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DawnSomewhere (flimflamphilosphy) is a youtube channel known most famously for its animation on the subject of the popular kids television show My Little Pony, his animations are (normally) satirical in nature and exude wit and more importantly, unending passion. If you were around when he started making mlp fan videos you'd know he originally didn't know how to draw digital art nor did he know how to animate. Dawn is a degreasing agent and helps to strip cloth diapers by removing oily residue. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until the water runs clear! 25. Unclogging Toilets. Clear out a clogged toilet by pouring a cup or so of Dawn dish soap into the toilet bowl, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Home Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The Wrath & the Dawn. Renée Ahdieh / SilvesterVitale. Khalid, the Caliph, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. ... But things turn complicated when his friend falls in love with her! The God of High School. like 17M. Action. The God of High ... Dawn Somewhere is creating Music, cartoons, comics, parodies, and fiction. Select a membership level. $1.00 Tier. $1. per post. Join. All patrons will are welcome to join our Discord server (send us a PM if you need a link) along with any random thing we think to throw at you! $2.00 Tier. $2. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. 2. Dawn is the only mission to orbit two deep-space destinations. Enabled by the exceptional efficiency of ion propulsion, Dawn became the first spacecraft to orbit two deep-space bodies. This is an exciting engineering feat, demonstrating the feasibility of multi-world exploration.

2013.12.21 20:22 XelNaga Videos voyeur window

A place for fans of the youtuber FimFlamFilosophy and his website Dawnsomewhere.com
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2020.09.09 04:33 Shagrrotten I Should Feel Something: On Space and the Unknowable Self in Ad Astra

https://www.rogerebert.com/features/i-should-feel-something-on-space-and-the-unknowable-self-in-ad-astra
By Roxana Hadadi
“Why go on? Why keep trying?”
Our world is not enough.
For centuries, we have longed for space—to immerse ourselves in its vast expanse, and to lay claim upon it. “It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon,” Galileo wrote in 1610. The partner to fascination is obsession, and so much of the cinematic exploration of space has been situated in the gap between those two poles of feeling. James Gray’s meditative, gorgeous “Ad Astra” is an exemplary entry in a long line of films (“2001: A Space Odyssey,” both versions of “Solaris,” “Contact,” “Sunshine,” “High Life”) which explore whether it is bravery or hubris that sends us outside of our own world. The way to make sense of something incomprehensible is to assign structure to it, to organize it, to control it. Hence the symbolic value we assign to extra-planetary service, and the tension that results between that rigidity and the immense mystery of what awaits us past our earthly border.
In James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” released just almost a year ago, Brad Pitt’s Major Roy McBride is perceived as the ideal American patriot. He spent three years in the Arctic Circle, a combat zone. He excelled during his career with the U.S. military’s Space Command (SpaceCom). His jawline could cut glass. And yet practically everything about Roy McBride is artificial, a facsimile of sincerity. He secretly sneers at colleagues who revere him. He is repulsed by the corporatization of discovery. His father, renowned astronaut H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), has been missing for most of his life, and Roy has lived in his shadow ever since. McBride left Earth as part of a U.S.-led project to prove the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and Roy grasps at his memory as a saving grace. His father stood for something, and so Roy must too. “I will not rely on anyone or anything. I will not be vulnerable to mistakes,” Roy promises, but how lonely an existence that must be. How impossible to maintain. In “Ad Astra,” Roy travels to the stars to find his father—but what he finds, more meaningfully, is the strength to let him go.
“Space I understand.”
An intertitle at the beginning of “Ad Astra,” the font blood-red against a black screen, announces “THE NEAR FUTURE, A TIME OF BOTH HOPE AND CONFLICT. HUMANITY LOOKS TO THE STARS FOR INTELLIGENT LIFE AND THE PROMISE OF PROGRESS.” There’s a thin line between our reality and that of “Ad Astra,” and it’s a purposeful muddling on Gray’s part. The progress in this world’s exploration of our solar system is significant, but not unattainable. We recognize the possibility presented in “Ad Astra,” and can imagine ourselves inside it. And so too is it easy to accept the handsome authority of Major Roy McBride (Pitt). At first, his pledge in fealty to SpaceCom seems admirable.
“I am ready to go. Ready to do my job to the best of my abilities. I am focused only on the essential to the exclusion of all else. I will make only pragmatic decisions. I will not allow myself to be distracted. I will not allow my mind to linger on that which is unimportant. I will not rely on anyone or anything. I will not be vulnerable to mistakes.”
But Gray cross cuts Roy’s professional vow with the evidence of its toll: his retreating wife, Eve (Liv Tyler), who with barely any dialogue communicates to us her feelings of abandonment. Although her outline is fuzzy, as if Roy never really saw her at all, the sound of her keys being left on the counter of the home they once shared is definitive. Hurt people hurt people, and Roy McBride is a hurt person. Traumatized by his father’s absence, he has compartmentalized away nearly all emotions—a flaw in his personal life, but a benefit for the demands of SpaceCom. He is infamous for his reliably low pulse rate, even during emergencies, and commended by his colleagues for his calmness. Regularly scheduled psychological evaluations, in which Roy spills his feelings into a portable transmitter and waits for approval from a faceless voice to continue with his work, determine his mental fitness. His admissions are always blandly expressive, and the okays to proceed are always immediate. The rigorous training required for his SpaceCom position, and how thoroughly he has set himself apart in nearly every way, has turned his elitism into a festering wound. His poster-boy image has a toxic-masculinity edge, and he knows it: “I see myself from the outside. Smile. Present a side. It’s a performance, with my eye on the exit. Always on the exit.” People are impressed by him, and he can’t stand them. “Just don’t touch me,” he thinks to himself when presented with a cheering room of colleagues. He grins, and the gesture doesn’t reach his eyes. “Take care, Major. Be careful,” someone warns before he steps out for a space walk, and his “Thanks for that” reply lacks any affect at all.
“I always wanted to become an astronaut for the future of mankind and all. At least, that’s what I told myself,” Roy admits, and the admission carries a jagged sarcasm, and a blunt candor. At first, Roy’s resentment of his career and its myriad obligations feels mundane, but juxtaposed with his presence among the stars, his disinterest takes on a sort of subversion. To experience the singularity of no longer being on Earth, but outside of it, and to still be unfulfilled—that displeasure undermines so much of what we expect from this genre, and what space cinema normally imposes on us about the specialness of these people. Imagine Tom Hanks in "Apollo 13," or Sandra Bullock in "Gravity": Would either of those heroes disparage the astronaut experience like this? Still, Roy goes through the motions, and he does them well. When a catastrophic power surge hits the International Space Antennae on which Roy is performing maintenance, electrocuting numerous people, setting off explosions in the upper towers, and thrusting the station into chaos, Roy springs effortlessly into action. He literally flips a switch to stop the chain reaction. When he tumbles backward from the antennae toward Earth, he has the presence of mind to maintain communication with colleagues on the ground, offering technical commentary the whole way down: “Control—McBride. I’m in a spin. Atmosphere’s too thin to stabilize. I’m trying to keep the tumble down, so I don’t black out. Control, do you read?” The fall seems to last forever, and we stay with Roy as he plummets steadily toward his death until he manages to flip over, deploy his parachute, and steer himself to the ground even as debris falls around him. When people run out to offer assistance, he doesn’t meet their eyes. “‘A self-destructive side,’ that’s what she used to say to me,” Roy says, alluding to Eve without saying her name. “I should feel something. I survived. I should feel something.” Roy’s unlikely escape is the stuff of immediate legend, and his actions save lives. But is either of those enough to make him a human being?
“We are world-eaters. If my dad could see this now, he’d tear it all down.”
The electrical storm that nearly killed Roy, SpaceCom explains to him in a classified briefing, is part of a series termed the Surge. The phenomena are destructive, wreaking havoc across the globe and leaving tens of thousands dead, and their origin is outer space. Esteemed SpaceCom astronaut H. Clifford McBride had a son he left on Earth, who grew up to be Roy. And H. Clifford McBride had a project he devoted more decades of his life to than he did his family, and that project was the Lima Project—the first manned expedition to the outer solar system, tasked with finding evidence of intelligent life outside of Earth. Into the great unknown the elder McBride traveled, certain he would return with secrets as yet undiscovered, and the younger McBride has been intermittently exalting him and cursing him for it ever since. Building himself in his shadow; struggling to live up to an impossible ideal of a man 29 years gone and 16 years disappeared. So when Roy learns that Clifford is still alive near Neptune, firing off surges of antimatter that are causing the Surge and might destroy the planet he left behind, it’s a revelation that upends everything he thought he knew about his father, and about himself. There is a lifetime of pain in Roy’s “My father’s alive, sir?”, more emotion exhibited in those four words than during his entire tumble from space to Earth. And yet when SpaceCom asks for Roy’s help in reaching Clifford, believing “a personal plea from you to your father might elicit a response” and asking him to travel to the Moon, then Mars, and finally to Neptune to try and communicate with Clifford, Roy’s skepticism is clear in his shifting eyes, in the slight pause before he agrees. “‘Are you with us?’” Roy growls mockingly, repeating SpaceCom’s request. “Like I have a choice.”
Clifford’s survival unsettles Roy, his father’s seemingly reckless use of the dangerous antimatter unnerves him, and the two reveals open up a schism between what Roy thought he knew about Clifford, who SpaceCom has immortalized for decades as a lost hero to discovery, and what Roy feels about the world around him. “My father was a pioneer,” Roy seethes in voiceover when SpaceCom dares to suggest that Clifford could be operating his own agenda. In contrast, Roy seems to wonder, are these people worth saving? An archived message from Clifford to Roy 27 years ago paints his father as a godly man, a loving husband and father, an optimist who is appreciative for the international attention in the Lima Project, an explorer convinced that he will be the person who finds intelligent life. “We know we will,” Clifford emphasizes, and Roy is visibly overwhelmed watching the clip, blinking back tears.
But Roy is reminded by his father’s former colleague, Col. Thomas Pruitt (Donald Sutherland), who will accompany Roy to the Moon, that he never really knew who Clifford. Roy was a child when Clifford left (flashbacks rendered in grainy film show a tousled-haired, cherubic-faced young boy, burying himself in a hug from his faceless mother while gazing up at the sky), and Clifford was an idol. With every new revelation that Clifford might not be who Roy thought, the son is forced to reassess his own life, too: his own priorities, his own pettiness. “A voyage of exploration can be used for something as simple as escape,” Pruitt cautions Roy, not knowing that this warning applies to the son as well. “It’s dangerous business, as we know. Best not to subject others to it,” Roy had said of why his career caused his separation from Eve, presenting himself as a man more committed to the SpaceCom cause than to his own family—perhaps closer to Clifford than he thought. And after Roy and Pruitt journey to the Moon, the former is disgusted by its commercialization: by the $125 cost for a blanket and pillow pack on the flight, by the slogan “Earth’s Moon: Where the world comes together,” by the DHL and Subway locations on the base. “All the hopes we ever had for space travel covered up by drink stands and T-shirt vendors. Just a recreation of what we’re running from on Earth,” Roy complains in a voice little bit like Tyler Durden’s. No place is safe from humanity’s corruptive influence, Roy believes. The only hope is the intelligent life that Clifford has certainly found through the Lima Project, which might present a way for humanity to start again. A chance for people to do it right.
In this divided state, Roy moves forward toward reunion. Perhaps paradoxically, the increased distance away from the Earth he seems to loathe makes real for him the facets of humanity he hadn’t previously considered. On the Moon, when his and Pruitt’s convoy is attacked by pirates and Roy has to commandeer a rover to drive them to safety, he notices a photo taped to the display by their now-murdered escort—a wife and child, hereafter missing their husband and father. Roy endured that too, and he knows the life-shattering pain this death, caused partially by his presence in this place, will cause. Once Pruitt is injured and Roy realizes he must continue the journey on his own, he feels a pang of sympathy for the man his father called a traitor (“Why does he still do it? Why can’t he just let go?”), and his look back to where Pruitt sits slumped is the only time we see Roy turn around rather than move deliberately forward. On Cepheus, the ship taking Roy to Mars, he disagrees with but ultimately admires the captain’s willingness to respond to a distress call, and then regrets the man’s death after he is attacked and killed during that deviation. As the rest of the crew prays over the captain’s body, he observes them quietly, their faith a fascination. “They seem at ease with themselves. What must that be like?” he muses. Roy has never known.
“Most of us spend our entire lives in hiding.”
After Pruitt’s injury, he shares with Roy a secret communication from SpaceCom that makes clear their intentions. They don’t trust the younger McBride, believe that Clifford purposefully endangered the Lima Project crew and “may have lost all control,” and are unsure whether Roy’s personal messages to Clifford will sway him. “What happened to my dad? What did he find out there? Did it break him? Or was he always broken?” Roy wonders, and his desperate desire for connection pushes him further away from the cold, calculated man he once was. After the Cepheus captain’s death, he is more truthful with his psychological evaluation than he’s ever been.
SpaceCom: “Are you ready for your psychological evaluation?”
Roy: “I am on my way to Mars. We answered a mayday call, and it ended in tragedy. We lost the captain.”
SpaceCom: “Your answer is being processed. Please continue.”
Roy: “Well, that’s it. I mean, we go to work, we do our jobs, and then it’s over. We’re here and then we’re gone.”
SpaceCom: “Please describe how the incident itself affected you.”
Roy: “The attack. It was full of rage. I understand that rage. I’ve seen that rage in my father, and I’ve seen that rage in me. Because I’m angry … that he took off. He left us. When I look at that anger, if I push it aside, I just put it away … all I see is hurt. I just see pain. I think it keeps me walled off, walled off from relationships and opening myself up and, you know, really caring for someone. And I don’t know how to get past that. I don’t know how to get around that. And it worries me. And I don’t wanna be that guy. I don’t wanna be my dad.”
During this admission of self-doubt and self-hate, Gray makes us simultaneously a witness and a voyeur. Switching the perspective between a head-on close-up of Pitt’s face and a profile shot from over Pitt’s shoulder, with starlight illuminating Pitt’s individual eyelashes and the oceanic green of his eyes, Gray gives us the clearest view of Roy’s individuality, and the grief he carries. Shockingly, Roy’s unprecedentedly unrefined evaluation is approved, and it sets in motion the trauma Roy will increasingly voice. In the brutalist Ersa Research Station on monochromatic, pockmarked Mars, after delivering first a bland SpaceCom-approved communique that is ignored by his father, after admitting to himself “I don’t know if I hope to find him or finally be free of him,” Roy deviates from the script.
“Dad, I’d like to see you again. I recall how we used to watch black and white movies together, and musicals were your favorite. I remember you tutoring me in math. You instilled in me a strong work ethic. ‘Work hard, play later,’ as you said. You should know I’ve chosen a career that you would approve of. I’ve dedicated my life to the exploration of space. And I thank you for that. So, I hope we can reconnect. Your loving son, Roy.”
The effort this message takes is clear, from the gaps Roy leaves between his sentences as he searches for the next one to the tears held back in his eyes, and SpaceCom’s repudiation is swift.
“Your personal connection has made you unsuited for continued service on this mission,” they inform him, punishing him for the honesty Roy dared to admit, barring him from continuing onto Neptune, and failing his next psychological evaluation. Trapped in a “comfort room,” Roy’s fractured mind is ironically underscored by the videos of birds, bees, ocean waves, chrysanthemums, and grass projected onto the walls. With Roy so far from Earth—and unsure of whether he even believes Earth is worth yearning for—what relief can these images provide?
For Helen Santos (Ruth Negga), though, the director of Ersa Research Station, those images of Earth’s nature are a reminder of her one visit to her parents’ home planet, and an exemplification of everything Mars cannot sustain. The atmosphere is inhospitable. Helen and the other research station staff live underground. Her longing for another life is genuine, her isolation in this place is palpable, and her connection to Roy is another shock to him. Her parents were crew members on the Lima Project, and H. Clifford McBride killed them. “We will not turn back. We will venture further into space. We will find alien intelligence. I am forever driven on this quest,” Roy watches his father assert in a video clip after admitting to turning off life support for his crew, both mutineers and otherwise. Everything Roy thought about Clifford was a SpaceCom cover-up, and every way in which he’s molded himself after his father’s legend has been the result of a lie. As Roy holds the transparent tablet, watching Clifford’s manifesto of discovery at all costs, Gray layers the faces of father and son on top of each other, making them nearly indistinguishable. Only Roy’s sob at realizing the depths of this deception disturbs the synchronizing effect.
