The place for your bird identification needs and challenges.
/ExposurePorn is a Safe For Work subreddit in the Safe For Work (SFW) Porn Network. The main focus of /ExposurePorn is to feature photographs that use the long exposure technique at night or during the day to capture stars, the milky way, movements, lights and much more! Great place to find astrophotography, HDR, long-exposures, light photography, and night photography!
Images of houses.
I put a lot of mines in the Cordon outpost because why not? Later in the game I rescated this private located in Dead City, escort him back to cordon but the military dies because of my mines and I can't find a way to deactivate them, is it over?
Long story short- The land my fathers house is on is actually two individual lands. It basically has two apns. But his house is sitting on only one of the apns. The 2nd apn lot is on the right side of it. The house is paid off and the property is 100% his. My question is- I’m planning on building a new home on the empty lot. Would it be more cost/Tax effective if we left the empty lot under his name and build the new house under his name to avoid any kind of tax changes? Or would it be better to transfer the empty lot under my name and then just build the house ? The house is to be mine, just curious what’s the best way. I understand that if he transfers his property when he passes, I would keep the same tax status, but curious on the new home build on a lot owned since 2008.
We’re located in Southern California
So O have a Yoga 2 pro. Windows 10 64 bit. It turns on and Screen illuminates but will not boot to Windows I already tried turning off fast boot. Its probably toast motherboard. Can I take the SSD out of it and put it into another laptop to boot Windows and access my data before I do a factory reset? I have some files I want to back up but I'm not sure how it works if I can just move the SSD to another computer and it will boot Windows? There is no BitLocker enabled but there is a password on the windows. Thanks
So, set the scene, i'm out doing some roc mining ( which is in a horrible state at the moment ) and i get bored fighting the extraction laser, so i get in my corsair and head up to orbit. I'm checking out missions and i see the "money from nothing" mission. I have no idea what this mission is as it's the first time seeing it, so i take the mission for a small fee and begin heading there. It looks like a derelict hammerhead is cut in half on the ground. There are numerous bodies all lieing around the place. Multiple wrecks are on fire. I notice that i've just left comms range, too. So any crimes committed here won't be reported to the UEE.
What the hell am i walking into here? I had no idea this was a PVP mission.
So i shoot off 5km from the site and disembark in my roc, headed to the crash site. I get about 1.5km out and exit the roc. As i approach the site, my heart is pounding. I have to fight against my flight or fight instinct constantly. I still don't realise this is a PVP mission. I get about 500m away from the crash site when i come under fire. 1 guy is on the roof of the hammerhead with a sniper rifle, another is about 100m away from me and the other is close to him. Thankfully, they've jumped the gun in firing at me, and i have lots of different routes i can take. I take out my 2nd rifle, a sniper rifle, i pop my head out and pop goes the sniper on the roof. At this point, one of the guys on the ground peals off to go rez his mate. I push and manage to take out guy number 2. The other one panics and runs across open ground.
Number 3 is dispatched in short order. Across the compound, there's a cutty red. I bet they're using that to respawn. I full sprint to the cutlass to find the sniper rearming, i quickly gun him down and gun down number 2 as he's respawning. I hop in the pilot seat, arm the self destruct, gun down number 3 as he's respawning and get to a safe distance in time to watch the fireworks.
A great experience, but it's not over. The mission requires that you go into the hammerhead and find a console to activate, this begins accruing UEC. The console is at a height to the ground and you have to climb up to it. This becomes important later. The full payout is 150k, i didn't know this at the time, but i head in and find the console. I activate it and it begins ticking up. I'm nervous and twitchy, but i sit myself in a corner and take up a defensive posture. When out of the corner of my eye, i notice the lights of a ship. They're back. It's a cutlass red, touching down about 1km away. I zoom in and watch the cutlass land and 2 bodies exit. The cutlass takes off and i can see the two guys zipping towards where they died. I take out my sniper rifle and start taking pot shots at one of them. They return fire and the cutlass begins to strafe my position. I don't have anything to deal with the cutlass so i move back into the destroyed hammerhead. I can hear the two guys moving around below me.
I'm in a bind here. The console is slowly ticking up and i want that cash. I could bail, try to run back to my roc and make it to my corsair, come back and blow the crap out of the cutlass, but that's a risk. If the cutlass spots me, i'm defenseless against it. The footsteps get closer down below. I can hear them shuffling. Both sides. There's 3 ingress points, i can't cover them all. There's a small room off to the side of the main hallway. I very carefully and quietly move in there. I raise my gun, point it at the doorway, and i wait. And i wait. 20 minutes go by. I can hear them. They're waiting for me to make a move. I don't so much as budge an inch. Eventually, they either lose patience, get bored, or think i've logged off. One of them mantles up to the level im on, and begins crouch walking down the long hallway. I train my crosshair on the door. I see his gun slowly emerge into view and then a moment of inspiration hits. I don't fire. I let him pass. I don't so much as breathe as he walks right by me, not looking in my direction. He think's i'm not here.
He moves into the main area with the console, and i can hear him moving around. He checks the corners and i can hear his mate shuffling up as well. His mate runs right by my doorway, i immediately spring the trap. I run to the corner, get a bead on the guy in the main room and unload onto him. number 2 swings towards me and i unload into him. He gets a few shots into me but i down him first. I'm heavily bleeding, out of ammo and the cutlass impotently starts unloading his lasers into the structure of the ship. I take out my medgun and heal myself but i've an injury. My guy is lungshot and wheezing heavily. Vision is slightly blurry. Not idea but i've managed to deal with the 2 guys on the ground.
Fortune smiles on me, one of them was carrying a railgun. I strip the railgun and ammo and dump my sniper rifle. I take the railgun, position myself near a doorway and fully charge it. I pop out and fire directly at the cutlass. It takes a direct hit to the shields. The driver panics, tries to swing around and clips his engine on a tree, the engine explodes and the cutlass spins out of control into the ground and explodes. I obviously don't look at the explosion.
