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Official /r/NBA Power Rankings #10 (8.3.2020) - Enter The Bubble

2020.08.04 16:17 powerrankingsnba Official /r/NBA Power Rankings #10 (8.3.2020) - Enter The Bubble

22/30 rankers reporting this week. /NBA's Power Rankings are published every two weeks which is a bit different from most rankings. Other than that we rank the teams the same way as our competition. If write ups are left blank the team rep decided not to submit. We encourage any user to fill in the blanks in the comment section. Rankings were supposed to be completed prior to Today's games.
# Team Δ Record Comment
1 Bucks -- 54-13 After four months off, the Bucks are back and lookin' good, splitting two close games against the Celtics and Rockets. This is despite missing Bledsoe, who's perimiter defence was greatly missed against two teams with great backcourt initiators. Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton both tested postitive for COVID before reporting to the bubble, but are both back practicing, and assumedly will be in game-ready soon.
2 Lakers -- 51-15 The Lakers offense has struggled to start these NBA bubble games. In both games the team has shot well below their season averages in the field and on three pointers. Fortunately, the defense has been solid and it helped solidify the win against the Clippers. The #1 seed is essentially locked up so the Lakers are going to be using these remaining games to find rhythm and flow.
3 Raptors -- 48-18 Raptors have had two big wins since the season has restarted, with games against the Lakers and Miami. We’ve experienced some struggles offensively but our defence has picked up right where we left off. Big nights from Kyle against the Lakers and Freddy’s new career high against the Heat have been the biggest factors to our wins so far. With a tough upcoming stretch of games prior to playoffs look for the raptors to work on their offensive struggles, namely in the clutch, and continue developing defensively.
4 Clippers -- 45-21 The Clips really hurt their first game without Harrel and Lou Will, but PG is obviously back to his good ol self. Lou Will has a couple games to go before he comes back, but Harrel has no timeline, and so games will be a bit harder without him. If PG and Kawhi can continue to be the insane duo they've been on the court, then LAC might even get a lot of rest in the first/second round.LAC's bubble schedule is a tad easier than Denver's, so I fully expect them to secure the 2nd seed relatively soon.
5 Rockets +1 42-24 Remember that guy that tried to tell us that strip clubs negatively affected Harden's game? Who's laughing now, huh? With his commanding presence on both sides of the floor, we've been able to steal two huge comebacks in the Orlando bubble. It turns out that this is what we needed to unleash the defensive beast within him. The world wasn't ready for DPOY Harden...until now.
6 Celtics -1 44-22 The refs have a vendetta against Daniel Theis and there's nothing you can say that'll convince me otherwise. So far in the bubble, the Celtics barely lost to the Bucks in a game that was filled with controversy in the closing minutes, and then nearly fell to the Blazers in similar fashion before the combination of J&J saved the day. Celtics maintain a 2 game lead over the Heat for the 3 seed and as of today, would face the 76ers in the 1st round. Celtics have 6 games left, with matchups against the Heat, Nets, Raptors, Magic, Grizzlies, and Wizards. As long as they win the games they should win, the Celtics should find themselves sitting comfortably in the 3 seed.
7 Nuggets -- 44-23 And we're back! The rankers have woken from our 5 month slumber to find we're playing Bubble Basketball now. This ranker is also confused how the Nuggets have ended up MORE injured than they were 5 months ago. The Nuggets back court will need to heal up in the short time remaining before the playoffs, because starters Monte Morris and Torrey Craig will likely end in a quick playoff exit. On the bright side, the Bol Bol hype train has pulled into the station, and y'all better hop on for 2021.
8 Heat -- 42-25 The Miami Heat got off to a hot start in the bubble by getting a solid victory over the Nuggets. Some players needed some time to get their shot back, but it was Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo came out the gates firing. Shout out to Maple Dick (kelly olynyk) as well for scoring all 20 of his points in the 4th Quarter. It wasn't a great outing for everyone though with Herro having a tough night, but hopefully he'll get into the swing of things. He'll be needed if we want to be competitive against Toronto, Boston, and Milwaukee. I'm feeling pessimistic about our odds of winning more than 1 game out of those 3, but hopefully I'll get proven wrong by the team.
9 Thunder +1 41-25 On March 18, the Oklahoma City Thunder lined up to host the Utah Jazz, when a doctor rushed onto the court immediately before tipoff and announced that Rudy Gobert had tested positive for Covid-19, changing the sports world forever. 4 months later and a thousand miles away in Florida, that game finally happened and proved that as much as things changed, one thing remained the same: Oklahoma City delivered Gobert and the Jazz a massive L. One challenge facing the Thunder in their quest to maintain that momentum going forward will be the unavailability of 6th Man of the Year candidate Dennis Schroder, who has temporarily left the bubble to be with his family while his wife gives birth. Young 3-and-D wing Terrance Ferguson, who started prior to the emergence of Lugentz Dort, is also out with an injury, leaving Oklahoma City's guard rotation potentially thing. Look for Abdel Nader and Hamidou Diallo to pick up the minutes left on the table by those absences.
10 Jazz -1 42-25 Utah sure is missing Bojan Bogdanovic's shooting in the bubble. With Bojan on the mend after season-ending right wrist surgery, Utah's reserves look to step up to cover Bojan's absence, mainly Jordan Clarkson and Georges Niang. The Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert connection has been seen stronger on court this opening bubble week, with Spida feeding Gobert more often compared to earlier in the calender season, including a clutch game winning pass to Gobert to defeat the Pelicans last Thursday. With a loss to the Lakers last evening, the Jazz are hoping they find enough firepower to continue forwards through the rest of the schedule.
11 Mavericks -- 40-29 The hiatus did not solve Dallas' most glaring issue: closing out games. The frist two bubble games have provided for great TV, but unfortunately for Dallas, they have not been able to close close games and hold onto leads, something that plagued them all year dating back to the November matchup with the Lakers. Courtney Lee, Jalen Brunson, and Dwight Powell are not playing in the bubble due to injuries, and Willie Cauley-Stein is not in the bubble due to personal reasons. Trey Burke replaced WCS, and has impressed in two games. Dallas is likely locked into the 7 seed, so they may be destined to face an LA team. The Mavs' offense has been incredible for 42 minutes, but the Mavs must learn to close the final half of the fourth quarters in order to make noise in the playoffs.
12 Pacers +1 41-26 Indiana got off to a great start in the bubble; a win over the Sixers clinched the seasons series against Philadelphia, and moved them into a better position to compete for the fourth seed. TJ Warren has become Indiana's go-to offensive option this season, starting off the restart with a career-high 53 points. The Pacers are still dealing with some injury issues, as Victor Oladipo will be held out of back-to-back games, and reserve big man Goga Bitadzeh has yet to play. Worst of all, Domantas Sabonis has left the bubble with plantar faciitis, and there is no indication on when he will return. Still, Indiana is in decent position for the regular season finish with a relatively light schedule to start, and then two critical seeding games against Miami.
13 76ers -1 40-27 The turnover issue is still apparent. The backcourt disappeared in the 4th versus the Pacers. There's still a few games left to right the ship before the playoffs. At minimum this Bubble has brought us a youtube star in Matisse Thybulle.
14 Grizzlies -- 32-36 Almost every game right now is a playoff preview for this young team. With two disappointing losses to start off the stint at Disneyworld the Grizzlies are not giving themselves any advantages. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. did hit some big shots against the Spurs but it was not enough.
15 Trail Blazers +5 30-38 Blazers started1-1 to pop the Bubbles...bubble? Both games marked by little defense on either end and huge offensive games from Lillard (30/16 vs Celtics, 29/9 vs Grizzlies). Not exactly a promising start versus a Celtics team that struggled from the field but a win against the 8th seed Grizzlies was necessary to keep the playoff hopes alive and well.
16 Magic -- 32-35 Pain.
17 Spurs +2 29-37 Pop giving into fans or development for LW5? He’s gotten the starts since the restart and is showing it was worth. Will need a few more games to see what’s what but SA is prime to miss the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.
18 Suns +3 28-39 Suns began their bubble 2-0 and will continue to go 8-0 and make the play-in game. You heard it here first.
19 Pelicans -4 29-38 The Pelicans have come out of the gate looking absoutely abysmal. There is no energy surrounding this team. After a stellar first half in the opening game against Utah they have played like the worst team in the bubble. A blowout against the Clippers have further solidified the Pelicans place as a 'Bubble Bottom Dweller', and the playoffs become further and further out of reach with every passing second. It would require 6 straight wins to finish out the seeding games, then 2 more straight against the eventual 8 seed just to reach the playoffs. And with Zion coming in out of shape, Lonzo in his head again, and BI giving up an 8 game win streak just to be swept by the Lakers doesn't seem like it is going to come to fruition.
20 Nets -3 31-35 The Nets are simply existing at this point. We will almost definitely make the playoffs and we will definitely get promptly escorted out of the bubble.The goal, as it was before the season, is to get through this without a major injury to our key/young players and look forward to next year with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant at the helm.
21 Kings -3 28-38 Over in the Kings sub I predicted the Kings would be eliminated from playoff contention by March 10th.. I was just one day off... but it wasn't supposed to end like this.
22 Wizards -- 24-43 Wizards basketball is back, but without Beal and Bertans, I fully anticipate that the team will lose every single game they play in the bubble. That being said, guys like Rui Hachimura, Isaac Bonga, and Thomas Bryant have all shown flashes of potential, with Rui in particular showing that he can be relied upon as a #1 option without his efficiency taking too big of a hit. On the flipside, the veterans, most notably Shabazz Napier, have ranged from below average to downright terrible and are playing themselves out of new contracts. I'm excited for Rui's development, and that's enough for me to keep suffering through these losses.
23 Hornets -- 23-42 The Hornets are not a part of this bubble experience, which is really a shame. Our young guys probably could have benefitted from some more reps, looking toward next season. Regardless, this season was cause for some optimism, and we have an opportunity to improve through the draft. Also - I hope everyone reading this is safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves!
24 Bulls -- 22-43 Rumors of the new front office putting LaVine on the trading block is perhaps leading to another new Bulls era. Let's just say the best 'offseason' material we've had in some time is the Last Dance.
25 Hawks -- 20-47 The Hawks were left out of the bubble and we never got to see how Clint Capela fit into the team. All eyes are focused on the draft lottery and what piece we will add to our team that will probably end up receiving unwarranted criticism from our fanbase.
26 Pistons -- 20-46 The Pistons finally won a game against the Suns. But all the numbers are still awful, they blew a huge lead against the Kings and now Derrick Rose is hurt. The young guys will play, but it will probably continue to be a bleak end to the season.
27 Knicks -- 21-45 Frank Ntilikina's 20/10 game literally ended the NBA. Also we have Thibs now.
28 TWolves -- 19-45 All the best to KAT in these difficult times.
29 Cavaliers -- 19-46 It's probably kinda nice out in Orlando tbh.
30 Warriors -- 15-50 Klay's playing chess with Rocco. Curry had a good golfing outing in Tahoe and took up a new hiking hobby. GM Bob Meyers has said Warriors are prioritizing the back up PG position this offseason. Mean while Warriors are the latest native american mascot to be on the rebranding block according to Melo.
submitted by powerrankingsnba to nba [link] [comments]


2020.07.17 23:46 PriorEstate Need an outside perspective

Disclaimer: do not share this outside of reddit or this sub.
Apologies for the length, I've been stewing on this for a bit.
This is going to be a little convoluted but I need to provide some backstory.
Cast: Me and DH (in our 40's) Ex - Husband's ex-wife (divorced more than 20 years but we get along) SD - Stepdaughter (26F) JA- Stepdaughter's Husband Grandkids - 3 and 9 mo
I've known my SD since she was 10 and my husband and I started dating. (Side note: I do have a kid of my own, they just don't pertain to this story.) So I've been there to see her grow up. We didn't used to get along with the Ex as she was very strict. As soon as we picked up SD for the weekend the Ex would call with the laundry list of misbehaviors that SD performed during the week.
At lot of these instances I think have contributed to my SD emotional immaturity in that she felt smothered by her mom's parenting. So even though she is in her late 20's, she is still acting like she just got out of high school with the exception of having a job and caring for her kids.
There have been many attempts at getting therapy for SD, but even as a kid she was able to tell the therapist what they wanted to hear and no progress was ever made. SD has a habit of dating people who are emotionally manipulative because she doesn't want to be alone and doesn't even want to try. This habit caused her to give up her rights to her first baby as her partner was abusive and isolating her among other things (not going into details for reasons).
SD started dating JA and he had a multitude of issues. Can't hold a job because of anxiety, mooching off his family member; all I can think of is "What a winner!" I completely understand that there are people who can't work due to crippling social anxiety and I would have all the respect in the world for JA if he were getting help for his issues. He just says he can't, no meds, no therapy. Just wants to stay home, sleep and play games.
SD got pregnant very quickly, and because she's matured a bit and isn't in an abusive relationship she gets to keep this one. And I have to admit, she's a pretty good mom with some exceptions I'll get into later.
Fast forward a couple years, SD and JA decide to get married and she's pregnant again. Theory is that his mom was pushing for it thinking that SD would leave JA if they weren't married. Ex had put money aside for her kid's wedding, but in a fit of annoyance, SD decided that she didn't want any of the money. JA's mom would handle everything. DH and I drive over for a few days to attend the wedding. (This was last summer.) Super casual, they were happy with it. Just not my cup of tea.
Let's compress this a bit: They move in with his family member, all of them and his emotional support dog into one room of this apartment. Family member dies, JA's mom moves in, Kid #2 is born and they decide that more room is needed. Ex has a three bedroom house she lives in all alone and just adores her grandkids. So she allows them to live there. They have a room for themselves, a room for the kids. Here's where things get tricky.
Both SD and JA are inherently lazy. If they can get away with not doing something, they will. SD would get home from school, JA would hand over the kids and take a nap. On Sunday, SD would be studying and taking care of the kids and JA would be gaming. Most of the time when Ex is home, they hand the kids off to her and just go do whatever they wanted. JA has had a job for part of the time, then his anxiety or something else would come up and he couldn't work anymore.
Because they aren't paying rent, they are blowing all their money on games and junk that they don't need. Their car was having issues so they decide to keep fixing it and at the same time to finance a $20k truck with the thought to get a camper and cruise around making youtube videos of their travels for money. (Just the latest in grandiose dreams that they have including homesteading when neither of them put in the work for a backyard garden) They wanted the money that Ex put aside for their wedding for this purpose, she said no. That money is now to help with a down payment on a house.
JA's "support animal" died while living at grandpa's and they got a new puppy for his anxiety. They couldn't bring it to Ex's house as she is allergic. I put it in quotations because I doubt it was trained, just go along with a theme that JA thinks it's true so it is. So they had someone watch it for them, then had it in a too small kennel in Ex's backyard, when finally they took it to a rescue organization for re-homing. (that's a whole saga I hurt myself because I rolled my eyes so hard)
Now were here at the most current state of affairs:
Ex finally got fed up with them dumping their kids on her the moment that she walked in the door, JA yelling at her for asking them to clean up after themselves and said that they need to step up and take care of their own kids or find other arrangements. She wasn't going to kick them out on the street, she was giving them time to find a place to move into. (They weren't paying rent, just their own food and their own bills.) Well, JA took this as an attack and screamed at her for almost an hour. SD piled on it, saying that she had an awful childhood because she was made to work (yeah, having chores was slave labor).
So, SD and JA packed some clothes, their kids and went to his mom's house. Where they were told that they could stay til the end of July and would have to find a place of their own. They did ask if they could borrow our camper until next July. That's a hard pass, it's too small for 4 and we live 2000 miles away. Not to mention that they would probably trash it through neglect. They left everything else at Ex's house.
Now, my DH is having to play mediator because SD barely talks to Ex saying that she's toxic and abusive. SD forwards the texts she gets from Ex to show how mean Ex is being. DH and I read them and they are perfectly reasonable, trying to coordinate a time for them to come get their things. The only rule is that JA can't come into the house and can't interact with Ex. Ex has given multiple days (weekend as Ex works during the week) that they can come and she will even have help to get their electronics with SD escorting them. But because JA isn't allowed, SD is going to get a police escort. Ex has shown us video of what they left behind. She's packed it all up nice and neat, even the bags of garbage they left everywhere. The only thing she hasn't touched is the electronics.
SD is whining to her dad about how Ex is treating her and that there are consequences, and I just want to reach through the phone and smack her. And we get it from the other side as Ex doesn't really have friends and uses DH as a sounding board so she calls him for advice. I am keeping my mouth shut and giving constructive advise to my DH for his position as a mediator. But I just want to scream at them both (SD and JA) for how childish they are being. Hopefully, them being forced to live on their own and having to pay all their own bills will really wake them up. Gods know that helping them has just been enabling their behavior. The only thing that really bothers me is how it's going to affect the grandkids. They are at an age now that it doesn't matter much, but kids grow. And both of them need special help (genetic issue, not life threatening can just cause issues with development) that I don't think SD and JA are equipped to handle if they keep with this level of laziness and entitlement.
Just needed to get this out there. I can't really talk to my DH about this, he's right in the middle of it all.
submitted by PriorEstate to JUSTNOFAMILY [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 00:57 bOOSTopian MARCUS QUEST (Chapter 4: A Clash of Clout)

Stormy northern winds heavily resisted Marcus and Simon as they sprinted up God's Peak, doing as Low Tier God asked of them. Even now the man's voice could be heard, despite the large distance, "THAT THE BEST YOU GOT? GARBAGE!" His shouts pierced through the duo's bodies, making them shudder as they continued their speedy ascent. It had been a whole week since Low Tier God accepted them as his students, and every day from that one the buff man had the two youngsters sprinting up the mountain and sparring with each other for sixteen hours. It was brutal, but Marcus felt himself getting stronger and faster. He was starting to get some serious muscle buildup, nowhere near LTG's level, but a noticeable amount. The one thing he and Simon had yet to achieve was to unlock their natural Breathing Style. Even LTG said he didn't know when it was going to happen, they just needed to keep on training until it came to them.
The two finally reached the peak, both of them doing a large leap to land right in front of Low Tier God who was standing menacingly in front of his mansion. The buff man clicked a stopwatch, nodding, "FORTY-FIVE MINUTES, THAT'S A NEW RECORD FOR YOU GUYS."
Marcus looked up happily, breathing heavily as he spoke, "Yeeeeesssssss, that's like five minutes improvement. Hey can we can some water or something?"
Low Tier God glared at Marcus with intensity, "HELL NO! GET BACK TO WORK! YOU GUYS NEED TO SPAR NOW, BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER ON MY MARK. GO!"
Marcus groaned, and when he turned, Simon was already on his ass, ready to punch Marcus with a rising uppercut. Simon had gotten just as strong as Marcus over the past week, and the tally for their sparring wins evened out at 10:10. This would be the decisive battle to see who had trained the hardest. Low Tier God knew this, and dumped some protein powder into his mouth as he watched the fight unfold. A fight like this might awaken a Breathing style in one of them.
Jumping back from the uppercut, Marcus dug his heels into the snow, and leaped forward again, unleashing a BARRAGE of punches towards Simon, "ORAORAORAORAORAORAOROARORA!!!!!!!!" He shouted intensely.
Simon grinned, running forward to match the barrage with his own, "MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA!"It seemed the two were evenly matched, their punches slamming into each other and creating small shock waves. Finally Marcus saw an opening to Simon's left and sent his next punch right into Simon's torso. At the same time, Simon saw that this attack left Marcus' right open, and sent a punch into Marcus' chest. The two would simultaneously hit each other and get knocked backwards into the snow, quite far from each other. Low Tier God nodded in approval.
While landing Marcus stumbled backwards before finally regaining his footing and glancing up at Simon who was looking right back at him. This was it, he was going to bust out his FINAL ATTACK. Both Marcus and Simon sprinted towards each other, creating after-images behind them.
Simon leaped forward, spinning his right leg around like it was a helicopter rotor, "FOR-EX-RAZOOOOOOOOOOR!" He yelled, bringing his leg right towards Marcus.
Marcus grit his teeth, he was not going to lose here, he had to show the fruits of his training! Leaping towards Simon, he spun around in the air once, gaining momentum as he then swung his left arm powerfully towards Simon. During this motion, something strange happened. Marcus suddenly felt exhausted, and at the same time his arm was being surrounded with a small-vortex of sorts, pointed right at the fist, "TINNNNYYYYYYYYYYYY PAAAAWWWWWWNCHHHH!!!!" He shouted, slamming his fist into Simon's chest. Simon's leg looked like it was about to hit Marcus, but it suddenly stopped, as if a strong wind swept it upwards. In fact, Simon's entire body was spinning, his clothes being shredded where Marcus had hit him. Marcus' eyes widened as Simon was blasted away, spinning into the snow before finally being knocked out.
Low Tier God put a hand on Marcus' shoulder from behind, "MAYBE YOU AREN'T TRASH AFTER ALL! THAT WAS AIR BREATHING, YOU BLASTED HIS ASS WITH SOME KINDA WIND VORTEX AROUND YOUR FIST."
Marcus looked at his own fist in awe, "Damn, that was OP!!! I basically one-shot his ass, Imma spam this."
LTG shook his head, "NAH YOU DID IT WITHOUT KNOWING, YOU GOTTA TRAIN THAT SHIT, KID." LTG moved towards Simon, "I'LL GET THIS ONE INSIDE, CAN'T HAVE HIM DYING OUT HERE AFTER I PROMISED TO TRAIN HIS ASS."
Marcus punched a couple more times, but could not reproduce his previous attack. He felt really tired as well, LTG wasn't lying when he said Breathing Styles took a lot of energy. He stared out into the distance wondering how strong he could truly get.
**********************************************************************************
After docking the ship he stole into a small outpost on The Great Desert, Lucas let out a sigh of relief. He was far enough from DICC-5 now, and there was no way Moustafa's bounty hunters would find him on such a remote part of the planet. Exiting the ship, he went into a small shack adjacent to the run-down docking bay, a sign outside read 'BTT's Fuel'.
Opening the door he saw that the shack was dimly lit. A small lamp stood on the desk in the back of the room. Behind the desk a large man in a wife beater, gold chains, and gold-rimmed sunglasses seemed to be smoking some weed out of a GIGANTIC cigar. The big man nodded to Lucas, "AYE OW YA DOIN, IZ BEG TIYME TAHMEE HEER, WHADYA WANA BAH?" Mr. Big Time Tommy had a strange accent that Lucas couldn't place.
Approaching the desk, wondering why Tommy was wearing sunglasses in such a dark room, Lucas spoke up, "Hey dude, I just need a refill on my ship, I got money, so do you think you can hook me up?" The smuggler motioned backwards to the docking bay.
As Lucas got closer, Big Time Tommy's facial expression changed from jovial to serious. The guy would pull out his phone and glance between Lucas and the device in his hands, "Yuhp, yuhp, VEEEEAAAARRRRRAAYYYY SIMALAR!" Big Time Tommy reached below his desk pulling out an old-fashioned shotgun, making Lucas jump back in surprise, "YOUZ DAHT LOOCAZ GUY MOUZTEFA IZ AFTA, GET 'IM BOUYZ!" Suddenly the lights turned on in the room, and Lucas looked around to see four MUSCULAR Lizard men holding plasma rifles surrounding him.
Lucas thought about pulling out his gun, but he decided against it, it was five-on-one, there was no way he was winning this fight. After putting his hands up, Lucas was quickly handcuffed by one of the lizard men who talked to him confidently, "You were being tracked the whole time kid, should've known better than to play games with Mr. Moustafa." Lucas shook his head, saying nothing. It was over, he would be killed here.
Another one of the lizardmen pointed their rifle straight at Lucas, "Time to collect his bounty! We'll live like kings with the loot we're gonna get from Moustafa!" Suddenly the lizardman who handcuffed Lucas punched the one who was talking, interrupting him, "We can't do that, dumbass, we work for MiFF now, not Moustafa! Everyone has the right to a fair trial in the Great Halls of The MiFFHouSe!" The other lizard grunted, "Fine! But Moustafa isn't going to like this..."
**********************************************************************************
The doors to the MiFFHouSe were thrown open as a short cloaked figure entered the room. Two lightsaber-like hilts were at his waist. Strongly-built bodyguards in suits and sunglasses trailed behind the individual, one of them was beat boxing while the other sang in a deep voice, "MASTAH MISTAH MOUSTAFA IS THE MAIN MAN, YEAH! MASTAH MISTAH MOUSTAFA IS THE MAIN MAN, OOH! WHERE'S THE MAN? NO ONE KNOWS! HE STAYS HIDDEN FROM HIS FOES!"
MiFF clapped slowly as the man, clearly Moustafa, came closer to the throne, bowing. Leader MiFF spoke respectfully to him, "If it isn't the mystery man himself, MOUSTAFA! What can I do for you."
The figure chuckled, waving a gloved hand at MiFF, "Ahhh, no need to be so formal with me... I have a small favor to ask, yes, very small." Moustafa began pacing back and forth, speaking with a whimsical tone, "You see... several weeks ago I had 'Commissioned' a delivery from a certain individual. We agreed that the item should be delivered at my doorstep at a certain date." The cloaked man pointed at MiFF, "That individual happens to be Lucas, and the date was yesterday! Has he delivered my item? No! Instead it would seem he has caused a giant incident involving a terrorist in Squid City."
MiFF stared at Moustafa intensely as the short man continued to speak, "Yes, that's right! A terrorist! None other than that MiGG man you told me you had killed! It is my understanding that you have Lucas in custody, no? I ask for his immediate execution! Not only has he wronged me, but he has worked with your traitorous 'brother' hand-in-hand!"
The leader of the MiFFHouSe got up and threw his metal folding chair into the ground, shattering it on impact, "THE FOOL KNOWN AS MiGG IS NOT MY BROTHER! I MELTED ONE OF HIS ARMS OFF AND LEFT HIM FOR DEAD IN THE SNOWY WASTELANDS PAST THE KORNIAN WALL! LADY LUCK MUST BE RIDING HIS DICK IF HE'S STILL ALIVE!" He breathed heavily for a moment, sitting down to think, "Even if this is all true... I still need to conduct a trial. Executing this Lucas guy would make me no better than King the King or Governor General Aaron."
Moustafa quickly tried to speak up to object, but MiFF beat him to it, "I know you scratched my back by helping me take over this planet, so I'll scratch yours. The prosecutor for this trial is yours to hand-pick. Choose anyone you like."
The cloaked gangster stroked his chin before chuckling, "Yes, yes, this will do. I was right to trust in you after all, thank you, Great Leader MiFF." With that Moustafa bowed and left the room.
Sighing, MiFF, motioned to his advisor, Philosoraptor, who stood close by, "Pick a lawyer for Mr. Lucas, I heard he's having wounds treated right now, so he's in no position to pick one himself. The trial will be tomorrow." Philosoraptor nodded and left the throne room.
**********************************************************************************
Another warrior fell at bOOST's feet. The young man picked up the man's beetle, and grinned to himself as his opponent scrambled away, barely alive. He didn't like to kill his opponents unless he was jumped; like what had happened with JaDoce. bOOST now had enough iron-carapace beetles to wear like armor around his body. Debate Beetle still took the special role as acting as his helmet.
Out of nowhere a primal scream echoed behind the young fighter, as well as the sound of tall jungle trees crashing in the distance. Whatever was out there was way to big to be a beetle or another clansman, it was definitely one of the many strange beasts that roamed Beeble Bay. Just as he thought this, a ten meter tall plant-like creature erupted from the jungle. Its' head was like a gigantic flower bud, except it bore teeth sharper than a shark's. In contrast its' main body was small, and its' limbs were like stubby palm trees.
Using his insect breathing, bOOST transferred energy from his beetles to himself, giving him the strength to jump out of the raging plant-beast's attack. From behind the beast, bOOST heard a familiar voice,
"Dangnabbit Petey! Get back here!" Rushing after the monster was non other than ESAM in full hunting gear. The shopkeep had a full on harpoon-launcher and was shooting the sharp projectiles non-stop at 'Petey'; whose back looked like a pincushion. bOOST knew what he had to do. Rushing in between ESAM and Petey, bOOST deflected a harpoon shot by using several beetles as a shield, their hard shells easily blocking the attack,
"ESAM! WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING THIS CREATURE, YOU NEED TO FOLLOW GOD!" The young warrior yelled out to ESAM as he deflected another harpoon shot.
"HEY YOU'RE THAT THIEF! DON'T GET IN MY WAY, THE FLOWER PETALS ON THAT THING ARE GONNA MAKE ME SOME BIG BUCKS!" Realizing that the harpoon launcher wasn't working, he pulled out a plasma machine gun. bOOST's eyes widened, he recognized those from the trading outpost. A new expensive and powerful weapon from 'BusaCorp', whoever those clowns were.
"DIE KIDDO, RATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATA!" ESAM was screaming as he pulled back the trigger, letting plasma shots rain upon bOOST non-stop. The young man could feel himself being pushed back, several of his beetles were starting to push against him, the heat and pressure wouldn't be good for their bodies, even if their shells couldn't be directly damaged by plasma. bOOST used his Insect Breathing to give his beetles strength to escape, hoping they would return once fully healed.
The young warrior grunted, "THIS IS WORSE THAN DRINKING TAP WATER AT JERRY GARCIA'S HOUSE!!!" bOOST was feeling weak, he had used his Insect Breathing too much today, and was starting to feel the heat of the plasma more and more as his beetle armor got whittled down. Was he really going to die to ESAM spamming an OP weapon?
His question was soon answered when a primal screech filled the air. A shadow was suddenly cast over ESAM and bOOST, causing both to look up.
IT WAS PETEY COMING BACK FOR THE CLUTCH
The giant plant slammed onto ESAM with its' ASS from the skies, as if summoned by Jesus himself. bOOST stumbled his way over to them, high-fiving Petey, "Thanks dude, I knew you were a REAL ONE when I saw you." Petey nodded, and bOOST could see that the plant had removed all the harpoons from its' back, most likely the reason why it took a second to come back. Petey now rolled over to reveal a crushed ESAM with several broken bones.
bOOST pointed at the guy, "ESAM! I will ask you some questions, answer truthfully if you value your life! What does this cube thing do?" he held up the stolen cube in front of ESAM. The near-dead shopkeep nodded slowly, "It's a tracker... to the second part of a map..." He coughed up some blood for a couple seconds making bOOST step back a bit, "...When you combine the two... It will show the way... to Pirate... Bay..."
The young man's eyebrows went up, "Pirate Bay? Sounds pretty cool. Alright ESAM I'll let you off the hook this time." ESAM made some weird ass noises before falling unconscious and bOOST shrugged, pulling up the cube's map, "A tracker, huh? Hey, if it tracks the second part of the map, maybe the second part also tracks the first! That's why the glowing dot is approaching Beeble Bay! UH OH PEOPLE ARE COMING FOR US!" bOOST quickly gathered his beetles.
He pointed at Petey who was just lying around, "Hey Petey, think you can give me a ride?" The plant nodded, and bOOST jumped on top of its' giant head, yelling, "LET US INTERCEPT THIS OTHER PARTY WITH FULL FORCE, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-" He continued his chant as Petey propelled bOOST and his beetles into the sky.
**********************************************************************************
Police Chief Colin-Sama flicked a lever, sending a disfigured Funanbro, who was laid out on a moving table of sorts, into a large tube. They were in Sector 1, the private sector for all heads of state. Here a heavily-funded project of the Squid City Government was finally coming to fruition. Sweat ran down Colin-Sama's face as he heard several noises coming from within the tube, scientists and androids were moving back and forth, hitting buttons and typing information down as they looked at the tube through the glass. Colin-Sama slowly glanced back and up to see a shrouded figure in a fancy suit outfitted with golden straps and medallions onlooking the project from a balcony. It was Governor General Aaron. Gulping, Colin looked back through the glass wall. Originally the Emerald Void Reactor was supposed to be used for this project, but due to it being stolen by the terrorist known as MiGG, an upgraded plasma reactor was exchanged last minute; due to the severity of Funanbro's condition.
At last the tube opened, "He's coming out, get ready!" The scientists called to each other. Smoke filled the glass chamber. Heavy breaths could be heard as Colin squinted through the smoke. A figure finally began to appear from the tube, Colin knew it was Funanbro, but the man was unrecognizable. The officer was wearing a full-body robotic suit made from Squid-metal, a white shiny metal only found on DICC-5, refined in the heat of stars. The suit was indestructible, it had been tested to hell and back, nothing had even made a scratch in the exterior layers, even Metal Breathing was ineffective. Now they finally had a reason to use it: to restore the injured Funanbro to his full fighting strength and beyond. The man almost looked like a combat android, though the breathing indicated there was a human underneath.
Colin spoke into an intercom that allowed his voice to carry into the chamber, "Mr. Funanbro? Can you hear me?"
"Yes, Colin-Sama" A deep modified voice replied, "My E-Girl... is she safe? Did she see my message? Did she respond?"
The Police Chief paused before replying, "It seems, in your anger, you killed her."
Funanbro stopped moving, "I? I couldn't have." His voice was distressed and constricted, "She was going to respond. I heard a Ping!" The robotized man began to slowly walk to the glass wall, each step he took was more powerful than the last, shaking the entire lab. Colin-Sama ran back as the thick glass walls of the chamber shattered, shards of glass impaling human scientists and scraping the android ones.
Funanbro yelled out in agony,
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
The Governor General, who watched everything from above, simply smirked.
**********************************************************************************
Marcus sat across from Low Tier God in the man's living room. Simon lay unconsciousness on a couch next to both of them.
"OK LISTEN UP, GREAT WAY TO TRAIN YOUR AIR BREATHING IS TO SEE HOW LONG YOU CAN KEEP YOURSELF IN THE AIR." LTG demonstrated this, summoning air below him to launch himself slightly above the ground. Marcus nodded. While the two waited for Simon to heal, LTG was giving Marcus tips on how to effectively train his power.
"Thanks Low Tier God, you're a way better teacher than I-" Marcus cut himself off, as all of a sudden Low Tier God got to his feet and put a hand up,
"SOMEONE STRONG AS FUCK IS COMING HERE. I CAN FEEL THAT SHIT." Low Tier God closed his eyes, and slowly began walked towards the door.
Then a voice that Marcus was very familiar with cut through the air like a saw,
"LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET'S GET ROIIIIIIIIIIGHT INTO THE HELLFIREEEEEEE!"
The mansion's front entrance was instantly engulfed into an extremely hot WHITE FIRE. The door melted in milliseconds as a shadowy figure walked into the mansion, slowly being illuminated by the flames. Marcus' eyes widened in surprise, the beard, the baseball cap, the short stature. It was HIM,
"LOW TIER GOD, WATCH OUT! THAT GUY WAS THE ONE WHO BURNED DOWN THE BBC ARCADE!" Marcus shouted in warning to his master.
The gnomish man pointed towards Low Tier God "OUR FIRST KILL TODAY WILL BE LOW TIER GOD, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT! THE INFAMOUS STREET FIGHTER V PLAYER WILL FALL IN BATTLE TODAY TO NONE OTHER THAN I: GRILLER KEEMSTAR, THE STRONGEST MAN ALIVE!"
Low Tier God was absolutely SEETHING with anger, a powerful aura was starting to surround him, "GRILLER KEEMSTAR? NEVER HEARD OF YOUR ASS, YOU GOT ZERO CLOUT! GET THAT ASS BANNED." With both declarations of war out of the way, Low Tier God teleported right in front of Griller Keemstar, sending his BUFF LEG right into the man's face, "EAT SHIT N***A, BBC DROPKICK!"
Griller Keemstar caught the kick with one of his hands, setting it alight with white fire, "THAAAAAT'S RIGHT FOLKS, I'M USING THE WHITE FIRE TODAY! MY CLOUT METER JUST SKYROCKETED!"
Low Tier God grinned, the fire did absolutely jack shit to him, "DIDN'T YOUR MOTHER TELL YOUR DUMBASS THAT YOU CAN'T USE HOT FIRE AGAINST SOMEONE WITH A BBC?" LTG summoned a large wave of water, sending it right towards the fire, "GET YOUR CUM-STAINED FIRE OUTTA HERE, GET THAT ASS BANNED!" A large amount of the fire went out, soaking The Griller as well.
"LOOKS LIKE IM GOING TO HAVE TO USE THE GRILLER KEEMSTAR SPECIAL!" The short man pulled out his lightsaber hilt, a beam of read light was emitting from it soon after.
Low Tier God simply shook his head, and pulled a hilt of his own out, activating a GIGANTIC PURPLE LIGHT-MACE, "GET YOUR GOOFY ASS OUT OF MY MANSION!" Low Tier God swung his giant mace against Keemstar's lightsaber. The two began clashing with heavy blows. Marcus watched in awe as the two were locked in a deadly duel.
Keemstar struck, and Low Tier God's MUSCLES BULGED AND HELD BACK.
Low Tier God struck and Keemstar's VEINS BURSTED IN AGONY.
It looked as if LTG finally had Keemstar on the ropes, LTG swung his mace against Keemstar, slamming the man against the wall of the mansion, "TOLD YA N***A YOU GOT ZERO CLOUT, SUCK A BIG STEAMING BLACK COCK!" Low Tier God summoned Water, Earth, Fire, and Air around his fist as he came in for the final hit against Griller Keemstar, "BBC CANNON!" He shouted.
Little did everyone know, Griller Keemstar was BLOODLUSTED and had one last trick up his sleeve. Blasting fire behind him to propel himself forward, and to dodge the 'BBC CANNON', Keemstar took out his lightsaber and spun it straight toward's Marcus' heart, "LOOKS LIKE LAST WEEK'S NEWS IS STILL AROUND!" The man yelled.
Marcus' tried to jump out of the way, but he knew he was too slow. He closed his eyes, it was over.
Something grabbed Marcus' collar. Opening his eyes he saw Low. Tier. God. Impaled with Keemstar's lightsaber. He had taken the blow for Marcus, and was now looking him right in the eyes,
"MARCUS! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE... GOOFY ASS, INTERRUPTING MY FIGHT..." He coughed up some blood. Low Tier God used his other hand to slam Griller Keemstar in his face, causing the man to recoil, "NEXT TIME I SEE YOU... YOU BETTER BE ONE STRONG MOTHERFUCKER!" Low Tier God began to swing Marcus around. Griller Keemstar had gotten back up with his lightsaber, and was getting ready to swing it again at LTG. Marcus' eyes widened. Low Tier God flexed every single muscle in his body and absolutely LAUNCHED Marcus into the sky, and right after he did, he was sliced in half by Griller Keemstar.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO! LOW TIER GOD!" Marcus shouted out as he soared into orbit at light speed, leaving Low Tier God, the mansion, and Simon all behind.
**********************************************************************************
Lucas was escorted into the detention center screening room by a slick, slim, suited lizard man, "Gex Gecko. I'm making some big moves these days, you may have heard of me." the lizard man said confidently. Lucas just gave him a 'fuck off' look, and the lizard man shrugged, opening the door, and locking it after Lucas went in.
At long last it was time for Lucas to meet his appointed lawyer. Sitting down he waited patiently.
The door opened, revealing a blue-suited man. He wore a red tie and had curly brown hair. After sitting down, he flashed Lucas a smile, "I'll be taking your case today, sir, don't worry, you're in good hands."
Lucas, who was having a sick-about-it moment, lashed out, "Oh yeah? And who are you supposed to be, Phoenix Wright?"
"No, the name's Jon. Debate Jon."
END
submitted by bOOSTopian to marcushub [link] [comments]


2020.06.15 22:27 HelloLurkerHere Tinaja Girl

Hi everyone! This is another unsolved case from Spain. This one in particular has been ranked by various Spanish crime and mystery polls as one of the most intriguing cases of our country.
This is, as always, a long read. But I hope you can enjoy it. Here it goes;

"Luci 13-12-1962"



Madrid, Spain
Wednesday, August 13th, 1969


A 20-years old firefighter walked into an old abandoned farmstead colloquially referred to by locals as Casa de la Viuda (Widow's House), near the municipality of Hortaleza. He would later tell LE that he frequented that place on his spare time; the old house was spacious, and he liked to go there to exercise and keep himself in excellent shape -as his job required him to be. Since it had been abandoned, the farm was frequented by locals at night only, as at the time it was used as a lover's lane. However, the morning of that August 13 his routine would be shattered in the spookiest way possible.

There were lots of old tools, furniture and other agricultural paraphernalia there. Among these there were several large tinajas (a type of jar-like and big recipient typical of Mediterranean and North African cultures, often used to store water, oil, or grain). One of these was particularly big. That morning the firefighter, motivated by curiosity, decided to peek inside that big tinaja. And that's when he made the disturbing discovery.

There was a dead woman stuffed inside.

