Sentence awaits man who attacked partner Shetland News
Shetland Women's Aid
Final milestone for Shetland HVDC link complete following ...
Partners Shetland Wool Week
Prison for man who harmed partner Shetland News
Shetland Space Centre to partner with Raptor Aerospace for ...
Partners Shetland Museum & Archives
Fined for assaulting former partner The Shetland Times Ltd
Widowed dad and recently returned Shetland native DI Perez and rookie partner Tosh link the murder of an old woman to a covert World War II operation. 2. Red Bones: Part 2 53m. DI Perez's continuing investigation into the murder of longtime resident Mima Wilson is complicated by a second killing and Up Helly Aa festivities. 3. Raven Black: Part 1 A TEENAGER who assaulted his partner on two occasions has had his case adjourned for a social work report to be furnished. Steven Garriock, 19, address given as Wiltro, Dunrossness, admitted three charges, including the attacks, and one of threatening and abusive behaviour. Lerwick Sheriff Cou Shetland Space Centre to partner with Raptor Aerospace for launch training and sub-orbital launch operations Shetland Space Centre and Raptor Aerospace Ltd today announced a long-term strategic partnership that will allow both companies to make rapid progress in UK launch activities. Shetland Womens Aid, located in Lerwick, is a charitable organisation dedicated to helping those affected by abuse and family breakdown. With the dedication of our volunteers, staff members, and partners, we strive to improve the lives of women and children across Shetland who need help. Shetland Boat Week / Partners; Partners. Shetland Boat Week is an inclusive community event, made possible by the support of our sponsors. Shetland Amenity Trust manage Shetland Boat Week and we are dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of everything that is distinctive about Shetland's cultural and natural heritage. A LERWICK man received a 19 month prison sentence on Thursday for various offences including assaulting his ex-partner. Ryan Paterson appeared from custody after admitting the assaults on his former partner at a previous hearing. He also flouted an earlier undertaking that he would not contact he A young man who assaulted his former partner has been fined and handed a non-harassment order. Kyle Walker, of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, was sentenced at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday. The 21-year-old admitted one charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and a second of ... Claes Westerlind, NKT’s EVP and head of solutions, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner for the Shetland HVDC link and to extend the good collaboration with SSEN Transmission from the ... Shetland Charitable Trust. The Shetland Charitable Trust is a charity set up to benefit the inhabitants of Shetland. Their aim is to provide public benefit to and improve the quality of life for the people of Shetland, especially in the areas of: Social care and welfare; Arts, culture, sport and recreation; The environment, natural history and heritage. Shetland College is Scotland’s most northerly partner within UHI and offers students in Shetland the opportunity of studying further, higher and degree level courses. The onsite textile facilitation unit allows local and visiting students to develop their skills in a inspiring location. Shetland Wool Adventures. Shetland knitting and heritage ...
2020.06.25 21:01 ChavezDelgadoEndless Deep
ENDLESS DEEP CHAPTER 1 A few months ago I left my dream job. It’s something I never thought I’d do. This was supposed to be a career until the day I retired. Now everything has changed! Ever since I was in school which is going back almost twenty years now, I knew what I wanted to do when I was older. While my friends and classmates all chose fairly normal vocations such as doctors or dentists I felt a deep desire to work at sea. I didn’t know or care so much how I ended up there but I just felt a connection with the vast bodies of water that surround our planet. I settled on the Navy originally, thinking that it would be the perfect way to get out into the great unknown. I even went as far as going to the recruitment office and speaking with an enthusiastic member of staff. I was told of the places I would visit, the experiences I would have and the qualifications that I would ultimately end up with. It certainly sounded like the perfect solution and I would have signed up there and then were it not for the fact I wasn’t quite old enough to join. Instead I made a pact with myself that as soon as I left school this would be the path that I would follow. Over the following months I studied hard, determined to secure the grades I’d require for my upcoming career and then purely by chance another opportunity fell into my lap. I should have probably mentioned before now but I lived on a remote Scottish island which is perhaps where my fascination for the sea was born. The island community that I belonged to had primarily two main sources of employment. You either worked in the oil sector or the fishing industry. Every other business on the island was designed to support or benefit from one of these two. One seemingly innocuous day I was round at a friends house after school playing a new video game hosmparents had bought for him. His father had come in to check if we wanted a drink and we had got talking. I discovered he was a fisherman and when I expressed my desire to work at sea he seemed to be genuinely interested. I went on to tell him of my visit to the Navy careers office and he agreed that it was indeed a potentially good choice for my future. He then asked me a question, the answer to which I hadn’t even considered before now. "Have you ever been out on the water? Some folk suffer from terrible, crippling Sea sickness when they’re out there." I must admit that I felt a bit foolish having to admit that the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I think my embarrassment was obvious as my face flushed and he gave me a sympathetic look. " I’ll Tell you what. Come back and see me tomorrow and I’ll see if I can get you out on the boat with us for a few days. You’ll need to make sure it’s alright with your parents first though." I remember hurrying home and excitedly explaining this proposition to my parents who after some convincing agreed to let me go. Within a couple of weeks I was packing a bag for a three day trip at sea. The day finally arrived and as I stood there, asking for permission to come aboard I knew this was where I belonged. I was completely green but the captain would give me some simple tasks to carry out so I could get a feel for working on the waves while not being completely useless. And so began my love affair with the seas and oceans of the world. The Navy plan was swiftly abandoned in favour of the smaller, more tight knit environments of fishing boats. Work was gruelling but the wages made it all worthwhile. I forged strong friendships with my crew mates and it seemed I had found a career for life. CHAPTER 2 I would go on to spend the next twenty years working aboard a variety of vessels of varying sizes and styles. Some were large and modern while others had been in service for decades and were so cramped that you would be living on top of one and other at all times. The only time you’d ever be alone with your thoughts would be when you were sat in the tiny toilet cubicle, crude I know but it’s the truth. As vast and seemingly empty as the waters are you rarely feel alone out there. A decent crew are like your second family and you’ll often spend more time with these people than your partner and children. It’s a unique bond you share born from your time on the waves working together. You quickly form lasting friendships with these people once you realise that more often than not, your very life itself is dependant on them. Unfortunately, like any walk in life you’ll always get the odd bad egg. Someone that just isn’t wired quite right and seems to make your life that little bit more difficult simply by existing. In most land based jobs it’s usually just a case of keeping your distance and ignoring them. This can be a little more tricky at sea when you’re all cramped in a cabin barely an arms length away from each other. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First I need to explain what led to me making the decision to never return to the water. CHAPTER 3 Six months ago I was on a small vessel with a crew of seven other men. Most of us had worked together for a while and our voyages were like a well oiled machine. We worked efficiently and there was rarely any tension onboard. Our captain was an experienced, stereotypical grizzled man having spent more decades than I can imagine out on the vast blue wilderness. His white beard and rough wrinkled skin told of a thousand adventures in the most remote parts of Earth. It was a good crew and we were looking set to earn a healthy wage packet upon our return to dry land. All in all it should have been a standard trip, one we had done many many times before. The only thing that made this trip slightly different was a late addition to the crew. Damien was a relatively inexperienced young man. Early twenties and knows it all, I’m sure you know the type. He had only been out once before with another crew and for all intents and purposes was as green as a summers tree. He was the nephew of the Captains wife and I suspect that is the only reason he had found himself amongst our numbers on that day, taking the spot away from another more experienced crewman no doubt. It wasn’t the end of the world though, we were all new at some point and learning the ropes had to start somewhere. He was immediately assigned to the menial jobs onboard that none of us liked doing. This may sound unfair but we had all had to do in our early days. This is just one of the unwritten rules when you work aboard a vessel. Everybody must serve their time and earn there position. Experience matters when you’re out on the waves, hundreds, if not thousands of miles from help if something were to go wrong. This particular trip was scheduled for two weeks with our fishing grounds being located roughly two hundred miles West of the Shetland Isles in the Atlantic Ocean. I won’t bore you with maritime laws surrounding fishing but suffice to say the rules are strict. You have quotas that cannot be exceeded, areas you can’t go and a million other regulations that you must adhere to or face a wage destroying fine. The first few days passed without incident. We worked hard, ate in the evening and grabbed what little sleep we could until it was time to go to work once more. Damien seemed to adapt well to his new surroundings and assigned duties at first. He was diligent and remained focussed on the job at hand. Sadly this would not last and by day four he had began to grow complacent and unfocused. Where before he would make great effort to keep pace with the rest of us he now began to slow down. He would randomly abandon his duties, more interested in what others were doing and loudly complaining that he had been lumbered with the worst jobs. How the crew should all take turns doing the various duties onboard and share the burden. This went down with the crew about as well as you probably imagine it did. Now when I said we were like a well oiled machine before this was entirely dependant on everyone doing there part. As soon as one cog stops working it Throws everything else off of sync. Damien was the wobbly cog in this metaphor. We would all regularly direct him back to his post, explaining over and over that every time he abandoned his post it was costing the operation money and directly affecting his own wage. Sadly this would fall on deaf ears most of the time and I could see tensions beginning to rise with the rest of crew. There are few things worse than tensions on a small fishing vessel. The tight conditions and long work hours magnify even the smallest of issues and by day seven we were all at breaking point. The Captain took Damien aside and sternly warned him that his disruptive behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated and his career at sea would be short lived if he didn’t fall I line. This seemed to do the trick... for a while at least. CHAPTER 4 Before I continue there is something you need understand about a fishing vessel, or any working boats and ships at sea. There are a lot of dangerous moving parts in operation at all times. When working around this machinery you have to be constantly vigilant. Provided you show the equipment respect it will work for you and not against you. Even the smallest lapse in concentration can end in disaster. I’ve seen fingers sliced off in the blink of an eye, feet crushed for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and the obvious one, people knocked overboard into the icy cold waters. Thankfully, as horrible as these accidents could be we had not lost any souls up to this point. At this point we had four days left at sea before returning with our bountiful haul. It had been a productive yet difficult trip thanks mainly to our disruptive addition to the crew. Still, the end was in sight and spirits seemed to be lifting as the thought of returning home to a warm bed and the embrace of loved ones were almost within touching distance. We just had to get through those last four days! Damien decided this would be a good time to ramp up the annoyance level and all but abandonned the duties he had been asigned to. His complete lack of respect for the workings of the vessel were on show for all to see. One of our crew was a large, intimidating looking Spaniard called Jorge. We simply referred to him as JoJo and despite his menacing size he was actually a gentle, well mannered man. We had worked together several times over the years and I’d rarely seen him so much as raise his voice in anger to anyone. That was until our newest crewman decided to take issue with the big man. A key part of the loading process involves a large mechanised crane and winch. It’s a noisy, dirty and dangerous job as muti-tonne hauls of fish are brought aboard throughout the day. JoJo was in charge of this very important part of the operation and he took his job very seriously, constantly conscious and vigilant to the dangers involved. It was around 0700 and we were all on deck carrying out our various roles as the icy Atlantic spray soaked us with each crashing wave. The sun had not yet risen over the horizon although you could see daybreak wasn’t far off. At least when daylight breaks it seems a little warmer, even if in reality it isn’t at all. Damien had been late rising from his bunk and as a result of this had missed breakfast. Maybe this was why he decided to start an argument with JoJo, who knows. Tired and cold though this was possibly the worst time for him to pick a fight. I missed the start of the altercation. The first I knew of their being a problem was when I heard JoJo raise his voice. Over the years I’ve only seen him angry a handful of times and you knew when he was annoyed because he would revert to his native Spanish tongue. As I became aware of what was happening a looked across the deck to see JoJo towering above Damien, his face red with anger as he gestured for the smaller man to leave him alone. "Go, just go! Haz tu Maldito trabajo, Do your fuckin job" Considering the difference in size Damien seemed unfazed, filled with his own arrogant self importance as he puffed out his chest and attempted to make himself seem larger than he was. I sighed, exchanging glances with my other crewmen before I began to make my way over to diffuse the situation. What happened next went down so quickly I barely even had time to react. Damien exploded with rage, pushing JoJo, his enormous frame barely even moving. The big man looked at him for a moment and burst out laughing at his pitiful attempt. This only seemed to anger Damien further, his small wirey arms suddenly swinging wildly as he attempted to land a blow while JoJo did his best to avoid him. I can say hand on heart that the big Spaniard never once attempted to physically retaliate. During this one sided melee Damien lost his footing on the wet slippery deck. As he began to fall he thrust his arms out desperately trying to grab something, anything that would keep him upright. In a case of Jonah levels of terrible luck his hand found the control levers for the crane. Before JoJo could react Damien had pulled down hard which caused the large boom arm to lurch wildly across the deck. Prior to this nonsense I had been in the middle of hooking the winch back up when I’d been forced to leave my post to deal with the ‘fight’. As a result of this a large iron chain had been left untethered and was now whipping dangerously over all of our heads. Damien, completely oblivious to the hazard he had just caused didn’t see what was approaching him at a high rate of speed. I called out to try and warn him but to no avail. By the time he has regained his footing it was to late. He was violently hit by the runaway chain! His body crumpled in an instant as he was lifted off of his feet. He looked like a small toy a dog would play with as he was launched toward the edge of the vessel, appearing entirely weightless. I don’t think he even had time to scream as the air was knocked from his lungs and in a brief moment he was gone, overboard into the cold waters that surrounded us. CHAPTER 5 We all immediately jumped into action. A man overboard is a matter of life and death and every second counts. The alarm was sounded and a life belt was sent flying into the waters below. Damien landed around ten metres from the vessel, his body rising and falling beneath the waves illuminated only by the search lamps. The scene was chaotic, crew members were shouting and darting around as the captain attempted to turn the boat inspite of the rough conditions. For anyone with a basic understanding of the physics of a boat you will be aware that having your vessel port or starboard against a turbulant swell can be dangerous. It’s always far more stable to face the waves head on unless absolutely necessary. This was an emergency though and the risk to life justified the dangerous manouvre. As soon as we began the turn I instantly felt the boat lurch violently and was forced to brace myself. I was struggling to keep eyes on Damien, his body having now drifted to around twenty metres from our position. He didn’t appear to be moving and I knew we were running out of time. While drowning was a very real concern there is a secondary danger that many wouldn’t even consider. The average water temperature for our particular location was a bone chilling 1 degree Celsius or 33 degrees Faherheit if that is you preferred method of measurement. The initial shock of hitting water that cold can send the body into shock and prolonged exposure will quickly cause the shutdown of your vital organs. Damien had now been in the water for around two minutes and time was fast running out. While conditions had been rough prior to him going overboard it now seemed like they had worsened. The waves were cresting higher, the wind had picked up to a howl and the vessel was being thrown around like it weighed absolutely nothing. Finally we were oriented correctly and the boat engine roared as we charged toward our fallen crewman. I stood motionless, my eyes fixed on Damien. "Fifteen metres and closing... ten metres... 7 metres...5, 3, all stop!" Another life ring and guide rope was tossed toward the motionless body. He made no attempt to reach for them, his unconscious body bobbing and dipping on the waters surface. JoJo was leaning over the side, braced by the rest of the crew as he tried desperately to reach the lost soul. It still wasn’t enough and we were going to lose him. I knew what needed to be done! CHAPTER 6 I double checked my life jacket and took a deep breath. My heart was racing and I felt like I was going to be sick. "I’m going in for him" I screamed as loud as I could. The men looked back at me, fear and panic in their eyes before nodding solemnly. I’m not a religious man but I won’t lie, I said a little prayer before I left the relative safety of that deck. Without allowing myself any more time to talk myself out of it I swung my legs over the side and with one final gulp of air I pushed myself forward. Although I knew what to expect and have had numerous hours of survival training for the exact situation nothing quite prepares you for the moment you hit that icy cold water. The air was expelled from my lungs instantly as I disappeared beneath the surface. Panic and disorientation set in straight away as I kicked and swam as hard as I could to get my head above water. A strange thing happens when you’re submerged in near complete darkness. It’s suddenly very difficult to get your bearings and something so basic as ‘up’ is no longer a simple direction to ascertain. The thought briefly entered my mind that I might even be swimming downwards toward certain death, my fears quickly allayed as a caught a glimpse of the search light on the surface as the crew scanned for me. I was likely only beneath the water for mere moments but to me it felt so much longer. I broke through the water into the chilly morning air gasping for breath and internally thanking any greater power that may be listening for keeping an eye on me down there. Now that I was alive I cast my eyes toward the shape bobbing on the water a few metres from me. The clock was ticking and we both needed to get out of here right now. My muscles ached as I began to swim toward Damien. I knew there was a very real chance I was about to meet a corpse but whether or not that was the case I would not leave a man behind. After what felt like an age I was within grasping distance of him. I wrapped my now numb fingers around the neck of his bright orange life jacket and pulled with all of my might. "Damien! Damien can you hear me? Fuck Damien c’mon buddy , you have to help me here!" I screamed , my voice barely audible over the crashing waves that battered us both. Damien was facing away from me and I remember wanting to check on him but I was struggling to keep a grip of his jacket while staying afloat. I’d get him on board first and then we could do what needed to be done. In my peripheral vision I saw another guide line thrown by the crew with a ring attached. I desperately grabbed for it with my free hand, my head briefly dipping into the icy waters once more. With Damien in one hand and the ring in the other I turned my attention back toward my stricken crewman. I will never forget what I saw in the following moments for as long as I live. Damien was now looking right at me, his eyes wide with fear. He was trying to say something but no sound was coming from his mouth. "I’ve got you pal, just hang in there. I’m not gonna let go, just hang in there!" He didn’t react to my words as all. His expression frozen, eyes still wide and unblinking, mouth still moving as he tried to force words out. I pulled with all of my strength as I tried to bring Damien and the life ring together. He felt unnaturally heavy, his body refusing to shift even a little despite my straining muscles. Something felt very wrong here yet I couldn’t work out why. At that moment the sun began to appear over the distant horizon. Light slowly filling the vast emptiness of the ocean around us. The crew released more line and I pulled the ring to Damien’s side. I began to wrap my legs around his body, the extra buoyancy from the ring allowing me to briefly stop kicking. It was at this exact moment that two things happened that I cannot explain. With roughly 12,000 feet of empty, desolate abyss below me I did not expect to meet any solid resistance as I wrapped myself around Damien yet that’s exactly what happened. I made contact with something solid. It felt like concrete and I winced as I felt the flesh on my shin tear. At this very moment Damiens expression changed to one of absolute terror and he opened his mouth to speak once more. "It won’t let me go! You have to Get out of here now!" His voice was clear and calm, the cacophony of the waves crashing seemed to fade as he said these words to me. In an instant he was ripped from my grip, his body disappearing straight down beneath the surface. I didn’t understand what was happening but a feeling of absolute dread filled every ounce of my being. Shivering and exhausted I let go of the life ring and plunged beneath the waters. I could see Damien, his descent deeply unnatural as he locked eyes with me. Just beyond his rapidly vanishing body I saw something else as well. In the endless darkness below I could see a shadow. Whatever it was this creature was enormous , at least fifty metres across. This thing had Damien and there was nothing I could do. I watched for a moment longer as he disappeared into the darkness below, his eyes locked on mine until he was gone, into the depths forever. I don’t think I’ve ever swam faster than I did that day as I made my way back to the vessel. My heart pounding, being pushed forward on adrenaline and instinct alone. CHAPTER 7 The following weeks involved various inquiries and endless questions. The coastguard mounted several searches for a body but nothing was ever recovered. I knew it wouldn’t. Whatever had taken Damien would have made sure of that. I didn’t even know what to tell people when they asked what happpened. How do you explain something like that? Ultimately it was put down to an unfortunate accident, just another soul lost to the terrifying might of our oceans. I was called a hero for what I did. They said I showed incredible bravery by going in after Damien and that I could have been killed. I didn’t feel like a hero, I was a coward. I was so scared of what I saw on that morning, ninety miles from anywhere. I knew then that I would never go back out there. It has been said that we know more about the surface of our moon than we do about the bodies of water that surround our planet and now I think I understand this. There are deep, untouched areas of our seas and oceans and we have no idea what lives down there. What I do know is that there is something huge, filled with malice and with an ancient intelligence that lurks in the dark depths of the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll never go near the water again, I can’t and you shouldn’t either!
New Kitten Question my partner and i just got a kitten 3 days ago from an acquaintance of mine. her husband found the kitten with her foot tied up in one of his fishing lines/nets. they took her to the vet and the leg was swollen and raw, they feared she would lose it. but it has healed very nicely, just some rawness around the front of the paw. they applied neosporin and she’s back to normal. she’s only about 7-8 weeks old, but they had already litter box trained her. she’s absolutely adorable and so so sweet. we have a 5 year old american eskimo/shetland sheepdog mix (18 lbs) who is a rather nervous dog but adores other animals. he’s been really good with her, but struggled at first with understanding his own strength. now he’s a lot more gentle with her and they were even cuddling this morning. she follows him everywhere and i can tell they’re going to be best buddies one day. they play all the time and there are plenty of spots in our home out of reach to him if she feels overwhelmed. my partner and i both work full time, and the dog goes in his kennel during the day. he does well in there, and i want to keep her contained to one room when we’re gone during the day until she’s a bit older. my question is, can i put her in the same room as the dog? he’s kenneled and she would have the entire room, so nothing bad could happen, but i also don’t want to make him more nervous or have him barking throughout the day. but i also don’t want her to get lonely when we’re gone during the day, and i thought this could potentially be a way for them to keep each other company? let me know if this is feasible or if i should stick her in another room. i just want to do what’s best for her development.
my partner and i just got a kitten 3 days ago from an acquaintance of mine. her husband found the kitten with her foot tied up in one of his fishing lines/nets. they took her to the vet and the leg was swollen and raw, they feared she would lose it. but it has healed very nicely, just some rawness around the front of the paw. they applied neosporin and she’s back to normal. she’s only about 7-8 weeks old, but they had already litter box trained her. she’s absolutely adorable and so so sweet. we have a 5 year old american eskimo/shetland sheepdog mix (18 lbs) who is a rather nervous dog but adores other animals. he’s been really good with her, but struggled at first with understanding his own strength. now he’s a lot more gentle with her and they were even cuddling this morning. she follows him everywhere and i can tell they’re going to be best buddies one day. they play all the time and there are plenty of spots in our home out of reach to him if she feels overwhelmed. my partner and i both work full time, and the dog goes in his kennel during the day. he does well in there, and i want to keep her contained to one room when we’re gone during the day until she’s a bit older. my question is, can i put her in the same room as the dog? he’s kenneled and she would have the entire room, so nothing bad could happen, but i also don’t want to make him more nervous or have him barking throughout the day. but i also don’t want her to get lonely when we’re gone during the day, and i thought this could potentially be a way for them to keep each other company? let me know if this is feasible or if i should stick her in another room. i just want to do what’s best for her development.
