Fedex tracking us
FedEx - The World On Time
2009.09.15 02:32 nidadn9e FedEx - The World On Time
A place for discussion regarding anything FedEx. *We're not officially endorsed by FedEx nor are we a representation of the company*
2020.02.29 19:51 Beautiful_Numbers coronavirusSC
The purpose of this subreddit is to track the progression of Corona Virus, or COVID-19, specifically in South Carolina
2020.03.02 00:06 cryptodude1 CoronavirusCA
Tracking the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak in California
2023.06.01 17:46 harbingermedia 🔸🔷🔸 PODCASTS: 6 new episodes from HARBINGER MEDIA w/ The Breach, Alberta Advantage + more 🔸🔷🔸
2023.06.01 17:45 42k-anal-eggs How to handle a compulsive liar soldier?
We got this dude as a rehabilitative transfer from another company. Typical counseling packet a mile wide, his original unit wanted to chapter him but CSM sent him to us instead (as required by reg).
Examples from this dude: *Immediately requests a $3000 AER loan for vague, car related reasons. Changed the exact reason every time he was asked.
*We found out he had an ART15 for spending 3k on his GTC from his last company and not paying. (His excuse was that he was accidentally using his GTC for tap-to-pay instead of his phone. (GTC's don't have tap to pay but apparently his was the only one who does))
*Debt from the GTC has mysteriously disappeared after receiving the AER loan... Company refused to investigate
*Goes to sick call and gets quarters at least once a week, usually for something like nausea or diarhea
*Absolutely never leaves his house on quarters, oh no SGT not me, my jeep is bathed in mud from my driveway. oh wait, now I remember, it was my wife who went mudding
*he's been FTR 10 times in 4 months
Obviously there's so much more but I'll be brief.
We only communicate with this kid in the presence of multiple people, but my boss says we can't counsel him for lying constantly because we can't prove it (even if we can). I'm starting a calendar to track how often he misses work and why (so far, in 2 weeks he's missed 7/10 days).
We've barred him and he has an ART15 pending for his FTR, but is there something else we can do until his 90 period from his bar is over and we can start pushing for a chapter? This guy takes up SO MUCH of my time. And he never works. In May he only fixed 1 truck.
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2023.06.01 17:41 broffer [WTS] Tudor Oyster 7904 - Vintage from 1950s - $2395 - Recently Serviced - Watch Only
Beautiful vintage Tudor Oyster 7904 with silver dial that has an off-white patina. Gold hour markers, including the rare 3, 6, 9, 12 numerals. Red seconds hand and gold dauphine style hands. Tudor rose logo and SHOCK RESISTING on the dial. Signed Rolex crown.
The watch is in overall great condition, especially considering its age. The case and crystal have minimal wear and tear. There's a small ding above the bottom right lug hole by 5 o'clock, but otherwise nothing notable to call out.
-Purchased from a reputable dealer in Italy -Recently serviced and running well, keeping good time -Serial 132XXX dates it to the 1950s approximately -Comes with new blue leather strap as seen in the photos -No box, papers, or accessories. Watch only
-Price is $2395 including FedEx shipping in the US. PayPal or Venmo. Can also do F2F in NYC.
Please review the photos for exact condition and let me know if you have any questions!
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2023.06.01 17:39 PurpleSolitudes Best VR Headset in USA Available on Amazon
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Virtual Reality (VR) has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason. VR technology allows users to immerse themselves in virtual environments and experiences in a way that was previously impossible. One of the key components of any VR system is the headset. In this context, having the best VR headset available makes a world of difference. Here are some of the main reasons why having the best VR headset matters:
- Immersive Experience: A high-quality VR headset provides an immersive experience that can transport you to another world. Whether you are exploring a new city or fighting off aliens in space, the level of immersion that a great VR headset can provide is unparalleled.
- High-Quality Graphics: The best VR headsets on the market today offer high-resolution displays that provide crisp, clear visuals. This is essential for creating a truly immersive experience, as lower quality graphics can detract from the overall experience.
- Comfortable Design: A comfortable VR headset is essential for enjoying extended periods of use. The best VR headsets are designed with ergonomics in mind, providing a comfortable fit that reduces strain on the neck and eyes.
- Precise Motion Tracking: Accurate motion tracking is crucial for creating a seamless VR experience. The best VR headsets use advanced sensors and algorithms to track your movements with precision, allowing for precise control in virtual environments.
- Versatility: Some of the best VR headsets can be used wirelessly or with a PC, offering a greater range of options for users. This versatility allows for greater flexibility in how the headset is used and what types of experiences it can offer.
Meta Quest 2 is a next-generation all-in-one virtual reality headset that has taken the VR world by storm. Meta, formerly known as Facebook Reality Labs, has made some significant improvements to its already impressive Oculus Quest 2 headset, which makes the Meta Quest 2 stand out from its predecessor. In this review, we’ll dive into the features and capabilities of the Meta Quest 2 Read More
Virtual reality (VR) has come a long way in the last few years, with companies like Oculus pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible. The Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset is no exception. This headset provides an immersive and interactive gaming experience that truly transports you to another world. In this review, we will be discussing Read More
VR is no longer a futuristic concept, but a reality that has revolutionized the gaming industry. Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset is one of the leading virtual reality headsets in the market, designed to immerse gamers into a digital world of their choice. Released by Facebook-owned Oculus in 2019, Oculus Rift S has quickly become a favorite among gamers who want an affordable, high-quality VR experience. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the features and performance of the Oculus Rift S headset. Read More
Oculus Go standalone VR headset has been around for a while now, and it's still one of the most popular choices for those looking to experience virtual reality without the need for a high-end PC or console. The device promises to deliver an immersive, comfortable, and affordable VR experience that is accessible to everyone. Read More
Sony PlayStation VR is one of the most popular virtual reality headsets on the market. It offers an immersive and exciting gaming experience that transports players into their favorite games like never before. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the specs, design and comfort, controllers, battery life, software, and games offered by the Sony PlayStation VR. Read More
2023.06.01 17:36 MightBeneficial3302 Carbon Credits and the Future of Sustainable Business: Exploring Best Practices $SHFT $SHIFF
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The trading of carbon credits can help entities and the world meet their climate goals by cutting carbon emissions and practicing sustainable business. While some companies have various means to get rid of their footprint, many simply don’t have any at their disposal. And so using carbon credits is a necessity for them.
But how can carbon credits help promote the best practices that ensure the future of sustainable business? How can they be instrumental in advancing both corporate sustainability and global sustainable development?
This article will explain how by looking into best practices that can scale up the voluntary carbon market and help businesses achieve their climate change goals.
Companies Ally in Conquering Climate Change
The number of businesses pledging to help put an end to climate change by slashing their own GHG emissions continues to grow. Yet many of them find that they cannot fully get rid of their emissions, or even reduce them as fast as they may like.
The challenge is particularly tough for entities with net zero emissions targets, meaning removing as much carbon as they emit. For them, it helps to use carbon credits to offset emissions they can’t eliminate by other means.
Voluntary carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, are bought by companies for reasons other than compliance. These market instruments help direct private financing to climate-related projects and initiatives that won’t otherwise be developed or take off. More importantly, these projects also offer added benefits beyond just carbon reduction like job creation and biodiversity conservation.
Carbon credits also have the potential to bring down the cost of emerging climate technologies by providing startups enough capital. And most importantly, this market tool can help drive investments to places where nature-based emissions reduction projects are most viable.
How Can Carbon Credits Help Companies Reach Their Climate Goals?
Achieving climate goals seems to be the finish line among organizations these days. But what does it really mean?
Collectively, that means limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, and ideally 1.5°C. Putting that in context, it means cutting global GHG emissions by 50% of current levels by 2030 and bringing them to net zero by 2050.
More and more businesses are aligning themselves with this global sustainable development agenda. In fact, the number of companies with net zero climate commitments doubled in less than a year – from 500 (2019) to 1,000 (2020).
Among those businesses, reducing carbon emissions to be carbon neutral or net zero has major limitations. For instance, a big part of the pollution of companies operating in the cement industry comes from processes they simply can’t just stop.
So, how can they reduce their emissions without stopping their business operations? By buying carbon credits.
- Carbon credits work like permissions allowing holders the right to emit a certain amount of carbon under the compliance market. Within the VCM, carbon credits represent the corresponding quantity of carbon that has been reduced or removed by an initiative.
Remember that each carbon credit is equal to one tonne of carbon removed or prevented from entering the atmosphere.
Carbon credits have been in use for years now, but their voluntary use has grown immensely only in recent years. As seen in the chart from Katusa Research, buyers have retired (claimed the impact of the credit) about 150 million credits per year since 2020. https://preview.redd.it/pflf01n4ef3b1.jpg?width=977&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a7067467ba6afbb99b983cae95d8fc11c5b9e48e
And as global efforts to transition to low-carbon and sustainable practices intensify, demand for carbon credits will also grow. Based on industry estimates, annual global demand for carbon credits can go up to 1.5 to 2.0 gigatons of CO2 by 2030 and up to 7 to 13 GtCO2 by 2050.
That also means the VCM size can be between $30 billion and $50 billion
by the end the decade, depending on various factors such as price. https://preview.redd.it/8u6o3kfaef3b1.jpg?width=855&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=25b11c7550e5a96de80a5ef3832af771a7bd50c5
Per McKinsey analysis, the supply of carbon credits to meet such projected demand will come from these categories:
- avoided nature loss (including deforestation);
- nature-based sequestration, such as reforestation;
- avoidance or reduction of emissions such as methane from landfills; and
- technology-based removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While the future of sustainable business becomes possible through carbon credits, some challenges exist that may prevent VCM’s scale up. If not addressed fully, these roadblocks can bring down supply from 8-12 GtCO2 per year to 1-5 GtCO2
Key challenges include:
- Most nature-based supply of carbon credits is concentrated in few countries
- Difficulty in attracting enough financing
- Long lag times between capital raising and selling carbon credits
- Carbon accounting and verification methods vary, making supply of high-quality carbon credits
- Some confusions in the definition of the credits’ co-benefits (benefits beyond carbon reductions)
- Long lead times in verifying carbon credits quality, which is crucial to achieve market integrity
- Other problems include unpredictable demand, low liquidity and limited data availability
Though these challenges are indeed daunting, they are not invincible. By adopting best practices in using and integrating carbon credits into climate change mitigation measures, the VCM can help secure the future of sustainable business.
