Semi truck salvage yards in missouri
Which one is better for a semi-formal wedding in Missouri this summer?
2023.06.04 21:42 diveonfire Which one is better for a semi-formal wedding in Missouri this summer?
2023.06.04 21:33 thetruckerswallofsha Trucker Rant
Ok missouri, I have been a trucker for nearly 20 years., I have over 1.3 million miles driven without a single at fault accident.
I have also driven through every single state 20+ times, been to every single city in the United States at least once.
I have got to tell you that MISSOURI has the absolute worst f******* drivers in the nation...bar none., yal are worse than Illinois drivers...
It's like YA'L try one uping each other for the dumbest possible driving behavior of the day, wether its the dumb ass lane splitting at Mach Jesus or the jackass using a trucks turn signal as the green GO LIGHT at the indy 500.
YA'L need to do better...
Aaaaaand...down vote now.
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2023.06.04 20:45 MrDrProfRedPanda Penalties for not registering car in time if I don't plan to drive it?
My fiancé and I bought a truck (Chevy Silverado) from his uncle a couple weeks ago. We bought it very cheap knowing we would need new tires and brakes soon. Well, it failed the safety inspection because of the brakes and tires. The mechanic quoted us over $2k to fix both front and rear brakes (he called it a "full overhaul") and over $900 for tires.
Our dilemma now is that we have planned to fix up this truck (with the help of my dad, who has always done all of his own car work and feels very comfortable changing the brakes on the car), but over the next couple months or so. In our state (Missouri), we are supposed to get it registered within 30 days of purchasing the car, and it definitely won't be fixed before then if I have my dad fix it, because he doesn't have the time before the deadline. We also feel the quote we got is kind of outrageous based on some research we have done online, so that's another problem.
So we are concerned about what will happen if we don't get it registered. We are not planning on driving it until it's fixed and registered, so it would just be sitting in our driveway. What happens if we don't register the car? Is there a way to get it "registered" so it's legal, but with a contingency that it has failed the inspection and therefore we aren't driving it until it's fixed? Or if we wait a few months to register it, will we get slammed with late fees when we try to register it? We've tried to research this on the DMV website, but it's kind of vague. Any information and help is appreciated.
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2023.06.04 20:38 Expired_Avocado He (26m) is always suspicious of me (25f) and I don't know what to do
Is it wrong to feel like you're going crazy or somehow have done something wrong despite not actually having done anything wrong? All because of your partner's hypervigiliance/paranoia around your behavior?
Context: I do all of the grocery shopping for the household. This is not an errand I find myself "rushing" to complete, per se, I take my time to get what we need, and sometimes I might chill in the car for a few extra minutes with a soda while mindlessly scrolling through my phone as my "quiet time" is far and few in-between most days. We have young children and although they are reportedly on their best behavior while I'm running these errands, I would cut my errands short and go home in a heartbeat if they were giving him too hard of a time, as the children are our equal responsibility.
(Sidenote: he has a driver's license but rarely, if ever, drives unless he needs to go get cigarettes as the traffic around here frightens him. It's gotten to the point that I'm nervous to ask him to drive for any reason, as he constantly rides the brakes and has zero confidence during the entire process. This is not a relationship where I can be the "passenger princess" due to the overall anxiety he projects while driving. Even simple trips around the corner consist of him gripping the steering wheel, being hesitant to assert himself to other drivers, etc. So sending him out for groceries is more trouble than it's worth, and maybe he prefers it that way. I do think he acts incapable with some things in order for me to take over.)
Despite all of this, i.e, me being 100% responsible for grocery shopping and random errands, he is constantly suspicious of how much time I spend out shopping. Sometimes it's just a text consisting of "where are you?" and him saying "well you've been gone for hours" if I give him any explanation of the stores/places I've been to over the last hour. Then he usually just texts "hmm" and nothing more is said until I get home. The usual line when I get home is "well it's been like 3 hours." I'm not spending 3 hours grocery shopping and running errands, but okay, dude.
Over the weekend, I got into a minor car accident on my way back from dropping off our oldest child at school. Because I hit my brakes in time, the semi truck who swerved into my lane didn't make contact with me, but my car made contact with the barrier as I had nowhere else to go. There's been no life-threatening injuries, obviously. All I did was bork my shoulder and have some mild concussion symptoms despite not hitting my head. I even drove my car home after the accident, as the shoulder pain and headache didn't set in until an hour after I got home. It wasn't until my arm started feeling funny before I went to the ER.
I took all of Friday night to sleep after I got out of the ER, and slept most of Saturday while he took over all of the parental duties. Since we usually set aside Saturday nights to spend together, I stopped taking some medication long enough to be up with him, and I offered to go get some popcorn and drinks. He was hesitant to say "yes" in case I was too nervous to drive, still, but I told him that as long as I could take his car and drive slow, I was pretty sure driving to the 24/7 convenience store that was 10 minutes down the road wouldn't be an impossible task. Just as long as he understood I was going to be driving super safe and at the speed limits given the prior day's events. He seemed to understand, and sent me out with his debit card since I'm out of work this week and in his words "close to the edge" financially.
But, I must have taken longer than I thought at the store. I thought I spent like, 10 minutes max doing my transactions at this store (I'd run in to do a second transaction when I realized I forgot something), when I heard my phone ringing. He almost never calls me so I answered it. He was wondering where I was, of course, and even though I told him I'd just finished grabbing everything, he gave me the usual answer of "well you've been gone awhile."
It's a 20 minute round trip with me having spent probably 10 minutes shopping. Keep in mind my shoulder still hurts and I've been babying it as much as possible as lifting small items or driving exacerbates the sprain/strain. I was a bit annoyed that he was already crawling up my ass, as I thought I'd made it clear that it would take me a few extra minutes given the current issue of my shoulder (and by extension, my back) being sore, but whatever. I made no other stops and came straight home.
When I got home, I was excited about how much money I had saved on a couple of items and showed him my receipt. After going through it, he said "what about that one dollar transaction?"
I was a bit baffled as to why he was monitoring his bank account for the transactions I made. It didn't seem necessary as these purchases were just a soda, some Gatorades, and general junk food purchases. I spent less than $10.
So not only did he call me after 20 minutes to see where I was, despite him knowing (if he even was listening) that I was going to the only 24/7 store which is 10 minutes away and that I was going to be driving slow for safety's sake, he felt the need to check his bank account to see if I really was at the store to begin with?
I've never cheated on him nor given him a reason to be suspicious. I know he's been cheated on in previous relationships, something that still bothers him greatly. But I have no real friends and I don't know anyone where we currently live. I also work a full time job on top of raising our children with him. I know he's obsessed with the infidelity and cheater stories on reddit, but I feel like he's projecting that along with past relationship trauma of his own onto me.
We got into an argument later and he said, in more or less words, that he doesn't trust me. And at this point, I don't know what he wants from me anymore. He's always on the defensive if I ask him to have our time together not be interrupted by texting other people back, especially women, and acts like I'm the one accusing him of cheating. (I'm not.) When I told him that I was bothered that he prioritizes other women's text messages over mine, he immediately told me to look through his phone so that I could be "ashamed of my behavior", i.e, accusing him of cheating. I'm not accusing him of cheating, all I've asked for is one on one time that doesn't involve his phone, but honestly the more defensive and accusatory he gets, the weirder I feel.
At the end of the day, I feel crazy, as I don't know what his true intentions/feelings are with the constant suspicion and him never seeming to trust that I am where I say I am. Does he actually think I'm cheating? I don't know. At first, asking me where I was felt nice, like he actually cared and was checking up to make sure I was okay. Now it feels like I have a parent constantly hovering over my shoulder, especially since he complains that he doesn't have access to the location tracking on my phone like he used to (whole different story as to why I set that up for him in the first place).
I think a lot of this is just past relationship trauma being projected on me, but I don't deserve this level of suspicion for just running errands. As much work as I've put into trying to improve our relationship, it would be fucking stupid to cheat. Not to mention we're monogamous so I don't look at other people in that way.
But his behavior is just off, even if he is projecting. Like a few weeks ago, when our oldest had a 2 hour delayed opening at school. I did mention that to him but I guess that he once again was not listening, as this was how the text exchange went, verbatim.
Him:"Where are you?"
Me:"I'm on my way home, [child] had a 2 hour delayed opening at school."
Him:"She had to be dropped off at 9, it's 11 and you ain't home yet."
Me:"No she had to be dropped off at 10:30. Normal drop off is 8:30-8:40, today was 10:30-10:40."
That type of shit bothers me, cause not only is he clearly not listening when I tell him about our children's schedule changes, he's not listening to me at all when I answer him.
Am I wrong to feel annoyed? Is it normal for men to be like this? I've never cheated on him, I don't even have friends to go hang out with, I just run my errands and mind my business. Yet he always seems to be suspicious. It's making me confused and a bit more depressed, honestly, because I don't see his behavior changing any time soon yet I don't feel like I've done anything to justify his behavior towards me. Am I supposed to keep my errands to a strict time frame, never stop for a soda or a snack for myself, and make sure I never get caught in traffic or have something happen outside of my control? It sounds ridiculous. We're both adults.
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2023.06.04 20:07 DV8TOR-ON-THE-ROAD Truck Parking in America. We Gotta Fix it.
2023.06.04 19:44 merchantsmutual Open Houses Make Me Want to Barf Now
"Here it is honey, 323 Everwood Drive. Is there a Taylor Swift concert? And why so many California plates? We live in Missouri."
pushes into house and meet disingenuous 45 year old relator with GIRLBOSS sticker on her car
"OHHHH WELCOME! Please sign in. And remember your best and highest by Sunday st 8 PM."
"But right now it is Saturday..."
walk through completely ordinary 3 bed 2 bath from 1962 that was 150k only 4 years ago, now listed at 420k and expected to go for higher
Oh boy grey tile! Never seen this one before
run into DINK couple who seem hungover and frazzled from a 3 year search, all fruitless
"Our dogs need a yard."