2020.05.31 20:25 jcollywobbleWhich part of the UK produces the best footballers? (Experiment) (Part 4)
Here we are again, with my penultimate post relating to this experiment. I will reveal the final five teams below and will also introduce a prediction game in which you can to predict how the season will pan out once I simulate on FM. If you’re new to this and how it will work, have a look at the previous three posts below. Part 1 – Explains how the experiment will work and reveals the first five teams. Part 2 – Reveal of Teams 5-10 and maps of the split of the regions. Part 3 – Reveal of Teams 10-15. As someone quite rightly pointed out in the previous post, Chris Wilder should have been made manager of the South Yorkshire & Humber team rather than Neil Warnock (I originally wrongly had Wilder down as the manager of the North & West Yorkshire team), so that’s been changed for the experiment going forward. Moving on to the teams, featuring the remainder of the English Counties and the Scottish and Northern Irish contingent, we have some interesting names including a certain Borussia Dortmund striker, the most successful British football manager of all time and a handful of Champions League winners. __________ Team 16 – North & West Yorks’ -North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire – Population: 3,434,422 Media Prediction: 10th - Title Odds: 40-1 Manager – Steve McClaren (York, Unemployed) https://preview.redd.it/3r46ld1675251.png?width=565&format=png&auto=webp&s=7192df704e8b6d1c37de9a355842a6ef333cee44 Likely Starting XI The region of Yorkshire would have finished 12th in the 2012 Olympics medal table if considered an independent country, the impressive production of line of sportsmen also includes some decent footballers as shown by the quality included within the South Yorkshire team. The North & West Yorkshire team doesn’t quite have the same level of ability however does boast some exciting names. Steve McClaren, nicknamed ‘the wally with the brolly’ as part of his unsuccessful spell as England manager failing to qualify for Euro 2008, will manage the North & West Yorks’ side. McClaren has managed in Germany, Holland and England since then and guided FC Twente to their first ever Eredivisie title in 2009. Since then, he has rather unsuccessful spells at the likes of Newcastle, QPR and Wolfsburg. The standout name within this team is the Norwegian wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland, who surprisingly was born in Leeds when his Dad Alfe-Inge was playing for Leeds in the late nineties. Haaland has been an absolute revelation in the past year and has scored for fun, even since joining Dortmund he has in averaging almost a goal a game. Haaland will be part of an exciting young attacking trio alongside Mason Greenwood and Oli McBurnie which will certainly be full of raw talent and ability with an enormous amount of potential. Amongst the rest of the team, James Milner is the most experienced player by a long way, Milner seems to get better with age and will probably put in a decent shift in any position with McClaren chooses to deploy him. Fabian Delph and Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips will form a tireless midfield duo and are both arguably premier league standard players who will make a big impact in the team. Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook who has been once capped for England will also throw his name in the hat to be a part of McClaren’s starting midfield. In defence, Norwich’s Ben Godfrey looks to be the standout player (apart from Milner) and will probably partner either Andre Wisdom or Connor Goldson at the back depending what system McClaren adopts. The number one shirt will go to Cardiff’s Alex Smithies, who has featured 21 times for Cardiff in the championship in the year so far and will offer a reliable choice in net, although probably won’t do anything spectacular. Haalands goals alongside Miners experience could prove vital to McClaren’s men having a good season as there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of quality to warrant a better finish than the currently predicted 10th place __________ Team 17 – North-East & Borders - County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, East Midlothian, Edinburgh City, Midlothian, Scottish Borders - Population: 3,127,298 Media Prediction: 11th - Title Odds: 45-1 Manager – Gordon Strachan (Edinburgh, Unemployed) https://preview.redd.it/0ffhm8ma75251.png?width=551&format=png&auto=webp&s=2ff11e279d01dc2e02544417d30f2c4e1d459d6b Likely Starting XI The North-East of England is a football mad region which has produced amazing players in the past, including the likes of Chris Waddle, Gazza, Peter Beardsley, Michael Carrick and of course the legendary Alan Shearer. In terms of the Scottish contingent of the squad, Edinburgh is less known for producing football players compared to the other big Scottish city Glasgow, however the manager, Edinburgh-born Gordon Strachan will be representing the Scots. Out of the 25 players, only 3 Scottish born players make the squad, all of whom will probably be fringe players. The squad unfortunately doesn’t match the level of ability of its predecessors from the region. Sunderland academy products Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson, who lifted the champions league trophy last year, are the two stand out players from this region. Pickford has been England’s first choice goalkeeper for the past few years and is one of the better keepers in this league. Alongside Henderson in the midfield will be one of the Longstaff brothers who have both came through the Newcastle academy. Sean had his breakthrough season last season whilst brother Matty has emerged within the current season. Both brothers are a similar type of player with younger brother, Matty has a bit more energy and probably offers a more balanced option alongside Henderson. Another Borussia Dortmund youngster who was born in the UK, Giovanni Reyna, features in the attacking midfield. Gio was born in Sunderland of all places, when his Dad Claudio was playing in the North-East. Reyna is predicted to start in the number ten role behind either Leigh Griffiths or 9 time England capped and £35m man (at one point) Andy Carroll. Carroll has largely had a career of injuries and under-performances since his big money move to Liverpool but will always be a handful for defenders. In defence, the squad features some decent premier league players, including the likes of Ben Gibson, Chris Basham, Dan Burn and Welsh international Paul Dummett. Unfortunately, the strength in defence is largely in the central positions with the full back positions looking a lot weaker by comparison. Overall a decent team that should be in and around the mid table positions come the end of the season. Pickford and the defence should hope to keep the clean sheets to take the pressure off the attacking part of the team. __________ Team 18 – N.I & SW Scotland - Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire- Population: 3,082,203 Media Prediction: 13th - Title Odds: 150-1 Manager – Brendan Rodgers (Carnlough, Leicester City) https://preview.redd.it/wm5zkb0o75251.png?width=538&format=png&auto=webp&s=1671f22d0ffe5785ff8420a1d4ab7dfee6673ba7 Likely Starting XI The team featuring Northern Ireland and my place of birth, I’ll be backing Rodgers’ men for when I come to simulate the season. I’ve also included Isle of Man (who technically aren’t in the UK, but I’ve thrown them in for the inclusion of a particular player. As mentioned, Brendan Rodgers will take charge of this team which could’ve had either Martin or Michael O’Neill at the helm and he will be hoping to take this team higher than their predicted finish of 13th. The squad has a wealth of international experience featuring 743 international caps between them from players representing Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The squad’s composition is made up of 14 Northern Irishmen, 10 Scots and the one player born in the Isle of Man, Kieran Tierney who plays his international football for Scotland. Tierney is probably the key player in the squad and there may have a been a bit of bias about his inclusion to boost the chances of this team. Nonetheless he is part of a decent defence which includes 3 time premier league winner and 80-time Northern Ireland capped Jonny Evans. Amongst the rest of defence, there is Watford’s Craig Cathcart, Brighton’s Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley. The midfield and attack are underwhelming and features only one player currently playing in the premier league. However, James Forrest offers a threat from the right wing and will be hoping to use his pace and trickery to full effect. On the other flank will probably be James McClean who no doubt would turn his nose up at representing this region if called upon in reality. Leading the line will be either of the ageing duo of Steven Naismith or Kyle Lafferty who would offer a more direct option for Rodgers’ men. Finally, in goal, Craig Gordon should provide a decent option and has played in the premier league in the past. Despite my allegainces to this team, I’m not too hopeful considering the squad above, but fingers crossed Brendan can work his magic and a top ten finish would be a success! __________ Team 19 – Northern Scotland - Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highlands, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Shetland Islands, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian - Population: 3,405,207 Media Prediction: 7th - Title Odds: 25-1 Manager – Alex Ferguson (Glasgow, Man United (Technical Director)) https://preview.redd.it/vv1kvxzt75251.png?width=564&format=png&auto=webp&s=1a9706ddaf93804892888362dff207a8735eeb65 Likely Starting XI Yes, that’s right, the most successful football manager of all time is coming out of retirement to participate in this experiment. I had some doubts over the inclusion of Fergie as he’s not technically still in management, nonetheless I thought I’d throw him in as he is still classed as being able to manage on FM and it could add another mini-experiment in the context of this to see how Fergie would do coming back to management with this type of squad at 78 years of age. The remaining counties of Scotland represent this team and, like the previous squad, has plenty of international of experience. Champions League winner and probably the best left back in the league, Andy Robertson, is the key player in this team and adds some quality to the defence which doesn’t appear to be anything special outside Robertson with the remaining defenders largely being at mid table SPL clubs. The midfield of this team is certainly the strength, FM predicts Celtic duo Callum McGregor and Scott Brown to sit in a pivot in front of the defence. Both players provide a balanced midfield and have experience playing in Celtic’s dominant spell in Scottish football. James McCarthy will also make a decent option if the managers decides to play with a three in midfield. In front of those two, will be an attacking trio of premier league players Ryan Fraser, Robert Snodgrass and Stefan Armstrong. Fraser, in particular, will be a threat with his direct running and ability to beat his man on the wing. The striker position, however, appears to be lacking quality. FM is predicting Dundee United man, Lawrence Shankland, to start upfront although Ferguson also has the option of Ross McCormack who has previously been prolific in the championship for both Leeds and Fulham. It will be interesting to see what effect the manager has on this team, theoretically the team should overperform with an excellent manager and that’s perhaps why they are predicted to finish 7th. __________ Team 20 – Western England - Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire - Population: 3,237,053 Media Prediction: 15th - Title Odds: 250-1 Manager – Adrian Heath (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Minnesota United) https://preview.redd.it/0h6tixrx75251.png?width=581&format=png&auto=webp&s=d2ebc7498c6e10c6822e476f56ac83b45528283f Likely Starting XI And, the final team in the experiment as you may have noticed is a strange combination of counties. This region was put together as the result of my mistake of having to construct a region made up of the qualifying population after incorrectly dividing the UK into 19 teams and having to pull a group of counties together from the other regions I’d already selected. Managing this team will be former Everton and Burnley footballer Adrian Heath. Heath has managed in the USA since 2008 after brief spells at Burnley and Sheffield United in the late nineties. An unfamiliar name to most in terms of management, it remains to be seen what impact he will have. Onto the players. At first glance the teams appear to be made up of a group of washed up premier league players with a sprinkle of young talent. Typifying this is the goalkeeping position, Joe Hart and Tom Heaton, will compete for the number one jersey alongside young Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale. It seems like most of the other regions would be begging for any one of these three considering the lack of ability in this position at most of the other teams. In defence, the trend continues with the likes of Stoke duo James Chester and Ryan Shawcross who are alongside Jack Robinson and Curtis Nelson in the centre back position. The squad has a decent amount of ability in the midfield, which includes Jesse Lingard who more well known for his off the field social media antics than his ability on the pitch. Bournemouth’s David Brooks will probably play behind the striker whilst another of Leicester’s title winners, Marc Albrighton, will play on the left. An ageing Steven Fletcher will probably play upfront with competition from Millwall’s Tom Bradshaw and Preston’s Louis Moult who don’t appear to be having great seasons to date. 15th is probably about right for this squad although the relative inexperience of Adrian Heath could have an impact on how the season goes. __________ I hope you’ve all enjoyed the reveal of the teams in the last four posts and my write-ups which have taken a fair bit of time. In the next post, I’ll be showing the results of the experiment which will be simulated in Football Manager 2020 and also the results of the prediction game. I thought it would be fun to predict what will happen in the simulation, so if you want to participate add a comment with your predictions for the following (I’ve added my guesses in too). The previous posts are linked at the top of this page if you want a refresher on who’s playing for who. The awards will be decided by FM as a result of the individual players performance over the course of the season and I will also be adding a cup competition which will probably be knockout-based to run alongside the league. __________ Predictions Top four (1 pt for Top four, 2 pt for correct position) 1. 2. 3. 4. Bottom three (1 pt for bottom three, 2pt for correct position) 18. 19. 20. Cup Winner - Player Awards: Top goalscorer - Most Assists – Most Clean sheets – Player of the Year – Manager of the Year – Young player of the Year -
2020.05.28 07:29 horticulturallatin[Breeds] Poodle or Rough/Smooth Collie
Each breed fits most of what my partner and I are looking for, neither do all of it, and they fit different aspects that are hard to weigh against each other. Interested in lived experience of anyone who's had either and even more anyone who's known both well. We have cats, want a breed likely to be good with children, and I do 5 km walking a day and enjoy hiking on weekends.
Collie advantages -
more off-switch. No Rough Collie person has implied they need more than 5 km a day and someone home most of the time.
Likelier to be good with kids and cats.
Highly trainable but not as "up"
a little less clever (which is good) and less jealous.
no shedding or allergy issues
more athletic and heat tolerant
can be kept clipped short and then it's both less brushing and no shedding
the miniature size may be versatile
We each have a preference and don't agree. We would be interested in takes on which is calmer, jealousy issues, which barks less, and any other thoughts. This is a hobby farm situation with someone home most of the time. Basically we are looking for an easy good PR family breed. We are counting all Poodle sizes but we are not counting Shetlands as mini Collies because our impression is they are not only separate breeds officially but more high-strung and generally busy and yappy. If you want to come out for Shelties please feel free. If you have a burning desire to suggest another breed go ahead, we have a couple backups on a list but please don't be offended if I reply with why we pared it off our list. Thank you in advance. I will always love my childhood/young adult breed but very few breeds would be less appropriate to my life now.
2020.04.22 22:20 Christwriter[Silver Bullet] - Part 2
Arthur Ramirez handed Casey a blanket. It was beige and a little rough; when she draped it over her shoulders some of the shakes went away. Blue and red lights splayed themselves across the white brick of her building. Radios squeeled like disembodied ghosts. Marco sat near her, so close she could feel his body heat on the prickling hairs of her arm. His head hung low and he rubbed the hole in his shirt pensively. Amber blood was on her clothes, on his. It was splattered on the concrete. Forensics worked over her car, trying to get the valuable silver bullet out of her trunk before they towed it away to the evidence lot. Yet they kept stepping over—or on—the stain of Faerie blood as if it were an oil spill, or soda syrup. Marco Creed, Casey thought, disgustedly. She should have pegged it as an assumed name immediately. He was an Elf. An elf. She jammed shaking hands between her knees. He even looked right. Blond. Ethereal. A little on the rugged side of pretty. She’d written about things like him for years. But that was just it. She’d made it all up. Her expectations shouldn’t be met by the real thing so very exactly. He even heals like he should, she thought, gazing at the blood puddle. Then at the black, angry hole in her car. Am I in shock because I’ve discovered a real Faerie, or because I’ve been shot at? She’d been more-or-less painlessly interviewed by a black, female detective. Now a brick wall sidled over to Marco. A chill seemed to spread over the parking lot. If Casey were casting good cop, bad cop, she’d keep this guy in the corner as an unspoken threat. Marco looked up, exhaustion hanging on every movement, and the detective said, “What’s your name, Kid?” Marco bristled. For an instant he wasn’t a willowy pretty boy, and the cop wasn’t the biggest, baddest thing on the parking lot. Detective Danger put a hand on his gun. Marco dropped his head, and when it came back up he was the twenty-something who worked on cars. The detective, however, didn’t relax. Faeries didn’t play nice with mortals, not even when they liked them. On some instinctive level, all humans knew it. “I’m Marco Creed.” He looked frazzled and completely harmless. "What are you doing here, Marco?" “I’m one of Arthur Ramirez’s buddies. I work at Anderson-Creed Auto that way.” He pointed. “We weren’t comfortable leaving the girls alone during night shift. I haven’t had anything to work on for a while, so I figured I could keep an eye out.” “Good Samaritan, huh?” the detective didn’t seem to buy it. “What happened to your shoulder?” Marco stopped rubbing it. “I hit it getting Ms. Winter out of the way. Concrete burn.” “Right.” The cop looked like a bloodhound on a scent. “You got a way I can verify your employment?” Marco paused for a moment. “You’re Richard Baker, right?” The detective nodded, and Marco pulled out his wallet. It was nondescript and gray, as was the card he fished out of a slot. When Baker read it, he flinched as if he’d been punched. His hand came off the gun as if the bullets were radioactive. “You should have told me that from the start.” He had backed up two steps, and looked as if he’d like to be much, much further away. “I don’t know Rachel’s contacts by face, sir. And I don’t like bringing the issue up when things aren’t related. As far as I know, this isn’t. Arthur expressed concern about the girls here, and I decided to keep an eye on them. I didn’t expect the shooters to actually arrive. When they did—” he shrugged. Who the hell is Rachel? Casey wondered. Baker also looked sharply at Marco. “They. Is that a PC observation, or did you actually see two people?” Marco paused, thinking. “I didn’t see gender, but the gun was in the rear driver’s side seat, and the car was rolling fast. Someone was driving. Someone else was pulling the trigger.” Whatever it was that scared Banks, it was immaterial now. He pulled out a cell phone and dialed, then waved Ramirez over. Arthur jogged it. “How’s she doing?” He asked, pointing at Casey. “Fine. Bruises, a couple scrapes. Yeah,” he said into the phone, and gave a long order to whoever was on the other end. He dropped the mouthpiece away from his mouth. “Lady, it’s none of my business, but if I were you I’d go work somewhere else.” The phone barked, and he gave a series of terse instructions, then turned to Marco. “Stay away from my officers, Creed. And don’t get involved in this case. It has nothing to do with you.” The detective turned on heel and walked away. Silence. Casey’s hands were shaking. Arthur looked as if he’d been strangled. Marco muttered, “I could piss in his cheerios too, if it’d make him feel better.” Just loud enough for the other two to hear. “I think somebody else beat you to it. Switch his talcum powder out with Gold Bond. He’d appreciate it better.” Casey said. Arthur coughed, a big grin on his face. “It’s, ah, already been done.” Their smiles faded quickly. "I’m sorry, Case. I should have sent someone over here on patrol at least. We were just so caught up with the other victim--" "Other victim?" Casey said, sharply. Marco’s head also snapped up. "Yeah. Little bitty girl, looked about nineteen. Street walker, not that it makes a difference when she looks so much like your little sister. One shot. Dead right there.” He stopped. Arthur was a big guy. Tough oozed out of his pores every time he worked up a sweat. His eyes watered, and he wiped at them. “I’d told her ten minutes before to get the hell off the street.” Casey embraced him, and the moment she touched skin his whole body began to shake. Marco’s soft hands touched both their shoulders. He also quivered as if his bones might come unglued. The warmth of his hands was no different than Arthur’s. At their touch, an earthquake began in her own spine. The same hole had been blown in all their lives. When they let go, her world made sense again. “What the hell did Banks mean, Marc?” Arthur asked, wiping his eyes. “How does he know you?” “A friend of mine worked with him on a previous case.” “That’s not enough to make him jump like you shot him.” Arthur said. “Oh, yes it is. Rachel Hunt isn’t good news, Arthur. If she ever needs something from you, call me or Banks and get the hell out of the way.” Marco reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of gum. A tow truck had come for Casey’s car. “Damn.” She sighed. It wasn’t much of a car—a well used Nissan with a tricky transmission—but it was hers, damn it. “I can give you a ride, or you can get a taxi home. Which one will it be?” Marco asked, casually. She winced. They weren’t being overly careful fastening the tow hook to the bumper. “Might as well take the devil I know. And I think I’d like the conversation on the ride home. I’ve got lots of questions.” “I’ll bet you do.” Marco put the gum back in his pocket. “Thanks for the evening, Arthur.” Arthur waved in response. He tried hard, but it’d be a long time before the police officer would remember how to smile. (2) Marco was an Elf who worked with cars. This gave Casey certain expectations. Elves were, after all, icons of grace and beauty. They supported life, environmentally friendly choices and vegetarianism. Marco lead her behind the gas station dumpster. She wanted to see a sleek silver Prius with “save the rainforest” “Nature is my church” and “I heart my hybrid” bumper stickers. But Marco unlocked the passenger door on a Ford F-350 diesel. If the sniper's car had been a black sedan bullet, all shark teeth and doll-eyes, this was a bull in fire-engine red. Subtle flames licked out of the tire wells, and a red tower had been airbrushed onto the hood. An image Casey recognized in her gut. She looked at Marco, accusingly. That was something from one of her stories, and was a little too detailed to be merely an artist’s rendering. “Yes. It’s King’s Tower at Cir’Feyon. I thought you might recognize it.” He opened the passenger side door and helped her into it. The insides were custom. White leather interior, carpet on the fine line between shag and sane. A stereo system that had all the bells and whistles. A handful of CDs sat in the change drawer. Blind Guardian, Epica, Modest Mouse and—she died a little inside—the Black Eyed Peas. Okay, everybody was entitled to their own tastes, but seriously? The Peas? “You get this on a mechanic’s salary?” She asked as Marco slung himself into the driver’s seat. “We’re not mechanics.” He said it quickly, as if this were an old conversation and he’d rather not have it again, thank you. “My partner and I mod cars. We’ll do tune-up work if we have to, if you’re a friend, and if ‘tune up’ means maybe replacing a spark plug and a couple gaskets that haven’t failed yet. I put a turbo in Arthur’s truck and Tim airbrushed a tiger on the side. That’s how we met.” “You must not drive this much.” She said. “It still smells new.” It was a five year old model. There wasn’t even a scratch on the dashboard. Marco smiled. He picked a screw out of the ash tray and, before Casey could protest, gouged the dashboard between their seats. Then he dropped the screw back in the ash tray and hovered his right hand over the wound. There were no lights, no motes of glowing dust to show what happened next. The plastic simply healed itself. “Good as new,” Marco said, satisfied. “If you remember what something looked like, you can bring that memory back. It helps if you still have the original object, of course. Things from home…not so much.” He sighed. “I can still do a great glass of beer from the tavern near my old home. I can’t remember the fruit, or the feel of sheets, or the sound of the birds. Not well enough to replicate them, anymore. They say the great ones’ memory never fades, but Raziel—Razielara, also known as Rachel Hunt, our leader—has it worse than I do. She’s been gone longer.” He glanced sideways at Casey. “And no, I won’t do that to your car.” “Why not?” Casey asked. “Because it’s a Nissan.” “Nissan makes great cars.” “Yes, they do. You didn’t buy one of them. It’ll be totaled if you scratch the paint job.” Marco turned the key. Dragon fire roared in the engine block and throbbed through the soles of her feet. He shifted into reverse and glanced over his shoulder. “Where do you live?” “Padre Island. Right on the coast, heading towards the park.” Padre Island National Park was a big tourist draw. Her grandfather had bought the land near it for pennies compared to the property value today. Someday soon, the taxes would be so high she’d have to sell. It wasn’t the land she wanted. It was the memories. “Um…you really are an…” she trailed off. She couldn’t just say it, after all. “An Elf?” He grinned through strands of long, blond hair. “You want me to scratch my car again to prove it?” “And you’re venerable to steel.” She enunciated carefully. He clicked on a blinker. “Yes. Which I’m not going to demo, so don’t ask.” “I wouldn’t. But how can you work on cars?” Marco sighed and rolled up his sleeves. Stripe-like scars raked the inner surface of his arm. One of them was wrench shaped and looked fresh. “I’m careful. And I hired Tim, my partner, to lug pig iron for me. Only he proved to be better in the creative department than I am. It’s his paint on the hood. Besides, I’d have missed digging around under the hoods. Anderson-Creed is my life, these days. