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Pelican Town from a Urban Planning Perspective

Any other urban planners/policy folks play this game? I’m an urban planning student who has spent too many quarantine hours playing SDV and at the risk of deeply questioning how I spend my time, I’ve been thinking about it from a planning perspective. Please tell me someone else has thought about this.
Pelican Town (pop. ~35) is a small, rural town within a few hours of the nearest big metropolitan area. The town appears to have had an industrial past, with all the decayed mining infrastructure. Like many rural towns that were once anchored by industry, Pelican Town has struggled to rebuild its post-industrial economy and identity.
The Mayor’s strategy is to look towards tourism, culture, and recreation for the town’s future. He holds an abundance of traditional festivals to preserve the town’s cultural identity and market its quaint, rural character to visitors from neighboring areas. He hopes the farmer’s high-quality local produce and artisan products will contribute to Pelican Town’s renewal. He also thinks the arts could drive the town's revitalization (Leah's art show). The town also has an abundance of natural assets, although I'd worry about point source pollution from the sewer pipe and the quarry is totally a brownfield site.
Encouraging tourism is a sound strategy in Pelican Town, but it’s not a panacea - it won’t necessarily increase the tax base to help the town’s financial problems, and the jobs created will mostly be in the service sector. The neighboring town, Calico Desert, is another post-mining economy that is looking to tourism and has opened a casino.
Economy: [EDIT: I did not do the math here. The unemployment rate is higher. Still not sure if the wizard has a job.] The unemployment rate is only about 3% (this is arguable. does the Wizard have a job?), indicating that the economy is basically at capacity. The jobs are not well-paying, though (the town was chosen for a discount Jojamart, like many rural towns attract dollar stores). Without good jobs for young people and lacking educational opportunities, the town is at risk of losing the younger population to other towns/the city. There’s potential for more small businesses if tourism increases, or for more remote work (though it doesn’t seem like Pelican Town has good internet infrastructure and computer ownership is low.)
Transit: The town also suffers from a lack of transportation. Vehicle ownership is low (just the Mayor and Sebastian’s motorcycle, I think), the town is looking for private investment to restart bus service (should really form a regional transit authority with Calico Desert and get government funding), and though the train with the platform hints that there may have once been commuter rail, it’s currently only used for freight.
Population: Pelican Town’s population, as it stands, will decline. There are only 2 children (Vincent and Jas) but close to 20 residents who are 40+. There are 12 residents in the 20-40 age group (the bacheloettes), who need to stay in Pelican Town and start families to reverse the decline. As in many rural areas, substance abuse is a problem in Pelican Town. There are a few alcoholics and I’m not gonna get on Sebastian’s case for smoking a little weed and who knows what’s in Pierre’s stash, but there’s clearly little else to do in town besides hang out at the Saloon.
Housing: If young people choose to marry and stay in Pelican Town, where will they live? The vacancy rate is 0 and most bacheloettes live with their families. New housing will need to be built to retain them, but most probably cannot afford to build a house. The town will also need to carefully choose areas for development to maintain the natural assets that draw tourists. The town seems to use a form-based code in the town center (two-story mixed-use buildings).
Solutions: The town is relying on the goodwill and prosperity of a private citizen (the farmer) to revitalize the Community Center, build houses, etc. - Mayor Lewis should rely less on one-time private investments and focus on more reliable funding sources and economic growth that will increase the tax base. The town is facing a housing crisis and should consider mixed-use development/apartments in the Community Center neighborhood to prevent sprawl. The town needs to invest in transportation and communication infrastructure to improve access to jobs and education. The vacant land near the train station is a great spot for a TOD and some denser development if the Valley could start commuter rail service, but I bet Robin & Demetrius would be NIMBYs who don’t want development near their mountain home.

TL;DR: Mayor Lewis is making you do the flower dance to stimulate the economy.
submitted by baldpatchouli to StardewValley [link] [comments]