I return to the console, hit the button and wait for the payout. I loot the bodies of anything useful and head back to my roc.
This is one of the best experiences i've ever had in any game. I played early dayz mod and it never even came close to this in terms of adrenaline. I cannot wait for this game to release, i will play nothing else.
--- Table of Contents
--- Part 1/2 ---
When Shon woke again, it was to be told he'd slept, not only the rest of the day and night of the incident, but the entire day after as well. Despite the Cleric assuring Shon that this was normal, he still had Shon eat breakfast in the infirmary while the Squires attended their morning lessons. He'd slept through drills, breakfast, and prayer.
The Cleric kept the curtains drawn over the window, though Shon's head wasn't pounding anymore, and had added a second set of standing curtains around the girl's bed. Shon's eyes flicked in her direction with every alternate bite he managed to force down, but there was no movement beyond the white cloth.
Master Daunas came in shortly before tenth bell and armor practice to inform Shon that he was to take the day off to rest but could rejoin the others in training the following day. He was at least allowed to leave the infirmary, though he waited until he could hear sparring outside before he did. He didn't want to run into any of the Squires.
As he opened the door to leave something flew by the window, catching Shon's attention enough to make him stop and look over. But it was already long gone. Just a bird... Assuming he hadn't imagined it.
He shook his head, still aching all over. His mind swam with worries and memories, made worse by the fact that the Cleric was trying to hide shivers now that Shon was fully rested. He'd probably just imagined it...
Back in his room Shon huddled over his journal. He could still smell the smoke in his hair and had decided it would be best to shower soon, but finally alone, his thoughts and memories could no longer be ignored.
So he drew. He tried to start safe. Nangran atop his borrowed horse; Ivelm mostly naked and shaking a club in his doorway; the Archmage's workroom lined in shelves filled with magical components. That one had taken a while. But as he released these images onto the page, others forced themselves forward. Smoke billowing over treetops; a burning tower; charred bodies; and a girl reaching out through the flames. A girl lying asleep in the bed next to his. The stillness of the picture made her look dead.
He dropped his pencil, letting it roll right off the desk. Crossing his arms over the book, he rested his head on his desk. The wood felt warm compared to his skin, comforting. What more could he have done? What could a Paladin have done? Or Master Veon-Zih? Shon saw again the bodies and shivered.
No one could save everyone. To think otherwise was pure arrogance. But knowing the facts and feeling them were two very different things. The tower wasn’t that far from Hamerfoss. Shouldn’t they have known something was going on? Shouldn’t they have been able to do something sooner? Years sooner? Long before the fire killed those people?
A loud tapping startled him awake. When had he fallen asleep? Shon searched his room in confusion, trying to piece together his dream and what had awoken him. He'd been in the Temple chapel, but as he'd walked down the middle aisle, the pews had started to decay, the stone walls crumbling. Small plants, then trees began to sprout from the ground, overgrowing the once-holy place now in ruin. Shon pressed the heels of his hands hard into his eyes, trying to remember what had come next... A man with white hair pulled back in a ponytail had been standing at the head altar... something with leathery wings on his shoulder...
The painful screech of something sharp on glass had Shon jumping up, his chair falling to clatter on the ground behind him. He looked to his window but saw only orange sky beyond. Was the sun already setting? He knelt on the mattress and looked out the window, unsure what he expected to see. He was on the third floor, but that was definitely where the sound had come from, and the window was the only glass in the room.
Nothing but open sky.
He opened the tiny window, the pane swinging up and letting in cold and refreshing air that helped clear his mind. Master Daunas's voice bellowed orders from the courtyard below, and Shon stuck his head out to look down and see his fellows working through their dagger forms. He'd slept through lunch and afternoon lessons. And he still needed a shower.
If he hurried, he would be able to shower before the others finished their lesson. Shon left the window open and even opened his door before he remembered to grab a fresh uniform. Obviously, he still wasn't thinking clearly.
The halls were blissfully empty, and Shon could almost pretend that even if he did pass someone, their breath wouldn't show in the air. It was a short-lived fantasy, however. He managed to make it all the way to the showers, but when he opened the door a voice called, "Squire! Why aren't you... Oh..." Shon performed a sharp about face to stand at attention before the Major General.
"At ease, Squire Shon," Selibra sighed, waving him down, "Did you get enough rest?"
"Yes, Sir," Shon answered but then caught movement out of the corner of his eye, again
. He hadn't managed to turn his head far enough to see before the Major General started speaking. Shon snapped his head back to give the officer his undivided attention.
"You did well, Squire. Smith Nangran told us what happened at the tower." Sir Selibra managed a strained smile that faded quickly, "If you want to talk about what you saw there... any one of us will be more than willing to listen. You shouldn't have had to experience death so soon." an image of an arm pulling away from a charred corpse flashed in Shon's vision.
Shon swallowed down the accompanying nausea at the memory and managed a nod, adding a quiet "Thank you, Sir." for good measure.
Feeling the need to scrub even more than before, Shon was grateful when the Major General left, allowing him to enter the still-open room. The shower was only mildly comforting, however. What should have been scalding water felt merely lukewarm now, the mist billowing off his truly icy skin thick enough that he could barely see the spigots. Closing his eyes, he scrubbed and tried to imagine the images flowing off of him with the filth...
Something chirped, and Shon slammed the water off. Just the pipes creaking...
How much longer would he have to rest before his mind stopped playing tricks on him? But as he moved for his towel, Shon stopped in shock, his new uniform had been scattered around the benches and floor.
He hadn't heard the door open, but had heard the pipes creaking? But who here would even do something like this? Shon started to search the showers, but as he did, he heard something else—voices in the hall. The Squires were done with their practice. He still didn't want to see them and dressed quickly, rushing from the shower and slamming the door behind him.
