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2023.06.01 13:03 FelicitySmoak_ On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - June 1st

On This Day In Michael Jackson HIStory - June 1st
Disclaimer: Some of these events have unknown June dates. They are identified with a '*'
1970 - The Jackson 5 are on the cover of Soul Magazine.

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1974 - Michael is on the cover of Popswop magazine

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1974 - Jackson 5 are on the cover of Right On! magazine

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1977\* - The Jackson go back to Sigma Sound Studios in Philidalphia to record their new album, Goin' Places, with Gamble & Huff
1978\* - The Jacksons record the Destiny album in Los Angeles after recording song demos at their Hayvenhurst home studio
1979 - The Jackson perform at Milwaukee County Stadium (closed- 2000) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on their Destiny tour
1979 - (June 1 -3) Michael, Quincy Jones & Bruce Swedien complete the recording & mixing of the Off The Wall album Westlake Studios in Los Angeles.
1979\* - The Jacksons start recording the Triumph Album.
1982\* - Michael would come across a studio demo produced by John Barnes and request a meeting.
In an interview with The MJCast podcast, John recalled their first meeting:
“Michael said I heard you can make your own sounds and play them. How many sounds can you make? And, I responded, ‘How much time do you have?’”
The meeting lasted a few hours and was the beginning of a friendship and musical partnership with Barnes being hired as a core member of Michael Jackson’s team. Their partnership would continue until Michael's passing in 2009
1983\* - Michael is on the cover of Creem magazine.

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1984\* - Michael meets with other supporters of Camp Good Times, a non-profit organization founded by parents of children with cancer, in Malibu such as OJ Simpson, Dustin Hoffman, David Soul, Neil Diamond & Richard Chamberlain.

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The first Camp Goodtimes event would be held in Vashon Island at Camp Sealth in August of 1984. Ninety-three children, cancer patients and siblings attended and twenty-five American Cancer Society volunteers, who staffed the camp along with the summer staff at Camp Sealth.

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1985\* - Michael starts rehearsing for an upcoming 3D science fiction musical short film named Captain EO to be shown exclusively at Disneyland and Disney World. Francis Ford Coppola will direct and George Lucas will produce the film
1986\*- Michael & Corey Feldman go to Disneyland . Michael is seen for the 1st time wearing a surgical mask in public
In Moonwalk, he says he was initially given a mask by a dentist to keep germs out after having his wisdom teeth pulled
1987\* - Michael shoots the “The Way You Make Me Feel” short film at Skid Row, Los Angeles. It was directed by Joe Pytka and choreographed by Vincent Paterson & Michael. It featured Tatiana Thumbtzen & Latoya Jackson
1988\- Michael is on the cover of *Ebony magazine.

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1988\* - Michael Jackson : The Legend Continues is released on home video.
1988 - Michael sets another record as the first artist ever to have three albums with US sales of more than six million copies each as Bad & Off The Wall were both certified 6x platinum by the RIAA
1989\- Michael goes back to Westlake studio with Matt Forger and Bill Bottrell. He meets Brad Buxer who will work with him until 2008. Together they work on new songs for a compilation named *DECADE 1979-1989
Quincy Jones is not part of this project. "Black Or White" and "Heal The World" are among the first songs worked on.
1991 - David Ruffin, a member of The Temptations, dies of a drug overdose.

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It was found that Ruffin was peniniless and Jackson contacted Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit to make arrangements to cover a large portion of the June 10th funeral costs. He also sends a heart-shaped arrangement of carnations to the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit with the note, "With Love, from Michael Jackson".

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Jackson was a big admirer of The Temptations. He would not attend the funeral ceremony to not divert attention from it (it was however reported that he did attend but in disguise)
1991\* - The Sun publishes leaked pictures from a photo session of Michael by Herb Ritts. It had been rumored that multiple photographers were battling in out to shoot Michael's new video & album cover. Steve Meisel, Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts had been in the running to give Michael a new "sexier" look

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1991\* - Michael enlists the help of producers L.A Reid & Babyface for his new album, which deeply upsets Jermaine who is also working with them.
Jermaine is quoted in the tabloids as saying:
"I could have been Michael. It's all a matter of timing, a matter of luck"
1991\* - Michael is on the cover of British magazine The Wire

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1992\*- Michael rehearses for his new tour & shoot the video for “Who Is It”
1993 - Michael is on the cover of LIFE magazine with an exclusive cover story of Neverland.

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1994\* - This summer Heal The World Foundation, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District, "I Have A Dream Foundation", "Best Buddies", "Overcoming Obstacles" & "California One To One", provide 2000 children with tickets to see Janet Jackson, the L.A. Laker Jam and The Beach Boys in concert
1995\* - Michael is on the June/July cover of VIBE magazine with exclusive pictures taken at Neverland with Quincy Jones & his daughter Kidada

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1995 - (5/30-6/2) Michael shoots the “Childhood” short film directed by Nicholas Brandt in Los Angeles .
1995\* - Issue #2 of History Magazine reveals that Travis Thomas, a 5-year old boy who suffers from cystic fibrosis, wished to meet Michael.

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“One evening, we were watching TV and Travis hadn’t eaten for a couple of days. He was on TV”, the boy's mother recalls, “and we came across the American Music Awards and Michael Jackson… Travis sat up and wanted to eat… He said, ‘I love Michael Jackson, Mama!”
His wish comes true in June through Jackson and the Make A Wish Foundation.Travis and his family, along with 20 other seriously ill children, spent a weekend at Neverland Ranch and were allowed to roam around the compound’s private amusement park.
Travis’ mother:
“The love this man has on his face when he is with these special children is unbelievable. He is one of the kindest and most gentle men I have ever met"

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1999 - Michael cancels his participation in the Pavarotti & Friends Charity Concert in Modena, scheduled for tonight.
Jonathan Morrish of Sony Music issues a statement informing the media, that Michael will not be performing due to the illness of his son, Prince:
"Prince suffered a seizure early Saturday due to a high temperature. This is the third seizure over the last year"
He added that the concert meant so much to Michael but,"he is an artist like the others, but also a parent" and that he waited until the last moment to cancel because he was still hopeful about making it. Michael is reportedly constantly at Prince's bedside
2000* - Concert promoter,Marcel Avram, sues Michael for breach of contract for the Millenium Concerts and asks for $21 million

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2001\* - Michael hires Marc Schaffel and they create a new company,Neverland Valley Entertainment, with a common bank account.
2004\* - Randy Jackson fires Bob Jones, vice president of MJJ Productions since 1987, after discovering that he is writing a tell all book on Michael. He also stops paying Marc Schaffel.
2005 - Trial Day 64
Michael goes to court with Katherine, Joe & Randy

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Judge Melville gives the Jury the rules of Jury Deliberations
Michael Jackson sat quietly in court as the 12 jurors were given their instructions ahead of closing arguments from both sides.
"You've heard all of the evidence and you will hear the arguments of attorneys," Judge Rodney Melville told the jury. He told them to make their decision without "pity for or prejudice toward" the defendant.
The eight women & four men who will decide his fate will hear closing arguments today and could begin their deliberations as early as Friday (it is currently Wednesday). Jurors are expected to hammer out their decision behind closed doors for about six hours a day until they reach their verdict or announce a deadlock.
The charges against Jackson consist of four counts of molestation, four counts of giving the boy alcohol in order to abuse him, one count of conspiracy and one of attempted molestation.
Jurors were told they could consider the four alcohol counts as lesser charges of "furnishing alcohol to a minor." This would be considered a misdemeanor and means that the jury would not have to relate the alcohol to any intended molestation.
Judge Melville told jurors not to consider the four videos played in the trial for the truth of any remarks made in them, except for certain statements that prosecutors claim are admissions from Jackson. These statements will be outlined in a document to be provided by prosecutors.
The Judge also instructed the jury on how to consider the past allegations against Jackson. He said that if they determine he does have such a history, "you may but are not required to infer that the defendant had a predisposition" to commit the crimes alleged in this case.
But he added “that is not sufficient in itself to prove he committed the crimes charged
He also told them not to infer anything from the fact Jackson himself had decided not to testify.
Thomas Mesereau will deliver closing arguments for the defense while Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen is expected to deliver the prosecution’s closing statements.
Court Transcript

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2005\* - Michael allows visits from fans inside his home while awaiting the verdict. They're impressed by his generosity given the circumstances.

2007 - A glittery jacket once worn onstage by Michael, his MTV Music Award for "We Are The World", as well as gold discs for his album Off the Wall and the Jackson 5 single "I Want You Back", all sell at an auction in the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, Nevada. The total raised from the sale of Michael related artifacts at the auction is reported as $1-$2million
2007\* - Michael, Grace and the kids leave their Las Vegas house and fly to Middleburg, Virginia. They check into the Goodstone Inn, a 640-acre estate of open pastures, for a summer vacation. They are welcomed by Raymone Bain.
2007\* - Michael “Brother Michael” Amir Williams is hired as Michael’s new assistant.
2008\* - Michael and producer Neff-U start working on songs at 'Thriller Villa', his 2710 Palomino Lane home, in Las Vegas. They work on a new version of “A Place With No Name”.
2008\* - Late in the month, Michael's duet with Akon, "Hold My Hand" is leaked online. Michael is devastated
Longtime recording engineer, Michael Prince, who was working with Jackson at the time “Hold My Hand” leaked, recalls:
“He was truly upset when the song he did with Akon leaked. He would just get this sad look on his face like, how could this happen? Because 20 years ago this would not have happened. And somehow everybody in the world has a copy of it. And that really upset him because he liked that song a lot.”
Akon gave a detailed account of the events surrounding the leak during an appearance on Tavis Smiley’s PBS television show in January 2009:
“Me and Mike did this incredible record called Hold My Hand and the record is amazing. Phenomenal. And the concept was that this would be Mike’s first release off of his new album, and then I would stripe it on my album – on my following release. That way we could have the outlets open for everyone to be able to receive the record. You know, Mike came up with this brilliant marketing launch for the record. You know, he’s the best at launching a record.”
Akon continues:
“He’d have the whole world paying attention in two minutes… And before we could get to that point, the record got leaked over the internet. And we got over 15 million downloads on the song for free. So we couldn’t [release it]. You can’t at that point. Everybody already has the record. But in a way, you gotta look at it like… that’s just a gift to the fans.”
2008\* - (Late June) Michael hires Dr Thome Thome as his new manager and president of MJJ Productions. As a result of a financial reorganiation of the Neverland Valley Ranch, all of Michael’s personal belongings have to be removed from the property. Dr Tohme contacts Darren Julien of Julien’s Auction House
2009 - The This Is It team leaves Center Staging for a bigger place : The Forum in Inglewood, California.
2009 - (June 1-11) At Culver Studios in Culver City, Michael shoots “The Dome” Project which consists of seven works:
  • “Smooth Criminal” (Jackson inserted into classic 2D black-and-white film noir chase sequence)
  • “Thriller” (3-D movie starting in a haunted house with a ghostly image of Vincent Price, then moving into a graveyard where the dead awaken)
  • “Earth Song” (3D short film featuring little girl who wanders through rain forest, takes a nap and dreams of the splendor of nature, and awakens to find the natural world has been devastated)
  • “They Don’t Care About Us” (a/k/a Drill, 2D film in which a sea of soldiers march in unison; 10 male dancers replicated hundreds of times)
  • “MJ Air” (3-D movie in which a 707 jet pulls into the frame; hole was to open in screen for Michael Jackson to enter; jet flies away)
  • “The Final Message” (3-D movie of a little girl from rain forest embracing the earth)
  • “The Way You Make Me Feel” (2D theatrical background featuring male dancers fashioned as historical construction workers.
2009 - Michael goes to Dr Klein’s in Berverly Hills with Blanket.
submitted by FelicitySmoak_ to MichaelJackson [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 10:33 Aggressive-Season292 Coming out to Christian family tips?

Hey all! I hope you all are having a great day wherever you are.
27 here living on my own and finally living the life that I have wanted to live. It’s incredibly freeing to be in control of my own destiny. I’m mostly out to the people in my life and those I haven’t told could probably pick up context clues based on my interests/hobbies/activism.
However, I’m not out to any of my family other than my only sibling (brother), who is literally the most supportive person I could ask for. I just came out to him last year and it feels like I relationship has grown so much. However, I knew he would be ok with it because we have similar views (politically and religiously) and have talked some about the logistics of telling the family. I am not in the same city as them so there is some separation, but they are about 30 minutes away so it’s close enough. lol
Parents are married. -Mom: has been there for EVERYTHING with me and a huge supporter of everything I do. But as a Baptist church-goer and a teacher at a Christian school, she is very concerned with how she is perceived, which includes the actions of myself and my brother. Recently stated that she votes red because of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.
-Dad: very homophobic and uses slurs and such. He is also an alcoholic which increases such behavior when he drinks a lot. Not on good terms with him and due to not being very present in my life.
-My grandma: my favorite person on earth. She is my last surviving grandparent and seems super open minded about a lot of things, but also is very cognizant about how she is perceived by her peers.
-Rest of family: don’t care enough to tell them (a lot of them have been shitty to us in the past lol)
Sorry for the long ass post, but I want to reiterate that I’m incredibly proud to be gay, but as a guy that grew up surrounded by religion and homophobia in the Bible Belt/South, I just want to be fully myself with those I love, even if it’s hard.
submitted by Aggressive-Season292 to askgaybros [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 09:03 CaptainMystery_123 Contrapoints is starting to sound a whole lot like lily orchard. On the loss of faith in reason and debate

Contrapoints is starting to sound a whole lot like lily orchard. On the loss of faith in reason and debate
(Thanks again to stich and adam for the shout out, sorry it took so long, school was brutal)
Contra has uploaded another video and as usual I'm late to the party. The video was on JK rowling and Megan phelps roper new podcast, "The witch trial's of jk rowling". Now I'll admit right away that I haven't seen it, I've heard a lot about it. But, if it was just that then I wouldn't be writing a response to Contrapoints now would I. Now before I get into this I'm not sure how many of you are famlilur with a person a named lily orchard. Lily orchard's claim to fame is making a video essay on Steven universe that I can best describe as both bad faith and very VERY cynical. Accusing Rebecca Sugar (The shows creator) of just about every bad faith accusation you can think of. Somehow both incorrectly and inadequately represent LGBT people, racism, and a long list of other accusations. but anyways I bring lily up to point something out in another video lily made. In the video in question, that's a sort of "correction" of lily's Steven universe video lily backs a opinion that I find both strange and concerning. In the video titled, "I Rewrote a Segment of the Steven Universe Video for Comparision". In this video lily backs anti-debate positions going as far as to say, "When it comes to human right's...there is no actual debate to be had, peoples right to exist in a fair society in not actual something that is up for debate"(Ignoring the framing of "human rights" that I could write a whole other post on how "human rights" aren't really a thing or at least a thing in the way most people think they are). I really don't like these positions because what they imply is that these issues are "settled". Well, there not, whether you like it or not these issues are up for debate. You can call conservatives "idiots", "stupid", and "bigots" all day but by them not agreeing with you imply that these issues are up for debate. And if you think you can just cut those people out because they are just THAT dumb, well I've got news for you, your cutting out a not insignificant number of people. But this post isn't about Lily orchard, this is about contra. With contra, it's about jk rowling and rowling's opinion on the transgender community. Contra goes into similar styles of arguments. She starts with the infamous/famous (depending on who you ask) anti-gay activist Anita bryant and goes into a history of her anti-gay activism. At the end of it contra asks (in reference to a time a activist Anita bryant through a pie at Anita) "If she really deserved it" (going into Anita bryant's past, having a father that was abusive to her mother and having a possibly abusive husband) to which contra says "yes, obviously". Contra goes on to say (or at least imply) that it's possible to abuse nuances to justify bigotry. The problem is that this is basically one big dodge. Contra doesn't address anything in Anita's past. Only basically saying "she deserved it anyways" this comes off to me as very cold and if anything justifies Anita's negative views. Anita called herself a liberal and although I probably don't agree with her on the vast majority of issues, assuming she was telling the truth she disagreed on this one issue and agreed with everything else. I think contra is slightly engaging with a leftest purity test, which contra takes issue with "The character Tabby represents a lot of what I think is wrong about leftist strategy: the indifference to optics, the undisguised hostility to the ideologically impure, the sectarian nitpicking, the alternation between extreme optimism (“a communist revolution can happen in the United States and it will go well if it does”) and extreme pessimism (“neoliberal propaganda has so tight a grip on the general public that why should we even bother trying to appeal to them?”)" Contra is being hypocritical for using the say purity tests that contra disagrees with. Another this that contra criticizes Megan Phelps-roper for is not taking a harder stand for trans people and being "one-sided". I say this to that, Megan is under no obligation to be your "ally", what exactly did you expect from her? Contra says that "I wish she would just be honest" but later in the say video contra going into Megan's past in the west buro Baptist church. The WBBC is a cult, of course Megan would be skeptical of clams that Megan views as "extrame". Contra also goes into the idea of deconversion, a pass time contra used to take pride in. In this section contra admits that deconversion is a good strategy but qualifies it with "If you assume that the moral improvement of bigots is more important then protecting the people they target or if you assume that changing bigots' minds is the only way to make social progress". To this later point, I say "Well if the bigots are in power you need to change there mind, or get the bigot voted out". But I think there is something else, I think contra is making a error here, I think contra is assuming that it's impossible to both DE-convert and advocate, why can't they be equally important. In fact, shouldn't they be equally important (or at least given more importance then contra is giving the idea of deconversion). Contra going into the idea that "there will always be bigots" and that "mocking them, shaming them, or boycotting them, is, I think, a perfectly valid strategy". But contra seems to be indifferent to optics ;-) here, that's not going to look good and is easily turning into a weapon for bigots benefits.
I now what to going into a person named Peter Cvjetanvic, Peter was a white nationalist the whole 9 yards. However questioned everything when peter befriended a muslim-american woman. Peter no longer called himself a white nationalist however also doesn't think trans-woman are woman. Contra characterizes this as "incomplete" and "messy". All I have to say to refute this is "Contra, Peter was a WHITE NATIONALIST before! And now Peter is a default conservative, tell me that isn't a massive improvement."
Contra making my point for me
Finally I want to make one final point, in the video contra briefly mentioned a person named "Noah" and this individuals is contacted by contra to share thoughts on the podcast. Contra uses this message to frame most the remaining section. Attached below is the full message, I want to take on this idea that debate should "come second" after getting healthcare support and resources for gender care. *screams in detransition* If you want that healthcare, support and resources you so desperately want you need to convince the people who can give it to you, to give it to you.