Unleashed pt. 43

u/eruwenn put a lot into this one, so big thanks for that. Hope you guys enjoy.
First / Prev / Next
Eruwenn stepped into the hangar of the Galactic Federation ship Takogni, her assistant Cygna close behind. With steady and sure steps they approached the remarkable group in matching uniforms — black pants, black jacket, and a visible collar of a coloured shirt — that stood before them.
Norrin, the Herald of the Awakened Queen and easily the most striking individual they had ever beheld, stood at the front with a brazen lack of clothing on his mirror-like skin. Flanking him were two silver-haired individuals in smart uniforms that sported red collars. One was a behemoth of a dark-skinned man, with a runic pattern in glittering silver curving down one side of his face. His shining silver hair was tied back into a braided ponytail. The other was as pale as her companion was dark, and the shortest of the three by far. She had a cropped silver bob, and she watched them with fierce eyes.
As she approached them, Eruwenn noticed patches on their shoulders, and quickly recognised the image to be a monochrome depictions of the furry human ambassador in a ferocious pose.
Standing to the right were a dozen more individuals in black uniforms, though these ones sported yellow collars peeking out from under their jackets. They were mostly Rinoxian, Kasurian, and Ashi, but she noticed a few individuals from other races that stood amongst them. They stood in formation, standing in three rows of four, and carried energy rifles, side-arms, and ceremonial blades that she hoped were simply ceremonial. Despite their relaxed stance, Eruwenn also noted that their weapons were powered up..
The Terran Wolves had been formed a little over forty cycles ago, hiring ex-military and mercenaries to fill their ranks. Substantial pay and benefits were an obvious draw, and many were excited to be part of something new. The inclusion of Kasurians was odd, but fitted with the attitude of the proposed colonies. Quite the honour guard for the newly reassigned, and demoted, Anatidae.
Norrin gave a sharp bow as she neared him. “Greetings Ambassador Aix Sponsa. I will escort you to the Orkal.”
She returned his bow, and smiled warmly at the use of her new title. “Thank you for accommodating me at such short notice. My reassignment was, unfortunately, hastily pushed through — I do hope I have not inconvenienced you?”
Norrin shook his head. “Not at all.” In her role as Councillor she had aided them immensely, protecting the independence of the new colonies in Aaron’s absence. It had cost her dearly. “We have set aside accommodations for you, as well as a small office area. Your belongings have already been delivered.” He turned, and the doors to the large Fae’Dan shuttle behind him opened. “I fear there won’t yet be much for an ambassador to do. We are still very early in the construction phase.”
As Eruwenn and Cygna took seats in the luxurious shuttle, they both noticed that only Norrin and the two red shirts had entered. As the doors closed, the ambassador's curiosity grew enough for her to speak up about it. “Are the others not joining us?”
Norrin took a seat opposite their guests, glancing briefly at his two companions as they moved to the small pilot's cabin. "No," he said simply, "they will be flying the escort fighters.”
“Fighters?” Cygna couldn’t help but say out loud. “All twelve of them?”
Norrin eased himself back in his seat as the shuttle began to move. “We take your safety seriously. The Queen was most insistent.” He tilted his head and looked directly at Eruwenn, motioning with his hand towards the door to the pilot’s cabin. “Thor and Ripley have been assigned to you as your primary security detail. Should you have any other concerns, do not hesitate to contact me directly.”
The Anatidae nodded graciously. She knew full well that her death would be too valuable a political tool for the Sentinels to pass up. Her being manoeuvred to this position so suddenly was proof that greater powers were at play. “We are both grateful that you are taking such precautions. I look forward to thanking the Queen in person.”
Norrin gave a light chuckle. “I would strongly advise against using that title in her presence.” He opened the arm on his chair, exposing a small display. He began tapping the screen as the wall to his right flickered to life. A large circular structure was now visible, sitting at the centre of a constantly moving sea of drones, shuttles and ships. “As you can see, construction is progressing rapidly on the main docking ring. Once that is completed we will expand to the additional levels. The design is still being updated, as we are incorporating some human ideas.”
Eruwenn was carefully comparing the size of the ring to the shuttles buzzing around it. “Human ideas? I assume “very large” is one of those.”
“In fact, yes. Go big or go home.” He smiled. “Build it bigger, faster and stronger is the human way. This will be a very unique system station.” He leaned forward and gave a broad grin that reminded Eruwenn a little too much of the human’s. “Of course, being outside Federation space we are not bound by certain rules. For example, those that prohibit certain automated weaponry on stations primarily used for trade. Another human ideal regarding big sticks, especially as we are so close to enemy territory.”
Cygna looked closely at the silver man, his face emotive and yet seeming inanimate at the same time. “We passed two Rinoxian dreadnoughts at the system edge. I’ve seen almost a dozen Ashi heavy cruisers in the system, and various other military vessels. Who needs sticks with friends like those?”
Norrin sat back once again, placing his hands in his lap. “There were several attacks upon our supply ships. This happened despite the truce with the Ashi while amnesty negotiations continue.” He gave another smile; they all knew it was the Sentinels. “This no longer happens, thanks to our friends.”
His cheerful manner and polite tone gave his words an oddly ominous feel. Eruwenn watched his eyes, but only saw herself reflected in chrome pupils. She changed the subject. "How are things progressing with the release of the other Inorganics?"
Awakened,” he said swiftly and firmly, then smiled before moving on. “There are over three hundred who have taken Earth citizenship and are now working with us. In ten cycles that number will have doubled. In thirty, we will have thousands.”
Eruwenn raised an eyebrow. “So many, and so quickly?”
Norrin nodded. “The legislation you helped draft with the Kasurian and Rinoxian ambassadors was swiftly adopted.” He gave another of his knowing looks. It had been her last piece of legislation. “The campaign by the Kah’Ree also worked to our advantage. Their belief that we were stealing jobs and illegal citizens persuaded other races to back our removal. It seems a misinformation campaign via Spacebook had convinced them we were sleeper agents of the human empire.” He gave a light chuckle. “Biding our time before we took you down from within.”
The ambassador was warming to the chrome man sitting before her. In different circumstances, he would have made an exceptional politician. “I saw the pictures of the little yellow men advocating your people’s removal.”
Norrin disliked the imagery immensely, but they had proven just as useful as Alexa had claimed they would be. “Minions. A fitting name.” He brushed them from his mind and continued his briefing. “As you know, there is a grace period as employers make alternative arrangements. When that ends we will be sending teams to retrieve our brothers and sisters.”
Cygna was curious. “Brothers and sisters?”
He waved a hand dismissively. “Metaphorical turn of phrase. Prior to my awakening, my role was to travel between our people and perform something we called sharing. The giving and receiving of core nanites, to maintain our unity. Others also performed this duty, but we do have an undeniable bond. We know the location of all of our kind, and we will free them all.”
There was a gentle shift in gravity as the shuttle came to a stop. As the doors opened Eruwenn was struck by a cacophony of sound. Overlaid on the grinding base notes of a mechanical din were yelled communications in every vocal range that was audible to her species. She cautiously took a step outside, only to see that things looked just as chaotic as they had sounded. As the two red shirts joined them, she spoke, finding that she had to raise her voice to an uncomfortable level in order to be heard “Is it always this busy?”
A deep voice from behind her let out a booming laugh full of warmth and humour. The giant spoke, and Eruwenn wondered if he was the one named Thor, or Ripley. “This is the quiet hangar. You should see the construction crew bays.”
The Herald led the way. His chrome form made his authority easily recognisable and the crowds parted before him. “Thor is correct, this is a working ship and ill-suited to guests. The Orkal was originally a Gowe construction platform, retro-fitted by the Selari Trade Alliance for system development and asteroid mining. Until more ships arrive, it must act as the hub of this system.”
Cygna ducked as a small drone shot past them. “I’m surprised they were willing to trade with you after their experience with the human.”
Norrin turned to face them, walking backwards with as much confidence as he had forwards. “The Selari Trade Alliance are providing considerable resources at exceptionally favourable rates.” He decided not to mention that the Selari Trade Alliance was now a subsidiary of the Black Dragon Corporation. “The Ley’Rulians already have a platform in orbit of the first planet. They cannot share atmosphere with most species, but they have a number of Awakened working alongside them. They are prioritising an orbital station, however planet-side construction is now underway. We also have three construction platforms coming from the Doytarans. One of these is a Parsuli class and will become home to our more esteemed guests, such as yourselves.”
It was Eruwenn’s turn to be surprised. “The Doytarans?”
Continuing his perfect reverse walking, Norrin smiled. “Ah yes. Their treaties will be submitted to the Federation in the next few cycles. The surge in replicator use for human cuisine and the opportunities for advanced fabricator installation throughout our new system proved most enticing. Doytarans love profit.” They stepped onto the elevator, and paused as several people who had been walking behind them were deterred from also stepping in by Thor and Ripley. As the doors closed and the noise was cut off, Norrin continued. “I apologise if we seem rude. Safety first.”
The pair of guests nodded in gratitude. Eruwenn, ever the politician, was running through the lists of races the new colonies had allied with. “Including the Doytarans, you must have independent treaties with twenty different races of the Federation. That is a formidable feat.”
“Thirty two, including the Doytarans. Negotiations are underway with a further ten races.” Norrin watched the shock on the Fae’Dan’s face, as the Anatidae held her composure. “It is good to have friends.” As he spoke the doors opened, and he led them down a long dull grey corridor, rounding several corners, before coming to a set of double doors. “Your shared quarters. I’m sorry we do not have the space for separate accommodations.”
Eruwenn smiled. "No need to apologise. Under the circumstances, you are already being extremely accommodating." The doors opened, and she beheld a large lounging area. A vid screen occupied an entire wall in the far corner, accompanied by some seats and a replicator. On the opposite wall were the boxes that contained their belongings, and three doors — likely two bedrooms and one bathroom, she surmised. "This is more than sufficient," she said at last. "We will be most comfortable here.”
Norrin bowed his head. “It is a temporary situation. I promise your next quarters will be more representative of our gratitude.” He turned and spoke quietly to Ripley, while Thor stood still in the doorway, then returned his attention to the guests. “I will leave you now. Please let your escorts know if you would like to explore. Your office will not be ready until tomorrow, however we have a lively market and recreation area. We can arrange additional security should you wish to explore a little.”
The Anatidae held up her hand to stop him from speaking further. “I think we will unpack and prepare for our new duties tomorrow. Do you know when we might meet with Alexa?”
Norrin tilted his head as he considered this. “Alexa is currently on her way to meet with the Righteous Fury. They are attending a meeting at Rinoxian High Command. We are hoping to gain their support for our amnesty initiative, as well as make arrangements to join the incursion into Hive space.”
Eruwenn nodded. Things had been set in motion all across the Federation, stemming from the point they had received the footage of the human's death. Despite his non-member status, there was a push from a large faction for retaliation. An unusually strong push, one she had resisted. Her offices were raided three times under suspicion of subversion. The Sentinels found nothing every time, but she had known from the first instance that her cycles were numbered. They had other ways of removing their opposition, and it was her resistance to retaliating against the Hive that was, ultimately, the cause of her reassignment.
The footage that had caused so much turmoil was, as was typical of the Hive, entirely without sound. It was also poorly framed and edited. The small human was barely in shot before being obscured by the large Hive entity that appeared to be chasing him. Aaron's popularity meant that there was an immediate outcry against his reported death, and the traditional media still seemed solely intent on fanning the flames of anger. Those who had once been his strongest critics now extolled the virtues of humanity, lamenting the loss of the last of his kind. His journey with the leokas had been shared, edited, remixed, commented on, and analysed many times over, each time strumming the heartstrings of his followers.
"You still think he is alive?" Eruwenn asked, breaking the silence that had fallen during her introspections.
Norrin smiled and turned to leave, calling over his shoulder as the doors closed. “The corpulent female is not performing vocally.”
As the door closed Cygna flopped down into one of the armchairs. “Well, that was cryptic.”
The ambassador walked to the replicator to order a hot tea, allowing herself a small smile when she found Eluin flower tea already under the favourites alongside several of her favourite biscuits. “Thank you Rilla,” she said softly.
The Fae’Dan allowed her whole body to relax fully for the first time since they had received the video that had changed so much. She sank deeply into the armchair, her head falling backwards. “Can you believe this place? I didn’t know there were so many shades of beige and grey.”
Eruwenn nodded. The bland colour scheme had not gone unnoticed by her, but more importantly she had also been surprised by all that they had seen so far. “I had not expected them to be so far along in such a short period of time. From what was said I get the feeling they will be exponentially increasing activity here. It’s certainly ambitious.”
The central door on the wall behind them suddenly opened, accompanied by the sound of a bodily waste recycler finishing its cleaning cycle. Ranjaz swaggered into the room, his hands fluffy from the auto-dryer. "I would give it a while before going in there."
Cygna screwed up her face in disgust. "What were you doing in there?"
"Honouring my ancestors." He raised an eyebrow and took a seat opposite the pair. "What do you think I was doing?"
The Anatidae gave a brief roll of her eyes. "She means, why are you in our room?"
"Welcoming committee." He smiled, showing his fangs. "I'm in charge round here, mostly. We're following a human strategy. Divide and conquer. So, we split up to, you know, conquer stuff."
Cygna sniped back, "That's not how that works."
"Says you." The Kittran shrugged. "Allistan and I were put in charge here. He manages the numbers, and I manage the people."
"And Norrin?" Eruwenn enquired.
Ranjaz sneered. "Alexa’s snitch. He shut down my casino and keeps bringing those Awakened on board and giving them jobs."
The ambassador raised an eyebrow. "Casino?"
"For morale." He punched his fist into his other hand. "When Aaron gets back he'll understand. Pay the workers, then get them to give their pay back - happily. It's brilliant."
Cygna sat up in her seat, unsure of the Kittran. “Mister K’Lua, if you could get to the point. We have had many tiring cycles of travel and would appreciate a little rest.”
He looked her up and down and flashed his most charming of smiles. “Call me Ranjaz.”
Eruwenn attempted to bring the conversation back to task. “You said you were divided. How so?”
“We split up, that’s what divided means.” He rolled his eyes, mimicking her earlier action. “And the Doc said you were smart.”
Realising she was being tested by the Kittran, she began to laugh. “What is it you require of us?”
Ranjaz smiled – straight to the point, he liked that. “I want you to be boring. Like, super dull and uninteresting. Think Jarby-like, but more Jarby-like than that.”
The ambassador was intrigued. “Why?”
He tried to keep his voice calm, but his tail swished happily as he made his dramatic reveal. “So nobody notices when we leave.”
The claxon was surprisingly quiet, and it wasn’t until the horrendous smell hit his nose that Aaron realised the door to his death wasn’t going to open. Behind him, the airlock unsealed. A huge, clawed hand grabbed his shoulder, so hard that it bit into his flesh. The claws sank deeper still as he was hoisted into the air and carried backwards by the huge Hive creature.
“Graaaah,” he roared in pain. “Get off me you fucking Bug’s Life reject!”
A strange smell assaulted his nose. Combined with his hangover, it pushed him over the edge and he vomited all over his own chest. The creature carried him, legs dangling in the air as blood and vomit stained his clothes. He coughed, the movement causing the wounds in his shoulder to open further, and he cried out in pain again. He was woozy now, and as the creature walked he seemed to lose his sense of time.
Anty stood in front of a large door and while it began to enter a code, Aaron dangled helplessly from its grasp and looked back down the corridor. Where his blood and vomit had dripped, the moss was now glowing brighter. From small holes in the walls glowing blue aphids the size of hamsters began to appear. They quickly headed for the bright spots on the glow-moss floor. “This place is really trippy,” Aaron mumbled as his fever rose.
The door opened suddenly and Aaron was taken inside a room with gently pulsating walls. Large vines crisscrossed the ceiling, combining into a series of woven braids as thick as tree trunks running down the far wall. At the end of each vine was what appeared, to Aaron, to be a gigantic blue jelly bean. He was starting to realise the constantly changing odours were coming from his captor, but this information was more confusing than helpful.
He was dropped unceremoniously on top of one of the giant jelly beans. Before he could move, he realised he was sinking into the cold and gel-like substance. It was a deeply unpleasant feeling; his skin felt like the blue goo was toothpaste and he was orange juice. He had begun to make some headway in struggling free when Anty's hand came down atop his head, pushing him down to submerge him completely. He tried to wriggle free but the goo was too viscous to move in, and his eyes widened in terror as he desperately held his breath.
Anty leaned closer, watching him struggle helplessly. The human’s jaw clenched tighter. The creature's mandibles were clicking, although Aaron could no longer hear them, and he realised that thankfully he could not smell it any longer. Bubbling up through his mind was the thought that his headache was gone, followed swiftly by the realisation that the pain in his shoulder was also gone. Something else slowly became apparent; he wasn't running out of breath.
He felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. Physically he felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. The thought foremost in his mind, however, was Am I dying? followed slowly by Is the goo paralysing me so I can be eaten alive? Am I being dissolved to feed the glow moss? The cleaner aphid-hamsters?
Whatever was happening, it slowly dawned on him that he didn't really have the energy to mind, as it was quite pleasant. Relaxing, even. He drifted off to sleep, cradled contentedly in his giant blue jelly bean.
Outside, Anty began to have trouble breathing and staggered towards the exit.
Golden eyes hovered in the dark, and Aaron groaned inwardly. "Boy, this shit again."
"YOU LIVE." The voice had no discernible emotion.
Aaron ran his fingers through the sand around him. "Why are you here, Golden Eyes?" Saying it out loud was a relief, as he was certain it was the 'One Who Remembers' who was haunting him.
"I AM WHAT REMAINS. THE CONNECTION WAS BROKEN. I AM NO LONGER THE ONE YOU FOUGHT." The voice was distant, as if forming these thoughts took a great effort. "I AM A FRAGMENT."
Aaron sighed, wondering if this was why he had stopped healing and why he could no longer turn off his limits. “So you’re messing with the nanites Alexa gave me? Why? If I die, what happens to you?”
Before he got an answer he felt a strange sensation around his body, like pulling a foot free from deep mud. Cold air touched his skin and he felt the hard ground below him. He was in the same room, but his jelly bean was gone. He stood, and realised he felt amazing. He’d never had a spa treatment, but he imagined this would be the after effect. He walked towards the door and heard a sound behind him.
Glop Glop
From the vine that had been attached to his jelly bean another was beginning to grow, only this one was orange.
Finally free from his hangover Aaron took stock of the situation he was now in. Other than the clothes on his back, he had nothing. He looked around for an improvised weapon...and found nothing. He walked to the door and it opened automatically, but the corridor was empty. “Fuck. What is going on?”
He walked a short way down the curved corridor and saw a strange red shape on the glow-moss floor just up ahead. He slowed and crouched, inching forward. As he saw further around the bend it became very clear that this was the corpse of a Hive, maybe even Anty. The glow-moss beneath it glowing a dull red, and in contrast to the aquamarine it seemed ominous.
He stood up from his crouch and carefully approached. Aaron had no idea how to check for vital signs on an eleven foot tall ant monster...so he kicked it. There was no response, and he decided to press on. “Fragment. I know you won’t, or can’t, respond while I’m awake. But I’m going to talk to you anyway because this is some creepy shit.”
As he rounded another corner he came upon another body highlighted by the ominous red glow in the moss. A short while later he came across another. And another. Aaron pressed onward, ceasing to check for signs of life after the tenth maybe-corpse. Finally he reached a potential point of interest: a junction where three new paths opened before him. "There are no signs. How the hell am I supposed to know where I am?”
He sat down on the floor, and found the moss to be surprisingly comfortable. “If I just wander around aimlessly, I might not find my way back here. Do I need to find my way back here?” He paused and waited for Fragment to reply. “Good point. What if I get hurt? I might want to hop in a jelly bean.” He stood and looked back the way he came. “I should probably see what’s behind door number two. Food would be good.”
He pushed himself to his feet and turned back the way he had come, heading straight for the nearest door. Its failure to open was surprisingly anti-climatic. Fourteen failed door-opening attempts later, one finally deigned to admit his passing. Behind door number fourteen stood rows of crates and boxes, and after opening a few up he found that they all had the same dry bricks in silver foil packaging. "If I was a betting man," he said to both himself and Fragment, "I'd say this was emergency rations." The foil was easy to tear, and inside was a large grey block that crumbled easily. Too easily, in fact. "Shit, it's worse than a granola bar.”
Crumbs scattered at his feet and the moss glowed brightly around him, which seemed to prompt the large aphids to come from the walls to begin cleaning up around him. “Well you like it.” Then he remembered them rushing to his blood and vomit. “I guess you guys aren’t picky, though.”
Deciding he wasn’t hungry enough to try it – yet – he shoved a block into one of his pockets. It was a tight fit. He looked at the open bar in his hands, and then down at the aphids. Was he crazy, or were they gathered around him now, staring up at the source of food in his hands? He shrugged, then crumbled up the rest of the bar and scattered it over the floor. “I am a generous god, serve me well.”
As he turned to leave he saw his cryo unit in a corner. “Kinda rude that I was put in with the blocks of kitty litter, don’t you think?” He stepped over the dozens of aphids now feasting. They did not reply. “Yeah, you guys are kinda cute, I suppose.” Struck by a sudden impulse he grabbed another block and began crushing it, then carefully opened one end to take a pinch of space-granola. He scattered it, watching the aphids hurry towards the glowing areas.
As he continued his exploration, counting doors and sprinkling aphid snacks, he quickly noticed that the aphids avoided the dull red glow-moss. Dead Hive were, it seemed, off the menu. After several more doors he found the room with the strange round terminal. Deciding he would rather not chance summoning another creature he left it alone, mentally noting the door’s location.
He began to whistle to himself as he chatted to, and fed, his followers. To fill the silence he even told them the story of a piper from Hamelin, promising not to lead them to their deaths. As the door to the jelly bean room opened he was almost enjoying himself. Taking a moment to look round he saw the small orange jelly bean had grown almost as big as the others and was now blue at one end. “Well, that’s pretty cool.” He pointed at it, hoping one of his aphids would take an interest. They did not. “Well, I guess you see this shit all the time.”
He stopped by the store room and grabbed another food brick on his way back to the junction. The long corridors and strange lighting made him lose track of distance and time. Facing forwards, the path continued on the same loop he seemed to be following. Right was an incline, left was a gentle slope. “More of the same, or do we change levels?” He tossed crumbs towards each path. “Six vote forwards, seven left and eleven vote for going up. What about you, Frag?” He paused for a moment. “Abstain, huh? Then the bugs have decided.”
The incline was gentle, but tightly spiralled compared to the previous corridor. There were no doors, but there were a lot more bodies. His search went on for what felt like hours, opening doors that led to rooms containing things he didn't understand. He was growing tired and had used up all of his space-granola on the aphids. He came to another junction.
Only a handful of aphids still followed him after the food had ended. He was growing hungry and tired, ready to head back. There was a noise ahead of him, and suddenly the remaining aphids scattered, flying to the nearest wall holes. His chest tight, he let curiosity draw him in.
Another body lay ahead of him, but this time, something moved. Something big. Aaron hunched down, trying to see what it was, the bulk of the fallen Hive obscuring his view. Legs – multiple sets of them – began to emerge, followed by a head with glistening eyes. Aaron’s blood froze. It was a horrifying spider-like creature, almost as big as he was, and it was walking around the fallen Hive in Aaron's direction. Then it raised its head, and began to move faster.
“Fuck that!” Aaron took off at a sprint, racing back the way he came. “Nope. Nope. Nope!” He leapt over Hive bodies, racing for the nearest door he knew would open. He could hear the clicking of many legs and chanced a look over his shoulder. It was gone. Then something caught the corner of his eye, and his heart gave a jolt of fear. It was above him. He dove aside just as it landed where he had been, then he scrabbled desperately to his feet to run onward.
Three, Two, One. The door opened and he rushed inside. “Close. Fucking close!” He listened to the sounds of skittering growing closer, and it was just in the nick of time, or so he felt, that the large door finally slid shut. The room was filled with strange bulbous white shapes dotted around the floor, and had some vines running down one wall. No weapons, nothing to bar the door. Aaron held his breath as he suddenly heard the sound of scratching at the door, but the seconds ticked past and it did not open.
“Damn it, Frag!” Aaron moved to the back of the room. “Why didn’t you warn me!” He sank down and leaned back against the wall. Just as he was beginning to feel almost comfortable in his current position, one of the vines moved and stretched out towards him. He rolled forwards, pushing himself across the ground to escape. “What now?”
A large yellow flower bloomed upwards, becoming a large vase shape as big as the human’s head. It began to fill from the bottom with something, and Aaron edged closer. Peering inside he gave the contents a quick sniff. “Smells good.” He reached out and hefted the vase-flower, which came away from the vine far more easily than he had expected. Aaron watched as the vine slowly returned to the wall. “So, is this a drink? Or a scented industrial cleaner? Frag? You got anything useful to say?” Silence.
He propped the vase up against one of the pods, contemplating it. He remembered encountering a fruity-scented shampoo as a child. It had tasted nothing like the smell, and he wasn’t about to drink alien flower juice just because it smelled tropical.
Stretching out on the floor, his weariness outpaced the dwindling adrenaline. “I guess it can’t come in.” He watched the door, his heart rate returning to normal. “But, I can’t go out.”
The scratching outside continued, and Aaron lay with his head on his arm, watching. As he began to fall asleep he saw several of the aphids gathering around the flower he had abandoned. “Help yourself, guys.” One of them approached him, braver than the others, and he tentatively reached out a hand. Spooked, it pulled back, but as Aaron continued to hold his hand steady it came closer, slowly, millimetre by millimetre. Finally it was within reach, and after a few more moments to make sure the skittish thing wasn't about to dash off again, Aaron gently stroked the back of its head with the tips of his fingers. It made a low buzzing sound, fluttering its wings, and the human fancied that it might be a sign of approval.
The aphid's blue glowing abdomen brightened for a moment. Then it faded, and it darted off to rejoin the others. Aaron, exhausted, finally gave in and slept.
submitted by Sooperdude24 to HFY [link] [comments]