Something thumped into the door from the other side. Shon held his breath and turned slowly. It was his imagination. It had to be. He reached for the handle again and, standing behind the swing, opened the shower slowly.
"He's been gone three days... Do you think they sent him away?" Thom's voice sounded from around a corner, and Shon jumped in surprise, pulling the door open fully as if he could hide behind it.
"No way. he's the best Squire we have, so what if he's a Sorcerer." They were talking about him... Shon definitely didn't want to see them yet. He dashed down the opposite way, taking a long way around through the Paladin's barracks and back to his room. Or that's what he'd planned before he remembered the Squires hall would be full of people now taking their break and trying to get into the shower before everyone else. His feet faltered, and he turned away again, to one of the hardly used stairs that would take him down to the rest of the fortress.
Barred from his room, Shon made his way to the place he associated the most with comfort, the chapel. It wasn't empty, three Paladins knelt in prayer near the front, but it didn't matter anymore. He felt a wash of calm as he entered the incense-filled room, the sweet-smelling smoke finally banishing the stench of burning hair from his memory.
Shon took a spot near the back, kneeling to pray as he stared up at the statue of Hengist behind the altar. He was dressed in full plate mail, his arm raised in triumph, holding his mighty sword, Darkspliter.
Shon sighed and felt himself smile for what felt like the first time in a very long time. He could tell Hengist anything and everything, and none of it out loud... But then his smile faded. What would he say...? I'm sorry. I feel like I've been lying to everyone, to you. I've known there was something different about me, something wrong with me. That's why no one likes to touch me, why everyone pulls away at the feel of my skin, like it's somehow dirty or painful. I should've realized... Should have known... But I worked so hard... You know that, don't you? And I'm not ready to give up. I'll do whatever it takes, atone anyway I can if you just tell me how. The Major General said something about it being a sign. I want to believe he meant the unlikely convenience of Smith Nangran knowing an Archmage who could make an item so I won't have to get the tattoo. Thank you. I just hope I don't disappoint after getting a second chance...
The bell for dinner sounded. Feeling better, Shon considered going with the Paladins as they left the chapel. Until one of them shivered as they passed. "Winters right around the corner," another muttered.
"We'll need to install the heating orbs soon." the last answered before the door closed... He wasn't hungry anyway. Please, Hengist. Don't let me hurt anyone else. Kefir was trying to help me, and I answered that kindness with pain. What if the healers hadn't gotten to him in time? Would I have smothered him in ice? Please, I'll give up everything if it means that will never happen again...
But he didn't want to give up anything. He wanted to fight, to reach his highest potential, and lead a life of meaning. He thought of Master Veon-Zih. The Monk had told him that he didn't need to be a Paladin to fight for justice, and he was living proof of that. But... I don't want to be alone... At first, I thought I just wanted you, a god, as a guiding light in my life. But now I realize that being a Paladin gives me even more than that. It gives me brothers and friends, and I don't want to lose them either. But I especially don't want to hurt them.
Shon clenched his hands tighter, as tight as he could, digging his fingers into the spaces between his knuckles; as if external pain might dull internal strife... They say I'm scary... And I know they aren't really joking. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their nervous laughs when they try and make it a joke. But they only mean when they fight me... don't they? And I'll never try to hurt them. It's only sparring... they know that... don't they?
He squeezed his eyes tighter shut, But what about now? Will they be even more afraid? Even when we aren't sparring? Can I blame them if they are?
He actually found himself waiting for an answer... Of course, none came. He wasn't a Paladin yet, and wouldn't be able to feel the god until he swore his Oath and took a piece of Hengist into himself. For now, Shon took in a deep breath, as deep as he could, then let it out slowly, relaxing his hands and face as he attempted to release his anxieties unto his god. I won't give up. I'll fight this danger within me as hard as I will fight any threat without. I ask for your help with this. Please don't give up on me yet. I'll prove I'm worthy, I swear.
The bell ending dinner and starting study time sounded. Shon stayed in the chapel until a handful of Squires came in to pray themselves. They hesitated by the door, but Shon didn't look at them. He knew he couldn't hide forever. But he also wasn't sure what he should say to any of them. Or if he should say anything at all. Shon waited until they moved away from the door to finally stand. If he had to face any of them, he wanted it to be the ones he considered friends first.
Shon left the chapel and made his way to the library, fighting the urge to just go back to his room. Heads swiveled in his direction the moment he opened the library door. Shon flinched, sucking in a sharp breath and holding it, pulling his energy in as best he could.
He stepped in, and the Squires exchanged looks, but then the Paladin on library duty coughed, and they quickly went back to reading.
His typical spot was available as usual, so Shon made his way there. The others would want to talk after... and if not, he would just go back to his room. Distracted by his continued worries -and the silent effort to hold his energy in- Shon still heard when something behind him hissed along the stone.
He spun quickly, scanning the floor. This time he definitely wasn't imagining it...
"Squire Shon... Shouldn't you be resting?" He turned back to find the Squires trying to make it seem like they weren't staring at him, while the Paladin who called looked openly concerned.
Shon's cheeks flushed, now feeling cool rather than warm. Another change..
. He cleared his throat, "No, Sir..." and when the Paladin's worried expression didn't let up, Shon added, "I've been resting all day."
"Three days..." Zihler muttered.
Shon met his eyes and the Squire smiled, but Shon couldn't tell if the expression seemed strained or not. He nodded anyway, taking his seat alone at the table by the window.
Books on their current subject of study were already laid out, and he pulled one forward, opening it without checking the title. As he read, he could hear the others occasionally whisper and even caught snippets of what they were saying,
"I found another one. Do you think this will be enough?" Thom asked.
"We have the rest of the hour; we should find all we can," Rerves answered. It didn't sound like they were studying, but Shon had missed three days of lessons; maybe they were working on an assignment... He went back to his reading. He would get any missed work tomorrow.
