Nighttime noise crossword clue

Long time off horn got me stiff lips.

2023.04.01 07:18 Cheap-Peach5127 Long time off horn got me stiff lips.

Finally, I am recovered from a bad cold and fever. I'm trying to keep on playing stuff that I used to be playing two weeks ago. Well, guess what? The response has gone, so completely that I thought I was a beginner again. Sitting in the practice room worrying about others hating the noise I made with my beloved horn. My lord is my saviour,but how shall I get back. Struggling with no clue. Help a lost sheep please!
submitted by Cheap-Peach5127 to trumpet [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 07:11 Fluffy_Prior6992 What is this animal living in my ceiling?

What is this animal living in my ceiling?
There is some sort of animal (maybe a bird or bat or squirrel?) that has recently moved into the ceiling of my house. Any clues about what it is based on the noises?
submitted by Fluffy_Prior6992 to Whatisthis [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 05:21 ChiefCasual PLA+ making a consistent popping/clocking sound

I bought some Pla+ from the Creality store and I've noticed that it makes a consistent clicking noise while it prints. At first I thought it was curling ever so slightly and I was hearing the print head scrape the plastic occasionally, but I'm not seeing any deformities in my prints. The sound is definitely coming from the print head or somewhere close to it.
Any clue as to what's causing the sound?
submitted by ChiefCasual to FixMyPrint [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 23:43 jjfajen Apex Predator (Part 29)

Memory transcription subject: Daniel Price, Apex Cadet
Date [standardized human time]: July 4, 2137
It was a warm summer night; the perfect kind for stargazing with not a cloud in the sky. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who did some exploring of our dorm. Colton found a way onto the roof of the building and for the Fourth of July convinced me, Jath, Usli, and even Tassev to join him up there to watch fireworks. As we waited for the show to start I couldn’t help but be amused by Colton’s enthusiastic explanation of the holiday.
“It’s going to be great guys, small towns like this are always the best. Back home one year everywhere around had a burn ban because of a drought that was going on, but my town didn’t. So you had practically everyone in the county driving on over to light up fireworks in one place! It was amazing!”
Jath scoffed, “We will see. The sun is already down and I don’t see anything.”
Usli was quick to refute Jath, his enthusiasm for the upcoming spectacle was clear, “Well maybe it’s because they’re waiting for it to be as dark as possible first!”
Tassev, who sat slightly apart from the rest of us to my right, butted in, “I must agree with the Yotul, this sounds interesting. So your people have a tradition where they just set off explosives in the sky on this day?”
Colton was quick to respond, “Yeah, and they make all sorts of noises and explode in all sorts of different colors. You’ve got the big mortars that go BOOM! And the ones that have sparkly trails, fountains, and so many more.”
I looked to Jath, “Did you guys not have fireworks on your homeworld?”
“No,” he answered. “Detonating bombs in the air above ourselves sounds like a bad idea.”
“Quit being a coward,” Tassev interjected. “If there is one human custom I can get behind it is this one.”
“Oh wait until you hear about barbeques,” Colton added.
Usli, wrapped up in the excitement of seeing fireworks, was the first to ask, “Ooh, what’s that?”
Without missing a beat Colton responded, “Well it’s where you get everyone together, it can be just family or the whole block, and you gri-”
“WAIT!” I practically yelled. Colton looked irritated with my interruption, as did everyone else. Without breaking eye contact with him I nodded slightly to the left towards Usli. The gesture was lost among our alien friends, but after a moment it clicked in Colton’s head why I had interrupted him.
“Oh. Uh, it’s not important.” Colton struggled to find a way to segue the conversation onto a different topic, prompting me to come up with something.
“Have you told them why we celebrate the Fourth of July?”
“Good point! So the holiday itself is called Independence Day, because that’s when we declared independence from the British and started the Revolutionary War.”
“Revolutionary War?” Jath asked.
“Yeah, the British had this big empire with colonies everywhere and we were one of them. But they were being tyrannical so we went to war with them for our freedom!”
Tassev seemed to be very interested in this talk of war, “Tyrannical? What is that?”
Colton had to pause for a second to think up a definition for something that had always been self explanatory to us. “It’s when you’ve got someone ruling over people but he’s just doing whatever he wants and doesn’t listen to the people. Like there’s no representation and the guy probably isn’t even elected. Like in the Revolutionary War the king of England was taxing the colonies without them being represented in their parliament.”
“King of England? But you said the war was against the British?”
“No, wait. They’re the same thing. It’s a bunch of complicated history stuff. The gist of it is that we won and this is how we celebrate it!”
“Makes sense I guess,” Usli added, “celebrate winning a war by blowing stuff up. Do you think there will be fireworks when we beat the Federation?”
“Oh of course. I betcha we’ll be throwing parades and having the mother of all fireworks shows when that happens.” Colton looked at his watch and then stared off in the distance towards town for a moment. It was noticeably dark out now and yet there was still no sign of fireworks. “I don’t understand, things should be popping off right about now… anyone got a holopad?”
“Yeah,” Jath replied, pulling it out.
“Hand it to Daniel. Search if we’re under a burn ban or something. Shouldn’t be. We got plenty of rain.”
Jath handed his holopad over to me and I did a quick internet search. “Nothing about a burn ban. Maybe if I just search about fireworks?”
“That’s worth a shot.”
I found a surprising number of recent results and began murmuring titles and excerpts from articles as I skimmed through them, “Largest fireworks manufacturer in North America retrofits factories for ammo production… Loss of Chinese manufacturing spells fireworks shortage on Fourth of July… Opinion: Independence Day is a relic of our fractured past… Poll shows record number of Americans planning to forgo Fourth of July celebrations…” The list just went on and on.
With each murmur from me the enthusiasm faded from Colton’s eyes. He turned back towards the clear night sky, probably hoping that it would prove me wrong. But after another minute of stillness he acquiesced. “Oh. There’s not going to be any fireworks after all… I guess it makes sense. Since we’re not really independent anymore. Sorry for getting your hopes up guys.”
“It’s okay man,” I said. “We could still look at the stars.”
Colton sullenly replied, “Sorry, I think I’m just going to go to bed.”
Tassev pushed himself up and with a dour expression said he would do the same.
“Same here,” Usli said, in a similar mood to Colton. “I stayed up talking to my pen pals way too late last night.”
Usli quickly made his way to the exit before Colton or Tassev had the chance to be in front of him. Once the three were gone I looked over to Jath, “So are you going too?”
The Arxur adjusted his position on the floor to a more reclined posture and rested his hands behind his head before replying, “No, I have nothing better to do.”
We both reclined there on the roof staring up at the sky in silence for a moment. Briefly my mind was invaded by the memory of laying on that department store roof in LA. A memory that felt like it was from a lifetime ago rather than less than a year. I shook my head in a vain attempt to physically dispel something as intangible as a memory.
“Sooo what are we looking at?” Jath asked.
Snapped back to reality by his words, I responded, “Just anything really. There’s constellations you can see.”
“Yeah, you know, you connect the dots with the stars and they make a picture.” Jath’s confused expression didn’t budge. “Gimme your holopad again, I’ll look it up.” Quickly I found an interactive sky map online. “Okay, so if you look over there you see those three stars and at the end of them there’s like a box of stars?”
Jath squinted his eyes and took a moment to find the individual stars I was pointing at, “I think so.”
“That’s the Big Dipper, it looks like a pot with a handle.”
“I think I see it.”
“Ok, and if you look over there you see those three big stars right next to each other? That’s Orion’s belt, which is part of the Orion constellation.”
“Who is Orion?”
“I dunno, some Greek guy probably? Those guys came up with most of the constellations way back in ancient times.”
Jath looked between the two constellations, amused by the concept. “We don’t have ‘constellations’ back home. Never thought to stare at the sky at night. Why do that when you can hunt or hide, you know?”
I might have anticipated that he wouldn’t know human constellations, but I didn’t expect for Jath to not have any concept of constellations in general. “It’s just something we do sometimes on Earth. Look up at the sky and see all those little lights up there. There’s something… peaceful about it.”
Jath sighed, “I can’t look at the stars and think of peace. A thousand of those stars we are looking at are home to pr- creatures that want to kill us, that tried to starve us to death. The ones that tried to kill you.”
I hadn’t thought of it that way. For us humans who discovered we weren’t alone only a year ago, there was a stillness and wonder to looking at the sky. For someone who grew up knowing of and fighting the Federation that feeling couldn’t be the same. “Well when we beat the Federation then you won’t have to think that anymore.”
Jath silently nodded, letting the expression on his face soften a little. “What will you do when this is all over?”
“When the war is over. We beat the Federation and then what?”
“I don’t know. Ever since the attack I haven’t really thought about what I’ll do. It’s weird to think about all those times adults asked me, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ and all I could ever answer was that I don’t know. Now I know I’ll probably be a soldier, but after that? No clue. Just live on Earth and do something I like. Definitely have to visit Venlil Prime at some point. Before everything happened, my sister wanted to go there one day. What about you?”
Jath looked up to the sky for a moment, contemplating the question, “I do not know either. That is why I asked you. I can’t go back home. I won’t. Not after being here on Earth. I-I did not get to think about my future back then. It was only about if I could survive another day. Prove I wasn’t weak enough to be sent to Betterment. Show that I was worthy to at least eat scraps so I would not starve. And then when I finally proved unworthy enough they sent me here instead and it has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Even with Tassev and Roland and everything else, I have a full stomach, I have purpose, I have friends.”
“Yeah,” I sighed, “that’s the one good thing to come out of all of this. Meeting you, Colton, Usli, everyone else… I mean, I can’t imagine telling myself a year ago that I’d be friends with a bunch of aliens by now.”
“I would never have thought that I would be friends with an alien either. Every alien I ever knew of wanted us dead, and we wished the same to them. But not only that, I'm also friends with someone who isn’t even a predator. A Yotul of all things. The only Yotul I could have possibly seen in my old life would be one cut up for meat.” Jath shuddered, “Despite remembering how hungry I was back then, it… it just makes me sick to think about. That if things had gone differently I would kill and eat Usli and not have a second thought about it. I-it just makes me feel like a monster.”
“You’re far from being a monster, firstly Tassev is far ahead of you.” We both chuckled. “But seriously, my mom once told me that people do horrible things when they’re afraid. Even good people can do the worst things under the right circumstances. You aren’t a monster until you choose to be one.”
Jath turned his gaze away from the sky and towards me, “Thanks, that means a lot.”
“No problem man.”
We continued to sit there and look up at the sky for some time. I pointed out some more constellations and told him that the brightest star he could see was actually just Venus. I thought I saw a shooting star at one point, but it was just a spaceship flying by. When we finally decided to turn it in for the night, Jath stopped me at the door.
“One thing, before I forget to ask: what is a barbeque anyways?”
submitted by jjfajen to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 22:15 SoundersFan27 Skinwalkers, Serial Killers, and my Demonic Childhood - Part 1: The Loft

I’ll just get straight to the point, since I don’t really don’t know how to start this. I recently created a reddit account, mainly because I needed to share my story somewhere. I really had no fucking clue where else to post this to be honest, and I’ve heard of people really gaining a lot out of this community. Also, this isn’t my only fucked up experience with paranormal or monster shit, and this is only really covering one experience. Guess I’m just unlucky. This will likely only be one part out of multiple, just depending on how it goes. Anyways, as I said, straight to the point.
While some of my memories may be a little fuzzy, I’ll try to explain the older ones I have as a young child the very best I can. To sum up my life, I grew up in an alcoholic family, and in a farmhouse that is either haunted or infested with skinwalkers. Maybe both. I’ve lived in Utah until 2 years ago, and most of it in the same neighborhood. As a child, I suffered from abuse, but what was the hardest for me was watching my father abuse my mother and three sisters, both physically and verbally. This family dynamic influenced me massively, and I’m now a 26 year old adult still burdened by my unhealthy and cruel childhood.
I worked on a farm all through my teen years, and my mother homeschooled me through all 12 grades. I used to think I had any kind of positive future taken away from me by my parents, but I’ve now come to accept my past and move on. Much to my father’s anguish and anger, I broke the so-called “family obligation” of tending to the lands as a farmer. He has now disowned me. Sure, my heritage had a rich history farming the lands of Utah, but my goal in life wasn’t to fucking keep my dad happy. About my mother, she died a few years ago. Her death was both complicated and unfortunate, but too gruesome to talk about it here. I was never very close to her, but not a day passes by where I don’t think about my family, causing me to think about her. My sisters don’t hold much value to the story that I’m trying to tell, so all you need to know is that they have all left Utah, are married, and living good lives.
My fucked up experiences started when I was about 2 years old. While I’m not even sure if this is a memory, made up, or a dream, it’s a vision that is forever burned into my head. I remember lying down at night in my parents bed. While awake at night, I saw something in my room, and this thing was some sort of humanoid figure. I believe it stayed there all night, but I really can’t be certain. All I remember are the red eyes, watching me. This has stayed vivid, and as a child I remembered this but thought I was crazy. That was until I saw those red eyes again.
Most of what I’m going to talk about from here on are things I’ve never tried to tell anyone, considering my family was indifferent, and everyone else.. well, I’ve been afraid of being called crazy. This experience was only one of many, and because of all my wackass encounters I’m very certain that the place that I grew up in is cursed, or something far worse. If you’re wondering, I live within a 3 hour drive of Skinwalker Ranch, so imagine that, but with more than just skinwalkers.
My second and most notable experience is why I actually came to reddit in the first place. Our barnhouse had a loft, and I slept up there. It was a pretty nice setup, and quite small but also cozy. When I got older, I had to either crouch or go about on my knees. So, as I said, it was very small. However, the coziness vibe was taken away by a large gaping hole in one side of the room. This hole led into the rafters, and was full of spiders and obscured by cobwebs and dust. My older sisters would always tease me about a made up creature called the “8 legged monstrosity.” It supposedly had murdered all the little boys in this house before me, and the only way to stay safe from it was to sleep with 9 stuffed animals, because their power would supposedly repel all evil 8 legs of the monster. The fact that it was a giant spider combined with my age, gave me arachnophobia that has stuck with me to this day.
My gullibility wasn’t the only reason I believed the creature was real. Almost every night I would hear scraping and whispers coming from the hole, and up until I was 13 I thought that it was that god forbid 8 legged beast. Every night I heard those chilling sounds, and I was always too afraid to take a peek through my covers. It eventually became a routine in my day, and I eventually normalized it, strangely enough. Every night the stuffies always protected me, so what was there to be afraid of?
However, one night I had the guts to take a peek at this nightly occurrence, and what I saw was far worse than a giant spider. When I looked out from under the covers, I saw those exact same red eyes staring at me from deep inside the hole in the wall. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the eyes, petrified in terror. I thought about screaming for help, but my mouth was dry as a desert, and I dared not to when I saw the eyes come closer. Gliding out of the crevasse, a large black mass slowly crawled out through the rafters. Our eyes were locked, and now even when I tried to scream for help and move, I was frozen, unable to speak. The form was not humanoid, and instead seemed like a large ball of black energy, with two piercing red eyes. I don’t know whether I fainted or was overcome by this being’s energy and force, but I lost consciousness. When I woke up, it was the morning, and the creature was gone. Terrified, I ran downstairs blubbering to my parents, which was a mistake. Apparently I was being “annoying,” and my father whipped me. My mother tried to make him stop, which earned her a beating as well.
From that point on, my sisters no longer made jokes about the 8 legged monstrosity, and I quickly gave up in my attempts at persuading my father of what I saw. I knew no one believed me, and that they never would. I never heard noises from that hole or that pair of glaring red eyes ever again. I still am undecided if I belong in an insane asylum or where I am now, far away from that cursed place. I’ll continue sharing my stories of my childhood and what lurked inside it, and I hope that someone on this platform may help me understand what I saw that night, because I really have no fucking clue
submitted by SoundersFan27 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 21:02 micronesiarain Episode 1- "International Girl Group Showdown" (Part 1)