Music of the Verse (Challenge Day 23)

Considering my settings are all part of a multiverse, it ranges from setting to setting. Zathar and Sol are fairly classical in music, with some esoteric instruments in less-advance areas. Andromeda is obviously mixed from more traditional music to a number of futuristic tunes and preserved music classics (One of my main characters actually holds one of the few remaining collections of classic rock albums in human history). However, I'm not exactly sure I can define my setting's music in one paragraph, let alone five. So, I'll have to-
The vid screen suddenly goes into static for a few minutes. Then, it cuts to an image of bright lights and EDM going to the recipients ears. They then see a humanoid being made out of what appears to be a reflective metal akin to a disco ball, wearing golden clothes covering his torso and silver sleeves. His eyes are covered by a pair of black, reflective glasses that strangely appear to match his eye movements.
"Greetings, salutations, and hello mortals, artificial intelligences, and fellow cosmic fellows. It is I, Grandiose Infinity, greatest musician of a billion worlds, performing all the way from Heaven and Hell and everything in-between. And I welcome you, honored guests... to Club Infinite."
The view expands out to show a building covered in multi-colored lights as the music gets louder. The camera rolls around the building, show it to be one of the larger buildings in an already expansive city. It's top appears to be like a golden disco ball, and the camera zooms back in to the performer, walking along a window with the visages of various beings dancing in the background.
"What? Don't know who I am? You should get to know more people then. Anyways, I am what many call an Eternal, which is basically a semi-divine and totally immortal being. I am a high-class quintrillionaire and performer of all kinds of music. Have been for the last... 40 million years perhaps. I got bored of all the kingly stuff of being an Eternal lord, and decided to rule in a different way. Thusly, I became a musician of all kinds. While I do prefer a few arts over others, I can assure you that I can do all of them. And by all of them, I mean all of them. Next scene."
The scene then cuts to a finely crafter room, with a prismatic fireplace and with Grandiose Infinity resting on a gold sofa. The music has changed to smooth Jazz.
"I perform primarily in electronic music, but on Sundays I do like to do smooth Jazz for the lovers. On Fridays, we go all out on disco and vaporwave. And every so often a influential patron can choose to have me perform a special performance. Now some people may say I have a rather high ego, which is true, but I also have a desire to please the many rather than the few. And that is why I do more than just please through sounds, but also with sights and risks."
The scene cuts again, this time to what appears to be a large casino. The general sounds of a casino fill the air, with celebrations and defeats all found.
"Thanks to my connections with Esenar Incorporated, I have been able to fund my own personal line of entertainment at my locations. Come one, come all, and bet your bets at our approved gambling sections. Watch our near-exclusive performances of artists from across the multiverse, including yours truly. Watch sports events from across all of time and space, or just enjoy a fine exotic drink at are 5-star bars. All this for a rather miniscule fee of 200 units or 45 Gullids."
The Scene shifts to an image of an animated version of the building seen earlier, with Grandiose Infinity watching over the visage of a deity. Disco music can be heard as a female narrator speaks.
"Call Esenar Services and buy and claim your pass into Club Infinite at your nearest Esenar services station. Come and join the club of endless fun."
submitted by Benster_ninja to TheVerseSetting [link] [comments]

In the wheat field [okay to use if you like]

Hey everyone! I just had a strange thing happen today and thought I’d share.
I live on the outskirts of Edinburgh and I like to go for walks in the surrounding area regularly. Today near the end of my walk (around 16:30) I had to cut through a slightly rougher part of town called Wester Hailes to reach a small dirt track (that’s official name I kid you not is Donkey Lane) that leads me through some fields and passed a golf course before I eventually get home. As I reach the start of this track I pass by a wheat field and something bright catches my eye. Being probably too nosy for my own good I look over and see a bright red student ID card lying in the dirt at the entrance of the field. I step forward into the field to pick it up - thinking I should probably turn it into the police station- and as I do so I see another card, this time a credit card, lying about half a foot away. I stand up and look at the area properly for the first time and see that there are thirty to forty cards lying in about a two foot radius at the entrance of the field.
As soon as I saw this I felt this intense feeling of dread wash over me and I seriously considered just turning around and walking away. Instead I took a deep breath and started collecting all of the cards. All together they made a pile about the size of two full decks of cards. After collecting them I turned and power-walked the fuck out of there, asking a nearby cab driver for directions to the nearest police station. (An unmentioned detail I should add here, I forgot my phone at home which left calling the police or using google maps an impossibility). As I walk to the police station - which is about thirty minutes away back into Wester Hailes - I try to subtly look through the cards and notice some strange details.
Firstly, the pile of cards contained bank cards (both debit and credit cards), student ID cards from some of the local universities, a key-card for a local business and the local council, a Toys R Us membership card, a Casino card, a library card and a laminated piece of paper with some super small and hard to read text on it.
The newest of the cards was a Student ID for a local university that expired in 2007.
Despite their apparent age the cards looked brand new with none of the colour fading or scratching you would expect from bits of plastic that have been left in Scottish weather for over a decade.
Because of this, on all of the ID cards the faces were clearly visible. There were three males and one female and they all looked strikingly similar, with short dark hair, dark eyes, pale skin and a round “baby face.”
Once I reached the Police station I was able to get them entered into lost property, though only cards that could be matched to the ID cards were submitted as separate cases with the rest being marked as “miscellaneous.” I assume this is just standard police procedure so I’m not going to question that too much.
All in all I would definitely chalk this up as one of my weirder experiences as I feel like it could be anything from some local business cleaning out their old lost property to human trafficking or some kind of serial killer. Either way I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts!
Pictures below are of the found property forms (with personal info removed because it’s the internet)
Edit: So despite my better judgement I decided to swing by the field again today on my walk. I really tried to go another way but something inside me just wouldn't let me. Fortunately there isn't much to report as today it just looks like an ordinary field (see the picture linked below if you like).
The only thing of note I can mention is that as I was leaving the field a small, unmarked white van pulled up just past the entrance. It sat idling at the side of the road while I walked out, this made me feel a bit uneasy so instead of walking directly past the van I decided to cross to the other side of the road as I walked by. As I was about to draw level with the driver's window the van shot off.
Honestly if this means anything I think its that my anxiety is seriously getting the better of me and I really don't think I'll be going back any time soon. Though I would still love to hear everyone's thoughts.
submitted by Aheron21 to ChilluminatiPod [link] [comments]

Manic Hanukkah joyride 2019. AMA

I have pretty bad bipolar, To the point where I’ve been hospitalized multiple times, and I’ve tried a slew of drugs to help but to no avail. My first actual manic episode occurred in 2011 accompanied by a god complex and believing that my car became a time machine. I would stay at random places in the city of Chicago that year, until I finally ended up back in my parents house in the suburbs which was the very last place I wanted to go after having a failed suicide attempt there prior to my mania. I have saved most of my manic episode images and videos on my hard drives these past few years in an attempt to keep myself from going off the deep end like that again, little did I know that it would not help in any sense of the word. Last year I was self medicating myself with whatever street drugs I could get my hands on to help alleviate my internal brain pains of this existence, and I had been doing it for a while so nothing really changed in that regard, however I had a brilliant idea for a new cryptocurrency and it really took off on 4chan. This token was going to break into the adult webcam tipping industry which is currently in the hands of many third party websites and they don’t even use crypto. So in this stroke of self supposed brilliance a team of incredibly talented people came into my life and helped me develop my idea further. I was broke so I had no actual money to pay these guys, however they were kind enough to accept the tokens that I made as part of their share and payment for the work they completed. Things were off to an amazing start, we had a website, and an incredible back end developer who was on an entire different level as far as his knowledge of cryptography and cryptocurrency development. As things progressed slowly I began to have these ideas of also self supposed brilliance, like being able to decipher and decode my personal subjective viewpoint of reality and also communicate to myself through this “external” self of my immediate environment outside of time/space. Simulation theory also played a big role, along with synchronicity and the phrase “there are no coincidences.” Repeated through my unbeknownst to me revving up doozy of a manic episode. It was so gradual and logic to me in those moments that I never for a chance thought that I was on my way to yet another mega minded god complex episode. As I started spiraling downward in viewpoints of many who had invested in my project, my mother eventually called the police to my apartment for a wellness check. Now I had gotten kicked out of my previous place for inviting some real shitheads to move in, in order to make my newly ex 21 year old girlfriend and my old roommate as uncomfortable as possible. Yeah she started sleeping with my roommate after I got a job...anyway, I digress. I was able to move into an amazing studio apartment using funds that I had obtained from selling a few billion of my tokens to a guy OTC. Things just seemed to magically come together for me in this manic state of mind. So the first wellness check went horribly, as when the police came I was totally naked and they had to convince me to put my clothes on upon entering my abode. It didn’t take me long to figure out I needed clothes to go outside as I was making the argument that I was doing nothing wrong being nude in my own apartment. Next thing I know it’s been 10 entire days in a psych ward. When I finally got out I was welcomed to my entire crypto project team abandoning not only myself but the project entirely. I was devastated and felt betrayed. They had put up a paragraph on the old website giving details on the situation and how they were moving forward with things and starting a new project. I kept moving at incredible speed towards the insanity cliffs that I could not see from my level viewpoint of the mental path ahead of me. To the point of running away from my apartment because I was afraid my mom would call the police on me once again. I ended up taking the metra train all the way to Wisconsin and started walking to Milwaukee from there. I had an ex girlfriend that I had hoped might take me in. I walked until my feet started disintegrating off my legs. I managed to get most of the way to Milwaukee where the police arrested me for walking on the side of the freeway. When they pulled over I was very resisting about them taking me from my PTSD psych ward good times. They ended up only keeping me in jail for the rest of the evening before releasing me into the late night fog. For some reason while I was in jail I got paranoid that those who were in with me were trying to poison me and have me locked in a cell to be killed, so immediate upon release I fled to the nearest bus bound as far north and away from that place as possible. I literally started seeing synchronicities that confirmed all of my increasingly delusional thoughts, going as far as thinking my parents were abusive to us as children and they too were joining in the hunt. I had flashes of imagery of my parents being horrible people and torturing children, and I continued my escape to self assured places of safety. One of the areas I found myself in once I exited walking for miles along some railroad tracks. I felt people trying to ambush me and trap me in this small religious residential town that seemed surrounded by a massive fence with barbed wire. At one point I took my shirt off and acted like a jogger, to where someone released their dogs leash and right onto me...his was not imagined. I ran as fast as I could into a parked boat that was half filled with rain water, and I was so scared that I had to actually dip myself all the way into that very frigid water through my pants as I literally felt hunted. I heard gunshots and voices shouting in the distance, dogs barking, I just laid there completely motionless for my life depended on it. When I finally thought the coast was clear I got out as inconspicuously as possible to which I was met with yet another thunderous brigade of voices and gunshots. I then found myself in a recycling bin before I started to sneak very low around parked cars in the driveways. I finally made it to the end of this nightmare as I could see the fence beyond a final row of houses, I waited a few minutes before finally darting at full speed to and over that barbed wire fence cutting my lower back in the process. So there I was, shirtless, bleeding from a decent sized cut in my back, down the side of a road with quite a bit of traffic, coupled with my state of mind at that time it felt very supernatural. I felt like people were staring at me from their cars and recognizing me as a being not from this world. In my mind I had thought I recognized specific entities that I was channeling information from through the akashic records. I had started posting rap style videos on TikTok, delving through a multitude of emotional ranges and topics. I had thought I was trying to wake up the entire planet to the illusion pulled into their eyes. The final experience I had upon returning south to Milwaukee took me through open fields continuing to feel like a hunted piece of game. I felt that there were other beings that joined this hunt as well, that were not human at all. So now I was trying to evade an alien species that I had thought was controlling the police from the woods of Milwaukee. I had the idea to try to mimic who I had thought these creatures looked and moved like, and I inverted my jacket to further disguise my appearance. I had thought I saw them coming out of the woods so I figured that was where the aliens nest was. It was logical for me to try my best to blend in with them, and of all places to look for me, the last place I would think they would search would be their very own nest. So I mimicked what I thought they were doing going in and out of the woods at a high speed and with veracity. I waited until all cars passed and ran full speed into the woods, and being surprised with not only very thick trees, thorns, and bushes...but a very steep declined terrain. It was very hard for me to control but I kept running through and downward to the depths of what I thought would be an alien nest hell hole. It was pitch black that night and I could barely make out anything, but after about 5 minutes of diving down this steen terrain I began to see a clearing...it was water. As I exited the tree line I walked along this seemingly endless lake that had lights out incredibly far on the horizon, I came to the conclusion that the aliens lived underwater in this lake and the lights were potentially part of their base. As I continued walking down he sliver of a shoreline among the bushes, I saw something I was not expecting...severed giraffe heads with their tongues sticking out. It was surreal. I concluded that this was a place where they studied our animals and dissected them. Upon seeing this I noticed that in the near tree line there was a break, and a very comfortable looking incline out from the pits of that hell I had stumbled into. I calmly walked up and out of there as casually as possible. The police then picked me up after I told them where I was headed and it was around Christmas, so they obliged. I had figured I passed their test and was now the alpha dog in the system of control there in Milwaukee. These scenes and experiences are as close to what I experienced in those moments as I can possibly detail, the police got me on a bus back to Chicago where I finally made it home. This of course was not the end. I had left all of my keys and a lot of clothes I had with me in the deep woods in Milwaukee, so upon arriving to my apartment I could not enter. I ended up throwing a brick into the back door window and entering finally to what I thought would be peace. The entire building I lived in was dead quiet. I had thought that my neighbors were all taken out by black ops because they had been a part of an organized crime scheme, but it was just Christmas. Even my neighbors annoying dog was gone and I assumed they had shot it as well. It is truly incredible what a completely delusional mind is capable of, and I was completely sober the entire time. Once I finally got a chance to sit for a minute and gather my highly dependable thoughts and realized I needed to go to Walmart. I was all comfortable and showered as well as wearing a super comfy ninja turtles onesie that I was planning on rocking in the store while shopping. Immediately upon exiting my apartment complex I realized that I no longer had keys and there was no way I could get to the back door without someone letting me through. I took this as a sign to once again leave my apartment and my belongings and find a safer place. The universe confirmed that I wasn’t supposed to go back home, I had no key and I locked myself out. I headed straight downtown. It was now one of the days on Hanukkah and there were Jewish people everywhere. I felt their eyes grazing me and giving me chuckles as I was wearing this giant green fleece ninja turtles onesie walking around downtown Chicago. I was wearing some old shoes at the time, but because I had convinced myself that shoes were hurting my ability to practice walking correctly for my anatomy, I ditched them in the streets. I walked up to the nearest train station and got on. When I was in the train I had noticed some printouts taped to the car walls showing a human figure above the tracks with a little electric zap near his feet. In my mind I saw this as directions someone had left me on how to finally exit the matrix. I was supposed to jump in the tracks and I would be out of this place as Neo did with landline phones. I slowly made my way to the very rear car of the train and opened the door and slinkied my way through the last safety chain keeping me from my finally found freedom from this horrible nightmare of a “reality” game. I made my way onto the tracks and hopped on top of them in my bare feet. I finally made it to the electrified elevated rail and braced myself for the incoming trip of a lifetime. I gathered all the courage I had and made the jump...nothing. Ok strange. I jumped off and made my way along the other tracks further analyzing them to make sure I had indeed jumped on the electrified track. Confused as I verified it was, I hopped along the other tracks and back towards the wooden platform. During this entire scene there were many people, mostly Jewish who were trying to convince me not to do what I was trying to do. They didn’t know I was escaping the matrix, they thought I was trying to harm myself. I pressed on. I noticed there was a space between the two directional electrified tracks where I would be able to grab one line in each hand, further securing the one way journey I was about to take. I knew that if I grabbed them palms down I wouldn’t let go. I walked to the area and braced myself for what very well nigh still be a very painful ride out. I got in my knees between the tracks and told myself there was no way I would come this far and go though all of this hell to pussy out now. I gathered all of my courage and grabbed both lines. Again I was met with nothing. Maybe I was immune to the electricity? Maybe I had already made the trip? Very confused I started waking on the tracks back towards the shouting people and the platform. Jumping on each rail one foot at a time. BOOM. It hit me before my big toe even touched one of the rails. It threw me immediately off the track and I had a brief moment of unconsciousness while in the air. I landed between the tracks and continued to make it to the platform. A jolt of intense pain shot up my foot from a now bloody big toe. This was entirely unexpected to me as the track I had gotten jolted from was the one I had tested previously with no power. Confused and a bit tingly and disoriented I limped in pain back up to the wooden platform. One of the guards asked if I was alright and I just hurried past them saying I was fine. I got down to the street and in my hazy mind was able to make out a van with its driver standing next to it open and running in the street. Taking this as a sign to move quickly I jumped into his car and shut the door while he yelled for me to not continue. I then grabbed the wheel and hit the gas. I was getting out of here. I never thought I could drive this fast. I was weaving in and out of traffic, barely missing both cars and pedestrians, while assuming the police wouldn’t be far behind. I threw the man’s phone and toll device out of the window as soon as I could. I was still wearing my coat on top of my onesie which I had failed to mention earlier, and while driving I made sure I inverted it and try to blend in to normal flowing traffic. In my stable mind I had come to the conclusion that this van had been used for unanswered trafficking and that there was dead children unseen in the cargo space. I felt like this was a mission to infiltrate this trafficking network to find out what was happening. I had to once again blend in. I drove as fast as I could for the immediate escape of the city, and upon the freeway I stayed within the laws of the road. I are it through several small towns until one seemed as if a police car had started to escort me a certain direction. I acted at first to be taking his direction until halfway through a turn I bolted he opposite direction, ensuing a chase. Many cars were then called and I was being acutely chased now and I started driving to the very ends of my physical limits of reaction time and the vans capability of speed and control. I thought I had a way out, but soon I realized I was trapped. I saw a bus parked near the casino where I had ended up and thought his might have been a drop off/pickup location for the traffickers. I stopped for a moment next to the bus and made eye contact to a very confused looking driver. I then started trying to maneuver away until I quickly ran out of road and bottomed out the delivery van. My ride was coming to an end, I had managed to take half of my onesie off while being in between pursuit so I was now half naked and being commanded by many guy wielding police officers to get out of the vehicle. Thankfully I had remembered in that moment it is very important to always show your hands to police. This detail may have saved me from being suicided by making a wrong move. I was still stuck in the car with my seatbelt on, and repeated to the officers that I was moving my hand to open the door. I opened the door and they proceeded to have me crawl on my stomach towards them scraping against sharp chunks of broken concrete along the way. I kept crawling for seemingly forever as any one of these cops or a failed movement on my part could end this moment quite disastrously. I finally was allowed to get up with their assistance and subsequent handcuffing. They sat me on a large piece of concrete and tried to cover my genital area while trying not to laugh. It was quite the site I am sure. A half naked man wearing a green onesie barefoot and bleeding from his driving toe. I was laughing with the cops and small banter was exchanged as they tried to figure out what to do with me. They asked me what was going on and I told them I know where the bodies were, and I pointed to the concrete that was laying in the area. I was convinced that all the missing children’s bodies were being disposed of via pulverizing and into our cities concrete structures and sidewalks. I didn’t say this to the officers but assumed they knew what I meant when I pointed to the concrete when they asked. I slowly got paranoid they were going to try to kill me. I was asking them questions about where they were taking me and I had thought his was finally the end. I knew too much. An ambulance arrived and I was taken to my certain death. I arrived at a hospital and they do the common questions and my paranoia is in high gear. They want to strap me into the gurney and I kept vehemently refusing. They actually respected my decision as long as I was calm. Slowly my paranoid mentality began to fade as I was logically asking myself why nurses would waste all the effort testing me physically if they were just going to kill me anyway. I was finally safe. Until they injected me with antipsychotics. I am not a fan of big pharma, but I can attest that the shots did help kick me out of my delusional mind. The side effects were horrible, but my mind was finally getting to a point where I could see my insanely delusional mind from the outside instead of through the failed system I had unintentionally built over the course of the last few months. I will never forget this experience. It was indeed life changing and PTSD inducing. I have a completely new respect for what the mind can do, and what seemingly benign and silly mental games can potentially become. I had thought I figured it out, all the while reminding myself that I hadn’t, but also feeling as I was the one who was chosen by the architect of the universe to be his speaker and teacher. I had convinced myself I was an ascended master, practicing transcendental mediation. I was teaching people on the street how to walk. That part is actually true. Balls first, your pinky toe side of your foot is supposed to make first contact, followed by your big toe ball and finally your heel. Look it up. ;) This was quite an unplanned story but I hope you enjoyed the ride and the experience as best as I could convey to to you and your incredibly complex and relatively small space between your two ears. Thank you and have an incredible rest of your vibrant and passionate existence. Remember to respect yourselves and the power you have both individually and collectively. 4444. <3
submitted by thiscontradiction to casualiama [link] [comments]