Knowing that the police would secure the area for preserving evidence, the firefighter exited the house avoiding touching anything. He got into his car and drove to the nearest police station, informing LE about the gruesome finding. A team of investigators drove to the scene.

The woman was naked. A black turtleneck sweater was wrapped tightly around her neck. Her blue jeans and her panties were later found down around her ankles. She was young, her age at the time estimated to be somewhere in her 20's. Her bleached hair was of a very pale shade of blonde which, along with her at the time fashionable late 1960's clothing and her silver shoes and purse, inspired a there present LE investigator to eloquently define her appearance as 'like a space doll'.

She stood 160 cm tall (or 5'3''). Slender complexion.

He face had been battered, but later on it would be ruled that the cause of dead had been mechanical asphyxiation. More specifically, her killer had squeezed her throat hard with one hand, as the finger-shaped bruises on her neck attested. She had numerous defensive wounds in the form of bruises. Death had taken place less than 48 hours earlier, and her body was barely entering into the first stages of decomposition. The swelling in her face wasn't due to the decaying process, but due to the blunt trauma-induced inflammation. This detail would make the identification process much harder than expected. There was some dry blood on her cheeks and her clothing, but no traces of blood were found on the tinaja nor around; she had been murdered somewhere else and then dropped there later.

The contents of her purse, as well as the pockets in her jeans, were examined. This didn't produce any evidence that would point at the woman's identity. A strange piece of evidence was found trapped between her clenched teeth though; a small golden medallion with the following inscription embedded on it;


LUCI 13-12-1962


Could her name be Lucía? And what was that date referring to? Obviously, it couldn't be her birth date, since the body belonged clearly to an adult woman. Investigators at the scene pondered that maybe it could be the name and birth date of her daughter. This clue was used in the investigation.

The soil at the abandoned house showed that her killer had dragged her all the way to the tinaja where she was found in. It also showed that a car had been there. Based on the tire's pattern and the approximate wheelbase of the vehicle, investigators concluded that the car used to take the woman to there was a Renault 4L, a very popular car back then in Spain. What is more; they could also find a dent on the metal frame of the property's narrow gate. It was likely caused by a car speeding through it. Although the gate was narrow, anyone who could drive a car could easily go through it slowly. However, it seemed that someone -likely the killer- had rushed through with their car, hitting the frame in their way out, and probably full of anxiety about being seen dropping a body there.

The investigators managed to retrieve samples of red colored car paint from the dent, which gave them more information about where to look. A red Renault 4L.

It seemed that the tinaja, which was made of clay, had created conditions on its interior that had slowed down the decaying process in spite of the summer temperatures -tinajas make a rather cool storage space by keeping the heat out. Because of that, LE investigators managed to produce an excellent fingerprint profile from the murdered woman. It took the team just twelve hours since sampling her fingerprints to find a match. Keep in mind this was back in 1969, before fingerprint registries were in electronic form; the team had to split into several groups to compare (visually) the fingerprints with the registries of different public agencies. Twelve hours was a really quick time for a fingerprint match back then.

The fingerprint match came with a strange surprise. It was found by the team that had been assigned to compare the sample with the fingerprints from the Registry of Foreign Passports.

According to the match, it belonged to Kerry Payne, an American citizen. Born on December 25th, 1944 in Venice, Italy. Her parents were Richard and Nuria. The additional information in the registry mentioned 'housewife' as her professional occupation.

With the new data about her identity, LE tried to contact her family and relatives to tell them the unfortunate news about her death, as well as to move forward with the murder investigation. However, things would just start to get weirder and bizarre.

Payne's parents could not be located. Neither the US embassy, nor the personnel from the nearby USAF base in Torrejón de Ardoz could find anything about her within their databases. However, a matchbox advertising for a nightclub in Raleigh, North Carolina, had been found in the crime scene near the tinaja inside of which the woman had been found. The presence of this item had made investigators to put a lot of faith in thinking that sooner or later a relative of Kerry Payne would be found. The matchbox set them to contact North Carolina's authorities, leading them into another frustrating turn as this move didn't produce any results; There were no matching records of any Kerry Payne fitting the woman's personal information.

It was almost like Kerry Payne, also known as Tinaja Girl and Space Doll, didn't exist. So who was that dead woman really then? Where did she come from? And of course... who killed her, and why?



Chameleon among Wolves



Having clear that the whole Kerry Payne ID was fake, the investigation had stalled. Without knowing the woman's ID, solving the crime was off question. They couldn't trace down her last movements, nor question her family nor acquaintances.

The investigators split once again in teams to look for other fingerprint matches, which took a bit longer time than the initial twelve hours before the first match. After a couple of days of arduous work the investigators managed to produce a second match -which turned out to be legit. Here's another surprising aspect of the discovery of this match; it came from the team looking for results on the public mental health internment records. And so they finally had a solid name.

She wasn't American, nor Italian. In fact, her origins weren't at all exotic; she was Spanish. Natividad Romero Rodríguez (commonly addressed as "Nati") was born in the small town of Siles, located at 130 km (80 mi) east of Jaén, in the middle of the semiarid, deep Manchegan countryside. Nati came to this world on July 15h, 1941, which means that she was 28 years-old when she was killed. Her mother and her brother positively identified the body by an old scar on her right forearm.
Picture of a young Nati
Nati had been problematic from a very young age; volatile, kleptomaniac and narcissistic. She also developed an addiction to alcohol and used drugs during her teenage years. Her working-class family could not manage to deal with her extremely difficult behavior. At the age of 16 she was committed to a mental institution in Jaén, for a total of seven years, after two suicide attempts. In the first one Nati had jumped from the window of a 4th floor. The second time she had tried slicing her wrists on the bathtub.
Nati, circa 1965 The investigators' inquires revealed that Nati escaped from the mental institution and moved to Madrid in 1964. She quickly adapted to the underworld and the night life of the big city; first as a pickpocket and confidence trickster, but soon as a prostitute too. She used the name "Tania" as her identity at the time. Fifty-something questioned people later (being shown Nati's pictures), the investigators found that she lived with a man named Juan between August of 1964 and some point of the fall of 1965. There isn't much information about Juan, except that he was a black man and had a large scar on his face. He apparently was a soldier, and was sent to serve at a navy base in Rota (some 480 km, or 300 mi, southwest of Madrid). Nati didn't follow him to Rota; instead, she remained in Madrid, surviving by making money 'out of the night'.

Sometimes known by the name of Tania, sometimes by the name of Luci... and yes, also known as Kerry. She also liked to change her hair color very often, sometimes up to three times a week. These questioned about Nati -including other prostitutes- stated that she often 'worked' at the bars and nightclubs near the USAF base in Torrejón de Ardoz (active from 1953 to 1992), targeting American soldiers looking to spend some of their money on local women. She seemed to have a preference for black American soldiers, as she was often seen with them. When she was not heading to a hotel room escorted by an African-American soldier, Nati catered to local patrons posing as an American woman. She was reportedly very good at feigning an American accent, and she had discovered she was better paid for her services because of that. As for her personal life, Nati claimed to be a lesbian that the only thing she wanted from men was their money, and many people recalled her being physical with women (paid or not). Nati had, however, a worrisome tendency to seek very young girls for her personal pleasure.

Her acquaintances also mentioned than Nati always looked 'off' or 'sleepy', like on drugs. Although when considering this point it's worth remembering that Nati was an alcoholic and frequent drug user, on top of suffering from serious mental illness. When she didn't look drugged Nati was seen either drinking, looking for patrons or just looking for a fight; she was a violent woman who made an extensive use of foul language and profanity.

As the whole story unraveled, the investigators bumped into a big 'a-ha' moment when they learned that Nati had married in 1966. The name of her husband?

Leonard Payne. American citizen. USAF Airman First Class, stationed at Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base.

And yes; he was African-American.
Nati and Leonard, around 1966

The marriage was blessed with two children later on. It was also blessed, more obscurely, with generous money transfers from the US. These transfers amounted an average of around $2,000 a month, which in 2020 is the equivalent to about $16,000, or some 14,000€. It's not clear what kind of family background Leonard had, but his monthly salary at USAF certainly wouldn't match such amounts of money. The origin and motive of these money transfers has never been clear. The couple had rented a very expensive flat to live in.
Nati, with one of the children she had with Leonard

In early 1968 Leonard, who has an avionics expert, was sent to Vietnam, leaving Nati alone in Madrid. At some point of that year Leonard went MIA in Vietnam, and soon presumed dead. Seems like not long after the news of Leonard's tragic demise were received the money stopped coming, and Nati's behavior became even more erratic and unpredictable. She was eventually arrested for drugging a teen girl and sexually abusing her, a crime for which she was sent to the Ventas Prison for Women. She spent eight months there.

During her time in prison she became an inmate most of the women there avoided; Nati was too volatile, too unpredictable (except for the fact that she'd resort to aggression sooner or later) and always trying to smuggle alcohol inside. In one occasion she and other two inmates ended up in the infirmary after a disastrous attempt to produce moonshine; their drink contained enough methanol to poison them. Nati and one of the two women survived. The other one died.

She was often getting into scuffles there, especially taking into account the nature of the crime she'd been sent there for. One night another inmate made fun of Nati's deceased African-American husband, using a pejorative racial slur. Nati reacted by walking up to that woman and smacking her with a heavy oil can so hard that the woman needed several stitches on her face.

After her release from prison in early 1969 Nati moved in with one of her friends -a former prostitute- and her boyfriend. It's not clear if this couple was taking care of Nati's children while she was in prison, or if the children were sent to the US to live with Leonard's family. Soon after Nati was kicked out of that residence, after she had been caught stealing from them; this friend's name was Lucía, and she was the owner of the golden medallion that would later be found between Neti's teeth. Apparently, Nati had found a job at a club, but she was fired soon after for being frequently caught drunk at work.

From this point up until her death six months later, Nati's movements become unclear. One night of late February a police patrol car found her lying unconscious and bloodied on the sidewalk at El Retiro Park. Someone had subjected her to a savage beating. The policemen drove Nati to a hospital and, after she received treatment, they tried to convince her to fill an assault report. However Nati -concussed and with her lips grotesquely swollen- refused to do so. She also claimed that she didn't know the person who had attacked her. The policemen didn't believe that, and suspected that she had been beaten up by a pimp or a patron.

According to other sex workers, Nati had spent the spring and summer of 1969 resuming her routine of trying to get black USAF soldiers to pay for her services. However, she had also expressed some concerns about her own safety, confiding to her friends that she felt 'followed'. She didn't seem to explain to them further about these feelings though.

Nati was seen alive for the last time at around 4:00 AM of August 12th, 1969. Whatever happened to her between that moment and the morning of the following day when the firefighter discovered her body was a complete mystery. By early 1970 the investigation had stalled and the case became cold. Ironically, it would take one particularly cold night about one year later to warm the case back into life...



Thugs and Knives



Madrid, Spain
Saturday, January 30th, 1971


7th Barbieri Street, early morning hours. The Piloto Bar was full of patrons, as it was habitual on weekend nights. Everyone was having a good time on that gelid winter night under the warm roof of the bar. Patrons drank, smoked cigarettes and chatted with their friends, probably about football. Others would bet rounds of beers among their friends over a game of table football. A barman in his 50's named Pedro Herraiz was the owner of the bar. That busy night the 32-years old waiter Álvaro Coque was working alongside with him, as well as another waiter, a kitchen porter and the cook.

It was a busy, but peaceful night until that guy and his friends walked into the bar.

His name was José Antonio Sánchez Gil, but everyone around knew him by the nickname 'Pepe el Guapo' ('Handsome Pepe'). His good looks and his success with women made his nickname self-explanatory. He was a tall, intimidating man who, along with his friends, regularly terrorized the neighborhood. The 29-years old Pepe was a ruthless pimp with many girls under his 'protection services'. He used that fearsome reputation to drink as much as he pleased at the local bars without paying a cent. Standing up to him would mean having Pepe and his friends doing a number to the bar, trashing the place and assaulting the staff.

Pepe ordered whiskey, as he always did. And he invited his friends to drink, as he always did. Everyone at the Piloto Bar knew that standing up to Pepe was a very bad idea. However, that night Pepe made a big mistake. It would be his last one. Apparently, Mr. Herraiz had stood behind the counter looking at Pepe as he drank, not hiding his animosity towards that thug. Then Pepe, probably feeling challenged, decided to cap the night off with the ultimate humiliation; he invited Herraiz to drink a glass of his best whiskey. A drink which, of course, Pepe had zero intentions to pay for.

The 'invitation' was met with a counter-offer from Herraiz; Pepe and his friends should leave the bar immediately and never come back. Herraiz had had enough, and that drink suggestion had been the straw that broke the camel's back. Pepe then grabbed an empty beer bottle from the counter and smashed it against Herraiz's forehead, dazzling him. Almost immediately Pepe jumped over the counter and started beating up Herraiz; his friends soon joined the beating, and the floored Herraiz was at the receiving end of a brutal barrage of kicks and stomps.

The Piloto's staff wasted no time; they all grabbed ham knives from the kitchen and rushed back out to help their boss. Pepe and his gang pulled out their switchblades and a violent knife fight ensued. It didn't seem that things would go well for the staff, as they were being outnumbered by the thugs. The cook suffered a severe stab wound in one of his buttocks. But the waiter Coque managed to catch Pepe off-guard (the criminal was distracted fighting someone else) and drove the long knife blade into his ribcage, slicing part of his heart. Pepe collapsed almost immediately.

Probably emboldened after seeing Pepe finally being at the wrong end of a knife blade, many of the patrons that night at the Piloto bar joined the fight too, siding with the staff. Pepe's gang was now overwhelmed with punches, beer bottles and even bar stools. Around this time several police officers reached the bar. All except for a couple of Pepe's friends managed to escape the beating and flee running down the street. These who couldn't had to be rescued by the police officers; the scuffle and the agitation were so intense that the officers had to use their batons to dissuade the patrons from continuing their attack on these thugs.

Herraiz, who had been badly beaten, was taken to hospital, and so was the cook because of his stab wound. Both men eventually made a full recovery. Pepe, on the other hand, was pronounced dead at hospital. His violent death surprised no one, and saddened no one either. In fact, locals joked around afterwards noticing the irony behind the fact that 'Handsome Pepe' had died, literally, from a broken heart. It seems that the man who put an end to his life, the waiter Álvaro Coque (a husband and a father of two kids who had no criminal record), faced minimal or no charges.

That night the police officers made some arrests. Obviously the thugs that didn't manage to escape were arrested, as well as the most aggressive patrons that had still some fight in them. But they also arrested a patron in particular, one who during the melee had been seen trying to not to get involved and leaving the scene discreetly.

His name was Gregorio Ávila Sotoca, more known locally as 'Goyo'. The reasons he had tried his best to avoid the fight had nothing to do with ethics or pacifism; Goyo was well known by Madrid's LE at the time. At 28, he was a mugger, thief, and a drug dealer. But he was known especially as a pimp. He had been the subject of a search and arrest warrant for the previous six months due to a string of robberies he was a suspect of, and had spent that time trying to keep a low profile to fly under LE's radar.
A picture of Gregorio Ávila Sotoca, alias 'Goyo'

Goyo was placed on a cell at the main police station -something he wasn't unfamiliar with. The police chief on command of Goyo's arrest that night was a man named Manuel Lista. Mr. Lista was a tall and big man who, in spite of his intimidating appearance, never used physical force against any detainee -back in the 1970's Spain police brutality was the norm rather than the exception, especially when the detainees were regular offenders like Goyo was. Instead, Lista preferred a slow and patient method of interrogation; without even raising his voice (looking almost fatherly, in fact) he would come up with the same questions over and over, staring into the offender's eyes. He would also question the detainees at early morning hours, waking them up several times a night.

That weekend Lista was reportedly trying to make Goyo confess to pimping women and robbery charges. However (according to him and his subordinates) something extremely unexpected happened.

Goyo finally broke down and said; "It's about that Tinaja Girl, right? Well, I killed her".

Why would Goyo supposedly admit that is not clear. Apparently, he blurted that out after Lista had asked him many times "to start talking", but no one at the station expected him to have anything to do with Nati. Goyo told them that the night of August 11th, 1969 he was very drunk and had met Nati at a café-bar. They drank some more there and then Goyo proposed Nati to go to his place, to which she refused. Then he drove her in his car -a red Renault 4L- to the abandoned house where Nati's dead body was later found. Goyo reportedly told Lista and his men that once there they 'couldn't reach and agreement and Nati started nagging and making fun of him'. This enraged Goyo, who described to Lista how he put both hands on Nati's throat and squeezed until she passed out. After that Goyo slapped her face, trying to wake her up, until he realized that Nati was dead. Finally, Goyo stripped her naked, took her money and her jewelry and hid her body inside the big tinaja.

Goyo also described how he was so full of anxiety when leaving that his car gazed the gate's frame, scratching the bodywork. By the morning he had stayed at one of his girl's apartment, and Goyo told her he was leaving later that day 'for a road trip'. He told her he was leaving to León (340 kilometers, or some 210 miles, northwest from Madrid) for a few days. However, Goyo moved into the apartment of another of the prostitutes he pimped. He later called the first girl and told her he was in León, although he hadn't left Madrid. He asked her if someone 'had asked about him lately'. Goyo returned from his 'trip' a few days after Nati's body was found.



An international affair?



With that unexpected confession Goyo thereby became the main suspect for the mysterious murder of Nati Romero, the Tinaja Girl.

When the word that Goyo had been arrested as a suspect for murder spread around, many girls mustered enough courage to speak up to LE about Goyo. It turned out that Goyo was a sadistic and violent pimp whose girls feared him enough to not to report even the most gruesome abuse. LE considered the girls' statements as very likely, as apparently they were quite consistent. In one particularly disturbing statement, Goyo had locked up one of the girls in his apartment and beat her up very badly. The girl managed to endure the beating, thinking that that would be all. But then Goyo had pulled out a pocketknife; this girl feared so much for her life that she jumped from the window (a 2nd floor) onto the street, and then hid under a car while a deranged Goyo screamed that he was going 'to rip her heart out' while looking for her. This girl had been found later that day by a police officer, who asked her who had attacked her. She insisted that a gang of teenage boys had jumped on her to take her money, never mentioning Goyo.

What is more; Goyo had a big collection of 'tools' at home (he called them 'his toys') that he would use to discipline the girls. According to the women who came forward after his arrest, Goyo would administer, in his own words, 'pain or pleasure, depending of what the girl in particular required'. The full nature of these tools is never specified, though. A total of 54 women had come forward to tell LE what kind of monster Goyo was.

Thanks to these reports, Lista and his team though they got a solid suspect in custody. It matched what they already knew about Goyo beforehand. He was often involved in street fights and had a reputation of being quick to pull out his knife when challenged or threatened. He was a very violent man, and the girls he extorted were absolutely terrified of him.

Goyo was brought to trial. And then, when everyone thought that he'd be facing a long time in prison for the murder of Nati Romero, the whole case fell apart.

First, Goyo denied ever having confessed killing Nati. He told the judge that he had been coerced into a confession and that he had been physically tortured.

This wouldn't have gone further if not for what the defense came up with. Goyo had stated many times (according to the questioning with Lista) that he had used both hands to strangle Nati. However, the forensic doctor that had performed the autopsy had noticed that it just couldn't have been that way; whoever strangled Nati did so using only his right hand; the killer had used his left hand to pin Nati's right arm to the ground, making her more defenseless. Also, whoever killed her had hands much bigger than Goyo's (who was an average sized man).

That wasn't all; Goyo said that after noticing that Nati had passed out he smacked her face several times trying to make her regain consciousness. But again, this didn't fit the forensic findings. Nati's facial injuries didn't suggest a few slaps in the face; they suggested a brutal beating, probably punched or knee'd several times in the face. Also, the facial injuries happened, in all likelihood, before being strangled, not after.

The scenario provided by the forensic doctor and his team didn't suggest a quick murder like the one described by Goyo's confession. Nati had put up a tremendous fight against her attacker, reason why the killer had to pin Nati's right arm to the ground. The high amount of defensive wounds found in her body supported this scenario. If she panicked when she was attacked, she certainly did not freeze in fear.

The confession is one of the darkest spots in this case. Manuel Lista was said to have never engaged in physical torture -which Goyo accused him of. However, his questioning methods could be considered psychological torture, at least nowadays. It's stated, though, that when Goyo was finally transferred from the station's cell to jail he had gone from 'dangerous hardened criminal' to a 'sobbing little boy' in the matter of a weekend.

Because of the lack of evidence and the forensic findings pointing at a different story, Goyo was declared non guilty of the murder of Natividad Romero. This didn't mean he walked free though; he was sentenced to five years in prison for his pending pimping and theft charges. Goyo's lawyer appealed to the Supreme Court about his sentence; the appeal was rejected.

Meanwhile, Nati's killer was still unidentified and likely at large. The Crime Brigade handed the case to the superintendent Antonio Viqueira. Viqueira (1916-1998) was a highly esteemed detective with an impressive resume; in 1958 he was behind the team that managed to catch the first official spree killers in Spain, José María Jarabo. He had also cracked several cult-related crime cases in the 1960's and 1970's, as well as apprehending a serial rapist who targeted prostitutes in the 1960's, using a clever strategy with the collaboration of the sex workers. Because of his brilliant career he was often invited for talks at Universities aimed at Crime Science students. Reportedly, he used to explain to these students that 'not only dead bodies talk; the objects found in the crime scene talk too'. And also that 'simplicity, along with logic, brings the truth to light'.

Viqueira put his method to work in the Tinaja Girl case. Following his own experience, he paid attention to the objects found at the crime scene. Let's remember a particularly unusual item found near the tinaja were Nati ended up in; the matchbox.

This matchbox was traced to a nightclub in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the United States. There was no way to buy it in Spanish territory, and locals would buy matches from Spanish companies. USAF airmen didn't frequent the abandoned house Nati was found at, making extremely unlikely that the matchbox had been there before Nati's murder. There were just two likely scenarios; a) Given her involvement with USAF African-American airmen -let's remember she had married one-, the matchbox belonged to Nati and b) it belonged to the killer.

The Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base became the target of Viqueira's attention. He believed that the killer had ties to there. More so because according to the girl whose flat Goyo had hidden at, one time she casually discussed the Tinaja Girl case with him (whose investigation was often making headlines then) and Goyo had expressed; 'I think the Yanks did it, but don't go around talking about it'.

In fact, Viqueira's inquires eventually led him to an USAF airman. He was known for patronizing prostitutes, was a physically large man... and he was also African-American. It seems that Viqueira managed to gather a significant amount of evidence against him, but the airman was never prosecuted. Some have speculated that neither American nor Spanish authorities wanted the case to move forward.

A few words about US-Spain relations at the time. In December of 1959 Dwight Eisenhower became the first American president to make an official visit to Spain -some ten years earlier Truman had expressed his hatred towards the Francoist Regime, vowing to never visit Spain for as long as Franco ruled the country. Spain wouldn't receive the visit of another US president until October of 1970, when Richard Nixon met with Francisco Franco and the Monarchy at the Moncloa Palace. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had avoided visiting Spain while they were in office; both were vocal about their opposition to the Francoist dictatorship. US-Spain international relationship was not at its best during that time, and it started to improve slowly with Nixon. There had been recently another incident that had created a conflict between both countries, creating a sense of distrust among Spaniards towards Americans; the 1966 Palomares incident, whose social consequences had an impact even up to 1986, year in which a public referendum was held in Spain about remaining in NATO -Spain had joined in 1982, but not without a significant opposition from a good percentage of the Spanish people.

By early 1970's both countries had improved their diplomatic relationship significantly, a trend that would later continue with Gerald Ford (who visited Spain in May of 1975, six months before Franco's death). Because of this, some believed that the Tinaja Girl case couldn't move forward. However, this was not the first case Viqueira had to accuse an American citizen of a serious crime; in August of 1960 an American woman named Mildred A. H. had rushed her 22-month old daughter Marcella H. to the Torrenjón de Ardoz Hospital with severe head injuries. She said that the little girl had fallen from her bed. Unfortunately, Marcella succumbed to her injuries that night. An investigation led by Viqueira ended up proving that Marcella's injuries had been caused after she had sustained a beating at the hands of her own father, Allen W. H., USAF sergeant stationed at Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base. Both husband and wife were arrested for the murder of the little Marcella; Allen as the culprit and Mildred as accomplice. Allen W. H. faced a court martial and was sentenced to prison. He ended up at the Leavenworth Penitentiary, in Kansas, where his sentence included penal labor. Apparently, the day after he murdered his daughter Allen had showed up to work, and his coworkers didn't notice anything odd or amiss; he looked absolutely calm and collected.



Aftermath



Whatever the true reason may have been, the African-American airman was never arrested. It could have been because the evidence gathered by Viqueira was not enough to warrant an arrest, but there's not much information about this.

Gregorio 'Goyo' Ávila Sotoca has been the only person to ever face trial for the murder of Natividad 'Nati' Romero Rodríguez. Besides the African-American airman, no other suspect has come up in subsequent investigations.

Once all the forensic work was done, Nati was buried on August 25th, 1969 at her hometown of Siles. While her family was very saddened about her early dead, they said that they were not surprised; Nati had been a very difficult person since a very young age, and was a matter of time before she would end up dead. She lived very fast, and died very young.
Another picture of Nati

Goyo Ávila Sotoca passed away in September of 1998. He was 55-years old.

The case remained cold until it expired in August 13th, 1989 due to statute of limitations. The investigation was abandoned more than 30 years ago.





Some sources (Spanish)


https://criminalia.es/asesino/el-crimen-de-la-tinaja/
http://elojocritico.info/los-casos-del-comisario-antonio-viqueira-y-ii/
http://manuelcarballal.blogspot.com/2008/07/los-casos-del-comisario-viqueira.html
http://psicokillers.com/el-crimen-de-la-tinaja/
https://espaciodeindrianiblog2.blogspot.com/2016/09/el-crimen-de-la-tinaja.html
https://www.libertaddigital.com/opinion/fin-de-semana/el-crimen-de-la-tinaja-1276230125.html
http://manoquemecelacuna.blogspot.com/2017/03/el-crimen-de-la-tinaja.html
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2020.05.30 17:54 ack1308 [Hammer and Anvil] - Chapter Two

Chapter Two: Scenting Trouble

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Over the next ten Galactic Average years, I heard about humans now and again. It seemed they’d made good use of the tech-specs we’d dropped off with them. Once in a megacycle, I’d hear a few human-slang terms from fellow travellers, terms that I’d last heard from human tech workers back while we were repairing Promise Upheld in that cobbled-together shipyard. It was good to hear that the Xan’thuilli hadn’t wiped them out. They were a determined lot, as evidenced by their tech. If they didn’t know how to do something subtle, they went loud and proud. And when they decided to do war, they didn’t mess around. That, at least, was something they’d figured out long before we came along.
The old crew was still mostly together, though there were a few changes. Burble had transitioned all the way to female, gotten married, and had holo-pics of her co-mates and hatchlings up on her console. They were all still in the swimming stage (the hatchlings, not the co-mates) and they all looked the same to me, but she said she’d named every one of them. For me, I’d met a nice girl and we were talking about making things official once I got to the end of my current duty rotation. Ja’kara was still our Captain, though she’d gotten a commendation and a promotion out of the skirmish with the Worm ship over Earth. Bringing another sapient species into the Galactic community was worth a few kudos. In fact, we’d all gotten commendations over that one.
Now she was a Commodore, with Promise Upheld as her flagship and fifteen others under her command. She’d had each of us serve time in the other ships, bringing their crews up to speed, before she pulled us back into her ship where we belonged. It was an unconventional approach, but it worked; we were a tight, slick fighting group. We were the ones who got sent on probes into Xan’thuilli space, knocking out nests and killing ships.
As a tactic, it seemed to be working. After about the fifth or sixth year, something seemed to give way in the Worm lines, and they stopped taking back the planets we burned clear of them. We amphib-jumped forward into their space, pausing long enough to establish forward bases, then kept pushing. Their ships opposed us, of course, but our little group could take on a bunch up to twice its size and leave them as chunks of debris floating in space, and we weren’t the only strike group of our type out there. At first, I wasn’t sure if that was because we’d gotten that much better or if they were slipping. Afterward, I began to suspect it was the latter.
Still, there was a saying about looking a gift animal in the mouth—I think it was something a human said to me back on Earth—so we just kept pushing forward, rolling up their defenses. We still encountered ships, but these were barely able to put up a fight. Designed just to get Worms from one place to another. The sort of craft you’d find well back behind the lines.
Which made us all wonder. I wasn’t the only one to spot it; Burble, Pishka and Ja’kara all talked about it. For generations, centuries, millennia, the Xan’thuilli had held firm, pushed outward where they could. Their tech, stolen from the races they’d subsumed, had allowed them to face us on a one-for-one (and sometimes better than that) basis. But now it was like we had prodded a fruit long thought hard and ripe, and found it rotten and soft. We were facing Worm ships that were generations out of date, far behind the curve when it came to facing our best and brightest.
We were winning, almost insultingly easily, and we didn’t know why.
So of course, we had to find out. With Ja’kara commanding, we pushed forward into Xan’thuilli space. Part of our loadout included information-gathering probes, and we fired one off every now and again. If we saw a ship, we were to try to kill it without reducing it to molten shrapnel, so our tech guys could comb through any computer memory left behind.
And then, one fine day in the middle of the sunless void, we got our chance.
It was a small convoy, but it was burning hard, engines going all out. They were heading somewhere fast. Pishka scraped their drive signature out of the background chaff from half a lightyear out, and gave us a heading by instinct and eye before his console had finished digesting the information. Ja’kara had the sapient on helm (new transfer from one of our other ships, a Pillan like her called Ga’takka) lay in the course and send it to the rest of the strike force. Then we lit off our hyperspace drives and went to intercept.
Pishka was good. We came out on the far side of a star, and were able to swing around it and get squarely in their path before their sensors even registered our existence. There were forty-three of them, but only four were fighting ships. The rest were drudge-haulers, and would be more of a threat through accidental collision than any sort of attack capability. This was a real possibility, so Ja’kara had the other fifteen start shooting to kill on forty-two of them. The forty-third, a horrifically outdated fighting ship that hadn’t been around on the front lines for more than a century, was ours. We had to capture it, or at least kill it in such a way that we could study its onboard computers.
At FTL speeds, there’s no time for a leisurely dogfight. They ran onto our guns before they knew we were there. In the time it took me to wipe my nictitating membranes across my eyes once, the convoy was past us and gone, but we’d vapourised half of them, including two of the escort ships, with our barrage. They couldn’t even evade now, because we had their drive signature. We turned and gave chase.
If they’d been any species other than Xan’thuilli, I might have felt pity for them. Ja’kara probably would’ve given them a chance to surrender. But Worms didn’t surrender. They didn’t know how. It was impossible to interrogate a single Worm, as their intelligence only emerged in bulk. They were literally a virus inflicted on the cosmos. So we had to kill them. And, of course, to capture one ship.
We were faster than them, could follow them to the end of Creation and back with Pishka’s lock on their drive signature, and I’d gotten a good look at their battleshields on the way through. Single frequency, rotating through three prime-number variables. As good as sitting there naked in the middle of space painting a target on their vital areas. I sent the data through to Guns, and got back a quick cartoon of a limping prey-beast with a predator strolling up behind it, eating utensils in hand. Knowing the frequency of enemy battleshields can mean the difference between winning and losing, and we had it all.
They couldn’t run, they couldn’t hide and they couldn’t fight. One of their escorts fell back to engage us, while the others kept going. It concentrated its fire on our shields, then accelerated to ram. Burble was on top of her game; her skilful retuning of the shields meant that the incoming energy splashed off our defences like water from her back. Before the escort itself could get close enough to be a problem, the gun crews punched through its shields and converted most of it to undifferentiated plasma.
“Good shooting. Try not to do that to the next one,” Ja'kara commented dryly. “We want enough to analyse.” There was no censure in her tone; she knew well the demands of war.
As the rest of the strike force closed in on the remaining transports, they tried one last desperation manoeuvre; scattering to every point of the galactic disc. We all knew the order Ja'kara would give, and we were correct. “Pursue and destroy!” she snapped. “The escort’s ours!”
It was a calculated risk. The chance of being ambushed was always a factor, but none of the transports had the legs to run away from us. There was nothing in any direction that could hide a force strong enough to challenge us. In any case, the Worms didn’t do decoys. It wasn’t in their playbook.
We didn’t need to waste time deciding who was to go after which transport. Ja'kara had always fostered an independent mindset in her captains, so when it was time to take the initiative they sorted it out between themselves with a flurry of messages. This left us free to concentrate on the escort, which was redlining its engines in an attempt to get away.
Destroying it would’ve been easy, but Ja'kara's orders were to capture it as close to intact as we could manage. That made the job somewhat more problematic. Fortunately, we’d been doing this for a long time; ‘problematic’ just meant we had to take a little more care.
As we got closer, both Pishka and I scanned that ship down almost to the molecular level. As was our habit, I kept a screen clear he could throw interesting data onto, and he did the same with me. I found the frequency of its sensor spoofing relatively quickly and shared it; a microcycle or two later, he reciprocated with a scan map of the resonances within the hull. A little collaboration between us located weak spots in its battleshields directly over what we agreed were its engine nacelles, and we sent the data over to Guns. Three extremely precise shots later, it dropped back into realspace.
“Well done,” Ja’kara noted. “Now all we have to do is hit the life support—” As she spoke, another shot punched through the ship, and I watched the life support begin to wind back to zero as atmosphere vented into space. Without missing a beat, she continued. “—and the main power core, without blowing it up …”
Guns took another couple of microcycles waiting to fire, while Pishka and I firmed up the data. A single shot, and everything died on it; lights, battleshields, the lot.
“Well done,” she murmured. “Keep scanning for secondary life support. We don’t want our boarding party to get any nasty surprises.”
This was true. Nobody wanted even one live Worm on board. Everything coming back on board would be scanned to a fare-thee-well as it was. I maintained a watch on the Xan’thuilli ship while Pishka kept a lookout all around. Even before the extraction crew got to the drifting hulk, we were greeted with hails from our returning ships. Fifteen for fifteen, and all transports accounted for.
They formed up around us, sensors scanning local hyperspace as well as realspace, and Pishka and I were able to concentrate on watching for any surprises in the dead ship we were looting. A few systems were still sparking and sputtering on backup power, and we steered the exploratory team around those. The ship was open to vacuum, and Worms were as vulnerable to that as any other biological organism. It had been thought at first that they could use the once-living bodies of their victims as organic space suits, right up until we exposed one to vacuum and watched the writhing tangles of the Worms get ejected out the same orifices they’d used to get into the body. The sight was disgusting yet somehow deeply satisfying.
Still, that was no excuse to slack off. Along with Pishka, I maintained a steady watch while they located the computers, dismounted everything they could carry, and re-boarded the shuttle they’d gone over by. Neither of us budged, checking and rechecking every reading, until the shuttle was safely back in the bay and everything (and everyone) had been checked over. In triplicate.
Once we were squared away, Ja’kara gave the order to move away from the Xan’thuilli ship and dispose of it. Several shots into the right places did the job, breaking up the large sections and causing a series of explosions within. Then it was time to investigate what the front-line troops had recovered.
Xan’thuilli never invented anything themselves. They always made use of the technological advancements of the races they ate the brains of, most of which we already knew. In addition, this was an old ship with outdated tech. It took us more time to set up the correct power supply along with input and output than it did to actually crack the datafiles.
When Pishka and I started to swear, Ja’kara was somehow waiting just inside the hatchway. I suppose when I learned to be exactly where I needed to be, I’d be ready for my own command as well. She stepped forward, getting our attention. “Report.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I paused for a microcycle to get my thoughts into line. “We found out why there’s nothing on this side of Wormspace. If these astro-charts line up with ours the way I think they do …”
“They do,” Pishka interrupted without taking his eyes off the holo-display.
I gestured in agreement with him. “… then the Worms have found something really big and really tasty out in the Indigo quadrant. You know, behind the Rift. Right about where we found that planet with the humans. Earth, I think the name was?”
“And it’s so big and tasty, they’re putting out the word for everyone to come and join in?” Her voice was low and dangerous. I recalled she’d been given a case of some local ethanol derivative called ‘vodka’ before we left Earth. It wasn’t to my taste; I much preferred something called ‘cocoa’.
“That’s our best interpretation of what they’re saying,” I said. “We could be wrong. That glyph almost certainly says ‘come’, that one means ‘urgent’ and that one there is ‘plenty to eat’. The rest, we’re not so sure about.”
“But you are sure about the location?” Her nostrils flared as she inhaled, as though trying to get the scent of her prey through the holoscreen. “They’re referring to Earth?”
I looked her in the eye. “Yes, ma’am. That much, we’re sure of.”
“Very well. Back to your duty stations.” She stepped back out of the hatch and vanished along the corridor, calling out orders. Pishka and I glanced at each other, then we started shutting down the captured computer.
“Straight burn to Earth?” he surmised.
“Looks like it.” I grimaced. They’d been nice people, and they’d shown willing. I hated the idea that they might’ve been overrun by the Xan’thuilli. If that had happened, we’d have to sterilise the planet down to the bedrock.
“But are we going there to save it or destroy it?” We’d been working together for so long he could almost read my thoughts.
I took a deep breath. “I guess we’ll find that out when we get there.”
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2020.05.23 12:36 ack1308 Hammer and Anvil (Part 2 of 3)

[A/N: Originally, this was going to be a two-parter. Now it's three. Enjoy.]