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submitted by CaptainMystery_123 to moldybread [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 08:08 Def_Not_Rabid I’ve slowly been realizing how much of my parenting is just a trauma response

I’m just trying to process this all so bare with me and hear me out. This is going to start out sounding braggy but just be patient. I’m a mess. I promise.
I am, for all intents and purposes, one of those super moms. I’m a single mother to autistic twin 3.5 year olds. We have a set schedule and a routine that we follow (and I will fight you if you try to mess with our routine or our schedule). I have a little Montessori closet/dressing station and kitchen set up that we use religiously so my girls know how to get the things we need to eat/get out the door. We have a pretty little weekly routine calendar with photo tiles I hand made. I have snacks prepared and portioned and meals for the week ready to go. My fridge is full of mason jars of rinsed and cut fruit and vegetables. My car has an emergency snack bag, a travel toy box, and a “what if all of us fell into the river and then had to go to church immediately after” disaster bag (we don’t go to church but what if). My girls attend therapy daily and they’re known as the girls with the pretty little coordinating outfits and the homemade organic snacks and the yuppie lunches and all that jazz.
And if you had told me five years ago that that’s who I and my children would be, I would have laughed in your face. If you have hinted at that future to my friends or my family or my (now ex-) husband (their father), they would have questioned your sanity. And they would have been right to do so.
But the thing is, then I had twins. I thought I was prepared. I worked in the two year old room in daycare. I could handle 15 two-year-olds solo (ratio is 8:1 but if you have two adults in a room and one adult has to change diapers, that leaves the other adult to manage the remaining 15), two should’ve been nothing. I had twins, and their dad checked out.
He didn’t leave. That probably would’ve been better. He just mentally checked out. For their first 3 months he handled one feeding a day (the one immediately after he got home from work), but then he decided he didn’t want them so I took over everything. For the next 15 months I did everything while he either went to work or sat in the house and pouted.
And all this time, I was just trying to keep my babies alive and him not upset. That’s all I wanted. But all this time I was in reaction mode. I was constantly needing four hands and having only two. I was constantly listening to one of my babies cry and knowing if I had just planned better, if I had just had their bottle or pacifier or toy ready and within arms reach, it wouldn’t matter that I was pinned helping their sister and I would’ve been able to help her faster. And while I listened to my babies cry, I would also know that their dad was listening and getting angry that a baby was crying. Not out of concern for our baby—if he were concerned he could’ve gotten up and come into the room and helped—but because a baby crying is loud and annoying and I was taking too long to make it stop.
And then I kicked him out of the house. And then I realized I actually could get my girls involved in early intervention services. Because all this time my daughters had also been failing their developmental screeners and he’d been refusing to allow them to get evaluated. And it turns out they both were 75% delayed across the board. So not only was I taking care of twin toddlers by myself, but I was also taking care of twin toddlers with the danger awareness, motor skills, communication skills, social skills, and self help skills of infants by myself. So we started all of the therapies and now I was doing the work of an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist, and behavioral therapist for two tiny humans 24/7 by myself. And the only way I could manage was to throw myself 100% into being ready and prepared.
We set our routines and schedules because my girls didn’t have the receptive language to understand verbal instructions, but they did have the pattern recognition to willingly follow along with the same set steps every day. We made our visual calendar so I could point to how the day was going to go. We prepped our meals and snacks so I could get them one handed while dealing with a meltdown. We built up our car stashes so I could handle meltdowns by myself no matter where we were and still get to where we were going looking presentable. We have our little kitchen set up so the girls can pick their plates and utensils and I can avoid the meltdown. I dress my girls in cute little coordinating outfits and feed them homemade and organic and sugar free because that’s the one tiny thing I have control over (don’t worry they will absolutely get to choose individual outfits the second they care—right now they just both love the same things so they’re happy wearing the same type of outfits in different colors. And they still get fun food too I’m making sure it doesn’t turn into an eating disorder for them type deal).
I am accused of being uptight and militant. I look uptight and militant. And impressive. I look like super mom. It looks like I’ve got it all together. But honestly, I’m hanging by a thread. I do all these things because I’m terrified. I’m terrified that if I’m not prepared, if I haven’t set the schedule and the routine and given my girls the tools to help me help them, we’ll slide back into those dark days (that I’ve honestly mostly blocked out) where my babies were crying and I just had to listen to them because I didn’t have enough hands and I wasn’t prepared ahead of time for what they’d need.
So, yeah. It’s been years since those days where my infants were crying and I just did not have enough hands and I still get a pit in my stomach at the idea of messing with my routines or my systems. I go into emergency preparedness mode. I start planning for every change months in advance to make sure I never go back to those days. It’s fine, I guess. It works. My daughters are happy and healthy and thriving. They’re getting ready to graduate from ABA therapy and move on to regular preschool with no interventions. And I do manage to do things outside our routine. As I type this we’re halfway across the US starting in my ex’s grandparents’ house for a visit because they’d never met the girls and I wasn’t sure if my ex would get around to ever making the trip. We did the three hour flight and six hour drive just the three of us. I just could do without the constant anxiety.
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2023.06.01 07:33 BoxesFromEbay addis mart real

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2023.06.01 07:07 BUCKCHOBUCK Sacred Signs (1911)

Every time we enter a church, if we but notice it, a question is put to us. Why has a church doors? It seems a foolish question. Naturally, to go in by. Yes, but doors are not necessary--only a doorway. An opening with a board partition to close it off would be a cheap and practical convenience of letting people out and in. But the door serves more than a practical use; it is a reminder.
When you step through the doorway of a church you are leaving the outer-world behind and entering an inner world. The outside world is a fair place abounding in life and activity, but also a place with a mingling of the base and ugly. It is a sort of market place, crossed and recrossed by all and sundry. Perhaps "unholy" is not quite the word for it, yet there is something profane about the world. Behind the church doors is an inner place, separated from the market place, a silent, consecrated and holy spot. It is very certain that the whole world is the work of God and his gift to us, that we may meet Him anywhere, that everything we receive is from God's hand, and, when received religiously, is holy. Nevertheless men have always felt that certain precincts were in a special manner set apart and dedicated to God.
Between the outer and the inner world are the doors. They are the barriers between the market place and the sanctuary, between what belongs to the world at large and what has become consecrated to God. And the door warns the man who opens it to go inside that he must now leave behind the thoughts, wishes and cares which here are out of place, his curiosity, his vanity, his worldly interests, his secular self. "Make yourself clean. The ground you tread is holy ground."
Do not rush through the doors. Let us take time to open our hearts to their meaning and pause a moment beforehand so as to make our entering-in a fully intended and recollected act.
The doors have yet something else to say. Notice how as you cross the threshold you unconsciously lift your head and your eyes, and how as you survey the great interior space of the church there also takes place in you an inward expansion and enlargement. Its great width and height have an analogy to infinity and eternity. A church is a similitude of the heavenly dwelling place of God.
Mountains indeed are higher, the wide blue sky outside stretches immeasurably further. But whereas outside space is unconfined and formless, the portion of space set aside for the church has been formed, fashioned, designed at every point with God in view. The long pillared aisles, the width and solidity of the walls, the high arched and vaulted roof, bring home to us that this is God's house and the seat of his hidden presence.
It is the doors that admit us to this mysterious place. Lay aside, they say, all that cramps and narrows, all that sinks the mind. Open your heart, lift up your eyes. Let your soul be free, for this is God's temple.
It is likewise the representation of you, yourself. For you, your soul and your body, are the living temple of God. Open up that temple, make it spacious, give it height. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.
Heed the cry of the doors. Of small use to you is a house of wood and stone unless you yourself are God's living dwelling. The high arched gates may be lifted up, and the portals parted wide, but unless the doors of your heart are open, how can the King of Glory enter in?—Romano Guardini, Sacred Signs (1911)
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2023.06.01 06:58 CommanderNorton Racist propaganda from local (still active) churches

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2023.06.01 05:52 Treantpaladin7 Does the body of Christ mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 consist of many different denominations? It seems from so many sermons and commentaries they never really go into this? Any thoughts on divisions within the body what does being divided mean?

Another part that is confusing me that I can’t seem to find any sermons on is 1 Corinthians 12:3 “and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.”? Because what I’ve noticed for many years now is there’s so many different denominations that say “Jesus is Lord”? Does this mean the Holy Spirit is within many different denominations?
Do you think when it says “no one” it really means “no one” or did this word mean something different in history?
From my observations from listening to many sermons it seems many Pastors bring up the “Body of Christ” within there own congregation or Churches. But I haven’t heard a sermon go into what about outside the physical Church building into other denominations or believers?
It’s also written that where not to be divided? What does being divided mean? Where is the line in the sand that makes something divided? Are we as believers to try and heal divisions? How would we go about healing divisions if there are any in the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 12
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. One Body with Many Members
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
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2023.06.01 05:46 Far-Parfait7725 A hybrid theory on the origin of Plural Marriage: Joseph plus Brigham

I know a lot of people don't care exactly when plural marriage in the church started, but I think joseph started out with a series of affairs, not marriages. Brigham finds out about these affairs, and forces joseph's hand to declare a restoration of polygamy. Brigham had inside knowledge of JS affairs when he sat on the high council for the Bennett, and could leverage his insider knowledge to create mormon polygamy with joseph as a reluctant participant (in plural marriage not illicit sex). Years earlier, when Brigham was in England, the mormon missionaries were already practicing plural marriage ceremonies and all pre 132. Brigham had lifted plural marriage and ceremonies from the conchranites, a free loving group he proselyted in Massachusetts. Later, these ceremonies made their way into the temple endowment, of which Brigham is partly the author.
I know people poopoo on the conchranite theories of polygamy, but I really don't think it can be laughed away, Brigham married a former conchranite. William Clayton, Brigham's minion and future joseph smith secretary, writes about the foot washing ceremony (taken from the cochranites) when an unmarried woman would wash his feet and have sex with him while he was a missionary in england. This series of affairs happened before Clayton, a native of England, left for Nauvoo. In Brigham and Clayton's mind, the foot washing sanctified the act of illicit sex. I love William clayton's mission diaries because he takes the highest ordinance of Mormonism, the second anointing, and shows that it started as a way to trick a woman out of her pants.
I don't think good history has ever been done on mormonism, because even non-mormons want to see joseph smith as the origin of every idea, when we know that Rigdon had as great an influence on Mormonism as Joseph Smith. I think that Brigham had a huge impact on what became the modern church, and I think he was using joseph smith as a sounding board, even before he was murdered, to create the church in his own image. Joseph smith, obviously, could be manipulated into having revelations. That's what the whole 116 pages thing is about.
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2023.06.01 04:08 MindofaProstitute A man who teaches marriage courses within the Catholic church solicited me for prostitution

I am a prostitute. A married man reached out to me wanting an appointment, and I had to turn him down. I really could have used that $1000 he was going to give me to spend time with him. But I just can't. This is too much.
He had 5+ kids with his wife. He and his wife taught marriage courses for the church. He had pictures of himself visiting some known faces in the church. I am sure they married in the church.
Sex with married men just comes with the job and it's a huge income loss if you only stick with unmarried men. I've seen pictures of them with their wives and their "perfect families" during background checks I do on my clients before seeing them (with their consent). Their wives are respectable people. Women with well respected careers. Educated. Some of them even very beautiful. None of them were practicing Catholics or married in the church for all I know. I try not to judge because I don't know what's really going on between my clients and their partners. Sometimes I do wonder why married men are with me when they have a wife at home, for free. Why are they spending $3000 on me when they could have taken their wife out with that money? (maybe they already do)
People get married for all sorts of reasons, both good and bad. Both genuine and selfish. Maybe some of these marriages are based off social prestige, what they can get out of the marriage, to have that white picket fence and children enrolled in private school. "My wife the tenured professor at a prestigious university, and I am the type of man who can land a wife like that."
Maybe they really did marry out of love, and there was a disconnect somewhere down the road. Maybe he disappointed the wife and it killed her desire to be intimate with him, and there is a lack of communication and they began drifting apart until there was a dead bedroom situation.
Maybe he realized the wife never genuinely loved him at all, and just married him for the social aspect, the financial support, or to have a responsible and "acceptable" father for her children and once she got what she wanted, she stopped caring about his needs. Or he resents her for marrying him out of what he can offer, even though he will never admit how much he really pines for her genuine love and admiration.
Maybe she did love him, but he felt she knew him too well and not the idea of him that he wanted to portray to her. He feels he blundered too much in front of her or disappointed her too much, and now he needs a new person who doesn't know him, with fresh set of eyes, who he can pretend to be the type of man he wishes he was. He can't love the woman who can still love the man he really is, because not even he loves the man he really is.
Maybe the husband never really loved or respected the wife at all in the first place, and married her as a way of just possessing her like a car model while he cheats behind her back with a younger and tighter model, "as long as she doesn't know, nothing is wrong". He views women (and people in general) as possessions or fillers for roles in the movie he is playing in his head (where he is the main character), and not as individuals he needs to get along with or be accountable to.
Maybe the husband is pining for something that has nothing to do with his wife, like the desire to feel young again, and he only feels as young as the woman he is sleeping with.
It's one thing to be some random noncatholic guy who doesn't view marriage as a sacrament and neither does your wife, and you married your wife out of social expectations or secular desires and has no second thoughts about cheating on her. It's another to be the Catholic guy who is teaching marriage courses with his wife and calling marriage a sacrament in front of god, and then cheating on her.
I wondered if the wife knew. Maybe she got so tired and put off sex after having so many kids, or has medical issues that make it difficult to have sex. Maybe she had an agreement with the husband that he could see other women - even if this is against church teaching. Similar to how a lot of catholics still use condoms and birth control, and have premarital sex. Maybe she even prefers him to see other women for sex. Maybe she neglects him and there is a lack of communication on how to solve this. Maybe she's willing and pining for him but he's put off by her, for whatever reason, and never tried to resolve this with her. I would never know their situation. But I did find out she probably doesn't know and probably never agreed to him seeing prostitutes, and this isn't the first time he saw prostitutes either.
I don't believe that men cheat simply because of something like their wife having medical issues that make intimacy difficult or impossible, or that she is too old or fat - there is always something else going on. I also don't believe the cynical but popular claim that "men are only as faithful as their options". You always have options for sex, and you can always pay for more options. But I realized it's not sex that men are really looking for, it's something else and sex is just a proxy.
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2023.06.01 02:45 co_rv0 Secret Service - Richard Church [poem]

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2023.06.01 02:08 Locke7768 The beginning of a YA novel incorporating Astral/Star Jelly

Hi Leon and Sasha,
I miss you guys so much. I hope that you are safe in Moscow. I think of you often. I hope that you and your mom (grandparents and Irina/Phil) are okay.
I hope you mom reads this to you. I hope that it helps you go to sleep. I will write more and post it for you to read.
Astral or Star Jelly is a real event/substance that has been found in all areas of the earth (please Wikipedia it). My friend performed a DNA analysis on a sample of Star Jelly, and the results were amazing. His group concluded that the sample mostly had mitochondrial-like DNA, but it was very different from anything reported (much longer and having possible different base pairs).
Astral/Star Jelly is often found after meteorite showers or other astral events. I found some when I was young (heavy Northern Lights and Meteor Shower event). I crafted the first chapter of a potential novel. Please give feedback. I am switching to google docs, so soon I will have links to my works.
Yes, Charlotte edited the chapter. She kept saying to keep it simple and direct. We hope to see you in Turkey this summer.