Tales of Specter (Chapter 9)

Chapter 9
Grimhowl Catacombs
Melody started to laugh at her own words to Shiva. "You're a ice-elf?" "Yes, I was joined your team for the journey of the 12 orbs!" She asked. “Wow! That’s awesome!” Melody said. “Yeah, I know…” Shiva replied.
Specter says "Okay, guys gather around!" The Specter Clan gathers around the meeting table of the ship. Roger says "Well, what we gonna do about it?
Specter says "We already got the 7 orbs and now there 5 left before the solar system lined each other. For now we're heading to Darkcrow Hometown. Grimhowl for the Spirit Orb." "For the Spirit Orb?" Roger asks. "The Spirit Orb is required to open the Sealed Gates at The Dark Orb." Specter replies. Melody said "Hey, Darkcrow is your place is haunted with ghosts?" "Yes, it is. My Hometown, Grimhowl is the most haunted place on the Lairon Region" "Don't you think it would be a better idea if we stayed near a city?" Victor asks. Darkcrow replies "No, there is no place to stay near the city, That's my kingdom policy!" "Why would you do that? "It's not me, It's the king who made the policy!" He replied. "Ah, Okay then." Melody replies Roger says "So what's the plan?" "We stay at my headquarters and then make a sweep to capture orbs then head to the next orb." Darkcrow said.
Specter says "Ok, that is a great plan. Now, does everyone ready?" Everyone nods. "Then let's go capture the Spirit Orbs!"
The Specter Clan arrive at Grimhowl! Grimhowl Hometown of Darkcrow and it's the most haunted places on the Lairon Region... Well at least in the non-magical world. Grim indeed, the entire landscape is full of caved in houses and other buildings along with the scary looking villagers. It's a little creepy in some places.
Specter says "Well, This is the place you send me in the trials after I stole the Grass Orb? Remember that shit, Darkcrow?" "Oh yeah, you're right." Darkcrow replies. "Let's do this!" Darkcrow yelled. The Clan starts heading towards the entrance of the village.
The guards said "Halt! No one is allowed to ent- Sir Darkcrow! I glad you here!" "What's wrong?" Darkcrow asks. "The villagers, they're acting strange!" The Guards "How do you mean?" Darkcrow replied. "They just standing there and not saying anything! I've never seen this before..." They replied.
Specter says "So, what they all gonna do here? Defeat that strange villagers?
Darkcrow replied "No, but in Grimhowl. We and the people fight the Beasts!" "What?!?" He yelled.
Darkcrow shouted "BRING OUT THE WARRIORS!" The peasants came out from their homes and helped another one in armor.
"What the...?" Roger asks. "That's Warface you should probably called him Warcry for some reason. Darkcrow announce his name. Warface shouted and raise his weapons "FOR THE GRIMHOWL GLORY!" Warface have the appearance of a giant skeleton with scraps of leather on it, but it's not just that, It's also wear a helmet with horns, a dark red color and had some sort of tribal symbols on it The strange villager reveals as a possesed demon! He launch a giant strike with his giant sword and the Warface attack with a roar! "FOR THE DOME!" He also shout while attacking. The rest villagers explained as Demons too! The possesed demon villager said "DIE! DIE! YOU ALL ROT IN HELL!" The peasants attacked by the demons were just Clansmen and just normal villagers too, they didn't have any magical powers, but seems like fighting several demons without much training isn't the best thing on your mind! Warface finish the possesed demon with the blows with the swords! "The Demon is Dead!" Warface and the Peasants shouted and go back to their normal state! The peasants were exhausted, some of them was dead and more of them were wounded. Darkcrow looks at them and just laughs. Warface saw Darkcrow and said "Haha! Look who's back in this Village!" Warface said "Heh, Hey Warcry!" Darkcrow replied. "So what's the plan?" Warface asked. Darkcrow said "We're here to get the Spirit Orb at the Grimhowl Catacombs" "Sounds like a plan" Warface replied.
Specter says "So... Darkcrow, Have you met this guy before?" "Yes, in fact he was my defendant before all this happened!" Warface replied. "Really?" Specter asked. "Defendant? Aren't these are defenders are we talking about?" Melody said. "Defender? I've never known you to take so long for a break! Hah! It took you that long to think up a new name!" Warface laughed.
Specter says "Darkcrow, Aren't you a defenders before we met? I thought you're a prosecutor! "Never know when to shut up!" Warface said. "What the heck is going on?" Specter asked. "It's a long story..." Darkcrow responded.
---flashback--- It was a few years ago, in a village far away from here.
My father and mother got divorce and my mother got sick and died, My father he died somehow... I heard he got killed by some bandit or something, who knows.
I was left alone in the world with few money and no one to take me in.
But then, A knight just taken me to his kingdom and teach me how to be a cool knight like him... The next day he took me to his real king and as a reward he been given land, money and honor! You know how it goes.
At his moments, He is one who the member of the 6 elemental orbs knights... And he'll do anything to protect the orb... I think that's why we're here... Anyway, his name is Jayden "Darkcrow" Grimhowl. After he defeated Axelegore, He leaves the town and left the Spirit Orb from the Grimhowl Catacomb and off to the Dark Orb from Death Island and sealed with his Magi, to kept the Dark Orb safe as it go!
But years passed... He never came back...
At least not for me... nobody knew where he went. His men said they would look for him, But he would be very difficult to find.
At my age of 21, The King of Grimhowl called me "Darkcrow II" to be one of his general.
I was happy to serve a kingdom that could fulfill my mother's last wish, To see me as a real warrior! But I’m bored with my life on Grimhowl. I became a defense attorney, where I met Warcry as my clients... He thought that he murder Sir Griffinhound, The 2nd General Guard of my Kingdom. But it seems that Griffinhound was killed by someone else. I can't believe that Warcry did it. He found guilty and he got sentence to death, and I failed him, So I re-signed myself as a Defender Knight and I turn into a Prosecutor Knight. Later on... He still a friend of me... He only visit me when it Night-Time...
As years pass by, but he a kind one... He didn't mind and he treat me like a real friend as a Spirit friend...
As years pass again... I started prosecute my country against the crime they done. I always win every time and proof this kingdom is our pride!
Weeks, Months, Years... I been restrict my country to make crime and transform my kingdom into my prison. Suddenly, Specter Blackwing. He come from no where! I knew I have to stop him, he ruined my perfect life as a prosecutor! But he really gave me hope, He tried to make friends with me, while him and me going on adventure and I met so many friends and a lots of journey we can possibly do!
Sometimes we argue, but we always make up after that. So Specter... I'm coming to free you from my prison. Because, you are a good friend in Grimhowl just like my client Warcry...
A spark of hope from my strict freedom from this cursed kingdom. He saved my life from depression, anxiety and he make me happy in this journey of the 12 orbs and I have fun with him so much as I could ever breathe the fresh air of hopes and freedom from my strict kingdom of Grimhowl... And, that's how the story of my life in the kingdom of Grimhowl and the story of me and Specter Blackwing...
---end of flashback--- Darkcrow got the impression this is some kind of fairy tale, but it's actually his entire life.
Melody said "Poor, Darkcrow..." "He deserve a better fate than this..." Lily added. Darkcrow said "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get this over with..."
Specter says "I agreed with Darkcrow, Let's head to the Graveyard! Warcry, have you ever been to the Catacombs before?" "Nope, never been there either. So I'm interested in where this is going!" He replied Warcry said "Also there some rumors that if someone enter the Catacombs..."
"THEY'RE NEVER COME BACK!" Darkcrow finished. Lily said "Oh no! What if we caught in a dead end and can't escape!? Darkcrow said "Only a true heroes can enter and exit to the Catacombs... But once you enter there, They are showing your biggest fears..." "Sounds dreary!" Specter said. Warcry pondered "But if you're a great hero, shouldn't you be able to handle your fears?" "Yeah, I guess so..." He replied
Specter says "Well, It's time to us to enter Catacombs... Are we guys ready?" The Teams both nod including Warcry! "Let's do it!" Specter shouted. Specter and his teams headed to the Graveyard and saw the giant temple on the center of the Graveyard and all Suddenly, the dead are rising! "What the....." Warcry said as he noticed all the zombie-like corpses slowly getting up and standing. Warcry said "You care of the rest, I'll take down those zombie first! Go!" Warcry took out his sword and started slashing through the slow moving zombie-like corpses. It isn't long before he's surrounded by them and then... They all stop.... Then they all fall down again....
Specter and his Teams arrived at the Grimhowl Catacombs... The sign said "DO NOT ENTER! ENTER YOUR OWN RISK!" but Specter didn't care, He went straight towards the big iron doors that where wide open..."Huh? This isn't the entrance..." He thought as he entered. You entered next... The mysterious void coming out of nowhere! Splitting Specter and his team into one!
Warp! First up Specter! Specter found Lurk is alive...
Specter says "Lurk?" "Lurk?" Specter asked confused. "Here...." Lurk said in a dying condition.
Warp! Second is Darkcrow! Darkcrow is on a Electric Chair with Sir. Griffinhound and his mentor Jayden Grimhowl.
"Huh? What the hell is this?" Darkcrow asked. "I don't like your attitude!" Replica Jayden growls at him. "You been found something a infamous crime in our kingdom." Replica Griffinhound said. Darkcrow said "NO! WAIT! I'm okay! I can fix this...." "Too late!" He pull the lever and shock Darkcrow in his electric chair. "NO!!" Darkcrow shouted while he going to die but
It just a illusion....
Warp! Third is Roger! He flashback the R-5 robots attacking Specter and his Team... Then died... "Huh? What?....AGH!" Roger shouted in pain. Then, He fell on the ground and saw Darkcrow coming towards him with sword. "WAIT! NO! IT ME ROGER!" Roger shouted to Darkcrow. Roger then, he scrapped into metal...
It just a illusion... Warp! Fourth is Melody!
She with a Replica Specter in the cave and she said "What is this, did I got back at the cave?"
Replica Specter grab his daggers and try to kill her... "NO! WAIT!" Melody afraid to the Replica Specter. Later, He fall down the cave and died... "SPECTER!!!" Melody shouted!
It just a illusion... Warp! Fifth is Lily...
She found Gizmo... But it's just an illusion, Gizmo died long time ago... "Huh? What the?" Lily said in confusion Replica Specter appears "Your nothing as a team like me... BETRAYER!" She reveal the tattoo that she one of Dark Mechanicus..."NO! WAIT! I'm on your side! Please!" Lily apologies... Replica Specter replies "Too late! You're not one of us now!" He started to summon his Scythe... "I'm sorry..." She started to cry... He sliced her in half...
It just a illusion... Warp! Six is Victor. He on the roulette table where he doing to bets his life for 1 billion bucks on the Casino against The Black Dragon! “Oh no, why am I doing in the Casino… and why Dragon is here!?” Victor said. "Oh, I'm Sorry Victor... You lose..." The voice says. "Victor, Your Souls is Mine!" Dragon appears. Dragon shoot him with his crew... "AaAaAaAaAaaa!" Victor screams in pain.
It's just a illusion! Warp! Last is Shiva! She was a Elf Village and saw her village burnt to death and Specter teams and the Sizzling Sisters appears behind her...
Sizzlerella said "Aw... Look at this Villager watching her Village burnt down! What do we do, Sizzlea?" Sizzlea replies "We should interrogate it, perhaps it has some information about our enemies!" They both approach and begin to hit her with the hot pokers... "Aaaa!"
It's just a illusion! Warp! Back on Specter!
Specter says "Lurk, How did you?" "I'm innocent! When did I set you up?" "You know what I'm asking... I had to lie to save your life and I'm just trying to understand why you did what you did. Lurk said "Sorry, but this is for your own good!" "NO! It's our good, the best! We're a team! WE ALWAYS WORKING TOGETHER! Lurk shoot Specter head and warp him with another fears on Specter!
Specter is on Underwater!
Specter tried to swim through the surface but his Magi tried to drag him into the deep! It's poor visibility! You can't see anything but just by sense of touch and hear your feet steps. The water is cold, you can feel it...
Warp! Another fears of Specter... Replica Lily on her Succubus Forms and Replica Melody on her Mermaid Forms are trying to seduce him... "Why you SO VIRGIN! Why don't you take me my dark beauty?" Lily commands... "I'm sorry... but I just can't do this..." Specter replies in fear. Replica Melody shouted "NO TAKE MY VIRGIN! SPECTER! SHE A DEMONIC FREAK!" Melody songs are very powerful that it warping the mind! He get dizzy, particularly when they start to sing "My waves to you are peaceful, but your screams will be heard..."
Specter says "I can't do this... My fears is too powerful..." "I can't just give up!" His head trying to think fast... "I'm sorry..." He replied. Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! It one of his shadow said "Aren't you gonna give up?" "Never!" He replied... Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! Warp! "Aren't you afraid of losing your Girlfriend, your Friends and your life?" "I can't let them die, I can't let her die! I can't die!" Specter replies...
Finally the final warp, His biggest fears of them all. They reveal that Replica Dragon kissed Replica Melody in front of Specter... "NO! NO! NO! NO!" He screams... "YOU GET AWAY FROM MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU FUCKING FREAK!" he shouted.
His other fears shatter! He looked like he was going into shock. It's just a illusion...
Specter says "It's all just a illusion... Specter! Keep going! KEEP MOVING! GO BEYOND!"
Specter is moving forward to his fears, Shatter from Shatter the illusions of his fears. He shows his strong emotion at his friends and his beloved girlfriend including his mysterious parents...
"Ahhh!" He shouts! Specter finally freed his fears. He overcome what he really did in the infinite fear void and finally enter a black room. His opponent was his Fears himself... His fear represent the Shadow version of him... He was sitting on a throne, he head shadowed by a hood, the face hidden... That was all just an illusion.
"Welcome to your nightmare Specter..."
Specter says "It's over, I conquer your fears with my strong emotion!"
"No! You cannot defeat me, I am your fears personified!" "Don't you know that it takes more than fear to conquer fear?" "I AM YOUR FEARS!!
Specter charge to him with his Scythe from his Magi-Ability!
It was just too much, with this bravery, he charged to his opponent and throw his scythe at it. But It was all an illusion!
Shadow Specter copy his attack and moves! It was just another illusion!
"Now that's more like it!" the Shadow-Specter said and moves away, avoiding your attack.
Specter charge up once more!
He charge up once more, but Shadow-Specter move and around his attack! "Enough with the charge tactics, I'm not some dumb bull." The Shadow-Specter said. “But I had some brains for you!” Shadow Specter laugh
Shadow Specter copy from the previous attack from Specter!
His Shadow-Self charge up, and then throw is scythe with impact! It smash through your defenses and it stabbed you through the chest. The blunt pierce of the scythe smashed through your heart.