When the bell rang that would finally begin their last hour of free time, Shon closed his book. It would be best to just go to bed early; everyone seemed to think he should be resting anyway; they could talk after he got the sealing item... But he hadn't stood yet when his six closest friends jumped up, books in hand, and crowded around him, preventing him from leaving. From running away.
"We're glad you're okay." Rehlien blurted out.
"The Major General told us what happened," Baradin added.
Shon looked from him to Kefir and took in a sharp breath, "I'm..." he started to apologize, but Kefir interrupted with a broad smile,
"I'm fine. I even got a day off for it. I didn't need it though, they healed me up right away."
Rerves placed his book down on Shon's table, "It was just really surprising, you know? But hey! Now we know why you're so cold all the time."
Shon looked down at the massive tome on the table, not wanting to meet their eyes. He didn't know what to make of what they were saying. There was no way it was okay. How could they be alright with a dangerous magic user that could kill them all on accident...
"We found these. We thought they might make you feel a little better," Thom whispered, stacking his book on top of Rerves' and opening it to a page he'd marked with a ripped piece of scrap paper. It wasn't a textbook, it was a record book. Shon furrowed his brows down at the page, reading 'Sir Patrich, served 4876-4929, died 4955. Paladin of Hengist, General. Air Sorcerer...
Shon looked up to find them all smiling down at him. Zihler set his book down over Thom's, opened to another personal record, "This one was a fire Sorcerer, and they're supposed to be the most destructive."
Rehlien took Baradin and Kefir's books and stacked them with his own beside the open records. He ran his fingers over the slew of bookmarks sticking out of the closed pages, "All Sorcerers and
Paladins." Rehlien said.
"Master Daunas said you would be back in a few days, but just in case we wanted to find these for you," Thom explained in a rush, "You know... in case the officers or Mages needed to be convinced..."
Baradin cleared his throat before he spoke, clasping his hands behind his back, "We haven't found any ice Sorcerers yet, but they're also the rarest, so that really shouldn't be surprising."
"Yeah, and there are plenty of fire who are crazy dangerous even when they're trained," Kefir added quickly.
Shon could feel a burning in his eyes and blinked furiously, looking away from his friends. He wouldn't cry.. he wouldn't. "Thank you..." he managed to croak out, finally giving in and rubbing his eyes. None of them commented on his show of emotion, or the frost clouding his window.
Rerves took the seat across from him with a smile, "So, what type of familiar do you think you'll get?"
Shon managed to stop blinking enough to arch an eyebrow. Hadn't Ivelm said something about a familiar too?
"I bet you it'll be something really lame." Zihler laughed, "To balance Shon's badassness."
"Squire!" the Paladin librarian barked, "Pushups! Now!"
Zihler groaned, mumbling as he stepped back to perform the punishment, "How do they always do that?"
"Divine hearing," Rehlien snickered as Zihler started the pushups, "Probably only works for curses, though."
"You can join him," the Paladin called without looking up from his book, and Rehlien groaned, dropping down next to Zihler.
"Seriously though," Rerves said, ignoring the boys huffing and puffing through their punishment, "Familiars are animals, they're supposed to be even closer to their Sorcerer than a Paladin and their mount! Like an extension of yourself. You can see through their eyes and talk to them with your mind. It's awesome!"
Thom actually blushed, confessing, "We read up on it a bit over the last two days..."
They knew more about what he was than he did. Shon actually smiled, starting, "I don't..." but chittering, like a particularly loud squirrel, interrupted him. The Squires all swiveled their heads to look around, Rehlien and Zihler jumping to their feet with the Paladin, who stood so quickly his chair fell over. The chittering turned to chirping, and then to a purr, as Shon finally found what was making the noise.
On top of the bookshelf closest to the door, sat a tiny dragon.
The size of a large barn cat, its scales were mostly brown but had streaks and blotches of red and orange, like the few deciduous trees that still held their leaves in autumn. Its leathery wings were folded against its back and its front claws grasped the edge of the bookshelf. Its long tail, complete with a scorpion-like stinger, flicked back and forth, its sinuous neck held high as it surveyed the library.
Some of the Squires let slip breaths of wonder, and the little dragon seemed to preen at the attention, holding its head a little higher and purring even louder. The Paladin, however, stepped around his desk and commanded, "Stay back, Squires," before he started chanting. The little dragon tilted its head at the Paladin, as curious as the rest of them. A moment later, the knight's spell washed over them to fill the room, sending a shiver down Shon's spine and making more than one of the other Squires shudder.
The little dragon let out another string of chittering and hissed down at the Paladin, whose eyes went wide as he announced in a breath, "It's real."
"How did it get in?" a senior Squire asked. Shon started to stand but then fell back again as images flooded into his mind. He watched a window opening from outside the fortress, and saw himself lean out. Then the image shifted, and he saw himself digging under his bed for a new uniform and towel as the him that was watching slipped out the door. It shifted again, and he saw himself in the shower, mist billowing off his shoulders before he dug through the piles of clothes left on the bench. It shifted again, and he darted into the library and behind the bookshelf, watching as he, Shon, walked in and sat down at the little table.
Shon blinked and shook his head furiously to try and clear it. All the pictures had flooded in so fast that no one even had time to answer the question or pose their own, "I let it in..." Shon whispered, then looked at the Paladin, explaining quickly, "I didn't mean to. I left my window open to air out my room and..."
"It's okay, Squire," the Paladin was actually smiling, and the little dragon whistled, "They're goodly creatures, though elusive. I've never seen a live one." the dragon leaned forward on the bookshelf, crouching down on its front claws and wiggling its hindquarters before it leaped into the air, opening its wings to spread as wide as it was long. It glided a lap around the library then hovered in front of the Paladin, chittering again and flapping hard enough to blow the man's short hair back before flying right towards the group of Squires around Shon.