Best Practices to Scale Up the VCM
As we have demonstrated, carbon credits can help promote corporate sustainability by helping companies reach their climate goals. And as most of us know, large companies are the most guilty in dumping carbon into the air.
As long as they are making efforts in cutting their carbon footprint and bringing it to net zero, they can still continue doing business sustainably. But what can these big businesses and other market players do to ensure that the market doesn’t wither but grow?
Here are the top four ways that could further develop the VCM and scale it up for more carbon reductions.
Having Uniform Principles for Carbon Credit Definition and Verification
The market for voluntary carbon credits still lacks ample liquidity to transact efficient trading. What causes this is the fact that the credit attributes vary a lot, affected mostly by the project generating it. The carbon credit price depends on the specific project type and/or its location.
Each project also delivers a different set of benefits and added values, which value varies as well. This attribute makes the process of matching the buyer and seller quite difficult and time-consuming.
- But with uniform features that define or describe the credits, the match-making process would be easier. One of these features would be the quality of the credit.
The recent release of the International Council for the VCM of its “Core Carbon Principles” is a good starting point for both suppliers and buyers to refer to. The principles provided offer a good reference in verifying the carbon reductions claim of the credits.
This is also important when developing reference contracts of carbon credit deals and their corresponding trading prices on the exchanges. In this case, it would make it more efficient for the market to aggregate smaller supplies to match the larger bids of corporate buyers.
Developing Flexible Trading and After-Trade Infrastructure
A well-functioning VCM requires a flexible trading infrastructure. That function is to facilitate high-volume listing and trading of contracts. In effect, this enables the establishment of structured financing for project developers.
The top carbon exchanges often have this infrastructure in place, enabling them to support and help scape up the market.
The same goes for post-trade infrastructure, such as registries and clearinghouses. They must support the creation of futures markets and provide the necessary counterparty default protection.
- Carbon registries, in particular, should be providing necessary services and facilitating the issuance of identification numbers for each project.
These infrastructures can help promote transparency of data and information in the market, and so, increase trust among buyers and sellers alike. This is currently not the case in the VCM as access is limited, making tracking difficult. Issues in transparency are plaguing the market, putting some projects under query and further investigation.
Analytics and reports that put together accessible reference data from various registries, like how APIs do, can help advance transparency. This startup that developed the first API for carbon credits seeks to address this task, aiming to improve transparency.
Building Guidelines for the Correct Use of Credits
Though many companies use carbon credits to offset their emissions, they’re not the automatic option in reducing emissions. Some skeptics said that they deter businesses to offset their footprint instead of reducing them directly. Others argued that they become a tool for greenwashing – claiming to be eco-friendly though the business continue to emit more.
This is why there must be clear and robust principles governing the use of carbon credits to eliminate doubts.
Specifically, offsetting should be an option for emissions that are too difficult to abate. They should not overtake other climate mitigation measures while ensuring more carbon reductions actually happen.
This best practice requires a business to disclose its carbon emissions first and create a baseline for it. From there, carbon reductions targets and strategies will follow. Only by doing so can the company know how much emissions it needs to offset and buy the corresponding credits.
Safeguarding Integrity of the VCM
Same with transparency, the VCM is also facing the issue of integrity. The main culprit is the wide differences in the carbon credits’ nature, making them plausible for fraudulent transactions.
One solution is to have a digital system in place that registers and verifies the credits authenticity before issuance. Verifiers must be able to monitor the project’s impact regularly to confirm their carbon reduction claims.
That won’t just safeguard the integrity of the carbon credits but can also help developers in cutting down associated costs. Digitization translates to standardization that lowers issuance costs while improving offset credibility in corporate climate commitments.
Ultimately, a governing body is critical to enhancing integrity by overseeing market players’ behavior and the overall market functions.
In sum, businesses and other organizations can reduce their carbon footprint by employing clean energy technologies and sources. Still, many need carbon credits to complement their climate change mitigation efforts while aligning them with their corporate sustainability goals.
By following the four best practices identified, a scaled up voluntary carbon credit market can help secure the future of sustainable business. Article source >> https://carboncredits.com/carbon-credits-future-of-sustainable-business-exploring-best-practices/
2023.06.01 17:33 OwlCouncil23 Solar Sanctuary (Book 1) - Chapter 3
Previous Chapter Table of Contents
As I looked up at my boss, I could feel my heart racing with nervousness. No matter how much I do my job, whenever I’m asked a question, I feel like I’m back in school and didn’t do the homework. “Sarah, would you be so kind as to please explain what Dr. Shepherd’s report means in plain English,” my boss asked, bringing me back to the present moment?
I took a deep breath and looked down at the report Isaac had prepared, scanning through the pages to identify the parts my boss referred to as “not plain English.” As I flipped through the pages, I could feel my palms starting to sweat with anxiety as every pair of eyes bore down on me.
Finally, I found the section my boss referred to and started summarizing the key findings in my own words. “The object was observed for six months before reaching the heliosphere, which is the space we believe is the edge of our solar system,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. I paused, looking for the next section.
“Then, the new telescope gave us good readings and measurements on size and speed. This thing appears to be very big,” I continued.
“Approximately two weeks ago, the object completed a turning maneuver and turned on the engines to slow down. In those two weeks, we have seen a measurable reduction in speed. The transit estimate time for the entire heliosphere went from approximately four months to two years, give or take one year, due to the margin of error in our calculations,” I finished, looking up to see the other diplomats and delegates in the room staring at me with varying degrees of concern and disbelief.
“Any questions?” I asked, hoping that someone would come forward with a reassuring response and take the focus away from me.
As I finished my summary, my boss looked at me and said, “Thank you, Sarah. Why is there such a large uncertainty?” I blinked, trying to understand the question and how to answer it.
After a moment, I slowly replied, “Because we don’t know what the object will do. It might cut its engines after slowing down 1% or increase engine power and slow down further. There are many factors that could come into play, and we are still trying to understand them.”
My boss nodded, deep in thought, and then continued, “In light of the clear images we now have, we know this will be some form of first contact. We must be prepared no matter the kind of first contact. We will be relocating to Texas to better coordinate between all the teams involved, science, diplomats, military, and others.”
I couldn’t believe it. I knew we were talking about moving, but now it was happening. I couldn’t wait to call Issac and tell him the good news. I was finally going to see my kids daily, not monthly.
My boss continued, “Anyone not transferred to Texas with us will receive new assignments over the weekend and need to report to their new departments. It was a pleasure serving with you all. For those of us moving to Texas, you have two weeks off to make it there without any issues. We will have our first all-hands meeting on the Monday after two weeks. If you have any questions, please address them to your coordinators.”
As the meeting ended, I felt a sense of excitement and relief wash over me. I said my goodbyes to the few colleagues I knew were not coming with us to Texas and headed toward the front door. The thought of being closer to my children was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
Once outside, I hailed a taxi and quickly gave the driver my address. I couldn’t wait to call Issac and tell him the good news. As I dialed his number, my heart raced with anticipation, but to my disappointment, he didn’t pick up. So, I decided to text him instead. I told him I had good news and asked him to call me back as soon as possible.
As we drove through the city, I pulled out my phone and looked up plane tickets to Texas. A flight was available on Tuesday morning, which would be perfect timing for me to finish everything over the weekend and turn in my keys on Monday.
The taxi dropped me off in front of my apartment building before Issac could call me back. As I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of melancholy. The apartment was now nearly empty, with nothing but a blow-up mattress in the living room, a cheap chair I had picked up from a local store, and a single suitcase I had taken back and forth from Texas. No pictures, mementos, or personal touches would make this place feel like a home. All of that already moved, and I was here alone.
I walked to the kitchen and reheated some takeout on my only plate. As I sat down to eat with a plastic spoon, I felt a wave of gratitude. My “Bachelor Lifestyle” was finally ending, and I couldn’t wait to be reunited with my children. It was time to start fresh in Texas, and I was ready for a new beginning.
After finishing my meal, I washed the plate and decided to frame it as a bittersweet reminder of what I went through when I got home to Texas. I froze mid-wash, realizing this was precisely what Issac went through when we decided to move to New Your City. With a shudder, I resolved that I would apologize for what I had put him through.
John Cooper, 3 months after object turned on engines.
I spent my last day in the office at Langley poring over the latest images and reports from NASA. A sinking feeling grew in my stomach as I looked through the data. The eggheads have been geeking and writing report after report of all the wonderful and crazy things they were discovering. My job as the realist was to look at the worst-case scenario.
The images showed what appeared to be an alien craft, and the size of it was measured in thousands of miles. I prayed that the eggheads had made a mistake, that they had added a zero or two or misplaced the decimal point, but deep down, I knew that was wishful thinking. It would change everything we knew about our place in the universe if it was real.
Even more troubling were the tubes that the eggheads didn’t label as anything but suspiciously looked like launch tubes to me. They were estimated to be multiple miles in diameter. To put that into perspective, it was large enough to engulf a small Midwestern town and still have plenty of room for some cows. My mind raced as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing.
Pouring a finger of whiskey, I sat down at the computer to hammer out my last report from this office. Thankfully the eggheads have been adding “Layman’s Abstracts” as they labeled it, so my job was now to add the things their Utopian minds didn’t think of.
Still, I kinda felt offended by the label “Layman’s.” The first time I read it, I thought it said “Lame-man’s.”
As I sat there, sipping my whiskey and staring at the screen, I couldn’t help but wonder what the aliens’ ultimate goal was. Did they want to conquer us, or were they just passing through? Did they want to teach us something, or were they studying us like lab rats? And what did their presence mean for our future?
The fact that the aliens had brought about world peace was a silver lining but also a double-edged sword. It was true that no one wanted to waste bullets on each other anymore, but the new threat also had us all on edge. We were all just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I chuckled, imagining the aliens compensating with big guns for something, but I knew better. The reality was rarely that simple. The fact was were finally working together, sharing information and resources to prepare for the unknown.
Reagan was absolutely right. Nothing united humanity quite like a universal outside threat. We were shipping bullets and missiles to every country willing to build a bunker deep enough to hide it. We were basically treating explosives and ammo like candy on Halloween. And no one was complaining about budgets since there was a decent chance the banks would go away if the world ended.
I took a sip of my whiskey and leaned back in my chair. The idea of the aliens compensating with big guns for something still lingered in my mind. I wondered if they were as afraid of us as we were of them. Or maybe they were just being cautious. After all, they were the ones with the advanced technology.