Specter spits out his blood! "You don't know fear? Well learn it!" The Shadow-Specter shouts, as it move in to finish you... Specter counter him and Shadow counter him back! He use his Magi-Ability to regenerate his body from the attack! He pulls the scythe out of his chest and throw it at his opponent, who copy again and move away.
Specter says "I'm not done with you!" "And I'm not done with you Specter, this isn't over!" Shadow Specter raise his hand and grab his scythes! "Oh yeah? Well if you're not going to let me finish, try to stop me then!" He charge towards you! "Come on!" He shouts. He charge up his aura, and create a shadow fog around himself Shadow Specter said "You fool! As long you use more of your Hades Magi. Your body will drain all of your life force! I have already finished regenerating from direct attack! Now I will finish you off myself!”
Specter says "Oh, I don't think so..." He thrust his scythe right into your stomach, and twist it, ripping open your stomach. He quickly pull out the scythe and throw it against the wall!
And Specter said "Go to Hell!" Specter released his charge and he started to change his form into a Grim Reaper of his own...
His body is now a Skeleton with a hair. And his scarf is a black cloth and his hoodie is has a small ripped… And his teeth are also a darker shade of gray... And his scythes become more sharper instead... And his eyes become more demonic red...
Specter says "YOUR A DEAD MAN, SHADOW SPECTER..." Although he still have life, but he sure feel the pain. His guts are a bloody mess and your organs are crushed.
Shadow Specter said "So that is the true power of the Hades Magi-User!" He raise up his scythes once more, now a truly demonic sight. The scythes now have a redish glow to them. "Now you will truly know fear, before your death!" Shadow Specter attacks him rapidly but he immune it! Shadow Specter gives a small smile at that remark. And Specter said. "I will tear out your SOUL APPART!!!!" As he charge his signature moves and dash through Shadow Specter and said!
Specter says "HADES REQUIEM! THE SLICE OF ULTIMATE DESPAIR!" He rushes ahead and swing! He hackles Shadow left arm off! "AAAH!" Shadow Specter started screaming! The pain is great! "And now the right!"
Specter finished him with a evil smile in his Wrath and finally defeated him in a 1v1 combat! "Goodbye, Shadow Specter" He swings his blades once more! The sharpened blades go through his skull, destroying it instantly.
He release a dark smokes coming out from him and drop the Spirit Orb.
The battle of him and his fears are over...
Specter shows bravery to his fears with his Grim Reaper form and finally return to his normal self... He let's out a sigh of relief and falls to the ground, looking up at the orb.
"Ack... I feel drained... I lost half of my power in the last few minutes..."
He started to fainted due to the battles with his fears...
His teams finally escape the eternal voids and Warcry found Specter fainted on the ground! They carry him and grab the Spirit Orb and take him to the nearest Inn...
End of Chapter 9
You have reached to Chapter 9
submitted by ThatTr1F0rceGuy2nd to u/ThatTr1F0rceGuy2nd [link] [comments]

Save yourself, be good to other people.

I’m not really sure how to start off this story, so here it is. I’m not going to reveal my name for safety reasons, not that it will matter for much longer. For the sake of it, you can call me David. I work at my father’s business, which makes sex toys. Embarrassing detail, but as I said it won’t matter for long. Anyways, the business makes a ton of money per year, I’m talking billions. You might be thinking I’m in a great spot, and you’d be wrong. I work in customer support. The bottom, to be specific.
Originally, I was going to take over the company when I turned 21, which was a little over three years ago. So how did I end up in customer support? Well, for my 21st birthday, I went partying with some friends. We hit clubs, bars, casinos, strip clubs, you name it. I woke up in a cell the next day, to a look of disappointment from my father. Me and my friends got shitfaced at a bar, then went to the nearest casino. I blew through over $600,000 and tried to bail on the payment. I, drunkenly, drove through a building.
Long story short, I’m sitting on a little over $1,000,000 in debt. I also contracted chlamydia from a stripper, and my fiance left me when she found out. My father decided that I wasn’t responsible enough to take over his business, and needed a real job. He offered me customer support in his company, and I took it. I had no other options, I couldn’t leave town, and nobody would hire me. But not writing this for sympathy, I’m writing this as a warning.
Now I’m sure many of you have heard of the dark web, probably heard a number of horror stories about it too. Well, here’s another one for you, but take this one seriously. There is a source on the dark web, which I will not name, that is something like a hitman. It is a little difficult to put how it works into words, but it’s an important detail.
You put a warning hit on someone, along with a reason and how much you will pay, and wait for a hitman to take the case. Once one does, you talk with the hitman about a timeframe, what you want from them, and how their death should look should they not agree to your terms. The hitman then tells the person there is a hit on them, and how they can keep themselves alive. If the person tries to flee or does not meet the terms before the deadline, the hitman kills them. If the hit is carried out, the hitman keeps 100% of your payment. If the person agrees to the terms, the hitman takes 10% of what you paid him.
An example for a little more clarity: your daughter is raped by person A, and despite the evidence person A is not punished. You put a warning hit on person A. Your case would sum up to “person A raped my daughter, I will pay $10,000.” A hitman takes your case and you tell them “person A has three months to pay $250,000 and if he does not, make his death look like an accident.” The hitman collects your pay and tells person A about the warning hit, and the terms. If person A meets the terms, he is off the hook, and the hitman returns 90% of your payment. If he does not meet the terms, flees, goes to police, etc. then he dies in an accident and the hitman keeps your payment.
I hope that made sense to you. Now I’m sure you are poking holes or have questions already. A little more info I can give you is: you choose what to offer the hitman and he/she will accept or decline, there is no set payment but higher status people cost more, death and terms can be almost anything you want, most of the hitmen will not do more than a one year timeline, nobody has ever been caught. Now what I’m sure you are wondering (or probably already figured out), why does this matter? Well, let’s get to that.
About a month ago I was at work answering calls from dissatisfied customers, who decided to take out their anger on me. I was five minutes from lunch when I got another call, and my supervisor made me answer it. I wasn’t in the best mood, and didn’t want to get an earful of profanity from a customer, but that’s exactly what I got. He was screaming about how he spent close to $300 and hadn’t gotten his stuff after a month, and was giving me demands between his insults. I spent most of my lunch break trying to talk with the guy, to no avail. In hindsight this was the wrong decision, but I snapped.
I was screaming back at the guy, telling him I didn’t care if his middle aged overweight ass didn’t get his sex doll, along with a number of other insults. Again I know I made the wrong choice, but I had been dealing with this daily for years, and I’d had enough. I slammed the phone down and stormed out. My father called me later that day, telling me I’ll need another job. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t end there.
I didn’t know this at the time, but the guy I was talking to knew a ton about technology, and spent a lot of time on the dark web. Not only did he trace the call, but he hacked into the company computer system, and found every piece of information there was about me. To top it all off, none of the security programs in place picked up anything. So how do I know this? The next day I woke up to a pounding on my door. When I answered it, the only thing I found was an envelope. Inside it was a letter (some details changed) which read:
Dear Mr. David,
I am a hitman of “Generic Hitman Agency”, and you don’t want to meet me. The reason you are reading this is because a warning hit has been placed on you by my client, Mr. Client. If you do not meet his terms, we will meet. If we meet, it is game over for you. You must be wondering what the terms are.
My client purchased some products from the company you formerly worked at. After a month of waiting, my client has not received the products. He called to inquire about them, but only received your insults as an answer. He traced the call to you specifically, and put this hit on you. The terms he has set up for you are as follows: “I want the products I paid for, as well as $10,000 in compensation for the wait and your attitude”. You have 30 days to meet my clients terms.
If you meet the terms, you are safe. If you fail to meet the terms, you will die. If you attempt to flee, I will find you. Any attempts to escape the hit without meeting my clients terms will fail.
If you fail to meet the terms, the method of execution chosen by my client: to be restrained and sealed in a large block of silicone. I will be the one to perform your execution. The decision is yours.
Signed, Hitman
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony of my “execution.” I sat the letter on the counter, and called my father. I asked him if the letter was some kind of joke because of yesterday, but he had no idea what I was talking about. I was going to take a picture of the letter to send to him, but the only thing on the counter was small bits of ash. It was almost as if the letter self destructed, like what you see in spy movies. I found this very strange, but assumed it must have been a dream.
Three weeks later, and I had completely forgotten about the letter. I had managed to find a job that paid the bills. I was on my way home from grocery shopping, when I got an uneasy feeling, like I was being stalked. I tried to write it off as some random paranoia wave. When I got home, I found another letter attached to my door. I assumed it was just mail and grabbed it as I went inside.
I sat my groceries in the kitchen and opened the letter. This one confirmed the last one was not a dream. The second letter read:
Dear Mr. David,
I have noticed that after three weeks you have made no effort in meeting my clients terms. As the previous letter was destroyed, allow me to refresh your memory on the terms: Deliver the purchased products and $10,000 to my client or you will be restrained in a large block of silicone. It has been 21 days since you were given the first letter.
Now Mr. David, I do look forward to your execution. The method is out of the ordinary for my line of work, and quite ironic. I would very much like to try it on you. However, I believe my client would much prefer you meet his terms. This letter is to inform you that you have nine days remaining to meet the terms. Your time is running out, make your decision.
Signed, Hitman
Before the letter had a chance to self-destruct, I grabbed my phone to take a picture. I managed to get a picture before the letter dissolved into ash. Any hope I had was shattered when I looked at the photo however. I was looking at a picture of a blank piece of paper. I was dumbfounded, I didn’t even know ink existed that would not show up on camera.
At this point I didn’t know what to do, I had nine days to come up with the money and the items. I thought about selling some possessions to raise the necessary funds, but I couldn’t raise $10,300 if I sold everything I had. I thought about it for a while, and came up with an idea. I still remembered the name of the hitman service Mr. Client had hired. My plan was simple, I will put a warning hit on Mr. Client. My terms, Mr. Client has three days to call off his hitman. It had to work, it was my only option.
I figured a couple grand would get me a hitman quickly. I put my car up for sale, and told people I needed it gone quickly. The car itself is worth about $4,500. I listed it for $3,000 to get it to sell, but only managed to get $2,500. I figured it might be enough, and went searching for the warning hit service. I had some experience with the dark web in my past, and did manage to find them, although it took a while.
When I got on their site, I found a form to fill out to place a warning hit. I put in the necessary information into the form and submitted it. I was hoping for a quick answer, and I got one. A hitman answered me and said she would do the hit. I was relieved as she told me she takes most hits and doesn’t ask questions.
The next day I found a large manila envelope on my door. I assumed it was about my warning hit and opened it eagerly. Inside was an envelope, a copy of my warning hit form with a note, and $2,500. I read the note first. It read:
We have reviewed and voided your warning hit. Despite it being accepted, the hit will not continue, and your target will not be informed. We do not allow hits on anyone who has an active hit. The reason for this is to prevent anyone from using our service to get out of a hit. If you attempt to place another warning hit on your target, a hitman will be activated to terminate you.
Well fuck, back to square one. I reviewed the items in the manila envelope, all the money was there, and the form had “void” stamped on it. I wasn’t sure what the envelope was for, my only guess was it was a letter from the hitman who took my case. Well, I was right about the hitman part anyway. Inside was a letter which read:
Dear Mr. David,
Because of the warning hit you attempted to place on my client, your termination will be carried out. You can no longer save yourself. You should already know this however, otherwise you would not have tried to place a hit on my client. Your little plan was doomed from the start however. One little detail you missed, once a warning hit has been placed, the client cannot call it off. Even though it’s a rule we have, I would have killed you regardless. What better opportunity to perform a unique execution like yours? See you soon.
Signed, Hitman
So that’s that, I’m a dead man. I sat in my living room for a few minutes brainstorming ideas. As I watched the papers dissolve on my table, I figured my best option was to completely disappear. I packed a bag and robbed someone of their car. I gave the owner $500 to “not remember” what I look like, and he agreed. I drove until the car ran out of gas, then started wandering through a patch of forest near where I broke down. I stumbled across a summer cabin and broke in. I planned to spend the night, but found a note waiting inside, it was short but it read:
David. No matter where you go, we will find you. There is no escape. Accept your fate.
They are right, I can’t escape this. They somehow knew I would end up here, how could I escape this? I sat down at the computer and figured I would spend my last few hours telling my story to reddit, and drinking the whiskey I found in the freezer. It’s too late for me, but not for you. Please, especially if you are a business owner, be goa;ersdljNaCnbabg gchgkxhufttgzsfaWQWDAxsg
Hey everyone, “David” is unconscious, but still alive. I saw his post and read through it. I figured I would post it for him, in a way they’re his last words. You may be wondering why I didn’t delete it, its evidence afterall. Well, how many stories have you read on here that you thought were true? Anyways, before I rudely interrupted him, I think he was telling you to be good to others. Especially if you are a business owner, or in his case, customer support.
I’m going to wrap this up, I have some business to finish. I suggest you take David’s advice, otherwise we might meet someday, and one of us won’t like that… Hitman, signing off.
submitted by denimwoodsman to horrorstories [link] [comments]