Episode 1-
the scene opens up with a sweeping shot of the Micro's Drag Race runway, illuminated with a magenta glow
kitschy music bounces through the studio as Hayes struts down the stage
Hayes Look
Hayes: Hey Bixby, did my dad walking out on me in the Maccas parking lot in 2009 give me daddy issues?
🏁Hayes CF: Honeys, I am home! My name is HAYES and I am the first person in _DR history to compete 10 times so suck on that everyone who ever doubted me. Also true though condensed story.
Hayes: First one here? Or did I mark the wrong date on my calendar? Hmm...guess we need to wait and see!
an angelic harp noise fills the room as Melannie floats down the stage
Melannie Look
Melannie: I'm like angel - I've fallen many times!
🏁Melannie CF: Hey, it's your favorite season 2 and Revival contestant! I'm super excited to show my skills on the bigger platform and I hope I will do so much better than last two times! It's about damn time to redeem myself!
Hayes: Melannie!!
Melannie: Oh, hi there!
Hayes: So good to see you again.
Melannie: Yes, because we know each other!
🏁Melannie CF: Am I supposed to remember this queen? Chile...anyways.
Hayes: We did MDR together. Twice actually!
Melannie: I knew that!
🏁Melannie CF: Spoiler alert, she did not know that.
Melannie: Are you here representing MDR?
Hayes: Nope, I'm here for XDR!
Melannie: No comment.
Hayes: Yeah...
Melannie: Anywho, let's get this thing going!
electronic music blasts into the studio as Bubble strikes a pose
Bubble Look
Bubble: Oh chile Mexico is here to represent.
Melannie: Work bitch.
🏁Bubble CF: Y’all already know who it is. It’s me Bubble the bad bitch in the flesh. For this entrance I wanted to go with a bad bitch look and enter in with the most bad bitch energy that I can give. I’m really here to fight for that crown because I didn’t really give it my all the first time around but now I’m ready to win everything.
Bubble runs over to Melannie and hugs her
Bubble: Friends, I have friends!
Melannie: Now what did you have to do to get on this season?!
Bubble: A lady never reveals her secrets.
Bubble: When Micro gives you a call, you pick it up and start packing that suitcase!
Hayes: This look is beautiful, wow.
Bubble: You know I can't come in with the "runway queen" title and disappoint.
Hayes: Ooh, an award winner!
🏁Hayes CF: She might have a "runway queen" award, but I got this participation ribbon in fifth grade so...who's the real winner here?
quirky synth music plays as Kala enters the stage with a broken down walk
Kala Look
Kala: हे भगवान, फिर से? (translates to "oh my god, again?")
🏁Kala CF: Hie, your fave kiwi-punjabi artiste is back! I cannot wait to compete again, it's been a while since my last run and I'm so excited- not just to obviously present myself, but also to represent Fake Drag Race. I suppose you could call me a fashion queen but I've been known to turn out some... lets say controversial looks- so I'll leave that up for y'all to decide xoxo. And also no, I can't stand up-right in this look, next question please <3
Bubble: Who is she?
Melannie: No clue.
Kala: The sound travels, ya know!
Bubble: I was just saying how gorgeous you looked!
Kala: Yeah, yeah.
🏁Kala CF: If these girls don't know who I am, so be it. Trust me, they'll know who I am by the end of this.
Kala: Who are you all representing?
Hayes: XDR.
Melannie: And we're MDR. You?
Kala: Fake Drag Race. Have to defend the title!
🏁Kala CF: On XDRvTW, Crystal took home the crown as an FDR representative. There's definitely some pressure to keep the crown in FDR, and I'm not about to be the one to fumble that.
Hayes: Did you make this look?
Kala: I did! I make some of my looks. But my mama always taught me that there's a time and a place for some good old sweat shop fashion!
Bubble: I know that's right!
the sound of waves crashing against a rocky shore move through the studio as Denali slithers in
Denali Look
Denali: Get ready for this tsunami, because im really wet!
🏁Denali CF: I love my tsunami wave, i think i am looking flawless tonight, i cannot compute properly yeh.
Denali: Go home girls, the winner is here!
🏁Denali CF: You probably recognize me from Chick N' Soupe's Drag Race, where I was disqualified. Pretty iconic if you ask me! As I see the other queens here, I recognize most of them. I know Hayes and Melannie from MDR Revival, but we're all repping different shows now, so we're fighting for ourselves.
Melannie: Get over here girl!
Denali: I see some old faces, emphasis on old.
Bubble: Why do you think I covered half my face?!
Denali: Next time, make it a full mask. Honey, covid was a good time for some of the girls, all covered up.
Bubble: You can come for my face once you learn how to cinch that corset.
🏁Bubble CF: Denali is known in the drag community as a messy queen. She will let you know what she thinks without any hesitation. And sadly, she's pretty. But pretty next to gorgeous, you know how it ends!
a jazzy piano tune plays as Jords enters the stage
Jords Look
Jords: You already know it's christmas, because Miss Thing, it's giving.
Kala: It's March...
🏁Jords CF: Well. I‘m back. Your favorite lip sync assassin is back for a third round of the rodeo. On both seasons, I wasn‘t really confident going in with a mindset of possibly winning. I was in the bottom when it wasn't my intention, was made a fool out of, that's what it seemed like. People not taking me seriously. Knowing that I’ll be the bottom queen. When I returned for AS, it was the same. It basically never changed. I guess you could say that I held back. And now, I can say that they weren't completely in the wrong. But I knew that I needed to heal, needed to find myself with good, new material on my hands, and now I‘m ready to roll the dice. Yahtzee! This entrance look is inspired by Vintage Mugler. It‘s like Lady of The Night and Darkness Diana clashing at it, and that‘s what it has become. I feel so elegant. I can't wait to show you more that I‘ve got!
Hayes: All Star in the house!
Jords: You know they couldn't go international without me!
Melannie: Trust me, we wish they would've.
Kala: You were on All Stars already? Twins!
Jords: MDR All Stars One!
Kala: Ah, FDR All Stars One for me!
Jords: The pressure's on then, we need to bring it.
Kala: Is there any other way?
🏁Jords CF: Having already competed on MDR twice, this does feel like my last lap. I've taken a little from my first run, a little from my second run, and I'm mixing it all together to create the best version of Jords you've seen.
Hayes: You look beautiful. I can't wait to get to know you!
🏁Denali CF: Hayes always sees the good in people. But when I see Jords, I just see a threat. She's at the top of my hit list. She's gotta go.
cowbells ring through the studio as Dixie Normus stomps in
Dixie Look
Dixie: Big long D—.. nevermind
🏁Dixie CF: I'm Dixie Normus, the resident Fdr 5th place queen who happens to be a (**15**) year old Vicious cunt. My drag style is very good, currently I don't have a specific drag style I kinda do whatever, whenever and it's... 75% of the time just amazing. I'm excited to represent FDR because, I'm hot and also because I didnt compete like I wanted due to irl schedule stuff.. so I'm back and I'm a cow.
Denali: Come on Season Four!
Dixie: Not this time, we out here representing FDR.
Kala: So nice to have another FDR queen here, whew!
Dixie: I'm coming fresh off of FDR Season Seven, ready to keep the momentum going.
Hayes: How did that season go for you?
Dixie: I wouldn't say I was first out, I'd say that I was more so...not second out or above. Yeah...yeah.
🏁Dixie CF: Coming into this season, I want to see myself as the queen who almost made it to the end on Season Six of FDR, not the queen who went home first on Season Seven. I have so much more to show, and this is my time to extend my legacy and prove that I have what it takes.
Denali: Two girls from MDR Season Four, both representing different shows.
Dixie: You know I had to go with the show that I did better on. Sorry Micro!
elevator music plays as Ella Gance walks onto the runway with an oddly normal walk, as if she truly believes she's walking through her local mall
Ella Look
Ella: Trust me... I don't need another.
Kala: Good fucking bye.
🏁Ella CF: Well hello again! I'm the wonderful Ella Gance from Fake Drag Race Season 3, and I'm back!! On my season, I did fairly well, even winning a challenge, but my run was unfortunately cut short. I decided to come back for a second chance so I can show how much I've grown since my original season, and believe me when I say that you aren't ready for what I have prepared for this go-round. And, uh... I feel like I'm forgetting something super important about me... meh, I'm sure it's nothing.
Kala: Somebody better grab the door for her, I cannot right now.
Jords: What's the tea on her?!
Kala: I'll let her explain that for herself.
Melannie: Did you know this was happening today? With like...the look?
Ella: Don't be jealous just because you could never serve off the rack like this.
Melannie: You're right about that one!
Ella: Kala, what's up girl?!
Kala: Not much, a little very gagged to see you here.
Ella: Why dear? Why you gagged?
Kala: I thought you fled the country after our season.
Ella: Guess they forgot I could swim back! I grabbed onto that dolphin and rode for my life. Americaaaa, Americaaa.
🏁Ella CF: I know what you might be thinking. And yes, these lips are all real. But you also might be wondering how in the world I got into this studio. And it's simple! I was hanging out around the airport, as one does. And who did I see walk in? Turbo. And what was she carrying? Luggage, duh. So I tackled that bitch to the ground, stole her ticket, and look at me now! And what happened with Turbo? Let's just say I sent her to go hang out with Kim. Which Kim? Wouldn't you like to know...
the camera cuts to Turbo wrapped up in a box, being shipped off to North Korea
🏁Ella CF: Can't a girl be competitive? You would've done the same!
the runway lights get more intense as Micro, Chick, and Venetia walk onto the stage
Micro: Hello hello ladies!
Part Two coming soon!
submitted by micronesiarain to XtinasDragRace [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 20:14 Afro_garden I have to get out of here, even if it kills me. (Part 2)

(Part 1)