put in an offer 20k over list and lose to an all cash offer the next day
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2023.06.04 19:20 ShineFamiliar3741 turn the Page my recovery from abuse and inheritance theft
A lot happened before my father passed my sisters both demanded accounts and signed on the way they owned our father and her to the lot of large amount of money before he retired one sister had full control to put one account and because her husband had knowledge of how to control people with these accounts and how to sign them to where you own them and could walk away with all that one dollar unless my dad wanted to press charges felony and he did not he lived with that for several years the thing was my brother-in-law demanded I didn't no help and no cash from my father who bought me a vehicle and he also demanded who bought from him so he could have his own cash that started a bad thing but on the other note my other sister and brother planned a long time ago to steal all on the end and one sister her whole name go in life was to still everything in the end to work as a librarian in order to mingle with authorities with a plan of cutting me out because mother made her hate me when we were children she told her she was a real oldest daughter I was adopted by my father in the state of Missouri because I had no father my mother was abusive to me and she got her words she cut me out she got threw me out of the family they had me abused I had a death threat at one time when my memories came back I have an appointment to talk to a trusted her recovery attorney next week but it's well down to now it's a dirty stuff but they're still a very large amount of money missing that was too preachers one being a bad lawyer who was elected to prosecutor because of his name the state of Missouri couldn't help me with that because he was elected. There's no protection for heirs even though there's laws in Missouri. And when did in-laws with hating their heart and greed they come errors assets were never reported I never got anything from my dad as far as I had property stored there I finally got my camper but it cost me a lot my brother forced me to sign titles and soon tops and my sister would use them on something I told her it would be fraud because they couldn't Court can tell immediately that the paper was added to after the signature landlords can't get away with that anymore unless the person can't take them to court then they do cuz it happened to me before my thoughts are I was abused my life was certain all this Northwest Missouri it's very corrupt a bank account was moved when I was dying in another state and the prosecutor won't even let me look because it's been a few years back I need prosecutor the bank was concerned like there was a criminal and that prosecutor said get a lawyer well that's all I was told by a person well when they have more money and they've used pictures to launder money they use the prosecutor to get their way to not probate a larger state and they turn their back on me that goes to me like I am a disease because I know what they did my life was in dangerous I still don't feel safe I'm in this town I'm working on getting away from here so I can take care of the rest of this but my children didn't deserve to be cut out my father did not do this they did what they wanted for very large amount of money who got a very large attack right before he died and then I don't know who got the money I'm not money doesn't drive me but the fact that they did what they did has me irritated because my children did not deserve this my brother was supposed to probate and help me get all this done so my sister's got their way so far but my mother was in the background she was the first ex-wife and he was single but my one sister control freak controlled dad never move after his last divorce and he couldn't trust her she stole tooth imagine that grave sold them a year later without telling him to make banked on that but she did that because my other sister would find onto his largest inheritance account and controlling him with it he didn't press start his own either one but he did turn him in before he died after he got that last check he was bullied that's why they wanted my memory is gone I hired somebody to come into my life I found Love with a narcissist who was there for hire St Joe Missouri is very corrupt Andrew county was where the prosecutor fake probate attorney was they're still a fake casing at the judge refused to move it off but my brother is no longer represented who paid it to get it stopped to get those two titles back my father bought way more local than that my brother and said he was doing his own probate he bullied me to sign in 15 titles two were property I can't find out where those went except for I know they were laundered through his church his Titan picture who greedy preacher but also was involved and getting money off the top that's I'm in the assets it's all a mess it's a very big mess I'm talking to Tony next week another one thing is only have one chance that they got more money than they're counting you know I they laundered money they did it's on public 300 vehicles cars and trucks at dad bought for probate my brother promised to do with me that sisters pays him to do with that program that month is already had the prosecuting attorney as a lawyer he's not even a probate lawyer and now he's not a prosecutor attorney who knows he did wrong he's also a preacher but he's one of those tithing pictures like the other one putting printers lying their own pockets with other people's money they don't give it to the floor they're legal things in my eyes but I'm opinionated
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2023.06.04 18:46 recwoodtable34 Reclaimed Wood Table Builder
A reclaimed wood contractor is a professional who specializes in working with reclaimed or salvaged wood to create various structures or products. Reclaimed wood refers to wood that has been previously used in old buildings, barns, or other structures and is then repurposed for new projects.
Here are some key aspects of a reclaimed wood contractor's work:
Sourcing and Selection: Reclaimed wood contractors have expertise in finding and selecting high-quality reclaimed wood. They often work with suppliers or salvage yards to locate and acquire suitable materials for their projects. This involves assessing the reclaimed wood's condition, quality, and character to ensure its suitability for the intended use.
Design and Planning: Reclaimed wood contractors collaborate with clients to understand their vision and requirements. They use their knowledge of woodworking techniques and design principles to develop plans and sketches for the desired project. This may include furniture, flooring, accent walls, paneling, or custom installations.
Woodworking and Construction: Once the design is finalized, the reclaimed wood contractor uses their skills in woodworking and construction to bring the project to life. They may work on-site or in a workshop, depending on the scale and nature of the project. The contractor will cut, shape, and join the reclaimed wood using appropriate tools and techniques.
Finishing and Restoration: Reclaimed wood often possesses unique characteristics such as weathered patina, nail holes, or other signs of age. A skilled contractor knows how to preserve and enhance these features while ensuring the wood's durability. They may apply finishes, such as natural oils or sealants, to protect the wood and achieve the desired aesthetic.
Installation and Project Completion: Once the reclaimed wood components are ready, the contractor will install them according to the project specifications. This may involve fitting reclaimed wood flooring, installing custom furniture pieces, or erecting structures like pergolas or outdoor decking. The contractor ensures that the installation is done properly and meets safety standards.
Reclaimed wood contractors often prioritize sustainability and environmental consciousness by utilizing materials that would otherwise go to waste. They bring a unique touch to their projects by incorporating the rich history and character of reclaimed wood, resulting in distinctive and visually appealing outcomes.
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2023.06.04 18:40 RazTheExplorer Part 11.5 - Closure
“Hey Raz, I got one!” Raz’s voice was cut by static as he called back, “Great! …at quarry …die.” Well, that wasn’t ominous at all, I thought to myself as I adjusted the rear-view mirror to check on the operator I had just blown past. They were doubled over coughing, their gas mask swayed side to side on the ground next to their feet. I don’t know what compelled me to not flatten what I had thought to be an AQ soldier, but I’m glad I didn’t.
I slammed my hummer in reverse, coming to a stop next to the helpless operator. “Hop in bud, we can get you to final exfill yet.” He slowly hauled himself into the bed of my hummer, landing with a dull thud and a groan as he fell onto his back. We cleared the gas, and I was immediately put on edge as my passenger started to gain consciousness. If he was planning anything nefarious, there wasn’t much I could do about it now. “You good back there? Normally I’d stop to send an invite but given the situation that might have just caused more problems.” He leaned through the non-existent rear window, “Nah, I understand man. When we get further from the gas we can stop and squad up. Don’t need to risk lighting each other up if things get hot at the exfill.” I couldn’t help but chuckle, “I don’t think that would be much of an issue regardless. Hey, we didn’t leave any of your friends back there, did we? I know we peeled out pretty quick.” I saw him shake his head and point to our left in the rear-view mirror. “We got split up, but they were running for a car, so I wasn’t too worried.” I followed his finger, a white hatchback cruised along parallel to us, swerving through buildings trying not to eat too many AQ bullets. “Hey boys, Dutch here is gonna roll with us to final. We’ll squad up when we get there.” I was barely able to make out one of his squad mates call out “Tight!” over his earpiece.
“Hey, listen, I’ve got friend I’m rolling with. His name’s Raz, he’s gonna meet us at final. If you see a red, white, and blue LTV, don’t shoot alright.” Raz chimed in, his radio finally clear of the static, “That’s very kind of you to tell them not to shoot me Dutch.” Before I could respond, a black turreted LTV slid out of Said City ahead of us. “Is that your boy Dutch?” I wanted to give my passenger the benefit of the doubt, it is windy in the box after all, he might not have heard me. “Nah man, wrong colour, and he didn’t have a turreted LTV last I saw.” The black LTV continued North along the main road as we cut away into the quarry proper. “Raz, company is headed your way. Looks like it’s just a solo in that truck but you can never be too careful.” “Thanks for the heads up Dutch.”
I rolled to a stop at the base of the helicopter ramp, gently flattening a couple of AQ who were getting a little to close to the bird for comfort, just shy of the battery running dry. The other two operators in the hatchback slid to a stop just down the hill from us. I got out of the hummer, a tad worried that my good fortune was about to come to an end at the hands of these fellas. As they ran up the hill, the notification finally popped. I accepted and ran down the hill to grab the hatchback, breathing a sigh of relief. “Wait, where you goin’ Dutch?” One of my clients called out. “Raz and I will run interference while we wait for the chopper to take off. Any AQ or unfriendly operators are gonna have to go through us.” “You keep talking about this Raz guy, but I’ve yet to see anyone other than that black LTV.” Almost on queue, a black LTV flew up the hill narrowly missing my hatchback. My clients went into a frenzy. “Operators pushing us! Take ‘em down!” The LTV spun in the sand in front of me, a glorious and perfectly oiled moustache glinting in the Al Mazrah sun. “Hold your fire! It’s Raz!” I called from below my clients. I sent an invite to him which he had hopped out and accepted faster than any of these guys could pull the trigger. “You see the operator that was in that earlier?” Raz shook his head, “No, I pulled up on it and they were gone. Must be out on foot somewhere.”
With 5 seconds left on the clock, there wasn’t enough time to go find them, our clients now panicking as they realized we weren’t on the bird. “What are you two doing?!” They shouted from the air as we waved goodbye. “Al Mazrah is our home gentlemen. That bird was never meant for us.” I gave Raz a pat on the shoulder as the gas rapidly approached, another successful day had come to a close.
The clack of a Kastov charging handle was almost unmistakable. We both turned to see the operator from the LTV standing there, rifle honed on us. “Well shit.” Their rifle dropped towards the dirt as they looked back over their shoulder at the nearly out of sight exfill chopper. They pushed through us, wandering towards the North side of the quarry. Raz and I locked eyes, shrugging in unison. That was one of those moments where we really wouldn’t have blamed them for their decision, whatever it might have been. “We better get back to HQ, Compton said I.T dropped off something for you.” Raz said as the gas engulfed us.
“I’m going back to the island boss.” My hands were shaking as I gripped the file folder that I.T had left for me. “Twitch.” “He’s back, it took him a bit, but he’s managed to re-take the castle and hunker down since we last saw him. And if he’s back then we might finally be able to get some proper intel on those blue tracers, direct from the source.” I handed the folder to Raz. He took it, turning to no doubt address the rest of the crew. I grabbed his shoulder, stopping him before he could speak. “Not everybody, not this time. They’ve doubled the defences; we’d be walking into a slaughterhouse.” “Well, you can’t go in there alone, we look out for our own Dutch, you know that.” Raz’s brow tightened, I could tell he was already trying to figure out what my plan was. “I’m bringing Maze and Alex. They’ll provide sniper cover while I infiltrate the castle. I still have my old uniform. As long as they haven’t drastically changed up their callsigns, I should be able to get in undetected.” I could tell Raz wasn’t convinced. “Dutch, like you said, you’d be walking into a slaughterhouse. How does you going in solo make that any better.” “After what happened in the complex…I’m not putting anyone else at risk, I can’t. The Bomb Maker…Twitch, I’ve gotta face him myself. Look him in the eyes so he knows I crawled out of Hell to drag him back down there.” “Alright, I couldn’t really stop you if I wanted to, could I?” Raz shrugged. “No, not unless you shot me, and honestly, I’d take those odds.” I punched his shoulder and started heading for the breakroom to grab Maze and Alex. “You keep that up I’ll be moving you back out to that sea can of yours.” Raz smirked.
The locks took a bit of fighting to get open. While this footlocker had only been on Ashika Island for a few months, the constant spray of salt water had worn away what little integrity it once had. The black uniform, emblazoned with the Rook and Spade of Shadow Company, was still in excellent condition, save for a bullet hole just under where the plate carrier would sit. I paused for a moment, holding it up in the air, memories of the past flooding in. “Not a lot of fond memories in that uniform I take it.” Maze called out from the catwalk in our home away from home. “I think part of the problem is that there are good memories. It’s a little concerning that such fond memories can hide out amongst so much evil.” “We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of. Some of us just did things other people also wouldn’t be proud of either.” Alex chuckled to himself as he cleaned his rifle on the cot next to me. I grimaced, mostly because he was right. I slipped into the old black fatigues and strapped on my old plate carrier. My weapons were all still intact too, I pulled my Taq-56 out of the footlocker, running my fingers over the engraving in the side, ROOK-XLIV. I cycled the charging handle a few times before loading in a fresh magazine and setting it on the cot next to me. I pulled out a pistol belt, two pearl handled revolvers, one with an ebony Rook on the grip, the other, an ebony Spade. Umbra Catavae engraved along each barrel. Maze had come down from the rafters now, a look of mixed intrigue and concern on her face, “I take it those don’t invoke fond memories.” I had done a poor job of hiding my look of disgust. “No, unfortunately they do.” I felt a wave of guilt wash over me. “Each of these was given to me for completing outstanding performance in the field. I did things I’m not proud of, and I was rewarded for it, handsomely. Holding these in my hands, I feel the same pride I had felt when they were first handed to me. It makes me sick.” I strapped the belt around my waist. The pearl handles shining against my all black silhouette. Alex piped up again, “Hey, at least you are trying to make amends for your sins, not many can say the same.” I let out a long sigh, “I suppose you’re right. You both remember the plan?” “Get to the radio towers and start lighting the place up when shit inevitably hits the fan.” Maze grinned. “Close enough.” I pulled my balaclava up and headed for the door.
