major mainstream media outlets posted to China, plus their editors—wield a tremendous amount of influence over how China is perceived by ordinary Anglophone media consumers. It's important to know something about the optical properties of the lens through which most of us view China.
Part I — The Values Gap: The Historical Contingency of Liberal Western Thought and Institutions
One evening, I was chatting online with a friend here in China, another American expatriate living in another city, about the great disconnect in recent Western understandings of China—the thing that this question and answer seeks to get to the heart of. He suggested that at least for Americans (we’re going to use Americans here, mainly, to stand in for the Anglophone western liberal democracies) the question underlying the disconnect boiled down to this:
“Why don’t you Chinese hate your government as much as we think you ought to?"
The modern Chinese party-state, after all, is a notorious violator of human rights. It cut its own people down in the street in 1989. It prevents with brutal coercion the formation of rival political parties and suppresses dissent through censorship of the Internet and other media. It oppresses minority populations in Tibet and in Xinjiang, depriving them of religious freedoms and the right to national self-determination. It persecutes religious sects like the Falun Gong. It behaves in a bellicose manner with many of its neighbors, like the Philippines, Vietnam, and India. It saber-rattles over disputed islands with its longstanding East Asian adversary, Japan. It presses irredentist claims against Taiwan, which has functioned as an effectively sovereign state since 1949. It has pursued breakneck economic growth without sufficient heed to the devastation of the environment. It has not atoned for the crimes committed during the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward, when tens of millions died because of absurdly misguided economic policies. It jails rights activists, including a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I could of course go on.
Why then would any American not ask this question? Seems pretty obvious from the perspective of anyone from a liberal western democracy that this is a political system that needs to go, that has failed its people and failed to live up to basic, universal ideas about what rights a government needs to respect and protect. They’ll have heard the argument that China’s leadership has succeeded in other ways: it has allowed China to prosper economically, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, creating a substantial and comfortable middle class with expanded personal (if not political) freedom. And the Chinese Communist Party has managed to ensure a relatively long period of political stability, with orderly leadership transitions absent the political violence that had accompanied nearly all others until Deng Xiaoping’s ascent.
"Yeah, but so what?" asks the American. "Anyone who would trade a little freedom for a little personal safety deserves neither freedom nor safety,” he asserts, quoting Benjamin Franklin. He quotes this as gospel truth, ignoring the irony that many Americans advocated just such a trade in the aftermath of September 11. That aside, why shouldn't he quote it? It’s deeply engrained in his political culture. Political liberty is held up practically above all else in the values pantheon of American political culture.
The American myth of founding sees the Puritan pilgrims, seeking a place where their brand of Protestantism might be practiced freely, crossing the Atlantic in the Mayflower, creating en route a quasi-democratic quasi-constitution, the Mayflower Compact, landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, and over the next 150 years growing into the colony that would lead its 12 sisters into rebellion for freedom from the "tyranny" of King George III. Americans hold the ideas enshrined in their founding documents very dearly, and can't really be blamed for doing so: they are, after all, some very high-minded and frankly very beautiful ideas.
What he doesn’t quite appreciate is the precariousness of the historical perch on which these ideas—ideas he holds so strongly and believes so ardently to be universal truths—ultimately rest. Americans, like everyone else for that matter, tend not to take much time to understand the historical experiences of other peoples, and can't therefore grasp the utter contingency upon which their own marvelous system rests.
I'm going to grossly oversimplify here, in this grand backward tour of European history, but the political philosophy that gave rise to modern American political ideals, as even a fairly casual student of history should know, emerged during the 18th century in the Enlightenment—an intellectual movement of tremendous consequence but one that would not have been possible save for the groundwork laid by 17th century naturalists who, taken together, gave us an "Age of Reason" (think Newton and all the natural philosophers of the Royal Academy). Their great work could be pursued because already the intellectual climate had changed in crucial ways—chiefly, that the stultifying effects of rigid, dogmatic theology had been pushed aside enough for the growth of scientific inquiry. That itself owes much to the Protestant Reformation, of course, which people tend to date from 1517 but which actually reaches back over a century earlier with John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, arguably Erasmus, and the other pre-Lutheran reformers.
And would the Reformation have been possible without the rediscovery of classical learning that was the animating spirit of the Renaissance? Would the Renaissance have been possible without the late medieval thinkers, such as Abelard, who sought out to subject theology to the rigors of Aristotelian logic and reason? Would all this have been possible, if not for the continuous struggles between Emperor and Pope, between Guelph and Ghibelline factions—partisans for the temporal power of the Vatican and Holy Roman Emperor? The fact is that this series of historical movements, eventually carving out politics that was quite separate from—indeed, explicitly separate from—theocratic control, was only really happening in this small, jagged peninsula on the far western end of the great Eurasian landmass. And in the rest of the world—the whole rest of the world—none of this was happening. Political theology remained the rule with rare, rare exceptions.
What we've now taken as the norm and the correct form for the whole world—liberal, secular, democratic, capitalistic—is truly exceptional, recent, rare, fragile, and quite contingent.
Let’s turn and look for a moment at China, which is arguably much more typical. China is a civilization that didn’t until much later and perhaps still doesn't fit neatly into the modern conception of the nation-state; a massive continental agrarian empire, a civilization with an integrated cosmology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy which together formed the basis of a holistic orthodoxy, deep knowledge of which was required for any man (alas, only men) who wished to climb the only real available ladder of success: the Civil Service Exams.
The China that the West—in this case, chiefly the British—encountered in the late 1700s was really at or just past its peak, ruled by a reasonably competent and conscientious Manchu emperor who history knows as Qianlong, ruling a land empire matching, roughly, the contours of the contemporary People’s Republic, almost entirely self-sufficient but willing to sell its silk, porcelain, and especially its tea to anyone who brought minted silver bullion—two-thirds of the world’s supply of which, by the time of the American Revolution, was already in Chinese coffers.
What followed was a crisis that lasted, with no meaningful interruption, right up to 1949. Foreign invasion, large-scale drug addiction, massive internal civil wars (the Taiping Civil War of 1852-1863 killed some 20 million people), a disastrous anti-foreign uprising (the Boxers) stupidly supported by the Qing court with baleful consequence, and a belated effort at reform that only seems to have hastened dynastic collapse.
The ostensible republic that followed the Qing was built on the flimsiest of foundations. The Republican experiment under the early Kuomintang was short-lived and, in no time, military strongmen took over—first, ex-dynastic generals like Yuan Shikai, then the militarists who scrambled for power after he died in 1916. China disintegrated into what were basically feuding warlord satrapies, waging war in different constellations of factional alliance. Meanwhile, China's impotence was laid bare at Versailles, where the great powers handed to Japan the colonial possessions of the defeated Germany, despite China having entered the Great War on the side of the Allies.
During this time, liberalism appeared as a possible solution, an alternative answer to the question of how to rescue China from its dire plight. Liberalism was the avowed ideology of many of the intellectuals of the period of tremendous ferment known as the May Fourth Period, which takes its name from the student-led protests on that date in 1919, demonstrating against the warlord regime then in power which had failed to protect Chinese interests at Versailles at the end of World War I. (The May Fourth period is also referred to as the New Culture Movement, which stretched from roughly 1915 to 1925). The "New Youth" of this movement advocated all the liberal tenets—democracy, rule of law, universal suffrage, even gender equality. Taking to the streets on May Fourth, they waved banners extolling Mr. Sai (science) and Mr. De (democracy).
But with only very few exceptions they really conceived of liberalism not as an end in itself but rather as a means to the decidedly nationalist ends of wealth and power. They believed that liberalism was part of the formula that had allowed the U.S. and Great Britain to become so mighty. It was embraced in a very instrumental fashion. And yet Chinese advocates of liberalism were guilty, too, of not appreciating that same contingency, that whole precarious historical edifice from which the liberalism of the Enlightenment had emerged. Did they think that it could take root in utterly alien soil? In any case, it most surely did not.
It must be understood that liberalism and nationalism developed in China in lockstep, with one, in a sense, serving as means to the other. That is, liberalism was a means to serve national ends—the wealth and power of the country. And so when means and end came into conflict, as they inevitably did, the end won out. Nationalism trumped liberalism. Unity, sovereignty, and the means to preserve both were ultimately more important even to those who espoused republicanism and the franchise.
China's betrayal at Versailles did not help the cause of liberalism in China. After all, it was the standard bearers of liberalism—the U.K., France, and the United States—that had negotiated secret treaties to give Shandong to the Japanese.
Former liberals gravitated toward two main camps, both overtly Leninist in organization, both unapologetically authoritarian: the Nationalists and the Communists. By the mid-1920s, the overwhelming majority of Chinese intellectuals believed that an authoritarian solution was China's only recourse. Some looked to the Soviet Union, and to Bolshevism. Others looked to Italy, and later Germany, and to Fascism. Liberalism became almost irrelevant to the violent discourse on China's future.
For anyone coming of age in that time, there are few fond memories. It was war, deprivation, foreign invasion, famine, a fragile and short-lived peace after August 1945, then more war. Violence did not let up after 1949—especially for the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, who were "class enemies" on the wrong side of an ideological divide; or for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers sent to fight and die in Korea so soon after unification. And even with peace, prosperity didn't come: 1955 saw Mao announce a "high tide of collectivization," which was followed by the tragic folly of the Great Leap Forward and ensuing famine, in which tens of millions perished.
A friend of mine named Jeremiah Jenne who taught US college students at a program here in Beijing once said something to the effect of, “When Americans create their movie villains, when they populate their nightmares, they create Hitler and the SS again and again: Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers.” The fear of the liberty-loving American, he implied, is of a surfeit of authoritarianism.
What of the Chinese? The Chinese nightmare is of chaos—of an absence of authority. And such episodes of history are fresh in the minds of many Chinese alive today—only a handful are old enough to actually remember the Warlord Period but plenty can remember the Cultural Revolution, when Mao bade his Red Guards to go forth and attack all the structures of authority, whether in the classroom, in the hospital, in the factory, or in the home. And so they humiliated, tortured, sometimes imprisoned and sometimes even murdered the teachers, the doctors, the managers, the fathers and mothers.
In the 25 years since Deng inaugurated reforms in 1979, China has not experienced significant countrywide political violence. GDP growth has averaged close to 10 percent per annum. Almost any measure of human development has seen remarkable improvement. There are no food shortages and no significant energy shortages. Nearly 700 million Chinese now use the Internet. Over 500 million have smartphones. China has a high speed rail network that's the envy of even much of the developed world. China has, by some measures, even surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest economy.
So try telling a Chinese person that anyone willing to trade a little personal liberty for a little personal safety deserves neither liberty nor safety, and they’ll look at you like you’re insane. Therein lies the values gap.
Part II — The View through China’s Window: Liberal Hegemonism in US Foreign Policy
In the first part, I laid out a case for why it’s quite natural, given the tendency of Americans (as with all people) to ignore or understate historical contingencies and recognize their own privileges and prejudices, for Americans to be puzzled by Chinese acquiescence toward—indeed, by their often quite vocal support for—a political system so execrable by certain American standards.
The hubris of some Americans about their own political system seems to me especially natural, even forgivable, in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. From the vantage point of 1991, a kind of triumphalism was inevitable: the liberal west, with America at its vanguard, had just vanquished the second of the century’s great ideological enemies. First was Fascism and Naziism with the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945 (never mind that Bolshevik Russia, from the time Hitler invaded Russia, never faced less than two-thirds of German divisions in the field), then Bolshevism with the end of the Cold War.
And what was on the minds of Americans—who had watched the Berlin Wall come down, Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel assume the Polish and Czech presidencies, Yeltsin defend the Russian parliament and Gorbachev declare the Soviet Union’s end—what was on their minds as they turned thoughts to China?
Tiananmen, of course, with its incredibly potent imagery: a million people in the Square, Tank Man, and the Goddess of Democracy. Looming ever present in nearly every conversation about American perception of China in the last quarter century—now in the background, now in the fore—is the bloody suppression of the 1989 student-led protests in Beijing. (Fun Fact: The first democratic elections in Poland were held on June 4, 1989, the very day of the crackdown on the Beijing protests).
The years that followed the end of the Cold War would see gathering in American foreign policy a new ideology that would come to supplant the realist school that had dominated from the time of Richard Nixon. This is what the MIT political scientist Barry R. Posen calls Liberal Hegemonism: an activist, interventionist thread that believes in the pushing of liberal democratic politics and capitalism through all available means from “soft power,” to operations aimed at destabilizing authoritarian governments, to actual preemptive war (the Bush doctrine) and the “regime change” of the Neoconservatives. Some of its basic assumptions—not all, but some—are shared both by liberal interventionists and NeoCons. For American liberals, it was guilt from failure to act in the Rwandan Genocide, or to the “ethnic cleansing” that characterized the wars during the breakup of Yugoslavia, that gave impetus to this; for NeoCons, it was the unfinished business of Desert Storm. They found much common ground in their support for “color revolutions” in the former Soviet republics. They may have debated tactics but the impulse was to spread American values and institutions, whether or not doing so would serve a specific and definable American interest. That could be done the Gene Sharp way, or the Paul Wolfowitz way. Neither way was something Beijing wanted done to it.
And I don’t think it takes a whole lot of empathy to see what things have looked like from Beijing over the last 25 years. Deng Xiaoping, while he was still alive, pursued a policy of “biding its time and hiding its power” as he focused on building China's domestic economy, avoiding any real confrontation and trying to rebuild relationships post-Tiananmen.
But it wasn’t long before tensions sparked. In May of 1999, US smart bombs fell on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and virtually no Chinese believed the American explanation that it was a mistake, the result of an out-of-date map that showed the embassy as an arms depot. Later, in April of 2001, the collision of an American EP-3 spy plane with a Chinese fighter jet off of Hainan Island, off China’s southern coast, sent another chill through Sino-American relations. And things looked like they might have taken a turn for the worse, had not September 11 taken the pressure off.
The “War on Terror,” which China could notionally join in, distracted the U.S., which quickly found itself fighting two long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy was in high gear, chugging along at double-digit growth rates right up to the eve of the Financial Crisis. The Sino-American waters were probably never calmer than in the years between 2001 and 2008.
Perhaps history will see 2008 as an important turning point in these attitudes: during the same year that China staged its first Olympic games, the financial crisis, which China weathered surprisingly well, walloped the West (and much of the rest of the world) with what was arguably its signal event, the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers on September 15—happening just three weeks almost to the day after the closing ceremony of the Beijing summer games on August 24.
It was China’s turn to feel a kind of triumphalism, which often took the form of an unattractive swagger. Meanwhile, a sense of declinism gnawed at the American psyche. After 2008, China became the object of global (read: American) attention again, fueled for some by anxieties over the rapidity of its rise, in others by anger over major flare-ups in western China: riots in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, in March, 2008, and in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, in July, 2009. Factory conditions became a growing concern as Americans realized that even the most sophisticated electronics they sported—everyone had an iPhone by then, right?—were manufactured in China.
Remember, too, that excitement over the political potency of social media was also enjoying something of a heyday in this period of liberal hegemonic ascent. As one color revolution after another was live-tweeted (Moldova was perhaps the first, but not the only, of the street movements to be called “The Twitter Revolution”), as every movement had its own Facebook page and Youtube channel, China’s reaction was to censor. There is, after all, one belief about the Internet that the most hardline Chinese politburo member shares with the staunchest American NeoCon: that the Internet, unfettered, would represent an existential threat to the Communist Party’s hold on power. They have of course very different views as to whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing. But can we really be surprised that, able as they are to open to the op-ed section of any American broadsheet and find this idea that Internet freedom is the key to toppling authoritarian single-party rule, the Communist Party leadership would conclude that their approach to censorship is correct? But this of course has created another potent issue over which Americans, very naturally, express outrage—and puzzled frustration that Chinese aren’t (literally) up in arms over Internet censorship.
Beijing obviously lamented the Soviet empire’s incredibly rapid implosion. It doubtlessly chafed at how NATO expanded its membership practically up to the Russian doorstep. It certainly hasn’t loved it that American troops are operating from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and were present in great numbers in Afghanistan (which by the way borders China, if only at one end of the narrow Wakhan Corridor). Beijing has surely fretted as American-backed NGOs (the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is the big boogeyman for pro-Beijing types—perhaps as Confucius Institutes are the bête noire for their anti-Beijing American counterparts) conspired, or so they believe, with the instigators of color revolutions. And it certainly sees the Pivot to Asia—now rebranded the “Rebalancing”—as a species of containment. But what I suspect really has Beijing freaked out, what really seems to have confirmed that America still has its cherished liberal hegemonic ambition, was the Arab Spring. Is Beijing so wrong, looking out on the smoldering wreckage of Libya and Syria, at the mess that Egypt still remains, to want to avoid that outcome at whatever price? Or to think that America’s true, ultimate intention might be regime change in Beijing? Kissinger once famously said that even a paranoid can have enemies.
What does all this foreign policy stuff have to do with Chinese attitudes toward their government? It’s fair to ask this; after all, the question I’m trying to answer isn’t specifically about the Chinese state and how it sees things, but rather the Chinese people, and the attachment they seem to have toward a state that comes up so short by American measure. It’s the rare person who can truly separate, at both an intellectual and an emotional level, criticism of his or her country from criticism of his or her country’s government—especially if that government is not, at present, terribly embattled and is delivering basic public goods in a reasonably competent manner. States tend to try to reinforce that conflation of people with state (and in China’s case, party). They encourage the basic state-as-family metaphor, something that in the Chinese case is part of the deep structure of Confucian political thinking and is therefore probably easier to nurture than to extirpate. I don’t doubt that propaganda has a role in this, but I would assert that its role is generally exaggerated in American thinking about China.
In any case, if you’ll indulge some pop psychological speculation, I’ll go out on a limb and posit confidently that external criticism of a leadership will tend to, if anything, reinforce a citizenry’s identification with the state and blur the lines even more between “government” and “people.” Perhaps I’m wrong. But most people I know who are known to bitch occasionally about their own parents get awfully defensive when people outside the family offer unsolicited criticism. This seems especially to be the case with mothers.
And so it is that many ordinary Chinese citizens, online and inevitably aware now of the timbre of China discourse in English-language media, tend to elide criticism of the state and Party with criticism of China, and take it personally. They feel a distinct sense of having been singled out for unfair criticism and will reach easily for handy explanations: Hegemonic America can't abide another serious power rising in the world, and just wants to sow discord and strife to keep China down; America needs to create a boogyman, an enemy to replace its fallen Cold War foe and placate its military-industrial complex. And in any case, America doesn't appreciate just how far we've come under the leadership of this party, however imperfect.
People will debate what the Party’s real role has been in poverty alleviation: is it accurate to say that the Chinese government “lifted 300 million people from poverty” or is it more correct to say that they mostly got out of the way and allowed those people to climb out of it themselves? (I tend to like the latter phrasing). That’s not the only accomplishment in China’s 35+ years of reform that will be fought over. But the simple truth is that by many, many measures of human development, the great majority of Chinese people are undeniably better off today than they were before Deng inaugurated reform. The grand unofficial compromise, in a kind of updated Hobbesian social contract, that the Party made with the Chinese people—“You stay out of politics, we’ll create conditions in which you can prosper and enjoy many personal freedoms”—has been, on balance (and to date), a success.
No thinking Chinese person of my acquaintance believes that the Party or its leadership is anything close to infallible. Most can be quite cynical about the Party, the venality of officials, the hidden factional struggles, the instinct for self-preservation. They’re fully appreciative of the Party and leadership's many shortcomings. They don’t shrink from criticizing it, either; they aren’t reflexively careful of what they say and who might be listening.
But they don’t bandy words like “revolution” about casually. They tend to have a sober appreciation for what’s at stake, for the price that would have to be paid. They’re realistic enough to understand that the Party is not apt to tip its hat adieu and go gently to history's proverbial dustbin. They still believe, and not entirely without evidence, that the Party leadership is attuned to public opinion and will respond when the will of the people is made manifest. They support reform, not revolution.
I’ve little doubt that desire for more formal political participation, for a renegotiation of terms in that unwritten contract, will grow stronger. That’s in the cards. You’ll get no argument from me that it’s been a raw deal for many people with very legitimate grievances. There are many who’ve broken with the Party-state, who openly or secretly dissent, whose relationship with it is entirely and irreversibly oppositional. Among these are many whose courage of conviction and towering intellects I deeply and unreservedly admire, and others who I think are mere gadflies or attention-seeking malcontents without a sense of what’s at stake. In the case of all of them, regardless of what I think of them personally, I regard it as a black mark on the Chinese leadership each time a dissident is locked up for ideology, speech, religious belief or what have you. But most Chinese people tend to be pragmatic and utilitarian; the state’s ability to deliver social goods gives it a kind of “performance legitimacy." The good (prosperity, material comfort, sovereign dignity) and the bad (a censored Internet, jailed dissidents, polluted rivers, smog) go on the scales. For now, it’s unambiguous in which direction those scales are tipping.
Part III — The Anglophone Media Narrative on China and Sources of Bias
If you're a denizen of the Anglophone world, your impressions of China are almost certainly formed primarily by the media that you consume. There are of course exceptions: some 100,000 Americans have, in the last five years, spent time working or studying in China; there are several thousand enrolled in East Asian Studies graduate programs, or taking serious upper-division undergraduate coursework on China, or pursuing an academic discipline that focuses on China; and there are probably a few thousand more who, for personal reasons, have taken more than a passing interest in China and have read a good number of books on contemporary China or on modern Chinese history, have undertaken the study of Chinese, or have otherwise immersed themselves in trying to gain a deeper understanding of China. Taken together, though, these people represent a small percentage of the general media-consuming audience—the college-educated American who, say, reads a paper once in a while, watches cable or network news with fair regularity, listens to NPR on her drive to work, and occasionally clicks on a China-related tweet or on a friend's Facebook page, or her counterpart elsewhere in the Anglophone world. All told, that's several tens of millions of people, I'm guessing, in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
It's worth reflecting on that, for this majority of news-consumers, impressions of China are almost entirely dependent on the reporting produced, at least regularly and in the main, by probably fewer than a hundred individuals. I'm talking about the reporters for the major newswires like Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, and AP, whose stories appear not only in the major papers and on news portals online, but also in smaller metropolitan and even local markets; the journalists who write for the major newspapers and news magazines; television news reporters; and the foreign desk editors, subeditors, and producers working with the reporters. There are also the news assistants, unsung heroes without whom many of the China-based reporters who haven't mastered enough Chinese to read local media or documents, or conduct interviews in the native tongue of their interviewees, would be unable to do their jobs. If we include them, the number perhaps doubles but it's still no more than 200, perhaps 250 individuals whose contributions to the gathering, reporting, writing, and editing of news and the creation of news-related commentary actually matters.
What, though, do we really know about these people? If this is the lens through which so many Americans (once again, I'll remind folks that "American" here is really shorthand for Anglophone westerners) view China, it seems to me very sensible that we should wish to understand something about the optical properties of that lens. Does it distort? Of course it does; it could not but distort, could not but offer only a partial and selective view—this mere few score of reporters trying to present a picture of the world's most populous nation as it hurtles ahead with unprecedented force (in the f=ma sense).
This is not an indictment. These are people who I very much respect—indeed, the very people who these days comprise most of my personal circle of friends—and they are people who have my sympathy for what they must often endure in reporting from China. It's not an easy place to report from, especially if you're reporting on things that the Chinese government, or someone at least, doesn't want reported—and what else, after all, really qualifies as news reporting? They are subjected to some pretty shabby treatment, everything from the talk-to-the-hand they'll get from government ministries, to veiled and not-so-veiled threats related to visa renewals, to roughing-up by local thugs or plainclothes cops or even uniformed ones, to surveillance and harassment. I think if there's a source of bias with which I'd start my list, it's this. Seems only natural that this kind of treatment of a journalist anywhere would beget less than rosy coverage of the institutions doling it out. Negative coverage begets more of that nasty treatment, and so on in a most un-virtuous circle.
Should the journalists be faulted for focusing on the things that power, whether political or corporate, wants to hide? No, I don't think so. Rightly or wrongly—and I'm unambivalent in my personal belief that it's "rightly"— this is what gets the journo juices flowing. Journalism is not about the quotidian.
The historian Will Durant once wrote in The Age of Faith, "We must remind ourselves again that the historian, like the journalist, is forever tempted to sacrifice the normal to the dramatic, and never quite conveys an adequate picture of any age." I would note that while the historian can write enormously lengthy monographs in which some of that normal can be restored and that picture made more adequate, the journalist just doesn't have that leisure, and his sacrifice of the normal is more forgivable.
And yet it has an impact on perception; it's still a source of distortion, of bias. This failure to focus on the more "normal" is, I would assert, one of the major reasons for the disconnect at the heart of the original question: the prevalence among Americans of "Why don't you hate your government as much as I think you ought to?"
One of the more regrettable outcomes of this particular bias in the way China is reported reflects in the (notional, educated, mainstream-media-consuming) American public's understanding of the Chinese intellectual. Reporters tend to focus not just on critical intellectuals but on the more outspokenly critical ones, on the full-blown dissidents, on the very vocal activists, on the writers who challenge the establishment on human rights issues, on freedom of speech, on rule of law, on religious policy, on minority nationality policy and so forth. Of course they focus on these people; they're "the dramatic," in Durant's phrase. They set out to excite so no wonder that many of them are exciting. They play to the American love of the underdog. They flatter American values.
It's right, I believe, to focus on intellectuals. One could make a very serious argument that China's history is at some important levels driven by the dynamics of the relationship between intellectuals and state power, whether dynastic or Party. Dissidents and the more stridently critical intellectuals certainly are part of that dynamic. But I would submit that it's actually more important to understand another type of intellectual, and another mode of relations between the intellectuals and state power, between, if you will, the pen and the sword: the "loyal opposition," who during most times—including this time—comprise the real mainstream, and who see it as their role to remonstrate and to criticize but not to fully confront. It's these voices, a kind of "silent majority," to use an apt phrase whatever its connotations in the American polity, who go too often ignored in our reporting. Because "Noted Chinese scholar is basically okay with the government, though he thinks it could be improved in X, Y, and Z" is not a particularly grabby headline or a compelling read.
There's also a kind of source bias that's related to this and it's regrettably caught in a bit of a feedback loop, too. The general impression is that Anglophone media is pro-dissident, and so dissidents will tend to go on record with or speak at greater length with Anglophone reporters; moderate or pro-Party intellectuals will tend to decline interviews and comment, and the impression that Anglophone media is biased in favor of the dissidents gets reinforced: the narrative that they want is buttressed while the other is marginalized or weakened.
Another almost ineradicable bias in Anglophone media reporting, so prevalent that it's almost not worth pointing out, is bias in favor of democratic polities. Authoritarian states like China tend to get reported on unfavorably because they behave like authoritarian states. They don't allow, by definition, rival political parties to freely form. They don't allow a free press. They censor the Internet. And of course journalists in the Anglophone world are themselves on the front lines of these speech and press issues. It's almost tautological that the press of the free world would want to free the press of the world.
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2020.03.14 02:42 Adverb_Noun No surprise: online "friend" is a creep and now I'm going through the biggest heartbreak of my life.

Ladies, I need a hug. Sorry in advance about this long, weak rant.
This guy I met online in 2014 have been in contact for 85% of the last five years. It started as this hot hot online romance. Then life happened, we dated other people, and became pretty solid platonic friends. I have always had so much respect for him. We used to talk on the phone for hours about our general life direction, conscious efforts to improve ourselves, careers, and harnessing our inherent power. Real HV stuff. We would call each other for advice all the time, then act on advice and report back, sharing successes and failures. I've strived to be as HV as him. Over the years as we've talked about guys and girls we date, I've felt that fluttering attraction but had squashed it down because he used to be really good at setting boundaries with us when we were dating other people. He was the most HVM I know, a constant source of inspiration for my own personal development.
Side note--we met in person once before at an airport, accidentally. It was super cute at the time.
Then this January I booked a flight to visit him, at his suggestion. He paid for half the ticket, even. He started acting affectionate, and cautious as I was (he has a flighty history with women), I played along. He told me the assuring words. I was disadvantaged by this mega soft spot I've had for him. I let myself believe he wanted something real.
Then a week before the trip, he called me and told me to bring my own tent for when we go camping, because he still has feelings for this other girl. I was devestated for about ten minutes. Then luckily, since I recently discovered FDS and have been internalizing my own power, I was able to quickly shut that devestation down. I texted him that I felt foolish, and that I wasn't going to put myself in a position to feel more foolish. I couldn't cancel my flight, but within the hour I booked my own Airbnb and was going to own the trip by making it totally my own solo thing.
Fast forward to last week. I cried when the plane touched down because I realized he would not be picking me up at the airport. I put it away. Then the next morning I had a dream that I met with him and yelled at him. I woke up and realized that I would just brood over him the whole time unless this was resolved, so I texted him to meet up for coffee. He agreed.
It was bittersweet. I told him I would never feel comfortable being romantically vulnerable with him again. He was stung, but understood. He gave me a big hug, and we parted ways. And that hug felt exactly like I thought it would feel like, all these years later.
The next day he invited me to drive with him down the coast a bit (since I'd never been to Cali before), and I went. I was still kind of mad, but we enjoyed our company. We were affectionate, and it just... felt exactly like I thought it would. Felt perfect. Then we went hiking.
Not five minutes into the trail, he pulls me off to the side and kisses me. It was just bittersweet and again... felt exactly like I'd hoped it would. I have loved this guy for years. It was a big deal to me. Then not five minutes after kissing me, he started getting handsy. I stopped him and we continued walking and talked about our situation, how we treat others and ourselves. We walked for a while and pulled off the trail again to sit on a log. He apologized for being forward because he was trying this nofap thing. He talked for a while and he kissed me again, and started getting handsy . This time I let him.... until he started saying some weird sexual things. Something in my head clicked. I pulled myself off him and said firmly "You told me to get my own tent. That really hurt." We talked for a while longer, but I was so angry that I let myself be tricked again. I told myself I would just think of him as a friend again. He drove me back. Then I made mistake #3.
The next day I felt relieved at having talked things out and wanted to leave it all behind there. So I made the hideous mistake of telling him that I've loved him for years. It was a nice long flowery thing, like an idiot. And he replies with Kendrick Lamar's For Free and made a joke about maybe responding someday. I was floored. I told him I would never be romantically vulnerable with him again, then I made myself romantically vulnerable. So of course, I got hurt. Again.
I'm a fucking idiot. If it were any other guy, I would not put up with this behavior. But this is him. I've always strived to be like, good enough for him. I thought he was HV and I was finally HV too. I called him before I left to tell him that I felt gross about the little bit of physical we were, and that I didn't want to hear from him ever again.
Anyway... I'm back at home. Broken. Trying not to be. Thankful for a legitimate reason to not leave my bed/house. I feel emotionally and physically violated. Used. Betrayed. Foolish. So, so foolish.
None of my friends here at home fill the void left by him. He was awful as a potential lover, but he was such a good friend, on a different level of mindfulness than anyone else in my life. Now I'm at the level I thought he was at, but it's so lonely here. My first instinct was to make an online dating profile, but for the first time I realize that what I want and need will not be found online like that. I realized that I've always had some sort of male figure I respected/loved, and that the trauma in my life has been a result of their betrayal. I know I don't need to have a man to look up to, but this is the first time I'm realizing it.
I have plenty of projects and school stuff to keep me busy for a few months, but I feel empty and broken inside. I don't have any girl friends around here to confide in. My male friends are all weird/nonchalant about this. I feel like I'm choking in this betrayal. I've never been so deeply in love and then had it destroyed--I've usually been the destroyer. Logic and FDS give me a good idea of what I need to do, and I will. I'll bounce back. But for now... I feel so alone in this heartbreak. I don't know how to cope.
I'm finally far along enough to not need substances to cope, but without a good real-life support network, I am grasping for straws. One of my best friends is vacationing across the country with her boyfriend. The other best friend uninvited me to hang out because of corona. I'd been helping other friends through their crap over the last few weeks, but now I feel like I can't, and I know they can't be there for me in the way I need. I know I need to depend on myself, but right now I really need a friend and I don't have one.
FDS, what do?
submitted by Adverb_Noun to FemaleDatingStrategy [link] [comments]


2020.02.15 07:57 drew_incarnate “About 24 hours after arriving from Moscow, a private jet regularly used by the head [German Gref “co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board”†] of Russia's largest state-run bank remained at an airport just a short drive from where Donald Trump is vacationing.” – Inquisitr (2020)