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” He steered the truck through a right turn that, on a different night, would have landed him with a ticket. “You’re amused?” “I wouldn’t have made an Elf a car man.” Casey said, grinning. Then her smile dropped completely. Oh, god. She’d never even considered this. “Um…ah… Am I your…uh….creator?” Her mouth had gone dry. Marco threw his head back and laughed. The car stayed on a straight line, as if it were bolted to rails, but Casey still grabbed for the door’s oh-shit handle. “Oh, by all the gods and galaxies…no. No, you don’t have us on your conscience. Don’t worry.” Don’t worry? Excuse me? “How do you know it wouldn’t just be a huge ego trip?” “Because if you were that kind of person, you wouldn’t be working at a stop-and-rob on Leopard Street.” “I could just be trying to save up for my boob job.” Casey was brown hair, brown eyes, and flatter than most of Nebraska. She sighed. “So the fact that I write about Elves, and the fact that you are an elf, are just total coincidences.” She looked out the window for a second. “Alright. I can do that.” Marco sighed. “Raziel’s gonna kill me,” he muttered. “No. It’s not just coincidence. You didn’t create us, but…” he signaled a lane change, made it, and said “You have a gift. We don’t know how it works, because there aren’t a lot of people like you in the universe. The Faerie don’t share your ability, either. I can’t teach you how to use it, or explain how you have it at all. But it’s like you have a window into another world. My world.” He paused a long time. Streetlights ticked by. “Ambercross.” Casey’s pulse fluttered like a trapped bird. “I made Ambercross up when I was sixteen. I wrote it on two sheets of lined paper I have framed on my office wall at home.” “I’m glad you found that outlet for it. Most people think they’ve gone insane. I’d guess that, Earthside, there were probably four or five other people in the history of the world that had your gift. Because you’ve also got talent for writing, you’ve cherry-picked the interesting things in my world…though you did make a lot of it up out of whole cloth. The Dark Wars were real, but that Leythorne guy…you made him up. Plus you have this pro-mortal slant that just…” he stopped, and smiled sheepishly. “Favorite drinking conversation. Sorry. Anyway, creative license aside, you’ve gotten a lot of things about Ambercross right. Too much for it to be coincidence, or sourced from Earthside lore.” “Like what?” She asked, a little impatiently. The sky was lightening. It was almost seven AM now. “The name Ambercross, for one. The Elestrin race. That’s what humans used to call the Wild Hunt. Herne the Hunter and all that. The Dark Wars between Faer and the royal Council. You have a real bead on Ambercross. It encouraged us a lot.” “Us?” “Yeah.” He dodged a slow moving Lincoln. “There’s quite a few Faerie trapped Earthside. Most of us are immortals. There aren’t enough of us to support a pure breeding population, and mixed breeds are rare. There’s a few colonies, though. The Merrow colony in Shetland. A dwarven settlement in Arkansas. And the Phooka group in Russia, which most of the other cities won’t even touch. The Earth-born Faerie aren’t all that different from Earth-born humans. It’s all they know. For the Faerie born.” He shrugged .”We drive cars, we own homes, we pay taxes, and if we get homesick, we read your books. And if we don’t read them, we’re still buying them and keeping them around. It isn’t much, no offence, but it’s all we have.” He looked at her with those dreamboat eyes of his. “How can you be here?” She asked. He thought for a minute before answering. "You're not the only person with this gift. There’s at least one other person with it, somewhere. It takes two people to make your gift work as intended. Odds are, you’ll never meet him. If you do, though, the two of you could create a doorway from Earth to Ambercross. That’s how all of us got here. Wandered through the wrong door by mistake, and got caught in your world until it was too late to leave. I came over maybe ten years ago, and by the time I tracked down the guy who brought me here, he’d died.” There was so much pain in the car, Casey could have cut it into strips and deep fried it with jalapenos and cheese. “What if I found him? That other part of me. My…gift.” “You could take me home. But you won’t find him. Besides. I’m not the man I was back in Ambercross. Humans have corrupted me. I’ve got Anderson-Creed, Tim and his boyfriend are adopting a kid, so I’ve got to keep that going. I’m the guy Raziel depends on to keep Corpus’s Exiles from misbehaving when she’s gone…” he shrugged “I’m not Earthborn, but I am Earth-bound.” Not much she could say to that. "Why did you get involved tonight? There’s no way you could have known I’d get shot. And you were right. This isn’t Faerie business.” “I lied my ass off back there, sunshine. Rule one of being an Exile: Keep the humans happy. When humans get unhappy they start killing things. The Faerie can’t compete with you, so it’s usually a good idea to make sure our communities are successful and relatively trouble free. Because if things go wrong, and you find out about us…” he shrugged, then shifted lanes again. They were stuck behind the remnants of early morning construction. “And most of the Faerie are hunters. We behave ourselves, but it is open season on serial killers. My only issue with that is, some of us don’t care much about collateral damage.” “None of which,” Casey said, carefully, “explains why you were protecting me.” "Silver bullets.” Marco said. They were passing over the Laguna Madre, over to Flour Bluff. “Either a human knows about us or they’re psychotically insane. I’m willing to go with the former right now, because of the targets they chose. Also… “Raziel is the Elestrin in charge of Corpus Christi. She is good people, but really, really, really scary. She actively hunts murderers, anyone who abuses children. You know Jack the Ripper?” “Yeah,” Casey said. “She was too busy taking his head as a trophy to realize her doorway had closed behind her. That’s how she got stuck on Earth. If Raziel were here, the sniper would have died a long time ago. “But she’s not. We’ve got a minor emergency in Mexico, and Raziel got called to a meeting in Vegas for the last month. She can’t leave until it’s resolved, either. Looks to me like the sniper knew Raziel wasn’t going to be here to retaliate. The first guy was killed the day after she left. “And, other than the first two guys, the people murdered are aware of Faerie presence in the city. Amaya Hernandez worked very closely with Raziel—and if you want to talk about scary, that murder has Raziel fucking redlined. When they shot Amaya, something told me you’d eventually pop up on their list…and I was right. “More importantly, every one of the people killed, including the two guys at the start and the woman shot last night, had contact with the Exiles in Corpus Christi. “That makes it our problem.” Casey nodded and closed her eyes. “Can you pull over? I think I’m going to be sick.”
(Part 1) Arthur Ramirez handed Casey a blanket. It was beige and a little rough; when she draped it over her shoulders some of the shakes went away. Blue and red lights splayed themselves across the white brick of her building. Radios squeeled like disembodied ghosts. Marco sat near her, so close she could feel his body heat on the prickling hairs of her arm. His head hung low and he rubbed the hole in his shirt pensively. Amber blood was on her clothes, on his. It was splattered on the concrete. Forensics worked over her car, trying to get the valuable silver bullet out of her trunk before they towed it away to the evidence lot. Yet they kept stepping over—or on—the stain of Faerie blood as if it were an oil spill, or soda syrup. Marco Creed, Casey thought, disgustedly. She should have pegged it as an assumed name immediately. He was an Elf. An elf. She jammed shaking hands between her knees. He even looked right. Blond. Ethereal. A little on the rugged side of pretty. She’d written about things like him for years. But that was just it. She’d made it all up. Her expectations shouldn’t be met by the real thing so very exactly. He even heals like he should, she thought, gazing at the blood puddle. Then at the black, angry hole in her car. Am I in shock because I’ve discovered a real Faerie, or because I’ve been shot at? She’d been more-or-less painlessly interviewed by a black, female detective. Now a brick wall sidled over to Marco. A chill seemed to spread over the parking lot. If Casey were casting good cop, bad cop, she’d keep this guy in the corner as an unspoken threat. Marco looked up, exhaustion hanging on every movement, and the detective said, “What’s your name, Kid?” Marco bristled. For an instant he wasn’t a willowy pretty boy, and the cop wasn’t the biggest, baddest thing on the parking lot. Detective Danger put a hand on his gun. Marco dropped his head, and when it came back up he was the twenty-something who worked on cars. The detective, however, didn’t relax. Faeries didn’t play nice with mortals, not even when they liked them. On some instinctive level, all humans knew it. “I’m Marco Creed.” He looked frazzled and completely harmless. "What are you doing here, Marco?" “I’m one of Arthur Ramirez’s buddies. I work at Anderson-Creed Auto that way.” He pointed. “We weren’t comfortable leaving the girls alone during night shift. I haven’t had anything to work on for a while, so I figured I could keep an eye out.” “Good Samaritan, huh?” the detective didn’t seem to buy it. “What happened to your shoulder?” Marco stopped rubbing it. “I hit it getting Ms. Winter out of the way. Concrete burn.” “Right.” The cop looked like a bloodhound on a scent. “You got a way I can verify your employment?” Marco paused for a moment. “You’re Richard Baker, right?” The detective nodded, and Marco pulled out his wallet. It was nondescript and gray, as was the card he fished out of a slot. When Baker read it, he flinched as if he’d been punched. His hand came off the gun as if the bullets were radioactive. “You should have told me that from the start.” He had backed up two steps, and looked as if he’d like to be much, much further away. “I don’t know Rachel’s contacts by face, sir. And I don’t like bringing the issue up when things aren’t related. As far as I know, this isn’t. Arthur expressed concern about the girls here, and I decided to keep an eye on them. I didn’t expect the shooters to actually arrive. When they did—” he shrugged. Who the hell is Rachel? Casey wondered. Baker also looked sharply at Marco. “They. Is that a PC observation, or did you actually see two people?” Marco paused, thinking. “I didn’t see gender, but the gun was in the rear driver’s side seat, and the car was rolling fast. Someone was driving. Someone else was pulling the trigger.” Whatever it was that scared Banks, it was immaterial now. He pulled out a cell phone and dialed, then waved Ramirez over. Arthur jogged it. “How’s she doing?” He asked, pointing at Casey. “Fine. Bruises, a couple scrapes. Yeah,” he said into the phone, and gave a long order to whoever was on the other end. He dropped the mouthpiece away from his mouth. “Lady, it’s none of my business, but if I were you I’d go work somewhere else.” The phone barked, and he gave a series of terse instructions, then turned to Marco. “Stay away from my officers, Creed. And don’t get involved in this case. It has nothing to do with you.” The detective turned on heel and walked away. Silence. Casey’s hands were shaking. Arthur looked as if he’d been strangled. Marco muttered, “I could piss in his cheerios too, if it’d make him feel better.” Just loud enough for the other two to hear. “I think somebody else beat you to it. Switch his talcum powder out with Gold Bond. He’d appreciate it better.” Casey said. Arthur coughed, a big grin on his face. “It’s, ah, already been done.” Their smiles faded quickly. "I’m sorry, Case. I should have sent someone over here on patrol at least. We were just so caught up with the other victim--" "Other victim?" Casey said, sharply. Marco’s head also snapped up. "Yeah. Little bitty girl, looked about nineteen. Street walker, not that it makes a difference when she looks so much like your little sister. One shot. Dead right there.” He stopped. Arthur was a big guy. Tough oozed out of his pores every time he worked up a sweat. His eyes watered, and he wiped at them. “I’d told her ten minutes before to get the hell off the street.” Casey embraced him, and the moment she touched skin his whole body began to shake. Marco’s soft hands touched both their shoulders. He also quivered as if his bones might come unglued. The warmth of his hands was no different than Arthur’s. At their touch, an earthquake began in her own spine. The same hole had been blown in all their lives. When they let go, her world made sense again. “What the hell did Banks mean, Marc?” Arthur asked, wiping his eyes. “How does he know you?” “A friend of mine worked with him on a previous case.” “That’s not enough to make him jump like you shot him.” Arthur said. “Oh, yes it is. Rachel Hunt isn’t good news, Arthur. If she ever needs something from you, call me or Banks and get the hell out of the way.” Marco reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of gum. A tow truck had come for Casey’s car. “Damn.” She sighed. It wasn’t much of a car—a well used Nissan with a tricky transmission—but it was hers, damn it. “I can give you a ride, or you can get a taxi home. Which one will it be?” Marco asked, casually. She winced. They weren’t being overly careful fastening the tow hook to the bumper. “Might as well take the devil I know. And I think I’d like the conversation on the ride home. I’ve got lots of questions.” “I’ll bet you do.” Marco put the gum back in his pocket. “Thanks for the evening, Arthur.” Arthur waved in response. He tried hard, but it’d be a long time before the police officer would remember how to smile. (2) Marco was an Elf who worked with cars. This gave Casey certain expectations. Elves were, after all, icons of grace and beauty. They supported life, environmentally friendly choices and vegetarianism. Marco lead her behind the gas station dumpster. She wanted to see a sleek silver Prius with “save the rainforest” “Nature is my church” and “I heart my hybrid” bumper stickers. But Marco unlocked the passenger door on a Ford F-350 diesel. If the sniper's car had been a black sedan bullet, all shark teeth and doll-eyes, this was a bull in fire-engine red. Subtle flames licked out of the tire wells, and a red tower had been airbrushed onto the hood. An image Casey recognized in her gut. She looked at Marco, accusingly. That was something from one of her stories, and was a little too detailed to be merely an artist’s rendering. “Yes. It’s King’s Tower at Cir’Feyon. I thought you might recognize it.” He opened the passenger side door and helped her into it. The insides were custom. White leather interior, carpet on the fine line between shag and sane. A stereo system that had all the bells and whistles. A handful of CDs sat in the change drawer. Blind Guardian, Epica, Modest Mouse and—she died a little inside—the Black Eyed Peas. Okay, everybody was entitled to their own tastes, but seriously? The Peas? “You get this on a mechanic’s salary?” She asked as Marco slung himself into the driver’s seat. “We’re not mechanics.” He said it quickly, as if this were an old conversation and he’d rather not have it again, thank you. “My partner and I mod cars. We’ll do tune-up work if we have to, if you’re a friend, and if ‘tune up’ means maybe replacing a spark plug and a couple gaskets that haven’t failed yet. I put a turbo in Arthur’s truck and Tim airbrushed a tiger on the side. That’s how we met.” “You must not drive this much.” She said. “It still smells new.” It was a five year old model. There wasn’t even a scratch on the dashboard. Marco smiled. He picked a screw out of the ash tray and, before Casey could protest, gouged the dashboard between their seats. Then he dropped the screw back in the ash tray and hovered his right hand over the wound. There were no lights, no motes of glowing dust to show what happened next. The plastic simply healed itself. “Good as new,” Marco said, satisfied. “If you remember what something looked like, you can bring that memory back. It helps if you still have the original object, of course. Things from home…not so much.” He sighed. “I can still do a great glass of beer from the tavern near my old home. I can’t remember the fruit, or the feel of sheets, or the sound of the birds. Not well enough to replicate them, anymore. They say the great ones’ memory never fades, but Raziel—Razielara, also known as Rachel Hunt, our leader—has it worse than I do. She’s been gone longer.” He glanced sideways at Casey. “And no, I won’t do that to your car.” “Why not?” Casey asked. “Because it’s a Nissan.” “Nissan makes great cars.” “Yes, they do. You didn’t buy one of them. It’ll be totaled if you scratch the paint job.” Marco turned the key. Dragon fire roared in the engine block and throbbed through the soles of her feet. He shifted into reverse and glanced over his shoulder. “Where do you live?” “Padre Island. Right on the coast, heading towards the park.” Padre Island National Park was a big tourist draw. Her grandfather had bought the land near it for pennies compared to the property value today. Someday soon, the taxes would be so high she’d have to sell. It wasn’t the land she wanted. It was the memories. “Um…you really are an…” she trailed off. She couldn’t just say it, after all. “An Elf?” He grinned through strands of long, blond hair. “You want me to scratch my car again to prove it?” “And you’re venerable to steel.” She enunciated carefully. He clicked on a blinker. “Yes. Which I’m not going to demo, so don’t ask.” “I wouldn’t. But how can you work on cars?” Marco sighed and rolled up his sleeves. Stripe-like scars raked the inner surface of his arm. One of them was wrench shaped and looked fresh. “I’m careful. And I hired Tim, my partner, to lug pig iron for me. Only he proved to be better in the creative department than I am. It’s his paint on the hood. Besides, I’d have missed digging around under the hoods. Anderson-Creed is my life, these days. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” He steered the truck through a right turn that, on a different night, would have landed him with a ticket. “You’re amused?” “I wouldn’t have made an Elf a car man.” Casey said, grinning. Then her smile dropped completely. Oh, god. She’d never even considered this. “Um…ah… Am I your…uh….creator?” Her mouth had gone dry. Marco threw his head back and laughed. The car stayed on a straight line, as if it were bolted to rails, but Casey still grabbed for the door’s oh-shit handle. “Oh, by all the gods and galaxies…no. No, you don’t have us on your conscience. Don’t worry.” Don’t worry? Excuse me? “How do you know it wouldn’t just be a huge ego trip?” “Because if you were that kind of person, you wouldn’t be working at a stop-and-rob on Leopard Street.” “I could just be trying to save up for my boob job.” Casey was brown hair, brown eyes, and flatter than most of Nebraska. She sighed. “So the fact that I write about Elves, and the fact that you are an elf, are just total coincidences.” She looked out the window for a second. “Alright. I can do that.” Marco sighed. “Raziel’s gonna kill me,” he muttered. “No. It’s not just coincidence. You didn’t create us, but…” he signaled a lane change, made it, and said “You have a gift. We don’t know how it works, because there aren’t a lot of people like you in the universe. The Faerie don’t share your ability, either. I can’t teach you how to use it, or explain how you have it at all. But it’s like you have a window into another world. My world.” He paused a long time. Streetlights ticked by. “Ambercross.” Casey’s pulse fluttered like a trapped bird. “I made Ambercross up when I was sixteen. I wrote it on two sheets of lined paper I have framed on my office wall at home.” “I’m glad you found that outlet for it. Most people think they’ve gone insane. I’d guess that, Earthside, there were probably four or five other people in the history of the world that had your gift. Because you’ve also got talent for writing, you’ve cherry-picked the interesting things in my world…though you did make a lot of it up out of whole cloth. The Dark Wars were real, but that Leythorne guy…you made him up. Plus you have this pro-mortal slant that just…” he stopped, and smiled sheepishly. “Favorite drinking conversation. Sorry. Anyway, creative license aside, you’ve gotten a lot of things about Ambercross right. Too much for it to be coincidence, or sourced from Earthside lore.” “Like what?” She asked, a little impatiently. The sky was lightening. It was almost seven AM now. “The name Ambercross, for one. The Elestrin race. That’s what humans used to call the Wild Hunt. Herne the Hunter and all that. The Dark Wars between Faer and the royal Council. You have a real bead on Ambercross. It encouraged us a lot.” “Us?” “Yeah.” He dodged a slow moving Lincoln. “There’s quite a few Faerie trapped Earthside. Most of us are immortals. There aren’t enough of us to support a pure breeding population, and mixed breeds are rare. There’s a few colonies, though. The Merrow colony in Shetland. A dwarven settlement in Arkansas. And the Phooka group in Russia, which most of the other cities won’t even touch. The Earth-born Faerie aren’t all that different from Earth-born humans. It’s all they know. For the Faerie born.” He shrugged .”We drive cars, we own homes, we pay taxes, and if we get homesick, we read your books. And if we don’t read them, we’re still buying them and keeping them around. It isn’t much, no offence, but it’s all we have.” He looked at her with those dreamboat eyes of his. “How can you be here?” She asked. He thought for a minute before answering. "You're not the only person with this gift. There’s at least one other person with it, somewhere. It takes two people to make your gift work as intended. Odds are, you’ll never meet him. If you do, though, the two of you could create a doorway from Earth to Ambercross. That’s how all of us got here. Wandered through the wrong door by mistake, and got caught in your world until it was too late to leave. I came over maybe ten years ago, and by the time I tracked down the guy who brought me here, he’d died.” There was so much pain in the car, Casey could have cut it into strips and deep fried it with jalapenos and cheese. “What if I found him? That other part of me. My…gift.” “You could take me home. But you won’t find him. Besides. I’m not the man I was back in Ambercross. Humans have corrupted me. I’ve got Anderson-Creed, Tim and his boyfriend are adopting a kid, so I’ve got to keep that going. I’m the guy Raziel depends on to keep Corpus’s Exiles from misbehaving when she’s gone…” he shrugged “I’m not Earthborn, but I am Earth-bound.” Not much she could say to that. "Why did you get involved tonight? There’s no way you could have known I’d get shot. And you were right. This isn’t Faerie business.” “I lied my ass off back there, sunshine. Rule one of being an Exile: Keep the humans happy. When humans get unhappy they start killing things. The Faerie can’t compete with you, so it’s usually a good idea to make sure our communities are successful and relatively trouble free. Because if things go wrong, and you find out about us…” he shrugged, then shifted lanes again. They were stuck behind the remnants of early morning construction. “And most of the Faerie are hunters. We behave ourselves, but it is open season on serial killers. My only issue with that is, some of us don’t care much about collateral damage.” “None of which,” Casey said, carefully, “explains why you were protecting me.” "Silver bullets.” Marco said. They were passing over the Laguna Madre, over to Flour Bluff. “Either a human knows about us or they’re psychotically insane. I’m willing to go with the former right now, because of the targets they chose. Also… “Raziel is the Elestrin in charge of Corpus Christi. She is good people, but really, really, really scary. She actively hunts murderers, anyone who abuses children. You know Jack the Ripper?” “Yeah,” Casey said. “She was too busy taking his head as a trophy to realize her doorway had closed behind her. That’s how she got stuck on Earth. If Raziel were here, the sniper would have died a long time ago. “But she’s not. We’ve got a minor emergency in Mexico, and Raziel got called to a meeting in Vegas for the last month. She can’t leave until it’s resolved, either. Looks to me like the sniper knew Raziel wasn’t going to be here to retaliate. The first guy was killed the day after she left. “And, other than the first two guys, the people murdered are aware of Faerie presence in the city. Amaya Hernandez worked very closely with Raziel—and if you want to talk about scary, that murder has Raziel fucking redlined. When they shot Amaya, something told me you’d eventually pop up on their list…and I was right. “More importantly, every one of the people killed, including the two guys at the start and the woman shot last night, had contact with the Exiles in Corpus Christi. “That makes it our problem.” Casey nodded and closed her eyes. “Can you pull over? I think I’m going to be sick.” (Part 3)
2020.04.08 05:51 Boxeater-007I think double agent started the downfall, not conviction (story wise)
and here's why I say this. double agent had 2 versions, and top of that multiple ending paths and choices. if this was meant to be "the final splinter cell game" that would be fine, but it wasn't. I never played the next generation version, I know it had multiple endings compared to the ps2 version where there was only one. and conviction implies that the ps2 version was canon so that's what I'll be focusing on. it starts with sam and a field partner stopping terrorism as usual. but RIGHT before we can get the nuclear bomb element and stop the trade happening. Lambert pulls sam out because of the news of his daughter and the dialogue is as follows. nsa director: So just like that, he pulled you out? sam: my daughter, sara was killed. D: and how does that take priority over nationalsecurity? sam: it doesn't D: so you agree Lambert made a judgement error call? sam: I wont answer that. (the fact that these two converse about the entire events of the game AFTER the ending happens is kinda dumb but I'll get more into that later) double agent wanted sam to be broken, a man with nothing to lose who could play both sides, a fine premise and all, but pointless in this game. if Sara didn't "die" and lambert didn't decide to bail before finishing the mission, this whole game would have been prevented. So sam has to infiltrate the jba ranks and obtain the nuclear weapon and stop them etc... but, why? sam helps jba, finish building and testing the bombs. sure he can CHOOSE to thwart their plans and tests. but that's the player's choice. which in certain situations makes no sense. why be a double agent if you're goal is to just stop the jba's plan. Sam also literally infiltrates the HQ, TWICE. to bug sabotage the bombs, if he could do that, why even bother trying so hard to join them? and why not stop them sooner after he found their HQ? keep in mind, at this point, the NSA was not on board for double agent thing and lambert made it a go anyway. they had third echelons full support at this point. they even send other splinter cells to help stop jba in new york.. so again, being a double agent was pointless and only made things worse. but anyway, we get to New York. no matter how you played the game at this point, save lambert or not, nothing matters, the nsa director dude just goes. "ok, plan b, your cover is blown, kill everyone and disarm the bombs." sam is fine with this. the only person he didnt want dead was erica, because he got attached to her because she filled the void his dead daughter gave him. and some random cell killed her because she was rightfully (and unfortunately) labled as a terorist. at no point does sam ever get influenced or tempted to see the jba's side either, this can be seen when interrogating Jamie and Emile at the end. so it's not like sam turning into shetland or betraying 3E was forshadowed. it just ends with sam feeling like he lost everything and it's one guys fault, so he rages, kills a colleague, and swears vengeance against enricas death. already we are out of character for sam and now flash forward to the writers who have to make conviction. sure, they could have made better choices than what they did, but I dont blame them. after DA, who is sam Fisher? did he become a terrorist? did he just want to kill the director? who really died or lived? it ended on a big cliffhanger with no clear direction. which is probably why the whole sara didnt actually die plot happened. it just didnt make sense for sam to betray his whole career and ideals over one girls death, and even if it was, the game didnt show Sam's inner conflict enough. also sam digs his com chip out and walks away. but then talks to the man he felt betrayed by for like 2 hours explaining why he's going to come after him? conviction sam is supposed to be broken and angry, but why? he found out his daughter was alive. sure he got lied to about losing her, but it was for HIS and HER safety. its something to be annoyed about, but sam would understand, if anything hed gain a lot of respect for Lambert to do him a favor like that. but I think this all happened because DA set him up to be this way but there was no strong motivation to betray 3E since in that game they never really wronged him, he was never expendable or treated crappy aside from the fact that him and lambert were trying to disobey the director the entire game so that was to be expected. basically, conviction was set up for failure imo. Sam had to be written to be angry and rogue towards the nsa, but his opinions and values never changed, he still values the lives of innocents, he still upholds the law and cares about American. so that's probably why we see grim help sam in the literally the first seconds of the game. he has to be an angry rogue. but he also needs to be the good guy killing the bad guys and you get a big mess no matter which way you spin it.