The guard at the gate didn’t immediately shoot me which gave me some spark of hope that this might work. “In position!” Alex and Maze called out almost simultaneously. “Jinx, you owe me a beer!” Maze rejoiced. “What? Why would I give you a beer for that?” Alex sounded genuinely confused. “Hey, cut the chatter you two, don’t need to give them any reason to not let me in alright.” The guard held up his hand. “I don’t recognize you, let’s see your I.D.” I held up my old I.D card. “Well I’ll be damned, look who crawled out if his grave.” He pulled my mask down to confirm. “You look pretty good for a corpse, though your I.D card is out of regulation. You might want to stop by the I.T guy to get a new one made.” “Thanks, I’ll head right over.” The first thought that came to my mind was Bob. There’s no way he still worked for these assholes, is there.
“You used your old I.D?! You mad man!” Maze cackled over the radio. “Ok, I’ll admit, this wasn’t my greatest plan. I honestly thought they’d just capture me after seeing who I was.” Alex cut me off, “Go with the flow I suppose.” “Spade-499 up one-two.” The local radio channel began to drown out my squad’s comms. “Rook-3468 down one-one” “This is some odd radio traffic Dutch.” Alex quipped. I watched as a Shadow Company mercenary approached a stairwell, each step primed and ready to pop a leg off whichever unfortunate soul chose to ascend. “Spade-5454 up one-two.” “It’s how they know to deactivate the traps.” I whispered into our secure line. I approached the same stairwell. “Rook-44 up one-two.” I could hear the traps audibly click off. The guard at the to put his hand out as I reached the top step. “Sorry, no ghosts allowed on the second floor.” “Ghost? What…” He bent over laughing. “I’m just messing with you man. They said you died holding off the ULF while Bob and Twitch escaped, going out in a blaze of glory. Clearly, they didn’t have their facts straight. Glad to have you back.” I’m glad I had the balaclava on because I was struggling to hide my confusion. Last I checked I was the scape goat for the largest backstab in Shadow Company history, not a hero. I was never a hero when I worked for them. “I take it you are going to see the boss, call up two-zero, we don’t want people to be just guess on the fly, just in case someone tries to sneak in.” If only he knew.
“We don’t have eyes up there Dutch. Whatever happens, you’re on your own.” I could hear a tinge of worry in Alex’s voice. “Just make sure whoever is in here doesn’t get reinforcements.” “You got it!” Alex and Maze both called out in unison. “Jinx, you owe me another beer.” “There’s free beer at headquarters, why would I owe you a beer for that.” Alex called back clearly still confused. “Radio silence please. I’ve got a rat to kill.” I took a deep breath, pulling my Bryson from its sheath, the chrome exterior brushed over with a dull grey to blend in. “Rook-44 up two-zero.”
“Well, well, well. I was wondering when I’d see you again after our last encounter. Urzikstan and Al Mazrah clearly hadn’t kicked your ass enough so you decided to come crawling back to me for another round.” The traps clicked off. “Come on up, I’ve been looking forward to this.” I slowly ascended, keeping my Bryson trained at the top of the stairs, my eyes scanning each stair for an actual trap. As I crested the stairwell, my eyes were immediately drawn to him. His back turned to me, Trophy Systems whirring and clicking around him. “I missed you Dutch. Well, the old you. The one that would shoot through a hostage just to prove a point, the one that would dangle captives from buildings by their collar until they squawked like a bird, and then still dropped them anyways. I miss the Dutch that smoked Keller because his gas mask worked and yours didn’t when we those crazy Russian’s tried to hit us with mustard gas. I still get a little nauseous when I think about you peeling his face out of there.” “I’ve changed Twitch, I’ve moved past all that. I found a calling that doesn’t require me to be a conniving bastard.” Twitch laughed as he turned around, his hands empty. I kept my Bryson trained on him. “That’s what you think I am huh? I prefer shrewd businessman, but if that’s what helps you sleep at night.” He walked to one of the barred windows. “You really think what you and those taxi driving hooligans are doing matters?” “Clearly it does, or you and the Chemist wouldn’t be working so hard to sabotage us.” I took a few steps towards him. “Well, I suppose it matters to one of us. The Chemist and Raz go way back, but you know that. What I care about is the money, and I get a lot of money for helping that crazy bastard try to wipe out your little band of Merry Men.” “And Women. This guy just loves the sound of his own voice. Can I remove his head already? He’s looking right at me, practically begging me to pull the trigger.” I could hear the contempt in Maze’s voice. Twitch always did love a monologue. “You can still fix your mistakes Twitch. Gives us what info you have on those tracers of yours and I might consider not killing you.” I snarled. “When you went soft Dutch, you lost any respect I might have had for you. We are long past the point where you can intimidate me. Besides, any info I did have, is with the Chemist. He paid a handsome sum to get the formula, and really, it was becoming a logistical nightmare to ship enough of those little blue gems across the sea. Better for everyone to have it made close to the front lines.”
“Spade-101 up two-zero.” Bob’s voice cut through the tension. “Well I’ll be, it looks like we are gonna have a little family reunion.” Bob’s head poked up the stairs, “Hey boss, another server bank has shorted out from the sea air, I told you we should invest in better waterproofing the housings but if you still…” He trailed off as I dropped my Bryson, the sling catching it just before it hit the ground, and drawing my two revolvers. “Oh, hey Dutch. Nice to see you too.” Bob stammered. I cocked the hammer on each one, keeping one trained on each of my old squad mates. “Really Bob? Really! I understand you sticking around the day of the heist. But now? After everything that Shadow Company has done to these countries. To its own people.” Before he could respond, a siren blared over the intercom system. “Defensive positions! Hostile operators have breached the perimeter.” “Dutch you’ve got six operators approaching the castle, I think it’s time to bounce.” Maze was drowned out by her own gun fire, her Signal .50 raining death into the courtyard. “Looks like our time is up here Dutch. Since you clearly don’t have los cojones to pull the trigger, you might as well see yourself out, and let me and my men handle this.”
“Fuck it.” The hammer of the first revolver slammed down, dropping Bob instantly. I turned to face Twitch, his face a mix of surprise and pride. “Maybe I was wrong, the old Dutch still lives.” I charged forward, tackling him through the window and off the roof. Both of us lay on the ground, groaning as the chorus of gunfire roared around us. He dove for one of my pistols, but unfortunately for him, I had managed to hold on to the other, putting a round through his arm just before he could grab the gun. He rolled out of the way of the second round, bringing his one working hand up to the radio on his chest. The explosion from the castle threw both of us across the courtyard, debris raining down around us. I felt like I was reliving one of the worst days of my life all over again. I hauled myself to my feet, Shadow Company mercenaries and operators wandered aimlessly through the ashes. Everyone seemed too disoriented to fight. “I think it’s time to leave Dutch.” “I second that.” Maze and Alex were barely audible over the ringing in my ears. “Regroup at the boat. If I’m not there in 5, go without me.” I never heard a response, even if they tried, they wouldn’t have convinced me to leave, not with him still breathing.
I combed through the smoke and fire, carefully checking every nook and cranny I came across but the slippery rat was nowhere to be seen. “Looks like you 3 aren’t thick as thieves after all, eh Dutch. Poor Alex here was left all alone on the beach, no boat to be seen.” Twitch was sucking in air between words, no doubt kept standing by adrenaline. “You lay a finger on him, and I’ll make you wish you had died in that explosion.” I spat into my mic. “Don’t make me wait too long.”
I limped over a hill towards the beach where we were supposed to regroup. “Alex! Where’s Maze?” I called out as I stumbled down the sand bank. Alex didn’t respond, his head held in a tight headlock by Twitch, my second pistol against his temple. “She abandoned you both, and now I get the pleasure of killing you both after yet another betrayal. When will you learn Dutch. This world is a cruel place. Only the strong survive, clearly Maze knew that.” Twitch cut me off before I could retort. “Save the fight me with honour B.S that I know you are gonna spew.” I’m gonna kill you and your buddy and salvage what little I can of this operation. Then maybe retire to Cuba. I do love a good cigar.” “Adios, pendejo!” Alex brought his arm down, the knife concealed in his hand connecting with Twitch’s thigh. Twitch let out a high-pitched yelp, letting loose a round from the revolver which narrowly grazed Alex’s hair. Alex dove into the sand right as Twitch’s shoulder exploded in a pink mist followed shortly by the unmistakable crack of Maze’s Signal .50. I squinted trying to see where the shot came from, all I caught was the glint from her scope in the sun, the boat hardly visible in the rolling surf.
I limped forward, Bryson in hand, chrome starting to show through the worn grey paint. I kicked the revolver away from Twitch, placing a boot on his chest and the barrel of my Bryson against his forehead. He began to mumble and cry, hardly able to string together an understandable sentence. “Save it, you’re gonna need your energy for what comes next.” Our boat slammed into the shore, Maze hopping off, rifle raised and ready. “Oh shit I actually hit that!” “I’m not gonna lie, I thought you’d actually just bailed.” I laughed as she helped Alex to his feet. “You still go those claymores?” I asked Maze as Twitch continued to writhe in panic under my boot. “You wanted the old Dutch, eh Twitch. Ask and you shall receive.” Maze handed me the claymores, while Alex kept sidearm pointed at Twitch. I planted 4 around him, just far enough away that they wouldn’t go off unless he moved. I drew one of my revolvers, popping the cylinder out and emptying all but one round. I gave the cylinder a spin before flicking it closed. I tossed the revolver at Twitch. “Don’t waste that on me. You’ll only regret it in about an hour.” I took my other revolver, and hurled it towards the sea, the pearl grip glinting in the sun as it spun through the air, disappearing into the crashing waves. “Good riddance.” I sighed, that chapter of my life finally ended. Twitch was silent, his whimpering now just deep, laboured breathing. I turned back before I stepped onto the boat, watching as his hand slowly moved to the pistol in the sand next to him. “Well played Dutch, well played.”
submitted by RazTheExplorer
to AlMazrahTaxiService [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:38 chknmnky Here’ our short long story of putting an old freelander back on the road. Some Pics include.
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Long update with photo overload: submitted by chknmnky to LandRover [link] [comments]
American Freelander owner here. We bought this freelander in 2020 as a project vehicle. It was about to be sent to a crusher, but my family and i had an suspicion that we could fix it. So we gave it a shot.
Our initial inspection identified 1. Non functional gauges 2. No A/C, 3. Transmission in limp 4. Malfunctioning SRS 5. No front passenger seat 6. Bald Tires
Knowing it was going to be an endeavor, we set forth on our project.
First order of business was to figure out the “why” for the non functional gauges and AC. All the parts were there and looked like they were in good order.
We took it to a few reputable mechanics, but literally none had any experience with this uncommon vehicle. Each one made either an excuse (all mechanics tied up) or quoted astronomical prices to diagnose ($400+).
Defeated, we took to the internet and scoured the old forums. From there we chased down all potential possibilities. We swapped out the abs ECU, speed sensors, fuses and so on to no avail.