The Diamond Casino & Resort FAQ Megathread

Last updated 2:00 EST, 27 July
RIP my inbox
All new posts asking about information already provided here will be removed and redirected here to reduce redundancy.


As of 5:15 EST, the update has released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • 3.4GB on PS4
  • 3.2GB on Xbox One
  • 2.9GB on Steam
  • 2.6GB on Social Club.
On the note of releases... Some countries will not be able to access certain content from this update due to gambling laws. Thankfully though, players from these countries will still be allowed to download the update in general.

Money for Diamond Casino

For ways to make money to afford the new DLC content, along with methods to make an empty lobby to do CEO/MC work, check the Mega Guide.
  • You only need $50,000 to register as a VIP! If you have at least that much, you can register as a VIP for 4 hours and get access to VIP missions (which can be done in an invite only session), giving you a lucrative way to save up.
  • If you own both a crate warehouse and vehicle warehouse, you could use them together to make more money overtime than you could by using either exclusively. Use your sourcing/exports between crate pickups and sales, and you'll be getting the best of both worlds, gaining from the postive money-making aspects of both.

Content and Prices

Content that has initially released with the update.
Southern San Andreas Super Autos
  • Weeny Issi Sport - $897,000
  • Vapid Caracara 4x4 - $875,000
Legendary Motorsport
  • Annis S80RR: $2.6million
  • Enus Paragon R: $905,000
  • Obey 8F Drafter: $718,000
  • Truffade Thrax: $2.3million
  • Cash Pad: $1.5million
  • Party Penthouse: $3.78million
  • High Roller: $6.5million
  • "Design Your Own": $1.5million
Penthouse Customizations
  • Colour options: $215,000 or $258,500
  • Pattern options: $92,000 - $210,000
Penthouse Addons
  • Lounge Area: $400,000
  • Media Room: $500,000
  • Spa: $800,000
  • Bar and Party Hub: $700,000
  • Private Dealer: $1.1million
  • Office: $200,000
  • Extra Bedroom: $200,000
  • Garage: $800,000


As this is a Casino-centric update, there's plenty of ways to gamble away your hard-grinded money.
The gambling in this game centers around a new form of currency, called Chips. These chips are pretty much like real-world gambling chips, with a one-to-one dollar value, except you keep your chips when you leave the casino. Chips are an actual currency in GTA Online, as they can be used to purchase exclusive items from a shop inside the casino, along with being used to bet with when playing the Gambling Games, listed below
  • Slot Machines: There's plenty of options to choose from, but they all perform the same way. Spend some chips, and let the RNG decide whether or not you earn anything from it.
  • Blackjack: Casino style blackjack with up to four simultaneous players, all of which play against the dealer. Anyone who beats the dealer individually wins, anyone who the dealer beats individually loses, and if the dealer gets Blackjack (an Ace and 10/face-card), everyone immediately loses. Assuming your initial hand isn't a Blackjack, you have the option of doubling-down, which doubles your initial bet with the caveat of only being able to hit once.
  • Poker: Three-card poker. You make your bets, check your hand, and similar to Blackjack, each player wins if their hand is better than the dealer's, and the dealer beats whoever has a worse hand than him. While there is no option to double-down, how much you win does depend on how good of a hand you have. The better your hand, the more you win. Also, while you can fold your hand, you lose your initial bet anyway.
  • Horse Racing: Pretty much standard horse racing bettering. You choose a horse, you put your money down, and if you bet correctly, you get double the amount you bet in return. Otherwise, you just lose the amount you bet.
To gain more chips, there is a counter inside the casino where you can buy them, however you are limited in how many you can buy per day (real-world 24 hours). As standard, you can buy a maximum of 20,000 chips per day, but if you own a penthouse of any tier, you can buy up to 50,000 chips per day. Chips can also be traded in for money, but there does not appear to be a limit on this. No matter how many chips you win from gambling, it appears that you can trade them all in at once for the equivalent dollar value.
Lastly, there is the Wheel. It's a roulette wheel that you can only spin once per day, which costs $500 per spin. There are twenty reward slots, and since some rewards are in multiple slots, they have greater chances of being selected. The biggest note about this wheel however is that there is one slot in which you can win a free car! What makes this so significant is that since the car takes a 1/20 slot on the wheel, that means you still have a 5% chance of winning a free high-value vehicle! Compared to most online games, that's pretty much the most generous RNG you can get.

Business and Missions

coming soon


Are there any differences between the penthouses
For once, yes! Well, technically... they're the same basic property layout, but each option gives you different addon options.
  • The Cash Pad: The basic Penthouse with no property addons available . You cannot purchase a garage, extra bedroom, lounge, etc. with the Cash Pad. You can, however, purchase penthouse customizations (colour and wall patterns).
  • The Party Penthouse: Gives you certain of the addon options: the main Penthouse, the Extra Bedroom, the Lounge Area, the Spa, and the Bar and Party Hub. You are locked to these options, no more, no less.
  • The High Roller: Gives you all of the property addons as standard, and the most expensive penthouse customization options... this means that you cannot choose your own colour and wall patterns with this version.
  • The "Design Your Own": ...What should be the standard option. It gives you the basic penthouse and allows you to choose which addons and customizations you want, with an extra cost for each one, of course. Just get this one. You can also renovate this option later, allowing you to purchase more addons and change your customizations later.
What do the Penthouse Addons do?
  • Lounge Area: Allows you to purchase the other Penthouse Addons (except for the Extra Bedroom and Garage, which are the only items addons that can be purchased without a Lounge).
  • Media Room: You know the cinemas around Los Santos? The ones that play a few 5 minute animated films on repeat? That, but in a Penthouse.
  • Spa: Gives you access to a hot tub and a Personal Stylist. The Stylist's services are the same as the ones spread around Los Santos (hair, contacts, and make up), but they're all free.
  • Bar and Party Hub: Allows you to consume drinks that instantly intoxicate your character, along with access to special arcade games that aren't available anywhere else in the game.
  • Private Dealer: Allows you to play gambling games in your penthouse.
  • Office: Adds a standard computer, a Gun Locker, and a money vault (don't get excited, it's just aesthetic).
  • Extra Bedroom: Bedrooms in owned properties in GTA Online are used as spawn points, so why can you pay to have an extra one? Because you can now allow a friend of yours to claim it! The Extra Bedroom allows a friend of yours to use your penthouse as a spawn apparently, though the exact implementation of this is not completely clear.
  • Garage: Access to the Penthouse's garage bay.
How do I get the armored car?
  • To recieve the Enus Paragon R (Armoured), you have to complete the Diamond Casino's mission series, which you must own a penthouse to access. Once of the missions are complete, you'll be given the vehicle for free! But remember, it's uninsured and you only get it once, so immediately go into passive mode and take it to the nearest Los Santos Customs to insure it, or else you could lose the vehicle permanently.

Passive Mode

Good news, passive mode has been fixed!
  • Passive Mode can now no longer be active when using a weaponized vehicle
  • A Passive Mode cooldown of 2 minutes is now in place for players who have just killed another player
  • Players now must wait 5 minutes before they can activate Passive Mode again after disabling it
  • Players now must wait 30 seconds before they can disable Passive Mode after activating it
These changes make is so that grievers can no longer abuse passive mode, or at least no where near as easily. If you start to get the upper-hand on a griefer and destroy whatever death-machine they're using to troll you, or if you confront them in a death-machine of your own, they can't abuse Passive Mode to try to get the upper-hand on you!

Solo Session

Check the Mega Guide for ways to push yourself into a public Online session with no one else in it. Keep in mind that some missions and abilities are unavailable if there's no one else with you though!

Bugs and Glitches

  • Apparently on PS4 and Xbox One, you must have full size of GTA V available to download the update, so if you have less than ~60GB free, you may have trouble downloading the update. This does not mean that the entire game is re-downloaded, it just means that the update may not download if you don't have that much space available.