2020.04.03 02:24 Hope915[EVENT] The Internationale Conference Concludes
In keeping with the tradition that began in 1866, the Internationale has held a successful conference. Paris, the epicenter of the old order’s great defeat, has birthed new life in the form of the modern revolutionary spirit, as it had done in past centuries. Now, with the great debates, speeches and secret meetings of military importance all concluded, the following consensus has been produced:
The Third Internationale is between a rock and a hard place policywise. It is the conference’s belief that our poor economic, foreign policy and logistical situations can only be remedied by taking certain political stances. Broadly-speaking, this means a focus on efficient autonomy and a very clear delineation between when things are more efficient top-down versus bottom-up.
Development of critical industries such as natural resource and war materials production should be top-down, because national decisiveness is key. Similarly, a presidential system is preferable in order to have a single figure able to make decisions that cannot wait for consensus. In regards to local and regional affairs, however, consensus should be built from the bottom up, via legislatures and representative groups. Market socialism is a natural extension of trade unionism, in order to spare administrative resources that would otherwise be wasted on micromanagement. Overall, federalism and municipalism are good options for making these power structures work, as a strong supplement for trade unions. This balance of decisiveness and consensus should provide the best manner from which to make viable revolutionary states.
We need to be open for diverse modes of thinking in order to make a broad enough coalition to facilitate our political aims. That means, broadly speaking, an end to the modern conceptualization of colonialism, which we’ve already signed onto. More importantly, we need to recognize that all people must be treated with equality of opportunity, as this is our chance to eke out the most from our limited amount of manpower. Primarily this is concerned with women’s rights, civil rights for oppressed groups, and better education/social services. Investments here will build support for our movement, give us more manpower and industrial power per capita, and increase productivity on an individual level. The revolution’s goals can also serve as the means of achieving them.
It is also worth considering the women’s revolution from a different angle than mere necessity. If our revolution is to be victorious, it cannot discard the rights of half of the population due merely to differences in anatomy. It is worth remembering that even in places where women’s political rights are heavily curtailed by patriarchal norms, they still hold massive sway due to the essential part they play in the fabric of all societies. If we appeal to the common woman with a genuine offer of liberation and the right to make their own choices, it is not only a huge victory for our revolution, but our moral and civic duty.
During the course of this conference, the so-called “Entente” nations have abandoned the last semblance of democratic norms they still had, unveiling them as the tyrants we already knew them to be. This course of events, combined with a reconciliation with less radical democratic movements in many countries, see the Internationale as the main proponents of true democracy in the world. We should take up this mantle with gusto, as we are up to the challenge of broadening our coalition and making nice with moderate allies when they are willing to make nice with us.
Those who espouse democratic socialism and social democracy are the most easily incorporated. While they do not necessarily espouse anarchist or syndicalist views on economics, a shared focus on public welfare and the common good makes our rhetoric a snug fit. Social liberals are perhaps a more challenging group, as they still adhere to many of the tenets of capitalism, especially the concept of a market system. However, their willingness to be open to social change and their firm belief in democracy being supreme over capitalism where the two conflict (in their eyes, at least) will give us openings to make appeals.
While it is certainly a much bigger tent ideologically than the revolution began with, we can make it work. It may also allow the revolution to make inroads if we portray our values in ways that our non-revolutionary fellows can understand. While we all agree with the concept of “negative freedoms”, or rights that can only be taken away - such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of public protest - the revolution’s ideals are often embodied in “positive freedoms”. These freedoms can only be attained by working together towards a common goal, such as freedom from hunger, freedom from want, and so forth.
Additionally, while the revolution is fundamentally secular, it is not opposed to religion in and of itself. This has not been made clear, usually due to fundamentalist propaganda rooted in fear of our economic stances but peddled in religious terminology. By establishing a firm separation of church and state without alienating the church, we will preserve both the revolution and the spiritual connection that many people have with their faith of choice. There will often be conflicts between the two, as many tenets of faith are somewhat outmoded, but these can be overcome without stamping religion out. This will both preserve the rights the revolution is meant to defend, and allow us lasting appeal with many of those who are of strong personal faith.
While much of this discussion about broadening the revolution has been met with derision from purists, it is a compromise that most seem willing to make.
The Third Internationale is critically isolated from essential resources required for war production. The Germans have a significant colonial empire, and the Entente has access to many critical resources simply due to the geographical size and wealth of their remaining overseas territories. The Third Internationale has neither of these things, and is in serious danger of being unable to compete for resources essential for war production. This must be rectified as soon as possible, both by removing the safety nets of our enemies and securing one for ourselves.
Oil is by far the most critical natural resource we have a paucity of. While synthetic oil production and coal cracking have broken critical ground, they still provide an absolutely paltry amount of refined oil for use or stockpiling. Exploration of Scottish shale deposits have also proven unsatisfactory for running a single peacetime economy, let alone two wartime ones. The best option currently is investment in Mexico’s troubled oil industry, which has struggled to find buyers ever since the US and Germany refused to trade with them. By investing in Mexico and building considerable storage facilities, we should have enough to weather the storm. Oil security, fortunately, is a problem that Germany also shares. If we’re able to isolate them from their tenuous connection to the oil fields in Baku, we can place the juggernaut into the troublesome situation we’re in, but with far less advance preparation.
Rubber is even more troublesome, and is crucial in significant quantity in order to run the vehicles which appear critical for modern war. Rubber is needed for planes, tanks, everything complex that acts in support of the infantry. We have virtually none, and even worse, the Germans control the lion’s share of world production between their colonial enterprises. Any revolts in rubber-rich areas should be given special consideration, and the fomenting of revolution in places like Indochina, Malaya, Siam, Ceylon and Equatorial Africa should be strongly encouraged. Additionally, if an allied regime can be created in Brazil, we could secure vast potential rubber resources with enough investment. Brazil would also be the safest bet logistically, with Germany able to largely disrupt or shut down rubber transfer from other areas. A special consideration should also be made for the Dutch East Indies, and support of a friendly Insulindian revolution could also provide an indigenous counter to Entente and German interests in the region. If we act quickly, we could also seed major rubber plantations in other viable zones of the Americas and Africa amenable to our trade, in order to provide auxiliary sources by the time the war is in full swing, but rubber trees take six years to grow.
Copper is another massive challenge. The Entente has many productive copper mines, as does the United States. The Internationale, meanwhile, has to rely mostly on mines in Cornwall that are likely to begin declining in output soon. Our best bet for competing is to exploit the considerable reserve in Chile, which indicates that we must secure Argentina to ensure the preservation of the Chilean regime. Additional sources could be secured in Spain or the United States if we’re lucky, and exploration of unproven reserves in Peru if their government is overthrown. Germany has active copper mines in places like Lubin, but it is unclear as to whether they would be sufficient to sustain a prolonged war.
With the second defeat of France, all of Lorraine now lies in Germany, her critical iron ore going with it. Italian ore production is insignificant, and British mines are largely uneconomical but can at least bolster her domestic steel demand. Chile, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Norway and Sweden are the most accessible producers, with potential for future expansion of the steel industry in India if Jharkhand can be held. Without these imports, war production will be implausible. Germany, meanwhile, has much of their ore production and steel industry near their frontlines in the Lorraine and Flemish-Wallonian Sillon Industriel, as well as the Ruhr. If war comes, it is possible that air power could provide a critical advantage in reducing the Reich’s warmaking capacity in this sector.
Bauxite production is minimal, which is unfortunate considering our significant potential for aluminum production. Hydroelectric facilities in Alpine France and Italy could produce considerable amounts of aluminum for planes if bauxite sources could be obtained. Most bauxite used commercially is currently exported from Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana and especially Australia, rendering it out of our grasp. However, there are also proven deposits in Arkansas that could be exploited by an allied America to greatly increase wartime aluminum throughput. Fortunately, Germany is in a similar predicament regarding aluminum accessibility, and knocking out their import sources in China and Brazil could help facilitate the crippling of their aeronautical industries. However, the Entente would be just as likely to sell to Germany for processing, rendering those efforts moot.
Cobalt is essential for catalysts, as well as various alloys. Unfortunately, we’re not in a great position regarding cobalt either. The US has some unproven reserves, but the main production sites available to us are in Cuba. It is possible that Chile could provide cobalt in the required amounts to feed our synthetic materials industries, but that is as yet uncertain.
The Union of Britain and Commune of France both produce considerable amounts of coal, but it tends to be mediocre in quality and economic viability. Additionally, the most viable French coal deposits in Nord-Pas-de-Calais are directly in the line of fire for German troops, leaving mostly the Loire deposits in a strategically secure region. Meanwhile, Germany’s principle coal-mining region in the Ruhr could be made vulnerable to air power, but their significant coal sources in Silesia and elsewhere could aid in keeping their electricity and steel production online. Unfortunately, accessing coal from elsewhere is not economical, and hydroelectric power should be strongly considered, as well as natural gas or literally anything that can keep the lights on.
Manganese is usually found alongside iron deposits, and is critical for virtually all steel production, most aluminum alloys used in military applications, as an additive to reduce engine knocking in unleaded gasoline, and as the key ingredient in current-generation batteries. While the Internationale possesses minor manganese production, mostly in the northern Pyrenees, it is not nearly enough to sustain a wartime steel industry. The best alternative sources at this time are Brazil, India (specifically Orissa, controlled by the Bharatiya Commune), and Mexico, whose reserves are as of yet mostly unproven. Most other sources and potential sources - South Africa, Australia, China, Malaya, Gabon, Ukraine, Ghana - are controlled by the Entente or Reichpakt, with South Africa and Australia being by far the leaders in manganese production.
Lead is crucial for bullets, solder and many alloys of copper and brass. By and large, lead can be sourced in necessary amounts from Mexico if we invest, with other potential candidates being Peru, Bolivia, the US, India and Ireland. Again, the Entente has a massive lead (pun intended) due to Australia, who has by far and away the largest reserve of lead. Germany has minor lead mines of her own, but not enough to support her war industry without major supplementation from Sweden, Russia or Australia.
Nickel is necessary for several alloys, especially types of stainless steel, as well as being a catalyst for hydrogenation. The primary sources for nickel are German New Caledonia, the Philippines, Russia, Canada, Cuba and Brazil, with the latter two being by far the most accessible. Nickel is especially critical for tungsten carbide machine tools, which are vastly superior to regular steel for many tools and machines needed for war production.
Tin is necessary for almost any form of solder, not to mention tin-plated containers, cans and bearings. Outside of the now-declining tin mines in Cornwall, the Bolivian and Chinese tin belts are the primary sources of tin for the Internationale. Unfortunately, Yunnan’s economy is largely controlled by German corporate interests, as are many other potential sources. That said, Siam may be a viable long-term trade partner, as could an independent Indochina, Malaya or Insulindia. Brazil, Peru, Australia and Russia also have significant deposits.
Molybdenum is a critical component of alloys in military-grade armor, electrical contacts, airplane components, industrial motors, filament supports in lightbulbs, and many forms of stainless and tool-quality steel. The main sources of molybdenum are in Norway and the United States, with Chile also producing Molybdenum as a byproduct from copper mining. In this respect, it is possible that the Internationale will be able to deny Germany access to major deposits, as Canada has yet to exploit most of theirs and it may be possible to cut much of US trade to the German industrial heartland.
Tungsten is straightforward, primarily being used for tungsten carbide in machine tools, kinetic energy penetrators, etc. By far the largest production potential for tungsten is China, but many other sources exist in more convenient countries such as Spain, Portugal, the United States, Australia, Canada, Russia and Indochina. While the Entente and Reichpakt control much of these, Spain and Portugal could be potential sources, and England has domestic tungsten production that could provide a bare minimum of new tungsten carbide in wartime.
Vanadium is another extremely useful steel additive, as well as having applications in airframes, axles and other high-wear, critical components of vehicles and machinery. Vanadium is mostly present in Manchuria, Peru, far eastern Siberia and South Africa. It is likely that we could deny the Germans access to significant amounts if South Africa could be somehow isolated.
Zinc is essential in galvanization, many alloys including bronze, catalyzing rubber, manufacture of industrial chemicals, and more. Zinc at least can be accessed in reasonable quantities via Ireland, Mexico and India. However, it is worth considering that Peru, Australia, Russia, China, the United States and Canada are by far the largest producers. It is very unlikely that Germany can be cut off from significant access to zinc, given that it is also produced in quantity in Anatolia and Sweden.
Nitrates used for fertilizer are largely dominated by production in Chile, Peru, California and the Pacific islands. Fortunately, it is far more abundant in Chile than anywhere else, meaning that agricultural production is more secure. Actual productive agricultural lands that could be tapped into are largely in Argentina, southeastern Brazil, the United States and perhaps unorthodox countries such as India, if properly mechanized. Germany is heavily reliant on colonial and Ukrainian imports, and the Entente mostly relies on Canadian (and to a lesser extent, Australasian) grain. A significant enough disruption from sea traffic could potentially starve the French Republic out, or on a smaller scale could work on the garrisons of Corsica and Sardinia.
The Internationale is critically reliant on overseas trade in order to support our war economies, even if we manage to acquire the necessary resources to actually further our war aims domestically. This means a rapid change of focus from building up to face Germany on the home continent to instead facing off against the Entente and Hochseeflotte to wrest control of the waves. We start in control of two critical naval passages, the English Channel and Straits of Magellan, but this will not suffice to achieve a victory in the current situation.
Most critical and with the most potential is Gibraltar. Control of Spain would allow the Internationale to hold a knife to the throat of Germany’s largest colonial trade artery, forcing them to reroute their trade from Ostasien around the Cape of Good Hope instead of through the much shorter Suez route. This would also be absolutely devastating to the French “Republic”, who relies on Gibraltar for almost all of their imports due to the severe traversability challenge posed by the Sahara. The much smaller ports in Morocco would not suffice, and could potentially be intercepted from a Gibraltar position, rendering them moot, and allowing us to choke the French pretender state into submission. In enemy hands, meanwhile, Gibraltar would force us to move almost all supply overland and would prevent our naval forces from being able to group together if necessary, rendering a major blow to our warmaking capabilities.
Additional pressure on the Mediterranean can be provided by seizure of Sicily, thus locking down the Strait of Messina and would allow for considerable strike capability into the Strait of Sicily. Such a position could pose a large threat to German trade, but would have much less of an effect on the French Republic. As such, it would be prioritized in the context of strengthening Syndicalist Italy, and not as a viable alternative to Gibraltar.
Now we turn our attention to holding our own trade open, and the North Atlantic becomes our principle battleground. Sufficient deployment of German or Entente submarines could pose an existential threat to Internationale shipping, let alone their surface fleets. If we are to survive, the North Atlantic must be kept open so that supplies from allies such as Chile and Mexico can be received and put to good use. This means that Spain and Portugal are once again critical, as Iberian waters stand to intercept any and all shipments from critical resource regions. Additionally, Brazil would serve as an extraordinarily useful base for naval patrols, allowing the Internationale to put pressure on insufficiently-guarded German shipping between Natal and Monrovia, and use of the Canaries and Azores would allow a significant extension of the Internationale’s air coverage in supply areas critical for the Entente.
The Caribbean is rife for potential socialist uprising, and the Entente could theoretically use their bases to shut off resources critical for the war effort, especially Mexican oil and Cuban rare earth metals. At bare minimum, a corridor must be established somewhere via the support of syndicalist revolutionary activity, in order to keep ahold of our Mexican petro-lifeline. Without oil, no strategy will succeed.
In the North Sea, it is worth gambling on protections for Danish Faroes, Iceland and Greenland if we cannot take them ourselves, as allowing them to fall into enemy hands could prove disastrous. Already we are at an informational disadvantage compared to the Entente, whose position in the western Atlantic means they are aware of the expected weather across the ocean ahead of time, whereas we… are not. To allow a launchpad for airborne convoy raiding or other activities in such a critical space is exceptionally dangerous, which is the same reason why detente or even occupation of Ireland could prove necessary. We cannot allow any additional bridges towards us, or lifelines for German shipping.
Our control of the Straits of Magellan, preferably supplemented by the Falklands and South Georgia, is crucial for segmenting and isolating German or Entente commerce raiders, but is most important as a secure lane for transport for our own supplies, should the Panama Canal prove unusable or fallen into enemy hands.
The Internationale should broadly assume that they will be unable to sever trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, unless Egypt chooses to seize the Suez Canal in a wartime situation, which is entirely beyond our control. As such, it is possible that Germany will attempt to reroute their supplies from Suez into the Ukraine and then overland, a far inferior route to purely overseas but still possible. In order to mitigate this, it may be worth pursuing a Sicily -> Malta strategy to allow our navies to put greater pressure on the eastern Med if Russia cannot exert significant force in the Black Sea.
Should the Dutch East Indies succumb to revolution by an Insulindian regime friendly with us, or at least hostile to the Germans, it will open up a world of opportunities to disrupt the flow of German and Entente trade in East Asia, a critical theatre for German rare materials and economic interests. Similarly, a liberated Indochina, Malaya or similar power could apply more minor pressure in that direction. This would likely prompt Japan to make significant moves against Germany.
Overall Strategic Priorities and Considerations
We’re backed into a corner, and we must find our way out or potentially see our revolution extinguished. For the sake of all peoples of all times who slowly grasped their way into the light, we must never let the torch fall.
The German behemoth sits and glowers from across the Moselle, awaiting our challenge from its throne of colonial pillage. However, that is a challenge that we must admit we cannot face head-on. We must be like the Spanish bullfighter, and dodge their clumsy advance in order to tire them out, much as they did to our fathers in 1918. This time, we have the time and political will to prepare a comprehensive strategy of resistance and attrition, directed towards denying Germany the ability to acquire the resources vital to war production for long enough to wear their warmaking capabilities down to the nub. To accomplish this, we must somehow keep the biting dogs of the old order off our backs, and gain far more allies than we currently possess.
First and foremost, we must find some way to regain Haute-Savoie from Switzerland, for it contains significant hydroelectric capacity that will prove essential to keep our coal-starved industry afloat in the future. This should be undertaken primarily as a diplomatic endeavor, as it is unlikely that the Swiss would desire a war given their unique political fragility at this juncture. A mutual trade treaty could gain us access to Swiss financial instruments, allowing us to far more easily bankroll revolutionary organizations worldwide. It could also potentially open up Switzerland to syndicalist influence, at minimum keeping them neutral and perhaps even flipping them to our side in the future.