As I finished typing up my report and printed out a few copies. As the printer spit out each document, I placed it in an envelope, sealed it with my stamp, and hand-wrote the date and time. One was for my official file. The next was for my boss. The last was for his boss.
As I walked over to my boss’s office with the two envelopes I had just sealed, I was already running through the list of things I needed to do next. This was the last time I would make this walk, at least until the next time I get stationed here. If the world doesn’t end at the next of this next assignment.
Once I arrived at my boss’s office, I knocked on the door and waited for him to call me in. As I entered, I handed him the envelope meant for him and explained that it contained my final report from Langley. I then gave him the second envelope, which was for his boss. As he took it from me, he thanked me for my work in this office and asked how my preparations for the move to Texas were going. I told him everything was in order and that I needed to pack my personal belongings and transfer my equipment.
He wished me luck and said he was sad to see me go. I said it was only sad if everything got blown to smithereens. Otherwise, we had more dances to have in the future. He nodded and ripped open one of the envelopes I delivered.
I left his office and walked out of the building to the car. All I had to do was load my single luggage case of clothing and momentous up my car and set off on the long 20 drive to Texas. Maybe longer if I got stuck in New Orleans again. In any case, I had to be there on Monday at a 9 am meeting as the new security advisor for future operations.
Eventually, I saw my wife’s missed call and text messages and called Sarah back. She told me the good news that she was being transferred full-time to Texas. And I couldn’t be happier. It had been months of her flying back and forth. The thought of her finally being here with me was comforting. The next day I called my brother and explained the situation to him. He and his friend were more than happy to help with the kids while I picked up Sarah from the airport.
I arrived at the airport early, eagerly awaiting Sarah’s plane’s landing. As soon as she stepped out of the terminal, I ran up and embraced her tightly. It felt like the world had stopped spinning, and for a moment, everything was perfect.
We returned to the house, and Sarah asked about my brother’s friend after greeting the kids. I could tell by the look on her face that she had figured out something I had missed. My brother and his friend exchanged nervous glances.
They said they’ve known each other for a while. They met at work. But then Sarah dropped the bombshell question: “How long have your brother and his friend been dating?”
My brother and his friend froze, and I felt like the world had come to a screeching halt. I had no idea that they were even dating, and it never occurred to me to ask. I felt like a complete fool for not putting two and two together. And after the initial shock, everything seemed to work out just fine. My brother and his friend seemed happy, and I was glad they had found each other.
Life was going well for me. Working with Sarah and Miles in the same building was great, and I enjoyed my job. However, the looming thought of the end of the world was always in the back of my mind. Ignoring the reports and rumors of the aliens and their intentions took a lot of work. But I tried to focus on the positive aspects of my life and not let the fear consume me.
That didn’t stop the reports pouring in, each more detailed than the last. We learned that the object was much larger than we had initially thought. And it seemed to be dumping an unbelievable amount of energy to slow down. All the instruments and measurements showed that it was slowing down at a gradual linear rate.
Five months later, I was in Miles’ office discussing the latest information packet from the Mars orbital satellites. We repositioned them to get good images of the opposite side of the object, and what we saw was both fascinating and terrifying.
The object was covered in strange symbols and markings, and as we zoomed in, we realized that they were not random. There was a pattern to them, and it was clear that they were not of human origin. There were also tubes and what appeared to be doors, hatches, windows, and hangers in various places.
Miles looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked, “What do you think, Isaac? How large do you think those doors are?”
I shifted in my seat uncomfortably. “I’m not really sure, Miles. I don’t have a point of reference to make an accurate guess. Everything would be pure speculation and useless.” I said, trying to evade the question.
Miles pushed me further, insisting that I give it a guess. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, if I had to guess, gun to the head, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were at least a mile high and 10 miles wide for the large ones. But the smaller ones were squished into little pixels, so they’re probably smaller than that.”
Miles raised his eyebrows in surprise. “That’s roughly what I was guessing as well. That’s huge,” he said, his voice trailing off as he tried to process the scale of the object we were dealing with.
I nodded in agreement. “It’s almost incomprehensible,” I said, feeling a sense of unease creeping over me as we discussed the object’s sheer size and complexity.
Obviously trying to change the subject, He asked, “Issac, do you have the data on positioning for the object. We’ve been tracking its deceleration for the past 6 months.”
“Sure thing, Miles,” I said, looking up the data on my tablet, “I have the latest data on the object’s speed and trajectory.”
Miles leaned forward, his eyebrows raised with interest. “Great, let’s see it.”
I pulled up the graph I had been working on that morning, indicating the steady deceleration the object had been experiencing. I handed the tablet to Miles, watching as he studied the information. His face looked like he was checking my math as he absorbed the information.
“What about future projections?” Miles asked, looking up from the tablet, and handing it back.
I quickly changed files and handed the tablet back to him, showing him the potential trajectory range of the object. “If it continues on this path, it will be in planetary orbital speeds to match Earth and within 10 lunar orbits of Earth,” I explained, gesturing to the graph with my hand.
Miles furrowed his brow, processing the information. “That’s closer than I was hoping for,” he said, looking back at the tablet. “That will give us a very near-earth orbit opportunity for observation and samples. Maybe even drop a rover on it.”
I nodded in agreement, feeling a sense of unease growing inside me. “Yes, it’s a bit too close for comfort for me,” I countered.
Miles looked up at me pensively and asked, “What’s the highest probability path?”
I thought for a moment, took the tablet from him, and highlighted the data and trajectory predictions, “Based on our data, there’s roughly a 10% chance that the object will be just beyond the moon when it’s in the same place.”
Miles sighed, sinking in his chair, defeated and deflated, “That might cause some problems for sample gathering, and we could lose out on many imaging possibilities.”
Sitting up straight, he took out a pad of paper. He started scribbling down some project ideas, occasionally glancing at me for my opinion. “What do you think the chances are that the object will get caught in our orbit?” Miles asked, looking up from his notepad.
I hesitated momentarily, weighing my words carefully, “It’s not impossible. I’d say it’s a decent chance, but we have to be very careful with any attempts to capture it. If we get it wrong, it could crash into Earth and cause a mass extinction worse than the one that killed the dinosaurs.”
The following is an expert from the Blog The Illuminati Insider
Greetings, fellow truth-seekers. It is I, the Illuminati Insider, here to share with you some exclusive information that will blow your minds and shake the very foundation of your beliefs.
My fellow conspirators, listen closely to the words I am about to say. I have uncovered some information that will make your hairs stand on end and your blood run cold. The craft we’ve been tracking for the past 6 months is not what we thought it was. It’s not some puny little thing that will fizzle out before it gets close to our planet. Oh no, my friends. This craft is as big as the continental United States, and it has cannons the size of cities.
I can hear you gasping in disbelief, but I assure you, this is not a drill. The object we have been tracking is not of this world. It’s a behemoth, a juggernaut, a beast that could obliterate our planet in a matter of minutes. This is not going to be a peaceful meeting, mark my words. We are in the midst of the war of the worlds.
We must prepare ourselves for the fight of our lives, my dear comrades. We must gather our resources, our weapons, our courage, and our faith, for we are about to face the ultimate challenge. This is not a time for hesitation, for second-guessing, for doubting. We must act, and we must act fast.
I know some of you might think that this is just another conspiracy theory, that I am just some lunatic spouting off nonsense. But I assure you, I have seen the evidence with my own eyes. I have talked to insiders, whistleblowers, and other brave souls who have risked everything to bring us this information.
We are not alone in this fight, my friends. We have each other, and we have the power of knowledge. We know what’s coming, and we can prepare ourselves accordingly. We can join forces, share our resources, and strategize our attack. We can fight this beast with all our might, and emerge victorious.
So, my fellow Illuminati insiders, let us not waste another moment. Let us band together and prepare for the war of the worlds. Let us show this alien force that we will not be taken down without a fight. Let us be brave, let us be fierce, let us be victorious.
So, my friends, stay vigilant, stay alert, and stay strong. We are in this together, and together we will prevail. Let’s show the world what we are made of.
The Illuminati Insider
The following is an excerpt from the blog GalacticGuru.net
Welcome, fellow seekers of truth and knowledge. This is the Galactic Guru, and I am here to share with you some important information that could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
As we have been tracking the strange craft that has been approaching our planet, it has become clear that this is no ordinary visitation. This is an invasion, my friends, and we must be prepared for the worst.
We have reason to believe that the aliens who are approaching our planet are not friendly. They are not here to make peace, to share knowledge or technology, or to be our friends. They are here to conquer us, to destroy us, to take over our planet, and to enslave our people.
We must not take this threat lightly, my fellow galactic warriors. We must be ready to defend ourselves, our families, and our way of life. We must stockpile weapons, ammunition, food, and seeds, and antibiotics to prepare for the coming invasion.
I urge you all to take action now, before it’s too late. Gather your resources, arm yourselves, and prepare for the worst-case scenario. We must be ready to fight for our survival, for our freedom, and for our future.
We must also remember that we are not alone in this fight. There are other like-minded individuals out there who are also preparing for the coming invasion. We must join forces, share our resources, and strategize our attack. Together, we can fight this alien force with all our might and emerge victorious.
We must also remember that knowledge is power. We must stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay aware of any new developments in this alien invasion. We must be ready to adapt to any situation, and we must be prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good.
So, my fellow warriors, let us not waste another moment. Let us prepare ourselves for the coming invasion, and let us fight for our survival. We can do this, my friends. We are strong, we are brave, and we are united. Together, we will defeat the alien invaders and protect our planet from harm.
Stay strong, stay vigilant, and stay prepared. The Galactic Guru is with you, always. And to get 20% off your next order please use our promo code. We will even give you free shipping if you do.
The following was left as a comment and promptly removed from the blog post above.
has always been a source of knowledge and information for those who seek to uncover the truth about the mysteries of the universe. However, I cannot help but feel angry at the recent post about the impending alien invasion and the need to stockpile weapons, ammo, food, seeds, and antibiotics.
While the post may seem like a call to action for those who want to protect themselves and their families, it is also a blatant attempt to profit from people’s fears and anxieties. It is an exploitation of an emergency situation to make money off the backs of those who are genuinely concerned about the future of our planet.