Part Two: Scenting Trouble

[Prev] [Next]
Over the next ten Galactic Average years, I heard about humans now and again. It seemed they’d made good use of the tech-specs we’d dropped off with them. Once in a megacycle, I’d hear a few human-slang terms from fellow travellers, terms that I’d last heard from human tech workers back while we were repairing Promise Upheld in that cobbled-together shipyard. It was good to hear that the Xan’thuilli hadn’t wiped them out. They were a determined lot, as evidenced by their tech. If they didn’t know how to do something subtle, they went loud and proud. And when they decided to do war, they didn’t mess around. That, at least, was something they’d figured out long before we came along.
The old crew was still mostly together, though there were a few changes. Burble had transitioned all the way to female, gotten married, and had holo-pics of her co-mates and hatchlings up on her console. They were all still in the swimming stage (the hatchlings, not the co-mates) and they all looked the same to me, but she said she’d named every one of them. For me, I’d met a nice girl and we were talking about making things official once I got to the end of my current duty rotation. Ja’kara was still our Captain, though she’d gotten a commendation and a promotion out of the skirmish with the Worm ship over Earth. Bringing another sapient species into the Galactic community was worth a few kudos. In fact, we’d all gotten commendations over that one.
Now she was a Commodore, with Promise Upheld as her flagship and fifteen others under her command. She’d had each of us serve time in the other ships, bringing their crews up to speed, before she pulled us back into her ship where we belonged. It was an unconventional approach, but it worked; we were a tight, slick fighting group. We were the ones who got sent on probes into Xan’thuilli space, knocking out nests and killing ships.
As a tactic, it seemed to be working. After about the fifth or sixth year, something seemed to give way in the Worm lines, and they stopped taking back the planets we burned clear of them. We amphib-jumped forward into their space, pausing long enough to establish forward bases, then kept pushing. Their ships opposed us, of course, but our little group could take on a bunch up to twice its size and leave them as chunks of debris floating in space, and we weren’t the only strike group of our type out there. At first, I wasn’t sure if that was because we’d gotten that much better or if they were slipping. Afterward, I began to suspect it was the latter.
Still, there was a saying about looking a gift animal in the mouth—I think it was something a human said to me back on Earth—so we just kept pushing forward, rolling up their defenses. We still encountered ships, but these were barely able to put up a fight. Designed just to get Worms from one place to another. The sort of craft you’d find well back behind the lines.
Which made us all wonder. I wasn’t the only one to spot it; Burble, Pishka and Ja’kara all talked about it. For generations, centuries, millennia, the Xan’thuilli had held firm, pushed outward where they could. Their tech, stolen from the races they’d subsumed, had allowed them to face us on a one-for-one (and sometimes better than that) basis. But now it was like we had prodded a fruit long thought hard and ripe, and found it rotten and soft. We were facing Worm ships that were generations out of date, far behind the curve when it came to facing our best and brightest.
We were winning, almost insultingly easily, and we didn’t know why.
So of course, we had to find out. With Ja’kara commanding, we pushed forward into Xan’thuilli space. Part of our loadout included information-gathering probes, and we fired one off every now and again. If we saw a ship, we were to try to kill it without reducing it to molten shrapnel, so our tech guys could comb through any computer memory left behind.
And then, one fine day in the middle of the sunless void, we got our chance.
It was a small convoy, but it was burning hard, engines going all out. They were heading somewhere fast. Pishka scraped their drive signature out of the background chaff from half a lightyear out, and gave us a heading by instinct and eye before his console had finished digesting the information. Ja’kara had the sapient on helm (new transfer from one of our other ships, a Pillan like her called Ga’takka) lay in the course and send it to the rest of the strike force. Then we lit off our hyperspace drives and went to intercept.
Pishka was good. We came out on the far side of a star, and were able to swing around it and get squarely in their path before their sensors even registered our existence. There were forty-three of them, but only four were fighting ships. The rest were drudge-haulers, and would be more of a threat through accidental collision than any sort of attack capability. This was a real possibility, so Ja’kara had the other fifteen start shooting to kill on forty-two of them. The forty-third, a horrifically outdated fighting ship that hadn’t been around on the front lines for more than a century, was ours. We had to capture it, or at least kill it in such a way that we could study its onboard computers.
At FTL speeds, there’s no time for a leisurely dogfight. They ran onto our guns before they knew we were there. In the time it took me to wipe my nictitating membranes across my eyes once, the convoy was past us and gone, but we’d vapourised half of them, including two of the escort ships, with our barrage. They couldn’t even evade now, because we had their drive signature. We turned and gave chase.
If they’d been any species other than Xan’thuilli, I might have felt pity for them. Ja’kara probably would’ve given them a chance to surrender. But Worms didn’t surrender. They didn’t know how. It was impossible to interrogate a single Worm, as their intelligence only emerged in bulk. They were literally a virus inflicted on the cosmos. So we had to kill them. And, of course, to capture one ship.
We were faster than them, could follow them to the end of Creation and back with Pishka’s lock on their drive signature, and I’d gotten a good look at their battleshields on the way through. Single frequency, rotating through three prime-number variables. As good as sitting there naked in the middle of space painting a target on their vital areas. I sent the data through to Guns, and got back a quick cartoon of a limping prey-beast with a predator strolling up behind it, eating utensils in hand. Knowing the frequency of enemy battleshields can mean the difference between winning and losing, and we had it all.
They couldn’t run, they couldn’t hide and they couldn’t fight. One of their escorts fell back to engage us, while the others kept going. It concentrated its fire on our shields, then accelerated to ram. Burble was on top of her game; her skilful retuning of the shields meant that the incoming energy splashed off our defences like water from her back. Before the escort itself could get close enough to be a problem, the gun crews punched through its shields and converted most of it to undifferentiated plasma.
“Good shooting. Try not to do that to the next one,” Ja'kara commented dryly. “We want enough to analyse.” There was no censure in her tone; she knew well the demands of war.
As the rest of the strike force closed in on the remaining transports, they tried one last desperation manoeuvre; scattering to every point of the galactic disc. We all knew the order Ja'kara would give, and we were correct. “Pursue and destroy!” she snapped. “The escort’s ours!”
It was a calculated risk. The chance of being ambushed was always a factor, but none of the transports had the legs to run away from us. There was nothing in any direction that could hide a force strong enough to challenge us. In any case, the Worms didn’t do decoys. It wasn’t in their playbook.
We didn’t need to waste time deciding who was to go after which transport. Ja'kara had always fostered an independent mindset in her captains, so when it was time to take the initiative they sorted it out between themselves with a flurry of messages. This left us free to concentrate on the escort, which was redlining its engines in an attempt to get away.
Destroying it would’ve been easy, but Ja'kara's orders were to capture it as close to intact as we could manage. That made the job somewhat more problematic. Fortunately, we’d been doing this for a long time; ‘problematic’ just meant we had to take a little more care.
As we got closer, both Pishka and I scanned that ship down almost to the molecular level. As was our habit, I kept a screen clear he could throw interesting data onto, and he did the same with me. I found the frequency of its sensor spoofing relatively quickly and shared it; a microcycle or two later, he reciprocated with a scan map of the resonances within the hull. A little collaboration between us located weak spots in its battleshields directly over what we agreed were its engine nacelles, and we sent the data over to Guns. Three extremely precise shots later, it dropped back into realspace.
“Well done,” Ja’kara noted. “Now all we have to do is hit the life support—” As she spoke, another shot punched through the ship, and I watched the life support begin to wind back to zero as atmosphere vented into space. Without missing a beat, she continued. “—and the main power core, without blowing it up …”
Guns took another couple of microcycles waiting to fire, while Pishka and I firmed up the data. A single shot, and everything died on it; lights, battleshields, the lot.
“Well done,” she murmured. “Keep scanning for secondary life support. We don’t want our boarding party to get any nasty surprises.”
This was true. Nobody wanted even one live Worm on board. Everything coming back on board would be scanned to a fare-thee-well as it was. I maintained a watch on the Xan’thuilli ship while Pishka kept a lookout all around. Even before the extraction crew got to the drifting hulk, we were greeted with hails from our returning ships. Fifteen for fifteen, and all transports accounted for.
They formed up around us, sensors scanning local hyperspace as well as realspace, and Pishka and I were able to concentrate on watching for any surprises in the dead ship we were looting. A few systems were still sparking and sputtering on backup power, and we steered the exploratory team around those. The ship was open to vacuum, and Worms were as vulnerable to that as any other biological organism. It had been thought at first that they could use the once-living bodies of their victims as organic space suits, right up until we exposed one to vacuum and watched the writhing tangles of the Worms get ejected out the same orifices they’d used to get into the body. The sight was disgusting yet somehow deeply satisfying.
Still, that was no excuse to slack off. Along with Pishka, I maintained a steady watch while they located the computers, dismounted everything they could carry, and re-boarded the shuttle they’d gone over by. Neither of us budged, checking and rechecking every reading, until the shuttle was safely back in the bay and everything (and everyone) had been checked over. In triplicate.
Once we were squared away, Ja’kara gave the order to move away from the Xan’thuilli ship and dispose of it. Several shots into the right places did the job, breaking up the large sections and causing a series of explosions within. Then it was time to investigate what the front-line troops had recovered.
Xan’thuilli never invented anything themselves. They always made use of the technological advancements of the races they ate the brains of, most of which we already knew. In addition, this was an old ship with outdated tech. It took us more time to set up the correct power supply along with input and output than it did to actually crack the datafiles.
When Pishka and I started to swear, Ja’kara was somehow waiting just inside the hatchway. I suppose when I learned to be exactly where I needed to be, I’d be ready for my own command as well. She stepped forward, getting our attention. “Report.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I paused for a microcycle to get my thoughts into line. “We found out why there’s nothing on this side of Wormspace. If these astro-charts line up with ours the way I think they do …”
“They do,” Pishka interrupted without taking his eyes off the holo-display.
I gestured in agreement with him. “… then the Worms have found something really big and really tasty out in the Indigo quadrant. You know, behind the Rift. Right about where we found that planet with the humans. Earth, I think the name was?”
“And it’s so big and tasty, they’re putting out the word for everyone to come and join in?” Her voice was low and dangerous. I recalled she’d been given a case of some local ethanol derivative called ‘vodka’ before we left Earth. It wasn’t to my taste; I much preferred something called ‘cocoa’.
“That’s our best interpretation of what they’re saying,” I said. “We could be wrong. That glyph almost certainly says ‘come’, that one means ‘urgent’ and that one there is ‘plenty to eat’. The rest, we’re not so sure about.”
“But you are sure about the location?” Her nostrils flared as she inhaled, as though trying to get the scent of her prey through the holoscreen. “They’re referring to Earth?”
I looked her in the eye. “Yes, ma’am. That much, we’re sure of.”
“Very well. Back to your duty stations.” She stepped back out of the hatch and vanished along the corridor, calling out orders. Pishka and I glanced at each other, then we started shutting down the captured computer.
“Straight burn to Earth?” he surmised.
“Looks like it.” I grimaced. They’d been nice people, and they’d shown willing. I hated the idea that they might’ve been overrun by the Xan’thuilli. If that had happened, we’d have to sterilise the planet down to the bedrock.
“But are we going there to save it or destroy it?” We’d been working together for so long he could almost read my thoughts.
I took a deep breath. “I guess we’ll find that out when we get there.”
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submitted by ack1308 to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.04.20 19:47 BrotherFluffy Biscuits with Bismarck, Chapter 2

Hello, again! Welcome back to Biscuits with Bismarck, where our tale takes a sudden and worrying turn! As always, you can read it on Fanfiction here and more of my previous works here. Enjoy!
As it turned out, that message about patrols running into issues with submarines had been garbled. A second transmission had come in while Z23 was leading me back to HQ that painted a much clearer, although more distressing picture.
“It’s not one of our surface patrols,” Hiei announced as soon as I stepped in the building. “One of our sub patrols ran into trouble, and they’ve gone dark. We picked up two partial messages, but we haven’t gotten anything after that.”
I continued walking towards the command center, and Hiei quickly fell in step next to Nimi and myself. “What did the second message say?”
Hiei quickly pulled out a scrap of paper from the decoding room and read it aloud. “‘Large enemy force spotted, under heavy depth charge attack, unable-’ The message was cut off. We tried reaching them, but no response.”
“Who sent it?”
“U-47.” If I wasn’t worried before, I certainly was after hearing that name. She was the least communicative of any of the submarines, half the time spending an entire patrol in radio silence.
“Damn.” I felt a gnawing worry growing in my gut. “She was part of a wolfpack, wasn’t she? Who was she with?”
“Yes, sir. U-101, U-73, and U-”
“...556,” I said the name with her. This wasn’t good. Not good at all. “Damn it all. Z23, go find Lord Bismarck and tell her to meet me in the command center immediately.”
“Yes, sir!” Z23 saluted smartly and took off the way we came like a shot. I watched her go for a second, then turned back to Hiei.
“Do we have a bearing on where the messages came from?”
“Partial, sir.”
“Better than nothing, I guess. Let’s take a look.”
*********************************************************
We were poring over the charts, trying to narrow down the search field when the doors swung open and Bismarck strode in. Wearing her peaked cap and fur-lined cloak, and holding her banner staff in her gloved hands, she looked every bit the imposing figure I’d expected to see. Flanking her were Prinz Eugen and Graf Zeppelin, both looking stone-faced and serious. Typical of Graf, but for Eugen, it only served to underscore just how seriously everyone was taking this.
Bismarck didn’t even give so much as a nod before diving headlong into the meeting. “What’s the situation?” she asked bluntly.
I straightened up, cleared my throat, and clasped my hands behind my back. “We still haven’t been able to re-establish communications with the wolfpack, but we’re narrowing down an area to begin a search and rescue mission.”
“And the enemy fleet?”
“Unknown. If at all possible, the SAR force will have orders to destroy the enemy fleet, but I’m prioritizing the rescue operation.”
Bismarck nodded slowly. “Have you assembled the SAR force yet?”
“Not yet,” I shook my head. “I wanted to get this narrowed down before selecting a group to head out.”
Without hesitation, Bismarck declared, “I will go. Send me the search grid once you have established the parameters.” With her business seemingly done, she turned on her heel and began to march out.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I protested. “You and who else?”
Bismarck stopped and slowly turned back to face me. “U-556 is my responsibility,” she stated matter-of-factly. “As the leader of the Ironblood, I will rescue her and her comrades myself.”
A scathing retort almost flew out of my mouth, but I quickly caught myself, cleared my throat and looked over to my secretary. “Could you give us a moment, please, Hiei?” The Sakura battleship smiled and bowed before heading out. Without averting her gaze from me, she waved her hand to Graf and Eugen.
“Leave us,” she commanded, and the pair dutifully obeyed. I gave them enough time so that Bismarck and I wouldn’t be overheard, and once I was sure that they had gone far enough I spoke up.
“You’re not going alone,” I declared. Bismarck raised an eyebrow, a bemused expression on her face.
“Is that an order?”
“I can make it one,” I threatened. “I’d rather not. I’d prefer it if you saw reason. You don’t need to do this alone.”
“I am the leader-”
“-of the Ironblood, I know,” I interjected. “And I’m not objecting to you leading from the front. In fact, I envy you. But just because you have to be a symbol, because you have to be a leader, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. A leader without any followers isn’t a leader, they’re a figurehead.”
Bismarck lowered her head as she thought it over. I tried to get a read on her, what she was thinking, but the brim of her cap obscured much of her face from my sight. After a moment, she lifted her head back up. “I can’t sit back here and send others to find her.”
“I’m not asking you to. I’m asking you to not do this alone. Take Graf Zeppelin, Eugen, Hipper, Tirpitz, Z23, any or all of them with you. Or I’ve got a dozen other ships on standby who can be ready to sail in fifteen minutes, not to mention the patrol fleets who can rendezvous with you en route.”
“And you?”
That caught me off guard. “What about me?”
“Where will you be?”
“Here, monitoring the situation and directing the fleets as needed.”
“Why not from the front? Didn’t you say you envied me for that?”
I sighed, “Because I can’t. I’m not a kansen, I can’t take the same levels of punishment you can, or dish it out. So if I go, I have to ride in one of your ships, which hampers your fighting effectiveness. And I’m not going to ask someone to become a combat liability for the sake of a little battlefield bravado. So as I said, I really envy your ability to be out there on the front lines. Just...not alone.”
Bismarck listened to my reasoning, her gloved hand on her chin. After I was done, she spoke up. “You make a good point. Perhaps a compromise is in order. I will take a fleet with me-”
“Six ship minimum, counting yourself,” I added.
“Six ship minimum,” she agreed before continuing, “but, you’re coming with me.”
My surprise was total and absolute. Of all the conditions I thought she would impose, that was the last on my list. “I-I can’t,” I stammered, repeating my earlier reasoning. “I can’t ask you, or anyone else, to handicap yourself like that.”
“You’re not asking anyone, I am volunteering.”
“But-”
She was quick to cut me off, drawing up to her full height, her cape flaring behind her. “But nothing. I am Bismarck, the pride of the Iron Blood, made to rule the waves across the seven seas! I will crush any foes in any form I may take and with a fleet at my side, none will stop us. Now, are you coming, or will you allow me to take my leave?”
This was the Bismarck I had been waiting to see. The proud, strong woman who led the Iron Blood with an unshakeable determination and commanded such fierce loyalty and respect from those under her command. I could only stand there in stunned silence for a moment, in awe of the woman before me. “You, ah, you leave me with little choice. I will, of course, go with you,” I finally managed to get out.
She smiled graciously and nodded. “I’m glad we could come to an arrangement. Meet me at the docks in thirty minutes with the coordinates and we will get underway.”
I clicked my heels together and nodded to her. “As you wish, Lord Bismarck. And if you could send Hiei back in on your way out, please.”
She bowed, spun around and strode out of the room, her cape and flowing blond hair trailing behind her.
****************************************************
Thirty minutes later, coordinates in hand, I found myself at Bismarck’s berth, looking up at the massive grey ship moored there. Still painted in her “dazzle” camouflage, she was an impressive sight, even tied up in dock. Several figures were darting about the deck getting the ship ready to sail, presumably the girls' Bismarck had selected for the search and rescue fleet. As for Bismarck herself, she was waiting patiently at the end of the gangplank, discussing last-minute plans with Eugen. By the time I had made it to the gangplank, Eugen nodded, saluted, and made her way up the gangplank, allowing Bismarck to turn her full attention to me.
She greeted me with a smile, “Ah, right on time, Herr Kommandant. I trust you have the search field narrowed down to an acceptable margin?”
I nodded, holding up the flash drive containing the navigational information and charts. “While I wouldn’t say acceptable, we’ve narrowed it down as best we can from the two signals we received. The search grid will be an area of fifty kilometers by fifty kilometers, south-southwest of the base. I trust you have your fleet assembled?”
“I have. Z1, Z23, and Z46 will form an advance screen and monitor for any enemy submarines in the area, Hipper and Eugen will be our cruiser escort, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Tirpitz and myself will comprise the main force, and Graf Zeppelin will provide reconnaissance, air cover, and close air support if needed. Will this be a satisfactory force, Herr Kommandant?”
Tirpitz was a bit of a surprise, I hadn’t expected her to bring her sister along, but I hoped it was a positive sign. The rest, however, was much what I expected. “Very,” I answered.
Wunderbar. Then come aboard and we’ll be off. Oh, and meet me up on the bridge, please. I was wanting to continue our conversation from earlier.”
************************************************
Within minutes, we had cast off and were underway to the search grid, the vast expanse of the open ocean as far as the eye could see. I have to admit, it had been far too long since I was out on the sea, although the view from Bismarck’s bridge left something to be desired. While the ship was an impressive sight, both up close and from a distance, the view from the bridge was dominated by the forward fire control radar set. Still, the view inside the bridge was much better. Bismarck stood to my right, also staring out at the ocean, her stoic expression giving me no hint as to what she was thinking.
I didn’t have to wait long. “Your sister,” she began softly, “...do you think about her often?”
Grief and shame welled up in me, and I could feel my throat closing off from the rising tide of emotions. For several long seconds, I didn’t respond, not wanting to tell her the truth. In the end, I simply looked away to hide her reaction from my sight and shook my head. “...no.”
The silence behind me was more deafening than the roar of all of Bismarck’s guns and I dared not turn back around to see her reaction. When she spoke again, her voice was softer, subdued. “Why not?”
This time, my answer came more easily. “Because it hurts too much. Because I miss her every second of every day and every time I think about her, the grief is almost too much to bear. So I don’t and I hate myself for it.”
“...do you think Tirpitz feels the same way?”
Needless to say, that question got my attention and I spun around to face Bismarck. Her stoic composure was gone, replaced by one of pain and melancholy. At that moment, she looked so vulnerable, so unguarded, that all I wanted to do was cross the distance between us, hold her in my arms and tell her everything was going to be alright. As much as I wanted to, however, I felt it would have breached several levels of decorum and personal space, and kept my distance.
“I don’t know,” I answered honestly. “I can’t speak for her state of mind. I know that, for the longest time, she was so used to being alone that she didn’t know how to be with other people. Maybe she just doesn’t know how to be your little sister. I do know that if my sister came back, I would want to spend as much time with her as I could.”
“So why doesn’t she?”
“I guess...she doesn’t know you. I knew my sister, I grew up with her, I have so many fond memories and stories and arguments and…” my emotions got the better of me, and I swallowed hard and cleared my throat. “I’m sorry. Just...so many shared moments. I would want to reconnect with those moments as soon as I could. But Tirpitz doesn’t have those memories, those moments. She doesn’t know you the way I knew my sister. All she’s ever known are the stories she grew up with. The same ones everyone on the base has heard.”
Bismarck nodded, her eyes cast downward, her expression thoughtful. When she looked back up, some of that vulnerability was gone, but the pain remained, along with something else. Sympathy, perhaps? Her next words confirmed my guess. “Thank you for listening,” she said softly. “I apologize for bringing up painful memories.”
I shook my head, blinking the tears from my eyes. “No, it’s alright. You asked me not to pull any punches with you, and I want you to do the same. Don’t hold back, I’ll be okay.”
“I will endeavor to do so, Herr Kommandant.” She sighed and turned back towards the window, gazing out at the vast blue expanse.
“Maybe...maybe you could talk to her? Have her over for a cup of tea, coffee, beer, whatever. Get to know her. Let her get to know you.”
She sighed heavily but nodded in agreement. “Perhaps that is best. Later, though, once this mission is concluded.”
“Of course.” The silence returned, hanging heavily in the air until I spoke up again. “We’ll find her, I promise.”
The corner of Bismarck’s mouth turned up in a wry smile. “Promises,” she repeated. “She made a promise to me, you know.”
“I know,” I stated. “She made the same one with me.”
“Did she? Interesting. Do you also regret not making the same promise with her?”
I shook my head. “No, we already have.”
She turned back to me and shot me a look that suggested I was less sane than usual. “What are you talking about? What do you mean, ‘we’?”
“I’t’s an unspoken promise any commander makes with all under their command, to stand by them, to make sure they all get home safely. Unfortunately, it’s often one we can’t keep. But I’ll be damned if that won’t stop me from doing everything in my power to keep it.”
“That’s an...interesting...way of looking at it.”
“Thanks. I think.”
She laughed, low and melodic, “It was intended as a compliment, so you are welcome.”
We shared a smile and looked into each other’s eyes. I don’t think Bismarck’s ever told me what she saw in my own eyes that day, but in that moment, I finally saw the real Bismarck. The woman she kept hidden behind the mantle of duty, the mask of a leader, someone still strong, vibrant, and powerful, but vulnerable and self-conscious, too. If someone were to ask me where it all started with Bismarck, I would tell them it was this moment, when I saw her in that different light, that started me down this path.
Our shared moment was interrupted by the static squeal of the intercom, causing us both to jump. “Conning tower to bridge,” Eugen’s tinny voice filled the once-quiet space.
We laughed for a moment, our cheeks flushing before Bismarck flipped on the intercom speaker. “This is the bridge,” she answered.
“We’re almost to the search area,” Eugen announced.
“Understood. Send out the destroyers to begin scouting and have everyone else assemble in the conning tower flag plot. We’ll be down shortly.”
“Of course. I’ll let you two finish canoodling while I assemble everyone. Conning tower out.” The intercom cut off with a squeal again, and I felt the heat rush into my cheeks again. I glanced over at Bismarck, who seemed redder than before. She caught my eyes and forced a chuckle.
“So insubordinate sometimes, I swear,” she said. “As if we’d be caught doing that up here.”
“Y-yeah,” I weakly agreed with her. “We’re on a mission.”
Ja.”
“You just don’t do that sort of thing on a mission. Focus! Discipline!”
Ja!” The awkward silence that followed so thick you could have cut it with a butter knife.
Finally, I spoke up again. “...we should probably go down before they really do think we’re up here canoodling. I don’t even want to imagine the grief Eugen would give us.”
“Oof. Good point, let’s go.”
*************************************************************
By the time we made it to the armored conning tower, Eugen had managed to wrangle the other ships, most of whom were standing around the holotable. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had opted to hang out in a corner, close enough to hear, but far enough away to keep their own company. Bismarck didn’t say anything about it, so I left it alone. Hipper and Eugen stood to one side of the table, the smaller sister tearing into her mischievous sibling over...something she deserved, I’m sure. Probably a crack about Hipper’s breasts(or lack thereof). Graf Zeppelin sat opposite them, looking aloof and cold as ever, and Tirpitz was on the side facing Bismarck and myself. Someone had already activated the holotable, and the icons representing Z1, Z23, and Z46 were already moving out, taking up their assigned positions ahead of the Bismarck.
“Welcome back, Lord Bismarck,” Eugen grinned at us, her eyes roaming up and down as if she was trying to spot some sign of impropriety. “How was your date with the Kommandant?”
Before I or anyone else could object, Bismarck spoke up. “It wasn’t a date, Eugen, and I’d advise you to keep the comments to yourself before rumors being sprouting up.” The cruiser relented, holding her hands up in mock-surrender, although that smug smile was still plastered on her face. Bismark waited for any further interruptions before continuing. “If that will be all, let’s review the mission.”
All eyes turned to me. All, that is, except Bismarck. “It’s her show,” I answered the unspoken question. “I’m just here as an observer and to direct additional fleet units if needed.”
Graf Zeppelin shrugged, Hipper looked mildly annoyed, although I’m pretty sure that’s her default setting, Eugen raised an eyebrow, and Tirpitz remained cool and composed. But in the end, all turned their attention back to Bismarck. “As I was saying, our mission is twofold. First, we are to recover our missing submarines and escort them back to the Bismarck, which will carry any wounded home. Our second objective is the destruction of the Siren fleet they reported before they went missing. I want to stress the primary focus is the recovery of our Kameradinnen. If we locate the Siren fleet, we will engage and destroy them, but they are not our primary objective.”
Graf Zeppelin spoke up. “Is there any chance that a Mirror Sea cut off communication?”
The battleship shook her head. “Nein. Satellite imagery shows the area as clear and radio transmissions to the area are not being jammed, we’re just not getting any replies back.
“Now, the search area is approximately fifty kilometers by fifty kilometers wide, and we have broken it down into grid squares to make it easier to tag locations on the map. As for the overall search pattern, I would like to hear some opinions. Tirpitz?”
The question caught us all off guard, including me. Bismarck never struck me as one who kept the counsel of others unless pressed, and judging by the reactions of everyone else, it seemed I was likely right about that. Tirpitz looked around the room and then pointed to herself. “Me?” she asked.
Bismarck nodded, gracing us with a small smile. “Yes, you. Do you have any ideas on the best way to conduct the search?”
Tirpitz stared at the holotable for a long time and I could see the gears turning behind her eyes, trying to both formulate a strategy and deduce why Bismarck had suddenly called on her. After a while, she picked up one of the pointers from the table’s edge and began marking the map. “I think one of two things happened. Either they made for deep water to wait out the attack or they headed to this archipelago here to try and hide amongst the rocks and coral. If they went deep, it will take a considerable amount of time to find them. However, if they sheltered near the archipelago, we should be able to find them fairly quickly. Quicker still if they’re looking for backup. I suggest we search the archipelago first, eliminate it quickly, and then if anyone hasn’t been found, begin a grid pattern search of the surrounding area. In order to conduct the search as efficiently as possible, I suggest we split the force into three groups, two with two battleships, a destroyer, and a cruiser, and a third with Graf Zeppelin and a destroyer escort. Each battleship group will head in opposite directions around the island, meeting up on the opposite side while Graf Zeppelin provides aerial reconnaissance.”
When she finished, she looked up expectantly at Bismarck, along with everyone else. The leader of the Iron Blood studied the map for several long seconds before nodding in approval. “Agreed. Tirpitz, you will take Z23, Gneisenau, and Hipper along the western side, and I will take Z46, Eugen, and Scharnhorst to the east. Graf, you and Z1 will hang back here and provide air cover. Are there any questions?”
Around the table, and off in the corner, everyone shook their heads. “Good. Then let’s get to work. Victory to the Iron Blood!”
“Victory to us!” came the assembled reply, and as everyone began to file out, Bismarck gently grabbed me by the arm to get my attention.
“Meet me back up on the bridge.”
A/N-Woo! Here’s where the fun begins. Working hard on Chapter 3 right now, but in the meantime, there’s going to be an update on the New Year’s anthology on April 22nd, so keep an eye out for that. As always, thanks for reading and fair winds and following seas!
submitted by BrotherFluffy to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2019.12.28 00:49 SabatonBabylon [OC] Chronicles of the Siren War [Chapter 40]

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Aboard the bridge of the Pennsylvania, Ooshio could not discern whether she was in the presence of a man or a demon. Her sisters, Shiratsuyu, and a tender-faced Ironblood destroyer named Z23 were allowed free reign of the space to care for Michishio, for which she was grateful, but they all remained in the back huddled around the cot. The front of the bridge was war, or perhaps slaughter. Against the deep purple curtain of night outside the windows, bright orange light flickered across the commander's face as black smoke billowed into the sky from the direction of the airfield. His brow was furrowed and his mouth contorted into an angry frown. The tall, elegant woman who commanded the ship had left the bridge minutes prior, just after the bombardment had begun. Ooshio's attention shifted as Asashio spoke.
"Sister, don't strain yourself!"
"I'm alright, thank you," Michishio replied as Arashio helped her to sit up and accept another spoonful of rice and chicken broth from Shiratsuyu. "Oh dear, where are we?"
"Tha Shikikan sailed his fleet ta Bali. They're...tha airfield is lost nee-chan. It's burnin', just like Makassar," Ooshio told her. Michishio looked past the equipment in the bridge to the man who was their mortal enemy, yet had saved her life. He stood rigid with his hands clasped behind his back, his broad shoulders shadowed by the low light of the flames.
"He seems rather sad, doesn't he?" Michishio asked. Arashio and Asashio sent evil looks his way but Zed answered quietly.
"I don't think he likes killing."
"He's doing it," Arashio pointed out acidly.
"Of course, it's his duty," Zed acknowledged. "Saving me and the four of you wasn't his duty and he did it anyway. I think that says more about him but...I'm still learning what kind of man Andrew Thorson is."
Silence fell over the six ships as the occasional blast of a main battery rang out across the ocean. Ooshio made her decision and stood.
"Onee-san!" Arashio hissed as Ooshio stretched her legs and brushed off her kimono. "What are you doing?!"
"I'm gonna go talk ta him. If he's as good a man as the Ironblood says, maybe he'll let us go or treat us good? I don' really know, but if I can help all of us, I'm gonna do it." Though her words were brave, Ooshio felt great fear by the time she drew level with Thorson. The sound of her wooden sandals on the metal of the bridge was more than sufficient to herald her arrival. He turned his head slightly. Her ears barely came up to his shoulders.
"Stand on my other side. Don't go for my weapon and we won't have problems. Reach into your kimono and I'll draw my gun," he said evenly. "You're Ooshio, right?"
"T-tha's right Shikikan. I uh...I don' know what I was gonna say. That's...that's a mighty dreadful sight there."
"It is," Thorson agreed, watching through his binoculars as the last, bravely stupid soldiers gave up trying to fight fires or fire back and fled to the north or south of the airfield. "Your sister is stable?"
"Yeah, she is. Thank ya kindly."
"Good."
Another long silence pervaded the bridge as Ooshio's attempt at conversation was stymied by Thorson's terse nature. She eventually tried again. "So ah...where did tha raven haired beauty from earlier go?"
That comment got her Thorson's full attention as he cocked a brow at her. She raised her sleeves to her chin in embarrassment but he didn't say anything untoward. "One of my ships claimed that fighting from the bow allows for better target acquisition. Given the force imbalance, I requested Pennsylvania confirm this. She's down there."
Ooshio accepted Thorson's binoculars and stood on tiptoe, looking first at the bow of the ship she was on. Penny's blue uniform fluttered in a nighttime breeze as Ooshio shifted focus to the burning tarmac and then to the left as one of Thorson's battleships fired again, adding a couple more craters to the airstrip. Ooshio's mouth dropped open. "Who in the name of tha gods is that angel over there?!"
"You like women?" Thorson countered, seeing where Ooshio's gaze was directed. Tennessee stood proudly on the bow of her ship. Her jacket billowed behind her like some conquering hero as her crossed arms rested on her chest. Her frown matched Thorson's to the letter, the golden rigging attached to her temples glinting in the firelight.
"It don' matter ta me," Ooshio squeaked, wondering why she was even conversing with him. "I just think beautiful things are beautiful. Look at her, that flaxen hair turnin' red in the fire, her caramel skin an' those legs. Whatever man lands her is gonna be a lucky man indeed. Though I hope he's got himself a spine o' steel. Her frown is almost scary as yours, Shikikan."
To Ooshio's great surprise Thorson smiled. "Don't let her hear you say that, but I think she'd appreciate the sentiment, both about her body and her intimidating presence. She puts a lot of effort into her health, even more than most ships of the Union."
"It shows," Ooshio whispered. They were interrupted by the radio and Fusou's voice.
"Tono-sama, I believe we are done here?" She asked.
"Looks that way," Thorson agreed darkly.
"I can hear it in your voice, tono-sama. I feared this. Please, might I perform a ceremony for the dead?" Fusou requested. Ooshio and her sisters perked their ears, curious as to how a Union Commander would react to such a request.
"How long will it take?"
"A few minutes is all," Fusou promised.
"Go ahead, do what you need to do."
"Thank you, tono-sama. Are the young ones there with you?"
"They are. Ooshio is next to me," Thorson confirmed.
"I see. Can she hear me?"
Thorson handed the receiver to Ooshio. "Ah, I'm here Fusou-sama!" She said nervously.
"Hello, Ooshio. I know we are still likely enemies at this point, but you and your sisters are servants of the gods and so I entreat you now. Many sons of Japan have lost their lives today...some at my own hand. If you could find it in your hearts to do so, I would ask you to pray for their souls with me. I hope that we can set them at ease as they travel on to their final rest."
The young shrine maiden nodded. "Yeah, we can do tha' for sure, Fusou-sama."
"Good, thank you. Tono-sama, would you please escort them onto deck? I believe the rest of your ships may find comfort in this as well," Fusou offered serenely, effortlessly fulfilling her role as spiritual guardian and priestess within his fleet. With no threats apparent on radar, sonar, or visual, Thorson considered it an acceptable risk. He turned and walked over to the gathering of ships on his bridge while Fusou used the radio network to communicate her intentions to the Union and Royal ships in the fleet.
"Are you feeling better Michishio? Can you walk?" Thorson requested as kindly as he could manage. With her sisters' help she rose to her feet.
"Yes, I can," she confirmed. "Where are we going?"
"To honor the dead," Thorson informed her simply. Asashio and Arashio looked at one another cautiously, but Shiratsuyu and Zed seemed to have expected such a thing from Thorson. Moving at a slow pace for Michishio, they eventually emerged onto the deck to find Penny waiting for them. She pointed to the ocean between them and the airfield. There, silhouetted by the fires and smoke, the Fusou floated proudly. Her rigging was covered in paper charms and talismans, with Sakura flags and banners flying from every spare spot on her mast and other equipment.
"Commander, what's the deal?" Pennsylvania requested as he joined her.
"Fusou is sending the dead on to the afterlife. I don't know much about the Sakura traditions," he admitted, gesturing to Ooshio and the others that they should feel free to behave as they saw fit. "You and the others don't need to participate."
"I know, Commander, but maybe we should do for them what we did for that cruiser you sunk?" Penny offered, more than able to see the stress on Thorson's face. Ever since spending the night with him she'd enjoyed that little game, studying the minute movements of his cheeks and eyes and mouth. It didn't feel like a game anymore. The four captured shrine maidens walked silently past them before standing near the railing and bowing their heads. Shiratsuyu joined them. Thorson offered a hand to Zed. Penny had already taken his left. God felt very far away and so he knelt. They did the same. Penny remembered the prayer. Zed listened respectfully.
We hereby commit these lives to the deep, to be turned into corruption. Looking for the resurrection, when the sea shall give up her dead, and the life of the world to come, through our Lord.
"Amen."
"Amen."
"Amen," Zed finished as they stood, finding that the various tags, charms, and seals on the Fusou had caught fire, detaching and floating into the sky to symbolize the lives they'd taken that day in Makassar and Bali. "It's hauntingly beautiful," the Ironblood whispered, removing her cap and feeling just a bit at ease.
"It is," Thorson agreed, wondering if the rest of his fleet had chosen to participate. Unbeknownst to him Tennessee had taken a knee on her bow along with Warspite, the latter resting her forehead against the crossguard of her sword. Arizona and the rest of the Union and Royals bowed respectfully, and Laffey poured some of her bourbon into the Badung Strait. For many of them such a gesture was new and foreign, but the mismatch in power between men and shipgirls was more than apparent. There was no pride in the duty they'd fulfilled, but they'd seen it through and saw fit to join their commander in acknowledging those they'd fought against. When it was over, Thorson rested a hand on Penny's shoulder.
"Radio the fleet, it's time to move."
"Destination, sir?"
"The Sakura have attacked from the north and the east. If there's anything left in this area it'll be in Surabaya. We can be there around dawn. I'm counting on you to make contact before anyone starts shooting."
"We haven't seen a single Union boat since arriving here, sir," Pennsylvania replied. "What do you think happened to them?"
"Given the Sakura took Makassar and Bali, they retreated or were sunk. We know too little about this theater. We need to find whoever is in command of the ABDA forces here."
"Agreed. I'll return to the bridge, sir. Girls!" Penny called. "Form up and move out. We're heading for Surabaya, bearing northwest."
A chorus of affirmations reached Penny as she headed inside. Zed and Shiratsuyu joined her, the latter making for the kitchens to ensure all was prepared for the morning meal. That left Thorson to watch over his new prisoners. The blue and purple maidens supported the red one when they finally headed back to the door that led to the ship, with the plump green one tottering behind them.
"You missed one," Asashio informed him, pointing to the barracks and troop quarters next to the airfield. Thorson shook his head.
"My fleet destroyed everything they were ordered to destroy," he replied simply before opening the door for them. Michishio threw him a confused but grateful look as she passed him. Ooshio didn't follow. "Is there a problem?"
"Can I ask ya somethin' else, Shikikan?"
"Why do you keep calling me Shikikan?"
"Ah, well I considered yer name but that's not real appropriate is it? And Union devil is probably doin' ya a disservice. Don't think I really have any choice but ta follow yer orders anyway so...is that not alright with ye?"
"It's fine," he replied as softly as he could. She did not deserve his anger and self loathing. "What do you want to ask me?"
"Why do Fusou-sama and her sister follow ya?" Ooshio requested. Thorson sighed and shook his head, gazing out over the railing and contemplating what he'd wrought.
"You'd be better off asking them."
"Ah will be doin' that, Shikikan. But I would like ta hear from you as well."
"I saved Yamashiro's and Fusou's lives the night they came to me. They were pursued by one of your spies, Kirishima, and a host of drone ships, cruisers, and destroyers. The sirens had infected them. I suppose they figured they owed me a life debt and that we both have a common enemy in the those aliens. As for what's happened since then...you will have to ask them if their conviction has waxed or waned."
Ooshio glanced up at him, remembering how Fusou had behaved in his presence after Michishio had been stabilized. "It may not be mah place ta say anythin', Shikikan, but I couldn't help watchin' the way Fusou-sama was actin' around ya. I'm a simple country girl, and that looked like she believes in ya for real. Maybe she feels more than just belief in ya. It's been makin' me question things, about what the Sakura are fightin' for if she's fightin' for you."
Thorson could only nod his head, pleased that at least one of his prisoners seemed amenable to conversation. "I think they'll be happy to have more women who serve their gods on the base. We're trying to build a shrine. Maybe you can help."
"Yer...buildin' a what?"
"Shinto is your religion, yes? One with many gods?" Thorson queried. That was about the extent of his knowledge regarding Sakura religious practices.
"Yes, Shikikan."
"So yeah, a Shinto shrine I guess. Hopefully Akashi's managed to lay a foundation without blowing up half the island. Sounds like something she'd do."
"Wait, yer with Akashi too?!" Ooshio exclaimed.
"Found her the first day on the base," Thorson replied wistfully. "Things were simple back then."
"I...I should go be with my sisters but it's been nice talking to ya, Shikikan. Do...do ya expect us to be fightin' for ya?"
"No. I'll hold you prisoner until the end of the war if you choose not to fight. You will not be harmed or killed, but you will not be free. I have enough guns on my side to enforce that now. Should you choose to serve alongside your sisters...you will take rigging and pledge yourself to my fleet. We will rebuild your ships, and that will be that."
"I think I like you just a bit, Shikikan."
"Why's that? I destroyed your ships, bombarded your ports of call, and undid weeks’ worth of military successes by the Sakura in a single day," Thorson enumerated as the Pennsylvania reached cruising speed and sliced through the waters of the tropical seas. Ooshio nodded.
"Well yeah that's all true an' such," she agreed. "But you were jus' doin' yer job, right? Ya also chose ta spare me, Arashio, an' Asashio. Ya saved Michishio. Ya spared the crews of those transports. Ya left the barracks standin' in Denpassar...and ya let Fusou-sama honor the dead. I don' much like this talk of the Creator an' how he desires souls of the strong an' brave. I'm a simple lass. I don' overthink things cause I really can't. That's more for Jintsuu-sama an' the others. I don' think yer a bad man, Shikikan. Just that fate put ya on the other side." With those words Ooshio bowed and left him. He didn't follow her, knowing that if they went anywhere they shouldn't, Penny would know immediately. Instead he gazed out into the inky black night and wondered if God would tell him the same as Ooshio when his number finally came up.
-----
Rear Admiral Doorman was at his wits end. A combination of bad luck, outdated ships, incompetence, and Sakura airpower had driven the ABDA to the brink. With Bali falling to the Sakura not two days prior, it was all hands on deck just getting Surabaya ready for the inevitable twin engine bomber raids. When an ensign ran to him calling that a fleet of fourteen ships had been spotted sailing into the harbor his heart almost stopped. That was until he was able to see the colors they flew.
"God zij geprezen," he muttered, making the sign of the cross over his body before grabbing his cap and heading onto the docks. The scene that greeted him and his sailors there would have been comedic were it not for the fact that they were down to a handful of cruisers and destroyers, many of which had taken battle damage. A single Union Commander stepped into the docks from a battleship, a glorious behemoth of steel. At his side was a proud, beautiful, and seductive woman whose uniform was only exceeded in visual appeal by the twelve gun barrels that seemed to float at her side. She would have looked most at home on the fuselage of an American bomber. Behind them walked a procession of four Sakura maidens, an Ironblood girl, and a young woman with dog ears and a tail.
On either side of him, many shipgirls were skating over the waters of the bay to join him from where they'd dropped anchor. A slim, short, commanding woman with a broadsword almost as tall as her own body, flowing blonde hair, and rigging at least thrice her size led a group of five women of royal caliber, one of whom was exceedingly pale and carried an open parasol. The rest of the Union forces strode forward behind an intimidating woman, tall, blonde, and tan, with terrifying guns, a terrifying frown, and alluring leggings. With them walked a woman more elegant, reserved, and plush than the rest, though her eight gun barrels and command tower were no less imposing. There was no stopping the chatter among his men.
"I reckon they got more guns than we do."
"Where did they even come from? I thought we were cut off!"
"The hell are Sakura doing here?"
"Are you looking at the rack on that one?"
"The rack? Did you miss the tail and ears?"
Rear Admiral Doorman shook his head and stepped forward. The Commander, young enough to be his son, brought his heels together and saluted. The majority of his force did the same, with the ships of the Union fashioning similar salutes. The Royals and the one Sakura with weaponry bowed to him, while the Ironblood brought her hand across her chest. "I'm Rear Admiral Doorman, commander of the ABDA forces in the Dutch East Indies...or what's left of them. I was told not to expect reinforcement."
"Commander Andrew Thorson of the Eagle Union and Azur Lane. Officially I'm not here to reinforce you, but we sure don't mind, sir. There are some things you should know and some things we'd like to know."
"You're rather young to command a fleet of that size."
"I've got plenty of help," Thorson replied, gesture to his shipgirls who all bore confident or smug expressions at his display of faith. Doorman nodded curtly.
"I've had to pull the entire crew off the Houston to replace loses on other ships. I hope your...girls…are better in combat than that pink haired airhead. She can't even keep up with Jupiter and Exeter."
"Does she have rigging?" Thorson inquired.
"No."
"Well there's your problem."
"Can you fix that?"
"Only if you turn her over to my command."
"Not happening, young buck."
"Then let's talk about how your forces surrendered Makassar and Bali and how up until last night you were under constant threat from enemy air raids," Thorson suggested in a friendly tone with cold eyes. He saw Tennessee's turrets shift slightly out of the corner of his eye.
"And what happened last night?" Doorman demanded with furrowed brow.
"My fleet destroyed those airfields beyond repair and torched Makassar harbor. We have no ground forces to hold territory."
"Nor do I...we should talk, Commander Thorson. If you would?"
"Happily, Admiral. Just give me a moment," Thorson requested before turning to his fleet. "First priority is resupply and repair. When that's done, you're free to explore the port and Surabaya at large. Any of these guys give you trouble, bash their heads in."
"Hell yeah!" Downes cheered from his right. Thorson winked at her.
"Now listen up. I want two armed ships with the four prisoners at all times and one armed ship with Z23 as well as Shiratsuyu. Protect your friends and fellow soldiers. You never know what can happen in wartime. We will meet after sundown aboard the Pennsylvania for debrief and dinner. Understood?"
"Yes sir!"
"Of course, Knight Commander."
"Hai, tono-sama."
"Ja, Kommandant."
-----
Two hours later, Thorson departed Doorman's office with a friendly handshake. The two men had pledged to engage the Sakura fleets around Borneo together during the inevitable coming offensive, though Thorson had not been able to secure the transfer of Houston, Jupiter, or Exeter to his command. Penny, who had accompanied him to the meeting, requested leave and headed off to find her sister, leaving Thorson to travel the docks alone. His presence seemed to be of little interest to the locals, who were already quite familiar with men of fair skin and hair. He suspected he only mattered if he planned to spend money.
It was the streets of Surabaya that proved more interesting, with street vendors, crowded thoroughfares, and the occasional chicken all providing a surfeit of stimulation. He was reviewing the stall of an older man selling spices by the literal basket load when a young native girl called out to him from a nearby alley in broken English. The look in her eyes and the crook of her finger made it more than apparent that she was offering her own body as a service. Thorson had never been propositioned in such a way before, and he was sure it showed on his face as his feet remained rooted to the spot and his jaw went slack. He was saved from having to work his own way out of the situation when a young woman took his hand, then the other, stood on tiptoe, and gave him a blistering kiss on the lips.
"Downes?!" He spluttered. His rowdy destroyer threw a wink over her shoulder before leading him off through the milling crowds.
"You know, for a guy who's slept with Cleveland and Penny, I'd figure you'd be a little less intimidated by some poor island girl," Downes informed him. "But perhaps that's part of your charm."
"Penny told you all then?" Thorson asked evenly.
"Are you kidding? We all knew the moment she was at the radio fifteen minutes late sounding like the happiest little battleship in the fleet!" Downes laughed delightedly.
"Must have missed that," Thorson grumbled.
"Oh I'm sure you were there. Just a girl thing, you know?" She asked as the two of them found an ancient looking wall to sit on that overlooked the docks.
"Then I suppose I should risk my neck and ask if things are still alright in the fleet," the commander decided. Downes swung her legs about as she considered the question.
"Yeah well, everyone's going to react differently, right? I think the royals are more confused than anything. Fusou and Arizona are happy for you and basically just waiting their turn which they're more than confident will come. Tennessee is mad as hell," Downes sniggered, ticking girls off on her fingers. "But when is she not? Cleveland's cool about it, Laffey cares about Zed, not you at the moment, and Indy and her sister…they're a bit opaque."
"How so?"
"Well you know Portland. If she's thinking about anything other than Indy you'd never know. As for Indy herself, well she's just a very reserved girl."
"I see. Thank you, Downes. And you?"
"Oh come on Commander, you can't ask me that!"
"Oh?"
"Nah I'm just kidding with you. I guess I'm a little bit of everything. It's scary and exciting to think about. I wonder if it'll be as good as Cleveland and Penny seem to think it was. I wonder if you'll ever want to do it with me. I won't really be your flagship ever so…"
"Sorry...maybe that was too much prying," Thorson admitted, resting a hand on her knee to show her he didn't dislike her body. "Maybe we can take that up again back home. Care to give me your thoughts on the operation so far instead?"
"Blowing those bases up was a blast!" Downes declared instantly. "But yeah, then that set in."
"What's that?"
"That glum look on your face. Whatever that feels like on the inside, I'm pretty sure we were all feeling it by the end. It's one thing going up against the other Sakura, you know? This wasn't even a fight."
"How are your limbs holding up?"
"I'm fine, thanks Commander. See?" She asked, taking his hand in hers and rolling up her sleeve so he could see her whole right arm, including where she'd lost her limb at Pearl Harbor. "It's alright, touch me!"
Thorson smiled warmly at her, running his fingers up her arm from her hand. She smiled right back as a healthy flush developed on her cheeks, followed by a cute, rushed intake of breath as he passed over her scars. "You alright?"
"Just a little sensitive, Commander. But what did I tell you? Good as new! Real talk though, about the op…I'm glad Fusou's with us."
"Why's that?" Thorson asked quietly, knowing already that he had his own answer.
"We had to do what we did, yeah? But it's nice having her to keep us grounded, give us the illusion that everything will be fine in the next life."
"War is hell," Thorson agreed. "I'm glad we have her too."
"I can think of a few other reasons you'd be happy about that," Downes replied slyly. "Don't give me that look, Commander. I'm not disrespecting the dead. It's just that if you're focused on them and not Fusou's ridiculous butt, I don't like our chances when we go up against that jinsoo or whatever her name is."
"You don't have any filter, do you?" Thorson asked as he tried to tamp down a chuckle.
"That a problem, Commander?" She leaned towards him. He threw a casual arm around her shoulders.
"Nah. Don't need my ships walking on eggshells around me. I prefer it this way even if it means learning you've been scoping out Fusou's rear."
Downes laughed boisterously and slapped her knee. "Commander, the girls might jump me for this but I'll let you in on a little secret. We look at each other just as much as we look at you. Maybe not in a 'goddamn I want to sex Arizona into the mattress just like Andrew probably does' way."
"That's oddly specific."
"You know it's true and she'd go right along with you, savior. The point I was trying to make before you started feeling awkward is that we're all checking each other out, if only because it's incredible to see the sort of forms we all took. Like look at me! I'm a destroyer but I got an ass! Maybe a bit of a rack too!"
"On the curiosity we're definitely in agreement, though I hate to inform you that the short stack in the green kimono is also a destroyer."
"No fucking way!" Downes gasped. "I only got a small glance on the docks this morning but she's like a mini Yamashiro! That's not fair!"
"And how are your abs coming along?" Thorson demanded playfully. He immediately regretted his decision as Downes carelessly lifted her shirt to the point he could just barely glimpse her tiny areolae. She pointed at her stomach and flexed. It was rock solid and he could see every muscle. She was like a cream colored, pint sized Tennessee, showing off almost two weeks of constant workouts. "Do you have any idea how long it would take a man to get abs like that? Months."
"You're pulling my leg!"
"I'll pull your leg off, you little liar. Most women will never look like you!" Thorson insisted. That gave Downes pause.
"In...a good way?" She questioned with sudden apprehension. "I've only got this body."
"Come here," Thorson assured her, hauling her into his lap as he caught a glimpse of her crimson underwear's waistband. Downes needed little encouragement, getting comfortable and throwing her arms around his neck. "Yes, in a good way, Downes."
"Promise?" She pleaded like a happy retriever.
"Promise. Long as a girl has the right kind of body, she'll look like Ooshio if she eats enough. You? I guess the cubes are very good to your metabolism. You've got a body men would kill for, to say nothing of women. I might send you in hand to hand if things get real."
"You mean it? I could go fight those bitches on their ships!?" Downes gasped.
"Don't see why not if the situation called for it. Just wait for orders, yeah? And keep yourself in top form."
"Oh you bet I will, Commander! God that would be too cool. I'd give them a left, then a right, then feed them a torpedo straight from my rigging!" She insisted, punching Thorson in the gut. He was able to flex in time.
"Save it for the enemy! Speaking of the enemy, any thoughts on the new girls?" He asked.
"Haven't had a chance to talk to them, just took a few looks as I said. The one in red is a real angel, I can tell. She practically radiates gentleness. The green one seems outgoing enough and damn thick, as we discussed. Might chat her up sometime. Other two are still closed off, but I don't blame them. We'll see. Overall it could be a lot worse, sir."
"This is the first time I've had to convince girls that weren't in dire straits to join us."
"Let that be for when we have the cubes to build more ships. Besides, not like you can force someone into battle. They'll come around just like the rest of us. In the meantime, care to go for a walk with me Commander? Hopefully one that doesn't involve you running from a street whore half your size? Don't worry, I'll protect you!"
"My maiden in shining armor," Thorson said with a smile.
"I think I prefer number one explosion girl for now. Save that woman stuff for if I ever grow up like Laffey did. Having a teen's body has its perks!"
Thorson had a sneaking suspicion that among those perks were her impossibly firm, budding chest and her well-toned posterior, to say nothing of her muscular frame. Before he knew it they were strolling along the port.
"By the way, Commander?" Downes got his attention, swinging their joined hands back and forth like a teen on her first date.
"Yeah?"
"This is shaping up to be one heck of a vacation. Thanks for taking us!"
Thorson considered the utter defeat that had clearly awaited the allied naval forces along the Malay barrier without their intervention. He nodded. "Happy to have you along, Downes."
-----
Previous First
submitted by SabatonBabylon to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2019.09.08 00:52 essidus A thousand words wasn't enough? Here's five thousand.

