Incomplete Part 2. Series. Close. 15. Posted by. The Hinton. 4 hours ago. Incomplete Part 2. Series. Part one. I gave up after another search of the scene. There was no letter. Not like the first time. I watched them carry Laura away thinking about her poor children. The murderer had broken another family. Incomplete Part 2. View the run poster. listen to the run theme (part 1) listen to the run theme (part 2) Metaplot: M Chronicles Duration: 5-6 hours Communication: Discord. In-Game Location: Downtown, MCT HQ Game Theme: Black Trenchcoat Game Type: High Security Extraction Difficulty: SemiPrime Please post your discord tag at the top of your app ... The Crossword Solver found 20 answers to the incomplete part crossword clue. The Crossword Solver finds answers to American-style crosswords, British-style crosswords, general knowledge crosswords and cryptic crossword puzzles. Enter the answer length or the answer pattern to get better results. Click the answer to find similar crossword clues. Identifying a Sentence as Complete or Incomplete Part 2 A group of words that makes complete sense is called a sentence. A complete sentence expresses a complete thought. Every complete sentence has two parts: a subject and a predicate. Download and print Turtle Diary's Identifying a Sentence as Complete or Incomplete Part 2 worksheet. Our large collection of ela worksheets are a great study tool for all ages. TASK 2: INCOMPLETE INDEPENDENT CLAUSES PART 2 Directions: Retype the following sentences and choose the one option-(A), (B), (C), or (D)-that correctly completes the sentences. _____ by cosmic rays. (A) The earth is constantly bombarded (B) Bombarded constantly, the earth (C) Bombarding the earth constantly (D) The earth's constant bombardment Answer: ___A___ _____ primary colors…
2020.10.21 22:51 granthinton Hidden house inside camera
I gave up after another search of the scene. There was no letter. Not like the first time. I watched them carry Laura away thinking about her poor children. The murderer had broken another family.
Was I missing something? Did the person responsible only want to kidnap my son? Was Waters’s death a distraction to achieving that? But why take a heart from a heart op female?
I couldn’t get my head around those facts as the car sped down the road. The roads were a blur until we pulled into my cul-de-sac. 2am and the bedroom light was still on. Not a good sign. That meant Julie was at the bottle again. Sure enough as I step through the door a triad of abuse sailed from the staircase.
“IT'S YOUR FAULT, YOU BASTARD!
Fending off her blows, which wasn’t easy, I made my way to the kitchen. Julie followed close behind still shouting obscenities. I tried fighting off the feeling of hatred to the women that once held my heart, but it was so damn hard. It’s like she been taken over by this banshee. Julie’s transformation from grieving mother to broken drunk was almost complete. Almost, because I didn’t want to truly believe it.
She rattles around me in half her bedclothes. It’s like she attempted to get changed but got too drunk by the time she needed to put on her bottoms.
“It’s yyyyour fault. Youuu and that bloodyyy job. If youuu weren't a cop, Xander would still be here!”
“Go put some clothes on,” I shout back, working around her hanging my coat and stalking to the kitchen. I’m dying for a cup of tea and some peace and quiet. But Julie’s screams stop that.
“You fucking prick!” She beat at my chest. I lose control. The back of my hand stops her short. I’ve never slapped her before. I feel my rage turn to shame. Looking into her teary eyes and it reminds me of the women beneath the alcohol.
I fucked up, again.
She runs from the room.
I listen to the stomping of stairs, the slam of a door and the squeak of the bed springs. My head falls to my chest, and shame follows me to my office.
For some reason, after Xander was kidnapped from school, Julie wanted CCTV installed into the house. I don’t know why? All that was left in the house was worthless with Xander. The obsession over the cameras took up a week of her life until the bottle replaced it. Now it was just another thing that was forgotten about. A bit like me.
At my work chair I shuffle around tidying things that didn’t need tidying. I’ve felt this way since my golden handshake. I’m not needed anymore but so full of rage that I can’t sit still. This house, this office reminds me of my past and I don’t like it.
Certificates hang on the walls, a medal in a glass frame that I got from rescuing some kid from his suicidal father sits in a glass case at the back of a shelf. My life had meaning once. Once I did good and helped others. Now, I couldn’t even help my own family. The depression sinks back in. The tea, hot and sweet, just how I like it, is a small comfort in times like this.
I don’t know why I checked the cameras but when I do I notice a blip on the day line. The cameras recorded something around 10pm tonight. The video fires up when I click it and I nearly drop my tea cup when it plays. I press my face closer to the monitor, my throat frozen. I fight back the tears. There is no mistaking the boy on the recording. Xander was at our front door not too long ago.
For some stupid reason I ran to the door and fling it open. But he isn’t there. Just as quickly I run back and watch it again. Xander, his hand covered in a bandage, slips a letter under the door and then stops. His eyes are red from crying, and he has a tightness in his shoulder only fear can give.
My boy is scared, and I think I know why. Xander looks behind him. He fights some invisible fight, torn between the comfort of his home and the person controlling him. When his hand raises to knock on the door, his head flicks around as if someone calls him. The next second he’s gone.
I fold up like an old seaside deckchair. My mind shut down and emotions take over. My tears are hot, wet and never ending.
Why didn’t he knock? Julie would have saved him and we could have all been back together again.
Minutes turn by as I sit on the floor of my office in a crumbled mess. The computer hums, sounds of the night invade the room and I sit like an old, washed up fool. Suddenly two things dawn on me at once. One, my baby boy is alive, and two, he slipped something under the door.
For the second time, I ran to the door. I hadn’t seen it when I came in because of Julie’s assault. I pull the yellow letter out from under the front door mat with a shaking hand.
It’s the same paper as before. Crinkled, yellow and smelling of mould. I opened it and read:
It's strange that I haven’t seen you, so I sent your beloved. If you’re wondering, there is another of his fingers waiting on your step. Never underestimate that I will continue to chop him up.
If you want to avenge him you have to find me. But how can you do that, when yourselves can’t find the bodies? The two you’ve missed add to my collection nicely. But, I will help you find them. I’m not careless, I can’t have you leave them in their artistic poses.
That is your first clue, Detective. Do with it what you may. Xander is such a good boy. He is helping me to ready my artistic work. But it won’t be complete until you are here.
The body the detective found wasn’t really for him. He may have earned my wrath. We will see if he gets in the way again. He can’t help of course, that’s against the rules.
Now, a clue to the other bodies.
With God you can unload, where no souls tread. My letter can break codes, but for now, dread.
He shines in darkness, she in the light. Find one at it’s centre and one at your height.
I hope that helps. I’ve always found written words hold more power for me. These letters will also help drive your vengeance. Oh, how I want you angry, John. All I want you to feel is lt. I want it to drive you to know the pain like it’s mine. To feel it in every breath like I do, Detective. It dominates me.
I do hope you find the bodies before anyone else. It’s only fitting. I will be immensely cross if that doesn’t happen. If it does happen, well, I’ll repay whoever is so stupid. Even that detective.
My collection is getting big. Xander says it’s scary, but I think it’s perfection. Only one more part left, John. The last one is a big one. I’ll just have to pray to the Lord.
The religious words in both letters make me believe he’s somehow warped by his faith, but in my experience most of these types of cases are with the aid of religious influences.
A religious nut, that’s all I need.
I reach for my phone and dial Rowland.
The letter told me where I could also find the body within the church. At the centre of all Churches is the cross. My hunch is, all I need to find is the biggest one and I’ll find the body. What I don’t get is the part of the letter about my height.
Rowland answers on the third ring.
“What’s up?” His voice cracks with the drone of the road, that means he isn't home yet.
“I’ve got something. Meet me at the old church on Taymount rise,” I don’t wait to hear his reply. I’m already getting my car keys off the hook and opening the door.
The thing was old, like two hundred years or something. Tall, imposing. Made of mortared stones in the old fashion. Strong and unbreakable. Like their faith some will say. I don’t know about that. I don’t have any faith left.
In the darkness it looked as foreboding as a monster’s castle. Thankfully, I didn’t give a shit about monsters and the moon gives off another light to see by. But the torches help where it won’t. The street lights were never good even when I lived here.
Rowland opens the heavy oak door with barely a sound. The interior is shrouded in darkness and smells as hollow as it looks. With the aid of a torch, rubbish and the scattering of once used furniture comes into view. At one point in time squatters had ransacked the place.
We don’t have to look hard to find him. My hunch was right, the cross is the centre of the Church and he’s strapped to it. The man is around twenty years old, his hair was probably blond once but it’s so encrusted with dirt and mud it’s almost black. I can also see he taken two body parts this time. The man’s right leg and left arm. Whatever this fucking weirdo is doing with the parts is anyone’s guess. But I’m guessing it’s not good.
“He must have fought him pretty badly,” Rowland flashes the torch on the scratches up his neck and face. I pick off the woven crown of twigs and cast it at the wall angrily.
“We better call this one in,” I let the torch fall on Rowlands chest so I don’t blind him.
“We?” I hear the irony in his voice. “I better ring this one in, you better leave. If Monroe turns up and you’re here, he’s gonna have a fucking field day.”
He isn’t wrong.
While Rowland works the perimeter I do a quick search of the body and find another finger. It’s a pinky, and it doesn’t belong to the man.
“That three,” I say, holding it up for Rowland to see. Then I place it in the metal box that holds the others fingers. It fits snugly in my inside pocket much to Rowland’s horror. His disgusted face pisses me off.
“They’re my sons.” I say, barely hiding the strained tension in my voice. Rowland says nothing in return, but instead turns away.
He dials his phone and moves off. It’s the chance I’ve been waiting for. Throughout the whole investigation I’ve hidden the fact that there are letters. I know full well if I tell Monroe or Rowland about them, I won’t see them again. It’s sick to say it, but the letters are like life lines to my son. In some weird way I can’t be apart from them. It’s like they still connect me to Xander.
The letter I find slips into my pocket next to the fingers. I glance up quickly. Rowland’s back is turned. I turn and make my way out the door with the feeling like a ghost is about to jump out on me. A few seconds later and Rowland joins me.
“Ok, Monroe will probably be here first light, but forensics are on the way, that gives you a chance to get out of here,” he pats me on the shoulder.
I forget how long we’ve worked together. I was already a veteran when he got partnered with me. A Middle aged fool. Like him, my old partner’s partner was pensioned off when I joined the force. The lucky bastard had a full eleven years of my sorry old ass riding next to his.
“Thanks, Leon. I appreciate it.”
He nods and waves me away. “You just get some rest. If anything else comes up I’ll let you know.”
As I pop the car door and go to get in, Rowland calls out.
“I forgot to ask, how did you know where to find this body?”
I didn’t think this far ahead.
“Good old police work,” I hope he can’t see through my lie. “And a lucky hunch,” I smile trying to calm my nerves. Lucky, Rowland’s cheeks rise and a non-committed chuckle falls out of his mouth as he turns back to his phone.
I swallow the growing dread inside. I really want to open the latter and see if this one gives any clue to where my son is being held, but I can’t risk it.
submitted by granthinton to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]
2020.10.21 17:13 deadislandman1 Camera hidden inside house
DC Next presents:
CYBORG Issue eight: Enhanced
Written by Deadislandman1
Edited by AdamantAce and dwright5252
Next Issue > Coming November 18th
Arc: Terrible Machinations
“Ladies and Gentlemen! This crisis has gone on long enough!”
The sun sat smack dab in the middle of the sky as a man in a grey suit gave his speech upon a stage set up next to Detroit’s central square. A large crowd of people piled around the stage, listening to the man speak as security kept him safe, guarding every way onto the stage and keeping watch over the crowd. The man gestured with his hands, waving them about as he preached his impassioned word.
“For the better part of this year, the citizens of Detroit have been the victim of gangsters and petty thieves,” shouted the man. “While this city’s crime problem has always been a consistent issue, it has more recently been exasperated by the introduction of new weapons that outclass anything the police or even the military has at their disposal!”
Gazing over the rest of the crowd, who remained as attentive as could be, the speaker waved his hands over the people, “As the leader of this city, I promise to attend to the needs of the people. The common man is suffering underneath this overbearing problem and the so called heroes have failed to bring us those responsible! If I am elected, I will tackle this problem at its source! If we cut off specific resources from being imported into the city, we can prevent our culprit from receiving the materials to create his instruments of death.”
Staring into the crowd and taking in all the faces, the speaker continued, “Furthermore, seeing as the perpetrators are often in lower income neighborhoods, I plan to increase police presence in those areas as my first orde-”
In the blink of an eye, a purple blur tore across the sky, so fast that the guards couldn’t possibly react to it. As it flew high above the speaker, a massive beam of blue energy exploded from the blur, blowing the speaker’s chest open and sending hot blood everywhere. As the guards rushed to the body to see what they could salvage, more fanned out to search for the assassin as the crowd cried out in terror.
“Are you sure I can be out here without a disguise? The guards are all looking at me funny.”
“If I’m here, they won’t bother you. Just watch my back while I check the victim.”
Mister Terrific stood over the dead man’s body, attempting to analyze the wound as Victor Stone stood off to the side. The two had heard about the attack on the news, investigating since the weapon used bore similarities to that of Forger’s inventions. When they arrived, security seemed apprehensive about letting them check the body out, but being the smartest man alive meant that Terrific had special certifications when it came to this kind of thing. As Victor tapped his foot in anticipation, Terrific poked around the gaping hole in the man’s body, gauging how severe the damage was.
“Who was this guy even?” asked Victor, watching the streets as he waited for Terrific to finish, “From what the guards are saying, he was running for mayor.”
“Yeah, and unfortunately for him his policies were based entirely around attacking Forger’s supply lines,” said Terrific. “The fact that he was so open about it may have drummed up support, but it also painted a target on his back.”
“So the Forger took him out to keep his suppliers open?” asked Victor. “Wouldn’t something this public attract more attention?”
“Considering the fact that Forger bombed Holt Industries with people still inside, I don’t think he’s super interested in keeping a low profile,” said Terrific. “Everyone knows who he is, his tracks are just incredibly well hidden.”
“So all we’ve got to go on is the tech used by his enforcer,” said Victor, glancing at the body. “He did kill this guy, right?”
“Burn marks match the ones at the previous warehouse,” said Terrific, raising his hands and drawing an imaginary line between the corpse and the skyline, “And just like the enforcer, the attack was delivered from the sky by someone going at a high speed.”
Standing up, Terrific cracked his knuckles, turning to Victor as the guards continued to mill about the area, “The attack came from the west side of the city, with the killer exiting the scene moving eastward.”
“So they came from the west?” asked Victor.
“Maybe, but there’s also a possibility that they could have come in that way intentionally to mislead us,” said Terrific. “There are an infinite number of directions and ways that he could have gone.”
Victor stared at Terrific for a moment before raising his eyebrow, “Then how does analyzing this corpse help us?”
“Well,” said Terrific, “Having given the assailant’s combat style some thought, they seem to employ hit and run tactics. They come in hard and fast, take on and eliminate their target, then they get out fast. As far as I can tell, they like to rapidly ascend, make the hit, then descend into their little hiding space to limit any chances of a camera spotting them.”
Victor, still confused, scratched the back of his head as he gingerly asked, “So… again, how does that help?”
Terrific let out an audible groan, rubbing his eyes in frustration, “Listen, whoever Forger’s enforcer is, they have to have a place nearby that can be used to house their equipment. If they wanted to get into the air, kill this guy, then get back down without anyone seeing them, then they would have to start and end from somewhere in this city, specifically, a place that doesn’t see that many people.”
Terrific pulled a map of the city out of his jacket, unraveling it so that Victor could have a look at it. Peering over the map, Victor noticed two spots on the map that have had a circle drawn over them with a marker, located on opposite ends of the city.
“These are the broad areas I’ve narrowed down for the killer’s place of operations,” said Terrific, “And If we’re lucky, the Forger will be there too.”
Victor observed the map, taking mental notes as to where the circles were, but a question still plagued his mind, “That’s great but...Why didn’t you do this earlier?”
“Because the enforcer, and by extension Forger, weren’t this sloppy,” said Terrific, a glint in his eyes. “I’m not entirely sure whether or it’s your arrival or my continued efforts that caused it, but clearly cracks are starting to show. We just need to keep pushing and we’ll get the bastard.”
Terrific pointed at one circle, “You take this spot, I’ll take the other.”
“Wait! I still look like...this!” said Victor, gesturing at himself, “I need you with me so people won’t freak out!”
“It’ll be fine, you’re a tough guy. You’ll make it through OK,” said Terrific, seemingly unconcerned as he left the map in Victor’s hands before turning around. “Keep the map, I’ve already memorized everything on it, including the circle.”
Before Victor could protest further, Terrific marched off, leaving Cyborg alone as he dejectedly glanced back at the map, attempting to figure out where he was at that moment.
[I detect increased stress levels. Is there anything I can do to help?]
‘Nope,’ thought Victor, ‘like it or not, I’m just gonna have to tough this out, for dad.’
As much as he loathed the idea of taking a tour of the city without a disguise, Victor couldn’t help but appreciate the little details that Detroit had to offer. The less polished streets may have been a little grungier than the facelifted downtown, but it still had an unusual yet well intentioned heart. Early afternoon runners jogged their way down the city sidewalks, running laps around the block as the sweat ran off their skin. Off in the parking lot of a bar, a man in a brightly colored food truck sliced up a potato into curls before tossing them into a deep fryer, shaking the handle of the fryer basket to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom. A young girl skipped out of a barber shop, her hair arranged to her exact liking as the barber waved her goodbye. The place, despite lacking the elegance of the main city, was far from unwelcoming.
Victor nervously walked down the road, keeping one eye on the map as he crossed an intersection on his way to the search area. As bad as it was that he had to go without a disguise, he wasn’t getting as much of a visceral reaction as he did in New Mexico. Other than a few offhanded stares of confusion, nobody seemed blatantly disgusted or horrified by his appearance. As he rounded a corner, a sort of static noise began to blare in his ears, prompting a groan from Victor.
Looks like Exxy was checking in.
“Hey man…>Munch<...how’s the search goin?” said Exxy, shoveling something into his mouth and chewing obnoxiously between words, “It’s pretty boring on my end. None of the drones are picking anything up.”
“The search is going...ok. Not gonna lie, I feel a little naked out here without my hoodie,” said Victor.
“How do you feel naked? You don’t even have enough skin to land an indecent exposure charge,” said Exxy, chewing on another glob of food, “Trust me, I’ve got experience. >Munch<”
“Can you quit it with the potato chips?” Victor asked, cringing, “At least move away from the mic when you...wait, you’ve got experience?”
“Uuuuuuh! Nevermind!” stuttered Exxy, who now desperately wanted to change the subject, “In other news, how are things with Terrific?”
Victor let out an annoyed growl, “Honestly, he’s still been a massive ass.”
“It’s like I’ve been sayin’, he’s probably been through some rough shit,” said Exxy. “I know I’m not in the field with him like you are, but it might be a good idea to just...give him a chance?”
“It’s tough when he’s being such a hardass,” said Victor, glancing at an alley across the street, “It’d help if he was less….”
Victor trailed off and shook his head abruptly, doing a double take at what he was seeing across the street. Exxy, noticing the pause, immediately became confused, “Uh...less what? Smart? Condescending?”
“I’m...gonna have to call you back Exxy,” said Victor. “Something’s come up.”
“Something’s come up? This isn’t some business call, it’s a covert mission!” piped Exxy, “Besides, the comms are in your brain, how do you even hang u-”
As if on queue, Exxy’s voice cut out, prompting a smirk from Victor, ‘Thanks V.’
[You are welcome...Victor.]
Turning his attention back towards the situation on the other side of the street, Victor nervously shuffled across, getting closer to the scene at hand.
They were kids, kids with limbs made not of flesh, but of metal and wire. Some were fairly easy to see, like the boy with strange misshapen legs, who’s bottom half ended not with feet, but with a simple arced spring. He bounced about like a kangaroo, getting about fifteen feet into the air on his highest jump before the mechanical legs absorbed the landing. Other kids had smaller but still somewhat noticeable features, like a girl hanging out in the background, her blue iris’ glinting against green pupils, a deviation from the standard white.
But the kid who had Victor’s real attention was a boy with a highly noticeable metal arm and eye. The eye seemed to dart about, independent of the boy’s other eye as it scanned the area with a purple glow, while the arm, while somewhat spindly with exposed wires, looked as if it could bend steel.
Or crush skulls.
As the boy strolled over to the rest of the group, he slipped a backpack off his person, zipping it open and pulling out what looked to be a brick. As the rest of the kids gathered around him, the boy gained a devilish smile as he applied pressure to the brick, watching it crack and fracture before violently breaking apart. As the remaining shards peppered the ground, the rest of the group cheered with glee, high and giddy on the power trip of it all.
As Victor moved within the kid’s earshot, he addressed them, hoping to probe into how they came to be this way, “Hey!”
The children whirled around, taking in Victor in all his glory as they gasped in shock, mouths agape in surprise. The boy who crushed the brick, now shaking with excitement, rushed up to Victor, tapping his metal carapace, “Hol-ee shit! The Machinist must have given you the full treatment!”
“The...Machinist?” said Victor, confused. He’d never heard this name before.
“You know, the Machinist!” said the boy, “Everyone here got a tune up from him.” Lifting his arm, the boy compared it to Victor’s, “Though...yours are another level!”
“Woah, woah, woah!” said Victor, “So there’s some guy named the Machinist...Giving out operations that replace parts of your body with mechanical ones...for free?”
“Yeah! He called it a taste test,” said the boy, enthusiastically gesturing with his hands, “Said that better parts and designs were available for a price. Guess you had the dough to pay for the best!”
Somebody in this city was cutting off and replacing bodily limbs with robotic appendages, all for free? Not only was the act itself incredibly disturbing to Victor, as even the young were not turned away from this horrible sort of cybernetic mutilation, but what made it even worse were the implications concerning him.
Here he was, a product of cybernetics, and now there was a man who dealt specifically in that area, in the city where STAR Labs disappeared alongside any trace of his father. Victor began to draw lines between the two in his head, searching for any kind of connection between them. While it would be foolish to jump to conclusions, the question that propped itself up in his mind now needed a definitive answer.
Did this Machinist build him? Was he the man who created GRID, who kidnapped his father?
[Victor...Someone is attempting to contact you.]
‘Not now.’ thought Victor.
[It is the one known as Mister Terrific.]
‘Shit,’ thought Victor, ‘Fine, patch him through.’
Finding himself interrupted, Victor groaned as Terrific’s voice began to echo within his mind.
“V….Vic…..Victor!” piped Terrific, “I found the enforcer’s hiding spot. Come to West 3rd Street in the industrial area of the city.”
Acknowledging Terrific, Victor turned to the kids, “Sorry guys, I’ve gotta go. Just...stay out of trouble!”
Turning around, Victor began to job towards Terrific’s location, leaving the kids to their own devices. As he disappeared out of sight, a notification suddenly popped up on the kids’ phones. Checking them, they all smiled devilishly, realizing that the moment of truth was upon them.
The hunt had begun.
The sun had begun to set on Motown as Victor shuffled down the back alley, making his way towards Terrific’s location. The possibility that the answers to his lingering questions continued to dance along the surface of his brain, seducing him with their easy allure. Stalking one of the corners of the ratty alleyway, Victor spotted Terrific hiding underneath an apartment window, ushering Victor over as the two crept around beneath the building.
“That’s it,” said Terrific, pointing at a window around four stories up, “That’s our guy’s base of operations.”
Victor looked at the apartament with skepticism, “Really? It seems a little...out in the open.”
“That’s the idea.”
The two heroes whirled around, glancing upward into the sky only to find a woman in a black and purple getup floating above them on a hoverboard. The gauntlets on her wrists emanated violent, volatile yellow energy, lashing out at the air as she stared down at the two through red tinted glasses, “Don’t bother trying to catch me, in a minute I’ll be miles away.”
Terrific’s eyes widened, “You?! You’re Forger’s enforcer?”
The woman raised her eyebrow, “Huh, didn’t expect the great Mister Terrific to recognize me.” She cracks her neck, stretching her arms as she continues to float above the two, “Black Narcissus must be becoming a household name.”
“No, I just...” Terrific pauses, unassuredness written all over his face. Victor had never seen the hero so conflicted, and considering the fact that he’s always radiated an aura of confidence and smartassery, that meant that he had some kind of significant connection to this Black Narcissus. Shrugging off his hesitation, Terrific returns to a determined state of mind, boldly staring back up at Narcissus, “Nevermind, it doesn’t matter. We know you serve the Forger, tell us where he is and we won’t have to fight you.”