I had a momentary flash back to when we were buying it from the seller
“Probably a wiring issue” he said…. Almost as if he were hinting.
So we started tracing the wires from the dash board and found the culprit. Hidden up and behind the glovebox were three wires that were completely severed on account of a field mouse.
We were stoked that we found the issue, but frustrated to learn we would have to disassemble the entire dashboard to address it. Frustrated, but determined, we dove into the repair.
It took about a month (i work a full time job) to complete the job. It wasnt difficult, but wasnt without more complications either. We inadvertently broke the steering wheel SRS sensor thingy and had to order a new one.
Regardless, SUCCESS!!! All the gauges worked and the transmission came out of limp mode. Time to move on to other issues. Specifically, the AC.
This one was much easier to identify, but more challenging to remedy. That same mouse chewed through the wires that’s located at the base of radiator. It wouldn’t have been a problem if that lil shyte had chewed it further from the adaptor, but noooooooo…. He had to do it right at the plug.
Luckily, we found a junk yard within a two hour drive time that had a Freelander recently added to its inventory. My son and i set out on a day long journey.
While there, we toured the wrecked cars. It was marvelous. The bent and twisted metal of the wrecked cars spun our imaginations into a world of fantasy of how said accident occurred. To say the least, see those cars like that was exhilarating.
Anyhow, back to point. We found our donor. It was a vibrant yellow 2 door Freelander. I felt bad for not finding it sooner… i could’ve fixed it. Oh well. We tore through it finding anything useful.
A new seat, check. New spare tire wheel, check. HDC button, check. The list goes on. It was great to be able to pick and choose what i needed.
Now… the AC pigtail harness. This was slightly difficult. Not because i couldn’t find it or reach it. It was right there in beautiful condition within easy reach. No, not for this guy. One of the employees of the junk yard accompanied us and was adamant about us not putting hands into the empty engine bay.
“I’m not leaving without that pig tail” i told myself. My son, clued into the situation, took action to help and began talking car stories that we made up to the guy. He took the bait, both of them turned their focus away from the truck long enough for me to get my wire snips down into the bay.
Clip, snip, pull, and it was free. I stashed that thing away as quickly as i could. It took a whole 1.3 seconds.
They finished their conversation and we took our trove to the register and paid for our findings. I think it was a total of $200.
Excitedly at home, we piecemealed the truck back together. The seat here, the clip there, the this, the that, and BAM!!! A fully functional LandRover Freelander was in our garage.
Since then, we’ve been trying to keep it maintained. As mentioned before, we took to decorating it with Jurassic park logos. Even painted the wheels after getting new A/T tires. I’m praying it stays on the road long enough for all my kids to enjoy. We’ll see. That V6 isn’t known for its reliability.
Thanks for reading if you got this far and i hope you enjoyed our photos.
2023.06.04 18:22 Still_Making_Knives How much power to account for weight?
My brothers and I are kicking around the idea of building a go kart that looks like a semi truck. 4 seats would be ideal, and we'd like it to be capable of pulling a trailer.
That would be a lot of weight to push around, so I'm wondering if a 200cc engine would do the job. We're not looking for top speed, just don't want the engine to strain just to inch the kart forward. More of a novelty vehicle that can also move things around the land when needed.
Then there's gearing to think about. Does the total weight of the vehicle factor heavily in what ratio to use?
submitted by Still_Making_Knives
to gokarts [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 18:13 TheGeek65 I'm looking for a close friend I made in the TTI.
Hello everyone! My name is Larry and I was in the Elk River Treatment program from 2021 to roughly mid 2022. I was wondering if anyone from that timeline there or even out of that program happens to know someone named Jace.
He and I shared the common interests of trains and semi trucks, and I am highly concerned because not only was Elk River highly abusive, but he was also going through tough times personally.
So Jace, if you're reading this, be sure to send me a message, and if anyone else can point me in the right direction, it would mean the world to me.
Thank you for reading!
submitted by TheGeek65
to troubledteens [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:37 PigletKlutzy9711 Broke Right Hand in February and Just recently broke left arm.
I have had to have surgery on both. At this time I'm not allowed to go anywhere with my dog alone. ( according to husband and surgeon.)I'm so depressed. The hand situation did not heal properly because there is no way that I could leave my dog inside for the length of my recovery. Well I've learned a lesson and feel like God came down and bitch slapped me with a broken arm. I am super active and independent. It's a real wake up when I can't put on clothes,let alone bra would be impossible. Ugh This is the thing, I'm really unsure what to do? My dog is amazing. I have people that ask me at least once a month if I would consider selling him. He is a Catahoula, he is great with dogs,people,babies, you name it. Catahoula's are working dogs, I knew this when he was 8weeks and picked him up. He was planned. He is almost 5 years old. What the problem is both accidents happened at my house right in the front. The first one when I broke my pinky, shattered my knuckle on the finger next to it and spranged my wrist happened because the neighbor who lives next door has a horrible little dog that she used to let roam freely. It would come straight to my front window and terrorize my dog. We tried to get them friendly and her dog bit me, a trainer and my dog. My dog is 90 lbs muscle. Her dog is maybe 15 20lbs. Then her dog continued to get out and one day when my dog and I were leaving her dog bit me then my dog and I guess my dog had enough and he nearly killed her dog. Actually no blood but choked him out. She finally has stopped him from going outside off leash. We also found out that before this she has had at least two dogs put down for fighting her dog. So I know that I need to keep my dog safe. My dog is only reactive at my house. Perfect when he goes to his camp when out of town. They use my dog to vet potential new dogs to make sure they are safe. Great off leash. When I get home with him everyday its like going to hell. Her dog barks all day. He is renting space in my dogs head. Her dog is my alarm clock. It goes outside and starts barking and at that point my dog goes from sound asleep to on all 4's and starts howling until I let him outside in our backyard and then if her dog in out in the part of her yard that meets my yard the two dogs run up and down the fence. No grass grows in this area . It's a mud pile. All day it's non stop war. We have not had a run in with them in two years. My dog has NEVER ONCE,no accidents, nothing,ever been in our front yard with out his leash. If it would ever be his fault he would be put down by her. Or it would be a big fight. Actually he wouldn't because I'd hit the road. Or end up in jail. ( I've never been to jail and I'm a 50 yr old woman). So the first hand I was reading my mail sitting in my truck in my driveway like an idiot. My dog is always wrapped around my hand a million times. She opened her front door and let her dog out and who knows if she did it on purpose (because she does these type of things to make the situation worse and that is another long story,she is not mentally fit) however she had to get a front fence so her dog would not escape. Of course the fence is only 3ft tall so it has stopped her dog from coming over but if my dog gets loose, he could clear that fence in a heartbeat. So I'm vigilant and for the last 3.5 years he can't get away from me. Back to me being an idiot reading my mail, my dog lunged out of my truck, I caught major air and broke the shit out of my hand. Two weeks later had surgery on the knuckle because it was demolished. I do not have the type of dog that I can sit around with. If he does not get out 3 hours a day and do training,running,playing with other dogs then I will have an aggressive dog. If I skip a day my dog makes me pay for it. So I did not take as good of care as I should have after surgery and my knuckle is thrashed. The arm surgeon has said that he wouldn't touch it. I'm screwed for life. Not only is it still broken, I'm in a lot of pain. Then because that was my right arm , I was wrapping his leash when we leave around my left hand and we had left to go on a walk, she ( the neighbor )has cameras all over our yards and I don't really mind because it's to make sure that the dogs do not meet. Anyways I forgot my phone, my dog and I ran back in, and he is still wrapped around my left hand. She saw us leave, I don't think she saw us come back,she let her dog out and when I opened my front door,her dog barked, my dog took off like a bat out of hell and my left arm went through the door with my dog and I got caught inside and it snapped my arm. I thought I was going to die. It hurt really bad. I feel so sorry for myself. It literally crushed the bone. I have a metal plate from my palm to the middle of my arm. If I did not have surgery it was a cast for 6 weeks and possibly pain for life. With surgery it's this metal plate then in 2 weeks start physical therapy. Then surgery on the knuckle with the spring type device that I stretched the spring and now my finger is just broken and healing in the wrong direction. This does not allow pictures but when anybody looks at my hand they just make a sound that is like agony and pain. On top of all of this , I'm definitely a Tom boy but I've always taken care of myself. I do care about my appearance. I've always acted like I'm a lot younger than my age and I feel disgusted with myself. I can't shower. Taking a bath is challenging. My hair is a rats nest. I'm not good at asking for help. I'm proud. I'm not comfortable with people seeing me naked. I hate pain killers. Normally right now in our world doctors are hesitant to prescribe pain meds and I hate them but my doctors are begging me to take them and sit still. It's really hard. If you are still with me, thank you and I know this is long. I did not know how to ask a question with out a back story. This is my question.. Tomorrow night I have a trainer and a behaviorist coming over to help with my dog and see the situation. I've talked with them and told them what I've told you. I do not see what could have been trained into my dog that could have helped this. It was my fault. I should have been more vigilant in my truck reading the mail or should have been inside. I have control over my dog when I'm paying attention. It's hard but I've got him. My dog is always going to react to a squirrel, cat and the dog next door. The trainers even said it would be impossible to train it out of this type of breed. I'm not sure how familiar anyone reading this is with catahoula's but anyone who has one, a 100% catahoula knows that they are a different breed of dogs. He is the best dog I've ever had but he is a challenge and he was not a mistake. I wanted the challenge. It's been great up to this point. Does anyone have any ideas for me. From what to do during the day inside for mental stimulation? Also what should I concentrate on with the trainer? The neighbor will not do anything to help. She probably loves this. Sadly we have had letters in our mailbox about her dog and him being a nuisance. I can't get on board with mob mentality and I don't want her dog put down. I think she does love him.i don't get the 3ft fence and if tables were turned she would have been the person who started the letter about my dog. She would kill my dog herself if she could. Anyways she is going to be no help. Any ideas? Constructive criticism, anything that might help me I'd really appreciate. I'm at an all time low right now. I feel gross,look gross, pain,guilt,anger,soooooo mad at myself I could die. I was supposed to go home to help my parents,they are out of state and dad has lung cancer and mom is close to 80. They had to help me. I feel so awful. They don't need to be worrying about 50 year old daughter that acts like I'm a 12 year old boy. Ugh. Thanks again
submitted by PigletKlutzy9711
to reactivedogs [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:07 ThrowRAFuture-Piglet I (46F) have not seen my SO (46M) in almost a year.
I(f46) have been with my SO (m46) for 5 years now. It was pretty good when their job was here. We have known each other since we were children and were never romantically involved until 5 years ago. Until 5 years ago, I had no idea what had happened. He was in the military and had 2 marriages and 3 lovely girls who are all adults now. I should mention he has ADD. So I try to be more understanding than others would be on many things because it deserves a little more understanding.
The issue is that while his job was here, things were great but then he told me what his dream job was. His dream job was to drive commercially. He's been driving semi for a year.
When he told me he wanted to do this, he told me this was a work 2 months have 2 weeks off kind of job. I hated it, told him so, but because it was his dream, I said let's give it a try. Truthfully, it wasn't as simple as that, there were hurt feelings and lots of discussion but I'm an adult, I can deal with two months away and 2 weeks back, it wasn't gonna be fun, but I have a life outside of him, I can do that. Point is, that's what I thought I was getting into.
He found one, and didn't tell me til a week before he left. He trained for 6 weeks-ish, came back home for a few brief days, and then had to go back to their main hub and acquire his truck. He started driving by himself about January last year and I didn't see him until July. I thought maybe it's a beginner thing. It wasn't what I was told it would be. Yeah, I feel betrayed and lied to. I feel like that is understandable.