Moreover, the post fails to address the elephant in the room. The elites, the ones who are truly in power, are not concerned about the impending invasion. They have already made arrangements to join their alien overlords and sell us all out.
While the common people are being urged to stockpile weapons and food, the elites are secretly building their spaceships and packing their bags to leave the planet. They have no intention of fighting for our survival or protecting our way of life. They are only concerned about their own interests.
It is time for us to wake up and realize that we are being manipulated by those in power. We must not fall prey to fear-mongering and conspiracy theories that only serve to divide us and distract us from the real issues at hand.
Instead, we must come together, unite as a people, and demand that our leaders take responsibility for their actions. We must demand transparency, accountability, and a plan of action that truly puts the interests of the people first.
should be ashamed of itself for using an emergency situation to make money. It is time for us to hold them accountable and demand that they use their platform to promote truth, not fear, and to stand up for the common people, not the elites.
Previous Chapter Table of Contents
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2023.06.01 17:30 ToddErikson Cooperation of Emergency Services in the Border Region
I live in County Donegal not far from the border. I recently had my phone stolen, and went to the local garda station to report this. While there, I noticed from tracking that the thief crossed the border into NI. The garda officer mentioned it was not in their remit to confront the thief in this instance (which is somewhat understandable), however he mentioned even so that there are additional protocols that would have to be met, and he said that even in an active pursuit it's exceptional to enter the other jurisdiction without prior authorization.
I moved to Ireland recently from the US, and lived along the border with Canada. Similar to NI/ROI there is not a physical border in my region and the border isn't explicitly visible. Back home, the 911 dispatchers in both jurisdictions monitor one another and in emergencies police/fire/ems units will be dispatched/respond based on proximity to the emergency, regardless of the jurisdiction. Police can also continue a pursuit across borders and detain a suspect in their vehicle while waiting for the local police to arrive. If someone has a medical emergency or needs police assistance in an emergency in a border town here, would they theoretically have to wait for local units to respond that are 10s of miles away when a unit across the border might be 5 minutes away? It got me thinking how common it was for me to see Canadian police/fire/ems in my town back home and I don't think I've ever seen PSNI vehicles/NI ambulance service in the area ever.
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2023.06.01 17:26 WolfNightStudios The Prince's Pride: Running into the Prince of Flight Thorn! [M4F] [Fantasy] [Friends to Lovers] [Slowburn] [Witty Prince] [Prideful] [Mysterious Backstory] [Prince x Maid Listener] [Humble Listener] [Charming] [Soft but Prideful] [Wholesome] [Playful] [Flirtatious] [Not-so-Easy Listener]
This Script is ok for monetizing! Feel free to use this as you wish!
You, The Listener, are a new maid that has been hired into the Dukedom of Flight Thorn. A high-rise estate with an interesting reputation that seems to be as it is, 'interesting'. You could only think of how the job pays well since the estate is rich and profitable in its respectful area. While you were taking your survey around the area before you start your first day, you bump into somebody, only to realize it was the prince himself! You could only think how...'Prideful'? He was? You couldn't tell, but it felt as if he was putting himself in a fake mask...As he lifts your chin up, you could feel a small blush on your face before you immediately step aside and speedily make your way to the other side of the corridor. You think to yourself that you may only have encounter him once and that would be it...Only to see a small flicker of yellow in the distance on the training grounds just a few distance away in the dead of night. You step closer to it, and you see...the prince? What would he be doing here?
The Prince’s Pride
Running into the Prince of Flight Thorn
(Distant chatter with Prince Leopold Flight Thorn, talking to his other nobility friends, the sound of distant walking on cobble or marble floor, clacking of shoes.)
*He chuckles lightly\*
You should have seen Edward’s face when I defeated him at dueling swords with him! It was a wonderful expression! It had to be the mix of a newborn fawn and a disgusted baby face, it was hilarious!
Oh Please! I bet I can sweep you guys off your feet before you can even blink!
*He says with a smug tone, his words hinted in confidence\*
I would like to see you try your best at riding your horse, Charles. I heard that you fell off more than twice, all because of how cowardly you had become when you just barely trotted across a valley!--
Then maybe you can race against me, unless…You’re too shaken to do so!~
What’s wrong? Your fear of riding overtaking you already?~
Well…Guess I just proved how much riding embarrasses you! Maybe I can show off just for—-
*Stops walking, A shuffle clothing sound to imitate bumping into each other\*
Ah my apologies, I didn’t mean—-
Well….now this is a pleasant surprise!
It seems a new maid has been recruited! And she…
*He lifts her chin to look at her more closely, might be moved closer to sound like his face is close but not too close to theirs\*
Is a lovely maiden as well~
*The listener steps aside and walks away from Leopold, he is dumbfounded\*
H-Hey! Wait a moment!
*He chases after the listener and stops her in her tracks\*
*Tiny scoff\* You…You do know who I am, right?
*The Listener as she walks away, shoes clicking, hears Leopold\*
Well…that was surprising, to say the least.
*His noble friends walk up to him\*
Ah- W-Well…Maybe they were so enthralled by my presence that it was too much for them!
Besides, I think she seemed more…interesting than she let on…
Come on, doesn’t she intrigue you guys in the slightest? I mean, she does have some charm in her…call it a mysterious sense…
(As Leopold and his friends walk away talking amongst each other, the sound of their shoes fades away.)
(The Listener is making their rounds around the palace, the sound of chirping crickets, the swaying of trees filling the air. Only to find Leopold in the training grounds, but to her surprise, reading. She walks slowly up to him, tapping him on the shoulder, he jumps startled.)
*He yelps in surprise\*
*He sighs relieved\* It’s just you…
Oh! I-I’m…just catching up on some studies is all!
*He stutters\* Oh- uh...are fairy tales and legends a part of the empire’s history? O-Oh yeah! Of course!
*He sighs\* I’m not very convincing, am I?... *He chuckles nervously\* Lying was never my strong suit.
*He places a hand behind his head, chuckling embarrassingly\*
My father…he was very strict with me as a child. So, I…never got to truly experience what I wanted to do as any child would want. Of course, My father could only prepare me for what is to come and…that time has come.
*The Listener sits down next to him, calmly listening and being empathetic towards Leopold\*
What better way to escape than to dive into the realms of fairy tales and legends. I…never knew what it felt like as a child, and now that I got to bask in it now, I regret not doing this sooner… *He laughs, seemingly reminiscent of the stories he has read\*
*He laughs softly\* I’m surprised, you seem like you’ve been in my situation countless times before. But that would be impossible now, wouldn’t it?
*He snickers\* I had a feeling you were a mysterious person, turns out you are just as interesting as an untold tale.
*A brief silence falls between them\*
I know that the maids and butlers make their rounds around the estate at this time of night, but…what brings you all the way out here? I thought you would be closer to the main building.
I see…Well no need to fret, my darling, tis only me~ *He said, playfully as he winked\*
Hey!~ I saw that look in your eyes, you don't have to be shy if that’s what’s transpiring! A-Actually! There’s a rule that’s stated that a maid or butler should not stray too far from the main building when doing their nightly chores, you could get into a lot of trouble! ~ You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
Just, keep this little event a secret, ok? I don’t tell the head maid your presence here, you don’t tell anyone about my reading habits! *He gestures towards the stack of books next to him\*
*He sighs\*, I never…had somebody talk to me like this before…it's a nice change of pace. I feel more…relaxed, when I'm with you, strangely enough. I don’t know why…It’s weird but, It’s a wonderful feeling.
*They fall silent\*
Well, um…I believe it’s time for us to part ways.
*He gets up as The Listener agrees\*
We wouldn’t want to get caught red handed now, would we?
What say you?
*He offers his hand to pull her up from her seat.\*
(Listener takes his hand and they slowly walk away, treading lightly upon the cobblestone path.)
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2023.06.01 17:25 meditationismedicine How to handle CSP on a frequently updated blog site?
One of our clients (we’re a Wordpress shop) had a third party security audit done on their site, and one of the findings was that they needed to add a CSP header, which we did. However, they run a blog that they update almost daily with tons of externally hosted images and iframe embeds. They also frequently out new tracking pixels on the site without notifying us. This has led to a game of whac-a-mole where I’m going in daily to add new exceptions to the CSP. It’s now clocking in at over 100 exceptions and is starting to feel pretty pointless to me. Just curious if others have run into something like this and how you handled it. Thanks for the help!
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2023.06.01 17:24 bizrelated Make a Green Scene June 6 Metro Courthouse
| || | submitted by bizrelated to nashville [link] [comments]
The Alliance to Conserve Nashville's Highland Rim Forest is having a "stand in" for the Forest at the Metro Council budget public hearing on June 6 at 6pm.
17 of Nashville's long range plans call for conserving and preserving the open space that surrounds Nashville and we are woefully behind schedule. It's time to show up for the Forest and demand that Nashville make good on its many commitments to "Champion the Environment"
A new informal coalition of over a dozen Nashville non-profits and hundreds of concerned citizens is asking everyone to wear green on June 6 at 6pm on the Metro Courthouse steps for a group picture, then we'll go inside the Council Chamber to advocate for a budget amendment to be introduced by CouncilMember Burkley Allen to appropriate conservation funds to put us back on track. https://preview.redd.it/wm344zgkcf3b1.png?width=1080&format=png&auto=webp&s=70d170ac8ae24bba03b789aa17ed97bbb56ac542
More at http://www.nashvillehighlandrimforest.org/
PLEASE SHARE THIS AS WIDELY AS YOU CAN!
2023.06.01 17:22 mongushu Designing a simple breakout board for a 9mm Potentiometer...
2023.06.01 17:17 Sea_Measurement_5448 Is serving on conference session committees kind of a junk role?
TLDR: Is serving on conference session committees kind of a junk role? (social sciences, humanities)
I'm a tenure-track prof and in the last couple years got invited to serve on steering committees for a couple of topic groups within larger annual national acaademic associations & conferences. It's the sort of thing where you serve for 2 or 3 years, and work on planning sessions, selecting or soliciting presenters, coordinating speakers and respondents, manage the listserve, maybe organize a meal reservation for a restaurant near the convention center.