“If you want to meet the Forger, then just head upstairs into the apartament,” said Black Narcissus, floating over to the window and opening it so she could slip inside. “He’s been trying to reach you for a while.”
As she disappeared from their view, Victor and Terrific glanced at one another in uncertainty. This was certainly a very different approach when compared to what they faced last month, which made the whole ordeal even more suspicious than it already was. Regardless, the two begrudgingly walked into the apartament complex through a backdoor, trudging up the stairs towards the apartament.
Even if this was a trap, it was two on one in an enclosed space. She stood no chance.
Piling into the apartament, Victor and Terrific were met with a surprisingly barren room, save for a large monitor fashioned against the wall. Narcissus leaned against one of the walls next to the window, watching the two with caution, “Remember, try anything and It’ll go as well for you as it did last time.”
“Last time you caught us off guard,” said Victor, “That won’t happen again.”
“Where is he?” questioned Terrific, directing his statement at Narcissus, “Where is the Forger?”
“He’s right here,” said Narcissus, glancing at the monitor. As Terrific gazed at the empty screen, it suddenly lit up, displaying a live video of a man in an expertly crafted mask. The mask, made from some sort of black material, was peppered with lights on specific parts, forming constantly shifting digital images that layered on top of the mask.
Terrific clenched his fists, anger boiling within him as he glared at the Forger, “Really? Through a fucking monitor?”
“Hello Mister Terrific...” said the Forger, his voice distorted to the point that it was impossible to gauge who it was, “You must understand, I am only meeting this way because I fear you’ll break some of my bones if we were to see each other in person.”
“You’re damn right about that,” growled Terrific, “You’ve been trying to kill me for months. Why the cordiality? Why now?”
“Despite what you may think, my attempts to remove you from the field are not personal,” said the Forger. “Truth be told, I actually admire you a great deal. You’ve achieved so much despite likely starting so disadvantaged, and you’ve risen to the top of the heroic food chain in many respects. In many ways, you were my inspiration.”
Terrific continued to glare at the screen, “Skip the hollow pleasantries and get to the point. What do you want?”
Forger sighed, “I want us to enter a truce for the time being, to have a break in the action.”
“And why would I do that?” asked Terrific, bitter rage in his voice.
“Because we have a common enemy.” The screen flashed, revealing a man in a strange metallic mask, “This is the Machinist. He has recently made himself at home in this city, selling cybernetic enhancements to criminals who would do harm to the people. I propose that we deal with this threat together, for the well being of-”
Terrific stared at the monitor with an even more intimidating glare, “Don’t bother trying to convince me that we should join sides because this man is the greater of two evils. I’ve seen some of his work around, stopped it when necessary, but his presence does not excuse you for what you did. Your weapons have destroyed corner stores, bombed industry towers, and made this city more dangerous than it’s ever been. As far as I’m concerned, you’re both scum, and you’re both going to prison for the rest of your lives.”
After his passionate and angry speech, Terrific could only watch as Forger let out another disappointed sigh, “It seems you’re smart enough to predict what I’m to say, yet you’re too stupid to make the right choice. We could end this brewing conflict before it begins, but you’re far too self righteous to put away your pride and do the right thing. Remember this conversion Terrific, it will be a sore reminder when you realize you’ve fucked everything up.”
The video shuts off abruptly, leaving Terrific and Victor alone to their own thoughts. Whirling around, Victor realized that Narcissus had slipped out while they were talking with Terrific. Shaking in anger, Terrific let out a roar before punching a hole through the monitor, watching it fall to the ground in pieces as Victor put a hand on his shoulder, “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
“Don’t have to tell me twice,” said Terrific.
As the two prepared to leave, a small group of kids, the same that Victor had met earlier, crept towards the apartment door, cybernetic limbs at the ready. As they got closer and closer, the leader, the boy with a mechanical arm, took hold of the doorknob, preparing to break it off so that he and his friends could charge inside.
Tonight was the night it happened. Tonight was the night they killed Mister Terrific.
submitted by deadislandman1 to DCNext [link] [comments]
2020.10.21 11:25 duhh23 Camera hidden inside house
On December the third 1995, a man was murdered. He laid on the grey concrete floor as a puddle of blood turned it to red. The man was already missing for a few weeks, he disappeared from the earth leaving behind his wife and two children. No letter, no notes, no warning whatsoever. A security guard had found the man eventually in an old, abandoned building, somewhere in the basement. After the police arrived and the body was brought to a mortuary it would create more questions than answers. The autopsy concluded that he was attacked by something they couldn’t identify, the wounds weren’t of an animal, nor was it manmade. The unknown thing had left scratches and cuts all over his body, yet his clothes weren’t torn or damaged. Though it looked like the wounds on the man’s body were the cause of his death, the autopsy did make clear it was because of a heart attack, yet no existing heart failure or heart diseases were known with this man or his family. He was actually very healthy but still died in a strange and sinister way at a strange and sinister place.
As a research team investigated the murder of the man, it became clear the man wasn’t so normal as he would appear. He had a more dark and strange life than anyone could have guessed, just like the place where he was murdered. The man lived apparently a second life, apart from his wife and children. He was caught up in some kind of strange society, where they promised people wealth and happiness if they followed their rules and rituals. The man became a diehard follower, and his wife didn’t even notice it. What was stranger was that the man was the only follower of this society. The many names of people who seemed associated with it didn’t even exist. They did find a picture of a group of people with the man in it, holding the logo of a half-moon with three crosses in it. They analysed the picture and concluded that the only real person in the picture was the man, the rest just never existed. In recent years they analysed the picture again. With new and better ways of looking at the picture they discovered that of the ten people standing in the picture, the computer saw another five faces in the background looking directly into the camera. These weren’t faces of humans, but mere shadows in the dark background. After reanalysing the picture for not believing the outcome the computer made, a sixth face was to be recognised on the picture, this unseen face had a crooked smile and was apparently next to the man who had died.
The place where the man had died was even stranger than the man’s double life. It’s a large building full of forgotten memories. Nobody really knows its origins or why it was built in the first place. Many hands had held the key to its doors, some say the first hand dated back to the 18 century. Whatever the reason for having such a building, it never took long before the owners sold it to another poor soul. Only those who are desperate wanted this building, only those who go for the cheapest see something in it. Anyone could eventually predict that the government would buy it for a cheap price. They used it as a sort of holding place for people who didn’t act or behaved like good citizens. In other more realistic terms is that they used the building to hold the scum of the land in it. These poor suckers were outcasts in their own cities, causing only trouble and hate among its fellow citizens. The government picked them up and brought them to such a place. Nobody questioned it, nobody cared, these souls were lost and were better put away then left in society. For years they had held them in the god-awful building, not if it helped any of them. The death of one person wasn’t the least of their problems. Missing’s and madness were so common, they stopped counting how many people stayed in the building. A completely normal kid could come in and a few weeks later he would be banging his head against the wall screaming that the voices should go away. It was a madhouse, for normal people.
Eventually, they shut the facility down, “not effective” was their reason, as if all those people whose lives were destroyed didn’t mean anything. So, they tried to sell it to the next poor bastard who wanted it, which was nobody. The state kept it for some reason, they should have raised it down to the ground, but they didn’t. Over time houses and nice neighbourhoods would be built around it, as if the place was almost forgotten. Until the man was found inside by the security guard. It was the guard's first day, and also his last. Big giant fences were built around it, nobody could come in, nobody could come out. Hidden away from the world. Children were playing next to it, kicking a ball against the fence, but sometimes something would kickback from the other side, making the children’s faces white as snow. Angry parents would then complain, not only was it scaring the children it was a dark spot on their nice perfect neighbourhoods. Sometimes strange sounds and bright lights would come from the place. People believed teenagers would hang out there, though everyone knew not to go there. The mayor would be eventually forced to hire guards to secure the place. That’s where the story of Henry comes in.
You see, Henry had guarded many abandoned places in his life. It was a harsh life, staying up all night keeping out the strange and weird people of the night, but it was his life. This building would be one just like any other abandoned building. He wouldn’t be alone either. Dave, a veteran who also won his battle against drug addiction, was also a security guard for this building. Both of them would work from twelve midnight till eight in the morning until the next shift would come. They both didn’t expect much of it, although when they arrived, they saw the two people from the dayshift almost having a mental breakdown. They warned them not to go into the building, it was better if they quit their jobs and go away. Henry thought it was just a stupid prank trying to scare them, but the two guards were dead serious. Still, Henry and Dave laughed it away and went on with their first day of work.
Henry would take the east wing, while Dave would be on the west wing. As Henry walked in the building, wishing Dave good luck, he noticed the air became thicker. The room at the entrance seemed to make him small as if the walls closed in on him. It was already dark outside, making it harder for him to see clearly, but what he did see seemed so odd. He walked around, watching his perimeter. Long poorly lit halls, an endless amount of rooms going nowhere, big spaces where it became impossible to see the other side of the place. It was a strange place, but Henry didn’t mind. After he was done with checking out his walk route, he came to his office where he would reside most of the night. It was a small room, with big glass windows looking out at a giant room. Henry turned on all the lights, it flickered at first but after a while, they were all lit. He watched the long and darkroom from his office window, there was nothing to see but old beds. So, he sat down in his comfy chair and started to read a good book.
The beginning of the night was calm, Henry had already walked his route once and started to read more out of his book. The only irritating thing was the constant radio calling of Dave. Apparently, he heard weird sounds somewhere in his part of the building. Henry told him to be calm and start looking for what it could be that made the sound, but Dave couldn’t find the source. Henry eventually ignored it, finding his book more important than the weird things Dave was hearing. Henry was so occupied with his book, that he didn’t even notice the lights in the big room next to his office were turned off. Only a hard scratching sound of metal dragged on a concrete floor got him out of his occupation. It made him throw the book to the side as he heard his heart pumping in his ears. Henry couldn’t see anything in the big room, it was as if darkness had engulfed it. He tried turning on the lights, but they didn’t do anything. He had to go to the fuse box and try to fix the lights. So, Henry grabbed his flashlight and turned it on. He walked the old giant room, filled with broken beds and old furniture. Some beds had only the frame left, others still had an old dusty mattress on them with blankets and pillows. Henry walked carefully, manoeuvring through the old beds towards the main entry where the fuse box was. His flashlight was fixed on the ground as if he was looking for something. He shined it left and right over the concrete floor, and there it was, the thing he was looking for.
At the last bed near the exit of the giant room, he saw the scratching on the floor. It wasn’t hard to figure out that someone had moved the bed causing those scratches to appear. He knew now someone was in the building sneaking around, but the person had made a fatal mistake, Henry would catch them. He first went to the fuse box, fixing the light. He restored the fuse and went back to his station. He briefed Dave in on the radio that someone was wondering the building, but Dave didn’t respond. He probably dozed off or something. Henry walked in the big room again, as his big guard shoes on the concrete floor made a faint clicking noise. Henry could see the big room in all its splendour again, filled the old beds and furniture. He passed a few of the beds until he noticed something move. In his office, there appeared to be a shadow moving around. Henry immediately set-off a sprint towards the room, only to find it completely empty, with no trace or sign of anyone. There was only one way out of the room, and he didn’t see anybody leave, so he blamed it on his imagination and what such a large place could do with your head. He picked up his book again and placed it needly on his desk. He then looked out of the window into the giant room, preparing himself to walk his route again in the large and daunting building.
Henry walked his route, starting with the large hall going deeper into the building. The poorly lit hall had countless doors in it, Henry opened each one to see if someone was there. It took him a while, but every room was empty, though it felt like every time he looked in one something was watching him in the dark corners. It gave him a feeling he never had experienced before, still; Henry went on searching for the person who moved the bed. He passed a dining hall and a room full of medical beds, and still no one to be found. Eventually, he walked to the last hall, filled with a few doors leading to some dark and small rooms. The hall strangely ended in a dead-end, though it seemed it would go to another room. Henry didn’t think much of it and went back.
As Henry walked back to his office, he decided to check in on his fellow security guard to see if he had awoken already. Still, no answer was heard, so Henry changed his plans and went to Dave to surprise him. It took Henry a while to get to the place where Dave his office was. The building was full of doors and halls leading to nowhere, it was very easy to get lost. Eventually, Henry made it and saw a small light in an office lit. That was the place Dave was residing at. Henry walked towards it but came quickly to the conclusion that Dave wasn’t there. Although his coffee was on his desk and still felt warm, Dave was nowhere to be found. Henry tried to radio him again, but he didn’t get a reply. Henry thought that Dave probably was taking his route, and the poor foul forgot to turn on his walkie-talkie. Henry went back to his own station, leaving behind that off Dave. For some reason Henry looked back at the office, for he had the strangest feeling someone was watching him from there. That’s when he saw something staring at him from the office. It scared Henry so much that he accidentally tripped on an old doll and fell down to the ground. When he looked again at the office, he didn’t see anything but the small light illuminating the room. He stood up and went back to his own office.
The building was dark, Dave still didn’t answer, and Henry kept having the feeling someone was watching him. As he approached the giant room in front of his office, he saw that all the beds were moved. The floor was full of scratches and mattresses and blankets were tossed on the ground. Henry went immediately to his office and saw his desk had been flipped upside down and all the pages of his book were torn out. Henry got angry, he knew that somebody was in the building and now it was vandalizing it as well. He grabbed his flashlight and went on to search for the person who had done all this. Henry first started with the long hallway going to the dining hall. As he walked in the long and creepy hall, making him go deeper and deeper in the building, he suddenly heard one of the many doors in the hall close. He ran towards the sound and saw an old rusty door closed before him. Henry was ready to catch the sickening people who were causing havoc in the building. He had a hard time opening the door, but eventually, he was being greeted by the ominous sight of darkness in the room. He grabbed his flashlight, shining the darkness away and seeing a strange wall full of markings. His heart stopped for a second when the light revealed a man with a broken shirt and pants facing the corner, his body, and clothes full of scratches and blood.
Henry looked at the man for a few seconds before approaching him. The man didn’t look healthy nor alive. Henry knew something was terribly wrong, but he still walked carefully towards the corner where the man was standing. The man didn’t move, it didn’t make a sound, it was just starring at the dark corner looking at something. As Henry almost approached the man, an ice breeze of cold air touched his neck. Every hair on Henry’s body stood up, as he heard a whisper in his ear: “behind you”. Henry quickly looked back, seeing the door close with force. The light of his flashlight turned off, making the room as dark as the night sky without stars or a moon. Henry went straight to the door, as he heard his heartbeat pounding in his ears. The door was shut, nothing could open it. He then started hitting his flashlight, hoping it would work again until he heard a strange noise coming from the corner. Henry had almost forgotten the man, but he was still there in the corner, now making a strange sound. Two steps were heard as naked feet touch the cold ground. The steps then came closer to Henry, who still tried to fix his flashlight. The steps came closer and closer, Henry backed off to a nearby wall, almost hugging it with his back. Finally, a light beam came from the flashlight and he shined it in the direction of the corner.
The light shined on the small cloud the strange man was breathing near Henry’s face. It smelled like a thousand people had died and were now all breathing the same air as he did. The strange man grabbed Henry’s arm with a firm grip, hurting him so bad that Henry started to scream. The light of the flashlight grazed over the man’s face, revealing the rotten teeth in his mouth. The man started to get closer to Henry while whispering a weird sentence in a strange language over and over again. The whispering became louder, and eventually, he was straight-up yelling the verses in Henry’s face. It frightened Henry so much, that he gathered all his strength and courage to push the strange man away and ran straight against the door. The force he applied was enough to break the door and leave. Henry then went straight to the exit, but it was blocked by another thing. It seemed human, but it moved in a very strange and weird way, walking towards the direction of Henry. On its face, there was a smile so crooked it burned Henry’s soul. The strange man in the room also walked towards Henry, so he decided to run the other way towards the dining hall and the room with the medical beds. Sadly, no exit to be found, so Henry walked deeper into the building. Eventually, in all his desperation, he walked into the long and poorly lit hallway towards a dead end. All the doors were shut, and there was no place to hide. His nervous steps on the cold and unforgiving floor echoed in the hall. He was trapped, and he knew it.
Henry tried to open a few doors, but they were all locked, even as he used all his force and mass the doors wouldn’t budge. As he still tried to open one of the doors, almost silent footsteps could be heard near the beginning of the long hall. Henry looked and saw a strange appearance watching him struggle from a distance. Henry slowly walked back to the wall, seeing the thing watching him in the poorly lit hall. Then the first light went out, as soft footsteps were heard getting closer. The second light turned off, making it harder to see for Henry what was coming at him. The third light went off, and the footsteps became louder and faster. The fourth light turned off, the fifth and the sixth. Henry used his flashlight and saw the strange thing with the awful smile coming closer to him, but the flashlight broke with a loud bang like the other lights in the hall. Eventually, the last light went off, and the footsteps were almost near Henry. He closed his eyes, not wanting to see what would happen. A hand grabbed his arm, as someone started to scream at him. He opened his eyes and saw Dave with sweat over his forehead screaming that they had to leave. The lights were on again and the man with the crooked smile was nowhere to be seen. It was as if Dave was an angel sent by heaven to rescue him. They both ran through the hall, past the medical beds, past the dining hall, through the other long hall, until eventually, a few beams of daylight came from the exit.
They ran towards the exit, feeling the fresh air of nature and happiness filling their longs. As they almost approached the door to the exit, Dave suddenly stopped moving. He stood there, quietly not saying anything, only staring at Henry. Henry stopped as well and asked what was going on. Then he heard from outside a loud scream. Henry couldn’t place what it was at first, yet it sounded familiar.
“Behind you!” the voice screamed.
Henry turned around and looked at the street, there he saw Dave looking pale as can be screaming and panicking towards Henry. Henry turned around again and saw the other Dave smiling at him. In a swift move, the smiling Dave grabbed him, as only a small scream was heard coming from Henry.
A man was murdered, he laid on the cold grey floor as a puddle of blood turned it to red. A security guard found him, it was the guards his first day and his last.
submitted by duhh23 to Horror_stories [link] [comments]
2020.10.21 00:37 jacobsredditusername Hidden camera inside house
THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Chewie growls at Han in reply.
HAN That's it I'm turning back.
Chewie growls again.
HAN I know your family's waiting.
Chewie growls again at Han.
HAN I know it's an important day.
Han flips some switches on a control panel.
HAN All right. We'll give it a try. I'll set short coordinates - we won't jump far.
Chewie growls and leans over and pits his arm around Han very affectionately.
HAN I'll get you back there in time, pal. Trust me.
Chewie growls yet again. Han smiles.
HAN Our only hope now, is to outrun that Imperial garbage scow, tho'. I'm going to lightspeed.
The Falcon makes the jump to hyperspace.
HAN That's the spirit! You'll be celebrating Life Day before you know it! Standby, here's where we say goodbye to our unpleasant friends.
A clip is shown of Luke in his flight uniform.
ANNOUNCER The Star Wars Holiday Special. Starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
A clip is shown of Han in the cockpit of the Falcon.
ANNOUNCER Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
A clip is shown of Leia in her white dress from Star Wars.
ANNOUNCER Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.
A clip is shown of C-3PO.
ANNOUNCER with, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.
A clip is shown of Chewie.
ANNOUNCER Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
A clip is shown of Artoo rolling around.
ANNOUNCER R2-D2 as R2-D2.
A clip is shown of Vader walking down a corridor of the Death Star with an Imperial Officer.
ANNOUNCER And, James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader.
A clip is shown of Chewie's family altogether.
ANNOUNCER Introducing Chewbacca's family,
A clip is shown of Malla who is around Chewbacca's height and slightly heavier.
ANNOUNCER His wife, Malla.
A clip is shown of Itchy who is shorter than Chewie. He has gray and white hair and a very bad under bite.
ANNOUNCER His father, Itchy.
A clip is shown of Lumpy who is a small wookiee child.
ANNOUNCER His son, Lumpy.
A clip of her is shown.
ANNOUNCER With special guest stars, Beatrice Arthur.
A clip of him is shown.
ANNOUNCER Art Carney.
A clip of her singing is shown.
ANNOUNCER Diahann Carroll.
A clip of the band performing is shown .
ANNOUNCER The Jefferson Starship.
Different clips of him is shown in the roles he plays.
ANNOUNCER Harvey Korman.
A clip is shown from the cartoon of Boba Fett on some creature.
ANNOUNCER And an animated Star Wars story on...
The original graphic of THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL, is brought back up.
ANNOUNCER The Star Wars Holiday Special.
LUKE (on monitor) What's that? (to Artoo) Oh, Artoo, look. It's Chewbacca's family.
Luke gets up and walks toward his monitor.
LUKE (to Artoo) Here, keep working on it.
The wookiees wave at Luke through the monitor.
LUKE (to wookiees) Hello Malla, Itchy. Hiya Lumpy.
All three of them start grunting and growling at the same time. Luke holds up his hands, as if to slow them down.
LUKE Where's Chewbacca?
Itchy growls at Lumpy and Lumpy walks away mad at him. Malla then "explains" to Luke what is wrong.
LUKE Whoa, wait a minute! One at a time.
Something begins to smoke so Artoo whistles and bumps into Luke's leg. Luke just motions him away without looking at what Artoo wants.
Malla gets down the picture of Chewbacca off of her shelf and holds it up to her monitor. Artoo beeps more at Luke. This time he notices the problem about the smoke.
LUKE Not now, Artoo.
More smoke pours out of the engine that Luke was working on. He takes a tool to it and adjusts something.
LUKE Uh, wait a minute, I don't like the looks of this. Let me get this fixed.
He waves the smoke away and makes another adjustment. He then looks up to his monitor.
LUKE (to Artoo) Oh, Artoo, you're supposed to be watching that... There, that ought to hold it. I think.
He sees the picture of Chewbacca that Malla is holding.
LUKE (to Malla) What's up?
The wookiees shake their heads at Luke. They continue their growling.
LUKE Chewbacca... yeah, well, bring him to the screen. I want to say hello to him.
The wookiees shake their heads in agreement at Luke's answer.
LUKE You don't know where he is? ...Oh, he's not there yet. Is that it?
More smoke comes out of the engine and Artoo beeps at Luke. The wookiees start sounding upset.
LUKE Oh boy. Well, all I can tell you is that, uh, he and Han left here on schedule. If he's not there now, they're way overdue. There must've been trouble.
The wookiees nod in agreement at Luke on their monitor.
LUKE (to Artoo) Artoo, please, this is important. (to Malla) Now, now listen. Calm down. I mean, you know how Han and Chewbacca are - anything could've happened - they could've, they could've stopped off somewhere, or been held up by an asteroid storm. Listen, I wouldn't worry about Chewbacca, I know him and he hasn't missed a Life Day yet, right?
Luke starts to turn away and notices the "sad" expression on Malla's face.
LUKE Well, there you go! He's not going to miss this one either. It's just taking him a little longer to get there, that's all. He'll make it.
Malla finally gives in and smiles for Luke. Luke smiles back at her in response.
LUKE Come on, don't look so worried. Now, Chewie's not gonna wanna come home to a house full of long faces, is he? Come on, Malla. Let's see a little smile. Come on...
Artoo touches the engine and smoke comes out of it very heavily.
LUKE There, that's better. Try to enjoy your Life Day. I gotta get back to this engine. I think we might have it solved.
Artoo beeps at Luke. He looks up and pats Artoo on his dome.
LUKE (to Artoo) OH! ARTOO! What are you doing?! Oh no...
Smoke continues to fill the the workshop and the wookiees monitor's picture breaks up as the connection is broken. They then close the secret panels to conceal the monitor. Malla walks back over to the console that she used earlier. She pushes more buttons on it and the screen comes to life. First, the screen displays a message saying: SUB TERMINAL 446B. Then, it flashes: STANDBY followed by: CONNECT. The next screen pulls up the message: TRADING POST WOOKIEE PLANET C. This then cuts to a scene of a shop with an Imperial guard looking around at the goods for sale. The owner of the establishment walks into the store and notices the man. The owner is Sondan.
LUKE It's alright. Nobody's perfect.
He reaches into his pocket to pull out his identification.
SONDAN Hello, an Imperial Guard. I suppose you want to see my identification.
The Imperial Guard, who looking around on a table picks up a clear bag and examines it.