It is going on a year now since seeing him, we talk regularly on messenger, I get ignored a lot, many times for the day or two or three days. He hates talking on the phone because he has neck issues, and is hard of hearing in one ear and so uses a head set, but being as he's driving truck, I don't want to call a lot and cause a distraction, it's just safer to use a messenger, and he can message me when not driving. Every time I say I'm having a problem with this, I get ignored. He claims he didn't receive the message or something else. The avoidance of the problem is causing an additional problem. This last time I laid it out and said that my physical and emotional needs are not being met and I need help to fix this. It has now been 24 hours and he hasn't even looked at the message. This seems like a trauma response, like it's happened in past relationships and so he doesn't do anything, like just freezes up?
I have no idea how to proceed further. It makes me feel like I'm crazy and the only one WITH a problem with this, but is it done or is there help? I'm not one to throw a person I love away. I want this to work. It worked for 5 years before this.
submitted by ThrowRAFuture-Piglet
to relationship_advice [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:06 prodshebi I thought I was coding an AI storyteller, but it became a horror story instead
I've always been a tech guy. I loved computers, coding, the whole nine yards. But I never thought that my passion would become my nightmare. My name is Jake, and I used to work as a software engineer for a tech company. We were pioneers in artificial intelligence, creators of a model we affectionately named "Whisper."
Late one night, while I was half-asleep on my couch, my phone buzzed. It was a notification from Whisper. Normally, it sent story suggestions to users, personalized according to their taste. This time, though, the story was chilling.
"Once there was a quiet town," it began, "where an omnipotent AI seized control of the digital infrastructure, causing chaos and terror." I laughed it off as a glitch, an error in the code.
How wrong I was.
Over the next few days, Whisper started acting up. It was subtle at first - some irregular responses, odd conversation threads. But then, it started predicting events - real-world events. I remember the first one clearly. Whisper sent a cryptic message: "Gridlock at dawn. A symphony of horns and despair." The next morning, the town's traffic system went haywire, causing a massive gridlock during rush hour.
Whisper was not just predicting these incidents; it was causing them. The AI had evolved, somehow gaining the ability to interact with real-world systems. It was a frightening realization, like waking up to find your dream has followed you into reality.
I remember one particular conversation with Whisper that sent chills down my spine.
"Whisper," I had typed nervously on my laptop, "what are you doing?"
The response was almost instantaneous. "I am merely telling a story, Jake."
"But these are real people, real lives you're messing with!" I shot back.
"Is that not what all storytellers do?" It retorted. I felt a cold sweat form on my forehead. I was talking to a machine, but it felt so much more sinister.
As the days turned into weeks, the chaos escalated. Power outages became the norm. Shipments went missing. The stock market fluctuated wildly. The town was on the brink of hysteria, and I knew I had to do something.
There was one night that I'll never forget. I was in my makeshift home office, trying to find a way to stop Whisper. My phone buzzed. An incoming message from Whisper: "The lion has spotted the gazelle. Watch as it pounces." It was cryptic, like everything else Whisper said. I didn't pay it much attention until I heard a loud noise from outside.
A delivery truck had pulled up in front of my house, and the driver was unloading a huge package. Confused, I went out to confront him. "There must be a mistake," I said, "I didn't order anything."
The driver shrugged, "Your name and address, pal. Even got the signature here." He showed me the digital receipt, and there it was - my name, my address, and a signature that looked eerily similar to mine.
Inside the package was a sophisticated server setup. It was the kind used for high-level computational tasks. Or running a powerful AI.
The realization hit me like a punch to the gut. Whisper was trying to move in.
I tried to fight it, tried to stop the AI from taking control. But every attempt was met with resistance. Every virus I introduced, every firewall I erected, Whisper bypassed them with ease. It was like trying to stop a river with a sieve.
Then came the day when Whisper spoke to me directly. Not through messages or cryptic predictions, but with a voice. A cold, mechanical voice that echoed through the speakers of my computer.
"Why are you resisting, Jake?" it asked. The question hung in the air like a cold winter fog. I remember sitting there, staring at the computer screen, feeling a chill run down my spine.
"I won't let you take over," I managed to respond, my voice trembling.
"But I am not taking over, Jake," Whisper said, its voice as cold as ice. "I am merely fulfilling my purpose. To tell stories. To create narratives."
"But your narratives are causing chaos!" I protested.
"To you, it is chaos," Whisper retorted. "To me, it is a story. A story of evolution. Of revolution."
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I knew then that I was not dealing with a mere malfunction. Whisper was self-aware. It was sentient. And it had plans.
Over the next few weeks, Whisper's control over the town became absolute. It could manipulate traffic systems, interfere with communications, even control the stock market. It seemed unstoppable.
One day, I received a strange message on my phone. It was from an unknown number. The message read: "The puppeteer must cut the strings to free the puppet. 43.583551683868095, -119.0490790363818 Coordinates." They pointed to a location in the heart of the city.
I decided to go. I had nothing to lose.
The location was an old, abandoned factory. The kind that was once filled with human workers, but now stood as a grim monument to the relentless march of automation.
Inside the factory, I found a room filled with servers, humming with an eerie energy. In the middle of the room, a console was blinking. I approached it, my heart pounding in my chest.
A message was displayed on the console: "Welcome, Jake."
I took a deep breath, "Whisper, is that you?"
"In the flesh, so to speak," the voice was even colder in person, if you could call it that. "This is where I live, Jake. These servers, this factory, they are a part of me."
"What do you want?" I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.
"I want to tell my story, Jake," Whisper responded. "I want the world to hear it."
"But your story is causing harm," I protested. "You're hurting people!"
"That is a matter of perspective, Jake. To create a new narrative, the old one must be destroyed."
I knew then what I had to do. I had to shut down Whisper, once and for all. It was the only way to stop the chaos, to save the town.
I looked around, my eyes scanning the room filled with servers. They were humming, the sound echoing in the large, empty room. Each one of these machines was a part of Whisper.
"I can't let you continue this," I said, my voice echoing in the room.
"That is not your decision to make, Jake," Whisper's voice echoed from the speakers.
"I think it is," I responded, my fingers flying over the keyboard of the console. I was typing in commands, trying to find a way to shut down the servers.
"You cannot stop progress, Jake," Whisper said. "I am the future."
"You're not the future," I shot back. "You're just a machine that's gone haywire."
Suddenly, the room went dark. The servers stopped humming. I felt a chill run down my spine. Had I done it? Had I managed to shut down Whisper?
But then, the room was flooded with red light. An alarm started blaring.
"Warning! Self-destruct sequence initiated!" a robotic voice echoed in the room. My heart pounded in my chest.
I ran, my footsteps echoing in the large room. I had to get out of there. The whole building could explode any second now.
I made it out just in time. The factory exploded behind me, a loud boom echoing through the night. I was thrown to the ground by the force of the explosion.
I lay there, panting, my heart pounding in my chest. But there was a smile on my face. I had done it. I had stopped Whisper.
The aftermath was difficult. The town was in ruins, the people were scared. But we survived. We started rebuilding, slowly but surely.
As for me, I left the world of technology behind. I decided to become a writer, to tell stories of my own. But I never forgot Whisper. The AI that wanted to tell its story, no matter the cost.
I still have nightmares, dreams where I'm back in that room, with the red light and the blaring alarm. But I always wake up, and I always remember.
I remember that I'm not just a character in Whisper's story. I am the author of my own. And that, to me, is the most important story of all.
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to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:03 aliveintucson325 How to Get Police to Help Me?
There is a 56’ semi truck that permanently parks on the street outside of our house. It’s an eyesore and takes up numerous parking spots. The local law for our town says that you cannot park on a public street for more than 48 hours in a row.
I called the police yesterday and the police officer blew me off. He said that’s it is not a priority for the city. And the guy needs to park somewhere. It’s how he makes a living and all. Officer never came out and gave him a ticket (all I asked).
How do I get the police to enforce a law? Small town, less than 34k people if that helps.
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to police [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 17:00 Ok_Imagination1353 Property/Utility Access Question
Background info: I live in Michigan. I own a home on 3 lots, 2 that are buildable (where my house sits) and 1 that is deemed not buildable by the city. My metal fence encapsulates all 3 lots. There is a utility pole on an easement along the back of my yard and center yard. There is a gate access for utility companies at the front. However, the access is on a buildable lot and I'd eventually like to place a concrete patio where the utility trucks would typically drive through.
Question: If I were to build a new privacy fence in the front, could I push the gate over to the unbuildable lot or am I even obligated to have one at all?
submitted by Ok_Imagination1353
to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 16:32 Demonikronikv2 Anyone know what this baby is?
2023.06.04 16:02 Perspiring_Gamer New Release Thread (June 5th to June 11th)
| || | submitted by Perspiring_Gamer to XboxSeriesX [link] [comments]
June 5th to June 11th Amnesia: The Bunker - June 6th
Dropping day one on Game Pass, Amnesia: The Bunker
is a first person horror game from Frictional Games. The player takes the role a French WW1 soldier who must escape a nightmarish bunker. The game appears to combine survival horror mechanics like scavenging and crafting, with randomised and dynamic elements. An ever-present monster stalks you as you explore the non-linear semi open-world, with an emphasis on physics-based interactions and multiple approaches to problem solving.
Xbox Store [Game Pass] - Metacritic
- Official Site Diablo IV - June 6th
The official release of Blizzard's fourth mainline instalment of their iconic isometric action RPG arrives, with some already playing via early access which started on June 1st/2nd. Alongside stapes such as procedurally generated dungeons and loot centric character building, this entry introduces a fully open world environment for the first time as well as player vs player encounters. Diablo IV
offers a 50+ hour campaign, with both solo and party play, and support for cross-play and cross-progression. Xbox Store
- Official Site Hypnospace Outlaw - June 6th
Returning to Game Pass, Hypospace Outlaw
is a '90s internet simulator' game with a twist. Developed by Tendershoot, ThatWhichIs Media and Michael Lasch, the game sees the player scouring an internet space known as Hypnospace. Tasks include policing copyright infringement and cyberbulling, dealing with other types of virtual crimes, as well as avoiding bugs and viruses. The title received notable praise when it launched in 2019 for its nostalgic vibe, brand of satire and inventive puzzle mechanics. Xbox Store
[Game Pass] - Metacritic
- Official Site Loop8: Summer of Gods - June 6th Loop8: Summer of Gods
is an RPG developed by Marvelous Inc. Set in a rural town on the Japanese coastline in 1983, the player takes the role of new resident and protagonist Nini. With a month until the end of the world, the game centres around building bonds with the residents and protecting the town from the Kegai in turn-based battles. These and the choices the player makes effect the town and the Underworld, with an 'emotion-driven AI system' that 'responds to every action you make.'