The main German border must be well-fortified. We saw the vast difference in casualty counts when defensive fortifications were a crucial part of a given Weltkrieg battle, especially in Verdun. As such, a massive defensive bulwark should be constructed to shield the remainder of the Lorraine upwards to Sedan, with slightly sparser fortifications across the front from Sedan to the sea. This defensive network will save troops for an effective push into Flanders-Wallonia just west of the Ardennes, where it is possible that more mobile forces could seize Mons and Charleroi and push up towards Namur, with the ultimate goal being Liège. While it would be preferable to take advantage of Syndicalist support amongst Walloons before an actual war broke out, this is unlikely to be possible. That said, a radical shortening of the German front should be prioritized, in order to reduce the effectiveness of their numerical advantage.
Other key points of focus should be the English Channel, through which we will be able to choke and reroute a huge amount of German trade, and its sister the North Sea. Shetland provides for a considerable power projection capacity, but securing Bergen across the waves via alliance or occupation would be decisive in culling German abilities to trade overseas, choking them on their own colonial reliance. Even if Norway were hostile or invaded by a superior hostile power, it would be plausible to hold a critical logistical choke point in Vossevangen and either force the Germans to sally out with the Hochseeflotte to be subjected to naval bomber attacks, or make them assemble a logistically strenuous force in Norway, away from the frontline.
In a similar vein, we must keep the Danish North Atlantic neutral or otherwise bring it into our hands, to prevent it from providing key bases for bombing raids and submarine traffic. Weather stations in Greenland, or perhaps secret autonomous or one-man stations in Labrador, would allow us to have advance notice of the weather on par with the Entente, nullifying their main informational advantage at sea. For similar reasons, Ireland must be kept neutral or brought into an alliance in order to prevent circumvention of our wartime air blockade.
Mexico is our only hope for a reliable partner to fill our military need for oil production, and so access to Mexico must be maintained as best we can. This will require taking express aim at Entente possessions in the Caribbean, which are already seething hotbeds of political and racial resentment. If we can make a power play to secure a gap, we will be able to hold it open against Entente air and naval counterattacks, hopefully allowing enough oil to get through in the process to facilitate our war machines.
In Spain lies our most troublesome quandary: Gibraltar and the Canaries. With them, German trade suffers a critical secondary blow, Internationale trade is greatly secured from commerce raiding in the Atlantic, and the French Republic is permanently crippled without outside aid. Without it, we are divided and damned. Gibraltar must be secured at all costs, and the Canaries as a secondary priority, perhaps even as a bridge to Madeira and the Azores as major Atlantic bases. This means backing the CNT-FAI with all possible political, economic and military aid we can, to ensure their success. With Spain, our revolution in Europe lives or dies.
In Italy, things are bad but not quite so pressing. The Po River is horrific ground on which to meet an advance, with the Alps being far more to Italy’s advantage should Austria join her old German ally. Additionally, the Two Sicilies are poised to join our enemies should they believe it to their advantage, and it is proposed that some form of attack to eliminate their warmaking capabilities should be committed to before that is possible. Corsica and Sardinia, meanwhile, present a direct threat to the Internationale’s flank, leaving the critical southern ports of Marseille, Toulon, Nice, Genua and La Spezia exposed. If Corsica could be cut off or liberated by diplomatic or economic means without resorting to war, it would greatly relieve the pent-up Mediterranean navies, allowing them to effectively stand off against the French “Republic” and any German forces tasked to the Mediterranean.
Critical natural resources, including almost all of our copper imports, come from Chile. In order to secure Chile, we must secure Argentina. We must strike immediately, while the present regime is scrambling to put down their own even more reactionary navy! Securing Argentina will place another economic arrow in our quiver and remove it from Germany’s. It can provide much of the necessary food to sustain our war effort, especially if combined with victory or intervention in Brazil.
More broadly, Latin America is both receptive to our ideals and filled with war-critical resources that haven’t been monopolized by German tyrants or Entente corporations. Brazil is by far the greatest priority, as a reliable wartime supply of rubber will be necessary in order to allow our scarce manufacturing sector to field more vehicles cheaply, and they have numerous other key resources in smaller amounts. Similarly, Peru, Bolivia and Cuba have very sizable mineral resources and rubber potential. If possible, any and all syndicalist or allied activity must be directed towards regime change that will secure our power projection and war supply in order to resist the menaces all around us.
The United States too is in turmoil, and could be ripe for change. A syndicalist Union is highly unlikely as an outcome, but supporting the SPA in their political activities could at least maintain American neutrality, and perhaps even a thaw that would open lines of credit and vast resources that would vastly buoy our war effort.
As for India, while it would be nice to gain more of their present iron and manganese production, the Indian Ocean is practically a German lake unless significant political change occurs. This rather limits our abilities to coordinate with our Indian allies, but it is worth trying to disrupt critical German resources in East Asia that help fund their vast imperial hoard. Disruption of German rubber production would also be excellent if possible, but as of now it seems out of reach.
Japan and Russia are both large powers with a mutual bone to pick with the Germans, but they may actually loathe each other even more somehow. As such, we cannot expect anything from the weakened Russian state or the isolated and resource-starved Japanese “Empire”. We must assume that we will have to go it alone if we wish to fell Goliath.
2020.03.24 01:26 AletzelenteMy friend told me of a furry manifesto and I found it
I remember when being a pervert was a bad thing.
If you were warped, you tried to hide it, and good for you if you did. If you were going to polish your rod to autopsy photos or bugger a Shetland pony, you did it in the privacy of your own sick, sad home. No one else, especially not me, had to know, and that was great. The best part was, if you decided to crawl out on the roof and inform the neighborhood via midnight megaphone that being urinated on got you hot, you would be told, in no uncertain terms, how very diseased you were. Most people I know don't have too much trouble distinguishing between a "lifestyle choice" and a "warning sign." Yep, in many parts of the world, the idea of making love to Andy Panda is still regarded as somewhat misguided. Most parts, that is, except "Furry Fandom." I don't know what the hell happened here.
"Live and Let Live" is an excellent, tree-hugging philosophy, but it doesn't do much when the ones you refuse to kill are dragging you down with them. If you like animal-based stories, cartoons, or art, you're a furry. And like it or not, "Furry" means "Pervert." This didn't come out of nowhere, either.
To me, and a lot of other people, "Furry" simply means a fondness for animal-human combinations in art, movies, books... whatever. If you're biased towards Redwall novels, have a soft spot for Anime "cat girls," or can't drag yourself away from "The Secret of NIMH," chances are excellent that you're at least *slightly* fur-inclined. That's pretty cool by me. The Simple Definition is probably what started "furry fandom" in the first place. But you would NOT believe some of the baggage the term "furry" has taken on. The most obvious one so far would be suspicions of bestiality. This wouldn't a problem if the furs that did it weren't so damn proud of it. For those of you that were out sick that day in Sex Ed class, DON'T FUCK YOUR PETS. Raping Fido is a 100% BAD IDEA. You're making us all look bad, Goddamit. Do you know what all the other fandoms.. Trekkies, X-Philes, Lovecrafters... call Furries? SKUNK-FUCKERS. And we have these morons to thank for it. "Zoophile" is a cute way of saying "I violate animals for sexual gratification." Period. It's not okay, It never was okay, and declaring yourself "furry" doesn't give you the right to insist that any level of bestiality is a part of the "furry experience." Getting your rocks off on lower orders of the animal kingdom is bad enough without your partner being licensed by Disney. Yes indeedy, as we descend just a step deeper into Hell, we stumble across the path of the Plushophile. That's shorthand for "I find this Meeko doll intensely erotic." These are the people who use FAO Schwartz as a singles bar. I don't know who decided that this was a valid excuse for a sex life, but he probably still lives in his mother's basement. You don't have to earn a degree in psychology to figure out how thickly laden with sexual dysfunction the very concept of Plushophilia is. How badly was your id stomped on to get you to the point where you would consider wanking a child's toy? I'm not sure I want to know. But I *DO* know Plushophiles have latched onto Furriness like a swamp leech. When people call furries "perverts," THIS is the kind of crap they're talking about. Sigh... moving on. Down, down, down we go... oh, look, the Seventh Level of Furry Hell. Furry Lifestylers. Glee. We've got us some self-righteous little pokers down here. Ya see, just drawing cartoon animals or enjoying "Watership Down" doesn't make you furry. Nooooo, you're not GOOD enough. You're not furry if it's just a hobby. If you don't think you're the astrally projected soul of a wolf trapped in a human body, or you don't answer the phone with a "meow," you're not furry. Yep. Don't you feel terribly inferior now? Christ on a fire engine, what some people will try and force on you. I've always found the fact that 90% of Lifestylers consider themselves misplaced foxes, wolves, dragons, lions, tigers, or something equally powerful and noble, open to a special brand of mockery. Amazing coincidence how fantastically superior they all were in their animal lives, isn't it? Maybe if I occasionally came across a Lifestyler who claimed to be a reborn cockroach, I wouldn't be so cynical. I'm sure Freud would have a great, detailed explanation as to why people build up fantasy worlds for themselves like this, but I'm content to call these types Crackpots. Slightly less obstinate but equally buttock-chafing are the the random groups who try their damndest to Super-glue a witch's brew of lycanthropy, shamanism, and veganism to a once-enjoyable subculture. Don't misunderstand me; Werewolves are fun. Roll-playing a werewolf? Knock yourself out. Drawing werewolves? E-mail me some pointers, I can't do 'em to save my life. Claiming to BE a werewolf? SEEK HELP. You're not a werewolf. THERE ARE NO WEREWOLVES. Anyone who claims to turn into a giant dog at the whim of a celestial body should be mercilessly ostracized and laughed at with maximum cruelty. Then there's the matter of Spirit Animals. I don't have one. I don't want one, I don't need one. And according to some, that disqualifies me as a furry. Gee, didn't realize I had to realign my entire belief system to ensure acceptance into an already-decrepit fanbase. Once again, the question of personal tastes intruding on a once-meaningful practice comes to mind. You'll find a good thousand spastics claiming the protection of the Fox, But I've yet to hear a furry fan thank the Earwig Spirit for his wisdom. Yes, I'm taunting you. Cope. And YES, there's even a special breed of nutboys out there who insist a major component of Furriness is the practicing of Veganism. For those of you who don't live in California, that's the total shunning of all animal products. No eggs, no leather, no beef, no fish, no clubbing baby seals until their skulls are soft and dough-like. For reasons beyond my comprehension, THIS sort of self-denial is supposed to put you "more in touch with your furriness." God knows how. I've never seen a pride of lions abandon a mule carcass to chase down a fleeing herd of Garden Burgers. Animals have a strange way of mutilating OTHER animals. That's nature, welcome to it. And there's nothing more furry and natural than gnawing some flesh, kids. Human beings are omnivorous, and that means meat. If you don't believe me, fetch yourself a mirror and smile. See those pointy things? Canines. So enough with the tofu and bean sprouts, your Spirit Animals are laughing at you. And finally, we confront the long-held notion that Furries secretly wish they WERE animals. I'm sure there are some that do, but they're in the minority. Trust me. I'm rather fond of being a homo sapien. I've grown quite attached to the idea of opposable thumbs, full-color vision, and the dawning of self-awareness. Space travel, Chinese food, swing dancing... the perks ain't bad, either. No, I'm holding my own on this end of the evolutionary ladder, thank you. Most furries are. But for the poor shmucks who want nothing more than to transform into an elk or bear or something equally ridiculous, a stay in an institution, not a fandom, is in order.
2020.03.21 03:01 nova24_[BREEDS] Looking for dog number 2!
**Introduction** Late 20s/early 30s professional couple starting the search for dog number two. We love our doodle - she's medium sized (40lbs), low shedding, loves everyone (especially kids), fairly independent but will cuddle when it suits her and very smart! However, we have since learned about the importance of reputable breeders and so we are looking for a purebred dog that fits our lifestyle. 1) Will this be your first dog? If not, what experience do you have owning/training dogs? * No. Currently have a 4yr old border collie/poodle mix that we got as a puppy. So we've gone through the process of potty training, bite inhibition, kennel training, how to walk properly on a leash etc. 2) Do you have a preference for rescuing a dog vs. going through a [reputable breeder]( http://ownresponsibly.blogspot.com/2011/07/identifying-reputable-breeder.html)? * Prefer a reputable breeder. 3) Describe your ideal dog.
A medium sized low-shedding dog that loves kids, loves working with their humans but is also content to relax with them too.
4) What breeds or types of dogs are you interested in and why? * I recently came across the Lagotto Romagnolo. I love the fact that they are medium sized, non shedding and are apparently very in tune with their handler and love to work. However, I've heard that they are generally wary around people until they get to know them so a little concerned how they'd deal with friends coming over etc. There is a reputable breeder located not too far away (around 5 hrs). * Also interested in shetland sheepdogs. My hubby grew up with them and I think they could be a good fit for us. We don't mind their barking (since its more like talking!) but I'm slightly worried about how much they shed. 5) What sorts of things would you like to train your dog to do? * Nothing too special. Classic commands/tricks. 6) Do you want to compete with your dog in a sport (e.g. agility, obedience, rally) or use your dog for a form of work (e.g. hunting, herding, livestock guarding)? If so, how much experience do you have with this work/sport? * I'd love to do agility with them and I'm also interested in nose work. I'm not really competitive, I just like to do it for fun and a way to bond with my dog. **Care Commitments** 7) How long do you want to devote to training, playing with, or otherwise interacting with your dog each day? * I'm always interacting with my dog so that's hard to quantify. Strictly training stuff probably around 30 mins/day (this time doesn't count towards the exercise listed in the next question). 8) How long can you exercise your dog each day, on average? What sorts of exercise are you planning to give your dog regularly and does that include using a dog park? * I'm not a huge fan of dog parks. Weekdays I do around an hour of exercise a. day. I try to mix it up between walking on a leash and free roaming/running. Weekends is a bit more. 9) How much regular brushing are you willing to do? Are you open to trimming hair, cleaning ears, or doing other grooming at home? If not, would you be willing to pay a professional to do it regularly? * Willing to brush as much as needed and doing all grooming care at home. If I find myself too busy at any point I'll take them to a professional. **Personal Preferences** 10) What size dog are you looking for? * Medium sized 11) How much shedding, barking, and slobber can you handle? * Low shedding is preferred, but would consider breeds that shed more. Not a huge fan of slobber. 12) How important is being able to let your dog off-leash in an unfenced area? * Very important. **Dog Personality and Behavior** 13) Do you want a snuggly dog or one that prefers some personal space? * A little of both? If we had to sway one way or other we'd choose cuddly! 14) Would you prefer a dog that wants to do its own thing or one that’s more eager-to-please? * More eager-to-please. 15) How would you prefer your dog to respond to someone knocking on the door or entering your yard? How would you prefer your dog to greet strangers or visitors? * If someone knocks on the door or enters the yard its fine if they bark. When greeting strangers/visitors they don't have to be excited or love them, but I don't want them to be growly or aggressive or anything. Current dog absolutely loves people (maybe a bit too much? Haha). 16) Are you willing to manage a dog that is aggressive to other dogs? * Would love to get a dog that isn't prone to be dog aggressive, especially if they are socialized properly etc. 17) Are there any other behaviors you can’t deal with or want to avoid? * Aggression is the main one we want to avoid. **Lifestyle** 18) How often and how long will the dog be left alone? * I can bring my dog to work with me. I might be able to take two with me to work. If not, I would plan on coming home midday or hiring a dog walker. The longest our current dog has ever been left home alone is around 8.5 hours? And I think that was only once. Occasionally could be 6 hours (but we would build up to it!). 19) What are the dog-related preferences of other people in the house and what will be their involvement in caring for the dog? * My hubby and I (thankfully) have the same dog preferences. They will be an equal partner in caring for the dog (although I'll be the one doing any sports with them). 20) Do you have other pets or are you planning on having other pets? What breed or type of animal are they? * We just have the one dog. No plans for other pets after dog number 2. 21) Will the dog be interacting with children regularly? * Our friends have kids and we will be having kids in the future so yes. 22) Do you rent or plan to rent in the future? If applicable, what breed or weight restrictions are on your current lease? * We currently rent and are planning to buy in a year or so (not sure if that will change based on all the crazy stuff happening right now!). We are planning on getting dog number 2 after we purchase a house. 23) What city or country do you live in and are you aware of any laws banning certain breeds? * BC Canada, don't know of any laws banning breeds here. 24) What is the average temperature of a typical summer and winter day where you live? * Typical summer averages around 30C, winters can get down to -15C/-20C.
2020.03.08 02:00 autotldrRussian jets intercepted heading to UK airspace - RAF deploys six Typhoons to force fighter aircraft to change course from north-west coast of Scotland
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 61%. (I'm a bot)
Six RAF fighter jets were scrambled on Saturday after Russian aircraft were spotted heading towards British airspace. An RAF spokesman said: "This was a routine response to Russian aircraft approaching UK air space and was coordinated with several other Nato allies." RAF Lossiemouth tweeted: "At no point did these aircraft enter UK sovereign airspace. The Russian aircraft were shadowed by our Typhoons, along with aircraft from our Nato partners in Norway and France." Two weeks ago a Russian aircraft was seen heading towards the Shetland Isles. A Voyager air-to-air refuelling aircraft and two Typhoon fighter jets were sent out to intercept a jet thought to be a Russian Tu-95 bomber to the west of the island. During the same period, jets from RAF Coningsby were also deployed to a separate incident involving Russian aircraft.
Couldn’t think of a better title :) Myself and my partner live near a wooded area that houses cows, that we frequent at least once a day ( twice on weekends). Before yesterday my history with the cows didn’t extend much past being (slightly) annoyed that we had to turn back because they were on a bridge or seeing them from a distance. The cows in question I believe are somewhat between a shorthorn and a Shetland(UK). Sorry if this gets a bit narrative but would really like some advice on how best to deal with a cow in this situation. Me and my partner went on a walk yesterday to our local woodland area, and I’ll admit, we were slightly off path but not on land that isn’t walked on frequently. The cow in question had announced its presence with three loud,deep (very foreboding) ‘moo’s’ before quickly making its way toward us. Because we were stuck in an area that was quite boggy and had a river blocking an escape route (I was terrified, like I wanted to call the police terrified because these cows are huge and have horns) we didn’t really have any quick way to remove ourselves from the cows path/ the area quickly. The Cow continued approaching us and stopped about 5 feet away and in hindsight, was non-threateningly just looking around the area; not even at us. I just wanted to ask after this experience what your best advises would be if we were to be in this situation again. The cows are allowed to free-roam around the woods so seeing one or two on a walk is not uncommon but after yesterday, I just wanted to know any advice/ tips for dealing (not alerting/ annoying them etc.) with cows so I can get the hell out of dodge quickly and safely :)
2019.12.09 08:47 horticulturallatin[Breeds] After everything, she asks about collies?
So, uh, I've done these before in other size categories or other whatevers. I'm redoing this specifically to ask about Rough/Smooth collies. Here's my thing - I have dog experience, but not super trainable or sensitive breeds. I feel like I'm starting again. I'm sort of balancing a lot of factors for my family - I want to skew "easier" than maybe I would do on my own or living with really doggie people. Interested in a non-Retriever "easy family breed" that is not giant and not quite as raddled with health issues as Cavaliers. I feel like nobody talks about (non-Border) Collies in terms of like general family dog stuff anymore. Is it just Australian Shepherds holding that "active furry herding breed" space, which they wouldn't have in the '50s? Can anyone with experience of both compare them for me? Sometimes I like to get drunk and daydream about Samoyeds but that seems like less of a good idea. Thanks in advance!
Will this be your first dog? If not, what experience do you have owning/training dogs? * My family had a rescue Akita when I was a kid, a rescue Bouvier when I was a kid, another rescue Akita when I was an adult, a rescue English staffy when I was an adult. I've also cared for about 8 Dachshunds. My partner has lived with dogs their mother cared for but only outside dogs and is a cat person. They remember the Maltese fondly and the Irish Setter as "nice but not bright."
Describe your ideal dog.* A family companion that is tolerant of cats and children that adores its stay-at-home mom and likes to chill around the house, but do lots of walking. I don't like super floppy gloopy. I have a dream of good size, upright ears, happy to take instruction, slim to athletic looking but not intense exercise needs.
What breeds or types of dogs are you interested in and why?* Scottish collie. I like that they are biddable but not as active as some other working breeds. I like that they are more into walking and alerting to strangers than a Greyhound, with less chase drive. I don't like Retrievers, but want something that ticks "easy-going family pet" boxes. My experiences of Shetland Sheepdogs is yappy and skitty but I would consider if they are calmer than the ones I've met. Don't gravitate to Australian Shepherds as much but people keep telling me about them? Don't want a Border. I secretly like Silken Windhounds/Windsprites but I don't think they exist in Australia.
What sorts of things would you like to train your dog to do?* I walk about 5 km a day now, often at night. I would like to do this plus some forest on-lead trails on the weekends. Lead manners are vital. Ignoring or being nice to the cats. I don't intend to ever let a kid ride/climb/lay on the dog or pull its ears but would like it to be not stressed to death or fearful around children. I would like a not-tiny dog that alerts to strangers but I don't need a guard dog.
Do you want to compete with your dog in a sport (e.g. agility, obedience, rally) or use your dog for a form of work (e.g. hunting, herding, livestock guarding)? If so, how much experience do you have with this work/sport?* I am mildly interested in obedience, with no formal experience. Interested in the novelty of having a fairly soft dog and feel I may need to learn new perspectives on training. Agility seems unlikely but not a driving desire.