“I am alone, something I always believed I preferred. But I confess. It’s wearing on me.”
With the additional knowledge provided by Helen in his possession, Roy is activated once more by the same humanist inclinations that have increasingly guided his recent actions. “I will deal with him. I will deal with my father,” he swears, and his certainty in that moment has an emotional edge missing from his past behavior—a sincerity he previously lacked. He accepts Helen’s help to stow away onto the Cepheus, now making its way toward Neptune to deploy a nuclear weapon against his father. In a stunning sequence, Gray moves us inside and outside of Roy’s field of vision: We follow him as he disappears into the pitch-black water of an underground lake, are alongside him in his helmet as he breaks through layers of rising bubbles, and then watch as glowing orbs of orange and yellow light align into the form of Roy’s body, moving toward us on Mars’s dusty surface. Through those natural elements, we see Roy reborn—a man formed not in the image of the father who left him, but in the water and sunlight that are vital for supporting life.
“You’ve alive. All this time. I must accept the fact that I never really knew you. Or am I you, being pulled down the same dark hole?” Roy considers, but every subsequent action, despite moving him physically closer to Clifford, separates our understanding of the two men. Roy tries to avoid violence in coming onboard the Cepheus, and although all three crew members are killed, he takes responsibility for his actions: “I boarded the Cepheus against mission directives. I did not do so with hostile intent. But because of my actions, I regret to inform you all crew members are now deceased. The flight recorder will tell the story. History will have to decide.” He makes clear that his primary goal is to “destroy the Lima Project in its entirety.” And during the 79-day journey from Mars to Neptune, he embarks on a sort of inward-gazing fever dream, a mélange of exhaustion, melancholia, and euphoria. He remembers his childhood, and the soothing comfort of his mother, and the wind turbines that dotted their land, and the productive energy they harnessed—so different from the Surge, and the possibility of planetary destruction. He watches a video from Eve, marveling at how openly she speaks of her love for him, and her frustration. He remembers the message he dictated to her before his trip, but then deleted (“I made a promise to always be truthful, but I wasn’t … I didn’t want you to go”), and berates himself for how he wronged her. He yearns for her forgiveness, and then rages that “Forgiveness is bullshit,” and then weeps. And through it all, Roy hears his father’s voice calling him, and haunting him. “When do we find all the intelligent life out there? And we know we will.” “I am free of your moral boundaries. I have total clarity.” “I know for certain I am doing God’s work.” Out there, in the unknown, did H. Clifford McBride become someone else? Or did he only abandon the artifice of who people wanted him to be? Those questions are impossible to answer, and yet Roy obsesses over them as he approaches Neptune: “All my life, I was terrified to confront him. I’m terrified even now. What do I expect? In the end, the son suffers the sins of the father.” But where there are sins, there can be absolution, too.
“Let me go, Roy.”
The reunion with his father, the one that Roy never expected to experience, is subdued, somber, and devastating. Clifford is not particularly surprised when Roy, whom he hasn’t seen for 29 years, appears onboard the Lima Project station. He had heard his son’s messages, after all, and understands the SpaceCom mission Roy has been given. He doesn’t ask whether Roy was affected by another Surge storm emanating from the Lima Project, although the navigation through Neptune’s rings nearly killed Roy. He doesn’t comment on the blood smeared on the station walls, or on the bodies—spinning in a macabre ballet in zero gravity—that Roy passes on his way to find his father.
The elder McBride is a man clinging to the edge of an idea, and nothing can dissuade him from it. “A captain always goes down with his ship,” Clifford says, and he will not return to Earth. Why return to a failed experiment? Clifford refuses to accept that no other intelligent life could exist in the universe. He will not abide by the suggestion that Earth, and Earth alone, is all we’ve got. “This is home,” he says of the Lima Project station, and his speech to Roy is an exercise in uncompromising zealousness:
“This is a one-way voyage, my son. You’re talking about Earth? There was never anything for me there. I never cared about you, your mother, or any of your small ideas. For 30 years, I’ve been breathing this air, eating this food, enduring these hardships and I never once thought about home. … I knew this would widow your mother and orphan you, but I found my destiny, so I abandoned my son. … I have infinite work to do.”
What else is there to really say? Roy’s “I know, Dad” captures so much: a lifetime of being made small, communicated in three words. But he refuses to compromise the tenderness he’s nurtured over this journey—the gentleness he’s waited years to offer his father. He helps Clifford put on his space suit. He not unkindly refuses Clifford’s insistence that Roy stay so they can work together. He presents the reality made plain from the Lima Project’s failure: “Now, we know we’re all we’ve got.” And when it comes time to embark back to the Cepheus together—when Clifford tries to yank Roy into space with him, and when Roy sees that his father will never acquiesce to leaving the great unknown behind, even as it has disappointed and defied him—he lets his father go.
A whole life spent in veneration and bitterness disappears in that moment. Roy watches Clifford float farther and farther away. As Roy spins, moving in and out of the illumination of Neptune’s rings, we see the sobs and screams being unleashed inside his helmet. Clifford was a hero, and then he was a ghost, and finally, he was just a man. Flesh and bone. Passion and fervor. And in the end, Roy notes, the creator and curator of a collection of research that was staggering and expansive, and never enough:
“He captured strange and distant worlds in greater detail than ever before. They were beautiful, magnificent, full of awe and wonder. But beneath their sublime surfaces, there was nothing. No love or hate. No light or dark. He could only see what was not there, and missed what was right in front of him.”
A striated planet, with layers of rock shaded milky cream and dusty burgundy. Another planet splattered in curves of jade and yellow, like dribbles of graffiti running down a wall. Another planet enveloped in a murky gas. Another planet icy blue, another planet volcanic red. All unique, and all the same: barren. A Freudian theorist would have a field day with a fatheson duo desperate to find life in deep space, who eventually realize that the fertility they crave was only made real in the planet they left behind. But Clifford’s surrender to the galaxy that refused him is, inadvertently but definitively, an act of kindness to his only child, perhaps the only one Roy ever received from his father. After Roy finally finds his authentic voice, the most healing opportunity he is offered is to listen, and to let his father go.
Once Clifford is enveloped by the stars he so loves, once Roy destroys the Lima Project and stops the Surge, once he uses his ingenuity and training to jettison himself through Neptune’s rings and back to the Cepheus, once Roy’s path back to Earth is programmed, the son breaks free of the orbit of the father. “I am looking forward to the day my solitude ends, and I’m home,” Roy affirms, and so the unknown of “Ad Astra” moves both away from the solar system Clifford spent his life exploring and that offers Earth no second chance, and away from the man Roy once was toward someone deciding to take a second chance on himself. The unknown now, the home that awaits Roy, is Earth, the planet he loathed in mimicry of his father. The loneliness of our existence finally makes real the preciousness of it.
When Earth appears outside of Roy McBride’s window, he smiles. “Look at it. The big blue marble. Never ceases to amaze me,” Pruitt had told Roy during their flight to the Moon, and that observation seems particularly poignant now. The green trees, the blue water, the wispy clouds: It is Roy’s privilege to see them again. People run to help him, the hatch door opens, and a hand extends inward. After a moment, Roy reaches back for it. In his final psychological evaluation, Roy’s adapted perception of our world persists: Commodified and flawed as Earth may be, it’s our only shot, and our responsibility is to embrace it and improve it. “I’m unsure of the future, but I’m not concerned. I will rely on those closest to me. And I will share their burdens, as they share mine. I will live and love.” As we listen to that proclamation, Roy drinks a cup of coffee in a café. He turns to the window. He sees Eve. And in that moment, he’s not H. Clifford McBride’s son. He is his own man, and his next journey awaits.
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2020.08.26 22:15 RTKGuy Window voyeur videos

Stepping out of the cabin for the first time in days felt like an act of pure freedom, as if I’d been given an extension on my lifespan. That feeling faded quickly as I took in the shadowed land. The pale moonlight lit up the treetops but it mostly created more dark spots than it dispelled. Theo had stepped out with me, totally at ease with circumstances despite the fact that we were very clearly all alone. I then picked up on a distant whining sound coming from above us. I looked about and spotted a green light centered within a dark insectile silhouette. Theo pointed to it and said, “Third Eye. It’s keeping watch on us. It’s how I know we’re safe for now.”
So we had a drone escorting us. I can’t say I was happy about that. I’d rather have a dozen soldiers keeping us safe than a drone that did nothing but watch us. Still, considering that someone had bothered to show up at all, griping felt like an act of ingratitude.
Theo began leading us through the gloom of the forest, flashlights on and probing the woods around us, heading steadily downward toward what I hoped was a throng of well-armed Locust-killing badasses. I knew the drill – follow his lead, no talking. I couldn’t help but feel anxious as we passed large patches of bramble and thick copses of trees. Yet the night air did smell wonderful and felt even better after all that time cooped up. After a time my anxiety diminished to a dull fear, where every step we made took me further away from the nightmare my life had become. After walking for close to an hour without any incidents, I gave myself permission to feel something like hope again.
That was also the point when I spotted lights through the foliage. Theo pointed to them and said, “Just through those trees.” I was picturing something out of the TV show M.A.S.H., a sea of green military tents and combat vehicles with men marching about. Why else had the MLs taken off if not out of fear of an army?
Then we came through the trees and… M.A.S.H. it was not. It was no army camp, that was for sure. There was a solitary vehicle parked on a dirt road that I would have classified as the offspring of a large RV and an armored personnel carrier, surrounded by a ring of blue-tingled floodlights. Clearly designed as an all-terrain vehicle, it was fashioned with six huge tires that came up to my chest. I got the impression that this thing was designed to take all the trappings of modern living with you while you went sightseeing in war zones and wastelands.
“So… no soldiers?” I remarked, unable to contain my disappointment any longer.
Theo stopped and gave me a sympathetic smile. “Yeah, we’re not exactly the cavalry. But trust me when I say that this is the safest place for miles around.” Oh, I definitely trusted him about that, but I still wanted a platoon standing between the monsters and me.
Our drone tagalong settled into a slow circle around the vehicle as we approached the camp. There were no guards to greet us, just the omnipresent blue glow enveloping the site. Theo walked right up a nearby metal ramp and knocked three times on a steel door on the side of the vehicle. The door unlatched and opened, and a man of light skin and light build greeted him, a tired expression on his face. This new man gave Theo a quick hello and then looked at me, scratching his shaggy brown hair as he scrutinized me.
“Unbelievable,” he muttered. Then he looked at Theo. “You owe me fifty bucks.”
“I know, man,” replied Theo. “You’ll have to wait ‘till payday, though. Too many wild nights.”
This apparently struck them as funny as they laughed and gave each other a quick fist bump. Theo looked back at me and pointed at the other guy. “This is Abbott. If he gives you a hard time, let me know and I’ll set him straight.”
Theo moved past him and into the vehicle. Theo came out to greet me with a handshake. Unlike Theo, he was wearing civilian clothing, and his Hawaiian shirt was especially loud and colorful. “I guess you were expecting a more professional outfit, huh?”
“I… was expecting a lot of things,” I said.
Abbott had a disarming smile, and despite the lack of firepower around me I felt oddly at ease. “Welcome to the Oasis,” he said, waving at the vehicle. “It’s 100% Locust-proof, even when parked. The lights are just our first line of defense. But just in case, let’s continue this conversation inside.”
The interior continued the theme of some wild engineer’s fantasy to combine living quarters with military preparedness. The back half contained a cramped kitchen, bunk-bed section, and lockers for supplies and personal effects. I figured a bathroom was somewhere in there too. The front half was full of logistical equipment, the crown jewel being the desk with six separate LCD monitors sporting all kinds of video footage, charts, tables, and graphs. Most of the gear was bolted down in one fashion or another. No wasted space and no windows, and little in the way of decoration. I started to feel like I had traded on survivalist shelter for another. I immediately missed the cold air of the outside, and there was a certain pervasive odor wrinkling my nose, the kind of sweat stink that comes from perspiring people stuck together in close quarters for a long time. Complaints aside, I did feel safe again, and considering that I hadn’t felt that way in days it was the best gift this group could’ve given me.
Abbott was busy sealing the main door while Theo relaxed in the kitchen area, putting up his feet and downing a bottle of water. I was about to ask if there was only the two of them when I almost stepped on the third member of their team, lying prone on the floor halfway into a compartment positioned under the computer desk. At first I could only see green pants and a pair of boots, but the body quickly crawled back out. She didn’t notice me as she moved to stand, holding what appeared to be a mousetrap with a very-dead mouse stuck to it. She also shared Abbott’s disdain for uniforms as she wore a blue tank top and a multicolored beaded necklace, topped off with long brown hair streaked with bright strands of lavender.
“Third one in a week,” she said absently, her pleasant voice unable to mask her disgust at the dead thing in her hands. “You’d think a vehicle that’s Locust-proof would be rodent-proof as well.” She then noticed me at last with a start, and I realized how young she really was, no more than twenty. Thanks to Madison, I had carried this idea that Wranglers were old veterans with scars and wrinkles. It hadn’t occurred to me that there might be younger blood in the ranks.
“Oh, sorry,” she said. “I knew you were coming, but I didn’t think you’d get here this quickly.” She walked over to a sealed metal garbage can, opened it, and deposited the dead rat. I caught a whiff of strong decay from the container – it was where the rodent corpses abided.
Abbott came to my side and pointed at the third member of their party. “This is Lazlo. She takes care of tech and pests.”
“Still can’t get rid of you, though,” Lazlo joked at Abbott, resealing the can. She made to shake my hand, then realized it was the hand that had been holding the mouse, so she detoured to get a sanitation wipe.
“So, up for a debriefing?” Abbott asked me. “Any information you could give us might be helpful here.”
“Abbott, give the guy a break,” chimed in Theo. “He’s been stuck in a basement for two weeks.”
Abbott frowned and looked Theo’s way. “We don’t have time for him to detox, Theo.”
“You can give him hospitality, though,” said Lazlo. She held a water bottle and a protein bar and offered them my way. I took the water bottle and drank deeply of it.
“I’m up for it,” I said. That wasn’t bravado on my part. I was too wound up by my rescue to sleep. “Do I get to ask questions too?”
“In time,” Abbott said, and then glanced at Lazlo. “What’s Third Eye saying?”
“Pack’s still in the trees,” she replied. “When they come out, we’ll lock on again, but it’s been three hours since they went in there. We’ll need to send a replacement soon for Voyeur Two.”
I had no idea what any of that meant, but thankfully Lazlo noticed my confusion. “Third Eye is our drone system specially tailored to monitor Meat Locusts,” she explained. “The bastards don’t have much of a thermal reading, so we use a program designed to detect their shape and movement style. It’s a good thing they’re so identical.”
Abbott frowned at her. “Laz, it’s my job to spill our secrets. Go monitor the situation and tell me if anything changes.” She rolled her eyes and sat down at the computer desk with exaggerated exasperation.
Abbott turned to me and motioned at a pair of folding chairs. As we took our seats, Theo came over and leaned on a wall near us. He must have wanted to hear my tale. Lazlo was also sneaking glances my direction.
“Forgive me, and us, if we’re a little rusty on interpersonal skills,” said Abbott. “We’ve been doing our own thing for some time.”
“No problem,” I said. “I must admit, I thought all you Wranglers were the lone wolf hunter types.”
“Many are,” he admitted. “Some of us do things different.”
“We fight monsters with science,” Lazlo commented in a singsong voice.
“Pretty much true,” Abbott confirmed. “I think you deserve to know that we weren’t here for you specifically, Hector. I did make a promise to Madison that if the opportunity availed us we would search the area you were last seen in, but only if it didn’t jeopardize our bigger priorities. It just so happens that the pack we’re pursuing came your direction. For what it’s worth, Madison painted you as a potential survivor, which is why I made my bet with Theo.”
“I usually win these bets,” chimed in Theo.
“Madison saved my ass,” I told them. “I’m no survivalist.”