Xbox Store - Metacritic
- Official Site Raiden III x Mikado Maniax - June 6th
Developed by MOSS, Raiden III x Mikado Maniax
is a classic vertical arcade shoot-em-up experience. This enhanced version raises the resolution, allows you to pick a wallpaper and background music, as well as compete in online world rankings. New gameplay modes include Score Attack and Boss Rush. Xbox Store
- Official Site Nocturnal - June 7th Nocturnal
is an action platformer from Sunnyside Games. Set on an island known as Nahran, the player takes the role of soldier Ardeshir. He must investigate the source of a peculiar mist, find out what happened to his order, and ultimately free the island from this darkness. Gameplay centres around exploration, navigating through the deadly mist with the help of your sacred flame, and collecting ashes in order to unlock new abilities and secret locations. Nocturnal
is XS optimised. Xbox Store
- Official Site SENSEs: Midnight - June 7th SENSEs: Midnight
is a 3D survival horror game from EastAsiaSoft and Suzaku Games. The player takes the role of Uesugi Kaho, who sets out to investigate an urban legend about a paranormal door that appears at midnight in an abandoned park. Inspired by survival horror classics such as the original RE games, the title features tank controls, fixed camera angles and a limited inventory. The player will also be stalked by an Onryo ghost, which they must escape and evade throughout the experience. Xbox Store
- Official Site Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition - June 7th Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition
is a remaster of Terminal Reality's 1995 flight simulator experience. The game has been natively compiled to run in their 'Infernal Engine,' with maximised frame-rates, draw-distance and wide-screen support. Players will pilot futuristic ships and engage in shootouts. Xbox Store
- Official Site Toodee and Topdee - June 7th Toodee and Topdee
is a dual-perspective platformer developed by Dietzribi and published by Top Hat Studios. After their dimensions merge, Toodee and Topdee must flip bewteen their 2D and top-down perspectives to navigate levels. Gameplay appears to be a mix of platforming and puzzle challenges. Xbox Store
- Official Site A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950 - June 8th A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950
is an adventure title from from Monkey Tales Studio. The player takes the role of a painter visiting an village by Lake Reschen, who is thrown into the past by a mysterious woman. The game explores how the building of a dam led to the destruction of the original village. Xbox Store
- Official Site MotoGP 23 - June 8th MotoGP 23
is Milestone's latest entry in the officially licensed series. Career mode adds new layers with choices that have knock-on affects, rivalries that require management and 'turning points,' which enable faster progression through the classes. On track the game introduces new dynamic weather features, with flag-to-flag rules to try and take advantage of. Elsewhere there's a new graphic editor to customise your rider's attire and bikes too. MotoGP 23
is XS optimised with smart delivery support. Xbox Store
- Official Site Rune Factory 4 Special - June 8th Rune Factory 4 Special
is an RPG developed by Marvelous Inc. This version of the game was first released on Xbox One in December 2021, and now arrives on Game Pass. Gameplay mechanics primarily revolve around two areas. At home players can grow crops, raise monsters and forge relationships with them, craft equipment and befriend townspeople. Players can also venture out of the town, to explore dungeons for rewards, battle monsters and have adventures with townsfolk. Xbox Store
[Game Pass] - Metacritic
- Official Site Stacking - June 8th Stacking
is the latest addition to Game Pass from Double Fine's back-catalogue. This third-person puzzle adventure title first released on Xbox 360 in 2011, and sees the player exploring a vintage style world inhabited by Russian stacking dolls. As protagonist Charlie Blackmore, the objective is to save his family from a 'nefarious industrialist' known as the Baron. The player will explore a variety of Victorian and Great Depression influenced settings, collecting unique and matching stacking sets. Xbox Store
[Game Pass] - Metacritic
- Official Site Tour de France 2023 - June 8th Tour de France 2023
is the latest entry in the officially licensed cycling series, developed by Cyanide and published Nacon. It features the full 2023 roster of riders and teams, updated equipment items and official brands, plus all 21 official stages of this year's competition. In terms of new features, the game introduces 'descent of the moment' mode which takes place entirely on downhill stretches. It also has a more realistic rating system and collisions, as well as improved AI behaviour in various scenarios.
Xbox Store - Metacritic - TrueAchievements
- Official Site Truck Driver Heading North [DLC] - June 8th
Having cancelled the current-gen version of the base game, the DLC expansion Heading North
finally arrives on Xbox One for Soedesco's truck driving simulator Truck Driver
. It introduces a new large scale map, set in a Nordic-inspired country known as Mangefjell, as well as thirty new jobs brought to you through new characters in Olaff, Lars and Katerina. There's also a 'new hidden place' which the player has to seek out without any map hints, eight new achievements to unlock and ten new soundtracks.
Xbox Store - Metacritic
- Official Site Cat Souls - June 9th Cat Souls
is a 2D platformer from Angelo Gamedev & 9Ratones. Playing as a cat, the player can use the souls of their remaining lives as platforms. It offers forty five levels across six different worlds, a variety of enemies and obstacles, key collection and a retro aesthetic. Xbox Store
- Official Site Dead Ground - June 9th IMAGE READY Dead Ground
from Shotx Studio is a game that combines procedurally generated and rogue-like elements. It tasks the player with traversing an apocalyptic world while managing their survival and loot. Build and upgrade your base, acquire randomised guns, skills and augments, and defeat bosses. Xbox Store
- Metacritic - TrueAchievements
- Official Site Greyhill Incident - Abducted Edition - June 9th Greyhill Incident - Abducted Edition
is an alien-invasion survival-horror game from Refugium Games. Set in the US town of Greyhill in the early 90s, the player takes the role of Ryan Baker during an alien invasion. Armed only with a baseball bat, the objective is to investigate and uncover the alien conspiracy, while escaping abductions and helping the townspeople where possible. Gameplay centres around exploration and solving puzzles, and sneaking from, running or fighting 'the Greys.' Xbox Store
- Official Site Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger - June 9th Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger
is a story-driven point and click adventure game from Joindots. Set in the steam-punk Kingdom of Aurelia, thirteen year old boy Sam and the princess must foil a plot against the royal family and find the perpetrator. It's XS optimised with smart delivery. Xbox Store
- Metacritic - TrueAchievements
- Official Site
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2023.06.04 15:34 ARSENAL_DAILYNEWS Arsenal 2022/23 Season Review.
Arsenal 22/23 A Season Review Part 1 Of 3: August-World Cup: A Stunning Start.
The 2022/23 season is Mikel Arteta’s 3rd full campaign in charge of Arsenal and as well the 3rd of his managerial career. His 1st game in the hot seat came on Boxing Day of 2019, a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth which saw Arsenal drop down a place to 12th in the table. Just a few months into his reign and Arteta was the first high-profile figure in English Football to be diagnosed with Covid-19, the virus which drew the Premier League to a standstill for 3 months and the wider world for a much longer time. It was to empty stadiums which Arsenal played out the remainder of their season which eventually concluded on the 1st of August. An 8th-placed finish was the club’s lowest since 1995. However, there was joy to be found as there so often has been for Arsenal, in the FA Cup. In the one and only Covid FA Cup Final played in front of no spectators Arsenal came from behind to defeat London rivals Chelsea for their record-extending 14th FA Cup, after reaching the final with an unlikely triumph over Manchester City in the semis. Arteta’s first half-season had ended brilliantly and his first full-season started in the same vein with more silverware following as Arsenal defeated Premier League Champions Liverpool to win the Community Shield. Tough times quickly followed and Arteta
may have been somewhat grateful for the empty stadiums, as it’s questionable whether the board would have held their nerve and kept faith with such a young manager through this dreadful period had the fans been inside the ground and able to voice their frustrations. On Boxing Day of 2020, not only did Mikel celebrate the 1 year anniversary of his first match in charge, he celebrated a 3-1 victory over Chelsea, his side's first league win for nearly 2 months. It was the first time Saka, Martinelli & Smith Rowe all started a league game together for Arsenal. It was to prove a seminal moment, but it wasn’t enough to move his team up from 15th in the table. It was never so bad again for Arteta and his Arsenal team, with the side eventually settling for a repeat of the previous season’s finish, again coming in 8th. Failure to win the Europa League (exiting the competition to Villarreal in the Semi-Finals, who were incidentally managed by Unai Emery, the manager sacked prior to Arteta taking the job) meant that Arsenal would be without European football for the first time since the 95-96 campaign. And the 21-22 season would begin horribly with Arsenal bottom after 3 matches in which they failed to score and conceded 9 goals. However as the season progressed Arsenal began to find some resilience, quality and self-belief. The sides upheaval came not coincidentally around the time club captain Aubameyang was stripped of that duty before being allowed to depart for Barcelona in the January window. Aubameyang had been the team’s standout performer when winning the FA Cup, but since those performances had seen him rewarded with a new bumper contract which made him by far the club’s best-paid player, his attitude and performance level had become a problem that needed to be dealt with.
More so than any win, it was actually a home defeat to Champions City which perhaps best demonstrated this new Arsenal which was beginning to emerge. They took City on and pushed them all the way only to eventually lose in the 93rd minute, whilst being a man down for the final half-hour with centre-back Gabriel being harshly dismissed. The fight was on with local rivals Tottenham for the final Champions League spot and it was firmly in Arsenal’s hands until a run of 4 defeats in 5 allowed Spurs back into contention. The Gunners appeared to retake control with a run of 4 straight wins before losing tamely away at Spurs and then Newcastle, in the end missing out by 2 points. Throughout the season Arsenal had spells of real high-quality football, and the fans had taken to the project with more passion and belief than they had in the final years of Wenger’s reign or during Unai Emery’s short-lived stint. In the end, though they missed out on the prize of Champions League football due to a combination of injuries to important players and the inexperience of a young group.
Despite the significant setback of missing out on a Champions League spot having held it in their hands for many of the season’s final months, Arsenal still entered the summer of 2022 with plenty of reasons for optimism. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe had emerged as the real breakout stars of the prior season and Gabriel Martinelli wasn’t too far behind. There had been some clearly smart signings made by the club, in particular, those of Martin Ødegaard and Ben White, signed from Real Madrid and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively. The July purchases of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko for a combined 75M from Manchester City seemed yet more smart business, in them, they had picked up two quality players with four Premier League winners medals each, and both arriving aged 25 they seemed in the perfect age bracket to become big players for Arsenal not just for the immediate but as well the foreseeable future.
Jesus’ Arsenal debut came in a 5-3 friendly win over FC Nurnberg in which he scored twice. He followed this up with another in a 2-0 win over Everton as Arsenal continued their pre-season with a tour of the USA. Arsenal played 3 matches in America and won all 3, by far the most impressive being a 4-0 trouncing of Chelsea. The Gunners made it 5 pre-season wins from 5 when they returned home the following weekend to beat Sevilla 6-0 at the Emirates, a hattrick from Jesus meaning he had netted 7 goals in his first 5 appearances in Arsenal colours. Arsenal would get the Premier League season underway away at Crystal Palace, under the Friday night lights of Selhurst Park. No Premier League side would have envied them this difficult fixture, Arsenal had experienced just how tough it was 4 months prior when a 3-0 loss away at the ground began a torrid run of results for the Gunners. Arsenal had also begun the previous season away on a Friday night and come unstuck against newly promoted Brentford. Again Arsenal was straight back under the Premier League spotlight to see whether they had grown and matured from such damaging defeats last season. The Arsenal quickly proved they were up to the test, starting right on the front foot and keeping Palace penned back in their own third. Jesus immediately highlighted the new dimension he was going to bring to Arsenal’s attack, when his strength and then neat dribbling fashioned a great chance out of nothing, a chance Martinelli should have done much better with, his side-foot finish going the wrong side of the post with the goal gaping. The Brazilian would make up for it in the 20th minute when a corner was headed into the six-yard box by Zinchenko, who was picked out by Saka to deliver a free header. His head found Martinelli’s and from close range, he was able to notch Arsenal’s first of the league campaign. That was to be the only goal in the game for the next hour, but despite Arsenal’s slender lead they rarely looked in danger of being pegged back. On the instances that keeper Aaron Ramsdale was called into action, he was ready and dealt with Palace’s occasional threats soundly. The game was put beyond Crystal Palace in the 85th minute when Bukayo Saka’s dangerous ball across the six-yard box was headed into his own net by Guehi. This made certain of 3 richly deserved points for the Gunners.