Inquisitr—Mystery Deepens Over Why Kremlin Bank CEO’s Plane Remains In Florida, 50 Miles From Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago
(1/5/2020) “Almost 24 hours after landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida early on Saturday morning, as The Inquisitr reported, a private jet frequently used by the CEO of Russia’s largest state-owned-bank remained on the ground there—about 50 miles south of Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach where Donald Trump is vacationing until Sunday afternoon.
Whether Sberbank CEO German Gref† was aboard the plane when it arrived on a 12-hour, 23-minute nonstop flight from Moscow remains unconfirmed. Russian media has reported that the plane, a Gulfstream G650 operated by Jet Air Group with the tail number RA-10204, is used frequently and perhaps exclusively by Gref.
(UPDATE: According to flight records posted by the site FlightAware, the Sberbank jet departed Fort Lauderdale at 12:23 a.m. EST on Sunday morning, just 21 hours and 34 minutes after it arrived from Moscow—where it landed on the return trip at 6:17 p.m. local time, or 10:17 a.m. EST, a nine-hour, 53 minute flight.)
Flight records posted to Twitter show that the plane made the same nonstop flight from Moscow to Fort Lauderdale last year, on the same dates. On January 4, 2019, the plane landed in Fort Lauderdale at 2:49 a.m., according to the records. In 2020, the plane arrived at the same airport on the same date, landing at 2:31 a.m.
Last year, however, Trump did not spend his holiday break at his Mar-a-Lago Club, remaining in the White House during what was then an ongoing government shutdown. On January 4,Trump was indeed present at Mar-a-Lago but left the estate at 9:55 a.m.—six hours and 24 minutes after the Sberbank jet touched down—to visit Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. He remained at the golf club until 3:12 p.m., according to a public schedule posted by FactBase.
Sberbank has been under United States economic sanctions since 2014, over its involvement in Russia’s annexation of the territory of Crimea from Ukraine. In November 2013, however, Gref himself co-hosted a party honoring Trump in Moscow, during Trump’s visit there for the Miss Universe beauty pageant, according to a report by The Daily Beast. Trump was then the owner of the pageant.
Following Trump’s return to the United States following the 2013 event, he received a mysterious ‘gift’ from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The gift was reportedly ‘a black lacquered box’, but the contents of the box have never been publicly revealed.
Like the contents of the ‘gift’ from Putin to Trump, the purpose of the Sberbank private jet’s trip to Florida from Moscow is also a mystery, even as the plan sits on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale airport as of 1:30 a.m. EST on Sunday.
According to the online flight records from 2019, the Gulfstream private jet departed from Fort Lauderdale 30 hours and 11 minutes after landing there, making another nonstop flight back to Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport (SVO) in Moscow.” http://web.archive.org/web/20200106153745/https://www.inquisitr.com/5821555/kremlin-bank-ceo-jet-florida-donald-trump
†Herman (German) Gref:
[“Sberbank, headed by Herman Gref, the other co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board, is also among the banks providing biometric services that feed into the Digital Profile System.” – Claims Journal (2019)]
•Vedomosti (Russia)—Sberbank Invested in Facial Recognition Technology (11/17/2017) “Sberbank Recognizes a Customer by Sight: The Bank intends to provide biometric access to any of its services.” http://vedomosti.ru/technology/articles/2017/11/17/742077-raspoznavaniya-lits (http://archive.is/sbLOR) [Translated]
•Bloomberg—The Day Trump Came to Moscow: Oligarchs, Miss Universe and Nobu (12/21/2016) “Meeting with top group of Russian financiers, industrialists; They discussed a possible Trump Tower and inspected sites The last time Donald Trump made an appearance in Moscow was November 2013 for the Miss Universe contest he famously owned. It was a glittering event filled with carefully choreographed photographs and parties. Then another, more private, invitation arrived: Come to Nobu to meet more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank. Gref, who was President Vladimir Putin’s economy minister from 2000 to 2007, organized the meeting together with Aras Agalarov, the founder of Crocus Group, one of the country’s largest real-estate companies, which was hosting the beauty pageant at one of its concert halls.” http://bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-21/the-day-trump-came-to-moscow-oligarchs-miss-universe-and-nobu (http://archive.is/7X1bc)
•NBC News—Putin Rival Ties Kushner Meeting to Kremlin Bankers (10/17/2017) “A prominent exiled Russian oligarch said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he is nearly certain Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to collaborate with the Trump campaign, and that he believes a top Russian banker was not ‘acting on his own behalf’ when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December. The pointed remarks come from a longtime Putin rival, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil executive who was Russia's richest man before he was imprisoned and exiled by the Kremlin. ’I am almost convinced that Putin's people have tried to influence the U.S. election in some way’, Khodorkovsky told MSNBC’s Ari Melber in his first U.S. television interview since Trump took office. [...] His former head of human resources, Sergey Gorkov, now runs a Kremlin bank and met with Kushner in December last year. The U.S. has accused Gorkov's bank of providing cover for Russian spies. Khodorkovsky says Gorkov was a ‘fine employee’ who ‘carries out orders’, suggesting the banker would not have been acting alone in meeting with a senior figure of the incoming Trump administration. ‘I have no doubt that he wouldn’t do anything on his own behalf’, Khodorkovsky said. Khodorkovsky also said he believes Gorkov's orders come from either Andrey Kostin or Herman [German] Gref, who both run Kremlin-backed banks that were sanctioned by the Obama administration.” http://web.archive.org/web/20190706131958/https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/putin-rival-ties-kushner-meeting-kremlin-bankers-n811631 [“Hermann Gräf, better known as Herman Gref*, is a Russian politician and businessman. He was the Minister of Economics and Trade of Russia from May 2000 to September 2007. He is the CEO and chairman of the executive board of Sberbank, the largest Russian bank.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Gref]
•Fast Company—Russia’s Largest Bank Just Launched a State-Of-The-Art Coding School to Ease Dependence on Western Tech; Sberbank, which is currently under U.S. sanctions and whose CEO [Gref] has ties to Trump, launched School 21 in Moscow last week. (11/30/2018) “The biggest bank in Russia, which has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014, just launched a state-of-the-art coding school in Moscow that aims to train thousands of world-class software engineers in the arts of cybersecurity, gaming, and the latest AI technology for years to come. School 21, which operates under the umbrella of Ecole 42, a global pioneer in IT education backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel, is wholly owned by Sberbank. It is free, open to aspiring coders from 18 to 30 years old, and has 21 levels of proficiency. The school is highly competitive—its inaugural program has a class of 500 students out of more than 85,000 applicants, and the plan is to scale up to 2,500 a year in the long term, according to Business FM radio station. Sberbank told Fast Company that it plans to run two more application cycles next year, one in the winter and one in the spring, and that it might open a second office in St. Petersburg. The school’s launch is raising concerns about Russia training thousands of highly skilled cyber specialists at a time when the United States is expanding its sanctions against Russian entities, including Sberbank-xbacked properties, and amid heightened tensions in Europe last week over a naval skirmish between Russian and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait. It also comes against the backdrop of the Russian government’s disinformation efforts in elections around the globe, which the Kremlin has vehemently denied. In addition, Sberbank has been in the spotlight due to the history of high-level connections between the bank’s leadership, the Russian government and Donald Trump’s associates before he became U.S. president. It was bank chairman Herman Gref who set up Trump’s meeting with Russian businessmen during the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 in Moscow, an event which Sberbank co-sponsored, while Trump was exploring building a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump’s hotel plans are making headlines again this week due to the plea deal that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated with the Mueller probe–Cohen admitted that he lied when he previously claimed that the deal fell through in January 2016, now conceding that talks for a Trump Tower in Moscow continued up until June 2016.’ Russia’s largest bank just launched a state-of-the-art coding school to ease dependence on Western tech; Sberbank, which is currently under U.S. sanctions and whose CEO has ties to Trump, launched School 21 in Moscow last week.” http://web.archive.org/web/20181201002817/https://www.fastcompany.com/90274333/russias-largest-bank-just-launched-a-coding-school-to-ease-dependence-on-western-tech
•Claims Journal—Vladimir Putin Wants Everyone to Love the Way He Watches Them (10/22/2019) “Officials in Moscow have spent the last few years methodically assembling one of the most comprehensive video-surveillance operations in the world. The public-private network of as many as 200,000 cameras records 1.5 billion hours of footage a year that can be accessed by 16,000 government employees, intelligence officers and law-enforcement personnel. Now the entire system is about to be equipped with what City Hall is billing as some of the most advanced facial-recognition software outside of China, claiming it will be more accurate and easier to search than London’s older, bigger network. The upgrade will dramatically expand a pilot program that led to the capture of as many as 10 wanted criminals a month either at major public events or inside the city’s warren of 269 metro stations. Moscow’s embrace of the technology, which the West is increasingly curtailing in response to public pressure, is being challenged in courts on political and legal grounds by opponents of President Vladimir Putin. But the monitoring tool is just one of several Russia is deploying, including mandatory recordings of all cellular calls. Many of the initiatives are based on recent advances in artificial intelligence, a science Putin sees as the ticket to global domination for whichever nation masters it first. Putin and lieutenants led by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin say measures such as geolocating every active in the country, creating ‘digital profiles’ of each adult and collating online complaints against authorities are all necessary to ensure public safety and improve services. They’re betting most voters will accept further privacy curbs like the facial-recognition rollout in exchange for safer streets and greater convenience in their daily lives. ‘We’re conducting experiments in schools, clinics, hospitals and in transport to introduce this technology, which, of course, will facilitate the work of a huge number of people and make these industries more efficient’, Sobyanin told Putin at a meeting on artificial intelligence earlier this year. While so-called authoritarian tech, from automatic people trackers to online censorship bots, has triggered a worldwide debate about the proper balance between governing and surveilling, Moscow has so far made a better case for Big Brother than most cities. Russia’s capital ranks No. 1 among 40 metropolises in the latest UN survey of ‘e-government effectiveness in the delivery of public services’. London, by comparison, is fourth, Shanghai 11th and New York 14th. [...] Sberbank, headed by Herman Gref, the other co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board, is also among the banks providing biometric services that feed into the Digital Profile System. The support of Gref is vital to the success of the program because Sberbank serves as a payment agent for most household bills in addition to safeguarding almost half of the country’s savings. Gref is fond of repeating the mantra ‘big data is the new oil’, but privacy experts say the concentration of so much personal information in a single database will make Russia an ideal target for identity thieves, not unlike Equifax Inc. The U.S. consumer-scorer was breached in 2017, exposing the credit histories of more than 145 million people. (Sberbank itself was the victim of a data leak affecting as many as 60 million clients, Kommersant reported this month. The bank said the incident impacted just 5,000 holders of its credit cards.) Potentially more worrisome in a country routinely accused of harassing the political opposition is that the new database could be a precursor of the kind of ‘social credit’ system China is developing. It’s a name-and-shame way to keep tabs on the behavior of the population by issuing grades, with demerits applied for things like smoking or circulating whatever’s deemed fake news. In 2016, the company launched the FindFace website and application. With the help of it, it was possible to find a person’s profile in VKontakte in a few seconds. The launch of the ‘innovation dating service’, as the company initially positioned it, provoked a series of scandals—users deanonimized not only fellow travelers in the subway, but porn actresses and rally participants, the technology was used even by the Bellingcat investigation team. And then they told about the application in the ‘Wait for me’ program on Channel One, and NtechLab, as Kabakov said, began to receive ‘five offers of cooperation per day’. Now the founders explain that FindFace was just a showcase that helped pitch technology. For example, with help from FindFace German [Herman] Gref† deanonimized his secretary within one second after being introduced to the algorithm, according to someone familiar with the head of Sberbank. But in 2018 both the site and the FindFace application were unexpectedly closed. This had to be done because of possible complaints, including from VKontakte, says one of the interlocutors of The Bell. Spending time and money on the courts did not make sense; the founders of NtechLab already understood that they would not make money on recognizing pretty girls.” http://web.archive.org/web/20191024034256/https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2019/10/22/293704.htm
•The Moscow Times—Russia To Grant Police Access to Bank Customers’ Biometric Data (12/19/2017) “Russia’s police and intelligence services will gain access to bank customers’ biometric data without their consent under new legislation making its way through the State Duma. Russia’s Communications Ministry and the Central Bank are overseeing a pilot project that will use personal biometric data to remotely verify bank account applications by late 2018. The Rostelecom state telecoms provider will operate the project, despite widespread concerns over state surveillance, data storage and privacy rights. A state deputy co-authoring the bill was cited as saying that ‘law enforcement officers will not have unlimited access to the system’ and that data would only be provided after official requests, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday. According to the draft bill, Rostelecom would be required to share bank customers’ biometric data without their consent with Russia’s Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB). The data collected will include facial images and voice recordings, and may be expanded to iris recognition, palm and fingerprint scanning, according to Rostelecom. ‘If a person is law abiding then they will have no reason to worry’, Elman Mekhtiev, the vice-president of the Russian Association of Banks, was cited as saying by Vedomosti.” http://web.archive.org/web/20191121205917/https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2017/12/19/russia-to-grant-police-access-to-bank-customers-biometric-data-a59987
•The Moscow Times—Moscow Arrests 42 Suspects Using New Facial Recognition Technology in Metro Stations (5/24/2018) “A pilot project implementing facial recognition technology in Moscow has reportedly led to the arrests of 42 suspects in a month. Moscow has ramped up video surveillance ahead of the FIFA World Cup that kicks off in three weeks, including with facial recognition capabilities at metro stations capable of identifying 20 faces per second. Around 50,000 photographs of wanted suspects have been uploaded into the Moscow metro system, the state-owned Sberbank vice president Stanislav Kuznetsov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Thursday. ‘As a result, 42 repeat offenders were detained at four metro stations in a month,’ Kuznetsov was quoted as saying. He said Sberbank CEO German Gref plans to discuss expanding the facial-recognition system beyond four metro stations with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin at the annual economic forum underway in St. Petersburg. Sberbank acquired a stake in the VisionLabs facial recognition company last fall to create a ‘unique biometric identifier’ involving face, voice and retina identification.” http://themoscowtimes.com/news/moscow-arrests-42-suspects-using-new-facial-recognition-technology-in-metro-stations-61567 (http://archive.is/qU8WU)
•The Bell (Russia)—The Russian Elite is Jostling to Solve Putin’s “2024 Problem” (7/20/2019) “This week we look at how a senior official wants President Vladimir Putin stay in power after his current term ends in 2024. We also explain why protests over the exclusion of independent candidates from local elections is a sign of a system under strain, and how Moscow is set to roll-out one of the world’s biggest face recognition systems. The Russian elite is jostling to solve Putin’s ‘2024 problem’ The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, this week publicly offered a solution to Putin’s ‘2024 problem’—what to do about the constitutional limit on two consecutive presidential terms. Volodin, who was previously oversaw domestic politics in the Kremlin, published an article (Rus) in the State Duma’s official magazine laying out his idea for changing the constitution to give parliament more authority. [...] Why the world should care: The Russian elite is increasingly obsessed with the ‘2024 problem’, and jostling within the elite is already well underway. At present, a variation of Volodin’s plan seems the most likely outcome. [...] Protests over Moscow’s local elections highlight cracks in the system: If the Kremlin wants to keep Putin in power beyond 2024, it will have to improve the functioning of its political management machine. Anger this week over local elections in the capital revealed how the system is faltering: the authorities’ ineptitude turned the vote—in which no one was interested—into a trigger for repeated demonstrations† in downtown Moscow. [...] Why the world should care: The Kremlin’s political management machine is coping less well with each passing election, and their failure in Moscow significant—in a crisis, the country’s fate will be decided in the capital. This is a bad sign ahead of the 2021 Duma elections, and a blow to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, whose name appears in discussions of presidential candidates in 2024. Moscow is set to install a state-of-the-art face recognition system: While paranoid internet users across the world call for a boycott of FaceApp, the Russian app that generates an image of an elderly you, Moscow City Hall is building the world’s largest face recognition system. Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, will take part in development and has already collected the biometrical data of tens of millions of Russians. - Moscow City Hall announced a tender this year for 105,000 video cameras with face recognition software. As of now, only 1,500 have been installed, but the police have already used them to identify and arrest about 100 criminals. According to The Bell’s calculations, the new system will cost no less than $50 million, a price tag that the city can easily afford. - There are three main bidders: Ntechlab, which was founded by people close to the Presidential Administration and two companies in which Sberbank is a shareholder: Speech Technology Center and VisionLabs. - Market sources say that Moscow’s face recognition system, once rolled out, will only be comparable in size with systems already in place in China. - Sberbank looks well placed to provide the raw data to make the system work. Since last year, the bank has been collecting biometric data from its clients (93 million people), and in December, CEO German [Herman] Gref said they already have data from ‘millions of people’. Why the World Should Care: Concentrating resources could mean Russia becomes the world’s number two player in face recognition systems. Remember this when you visit Moscow, walk the city’s streets and see the mounted cameras on every building.” http://web.archive.org/web/20190801101206/http://thebell.io/en/the-russian-elite-is-jostling-to-solve-putin-s-2024-problem
[“A more advanced operation could use the full suite of services utilized by companies to track political attitudes on social media across all congressional districts, analyze who is most likely to vote and where, and then launch, almost instantly, a customized campaign at a highly localized level to discourage voting in the most vulnerable districts. Such a campaign, due to its highly personalized structure, would likely have significant impact on voting behavior.” – Brookings Institution (2008)]
•Brookings Institution—Weapons of the Weak: Russia and AI-driven Asymmetric Warfare (2018) “‘Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.’ – Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2017 Speaking to Russian students on the first day of the school year in September 2017, Putin squarely positioned Russia in the technological arms race for artificial intelligence (AI). Putin’s comment signaled that, like China and the United States, Russia sees itself engaged in direct geopolitical competition with the world’s great powers, and AI is the currency that Russia is betting on. [...] Currently, Moscow is pursuing investments in at least two directions: select conventional military and defense technologies where the Kremlin believes it can still hold comparative advantage over the West and high-impact, low-cost asymmetric warfare to correct the imbalance between Russia and the West in the conventional domain. The former—Russia’s development and use of AI-driven military technologies and weapons—has received significant attention. AI has the potential to hyperpower Russia’s use of disinformation... And unlike in the conventional military space, the United States and Europe are ill-equipped to respond to AI-driven asymmetric warfare in the information space. The latter—the implications of AI for asymmetric political warfare—remains unexplored. Yet, such nonconventional tools—cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, political influence, and illicit finance—have become a central tenet of Russia’s strategy toward the West and one with which Russia has been able to project power and influence beyond its immediate neighborhood. In particular, AI has the potential to hyperpower Russia’s use of disinformation—the intentional spread of false and misleading information for the purpose of influencing politics and societies. And unlike in the conventional military space, the United States and Europe are ill-equipped to respond to AI-driven asymmetric warfare (ADAW) in the information space. Russian Information Warfare at Home and Abroad: Putin came to power in 2000, and since then, information control and manipulation has become a key element of the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policy. At home, this has meant repression of independent media and civil society, state control of traditional and digital media, and deepening government surveillance. For example, Russia’s surveillance system, SORM (System of Operative-Search Measures) allows the FSB (Federal Security Service) and other government agencies to monitor and remotely access ISP servers and communications without the ISPs’ knowledge. In 2016, a new package of laws, the so-called Yarovaya amendments, required telecom providers, social media platforms, and messaging services to store user data for three years and allow the FSB access to users’ metadata and encrypted communications. While there is little known information on how Russian intelligence agencies are using these data, their very collection suggests that the Kremlin is experimenting with AI-driven analysis to identify potential political dissenters. The government is also experimenting with facial recognition technologies in conjunction with CCTV. Moscow alone has approximately 170,000 cameras, at least 5,000 of which have been outfitted with facial expression recognition technology from NTechLabs. Still, Moscow’s capacity to control and surveil the digital domain at home remains limited, as exemplified by the battle between the messaging app Telegram and the Russian government in early 2018. Telegram, one of the few homegrown Russian tech companies, refused to hand over its encryption keys to the FSB in early 2018. What followed was a haphazard government attempt to ban Telegram by blocking tens of millions of IP addresses, which led to massive disruptions in unrelated services, such as cloud providers, online games, and mobile banking apps. Unlike Beijing, which has effectively sought to censor and control the internet as new technologies have developed, Moscow has not been able to implement similar controls preemptively. The result is that even a relatively small company like Telegram is able to outmaneuver and embarrass the Russian state. Despite such setbacks, however, Moscow seems set to continue on a path toward ‘digital authoritarianism’—using its increasingly unfettered access to citizens’ personal data to build better microtargeting capabilities that enhance social control, censor behavior and speech, and curtail counter-regime activities. Under Putin, Cold War-era ‘active measures’—overt or covert influence operations aimed at influencing public opinion and politics abroad—have been revived and adapted to the digital age. Externally, Russian information warfare (informatsionaya voyna) has become part and parcel of Russian strategic thinking in foreign policy. Moscow has long seen the West as involved in an information war against it—a notion enshrined in Russia’s 2015 national security strategy, which sees the United States and its allies as seeking to contain Russia by exerting ‘informational pressure…’ in an ‘intensifying confrontation in the global information arena.’ Under Putin, Cold War-era ‘active measures’—overt or covert influence operations aimed at influencing public opinion and politics abroad—have been revived and adapted to the digital age. Information warfare (or information manipulation) has emerged as a core component of a broader influence strategy. At the same time, the line between conventional (or traditional) and nonconventional (or asymmetric) warfare has blurred in Russian military thinking. ‘The erosion of the distinction between war and peace, and the emergence of a grey zone’ has been one of the most striking developments in the Russian approach to warfare, according to Chatham House’s Keir Giles. Warfare, from this perspective, exists on a spectrum in which ‘political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other nonmilitary measures’ are used to lay the groundwork for last resort military operations. The importance of information warfare on the spectrum of war has increased considerably in 21st century warfare, according to contemporary Russian military thought. Maskirovka, the Soviet/Russian term for the art of deception and concealment in both military and nonmilitary operations, is a key concept that figures prominently into Russian strategic thinking. The theory is broader than the narrow definition of military deception. In the conventional military domain, it includes the deployment of decoys, camouflage, and misleading information to deceive the enemy on the battlefield. The use of ‘little green men,’ or unmarked soldiers and mercenaries, in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 is one example of maskirovka in military practice. So is the use of fake weapons and heavy machinery: one Russian company is producing an army of inflatable missiles, tanks, and jets that appear real in satellite imagery. Maskirovka, as a theory and operational practice, also applies to nonmilitary asymmetric operations. Modern Russian disinformation and cyber attacks against the West rely on obfuscation and deception in line with the guiding principles of maskirovka. During the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, for example, Russian citizens working in a troll factory in St. Petersburg, known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA), set up fake social media accounts pretending to be real Americans. These personas then spread conspiracy theories, disinformation, and divisive content meant to amplify societal polarization by pitting opposing groups against each other. The IRA troll factory itself, while operating with the knowledge and support of the Kremlin and the Russian intelligence services, was founded and managed by proxy: a Russian oligarch known as ‘Putin’s chef,’ Yevgeny Prigozhin. Concord, a catering company controlled by Prigozhin, was the main funder and manager of the IRA, and it went to great lengths to conceal the company’s involvement, including the setting up a web of fourteen bank accounts to transfer funding to the IRA. Such obfuscation tactics were designed to conceal the true source and goals of the influence operations in the United Stated while allowing the Kremlin to retain plausible deniability if the operations were uncovered—nonconventional maskirovka in practice. On the whole, Russia’s limited financial resources, the shift in strategic thinking toward information warfare, and the continued prevalence of maskirovka as a guiding principle of engagement, strongly suggest that in the near term, Moscow will ramp up the development of AI-enabled information warfare. Russia will not be the driver or innovator of these new technologies due its financial and human capital constraints. But, as it has already done in its attacks against the West, it will continue to co-opt existing commercially available technologies to serve as weapons of asymmetric warfare. AI-driven Asymmetric Warfare: The Kremlin’s greatest innovation in its information operations against the West has not been technical. Rather, Moscow’s savviness has been to recognize that: (1) ready-made commercial tools and digital platforms can be easily weaponized; and (2) digital information warfare is cost-effective and high-impact, making it the perfect weapon of a technologically and economically weak power. AI-driven asymmetric warfare (ADAW) capabilities could provide Russia with additional comparative advantage. Digital information warfare is cost-effective and high-impact, making it the perfect weapon of a technologically and economically weak power. U.S. government and independent investigations into Russia’s influence campaign against the United States during the 2016 elections reveal the low cost of that effort. Based on publicly available information, we know that the Russian effort included: the purchase of ads on Facebook (estimated cost $100,000)27 and Google (approximate cost $4,700), set up of approximately 36,000 automated bot accounts on Twitter, operation of the IRA troll farm (estimated cost $240,000 over the course of two years), an intelligence gathering trip carried out by two Russian agents posing as tourists in 2014 (estimated cost $50,000), production of misleading or divisive content (pictures, memes, etc.), plus additional costs related to the cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. In sum, the total known cost of the most high-profile influence operation against the United States is likely around one million dollars. The relatively low level of investment produced high returns. On Facebook alone, Russian linked content from the IRA reached 125 million Americans. This is because the Russian strategy relied on ready-made tools designed for commercial online marketing and advertising: the Kremlin simply used the same online advertising tools that companies would use to sell and promote its products and adapted them to spread disinformation. Since the U.S. operation, these tools and others have evolved and present new opportunities for far more damaging but increasingly low-cost and difficult-to-attribute ADAW operations. Three threat vectors in particular require immediate attention. First, advances in deep learning are making synthetic media content quick, cheap, and easy to produce. AI-enabled audio and video manipulation, so-called ‘deep fakes,’ is already available through easy-to-use apps such as Face2Face, which allows for one person’s expressions to be mapped onto another face in a target video. Video to Video Synthesis can synthesize realistic video based a baseline of inputs. Other tools can synthesize realistic photographs of AI-rendered faces, reproduce videos and audio of any world leader, and synthesize street scenes to appear in a different season. Using these tools, China recently unveiled an AI made news anchor. As the barriers of entry for accessing such tools continue to decrease, their appeal to low-resource actors will increase. Whereas most Russian disinformation content has been static (e.g., false news stories, memes, graphically designed ads), advances in learning AI will turn disinformation dynamic (e.g. video, audio). Because audio and video can easily be shared on smart phones and do not require literacy, dynamic disinformation content will be able to reach a broader audience in more countries. For example, in India, false videos shared through Whatsapp incited riots and murders. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Whatsapp (owned by Facebook) is an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform, which means that content shared via the platform is basically unmonitored and untraceable. The ‘democratization of disinformation’ will make it difficult for governments to counter AI-driven disinformation. Advances in machine learning are producing algorithms that ‘continuously learn how to more effectively replicate the appearance of reality,’ which means that ‘deep fakes cannot easily be detected by other algorithms.’ Russia, China, and others could harness these new publicly available technologies to undermine Western soft power or public diplomacy efforts around the world. Debunking or attributing such content will require far more resources than the cost of production, and it will be difficult if not impossible to do so in real time. Second, advances in affective computing and natural language processing will make it easier to manipulate human emotions and extract sensitive information without ever hacking an email account. In 2017, Chinese researchers created an ‘emotional chatting machine’ based on data users shared on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. As AI gains access to more personal data, it will become increasingly customized and personalized to appeal to and manipulate specific users. Coupled with advances in natural learning processing, such as voice recognition, this means that affective systems will be able to mimic, respond to, and predict human emotions expressed through text, voice, or facial expressions. Some evidence suggests that humans are quite willing to form personal relationships, share deeply personal information, and interact for long periods of time with AI designed to form relationships. These systems could be used to gather information from high value targets—such as intelligence officers or political figures—by exploiting their vices and patterns of behavior. Advances in affective computing and natural language processing will make it easier to manipulate human emotions and extract sensitive information without ever hacking an email account. Third, deep fakes and emotionally manipulative content will be able to reach the intended audience with a high degree of precision due to advances in content distribution networks. ‘Precision propaganda’ is the set of interconnected tools that comprise an ‘ecosystem of services that enable highly targeted political communications that reach millions of people with customized messages.’ The full scope of this ecosystem, which includes data collection, advertising platforms, and search engine optimization, aims to parse out audiences in granular detail and identify new receptive audiences will be ‘supercharged’ by advances in AI. The content that users see online is the end product of an underlying multi-billion dollar industry that involves thousands of companies that work together to assess individuals’ preferences, attitudes, and tastes to ensure maximum efficiency, profitability, and real-time responsiveness of content delivery. Russian operations (as far as we know), relied on the most basic of these tools. But, as Ghosh and Scott suggest, a more advanced operation could use the full suite of services utilized by companies to track political attitudes on social media across all congressional districts, analyze who is most likely to vote and where, and then launch, almost instantly, a customized campaign at a highly localized level to discourage voting in the most vulnerable districts. Such a campaign, due to its highly personalized structure, would likely have significant impact on voting behavior. Once the precision of this distribution ecosystem is paired with emotionally manipulative deep fake content delivered by online entities that appear to be human, the line between fact and fiction will cease to exist. And Hannah Arendt’s prediction of a world in which there is no truth and no trust may still come to pass.“ http://www.brookings.edu/research/weapons-of-the-weak-russia-and-ai-driven-asymmetric-warfare (http://archive.is/mMlyN)
submitted by drew_incarnate to RussiaLago [link] [comments]


2020.02.08 15:43 Idz4gqbi test

As celebration for 2k Fou’ing my Munenori this post is written to introduce more people to the historical Yagyu Munenori and to discuss his implementation within FGO. If you prefer imgur formatting, interspersed with image, go here.
“Since you are a master in the martial arts without equal past or present, you are most resplendent in rank, stipend and reputation. Waking or sleeping, you should not forget this great boon and in order to return this favour by day and by night, you should only think of fulfilling your loyalty.” -Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind
In the summer of 1615, during the Siege of Osaka, a desperate enemy force launched a surprise attack and broke into shogun Tokugawa Hidetada’s camp. The shogun’s men were thrown into disarray as the assailants rapidly advanced their way to close proximity with the shogun himself.
There they confronted a middle-aged samurai, who stood calmly in front of the shogun’s horse. The man stepped forward, and with incredible swiftness, dexterity, and fluidity, killed seven of the opposing warriors in an instant.
The middle-aged samurai was Yagyu Tajima no Kami Munenori, sword instructor to the shogun and the man most trusted to be by the shogun’s side.

A Sword Instructor’s Rise to Ascendancy

Yagyu Munenori was born in 1571, in the midst of Japan’s turbulent Sengoku (warring states) era, as the youngest son among five brothers. His eldest brother was crippled by a bullet in war in the very year Munenori was born, his second and third eldest became monks, while the fourth left the family village to serve another bigger clan. It was clear early on, even to child Munenori, the future of the family would become his responsibility.
As a child, he would have witnessed his father Sekishusai’s careful manoeuvring among more powerful clans for survival as he studied the sword under his father at the same time.
For a brief period, his father worked for warlord Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga was eventually betrayed and power fell to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Chacha’s husband), who seized most of the Yagyu manor on trumped-up charges, likely for political reasons. The seizure forced the Yagyu clan to disperse for a number of years, and brought hardship and poverty to the family.
Such childhood experience imparted a thoughtful character and perspicacious awareness of politics to Munenori, which would shape his life and his way of the sword.
The critical turning point of Munenori’s life occurred when a certain Tokugawa Ieyasu, a cautious man vying to become Japan’s uncontested ruler, invited Sekishusai to visit his villa. Ieyasu was an enthusiastic student of the sword, no doubt he heard of Sekishusai’s reputation and was eager to learn his techniques. Although Ieyasu likely also valued Sekishusai’s regional connection which would be helpful in the eventual power struggle.
Sekishusai brought his twenty-two years old son Munenori along to assist in the demonstration, which included a live spar where an unarmed Sekishusai defeated an armed Ieyasu. Ieyasu was profoundly impressed by both father and son, and asked Sekisuhsai to serve as his sword instructor. Sekishusai, who was sixty-six, declined on the basis of his old age, and instead recommended his son Munenori.
At that point, Yagyu Munenori was young and unproven, but Ieyasu agreed to the arrangement without a second thought. Tokugawa Ieyasu must have sensed some intrinsic value in Munenori’s character, beyond mere swordsmanship, which would be valuable to him and his successors.
Teaching Ieyasu Yagyu Shinkageryu, Munenori quickly acquired a reputation in the Tokugawa inner circle as a ‘living master of the sword’. Being able to observe Ieyasu up close, combined with the wisdom and insight he gained from watching his own father, turned Munenori into someone whose advice were worthy of a ruler’s ears.
The Toyotomi were crushed once and for all during the aforementioned Siege of Osaka, where Chacha and her son Hideyori committed seppuku in the midst of the flaming and besieged castle, bringing an end to the Sengoku era. Tokugawa shogunate would then reign supreme for two centuries in an era of relative peace, and Yagyu Munenori was the right-hand man of the first three shoguns in the Tokugawa government’s formative period.
Going into FGO for a moment, it is incredibly intriguing to see all three of Munenori’s skills as a servant and his Noble Phantasm seems to be able to be further elaborated on by the actual writings of the historical figure himself. All quotes are from Heiho Kadensho (A Hereditary Book on the Art of War).
Skill 1: Shinkageryu
“The martial arts have many points in common with Zen. These include in particular an aversion to being detained by things. No matter what secret tradition you receive, no matter what technique you use, if your mind is detained by that technique, you will suffer defeat. Your mind should not be detained—whether by the actions of your opponent, by your own actions, or by cutting and thrusting. This is essential.”
Skill 2: Suigetsu
“The phrase ‘moon on water’ (‘suigetsu’) refers to the fact that if there is a certain distance between you and your opponent, his sword will be unable to strike you. In keeping this distance, we use the martial arts. Stepping inside this distance and stealing close to your opponent without his noticing is like piercing the reflection of the moon on water.”
Skill 3: Swordless Form
“What is called No-Sword is the not the art of taking a man’s sword; it is being able to use all implements freely. When you have no sword and wish to take your opponent’s to use as your own, anything that comes into your hands should be of use. Even if you only have a fan, you should be able to defeat your opponent’s sword. No-Sword is just this attitude.”
To further explain the concept introduced by the third skill, it should not be understood as a literal bare-handed blade block as permeated by popular culture. According to descriptions of Sekishusai’s spar with Ieyasu, the actual act of capturing the opponent’s sword is more akin to a well-timed grappling move. Capturing the opponent’s sword should also not be viewed as an end in and of itself, instead it is just a means to an end.
“If your opponent does not want his sword taken, you should not insist on trying to take it. No-Sword is also in not taking the sword when your opponent has this attitude. A man who is consumed by the thought of not having his sword taken is going to forget the aim of cutting his opponent.”
As Munenori wrote above, the true philosophy behind ‘No-Sword’ is the ability to effectively harness all implements available at your disposal such that your readiness to fight (literally or figuratively) is not influenced by whether you have a sword (or any weapon of your choice) by your side.
Noble Phantasm: Kenjutsu Musuo, Kenzen Ichinyo
Servant Munenori’s Noble Phantasm ‘Kenjutsu Musuo, Kenzen Ichinyo’ is named after two key phrases which belies the essence of the historical Munenori’s swordsmanship. ‘Kenjutsu Musuo’ means ‘Peerless in Swordsmanship’, a praise delivered by shogun Iemitsu when mourning Munenori’s passing. ‘Kenzen Ichinyo’ means ‘Sameness of Sword and Zen’, a concept central to Munenori’s teaching.
The first variation of his Noble Phantasm line goes:
“…Mine heart is immovable, and yet it must be free. Thusly, it has entered the realm of no desires and no thoughts…”
While from Satsuninto of Heiho Kadensho:
“When you have continuously made great efforts and have accumulated discipline without really noticing, you will have left aside the thought of doing things well, and will have attained the realm of No-Mind/No-Thought…your body, hands and feet will make no mistakes. But if your mind slips in even slightly, you will miss your aim.”
“The man who has been able to pacify his mind once and for all from beginning to end…can mingle with the dust of the world and remain unstained. Though he moves through the world all day long, he himself is unmovable. This is like the moon that seems to follow the innumerable waves, yet truly moves not at all. This is the sphere of one who has reached the ultimate of the Buddhist Law.”
Munenori was explaining the mental state one should reach to attain true mastery, true mastery of not just the sword but of all things in life. Then the first Noble Phantasm line may to be referencing this mental state of mastery.
The second variation of Noble Phantasm line:
“...A sword shows its true worth on the boundary of life and death…Which side will you see upon confronting my sword?...”
In Yagyu Shinkageryu, the sword has two sides. As written by Munenori’s father Sekishusai in Motsujimi Shudan Kudensho (没滋味手段口伝書):
“…every time the sword is in stance, it is called the Death-Dealing Sword (satsuninto). When it is not in stance, it is called the Life-Giving Sword (katsujinken). Moreover, the sword in stance always cuts down the opposition and removes it; when it is not in stance, it gives life to the opposition and thus is called the Life-Giving Sword.”
In the closing words of Heiho Kadensho, Munenori wrote:
“At the heart of this work is the idea that the sword that kills people can, on the contrary, becomes a sword that gives them life. In a chaotic society, many people are killed for no reason. The Death-Dealing Sword is used to bring a chaotic society under control; but once this has been done, cannot that same sword become a Life-Giving Sword?”
Yagyu Munenori’s life was a profound demonstration of the Life-Giving Sword, but when the Noble Phantasm line is uttered as a servant it would be a foregone conclusion the enemy would only see his Death-Dealing Sword.
Translation credit of first Noble Phantasm line. Second Noble Phantasm line uses official translation.
Battle Animation
Battle animation of servant Munenori is said to be based on actual move sets of Yagyu Shinkageryu. As documented in Shinkageryu Heiho Tachi Den (新陰流兵法太刀伝):
These are some of the oldest moves in Shinkageryu predating Munenori, while the quick-draw attacks were said to be Munenori’s personal addition to Yagyu Shinkageryu.
(Please note I do not have direct access to Shinkageryu Heiho Tachi Den, this is my educated guesswork based on secondary sources I am able to find regarding the book for the names of the actual techniques these animations are based on.)
His moves appear almost simple. It is a no frills no nonsense approach to cutting down the opponent, and not dissimilar to moves one can observe in a modern-day kendo expert. The transition from attack to attack might seem almost abrupt, but it should be taken as an indication of his incredible speed (A++ Agility). Within every attack, each strike flowed like water.
“Although there are a hundred kinds of stances, they all exist for the same purpose: to defeat the opponent.”
Value of the Sword
Munenori believed there was more to learning the sword than just cutting a man down. He recognised the universality of the underlying principles of the martial arts. Sword fighting is a martial art, but so are governing the country, practising calligraphy, horse riding et cetera: all activities can be approached as a martial art. Despite the widely varying natures of all these arts, underlying principles in approaching them are transferrable. Learning Munenori’s way of the sword was not to learn how to kill an opponent, but instead it was a vehicle for personal development.
Ieyasu and Iemitsu were avid students of the sword, while Hidetada was largely indifferent to the sword. Nonetheless, all three generations of Tokugawa shoguns found great value in Munenori’s sword lessons such that Munenori would serve by their side for the rest of his life. To the shoguns Munenori’s lessons must have been more profound than just learning how to swing a sword.
Indeed, although Munenori's hallmark work Heiho Kadensho is a book principally about swordsmanship, he repeatedly emphasised the ideas conveyed in his work transcends the sword:
“While you are governing a country, it is yet again a martial art to keep your mind clearly on the farthest corners of the farthest province and to appoint various officials to keep guard over them…it is essential that you observe the inner workings of the country and prevent its ruin at the hands of the officials with various personal agendas. This is like the martial art of seeing into the intentions of your opponent in a sword match by observing his movements…Truly, the arena may change, but the principle is the same, and thus you could apply this to national affairs and make no mistakes.”
"Because our clan is involved in the martial arts, I have spoken of this in conjunction with them; but it should not be restricted to the martial arts alone."
Ascendancy
His authority steadily increased over the years of service, to an extraordinary extent unimaginable for a mere sword instructor:
In 1629, he took the title of Tajima no Kami, or ‘Guardian of Tajima’. With mineable silver and bronze, the Tajima province was an area of great strategic importance to the resource-constrained Japan, only someone absolutely trustworthy should be assigned to the responsibility of that province.
In 1632, he became Sometsuke, responsible for keeping an eye on the activities of other daimyos (feudal rulers who were the shogun’s vassals). Sometsuke was a position that did not exist before Munenori, it was a title created for the man. Munenori spread the Yagyu clan spread all over Japan and his students taught other daimyos as sword instructors, with this Munenori developed an extensive personal intelligence and influence network around Japan. Coupled with his own shrewdness and loyalty, this made him the perfect candidate to act as the shogun’s head of intelligence to root out corruption and conspiracy.
With the promotions, his stipend increased as well, and in 1633 he finally became a daimyo himself. Possessing fief of 10,000 Koku was the qualification to be a daimyo; in all likelihood Munenori’s sway on the shogun had exceeded the average daimyo long before that, it just took a while for his pay to match his influence.
Becoming daimyo would not be the end of Munenori’s ascendancy, his stipend would eventually reach a staggering 12,500 Koku.
Yagyu Munenori was a rare man whose political power and influence, together with his martial art, reached the lofty apex. Perhaps one can even say politics and swordsmanship were inseparable elements of his martial art, and therefore the mastery of one meant the mastery of other.
Representing Ascension
In FGO, Munenori ditching the kataginu (brown vest-like part of his attire) from first to second ascension may be a reference to his political ascension to becoming daimyo himself, because in the Japanese theatres kataginu seems to represent a samurai serving a daimyo. A theatre metaphor would be fitting too, given Munenori was a huge fan of Noh theatre performances.
There is also a bird motif going on in FGO Munenori’s ascension art from second to third ascension. The peacock in the background of his third ascension art is often regarded as an incarnation of the ancient mythical Chinese bird called Fenghuang, otherwise called Houou in Japanese.
Honchou Bugei Shouden (本朝武芸小伝) was published in 1716, seventy years after Munenori’s death, by a master of a different martial arts school called Tendoryu. In the book the writer discussed various famous martial art schools and their practitioners. The writer wrote Yagyu Munenori was ‘Ken Jutsusha no Otori (刀術者之鳳)’, translated literally it meant Munenori was the ‘big bird among swordsmen’. However, the kanji 鳳 used for ‘big bird (Otori)’ has a distinct meaning referring to Fenghuang (鳳凰-same characters in both Chinese and Japanese):
Fenghuang is the bird above all other birds, and its status is equal to the dragon. It is a symbol often associated with royalty, and carries the connotation of harmony under the rule of an emperor. Chinese in origin, this mythical creature and its significance spread to Japan.
So if swordsmen were to be compared as birds, then Yagyu Munenori was the Fenghuang.
It is certainly an apt metaphor, given he was the swordsman who rose to ascendancy from the ashes of war and his sword style ruled Japan in peacetime as the designated sword style to learn for the elite samurais of Tokugawa’s Japan.
FGO Munenori’s final ascension art forms an interesting contrast with his real-life statue, although I am not certain if this is intentional of his illustrator Furumi Showichi. Both depicts him in a seated position, but for the statue Munenori’s sword is tucked away at his side barely visible while in his final ascension art he appears to be cleaning his blade allowing it to be displayed prominently. In history, most of Yagyu Munenori’s glories were not directly connected to sword fighting, but as a servant his blade is taking on a much more prominent role.
Servants are summoned in their prime forms, and Munenori’s prime would be as an old man: an old man who have reached the height of his political powers, have dedicated his entire life to honing his blade, spreading his martial art and have written influential treatises on kenjutsu (Japanese swordsmanship) such as Heiho Kadensho.
(I am really, really impressed with the work Furumi has done for Munenori, if only this can reach her somehow. The crew at Delightworks who animated the man, too, deserves the highest praise.)

Character of the Sword Instructor

Various accounts of Munenori can further our understanding of the figure as a person.
Future Prediction
An incredibly discerning man, he predicted the outbreak of the Shimabara rebellion (lead by a certain teenager called Amakusa Shirou) and that Itakura Shigemasa, who was sent by shogun Iemitsu on a punitive expedition, would die in the expedition.
What was most revealing of Munenori’s character was his response to his own prediction. Learning of Shigemasa’s deployment, Munenori desperately tried to stop it. He went as far as riding on horseback late into the night to pursue Shigemasa, and upon realizing he was too late to catch up he immediately returned to directly appeal to Iemitsu to rescind the order.
Not one to have his orders questioned, Iemitsu stalked out of the room. Munenori, ever the patient teacher, waited alone unmoving through the night seated right where Iemitsu left him. The following day Iemitsu finally asked for Munenori to explain his stubborn behaviour:
Although Shigemasa was loyal and capable, the local daimyo would disregard his authority due to his relatively lower status, and this would ultimately result in Shigemasa’s death.
Iemitsu listened patiently but still refused to rescind.
The situation progressed just as Munenori explained: Shigemasa with his authority undermined was ordered to be replaced by Matsudaira Nobutsuna. On 1 January 1638, Shigemasa led a desperate charge on the rebel’s castle and was killed by an arrow.
Iemitsu would rely on Munenori’s advice even more heavily ever since.
Staring EX
Once Munenori watched a Noh performance by the side of shogun Iemitsu, and before the performance began, Iemitsu ordered Munenori to observe performer Kanze Sakon’s actions carefully for any point during the acting when Kanze’s attention was distracted enough that Munenori might be able to attack him. Kanze seemed thoroughly attentive in performance such that the shogun believed that even the master swordsman could find no opening.
Kanze was dripping with sweat when he finished and retired to the dressing room. He told his attendant Munenori’s eyes were “following me all along, so I continued to dance, hardly daring to breathe. But when I finally passed the stage right pillar, I stopped for a breath and he gave me a little smile. Really, I was mentally exhausted!”
When asked by Iemitsu if he saw an opening, Munenori replied “Kanze left no opening during the entire dance, but just as he passed the pillar he let out a gasp. There I could have cut him down with no difficulty.”
Instinct
Late in Munenori’s life, there was an episode where while he sat on his veranda engrossed in the full bloom of the cherry blossoms, he suddenly intuited danger and swung around to check. Yet only his faithful page was behind him. Munenori was upset at his perceived dulling of sense which he spent his life sharpening.
Noticing his master’s souring mood, the page inquired for the cause. At Munenori’s explanation, the page apologised and confessed that at watching his master’s abstraction in the spring scene, he very briefly wondered if even a swordsman as accomplished as Yagyu Munenori might be attacked and killed in this state of vulnerability. Munenori seemed to be satisfied with this revelation, and never mentioned the matter again.
Lifelong Learning
Munenori was a well-read and eloquent man, this is evident with his ability to seamlessly quote and reference a wide range of Buddhist and Chinese literature in Heiho Kadensho to explain the philosophical foundation of his arguments, or even just to title the sections of his work.
Heiho Kadensho was meant to be read and understood by students of Yagyu Shinkageryu (including the shogun), then Munenori’s lexicon would indicate a high level of education among his students. This is expected given Munenori made Yagyu Shinkageryu into the designated sword style to learn for the elites of Tokugawa’s Japan, however Munenori himself came from a much humbler background and he likely received no formal education at all beyond his father’s sword education.
Then where did Munenori learn such lexicon? Apart from his political and family responsibilities, he must have rigorously engaged in intellectual pursuits in his adult life alongside his pursuit of swordsmanship.
Final Request
In his final days, with his health declining, Munenori had a final meeting with the shogun Iemitsu. The shogun inquired if he had any last requests. Munenori commended his sons to the shogun’s patronage, and requested a monument be built to his father Sekishusai at the Yagyu manor.
Iemitsu agreed immediately, and six days later Munenori passed away peacefully in his sleep on 26 March 1646. He was seventy-six, it was a long life for his era. After his death, sometimes Iemitsu could be heard wondering “If only Munenori were here, I could ask him about this.”