At first it seemed like an honor to be invited into 'leadership,' but the more I do this, the more I think this is some busy-work admin job that people just lob off onto the grad students/junior tenure-track people as unpaid labor to keep these (expensive) associations and conventions running. One of these has turned out to be a total time sink. Then again, I guess some of these have been sort of good opportunities to network. But the benefit to email labor ratio seems kind of low. I only have 2 more years on a couple of these committees and am kind of glad about that. And it makes me wonder about the wisdom of agreeing to more of this in the future or not, or of advising younger faculty/doctoral students on whether to agree or avoid this sort of stuff themselves. This morning I was drafting an email to the a group on soliciting nominations for somebody else to cycle on to three-yr leadership since somebody is cycling off, and honestly it feels kind of dumb to be working on this thing where some future person is going to have to then work on figuring out the leadership cycle for yet other future people to pick up the work... And none of this is actually paid work, nor helping us directly on teaching or scholarship.
How do you think about this?
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2023.06.01 17:17 partoftheplan4 CSA for latebloomers
Recently I have put the pieces together and reflecting on them makes all the sense in the world. Maybe some of you have similar stories. I am GenX which means my parents were flower children. They had this pie in the sky delirium that only comphet families could be happy and successful. I wasn't built that way, always left of center, tomboy, I latched on to my bestie in preschool and never let go. She was hurt. I remember her telling me when we were tiny what had happened. So then I was 11 with boobs and no idea what to do with them, this guy from the neighborhood a few years older would come over, never kissing, just feeling me up, I told mom. She made it my fault and shamed me. A friend's dad felt me up, I was told I was "blowing it out of proportion". Then I was 12. Precocious, and my bestie was my first French kiss. That was AWESOME. I went to camp and practiced some more. Loved frenching and the power I felt kissing people. All the people. Turns out a 36C gets ya lots of kisses. So then I was 13 and this is where it gets weird. We moved to a very small k-12 school all in the same building. I caught the eye of a senior. Our parents saw nothing wrong with us hanging out watching movies under blankets and he did things I hadn't experienced before. Didn't like it or him that much, but he was my ride home and ticket to freedom. There was a field trip where another senior did some other "new" things on the bus only a week after I turned 13. He had a mustache. Went to camp again the following summer and that's when I decided I liked girls WAY BETTER than icky stinky boys with mustaches. So I assimilated into the queer culture of the camp counselors. 1 of them had been my favorite riding instructor and 1 of them became a predator. She literally was a "known pedophile " as stated by our family attorney. Things went sideways and I was not only victimized at 12-14 by these women, but ultimately taken away from the only place in the world I felt safe. My parents had to lawyer up to regain custody from the "known pedophile " and I absolutely was not allowed any contact, I couldn't walk my dog around the block even due to the pervasive influence this woman had on my life and dhs/cps. So the fact that I was gay was not allowed even a little bit. Mama read baby names and bought bridal magazines, she ENFORCED how to housewife by winning a Goodhousekeeping contest and attending every hostess party in a 5 County radius. By the time I was 18, I was good at masking hetero to make mama and daddy happy in apology for my summer of unfortunate incarceration with the pedophile riding instructor. Oops. So to leave my small town, and have a chance at college, I swung the trapeze bars from guy to guy to husband without looking back. Forbidden. Not allowed. "Gay people aren't happy," she said. Now my bestie is on the same track, married a year later and we enter babyhood as we are expected to do in our "good societies." We were broken inside from previous traumas that we didn't even know would shade our futures...we were just busy living our expectations. I came out to my husband a few years later. He supports me. I love him for the person he is and it's his heart not his parts that have kept it together for 23 years. (Never have to buy batteries either). I LONG to know what life would have been if I had been able to grow up purely gold star lesbo...I think of that life every day and wish to be in the company of a woman that will accept all of me while I finish unpacking a little bit more of this puzzle. I'm trying to sort out, and maybe someone will know the answer here, if I need to just keep it movin forward, or how much more looking back and reflecting is necessary as I enter the 2nd half of my life. Like can I just move on from that evening at horsecamp that changed every single other thing for eternity? Or do I need to find a very competent therapist to help the unraveling? I have anger that my entire family let me hang out with seniors for the sake of ride sharing and entertainment when I was only 13. I had no boundaries at that age and knew I'd be shamed if I said anything. So horsecamp didn't have boundaries either. Now I'm locked up like ft Knox with the exception of my bestie who is my absolute everything in all her brokenness too. I also need to state, I'm not blaming mom for my mess, but the patterns were established by her before I knew what was happening. So therapy to rehash? Or keep moving forward? Thank you for reading.
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2023.06.01 17:16 Earl_of_Phantomhive REMINDER: Please report rule-breaking or otherwise bad/questionable behavior!
As there's been an uptick of trolling and transphobia this morning (maybe because of Pride Month?), I think it's a good time to remind everyone that the best way to deal with trolls is to not engage and to report their posts/comments for moderator review.
Do not reply to them. Do not message them. Do not follow them and read/engage with their bigotry on other subreddits. Feeding the trolls only begets more trolling, and it's not worth your time, energy, and mental health to deal with their nonsense. They're looking for a fight because it's fun to them, they are not going to listen to any of your arguments or attempts at diffusion.
Additionally, the reports system is the best and quickest way to deal with the problem. We check the report queue repeatedly, every time we're online. DMing or chatting the mods personally makes it harder to keep track of what's happening, as it boots the problem out of the official moderating system. If you see that we're online and we haven't yet reacted to your reports, you can send us a message through modmail to get our attention, but please remember that we're people too: we're a small mod team and we have IRL things that take precedence at times.
Feel free to report anything that you think a mod should look at--even if we don't always remove a post/comment, we do look at each and every report and consider the best actions. (We don't have access to the ID of the reporter, in case that's something that's holding folks back from making use of the report system)
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2023.06.01 17:16 Capable-Farm2622 Vyvanse shortage!
We live in nyc and can’t find Vyvanse of any dosage for our teen who has been in stimulants since 4 years old (you read that correctly! For kindergarten placement, thr neuropsychologist told us he needed to go to a school for kiddos on the spectrum who had enough adults to manage him unless he was on stimulants, because he wasn’t able to do any testing until he was on meds!)
We can’t even find short or long acting alternatives to Vyvanse (our dr would prescribe them)
To give you an idea of how much he needs it, his elementary school SPECIAL NEEDS school called us to pick him up the one day we forgot to give him meds. In high school he flunked a test the day he forgot to take them. (He is normally an A student, like most of you with adhd he is smart)
We are desperate. We have called my home state Maryland(even though our insurance will not cover it out of state) so that family could fedex it (as suggested by our pharmacist since others are doing it) but I can’t find it.
We have begged our mail order pharmacy. Nope. None.
We will go anywhere at this point, we will rent a car and drive or fly there, we have family in Ohio and California. We will pay full price, we will buy someone’s. (We are now using old pills with a lower dosage that we kept and supplementing with short acting Ritalin dr oked)
We are also willing to fly to Toronto Canada!
Can anyone tell us if your area has it?
He’s got testing coming out and he flunked a test earlier this year when he forgot meds (he is an A student when on his meds).
Help!! I know you guys will understand…
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2023.06.01 17:16 KinnardSkinnard Gasoline Strategies?
My wife (23f) and I (27m) just dropped our Costco membership because I ran the numbers and since we never really shop at Costco and only use them for the gas the 4% rewards we get on the Citi card literally just pay for the membership… and there are is another station near us that has identical pricing too.
Does anyone know of any beneficial loyalty programs that we should be using instead?
Context: the only credit cards we have are Chase (Amazon) and Citi (Costco). The Citi card will be expiring and the Chase card offers 2% rewards on gas. We’re not really looking to get another card, we finally hit 800 on credit score and I’m already expecting a small drop for when the Citi card goes away.
We probably spend between $2000 and $2500 annually on gas (obviously depending on price… we’re on track for just over $2000 this year assuming no black swans). We live in the Midwest.
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2023.06.01 17:12 MrBoldfaceYT how to fix unreal engine crash?
2023.06.01 17:10 Significant-Repair42 Etsy published some guidance on Payment Reserves
Protecting the Etsy marketplace - Welcome to the Etsy Community
In light of the recent increase in questions we’re seeing about how payment reserves work, we wanted to share more details about why this is an important safeguard for our community. We take our responsibility to ensure that Etsy is a trusted and safe place to shop and sell very seriously. That’s why we have payment account reserves, which help protect the marketplace for everyone. What’s a reserve?
When a reserve is active on a seller’s payment account, a percentage of a seller's earnings on each physical order they receive will not become available for deposit for a period of time. This helps to confirm that the seller is able to keep up with customer demand by shipping on time and providing reliable and trusted customer service. Funds in reserve are released for deposit once the order is shipped and in transit (confirmed through tracking events from your postal carrier). In fact, on average in 2022, funds from most orders became available to sellers within 2 weeks of the order date.*
*Based on an internal analysis of orders in reserve during 2022. Why might my funds be placed in reserve?
Temporary payment account reserves may be placed on accounts based on different risk factors, such as:
- A sudden sharp increase in orders
- Orders are consistently missing tracking information or tracking events
- Orders are not shipped on time
- A recent increase in refunds
- If they are a new shop to the marketplace
Our Etsy Payments Policy
lists some of the different risk factors we use to determine if an account reserve is triggered. Reserves can be placed or removed from a payment account at any time, and a shop could have a reserve placed on their account more than once if they continue to meet risk criteria. A payment account reserve is placed on a seller’s account due to a combination of factors, so it’s unlikely that a reserve would be placed due to only one change or risk criteria. We do not share the specific logic or thresholds we use to determine if a reserve is placed on a seller’s account to strengthen our protection against fraudulent account activity. What to do if you’re placed in reserve
Check your email. If you have a reserve put on your payment account, we’ll send you an email that outlines those details of how long and what portion of your funds will be unavailable for deposit. You’ll also be able to find this information in your payment account
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of a payment account reserve being placed on your shop:
- Add tracking that Etsy can confirm when you can. This will allow any held funds to be released as soon as the order ships.
- Ship your orders on time. If you find yourself continuously unable to meet those timelines, adjust processing times accordingly.
- Only mark your orders as complete after they've been handed to the shipping carrier.
- Respond to any messages from customers quickly—within 24 hours if you can. This is key to receiving Star Seller status, and Star Sellers are exempt from payment account reserves.
- Stay up to date on seller policies to ensure your shop is remaining in compliance.