It brushed Baradin's head with its claws, the boy ducking as it swooped down to land on Shon's table. The dragon looked from the open books to Shon, then, before Shon could pull back, climbed up his arm and to his shoulder, purring hard enough to vibrate Shon too. It weighed considerably less than it looked like it should, though its claws were sharp enough to pierce through his clothes as it climbed. It brought its face right up to Shon's eye, and though he tried to pull away, it followed him with its long neck, rubbing its cheek along his face. The scales were smooth and lacked temperature, like being touched by a gloved hand. It nuzzled his cheek again, then down his neck and into his shirt.
Surprised, Shon tried to throw the dragon off, but it just dug its claws into his sleeves, chittering angrily then clawing its way around to his back before lifting itself up to drape over his head. "What..." Shon started, but the Paladin cut him off with a laugh.
"I think that answers your friends' questions, Squire."
Shon was too confused to even arch an eyebrow at the man, but Rerves apparently understood what he'd meant because he said, "But I thought only animals could be familiars, like cats and crows and stuff..."
The Paladin nodded but then shrugged, "That's usually the case, but sometimes, rarely, there will be a Sorcerer who gets something a bit more special, like a winged serpent, fairy dragon, or in this case," he nodded at Shon, "A pseudodragon."
The pseudodragon purred, vibrating Shon's head. The Squires all gaped slack-jawed in awe at it, and Shon reached up slowly. He wasn't even sure what he was going to do, pet it? Push it off? But before he'd even touched it, it lifted its head, stretching its long neck out and nuzzling into his hand, obviously not caring that his skin was colder now than it had ever been.
"Damn..." Zihler muttered in obvious disappointment, "I was really hoping it would be a toad so I would have something to make fun of..."
The little dragon's answering twitter almost sounded like a laugh.
She groaned, rolling over and nuzzling deeper into Her pillow. Except it didn’t smell like Her pillow. Her eyes flew open, and She sat up. Then fell back down. That was stupid. Ran and Brom had probably taken more blood than usual again… except She couldn’t remember them taking Her for samples. Not for weeks and weeks…
“It’s alright, you’re safe here,” the kindly voice of a man spoke from Her right, and She sat up again, more slowly this time. A stranger in white robes with a sword embroidered on the chest reached out to help Her up, but after touching Her back he pulled sharply away.
She was too confused to apologize for burning him. “Where?” She asked, looking around the room. Like the stranger, it was covered in white. White blankets, white rug, and white curtains hanging to either side of an open window. A window that looked out onto a blue sky. She gasped, scrambling from the bed and nearly tripping over Her white gown. Of course it was white. How in all the hells did they keep it all clean?
She shook Her head and rushed for the window. The man behind Her gasped, his chair scraping loudly as he stood to follow. She pressed Her hands on the cold glass, staring up into the sky, “I’m on an upper floor!?” She grinned excitedly over Her shoulder as the stranger stared at Her, mouth hanging open.
Turning back to the window, She used Her arm to wipe the fog from Her heat off the glass, letting Her gaze trail down. She didn’t see the treetops She expected. Not close anyway. Instead, the forest was beyond a wide clear field, which in turn was beyond a tall stone wall with people dressed in silver walking along its top. She stood on Her toes to look down through the window. Between the wall and Her was a courtyard full of more people swinging things that glinted in the sun.
This wasn’t the tower. None of those people wore robes except the nice stranger. She spun to him, “My treasures, where are they? Brom? Ran? Where…” She saw a flash of red, heard a pained bark, and smelled iron. She fell to Her knees, grasping Her chest and breathing hard, remembering bits and pieces. He killed them. He killed all of them. Then what? She couldn’t remember...
“You are in a training facility of the Temple of Hengist, Hamerfoss, in Clearhelm.” a new voice, deeper, less kind though not cruel, spoke from the doorway. Lifting Her head, She saw the new man wearing a crisp, white, uniform, with a sword hanging comfortably from his belt. Hengist… so that explained all the white.
The kind man in robes had rushed to Her but dared not touch Her. Wise. With Her head spinning so fast, there was no way She was controlling Her heat properly. “How long has she been awake?” the new man asked the kind one.
“She just woke up, Major General,”
“He killed them…” She whispered, squeezing Her eyes shut, pushing back the rage and sorrow, trying to fill in Her memory. What happened next?
“It will be alright. You're safe here,” the kind man said again.
She pulled Her own hair, lacing Her fingers into the golden strands and squeezing. What had happened? She had run down the hall, but how had She gotten out of Her room? There were strangers in Her tower. These men? She glared up at the brown-haired man who looked down at Her, his hands behind his back.
“Who are you? What did you do to the Mages?” She could feel the hair rise on the back of Her neck and a familiar tingling where the collar should be.
The Major General remained calm before Her building fury, saying only, “Calm down.” It was a command backed by magic. She felt the power flow over Her and try to settle on Her mind. She could almost sense the peace it promised but shook Her head, clearing it of the spell.
He could've used his magic to hurt Her. Perhaps not with the collar as the Archmages did, but in other ways. And yet, he hadn’t moved from his spot, his hands still behind his back. She looked again at the sword of Hengist at his side. She'd read all about the gods. Hengist was good and noble, all about self-sacrifice and protecting the weak… A fool, the Mages had said. And yet his Temple ruled this province. The Mages of Her tower would never work with the Temple of Hengist. Or any kingdom order…
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She didn’t need his help to calm down, not when She had something to focus on. She shoved Her grief to the back of Her mind. “How did I get here?” another image flashed in Her mind, fire all around, a white path, blue eyes.
The Paladin didn’t answer right away; instead, he motioned for the robed man - a Cleric? - to bring him a chair. She tilted Her head curiously at him, but he only sat down with a weary sigh, then gestured towards the bed, “Please, have a seat.”