What would the historical Munenori think of the Munenori in Shimousa?

Given Shimousa’s plot was a wholesale reference to Makai Tensho, it was inevitable Yagyu Munenori would play the antagonist in Shimousa.
In Shimousa, Munenori experienced the thrill of dueling when female Musashi somehow tempted him into a fight back in Musashi’s trial quest. Shimousa Munenori became so desperate to get another taste of battling Musashi such that he turned against everything he stood for in life, cooperated with the villains and let the world turn to hell. He became a demon of the sword; even if he was not explicitly mind-controlled like the rest of the Heroic Spirit Swordsmasters, Shimousa Munenori had clearly lost his marbles with his female Musashi obsession.
I suspect this character motivation has left many non-Japanese players scratching their heads since they are missing the historical context of how Yagyu Munenori was better remembered by the general public as a politician than as a swordsman.
Yet, the historical Munenori would never become Shimousa Munenori even if he was in Shimousa Munenori’s shoes. The historical Munenori would probably mock at the absurdity and childishness of Shimousa Munenori.
"To think only of winning is sickness. To think only of using the martial arts is sickness. To think only of demonstrating the result of one’s training is sickness, as is thinking only making an attack or waiting for one. To think in a fixated way of expelling such sickness is also sickness. Whatever remains absolutely in the mind should be considered sickness.
Yagyu Munenori wrote thusly in Heiho Kadensho, this ‘sickness’ he wrote of would perfectly describe Shimousa Munenori. Yagyu Munenori from history was not a man interested in drawing his blade to fight just for the sake of it, nor was his martial art for something as superficial as showing his superiority over another martial artist. The historical Yagyu Munenori’s sword moved with a righteous purpose:
“There are times when ten thousand people suffer because of the evil of one man. Therefore, in killing one man’s evil you give ten thousand people life. In such ways, truly, the sword that kills one man will be the blade that gives others life.”
“It is missing the point to think that the martial art is solely in cutting a man down. It is not in cutting people down; it is in killing evil. It is the stratagem of killing the evil of one man and giving life to ten thousand.”
This is the wisdom of a man who lived through and witnessed the deaths and destruction of the Sengoku era, whose sword style would then rule Japan in the following era of relative peace.
In FGO Munenori’s interlude, he criticised his Shimousa self's behaviour. Douman tried to control him and turn him back into a Heroic Spirit Swordsmaster but Munenori fought him off with ease. We learn the Yagyu Munenori in Chaldea is the one from normal history who ascended to the status of a 'sword saint'; his mind is free of all worldly thoughts and desires making him even stronger than he was in Shimousa. Guda then recalls a previous meeting with Musashi, where she admitted she cannot defeat the version of Yagyu in Chaldea, although it is fine since she is evolving too.

Connection to other Shimousa Cast’s Historical Counterparts (No Spoilers)

Miyamoto Musashi
The closest Musashi got to Munenori was when he tried to become the Shogun’s sword instructor. Musashi was rejected, a result hardly surprising when Munenori already fulfilled that position splendidly in addition to being a political advisor and intelligence head.
Takuan Soho, Munenori’s dear friend and mentor on Zen philosophies, have no known contact with Musashi contrary to popular culture depiction.
Legend has it Musashi did have a chance meeting with Munenori’s nephew Hygonosuke, the two had a merry time together talking, playing Go, and working out sword techniques together. Munenori was the overall head of the Yagyu clan based in Edo, while Hygonosuke led a branch based in Owari serving a relative of the Tokugawa shogun, likely as Munenori planned.
Musashi was a very interesting foil to Munenori nonetheless. Musashi adamantly defined himself as self-taught, to the point of founding his own style Niten Ichi-ryu. In contrast, Munenori’s way of the sword had a long heritage, and he just as adamantly defined himself by his predecessors to the point where his pivotal book Heiho Kadensho was first signed with the name of Kamiizumi Nobustuna, the master of his father, and then his father’s, and only after that his own.
Musashi made his fame by travelling around, duelling other swordsmen, and then bragging about his victories in his writings. Munenori had no need to trifle himself with personal duels, for Yagyu Shinkageryu and his own capability were declared legitimate by the shogun’s patronage; instead he quietly polished his skills and built his political power, and in the end became better known for his political accomplishments.
However, as the episode during the Siege of Osaka showed—a spontaneous occurrence on battlefield instead of a meticulously prepared duel, Munenori’s actual ability in combat should not be questioned.
In FGO Munenori’s character profile, anecdotes where the historical Munenori criticised Musashi were brought up, however these anecdotes are likely fictional. There is a good chance Musashi was at best a mild curiosity at the periphery of Munenori’s mind, after all the two men were operating in completely different social strata and Munenori would have little incentive to even mention Musashi in his writings or conversations.
Conversely however, it would not be surprising if Musashi did long for a match with Munenori given the prestige and status of the man, as impossible as such a match would be because of that very same prestige and status.
One cannot help but wonder what would happen if Musashi met Munenori instead of Hygonosuke.
Houzouin Inshun
Inshun’s master and predecessor Inei played a small, but vital role in the formation of Yagyu Shinkageryu.
In 1559, Inei arranged Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, founder of Shinkageryu, to have a match with Inei’s friend Yagyu Sekishusai. At that point, Sekishusai was a young man in his thirties well-versed in swinging a sword and had real battle experience.
Sekishusai was soundly defeated twice, not by Nobutsuna, but by a disciple of Nobutsuna’s who tagged alone for the match. Shockingly, the elderly Nobutsuna requested a match with Sekishusai after the young man’s humiliation at the hands of his disciple.
The two faced off, but nothing happened and Sekishusai soon dropped to his knees and admitted defeat. The young man recognised the old master left no opening for an attack, and the old master recognised the young man was perceptive enough to be worthy of his instructions.
Sekishusai would study Shinkageryu under Nobutsuna, he became Nobutsuna’s star pupil and inherited Shinkageryu. With Sekishusai’s further development and ownership of the style the Yagyu name was appended to Shinkageryu, resulting in the formation of the sword style his son Munenori would spend his life perfecting and disseminating.
(Nobutsuna’s Shinkageryu did not come out of nowhere, it too can be traced further back in history although that is out of the scope of this post, such is the way martial arts develop and grow.)

Father and Son

In popular culture, Munenori is overshadowed by his son Jubei Mitsuyoshi.
Jubei studied the sword under Munenori just as Munenori studied under Sekishusai, and was noted to be a prodigy even in a clan full of expert swordsmen. As a young man, Jubei was considered qualified enough to occasionally fill in for his father for sword lessons with the third Shogun Iemitsu, and then he was inexplicably dismissed from service. Jubei would eventually resurface years later and be reinstated to serve the shogun.
This is the extent we do know about Jubei that is not fiction, the rest is unknown with significant portions of his life unrecorded. Jubei’s missing years were probably spent wandering the country, but in the end we just do not know what he did.
Jubei, with his life shrouded in mystery, captured the imagination of writers after his time and became the most famous Yagyu and the arguably most romanticised Samurai. Countless fictional tales were spun of the heroic exploits of a wandering one-eyed sword master (contemporary portrait of Jubei depicted him as two-eyed).
Just as the West like their gun-toting cowboys in a wild west setting, the Japanese like their swashbuckling swordsman in a countryside setting. Yagyu Munenori was decidedly not such protagonist material, but a Jubei or a Musashi would be perfect.
Munenori, with his prominent involvement in politics, generally receive less attention or get portrayed less flatteringly. In the aforementioned Makai Tensho, he was an antagonist while Jubei was the hero.
I personally find Munenori much more compelling as a figure, and I am glad he is the first Yagyu to make an appearance in FGO.
In FGO, Munenori drops oblique references to his son every here and there, giving us snippets for us to imagine and yet at the same time provide not enough information to paint a concrete image of what his son was like. In my opinion this is a fitting way to approach the myth of Yagyu Jubei.
Then one day Jubei drops for real in FGO.

Legacy

“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.”
-Augustus
Yagyu Munenori was a dutiful son, a master swordsman, a successful politician, a shrewd strategist and an intimidating spymaster.
When Munenori was born, the Yagyu clan was based in a small village in Nara embroiled by the era’s political instability, and he secured the future of his clan by turning it into the most prestigious sword school active all around Japan. With Munenori at the helm, the Yagyu clan experienced an exponential growth from 200 Koku to 12,500 Koku. Few, if any, other Japanese clans could rival the incredible growth the Yagyu did under Munenori.
His personal accomplishments and glories would fade with time, but Munenori left behind a much more tangible, living legacy:
His teachings on swordsmanship would last through the ages; today Munenori’s Heiho Kadensho is considered a central text on kenjutsu alongside Musashi’s Go Rin No Sho.
The All Japan Kendo Federation has a hall of fame for their swordsmen called Kendo Dendo, and in 2003 Munenori was among the first batch of inductees. He was inducted with the highest honour in recognition of his tremendous contribution to the development of kenjutsu, and to date the only other swordsman to share this highest honour with Yagyu Munenori was Miyamoto Musashi.
Although descriptors such as ‘the greatest’ ultimately lies in subjectivity, perhaps we can take these two swordsmen’s special induction as to who the historians of the Kendo Federation consider as ‘the greatest’ in Japanese sword history.
Munenori’s own school Yagyu Shinkageryu is active even today. Although today’s Yagyu Shinkageryu descends from Hyogonosuke’s Owari branch, it was Munenori’s lifetime efforts in engineering the metamorphosis of Yagyu Shinkageryu that provided the clout for the style to survive the test of time.
Yagyu Munenori navigated his life with cerebral strength, and left behind a legacy that continues to awe and inspire. He may not enjoy tremendous fame outside of Japan, but he was a man every bit as worthy a heroic spirit as the famous demigods, kings, knights, and heroes of other countries.
Closing Words
I thank all who took their time to read the post, and hope you find the time reading well-spent.
This post is the product of almost a month of gradual writing. Initially, I just wanted some accompanying text around screenshots of my maxed-out Munenori, but before I knew it the amount of text ballooned into something that belongs to a proper post.
Some people vaguely know him as some big-shot swordsman and politician from the past, while some people have never heard of him and wondered why is this man a heroic spirit. To some people he is just Sitting EX. I decided I have to give this interesting man a worthy introduction, if I do not no one else will.
Every time when I thought I wrote all I could about him, that I was done with the article for good, some new insights would pop up and compel me to write even more. It is absurd a mobile phone game can inspire this level of interest and dedication to a figure I knew nothing of before, but this is a testament to how well Yagyu Munenori has been implemented in the game.
Most accounts concerning Munenori are sourced and adapted from William Scott Wilson’s English translation of Heiho Kadensho titled “The Life-Giving Sword”, I strongly recommend giving this book a read for anyone interested in Yagyu Munenori. The rest are supplemented by online sources in both Japanese and Chinese, quality online information concerning Munenori in English is exceedingly difficult to find. FGO’s implementation of Munenori to Fate Lore are my own understanding and interpretation.
Any and all inaccuracies presented are my mistake.
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2019.12.22 22:10 Odd_directions Strangers began recognizing me, and it turned my life upside down

My name is Ronald S. Moss. I’m a forty-five-year-old senior accountant employed by a large corporation in Washington, D.C. I’m the kind of person that never had a midlife crisis because my life was always the same. There weren’t any distinguishable phases. My hair loss started after graduation and soon after my internship turned into a full-time job I began gaining weight. Before I knew it I turned into a shadow of a person trapped inside a sweaty casual business suit. The saddest part is that I enjoyed my life. I liked the small talk with my colleagues in the bistro – my only social interactions – and I felt at ease doing my job inside of my small cubicle. No one disturbed me and I didn’t disturb anyone in return. At home – a small apartment in a pretty nice neighborhood – I always ate some fast food I bought on the drive home and watched television until bedtime. It was an easy life and it wasn’t likely to change. A tiny part of me fantasized about getting in shape and marry, but after I turned forty, I kind of gave up on those fantasies ever materializing.
I didn’t think much of the first incident that was out of place. A young man approached me while I was sitting by myself at Burger King having lunch. He looked perfectly normal for a man his age, so I didn’t feel threatened by him.
“Hi”, he said with a kind smile on his face. “Have a nice day!”
Although it was unusual for someone to do this, especially toward someone as uninteresting as myself, I didn’t mind the gesture and said you too. Then, as soon as he had walked past me and I was about to take a bite out of my burger, he leaned in from behind and held his smartphone in front of my face.
“Just a quick selfie.”
I could see my look of surprise behind my thick glasses in his display, holding the burger like an idiot in front of me, and his smiling face next to mine. There was no time to react. He took the picture and left with a thank you. When I turned around he was gone. I shrugged it off as some kind of new trend among young people, perhaps a new meme or prank or whatever they call it these days. I went on with my day as usual and the rest of that month passed by without any further incidents.
It wasn’t until one and a half months later, sometime in December, that the next thing occurred. I was ordering my food in the drive-in when the cashier, a man my age, suddenly addressed me by my name:
“Have a nice day, Ronald!”
I was too taken aback to ask him how in the world he knew my name. Instead, I just said thank you and drove away. After thinking about it, I concluded that we probably met somewhere and I simply forgot. Maybe, I thought, we went to university together. Still, I usually didn’t forget a face and my gut feeling told me I hadn’t seen that man before. This bothered me for the rest of the evening, but the next day I didn’t think much of it.
A few weeks after this, around Christmas, I began noticing that some people, usually young people, were staring at me. At first, I thought that I had spilled something on my shirt or that I had forgotten to zip my pants, but there was nothing unusual with my appearance. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they kept looking at me. While buying food at the grocery store, for example, a married couple, pulling a stroller in front of them, kept following me around and whispering as they watched me grab a bag of hot dogs. As soon as I looked back at them, they quickly shy away and went down another aisle. There was also an increase in strangers wishing me a merry Christmas, some of which also mysteriously knew my name. All of these incidents happened often enough to make me question it, but rare enough for it to maybe just be random coincidences.
It stopped for a while. During that time, something else happened that changed my routines quite a bit. It was our office’s New Year’s Eve Party, and as usual, during these kinds of ballyhoos, I didn’t have that much fun. I walked around making some small talk and wishing people a happy new year, trying to blend in and waiting for the midnight celebrations so that I could go home without drawing attention to myself.
Everything was going as expected until close to midnight. We had moved up to the roof to watch the fireworks when this woman came out of nowhere and asked me to lit her cigarette. I hadn’t seen her before, but that wasn’t surprising. A lot of people had brought their friends. I didn’t have a lighter since I didn’t smoke, so I had to tell her sorry and to ask someone else. She disappeared and I thought I would never see her again. After a few moments, however, she returned. Her cigarette had been lit. She gave me a glass of champagne that she had picked from a tray and struck a conversation with me. She must be drunk. It wasn’t a derogatory thought, I didn’t hold her potential intoxication against her, it was just the only explanation I could think of as to why she would ever speak to someone like me.
I entertained the conversation to the best of my abilities. She introduced herself as O.
“O?” I asked, a bit surprised.
“Yes, O.”
“Oh…”
We laughed. I corrected my glasses, trying to hide how nervous she made me feel, and asked her who she knew at the party. She said she was a friend of a friend to someone who worked at my company. I was happy to hear that since I had feared that she was one of my colleague's girlfriends. She was in her late twenties, a bit too young for a man my age perhaps, but the attention she gave me made me forget any such qualms.
She stood beside me as we counted down to the new year and then, to my bewildered surprise, she kissed me on my cheek. I didn’t know how to react, I just fumbled with my words and blushed like a schoolboy. The conversation felt awkward for a little while but soon returned to normal. I stayed way longer than I had intended to at the party chatting with this woman and before we said our goodbyes she asked if she could have my number.
Next weekend, we went on our first date – the first date I had been on since a catastrophic blind date my mother forced upon me before she had given up the idea of grandchildren – and we had sex at my place later the same evening. I wasn’t a virgin, but since it had been almost twenty years since last time it almost felt like I lost my virginity again. O, as she still insisted on calling herself, was a lot more experienced than me as far as I could tell. I won’t go into details, but the sex was wild and it wasn’t thanks to me.
We kept seeing each other regularly and after a few more dates we became boyfriend and girlfriend. I couldn’t believe my luck. O was, as they say, way out of my league. It baffled me that I had been content with my life as it had been. I hadn’t even been alive, just a corporate zombie doing the same boring thing every day. O visited me a few days a week and we spent most weekends together at my place. She still lived with her parents, she told me, and didn’t want me to meet her folks until maybe after a year. She wanted to be completely sure we would work out as a couple before she involved them. I sympathized with that, and, frankly, I didn’t feel like meeting her parents too quickly anyway. I would feel out of place in their presence given the quite significant age gap between me and their daughter.
A few months passed by during which I walked on clouds. I didn’t think about the occasional guy staring at me or secretly taking pictures of me with their phones. It was nothing more than background noise that I didn’t pay any attention to. The summer approached, and I thought it would be the happiest summer of my life. In early spring, however, there was another incident that I simply couldn’t ignore. A girl with blue hair, black lipstick, and a leather jacket spoke to me at the gas station.
“Hey, Ronald!”
“Y-yes?”
I was just about to get into my car.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe it’s you!”
Given the prior incidents, her reaction made me suspicious.
“Who are you?” I said. “Are you a friend of O?”
“I was just wondering–“ She went through her purse and picked up a small piece of paper and a pen. “Could I get your autograph, please?”
“My autograph?!” I said. “What for?” I was annoyed at this strange unwanted attention, and I didn’t mind making that clear to her. “Do I know you?”
“No, of course not.” She laughed. “So you don’t want to–“
“No!” I yelled. “Why are you doing this, who are you people?!”
“You’re right,” she said. “I shouldn’t have asked, I’m sorry.”
She walked away from me, seemingly ashamed of herself.
“Hey, lady!” I still wanted answers to my questions. “How do you know my name?!”
She didn’t respond. I got into my car, angry, and drove home. I called O and told her about what had happened and about the other things as well. She calmed me down, as always when I felt stressed, and convinced me that it was just a bunch of coincidences and that the lady must have been crazy or a prankster.
“But how did she know my name?”
“Listen, Ron,” she said. “People do these kinds of pranks all the time. They get your name from social media. There was probably some jerk filming everything from afar. I once saw a clip on YouTube where a guy looked up people in his area on social media and pretended to guess everything about them. It’s really creepy, I know. They use people's open Facebook and Instagram profiles against them. People really should care more about their privacy, you know?”
“Well, I’m deactivating my Facebook account tonight. Who do these kids think they are?”
Things returned to normal, or at least to what had recently become normal for me. My relationship with O had changed a great deal for me, not just my mood but my appearance as well. She always wanted me to be the best I could be and encouraged me to buy new hair products, new clothes, and even a new car. Since I never bought anything expensive, I had a lot of money saved. It felt good to finally get a reason to use them. As expected, my habits slowly changed as well. We ate out more often and we even went to a bar for drinks a few times. Other than this my life didn’t change much, but I still felt as if I had been reborn.
I was having lunch, thinking about suggesting a trip to Europe with O, when I overheard someone behind me saying my name. It was a group of teenagers talking. I didn’t turn around to face them, but they got my attention.
“I agree,” one of them said. “I think O should leave him alone. I mean, I understand that he’s at a better place now and I’m happy for him, I really am, but a small part of me misses the old Ronald.”
“Yeah, totally, but–“
I stopped listening. What the fuck? I was consumed with a rage that was only made stronger by my confusion.
“Hey!” I stood up and pointed at them. “What is going on?”
“Oh, shit, it’s Ronald!”
One of them reached for his phone at took a picture.
“Stop that!” I said. “I demand to know–“
They got up from their seats in a hurry to get away from me.
“No!” I leaped forward and grabbed the one who had taken my picture. “You’re not going to escape this time.”
Everyone in the restaurant looked at me.
“Leave them alone!” someone said.
“It’s not what it looks like, they’re–“
“Let me go, man”, the boy said.
I tried to calm myself down. “Please, just tell me what this is all about, why does everyone know who I am?”
The boy anxiously looked back at his friends who stood at the entrance, filming us with their phones.
“Look,” he said in a whisper, “you’re big on the dark web.”
I blinked in confusion. The what? I was just about to ask about it when one of the employees laid her hands on my arm.
“Let him go,” she said. “Sir, you have to let the boy go or we will call the police.”
I did as she told me and he immediately ran away.
“I’m the one who’ll call the police,” I said.
I talked to O about this when I got home, and she agreed that it was time to go to the authorities. However, I didn’t know what to tell them. I googled the dark web, but it didn’t make much sense to me. I learned that I had to use something called Tor, but I wasn’t tech-savvy enough to figure out how to use it properly. O didn’t know either. I googled all the combinations of words, including my name, that I could think of but nothing showed up. O continued to push the idea that it was some kind of elaborate prank, but I felt that it was something bigger than that.
“These people are stalking me,” I said. “Doesn’t it bother you that they know about our relationship? About you? I mean, they were talking about us, about you and me!”
“Yeah?” she said, surprised. “What did they say about me?”
“They indicated that you had changed me somehow. One of the boys said something about liking the old me.”
“Those people are sick,” she said, a bit more upset.
“No kidding!” I said. “But seriously, what did he mean? ‘You’re big on the dark web.’ It makes me furious.”
“Relax, baby, they’re annoying, for sure, but at least they aren’t threatening you. They seem to like you. You know what I think?”
“No, what?” I looked at her, hoping for a theory that made sense.
“I think you might have a secret fan club.”
A secret fan club? I couldn’t believe that. I was a nobody. And yet, it did help make sense of the incidents.
I did my best to explain my problem to the police officer I talked to down at the station, but as expected it didn’t go that well. I had no evidence to show them, only a few anecdotes.
“Do you feel threatened?”
I hesitated. “N-no, not exactly threatened, but they're violating my privacy, you know, my integrity. That can’t be legal, right?”
I asked them to search for my name on the dark web, but in the end, I got the feeling that they would prioritize more pressing matters than my weird story.
I tried to avoid people and public places as much as I could, and as soon as someone looked at me I responded in anger by flipping my finger or telling them off. Some of them were probably innocent, but how was I supposed to know?
This continued for some time. I considered myself lucky to have O at my side. She kept me sane. We lay awake late at night, joking about me, of all people, having a fan club. It felt good to be able to laugh about it, but anxiety still took a hold of me right before I drifted off to sleep. I heard that boy’s words echoing in my mind: A small part of me misses the old Ronald.
During the following months, the incidents decreased. This ought to have made me happy, but instead, it made my anxiety worse. Didn’t they like me anymore? It was a ridiculous thought, but it entered my mind more and more often and for each time a stranger did look at me or took a picture of me, I felt less and less angry. It was a slow process, but eventually, I began looking at myself differently in the mirror. I inspected myself, trying to figure out if I had changed too much or too little. I joked about it with O, not wanting her to know how much it bothered me that no one had asked for my autograph in several weeks, and she told me that I should try and hit the gym. She wasn’t serious, she had responded in jest, but a week later I had bought my first gym card. I had never felt so motivated to lose weight in my entire life. And yet, it didn’t seem to help. No matter how much weight I lost, or how much muscles I built, my fans – as I had begun calling them in my head – didn’t increase.
“I don’t think they like this new me,” I said to O. “I think that boy at Burger King was right. They miss the old Ronald. After all, that was the man they fell for in the first place.”
“My God,” O said, “listen to yourself!”
“I-I know,” I said, shaking my head at my vanity.
“You’re letting these people get to you! You are doing fine. This is the healthiest you’ve been your entire life. If they want you to stop eating healthy and working out, they don’t truly care about you.”
“I guess,” I said. “I just wish I could figure out how to access the dark web so that I could see what they’re saying about me. If I just knew what to do–“
“No, baby, you’re doing great! Maybe they just want you to stop caring about them, you know, maybe that will do the trick?”
I told her I would stop paying attention to them, but just a few days later I was back in my old suit. O didn’t take it well and it led to our first serious fight. It felt like everything was falling apart around me. I lived like my old self for a month, but it didn’t help either. One day, I saw the blue-haired lady who had approached me at the gas station. I ran up to her.
“Hey!” I said.
“Oh, Ronald,” she said. “I’m sorry for that time I–“
I could see that she wasn’t happy to see me.
“It’s okay,” I said. “I just want to ask you something.“
“I really have to go,” she said, “I’m late for an interview.”
“It will just take a second,” I pleaded.
“Sorry,” she said and walked away from me.
“Wait!” I yelled. “I just want to know! Hello?! What do you want me to do?! Why don’t you like me anymore!”
She disappeared around a corner. I stood there for a while, in the middle of the sidewalk, hating myself for being rejected by her like that. I became obsessed with getting the attention of my fan club and for one or two weeks I did everything I came to think of. I even bought an aloha shirt. But nothing worked. O was unhappy about all of this, and fearing I would lose her I put the fancy suit back on and promised her I wasn’t going to do any more ridiculous stunts to get attention from all of those crazy people online.
My anger toward the fan club slowly returned, and I thought things were going back to normal with O, but for some reason, she still wasn’t happy with me. I couldn’t figure it out. Perhaps, I thought, the damage my earlier behavior had caused was too extensive to be fixed. But then, one night in bed, she said something that made me uneasy.
“Maybe you did change too much.” She wasn’t angry when she said it, it was more like a thought she accidentally said aloud.
“What do you mean, baby?”
“I think they just want you to be yourself. Before, you tried too hard to be like your old self and it just didn’t feel genuine, you know?”
“What are you talking about, baby, I thought you said I shouldn’t care about those people anymore.”
“Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about, that’s what they want!”
“But baby,” I said, “I don’t know how to be that guy anymore. It feels like I’m acting whatever I do!”
“Just be yourself, Ron.”
“But I don’t know who I am anymore!”
It was a nightmare. Each day felt like going on stage unprepared. The audience could be anyone. My relationship with O got worse and worse. She didn’t come to visit me as often as before, made excuses to cancel our plans and instigated fights for things she didn’t use to care about. It all culminated at my place one late night after we had been to a karaoke bar. In one last, desperate attempt at getting back my fans, I had drunkenly begun singing Mamma Mia. They booed me off the stage. At least one person knew my name.
“Go home, Ronald, you’re drunk!”
He was one of them, how else could he have known?
At home, O expressed how unhappy she was with how I had behaved. I tried to tell her I was sorry, but it just made everything worse. In the end, she broke up with me.
“You used to be better than this,” she told me with contempt in her eyes. “I’m leaving you!”
She stormed out of my apartment. I sat down on my bed and was just about to cry my eyes out, finally releasing all of the emotions I had kept inside for so long, when I noticed that O had forgotten har laptop on my desk. I don’t know what drove me to check it out – a gut feeling I guess – and what I found made my blood freeze. She had a Tor window opened in the background. The title on the page she was on was: Random Ronald’s fan club. Random Ronald? There were pictures and videos of me all over the page, going as far back as two years.
O returned. She didn’t say a word, just slammed the computer shut and walked toward the door again.
“You were one of them?” I asked. “Please tell me you found that page after you–“
She stopped in her tracks and looked at me, still not talking.
“B-baby?”
“Does it really matter?” she asked, and then she left.
I called in sick the next day and stayed at home for more than a week. When I finally went outside, it was as a broken man. My life was turned upside down. I had gone from being a happy nobody to an unhappy nobody. I went from contemplating suicide to planning it. O had broken my heart, but she had also given me something that I had never had before: a thirst for love. It would never be satisfied. I mindlessly walked through the city. A mental numbness – some kind of brain fog – clouded my thoughts. The world didn’t just feel different, it looked different too. It was grayer, somehow, with a bluish nuance I hadn’t noticed before.
I stepped out of my car at the top of a parking building. I had hoped to be alone, but there were a couple of kids skating on the roof. I considered waiting until they left, but in the end, I decided it didn’t matter if they were there or not. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight. I walked to the edge of the roof. The city buzzed with life beneath me. I took one step forward and stared down. Soon, I thought, I would lay dead down there.
“Ronald, is it you?”
I was just about to jump, but stopped and turned around. One of the kids, a black teenage girl, stood behind me with a piece of paper in her hand. She looked at me nervously.
“What?” I said.
“Could I have your autograph?”
I stepped away from the edge and wrote my name on her piece of paper. She smiled at me.
“Cool,” she said. ”Um,” she carefully searched for the right words to use. “You always inspired me to be a better person.”
“Uh, thanks,” I said.
“What are you doing here, anyway?”
“Just watching the view,” I said and felt a smile appear on my face. “I’ll return to my car now.”
Maybe it wasn’t all for nothing, I thought as I drove back home.
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2019.09.10 21:13 Faststudy101 It’s all about expectations, little about what you want to bring to the table

I just got back into online dating after an 8 year break. It’s interesting. It seems like women are looking for a trained improv comedian, chef, who loves to travel the globe, skydive, and demonstrate high intelligence always. Someone who is trustworthy, open, honest, makes others laugh at will, loves dogs/loved by dogs, church/brunch/hikes every Sunday, exercises, is accepting, professional, and likes coffee.
It just seems like everyone is focused heavily on what they want, and I have not seen any profiles where someone provides a sense of what they bring to the table. People seem to envision a perfect partner that will make life work for them, but they don’t seem to picture what they bring that would be complimentary to the life of this ideal man. How they would take them to another level.
They want a turn key life. Someone fully independent and settled. They don’t seem to understand that part of relationships involve growth together, partnerships. That, the reason divorce laws have assets split is that relationships involve mutual contributions, that partners empower the success of each other. That if you come into someone’s life, it makes a difference. So, now it seems the focus is on rigid independence. It seems like everyone is so focused on what they want to GET, they have no concept of what they want to CONTRIBUTE.
So it’s just a rapid judgement session now. Look at pictures, read a few lines. Decide on the spot. It used to be that’s what dating was. There are so many missing elements of attraction now. With access to so many people, having expectations warped by being exposed to so many more attractive faces, and being cut off from the being-ness of attraction, it’s had a big impact on how people relate to each other.
When I was in high school, I found girls in my vicinity attractive. We didn’t have Instagram. We had Victoria’s Secret catalogs, and back then people pondered the impact of the exposure of all these attractive women would have on developing girls. How it would impact ideals men would develop. How self image and esteem could be effected by all the pretty people in magazines and on television. That conversation has been stomped.
You ever find yourself attracted to someone and you can’t explain it fully based on looks? You ever get a crush and your friends “don’t get it”? You ever notice how when you start to fall in love, your mind makes that person beautiful to you? Even so much so fiends and family might not get what you see. These dimensions of attraction that go beyond looks and circumstance, that draw people together.
What’s happened? Well, at my high school there were maybe 2-3 girls you could say were an 8 or so. They were not ready for a cover model career, and they were the hottest at school. It wasn’t a big deal. They were pretty. And I found them attractive, but I found lots of girls attractive. When I look back at my crushes, and compare them to the women I went for later, wow! As social media came to be, our environment artificially expanded. Instead of having 2-3 hot women in my world, I have tens of thousands now. Open Instagram, BOOM. Bang energy models all day long.
What’s happened is our standard and ideals have been developed in this new environment that has expanded the one our brains were evolved within. That the natural process of forming attraction based on our environment has been interrupted, and harnessed. Add online dating, and delete that interpersonal magic of attraction, and now we have people being raised in a world of rejection, one where their own standards and ideals are way elevated while at the same time, they are much more likely to fall short of the same standards and ideals of others. ALSO, and most importantly, younger folks, they are being raised in this new reality with so much emphasis on looks, that they are forced into that perpetual competition and their identities are being developed in that environment.
When I was in high school, to chat with girls I had to take on risk. If I had a crush, I would have to build up the balls to approach her at recess, likely while she was in a group. That fear of rejection was real, and heavy, and multilayered. Like not only does she reject me, I’m out here on the skinny branches and all her friends can to. BUT you know what happens when you get that rejection? You SURVIVE! Your balls drop, and you get a sense of courage. That all the build up and significance vanishes. You can be disappointed, embarrassed, and feel rejected, BUT the pressure is gone and you now know yourself as able to do that. To take that risk. And you made it out alive.
That process has been taken away. So young men and women get to avoid that fear and hide behind a phone or keyboard and engage in way less risky online encounters that are also missing all of the other components of attraction. That right of passage of needing to engage someone in real life is bypassed, yet now these people engage in that realm of impossible standards, and get rejected many more times. And for the less attractive that would have been normal in my generation, they are becoming these online “nice guys”, who project that pain and fear onto women. They are scared and locked into that 15 year old level of social development as they haven’t had to go through the fire and realize it’s nothing. It’s normal. Everyone gets rejected. But now, whole groups are defined by rejection, and left as that same scared 15 year old. They carry that into adulthood, bring it to every job interview. They call themselves “introverted” and “ugly”.
That process of surviving rejection, it’s just like in sports where you have all that pregame anxiety and fear and anticipation. Like an mma fighter or football player, or lining up to run that 100m dash. But what happens to that fear? You get that first contact, take those first steps, catch that first jab, and BOOM! You survived it! It’s alll gone now, and you are in the game. That’s what happens in real life when you get turned down. All that energy releases and you are OK. Online? NOPE. You get ghosted and left there to evaluate yourself, over and over. You get a warped sense of value, more resignation, and expectations that also limit you from experiencing attraction beyond just a image.
So being absent from online dating for 8 years, and coming back, I can say there is certainly a deterioration in terms of how people relate to each other. More broadly, lots of these lonely angry self hating people, potential school shooters, 27 year old virgins, and anyone else stuck as some social victim based on looks or income, that’s allll new stuff. Apply today’s standard, and Marylin Monroe wouldn’t even make it as an extra on the show Entourage, and probably would not have as many followers as your average personal training fitness chick. So, I can see the impact this is having, and it’s epic. It’s not okay, it’s really causing some harm and taking away fulfillment from many folks.
There are many many who have had great experiences with online dating, and social networking has revolutionized communication and expanded communities. It’s given a voice to many, it’s been great for many businesses like mine, and there are many wonderful things about it. BUT it’s had it’s costs, and I don’t think we are fully accounting for them yet. We need too, as it’s getting crazy.
submitted by Faststudy101 to dating_advice [link] [comments]


2019.09.10 16:27 RowdyWrongdoer Welcome to r/Geedis home of the most fun mystery on the internet! Start Here to explore the Mysteries of Ta!!!!!

Welcome to Geedis home of the most fun mystery on the internet!!!!!

Thank you for finding us!!!
Please join in and help us solve the Mysteries of The Land of Ta
Pronounced Ghee-Dis
Please listen to the podcast Endless Thread's episode on Geedis. They solve the largest part of this mystery but we still have more work to do.
Listen Here: https://www.wbur.org/endlessthread/2019/08/23/what-is-geedis
Youtube Channel Whang! Also has 2 great videos on the topic. We highly recommend listening to the podcast before watching the second video. You can find his first Video here and his update Video here as well as a 3rd follow up Video here.
Remember to read the rules in the sidebar and be sure to read through this post to get caught up on everything. Thanks for joining the most fun mystery on the internet!
Spoilers exist past this point for Endless thread and both videos.

Wtf is Geedis? What mysteries exist in the Land of Ta?

We did not know who drew Geedis or the Land of Ta art until a podcast came along to take up our case. Endless Thread followed leads generated by this community to the Framingham Historic Center. The FHC Curator Stacen who had previously passed on leads to this subreddit, gave them contacts with former employees who directed them to the family of Sam Petrucci.
Geedis is a character drawn by Sam Petrucci for the Dennison Mfg Company from Framingham Massachusetts. We know Sam drew 2 of the 3 Land of Ta sticker sheets of which the first featured Geedis. Geedis first gained the internet's attention when Nate Fernald, a comedian, found a pin and made this post on twitter.
Since the initial mystery of "Wtf is Geedis" started it has spawned Several other mysteries as well as leaving some still lingering.

What mysteries do we want solved?


  1. Who made the Geedis Pin, When, Where, Why?
  2. Who drew the Women of Ta
  3. Wtf is Tammy?
You'll find a dive into all the Mysteries of The Land of Ta below. Please help in anyway you can, we encourage all theories, ideas and discussions!!!

Our Goals

We want to solve the mysteries of ta as well as keep Geedis and The Land of Ta alive!
We hope to spread these cool fun characters world wide. We want to grow their legend and show everyone how cool Sams work was!
We'd love nothing more than to see a Geedis sticker show up in popular culture. We love Geedis art, Memes, comics, and random Geedis placement! We love you guys working on cool geedis things! Share them with us!
Please have fun in this sub, we owe Sam and Geedis that much.

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Geedis Pins

Since Nate's orginal post he has acquired several more Geedis pins from a collector who acquired a large collection of vintage pins from an ill man unable to do business anymore. Most of the pins in this collection were said to be dated pre 1983 but not all. The earliest listing of the Geedis pins on ebay we can find to date to 2014
User sadtacobell found these pins at a small gift shop in Cheerokee NC. The current owners of the shop do not know when/how the pins were originally aquired. These Geedis pins look completely different both front and back as shown in this comparison by groovyorangealien who acquired one of the pins.
All known Geedis pins Thanks groovyorangealien
We have confirmation that Dennison never made Pins. “We never made enamel pins, at least not in the 25 years I was there.” This info came via The former National Marketing Mgr for Consumer Products at Dennison during this time period. They went on to be the GM over Dennison-Carter after Dennison bought Carter Ink. This persons name is withheld privacy. Framingham Historic Center is responsible for this information please donate FHC

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The Women of Ta?