Abbott showed a thin smile. “Hector, the MLs dine on survivalists regularly. Nobody does well against these things unless they’re willing to change paradigms. You did, and here you are.”
There was definitely charm to the guy, and he made me feel like one of the gang despite the fact that I’d just met them. “So how is Madison? She’s okay, right?
Lazlo practically flew over to us as I finished my question, holding an I-Pad in front of me as she scrolled through a series of pictures at lightning speed. With a wide smile she finally stopped at a photo showing a hospital room with a supremely annoyed occupant in a hospital bed looking at the camera and scowling. I found myself laughing, mostly out of relief, with Lazlo joining me in the mirth of the moment.
“I don’t think I’ve ever met a person more angry at getting photographed than Madison,” said Lazlo. “This picture is from three days ago.”
“She suffered a pretty bad abdominal wound and major blood loss,” added Abbott. “She’s a tough one, though. Always has been. Doctors want her in the hospital for another week. We’ll see who wins that battle.”
“Sounds like you know here pretty well,” I said.
Abbott shrugged. “We have… conferences of sorts. Meetings where Wranglers get together to share data and techniques. We’ve talked. Can’t say we see eye-to-eye on much. She’s old-school and I’m the opposite. But she did contact me after she regained consciousness. By then, Crusoe was almost a week into its ML infestation.”
“God damn monsters,” spat out Theo.
“The MLs?” I asked.
“The government,” he clarified. “They should’ve contacted us on Day One. They let this thing go on for six days before they got other Wranglers involved.”
“How many of you are here?” I asked.
“Besides us three, there’s two others back in town,” Theo replied. “They’re in an advisory role, making sure the police and the National Guard know what they’re up against.”
I didn’t really want to know the answer to the question I was about to ask, but I asked it nonetheless. “So how bad is it?”
The three of them exchanged looks, probably trying to decide who gets to tell me the news. Abbott was ultimately overpowered by the stares of the other two. After all, he was the one in charge. He sighed helplessly.
“I’ll make you a deal, Hector,” he said. “We do have a ongoing situation, and I need your intel more than you need mine. You give me your gory story, and I’ll answer every Locust-related question you want to ask afterwards.”
“He means it, too,” said Lazlo. “He loves the sound of his voice.”
“It’s the only voice here that doesn’t give me a headache,” he joked back. The others laughed, and I admit that I laughed with them. I certainly could think of worse fates than being stuck with these three. At least we all knew how to laugh. I don’t know if laughter is, in fact, the best medicine, but it does help to shield one from the horrors.
*****
So I told them all of it. My stupid and heroic trek to save my ex-girlfriend, the horror and carnage I encountered, my fateful meeting with Madison, and our ensuing attempt to reach safety. I half-expected to bore my listeners, considering how much more massive their experience was to mine concerning the Meat Locusts, but all three of them seemed attentive to my story. Perhaps they were starved of alternative viewpoints – I would learn later that all three of them had spent a rather inordinate amount of time together in distant locations, bereft of human culture and contact. They might have been socially starved. Then again, it might have been intelligence gathering. Lazlo zeroed in on the effectiveness of the flash balls, while Theo critiqued Madison’s hunting strategy. Abbott just took it all in, never giving away any preference or interest in any one piece of data I reported.
I talked for a long time, and when I was done I felt drained, as if telling my story had released all the tension bottled up inside me. Despite my growing fatigue, I resisted asking for a bunk. I told Abbott to start in on his part of the deal. Abbott happily obliged. Abbott asked me where I wanted to start, and I told him to tell me about his group. In particular, how was it that Madison was so starved for support and equipment while Abbott’s team seemed to have Batman levels of tech and preparation. Abbott confessed that he was, in fact, cheating when it came to funding. In fact, what he was doing was technically illegal. Abbott was actually a professor; Doctor Ben Abbott from Yale, out on a very long sabbatical. Some funding came from the college, which Abbott routinely fed extremely long and detailed research reports that would eventually be publicly disclosed once the government could no longer keep the MLs a secret… which, considering recent events, was about to occur. He also had a business deal with a gun manufacturer who fed Abbott money through a few off-shore accounts, on the grounds that once the MLs went public, they’d be positioned to sell specialized equipment to a now-paranoid public and, pardon the pun, make a killing. Abbott figured that at least a few government officials knew about his alternate funding arrangements, but as long as he produced results and didn’t cross any lines they looked the other way. I can’t say I approved of all that under-the-table dealing, but as Abbott put it, having the funding to properly study the MLs was paying off in spades. His group’s research was helping other Wranglers track and kill MLs far more effectively than before, which meant more lives getting saved in the process.
Yes, Abbott’s group was mostly about research. Before Crusoe, they were stationed in the Midwest, following packs that kept to the flyover parts of America. With fewer people in harm’s way, the team had more time to track and monitor the monsters’ behavior and patterns. The isolation also helped to keep their work hidden from prying eyes and social media. Abbott and Lazlo did most of the scientific work, while Theo was in charge of defense and hunting.
“Don’t you get bored working with researchers?” I asked Theo at one point.
He laughed lightly at my question and said, “Pal, keeping these two alive is a full-time job. Boredom doesn’t enter into it.”
Indeed, researching the MLs meant getting uncomfortably close to them frequently. The team also took out packs heading for human habitations. Theo boasted that they had one of the highest kill rates of any Wrangler team, though he grudgingly confessed that Madison had the highest individual total.
“That’s why were out here and not on defense,” Abbott told me. “The behavior we’re seeing now from the MLs is… well, I think word unprecedented gets way overused these days, but it’s definitely appropriate here. They’ve got enough guns for Crusoe. What they need is intelligence. That’s where we come in.”
And just like that, we had segued into the Crusoe infestation. An infestation is what Wranglers called it when a pack of MLs takes an interest in a particular human settlement. Most of the time it was a small town or village, sometimes a campground or resort. The little monsters would attack people on the very outskirts, slaughtering a group of campers or an entire household in the wilderness, then run off to expand their numbers. When enough humans were present, MLs had a tendency to get into a feeding frenzy and lose any sense of cover and furtiveness. It made them easy to pinpoint – just follow the carnage and you’d find them eventually. Infestations rarely got past the remote-kill stage before a Wrangler caught wind of their killings and went in to clean things up.
This time was different. They were using hit-and-run tactics against one or two individuals, dragging the victims away instead of eating them right then and there. They were letting their victims call for help before killing them, causing family members, friends, and would-be rescuers such as the police to go out and find them, only for some of them to go missing or become victims themselves. It had gotten bad enough that the state government was now frantically urging people to not leave Crusoe’s city limits, and that anyone who did was on their own. The current casualty total was at twenty-seven dead and forty-seven missing, some of whom were police and emergency responders.
“That’s just the ones we know about,” Lazlo had commented. “People on vacation, loggers and road workers, transients and homeless folks, thrill seekers wanting to see the mess for themselves – I’m sure there’s more than a few of them that have become Locust chow.”
“Every person the MLs take down can feed at least eight of them,” said Abbott. “We used to take it for granted that they were too sloppy and impatient to pull off a more methodical strategy, but here they are, doing it. They’re avoiding armed confrontation, choosing to pick off the weaker elements of the town and then run off to bud. I think you see the problem, Hector.”
I nodded, and the certainty of that realization hit me like a sledgehammer. “They’re growing an army,” I said.
“They’re well on their way to doing it, too,” said Abbott. “Our best estimate is there was at least three hundred MLs in the area now. They’ve taken losses from our defenses, but the only thing that is slowing down their growth rate is the government lockdown order. Fewer people moving around means fewer lunches.”
“So what’s the game plan?” I asked. “Why isn’t the military involved now?”
Theo grunted at my question. “I’m in touch with a few military contacts. Being ex-Navy does have its perks. Trust me, they would get involved, but the current administration still wants to keep their part of the cover-up under wraps. Military involvement would all but ensure that the MLs go public. So they won’t support military action unless we start seeing a serious increase in deaths. God knows what that threshold looks like.”
“As for our game plan,” answered Abbott, “we’re still working on that. Our main focus is to figure out why the MLs have changed tactics.”
“That’s why you’re up here, then,” I said. “Not to find survivors, but to study the MLs.” My words came out colder than I meant them to be. I surely did appreciate my rescuers, but shouldn’t saving lives be the priority and not studying the newest antics from a bunch of murder-monsters?
“We were searching homes for any survivors as we went, Hector,” defended Lazlo, “but we didn’t expect to find any. You’ve seen how the Locusts work. It’s why we’re frankly amazed you survived out there. The odds of your average layperson encountering a pack and living to tell the tale is… well, let’s just say you’re better off going up against lightning.”
I gave her a grim nod. I did understand the logic, but I doubt anyone likes to hear how little the world cares about their welfare. The politicians looking out for their careers, the military putting a carnage number to their intervention, the people of Crusoe hunkering down while hoping for salvation, and I get saved by a team of wandering researchers.
Lazlo must have decided that her words had been less than reassuring as she then found a reason to avoid eye contact with me by glancing at her monitors. Abbott motioned at me to come with him toward the back of the vehicle while Theo headed for the kitchen nook. Sharing time had just come to an end.
“You’ll have to forgive Lazlo for her bluntness,” Abbott explained, gesturing to an empty bunk that I could use during my stay. “We don’t get to comfort survivors very often.”
“No big deal,” I replied. “She’s better at it than Madison.”
Abbott laughed at my statement. “In any case, you should probably get some sleep while things are quiet. I can’t promise you that we can head back to Crusoe soon, but if you stay with us you’ll be just fine.”
I went and sat on the bottom bunk, testing out the mattress. It was definitely better than the cement floor I’d been sleeping on for the last two weeks. “Do you have any idea why the pack around my house left like it did?”
Abbott shook his head. “That’s the mystery, isn’t it? We were following another pack going this direction, which was unusual in and of itself because it’s away from the feeding grounds of Crusoe. I figured if a pack would willingly give up on their hunting, they had to have another objective in mind. That’s when we saw them merge with the pack surrounding your cabin. Hours after that, they all just left. They went into a large copse of trees and… they’re still in there. They haven’t eaten anyone since we locked onto them with Third Eye three days ago, so I’m pretty sure they’re not budding in there.”
Abbott then told me that I could eat or drink anything in storage, he showed me the bathroom, and he reminded me not to leave the vehicle without running it by him first. Finally, he told me that while I was free to roam for now, this was technically a military team and if I attempted to interfere with their operations or endanger the team in any way, they did have a brig of sorts in the very back. Namely, it was a closet and it was very cramped, but it did have air holes.
He left me to get what sleep I could. I wondered if the others were ever going to sleep, but I didn’t wonder for long because as soon as my head hit the mattress all that weariness that I had struggled against for days on end finally won the battle and sleep took me. For the first time in what felt like forever, I felt safe.
It’s a shame that feeling safe and being safe are two separate aspects of life. When we confuse the two, bad things always happen.
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https://preview.redd.it/8s8hc7izwmb51.jpg?width=128&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=dbdb1a3c3c5744e4656f79be7d247883d4aa90b4
submitted by Bago18JulOly to Home_Made_Fun [link] [comments]


2020.07.04 00:09 AuthorJoJo A site without a URL, and its horrifying videos

It's no secret that the internet is fit to burst with the amount of strange and “Unexplained” videos that surface every day. We've become so numb to the norm created by these videos that nothing crawls under our skin like it used to. We search for the ever-diminishing high of being afraid. Of being so dumbfounded by what's on-screen that we question the limits of reality.
Maybe I'm being too dramatic. But for me, these videos have become so mundane that I no longer get anything from them. I just sit in front of my computer resting my chin in the palm of my hand just looking for a rush. Deep into the night, I watch the same formulaic scene playing out over and over.
Grainy and poor quality videos capturing something slipping off into the woods or a spectral figure crossing between two doors. It's 2020 how are there no high-quality pictures or footage of the things that used to scare us. It's almost like bigfoot became privy to the advances of technology and got better at hiding. What's worse than not being scared, was losing my wonder.
I started realizing how fake so many of these videos were and even the ones that were done well seemed easy enough to question their validity. So I began to doubt the existence of anything that used to keep me up those nights. Aliens. Ghost. Monsters. If the videos were all fake in an age where everyone is streaming or has eight-hundred dollar phones. Then maybe they just weren't real.
Moving away from videos I started traversing forums. To see if anyone was feeling the way I was feeling. To see if anyone had something that could spark that light of creativity again. What was sparked, was curiosity. Now and then on different sites, I would see mention of a website that contained unsettling content. Not the gory kind you would find on something like liveleak. But videos that we're extraordinary and unusual.
Needless to say, I became hooked on the idea of finding this website. I would message anyone who made even a passing mention of it for details. No one ever offered me information. Only replying that if I kept looking for it, I'll find it eventually. I asked specifically if it was a “Dark web” type thing knowing that's a hub for a bunch of strange content. All the people I asked confirmed that it wasn't, it was on the surface.
Somewhere a website hosting a treasure trove of odd videos was waiting for me. I couldn't understand why no one would just link me to the site or describe the video. The best information I got was “It's just a matter of chance.” And that my chance was increased by actively seeking it out and that's about all I could do. To find it I had to look for it, which sounds easy enough but by god did it take forever.
My google search history must look absolutely manic. I would search for some strange keywords and then immediately dive into the later pages of the search. I figured a site like that wouldn't be sitting within the first few pages of results. I just remember being told that I would know I was in the right place when I got there.
Days went by and while I did stumble across several intriguing things I always felt the sites weren't “It.” And then with sleep-deprived eyes and weary fingers, I found what I believe to be the website others were speaking about. It became clear pretty quickly why no one was able to directly link me to the site as the URL remained blank. Even searching for the same term in google failed to get me back to the site, like it had shifted its place after I found it.
The page itself was blank as well. Nothing but a large black screen. Not knowing what to do I moved my mouse to the empty URL and highlighted it to see if the text was hidden somehow. After highlighting the area some text popped up in the URL space. It read “Video:”
Doing the only logical thing I could think of I simply put the number '1' after the new URL text and then a video began to occupy the once dark webpage. It was a video of someone streaming, they didn't have any viewers but they sat in their room talking to the camera. Nothing really seemed off about it. The room was well lit and the streamer didn't look like anything out of the average. I watched him talk about his day for a minute or two, again he didn't mention anything odd. Then there was a large bang off-camera that caught his attention.
He looked towards what I could only assume was his bedroom door. I could hear the click of the door opening, realizing he mentioned earlier that he lived alone. He looked visibly concerned, the hair on his head ruffled from the pressure of the door swinging open. His chest started to heave looking at something offscreen. His voice was quivering through chattering teeth. He repeated “What the fuck.” over and over like his brain was skipping.
Starting to rise out of his chair he started asking what the thing off-camera was. Screaming at the top of his lungs as he started backing up. Turning his head to the camera I could see tears running down his cheek. His eyes were, distant. Like they were broken or he couldn't come to terms with what he was seeing. And just there, at the climax, the stream ended and the webpage returned to darkness.
I sat there for a moment looking at the dark screen. I played the video once again. Trying to find something recognizable. Surely a clip like this would have spread around it was just so weird. It seemed so genuine too. I'm not sure how I would react to certain situations but the streamer looked like had seen something no one ever expects to see. After collecting myself I realized that I had found that high I was looking for.
The video was just so bizarre and off-putting that my skin was starting to crawl thing of what the streamer might have seen just off-camera. I found myself angry that the stream didn't continue long enough to get a look. But with my newfound source of horror, I started going through one video after another. I was afraid if I clicked off the site I wouldn't be able to find it again or that it would take days of searching again. I sure as hell couldn't bookmark it.
Not all the videos were all that scary to me. A lot of times they were just what looked like home videos. People doing average things, although, in a way that unsettled me too, I felt like an outside observer and was uncomfortable with the voyeurism. Sometime I would notice little things in the background of these videos though. So all of them may have something going on and I just failed to notice.
Like with video: 26. It was just a guy in his late teens sitting on his bed practicing guitar. He was a beginner and the odd twangs of miss played notes filled my room. With the guy sitting on the bed I could see the window behind him. For a brief moment, no more than a few frames it seems like the bright blue sky shifts deep green and then back to blue.