Chapter 1
The Byproduct of Gods
with revisions by your favorite daughter
📷
Her owners had held her for so many lifetimes that the stream, which flowed, near her family’s hut was gone. The trees that provided fuel, housing, and food were missing, replaced by a prairie. After all the years of the concept of returning home keeping her going, she did not feel safe. There were no people near her village, and it took her days to unearth signs of her youth. She discovered the land that she had first walked on only because the mountain and stones did not move. As she cleaned the Blue Volga granite idol of her parents’ deity, she felt nothing. The blue-green face of the god looked sad to her. He also was no longer safe. His followers were dead and his power forgotten.
Her first owner was a traveler. They moved with each new moon. Her master felt safe but she failed to understand that her entourage plodded along a predictable path. After many decades, a tale of a demon woman who did not age traveled the same circuit. Finally, a village attacked the demon. Her second owner was the daughter of the woman who bought her. The daughter decided to build a fortress and to rule her fief. Her third owner was the daughter’s son who had grown tired of never gaining his birthright. His guilt and myopic greed caused him to sell her to an alchemist. From that point on, she was an item for trade or barter.
Her final master failed to return home. She remained in his caravan for a week, performing her duties. When she had eaten all the food, she felt justified using her knowledge to destroy her metal shackles. It took her five days to dissolve her bindings with her jellies.
She thought of the places that she had felt safe. Those havens were all underground. A magician made her live in the passages beneath Kyiv when he was being hunted. The tunnels funneled the 15 rivers of the city and protected inhabitants from invaders or punishing ruling forces. For twenty years, she had lived in the coquina catacombs of Odessa. A man who thought he was a seer was convinced that his power had attracted the attention of dragons and demons. No one could approach the lair unseen.
After a week of searching the now unfamiliar area, the woman began to carve her home from the soil of her childhood. She spent fifty years making her home safe. Only she would know the paths and twists of her underground world. Only she would know where the escape exits emerged into the surrounding world.
Eventually, her home attracted others. The woman could have chased them away, but she felt a need to observe people. When the fourth generations of villagers were aging to the grave, there was no hiding the fact that she had not died. The villagers erected a semi-circular wall around the entrance to the woman’s cave. The wall grew and the woman did not protest the separation.
Generations later, people whispered that the villagers maintained the defenses of their community to keep the woman away from the town’s children at night. In the tavern, each generation of gallant males would boast that they would be the one to remove the blight of the woman from the town. When she inevitably outlasted them, she would attend the funeral of the most vocal warrior from each age group.
Daily the woman would remove more soil from her dugout. The community would search her discarded diggings for possible minerals or stones. They did not share any discoveries with the woman. During times of blight or famine, the locals would collect her soil and remove it from the community.
People would peer around the wall to scan the woman’s home. As the village grew, a leader placed two chairs at endpoints of the semi-circle barrier. During full moons, periods of strife, festivals, and other social events, menacing men sat in the chairs. Infrequently, people tried to enter the woman’s home. Aside from the guards, it was the more distraught people of the village who visited her.. The most recent person to enter the woman’s home was a grieving widow. Her grief made her seek the woman to find answers about her loss. Three mornings later, the villagers found the widow in the public square with drapes of herbs, flowers, and crafts around her limbs. The people thought the widow was dead or mindless from torture. When the widow awoke, she went to her house and began the chores for the day. When pressed about the woman’s abode, the widow would state that the home was loved, clean, and well maintained.
On the spring day when the widow was about to remarry, she was again discovered in the square coated with ropes of herbs, flowers, and idols. The woman disappeared for a decade after the wedding, but the widow brought her newborns to the opening of the earthwork to declare their names into the sunken space.
The aging hamlet relaxed when the woman was away. There was a sense of freedom in the people. They did not fear the retribution of the woman for their actions, and parents could not correct their children with threats of giving them to the woman. At times, the leaders of the people would consider filling in the woman’s hovel, but shovels and spades would split if used to cover the opening of the woman’s home. One regretful man tried using a mule and cart to dump rocks into the fastness. The stones crushed the man after his own tram flipped over on him.
Although the townsfolk feared and despised the woman, she had free reign in the village. As an indicator that she was amongst the people, the woman would adorn her head with a dark purple scarf. No other members of the village would wear that color. They looked for it whenever the woman shopped at the market. The woman paid with old and foreign coins, but the merchants welcomed the precious metals they were composed of. During the dark days of winter, the people collected the woman’s tender and deposited it into a lead box. The villagers had a belief that the more people touched the woman’s currency, the longer the winter would be.
After the community fortified against the woman, religious leaders organized efforts to erect carved idols and large wagon-wheel hexes aimed at her home. Each generation attempted to counter the woman with the current symbols of spiritual protection. The largest structure in the village was now a church, and the threshold of the church was oriented to face the woman’s home.
The woman was home when Alyona began her schooling in the church. She had learned the fundamentals of math, reading, and writing. She knew that her coursework would end soon. The village expected girls to be useful to a limit. Her mother walked her only surviving child to school along a path that would prevent their shadow from falling close to the woman’s realm. The villagers performed this ritual after someone claimed that the woman had controlled their behavior by stealing their shadow.
Alyona was daydreaming during school of a life away from the village when the woman touched her. Alyona had spent the morning in the woods collecting mushrooms and other edibles. Her findings made for great, free additions to their usually simple meals. . On days that Alyona returned with a bounty, they shared the extras with neighbors. It was a wager that these people would remember the gift and provide Alyona’s home with food during lean days.
The person gripping Alyona twirled her body so that she faced the opposite direction. Alyona assumed the culprit was another student or a young assistant at the church. It could have been a boy attempting to bully her to get her attention. She lowered her right hand, preparing to use the back to slap the violator. Alyona’s willingness to confront her accoster left when she saw the face of the woman under her purple scarf. Alyona knew she should look away from the woman, but her eyes locked with the woman’s gaze. All the stories the Alyona heard about the town ghoul stated that the woman was so old that her skeleton was all that was left of her body. The woman’s youthful face surprised Alyona. There were no lines or furrows on the woman’s forehead. If anything, Alyona would have stated that the woman’s face glowed.
I can smell it on your hands. The woman placed Alyona’s fingers under her nose. The force of the drawn air startled Alyona. She thought that the woman had pulled the top layer of skin off her index finger. Alyona’s toes curled when the woman sampled her hand. Across a church aisle, one of the priests was herding schoolchildren. He spotted the two of them. His face darkened at the sight of their contact.
WHAT IS ON YOUR HANDS, ALYONA? The priest shouted over the children.
Nothing, Sir. The woman’s tongue darted over the tip of Alyona’s index finger. I was harvesting in the woods before class.
You touched more than growths and nuts this morning, Singleton Child of the Crying Matron. The woman chewed on her thumbnail.
Alyona did not like her mother being referred to in that way, but the eyes of the woman immobilized her. How could she react forcefully to a person who was savoring her hand?
She is mine today, priest. The woman held out her other hand to the shepherd of the church. I will pay her mother for occupying her child for the day, and she will be returned unsoiled and whole.
The priest brought a gurgle of protest up but was shut down quickly.
My tunnels are beneath your place of worship and the bedchambers of Mistress Blake, The women stomped on the ground, and I know all of what has occurred within your walls.
Alyona realized that she was screaming when her throat began to sear. She expected that the woman’s hole would be dark, but the home glowed. There were mirrors and reflective glasses positioned throughout the house to harness sun rays from many holes and entrances in the surface of the residence. Therefore, Alyona was able to see herself yelling on fifty surfaces.
Hush child. The woman touched her mouth. Do not be afraid of the manner in which I inspected you. It is a show for the people. I only want to talk about your morning, and then I will let you go with a full belly and money to buy many toys.
Alyona felt her utterances dwindle down to a wheeze that slipped out her lips.
You have the scent on your fingers, girl. The woman was now examining Alyona’s left hand. It is on both hands, so you must have found a huge source.
A source? Alyona wanted to look at her hands but she maintained her attention on the woman.
Sit. The woman pointed to a well-padded chair. Sit and I will return with small pies and honey.
Alyona hovered over the seat. She wanted to be strong and to stand, but then she smelt the pies. The chair was very soft. There were no pins, claws, or spines in the cushion like she feared.
Alyona. The voice of the woman wove through the tunnels of the underground network. Alyona felt her name circle around her. She had never been afraid of her name before. Alyona Pistan…daughter of Fiva and the missing soldier.
Alyona closed her fist and felt the pain of her nails digging into her palms.
Fiva lives off the salary that the Duke must pay for your father’s military service. Your mother knows that the Duke no longer wants to pay this burden.
Alyona wanted to speak but her throat stung from screaming.
Your father’s name is Bay. He earned this title because he would not stop speaking when he was a baby. Like a horse that always had an opinion, your father would squawk at everyone before he knew words. The voice was now coming directly towards Alyona. My first gift to you and Fiva is the information that your father lives. There was a pause in the woman’s words. An enemy does not enslave him; he is lost with the simpleton that led him away. One day a map will lead him home, child.
The woman emerged from a cutout with a basket laden with pies, a pot of honey, wooden utensils, and slices of ham. In her other hand, she held a bucket of colored water.
We will eat together. The woman placed the basket on Alyona’s lap and retrieved two cups. After you accept the first pie, I will tell you an important secret of mine.
I do not think I want to know any of your secrets Starly-Gradda.
The woman laughed and placed the small wooden spoon into the pie directly in front of Alyona.
Elder-grandmother, you call me. The woman dunked a cup into the water and held it in her left hand. I think that term is the nicest thing a child has called me in a lifetime.
Alyona brought the food to her lips. She smelt the mint, berries, and kasha. Gently she laid the pie onto her tongue. She did not chew; she only let it rest in her mouth. She expected that the food would burn or numb her. The taste was full and made her wish to spit the substance out because it was too good to be real.
Ah, she eats. The woman clapped her hands. I was your age when I saw my first god being born.
Alyona choked on the pie.
I was sitting by a riverbank when the god entered our place. The woman drank from her cup. It was a bright yellow fish with shiny scales. I saw it come from nothing to being here.
The woman snapped her fingers and Alyona swallowed her food.
No one prayed for its existence. No one was singing for it to bring salvation. The woman made circles with her hands in front of Alyona. As far as I know, simple fish do not worship gods, but a god came for the fish of that river.
The woman tapped Alyona’s hand to take another bite of pie.
It floated there. The woman held up her hands. Here I am…a young maiden…thinking a god or demon turned itself into this creature to seduce or corrupt me. Again, a chuckle came from the woman. No other god cared about this special fish. I think it was floating only because it did not realize that a fish should swim in water.
Alyona grabbed a slice of ham. It had been two months since she had meat that was not paste.
Eventually, the golden fish fell into the water and swam away. The woman pulled back her hood and revealed her full face to Alyona. I tried to follow it, but it swam away from shore, and I lost sight of it.
Alyona cleared her throat and licked her lips.
Girl, if you want a drink, just take it. The woman filled Alyona’s cup and handed it to her. The ham is not that salty, but I think your sore throat would improve if you drank.
Alyona sipped the water. It did not taste bitter. It did not smell foul. In fact, the water’s taste was a mixture of apples, roses, and plums.
I told my mother, and she whispered to my father that they needed to trade me into marriage now, before I became soft in the head. I did not want to marry at my age, so I told her that I would go find proof of my shiny golden fish. The woman used a toothpick to dollop out a portion of honey. There was nothing in the water when I returned. I waded in the cool stream. I put my head under the surface and looked at the rocks for the golden shimmer. I found nothing.
Alyona ate the ham.
I was weeping on the spot that I saw the god be born. My heart was full of dread. I started to believe that the shiny golden god was not real. I was so sad that I was quickly accepting that I would be married to an old man so that he would tolerate my problems. The woman tapped her top lip. I felt that my mother had no love for me. I thought that if the golden fish were my mother, it would love me just because that is what should be.
Alyona selected another pie. This pie contained spices and mashed nuts.
Your mother loves you. I listen to all the words spoken in this village. If a parent lacks love for their child, I correct them or have them leave. The woman did not form a fist. She turned her hand into a claw, the conviction in her words hanging in the air until she relaxed it. As all hope was gone, I put my hand down in the grass, and felt the substance.
The woman held her hand flat towards Alyona.
It was clear. It was squishy like the rendered bones of stock animals. It had a pleasant smell, but I was scared to taste it. The woman cupped her hands. I gathered this glob. I used the front of my dress to carry the material. When I believed that the last speck was contained in my clothing, I ran to my parents.
Alyona had felt something similar in the forest that morning.
My mother accused me of only finding the discarded waste of an animal. She threatened to smear it over my face. The woman moved the honey pot closer to Alyona. My father took me to the village shaman, and he looked at the material. They scraped the material off my clothes, but not around my breasts. The shaman thought it was bone waste from an owl, the eggs of a species of frog, a shell-less egg from a dying bird, a mushroom that was usually underground, or the spit of an evil spirit.
Alyona’s eyes widened.
Of course, something as amazing as what we found would be considered evil. The woman waved her hand. I have discovered many bundles and I have never seen the substance created by an evil thing.
No? Alonya asked, breaking her food-induced silence.
No, child. The woman touched the tip of Alyona’s nose. It is not to say that evil people and things are not interested in the substance, but the creation of it does not come from evil.
Alyona resumed consuming the luxurious treats.
The morning after I saw the god being born, people started to fall sick. The woman sighed. My mother blamed the god substance. It was hard for the village not to turn on me after my mother told them it was my fault. The woman’s shoulders lowered. I had not slept that night, and I did not clean after my discovery. They put me in a crate that only had three holes. My father fed me and still cared for me.
Alyona did not know how to react but to nod at the woman.
When my elder brother was close to death from the illness, my mother brought him to my crate. She told me that I would have to watch my brother die because I was an evil liar who unleashed a demon on the community. I could see him wither in pain from the openings in my prison. The woman moved a third pie in front of Alyona. The night my mother told me that my brother would die, my father talked to me. It was an act of rebellion against my mother, but he asked me if I knew what had happened. I cried to him about how this was not something I did. I pleaded with my dad that I would never make my brother suffer, and that the day watching him had crushed my will to live.
The woman tore a slice of ham into pieces and placed pieces of the meat on the floor of her keep.
My father and I wept. He told me that I was likely to die because of the sickness. The woman tapped the tray. Not that I was sick… or was likely to get sick, but because it would seem as justice to the people. I knew his words were true, but I could not think of anything else to say.
The third pie was berry and egg meringue. Alyona did not know that pies like this one existed.
I entered the crate in the dress I wore when I saw the god be born. The truth is that I only had that dress and a wedding dress. My mother kept the dress I would’ve worn to my wedding in a box near her bed. A cat approached the pieces of ham. My grandfather had given me the wedding dress when he died, but she took it from me. My father used what he received from his father to buy me the only special clothes I would have in my life. My father loved me, Alyona, just like yours.
The cat touched Alyona’s leg. It startled her, and she confirmed that the cat was not black.
We talked about the jelly I had found. My father told me that he had tried to burn it, thinking it was an odd piece of animal fat. The substance did not burn. My father then tried to crush it out of existence, but the material was soft, but not easily destroyed. The woman touched the center of her chest. My father’s words made me remember that there was still some of the jelly on my dress. I touched where they did not scrape, and there was a patch of the substance. I pinched the substance and it coated my fingers. It felt warm, but not hot.
Alyona was glad that the cat had returned to the ham.
My father grew angry. He was arguing with the air that if he were a real man, he would protect his daughter and revive his son. He was a good father. The woman showed Alyona a closed smile. He was crying because he knew he could do nothing. I was sore and battered from being in the crate. I felt so greasy and disgusting. I thought I was no longer the same girl that wandered in the meadows.
The woman offered to refill Alyona’s water cup.
For some reason, I brought the fingers I had used to touch the smear of the jelly that was on my dress to my mouth. The taste was tangy, but not foul. It was better than the food that my father had inserted into the holes in my crate. I sucked on it. With both hands, the woman rattled the basket. I felt so much better. It was amazing. I could not see it, but I felt my dry, cracked lips heal. My mind became clear. I knew what I had to do.
Alyona stopped eating to listen to the woman.
I asked my father to place my brother’s mouth in front of the biggest hole of my crate. He thought I was mad. He accused me of confessing that I pledged my soul to demons, but I told him that I felt different after praying to our god. The woman looked directly at Alyona. I rubbed my fingers on the same spot of my dress, and I placed them into my brother’s mouth. He was so weak that he did not respond to this action. I moved my fingers along his gums, his teeth, I even touched his tongue.
Alyona spoke to the woman. Was he healed right away?
The woman chuckled.
I like you Alyona, but you have the impatience of a child. The woman touched Alyona’s chin. It was not a sudden reversal, but he did not die. People died that night, but my brother lived. More importantly, he was the only person to get even slightly better. He was not running in the fields, talking to everyone better, but he was no longer crying in pain. His eyes were no longer looking like they would burst. Moreover, my father stopped crying for us.
I am glad. Alyona looked at the half-eaten pie. She wanted more of it, but she thought it would be rude to return to eating.
It was another day, another four deaths, before my father told the shaman that he thought I could heal the sick. They pulled me from the crate and inspected me. The women called for me to be stoned. The men wanted me burned. The shaman asked how my brother was alive, and how I was still in good health. The woman tapped her right temple. I knew I had to lie. I knew that I could not tell the truth. I had to convince these scared people that I was not dangerous.
The woman shuffled the half pie back to Alyona.
I fell in front of the shaman and shouted, ‘The Green Man came to me.’ I do not think you know the Green Man, child, but he was the god of the people before Christ came to the land. The woman pointed to a drawing of a large tree man. It matters not what god I said talked to me. I yelled that I knew that I did something wicked, but our god had forgiven me, and I was now able to cure the sickness that was killing the village.
Alyona returned to eating the pie.
They whipped me and bound me. I feared that they would burn my dress, so I yelled that the Green Man said that if I were to heal the village, I would need to be as I was when he forgave and blessed me. The woman opened her hands so that Alyona could see her palms. The oldest people would pray in this manner. They tied my legs together and only allowed my right arm to be free. However, that was all I needed to start to heal the people of my life.
Alyona finished her meal.
I would say our prayers; tell the people who were watching that the Green Man wanted everyone to close their eyes so that his healing ray could hit the person. The woman pulled her head backwards with a laugh. During this time, I would pull some of the jelly off my dress and stick the substance in the person’s mouth.
The woman laughed deeply.
What? Alyona asked.
I did not know that so many of my fellow villagers were missing teeth. Children of the people that always had food, had damaged and missing teeth. I was trapped and bored, so my mind began to guess how many disgusting teeth injuries each person would have.
Alyona shivered.
I thought the teeth were bad, but then it got worse. The woman looked upwards. It was on the third day of my healing that it happened for the first time. It was night, and the shaman had decided to blind me with a rag during the healing. Someone’s parents said that they did not want me to steal the soul of their child while I healed them. I placed my finger into a very small mouth, and everything was different. I did not feel a tingle from treating a person with the substance. I sang our songs to Green Man and rubbed jelly over my right fingers. I had planned to give the infant as much of the stuff as I could. The woman covered her eyes. The tiny body jumped, but there was still no response.
Why? Alyona wanted to know.
The baby was dead. I did not know if the god-gift could bring life back to a person. I was scared that if I did not return this child alive to their parents, I would be killed. The woman bobbed her head to the ceiling of her cave home. I kept doing it for a long time. I replenished the coating of my fingers four times, but still there was no living response. I finally shouted into the air. I faked arguing with the Green Man. I begged him to give me the infant. I spoke words that no one had ever heard in an odd voice that I thought would sound like the Green Man. This battle went on for minutes until I asked if whoever brought this child to me would allow the Green Man to have the special child live with him. I am not sure if the parents knew that their baby had died. I am uncertain if the parents wanted me to do something that I thought was evil, but a male voice eventually responded that it would be an honor if his young son joined the hunters of the Green Man.
Alyona gasped.
I spoke in my fake Green Man’s voice that the parents of his new hunter would be honored with a new child by the next spring. I informed the parents that they would find gifts for the next year. The woman rocked her head so that she was looking at the floor. They brought me five more dead people to heal, but no more deceased children. I did not make a fuss over the dead adults. I stated that the Green Man blamed the family for their death. If they truly believed in the power of the Green Man, they would have brought their loved ones to me before the sickness took them.
Alyona nodded her head.
On the fifth day, my fingers were raw. My nails felt like they were growing too fast. I guess I was healing and benefiting from the jelly, but I was placing the same fingers into people’s mouths most of the day. The worst problem was that my dress was getting dry. The woman traced her lips with her right index finger. I think my father was watching me. I think he saw me searching desperately on my dress for any of the substance. I believe this because he brought me fresh peas to eat that night. In the third pea he gave me, the pod was full of the jelly.
Did your village love you for healing everyone after those days? Alyona smiled at the woman.
No. The woman patted the girl’s forehead. They kept me in the crate. There was no joy for me after I found the jelly.
You saved them.
The woman breathed deeply.
I said that the Green Man had used me to save them. I was nothing but a tarnished girl who may have the power to harm or make people ill. The woman turned her head to the side.
Did your father and brother free you from the crate? Alyona looked hopefully at the woman.
No child, the town folk dispatched the shaman with me in that wooden prison out into the world to purge the town of my evil. He threatened to kill me daily. He attempted to abandon me at every opportunity. The woman cupped her hand in front of Alyona. When I sensed a second source of the god jelly, he was able to sell me to a person.
No! Alyona did not know if it was a spell, but she was extending her hand towards the woman.
The sum was so great that my parents and brother lived well. The woman clapped each hand separately. That was after the shaman took his share of my bounty and spent more money on food, drink, and women on the trip home.
That’s…..
That is life, my special girl. The woman grabbed her hand and they stood up. The woman led the pair through tunnels and caverns. Eventually, the woman pulled her through a blanket of vines that concealed an exit to her labyrinth.
Your forest, Alyona. The woman gestured to the glade Alyona crossed to enter the woods.
Alyona pulled her hand away from the woman and pulled her hair back.
I am not sure what you want me to find. Alyona looked up to the woman. She received a smile.
I have never told anyone this before, the woman stuck her tongue out to Alyona, when I first touched the jelly, I felt that there were ants under my skin. It was the power of the jelly moving through me. It was such an odd feeling that I thought it was a sign of madness.
Alyona lowered her head. I felt something like that. I thought it was worms latching onto me from the peat.
That is the place, little one. Take me there.
Alyona was about to step forward when the woman asked her another question.
What color was the substance you touched today?
It was not one color, ma’am. Alyona moved her hand down to her legs. She brushed unseen but felt passengers from her body. I grabbed it first because I thought it was rose root. My mother could turn the flower into medicine to sell or trade. Alyona knelt and touched the ground. Except that the flower was so low to the ground and it was not the red or yellow flower I normally pick. They were violet with orange centers.
They did not feel like flowers.
No. Alyona pulled her hand away from the ground. They stuck to me like honey.
submitted by Locke7768 to StoriesforLeon [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 01:57 Locke7768 New YA Fantasy novel examining Astral or Star Jelly

Astral or Star Jelly is a real event/substance that has been found in all areas of the earth (please Wikipedia it). My friend performed a DNA analysis on a sample of Star Jelly, and the results were amazing. His group concluded that the sample mostly had mitochondrial-like DNA, but it was very different from anything reported (much longer and having possible different base pairs).
Astral/Star Jelly is often found after meteorite showers or other astral events. I found some when I was young (heavy Northern Lights and Meteor Shower event). I crafted the first chapter of a potential novel. Please give feedback. I am switching to google docs, so soon I will have links to my works.