(Part 2)
The snores of Frank were now distant as Jack crept along quietly as to not betray his escape. Jack was equal-parts shocked and unsurprised. Carefully making his way to the shelf where he had stashed his belongings earlier in the day, Jack quietly slipped out of his Prison garb, and into his button-down flannel, and faded denim jeans with all the speed and grace he could muster. “This is going precisely as I knew it would” Jack thought, “But we’re not out of the woods yet, now comes the hard part.” Next was his trusty old pair of boots, how many years he wore these he was at a loss to recall. And with finality, his worn-out leather jacket that he had received as a birthday present from his wife.
Jack then reached the window on the far-side of the day room. Opening one of the Hardcover books on the shelf he had stashed there, Jack flipped it open to get his carefully stashed butter-knife, which he had won in a tense game of checkers with one of the livelier residents a few days prior. Straining every muscle to firmly, yet gently position the blade into the window pry it open like he practiced every day for the past few days. With little success, it would not move; it was as if Sunset Acre’s was playing one final joke on him. He could hear it, a breathless whisper, “you can never leave Jack, no one EVER LEAVES!” Jack began to lose hope, thinking on how any moment now the relief will arrive to wake up Frank. Frank will realize the lights in the security room are off, the lobby camera feeds are dark, and there is one less prisoner where they should be. Jack could feel his tears erupting, and began to cloud his vision. Then Jack got angry, “This isn’t the end, you can’t keep me here, IM LEAVING!” Jack growled through gritted teeth. With renewed vigor for his goal, he jammed the knife in the frame and pulled it with his whole body. The window flew open, slamming against the frame, Jack flying backwards to the floor, hitting the bookshelf, and the faded glass pane slid out of the rotting wood, with a booming CRASH! Exploded onto the concrete echoing across the building.
“Shit!” Jack yelped. His head was pounding from the blow, and his eyes still blurry from the tears, Jack felt the fresh air blowing through the window with ferocity. He could hear Frank vaulting over the desk. The now meaningless medical reports flying like autumn leaves, across the lobby. With every ounce of his being Jack raced to the open window. Blood was pumping harder than he had felt in years, for the first time in years, he felt alive! “Oh no you don’t Jack, GET. BACK. HERE!” Frank bellowed. Jack had then put a foot over the thresh hold of the now shattered window. “Goodbye Frank you ogre!” With a hearty laugh he jumped out of the building. Pulling the bookshelf behind him to buy himself a couple moments before Frank made it outside. Thankfully he did not fall farther than a couple feet, or he would have been in serious trouble.
Just as his boots hit the dirt, Jack began to jog faster than he believed was possible for his age. He rounded the corner of the building not 10 feet from the window he escaped from when he heard a pair of sneakers hit the dirt behind him. It astonished Jack how fast Frank was considering his size. ”Damn, I need to move now,” Jack thought in a panic as he rounded the corner of the parking lot where the storage units were. As he was ducking between the buildings, he frantically looked about, “plan I need a plan!,” “Streetlights ahead will give me away, no lights behind, but a tall fence, if I was 20 years younger maybe.” Jack was reaching a full-blown panic as he heard flanks mighty steps getting closer. Time seemed to slow down, as he frantically looked around. Just then, he noticed the garages across from him had some lights flickering, and a walkway between two had what looked to be a cane abandoned by its former master leaning in the alley. “Alright then, plan b.” Jack ran to the walkway looking to his right as Frank was maybe 10 paces away, “JACK! GET BACK HERE NOW!” Frank puffed. Big as he was, he had no cardio training, and Jack was counting on that. Once in the shadows of the alley between the two garages, he grasped the cane, and readied himself. How long it lay there without its master he did not know. A fine oaken polish, with a strangely carved bust of an eagle, wings outstretched in a cry complimenting its open beak.
Jack grasped the cane as if his very being depended on it. He did not have a moment to spare, all his plans of escape would fail if he didn’t succeed here and now. The window He did not plan on shattering, another unforeseen contingency. Jack, with the cane firmly grasped in his hands, stood on the corner of the building waiting. Just out of sight he could hear Frank’s massive legs pounding the gravel as he made chase. Jack counted, one…two…three! Jack swung with all the strength he could muster, the cane whistling like a switch collided with Frank’s bulbous nose just as he rounded the corner, just as Jack had planned. Blood splattering in every direction, Frank toppled to the ground screaming in agony. Jack then spit at him, “serves you right, ogre.” With triumphant steps, Jack ran down the dark road, Franks agonizing screams fading into the distance. Jack’s heart was pounding, All the planning, all the pain, agony, torment, it was over, he escaped, and now there was only one place to go, home.
As Jack kept track he had been jogging for at least a mile, all the training in the service never ceased to amaze him how much it had kept him in top condition. With enough distance between him and Sunset Acre’s he now slowed to a walk. Sweat was pouring out of him; his face was drenched. His unshaven beard was damp and dripping, he wiped his jacket sleeve across his face. Keeping his breathing steady, he did not stop, more distance he put between himself and the prison the better. His thoughts began to wander, the crisp air on his puffed red cheeks, now began to comfort him as he made the trip through the dark. His hands were chilly so he shoved them into his pockets, and he felt a book of matches, and a half a pack of smokes. Jack couldn’t even remember the last time he had a cigarette, let alone the fact he smoked in the first place, it had been far too long. He pulled one out, placed it in his lip, and struck the match on the box.
The smell of sulfur and the brief roar of flame reminding him of days long since passed. Jack then took a big puff of his cigarette, hacking uncontrollably he began to laugh. “Why do I have these?” Jack asked himself. “Well when in Rome,” and he took another drag. This time he did not lose his bearing, like a familiar friend the smoke comforted him. Jack happily strolled down the barren street, like a kid in a candy store. It had been an hour since his miraculous escape, looking down at his watch reading, 1:13am. Soon his thoughts began to wander to how Frank was doing with his recent nose adjustment. Even though that man had been the bane of Jack’s existence, it’s not like he truly hated the man. Some people are just wrong, born of evil stuff, and only get happiness from exacting that evil on others. Extracting every ounce of good, and love there is. At least that’s what Jack told himself.
“I betcha he’s still crying like a baby,” laughing to himself. As he watched the dark buildings pass him by Jack began to feel like he wasn’t really alone. Looking around at the empty homes, and flickering streetlights, Jack took another pull from his smoke, he felt like something was just darting out the corners of his vision, but only the afterimage is what he could see. “Shadows playin tricks tonight.” Jack snorted, flicking his spent cigarette to the wind. Jack was truly counting his blessings that the manager was not at work tonight. Frank was bad enough, but James was as bad as they come. James had a nasty reputation of being the sweetest man you could ever meet when the authorities had been called; however, once the coast was clear, this tiny bean pole of a man would become the devil himself. There weren’t many things that Jack was mortally afraid of, this man was it. Jack could only imagine what James would do to Frank when he got that call at 1am telling him that he had escaped. Jack laughed, “I bet when James is done with his ass he will wish his broken nose was the worst of it.” Feeling the freedom to choose his own path once again, Jack decided that it was time to get off the main road.
These streets, the houses, the smells of the trees shedding their winter shells brought a strange euphoria to Jack. Even though all this time had passed since he was a young man, he knew this town; hell, Jack could find his way in this dark with a blindfold if he fancied. Every house, was different than he remembered. The colors, siding and windows, all of it was strangely off. Like a watered-down version of what it should be, The swirling shadows and flickering lights of the late hours of the night would bring uneasiness to anyone; however, it did little to bother Jack. He knew exactly where he was going, most of this uneasiness he attributed to the darkness, and pale glow of the streetlamps.
With every step it seemed to Jack he was getting closer to his prize; however, he could not shake the feeling of being watched. As he was walking along the street the unmistakable sound of footsteps echoed behind him. Jack didn’t pay it much mind at first, but with each passing minute, it seemed like it got closer. “It really is a lovely night, for a walk.” Jack mused to himself, trying to not seem nervous. The footsteps behind him were in perfect unison with his own. The only thing was, the way the sound echoed off the nearby homes, was just barely out of sync with his footfalls. Every time he slowed, they slowed, if he did a slight misstep, they followed in kind. Jack knew he had a very long walk ahead, and the last thing he needed was to be distracted by some nighttime bandit, looking for his next score.
After what felt like half an hour of this Jack realized the footfalls did not get closer, they would maintain their distance. “alright that’s quite enough.” Jack said aloud, as he spun on his heels, to see his would-be assailant. Nothing. The vapors of his breath clouding up his eyes now, he stared back and forth across the empty street, only the pale moonlight creeping behind wispy clouds as his companion. “well guess I scared em off.” Jack chuckled victoriously. And turned around to continue his journey. When he was met face to face with a man. “Evenin’ Jack” the man rasped. Through the pale glow of the moonlight Jack was dead stiff, and suddenly very cold. Jacks jaw trembled, attempting to speak, to scream to do, well anything.
The man was really unassuming, a tweed jacket, to match his slacks, and the pale glow of the moonlight shining off his well-polished shoes. Adorned on the top of his head was a fancy looking hat, round at the crest, and the bill curved downward to conceal the man’s face in shadow. Jack stood there in sheer terror as he managed to finally utter out a meek, “H-hello sir, it is a nice evening.” All Jack could do was take a step backwards as the man grinned a smile of yellow teeth at Jacks apprehension. “Could I trouble you for a smoke Jack?” Reaching his hand out in a slow yet poised movement the man awaited his answer. “Uhm yeah, sure…” and pulled out his pack from his pocket, and flipped one out of the pack for the man to take. Gingerly grasping it in his long fingers, Jack noticed the shine of his leather gloves, and the iron grip on his brown briefcase.
“Not to be a bother Jack, but could I trouble you for a light?” The man asked lightly. “oh of course” Jack said, still wholly unsure of what to make of this situation. Still unable to see the features of this man’s face, and idea sprung, “I’ll strike the match low enough to get a good look at him, maybe I can figure out who he is.” Jack thought, striking the match and in the blaze of sulfur, he quickly stole a look. The light seemed to illuminate everything enough, however; the only part of his face that was clear his mouth, it was as if the shadows just swallowed all the light, and nothing but shadows remained. Leaning in the man sparked up the cigarette, and took a long draw from it. “ahh a fine brand, you have good taste Jack” as the man exhaled a plume of smoke into Jacks face. “Let’s walk together for a while Jack, it’s a long road ahead, and I could use some company.” The man stepped to the side, and ushered jack with a graceful bow, and a wave of his arm, the glow of the cigarette lightly illuminating his smile.
“As if I have a choice,” Jack thought to himself. “Would be a shame to spend this beautiful night alone; shall we?” Jack bluffed, trying to imitate the pointed candor of his new companion. Something about this felt wrong, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. As the two of them began to stride down the street, any lamps that illuminated the street, suddenly clipped off as the two of them drew near. Jack was aware that sometimes streetlamps would have issues, but every single one? For what Jack felt was an hour, they walked in silence. The man would hum a tune at times, and Jack could swear he heard it before, like trying to remember a dream, just out of reach. Jack was not sure at this point who was leading the way, he did feel like he was walking home, the roads looked familiar, the scenery seemed familiar, but everything felt, twisted, distorted, as if looking into a mirror in the dark. Shadows seemed to dance around the two of them, light never daring to get close.
The silence was finally broken as the man finally spoke, “Now Jack we have to clear the air, what are you doing out here tonight?” His voice sounded wispy now, as if there was too much air in it. “You know that this isn’t a safe place for a man your age to be roaming alone.” Jack then tried to speak, but he just couldn’t find the words. “Now Jack I’m not going to punish you, you Are a grown man after all.” The man’s voice became a bit sterner as he continued. “You are quite valuable to us, and we don’t want our investment to be squandered.” Jack began to walk a bit faster at these words, finally breaking his own silence, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I don’t belong to anyone. Not anymore.” Jack rasped back to the man. “of that you can be sure!” Jack roared angrily.
“Well, the details don’t matter much now Jack, not even you, can alter the deal.” The man chuckled as he fell behind Jack’s hurried steps. Jacks mind was racing now, “what in the world was he talking about, I’ve never met that man in my life.” As he turned around to face this man once more, “Just who in the hell….” And Jack was alone once more, “are you?” came the last words to Jacks sentence in his ear. Jumping out of his skin, Jack spun back around seeing only darkness. The wind blew in a mighty gust suddenly as Jack braced himself as the wind reached a crescendo. “No one leaves Jack.. no one….ever….leaves…” a wispy voice could be heard on the wind, and as quickly as it was there, suddenly Jack was left to the darkness. The shadows seemed to return to normal, and Jack began to get his bearings back as he walked from the intersection where he and the man had parted ways.
As Jack continued down the roads, he couldn’t shake the words of that man from his mind, “no one ever leaves” Jack quietly said to himself. All this time, he felt it was just a hallucination of his tired mind, the demon of Sunset Acre’s personified in his brain to justify why it was so hard to leave, and why it was just hell. This man felt real, his words, felt real, there was no way he wasn’t. “I guess I’m not crazy after all” Jack nervously chuckled to himself as he was reaching the halfway mark home. Looking up, now he knew that if he was going to make it, he had to be very careful. The dark of the night was no longer on his side, as the Floodlights of the nearby homes began to come into view, and the pale glow of the moonlight returned. Making every possible slip into the shadows that he could, Jack stayed out of the lights; dim as they were he couldn’t risk it. Knowing that this was a more populated area of town, and that by looking at his watch the time was 4:00am. “What? How in the hell could it be that late already!?” Just then in the distance he could hear the slow rumble of an engine. “Shit someone is coming!” he rasped, dashing behind nearby hedges.
With panicked breath he waited, for his pursuer. Just then in the distance he saw the car. As it rounded the street corner just ahead, the headlights shut off. Turning to Jacks direction it slowly crawled down the street. As it passed under the dim lights Jack smiled to himself knowing he made the right call. It was the sheriff’s squad car, creeping slow and deliberate down the road, flashing its spotlight in-between the dark homes. With each flash Jack could see the critters of the night scatter to the instant blinding light. They were getting closer now; he could not risk his freedom, not after coming so far. The hedges were fine camouflage in dim light, but it did nothing to conceal him with such a powerful beam of light. “C’mon Jack THINK!” he screamed in his head. He was losing time; they would be upon him in seconds.
With a wry smile he figured it out, the pattern. Who or whatever they were looking for, they didn’t want to lose the element of surprise. Short bursts of light in the darkest areas, not lingering long enough to attract much attention; in addition, no headlights, slow speed, little noise, only using the spotlight to hit where the lamps didn’t light. It was a risky gamble, but not the worst Jack had taken. Moving quickly as he dared, as to not betray his location, he waited till the light dimmed, and made a break for the neighboring home to the hedges he was in. Moving low to the ground, he ducked behind a utility shed lining the driveway near the hedges. Lying flat to the ground, he barely fit in its shadow, lit by the dimly pulsing street lamp. As the cruiser neared the hedges he once occupied, Jack rolled to the right of the shed and sure enough, a blinding flash of light, sweeping back and forth over the hedges, shining directly through to the decrepit home beyond. Just as it reached the end of the hedges, it turned off and quietly the cruiser passed in front of Jack. The officer manning the light, as Jack predicted, rubbed his eyes, and lost the split second of time where he could have seen Jacks hiding spot, rolling back to the shadow from the lamp, he could hear only a snip of their conversation. “I could have sworn I saw someone skulking here, we have to find him…” and in a few moments, the cruiser was down the road, and turning back onto the main street, headlights lit, and out of sight.
Once he could no longer hear the engine, Jack struggled to his feet, patting down his pants. “Hah! Bunch of young bucks think they can pull a fast one on me, this wolf still has teeth.” Jack then made a quick break for the road ahead. Take a left here, two roads down, make another right, and then pass another road. The excitement of the night was beginning to catch up with Jack. His knees ached, his feet were throbbing, and he couldn’t be happier. Thinking back on his earlier conversation with the man Jack began to let his mind wander away from his aches and pains. “What deal could he possibly mean, I didn’t make a deal, especially with a man in such a tacky suit.” The wind began to lightly blow as the memories of his home took the forefront of his attention. Suddenly rounding the corner there, it was. It was exactly as he remembered. Tears welled up in Jack’s eyes, at the big old oak tree at the corner. “How I have dreamed of seeing you again old friend” Jack choked out as he walked past, running his hand across its bark. Memories of seeing the kids climbing its branches, ribbons strung its massive branches, picnics. Jack then turned down the road to home, Oak Drive. The road his wife giggled at, “trees don’t drive Jack” she used to say. Jacks face reddened at the thought of her beauty, of how much he missed her, and how much she would cry in delight to see him walk into their kitchen, yelling, “Your darling has arrived!” Jack smiled at the thought of her cheeks bursting with that beautiful smile he fell in love with.
He was nearing his last turn; Jack could see the sky was beginning to turn a lovely shade of violet with an array of reds, oranges, and blues were streaking across the sky., the sun began to rise. It warmed his old heart to be so close to what he wanted so desperately. So many hours of planning, so many days, it felt like an eternity. Jack hastened his steps, being so close to the home he had built with his own two hands. “I am so close now” Jack whispered to himself. “I am almost home dear; your darling is coming.” Jack then wiped away his tears as he began to jog again, “well Mr. Spooky man, I escaped, gnaw on that!” Thought returning to his home. His wife, and the only comfort he could even begin to think of. He giggled like a child when he saw the fence and hedges that Mr. and Mrs. Ruther had built as their 10th anniversary celebration, they were such good friends with Jack, and his wife. He knew his prize lie just beyond.
with the hedges no longer obscuring his view, and the morning rays bathing everything in warm light there it was. The windows began to light up with the sunshine now cresting the treetops. The apple trees outside the house itself, riddled with the blossoms, oh how he loved their scent, the smell was intoxicating. He took a deep breath, and savored every moment. Again, his thoughts wandered to days when his wife would bake him pies from those apples, the scent flooding the house, Jack was home. As he drew near the house he suddenly stopped, the air grew cold, and his eyes betrayed him. All at once his perfect home, with the bountiful apple trees faded from his view. The trees were skeletons of their former glory, not a blossom to be seen. The paint was chipping, the wrap-around porch was in disarray. The front door was boarded up, with CAUTION tape marring any entry. His rocking chair was still there, but faded and warped, barely fit for kindling it sat like a monument, still, unmoving.
On the other side was his wife’s chair, less damaged than his, but there was a teenage girl sitting in it. Jack stood in awe, unable to move, scarcely breathing. The girl finally noticed Jack and stood slowly, not letting him move from her gaze. “He told me I would find you here Jack.” Jack snapped his focus to her, “He!? He WHO!?” The girl carefully walked down the steps, each moaning at their stress. “The manager Jack. He already knows, and he will be here any moment.”
Jack’s stalwart focus then crumbled, he was confused, why was his house, his home in such a shape? Where was his wife? And who was this girl? How did she know him? More importantly, how did she know the manager? Jacks mind began to turn over and over, he felt faint. His hands then pressed to the sides of his temples. His breathing became panicked, “What is going on!? What happened to my wife!? Where is she? Why is this happening!?” Jack began to sob. Harder than he had ever cried in all his long years. As he was crumbling into a ball, he opened his eyes in time to see the ground fast approaching, then, darkness.
Jack could hear voices, familiar voices, his eyes still closed his ears hummed like an old television being turned on after a long stay in a damp cellar. Slowly he opened his eyes, he was back in Sunset Acre’s. His hands were tethered to his bed, and there was an officer there getting a statement from Frank, his face was partially stitched up, but his eyes were sickly colored in reds, blues, and pale yellow. His nose was even worse than Jack could have imagined. The manager was there with his back turned to Jack, his hands on the shoulders of the girl he met at his house. She was sobbing uncontrollably, and in a moment of lapse she met eyes with Jack.
“DAD! DAD! HES AWAKE!” she screamed, in a moment all of them turned to meet Jack with smiles. “It’s good to see you again Jack” James said warmly. “You really did a number on Frank; I am not sure his nose will heal up properly this time.” Jack then felt his eyes watering. “Yeah Jack” Frank said with a chuckle, “You really need to stop hitting me there, Marie says if this keeps up ill only be able to work as a circus clown, she asks about you every night Jack, we are all worried about you!” In an instant the confusion was lifting, and Jack’s mind began to race, memories, feelings, fleeting but powerful they overcame him at once.
“Oh, little Frankie! I’m so sorry, I know how Marie worries about your safety here, I am trying I really am!” Jack was now sobbing hysterically, moving from Frank to the girl. “Jessie, I am so sorry you had to see me like this and make you worry!” barely able to speak in-between sobs, Jack then turned his gaze to James, and his heart dropped like a hammer on an anvil. “Jimmy where is your mother? I went home and she wasn’t there.” James then began to cry, but slowly he bridged the gap between him and Jack. “Dad, mom passed away 10 years ago”. Jack’s mind began to swirl, flashes of images raced into his mind.
His wedding, Jack remembered, how Claire looked that day, she was beautiful beyond reason, her auburn hair curly and bouncing with each step, her dress, white as a fresh winters snow, she was radiant and glowing from the bump on her belly, she was magical. Years passed, James was now heading off to college, and Claire and Jack were heading into retirement. Not 5 years later, James had graduated in his nursing program, and began to intern at Sunset Acre’s. Just a few short years later, Clair was in an accident, she slipped down the front steps of the porch, and hit her head as Jack was turning into the driveway to witness helplessly.
Then images of Jack screaming at the doctor, and the doctor telling Jack, “There is nothing we can do, if she comes out of the coma, it will be a miracle.” Jacks eyes began to seize shut in pain, images of the funeral, her casket lowering into the ground, then he really wept. In an instant James rushed to his father and hugged him, and they wept together. For what seemed like hours they sat there, James had unbuckled the restraints on Jack. Frank left them to go take care of his rounds, and for a small time, Jack felt like everything finally made sense.
“Jimmy I am so sorry for all this” Jack lamented. “Dad, this is why I wanted you here, and nowhere else in the city, so I can take care of you for once.” James had placed his hand in Jack’s, gently squeezing. James knew from his training all these years how to care for his father, and his condition. That is why he felt it necessary to take precautions to stop him from hurting everyone who loved him. Sure, sometimes his reasons were slightly bizarre, but he was doing only what was best for his father. At times he was unreasonable, and stubborn to a fault.
Many times, James knew his father went into a blind rage, attacking anyone near him. This did not happen all the time, but lately it had been getting worse. “I love you dad; don’t you forget it” James said through a stream of tears. “I love you too Jimmy, I am so sorry to burden you like this.” Jack had so many questions, and it was hard to think, his mind was cloudy, and he was very tired. “Jessie, let’s let grandpa get some rest for a while.” With a misty nod Jessie asked; “can we come back later dad?” smiling at Jack. “I love you Grandpa; I miss you bunches.” Smiling warmly at his granddaughter he replied, “I love you too darlin,’ you better keep an eye on your dad, he sure gets to be a handful.”
With that they shared a chuckle, and with a final click the door shut and Jack’s room was empty. He laid his head back down on his pillow, breathing in the crisp spring air. A sigh of relief welcomed him, and he lamented poor Clair. How he missed her so. Jack had so many things to tell her, he wished nothing more than to hold her, love her…kiss….who? Jack’s eyes narrowed, his scowl began to drift around the room, the walls betrayed what this place really was, a prison.
The air smelled of piss and he knew one thing.
“I have to get out of here, even if it kills me…”
Standing on the corner of the building watching the beautiful reunion of Jacks family wallowing in a delicious combination of misery and joy; A man in a tweed jacket looks down at his gold pocket watch, ”better the devil you know, thank the one you don’t,” chuckling out a laugh. His hand replacing the watch into his vest pocket, he balances on his cane with a fine oaken polish, the head, a strangely carved bust of an eagle, wings outstretched in a cry complimenting its open beak. Adorned with just the slightest amounts of blood. Reaching down to pick up his brown briefcase, he tips himself in a bow towards Jack’s window of Sunset Acre’s. “Until we meet again Jack” spinning on his heels as he walked down the street. The last time he had such a filling meal he did not know, but who would have guessed that tipping the scales in Jacks favor to let him ‘escape’ would be so exhilarating, and filling? Sure, Sunset Acre’s was a bit of a risky gamble, but when you need to feed on emotions, and memories to live, what better place to feast than somewhere nobody suspects the loss, or lapse of either. He knew his co-owners would have a fit, considering he had the feast of Jack all to himself. But they would get over it, after all, the second, in a long upcoming line of the Sunset Acre’s franchise buildings just had the permits approved.
Sunset Acre’s, A beautiful and scenic locale for any folks looking for a well maintained, and relaxing place to call home. 24-hour care from some of the top medical professionals money could buy, our lavish building comes equipped with an in-house urgent-care clinic, rehab facility, physical therapy, and all the comforts of home for your loved ones. Located just outside the city, right off the highway, and coming soon, Our second location! It’s a calm and well-maintained environment for your sunset years. Visiting hours are from 8am-8pm, come and take a tour to see if this is the right choice for your loved one! Financing available!
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2023.03.31 19:17 errrrrro My dog attacks my other dog for no reason