I barely picked up on it and maybe it's nothing but it was an oddity in the video nonetheless so it made me a little more observant of the backgrounds. Some videos, however, it was all too clear what I was supposed to be looking at. Subtly went out of the window on videos like video: 14.
It was a dark room with one source of buzzing light casting down on a man laying on a concrete floor. He was shirtless and panting heavily. I could see dark spots under him where sweat or tears had stained the gray floor. Hunched over on his knees and forearms he kept telling someone off-camera that he told them everything he knew. This went on for a moment and then the man said “Please don't do it again.”
Just as his sentence dissipated into the air I saw his right arm start to lift up and then violently jerk backward. The sound of bones cracking and the man's shrill cry of pain caused me to nearly fall out of my chair. The joint of his shoulder and elbow completely failed him and the back of his hand slapped his spine. I know some people can do that but judging by the anguish on his face I don't think he was one of them.
He collapsed to the floor, no longer screaming. I could see his joints bulging underneath his skin as his body was dragged off-screen. The whole time I watched him nothing made contact with his person. The ease of which his arm bent the wrong way, it was so swift with no hesitation like someone just willed it to be. The video ended but I could still hear his screaming in my ear. Luckily some of the more mundane videos played after that one like the site was giving me a break.
Some of the videos were just bizarre. Obviously, all the videos were bizarre but there were some stands out that cause me to stop and think. For example Video: 79. Yes I watched a lot of them, they were so interesting and I just couldn't help myself- Anyways Video: 79 starts with a man walking into the water from the beach. The sky is gray and cloudy and I don't hear anything other than the crashing waves and his mumbling.
The waves get louder as he walks further out, the water ever-rising around him but I start to pick up what he's saying. Over and over again he's repeating “It's 1879”. He just keeps mumbling that into the camera he's holding as the water rises around him. It's 1879. It's 1879. It's 1879. His voice starts to bubble when the water reaches his lips.
A few brief times the water dips under the murky green water. I had to watch the video over and over as there was no way to pause it but I could swear when the camera dipped under the water. I could see the silhouettes of buildings. Tall skyscrapers hiding under the ocean's surface. It looked like new york but just as the camera dips a final time the video ends with one last “It's 1879.”
I began to wonder if some of the videos were connected somehow when I played Video: 80. It saw a naval officer being filmed on a large boat. I'm terrible with military stuff, it was some kind of air-craft carrier though. There was a ton of chatter around the boat as the camera followed the officer who was maintaining a brisk pace.
As he reached the edge of the ship a few of his crew members motioned for him to hurry up to which he replied by asking what was going on. As he reached the edge of the ship the camera looked out at the sea. Panning further down there was a shadow under the water, it was long and prominent against the crystal blue. The mumbling around the Officer began to increase as the shadow began to grow in size.
The Officer began shouting for everyone to get to a safe station. To brace themselves. It wasn't had to tell that what was causing the dark spot was rising to the surface. That once it reached the surface It was going to be massive, likely thicker than the Carrier. As the operator of the camera panned up to start running away from the edge, I saw very briefly, a man standing on the water facing the boat. Then the video ends.
It's a common theme that the videos end right before the climax, but not all of them follow this rule. Like Video: 44. This video is possibly the most graphic one I saw out of the bunch and it's also one of the shorter ones. There are two people on camera and whoever is controlling the camera. The two on-screen are girls that look fairly young, early teens maybe and judging by the voice of the cameraman he was around their age.
The one girl mentioned that her mother told her “Not to stay past sundown.” As the cameraman filled the trees around them. He was telling the girl to relax and all the rumors were full of shit. The other girl laughed but it was a nervous laugh. They walked briefly before their progress was interrupted by a large snap. It sounded like a tree had fallen. Then one of the girls asked, “What are those?”
The camera panned in the direction and in the distance where soft glowing amber lights. Like aggressive fireflies. The camera pans back to the girl just as her legs are swept out from under her and she falls to the floor. Before she can muster a whimper her body is lifted by a thick dark shadow and tossed aside. She was thrown with such force that when she hit a nearby tree it looked like she was, I think she was torn in half at the torso.
It was hard to see as the motion was so quick and it was so dark but her shadow that was once whole split into two and tumbled through the trees. The other girl watched in horror as her friend experienced cell division mere feet from here. Without any time to process what had happened or start running that same tendril bore through the girl's chest. The weak light of the camera showed her injury in harsh detail.
The end of the tendril seemed to be sprouting branches from the small pockets of blood that rested on the dark and slimy surface. The girl turned her head slowly and I recognized a familiar amber glow starting to ignite in her eyes. The boy dropped the camera when they locked eyes. I could hear him attempting to flee but his footsteps suddenly stopped and the video went black. The video after that. Video: 45 was just people dancing in a club.
It was such a strange shift in tone. They just kept dancing. And while this one didn't have anything too bizarre in it. I thought I could see the people moving around would occasionally have something protruding from their skin as they were dancing, at least, I thought they were dancing. The video goes to black before anything happens though.
There are a lot of videos on this site, way too many to go over them all at once and I don't even know if I reached the end. I fell asleep after watching Video: 121 and when I woke up my computer had gone into sleep and the page was gone. Video: 120 was a woman holding her phone up to a mirror while she reached into her mouth.
She started to pull her hand back and as she did a thin strand started to be revealed. She was making retching noises and she continued pulling. She had her arm almost stretched out in front of her still pulling the thing out. Then it seemed to wriggle and in an instant seemed to retreat into her mouth causing her to vomit in the sink.
I heard the woman angrily exclaim “Fuck this.” Before reaching for a knife resting on the white sink. Then, of course, the video cuts. These are just some of the videos that stuck out to me, if I could direct you to the place I would, even I'm having trouble finding it again. I'm not sure if any of these are real but I can confidently say I've never seen them anywhere but this site. The reactions and looks of everything feel so real. Even now a lot of what I saw I'm struggling to shake.
If I find it again and see more, maybe I'll be back, and if I can find a way to get a path to the site I'll be back. But for now, I leave you with one more video that stuck with me. “Video 57.”

The video starts with a man walking through an empty house. No furniture or anything. Only a bleak green carpet lining the floors of each room. He would look out the windows he passed by but wouldn't point the camera out there. I watched him get increasingly frantic as he started running room to room. Each look out the window seemed to break him a little more.
Eventually, he ran to the front door and with a trembling hand unlocked it. Swinging the door open the source of his concern became alarmingly clear. A crowd of plain gray mannequins lifted their heads to meet his gaze. There were so many that I could barely see any of the front yard, just shoulder to shoulder mannequins.
His breath was rapid and harsh right against the camera. He started screaming at the scene before him, almost in defiance. He kept egging them on, telling them to “Get it over with.” And when he'd had enough of the motionless figures he slammed the door shut. Turning around to face the rest of the house something caused him to drop his phone.
It landed face down on the carpet showcases the dark green. I heard a struggle and the shuffling of feet filling the house. Then the camera was picked up, plain gray fingers laced around it bending at visible plastic joints. The thing manipulating the camera pointed it at the man that was being pinned down by the figures.
I was waiting for it to cut to black like I had seen so many times before but instead I watched as a horde of mannequins hovered over the man and started to peel away at him. He was screaming and trying to fight against it, telling them he didn't want to go back.
As they ripped at his flesh I was surprised at the lack of gore, no blood or bone. As they ripped his face apart all I saw, was a plain gray shell underneath and then the video cuts to black. It's something I have no idea what to make of. The amount of production that would have been necessary to do whatever the hell that was. I couldn't find anything like it, that goes for most of the videos.
I'm not sure why these videos only make it to this site, why we aren't seeing them on youtube or any other platform. Hell, I don't know anything about this. All I know is it offered me a high I hadn't ever felt before and filled me with a dread I don't think I'll ever shake. The feeling of something out there beyond me always gnawing at the back of my neck.
As conflicted as I am, I'll search for that high until I find it again. I have to know what else is out there. How many videos are there, what is video: 121? For my money, I can only conclude that the things I saw on that site were real. Maybe I wasn't supposed to see them.
All I know is I have to find that place again.
submitted by AuthorJoJo to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.06.17 21:50 spear_fishing Window voyeur videos

Content Warning: There's a baby that's in danger. Now you know.

I’m a Voyeur. It is not a sex thing. We get called when something horrifying happens that needs a witness who isn’t going to scream and cry and try and run. We do not have a choice. The other Voyeurs call me Black Hat, you can read a little more about me and what I do here. Last time I checked in I explained why you shouldn't trust the sun. We live in a fucked up world with fucked up things that don’t have sharp teeth and a taste for eyes. Those are hard enough to avoid. But it can be much, much worse.
The last few weeks are a bit of a blur--the kind of period of time that starts when you randomly look at the date, blink, and when you check again it’s a month later. Nothing unnatural came and ate almost three weeks of my life, I promise. The only new monster that took interest in my ass was plain ol’ monotony. We all know it in some way or another, when the dissociation hits, it hits. Sometimes it’s only long enough to last the drive to work so that when you walk into the building you realize you can’t remember ever actually turning, elsewhere you’ll see it in the wage slave that loses five months at the office between the vacations that finally let them feel again.
Sometimes it literally is some thing that shows up and eats a month of your life. It’s less common, but it’s more common than you probably think.
I’m something of an expert when it comes to things being interested in my ass--figuratively, mostly, but there’s a non-zero chance that I’ve hooked up with someone reading this after meeting at a bar and chatting about scary stories on reddit. You’d be surprised at how effective talking about nosleep can be as a pickup line. It also helps that people being interested in my ass can often be literally true, too.
But when I say I’m an expert in things that chase I mean it. Running is usually the best answer if you want to keep your head, but sometimes you just aren’t fast enough. Sometimes you gotta fight. Sometimes that fight just ain’t fair.

The first job I fucked up taught me an extremely valuable lesson: that despite the fact that we call ourselves Voyeurs, sometimes fulfilling our duties requires getting involved. I should have known that going in. Social Engineering is an important part of hacking--frankly, the most valuable part if what you’re looking for is results--and it entirely hinges on the ability to get information out of and bypass physical locations and the people inside of them. Hacking isn’t all about command lines and cracking networks. Most of the time it involves ringing up a call center over and over until you can catch some poor minimum wage employee who’s willing to say the wrong thing to the wrong person. Believe it or not, but tricking a customer service agent into giving you their credentials is, often literally, infinitely faster than trying to do it with a computer program.
What that means, functionally, is that sometimes in order to get to the end of your job you have to actually get your hands dirty. Up until my first failure I’d never needed to do anything that took me beyond the broad internet, wifi, or a bluetooth connection. If I couldn’t do it in my car, I could do it in a Starbucks. Or a park. Or a library. So when I found myself sitting outside of a small server center in Pittsburgh that required me to be a bit more physical than usual I ignored everything screaming at me to head inside the building and figured I must have missed something. I knew what I needed to do and I knew that I could do it, but to be honest, I was afraid of whatever might be in there. I was desperate to cling onto that last bit of safety my laptop provided me from really, truly, viscerally experiencing the monsters I’d just started getting used to seeing.
I knew I’d fucked up. My fear won. My body was, however temporarily, broken as punishment for it. I’d probably do it again if I had to do it over.
The second time--the situation that left me with my second, mouth-less shadow--was different. I didn’t fuck up because I was afraid. I fucked up because I was angry. I failed because, no matter how many times you see these monsters prey on the weak and unsuspecting, sometimes it ends up being too much. I wish, like the first time, I could say I would choose it again. I wish I could say that the anger would have beat the promise of years of looking over my shoulder had I known what was coming. I wouldn’t. You can call me a coward, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but the kind of paranoia that comes packaged with the Thing with no Mouth’s presence exhausts me in a way that, frankly, I’d trade almost anything to escape. But I can’t. Don’t even think death’s gonna let me slip away from this one..
It started with a text message. It contained a phone number, a license plate, and a four digit PIN. The license plate was registered to Amber Hollington, a single mother that worked six days a week to scrape together barely enough for some shitty low-end Boston apartment and enough baby mush to make sure her 10 month old’s bones wouldn’t be too brittle if he was lucky enough for them to set. The number and the PIN belonged to the barebones smartphone she used to call her mother three states away and watch Youtube videos of people eating every item on the menu at restaurants she knew she’d never be able to afford.
It also allowed me to access her device’s location. She’d installed a real time tracking app, undoubtedly in an effort to provide some insurance in case the phone ended up getting lost.. Unfortunately for her she used the same PIN to access it that she used to unlock her phone. Unfortunately for her that exact same PIN was sitting in my text inbox ready and waiting.
It was about ten in the evening in mid-April when I eventually managed to catch up with her. Her updated location showed her sitting around at a rest stop outside of Boston. During the drive out I took the chance to do some basic poking around--I checked her Facebook for updates, her recent texts, and her search history. She was making the long trip with her kid to visit her Mom a few states over. They hadn’t talked in years, but recently reconnected when her son was born and had plans to celebrate her Mother’s birthday out in middle America. Her mom wanted to take her grandson to the aquarium and make the two of them a big dinner afterwards. Her mom wanted to find a way to make up forfucking up when Amber was a kid.
When I pulled up I saw her through the window of a diner. Some part of my thing makes it obvious what I’m supposed to be watching. Usually. Sometimes I think they make it harder just to fuck with me. Her Facebook profile picture had been updated recently, though she did a good job of making sure her high school friends couldn’t see the dark rings that had settled under her eyes. But she was there, a woman in her mid-twenties whose blonde hair was vibrant and full of youth despite the dark circles that marked her as someone who had seen far too much, far too soon.
She sat across from her son. It’s weird--in all of the searching I’d done on my way to catch up to her I read through countless posts and texts and updates that mentioned her kid but neither then, nor now, could I tell you what his name was. I know he had one, obviously, because she bragged about him on social media, but when I tried to read it my mind shorted out. I knew I was looking at his name, and that she was saying it, but to this day I have no fucking idea what it might be.
She had him laying in his carrier on the far corner of the table opposite her, right up against the window. I couldn’t see him inside of it from my car, but I could see the ridiculous faces she’d make at him and the satisfied look that came after when he invariably giggled back. At some point earlier she’d ordered some food--a breakfast combo that had been whittled down to a yolk-stained quarter of egg white and some crumbles of bacon she’d periodically pick up with her fingers and pop into her mouth. The food was an afterthought. A concession. All she wanted in that moment was to watch her son and make him laugh. I think she was good at it, too. Grateful for the chance to have this moment. Her kid was too young to recognize as meaningful--so I decided to appreciate it for him.
We sat there for about an hour. You might think that with all of the murder and monsters it’d make someone like me constantly aware, but you’d be wrong. Sitting in a car waiting for something to happen is, maximum, neutral. Frankly, most of the time it’s straight up fucking boring. But she looked happy--which I’m ashamed to say frustrated me at the time. I wasn’t exactly new to the job at that point, but I wasn’t where I am today. I was in this fucked up limbo that left me desensitized enough to ignore the weight of these situations without giving the very real people involved the respect they deserved. Even if they’d never know I was giving it. Trauma will do that. Amber deserved better.
I spent another hour watching a trashy reality show I’d downloaded onto my phone, periodically glancing up to make sure I hadn’t lost my mark. There wasn’t really much to watch otherwise with the shitty service. Besides me, the parking lot featured two semis camped out for the night, a pickup, and three or four sedans sitting empty while their occupants mainlined enough coffee to get them through their drive. At one point a mom van pulled in and parked near the door just long enough for a twenty-something to run inside to piss quickly before she got chewed out for not going before they left. Quiet, otherwise.
I think Amber was hesitant to keep going. She’d had a pretty rough time with her parents growing up. Her Dad was the kind of breadwinner that had a lot of opinions on what and how you were meant to act in order to be a decent, God-fearing American. Her Mom was the type that if she’d grown up a little bit south and been born a little bit later she’d have projected her insecurities on her kid and attempted to, vicariously, find meaning through signing Amber up for beauty pageants. Instead she channeled it into emotional abuse and spent hours every week watching some millionaire fuck in a megachurch half the country away preach about how important love and family is. Like her Dad said, Perfect American Family..