**Care Commitments** 7) How long do you want to devote to training, playing with, or otherwise interacting with your dog each day? * Interaction in general I am home all day as a stay at home parent. Training intermittently through the day but only in bursts. A lot of I'm just nearby not entertaining the dog specifically type. I also like to have a dog sleep on my feet. 8) How long can you exercise your dog each day, on average? What sorts of exercise are you planning to give your dog regularly and does that include using a dog park?*My plan was about an hour to an hour and a half after dark in the evening. I am not flatly opposed to dog parks but don't love them. Hoping the partner and child play with the dog but that's all on top. 9) How much regular brushing are you willing to do? Are you open to trimming hair, cleaning ears, or doing other grooming at home? If not, would you be willing to pay a professional to do it regularly?* I like a lot of hairy breeds but I don't like them for BEING hairy. I would furminate (brush with blade in it) even though I bet someone is screaming "his show coat!!!" sorry to that person. I will trim ears and paws and butt. I accept that my lot in life is hairy dogs. Smooth Collies I'm told shed just as bad? **Personal Preferences**10) What size dog are you looking for?* Not over 75 lbs/34 kg. I have a phobia about not being able to lift the dog if its hurt or in an emergency. 11 lbs/5 kg is the bottom for size I think, and that's finding a toy breed that is calm/personable, not a health disaster, and not a terrier. The partner likes tiny dogs and I don't DISLIKE them but I would worry a lot. 11) Shedding/Barking/Slobber* I accept shedding. I'm getting a robot vacuum. I really don't like barking but will take it if the rest of the package is all right. My partner is slobber-phobic. 12) How important is being able to let your dog off-leash in an unfenced area? * Not very at all. **Dog Personality and Behavior** 13) Do you want a snuggly dog or one that prefers some personal space?* I would like it to think I am wonderful and that it has to listen to my partner and would perhaps like to have a sniff and pat. It can be aloof otherwise. 14) Would you prefer a dog that wants to do its own thing or one that’s more eager-to-please?* I would like it to want to please me and my partner to a reasonable degree. I don't need it to love all humans. I grew up with Akitas and that's too dominant and "but why should I though?" for my partner. There's a pretty massive range there! 15) How would you prefer your dog to respond to someone knocking on the door or entering your yard? How would you prefer your dog to greet strangers or visitors? * Bark at the knock. I would like standing, watchful attention at strangers and visitors. 16) Are you willing to manage a dog that is aggressive to other dogs?* Moderate reactivity yes. Murder all living things no. 17) Are there any other behaviors you can’t deal with or want to avoid?* Fearfulness generally. I can take aloof or friendly but fear-biting and timidity and seperation anxiety are highly problematic. I would also like to go with "easy to housebreak" because I don't have puppy experience only dog experience. **Lifestyle** 8) How often and how long will the dog be left alone?* Rarely more than 3 hours during the week. Perhaps 6 hours on the weekend. 19) What are the dog-related preferences of other people in the house and what will be their involvement in caring for the dog?* My partner accepts I want a dog but their first preference would be a dog that is tiny, fond of children, doesn't bark, and is essentially our Burmese cross. They have a lot more breeds they vetoed than like. Collies were not vetoed. The baby has no opinion and will be about 3 or 4 when I get a dog. 20) Do you have other pets or are you planning on having other pets? What breed or type of animal are they?* 2 cats. Chickens, but not left unsupervised with the dog. 21) Will the dog be interacting with children regularly?* Yes. But I distrust everyone else's children (sorry everyone else) and the dog is not expected to entertain other people's kids for his own safety. 22) Do you rent or plan to rent in the future? If applicable, what breed or weight restrictions are on your current lease?* We own, and are looking at a hobby farm. But while I've gotten "lassie collies aren't REAL farm dogs" well it's not really a real farm and I'm not buying anything a hundred sheep to have something to do. It will be mostly fruit trees, who require limited herding. 23) What city or country do you live in and are you aware of any laws banning certain breeds?* Australia, and the banned breeds would be Tosa Inu, Pitbulls, Dogo Argentinos, Filas, and I think a couple others I didn't want. 24) What is the average temperature of a typical summer and winter day where you live?* Never much below freezing, up to 45C in summer. We have central air. We may go away to the snow and take the dog but not every winter. This will be an inside dog. **Additional Information and Questions*** 25) Please provide any additional information you feel may be relevant. * from online research I like a lot of what people who talk about "heritage" or "old-time" or "traditional" Collies like - less volume to coat, bigger eyes than the most prize-winning type. I would like to know if this is actually all that hard to get this more moderate style? 26) Feel free to ask any questions below. *I have heard such mixed things in online research about "Old-Time Scotch Collies" and English Shepherds and related "collie family tree" breeds that I have no opinion but welcome any/all input.
2019.09.20 18:57 CountBrandenburgOral Statement by the SoS for International Trade
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would like to give a statement to the House responding to the passage of M441, the International Trade Questions motion. I do agree with the substance of the motion, which is why both I and the vast majority of the Government voted for it. While my predecessor as Secretary of State for International Trade did answer most of the questions posed to him during Minister’s Questions, I would be happy to clear up any questions that may persist. From the Rt Hon. member for Oxfordshire & Berkshire: “Does the Rt. Hon. Trade Secretary agree with me that a budget surplus is the best policy to help protect British workers from British jobs going overseas and to prevent our trade policy from failing the British people?” I do not agree that a budget surplus is the best policy to pursue. The Government are not in the business of wasting money, but we will not cut vital services and reduce the quality of life for Britons for some ideological goal of balancing the government’s chequebook. The Rt Hon. gentleman may be assured, however, that I hold conversations with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he knows that international trade is an important part of monetary policy. From the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade: “Will the International Trade Secretary ensure reciprocity in any trade deal made, to ensure that any deal signed is good for citizens of both Britain and our trade partner?” The answer to this is common sense. I would not negotiate a trade deal that harms the citizens I was elected to represent, nor would I seek to harm the citizens of a valued trade partner. I agree with the Rt Hon. gentleman. From the Rt Hon. member for Kent: “Given the government's complete lack of specifics, and actual plans in the Queen's Speech, has a step by step plan been formed by the Government on Brexit and International Trade policy, and if so what are the details of this plan?” It does not surprise me as to the choice of words that the Rt Hon. member uses to describe the Queen’s Speech, but I cannot fault him, as it is the opposition’s job to score political points. To answer the substance of his question, the Government will seek to establish mutually beneficial trade deals, not only with the European Union, but with countries around the world. I am looking forward to the Group of 7 summit at the end of this month to have the chance to meet with my counterparts across the globe and begin laying the groundwork for deals that will continue to make this great nation prosper. Again, from the Rt Hon. member for Kent: “Can the Secretary of State give his assurances to this house that any attempt at a free trade deal with our close friends and allies the United States of America will not be hindered by Government Members' views on the President?” My views, and the views of many citizens of the United Kingdom, on the President of the United States are strong and probably fairly well-known. However, this does not prohibit me from attempting to seek a strong and mutually beneficial trade deal with the United States. The United States has long been a strong trade partner and ally to the United Kingdom, and I believe that the special relationship that our nations share is strong and continues to serve the citizens of both countries well. I have nothing but respect for the citizens of the United States, and whatever my feelings towards the President or his policies, I want to see both nations prosper. From the former Secretary of State for Health, Sport, and Social Care: “What steps does the Secretary feel are necessary for this government to take in order to encourage young people to go into the employment field of cyber security so that we may boost our exports in that area in the future?” The former Secretary of State’s presence on the frontbenches and in this House is sorely missed by myself, but I will be happy to respond to the question that he posed. I am in communication with the Secretary of State for Education, and at the next cabinet meeting I will discuss with him about offering some programme for young people to enter the cybersecurity field, which in this day and age is more important than ever. If this country wants to be a competitor in industry, cybersecurity will be essential. Hostile nations such as China have launched cyberattacks to disrupt trade in the past and I believe that this is a matter of top importance. From the Rt Hon. member for Manchester North: “The Strait of Hormuz is a vital seaway, which carries 20% of the world's oil supplies but is also a turbulent passageway due to Iranian terror on the high seas. Last time Iran seized an oil tanker, the price of oil in the North Sea shot up. What economic insurance from other oil-producing nations has the government taken to protect consumers from rising oil prices and a destabilised world economy if Iran strikes again?” As much as I am not a fan of oil, as long as the nation depends on it, we must secure it. I am happy with the steps the Foreign Secretary is taking to reduce tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, but I am also aware of the impact that another incident would have on the price of oil. I believe that the best way to protect consumers in this regard is to continue to work towards a diplomatic solution in the Strait of Hormuz. From the Rt Hon. leader of the LPUK: “What kind of trading arrangement does the government plan to have with the EU, will they adopt the previous government white paper or do they intend to go for a Ukraine model?” A white paper on this matter will be released to the House in due time. Again from the Rt Hon. leader of the LPUK: What is the government’s plan to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland, and can the Secretary of State give his thoughts on the previous government’s Irish border protocol in CM017?” As the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out in their fantastic response to the white paper at the time, most of the government’s white paper on the Irish border protocol is simply the withdrawal agreement! So to answer the Rt Hon. gentleman’s question, I do believe in not breaking the law and following the withdrawal agreement. From the Rt Hon. member for the North East, now government chief whip: “Can the Secretary explain what actions they are taking on free trade and WTO reform?” I am working to lay the groundwork for free trade deals. The WTO is imperfect, as with any organisation, and I will have my department analyse if there is room for improvement. I invite the Rt Hon. gentleman to discuss it with me in cabinet. From the Rt Hon. member of the Phoenix Committee: “When I was BIT I had to fight the EU over safeguarding British steel against malicious dumping practices. Does the minister believe that the UK should use more proactive anti-dumping measures now that trade policy is back under democratic control, and no longer under under the bureaucratic yoke of the EU?” It is no secret that I am an advocate for the workers of the United Kingdom and therefore have a strong disdain for anticompetitive practices such as dumping. However, we must also maintain our commitment to free trade. I believe that the best solution is a balanced approach that we consider on a case-by-case basis. From the Deputy Prime Minister: “As I speak as a Member of the Northern Irish Assembly, will the Secretary of State join me in calling for the complete retention of the Island of Ireland protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement, with changes only occurring at the request of the Northern Irish Executive, with the Executive present for relevant talks?” I fully agree. The Northern Ireland Assembly is the best voice for Northern Ireland, and as the leader of the Labour Party in Northern Ireland and a staunch advocate for devolution in general, I recognise that the Northern Ireland Executive must have a say in these matters. Again from the Deputy Prime Minister: “Further to my previous question, will my Right Honourable friend commit to ensuring that HMRC fulfills its duties under the Island of Ireland protocol, and reach out to his counterpart in the Republic of Ireland to ensure that the transitional Customs Union need not continue beyond the Implementation Period?” The answer is yes, and I will work with HMRC on this matter. From the Baron Salisbury: “In the manifesto we have recently appropriated for our own ends, the Greens, we pledged to expand HS2 to Scotland, and support Scottish independence. Would the minister agree with me that if we crack on and get this done, we could also say that all the money made on HS2 to Scotland could technically count toward international trade figures?” I cannot condone theft and I encourage the Rt Hon. Baron to give what’s left of the Greens their manifesto back. From the Earl of Stockton: “Today represents the 25th anniversary of the release of Oasis' legendary debut album, Definitely Maybe. As one of this country's most successful international imports, the Gallagher brothers have sold over 79 million records worldwide. Does the Secretary agree that our nation's cultural heritage, through music and the arts, can be harnessed in a trade capacity post-Brexit?” I fully agree that our cultural exports are important for maintaining Britain’s influence around the world, which is vital in an international trade context. From the Lord of Dumbarton: “I’ve noticed a quite worrying comment by the Secretary of State here. I was in the 20th government and I distinctly remember that our government managed to prepare trade deals for no deal while negotiating the withdrawal agreement, surely the Secretary of State does not believe we can only have one or the other? And if he does, surely he should resign as his position would quite simply be a worthless do nothing post, and the people of this country deserve more than a cabinet with worthless do nothing posts?” I believe that my predecessor was misinformed: I am holding talks with other nations at the G7 summit and my department is constantly seeking new ways to establish mutually beneficial trade. Again from the Lord of Dumbarton: “The international trade secretary has not failed to attract my deep scrutiny, especially with their worrying comments and failings after only being in the post for a couple weeks. This question refers to the comment here. Would the Secretary of State not agree with me that a secretary who doesn’t understand how minister’s questions work and that we only get the opportunity to question him not his subordinate should resign, and that it is a dire state of affairs where through a mistake or not, the government doesn’t understand proper accountability and uses their failure to understand to deflect genuine attempts to scrutinise the government?” I understand that this question is not directed towards me, but I do think that it was an honest mistake on my predecessor’s part, and I think the Rt Hon. Baron’s calls for his resignation are not exactly bona fide. From the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade: “If the Rt Hon Member fails to answer every question, or fails to give ample time for the Members of the House to give follow up questions, will the Rt Hon Member agree to meet with me & other relevant Opposition spokespeople before this government starts negotiations in order to ensure that the country is updated on what the Government is doing?” I will of course strive to answer as many questions as possible and do my best to allow the opposition to hold this government to account. If the Rt Hon. gentleman has anything he wishes to discuss he is more than welcome to reach out to me. From the Baron of the Shetland Islands: “Does the Secretary agree with me that the motion numbered M433 from the LPUK is regressive and a decline in car export would be inevitable but totally under control of his department?” I fully agree that the motion to condemn banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars was regressive and short sighted - I was happy to see this House vote it down. I’m not sure I agree that the motion’s subject matter is entirely under my department’s control, however. I believe it is more relevant to the Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change. However, I am happy to work with my colleagues in these departments to better improve the environment. Mr Speaker, while I understand it is not my turn on the Minister’s Questions rota and I do not wish this statement to become an ad hoc Minister’s Questions, I would be happy to clear up any matters that honourable members have concerns about. I commend this statement to the House. Oral statement delivered by the Rt Hon. sam-irl MBE PC MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, Minister for the Cabinet Office, MP for Essex.
2019.08.09 18:17 aanjheniConjecture Lecture: Or I suck at future predictions of the show
tldr: If participating in this subreddit has taught me anything is that I royally suck at predicting what will happen in Mr. Robot. What I do moderately well is look for patterns and recall history. I also have an insatiable need to understand another person’s creative process, since I am not one of those creative genius types. This is my attempt to highlight some of the RL historical events and people to the Mr. Robot universe and what I perceive where u/SamEsmail received his inspiration for Mr. Robot. It has also taught me that I like bullet points. First a mini-timeline. While I am sure there are a ton more dates and events, these are the ones that have come up pretty frequently in the show. 1991 – The World Wide Web was launched at CERN; Linux was also introduced 1995 – Various browsers introduced, Windows 95 released, personal computer sales explode 2003 – 4chan launched 2004 – Thefacebook (later Facebook) was launched, Anonymous was established on 4chan 2006 - Wikileaks launched from servers in Iceland by Australian hacker, Julian Assange 2007 - Collateral Murder video and associated documents were published on Wikileaks; ChanOps started (?) 2008 – Tom Cruise’s weird propaganda video for Scientology is leaked, Anonymous launches Project Chanology against Scientology 2009 - Manning states that she started working with Wikileaks on Thanksgiving 2009 in a chat with Adrian Lamo 2010 – Anonymous launches Operation Payback in retaliation against industry attempts to stop Piratebay and WikiLeaks; Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning leaked information to Wikileaks (crucially the Collateral Murder footage and documents); Manning confides in informant, Adrian Lamo; Manning is arrested and imprisoned much of it under the Prevention of Injury status. 2011 – Arab Spring, Occupy Wallstreet, Gawker hack, emergence of LulzSec from the anon group Internet Feds, BART hack, Sony hack, Fox Network hack, UK banks hack, PBS hack, Operation AntiSec, way too many others to list; several LulzSec members arrested 2012 – This is the year that Esmail said his idea for Mr. Robot was ‘born’. More members of LulzSec arrested, NSA statement on Anonymous and power grid threats 2013 – Criminal cases finalized against several LulzSec members 2014 - Manning is provided with hormones to facilitate her gender reassignment 2015 – Mr. Robot universe; Manning is provided all necessary items to address her gender dysphoria I speculate that Esmail was intrigued by world events that led up the arrest and conviction of LulzSec members. Perhaps he read Olson’s 2012 book, “We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency” (Olson, Parmy). Perhaps he just kept abreast of the news. It certainly was all over the web in articles and blog posts such as:
Not to mention Twitter with the associated hashtags. Even a ‘diary’ posted on isc.sans.edu (there are a number of documents cited in this link that are fascinating reading, although you may have to hunt down cached versions since the links are dead). Okay, so where was I going with this? Oh yes, there are so many similarities to the entire history of LulzSec and the Mr. Robot Universe. For example:
Power grid failures
China as a power player (in RL case, it was a disinformation campaign that LulzSec put out to try and trap Gawker editor Adrian Chen)
Attempt to assert social justice via hacking
News media hyperbole
Attempt to unveil corruption and power
Make inner workings of the 1% more transparent
Actions often backfire
Some of the people involved in LulzSec and/or satellite players seem to be inspirations for Elliot, Darlene, Angela, Kayla, Romero, Gideon, and Trenton.
Topiary - Jake Davis (UK, Shetland Islands, amblyopia, news reports stated he was autistic but that has been disputed)
T-flow - Mustafa Al-Bassam (London, young)
Kayla - Ryan Ackroyd (London, long history of hacker using
M_nerva (blamed for hack on Deus Ex: Human Revolution game, no ID)
Avunit - (No ID)
Pwnsauce - Darren Martyn (Ireland)
Palladium - Donncha O’Cearbhail (Ireland)
Anarchaos - Jeremy Hammond (Chicago)
ViraL - Ryan Cleary - (UK) (botnet owner, diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, various mental
health issues, attempted suicide at a very young age thought to have schizophrenia but that has been disputed)
Gideon Cammerman – Jake Davis’ lawyer
Darlene Storm - pseudonym of journalist who wrote on LulzSec
Neuron - Raynaldo Rivera (Chandler, AZ)
Recursion - Cody Kretsinger (Phoenix, AZ)
Omega - Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) (coined ‘hactavism?)
Barrett Brown - journalist, hactavist, drug addict (heroin and suboxone)
Laurelai Bailey (transgender, former US soldier, leaked LulzSec details)
th3j35t3r – (No ID, former US military)
hann – Michael Major (claimed responsibility to leaking LulzSec chat logs)
oneiroi – (No ID, claimed to take down LulzSec website in Operation Supernova)
joepie – Sven Slootweg (Dutch, not sure his involvement is accurate since it came from dailymail.uk)
Daniel Sandberg – (Swedish, erroneously thought to be ‘Topiary’)
Adrian Lamo - hacker, informant, involuntarily hospitalized and diagnosed as having Aspeberger Syndrome
Bradass87 - Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning - Chat between Manning and Lamo in which Manning states: “She explained that "i cant separate myself from others ... i feel connected to everybody ... like they were distant family," ...."
Phiber Optik - Mark Abene (phreaker, hacker, arrested in 1990, 1991, and indicted in 1992; he was given 12 months imprisonment (served at Federal Prison Camp in Schuylkill, PA), 3 years probably and 600 hours of community service; he was released in November 1994; Phiberphest 95 was held in his honor Irving Plaza in Manhattan, called by a journalist as “The first underground hero of the Information Age, the Robin Hood of cyberspace.” ; made acting debut in a film called “Urchin” - 2007, which also had several other notable hackers. “@Cafe” was one of NYC’s first Internet cafes; opened in 1995, hangout of many hackers, especially Phiber Optik; closed in 1996
Some of the iconography with LulzSec and (some) seen prominently in Mr. Robot
42 Rules of the Internet
50 Days of Lulz
Titanic Take-down Tuesday
Masked man w/ monocle
Russia Today (Topiary gave his first live TV interview to Russia Today)
Russia Reporter – one of WikiLeaks’ partners in releasing the Stratfor emails
Hotel Pennsylvania, Manhattan, NY I think one of the most important inspirational pieces for Esmail may have been the following essay written by Jake Davis in February 2012:
Hello, friend, and welcome to the Internet, the guiding light and deadly laser in our hectic, modern world. The internet horde has been watching you closely for some time now. It has seen you flock to your Facebook and your Twitter of the years, and it has seen you enter its home turf and attempt to overrun it with your scandals and “real world” gossip. You need to know that the ownership of cyberspace will always remain with the hivemind. The Internet does not belong to your beloved authorities, militaries, or multi-millionaire company owners. The Internet belongs to the trolls and the hackers, the enthusiasts and the extremists; it will never cease to be this way. You see, the Internet has long since lost its place in time and its shady collective continues to shunt he fact that it lives in a specific year like 2012, where it has to abide by 2012’s morals and 2012’s society, with its rules and it punishments. The Internet smirks at scenes of mass rape and horrific slaughtering followed by a touch of cannibalism, all to the sound of catchy Japanese music. It simply doesn’t give a tuppence about getting a “job”, getting a car, getting a house, raising a family, and teaching them to continue the loop while the human race organizes its own death. Custom-plated coffins and retirement plans made of paperwork…the Internet asks why? You cannot make the Internet feel bad, you cannot make the Internet feel regret or guilt or sympathy, you can only make the Internet feel the need to have more lulz at your expense. The lulz flow through all in the faceless army as they see the twin towers falling with a dancing Hitler on loop in the bottom-left corner of their screens. The lulz strike when they open a newspaper and care nothing for any of the world’s alleged problems. They laugh at downward red arrows as banks and businesses tumble, and they laugh at our glorious government overlords trying to fix a situation by throwing more currency at it. They laugh when you try to make them feel the need to “make something of life,” and they laugh harder when you call them vile trolls and heartless web terrorists. They laugh at you because you’re not capable of laughing at yourselves and all of the pointless fodder they believe you surround yourselves in. But most of all they laugh because they can. This is not to say that the Internet is your enemy. It is your greatest ally and closest friend; its shops mean you don’t have to set foot outside your home, and its casinos allow you to lose your money at any hour of the day. Its many chat rooms ensure you no longer need to interact with any other members of your species directly, and detailed social networking conveniently maps your every move and thought. Your intimate relationships and darkest secrets belong to the horde, and they will never be forgotten. Your existence will forever be encoded into the infinite repertoire of beautiful, byte-sized sequences, safely housed in the cyber cloud for all to observe. And how has the Internet changed the lives of its most hardened addicts? They simply don’t care enough to tell you. So welcome to the underbelly of society, the anarchistic stream-of-thought nebular that seeps it way into the mainstream word – your world – more and more every day. You cannot escape it and you cannot anticipate it. It is the nightmare on the edge of your dreams and the ominous thought that it claws its way through your online life like a blinding virtual force, disregarding your philosophies and feasting on your emotions. Prepare to end to the hivemind, motherfuck.
Gosh, I can just hear Elliot saying something like this, can’t you?
2019.06.05 22:12 olivergarden117[Breeds] Hey, Reddit! Which dog is right for us?