List acquired here.
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2019.05.14 12:37 Silkkiuikku The Most Famous Disappearance in Finland: Raisa Räisänen

The Disappearance

It was Saturday night on October 10, 1999. In the Finnish city of Tampere the weather was cold, but there were many people out and about, for the European Union was holding a conference in the city. Security had been heightened, and police officers had travelled from all over the country.
At 21:30 a girl named Raisa Räisänen entered a restaurant called Casablanca with her friend. Raisa was only 16 years old, so she used a fake ID. She was 175 cm (5'8 ) tall and athletic. Her hair was midi-length and ginger coloured. She was dressed for a night out, wearing a mini skirt, a red top, a black blazer, and sandals with 10cm (4 inch) heels.
In the restaurant Raisa danced with a consript, who soon had to return to the garrison. Witnesses later testified, that Raisa had been drunk, but not excessively so.
At 22:00 Raisa left the restaurant with her friend. At 22:18 she called her boyfriend, who was at a party in the neighbouring town of Pirkkala. Raisa said that she might also come to Pirkkala, if she managed to get a ride.
Around 23:00 Raisa's friend's boyfriend arrived by car, and Raisa's friend entered the car. There were also two other boys in the car. They were going to the town of Huittinen, to a restaurant called Huittisen Seurahuone. There was no room for Raisa in the car. Her friend gave her some money, and they agreed to call each other later. This was the last confirmed sighting of Raisa.
After midnight Raisa's friend returned to Tampere. She tried to call Raisa twice, but she wouldn't pick up the phone. The friend assumed that Raisa had taken the bus home.
In the morning Raisa's mother tried to call her daughter. Her phone had been turned off. She had disappeared.

Did she drown?
Initially the police believed that Raisa may have drowned in one of the many lakes, rapids and ponds surrounding Tampere. Many bodies of water were searched, but to no avail.
In the early 2000s a fisherman caught some long, blonde hairs while fishing on a lake. His friend, who was a hairdresser, identified them as a woman's hair. The fisherman was creeped out, and threw the hair back into the water. Later he remembered Raisa's disappearance, and realised that the hair might be related to the case. He contacted the police. The area where he had found the hair was dragged, but no body was found.

The Doctor
In 2001 a woman contacted the police. She had been dating a doctor, who claimed to know what happened to Raisa, and said that the killer would never be caught. According to the woman, the doctor was a "sexual maniac" fascinated by violence.
The doctor lived in the Armonkallio area. Several witnesses claimed to have seen Raisa walking though the area on the night of her disappearance. A man living in the area heard a woman screaming between 2:00 and 3:00.
After investigating the case, the police concluded that the doctor's movements on the night of the murder made it unlikely that he killed Raisa. The doctor has since died.

Mysterious cars
In 2005 someone contacted the police, saying that Raisa had been grabbed from the street, and forced into an old-fashioned limousine. Another witness claimed to have seen "foreign-looking" men driving a golden Mercedes-Benz. They had stopped to talk to a blonde girl.
A third witness had seen a 30-year-old man with brown hair, escorting a light-skinned woman who was taller than him. The man walked the woman towards a car. There were two foreign-looking men standing by the vehicle.
There was also a witness who saw a short foreign man driving a red Ford Escort. Between 22.45 ja 01:00 the man stopped to talk with a girl who appeared cold.

New Witnesses
In 2008 a new male witness came forward. He had danced with a girl who looked like Raisa, in a restaurant called Tampereen Seurahuone. The girl said that her friends would be coming to the restaurant later (Raisa's friends had gone to another restaurant called Huittisen seurahuone, but it's possible that she got them mixed up). The girl seemed younger than the other customers, and she was very cold. After a while she disappeared.
In May 2009 the police received another tip. A witness had seen a woman resembling Raisa in a restaurant called Teerenpeli, sometime after 22:00. On the dance floor the woman had been accompanied by a large dark man of African background, and possibly a shorter Moroccan man. After dancing the woman returned to the table, and accused two Romani women of stealing her wallet or phone. A middle aged Romani man and the restaurant bouncer interfered. The witness later saw the young woman walking outside. She was lightly dressed and staggering.

The search continues
In 2015 a taxi driver contacted the police. On the night of the disappearance he had driven a freezing woman who looked like Raisa. She was accompanied by a man of foreign background, probably Turkish. The woman moved to the front seat, while the man was behind the car talking to his friends. The woman said in a scared voice: "I wonder what will happen to me?" The taxi driver offered to take her home, but she refused. She stopped talking once the foreign man entered the car. The man told the driver to take them to a block of flats in the Multisilta suburb.
In June 2016 the police announced that they were looking for Raisa in the area where the taxi driver had last seen her. The police suspected that her body had been hidden there. They found nothing.
In January 2018 the police revealed that they had suspected a Turkish man for years. One witness had seen a Turkish acquaintance talking to a girl who looked like Raisa. The Turkish man was interrogated, and denied ever meeting her. He has not been outruled as a suspect.

A confession
In 2013 a man sitting in a pub overheard another man talking to the bartender. The man confessed to shooting Raisa and burying her body on his property. The witness only contacted the police two years later. By that time both the suspect and the bartender had both died. The police searched the lands owned by the suspect, but found nothing. The suspect's family members did not believe in the veracity of the confession.

Sources:
https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raisa_Räisäsen_katoamistapaus
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/surmattiinko-raisa-raisanen-ampumalla-krp-tapauksesta-uusi-vihje-ruumiskoirat-etsimaan-hautapaikkaa-palkaneella/6359928#gs.b99l1z
https://www.kodinkuvalehti.fi/artikkeli/lue/ihmiset/tampereella_kadonneen_raisa_rasasen_isa_jospa_joku_viela_puhuisi
https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000005140040.html
https://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/a/201701042200049243
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/uusi-tieto-raisa-raisasen-katoamisesta-poliisi-epaili-jo-vuonna-2009-turkkilaista-miesta-mahdolliseksi-surmaajaksi/6727182#gs.b99mw3
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/uusi-hatkahdyttava-tieto-raisa-raisasen-katoamisesta-1999-mitenkohan-minun-kay/5910380#gs.b99n93
https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-8433990
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/talta-alueelta-raisa-raisasta-etsitaan-tutkimus-henkirikoksista-poliisin-apuna/5946350#gs.b9a6jf
https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000000268114.html?nomobile=4
https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000000306033.html
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2019.04.04 17:00 alleybetwixt The Who's Who of Burning Molka: A comprehensive list of the names involved

BURNING MOLKA ARCHIVE WIKI will contain all future updates for this listing.
This post was last updated on 190915 at 6:55PM KST
This is a compiled list of all the significant figures involved in the Burning Molka scandals. It is our attempt to make an easier-to-read breakdown that focuses on the Who's Who of these cases and what they did.

⚠ TRIGGER WARNING: This will be the only warning in this post. The contents of many of these stories and notes may be triggering. If you are sensitive to straightforward mentions of criminal activity, especially regarding sexual assault/rape, do not continue. ⚠

There are two primary threads to follow in this story. One thread is Burning Sun and the general club culture of Gangnam. This includes illegal activities (drug use and dealing, gambling, entry of minors, sexual assault, illegal hidden cameras set up to film sexual abuse, tax evasion, embezzlement) and police colluding to cover up and/or participate in these activities. The other is the celebrity members of chatrooms sharing molka (illegally filmed videos, especially sexually exploitative in nature). They are intertwined as they involve some of the same people.
The ever-growing web of these stories are happening concurrently with a widespread spy-cam (molka) epidemic (hidden cameras in hotel rooms, public restrooms, etc) as well as a feminist movement (#MeToo) where awareness is being raised of the patriarchal culture of South Korea, which has facilitated sexual harassment and abuse of women as a 'norm'.
Throughout all cases, there are authority figures (police, politicians, celebrities, chaebols) committing crimes. Due to their wealth, power, and the entrenched corruption of those that could bring them justice--they get away with it.
(190503 Expansion) The two primary threads of Burning Sun and molka-sharing chatrooms have split into a few further threads through the investigations. As it stands now, there are essentially five threads.
CedarBough T. Saeji wrote an excellent piece introducing these threads and the ways they are connected within the larger cultural context of South Korea. Highly recommended reading!
KOREA EXPOSÉ - South Korea’s Corruption, Exposed by the Burning Sun
 
(see footnote in comments about all the Kims and repetitious names)

Directly involved:

  • Seungri/Lee Seung Hyun (BIGBANG and executive director of Burning Sun):
    • Admitted to charge of sharing illegal/pornographic imagery (it's unknown if this was molka he was re-sharing from somewhere else or just a random image).
    • Laughed in reaction to seeing illegal photos being shared in chatroom.
    • Admitted to tax evasion at Monkey Museum.
    • Embezzled funds from Monkey Museum and Burning Sun (tens of thousands of dollars). Charged for occupational embezzlement.
    • Alleged to have facilitated escorts for foreign investors at an event in Seoul in July 2016, at Club Arena in 2015, a Christmas party in 2015, and his Philippines birthday party in 2017.
    • During his pre-trial detention hearing, Seungri confirmed he had personally solicited prostitution.
    • Seungri left BIGBANG. Was released from his contract with YG Ent. Retired from the industry. Was largely removed from YG Ent. website and BIGBANG merchandise.
    • Will be sent a draft notice after June 25th at which point he will decide to enlist or postpone. If Seungri's case goes to prosecution, it will not have any affect on his enlistment unless he is arrested/detained at some point.
    • Forwarded to prosecution on 7 charges including: prostitution solicitation, prostitution mediation, embezzlement (from Burning Sun), embezzlement of attorney fees, instigating destruction of evidence, violation of the Food and Sanitation Act, and violation of the 'Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment of Sexual Crimes'. (190625)
  • Jung Joon Young (singesongwriter, band Drug Restaurant, TV personality):
    • Charged with 11 counts of filming and sharing molka of him having sex with women. Arrested. Trial begins May 10th, 2019.
    • Suspected of soliciting prostitution while filming abroad in Germany (2016).
    • Jung Joon Young had 23 chat rooms, with 16 people involved.
    • Make Us Ent. terminated his contract.
    • In 2016, he was accused of illegally filming a sexual encounter with a woman without consent, but the charges had been dropped. With the present investigation, it was discovered that police who had been investigating that case in 2016 went to the forensic company working on Jung Joon Young's phone, asking for them to announce that the phone's files could not be restored. The files were never turned over for further investigation.
    • Jung joon Young admitted to all 11 charges of filming or distributing molka at his pre-trial hearing (190510).
  • Yoo In Suk/Mr. Yoo (Yuri Holdings CEO):
    • Resigned from his position as CEO of Yuri Holdings, which is the company founded by both him and Seungri in 2016. It operated multiple businesses, including the Burning Sun club.
    • Embezzled funds from Monkey Museum and Burning Sun (tens of thousands of dollars). Charged for occupational embezzlement.
    • Facilitated prostitution
    • Helped to cover up Choi Jong Hoon's DUI
    • Implicated Superintendent Yoon during investigations.
    • His wife, Park Han Byul (actress/model), also claimed she received K-Pop concert tickets from Choi Jong Hoon
    • Provided details about soliciting prostitution with Seungri in 2015. They paid for two prostitutes at Seungri's apartment. Yoo In Suk stated their intention was to 'test their quality' ahead of Japanese investors they would be entertaining the following day. The two women confirmed they had been sent to the apartment by their madame.
  • Choi Jong Hoon (FTISLAND):
    • Bribed police for assistance in covering-up DUI (offered $9,000). Charged with 5 counts of distributing molka and one charge of filming molka himself.
    • Departed from FTISLAND. FNC Entertainment officially terminated his exclusive contract. Retired from industry.
    • Arrested.
    • Forwarded to prosecution with a recommendation of indictment for group sexual assault on two occasions in January and March of 2016 (190516).
    • Indicted on charges of sexual assault (190603). (The previous week he had filed a habeas corpus petition in objection to his detainment, requesting the courts re-review his case. Judge Lee Il Yeom rejected his petition.)
  • Yong Jun Hyung (HIGHLIGHT): Was in a 1-on-1 chatroom with Jung Joon Young. Admitted to participating in inappropriate conversations about molka. Departed from HIGHLIGHT. Enlisted for military service (190402).
  • Lee Jong Hyun (CNBLUE): Confirmed to be in chatroom where molka was shared. Admitted to participating in inappropriate sexual conversations degrading women. Currently in military service. He's 'deeply reflecting' and still supported by his agency, FNC Ent. He announced his departure from CNBLUE through FNC Entertainment, apologizing for bringing harm to the members and disappointment to fans. (This came after a strange private interaction with a YouTuber Park Min Jung on Instagram while serving in the military, which she made public. She apologized and removed the post after it hit the news.) (190828)
  • Mr. Kim (Burning Sun merchandiser): Employee at Burning Sun. Known as Jung Joon Young's "hidden camera mate". Set up hidden spy cams to film illegally in the club over 10 months. Uploaded molka of himself raping a woman to the group chatroom. Arrested. Indicted for sexual assault while overseas.
  • Eddy Kim (singesongwriter): Was in a chatroom with Jung Joon Young where molka was shared. He admitted to uploading one sexual photo from the internet.
  • Roy Kim (singesongwriter): Was in a chatroom with Jung Joon Young. Booked for sharing a photo (unconfirmed if molka). Graduated from Georgetown University, but did not participate in the ceremony.
  • Jung Joon Young participated in a temporary group chat along with cast-mates for JTBC's 'Hitmaker' (variety show). Reportedly, he took photos of a flight attendant's body (nature unknown) and shared them in the chat. Other cast members present in the chat were Kangin (Super Junior), Jeong Jin Woon (2AM), and Lee Chul Woo (model). Investigation determined these three did not share molka themselves and police stated they had no plans to investigate them further, referencing them only as witnesses present in the chat.
  • Kwon Hyuk Joon (SNSD Yuri's brother): Kicked out of group chatroom after being caught doing drugs (marijuana?). Mr. Kim (Burning Sun employee) reportedly filmed Kwon raping victim B and shared the video to the chatroom. Arrested on sexual assault charges. Forwarded to prosecution with a recommendation of indictment for group sexual assault (190516).
  • T: Member of a Jung Joon Young chat where there was discussion about sexual exploits, women were degraded in a variety of vulgadehumanizing ways, and drugging and raping a woman was described in some detail. Two women were described as being like comfort women.
  • P: same as T
  • K: same as T
  • Senior Police Officer Superintendent Yoon: Booked for violating the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act for taking bribes/gifts in the form of BIGBANG concert tickets (from Seungri), a meal and a golf game (from Yoo In Suk). Removed from his position. Fowarded to prosecution for obstructing rights when providing confidential police information to Yoo In Suk about possible suspicious activity at Monkey Museum. Yoon was cleared of charges regarding receiving bribes from Seungri and Yoo In Suk because the total amount ($2,250) was less than the threshold ($2,518) of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act. But he will pay a fine and the Inspection Department will determine how he should be disciplined.
  • Senior Inspectors A and B: Both forwarded to prosecution. 'A' for helping to convey confidential information to Superintendent Yoon and 'B' for violating confidentiality for revealing police information.
  • Superintendent Kim (resident officer in Malaysia): Associated with Yoo In Suk and Park Han Byul. (Likely the figure who accepted bribe from Choi Jong Hoon to cover up his DUI.)
  • Mr. Kang (former Police Detective): Known as the 'Nighttime Troubleshooter' in Gangnam. Supposedly received regular bribes ($2,000/month or $5,000 for bigger issues). Allowed entry of a minor at Burning Sun. Received bribes through Choi, who was part of club Monkey Museum's crew.
  • Mr. Lim (Arena club's CEO): Arrested for tax evasion (evaded 16.2 billion won from 2014 to 2017).
  • Mr. Kang (Arena club's owner): Arrested for tax evasion (evaded 16.2 billion won from 2014 to 2017). Believed to have lobbied tax agencies during the tax investigation to Arena last year. He operated 16 clubs in Gangnam.
  • Mr. Jang (Burning Sun Director): Participated in the assault of Kim Sang Kyo along with security guards. Forwarded to prosecution on charges of assault.
  • Jang (Burning Sun security guard manager): Participated in the assault of Kim Sang Kyo along with security guards. Forwarded to prosecution on charges of assault.
  • Lee Moon Ho (Burning Sun co-CEO): Investigated as a suspect relating to drug use (more than 10 times) and distribution. Police seized his home and banned him from leaving the country. His initial arrest warrant was rejected despite testing positive for drugs. Arrested on suspicions of drug use, distribution, and destruction of evidence (190419). Transferred to prosecution. Sentenced to 3 years probation and 200 hours of community service. He would receive 1.5 years in prison if involved with any further criminal activity. (190822)
  • Lee Sung Hyun (Burning Sun co-CEO): Former board member in association with Le Méridien Seoul hotel. Testified in court that he bribed Mr. Kang (former Gangnam station police officer) to cover up the illegal entry of minors to the club (July 2018). Lee stated that he informed his co-CEO Lee Moon Ho of this, but not Seungri.
  • Anna (merchandisepromoter for Burning Sun): Interrogated by the police under suspicion of selling drugs to VIP clients at Burning Sun. Tested positive for methamphetamine, ecstasy, opium, marijuana, and ketamine. Request for arrest warrant regarding drug distribution, denied. Her case was transferred to prosecution.
  • Mr. Ji (Seungri's former manager): Was paid a salary of about $2,645 every month through Burning Sun, even though he was an employee of YG Entertainment. YG Ent. supposedly learned of this in February and fired Mr. Ji. This is still being investigated. It's not known if Mr. Ji was only getting salary from Burning Sun or he had double salary from both.
  • Yang Hyun Suk (Founder of YG Entertainment):
    • MBC's program 'Straight' aired with an in-depth report claiming that YG Entertainment's CEO Yang Hyun Suk mediated prostitution for foreign investors. A dinner he hosted in 2014 was specified where 8 men were being entertained. 25 women were present, allegedly most of which were prostitutes. Most of the guests and women moved on to Yang Hyun Suk's club NB, where later the investors selected from the women to be entertained privately. YG Entertainment made a statment confirming Yang Hyun Suk was at the dinner, but denied he mediated prostitution for VIPs. (Allegedly, Hwang Hana was also present at the dinner.)
    • JTBC's 'Spotlight' program included information about a staff member at YG Entertainment keeping a drug kit to test company artists for drugs so that they could take proactive steps to cover it up if anyone tested positive. Yang Hyun Suk responded to the program by stating he was directly involved in routinely monitoring the artists with drug tests himself every two months. He explained that, following G-Dragon's case, he took responsibility with testing as a preventative measure to keep artists fearful of using drugs at all. Yang Hyun Suk also claimed B.I's drug test had been negative.
    • Resigned from position in YG Entertainment as a result of his involvement in multiple scandals.
    • Booked for suspicions of prostitution mediation based on expense reports that indicated possible sexual services during the 2014 Europe trip (190717). The investigations into prostitution are ongoing.
  • Yang Min Suk (CEO of YG Entertainment/brother of Yang Hyun Suk): Resigned as CEO as a result of his brother's involvement in multiple scandals.
  • PSY: Called up for questioning on the 23rd regarding the prostitution mediation Yang Hyun Suk is suspected of providing for Jho Low and another Southeast Asian investor in July of 2014. The questioning reportedly took approximately 9 hours. Both PSY and Madam Jung's testimonies are being collected as a part of the ongoing investigation into Yang Hyun Suk's case.

Victims speaking out:

  • Informant/whistleblower: Person (woman?) who gave Kakaotalk chats to Lawyer Bang Jeong Hyun.
  • Kim Sang Kyo (non-celebrity):
    • Filed the original assault case at Burning Sun, which triggered all of the media attention and investigations of Gangnam clubs.
    • Claimed he saw a woman being sexually harassed. Sought a security guard for help and then was beaten by Mr. Jang and security guards. When police came, they also beat him. He was arrested and beaten again at the police station.
    • Wrote about the incident on Bobaedream (online community) and sent a petition to the Blue House about it. Later requested anyone harmed at Burning Sun to contact him through Instagram. Posted multiple stories of victims sharing what happened to them (sexually assaulted, drugged with GHB).
    • Three women accused him of harassment at Burning Sun (includes Anna and a 'Kim', who were later revealed to have ties to Burning Sun staff.)
    • (Kim Sang Kyo Statement and background)
    • Forwarded to prosecution on charges of assault, interference with business, and sexual harassment based on testimonies and CCTV footage.
  • A (informant): Two new chatrooms were discovered due to informant 'A, from her boyfriend, Mr. Kim. Participants of one include actors Shin and Han and a model Jung. The other includes the son of a former Samsung executive, a merchandiser for club Arena, and an entertainer. It contains more than 100 videos and pictures of shared molka and pornographic content. (Note: This is not the same 'A' as the 'A' below and we do not know if this 'Mr. Kim' is the same as any other Kim mentioned in this list.)
  • A (friends with members of the group chatrooms):
    • Testified she was sexually assaulted by five members of the group chatrooms. This includes Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon (may also include Heo and Mr. Kim (Burning Sun)).
    • 'A' contacted lawyer Bang Jeong Hyun when seeing everything in the news and suspected she may have been assaulted while she was part of the chatroom associated friend group.
    • Corroborating the date of her suspected assault with Bang Jeong Hyun and the chat logs resulted in seeing conversations, a voice recording, and six photos that indeed indicated she had been sexually assaulted while unconscious.
    • 'A' will file a lawsuit against those who assaulted her and an investigation will follow.
  • B: Last week, 'B' filed a complaint that Mr. Kim (Burning Sun employee) filmed Kwon (SNSD Yuri's brother) raping 'B' and shared the video to the chatroom. Her statement matches the content of the chat logs.
  • Lee: Came forward in relation to one of the first chatlogs that was made public. A 2016 gathering overseas included Seungri, Roy Kim, Mr. Kim, Yoo In Suk, and a group of women who had been invited. Lee was friends with one of the women. They all had dinner together, but Lee lost consciousness. She was left to rest in another room. She was found later in a different room, undressed, and her friends said it was extremely difficult to rouse her from sleep. Her testimony aligns with the content of the chat where Mr. Kim had filmed as he assaulted her and shared it with the other members. Lee's uncharacteristic loss of consciousness will also be further investigated for the possibility she was drugged at the party.
  • Multiple women came forward regarding a gathering at a resort in Hongcheon (January 2016). Five men were involved, which included Jung Joong Young, Choi Jong Hoon, and Mr. Kim (Burning Sun). Seungri did not attend but responded to chat conversations about what happened there. The women claim they lost consciousness after being served alcohol by the men. Again, the chatlogs and media shared indicate the women were sexually assaulted and recorded.
  • Seven women have come forward so far to file complaints in regards to being sexually assaulted by members of the Jung Joon Young chatrooms. The ones we know about in detail are listed above.
  • Informant Jeon (guard at Burning Sun):
    • Came forward with information about police being paid off during club inspections long before this whole scandal took off. Drugs were openly used in Burning Sun. He recalled an unconscious woman who his team was supposed to remove from the club, but looked like she had been drugged when he tried to wake her. The leader of Jeon's guard team was instructed to keep police out of the club.
    • Jeon was present when Kim Sang Kyo was assaulted. When Sang Kyo publicly stated he was seeking information about the club, Jeon contacted him, despite being threatened by his team leader.
    • Claimed he never saw sexual crimes himself, but that servers and guards would say he should go watch the CCTV for a (VIP?) room, and he assumed there were sex acts happening. He said it was almost always celebrities or chaebols who booked that room.
  • Another victim of Kim Hak Eui and Yoon Jung Cheon who was present at the Wonju Villa in 2008 came forward. Choi has medical and psychiatric treatment records that may be used to apply charges to the men. Her testimony was provided back in 2013, but she was never called in for further questioning/investigation at the time, further indicating the investigation was not handled responsibly. (The two victims more recently associated with this case are Choi and Lee/A.)

Indirect connections:

  • Seo Hyun Deok (nephew of Choi Soon Shil): VIP guest at Burning Sun. Confirmed first assailant against Kim Sang Kyo. Grabbed him by the hair. Forwarded to prosecution on charges of assault..
  • Kim Hak Eui (Former Vice Justice Minister: (Article linking KHE with multiple sex abuse cases). Arrested. There is not sufficient evidence to charge Kim Hak Eui specifically on sexual assault (he has other charges pending still). Yoon Jung Cheon had a 'mental damage' charge applied for assaulting 'Lee/A' three times and coercing her to be sexually involved with Kim Hak Eui.
  • Yoon Jung Cheon (building contractor):
    • Hosted sex parties at his villa in Wonju, where Kim Hak Eui is suspected to have drugged and raped women (between 2006-2007). With investigations re-opened and widened surrounded Kim, Yoon Jung Cheon was booked for fraud and misappropriating funds while head of a construction firm between November 2017 and May 2018.
    • Was transferred to Seoul Eastern District Prosecutor's Office. Prosecution is determining if they want to seek an arrest warrant for Yoon.
    • Arrested.
    • The Past Affairs Committee called for an investigation of the relationship between Yoon Jung Cheon and high-ranking prosecuters regarding bribery and unfair treatment (ex-Attorney General Han Sang Dae, ex-official Yoon Gap Geun, and ex-assistant prosecutor general Park). There is also the possibility that more videos exist aside from the well-known 'Kim Hak Eui video' taken by Yoon Jung Cheon, which he may have used to habitually blackmail five more victims.
  • SBS reported on Businessman Choi, who is being investigation for real estate fraud/embezzlement and involvement with Kim Hak Eui. Choi's two sons are the 2nd largest stockholders of Choi's company and are suspected of participating in the fraud. One son is the vocalist of JANNABI (a band). Choi claims his sons were never involved in management of the company
  • President Moon Jae In issued emergency orders to thoroughly investigate the scandals that have surfaced: Burning Sun, Jang Ja Yeon (actress who took her own life that was sexually abused, as facilitated by her agency), and Kim Hak Eui (former justice minister who was accused of taking sexual bribes, with at least one woman who did not consent). Their commonalities are in privileged individuals participating in criminal activity and sexual abuse while colluding with people in places of power (ie. police, politicians) to cover up and/or take part in said activities. Jang Ja Yeon's case was nearing the statute of limitations, but there was an official extension of two months to continue the investigation.
  • Shim Min Ji (Madame Shim): Founder and CEO of the luxury fashion brand L’inoui (Koreaboo article all about her connections to powerful figures and suspicious cases of suicide)
  • Madam Lin (Taiwanese investor): Signed investment contract for Burning Sun after meeting Seungri in 2017. Accused of laundering money through the club. (Koreaboo article all about her.) Forwarded to prosecution on charges of money laundering and embezzlement. (190625)
  • Madam Jung (Adult Entertainment Industry Businesswoman (?)):
    • Allegedly instructed through 'CEO Kim' of YGX and Yang Hyun Suk to bring 10 women entertainers to two events with YG Entertainment's foreign investors in July and October 2014. One was a dinner and one was a trip to Europe.
    • Instructed to send photos of 10 women to Yang Hyun Suk's friend. The friend paid her about $170,000 a week before the Europe trip, which may have been supplied by Jho Low. Yang Hyun Suk then personally gave Madam Jung directions on how to distribute the money to the women--half of the total to be divided between the women and the other half going to Madam Jung herself.
    • She decided to reveal this information on MBC's 'Straight' program after her frustration seeing Yang Hyun Suk claim he didn't know why Madam Jung brought the women for the trip when he was the one that gave the order.
    • Madam Jung has been questioned by police six times so far.
  • Hwang Hana:
    • Chaebol of Namyang Dairy Products (is also the ex-fiancée of Park Yoochun(JYJ)).
    • Arrested (190404). Trial will begin 190515.
    • Frequent visitor of Burning Sun. Drug-dealeuser, but has never been punished when caught due to preferential treatment from police (she may have bribed someone she used with, Cho/Jo, to take all the blame).
    • Friends with Choi Jong Hoon, Lee Moon Ho, Seungri, and Madam Lin.
    • May have distributed molka and used videos to threaten others/victims. A relative of Park Yoochun claimed Hana blackmailed him with nude photos of him she had taken while he slept.
    • Was known to host house-parties at high-class villas where wealthy friends would be invited to take drugs and 'play'. There are indications she provided drugs for her family and possibly for two employees in her father's company (or worked with them to attain drugs).
    • Indicted on additional charges of drug use. She was charged with using methamphetamine a total of 10 times, Her first trial will be on June 5th.
    • At her second hearing on June 19th she submitted a 14-page apology letter and admitted to all charges against her regarding use of methamphetamine except for one. She challenged a statement by Park Yoochun that they had used drugs together in March of this year (12th-13th). Hwang Hana claimed Park Yoochun took the drugs by himself. Her next hearing will be held on July 10th.
    • Was sentenced to 2 years probation and a fine of about $1,878 (2.2mil won). She was released from detention and made a public statement of apology, saying she would self-reflect. (190719)
  • Park Yoochun (JYJ, ex-TVXQ):
    • Ex-fiancé of Hwang Hana. While she was being questioned she claimed a celebrity friend coerced her into taking drugs. This friend was speculated to be Park Yoochun.
    • Police conducted a search and seizure of Park Yoochun's home, car, and phone, along with taking a hair sample for testing.
    • He tested positive for methamphetamine (Philopon) and confessed to seven(?) instances of using. Six times with Hwang Hana and once on his own since 2018.
    • His case was forwarded to prosecution on charges of violating the Narcotics Control Act (190503).
    • CJeS, Yoochun's agency, terminated his exclusive contract. Yoochun cancelled all schedules and retired from the industry.
    • Park Yoochun's lawyer, Kwon Chang Beom, resigned from work on his case.
    • Officially indicted with detention after admitting to charges of drug use. His first hearing has been scheduled for June 14th.
    • References to Yoochun have mostly been removed from JYJ's social media accounts.
    • At his first hearing, he admitted to all charges of using methamphetamine (Philopon), six times between September and October 2018, and also for purchasing 1.5 grams of the drug three times with Hwang Hana between February and March 2019. Prosecutors asked for Yoochun to serve an 18-month prison sentence and pay a fine of approximately $1,180. His final trial is set for July 2nd.
    • After 68 days of detainment during his trials, Yoochun was sentenced to 2 years of probation. If he is found to be involved with any further criminal activity during that time, he will serve 10 months in prison. He was also sentenced to pay a fine of about $1,200. (190702)
  • B.I (iKON): Dispatch revealed Kakaotalk messages from 2016 where he attempted to purchase marijuana and LSD from Han Seo Hee. Departed from iKON. YG Entertainment terminated his exclusive contract with the company. Suwon District Prosecutor's second deputy director, Lee Soo Kwon, explained that prosecution would not continue investigating B.I. since there was no evidence of criminal activity beyond the Kakaotalk conversation and Han Seo Hee testified that she never gave drugs to B.I.(190618).
  • Han Seo Hee (aka. Informant A): Exchanged Kakaotalk messages with B.I relating to purchasing drugs. She was questioned once, but was too emotional for the questioning to be productive. She testified she did not deliver drugs to B.I. Han Seo Hee also claimed she was coerced into changing her testimony under threat by Yang Hyun Suk. There are suspicions about timing with her August 2016 drug case. Police had requested a drug test on her, but before the results had even been recieved, her case was forwarded to prosecution. However, a source from the prosecution team claimed there were no records of this early transfer to prosecution. Additionally, Dispatch reported Han Seo Hee was encouraged by Yang Hyun Suk to go overseas to the US in December 2016 during the lead up to Big Bang's promotional period. In her opinion this was to prevent any risk to TOP in relation to his marijuana use. She was further told by the company to stay longer in the US, which she believes was timed intentionally to wait until TOP had enlisted in the military. These allegations were all denied by Yang Hyun Suk in an official statement.
  • Kangin departed from Super Junior, apologizing for the problems he had caused in an Instagram announcement. (190710)
  • Kim Hyung Jun (SS501): Accused of sexually assaulting a bar employee in 2010 (the alleged victim came foward when seeing this whole scandal in the news). He denied the allegations.
  • SHAUN (solo artist and member of band The Koxx): Enlisted for his military service. He hasn't been accused of anything, but he was a resident DJ at Burning Sun, so received negative attention for the association.
  • Choi Jung Hoon (JANNABI vocalist and son of Businessman Choi) posted a public letter via Instagram (Soompi's article w/full translation). He stated his father's business failed in 2012 and the singer had been financially independent ever since. He allowed his father to use his name/good credit score to help rebuild the business, but had nothing to do with it otherwise. He also said he knew his father and Kim Hak Eui were friends before he was born, but has no other association. JANNABI's various scheduled appearances are being cancelled following the reports about Choi Jung Hoon's father.
  • A PD for the variety show 2 Days & 1 Night (2D1N) was implicated in a chat where gambling was discussed with Jung Joon Young. Cha Tae Hyun and Kim Joon Ho (members of the 2D1N cast) were also in the chat and are revealed to have gambled while playing golf (gambling is illegal in South Korea). They have both stepped down from all programs they are involved with. 2D1N is now on indefinite hiatus and unavailable for replay. The investigation over the gambling came to an end with no charges filed against either of them (190524).
  • BC Holdings (in Hong Kong) was founded in 2016 by Seungri, Yoo In Suk, and Ryu (head of a consulting firm). It is believed to be a shell corporation. It was apparently operating on $8.8 million of investments, but the initial investment of these men was only about $35. Hong Kong authorities are investigating for tax evasion. The BC Holdings Korean office and Ryu's consulting firm are both located at the Yuri Holdings office.
  • Robert Holley (Lawyer, TV personality): Arrested for possession and use of methamphetamine. Megathread compilation for articles related to him