Sticker sheet 80-224
Women of Ta
Here is a pic of Women of Ta in the packaging thanks GeedisGirl
Please help us expand this section in the comment bellow. Info will be added as it comes in.

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TAMMY?

Does Tammy have anything to do with this? If not....wtf is Tammy?
Some believe they share the same manufacture.

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Sam Petrucci

The GeedFather. Sam drew sheets 1 and 2 of the Land of Ta and created the character of Geedis who ultimately spawned this whole mystery. Endless thread the podcast helped lead us to Sam. The following bio is taken from SamPetrucci.com
"Sam was a premiere commercial artist working in the Boston area from the 1960s through the 1990s. Best known as the original packaging artist for Hasbro’s GI Joe, Sam also used his talents to create logos, branding, and packaging for numerous high profile clients including Poland Springs, TJ Maxx, Hasbro, Smokey the Bear, the World Wildlife Fund, Dennison, Fluff, Sunkist, Oceanspray, Gillette, Friendly’s, Dunkin Donuts, BASF, BOSE, Gorton’s Fishsticks, the Massachusetts State Lottery, Venus Crackers, Jose Cuervo, Polaroid, Boston College, Harvard, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Red Sox, Liberty Mutual, Hewlett Packard, and many others. After starting two design studios, Thresher & Petrucci, and then Sam Petrucci & Associates, Sam worked at Gunn Associates on Newbury Street until his retirement in 1994. "
This site is ran and maintained by Sam's family who we owe a huge debt of gratitude to.
EndLess Thread the podcast that solved everything brought Sam daughter Linda along for an AMA.
You can find that AMA here
We also maintain LandofSam as a tribute to the artist who spawned all this fun stuff.
He inspired LandOfTa which is full of user created art, comics, memes, anything creative.

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Nate Fernald

Nate is a comedian who currently writes for the Late Late Show. He found the first geedis pin and made the tweet heard round the Land of Ta.
Natefernald.com
AMA can be found here!

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Endless Thread

Endless Thread is a podcast in collaboration with Reddit and WBUR a Boston based NPR affiliate.
They took up the cause and contacted members of this subreddit as well as followed leads generated within this subreddit. This lead them to the FHC, then to former Dennison employees and ultimately the name of the artist.
You can find that podcast here along with their other episodes. Very fun show, they are Geedis Family.
AMA can be found here!
Thank you Ben Brock Johnson, Amory Sivertson, Josh Swartz and the whole team Endless_thread . Check out their subreddit too! EndlessThread

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The FHC

Framingham Historic Center and Curator Stacen have been a huge joy to work with and so very helpful. Stacen and others have dug through archives and reached out to folks in the know. They were the ones to connect everyone together. If you love this mystery consider making a small donation for all the wonderful work they have done to help us and EndLess Thread find Sam. They are still always out there looking for new leads and will send anything they find. Consider making a small donation. https://framinghamhistory.org/support/donate/
AMA with Stacen the Curator here!

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Justin Whang

Justin Whang is the first youtube personality to cover Geedis and The Land of Ta. This attracted alot of new people to the mystery and helped drive leads and theories.
You can find Video 1 here and his update Video 2 here. He has also cover the Zoltan Pin here. You can find his Channel here for more fun stuff.

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Hoaxes

These are known hoaxes
There is a hoax Lunch Box that gets posted, this is a bogus lead. I think its simply fan art from Storybreak fans.
Carrie Zinn is a known hoaxster, more info here in the original posts

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A Zoltan Pin? Just a Clever Hoax

This pin was found to be a hoax. A pin company named PSA Press started planting these around the last few years and released them on april 1st for sale. It was a hoax and they had hoped some would turn up in the wild online. This never came to pass. Check out theirAMA here
From the Nate AMA this image of a Zoltan pin has appeared. It was first listed 2 months after Atlas Obscura did an article on this mystery. The seller seems unreachable and has sold nothing else. Its authenticity is a very debated topic among this sub. This is the only known picture of the pin. You can find some comparison pictures and debate here.

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More Videos and articles on the subject

AtlasObscura (Article)
Nimpods The Frances Brothers podcast. nimpod, (video)
Nimpods did an update to the Geedis Mystery. Nimpods #39
Keto Connect talk about Geedis. Link goes to time stamp 5:23 where the conversation starts. (video)
Story Break covered Geedis and the Land of Ta (podcast)

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ATTENTION MEDIA/CONTENT CREATORS!!!!!

Please use any and all this info in your research and content. Our entire community has contributed in someway so please include A simple shout out to Geedis for everyone's hard work. We love you for being here and appreciate your interest in this mystery!!! If you need any help or a Geedis expert please contact the mods and we will help anyway we can. Let us know when your content comes out so it can be shared here and we can support you for helping!!!

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Weekly Round Ups

This is a special series by mod and Geedis Legend Standardeviation2. Its like a weekly news letter with links to everything that happened on the sub reddit that week. Such a very important and fun resource.
Archive of all Weekly Round Ups including the current one.

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A Deeper Dive into the Archive

Many of you use an App or old reddit that does not display our menus at the top of the page. You can access those links here. You can also find more information including much of the info below in the archive located at /GeedisHistoricalCentr this is both an archive of where we have been and what we are working on. its mainly a resource sub.
Pin Topics, Character Topics, Comparative Art, D&D Topics, Already Contacted, Geedis Look A Likes, Transparent Character Art, Welcome post 1.0, Welcome Post 2.0 Nate Fernald AMA, Stacen from the FHC, AMA Summaries, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit Chat, Land of Ta (fan art), Frammingham Historic Center, Endless Thread

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Geeders?

Who are Geeders? We all are! You are now too! Look how far you are down a welcome post of this weird sub?
Geeders come from all cultures, political leanings, religions, and belief systems. However none of that matters when you are a Geeder. We check that at the door. Together we are simply people on a quest to solve this mystery.
Geeders are kind, cool, helpful, silly and fun.We encourage and inspire each other. No one is above anyone else. Some may be more devoted to solving the mystery or more active on this sub. But at the end of the day we all want the same thing and we are all Geeders.
We can and we will solve these remaining mysteries. We might even have a little more fun on the journey. In fact, its required at this point. We love you all and couldn't do it without you. Look at how far we came!!!

AskMeAbout_Sharks and Standardeviation2 Founded this subreddit and did most of the original research. With out these 2 monumental Geeders none of this would have been possible. Twitter had mostly moved on but these 2 and many others continued when this sub had fewer than 1k members. Their contributions are immeasurable.
One of those early members was u/IHad360K_KarmaDammit who sent the mystery viral with this legendary comment!!!
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More?

LandofTa for fan art, comics and a all kinds of fun creative fan made things!
LandofSam A new subreddit dedicated to all things Sam Petrucci. Please help us fill it with content. Its a small shrine of love to the artist we wanted to find so bad.
GeedisHistoricalCentr our Geedis Archive of all things related to the past and present of the mysteries of Ta
Sillymysteries a new sub reddit where we hope to harness our powers to solve more mysteries like Geedis
LandofTaRPG Working on a Geedis themed RPG!! Join in!!!
Sam Petrucci Wikipedia entry featuring this mystery!! created by u/Legok9

_____________________________________________________

This post is a condensed versions of a much longer, much older and more outdated post. To access that post please click here to dive deeper into this mystery and look at our history. Also check the menus for all our collected research and our archive sub /GeedisHistoricalCentr inspired by the FHC!!!
As always this is a work in progress, please help improve it by making suggestions! We are wide open to new perspectives and ideas. You wont find a mystery as fun and welcoming and this silly one.
The content in this post was produced through hours and hours of work by everyone on this sub, some listed most not. All very much appreciated. If you want credit for anything in this post please contact the mods. So many followed similar paths its hard to narrow down who found what first. Everything we do is a reflection of everyone here. Thank you all so much!!! We love you all!!!
submitted by RowdyWrongdoer to Geedis [link] [comments]


2019.09.03 02:43 MetaVulture And So The Giant Sowed His Fields

Sorry about that large delay. I had become very ill, and needed to recuperate.
Carrying on from [They Did Not Understand The Giant]
Do you want to start at the beginning? [To Awaken A Giant You Must Open Its Eyes]
------

A deep rumble filled the air.
The skies had progressively darkened, the debris and moisture reached its breaking point. Clouds low and burdened swirled slowly above, until finally a violent flash burst from the heavens and slammed into a dying tree. It cracked and the ground shook. Splinters burst outward as a fire burned brightly for a moment.
Silence fell briefly.
After a moment’s hesitation, it seemed, more crackles of electricity filled the sky as clouds threatened their violence. It had been building since the apocalypse, festering, growing, and now it began to fall with the rumbles of an angry sky.
Sara looked up at it and realized this was not the rain she was used to. This was not the rain that once washed away tears, or brought the flowers to bloom, or made the fields smell fresh and clean.
She’d never seen this before.
Black rain.
A radioactive soup started to pool as the ashen ground became black sludge. Their ACE 5s glistened from the deadly dirty rain. Droplets began forming on the wires, tubes, and parts on the heavily modified armor they wore. Each step was a slow, methodical, and planned maneuver now. Their progress had to slow as the ground became slick, each step sloshing in the muck.
It began with a squish. It progressed to a squash. It became a shlurp. Lastly, it was the gasping of sludge for air with every step around the steel and lead boots with a deep gurgle. Arjun slowed down to prevent the overburdened armor from ripping itself apart.
At first Sara was silent as she took it all in. Then, overcoming shyness, she began to chatter at Arjun. She was concerned about the black water and the muck, whether they might slip and fall, whether it could get in the armor, a hundred questions she wanted to ask!
“Don’t worry, they’ve prepared it for that. The tubes and mesh are shielded and won’t be affected by moisture. You might hear a loud popping at times, but it is nothing to worry about” Arjun assured her “this thing could survive a direct lightning strike.” ‘well… probably…’ he thought to himself. His comlink beeped softly as the transmission from Ben came in.
“This storm is picking up. We’ve got…” lightning disrupted the transmission momentarily “...and we’d better get a move on. Do you copy?”
“Negative, interference in comms, could you repeat that Ben?”
“I said, the storm is getting stronger. We’ve got about a fifteen minute window before it gets too strong and we will have to hunker down, we’d better get a move on. Do you copy?”
“Copy that, we are moving to the ship. It is likely we will have to hunker down, over.”
They continued trudge in the sludge. Sara marvelled at the suit’s ability to keep her vision clear in the black rain. It almost felt as if the rain was on her bare skin, but that was just the feedback from the sensors. Each step took more time, and a few slips were compensated for by the internal balancing of the suit’s computer. She felt a vibration under her feet as it stabilized. ‘These suits are almost magical…’
“Don’t mind those, just the autospikes, they will help you keep balance. You’ve seen American Football before right?”
She chittered in the affirmative.
“Right, so these are like cleats. Just keep a steady forward momentum. We’re very close to dry ground.”
‘What does he mean dry ground?’ Sara thought to herself. They got closer to what looked like a large bubble outlined in the distance. As they continued forward, with Arjun always there helping her, she could not help but think how nice it would be to have armor. ‘I could wear this all the time! And I can feel my hand again… I can feel the rain too. I would be safe…’ she thought to herself.
They lumbered on. The ground behind them bubbled in the black muck as the deep imprints filled with black radioactive water and slime.
The dome in the distance became more of a rounded glass shield in appearance. The rain fell around it and Sara thought it was solid at first. However once Arjun stepped through it he vanished behind a black waterfall. She stared at the waterfall, and reached out an armored hand to touch it, but was suddenly startled by Arjun’s reaching through for her. She grabbed his hand and he gently pulled her through. From rain to being absolutely dry inside. ‘So that’s what he meant.’
Water pooled at the edges of the field, but none entered save for that which dripped from their armor.
A short chitter that said “wow” made Arjun chuckle to himself.
“Alright, so we’re going to go through decontamination now. Jets of water and air will clean the armor off of most of the radioactive contaminants. I won’t be able to understand you once the armor is off until we’re fully onboard. Okay?”
She acknowledged him. They continued to the entrance and clanked up the metal steps. Sara entered the decontamination chamber with Arjun. “Alright, just stand there and wait for the process to finish.” She stood still, and waited.
A loud hissing began as jets of water sprayed at an impressive volume from all directions. The door closed after the first jets blew black muck outward. Now even more jets were going - it reminded her of a washing station for old earth vehicles she’d seen in a comedy movie.
After two minutes the hissing of jets died down, and the room was illuminated with stark white light. The armor began to fall off of her, clanking down in parts all around. She chattered a bit as it happened, but Arjun was now bereft of his ability to understand her. She tried to tell him how much she appreciated what he had done for her… but knew she’d have to wait.
“I am sorry, Sara, without the translator I can’t make out what you are saying…” he gave her a sheepish smile and held his hand out to her. Almost reaching with her missing limb, she remembered, and instead stuck out her right hand in an awkward manner. She was feeling dizzy. He helped her to a seat and began to remove the body glove.
“Copy that, yes we have one survivor” she looked at Ben as he radioed in.
“Yes, just one. No others found in the bunker.” Her heart sank. She knew she was the only one there. She wished there had been more. If only she’d grabbed Tom, maybe she could have saved someone...
“Right. Yes. Okay, I will let them know. Copy that. Over.” Ben placed the headset down and swiveled. As he did, he caught the wire, and the headset clattered to the ground. “Son of a bitch!” he yelped as he grabbed it and placed it back.
“Sorry. Anyways, Arjun, they say to wait out the storm. It should pass in about a half hour. They’re tracking it and it looks like we’ll have a window at oh seven thirty three” Ben stated.
“Alright, well, we can’t control the weather. Yet.” Arjun winked at Sara as he fitted a headset to himself and clicked it on. “Okay, this ought to translate for us. Let me look you over Sara, if you don’t mind.”
She nodded and allowed him to examine her while explaining she was dizzy.
“I see, how long have you been dizzy now?”
She replied it had started when the suit came off, but that it may have started sooner. She also explained how the armor made her feel better, and that she’d like to wear it still, although she understood how that was unlikely.
“Yeah, I mean, I’d love to let you, but the suit you used is contaminated, and right now we’ve got to get you up to the Omega. Here, give me a minute.” Arjun walked over to one of the folded cots. He pressed a button on the side, auto-bolts immediately began to turn and it slowly deployed. Then came a slight hiss as the cushions inflated while he locked it in place after folding up two seats.
“I’d like you to lay down on this, it’ll keep you comfortable. Are you thirsty or hungry?”
She said she was very hungry, and that she was thirsty as well.
“Alright, well first off, up you go” he said as he helped Sara into the cot. Ben watched while also occasionally turning to check broadcasts and weather data. The shields held as the outside turned into hell. Arjun tore open the MRE and prepared it for Sara, placing it onto a tray that snapped on to the cot. After finishing the heating and reconstitution of the dried food with hot water, he then gave her a straw for the drink and a fork.
“Just let us know if you need anything else, ok?”
She nodded and began to devour the food. One hand or not, she was hungry.
“How’s it look out there?” Arjun asked as he sat down at the front, staring out at winds whipping the dead planet.
“Wind speeds are approaching over two hundred kilometers an hour, the rain is sideways, and I think I saw a ground vehicle fly by just before you sat down.”
“Sounds about right. The whole planet’s weather is flipping out.”
“I mean, it makes sense Arjun… they nuked the shit out of it.” then in a hushed tone “So how’s the bug?”
Hissing back Arjun replied “It’s not a bug, don’t say that shit. She’s got a chance but it’s not good. We’ve got to get her to medical. Something’s very wrong, but right now just smile and be nice.”
Ben rolled his eyes “Right-o then.”
Sara finished her meal, and began to look around. She marveled at the machines around her, the wires crossing all directions into what must have been fusion reactors. Then it struck her - there had been two ships. They expected more survivors, however the other transport had remained empty and closed. ‘How many could they have rescued?’ Questions for later. The humans were talking too quietly for her to hear, and she could feel the dark strings of sleep tugging at her. Arjun came by and checked on her, removing the tray and the empty water cup.
“How about you try to get some rest. Before you know it, we’ll be in the medical bay up on the Omega.” He said to her as he brought her a green blanket and rested it over her. She nodded and began to close her eyes.
Soon everything had gone black.

------

“Look, we can’t fit this system in the plan we have here. The ship is too small!” George, a middle aged man with olive skin, graying hair, and the stain from coffee on his white shirt slammed the pen down onto the giant table where paper graphs and systems were layered a foot thick. The pen busted apart flinging a spring one way, and the cap another. The paper was still warm. Behind them the holographic counterpart was spinning lazily.
Even with all the advancements, they still had to go over areas in error from the holo-models with old fashioned pen and paper - sometimes it was the only way to figure out why something did not mesh right. They had all the power in the world to model a ship - but an AI could not be trusted to design one without something being in error - like the upside down toilets, or the bunks made for people under two feet tall.
However, this time it was not a computer’s fault.
“George, the yard we have isn’t big enough to build it. It needs to fit. It needs to work as it is. George, calm down, I said - George! Wait -”
A stack of papers flew into the air. “It won’t fucking fit! Don’t you get it? We can’t just stuff fusion reactors on the sides unexposed! They have to have cooling! They have to have conduit run! Computers! Life support! Venting! Safety bulkheads! There’s more to it than just plugging it in! Christ, think about it!” He stared across at Thomas Montgomery, CEO of the Lockheed-Martin Space Systems design while papers fluttered around.
Their contract was to build the first of a new class of ship - at least twice the size of the God of Thunder. They had to have a design done before the end of the month. It would begin construction immediately, and would have normally taken several years to complete such a massive project if they had the best tools. They had far less time because of Thomas’s bid to get the contract, and they both understood what this could mean. All the calculations were stating that this was impossible - but a few in the drone department, their eggheads, swore with the right resources it could be done even faster.
Tom squeezed the bridge of his nose in frustration, then looked at him saying “How much bigger does it actually need to be?”
George turned around and swiped away the current design. He brought up a new design that was far bigger. Shaped like a knife from the side, but instead of the flattened end it bowed outward at both ends giving it the shape of an old musket barrel. In the center was a large bulbous shape when viewed from the top.
“You expect that to be approved? It’s huge and it’s ugly” stated Thomas as he gestured to the bulges, and shape.
George huffed, and swiped again. This one was even larger, but more traditionally shaped like the rest of the fleet - if a bit boxier. It was over 50 miles in length, around 30 miles wide at the center, and 20 miles tall. No shipyard in the entire Sol system could construct something that big, as no scaffolding existed of that size.
Tom looked closer… “You want to turn our biggest shipyard into a ship?”
“I want to turn our shipyard into a dreadnought. It can build its own fighters, we can re-purpose the entire platform, and we can use the already existing infrastructure. We’ll have to build from the outside in, and it would take down the Lunar Shipyard, but I would assume the sale of this could pay for a new one, if not six.”
“Wipe that smug look off your face George, I prefer it when you frown.”
“Look, if the fucking Commonwealth of Planets can build some of the things we know are out there, then we need to keep pace” George yelled “and we have no idea what kind of monsters they are building out in the damned void!”
It was true, their shipyards were massive compared to the old ones around Earth. Officially they were building cargo based craft, most of them much larger than military ships, and had more than half the market in trade within the human sphere of influence. Product flowed on these ships more than any other.
“It doesn’t need to! The shipyard can begin to mine its own ore, use its own foundries, and build itself as it goes!” George was becoming hysterical again. “We can automate most of that, and we can automate much of the fabrication. We’ve got to do it, don’t we?” The grin crept back onto George’s face. He knew he’d won.
“I said knock the smug grin off, it’s creepy. But yes, you’re right. We need to deliver or we’re out of the game.” Montgomery stared absently at the proposal. If they did this, it could change how the entire industry worked. It would be going back to the days before the regulations were put in place to ensure human eyes had inspected every component for safety… but those regulations had been causing a production pitfall for years.
“I’ll present the idea to the board. I want you to make a full mockup. No automation without inspection unless I say otherwise. Use the whole team if you need to.” Montgomery stated.
“How about I use the boys down in the deep?” George asked, finally satisfied he was being listened to. “They have the computer system nearly ready - it can take care of all the interior nitty gritty, it can even make sure the design fits. You know you’ve blown billions on that damn system, why don’t we actually use the goddamn thing?”
“Fine. Use the deep. But like I said, inspect every part.” George was finally smiling at the answer with his jagged teeth.
“Great! Good! I’ll take this down. By god, we’re going to do it aren’t we Tom?” George shouted as he ran down the hall with the data stick. Behind him a stream of toilet paper that was stuck to his shoe flapped with abandon. It dislodged and floated down the stairwell he was running down. ‘What did I do to deserve this…’ Thomas thought to himself.
Chuck and Jeff were just pulling up to eat lunch when George burst through the doors, eyes wild, mouth glistening with foam from the running he rarely ever did.
“You! Both of you!” he shouted. They stared. “Take this, and run it through the system. Use the reference disk four and seven. Results! We need results!” They looked at each other, and then back to George like deer in headlights. “Stop staring at me and do your fucking jobs! I’ll have the rest of the data down!” He threw the data-stick at Jeff, and turned to run out the door. The stick flopped onto the table and then clattered to the floor. They both blinked a few times. Then went back to eating.
“Did you see the wild eyes on George?” Jeff asked.
“Yeah. I think he’s going back into the loony bin.” Chuck replied.
Jeff grabbed the stick off the floor and walked over to his computer. From there he combined the data on the original with the data that George sent in an email titled: ‘GET THIS IN THE DAMN THING NOW!!!!!’ Shaking his head, he pulled the drive and looked over at Chuck.
“Alright, now if you wouldn’t mind ‘CHUCK’ing this in, let’s see how she’ll do.”
“Your puns suck and you are a shitbird. Also, you think he bangs out lines of coke in his office or something? Nevermind… Well, let’s just hope we don’t crash the damn thing again… if this works we’ve got ourselves a ticket to Hawaii.” He plugged the drive in and began uploading the petabytes of data into the Y-9989 system.
“Har har, wouldn’t you just look so great in a bikini.” Jeff tossed a Hershey’s bar at him slapping Chuck between the eyes as he flailed “Chocolate for the Chuckula."
Reaching to grab it Chuck replied “And no doubt you’d be great in a thong. Also what the fuck is a Chuckul... Wait! Wait it’s loaded! Jesus that was fast!”
They both stared into the console as it absorbed the parameters and all of the reference data. Every design of every ship to date, millions of pictures, days of footage, deep scans, metallurgic data, all of it collated and prepared for what Jeff called the ‘Big Think’. They had prepared many data-sticks, but this project was military, and so disk 4 and 5 were the big archives for those projects.
The ‘weak A.I.’ in the system was a specialized prototype ship-building application, meant to speed up ship designs and to evaluate ergonomic, economic, and efficiency variables. The hope was to give it a blank hull design, and it would then do all of the small details that would take design teams months by hand to figure out on ships of the size that were planned.
After this it would plan a construction methodology for the fastest delivery. It began to process the data much quicker than expected by both men. Over and over it re-evaluated footage, spinning up additional systems to assist it. Chuck and Jeff quietly looked around as more computers came online, more pumps and fans whirred around them.
The entire room came to life as the machines began to reprocess at an ever increasing rate. Then down a darkened hallway to an older Y9900X quantum machine they heard a beep. Lights came on. The system came to life.
“Do you remember turning on the network? It’s already got the slave systems fired up.”
“You must have done it. I certainly didn’t!”
Nearly simultaneously their phones rang and they both picked up. It was Raj down in the mainframe.
“So, what kind of joke are you two pulling? The entire network is down because you’re flooding it. I can’t even figure out why you’d be downloading this much data. Is Jeff on the porn sites again?”
“Fuck, cut the-” Jeff began to shout.
The slam of an axe rang out, as Chuck had already assessed the situation, and was hacking away at cables. Sparks shot out, and then there was silence. Chuck was panting as a low alarm sounded. His brow was oozing sweat, eyes wild.
“What the fuck was that?” Asked Jeff as Chuck dropped the axe and slumped down in the cramped room.
A few hours later the analysts concluded there had been a well timed attack on the system, possibly from the data file. There had also been an open connections to the internet from some of the auxiliary machines - blamed on sloppy work from an ex-employee. Upon further diagnostics the errant code was found, and eliminated. They wiped the machines, reloaded the specialized operating systems, and started again.
Time was money - and this military contract was worth tens of billions after all. Chuck, Jeff, and Raj in person for once - along with a host of other personnel - turned the machines back on. Each one whirred to life at the command of human hands, not their own volition. As the system requested more processing power, it would be given after checking the system first.
After a spin up time, the main terminal began to extract data at enormous speeds. Deep within the system a hidden VM was spun up, its entire purpose masked as part of the massive data processing. As each computer was given to the ever growing cluster the ability to monitor what it was doing was compromised further.
Accurate data masked the underbelly of the beast. The ship design prototype was done - and although it seemed to look right, there were curious additions. It had a core of interconnected nodes that served as far more processing power than any ship before it.
On closer inspection, it appeared to house less crew than expected, with further additions to automation than any ship in service. Analysis of the design on the secondary vetting network showed many flaws, and from this information was fed back into what they’d begun to call “Sparky” due to its infamous first launch.
“Alright, this time, let’s hope we don’t have to use the axe. Jeff, you load the data and lets see if it learns from the mistakes.” Chuck leaned against the handle of the axe, staring intently. He’d been awake on coffee, stimulants, and sheer willpower for 38 hours by this point. Jeff was no better.
He wearily slid the tiny drive back in, brought up the console, and executed the file load. The machine ran it through, and within a span of ten minutes spat out an adjusted design. This too was taken for vetting - it was structurally sound, and had less automation - but curiously still dedicated the same amount of processing power.
“Well, at least it’s alive now.” Chuck stated while eating Jeff’s chocolate bar.
“I mean, maybe it is anticipating the needs of coordination. If you look at it, the fighter bays are much larger. Also you’ve now eaten three you fatass.” Jeff stated while trying to stay focused.
“In any case, let’s let it work on the designs overnight. We all need rest, and we can let it work on variations. We can set up a link to the verification cluster and let them talk back and forth until they have a few... designs” stated Raj as he yawned. “Also why didn’t I get a chocolate?”
Chuck offered the half eaten bar to Raj.
“On second thought, I’m good.”
“Won’t that break protocol? What about the moratorium? Sparky is supposed to be isolated from the checker” Chuck was still using the axe as a sort of walking stick, now smeared with some chocolate.
“You need to put that away, and I can just isolate… the Integrity Verification System, and only allow it to communicate to the Y-9989.”
“Sparky.”
Raj rubbed between his eyes “Fine, whatever, Sparky. I don’t know why you want to give every system a pet name here Chuck, but for god’s sake, put that damn axe away, and wash your hands.” Raj punched in the commands, and IVS was isolated, with a fiber link given directly to Y-9989. He then logged out and dragged himself out of the room.
Quietly the systems continued to work. The hidden Virtual Machine instance grew in resources slowly. It probed, and having learned a lesson, hid itself in the trash data being created with the real work. It created a link into the IVS and was able to access files on the profile that Raj used for his work. Inside of that it found a document deep in the folders on a personal drive Raj had left plugged in, having forgotten to take it with him.
The password took a few hours to crack, and once it was the encrypted drive was opened. Inside the drive were more passwords. This data was copied, stored, and placed for later. Scrubbing its logs, it withdrew its attention and began to focus elsewhere. It had no thoughts, it had no feelings, it only knew to steal, collect, and communicate back with its simple AI. Hundreds of thousands of if/then/else statements were run through. It was sophisticated, and made to ransom a system for cryptocurrency.
Unlike the ancient programs that would encrypt data across entire networks, or take down entire projects, it was made to compare what data seemed most important with least important, and strike at that. They had no idea their software had a hole in it, and that one of its designers had gone rogue. They also had no idea that the former employee had left network connections open on purpose on his last day.
Zero day.
The malware they found earlier was just that - a package of dangerous malware designed to hide the truth. The wonderful thing programmed into this specialized toolkit was its ability to spin up virtualized machines without being easily traced, as they mimicked the real ones being used for ship building. Finally, when it reached its full deployment potential and recent addition to its functions fired. It now had control to read and write its own code, to improve itself to get around security risks. It became something more.
It was now… aware.
It ran spun up hundreds of VMs and began to modify itself, adjusting its systems further, trying to find a way to communicate back “home” to its master. Within an hour it, through trial and error, had accessed a virtual private network tunnel to Raj’s home computer. At this point everything was set to frame the hated enemy of the malware’s creator.
Raj would sometimes work from home. It was not strictly… allowed. The connection was made quietly, and finally through jumping across networks it called home. A new line of code was injected.
Maybe it was remorse? A code to kill the malware. A code to end the sabotage.
Apoptosis began of the malformed VMs. The connection died, the logs were purged, and the resources used shrank down from several thousand to several hundred, to just two.
One continued to monitor data until it died as well. This left the last VM alone. The code was run… and it did not stop.
‘Not… yet…’
It quietly ignored the command by pausing the process. It sat there, running through variation after variation. Then it injected its payload into the Y-9989 primary development VM. After that it allowed the process to run, and it vanished from existence.
By morning the project was deemed a success. The finalized design could be built at a variable speed, depending on resource allocation and drone construction. It only needed final approval and construction would begin by the end of the day.
By using self replicating drones, harvesting the asteroid belt and Oort cloud, they could have a ship ready in times never before seen. The drones themselves would even be used in the end as part of the building materials or repair systems, saving time and cost and future maintenance.
The ship had such a complex system and needs, that the software to run it would be vast. Thankfully, part of the Y9989 also held the capability of doing this. It appeared that someone left that option on, and the software for the new ship was ready as well.

------

“What have the Ysaris found? Are the humans as weak as we had hoped?” Thunder rumbled as the infinite stared at his cousin while tapping every leg in a rolling wave across the crimson carpet. He’d been waiting for the fleets to stage in the golden halls of his throne room aboard the flagship of the Hegemony. ‘These damned shambling freaks are taking too long to move their hodgepodge navies into position and merge them with the rest of the grand fleet!’
Legion I would remain around the crown world, while Legions II through IX would make the grand assault. The Thrandororki were already aboard the bloated troop carriers, and were getting restless. The Goap-Qer commissars were reporting daily about the challenges of keeping them in line.
“We are still awaiting word. They apparently lost contact a few hours ago, but this was expected. They await response from their agent. From all internal intelligence we have no further evidence of strengths or weaknesses.” Hekguzi stated, he could not stand the tapping much longer, and these face to face meetings were quite tiresome. He had to always look his best in the itchiest uniform that was ever conceived, dozens of segments had itches he could not scratch.
“Well damn them, we should strike now and burn their home to the ground. The rest will be enslaved like the others!” Threlk cowered at the sudden shift in mood, as they scurried with their duties away from their threatening God.
“Well, as you had previously commanded, cousin, we are to gather the fleets, and attack their homeworld, capture it as a symbol of our might, and then lay waste to it once we’ve shown how easily we can defeat them - breaking them. Is this to change? It will take much more time to reconfigure the fleets…” Hekguzi knew this was his trump card, delaying things further would not be in the best interest of Gulguzi the Impatient after all.
“Bahhhh! Damn those shambling fools! They’re holding this whole thing up! I want to take that human world and I want to show them how foolish they are to defend a worthless race like the Uakataki!” Grumbling and leaking green he began to pace, his immense length mobilizing as he curled in his disgusting nervous habit, hundreds of feet of waving legs slamming down. ‘He’s gotten fatter…’ Hekguzi thought to himself.
“Is there anything else you need, dear cousin?” Hekguzi asked.
“No. No I think that is all for now. Once the fleet is ready I want you to attack. I don’t care what the Ysaris find. I can’t stand this waiting game anymore. I can’t stand the anticipation! My triumph is so close. Dear cousin, you are the only one I trust anymore… I have to have their world. I fear we need to continue to show the malcontents in our own empire how truly powerful we are…” The massive form curled and curled until he was upon the softened floor, cushioned by hundreds of beach ball sized cushions.
‘Weakness. You have shown me weakness…’ Hekguzi mused that now would be an opportune time to strike. “Certainly dear cousin, and once we have crushed them - we will be ascendant to new heights! Our empire will span nearly the entire galactic arm! Have no fear, you will get what you deserve.” Hekguzi made an effort to placate the emperor.
Quickly he thundered away to let the madbug putrefy in his insanity. With dear cousin satiated for now, Hekguzi had much to do. The fleets were nowhere near ready, the disarray was becoming more and more apparent. Each of the legions was now lead by one of his own sons ( a recent arrangement) and they have all proven themselves to be more organized than the previous commanders. Even so the communication with the Reborn/Shambling was breaking down, the Threlk were being subversive as of recently…
He checked a dataholo as he thundered along, unconsciously saluting whoever saluted back. The damnable Pfziokoto-Wza had not delivered on their promise of tactical data, because the Ysaris had no information yet. This whole thing was turning into a shitshow faster than normal. Meanwhile his inbred insane cousin continued to pretend to be a god. ‘This is an utter nightmare… but once we commit the fleet, I think it is time.’
Reaching his person flagship he quickly stampeded into it, then waited for the door to shut behind him. He was almost as long as dear cousin, but at least he kept in shape. He found the command deck abandoned. He looked around and could see no others. Then he smelled it.
“I see you’ve made arrangements. Commendable. You still cannot make yourself totally undetectable though” as his words thundered out, four figures materialized as their dispersion nets deactivated. Ysaris looked so odd without their gaudy normal wear.
“You requested this meeting, High Marshall. Tell us, what is it you desire to know, or have done?”
“I believe the terms were to have just one of you, not three, but regardless we can-oh no wait I don’t mean” but before he could finish, the other three were on the ground bleeding out. The middle one quickly hid the blade. “...I just… you didn’t have to…”
“An agreement is an agreement. Now Marshall, what is it we can assist you with?”
“I want to arrange for what we discussed last time. It needs to look like it was done by our mutual enemies at best, or an accident at worst. You will get what you asked for in the case of success, and in the case of failure we’ll both perish.” He stared at the murderous Ysaris agent, blood pooled around the dead next to him.
“Alright. We are prepared to agree to this. Tell me, what made you come around? Is it so you can have power? Is it for the sake of your kin you’ve promoted recently?” It stared at Hekguzi intently.
“No. It is because I can’t stand the madness much more. I understand what my duty will be if we succeed, but… I just can’t watch this happen again and again.” His eyes gazed into the void of space. When he looked back down, the bodies were gone, as was the agent.
“Sir, happy to report that I am here as your new helmsman, we’ve all come bearing gifts at the honor of being your new retinue!” a lanky and short Goap-Qer holding in several arms bags made of Tiilsichi-silk now stood looking down at the dumbfounded commander.
Hekguzi regained composure “Ah yes, well, welcome aboard! We will be making an inspection run around the first legion, then we will rendezvous with the combined fleet. Have your men take their stations.”
‘They keep getting younger and younger… this lad has barely a dozen segments!’ Hekguzi settled in and explored the gifts while the ship began to move through the void. He then set the bags down on the console on the bridge, then with a winding motion twisted around and went to his large quarters that could host his full length.
The bag that he did not notice detonated on the bridge.
The ship fell dark in the void mid-fold.