You can learn more about payment account reserves in Etsy’s Help Center
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2023.06.01 17:08 jiartw Does this mean the sender posted my order or they’re still waiting for her to post it? (Evri)
2023.06.01 17:07 Trash_Tia There's a game of Marco Polo going on at Camp Redwood in the next part, coming in a few days 🙏👀 Here's a preview 🙏
When the footage ended, static exploding on the screen, I turned to Rowan, who’s gaze was glued to the TV screen. I did notice something odd, as thoughts spiralled in my head. Rowan couldn’t sit still. He was tapping his fingers on the arm rest, his feet jumping up and down. In the dim light of the bunker, I glimpsed a sheen of sweat glistening on his forehead, and the flesh of his neck. He was feverish, now that Iooked at him properly. “Rowan, are you feeling okay?” I asked, when he twisted back to the laptop, manically biting his fingernails. But Rowan wasn't just biting, he was gnawing.
Which he previously thought was a filthy habit. He had yelled at a camper for chewing on her nails a few days earlier. Now that I was noticing it, I couldn’t… stop noticing it.
The boy’s whole demeanour had changed; the way he was sinking into the chair, instead of sitting up straight like usual—- I used to call it having a stick up his ass. The boy started typing on the laptop, ignoring me. But when I watched the pattern of his fingers, he was just typing gibberish. Footsteps pounded above us, Harry and Carmel acting as the kid’s’ brainwashed foot-soldiers. Or, more likely—- somehow, if the animal crackers had caused the littles, or I guess, the fully grown forty year old criminals, to relapse in age—- then maybe it was possible for the same thing to happen to us. My gaze flicked to Rowan again, who was tapping a beat on the laptop tracking pad, swaying back and forth, his eyes elsewhere.
“Marcoooooo!” Harry shouted from above, giggling with Carmel. I had to guess their mental age had to be at least 8-10 years old.
Rowan seemed to jolt in the chair, twisting his head around, his eyes, suddenly incredibly childlike and playful, and very Un-Rowan, were finding the ceiling, his mouth stretching into a smile, like he was seeing butterflies. His eyes flashed to me, and I caught a twitch in his lip. I knew that look. It was the look on my seven year old sister, who knew mom was mad at me, and wanted to make it even worse. I lifted my index to my lips, miming for him not to even try, but the boy just mimicked me, bugging out his eyes and pressing his finger to his grinning mouth. “Don’t.” I managed to whisper. “You fucking dare.”
Slowly, I turned around, grabbed the salt I’d found in Allison’s cupboard, and a flat can of soda. Without making too much movement, I poured a handful of salt into the can. But Rowan seemed to know exactly what I was doing. Because in the time it was taking me to advance towards him, with the can of salty soda, one arm shakily ready to grab hold of him, and put him into a headlock, he was cupping his mouth, all logic and everything adult, everything he had been as our leader, igniting in playful eyes, leaving me the last one standing.
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2023.06.01 17:05 alex-eagle Is there any music streaming service that allows me to stream ATMOS on a Desktop PC with an ATMOS receiver?
This is an honest question. I think I'm going to throw the towel. I've tried Apple Music, no ATMOS on Desktop App nor iTunes App, tried TIDAL, no ATMOS on the desktop App but works on FireTV (I hate that device and I hate it even more than I have to somehow connect it to my receiver on a separate line to be able to hear ATMOS tracks when I have the PC connected through HDMI.
Spotify does not even have Hi-Res audio, Deezer doesn't have ATMOS, Qobuz is only available in the US and Europe and not in my country (Panama), Amazon Music HD works on FireTV with ATMOS but the desktop app does not support ATMOS and also the app itself is horrible and the way they handle the library is preposterous.... I'm stuck and it feels there is no escape, I cannot hear ATMOS on a PC, even when there are lots of games supporting it quite easily with the Atmos App which I've purchased.
From all the services mentioned it seems Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited HD and Tidal are the ones supporting ATMOS and only through smartphones and selected devices, why is that?. Who in their right mind will enable ATMOS on a smartphone yet, having dedicated ATMOS equipment, don't provide support for it from a PC?. What is going on here?
I'm deeply sad about the current state of afairs regarding the PC. Is there any hope?
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2023.06.01 17:03 A_Vespertine Souls & Scarabs at Mathom-Meister's Flea Market
“I’m sorry; we’re going to astral travel to a flea market?” Charlotte asked incredulously as she watched Genevieve and I set up a meditation circle under the shade of a towering old willow tree in my cemetery. “What if we want to buy something? How will we bring it back?”
“We’re not going there to shop, Lottie. Samantha’s finally had a vision about Emrys,” Genevieve explained.
The Veil between the Physical and Astral Planes is exceptionally weak in my cemetery
, especially at night and on hallowed days. When I sleep there, my subconscious mind is highly receptive to all manner of revelations from the Spirit World. When I saw a Blood Moon rise on the night of May fifth, the same night as a penumbral eclipse, I knew that my dreams would be prophetic.
“I had a dream about him last Friday,” I expounded. “He’s at some sort of otherworldly marketplace, one that’s not connected to the Crypto Chthonic Cuniculi, so it’s mostly inaccessible to the Ophion Occult Order. In my dream, Emrys invited us to come and speak with him while we were lucid. He drew a sigil for me, the same one I’ve drawn in the middle of the mediation circle. He said that all I’d have to do is toss an Undying Rose – the earthly effigy of the rose Persephone used to steal a drop of his blood – into the sigil and it will become an astral portal to where he is.”
I held up the deep purple rose that I had cut from its bush earlier that day. I don’t know for certain where the roses came from, but my best guess is that they were made by the same Occultist who hallowed my cemetery to Persephone; Artaxerxes Crow. They have some connection to Emrys as well, since the only other time I saw someone else use one was when his avatar was summoned into the Physical Plane on Halloween 2020
Knowing that Emrys wouldn’t dare to set foot in a place that was sacred to the Goddess who was ultimately responsible for his cosmic defeat, I gently tossed the rose into the middle of the sigil.
“He invited all of us?” Charlotte asked with an incredulous raising of her eyebrow.
“He said me and my coven. If he had just meant me or me and Genevieve he would have said that,” I replied. “You and Elam are coming too. I want as many eyes on this place as possible so that we don’t miss anything. We may not get an opportunity like this again.”
“And this is safe? Visiting some random flea market between worlds?” Charlotte asked.
“Samantha and I have visited the Underworld and come back no problem,” Genevieve reminded her. “So long as we’re bound to our bodies and Elam is bound to Samantha, we can come back anytime. Don’t worry; this is going to be a blast! Adventures like these are the best part of being a Witch.”
“The only reason you were able to go to the Underworld is because Samantha’s cemetery came with an astral portal in the back,” Charlotte countered, gesticulating in the general direction of the archway that was still partially visible behind the light spring foliage. “Other than that, when have any of us ever done anything useful with our astral projection? This is still a physical place, right? We don’t have any of our physical senses available to us when we astral project, and I get extremely disoriented trying to navigate the mortal plane with clairvoyance alone.”
“It is a physical place, but one saturated with astral energy and full of occultists and occult artifacts. It will be extremely illuminated to our clairvoyance,” I assured her. “Elam will also be there to guide us. As a ghost, he’s much more practiced at traversing the mortal plane in an astral form.”
Charlotte folded her arms over her chest and turned to look at Elam, who was leaning up against the willow tree as he waited for us.
“I don’t suppose you could go and scout the place out for us ahead of time?” she asked.
“I can’t go too far from Samantha, and definitely not across planes,” he said with a shake of his head. “But Eve’s right. Your astral bodies will be in no danger, and you can return here in an instant whenever you want.”
“But what about Emrys? Didn’t that book
Leon gave you say that he’s some sort of soul-flayer?” Charlotte asked me.
“It did,” I admitted. “Keep in mind though, that book was written by his enemies. I want to hear his side of things before this conflict of theirs spirals out of control.”
“Any update from Chamberlin about that?” Elam asked.
“Yeah, he said that after he failed to purify the Sigil Sand, Ivy’s onboard with negotiating some kind of truce with Emrys,” I replied. “The Grand Adderman’s still reticent, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s running out of options. I need to find out if Emrys will agree to peace talks.”
“Um, I get that, but I’m still kind of
hung up on him potentially flaying our souls,” Charlotte reiterated.
“If Emrys and the Ophion Occult Order go to all-out war, there’ll be a lot of collateral damage and innocent souls caught in the crossfire,” Genevieve told her, gently grabbing hold of her and looking her straight in the eye. “Samantha, Elam, and I are doing this because if there’s any chance we can put an end to this before it starts, then it’s our responsibility to try. You don’t have to come with us, Lottie, but you’re still a member of our coven. Samantha and I would both feel a lot better with you there to help us.”
“Arghhh! All right, fine! I’ll come with you,” Charlotte gave in, plopping her butt down on the edge of the meditation circle. “If we’re holding hands, that will help keep our astral bodies together too, right?”
“I believe it should, yes,” I smiled at her, sitting down and reaching out for her hand.
Genevieve lit the incense and her bong filled with the entheogenic Delphi Dream, before sitting down to join us. She took a hit from the bong before passing it to me, and then to Charlotte before setting it aside out of the circle.
“Start with taking a deep breath, completely filling the lungs, and holding it for five heartbeats,” she guided us as she took hold of each of our hands. “Exhale completely, and wait five more heartbeats before breathing in again. Eyes closed, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Focus on the astral energies flowing through you with each breath, gently aligning each chakra until those energies are enough to lift you up and out of your body.”
In unison with one another, the three of us slowly breathed in and out, ignoring the material world around us and focusing upon the task at hand. Eve was first, as usual, and because we were all holding hands, Charlotte and I felt her eagerly tugging us up to speed us along.
I opened my eyes, and beheld the dull and muted Physical Plane through my clairvoyance, everything outshined by the radiant forms of my coven mates. I noted that Genevieve had eschewed her normal skyclad form when astral projecting and instead wore a cloak like Charlotte and I.
“Are you worried this place might have a no shirt, no shoes, no souls, no service policy?” I teased her.
“I just don’t want to risk a confrontation over it. I realize how important this is,” she answered. “Though I’m not actually wearing shoes, now that you mention it.”
“Christ, look at the sigil Samantha drew!” Charlotte said, pointing down at the meditation circle beneath us. The sigil wasn’t just glowing but flowing as well, churning the Aether around it in a misty, spectral vortex. “It’s an astral portal, isn’t it?”
“Oh yeah. It’s not stable, though. Good for one trip only,” Genevieve said with a delighted smile. “And Lottie, since we’re Neopagan Witches, try not to swear by Christ, okay?”