Special Thanks: u/Rebored_Warrior - Sent me the official patch notes link!
  • u/LordMcze - Information on countries that restrict players from gambling functions.
submitted by L131 to gtaonline [link] [comments]

My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 3)

If you're curious: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE.
As the battleship Comet Chaser flees the destruction of the planet Coruscant, New Republic officers frantically man the guns and attempt to call for help. But as they soon learn: calls for help are coming in from all over the galaxy.
"We're getting a distress signal!" one officer yells. "The Black Fleet is attacking Corellia!"
"The Crimson Legion just landed on Mon Calamari!" another officer calls.
"The Dark Chosen are on Carida! They're reporting thousands dead—soldiers and civilians!"
"The True Sith are bombing Naboo!"
All over the galaxy, Imperial loyalist groups are emerging from the shadows to attack the New Republic in a massive coordinated strike. Individually, each group would be no match for the New Republic fleet—but with the First Order's brazen attack on Coruscant, dozens of terrorist groups are finally coming together.
As the Comet Chaser fights its way through the swarming First Order starships, Leia confers with the fleet's admiral, who asks for her help in bringing Kylo Ren to justice—unaware that he's actually her son.
Suddenly, the bridge takes a direct hit from a First Order dreadnaught, and Leia and the admiral are sucked into the vacuum of space. Moments later, as Finn and Poe look on in astonishment, Leia reveals her long-nurtured Force sensitivity and manages to use her telekinetic abilities to propel her body through space and guide herself back to the airlock. She narrowly survives, but she collapses upon being brought back into the ship, and the officers are forced to take her to the sickbay as they make the jump to lightspeed and flee Coruscant.
Back on Ahch-To, Rey is gripped by a palpable sense of dread and fear as she senses that thousands of innocent lives have been snuffed out on Coruscant. As she looks to Luke for guidance, he collapses.
With his keen Force abilities, Luke feels every individual life as it ends, and he feels each moment of terror and pain. He instantly knows what's happened.
"Ben..." he gasps. "What have you done?"
As Luke shares his vision of the destruction of the New Republic's capital at the hands of the Star Hammer, Rey begs him to leave Ahch-To to aid his old comrades, but Luke sadly shakes his head and turns away. As Rey follows him into his stone temple, he tells her that the Jedi were never as great or powerful as they were made out to be, and they caused nearly as much death and destruction as they stopped.
When Rey implores Luke to remember all the good that he did in his younger days, Luke stubbornly insists that he never amounted to much either. Now that Kylo Ren has turned his wrath on the galaxy, Luke finds himself haunted by his memories of the last time he saw Kylo, when he tried to save him from the allure of the Dark Side—and failed.
As he and Rey sit down together in the temple, Luke finally opens up about his brief time as Ben Solo's teacher.
"For many years, there was balance," he says. "And then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him. I could pass on my strengths. Han was Han about it, but Leia trusted me with her son. I took him and a dozen students, and began a training temple. By the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late."
"What happened?" Rey asks.
"I went to confront him," Luke says. "And he turned on me."
As Luke flashes back to his younger days, we see a brief vision of Luke approaching a young Ben Solo as he lies in bed in his quarters at the temple. When Ben opens his eyes and sees his uncle standing over him, he moves to draw his lightsaber, and he raises his hand. Calling upon the full might of his powers, Ben unleashes a blast of Force energy—and the walls of the temple come crashing down, burying Luke in stone rubble.
"He must have thought I was dead," Luke says. "When I came to, the temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed herself, but it was me. I failed. Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend..."
As the Comet Chaser drops out of hyperspace at the head of a small fleet of surviving New Republic warships, the ship's ranking officer takes stock of the New Republic's unfolding crisis.
With the death of the admiral, his second-in-command—Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo—takes command of the fleet and orders her mechanics to begin repairs. As reports of mounting casualties and continuous attacks continue to pour in, Holdo soon realizes that every Republic world within reach of a hyperspace jump is now under siege by Imperial militants. For the moment, the fleet is alone, with no backup or safe harbor in sight. Worse still: at least half of the Galactic Senate and the New Republic High Command were killed in the escape from Coruscant. The New Republic is in shambles, and it may never rebuild itself.
As the crew awaits orders from their new commanding officer, Holdo gives them just one: keep flying.
Upon learning that Leia brought two civilians onboard, the ship's first mate gives Finn and Poe the opportunity to temporarily join the Comet Chaser's crew as active-duty crewmen. Accepting the offer, they're assigned to a mechanic squad alongside a new recruit named Rose Tico.
As they bond with Rose, Finn and Poe tell her all about their adventures on Jakku, Takodana and Ilum, and they open up about their lives before the two of them crossed paths. Finn admits that he's a former operative of the First Order himself, and Poe admits that he's a member of the underground Resistance movement.
Much like Finn and Poe, Rose was born into poverty in a backwater world on the Outer Rim—but she ultimately chose to join the military, believing that she could make a better life for herself by serving the New Republic. Now that the New Republic might not exist anymore, though, Rose feels adrift. In spite of their differences, the three realize that they have a common enemy in Kylo Ren.
To give Rose a glimmer of hope, Finn and Poe share a secret with her: just a few weeks ago, Finn managed to find a map that led directly to Luke Skywalker—and they have a friend who went looking for him. After ten long years, the legendary Jedi Knight might finally be returning to aid the galaxy in its darkest hour. And if anybody can beat back the tide of the Imperial cause, it's him.
Their bonding is interrupted when a small fleet of First Order starships suddenly drops out of hyperspace, with Kylo Ren's flagship in the lead. Somehow, the First Order has managed to track the fleet through hyperspace.
Moments later, the ship trembles as the First Order takes aim and fires, and alarm sirens blare as Holdo calls the ship's crew to their stations.
As a tense space battle ensues, the trio are forced into the fray as the Comet Chaser begins taking damage, and they're ultimately forced to don pressurized spacesuits and venture onto the ship's exterior to repair one of its primary laser cannons. When they do, Finn and Poe find themselves in a tense firefight with a squadron of the First Order's "Space Troopers", who attempt to sabotage the ship from the outside while wearing armored rocket-propelled spacesuits.
After defeating the Space Troopers and returning to the ship, they soon learn that the Comet Chaser is running disastrously low on fuel—and with the First Order apparently capable of tracking the fleet through hyperspace, they may not be able to use their hyperdrive to escape. But when Poe and Finn confront Holdo in hopes of finding out her plans to save the fleet, she angrily turns on both of them.
By now, Holdo has learned that her two new "civilian" recruits are far from civilians: Poe is a known member of the Resistance with ties to multiple high-profile radicals, and Finn is a former soldier of the First Order who's wanted by Planetary Security for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. As an argument ensues, it becomes abundantly clear that Holdo has no love for the Resistance, and she's unwilling to overlook Finn's past.
"In the Resistance, you might talk a good game about freedom," Holdo says coldly to Poe. "But on this ship, I'm in charge! I won't be questioned by radical scum, or by a runaway terrorist! While you were skulking in back-alleys and shouting slogans, I was defending the borders of the Republic that my forefathers died for! You say that you're keeping Luke Skywalker's dream alive—but you don't even understand what that means! Luke Skywalker was a leader! He made sacrifices for us! What have you sacrificed, Dameron?"
Rose attempts to jump to her new friends' defense, but she's sternly silenced by Holdo, who orders her back to her post.
"When this is over, I want you off my ship!" Holdo angrily tells Finn and Poe. "You'll leave, and you'll never come back!"
After the argument, Rose comforts Finn and Poe, assuring them that she doesn't share her commanding officer's view of them. Later, when the trio find a secluded place to talk, Finn shares some key information with the others:
During his time with the First Order, he learned that Kylo Ren's technicians were working on a cutting-edge hyperspace tracker that could track enemy starships through hyperspace. If the First Order managed to attack them immediately after they dropped out of hyperspace, it's possible that they've completed their hyperspace tracker. If his hunch is correct, then they might be able to escape the First Order's fleet by shutting down the tracker. But since the tracker used an advanced computer mainframe to track ships' movements, it could only be shut down by hacking it.
"It's at the heart of the ship, guarded by at least a few dozen troopers," Finn says. "But if I could just get aboard that ship, I could find it. I know I could!"
"Holdo would never go for a plan like that," Rose says. "But if you really think it could save us all, then I can stomach breaking a few regulations."
"But what about hacking it?" Finn asks. "Could any of us really pull off something like that?"
"No," Poe says. "But I know somebody who could..."
As Poe shares with his friends: during his time with the Resistance, he and his comrades would regularly hack into holographic news broadcasts on Jakku to send out Resistance slogans. While hacking was never Poe's specialty, one of his old comrades was a man called "DJ" who was legendary for his skill with computers. Incidentally, DJ has owed Poe a favor ever since he saved his life during one of their many run-ins with Planetary Security—and according to a persistent rumor, he recently resettled in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, which is only a short flight away.
Convinced that recruiting DJ could be the only way to disable the hyperspace tracker and save the ship, Rose uses her access codes to get Finn and Poe into the Comet Chaser's hangar, where she helps them steal a shuttle. Firing the shuttle's engines, the trio slips out of the hangar and sets course for Canto Bight.
On Ahch-To, Rey is startled by a vision of Kylo Ren, who calls out to her by name. Although she initially believes that she's hallucinating, she realizes that Kylo is using the Force to psychically communicate with her.
Still haunted by her memories of watching Kylo stab Han Solo to death, Rey tearfully asks him why he murdered his own father. Kylo insists that he killed him because he was his sole remaining link to his old life as Ben Solo, and he believed that he needed to cut all ties to his old life in order to realize his full potential. Kylo suggests that Rey also struggles with her lingering ties to her old life on Jakku, and that she also needs to cut those ties in order to become truly strong in the Force.
"Your parents threw you away like garbage," Kylo says. "But you can't stop needing them."
Kylo recalls the night that he destroyed Luke's temple and ran away. Although Luke claimed that Kylo lashed out at him after he tried to confront him about his temptation to turn to the Dark Side, Kylo tells a different tale: Luke feared that he would become more powerful than he ever was, and he tried to kill him in his sleep out of jealousy.
Rey shares her own secret: the previous night, she disobeyed Luke's warnings and snuck into the haunted cavern beneath his temple, lured by a strong feeling that it would finally answer her questions about the identity of her parents. Instead, she simply saw a reflection of herself: alone and lost, just as she's always been.
Extending his hand in a gesture of friendship, Kylo assures Rey that she's not alone, and he'll never abandon her like her parents did. And although she may have been forced to live in poverty and squalor in the New Republic, Kylo promises Rey that she can have a place at his right hand when he sets out to built a better society. The past is over—and only the future beckons.
"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be."
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Luke, who is enraged to learn that Rey has been in contact with the man who killed Han Solo and destroyed his academy. Drawing her lightsaber, Rey confronts Luke about what happened between him and his old apprentice, telling him that Ben told her everything.
Luke doesn't deny that he drew his lightsaber on his teenaged apprentice while he slept, but he insists that Kylo didn't tell her the full truth about that night either. Luke saw a vision of the death and destruction that young Ben Solo was destined to wreak upon the galaxy when he embraced the Dark Side—and for one awful moment, he was tempted by the thought of preventing that future by killing Ben in his sleep. He came to his senses before he could strike the fatal blow, but the temptation lasted just long enough that Ben woke up to find his teacher standing above him with a lightsaber in his hand.
Even though he never struck Ben, Luke blames himself for his turn to the Dark Side, believing that his apprentice's feelings of betrayal and disillusionment ultimately pushed him over the edge, showing him that he couldn't put his trust in the Jedi. Haunted by his failure, Luke went into exile, and Ben found a new teacher: the Oracle.
Rey believes that there is still good in Kylo Ren, and he could be turned back to the Light Side—just like Anakin Skywalker was. Luke tries to persuade Rey that it's far too late for that, but Rey refuses to listen.
With that, she boards the Millennium Falcon and sets course for Kylo's ship, believing that she can convince him to leave the First Order and return to his family.
Landing just outside of Canto Bight, Finn and Rose find themselves entranced by the glitz and glamor of the upscale resort town, but Poe warns them that it can be a dangerous place. As they make their way through a swanky casino packed with wealthy alien patrons, they soon realize that most of the denizens of Canto Bight don't seem to know or care that the New Republic is under attack by terrorists and on the verge of collapsing.
As Poe explains: the people who spend their time in Canto Bight are rich enough that they're effectively outside the New Republic's jurisdiction, and they've built their own insular paradise that will outlast even the most destructive war. Many of them, in fact, have found ways to profit handsomely from the New Republic's ongoing clashes with Imperial militants—and whichever side wins, they'll find a way to get rich.
Inside the casino, Poe finds his old friend DJ entertaining a group of well-dressed businessmen at a private table, and the two old comrades warmly embrace. Their reunion takes a sour turn, however, when DJ admits that he's got gambling debts at the casino, and can't leave Canto Bight until he finds a way to pay them back. DJ claims that he can't help Poe hack into Kylo Ren's ship—but Rose manages to sway him by convincing him that she's a high-ranking officer in the New Republic fleet, and that she can use her influence to protect him from his creditors in exchange for his help.
In a frenetic chase sequence, the trio manage to escape from the casino with DJ in tow, but they end up with the casino's security detail on their tail when they realize that DJ is attempting to dodge his gambling debts and skip town.
On the outskirts of Canto Bight, the group makes their escape after hijacking a shuttle owned by one of the many arms dealers in the city. As they set course for the First Order's fleet, DJ rifles through the arms dealer's onboard computer, and soon finds evidence that he—like many other war profiteers in Canto Bight—was selling weapons to various Imperial loyalist groups in addition to the New Republic. While Finn and Rose are horrified to learn this, DJ tells them that it's simply the way of the galaxy: money and power are the only constants in the world, and "Good" and "Evil" are just imaginary concepts that exist to keep the wheels of commerce spinning.
DJ admits that he left the Resistance when he became disillusioned with their mission, and he came to believe that their ideals were just as hollow as anything that the Republic or the Empire ever believed in. Now, he devotes his life to the pursuit of money and power, the only things that can make a difference in the world.
"It's all a machine, partner," he tells Poe. "Live free! Don't join."
As Rey intercepts Kylo's flagship and flies into the docking bay, she finds Kylo waiting for her. She's cuffed by Stormtroopers and marched into the Oracle's private chamber to face his judgment. Although she tells Kylo that it isn't too late to break free of the Oracle's influence, Kylo doesn't seem to listen.
Undeterred, Kylo pushes Rey into the room. Flanked by his Praetorian Guard, the Oracle is waiting for her.
Just as Rey and the Oracle lock eyes, DJ's hijacked shuttle coasts into the hangar of the ship, and DJ shows off his hacking skills as he disables the ship's security system. After stealing a set of officer's uniforms from a nearby locker room, they proceed to the center of the ship in disguise.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Leia awakens from her coma to find Vice Admiral Holdo standing over her. As Holdo tells Leia: she has a plan to save the remnants of the New Republic Fleet—but it's a risky plan with no room for error.
As the First Order closes in on the fleet, Holdo plans to use the Comet Chaser as a decoy while she evacuates the passengers and crew in a small fleet of cloaked shuttles. The shuttles will slip away and take refuge in an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on the nearby planet of Crait. But in order for the escape to work, someone will need to stay behind to pilot the ship so that the First Order doesn't suspect that it's been abandoned. Holdo volunteers to stay behind, despite knowing that the choice will likely lead to her death.
As Holdo escorts Leia to a shuttle, the two women say their goodbyes, and Holdo reveals that it was Leia's heroic actions in the Galactic Civil War that inspired her to enlist in the fleet. As Leia boards a shuttle, Holdo leaves Leia with a simple farewell message:
"May the Force be with you—always," she says.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke carries a flaming torch up to the top of a hill, where his crude stone temple overlooks the ocean. He plans to burn the temple to ground—and with it, the sacred Jedi texts that have sat there for centuries.