IMPERIAL GUARD No, I'm off duty. I've come to look around your shop. SONDAN Well, good, good, good. Look around, browse around, make yourself at home... As you can see I've got just about everything a man or wookiee would want.
He picks up a small clear box with a dark back on it. He blows on it and shines it with his sleeve. He decides that it is not good enough.
SONDAN Oh here, let me show you this; I really love this.
He then picks up another and decides it is not good enough either.
He then gets one that has a green base and smiles.
He hands the aquarium to the guard who holds it up to show the fish that are inside of it.
SONDAN Ah, here we are. Here it is. A pocket sized aquarium. Wonderful, isn't it?
He puts the small tank back on the table and browses some more at what is on it.
SONDAN And, you can take it with you anywhere. And the tank is a snap to clean. IMPERIAL GUARD I hate fish.
He walks over to a shelf behind them and gets a shoe box sized container from off it.
SONDAN Well, so do I, as a matter of fact. I take a drink once and a while, but I just thought I'd show you some of the stupid stuff those wookiees purchase from me. Oh, here...
He sets the box on the table and opens it. A warbling buzzer sounds and makes him look up.
SONDAN Here's a hot little item that seems to be moving pretty rapidly these days.
He turns to the wall screen.
SONDAN Excuse me, I got a wall screen customer.
Malla growls and waves to him.
SONDAN (to Malla) Good to see you again.
Malla growls in agreement with his assumption.
SONDAN Don't worry Malla. I know just why you're calling. You're wondering when that shaggy carpet you ordered will arrive at your home.
Malla growls enthusiastically at him.
SONDAN Let me assure you madam, it's on its way. You know, it was made especially for you by a little old woman four planets away. She did it all by herself. In fact, you might say she did it by Han... Solo.
He looks back to see if the Imperial Guard is paying attention to him.
SONDAN Tho' it's going to take some time to get to you. I know you'll understand.
Malla growls agreement.
SONDAN (under his breath) You understand don't you?
Malla waves farewell and growls.
SONDAN (normally) Terrific! By the way, I'll be by later to drop off that extra proton energy pack.
The call is terminated. Sondan turns back to the Guard who is still browsing around the shop. He then proceeds to pick up the item from the box that he was showing before the wall screen call.
SONDAN You're welcome.
He picks up the manual for the groomer out of its box.
SONDAN (to guard) What's a matter? Don't you like this? IMPERIAL GUARD It's just a groomer. SONDAN Just a groomer? IMPERIAL GUARD A groomer.. SONDAN Just a groomer, you say? It's a lot more than that.
He puts the manual down on the table.
SONDAN Evidently, you haven't read the instructions, the warranty, and the guarantee. (reading from the manual) ... besides shaving and hair trimming. It's guaranteed to lift stains off clothing, faces, and hands. Cleans teeth, fingers, and toenails. Washes eyes, pierces ears, calculates, modulates, and syncopates like rhythms and can repeat the entire Imperial Code, all 17 volumes, in half the time of the old XP-21. Just the thing to keep you squeaky clean.
Sondan glances down at himself and notices how unkempt he looks.
SONDAN I use one of these all the time. IMPERIAL GUARD Really?
The Imperial Guard takes the groomer from the Sondan's hands and puts it in his belt.
SONDAN Well, not all the time, but some of the time. Oh, another outstanding, uh, feature of this little model - you can recharge it by simply plugging it into any ordinary laser outlet.
The Imperial Guard turns and leaves the shop with the groomer.
IMPERIAL GUARD I'll take it. SONDAN Good! I thought you would. Well, would you like to pay me something for it or give me something in trade? IMPERIAL GUARD I said I'll take it!
SONDAN That's a load off my mind. I thought I might embarrass you when I told you it was a gift. (to himself) I don't like embarrassing people. I don't like being embarrassed myself that's why I, uh, don't like to embarrass people. I just said that. ... just a groomer...
IMPERIAL OFFICER We've ordered a blockade and a curfew. And, started a search operation. It's just a matter of time before we find the Rebels. DARTH VADER I want the Rebels located and identified. If it means searching every household in the system.
Malla gives a greeting to the cook.
Malla heads over to another counter and get a large pot. She brings it over by the monitor.
COOK Today we are going to be preparing a very succulent dish called "Bantha Surprise."
The cook picks up a hunk of meat off of her counter.
COOK It's not only a very hearty, nourishing dish, but it's very economical, too. So all those hungry mouths in your household will be going "yummy yum for their tummy tum." If you just follow along with me as I prepare this popular favorite.
Malla growls in agreement. The cook drops her meat onto the counter with a plop.
COOK Now, today I'm going to be using the tenderest cut of the bantha: the loin. The loin is very tasty and serves four nicely. But, of course, if your family has a hearty appetite, I would suggest then that old popular holiday favorite: The Bantha Rump.
The cook uses a small knife to slice up her's. Malla (whose meat is already in front of her) uses a large meat cleaver to "slice" hers.
COOK Um, very tender. Ah, we just slice into bite-sized pieces.
The cook points her knife at the camera and winks to emphasize her point.
COOK And only you know the size of a bite in your family!
The two put their meat in the respective pots.
COOK Oh! Alright, now it's time to put our chunks into our pots.
The cook tastes every ingredient she names before putting it in her pot.
COOK Nicely... nicely... Add a dash of negavo.
COOK Umm, very good. A sprig of celentery. Umm, umm, just a bit of turshum, always nice. And, uh. Um! Turshum is nice! And, just a little whisper of chelchum. Ah, looking very nice.
They both pour liquid into their pots.
COOK Guess what I forgot? A bit of the calarantrum root! Wonderful! Just adds that touch of piquancy. There we go. Very nice. Um! Now we add enough liquid to cover.
The cook stirs her mixture with every "stir" she says with a spoon. Malla is stirring hers, too.
COOK And guess what we're ready for now: the cooking! Step one - we stir the mixture. Stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, very nice.
The cook picks up a whip with her free hand. Malla follows suit.
COOK Now, step two - while we're stirring, we also whip.
A "third" hand comes from behind the cook and picks up a mallet. It places it in the pot.
COOK So it's stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir. Now, let's try it again together at an increased tempo because precision is very important in this recipe and we do want a fine consistency, don't we? So, and on the count of one - stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir. Come on, faster altogether now. Cooking can be fun. (faster) Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir. Wah! Having fun, having fun, alright. Having it all nicely, now. Step three - we also have to beat.
The cook starts to sneeze. A "fourth" hand appears from behind the cook. The hand puts a finger to her nose to stop the sneeze.
COOK So it's: beat, beat, beat, stir, whip, stir, whip, beat, beat, stir. That's not right. I'm sorry. Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, beat, stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir, beat. A ha ha,ha ha ha, huh huh huh, huh huh huh. Coming... coming along nicely. Mmmm, starting to have a fine aroma.
The fourth hand picks up a ladle and dips it in the pot to get some broth. The cook tastes it. Malla just picks up her whole pot and tastes it from there.
COOK Whew, caught it just in time. Now at this time, I usually like to taste the broth. So, we'll have a little taste and see how it's coming along.
Malla gets frustrated with keeping up with the cook and shuts off her monitor. She takes her pot and puts it on the floor.
COOK Mmmm, a little bit more turshum. A bit negavo. A little tunkell. One for the pot, um! Coming along very nice. Mmm! Oh, wonderful! Coming along nicely...
Chewie growls in agreement to Han's statement.
HAN Alright. Alright, the coordinates weren't the best.
Chewie growls something to Han.
HAN Out of the frying pan into the fryer, huh pal? How should I know we'd come outta hyperspace into the middle of an Imperial convoy. At least against these fighters we got more of a chance. However slim...
HAN You can say that again. This is one Life Day we won't soon forget. Wait, I lost control of the remote cannons.
Chewie just growls back at Han.
HAN I'm gonna hafta run back and operate the aft gun manually. Stay on things here. Why do I always think that taking you home for Life Day's gonna be easy?
Malla and Itchy walk over to the screen to see what is the problem.
IMPERIAL OFFICER Attention all viewers.
A knock is heard at the door. Malla takes Lumpy towards the kitchen and Itchy goes to answer the door. He growls to see who is at the door.
IMPERIAL OFFICER Due to suspected Rebel activity on the Kashyyk planet, the Empire has declared martial law. A blockade has been set up around the planet. No ships will be permitted to land or take off until further notice.
Itchy opens the door and lets him in. Sondan is carrying a bag with a box in it in one hand and something that looks like a "boom box" in the other. Both have bows on them.
SONDAN (off screen) It's me Sondan.
SONDAN (on screen) Hi, Itchy. I brought you that proton pack. You know, for the, uh, the whatsis, the whatchamalcalit, the, the thingamabob, the mind evaporator. That's it, the mind evaporator. Boy am I glad to see you folks. How are my favorite wookiees today? Why all the long hairy faces? I made it through the Imperial patrol, didn't I? If I made it, Chewie and Han will. Is this all the big hello I get?
2020.10.20 21:19 SireSquawks The character Freddy Fazbear is Fredbear Junior, hence Juniors in Midnight motorist.
So if the first location is Fredbear's Family diner right? And by 1983 the Freddy cast has already been established, and by 1987 the original Freddy's Location has been shutdown for Fnaf 2's. Two of our biggest questions were, what was going on in the unseen first Freddy's, and what is Junior's from FFPS? Well if the character of Freddy was the son of Fredbear, and was called Freddy to differentiate the two, then Freddy's first location would be called Junior's while Fredbear's was still open. Since only one character is associated with a purple car (or driving at all), Orange Guy is probably Willam, not to mention Psychic Friend Fredbear talks in a very close color to Orange Guy, and PFF is linked to a hidden room under the Fnaf 4 house that also has security cameras watching a kid. Since Henry was book only until Fnaf 6, and all the Funtime Crew are from Afton robotics, and it's Willam being asked about the design choices of Baby, we know he's responsible for Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rental, and by extension, this secret "Authorized Personnel Only" room is his. If the bite victim was his son who kept running away to Juniors, which after running over Charlie Willam isn't allowed back to, he can't keep track of his son (which caused him to lose Elizabeth) and so he needs to monitor him and give him a way to talk to BV when he goes inside locations Willam isn't allowed in. I know not all of this is new but I think I'm onto an idea here. This doesn't explain the large footprints or the couch guy (who talks in dark grey like foxy bro and watches TV like Micheal BTW) who if Foxybro pre causing the bite, is uncharacteristically nice but I'm open to more ideas on this line of thought. Hell if Freddy is Fredbear Junior that sorta links back to Chipper and Sons with you playing as Chipper Junior. I also put this on the Five nights subreddit, but since Orange Guy was displayed as one of the major unsolved questions of fnaf in the GoldenBoth video, I thought it was relevant.
submitted by SireSquawks to GameTheorists [link] [comments]
2020.10.20 21:14 SireSquawks Hidden camera inside house
So if the first location is Fredbear's Family diner right? And by 1983 the Freddy cast has already been established, and by 1987 the original Freddy's Location has been shutdown for Fnaf 2's. Two of our biggest questions were, what was going on in the unseen first Freddy's, and what is Junior's from FFPS? Well if the character of Freddy was the son of Fredbear, and was called Freddy to differentiate the two, then Freddy's first location would be called Junior's while Fredbear's was still open. Since only one character is associated with a purple car (or driving at all), Orange Guy is probably Willam, not to mention Psychic Friend Fredbear talks in a very close color to Orange Guy, and PFF is linked to a hidden room under the Fnaf 4 house that also has security cameras watching a kid. Since Henry was book only until Fnaf 6, and all the Funtime Crew are from Afton robotics, and it's Willam being asked about the design choices of Baby, we know he's responsible for Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rental, and by extension, this secret "Authorized Personnel Only" room is his. If the bite victim was his son who kept running away to Juniors, which after running over Charlie Willam isn't allowed back to, he can't keep track of his son (which caused him to lose Elizabeth) and so he needs to monitor him and give him a way to talk to BV when he goes inside locations Willam isn't allowed in. I know not all of this is new but I think I'm onto an idea here. This doesn't explain the large footprints or the couch guy (who talks in dark grey like foxy bro and watches TV like Micheal BTW) who if Foxybro pre causing the bite, is uncharacteristically nice but I'm open to more ideas on this line of thought. Hell if Freddy is Fredbear Junior that sorta links back to Chipper and Sons with you playing as Chipper Junior.
submitted by SireSquawks to fivenightsatfreddys [link] [comments]
2020.10.20 02:56 coolwali Hidden camera inside house
Hello everyone, today I want to talk about my 18th platinum (and also my 3000th trophy) with GOW 2018.
About the trophies:
The first thing I noticed was that many of the non-story trophies tended to be linked with others. For example, in order to get Fire and Brimstone (Complete all of the Trials of Muspelheim, which is by the way my favourite trophy to get in this game), you're gonna beat a Valkyrie who gets you the item you need to fully upgrade the Blades of Chaos nabbing you Why Fight It? . But in order to even enter Muspelheim you need to get the language ciphers (which gets you Trilingual), and while you're at it you may want to fully upgrade your health and rage beforehand (both their own seperate trophies) and going through all this likely gives you the materials to craft the Traveler and Ancient Armour sets (which are both a trophy each). That's around 5-7 trophies from pursuing one goal to speak. Which is fine. It encourages the player to go for specific stuff and rewarding them along the way.
However, some trophies aren't as straightforward.
Darkness and Fog: (Retrieve all treasure from the Workshop’s center chamber) is exceptionally boring because you have to grind collecting 70,000 Mist Echos in Niflheim (my average was around 3-5000 per run so yeah). Yeah, that's what I wanted in my God of War game, grinding. To make things worse, you also need 3 anchors of fog, a resource that drops from specific chests and is RNG. I've read various forums of people lamenting they spent 11 hours grinding for the Fogs. I got mine in 9 attempts but that's still a terrible approach. Trophies shouldn't be so dependent on RNG. Make it so the player can spend x Mist Echoes to craft an Anchor if their luck isn't good. You can tilt the odds in your favour by opening other chests first and maxing out the Luck stat (which has been useless up until this point) but still, all the grinding in an area that Kratos can just avoid if he jumped like a couple feet on a platform wasn't fun. Also, to tie back to my linked trophies part, doing this also gets you Worthy (Fully upgrade the Leviathan Axe).
-Beneath the Surface (Explore all the Lake of Nine has to offer). This one is a little unclear what it means by explore. Some people got it by removing all the fog. Others did it by going to every location. Others 100%-ed the area. This trophy is said to be buggy and even got a patch early on. Mine popped when I docked on a random island for a sec. I wish this trophy was a bit more clear, maybe "find x docks" or something. It's a similar case for Death Happened Here (Fully explore Veithurgard), some people had to 100% this area to get the trophy. I got mine by just defeating the troll and opening the chest after him. This trophy also got a patch to fix some bugs with it.
Now if those were all the trophies, I'd say platinumming this game was bad in some parts but not overly tedious. But there are over 100 collectibles to find and there's a perfect storm of issues to make this very teduous. Now say what you will about Ubisoft's games but at least their collectibles are easily marked and their maps are easy to read. In GOW's case, despite it being semi-open world, the map is terrible to read to pick out routes and where exactly to go. Even with multiple guides open, I got lost in places like the Mountain and had to frequently backtrack just to find a good reference point to start hunting. And more than that, even getting around is made worse. If you want to go from a point in the mountain to another part of Midguard, you have to run to a fast travel point, select a location, wait for the fast travel point to load the tree circle loading zone, go inside and wait for it to load the actual area you want to go to and then go there. And if you want to go from one realm to another to get a collectible? You have to run to a fast travel point, select the Temple, wait for the fast travel point to load the tree circle loading zone, go inside and wait for it to load the Temple and then go there, go into the main room, scroll a wheel to find the realm you want, wait for the game to load that area, get out into the ream, find the fast travel point in the temple and select a location, wait for the fast travel point to load the tree circle loading zone, go inside and wait for it to load the actual area you want to go to and then go there. Why are there so many steps along the way to waste my time? In every other game, I just open my map, pick a spot, screen fades to black and I'm there in less than 30 seconds. Even in games like Witcher 3 which don't let you fast travel from anywhere and only from specific points, said points are still everywhere and let you go to any other point. There's no value in GOW2018's approach here. Travelling back to places I've already been to is way more boring than any other game because of all the time it wastes. I get the game wants to maintain its single camera take (which is already a flawed idea) the entire time but there's still a way to make this easier. Just say that the warp doors have linked with the Temple and will take you directy there. The game already uses this excuse at one point in its story. And don't load a bunch of intermediate areas along the way. Assassin's Creed figured this out in 2007 by just loading a void which let the game load way faster while still having some amount of visual continuity. GOW wastes your time with loading and then acts like it has no loading.
Some of it could have been made up with dialogue between the characters while you're travelling around. The game already has a lot of conversations with the 3 main characters for when you're riding around on boats in the Lake of Nine, the issue is that that's only when you're on boats in the Lake of Nine. If you're on land or anywhere not on the Lake of Nine, tough luck. Get ready for total silence from our characters only to start talking as soon as they enter a boat. You could argue players may get distracted from when characters talk on land. My response to that is 1- navigating on land is basically go to a thing and press O and Kratos will do the thing automatically for you like climb or jump so there's nothing really to distract. 2- The story frequently has bits where the characters talk on land. And 3- Just do what Prince of Persia figured out in 2008 and have a button you can press to have the characters talk more on land so the player can choose if they want something to listen to while navigating boring environments. All this means that you're better off listening to Neil Gamen's audiobook on Norse Mythology or anything else rather than relying on the game's own telling of the lore to keep some of the boredom away.
Finally, while most collectibles just involve pressing O next to them, Ravens require you to throw your axe, and their hitboxes seem a little bugged because if you don't hit them from the exact spot even when your axe goes through them, it won't count.
So what would I fix for the trophies list? Firstly, take away the Niflheim one. It actively detracts from the game. As for the collectibles, I'd say just have a general game completion score instead. Reach 70% completion or something across the game and get the platinum. This is better because it rewards the player for what they find and makes some stuff that isn't counted for the platinum like Realm Tears count in place of collectibles if the player wants it. It also works better in-universe because why would Kratos travel all the way back to a realm like Alfheim when he has no reason to just to find a toy mask he can now get when there are some good chests near his house? I am of the opinion that you should use trophies to highlight the best parts of a game and/or to encourage players to get more fun out of a game. Like a good stealth game encouraging players to ghost an area by rewarding a trophy for it. But GOW's mechanics are limited in this regard. I feel the game would be a better trophy hunting experience if you removed many of the collectible trophies. Maybe have more for upgrading your character or using specific combos?
My entertainment for this adventure was Jonstone's Pokemon Black Randomizer Nuzelock. It was honestly more fun than the game
Now that the trophies are done, let's talk about the game itself.
God of War 2018 is one of the most disappointing, unfocused and boring games I have ever played. It cribs so many mechanics and systems from other games without understanding why they had them or making any attempt to innovate or improve using them. It dumbs down its gameplay to make it boring to play in service of a story that has issues that I honestly wonder why not just skip making a game and make a movie instead. It's a game more concerned with being The Last of Us than it is being a good game. I'm honestly surprised how this game got such an amazing reception, especially from GOW fans when it's such a mess and so mediocre. Looking at it as its own game, it's quite flawed, looking at it as a God of War game and sequel that franchise, it's downright bizarre.
Let's start with the positives first.
Graphics and animations were cool. Mimir was great and has a lot of dialogue for so many situations. Some story sequences are cool like the first meeting with Baldur and Kratos opening up to Atreus. Atreus was ok, his naviety and wonder at the world was endearing but many of his vocal barks during combat got annoying. Some Norse Mythology stuff looked cool. The ending was nice if a little lacking in impact because you just teleport to the end instead of climbing the one mountain. It doesn't have microtransactions and was made with a lot of care and polish. Seeing Greek Mythology interact with Norse was cool. Spartan Rage was handled well.
Now onto the issues. I'm going to compare this game to both its predecessors because it's still a sequel and to other games because in order to be the "GOAT", it needs to measure up well against them:
Navigation is extremely rigid and uninteresting. You can't even manually jump so traversal is just press O to have the game play itself for you. Press O near a pre-selected gap and Kratos will automatically jump over it requiring no skill or effort from the player. Press O near a pre-selected cliff and Kratos will climb it, requiring you to only point the stick where you want to go and occasionally press O. That's it. What's the gameplay here? What's the challenge? There is none. You can replace a gap with a bridge and nothing would change. Now, other games have similar systems. Climbing in Uncharted is just as simplistic (and I have many greivences with it), but at least in Uncharted 1- There are some cool set pieces attached to climbing, some of which Nate could die and required some effort from the player 2- Climbing could be used alongside stealth and combat and 3- You never had to backtrack through areas you already completed slowly. In Assassin's Creed, climbing is also mostly automated but being a full open world lets the player choose where to climb and what approach to take. 2 players could take different ways into a fort to stealth kill enemies based on where they climb in. So here, even though climbing is simplistic and automated, it still offers the player agency. GOW2018 doesn't do that. It copies climbing from Uncharted because Uncharted had climbing, not because it wanted to do anything with that climbing. I remember there was a tweet where this person asked "what's your most controversial game opinion" and Cory Barlog himself tweeted "Kratos shouldn't jump" and my question is "why?" Why shouldn't Kratos be able to jump? What gameplay benefit is there to not jumping? What do we gain by not being able to jump? Because I tell you what we lose: We lose cool rooms that combine platforming and combat like those cube rooms in GOW3 or Pandora's challenges in GOW1. We lose cool boss fights like with the Fates where the player can swing to avoid attacks and use that to come in to attack. We lose cool puzzles like lining up Harpies and use L1+O to grapple between them, or lining up fireplaces and gliding across them. We lose interesting hidden rooms off the side the player had to jump to access. All this leaves GOW4 with no way to vary its combat encounters or puzzles since the player's base movement is so limited. Not being able to jump means the player has no jump attacks to really juggle an opponent, no jump to avoid certain attacks to vary encounters. So what was the point of removing jumping? It seems it's because it's there to "look realistic" but that doesn't fit because the game has Kratos jumping like crazy in cutscenes. There are so many places in world that would be so easy to get to if Kratos could jump, but no. Kratos, the world's most powerful and wise Spartan, chooses to go around a knee high fence into more dangerous areas just to reach a chest he could have reached with a jump, which breaks immersion more than any of the "realistic" gameplay and camera ever accomplish. It feels less immersive when Kratos could escape poison gas by just jumping a little. I get that games like TLOU didn't have jumping either but that game was set in the real world and featured real characters (and also TLOU2 added in jumping) and was built around that aspect. GOW2018 doesn't do that. It copies TLOU blindly. Imagine if any other game franchise did this. Imagine if the next Halo game took away jumping and every weapon except for shotguns. Imagine if the next Mario game played itself when you got to a pit. What would be the benefit
The combat also has issues. Firstly, the player has so few interesting moves. The pause combos aren't as reliable as your normal ones, some enemy types can't be juggled and instakilled easily. So most fights consist of using all your runic attacks plus your bread and butter combos. The other moves are either not as effective or awkward to use. There's nothing to incentivize or encourage more creative play using what limited tools there are. XP and loot doesn't depend on your performance and you get the same amount regardless of how you perform. In the old GOW games, you were encouraged to be flashy and cool as getting a high combo gave you more Red Orbs, and adding in flourishes like finishers gave you even more red orbs and even health and magic back. On harder difficulties, it became essential to get more out of the combat system since the upgrades would give you more tools to play around and health and magic were always welcome because of how risky combat was and how resources were sorta limited in fights. You also got tons of great moves and magic and abilities to use in combat like the various L1+Face Button attacks, GOW3 had seamless weapon switching allowing you to go wild with combos and have so many options in one chain that it was both fun to play and rewarding because of all the red orbs you were getting. In GOW2018, getting the same xp and loot means there's nothing stopping you from just spamming Executioner's Cleave, Runic Spam and button mashing your way through fights. The camera being so close in and the game's controls being so based on it hurts as well. Combat is made even less fun because you don't have a clear view of the battlefield. The game has to cheat on the player's behalf to accommodate this by making enemies less aggressive when behind the player, limiting how high enemies can be juggled instead of letting the player be capable in dealing with all threats as they see fit. The controls also suffer. Suppose you're fighting a valkryie while locked on to it and want to run to the right. To do that, you need to break the lock on, look to the right (meaning you can't even see the enemy anymore, start sprinting right, then turn back around to look at the enemy. Every other game just lets you strafe right at a decent speed. Lock-on itself is a crapshoot as it breaks when enemies pull the simplest of dodges and just gives up entirely whenever an enemy jumps or goes underground leaving you to have to fight the camera just as much as you're fighting enemies and there's many cheap deaths from this. Kratos also tends to attack in front of where the camera is pointed which can make fighting multiple enemies frustrating as a guy moving slightly to the side means Kratos now is magnetically pulled to another Drauger you weren't targeting. Hell, there's a lot of these magnetic pulls. Enemies will slide to hit even when they were out of range which makes positioning less useful. Even Enemy fireballs will curve midair to try and hit you which can look quite awkward. The game's "solution" is a threat ring around you that indicates oncoming attacks. Except these tell you nothing about what attacks are actually coming. Is it a yellow attack I can parry so I just need to turn around? Is it a projectile I can reflect back or is it one I can only block? I don't know so all I can do is dodge away, oh, and it has to be the long dodge as the short dodge is pointless given the magnetism of enemy attacks. There is a quick turn around with down but that's disorientating and by the time you've turned around and see what's going on, you've already been hit. The old GOW games a had solution that while seeming archaic, accomplished everything GOW2018 is trying to go for. It was a fixed camera that framed the action nicely so you could see everything clearly and respond clearly. If there was an enemy behind Kratos, you could see them starting an attack and respond instantly. Hell, such a camera even helped the game look more cinematic as often there was cool stuff going on the background that you could both see and admire while also killing enemies. Remember the Colussus in GOW2's opening and how cool it was fighting mooks while seeing it try and get you? GOW 2018 doesn't. The game doesn't even need a fixed camera. Just have a dynamic camera. Look at Batman Arkham Asylum as an example. When Batman is walking or in a conversation, the camera is zoomed in closer than GOW2018's camera. When you're in stealth, the camera zooms out and the FOV is adjusted to give you a wide view. When you're in combat it zooms out even more and is slightly overhead to let you see more clearly. Because Batman Arkham Asylum knows that since it has gameplay that relies on the player seeing stuff, it should let them see stuff. It seems that the only reason GOW2018 has such a camera is because TLOU had such a camera. But TLOU was a 3rd person shooter. Having a close camera helps when aiming. The only time GOW benefits is when you're aiming the axe and every other time it's a huge hinderance.