“Jesus!” she swore, both in defiance and in genuine annoyance.
“Elam! Elam, come join the circle! I don’t want to take any chances of severing our bond,” I instructed, letting go of Charlotte’s hand and waving him in between us.
Faithful Familiar that he was, he obeyed without hesitation. Despite my concerns, I think that he probably could have stayed behind if he had wanted. The fact that he was willing to follow me to an unknown otherworld without complaint really made me appreciate how devoted he was to me.
“We step in together on the count of three, got it?” I instructed, each of them nodding clearly in response. “One. Two. Three!”
We all extended our right feet into the vortex together, and the instant we did we were swept away, falling out of our own world and tumbling between the cracks of countless others. They weren’t real, I don’t think. At least, not as real as our world. They were potential realities, or realities that could have been once but now can never be, or fantasies that are so persistent in the minds of real people that in some sense or another, they become real themselves. I only saw glimmers of them, glimmers in nebulas made of primeval chaos and uttermost void.
It was outside of time, that place we travelled through, or at least we had no sense of it there. Our souls were haphazardly spat out upon a surreal landscape of earth, sea, and fire. Hilly plains of volcanic ash, incandescent calderas of lava and bubbling hot springs all intermeshed in a chaotic mosaic that didn’t seem to abide by any laws of geology or geography that I was familiar with. A strong but slow wind pushed fractal formations of dark silver clouds through a pale silver sky, illuminated by a single white orb which could have been either a bright moon or a faint sun.
While our spectral feet left no trace upon the ash we now stood upon, our presence nonetheless elicited a response from some of the local fauna. We were just able to catch a glimpse of some kind of shimmering scarabs burrowing themselves into the ash to escape the four otherworldly ghosts that had invaded their territory.
“Holy shit,” Charlotte murmured as we all gazed out upon the strange world we had found ourselves on. “This really isn’t on the Astral Plane. This is a real planet. This a real, alien
planet! This is unbelievable!”
Genevieve glided over to one of the bubbling pools and peered into it, looking for any more signs of life.
“There’s some kind of bluish-grey algae growing on the rocks down there, and I think I can make out some small arthropods too. This planet’s alive!” she announced with glee, smiling and looking up at the alien sky.
Conjuring an astral approximation of my staff, I plunged it into a small mound of ash beside me. I watched curiously as the scarabs shot out in all directions, moving too quickly for me to get a good look at them, before scurrying back into the surrounding ash.
“These bugs can sense our presence,” I remarked. “How and why would clairvoyance evolve in insects on this world, and why would their first instinct be to flee?”
“Samantha!” Elam called out. “I think I found the Flea Market.”
We all gathered around him and looked where he was pointing. On a distant dune, we beheld the moulted carapace of a colossal insect, gleaming a brilliant, lustrous gold in the broken white light.
“That’s impossible!” Charlotte claimed. “That thing must be hundreds of meters long! No insect, no animal period could ever get that big on the Physical Plane!”
“It could be the Incarnation of some kind of Titan,” Genevieve suggested. “But… it’s dead. I can tell that even from here. It’s dead. It’s the corpse of a dead god, and now it’s being used as a swap meet with a punny name. Either whatever killed it just abandoned it, or…”
“Or is running the place,” I finished for her. “Well, we should see if we can find Emrys.”
In an instant, the world moved around us until we were at the entrance to the Flea Market. The colossal carapace was hollow inside, of course, and had been filled with a bustling city that looked like it had been created in the most ad hoc
manner possible. There wasn’t a single straight street to be seen, and they converged with one another at random intervals. Stalls and buildings varied wildly in both design and materials, all imported from a plethora of different cultures across the planes.
Enormous shards of luminous glass levitated above the throng like a thousand Swords of Damocles, any or all of them seeming capable of succumbing to gravity at any moment. In the very center of the moulted husk dangled a great spiralling chrysalis or hive woven of iridescent silk, its function not being immediately apparent to me.
There must have been thousands of people there, and hundreds of merchants hawking their wares. Most of those who looked human still seemed a little off, like they were members of ethnicities that didn’t exist in our world. Some of the beings were near-human in appearance, many seemingly some kind of Fey or Seelie folk. There was even a small handful of people that weren’t remotely human at all.
The only thing they all had in common was that none were native to this world.
“Most of these people are here in person, aren’t they?” Charlotte asked.
“It would’ve been quite a feat for them to have built all of this while astral projecting,” Genevieve agreed.
“But if this place isn’t connected to the Cuniculi, then how did they get here?” Charlotte asked. “We’re on another planet, maybe even in another dimension. If getting here is beyond the Ooo
’s abilities, then what sort of ungodly reality benders decided to turn it into a Flea Market?”
“Ladies, gentlemen, and any beings either too ancient and alien or too modern and alienated to settle on one or the other, come bear witness to one of the most astounding and atrocious abominations on this or any other world!” a fast-paced male voice rang out over the din of the crowd.
We turned to see a short, skinny, old-timey sort of carnival barker standing on a literal soap box, placed next to a large object draped in a black tarp.
“For the paltry price of a single three-headed coin, you can peer beneath the veil and behold with your own unbelieving eyes the mangled and mutilated monstrosity that lurks beneath!” the carnival barker continued. “But I must warn you, it is not possible to truly understand what dwells underneath without seeing it first! I cannot guarantee that you will still retain your sanity or will to live after witnessing the proverbial Mountains of Madness, for this low creature is truly like no other and serves only as a grim testament to the cruel sadism of the Lord Above! Anyone plagued by even the faintest lingering doubt as to their spiritual fortitude should not dare to even contemplate what might lie before me! But, for those brave, noble few who are truly dauntless of heart and incorrigible of spirit, I am proud to share with you this rare, unfathomable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness sublime –”
The carnival barker was interrupted by a man yanking the sheet off the object beside him, revealing it to be a mirror.
“Whelp, that was a hell of an Im14andthisisdeep
post, eh?” Charlotte mused.
Genevieve and I, however, were far too stunned to be amused; not by the mirror, but by the man who had unveiled it.
“It’s him, Lottie. That’s Emrys,” Genevieve whispered.
We had only seen him briefly once before, more than two-and-a-half years ago, but he was far from what anyone would call forgettable. He was tall and gaunt, with literal blue blood flowing beneath translucent skin. His long, receding hair and regal beard were pitch black, and dark miasma wafted from his eyes, nose, and mouth. He was dressed in dark sable robes with three overlapping Ouroboros’s tattooed on his forehead, with a pair of ophidian pupils lying in the spaces between them.
What stood out the most to us were the six silver Ouroboros chains bound around his wrists, ankles, waist, and neck. These were the chains the Ophion Occult Order had made to limit the power of his physical avatar, and it seemed he had not yet found a way to free himself from them.
“Are you still here?” Emrys asked in exasperation, tossing the veil back at the carnival barker in disdain.
“…Possibly,” the strange man replied evasively. “But not definitively, for purely legalistic reasons.”
“I believe Mathom-meister
was quite clear when he said that your rather pitiful chicanery wasn’t welcomed here,” Emrys reminded him.
“And who is he to judge chicanery from cutthroat, capitalistic competition? Should not the Flea Market be a free market?” the charlatan demanded. “And while we’re on the topic of commerce, I don’t suppose you have enough three-headed coins to pay for all the poor souls you have so discourteously exposed to my exhibit against their will? I’d hate to have to start shaking people down to get my due.”
“Hard to believe your own circus threw you out,” Emrys said with a sardonic eye roll as he tossed him a small medallion. “You get one
coin. Take it and get out of my sight.”
The charlatan flipped the coin in the air thrice, presumably to confirm it actually had three heads. Satisfied with its impossible dimensions, he shoved it into his pocket.
“It will cover the trolley ride home, at least,” he acquiesced, stepping off his soap box and turning to face his looking glass. “A shame though you can’t see the genius in my little avant-garde
performance piece here, Emmy. Even I know that the monster in the mirror is often the hardest to recognize.”
As the man reached to pick up his mirror, his reflection’s arms shot through the glass and grabbed him by the wrists, pulling him in. Emrys immediately tried to chase after him, but bounced off the glass as if there was nothing supernatural about it at all.
“Bastard!” he cursed under his breath, before turning towards us and giving us a small apologetic smile. “I’m sorry you had to see that rather pathetic display. Unfortunately, the few meeting places I know of that are relatively safe from any Ophionic incursion also attract their fair share of other annoying miscreants.”
“If it didn’t attract a little bit of everything, it wouldn’t be a Flea Market, would it?” I asked rhetorically. “Thank you, Emrys, for inviting us. I’ve never been anywhere like this before.”
“And thank you for accepting. Samantha, Genevieve, it’s a pleasure to see you again, and a relief that you have not fallen under the auspices of the Ophion Occult Order,” he said with a gentle bow. “Elam, I remember you as well. Valiant but not reckless, you remained atop Pendragon Hill during my battle with the Darlings until your mistress was well out of harm’s way, and then you got the hell out of dodge yourself. Samantha couldn’t hope for a better Familiar. And Charlotte, any Witch that Samantha deemed worthy to induct into her coven is obviously someone whose acquaintance I am pleased to make. Welcome, all of you, to Mathom-meister’s Flea Market!”
“So this is where you’ve been hiding out the past two years?” Genevieve asked.
“Oh no. Far too Cosmopolitan for my tastes,” Emrys replied. “No, this is just a friendly place to meet those I consider friends – or potential friends, at least. I’d offer to show you around, but I know it’s difficult for you to astral travel for prolonged periods. Come with me to Mathom-meister’s house where we can talk freely, and we’ll discuss the situation with the Order.”
I gave him a small, single nod in response, and gestured with my staff that he should lead the way. He responded by pointing upwards, then vanished into his shadow form. When we looked up, we saw him waving at us from a balcony atop the great silken chrysalis.
We exchanged hesitant glances with one another, but ultimately followed him into the strange structure, moving from the ground to the balcony in an instant by will alone.
“How would an incarnate being get up here if they couldn’t fly or teleport?” Charlotte asked as she peered over the balcony’s teetering edge.