Hey dogs!! We’re having some trouble narrowing down which breed is right for us at this point in our lives. If you take the time to read through and give some feedback, I appreciate it so much! Thanks all. 1) Will this be your first dog? If not, what experience do you have owning/training dogs? My first dog on my own, my girlfriend’s first dog period. I’ve always taken an active role in training our Saint Bernards and lab mix growing up, and one of those was very recently. 2) Do you have a preference for rescuing a dog vs. going through a reputable breeder? We’d like to raise a puppy the first time around and rescue older dogs from then on. If we go through a breeder, it will be a reputable one. 3) Describe your ideal dog. Frequent hiking partner (20+ miles of hiking in an average week) who won’t be alone for very long (we are planning our schedules this upcoming year 100% around one of us being home at least every three hours, and if it exceeds that whatsoever we will pay a friend to come by and take the puppy for a walk) but will be living in a one bedroom apartment. Prefer active breeds with big personalities who are generally friendly to everyone, since we plan on bringing the dog most places with us. May also train for dog sports, depending on if the pup shows interest! 4) What breeds or types of dogs are you interested in and why? We’re open to anything! We’ve considered chihuahuas to golden retrievers, if that gives you any idea lmao. Lately we’ve been eyeing some Boston terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs. I’m a little worried about getting a brachycephalic breed, and I’ve heard shelties often bark too much for apartment life. 5) What sorts of things would you like to train your dog to do? Trail/walking manners, maybe some fun or stimulating dog sports/activities like water retrieval of dummies or agility. Will be enrolling our pup in obedience and socialization classes as soon as they get their second round of shots, and working on it at home/on our own out in the world. 6) Do you want to compete with your dog in a sport (e.g. agility, obedience, rally) or use your dog for a form of work (e.g. hunting, herding, livestock guarding)? If so, how much experience do you have with this work/sport? Probably not going to compete, I don’t have a ton of experience with any of the sports and would prefer to casually learn alongside my pooch this time around Care Commitments 7) How long do you want to devote to training, playing with, or otherwise interacting with your dog each day? Girlfriend and I are animal loving science majors, and we have a pretty small animal loving science major social circle. Our dog is pretty much going to be like our child, in the respect that it’s the center of our universe and we will be devoting all of our available time to it. I’ve raised puppies and rescued with my parents my whole life, and we are very aware of the commitment. 8) How long can you exercise your dog each day, on average? What sorts of exercise are you planning to give your dog regularly and does that include using a dog park? We usually hike local trails about 3-4 hours a day. This includes running increments. We will also enroll our pup in weekly day care for critical dog socialization away from us, and take the puppy to the dog park at least twice a week. 9) How much regular brushing are you willing to do? Are you open to trimming hair, cleaning ears, or doing other grooming at home? If not, would you be willing to pay a professional to do it regularly? Open to learning and paying a professional. No allergies here, and I’m used to grooming Saint Bernard’s double coats. Those under the ear mats are killer! Personal Preferences 10) What size dog are you looking for? 50-mayyybe 60 pounds is sadly where we need to logically draw the line for now, as most apartments have weight limits. 11) How much shedding, barking, and slobber can you handle? Shedding doesn’t matter, barking probably unfortunately does due to apartment life, and I’d like a break from Saint Bernard levels of slobber but we don’t mind anything less than that. 12) How important is being able to let your dog off-leash in an unfenced area? Not important. We have a huge fenced in area right down the road at my parents the pup can visit often for some off leash outdoor fun, but I’m always going to keep my dog on leash out in the world for safety reasons. Dog Personality and Behavior 13) Do you want a snuggly dog or one that prefers some personal space? Snuggly, all the way. 14) Would you prefer a dog that wants to do its own thing or one that’s more eager-to-please? Doesn’t really matter too much to me. As long as it’s possible to train them (don’t know if many breeds that are “untrainable”), we’re gonna do everything we can to do it effectively and right. If that’s easy, great! If not? We’ll work at it! 15) How would you prefer your dog to respond to someone knocking on the door or entering your yard? How would you prefer your dog to greet strangers or visitors? Just an alert bark if anything. Looking for the opposite of a guard dog. Ideally our pup would either neutrally or happily greet strangers and visitors, so I’d like to avoid breeds that are generally extremely wary. 16) Are you willing to manage a dog that is aggressive to other dogs? If it came down to it, yes. I’ve known a Westie my whole like who’s a people extraordinaire, but wants to kill every other animal. She was unfortunately rewarded by her owner at a very young age to hunt moles in the yard, which obviously didn’t help that terrier drive. A shorter leash (4 ft, I generally use 6) and distractions were the best way to help her stay focused if we passed by other dogs on walks. 17) Are there any other behaviors you can’t deal with or want to avoid? Assuming we get a puppy, any objectively destructive behaviors will be prevented by training. Lifestyle 18) How often and how long will the dog be left alone? Less than 3 hours. If more than 3, even 4, we’ve got a few different friends and family members who said they’d drop in and walk the dog a mile or so (we’d be paying them!) 19) What are the dog-related preferences of other people in the house and what will be their involvement in caring for the dog? It’s just my girlfriend and I, and we’ve reached 100% agreement all of what is said in this questionnaire. 20) Do you have other pets or are you planning on having other pets? What breed or type of animal are they? The dog will be frequently around other dogs, cats, and critters on the trail. We also plan on adding another dog or a cat to our household in the future. 21) Will the dog be interacting with children regularly? In public, yes, but we won’t be having any hanging around the house any time soon. 22) Do you rent or plan to rent in the future? If applicable, what breed or weight restrictions are on your current lease? We do rent. Unfortunately there are restrictions on so-called “aggressive” breeds (defined as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and GSDs) and weight under 60 lbs. 23) What city or country do you live in and are you aware of any laws banning certain breeds? We live in Michigan! I’m aware of the laws here, 24) What is the average temperature of a typical summer and winter day where you live? Michigan seasons are notoriously moody, so appropriate weather gear for our dog will always be on hand. Typical Summer day: 79-100 F Typical Winter day: -5-30 F Additional Information and Questions 25) Please provide any additional information you feel may be relevant. 26) Feel free to ask any questions below.
Hello dogs. Me and my partner bought a Shetland sheepdog puppy last December. She has been wonderful and we have not experienced any problems like eg. aggressive behaviour. Lizzy, her name, is now almost 8 months old. We recently got the news that her litter brother is being relocated (reason unknown). Straight away we started thinking about adopting him. Do anyone have any knowledge to share regarding this? I red up on littermate syndrome but I don't know if this will apply since they now are adolescence? Any help would be really helpful. Thank you.
2019.03.19 17:30 flagondry[Breed] Medium-sized, intelligent, friendly dog for an apartment?
I filled this whole thing out and then realised that I filled out the old version instead of the new version 😩 I tried to strategically shoe-horn in some of the info I could see was different in the new one. Please ask if there's anything else you want to know! I've included a summary at the end.
What breeds are you interested in and why? I like intelligent dogs, affectionate dogs, and big dogs. I've always had a fondness for herding dogs for their trainability. I love the personality of retrievers (golden / tollers) too.
What role is your dog expected to fill and how do you envision your dog fulfilling that role? I'm looking for a companion and a friend to invest my time into. I don't have children or a partner, and I want to be able to focus on a living being outside of myself. I'd love to do agility and obedience with it. I'm a psychology researcher. I study how people learn, so the process of training dogs really interests me. I also have anxiety and the things I've found that help it most are sticking to a regular routine and walking - I do these things already, but both seem mutually beneficial for having a dog. I want the dog to be a friendly, positive force in my life.
What experience do you have owning dogs? How about training dogs? I have not been the primary caregiver of a dog, but I have babysat a Labrador puppy (I had no idea what I was doing) and looked after my friend's poodle (with a better idea of what I was doing) quite a few times. I've been putting a lot of work into learning about training and preparing myself for getting a puppy for the past few months now.
Do you have other pets or are you planning on having other pets? I don't have any other pets, but I would like the possibility to get another dog in future.
Do you have children or are you planning on having children? Do you often have children as visitors, such as nieces, nephews, cousins, or friends' children? I don't have children but I plan to socialise the dog with friends' children. I want it to be friendly around children in case I have children in the future. In fact I want it to just be friendly around everyone.
Do you rent or will you be renting in the future? If so, what breed or weight restrictions are on your lease? I rent an apartment that allows dogs with no restrictions.
Who lives in your household and who will be responsible for taking care of the dog? I live alone.
How often do you have visitors to your home? A couple of times a month. I typically meet friends out rather than at home. When I get the puppy, I already have a queue of people lined up who want to visit and play with it and dog-sit for me.
Do you have a preference for rescuing a dog vs. going through a knowledgeable and reputable breeder? I would be open to adopting if I could find the right dog, but the options here are limited. Looking online, there are only 14 dogs in shelters across the whole country right now, and all of them are either toy breeds (which I'm not interested in) or large dogs that require a large living space, a family to live with, or very experienced owners. I will keep my eyes open for adoption possibilities, but it's most likely I will buy from a registered breeder.
Do you want a puppy, a young adult (1-3 years), an adult, or a senior? Why? I would like a puppy because I am so interested in training, and would like the opportunity to help shape its personality and behaviour. But I am still open to an adult dog, if I found a dog with a nice temperament.
What size dog are you looking for? I like big dogs but it doesn't seem realistic to have one in an apartment, so a medium sized dog is probably better. Something up to around 30 lbs. I'm not interested in toy breeds.
How much barking is too much barking? I would like a dog that is calm enough that it isn't set off by any noise it hears. A little barking is ok. Other grumbly noises are perfectly fine.
How much regular brushing are you willing to do? As much as needed, I don't mind.
How much shedding do you think you can handle? I'd rather have a dog that sheds than one that requires professional grooming. Groomers are crazy expensive.
Are you open to trimming your dog's hair, cleaning ears, clipping nails, or doing other grooming at home? If not, would you be willing to pay a professional to do it regularly? Trimming some small areas is ok but I don't have the skills to trim the entire coat without giving the dog a very embarrassing haircut. Ears, nails etc is totally fine for me to do.
How do you feel about slobber? What about farts? No slobber, or at least a minimal amount. I know all dogs drool a little. Minimal farts too please!
How eager-to-please or independent do you want your dog to be? I definitely prefer a dog that's more on the eager-to-please end of the spectrum, but it's good to have some independence too. I'd like it to be able to amuse itself sometimes, and not to experience separation anxiety if I leave the house. I also want a dog to be cuddly and want to be with me, rather than acting like a cat.
What sorts of training do you want your adult dog to have? I want to do as much advanced training as is possible with the dog. I think of training as an ongoing process throughout its life.
Is there any behavior you can’t accommodate? I need it to be quiet enough that my neighbours don't complain, so excessive barking is a problem for me. Aggression is also something I don't want to deal with.
How important is being able to let your dog roam off-leash in an unfenced area? There are very few areas in my city where its allowed to let the dog off the leash (the forest and the beach). But I would like to be able to play fetch and let it swim in the sea, and I can't do those things with the leash on.
How long can you exercise your dog each day, on average? What kinds of exercise are you planning to give your dog regularly? I can do a short walk/fetch session in the morning before work, and at least an hour after work, if not more. I do spend a lot of time walking, I try to get at least 10000 steps every day. I can work from home on a flexible schedule so I can also go for a walk at lunchtime if that's necessary. Physical exercise will be in the form of walking around the neighbourhood, walking in the forest, playing on the beach, going to the dog park, playing fetch in the garden, attending agility classes/training classes once a week.
How long do you have to devote to mental stimulation each day? I plan to do regular obedience training, recapping commands and working on new commands each day. I will give as much importance to mental stimulation as I do to physical exercise. I want to generally just include the dog in whatever I'm doing so it can learn about the world. I'll also give puzzle toys.
Where will the dog be kept when alone and where will the dog sleep? I will do crate training, and the dog's main area will be the kitchen. It's a small kitchen so hopefully it's enough to still feel secure. I'll crate it for sleeping at least during house training, but I'm not sure yet if I'll crate it when I leave the house or let it have the whole kitchen.
How often and for how long will the dog be left alone? It will vary. I can work from home a lot of the time, so some days 0 hours, some days 1-2 hours, some days 4-5 hours, and some days 7-8 hours. On the longer days I'd like to have a dog walker come at lunchtime.
If needed, could you hire a dog walker, pay for doggy day care, or come home during lunch to take care of your dog? Yes.
What is the general location in which you live? Denmark.
What is the average temperature of a typical summer day where you live? A typical winter day? Around 15 to 25 celsius in the summer, -5 to 5 celsius in winter.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how prepared are you to care for a dog and prioritize its well-being over your career, entertainment, or other life choices for the next 12 or more years? Hmmm maybe a 7... I'm prepared to prioritise the dog's care, but my job contract will end in around 9 months and so there's a bit of uncertainty, but I don't think it's anything I can't deal with. The worst that could happen is that I work away from home 9-5 and need a dog walker to come every day.
Are you aware of the costs associated with dog ownership on an average annual basis? Have you budgeted for additional emergency veterinary care and/or pet insurance? Yes, that's why I've waited until now to get a dog and why I know that now is the right time to do it.
Summary: I'm a single adult living in a 2nd floor apartment with a large fenced communal garden, looking for a friendly, trainable medium+ sized dog. I can give on average 1-2 hours of exercise per day, would like to do advanced obedience training and agility with. I want the most intelligent, friendly, not-barking-too-often dog that I can leave alone for a few hours and that will be suitable to living in a 60 m2 (650 sq ft) apartment. No toy breeds. What breed would you recommend? Edit: The breeds I've been considering are Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Shetland Sheepdog, with the only drawback being the potential for barking.
2019.02.19 22:57 Rob_SothothAmethyst, Root and Stone - Session 07
Feb 9th Session Iain - Herzog: Dwarf Bounty Hunter Lea - Gloria: Imperial Amethyst Wizard Nick - Sandy: Halfling Fieldwarden There was an awful lot of planning on the players part, which was understandable given they'd rocked up to a mercenary camp looking for help, only to find a necromancer returned from the dead with about 200 zombies returning to life around him. I did a little book keeping, rolling a 21, 35 and 05 (keep that in mind given the state of my rolls afterwards). In the intervening 2 weeks, I ruled that Lea would regain a fate point, since the area was thick with magic. The party had a fate point each remaining and they had initiative. Burning a fate point, Lea wanted to know if there was a way to utterly destroy Hammerschmidt's soul to prevent is resurrection, I ruled she could try it. I decided it worked on the same lines as a concentration spell, so long as she did not move and no one touched her, she could essentially remove her spiritual self to the space between planes and confront Hammerschmidt. Imagine it a little like when Frodo wears the ring, the world taking on that blurred, almost wind blown and dark quality. I rolled 2d4 timers: Timer 1: 1 round. Timer 2: 2 rounds. Something was going to happen at the end of each of those timers. There were enough possible options to make a D6 roll viable. Those 3 initial rolls I made determined some of it. Sliding from the back of long suffering Lenny, Gloria entered her trance. Herzog wades in, warhammer in hand, while Sandy hangs back with his sling atop Lenny to provide cover. Herzog swings for Hammerschmidt. Natural 10. Rolls again. 24dmg in total. Even with magical protection and toughness, it hurt. Being a magic user, Hammerschmidt has no physical armor. Rob: "Describe what you think happens as you draw Grimnir's eye." Iain/Herzog: "I imagine the head of my warhammer taking on the form of a double headed battleaxe." For a span of time no longer than what it takes a man to blink, that's exactly what happens. Herzog's warhammer transmutes into a great dwarven battleaxe, cleaving through the necromancer's right arm and into his chest. Every so often I roll on a random effect table, the result of which may or may not do damage or have some other effect. My roll set Hammerschmidt on fire (no dmg, but there were 2 checks, he passed one and failed the other). Rising, skin blackening and blistering, near cut in half. Sandy pelted a sling, ending Hammerschmidt's physical form. He missed the mass of zombies crowding in on them. Gloria sees Hammerschmidt's physical shell fall away, revealing the gnarled and twisted specter of his soul, which turns its eyes upon her - two sickly green flames in place of eyes and set in a leering skull. Summoning the winds of death, she directs them like a sandstorm towards him, doing something, but she's not sure what. 1st d4 timer: 0 - 2nd d4 timer: 1. Zombies close in from the ruins of the camp, surging forward. Hammerschmidt whifs his spell rolls, badly; high 80s. Nick passes a perception check. Through the gates of the tumble down ruins, his redoubtable pony George comes stampeding through. Gore slicked, trailing pieces of undead between his teeth, George hurls into the press of revenants. Kicking, sawing around and biting, he's assisting the party as Herzog wades in and rolls high damage as the horde tries to press in around them. No nat 10, but I ruled if anyone does more than enough damage to kill more than one zombie, then more than one drops. Herzog pulps two. Lea just avoids a crit fail on her cast. Hammerschmidt's attacks don't only do damage, since it's her soul/magical self he's effectively fighting. Sandy, overcome with emotion, kicks Lenny forward, laying down cover fire. More zombies drop and do not rise. Hammerschmidt's will urges the horde forward, knowing if he can reach Gloria and break her concentration, he can safely escape. Some mathematics gave me how far he could drive the horde on in feet/meters. 2nd d4 timer: 1 Iain/Herzog: Natural 10. 24 damage. "I AM GRIMNIR REBORN!" George is still screaming, kicking and biting the faces off of walking corpses. Sniping undead, Sandy calls him over. George hears and begins fighting his way clear of the press. Gloria raises the winds of death, engulfing Hammerschmidt in a flaying wind. Pieces of him begin breaking and sloughing off. He whifs his spell roll for the second time that night. 2nd d4 timer: 0 Herzog tries to tackle Gloria aside as the horde claws its way closer. Sadly, or maybe thankfully, he misses as Rickard, clad for battle in dark mail, charges into the fray. Rickard crit fails both his attack and animal care/handling rolls. His charger goes down, bringing him with it as Hammerschmidt loses control of the horde (bad wp check and horde is overcome with blood lust). Sandy deftly leaps to George's saddle, the WH equivalent of a Shetland pony coated in blood and gore and no longer providing distraction for the horde as they revenants dog pile Rickard and close in on the party. He snipes a couple closing on Herzog, while the dwarf set about trying to get to Rickard, using his bulk to charge into the fray. Behind the party, the local priest of Morr, father Grabbe enters. Gloria senses something, but has no time to deal with it. All through this, the zombies have been attacking, but doing little damage to those engaged. The only exception being Rickard, against whom they act as a unit/pack as they did against George. George had no stats, just luck rolls which he passed with flying colors. Gloria can't harness the winds, but neither can Hammerschmidt, who looks over Gloria's shoulder and sees something she might have already felt. Rickard, lost somewhere in the scrum, tries to fight his way out from under. Nope. The horde is now danger close to reaching Gloria, Herzog himself is all but lost in the press - his presence only revealed by the felling of walking corpses. Sandy does his best, but misses the horde with high rolls. Herzog manages to clear a gap in the horde and get to Rickard as at the same time Gloria flays away the remains of Hammerschmidt's soul. With a game breaking reaction, he casts one final attack towards her as he drifts away on the magical winds like dust motes caught in a breeze. Grabbe lays a hand on Gloria, who collapses along with the undead. Herzog finds Rickard, mortally wounded. Never having planned for Rickard's death - notionally I had planned for him to make it to the end, but the dice roll as they will - I gave him some fitting final words. (The zombies rolled a 1 in there and he kept rolling critical fails.) Iain/Herzog: Lays a hand on the gaping wound ripped in the knight's chest. "You'll be alright." Rickard: "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not saying more...the night they came for my family. I ran. I ran away. I'm sorry." With that, the last son of the Aschaffenberg family died, shoving his sword into Herzog's arms. Iain: I close his eyes if they're still open. Safe, Grabbe advises they leave this accursed place. Herzog straddles Gloria and gives her a slap. No damage, but she sits up and manages not to vomit. (Just able to pick herself up with help - and some stellar rolls - and ride on George, firmly gripping Sandy's waist. Herzog slings Rickard's body over Lenny). Losing consciousness on the way back to Stormdorf, she doesn't see the dawn break over icy fields, strewn with now quite dead zombies in a long trail and stopping just short of the town wall. Still Day 10, now daybreak. All but falling from the horse, Gloria is taken to a Shallyan tabernacle for treatment. (Five levels of exhaustion/fatigue + several insanity points meaning that whenever Gloria wakes, she has amnesia. No memory of the night's events). Mayor Kessler is grateful, grants them lodging (effective freedom of the town) and sees to both Lenny and George, the latter a very angry pony covered in blood. Lector Magnus and a party of men plan on returning to the ruins and camp, once Rickard's body has been prepared and blessed. Sandy and Herzog get some rest, avoiding fatigue levels. They're always at the edge of at least the first level. Gloria, being tended to, drifts in and out of wakefulness, once experiencing a dream where she lies in utter darkness, a void where she hears the beating of great wings. Lea: That's not much of a dream. Rob(me): Your roll was your roll. :) Horses cleaned, rested and groomed, Sandy and Herzog feast three breakfasts and join Magnus - his preparations made to return to the camp. Kessler's watchmen are out in small groups, gathering the now quiet dead, piling them into heaps for burning. In daylight, Tempest Knap is what it looks like: a long fallen ruin filled with bodies among the tossed over tents of a mercenary company, now all dead and rotting food for carrion, if the birds would come and claim them. They find Hammerschmit's ruined corpse. It is him, very much dead. From the folds of his robes, they find a book, strangely untouched by the flames and a singed map of Grey Lady Pass. Sandy got a fancy new dagger - more like a short sword in his tiny hand - and Herzog picked up a nice new blunderbuss. (Lea and I saw a cool looking wheellock one in Graz, so I imagine that's what it looks like. Slightly narrowed flare on the barrel, for better shot grouping). Amid the knocked over tents, they find a mysterious chest. Perhaps too hastily given there's a priest nearby, setting the camp up for burning, they open it. A quick google search later, together with some basic mathematics reveals it to be the company's paychest, totaling about 32,000 gold crowns. Roughly a year's payment for a company of sellswords marching in winter, given that Emperor Gerhard has thrown open the Imperial treasury to fund his war against Middenland. Iain: Shit. Shit. How are we going to move this much money? This back and forth took longer than expected, but ended up with Sandy and Herzog managing smuggle the chest