Chapter 1
The Byproduct of Gods
Her owners had held her for so many lifetimes that the stream, which flowed, near her family’s hut was gone. The trees that provided fuel, housing, and food were missing, replaced by a prairie. After all the years of the concept of returning home keeping her going, she did not feel safe. There were no people near her village, and it took her days to unearth signs of her youth. She discovered the land that she had first walked on only because the mountain and stones did not move. As she cleaned the Blue Volga granite idol of her parents’ deity, she felt nothing. The blue-green face of the god looked sad to her. He also was no longer safe. His followers were dead and his power forgotten.
Her first owner was a traveler. They moved with each new moon. Her master felt safe but she failed to understand that her entourage plodded along a predictable path. After many decades, a tale of a demon woman who did not age traveled the same circuit. Finally, a village attacked the demon. Her second owner was the daughter of the woman who bought her. The daughter decided to build a fortress and to rule her fief. Her third owner was the daughter’s son who had grown tired of never gaining his birthright. His guilt and myopic greed caused him to sell her to an alchemist. From that point on, she was an item for trade or barter.
Her final master failed to return home. She remained in his caravan for a week, performing her duties. When she had eaten all the food, she felt justified using her knowledge to destroy her metal shackles. It took her five days to dissolve her bindings with her jellies.
She thought of the places that she had felt safe. Those havens were all underground. A magician made her live in the passages beneath Kyiv when he was being hunted. The tunnels funneled the 15 rivers of the city and protected inhabitants from invaders or punishing ruling forces. For twenty years, she had lived in the coquina catacombs of Odessa. A man who thought he was a seer was convinced that his power had attracted the attention of dragons and demons. No one could approach the lair unseen.
After a week of searching the now unfamiliar area, the woman began to carve her home from the soil of her childhood. She spent fifty years making her home safe. Only she would know the paths and twists of her underground world. Only she would know where the escape exits emerged into the surrounding world.
Eventually, her home attracted others. The woman could have chased them away, but she felt a need to observe people. When the fourth generations of villagers were aging to the grave, there was no hiding the fact that she had not died. The villagers erected a semi-circular wall around the entrance to the woman’s cave. The wall grew and the woman did not protest the separation.
Generations later, people whispered that the villagers maintained the defenses of their community to keep the woman away from the town’s children at night. In the tavern, each generation of gallant males would boast that they would be the one to remove the blight of the woman from the town. When she inevitably outlasted them, she would attend the funeral of the most vocal warrior from each age group.
Daily the woman would remove more soil from her dugout. The community would search her discarded diggings for possible minerals or stones. They did not share any discoveries with the woman. During times of blight or famine, the locals would collect her soil and remove it from the community.
People would peer around the wall to scan the woman’s home. As the village grew, a leader placed two chairs at endpoints of the semi-circle barrier. During full moons, periods of strife, festivals, and other social events, menacing men sat in the chairs. Infrequently, people tried to enter the woman’s home. Aside from the guards, it was the more distraught people of the village who visited her.. The most recent person to enter the woman’s home was a grieving widow. Her grief made her seek the woman to find answers about her loss. Three mornings later, the villagers found the widow in the public square with drapes of herbs, flowers, and crafts around her limbs. The people thought the widow was dead or mindless from torture. When the widow awoke, she went to her house and began the chores for the day. When pressed about the woman’s abode, the widow would state that the home was loved, clean, and well maintained.
On the spring day when the widow was about to remarry, she was again discovered in the square coated with ropes of herbs, flowers, and idols. The woman disappeared for a decade after the wedding, but the widow brought her newborns to the opening of the earthwork to declare their names into the sunken space.
The aging hamlet relaxed when the woman was away. There was a sense of freedom in the people. They did not fear the retribution of the woman for their actions, and parents could not correct their children with threats of giving them to the woman. At times, the leaders of the people would consider filling in the woman’s hovel, but shovels and spades would split if used to cover the opening of the woman’s home. One regretful man tried using a mule and cart to dump rocks into the fastness. The stones crushed the man after his own tram flipped over on him.
Although the townsfolk feared and despised the woman, she had free reign in the village. As an indicator that she was amongst the people, the woman would adorn her head with a dark purple scarf. No other members of the village would wear that color. They looked for it whenever the woman shopped at the market. The woman paid with old and foreign coins, but the merchants welcomed the precious metals they were composed of. During the dark days of winter, the people collected the woman’s tender and deposited it into a lead box. The villagers had a belief that the more people touched the woman’s currency, the longer the winter would be.
After the community fortified against the woman, religious leaders organized efforts to erect carved idols and large wagon-wheel hexes aimed at her home. Each generation attempted to counter the woman with the current symbols of spiritual protection. The largest structure in the village was now a church, and the threshold of the church was oriented to face the woman’s home.
The woman was home when Alyona began her schooling in the church. She had learned the fundamentals of math, reading, and writing. She knew that her coursework would end soon. The village expected girls to be useful to a limit. Her mother walked her only surviving child to school along a path that would prevent their shadow from falling close to the woman’s realm. The villagers performed this ritual after someone claimed that the woman had controlled their behavior by stealing their shadow.
Alyona was daydreaming during school of a life away from the village when the woman touched her. Alyona had spent the morning in the woods collecting mushrooms and other edibles. Her findings made for great, free additions to their usually simple meals. . On days that Alyona returned with a bounty, they shared the extras with neighbors. It was a wager that these people would remember the gift and provide Alyona’s home with food during lean days.
The person gripping Alyona twirled her body so that she faced the opposite direction. Alyona assumed the culprit was another student or a young assistant at the church. It could have been a boy attempting to bully her to get her attention. She lowered her right hand, preparing to use the back to slap the violator. Alyona’s willingness to confront her accoster left when she saw the face of the woman under her purple scarf. Alyona knew she should look away from the woman, but her eyes locked with the woman’s gaze. All the stories the Alyona heard about the town ghoul stated that the woman was so old that her skeleton was all that was left of her body. The woman’s youthful face surprised Alyona. There were no lines or furrows on the woman’s forehead. If anything, Alyona would have stated that the woman’s face glowed.
I can smell it on your hands. The woman placed Alyona’s fingers under her nose. The force of the drawn air startled Alyona. She thought that the woman had pulled the top layer of skin off her index finger. Alyona’s toes curled when the woman sampled her hand. Across a church aisle, one of the priests was herding schoolchildren. He spotted the two of them. His face darkened at the sight of their contact.
WHAT IS ON YOUR HANDS, ALYONA? The priest shouted over the children.
Nothing, Sir. The woman’s tongue darted over the tip of Alyona’s index finger. I was harvesting in the woods before class.
You touched more than growths and nuts this morning, Singleton Child of the Crying Matron. The woman chewed on her thumbnail.
Alyona did not like her mother being referred to in that way, but the eyes of the woman immobilized her. How could she react forcefully to a person who was savoring her hand?
She is mine today, priest. The woman held out her other hand to the shepherd of the church. I will pay her mother for occupying her child for the day, and she will be returned unsoiled and whole.
The priest brought a gurgle of protest up but was shut down quickly.
My tunnels are beneath your place of worship and the bedchambers of Mistress Blake, The women stomped on the ground, and I know all of what has occurred within your walls.
Alyona realized that she was screaming when her throat began to sear. She expected that the woman’s hole would be dark, but the home glowed. There were mirrors and reflective glasses positioned throughout the house to harness sun rays from many holes and entrances in the surface of the residence. Therefore, Alyona was able to see herself yelling on fifty surfaces.
Hush child. The woman touched her mouth. Do not be afraid of the manner in which I inspected you. It is a show for the people. I only want to talk about your morning, and then I will let you go with a full belly and money to buy many toys.
Alyona felt her utterances dwindle down to a wheeze that slipped out her lips.
You have the scent on your fingers, girl. The woman was now examining Alyona’s left hand. It is on both hands, so you must have found a huge source.
A source? Alyona wanted to look at her hands but she maintained her attention on the woman.
Sit. The woman pointed to a well-padded chair. Sit and I will return with small pies and honey.
Alyona hovered over the seat. She wanted to be strong and to stand, but then she smelt the pies. The chair was very soft. There were no pins, claws, or spines in the cushion like she feared.
Alyona. The voice of the woman wove through the tunnels of the underground network. Alyona felt her name circle around her. She had never been afraid of her name before. Alyona Pistan…daughter of Fiva and the missing soldier.
Alyona closed her fist and felt the pain of her nails digging into her palms.
Fiva lives off the salary that the Duke must pay for your father’s military service. Your mother knows that the Duke no longer wants to pay this burden.
Alyona wanted to speak but her throat stung from screaming.
Your father’s name is Bay. He earned this title because he would not stop speaking when he was a baby. Like a horse that always had an opinion, your father would squawk at everyone before he knew words. The voice was now coming directly towards Alyona. My first gift to you and Fiva is the information that your father lives. There was a pause in the woman’s words. An enemy does not enslave him; he is lost with the simpleton that led him away. One day a map will lead him home, child.
The woman emerged from a cutout with a basket laden with pies, a pot of honey, wooden utensils, and slices of ham. In her other hand, she held a bucket of colored water.
We will eat together. The woman placed the basket on Alyona’s lap and retrieved two cups. After you accept the first pie, I will tell you an important secret of mine.
I do not think I want to know any of your secrets Starly-Gradda.
The woman laughed and placed the small wooden spoon into the pie directly in front of Alyona.
Elder-grandmother, you call me. The woman dunked a cup into the water and held it in her left hand. I think that term is the nicest thing a child has called me in a lifetime.
Alyona brought the food to her lips. She smelt the mint, berries, and kasha. Gently she laid the pie onto her tongue. She did not chew; she only let it rest in her mouth. She expected that the food would burn or numb her. The taste was full and made her wish to spit the substance out because it was too good to be real.
Ah, she eats. The woman clapped her hands. I was your age when I saw my first god being born.
Alyona choked on the pie.
I was sitting by a riverbank when the god entered our place. The woman drank from her cup. It was a bright yellow fish with shiny scales. I saw it come from nothing to being here.
The woman snapped her fingers and Alyona swallowed her food.
No one prayed for its existence. No one was singing for it to bring salvation. The woman made circles with her hands in front of Alyona. As far as I know, simple fish do not worship gods, but a god came for the fish of that river.
The woman tapped Alyona’s hand to take another bite of pie.
It floated there. The woman held up her hands. Here I am…a young maiden…thinking a god or demon turned itself into this creature to seduce or corrupt me. Again, a chuckle came from the woman. No other god cared about this special fish. I think it was floating only because it did not realize that a fish should swim in water.
Alyona grabbed a slice of ham. It had been two months since she had meat that was not paste.
Eventually, the golden fish fell into the water and swam away. The woman pulled back her hood and revealed her full face to Alyona. I tried to follow it, but it swam away from shore, and I lost sight of it.
Alyona cleared her throat and licked her lips.
Girl, if you want a drink, just take it. The woman filled Alyona’s cup and handed it to her. The ham is not that salty, but I think your sore throat would improve if you drank.
Alyona sipped the water. It did not taste bitter. It did not smell foul. In fact, the water’s taste was a mixture of apples, roses, and plums.
I told my mother, and she whispered to my father that they needed to trade me into marriage now, before I became soft in the head. I did not want to marry at my age, so I told her that I would go find proof of my shiny golden fish. The woman used a toothpick to dollop out a portion of honey. There was nothing in the water when I returned. I waded in the cool stream. I put my head under the surface and looked at the rocks for the golden shimmer. I found nothing.
Alyona ate the ham.
I was weeping on the spot that I saw the god be born. My heart was full of dread. I started to believe that the shiny golden god was not real. I was so sad that I was quickly accepting that I would be married to an old man so that he would tolerate my problems. The woman tapped her top lip. I felt that my mother had no love for me. I thought that if the golden fish were my mother, it would love me just because that is what should be.
Alyona selected another pie. This pie contained spices and mashed nuts.
Your mother loves you. I listen to all the words spoken in this village. If a parent lacks love for their child, I correct them or have them leave. The woman did not form a fist. She turned her hand into a claw, the conviction in her words hanging in the air until she relaxed it. As all hope was gone, I put my hand down in the grass, and felt the substance.
The woman held her hand flat towards Alyona.
It was clear. It was squishy like the rendered bones of stock animals. It had a pleasant smell, but I was scared to taste it. The woman cupped her hands. I gathered this glob. I used the front of my dress to carry the material. When I believed that the last speck was contained in my clothing, I ran to my parents.
Alyona had felt something similar in the forest that morning.
My mother accused me of only finding the discarded waste of an animal. She threatened to smear it over my face. The woman moved the honey pot closer to Alyona. My father took me to the village shaman, and he looked at the material. They scraped the material off my clothes, but not around my breasts. The shaman thought it was bone waste from an owl, the eggs of a species of frog, a shell-less egg from a dying bird, a mushroom that was usually underground, or the spit of an evil spirit.
Alyona’s eyes widened.
Of course, something as amazing as what we found would be considered evil. The woman waved her hand. I have discovered many bundles and I have never seen the substance created by an evil thing.
No? Alonya asked, breaking her food-induced silence.
No, child. The woman touched the tip of Alyona’s nose. It is not to say that evil people and things are not interested in the substance, but the creation of it does not come from evil.
Alyona resumed consuming the luxurious treats.
The morning after I saw the god being born, people started to fall sick. The woman sighed. My mother blamed the god substance. It was hard for the village not to turn on me after my mother told them it was my fault. The woman’s shoulders lowered. I had not slept that night, and I did not clean after my discovery. They put me in a crate that only had three holes. My father fed me and still cared for me.
Alyona did not know how to react but to nod at the woman.
When my elder brother was close to death from the illness, my mother brought him to my crate. She told me that I would have to watch my brother die because I was an evil liar who unleashed a demon on the community. I could see him wither in pain from the openings in my prison. The woman moved a third pie in front of Alyona. The night my mother told me that my brother would die, my father talked to me. It was an act of rebellion against my mother, but he asked me if I knew what had happened. I cried to him about how this was not something I did. I pleaded with my dad that I would never make my brother suffer, and that the day watching him had crushed my will to live.
The woman tore a slice of ham into pieces and placed pieces of the meat on the floor of her keep.
My father and I wept. He told me that I was likely to die because of the sickness. The woman tapped the tray. Not that I was sick… or was likely to get sick, but because it would seem as justice to the people. I knew his words were true, but I could not think of anything else to say.
The third pie was berry and egg meringue. Alyona did not know that pies like this one existed.
I entered the crate in the dress I wore when I saw the god be born. The truth is that I only had that dress and a wedding dress. My mother kept the dress I would’ve worn to my wedding in a box near her bed. A cat approached the pieces of ham. My grandfather had given me the wedding dress when he died, but she took it from me. My father used what he received from his father to buy me the only special clothes I would have in my life. My father loved me, Alyona, just like yours.
The cat touched Alyona’s leg. It startled her, and she confirmed that the cat was not black.
We talked about the jelly I had found. My father told me that he had tried to burn it, thinking it was an odd piece of animal fat. The substance did not burn. My father then tried to crush it out of existence, but the material was soft, but not easily destroyed. The woman touched the center of her chest. My father’s words made me remember that there was still some of the jelly on my dress. I touched where they did not scrape, and there was a patch of the substance. I pinched the substance and it coated my fingers. It felt warm, but not hot.
Alyona was glad that the cat had returned to the ham.
My father grew angry. He was arguing with the air that if he were a real man, he would protect his daughter and revive his son. He was a good father. The woman showed Alyona a closed smile. He was crying because he knew he could do nothing. I was sore and battered from being in the crate. I felt so greasy and disgusting. I thought I was no longer the same girl that wandered in the meadows.
The woman offered to refill Alyona’s water cup.
For some reason, I brought the fingers I had used to touch the smear of the jelly that was on my dress to my mouth. The taste was tangy, but not foul. It was better than the food that my father had inserted into the holes in my crate. I sucked on it. With both hands, the woman rattled the basket. I felt so much better. It was amazing. I could not see it, but I felt my dry, cracked lips heal. My mind became clear. I knew what I had to do.
Alyona stopped eating to listen to the woman.
I asked my father to place my brother’s mouth in front of the biggest hole of my crate. He thought I was mad. He accused me of confessing that I pledged my soul to demons, but I told him that I felt different after praying to our god. The woman looked directly at Alyona. I rubbed my fingers on the same spot of my dress, and I placed them into my brother’s mouth. He was so weak that he did not respond to this action. I moved my fingers along his gums, his teeth, I even touched his tongue.
Alyona spoke to the woman. Was he healed right away?
The woman chuckled.
I like you Alyona, but you have the impatience of a child. The woman touched Alyona’s chin. It was not a sudden reversal, but he did not die. People died that night, but my brother lived. More importantly, he was the only person to get even slightly better. He was not running in the fields, talking to everyone better, but he was no longer crying in pain. His eyes were no longer looking like they would burst. Moreover, my father stopped crying for us.
I am glad. Alyona looked at the half-eaten pie. She wanted more of it, but she thought it would be rude to return to eating.
It was another day, another four deaths, before my father told the shaman that he thought I could heal the sick. They pulled me from the crate and inspected me. The women called for me to be stoned. The men wanted me burned. The shaman asked how my brother was alive, and how I was still in good health. The woman tapped her right temple. I knew I had to lie. I knew that I could not tell the truth. I had to convince these scared people that I was not dangerous.
The woman shuffled the half pie back to Alyona.
I fell in front of the shaman and shouted, ‘The Green Man came to me.’ I do not think you know the Green Man, child, but he was the god of the people before Christ came to the land. The woman pointed to a drawing of a large tree man. It matters not what god I said talked to me. I yelled that I knew that I did something wicked, but our god had forgiven me, and I was now able to cure the sickness that was killing the village.
Alyona returned to eating the pie.
They whipped me and bound me. I feared that they would burn my dress, so I yelled that the Green Man said that if I were to heal the village, I would need to be as I was when he forgave and blessed me. The woman opened her hands so that Alyona could see her palms. The oldest people would pray in this manner. They tied my legs together and only allowed my right arm to be free. However, that was all I needed to start to heal the people of my life.
Alyona finished her meal.
I would say our prayers; tell the people who were watching that the Green Man wanted everyone to close their eyes so that his healing ray could hit the person. The woman pulled her head backwards with a laugh. During this time, I would pull some of the jelly off my dress and stick the substance in the person’s mouth.
The woman laughed deeply.
What? Alyona asked.
I did not know that so many of my fellow villagers were missing teeth. Children of the people that always had food, had damaged and missing teeth. I was trapped and bored, so my mind began to guess how many disgusting teeth injuries each person would have.
Alyona shivered.
I thought the teeth were bad, but then it got worse. The woman looked upwards. It was on the third day of my healing that it happened for the first time. It was night, and the shaman had decided to blind me with a rag during the healing. Someone’s parents said that they did not want me to steal the soul of their child while I healed them. I placed my finger into a very small mouth, and everything was different. I did not feel a tingle from treating a person with the substance. I sang our songs to Green Man and rubbed jelly over my right fingers. I had planned to give the infant as much of the stuff as I could. The woman covered her eyes. The tiny body jumped, but there was still no response.
Why? Alyona wanted to know.
The baby was dead. I did not know if the god-gift could bring life back to a person. I was scared that if I did not return this child alive to their parents, I would be killed. The woman bobbed her head to the ceiling of her cave home. I kept doing it for a long time. I replenished the coating of my fingers four times, but still there was no living response. I finally shouted into the air. I faked arguing with the Green Man. I begged him to give me the infant. I spoke words that no one had ever heard in an odd voice that I thought would sound like the Green Man. This battle went on for minutes until I asked if whoever brought this child to me would allow the Green Man to have the special child live with him. I am not sure if the parents knew that their baby had died. I am uncertain if the parents wanted me to do something that I thought was evil, but a male voice eventually responded that it would be an honor if his young son joined the hunters of the Green Man.
Alyona gasped.
I spoke in my fake Green Man’s voice that the parents of his new hunter would be honored with a new child by the next spring. I informed the parents that they would find gifts for the next year. The woman rocked her head so that she was looking at the floor. They brought me five more dead people to heal, but no more deceased children. I did not make a fuss over the dead adults. I stated that the Green Man blamed the family for their death. If they truly believed in the power of the Green Man, they would have brought their loved ones to me before the sickness took them.
Alyona nodded her head.
On the fifth day, my fingers were raw. My nails felt like they were growing too fast. I guess I was healing and benefiting from the jelly, but I was placing the same fingers into people’s mouths most of the day. The worst problem was that my dress was getting dry. The woman traced her lips with her right index finger. I think my father was watching me. I think he saw me searching desperately on my dress for any of the substance. I believe this because he brought me fresh peas to eat that night. In the third pea he gave me, the pod was full of the jelly.
Did your village love you for healing everyone after those days? Alyona smiled at the woman.
No. The woman patted the girl’s forehead. They kept me in the crate. There was no joy for me after I found the jelly.
You saved them.
The woman breathed deeply.
I said that the Green Man had used me to save them. I was nothing but a tarnished girl who may have the power to harm or make people ill. The woman turned her head to the side.
Did your father and brother free you from the crate? Alyona looked hopefully at the woman.
No child, the town folk dispatched the shaman with me in that wooden prison out into the world to purge the town of my evil. He threatened to kill me daily. He attempted to abandon me at every opportunity. The woman cupped her hand in front of Alyona. When I sensed a second source of the god jelly, he was able to sell me to a person.
No! Alyona did not know if it was a spell, but she was extending her hand towards the woman.
The sum was so great that my parents and brother lived well. The woman clapped each hand separately. That was after the shaman took his share of my bounty and spent more money on food, drink, and women on the trip home.
That’s…..
That is life, my special girl. The woman grabbed her hand and they stood up. The woman led the pair through tunnels and caverns. Eventually, the woman pulled her through a blanket of vines that concealed an exit to her labyrinth.
Your forest, Alyona. The woman gestured to the glade Alyona crossed to enter the woods.
Alyona pulled her hand away from the woman and pulled her hair back.
I am not sure what you want me to find. Alyona looked up to the woman. She received a smile.
I have never told anyone this before, the woman stuck her tongue out to Alyona, when I first touched the jelly, I felt that there were ants under my skin. It was the power of the jelly moving through me. It was such an odd feeling that I thought it was a sign of madness.
Alyona lowered her head. I felt something like that. I thought it was worms latching onto me from the peat.
That is the place, little one. Take me there.
Alyona was about to step forward when the woman asked her another question.
What color was the substance you touched today?
It was not one color, ma’am. Alyona moved her hand down to her legs. She brushed unseen but felt passengers from her body. I grabbed it first because I thought it was rose root. My mother could turn the flower into medicine to sell or trade. Alyona knelt and touched the ground. Except that the flower was so low to the ground and it was not the red or yellow flower I normally pick. They were violet with orange centers.
They did not feel like flowers.
No. Alyona pulled her hand away from the ground. They stuck to me like honey.
submitted by Locke7768 to fantasywriters [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 01:07 BigButterBiscuit Online Discussion with Reformed Baptist

My wife attends a Reformed Baptist community. I am a former member there prior to my conversion. I had the below conversation with a member there after he posted something on Facebook criticizing Eastern Orthodox views on Icons.
Article Posted:
https://warhornmedia.com/2023/04/19/eastern-orthodox-apologists-bait-and-switch/?fbclid=IwAR1_ktWJ_S79vAmu2e7EftU9ZcC2lngK-ZBcAh8pcFnxe8By8IIV1pFYpxw
Him: "Stay With the Bible"
Me:
The difficulty in staying with the Bible is how to interpret the Bible.The Church hadn’t settled how to properly understand the Trinity until the early 325 ( Nicaea), didn’t formally recognize the first canon of scripture until 382( Rome) the proper nature of Christ until 451( Chalcedon) and the use of icons until 781 (Nicaea 2). Before the councils Christians often disagreed because of the lack of clarity in scripture itself. Even with icons, some were okay with it and some were against it. The Church ultimately settled that icons were appropriate because Christ had taken on flesh. The point of the councils was to clarify things that were not evidently clear.In my opinion, the heart of the issue is the concept of perspecuity ( clarity) of scripture which I think is what fundamentally separates Protestants from Orthodox (& Catholic). That is that Protestants basically believe the proper interpretation of scripture is evident where Orthodox ( & Catholic) argue that we can not properly understand all of scripture apart from the Church’s interpretation.
Him:
I disagree. The councils were only needed to correct errors that had risen. That doesn’t mean that the church didn’t have a consensus. That is completely false, and a Catholic straw man of the Church, capital C. And I believe God can and did speak with perspicuity to His creatures. He also chose to use the most common language possible at the time. There is nothing complicated about the language. The church also did NOT accept the icons as you suggest. Here is a video source that that explains with sources.Also, there are a vast number of opinions, interpretations, and denominations within the Catholic system. Even popes have disagreed over the centuries. And today, the pope could be considered a universalist. To suggest anything contrary is evidence of not fairly studying history, especially history that doesn’t agree with your presuppositions.
https://youtu.be/AkNuganI0JA📷YOUTUBE.COMVenerating Icons: A Protestant CritiqueVenerating Icons: A Protestant Critique

Me:
Thanks for the response.I agree that Councils were needed to correct errors but disagree with the general consensus part. Athanasius was one of the only Bishops in the East to reject Arianism and was persecuted for it. Also, the Early Church Fathers had a consensus that baptism was regenerative and that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, so an argument from consensus is two edged in this regard.If scripture is obviously clear how do you account for the dozens of branches of Christianity?If scripture is clear on most things it seems that disagreement shows:a) one denomination is more inspired than others or are better at reasoningb) people who disagree with proper interpretation have malicious motivesc) Jesus doesn’t think it’s important for the church to be unified on doctrineDo you hold one of these or something different?In terms of Catholic Dogma there is one official set. Things that are not dogma (The extent of God’s role and human freedom in predestination for example) are open handed and Catholics can hold varying opinions on those.Of course the average Catholic might believe anything but Church teaching itself is cohesive.If you’d ever like to discuss this in person I’d be glad to. It might be easier and be less likely for misunderstanding.Peace,Ryan
Him:
what is your responde to the video?No denomination is inspired. The church and humans can err. It is very clear and true. We must always go back to all of Scripture. It is grace that brings Biblical clarity. And those trusting in Christ alone to the glory of the Triune God have doctrinal cohesion because they are essential. Christ’s church is completely unified, regardless of the different names (Ephesus, Corinth, Galatia).There are essentials of the faith that unify Protestants. That’s not debatable. It is the gospel that separates the false Church of Rome, and the true catholic Church who trust in Christ apart from any works.