As though answering a summons, a humanoid creature apparated beside her in a flash of dark vapours. The hunched-back entity stood over six-and-a-half feet tall, and was clad in golden-brown erudite robes. Its squid-like skin was of a similar colour, and its entire face was a single gaping orifice that held a wispy, glowing orb in the center of its skull which I immediately recognized as its soul. A pair of long, fanged tentacles lined with pores and tendrils hung down from its head like a long, forked beard, and the seven digits shared by its two hands all bore wicked-looking talons, as did its two-toed, digitigrade feet.
“Not fly or teleport? What sort of pedestrian house guests do you think I entertain here?” the being asked wryly, its voice seeming to come from nowhere in particular.
Charlotte instinctively backed away from the creature and into the protective fold of our coven, but Emrys was quick to hold up his hand to plead for calm.
“Please, there’s no need for alarm. This is our host, Mathom-meister. He’s the only reason any of this is here in the first place,” Emrys informed us. “A year or two ago a companion of his unfortunately became one of the Darling Twin’s victims
, and when he heard of my vendetta with them, he tracked me down; which is no small feat, I assure you.”
“It is for us. My people are a race of Planeswalkers. Traversing the many worlds of Creation is second nature to us,” Mathom-meister explained.
“I’ve… I’ve heard of your people, I think,” I said, softly and unsurely. “A friend of mine had an encounter with an artifact that gave her a vision of a race of strange and powerful sorcerers slaying their own god. I take it you’re the ones who slayed this Scarab Titan as well? That’s, that’s…”
“Horrifying, yes. That’s the idea,” he nodded. “You have nothing to worry about, young Witch. My people have no special interest in your world. This is purely personal. My friend is dead, and I want his murderers brought to justice; a goal which Emrys and I happen to have in common.”
“Feel free to share this information with the Ophion Occult Order, Samantha,” Emrys said. “I’d very much like for the Darling Twins to know what’s hunting them. Mathom-meister, please excuse me while I take my guests inside. We do have pressing business to discuss and their time is limited.”
The squid-cyclopes bowed gracefully, and my coven and I quickly scurried after Emrys as he led us inside through a towering hallway and into a large chamber that had been appointed as a living space.
I had thought that Emrys would want to speak with us alone, which was why I was surprised to see a young woman sitting cross-legged on a spongey yet chitinous object that I will for the sake of my sanity call a bean bag chair. Like Emrys, she was pale and blue-blooded, her choppy hair as black as coal. She wore a black robe and heavy black eyeliner, but these could not conceal the fact that she too had thin wisps of miasma emanating from her eyes.
“Is that your… daughter?” Charlotte asked, as baffled by her presence as any of us. The woman smiled warmly at the question.
“In a way. I was dead
, and Emrys gave me new life. Now a part of the Outer Primordial Darkness he represents lives in me too,” she said serenely.
Hovering above her left palm were three small bluish-green orbs, lazily going around in a circle. They were translucent and held something inside them that I couldn’t make out, but the orbs themselves appeared to be melting and solidifying by the woman’s will.
“You’re Petra, aren’t you?” I asked as I cautiously approached her. “Chamberlin had mentioned that Emrys had taken an acolyte. I’m Samantha, and this is Genevieve, Elam, and Charlotte.”
“I know. The whole reason we’re here is to speak with you,” she nodded.
“The Ophion Occult Order calls me a soul-flayer, and I’m sure you were all wondering exactly what that meant before you came here,” Emrys said, standing proudly behind his acolyte. “Well, this is it. The Darkness Beyond is now a part of her, and a part of her now lives within the Darkness Beyond. She is not unchanged from what she was before, but neither has what she was been lost.”
“My interpretation of the term ‘soul-flaying’ was the complete removal of a person’s consciousness from their astral and physical bodies to be subsumed by your Darkness,” I countered. “They told me that what you’ve done with Petra here is just the limit of your power while you’re bound in their chains. Are you telling me that if your chains were broken, you wouldn’t be able to do any worse than this?”
“On my physical avatar? No. So long as my astral form remains chained and bound with the World Serpent, I cannot cleave a conscious mind from its astral substrate,” Emrys assured me.
“But that is your ultimate goal, isn’t it? Breaking the chains the Ophion Occult Order put on you is just a stepping stone to breaking the ones the gods bound you with?” Genevieve asked. “You’ve allied yourself with a literal god slayer. Do you expect us to believe that his people’s abilities aren’t something you intend to put to your own ends?”
“I don’t have an ultimate goal so much as I have a fundamental principle of opposing tyranny,” he claimed. “When I was a mere man, thousands of years ago, I was a tyrant. I believed that might made right so unquestionably that when my might began to fail me, the only thing I could think to do was to try everything in my power to restore it. This quest eventually led to me becoming one with the Darkness Beyond, which gave me not only the might I coveted but the wisdom I didn’t know I needed. It gave me perspective. It made me stronger than any human alive at that point but still let me realize how insignificant I was. It was humbling, and enlightening, and filled me both with remorse over my past actions and an impetus to use my newfound gifts to rectify them. I tried to overthrow the gods themselves which, in hindsight, was overly ambitious. I not only failed but had my soul devoured by the World Serpent, where it still resides to this day.
“I am not eager to bring the wrath of the gods down upon me once again. No, for now, I will be content to end the tyranny of the Ophion Occult Order. This is the message I’d like you to relay to them. If the Grand Adderman agrees to unbind my chains and step down from his post, I will spare his life. If he declines, I want the rest of the Order to know that I will show mercy to any who sides with me over him. I am willing to allow the Order to exist so long as it agrees to become more decentralized, democratic, and accountable. They will have to forfeit certain artifacts and individuals in their possession over to me, chief among them the Darling Twins, but I am willing to negotiate. If they aren’t, then I will overthrow the Grand Adderman by whatever means necessary and see the Order scattered to the four winds. It is entirely up to them whether or not the conflict between us escalates to full-on war. Have I made myself clear, Samantha?”
“I think so,” I said as I pensively considered everything he had said. “Why should they trust you to keep your word once your chains are broken? For that matter, why should we?”
He took a moment to consider his response, eyeing me over as though he was trying to divine something that would win over my trust.
“Samantha, you made a pact with Persephone to get your Spirit Familiar there; one where she swore by the River Styx. Is that correct?” he asked.
“It is,” I nodded.
“And in the years since, has Persephone ever broken that pact she swore to?” he asked.
“No, she hasn’t,” I replied.
“I may not be an Old God, but so long as my astral form remains bound by their chains, they have power over me,” he said. “Samantha Sumner, Hedge Witch of Harrowick Woods, I swear on the River Styx that I have spoken no lies to you today. I swear by the River Styx that I will abide by any Covenant that I and the Ophion Occult Order agree to in good faith and fair dealing that they do not break first. I swear by the River Styx that when my chains are broken, I will give you no cause to fear me or regret your trust in me.”
I gave a questioning glance to Genevieve, and then Elam, both of whom nodded in the affirmative.
“All right. An oath sworn on the River Styx is good enough for me. I’ll deliver your terms to Seneca Chamberlin,” I agreed. “I’m very grateful for the trust and respect you’ve shown for me and my coven, Emrys, though I can’t say I quite understand it. Out of all the guests that were there on the Hallow’s Eve you were summoned, why did Evie and I stand out to you?”
“The Ophion Occult Order deemed you worthy of inclusion in their cult, an offer you rejected on principle. You cheated Persephone, but you did it not to gain immortality for yourself but to save your friend from hell. You came here, thinking I could very well tear your souls asunder, but did so because you believed it was your duty to prevent needless suffering,” Emrys answered. “You are extraordinary in your craft, courage, and conscience, the latter of which especially stood out among the degenerates at that party. I do apologize if I frightened you at that event. I was a bit… irritable, given the circumstances. I’m glad we were able to meet again under more pleasant conditions.”
“So am I, Emrys,” I nodded. “I’m not sure exactly what this means or how relevant it is, but Seneca wanted me to tell you that he’s able to offer you the Dream Demon Red Ruck as a sacrifice.”
. Tell him it’s hardly a sacrifice if I’m getting rid of a boogie man for him,” he scoffed. “In fact, now that you mention it, Ruck’s one egregore that might be of more use to me alive.”
I wanted to ask him what he meant by that, but we were suddenly interrupted by the rapid pounding of a gong somewhere down below. It seemed to be an alarm of some kind, as we could hear the panicked shouting and frantic racing of people either battening down or forsaking the Flea Market altogether.
Mathom-meister apparated into the middle of the room, his facial tentacles reflexively raised in a defensive position.
“Were you outside the market?” he demanded of us.
“The portal we came through deposited us a few miles outside of the market, yes,” I admitted.
“Damn,” Emrys cursed softly, though he sounded more frustrated than angry. “Meister, it’s not their fault. I knew they weren’t experienced Planeswalkers, I could have – ”
“It doesn’t matter!” Mathom-meister interjected. “They need to leave, now!”
“Why, what’s going on?” Genevieve demanded.
“The scarabs are swarming,” Petra explained. “Don’t feel bad; it happens often enough that they’re prepared for it.”
I wanted to press for more details, but I could hear the humming of a vast winged swarm steadily encroaching upon us.
“Don’t worry. Once you leave the swarm will disperse… eventually,” Emrys told us. “We’ve said all that need be said for now. Return home, and I’ll reach out to you again shortly, Samantha.”
Again, I wanted to object, but the swarm outside was growing louder and louder, and it occurred to me that we might not be completely safe from a biblical swarm of insects that could not only sense but evidently sought out souls.
This occurred to Charlotte as well, as she was the first of us to vanish and awaken back in her body. We could all feel the weight of her reembodied soul tugging on us to return with her. Genevieve immediately grabbed hold of my right hand and Elam my left, both of them refusing to leave before I did.
I spared one final glance at Emrys, lamenting that we couldn’t have had more time.
“I’ll relay everything you said to the Order. I’ll make sure they know you’re willing to negotiate a truce,” I vowed.
He gave me a gracious nod, and just as we heard the swarm start to pelt the exterior of the market, I forced my physical eyes open and was back in my body, still safely under a willow tree in my cemetery.
I immediately looked beside me to Genevieve, and saw that she was awake as well, and then around me for Elam, who seemed to be suffering a bit of spectral whiplash from being pulled back with me so suddenly, but was otherwise all right. Sighing with relief, I turned lastly to Charlotte, and saw that she was looking down at the mediation circle in dreaded horror.
Following her gaze, I saw that the Undying Rose was gone – spent, perhaps, in exchange for our passage – and in its place was the inert, and hopefully dead, body of one of the shimmering scarabs
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