Also, GOW2018 now takes RPG elements from other games. I am not opposed to such a system if it's used well. It can add depth and allow players to fine tune their playstyle, it can encourage exploration. But GOW2018 handles it poorly. Firstly, until Level 10, your stats are useless. Even if you wear armour with better stats, the game will ignore them and only look at level. So if you're a level below an enemy, even if you have better stats, you will take more damage, not less. The reverse is also true. Wear armour with a higher level than the enemy with worse stats and you will take less damage. And since you get level ups at specific intervals, this makes the system needless and redundant since your progress isn't even controlled by the player's actions. Exploration also suffers, aside from how boring traversal is (and how poorly areas are telegraphed so you can't tell if you can't actually explore a place or you can and just need to look for the very specific path to press O to), many of the gear you pickup is useless. I was getting level 3-5s when I was level 6-8. You can only upgrade a piece of gear like 3-4 times max and materials to upgrade them with are very rare if not limited to a couple per playthrough and are specific to specific gear. The best gear is given to the player from crafting them from Brok and Sindiri rather than found in the wild. All this means that 99% of the time, when you're exploring and solve a puzzle or find a chest or treasure map or whatever, you get a useless enchantment or tailsman that's worse than what you already have with a perk like "reduce freeze" even though you never get frozen in this game. The only worthwhile exploration is for health and rage upgrades, so the system is the same as the old GOWs only with a lot more crap in between. And even if you find gear that suits your playstyle and is a good level, you're only going to eventually abandon it once you find anything with a better level. You can't dismantle gear to get resources, just Hacksilver which is already super plentiful. The game does have a decent skill tree which is all it really needed. The Skill tree works a lot better than the gear system because it makes the player objectively more powerful but in order to use said power the player needs to figure out how to incorporate it into their moveset. The issue is that like I said earlier, most of the moves don't add much and worse, many moves make playing worse. Unlike some games, you can't turn off upgrades if they don't mesh with your playstyle. Unlock the Running Heavy Attack and you have to manually stop if you want to do a normal heavy if you were running. Unlock the dodge attack and dodging- attacking can be less useful as Kratos takes an extra step back to do a new axe throw move even all you wanted was to get in close to attack. Unlock counter-heavy and it's much harder to do a counter+Executioner's Cleave.
Let's compare this to Assassin's Creed Odyessy and see how it handles its RPG system, it's a game who made the full jump to an RPG from a franchise that initially wasn't. In that game, any gear you get can be dismantled to get their perks which you can apply to any other weapon which makes exploring for gear feel more rewarding. If you find a piece of gear you truly like and suits you well, you can pay extra to keep upgrading its level based on common materials rather than a one off rare item. Gear scales to your level so you're more likely to find something useful. Oh, and stats matter more than level. You can be a few levels below an enemy but make a build where you wear gear that boosts your Assassin Stat and use a 3x critical strike to instakill enemies so you can actually make distinct builds. The skills can be unequipped and equipped as needed so you don't have conflict with what you could already do.
The game also tries to present itself in one camera "take", which while impressive, comes with a whole set of issues. Many of the transitions between areas can be stretched out as the game needs to keep rendering in the meantime while other games would have just cut to black and loaded faster. It was also likely a huge development sink for resources as areas and cinematics had to be constructed in far more specific ways. But the kicker is that the game doesn't even maintain visual continuity. Being a semi-open world action game with RPG elements, the player frequently has to open menus which breaks visual continuity thus defeating the point of having 1 take in the first place. Other games that have one take like Portal and Half Life are truly in one-take. No menus to open to ruin the experience. And if we count games like Dead Space as having 1 take, they even have a diegetic menu and HUD which go a step further than what GOW does and even does it well.
GOW2018's puzzles are also lacking. No creative set pieces or set ups here. Just boring "throw the axe to freeze a thing", "throw the axe at x things quickly" and "carry Hel's wind". There are basically 2.5 basic puzzles that this game repeats at nausem with no development or improvement.
So simply traversing this world is boring, the combat is more frustrating than enjoyable, the gear system adds nothing but more tedium..... but all that's for is the story. Surely the story would redeem all this?
The Story and Lore also have issues.
Firstly, The prior GOW games never established that other kinds of Gods and Realms can exist and can operate independently from each other. We also never learn how exactly Kratos ends up on Midgard that's so separate from the Greek Lands that GOW3's devastation doesn't affect it or how he changed from GOW3 Kratos and settled with Faye or how he even got the Blades of Chaos back. When we meet Kratos in GOW 2018, he's already moved on from his Angry GOW3 days offscreen. He's no longer consumed by his anger and need for revenge. Kratos whole character development happened off screen. Imagine the Professor Hulk stick from Avengers Endgame where Bruce goes from unable to summon the Hulk in one movie to having merged with him by the next and we see none of that and it's on the main character. Even the Star Wars Sequel Films at least showed us how Luke became so bitter. All this makes his character less interesting since the important stuff that makes him who he is going forward isn't shown. I'm not invested in Kratos struggle since I have no context for why he is the way he is now. I have no invesment in Atreus even though Kratos does because I haven't met him before. When all these characters talk about how great Faye was and how she's leading them on this quest, I'm left wondering what is it about her that's so great? The story wants to have its cake and eat too. It wants us to treat this story as a new start while also referring to events that happened before it to push its story and wants us invested in it without giving us that context.
Hell, even this depiction of Kratos isn't new. GOW1 showed him show his humanity with the hallucinations of his family, Chains with Caliope, 3 with Pandora. And a lot of these sequences were a lot more impactful because of the contrast of how Kratos normally is making his humanity stand out a lot more. GOW2018 doesn't "add" this aspect to Kratos, it just makes it present 24/7 which ironically ends up making Kratos feel a lot more one-note than when he was out there getting his revenge because his revenge at least had him confront more of his inner demons. What's the difference between Kratos at the beginning of GOW3 and at the end? He sees how his revenge has destroyed so much and tries to make some amount of redemption (and spite Athena) by impaling himself with the Blade of Olympus. At the start of GOW2018, Kratos has already achieved his peace and loves Atreus, he just hasn't opened up yet about his past that has had no relevenace so far to the plot and at the end, he opens up because Atreus is sick from not knowing he's a God. Far less dramatic since his feelings or outlook haven't changed, he just gets more confidence. The story also has some big hiccups like Atreus becoming spiteful comes out of nowhere and goes away just as fast. Even Cory Barlog admited they dropped the ball here. I also find the overall conflict with Freya and Baldur less interesting because it has nothing to do with Kratos or Atreus. Hell, why is Mr. "They do not concern us" suddenly now concerned about Freya's wellbeing? Freya doesn't even want him to help.
The storytelling itself hurts the game as a whole. The story has the game be full of boring walking sections or other distractions that kill the pacing. Whether it's carrying a pig for several minutes, or the entire opening section which takes 10 minutes to even get to a fight, going to the mountain-seeing it's blocked by black mist- backtracking back to the Temple (which takes another 10 minutes) - going to Alfheim and fighting through an Elf Civil War to get a light just to clear said mist....... twice. GOW2018 loves wasting your time with slow, boring padding. And don't take it from me. Even Cory Barlog has admitted they were worried the game would be too short so padded it. Even if the story was good, having all these boring segments dilutes their positives as this short story is stretched to its breaking point. All this just makes me ask, if you're making a game where even the very basic act of movement is up to the whims of the story robbing the player of even the most basic agency, where the combat is frustrating to make a cool "cinematic" camera work regardless of how it affects the gameplay, where the entire story is told through cutscenes you can't even skip...... then why not just make a goddamn movie? With a movie or TV show, you control the pacing so the audience doesn't spend hours backtracking through the same area with controls less complicated than Candy Crush, and instantly sees what happens next. And hey, it won't be at least 20 hours long.
The story being exclusive to cutscenes with the gameplay being so unconnected at best and hamstrung at worse feels like a slap to me whenever someone says "GOW2018 shows games have better stories than movies", clearly they don't when being more movie than game is what makes them on par. The sad thing is that the game is frustratingly close to actually nailing something here. According to Cory Barlog, he wanted this game to be about parenting and how "as a parent, you can't do your kids' exam for them, all you can do is prepare them for it". The story has sections where Kratos teaches Atreus but we don't in gameplay but there are systems built in for it. Atreus notices whenever the player does things like trips, stuns or even just swings their weapons in empty rooms. The game also keeps track of little challenges like trip x enemies and has Atreus note things in his journal. Rather than level Atreus through a menu, have the player experiment in combat and have Atreus learn from that. Do trips and Atreus learns how to do them and you can even have some short fun sequences as Atreus tries to pick up from Kratos, now repeat these for some of the other techniques and things specific to enemies and you get a better sense of teaching Atreus. It doesn't even have to be just combat, if you frequently break crates to look for health, you can have Atreus doing them as well based on you. If frequently button spam, Atreus could be more unprepared in combat and thus encourage the player to play better to not have Atreus pick up bad habits. The sky was the limit and this could have been one of the few ways GOW2018 could have made itself feel unique as a game while also telling its rather same old story. I know this can be done because the game actually does something like this once. During his bratty phase, Atreus refuses to listen to the player's commands and will start fights on his own which has the player feel Kratos' confusion and frustration. More of that instead of that being the only instance and the rest being the same story I've played like 4 times already and seen 10 more times as a Movie (seriously, it seems AAA games and movies Love The Road). Of course, the game would need to be shorter to make it feel better but I feel that's worth it.
In Closing, GOW2018 is a very flawed game, nothing it does is truly unique or special. Normally with these kinds of games, I can see the entertainment someone could have here, but I genuinely do not see what's even good about this game, never mind "game of the decade" worthy. There are countless games that do what GOW2018 tries but better. If you want a slow focused story with a close camera done well; play Hellblade. If you want a story with a fathechild relationship done better; play The Last of Us or the Walking Dead Season 1. If you want an open world RPG that actually is a good RPG with a flair for the mythological; play Assassin's Creed Odyessy. If you want a game with an amazing in-depth combat system worth mastering; play Devil May Cry. If you want to play a game with 1 camera take and actually do it; play Portal or Half Life. Now, you may say I am being unfair. "GOW isn't that type of game anymore", to that I ask: "why make a sequel?" Why not just make a new IP or actual reboot then? And even as a new game, the new GOW suffers compared to all these other games I compared it to. Let's say I wrote this piece on a different game. I recently played Assassin's Creed Syndicate and while that game was flawed, if I were comparing that game to others, I would never use GOW2018 as a positive example of anything, and for all of Syndicate's faults, it at least accomplished its objective of making you feel like a badass Assassin in Victorian London. Even the older GOWs accomplished their goals of making the player feel like the God of War. I can't say the same for GOW2018. Even Assassin's Creed Odyessy made me feel more like Kratos than GOW2018. And based on how restrictive GOW2018 is, I feel more like a child than a parent. Which is fitting because this game doesn't seem to think very highly of its players ("The boss health is below the screen").
So that brings to the why? Why is GOW2018 like this? From looking at all the behind the scenes material I could, here is my guess: Cory Barlog wanted to make a game about Kratos and his son based on his own life experiences. That's admirable, along the way, they weren't confident in old Kratos' appeal and the success of the new Kratos, so they cribed from other games to try and make something that would appeal to everyone. Everyone likes TLOU so copy that, every game is now an RPG so copy some of these and all this diluted the focus of the game. GOW2018 is now pulled in so many different directions with people unsure of what it actually wants along with Cory trying to make his fatheson story with apprehension from Sony Execs. The end result is this. If GOW2018 dialled back on all this fluff and was just an 8 hour game of Kratos and Atreus climbing a mountain with decent combat and no RPG or open world stuff, it might have ended up being more focused and a better game. If the devs were more confident, they could have done what Odyessy did and actually naviagted so many gameplay elements and pulled off an RPG well but that would have required more than what the team imagined. Whatever the case, despite its many, many, many faults GOW2018 is sitting as one of gaming's most cherished despite not deserving it and likely serving as the inspiration for other games going forward. Will GOW Ragnarok be more of the same as a team that's convinced of their own hype sink deeper into their own flaws? Or will it be a chance for the devs to know what they want and actually be able to make it free of interference. Only time will tell. I'll end with saying I don't hate GOW2018 despite all my criticisms. It's clear it was made as an especially artistic work and not some quick soulless cashgrab like Fallout 76. But on the other hand, I had more fun with Fallout 76 because it at least it was a game from beginning to end and not a movie masquerading as one that robbed what little agency I had.
submitted by coolwali to patientgamers [link] [comments]
2020.10.18 19:28 Odd_directions Hidden house inside camera
I’ve stumbled upon something that concerns everyone, something so disturbing that falling asleep will forever remain a terrifying ordeal to anyone who knows about it. It’s all around us – an omnipresent horror – and yet it’s nowhere to be seen. I’m not here to explain it – I’ll leave that to someone more suited for the task – I’m only here as an involuntary witness.
My awakening, which is what I’ve come to call it, happened yesterday. I was homesick in my small New York apartment. I was on the couch in my underwear watching the news, drowning in tissues and eating cereal even though it was dinner time. It was a typical sick day for a bachelor in his thirties, that is: completely uninteresting. That’s partly why this is so difficult to explain. There weren’t any warning signs, not even an uneasy feeling. I went to bed early, expecting the next day to be a repetition of the day that had passed, and I was lulled to sleep by the ambient sound of the New York traffic outside my window.
Startled, I woke up to the unusual sound of silence. My heart was beating rapidly as if I had already noticed that something was wrong. A bluish, electric light shone through the window like a lightning bolt had been frozen in time outside. I looked at the alarm clock on my nightstand. It said it was midnight, but I soon realized that the clock had stopped.
I felt a bit feverish, but I was clearheaded enough to tell the difference between a dream and reality. The light from outside, combined with the eerie silence, confused me. I got out of bed with a groan. First, I sat on the ledge and tried to collect my thoughts, and then I walked up to the window to see where the light came from.
I expected a huge spotlight pointed at my window, but that wasn’t it. The strange voltaic light covered the entire city, as far as I could see, but even though the light was everywhere it didn’t seem to come from anywhere. Down on the street, I saw that every car had stopped and been abandoned with their doors still open. Did I miss an emergency alert? I couldn’t fathom what was going on.
Two people, a man and a woman, stood on the sidewalk. I was relieved to see them, but after watching them for a while I realized that they weren’t doing anything. They were just standing there, like mannequins. I turned on the TV to see if there were any news about what was going on. They were sending live, which was expected given that the news channel was broadcasting all the time, but the news anchor wasn’t saying anything. She stared into the camera without blinking a single time. The blue-white light from the outside illuminated the right side of her face.
From the left, something strange entered the frame. It looked like a tentacle, but it didn’t have any texture. It was pitch black. It slowly moved toward the woman’s head. Its movements were fluid, almost as if it wasn’t affected by gravity. Even though I knew that the woman was sitting in a studio several miles away, it still felt uncomfortable being stared down by her while that thing approached her from the side. I flinched when the tentacle effortlessly, without causing any physical damage, entered the side of her head. It just phased through it. A shadow from something large nearby fell over her, and then she let out a senseless scream of horror.
I immediately turned the television off, almost dropping the remote. What the fuck was that? My mind was in a disarray. I looked out the window again. The people were still standing there, motionless. I noticed a few more people inside the cars. The traffic lights had stopped, just as my clock. It was as if everything had been frozen in place.
I stepped away from the window. A shadow had appeared on the ground. I carefully peeked outside to see what cast it. It slowly moved into view. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a huge, squid-like being floating above the ground. I recognized its tentacles from what I had seen on the television. It approached the people standing on the sidewalk and slid two of its tentacles into their heads. They didn’t seem to notice anything of what was going on.
This time, there wasn’t any screaming. The couple just took off all of their clothes and walked away, as if controlled by the being floating above them. I tried to see where it was taking them, but they walked out of view. Next, another black squid appeared. It phased through a building, just as if it didn’t exist on the same plane of existence as ordinary matter. This made me feel unsafe. It meant that there was no way to keep them outside. They could just float into my apartment at any moment.
I sat down with my back against the wall. My thoughts touched upon every possibility I could think of, everything from a sudden onset of insanity to an alien invasion. I crawled into my bathroom and lay down in the tub. It wasn’t safer there, of course, it just felt that way. I couldn’t tell for how long I stayed there, but it must have been for at least half a day. After that, in a blink of an eye, the strange light shining into my apartment disappeared and the sounds of the city returned. I picked up my phone and looked at the display until it finally showed one minute past midnight.
Tired, I climbed up from the tub and looked out the window. Everything seemed to be back to normal. The cars drove by like normal. No one had noticed the mysterious twelve hours that I had just experienced. Except… The couple that had been led away by those beings weren’t there anymore. They never returned.
As you can probably understand, it felt as if my entire world had fallen apart. I quickly put on a pair of sweatpants together with my stained robe and ran outside. People stared at me condescendingly as soon as I exited the building. I didn’t care. I needed answers. Someone must have seen the couple vanish from the sidewalk, I thought. I ran up to a cab and approached the driver.
“Excuse me!” I yelled even though I tried to speak normally. “I live next door and, um–“ The driver looked at me as if I was a meth addict. I didn’t blame him. “Did you see the couple that stood right there?” I pointed at the spot where they had been standing. “I saw them from the window, but–”
“I didn’t see any couple,” the man said.
“Are you sure because–“
“Dude,” he said. “I’ve been staring in that direction since I parked here and I didn’t see any goddamn couple.”
“But they took off their clothes!” I said. “How could you have missed that? Look, the clothes are right there!”
I picked them up from the ground and showed him.
“Hey, dude, don’t bring that trash into my car!”
“But they were right there!” I yelled. “Hey, you there!” I turned to a lady waiting for the bus on the other side of the street. “Did you see the couple standing over there?”
The woman shook her head dismissively.
“Freaking crackhead,” I heard the driver whisper before he drove away from me.
I felt stupid, even though I was sure I was right. The clothes on the ground proved it. I saw that couple take them off. If that was a hallucination, I thought, the clothes wouldn’t be here now. I returned to my apartment and turned on the television again. The news anchor reported on the news, as usual, oblivious of the tentacle in her head that had made her scream earlier.
I sat down on my bed and tried to make sense of what had happened, but I was too tired to think. I hadn’t slept for an entire day worth of time, and yet no time had passed at all. The only thought I managed to produce before I nodded off was that I had been stuck on some kind of surreal crossroads between this day and the day before. I had no idea if that was a proper way to describe it, it was merely how it felt. After I woke up – in the middle of the day – my experience from midnight lingered in my mind.
I managed to think about it a bit more clearly now that I had slept, although I still couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It was just as if the entire world had been put on pause during those hours, allowing those horrible creatures to do whatever they liked to us. I left my apartment to get some air. The woman’s dress was still laying on the street, blowing across the sidewalk with the wind. Did anyone miss her, or had she disappeared from everyone’s mind just as she had disappeared from the world? Questions like that bounced around in my head. I stopped at a street corner and looked up at the sun with squinted eyes. This was something more than even the most far-out theory I could imagine, such as an alien invasion. It concerned reality itself. How else could the entire sky have turned into that strange, electric blue? The normal sky felt off somehow now. It didn’t look any different, but after having seen what I had seen earlier I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was nothing more than a picture projected on a vast screen. It left me with the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped between the walls of a house without an outside. It made me dizzy. I couldn’t stay outside, because it didn’t feel like outside anymore, and I ran home again.
Later, as the watch on my wall slowly approached midnight, I considered taking some sleeping pills. I didn’t want to wake up in the same, strange in-between–day as before. In the end, however, I decided against it. I needed to know if it would happen again or if it had just been a one-time thing. So I sat at my kitchen table, anxiously waiting for the final hour of the day to strike.
The blue light flooded my apartment the same instant the watch on the wall stopped ticking. It wasn’t over. Just moments later, one of the enormous, floating squids passed through my living room. I froze in my place as I watched it exit through the wall on the other side of the room. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. I wanted to escape, to run away, but there was nowhere to go. What if they saw that I had broken free from the state of trance that everyone else seemed to be in. Everyone else? I sneaked over to my computer and watched a live broadcast on the BBC. The same thing was happening there. A man had stopped moving in the middle of an interview, but he was still talking. It wasn’t English, though, but some kind of gibberish. Tower Bridge was visible behind him, and several creatures soared in the air around it. Just to make sure this was a truly global phenomenon, I went to YouTube and clicked my way to a live stream of the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. All the cars had stopped, and the black cabs reflected the buzzing, blue sky. The people either stood perfectly still or walked around in strange patterns. One of them laughed hysterically.
A noise came from upstairs. I quickly closed the laptop, afraid that someone might have heard me. It sounded like a struggle. A frail, old lady lived in the apartment above. I couldn’t imagine her being capable of making those sounds. Worrying that she might be in trouble, and also because I wanted some answers, I decided to sneak up to her floor and see what was going on. The hallway outside my front door was silent and vaguely illuminated by the strange light from the outside. Ascending the stairs, the atmosphere got more and more electric. I slowly approached my neighbor’s door and put my ear to it. Her apartment was quiet now. I looked through the letter slot. At first, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but then a flickering shadow on the floor caught my attention. I stood outside the door for a few moments, hesitating, before I decided to try and open it. Perhaps my neighbor was awake just like me, I thought as I slowly turned the doorknob.
“R-ruth?” I whispered.
I didn’t see her, just the strange flickering shadow on top of the Persian carpet. Then I looked up at the ceiling. Ruth, completely undressed, was spinning around at ludicrous speed in the middle of the air. For a few seconds, I just stood there and looked at her in disbelief, but then – which was common for her when she walked down the hallways with her walker – she urinated. The entire room was sprayed with her piss, and some of it landed on my face. I quickly withdrew from there and ran back to my room where I made sure to clean myself.
I looked out the window. Was I truly the only one awake, able to see what was going on? I picked up my phone and tried to make a phone call to a friend. I didn’t expect it to work, but after about five ringtones he picked up. I was overwhelmed with relief.
“Yes?” he said.
“Hey, man, it’s me–“ I said, but was interrupted.
“Yes?” he repeated.
“Are you seeing what is going on?! I mean, it’s like the entire world has turned into–“
“I’m a forester, not a historian.”