She stood, returning to the bed and eyeing the door over his shoulder. He hadn’t locked it. “We saw smoke from the woods and found you in a burning tower.” the blood drained from Her face, “We have recovered several bodies from around the structure, but there were no other survivors.” he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and fixing Her with a piercing stare, “What happened? What was going on in that tower?”
She brought Her feet onto the bed and hugged Her legs tight, “I don’t… I can’t remember…” a fire, the tower burning… But it was made of stone. Her fire couldn’t burn that hot… Could it?
“Sir Selibra,” the kindly Cleric sounded stern, crossing his arms and glaring down at the Paladin, “She has just woken up from what was obviously a terrible ordeal. Show some compassion.”
The Paladin, Selibra, actually looked ashamed, leaning back in his chair and clearing his throat, “I apologize, miss…” he drew out the last word, looking at Her expectantly. She tilted Her head. “What is your name?” he asked more clearly. She tilted Her head the other way. Were they going to play that game here too?
The Cleric hummed then said, “Please forgive him, miss, we are all very troubled by the events and deaths at the tower. The Major General merely got ahead of himself. If you could tell us your name, then we can let you rest and…”
“I don’t have a name.”
The two men blinked dumbly at Her, and She rolled Her eyes, “I knnnooowww,” She let Her legs fall back down, so She was sitting properly again, “But I don’t know it yet. As soon as I do, I'll tell you.” She assured them. The men exchanged looks as She glanced again out the window. Maybe She should've just told them what Brom and Ran called Her… But those weren’t names. They were descriptors. No better than ‘Firewyrm.’
If these Temple men were to be believed, everything was gone. She had no room, no books, no clothes, no treasures, and no name. What did
She have? She pulled Her hair over Her shoulder and stared out the window as She stroked it. She had Her hair. They hadn’t cut it in months. She had Her body. She straightened Her posture, holding Her head high. And She had Her power—the fire crackling deep inside Her soul. The Mages had taken the first two. The third had destroyed them.
“You should rest,” Selibra stood, and Her eyes snapped back to him, “You can send for me when you feel ready to talk. Until then, focus on recovering your strength and your memories.”
He made it all the way to the door, even swung it open before She called out, “What are you going to do to me?”
Selibra turned back, his eyebrows raised in surprise. The Cleric placed a hand on Her shoulder, slowly and carefully, gauging how much of Her heat he could handle. She turned to him, and he let Her go. He'd held on longer than expected. “We will keep you safe, child.” the Cleric assured Her.
The Paladin grew stiff for a moment, then brought his right fist up to his chest, “By the sword of Hengist’s honor, we will safeguard your life and freedom,” Freedom?
“Whatever injustices you endured there, you will find justice in the laws of Clearhelm.” She didn’t know what to say, and so, after an awkward moment of silence, Selibra turned for the door again and left.
She didn’t lay down. Instead, She walked back to the window. The view seemed to stretch on forever from so high up, higher than She'd ever remembered being before. Even when She used to climb the trees around Her tower.
Selibra hadn’t locked the door, but the Cleric bustled around behind Her, and the wall below Her clanked with armored knights. What was
--- Table of Contents
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
So 3 months ago I quit my half academic/half industry job that made me want to scream and brought me to a near burn out due to the lack of progress and constant micro managing by a rather problematic boss. No regrets there.
I found myself a menial job. It pays the bills. The place is horrendously organised and they have no structure to speak of, but the salary (barely) covers my bills and there are perks (free gym and spa, for example). It’s boring, but since I’m a bit more savvy than most of the employees in my position, they’ve started to give me some responsibilities (without pay-raise so far, obviously, barely out of my trial period).
Now some academic friends have come to me saying “hey didn’t you want to put forward this cool project where you’ll be your own boss for once in this particular academic field you’re so interested in? They’re having an open call for grants in this institution for it…”
So now I’m pitching the idea to two host laboratories tomorrow. For a grant application deadline in about 6 months. For an answer 6 or 8 months after that. If it works? I’m set for four years in a project I will lead in a field I fucking love.
If it doesn’t work? I’ll officially be washed out of academia I think. I’ll have invested a lot of time and a lot of effort into a passion work that so often doesn’t pay me anything. But I’ll always have the menial job that pays the bills, and that is not to be neglected. Security is a luxury that I am grateful for - I was lucky to find a job to fall back into to start with.
Anyway my head is spinning, stressed about tomorrow, and seriously considering whether I am insane for inflicting this upon myself.
I need a glass of wine.
My dad seriously makes everything about him. An example is that yesterday I asked him if he could watch over my sister because me and my mom want to go to the movies. In this whole year I haven’t gone to the movies with my mom so I’m excited about it. He made himself the victim and started saying in a very sad voice (I was trying not to laugh) that I accepted to go out with her but not with him yesterday. I was doing a school project with my friends like?? Then that he wouldn’t watch over my sister (he seriously doesn’t like taking care of her) and that we should bring her with us to the movies. I didn’t want to bring her because shes young and gets scared easily. He then, still acting like I just told him the worst thing of his life told me goodbye and shut the door in front of him. He’s so embarrassing.
Today after that happened he literally woke me up to just tell me “okay I will take care of your sister so you can go to the movies with your mom. I just.. wish that later you will want to go out with me..” O MY GOD I GO OUT WITH YOU EVERY WEEK. WE WATCHED THE SAME MOVIE 2 DAYS AGO, YOU AND ME. He was acting as if I asked him to please watch my kids because I’m going to war.
He always does stuff like this, this is a whole other thing but he once was being so awful to me that I almost committed that day. I still remember the things he was telling me, it was the worst day of my life. The next day after I almost committed I was completely ignoring him and scared for my life. He laughed it off and was saying stuff like “I told you that for your own good, stop being so rude.” “Come on love, dont be quiet”. I sometimes want to tell him that I almost committed so he Can feel like complete shit.
Do you guys think he sounds like a narcissist?