I have a younger female dog around 5yrs old and an older male dog 12yrs old and the younger one keeps on attacking our older one for no reason. We've had out younger one for 5 years but she still does that. She attacks him if she sees him eating anything (we separate them when they're eating, one inside the other outside when they're done they go outside together) and some times when she is barking. I have no clue why she does that but it happens frequently as long as we've had her. What could we do? We don't have enough money to get her to a dog behaviorist or a trainer. Are there other solutions or causes? Some more info: the younger one is a mix of Jack Russell was a stray, most likely abused with her tail cut and a runaway since she had wounds on the front of her legs when we found her and she is very jumpy when she hears a slightly loud noise or when she sees a big or sharp object and put the older one is a Pointer and he's very calm he never attacks her back or provokes her, so we don't know what causes her behavior. Could it be some trauma from her past owners?
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2023.03.31 18:48 Houdini23 This may have snapped off my car, any ideas?

This may have snapped off my car, any ideas?
Hi all,
This is a bit of a long shot and there may be a better sub to post in, but its worth a try.
I drive a 2008 skoda octavia estate, and there's been some kind of funny noises from what I believe is the suspension recently (it may not be suspension though).
Before anyone mentions that I should have gone to a mechanic, yes - I definitely am doing that. Life's been a bit full on the past week or 2 so I haven't had the chance.
Anyway, today when driving about 30mph there was a metallic clang, and it sounded like something a) fell/ snapped off the underside of the car, or b) a bit of debris flicked up from the tyre and hit the underside of the car.
Near where it happened, I found the bit of metal in the photo.
Does anyone have any clue what it is? Whether it's likely to be from the car, or a bit of debris.
Any help is appreciated 🙏 it's been a stressful few weeks for other reasons, and this is now an extra cherry on the cake lol.
submitted by Houdini23 to CarTalkUK [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 17:54 OurQuarterMaster 6th Moon of 200AC Recap


News from the Crownlands was unfortunately lost in the noise of all other events happening around Westeros.


The starbreaker's attack on the village near highpoint turned out to be a ruse and an apparent assassination attempt on dale whitehill, castellan of highpoint. The attack was enough to draw the attention of the garrison, which an unknown infiltrator exploited to bar closed and burn the castle sept, where much of the family, including almost all of the children, had sheltered to pray during the attack.
Gared Whitehill returns from Essos and exile, after a chance encounter with Lord Dale Whitehill in Braavos. He arrives with three loyal mercenaries in tow, to speak with Dale and the Whitehill family at Highpoint
Hearing the news of an attack on Highpoint and death of his kin, Lord Harmond Umber full of wrath. Pledging his support to Whitehills, he mobilizes his men and rides there.
At the isle of Skagos, Jormar of Magnar bids goodbye to his family and prepares to set sail North, while his eldest daughter attempts conversation with her now-betrothed.
Meanwhile, Lord Manderly sends the ravens to all high lords of the realm, offering his scion's hands in marriage.
Down in the swamps, Rickard Reed prepares an ambush for the faith of the seven pilgrims traveling through the Neck.


Gretchel Waxley has made a new friend through letters to the Lord Commander of the Crownsguard Davos Doggett. Gretchel and Jasper Corbray have found the beginning of a romance in unexpected places. Four young noblemen-Ethan Redfort, Willem Royce, Asher Egen, and Roderik Tully-go on a hunting trip through the Vale of Arryn. House Redfort arrived at Gulltown for the funeral of Lord Robar Grafton in force, both the number of family members and soldiers. Ethan Redfort swears an Oath to the Warrior with Lord Jasper Arryn as witness before being appointed as a military liaison to the Riverlands. Arwen Arryn at last arrives at Gulltown for Lord Robar’s funeral.


The Stormlands have been quiet this moon, a scattering of movements between the lords and ladies have seen many arrive at Storm's End, largely for communication and friendship.
Meanwhile others plot marriages and pacts and friendships between the leading houses of the realm in the city of Kings


After the tourney at the beginning of the sixth moon, Ser Bors Rowan approached Lady Cynthea Tyrell to speak on the preparations for Barba Tully’s arrival, his choices for commanders in the army and to tell her about the clandestine meeting Ser Raymund Tyrell held where he had declared her unborn child Tommen Blackwood’s and said it was treason.
Lady Tyrell then ordered Ser Bors to arrest Ser Raymund Tyrell under suspicion of treason.
Moving quickly, Ser Bors did so but not before summoning Lord Peake to speak on the precarious nature of the situation.
Ser Bors assured Lord Theodore, who had since accepted a position in the army, that Cynthea would not find out about Lord Peake’s attendance at the clandestine meeting from him.
Upset with Ser Bors for telling Cynthea about Raymund’s meeting, Lord Athos Rowan argued with his twin about the implications and consequences of courtship his actions.
After the twins ended their argument badly, Lord Athos would write a letter to Ser Victor Hightower, asking for permission to visit Oldtown in order to continue the courtship between Ser Victor’s nephew, Ser Olyvar Hightower, and Lord Rowan’s oldest daughter, Cersei.
Early in the month, Ser Paxter Rowan, heir of Goldengrove, elopes with Baela Manderly, marrying her in front of a septon and witnesses. One of which was his younger brother, Franklyn Rowan. Franklyn recounts the night as he travels to Coldmoat to court Lady Rohanne Webber as was agreed upon by his lord father and Lord Webber. Upon arriving Frankly is informed that Lord Webber had passed a few days before his arrival and that Rohanne is now the Lady of Coldmoat.
Ser Bors and Cynthea would also confer on the importance of keeping Bitterbridge in the fold. Lady Tyrell agreed and told Ser Bors to offer the position of Lord Treasurer of the Reach to Theo Caswell, on top of the command position within the army Bors wished to offer as well.
Having befriended Ser Wendell Westbrook during training in the hopes of having him become one of his sworn swords, Ser Bors and a brigade of men accompanied the young knight as he escorted Lady Sirella Caswell back to Bitterbridge.
Hoping the show of good faith and strength would encourage Caswell to renew faith with Highgarden, Ser Bors was surprised to find Bitterbridge’s levies had been raised and were in force at their arrival.
Delivering Sirella Caswell safely to her brother, Ser Bors extended the generous offers to Theo Caswell, who refused them and warned Ser Bors that if Cynthea’s child should prove to be his then he would come for it, by force if need be.
Ser Bors then said farewell to Ser Wendell, who had chosen to stay at Bitterbridge. Upon arriving back at Highgarden Ser Bors immediately set on bolstering scouts and defenses. Upset at the lack of knowledge Cynthea had sent him to Bitterbridge with, he went to confront her only to find her bedridden and contemplating abdication.
By the time Ser Bors had returned to Highgarden, Lord Athos had left with Cersei. A difficult decision to leave behind his youngest children warding in Highgarden, Lord Athos is plagued with nightmares on the road before arriving in Oldtown and being greeted by Ser Olyvar and Ser Víctor Hightower.
Barba and Oscar Tully arrive in the Reach, and Eden Oakheart is sent to greet them. Marya Florent reveals to Eden the truth about Cynthea's pregnancy, and Theo Caswell talks to him about his anger towards Lady Tyrell and his doubts regarding the paternity of the future newborn.
Eden, recognizing the gravity of the situation and the fact that the region finds itself deeply divided by almost unbridgeable cracks, goes to Oldtown to confront Urrathon Hightower about matters both political and deeply personal.
Meanwhile, Lord Garmon Oakheart is proposed by Lady Cynthea for a position on the Small Council, and he is offered an important role in the Government of the Reach.
At Brightwater, Lord Nyles Florent talks with his bastard son about his legitimization. Worried about the future, Nyles talks with Cynthea Tyrell about the next steps and coming marriage.
At Oldtown, ser Harrold Hightower hosts a practice tourney outside city gates to find capable jousters. Meanwhile, Lord Urrathon Hightower attempts to lure Cynthea Tyrell to Oldtown but fails: Cynthea discovers his forgery of the Queen's seal. House Hightower convenes at the Great Hall and informs all the lords present of the bigamy of Cynthea Tyrell and Nyles Florent. Ravens are also sent.
Wendell becomes the new lord of Westbrook with the passing of lord Toman Westbrook.
At Highgarden, ser Ryam Florent writes a poem about himself. He is approached by Lucia Tyrell to have a chat. Lucia has been stressful lately, writing off letters to Eden Oakheart, who she is being threatened to marry by Cynthea. Lucia collected flowers, so that she and Yanda Redwyne could make Flower Crown. Yanda was having a chat with Brandon Flowers, when Lucia entered the quarters and was making little small flirtatious action towards Brandon whilst shipping him and Yanda.
At King's Landing, Chief Diplomat Daven Chester represents Reach at court. There, he gets rejected for a loan despite his maester Grunwald's effort and masterful negotiating skills. Before his departure back to the Reach, Daven goes shopping with lady Fiona Mullendore, with whom he suffers mental breakdown at the reminder of his childhood. Desperate for the ships, Chester tries to purchase Florent's but his letter is ignored. Back in Reach, Chesters try to buy more wood for the construction of their ships. At last, Daven puts his skills to use, managing to secure a trade agreement with iron bank for the supply of construction materials to Greenshield.
Tired of all scheming against her and failure to control her vassals, Lady Cynthea Tyrell decides to abdicate her seat and titles in favor of her uncle, ser Harrold Tyrell. Cynthea invites lords to Highgarden to swear fealty to the new lord Paramount of the Reach. When the abdication was announced, Ser Bors was one of the signatures honoring the binding document of Lady Cynthea’s abdication.
Nyles Florent is displeased with Cynthea's abdication and decides to no longer marry her, nevertheless, he pledges his fealty to the new lord of Highgarden.
Ser Brandon Flowers visits Raymund Tyrell, who gad been under house arrest, to tell him of his cousin’s abdication and his father’s ascension to lordship.