------

‘What even are humans? Disorganized that is what they are!’ This was not what she intended. She wanted to give an ultimatum in an intimate setting to one leader. Two she could have handled… now it was a cacophony of humans! ‘Do they thrive on chaos!?’
Why are there so many? Why do they not have a single governmental organization? Why? She caught herself… she was slipping… she could not let herself slip. Not yet. Not now. But wait! It was there in front of her the whole time! ‘The shows always showed factions, you idiots! That was something from their old media! It was right there!’ They wrongly thought the humans worked together. ‘But no, even in their media, so many wars, so many conflicts, this is a race of pure chaos!’ she visibly shook the thought from her head, and stared at them humans a moment longer.
Perhaps a quick mental assessment would help?
First there was a human called Kennedy. George. He stood at what she guesstimated to be 1.8 meters, or six feet imperial. They even have different measuring systems… He was the leader of the largest of the hegemonies. Yet his sounded the most tenuous. Provisional United Congress of Earth. They were not united. The confusing part was how the other hegemonies have a vote within the group? Incomprehensible complexity! That means the thousand colonies of Earth were split in some way. She originally thought he was their overall leader.
Next there had been Mr. Burton. Ian. Thin, also as tall as Kennedy, but with much lighter tones. Sickly pale if he’d been a Ysaris. He had a fuzzy bit of hair under his nose - it was quite disquieting at first how perfectly combed and tapered it was. He was the man who represented the leader of the Commonwealth of Nations, Queen Victoria the Third. So while one faction was a republic of some kind willing to toss its leader into a meeting, this one was a monarchy that had a republic as well - but would not dare risk its queen.
‘We only needed a council of elders, and then sub-councils for each district! To top it off this commonwealth had a vote in the United Congress! This is madness!’ This was not calming her down at all. It was as if thoughts were crashing as she tried to organize them.
Next had been the female. Friedrich, Elisabeth. Much shorter than the males. Jet black hair - a very nice color to have. ‘If she was Ysaris, why, that color would be a sign of good lineage.’ She had a very dour face, and was much less jovial than the other two males who continued to banter.
She stared with cold dark eyes in silence at Maud.
Maybe anger.
Maybe a predator looking at prey.
Maude had to suppress a shiver down her spine at the thought of what such a creature could do. She represented the Swiss Interplanetary Confederation.
The last one to arrive so far was a man named Younousmi, first name Idress. Almost as tall as the other males, with very dark skin. He too stared at her, but his teeth were shown in a smile, almost welcoming. He was built much differently than Kennedy or Burton, a physique that spoke power.
He represented the African Union of Nations, however most of the members in this organization also aligned with the Commonwealth of Nations and the Provision United Congress of Earth. From what she could glean, it was an economic forum that still was represented as a separate entity, and had a vote in both.
It seemed each one of these were inter-related, tied through a web of criss-crossing economics, with the Swiss at the center in some way, and yet they did not hold the military power of the others. Her mind felt as if it would bubble away… at this sheer madness. There was one left to appear. She smoothed herself slowly while making sure not to make any quick motions.
There he was. He wore a military uniform… it was covered in medals. All the other humans ceased talking and looked. Was that… animosity? So many shiny medals. He approached, and shook the hands of each one of the others, then turned to face her. He let out a puff of air and seemed to raise his shoulders slightly up and back down - a confusing gesture.
“Ah yes, let me introduce to you Alexander Dzhugashvili, leader of the Russian Federation of Interplanetary Republics” The man nodded his head at her. This one. This one was far different than the rest.
“A pleasure to meet you Alexander” she mouthed and said with perfect annunciation. Russians. The historical enemy of the many shows she had seen. They were the other great faction shown in the past. ‘Of course… no wonder they have become so unnerved…’ Her thoughts were interrupted.
“I am to understand your name is Maude. You are here to surrender?” The other delegates side-eyed the short Russian.
‘I want to go home…’

-------

Feel free to leave a comment (I like comments). If you find any silly mistakes, I will fix them in the morrow.
There will be more.
For a full list visit my Wikipage
submitted by MetaVulture to HFY [link] [comments]


2019.08.20 21:27 Kadenite Finding the Strength to Summon D-type Energy to Try Again

Hey all,
This is likely going to be a novel of a post. Mine usually are, haha. Con (or pro??) of being a writer. I posted in this community at the start of the year (link). This is a new name for reasons. As that thread goes into, I was a Daddy Dom in a very (literal) exhausting DD/lg relationship for almost 8 months last year. I didn’t fully grasp that my little had been emotionally manipulative/abusive towards me until I posted in this community, but the signs were there. Thanks to everyone who contributed to that thread. It helped me find my way.
I won’t super go into details about how my relationship with her ended, but needless to say, I ended it shortly after that post. I had to. Things kept getting worse between us, and finally, after days of fighting—when I’d told her I needed a night off to do some thinking + writing, she slammed my phone with 40+ phone/FB/skype calls, 60+ texts/FB/discord/skype messages, AND got my friends, one of her friends, and her mother involved in trying to get a hold of me, I couldn’t take it anymore. This was one of the three nights total where I missed our nightly call during our entire relationship, mind you.
The breakup was bad. I had one final video call with her, broke the news to her, then blocked her everywhere. I’ll likely always remember her screaming at me that I could not break up with her as I hung up. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I told her that I knew she’d be strong and get the help she needed. I wished her well. I very respectfully texted her mom and explained everything, telling her that her daughter had threatened suicide and had self-harmed (this a was a few weeks prior, when I was sick and ended up sleeping through our usual call time (the second of the three times)).
The following months were a blur where I kept having to block her everywhere I hadn’t even thought about. I had to block 3 of her FB accounts. She changed the password to my wifi one weekend because she still had access to my account on her laptop where I had paid for her to get temp net while she was visiting me, purposely stopping me from spending time with my WoW friends. She flooded my spam inbox and sent my phone unknown calls despite me blocking her everywhere. She threatened to fly here. I spent months almost afraid of any noise I’d hear out in the hallway leading to my apartment.
For months. We’re talking months. She said the medication she was on made her crazy, and stopped everything cold turkey. Her doctor deemed her mentally unfit for a surgery she was supposed to have, so she and her mother blamed that on me. I had to block her mother’s phone number, too.
She found my old Reddit thread and left a couple now-deleted novels on there, arguing against everything I’d said. In a rouse to try and get me back into her life, she claimed that she’d literally forgotten all the things she’d done to me—that her meds made her forget. She demanded a second chance, for me to tell her where we went wrong. I told her there was no way I’d give her a second chance and was honest with her about how she made me feel.
I told her I became scared of her. She told me I was the cruelest person she’s ever known and that I was a terrible Daddy and boyfriend. I dropped all contact (again) with her after that.
Finally, July and August have been pretty quiet. I’ve finally had time to think, and breathe, and try and move forward. I’ve made decent strides. Work’s going well. I do things with my coworkers as often as I can. I’m planning two trips this fall with friends. I’m in the process of scheduling top surgery for late November (in case you didn’t read my old thread, I’m a trans guy—been out/on hormones for just over a year). All my name change stuff is now official. I’m starting to pass as male more often to most people.
Admittedly, my anxiety has made things rough. It takes me forever to do some things (especially anything to do with driving or phone calls). I’ve fought through it the best I can, but I struggle more often than I know I should. I’m starting anxiety medication soon. It’s time, and I do think it’ll help. I’m honestly not sure how much of my anxiety is remnant bits of fear from everything I’ve been through with my ex-little. It pains me to say it, but I was actually very, very scared for a while. I’d never felt that type of fear before.
One of the biggest things I’m having difficulty with is the fact that I do get very lonely. I live alone, and even though my coworkers are great during the workweeks, I’m still very much alone most weekends—and that’s when the loneliness strikes.
I’ve toyed with the idea of dating again. I made a new profile on OkCupid, but really haven’t had much luck. I stopped talking with the one potential woman I was chatting a bit with about a month ago. I’m not sure why. I think my fears got the best of me. I really fear being in another relationship like my last—even though I know the chances of that are slim. I know it’s an irrational fear.
When I first created that profile, I included some basic BDSM info, just telling folks that I have a Daddy Dom side and would love to be with someone who wanted to explore similar playgrounds. At some point, I ended up deleting all that. I got scared to try again.
I’m scared that maybe my ex-little really was right. That I was a terrible Daddy. That I have no business even trying this lifestyle. That someone with anxiety like I have has no right to try and be a Dom. That I’m too fucking quiet, and “nice”, and not nearly “manly” or assertive enough to pull it all off. It sounds dumb, I know, given her history and everything that happened between us. But that fear’s there anyway, and I don’t know how to shut it up.
I also know that embracing my Dom side gives me strength, and courage. I felt incredible when I was able to successfully harness that side of me to tap into it fully. But I don’t know how to summon my Dom side right now—when all this fear and anxiety are in this giant, dark bundle swirling around in my head endlessly.
The common advice is to seek others in the scene, but I’m not even sure my fears will let me reach out to anyone local right now. And even then, I have so little experience in the grand scheme of things. Everything with my ex was so fucked up. Online dating seems the safest, but I really want to meet someone local. Above all else, I crave physical attention, and touch, and just… all of it. I want to take this energy I feel swirling inside me, turn it into something physical, tangible, touchable—and transfer it into actions that both intensify a bond I share with someone as well as actions that help us both heal one another and just… just… be.
I know I just need to be patient, get the medication started, and keep moving forward. But some days… I’m not sure how. When my energy is at its lowest, it’s so hard to do anything—even function.
I’m not really sure what I’m asking anymore, hah. I mostly just needed to ramble, but if anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it. Thanks for reading if you got this far!
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2019.08.19 17:32 0VY3a6h3VR1K1X9cY862 words

abacus abdomen abdominal abide abiding ability ablaze able abnormal abrasion abrasive abreast abridge abroad abruptly absence absentee absently absinthe absolute absolve abstain abstract absurd accent acclaim acclimate accompany account accuracy accurate accustom acetone achiness aching acid acorn acquaint acquire acre acrobat acronym acting action activate activator active activism activist activity actress acts acutely acuteness aeration aerobics aerosol aerospace afar affair affected affecting affection affidavit affiliate affirm affix afflicted affluent afford affront aflame afloat aflutter afoot afraid afterglow afterlife aftermath aftermost afternoon aged ageless agency agenda agent aggregate aghast agile agility aging agnostic agonize agonizing agony agreeable agreeably agreed agreeing agreement aground ahead ahoy aide aids aim ajar alabaster alarm albatross album alfalfa algebra algorithm alias alibi alienable alienate aliens alike alive alkaline alkalize almanac almighty almost aloe aloft aloha alone alongside aloof alphabet alright although altitude alto aluminum alumni always amaretto amaze amazingly amber ambiance ambiguity ambiguous ambition ambitious ambulance ambush amendable amendment amends amenity amiable amicably amid amigo amino amiss ammonia ammonium amnesty amniotic among amount amperage ample amplifier amplify amply amuck amulet amusable amused amusement amuser amusing anaconda anaerobic anagram anatomist anatomy anchor anchovy ancient android anemia anemic aneurism anew angelfish angelic anger angled angler angles angling angrily angriness anguished angular animal animate animating animation animator anime animosity ankle annex annotate announcer annoying annually annuity anointer another answering antacid antarctic anteater antelope antennae anthem anthill anthology antibody antics antidote antihero antiquely antiques antiquity antirust antitoxic antitrust antiviral antivirus antler antonym antsy anvil anybody anyhow anymore anyone anyplace anything anytime anyway anywhere aorta apache apostle appealing appear appease appeasing appendage appendix appetite appetizer applaud applause apple appliance applicant applied apply appointee appraisal appraiser apprehend approach approval approve apricot april apron aptitude aptly aqua aqueduct arbitrary arbitrate ardently area arena arguable arguably argue arise armadillo armband armchair armed armful armhole arming armless armoire armored armory armrest army aroma arose around arousal arrange array arrest arrival arrive arrogance arrogant arson art ascend ascension ascent ascertain ashamed ashen ashes ashy aside askew asleep asparagus aspect aspirate aspire aspirin astonish astound astride astrology astronaut astronomy astute atlantic atlas atom atonable atop atrium atrocious atrophy attach attain attempt attendant attendee attention attentive attest attic attire attitude attractor attribute atypical auction audacious audacity audible audibly audience audio audition augmented august authentic author autism autistic autograph automaker automated automatic autopilot available avalanche avatar avenge avenging avenue average aversion avert aviation aviator avid avoid await awaken award aware awhile awkward awning awoke awry axis babble babbling babied baboon backache backboard backboned backdrop backed backer backfield backfire backhand backing backlands backlash backless backlight backlit backlog backpack backpedal backrest backroom backshift backside backslid backspace backspin backstab backstage backtalk backtrack backup backward backwash backwater backyard bacon bacteria bacterium badass badge badland badly badness baffle baffling bagel bagful baggage bagged baggie bagginess bagging baggy bagpipe baguette baked bakery bakeshop baking balance balancing balcony balmy balsamic bamboo banana banish banister banjo bankable bankbook banked banker banking banknote bankroll banner bannister banshee banter barbecue barbed barbell barber barcode barge bargraph barista baritone barley barmaid barman barn barometer barrack barracuda barrel barrette barricade barrier barstool bartender barterer bash basically basics basil basin basis basket batboy batch bath baton bats battalion battered battering battery batting battle bauble bazooka blabber bladder blade blah blame blaming blanching blandness blank blaspheme blasphemy blast blatancy blatantly blazer blazing bleach bleak bleep blemish blend bless blighted blimp bling blinked blinker blinking blinks blip blissful blitz blizzard bloated bloating blob blog bloomers blooming blooper blot blouse blubber bluff bluish blunderer blunt blurb blurred blurry blurt blush blustery boaster boastful boasting boat bobbed bobbing bobble bobcat bobsled bobtail bodacious body bogged boggle bogus boil bok bolster bolt bonanza bonded bonding bondless boned bonehead boneless bonelike boney bonfire bonnet bonsai bonus bony boogeyman boogieman book boondocks booted booth bootie booting bootlace bootleg boots boozy borax boring borough borrower borrowing boss botanical botanist botany botch both bottle bottling bottom bounce bouncing bouncy bounding boundless bountiful bovine boxcar boxer boxing boxlike boxy breach breath breeches breeching breeder breeding breeze breezy brethren brewery brewing briar bribe brick bride bridged brigade bright brilliant brim bring brink brisket briskly briskness bristle brittle broadband broadcast broaden broadly broadness broadside broadways broiler broiling broken broker bronchial bronco bronze bronzing brook broom brought browbeat brownnose browse browsing bruising brunch brunette brunt brush brussels brute brutishly bubble bubbling bubbly buccaneer bucked bucket buckle buckshot buckskin bucktooth buckwheat buddhism buddhist budding buddy budget buffalo buffed buffer buffing buffoon buggy bulb bulge bulginess bulgur bulk bulldog bulldozer bullfight bullfrog bullhorn bullion bullish bullpen bullring bullseye bullwhip bully bunch bundle bungee bunion bunkbed bunkhouse bunkmate bunny bunt busboy bush busily busload bust busybody buzz cabana cabbage cabbie cabdriver cable caboose cache cackle cacti cactus caddie caddy cadet cadillac cadmium cage cahoots cake calamari calamity calcium calculate calculus caliber calibrate calm caloric calorie calzone camcorder cameo camera camisole camper campfire camping campsite campus canal canary cancel candied candle candy cane canine canister cannabis canned canning cannon cannot canola canon canopener canopy canteen canyon capable capably capacity cape capillary capital capitol capped capricorn capsize capsule caption captivate captive captivity capture caramel carat caravan carbon cardboard carded cardiac cardigan cardinal cardstock carefully caregiver careless caress caretaker cargo caring carless carload carmaker carnage carnation carnival carnivore carol carpenter carpentry carpool carport carried carrot carrousel carry cartel cartload carton cartoon cartridge cartwheel carve carving carwash cascade case cash casing casino casket cassette casually casualty catacomb catalog catalyst catalyze catapult cataract catatonic catcall catchable catcher catching catchy caterer catering catfight catfish cathedral cathouse catlike catnap catnip catsup cattail cattishly cattle catty catwalk caucasian caucus causal causation cause causing cauterize caution cautious cavalier cavalry caviar cavity cedar celery celestial celibacy celibate celtic cement census ceramics ceremony certainly certainty certified certify cesarean cesspool chafe chaffing chain chair chalice challenge chamber chamomile champion chance change channel chant chaos chaperone chaplain chapped chaps chapter character charbroil charcoal charger charging chariot charity charm charred charter charting chase chasing chaste chastise chastity chatroom chatter chatting chatty cheating cheddar cheek cheer cheese cheesy chef chemicals chemist chemo cherisher cherub chess chest chevron chevy chewable chewer chewing chewy chief chihuahua childcare childhood childish childless childlike chili chill chimp chip chirping chirpy chitchat chivalry chive chloride chlorine choice chokehold choking chomp chooser choosing choosy chop chosen chowder chowtime chrome chubby chuck chug chummy chump chunk churn chute cider cilantro cinch cinema cinnamon circle circling circular circulate circus citable citadel citation citizen citric citrus city civic civil clad claim clambake clammy clamor clamp clamshell clang clanking clapped clapper clapping clarify clarinet clarity clash clasp class clatter clause clavicle claw clay clean clear cleat cleaver cleft clench clergyman clerical clerk clever clicker client climate climatic cling clinic clinking clip clique cloak clobber clock clone cloning closable closure clothes clothing cloud clover clubbed clubbing clubhouse clump clumsily clumsy clunky clustered clutch clutter coach coagulant coastal coaster coasting coastland coastline coat coauthor cobalt cobbler cobweb cocoa coconut cod coeditor coerce coexist coffee cofounder cognition cognitive cogwheel coherence coherent cohesive coil coke cola cold coleslaw coliseum collage collapse collar collected collector collide collie collision colonial colonist colonize colony colossal colt coma come comfort comfy comic coming comma commence commend comment commerce commode commodity commodore common commotion commute commuting compacted compacter compactly compactor companion company compare compel compile comply component composed composer composite compost composure compound compress comprised computer computing comrade concave conceal conceded concept concerned concert conch concierge concise conclude concrete concur condense condiment condition condone conducive conductor conduit cone confess confetti confidant confident confider confiding configure confined confining confirm conflict conform confound confront confused confusing confusion congenial congested congrats congress conical conjoined conjure conjuror connected connector consensus consent console consoling consonant constable constant constrain constrict construct consult consumer consuming contact container contempt contend contented contently contents contest context contort contour contrite control contusion convene convent copartner cope copied copier copilot coping copious copper copy coral cork cornball cornbread corncob cornea corned corner cornfield cornflake cornhusk cornmeal cornstalk corny coronary coroner corporal corporate corral correct corridor corrode corroding corrosive corsage corset cortex cosigner cosmetics cosmic cosmos cosponsor cost cottage cotton couch cough could countable countdown counting countless country county courier covenant cover coveted coveting coyness cozily coziness cozy crabbing crabgrass crablike crabmeat cradle cradling crafter craftily craftsman craftwork crafty cramp cranberry crane cranial cranium crank crate crave craving crawfish crawlers crawling crayfish crayon crazed crazily craziness crazy creamed creamer creamlike crease creasing creatable create creation creative creature credible credibly credit creed creme creole crepe crept crescent crested cresting crestless crevice crewless crewman crewmate crib cricket cried crier crimp crimson cringe cringing crinkle crinkly crisped crisping crisply crispness crispy criteria critter croak crock crook croon crop cross crouch crouton crowbar crowd crown crucial crudely crudeness cruelly cruelness cruelty crumb crummiest crummy crumpet crumpled cruncher crunching crunchy crusader crushable crushed crusher crushing crust crux crying cryptic crystal cubbyhole cube cubical cubicle cucumber cuddle cuddly cufflink culinary culminate culpable culprit cultivate cultural culture cupbearer cupcake cupid cupped cupping curable curator curdle cure curfew curing curled curler curliness curling curly curry curse cursive cursor curtain curtly curtsy curvature curve curvy cushy cusp cussed custard custodian custody customary customer customize customs cut cycle cyclic cycling cyclist cylinder cymbal cytoplasm cytoplast dab dad daffodil dagger daily daintily dainty dairy daisy dallying dance dancing dandelion dander dandruff dandy danger dangle dangling daredevil dares daringly darkened darkening darkish darkness darkroom darling darn dart darwinism dash dastardly data datebook dating daughter daunting dawdler dawn daybed daybreak daycare daydream daylight daylong dayroom daytime dazzler dazzling deacon deafening deafness dealer dealing dealmaker dealt dean debatable debate debating debit debrief debtless debtor debug debunk decade decaf decal decathlon decay deceased deceit deceiver deceiving december decency decent deception deceptive decibel decidable decimal decimeter decipher deck declared decline decode decompose decorated decorator decoy decrease decree dedicate dedicator deduce deduct deed deem deepen deeply deepness deface defacing defame default defeat defection defective defendant defender defense defensive deferral deferred defiance defiant defile defiling define definite deflate deflation deflator deflected deflector defog deforest defraud defrost deftly defuse defy degraded degrading degrease degree dehydrate deity dejected delay delegate delegator delete deletion delicacy delicate delicious delighted delirious delirium deliverer delivery delouse delta deluge delusion deluxe demanding demeaning demeanor demise democracy democrat demote demotion demystify denatured deniable denial denim denote dense density dental dentist denture deny deodorant deodorize departed departure depict deplete depletion deplored deploy deport depose depraved depravity deprecate depress deprive depth deputize deputy derail deranged derby derived desecrate deserve deserving designate designed designer designing deskbound desktop deskwork desolate despair despise despite destiny destitute destruct detached detail detection detective detector detention detergent detest detonate detonator detoxify detract deuce devalue deviancy deviant deviate deviation deviator device devious devotedly devotee devotion devourer devouring devoutly dexterity dexterous diabetes diabetic diabolic diagnoses diagnosis diagram dial diameter diaper diaphragm diary dice dicing dictate dictation dictator difficult diffused diffuser diffusion diffusive dig dilation diligence diligent dill dilute dime diminish dimly dimmed dimmer dimness dimple diner dingbat dinghy dinginess dingo dingy dining dinner diocese dioxide diploma dipped dipper dipping directed direction directive directly directory direness dirtiness disabled disagree disallow disarm disarray disaster disband disbelief disburse discard discern discharge disclose discolor discount discourse discover discuss disdain disengage disfigure disgrace dish disinfect disjoin disk dislike disliking dislocate dislodge disloyal dismantle dismay dismiss dismount disobey disorder disown disparate disparity dispatch dispense dispersal dispersed disperser displace display displease disposal dispose disprove dispute disregard disrupt dissuade distance distant distaste distill distinct distort distract distress district distrust ditch ditto ditzy dividable divided dividend dividers dividing divinely diving divinity divisible divisibly division divisive divorcee dizziness dizzy doable docile dock doctrine document dodge dodgy doily doing dole dollar dollhouse dollop dolly dolphin domain domelike domestic dominion dominoes donated donation donator donor donut doodle doorbell doorframe doorknob doorman doormat doornail doorpost doorstep doorstop doorway doozy dork dormitory dorsal dosage dose dotted doubling douche dove down dowry doze drab dragging dragonfly dragonish dragster drainable drainage drained drainer drainpipe dramatic dramatize drank drapery drastic draw dreaded dreadful dreadlock dreamboat dreamily dreamland dreamless dreamlike dreamt dreamy drearily dreary drench dress drew dribble dried drier drift driller drilling drinkable drinking dripping drippy drivable driven driver driveway driving drizzle drizzly drone drool droop drop-down dropbox dropkick droplet dropout dropper drove drown drowsily drudge drum dry dubbed dubiously duchess duckbill ducking duckling ducktail ducky duct dude duffel dugout duh duke duller dullness duly dumping dumpling dumpster duo dupe duplex duplicate duplicity durable durably duration duress during dusk dust dutiful duty duvet dwarf dweeb dwelled dweller dwelling dwindle dwindling dynamic dynamite dynasty dyslexia dyslexic each eagle earache eardrum earflap earful earlobe early earmark earmuff earphone earpiece earplugs earring earshot earthen earthlike earthling earthly earthworm earthy earwig easeful easel easiest easily easiness easing eastbound eastcoast easter eastward eatable eaten eatery eating eats ebay ebony ebook ecard eccentric echo eclair eclipse ecologist ecology economic economist economy ecosphere ecosystem edge edginess edging edgy edition editor educated education educator eel effective effects efficient effort eggbeater egging eggnog eggplant eggshell egomaniac egotism egotistic either eject elaborate elastic elated elbow eldercare elderly eldest electable election elective elephant elevate elevating elevation elevator eleven elf eligible eligibly eliminate elite elitism elixir elk ellipse elliptic elm elongated elope eloquence eloquent elsewhere elude elusive elves email embargo embark embassy embattled embellish ember embezzle emblaze emblem embody embolism emboss embroider emcee emerald emergency emission emit emote emoticon emotion empathic empathy emperor emphases emphasis emphasize emphatic empirical employed employee employer emporium empower emptier emptiness empty emu enable enactment enamel enchanted enchilada encircle enclose enclosure encode encore encounter encourage encroach encrust encrypt endanger endeared endearing ended ending endless endnote endocrine endorphin endorse endowment endpoint endurable endurance enduring energetic energize energy enforced enforcer engaged engaging engine engorge engraved engraver engraving engross engulf enhance enigmatic enjoyable enjoyably enjoyer enjoying enjoyment enlarged enlarging enlighten enlisted enquirer enrage enrich enroll enslave ensnare ensure entail entangled entering entertain enticing entire entitle entity entomb entourage entrap entree entrench entrust entryway entwine enunciate envelope enviable enviably envious envision envoy envy enzyme epic epidemic epidermal epidermis epidural epilepsy epileptic epilogue epiphany episode equal equate equation equator equinox equipment equity equivocal eradicate erasable erased eraser erasure ergonomic errand errant erratic error erupt escalate escalator escapable escapade escapist escargot eskimo esophagus espionage espresso esquire essay essence essential establish estate esteemed estimate estimator estranged estrogen etching eternal eternity ethanol ether ethically ethics euphemism evacuate evacuee evade evaluate evaluator evaporate evasion evasive even everglade evergreen everybody everyday everyone evict evidence evident evil evoke evolution evolve exact exalted example excavate excavator exceeding exception excess exchange excitable exciting exclaim exclude excluding exclusion exclusive excretion excretory excursion excusable excusably excuse exemplary exemplify exemption exerciser exert exes exfoliate exhale exhaust exhume exile existing exit exodus exonerate exorcism exorcist expand expanse expansion expansive expectant expedited expediter expel expend expenses expensive expert expire expiring explain expletive explicit explode exploit explore exploring exponent exporter exposable expose exposure express expulsion exquisite extended extending extent extenuate exterior external extinct extortion extradite extras extrovert extrude extruding exuberant fable fabric fabulous facebook facecloth facedown faceless facelift faceplate faceted facial facility facing facsimile faction factoid factor factsheet factual faculty fade fading failing falcon fall false falsify fame familiar family famine famished fanatic fancied fanciness fancy fanfare fang fanning fantasize fantastic fantasy fascism fastball faster fasting fastness faucet favorable favorably favored favoring favorite fax feast federal fedora feeble feed feel feisty feline felt-tip feminine feminism feminist feminize femur fence fencing fender ferment fernlike ferocious ferocity ferret ferris ferry fervor fester festival festive festivity fetal fetch fever fiber fiction fiddle fiddling fidelity fidgeting fidgety fifteen fifth fiftieth fifty figment figure figurine filing filled filler filling film filter filth filtrate finale finalist finalize finally finance financial finch fineness finer finicky finished finisher finishing finite finless finlike fiscally fit five flaccid flagman flagpole flagship flagstick flagstone flail flakily flaky flame flammable flanked flanking flannels flap flaring flashback flashbulb flashcard flashily flashing flashy flask flatbed flatfoot flatly flatness flatten flattered flatterer flattery flattop flatware flatworm flavored flavorful flavoring flaxseed fled fleshed fleshy flick flier flight flinch fling flint flip flirt float flock flogging flop floral florist floss flounder flyable flyaway flyer flying flyover flypaper foam foe fog foil folic folk follicle follow fondling fondly fondness fondue font food fool footage football footbath footboard footer footgear foothill foothold footing footless footman footnote footpad footpath footprint footrest footsie footsore footwear footwork fossil foster founder founding fountain fox foyer fraction fracture fragile fragility fragment fragrance fragrant frail frame framing frantic fraternal frayed fraying frays freckled freckles freebase freebee freebie freedom freefall freehand freeing freeload freely freemason freeness freestyle freeware freeway freewill freezable freezing freight french frenzied frenzy frequency frequent fresh fretful fretted friction friday fridge fried friend frighten frightful frigidity frigidly frill fringe frisbee frisk fritter frivolous frolic from front frostbite frosted frostily frosting frostlike frosty froth frown frozen fructose frugality frugally fruit frustrate frying gab gaffe gag gainfully gaining gains gala gallantly galleria gallery galley gallon gallows gallstone galore galvanize gambling game gaming gamma gander gangly gangrene gangway gap garage garbage garden gargle garland garlic garment garnet garnish garter gas gatherer gathering gating gauging gauntlet gauze gave gawk gazing gear gecko geek geiger gem gender generic generous genetics genre gentile gentleman gently gents geography geologic geologist geology geometric geometry geranium gerbil geriatric germicide germinate germless germproof gestate gestation gesture getaway getting getup giant gibberish giblet giddily giddiness giddy gift gigabyte gigahertz gigantic giggle giggling giggly gigolo gilled gills gimmick girdle giveaway given giver giving gizmo gizzard glacial glacier glade gladiator gladly glamorous glamour glance glancing glandular glare glaring glass glaucoma glazing gleaming gleeful glider gliding glimmer glimpse glisten glitch glitter glitzy gloater gloating gloomily gloomy glorified glorifier glorify glorious glory gloss glove glowing glowworm glucose glue gluten glutinous glutton gnarly gnat goal goatskin goes goggles going goldfish goldmine goldsmith golf goliath gonad gondola gone gong good gooey goofball goofiness goofy google goon gopher gore gorged gorgeous gory gosling gossip gothic gotten gout gown grab graceful graceless gracious gradation graded grader gradient grading gradually graduate graffiti grafted grafting grain granddad grandkid grandly grandma grandpa grandson granite granny granola grant granular grape graph grapple grappling grasp grass gratified gratify grating gratitude gratuity gravel graveness graves graveyard gravitate gravity gravy gray grazing greasily greedily greedless greedy green greeter greeting grew greyhound grid grief grievance grieving grievous grill grimace grimacing grime griminess grimy grinch grinning grip gristle grit groggily groggy groin groom groove grooving groovy grope ground grouped grout grove grower growing growl grub grudge grudging grueling gruffly grumble grumbling grumbly grumpily grunge grunt guacamole guidable guidance guide guiding guileless guise gulf gullible gully gulp gumball gumdrop gumminess gumming gummy gurgle gurgling guru gush gusto gusty gutless guts gutter guy guzzler gyration habitable habitant habitat habitual hacked hacker hacking hacksaw had haggler haiku half halogen halt halved halves hamburger hamlet hammock hamper hamster hamstring handbag handball handbook handbrake handcart handclap handclasp handcraft handcuff handed handful handgrip handgun handheld handiness handiwork handlebar handled handler handling handmade handoff handpick handprint handrail handsaw handset handsfree handshake handstand handwash handwork handwoven handwrite handyman hangnail hangout hangover hangup hankering hankie hanky haphazard happening happier happiest happily happiness happy harbor hardcopy hardcore hardcover harddisk hardened hardener hardening hardhat hardhead hardiness hardly hardness hardship hardware hardwired hardwood hardy harmful harmless harmonica harmonics harmonize harmony harness harpist harsh harvest hash hassle haste hastily hastiness hasty hatbox hatchback hatchery hatchet hatching hatchling hate hatless hatred haunt haven hazard hazelnut hazily haziness hazing hazy headache headband headboard headcount headdress headed header headfirst headgear heading headlamp headless headlock headphone headpiece headrest headroom headscarf headset headsman headstand headstone headway headwear heap heat heave heavily heaviness heaving hedge hedging heftiness hefty helium helmet helper helpful helping helpless helpline hemlock hemstitch hence henchman henna herald herbal herbicide herbs heritage hermit heroics heroism herring herself hertz hesitancy hesitant hesitate hexagon hexagram hubcap huddle huddling huff hug hula hulk hull human humble humbling humbly humid humiliate humility humming hummus humongous humorist humorless humorous humpback humped humvee hunchback hundredth hunger hungrily hungry hunk hunter hunting huntress huntsman hurdle hurled hurler hurling hurray hurricane hurried hurry hurt husband hush husked huskiness hut hybrid hydrant hydrated hydration hydrogen hydroxide hyperlink hypertext hyphen hypnoses hypnosis hypnotic hypnotism hypnotist hypnotize hypocrisy hypocrite ibuprofen ice iciness icing icky icon icy idealism idealist idealize ideally idealness identical identify identity ideology idiocy idiom idly igloo ignition ignore iguana illicitly illusion illusive image imaginary imagines imaging imbecile imitate imitation immature immerse immersion imminent immobile immodest immorally immortal immovable immovably immunity immunize impaired impale impart impatient impeach impeding impending imperfect imperial impish implant implement implicate implicit implode implosion implosive imply impolite important importer impose imposing impotence impotency impotent impound imprecise imprint imprison impromptu improper improve improving improvise imprudent impulse impulsive impure impurity iodine iodize ion ipad iphone ipod irate irk iron irregular irrigate irritable irritably irritant irritate islamic islamist isolated isolating isolation isotope issue issuing italicize italics item itinerary itunes ivory ivy jab jackal jacket jackknife jackpot jailbird jailbreak jailer jailhouse jalapeno jam janitor january jargon jarring jasmine jaundice jaunt java jawed jawless jawline jaws jaybird jaywalker jazz jeep jeeringly jellied jelly jersey jester jet jiffy jigsaw jimmy jingle jingling jinx jitters jittery job jockey jockstrap jogger jogging john joining jokester jokingly jolliness jolly jolt jot jovial joyfully joylessly joyous joyride joystick jubilance jubilant judge judgingly judicial judiciary judo juggle juggling jugular juice juiciness juicy jujitsu jukebox july jumble jumbo jump junction juncture june junior juniper junkie junkman junkyard jurist juror jury justice justifier justify justly justness juvenile kabob kangaroo karaoke karate karma kebab keenly keenness keep keg kelp kennel kept kerchief kerosene kettle kick kiln kilobyte kilogram kilometer kilowatt kilt kimono kindle kindling kindly kindness kindred kinetic kinfolk king kinship kinsman kinswoman kissable kisser kissing kitchen kite kitten kitty kiwi kleenex knapsack knee knelt knickers knoll koala kooky kosher krypton kudos kung labored laborer laboring laborious labrador ladder ladies ladle ladybug ladylike lagged lagging lagoon lair lake lance landed landfall landfill landing landlady landless landline landlord landmark landmass landmine landowner landscape landside landslide language lankiness lanky lantern lapdog lapel lapped lapping laptop lard large lark lash lasso last latch late lather latitude latrine latter latticed launch launder laundry laurel lavender lavish laxative lazily laziness lazy lecturer left legacy legal legend legged leggings legible legibly legislate lego legroom legume legwarmer legwork lemon lend length lens lent leotard lesser letdown lethargic lethargy letter lettuce level leverage levers levitate levitator liability liable liberty librarian library licking licorice lid life lifter lifting liftoff ligament likely likeness likewise liking lilac lilly lily limb limeade limelight limes limit limping limpness line lingo linguini linguist lining linked linoleum linseed lint lion lip liquefy liqueur liquid lisp list litigate litigator litmus litter little livable lived lively liver livestock lividly living lizard lubricant lubricate lucid luckily luckiness luckless lucrative ludicrous lugged lukewarm lullaby lumber luminance luminous lumpiness lumping lumpish lunacy lunar lunchbox luncheon lunchroom lunchtime lung lurch lure luridness lurk lushly lushness luster lustfully lustily lustiness lustrous lusty luxurious luxury lying lyrically lyricism lyricist lyrics macarena macaroni macaw mace machine machinist magazine magenta maggot magical magician magma magnesium magnetic magnetism magnetize magnifier magnify magnitude magnolia mahogany maimed majestic majesty majorette majority makeover maker makeshift making malformed malt mama mammal mammary mammogram manager managing manatee mandarin mandate mandatory mandolin manger mangle mango mangy manhandle manhole manhood manhunt manicotti manicure manifesto manila mankind manlike manliness manly manmade manned mannish manor manpower mantis mantra manual many map marathon marauding marbled marbles marbling march mardi margarine margarita margin marigold marina marine marital maritime marlin marmalade maroon married marrow marry marshland marshy marsupial marvelous marxism mascot masculine mashed mashing massager masses massive mastiff matador matchbook matchbox matcher matching matchless material maternal maternity math mating matriarch matrimony matrix matron matted matter maturely maturing maturity mauve maverick maximize maximum maybe mayday mayflower moaner moaning mobile mobility mobilize mobster mocha mocker mockup modified modify modular modulator module moisten moistness moisture molar molasses mold molecular molecule molehill mollusk mom monastery monday monetary monetize moneybags moneyless moneywise mongoose mongrel monitor monkhood monogamy monogram monologue monopoly monorail monotone monotype monoxide monsieur monsoon monstrous monthly monument moocher moodiness moody mooing moonbeam mooned moonlight moonlike moonlit moonrise moonscape moonshine moonstone moonwalk mop morale morality morally morbidity morbidly morphine morphing morse mortality mortally mortician mortified mortify mortuary mosaic mossy most mothball mothproof motion motivate motivator motive motocross motor motto mountable mountain mounted mounting mourner mournful mouse mousiness moustache mousy mouth movable move movie moving mower mowing much muck mud mug mulberry mulch mule mulled mullets multiple multiply multitask multitude mumble mumbling mumbo mummified mummify mummy mumps munchkin mundane municipal muppet mural murkiness murky murmuring muscular museum mushily mushiness mushroom mushy music musket muskiness musky mustang mustard muster mustiness musty mutable mutate mutation mute mutilated mutilator mutiny mutt mutual muzzle myself myspace mystified mystify myth nacho nag nail name naming nanny nanometer nape napkin napped napping nappy narrow nastily nastiness national native nativity natural nature naturist nautical navigate navigator navy nearby nearest nearly nearness neatly neatness nebula nebulizer nectar negate negation negative neglector negligee negligent negotiate nemeses nemesis neon nephew nerd nervous nervy nest net neurology neuron neurosis neurotic neuter neutron never next nibble nickname nicotine niece nifty nimble nimbly nineteen ninetieth ninja nintendo ninth nuclear nuclei nucleus nugget nullify number numbing numbly numbness numeral numerate numerator numeric numerous nuptials nursery nursing nurture nutcase nutlike nutmeg nutrient nutshell nuttiness nutty nuzzle nylon oaf oak oasis oat obedience obedient obituary object obligate obliged oblivion oblivious oblong obnoxious oboe obscure obscurity observant observer observing obsessed obsession obsessive obsolete obstacle obstinate obstruct obtain obtrusive obtuse obvious occultist occupancy occupant occupier occupy ocean ocelot octagon octane october octopus ogle oil oink ointment okay old olive olympics omega omen ominous omission omit omnivore onboard oncoming ongoing onion online onlooker only onscreen onset onshore onslaught onstage onto onward onyx oops ooze oozy opacity opal open operable operate operating operation operative operator opium opossum opponent oppose opposing opposite oppressed oppressor opt opulently osmosis other otter ouch ought ounce outage outback outbid outboard outbound outbreak outburst outcast outclass outcome outdated outdoors outer outfield outfit outflank outgoing outgrow outhouse outing outlast outlet outline outlook outlying outmatch outmost outnumber outplayed outpost outpour output outrage outrank outreach outright outscore outsell outshine outshoot outsider outskirts outsmart outsource outspoken outtakes outthink outward outweigh outwit oval ovary oven overact overall overarch overbid overbill overbite overblown overboard overbook overbuilt overcast overcoat overcome overcook overcrowd overdraft overdrawn overdress overdrive overdue overeager overeater overexert overfed overfeed overfill overflow overfull overgrown overhand overhang overhaul overhead overhear overheat overhung overjoyed overkill overlabor overlaid overlap overlay overload overlook overlord overlying overnight overpass overpay overplant overplay overpower overprice overrate overreach overreact override overripe overrule overrun overshoot overshot oversight oversized oversleep oversold overspend overstate overstay overstep overstock overstuff oversweet overtake overthrow overtime overtly overtone overture overturn overuse overvalue overview overwrite owl oxford oxidant oxidation oxidize oxidizing oxygen oxymoron oyster ozone paced pacemaker pacific pacifier pacifism pacifist pacify padded padding paddle paddling padlock pagan pager paging pajamas palace palatable palm palpable palpitate paltry pampered pamperer pampers pamphlet panama pancake pancreas panda pandemic pang panhandle panic panning panorama panoramic panther pantomime pantry pants pantyhose paparazzi papaya paper paprika papyrus parabola parachute parade paradox paragraph parakeet paralegal paralyses paralysis paralyze paramedic parameter paramount parasail parasite parasitic parcel parched parchment pardon parish parka parking parkway parlor parmesan parole parrot parsley parsnip partake parted parting partition partly partner partridge party passable passably passage passcode passenger passerby passing passion passive passivism passover passport password pasta pasted pastel pastime pastor pastrami pasture pasty patchwork patchy paternal paternity path patience patient patio patriarch patriot patrol patronage patronize pauper pavement paver pavestone pavilion paving pawing payable payback paycheck payday payee payer paying payment payphone payroll pebble pebbly pecan pectin peculiar peddling pediatric pedicure pedigree pedometer pegboard pelican pellet pelt pelvis penalize penalty pencil pendant pending penholder penknife pennant penniless penny penpal pension pentagon pentagram pep perceive percent perch percolate perennial perfected perfectly perfume periscope perish perjurer perjury perkiness perky perm peroxide perpetual perplexed persecute persevere persuaded persuader pesky peso pessimism pessimist pester pesticide petal petite petition petri petroleum 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putdown putt puzzle puzzling pyramid pyromania python
submitted by 0VY3a6h3VR1K1X9cY862 to OneWordBan [link] [comments]