to tie it between their two horses as Magnus lit the pools of holy oil he had scattered all around. Breaking off, Sandy and Herzog make a little detour to a strange stone they noticed on the map. It being a beastman herdstone, Sandy does a little too well on his perception check and picks up an insanity point. (So far, Sandy has taken no damage in the entire campaign, but has delivered some clutch rolls). Back in town, Gloria remains abed, the sisters tending her while Sandy and Herzog agonize over what to do with the money they've come across. Turns out Iain/Herzog feels bad for the hard economic times Stormdorf is going through and buys not only the Thunderhead Ale Brewery (where the famous ale of the same name and Stormdorf's only real export is made), gets some distribution agreements set up with a local exchange and dumps some money into Kessler's hands to build a proper dock at the confluence of the rivers. Barely makes a dent in the fortune they've happened across. Nick/Sandy: Think we should see Gloria? Iain/Herzog: Aw yeah. See Rickard first though. Pay our respects. They do just that and see Gloria as night falls. She's awake, though still exhausted. While she can't remember what happened, Herzog tells her - though he never saw the otherworldly battle she engaged in - and hands Rickard's sword to her. Lea opted for a wp roll. Gloria did not take Rickard's death all too well. He and Sandy also let her know they've bought a tavern and brewery and engaged some people to get business up and running in Stormdorf. In more or less the same breath, they tell her this. Day 10 ends with the party recovering and now an awful lot richer. Day 11 dawns with Wallenstein and Brigida (plus her coterie of men-at-arms) arriving and finding the party still in Stormdorf, much to their surprise. Traveling by riverboat, the party leave Stormdorf behind and spend a further two days on the river - Wallenstein deliberately taking his time to give the various nobles the chance to arrive for the Landtag. While Grabbe remains behind to see to the dead, Lector Magnus goes with them to represent the interests of the Church. **(It's worth pointing out that while the undead attack is perhaps notable, in time of war and the dead of winter, with Geheimnisnacht not long over, the dead travel quick. The local nobles think little of it, not being able to see past their own noses for the most part)** Day 13, Ubersreik. Small knots of tents dot the frozen ground surrounding Ubersreik - the retainers and household of several noble families in attendance. Within the town hall, they find the place busy with blue bloods. Though they all make unprompted perception rolls, it's Sandy who does best. Despite not being able to read, he uses his knowledge of genealogy to identify the various family crests on the assembled crowd. Friburg. Wilhelm (Also known to Gloria as the Weinbaum family, being older wine makers, holds them in contempt) and von Bruner. Though Markgraf von Schluessel is absent, the party overhears. Then we come to Viktor and Mysner. Viktor is old, tall and though aged with slightly sunken eyes, looks hard. Like iron, he will break before he bends. Across from him, Mysner. Younger, finely dressed. Like copper, pretty to look at, but not worth much. Mingling, Herzog introduces himself to a deputation of Ubersreik's dwarfs. Eager to make business contacts, he manages some good fellowship and ingratiates himself with them. No one's turning down good ale, even if it is watery man-made swill. Sandy finds a halfling cheese monger complaining about how the war with Middenland and incessant Norse raids across Bretonnia are ruining his business. Man of action, Sandy introduces himself as a silent partner in a recent business venture and discusses the finer points of pairing ale and cheese rather than wine. He receives the cheese monger's business card and later a note from the merchant's wife for a secret liaison. (Here I forgot Sandy can't read. Nick said he would likely get Herzog to read them to him. Iain's looking forward to that). Gloria weaves slowly through the crowd picking up the odd bit of gossip here and there, but mostly taking care to throw barbed insults at anyone wearing the Wilhelm crest. Before long, the Landtag gathers as the speaker calls them to order. Ringing his staff twice, the hall doors open before he can strike a third. Flanked by two of his men, Witch-hunter General von Rotemburg enters. "Mister Speaker, I must make light of your chair." Iain/Herzog: "They'll let any old rabble in here!" von Rotemburg can't help but hear the outburst, but holds his composure with a dice roll. Just. He calls Magister Weinbaum, her companions and Lector Magnus to him. Deciding to see where this might lead, the party and Magnus follow. In an antechamber well away from the hall (somewhere a group of miscreants could be disposed of quietly, the Witch-hunter looks each of them over. "I have heard of what you did near Stormdorf. You have my thanks and that of our Order." Iain/Herzog: "Once again doing your job for you." Demands a check. Passes. The man's probably used to dealing with far worse. "When last we met," turns to Gloria. "You mentioned squabbles within the Church and the Order. You were not entirely wrong, my lady." Lea/Gloria: "Why are you here?" "The dead ride quick and when I said matters elsewhere drew my attention, I was not lying." Hesitates. I rolled a check. "That parliament out there is a sideshow. All of us in this room have seen what stalks Reikland. Indeed, I have followed it since Autumn...But it would not be happening if our Empire was united." (Nick wanted an epic fetch quest. If not now, then in the assumed next campaign) "The Emperor Gerhard I is no Emperor. When Karl Franz died in Kislev, his line died with him. But after Carroburg." Lea/Gloria: "You were there?" "I was and played some small part in the trouble that befell that city. It led me to uncover a terrible rumor." Lea/Gloria: "What rumor?" A voice from the far end of the room, coming closer with a click-tap of a walking stick of some kind: "That our late Emperor had - before he died - a child. Bastard though she might be, she would be his heir apparent by law and precedent." von Rotemburg: "Gerhard would never have been elected without inheriting Reikland." Father Ablrich steps into the light: "It is only a rumor that the girl - woman now, I suppose - is alive." Iain/Herzog: "Why is she hiding?" Albrich: "Threats to her life drove her from sight. From whom we are not sure." Nods to Magnus. "Good to see you again, my friend." Lea/Gloria: "Why us? What makes you think we can help you find her?" von Rotemburg: "Nothing, save your actions. Matters here needs be reconciled. But she must be found." Albrich: "And because as a friend of mine discovered. Fate is a difficult thing to avoid." END ***For weeks I was trying to decide if this campaign connected in any way to the first. Bringing von Rotemburg back was an easy call, since he was my NPC. Bringing Albrich back was another story and Lea got a bit tearful when he appeared as an NPC. Read The Romanovs by Montefiore, lot of fodder there for gaming and it got me thinking about all of this. Nick also wanted the mother of all fetch quests and when we come back to WFRP, we'll have the whole Empire to play in. Overall, they all enjoyed the necromancer fight since it felt like it could go either way and he might escape again. Played about with the Tides of War - Mass Combat for wfrp2e a little in the zombie fight. Wherever the players were at the time made the difference on whether the undead acted as a unit or as individuals. One more round of combat and he would have escaped to return again, but he is very much dead this time. Somewhere out there though, his boss is waiting and the party are not finished yet. Been asking them all this week about backstory elements, etc. They're hip deep in intrigue central as two noble lords prepare to fight it out over their assumed rights, while they've just been roped into a conspiracy to unseat the Emperor who may not legally be the Emperor. Hope you enjoyed reading about this session. Next game: Feb 23. ***
2019.01.26 19:22 TrulyVisceral[OC] The God Butchers 6
This was in front of my house. And no, Victor’s not my real name. Nobody died, and this wasn’t intentional, no anarchy just yet. Also yeah, my twitter is barren. I just use it to watch stuff, not to communicate. Or at least just that account. My true account, with my real name is the one that I do use for real. And sorry for not uploading that yesterday, it was late and I was tired, so I just uploaded it to my twitter to show it here later. Also, trying a new format this time. I realized that the divider lines don’t show on mobile, so I will now give everything titles. Thoughts are in italics. FirstPreviousNext [COMMANDER SHETLAND’S SIDE. 2 MONTHS AGO] I look at the ships, and can’t help but chuckle at the fact even with all of these technological advancements with spaceship propulsion, we still put wings on spaceships. What are they going to do in the vacuum of space? But I had to admit, they looked really damn good. The Phantoms resembled a larger version of the old Nighthawk stealth jets the Americans had way back when. The current ones, anyways, there were a few prototypes never meant for this type of operation that looked like typical sci-fi crafts, I believe one is called Normandy or something, from some videogame the engineers really liked. The Phantoms are able to hide their thermal signature as well as most radiation they give off, so thermal or infrared imaging was out of the question (though they needed to vent the heat eventually, lest they cook the crew alive), and the fact they were coated with a ventablack-like substance meant not even a look out the window could reveal them, provided there wasn’t a bright planet or moon or something behind the Phantom. There was also some technical mumbo-jumbo I couldn’t remember that meant they could hide for some minutes even if the target was actively scanning for targets. “So, effectively, they are ghosts until boarding?” I said to the Chief Engineer. “Yes ma’am! Sadly, there is no silent way to rip a ship’s hull, so at that point they will notice” “I guess that’s the best we can have right now. Now, do they fit what was asked for? About the boarding crew?” “We followed it mostly to the letter, some things had to be changed sadly, otherwise the craft would have to be double the size it is now. Each craft can hold ~200 meta-humans in full Omega-Armour, or 350 in CMC boarding suits, or just 500 regular soldiers. And we have 100 of them, so between 20000 and 50000 soldiers. And I believe one of the AIs wanted to use some of them as well? I’m fairly certain some robotic bodies could hold on to the outside, so we installed railings on the underside. However! They must be attached to a bigger ship for deployment, there is no space within to hold an FTL drive and we haven’t yet miniaturized the Heim drive enough, so it’s either that, only hold ¼ of the soldiers, or double the size of the ship. The boarding weaponry should cut through titanium like butter, and it is much less destructive, in collateral damage that is, so damage to the enemy craft would be minimal in the case of wanting it captured.” “Hmmm… I would prefer to have a much bigger force with this, they have more than a million of these ‘chosen’ and we have no idea of their capabilities” “Yes, but this was requested to be finished in just a month, we’d need another to have even more ships ready” “We don’t have enough time, their communications are getting more and more alarming, they finally wizened up and are not underestimating us anymore” “Yes, that is quite a pressing matter. Which is why we wanted to install a self-destruct system” “…And? Every one of our ships has it” “This is a little something we call a Null-Bomb. The actual name is an ‘Intrinsic-Field-Remover’ but to be brief, it simply deletes the forces holding matter together. It just, sort of, ceases to be. In the case they seem to be much stronger than anticipated, each one of these ships would have one of these Null-Bombs ready for activation” “…I would call it overkill but… deleting an entire warship from existence does sound pretty cool” “So? Do we mount them?” “Let me talk to the board first, I’m fairly certain something of this level needs quite a lot of paperwork first” “Aww, come on! We already have them made!” “I know, Dr. Krieg, I figured it out with you saying all you needed was to mount them. But this still needs approval, rules are rules” [ADMIRAL CROWLEY’S SIDE. 1 AND HALF MONTHS AGO] “Hold on, really? They just went and said it?” I asked to Sun Tzu, disbelief in my voice. “Yes sir. They gave their full coordinates to the base they communicate with. They will be warping to a star in the Eagle Nebula within a month. It will take them 2 weeks to arrive, apparently. It seems the engine this military ship uses is significantly faster than all the ones we’ve found so far.” “…Hmm… perhaps… an ambush?” “Do you want to set an ambush sir?” “Yeah… if we know exactly what star it would be, why not send our ships ahead? Just wait for it to arrive, and when they least expect them, we board them!” “Though that is a great idea, it is also possible that they are setting up an ambush as well. Perhaps they let us know on purpose?” “…Didn’t you say you hadn’t been seen?” “I haven’t found any evidence that indicates they noticed we are spying on them, but there are a lot of unknowns here. We don’t know the capacities of their super soldiers, we don’t know exactly how many are aboard or what armour and weaponry they wield, maybe their encryption is purposefully weak?" “Grrr… Alright, let me think… why not… send a scout ship? Give it the fastest engine we have, make sure there is nothing there first, and then send in our Phantoms. How fast can we send a scout ship?” “If we were to prepare and launch one right now… within 2 weeks it would arrive at the destination” “And the comm delay?” “About a day to the nearest base.” “Then why not send a flagship as well? Not to the star, to a nearby one, where the delay is non-existent” “That would also be possible” “Alright… and how long would a warship carrying all the Phantoms would take to go to that star as well?” “Almost the same amount, just a day less” “Alright… let me think. What about this. We send a scout-ship to the star they want to go to, and a flagship to a nearby system for the ship to report to. When we’re sure no ambush is there, we send in the Phantoms 2 weeks before they arrive, and wait that last day. Then we attack.” “Yes, that would be the wise thing to do. And about the base they are reporting to…” “Yeah?” “We finally have a visual. It’s a massive base on and within a barren planet. They have more ships in orbit than all of the ‘exploration’ fleets we fought before, about 112 warships, unknown amount of fighters, and automated defenses. And I said Warships. These are significantly more well-armed than any other ship, though not as much as the ‘Chosen’ ship.” “Hmm… Armed how? Just more lasers and plasma cannons?” “Yes sir, and some missiles as well. And better shields, better hulls, etc. Again, not quite as good as the ‘chosen’ ship, but there are 112 of them in orbit, many more planet-side” “Alright, I think Ivan and Uncle-Sam are about to have a field day then.” “…Sir?” He says, worry in his face. He knows we have a lot of things we haven’t yet deployed because it simply wasn’t worth it wasting it with such weak ships, might as well test them on a bunch of asteroids. And we mostly wanted to free enslaved species or capture their bases… but now… “We have a lot of experimental weapons and ships we haven’t properly tested yeah? Just arm several ships with those and give them to those 2. The Fusion Lances, the Tungsten Rail-Guns, Anti-Matter cannons, Graviton Bombs, Nano-Forges... Oh, and especially that singularity generator. If there are more ships on that planet, I don’t want them taking off.” “…This will be a massacre sir” “Hey, they enslaved a race of tiny Rabbit-People and hunted cute Dog and Cat-people to near-extinction for sport. This is what they get.” [TRAPPIST-1 SYSTEM. PLANET TRAPPIST-1D, NOW NAMED ‘THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS’. 2 WEEKS AGO] Terraforming was going pretty well. There were 3 planets here that were pretty close to how Earth used to be. So all we needed was to increase Oxygen levels a little bit and some genetic treatments, enough for us to breathe no problem. The problem, however, was the wildlife… no wait, that’s wrong. The wildlife was fine, thank goodness convergent-evolution is a thing, as most things resemble old Earth fauna. The problem was the colonists. You see… they are descendants of Texans “Mr. Malcolm! Please! Get off the animal!” “Shut yer trap! He’s gon’ get a new record!” Shouted one of the colonists. “WHOO!” Yelled Malcolm. “These broncos sure are sum strong fellas!” *They all decided to embrace their heritage, so the second they spotted an animal that looked close to a horse… well, this happened” “YEEHAW! Come on you hooved ant-eater! You gotta try harder than that!” Yeah… hooved ant-eater wasn’t far off. It was a horse, with the snout of an aardvark. And blue. “You are a scientist! Please, behave like one!” “What kind of self-respected Texan ain’t gonna try to break a new breed of horse partner?!” sigh “If this is a sign of things to come, I don’t want to know what New Florida is like” YEET! I’m sorry, please forgive me. Anyways, I tried to make things slightly more serious. And then I started throwing random sci-fi weapons in there, because why not. Also, a slight Watchmen reference. And apologies to Texans if this is a bit offensive, it’s just that I read something about a space-cowboy and I just had to. No apologies to Floridians though, Jesus Christ there’s a whole sub-reddit about it. As always, criticism, complaints, all that Jazz. Cya buds.
My fourth post on this sub! As always, feedback appreciated. --- Humans had always been known throughout galactic history as “in tune with nature” and “dirty hippies.” While this may be true for some, it is not true for all; many humans are extremely wasteful and severely pollute the environment. On the other hand, there are dirty hippies. Both appear the same to most species, though, as they don’t have a major concept of “compassion;” if they do, it’s only for their own species or family. I’m somewhat in the middle; wasteful, destructive, and in tune with nature. I’ll tell you the story of the Pirate Beast, the Natural Disaster, the One-Man Coalition. The story of me, Gavin Ama, mercenary and beast tamer. One of the faction’s lackeys was sent out to deal with me. If things went well, good for them. If things went south, well... What lackey? “H-hello? Are you, uhh...” The lackey stared at his papers for a second. My reputation must precede me. “Gavin Ama?” “Yep, that’s the name. Please, call me Ace. Official name’s for the courts.” “Yes, of course, Mr. Ace. We, uh, have a contract for you.” The lackey shuffled his feet. At least, I assumed they were feet. Even lackeys were given something to cover their bodies, just in case there were cameras. “I heard you had a problem. I solve problems. What’s the contract?” “Y-yes sir. Ace, sir. We have a pirate group on our local operations planet. Lots of Rom.” Rom. Slimy, disgusting, look like a cross between a mole and a slug. Real hard to get out of their tunnels; tiny, compact. Good thing I’ve got a colleague with just the right shape for them. “Tell me, what am I getting paid for this? It’s risky doing dirty work, and making sure I don’t make the same mistakes as Al Capone ain’t cheap.” The lackey seemed visibly confused at the Capone remark, but didn’t ask questions. He’s gonna go far in this business. “About 2,000 credits, sir.” Two thousand, let’s see... If one credit is worth... Wow, they must really need that outpost gone. “Deal. Will you also repay expenses? Fuel, damage, medicine?” “O-oh! Sorry, sir, I’d need to talk with-” “No worries, I’ll take it. Ya did great for your first negotiation, kid.” As I left, I heard it humming a tune down the halls. --- Here it is. In orbit around the target planet, I watched the pure white clouds of steam as they poured out of geothermal plants. The camp was located next to a river, right next to a temperate forest. Looked just like the ones on Earth. Convergent evolution is a beautiful thing, no? I watched the location and picked out their patterns. Leave the holes, swim under the river, get in some camouflaged cars, and drive to the transports to raid them. I could see why they couldn’t do it on their own now; too many Rom, too many valuables, and a big defending advantage. That is, unless you’re human. I had to pick out some helpers to smoke them out and pick them off. Air support’s always nice. Something to block the river would be great for routing. Something hidden in the woods could probably help with the rout too. Something that could fit in the burrows is an absolute must. Tracking and herding couldn’t hurt. That seems about it. Water, burrows, air, and tracking. I sauntered over to the Reserve. The sounds of nature hit my ears like a beautiful symphony. “REX! DOLLY! SLINKS! CHENET!” I heard a cacophony of stomps, splashes, and flaps as my four helpers ran to my side. Thank goodness for human advancement in genemodding, otherwise half of them would only be “semi-domesticated.” I lead each of them out of the Reserve, slowly loading them into their travel rooms. First went Dolly; she was one of my first partners, so she held a special place in my heart. A Shetland Sheepdog, smart enough to follow orders but small enough to take up around half as much space as a Border Collie, but just as good at herding. Second was Slinks; one of my first partners bought because of a job and not just because they were cute. Officially known as “The Slinkster,” Slinks was a ferret used to crawl into tight places and flush out smaller species. Third was Chenet; the best compliment to human ability, and the height of freedom. A domesticated bald eagle, officially named “Ahancha Chenet,” her goal was to help with anything that needed a little extra mobility that legs and arms just couldn’t give you. Just a plus that temperate rainforests were some of the most common hideout locations. Finally, there came a small slithering noise, and out from the mud came Rex, an American Alligator. Still tiny, Rex was slow on land, but great in the water. With powerful jaws, she could, at the very least, cripple a foe enough that they couldn’t run away. With all four animals by my side, I packed them into the travel ship and set off for the cold, wet, fern-covered fir forest below. --- While many planets tend to have convergent evolution with their plant species, it’s usually very different with animals. Sometimes, fish in Ye Olde Seas never evolved plates to store calcium, so bones never got widespread enough for vertebrates to come onto the scene. This is what happened with the Rom. Specialized hydraulics and tunnel digging by squeezing in and pumping water worked well enough that they thrived in dank caves and tunnels below the water table. They evolved a bit like an octopus, but, y’know... a slug-mole-shaped air-breathing one. Brain spread through the body, multiple hearts, hemocyanin, all to help squish into their cold catacombs. They lived in their caves, living on space-potatoes, until they finally grew big enough brains to find out that tree roots could make fire, and eventually, how to make musty metal tubes to live in. As the ship fell down to the planet below, Ace thought about where he’d land. It looked like he’d be dropping around a clearing behind the forest the raiders were using as a back wall. This would be a lot easier than some OTHER jobs he’d had, though it WAS Ace, and he WAS going to finish this job. He would make sure of that. --- As I left the craft, I looked around to make sure that none of the bandits had noticed. It wasn’t every day you saw a ball of fire falling from the sky in broad daylight. Well, maybe it was for these raiders, because nobody came to try and ambush me when I checked around. “Everyone, fall in behind me.” Most of the animals stood in a little line behind me, but Slinks crawled up on my shoulder and Chenet perched on my hand. As we marched up to the camp, I noticed that it looked just as busy as before. They didn’t notice us. Perfect. “Chenet, perch, pickoff duty,” I whispered. “Dolly, forest, area denial. Rex, river, area denial. Wait for my signal.” I just can’t praise genemodding enough for letting me do stuff like this. As each animal got into position, I waited for an opening. Wait for it, there’s their two stolen weapons... Now they’re getting in the cars... Now. I sprinted over to the tiny entrance, and let The Slinkster do his work. Pandemonium broke out as a tiny furred tube started ripping apart the living equivalents of water balloons. I watched them pour out of back entrances to try to get to their reserve transports, and as they got to the water’s edge... BANG. Rex shot out of the river, grabbing one of the raiders and landing with a full-body slap back into the river. As she began her death roll, splashing water around and confusing those unlucky enough to get back to shore, Chenet started her dives. Every few seconds, Rom would either be ripped apart by beak and claws or carried into the sky as a missile to be dropped on their late companions. By now, around a third of the raiders were gone. The rest were furiously wobbling at a surprising pace, with the stragglers being picked off by Slinks, Rex, and Chenet. They were going to the forest. WOOF! Dolly barked at the raiders, causing some to stumble and be caught by their pursuers. Dolly began to run around the edge of the forest, killing and who got too close. As their numbers slowly began to dwindle, she started running in circles around them, barking and snapping at any who left the ever-shrinking circle of death. Slowly, each Rom was picked off, and eventually all was quiet. Now it’s time to set up a welcoming party for our soon-to-be guests. I can’t wait to test out my new bombs.
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Clint Sentence and Alan Murdoch, NHS Shetland, talk about the services they have tested, learnings and the next step. Matt Harnacke and Jesse Drent both horse riders and youtubers. Love the relationship of these two. I wish they could feel comfortable enough to reveal it to ... Sheltie Gathering @ Marina Barrage Singapore Music: Summer Smile - Silent Partner https://youtu.be/6wlbB1PTzJU. You think dating in 'the mainland' is hard? Try dating on Shetland! Marjolein is having a few problems - which anyone living in a small commmunity can relate... How am I earning passes now that pass horses are gone? A few weeks ago I did a review on the new daily objectives and talked about some new ways I'm suppleme... Join me and Jesse Drent as we show you our stables and amazing horses. Instagram @matt_harnacke @_jessedrent This video shows our first trip on the sea with Fizzy and covers part 1 of our 10 day trip. It covers our arrival at Mercury Yacht Haven on the Hamble followed by our crossing to Cowes in the Isle ... halifax,