She was a fighter, though. And she was smart, regardless of the bullshit her parents fed her. She was popular in school and worked her ass off to earn the A’s she’d bring home on her report cards,. But when all you are to your parents is stuffing for their own emotional void, a 4.0 GPA and a spot on the Varsity Volleyball team doesn’t cut it. Her life at home was divided between navigating the expectations of her parents and avoiding them as much as possible. Probably won’t surprise you to learn she was out of the house if she could help it..
By high school she was well on her way to being as perfectly functional an adult as being a Millenial allows. In spite of her home life. She spent time with her friends, she played sports, she got a part time job and made the absolutely baffling fucking decision to put her paychecks into a savings account instead of blowing instantly like I would have.I don’t know how old you are reading this, but if you have teens in your life, cut them some fucking slack. It’s harder than you remember. Her parents didn’t know about the cash, and by graduation she planned to be on whatever plane took her as far from them as possible. Maybe then they’d realize just how much they fucked up. They wouldn’t, she knew, but just like those food binging Youtube videos she watched she found some comfort in the thought.
By early senior year she’d started experimenting with all of the things most teenagers end up trying at some point or another. Dating progressed from goodnight kisses to loudly making out in a movie theater while some movie she’d never remember barely covered the noise. Late night phone calls with friends turned into midnight escapes so she could not inhale the cigarettes her best friend snatched out of her older brother’s bedroom.
Eventually, she ended up taking part in what I consider to be the most fundamental and important rebel teenager tradition: pounding back a bottle of plastic bottle vodka, in a park with your friends, at three in the morning. No hesitation. No chaser. No hangover the next day. The benefits of youth. These days it doesn’t matter how much I drink, I swear to god my hangovers have doubled in severity year over year. What I’d give to be nineteen again and be able to down half a bottle of Malibu and be completely fine the next day.
Most of the time this tradition ends with you stumbling back home or passing out on your friends floor. Amber, however, was unlucky. Catastrophically. For most kids I knew growing up getting caught meant you’d get an MIC (Minor in Consumption) tossed on your record, a stern talking to, and a slap on the wrist. When a cop passed by while they were a shot away from tossing the bottle in the trash and fucking off back to someone’s house they didn’t even think to try and scatter. They took the hit, waited until their pissed off parents came to pick them up, and by five in the morning Amber was sitting on her living room couch hoping that vein in her Dad’s neck would just fucking pop so he’d stop fucking screaming.
I think, if she’d played it differently, the night might have ended with a year's worth of being grounded and a lot more bullshit in her day-to-day, but otherwise mostly stable. But Amber was a tired, pissed off, extremely drunk teenager who decided that day was the day she’d had enough. When her Dad screamed, she screamed back. When her Mom slapped her, she spit in her face. When they shouted the bullshit lies she’d been hearing since she was a kid she told them to shut the fuck up. She screamed the kind of truths you only know when you’re an angry kid who lost the family lottery.
The night didn’t end with a slap on the wrist. It ended with her father picking her up by the waist and tossing her out on the front porch. It ended with a plane ticket to the east coast and three grand moved from her savings to her checking account. It ended with her saying goodbye to that life without a second thought.
At first, at least. Three grand doesn’t get you very far on the east coast, especially when you’re a dropout whose only experience is tearing tickets at a movie theater. For a few years she’d look back a lot. She knew that she could catch a flight back home and stay at a friend’s place until she could figure things out, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t let those motherfuckers in her family think they’d been right. Even if they already did. There were enough states between them and her to push it to the back of her mind.
.The beginning was rough, and it never got any easier. She did what she could, worked as hard as she needed to, and dug out a life for herself. It wasn’t a good one and she bled for every ounce of comfort she could find, but it was hers.
Years later she got pregnant after a shitty Tinder hookup. She decided to keep the kid despite his dad fucking off literally instantly. Her own Dad had died a few years earlier--colon cancer. He died shitting himself. Fucker got what he deserved.
A month after the birth of her son her Mom managed to track down her phone number and reach out. It took a few more months for her to convince Amber to let her meet her grandson. And a few months beyond that for Amber to get enough time away from making rent to handle the time spent visiting. I don’t know if Amber ever got over the feeling that it was a trap, but in the years since then I’m convinced her Mom was genuinely sorry. I check in on her every once in a while. She’s a better person, now.
It wouldn’t have taken me searching through her online history to learn all of that--I could have seen all of it in the way she looked at her kid. The dark circles under her eyes weren’t there just because she’d seen too much, they were the mark of someone who had lived through enough to know how to love well and to love right. Sometimes you gotta struggle for that. That’s a fight you can win.
I promise not all of my jobs involve good people dying. But if I’m going to tell my story it means I have to tell Amber’s story too. Just like Jacob’s during my first job. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
It wasn’t until after Midnight that she paid her bill and got back in her cart. The parking lot had stayed mostly empty until then and I’d drained enough of my phone’s battery to need to plug it into my car’s USB charger. She used her key to unlock the backdoor of her car, made sure her kid was safe and secure in his carseat, then quietly shuffled into the front and hit the road. I waited a few minutes to head out myself--I’d catch up to her a bit later to avoid the chance of her seeing me leave the parking lot.
We drove for about an hour before I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who had the same idea.A pair of headlines shined behind me in the distance about forty-five minutes in and I made a point to check on them periodically. Paying attention is the number one safety skill most people lack, even if I used to take my status’ safety for granted. Within a few minutes I noticed that our third wasn’t just another driver on the highway. The truck from the rest stop parking lot had pulled out behind me and was following along.
Another person driving along a highway might not seem particularly strange to most people, but with shit like this there is no such thing as coincidence It stayed quiet for the next half an hour.. That didn’t make me feel any better. --especially when the truck caught up to me, swerved to pass, and hit the gas hard enough to rocket it out in front of Amber’s sedan. It slammed on its breaks hard enough to send her just off the road, where her car stalled.
I cut my headlights and pulled off to the side a few hundred feet behind them. It wasn’t even remotely inconspicuous--but it didn’t need to be. It doesn’t matter if I’m seen as long as that doesn’t fuck things up. Chances are whatever was in that pickup knew I’d be there, and Amber seeing me wouldn’t make the monster in the truck go away.
And trust me, it was a fucking monster. Something that looked like a businessman popped open the door and planted its expensive shoes on the highway pavement.. It sauntered casually up to her window, rapped its knuckles on the glass, and waited until it was rolled down just enough to speak through it. It leaned in close, lips brushing the top of the glass, and said something quietly before pulling back a few steps. I don’t know what she heard, but it was enough for her to hastily get out of her car.
You might know this too, but there’s a kind of darkness that only exists on a highway in the middle of the night. It’s not quite the same as the darkness you have in a city, or in the wilderness--it’s got a different feel to it. A different texture. It’s different than the dark you see in the woods--we’ve touched it, we travel it, and there are things that know that very well. I’ve met more than a few truckers who know what I mean. I’ve also met a few who have warned me not to look into it for too long. With the amount of time I spend out on the interstates, I promise you should listen to that advice.
That darkness sucked up the ambient light from the stars and dimmed the light from Amber’s high beams. Wouldn’t matter if it was pitch black, though. When there’s something I’m supposed to see, I see it. To her credit, she held it together better than I would have if I was in her shoes. She put her hands out in front of her and put some distance between her car. She was trying to be quiet, pointing back to where her son was sleeping.
The thing that looked like a man followed her finger with his eyes and stared through the window for a beat. When Amber turned to look back herself I flinched at the sound of a gunshot. Then a baby’s cries. The thing had pulled a gun from its suit and fired a shot into Amber’s arm.
The reason I know for a fact this thing was a thing and not a person was clear when it reached for its gun. Its arm whipped through the air in a flash while the rest of it stayed completely still. Pure efficiency. Where it sauntered up with a confidence and a swagger to match its 3 piece suit earlier, now it was a hunter. There’s no chance Amber could have even seen it coming. I barely did and seeing is literally what I do.
Her arm was fucked, but her adrenaline kicked in. Sometimes you’re cornered. Sometimes you have to fight. She rushed it and slammed her uninjured shoulder into it with everything she had. Most of us have heard the story of that mother who lifted a car with her bare hands so she could save her kid. We all know that the surest way to get fucking killed in the woods is to get between a bear and her cubs. There’s nothing deadlier than a Mom when the life of their kid is on the line.
Nothing human, at least.
She managed to move it slightly, at least. Its gun didn’t budge an inch, but the thing lurched back when she made contact. It moved just as fast as it had before, grabbed Amber by the threat, and tossed her aside into the middle of the lane with less than no effort. Her skull made contact with the road when she landed, leaving her dazed as she struggled to roll onto her side and get back up.
The businessman turned its head to watch her silently before it casually walked over to where she struggled. She couldn’t see it, but it was grinning. It didn’t stop until it was looming over her. She had just enough time to look up as it angled its gun towards her forehead and with a flash of the muzzle and a ring of the shot Amber stopped moving and wouldn’t ever start again.
For a moment, it was silent. Then her kid started crying again.
The businessman turned its head back and looked into the car before holstering its gun. The kid was still screaming as the blood from Amber’s head started oozing out onto the pavement. It dragged its finger along the trunk as it moved around the back of the car. Hunter mode was off--it was back to swaggering around without a care in the world. It tapped its hand along the roof of the car with another satisfied look towards Amber’s body before it leaned to the side. With a flash of glass it elbowed the window and shattered it in one effortless motion.
I don’t know if it planned to take it, or kill it, or eat it, but when the crying hit the night air everything I’d seen up to that moment hit me like a brick to the fucking head. The trauma of Amber’s life leading up to this moment. Where she was casually discarded and dispatched only for some fucking monster to take everything else from her afterwards? How nonchalantly it enjoyed itself? How it acted now like nothing in the fucking world could stop it?
Not today, motherfucker.
I flicked my high beams on and gunned the gas. I swerved just enough to skirt along the passenger side of the car, and could see it snap its head towards me just in time for the crying kid to be drowned out by the scream of metal on metal as I rammed full speed into the fucker. My side mirror snapped off with a crack and Amber’s sedan shuddered as my car dragged along its side, but that motherfucker’s head slammed right into my hood as I took it off its feet. We went about fifty yards before I slammed on my breaks and sent it rolling out onto the middle of the highway.
Here’s a little tip: When it comes to things you don’t understand, things that want you dead? Don’t hesitate. Best case it won’t matter. Usually, you’ll end up dead. I wasn’t stalled for more than a second before I ripped back the parking brake, mashed the gas again, and released it just as I saw the businessman start to twitch. Both sets of wheels buckled as I crashed over it. Then again in reverse. Repeat. I didn’t stop to look if it was still moving, I just kept hitting it until my car couldn’t take it anymore. Then I grabbed my shit, ran across the pavement to Amber’s car hoping it would run, and blitzed the fuck out of there when it started up. It wasn’t moving anymore.
Can’t grin when your head is mashed into a putty.
You’re probably thinking I should have acted sooner. You’re probably right. I make a lot of excuses in this job, because, frankly, I would lose my fucking mind if I didn’t. But try to understand that there’s a kind of helplessness that comes from seeing all of the shit that I’ve seen. Knowing that the horrors that prowl around out there could snuff you out in a second if you end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. After a while, you just accept it. You become complicit. There’s an inherent understanding that fighting that acceptance is probably gonna fucking kill you. But, sometimes, that’s the risk you gotta take. Life work’s like that.
I was ready to die that night, doing what I did. I was expecting my nose to start bleeding or my lungs to stop working or for another pickup to run me off the road just like it did Amber. But it didn’t. I’m pretty sure I spent that whole ride more afraid than the kid that was crying in the back seat. I only stopped for gas, and in record time I dropped the kid and the car off at his Grandmother’s house.
I didn’t stay to explain what had happened. I loaded up my backpack, reached back and gave the kid’s palm a squeeze, and headed off up the street. A few blocks away I pulled out my cell and called up Amber’s Mom’s landline. I told her her Grandson was outside, and that she needed to hurry. That he was probably hungry. And that he needed his diaper changed. I told her Amber was gone, and that I was sorry that I couldn’t save her too. I said that Amber loved her, in the end. Then I hung up, broke the SIM card in half, crushed the phone on the sidewalk, and kicked it into an overflow drain.
A few hours passed before the feeling of being watched set in. Every so often I’d see something move out of the corner of my eye. When I caught a glance of two giant eyes staring out at me from the window of a closed-up office building I snatched a car and ditched town. It took a while before I had my first real encounter with the Thing with no Mouth, but I knew from exactly that moment that there’d be repercussions for what I did. I’ll tell you about that another time.
Sometimes you can’t fight back. The real world happens fast--faster when you don’t see it coming. But sometimes you can fight back. And when you can, you should. No matter what might happen.
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2020.06.08 13:28 Beneficial-Thanks Voyeur videos window

Neuroscience reveals how Internet porn can trump real sex
It’s really hard to get erections when I’m trying to [have intercourse]. Takes about 20 minutes or so to get it up. Really embarrassing. But if I’m sitting and watching my pornz, it’s almost instant.—Porn user in his 20s
Are you a heavy porn user who, during lovemaking, cannot consistently produce/sustain an erection or penetrate a real partner, feel much sensation, or climax (without difficulty)? If your doctor has ruled out organic causes for your woes, he/she is likely to hand you a trial pack of Viagra and refer you to counseling for your “sexual issues.” The medical assumption is that your issue is psychological (performance anxiety) rather than physiological. After all, if you can get it up for porn, your penile health is fine.
Growing evidence suggests that the problem is indeed in your head, not your penis, but that it is primarily physical. Specifically, overstimulation has produced plastic changes in your brain, which make you less responsive to pleasure—and yet hyper-responsive to Internet porn. These addiction-related changes are called desensitization and sensitization, respectively. Together, they explain why porn does the job and your hot babe doesn’t.
Before you panic, know that these brain changes appear to be reversible—most easily in guys who wired to real sex before highspeed Internet arrived. Guys who stop masturbating to porn generally regain their responsiveness during sex within 2-8 months (often after a nasty withdrawal and a disconcerting, temporary absence of libido):
(Age 30, 4 months) From the reboot standpoint, I’m doing spectacular! Any time my girlfriend and I make out, caress etc., I get rock hard and it lasts. I really just don’t worry about penile function anymore.
If performance problems are plaguing you, take this simple test. Do your problems appear to be porn-related? Keep reading to learn more about the changes going on in your brain. Otherwise, you may erroneously conclude that if you can climax to porn, you don’t have a problem, and that the problem lies in your alcohol use or your partner’s behavior or looks, or solely in your anxious feelings. You may spend thousands of dollars on counseling, or resort to costly, and increasingly ineffective, sexual enhancement drugs—and still be left with your problem:
I never had a problem getting hard for porn, but when it came to the real thing, I started taking Cialis. Over time, I took more, and even then there were times when it would only partly work. WTH? Yet I could still get hard to porn.
Why is Mr. Happy ignoring hotties? With Internet porn it’s easy to overstimulate your brain so you find porn more exciting. Each search, each novel image, each surprising visual, each new genre, and sexual arousal itself all release dopamine in your reward circuitry. Dopamine is the gas that powers the reward circuitry and it equates with desire, anticipation, cravings, and wanting something in particular.
Unfortunately, too much stimulation causes some brains to protect themselves by decreasing their sensitivity to dopamine, and thus to pleasure, for a while. Obviously, if your brain does this and you are using porn frequently and heavily, your brain doesn’t ever have a chance to return to normal sensitivity. You may find yourself clicking to more extreme material to arouse your reward circuitry’s numbed pleasure center.
Over time, your brain adapts to this situation with measurable decreases in dopamine signaling. You want more, but experience decreasing satisfaction. This is an addiction process called desensitization. (See Intoxicating Behaviors: 300 Vaginas = A Lot of Dopamine.) Recent research confirms it occurs in behavioral addictions such as gambling, food, video gaming, and Internet addiction (which includes cyber erotica addiction). When desensitized, you experience a numbed response to all so called “natural rewards”—including sex with hotties.
Your reward circuitry is the barometer for “How exciting is this?” so if dopamine signaling (desire) is low, erections are sluggish. Erections only arise when dopamine signals flow from the reward circuitry to the hypothalamus.
Why does Mr. Happy prefer porn? If desensitization were the whole story, erections would be weak whether the stimulus were a girl, your imagination, or porn. But obviously it’s not the whole story, because porn still does the job. In fact, as you try to stop using, porn’s impact temporarily increases. This is where sensitized neural pathways come in.