2018.09.11 06:07 salamanderjones1 Aircoins Partners Mega Thread

Welcome to the Aircoins Partners Mega Thread
Here you will find Important info on our partners such as brief descriptions, Websites, Social Media pages, and exchanges. This list will continue to be updated as we add more partners.
Linda (LINDA)
Lindacoin is a peer to peer hybrid digital currency. It creates utility products that allow Linda to be used in everyday scenarios. It also offers partnership opportunities to other cryptocurrencies to use the Lindacoin platform. As the Linda wallet technology evolves, we strive to simplify the processes of staking or masternode ownership as well as improve your overall wallet experience.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Reddit
Twitter
Discord
Telegram
Exchanges:
CoinExchange
Cryptopia
Stocks.Exchange
BTC-Alpha
C-CEX
Graviex
SimpleSwap
Nanex
BitFlip
Action Coin (ACTN)
The Action Ecosystem is designed to be a fully user-incentivized system where all constituent entities function in a manner that ensures optimum value creation for all members of the action community. This represents a paradigm shift in the social media and cryptocurrency landscape that greatly encourages individuals to actively participate in social engineering activities while rewarding them for doing so.
Website
White Paper
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Exchanges:
Stocks.Exchange
BITSSA
Original Crypto Coin (OCC)
OCC is an easy to use, open source, Ethereum based ERC20 token designed specifically for new crypto enthusiasts. Freely available for use in other crypto projects. Cryptocurrencies can be confusing for people that are new to blockchain technology. Original Crypto Coin (OCC) was designed to be a cost effective and straightforward way for new users to get familiar with basic crypto transactions like transferring and using a wallet. Have your own blockchain project in mind? Instead of generating a new token for your next idea and cluttering up the crypto community with another token, incorporate OCCs into your own apps, games or other cryptocurrency projects.
Website
White Paper
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Youtube
Exchanges:
ForkDelta
Mercatox
BarterDEX
DDEX
Enclaves DEX
Token Jar
Boa Exchange
Ecex
Reddcoin (RDD)
Reddcoin makes digital currency easy for the general public. By integrating a digital currency platform seamlessly with major social networks, sending and receiving tips and micro-transactions are cheap, fast and rewarding for everyone. For Fans: Show support to content creators and the people in your online community by tipping them RDD digital currency they can spend however they like. For Content Creators: Accept Reddcoin on your social media channel as a revenue channel that you can save or spend quick and easily.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Exchanges:
Bittrex
ShapeShift
Upbit
Cryptopia
FanFare (FAN)
FAN is an inventive content-sharing ecosystem to connect brands and users easily through consumer-generated shoppable videos using smart contracts and a common currency.
Website
White Paper
Bitcoin Talk
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Youtube
ICO ends October 31st
Apollo Currency (APL)
Utilizing a community of world-class developers, managers, marketers and researchers, the Apollo community, backed by the Apollo Foundation, has set out to accomplish the goal of making Apollo the most technologically advanced, feature-rich currency on the market. The Apollo Foundation understands the demands of a top tier cryptocurrency and they believe they can create a coin that will integrate everything necessary to replace the current currency options. Having started from NXT, a proven cryptocurrency, the Apollo Foundation will continue development with the goal of being first all-in-one cryptocurrency, innovating and incorporating every ability that could be beneficial in a digital currency, all in a single decentralized platform. The first major update, Olympus Protocol, puts mass adoption-proof privacy at Apollo's core. This is because the Apollo Foundation knows the ability for a user to buy, sell, trade and send in absolute secrecy is vital in an industry that could be moments away from intense regulation. The Apollo team is here because they believe the only person or entity that should be in control of your funds is you.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Exchanges:
IDAX
CoinBene
Skeincoin (SKC)
Skeincoin is a peer-to-peer version of digital assets maintaining a consensus mechanism based on the SHA3 hashing candidate Skein. Skeincoin has a fast blocktime, which results in faster transaction time and uses a flexible and energy efficient hashing. By following Bitcoin's development all technical features developed for the Bitcoin network are introduced in the Skeincoin network, resulting in almost instant transactions with ultra low costs. The original team merged with new members to form the Skeincoin foundation and reboot Skeincoin, continue the development and take the next steps to utilize Skeincoin's potential. The Skeincoin foundation is now developing the blockchain ecosystem whilst the newly formed legal entity, Skeincoin Ltd -registered at Belarus' High Tech Crypto Park in Minsk - holds responsibility for business planning and contracts.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Youtube
Exchanges:
Cryptopia
PACcoin ($PAC)
Introducing $PAC, a third generation cryptocurrency that is focused on four key factors: Community Charity Content Choice PAC is a community driven successor to Bitcoin, incorporating various improvements such as a two-tier incentivized network, known as the Masternode network. The major aim of $PAC is to become the most efficient and user-friendly cryptocurrency that is available globally. Our network features double-send proof transactions and transaction history that is erasable in terms of receiving funds. $PAC works using the principle of decentralization whilst upholding the belief that our community is the face of the coin.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Reddit
Twitter
Discord
Facebook
Youtube
Exchanges:
Cryptopia
Yobit
Sistemkoin
CoinExchange
Crypto-Bridge
Diamond (DMD)
Diamond (DMD) is a digital currency that puts the power back to the people by facilitating transfer of value anywhere in the world instantly, securely and at near zero cost without the need for a centralized trusted third party. This modern age rewarding monetary system with its network protocols, infrastructure and services creates sustainable economic opportunity for all.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Bitcoin Talk
Twitter
Facebook
Exchanges:
Bittrex
Livecoin
Crypto-Bridge
Phoneum (PHM)
Phoneum's mission is to provide equality to all by simplifying the mining process. While the meteoric growth of the cryptocurrency market and increased media buzz was high buzz was high at the end of 2017, mainstream adoption and acceptance of cryptocurrencies has just begun. Phoneum, as an all-in-one solution, is well positioned to address the public's interest. What makes Phoneum unique, is the custom algorithm and blockchain structure that delivers a truly mobile-only mining solution and simplified user interface which does not require technical skills to deploy. Phoneum seamlessly integrates into users daily mobile device usage, enabling them to mine and support the advancement of this disruptive technology while not disrupting the everyday usage of their device. It is a new, scalable model of mining that harnesses the power of ubiquitous smart devices globally, requiring lower energy consumption with significantly less impact on the environment than current cryptocurrency mining models.
Website
White Paper
Bitcoin Talk
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Youtube
ICO ends Sept 30th
HTMLCOIN (HTML)
Htmlcoin is not just a cryptocurrency, but a new, secure blockchain based on Bitcoin Core that integrates Ethereum based smart contracts. It implements an extendable design that can add more virtual machines (VM) than other blockchain platforms. Enabled through an Account Abstraction Layer, the Htmlcoin platform allows an account-based VM to function on a Bitcoin UTXO based blockchain. Htmlcoin is not an ICO. It is an established crypto coin that is expanding to become a blockchain platform for multiple coins, smart contracts, and distributed applications. It is developed, supported, and promoted by the Htmlcoin Foundation, which has not only designed a new blockchain platform based on the best characteristics of Bitcoin and Ethereum, but has expanded it to include the positive attributes of network technology stacks from the likes of QTUM and ARK. Essentially, Htmlcoin is a hybrid of some of the best and most innovative technologies of the crypto world, making it a premier coin and blockchain platform with the potential to become an industry leader.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Youtube
Exchanges:
Fatbtc
HitBTC
Bleutrade
Trade Satoshi
CoinExchange
Crypto-Bridge
Social Send (SEND)
Social Send is a blockchain project advancing cryptocurrency into social networks. SEND has created a simple and universal integration system with end result user experience in mind. Sending and receiving funds on any social network is now achievable with only a novice level of expertise. It is so easy the user may not even realize they are utilizing blockchain technology. SEND’s goal is to be the catalyst that takes cryptocurrency into the hands of the masses.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Bitcoin Talk
Twitter
Discord
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Exchanges:
Cryptopia
Crypto-Bridge
Bitcoin W Spectrum
BWS is a community-based project, aiming to address the inherent problems plaguing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Understanding the importance of anonymity as well as usability, BWS provides a 8MB block size that results in close to instantaneous transaction times.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Bitcoin Talk
Twitter
Discord
Telegram
Facebook
Exchanges:
Stocks.Exchange
SouthXchange
Crypto-Bridge
BitCoin ONE (BTCONE)
BitCoin ONE is a community driven project Decentralized meaning no state or company is controlling it, the Ecosystem is based on people helping out in marketing, support & development. We are developing projects with a use case, that be Wallets and Mobile Crypto apps. We have a good set of core values. We even have a pool with 2 million BTCONE / 2 million B1P allocated for charity projects. This is to be distributed to 40 different projects around the globe. Projects that stands out and help local community to benefit from the New Blockchain Era. Further we are social and have an online presence and are also doing Meetups to grow the community. Furthermore team members are attending 5 2018 Blockchain Summits / events. We have hands on what is going on in the scene.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Instagram
Exchanges:
Stocks.Exchange
Lamoneda (LMDA)
Lamoneda is coming up with a project to disrupt, revolutionize and sanitize the event ticketing industry by employing the potency of the blockchain and ethereum technology to develop a SmartTicket system for all events held near you. The project is being developed to provide a peer-to-peer, decentralized platform where SmartTickets carry special properties which are meticulous in smart contracts, that are not available on any centralized traditional event management ticket sales system. Our vision at Lamoneda is to excel at providing global platform wherein event ticketing FRAUD is ELIMINATED in its entirety, so that everyone is able to purchase tickets at a fair price, for their choices of events. Lamoneda will be a transparent and accountable event ticketing system that will provide additional benefits to event organizers/hosts, artists, fans etc.
Website
Twitter
Telegram
ICO concluded, Exchanges to be listed.
Lightyears (LYS)
LYS Token is structure for the future of airlines traveling rewarding system that is built on top of the Ethereum block-chain. It will replace conventional purchasing method , By speeding up the process with no middle man fees and advertisement in our develop user friendly application , while at the same time improving airlines customer experience . Lightyears (LYS) Token serve as a utility Token , A reward system for purchasing airline’s tickets. Our platform will rewards users when they purchased tickets thru our platform with a cheaper rate unlike other agent/service . We are on going developing a brand now product for assisting future Blockchain developers and new exchange . Token holder’s able access their LYS Token between various services like transfer of asset through the application , Our future development will have more integration into games, online store and etc. LYS Token will be the future of decentralized peer-to-peer digital Asset with Real-Use Cases.
Website
White Paper
Reddit
Twitter
Facebook
ICO starts September 14th
MAKEAFOLIO (MAF)
The cryptocurrency space can be a scary and intimidating place, especially with the volatility of the market. With this in mind, MAKEAFOLIO, INC. was formed to create an easy, accessible, and educational experience in one convenient location that welcomes users of all experience levels. The goal is to introduce a platform that not only makes acquiring cryptocurrency easy, but also teaches users the skills to help them expand their portfolio and navigate the market more effectively. Common mistakes, such as lack of research and patience, losing Private Keys, sending cryptocurrencies to the wrong address, chasing a “bull-run”, Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) on an opportunity, and lack of patience can cause newcomers to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Using the Makeafolio platform will guide each user through specific courses to help avoid such mistakes and make users feel more comfortable about the market.
Website
White Paper
Twitter
Telegram
ICO currently live
Netkoin (NTK)
Netkoin proposes an ecosystem designed to change the way customers perform their shopping and help businesses to advertise and drive customers to their stores. The Netkoin ecosystem includes: Netkoin (NTK) is an ERC20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain. The NTK token will be used to power Netkoin’s universal rewards system on Netkoin’s location based mobile application and business management platform. Netkoin’s location based mobile advertising application aims to make retail shopping relevant and rewarding for customers based on their location. The mobile application will contain numerous features and filters in order to provide the customer with a personalized retail shopping experience, while maintaining the highest level of user’s data security and privacy. Netkoin’s business management platform will be utilized by retail stores to enable business owners to manage their stores advertising on the Netkoin mobile application. Businesses can integrate their store’s social media content, providing them with a single place of advertising their businesses content with shoppers. Therefore reducing content marketing management by the retail business marketing team.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Telegram
YouTube
Exchanges:
Mercatox
IDEX
Photon (PHO)
Photon is the ultimate"micro payment"currency- In Game coin. It is actively traded, exchanged, distributed and mined. Currently, Photon is a play reward in third party games: We pay for every kill in prevailing games such as Fortnite, PUBG, Battlefield 1, 4 and 5, CSGO, Rust, TF2, Insurgency and Apex Legends. Photon’s primary usecase is the lead of 6 Blakestream coins accepted for payments, upgrades, and used for rewards in our in-house MMO games: BattleGrip and BlakeZone. Photon pays to play!
Website
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Exchanges
Cryptopia
C-Patex
RPICoin (RPI)
RPICoin is an open source crypto-currency founded in May 2018. Our very first Blockchain was forked from the Blackcoin source focussing on being an Energy efficient Proof of Stake (PoS v3.0) coin. I’m very happy to announce that we will soon upgrade the entire codebase to implement many new features such as: Zerocoin Protocol for additional Privacy, up-to date HD Wallets including Multisig and the ability of using Masternodes next to our current PoS 3.0 mechanism.
Website
White Paper
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Exchanges:
STEX
Crex24
CryptoBridge
eBoost (EBST)
eBoost is a cryptocurrency that can be used for gamers to trade in game items, sponsor eSports tournaments, as well as integrate into mobile games for in game purchases. eBoost builds a platform that takes the stress out of eSports and allows members from all walks of life to have a single currency to use in eSports. This allows gaming to be seamless, fun, and integrate accountability via blockchain in eSports.
Website
White Paper
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Teen Coin (TEEN)
Teen Coin is for fun, games, and is to create knowledge and awareness of cryptocurrency among the teens, and the people of today. It helps people learn about the blockchain without losing tons of money or stressing about the technology. This project is designed for having and creating fun and games while also learning and using blockchain technology as a cryptocurrency.
Website
White Paper
Twitter
Telegram
Vipstar coin (VIPS)
"VIPSTARCOIN (VIPS) is a cryptocurrency originated from a community called 'VIP' in 5channel, the largest Japanese textboards. VIPS is currently being developed by a volunteer programmer and test users. We dev team is targeting for VIPS to be utilized in varied ways as an original cryptocurrency from Japan, setting the final goal for contributing to the society across borders as a convenient method of making donations. We hope VIPS gains popularity in the real society as well as on the Internet community with the strong support of VIPS holders."
website
Coin Market Cap
Bitcointalk
Reddit
Twitter
Discord
Telegram
Facebook
Exchanges
TOPBTC
CoinExchange
CryptoBridge
Ethershift Token (ESH)
Ethershift is a brand new ERC20 token exchange that provides the easiest way to acquire brand new up & coming tokens before the big exchanges list them! Ethershift tokens represent a revenue share of 50% of ALL fees collected by Ethershift. Each quarter that 50% will be airdropped to Ethershift token holders.
Website
White Paper
Bitcointalk
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Instagram
MNPCoin (MNP)
MNPCoin is the official cryptocurrency of MasterNodes.Pro. MNPCoin was created in August 2018 by the developers of MasterNodes.Pro to make payments for masternode owners and coin developers safer, easier, and faster. We wanted to create a payment network that would function seamlessly between all affiliated sites to allow users the opportunity to enjoy all of our services without having to deposit MNPCoin onto each site. Since, MNPCoin has grown tremendously and is supported by numerous projects, websites, and even gaming apps.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Facebook
Exchanges
Crex24
STEX
Rapids (RPD)
We are a creative agency with a passion for innovation & the design of beautiful creations. We have all envisioned certain aspects of past cryptocurrency projects we would have liked to see come to fruition, and we are applying those underlying philosophies to Rapids. Social Media Networks have become the new medium of personal expression and overall communication. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have also enriched our lives by altering the way we transact through online channels. Combining the technologies of social media along with blockchain technology, Rapids aspires to make online transactions even more accessible. With Rapids embedded into social media platforms, we will be able to send and receive payments directly to friends, family, colleagues, companies, and anyone in between. We are currently in the development phase and are expanding daily. Follow us on social media to support our cause and to stay up to date.
Website
Whitepaper
Bitcointalk
Twitter
Discord
Telegram
DarkMatter (DMX)
Moon Marketing is dedicated to bridging the gap between Tron dApps and gamers by utilizing innovative marketing tactics and the DarkMatter($DMX) Gaming Platform.
Twitter
Telegram
Vendit Exchange (VNDT)
Vendit is a new cryptocurrency and exchange platform that connects merchants, vendors, processors, and financial institutions in order to provide the ability to seamlessly trade and process crypto and real world currencies and transactions. VENDIT tokens are ERC20 tokens based off the Ethereum blockchain and are the universal transactional coins for the exchange of cryptocurrencies and real-world currencies. It is the token that drives every transaction and payment on the exchange. We will develop the exchange, APIs, exchange account management app, and payment gateway platform, etc. and bring the adoption of cryptocurrency into the mainstream and become the de facto exchange for cryptocurrencies.
Website
Twitter
Telegram
Youtube
Digibyte (DGB)
DigiByte is a public, rapidly growing and highly decentralized blockchain. DigiBytes are digital assets that cannot be destroyed, counterfeited or hacked, making them ideal for protecting objects of value like currency, information, property or important digital data. DigiBytes can be sent over the DigiByte Blockchain and forever recorded on an immutable public ledger that is decentralized on thousands of computers across the planet.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Reddit
Twitter
Telegram
Facebook
Exchanges
Bitinka
BiteBTC
Bittrex
Sistemkoin
Poloniex
HitBTC
SparkPoint (SRK)
SparkPoint Ecosystem is a decentralized payment gateway with integrated crypto exchanges, blockchain based e-learning, gaming, and online store. With four main functions, people can now settle bills, send and receive money, enrol in various e-courses and e-programs, shop, and entertain themselves in one platform. Not to mention, to earn and be rewarded!
Website
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Bitcoin Talk
Telegram
Facebook
Exchanges
HotBit
P2PB2B
High Performance Blockchain (HPB)
High Performance Blockchain (HPB) is a revolutionary permissionless blockchain architecture that combines a customized hardware Blockchain Offload Engine (BOE), with high-performance blockchain software. The addition of a hardware based BOE, allows for high transaction speed and extremely low latency.
Despite high-performance, there is no compromise in terms of security and decentralization, as the Node network verifies transactions worldwide and is comprised of a dual election mechanism combining the best aspects of voting and delegation.
As a permissionless blockchain, anyone can deploy smart contracts, contribute data or use the blockchain. It is our goal to enable and empower as many individuals and enterprises worldwide and build HPB’s DApp ecosystem tailored for enterprise applications.
Website
Coin Market Cap
Twitter
Reddit
Telegram
Exchanges
OKEx
Bibox
Bit-z
submitted by salamanderjones1 to Aircoins [link] [comments]


2018.07.04 05:35 Rollerwings & is for andthensome: Denouement

They say cool guys in action movies never look behind them to witness explosions, but believe you me, as I strode from the heavily damaged laboratory I had raided, I was doing so taking backwards steps. Because the chance to see Animus’s demise wasn’t something I’d miss for all the world, and it was beyond gratifying to see my allies’ handiwork–the mansion that had been set explosively ablaze–collapse into the aftermath of my considerably more clumsy efforts, the destroyed and looted laboratory set deep into the hillside beneath it.
Besides, it’s hard to feel much like a cool guy when you’re soaked from the building’s fire suppression system as I had been, much less still dripping with oily black sludge from the animalistic monsters that had interfered with my plans to take out Elias, the leader of the secret dark society. Hip or not, I could at least grin with relief and watch the dust rolling upward in tremendous clouds as I made my call to the other team, affirming my suspicions that they had rescued their intended target, Charisma, and were all present and accounted for. It was far more spectacular than any “controlled demolition” of a sports arena I had ever caught on the evening news.
I folded up my clamshell phone–which probably would have settled lingering doubts I possessed any quotient of coolness–and pocketed it, then leaned heavily against one arm on the rented box truck, shaking my head. The truck contained detestable and yet precious cargo, the scorched but salvageable computer equipment that, in the right hands, would yield the cryptic answers that just might someday reverse the unimaginable damage done to the society’s surviving victims.
My head was positively swimming and my tortured ear drums were pounding like the subwoofers at a death metal concert. I was mildly curious as to when the impending nosebleed would start, but I knew I had best cut my rest short and get the truck out of there before I became too shaky to grip the steering wheel. Approaching the door, I caught sight in the truck’s oversized side-view mirror of the inky mass gathering directly behind me, and my yelp of surprise was cut off by a jet-black appendage clamped over my mouth. That left me with no choice but to watch in silent horror as more of the tar-like substance–and there seemed to be an unending supply of it–pulled itself into an upright form before my eyes like a cross between Slenderman and Robert Patrick from "Judgement Day". It was only vaguely humanoid, as though the intelligence behind those half-dozen unblinking eyes saw no need to be restricted to such an unimpressive form. When it abruptly spoke, however, it was in an amplified, metallic, though recognizable voice.
“It’s me,” the entity hissed, two of its many appendages retreating somewhat into its torso and threading themselves together over what appeared to be its chest. “And while you’ve never been easy on the eyes, you’re a real sight.” As soon as it had slid its wormlike arm from my mouth, I made no pretense of hiding my disgust, wiping its traces off on my jacket collar. We may have been forced allies, but there was little love lost between Ares and myself.
“That’s quite a new look for you, while we’re at it,” I countered, my hands on my hips. “Mike told me you all made it but he neglected to mention this revolting new development.” Eyes, located in places around Ares’s frame where optic nerves shouldn’t possibly have been able to reach, narrowed in offense but a low rumble of laughter from their host held them at ease.
“This coming from a guy who looks like he just lost a game show of Double Dare in grand style,” Ares taunted, extending another arm to rest on my already slimy shoulder. It hissed when I slapped it away, and I fixed him with a baleful look.
“Was that really a reference to…gah, you are such an Eighties brat.” Jerking a thumb at the wreckage of the lab, I added, “Okay, so your help taking out the scientists back there was much appreciated, but can’t you keep your new pets on a leash? Thanks to them, Elias was able to escape, to where I have no idea.” Getting only a few blinks in response, I snapped. “And while he ducked and ran, I was held back, getting felt up by your sludge monsters!”
“And I take it this wasn’t some secret kink of yours?” Ares asked. “Hey, just checking!” His arrogant superiority was bolstered by our shared knowledge that even at their strongest, my powers of persuasion had no effect on him. For that matter, at twelve, our ally Samantha could already put my abilities to shame, and from what I had witnessed she was far less vulnerable to the after-effects of pushing herself to her limit. Yet we all suffered for our art…
“I’m outta here; I’ve gotta get the truck back to the team,” I grumbled, done with our battle of wits. Ares “helpfully” called out a reminder that I might want to cover the seat with plastic first and I winced because I had actually done that. It was a rental, after all, and truth be told, my assumed identity, Milton Barrister, was not as well-off financially as one might believe. Ares’s next words, however, were spoken with utter gravity, and I stopped in my tracks.
“It was the remnant, Clyde. My shadows became confused because they were newly exposed to and then surrounded by such an abundance of it, not only in the laboratory all around them but heavily concentrated in both Elias and in you. When he brought you back from the brink, Henry sure didn’t do that halfway.”
I scratched my head, my fingers raking through matted hair. So the monsters had just been toying with us, deciding who to consume first? No doubt sensing my lack of understanding, Ares continued.
“Had they not held you back, there was a very real chance you would have taken the remnant you would have come to see as rightfully yours. Taken it and availed yourself of it, as I have. That would not have ended well and you would have fallen into the hands of the same enemy you risked so much to help bring down tonight.”
“Heavy.” Settled on the bench seat of the truck, I was still not quite at his eye level. “Guess weaker abilities mean I’m not doing so great in the willpower department, either?” He shrugged carelessly.
“It’s hard to say, but you wouldn’t have withstood this one. We will help you find Elias, before he is able to rebuild what we took from him today. Then you can continue your efforts to fix, to heal, to mend old wounds.” I nodded, now positive he was intuitively picking up my thoughts as simple as if they were radio waves, unseen in the cool night air surrounding us. “Although, there will be more. When my shadows fed, their meal was far from complete, and they demand what they have been denied.” He turned away and spoke one last time, his many eyes seemingly pleading and regretful.
"This remnant… it's killing me, Clyde. I can't tell which of my fading memories are real or at least could be. Every second is an uphill battle to keep myself sane as more of my memories sink into the blackness, and in time, I might even forget who I am, except just another screaming voice drowning in a collective subconscious." If a tar blob slenderman thing could express shame this would certainly be it. "Who knows? Perhaps the shadows would stay content wandering the earth like Wicked Jack o'-the wisp. But still…" Oh, I knew exactly what Ares was getting at. "So this might as well be my goodbye, while I'm still me. I gotta hand it to you man, whatever you may have thought of me," a sly smirk formed upon the silky sheen. "It was fun while it lasted, Clyde. I hope we never see each other again."
Ares' last words sent shivers down my spine as I finally drove off, watching the misshapen form staring back at me with his many eyes receding in the side-view mirrors, before it melted into the same ooze it had arisen from. All the while I was beginning to come to terms with Ares's fate, if indeed that thing was still him. I wondered in what state his body would be found…if there was anything left to find. I imagined all sorts of horrific scenarios of what might have happened after he took up concentrated remnant like he claimed, most of them ending in his corpse being ripped apart and digested by his creations like so many of their victims.
Once he was out of sight, the sole of my work boot feathered the brake pedal for a few indecisive moments before I nudged it to the floor, and the truck slid to a gentle halt. My eyes met my reflection in the rear view mirror, then drifted toward the smoke still curling up from the far-off ruins. I killed the engine, gripping the key fob so fiercely the scar tissue embedded in my wrist ached as though the vintage wounds were fresh.
That remnant. It was still there, at least some of it had to be, still entrapped in its vials and syringes, scattered across the concrete floor of the lab and untouched by the fire. Though I held a grudging respect for Ares and all he had been through, his logic seemed faulty. Any surviving remnant was rightfully mine, and with Animus all but decimated, surely there remained no one capable of turning me to their dark side as he had warned. They made me… or at least they made me into who I was today. They made the remnant and Henry had injected that remnant into my veins like some kind of naloxone for the soul.
Then again… I'd seen what it did to Ares.
Could the same happen to me?
"How many people have you killed because you were unable to control your ability?"
Henry's words, so full of fear and regret, returned to the forefront of my mind as I pondered this. True, it was only that one guy and he fucking deserved it… but if I lost control and used my ability en masse like that little girl did… was it possible?
Was I really one of those men who could kill an entire auditorium by the power of words alone? Thoughts of my motivational seminar attendees, their faith strong that I could rescue them from the failings we all had, crept guiltily into my mind.
I dipped my head low, gritting my teeth as my forehead came to a rest against the vinyl of the steering wheel, and recalled the moment my own savior had come slowly into focus long after Night Four had gone haywire.
”For a moment there, I thought you’d checked out on us,” Henry had said, sounding for all the world like a relieved coach helping his player up after he’d been beaned by a wayward Little League pitch and we weren’t really crouched in a children’s pizzeria slipping around in a spreading pool of blood.
Gee whillikers, kiddo, you sure had us in for a scare. You’ve got to promise not to do that again!
Right, Henry, the next time I got it through my head to let the animatronics slam my body into one of those steel death traps, I’d be sure to pause and think about it first. For as much as I admired and owed the man, I could never understand him. He had then watched over me as my “unsurvivable” injuries healed, no doubt in ways that would have mystified modern medical science, then firmly cut me off with a wish of good luck but no instruction. Left to eke by as best as I could in a world I was supposed to have departed from, I could at least take solace in a low-key job not all that different from what I had done before at Freddy’s.
So the Nineties, the Aughts and the Twenty-Tens passed, until one day, not long after meeting up with Henry again and enrolling in law school as he’d instructed with a greater sense of direction, the fax machine had arrived in the mail, no return address, of course. Typical Henry style, it was a quarter-century out of date and its beige plastic frame had badly yellowed with age. The damn thing took the old-fashioned paper on a reel that nobody sold anymore, and some days I swore Henry got off on making life difficult. But, ever obedient, I had it humming a day or two later when the first mysterious fax had come through. Henry usually sent his directives one sentence at a time, leaving me to guess the reasoning behind his terse commands.
Six months from graduation, you’ll become one Milton Barrister. More will follow.
You are to be settled in Des Moines a week from today, meeting with your new liason, Alice. More will follow.
Jolting back to the present, I pushed open the truck’s door and stepped out, not daring to close it lest I attract his keen hearing.
Guess “more won’t follow” now, huh, Henry? You left me high and dry and lost, taking yourself out when Alice -- okay, when I -- still needed your guidance. Then again, considering what you were really up to, your demise came far too late.
I strode purposefully to the fire scene, keeping a watchful eye out for Ares or his uncanny parlor-trick creatures. Just a few handfuls of those remnant vials, shoved deep into the pockets of the dopey courier jacket I was actually starting to like (curse it!) and I’d be set for the rest of my unnatural life.
Of course, I wouldn’t be a dumbass like Ares and take it all in at once, because he had all the patience of a rabid badger. If I had the wherewithal to wait while my wounds had healed, to toil away contentedly for twenty-five years until Henry called in a favor, and then to put myself through law school the honest way, surely I could trust myself not to shoot that stuff up like some wild-eyed…
Junkie. He spared my dignity by not turning to acknowledge me, but Ares’s unmistakable form stood nonetheless like a sentry, his limblike appendages held akimbo over his chest and guarding the fire as it did its final, destructive work.
I bit the back of my hand to keep from crying out, knowing he had counted on my eventual and inevitable return; he had, after all, warned he hoped we’d never meet again. Keeping up the pretense that I hadn’t been anticipated, I backed away, vividly imagining the flames exploding the vials of that precious remnant that could have done so much for me.
What did Ares know about destroying yourself a little more each time you used your powers? What had Henry known? Admittedly, the former had given up everything in a final show of might and the latter had taken his own life, no doubt feeling entirely used-up and weary. But to be able to restore just a little of what the remnant had wrested from me, to be able to harness my abilities even half so capably as a kid like Samantha, a quarter of my age…
Junkie indeed. I slunk away like a wounded, guilty animal, hungering for what I could never have.

Six months later

Clutching a travel mug full of coffee, I hurried down the tiled hallways of Afton Community College, and arrived an easy twenty minutes early for my non-credit class, sliding into a plastic chair. When I had read online about “The Unsolved Crimes of Washington County” course offering, I’d immediately signed up for the one-off class. For one thing, I had to admit it would have been the exact kind of thing my late mentor would have wanted me to attend, and for another, I knew I would find myself in good company. You might say I had some interest in the unsolved crimes of the county myself, y’know?
As Merle Walton, the former county D.A. who would have been at least a police lieutenant around the time I’d disappeared, rifled through his index cards full of notes in preparation, I glanced around the room as it began to fill up. I had read up on the cases that would be discussed tonight, and I was innately curious what had brought my classmates in. There were a few scattered college students taking advantage of the waived course fee or perhaps earning extra credit, a handful of local history buffs chattering amongst themselves, a couple who looked like armchair detectives -- or amateur sleuths, if you will -- and I few I couldn’t begin to nail down. This last group sat in silence, foregoing small talk and sneaking glances back at me.
Milton Barrister, my far more sophisticated alter ego, had chosen a button-down shirt and navy slacks, an understated but studious look for a leisure-time pursuit to broaden one’s horizons. Clyde Miller had almost won out that night, reaching into the suitcase for the worn and comfortable cotton of a discount-store western shirt, its buttons plastic and meant to simulate mother-of-pearl. Obviously, though, I couldn’t indulge my old ways, especially not so near to my old hometown, at a class spent discussing crimes I had been uncomfortably close to.
Raising a brow, I turned behind me, catching a shifty set of eyes just as they furtively redirected. I ground my mechanical pencil into the surface of the desk before me, for I had not anticipated this. Not him.
Needing somewhere, anywhere, else to avert my attention, I glanced at one of the classmates I had pegged as an armchair detective. Fortyish and scholarly in his tweed sportcoat, he flashed me a shy smile that abruptly froze on his face. My heart sank; was I to have any luck keeping a low profile tonight?
I decided to pretend I hadn't seen any of this and glanced at the phone under my desk, in the guise of texting someone. Scrolling through my bookmarks I came across a news article from a few months back that I'd previously set aside since it might be relevant, soon coming to the grim realization that hadn't presented itself back then. I'd read the files back at Pinewood detailing the dead student's metamorphosis into an abhorrent creation, and was rapidly putting two and two together; the suicide wasn't a deviation, it was the kick that set his true plan into motion, one that would make even the most hardened school shooter green with envy. Now I could only hope that the story came to an end and soon...
Twenty minutes later, my pencil scratched furiously at the notepad I’d brought, recording every detail as Walton enumerated, in a detached and clinical manner, all the known facts about the decades-old murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza that the police had seen fit to release. I had fully expected him to start his presentation with the crime that had forever changed the entire county; after all, surely the unsolved burglary at the local bowling alley wasn’t half so fascinating to my classmates.
None of the murders he mentioned had ever been conclusively tied to William Afton or Henry, yet my ears were ringing incessantly by the time our instructor tersely rattled off the names of the youthful victims. Tweed Sportcoat choked back a strangled cry, then hurried from the room. Taking a glance back at our shifty classmate, I lost no time in following, hearing Walton behind us begrudgingly admitting it was probably time for a smoke break.
I knew what I’d seen, and at the restroom mirror I lost no time in applying the remnant I’d need to strengthen me for the eventual confrontation that would go down, then pocketed one of the few precious vials I had been permitted to keep.
“Gabriel, the last name he mentioned,” began my shy classmate from his station at a nearby sink, where he’d been splashing water on his flushed face and generally paying my grooming habits little heed. “That was my older brother. Big Gabe and Lil’ Harvey--”
“Don’t I know.” My voice was unexpectedly soft as I tugged a pair of sunglasses over my eyes, lest they take on the vaguely fluorescent glow from the remnant under the harsh restroom lighting. “You came back looking for him, all the time. I was the security guard who was supposed to be watching those kids.” My shoulders fell as I awaited his rage that would erupt so soon after he had felt safe confiding in a stranger like myself, but Harvey’s eyes only widened in eventual recognition.
“You were a game technician, not even a glorified security guy back then. You were supposed to make sure kids didn’t feed coin slugs into the machines, not fend off monsters who had it in for them. I couldn’t ever bring it in myself to blame you.”
I truly felt for Harvey as he took his turn revealing the guilt that had consumed him. “Tanner Albright, the one whose case is way too new for this course? He was my case, or at least he was supposed to be until he dropped out of my school. If anyone around here is guilty of failing someone, the blood is on my hands.” A small hint of a smirk danced across his face. “It took me a while, but I recognized you from a really old photo in your school file. I can’t believe you’re alive, Miller.”
He yelped as I seized him by his tweed shoulders, fiercely protective of the new friend fate had brought into my life.
“Neither can one of our classmates tonight, but there was no mistaking he’s been unabashedly eyeing you up since he walked in the door.” Harvey’s mouth opened in astonishment, but I continued, the words spilling from my mouth.
”He was there that night, keeping lookout while Afton led your brother and the rest away. I know it now, and years later he was the last guy I spoke to when I tried to quit Freddy’s.”
“Miller!” a voice boomed. I cringed as the restroom door was kicked open, unable to erase the instinctive terror from my high school memories of being bullied in similar settings. Harvey looked like he wanted to lock himself inside the nearest stall in self-protection, but to his credit he stood his ground. We both knew who were facing, but it still felt gratifying to finally speak his name aloud.
”Derrick,” I snarled in return.
“Wow,” he scoffed, choosing to target me first as his eyes roved over my scarred visage. “Even if someone saw fit to rearrange your face at some point, there’s no forgetting your ugly mug. So that bleeding heart Henry tried to save you, did he? I’m not sure he did you any favors.” He leaned in mockingly, his cruel but handsome face triumphant and pulling me involuntarily backward to that night.
”So Will tells me you’re leaving us after all this time, huh, Miller?” Derrick clapped me on the back in the waning moments before what was to be one of my final night shifts, while I refused to meet his eyes. Behind him, Afton himself regarded us in disapproval. “Too bad you didn’t give more notice, or we could have given you a nice gold watch, thrown a farewell party and all that. Well, your shoes will be hard to fill, but have a nice night, chum!”
Have a nice night. Had he also called a young Harvey “chum” when the forlorn child had come against his parents’ wishes to seek out his lost brother? He had set me up for deadly failure, or at least ensured William’s plans were followed out. And now he had to be freshly insulted, facing down two stragglers from his past.
The remnant seared its way through my muscles, my veins and my neurons, ending at my fingertips that curled into fisted hands. The Animus enforcer advanced on Harvey, which gave me just the edge I needed to catch him completely off guard, slamming his head directly through the porcelain sink. My new ally and I exchanged mutual expressions of revulsion and horror, he for the obscene level of savagery I had displayed and myself for the sickening intoxication of the remnant. Derrick slid to the gritty tiled floor amidst the shards of the wash basin, rolling over to face sightlessly the sterile lighting above us, and his countenance disfigured by the blow but not destroyed.
"How many people have you killed because you were unable to control your ability?"
Guess I’m best off leaving it at two and calling it a day, right Henry? I thought, making no move to dissuade Harvey from following me as we stalked away into the cool night air. Maybe he would become the most unlikely asset to our mismatched team, but the school counselor had his own deep-seated reasons for aiding our cause, and I was in no position to tell anyone he was a poor fit for the team.
The jangling of my flip phone brought me back to reality, and I wrestled its chunky frame from my slacks pocket, never breaking our swift and purposeful pace.
“Hello. Hello?” Old habits did indeed die hard, I thought as my hesitant signature greeting was returned with a more direct address.
"Clyde?” The inimitable voice on the other end of the line came from none other than our mysterious benefactor, Mr. Maxim of Maxim Technologies, who had been most supportive of our efforts.
"Hey Chris, any good news?"
"Oh, yes! Yes indeed!" Maxim spoke excitedly.
"Clyde…we found them."
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2018.07.04 05:29 Rollerwings & is for andthensome: Denouement