Following the marriage between his heir and Della Tully, Rycherd Lannister and the rest of the Lannisport Lannister head home to the West, leaving his son Edwyn in Lady Tully’s care.
Lady Tully recalls simper times with her children and her ward, Gaemon. She then writes to the Queen and meets with Lords Bracken and Piper to discuss the King’s intent to back his daughter Gaelyn should she try to contest her brother’s ascension to the throne.
An unwanted guest attempts to eavesdrop on the confrontation between the King and his son, Lady Tully dispatched him.
Finally, the King decides to clue in the Riverlords to the deal he offered to Lady Tully, which she refused.

Iron Islands

While sailing the seas due to a bout of boredom, Harmund Drumm stumbles across a whale, he plans to hunt it.
Eurona Greyjoy calls a council of her Ironborn to discuss the state of the realm, and the mess that is the Targaryen family. They discuss the looming threat of war, and the concept of plundering Esoss for all its riches.
However, before this council, the absentee lord of Blacktyde, Sauron Blacktyde, decides to arrive at Seagard with a large number of ships. Lady Greyjoy, understandably, sees this as a threat, though the Blacktyde is dismissive and rude about his liege’s objections, leading to him being stripped of his titles and lordship. Not that it made much difference, given that he had been off playing pirate for five years.
Finally, to avoid being offered up to some Greenlander by her ‘father’ the King, Eurona agrees to take Sigfryd Farwynd as her Rock Husband.


Ser Tywald Lannister receives another raven from Lady Arwen Arryn, inviting him to Gulltown. Ser Tywald agrees to come and writes back to Lady Arwen, professing his enthusiasm to marry her. With a new look, the now-supposedly-faithful Mina Marbrand makes an appearance at the sept, denouncing her sister as faithless and promising the people of Ashemark that she will restore the gods to her family’s seat. Even as the rumours of her sister's speeches reach the Lady of Ashemark, she is unconcerned, convinced that there is little Mina could do to move against her.


Where sands are soaked through with blood, the lord Dayne buries his predecessor. The funeral draws visitors from the Stormlands, Dorne and beyond, all paying respects to a great man, leading a tenuous realm.
Soon after the burial of Gerold Dayne, Arthur is quick to move to dismantling the sedition and tension that plagues the land he is charged to protect. Starting with Vaith.
Meanwhile, the fractured remnants of the red cultists continue to hide and rally, gathering their strength once more.
And lady Toland and Morgan Uller chat over their concerns.


The Faithful lie in wait this moon.


All seems quiet from across the sea, in Essos.

The Wall

All remains quiet in the lands North of the North.
submitted by OurQuarterMaster to IronThroneRP [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 17:39 Frame_Late Interloper V