Further investigations:

  • While investigating Burning Sun, Police seized 58 phones.
  • Commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency held a press conference and revealed the following in relation to the club scandals: 103 people have been booked, 13 people have been arrested/imprisoned. 53 people were booked for drug-related charges (15 booked and 4 arrested for using/distributing drugs at Burning Sun), 9 booked and 1 arrested for distributing GHB.
  • Another Gangnam club (not named) owned by Mr. Kang was found to have allowed minors to enter in December 2017. Broker Bae bribed two police officers, Lieutenant C/Yeom and Sergeant D, to cover it up. All three were booked. Lieutenant C/Yeom admitted to accepting bribes and was arrested. The arrest warrant request for Sergeant D was denied.
  • A program aired on MBC called 'Straight', which dug into some staggeringly evil stuff. A number of Gangnam clubs including Arena and Burning Sun set up officetel rooms for VVIP customers. There are indications of drug use, human trafficking, underage prostitution, rape, torture, illegal filming, and the presence of a professional team to destroy all evidence of what goes on there.
  • 17 women were booked for prostitution or prostitution mediation. It is believed they are all linked to Seungri's parties.
  • In a press conference on April 29th ('19), the SMPA Commissioner stated action had been taken against 23 suspects in relation to drug use, distribution of molka, and sexual assault. 7 people total were booked related to embezzlement at Burning Sun including: Lee and Choi (Jeonwon Enterprise chairman and CEO), Burning Sun's two CEOs, Yoo In Suk (Yuri Holdings), Ahn (Madam Lin's guide), and Seungri. The SMPA stated their next focus for investigation will be police corruption and collusion at Burning Sun and related cases.
  • From earlier reporting, there was a chatroom with 200 members, mostly reporters and directors, who were sharing media from all of these investigations--molka, pornographic material, and private information related to the sexual assault victims. SMPA's cyber crime team launched an investigation into this chatroom and its members, along with three more chatrooms that have similar material being shared.
  • Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office performed a search and seizure on Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) relating to prostitution night club crack-downs. The investigation focuses on a 'Lieutenant Park' who allegedly took bribes in exchange for secret information and possibly running prostitution businesses. This is indirectly related to the Burning Sun c ases, but the raid was performed on the same day the Burning Sun investigations were wrapped up and findings announced. Many found the timing suspicious.
  • Investigations into possible collusion between Burning Sun and the local police (Yeoksam Patrol Division) were concluded. 72 cell phones of the officers, call histories of 706 club staff members, and bank records of 36 higher-ranked staff members were analyzed. It was determined there was not evidence of collusion between the club and police.
  • Regarding Jung Joon Young's old August 2016 sexual assault case, SMPA forwarded 'Lieutenant A' to prosecution for abandonment of duty and falsifying documents as well as accomplice 'Lawyer B' (Jung Joon Young's lawyer) for hiding evidence. Together, they are suspected to have hidden Jung Joon Young's cell phone at the time, claiming it disappeared, keeping the evidence of his molka videos a secret. Lieutenant A also attempted to coerce the digital forensics company to put on record that the cell phone data could not be recovered, which the company refused to do. When the company said the data recovery would take less than 24 hours, Lieutenant A told his superiors it would take 2-3 months. Lawyer B is also suspected of trying to reset Jung Joon Young's phone before handing it over to police in the more recent case, March 2019.
  • SMPA's Intellectual Crime Division stated that Seungri, Yoo In Suk, Madam Lin, and Burning Sun co-CEOs Lee Sung Hyun and Lee Moon Ho are suspected of embezzling more money from the club than previously reported ($451,000). The new total of embezzled funds is reported to be approximately $1.5 million, of which $850,000 was embezzled by Seungri, Yoo In Suk, and Madam Lin. The remaining funds were allegedly embezzled by the co-CEOs. There are no plans to request additional warrants against those involved based on the changed amount of embezzled funds. (190619)

People on the case:

  • Oh Hyuk Jin and Noh Seung Il (Choi Soon Sil case): Political journalist and assistant, reported Burning Sun.
  • Lawyer Bang Jeong Hyun: Received chats from informant. Sent to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (as opposed to the police). Shared them with Kang Kyung Yoon.
  • Kang Kyung Yoon: Reported Kakaotalk chats of Seungri and Jung Joon Young. Received chats from lawyer Bang (as requested by informant). Investigating Seungri since 2015. In communication with molka victims. (Watch her interview where she describes her process with the case)
  • Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA)
  • Metropolitan/Provincial Special Detective Division
submitted by alleybetwixt to kpop [link] [comments]


2019.03.23 09:32 alleybetwixt This Week In KPOP - March 23, 2019

Welcome to This Week In KPOP, a collection of everything you may have missed during the past week on /kpop.

March 16 - March 22, 2019

TOP 10 STORIES

# Votes Thread Comments
1 (+1814) BLACKPINK to make comeback with plans for end of March with new EP 283 comments
2 (+1800) MAMAMOO have taken first win for '고고베베 (gogobebe)' on SBS MTV The Show (190319) 76 comments
3 (+1785) TWICE Make History as First K-Pop Girl Group to Hold Japanese Dome Tour 124 comments
4 (+1556) Sooyoung attended Tiffany's "Lips on Lips" LA tour stop and sang "Into The New World" with her 79 comments
5 (+1538) Red Velvet and NCT Dream win Girl Group and Boy Group Daesang at 25th Korean Entertainment Art Awards! 123 comments
6 (+1513) Red Velvet's Yeri included a tribute to Jonghyun in her self-composed song 'Dear Diary' 34 comments
7 (+1473) Kang Daniel has filed suit to terminate his contract with LM Entertainment 131 comments
8 (+1422) BTS's Map of the Soul: Persona records 2,685,030 in pre-orders 311 comments
9 (+1083) Sunmi announces official fandom name "Miya-ne (미야네)" and shares official colours: 2347C, 2587C and 2172C 67 comments
10 (+966) Shannon Williams personally confirms she has left MBK Entertainment and is currently a free agent 56 comments

TOP 10 PERFORMANCES

# Votes Thread Comments
1 (+512) [Live] Debut Stage: EVERGLOW - 봉봉쇼콜라 (Bon Bon Chocolat) @ Mnet M! Countdown (190321) 93 comments
2 (+438) [Dance Practice] TXT - `Blue Orangeade' Dance Practice 18 comments
3 (+429) [Song Cover] Kim Lip, Heejin, and Chuu (Loona) - DNA (orig. BTS) 13 comments
4 (+375) [Song Cover] LOONA Haseul, Jinsoul, Yves - Love Me Right (orig. EXO) 11 comments
5 (+370) [Dance Cover] IZ*ONE Lee Chaeyeon - Alligator (Orig: Monsta X) 16 comments
6 (+347) [Dance Practice] EVERGLOW - Bon Bon Chocolat (Lia Kim x Minyoung Park Choreography) 19 comments
7 (+242) [Live] Sunmi - Noir @ Warning San Francisco (190306) 13 comments
8 (+223) [Live] Special Stage: PRODUCE X 101 - _지마 (X1-MA) @ Mnet M! Countdown (190321) 119 comments
9 (+224) [Live] Comeback Stage: MOMOLAND - I'm So Hot @ Mnet M Countdown (190321) 55 comments
10 (+213) [Live] Sunmi - Who AM I (orig. Sunmi Feat. Yubin of Wonder Girls) @ Warning San Francisco (190306) 8 comments

TOP 5 DISCUSSIONS

# Votes Thread Comments
1 (+358) What K-Pop miracle do you want to happen? 514 comments
2 (+238) What are you favorite songs NOT about love, relationships, crushes, break-ups, etc.? 147 comments
3 (+199) Who is the strongest leader in k-pop? 203 comments
4 (+186) What would be one secret / truth behind an incident would you like to learn in K-pop? 308 comments
5 (+168) Idol stage names that when translated to your language have a completely different meaning? 159 comments

AMAs

Guest(s) Thread Date
KARD We are KARD, AMA! 190319
Lena (GWSN) Hi! This is AMA with LENA of GWSN☆ 190321

MUSIC SHOWS

Date Performances Discussion Thread Winner
20190316 Music Core Thread --HWASA---
20190317 Inkigayo Thread --N.Flying--
20190319 The Show Thread MAMAMOO
20190320 Show Champion Thread ----TXT-----
20190321 M!Countdown Thread MAMAMOO
20190322 Music Bank Thread EPIK HIGH-

TOP 5 BURNING MOLKA RELATED STORIES

# Votes Thread Comments
1 (+2880) YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk is being sued by stockholders and civic groups 460 comments
2 (+2113) Jung Joonyoung has been arrested on charges for filming and distribution of molka (hidden spy cams) without consent 103 comments
3 (+1924) President Moon Jae In Orders Thorough Investigations On Cases Of Jang Ja Yeon, Burning Sun Club, And More 83 comments
4 (+1383) YG shareholders will hold a confidence vote on CEO Yang Min-suk, due to the recent scandal of Seungri 173 comments
5 (+930) Police Officially Apply For Arrest Warrant For Jung Joon Young - No Plans For Seungri Warrant 59 comments
# MEGATHREADS / MASTERPOSTS Date Posted
1 Burning Sun Club (Owned by Seungri) MasterPost 190131
2 Seungri Masterpost 2.0 190226
3 Masterpost 3.0: Seungri now a suspect for Sexual Escort Ring, booked by police 190310
4 Masterpost 4.0: Seungri Announces Retirement from The Entertainment Industry & Further Updates. 190311
5 Megathread 5: Burning Sun, Seungri, Jung Joon Young, Prostitution Ring, Hidden Camera Chat, and All Connected Issues 190312
6 Megathread 6: Seungri and Jung Joon Young arrested/booked and all connected issue 190312
7 Masterpost 7: Seungri, Jung Joon Young, Kwon Hyuk Jun, Mr. Yoo, etc, Burning Sun, Tax Evasion, Police Corruption, Sexual Abuse and more 190313
8 Megathread 8: Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Mr. Yoo and others report to the Seoul Police Agency 190314
9 Burning Molka 9: Choi Jong Hoon, Mr. Yoo, Seungri, Jung Joon Young, Yong Junhyung and more 190314
10 Burning Molka 10: Seungri refuses to hand over phone, Lee Jonghyun, Yong Jun Hyung, Choi Jong Hoon, Jung Joon Young and more 190314
11 Burning Molka 11: Choi Jong Hoon is expected to report to the police 190315
12 NEW THIS WEEK: Burning Molka 12: Jung Joon Young has a second interview with the police who now requests an arrest warrant 190318
13 NEW THIS WEEK: So, Burning Molka 13: Jung Joon Young and Mr. Kim have been arrested. 190321

NEW RELEASES

Day Artist Album Title Type Music Video Streaming
16th Hyungdon & Daejune 그대 없이는 못살아 digital single 그대 없이는 못살아 (feat. Lovelyz's Kei) Spotify / Apple Music
18th Baek Yerin Our love is great mini album Maybe It's Not Our Fault Spotify / Apple Music
EVERGLOW Arrival of Everglow debut single album Bon Bon Chocolat Spotify / Apple Music
Gummy Alone digital single Alone Spotify / Apple Music
Lee Gikwang I digital single Don't Close Your Eyes (D.C.Y.E) (feat. Kid Milli) Spotify / Apple Music
ShaFLA You've changed digital single You've changed Apple Music
19th VAV THRILLA KILLA mini album THRILLA KILLA Spotify / Apple Music
DIA NEWTRO mini album WOOWA Spotify / Apple Music
Heize She's Fine full album She's Fine / So, it ends? (feat. Colde) Spotify / Apple Music
Jeong Sewoon ±0 (Plus Minus Zero) mini album Feeling (feat. Penomeco) Spotify / Apple Music
20th Ryeowook (Super Junior) 桜の花が咲く頃 Japanese debut single album 桜の花が咲く頃
Samuel ONE -Japanese Ver.- Japanese single album ONE (feat. BTOB's Ilhoon) -Japanese Ver.- Spotify / Apple Music
SF9 ILLUMINATE Japanese full-length album Enough (Japanese ver.) Spotify / Apple Music
Boombastic X MXM So Special project single So Special Spotify / Apple Music
High School HIGH CLASS pre-debut single HIGH CLASS Spotify / Apple Music
MOMOLAND Show Me mini album I'm So Hot Spotify / Apple Music
21st JK (GIRLKIND) SPLIT debut digital single SPLIT Spotify / Apple Music
Jang Beom June (Busker Busker) Jang Beom June 3th Spoiler mini album Every moment with you Spotify / Apple Music
OVAN X SHAUN She is digital single She is Spotify / Apple Music
22nd Lee Juck 흔적 Part. 2 digital single Numbers Spotify / Apple Music
Suran Jumpin' mini album Wander and flow (feat. Yoon Mirae) Spotify / Apple Music
The full chart of all releases including OSTs and indie artists can be found here or in the sidebar. The chart is updated regularly and a new one is published every month.

"This Week in KPOP" Archive

submitted by alleybetwixt to kpop [link] [comments]


2018.09.30 06:18 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: WarshipPorn top posts from 2018-08-30 to 2018-09-29 05:43 PDT

Period: 29.73 days
Submissions Comments
Total 528 5371
Rate (per day) 17.76 175.30
Unique Redditors 101 1438
Combined Score 66316 38735

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 8640 points, 53 submissions: __hrga__
    1. USS Constitution fires its guns in salute while underway in Massachusetts Bay, escorted by the frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) (center) and the destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) (right), as the Navy's "Blue Angels" pass overhead [1276 × 780] (793 points, 62 comments)
    2. USS Iowa - BALTOPS '85 [1280 × 847] (727 points, 33 comments)
    3. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) [3228 × 2152] (717 points, 86 comments)
    4. Royal navy Astute class submarine HMS Ambush [2764 × 1770] (534 points, 32 comments)
    5. German U-576 submarine [1200 × 866] (519 points, 32 comments)
    6. The Royal Navy hunter killer submarine HMS Trenchant (S 91) surfaces in the Beaufort Sea during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018 [4993 × 3333] (494 points, 17 comments)
    7. USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) [1612 × 906] (432 points, 60 comments)
    8. Scorpène class submarine [1280 × 640] (430 points, 26 comments)
    9. HMS Queen Elizabeth [1700 × 1132] (425 points, 15 comments)
    10. HMS Vengeance [2025 × 1513] (190 points, 6 comments)
  2. 6851 points, 108 submissions: Tsquare43
    1. [1280 x 850] USS New Jersey (BB-62) at her berth in Camden at night, Sept 2010 (472 points, 29 comments)
    2. [2250 x 1498] USS Indiana (SSN-789) Departs for Sea Trials, May 2018, two unidentified Nimitz class carriers in the background. (454 points, 26 comments)
    3. [1024 x 768] USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) listing after a kamikaze attack on Jan 21, 1945. (352 points, 22 comments)
    4. [1280 x 836] Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14) F-14A Tomcat aircraft fly over the French aircraft carrier Foch (R-99) during a joint exercise in which the FOCH and the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) are taking part, May 1990. (344 points, 36 comments)
    5. [3200 x 2013] USS Arizona (BB-39) and other ships of the US Pacific Fleet from the aft view, in the 1930's. (317 points, 25 comments)
    6. [1024 x 813] The Gemini 3 spacecraft alongside USS Intrepid (CV-11), 23 March 1965 (292 points, 5 comments)
    7. [822 x 652] Luftwaffe aerial reconnaissance photo of the Ordzhinikidze Yard (Shipyard 189), Leningrad, showing the battleship Sovietsky Soyuz (top) and Chkalov under construction, June 26, 1941 (201 points, 14 comments)
    8. [800 x 596] HMS Emperor of India's "X" and "Y" turrets (152 points, 3 comments)
    9. [1442 x 1142] USS Cusk (SSG-348) firing a Loon missile, 15 May 1951. (125 points, 8 comments)
    10. [2826 x 1858] Two U-boats aground near Falmouth, England in 1921. The boat nearer to the camera is UB-86 a type UB-III. These boats were on the way to the breakers, notice no deck guns and periscopes. (125 points, 4 comments)
  3. 5320 points, 16 submissions: Taldoable
    1. The rusted remains of the USS Utah (BB-31) in Pearl Harbor, HI, with 64 sailors still on watch. [3000x2280] (779 points, 76 comments)
    2. The Last Dreadnought: USS Texas (BB-35) stands the dawn watch at the San Jacinto memorial. [816x595] (614 points, 54 comments)
    3. USS Missouri (BB-63) slicing through the water in a bow-level view as she is underway. September 1, 1986.[2840x1900] (564 points, 26 comments)
    4. Waves crashing over the bow of USS Iowa (BB-61) while underway, during NATO exercise Ocean Safari, 1985 [1500x2242] (549 points, 24 comments)
    5. Snow falls on the flightdeck of theUSS John C Stennis (CVN-74) on Christmas Eve, 2017 [2464x1640] (472 points, 12 comments)
    6. Sleeping Giants: Battleships New Jersey (BB-62) and Missouri (BB-63) in mothballs, July 1981[2923x1954] (462 points, 60 comments)
    7. USS Oklahoma (BB-37), showing off a full compliment of aircraft on their catapults, circa 1940[4000x3006] (284 points, 17 comments)
    8. USS New Jersey (BB-62) passing through the Pearl Harbor Channel Fifty years ago today.[1388x1086] (258 points, 12 comments)
    9. USS Massachusetts (BB-59) seen her after her final refit, January 1946. Today she can be seen as a museum at Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA.[6080x10032] (233 points, 7 comments)
    10. USS Theodore Roosevelt, "The Big Stick" makes a sunset transit of the Persian Gulf, December 2017. [2662x1775] (204 points, 8 comments)
  4. 3702 points, 20 submissions: Freefight
    1. French helicopter cruiser Jeanne d'Arc (R97).[1100 × 682] (576 points, 34 comments)
    2. USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) underway with Task Group Alfa, in 1959.[5702 × 4096] (476 points, 5 comments)
    3. French battleship Richelieu in 1954 on a post card.[1002 × 1446] (371 points, 8 comments)
    4. HMS Repulse firing a 15 inch broadside during an exercise.[3083 × 2065] (258 points, 11 comments)
    5. Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II, with destroyer HMS Manchester (D95) in attendance.[1242 × 1455] (221 points, 20 comments)
    6. Battlecuiser HMS Renown with aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and cruiser HMS Sheffield (C24) as part of Force H.[1120 × 866] (210 points, 11 comments)
    7. U-776 in the Thames river arrives at Westminster during a post-war UK tour, May 1945.[4855 × 3203] (209 points, 6 comments)
    8. HMS Nelson seen in front of some R-class battleships, with a Blackburn Shark Seaplane flying overhead.[1086 × 640] (205 points, 4 comments)
    9. USS Aaron Ward (DD-483) approaching USS Wasp (CV-7) on 17 August 1942, during operations in the Solomon Islands area.[1200 × 950] (157 points, 2 comments)
    10. Fleet review off New York, 31 May 1934. Battleship closest to camera is USS New York (BB-34).[4400 × 3540] (155 points, 16 comments)
  5. 2950 points, 10 submissions: Mattzo12
    1. First image of a F-35B taking off from HMS Queen Elizabeth [1021 x 580] (841 points, 155 comments)
    2. HMS Illustrious alongside Queen Elizabeth in build. [2000 x 1346] (561 points, 61 comments)
    3. French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in drydock, Toulon. [2048 x 1366] (428 points, 24 comments)
    4. HMS Dragon, departing Portsmouth Harbour for a deployment to the Gulf, September 2018 [2048 x 1320] (237 points, 28 comments)
    5. HMS Queen Elizabeth, Western Atlantic, September 2018. [594 x 960] (218 points, 64 comments)
    6. Aerial view of HMS Queen Elizabeth with F-35B on deck. [3600 x 2400] (198 points, 16 comments)
    7. HMS Ark Royal conducts a training exercise with multiple lifeboats of the RNLI, 2008 [2047 x 1328] (183 points, 37 comments)
    8. Her Majesty's Ships Queen Elizabeth and Monmouth, Naval Station Norfolk, 17 September 2018 [1600 x 1293] (174 points, 16 comments)
    9. Artist's impression of the Royal Navy's concept Type 43 destroyer [1027 x 614] (64 points, 9 comments)
    10. Archer class patrol vessels exercise off Portsmouth Harbour with a Merlin helicopter, September 2018 [1500 x 1000] (46 points, 1 comment)
  6. 2739 points, 8 submissions: -Eddie-
    1. HMS Queen Elizabeth seen from the cockpit of HMS Monmouth's Wildcat helicopter [682x1024] (622 points, 57 comments)
    2. Birds eye view! An F-35 looks down at HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Monmouth [1200x800] (559 points, 47 comments)
    3. The USS Abraham Lincoln photographed from HMS Queen Elizabeth. Norfolk, Va, 17th Sept '18 [2048x1536] (558 points, 116 comments)
    4. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Monmouth arrive in Mayport, Florida Sept 5, 2018 [1024x768] (453 points, 46 comments)
    5. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Monmouth pose for a photo with BF-04 [3000x2400] (182 points, 28 comments)
    6. HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Monmouth and the second F-35 approaching for landing [1200x800] (135 points, 5 comments)
    7. Procedure Alpha: HMS Queen Elizabeth's sailors line the deck whilst sailing in to Mayport [2048x1536] (127 points, 5 comments)
    8. HMS Queen Elizabeth's flight deck on the way to the USA for flight trials [1024x497] (103 points, 14 comments)
  7. 1996 points, 8 submissions: abt137
    1. Personnel is transferred from USS Missouri to USS Iowa somewhere at sea, unknown location and date (640x814) (524 points, 34 comments)
    2. HMS Queen Elizabeth stern view while it was the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. Her ensign is lowered to half mast for the funeral of the Duke of Connaught (1549x1522) (458 points, 23 comments)
    3. US, Australian, and Canadian navies conduct replenishment-at-sea maneuvers in the Indian Ocean during exercise Kakadu 2018 (1800x1200) (377 points, 30 comments)
    4. USS Missouri and USS Iowa together at sea. Found this pic and by the position of the B turret in one of them it suggest was taken at the same time as the one I posted yesterday showing personnel transfer between the 2 ships. (1024x846) (188 points, 8 comments)
    5. Aftermath of the explosion and fire aboard the USS Enterprise after a Zuni rocket from a F-4 Phantom misfired. Jan 14th, 1969. 2 pics. (1280x2037) (159 points, 26 comments)
    6. Today, 104 years ago the HMAS AE1, first submarine to serve in the Australian Navy, was lost at sea on Sep 14th, 1914 while operating in the Duke of York Islands area (Papua New Guinea). This is her last known picture. (925x730) (135 points, 5 comments)
    7. Ram ship USS Katahdin (so called harbor-defense ram) in the forefront and armored cruisers USS Minneapolis and USS Columbia in the background. League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, 1908. (3000x2420) (102 points, 10 comments)
    8. USS William P. Lawrence Conducts Maneuver Training During Third Fleet Operations (5005x3337) (53 points, 5 comments)
  8. 1936 points, 10 submissions: minos83
    1. Aircraft carrier Cavour (CVH550) flagship of the Italian Navy [1866x1249] (567 points, 39 comments)
    2. Orizzonte class destroyer Andrea Doria (D553) of the Italian Navy [1024x768] (375 points, 36 comments)
    3. Submarine Todaro (S526) of the Italian Navy. [1200x798] (357 points, 19 comments)
    4. Training ship Amerigo Vespucci of the Italian Navy. [1600x1060] (173 points, 7 comments)
    5. Naval Squad of the Italian Navy. [1024x768] (147 points, 5 comments)
    6. LPD San Giusto of the Italian Navy. [1024x768] (100 points, 12 comments)
    7. Italian FREMM class frigate, Alpino (F594), before being put at sea. [1600x1019] (78 points, 6 comments)
    8. Ammiragli class destroyer Francesco Mimbelli (D561) of the talian Navy, at dusk. [1600x1067] (57 points, 1 comment)
    9. The italian Ammiragli class destroyer, Durand de la Penne (D560) in Gran Pavese (dressing Overall). [1600x1068] (47 points, 7 comments)
    10. Italian AVV7 return to the LPD San Giorgio (L9892) [1600x1067] (35 points, 4 comments)
  9. 1856 points, 10 submissions: JimDandy_ToTheRescue
    1. Tired of HMS Queen Elizabeth photos? Well, I am! Here's the OG HMS Queen Elizabeth, circa post-1920's refit. I'm not sure which submarine is in the foreground. [1650x1100] (532 points, 38 comments)
    2. The Original HMS Queen Elizabeth. Photo taken circa 1943/44 after she had been repaired in Norfolk, VA, following severe damage she received after Italian frogmen had placed a limpet mine on her hull while anchored in Alexandria harbour- one of the most daring actions of the war. [4394x3364] (381 points, 6 comments)
    3. A sailor attempts to impress a young lady with his... big guns. 12" guns to be specific- Connecticut-class battleship, circa 1906-09. [6000x3532] (365 points, 22 comments)
    4. HMS Queen Elizabeth, OG, photographed shortly after the completion of her last major rebuild. Just about the only thing that remained the same from the previous rebuild were the guns. Note the iconic Forth Bridge in the background. [2362x1575] (121 points, 2 comments)
    5. Tired of HMS Queen Elizabeth photos? Well, I am! So here's the OG HMS Queen Elizabeth, circa 1919. [1400x895] (102 points, 11 comments)
    6. Tired of HMS Queen Elizabeth photos? Well, I am! Here's the OG HMS Queen Elizabeth, circa 1944. Clearly after her 1930's rebuild. Side note: the new QE's wiki is about twice as long as the original QE and it hasn't even seen two years worth of combat! Or 30+ years of service! [5123x1927] (95 points, 16 comments)
    7. Original Flavor HMS Queen Elizabeth photographed during WW2. The thick, massive superstructure is a far cry from the 'barely there' superstructure of HMS Dreadnought! [9024x5854] (90 points, 6 comments)
    8. Original flavor HMS Queen Elizabeth in her original configuration, late WW1 photo. Note the St George Cross flying atop the main, showing that the Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, Admiral Sir David Beatty, was on board. [2362x1575] (72 points, 2 comments)
    9. The REAL HMS Queen Elizabeth- photo taken from the deck of USS New York (BB-34) in 1918. Note the 'baffles' between the funnels, a dubious attempt at fooling rangefinders employed by the Allies during WW1. Also a good view of the plated over rear casemates. [3074x2169] (66 points, 5 comments)
    10. The OG HMS Queen Elizabeth (with the flag of Commander in Chief Admiral Sir David Beatty flying at the foretop) and other dreadnoughts of the Grand Fleet photographed from an airship on 'Der Tag'- the day the High Seas Fleet surrendered itself to the Royal Navy, November 21st, 1918. [976x902] (32 points, 5 comments)
  10. 1846 points, 5 submissions: standbyforskyfall
    1. American Warplanes overfly USS Missouri before the Japanese Surrender 73 years ago today [1456 x 1176] (759 points, 52 comments)
    2. USS Zumwalt sails through San Diego Bay [3827 x 2304] (527 points, 90 comments)
    3. Aircraft from the Air Force and the Navy overfly the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group at the conclusion of Exercise Valiant Shield 2018 [5265 x 3761] (496 points, 49 comments)
    4. Destroyers of Taffy 3 lay a smoke screen during the Battle off Samar [1873 x 1396] (48 points, 10 comments)
    5. USS Thunderbolt fires a Griffin Surface to Surface missile during an exercise [4310x3078] (16 points, 0 comments)
  11. 1586 points, 13 submissions: Crowe410
    1. FA2 Sea Harrier takimg off from the flight deck of HMS Illustrious during a demonstration off the coast of Oman, 28 October 2001 [3116×3600] (445 points, 16 comments)
    2. USS Indiana (BB-58) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, 1941 [744×1262] (251 points, 4 comments)
    3. USS Barbour County (LST-1195) aground on San Diego's Silver Strand in 1984 [2392×1798] (221 points, 21 comments)
    4. USS Enterprise (CV-6) being assisted by tugboats, New York, 17 Oct 1945 [960×762] (191 points, 7 comments)
    5. Italian midget submarine at Sevastopol, Crimea, circa 1942 [1830×1280] (109 points, 3 comments)
    6. USS Chicago (CA-29) underway off New York City, during the 31 May 1934 fleet review [5380×4128] (98 points, 0 comments)
    7. Japanese cruisers Furutaka, Aoba and Kinugasa at anchor off Shinagawa, Japan, Oct 1935 [740×594] (56 points, 7 comments)
    8. Tambor-class submarine USS Grayback (SS-208) during her shakedown cruise, Long Island Sound, United States, 6 May 1941 [4911×3816] (52 points, 0 comments)
    9. USS Cuttlefish (SS-171) submerging, while serving on training duty out of New London, Connecticut, United States, circa mid-1943 [740×574] (42 points, 1 comment)
    10. Electrician’s Mate First Class Kenneth McNally and Seaman First Class George Skiratko, kneeling, operating USS Missouri’s 36-inch searchlight during the ship’s shakedown cruise to Trinidad, Aug 1944 [1005×1280] (37 points, 1 comment)
  12. 1515 points, 18 submissions: RyanSmith
    1. HMS Edinburgh, on patrol near the Falkland Islands. [3800 x 2410] (248 points, 32 comments)
    2. USS Missouri in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal, 13 Oct 1945 [2252 x 2796] (229 points, 8 comments)
    3. Aerial view of the warships at the docks at Brest, France, late 19th century [1816 x 1296] (171 points, 5 comments)
    4. The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Manchester (LCS 14) rests in the Port of Los Angeles during a scheduled visit for LA Fleet Week [4966 x 3314] (116 points, 22 comments)
    5. Marines of USS Texas between 14" guns. #3 turret. 1914. [1285 x 776] (94 points, 6 comments)
    6. HMS Diamond (D34) looking smart on the day that the Queen Elizabeth (R08) arrived in Portsmouth. [4592 x 2583] (88 points, 4 comments)
    7. HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) [4592 x 2583] (83 points, 8 comments)
    8. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Kurama (DDH 144) underway in the Pacific Ocean [2700 x 1797] (80 points, 6 comments)
    9. French ship Senegalais [2740 x 2118] (73 points, 1 comment)
    10. HDMS Iver Huitfeldt (F361) [4896 x 2754] (53 points, 3 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. beachedwhale1945 (1446 points, 196 comments)
  2. Vault111Survivor (1099 points, 102 comments)
  3. Mattzo12 (1002 points, 71 comments)
  4. Taldoable (698 points, 54 comments)
  5. JMHSrowing (662 points, 83 comments)
  6. raitchison (482 points, 59 comments)
  7. Tsquare43 (408 points, 166 comments)
  8. Ascott1989 (374 points, 21 comments)
  9. DrRedOrDead (363 points, 30 comments)
  10. standbyforskyfall (335 points, 24 comments)
  11. ConnorXfor (311 points, 18 comments)
  12. Freefight (310 points, 18 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. First image of a F-35B taking off from HMS Queen Elizabeth [1021 x 580] by Mattzo12 (841 points, 155 comments)
  2. The USS. Missouri firing at Iraqi targets in Kuwait, 1991. [736 x 486] by GreatMilitaryBattles (804 points, 83 comments)
  3. HMS Victory, hero of Trafalgar and oldest ship still in commission in the world [2758 x 3518] by EngineeringElk (799 points, 117 comments)
  4. USS Constitution fires its guns in salute while underway in Massachusetts Bay, escorted by the frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) (center) and the destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) (right), as the Navy's "Blue Angels" pass overhead [1276 × 780] by __hrga__ (793 points, 62 comments)
  5. The rusted remains of the USS Utah (BB-31) in Pearl Harbor, HI, with 64 sailors still on watch. [3000x2280] by Taldoable (779 points, 76 comments)
  6. American Warplanes overfly USS Missouri before the Japanese Surrender 73 years ago today [1456 x 1176] by standbyforskyfall (759 points, 52 comments)
  7. USS Iowa - BALTOPS '85 [1280 × 847] by __hrga__ (727 points, 33 comments)
  8. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) [3228 × 2152] by __hrga__ (717 points, 86 comments)
  9. French first-rate ship of the line Bretagne, the largest of its type ever built. [1280X920] by spike (663 points, 49 comments)
  10. HMS Queen Elizabeth seen from the cockpit of HMS Monmouth's Wildcat helicopter [682x1024] by -Eddie- (622 points, 57 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 176 points: Taldoable's comment in The rusted remains of the USS Utah (BB-31) in Pearl Harbor, HI, with 64 sailors still on watch. [3000x2280]
  2. 171 points: ImitationFire's comment in Aircraft carrier Cavour (CVH550) flagship of the Italian Navy [1866x1249]
  3. 161 points: Ascott1989's comment in HMS Victory, hero of Trafalgar and oldest ship still in commission in the world [2758 x 3518]
  4. 160 points: drksdr's comment in HMS Queen Elizabeth seen from the cockpit of HMS Monmouth's Wildcat helicopter [682x1024]
  5. 148 points: RD42MH's comment in American Warplanes overfly USS Missouri before the Japanese Surrender 73 years ago today [1456 x 1176]
  6. 141 points: -Montgomery-'s comment in USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) [3228 × 2152]
  7. 122 points: Ascott1989's comment in HMS Queen Elizabeth seen from the cockpit of HMS Monmouth's Wildcat helicopter [682x1024]
  8. 111 points: deleted's comment in The USS. Missouri firing at Iraqi targets in Kuwait, 1991. [736 x 486]
  9. 108 points: Mrprocrastinaut's comment in USS Constitution fires its guns in salute while underway in Massachusetts Bay, escorted by the frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) (center) and the destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) (right), as the Navy's "Blue Angels" pass overhead [1276 × 780]
  10. 104 points: Vault111Survivor's comment in [2250 x 1498] USS Indiana (SSN-789) Departs for Sea Trials, May 2018, two unidentified Nimitz class carriers in the background.
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats
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2018.07.31 05:06 Darren716 Post Raw 7/23/2018 Show Discussion Thread