Note: Addiction terminology is confusing. Desensitization refers to a general dialing down of your responsiveness to all pleasure…a baseline change. Sensitization refers to hyper-reactivity/excitement—but only in response to the specific cues your brain associates with your addiction.
If these two neuroplastic changes could speak, desensitization would be moaning, “I can’t get no satisfaction” (low dopamine signaling), while sensitization would be poking you in the ribs and saying, “Hey buddy, I got just what you need”…which happens to be the very thing that caused the desensitization. Over time, this dual-edged mechanism has your reward circuitry buzzing at the hint of porn use, but less than enthused when presented with the real deal.
Relapsed to porn once, and even though I didn’t get fully erect, I could not believe the intensity of the rush I got when I clicked to the site! Very powerful excitation – tingling, dry mouth, and even trembling. I hadn’t felt that kind of rush since I was at the height of puberty and got an unexpected view up a girl’s skirt!
Your higher brain forms a feedback loop So exactly how does sensitization arise? In simple terms, sensitization involves two very normal brain mechanisms taken too far: long term potentiation (LTP), which is the strengthening of synapses, and long term depression (LTD), which is the weakening of synapses.
Long term potentiation (LTP) is the basis of learning and memory. It can be summarized as “nerve cells that fire together, wire together.” Memories arise in two steps. First, your reward circuitry signals that an experience is important by sending dopamine to your prefrontal cortex (PFC). The more dopamine the more importance your brain attaches to an experience.
https://preview.redd.it/t6rkxe8ato351.jpg?width=360&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6f1c2af03a19de24631d0e282109f0113cab5266
Second, the PFC responds to your “This is important!” signal by (1) knitting together everything associated with the reward, and (2) forming a neural feedback loop heading back to the reward circuitry. Thereafter, any thought, memory, or cue associated with a particular reward activates the pathway, and sets your reward circuitry a buzzin’. It could be smells associated with your favorite burger joint. For a tomcat it could be the hole in the fence that led to a female in heat. For a bird it might be seeing the guy who fills the birdfeeder. It’s evolutionary purpose is to help you remember the who, what, where, when and how of sex, food and rock ‘n’ roll.
Importantly, the feedback loop doesn’t run on dopamine. It runs on glutamate. Both neurochemicals have the power to activate “Go get it!” signals in your reward circuitry. Glutamate stimulation is why porn can still ring your chimes even when your reward circuitry has stopped responding to dopamine and real partners. Reward circuit (dopamine) → PFC (associations formed) → feedback loop (glutamate) to reward circuit.
Sensitization: creation of a super-memory So far, the process is business as usual. Sensitization, however, transforms this normal PFC → glutamate feedback pathway to the reward circuitry into a super-memory in three steps:
  1. With sensitization, explicit memories (such as facts and events) transform into habits, which are known as implicit memories. Example: knowing how to ride a bike without thinking. Addiction-related implicit memories are like Pavlovian conditioning on steroids—very hard to ignore. When a recently sober alcoholic walks by a bar, all the sounds of laughter and smell of stale beer can whip this sensitized circuit into a frenzy, setting off strong cravings…and possibly eliminating all resolve.
  2. LTP strengthens the feedback pathway such that a little squirt of glutamate is all you need to fire up the nerve cells that signal, “Gotta have this now!” Sensitized pathways are a non-dopamine mechanism for activating reward-circuitry neurons—come hell or high water. This sneaky feature seems to be at the core of all additions. Traffic jam on the main dopamine highway keeping you from feeling pleasure from real sex? No problem. You have another way to get home, but it’s only allowing one type of vehicle (stimulation): PORN.
  3. Continued use of your addiction activates a third mechanism in the sensitization process: long term depression (LTD). The reward circuitry’s innate braking system (GABA) weakens, further amplifying the “Go for it!” glutamate signals. Instead of normal brain operation, which is more like city driving where you check for oncoming traffic at every intersection, your sensitized porn pathway is the autobahn. There are no traffic lights and porn is the only BMW M-5 on the road.
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The autopilot thing is definitely familiar to me. It’s like being possessed by a porn-crazed demon, and then once you’re finished, your real self returns and wonders what the hell just happened and why you just wasted all this time looking at disgusting videos.
Same master switch for sex/food as for drug addiction The master switch that triggers these addiction-related changes is the protein DeltaFosB. High levels of consumption of natural rewards (sex, sugar, high-fat) or chronic administration of virtually any drug of abuse cause DeltaFosB (a transcription factor) to accumulate in the reward center, affecting gene expression.
Note that addictive drugs only cause addiction because they magnify or inhibit mechanisms already in place for natural rewards. This is why the American Society of Addiction Medicine unambiguously states that food and sex addictions are true addictions.
DeltaFosB’s evolutionary purpose is to motivate us to “get it while the getting is good!” It’s a binge mechanism for food and reproduction, which worked well in other times and environments. These days it makes addictions to junk food and Internet porn as easy as 1-2-3.
It not only initiates addiction, but also helps to sustain it for a prolonged period. In fact, it hangs around for a month or two after you stop using, making relapse more likely. Moreover, the sensitized addiction pathways it triggers linger for an unknown amount of time. In short, porn cues may electrify you for a long time.
Addiction neuroplasticity can be summarized as: continued consumption → DeltaFosB → activation of genes → changes in synapses → sensitization and desensitization. (See The Addicted Brain for more detail.) It appears that desensitization eventually leads to loss of executive control (hypofrontality), another major feature of addictions.
Sensitized pathways and withdrawal…ugh Let’s say you decide to make the ultimate sacrifice and stop using porn. You’ll probably feel rotten for a while. Remember, your brain initially perceived your heavy porn use as a genetic bonanza. It thought you were making babies with each ejaculation. It laid down the super-memories so you wouldn’t abandon your “valuable” bevy of beauties (or whatever you were climaxing to).
Now, as you defy your brain by abstaining, your already low dopamine drops further. Also, libido-squelching brain stress hormones CRF and norepinephrine shoot up. Your desensitization is in overdrive, so a real partner doesn’t stand a chance. No wonder most guys experience such intense withdrawal symptoms. They’re feeling less pleasure than ever in response to normal stimuli, feeling more anxious, and trying to quit the one thing that can still goose their reward circuitry. There are solid reasons why addictions are so tough to beat.
Worse yet, during abstinence the sensitized “goosing” pathways grow even stronger. It’s as if your pleasure center is screaming for stimulation…but only the addiction can hear the call. The branches (dendrites) on nerve cells processing reward signals become “super spiny.” This overgrowth of little nubs allows for more synaptic connections and greater excitation. It’s like growing four extra pairs of ears while being stuck at a “Spinal Tap” concert. When cues or thoughts (glutamate) hammer your reward circuit, the craving scale hits eleven.
I’m finding that just random pictures in ads and stuff are setting off cravings. Even when the models are fully clothed, I really want to give in.
During recovery, it’s easy to mistake an activated sensitized pathway for true libido. This is particularly true if you experience the typical radical drop in libido at some point in your recovery. During this “flatline” phase, a porn cue may still fire you up, and even trigger an impressive erection. This can fool you into thinking that porn is the cure for your sluggish libido. The real cure is to patiently wait for structures in your brain to catch up with your new direction. Meanwhile, all other stimuli, including your partner, are less arousing.
Two months into my recovery I saw a simple frame of bare ass on an adult movie channel. Honest to god, it felt like I got injected with some kind of drug. I had the biggest urge in my penis and my mind, to put it back on. I literally ran upstairs and brushed my teeth. Had I stayed downstairs, I would have relapsed 100%. I could feel a part of me going, “WHAT THE HELL MAN? GO BACK DOWNSTAIRS!!!!!!!!!”. I was shaking and panting. After 8 min of brushing my teeth non-stop, I was back to normal.
Recovery turns sensitized pathways into paper tigers Despite their enormous power, sensitized pathways eventually lose their grip as your brain returns to normal and everyday pleasures become more satisfying. Staring at pixels begins to register as an empty exercise, and eventually the brain allows the sensitized pathways to weaken at the same time it strengthens the pathways related to other promising rewards (such as real partners).
Here, guys describe what this shift feels like. Keep in mind that most of them have been through a tough withdrawal phase and a month (or several months) of avoiding porn/masturbation.
  • In the past I would get intense sexual cravings to view really extreme, hardcore explicit scenes. But now those types of cravings are diminishing. I’m no longer battling myself to visit a porn site – but rather to wanting to see a really stunning, toned, hot woman…even if she is wearing clothes. It’s like I am regressing to a state before hardcore – when more subtle sexual cues could get me excited. This is awesome and exciting! I remember when I got off of sugary drinks years ago – I used to drink 5 or more cola drinks per day. I never thought I was addicted but when I gave them up I wanted a coke badly at every meal. Just having water felt strange. But after sticking with it for about 2 months I was completely past it. Not even any cravings. I did once have a coke since then, and I didn’t really like it – I found I actually prefer water.
  • During the heights of my porn addiction, I never looked forward to much of anything: dreaded going to work, and never saw socializing with friends and family as all that great, especially in comparison to my porn rituals, which gave me more pleasure and stimulation than anything else. With the addiction gone, little things make me really happy. I find myself laughing often, smiling for no real reason, and just being in good spirits all around. I thought I was a pessimist, but really I was just an addict. Today, a spontaneous erection lasted over 25 minutes. I did not really feel the urge to masturbate. I just lay there and enjoyed the sensation, and thought about how far I’d come.
  • I’ve found as I progress, my dreams become more sex-oriented and more surreal, instead of just seeing myself spanking the monkey in front of my computer. Also, I feel more like masturbating when I see an attractive girl when I’m out—instead of feeling like looking at porn. Previously, I never felt like “just masturbating.” I always wanted porn.
  • I am still getting some porn flashbacks: porn stars or parts of scenes. At the beginning of my reboot, the first couple weeks, these flashbacks would make me strongly consider masturbating or looking at porn. Now, when I get them, I don’t really feel the desire to do those things. I get a small rush from seeing those images in my head, but that’s about it. I’m able to shake them away fairly quickly and without consequence. Their power is receding.
  • Images and memories fade: I’ve seen a number of posts from people saying they can’t forget some of the things they’ve seen. I can say that from my experience, yes, some of those will never completely go away. But the vast majority will. I had a 300GB stash and regularly had sessions where I’d click the browser Close button and see a message saying “You have 130 tabs open. Are you sure you want to close the window?”. I cannot remember 95% of what I’ve seen. But, I can remember 5% and that may be a lot for some of you. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter now. I can recall some details, and shrug it off. Those images don’t have a hold on me anymore as I have finally left behind the shame, sexual repression and idle, distraction-prone mindset that would previously cause me to relapse.
  • In the past I noticed beauty, of course, but never FELT a DESIRE to be with a girl. I directed all my sex drive toward porn. Everything sexual for me WAS porn. I could never think about me, this guy with this d\ck, having real sex with a real girl. Now, I feel like sex is the most natural thing to do. “Hell yeah it’s possible for me to have sex. Hell yeah there’s a lot of girls out there wanting to have it with me!” Suddenly, self-defeating thoughts seem so stupid and time-wasting. I finally feel what most males feel. And it’s awesome.*
  • Eventually I decided to masturbate to some porn. One thing was strange: I didn’t seem to get the same enjoyment from the porn as I recalled. Even finding favorite scenes didn’t seem to deliver. Porn was a bit boring in some way. Even though it wasn’t as “good” as I remembered it, I was still drawn back to it. Since the porn was not nearly as great as I remembered it, not going back will be easier.
  • The first time I started masturbating again, I felt my brain looking for the porn. This is going to be hard to describe…there was a spot in my brain where the porn junk went (memories, cravings, etc). When I denied the porn, I literally felt a collapse or an empty feeling in that part of my brain. Like it just did not exist anymore and my brain realized it. It was like when you clap your hands. My brain was expecting something in between the hands, but then it realized there was nothing in between except air.
  • So here I am, 75 days into my reboot and feeling pretty good. It seems natural, now, not to seek porn or masturbate. While at the drug store a I bought a magazine about drag racing, the way it was in the ’60s and ’70s. There was an article about a drag racer and it featured, prominently, pictures of his somewhat busty girlfriend. I remember seeing the same pictures when they were first published, back in the early ’70s. Back then they were whacking material, tonight I didn’t feel any excitement at all. I think that I’ve finally learned to look at a woman without depersonalizing her and letting my thoughts head for the gutter. She was a beautiful woman, no doubt about that, but she’s just another member of the human family.
  • It used to be that I would feel a little twinge of evil when the thought of looking at porn came into my mind. It was like I was stealing something . . . I’m pretty sure it was basically a sense of thrill that started with that twinge. It was a short circuit of my normal desires. Anyhow, that twinge seems to have abated. Just being able to say that makes me feel wonderful. I’m not out of the woods, but I’m better than I’ve ever been in my life, happier too.
  • The handful of times that I’ve been exposed to materials that were near-porn, over the last 18 months, I tended to react strongly (at first). I think it’s probably a defensive thing, akin to a recovering alcoholic that is just death on drinking and will call someone out for drinking even if that person doesn’t actually have a problem. My reaction to such things is becoming more normal at this point. I was seeking something from porn and I am no longer doing so. IMHO, when we desire sex it is actually the emotional connection that we desire. I think that this explains, BTW, why animals go to the bother of seeking a mate instead of stimulating themselves. I’m certain that even in the realm of animals there is an emotional component to mating, albeit much less complex than it is for humans.
  • One key in my understanding of this problem was when I realized that I didn’t want meaningless sex. [Same guy a year later] I am ever more amazed the degree to which this has happened. I haven’t been posting to the forums much lately and I feel like I’ve moved on with my life now. I’m not saying that I’m immune, that would be a foolish thing to conclude, but I have reached a point where I don’t feel any temptation to masturbate and the sneaky attraction to porn is gone too. That may be the strangest thing, porn seems to have lost its power over me. All of my life, until two years ago, porn could have a profound effect upon me. Just dwelling upon the prospect of seeing porn could put me into an altered state. It no longer has that power. It’s a quantum shift that I find amazing.
  • Its like I have a completely different reaction to it. It doesn’t interest me, I don’t find it desirable, the prospect of viewing porn seems completely undesirable. It’s like this; for most of my life I looked at porn and it was never enough. Now I don’t look at porn at all and it’s more than enough. Whatever it was that I was looking for in porn I’m no longer seeking.
In short, cues may still evoke a powerful feeling of anticipation. Yet as you become more responsive to real pleasures, masturbation to pixels seems increasingly pointless and unfulfilling. Of course, if you return to exclusive porn use, you fire up the sensitization process again. In other words, recovery of sexual function doesn’t protect you against future excess.
Which event have you been training for? Sadly, the young guys who arrive at our site with porn-induced sexual dysfunction often have the toughest time rewiring their brains (see – Young Porn Users Need Longer To Recover Their Mojo). Here’s a typical scenario:
When I lost my virginity it really did not feel that good. I was bored actually. I lost the erection after maybe ten minutes. She wanted more sex, but I was done. The next time I tried to have sex with a woman was a disaster. I had an erection at first, but I lost it before I ever penetrated. Condom use was out of the question—not a hard enough erection.
Usually guys like him started with heavy Internet porn use at age 11 or so, and didn’t try to have sex with a partner for another decade. They’ve wired to super-high octane fuel in the form of ever-novel Internet porn, and it’s possible that their brains pruned back some of their under-used “mating” circuitry as they reached adulthood.
For a while after they switch to real mates (regular fuel), they ping along and occasionally stall out. Some have to make a concerted effort to spend time around real potential mates, and be patient as their brains catch up with their new direction. They sometimes need 4 months or more to respond normally to potential partners. A cuddle buddy helps.
In contrast, guys who wired to real mates before highspeed Internet still have those well developed “real-partner pathways” in place. Most didn’t notice performance problems until they overwhelmed their brains with synthetic stimulation via broadband. When they lay off the porn, their reward circuitry bounces back. Potential mates automatically start to look hot again. Most need about two months, but one 50-year old recently reported that, after three years of porn-related erectile dysfunction, he needed only 8 days porn-free to get back in the saddle.