The greatest tragedy of war is that for some people the war never ends.
Silijima hopped into the truck, next to Sargen. The massive Gojid's head nearly reached the roof of the vehicle forcing him to crouch ever so slightly. He was an even more imposing figure up close, his muscles bulging and his scars held taut against his skin. He seemed preoccupied, as if her presence made him uncomfortable when they were close. His claws gripped the steering wheel, lightly scraping the carbon material. He seemed to be in his late thirties to early forties, and a distinguished Gojid at that save for the eye and the prosthetic arm. Most would consider him quite handsome if it wasn't for the damage he had received, and even then she was sure some women would find a prosthetic like that doubly enticing.
Senek sat in the back, leaning his head back and yawning. He seemed exhausted, most likely from being on duty for the last good knows how many weeks. He kept an eye on Sargen, but it wasn't a distrustful one, more like he was concerned for Sargen's wellbeing. It was hilarious to Silijima, to think that Sargen warranted concern, but she didn't know him or his past so she wouldn't judge; sometimes the strongest people held the greatest burdens.
"So, where to next? Do we have any other stops to make?" Silijima asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"No, not unless you want to stop," replied Sargen.
Behind them, Senek grumbled. "We need to head back to the Collective and finish for the day; I'm fucking exhausted."
Sargen started the truck and turned around. "Then go home, Senek; you've done your work for the day. I'll show Silijima a bit of the station before I deliver the goods and introduce Silijima to the captains."
Senek didn't seem convinced. "They won't be happy that Sujek and I bailed halfway through the delivery."
Sargen snorted. "Ayaz and Igor won't give a damn as long as the delivery gets delivered. Take a tram and go home and see your mate and kids; you looked harrowed."
Silijima was inclined to agree. Before today, she didn't know if it was possible for a reptile to have bags under its eyes, but Senek surely did. He looked like shit, although Silijima would never voice that out loud.
Senek hissed but didn't argue, opening the door and leaving the back of the truck with a grunt. Silijima saw him walk down the street towards a tram stop in the distance, where one was unloading all sorts of people heading to shop at Zapadnyy tsentral'nyy rynok, as well as those ready finished with their shopping trips. Eventually, Senek disappeared into the crowd of humans, arxur, and the occasional venlil, harchin and gojid.
"So," Sargen started with an apprehensive sigh, "My name's Sargen, as you've probably been told. I'm sure Senek and Sujek have already told you all about me."
Silijima chuckled nervously. "Not much, actually. I've been wondering where you got that arm from; it seems very high tech. I've only seen prosthetics like that on high ranking military personnel in the federation."
The question only seemed to make Sargen even more tense. "I lost my real arm in battle. They replaced it with this." He flexed the arm, the prosthetic was agile and precise in its movements. "It's near identical to the real thing utility-wise, although the look of it took some time to get used to."
Silijima nodded absentmindedly, admiring both the arm and his physical build. Sargen must've been through hell and back to be so torn up.
"Are you ex-military? You have the hardware to be."
Sargen frowned lightly. "You could say that. But that's enough about me." Then Sargen put a soft smile on his face, a fake one, as if he was trying to hide his true feelings. "I was told you served in the navy; what was that like?"
Silijima didn't push for more information. "I was a Master Technical Coordinator for the Unwavering Credence. I kept the Guns and the hull functioning along with crews of grunt welders, and I pieced the ship back together after battles.
Sargen whistled, impressed by her rank. "You were pretty high up on the totem pole on that ship. Why'd you leave?"
Silijima scoffed. "The lies, the brutality, and the stress. I came to Skhamar looking for answers after losing faith in the state I defended for over a decade. Now that I know the truth, I realize that I hated every second of it, although I do miss it in a way. Once you get out, well, nothing seems right. For the first few months, I couldn't stand being off duty. I still miss that safety of knowing I was on a military vessel; at least we could defend ourselves. Back on Nishtal, I felt so… exposed, since I wasn't allowed to carry a firearm on my person anymore."
Sargen chuckled. "I know how you feel. I couldn't sleep right after I… left: I kept expecting an attack at all hours. Sometimes I'd wake up in a panic, clutching my ion pistol and ready to kill, only to realize it was just the sound of some puny asteroid bouncing off the outer shell of the station or a ship taking off."
Silijima snorted. "I remember nearly having a heart attack from the fireworks they set off for unification day. My parents didn't understand, or maybe they couldn't, but I don't celebrate that day anymore. It sounds too similar to Arxur hybrid charges slamming against the hull of a ship."
Silijima chuckled at first, but the laughter quickly died as reality set in. Her service in the navy had messed her up in more ways than one, but she couldn't imagine not living that life; she wouldn't know what to do with herself otherwise. She hated it, but she was better for it.
"So… What is there to do on this station? I'm pretty new to all of this freedom. What is there to do?"
"That's the good thing about this job; you get a good week or so in between missions to relax," Sargen smiled bitterly, but it was still a happy smile, "Me and the rest of the crew have so much to show you."
Silijima's heart skipped a beat at his statement. "Senek didn't seem too excited to show me anything."
"Senek's just tired; in fact he's always tired. He worked two missions in a row, same as Sujek, and they're probably going to push for another one," Sargen stated, "although I bet both Ayaz and Igor will send them both home and tell them to spend some time just relaxing for once since those two practically kill themselves working." He chuckled before continuing, "But as for things to do, well, there's a lot: Theaters, Restaurants, Museums, a full-sized futbol stadium, and even a few more exotic things the humans brought over. Humans are kind of the cultural heart of the entire Commonwealth; The big Arxur houses might be the dominant economic forces besides the coalitions, but the Humans really brought a heart and soul to what would otherwise be a pretty dull and barren place."
Silijima thought about that for a moment. She had seen sporting events before; Nishtal had plenty of ballastier stadiums to choose from, where Krakotl would work as a flock to move a floating ball from one end to the other. There were also games of airborne agility and such, so she wasn't too interested in sports.
But the idea of a theater intrigued her. Nishtal didn't have many theaters: the Krakotl didn't like being cooped up in a dark place for too long, since their instincts were to nest under the open sky instead of burrow underground. Mix that with a lack of any big theater culture and you git a species that vastly preferred doing over watching. Sports and music were far more popular with the Krakotl, their ability to fly and vast vocal ranges helping them flourish in alternative mediums of entertainment.
"How are the theaters here? I've never really gone to one before."
Sargen eyed her with disbelief. "Neither did I before I came here. They're pretty great, with lots of cheap snacks and reclining seats. There aren't any 'new' movies yet since there's no real movie industry here on Skhamar yet, but they play a lot of older human movies. A few months ago I went with Timothy, Sarah, and their daughter Maggie to go see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. The art style was pretty mind-blowing, to say the least."
"The art style?"
"Animation. It's considered a proper medium of theater in human culture. There are a plethora of what humans call 'the animated classics': movies that have achieved universal human acclaim due to their outstanding quality. If I'm not mistaken, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is one of them."
Human art seemed so fascinating to her; the Federation was so cut and dry with what they considered art that anything that pushed the envelope was ridiculed and even reviled, often only gaining traction in underground groups that appreciated the bizarre and the condemned. To hear of artistic styles having entire mediums dedicated to them was astounding to her.
"That sounds incredible! What other movies have you seen?"
"Well, I've been itching to see Star Wars, but it's a long trilogy that's best watched at home. There's also a relatively new western by comparison called The Cursed that's being shown this week, so we can go see that. I've heard nothing but good things about it."
Silijima didn't know what a 'western' was, but if it was anything like how Sargen describes their animated movies, she was sure a human western couldn't be bad.
Silijima casually read the synopsis for the movie they would be watching on her holophone.
The year is 1886: Aging civil war veteran turned outlaw Thomas 'Death-Singer' Lawrence ekes out a humble living amongst the Ojibwa Indians of what is now modern-day Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, hoping to live out his final years of his life with his beloved wife, son and adopted tribe in peace. But when a bitter ex-Confederate, Klan member, and son of a wealthy plantation owner Shaw Cunningham and his gang of killers massacre the tribe for supporting the Union during the war, his entire world is torn from him. Now, all that's left after the carnage is himself and a teenager named Nanabush, the fatherless black sheep of the tribe.
Now, with nothing but vengeance burning in his heart, Thomas once again takes up the mantle of 'Death-Singer', and along with his newly adopted ward Nanabush, he travels south to reform his old gang of thieves and outlaws, 'The Cursed', in a last-ditch effort to gain the ultimate revenge and both kill Shaw Cunningham and ruin his family fortune. The curse must be passed on, and there couldn't be a more worthy recipient…
Now that sounded interesting. Silijima didn't understand much of the context, but a revenge plot wasn't a common theme in Federation media, or federation art at all for that matter, so it seemed like a great place to start. Besides, it wasn't like it was real, so if it was overly violent then she could just finish the movie and never watch it again.
But first, there were snacks to buy. Silijima didn't know why Sargen insisted on buying snacks, but he stated that they 'improved the movie experience', or whatever that meant. Either way, he practically dragged Silijima up to a counter operated by a bored human, preparing to order a whole slew of snacks for the both of them.
"I'll get two medium boxes of Çäkçäk style popcorn, a large bag of Korivka, and two large bottles of… Give me a moment." Sargen turned to her. "What do you want to drink?"
Silinima browsed the menu nervously, not knowing what to choose. "Uhhh, I guess I'll try some Baikal? Is it good?"
Sargen shrugged. "It's pretty good, a bit different than most colas." Then he turned back to the snack vendor. "And two large bottles of Baikal."
The bored human sighed, obviously just ready for his shift to end, and prepared the food for the two of them. Sargen prepared his credit chip and handed it to the worker when he returned, paying for everything.
"You don't have to, Sargen, I can pay for myself."
Sargen chuckled. "Maybe, but I'm the one who's taking you out. Just let me take care of it."
The human returned with the popcorn, which was two buckets of strange yellow… things that had a slight glowing orange sheen, along with a large bag of candies and two massive bottles of soda, which were also huge. Sargen somehow deftly balanced all the snacks in their arms as they made their way to the movie room they were assigned to without even a grunt and gave her a soft grin. Despite his obvious optimism, he seemed tense, as if she reminded him of something.
Sargen hurried down the hall, his large stride making it difficult for Silijima to keep up with him, but she managed. He avoided her gaze, his eyes focusing on absolutely anything else. There it was again, the strange behavior. It was as if she was some kind of phantom to him, but he couldn't point out her existence without seeming crazy.
They made their way into a door on the side that led down a dark hall with dim lights lining the floor. It opened up to a massive screen showing adverts for products before the movie began.
"Where would you like to sit? I'm partial to the back; you get better seats and a better view."
Silijima shrugged her feathered shoulders. "Wherever you think is best; I have no clue."
Sargen chuckled, but led her up toe stairs to the upper row of seats. They made it there, sitting down near the center, and Sargen handed Silijima her popcorn and baikal. Silijime pecked at the popcorn hesitantly, but found that she loved it! The sweet, nutty and floral flavors of the coating reminded her of the Vagra nectar from Nishtal when peddlers would sell organic jars of it during the summer months, and it paired wonderfully with the salty-sweet crunch of the 'corn' itself. The baikal was another thing entirely; the sweet-spicy and pine flavors of the cola tasted like nothing she had ever experienced like fruit and spices boiled in bitter tree sap and carbonated, but palatable. By the time the movie had started, a third of her popcorn was gone, causing Sargen to chuckle.
The lights dimmed, causing Silijima to panic for a bit, but Sargen's hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder, calming her. He was there, and he was big; nothing could hurt such a giant, right?
Then, the movie began to play. The sound of some kind of delicate stringed instrument being strummed softly alongside the croaking and chirping of amphibians and insects on a warm summer night. The sounds of the wildlife stopped suddenly for a moment, as did the instrument when a small gang of about a dozen humans riding strange, four-legged creatures reminiscent of suleans without horns advanced towards a gathering of flickering lights in the distance; probably a village. Their gallops were thunderous and destructive, nothing like the sound of a stampede. It was the sound of unwavering strength.
The men wore sackcloth hoods with holes cut out for their eyes and ropes around their necks. In their hands were primitive revolving handguns. They wore a myriad of different clothes; some wore gray army uniforms, while others wore khakis, union shirts and suspenders. They laughed and bickered as they spurred their steeds onward, obviously ready to commit some unspeakable atrocity…
Silijima has two panic attacks during the movie. Sargen was there, able to quell them by offering his support. He seemed to know what it was like to have one because he reached out and held her when she began to hyperventilate and raise her hackles. He didn't speak, but he made himself known. He was there, and that was enough.
At least the movie ended with a triumph: Thomas Lawrence got his revenge, even if he died in the end. His adopted ward, Nanabush, took up the mantle of Death-Singer, using it to defend the weak. It was a tightly wrapped story that should've been happy, but the memories of war still scarred Silijima; the sounds of the gunshots reminded her of the blasts of flechette cannons, and the blood on Lawrence's knife…
She still felt the phantom pain in her wing and body from being run through by an Arxur skimming blade. She had survived, of course, but the near-death experience had permanently changed her. She couldn't stand being around knives too long unless she was actually on the battlefield, and even then it caused her distress. Luckily, she never needed to be around too many sharp objects, being an engineer, but she had her… moments. She was able to quell her attacks, her panic and anxiety being quelled by the far more substantial fear of what she would be subjected to if her true state of mind were to be found out.
If the Federation found out you acted out of the norm, they'd spend weeks forcing you through the most agonizing 'therapies' before stuffing you full of pills and sending you home, never to be the same person again. She had seen the effects of these treatments; her former colleagues practically turned into zombies, their brains melted from the drugs. They lived off of government stipends, unable to truly contribute to the workforce, but the Federation seemed to consider this an acceptable tradeoff, the politicians being praised for lowering the rate of self-termination by any means necessary. In reality, it just created a state-funded drug epidemic.
Part of Silijima did want answers, but she realized her true motive for coming to Skhamar was to escape; she was so scared of staying home on Nishtal because every little thing could set her off. And if she were to have a serious enough outburst…
No, she wouldn't become what many of her former prey-in-arms had; a babbling mess of drugs and trauma. She was strong; she could do this. She wouldn't let her trauma overcome her.
"Are you okay, Silijima?" Sargent asked her, shaking her shoulder lightly. They were in the truck, riding to the Corsair collective where Ayaz and Igor had docked their cruiser. He seemed far more tired than before like she was exhausting to be around. She didn't doubt it; having predator disease was already exhausting enough for Silijima alone.
"I shouldn't have recommended that movie, it was too violent. Maybe something animated would've been better," said Sargent. "I was hoping that your experiences as a navy engineer would've been less traumatic than the average foot soldier, and I was wrong."
Silijima turned to him, emboldened. "It wasn't your fault, Sagren; I agreed to watch it. Besides, it might've opened up a few wounds, but it was still an excellent movie. And the popcorn and baikal were wonderful as well. And besides, it was a good movie, triggers notwithstanding."
Sargen smiled a little, although he was still feeling guilty. "I'm glad you liked it. But we should get to the collective; Ayaz and Igor will be happy to become acquainted with you."
Silijima nodded before turning back to the window, watching as the city raced by. The spires of the station-city rose hundreds of stories into the air, hover-tram systems connecting entire levels of platforms that connected to the taller towers. It made sense that the station would focus on the height of buildings; the width was a rare commodity on space stations due to the cost of adding extra floor-level infrastructure, so extremely tall spires interconnected by platforms and hover-tram systems that stretched for kilometers made sense. Everything was brightly lit: massive glowing LED signs depicting everything from clinics and dispensaries to shops and eateries were plastered across the buildings, along with almost lifelike and three-dimensional digital billboards depicting a wide array of advertisements and entertainment. It was the very definition of an urban jungle, sprawl and all, with tens of millions of individuals living their daily lives unimpeded.
"The station's pretty cool, huh? It's technically one of the larger cities in the galaxy, with a population of around twenty-five million inhabitants of all races."
That number was impressive for a city, but not for a nation. "But how many planets does Skhamar control? Fifty-five million is nothing compared to the five hundred billion sentients in the Federation alone."
Sargen nodded. "Yeah, that's true. Antheia and Calaïs are pretty sparsely populated at the moment, maybe a few million each, and the planet of Skhamar itself has about ten million. That means this place doesn't really have the manpower to keep up with the Federation or the Dominion in terms of fleet size. We still beat them in engagements though."
Silijima didn't believe that. "But how? The Federation outnumbers you guys a hundred to one!"
Sargen snorted, eyes focused on the road as he pulled into the parking lot of a ginormous building. "If there's one thing that I learned after only two years of living on Skhamar is that the Federation's school of naval doctrine is laughably bad. They solely rely on the force of numbers and firepower to overwhelm their enemies before they can strike back. This would normally work on smaller fleet engagements against lesser foes, but the humans don't play fair. They hide in gas clouds, and in asteroid fields. They launch silent torpedoes, drone strikes, and shells filled with toxic gas before initiating boarding actions to cause widespread panic in enemy fleets. Skhamar's newly minted traditions of piracy have led to a whole new level of Naval military thinking, one where the entire sector is an ever-changing battlefield and anything's fair game."
"But wouldn't they get discovered? How hasn't the Federation just listed down Skhamar's tactics for admirals to memorize and quantify in fleet engagements?"
"You're demanding too much from a Federation full of scared herbivores, and you're forgetting who runs that Federation. The Kolshians and the Farsul vehemently believe that thinking like a predator makes you a predator and that anything that resembles predatory behavior should be scrubbed away. To them, the 'herd' is the entire reason for their existence, and to stray from that is to become food." Sargen shook his head, obviously bemused by their rigid mindset. "In reality, predators have been chipping away at herds for thousands of years. To think that any herd is impervious is just stupid."
Silijima knew the former, and she had suspected the latter for a long time. "But herds need to adapt to survive, right? I bet you that was the reasoning behind the gene-modding and culture erasure at the hands of the Kolshians and the Farsul."
Sargen rolled his eyes like he had heard it all before. "It shocks me that you weren't thrown into an institution, with how perceptive you are. I'm telling you, the Kolshians and the Farsul couldn't care less about the other species in the Federation. All they care about is controlling and leading that herd they've stitched together with lies. To them, adaptability is only good when it benefits their narratives and power structures."
It made a sickening sort of sense, and it was completely believable now that the treachery of the Kolshians and the Farsul had come to light. The Kolshians and the Farsul being afraid of any change that challenged their ideals was a cancer on the Federation, and one that Silijima was sure would eat away at it until it was nothing more than a corpse. "I'm glad I left, you know, not being afraid of being locked up for having predator disease. I just hope that isn't a thing here."
"It isn't, believe me, or I would've been incarcerated a long time ago." Sargen replied, "Now let's go; I think we've wasted enough of Ayaz and Igor's time."
With that, Sargen stepped out of the truck, slamming the door and taking a deep breath of the blatantly recycled air. Silijima followed, leaving the truck and stepping out into a small, empty parking lot, which seemed strange for such a large and important building. The building itself was less of a spire and more short and squat but also very wide, with glass walls similar to those of the urban business centers on Nishtal. There was an entrance of glass doors in the front of the building, along with a massive sigil above them made out of what seemed to be platinum. There was a sword with wings skillfully engraved on it, along with the words Qui militat præter me, frater meus erit surrounding the edges. Her translator struggled to translate it due to the age of the language and her translator's lack of exposure to the esoteric language, but it came out as something similar to He who fights beside me shall be my brother. An interesting term, but certainly more unique than the Federation Navy's slogan, Defend the Herd.
Sargen grabbed her feathered shoulder and steered her away from the truck just as something hovered down and clamped its magnetic claws onto it. A massive, black-colored hover-drone the size of an eighteen-wheeler buzzed as it deftly floated around the two of them, one giant crimson eye with an LED dot acting as an almost animated pupil darting between the two of them. Then it lifted away, making beeping noises as it carried the truck in tow towards a large tower several hundred stories tall in the distance made from a monotonous gray material. "What in sweet Ina's name?" Silijima said under her breath, causing Sargen to chuckle.
"Moth Drones; they’re very useful things. There's not enough space on the station to have traditional parking lots, so Sarn Robotics found a pretty neat solution: massive drones come and pick up vehicles and transport them to large parking towers like the one it's flying to right now. Then, when we come back, I can just call back for my car, maybe wait a minute or so, and have my car returned to me. It's pretty awesome, and something you wouldn't find in a million years in the Federation."
That was true; the citizens would be spooked by so many flying objects. She could just imagine the number of stampedes such a creation would cause.
"Wait, what about the food and ammo?" She asked, curious as to why he'd leave it there."
"Oh, don't worry about that: that tower specifically has an automated storage system. All of our goods will be sent to our ship in the next few hours sorted, packed up, and sealed up in space-grade storage containers"
"Huh, that's pretty incredible," she replied.
"Yeah, it is. Like them or not, these predators seem to think of everything. I guess their minds just work differently; nothing wrong with that."
They walked through the doors as they conversed, and a massive lobby greeted them. Over two dozen secretaries of multiple races greeted countless individuals, many of them armed. Most of them were humans and Arxur, although she spotted a few Harchens and Gojids in the mix. The sound of phones ringing and computer keyboards being typed on resonated through the building with an echo. The entire lobby was beautifully decorated, with corners filled with fine gold-trimmed mahogany furniture and intricately woven carpets covering the marble floor. Sargen guided her up to the lobby and towards a young human woman with blonde hair. He greeted her with a smile, causing her to smile back. The snarl made Silijima's blood rush, but it was far less noticeable now, more like the feeling of adrenaline than pure fear.
"Hey, Csilla, how are you?"
The woman, apparently named Csilla, seemed to brighten up in Sargen's presence. "Oh, you know, just swamped as usual. Igor is waiting for you at dock thirteen, just take the tram down." Then her eyes swiveled in there sockets towards Silijima, causing her to flinch slightly. "And who is this? I didn't know a Krakotl was joining your crew."
"I'm Silijima," Silijima croaked, "I'm the new Engineer."
"Aww, isn't she just precious? It's been a pleasure to see you both, but I have to get back to work; we've got too many customers even with two dozen secretaries."
And with that, they were off. Sargen led her up multiple flights of stairs, passing different office levels before reaching floor seven, which was the connection to the Dok-stantsiya Vest-Enda. There were at least two dozen fully sized trams on multiple levels, with signs detailing over a hundred docks available to travel to. It was truly ginormous, more insane than any public transit system she had seen all packed into one place, but also a testament to the engineering of the station.
They boarded a packed train filled mainly with humans, although there were Arxur, Gojids and Harchen there sprinkled throughout. They rode for a few minutes, before reaching an open-space area sealed with active magnetic field shielding, keeping gravity and a working atmosphere within its borders while simultaneously allowing ships to pass through. There were hundreds of ships, both big and small, docked within the Corsair Coalition's docks, and some of them were exceptionally huge. They ranged from gigantic, rust-red lengths of bulbous metal covered in cannons to sleek, flat warships packed with rocket pods and covered with graffiti of snarling, gaping maws and bloodied talons. Eventually, they reached a point where their tram stopped, and they descended. Just a few dozen meters away was a younger human, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties, an old human woman who couldn't have been younger than seventy, and an Arxur practically made out of cybernetics, his body glowing with energy. The latter seemed to be organizing and directing a small number of droids, which were loading sealed containers into the fuselage of the large, rust-red battle cruiser with the word Iconoclast printed in bold letters on the side. The man saw us and approached, a wide smile on his face.
He was huge for a human, about six and a half feet, and had a long, bushy beard with a handlebar mustache, a short military buzz cut with a bit of hair left a little taller near the middle like a short mohawk, and a pair of black camo pants and a white t-shirt that showed the outline of his muscles underneath. He was practically a bear of a human, with arms the size of bridge cables and a neck thicker than your average gas pipe.
Despite all of that, he was obviously friendly, a wide snarl on his face. "Sargen! Dobriy den, how are you?" Even through the translator, his accent was thick and exotic.
Sargen scratched his head with his claws, obviously a little nervous. "I'm doing great, Igor, listen, this is-"
"Ah, yes, Silijima! Senek called me on his way home to explain their situation. It is a pleasure to meet you, my dear!"
Igor took her wing and shook it vigorously, having to bend down to do so. Having and snarling predator lean down on her in such a way, regardless of their intentions, sent shivers down her spine, but she kept it together. She would not break down in front of her new boss.
"T-the pleasure is all mine, Sir."
Igor didn't seem to notice how intimidating he was, but luckily a distraction appeared. Tarlim arrived just in time, carrying several crates of birch water and plums on his shoulders like they were nothing. The old woman seemed to spot him, because she hobbled over to help, only for Tarlim to prevent her from doing so. "No, Babushka, I can handle it."
"Nonsense," she said sternly, her accent even thicker than Igor's, "I can carry some, boy; your Babushka is not helpless."
Tarlim simply ignored her, carrying the crates over to the droids, with both Tarlim and the Arxur snickering at Babushka's pestering.
"Tarlim, what do you bring? Did I order something and forget again?"
Tarlim chuckled merely at that. "No, Babushka, Sujek ordered some Birch Water and Plums for you."
Babushka softened up at that, placing a hand over her heart like the delivery of birch water was an emotional matter. "Oh Tarlim, I thank you." She hobbled over and practically buried herself in his fur, hugging him as hard as an old woman could.
"Thank Sujek, I'm just the delivery boy."
Babushka snorted. "Hah, I know better. You probably dared him to do something for it."
Tarlim blushed at that. "Well maybe, but he demanded the plums as extra, so make sure you give him a big hug and plenty of food as well."
Babushka seemed to brighten up at that. "Come in, Tarlim; we are having a feast, to celebrate a great victory! No meat in the borscht, just for you!"
"Tarlim seemed very apprehensive towards the idea of eating anything that was even near the meat, but apparently he couldn't resist the old woman. "For you, Babushka, anything for you."
Igor snickered. "They are like a circus, no? Come, we are having a feast, and you shall partake."
Silijima wanted to leave, as the whole situation had escalated very quickly, but Sargen placed a hand on her shoulder. "There is no denying an invitation to a feast; it is a grave insult to do so."
Silijima just sighed and prepared herself for the horrors that awaited her.
It's finally here; THE NEXT CHAPTER OF INTERLOPER! Somebody pop open a bottle of champaign.
I want to thank u/Acceptable_Egg5560 for the support and u/Bushbacon69 for the wonderful fanart.
If you want an AI generated picture, just let me know. That's become my new method of conveying what I'm creating to the world since I can't draw for shit.
The Next chapters for Chains made from Hope and The Apostate should be out this week, along with a new short called The Life Shaper.
submitted by Frame_Late to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 16:07 pineapplezach 6 Tips for new GP Syllabus in 2024