MATCH RESULTS
Winner Match Finish Loser Stipulation
Baron Corbin End of Days Finn Balor
Alicia Fox w/ Alexa Bliss Big Boot Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey
Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh Count-Out after Braun chased after Owens Braun Strowman
Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide Roll-Up Akam w/ Rezar
Seth Rollins DQ following Ziggler interference Drew McIntyre
The Revival Shatter Machine Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt
Bayley and Sasha Banks Bayley to Belly Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan
IMPORTANT NOTES
  • Kickoff with Roman Reigns who says everytime he comes out the energy is electric but he has to give the Miami crowd a shout out. He also says Lashley deserves a shout out after they've gone to war and he now respects him, unlike Brock Lesnar. He says Lesnar cares more about going to the UFC and mouthing off to Daniel Comier than actually coming to work. Paul Heyman comes out and says that Brock offers his congratulations to Roman for his victory over Lashley last week. Heyman says however that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, so Roman should be in a padded cell, not main eventing Summerslam. Heyman tells him that Brock will put him down at Summerslam before going to the UFC and become a two sport champion. Roman tells him to shut up and that everyone is here for Brock. Paul informs everyone that Brock is here but he will come out if and when he feels like it. Heyman says not to worry because at Summerslam Brock will... but Roman cuts him off and asks if Brock will actually show up. Reigns say he'll send Brock back to the UFC after Summerslam as his bitch.
  • Backstage Lesnar is reading a magazine when Heyman runs in asking if he just saw what Roman said about him. Brock says he doesn't watch the show and Heyman scrambles to pull it up on his phone. He hands the phone to Lesnar but Brock throws it against the wall before he even unlocks the phone.
  • After Corbin's victory he goes back to beat down Finn more. He throws Balor to the outside and rains down a flurry of punches.
  • After Fox's win Ronda goes after Alexa and takes out Alicia in the process. She is able to catch Alexa but Alicia recovers and is able to distract Ronda as the two of them beat down Rousey before running off.
  • Heyman backstage with Lesnar and tries to pitch Brock on going out to the ring, saying it will sell t-shirts, network subscriptions, and will make Brock more valuable. Brock ignores Heyman as he tries to tell Lesnar that the crowd will love him. Brock tells Heyma that he is getting under his skin and that he doesn't want to be there before telling Paul to get him a steak dinner.
  • Elias says he would have topped Drake on the charts if it wasn't for Bobby Lashley interrupting him to go lose last week. He is about to play a song about how Miami are fools for worshiping the Rock and is about to play a song about it when Bobby interrupts him once again. Bobby says he is just trying to get a front row seat but Elias isn't buying it, Bobby doesn't want to walk with Elias... he wants to sing with him! He says he'll keep it slow and simple, just like Bobby and begins to play. Elias leads him Rockin' Robbin when Bobby starts to sing too. Elias attacks him from behind for stealing his performance. Lashley is able to get up and delivers a dominator to Elias.
  • Kevin Owens congratulates Corbin on his win tonight and says that Baron is now his son's favorite wrestler, a male authority figure he can respect. Owens says hes concerned about the Lesnar situation and is going against Stephanie's authority by making Brock go to the ring tonight, putting him at risk of being cashed in on by Braun before Owens can win it. Corbin tells him that it's Angle's problem and that Braun has the right to use the contract if he wants to before Owens has a chance to win it.
  • Baron brings his phone to Angle with Stephanie on the line to speak about Brock. Angle says that the fans will be disappointed but understands that the main event of Summerslam needs to be protected.
  • Mojo Rawly walks into the jobber locker room and calls all of them chumps and says he is running through the roster, Tyler Breeze, No Way Jose, and even Zack Ryder. Bobby Roode enters and applauds Mojo before asking if he has a problem with him. Mojo says even if he did what would Roode do, catch phrase him to death? The two brawl until officials break it up.
  • After Ziggler's interference Rollins fights him off and tells McIntyre that he was about to beat him anyways.
  • Angle talks to Roman backstage to see if he is up to date with the Lesnar situation. He tells him that if Brock is going down to the ring then Roman must be removed from the building for the night. Roman asks how long this will go on for and that he understands all the pressure Angle is under. Corbin calls in police officers to escort Roman out. As Reigns is leaving he decks Corbin with a sucker punch.
  • The B-Team are interviewed in the ring. Bo says that the B stands for dreams and they are living their dreams each and everyday. When asked about the Deleters of Worlds Curtis is confused why they applauded them before attacking them last week. He says they aren't afraid and could beat any team there. Bray and Matt teleport into the ring and say that the B-Team's success is a cosmic abnormality and it is up to them to repair the fabric of space and time. Bray says that dreams are fleeting but nightmares are real, and that they are the manifestation of the B-Team's nightmare. Matt swears that they will haunt the B-Team until they are deleted. The Revivial interrupt and say they don't understand what Matt and Bray even said that they can't believe that the four delusional people are the top of the tag team division when they have beaten Roman and Lashley. Bo tries to calm them down and have them talk with Bray and Matt. Bray shoves Bo into the Revival before a short brawl breaks out and Matt and Bray stand tall.
  • Seth Rollins says that it is taxing keeping track of Dolph and Drew but that he will stop at nothing to take back the IC title. Ziggler and McIntyre attack him from behind and leave him laying.
  • Heyman goes to into Lesnar's locker room again and pleads with Brock to just go out to the ring, say hi to the crowd, say goodbye, and they'll be in a steakhouse in ten minutes. Brock asks Paul has his money. Heyman ensures that he does and lays it out that if Brock doesn't go to the ring he'll be fired and won't be able to work for Brock, and asks for him to do this as a friend. Brock gets up and grabs Heyman, he informs him that they aren't friends, Paul works for him and he is getting tired of Heyman leaching off him. He orders Paul to go out and to do his job.
  • Kurt Angle along with Constable Corbin make their way to the ring. Angle lays it out that he's given Paul all night, if Brock doesn't come out to the ring then Heyman will be fired. A desheveled Heyman makes his way out and does a very depressed introduction for Brock. He says that Lesnar is not coming out here tonight. Angle snaps and yells that a real champion actually shows up and defends his title at all costs. he goes the extra mile for the company, he helps with charity and Brock has done none of that, he is the worst Universal Champion of all time. Heyman agrees that Brock is the worst Universal champion and that he tried to rehabilitate him from a UFC fighter into an entertainer like Angle did before. He says that Brock won't even listen to him and that Angle shouldn't take anything out on him, he should take it out on Brock. Angle says Heyman is full of crap. Heyman furiously tries to explain that he tried all night but Brock doesn't respect Angle or any of the fans but Paul respects Kurt and would want a better working relationship with Kurt. Angle tells him he's finished as Paul cowards and begs Angle for his job back. Brock finally comes out to the ring and Paul regains his composure. Lesnar circles the ring before entering it and puts the Universal Title on Paul. Lesnar grabs the mic and stares down Angle and asks if he or Corbin have a problem with him and then F5's Kurt Angle! Corbin ducks out of the ring and Heyman hands the title back to Brock as he stands over Angle's body. Lesnar then grabs Heyman by the face and makes him look at Angle before choking Paul for a bit and kneeling on him.
    WWE Videos
  • Brock refuses to appear on Raw
  • Corbin vs Balor
  • Natalya vs Alicia Fox
  • Braun vs Jinder
  • Bayley and Sasha vs Local Talent
POLLS
Rate this week's Raw
Best match on Raw?
SHAMELESS PLUGS
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2018.04.04 02:39 Berk27 Rhey's Prayer Journal Updated After Session 15

Property of Rheghon Fhahraraurix, Son of Greghon Fhahraraurix of Riverbend in the Riverlands, Loyal Follower of the Platinum Angel Raziel, Paladin of the Order of the Eternal Sun, Founding Member of the Order of the Burning Oak, Defender of Strawberry Hill, Slayer of The Great Green Lord V'raskon
submitted by Berk27 to Arraphon5e [link] [comments]


2018.03.01 06:28 youto2 House Party 2/26/2018 [Part Two]

The two men get to ringside, and obviously debate what to do. Eventually, both of them hop onto the apron, and step into the ring. Instantly though, Miles Alpha comes flying into the shot, diving at Default Green with a forearm. Miles delivers one stiff strike to him, before throwing him out to the floor. He turns around to face Default Red, but he is already retreating to the outside.
Alpha: So this is your plan? You’re just going to try and run the show around me? Good fucking luck. You can send anyone out here to stop me, and I’d kick every single one of their teeth in.
Miles sits back down in the center of the ring, refusing to take no for an answer. After another few long, uncomfortable minutes, someone finally comes out to address Miles. From behind the curtain emerges Russell Sharp with two microphones. He walks down the ramp hastily, and steps up the stairs into the ring. He hands a mic over to Miles, before starting to talk himself.
Sharp: Look Miles, I know a lot of people back there are angry with you, and a lot of people never want to see you back in this company. But I can only speak for myself, and personally, I don’t care about your past. All I want, is for the best of wrestlers to compete here in WiR!
Alpha: Well you’re in luck then, because I’ve always-
Sharp: Yes, I know. You’re the best, you’ve always been the best. I know, I heard you already. Here’s the thing though, I’ve never seen it. I’m not doubting you or nothing, but I’ve never been here to see you wrestle in WiR. So here’s a solution that the two of us can agree upon I hope. I’ll let you wrestle here for the next month. If you can go undefeated after the next iPPV, I’ll give you a new, full-time contract in WiR. But you lose even once, and you prove that you’re not as good as you say you are, and whatever happens to you, is out of my control. Do we have a deal?
Alpha stands back up, and looks at Russell dead in the eye, before giving his response.
Alpha: You know, just as well as everyone else that I’ll never pass up the chance to show just how good I really am. Put me against anyone you fucking want for the next month, I’ll win. I accept.
Miles extends his hand, and Russell Sharp shakes it, sealing the deal. Miles then rolls out of the ring, and walks up the entrance ramp to the back, with Russell Sharp following closely behind.
Paisner: Well, uh, it seems we’re finally going to have our match start here, Allan.
Woodbridge: Yes, um, we… We just want to apologize for the delay there, but, here we are, we’re back to the show with some more action!
Default Green and Default Red step back into the ring, and they wait for their opponents. Beast and the Harlot by Avenged Sevenfold starts to play, and Napalm Segador and Nosh Diaz of the Void walk out onto the stage!
Crowd: YEESSSSSS!
Paisner: Now, this is a team the crowd can get behind!
Woodbridge: I think at least half of this crowd has invested in them already- literally!
Javier: On their way to the ring, weighing in at a combined weight of 555 pounds, from Dallas, Texas, NOAH! NAPALM! THE VOID!
The Void start walking down the ramp on either side of the aisle, with Noah high fiving hands on the right side, and Napalm high-fiving the ones on the left side while moonwalking!
Paisner: As always, there's a certain style with the Void! Nothing to harsh, nothing too unnoticeable!
Napalm and Noah get to the apron, where CAS is waiting on the other side. Napalm beckons to Noah, takes a few steps back, then runs right at Noah!
Crowd: OOOH!
Woodbridge: Well, this is a surprise!
However, Napalm simply jumps into Noah's hands, which catapult Napalm five feet over the top rope! Napalm lands with a smooth roll and a smile!
Crowd: OOOOOOOOH!
Paisner: Noah just continues to impress me.
Woodbridge: But holy shit though.
As Noah rolls in the ring, taking a stance in Napalm's corner, the referee, Harry Undersach, gets ready to ring the bell.
Javier: Introducing your official, Harry Undersach!
Crowd: (tune of 'we built this city') We all love Harry! We love him till he leaves or dies!
Paisner: I love this crowd.
DING DING DING
As Harry climbs out of the ring, Napalm goes through the ropes and onto the apron, leaving Noah to start with Default Red. Noah just stands there as Red runs back to his corner to tag in Green, who tags in Red again. With both members of CAS in the ring, they turn to face Noah and charge!
Woodbridge: This won't end well.
Both men jump to attack Noah, but their combined attack just bounces off his chest! As both men fall to the ground, immediately getting up, Noah brushes invisible dust off of his chest, then like an exploding bull, absolutely rams through both men with his arms!
Crowd: YOU THOUGHT! LET'S GO VOID! YOU THOUGHT! LET'S GO VOID!
Paisner: That didn't end up well for them indeed.
Woodbridge: That's a big understatement. Hey, where did Napalm go?
Both men look for Napalm, but suddenly a section of the crowd cheers. Napalm is seen in the middle of the crowd running up and down stairs, sliding on railings, taking selfies with various guests, holding his head and screaming:
Napalm: Amazing! AMAZING! Let's go, man!
Napalm makes a few more rounds in the stands, then walks to the commentary booth.
Woodbridge: How are you, Napalm?
Paisner: Napalm?!
As the crowd is watching, Napalm slides into a chair next to Woodbridge and puts on a headset, as Noah starts bench pressing Default Green!
Paisner: How are you, Napalm?
Napalm: Doing good. Yourself?
Paisner: I'm fine, although this doesn't seem to be a very smart decision.
Napalm: Ha ha! No, it's how we've been doing most of our tag team matches in the indies. We take turns.
As Noah slams both men's heads together, he tosses them into the corner, and performs a splash into the mass of bodies. Noah then picks up both bodies, cradling one of them in each hand, and performs a double fallaway slam on CAS!
Paisner: Noah with the big splash in the corner, follows it up with the throw- wait, what exactly do you mean by 'taking turns'?
Napalm: You'll see in a few seconds.
Suddenly, a muted buzzer goes off in Napalm's pocket. Napalm picks it out, and shows it to Woodbridge. It reads 0:00.
Napalm: My turn. Thanks for hanging out with you guys, and be sure to invest!
Napalm takes off his headset and jumps onto the apron, jumping up and down to alert Noah, who is busy hammering Default Red into the mat using Default Green as a weapon. Noah stands up both men, arranging them in such a way as to support each other, so they can get a breather. He flexes, then tags in Napalm!
Paisner: And a tag to Napalm! Let's see what experience he can bring!
Woodbridge: He didn't get to fight a lot in the ladder match, as he was jumped by the former tag champs, D&B, early in the match. However, he seems to have a clear path of destruction already laid out for him!
Napalm eyes up both men, and suddenly decides to superkick Default Green! Default Green crashes to the mat, followed by Default Red, felled by a corkscrew roundhouse!
Paisner: And while Noah is incredibly strong, Napalm is incredibly fast!
Woodbridge: The speed! The quickness! Holy shit!
Napalm picks up Default Red, and drags him to the ropes, wrapping his arms and shoulders in them, and then starts running the ropes!
Paisner: Napalm building momentum!
Napalm runs the opposite ropes and makes a beeline right for the face of Default Red, connecting with a sickening bicycle knee strike! Default Red is knocked out of his predicament and falls to the outside like a sack of potatoes!
Woodbridge: He calls that the teeth scrambler! What an appropriate name for this situation!
As Napalm notices Noah cheering in the corner for him, he picks up Default Green and stands him up like he did to Red, but suddenly Green breaks the grip and starts laying into the face of Napalm Segador!
Crowd: BOOOOOOOOOOO!
Paisner: Green exploding with various head punches! This is why you don't play with your food, Napalm!
Default Green takes a step back, winding up for a power strike, and swings, but Napalm expertly ducks! Green turns around, only to be met with a falling stunner!
Paisner: His Kiss The Mat! Kiss The Mat! Brilliant!
Woodbridge: Used yet in another appropriate situation!
Green bounces up about a foot, giving Napalm a perfect stance to grab his arms and lock them behind them, pulling Green towards himself!
Paisner: Napalm's got an underhook hold that would make Nelson freaking Butterfly proud!
Woodbridge: uh oh, Uh oh, UH OH, I think I know what he is setting up for, Paisner!
Napalm, while still holding the underhook, jumps up at an amazing height, flipping over, bending the back of Green, who is forced to flip along with Napalm due to the underhook. Napalm drives Green's head into the mat with an underhook canadian destroyer!
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAA!
Paisner: HOLY SHIT!
Woodbridge: A Turnover by Napalm! Brutal!
As Noah starts to applaud Napalm for the move, Napalm stands up and places his index finger on the lifeless corpse of Default Green! Undersach counts!
1!
2!
3!
DING DING DING!
Crowd: YEAAAAAA!
Javier: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner at a time of five minutes and two seconds, Napalm, Noah, The VOID!
As their theme plays, Noah slides into the ring, grabbing Napalm, and putting him on his shoulders. He climbs over the top rope, down to the floor, and they celebrate all the way back to the stage.
Noah: We're back, baby!
COMMERCIAL
We see Russell Sharp on the phone speaking to someone seemingly important.
Russell Sharp: Listen. We booked that show months in advance. You can’t cancel like that, last second...That’s not my problem...I paid that deposit…Yeah, but...So...Fine. If that’s what you wanna do, I’ll see your ass in court.
Russell Sharp hangs up the phone, and tosses it aside. He sighs very heavily. He looks to his right.
Russell Sharp: Look...now’s not a good time.
We pan and we see Klutch, crowd responding positively, proudly displaying his tag team title. He shines it with his hand, and looks at Russell with a look of concern.
Klutch: Something wrong, Russ?
Russell, not wanting to deal with Klutch’s shit, answers begrudgingly.
Sharp: Well, if you must know...next week’s show is...cancelled.
Crowd boos as Klutch speaks
Klutch: Cancelled? How?
Sharp: The venue...they just called and said they double booked with a Jewish wedding. They asked for more money, and after the pay per view, we’re tight on money, and WE CAN’T COMPETE WITH JEWISH MONEY.
Klutch, taken aback, responds.
Klutch: I mean, no one can really. I don’t blame you. So show’s cancelled?
Sharp: It’s cancelled.
Klutch: So...no show?
Sharp: No show.
Klutch: ...Sooo
Sharp: KLUTCH THERE IS NO PROGRAM, THERE IS NO EPISODE, THERE IS NO HOUSE PARTY NEXT WEEK. IT’S CANCELLED.
Crowd boos. Klutch scratches his chin with his free hand. Then he extends his index finger with an idea shortly following.
Klutch: No it’s not!
Sharp: It is.
Klutch: It’s not.
Sharp: It is.
Klutch: It is.
Sharp: It’s not.
Klutch: Great! Glad we agree.
Russell hits his head as Klutch giggles like a school girl.
Sharp: Then where praytell is House Party going to be at then? Huh? Tell me.
Klutch thinks for a second. Then again, the lightbulb goes off.
Klutch: At my trailer park!
Crowd cheers as Russell speaks.
Sharp: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Not happening.
Crowd boos. Klutch continues.
Klutch: No, it’s perfect, Russ! My neighbor’s trailer burned down, and he had a double wide. Plenty of room for a ring. And everyone can bring they’re own lawn chairs. And to make it sweeter, I’ll supply the liquor! It’s gonna be great, I promise! Let me take care of this. Pleaaaaaase?
Crowd: LET HIM RUN IT CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP LET HIM RUN IT CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP
Russell Sharp ponders it.
Sharp: I don’t know, Klutch…
Klutch: I’ll even have Nova supervise! It’ll be fiiiine! Trust me. What other options do you have?
Russell, realizing Klutch is technically right, responds.
Sharp: Ok…
Klutch responds excitedly.
Klutch: Okay?
Sharp: Okay.
Klutch: Okay whaaat?...
Sharp: OKAY YOU CAN HOST HOUSE PARTY IN YOUR TRAILER PARK.
Klutch shakes Sharp’s hand as the crowd cheers
Klutch: THANK YA RUSS, YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
Klutch runs out as Russell Sharp sighs.
Sharp: What did I get myself into…
We fade out, then cut back into the ring, as we hear Allen Paisner begin to speak, and see Javier inside the ring.
Paisner: Our next match is about to get underway folks and I can promise you this one is going to be a barnburner, two of WIR’s freshest young talents going at it.
Javier: The following contest is scheduled for one fall.
Crowd: ONE FALL!
The crowd awaits the first entrant. The cheers come as usual when the plumes of green flames shoot up from the stage though the music accompanying it is noticeably different
Javier: Introducing first, from Kilkenny, Ireland, weighing in at 135lbs, ALEXIS BREAAAAAATHNACH!
Alexis emerges from the flames on stage, throwing up the devil horns for her fans and headbanging to her new music before proceeding down the ramp, fist bumping fans and hugging a young girl wearing one of her merch shirts before she slides into the ring, taking off her own False Icons shirt and hanging it from her turnbuckle.
Paisner: New music and I’m sure Alexis hopes new fortune for herself and Yasmin Hyland after they came up short at SSDY in their pursuit of the tag team championships.
Woodbridge: Yeah but for now Alexis needs to be focused, you can’t be looking past someone like Anthony Daniel Xavier, he’s been here even less time than Alexis has and he’s already earned himself a world championship shot in that time.
Paisner: Very true, meanwhile Alexis has faced three former world champions in her tenure here and held her own against all of them. This match could very well be showing us a future world champion in action Woody!
Alexis paces back and forth in her corner, winking and waving to select fans in the audience as The Pretender begins to play, prompting even more cheers from the crowd.
Javier: And her opponent, from Birmingham Alabama, weighing in at 185lbs, ANTHONY, DANIEL, XAAAAAVIER!
Xavier emerges onto the entrance ramp, beaming at the crowd chanting “ADX! ADX! ADX!” to him as he walks down to the ring, high fiving fans on his way into the ring.
Paisner: WIR’s resident Submission Magician tonight faces possibly his most resilient opponent to date Woody.
Woodbridge: Yeah Alexis might not know when to quit but that doesn’t mean someone as skilled as Xavier can’t find a way to beat her in other ways.
Paisner: If nothing else it must surely be unusual for Xavier to actually have the size advantage for a change.
Woodbridge: Yeah, you gotta figure he’ll have to watch out for that, he’s in there with one of the fastest competitors on the roster.
Xavier hands his jacket the referee then balls up his beanie hat and throws it toward the crowd. However, Alexis darts out her hand and catches the hat, unfolding it and putting it on herself with a cocky grin.
Paisner: That competitive spirit we know Alexis Breathnach for on full display here.
Alexis and Xavier share a chuckle at her antics before she balls the hat up and gives it back to Xavier, who this time pitches it successfully to the crowd. Both wrestlers share a handshake in the center of the ring before backing up several steps.
DING DING DING
Paisner: Good show of respect here between two relative newcomers still in WIR.
Woodbridge: Sure neither of them’s clocked a year here yet but no questioning Breathnach is the veteran here relatively speaking, since she came here she’s been in the ring with two former WIR world champions, beat one of em and gave the other a hell of a fight.
In the ring Xavier quickly gains the upper hand in the lockup, hip-tossing Alexis to the mat and maintaining a headlock which Alexis manages to fight her way out of with some well placed knees to the ribs.
Paisner: Little bit tentative at the beginning here, feeling each other out.
Alexis and Xavier begin to circle each other in the ring, Xavier makes the first move with a roundhouse kick only for Alexis to forward roll under it and sweep Xavier’s leg, tripping him up before backing up to the turnbuckle and leaning against it casually, throwing up a lazy devil horns for her fans.
Crowd: ALEXIS! ALEXIS! ALEXIS!
Xavier chuckles at Alexis from the floor and quickly kips up from the ground, holding his arms out before taking a bow.
Crowd: ADX! ADX! ADX!
Paisner: Bit of showmanship from both of these two, both among our newer members of the roster and already having won the hearts of the WIR viewers.
Xavier charges toward Alexis in the corner, aiming a big boot which Alexis once again rolls towards Xavier to avoid. With such alarming speed several gasps can be heard from the audience, Xavier stops mid-charge and spins around to where Alexis is straightening up, leaping into the air and connecting both feet to Alexis’ chin with a graceful dropkick.
Paisner: BOOM! Alexis goes down, and a cover from Xavier!
1
Alexis kicks out just before the referee’s hand counts two and attempts to roll out of the ring; instead Xavier grabs Alexis by the ankle and pulls her back into the ring towards him.
Woodbridge: See here Paisner, ya can’t let an opponent like Alexis get loose, you let her linger near those ropes and you just might find her in the air before you know what happened.
Alexis scrambles back upright, hopping on one foot as Xavier still holds one leg. Xavier attempts a takedown but the irish brawler instead jumps, hitting Xavier in the head with an enziguri with her free leg and making him release his grip.
Paisner: Enziguri by Alexis for the quick escape, toward the ropes now!
Alexis charges back to the ropes but instead of rolling up jumps towards them, springboarding back towards Xavier and nailing a devastating Inverted DDT to Xavier!
Woodbridge: Xavier can make you tap out with any hold but that only does you so much good when you’re facing an opponent who won’t sit still long enough to slap on a hold!
Alexis does not go for a pinfall from the Inverted DDT, seeming to know it wouldn’t work and instead backs up from Xavier, signaling to the fans with a finger point and a wink before cartwheeling back towards Xavier and executing a Handspring Moonsault!
Paisner: Handspring Moonsault from Alexis, cover!
1
Amazingly Xavier is able to throw Alexis off just before the referee’s hand counts for two.
Woodbridge: Xavier’s not gonna go down that easy but you have to wonder if he really has an answer for someone who can move like that.
Paisner: Well I can think of a few people who can believe it.
Crowd: Let’s go Alexis! ADX! Let’s go Alexis! ADX!
Xavier kips up once again, nursing the back of his head slightly before locking eyes with Alexis again. Xavier advances and Alexis instantly slides out of the ring.
1
Alexis lingers on the outside as Xavier keeps with her inside the ring.
2
3
4
Realising Alexis isn’t going to get back in the ring on her own, Xavier backs up.
Paisner: Is Xavier thinking what I think he is?
Xavier takes several steps back, the crowd audibly getting excited as he springs towards the ropes.
Woodbridge: SUICIDE DI- OOF, MAYBE NOT!
At the last moment Alexis jumps from the ground back to the apron and meets Xavier half way over the ropes with a vicious elbow to the face, sending Xavier crashing to the mat inside the ring.
Paisner: Irish Kiss with some extra love on it there for Xavier!
Alexis grins and looks around to the crowd as Xavier gets onto one knee in the ring, looking rather dazed from the blow he just took as Alexis bounces on the apron.
Woodbridge: Looks to me like Alexis is thinking it’s about time to be a Buzzkill…
Xavier staggers upwards as Alexis takes to the air, flying towards Xavier and looking for the Springboard Blockbuster
Paisner: Buzz- OH MY GOD!
In one smooth motion which again produces gasps and cheers from the crowd, Xavier repositions himself, catching Alexis into a fireman’s carry and, in one smooth motion, using her own momentum to propel her into a devastating counter
Woodbridge: How quick is this guy?!
Paisner: The timing and precision of Anthony Daniel Xavier is incredible, and the WIR fans can’t get enough of it!
Crowd: Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Holy Shit!
Xavier however doesn’t waste much time, quickly kipping up again while Alexis arches her back in pain on the floor; Xavier quickly grabs both of Alexis’ legs and rolls her over onto her front.
Paisner: I think I know what we’re in for here Woody!
Alexis screams in pain as Xavier bends her legs forwards towards her head, the Reverse Boston Crab fully locked in
Woodbridge: CCX applied!
Alexis’ fist punches the mat several times, swearing loudly and shaking her head as the official checks if she wants to tap out. The irish brawler tries to reach toward the bottom rope, her finger tips mere inches away from it.
Paisner: Alexis needs to find a way out of this hold or else this match is over!
Alexis grits her teeth and, with an almighty effort, manages to lunge forward, her left hand just barely closing around the bottom rope to the cheers of the crowd.
1!
Xavier immediately drops Alexis’ legs and releases the hold as the referee begins to count but stays looming over Alexis.
Paisner: Xavier here, keeping Alexis within range, not allowing her to dictate the pace again.
Alexis stands up, teeth gritted at the pain in her back. Almost as soon as she is up Xavier spins her around, looking for a German Suplex which Alexis flips out of, landing on her feet behind Xavier.
Woodbridge: Great agility on display there, she ain’t out of this yet
Alexis sprints up behind Xavier and nails him in the back of the head with a lariat, sending Xavier bouncing off the ropes. Alexis quickly drags him to the center and applies a headlock.
Paisner: Alexis looking for the Headlock Driver I think Woody-
Before Alexis can drive Xavier’s head down into the mat, the submission magician instead sweeps Alexis’ leg to bring her down to the floor before scrambling to apply a kneebar!
Woodbridge: How many counters does this guy have?!
Paisner: Alexis once again in a precarious spot, Xavier now trying to take out the legs of the Voice of Rebellion!
Alexis once again swears up a storm as her limb is tortured by the hold, giving the referee a two fingered salute as she is again asked whether she submits, instead using her hands to claw her way to the bottom rope.
Alexis manages to crawl her way to the bottom rope despite the agony in her leg, producing cheers from the crowd once more as she refuses to quit.
1!
As before, Xavier takes no advantage and immediately releases the hold but refuses to back away any further than needed, keeping Alexis within arms reach.
Paisner: Xavier has firmly taken control of this match Woody!
As Alexis goes to stand up Xavier delivers a spin kick to the back of her left leg, causing it to buckle and making Alexis grab the ropes for support.
Xavier, seeing the danger in this, grabs Alexis and applies a wristlock, trying to pull Alexis away from the ropes. However, Alexis immediately meets the attempt by flinging herself into the pull of Xavier, allowing the submission magician to aid her speed as she delivers a hard headbutt that staggers both competitors.
Paisner: Oof! I think even the people in the cheap seats felt that one!
Alexis holds herself up on the ropes while Xavier stands very groggily after the headbutt. Alexis, gritting her teeth against the pain in her leg, quickly moves in and goes for a Schoolboy.
Paisner: Schoolboy!
Alexis however does not complete the roll up, instead allowing Xavier to roll completely over onto his knees before connecting a superkick to the kneeling grappler.
Paisner: I stand corrected, Schoolboy Superkick!
Alexis, however, nearly buckles from putting her weight on her damaged left leg for the kick, forced to crawl over to Xavier to make the cover.
1
2
Xavier powers out at the count of two, causing Alexis to stomp her uninjured foot in frustration. Quickly bending down to drag him to his feet, Alexis is caught unawares as Xavier hooks her injured leg once more and brings Alexis crashing down, quickly grabbing one of her arms.
Paisner: Xavier’s looking for it.
Alexis tries to grab for the ropes but instead Xavier flips over her, locking in the Bridging Fujiwara Armbar onto Alexis, keeping himself near the ropes to block Alexis from reaching out for them.
Woodbridge: BP/90 locked in on the left arm of Breathnach!
Alexis seems to be biting down on the inside of her mouth to avoid screaming in pain; with an almighty, heaving effort Alexis manages to muscle Xavier out of the bridging position and, with her arm still caught in the armbar, rolls Xavier into a schoolboy roll-up
1
2
3-
NO
Xavier struggles, kicking out on the second attempt at powering out.
Paisner: Xavier dodging a bullet there Woody!
Woodbridge: Yeah you can be winning the match for an hour and lose it all in three seconds if you get caught like that.
Xavier and Alexis roll away from each other, Alexis with great difficulty; the irish brawler is now half-dragging herself around, holding her left arm too.
Paisner: After such a promising start Anthony Daniel Xavier has utterly dissected Alexis Breathnach here Woody, her back, left arm, left leg, all tortured and hyper-extended by Xavier.
Woodbridge: Yeah no two ways about it Paisner, Xavier might be a swell guy but in that ring if he can’t make you tap through pain alone he’ll pick you apart until you physically can’t go anymore.
Xavier, trying not to let Alexis recover, charges towards the green haired brawler, who sidesteps a clothesline attempt before twirling around and nailing Xavier in the side of the head with the Discus Elbow Smash.
Paisner: Irish Kiss! Down goes Xavier!
Xavier crumples to the mat, clutching his head where Alexis connected the elbow strike. Alexis, gritting her teeth once again, slips between the ropes and positions herself on the apron.
Woodbridge: Alexis looking for the Buzzkill again, this didn’t end well last time for her but Xavier looks like he might just be loopy from that last strike Paisner.
Alexis waits for Xavier to stand, leaps to the top rope and prepares to springboard toward Xavier…
As soon as Alexis leaps to the top rope Xavier, still visibly dazed, spins around and connects a roundhouse kick to Alexis with an awful noise like a snap, causing Alexis to fall awkwardly from the ropes into the ring, nearly landing on her head.
Paisner: MY WORD! BIG KIBOSH!
Crowd: Holy Shit! Holy Shit!
Xavier presses the advantage, dragging Alexis up and wrapping his arms around her from behind.
Paisner: BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX! It’s over!
1
2
3- NO
Limply, desperately, Alexis kicks her legs upwards and breaks up the bridging pin just before the referee can count three.
Paisner: How did Alexis kick out of that?!
Woodbridge: That’s the combo that put away Kristi Slater at SSDY, guess lightning doesn’t strike twice with that one.
Xavier looks stunned that Alexis survived the rapid combination of moves, simply watching in amazement as Alexis crawls to the ropes to get to her feet.
Crowd: This Is Awesome! This Is Awesome! This Is Awesome!
Paisner: Xavier might be ahead on points Woody but we’ve seen it before in her almost year in WIR, it takes a LOT to put Alexis down for the count.
Xavier waits in the center of the ring this time, nursing the side of his face that has taken two of Alexis’ Irish Kiss elbows through the match while the brawler hobbles on a still damaged leg.
Paisner: Both competitors showing signs of fatigue here Woody, you have to think it would only take one more big move to end the match.
Xavier evidently feels the same, beginning to circle Alexis as the irish woman stomps away from the ropes, turning on the spot to keep him in her line of sight, neither competitor willing to make the first move.
Eventually Xavier chooses to take his chances. Xavier ducks under a third Irish Kiss attempt and reaches out to grab Alexis’ extended arm.
Paisner: Xavier’s looking to finish it!
Xavier hoists himself up by Alexis’ already damaged left arm, attempting to swing himself round for the Octopus Stretch.
Woodbridge: Xavier locks in that Blue Legend Special and Alexis hasn’t got any choice but to tap!
Xavier attempts to twist himself around Alexis’ body. However, with speed to rival Xavier’s own, Alexis manages to reposition Xavier for a Sidewalk Slam, forcing him to release her arm.
Paisner: Ooh a nice counter there, and I think now Alexis wants to end it!
Sure enough Alexis, snarling at the pain in her limbs, lifts the surprised Xavier up into a position for the Rolling Cutter, her eyes wide and almost manic as she looks to end the match.
Woodbridge: Time for the Last Round Paisner, time to go home!
As Alexis goes to hook Xavier’s arm for the move however, Xavier swings his leg up, kicking Alexis on the top of the head from the awkward position. With Alexis briefly stunned Xavier aims a leg sweep at her damaged leg, sprawling Alexis onto the ground.
Paisner: Xavier escapes again!
Not done however, Xavier hooks both of Alexis’ legs, putting special emphasis on the damaged left leg, and quickly transitions into a Ground Prawn Hold, hooking the damaged leg and laying his weight across Alexis’ damaged arm.
Paisner: Shoulders down, is this going to do it?!
1
2
3!
DING DING DING
Javier: Here is your winner at a time of 12:31, Anthony, Daniel, XAVIEEEER!
Crowd: ADX! ADX! ADX! ADX!
Paisner: An absolutely astonishing effort here from Anthony Daniel Xavier tonight, claiming yet another victory through his technical wizardry.
Woodbridge: Alexis brought everything she had tonight but in the end it just wasn’t enough.
In the ring Xavier takes one of Alexis’ arms over his shoulder and helps her to her feet, but Alexis brushes him off and firmly insists to stand unaided. Alexis grabs Xavier’s hand and raises his arm.
Crowd: ADX! ADX! ADX!
Xavier smiles at Alexis and once she lets go raises her arm in turn.
Crowd: ALEXIS! ALEXIS! ALEXIS!
Paisner: You can say a lot about the technical ability, the tenacity, the drive, everything about these two Woody, but in the end it’s respect like that you really have to admire.
Woodbridge: Could you be more schmaltzy?
Xavier jumps over the rope to the apron and holds the ropes open for Alexis.
Paisner: Wait a minute here…
The crowd erupts into shouts and boos as Xavier is yanked from the apron by his feet, his head connecting with a horrible smack on the way down.
Woodbridge: That’s The Goonsquad! What are those two doing out here?!
Dylan Jones and Andrew Reily jump up onto the ring apron, Reily carrying a pair of hockey sticks. Alexis scowls and gestures for the two of them to “bring it” with her good arm.
Woodbridge: You’ve gotta be kidding me, she’s on one leg and she thinks trying to antagonise these guys is a good idea?
The Goons clearly have no issue, both entering the ring; Alexis quickly rushes as best as she can, both goons grabbing her by the shoulders and beginning to rain punches on her head and back.
Paisner: Oh come on, this over a few insults? This is pathetic!
Dylan and Reily soon throw Alexis down to the mat as the crowd continues to shower them with abuse. Reily picks up the dropped sticks and hands one to his partner, each standing either side of Alexis.
Paisner: No way, someone stop this, right now!
Alexis gets to her knees looking rather dazed; the irish brawler just has enough time to realise what’s going on before both Goons swing with their sticks, connecting a vicious double crosscheck directly to the throat of Alexis Breathnach!
Paisner: JESUS CHRIST!
Alexis immediately crumples to the mat, clutching her throat, her eyes watering and her breathing ragged from the sadistic attack to the throat. As the Goons smirk down at her and high five each other however, Xavier leaps into the ring from behind!
Paisner: Come on Xavier, take out the trash!
Xavier leaps, aiming a dropkick at both Goons, Reily going down by Dylan managing to block the kick with his stick. The smaller Goon aims a ferocious swing of the stick at Xavier, who leaps backwards to avoid it, unintentionally cornering himself as Reily recovers.
Before either Goon can try anything however, all three men are distracted as Roundtable Rival blasts from the speakers.
Yasmin Hyland charges down to the ring, still in her evening gown. Xavier takes advantage of the Goons’ distraction, aiming a Roundhouse Kick to Reily which splinters Reily’s wooden stick and nearly knocks out the larger Goon.
Dylan, seeing Xavier still ready to fight and Yasmin sliding into the ring, throws his stick at Yasmin to keep her at bay before sliding out of the ring, grabbing Reily and leading his partner to flee through the crowd.
In the ring Yasmin kneels down, cradling Alexis as doctors come to help escort her to the back. Xavier lingers with the remaining hockey stick in hand, keeping an eye out before accompanying Alexis and Yasmin back up the ramp and to the back.
Paisner: Vicious, vicious attack here by the Goonsquad. We’ll update you viewers when we know more about Alexis’ condition.
Woodbridge: She just took a pair of hockey sticks right in the neck, my guess is she probably ain’t exactly feeling rosy.
We fade into the locker room where Dalidus Nova is preparing for his match with Teddy Cornado. In walks Klutch, with a huge grin on his face.
Klutch: Nova, buddy!
Nova: Hey, Klutch! What did Sharp say?
Klutch: We’re in business baby.
Nova: ...you’re shitting me. He bought it.
Klutch: Yup. Hook, line, and sinker. Nice Jewish accent by the way.
Nova: Hey, you being the event owner was key in that whole bamboozle.
Klutch: Russell gets his money back. We get our own House Party. It’s a win win.
Nova: I’m about to do some more winning shortly.
Klutch gets serious.
Klutch: Just know my guy...I’m pullin’ for ya. I want you to do this. And I got your back tonight like you had mine.
They fist bump.
Nova: Thanks my dude. One day you’ll get your shot at single’s gold again.
Klutch brushes it off
Klutch: Nah, nah, nah. Tonight’s not about me. Tonight’s your night, my guy. Teddy’s gonna get his fuckin’ head kicked in.
Nova fist bumps Klutch again, and they head out.
submitted by youto2 to wrestlingisreddit [link] [comments]


2018.02.14 19:08 Str0ngTr33 My Weston-Percival power struggle theory, Part 2: Career Mode Events