They say no Xbox because school (I want Xbox to play with friend and I only have pc)
Mandatory: Throwaway because of reasons + English is not my first language + Happening outside of US for any unclear context. Sorry.
tldr: I'm unhappy with how my once closest friend changed due her relationship and don't know how to help her
My (26F) best friend (26F) "Julia" had been in my life since we were born, really – our parents are close friends, and we were born few days apart. We have the same first name, even. For the most of our life this relationship was based on living in the same suburb community, but got closer as we both started to attend same high school a bit further away. For three years we were inseparable, Blonde Julia (me) and Small Julia (her). Same group of friends, same interests, same outlook on life. We were... not loners, but we mostly hung out with a smaller circle of friends. Artsy kids. Mostly other girls. I had a brief relationship with a male colleague of ours, she was single, with a crush on one of the other guys. As we approached college, we went in different directions, but still in close contact – we didn't have to move for college, and our faculties were even located next to each other. She pursued arts, I went into literature and language studies. She had her first relationship with a friend of a friend. It seemed somewhat "low intensity" of a relationship, with them rather just dating despite being together for a year. After that we were both single again. We did what friends do, hanging around, writing letters to ourselves, watching movies, I took her with me for the first important events in my academic career, she took me with her to her first exhibitions. Those letters are (were?) a very important part of our relationship – since I remember, we exchanged emails few times a month where we wrote about our feelings and more complex thoughts, but also cinema or literature inspirations.
Julia had a brief but tumultuous relationship with an artist friend of hers, which left her in deep depression. Soon after she started mentioning another friend of hers; they were trying to start a small art collective at that point. That guy eventually became more and more important part of her life. I wasn't particularly happy about him – first, knowing she was in a bad emotional place after the previous breakup, second – I just didn't like the guy, who was completely different than both Julia and me are. They started dating, and Julia decided to went for a semester abroad. She told me that the man – "Peter" (M, same age) – wants to visit her a week or so after she relocated, for her birthday. I decided to join them as well, and spend both her and mine birthdays together. It was awkward as fuck, as we all slept in the same room in a small rented flat, me next to their shared bed. She was busy a lot, so I ended spending some time with Peter. He was talkative and I can tell he was trying to win me over, but for whatever reason I was somehow mostly neutral, waiting for Julia to come back.
That was three years ago. Since then, Peter moved to our city, they are still dating, and started to live together a year or so ago. She changed a lot during this time, started to look differently, wear different clothes. I jokingly said that she starts to talk like Peter and I can tell she was upset by that. Peter is completely different than both Julia and me, and even than our high school friends. He was brought up in different set up, has a strong subcultural background and despite being a slacker he has some surprising successes in academia. Julia loves him. I can't help it, I dislike him. When they tried to kiss for a New Years Eve, I jokingly stayed between them for a few minutes.
We have sparse contact as a group, but I prefer to see Julia one on one. For the most part of it, I tried dating different guys, but it was always brief and unhappy. I'm not a very outward person in terms of relationships, but I long for a romantic relationship, like a movie one. I invited one of those guys for an evening together with Julia and Peter, they were nice to him, which somehow made me angry at the whole situation. A year ago, I started dating Julia's friend, and we kind of live together at the moment. He's trying his best, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm unhappy in this. I don't know if I love him. I'm angry at him a lot, over minuscule shit. He's more of "their" people, as he is also an artist, with a little bit different lifestyle than mine. He sees that, and also that I'm somehow uneasy with Julia's and Peter's relationship.
And now comes the recent part. Julia is in therapy, and recently she told me she was diagnosed with depression. I don't know why, but it makes me angry and all walled up. She tells me that she needs to sort her life out, that she need my help as a friend, but I can't shake the feeling that we had grown apart, that she changed so much, that she isn't the same person that wrote me those long emails anymore. That she secretly thinks all the little things we used to do, going to movie festivals together, sending letters about our feelings – were somehow responsible for her feeling unwell. I can't stop to think that she now has someone else that is taking care of her, and maybe that is the very reason why she is unhappy. I tried to talk about it with my boyfriend, but he seems puzzled, as he generally likes Peter and really admires both Julia and her art. My two closest friends also were of no help, as they are both lesbians and have a somewhat different outlook on how to navigate this kind of situations, when no romantic component is involved.
I told Julia that I don't know how I can help her as a friend with her depression, knowing that she has someone who is already taking care of her. I wanted to tell her that I'm also sad that we drifted apart, but ended short on that. We decided to give each other some space, but since then, almost two months had passed and we haven't talked. I don't know where it can go from here.
When I get anxious, I reach out to my parents, my sister and a couple of friends in hopes someone will see my message and help me calm down. So this morning I felt overwhelmed and reached out and didn't have a response from anyone for about an hour. I realize that they have their lives and can't help me out all the time, but I do need someone to respond fairly quickly or I feel like I will have a major meltdown. I got a response from my sister saying this "I am an adult with my own life and schedule...[D]o you really expect me to be available at the exact moment you text me every time?" I responded by saying no. And she responded by saying "Okay then". What does that mean? that I can't contact her when I am feeling anxious?
I have had two cocker-spaniels for a number of years, and have never really had a issue with them. But recently for a number of reasons there's been a larger service dog in the house, a Boxer. The Boxer is very well trained and is incredibly gentle. My older cocker is so old that he probably hardly even knows shes there half the time, but my younger cocker has been running into some issues with her. She's always been abit spoiled and had her run of the house since the older cocker is pretty docile, but i think shes been feeling threatened by the Boxer. She isn't too aggressive usually, but she always keeps a distance between them and when the Boxer wants to play or gets too excited near her (like when someone comes home and they all rush to the door) it's all teeth, snarls, and snapping. Luckily the Boxer isn't that threatened by her and doesn't hurt her, but i would like them to get along better.
Any tips to help bond them?