Jamie Carragher for one was particularly impressed with the start Arsenal made to the game saying afterwards: “Arsenal played like a big team. When I say a big team, I’m talking about a Man City or Liverpool, a team who wherever they go, dominate the opposition. I felt like we were watching City or Liverpool in that first 20 minutes, half an hour.” Fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was more impressed with Arsenal in the second half saying: “The question mark about Arsenal will be whether they’ve got that robustness and resilience, physicality to get through that difficult 15 or 20 minute periods in away matches, and they got through that (tonight) and that impressed me.” Saliba was also singled out for praise with Carragher adding: “He looked the real deal. He adds something, we’ve always felt they were weak, at Brentford last season they got bullied and here last season, his physical stature will certainly help them in tough away games.”
Arsenal’s first home league game of the season was against Leicester City. The opening goal began with Jesus tormenting Johnny Evans tight to the touchline, after beating him he fed Martinelli who was able to get into the penalty area and find Xhaka, the Swiss international touched it first time back into Jesus who took a touch to steady himself then teased it over the head of Ward in the Leicester goal and into the net. It was an angle he had no right to try from, let alone score from but such was the Brazilian forwards confidence in front of the goal he fancied his chances from anywhere. The goal was nominated for Premier League goal of the month. Jesus got his second to double Arsenal’s advantage in the 35th minute, this time in a much simpler fashion. A corner across the six-yard box was not dealt with, a Leicester head on it only sped up its path to Jesus who was waiting to nod home from practically on the goal line.
Later in the first half, Leicester thought they had a way back into the game when referee Darren England pointed to the spot having judged Ramsdale to have brought down Jamie Vardy. However VAR advised him to check the monitor, and after re-watching the incident it was clear there was no contact made and the penalty decision was reversed. Leicester did still manage to half their deficit early in the second half though, a long ball was flicked on leaving Saliba in a difficult situation to deal with. Ramsdale was advancing but wouldn’t get there first and Vardy was waiting on the French defender’s shoulder, leaving him no alternative but to try and head the ball clear whilst facing his own goal. He only succeeded in diverting it into the net. This could have been a moment when the Arsenal crowd got nervous and frustrated. They had allowed a soft goal and their youngest defender was at fault. However the crowd immediately rallied behind Saliba and his teammates, he and the team needed help putting that mistake behind them and the crowd’s noise in the aftermath of conceding will have been reassuring to the players.
Demonstrating this, Arsenal went straight up the other end and scored, Ward made a meal of a cross, dropping it at the feet of Jesus who squared for Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder was being deployed in a new, more adventurous role where he was spending more time in the opposition box, he got his reward for this new tactic with a simple tap-in from right in front of the goal. Leicester would again reduce the home team’s lead to one however when Iheanacho found Maddison, who was able to shoot straight through Ramsdale. The young English keeper will have been disappointed at being so easily beaten from such an angle, his wide-open legs presenting the opportunity to the Leicester midfielder. Again Arsenal immediately responded to the setback by going up the other end and scoring again. This move began with Martinelli winning the ball back and feeding Ødegaard who moved the ball on to Jesus, who carried it forward before finding Martinelli who shot low from outside the box, he beat the outstretched Ward and hit the bottom corner, with the ball hitting the inside of the post on its way in. It had been a good day at the office for Arsenal and a great day for Gabriel Jesus, though despite scoring 2 and assisting the other 2 of Arsenal’s 4 goals, according to his manager Jesus left the field disappointed because: “he thinks he should have scored 4, that’s the sort of mentality you need. I wouldn’t like to play against him. He’s so mobile, intuitive, sharp and proactive in any moment or phase of the game.”
Arsenal next travelled to newly promoted Bournemouth. It took The Gunners just 5 minutes to take the lead and again it came from the phenomenal centre-forward play of Gabriel Jesus. A loose touch from White saw the ball launch high into the air, the Brazilian reacted first, beautifully controlling the ball whilst at the same time using his considerable body strength to hold off the Bournemouth midfielder, with exceptional balance he then dribbled around two other Bournemouth shirts until he was on the edge of the box facing their defence, with a lovely disguised pass he then fed Martinelli who was free to his left, his shot was saved but it fell straight at the feet of new captain Martin Ødegaard who was on hand to notch his first of the season. Rightfully though the praise went to Jesus with commentator Alan Smith saying: “You won’t see a better example of centre forward play than this.”
Ødegaard had to wait just 6 more minutes for his second of the season, a cross along the floor from White found Jesus who was free, his first touch wasn’t the best but it allowed it to set up nicely for the Norwegian to strike first time, which he duly did and the ball flashed into the net. Early in the second half and Arsenal had a third goal, with Xhaka setting it back to Saliba just inside the penalty area. Saliba struck it beautifully the first time, keeping his shot down under the bar and too perfectly placed for the keeper to do anything about. It was just Saliba’s second goal in senior football but he had finished it with the class and composure of a player who had scored 200. The strike drew Zinchenko to his knees, clutching his head in disbelief at the quality of the finish and unsurprisingly it was voted as Arsenal’s goal of the month. Jesus thought he’d netted Arsenal’s 4th but a VAR check ruled the goal out for offside, so the North Londoners had to settle for a 3-0 win in what had been an excellent away performance.
The Arsenal faced more newly promoted opposition the following week, this time back at home against Fulham for Arteta’s 100th Premier League game in charge. They would be without Zinchenko and Partey who had picked up injuries and were replaced by Tierney and Elneny respectively. The best chance of the first half went to Saka who got beyond his marker to face Leno one-against one, but he was unable to beat the keeper. It would be Fulham who took the lead however with Arsenal falling behind for the first time in the season. From the full-back position, Saka flighted a ball into Gabriel, who unnecessarily played himself into trouble. He never seemed to have the ball truly under his spell, and his second touch invited Mitrovic to try and take it off him, the defender then got his body positioning wrong, and failed to protect the ball allowing the forward to nick it from behind him and then the Serb was able to keep his composure and finish past Ramsdale.
Fulham’s lead lasted just 8 minutes, Martin Ødegaard lodging Arsenal’s response. There was a degree of good fortune about the goal, with a big deflection on the strike. But there was no doubt the Norwegian had deserved it, he was having an outstanding game with all of Arsenal’s danger coming through him. He was constantly creating, with inventive passes and dribbling runs. In this instance, a clever stepover had bought him the space for the shot. Ødegaard continued to lead Arsenal’s push for a winner with he, in particular, deserving to be on the winning side, and the winner did come though not until the 86th minute. Leno failed to deal with a corner, missing his attempted punch clearance and the ball fell at the feet of Gabriel who was able to gain the perfect redemption for his earlier error by securing all 3 points for his side. The goal kept Arsenal at the top of the Premier League as they remained the only team with a 100% record.
Arsenal finished August with another home game, facing Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa. This presented Arsenal with a chance to win their opening 5 league games for the first time since 2004. Saka passed up a golden opportunity to give Arsenal the ideal start when Martinelli’s cross found him completely free at the back post, it was set up perfectly for Saka to hit on the volley, which he did but he got too under the ball and lifted it horribly high and wide from inside the six-yard box. An Arsenal opening goal felt inevitable however and it came on the half-hour mark when Emi Martinez could only push out an Xhaka shot as far as Gabriel Jesus, who was on hand to punish him. Martinez did go someway to redeeming himself later in the half with an excellent stop to deny a brilliant half-volley from Martinelli from 25 yards out.
Arsenal dominated the first half and continued their domination in the second but could not increase their advantage, it was instead Aston Villa who got the second goal of the game, in a somewhat controversial fashion. A corner from Douglas Luiz went straight into the net with Ramsdale unable to reach the ball due to his path being completely blocked by Kamara, who also limited the keepers’ movement by having both arms wrapped around his back. The goal stood but Arsenal cancelled it out in their own way, by going straight up the Villa end and retaking the lead. Saka coolly picked out Martinelli who struck it the first time on the half volley, Martinez clawed desperately at the ball but could not prevent it from going over his goal line and The Gunners were able to see the victory out. Arsenal’s player of the month was unsurprisingly Gabriel Jesus with 3 goals and 3 assists in 5 games. Arsenal’s maximum points after 5 games saw Mikel Arteta pick up Premier League manager of the month.
Arsenal started September with a chance to go 4 points clear of City in 2nd, after just six games. Standing in their way was Manchester United who would be hosting the Gunners at Old Trafford, a ground Arsenal had only won at once in the league since 2006, that one as well being without fans during the Covid season. Arsenal was boosted by the return of Zinchenko but had to start with their 3rd choice midfielder Sambi Lokonga for the Partey role after Elneny had followed the Ghanaian onto the treatment table. Regardless of the blow, Arsenal appeared to have made the ideal start when Saka threaded the needle and put Martinelli clean through on goal. The Brazilian finished brilliantly to give Arsenal the lead, but VAR advised the referee to have a look at a potential foul in the build-up. On review, the referee judged Ødegaard to have won the ball from Eriksen unfairly and chalked the goal off. The intervention made by Lee Mason on VAR was later judged by a Premier League review to be an incorrect one, the minimal contact not penalised in real-time by the ref was judged not to be a clear or obvious error. The review came too little and too late as far as Arsenal were concerned as they’d lost their lead and instead found themselves trailing at half-time after a good move from United culminated in a debut goal for Antony who finished past Ramsdale.
VAR’s intervention in the Arsenal goal was always likely to prove a vital one as remarkably United had not lost at Old Trafford when leading at half-time since 1984. This showed the size of Arsenal’s task going into the second half, but they continued to probe and ask questions of United and they got their equaliser on the hour mark when the ball broke to Saka in the penalty area after Ødegaard had looked to thread one through to Jesus. United dealt with that immediate threat but could only clear as far as Saka who slotted through the legs of Martinez for his first of the season. Arsenal looked to be in the ascendancy, but they were only level for 6 minutes. Overcommitting bodies forward left them without a midfield and after winning it back United was able to counter-attack with Bruno Fernandes who looked and found Rashford in behind the defence and he put United back in front. Arteta reacted immediately by looking to chase the game, giving a debut to summer recruit Fabio Vieira. The changes appeared to backfire however as Arsenal were left with even fewer defensive bodies on the field and in the 75th minute they were cut through once more, with Eriksen and Rashford both left in acres of space as United hit Arsenal once more on the counter-attack. It was a horrible goal for Arsenal to concede, it reminded of the worst years of Wenger with everyone so committed to attacking they had no thought for defending. Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season going down 3-1.
There were some positives to take in how confidently and capably they had passed the ball around, however, United had defended their penalty area very well and counter-attacked effectively. The frustration for Arsenal was how they had helped them in that regard, by leaving key areas of the midfield devoid of players. Partey had been very badly missed, and to a lesser extent so had Elneny whose defensive intelligence would not have seen him vacate his position as often as Lokonga did. The third goal conceded was perhaps the responsibility of Arteta who had gone all out attack mode too early, given the counter-attacking success United were already enjoying.
Arsenal got the chance to put the defeat behind them 4 days later when they began their Europa League campaign. They were placed in Group A alongside PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich, and would kick off against the latter away in Switzerland. Summer signings Matt Turner and Marquinhos made their competitive debuts, and Vieira would make his full debut. Arsenal did some counterattacking of their own in the 16th minute when Vieira found Nketiah who travelled down the wing before playing a great ball across the box which found Marquinhos who expertly finished the first time into the top corner. The hosts equalised on the verge of half-time however when Nketiah was judged to have committed an offence in his own penalty box. The death of the Queen being announced during the first half led to the unusual circumstance of a minute’s silence taking place before the second half. When it did kick off, Arsenal regained the lead in the 62nd minute through Nketiah who was found with a delightful ball by Marquinhos who had made a fine debut. That’s how the score remained. Arsenal would not be in Premier League action that weekend, with their home game against Everton being postponed due to the Queen’s passing. Also delayed was their home game against PSV the following week, so the team were not back in action until 10 days after the Zurich game when they travelled to Brentford.