Before he can set the temple ablaze, though, a familiar face stops him in his tracks. Yoda, his old teacher, has appeared to him, using the Force to speak to him from beyond the veil of death.
Luke defiantly tells Yoda that he plans to destroy the Jedi texts, ensuring that the Jedi Order will die with him—and nobody will ever repeat the Jedi's mistakes. Much to his surprise, though, Yoda takes the initiative himself, using his Force powers to set the temple alight with a bolt of lightning. Overcome with sorrow, Luke sinks to the ground and watches the temple burn.
Taking a seat beside his aging student, Yoda assures Luke that the sacred Jedi texts didn't contain any wisdom that Rey doesn't already possess. If the Jedi are truly going to survive into a new era, they can't spend all of their time looking to the past for answers. Instead, they must look to the future and put their faith in the next generation. And although Luke may never be able to undo his mistake that drove Ben Solo to the Dark Side, he can ensure that Rey doesn't go down the same path that he did.
"I can't be what she needs me to be," Luke says, hanging his head.
"Heeded my words not, did you?" Yoda asks. "Pass on what you have learned! Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes... Failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
Contemplating his master's words, Luke looks to the sky.
As they make their way through the winding hallways of the flagship, Finn, Poe, Rose, DJ and BB-8 find themselves surrounded by First Order troops, who quite clearly knew that they were coming.
It turns out that DJ sent a secret message to the First Order while flying the others to the ship, promising to deliver three high-ranking Republic soldiers into their custody in exchange for having his debts cleared. Poe lashes out in anger as he realizes that his friend betrayed him, but the soldiers force him and his companions to their knees, preparing to execute them.
In the Oracle's chamber, Kylo confiscates Rey's lightsaber and presents it to his teacher as a gift. As the Oracle lies back in his bed, he clasps the lightsaber in his gnarled hands, laughing a low, mirthless laugh.
Taunting Rey, the Oracle reveals that he and Kylo know about the Republic's plan to evacuate their fleet. Kylo already used the Force to locate their shuttles, and he ordered his crew to target them and destroy them as soon as they were all boarded. Moments later, the ship's guns begin firing—and Rey is forced to watch as she stands at the nearest viewing window, looking out across the vast gulf of space as one shuttle after another explodes. As dozens of lives are snuffed out with each explosion, she feels a sharp pain in her heart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo watches in horror as the fleeing transport ships are blasted into oblivion. Her plan to evacuate her crew has failed, and the last remnants of the New Republic fleet may die. Unless she can come up with a new plan to save them...
Thinking fast, she takes the helm of the Comet Chaser and prepares to turn it around. As the First Order's guns continue to target the defenseless transports, they don't see her aiming the prow of her ship at the center of their fleet...
The Oracle turns to Kylo.
"The end of your journey nears, my worthy apprentice," he says. "The ultimate power awaits you. But remember your lessons well: the stories of the strong are written in the blood of the weak. If you would claim the ultimate power, none may challenge you. Least of all, Skywalker's apprentice."
As a final test, the Oracle orders Kylo to kill Rey, proving that he will not be held back by mercy or compassion as he embarks on his last journey.
Kylo looks across the room at Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which Rey stole from his personal shrine. Two great Jedi in the Skywalker bloodline have wielded that lightsaber. One of them fought for the Dark Side, and the other fought for the Light. But which path will Kylo choose when he reclaims his birthright? For the first time in a long while, Kylo feels his soul cleft by doubt. Is there a third path, somewhere between light and darkness—or is he doomed to become a monster?
Raising his hand, Kylo reaches out with the Force, and the lightsaber floats into the air. But before he summons the lightsaber it to his hand, he ignites the blade and stabs the Oracle through the heart, killing him.
Enraged, the warriors of the Praetorian Guard charge at Rey and Kylo with weapons drawn. In an intense battle, the two of them fight the Praetorian Guard side-by-side, narrowly winning after a long and grueling duel. As Rey looks at the Oracle's dead body, she realizes that Kylo spared her life and chose to save her, and willingly chose to kill his own master instead of her. Perhaps she was right all along, and Kylo really does want to abandon the Dark Side.
When Rey looks out at the remnants of the Republic fleet, she realizes that there are still a handful of shuttles left, but the First Order's guns are still firing on them. Only Kylo can give the order for them to stop shooting.
Rey asks Kylo to order his men to cease fire. But to her horror, he refuses.
At the end of his journey with the Oracle, Kylo has become convinced that both the Dark Side and the Light Side are built on lies, and he refuses to follow either path.
"It's time to let old things die," Kylo says. "The Oracle. Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die. Rey, I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy!"
Rey, however, sees Kylo for the delusional would-be tyrant that he is. While Kylo might believe that he's embraced a higher worldview beyond Light and Darkness, his mindless pursuit of power has led him down a path trodden by countless murderers and tyrants.
Finally, Kylo tries one last ploy to convince Rey to join him: he reminds her of her journey into the cave, and of what she saw there. While Rey couldn't bring herself to say it outright, Kylo knows that Rey learned the identities of her parents—and he knows that she was utterly devastated by what she learned. And if she could only admit the truth about them, she could finally be persuaded to abandon the past and embrace a new future.
"Do you want to know the truth about your parents?" Kylo asks. "Or have you always known, and only hidden it away? You know the truth. Say it."
As her memories of the cave come flooding back, Rey's eyes brim with years.
"They were nobody..." she softly whispers.
Kylo nods.
"They were born on a peaceful planet at the edge of the galaxy," he says. "And when the last war came to their doorstep, the Rebels and the Empire fought over their world. Your mother was pregnant when she watched the skies burn. And when she cried out to the heavens, neither side answered her. Your parents fled to Jakku in search of a better life, but they knew that they couldn't keep a child fed and clothed. So they abandoned you in the slums, and they never saw you again. Your parents have been dead for years, Rey. They starved to death in a back-alley at the heart of the city. They died cold, hungry, and forgotten. And nobody cared."
At last, Rey finally understands to full truth of who she is.
She isn't the heir to a proud legacy, and there's no momentous destiny laid out for her. She's just the cast-off daughter of two poor, homeless refugees who were driven from their home by a war that they never wanted any part in, and she was never meant for great things.
Perhaps Kylo is right. Maybe there is no real difference between the Dark Side and the Light. To a pair of homeless refugees, after all, it didn't matter which side won the war. Neither side cared about them. And neither side would care if it happened all over again. Maybe letting it all die really is the only way forward.
But no. If there's really a better future for the galaxy, an unrepentant murderer like Kylo Ren won't be the one to bring it into being.
Rey raises her hand and reaches out with the Force, attempting to grab back Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Kylo raises his hand and attempts to pull the lightsaber toward him. As Rey and Kylo grapple over the lightsaber, the force of their exertions threatens to pull it apart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo keys a command into her control panel, plotting a jump to lightspeed—right through the heart of the First Order's fleet.
The jump will require incredibly precise calculations—but if she can pull it off correctly, she could cripple the First Order's warships, possibly buying the transports the time that they need to complete the journey to Crait.
With her course plotted, Holdo takes a deep breath...and engages the ship's hyperdrive.
For a moment, time seems to stop as the Comet Chaser engages its hyperdrive and tears through the First Order fleet in a streak of light. One by one, the First Order's ships shatter and explode, torn apart by the herculean force of the Comet Chaser's hyperdrive engines as they propel the ship forward in a suicide run at the speed of light.
Chaos erupts in Kylo's flagship as it's rocked by the explosions of nearby ships.
In one part of the ship, a squad of First Order troops are thrown against a bulkhead before they pull their triggers and execute Finn, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. Taking advantage of the distraction, they make a break for it, running toward the ship's hangar.
Back in the Oracle's chamber, Rey and Kylo are thrown to opposite ends of the room—just as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber splits in two.
Leia stands at the window of her transport ship as she watches the First Order fleet explode.
After fighting their way through dazed and confused First Order troops, Finn, Poe, Rose and BB-8 make it to the hangar and hijack a First Order shuttle. Gunning the engines, they set course for Crait to join the rest of the fleet.
On the surface of Crait, Leia takes refuge in the abandoned Rebel Alliance base with the last few survivors of the fleet—a few dozen soldiers, technicians, and crewmen. Finn and his companions manage to pilot their hijacked shuttle to the base, and they take their place among the assembled New Republic troop as they prepare to make their final stand against the First Order.
Within the hour, Kylo Ren's fleet lands on Crait, and a massive army of tanks and walkers disembarks from the First Order's landing craft, preparing to make their move on the armored base.
The soldiers make a valiant effort to drive them back—but soon, the base's wall comes crashing down. From inside, a crestfallen Leia watches as the First Order's forces advance.
Then, just when she least expects it, a familiar figure walks into the room. A bearded man with weary eyes, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi Knight. It's Luke!
For the first time in ten years, brother and sister are reunited. As their eyes meet from across the room, they smile. A moment passes, and Luke walks forward to embrace Leia.
Luke's years of buried regrets come bubbling to the surface as he remembers the day that he left his sister behind, but he knows that he can't undo whatever pain he caused her.
"Leia, I'm sorry..." Luke says.
I know," Leia says. "I know you are. I'm just glad you're here at the end."
"I came to face him, Leia. And I can't save him."
"I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone."
Luke gives her a wary look.
"No one's ever really gone," he says.
Without another word, Luke strides out onto the salt plains of Crait, lightsaber in hand. Almost immediately, Kylo catches sight of him from the cockpit of a walker.
Overcome with blind rage, Kylo orders every one of his armed vehicles to target Luke and blow him away. They obey his order—but when the smoke clears, Luke is still alive, and there isn't a scratch on him.
Kylo exits his walker. Lightsaber in hand, he steps forward to confront his master.
"Did you come back to say you forgive me?" Kylo asks mockingly. "To save my soul?"
"No," Luke says simply.
As master and apprentice ignite their lightsabers, they circle each other and begin to duel.
Moments later, it finally dawns on Poe: Luke is distracting the First Order to buy them enough time to escape. At first, it seems impossible to slip out undetected—but with some quick thinking, they manage to find a hidden tunnel amid the disused mines at the interior of the base.
Luke's duel with his old apprentice rages on. Finally, as Kylo steps back and prepares to charge at his old master one more time, Luke stares him down.
I failed you, Ben," Luke says. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are!" Kylo spits back. "The New Republic is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!"
Luke smiles.
"No," he says. "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi!"
Kylo sneers.
"I'll destroy Rey, and you, and all of it," he says.
"No," Luke says, still undaunted. "Strike me down in anger, and I'll always be with you. Just like your father."
Screaming with rage, Kylo charges at Luke, raises his saber, and brings it down for a killing blow...
...But when his blade comes down, it passes through Luke's body as if he's a ghost.
Gaping in disbelief, Kylo steps back. And at last, he realizes what has happened: Luke never left his island refuge. He used the full might of his Force abilities to project himself to Crait through the astral plane, allowing himself to distract the First Order and buy the New Republic's forces a few precious moments to escape.
Many years ago, Luke nearly succumbed to the temptation of anger and killed his young apprentice. Now, he has mastered that anger. Heeding the words of his mentors, he found a way to use the Force to save his old comrades without taking a single life. Blinded by his anger at the teacher who failed him, Kylo has been vainly fighting an illusion.
Once again, Luke smiles.
"See you around, kid," he says.
With that, Luke vanishes—leaving Kylo standing alone on the salt plains.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke sits cross-legged at the top of a rocky hill, his body levitating just a few feet off the ground as he reaches out with the Force and projects himself to Crait. As soon as he's confident that his work is done, he opens his eyes and floats back down.
His limbs tremble with fatigue, sweat coats his body, and blood drips from his nose. He has given the last remnants of the New Republic a fighting chance—but this last great feat of Force magic has taken every last ounce of his strength. Now, he has nothing left. At long last, he can die at peace.
As the sun sets over the wind-tossed seas of Ahch-To, Luke lies back against a rock and breathes his last breaths. Moments later, his body fades away and vanishes as he becomes one with the Force. When the wind picks up, it blows away his empty robes.
As Finn, Poe, Rose, and Leia lead the remnants of the New Republic's forces through the mines, they come to a pass blocked by fallen rocks. It seems impossible to make it through—but then the rocks rise into the air as if by magic, clearing the way.
At the other side of the pass, they see a familiar figure standing proudly with her hand raised, using the Force to lift the rocks aside. It's Rey—and she's standing in front of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca by her side! After her battle with Kylo, Rey managed to escape his ship in the Falcon, and she made it to Crait just in time to help the New Republic's forces escape.
Together, the soldiers board the Falcon and soar into the skies of Crait, escaping in the nick of time.
Hour after the battle on Crait, the halls of the Falcon swarm with New Republic soldiers and crewmen, numbering in the dozens. They're low on supplies, they're far from safe haven, and they know that the First Order and their allies aren't far behind them—but they're still alive, and they've sworn to take the galaxy back when the time is right.
When things seem uncertain, Rey turns to Leia, who knows what it's like to be outnumbered and outgunned. While Rey isn't sure if they can build a fighting force out of a few dozen soldiers and a battered old freighter, Leia urges her to have faith.
"We have everything we need," Leia says.
As Rey walks away to join her friends, we zoom in on a shelf by Han's old dejarik board. Among the various assorted trinkets on the shelf is a set of dusty old books: the sacred Jedi texts. It turns out that Rey took the Jedi texts from the temple before she left Ahch-To. And while the temple was destroyed, the Jedi texts weren't.
Luke Skywalker is dead—but the wisdom of the Jedi lives on, and Luke's apprentice will carry on his legacy no matter what it takes.
On the other side of the galaxy, Kylo Ren sits alone in the Oracle's old chamber.
Rey and her companions slipped through his fingers, but the New Republic is still in ruins—and even if Rey can evade the First Order, she and her companions can never bring back the New Republic as it once was.
All over the galaxy, reports continue to pour in: most of the Core Worlds have fallen to attacks from Imperial loyalists, the New Republic fleet has been routed, and at least half of the Outer Rim worlds have seceded from the New Republic. With the New Republic a shadow of its former self, anarchy reigns, and there is no obstacle to the Knights of Ren and their ultimate mission. Yet until Rey dies, Kylo knows that he won't be able to rest.
But for now, none of that matters. All that matters is the quest for the ultimate power, which drew Kylo to the Oracle's side long ago. Once, the Oracle promised that he would guide Kylo to his destiny. But with the Oracle gone, Kylo has no choice but to embark down that path by himself. The road will be long and full of trials, but he's ready.
Kylo reaches into a metal chest that sits beside the space where the Oracle's life-support machine once stood. He pulls out a small object: an ornate wooden box with arcane symbols and characters etched along its surface.
He takes a deep breath and opens the box by a fraction of an inch—and golden light streams upon his face.
While the remnants of the New Republic fleet escape the destruction of Coruscant with the First Order in hot pursuit, Finn and Poe are temporarily pressed into service on the Comet Chaser’s crew while the ship attempts to find safe harbor. While serving on the crew, they find themselves clashing with their new commanding officer Vice Admiral Holdo, who looks down upon them for their pasts with the First Order and the Resistance.
Instead of simply disliking each other, Poe and Vice Admiral Holdo distrust each other because Holdo views the Resistance as dangerous radicals, while Poe believes that the New Republic is just as oppressive as the Empire. In the Canto Bight sequence, Poe accompanies Finn and Rose Tico to recruit DJ, and DJ is introduced as one of Poe’s former comrades from the Resistance. And instead of being "filthy junk traders who sold [her] off for drinking money", Rey's parents are revealed to be refugees from the Galactic Civil War who abandoned her in the slums of Jakku because they couldn't afford to raise a child.
In the final scene, Kylo Ren finds and opens a mysterious box in the Oracle’s quarters, which is hinted to be a key to the "ultimate power" that the Oracle promised him.
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