Thanks to the folks that enjoyed and participated in the discussion around my theory's evidence from online events in 2013 up to career mode. As with the last post, this isnt something easily TL;DR'd, so only continue if you enjoy a good read. Career mode is an analogy for how corporations are corrupt, bringing problems to America, and generally fucking up our values in the process. Percival (majority share-holder and CEO of Merryweather) claims to hold these values, as do Norton and Haines (FIB). Weston (whom I presume to be the Professional's secret BOSS) has no values. Our characters are like him, in a sense, motivated only by the almighty dollar and self-preservation. And finally, the IAA (Karen, Agent ULP, and ostensibly 14, to a degree) espouse no values but are wholly focused on operational budget, security, and the turnover of drugs for arms to move the wheels of power. This is my thesis on how the career mode events continue to play out and eventually conclude the real struggle of Weston, the corporate raider, and his Professional's attempt to make money off of the backs of this complex interplay of forces without ever being linked to it.
Weston is a hilariously arrogant asshat that was made to be a foil. His faux-progressive, health-obsessed, 'spiritually centered' lifestyle is a comic ruse he drapes over his infamous reputation as a corporate raider. Buy the stock, leverage control of the company, offshore the profits, operate at a loss, terminate all domestic employees, outsource the new operation, and sell at a net profit, all while thinking about how this will set up his next corporate raid. These folks actually exist and one even ran for president one time IRL. He owns 11% of Merryweather and advertises it as "the future of high end security," but that's hardly all. He owns various alcohol brands and Debonnaire cigarettes. Very likely why the brands we source in cargo missions don't include his. Mollis (Betta's version of Cialis) and Good Aids pharmaceuticals do end up in our medical supplies and pharmaceutical drug cargo. Pharte Gas container trucks have been used to haul illicit cargo. Lando-Corp is a heavy equipment company that has a container on every ship and train in the universe. They run docks and trainyards. Skiver is the company behind the forever unfinished, downtown Mile High Club construction site where we attack professionals on top and bottom in various activities. Dynasty 8 is of course critical to the whole operation if we are actually part/full-time (unwitting) professionals. Competitors products get stolen, his private securiity wins and so do his stocks. His products fall off the truck and sell with no tax? Avoid paying duties on imports at the ports and he can move cars to the Chinese elite. Transport his goods to construction yards and disused real estate? All he does is win based on this evidence, likely a root of his arrogance.
SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD
With all that out of the way, let's review our storyline. While Michael is finding ways to screw himself and Franklin is just finding himself, Trevor is out in the Desert trying to run an illicit shipping network, even get Chinese Triads onboard as a partner. Michael pulls the Jewlery store job and puts Norton at risk by identifying himself, though he is sure Trevor has to be dead. Sadly, Norton knows better as he has been corresponding with Trevor for nine years as Brad, since burying the man he killed in place of Trevor in Michael's grave. Norton seemingly is looking to lay low but asks handles Michael for the Dead Man Walking mission, searching for Kerimov's body to confirm the IAA does or doesn't have him alive in custody. This means Haines is already on to Norton, who doesn't really seem happy about the inter-agency skullduggery. Haines realizes Michael is alive after the heist, digs in to the old case files, and Norton now works for Haines. Haines is a career agent that is mostly concerned about sabotaging IAA activities, especially false-flag terror attacks that could divert funding from the FIB (domestic law enforcement) to the IAA (foreign intelligence agency). And now he has some of the most dangerous men thieves in America to help him.
Michael is tasked with sneaking into the morgue in Strawberry while it is packed with IAA. Finding a fake corpse inside, he escapes. But he's actually trapped more than ever. Now Haines, his new dark apprentice, Special Agent in Training Sanchez, and his buddy, Devon Weston, want MF&T to assist in kidnapping Kerimov, an Azerbaijani immigrant they accuse of having ties to terrorists working with the IAA. Karen is torturing him when you do. You get him out and have Trevor continue the torture to get info on Javani (a green-tech capitalist/philanthropist of Azerbaijani ethnicity), whom you kill. OK, now rewind.
First off, how does the FIB know that Kerimov is on the radar for the IAA? They clearly don't know what Trevor found out--he pretty much knows nothing or is incapable of breaking. Most likely the first. Second, it is clear that someone from the IAA fed this information to the FIB so they would either go off on a wild goose chase or implicate themself in the scandal. Third, Karen is Agent ULP's subterfuge princess and since when does the IAA torture people in downtown Los Santos with so many black sites in the universe to use? This was a ploy and Haines fell for it hard. But how the hell does it work out in the IAA's favor? The real target of it all is Javani, whom is very unlikely to be an actual terrorist. Just a brown, bearded, central-asian-featured socialite is all that we see in our game. Haines is playing right into the corrupt wing of the IAA's hands if this gets out, killing a presumably innocent US citizen by trying to interfere in counterterror investigations. Not great for the budget or his career. But Haines remains sure of this plot because someone is feeding him that information.
When they are done with Kerimov, Trevor is supposed to kill him. Instead he shuttles him off to LSIA to concurrently get back at Norton and, more cryptically, to send a message. Who is that message going out to? Was Kerimov being played by a force other than the IAA or FIB? Potentially someone from the Triads or another international faction? But Haines isn't done with MF&T. Now he needs them to raid the IAA drug money to prevent it from being used in "a war on our streets". We get a ton of bonds in the Blitz Play mission and drop those off with none other than Deveon Weston. We don't ever see the bonds or any cash from the job. We don't even know if that's what we took. We know we stole from the IAA and gave it to Weston. This should really lead us to question the relationship of Weston and Haines the most. After the "haul" is handed over to Weston, Trevor and Franklin are offered side jobs stealing cars for him. These cars are intended for sale to "Chinese elites." Only after one of these missions can we continue with Burying the Hatchet, where Michael gets kidnapped by the Triads after they mistake him as Trevor's boyfriend, and the setup for the Bureau Raid, interestingly enough. It is as if Weston is bribing the triads with cars to hurt Trevor, the weakest link in the Weston-Haines-Career 3 conspiracy. If anyone has the foresight, means, and motive to want Trevor's meddling loose cannon ass gone, especially given what he starts planning after the train job, it's Weston. And he likely is doing it with the money stolen from the last job and the cars Franklin and Trevor steal!
Trevor takes a little break to plan his own stupid heist: steal a naval superweapon to sell to the Chinese (likely to repair the relationship with the Triads after the whole O'Neil Brother massacre). Apparently his tactics are too hardcore and spooks the buyer. Lester has him drop off the super-weapon presumably for Merryweather to recover, but let's think back to Part 1.
Lester controls the black market. He is critical in making your protagonist a crime lord. From the point where you enter the city he has work for you. Further, LJT is clearly Lester and he is pushing you to run drugs, guns, and false IDs. Anyone else thinking that he and 14 may have their own motivations for what they do or even a more nefarious boss? I mean, it has to be wondered. Who calls Lester and tells him to return stolen shit that he would listen to? He is very pragmatic, but what are the chances this superweapon might potentially not have ended up back in Merryweather's hands? We are but useful tools to Lester and I get the impression 14 thinks little more of us. What if they work for Weston? What if they are but his middle management for us as characters?
But before you have time to even question this, your iFruit is ringing. Norton needs another meet, another favor, inevitably, another job stealing money. This time the money will pay for the humane raid. This time we're hitting the bank in Paleto where Trevor reckons dirty money is held. We plan this in the meth lab and, sure enough, Lester is accompanied by professionals inside the ratty building. We give the money to Agent Sanchez. Was this the moment that Sanchez realized he had the evidence to take them down? More information on this is forthcoming in this post. This is supposed to be the last time that Haines enslaves us as we embark on the Humane Labs raid because Haines' sources are convinced that there's a plot" at the IAA to make a nerve toxin which they plan to release on a city.
Haines and Norton have to join in the op. Haines ends up staying behind and shooting himself in the leg to provide cover. Agent ULP is there and doesn't buy it. Why? Not Haines story, that is easy. But why is ULP there? He is a major player in huge conspiracies. Not a scientist. Why was he there? I propose Sanchez has been feeding him information. And let the knives come out--nobody likes this but I haven't heard any conclusive evidence why. I've heard they just share the same name; hardly a common coincidence to this level. I've heard that since IAA didn't take down Elizabeta in LC, therefore he can't be IAA, but lets take a look at some facts:
  1. AIT Sanchez looks older than Haines and [appears](andreas sanchez vs ait sanchez https://imgur.com/gallery/JaL9C) to be very close to an aged/shaven version of Andreas Sanchez.
  2. Andreas Sanchez replaces Jorge (kind of an asshole to Niko in GTA4) when the latter turned states on Elizabetas operation.
  3. This occurs shortly after Karen outs herself to Niko, states he is nicer than most of the assholes she dates, and confiscates a bag of Elizabetas coke.
  4. News coverage of Elizabetas conviction does not include any mention of her daughter or Andreas, her key accomplices.
  5. The IAA/ULP sell drugs to fund their covert operations and Elizabeta was a competitor if they tasked an undercover to infiltrate.
My (sub)theory on Sanchez, critical to the Career Mode storyline, is that the IAA used Karen's bag of confiscated coke to give the DOA/FIB a slam dunk case against Elizabeta, turning Jorge as a key witness. Karen moved on from Nico to Jorge to make that happen. She had to have come into contact with Andreas, too, and seen his undying loyalty. This could have easily piqued the attention of ULP, who could have needed an undercover guy like he needed Karen. Over a decade the level of trust in Sanchez is enough for ULP to put him (despite his age) as an undercover operative working in the FIB. This will be buttressed by the end game in Court Plaza featuring ULP, but all in due time. For now, let's evaluate more storyline events with the presumption (for theory's sake) that this subtheory on Sanchez is true and check out how it could work. Sanchez would essentially be befriending Haines who wants to take down the IAA and steal their budget. Sanchez feeds information to Agent ULP and misinformation (Mr. K, Javani, etc) to the FIB. This kind of importance would explain why Haines lets this AIT tag along on some seriously corrupt shit. When Sanchez gets the stolen money from the Paleto heist, he has the serialized money trail to prove the FIB was in receipt of funds from a bank heist. It could even be the case that he has been tasked with finding out the connection between Devin Weston and Haines, as that relationship is shadowy but strong and would be of great interest to ULP, as I doubt the IAA is any more fond of the Professionals than the FIB, NOOSE, DOA, the military, or Merryweather. If the IAA is onto Weston (and he is behind the professionals) as well as Haines (clearly the mos corrupt at the FIB), it goes without saying they are on the right track!
Back to the events of the game, Haines is starting to look like a hero but AULP seemed to tip off the Bureau to what Haines has been up to, as they definitely have an eye on him. This leads Haines and Norton to barge in on Michael's big breakup with Trevor as they try to start a plan for the Union Depository score. "Methods are being questioned" and he wants the crew to reaid the FIB now so he can get the "evidence against him." Haines Headquarters at the NOOSE building, surprisingly, to handle us for the job. There are no setups for this job as it is a total imperative for Haines (and potentially Weston). Note that Trevor is absent on this one. Note, Michael lets Franklin take the money from the FIB--he won't, at this point.
This could also have to do with Michael recovering his movie. Subplot is key here. Michael chases and accidentally kills Molly Schultz, Weston's left hand woman and potential lover trying to get back the film Meltdown. What a microcosm that film is. "We take a look at the financial crisis," says Solomon Richards, interjecting, "and then we boil it all down to a really simplistic battle between two yuppies." The two yuppies are Weston and Percival and they are monolithic representations of corporate and militaristic greed. What fun fodder for the theory. But more important, Molly's death angers Weston to the point of interrupting the movie's premiere for Michael by sending a Merryweather hit squad to kill his family. This may or may not be attempt 1 of 2 on his life in such a fashion.
Once this is complete you can start Planning the Big Score. We end up at what was once Weston's property, the Vanilla Unicorn, now controlled by Trevor Phillips (as if a strip club could get more gross). I think it is worth noting this would be the second heist of 2013 at the Union Depository, as the ramp buggy Escape Escort Mission actually has us protect other bank robbers coming out of there earlier in the year. This might explain why the Merryweather security team that chases us down was there in the first place. This literally causes ripples throughout the entire game economy. Our career three have robbed the HD Universe's analog to the Federal Reserve at Fort Knox. Weazel reports that gold prices have spiked and the LCN/BAWSAQ show Augury Insurance stock bubbling over 100%. We just destroyed investor confidence in the value of the $R. To give you an idea of how this would impact the real world in our current Federal Reserve system, it would be like if you used your house as collateral for a loan and then your mortgage was worth more than your house could sell for and you needed to pay back that loan immediately. Only the house is your country's economy, the mortgage rate is *EVERYONE'S interest rates, and your credit score impacts the ability of your country to print and distribute currency without causing the price of goods to skyrocket as a result. [Political Science and Economics teachers take note, this is a great way to explain how the FR and currency manipulation works, JS.] But this obviously is bad for folks in general, but if you have tons invested and the stock market is your bitch, we call this a bear market. Where the risks aren't worth pushing ahead. All that investment that Weston and Percival did? All the bonds they likely bought as low risk investments to support their stock purchases? Or how about just the reputation of the gem in the portfolio, Merryweather? It's all gone. It's all forked up now.
The fun stops here--and EVEN MORE SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT, THIS LITERALLY IS THE ENDING MISSION. OK, with that out of the way, Norton calls Michael. He needs a face to face at Kortz Center (which--why don't we use the interior more of in online PVP? Just saying. Pretty useful). I have prepared a little [slideshow](wrap up body language https://imgur.com/gallery/ABWf6) here to help with my assessment of this interaction, that leaves tons more questions than answers. Michael greets Dave like an old friend, but Norton is nervous. There are complications. They think he and Haines are behind "the incident at the bureau." Haines shows up flanked by Sanchez--Norton acts like they were just there to surveil the interaction. But how, Haines wants to arrest Michael. Take note that Sanchez looks like he is trying to stall before and after this order, even letting Michael have the draw on him (ballsy) before Norton draws down on Sanchez, too.
Agent ULP shows up with a team of three people, Sanchez and Norton barely flinch; AULP declares, "Fun time is over. We got you. Anti-American activity." NOOSE surrounds everyone before Haines yells "who the fuck are you with," seemingly referring to all of them. This would make sense as that seems like a coordinated surround, AULP doesn't identify himself as IAA, and IAA shouldn't be operating inside the US. Also, everyone on AULP's team has a badge but we cannot read them--they could just be FIB agents working in a joint task force or maybe those things just say United Liberty Paper on them. Either way, Sanchez blankets it with "they're with me" before Haines berates him and Merryweather's Attack Buzzard pops up from near silence (speaking of PVP... when can we get Blue Edge blades other than on the most expensive and useless helicopter?) and advises everyone to drop their guns. Haines brains Sanchez after getting shot in the leg. Sweet revenge. But Norton and Michael work together to get out of there and
Theoretical Interpretation: Sanchez has proof and testimony that Norton and Haines have been working with the most dangerous bank robbers in America and running their own covert ops off their heist money with the intent of bringing down the IAA. AULP lets FIB know and they bring three agents and a NOOSE team to the bust on Sanchez's tip off. Sanchez and Karen have played the role ULP needed to eliminate the threat. This is how foreign intelligence operatives do their best work. IAA also needs the US dollar to hold value because cash is king in covert operations (Fun fact: thus why such a huge percentage of the United States' currency is actually in $100 bills despite how most of us here rarely have need for that, unless paying the rent in cash). If every dollar is worth less tomorrow and the guns/drugs are worth more, their secret budget goes upside down, too. So the UD job is like the icing on the cake.
More interpretation: There is a major player whose interests are also at risk. Merryweather has been operating in the US for less than a year and they are seemingly being robbed and assaulted by everyone. But for the world to watch the great Merryweather be stumped by these cats across LS, this is like a gourmet restaurant serving a food critic and a roach crawling out of the biryani. By now Percival has been tipped off by Weston to all the likely culprits in one place and ok's a hit on terrorists, conspirators, and anyone with inside knowledge under the cover of plausible deniability, as PMC's operate best. Further, Merryweather could have been there at the behest of Haines/Weston without Percival's knowledge specifically to assist with bringing in Michael--a win/win for both. Based on the fact Weston could more easily use professionals for this and the fact he sent a hit squad after Michael once already, I lean to the first possibility within this theoretical lens. Also, Weston isn't there and Haines has a different idea than Norton. Norton escapes only thanks to the career crews' actions (making this especially funny if Trevor is in his underwear when he saves the day).
This brings us to the endgame where the various characters are tasked by various factions to kill each other. The Third Way, where they work together to tie up loose ends, is broadly considered to be the canon-appropriate ending based on discussions found here, but it's worth checking out the offers. Norton & Haines surprise Franklin in Families territory to demand he kill Trevor. Weston again attempts to kill Michael by making a request that Franklin kill him. When pressed about how Norton would react, Weston says that with one call he can end the agent's career. Franklin tells Lester, whom at first seems to frustratedly support killing both--as if Haines and Weston's power over him is absolute. But he does come up with a better plan. The Thirdway sees us try to reverse the outcome of the last ambush at Kortz. The goal is to get Weston and Haines to show up at the foundry where the Union Depository gold is finally being melted down. If Haines and Weston can be forces to show up to the foundry and FIB/Merryweather show up there, too, it could result in them killing each other, they reckon. While it doesnt seem to work out, Trevor kidnaps Weston from his Tongva Hills home where he was waiting on word that the foundry operation was complete. Then he kills Haines with a single bullet while filming his reality show on the ferris wheel. Wei Chang, behind the kidnapping of Michael, is also killed at the Pacific Bluffs hotel, severely hindering further Triad activity in LS/BC. Oh, and Michael kills Stretch for Franklin, but it isn't clear this has anything to do with the storyline.
The aftermath is telling:
@MerryweatherSecurity bleets: "Merryweather Security Consulting is winding down its United States operation. This is nothing to do with the congressional investigation into its activities. We will continue to offer innovative and cost effective warfare and foreign policy solutions throughout the developing world." The fidelity of their public statements will be analyzed in the next installment of my theory.
The Daily Rag reports: "Wei Cheng, a prominent Triad gang boss was murdered yesterday. His Triad had been weakened by a series of recent incidents, both in Los Santos and bizarrely up in Ludendorff, North Yankton. Mr. Cheng, a Chinese national, was believed to be prominent in a two-way drug and weapon trade between China and the US, smuggling materials in and out of the country via the Port of Los Santos." This confirms the Triads involvement with the IAA conspiracy to move drugs, but if it's through the ports, Weston would have to be a part of it, as he owns Lando-Corp and was greasing the wheels with the cars we stole. Trevor (as an import/export distributor trying to undercut Weston) would then be confirmed as competing for this lucrative trade. Your MC Businesses must be collaborating in domestic distribution or competing against the foreign supply in this market, depending on if you respectively steal or buy supplies, LJT (Lester) seems down to help you interrupt and capitalize on the steal supplies option. 14 is clearly feeding the export side before we buy that bunker.
Haines is 100% dead, per all media sources. Norton is alive and took over the TV show. Trevor can now dominate the illicit air-shipping trade. Franklin is alive and rich. Michael is a movie mogul. These two characters are absent 2017 events, unlike Trevor, all to be discussed in an upcoming 3rd installment. Percival thanks Michael for helping him defeat Weston, financially, as he buys back Weston's shares at a steep discount. From the theoretical view, Merryweather has won the battle but lost the war. The IAA on the other hand has soundly trounced the FIB in the war for funding. As such, they and not the FIB, become key actors by 2017 whether we are running guns or fighting terror.
But what about Weston? All news sources presume him missing. There is no body! Applying the theoretical lens here, he could be alive and disfigured still calling the shots with the professionals and plotting his revenge. Or, potentially that gang is broken up and/or under new leadership. Some have claimed Weston's home is haunted, but I would bet some meddling kids and their stupid dog could prove that wrong with this many plot points in order.
And all of this, we can discuss in Installment 3: 2017 and Beyond, where I will apply the lens to events of Gunrunning and beyond. But until then, I would love to hear feedback on this rundown. Thanks for reading!
submitted by Str0ngTr33 to gtaonline [link] [comments]


2018.02.14 02:12 Berk27 Rhey's Prayer Journal Updated After Session 10

Property of Rheghon Fhahraraurix, Paladin of the Order of the Eternal Sun, Loyal Follower of the Platinum Angel Raziel, Son of Greghon Fhahraraurix of Riverbend in the Riverlands
submitted by Berk27 to Arraphon5e [link] [comments]


2018.01.30 22:07 dxrosemary The Monster in the Basement-part one

I'd always been thought of as fearless. Hell, I thought I was too until I moved into a little old stone house in Ferdinand, Indiana. It was a cute house with warm, polished oak floors inside and old rose gold native sandstone blocks making up the exterior. Its red metal roof reminded me of southern Germany where I'd studied the language and visited the castles as a foreign exchange student the previous summer.
The day I'd decided to rent the house, I saw that there was a round grotto in the front yard filled all the way around with old statues of saints with the paint peeling off. The woman showing the house told me the statues were over a hundred years old, but the house was quite a bit older. Then she told me not to go down into the basement.
Being more than a little bit cat-crazy curious, I asked why. She looked away, not meeting my eyes and muttered something about how it flooded a little when it rained and unstable stairs. “Father said we have to keep it locked for safety anyway”, she said, “so it really doesn't matter.” I glanced at the old metal storm shelter doors with a log chain looped around the handles and set with an industrial sized padlock and shrugged. Whatever, I thought. The rent was a really good deal so I handed over the deposit and first month’s rent and she shook my hand and handed me the keys.
After I moved in my stuff, I decided to go for a walk and explore my new neighborhood. As I topped the hill above the house, there lay an old cemetery. Cool. I walked amongst the headstones, many of the oldest in Blackletter German, with dates all the way back to the late 1700’s.
As I continued walking toward the back I saw uniform rows of small white stone crosses. I knelt down to read one; Sister Mary Boniface, order of St. Benedict, Ferdinand monastery, 1910-2007. Requiescant In Pace. Wow. Row upon row of dead penguins. Having survived Catholic school, my friends and I referred to the nuns as either crows or penguins. I preferred penguins. A little more irreverent.
As I came to the end of the last row of white crosses, I looked up past the stand of tall pine trees and saw what looked like a castle. Holy mother-it was a huge Romanesque Benedictine monastery, complete with flying buttresses and grottoes round about. I promised myself that I’d check it out later, but the shadows from the pine trees were growing long, and even I didn't get any particular thrill out of hanging out in old graveyards after sunset.
As I walked back down the hill toward the house, it started to sprinkle a bit so I picked up my pace. On my way, I thought about the water washing down over all those old bones and running down hill, and how my new landlady said the basement flooded a little when it rained. I felt a little chill as I walked past the cellar doors and into the house.
I kicked off my boots and turned on some Dio: “We're the ship without a storm, the cold without the warm, light inside the darkness that it needs…” Water over old bones-perfect mood for some Holy Diver man. I laughed at myself for my case of the willies a few minutes earlier and danced while I unpacked a few dishes so I could stir up some ramen.
Later in the evening, I must have been tireder than I thought, because I nodded off on the couch and woke with a start to what sounded like an animal scratching and howling in the basement. I sat there with my heart pounding, listening for a sound, but the night was quiet. I figured I'd been dreaming and went in to bed and fell back to sleep. Next I knew, it was morning.
I put on some coffee to wake up my brain. Last night’s rain had washed everything and left it glistening, so I decided to raise the windows to let the morning breezes blow through the house. As I pulled up the window near the front door I caught a whiff of what had to be decomp. If you've ever smelled it, you won't ever forget it. Great. Some stupid possum or squirrel crawled under the porch and died. I closed the window. Oh well, fresh air was probably overrated anyway.
I set about tidying the house, putting things away and stuffing the rest of the boxes in the closet. Belinda and Tom were coming over tonight. When I told them about the house and the old cemetery with the penguin plot, they thought it would be a great place to have a séance. They were both into that whole ghost hunters schtick. I thought it was a bit nutters, but let them have their fun. As long as they were bringing the adult beverages, I didn't care if they tried to have a conversation with the pope.
As the sun sank lower in the sky, I stood in the kitchen with my hands on my hips, pretty satisfied with the look of the old place. Just then I heard Belinda’s familiar staccato knock and Tom snickering on the porch. “Get in here you two freaks before the neighbors think we're having a circus.” “Aww, we love you too, Cass. Open the freakin door already. Belinda's icy cold and the beer’s impatient.”
My two old friends immediately settled in like they owned the place, per usual, as I put the rest of the brew in the refrigerator. After a few beers and adventures regaled, Belinda said, “It's time, boys and girls.” We knew the drill. I lit a few candles and dimmed the lights before sitting to join hands with my friends at the small, round, oak table in the kitchen.
“Who would speak to us tonight?”, Belinda softly spoke. All three of us, heads bowed, eyes closed (one of us peeking); Belinda’s head rocked back as out of her mouth a cracked old voice croaked, “Ich würde durch die rothaarige sprechen.” Tom hissed, “What the hell was that?”
“It was German. It means I want to speak through the redhead”, I answered hesitantly. This was a new one. I'd only ever been a spectator in these love feasts of spooky shit. And Belinda didn't speak German.
Belinda opened her eyes and said, “You heard the woman, Skippy, you game?” “That was a woman? A woman pterodactyl maybe. You know, what the hell. Ok. What do I do?” “Just close your eyes, for real this time dork, then go blank, and imagine there's a door in the middle of your forehead. Then open it and wait.”
I closed my eyes and listened as the room went silent. Not just quiet, but earplugs-in-your-ears stuffed-full silent. I opened the door. It felt like I was a dry towel quickly absorbing a warm liquid. Then I felt something uncoil itself inside my head and I looked out through my own eyes like they were windows in a stranger’s cheap motel room and smiled at Belinda. She opened her eyes and screamed. Just like that, the liquid wicked out of the towel, the candles went out and Tom jumped up and flipped on the lights.
“What in the hell was that?”, I asked tremulously. “That, Cass, was some ugly old evil. Congratulations on your first, albeit brief, channeling experience.”, Belinda replied.
First and last as far as I was concerned. Feeling something old, cold and dead slither around inside my head and flash a murderous grin at my best friend wasn't high on my repeat list. Belinda just watched me with her cat-ate-the-canary gaze and said, “Let's order a pizza, I'm hungry. We're done here tonight. We’ll pick up here tomorrow night.”
Sunshine in my eyes-It burns! So not a morning person. It had taken more than a few cold ones to wash the taste of pterodactyl out of my mouth last night. Add to that my restless sleep in which I woke up every fifteen to twenty minutes because I kept dreaming I could hear my baby crying but I couldn't find him, and I was glad I didn't have to start my new job until next Monday, I crawled out of bed and into my jeans and boots.
A Google search late last night had turned up the information that the monastery gave tours weekdays at noon. I was just going to make it, if I hustled.
I took a shortcut through the cemetery. As I passed Sr. Mary Boniface’s grave, I paused. There at the foot of the cross was a little pile of the last dandelions of the year. The silence grew thick again, and I felt a little queasy as time seemed to freeze for a moment. The bright morning sun had mercifully receded behind the gray November haze, but that didn't account for the chill that shivered my timbers as I turned away from the little offering and climbed the path from the cemetery to the castle on the hill.
It was a small group made up of what appeared to be three old putzfraus on pilgrimage and me in my red bed head, residual eyeliner and combat boots. The penguin leading the line gave me a shot of stink eye until I gave her my best 100 watt smile and wished her Guten Morgen. Then it was just a mildly odoriferous eye. I thought her little Antarctic heart my actually be thawing in my direction when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a child flit through a doorway toward the staircase to the wine cellar.
“Somebody catch that kid before it falls!”, I yelled. Our tour group stopped. The putzfraus all cut me a sharp glance before finding a fascinating crack in the stones at our feet. Penguina took a breath that sounded like someone had let the air out of her tires and she wasn't amused.
“There are no children here.”
The silence grew thick again, and my ears ached from what felt like a pressure change. I felt something slither behind my eyes. “You. Know. Better!”
Where the hell had that come from? As I was strong-armed off the grounds by two sisters who were serious contenders for the No shave Movember prize, I had little time to wonder about what I'd seen or said.
As I trudged down the hill toward the house, though, I felt more than a little creeped out. I walked into the yard and rounded the corner of the garage and headed toward the kitchen door. Stop. There was something off about the cellar doors. Same big chain. Same ridiculous lock. Same whiff of dead possum. I felt like I was missing or forgetting something. It was right there on the tip of my brain. Shrug. Brain fart. Time to get to work unpacking before my ghost buster buddies came back this evening.
I was making a good dent in it when I heard a rustling sound and a splash in the basement under me. There must be a whole litter of possums under this house, and now the little buggers were going swimming. The low rent was beginning to make more sense.
After a few minutes of fishing through my stacks of papers I found the lease. Time to call the landlord.
I put the phone on speaker as I continued to unpack. After four rings, the electronic phone answering system chirped, “Thank you for calling the Order of St. Benedict facilities maintenance request line. For the main campus, press one, for the parish church, press two, for rental properties press three.” Well that explained the “Father” part any way. I left a message with my number and received the reassurance that all things would be done in the lord’s perfect timing.
I decided I'd done enough in the house and had earned a nap. I lay down to rest and closed my eyes. I went to my regular mental vacation spot and felt myself bobbing in the warm waves over the white sands of St. Thomas, with the sun shining down on my skin, warm breeze ruffling my hair…BAM! I was snatched under the water into the darkness and I couldn't breathe. I was fighting something I couldn't see and the water was cold and rank. I was running out of air and strength as my panic escalated. I shot up, panting, in a cold sweat. My hands trembling, I rubbed my eyes and slapped my cheeks. It wasn't like a dream-it was too vivid, too real. I'd just reached that pre-sleep drift. No falling asleep now. Beer. I need a beer. Time to head for Der Oasis.
I slid up onto the barstool and caught the schooner of amber bock that Oli was setting in front of me before it touched the bar.
“You're a gentlewoman and a fine American, Oli.”
“Ja, well, you're a troublemaker and a hot mess”, my bartending friend quipped back at me. “Throwing rocks at the crows, from what I hear.”
You've got to love small towns. In the time it took me to botch an afternoon nap, the story of my tourette’s moment at the monastery had turned in to me roughing up a nun and getting kicked off the grounds.
“Well, that last part is true. The penguin militia did escort me out. Touchy old broads. Last time I try to keep somebody's brat from falling down the stairs.”
Oli lightly lifted a finely arched brow. “They don't allow kids on the grounds at the monastery, Cass. You been licking any strange postage stamps?”
“Ha ha. No. I saw what I saw. Pour me a refill, I've got to stagger back to the house before my company gets there.”
As I walked over the hill and came within sight of the house, I saw a small shadow slip around the side. Now what? I broke into a jog, yelling, “Hey, come here. You're not in trouble!”
I reached the corner of the house where I thought I'd seen someone and-nothing. Empty yard. Quiet street. Probably the same damn kid. Aaargh. I turned around and began to walk back toward the porch.
The cellar doors again. Something…there. The chain was unwrapped from the door handles and the lock lay on the ground. As I started to walk stiffly backwards away from the cellar it hit me. Derp. The maintenance guy came to fish out the critters and forgot to lock up. I started to step forward to relock the doors when I just froze. No. Not in my job description.
I hurried back into the house and shut the kitchen door behind me. I had almost caught my breath when a rat a tat tat on the door behind me jumped me halfway out of my skin. I whirled around to see Belinda’s eyes laughing at me.
“Skippy see a ghost?”
“Get in here you hateful heifer.”
Belinda and Tom let themselves in and had a seat.
“Goose walked over your grave, Cass? You don't seem your usual cocky self tonight.”, Belinda said.
I shared the story of my day while Belinda and Tom just sat hushed at the table. “We did a little exploring of our own today”, Tom said as he pulled his long hair back in a ponytail with the band Belinda tossed him. “It seems your little house here used to be the home for the caretakers of the monastery and the cemetery. In fact, your landladies live in the castle on the hill.
When old man Senninger, the last caretaker, died a few months ago, the bishop decided to hire a maintenance company in town and rent this place out.”
“I figured out that my neighbors up on the hill owned the place when I called about a maintenance problem, but I didn't know that this had been the caretaker’s house. Next you're going to tell me the old dude died a horrible grisly death here or something, aren't you?”
Belinda cackled. “Nothing as dramatic as all that. Apparently the old guy sort of lost it at the end though. He stopped showing up for work and the neighbors said they'd see a light in the basement all night while they heard him banging around down there and talking to himself. After a few days of silence and no sightings, one of the neighbors called the sheriff to request a wellness check. They found him down there dead.”
“Murdered?", I asked.
“No”, Tom snickered. “But if it makes you feel any better, he had painted the entire basement blood red and built most of a new brick wall down there before his heart gave out.”
“Creepy. So glad I signed a 12 month lease. How did you find all this out?”
Belinda shrugged. “Small towns, German Americans and free beer. You become very popular and well-informed in a short span of time.”
“So now what?”
“So now we go have a look in your basement.”
“Crap. I knew you were going to say that.”
“You have a key, Cass?”
“No need. The handyman left it unlocked an hour or two ago.”
“That would be kind of difficult. It was your handyman we were chatting up for the last three hours. He was still sitting at Fleig’s when we left.”
My ears felt full again and everything sounded far away. I felt a sudden urge to grab Belinda by the hair and smash her face into the solid oak table. Then I blinked and it passed. Like it never happened. Except Belinda knew. From the way she’d subtly shifted her weight back to the slight tightening of her shoulders, she’d seen it. But she said nothing.
Tom pulled two flashlights out of his pocket and handed one to each of us. “Let's go.”
Tom led us out, Belinda scooted along beside me as I slid into my leather jacket. It was getting chilly. Tom pulled the chain away from the door and grasped the door handles and pulled them open with surprisingly little sound. “Ladies first!”
“Assholes second,” I said, as I switched on my flashlight and headed down the stone steps. So much for the rickety stairs. As I got to the bottom stair, I swept the flashlight beam at the wall around the entry until I spotted a light switch and gave it a flip. And there was light. A naked bulb hanging from a snaky cord, but light. I switched off the flashlight and stuck it in my pocket.
The floor just beyond the step was dirt, or rather mud. While there was water standing only around the edges due to channels dug around the walls, the smell of damp and rot was strong and it was obvious that the rain from two days ago was just now receding.
Sure enough, over in the corner was the furry, squishy lump of what appeared to have once been a possum or a really ugly cat. Trying to breathe through my mouth only added the sense of tasting decomp to the sensory bouquet.
“Anybody got any Vick’s Salve?”
“You read too many Patricia Cornwell novels. Suck it up, buttercup”, said Belinda as she stopped on the step just behind me. “Let's check this crypt out.”
Crypt seemed the right word. The walls appeared to have been dug out of the earth then lined with brick, which was now cracked, crumbling and falling out of the walls where tree roots and worked their way through. With the walls mostly in tact, the feel of the low-roofed room we had entered was of an underground tomb.
Over this chaos of brick someone had taken a paintbrush and half-painted, half-flung arterial crimson paint over three walls of the place, complete with splatter patterns. An upended paint can and brush stiff with dried paint lay abandoned on the floor. Jackson Pollack meets Dexter meets whack job.
As I stepped down onto the floor, I saw that it was actually pretty hard-packed, so there was just a thin layer of slimy earth. Enough to make it slick, but not much beyond a muddy footprint’s depth. Speaking of which…there in the muck were footprints. Barefoot, small, and disappearing through the small door-sized gap in the fourth wall to the left of the stone steps.
Here there was new brick and sloppy mortar work where someone had started but come short of finishing a wall. Scrawled on the new wall in red paint, looking as if it had been finger-painted were the words, “Blut der Untschuldigen”.” Blood of the innocents”, I translated. Belinda and Tom stepped down behind me, I stepped toward the new brick wall, my hand raised to reach toward the writing.
“Stop, Cass!”, Belinda warned in her soft ‘pay attention, this is serious’ contralto. There were some things Belinda didn't play around with. I'd learned to listen to her. She knew stuff. “There's a presence crouched on the other side of that wall, and it's not a child.”
“Well then, what is it?”, I asked. As the words left my mouth, I knew what it was. I felt more than heard the reptilian slither in my head.
“He wants to show himself to you, Cass.”
“No thanks, not in to demon peep shows, I'll have to pass.”
“It'll be alright, Cass. You don't have to go through the wall to the other side. Just take our hands and lean forward toward the opening in the wall. Things get hairy, we'll pull you back.”
There was no sane reason to do this. I took their hands. As I edged closer to the rough gap in the wall, I felt a slight breeze whispering against my face, pulling along the faint foul scent of old dead things and dirt. I leaned in.
submitted by dxrosemary to nosleep [link] [comments]


2017.12.17 05:06 Mocpages [OC] Weltkrieg 1

Warning: contains Nazis. I am not associated with the Nazis, communists, or anybody else in any way, shape, or form. ​
Hans Schroeder smiled hugely. It was a sunny winter day in the skies over Berlin, and the sheer pleasure of flying overcame the need to keep a sharp look-out for the Enemy. Besides, the Brits were bottled up at Dunkirk and the war would end any day now. ​​
The sun glinted brilliantly off his wings as he brought his BF109 around in a wide, looping curve, giving the heavens a cursory once-over check. Just in case.
He frowned.
"Theo, do you see that?" He radiod his wingman. It looked too odd to be true, as though someone had turned a dart into an aircraft.
"Ja. Some new English trick?"
"Could be. Radio ground and let's go check it out."
"Jawohl"
Hans rammed on the accelerator, pushing his fighter for all it was worth and climbing desperately to get above the contraption.
"Mein Gott, look at how fast it is!" He exclaimed over the radio.
"Ja. I don't think the flak-88s can traverse that quick and the 2cm guns haven't got the range. If we don't kill it, nobody can. Hans, if the British have more like this one-"
"The more foes, the greater the glory!"
"Hans, this is squadron. Do not engage! Whatever it is, it came from outside the atmosphere. Do you copy? Shadow the craft but do not shoot it down!"
Hans cursed.
"I copy, squadron. We will tail them."
But from some distance, for the craft had already overtaken him. It soared over downtown Berlin, the huge engines glowing with an eerie blue light. The ship was huge, easily thirty meters long and painted a deep jet black. No markings disturbed that midnight coat. Nor were there hatches or cockpits, no landing-gear or-
A door opened on the underside of the craft.
“Hans to squadron, spacecraft has opened bay doors. It looks like- Scheiße, it’s dropped a bomb! I’m going after it!”
Hans Schroeder couldn’t have known what was coming.
After all, his world had never known the lesser fire of the atom bomb, much less the wrath of a Cruzium-bomb.
Another world would have called it a Hiroshima-sized blast. Practically a tactical weapon, only 15 kilotons with a 3rd-degree burn radius of less than two kilometers. Detonating six hundred meters in the air, with its fall retarded by antigravity, the bomb killed barely fifty thousand people. A flash of blue light, a pillar of smoke, and Berlin lay in ruins. Unlike an A-bomb, however, a C-bomb has very little radioactive fallout. From six hundred meters, the long-term effect would be negligible.
Among them were Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Erich Raeder, and most of the rest of the German leadership. Only Admiral Karl Donitz, away in the villa from which the worldwide U-Waffe was led, survived the attack.
Hans struggled desperately against his aircraft as he flipped end over end away from the vast explosion behind him. Ahead, the bastard who had cut the heart out of Berlin, out of Germany, was having a similar problem. Hans grimaced as he forced his plane back under control. You’re mine now
He screamed down after the space-craft, machine-guns spitting Teutonic fury at the monstrosity that dared disturb the skies of Germany. Unfortunately, his little bullets had no effect. Hans yanked open his canopy.
“Theo? I’m going to ram. Theo, do you read?”
No response.
“Verdammt!”
The thing had pulled out of its crash-dive now, and Hans had only seconds left.
He yanked on his controls, unbuckled his straps, and kicked free from his BF-109 as it hurtled through the clouds of flak finally erupting against the intruder, like a nest of hornets struck by some small child. Please, God in Heaven, let this work he prayed as he hurtled towards the ground. It did. Hans would only learn months later just how lucky he was, that his 109 struck dead on the enemy’s engines. Not enough to destroy the craft - but plenty to cripple it in its battle against gravity.
Otto Müller had joined the Waffen-SS in 1936, the second he was old enough to enlist. As a child he’d seen the misery of his father, gone through too many nights with no dinner. In the SS, he could protect Germany. Protect his mother. He’d started as a tank driver in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Regiment: now he commanded a Panzer-IV in the Escort Battalion. Just this morning he had been bitterly regretting it, wishing he’d had a chance to see some action before the English had been trapped and all defenses smashed beneath the treads of the Wehrmacht.
Now he had his wish, his tank crunching over broken glass as it rolled down the streets of Berlin towards the crashed flyer. His tank rounded the corner and came face-to-face with the craft, lying on its side in a great bed of rubble. Behind him, Panzergrenadiers armed with MP40s, rifles, machine-guns, and grenades piled out of the trucks and sprinted for cover. Otto started, realizing his danger, and ducked inside the relative safety of the turret, peering out through the narrow gap between hatch and hull.
The fuselage of the crashed ship was smooth and unbroken despite the stress it had undergone. Otto frowned. “Load HE shell!” He shouted down at the crew below. “Jawohl!” came the reply. “Read to fire!”
“Fire!”
The entire tank rolled back a little as the ear-splitting roar of the 7.5 cm KwK 40 shook the vehicle. A plume of smoke and sparks shot out away from the tank and the choking stench of cordite and hot brass filled the cramped interior.
“Damn! Reload with AP shell!”
Otto frowned and narrowed his eyes. This airplane was extraordinarily tough, even if it was from the stars. What kind of plane could take an HE shell and live to tell of it?
“Ready!”
“Fire!”
Otto relaxed. This shot had penetrated, at last! A hole perhaps half a meter in diameter had been blasted into the craft, opening a gap in what must once have been the ceiling of some interior room. One of the grenadiers dashed up towards the gap, hefting his MP40 and demanding the surrender of those within.
An ear-splitting crack echoed down the street and his entire torso exploded.
The other men began trading rapid-fire orders, and one section lay down a heavy barrage of automatic fire as the other advanced on the gap. More of the slow, devastating shots came from inside the vessel, and the once-peaceful street was scattered with bodies and gore.
The tank rang like a bell as something struck it.
“Damn! What was that?”
“Erick is dead, sir! Spalling!”
“Fuck! Do they have an antitank gun in that monster?”
Spalling, when an impact struck the tank hard enough to knock loose rivets and slivers at lethal velocities but not hard enough to actually penetrate, was common enough - but not from small arms!
“Full reverse! We can’t help the infantry and we’re just going to get ourselves killed sitting here!”
Even as he spoke, one of the men made it close enough and hurled a grenade into the gaping hole. The instant it detonated, three or four troops rushed forwards and boosted one another up and into the ship. Otto hesitated. “Belay that order. The boys in grey have taken care of it.”
Karl clutched his MP40 as the men boosted him up into the hole. Hands grasped at his jacket, his helmet, anything that would give purchase as the troops already within the vessel dragged him bodily inside the cramped, dark space. Dim, green light illuminated the slick black walls and the shattered bodies of the monsters who had eviscerated the Reich.
A trio of stumpy, white tentacles rose to meet a bulbous torso. A snakelike neck stretched across the deck, topped with a diamond-shaped head sporting three close-spaced eyes. A single prehensile tail ending in a six-digit hand still clutching a sort of short carbine. In life, it must have been braced by the neck or against the hump on the monster’s back.
“Alright men, press forwards! For Germany and the Führer!” the sergeant shouted. Karl hefted his gun and pressed himself against the doorway leading aft, as another man chucked a grenade through the opening and a third hosed the door with machine-gun fire. The explosive went off with a thump, and Karl leaped through the doorway gun blazing at the things moving in the shadows. One of the demon-bullets shot past him, but his foe collapsed gurgling in some alien tongue. Another hatch stretched before him, and behind that a third. Karl hefted his gun and grinned with no humour.
It was time to go to work.
Some time later - minutes? Hours? Who could say in the screaming chaos of war within the Machine - Karl emerged into the blinding daylight, blinking rapidly. He’d gone into the ship unblooded, a new recruit, a boy. He emerged as a veteran and a man. Ahead of him, the sergeant was walking over to the tank that had gotten them into the ship in the first place.
“We’ve taken prisoners. We need you to help escort them to Hamburg - let whoever’s in charge figure out what to do with these pigs then. Do you have the fuel?” He shouted up at the tank commander
“Ja, I can do that. Will we have infantry support?”
“Of course. Good luck!”
“To you as well, Sergeant.”
The Sergeant turned and clapped Karl on the shoulder. “You did good, soldier. Corporal Franz bought it, so I want you to take command of the second squad. Don’t let those prisoners escape, you got it?”
Karl gulped. Command of his own squad after his first action was almost unprecedented. Still. He knew his duty.
“Jawohl!” was his only response. He saluted and turned on his heel to organized the escort.
Alright! So I got bored and knocked this together. Obviously, there's a hell of a lot of room to continue. I spellchecked this, but I haven't done much editing.
Note: I chose the LSSAH because it was the only unit I was sure was in Berlin at the time. If you guys know of an alternative, I'd like to have these guys as recurring characters and I feel like it may be hard for people to sympathize with the SS. Similarly, thats why I had nearly all the high-ranking Nazis killed.
Note 2: I was unable to find more specific notes on the date the MP40 entered production. Since this is set sometime in late May / early June 1940 I'm not certain it was yet in widespread use, but having a few in the elite LSSAH seemed reasonable.
Hit me with any criticism: about history, about writing... go for it.
submitted by Mocpages to HFY [link] [comments]