Hi guys, posting here because I just need some guidance/outside perspective. We’re taking her to a trainer but wanted to ask here as well. Have a 1.5 year old Labrador retriever, very bad puller on the leash, we’ve recently decided to stop walking her outside the house until we improve her behavior (she also has issues with lunging/pulling on the leash when she sees another dog, has never shown aggression it seems more like excitement and desire to play, I stopped letting her near other dogs on walks bc of the lunging behavior which I hope isn’t making the situation worse because now she never gets to say hello,).
The method we have been using to train her has been to stop walking every time she begins to pull (she has a harness), wait for her to make eye contact/call her name and have slack in the leash/attention on me and then continue walking. It seemed like this was working and I was getting consistent slack in the leash however recently she will begin to pull again immediately as soon as I begin to walk again, it’s constant start and stop, and seems to be worsening as time goes on. Not giving eye contact when I call her name, only when I stop walking and she realizes she has to listen to keep moving forward. Her focus is definitely not on me, it’s on what she wants to get to next (she’s def tracking scents most of the time because her snout is consistently towards the ground when she’s walking), she never checks in with me on her own. My question is should we continue this method in the backyard to see if there is an improvement in her behavior or should we try a different method at this point?
Secondly, we have been walking her on a harness which I understand is contributing to the issue because it gives her way more power. However this is the confusion/concern that I have. The training videos I watch all say to train them on the leash with a regular collar around the neck for more control. I’m sure we would see fast results with this as the trainers show, and I am fine with doing that in my backyard, however when the time comes to eventually transition her to spaces outside of the yard, I would never trust her with only a regular collagentle lead or prong collar around her neck. I have so much anxiety about her slipping out because she has done it in the past with a regular collar and also one time with a step in harness. With the over the head harness I know she is safe/secure. I would never want to take her outside the house without her harness that I know she can’t slip out of, even if we get to the point where she is very well behaved/trained. I also fear her hurting her neck if she sees a trigger and gets excited, she doesn’t seem too have a good sense of self-awareness and I don’t want her to snap/hurt her neck. So my question is what equipment should I be training her with if my intention is to never let her walk outside the house without a harness on because I’m not convinced it would ever be 100% safe.
Thanks in advance and I apologize for this being so long I tried to condense it as best as I could.
Was offered to help set up for a major Pride event in my local city today. Feel like I screwed myself out of a long-term gig. For background, most of my experience is with digital marketing, and social media, with two PA gigs behind me (over two years ago).
The company I work for is a sole own ownership fo a major event planner in the city who has a ten-year track record of running various sold-out events (flea markets, shows, etc), with a stellar reputation. Had an interview with the owner and her assistant last month and it went well. We clarified that I was looking to make a career change from digital marketing to on-site events production, and we confirmed that my PA experience was limited. Was told to hop on for my first event at the end of May, but received little to no communication from them regarding call times, etc. Upon following up the day prior, I was told that due to weather (outdoor event) - I would not be needed and to instead help out for their next major June event, which was held today.
I had to initiate a majority of the follow-up to confirm the date, location, and call time. Did not receive until night before.
Here's where I fucked up:
-Missed my alarm by an hour (The call time was 9 AM). Immediately reached out to the assistant event planner to profusely apologize and advise I would be there ASAP. I show up close to 10 AM due to traffic and apologize again once checking in on-site and jump right into helping get things sorted for indoor installations. Admittedly, I was very frazzled but ignored those feelings as much as I could in order to catch up on all work needed. Being late was 100% my fault, and I made sure to acknowledge apologize, and accept full blame for this mistake. Was told it was fine, and to do my assigned work.
-Asked for any available tasks/call sheets. Was told there were none and was assigned tasks verbally as needed by various individuals of the team. I made sure to introduce myself to everyone on the team that was there, tell them I was on the PA team, and to advise to let me know if any help was needed.
-Majority of the tasks involved cleaning, moving around gear, etc. I made sure to complete each tasks as asked, and checked in with my lead when I could find her to give her updates. Everyone leading the teams seemed extremely overwhelmed, so I did my tasks as quickly and quietly as I could, staying out of the way and letting them do their thing. My main contact seemed extremely frazzled and exhausted when I checked in with her. Walkies were not issued at all to anyone, and most instructions were delivered directly.
-I'm prone to anxiety and in between tasks I took 30 seconds to step aside (outside of view) and maintain myself as best I could. This was after helping load out a full room of geaboxes/furniture and setting up a dressing room. After confirming with one of the leads if it was ok to take a 20-minute minute break to drink water and something to eat before continuing tasks (everyone was about to break for lunch). Said lead brought me over to the venue bar (packed) - advised me to order my meal and water and that it would be comped under the company bill. When the food didn't come out on time, I immediately went to try to find that same lead to let her know, but could not find her for a good fifteen minutes. Asked teammates and everyone. After finally finding her, that's when she pulled me to the side and asked if I was okay, and that I seemed very frazzled. I explained that being late threw me off quite a bit, but I was ready for whatever else they needed me to do. She said ok, told me to hang out for five minutes to drink wateeat, and to not rush. Upon returning, she thanked me for the help, said she wanted to make sure everyone on the team was "in a good place mentally to work" - and said I could go home. I apologized and said I did not mean to come across as frazzled while working, and she said she understood as being a PA herself a while ago. She walked me out a short minute after, saying she would grab my bag for me. I said goodbye and asked if they would be needing any help with their next event, which she said "possibly, we will let you know." We also confirmed payment terms.
I feel like they aren't going to let me know, and I made a horrible impression on everyone on the team. I'm incredibly upset at myself over this, and I don't know what the best approach is moving forward. Outside of being late and everyone being overwhelmed, I enjoyed what I did and want to make this a career (transition out of digital marketing.)
Is there any recourse left for me at this point? This would have been a dream gig for me long term and I feel like I fucked up so bad there's no going back.