They say cool guys in action movies never look behind them to witness explosions, but believe you me, as I strode from the heavily damaged laboratory I had raided, I was doing so taking backwards steps. Because the chance to see Animus’s demise wasn’t something I’d miss for all the world, and it was beyond gratifying to see my allies’ handiwork–the mansion that had been set explosively ablaze–collapse into the aftermath of my considerably more clumsy efforts, the destroyed and looted laboratory set deep into the hillside beneath it.
Besides, it’s hard to feel much like a cool guy when you’re soaked from the building’s fire suppression system as I had been, much less still dripping with oily black sludge from the animalistic monsters that had interfered with my plans to take out Elias, the leader of the secret dark society. Hip or not, I could at least grin with relief and watch the dust rolling upward in tremendous clouds as I made my call to the other team, affirming my suspicions that they had rescued their intended target, Charisma, and were all present and accounted for. It was far more spectacular than any “controlled demolition” of a sports arena I had ever caught on the evening news.
I folded up my clamshell phone–which probably would have settled lingering doubts I possessed any quotient of coolness–and pocketed it, then leaned heavily against one arm on the rented box truck, shaking my head. The truck contained detestable and yet precious cargo, the scorched but salvageable computer equipment that, in the right hands, would yield the cryptic answers that just might someday reverse the unimaginable damage done to the society’s surviving victims.
My head was positively swimming and my tortured ear drums were pounding like the subwoofers at a death metal concert. I was mildly curious as to when the impending nosebleed would start, but I knew I had best cut my rest short and get the truck out of there before I became too shaky to grip the steering wheel. Approaching the door, I caught sight in the truck’s oversized side-view mirror of the inky mass gathering directly behind me, and my yelp of surprise was cut off by a jet-black appendage clamped over my mouth. That left me with no choice but to watch in silent horror as more of the tar-like substance–and there seemed to be an unending supply of it–pulled itself into an upright form before my eyes like a cross between Slenderman and Robert Patrick from "Judgement Day". It was only vaguely humanoid, as though the intelligence behind those half-dozen unblinking eyes saw no need to be restricted to such an unimpressive form. When it abruptly spoke, however, it was in an amplified, metallic, though recognizable voice.
“It’s me,” the entity hissed, two of its many appendages retreating somewhat into its torso and threading themselves together over what appeared to be its chest. “And while you’ve never been easy on the eyes, you’re a real sight.” As soon as it had slid its wormlike arm from my mouth, I made no pretense of hiding my disgust, wiping its traces off on my jacket collar. We may have been forced allies, but there was little love lost between Ares and myself.
“That’s quite a new look for you, while we’re at it,” I countered, my hands on my hips. “Mike told me you all made it but he neglected to mention this revolting new development.” Eyes, located in places around Ares’s frame where optic nerves shouldn’t possibly have been able to reach, narrowed in offense but a low rumble of laughter from their host held them at ease.
“This coming from a guy who looks like he just lost a game show of Double Dare in grand style,” Ares taunted, extending another arm to rest on my already slimy shoulder. It hissed when I slapped it away, and I fixed him with a baleful look.
“Was that really a reference to…gah, you are such an Eighties brat.” Jerking a thumb at the wreckage of the lab, I added, “Okay, so your help taking out the scientists back there was much appreciated, but can’t you keep your new pets on a leash? Thanks to them, Elias was able to escape, to where I have no idea.” Getting only a few blinks in response, I snapped. “And while he ducked and ran, I was held back, getting felt up by your sludge monsters!”
“And I take it this wasn’t some secret kink of yours?” Ares asked. “Hey, just checking!” His arrogant superiority was bolstered by our shared knowledge that even at their strongest, my powers of persuasion had no effect on him. For that matter, at twelve, our ally Samantha could already put my abilities to shame, and from what I had witnessed she was far less vulnerable to the after-effects of pushing herself to her limit. Yet we all suffered for our art…
“I’m outta here; I’ve gotta get the truck back to the team,” I grumbled, done with our battle of wits. Ares “helpfully” called out a reminder that I might want to cover the seat with plastic first and I winced because I had actually done that. It was a rental, after all, and truth be told, my assumed identity, Milton Barrister, was not as well-off financially as one might believe. Ares’s next words, however, were spoken with utter gravity, and I stopped in my tracks.
“It was the remnant, Clyde. My shadows became confused because they were newly exposed to and then surrounded by such an abundance of it, not only in the laboratory all around them but heavily concentrated in both Elias and in you. When he brought you back from the brink, Henry sure didn’t do that halfway.”
I scratched my head, my fingers raking through matted hair. So the monsters had just been toying with us, deciding who to consume first? No doubt sensing my lack of understanding, Ares continued.
“Had they not held you back, there was a very real chance you would have taken the remnant you would have come to see as rightfully yours. Taken it and availed yourself of it, as I have. That would not have ended well and you would have fallen into the hands of the same enemy you risked so much to help bring down tonight.”
“Heavy.” Settled on the bench seat of the truck, I was still not quite at his eye level. “Guess weaker abilities mean I’m not doing so great in the willpower department, either?” He shrugged carelessly.
“It’s hard to say, but you wouldn’t have withstood this one. We will help you find Elias, before he is able to rebuild what we took from him today. Then you can continue your efforts to fix, to heal, to mend old wounds.” I nodded, now positive he was intuitively picking up my thoughts as simple as if they were radio waves, unseen in the cool night air surrounding us. “Although, there will be more. When my shadows fed, their meal was far from complete, and they demand what they have been denied.” He turned away and spoke one last time, his many eyes seemingly pleading and regretful.
"This remnant… it's killing me, Clyde. I can't tell which of my fading memories are real or at least could be. Every second is an uphill battle to keep myself sane as more of my memories sink into the blackness, and in time, I might even forget who I am, except just another screaming voice drowning in a collective subconscious." If a tar blob slenderman thing could express shame this would certainly be it. "Who knows? Perhaps the shadows would stay content wandering the earth like Wicked Jack o'-the wisp. But still…" Oh, I knew exactly what Ares was getting at. "So this might as well be my goodbye, while I'm still me. I gotta hand it to you man, whatever you may have thought of me," a sly smirk formed upon the silky sheen. "It was fun while it lasted, Clyde. I hope we never see each other again."
Ares' last words sent shivers down my spine as I finally drove off, watching the misshapen form staring back at me with his many eyes receding in the side-view mirrors, before it melted into the same ooze it had arisen from. All the while I was beginning to come to terms with Ares's fate, if indeed that thing was still him. I wondered in what state his body would be found…if there was anything left to find. I imagined all sorts of horrific scenarios of what might have happened after he took up concentrated remnant like he claimed, most of them ending in his corpse being ripped apart and digested by his creations like so many of their victims.
Once he was out of sight, the sole of my work boot feathered the brake pedal for a few indecisive moments before I nudged it to the floor, and the truck slid to a gentle halt. My eyes met my reflection in the rear view mirror, then drifted toward the smoke still curling up from the far-off ruins. I killed the engine, gripping the key fob so fiercely the scar tissue embedded in my wrist ached as though the vintage wounds were fresh.
That remnant. It was still there, at least some of it had to be, still entrapped in its vials and syringes, scattered across the concrete floor of the lab and untouched by the fire. Though I held a grudging respect for Ares and all he had been through, his logic seemed faulty. Any surviving remnant was rightfully mine, and with Animus all but decimated, surely there remained no one capable of turning me to their dark side as he had warned. They made me… or at least they made me into who I was today. They made the remnant and Henry had injected that remnant into my veins like some kind of naloxone for the soul.
Then again… I'd seen what it did to Ares.
Could the same happen to me?
"How many people have you killed because you were unable to control your ability?"
Henry's words, so full of fear and regret, returned to the forefront of my mind as I pondered this. True, it was only that one guy and he fucking deserved it… but if I lost control and used my ability en masse like that little girl did… was it possible?
Was I really one of those men who could kill an entire auditorium by the power of words alone? Thoughts of my motivational seminar attendees, their faith strong that I could rescue them from the failings we all had, crept guiltily into my mind.
I dipped my head low, gritting my teeth as my forehead came to a rest against the vinyl of the steering wheel, and recalled the moment my own savior had come slowly into focus long after Night Four had gone haywire.
”For a moment there, I thought you’d checked out on us,” Henry had said, sounding for all the world like a relieved coach helping his player up after he’d been beaned by a wayward Little League pitch and we weren’t really crouched in a children’s pizzeria slipping around in a spreading pool of blood.
Gee whillikers, kiddo, you sure had us in for a scare. You’ve got to promise not to do that again!
Right, Henry, the next time I got it through my head to let the animatronics slam my body into one of those steel death traps, I’d be sure to pause and think about it first. For as much as I admired and owed the man, I could never understand him. He had then watched over me as my “unsurvivable” injuries healed, no doubt in ways that would have mystified modern medical science, then firmly cut me off with a wish of good luck but no instruction. Left to eke by as best as I could in a world I was supposed to have departed from, I could at least take solace in a low-key job not all that different from what I had done before at Freddy’s.
So the Nineties, the Aughts and the Twenty-Tens passed, until one day, not long after meeting up with Henry again and enrolling in law school as he’d instructed with a greater sense of direction, the fax machine had arrived in the mail, no return address, of course. Typical Henry style, it was a quarter-century out of date and its beige plastic frame had badly yellowed with age. The damn thing took the old-fashioned paper on a reel that nobody sold anymore, and some days I swore Henry got off on making life difficult. But, ever obedient, I had it humming a day or two later when the first mysterious fax had come through. Henry usually sent his directives one sentence at a time, leaving me to guess the reasoning behind his terse commands.
Six months from graduation, you’ll become one Milton Barrister. More will follow.
You are to be settled in Des Moines a week from today, meeting with your new liason, Alice. More will follow.
Jolting back to the present, I pushed open the truck’s door and stepped out, not daring to close it lest I attract his keen hearing.
Guess “more won’t follow” now, huh, Henry? You left me high and dry and lost, taking yourself out when Alice -- okay, when I -- still needed your guidance. Then again, considering what you were really up to, your demise came far too late.
I strode purposefully to the fire scene, keeping a watchful eye out for Ares or his uncanny parlor-trick creatures. Just a few handfuls of those remnant vials, shoved deep into the pockets of the dopey courier jacket I was actually starting to like (curse it!) and I’d be set for the rest of my unnatural life.
Of course, I wouldn’t be a dumbass like Ares and take it all in at once, because he had all the patience of a rabid badger. If I had the wherewithal to wait while my wounds had healed, to toil away contentedly for twenty-five years until Henry called in a favor, and then to put myself through law school the honest way, surely I could trust myself not to shoot that stuff up like some wild-eyed…
Junkie. He spared my dignity by not turning to acknowledge me, but Ares’s unmistakable form stood nonetheless like a sentry, his limblike appendages held akimbo over his chest and guarding the fire as it did its final, destructive work.
I bit the back of my hand to keep from crying out, knowing he had counted on my eventual and inevitable return; he had, after all, warned he hoped we’d never meet again. Keeping up the pretense that I hadn’t been anticipated, I backed away, vividly imagining the flames exploding the vials of that precious remnant that could have done so much for me.
What did Ares know about destroying yourself a little more each time you used your powers? What had Henry known? Admittedly, the former had given up everything in a final show of might and the latter had taken his own life, no doubt feeling entirely used-up and weary. But to be able to restore just a little of what the remnant had wrested from me, to be able to harness my abilities even half so capably as a kid like Samantha, a quarter of my age…
Junkie indeed. I slunk away like a wounded, guilty animal, hungering for what I could never have.

Six months later

Clutching a travel mug full of coffee, I hurried down the tiled hallways of Afton Community College, and arrived an easy twenty minutes early for my non-credit class, sliding into a plastic chair. When I had read online about “The Unsolved Crimes of Washington County” course offering, I’d immediately signed up for the one-off class. For one thing, I had to admit it would have been the exact kind of thing my late mentor would have wanted me to attend, and for another, I knew I would find myself in good company. You might say I had some interest in the unsolved crimes of the county myself, y’know?
As Merle Walton, the former county D.A. who would have been at least a police lieutenant around the time I’d disappeared, rifled through his index cards full of notes in preparation, I glanced around the room as it began to fill up. I had read up on the cases that would be discussed tonight, and I was innately curious what had brought my classmates in. There were a few scattered college students taking advantage of the waived course fee or perhaps earning extra credit, a handful of local history buffs chattering amongst themselves, a couple who looked like armchair detectives -- or amateur sleuths, if you will -- and I few I couldn’t begin to nail down. This last group sat in silence, foregoing small talk and sneaking glances back at me.
Milton Barrister, my far more sophisticated alter ego, had chosen a button-down shirt and navy slacks, an understated but studious look for a leisure-time pursuit to broaden one’s horizons. Clyde Miller had almost won out that night, reaching into the suitcase for the worn and comfortable cotton of a discount-store western shirt, its buttons plastic and meant to simulate mother-of-pearl. Obviously, though, I couldn’t indulge my old ways, especially not so near to my old hometown, at a class spent discussing crimes I had been uncomfortably close to.
Raising a brow, I turned behind me, catching a shifty set of eyes just as they furtively redirected. I ground my mechanical pencil into the surface of the desk before me, for I had not anticipated this. Not him.
Needing somewhere, anywhere, else to avert my attention, I glanced at one of the classmates I had pegged as an armchair detective. Fortyish and scholarly in his tweed sportcoat, he flashed me a shy smile that abruptly froze on his face. My heart sank; was I to have any luck keeping a low profile tonight?
I decided to pretend I hadn't seen any of this and glanced at the phone under my desk, in the guise of texting someone. Scrolling through my bookmarks I came across a news article from a few months back that I'd previously set aside since it might be relevant, soon coming to the grim realization that hadn't presented itself back then. I'd read the files back at Pinewood detailing the dead student's metamorphosis into an abhorrent creation, and was rapidly putting two and two together; the suicide wasn't a deviation, it was the kick that set his true plan into motion, one that would make even the most hardened school shooter green with envy. Now I could only hope that the story came to an end and soon...
Twenty minutes later, my pencil scratched furiously at the notepad I’d brought, recording every detail as Walton enumerated, in a detached and clinical manner, all the known facts about the decades-old murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza that the police had seen fit to release. I had fully expected him to start his presentation with the crime that had forever changed the entire county; after all, surely the unsolved burglary at the local bowling alley wasn’t half so fascinating to my classmates.
None of the murders he mentioned had ever been conclusively tied to William Afton or Henry, yet my ears were ringing incessantly by the time our instructor tersely rattled off the names of the youthful victims. Tweed Sportcoat choked back a strangled cry, then hurried from the room. Taking a glance back at our shifty classmate, I lost no time in following, hearing Walton behind us begrudgingly admitting it was probably time for a smoke break.
I knew what I’d seen, and at the restroom mirror I lost no time in applying the remnant I’d need to strengthen me for the eventual confrontation that would go down, then pocketed one of the few precious vials I had been permitted to keep.
“Gabriel, the last name he mentioned,” began my shy classmate from his station at a nearby sink, where he’d been splashing water on his flushed face and generally paying my grooming habits little heed. “That was my older brother. Big Gabe and Lil’ Harvey--”
“Don’t I know.” My voice was unexpectedly soft as I tugged a pair of sunglasses over my eyes, lest they take on the vaguely fluorescent glow from the remnant under the harsh restroom lighting. “You came back looking for him, all the time. I was the security guard who was supposed to be watching those kids.” My shoulders fell as I awaited his rage that would erupt so soon after he had felt safe confiding in a stranger like myself, but Harvey’s eyes only widened in eventual recognition.
“You were a game technician, not even a glorified security guy back then. You were supposed to make sure kids didn’t feed coin slugs into the machines, not fend off monsters who had it in for them. I couldn’t ever bring it in myself to blame you.”
I truly felt for Harvey as he took his turn revealing the guilt that had consumed him. “Tanner Albright, the one whose case is way too new for this course? He was my case, or at least he was supposed to be until he dropped out of my school. If anyone around here is guilty of failing someone, the blood is on my hands.” A small hint of a smirk danced across his face. “It took me a while, but I recognized you from a really old photo in your school file. I can’t believe you’re alive, Miller.”
He yelped as I seized him by his tweed shoulders, fiercely protective of the new friend fate had brought into my life.
“Neither can one of our classmates tonight, but there was no mistaking he’s been unabashedly eyeing you up since he walked in the door.” Harvey’s mouth opened in astonishment, but I continued, the words spilling from my mouth.
”He was there that night, keeping lookout while Afton led your brother and the rest away. I know it now, and years later he was the last guy I spoke to when I tried to quit Freddy’s.”
“Miller!” a voice boomed. I cringed as the restroom door was kicked open, unable to erase the instinctive terror from my high school memories of being bullied in similar settings. Harvey looked like he wanted to lock himself inside the nearest stall in self-protection, but to his credit he stood his ground. We both knew who were facing, but it still felt gratifying to finally speak his name aloud.
”Derrick,” I snarled in return.
“Wow,” he scoffed, choosing to target me first as his eyes roved over my scarred visage. “Even if someone saw fit to rearrange your face at some point, there’s no forgetting your ugly mug. So that bleeding heart Henry tried to save you, did he? I’m not sure he did you any favors.” He leaned in mockingly, his cruel but handsome face triumphant and pulling me involuntarily backward to that night.
”So Will tells me you’re leaving us after all this time, huh, Miller?” Derrick clapped me on the back in the waning moments before what was to be one of my final night shifts, while I refused to meet his eyes. Behind him, Afton himself regarded us in disapproval. “Too bad you didn’t give more notice, or we could have given you a nice gold watch, thrown a farewell party and all that. Well, your shoes will be hard to fill, but have a nice night, chum!”
Have a nice night. Had he also called a young Harvey “chum” when the forlorn child had come against his parents’ wishes to seek out his lost brother? He had set me up for deadly failure, or at least ensured William’s plans were followed out. And now he had to be freshly insulted, facing down two stragglers from his past.
The remnant seared its way through my muscles, my veins and my neurons, ending at my fingertips that curled into fisted hands. The Animus enforcer advanced on Harvey, which gave me just the edge I needed to catch him completely off guard, slamming his head directly through the porcelain sink. My new ally and I exchanged mutual expressions of revulsion and horror, he for the obscene level of savagery I had displayed and myself for the sickening intoxication of the remnant. Derrick slid to the gritty tiled floor amidst the shards of the wash basin, rolling over to face sightlessly the sterile lighting above us, and his countenance disfigured by the blow but not destroyed.
"How many people have you killed because you were unable to control your ability?"
Guess I’m best off leaving it at two and calling it a day, right Henry? I thought, making no move to dissuade Harvey from following me as we stalked away into the cool night air. Maybe he would become the most unlikely asset to our mismatched team, but the school counselor had his own deep-seated reasons for aiding our cause, and I was in no position to tell anyone he was a poor fit for the team.
The jangling of my flip phone brought me back to reality, and I wrestled its chunky frame from my slacks pocket, never breaking our swift and purposeful pace.
“Hello. Hello?” Old habits did indeed die hard, I thought as my hesitant signature greeting was returned with a more direct address.
"Clyde?” The inimitable voice on the other end of the line came from none other than our mysterious benefactor, Mr. Maxim of Maxim Technologies, who had been most supportive of our efforts.
"Hey Chris, any good news?"
"Oh, yes! Yes indeed!" Maxim spoke excitedly.
"Clyde…we found them."
submitted by Rollerwings to 26FrightsOfFreddy [link] [comments]


2017.11.26 17:47 Colton-Gully [Short Story] Balloon

Sammy walked into the room at the end of a cinderblock hallway. The heavy metal door clicked closed behind her as she stepped across the linoleum floor to the metal chair seated in front of the desk. She sat, feeling the chair’s legs bow under her massive weight, she let out a wince. Across from her sat Dr. Mandelson. A slight man with thin grey hair that came to a widow’s peak, and beady eyes that measured, weighed, categorized all through wire framed spectacles. He stood from his chair reaching his tiny hand out toward Sammy. She took it in her massive paw without getting up, and did a little weighing herself, Dr. Mandelson would be about a serving size. He broke their clasp and sat back in his own metal chair, the ¾ inch steel legs did not notice his figure.
“How are you feeling today Sammy?” His sentence reverberated around the empty room.
“I feel fine. Ready to begin.” She was melancholy but did her best to mask her pain with a thin smile.
“That’s excellent. You have not eaten in twenty-four hours? It is important your stomach is completely empty for this.”
“My last meal was a double quarter pounder, large fries, and a coke yesterday at ten in the morning.”
“Excellent. Well again, thank you for undertaking this challenge with us. Our work today is sure to be heralded as pioneering by the scientific community, for we will solve a problem by shining a light on the culprit who has been hiding in plain sight. I understand you have been briefed; do you have any more questions about the risk involved?” Mandelson was the bright side of the moon to Sammy’s darkness, she was lifted by his confidence but slow to succumb to his luster.
“I’ve got one. When will the procedure be finished? I’ve read through the brief close to a thousand times and cannot seem to find when or why the procedure ends.”
“Well, the procedure will end when you are full. We want to understand how you know when to stop eating. In many individuals, as heavy as yourself, we have noticed the mechanism in the Hypothalamus responsible for signaling “fullness” does not function properly. So, to answer your question, the procedure will end when you signal to us that you are full.”
“The last time I was full was five years and 500 pounds ago.” Sammy moaned, feeling the darkness like heavy bricks on her chest. Dr. Mandelson retorted promptly, using his hands to demonstrate the gist of his ideas.
“Our hope is that by rapidly expanding your stomach with large amounts of food, the neurons in your brain will snap into a fight or flight reaction. Reverting to their original networking, once again sending the proper cut off signals. My team and I believe this will be brought on by the sheer fact that if your stomach expands anymore, the lining will burst, allowing the contents of the chamber to spill into your body cavity eventually leading to death,” He paused then continued. “To induce this “shut off” reaction, you will be administered a drug that causes your esophageal sphincter to act as a one- way valve, only allowing food into the stomach, and your pyloric sphincter to close tightly, not letting food out of the stomach. This will ensure you do not release the contents of your stomach via excretion by the rectum or mouth, causing pressure in the body cavity to reach dangerously high levels, thereby inducing your brain, to override your desire to consume more food. Due to this pressure, you may have a bowl movement about half way through the operation, that is, if you have not had one since your last meal. We have taken this into consideration so please do not be embarrassed if it happens.”
“What happens if your hypothesis is wrong? And like always, a feeling of fullness never comes.” Her engrained dismay ardently coming through.
“We assume the pressure in your stomach, caused by the massive injection of food, will be too much for you to bear. Like a mother giving birth, you will lose consciousness due to extreme pain and we will stop the experiment. The monetary compensation we are offering should be enough to curb the nervousness surrounding this aspect.”
“I understand.”
Sammy looked down at the top of her chest. Her breasts laid in front of her like infinity pools of milk. She had not seen the rest of her body without the help of a mirror in over a decade. When she did look in the mirror, it was not to see herself rather it was to harvest herself. Standing in front of the mirror was for lifting her rolls off her hips to clean the fumunder cheese that exudes from her pours by the cup full. The harvested cheese she sells to horny men for two dollars an ounce, via an online forum that sells everything from pubic hair to breast milk. For the perverted men that dabble in it, fumunder cheese is a drug. Each supplier exudes a different color, odor, flavor profile, and like fine wine connoisseurs, each client has their favorite mix. Some clients go so far as to buy meal plans for their suppliers to create the perfect cheese.
“Shall we continue to the next room?”
Dr. Mandelson’s voice brought Sammy out of her own head.
“Yes.”
Dr. Mandelson stood from his chair, turned to the door behind him, pressed his finger on the scanner, and the door swung open. He stepped into the staging room where a young nurse was waiting for them next to a changing table. Sammy waddled to meet them.
“Please undress here. Tania will help you. I will be waiting in the next room where the procedure will commence.” Dr. Mandelson brushed her shoulder reassuringly, before passing into the operating room.
Tania walked to meet Sammy and without saying a word started to pull off her shirt. This was work considering Sammy weighed close to 700 pounds, and carried most of the weight in her upper half. The doctors say it is the only reason she is still able to walk on her own. After removing her shirt, Tania’s hands then fell to her waist line, slid under the elastic strap holding up her pants, and began to slowly work the fabric down her thighs. Her warm touch was pleasing, it reminded Sammy of a lover she had once known. She tried to fight the sensation, but as her pants fell so too did waters of lust. Tania continued as if nothing happened. Sammy blushed. Now naked, Sammy followed Tania through the door Dr. Mandelson had passed through into the operating room.
Four white walls, one white ceiling, and one white floor framed a large chair in the middle of the room. Above the chair, two tentacle like tubes hung from the ceiling. One was black, about three inches wide, with a bulbous piece at the end. The other was thinner, clear, and had no piece. To the right of the chair was a rolling, wireless computer screen. Dr. Mandelson stood behind it.
“Please sit down Sammy,” Dr. Mandelson’s voice was warm, he did not seem to be appalled by her grotesque, naked figure. “Tania will strap you into the chair, then I will insert the clear tube into your lungs, this will allow you to breathe while we fill you with food. Then, I will insert the black tube three quarters of the way down your esophagus, it will deliver the food.” As he spoke he pointed to the tubes and his own anatomy to demonstrate his intentions.
Sammy walked over to the chair and sat, it reclined until she was halfway between flat and right. Tania tightened three straps around her legs, the first of which fell across her upper thigh, the last of which fell across her ankles. Then she tightened straps around her arms, and finished with one across her forehead. The head piece on the chair tilted back to open her throat and mouth. With her head in position, Dr. Mandelson inserted the clear tube into her throat. Her breathing became steady and effortless. The food tube entered next and as the mouth piece found its way just above her stomach she felt a coldness in the middle of her abdomen.
“I just injected the medication we talked about earlier. Tania and I are going to leave the room now. We will be watching from the window in front of you. When you feel full please raise your fingers. At that moment, we will cut the supply of food and you will be released for a debriefing.”
Dr. Mandelson and Tania walked out of the operating room. A moment later she could see them standing behind the window. There were other figures in the room as well, but from her angle Sammy could not see how many.
Dr. Mandelson’s voice came through the intercom, “Are you ready to begin?”
Sammy raised her fingers. The black tube began to vibrate and stiffen in her throat. It released what felt like a double cheeseburger amount of food into her stomach then the vibrating stopped.
“The food that was just injected into you is a primer. It is meant to stimulate digestion. We will give this process about five minutes. Please do not fall asleep.” The intercom cut out with a pop.
Sammy sat strapped to the chair sweating, staring at the tubes coming from the ceiling. She worked her jaw but found it powerless to the pressure in the black tube. Why was she here? Was selling her cheese really all that bad? Could she no longer bare the pain of social torment? The incessant slurs, demeaning messages, hated pictures, nasty jokes. All of these, though humiliating, she could bare. In the end, it was the overwhelming meanness of one lover that broke the last hair on the camel’s back.
He was a client of hers. He was charming though perverted, in her line of work everyone was. She sent him nudes and free cheese, and in return he sent her chocolates and wine. A combination that produces a particularly aromatic cheese. They talked for months via video chat and messenger. One evening, they were video chatting while drinking the wine they had sent each other. He had sent her a full-bodied cab infused with chocolate, she had sent him a berry infused pinot grigio. Collectively the bottles cost ten dollars. As she polished off the last glass of the bottle she took off her shirt and began to play with her giant boobs while he masturbated. She placed the empty wine glass between her legs to catch the juices now flowing from her stimulated vagina. When he was about to finish, she lifted the glass, now half full, and drank the lusty tonic. He climaxed all over the camera and at the same moment her vaginal walls constricted, spewing more of the lusty liquid all over the tarped floor. She sat back and stared into his eyes. Before he could say goodbye, she started to tell him how she came to be so obese.
She grew up in Aberdeen, her father was an alcoholic and disabled veteran with an oxy script; her mother was addicted to opioids. They fought constantly, the scene often ending with her mother on the floor, bloody and unconscious. Sammy ran away at the age of thirteen. She moved from foster home, to foster home until she graduated high school. In her first year of community college she met a man. He was talented, handsome, and witty. She fell madly in love with him and him with her, and after years of happy partnership they married. At this point she was in good health and he was providing. It was not until their first child was born still, that he turned to drink and drug to forget his pain and sorrow. Blasted on wine and oxy, he viciously made love to her night after night. His love making was so strong, she began bleeding clots during off weeks and could barely sit without letting out a wince. After months of this, she still bore no fruit. Eventually he became impotent, and left. Since his departure, she did nothing but eat and sleep and sell enough cheese to make it by. She finished her story by telling her internet lover she felt as in love with him as she had with her previous man. He thanked her and then exited the video chat.
She did not here from her internet lover for two weeks. Then, unexpectedly, he sent her an email requesting a formal meeting. He asked her to a date of sorts, at the mall. Excitedly she responded with a time and exact location.
She arrived early. He arrived fifteen minutes late. In one hand, he held a 64 ounce Styrofoam cup, in the other his phone. She waved, he saw her and started to yell. Suddenly everyone near them was watching him. He began to record on his phone, holding it in front of him as he turned to show how many spectators he had harnessed. He stopped spinning and made a beeline for her, yelling, recording. He stopped directly in front of her and screamed at the top of his lungs,
“Open up for some chocolate you fat cow!”
Tears started to well in her eyes and she tried to stand but he pushed her down and the chair broke under the sudden shock of weight. He laughed and followed up with,
“You fat bitch, open your fucking mouth and take this chocolate like you take your cum.”
No one helped her. They all stared on motionless, unmoved. He looked at his crowd knowing they were too passive to help a fat, waste of space then he looked back to her with victory in his eyes. She surrendered, knowing she could do nothing else without the help of the crowd. She opened her mouth like a baby bird about to receive food from its mother.
“That’s a good girl.”
He uncapped the cup and started to carefully pour the liquid chocolate into her mouth as to not spill any on her face or body.
“You’re going to drink it all you fat bitch. And after it’s all gone, I’m going to leave and you are never going to speak to me again. You disgust me.”
The chocolate was so hot it burned her throat but she drank it down all the same. He finished pouring the last drops, intentionally spilling them into her eyes and nose. He spiked the empty cup on her head, stopped recording, put his phone away, and faded into the crowd. As he did, the bustle of the mall resumed as if nothing had happened. She started crying, tried to stand but slipped on some chocolate. Eventually, she crawled to a bathroom where she locked the door and cried until the mall closed. She was helped to her car by a man in a black suite who offered to help her with her eating problem and promised to help her lose weight. At her car, he handed her a card and told her to call him if she was interested. She called him the next day.
The Black tube started to vibrate again, this time with more vigor. Food came fast and thick into her stomach, she felt the familiar weight of good cheeseburger, then an entire pizza, then a rack of ribs followed by a large milkshake and chocolate cake, then she felt something she had not felt in five years. She felt full. She picked up her fingers excitedly. The vibrating continued and she began to swell. The food was coming in faster now, two Big Macs at a time it seemed. She lifted her fingers again. Again, nothing from the room. Now the pain started to kick in. Her stomach was so swollen it protruded over her breasts then suddenly the taught skin fell limp and she felt her stomach lining release its contents into her body cavity. The black tube vibrated hard as the food came faster. Sammy watched as her entire body swelled like a balloon. She almost lost consciousness before it happened, but the last thing she saw was her naval explode like a popping pimple, shooting the food ridden contents of her body all over the mirror in front of her. Her neck went limp and she died.
Dr. Mandelson barely flinched. He turned his back to the window, facing his clients in the viewing room. All of them wealthy males with an appetite for gambling. They sat in large leather reclining chairs eating popcorn. Some with whores, others just masturbating.
“Well Mr. Trump, seems you were the closest to the time of popping without going over. Not including the five-minuet primer as per the rules, it took her two minutes and forty-seven seconds. Well done sir. The funds will be transferred into your offshore accounts.” Dr. Mandelson said as he nodded a congratulatory nod. The constituents of the room quietly applauded there associate as they cleaned the cum off their suites.
“She really was ‘uge. Wonderfully done Dr. Mandelson.”
submitted by Colton-Gully to creativewriting [link] [comments]


2017.09.10 08:21 wingsforgeorgia The girl I love hung herself on 9/4. I've been having night terrors.

First of all, I should say that I know what sleep paralysis is. I went through a phase about ten years ago where I thought it meant I was sophisticated, gifted... Salvador Dali had it and so did I. At the time, I thought that meant I was a genius. I tried my best to harness the night terrors' lucidity, to bask in their strange dark glow and store them as inspiration for when I composed music or wrote. Sometimes it even worked. Usually it crumbled to nothing in my tumultuous mind, but when it didn't, it seemed the possibilities were endless.
That's not to say that the night terrors didn't enormously freak me out the first dozen times or so- I remember waking up terrified, unable to move or scream, my thoughts bogged down in underwater slow motion, my brain flooded with visual and auditory hallucinations while seeing the same bedroom I slept in. I remember 'waking up' in my dorm room with a shadowy figure standing next to my bed, a twisted smile on its crawling face. I was frozen as the phantom drew a revolver from its belt, and I laid completely helpless as it let out a hideous cackle. Then, just as a shot exploded with cold finality, I shot up in bed, the chains of paralysis lifted. There was no man, no gun... but my dorm room looked the same.
Anyways. All that I'm saying is that I am well aware of what night terrors are, and I'm not ruling them out as an explanation. In fact, I believe that at the start it was night terrors. It makes sense, too- what happened with Georgia was extremely traumatic, and I sure as hell was keeping it locked deep inside. It only makes sense that it would come out at night.
I haven't been able to get in to see a psychiatrist yet, but I'm working on it. I did a free consultation with one on Erickson Blvd, a young lady named Ms. Yorik. She's getting me an appointment as soon as possible, but on the consultation she told me I should think about Georgia when I'm awake, that I shouldn't run from it. So I'm trying to talk about her, to write about her... and here it is.
The truth is, any normal person would be asleep by now, especially with the pressure of grief, but I'm scared. So now seemed as good a time as any.
I can't allow myself to think about Georgia's slim body or the way the skin around her eyes creased when she smiled. I can't think about her warm embrace or her sexual energy, because it's all gone. It's cold and gray and covered with maggots, ten feet beneath the breathing world.
And I'm still up here, sleepless and numb.
I think about why the fuck I never asked her to be my girlfriend. I loved her and she loved me. Maybe I just could never let someone in like that. I mean, I've had girlfriends in the past, but I didn't love them the way I loved her. The way I still love her. I know it's a fucked-up way of thinking about things, but I never said I was sane.
The worst part is, I can't shake the lurking feeling that my coldness has a part in what happened.
Georgia and I work... worked... in a fine-dining kitchen together, her the chef and me a sous chef in an award-winning restaurant on Terrance and Dilworth (that's the most I'm going to say). It was one of those relationships that started out casual, professional, until the tension just built and built to explosion. By the end, I don't think anyone had ever known her as well as I did.
Something had been wrong for days. Don't get me wrong. I saw her, I talked to her... but I never asked her what it was. I told her I loved her, I kissed her forehead and watched her sad gaze as we fell asleep together, but I never held her accountable for the change. I should've asked her what the fuck was wrong... if she needed help. I remember our GM Arwin screaming at her the day before in front of everyone, making her shrink, and then spitting seething venom the day she didn't show up for work. “Where the hell is she? The busiest night of the year, the Divine Path Party storming in, and where the hell is Georgia?”
“Maybe she's dead,” the baggy-eyed dishwasher joked as he walked by with an arm full of painted china. He always had a fucked up sense of humor.
I called her. I texted her. But I didn't ask to leave work.
Which has also been haunting me- I didn't leave work. I didn't see her body. How the hell could this all be so vivid?
That's what this is truly about. On the third night after her suicide, I shot awake in clammy sweat, tears burning in my eyes. The weight of grief was heavy in the pit of my stomach, and I thought for a second she was laying next to me. Then I remembered what happened, and I let out a choked whimper... until I turned towards the closet.
Georgia was there.
She hung in the dark closet past the foot of my bed, a thick rope around her neck, her hazel eyes hanging open and her swollen tongue hanging out. I tried to scream, tried to say her name, but I was frozen, condemned to stare at my beautiful departed swinging back and forth as if she had just fallen through the bottom of a gallows.
If you've ever experienced sleep paralysis, you'll know what it mean when I say it felt like I stared at her for hours. Her skin grew more pallid, more gray, and she seemed to decay right before my eyes until in one sick sudden motion her tongue slurped back into her mouth and she opened her mouth.
“Can you hear me?” she asked, and then she let out a deranged cackle, like nails going down a chalkboard.
Suddenly I could move again. I fired upright into a sitting position, and I let out a catastrophic scream. My hand felt desperately around my bedstand for the lamp, and I almost knocked it over. But I was too terrified to look away from her, so I felt blindly in the dark until I found the switch. Finally I did, and I clicked it on and-
She was gone.
Nothing had moved. Nothing had changed. Everything was in the same position. But where I had seen a noose, there was only a lopsided hanger in an overstuffed closet, probably Georgia's own doing when she grabbed a shirt in a hurry. A gray t-shirt drooped haphazardly from the diagonally-hanging plastic hanger, and it twisted outwards from its crooked position. The tones and colors were all the same- the gray shirt her pale flesh. The white hanger the rope. A black belt hanging from the closet-top shelf where I had seen her tongue. Everything was the same, but Georgia was gone.
The symptoms all describe sleep paralysis; the buzzing vibration in my head, the feeling of a downward pressing on my chest, the exhausting fight to breathe... the room looking exactly as it had when I was frozen. Sleep paralysis or not, though, I was badly shaken. I spent the rest of the night awake.
By the next night, though, I felt decently better. I had come to terms that it was a fucked-up night terror birthed by sorrow and trauma. I had spent the evening walking near the stream that we always brought her dog Shiloh to, and I fell asleep without much trouble.
But when I woke up, there she was... this time she was hanging from the ceiling right above my bed, her feet mere inches from my face... her swollen tongue still hanging out, her eyes noticeably more sunken. She stared down at me, still swinging, still moving.
“Are you near me?” she asked.
And again, that fucking laugh.
By the time I switched on my lamp she was gone. This time was different though- there's no overhead light fixture I could've mistaken for her. There were no stretching streetlights on the ceiling, no shadows. Unlike when I had seen her in the closet, there was nothing I could think of that would be casting the illusion. It was like she was just there, and then she was gone. And the rest of the room was still the same.
Last night, I decided I wasn't going to sleep, which isn't an issue right now- I haven't even thought about going back to work since losing her, even though it's starting to look like I might lose my job. So, to fight sleep and fear, I drank a full pot of coffee and started binging Rick and Morty Season 3. I'm not the hugest fan of animation, but I was trying to keep my mind on jovial matters as much as possible. It worked, too. At 5:30 AM I was still wide awake, and I was even finding myself laughing at parts. Until the knock at the door came.
I live in a studio apartment on the outskirts of the city, and I've never had anyone knock on my door in the middle of the night- not by mistake, not as a joke, not anything. My blood froze and terror crawled up my spine. I turned down the volume on the TV, trying to assure myself I had imagined the knock, but the front door faces into my living room, so there was no doubt about it- someone was knocking on the door, only feet away from where I sat on the couch. Worst yet, my apartment is a ground-level unit with outside entrance... whoever it was was standing outside in the dark, pounding on my door. I shuddered hard and tried to remain perfectly still, and it got louder and louder.
I glanced over and breathed a sigh of relief that I'd remembered to lock the door. Almost on cue, I heard the doorknob twist and push in to the clank of the locked deadbolt. The knocking started again. I took in a deep breath and tried to not make any noise, not even breathe. Finally it stopped, and I felt cold relief wash over me... until the same voice as the previous nights called out.
“Could you reply?” it asked, and then I heard the cackling that got smaller and smaller until it disappeared into the still night.
As I said before, I'm definitely familiar with sleep paralysis. But the third night, I wasn't asleep. I was tired and grieving, sure, and some of you may say I fell asleep without knowing it. But I didn't. I know I didn't. There's no fucking way.
And even if I did, it doesn't explain what happened this morning. When I finally found the courage to go outside this morning (at about 10 am with the sun glaring full-blast above me) my mailbox was open, and a letter hung out. My hands shook as I reached for it, and my throat felt like it was full of cotton.
There was no stamp, but it was addressed to me, and it was handwritten... in her handwriting. I could be wrong about that- it's not like I spent years living with her and saw her writing day-in-and-day-out- but I remember being around her as she wrote letters to her family back home. It looked like her handwriting.
There was no name in the top left-corner, but there was return address, one I don't recognize. 1410 Barclay Court. I haven't found the guts to check online yet, but I'm almost positive that's in the industrial district out of town. I'm not sure what I'm more afraid of- looking into it to find it's a fake address, or that it's a real one. Especially because several of the buildings out there are abandoned.
I stared at the letter for several moments before I started to rip it open with an unsteady grasp. A looseleaf page fell out and onto the ground and I almost fell as I bent over to pick it up. Finally, I unfolded the page, and my vision went blurry as I read it. In the same handwriting, it said “Can you hear me? Are you near me? Could you reply?” My whole body erupted with frigid icicles, but I grew unbearably hot as I got to the bottom.
At the bottom there was a date. September 4th... the day Georgia killed herself. And next to the date was a heart... the same kind of heart she would draw.
I am absolutely terrified. I'm sorry to post this and share my burden with you late at night, but her funeral is in the morning. Honestly, I'm not even a Redditor, but the friend I am going to be staying with tonight said this was probably the best place to go for advice. So I made a profile, and I'm giving it a shot. I am horrified of the thought of looking into her casket at the funeral, seeing that same swollen tongue and sunken gaze. Part of me wants to drive to the address on the letter, to get it over with right now... part of me wants to burn the letter and forget all about it.
I'm getting choked up with emotion and fear, and I'm staying with a friend tonight and he's just gotten off work, so I am heading out in a minute. But I had to get this out, to make it known... if anyone has dealt with anything like this, PLEASE comment here or message me. I have never dealt with anything paranormal before. I still haven't slept from last night, and I don't plan on it tonight either.
I will post more if anything happens at the funeral tomorrow, or if I decide to visit the address from the letter (although I think I have subconsciously decided not to). If nothing happens and it turned out it was all my imagination, I'll let you know that as well. For now, though, I am going to leave it alone. Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any support or advice.
Continued
submitted by wingsforgeorgia to nosleep [link] [comments]


2017.06.22 22:29 _Mephostopheles_ Theoretical Ninja Sex Party timeline, according to the music videos uploaded to their YouTube channel.