“E-excuse me?” I said, feeling my panic coming back.
“Following the direction of the screaming, you’ll find the big, black moose’s head at the entrance of a tunnel.“
He was clearly not himself.
“Come on man, snap out of it!” I said, holding back my tears.
“Please return me to my original form... please.”
He sounded less robotic now. Did I somehow wake him up?
“You there, man?!” I yelled. “Stay with me, okay, I’ll–“
“The muscles of my limbs are stretched to their limits.”
He was sobbing now, whispering the words into his phone.
“Are you hurt, man?” I asked. “Did one of those creatures–“
“As I am dying, my internal organs shift inside…”
He was crying now.
“Shit, man…” I didn’t know what more to say. “Listen, don’t go anywhere.” I looked around for my car keys. “I’m coming to–“
“I can feel them shifting in my flesh, and the sheer mass of it is so great that it shakes the grounds as I stagger and tremble to my feet.” I listened to him while I grabbed my car keys from the cabinet in the living room. “If only there were a way I could stop the things in front of me!”
“W-what,” I said, “what’s in front of you?!”
“The smell of blood surrounds me.” He kept talking as if he didn’t hear me. “Blood and death. It’s everywhere. Bodies of the living are coagulated and blood gushes from their wounds.”
“Are you at your place?”
The dullness in his voice was back.
“Stay with me, man!” I said. “Don’t–“
“I’m a forester, not a historian.”
“What does that mean?!” I yelled. “I’m coming!”
The only response I got to that was a petrifying scream, and then the phone call ended abruptly.
Outside, I immediately noticed the lack of weather. There weren’t any winds, and the temperature was the same as inside. The pigeons on the sidewalk had stopped, just as if someone had put them on pause, and a little boy stood in the street corner making jazz-hands over and over and over again while blood dripped from his nose. I didn’t know how to blend in since everyone was acting erratically, so I didn’t even try. I just ran to my car, put the key in, and started the engine. But before I could drive away, the little boy jumped in front of the car – still making jazz-hands – and blocked my way. More people gathered around the car, mumbling nonsensical words.
I climbed on top of my car through the sunroof. An airplane was frozen in the middle of the sky and one of the horrifying creatures was leading one of the passengers outside with its tentacles. I had nowhere to go. The people weren’t attacking me, but they made sure I couldn’t escape from where I was. One of the creatures came floating by, casting its enormous shadow on the street. Did they know about me? I stood on my car's roof, yelling at the people to wake up until my voice failed me.
“Why aren’t you listening to me?!”
“You’re crazy!” someone yelled back.
“That’s why you’re in my room!” a little girl yelled. “Get the fuck out.” She laughed. “Also, this is why I’m still here, doing this shit.”
“But you’re not saying anything!” an old man yelled at me.
I sat down and put my face in my hands, giving up my attempts at reaching out to the people. It’s hard to say how much time passed while I sat on the roof of my car like this, but I eventually stood up again – ready to jump over the crowd.
One of the creatures ominously appeared from beneath the ground, just a few hundred meters away from me. It floated toward me, reaching for me with its enormous tentacles. Although it was moving relatively slow, I would never have been able to run away from it on foot. Its ability to phase through anything made that impossible. The closer it came, the more electricity filled the air. My hair stood on end, positive charges rising through me. I climbed into my car again, turned on the engine again, and – acting purely out of desperation – put it into reverse gear and hit the pedal as hard as I could.
The crowd dispersed quickly, but I still felt a small bump under my tires. I didn’t have time to think, I wasn’t going to let that beast penetrate my brain with one of its hideous tentacles. I swung the car around and zigzagged between the cars in front of me until I reached a relatively empty pedestrian street where I hit the gas as hard as I could. Two of the creatures phased through the buildings next to me, and several more descended toward me from the sky.
I drove around for a long time, hopelessly trying to escape the monsters that relentlessly chased after me. I only stopped once to push a stroller off the sidewalk I was driving on. The baby inside it was wailing, but no sound came from its mouth.
I drove past individuals partaking in the most bizarre behaviors I had ever seen in my entire life, the least weird being a young woman in a business suit having sex with an old taxi driver on the hood of his car. From there, it only got worse; a middle-aged man was binge eating all the fecal matter he could find inside a dog park, a two-hundred-pound man was standing on his head with an eerie grin on his face, a teenage girl was holding her own eye – still connected to her skull – in her hand, watching herself sing a lullaby.
Manhattan, as well as the rest of the world, had turned into a living nightmare under the oppressive presence of the black, giant squids. I thought about the people around me, and everyone else as well. Tomorrow, they wouldn’t remember anything. To them, it would be just as if it had never happened at all. But it did happen, that guy really did fill his mouth with dog turds and that lady really did have sex with that old man… For how long has this been going on? I had no answers to my questions, just more questions. Have I been acting like this between the days as well, perhaps for my entire life? The thought of it made my stomach turn.
I took a sharp turn onto Park Row, aiming for the Brooklyn Bridge. When I got there, I stopped in the middle of it. Several creatures approached me from both ends. There was nowhere for me to go. The East River reflected the galvanizing sky and turned into a shining, white silver. I walked over to the edge and grabbed the railing with both hands. For the first time in my life, I contemplated ending it all.
A little girl came up to me. For a moment, I thought she would try to comfort me, but all she said was:
“As a symbol of Farölk, they used to put me on my knees before I was old enough to drink wine so that I could be taught the true form of Farölk.”
Listing to her nonsense, I began climbing the railing.
“The ancient gods have made it so that the world is blind to their power.” She didn’t take any breaths while talking, the words just streamed out of her little drooling mouth completely unhindered. “These gods are both power-hungry and charming. Although these malevolent beings are relentless in their goal to rule everything, none are the true monarch of a ravaged world. They are insidious creatures that impose their will on the living and shape their nature, acting as constant tempters in their perceived petty struggles. This is the true danger of these gods. They work, they speak, they spy, they manipulate, they–“
She stopped mid sentenced and returned to the car she had gotten out of. Everyone seemed to be returning to their original positions, spitting out whatever they had put in their mouths and adjusting their clothes. The creatures were almost upon me now, but then – in an instant – the midnight sky came back and the airplanes in the sky shot forward without any need to accelerate, just as if they hadn’t stopped at all… and the creatures vanished just before their tentacles reached me. I climbed down on the sidewalk again and burst into tears. The little girl looked at me from the car, just as if she had never seen me before in her life.
My friend, who lived near Fort Greene Park, opened his door – surprised to see my exhausted face at this late hour. There were no indications of a struggle, he was perfectly fine. I urged him to check his phone. Confused, he picked it up.
“Can you see if you received a phone call from me in the past few hours or so?” I said, hoping there would be some evidence.
“No, there’s nothing–“
“Goddamnit!” I said. “I was hoping–“
“Hey, what’s going on with you?” he said with sympathy in his eyes. “Are you alright?”
“I’m okay, it’s just that… Well, I don’t even know where to begin to be honest.”
“Why don’t you try from the start,” he said and paused the game he had been playing on his Xbox.
I told him everything, albeit a bit incoherently.
“Are you on drugs?!” he said. “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, and – trust me – I’ve heard a lot of crazy shit.”
“I didn’t expect you to believe me,” I said. “But during this… this day between the days, I really did call you and you picked up. I really thought I got through to you. You said something about… something about not being a historian, but a forester.”
“Wait, woah!” my friend said, suddenly pale. “What did you just say?” His lower lip trembled with a fear I hadn’t seen in his eyes before. “Did you just say…”
“You kept repeating it: ‘I’m a forester, not a historian’,” I said.
“I-I just… Just now when I was playing video games, I had this déjà vu to a dream I thought I must have forgotten a long time ago. I was talking to someone, and my body was twisted in some macabre way. It was freaky! There was blood everywhere, and I remember saying those exact words: I’m a forester, not a historian.”
“It wasn’t a dream, man!” I said. “It was me, you were talking to me on the phone and you said those words.”
He walked over to the window.
“I don’t see anything out of the ordinary,” he said.
“This isn’t something you would see just by looking through your window,” I said. “It’s completely hidden from the world. You only experience day and night, not what happens in-between!”
I sat down on my friend's sofa and turned on the news. They were reporting from a crime scene.
“Wait, that’s outside my place,” I said. “What’s going on?”
There was a picture of me on the screen, wanted for a hit-and-run. The victim was a little boy. It was the kid making jazz-hands. They displayed a city map, showing the crash location and a red line going from my place to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge.
“Several police cars were involved in the chase,” the reporter said, “but lost track of the subject after he exited his car on the bridge–“
My friend walked over to me. I quickly turned off the TV before he saw my face on it.
“What was that?” he said.
“N-nothing,” I said. “Just some car accident near my place.”
But it wasn’t nothing. It was them, the creatures, trying to manipulate everyone into doing their bidding. I’m hiding at a McDonalds right now. I have nowhere to go, chased both during the days and in-between them. Nowhere to go except maybe another edge to jump off from…
submitted by Odd_directions to nosleep [link] [comments]
2020.10.18 18:09 MrOmegakid Hidden camera inside house
"Please... I just need to know what happened to my son..."
Eli had seen a lot in his life. He'd dealt with all sorts of seedy types. Hell, he'd been shot a time or two. But there was no defense in his arsenal against a crying mother. Adding to that, she grabbed his shirt and started crying into his chest.
He knew she couldn't afford his fee, but... he was rather trapped. He could do one pro-bono job... Nothing wrong with that.
"Alright. I'll look into it. Tell me what you know. The last time you saw him, the last place he was, age, appearance... anything that could be useful."
She sat back, taking just a second to compose herself slightly, "Six... six months ago. H-he was supposed to pick up milk from the store and he went out with his friends instead. We had a... We had an argument. He left so angry with me... And I haven't seen him since..." She paused as another wave of sobbing threatened to overwhelm her.
"I understand this is hard, but I need any information you can provide. Anything that tells me how to find Eric." Eli gave her a smile that felt as fake as it probably looked, "Did you go to the police?"
"I-I did... they came back a day later with this picture. Here... let me..." Mrs. Bryan stood and walked over to the kitchen table. She pushed aside the stacks of 'missing' posters and pulled up a small photograph. She hurried back to Eli, pressing the small item into his palm, "They said he left. That this picture is all there is and all there needs to be. This picture... this is not my son. My son has red hair, and this boy has black hair. My son is... bless his heart... a little heavyset... but this boy is as skinny as a rail. Mr. Thorne, he's sixteen. He's top of his class and dating the class president. He just got a new job. He wouldn't just leave."
"And even if he had, why wouldn't the police bring him back?" Eli nodded, "Interesting. This class president... any chance Eric just ran away with her for a while?"
"No. Eric isn't like that. He would have said something. I already reached out to her family. Mr. Thorne... their daughter is just as worried as I am... but her parents... they said I've never had a son and they hung up on me. I've known them for years. They knew my late husband. They were at the hospital when Eric was born... They know I have a son."
Eli took a sharp breath. That was something he'd seen before. The police not searching for a missing underage boy was strange, but could be easily chalked up to lazy or dirty cops. Close family friends forgetting the boy entirely? That wasn't natural. That was very unlikely to be a cop on the take.
It was more likely to be something far worse. But he couldn't himself think about that.
Eli sat forward and "Mrs. Bryan, do you know where your son would have gone for the groceries? Somewhere that I can start looking?"
"Tom and Alva's on North Cherry. I can find you the address so-"
"No need. I actually shop there myself. Killer prices on produce." Eli stood and sighed, "Look... I'm not here to give you false hope. I will find out what happened to your son... one way or another. But I... I can't promise that I'll be able to bring him home."
She nodded her understanding and tried her best to keep it together, but as Eli pulled on his hat and coat, he could hear her sobbing behind him. Without looking back, he left the house.
Eli stood on the corner of North Cherry and West Haverford. Tom and Alva's, the little mom n' pop's drug store, was standing there, quiet and ignored by most. A few kids played on the corner nearby; not promising. A very shady-looking individual with a hoodie stood on the corner across the street from him; a potential witness. A police car rolled by every twenty minutes on the dot; more potential witnesses. He saw nothing on the street itself, which was not a surprise as Eric had disappeared six months prior. Turning to look at the storefront, he noted a security camera pointed at the door; a potential witness in its own right.
Eli pulled out his notebook from his coat pocket and clicked his pen, "Security camera... drug dealer... police..."
Eli turned and walked through the front door of Tom and Alva's and removed his hat. Ah, that familiar jingle of the bell always brought a little smile to his face. Aisles of chips and snacks made the place look like it had little more variety than a common gas station, but it was hard to deny that small-town feel the store gave off.
The only thing he didn't like to see were the prices. Two whole dollars for a bag of chips that small? How did anyone afford things in that town!? Their produce was priced fine but... that was no small amount. Or maybe it was. Things seemed to be more expensive without anyone caring. Plus, it seemed that money was either worth less or everything was worth more. Inflation was stupid.
He looked to the counter. It wasn't Tom or Alva manning the cash register. Just some young lady. Perhaps eighteen, nineteen... cute as a button with sheer boredom in her eyes.
"Excuse me, miss. My name is Elias Thorne and I was wondering if-"
"What are you supposed to be?"
"I'm a private investigator."
"You realize the 30s happened ninety years ago, right?"
Eli looked down at his clothing. The old trench coat, the white button-up and black vest, five-o-clock shadow on his face... even the Sinatra hat he held... yeah... he did look a little out-of-place in the modern day. Appearing to be in his mid-twenties didn't help his case any.
Eli looked up at the shopkeep and shrugged, "My mom said I looked like a very handsome man. Now, I have some-"
"You some sort of noir detective?"
"Yes... I'm... some sort..." Eli shook his head, "Miss, I really need to see your security tapes. The camera out front. I think it may have seen a crime six months ago, and-"
"Footage is deleted every month." She shrugged, "You're fresh outta luck. The gun store across the street deletes theirs every year. You might have some luck there."
Eli left the little store and returned his hat to his head, grumbling the whole way across the street about irritating shopkeeps who wouldn't let him finish a damn sentence. Thankfully, the young woman had been observant enough to notice the external security camera on the gun store, aimed out at the street. He made his way into the gun store. Bars on the windows; that was a great sign. Guns of all sorts lined the unlocked cases. Hunting gear rested on the racks with ammunition sitting on the shelves. A portly, middle-aged man stood behind the counter.
"Excuse me, sir. My name is Elias Thorne-"
The shopkeep scoffed, "That's not a real name."
"It's on my driver's license." Eli rolled his eyes, "Look, we can talk about my name later. I need to see your security footage from six months ago. I believe it may have witnessed a crime."
"Sure thing. Where's your warrant?"
"Oh, I'm not with the police. I'm a private investigator. I'm looking into the disappearance of a young man named 'Eric Bryan'. Do you mind if I take a look at those tapes?"
"They're not on tape. Digital. And you won't be seein' them without a warrant. I know my rights."
"And I can see several things going on here that are terribly illegal. Maybe the cops will ignore it, but if I bring up that you have guns in unlocked cases with ammunition just sitting out... Well, even if the cops don't want to do anything, the newspaper will have a hell of a time writing up an article about your little shop." Eli walked up to the counter, "Now... how about those digital things?"
Eli looked through his notebook as he walked toward where he left his car. Young boy matching the rough description of Eric Bryan that he had gotten from Mrs. Bryan left Tom and Alva's. There had been a black, unmarked panel van. The license plate had been easily read from the camera. Six, clearly-armed men had thrown another man in the back of the van and taken notice of Eric Bryan when he had screamed. Eric had been forced to join them in the van.
One of those men... he looked sick. Unnatural. Like his skin was too loose to fit on his deformed skeleton.
That man had been playing with something he shouldn't have been.
He pulled out his new phone from his pocket. The damn thing had no buttons. He stabbed at the screen with his finger, putting in the short passcode his assistant had helped him with. He needed information he couldn't ask around about. Thankfully, his business partner had some connections at the police station.
His business partner, Howard Malone, had always been a strange man, stating that he liked to keep Eli around because weird things always happened when Eli was present. He'd been kind to Eli, though. Kind enough that Eli was more than willing to not ask questions about what Howard had been reading when Eli walked into his office once and he slammed the book down under his desk in a hurry. Although, that was probably less about how kind the man had been and more about Eli not wanting to know what Howard read when he was alone.
Contacts... 'H'... 'Howard Malone'. He hit the button that looked like a phone and pushed it up to his ear.
An older, husky voice answered, "Howard Malone, Private Investigator and part-time birthday clown. Which one might you be inquiring about today?"
"Howard, I know my name pops up on the screen thing when I call you. You know it's me."
"Elias! Haven't heard from you in a while. Kinda thought you'd gotten on the bad side of the wrong people." Howard laughed, "After what happened on Pine Street last week, I'm surprised to hear from you. How are you today?"
Pine Street. Another case he'd solved. It had started as something about a corrupt local politician that had gotten a man laid off, and ended with the politician taking potshots at Eli with a shotgun. It wasn't the first sticky situation Eli had escaped from, and the man had wound up in prison. Granted, he had been arrested for tax evasion, not attempted murder, but Eli had learned to count his victories where he could. He hadn't quite figured out how the guy had known he was coming, but that was a case for a different day.
"I need to have a license plate looked into. Can you pull some strings with Doris down at the station?"
"Of course I can pull some strings for you. Just a fair warning, she's not going to be particularly happy that it's you coming to see her, so I might leave that little detail out. If you send me the plate, I'll send it ahead to her and have her ready for you."
"Alright, I'll read it to you. Got a pen?"
"I'm babysitting my niece. No, I don't 'got a pen'. Just text it to me."
"Just find a pen."
"Elias, you gotta learn how the technology works at some point. Hell, I'm twenty years older than you! You should be teaching me!"
"Stuff it, Howard." Eli groaned, "There's a kid here. I'll just hand him a quarter to show me how it's done."
"One quarter isn't as much as you think."
"I'm doing it anyway."
Fifteen quarters, one irritated kid, and a twenty-minute drive later, Eli pulled up in front of the police station. His car, piece of junk that it was, broke down as soon as he stopped. That was probably a sign that he needed a new one. Maybe if he hadn't done the job pro-bono, he could put that money toward a car that was able to drive for more than five miles.
He pulled his coat back to look down at his holstered .45 M1911. Walking into a police station with a gun on his hip was likely not a good idea, even if he had a concealed carry permit. On the other hand, he had the permit for that one, even if the permit was registered to a fake name. Maybe it would be fine. If they saw the unregistered .38 snub on his left hip, though... perhaps he would get in trouble for that one.
He decided to hold on to his weapons. Leaving them in a car that couldn't lock was just asking for trouble. He got out of the car and walked across the street to the station. It was a decently-sized building of brick, with a big, bright 'Police of Haven City' sign on the top. Squad cars lined the street, looking a lot sleeker than he remembered them. He made a special note of the black truck about a block away. Two men sat in the truck, both watching him intently.
Eli walked through the front door and walked up to the counter. The officer behind the desk eyed him up and down and reached for the stack of incident reports.
"Mr. Thorne. Your partner called ahead and said your business needed to speak with Doris. Why are you here?"
"I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd come visit. I'm sure Howard will be along shortly." Eli removed his hat, "Any chance I could wait for him downstairs with Doris? I'm having trouble reaching him."
"Fine. But you better make it quick. I don't need a repeat of last month on my head."
"It's really not my fault that she had that vase. What the hell was a vase doing in a police station anyway!?"
"Just go through the damn door. I'll buzz you in."
Eli walked away from the counter, sticking his hands in his coat pockets. He waited at the door to the stairs until he heard the buzz and walked through. Descending down the stairs, a pang of nerves hit him. He never liked being underground, even if it was a basement. Always made him uncomfortable. Maybe that was why he was more on edge the month before.
He rounded the corner into the records. Doris, a woman with glaringly-red hair and leopard-print glasses, sat at her desk, sorting through papers. She had a file sitting to the side with a pink note attached to the top, bearing Howard Malone's name. Eli walked around to the front of her desk and cleared his throat.
"Doris." He tapped his fingers on the file, "Is this for Howard?"
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"I need the information for a case. Missing boy. Eric Bryan."
"Eric... Is that the same 'Eric Bryan' that that woman keeps calling us about?"
"One and the same." Eli started to slide the file from her desk, "I'm just going to take this and go. No need for any unpleasantness."
Doris's hand slammed down on top of the file, "Don't even think about it, Thorne. Howard called for that license plate to be run, and the information is for his eyes only. You better be on your way now or I'm calling upstairs to have them send Officer Brown down here to straighten you out again."
"Ha! Brown is on vacation in Maui this week. He sent a postcard to the office. Shows what you know." Eli chuckled, "Alright, Doris... Just let me take the file."
"I need to hear an apology."
"I'm sorry about the fire."
"You are responsible for more than that."
"A woman cried in front of me this morning because her son is missing. I need this information to find out what happened."
"Fine." Doris moved her hand, "Asshole."
"And because I thought it was Howard coming to pick up that file, I left a little note in there that you should ignore."
Eli flipped the file open to see a handwritten note. Eli blushed, grabbed the note, and slapped it back down on her desk, "Doris! What would Mister Roberts think!?"
"You're lucky I don't pull your address and give it to Mr. Roberts for what you did last time you were here."
"Aw, I didn't know you cared so much. I gotta say, you seem angrier than that wizard-guy I interrupted in the middle of a ritual."
Doris's eyes got wide.
Eli let out an incredibly awkward, completely and clearly fake laugh that held no joy. Doris laughed uncomfortably and looked down at her desk.
Eli flipped through the file, "This is just one piece of paper with an address."
"That's all there was on the plate."
"Anything about Eric Bryan?"
"I have to keep putting in another file each time that woman calls. I've looked into it before, and there's nothing in our system about that woman having a child. I just can't believe she's so desperate that she hired you. Guess she really has snapped."
"Doris, you're a treasure. Don't ever change."
"Go to hell."
"That's the spirit."
Eli closed his car door and threw the file on the passenger seat. He flipped it open to read the address and struggled to get his phone to call Howard. Voicemail. Great. He scrolled up through the 'contacts' list until he reached 'C'. Chase Meyers, his assistant, was just some young kid who needed the income. He wasn't much for investigation, but he had a passion for helping people. It was almost inspirational. He had outright refused to take the job offer until Eli promised him that they weren't going to be following cheating spouses around Haven City snapping pictures. Good kid.
"Chase, it's Eli. I need you to do that thing you do with computers and get everything you can on an address."
"Sure thing. Text me the address."
"Oh, right. Read it out to me, then."
"1890 East Providence Drive."
Eli fought with his car as the clicking of a keyboard sounded in his ear. With a small burst of relief, the car rattled to life.
"Chase, I need to put you on speaker. How do I do that?"
"Hit the button that says 'speaker'."
"There's no button."
"On the screen. It's an icon with-"
"Got it." Eli set the phone in his lap and started to drive. He listened to Chase type rapidly as his car pushed forward. He leaned back in his seat as the car rattled along. Maybe a rattling sound wasn't the best sound for an engine to have. It was probably fine, though. He wasn't a mechanic, so he couldn't decide that the car was busted on his own.
That black truck was behind him. It was a distance of about two cars... but it was there. The driver was talking into a phone. Bald man. Sunglasses. Dark skin. The passenger pointed at Eli's car. Brown hair. Pale skin. Bright orange jacket.
"Chase, I've got a tail. Anything you can see before I have to hang up?"
"Yeah... It's an old abandoned factory and... just... It looks like there are a lot of invoices from a "Happy Farms Butcher Shop" to that address. Several shipments of... of meat. I mean, beef, chicken, pork... all that stuff. Whoever lives there, they were really hungry."
"Or 'whatever' lives there." Eli muttered, "What do you mean 'were really hungry'?"
"Well, it looks like the last invoice was from six months ago. Eli, there are some posts online warning about gang activity near that address. Bodies turning up nearby. People missing. Drugs all through that area... but all of that stopped six months ago, too."
Eli felt a cold shock run through his heart, "Thanks, Chase. I'll go check it out."
"It looks like it might be dangerous, Mr. Thorne. Do you want me to call Mr. Marwan?"
"No thanks. I've got this one. Let... Let Sam know where I'm going to be, though. If I don't give you a call by midnight, send him in."
"You got it, Mr. Thorne."
Eli pulled over into a parking lot and fished the map out of his glovebox. He unfolded it and rested it against the steering wheel. East Providence was a thirty-minute drive across town. If his car could survive the trip, it wouldn't even be a problem. He just needed to-
Something tapped on his window.