Hi all, it's Zach here again! I have posted several times on this sub over the last few years. I just wanted to share some tips for the new GP syllabus because I know many of us might be feeling a little lost and wondering whether resources from seniors and other past year questions are still relevant. I am only going to post a summarised version here to better cater to the user experience of Reddit posts. If you would like to see the longer version, please do feel free to reach out (can't share any links on this sub as per the rules).
You may also click on my profile!
Do leave an upvote and share it if you found it useful :)

1. Essay: 8 instead of 12 questions

Themes: For Essay, the most obvious change is the decrease in selection of questions from 12 to 8. On first glance, this seems to it is now more difficult since we have fewer choices. However, the good news is: questions that are removed belong to insignificant/minor themes that we should not even be studying. Based on the sample paper, the major themes are still kept: Arts, Science & Tech, Politics, Individual & Values, Media, Environment. The ones removed are niche issues like: Poverty, Mathematics, Family, Crime. All along, I have advised students to only focus on major themes to increase the probability of finding a familiar question in the A Levels where we can apply our specialised knowledge.
If we were to examine the new syllabus further—in the listed issues:
Differentiation: Fewer questions would also mean that competition becomes more intense because as we know, all A Level subjects do have a bell curve which is designed to account for variation in difficulties of paper across years. Simply put, there is a similar percentage of students who will get A every year because the benchmark of what A looks like changes each year, depending on the quality of the responses. Previously, we could try to select less popular questions so that we can more easily differentiate ourselves (easier to stand out with less competition). Now, given that every question has more student attempting it, it becomes extremely important to find ways to differentiate using the quality of our responses, and not just question choice. There are two three main ways to differentiate: Logic, Vocabulary, Examples/Knowledge.
TLDR: Focus on the major themes that I have outlined because all the past year trends point to that and the new syllabus confirms the clear focus on major themes. 8 questions, instead of 12, essentially removes the 'noise' of other distracting themes that some students (and even schools) wrongly focus on. The content for GP is much clearer now because we can understand themes as chapters, like that of any other H2 subject.
Relevance for current J2s (2023): Continue focusing on the major themes! Given the shift in syllabus and more streamline focus, the major themes that have been popular would be even more prominent in 2023. Remember to also differentiate yourself using logic, language and knowledge.

2. Essay: Word count (Unchanged)

Recommended Essay Length: Word count is still stated as 500-800 words, but as we all know this can essentially be ignored. If we were to actually follow the word count, the essay would very likely fail because elaboration/examples/scope are lacking. I believe this was the intention, but again because of the bell curve and Singapore students being somewhat kiasu to write more, the norm over the years becomes longer essays. Quantity doesn't = quality but it is definitely a pre-requisite. Length of essay = providing detailed explanation and more examples. A better range would be 1250-1650.
Let us examine a reasonable break down of words in each paragraph for a typical A-grade essay,
You may also be wondering: do we really need 4 BPs? Can we just do 3? I would say it is difficult to score an A with just 3 BPs because it limits the variety of arguments and perspectives that are discussed. Once again, imagine if you read 2 essays of the same quality and essay X has 1 more BP than Y, would you not be inclined to award X with more marks?
Time Allocation: On that note, this is my suggested time allocation,
Question analysis during planning is often the biggest determinant of whether an essay even passes because essays that fail usually fail to answer the question; weaker essays also do not adequately address keywords. Apart from question analysis, it would also be highly recommended to carefully plan the logic of each BP, to know exactly what we want to say before we write. This allows our ideas to be more coherent and ensure that we properly ATQ instead of simply scribbling whatever comes to mind, which often ends up being messy/repetitive.
Relevance for current J2s (2023): Read the above pointers to get an idea of the recommended word count and time allocation. Everything here applies to you too because word count expectations are the same!

3. Compre: 3 instead of 2 Passages

2 Views and AQ: Previously, some years had single passage while other years had double passages. This is going to be much more standardised moving forward, where there are always 3 passages. The good thing is that there will always be 2 views discussed. At least based on the sample paper passage A would be view A, B would be opposite view B, and C would be from either view but probably a more personal anecdote. This makes AQ a little easier because there are more diverse viewpoints that we can respond to. Previously, if there was only 1 view, we were forced to engage with that view regardless of whether we like it or not.
Easier Understanding: It is also a little easier to digest the ideas now because there is a clear break to signal what comes next. For example, when I go to passage B, I know that it will be moving on to the negative instead of positive aspects. Before this change, I would have to carefully search for this view transition somewhere within the long passage, assuming a single passage year. If you are worried that there are more words to read, fear not! The total length of the passages is still the same.
Annotations: However, diverse ideas being discussed would also highlight the importance of annotations to keep track of new arguments emerging in the text. I have always emphasised annotating each paragraph to distil its message clearly so that have our own summary of each paragraph's ideas and can easily refer to that later on when we answer the Short Answer Questions (SAQs). This becomes even more vital now because of comparison questions that force us to thoroughly examine and compare arguments across passages (more on this later, read on to find out more about comparison questions!)
Relevance for current J2s (2023): Given the focus on 2 views, this year's exam would likely feature double passages. Even if it were going to be single passage, be sure to look out for 2 views within that passage! You would still need to annotate your passage(s) to yield the same benefits of clearly summarising the message of each passage + track how these arguments would progress from one paragraph to the next. It is important to get the big idea to get the following benefits:
All of these happen when we have a very good grasp of arguments discussed by the author, and that starts from the simple step of carefully annotating every paragraph.

4. Compre: Each passage has a different focus

In the old syllabus, there was no distinction, questions could come from any paragraph or passage. It made it harder because when we are reading, we need to focus on everything since we are not sure what will be tested from that section.
Currently, the focus is much clearer (may change in time, but we can deduce these from the sample paper),
Passage A and SAQs: Focus on close reading and understanding. This is exactly the same as all past year SAQs. If you are practicing using past year prelims/A Levels papers, you may continue to use those SAQs. Questions can either focus on content (points and arguments raised) or language (literary devices, diction, punctuation). Some questions can be literal (answers found directly but we need to paraphrase keywords instead of directly lifting them), while others can be inferential (answers not found, only clues are given and we need to fill in the gaps to guess the author's deeper message). There are now fewer of these questions but they still hold the majority of the content marks (11/15), which means that it is still very important to master SAQ techniques pertaining to the different question types.
Passage B and Summary: Focus on getting relevant points (read the summary question beforehand). No change except that the opening words are no longer provided. It just means that we have 4-5 fewer words because that used to be given and excluded from the word count. Honestly, this change does not mean much. The more important positive change is that summary requirements are now clearer because the question is shorter. At least from the sample paper, it seems there is only 1 focus/requirement to summarise whereas questions used to have typically 2. Again, this makes it a bit easier because we have 1 less thing to worry about!
Paraphrasing: Note that the general requirements clearly state that we have to use our own words as far as possible + write in continuous prose. Previously, only certain questions stated that even though there was a clear expectation that we had to paraphrase keywords for every question. Basically, it is much clearer now where we know we must always paraphrase. Take note that paraphrasing does not just mean finding a synonym. We have to ensure that this synonym (or phrase that expresses a similar idea) needs to also match the Connotation + Degree of the original word. Connotation = positive/neutral/negative, Degree = intensity. Words have different connotations and degree, and we must ensure that when we paraphrase we also capture the nuances of the original word! Wrongly paraphrased key ideas would unfortunately yield no marks. This once again reminds us the importance of developing our vocabulary.
Relevance for current J2s (2023): The current syllabus is a bit harder since questions can come from anywhere. What we can do is to first check which paragraphs are involved in summary. Those paragraphs would not have SAQs and for these paragraphs we can simply focus on finding points. For other paragraphs, we need to read more closely to get a solid understanding of the ideas, to prepare for the corresponding SAQs. Paraphrasing tips I have shared above would also nicely relate to the current syllabus!

5. Compre: Comparison questions

Passage C and Comparison: Focus on relating these ideas back of what you read in A/B. This is a completely new type of question that tests our critical thinking. It rewards students that have more macro perspectives where they can fully understand arguments and see how the passages are talking to one another. Imagine that the 3 passages are like 3 individuals having a conversation about the topic. For example, the sample paper is looking at the collection of personal data and thinking about its implications. Sometimes they could be contradicting each other for the same idea; sometimes they could reinforce and elaborate on the same idea. You will see both - 1 question on how C supports/contradicts A, 1 question on how C supports/contradicts B. You are required to IDENTIFY 1 idea from C + JUSTIFY how it supports/contradicts a specific line from A/B.
If you have done social studies or history before, you would be familiar with source-based questions. The same technique of cross-referencing applies. To properly identify an idea from C, we would need to first have a proper understanding of the quoted sentence from A/B. When given a quoted sentence, be sure to highlight key ideas from there.
Use these Strategies:
  1. Carefully examine and understand the base idea from A/B
  2. Explain your understanding of this base idea (paraphrase)
  3. Identify keywords from the base idea and find something in C pertaining to these keywords, either to support/contradict
  4. Quote this idea in C
  5. Explain this idea in your own words (do not lift, paraphrased keywords to show understanding)
  6. Explain how this supports/contradicts Use vocabulary with positive/negative connotation to clearly show how it support/contradict Elaborate more for this part to show your logic
In short, Explain idea A/B > Identify idea C > Explain idea C.
Relevance for current J2s (2023): While old syllabus SAQs do not have comparison questions, we can incorporate this into our AQ. We can score extra points when we pick evidence from the passage(s) showing how an argument has been supported/contradicted by another part of the passage, to demonstrate that we have a thorough understanding of the entire text. We can proceed to evaluate this and compare it to the Singapore context.

6. Compre: Application question (AQ)

Increased Importance: AQ now has 12 marks instead of 10. This would better align it to the time required. Last time, SAQ had 17 marks while AQ had 10 marks, but both sections actually needed a similar amount of time because of how AQ is essentially a mini essay with at least 2 BPs required. Now, SAQ = 15, AQ = 12. This would better reflect the substantial amount of time needed to complete AQ. In other words, the time saved from having to answer another SAQ of 2 marks, give us 3-4 extra minutes for AQ (enough to do a fairly detailed plan). Many students often do not plan AQ because of time constraints. Yet, planning is crucial. Just like essay planning, AQ planning ensures that we have a coherent logic and carefully chosen local examples that relate to ideas discussed in the passage. Of course, more time would again mean more competition because every student would likely deliver a slightly higher quality AQ. Just like essay, you may differentiate your AQ via Logic, Language, Knowledge.
Logic: How well do you understand the passage? Are you able to show insightful evaluation? Does your idea about Singapore properly address the argument you have selected? Is the selected argument even a major point or just something trivial that is not the author's focus?
Language: Do you use evaluative language? Again, are there sophisticated vocabulary and sentence structures that are used appropriately and consistently?
Knowledge: Do you provide specific examples from the local context or merely highlight general observations that do not show an in-depth understanding of the local context?
AQ being a mini-essay and now having more marks mean that we get even more benefits in mastering essay skills. Whatever skills we learn from crafting persuasive arguments and explaining examples would also apply nicely to AQ!
Relevance for current J2s (2023): Cambridge's focus on AQ likely means that this is a big component of the paper that differentiates students who score better in Compre. Perhaps many students score a similar mark for SAQ but the range disparity is a lot wider for AQ. In short, pay attention to AQ skills and incorporate what you have learned for Essay.
Do leave an upvote and share it if you found it useful :)
submitted by pineapplezach to SGExams [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 15:21 Due_Experience7171 Best way to administer a pill

My cat has worms and the vet prescribed Dontral (or Drontal) to get rid of it. I have no clue how to administer 3 relatively large pills. I have tried putting it in her food, I have tried breaking it up. Someone recommended that I try putting in a syringe and letting it melt in there with some water then giving it to her directly in her mouth. She refused to swallow when I did that and she made awful noises while administering. It made me feel awful and I had a panic attack. Shoudl I just have the vet give her the pills next time? Or is there a better way that I can do it so it won’t cause both of us anxiety. Thank you in advance
submitted by Due_Experience7171 to CatAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 13:27 AyiRD Problem with the Timing Kit/System.