2017.09.26 07:57 writeholics Sample of my work (short story, ghostwriter, available for hire)

Jack of all Trades
The Killing
Brooklyn, New York, in the middle of October is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Fall has approached and Halloween is creeping up upon it’s residents. However, all is not so innocent for some people. Sometimes the evil you see on the surface of one’s character is only the first of many faces.
10:20PM
The lighting was dim in the bedroom of Joey Deleon. He sat at the foot of his queen sized bed playing one of the many video games he kept in his collection. He clutched his hands around his game controller as he eyes darted around his flat screen looking for the next game objective. Slam! A sudden crash caused him to drop his controller on the ground as he jumped in surprise. Joey slowly crept up from the edge of his bed and slowly began to approach his bedroom door. Assuming it to be his brother, Jack, returning from work, Joey softly called out his name into the distance of the door.
“Jack?” He called out once more, and he waited in silence for his brother to respond. Nothing. Not a footstep, breath, or even a cricket could be heard.
“Ja-”
Before the words could exit Joey’s lips again, his sentence was cut short by a dark figure plowing a 9-inch steak knife into his chest. An insanely long smile ran across the shrouded man’s lips as he cradled Joey in his arms. Joey was in utter shock, and in so much pain that he was unable to breathe. The figure pulled the knife out of the bloody victim and lifted them into their arms, carrying him back into his room. Joey attempted to squirm, but the onset of shock had weakened him tremendously. As his vision began to fade away, he was placed on his bed, and a tear ran down Joey’s face when the light of his TV screen unmasked his assailant.
Jack crawled over his brother and sat on his chest, looking down as the life drained from Joey’s eyes. Once positioned to his liking, Jack continued to drive the knife into Joey’s lifeless body until the blade proved ineffective. The room Joey decided to decorate with action figures, posters and artifacts was now soaked in blood from the ceiling to the floor.
“I don’t hate you - I’ve never hated you, but keeping me close was your mistake.” Jack whispered under his breath and he ripped the steak knife from his brothers body for the final time.
Arrest
Jack jumped off the bed and clutched the knife in his hand as he exited Joey’s room. While heading in the direction of his bathroom, he dug into his jeans pocket with his free hand to pull out his cell phone, dialing 911 on the keypad.
“Hello!” Jack greeted the caller as he turned on the warm faucet knob of his bathroom sink, running the blood soaked knife under the liquid.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“Hey, hi, my name’s Jack - sorry if it’s hard to hear, I’m doing some cleaning, I’d like to report a murder.” He joked with the dispatcher, now moving to clean off his hands under the spout.
“Alright si-” Before dispatch could press for more information, Jack took over the phone call.
“Listen dear, I know how these calls go so let me do the talking - my name is Jack Deleon, I live at 321 Manchester Dr., Brooklyn, New York and just I murdered my brother. I expect the arrival of my local police in 20 minutes or so. Whenever they're done raiding whatever leftover doughnuts Krispy Kreme has left in stock. I’ll be waiting.”
With that ending sentence, Jack hung up his phone and threw it under the running water. He took his knife and placed it on the bathroom counter before exiting towards the living room to wait for the police. He dusted off the crumb-filled couch, propped his legs up, and turned on the television.
Knock, knock!
“Splendid, must be my stripper gram!” Jack quickly stood and skipped over to his front door before peering through the miniature sized peephole.
“Who is it?” He let out gleefully.
“Open the fucking door or we will break it down!” Officer Hunts shouted while giving the wooden door a kick. Jack opened the door while raising his hands above his head, surrendering to his knees. Officer Hunts began reciting his Miranda Rights.
“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, if you can not afford an attorney one will be appointed to you - take this shitbag away.”
“Roger that.” The secondary officer called out as he proceeded to handcuff Jack, wrist to wrist. He pulled him up by the collar of his shirt and escorted him over to the marked police car parked outside his house.
“Stay here Hunts, for the family.”
Officer Hunts nodded and began calling numbers associated with the address as Officer Barnes placed Jack in the back of the police car.
Jack sat impatiently on a bench, tapping his feet wildly.
“Are we done?” Jack groaned out to the Barnes as he shifted around uncomfortably.
“Usually we would be, but I’d like to pick your brain, if you don’t mind.” Officer Barnes stated, lifting the inmate aggressively and pulling him into an interrogation room. “Have a seat.” He instructed as he shoved Jack towards a chair. He complied and sat down, again tapping his foot against the tile floor.
“You’ve got a mouth on you inmate, why don’t you use it to tell me exactly what happened this evening.” The officer asked him while he pulled out his yellow legal pad and a ballpoint pen.
“Tonight? - I killed my brother, his name was Joey.”
“I’ve gathered that, numb-nuts. Why?”
Jack pressed his lips together and placed his head down on the table in front of him, he closed his eyes and slowly brought his head back up to eye level with the officer.
“Joey was going nowhere. He had no job, no friends, no drive. No ambition to live!” Jack paused, composing himself. “I did him a favor.”
The officer clicked his tongue on the inside of his cheek and stared into the inmate’s eyes. “So, you believe, because you thought he was worthless, he had to go?”
“You make it sound so sinister!” Jack held back his laughter. “I don’t hate my brother. I loved him, but what I did tonight was for the greater good.”
“It wasn’t your choice to make, Jack.”
“I did the world a favor!” Jack began to jump up, but hesitated when Barnes unholstered his pistol, placing it on the table.
“Did I strike a nerve, Jack?” Barnes paused long enough for Jack to compose himself again. “Your brother did not deserve to die.”
Jack sat silent for a moment before replying softly. “You listen to me you fucking narc, you don’t know me, my life or my brother, so why don’t you throw me in my cell and punish me. Or, do you still want to play 20 questions?” Jack took out a deep breath and sunk into his seat, lifting his head up to stare at the hanging lights.
“Have it your way, inmate.” The officer closed up his legal pad, holstered his weapon and opened the door for Jack to exit.
“HC B, George.”
Escape
THE NEXT DAY - 6:02 AM
Jack was woke with a start by a loud bang.
“Rise and shine, arraignment time.” The officer shouted as he pushes his key into the lock to slide open the cell. Jack let out a deepened groan as he rose to his feet, walking towards the officer.
6:34 AM
Jack and his newly appointed public defender rose before the judge as he entered the courtroom.
“You may be seated.” Judge Mathers grumbled as he took his seat on the bench, opening up Jack’s case file.
“We are here today, October 15th, 2008, for the arraignment order of Jack Deleon, Case number 234977FU.”
“That is correct.” The public defender replied, bringing a pile of papers before the judge. He sat silently as he peered over the papers before speaking again moments later.
“You are being charged with first degree murder of the intent to kill, premeditatedly, how do you plea?”
“Guilty, your honor.” Jack masked a grin between his words.
“Very well. Due to the nature of the defendant’s crime and his interaction with police enforcement, I would find it foolish to keep him held behind bars any longer. He is clearly a threat to himself and others, and until adequate manpower can be applied to such a horribly-odd case, I say that we baker act this inmate to Manhattan Psychiatric Center. This case will need to be re-evaluated at a later time.” The judge took a deep breath before flashing the attending officer a look. “McMuffin, Officer Daniels?”
“No, thank you.” The officer smirked before lifting Jack from his seat. “It’s a big day for this one. I want to be there to see him on his way safely.” He tightened his grasp on the inmate before shoving him towards the exit.
Jack’s public defender exited the room with Judge Mathers, taking him up on his breakfast offer as Officer Daniels escorted Jack out outside. Jack was then shoved into a police van before Daniels slammed the sliding door shut.
8:19 AM
As the van approached the hospital, Jack began to think about what he had made of his life. No more family holidays. No more bustling laughter or embarrassing stories. No more half-hearted embraces or forced enthusiasm. A smile began to creep upon his lips before he was pulled from his dark fantasy by the van door swinging open.
“Out.” Officer Daniels ordered, his eyes locked onto Jack like a hawk stalking prey. Jack scowled at the policeman, hating him for interrupting his fantasy.
“Before Halloween is over, GO!” Daniels jabbed at Jack’s ribs with his baton. The inmate continued staring at the officer for a short moment before complying.
“Manhattan Psychiatric Center - only the cream of the crop are sheltered at this lovely facility!” Daniels chuckled as he left the inmate at the hands of his new nurses and watchers.
“Welcome home Jack, we’ve been expecting you.” A slim figured woman with flowing dirty blonde hair greeted the inmate. “Please, have a seat.”
Jack shrugged his way over to an empty seat in the holding area and began to scope out the other patients. First to catch his eye - a man playing bingo. He was an older gentleman, middle aged, slim in stature with dark brown hair and long skinny arms.
“BINGO!!!” The man cried out. “BINGO BINGO, I WIN AGAIN!! NICE TRY PAUL! MAYBE NEXT TIME DAN! I’M SORRY CHERYL, I’LL LET YOU WIN NEXT TIME!” It would have been a perfectly harmless game of bingo if this man wasn’t playing by himself.
“Jack?” The woman came back into the picture and placed herself in front of him. “Come over to my office, it’s right this way - I’d like to speak with you.”
He followed the young female into her office and took a seat. “Now, Jack, I want you to know - nobody here is judging you. We are here to help you. We want you to be better, Jack.” The woman readjusted, obviously uneasy, and continued her dialog with the man. “Here at Manhattan Psychiatric, we believe in the wellness of our patients and of course proper medicated care. We will be putting you on several doses of antipsychotics and antidepressants - for your own safety, of course.”
Jack took a deep breath, clenching his fists at the statement.
“I know it doesn’t seem normal and jus-” The woman began to stutter, sensing Jack’s unease. “Jack, I promise in time, you won’t know the difference. It’ll be like - like you were always meant to be here. Do you understand?” Jack nodded slowly, lowering his head down to his fists while the woman continued to speak.
“We follow a very strict schedule each day to give our patients the best wellness possible.” The woman began to slide Jack an itinerary sheet, but he remained stalwart, locked in his sunken pose. She recoiled and began reading off the paper.
“7 AM - Morning meds, 8 AM - Play time, 9 AM - Exercise, 10 AM - Snacky snack, 11 AM - Nappy nap, 12 - PM Lunch, 1 PM - Afternoon Meds, 2 - PM Crafts, 3 PM - Dance, 4 PM - Mid day meds, 5 PM - Storytime, 6 PM - Dinner, 7 PM - Night meds, 8 PM - Bed.”
Jack had managed to drown out the woman’s droning voice after about 1 PM, but he still could barely contain his fury. Before he snapped, the list had finally come to an end. He looked up at her with bloodshot eyes as she forced another smile.
“I’m so happy we had this talk Jack. Welcome to the family.”
3 MONTHS LATER 9:10 PM
Jack had put up with the delirious staff, strict schedules and insane patients for over 3 months before he had finally had enough. He couldn’t take one more sour vanilla pudding or see one more person licking the lobby television like a lollipop. ENOUGH! He was ready to execute his escape. Although Jack had nobody to go to on the outside, he managed to convince himself that he would make it.
Bedtime for the hospital is strictly enforced at 8PM every night. It is a time when everybody has taken their medication and begun to lull into a near-comatose slumber. The incredibly lax night shift takes over as the day staff retires to their homes. This would be the advantage that Jack needed.
He slowly crawled out of his cot and grabbed the security badge he had swiped earlier from one of the workers. Sneaking past the near-comatose night crew, he scanned the card on the reader in the front lobby. The panel lit green and Jack pushed open the heavy metal doors. He was outside, free. He had done it. Jack pressed his lips together and peered his eyes into the distance. He only had a few hours to act before the authorities would inevitably come after him. He darted for the nearby woods and disappeared into the darkness.
Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss, made popular on local television stations expose what real companies go through on a daily basis, exposes their top dog bosses and what decisions they actually make towards their franchises.
October 2011
Halloween is coming towards the state of New York once again and Undercover Boss was in dire need of a spooky addition to their ongoing series. Westgate Butchery was eager to bring the television show onboard with their company to have them featured on the show and to have their Director of Main Operations - Henry West in on it to.
1PM
News caster Helena O’Page walks over to new employee Sam Arbor and seasoned cashier and head butcher, Jack.
“Hey guys, my name is Helena. I’m the contest director for this episode. Take a deep breath!” The two well built males chuckle and let out a light sigh as Helena continues. “I know it’s a bit strange to have cameras on you for hours on end. Just be yourself and relax. It’s all in good fun!”
Helena gives the two gentlemen a pat on the back as she exits the room and heads over towards the director. As the cameras begin to roll and the microphones lower, Jack takes Sam over to the back of the store front, to the freezer.
“Back here is where we store all the meat, we get a shipment every week and usually it’s good for a week or two before it starts to turn.”
“That’s pretty cool. Doesn’t it suck, unloading that heavy meat every week?” Sam comments.
“Yeah, it’s a back breaker but we all take turns so it’s not so shitty.” Jack replies as the two of them begin to walk through the freezer looking at all the different meats - poultry, pork, beef, lamb, veal. “So, this contest, what’s it for again?” The two men begin walking back towards the store front.
Sam spoke up as he shook off the cold air. “My own store, I’ve been cutting meat with my dad since I was little but money was always a common issue that I seemed to lack.”
“I hear you on that.” “And cut! Great job guys.” The director called out from his chair. “You guys have great chemistry. Like long-lost brothers or something!” Sam darted his eyes over at Jack and realized that the comparison was more than skin deep. If it were not for Sam’s disguise, they might have looked like close relatives.
Storytime
“That’s a wrap for the morning shoot guys - we’ll resume after lunch.” The producer called out from the directors general direction. Sam stepped closer to Jack.
“Say Jack, why don’t we grab some lunch ourselves, I’m getting kind of hungry after seeing all that pork.”
“I could go for some food, especially the free kind.” Jack laughed out. Sam and Jack placed their aprons on the counter as new workers piled in for the afternoon shift.
“What kind of food are you thinking?” Jack asked as the two of them exited the store. “There’s a eatery right down the street, let’s do it.” Jack nodded his head as the two of them began their travel over to the restaurant.
The two gentlemen were seated down at their table at the nearby diner, awaiting their service. Casually, Jack picked up the butter knife at the table and began to twirl it on it’s tip, watching the light shine and reflect off of it.
“Fan of knives, Jack?” Sam commented while watching his new co-worker closely.
Jack let out a sadistic chuckle. “No, but they like me, they keep finding a way back into my life. Isn’t that amusing - how something can find you?”
“What can I get you boys?” A high pitched, overzealous, ‘new-waitress-trying-to-impress-her-boss’ voice interrupted.
Sam spoke first. “Water.”
Jack followed just behind him. “Vodka.”
“Vodka?” Sam questioned.
“I’m only kidding, tequila, your finest.”
The waitress nervously but happily exited their area and began working on their drinks. Sam noticed Jack began fiddling with the knife again, staring at the waitress while she bounded away.
“Forgive me if I’m reaching out too far but what got you into the butchery business, Jack?” Sam asked eagerly. “Well, 3 years ago I butchered my brother.” A long pause spaced between them. Sam tried to get another phrase out at first but had trouble finding the words. “What?” Sam commented, and Jack burst into a heavy fit of laughter before the waitress returned with their drinks.
“Can I get you guys anything to eat?”
“Give him a moment.” Sam quickly replied, staring cautiously at the hysterical Jack. “I’ll have your... chimichanga with a side of queso sauce please.” Sam’s voice trailed off as Jack composed himself, giving his order. “I’ll have the 5-piece soft taco platter.”
“Coming right up!” The waitress darted away again, and Jack leaned in close to Sam.
“Lighten the fuck up, man. Get in the Halloween spirit!” He startled Sam by suddenly patting him on the back. “Aerate your soul! C’mon, I know you’ve got some secrets in that dirty mind of yours, you bastard!”
“Nope, nothing interesting. Plain Jane, every day is the same.” Sam was noticeably uncomfortable, but he tried to make the best of the situation. “So let’s say you did kill your brother. Why?”
“Caught him banging my girl.” Jack replied, nonchalant, as he ate an appetizer. “Ya know, come to think of it, you kinda look like my brother!” A sly grin crept across his face while he chewed on the chip. The Truth
Sam and Jack finished their meals, satisfied, and continued talking about Jack’s past. “How did you escape incarceration?” Sam’s discomfort grew with every question, but he found himself unable to stop.
“I waited until it was late. Nice and quiet, y’know?” Jack belched and took a sip from his drink. “I got through the complex perfectly fine, but there was one nurse there who drove me up the wall. I found her, eating yogurt in the employees lounge, all alone. Let’s just say that spoon wasn’t only used for eating that night.”
Sam cringed, motioning for Jack to finish up the story.
“After I was done, I took her keycard and swiped my way right out the front door. Easy-peasy.”
Sam, now noticeably nauseous, excused himself from the table in a hurry. He rushed into the bathroom and rested his hands haphazardly on the closest sink. Struggling to breathe, he shoved his hands into his pockets in search of his anti-anxiety medication.
“Come on.” He grumbled, out of breath. “I know I have one.. Got it.” He sighed as he grasped the miniature purple pill between his fingers and popped it under his tongue. He slowly raised his head, level with the mirror, and blinks a few times. Pressing his forehead against the mirror of the bathroom, he reached into his back pocket for his cellphone.
“He did it. Okay - thanks.”
“Welcome back gentlemen.” They are greeted by Helena, who is holding some files and papers. “Something came up at the contest headquarters and we have to terminate shooting for today. Please hand over your mini microphones.”
Sam and Jack exchange looks of confusion but comply. Each of them detach their wires and hand them over to Helena. “Thank you boys. See you tomorrow.” Helna gives Sam a subtle wink before walking off to the side.
“Whoa - you guys banging?”
Sam scoffs at Jack’s comment and signals two men from behind Jack with a hand gesture. “Jack, you’re under arrest - again.”
“Whoa, whoa, wait up!” Jack let out as two police officers pile from behind and begin to cuff him and read him his Miranda rights.
“Jack, sly boy. I’m not Sam. my name is Henry West and I’m the Director of Main Operations for Westgate Butchery, I created the company and I found some of your behavior today, a bit less than classy.”
“You’re having me arrested because.. you don’t like me?!”
“No, you imbecile!” Henry shouted, closing in on Jack’s personal space. “The police and I have been working together strongly ever since you escaped, you piece of scum.”
“Will you take this shit off me, I have no idea what you’re talking about, I didn’t do anything!” Jack struggled with the police, screaming and shouting to his deceiver even after they had locked him inside a squad car.
“Yeah, and OJ’s innocent, the sky ain’t blue, and Casey Anthony is mother of the year - save it for your arraignment. You’re fired.”
Home
7:00PM
“Sweetheart, I’m home!” Henry yelled out as he walked into his over-sized house on the hillside.
“There are you, my darling - dinner is all set and ready for you!” His wife said cheerfully as she greeted him with a kiss.
“Great, what are we having?”
“Your favorite, meat!”
“Oh boy.” Henry let out a chuckle as he closed the door behind him and set his work bag down by the coat rack. He stretched out his back and made his way over to the kitchen where sat his beautiful daughter, Jodie.
“Hey Jojo, did you miss dad while he was at work?” He asked, sweetly cuddling up to her.
“I sure did, I made you a picture!” She held up the shoddily scrawled drawing with pride.
“On the fridge wall of fame it shall go.” He exclaimed while taking the picture from his daughter to admire it.
“How’s your head today, babe?” His wife asked while placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Better, in fact, let me go take my stuff, I’ll be right back.” He placed a soft kiss on her cheek before placing the drawing on the fridge and exiting the kitchen to the bathroom.
Henry turned on the faucet of the sink and splashed some water over his eyes to relax the muscles in his face. “That’s better.”
He reached into his pocket to grab one of his pills. While doing so, his wallet fell to the ground, knocking out an old photo he had stored there from some time go.
“Joey.” Henry’s eyes darted to Joey’s photograph that had fallen on the floor, dated 2005. A small, chilling smile ran across his lips as he stuffed Joey’s picture back into the leather seemed wallet, picking himself up to stare into the mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair.
“Wow.. You really are the Jack of all trades.”
I wrote this last night and would like to create more content if requested to.
submitted by writeholics to freelanceWriters [link] [comments]


2017.09.26 07:43 writeholics [HR] Jack of all Trades

Jack of all Trades
The Killing
Brooklyn, New York, in the middle of October is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Fall has approached and Halloween is creeping up upon it’s residents. However, all is not so innocent for some people. Sometimes the evil you see on the surface of one’s character is only the first of many faces.
10:20PM
The lighting was dim in the bedroom of Joey Deleon. He sat at the foot of his queen sized bed playing one of the many video games he kept in his collection. He clutched his hands around his game controller as he eyes darted around his flat screen looking for the next game objective. Slam! A sudden crash caused him to drop his controller on the ground as he jumped in surprise. Joey slowly crept up from the edge of his bed and slowly began to approach his bedroom door. Assuming it to be his brother, Jack, returning from work, Joey softly called out his name into the distance of the door.
“Jack?” He called out once more, and he waited in silence for his brother to respond. Nothing. Not a footstep, breath, or even a cricket could be heard.
“Ja-”
Before the words could exit Joey’s lips again, his sentence was cut short by a dark figure plowing a 9-inch steak knife into his chest. An insanely long smile ran across the shrouded man’s lips as he cradled Joey in his arms. Joey was in utter shock, and in so much pain that he was unable to breathe. The figure pulled the knife out of the bloody victim and lifted them into their arms, carrying him back into his room. Joey attempted to squirm, but the onset of shock had weakened him tremendously. As his vision began to fade away, he was placed on his bed, and a tear ran down Joey’s face when the light of his TV screen unmasked his assailant.
Jack crawled over his brother and sat on his chest, looking down as the life drained from Joey’s eyes. Once positioned to his liking, Jack continued to drive the knife into Joey’s lifeless body until the blade proved ineffective. The room Joey decided to decorate with action figures, posters and artifacts was now soaked in blood from the ceiling to the floor.
“I don’t hate you - I’ve never hated you, but keeping me close was your mistake.” Jack whispered under his breath and he ripped the steak knife from his brothers body for the final time.
Arrest
Jack jumped off the bed and clutched the knife in his hand as he exited Joey’s room. While heading in the direction of his bathroom, he dug into his jeans pocket with his free hand to pull out his cell phone, dialing 911 on the keypad.
“Hello!” Jack greeted the caller as he turned on the warm faucet knob of his bathroom sink, running the blood soaked knife under the liquid.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“Hey, hi, my name’s Jack - sorry if it’s hard to hear, I’m doing some cleaning, I’d like to report a murder.” He joked with the dispatcher, now moving to clean off his hands under the spout.
“Alright si-” Before dispatch could press for more information, Jack took over the phone call.
“Listen dear, I know how these calls go so let me do the talking - my name is Jack Deleon, I live at 321 Manchester Dr., Brooklyn, New York and just I murdered my brother. I expect the arrival of my local police in 20 minutes or so. Whenever they're done raiding whatever leftover doughnuts Krispy Kreme has left in stock. I’ll be waiting.”
With that ending sentence, Jack hung up his phone and threw it under the running water. He took his knife and placed it on the bathroom counter before exiting towards the living room to wait for the police. He dusted off the crumb-filled couch, propped his legs up, and turned on the television.
Knock, knock!
“Splendid, must be my stripper gram!” Jack quickly stood and skipped over to his front door before peering through the miniature sized peephole.
“Who is it?” He let out gleefully.
“Open the fucking door or we will break it down!” Officer Hunts shouted while giving the wooden door a kick. Jack opened the door while raising his hands above his head, surrendering to his knees. Officer Hunts began reciting his Miranda Rights.
“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, if you can not afford an attorney one will be appointed to you - take this shitbag away.”
“Roger that.” The secondary officer called out as he proceeded to handcuff Jack, wrist to wrist. He pulled him up by the collar of his shirt and escorted him over to the marked police car parked outside his house.
“Stay here Hunts, for the family.”
Officer Hunts nodded and began calling numbers associated with the address as Officer Barnes placed Jack in the back of the police car.
Jack sat impatiently on a bench, tapping his feet wildly.
“Are we done?” Jack groaned out to the Barnes as he shifted around uncomfortably.
“Usually we would be, but I’d like to pick your brain, if you don’t mind.” Officer Barnes stated, lifting the inmate aggressively and pulling him into an interrogation room. “Have a seat.” He instructed as he shoved Jack towards a chair. He complied and sat down, again tapping his foot against the tile floor.
“You’ve got a mouth on you inmate, why don’t you use it to tell me exactly what happened this evening.” The officer asked him while he pulled out his yellow legal pad and a ballpoint pen.
“Tonight? - I killed my brother, his name was Joey.”
“I’ve gathered that, numb-nuts. Why?”
Jack pressed his lips together and placed his head down on the table in front of him, he closed his eyes and slowly brought his head back up to eye level with the officer.
“Joey was going nowhere. He had no job, no friends, no drive. No ambition to live!” Jack paused, composing himself. “I did him a favor.”
The officer clicked his tongue on the inside of his cheek and stared into the inmate’s eyes. “So, you believe, because you thought he was worthless, he had to go?”
“You make it sound so sinister!” Jack held back his laughter. “I don’t hate my brother. I loved him, but what I did tonight was for the greater good.”
“It wasn’t your choice to make, Jack.”
“I did the world a favor!” Jack began to jump up, but hesitated when Barnes unholstered his pistol, placing it on the table.
“Did I strike a nerve, Jack?” Barnes paused long enough for Jack to compose himself again. “Your brother did not deserve to die.”
Jack sat silent for a moment before replying softly. “You listen to me you fucking narc, you don’t know me, my life or my brother, so why don’t you throw me in my cell and punish me. Or, do you still want to play 20 questions?” Jack took out a deep breath and sunk into his seat, lifting his head up to stare at the hanging lights.
“Have it your way, inmate.” The officer closed up his legal pad, holstered his weapon and opened the door for Jack to exit.
“HC B, George.”
Escape
THE NEXT DAY - 6:02 AM
Jack was woke with a start by a loud bang.
“Rise and shine, arraignment time.” The officer shouted as he pushes his key into the lock to slide open the cell. Jack let out a deepened groan as he rose to his feet, walking towards the officer.
6:34 AM
Jack and his newly appointed public defender rose before the judge as he entered the courtroom.
“You may be seated.” Judge Mathers grumbled as he took his seat on the bench, opening up Jack’s case file.
“We are here today, October 15th, 2008, for the arraignment order of Jack Deleon, Case number 234977FU.”
“That is correct.” The public defender replied, bringing a pile of papers before the judge. He sat silently as he peered over the papers before speaking again moments later.
“You are being charged with first degree murder of the intent to kill, premeditatedly, how do you plea?”
“Guilty, your honor.” Jack masked a grin between his words.
“Very well. Due to the nature of the defendant’s crime and his interaction with police enforcement, I would find it foolish to keep him held behind bars any longer. He is clearly a threat to himself and others, and until adequate manpower can be applied to such a horribly-odd case, I say that we baker act this inmate to Manhattan Psychiatric Center. This case will need to be re-evaluated at a later time.” The judge took a deep breath before flashing the attending officer a look. “McMuffin, Officer Daniels?”
“No, thank you.” The officer smirked before lifting Jack from his seat. “It’s a big day for this one. I want to be there to see him on his way safely.” He tightened his grasp on the inmate before shoving him towards the exit.
Jack’s public defender exited the room with Judge Mathers, taking him up on his breakfast offer as Officer Daniels escorted Jack out outside. Jack was then shoved into a police van before Daniels slammed the sliding door shut.
8:19AM
As the van approached the hospital, Jack began to think about what he had made of his life. No more family holidays. No more bustling laughter or embarrassing stories. No more half-hearted embraces or forced enthusiasm. A smile began to creep upon his lips before he was pulled from his dark fantasy by the van door swinging open.
“Out.” Officer Daniels ordered, his eyes locked onto Jack like a hawk stalking prey. Jack scowled at the policeman, hating him for interrupting his fantasy.
“Before Halloween is over, GO!” Daniels jabbed at Jack’s ribs with his baton. The inmate continued staring at the officer for a short moment before complying.
“Manhattan Psychiatric Center - only the cream of the crop are sheltered at this lovely facility!” Daniels chuckled as he left the inmate at the hands of his new nurses and watchers.
“Welcome home Jack, we’ve been expecting you.” A slim figured woman with flowing dirty blonde hair greeted the inmate. “Please, have a seat.”
Jack shrugged his way over to an empty seat in the holding area and began to scope out the other patients. First to catch his eye - a man playing bingo. He was an older gentleman, middle aged, slim in stature with dark brown hair and long skinny arms.
“BINGO!!!” The man cried out. “BINGO BINGO, I WIN AGAIN!! NICE TRY PAUL! MAYBE NEXT TIME DAN! I’M SORRY CHERYL, I’LL LET YOU WIN NEXT TIME!” It would have been a perfectly harmless game of bingo if this man wasn’t playing by himself.
“Jack?” The woman came back into the picture and placed herself in front of him. “Come over to my office, it’s right this way - I’d like to speak with you.”
He followed the young female into her office and took a seat. “Now, Jack, I want you to know - nobody here is judging you. We are here to help you. We want you to be better, Jack.” The woman readjusted, obviously uneasy, and continued her dialog with the man. “Here at Manhattan Psychiatric, we believe in the wellness of our patients and of course proper medicated care. We will be putting you on several doses of antipsychotics and antidepressants - for your own safety, of course.”
Jack took a deep breath, clenching his fists at the statement.
“I know it doesn’t seem normal and jus-” The woman began to stutter, sensing Jack’s unease. “Jack, I promise in time, you won’t know the difference. It’ll be like - like you were always meant to be here. Do you understand?” Jack nodded slowly, lowering his head down to his fists while the woman continued to speak.
“We follow a very strict schedule each day to give our patients the best wellness possible.” The woman began to slide Jack an itinerary sheet, but he remained stalwart, locked in his sunken pose. She recoiled and began reading off the paper.
“7 AM - Morning meds, 8 AM - Play time, 9 AM - Exercise, 10 AM - Snacky snack, 11 AM - Nappy nap, 12 - PM Lunch, 1 PM - Afternoon Meds, 2 - PM Crafts, 3 PM - Dance, 4 PM - Mid day meds, 5 PM - Storytime, 6 PM - Dinner, 7 PM - Night meds, 8 PM - Bed.”
Jack had managed to drown out the woman’s droning voice after about 1 PM, but he still could barely contain his fury. Before he snapped, the list had finally come to an end. He looked up at her with bloodshot eyes as she forced another smile.
“I’m so happy we had this talk Jack. Welcome to the family.”
3 MONTHS LATER 9:10 PM
Jack had put up with the delirious staff, strict schedules and insane patients for over 3 months before he had finally had enough. He couldn’t take one more sour vanilla pudding or see one more person licking the lobby television like a lollipop. ENOUGH! He was ready to execute his escape. Although Jack had nobody to go to on the outside, he managed to convince himself that he would make it.
Bedtime for the hospital is strictly enforced at 8PM every night. It is a time when everybody has taken their medication and begun to lull into a near-comatose slumber. The incredibly lax night shift takes over as the day staff retires to their homes. This would be the advantage that Jack needed.
He slowly crawled out of his cot and grabbed the security badge he had swiped earlier from one of the workers. Sneaking past the near-comatose night crew, he scanned the card on the reader in the front lobby. The panel lit green and Jack pushed open the heavy metal doors. He was outside, free. He had done it. Jack pressed his lips together and peered his eyes into the distance. He only had a few hours to act before the authorities would inevitably come after him. He darted for the nearby woods and disappeared into the darkness.
Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss, made popular on local television stations expose what real companies go through on a daily basis, exposes their top dog bosses and what decisions they actually make towards their franchises.
October 2011
Halloween is coming towards the state of New York once again and Undercover Boss was in dire need of a spooky addition to their ongoing series. Westgate Butchery was eager to bring the television show onboard with their company to have them featured on the show and to have their Director of Main Operations - Henry West in on it to.
1PM
News caster Helena O’Page walks over to new employee Sam Arbor and seasoned cashier and head butcher, Jack.
“Hey guys, my name is Helena. I’m the contest director for this episode. Take a deep breath!” The two well built males chuckle and let out a light sigh as Helena continues. “I know it’s a bit strange to have cameras on you for hours on end. Just be yourself and relax. It’s all in good fun!”
Helena gives the two gentlemen a pat on the back as she exits the room and heads over towards the director. As the cameras begin to roll and the microphones lower, Jack takes Sam over to the back of the store front, to the freezer.
“Back here is where we store all the meat, we get a shipment every week and usually it’s good for a week or two before it starts to turn.”
“That’s pretty cool. Doesn’t it suck, unloading that heavy meat every week?” Sam comments.
“Yeah, it’s a back breaker but we all take turns so it’s not so shitty.” Jack replies as the two of them begin to walk through the freezer looking at all the different meats - poultry, pork, beef, lamb, veal. “So, this contest, what’s it for again?” The two men begin walking back towards the store front.
Sam spoke up as he shook off the cold air. “My own store, I’ve been cutting meat with my dad since I was little but money was always a common issue that I seemed to lack.”
“I hear you on that.” “And cut! Great job guys.” The director called out from his chair. “You guys have great chemistry. Like long-lost brothers or something!” Sam darted his eyes over at Jack and realized that the comparison was more than skin deep. If it were not for Sam’s disguise, they might have looked like close relatives.
Storytime
“That’s a wrap for the morning shoot guys - we’ll resume after lunch.” The producer called out from the directors general direction. Sam stepped closer to Jack.
“Say Jack, why don’t we grab some lunch ourselves, I’m getting kind of hungry after seeing all that pork.”
“I could go for some food, especially the free kind.” Jack laughed out. Sam and Jack placed their aprons on the counter as new workers piled in for the afternoon shift.
“What kind of food are you thinking?” Jack asked as the two of them exited the store. “There’s a eatery right down the street, let’s do it.” Jack nodded his head as the two of them began their travel over to the restaurant.
The two gentlemen were seated down at their table at the nearby diner, awaiting their service. Casually, Jack picked up the butter knife at the table and began to twirl it on it’s tip, watching the light shine and reflect off of it.
“Fan of knives, Jack?” Sam commented while watching his new co-worker closely.
Jack let out a sadistic chuckle. “No, but they like me, they keep finding a way back into my life. Isn’t that amusing - how something can find you?”
“What can I get you boys?” A high pitched, overzealous, ‘new-waitress-trying-to-impress-her-boss’ voice interrupted.
Sam spoke first. “Water.”
Jack followed just behind him. “Vodka.”
“Vodka?” Sam questioned.
“I’m only kidding, tequila, your finest.”
The waitress nervously but happily exited their area and began working on their drinks. Sam noticed Jack began fiddling with the knife again, staring at the waitress while she bounded away.
“Forgive me if I’m reaching out too far but what got you into the butchery business, Jack?” Sam asked eagerly. “Well, 3 years ago I butchered my brother.” A long pause spaced between them. Sam tried to get another phrase out at first but had trouble finding the words. “What?” Sam commented, and Jack burst into a heavy fit of laughter before the waitress returned with their drinks.
“Can I get you guys anything to eat?”
“Give him a moment.” Sam quickly replied, staring cautiously at the hysterical Jack. “I’ll have your... chimichanga with a side of queso sauce please.” Sam’s voice trailed off as Jack composed himself, giving his order. “I’ll have the 5-piece soft taco platter.”
“Coming right up!” The waitress darted away again, and Jack leaned in close to Sam.
“Lighten the fuck up, man. Get in the Halloween spirit!” He startled Sam by suddenly patting him on the back. “Aerate your soul! C’mon, I know you’ve got some secrets in that dirty mind of yours, you bastard!”
“Nope, nothing interesting. Plain Jane, every day is the same.” Sam was noticeably uncomfortable, but he tried to make the best of the situation. “So let’s say you did kill your brother. Why?”
“Caught him banging my girl.” Jack replied, nonchalant, as he ate an appetizer. “Ya know, come to think of it, you kinda look like my brother!” A sly grin crept across his face while he chewed on the chip. The Truth
Sam and Jack finished their meals, satisfied, and continued talking about Jack’s past. “How did you escape incarceration?” Sam’s discomfort grew with every question, but he found himself unable to stop.
“I waited until it was late. Nice and quiet, y’know?” Jack belched and took a sip from his drink. “I got through the complex perfectly fine, but there was one nurse there who drove me up the wall. I found her, eating yogurt in the employees lounge, all alone. Let’s just say that spoon wasn’t only used for eating that night.”
Sam cringed, motioning for Jack to finish up the story.
“After I was done, I took her keycard and swiped my way right out the front door. Easy-peasy.”
Sam, now noticeably nauseous, excused himself from the table in a hurry. He rushed into the bathroom and rested his hands haphazardly on the closest sink. Struggling to breathe, he shoved his hands into his pockets in search of his anti-anxiety medication.
“Come on.” He grumbled, out of breath. “I know I have one.. Got it.” He sighed as he grasped the miniature purple pill between his fingers and popped it under his tongue. He slowly raised his head, level with the mirror, and blinks a few times. Pressing his forehead against the mirror of the bathroom, he reached into his back pocket for his cellphone.
“He did it. Okay - thanks.”
“Welcome back gentlemen.” They are greeted by Helena, who is holding some files and papers. “Something came up at the contest headquarters and we have to terminate shooting for today. Please hand over your mini microphones.”
Sam and Jack exchange looks of confusion but comply. Each of them detach their wires and hand them over to Helena. “Thank you boys. See you tomorrow.” Helna gives Sam a subtle wink before walking off to the side.
“Whoa - you guys banging?”
Sam scoffs at Jack’s comment and signals two men from behind Jack with a hand gesture. “Jack, you’re under arrest - again.”
“Whoa, whoa, wait up!” Jack let out as two police officers pile from behind and begin to cuff him and read him his Miranda rights.
“Jack, sly boy. I’m not Sam. my name is Henry West and I’m the Director of Main Operations for Westgate Butchery, I created the company and I found some of your behavior today, a bit less than classy.”
“You’re having me arrested because.. you don’t like me?!”
“No, you imbecile!” Henry shouted, closing in on Jack’s personal space. “The police and I have been working together strongly ever since you escaped, you piece of scum.”
“Will you take this shit off me, I have no idea what you’re talking about, I didn’t do anything!” Jack struggled with the police, screaming and shouting to his deceiver even after they had locked him inside a squad car.
“Yeah, and OJ’s innocent, the sky ain’t blue, and Casey Anthony is mother of the year - save it for your arraignment. You’re fired.”
Home
7:00PM
“Sweetheart, I’m home!” Henry yelled out as he walked into his over-sized house on the hillside.
“There are you, my darling - dinner is all set and ready for you!” His wife said cheerfully as she greeted him with a kiss.
“Great, what are we having?”
“Your favorite, meat!”
“Oh boy.” Henry let out a chuckle as he closed the door behind him and set his work bag down by the coat rack. He stretched out his back and made his way over to the kitchen where sat his beautiful daughter, Jodie.
“Hey Jojo, did you miss dad while he was at work?” He asked, sweetly cuddling up to her.
“I sure did, I made you a picture!” She held up the shoddily scrawled drawing with pride.
“On the fridge wall of fame it shall go.” He exclaimed while taking the picture from his daughter to admire it.
“How’s your head today, babe?” His wife asked while placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Better, in fact, let me go take my stuff, I’ll be right back.” He placed a soft kiss on her cheek before placing the drawing on the fridge and exiting the kitchen to the bathroom.
Henry turned on the faucet of the sink and splashed some water over his eyes to relax the muscles in his face. “That’s better.”
He reached into his pocket to grab one of his pills. While doing so, his wallet fell to the ground, knocking out an old photo he had stored there from some time go.
“Joey.” Henry’s eyes darted to Joey’s photograph that had fallen on the floor, dated 2005. A small, chilling smile ran across his lips as he stuffed Joey’s picture back into the leather seemed wallet, picking himself up to stare into the mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair.
“Wow.. You really are the Jack of all trades.”
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