He looked up to see a man in a bright orange jacket. He was tapping on the window with a gun. Eli was suddenly feeling quite cooperative. The man motioned for Eli to get out of the car, and Eli obliged.
"Boss got a call that you're sticking your nose where it don't belong." The man muttered, "So, we're gonna go someplace nice and quiet and have a little chat."
"Well, I do like nice and quiet places."
Eli eyed the gun in the man's hand as the other one started patting him down.
"You're quite friendly." Eli muttered.
The man felt down Eli's hips, stopped, and pulled back the right side of his coat to reveal the .45 M1911 on his hip. He pulled the gun out of the holster and stuck it in the back of his pants. He patted down Eli's legs and then moved up toward his left hip.
"Oh, you don't have to worry about that. I never cross-draw." Eli chuckled.
The man quietly pulled back the left side of Eli's coat and removed the .38 snub, holding it up for Eli to see.
"Well... except for sometimes." Eli shrugged.
The man grabbed Eli's left arm all the way down, then moved to his right arm, stopping at his forearm.
Eli raised his left arm and pulled his sleeve down, revealing a leather and steel brace, "I injured my arm a bit ago. The doc said I had to wear this. I don't know why. I'm no doctor."
The man shrugged and pulled a black bag from his pocket. He unfurled it, took Eli's hat, and pulled it over Eli's head.
Eli would have complained about the bag over his head, except that it was remarkably thin, and he could see almost everything. That was likely something those two morons were unaware of. He recognized the street signs around him as they went. These guys were taking him in the direction of East Providence Drive. That was convenient. Or quite bad if people really did keep disappearing around there.
The building they approached was an old factory. What it produced, Eli couldn't tell. It looked run down and dirty. The fence had a 'no trespassing' sign that Eli's drivers ignored completely. He could see a small bit of smoke coming from one of the stacks. Perhaps the place wasn't as abandoned as Chase had believed.
Eli was shoved from the truck as both men escorted him toward the door. They stopped before entering, pulling his arms behind his back and securing them with handcuffs. That would be a minor complication.
They pushed him through the door and he stumbled, almost falling to the ground. He caught himself and tried to look around without moving his head as much as possible. Empty metal vats were all around him, lining the walls. The floor was concrete with drains running in the middle. The lights were at that perfect fluorescent flicker that made him mildly nauseous.
He was pushed into a much larger room, one lined with tables manned by people packing bags of what looked like a very illegal substance. There were stairs to his right leading up to the second floor. Four men and two women in that room had guns. A man and one woman stood to the left of the door Eli was quickly approaching. The rest stood near the stairs. The rest of the people were very clearly unarmed. Potential slaves. Potential employees. Hard to tell.
A quiet, terrible, almost musical shriek came from the basement, and everyone shuddered.
They walked him past that room and into a much smaller one, decorated by only a single chair and a series of pipes. He felt a fleeting wonder cross his mind about why bad guy groups always seemed to have rooms like that to bring their kidnap victims.
Eli was shoved down into the chair, his arms looped around the backrest. One of his captors pulled the bag from his head and discarded it on the floor.
Clawing, growling, sloshing noise rose from the drain under Eli's feet.
"Well, if you wanted some alone time with me, you could have just bought me dinner." Eli grumbled, "So... what's this all about?"
"The man we work for got a call-"
"That I'd been snooping, yeah." Eli rolled his eyes, "But... what was I snooping in that bothered him so much?"
The men said nothing, just stood there with their guns drawn and pointed at him. The door behind them opened up and a man walked through. He wore ordinary street clothes, but he looked wrong in every way. His skin looked like a deflated balloon. His bones were shaped at odd angles. Strange markings lined his skin, some tattoos, some healed wounds. His breathing was wet and ragged, though he didn't look to be in pain. His pale skin had splotches of color, as if he had paint all over him.
"You must be Elias Thorne. I've got a source that says you're looking into the disappearance of a kid that doesn't exist."
"Right, yes, and I'm sure that me looking for the Easter Bunny would also piss you off?"
"Easter Bunny..." The ragged man laughed, a shrill, piercing noise, "Elias, I think you've stumbled onto something you don't need to be concerned with."
"You know, part of me was thinking the same thing until your goons threw me into a truck." Eli shrugged, "It took me under a day to find a path that led to this location. I thought for a minute that it would mean dirty cops, but... we both know it's something more... unnatural." Eli sat up and leaned forward as much as he could, "What kind of books do you read, sir?"
The man's eyes narrowed with seething hatred, "Utah, find out what he told the cops and then put two in his head and take him downstairs. I'll be upstairs reading my books. Come get me when it's done."
The man named Utah stepped forward. He was the one who had taken Eli's weapons. That was good. Eli tried his hardest to focus on the positive and ignore the sound of scratching coming from just under his feet.
The boss and the man in the bright orange jacket walked out of the room, leaving Eli alone with Utah. Utah cracked his knuckles and stood over Eli, smiling down at him, "You're gonna tell me everything. We can do this the easy way or hard way."
"Oh, easy way of course!" Eli squirmed over, "I'll tell you exactly what you want to know."
Utah lowered his hands a little, a look of confusion on his face.
"See, when I was about... oh... nineteen or so, I went to Susie Miller's pool party." Eli moved his left arm a little, "Started out as some underage drinking, but then it turned into a game of truth or dare, and you would be surprised where that ended up! I mean, running from the cops on a bicycle at two in the morning in only my long johns and a tiara."
Utah's fist flew out, cracking Eli across the face. Eli spit blood from his mouth and looked up at Utah, retaining his grin.
"What do you think you're talking about?" Utah grumbled, "What did you tell the cops? What did you find!?"
"Asshole! I was getting to that! Eventually." Eli twisted his arm a little more, "See, there were a few things I learned that night." Eli shifted his right arm just a little bit... almost there, "One thing was that you never do truth or dare with Susie Miller's friends. Another was that if the police ask why you were doing something strange and unexplainable, say nothing or risk looking as mad as a hatter." Eli smiled as he got the right position, "The last lesson I got... was how to escape from a pair of handcuffs with a thin blade."
There was a quiet pop and Utah opened his mouth to shout.
Eli jumped up, driving the blade mounted on top of his right forearm into Utah's throat.
"You really should have taken the brace from me." Eli hissed, "You think this is the first time I've been grabbed? I've learned a lot about how to get out of tricky situations. I've got lock picks hidden in my watch, knives hidden across all my clothing... I tell you, I really appreciate the engineering possibilities in this day and age. By the way, I never told the cops anything. You could have let me go about my day, and you'd still be alive in the morning. Any last words?"
A quiet, strained gurgle escaped Utah's lips.
Eli dropped Utah's body and knelt down, picking up his hat and returning it to its rightful position on his head. He grabbed his M1911 and holstered it. After sliding the .38 back into its holster, he picked up Utah's gun. He figured he had about two shots from that before people paid too much attention. Six people in the next room would try to kill him. He could handle that. He'd been in worse situations.
A content, unearthly wail issued from the drain.
Eli looked down to see that Utah's blood was flowing down into the drain. He knew what waited in that basement. He'd seen one before. Rare, deadly, and able to disappear someone in every conceivable way. The perfect pet for a career criminal.
Eli shook the thought from his head. He ejected the magazine from Utah's firearm and pulled the slide back to eject the last bullet. He wouldn't be needing it. He dropped the gun and walked up to the door, drawing his M1911.
Eli thrust his leg into the left door, turning sharply to his right. He fired two shots. One hit the man, one hit the woman. He heard shouts from the people in the room.
He rounded the door and fired two more times, killing two of the armed men before they could react.
The remaining woman lifted her weapon and held the trigger down.
Eli dove behind a support column as bullets rained into the concrete. He'd been on the receiving end of that kind of gun before. Three seconds of continuous fire and it would be empty.
The shots stopped.
Eli rouned the column and fired one more shot, dropping the woman.
The man fired back at Eli rapidly, missing each desperate shot.
Eli fired once and didn't miss his target.
Six bullets. His gun held seven, plus the one in the chamber. He was down to two.
He fired both into the air, shouting for the people to run. Not a single one disobeyed.
Eli ejected the magazine and grabbed the one from his coat pocket, sliding it into place and cocking one into the chamber. Seven more bullets. He crossed the room quickly, heading up the stairs. He peeked through the metal door at the top. Two men stood at the end of the hallway with their guns aimed at the door Eli was behind. Eli tapped the glass and waved.
Bullets reduced the window to shards of glass immediately.
Eli bounced up from his hiding place behind the metal door and fired two clean shots.
He pushed the door open and walked down the hallway. Five rounds remained in his gun.
"Mark! Shawn! What's going on out there!?"
Eli ran at the door the two men were guarding and kicked it open.
The ragged man was reaching for a revolver on his desk.
Eli fired one shot, ripping the man's hand in half. The ragged man fell to the floor and crawled quickly into the corner, screaming and crying about his hand.
Eli sized up the room quickly. Redwood paneling, green carpet like a lawyer's office, and a rich mahogany desk with one open book on top. A couple file cabinets, a couple guns here and there. No guards in the room at all.
"Shut up!" Eli lifted the gun to aim at the ragged man's head, "Let me be clear about one thing: I will kill you for kidnapping me. But I need to know what part you played in Eric Bryan's disappearance. I need to know if I'm going to be killing you for that as well. Because I think I know what happened, I just want to hear you say it."
"A-aren't you going to arrest me?"
"I just killed eight people after being kidnapped without calling for backup. Do you really think I'm a cop? Now, tell me about the boy. He disappeared six months ago after you and yours threw him into a van. I want to know what happened."
"I-It was a year ago... th-this thing appeared... when... I was reading that book... speaking the words..." the ragged man pointed at the open book on his desk with his good hand, "And it... it appeared."
Eli walked slowly to the desk, looking down at the book. Strange symbols composed the main body of work. Words and notes in English were scrawled into the margins. Eli had seen these before. Not that book specifically... but books, formulas, and strange objects like it.
"Looks like someone was dabbling in magic." Eli let out a soft chuckle, "Trust me. That's a mistake. Playing with forces you don't understand... it turns you into something. It makes you not what you were. Something less than human that believes it's more than divine. But you summoned something... didn't you? Something hungry."
"It ate... it ate one of my men... His friends... no one remembered him after that creature..." The ragged man whispered, a few tears running down his face, "A-at first... it was satisfied by meat I ordered in... but... it was so desperate to eat... to eat men... I kept reading... The power in that book... a man could become rich with it. It was DeMarcus... he tried to get me to stop... and that... that boy saw it..." The ragged man tried to push himself farther into the corner, "So... we brought... We brought him back here..."
Eli gritted his teeth, "You fed a sixteen-year-old boy to that thing in the basement."
"It was just a matter of convenience... It wasn't... I would never kill a child! I just... I could use that thing... better for business than leaving a body-"
"I'm going to burn this place down with that thing still inside." Eli readjusted his aim, "I'm going to tell that woman that her son was murdered and his body disposed of. And you? You're going to rot in hell for what you've done."
"Not what I've done... what... What that thing did... what that book made me do!"
"But you opened the book."
"Please, man... I don't..." The ragged man looked up at Eli in terror, "Who are you?"
"I'm just a man who doesn't belong here." Eli shrugged, "Nothing more. Nothing less. I've seen things that would make your toes curl. Magic. Wizards. Monsters..." Eli let out a dry chuckle, "Monsters exist. But you know that, don't you? That's what you've got in the basement."
"I didn't know... that book was... I never thought of what it might be... of what it might do... But it told me things... things about the world... things about what lives around us... things hidden in the shadows... things hidden in plain sight..."
"In my life, I've found one great mercy in this world. Most people never put together all of the disparate facts that reveal the reality that we live in. Monsters, magic... They chalk it up to hallucinations and madness. They all live in a small room surrounded by darkness and they are so afraid to ever open the door. They try so hard to explain everything away with science and mental illness. One day, though... that door is going to be flung open. The world will see what waits in the dark, and they will not take kindly to it."
"Please... I have money... two million in the safe there. It's unlocked right now... just take it and let me go..."
"Well, thanks. I'm going to be giving that to the boy's mother, though. Well... most of it. Turns out, I probably need a new car." Eli shook his head, lowering his gun, "Oh, before I forget, who was it that tipped you off about me?"
"I never got a name... I just... He told me where you were... what you were up to... He said he just wanted to borrow my book for a little bit... that he collects them... That you wouldn't approve... that it benefited both of us..."
Eli gritted his teeth. A man who hid books Eli would disapprove of and would benefit in more ways than one if Eli was suddenly not part of his business.
Seemed like Eli would be having a chat with Howard Malone.
Eli raised his gun, "Any last words?"
"I didn't... I didn't harm the boy. It was Utah. He-"
Eli pulled the trigger three times.
Any feedback and whatnot is appreciated!
submitted by MrOmegakid to shortstories [link] [comments]
2020.10.18 16:45 LordTimur Hidden camera inside house
DESTINY ELIKSNI CLASS A Few Words Before We Start: Firstly I want to say that these concepts I created were for fun, don't be too critic of it, I'm just a Destiny player! Many times I will state that an ability would last "for a short period of time", it could be 5 secs or 3 secs, this would require testing so I preferred to not mention numbers just in case things seem too strong or too weak. The same with percentages, when I say "increased damage" it could be a 20% increase or a 50%. And I'm sorry for not providing images, I'm no artist, you are gonna have to use your imagination for this one! If you have any questions, let me know and I will try to answer them! Lastly, since Beyond Light is not out yet we don't fully understand how the subclasses will work. My idea here is you can pick two perks from each category, two Grenade perks, two Melee perks, two Super and two passive perks. With that out of the way let's dive right into it!
The Name: It would be wrong to call this class "Fallen" as the Fallen must rise to earn these powers! It would also be wrong to call it "Eliksni" since we don't call Hunters/Titans/Warlocks Humans. This Class would need a proper name but I could not think of one. I thought of calling it "Wolves" but there's already Wolves in the lore, the Iron Wolves. Maybe Blades or Sabers, but I feel it would be like calling Titans Punches. Let me know if you have an idea of what this class should be called!
Class Item: Sigil: A decorative piece carried on the back of Eliksni armor(Think the two massive spikes on the back of Skolas's armor). Eliksni armor can have cloaks like Hunters but the cloak would be part of the chest armor, not the class item. Their cloaks would be much wider than your regular Hunter cloak too. But a cloak would not be mandatory, Eliksni players could also look like the Berserker from the Scourge of The Past Raid.
Jump: Lounge: Ever see an enemy in Destiny jump 50 meters in the air to reach a platform way above the ground? I imagined something like that, similar to a Hunter double jump, but Lounge would not only be vertical, you could lounge backwards, upwards, forwards! The jump would follow where you are directing your Eliksni Guardian. Lounge forward to close the gap between you and your enemy, took too much damage? Lounge backwards to cover, not enough? Lounge upwards to a platform and gain the high ground.
Melee: Dual Blades: Eliksni have risen, the act of Docking is a thing of the past. Eliksni will have four arms. The two upper arms will hold your weapon, while the two lower arms will carry blades on each hand.
Class ability: - Battle Cry: Unleash a terrifying battle cry that increase all damage you do for a brief period of time. - Prone: Lay down on the floor making yourself completely undetectable. Penalty to movement speed and freedom of camera movement. Penalty to weapon handling and reload speed. Radar stays on while aiming down sights. Some actions are blocked in this state.
My Inspirations for The Subclasses:
Solar subclass will turn you into a walking vulcano. A mix between a Taken Knight, the Solar Empowerment from Solstice of Heroes, Sunsinger Viking Funeral and Torbjörn from Overwatch!
Arc is the Eliksni support subclass! It would be the first ever Arc support subclass(No, Bladedancer doesn't count)! This subclass is about embodying a Prime Servitor, feeding Ether to your House. The two true support subclasses in Destiny involve you standing still in one spot, not this one. Support your allies on the fly!
Void is an interesting one. Remember The Wretched Eye from Rise of Iron? In my opinion the hardest Void Burn Nightfall, I still have nightmares. The second I saw that captain holding a cannon powered by a Hive Ogre's eye shooting a constant stream of death I immediately fell in love and needed that cannon in my arsenal. I know this subclass seems powerful, overpowered even, but my idea was this subclass to be focused on pure lethality and zero protection. Make one mistake and theres nothing to help you.
Stasis turns you into a violent storm, keeping the theme of Stasis subclass being focused on crowd control. Play your cards right and that storm will never end.
Solar Subclass Passive: Perks: 1- Weakening Flames: Enemies burned are weakened. 2- Lava Golem: Killing burned enemies gives you bonus resilience for a short period of time. Stacks to 5x. 3- Too Hot: Sprinting with full ability energy leaves behind a fiery trace. The more abilities charged the more damage the fiery trace does. With zero abilities charged you leave no trace behind. 4- Made of Flame: Become immune to burn damage.
Grenade: Perks: 1- Double The Fire: Gain a second grenade charge. 2- Extinction: Grenades release lava plumes at random locations around them. 3- Line of Fire: Consume your grenade to emit a powerful burst of Solar energy from your hands. 4- Fiery Rage: Grenade kills gives Grenade energy.
Melee: Volcanic Eruption: Kill an enemy with your charged melee to summon waves of Solar explosions around you for a brief period of time. Perks: 1- Continental Impact: Increases the range and decreases the time between Solar waves. 2- Lingering Death: The solar waves now also cause Solar damage over time. 3- Giving Flame: Damaging targets with the Solar waves returns melee energy. 4- Meteor: While Volcanic Eruption is active, descending from a Lunge causes a Solar explosion where you land. The higher the fall, the more damage the explosion causes. You take reduced fall damage when Volcanic Eruption is active.
Super: Dragon's Breath. Unleash a fiery breath from the core of your burning spirit. Solar energy attaches to the ground, walls and enemies dealing massive damage to whoever is unfortunate enough to wander in. Dragon's Breath burns enemies, continuing to damage them even if they leave the immediate area of impact. Perks: 1- Controlled Eruption: Dragon's Breath has less spread and more range. 2- Volcanic Showers: Enemies defeated by Dragon's Breath explode and spread more flames around the location of their death. 3- Deep Magma: Enemies are slowed and take more burn damage when caught inside Dragon's Breath. 4- Dragonsong: When Dragon's Breath is active, gain full movement controls, Hold R2 to breathe fire and let go to stop, allowing you to throw fire while moving and to multiple locations.
Arc Subclass Passive: Perks: 1- Ether Hazard: You and your nearby allies move faster while a Ether buff is active. 2- Dangerous Overcharge: When you are under effect of a Ether buff, being hit with a melee attack lets out a lethal and paralyzing Ether burst. 3- Might of the House: The more allies buffed by your abilities, the longer they last. 4- Vanishing House: Allies affected by your buffs become invisible. Allies gain an increase to melee damage if they use a melee attack to break the invisibility.
Grenade: Perks: 1- Corrupted Ether: Enemies hit by your grenades gain a penalty to movement speed and damage output. 2- Contamination: Enemies hit by your grenades become contaminated with explosive Ether which explodes when near other contaminated targets. 3- Giga Drain: After hitting an enemy with your grenade, strike them with Ether Drain to receive a bigger buff to ability recharge for you and allies. 4- Dense Ether: Convert your grenade by holding L1 into a wall of Ether that withstands a good amount of damage.
Melee: Ether Drain: Strike an enemy with this ability to drain their Ether and gain a boost to ability recharge. Perks: 1- Strike to Lead: Ether Drain now boosts nearby allies as well. 2- Ether Burst: Kill an enemy with Ether Drain to summon a pool of Ether, inside the pool gain an small increase to ability regeneration, resilience and recovery. 3- Drain and Go: Ether Drain kills gives you and nearby allies an overshield. 4- Weak and Etherless: Enemies hit by Ether Drain become weak.
Super: Ether Reservoir. Arc-charged Ether gathers around you. Feed your House like a mighty Prime Servitor and strengthen them to charge into battle. For the duration of Ether Reservoir you and your allies receive a regenerative overshield, increased recovery, 35% damage resistance, a 15% damage increase and a 50% increase to movement speed. Allies who stray away from you for too long will lose the buffs. Perks: 1- Strong Ether: Increases the effectiveness of the overshield granted by Ether Reservoir. 2- Lead The Pack: Gives you and your allies a 40% buff to ability regeneration. 3- Don't Be Afraid: Activating Battle Cry during Ether Reservoir gives you and your allies a small regeneration to health and shields for the duration of Battle Cry. 4- House Prime: Generate Orbs of Power by strengthening your allies with Ether Reservoir.
Void Subclass Passive: Perks: 1- Madness: Enemies hit by your Void abilities become disoriented for a short period of time. 2- Oppression: Getting kills with Void abilities gives you a buff to Super regeneration. 3- Despair: Enemies hit by your Void abilities gain a penalty to movement speed. 4- Malice: Enemies killed by your Void abilities leave behind a cloud of Void energy. Pass through the cloud to become cloaked in shadows.
Grenade: Perks: 1- Ritual Chains: Targets hit by your grenades launches chains at other nearby enemies to also damage them. 2- From Nothingness: Consume your Grenade by holding L1 to surround yourself with twisted Void energy. Deals damage to nearby enemies, damage dealt returns as health. 3- Blind Rage: Hits with your Grenade increases mobility and sprint speed. 4- Claws From Void: A Void cage forms at the location of your grenade sealing enemies inside.
Melee: Null Cannon: Fire a Null Cannon shot that sticks to surfaces or enemies that explodes after a short delay. Perks: 1- Fallen Arsenal: Gain a second Melee Charge. 2- Delayed Flight: The Null Cannon shot takes much longer to detonate but also deals much more damage. 3- Marked By Null: Enemies hit by the Null Cannon shot become suppressed. 4- Easy Pickings: The Null Cannon shot travels faster and tracks targets.
Super: Wretched Gaze. Summon a familiar weapon from a time of terrifying technological breakthroughs. This cannon fires a continual beam of concentrated Void energy. Shooting the cannon drains the super faster. Perks: 1- Stream of Death: Continuously shooting the same target with Wretched Gaze amp's its damage. 2- Void Tunnel: The beam is much larger and penetrates targets. 3- Hungry Beast: Kills with Wretched Gaze extends its duration. 4- Torment: Enemies struck by Wretched Gaze suffers Void detonations while inside the beam.
Stasis Subclass Passive: 1- Heart of Ice: Stasis courses your veins, being hit by melee attacks slows the enemies that dared to touch you. Being hit by repeated melee attacks sends a wave of Stasis energy that freezes enemies. 2- Cloaking: Activating Prone makes you invisible. 3- Storm Meet Storm: Killing enemies with your abilities grants Super energy. 4- Absolute Zero: Enemies stay frozen for longer and suffer Stasis explosions when no longer frozen.
Grenades: Perks: 1- Ice Bloom: Killing enemies frozen by your grenades will spawn massive damaging Stasis spikes at the location of their death. 2- Hungry Winds: Freezing enemies with your grenades grants Grenade energy. 3- Deadly Season: Improves Grenades. 4- Cold Shock: Enemies freeze instantly upon receiving damage by your grenades.
Melee: Titanic Spikes: A dual blade of solid Stasis energy that freezes enemies upon contact. Perks: 1- Hidden Beneath The Waves: Increases the range of Titanic Spikes and the duration of the freeze effect. 2- Reversed Avalanche: With full melee energy, hold R1 to perform a lethal uppercut with your Titanic Spikes. 3- Wind of Ruin: Hitting an enemy with Titanic Spike sends out a wave of Stasis energy that freezes enemies. 4- Early Winter: Freezing enemies gives Melee energy.
Super: Maelstrom. Become the storm. The area surrounding you becomes a giant field of cold winds, the winds freezes and damages enemies over time, enemies frozen and inside the field do not shatter. Focused Beam: Press R1 or L1 to launch a more direct and focused beam of stasis. Hurricane: Press R2 to up the intensity of the storm, this causes more damage and freezes enemies faster but depletes your super even faster. Perks: 1- Blades On The Wind: Maelstrom will allow you to use weapons and your other abilities at the cost of being able to activate Focused Beam and Hurricane. 2- Healing Winds: Damaging enemies with Hurricane or Focused Beam restores your health. 3- Glacial Howling: Activating Maelstrom when Battle Cry is active will summon a titanic explosion of Stasis around you at the beginning of Maelstrom. Maelstrom lasts longer and does more damage for the remaining duration of Battle Cry. 4- Wind Dome: Hurricane becomes a shield dome that blocks damage from the outside. Taking damage breaks the dome, continue to deal damage to restore the dome.