Well, without prior notice, a relative of mine bought a used car without taking it to a workshop or asking about the most basic things. The car has already covered more than 150.000 km, it's a 2003 Renault Clio II 1.6 petrol. One question I have is that I don't know if the timing kit has been changed. On top of that, he can no longer contact the seller to ask him and I doubt very much that he will tell him the truth. I asked some mechanics if there is any way to know if it has been changed or not and they told me that I would have to find out from the seller (ironically XD). Otherwise it would have to be changed and it is not cheap.
I come here so that you guide me with your wisdom. Does anyone have a trick to find out if it has been changed or not? I have already checked the timing belt and engine sounds. It has its noises and shakes a bit like any old car. That could be a clue but it doesn't give me much information. I would like something that will make me sure enough.
submitted by AyiRD to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 13:16 Nellthe Claiming Terra - Part 3

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Note: A lot of positive feedback on the first two parts, so I decided to continue the story for a few more parts to see if you guys love the direction the story is headed in. So please feel free to comment on it.
First Prev
Nick had always sought adventure, ever since he was a little kid. In his adulthood, he tried working a nine-to-five job but after less than six months, felt like he was losing his mind. So he left everything behind to become a guide, switching continents every half year. In his off time, he continued seeking a thrill, climbing Mount Everest and Mont Blanc, exploring the Amazon Jungle, diving into uncharted ocean depths, and exploring the deepest pits and caves.
During one of his adventures, he met the love of his life, Anna. She had a residency as a pediatrician at one of the hospitals in Munich. Anna was a weird mix of a free spirit like him and devoted to her job at the same time. That, combined with her beauty and overall great personality, made him fall in love with her immediately. So much so, that he decided to stay in Munich for a year to give them the best chance of working out. And it was the right choice. Not even a year later, they were engaged, and a half year after that, they got married on a small Hawaiian island with their close family and friends.
They planned on having kids, but with her job taking up much of their time and his constant tours, they decided to wait for the right moment. When the right moment for them arose, the universe itself said it was not the best time as it sent a huge asteroid hurtling toward Earth. They made their peace with the end before Anna received an invitation to be a part of one of the ships, which ensured both of them places as a young married couple. The algorithm would have preferred they already had kids, and that almost cost them the list, but luckily for both of them, they made it.
And here they were on an alien planet, some started calling it Nova Terra, Earth-Two, or Elysium, but no official name had been set. The landscape was unlike anything they had ever seen before, with towering trees reaching towards the sky and strange, otherworldly creatures roaming about, the planet reminded Nick of prehistoric Earth.
Nick watched as Anna shifted in her sleeping bag on the uncomfortable ground. William had assured him that the two of them would be getting their own rooms by the end of the week, but for now, they had to make do with what they had.
"Morning sunshine," Nick said as Anna rubbed her eyes.
"Morning," she said and stretched her arms, feeling her muscles awaken after a long night's rest. Rolling onto her side, she pushed herself up into a seated position and gave Nick a gentle kiss on the cheek.
"How did you sleep?" Nick asked. "Getting comfortable on the floor?"
"Yeah," she said. "I think the ground is adapting to my body like memory foam." She chuckled.
"Even the ground melts below you," Nick teased her.
"Ehh," she blushed slightly. Nick loved the fact that after all these years, even the slightest compliment made her blush. "When did you wake up? I told you can leave if you woke up before me; it’s not a problem," she continued.
"Ten, fifteen minutes ago," Nick said. "I didn't want to wake you up while I left. Don't worry about it." He said and unzipped their tent, letting a breeze of fresh warm air in.
It was a warm morning, and Nick would have guessed the temperature was around fifteen or sixteen degrees Celsius. They still didn't know what kind of weather to expect on this planet, but so far, it was mostly a light summer climate with a few rain showers ever since they landed.
"When do you leave?" Anna asked him.
"Hmm, in a," Nick said and looked over at the device on his wrist. "One and a half hours. We have time for coffee. Do you want to go with me, or do you want me to bring us some here?"
"Bring us some here," Anna said. "I need ten more minutes to warm up my engines. I'll do some light stretching while I wait."
Nick kissed her on the forehead and left. Their settlement still hadn't set up most of the luxuries like coffee and food stands, so for something along those lines, you needed to visit the spaceships. Nick headed towards the spaceship they came with, the Nova, which was located a few hundred meters away from their campsite.
As he walked, he couldn't help but take in the view of the alien planet around him. The sky was a deep shade of blue, but not quite the same blue as Earth's. The sun was above the mountain range to the south already casting a warm glow over everything. Nick had always been fascinated by the stars and the possibility of life beyond Earth, and now he was standing on an entirely different planet, breathing in its air and walking on its ground.
He reached the Nova and waited in line for five minutes before grabbing two large expressos. As he walked back to their tent, he could hear the sounds of wildlife and the rustling of leaves from the nearby trees. It was still strange to him that these sounds were coming from a planet light years away from Earth.
Nick entered the tent to find Anna finishing her stretches. Her body was toned and fit from years of hiking, climbing, and exploring, and Nick couldn't help but admire her strength and beauty even after all these years. He handed her one of the cups of coffee and sat down next to her, taking in the sight of her in the morning light.
"Thanks, babe," Anna said, taking a sip of the hot beverage. "Mmm, this is good. What kind did you get?"
"Expresso," Nick replied. "I figured we could use the extra boost today."
Anna nodded in agreement, and they sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes, sipping their coffee and enjoying the warmth of the morning sun in front of their tent.
As they finished their coffee, Nick couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement for the day ahead. They were on an alien planet, and who knew what wonders they would discover on today's mission? The universe was full of endless possibilities, and Nick was ready to explore them all.
“You better get going, you don’t want to be late,” Anna said taking a last sip of coffee.
“Yeah,” Nick said and stood up. “Three days without me, how will you manage?” Nick said smiling.
“I’ll cry myself to sleep probably,” She said chuckling. “You take care out there, don’t do anything stupid, and don’t go further than they told you.”
“Yes mom,” Nick said and hugged her. “I’ll take care and by the time I return hopefully we will have our own room and some privacy,” Nick said and kissed her softly savoring the moment.
Nick walked to meet with his team, seven of them who were waiting by their buggies. He greeted them and introduced himself to the new members. There was Emily, a botanist who was excited to explore the flora of the planet, Matt, a geologist who was eager to study the rock formations, and Alex, a biologist who was interested in studying the planet's wildlife. The other members were Sarah, a fellow navigator who Nick had worked with ever since they landed, Tom, an experienced astronaut who had been on multiple missions, and Song, a young engineer who was responsible for the maintenance of the buggies.
General Morales appeared minutes later and briefed the team on their mission for the next three days, which was to pick up another team in Settlement Four and explore the terrain north of their two settlements. He reminded them of the importance of following the protocol and not going further than they were instructed to. The terrain they were given to explore was scanned by the military this morning and showed no threat by the Aliens that landed on the other side of the continent, but they needed to map it out better and know the terrain to their advantage if a war with the alien coalition truly starts.
Fifteen minutes later they set off in their buggies, with Nick in the lead. Nick took the new member, geologist Matt with him and they did some small talk, Nick letting the man take in the beauty of the planet first. The terrain was rocky and bumpy, but the buggies were designed to handle such conditions. The team drove for about an hour, and as they approached Settlement Four where they saw the other team waiting for them.
The other team was led by a scientist named Dr. Lee, who had been studying the planet's climate and atmosphere. Her team consisted of two other scientists and a technician. They climbed into the buggies, and the two teams merged, forming a convoy of six buggies, each carrying two people and their equipment.
As they drove further north, the terrain became more rugged, and the team had to navigate carefully. They drove through canyons and valleys, over hills and ridges. The planet's landscape was breathtaking, with towering mountains and deep gorges. Everything was much greener, brighter than the earth, untouched beauty of the planet.
After a few hours of driving and scanning their surrounding while mapping them carefully, they reached a plateau, where they stopped to rest and eat some rations. As they sat, Nick heard a rumbling noise coming from behind them. It sounded like something big was moving in the forest, shaking the trees themselves.
Nick turned to Sarah, who was sitting next to him, and they both took their guns out, ready to face whatever was coming their way. The rest of the team that had weapons followed suit, their eyes scanning the forest for any sign of danger.
Suddenly, the ground beneath them began to shake, and the trees parted to reveal a massive creature. The creature was enormous, easily towering over the buggies. It had a thick coat of dark red fur covering its body, which looked soft and fluffy to the touch. Its eyes were big, and round, and had a warm, gentle glow to them. Despite its size and appearance, there was something about the creature's demeanor that seemed friendly and non-threatening.
As the creature emerged from the forest, Nick and Sarah tensed up, gripping their guns tightly. But as it got closer, Nick noticed that it wasn't aggressive at all. It moved slowly and deliberately, almost cautiously, as if it didn't want to scare them.
“I don’t think it’s dangerous,” Nick said to everyone. “Stay calm, but be cautious still.”
“I agree,” Sarah added.
When the creature got close enough, Nick and Sarah lowered their guns and approached it slowly, their hands outstretched in a gesture of peace. The creature didn't shy away or show any signs of fear; instead, it simply stood there, looking at them with its big, gentle eyes.
Nick rummaged through his bag and found some dried fruit and nuts. He slowly held out his hand, offering the creature a handful of the food. The creature sniffed the food curiously before taking it from Nick's hand. It chewed the food slowly and seemed to enjoy it, its eyes closing in contentment.
Nick and Sarah watched as the creature finished the food and then turned and slowly disappeared back into the forest. There was something about the encounter that left them both feeling humbled and awed by the sheer size and majesty of the creature they had just encountered.
After the creature left, Nick and the team were left in awe. They had just encountered a new species, something that had never been seen before on this planet. Alex, the biologist was documenting everything she saw about the creature along with the images taken by her camera. As she was the one to discover it, she had the right to name it or give it to another person. She decided to wait out and let her daughter name the creature.
Nick decided that it was getting late, and they should set up camp for the night. The plateau provided a perfect spot, high enough to give them a good view of the surrounding area and a good defensive position if anything happened during the night.
The team worked together to set up the tents and started a fire. They cooked some of the rations they had brought with them, but the excitement of the day had left them with little appetite. They spent some time discussing the plan for tomorrow before going to sleep. Nick took the first watch and was replaced by Sarah three hours later.
The night passed without incident, and in the morning, the team packed up their gear and continued their exploration. They drove for a few hours to the valley to the northwest. Once there they left their buggies and split into three teams to cover more ground.
In the morning they drove to a nearby valley, leaving their buggies at top of a small hill. They split into four teams of four people to cover more ground.
Nick's team had been exploring the planet for a few hours, mapping the terrain and taking samples of the various flora and fauna. They were about to call it a day when they received a transmission from Sarah.
"Hey guys, come over here fast," Sarah said over the radio. "You won't believe what we found."
“What is Sarah,” Nick asked. “Are you ok?”
“We are okay, but you should really see this.” She answered.
“We are on our way,” Nick replied.
Nick and the rest of his team immediately headed toward Sarah's location, their device pining her exact coordinates. When they arrived, they saw Sarah taking pictures of six large black pillars sprawling from the ground. The pillars were each at least fifteen feet tall with silver engravings and glyphs on them.
"Any idea what this could be?" Nick asked walking around the pillar construction.
"Not a clue," Sarah replied. "But it should be proof that this is or at least was not a planet devoided of civilization."
“Same thought crossed my mind,” Nick said while nodding. “Alright, let’s document this and head right back to the settlements, this is something we have to report in person right away,” Nick said and people sprung into action.
The realization hit Nick like a ton of bricks. Their situation on this planet was getting more complex with each passing day. If on top of the aliens that landed at the same time as them, they had to worry about domestic species, humanity’s survival would be one big question mark.
As they spent time taking pictures and documenting everything, they suddenly heard a loud roar in the distance. It was getting closer, and fast. Nick's heart started to race as he tried to determine what could be making that kind of noise. The road was inhumane and getting louder, almost ear-piercing with each passing second.
Everyone froze in their tracks and a massive creature emerged from the dense foliage. Its skin was scaly and dark green, and it had a long, powerful tail that swished back and forth behind it. Nick couldn't believe his eyes - the creature resembled a dinosaur.
The creature was at least fifteen feet tall, and its muscular legs ended in razor-sharp claws that dug deep into the soil beneath it. Its head was elongated and filled with rows of sharp teeth that looked capable of tearing apart anything in its path.
The creature took a look at the humans standing in front of him and with a loud deafening road dashed towards them.
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2023.03.31 11:47 baisecettevie Trisha & Jim Carey.

I have been reading this sub for the last few days and have been hit with a wave of nostalgia regarding TPs many lies over the years.
Something what has bothered me for several years and didn’t really make much noise when uploaded was her video where she detailed an experience she had with a celebrity client whilst she was working as a call girl. The video/story I’m sure you will remember was her trying to leave the clients home when he pulled a gun on her and shot around her body whilst she stood against the door. To her recollection there was a clear outline of bullet holes around where she had been stood. I don’t think she ever named the celebrity in that video but gave clues as to who it was. Her fans in the comments figured it out and in a later vlog Trisha confirmed it was Jim Carey. The story also came up again on frenemies but she chose not to name who it was. I think she forgot she had previously named the person in her imaginary story already.
My question is, how did she get away with making something so insane up? I can only guess the video never created the motion or controversy she strove for and word of it never reached JCs team. However, it is a still a super crazy claim to make and surely could/should bring her legal consequences?
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2023.03.31 09:23 CholeyCat Sleeping sounds vs. hunger cues

Hi! Noisy noisy 6 week old sleeper. How do y'all determine if the noise your baby makes mean they're ready to eat or not at nighttime? Eyes stay closed during noises... I just hate to wait for a full cry before responding, but don't want to wake her up either. Grunting, crying out, squeaking, etc. seems the same across the board, I can't determine a specific "hunger" cue from the sounds and don't see the rooting/lip smacking, plus she's swaddled so I don't see her hands or fists. What works for you?!
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2023.03.31 09:13 _musitudes Baby Soother, White Noise Generator, Baby Sound Machine with Night Light, Kids Portable White Noise Machine for Sleeping

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