Me:
I liked that Ortland seemed very sincere, thoughtful and seemed to act in good faith. His approach was very good and I think all can learn from his gentle approach.That being said I think he is in over his head. I think he is genuinely trying to understand but this isn’t his background and he misunderstands writings of the Fathers.I think this podcast episode breaks down his misunderstandings much better than I can.You said the Gospel separates Protestants from Catholics. How do you define the Gospel?https://podcasts.apple.com/.../the.../id1354647807...📷PODCASTS.APPLE.COM‎The Counsel of Trent: #703 - Gavin Ortlund on Icons (REBUTTED) on Apple Podcasts‎The Counsel of Trent: #703 - Gavin Ortlund on Icons (REBUTTED) on Apple Podcasts

Him:
He has a phd in historical theology. I think to say that He is in over his head is quite the charge that is sincerely incorrect. What is your defense of your claim against a fellow professing Christian? Is it one podcast? I will listen to the podcast this week. I am not surprised at a difference of opinion with church history. It isn’t the defining category for salvation.The Gospel is the Holy God saving sinners by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s life, atoning death, and resurrection.Ephesians 2:8-98 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Me:
It is my opinion, which you asked for. I certainly don’t know more than him on this topic but the apologists on the podcast do which is why I said he is in over his head IMO.I agree, and Catholics with this as the Gospel message.
Him:
It is the Gospel message. So do you believe that you could commit a sin today that could remove you from being justified and having peace with God (Romans 5:1)?
Me:
I do believe people, including myself, can commit a sin leading to eternal death. If “eternal security” is a necessary part of the Gospel then most Protestant denominations do not believe the Gospel as most believe one can fall out of peace with God either through sin or apostasy.
Him:
What if you never went to mass again by choice, does that matter at all?

Me:
Yes, I would say intentionally missing Mass in the situation you explained is a huge problem spiritually.
Tue 4:18 PM
Him
Do you believe you are justified by the Roman Catholic sacraments of the church?
Enter
Me
U gotta answer my question that I asked earlier first and then I’ll answer. Do you believe that those who don’t believe in “once saved always saved” believe in the Gospel?
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Him
It actually wasn’t a question originally. No, eternal security is not a saving doctrine, but it is consistent with most heretical groups because I assure you, if any man had the ability to lose their salvation of grace, that absolutely will 100% of the time.
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Him
they* absolutely will
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Me
Enter
Me
So you said the Gospel is what separates Protestants fro m Catholics. However, both believe in your definition of the Gospel.
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Me
To answer your question about sacraments In a sense I believe we are saved through sacraments. Sacraments aren’t magic so it’s not as if receiving the sacraments without faith justifies a person but I do believe they are normative in salvation. We view salvation as a process. Initial salvation is faith alone but final judgment includes faith working through love
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Me
Philippians 2:13 is my reasoning on that. All good works are a result of Gods grace at work in the Christian. They are done by Gods grace 12 Therefore, my beloved, fas you have always gobeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for hit is God who works in you, both to will and to work for ihis good pleasure.
Enter
Him replied to you
Original message:
So you said the Gospel is what separates Protestants fro m Catholics. Ho…
I don’t believe that is what the church teaches. That faith in the gospel message, apart from anything else is all that I necessary for eternal salvation.
Enter
Him
I do believe that viewing salvation as a process is a different gospel. It’s similar to Mormonism in that their works will determine the final state of things.
Enter
Tue 5:15 PM
Me
If that’s the case the Bible should clearly articulate that we are saved by faith alone, which it doesn’t say.
Enter
Him
I don’t presume to tell God what He should have written or articulate, but grace through faith apart from works is clear as well as the faith of Abraham. He believed God and it was accounted to Him as righteousness. The Bible doesn’t say Trinity either, as you know.
Enter
Me
That was his initial salvation. 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
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Him
The working out of the faith is evidence of the faith existing already.
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Me
From James 2
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Him
Where does it say initial salvation? That’s not in the Bible either.
Enter
Me
Neither is Trinity
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Me
The concept is there
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Him
A person is justified before men by their works, but not by God. That’s the point of James
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Me
So people are justified by men through faith and works?
Enter
Me
Before men
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Him
Through works, because men can’t read hearts
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Me
The chapter is not saying that. It’s saying that saying we have faith without having works is a faith that does not justify because that facility is dead
Enter
Him
Saving faith will have works associated with it. If Abraham didn’t believe God, he would not have obeyed.
Enter
Him
He begins the section of the chapter with questions about someone who claims to have faith. This is a man claiming something to another man… the he gives known examples from Scripture they would be common to them. It shows that faith will have works always. We can’t believe that the men saying they are justified actually are if their life doesn’t show any evidence of it. You’re taking it out of the context and putting into a salvific conversation that doesn’t exist and it makes you create categories like “initial salvation”
Enter
Me
Agreed to your first statement about obedience stemming from faith. If “faith will have works always”what happens if a person dies, having trusted Jesus but without a life change?
Enter
Tue 6:00 PM
Me
Enter
Tue 6:18 PM
Him
The thief on the cross is a good example of someone who is with Christ now, without a life change because of time. Someone who says they trust Jesus, but their life isn’t changed, doesn’t have any fruit that their confession is actually true.
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Him
The goats aren’t sheep. They are goats. They are not believers or have faith at all.
Enter
Me
The thief did have a life change, he went from mocking him to asking for his mercy.
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Me
The goats call Jesus u/Lord@
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Me
“Lord”
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Him
False professions of faith are very common. Not true faith.
Enter
Me
How can anyone know they are saved then?
Enter
Him
Yes, people can say whatever they want. That doesn’t mean their profession is true.
Enter
Him
The Holy Spirit testifies to the spirit of His children that they are the children of God. And, He leads them to put to death the sin in their life.
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Him
God will be at work in and through your life.
Enter
Him
1 John also gives some tests of assurance
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Me
Sounds like works
Enter
Him
Which part? Not sinning?
Enter
Me
Life change.
Enter
Him
The Holy Spirit testifies to your heart that you are a child of God. Life change is evidence of faith and if it continues to death, then it’s evidence that they are a believer. If they are doing it not to earn anything and out of pure love for God. The theif on the cross didn’t work at all. He was changed by God
Enter
Me
This is not far from the Catholic position, which is “faith working through love”. The difference is we believe we can choose to leave God through sin or disbelief.
Enter
Me
One should do good out of love for God and neighbor
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Me
Galatians 5:6 for the reference ”For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
Enter
3:27 PM
Him replied to you
Original message:
This is not far from the Catholic position, which is “faith working thro…
It is different enough because works are not required for salvation at any moment whatsoever. They earn you no additional grace. Gods grace is already sufficient for Christ to save to the uttermost. Our works are as filthy rags before God. Any pure work is God working through us, and would only be accredited to Him, not to us. As well as any sacraments. If you’re adding anything necessary for perfect eternal salvation to the finished work of Jesus Christ, then you have a different gospel that cannot save. If your faith requires you to do your part to ensure you reach the finish line in Christ, I urge you to repent of the falso gospel and trust only in Jesus Christ, who doesn’t try to save or make people save-able, but saves His sheep perfectly. “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
Enter
6:02 PM
Me
I also believe grace is not earned. It is God's free gift. I also believe Christ completed the work once and all on the cross.
Enter
Me
We disagree in the application of that gift. I believe it is given through the life of the Christian through various means, whereas (I think) you believe it happens all at once at the point of belief. Either way it is from God. It's kind of like if a dad gives his kid $1 to put in the collection at church. The $1 is the dad's. The kid did nothing to earn it, but the dad knew that having the kid put the $1 in would have a positive change on the child. Good works are the "$1" in this situation. It is God working through us. We can't even desire to do good, let alone do good, unless God gives us the desire to even will good.
Enter
6:31 PM
Me
This quote from St. Augustine captures it better than I can, " “What merit, then, does a man have before grace, by which he might receive grace, when our every good merit is produced in us only by grace and when God, crowning our merits, crowns nothing else but his own gifts to us?” (Letters., 194:5:19).
📷
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Him
How the free gift of grace is applied to the life of the believer is paramount to salvation. It is a work of the Holy Spirit all at once, which is why the past tense appears so often in regards to salvation. If you’re striving to achieve or maintain or ensure eternal salvation, you believe a different gospel and the wrath of God abides upon you. It’s is grace that saves. Not grace to do works or God working through us. That has nothing to do with salvation and God’s elect. John 6:44. All that the Father gives to me will come to me and I will raise them up on the last day. They will all come and Christ will raise them up. There is no room for, if you strive by grace to complete this work. There are warnings to the believer to remain faithful because saved sinners need warnings. Please do not fool yourself into thinking that there is only a little difference between perfect salvation at once and salvation as a process. The Roman Catholic Church will always be Satan’s number one counterfeit. This is all I’m going to continue with this conversation. I’ll be praying for you.
Enter
Me
Please do pray for me. I will say a rosary for you.
submitted by BigButterBiscuit to Catholicism [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 00:24 Reptani Pray the Conquistadores, Ch. 13: Broken Puppet