If porn is the only way you can climax, it means you’ve wired your brain to the wrong target. It’s not that real giggles and wiggles aren’t appealing. They are. But while your reward circuitry is desensitized to normal pleasures, your gut-level (actually, brain-level) response to real potential mates is…meh. The only reason the porn signals still do the job is because you’ve created a neural sledgehammer powerful enough to get a rise out of your numbed reward circuitry—at least while you’re actually viewing porn.
Real sex is flirting, touching, being touched, smells, pheromones, connecting and interacting with a person. Internet porn is 2D voyeurism, clicking a mouse, searching, multiple tabs, isolation, constant novelty, a harem, and interacting only with your hand.
To use a sports analogy, which event has your brain been training for? If you want to shoot hoops like a pro, you don’t spend your time swinging a golf club. Have years of Internet porn use created a mismatch between what your brain expects and what actually happens during real mating? Time to rewire.
Link to full article
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2020.04.14 08:57 Edwardthecrazyman Window voyeur videos

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People at their most vulnerable help me get my rocks off. There is no way to pretty that up in the slightest so I don't intend to.
It started years ago when I found cam girls on the internet. I could interact with them, pay them, demand certain sexual poses from them for the money, but at a certain point, that felt too similar to regular pornography. It wasn't enough. There wasn't any kind of risk to it. I might as well hire a prostitute. I wanted the real deal. I wanted the amateur quality that you can't get out of porn or cam girls. I wanted reality. Vulnerability. A person's essence. I wanted to know them better than anyone else. It's really quite beautiful.
So I took the huge windfall of cash after my father's passing and bought an apartment complex with wide hollow walkways hidden within the walls for maintenance workers to shimmy through. Perfect.
I renovated the place, making the hidden walkways more comfortable, drilling holes in the ceiling over every bedroom, setting up surveillance equipment. I would have people paying me to prey on them. Within six months after the initial purchase of the property, I was able to begin looking over applicants. The first several were families or single men. I pondered as to whether or not I should shred these applications, but figured it may look strange if the entire complex was occupied by single women. Without a question, I did not want to draw any attention. So I began doing background checks and drawing up agreements.
Ten rooms. Two of them with single women. One blonde. One red head. I watched them when they showered. I watched them when they would get ready for work. I watched them when they slept sometimes. It was orgasmic. The sheer pleasure I received from looking upon their mostly still forms while they lay in their beds is beyond description. That was the beginning, really. Then I moved on. They bored me. So I moved on to the men. Then the families. Don't get your panties in a bunch, you freaking saints. I never watched the children shower or use the bathrooms. I never watched the children sleep. They were off limits.
But the things that men do, and yes it's mostly the men that do it, are lots of fun to watch. When they believe they are entirely alone and they strip themselves down to their skivvies and click over into the incognito mode on their phones or computers. Some of them like to look at the strangest things. Delightful. It may make your skin crawl but it makes mine ripple and quiver.
I took up in one of the units. The only one on the very top floor. It was a nice place. I'd had the workers take all the walls down so that I had one massive floor. One corner had my desktop with the monitors. When I wasn't squeezed into the walls or ceilings of my tenant's living quarters, I was sitting there. I made sure that the door to my unit was very secured. What with its many locks and steel frame.
Then that urge I've lived with my entire life came back. Looking in on those people was no longer enough. I exercised my right as their landlord to check in on the units while they were away. Sometimes I would eat cereal out of their cabinets or curl up in their beds. The smell of these strangers was intoxicating. I wanted to swallow their sheets and choke on them. I wanted to strip down and have them walk in on me with my birthday suit entirely exposed to them. How delightful.
I hid in the red head's bedroom closet. She was messy, using the closet sparingly, instead opting to drop her clothes on the floor like some mish mash rug of sporadic clothing. I stayed in their for two days without her knowing it, using one of her tall leather boots as a waste receptacle. I am sure she will find it soon enough. How delightful.
I stole one of the male tenants cats. He notified me of it and I responded that we had a zero tolerance policy on pets. He dropped the issue immediately, stuttering something about how he was just cat sitting. Don't worry. I keep the cat in my fish tank.
Sometimes I take the blonde's tennis shoes and wear them around town. I know I'll be caught one day. I know it, but don't care. That's a part of the allure, don't you understand? It's so delightful.
For about the last week, I'd taken a hiatus from tormenting my tenants from the shadows. My unit needed to be cleaned as I'd been so entirely preoccupied on this titillating hobby of mine. I wiped the dried fluids off the underside of my desk. I mopped and did my laundry. The strong smell of freshly cut onions stuffed beneath my arms had begun to follow me everywhere I'd go. A well respected landlord of this little community couldn't be going about like that, now could he?
I found a camera lens in the drain of my shower. It was something I'd almost missed, but it was there. It shined, peeking at me from the little metal cross section in the drain. Strange. I had never implemented any surveillance in my own unit.
The demo of the shower was quick work. I removed the plastic tub and found that the camera was attached to all manner of wiring underneath. They ran into the walls and upon further inspection, I found that one of the wires ran the length of the wall in my unit until it exited the inside of the wall again through a hole I'd never noticed before. The wire ran directly into the back of my computer. I'd never seen the port. It wasn't ethernet. It wasn't USB. I couldn't find anything online about the kind of wire I was dealing with at all. I rebooted the computer and found a program on the desktop I'd never seen before. It pulled up a video feed.
There was gaunt sickly man sitting in a swivel chair at a desk with too many monitors. The camera was peering in at him from somewhere behind. I lifted my arm over my head while looking at the monitor. The man in the feed did the same.
It was me.
I moved across the room, watching the man in the feed mimic my motions. Where was that damned camera? It took a little trial and error and a lot of me looking back at the monitor to see where I was relative to the camera angle, but I eventually found the thing snugly tucked away in the vent on the wall opposite the desk. It was well beyond my understanding of tech. The camera was no larger than my thumb.
The small camera smashed into a thousand tinier pieces as I pelted it against the wall. The speakers at my desk squeaked and I dashed back over to the desk, sitting in my swivel chair. The screen was black now. I alt f4-ed out of the program and it stuttered before closing.
I then went to the surveillance program I used on my tenants and clicked it open. All of the monitors came to life at once with live video feed from the units below. Eyes stared back at me from all of them.
Without realizing it, I reared back in the chair and flipped onto the floor. Slowly, I crept back over the edge of the desk to look at the feed. They were dead eyes. No. They were never alive. They were all mannequins. Motionless, porcelain white skin, staring through those illusive cameras I'd set up. I moved to the nearest window and peeked out through the blinds. The complex's parking lot was empty except for my own blue Mazda.
I shut the computer off, trying to get my breathing under control.
After staring at the blank screens for about an hour, I decided to physically check in on my tenants. Apartment after apartment. Nothing but frozen mannequins. Some of them were pressed against spots that I knew had hidden cameras, some of them were in the middle of daily routines they would never finish. One stood over a plate of scrambled eggs at a kitchen counter. Another lay in bed with their eyes staring directly up into the ceiling.
I retreated back to my unit, being sure to secure every single lock in the door. I turned the computer back on and clicked from camera to camera. Every single mannequin was gone.
Instead there was a message scrawled on paper and placed in front of each of the cameras. The word repeated in every camera, in every frame.
Hi. Was all it said.
My stomach churned. My mouth was dry. The familiar smell of thick sweat broke out. This was not delightful.
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2020.03.16 16:07 AntiMoneySquandering Window voyeur videos

H44 moved up to stand next to me, both of us focused on the live display of the strike team as they waited to move in. Kael paced in front of us, his hands clamped behind his back. As the countdown continued he eventually stopped, turning his own attention to the monitors. The bizarreness of simply watching settled over me once more but I noticed that H44 seemed calmer now, far less restless. Seeing my gaze she smiled and signed quickly.
This should help you feel less removed. And a bit of a voyeur
Before I could question her, I received a file from her AI. I scanned it quickly and smiled back, nodding my thanks. Accepting the link with my own AI and suddenly my view changed, the ship and its people disappearing. Instead the live stream was superimposed over my own vision, allowing me to almost view the scene if I was there, from the perspective of the man in front. The man swung his gaze around at his team and then back to the insertion point, a slightly disconcerting feeling with my inability to control it. Something else felt off and after a moment I pinpointed it.
“Strange to see the world from this height,” I chuckled to H44.
“It has been a while since I’ve looked up at anyone,” she agreed.
“What was that J35?” came the confused voice of Captain Kael and H44 and I chuckled again but didn’t enlighten him.
The countdown ended and the strike team moved as one into the tunnel. It was dark, and with their beaming torchlights, each twisting shadow looked as if it could be a threat. The man whose vision I was piggybacking slowly made his way forward, the muzzle of his rifle held out in front of him, sweeping the area. He stepped through the opening created by the ship’s AI and entered the rogue ship proper. It seemed to be some sort of storage space or cargo bay, though there was not a great deal of room for either. He squeezed between two large metal crates, wary, as the rest of the team were forced to follow in single file. It was a tense start, with the formation meaning that those at the rear would be unable to cover those in front should they encounter hostility this early on. After a moment, the soldier had eased himself into the centre of the room, quickly stepping out into the space to allow his comrades to do the same. His gaze flickered around the small area, his gun following as he checked over for threats. As the last of the team squeezed out from their enclosed entrance, he signaled as such, and took the lead out of the room. As he stepped out into the corridor, he paused, looking up and down the possible routes. He spoke over his shoulder and I realised we were following the actions of Strike Leader Sergeant Dell.
“Power’s on,” he whispered gruffly, edging out into the corridor with his soldiers following. “Tac lights off unless I say different. Patel, Price, with me. Jones, Chen and Collins take up the rear. Meds and mechs, stay in the centre. Everyone alert.”
There was a brief moment as the as the men and women moved quietly into position, the marines fluid, the auxiliaries slightly more clumsily. Once happy with the arrangement, Dell hefted his rifle and moved forward.
“Command, moving towards the living quarters.”
“Roger that Strike Team,” came the response from Captain Kael, his voice steady and relaxed now. The team continued down the corridor, a standard bare layout familiar to everyone who had spent time on human space craft. Dell slowed as he approached a point with a door either side. He looked back at one of his marines, a tall woman, and pointed to the left door. She moved to enter, the third marine at the front taking centre position to cover them. With a grunted “Now”, he entered his room on the right, sweeping his gun on the interior. It was lit with the same unnatural white lighting as the corridor but this at least illuminated something more than empty space. The room was filled with similar crates to the one they had entered, all securely closed and fitted together tightly to converse room. He walked in slowly, crouched and prepared. The nearest case had a series of numbers emblazoned on the front. He focused his camera on this and activated his mic.
“Command, can you get anything from th…”
“Sarge!”
Dell dropped his comms at the alert from his marine, moving swiftly back out of the room. The marine he had assigned to stay, Dell’s gaze passing over his signifier to show it was Price, was still in position, meaning it was unlikely Patel had found a hostile. Dell entered the left room, noting that it was a near identical copy to the one he had left. One of the few differences was one of the crates was open and the Sergeant took an almost involuntary step closer, craning to look inside. His feed picked up what appeared to be some sort of vibrantly coloured vegetables or plant life within when Patel’s voice quietly called out from a corner.
“Body here Sarge.” Dell spun swiftly, moving to where his marine stood crouched down by the corpse. It was dressed in black fatigues with what appeared to be no identifying material. As he approached, crouching to mimic Patel, he made out a small grey insignia on the right arm. A bird surrounded by thorns.
“Shrike” I heard H44 mutter from somewhere next to me as the Sergeant also reported in to the Jinx.
“You seeing this Sir? Looks like our theory on this being an Intelligence and Interrogation Agency ship were correct.”
“We have eyes on it Sergeant,” Kael responded, a tightness to his voice now. “Grey colouring so it’s not an actual agent, one of their lower ranked workers.”
It took me a second to realise the Captain had addressed that last part to us, the sound not coming through the feed the Sergeant was sending.
“Not anymore,” H44 said softly as the video raised up the body to the face. Or where the face used to be. The centre was a mess of ruined flesh and congealed black blood. The view enlarged as the Sergeant leaned in closer, surveying the gory scene. His gaze flicked upwards to the wall behind, scanning the splatter of viscera that was painted there.
“Signs of a struggle by the entrance Sir,” Patel said, jerking her head towards the door. The Sergeant nodded, returning his attention to the corpse.
“Get Dr Iglesias. Pretty clear what happened but maybe he can shed some more light.”
She nodded, standing quickly and striding out to grab the doctor. Dell rose slightly, seemingly resting on the balls of his feet as he glanced around the room more carefully. As the marine had said there was some scuff marks on the floor and a couple of crates seemed jostled out of position. Dr Iglesias arrived and immediately knelt by the body, shining a powerful torch into the wound. Dell’s camera swung away briefly before returning, accompanied by a deep breath.
“Gunshot Doctor?”
“Evidently,” he replied. “High calibre or very close range. I would say it’s the latter.”
“Why is that,” Dell asked, his view moving from the corpse to the expressionless face of the Doctor. Before answering Iglesias lifted the body’s hand, angling it so the Sergeant could see clearly. The knuckles had dried blood stained on them, as well as slight swelling and bruising. The Doctor peered in closer, passed the gore and stared at the corpse’s wrist, rolling up the sleeve.
“So he managed to strike his assailant,” Dell surmised, standing and making his way out of the room. “Given the blood, looks like it was a human.”
“So it would appear,” the Doctor agreed, Dell looking back at him in time to catch his curious gaze switch from the body to the open crate. He cleared his throat and the Doctor turned, walking out ahead of him, though with one last glance at the revealed box. They re-joined the rest of the squad and resumed their initial formation.
“One casualty identified,” Dell said to his team, their eyes unconsciously flicking to the room they had emerged from. “Human. Looks like this is an IIA ship after all. Stay alert.”
The team moved forward once more, through hallways still lit brightly. Patel, her voice lowered but enough to carry forward to her Sergeant, was picked up on Dell’s mic.
“So what are we thinking Sir? Alien raid? Or some old fashioned human on human pirating?”
Dell was silent for a moment, sweeping his gun over each doorway he passed, the squad walking passed rooms that housed nothing but empty bunks and tables.
“Given the blood on that corpses knuckles, i'd say the latter,” he responded eventually, his voice even and quiet. He looked up at the ceiling of the small ship, only about half a foot above his six. “Besides would be more of a disturbance if it was some Dralid raiders trying to fit in here. Could have been Vannett, even Berylian and the blood his. But I have a hunch and that hunch is pointing towards our fellow man.”
Patel grunted in affirmation and then fell silent as the group entered a larger space, dominated by a large table and stools. It appeared to be something of a rec room, with a small kitchenette space towards the rear. Unlike similar spaces on the Jinx, there was little in the way of actual recreation save for a few VR stations installed at the sides. Dell swept his gaze over them and they appeared to be geared more towards combat practice and government sanctioned drills, rather than the more versatile leisure versions you could find.
“Remind me never to join the Shrikes,” Price breathed, shaking his head as he gazed around the space. He frowned and Dell followed his gaze to the centre, where a few of the stools lay in disarray. Sweeping his eyes around the room, Dell gestured and his marines fanned out, covering the three exits to the room. He walked in, allowing his rifle to hang, and inspected the area more closely. The chairs seemed to have been abandoned in haste, scuff marks along the floor where they had forcibly been thrown. Similarly mugs lay strewn on the table, their contents pooling along the surface to drip onto the floor. A few remained upright, including the large pot of coffee at the centre he deduced had been used to fill them.
“Left in a hurry. Scrambled to fight off a threat?” he mused out loud, bending down to look beneath the table. He jerked his gaze left as Doctor Iglesias walked passed, purposely moving towards the small kitchen part of the room.
“Or to flee,” the Doctor responded. The kitchenette was a simple enough thing, a mid-height island blocking part of it from view. What they could see were standard issue steel cupboards and ovens and Dell was on his feet quickly, following the Doctor as he too saw the dent in one of the storage units. They rounded the island as one and the Doctor instantly dropped to his feet next to the second corpse they had found. Dell, leaving the Doctor to his work, examined the damaged cupboard. It was bent inwards, a fist sized shape aberration in the shiny metal. Leaning closer, he could make out small specks of detritus.