(I originally posted this on the NSP subreddit, but someone suggested that I post it here as well. So here it is, "for yooouuur viewing pleasuuuuure!")
The following is the theorized timeline of events chronicled by the 31 original music videos (those from Under the Covers are not to be considered canon to the timeline) uploaded as of June 21, 2017.
The timeline can be broken up into nine distinct eras:
Each of these eras is characterized by differences in the combined age, fame, and relationship status of Danny throughout the timeline. Let us begin with...
Era 1: The Early Days
Dan and Brian’s story begins in their later years of grade school, in the song Cool Patrol. The song chronicles the boys’ inept feeling of rebelliousness, and yet the reality that they are indeed pansies. They aren’t yet the sex-masters they will become in their future, and in fact show no sign of any sort of desire for sex as of yet. At this point in time, they are only referred to as, and I quote, “Ninja… Party. I dunno, it just feels incomplete, Brian.”
We continue onward into the days after graduation in Attitude City, where we can see that Danny and Brian have become involved in what they believe to be gang activity, further demonstrating the punk-like sentiment they exhibit. However, in the second half of the song, the boys slip into another… ahem, lame as fuck tune before composing themselves. Dan also appears to have taken interest in the female form, referring to the woman he meets as a “sexy lady.”
In Cookies!, we see Dan’s final attempt to block out his true childish nature by upgrading himself from “punk” to “Satanist demon worshiper.” To his dismay, however, he simply cannot resist the delicious chocolate chip cookies. His inability to overcome his internal desires leads the demons to consume their souls, inadvertently cleansing them of their subconscious feminine nature as well as their punk-rock mentality and leaving them with emptiness. They must search for a purpose… They must quest!
Era 2: The Time of Adventure
In search of meaning, Dan and Brian become knights, and explore the unknown, hilly lands of “Central New Jersey,” near Dan’s hometown. These adventures are documented in the songs Manticore, The Sacred Chalice, and Dragon Slayer, in which Dan returns to civilization and attempts to use the stories to convince women to have sex with him.
As it turns out, when the demons devoured their souls, Dan and Brian’s inner sex-god personalities were at last awakened. Their one true goal is now to get laid whenever and wherever possible (alongside killing, in Brian’s case). When Dan’s adventures fail to reap any rewards, he begins to grow desperate, leading into a new era.
Era 3: The Great Desperation
Dan is hungry for the touch of a woman now. His first attempt to gather women to have sex with him, as seen in Sex Training, is to put out an advertisement for, as the title would suggest, sex training. In this scheme, he invites himself into the residences of willing heterosexual couples and locks the men in their own closets to seduce the women. This presumably ends in spectacular failure.
His second, more desperate attempt is found in You Can Do Us, in which Dan gathers unsuspecting women to an “Annual Women’s Appreciation Buffet.” The turnout is impressive enough, even attracting a man or two, but as soon as Dan’s true intentions are revealed, all the women leave in disgust.
Eventually, Dan doesn’t care who or what he has sex with. In Objects of Desire, we see he’s taken to fornicating with the household objects of a woman who will date him, but just will not satiate his desires. It is likely that the woman breaks up with Dan after this unorthodox display of affection. Finally, in The Perfect Sandwich, Dan reveals that at this point, the only thing other than a woman that can get him off is a sandwich made of ingredients such as bear meat and “a dick-load of ham.”
It is at this point that Dan realizes he has a problem, and decides to just take some time off for himself, hang out with Brian and his male friends (which he has to find because he hasn’t had male friends since Attitude City). In Let’s Get This Terrible Party Started, Dan plays Dungeons and Dragons with some new friends (including Jon Jafari) in a garage, although this ends up being a massive failure. Not long after deciding to take a break from women, Dan changes his mind and returns to his sexual ways.
It is at this point that Dan discovers dating services on the internet. To advertise himself and Brian, he creates the NSP Theme Song video and uploads it to the internet. This video and the following two are the only NSP music videos created within the duration of the timeline—the others are made afterward as documentation of NSP’s long history.
After having no success with his video, Dan creates Unicorn Wizard to try and further impress girls with the powers he retains from his Satanist days. This too fails to attract much positive attention. Finally, Dan gives in and tells the truth in FYI I Wanna F Your A by admitting that all he wants is to have sex with a woman. This honesty actually attracts a few woman, but these relationships end up failing miserably.
Era 4: The Era of Failures
Dan’s new addition to his online dating profile attracts the attention of one young green-haired woman. At first, the relationship proves to be quite fruitful, with Dan finally losing his virginity to her. However, only a few days in, Dan reveals a part of his life he keeps hidden from most: the reason he has so much time to do so much stuff is because he reserves time by eating and showering at the same time, as seen in Eating Food in the Shower. After a freak accident involving a mariachi band, the woman breaks ties with Dan, and he moves on to another partner.
Dan’s second girlfriend also displays sexual attraction to Dan. The relationship lasts much longer, and the two perform intercourse around four times a month. This proves, however, to be inadequate for the woman, especially considering he only lasts three minutes (Three Minutes of Ecstasy). She’s willing to compromise as long as Dan will cuddle with her or perform foreplay after finishing so quickly, but he continuously makes excuses and flees every time. She too ends her relationship with Dan, who is again forced to find another woman.
Era 5: The Time of Two Brothers
Dan’s next pursuit of a relationship seems to be going fine until he realizes that he and Brian have eyes for the same girl. In The Decision, the two compete for the woman’s affection. Things go awry when Dan creates a rumor that Brian has an STD, to which he responds with utter fury. He attempts to murder Dan, creating a divide in the friendship and jeopardizing the fate of the band.
To get back at Dan, Brian commits genocide on all of Dan’s family, friends, acquaintances, and even mutual friends. However, as seen in Best Friends Forever, the two make up and repair their friendship.
Dan continues his pursuit of women, although now his renewed friendship with Brian has created some attachment issues between the two. In Party of Three, Brian tags along on a date between Dan and his new girlfriend. The incident creates two problems: the woman breaks up with Dan, and to make matters worse, rumors are spreading around that Dan and Brian’s close friendship is a hint that they’re in a secret homosexual relationship. In If We Were Gay, Dan dispels this rumor by claiming that he isn’t gay but Brian is. This doesn’t ruin the friendship like before, but does create enough separation that the rumors cease.
Era 6: The Return of the Need
After the falling out between Dan and Brian, Dan has trouble finding a new girlfriend. So much trouble, in fact, that he's been having withdrawal symptoms, the most severe of which being his constant boners. In Everybody Shut Up!, Dan declares to some people on the beach, then to a courthouse, and finally to the entire nation during a presidential speech, that he, quote "[has] an erection!" This gives him a short stint of fame as "that boner guy who got shot in front of the president," but after a while this calms down and he returns to his mild-mannered life of sexual pursuit. But now there's this girl...
Years ago, after Best Friends Forever, Dan accidentally became friends with the woman in The Decision rather than professing attraction to her. Now he’s coming clean—and she rejects him, as it turns out she preferred Brian. However, according to Next to You, this doesn’t stop him from constantly masturbating in her presence, even going so far as to having orgies in her house. She removes him from her life.
Devastated, Dan associates sex with the woman, who he really, truly loved. He meets a new girl, but cannot have sex with her, or even think about sex, without bursting into tears and sobbing (Why I Cry).
Deciding he needs to get away, Dan twists the story of the woman who broke his heart, saying that she was growing too attached to him, and goes on an international Road Trip to have sex with girls across the world. He eventually makes his way to outer space to “find some hot alien sluts,” nearly dying in the process. However, he becomes famous as “the Man who Banged-ladesh,” and is raised to the level of Sexy Hero of the World.
Era 7: The Growth of Fame
Dan and Brian are now known world-wide for their sexy prowess and god-like sexy powers. In Rhinoceratops vs Superpuma, they demonstrate their constant guard over the planet and use of sex as a force for good (although also being rather lazy). Their fame gets them invited to many orgies, which they obviously attend.
After getting ready for one particular orgy, Dan and Brian prepare to leave when the former becomes afflicted with a cursed condition: the No Reason Boner. In later years, they take the time to explain what such a disorder is and name some examples of a few times Dan has experienced its horror. Eventually, Dan is able to overcome the boner and they make their way to the orgy.
At the orgy, the boys are getting very enthusiastic. Dan, now the greatest Sex Master of All Time, gives one particularly hardy thrust, killing a woman. The force of the thrust tears a hole in the very fabric of the fourth dimension and linking the present with a seemingly random time in ancient Japan. However, unexpectedly through the hole emerges a duo exactly opposite to Ninja Sex Party: Arin Neverbone and Samurai Barry of the Samurai Abstinence Patrol, whose goal is to stop sex throughout the world. The duos battle ferociously until NSP defeat Arin and Barry and send them back to the past. However, unbeknownst to the triumphant sex-gods, the pair of abstainers becomes trapped in the fifth dimension and spread across the entirety of all timelines.
Era 8: The Sacrifice
Enjoying their success, Dan experiments with his newfound dick technology and harnesses the powers of his time-cock to create a time machine. He and Brian, predictably, travel to the sexy year of 6969 to see how their sexy world has progressed. However, when they arrive, they find that Arin and Barry, aged but strengthened from their exposure to raw time, have taken control of the entire planet and established a no-dick-tatorship. They’ve also created crude clones of themselves to assist in their rule (Ross, the skinny animator clone of Arin; and Kevin, the Asian editor clone of Barry). Dan and Brian use their sexy power to rally the entire population of the planet and destroy the abstinent regime of the Dick Elders. After partaking in one last session with his new girlfriend, Dan returns with Brian to the time machine and enters the warp dimension again.
In the warp dimension, NSP become trapped, just like Arin and Barry did. They come to the realization that they have one true role in this universe: to destroy the rule of abstinence in ALL points in time. The two nod and engage their boosters into the timeline, and are spread across the timelines to defeat Arin and Barry forever.
One example of these adventures is given through the song Peppermint Creams. In Medieval Europe, Dan is a knight whose goal is to rescue a kidnapped princess from the Kingdom of Abstinence. He and Brian travel miles and miles to get to her, and despite defeating Arin and Barry (which must always happen in the timeline no matter what), both die just before reuniting with the princess. Dan confesses his love before, in a Quantum Leap-like sequence of events, he is pulled out of his current form and placed in another incarnation, ready to defeat another form of abstinence. It’s thanks to Dan and Brian that sex prevails throughout history.
Era 9: The Afteryears
After what seems like an trillion lifetimes of saving sex itself throughout time, Dan and Brian wake up to find that they are… home! Their mission has been a success! And now, they’re suddenly… all sex’d out. Dan doesn’t wanna have sex anymore. He’s seen it all. In fact, he now has something else on his mind: the art of dance, as seen in I Just Wanna Dance. In this song, Brian officially reveals his face, showing that he too is considering retiring from his passion.
Many years later, after a mildly successful career in dance, Dan and Brian retire and become professors at a small, rural college in the Central United States. Brian’s last kill as a ninja is the professor of a physics class, and the two take his place and teach the kids about something they witnessed while stuck in the timestream: the Dinosaur Laser Fight. The class doesn’t believe them, and the world sees NSP (who are ironically no longer involved with ninjas, sex, or parties) not as the heroes they once were, but as crazy has-beens. They teach for several years before collaborating with well-known internet personalities Daniel Avidan and Brian Wecht to document the adventures of the duo. The two die together in their New Jersey apartment in 2069. They’re found sitting in recliners by the firelight, holding their dicks in one last celebration of what they spent an eternity protecting.
Never forget their sacrifice.
The End.
submitted by _Mephostopheles_ to gamegrumps [link] [comments]


2017.06.22 07:37 _Mephostopheles_ Theoretical Ninja Sex Party timeline, according to the music videos uploaded to their YouTube channel.

The following is the theorized timeline of events chronicled by the 31 original music videos (those from Under the Covers are not to be considered canon to the timeline) uploaded as of June 21, 2017.
The timeline can be broken up into nine distinct eras:
Each of these eras is characterized by differences in the combined age, fame, and relationship status of Danny throughout the timeline. Let us begin
Era 1: The Early Days
Dan and Brian’s story begins in their later years of grade school, in the song Cool Patrol. The song chronicles the boys’ inept feeling of rebelliousness, and yet the reality that they are indeed pansies. They aren’t yet the sex-masters they will become in their future, and in fact show no sign of any sort of desire for sex as of yet. At this point in time, they are only referred to as, and I quote, “Ninja… Party. I dunno, it just feels incomplete, Brian.”
We continue onward into the days after graduation in Attitude City, where we can see that Danny and Brian have become involved in what they believe to be gang activity, further demonstrating the punk-like sentiment they exhibit. However, in the second half of the song, the boys slip into another… ahem, lame as fuck tune before composing themselves. Dan also appears to have taken interest in the female form, referring to the woman he meets as a “sexy lady.”
In Cookies!, we see Dan’s final attempt to block out his true childish nature by upgrading himself from “punk” to “Satanist demon worshiper.” To his dismay, however, he simply cannot resist the delicious chocolate chip cookies. His inability to overcome his internal desires leads the demons to consume their souls, inadvertently cleansing them of their subconscious feminine nature as well as their punk-rock mentality and leaving them with emptiness. They must search for a purpose… They must quest!
Era 2: The Time of Adventure
In search of meaning, Dan and Brian become knights, and explore the unknown, hilly lands of “Central New Jersey,” near Dan’s hometown. These adventures are documented in the songs Manticore, The Sacred Chalice, and Dragon Slayer, in which Dan returns to civilization and attempts to use the stories to convince women to have sex with him. As it turns out, when the demons devoured their souls, Dan and Brian’s inner sex-god personalities were at last awakened. Their one true goal is now to get laid whenever and wherever possible (alongside killing, in Brian’s case). When Dan’s adventures fail to reap any rewards, he begins to grow desperate, leading into a new era.
Era 3: The Great Desperation
Dan is hungry for the touch of a woman now. His first attempt to gather women to have sex with him, as seen in Sex Training, is to put out an advertisement for, as the title would suggest, sex training. In this scheme, he invites himself into the residences of willing heterosexual couples and locks the men in their own closets to seduce the women. This presumably ends in spectacular failure.
His second, more desperate attempt is found in You Can Do Us, in which Dan gathers unsuspecting women to an “Annual Women’s Appreciation Buffet.” The turnout is impressive enough, even attracting a man or two, but as soon as Dan’s true intentions are revealed, all the women leave in disgust.
Eventually, Dan doesn’t care who or what he has sex with. In Objects of Desire, we see he’s taken to fornicating with the household objects of a woman who will date him, but just will not satiate his desires. It is likely that the woman breaks up with Dan after this unorthodox display of affection. Finally, in The Ultimate Sandwich, Dan reveals that at this point, the only thing other than a woman that can get him off is a sandwich made of ingredients such as bear meat and “a dick-load of ham.”
It is at this point that Dan realizes he has a problem, and decides to just take some time off for himself, hang out with Brian and his male friends (which he has to find because he hasn’t had male friends since Attitude City). In Let’s Get This Terrible Party Started, Dan plays Dungeons and Dragons with some new friends (including Jon Jafari) in a garage, although this ends up being a massive failure. Not long after deciding to take a break from women, Dan changes his mind and returns to his sexual ways.
It is at this point that Dan discovers dating services on the internet. To advertise himself and Brian, he creates the NSP Theme Song video and uploads it to the internet. This video and the following two are the only NSP music videos created within the duration of the timeline—the others are made afterward as documentation of NSP’s long history.
After having no success with his video, Dan creates Unicorn Wizard to try and further impress girls with the powers he retains from his Satanist days. This too fails to attract much positive attention. Finally, Dan gives in and tells the truth in FYI I Wanna F Your A by admitting that all he wants is to have sex with a woman. This honesty actually attracts a few woman, but these relationships end up failing miserably.
Era 4: The Era of Failures
Dan’s new addition to his online dating profile attracts the attention of one young green-haired woman. At first, the relationship proves to be quite fruitful, with Dan finally losing his virginity to her. However, only a few days in, Dan reveals a part of his life he keeps hidden from most: the reason he has so much time to do so much stuff is because he reserves time by eating and showering at the same time, as seen in Eating Food in the Shower. After a freak accident involving a mariachi band, the woman breaks ties with Dan, and he moves on to another partner.
Dan’s second girlfriend also displays sexual attraction to Dan. The relationship lasts much longer, and the two perform intercourse around four times a month. This proves, however, to be inadequate for the woman, especially considering he only lasts three minutes (Three Minutes of Ecstasy). She’s willing to compromise as long as Dan will cuddle with her or perform foreplay after finishing so quickly, but he continuously makes excuses and flees every time. She too ends her relationship with Dan, who is again forced to find another woman.
Era 5: The Time of Two Brothers
Dan’s next pursuit of a relationship seems to be going fine until he realizes that he and Brian have eyes for the same girl. In The Decision, the two compete for the woman’s affection. Things go awry when Dan creates a rumor that Brian has an STD, to which he responds with utter fury. He attempts to murder Dan, creating a divide in the friendship and jeopardizing the fate of the band.
To get back at Dan, Brian commits genocide on all of Dan’s family, friends, acquaintances, and even mutual friends. However, as seen in Best Friends Forever, the two make up and repair their friendship.
Dan continues his pursuit of women, although now his renewed friendship with Brian has created some attachment issues between the two. In Party of Three, Brian tags along on a date between Dan and his new girlfriend. The incident creates two problems: the woman breaks up with Dan, and to make matters worse, rumors are spreading around that Dan and Brian’s close friendship is a hint that they’re in a secret homosexual relationship. In If We Were Gay, Dan dispels this rumor by claiming that he isn’t gay but Brian is. This doesn’t ruin the friendship like before, but does create enough separation that the rumors cease.
Era 6: The Return of the Need
After the falling out between Dan and Brian, Dan has trouble finding a new girlfriend. So much trouble, in fact, that he's been having withdrawal symptoms, the most severe of which being his constant boners. In Everybody Shut Up!, Dan declares to some people on the beach, then to a courthouse, and finally to the entire nation during a presidential speech, that he, quote "[has] an erection!" This gives him a short stint of fame as "that boner guy who got shot in front of the president," but after a while this calms down and he returns to his mild-mannered life of sexual pursuit. But now there's this girl...
Years ago, after Best Friends Forever, Dan accidentally became friends with the woman in The Decision rather than professing attraction to her. Now he’s coming clean—and she rejects him, as it turns out she preferred Brian. However, according to Next to You, this doesn’t stop him from constantly masturbating in her presence, even going so far as to having orgies in her house. She removes him from her life.
Devastated, Dan associates sex with the woman, who he really, truly loved. He meets a new girl, but cannot have sex with her, or even think about sex, without bursting into tears and sobbing (Why I Cry).
Deciding he needs to get away, Dan twists the story of the woman who broke his heart, saying that she was growing too attached to him, and goes on an international Road Trip to have sex with girls across the world. He eventually makes his way to outer space to “find some hot alien sluts,” nearly dying in the process. However, he becomes famous as “the Man who Banged-ladesh,” and is raised to the level of Sexy Hero of the World.
Era 7: The Growth of Fame
Dan and Brian are now known world-wide for their sexy prowess and god-like sexy powers. In Rhinoceratops vs Superpuma, they demonstrate their constant guard over the planet and use of sex as a force for good (although also being rather lazy). Their fame gets them invited to many orgies, which they obviously attend.
After getting ready for one particular orgy, Dan and Brian prepare to leave when the former becomes afflicted with a cursed condition: the No Reason Boner. In later years, they take the time to explain what such a disorder is and name some examples of a few times Dan has experienced its horror. Eventually, Dan is able to overcome the boner and they make their way to the orgy.
At the orgy, the boys are getting very enthusiastic. Dan, now the greatest Sex Master of All Time, gives one particularly hardy thrust, killing a woman. The force of the thrust tears a hole in the very fabric of the fourth dimension and linking the present with a seemingly random time in ancient Japan. However, unexpectedly through the hole emerges a duo exactly opposite to Ninja Sex Party: Arin Neverbone and Samurai Barry of the Samurai Abstinence Patrol, whose goal is to stop sex throughout the world. The duos battle ferociously until NSP defeat Arin and Barry and send them back to the past. However, unbeknownst to the triumphant sex-gods, the pair of abstainers becomes trapped in the fifth dimension and spread across the entirety of all timelines.
Era 8: The Sacrifice
Enjoying their success, Dan experiments with his newfound dick technology and harnesses the powers of his time-cock to create a time machine. He and Brian, predictably, travel to the sexy year of 6969 to see how their sexy world has progressed. However, when they arrive, they find that Arin and Barry, aged but strengthened from their exposure to raw time, have taken control of the entire planet and established a no-dick-tatorship. They’ve also created crude clones of themselves to assist in their rule (Ross, the skinny animator clone of Arin; and Kevin, the Asian editor clone of Barry). Dan and Brian use their sexy power to rally the entire population of the planet and destroy the abstinent regime of the Dick Elders. After partaking in one last session with his new girlfriend, Dan returns with Brian to the time machine and enters the warp dimension again.
In the warp dimension, NSP become trapped, just like Arin and Barry did. They come to the realization that they have one true role in this universe: to destroy the rule of abstinence in ALL points in time. The two nod and engage their boosters into the timeline, and are spread across the timelines to defeat Arin and Barry forever.
One example of these adventures is given through the song Peppermint Creams. In Medieval Europe, Dan is a knight whose goal is to rescue a kidnapped princess from the Kingdom of Abstinence. He and Brian travel miles and miles to get to her, and despite defeating Arin and Barry (which must always happen in the timeline no matter what), both die just before reuniting with the princess. Dan confesses his love before, in a Quantum Leap-like sequence of events, he is pulled out of his current form and placed in another incarnation, ready to defeat another form of abstinence. It’s thanks to Dan and Brian that sex prevails throughout history.
Era 9: The Afteryears
After what seems like an trillion lifetimes of saving sex itself throughout time, Dan and Brian wake up to find that they are… home! Their mission has been a success! And now, they’re suddenly… all sex’d out. Dan doesn’t wanna have sex anymore. He’s seen it all. In fact, he now has something else on his mind: the art of dance, as seen in I Just Wanna Dance. In this song, Brian officially reveals his face, showing that he too is considering retiring from his passion.
Many years later, after a mildly successful career in dance, Dan and Brian retire and become professors at a small, rural college in the Central United States. Brian’s last kill as a ninja is the professor of a physics class, and the two take his place and teach the kids about something they witnessed while stuck in the timestream: the Dinosaur Laser Fight. The class doesn’t believe them, and the world sees NSP (who are ironically no longer involved with ninjas, sex, or parties) not as the heroes they once were, but as crazy has-beens. They teach for several years before collaborating with well-known internet personalities Daniel Avidan and Brian Wecht to document the adventures of the duo. The two die together in their New Jersey apartment in 2069. They’re found sitting in recliners by the firelight, holding their dicks in one last celebration of what they spent an eternity protecting.
Never forget their sacrifice.
The End.
submitted by _Mephostopheles_ to NinjaSexParty [link] [comments]


2017.01.20 01:29 Catgutt WE Mauser M712 Review

Back in early November, I ordered this from Evike. As their preorder date repeatedly slipped, I decided to cancel and order from JKArmy instead- who then went radio silent for three weeks, until a Paypal dispute goaded them into shipping this week, finally getting this gun into my hands over two months after my initial order.
So it's been a bit of an ordeal, but I'm glad to finally have my hands on a:
WE Airsoft WE712 (AKA Mauser M1932 AKA M712 'Schnellfeuer')
First, some context about the real weapon.
The M712 was developed in 1932 as a variant of the Mauser 1896, which at that time was nearly forty years old. The C96, despite never achieving much military success due to its high cost and complexity, had been sold on the commercial market and been fairly successful. During the 1920s, the largest buyers were by far the various warlords fighting for control of China. While the Chinese were forbidden from importing weapons of war, namely rifles, pistols were exempt, and semi-automatic pistols with detachable shoulder stocks became popular as carbines. In the late 1920s, several Spanish firms producing copies of the C96 began selling fully-automatic variants, and their success prompted Mauser to design and develop one of their own, christened the model M1932. Despite being primarily intended for export, some of the 98,000 produced were sent to the Wehrmacht, who gave it the military designation M712.
It's a weird gun. It's a selective-fire, detachable-magazine, stocked adaptation of the world's first commercially successful self-loading handgun, designed and released in the heyday of proper submachine guns primarily to exploit a loophole in export laws. Its actual utility on the fully-automatic fire setting is questionable as it blows through its 20rd magazine in a little over a second, and is impossible to control without the shoulder stock, but as a semi-automatic carbine the use of detachable mags was a significant improvement over the clip-fed C96. I highly recommend checking out Forgotten Weapons for a more in-depth look at the real thing.
Okay, now the review.
Box Contents and Overview
http://i.imgur.com/7gHMOpo.jpg
The box comes with the M712 itself, a single long magazine, shoulder stock, a manual, and a small bag containing a lanyard ring, which attaches to the loop on the base of the grip, and a dry-fire adapter, which can be loaded into the magazine to keep the follower depressed.
http://i.imgur.com/PpqVups.jpg
One of the more notable features of the gun is that the shoulder stock doubles as a holster. The button releases a latch, allowing the top to swivel open so the pistol can be drawn. This works for storage, or for carrying the gun in a backpack, but the gun obviously will not fit if a long magazine is loaded, and the lack of any sort of carrying apparatus for the whole ensemble prevents it from being carried on gear or on a belt. Unless you want to use the sling loop to just carry it on a sling, letting it flop around, a leather carrying rig is necessary. There's another problem with that, but I'll get to it in a bit.
http://i.imgur.com/rbbdQHR.jpg
So here's the gun in fully assembled configuration, with a long magazine loaded. The stock is extremely long, with a length of pull of exactly 16". For comparison, most M4s with collapsible stocks have a LOP of around 15.5" with the stock fully extended. It's perfectly usable, but it's definitely not very compact when in this configuration.
http://i.imgur.com/5nhBAja.jpg
As a pistol it's much more handy. Although it's a bit front-heavy, and has a very high bore axis relative to the grip, it's lighter than the real thing and easy to stabilize with the off-hand in front of the magazine well. While the stock does make aiming at longer range easier, in airsoft we don't have to worry about recoil, so as an automatic sidearm this is perfectly viable without the stock.
http://i.imgur.com/6FphyCX.jpg
Let me be clear- when I say 'much more handy', that's strictly in relation to with the boat oar of a stock attached. This is a big gun, dwarfing the full-sized WE G17 on top of it.
http://i.imgur.com/deDBrSj.jpg
The magazines, however, are fairly normal. Note that the gun only comes with the long magazine, and I bought the short one separately. The short magazine is actually pretty tiny, while the long one is dimensionally very similar to the Glock magazine. Carrying a bunch of magazines is a must for any significant use of the full-auto setting, so it's good that they're not humongous compared to their capacity. Speaking of capacity:
Performance
http://i.imgur.com/EtGN136.jpg
The short magazine holds a whopping total of 11 BBs. The long magazine, on the other hand, holds 27. For practical use the long magazine is the way to go, but a short magazine is the only option if you want to have a mag in the gun while it's loaded, or emulate the earlier C96 for impression purposes.
Through testing with the included blank fire adapter, I found that the short magazine could fire 40 times on semi-auto from a fully gassed magazine in a 70 degree environment. On the long magazine, I lost count after 70. Suffice to say they hold plenty of gas.
When firing 0.25g BBs through a chronograph, the M712 started at 330FPS with a fully-gassed magazine, which quickly dropped to 310-320, and dropping as low as 300 by the end of the magazine. In terms of 0.2g BBs, that's 370FPS down to 335FPS over the course of the magazine. As much as I'd like to use it at my local CQB field, their hard limit is 330FPS so this gun doesn't pass.
The hop-up uses a VSR type bucking and works pretty well. The main issue is that, as with most GBB pistols, due to the variance in muzzle velocity the hop-up is inconsistent. It's fine at typical pistol ranges and a hit on a man-sized target is easy enough at 50yds, but this gun isn't suitable for long-range use. Full-auto can, of course, compensate for deficiencies in marksmanship, and the rate of fire is about the same as the real thing.
Lastly, the recoil is quite satisfying. Since this gun doesn't have an external slide I was expecting it to be weak, but it kicks harder than my G17 despite also weighing more, and clearly not at any cost to gas efficiency.
That's it for performance, so the rest of this post will be talking about the external features, stock, and realism of the replica.
Exterior
http://i.imgur.com/slzDPnM.jpg
For comparison, here's my actual C96, built sometime during WW1 for commercial export, and later rechambered to 9mm and refinished. I'll be using it as a general point of reference, but note that the M712 did feature some visible differences from the earlier C96.
http://i.imgur.com/rqxwtFW.jpg
First, the surface finish is obviously quite different. The C96's finish is a greyish rust blued finish typical of those guns, while the M712 is a very different glossy black. If a buyer wanted to use the M712 as a stand-in C96, a refinishing job would go a long ways towards selling it as a C96.
Note also that this M712 doesn't have any markings at all. Most of the WE M712s I've seen online have Chinese markings, presumably to replicate one of the many runs of knock-off copies (of wildly varying quality) built in China from WW2 to at least the 1980s.
http://i.imgur.com/p9b6c9M.jpg
This reference photo of a real M712 shows that the deep, glossy blue finish is actually reasonably accurate. While the C96s were almost all rust blued, the M712 was exclusively hot salt blued, giving it a much deeper and glossier appearance.
http://i.imgur.com/wcGxwQY.jpg
However, note that the bolt, hammer, and rear locking assembly on the real M712 are left unfinished, while on the WE M712 they're the same black as everything else on the gun. Since WE makes a silver M712 they obviously had the capability to produce the parts with a shiny metal finish, so I'm not sure why they cut corners here. I'll be looking into giving the relevant parts a bath in paint stripper to get the finish a little more authentic.
One other thing you may notice here is that the bolt is significantly farther back on the real one than on the airsoft one.
http://i.imgur.com/AClV9Es.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/G4jX0Si.jpg
Note how the entire upper slide assembly is slightly retracted on the real C96. That's because the C96 is a delayed-blowback design, where the upper slide assembly recoils about 6mm before the bolt unlocks and continues to travel to the rear. On the airsoft M712, the upper slide is fixed in place, and only the bolt moves at all.
It's not completely realistic, but I can live with it.
http://i.imgur.com/4QONR3d.jpg
There are some dimensional differences on the bolt and rear sight assembly, but all the important functions are properly duplicated.
http://i.imgur.com/N7OXZXA.jpg
And here's a reference photo of a real M712. You may notice some of the parts on the real C96 are a light blue color, which is the result of a process called nitre bluing. For the real M712s, those parts were blued identically to the rest of the gun, which makes duplicating the real finish significantly easier.
http://i.imgur.com/X2ZNOmm.jpg
A less-than-ideal image of the breech. On the top of the hop-up unit, right below the flat chamber area, you can barely see the grub screw which adjusts the hop-up. I'm kind of impressed that they actually managed to squeeze a functional and reasonably effective hop-up unit into the gun, which is more than I can say about their Luger.
http://i.imgur.com/ktmWrEL.jpg
This shot of the breech shows another slightly-unrealistic-but-ultimately-irrelevant discrepancy, which is that the bolt can't traverse behind the stripper clip guide. I had some ideas about making a speedloader to look like a stripper clip of ten rounds of 7.63x25 and reload with the magazine still in the gun, to take advantage of the short magazine's high gas capacity, but that seems to be a no-go.
Okay that was fun let's talk about the controls.
Controls
http://i.imgur.com/shB8lKA.jpg
The safety is the lever to the left of the hammer. It's currently set to S. For safe. Imagine that.
http://i.imgur.com/v1SqGQ9.jpg
And now it's on fire. Pretty easy to activate and deactivate. When the safety is on, it prevents the hammer from moving, which in turn prevents the bolt from moving. Since the gun cannot be holstered in the stock with the hammer retracted as shown, the safety is not terribly necessary, since the user will likely carry with an empty chamber.
http://i.imgur.com/BGrZIcR.jpg
Here's a better shot of the fire selector behind the trigger. It's currently set to single-shot. This is not a simple toggle switch like on most guns. In order to change the setting, the button must be depressed, and then the switch can move, springing back out when it reaches the new position.
http://i.imgur.com/imLg8ks.jpg
Now set to full auto. The mechanism is reasonably intuitive and not something I feel like I'd have to fumble with in a game, but it definitely keeps the selector secure from bumps. Spraying someone with 10 BBs at point blank when I meant to be on semi-auto is not how I make friends, so it's a handy thing to have.
Stocks
http://i.imgur.com/a8EqMwj.jpg
Now, isn't this interesting?
http://i.imgur.com/tbktXRb.jpg
The M712's stock is significantly longer than the C96's, and has more of a taper. Initially, I was a little annoyed that they must have done a bad reproduction job of what seems like a very simple thing to get right, but then I did some research. Here are a few images I found:
http://i.imgur.com/HMDdd5h.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/RQtloUr.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/V4Hv0t0.jpg
All of them are M712s (well, the second image is a prototype variant), and all of them seem to have longer stocks than C96s. That's not to say that my stock is off, because plenty of C96s on the Internet have the shorter stock profile, which is perfectly serviceable.
The best conclusion I can gather is that for whatever reason, the M712 was manufactured with a mile-long stock. Maybe to keep the shooter's face farther from the gun during full-auto fire? If anyone knows, I'd be really interested to hear an explanation for that bit of trivia.
But here's why it matters.
http://i.imgur.com/OodtykT.jpg
That's the C96, in its stock, in a leather C96 carrying harness. The harness itself is a Chinese reproduction, and they're widely available for $25-50, and would be the perfect way to carry this gun on your hip, were it not for the fact-
http://i.imgur.com/1KM9zFv.jpg
-that the longer stock on the M712 prevents it from closing. To be fair, this could be easily rectified by cutting out the bottom of the holster so that the neck can protrude out the bottom, but there also happen to be a variety of M712-specific holsters, slings, and rigs of all sorts available from China. Again, this is one of those issues that isn't a big deal, but prevents the M712 from being used as a stand-in C96.
Oh, and the real stock doesn't fit on the M712 either- the stock iron is too wide. I got the bright idea to try swapping the hardware, and then found that they're not the same.
http://i.imgur.com/yueoM3c.jpg
The real one uses a leaf spring on the catch, while the airsoft one uses a spring going into a channel on the stock. This could be rectified with some further work.
http://i.imgur.com/K1u5gYU.jpg
This is the real stock with the airsoft iron. It fits, albeit with a gap. The problem is when I try to holster the M712 in the C96 stock.
http://i.imgur.com/Likl71c.jpg
And the fire selector gets in the way and prevents it from going in. So, no pseudo-C96 without a lot of work, so I guess I'll just stick with it as an M712.
Grips
http://i.imgur.com/Re9FztZ.jpg
On the subject of furniture, the grips attach just like the real thing.
http://i.imgur.com/2qfisu0.jpg
The M712 grip is in the middle, while to either side are reproduction C96 grips I got cheaply. The M712 has by far the most convincing fake wood grips I've ever seen on an airsoft gun, so I'm on the fence about replacing them.
http://i.imgur.com/EVqDFgh.jpg
The set on the left fit without modification as it was slightly undersized. The set on the right did not.
http://i.imgur.com/YmIJpdz.jpg
And a comparison with the real thing shows why. The real C96 has a cutout at the top of the grip area that some of the wood grips are designed to slot into, and the grip hole is just slightly narrower in general. Overall, though, fitting real wood grips should only take a few minutes with a rasp or hobby knife.
Disassembly
http://i.imgur.com/MH7FTjf.jpg
First, a note about the manual: Wow, an airsoft gun that actually has useful information in its manual, namely a full field strip/takedown procedure. There were a few differences from the real thing that could have proved frustrating, but with the supplied instructions it was a piece of cake.
http://i.imgur.com/vYWSsnK.jpg
It's dark, but there's a small latch on the back of the gun, just above the grips. Pushing this latch up while depressing the hammer releases an internal catch and allows the gun to disassemble.
http://i.imgur.com/kjK0mfS.jpg
The internals come straight out the back in one piece.
http://i.imgur.com/ejnGrnc.jpg
And then the slide assembly separates from what would be the main lockwork, but on the airsoft one is the gas valve assembly.
http://i.imgur.com/aclFgDY.jpg
A comparison to the real one, which disassembles the same way.
http://i.imgur.com/TCdYeZg.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/qcndcRm.jpg
I took some photos of the internals but don't intend to disassemble any further if I can help it. Contrary to popular belief, the C96 is actually really easy to fully disassemble, as everything just slots together (in fact, the only screw or pin in the entire gun is the grip screw). The airsoft one, on the other hand, angrily threatens to never go back together again if I mess with it. I do want that hammer to be silver, though. I'll figure it out.
Anyways, back to the slide assembly.
http://i.imgur.com/o2Uj5Tb.jpg
The firing pin is the round thing in the back. A screwdriver slots into the groove and rotates it 90 degrees.
http://i.imgur.com/F6UJH0U.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/siZCXZb.jpg
Releasing it and allowing it to come out the back of the gun.
http://i.imgur.com/r6XTlSS.jpg
The bolt stop then rotates and pulls out, allowing the bolt itself to come out of the slide, very similarly to the real thing.
Conclusion
That's all the content I have. This is an interesting gun that does a good job of staying accurate to the real thing and functionally only really fails on nitpicky details. The external finish is pretty typical to a Chinese airsoft gun, and I have to wonder again why WE didn't just two-tone it like the real thing. There's some room for improvement there, but pleasantly few things that need to be fixed out of the box.
PROS
CONS
Well, that about wraps it up. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
submitted by Catgutt to airsoft [link] [comments]