First Previous Next
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
— Langston Hughes
Catalogue Description:
Self-Monitoring Behavioural Management Report: Casimir Szymański, Scazim Institute of Science and Technology - English Translation
Date:
15 Summer-2 3429 (Standard Parimthian Calendar)
November 23rd, 2162 (Gregorian Calendar)
Held by:
The UK National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record(s)
My father worshipped a fabricated, pagan prophet.
The Senghavi of the Parimthian Empire are principally joined under the ditheistic religion called Siedi, which I do not subscribe to. Of course, the Senghavi's literature, art, and faith flooded the whole of Earth upon their arrival a century ago. From this ocean of civilised culture, my degenerate species drew a sample, claimed it as our own, and polluted it with a distorted, appropriated, dumbed-down doctrine.
The central figure in this corrupt sample of Siedi was a man whom my father called Jesus Christ. He was said to have offered himself as a sacrifice that could be made to a single God. It was a final sacrifice, one beyond lambs or cattle or people. One that would atone for humanity's sins, so that we could have the free choice between the eternal presence of God and the eternal absence of "Him."
My father dressed himself in black, with a standing collar whose white fabric was exposed at the centre. That much, I could recall. He preached to hopeful humans in what was called a church, though I did not know what he was preaching. At the very least, my childhood is fuzzy in that regard.
The pain that throbbed through my skull, after the blonde savage had slammed my head against the ridges of the airlock, faded into the background. I could not focus; perhaps, I thought, one of their improvised explosives had gone off by accident. There was blue Senghavi blood staining my dress shirt. The rush of air escaping into vacuum pierced my ears.
Perhaps it was thirst of water, which binds most sapient beings—the Sons of Liberty had reached an agreement with the Colonial Defence Force to allow spacecraft delivering food, water, and medical aid, only to unleash the anti-collision lasers of this cursed spaceliner upon those very ships.
Or perhaps it was the explosion, as I initially thought, an inadvertent complication which had wrought injury and death over my countrymen, and which had forced the terrorist savages to attempt to patch up the many hull breaches left by debris.
Or perhaps it was simply the stress of betraying, in my desperate efforts to save everyone from this senseless violence, the greatest secret of the Senghavi Terrans: our antimatter research. Word of it had likely been forwarded already, hundreds of light-years away, to that pink-hued marble which was Parimth itself.
Or perhaps it was all three; thirst, explosion, and stress. In any case, my mind shut it all out, and something lost from my childhood flashed before me:
We're standing on the cracked street of the Vennec Human Reservation. In the distance, the Senghavi's white, glassy spires reach above the clouds, their accents of luminescence dim in the broad daylight.
I hold a ball in my palm. It's wrapped in white leather held together with red stitching. I toss it to Dad.
Instead of his clerical uniform, he wears the normal "T-shirt" and "cargo shorts." Along with the clerical getup, they are just two of the many sorts of clothing which the Senghavi have invented for humanity. I toss the ball to Dad, and he swings a primitive wooden bat.
The ball goes soaring, further than he meant to. He jogs down the road to retrieve it, then gives me the wooden bat. The breeze ruffles his hair just as he ruffles mine with his hand.
"Now, you try," he says. "It's just practice, that's all."
For some reason, he lifts one leg in the air, then pitches the ball to me. I swing. The impact of the ball shakes through the wood, and it goes careening off to the left.
"I did it!" I yell. "But it went out of bounds."
"Heyyyy, that's not bad," Dad says with a reassuring voice. "Good job, just try to go a little more right next time."
Mom comes out onto the front porch, the breeze ruffling her dress as she waves to Dad. "Dinner's ready, and Mom's pie is... almost ready."
I stare blankly at her until I realise that she is talking about her Mom, Grandma, who is the best at making pumpkin pie.
"The pie!" I shout, running and jumping to the front door. "I totally forgot about that!"
I am ready to speed my way through dinner just so I can get to dessert, but Dad stops me before my first bite.
Of course, I think. We need to say grace. Me, Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa all hold hands, thanking God for our food, and then dig in. But Mom and Dad just talk about work, and I am too focused on finishing my food quickly to pitch in.
Finally—Grandma's pie!
When you bite into the soft, smooth filling, you can instantly tell it's been made with fresh pumpkins, not the boring canned ones. The taste of cinnamon and spice is balanced out perfectly with the coolness of the whipped cream.
The flavour spreads through my tongue and nostrils, filling my entire brain with a feeling of amazing-ness. If I wrote the Simple-Speak Dictionary for Senghavi Terrans, I'd put Grandma's pie next to the translation of "perfection."
I should save a slice, I think, for the Senghavi kid.
Even though it's only been a week since I met him through the playground fence, we already told each other where we live, and I want to get to know him more. He doesn't live on the Vennec Human Reservation, but his house is just a bike-ride away in Fellye Neighborhood.
I wonder if anyone's ever given pumpkin pie to an alien before. Even though humans only invented it fifty years ago, it makes me feel proud of my species!
When Mom tucks me into bed, kissing my forehead, I tell her what I'm going to do.
"Oh, you wild thing," she coos. "You're so much like your father. And you have his eyes, you know? Just stay safe."
"Don't worry, I'll do my best."
>! "Good night. I love you." !<
>! "I love you, too, Mom," I say. I hug her tightly from my bed, and a warm, fuzzy feeling blossoms within me. I can hardly fall asleep in my excitement. !<
Luckily, Fellye Neighborhood doesn't take apartheid that seriously, and I don't think anybody cares about an eight year-old human riding his bicycle around the gates.
Next evening, I do just that, peddling out of the Reservation's entrance into the violet dusk. When I get to Mensim's address, I ring the hi-tech front doorbell, and a really tall Senghavi shows up.
"Oh, dear," she says in Parimthian. "A barbarian hatchling—by what name do you go?"
"I'm Casimir," I say nervously. I don't pay that much attention in school, but I know just enough Parimthian to talk to the Senghavi woman. "Are you Mrs. Munghazi? Is Mensim fe Munghazi here? I got two slices of pie. You can have one, too!"
She looks at me suspiciously, antennae twitching. "That would be Teacher Munghazi to you; I know not why you natives invented these odd 'Mister' and 'Missis' honorifics. Hold on—Ghanvati! A native hatchling stands at our doorstep!"
Ghanvati must be Mensim's dad. I wonder where his other moms are; only one has shown up to the door. Ghanvati shows up with two of them—they are both shorter and daintier than Teacher Munghazi, their raptorial forelimbs folded shyly against their bodies. In front of the group of three is Mensim, and I involuntarily gasped with excitement.
"Mensim!"
"This is your new companion?" Ghanvati asks Mensim.
Mensim's papery forewings flicker with affirmation. "I met him at school."
"What, pray tell, is the point of apartheid if it does not actually keep natives away from Senghavi?" whines one of Ghanvati's wives.
Ghanvati's antennae droop as if to say "I don't know," while Mensim lifts my arms, inspecting me like I am a test animal in a mad scientist's laboratory.
"How do you guys not get cut all the time?" he asks, tracing his tarsal hairs over my bare skin. "You're so fleshy!"
"I do get cut all the time," I giggled. "We just use band-aids. Oh, do you wanna eat a pumpkin pie?"
It turned out that pumpkin pie is bad for alien stomachs. Mensim had to go to the bathroom for a long time, and three of his moms got mad at me.
When I got back, Dad and Mom were arguing. I snuck close to the back porch, making sure they couldn't hear me.
"Yes, they leave some people alone," Dad said. "Obviously, they can't spy on every single human who believes in human religions. But Katarzyna, they still need people to make an example out of, and I don't want to be that person!"
"Casimir is a responsible kid," Mom retorts. "I told him he can't tell anyone what you do, and he listens to me."
"He's eight years old. You can't just let him wander around aliens with a secret that could have me killed! Or have you killed!"
Mom cups Dad's cheek and looks him in the eye. She's a lot shorter than him. "Look, love. You're a great father, and I think it's amazing that you spend time with him. But you're the only person he talks to. You know just as well as I do that he needs to talk to other kids! It's not healthy; even Teacher Perevvoxath agreed. And now he finally has a friend."
Dad sighs, running his hands through his black hair. My hair. "You really think aliens are a substitute for human interaction?"
>! "I think every human needs a person they can talk to, and Casimir found one. If you really care about him, stop preaching for a while! Your church isn't gonna die without you. It'll be okay." !<
The next day, I visit Mensim's house after school again. And the next day after that, and the next after that. His dad Ghanvati is formally named Engineer Munghazi. I am to call his moms Teacher Munghazi, Teacher Munghazi, Teacher Munghazi, Accountant Munghazi, Priestess Munghazi, Doctor Munghazi, and Maidservant Munghazi.
A couple weeks later, Mensim and I are lounging together on his couch, watching a Parimthian war movie. The main characters are fighting against the evil forces of the Imperium of Orion. Under his head capsule, Mensim is munching something called Synth-Fruit, which is imported from a faraway planet called Mryi. I eat Pop-Tarts, which I'm pretty sure are toxic to him.
"Come on, just give me one," Mensim exclaims, reaching over to steal the sweet snacks from me. "It can't be that bad!"
I lift the Pop-Tarts away from him, laughing. "Stoppit, you're attacking me! Pay attention to the movie, or I'm gonna shoot you!"
"But I just want one..."
"It's gonna poison you, and you're gonna get your weird alien throw-up all over me!"
Priestess Munghazi, the oldest of his moms, bursts into the living room, her jewellery clinking over her clerical cape.
"Your sister conveyed to me quite the disturbing piece of news, Mensim," Priestess Munghazi cries. "The father of Casimir is a priest of a most barbarous and evil perversion of the Siedi faith. Ghanvati and I spoke, and we agreed that you are not to consort with this primitive, pagan savage any longer."
I drop my crumbly Pop-Tart on the couch, confused at the sudden order.
"But Priestess Munghazi, I'm not dangerous or evil. I'm just a kid."
"Nonsense! You are dangerous; your father is a barbarian worshipper of this evil, primate paganism that is called Christianity, and a most woeful effect is begot that even self-respecting Senghavi have 'gone native,' as they say. Mensim, if you continue to consort with this native spawn, I will be impelled to inform the Siedi Court, and they may by chance see to it that he is executed!"
"W-Wait!" Mensim says, holding up the remote to pause our movie. He gets off of me, suddenly losing interest in my Pop-Tart, his vestigial forewings rising with concern. "Please, Mother. I promise he won't be any trouble."
My blood runs cold. Dad, executed? Just because what he believes in isn't "civilised" enough? Actually, I thought that Mom told him to stop preaching for a while.
Mensim scrambles to *his father's sleeping quarters, and I trail frantically after him.*
"Father," Mensim says. "Is Casimir's father's job so ghastly that he should be executed by the Siedi Court?"
"We can't just let the natives spread the same barbarous religions that they used to kill each other," Ghanvati replies, his secondary arms clasped together. "It's a threat to safe, moral society. Priestess Munghazi told me his father spreads evil and paganism. I have no reason not to trust the oldest of your mothers."
"But Casimir's my best friend! If you tell the Siedi Court about his father, I'll... I'll run away! I'll hate you!"
Distressed vibrations emanate through the floor beneath my feet; Mensim's antennae and papery forewings and hindwings go limp. Something like lilies and the earthy scent of rain fills the air.
"My dearest Mensim," Ghanvati says softly, dipping his head capsule with compassion. "I will hold off, just this once. It would be apt of you not to cause me to reconsider."
"T-thank you, Engineer Munghazi," I say, wiping my own tears. "My dad's not a bad person, I promise."
After confronting his dad, Mensim and I keep on watching movies and playing digital games. He always wins when we wrestle, but I still haven't given up (even though Priestess Munghazi always tells us to stop roughhousing).
I even bring my Lego pieces to his house. He doesn't know what Legos are, but later, in his sleeping quarters, we build together. He makes a cool-looking spaceship that he calls a "negative energy generator."
"Hey, you took all the cool black and grey pieces," I complain. "Now I can't finish my army base!"
"This is cooler than your army base," Mensim says proudly. "Father used to work in one. It uses the superposition of squeezed vacuum states to produce a field of negative energy density."
"I have no idea what that means, but that sounds really smart."
"No kidding! It's how people make wormholes and fly all the way to other stars."
"Well, my army guys could beat your negative energy-thingy. They have machine guns."
"My guys could just fly a [~million billion trillion kilometres] away, and yours can't do anything about it!"
"Then your guys are wimps. But my guys aren't. Because they're the Army!"
>! We also explore the pine forest in his backyard. Within just two more weeks, we have uncovered all sorts of interesting things, like a piece of a real human skull. One time, we found a human foot sculpted and smoothed out of stone—who would make such a thing?—and a dead metal device with the icon of a bitten-out-of apple printed on it. !<
There were also other human body parts made out of ancient stone, too: the cracked half of a man's face buried a foot deep, a muscly arm sticking out of the soil. Even a private part, which I snickered at, though Mensim seemed unfazed.
There is something else we start to do. My parents have given me "the talk," and Mensim told me that his parents gave him the Senghavi version of it. And so even as we talk and play in the woods, we experiment—because we are curious, and why should we not be?
A fragment of a memory in the forest; Mensim's raptorial forelimbs are set on my shoulders as his compound eyes look into my primate eyes, and he says, "You cannot tell anyone about this. Anyone. Absolutely no one."
I don't know how, but Priestess Munghazi learned of what we were doing, and now she expresses anger and disgust alike, her wings and antennae wild and rigid. Ghanvati is the same. Mensim and I... We're actually making them reconsider their decision not to tell the Siedi Court about my dad.
A fragment of a memory... I feel like I am in space, stranded aboard a spaceliner that has been hijacked by terrorists, its atmosphere venting amid a backdrop of violence... But I am not, I am in the forest that Mensim and I talked and played in; I am in Mensim's home, terrified as I am yelled at by Ghanvati, whose compassion no longer shines through, accompanied by Priestess Munghazi.
"By the names of the Gods, it's those false, pagan corruptions which humans have named as their religions, that are spouted by your father," Priestess Munghazi spits. I am teary-eyed and snot-nosed from guilt and embarrassment. "How horrid is the link between the state of barbarism and a most revolting and shameful propensity for bizarre and perverted behaviour!"
Then I am in my own family's living room, and the mom I love so dearly yells at me, too, but my father is quieter and only seems disappointed. This must be the first time in my life that I have felt true shame, I think; the kind that leaves you with an emptiness inside. Like the whole point of existing just vanished inside of me.
The worst part is that I cannot even lean on Mom's shoulder, because she is distressed—because she knows what will happen—
"This is all on you, Casimir!" she screeches, tears in her eyes. "All on you!"
I remember telling Priestess Munghazi that 'I'm not dangerous or evil; I'm just a kid,' but now I can't be sure anymore. I can tell I am different in the eyes of my family. They are disgusted by me.
It is my fault, after all, that Priestess Munghazi tells the Siedi Court of my father's evil, barbaric Christian teachings.
The Parimthian soldiers bring my father to the gallows. Their snow-white exoskeletons gleam under a burning sun. They have dressed him in his clerical uniform, and the camera is close enough that I can see his cross necklace.
I have been grounded in my room; still, I have a television to see the live broadcast.
Hanging works for primates and mantids alike. It happens in the Forum of Movvaeti, the venue for public events in our area, where my father is a lesser criminal compared to the native leaders and Senghavi malcontents who have dissented from Colonial Governor Nieve fe Skellth.
He is joined with seven other convicts, three humans and four Senghavi, and their crimes are read to the crowd—blasphemy, paganism, monogamy, witchcraft, seditious libel, insulting the Parimthian Crown, treason against the Parimthian Crown, and refusal to quarter Parimthian soldiers.
Why? None of this feels right. Why should my father be killed because of what he says and believes? Why can't these people be judged with fairness, rather than at the whim of some distant space emperor?
Not only have I been grounded, but I grow cold without my mother's touch. I want to hold someone's hand while watching Dad lose his life, but nobody is there. Mom brings me food, but she doesn't even look at me. Why can't she look at me? Why can't she speak to me? I just want things to be the way they used to be, when Dad would help me practise hitting a ball with a bat on the street.
I watch him turn down a caped, bejewelled priestess of the Siedi faith, who thought she could make my dad accept their Gods before his death. Before a modest crowd of humans and Senghavi alike, all eight of the convicts have their arms and legs bound with rope.
I am begging myself to turn the TV off, but I can't bring myself to. The Senghavi executioner uses some kind of hi-tech display to remove the supports from beneath the convicts' feet. My stomach flips over inside of me, a nausea of shame filling my body.
I can't deny it any longer. This is my fault—this is why my family avoids me—this is why they are disgusted by me—and Dad falls and his head jerks when the noose goes taut.
As he hangs there, I cannot tell for how long he remains alive. My insides are cold. After the broadcast ends, after night falls and I sit in the moonlight spilling faintly through my windows, that is when it all comes out. I sob alone. I scream for Mom to help me and be there for me, but she does not come. Her harsh voice resonates through my memory; this is all on me. I am a disgrace to everyone I love, and that is why they have left me here. Why they avoid me as if I am a disease.
The only thing I want is to see Dad again, but he is gone forever. I curl up on my room floor. What is this? What is this loneliness? This stinging hatred I feel against myself?
No one, human or mantid, will be there for me. I cry until my throat cannot ache any more harshly, until my eyes cannot sting any more painfully, and then I go cold inside, my body shivering in the moonlight. I retreat into my happy memories with Dad until it is too painful to bear.
I wish so dearly I could end it all, to take my own life and join Dad in the heaven that he believed in. There is a belt in my closet that I can use on myself in the way the Siedi Court killed Dad.
But beneath the sickly well of shame, the nausea and crushing humiliation at the stupid antics of Mensim and I, with which Mom's brief gaze pierces me—beneath the weight of knowing that I will never fill the torturous vacuum Dad left, knowing that I am a foul and disgusting son to the mother I so desperately need, that I see no end to the infinite river of anxiety and guilt pouring through the hole left in my heart—beneath my isolation and my longing for human touch—something breaks inside of me.
An emptiness of purpose. There is no point in going on, and I feel nothing, not even the desire to stop living. There is one exception: A hatred of myself, and of the humans I loved as family.
One day, Mom appears in my doorway, and she just stands there. Before, I would've welcomed being offered interaction with her beyond just receiving food, but now I am numb, my eyes all out of tears to cry.
"Pack your things," she says, her voice flat. She still doesn't look at me; the eyes she once said I inherited from Dad, she now shuns. "You're going to a residential school."
Indigenous Residential Schools; that is what Colonial Governor Nieve fe Skellth calls them, I think. They're for human kids who have trouble letting go of their "savage" roots; kids that the normal schools aren't enough to civilise. Schools that show you how to act Senghavi, to think Senghavi, to... be Senghavi.
There was a human kid in normal school whose sister went there, but they said that something had happened to her there; something in that residential school had changed her before she finally returned.
But I feel no fear as I pack my clothes into my bags. Every time I look in my bedroom mirror, a violent feeling rushes to my chest, only to dissipate into the hatred-tinged numbness I have grown so used to.
Finally, the time comes to depart. In the early morning, I am already aboard the autonomous public transport. It pulls out of the cracked street I once played with Dad in, passing by the entrance of Fellye Neighborhood, driving off into the fiery, violet Terran dawn. I see my faded reflection in the window, and my chest jumps with revulsion.
So I look down, fidgeting with my touchpad—then the numbness abruptly leaves, and my tears fall once again.
Forgive me for all the redaction, Doctor Morgthax. While I will not disclose what I wrote, you are correct, as always, about the act of writing. There is some semblance of psychological relief in typing one's sullen inner thoughts onto a touchpad. As if one can be heard without being heard.
By the time I drifted back to reality, my mouth and lips dry from dehydration, the hijackers had patched up the holes punched through the hull by the accidental explosion. Plenty of Senghavi passengers were spilling cerulean blood from beneath their exoskeletal coverings; though they were all alive, they needed medical attention.
Two hundred-something Senghavi civilians aboard this luxury spaceliner, and none had yet died. That stroke of luck offered me a glimmer of hope.
Pavok, the child, was emitting vibrations through the floor in his despair, the smell of rain and lilies becoming evident to me. It is starkly fascinating, the evolutionary dissimilarity between how native Terrans and Senghavi Terrans cry.
Those ships were delivering medical aid and critical provisions to the passengers, Commander Lokprel barked, the neutrino signals that encoded his gruff voice coming out from the intercom. Why did you laser them?
"Stop playing games," Jake snapped wearily into his radio. I recalled that his full name was Jacob Weaver, as Commander Lokprel had mentioned. A drop of blood streaked down his face. "We know what you're up to."
Paranoia will get you nowhere, Jacob. If we don't work with each other, you won't survive. We have detected an explosion aboard the spaceliner. Is anyone dead?
"Not yet," Jake growled. "But Fenni Svim will be if your forces keep approaching!"
Fenni Svim—the Senghavi from the Vellir Veneti Physics Lab, against whose skull Jake had pressed his pistol to halt the CDF's initial approach, hours ago—stiffened in her seat. I had never known the nuclear researcher very well before this barbarous event, but I prayed to the Gods of Siedi (whom I do not really believe in) that she would be okay.
Many of the passengers were still being kept by the windows to deter snipers. They included Pavok, behind whom Khadija stood guard.
"Sorry for attacking you," Jake suddenly said to me, his voice worn-out. "It's like Khadija said. The bugs know that humans are strong when they're united. It's why they try to play us against ourselves, to ally with just some of us, to try to make us hate each other; to hate ourselves. It's how they tore the United States apart. Everything they do... It's to make us ashamed of our species, our own culture, to lose hope in the future. If we were united, Casimir... they'd be terrified of us. And make no mistake—we're uniting again."
"E-even if what you say about mankind is true," I croaked, "Our species would not have settled anywhere but Earth. Our culture and history would still have been negligible and primitive, the richness and complexity of the Senghavi, still greater by many orders of magnitude."
"Casimir, did you go to one of the Indigenous Residential Schools?" Khadija asked.
"Y-yes," I managed, dusting off my formal wear and cleaning my glasses. "I was sent to one as a child. They are for those of us savage natives which conventional education could not sufficiently civilise."
Khadija's eyes softened with compassion, and she gestured to my wrist. "I asked because of that code on your wrist. I've heard about some of the things that happen in those places. The cruelty; the abuse."
I glanced at the abstract identification code tattooed onto my skin, faded with time. I hadn't thought about it in ages; it was but a remnant of my childhood, and I never paid it any attention.
"Residential schooling is necessary and proper," I tell her. "It is similar to human-mantid apartheid in its purpose; it keeps the public safe from savagery. "
"If we get out of this alive, I'm gonna take you with me to Russia," she said, wiping sweat from her brow. "Specifically, Moscow. It's where I lived after the fall of Türkiye. Man controls it, not the Senghavi."
I was already aware that a vast, untamed region named Zvorriu-Sai, located in Earth's northeastern quarter-sphere, is called Russia in simple-speak. A decade ago, Nieve fe Skellth had tried to civilise the hunter-gatherers who lived there, but his troops starved and froze in the snow.
It was with the multitude of planetary habitat fabricators that his army had been using that the native primates of Zvorriu-Sai constructed such cities as Moscow or Saint Petersburg.
"Russian civilization goes back over a millennium," Khadija explained. "I don't give a fuck about what the Senghavi have built on this planet; Russian architecture is my favourite, hands down. Anyway, it's the most stable and self-sufficient of the ten countries we've got left. Hard to invade, you know? It's seen better days, but the cities are nice, the economy is good. I think you'll find it's a hell of a lot less 'savage' than whatever the fuck the Parimthian Empire is doing."
To corroborate her claims, she showed me a photo from the gallery of her cracked, dusty touchpad. Before a busy canal, the waters tinted orange by a rising sun, a more relaxed version of her smiled into the camera alongside some human of the phenotype I had seen in the video of Tokyo. Looming over them was an intricate, palatial structure topped with colourful, onion-shaped domes.
"How... quaint," I replied, unsure of what to say, though it ignited dry laughter in Khadija.
"Looks like we got a communiqué from the UN," another hijacker announced, his mask still covering his face. I couldn't place his accent at all. He held up his own touchpad, displaying photos of the Colonial Governor herself—Perellanth fe Sumur—flanked by armed UN military personnel. They were clad in urban camouflage that was marred with blood. The black, plant-like extraterrestrial gazed defeatedly in the sterile lighting.
The UN had captured her! The Crown's decision to appoint a Vire as the leader of a Senghavi colony had been no small event. I was certain that after all the talk of Senghavi Terran independence, then followed by the Colonial Governor's capture, His Imperial Majesty regretted his progressivist decision.
"We... We did it!" Jake exclaimed, his voice disbelieving. "We took down Perellanth!"
You achieved nothing, Commander Lokprel retorted over the intercom. Not beyond the promotion of Benghoviu fe Prim to Acting Colonial Governor. If you kill Governor Sumur, Governor Benghoviu will become the permanent Colonial Governor as per the chain of command, and he will carry on the fine work of his predecessor.
Jake seemed to consider that situation a fair one, and he nodded to himself subtly. "Okay, sure. But if you do nothing, we'll still kill our first hostage."
What I can promise you is that Delegate Essintsya fe Baryn will submit an Act to the Forum of Delegates to recognize the sovereignty of the UN. It will be deliberated over for months, but it is your only realistic option. In return, we demand that you allow the passengers injured by one of your explosives to board CDF medical ships.
I recalled that the Forum of Delegates had voted Benghoviu fe Prim as Vice Colonial Governor just a year ago. And before even that, the Senghavi who lived on Vennec—my home continent on Earth—had popularly elected the ever-prudent Essintsya fe Baryn to the Forum. She was quite the economic liberal, as her sort was called.
Delegate Baryn's statements on the social contract between a people and their government, as well as her rejection that the Parimthian Crown ruled by divine right, had resonated deeply with me.
Jake's eyes hardened, and he turned his radio back on. "I said no games!"
There are no games here, Jacob! We only aim to preserve as much sapient life as possible. And you are out of options.
The hijacker who had shown Colonial Governor Sumur's prison photo gave Jake a withering look. "We're dragging this on, man. I don't want anyone to die."
"Don't talk to me about death, Ramiro. Not after what happened in the US."
The so-called United States of America... called Gholo Vieda in Parimthian. That region was Nieve fe Skellth's last successful conquest before he attempted to take on the vast, snowy expanses of Zvorriu-Sai. I wondered if, like Khadija's experience in Türkiye in the Niethvahi region, Jake had witnessed firsthand the cultural assimilation and political integration of Gholo Vieda into the rest of Parimthian Earth.
The conquest of Gholo Vieda and Niethvahi were the great accomplishments of Perellanth's predecessor, of course; but, in my opinion, the devotion of the (now captured) Perellanth to the causes of liberty, reason, equality, and sapientism far outshadowed anything that Nieve had done. I am certain, however, that the Parimthian Crown disagrees.
In any case, my faith in CDF Commander Lokprel loth Fonvie had not risen. Perhaps that was a good thing; otherwise, I might have regretted betraying the knowledge of antimatter research in order to elicit a more competent Parimthian intervention.
More security forces took up positions around the spaceliner, each ship split sharply into sunlight and shadow amid the black of space. The hijacker called Ramiro pointed to a series of smaller craft, which seemed to be pulling away from the luxury spaceliner. Escape pods!
"Hostages are falling through our fingers," Ramiro said. "We need to do something."
"Go to the rear," Khadija ordered. "Stop anyone else from sneaking out!"
Jake's radio crackled with the voice of someone in the cockpit. We've intercepted a neutrino transmission from the new guy, Benghoviu fe Prim. He's calling for some kind of emergency council at the highest levels in the Parimthian Empire.
I scoffed internally. The Crown would intervene for the sake of investigating all this talk of antimatter, whose alluring utility had hitherto been confined to theory and fiction. But it was doubtful that His Imperial Majesty would agree to an emergency council for the sake of his colonists' security and well-being. As (relatively) progressivist as he was in policy, he was still very much a punitive emperor, not a rewarding one.
"I told the commander to stop advancing—dammit!" Jake spat. "We're only letting medical craft get any closer. Fire at the corvettes!"
Affirmative, his radio crackled. Targets in sight.
The spaceliner's anti-collision lasers flashed against several faraway spacecraft. A succession of oxygen-fueled fires, each lasting for a [~split-second] against the vacuum of space, flared in the distance. Even so, the growing array of naval craft began to close in upon us again, surrounding the spaceliner in every dimension.
Switching again to the neutrino-connected channel, Jake gave a disgusted scowl. "Are you deaf, Commander? If your people keep getting closer, the deal is off!"
The more you fire, the closer we will get, Lokprel said. We are just making sure it is safe for the medical craft. As long as you refrain from harming them, we will not hurt you.
The hijacker in the cockpit radioed to Jake again, her voice sounding more alarmed.
We're picking up a massive object on our scanners. It's headed our way.
"How massive are we talking?" Jake asked.
It's... some kind of warship, I think. Over a hundred times our size.
"You're joking, right?"
"A Parimthian spacecraft carrier," murmured a soft, whimpery voice.
It was Fenni Svim again, her praying raptorial forelimbs tucked close in fear.
"The Imperial Parimthian Navy?" I asked. "They're really here?"
"Y-you shouldn't act surprised," Fenni said. "I know you were speaking to someone on the P-Parimthian side. You leaked our greatest secret, Casimir."
"R-right."
"What's she talking about, dude?" Khadija asked. Suspicion of betrayal lingered in her dark eyes. She had believed the lie that I was only calling a loved one when I contacted Mensim, >! who is at present an agent of Parimth!<; she had trusted me, and defended me against Jake's wrath.
I didn't answer. The very reason we needed antimatter was that the colonists' outerspace spanned but a meagre few millionths of the Parimthian Empire's total volume. I did not know what exactly a spacecraft carrier one hundred times the size of our spaceliner could do for the hostages, but it would be far more competent than the comparatively flimsy Colonial Defence Force.
Finally, after so many years of strategic modesty in the administration of the Crown's distant colony, of his Earth, as His Imperial Majesty suffered expense upon expense in countering the Imperium of Orion... Parimth had sent a warship of the Imperial Parimthian Navy, here in full force!
There was no need to inquire as to its distance; I could see it through my window. It was far enough that I could view the whole of its great form. Senghavi architecture, of course, is usually round, white, and glassy, traced with glowing accents; however, the imperial warship was boxy and shadowy black, visible only by the silhouette that it carved into the beaming sun.
Already, dozens of smaller craft—operated by some of the finest Senghavi pilots in the Milky Way—began spilling out from the spacecraft carrier, moving in the shadow of their gargantuan mothership. As even the hostage passengers became aware of its presence, the muted chatter and whimpering, which had been ambient across the aisles of the spaceliner, finally ceased.
Because of me, all of us—colonists and savages alike—were, for the first time in a decade, going to face a military intervention by Parimth itself.
submitted by Reptani to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 00:06 Twayneeded Oct 2022