“We’ve got blood, a few hairs up here Doc,” Dell said finally. “Guessing you’ll find the back of his head caved in to match this.”
“Hers,” the Doctor announced absently, his fingers drumming anxiously on the wall next to him. “And yes, she shows cranial damage. But that isn’t what killed her.”
“It isn’t?” Dell asked, crouching down alongside Iglesias. “Another bullet wound?”
The Doctor didn’t respond but shifted slightly and Dell saw the corpse properly for the first time. It was a woman as the Doctor had said, her dark hair fanned out on the floor. The way the head lay, he could tell that the back of her head showed the damage from being forced into metal above. He looked closer and exhaled deeply, noting the dark blue marking to the swollen skin of her face. One side was so engorged it looked almost like it would burst if prodded. Her lips too were blue, as if drained completely of blood.
“Shit,” Dell said finally, rubbing a bead of sweat that threatened to fall from his shorn scalp. “Guess she’s been sitting out for a while.”
“No longer than the other,” the Doctor announced, manipulating a finger mounted light and camera to take a series of quick renditions of the body. “But the blow to her head, I don’t think that is what killed her. I’ll send these back to the Jinx, see what my colleagues think. The blunt force trauma is vicious certainly but on its own, I believe she would have survived it.”
“Then what…..” The Doctor shook his head and Dell noticed that while his demeanor remained calm, professional, his pupils were wide, his skin pale. The Doctor pushed passed him and looked around the room quickly, eyes scanning the walls. Dell looked up to him, wondering, before realising he was looking for an indication as to where to head. Evidently he found it, because Iglesias began to stride quickly from the room, towards one of the exits. The marines holding the doorway blocked him, looking back at Dell with raised eyebrows and questioning eyes. After a moment’s hesitation Dell nodded to let him through, and his gaze swept rapidly between them and behind, indicating the Sergeant himself was beginning to feel an inkling of panic. The two marines, confusion still evident on their faces, fell in behind the Sergeant as he hurried after the Doctor.
“Iglesias” Dell growled, though his voice was quiet, echoing in the silence of the corridor. “What is it? Where are we going?”
The Doctor ignored him and each door they passed, increasing his pace until they reached the end, where their progress was impeded by a larger entrance. It was sealed shut but a thick window comprised the upper portion. The Doctor pressed up against this and stared through, muttering under his breath. Dell glanced up at the sign above the door, the dimly lit words registering clearly on his cam.
Sickbay
He swung his gaze back down, pushing the Doctor aside and looking through the window himself. Inside the med room were rows of beds, of the adequate but uncomfortable variety familiar to anyone who had served in the military. Every bed housed a person and dotted between those were more, laid flat on the ground. One such body was near the door, arm outstretched up as if trying to open it even now. The body displayed the same bloated blue features as the woman back in the rec room.
“Bastard died trying to get out?” Dell said turning to the Doctor, though there was a shake to his gruff voice, a quaver running through it.
“No Sergeant,” Iglesias replied, rapidly typing something out on his arm pad to transmit back to the ship. “He was successful in his attempt. To lock them. To quarantine.”
The Doctor looked up at him, at the two marines with them and down the corridor where the rest of the team waited.
“Seems our ship was boarded after all. Just not by pirates. They’ve been hit by a disease and it seems it has proven one hundred per cent lethal.”
The Doctor tapped decisively, sending off his findings and then addressed his next statement to both those with him and those waiting on the Jinx.
“So we’d better start brainstorming now Captain because we need to get off this ship ASAP, not infect anyone else and synthesize a cure to something I personally have never seen before.”
The corridor lay silent after the Doctor’s words, the crew of the Jinx equally stunned into silence. After a moment the rough growl of Dell broke the silence.
“Well fuck.”
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2020.03.16 15:54 AntiMoneySquandering Window voyeur videos

H44 moved up to stand next to me, both of us focused on the live display of the strike team as they waited to move in. Kael paced in front of us, his hands clamped behind his back. As the countdown continued he eventually stopped, turning his own attention to the monitors. The bizarreness of simply watching settled over me once more but I noticed that H44 seemed calmer now, far less restless. Seeing my gaze she smiled and signed quickly.
This should help you feel less removed. And a bit of a voyeur
Before I could question her, I received a file from her AI. I scanned it quickly and smiled back, nodding my thanks. Accepting the link with my own AI and suddenly my view changed, the ship and its people disappearing. Instead the live stream was superimposed over my own vision, allowing me to almost view the scene if I was there, from the perspective of the man in front. The man swung his gaze around at his team and then back to the insertion point, a slightly disconcerting feeling with my inability to control it. Something else felt off and after a moment I pinpointed it.
“Strange to see the world from this height,” I chuckled to H44.
“It has been a while since I’ve looked up at anyone,” she agreed.
“What was that J35?” came the confused voice of Captain Kael and H44 and I chuckled again but didn’t enlighten him.
The countdown ended and the strike team moved as one into the tunnel. It was dark, and with their beaming torchlights, each twisting shadow looked as if it could be a threat. The man whose vision I was piggybacking slowly made his way forward, the muzzle of his rifle held out in front of him, sweeping the area. He stepped through the opening created by the ship’s AI and entered the rogue ship proper. It seemed to be some sort of storage space or cargo bay, though there was not a great deal of room for either. He squeezed between two large metal crates, wary, as the rest of the team were forced to follow in single file. It was a tense start, with the formation meaning that those at the rear would be unable to cover those in front should they encounter hostility this early on. After a moment, the soldier had eased himself into the centre of the room, quickly stepping out into the space to allow his comrades to do the same. His gaze flickered around the small area, his gun following as he checked over for threats. As the last of the team squeezed out from their enclosed entrance, he signaled as such, and took the lead out of the room. As he stepped out into the corridor, he paused, looking up and down the possible routes. He spoke over his shoulder and I realised we were following the actions of Strike Leader Sergeant Dell.
“Power’s on,” he whispered gruffly, edging out into the corridor with his soldiers following. “Tac lights off unless I say different. Patel, Price, with me. Jones, Chen and Collins take up the rear. Meds and mechs, stay in the centre. Everyone alert.”
There was a brief moment as the as the men and women moved quietly into position, the marines fluid, the auxiliaries slightly more clumsily. Once happy with the arrangement, Dell hefted his rifle and moved forward.
“Command, moving towards the living quarters.”
“Roger that Strike Team,” came the response from Captain Kael, his voice steady and relaxed now. The team continued down the corridor, a standard bare layout familiar to everyone who had spent time on human space craft. Dell slowed as he approached a point with a door either side. He looked back at one of his marines, a tall woman, and pointed to the left door. She moved to enter, the third marine at the front taking centre position to cover them. With a grunted “Now”, he entered his room on the right, sweeping his gun on the interior. It was lit with the same unnatural white lighting as the corridor but this at least illuminated something more than empty space. The room was filled with similar crates to the one they had entered, all securely closed and fitted together tightly to converse room. He walked in slowly, crouched and prepared. The nearest case had a series of numbers emblazoned on the front. He focused his camera on this and activated his mic.
“Command, can you get anything from th…”
“Sarge!”
Dell dropped his comms at the alert from his marine, moving swiftly back out of the room. The marine he had assigned to stay, Dell’s gaze passing over his signifier to show it was Price, was still in position, meaning it was unlikely Patel had found a hostile. Dell entered the left room, noting that it was a near identical copy to the one he had left. One of the few differences was one of the crates was open and the Sergeant took an almost involuntary step closer, craning to look inside. His feed picked up what appeared to be some sort of vibrantly coloured vegetables or plant life within when Patel’s voice quietly called out from a corner.
“Body here Sarge.” Dell spun swiftly, moving to where his marine stood crouched down by the corpse. It was dressed in black fatigues with what appeared to be no identifying material. As he approached, crouching to mimic Patel, he made out a small grey insignia on the right arm. A bird surrounded by thorns.
“Shrike” I heard H44 mutter from somewhere next to me as the Sergeant also reported in to the Jinx.
“You seeing this Sir? Looks like our theory on this being an Intelligence and Interrogation Agency ship were correct.”
“We have eyes on it Sergeant,” Kael responded, a tightness to his voice now. “Grey colouring so it’s not an actual agent, one of their lower ranked workers.”
It took me a second to realise the Captain had addressed that last part to us, the sound not coming through the feed the Sergeant was sending.
“Not anymore,” H44 said softly as the video raised up the body to the face. Or where the face used to be. The centre was a mess of ruined flesh and congealed black blood. The view enlarged as the Sergeant leaned in closer, surveying the gory scene. His gaze flicked upwards to the wall behind, scanning the splatter of viscera that was painted there.
“Signs of a struggle by the entrance Sir,” Patel said, jerking her head towards the door. The Sergeant nodded, returning his attention to the corpse.
“Get Dr Iglesias. Pretty clear what happened but maybe he can shed some more light.”
She nodded, standing quickly and striding out to grab the doctor. Dell rose slightly, seemingly resting on the balls of his feet as he glanced around the room more carefully. As the marine had said there was some scuff marks on the floor and a couple of crates seemed jostled out of position. Dr Iglesias arrived and immediately knelt by the body, shining a powerful torch into the wound. Dell’s camera swung away briefly before returning, accompanied by a deep breath.
“Gunshot Doctor?”
“Evidently,” he replied. “High calibre or very close range. I would say it’s the latter.”
“Why is that,” Dell asked, his view moving from the corpse to the expressionless face of the Doctor. Before answering Iglesias lifted the body’s hand, angling it so the Sergeant could see clearly. The knuckles had dried blood stained on them, as well as slight swelling and bruising. The Doctor peered in closer, passed the gore and stared at the corpse’s wrist, rolling up the sleeve.
“So he managed to strike his assailant,” Dell surmised, standing and making his way out of the room. “Given the blood, looks like it was a human.”
“So it would appear,” the Doctor agreed, Dell looking back at him in time to catch his curious gaze switch from the body to the open crate. He cleared his throat and the Doctor turned, walking out ahead of him, though with one last glance at the revealed box. They re-joined the rest of the squad and resumed their initial formation.
“One casualty identified,” Dell said to his team, their eyes unconsciously flicking to the room they had emerged from. “Human. Looks like this is an IIA ship after all. Stay alert.”
The team moved forward once more, through hallways still lit brightly. Patel, her voice lowered but enough to carry forward to her Sergeant, was picked up on Dell’s mic.
“So what are we thinking Sir? Alien raid? Or some old fashioned human on human pirating?”
Dell was silent for a moment, sweeping his gun over each doorway he passed, the squad walking passed rooms that housed nothing but empty bunks and tables.
“Given the blood on that corpses knuckles, i'd say the latter,” he responded eventually, his voice even and quiet. He looked up at the ceiling of the small ship, only about half a foot above his six. “Besides would be more of a disturbance if it was some Dralid raiders trying to fit in here. Could have been Vannett, even Berylian and the blood his. But I have a hunch and that hunch is pointing towards our fellow man.”
Patel grunted in affirmation and then fell silent as the group entered a larger space, dominated by a large table and stools. It appeared to be something of a rec room, with a small kitchenette space towards the rear. Unlike similar spaces on the Jinx, there was little in the way of actual recreation save for a few VR stations installed at the sides. Dell swept his gaze over them and they appeared to be geared more towards combat practice and government sanctioned drills, rather than the more versatile leisure versions you could find.
“Remind me never to join the Shrikes,” Price breathed, shaking his head as he gazed around the space. He frowned and Dell followed his gaze to the centre, where a few of the stools lay in disarray. Sweeping his eyes around the room, Dell gestured and his marines fanned out, covering the three exits to the room. He walked in, allowing his rifle to hang, and inspected the area more closely. The chairs seemed to have been abandoned in haste, scuff marks along the floor where they had forcibly been thrown. Similarly mugs lay strewn on the table, their contents pooling along the surface to drip onto the floor. A few remained upright, including the large pot of coffee at the centre he deduced had been used to fill them.
“Left in a hurry. Scrambled to fight off a threat?” he mused out loud, bending down to look beneath the table. He jerked his gaze left as Doctor Iglesias walked passed, purposely moving towards the small kitchen part of the room.
“Or to flee,” the Doctor responded. The kitchenette was a simple enough thing, a mid-height island blocking part of it from view. What they could see were standard issue steel cupboards and ovens and Dell was on his feet quickly, following the Doctor as he too saw the dent in one of the storage units. They rounded the island as one and the Doctor instantly dropped to his feet next to the second corpse they had found. Dell, leaving the Doctor to his work, examined the damaged cupboard. It was bent inwards, a fist sized shape aberration in the shiny metal. Leaning closer, he could make out small specks of detritus.
“We’ve got blood, a few hairs up here Doc,” Dell said finally. “Guessing you’ll find the back of his head caved in to match this.”
“Hers,” the Doctor announced absently, his fingers drumming anxiously on the wall next to him. “And yes, she shows cranial damage. But that isn’t what killed her.”
“It isn’t?” Dell asked, crouching down alongside Iglesias. “Another bullet wound?”
The Doctor didn’t respond but shifted slightly and Dell saw the corpse properly for the first time. It was a woman as the Doctor had said, her dark hair fanned out on the floor. The way the head lay, he could tell that the back of her head showed the damage from being forced into metal above. He looked closer and exhaled deeply, noting the dark blue marking to the swollen skin of her face. One side was so engorged it looked almost like it would burst if prodded. Her lips too were blue, as if drained completely of blood.
“Shit,” Dell said finally, rubbing a bead of sweat that threatened to fall from his shorn scalp. “Guess she’s been sitting out for a while.”
“No longer than the other,” the Doctor announced, manipulating a finger mounted light and camera to take a series of quick renditions of the body. “But the blow to her head, I don’t think that is what killed her. I’ll send these back to the Jinx, see what my colleagues think. The blunt force trauma is vicious certainly but on its own, I believe she would have survived it.”
“Then what…..” The Doctor shook his head and Dell noticed that while his demeanor remained calm, professional, his pupils were wide, his skin pale. The Doctor pushed passed him and looked around the room quickly, eyes scanning the walls. Dell looked up to him, wondering, before realising he was looking for an indication as to where to head. Evidently he found it, because Iglesias began to stride quickly from the room, towards one of the exits. The marines holding the doorway blocked him, looking back at Dell with raised eyebrows and questioning eyes. After a moment’s hesitation Dell nodded to let him through, and his gaze swept rapidly between them and behind, indicating the Sergeant himself was beginning to feel an inkling of panic. The two marines, confusion still evident on their faces, fell in behind the Sergeant as he hurried after the Doctor.
“Iglesias” Dell growled, though his voice was quiet, echoing in the silence of the corridor. “What is it? Where are we going?”
The Doctor ignored him and each door they passed, increasing his pace until they reached the end, where their progress was impeded by a larger entrance. It was sealed shut but a thick window comprised the upper portion. The Doctor pressed up against this and stared through, muttering under his breath. Dell glanced up at the sign above the door, the dimly lit words registering clearly on his cam.
Sickbay
He swung his gaze back down, pushing the Doctor aside and looking through the window himself. Inside the med room were rows of beds, of the adequate but uncomfortable variety familiar to anyone who had served in the military. Every bed housed a person and dotted between those were more, laid flat on the ground. One such body was near the door, arm outstretched up as if trying to open it even now. The body displayed the same bloated blue features as the woman back in the rec room.
“Bastard died trying to get out?” Dell said turning to the Doctor, though there was a shake to his gruff voice, a quaver running through it.
“No Sergeant,” Iglesias replied, rapidly typing something out on his arm pad to transmit back to the ship. “He was successful in his attempt. To lock them. To quarantine.”
The Doctor looked up at him, at the two marines with them and down the corridor where the rest of the team waited.
“Seems our ship was boarded after all. Just not by pirates. They’ve been hit by a disease and it seems it has proven one hundred per cent lethal.”
The Doctor tapped decisively, sending off his findings and then addressed his next statement to both those with him and those waiting on the Jinx.
“So we’d better start brainstorming now Captain because we need to get off this ship ASAP, not infect anyone else and synthesize a cure to something I personally have never seen before.”
The corridor lay silent after the Doctor’s words, the crew of the Jinx equally stunned into silence. After a moment the rough growl of Dell broke the silence.
“Well fuck.”
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