And that's it! Lemme know if you liked it :) I'm also working on concepts for Destiny III: The Dark Age and a 5th element: Plasma!
submitted by LordTimur to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]
2020.10.18 16:41 KillerBlaze9 Camera inside house hidden
I am posting this story online in hopes that someone out there hears what I have to say and believes me. My name is Ben Shapiro. I live an ordinary life in the United States. Like most people I own a lot of libs, but I also own a lot of video games. That’s right. Video games. I try not to talk about it much, but my favorite video game franchise is Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s extremely popular among conservative talk show hosts for some reason.
But if we talk about it publicly, we are ostracized. Remember when Glenn Beck was kicked off Fox News? That’s because of his segment on why Sonic is better than Mario. So we try to keep quiet about our love of Sonic. But one of my favorite pastimes is to collect rare and obscure Sonic games. I own at least three Sonic pachinko machines and even own a signed copy of Sonic Dreams Collection. I will often go to flea markets or garage sales looking for vintage Sonic games and other merchandise. I have spent approximately sixty five thousand dollars on Sonic media, including a very expensive commission of a drawing of me hanging out with Sonic and Knuckles at Six Flags. But that was far from the biggest price I ever paid for Sonic. No. That day came just a few weeks ago when my wife, who is a doctor by the way, and I walked into a Gamestop. The building itself was decrepit and disgusting. The lights flickered grimly, and half the shelves were basked in darkness. The whole place reeked of body odor. There was a sullen look of despair on the face of every single person there. There was truly a depressing presence hanging over every inch of that place. In other words, it looked like a perfectly ordinary looking Gamestop. But it wasn’t. This Gamestop housed a truly eldritch horror that I was unknowingly about to welcome into my life. There was, of course, the standard affair of PlayStation and Xbox games. Nothing too exciting. I had no interest in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Sekiro, Shadows Die Twice. I have no interest in normie trash like that. Eventually, a display case in a dark corner of the store caught my eye. Now we are talking. My wife, Dr. Shapiro, and I sauntered over to the counter for a closer look. There were some random Gameboy and PlayStation games. But what really surprised me was a CD with the words Sonic Adventure 2 written on it in black sharpie. The Gamestop clerk walked over to us. “Is there anything I can help you with?” she asked, her horrible breath wafting into my face. “Yes,” I said. “What is the deal with this copy of Sonic Adventure 2?” The woman scratched her head. “If I remember correctly, some crazy lunatic brought that game in. He said it was haunted.” “Really?” I asked. She replied. “Look, I don’t fucking know. Now do you want it or not?” “I’ll take it!” I exclaimed. My wife paid for the game and we quickly exited the store. On the way home, I explained to my wife that Sonic Adventure 2 for the Sega Dreamcast is far superior to the Nintendo GameCube port. The GameCube port was horribly butchered. You would think the port was done by Democrats. Yes, it’s that bad. When we finally got home, I dusted off my old Sega to give my new game a try. The game started up perfectly normally. I breezed through the main menu and went to story mode. Hero and Dark story were both already available as usual. But I noticed another story. Hell story. I could not recall there being a Hell story when I first played Sonic Adventure 2. So that seemed a little odd. But I was too excited to play some Sonic to think about it for very long. I selected Hero story and was presented with the opening cutscene of Sonic jumping out of a helicopter. The first level City Escape started up and I felt a rush of excitement. My only complaint with this level is the lack of homeless people scattered throughout the streets. This is clearly supposed to be San Fancisco, and we all know that liberal run cities are a hotbed of homelessness and poverty. No wonder Sonic is trying to escape from the city. Because liberal run cities are awful and I hate them. It had been a while since I played Sonic Adventure 2, but had little trouble handling the blue blur. I guess you could say I am a bit of a professional gamer. I quickly made it to the chase sequence with the semi truck. But I noticed that there appeared to be realistic human screaming whenever the truck ran over the cars on the sides of the road. It sounded a lot like how some people scream when I own them with facts and logic. Sonic was then cornered by a GUN agent inside a robot called Big Foot. But every time Sonic hit the cockpit, the pilot would scream out in pain and call for his family. Once I defeated him, the robot exploded and realistic chunks of blood and guts rained down over the battlefield. I didn’t remember any of this from previous playthroughs, but sometimes even extremely smart Harvard graduates like me forget one or two things. Then my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog character appeared. Shadow the Hedgehog. I was so excited that my voice almost raised by half a decibel. I know all the words to this scene so well that I was mouthing along with the characters. Except there was one problem. Shadow is supposed to say “My name is Shadow. I'm the world's ultimate life form! There's no time for games. Farewell.” Instead he said this. “My name is Shadow, and your days are numbered, Ben Shapiro.” I have been threatened at least sixty times in my life, but never by a cartoon hedgehog. Needless to say, this was quite unusual. Is it possible that the big tiddy goth girl who worked at Gamestop was telling the truth? Was there some kind of evil force locked away inside the disc spinning around inside my Dreamcast? Or maybe that half a Bud Light I drank was really getting to me. I decided to keep a level head and push onward. The next few levels went by without too much trouble. I’ve always been a fan of the Knuckles and Tails levels. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos of people saying these levels are not as good. But those people are morons. You heard me, morons. Anyway, I made it to the scene where Amy breaks Sonic out of Guantanamo Bay. I love this scene. Sonamy is easily my favorite ship. They have such great chemistry. Seriously, do not try to tell me that Sonic belongs with Sally Acorn, or Princess Elise, or Big the Cat. Amy is his one true love. I’m sorry, but hedgehog marriage should be between a hedgehog and a hedgehog. Otherwise, the entire society of Mobius would collapse. I have done quite a bit of research on this so do not even bother trying to debate me in the threads. Getting back to the game. I noticed something a little strange during the Guantanamo Bay cut scene. In the jail cell are copious amounts of notes written by Gerald Robotnik. But I noticed a different note sprawled along the wall in hyper realistic blood. It said “I’m coming for you Ben Shapiro.” I had no idea what to make of this. Was this some kind of visual glitch? Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty old game, after all. It was at this point that I was getting very tired. I had a busy day of talking about how all people on Medicaid are freeloaders ahead of me and I needed my beauty rest. I turned off the Dreamcast, got up to stretch and made my way for the bathroom until I heard a faint whisper. A faint whisper that shook me to my very core. It said “Hey I’ll play with you some other time!” And it almost sounded like Sonic. It sounded somewhat like Ryan Drummond, but there was a hint of Jaleel White. Maybe a touch of Jason Griffith and a splash of Roger Craig Smith. Also there was some Martin Burke and Ben Schwartz too, as well as Jaleel White. I immediately wet myself. Possibly out of fear, or possibly because I have poor control of my bladder, or possibly both. I put on my jammies and hopped into bed with Doctor Shapiro, who is also my wife by the way. I tossed and turned for several hours. Sleep eluded me. My mind was racing with thoughts about what had just happened. Am I going crazy? “No. You are not going crazy.” The voice came from the foot of my bed. I looked up and saw Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former C.E.O. of Nintendo, standing over me. “You are not crazy,” he said in a calm voice. “You are in terrible danger.” “What are you doing here?” I asked Reggie Fils-Aimé. “You are on the board of directors at Gamestop. Aren’t you busy trying to keep your company from going bankrupt?” “That is why I am here.” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the room. “Customer service is very important to me. And I fear that you are in trouble of having bad customer service. You see, the video game you purchased from Gamestop is haunted. If you are not careful, you could meet a grizzly fate.” I was very annoyed that Reggie was talking to me this way. “Listen here Reggie,” I said in a stern voice. “If you don’t get out of my house I will grab my shotgun and make you leave.” Reggie chuckled. “HA HA HA HA! You don’t understand. I am not in your house.” Reggie snapped his fingers. The walls and floor of my bedroom began to dissolve. I turned to my wife. Doctor Mor Shapiro, but she was already gone. It was just Reggie and I alone in a dark void. I looked over to Reggie, who had a smug grin on his face. “What are you?” I asked in disbelief. Reggie walked closer. “Do you really think they let anyone be the C.E.O. of Nintendo? Absolutely not. My powers far exceed those of any human. Including you, Ben Shapiro. So I think it’s about time you started treating me with respect. And if you don’t listen to me now, things could end very badly for you, my friend.” Reggie Fils-Aimé was right. “Well then spit it out!” I said. “What is going to happen to me?” Reggie snapped his fingers again. We were transported to a living room covered in blood. Forensics teams were taking pictures. I looked over and saw two men kneeled over by the television. The screen was broken, and an overturned Sega Dreamcast was next to it. “I can’t believe it!” One of the men said. “It appears to be some kind of quill. Like from a hedgehog. But it’s blue.” “That is impossible!'' The second man shouted. “Hedgehogs are not blue, dumbass.” “Would you just shut up and let me do my job, dickhole?” The two men faded away, along with the rest of the gruesome scene. “Do you understand now?” Reggie asked. “If you keep playing that game, you will be killed.” My hands were shaking. My lips were trembling. My throat was a little scratchy. “Was this really the work of Sonic the Hedgehog?” I asked. “I’m afraid so.” Reggie sighed. “I can’t believe Sonic would do this.” I started sobbing. Reggie patted me on the back. “It’s not that surprising, honestly. Sonic has always been a bad boy.” “What am I supposed to play now?” I asked. “How can I go on without Sonic.” Reggie comforted me. “It’s okay. I’ll tell you what. Super Mario 3D All Stars is now on sale. I can put one aside for you to pick up at Gamestop tomorrow.” I froze. Suddenly, everything became clear to me. I chuckled. “You just overplayed your hand, Reggie boy.” “What are you talking about?” Reggie said defensively. “Don’t you want to play Super Mario 64 with updated HUD sprites?” I laughed in Reggie’s face. “So this was all a ruse to trick me into denouncing Sonic? You have some impressive powers, magic man. But it will take more than that to fool Ben Shapiro.” Reggie’s face turned red. “Listen to me!” he shouted. “Sonic the Hedgehog is a murderer. You are doomed if you keep playing that game.” I laughed even harder. “Oh yeah, and is Master Chief a pedophile?” Reggie fell silent. “Alright, Ben. If you want to keep playing that game, I won’t stop you. But I hope your body is ready. I hope it is ready to experience pain and agony like you have never known before. I hope your mind and spirit are prepared for the wrath of Sonic. Very few people are more powerful than me. Doug Bowser, Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nostalgia Critic. But Sonic is very close. You won’t be able to beat him on your own. So if you need help, just call out to me. And I’ll be there.” I rolled my eyes. “God, you are more annoying than Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Just get me out of here already.” Reggie Fils-Aimé stood silently for a moment. I could see the conflict in his face. Perhaps he was being honest. Or maybe he was upset that he couldn’t trick me. It did not matter at this point. I love Sonic, and it is impossible for anyone to change that. Reggie snapped his fingers one last time. I was suddenly back in bed, sweat running down my brow. Was it all just a dream? I calmed myself down. Alright Ben, let’s think about this factually and logically. Reggie Fils-Aimé does not have magic powers. Super Mario 3D All Stars is a lazy port and a rip off. Hedgehogs do not actually exist. I went to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. When I turned off the tap, I heard music off in the distance. I would know that music anywhere. It was the song my wife and I danced to during our wedding. It was the menu theme of Sonic Adventure 2. Also my wife is a doctor. I stumbled, half asleep into the living room. Sure enough, Sonic Adventure 2 was on the television. Silly me. I must have forgotten to turn it off. I stepped towards the game console, then stopped. After that nightmare, it might be better to stay up for a while. What harm could there be in that. I sat down on the couch, grabbed the controller and set my gaze on the television screen, which illuminated the dark room with comforting, familiar light. The game was already on the story select screen. The cursor hovered over that mysterious third game mode, Hell Story. I’m not sure what provoked me to select that option. Was it simply curiosity? Or was it some kind of self hatred? Was I trying to prove something? Even on the other side of all this, I’m still not sure. What goes through a man’s mind while he is ruining his life? Is any thought justified? All my accolades and knowledge. Is it all worthless in the face of one stupid act? Hell Story started off with a cutscene of Dr. Eggman. I love Dr. Eggman. Shadow might be my favorite, but Eggman is the character I relate to. Amazing physique, incredibly high IQ, completely misunderstood. Dr. Eggman also reminds me of my wife for some reason. I’m not sure why. But something was clearly very wrong with Eggman in this cutscene. He was sitting alone on the floor of the Space Colony ARK, sobbing quietly to himself. “Please!” He cried. “Don’t do it. I’ll put my evil past behind me. I will never defame the moon again. I’ll return the Chaos Emeralds. Just please. Don’t. kill. Me.” Eggman’s words were trembling at this point. Suddenly another figure came into view. It was Sonic the Hedgehog. And he was holding a gun. “Sorry Eggman, but I can’t let you live any longer.” Sonic cocked his gun. “Now get a load of this.” The screen went dark. Bang. I couldn’t believe it. Doctor Eggman was fucking dead. A loading screen popped up for the first level. It was a Knuckles level. It was called Escape Pod. I had to collect three keys to unlock the door to the escape bay of the space colony. There was also a time limit of eleven minutes and thirty four seconds. The level was actually quite fun. I even felt like a kid again. But Sonic’s voice would frequently come over the intercom. “I’m coming to get you, Knuckles.” “You are running out of time. And then you are next, Ben Shapiro.” This put a bit of a damper on my experience but I still really enjoyed the level. The next level was a Tails level. I had to make it to the escape pod that I had unlocked as Knuckles. The strangest thing about this level was that there were no enemies or music. It was just Tails walking through a dark and lonely spaceship. It reminded me of my last birthday party. Sonic would come over the intercom in this level too. He said such awful things. “I am going to kill you Tails.” “You are dead Tails.” I beat the level without too much trouble. But when Tails arrived at the escape pod, Knuckles was nowhere to be found. Tails cried out for him, but there was no response. Tails then started weeping. Between the sobs, I could hear faint footsteps. I knew those footsteps anywhere. It was Sonic. “Hey Tails!” Sonic called out. “Did you see what I did to Baldy McNosehair? I think we should change his name to Corpsey McNoface.” “Why are you doing this?” Tails cried. “You’re a good guy! You are supposed to help people!” Sonic laughed. “I am helping people, Tails. It might not seem like it, but there are some very bad people who need to be taught a lesson.” Sonic looked straight at the camera. “There are some very bad people, indeed.” He pointed his gun right at me. I’m not sure what it was, but I somehow knew I was in great danger. I ducked out of the way of the television. The screen shattered as a bullet flew through the glass. The bullet grazed my leg as I tumbled down to the floor. Sonic the Hedgehog had just tried to kill me. I was in complete shock. I haven’t felt this way since Obama won the 2012 election. My entire life was now in shambles. My hero, my friend, my first love just tried to kill me. The words of Reggie Fils-Aimé rang through my head. Sonic has always been a bad boy. It was true. But why me? Why Ben Shapiro? Everybody loves Ben Shapiro. And then it hit me. “Oh my god. Sonic must be a liberal.” Environmentalist themes are rampant in Sonic games, the fact that Sonic always runs around in the nude, the fact that his fur is blue. I pulled out my phone and Googled “Is Sonic the Hedgehog a democrat?” I found an image of a Bernie Sanders rally. And sure enough. There he was hidden in the crowd. Sonic the Hedgehog. He was holding a sign up that said “Free Healthcare for All”. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. How could this be? Why did I never notice? Rivers of blood were running down my leg at this point. I called out “Is there a doctor in the house?!” To my dismay, my wife, who is a doctor by the way, had just gone out for milk. So there was in fact no doctor in the house. I crafted a makeshift tourniquet out of copies of the Constitution that I keep in every single drawer of my house. I was no longer bleeding like a stuck pig, but I knew I would lose consciousness soon if I didn't act. Suddenly, I heard a loud shattering sound come from the guest room. Oh my God. It must have been the other television. I limped over to the room to see that it was empty. The television appeared to have been broken from the inside. Sonic was inside the house. I could tell. I scanned the room for any sign of where he might have gone. I saw that the guest closet door was closed. Gotcha, I whispered under my breath. I reached under the guest bed and pulled out my shotgun. I crept up to the door. I heard heavy breathing coming from the other side. I cocked my shotgun, stuck it up against the door, and fired. A loud howling erupted from the other side of the door. Sonic was finished. I opened the door and flicked on the light to get a better view of my handiwork. My jaw dropped as the shotgun slipped out of my hands and onto the ground. I had just shot Knuckles the Echidna. “Fuck! Holy Fuck! Jesus Christ! You just fucking shot me!” Knuckles bawled. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” “I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”I told him. “You fucking idiot! You shot me! You goddamn moron!” “Hey, I happen to have a very high IQ.” I told him. Knuckles continued screaming for a minute or two until falling silent. He was dead. A painful silence filled the room. My mind was racing, but at the same time, it was also completely blank. They don’t prepare you for this at Harvard Law School. I picked the shotgun back up and stumbled back into the living room. The Sega Dreamcast was gone. “I know you are here, Sonic!” I shouted. “So just come out now!” Silence. My eyes kept darting all around the room. He could be anywhere I thought. The adrenaline in my system that was keeping my leg from hurting was starting to wear off. Fatigue was setting in. Shit. If I don’t deal with Sonic soon, I’m a goner. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something in the kitchen. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! It was nothing. Then a chilling realization hit me. I was out of bullets. Then I heard his voice. “You should be careful, Ben. Are you not aware that seventy percent of accidental gun deaths occur in the home? If you are not careful, your love of the second amendment is going to get you killed. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?” Fear cascaded through my nervous system. I tried to pinch myself awake, but this was no dream. This was reality. I took a deep breath and turned around. There he was. Sonic the Hedgehog. Hyper realistic blood running down his face. My first thought was to run. But I knew that would be pointless. I knew that he could snap my neck in a millisecond if he wanted to. I was a fly caught in his web. And I knew he wanted to take his time with me. To torture me. To put me in so much pain that I would forget my own name or even forget what a disaster the Affordable Care Act was. I was doomed. “Don't worry, buddy.” Sonic taunted. “This will only hurt a lot.” He started to walk closer towards me. Each step like the gong of a bell in my ears. I never should have walked into the Gamestop. How could the free market have done this to me. I had only one hope. I cried out for Reggie. He was the only one who could stop this. There is no way he would let Gamestop get bad publicity like this. As Sonic stepped closer, a cloud of smoke appeared. Out of the fog, Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared. “Thank God, you came!” I smiled. “Anything for a customer.” Reggie turned his attention towards Sonic, who was still smiling with his smug smile that he does. “So, you called on your big brother to help you out, Ben. That is so sweet. I guess I will have to get rid of you both then. I have always wanted to get my hands on Mario. But I guess you will have to do, Reggie.”
“Silence!” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the house. “You will never defeat me Sonic. I am but a mere projection of the real Reggie Fils-Aimé. But I am still ten times stronger than you could ever hope to be. You are nothing more than a stain on the world of gaming. You should have been wiped out years ago, but you keep hanging on. You are quite resilient. I am afraid that your resilience ends tonight. I will do all in my power to destroy you, Sonic. You will never again torture any-” Sonic leapt forward, jamming his knee into Reggie’s stomach. Reggie yelled out in disbelief before exploding into a puff of smoke. “What. How. Did.” I stuttered my words in absolute fear. Sonic dusted himself off.” I knew he was too weak to handle me. After all. Sega does what Nintendon’t.” The room was spinning at this point. I spun around towards the front door. Maybe if I could just get outside, I would be safe. I started towards the door, but collapsed due to exhaustion. Sonic started laughing at me. I could tell by his laugh that he was absolutely giddy as he watched me try to escape with my life. “Come on, Ben!” Sonic said. “We could go to Six Flags. Just like you’ve always wanted. You, me, Knuckles. Oh wait, you killed Knuckles, didn’t you. That was very naughty of you, Ben, I think you’re going to need a time out. A permanent time out!” I was at the door at this point, my bloody hand struggling to get a grip on the knob. Sonic walked closer. End of the line. Suddenly the door opened. Dr. Shapiro, my wife, was back with the milk. “Oh my God!” She screamed. “Ben, are you okay!” I tried to speak but I was too tired to move my mouth. For once in my life, I was speechless. “You!” Sonic shouted in disbelief. “What are you doing here?” I was confused by Sonic’s words, but I knew I needed medical attention right away. With what little strength I had left, I looked at my wife and pleaded. “Please dear, I need a doctor.” My wife looked at me, revealing a pain hidden in her eyes. “I have to tell you something, Ben. I am not really a doctor. I was never a doctor.” “What!?” I said. “Of course you are!” “No.” She said. “I have been lying about my entire life. You see, I am a demon hunter. And I have been hunting Sonic the Hedgehog for decades now. You see, Sonic is a Demon.” “What!” I cried. My wife sighed. “I come from a place known as Genocide City. At least that is what everyone called it after Sonic killed everyone there. My mother hid me under the floorboards so Sonic didn’t get me. I have spent my whole life training so that one day I could finally defeat him. I knew that Sonic hated conservatives. And I knew that you were obsessed with finding anything related to Sonic. So I decided to marry you as a way to find Sonic. That day has finally come. Don’t worry, Ben. I will take it from here.” My wife pulled out a giant sword. “Alright Sonic,” she said. “Let’s dance.” Sonic ran straight into my wife, pushing them both through the front door of the house. They began fighting out on our open lawn, moving so quickly I could hardly tell which blurry figure was my wife and which one was Sonic. Soon, the homeless people who all hang out in our neighborhood started watching. “What is that thing?!” one called out. “It looks like some kind of creature!” Another answered, “That’s just Ben Shapiro.” I could not tell who was winning the fight. The two moved at such incredible speed that I could not tell what was even happening. It was not until my wife was sent through the wall of our house that I started to suspect she was losing. Although her giant sword was incredibly cool looking, it seemed like she had trouble actually hitting Sonic with it. I am not sure how one prepares to fight a demon. I took a demon slaying elective at Harvard Law, but that was mostly just theory. Eventually, my wife was able to pin Sonic underneath her sword. Sonic pushed hard against it, driving himself further into the ground. “Give it up, Sonic!” She cried. “I am sending you back to hell!” Suddenly the sword broke in half, and my wife lost her footing. Sonic took advantage of this moment and quickly pinned underneath his Soap shoe. “I am starting to get annoyed at how weak you all think I am. In case you all forgot who I am. I’m Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog! I am the fastest thing alive!!” I had to think fast. If I didn’t do something, it might all be over. And then it hit me. I called out. “Hey Sonic!” “Huh?!” Sonic turned to face me. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Ben Shapiro. The one who awoke me from my slumber. Sorry about your house. And your lawn. Any last words before I ruin the rest of your life?” “Mario is better!” Sonic froze. “What did you say?!” “Mario is better than Sonic!” I said again. I stood to my feet, a rush of strength coursed through my veins. “Eight of the fifty best selling games ever are Mario titles. Sonic only has one. Level design in Mario games is vastly superior to that of Sonic games. Super Mario Galaxy is one hundred times more polished than any 3D Sonic title. Sega has no idea how to make a good Sonic game, whereas Mario games have remained consistently good for thirty five years.” Sonic was clearly confused. “What are you talking about? Aren’t you one of my biggest fans? Why would you spread such nonsense?” I chuckled. “I’m not spreading nonsense. I’m spreading facts and logic.” “What!?” Sonic took a step back in shock, and then realized that my wife had slipped out of his grasp. Just then, she pierced through his body from behind using the broken end of her sword. Sonic gasped out for air, clearly struggling to breathe. “You bastard!” he shouted. “Sorry, Sonic.” My wife said plainly. “But it looks like it’s game over!” It was at this point Sonic began inflating. His true demonic form was finally coming to light. Sonic’s body continued to grow in size. It reminded me of images I used to look at on Deviant Art Dot Com. Sonic moaned and roared. And then finally, the demon exploded, raining hyper realistic blood down over the entire block. The crowd of homeless people surrounding our house cheered out. Finally the nightmare was over. By this point, everything became a blur. The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed. My wife was there, along with a real doctor, who jumped up when they saw me wake up. “Thank god you are alive, Ben!” My wife said. “We are all so happy you are alive!” “Yes,” the doctor agreed. “This truly is a miracle. Anyway your bill is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” We all started laughing. God bless America. After a while I finally returned home. We buried Knuckles out in the backyard, and I bought myself a copy of Super Mario 3D All Stars. It might be a rip off. But the games are still quality. Not long after these events we moved to Nashville, Tennessee and I accidentally misplaced my haunted copy of Sonic Adventure 2. Otherwise I would have dumped a rom onto the internet to prove that any of this happened. Oh well. I learned a lot about myself during these times. I learned to stop obsessing over Sonic the Hedgehog. I finally went to Six Flags. All by myself. And it was fucking dope. I also learned that my wife is not a doctor. Boy, do I have egg on my face. I also learned the importance of facts and logic. Well, I guess I already knew that. But I reaffirmed that I was correct. And most importantly, I learned that I should never step foot in a Gamestop again.