10/1/22
I had to work on the weekend today. Left at 6:30 and got home at 1:30. I stopped off to get a salad for lunch and got home and ate it. Considering I worked all day I sat down and watched tv for 20 min. My wife was cleaning after I got home. I then got up to put up the laundry the wife had left in the chair for the last 2 weeks since the last time I put up the laundry. she then started yelling at me that the only time i help is when she is mad. Honestly I couldn't even tell she was mad because she has been in the same mood for a month already and I couldn't tell the difference. She has been in the mood for the past 4-5 years anyway i've just gotten used to it.
10/2/22
OC wanted to stay home from church on today and then yc did too. I kept them all day and took them to the park at 3:30pm while wife was still at her school working. She found out they went to the park after i told oc to tell her about petting a hamster at the park. She got very angry that i didn't tell her we left the house to go to the park.
10/3/22
Making my life miserable hasn't stopped. We no longer say I love you and no longer say goodnight. I have caught her yelling at the kids multiple times at night,but of course I'm the problem not her. Today I had to work and my wife was taking the kids to the state fair. I unfortunately left my work uniform at home and had to come home to change and take a shower after working out. The wife was still home and gave me a pissed off go to hell look when she opened the door. I got home at the usual time and texted her to tell me when she left so I could have supper ready when they get here so we could be in time for the scouts. She texted back that she would barely have time to get to scouts much less come home and eat supper first. I then texted her ok just swing by and pick me up so we don't waste gas. She left late and told me that she wouldn't have time. This woman controls every aspect of her time when on trips. She could have left early enough for some family time before scouts. I feel like she is trying to alienate me from my kids already. I can tell this is going to be a rough divorce. She went to bed early
and never said goodnight. I can't count the number of times she has gotten mad at me for going to be without telling her goodnight much less I love you. We rarely say love anymore and I never hear a kind word out of her mouth.
10/6/22
This morning as usual I was getting the kids dressed as I usually do. I usually just start dressing them while they are waking up and they usually do fine. OC i do not dress because he is older and will do it himself after he completely wakes up but he is also difficult to wake up. Yc does not do anything herself and she is the one I dress while waking up. She is usually chipper and happy afterwards. Wife came into the room and started berating me for not working with the kids to wake them up. They will not wake up this way with me. So I leave the room after essentially being told I don't know how to parent my kids. The kids were not crying or hurt in any way until the wife came into the room and yc instantly started crying. After they woke up I could not find my daughters shoes. I searched the house including the kids' bedrooms. I tell my wife who then as usual starts to berate me and then goes and looks for them. After a few minutes she finds them in the Oc room hidden beneath a pile of toys that they had made the previous night. Oc room is absolutely disgusting and piles of toys and blankets everywhere. How was I supposed to know to look under that specific pile? it would take a long time to sift through all of his crap. Wife then goes on a tangent about not getting any help cleaning the house, completely ignoring the number of times i have cleaned the house and his room and them messing it up within days of it being cleaned and her not helping to enforce them cleaning their own rooms. I go back to my yc because i usually brush her hair in the morning. She didn't want me to brush her hair and I told her mommy is busy and is already mad so please let me do it. She started crying and my wife instantly started asking what I did to her. Wife instead of telling yc to go back to me to brush her hair, told her to gather her brush and spray and she would do it after they got to school.
I just need her to back me up and stop instantly giving in to the kids every single time they start to get upset. I am afraid the precedent is already set and cannot be overcome easily and will never be overcome so long as she doesnt make it a team effort. It's just making both of our lives more difficult but she doesn't have a backbone when it comes to the kids.
10/21/22
Wife asked me to pay the gas card today so she could fill up. I messed up and had to reset the password. I updated the password on our google sheet and then texted her that i paid it, had to reset the password, and saved it on the google sheet drive. She came home and started to gripe at me for resetting the password and said that I probably didn't remember the password. I told her I saved it on the google sheet and she said that I should have told her that. When I said I did she got mad at me and told me that I didn't. I then reread the text that I sent her about it and she got even more upset because she had an excuse because she was busy. Then she started to tell me that I never believe her when she says that I didn't tell her things and only occasionally have proof that I am right. That statement makes no sense. If I have proof that something she accused me of is wrong, why am I supposed to believe her the other times when she was wrong this time? I feel like I am being gaslighted.
10/22/22
Wife had a state exam today. She has been really busy and studying for it for a month or so. She asked me to change the guinea pigs blanket and food. I agreed and did as she asked. Afterwards she got home and talked to ychild about the guinea pigs. The ychild told her about changing the pigs habitat i overheard her talking to ychild about how I don't take of them very often.
I didn't even want the guinea pigs. We are supposed to be saving up for ychild surgery and then she went and bought the guinea pigs because the ochild threw a fit about them. We spent over $100 on them on a whim essentially. When I was given an aquarium for free, I was told that I could only have it if I cared for it, that she would not do anything to help the fish/aquarium.
I feel like the same should hold true here. She/kids wanted them so they should have to take care of them but now i am being shamed to my ychild by my own wife because she has to take care of them.
10/24/22
Got woken up by my wife this morning because my alarm didn't go off (i forgot to turn it back on after turning it off on friday.) She started griping that now she had to get the kids ready then go and finish her things. I told her not to worry that I would get the kids dressed 1st before I took care of myself. She then angrily told me to just go to the bathroom and get ready, she would
deal with the kids, so I did. We found my ochild overdue library books in the floorboard of my car's backseat (must have fallen out of his backpack) the previous thursday. After we found them I put them in his backpack and later discovered they had taken them out and were leaving them strange places. I did this several times before I put them on top of the bookshelf so they don't get lost. This morning after the alarm fisco wife started griping at me because I didn't put the books in ochilds backpack. I started to explain where i put them and why i had done that. She didnt care she said it was stupid and for me to get off my high horse. I keep feeling there is no winning in this relationship, there is only pain. I decided to reread some of the early journal entries today and noticed some things and figured I would put them here. I am no longer stating where my wife sleeps and when I wake up alone because for almost a year I have slept in my bed alone and woken up alone. I am no longer stating what housework i do mostly because I always cook, do the dishes, and laundry.
10/30/22
Today is Halloween trunk or treats we will be going too. I have done 3 loads of laundry and put up the kids clothes that my wife has left on the chair and then moved to the bed that has sat unfolded for 2 weeks. I cooked supper last night,did the dishes today, and then mowed the lawn and pulled the weeds in the front and back yards.Afterwards i came inside and wife started griping at me because she assumes i wanted to take a shower after all the things I did and we only had 20 minutes before we left for the events. I decided to just change clothes and throw on some cologne. I sprayed one spritz and next time my wife came into the room she said I must have sprayed myself directly, she makes fun of me when I spray it in the air and walk through, and said she could smell me down the hall. She then started complaining about how she didnt even think about putting perfume on but now she couldn't because we would clash. I don't think she has ever complimented my cologne but she sure does like to complain about it. When we get to the church we had a decent time then came time to clean the pumpkins. Afterwards we went to clean our hands. We had left our buckets so i went back to get them while my wife and ychild went to wash up. Me and Ychild washed our hands as well. Afterwards we waiting outside the bathrooms to find them. I get a text asking if we were coming to get the pumpkins. They had gotten out before us,my wife was mad that I didnt come to the pumpkins instead of waiting outside the bathrooms. She started to gripe at me in public and I got upset with her, i didnt say anything but she knew i was upset from the look I gave her.
10/31/2022
Halloween night. Got home and discussed where to go for trick or treating. After getting in the car my wife almost instantly started getting on me about money, almost accusing me of hoarding money. I explained to her about keeping some money in case of an emergency but that just made her worse. I don't know what to do. I don't understand how we can be making this much money but have nothing to show for it. Last year around this time we were living solo off of my paycheck. She has been making 2k a month and then recently 3.5k a month net. She now brings home more money than I do and yet every check she demands my entire paycheck. How can 6.5k a month net us almost nothing in return. Something is wrong and I don't know what it is.
Nov 2022
submitted by Twayneeded to twayneeded [link] [comments]


2023.06.01 00:05 EssoEssex “(God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the BOUNDS OF THEIR HABITATION.” — North Carolina, 1966

“(God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the BOUNDS OF THEIR HABITATION.” — North Carolina, 1966 submitted by EssoEssex to PropagandaPosters [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 22:55 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, Part 699

First
Capes and Conundrums
“Well... this is another for the bucket list of things I didn’t expect to be doing.” Robin notes as he stands guard outside the room where the at times rather shouty, but mostly going well.
“Higher or lower than playing the part of a supervillain in a planetary capital built in a gigantic obsidian cave where one of the frequent weather patterns is a volcanic blast wave capable of throwing the apocalyptic serpents like ragdolls?” Pavel asks and Robin slowly turns to give him a baleful look. “Serious question.”
“Fine, if it’s a serious question then it depends if higher means more likely or less. Because I expected maybe playing guard outside of family drama well before anything else we’re doing on Skathac.” Robin says.
“Ah... still a little salty that the alien kid with claws on his face has a better family...” Pavel begins to ask but Robin’s glare now includes literally glowing eyes and the man wisely shuts the hell up.
It’s nearly at the end of their shift when everything finishes up and the large, large, family leaves and Doctor Malaise sighs as she stops between them to watch the family leave.
“That doesn’t sound good.” Pavel notes.
“A lot of classic mistakes were made. The sorts of things that will take years to fully sort out and exactly the kind of situation where I can’t help much more without becoming someone they depend on or other issues.” Doctor Malaise says and there’s some nodding.
“So will you be seeing them again?”
“The new family plan is to cut the vacation short and help him catch and domesticate his new Tharaso wings.”
“Hmm... not what was expected.” Robin notes.
“Considering how you were almost demanding for him getting emancipated and cutting all contact, I’m going to count that as a major win for the family.”
“Hmm...” Robin notes.
“Not everything is a drama or devolves into a horrific situation. Sometimes mistakes happen and thank the goddess that this time it was just that.”
“Bad experience on the other end?” Robin asks and then receives a threatening wave from Doctor Malaise’s clipboard.
“Oh no. I’m not going to feed that interest in shattered family lives. What happened to you and yours was a tragedy that is thankfully rare for all the attention it draws. So don’t try and make yourself think that it’s something you should see everywhere.” Doctor Malaise states and Robin shrugs.
“Hmm... Do I really seem to be hoping for things to turn out badly?”
“If not hoping, then a little too eager to see it or fight against it.” Doctor Malaise says and Robin considers. “However, I’m willing to take it on good faith that you’re simply vigilant in case someone else is hurt the same way you were.”
“Oh? That’s very generous of you.”
“You put out benevolence and you encourage it in others. You don’t make the galaxy a better place by treating everything like it’s the most awful thing to ever exist.” Doctor Malaise says and Robin snorts a little. “Is it my name again? I can’t help that my dignified family name sounds nearly identical to something in an Earth language.”
“I said nothing to that effect.” Robin says and he gets a sideways look from the Tret.
“There are only so many sounds and only so many sound combinations and combination lengths before they get too long to be used in conversation. Of course there’s language overlap.”
“Once again, I said nothing.” Robin states.
“But I can still hear it.” Doctor Malaise says and Robin chuckles. This causes Doctor Malaise’s own poker face to break and she laughs with him.
“Right well... that mess is sorted out. At least, it’s sorted out as much as we’re allowed to sort it. My shift ends soon and I need dinner. Care to join me?” He asks and Doctor Malaise turns to him oddly.
“Are you flirting with me?”
“... If you want, but I was thinking more as friends than as a date. Unless you want a date? Then we’ll need something other than the mess hall.”
“It really doesn’t matter where you go. You’re going to inhale an unholy amount of food right in front of me and think it’s a wonderful time.” Doctor Malaise says.
“You know, you’re supposed to eat too when that happens.” Robin notes.
“I’ve already eaten today. If anything I’ve eaten more than I’ve needed. You humans are terrible at portion control.”
“We’re not used to someone who nibbles their way through half a snack and calling it a meal.” Robin answers.
“Do I need to get a hose for you two?” Pavel asks in a mocking tone.
“How much longer until your shifts ends?” Doctor Malaise asks.
“Fifteen minutes.” Robin answers.
“Not worth waiting that long to bonk someone on the head then.”
“To afraid to do it now?” Robin asks.
“You’re on duty, meaning you have to respond to any attack. Meaning in fifteen minutes I can safely bonk one of you, but until then, it’s not safe.” Doctor Malaise says before sighing.
“Something else wrong?”
“Just... thinking a bit. Situations like this are so very complicated and generally you can only tell if the right or wrong move was made by the results that come from them. I can easily see how Albin’s family hurt him. However these techniques and considerations are the same as used for other members of his family that had good results. What hurt Albin helped others, sometimes I think it would have been easier if I was a practicing surgeon rather than a psychologist.”
“And I’d have an easier time as an Athlete rather than an Undaunted. But it’s brought us both to where we are, and we are both stronger for it.” Robin replies.
“Do you have to bring up that philosophy so often?” Doctor Malaise asks.
“I’ll stop preaching Undaunted Philosophy when it stops being relevant.” Robin says. “Still... I will admit I preached the wrong way with the kid. Maybe I should just stick to being a soldier, solicitor and all around...”
“Supervillain.” Pavel says and Robin gives him a glance. “What? You make a great Deathstroke!”
Doctor Malaise’s laughter at that cuts off whatever Robin’s retort is. He waits for her to stop, which isn’t long, before having a new retort. “You know... we do need a Harley Quinn.”
“No.” Doctor Malaise states.
“But it’s perfect! She’s a psychologist! You’re a psychologist! She’s a woman, you’re a woman...”
“Sweet goddess are you really going there?” Doctor Malaise asks incredulously.
“Admit it Robin... you want to see her in the leotard.” Pavel decides to stir the pot.
“And you don’t?” Robin asks as Doctor Malaise puts her hands on her hips and gives him a stern look. It does absolutely nothing to take away from the fact that she is a very beautiful woman.
“The sheer amount of T and A I’ve been seeing has inured me to it all.” The man drones out. “That and I’m seeing someone.”
“... I’m not entirely certain if I’m merely being mocked or if there’s a serious proposition in this.” Doctor Malaise states and Robin smirks.
“Both. You’re being mocked, but if you want to play. Then I can play.” Robin says and Doctor Malaise considers.
“Well... you know...”
“Yes?”
“I don’t like hurting people or fighting. But I am willing to play...?” She doesn’t actually ask. But the question is heard loud and clear.
“Damn, still another six minutes on shift.”
“Not going to end it early?”
“No, this conversation is the limit.”
“What is the human joke? Dear penthouse forum?” Doctor Malaise asks and Robin slowly gives her an amused look.
•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•
Several hours have passed and Robin is off duty, fed and now on a date with Alviara. However, since the traditional coffee or dinner date is a complete no go as she has an appetite that an anemic church mouse would consider lacking they’re instead spending some time learning about each other.
Or more accurately Alviara is introducing Robin to dozens of new musical instruments by the minute as her tastes in music are eclectic, varied and seem to hold no limit across species boundaries.
“So this isn’t technically a song?” Robin asks as he pulls away the headphones for public use. The local library has a very well stocked music section with numerous headphones that are free to use.
“This is a lecture in Trill-Speech with musical accompaniment. Leave it to the Urthani to make tax reform sound like an elegant concert.” The amused Alviara Malaise says and Robin snorts in amusement.
“It sounds like an excellent way to toy with people without losing out. Explain to them that you only listen to lectures and they think you’re stuffy and boring, but it’s all in languages you don’t understand and has musical backing so it could literally be a song about anything. If it’s to a good beat then there’s no loss at all.”
“Bah, that’s trying a little too hard for a joke. It’s better to just like all kinds of music. Try this.” Alviara offers and Robin puts down his current set of headphones and tries on the new pair.
“Mongolian throat singing and drums with a hint of xylophone?” He asks. “A lot of... and now there’s a choir of women joining in as well as about thirty other instruments.”
“It’s a method that a lot of musical families use.” Alviara says. “The husband or sons start off and then the rest of the family joins in around them to...”
The sudden intrusion of a particularly large Sonir fluttering up and staring at Robin interrupts them. Robin speaks first. “Can I help you?”
“Uh it uh... well...” The Sonir says before scrambling off and racing out. Robin glances out the window and sees the woman join up with a group of friends who all laugh and joke among each other before another Sonir is sent out and quickly rushes up to where Robin and Alviara are.
“Young lady... you’re being rude.” Alviara chides her and the Sonir looks from her to Robin and back again before rushing off herself.
“What are they doing?” Robin asks as he sees her rejoin the friend group and the system start up again with a third soon to be sent out.
“They’re making bets with each other and trying to see if any of them have the courage to get anywhere. Young teenager sort of things.”
“Is there anything I can say to get them to stop?”
“Not really, but they’re harmless. They barely have the courage to so much as speak with you, so they won’t have anywhere near the audacity needed to do anything.” Alviara tells him. “See? Here comes the next one, she’ll come close. Watch for a bit and not say anything.”
True to Alvira’s word the next Sonir rushes up, watches, stares and then squirms as Robin just calmly returns her gaze and she fidgets for a bit before rushing off back to the group.
“Hmm... seems kind of silly for me.” Robin remarks.
“You were young once.” Alviara says.
“To my regret.” Robin notes and she reaches up and flicks him in the side of the head.
“None of that! We’re on a date, you’re not on my couch and spilling out your secrets.”
“Alright, alright sorry.” Robin says before smirking. “Still, it is nice to see people have a better time than I did.”
“Oh my goddess big man!” Alviara groans and he chuckles before putting a hand on her head and before he can start to muss up her hair she ducks away.
“Fine fine! I was just joking around.”
“Just keep it as a joke, because that really kills the mood if it’s real.” Alviara says and he nods.
“Right, sorry. If you think I’m just screwing up we can call this off and...”
“Throwing in the towel already? Aren’t you Undaunted?” She teases and he huffs in amusement. He then puts his hand on her shoulder and then steps closer to crouch down and be closer.
“I can do so much more, the question is, do you?”
“I’ve just spent two days trying to sort out a family’s drama. Let’s not rush into things like that.” She says before he smiles.
“Of course. Still, just music? What else are you for?”
“Just motorcycles? Surely you have more hobbies.” She turns back his question on him and he nods.
“Fair enough, but free running isn’t something you should just take someone on.”
“Oh? Isn’t that where you rush around through a dense urban environment?”
“Yeah, but it’s not a real thing in a city like this where everything is far off the ground. Less to jump off of and big gaps between things so it’s more big jumps and not kipping up or other bits of fun.” Robin says before the next Sonir comes in to stare. “Although... you girls are as light as a feather, and it can be modified...”
“What are you thinking?” Alviara asks and Robin smiles.
“Want to see just how I move without a motorcycle underneath me?” Robin asks
“Ohhh!” The Sonir gushes and both adults give her a sideways look. She zips out of there.
“Did you have to phrase it that way?” Alviara asks.
“No, but it’s funner than saying, wanna piggyback while I do some modified freerunning around the city?”
“... I can’t tell if this is a boy thing, a human thing or an Undaunted thing and honestly. I don’t care. Yes.” Alviara says as the small crowd of teenage Sonir gets in earshot. “I would love to see how you move under me.”
The girls scatter with squeals of all type before anything else can be said.

First Last
PS: Record High! Holy crap! AC or not I'm roasting.
submitted by KyleKKent to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 22:44 AslandusTheLaster Tyradil's Lost Royals

Original prompt: [WP] The Archmage decreed that tonight, as a gift to the king, his children will all receive magical power. In the morning, the children of the castle remained unchanged, but some random urchins around the kingdom woke up to strange occurrences. (link)
Another droll day in Tyradil. Sitting on the throne, watching the mewling peasants beg him for table scraps like they did every day. It was an annoyance that King Ulrich could do without, he had higher goals in mind. Still, it was beneficial to at least put on a show of caring for the common folk. He gave a nod to the farmer, agreeing to pay for the crops that had been seized in the last campaign, or whatever she had been asking about.
Hm, up next was... Leland? What did the old coot want now?
"M'lord! It is time to celebrate the anniversary of your coronation!" Leland said. "And so, as Archmage of your glorious rule, I have woven a mighty spell to empower your entire lineage!"
"Yes, very good. Thank you, Leland," King Ulrich said. It was a nice gesture, to be sure, his heirs had been working hard and would surely enjoy a bit of magical flare to boost their abilities. Still, he wasn't sure why the old man had decided to inform him of this during petitioning time.
The next person in line was an aged woman. She was asking something about funding her daughter's wedding. The king waved her off, the royal coffers were for more important things than random celebrations.
The king awoke with the rising sun. Well, awoke in a relative sense. He rarely slept well, and may as well have been asleep for most of the day given how sluggish he was. Still, he pulled himself up and walked out to meet the eldest of his heirs. A young man in his mid-20s, Prince Rodrick was already up and hacking into a practice dummy with the ferocity of a mad dog. Seeing him, the King remembered his Archmage's words from the previous day.
"Roderick, my boy! How are you feeling today?" Ulrich called out to the prince.
"Quite good, father! I've already got my technique down by half a second!" Roderick said, sheathing the sword as he turned toward the king.
"Excellent! But, have you noticed anything,.. magical?" Ulrich asked. Leland could be an old coot, but he knew his stuff when it came to spells.
"Magical? Is there any greater magic than perseverance, father?" Roderick asked.
"You've got me there, boy," Ulrich said.
As Roderick returned to training, the king walked back into the hall and toward the Archmage's quarters. Leland was busy tinkering with a crystal ball when he entered.
"Ah! My lord! I trust your progeny haven't been causing too much trouble with their new powers?" Leland said.
"I actually wanted to ask you about that, Leland. Roderick hadn't noticed any change, so I wanted to know the nature of the spell you created," Ulrich said.
"Ah, of course! It is a simple bloodline hex to empower the target with abilities sourcing ambient mana based upon their soul-weave, existing skills, and biochemistry," the Aged Magi said, his white beard waving about as he spoke.
"I barely understood any of that, old friend. Could you put it in layman's terms?" the king asked.
"Certainly, I suppose we can't all study magic for over a century," Leland said. "It alters the physiology of your children to give them magic. I can't imagine why it didn't work on Roderick, unless he isn't actually one of your progeny."
"Children... Wait, you said something about bloodlines?" Ulrich said. "Roderick is my nephew, not my direct spawn. It is a similar story with all of my heirs, are you saying they aren't going to be affected by your spell?"
"What are you talking about, Ricky? I was there when Roderick was born, you can't claim he isn't your son," Leland said.
"Whoa now, Roderick is my son. I raised him since he was small after my brother died in battle, but he certainly didn't come from the queen's womb," Ulrich said. "Are you telling me you honestly forgot that the princes and princesses are all adopted? I thought I was pretty clear when I said that bloodlines were for fools, nobles, and foolish nobles. Given that my wife is 3 generations inbred and can barely walk thanks to her club foot, it seemed like a necessity to introduce some fresh blood."
"Hmph, then perhaps I should've used unicorn horn instead of dragon blood... No matter, it should be of no consequence then, just a few wasted reagents for your nonexistent children. My sincerest apologies for my shoddy memory, m'lord," Leland said.
"Oh no, it's the thought that counts old friend..." Ulrich said. He paused for a moment as a thought popped into his head. "Come to think of it, you're not wrong, I have sired a few children... I need to check something."
Ulrich left the room, while Leland returned to the crystal ball. The king rushed down the hall, finding one of his most trusted servants. Entering the library, he found the woman he was looking for dusting the books.
"Ah, King Ulrich," the maid said as the king opened the door. "What brings you here?"
"Agatha, do you remember when I asked you to get rid of those infants?" Ulrich asked.
"Ah yes, terrible business that. I didn't have the heart to put them down, but I disposed of them as best I could," Agatha said, bowing her head toward the king.
"What did you do with them?" King Ulrich asked.
Farmer Jenna entered the hut with a feeling of triumph. The king had said yes! It seemed her luck was finally turning for the better.
"Mama!" cried out the young boy running toward her. The farmer tousled the boy's hair before hoisting him up into a hug.
"Hey Acorn, what have you been up to?" Jenna asked.
"Look!" the boy said, gesturing at the wall. Formed from mud and dried, it seemed he had drawn on it with a piece of charcoal. The picture looked like a crude image of the farmer, the boy, and a man. The boy obviously hadn't seen Jenna's husband, he'd died before she'd found the lad under an oak tree and taken him in. Still, from the rough descriptions he'd been given over the years, it was surprisingly good.
"Amazing," Jenna said. "And good news, the King agreed to pay for the lost crops! I thought it was a long shot, he probably had other things to pay for given the drought, but he agreed! We won't have to worry about going hungry."
"Yay!" Acorn said. "Ooh! And I learned a new trick too!"
The boy scampered over to the door of the hut, swinging it open and waving his arms around. At first Jenna wasn't sure what the trick was, but then she noticed the sky. The clouds seemed to be dancing with the boy's movements.
"Wow!" Jenna said. She was obviously playing up her reaction for the lad, but the feat was undoubtedly both strange and impressive. "I almost feel weird asking, but can you summon the rain?"
"Ummm... I dunno," Acorn said.
Jessalyn was dressed properly for her wedding day. Aunt Claire had been raving mad after talking to the king, saying he had turned her down "after all she'd done for him". Personally, she'd thought it was a bit of a silly request to begin with, even if she did had a history with the king. They had enough money for a decent wedding, but Claire insisted it was still worthwhile and that Jess deserved a wedding fit for a queen.
But regardless, it was nearly time. Father Martin was reading his lines, and Elias was standing at the altar. As the music began, Jessalyn pulled down her veil and took her Uncle Klaus' arm. Klaus led her down the aisle, and up to her husband-to-be.
Father Martin got the pair through the vows quickly enough. Everyone knew it had been a matter of time until Jess and Elias tied the knot, so the whole ceremony practically felt like a formality.
"You may now kiss the bride," Father Martin said.
Elias carefully lifted Jessalyn's veil, and the young woman could feel a tickle on her nose. She thought it might be embarrassing to sneeze during the ceremony, so she tried to resist it. That worked well enough for a few moments, but as she leaned in Elias' mustache tickled her nose again and she couldn't stop herself.
The sneeze itself was rather unremarkable compared to the fact that Father Martin immediately erupted into flames, being reduced to a pile of ash within seconds.
The panic was immediate and absolute. Most of the attendees, even Jess' personal friends were now screaming that the union was cursed as they fled the area. Well, the ones who weren't calling Jess a witch or a sorceress at least.
She was almost afraid to find out, but she had to know. Jess glanced at her newlywed husband, and her stomach dropped. He was looking straight at her, his eyes full of abject terror.
The Order of the White Cloth was one of the most esteemed religious orders in the kingdom, and for good reason. Reliable medical care was a rarity in this day and age, and the White Cloth church did it for free. Ginara was proud that she'd finally managed to become a bona fide surgeon among them, but she was dreading the coming test.
It was well known that one of the final tests for White Cloth surgeons was impossible. Not just impossible, but deliberately so. The order wanted to make sure the most skilled of their workers learned an important lesson: You can't save everyone. It was just a logistical fact that many who ended up under their care were likely to die regardless of what was done, so the surgeon had to have good judgement in deciding where their skills would be most useful. It was tragic when someone died, but when one had to choose, the order wanted to make sure the wisest choice was made.
Still, Ginny felt a pang of guilt when she saw her patient. A young woman, she couldn't have been more than 14 summers old, and she had an arrow in her eye. Still, she was breathing... barely.
"Sister Ginara, you may begin," Brother Tobias said. He was holding a wax tablet which he was no doubt going to use to record his judicious judgements of the jacked job she was preparing to precariously perform.
"Yes Brother," Ginny said. She began by touching the arrow, attempting to gauge how deeply it had gone in. Luckily, it seemed it hadn't gone deep, just past the eye itself. However, the girl gasped in pain as Ginny's fingers touched the arrow.
It would've been more merciful for the girl to be unconscious for the operation, but sometimes fortune just wasn't that kind. She tied a cloth around the girl's head, before using larger straps to hold her in place and tying a string to the arrow. The procedure was brutal, but the best way they knew to keep her alive.
Ginny wound the string around a staff, and prepared for the extraction.
The girl's screams were horrific, but after a minute the arrow came loose... (Warning: somewhat graphic) Oh dear, seemed the eye had stayed on the arrow. Ginny knew the eye was lost, so she cut off the nerve and removed the entire thing... Oh dear, that was a lot of blood.
Ginny worked quickly, but the girl's breathing grew more ragged. Ginny's concern quickly grew into panic, as she sought to staunch the stream of sanguine against all odds.
As Ginara worked, her sweat began to run cold, and the girl's struggling suddenly became much more lively. The screaming went from pained to panicked, and she managed to wriggle free enough to shove Ginny off of her before taking a breath.
When the girl took off the cloth, both Ginny and Tobias jumped. Not because of the horror of the injury, but the utter lack of one. The girl somehow had both of her eyes back, without even a wound to show for it.
"My eye! It's fixed! It's a miracle!" the girl said.
"I... Genuinely don't know how to review that. I think we had better bring this to Bishop Murin," Brother Tobias said. Ginny just nodded in agreement.
The Black Banner Bandits were settling down for the night after a day of pillaging. Previously the Dark Rock Mercenaries, a group of warlike nomads who occasionally fought for coin, the group had turned to raiding and pillaging the countryside after one too many instances of their employers refusing to pay. Well, one instance, but one was still too many.
Oswald had been travelling under the Black Banner for as long as he could remember. Oswald, more commonly called Ozzie, was busy sparring with one of the other youths while captain Wersin watched. Rumor had gone around that Wersin was looking for one of the youths to join the elite Bannerguards, so Ozzie and Frederick were trying much harder than normal.
Ozzie couldn't seem to land a single blow, with Frederick dodging or parrying every blow he struck before getting a jab in himself. However, he didn't relent with the blows, so Frederick remained on the defense for just about the entire match. The young man thought he was doing pretty well considering he wasn't even one of the fighters, Ozzie was supposed to be training with the smiths to maintain the weapons and armor of the fighters... But the group had gone through some tough battles recently, so Wersin wanted everyone combat-ready just in case.
Suddenly, Ozzie stepped on a rock and twisted his ankle, causing him to break his assault as he stumbled and began to fall over. Even before Frederick struck at him, he knew he'd just lost the match, and possibly his chance at becoming a Bannerguard.
However, when Frederick's sword struck Ozzie's helmet, it shattered into tiny metal fragments. Said fragments seemed to orbit Ozzie as he reeled back, then compounded onto his sword as he swung at Frederick, making it much longer than it was normally.
It was actually a bit inconvenient, since it slowed down the swing enough that Frederick not only ducked under it, but got in a kick on Ozzie's stomach. Ozzie finally tapped out, thoroughly out of breath.
"Good match," Ozzie said.
"Back at ya, can all the smiths do that fancy metal magic?" Fredrick asked.
"I don't think so?" Ozzie said, somewhat inquisitively. He waved his hand over the blade, and the extra metal floated off in shards before forming a rough gauntlet on his hand.
Wersin approached the two, clapping them on the shoulders.
"Impressive footwork out there, both of you. It looks like we may have to make room for two new Bannerguards, eh?" The Captain said.
The boys looked up at their leader, and were unsettled by the face he wore. They'd been expecting a look of admiration or pride. What they saw was a borderline sadistic grin.
submitted by AslandusTheLaster to AslandusTheLaster [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 19:29 anonaccount77777 Feelings after the Q&A with Ed Kang

I wanted to process after the Q&A with Ed Kang in March and wrote something. Hope it's helpful for healing.
******************************
Hi Ed,
It was an interesting experience to see you after so many years.
You were clearly glad to see me. Well... maybe glad is not the right word but you flashed a bright smile once I came on camera to ask my question. That smile was the only one of the night. In a Zoom room with seven faces visible for more than 1.5 hours, this was truly sad. But not surprising given the context.
The old me would have flashed a fake smile in return to make you feel more comfortable but I am not that person anymore. I tried to quiet my beating heart so I could ask my "question" without a quivering voice. I'm not sure that I succeeded but I think I did ok.
I said that by the definition of spiritual abuse you just gave, I can confidently say that I was spiritually abused as well as many others. I told you about the constant culture of fear and people telling on each other, and how salvation was easily questioned over nothing. This happened to the point that almost everyone in my class who were already Christians accepted Jesus again. To me, this was a sign of rampant spiritual abuse at your church.
You said you remember those days well and that you were sorry about that. You said that during those days, we wouldn't do much evangelism and everyone just came.
I am confused as to how you can think that we were not focused on evangelizing when I spent many hours each week reaching out to freshmen, giving them rides, talking to strangers in the dorm cafeteria, making food for all the various outreach events.
You said that there was a hyper zealous boundary keeping ethos that you now look back and regret. There was a lot of John MacArthur lordship messaging. You were fleeing from the ghost of hypocritical Christians. There was over policing. You said you regretted this atmosphere, you don't deny it, and that you should have focused on evangelizing non Christians instead.
Then you talked about how there was a brother who wore earrings and how he shouldn't have been made to take them off.
I let you know that this person is my husband.
That caught you by surprise because you had forgotten that it was him.
Was it just a coincidence that the story that came to your mind was about my husband, even though you didn't remember his name? Maybe your subconscious made the connection because I'm sure you heard that we got married many years after we both left your abusive church. We trauma bonded over our shared experience of being at your church and of leaving your church. We rebuilt our lives together after your church tore us down. The day we decided to leave your church, we were left with nothing. And this was by design because you wanted the church to be everything to the members. You taught that this was biblical. You taught that the church family was more important than the biological family. I didn't realize that this was the gospel according to Ed Kang and Becky Kim, and not Jesus.
Anyway, you said that you told him that you wanted him to keep the earrings on so that other guys with earrings could feel welcome. (By the way, this is called using people.) I know that you personally didn't care that he wore earrings. But you and him both knew that that was not gonna happen. There was zero chance that he could keep his individuality like that at your church. It's almost cruel, the way you encouraged people 1:1 to be free but you let your church crush any hint of it. Because you gave leaders the authority to micromanage and control people's lives to that degree.
It seems so small. What are earrings anyway in the big scheme of things? It is nothing. But at your high control group disguised as Whole Life Discipleship, the earrings mattered. They mattered a lot. Because if the leader can't get their sheep to take off a pair of earrings that clearly signal "I am different." then what authority did the leader really have? So off they went. And now his ears have closed up and he can't wear earrings for the rest of his life.
Basically, you said that it was all "back in those days" and that your church is different now. The ethos/atmosphere/culture is no longer like that. If the church was like it is now back then, a lot of people wouldn't have left.
Well, you are blind to the fact that your church is still like this. I read the stories in the subreddit, on the blogs, and on Yelp and I know... nothing has changed. I meet up with old friends who left and their experience was the same as mine. I listen to people who stayed for decades and decades before leaving and they tell me it was still the same. I connect with people who were lifers and who left within the last 1-5 years and their stories are so familiar that it's scary. Young adults who were only a part of Gracepoint for a few years have stories that are even worse than what I experienced.
You said that you focused on lordship too much back in those days. Well, according to the core values on your website, that seems to be a major focus still! Your core values give the leaders license to micromanage and control every aspect of their sheep's lives in the name of "living it out," "growing up," and "giving it all."
Your church is still the same.
Stop giving people the authority to spiritually abuse others.
Your church has caused so much harm and is still causing so much harm.
Just stop.
submitted by anonaccount77777 to GracepointChurch [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 18:56 Jus17173 The Fight.

They came to him in their black suits and polished buttons that gleamed golden in the noonday sun peering through the shutters of his office window.
"Commander Meekins?" The tallest among the trio inquired, peering down at him through sun glasses resting on the bridge of his pointed nose.
"That's me." He answered. He didn't like the black suits, didn't care for them. Every visit spelt trouble for him and a mountain heap of paperwork. The black suits worked for the Inter Planetary Commission. The organization that partook in planet voyages and handling of extraterrestrials.
Things were much simpler for Meekins back when the only planet known to man was the one they grew up shitting on. Now due to warp travel the number of Planets introduced with life numbered in the hundreds.
"Commander Meekins," Repeated the lanky man with a nose that could pierce skin. "A new planet has been discovered. Planet Taveron, it is ruled by a Queen who enjoys a good sport more than most men." He chuckled at this as if it was something funny and those flanking him voiced their laughs of support as well. Meekins didn't laugh, he stared straight ahead.
"And how does this concern me?" He asked. Back in the day a commander's job had entailed commanding. Now it seemed aliens had become a part of his duties, hence the trio standing before him. How he missed the days when he'd have his soldiers run drills around fields and inspected polished boots.
"Commander Meekins, the sport the Queen of Taveron indulges in mostly are fights," He paused for dramatic effect, Meekins stared straight ahead as was customary of him whenever he sought to portray an air of nonchalance. "Fights to the death." The man concluded. Meekins maintained his nonchalant gaze. "She has recently challenged Earthlings to a trial by combat, one that will only end with death." The man sought on.
"You desire a soldier to partake in this fight?" Meekins asked. His army was more than capable of handling a good fight to the death, it wasn't the first time a challenge of hand to hand combat had emerged. This was just the first time it'd been officially brought forth. He had some of the best fighting men in the universe within his ranks.
"Yes, we require a soldier." The man answered. "But not just any soldier"
"We require the worst soldier that you have." The one on the right said as he stepped forward.
"What?" Meekins asked, puzzled.
"The Queen of Taveron doesn't like losing, we require a soldier that will lay down his life so that our two planets' relationship may flourish." The middle man said.
"Neither does she like an easy win or a doctored win, we require a soldier who's dumb enough to think he's fighting for his planet but also worse for wear to the point where victory seems highly unlikely." The one on the left said, stepping forward.
"Do you have this man?" The trio asked in unison.
Meekins broke into an unnerving smile. "I think I have just the man."
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Gary Nubin paced outside the office of Commander Meekins, tense as a stripper in church. Sweat spotted between his brows and his tongue felt dry within his mouth. He licked at his lips as he paced back and forth, the secretary at reception eyed him but he didn't care. He was in trouble, he was certain of it. Why else would he be called to the Commander's office?
The phone next to the secretary rang and Gary let out a startled yelp. The secretary eyed him from above the rim of her glasses as she answered the phone. She placed the phone to its receiver. "The Commander will see you now."
"Of course he can see me, I'm not invisible." Gary answered.
"No, I mean you are free to go into his office." She answered, puzzled.
"Oh, much obliged." Gary said and gave a slight bow.
He entered the office and saw three men standing before the Commander's desk dressed in spotless black suits. He panicked and took hasty steps forward. "Commander I know it's against regulation rules to masturbate into a sock but I have a problem where whenever I'm tense I let out steam by masturbating, it's a medical condition you see, it can't be helped." Gary started, all heads turned to him. "Sure I've been jerking off into the socks of my fellow comrades in arms but I always soak the socks afterwards to release the hold my semen has on them. I have unnaturally sticky semen–"
"Gary this isn't about semen or socks." Meekins interrupted while standing up. "The three men you see here before you are to vet you for a special mission where you're required to fight for your planet and win for our honor."
Gary stood up straight and saluted. He was a lanky fellow, not much meat on his bones and the only thing he was good at was saluting, it had taken him quite a while to master it, long nights spent at attention, palm to his head. He still got it wrong occasionally but sometimes he did it just right. Like at the moment. "Sir, I am honored to represent this planet."
"This is him?" One of the men in the suits asked. Meekins nodded and Gary stood even straighter and saluted with his other hand, both hands were now held in a salute, tips of fingers touching the temples.
"What is he doing?" The suited man asked.
"He is saluting, with both his hands." Meekins answered.
"He is perfect for this." The man in black said.
"My thoughts exactly." Meekins answered.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Gary was then put through a thorough training process. He was taken to the Inter Planetary Commission Headquarters. Trained to walk in zero gravity (He didn't walk, what he did after entering zero gravity was urinate and watch as the droplets floated around him, he then tried to catch the droplets much to the amazement of the vetting team.) He was given a quiz to answer, simple questions were asked such as the date of his birth and the name of his parents. He wrote 'Dad' where he was suppose to write the name of his father and 'Mom.' For his mother.
Combat training involved short hand to hand combat techniques with a master martial artist. The master in his assessment report claimed that Gary can't beat a two year old even with the child's arms tied behind him.
Safe to say, Gary passed the tests wholesomely and was on the next spaceship to planet Taveron. Through warp travel, a journey that would have taken twenty light years south of Orion's belt took only three days. Upon his arrival Gary marveled at the large aliens who were over seven feet tall and built like trucks with bulging muscles and veins running the length of their palid purple bodies. He met the Queen of planet Taveron who was so happy to see him, a large woman who was over seven feet tall as her subjects were and wore green armour plating that seemed to have been forged out of crocodile skin.
The large size of the inhabitants of planet Taveron unnerved Gary. He was suppose to fight one of them and he wondered how victory would be achieved. But the words his father who was a lumberjack used to say whenever he fell a tree 'The bigger they are the harder the fall.' spoke to him. Plus a lot of people believed in him, the people in black suits who always offered him warm smiles whenever he double saluted them. Commander Meekins who'd chosen him specifically for this mission despite the fact that he was the laughing stock of the army barracks since that day he'd attempted to see whether he could kill a fish by drowning it. A lot rested on his shoulders and many looked up to him. He won't fail them.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
The day of the fight arrived. Gary was dressed in military combat gear, leather leg greaves, insulated vambraces, a helm and body armor made of insulated alloy. He was ushered onto a podium that was ringed by several thousand bleachers that housed thousands of aliens. The noise was deafening as he entered through a door and came to stand on the raised podium. He could see the Queen on a raised dais flanking the podium where the fight was to be held. From the opposite door his combatant entered, a large alien who was half naked, spotting only a linen cloth over his privates emerged onto the podium. He had a large wingspan of well muscled arms and his muscles bulged in places Gary didn't even know could have muscles.
The opponent didn't have a weapon as per the rules of the fight. It was purely a matter of hand to hand combat. The opponent walked a circle of the podium, raising his arms to the cheering of the crowds. Gary had been told about this, a routine that was required of him to partake in. His opponent came to stand before him, he leaned down to meet Gary's gaze, stuck out a tongue, ran his index finger through it then smeared the saliva on his finger upon Gary's helm. "I mark you for death." The alien said. He then raised his arms and the crowd cheered. He then went and stood to the side of the podium, giving Gary a chance to partake in the ritual.
Gary raised both his arms and walked in a circle, the crowd mostly formed of aliens jeered, they booed I'm as he pumped his arms up and down. He then walked over to the alien while taking off his helm. "I mark you for death." He said and coughed up phlegm then spat on his opponent.
To Gary's surprise his alien opponent started screaming once the phlegm hit his forehead. He screamed and clawed at his face but where the phlegm touched steam erupted with a hiss. The alien's fingers that had rubbed at the phlegm started dissolving and his forehead started frothing as the saliva ate at the skin, bone then the brain of the alien who thrashed on the podium floor. Silence engulfed the arena, punctuated only by the screams of the alien.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
"So what you're telling me is, Gary won because the aliens of Planet Taveron are allergic to human saliva?" Meekins asked for the third time.
"Enzymes found within Saliva corrode their body. It's like acid to them." The man in a suit standing before Meekins' desk said.
"Well I'll be damned." Meekins answered, staring straight ahead.
submitted by Jus17173 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 18:21 No_Competition4897 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in WA Hiring Now!

Company Name Title City
Catholic Community Services Mental Health Therapist Aberdeen
BOEING Experienced, Lead, or Senior Propulsion Fuels Systems Certification and Software Focal Engineer Arlington
Bainbridge Vision Optometric Technician Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Vision Optician Bainbridge Island
Zimmer Biomet Warehouse Clerk, Bellevue (722822) 2 Bellevue
UnitedHealth Group Physician - Endocrinologist Bellevue
Kaiser Medical Assistant - ENT (40 hours Seattle) Bellevue
Kaiser Medical Assistant - Primary Care (40 hours Capitol Hill) Bellevue
Collabera Technical Support Technician Bellevue
BOEING Structures Stress Analysis Engineer (Mid-Level, Experienced, or Senior) Bonney Lake
BOEING Senior Project Engineer - Program Integration Manager Bonney Lake
Kaiser Surgery Aide Bothell
Leviton Manufacturing Electrical Engineer I Bothell
Leviton Manufacturing Electrical Engineer II Bothell
Leviton Manufacturing Product Manager, Connected Home Bothell
BOEING Experienced, Lead, or Senior Propulsion Fuels Systems Certification and Software Focal Engineer Bothell
BOEING Maximo Engineer Bothell
Alpha Consulting Corp. Computer System Validation Specialist Bothell
BOEING 737 Associate Payloads Technical Designer Bremerton
Kaiser Gastroenterology Medical Assistant Bremerton
Kaiser Medical Assistant-Gastroenterology-Endoscopy (40 hours Capitol Hill) Bremerton
Catholic Community Services Mental Health Therapist Bremerton
Catholic Community Services Mental Health Counselor Burien
BOEING Structures Stress Analysis Engineer (Mid-Level, Experienced, or Senior) Burton
Resiliency LLC Medical Laboratory Scientist Chewelah
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings , feel free to comment here if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by No_Competition4897 to WashingtonJobsForAll [link] [comments]