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2020.10.18 16:15 sadpotato231 Camera house inside hidden
For those of you who haven’t read my other posts, I’m about 2 months out from losing my other half of 10 years. I promised her that I would travel the country to spread her. This is part 5 of my journey.
Day 2: Pensacola, Florida
I wake around 8 AM and decide that today I will head to the beach. Many who have been through a hefty loss before have asked me if there are any activities that bring me guilt such as eating or watching a movie. In truth, only little things have hit me in this way until today. As I step out onto the pristine beachfront, I quickly realize that this is going to be a very hard day. Maybe someday I’ll be able to enjoy the beach, but not today. I know that she would want to be here, but I can’t begin to imagine where to spread her. With each step that I take, I feel the sand push between my toes and a profound sadness wash over me. The beach was her favorite place in the world and we certainly don’t have anywhere like this in Michigan. For some inexplicable reason, I find myself entirely unable to enjoy any part of this. Many may say that I should enjoy the things that she loved, and I do, but this is overwhelmingly sad. I walk down the shoreline for about an hour, hoping that the grief will pass and double back when I realize that it won’t. I will find an appropriate spot on this beach to spread her, but for now I need a moment to collect my thoughts.
I find myself driving aimlessly up and down the seemingly endless beachfront. I reach a dead end and pull over into a parking lot. The beach is right in front of me, but I find myself unable to exit the car. It feels so silly, but I suppose this is confirmation that grief is an odd thing. I decide to get some lunch and see if some time and a bit of good food helps with this endeavor.
There is something that those of you who have stayed in Michigan need to understand. We get the cheese whiz of seafood. Everyone loves the biscuits from red lobster, but when you stack the two up next to each other, you quickly realize that, while that bit of salmon, trout, or perch is delicious, this is a whole different ballgame. It’s not just a supremely better quality, it’s also found in extreme abundance, incredible variety, and it is reasonably priced depending on where you go.
I find a well reviewed place and decide that I’ll be having soup for lunch at Flounder’s Chowder House. This place makes a flounder chowder so good that it’ll make your eyes roll to the back of your head and shoot right out of your sockets. It’s filled with flounder, clams, shrimp, potatoes, and some other identifiable bits of sheer euphoria. It has won awards all throughout Florida and it deserves every one of them. Everything is fresh and it’s beyond delicious. It’s perfection. I’m writing love songs about this meal. If you think you don’t like seafood, try flounder. I’m a little picky with fish, but I’ll never hesitate with flounder.
I realize upon finishing my meal that I am procrastinating something that is going to upset me greatly. I have to find a spot here for her. She would like this. I head back to the car and decide to head up the road to the end of the area. Unfortunately, the roads leading out to the coasts are shut down due to the recent hurricane. For locals, there was a multimillion dollar bridge which was operating for a full year that was utterly destroyed, forcing locals to drive an hour and a half instead of a half an hour. It’s too far to travel by foot, so I decide that I will find my favorite beach in the area. She was never a fan of highly populated areas, so I spend a bit of time making my selection. The first beach is just next to a shutdown road, but after seeing the dirtiness of the beach and almost stepping on a jellyfish, I decide that this isn’t the right spot. The next spot that I go to has a half a dozen people in eyesight, but also gives me a weird feel. Something about it is not quite right. While driving down the main stretch, I spot a hidden beach entrance with a bit of parking that looks enticing. I step out and spot about a dozen people, all spread far throughout the beach. It’s open and endless. It’s not too quiet, but not crowded. The entrance is tucked away, she would have liked that. This feels right. As the tide rolls in, I spread a sprinkle into the water. It pulls back and it is done. I cannot help but bawl as I sit on the shoreline for a bit. I spot a family walking towards me and decide that it’s time to move on.
I spend a bit of time window shopping, pick up a bumper sticker, and realize that there is absolutely nothing to do in this town. I considered going home, but somehow my host for this evening seems to take joy in making insane arguments about the world. This morning she casually said “Look, I’m sorry. I know it’s not a popular opinion... do you know Jesus?” “We’ve met in passing.” I say, trying to make a joke to avoid the whole conversation that is about to ensue. “Well I just believe that those pharmaceutical companies do not have our best interests at heart. They don’t have faith in Jesus Christ. They’re putting mercury in our vaccinations! And by the way, when’s the last time that you heard of someone catching polio?!” Probably because of the vaccines, I thought. “Never!” I respond while trying to erase this moment from my memory. I’ve come to realize that you cannot reason with these people. They are surrounded in their own echo tunnel of information that just reverberates their own beliefs back at them until they are accepted as fact. No sooner do I have that thought that I begin to wonder, what is our equivalent of this reverberation of thoughts? I have slowly realized that my own beliefs are largely based on my environment and my upbringing. Certainly, most beliefs are based on factual information. There are some issues that I would argue about endlessly that now I realize that I was in the wrong about. Certainly, vaccinations do not fall into this category but it is enough to make me wonder how different I could be if I were raised in the panhandle of Florida.
I decide instead, to sit out on the beach until the sun sets. It’s peaceful and quiet. The waves crash over the ocean as the sky is painted with vibrant reds, oranges, purples, and yellows. As the sun sets, the stars begin to light up the sky. It saddens me that I cannot show you this view, but my camera just won’t capture it. I start to fixate on one star that looks out of place and try to determine if it’s a satellite. As I stare, it begins to move in slow circles and then in figure 8 patterns. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. I’m not one to jump to conclusions on these things. I’m sure there is some rational explanation for it. It was probably just the pilot of some plane who wanted to show off, but I couldn’t help but stare at it in total bewilderment. I decide that it’s time to head back home to rest before the day ahead of me.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I find myself baffled as to how to explain this city. Is it crazy? Absolutely. Is it dirty? A bit. Is it gorgeous? Definitely. Is it dangerous? Of course. Am I going to love it? Probably.
As I drive through the most touristy parts of town, I find myself baffled as to the high level of rundown homes in the area. There are entire blocks right near the center of the city that I’m not sure I feel alright parking my car on. I find a well lit spot that I feel alright about and decide to start exploring the main drag. This is the first place since childhood that I’ve seen a group of grown men walking down the sidewalk with a boom box and I love it.
It seems like everybody in this town has some sort of hustle. As I exit my car, a man is trying to sell tourists cbd products as actual marijuana out of a cbd company van. I had heard about the company that makes these ahead of time, so I knew it was bogus. I’m a little sore from a day of traveling, so I don’t mind being lied to. I tell him that I know it’s cbd, but that I don’t care. He laughs and says, “you got me. You still want a sucker though?” If you deal with any sort of inflammation in your joints or even if you’re just sore, I would stack CBD against any anti inflammatory on the market. It’s a really neat compound that just fixes your muscles right up without intoxicating you at all. I tell him that I’ll take a lollipop for a couple bucks and he sends me on my way. I make it down the block with my pina colada flavored sucker and immediately run into a homeless man. “Hey big man, how you doing?” This is something I am often called while traveling. I feel like it should offend me, but I find it somewhat endearing. He continues, “Listen here big man. I’ll bet you 20$ that I can tell you where you got those sandals at. The city, the state, and the time.” I respond, “You’re just going to give me some goofy trick answer. Besides, I don’t have any cash on me.” “I’m a man of my word, are you?” I shrug. “Then it’s a bet. Now I told you that I could tell you where you got them, not where you bought them from. You got those sandals on your feet right here in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now. Don’t feel bad man, I’ve fooled many before you and I’ll fool many after. I’ll take my 20$ now.” I shake my head and start to walk away. “Asshole” I hear him say before I hit the street corner. I chuckle as I start to hit the crosswalk. No sooner do I get to the other side do I hear an older woman hot on my tail. She starts in, “I saw him try to do you with that hustle. I been watching him for the last 10 minutes. One guy almost hit him! So where you going to? Do you drink?” “I do” I respond “but not tonight. I’m just looking for something to eat right now.” She says, “Oh, that’s cool. McDonald’s just opened back up! You traveling alone? Let’s go get something to eat!” “Thanks” I respond, “but I’m good on that. I think I’m gonna grab something over here.” Before I can hit the door, I hear her say “asshole.” I get stopped by the doorman and he wants to have me sign in. Apparently that’s a thing here. “Is the food good here?” I ask, hoping for a positive response. “You won’t be disappointed man, I’ll tell you that much.” I order some crab cakes and a bowl of seafood gumbo. It’s good, but given that I am at the home of gumbo I had expected more. I’m sad to say that Big Mike’s was 1000 times better any day of the week.
I’ve learned in my travels that if I want to be happy with a meal on a budget, I should just seek out the local soup specialty. Even when it’s average, it’s always awesome. The sign of a good soup spot can be found if some sort of baked goods are served with the soup. Bread is good, but biscuits are king.
I pause up for a moment to try to figure out what to do next. I drove here and I’m certainly not willing to drink while I know that I have to get my car back to my Airbnb. It’s a busy area, it’s dark, and it’s just not worth the risk. I suppose I could park it in an overnight parking spot, but things close at 11 during COVID and I’m not willing to pay for both overnight parking and a cab home, so I decide to walk on down to some live music to enjoy it from the street. There’s a group playing blues in there that sounds pretty incredible and I get to enjoy them for free while I people watch. I spot a man in a black hoodie coming towards me. He leans in close and quietly says “you looking for that toot toot? I got grams and 8-balls.” “I’m good, thanks man. Good luck though.” This is the third time I’ve been offered coke, heroin, and meth in this city. At this point, I’m not even surprised. When a stranger comes up to me on the street, I know it’s going to be about either drugs or asking for cash.
I post up for a bit and try to take in the feel of the place. Tourists walk by on foot with drinks in elaborate plastic cups in their hands. I spot fishbowls of gargantuan sizes, a grande with a long tubular top, and even a saxophone or 2, all filled to the brim with liquor. If you’ve never been, you can get a to-go cup from any bar in the city and drink it in the street. Locals in this town either delight me or fill me with fear with their attitude alone. Interestingly, cops here seem to be some of the friendliest individuals present. Maybe it’s just because they’ve seen it all or maybe it’s because Im sober in a sea of drunks, but they’ve all been incredibly friendly to me.
As the night goes on, I spot a homeless man pouring bottled water into a dish for his dogs. He’s also got a plate of decent looking food that he left out for them. I’m not advocating the ownership of dogs for the homeless, but so long as he already has them and seems to be taking care of them, I’ll give him my last few dollars. Even before I give him the cash, he’s got a good demeanor and seems like your harmless, friendly neighborhood hippie. I come up to him, toss 2 bucks in his bucket and he responds “thanks man! I really appreciate you. I hope you have a wonderful night!” I respond “hey man, I’m just tipping the dogs for being so damn cute. Glad to see you’re keeping them fed and giving em water.” He responds “I can’t blame you there, these little guys keep me going.” Katie would have stopped to pet them and likely wouldn’t have moved for the rest of the night. However, I’m more interested in the nature of the people here. I would come to find that I would be better off just sitting with the dogs.
My joints are starting to relax and I feel as though I can get a breath of fresh air. My neck’s a little looser, my back’s a little less sore, and I’m really enjoying the music here. As I continue walking, I spot a group of women walking towards me. One of them stops and says “you the happiest lookin mother fucker I’ve ever seen!” I pause for a moment and wave my hand in front of my face. As my hand passes, I slowly turn my face from a smile to a stoic look while under the cover of my hand and then let out a childish giggle. I can’t help myself. I’ve been practicing this for years and have never had any actual reason to use it until today. Sometimes I’m great at it and sometimes I’m terrible. Thankfully, I nailed it this time. Most of the group starts cracking up, but one clueless member goes “wait, what happened? I missed it.” I tell her “sorry, next show’s tomorrow at noon.” and the group erupts in laughter. I continue on and find a man who is blacked out on the sidewalk. I stop to check in with him. “Hey man, you doing alright?” He shoots me a thumbs up. “You want some water? You look like you could use it buddy.” He perks up a bit and says “zthagt would be fantaztic.” “I got you buddy, just stay here.” I say and then head out in search of water. Something you need to know about New Orleans is that water, is apparently harder to find than cocaine. Eventually I find a street vendor who I explain the situation to. “You’re an alright dude, huh? Go ahead little man, take this to him.” Little man is a new one for me, but I don’t hate it. She hands me a full cup of ice water. “Just doing my good deed for the day.” I say and walk back the few blocks to the man on the sidewalk. On my way, I pass a wedding party. “Oh my god! He looks just like Tommy! Doesn’t he look like Tommy?!” One of the bridesmaids shouts. I get this from time to time, so I was ready with a line. “The poor bastard! Give Tommy my condolences.” The party lets out a laugh and one of the guys who was clearly not paying attention says “wait, was that Tommy?”
By the time I get back to where the passed out fellow was, he has already left. I stand there in annoyance, but also in relief that he is apparently still able to walk. I cross the street and head back to the guy with the dogs and say “hey buddy, want a cup of ice water?” “Fuck yes man.” He says as he downs the cup eagerly. “Looks there’s a 6 on 1 going on down there.” He says while he lights a donated cigarette. “A 6 on 1?” I say, wondering if this is code for yet another offer of cocaine. “Yeah” he says, “guy looks like he’s getting pretty messed up.” He points down the block to a man being beaten by a group of 6 young men while his wife screams nearby.
Fuck... I analyze the situation, realizing that if I enter into it blindly and stomp inwards on the largest man’s left ankle, I can probably take him from the fight. Who am I kidding? I’m not John Wick. There’s nobody nearby that seems to be willing to jump in. Even if I manage to shatter the biggest man’s ankle, there’s no chance in hell that I can take out 5 more. A woman beside me starts calling the police, but they don’t stop by for another 10 minutes. The man starts out standing, gets punched in the side of the head unexpectedly and then drops to the ground where the group begins kicking him in the face and torso. “Yeah, you like that you little bitch?” I hear one of the little shits yell out. After taking free kicks to his face, they start to walk on. Whether out of foolhardiness, bravery, or a concussion, the man finds the strength to stand up again and begins stumbling towards the group. I start walking towards him to cut him off, but before I can get there, one of them throws a hard left hook to the side of his head and knocks him out cold while they dance around him and laugh.
I rush over to assess the damage. The man shouts out “help me stand up!” I’ve seen enough of these to know that isn’t the best idea at this moment. He could have brain or neck damage, in which case, standing is the worst thing he could do. I tell him “look man, I know you want to stand up, but you shouldn’t do that right now. You gotta take a minute and breathe. If you stand up before you’re ready to, you’re gonna fall and mess yourself up. You could have damage to your neck or brain, in which case, you should keep still” He keeps shouting out his request while his wife hovers over him. I ask “what happened?” She responds “one of those guys said, ‘hey mama, what are you doing?’ And he turned around and said ‘are you talking to my wife?’ They said ‘no, we were talking to her’ and then they just started beating on him. They bit my finger and hit me in the side of the head too.” I immediately wish I would have jumped in, but also realize that there isn’t much I could have done other than take some of the beating for myself. The man tries to stand up once the ambulance arrives. I step behind him and keep a hand between his shoulder blades to make sure he maintains his balance. He starts to go down and I cradle him, making sure to support the neck until he’s back on the ground. The paramedics take over and the police arrive. I decide that it’s alright for me to step away. I talk to his wife and apologize for what they’re both going through and head back down the street. As I’m walking away, they shout out to a nearby man, “you! Put your hands on your head! Don’t fucking move!” He pauses and follows his instructions. In the craziness of what happened, I realized that I could only identify MAYBE one of the guys who had jumped this man, but I was also relatively sure that this was not one of them. Nearby, a woman shouts “that’s my cousin! We’ve been drinking in that bar right there! We have no idea what’s going on right now!” I believe her, but out of 6 individuals involved, I certainly couldn’t say for sure one way or the other. As I head back for my car a man walks up to me and says “looking for that toot toot?” “NOT THE TIME!” I yell and keep walking.
I will never understand the propensity of group based violence on any level. I’ll admit, sometimes I long for a fight. It doesn’t happen often, but there’s a jolt of pure adrenaline that overcomes you that is so exciting. Nobody wants to get hit, but there’s a rush to the challenge of dodging punches and outmaneuvering your opponent that is impossible to describe. I’ve had very few fights in my life and would certainly never start one, but it can be exciting. I can certainly understand the beauty of a sport like boxing or MMA, but I will never comprehend what makes a group of 6 young men feel strong when they destroy the body of one lonesome individual. If you have to fight somebody, fight somebody. If they hit the ground, leave them be. If they get back up and come at you, the fight isn’t over. There’s no need to hit a man when he’s down if your life isn’t in danger.
As I head a few blocks back to my car, I realize that I’ve never had to use the bathroom more in my entire life. I stop into a CVS and then a Walgreens, but no luck. I am told about a small restaurant next to my car that will let me use theirs and I head out. Out of nowhere, there is a bang that echoes throughout the streets like a cannonball was just fired. Everybody scurries into buildings. While I know enough to know that there’s no way that came from a gun. I follow suit and give it a few minutes and head for my car.
Lying in bed, I can’t help view this city through an unexpectedly dark lens. Is it fun? Sure. Is the music great? Absolutely. Will I ever return? It’s possible. Does this place scare the shit out of me? Without question.
Beyond the festivals and parties lies a deep trench of homeless occupants, citizens with violent tendencies, and a frankly silly amount of drug dealers. While I only saw one story of violence tonight, I must have witnessed a dozen or more altercations that could have easily escalated if either party had pursued it further.
Day 2: New Orleans, Louisiana
I woke around 10 and decided to take a Lyft down to bourbon street so that I can enjoy a hand grenade and a fishbowl for myself. I have finally realized why this city is in turmoil. The bars are able to stay open, but only if they are serving you food. You can still order drinks from every bar, but you have to take it to the street to enjoy it. As a result, there is less tourism and less live music. Ordinarily, bars are open 24 hours a day in New Orleans. Because of the drought, the only choice is to walk the streets in search of intrigue and excitement. If my prior post had swayed your views of New Orleans, just know that after speaking with the local staff, I have come to understand the situation a bit better and it no longer concerns me as it did the day before. This is not a typical visit, nor is it reasonable to expect it. Today it may be a bit rowdy, but this pandemic will end soon, and I will be sure to return when it does. Right now people are unemployed or experiencing such a drought in tourism that they may as well be. I just picked the wrong time to visit this tourist town.
After walking these streets, I have come to find more charm in the adventure of it all. Even if you confine yourself to bourbon street, which I don’t recommend, there is a good deal of it exploration to be had here.
I decide that it’s time to have a bit of lunch. There’s a sandwich spot down the road about 3/4 of a mile that makes a fantastic Italian sandwich called “the muffuletta”. I decide to head over and pick myself up one. I was asked at the counter whether I wanted a half or a whole. I quickly realized that I should have gone with the half. The lady comes out with a sandwich big enough to feed 2. I eat half of it on a nearby park bench and give the remaining 2 quarters to a couple eager homeless men nearby. They are thrilled and I am happy to share it with somebody. It’s a pretty great sandwich.
I continue on until I stumble upon a hot sauce shop with a sign that says “free samples!” and I decide to walk in. I occasionally watch this YouTube show called “Hot Ones” where a celebrity sits down and is interviewed by a man while they both eat hot wings. The wings go up on the Scoville scale from 1,000-2,000,000. Despite the weird premise, they actually are able to pull some pretty big names. Some notable episodes include Paul Rudd, Gordon Ramsay, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Aubrey Plaza, Key and Peele, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. As each participant sniffles, cries, and screams through the later stages the host casually asks them questions about their areas of expertise (except Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell who are apparently savages when it comes to hot sauce. Dax Shepard drowns his final 2 wings in the spiciest sauce and barely flinches).
There’s a problem. Every time I go to write a passage, something interesting happens. This time it was 2 brothers who were easily under 10 performing a crazy drum solo. The oldest is probably better, but the youngest is more active.
The balconies here are really interesting. For the price of a drink, you are able to loiter over the masses and enjoy yourself. A small piece of me feels like Caesar, looming over the masses. I want to start directing foot traffic. If I’m being honest, the balconies are probably my favorite part of this city. I could spend all night there and likely would if it weren’t so pricey to drink in areas that have them.
I get caught up toward the end of the night with a few interesting folks from Virginia. I decide to hang out for a minute and then catch a Lyft home. As soon as I punch in my address, it comes up with a message that says “your card was declined.” I know that this can’t be right. I certainly have funds in my bank... I decide to search for a nearby atm, but once I find one, I realize that I can’t find my face mask. I’m stopped at the door and told that I need one to enter the store. I ask if there is one that I can buy, but quickly realize that I have no money on me and that my card was just strangely declined. I hit the ATM and it tells me that my card is declined. A weight sinks in my chest. I try to call my bank, but at this point it’s around midnight. Somebody tells me that this actually happens all the time here and that I should try the register. I know by now that this is not the case, but I try it anyways out of desperation. While trying to run it, a woman that I had met goes through and pays for my things. If you’ve ever wondered how quickly you can go from a comfortable individual on vacation to a homeless person, it’s anywhere between 15 minutes and a few hours of a difference, providing that your debit card and phone are removed from the equation. In that short time, I realized that I was in an unfamiliar city with very little idea of where I was at. I had no money and only a rough idea of where I was headed. I started walking for a few hours with a man that I had met throughout the night. A real nice local who had known right where I needed to get to. Had I followed his instructions exactly, I would have been fine. Unfortunately, I got confused on the road. There is a portion to the street that I was staying on where the road runs for several blocks uninterrupted, dead ends, and 1 block to the left begins again. I reached the dead end and became convinced that somehow I had gotten turned around and ended up passing my airbnb. I turned around and walked all the way back, finding nothing along the way. I must have made the trip about 4 times before I realized that I had no idea where I was. It was a total of about 5 hours of walking. Bruised and a little cut up, I finally hit a point of exhaustion where I had to sit down. I’m just too beat to keep going. I spot a stoop with a waist high ledge and decide that at this hour, it’s not like anybody will notice or care if I stop for a rest. The very moment that I sit down, the door behind the stoop opens. It’s a young man smoking a cigarette. “Oh... hey. Sorry man, I got lost out on these streets and had to pause for a minute to catch my breath.” I say, trying not to freak him out. He shrugs and gives me a look like this happens nightly. “Where you trying to get?” He asks. “North Robertson. I know my Airbnb is on this street, but I can’t seem to find it. It’s really throwing me off man. I had the address on my phone, but it died hours ago.” I say, hoping that he has some solution. “You got an iPhone?” He asks. “Yeah.” I say. He disappears for a moment and comes back with a portable charger and hands it to me. “It’s a little shoddy, but it’ll work. Figure out where you’re going.” he says. I plug in my phone and figure out that I was roughly 2 blocks away when I thought that the street dead ended. Sweet baby Jesus, I’m going home. I thank him profusely and head out on my way. Once I walk in through the front door, I take a shower and book another night so that I can get some decent rest at last.
Day 3: New Orleans, LA
I know this city hasn’t been great for me at times, but the longer I’m here, the more that I start to fall in love with the place. It’s by no means a place for children, but for whatever reason parents keep bringing them. It’s a playground for adults. It’s a madhouse. A haven for debauchery. It’s messy and grungy and a little abrasive, but it has slowly come to match all of my expectations. It’s a city for the sleepless nights and the daydreaming fools. For the grizzled old man and the young spring breaker. It’s for the bards and the muses alike. Despite the fact that bars have been closed for hours, people still line the streets and I’m grateful just to be a part of it, if only for the moment.
Do not come here expecting to have an easy day and relax for a while. It is a war zone where the only shots fired are filled with jello. The grenades are lethal, but only to your liver. Dive inside a fishbowl and lose yourself to the insanity that is New Orleans.
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