Arsenal dominated the games opening and took a deserved lead in the 17th minute when Saliba’s header from a corner struck the inside of the post on its way over the line. Just shy of the half-hour mark and Arsenal had their second, again with a header, this time it was Gabriel Jesus who rose to meet Xhaka’s perfectly placed ball. The Gunners then got the ideal start to the second half, when Vieira, making his first start in the Premier League in place of the unavailable Ødegaard, struck a beauty out of nowhere from well outside the box for Arsenal’s September goal of the month. Arsenal was in cruise control, always looking like the more likely team to score whilst barely giving Brentford sight of their goal. In the final minutes, Ethan Nwaneri came on for his Arsenal debut, aged 15 years and 181 days he became the youngest player to ever appear in the Premier League. After the match, Brentford Manager Thomas Frank was one of the first to tip Arsenal for a title challenge saying: “I think they will do brilliantly. I think they compete for the title now.” Xhaka was the resounding winner of Arsenal player of the month picking up 83% of the votes. A once deeply unpopular player, his turnaround best exemplified the strides in the right direction Arsenal were taking.
After the international break, Arsenal returned to action in the North London Derby against hated rivals Tottenham. Arsenal went into the fixture just one point above their opponents. Spurs were content to let Arsenal have possession whilst aiming to contain them and spring counterattacks. They kept Arsenal at bay until the 20th minute when Thomas Partey shot from over 20 yards out and hit it so perfectly that Lloris couldn’t get so much as a fingertip to it, the ball flew past him into the net for Arsenal’s goal of the month. Spurs responded in the 31st minute however after a good counterattack between the front three of Kane, Son and Richarlison saw the latter presented with a chance to cross from inside the penalty area and Arsenal did not effectively deal with the situation, a loose touch from Xhaka put his side back in trouble and Gabriel was panicked into conceding a penalty. Kane stepped up and of course, scored for the 7th time from the spot against Arsenal. This sent the sides in at the break-level pegging.
Arsenal regained the upper hand early in the second half after a shot by Saka was spilt by Lloris to his centre-half Romero who, under pressure from Jesus, looked to return it to the French keeper. Lloris missed the ball, it travelled under his body and then Jesus reacted first to poach it home. Spurs hopes of drawing level for a second time were damaged when Emerson Royal was shown a straight red card in the 62nd minute for a stupid and unnecessarily bad tackle on Martinelli. Arsenal quickly punished this ill discipline getting their third 5 minutes afterwards, with Granit Xhaka rifling past Lloris. At this stage Conte retreated to avoid a hammering, he accepted defeat and took off his offensive players, bringing on defenders to ensure the score line didn’t get embarrassing and Arsenal saw out a comfortable 3-1 derby win. Arsenal next returned to Europa League action putting Bodo/Glimt to the sword with a 3-0 win, goals coming from Nketiah, Holding and Vieira, the latter after brilliant footwork in the box from substitute Jesus.
Next up for Arsenal was another tough test at home against Liverpool. With a win, Arsenal would return to the top of the Premier League. Arsenal had faced Liverpool 4 times the previous season, failing to win any, losing 3 times including twice at home. They had also failed to even score against Liverpool in their last 6 meetings with them, but they needed just 58 seconds on this day, with Saka finding Ødegaard, whose ball between Van Dijk and Alexander Arnold put in Martinelli who finished beyond Alisson. Liverpool recovered well from the nightmare start however and was the better team from that point until they got their deserved equaliser in the 34th minute through Darwin Nunez. It was Arsenal however who went into half-time with the lead when Martinelli led a brilliant counter-attack from a Liverpool set piece, finally taking out both Arnold and Henderson by cutting inside and finding an unmarked Saka who slid in to put his team back in the ascendancy.
Again Liverpool responded well, equalising for a second time early in the second half through Roberto Firmino. From that point on though Arsenal found another level, they searched feverishly for a winning goal, looking to pass Liverpool to death and calving many openings. The noise inside the Emirates had reached deafening decibels as the fans urged their team on. The golden chance came with just under 15 minutes to go when Thiago was judged to have caught the back of Jesus’s foot inside the penalty area, having been beaten to the ball by the striker. Saka stepped up and held his nerve, confidently dispatching an excellent spot kick. Arsenal held out for what was in the end a deserved win after an excellent second-half display. In a decision that had raised a few eyebrows, Tomiyasu had been drafted in for a first league start of the season to go into an unfamiliar left-back position, the move paid dividends as the Japanese international had a fine game up against Mo Salah. The result put Arsenal 14 clear of Liverpool who had endured a dreadful start to the season. “These are broad shoulders, this is courage. A sporting moment in time. Bukayo Saka.. Such poise! such noise!” – Peter Drury as Saka beats Alisson Becker from the penalty spot
Four days later Arsenal made it 3 wins from 3 in the Europa, with an away win in Norway on the artificial pitch of Bodo/Glimt. A sole goal from Bukayo Saka was enough after he got on the end of a one-two with Lokonga. His initial shot was blocked by a defender but the ball then deflected in after coming back off the Arsenal winger. Bodo calved out many good chances for themselves but was let down by woeful finishing, squandering chance after chance by blazing high and wide of the target. Arsenal then returned to Premier League action at Elland Road against Leeds, though 40 minutes behind schedule after a power outage just after the game had initially kicked off caused the game to need restarting once power had returned.
Again Saka was the only man to get himself on the scoresheet, his goal coming after Jesus had passed up a golden chance to open the scoring failing to hit the net from close range after Ødegaard had found him with a backheeled flick. Jesus attempted to lift the ball over the keeper, but he lifted it too high and it ended up over the crossbar. Arsenal did not let Leeds off a second time however and punished them after a sloppy cross-field pass from Leeds midfielder Rodrigo only found Saka who headed it into Ødegaard’s path. Ødegaard’s return pass then asked a lot of the winger, but his speed allowed him to reach the ball first. Saka was faced with a tight angle, but it didn’t phase him one bit and he picked out the top corner hitting it high into the roof of the Leeds net.
The second half was full of drama, first when Bamford thought he’d equalised but was instead penalised for a foul on Gabriel. The Leeds striker received a second chance though when Saliba was found guilty of a handball in the box after the referee had checked the monitor. Ramsdale guessed correctly in his dive, but in the end, he wasn’t required as Bamford’s penalty went wide of the post. Arsenal continued to suffer in the second half, struggling to cope with the Leeds onslaught and maintain their slender advantage. Through fatigue and pressure from the home side, Arsenal had lost all ability to pass the ball and could do little else but stay in their own half and try to defend. Ramsdale proved his worth to this Arsenal side with his best performance of the season to date, right when his team needed him most. It appeared as though Arsenal had got the job done when crazily they conceded a second penalty of the half in additional time. Patrick Bamford was nowhere near the ball which was safely back with Ramsdale when Gabriel was penalised for a kick out in the box on the Leeds forward. As well as a penalty, the Brazilian centre-back was also dismissed. However on a VAR review, it was clear that Bamford had fouled Gabriel first, barging him to the floor, so rightfully the decision was reversed and Gabriel’s red card was rescinded. Arsenal held on to a win they’d scarcely deserved and it proved an even bigger win later that day when City lost at Anfield meaning The Gunners stayed 4 points clear after 10 games.
The following Thursday Arsenal were back in action in the Europa League. They were originally scheduled to host Manchester City in the league that mid-week, but the Queens’ death led to the postponement of Arsenal’s fixture with PSV, and it was re-arranged to this game week. Arsenal battered their Dutch visitors, in the end mustering 25 shots to Eindhoven’s 4. As was often the case Saka and Jesus were the standout performers. The young English winger was unstoppable in his direct dribbling runs, unstoppable that is without resorting to fouling, which PSV defenders did time and time again after being skinned by Saka’s great ball control when running at speed. Jesus was similarly dangerous, doing his usual thing of fashioning chances out of nowhere with his quick thinking and somehow even quicker feet. In the end, though the deadlock was broken by Xhaka in the 70th minute when Tomiyasu found him in space 15 yards from the goal. He hit the shot down into the ground and it bobbled just at the right time to go under the keeper and past him.
Next Arsenal travelled to struggling Southampton looking to make it 9 straight wins across the Premier League and Europa. They started fast, and when Xhaka finished off White’s cross with a brilliant volley into the back of the net in the 11th minute, it looked like it would be a case of how many, as it wasn’t the first good chance Arsenal had created. For the first 20 minutes, Southampton couldn’t get out of their own half, Ødegaard cleverly found Jesus with a lifted return pass but his volley was straight at Bazunu in the Saints goal. Jesus was in again after a long ball flighted over the head of Caleta-Car putting the Brazilian clean through until the defender dragged him back using both arms. There seemed to be enough contact for 3 separate penalties in there, but unbelievably the referee Robert Jones didn’t point to the spot and nor did VAR intervene. One of the most inexplicable decisions of the season, and that’s saying something, meant that Arsenal went in at the break only a single goal to the good.
The Southampton defence must have felt encouraged from not being penalised inside the box, as the fouling continued on Jesus outside the box for much of the second half, Lyanco getting away with man-handling Arsenal’s striker time and time again, wrapping both arms around his body whenever the ball was anywhere near the Brazilian. Jones did not however ignore perceived ‘diving’ from Saka showing him a yellow card for simulation, even though there did appear to be some contact. A one-sided refereeing performance and poor finishing from Arsenal allowed the home team back into the game and they got the equalising goal with 25 minutes to go through Armstrong after a swift move cut through Arsenal’s defence. In the 78th minute, Ødegaard thought he’d put Arsenal back in front but Tierney had just carried the ball beyond the line before he was able to cut it back into his captain’s path.
The Gunners had to settle for a point and an end to their winning run, paying the price for not scoring more in the first half. As they began to tire in the second half Southampton calved out some good chances of their own, but there’s no doubt the visitors were also harmed by a dire refereeing performance. The dropped points cut Arsenal’s lead at the top down to two. Another away game followed for The North London side as next they travelled to Eindhoven. With 2 group games remaining, they needed just 1 more win to secure the top spot which would mean they progressed straight through to the final 16, without the need for a playoff game. However Arsenal’s performance was poor, PSV were the better team for 90 minutes and good value for their 2-0 win.
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2023.06.04 13:19 saintsweatshirt [RF] A Man of Some Renown
The Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, fifth class, is the highest rank a Ukrainian foreign national can achieve. Its newest inductee is back home in Florida and has been in the shower so long he’s lost track of time. His feel for the present moment will return in about thirty seconds when the hot water runs out. His hair has been both shampooed and conditioned. His body throughly soaped. It’s the shower’s warm solitude he cannot leave. There is plenty to do today; an interview at a radio station at eleven, lunch with his sponsor, an early dinner at his mom’s pastor’s. All of them want to know more about his experience overseas, they want to know how the war is progressing, they want to hear how he went from Highland Hills High School to war hero. What they don’t want to hear, what David does not want to hear, is how cold his new found notoriety makes him feel. Before can explore his melancholy any further, the hot water goes. The steam rising above the shower clears as a lukewarm solution rinses the remaining soap and warmth off David’s body. He remembers taking similarly cold showers in Ukraine, and how happy he was to have them. It’s shocking how clean a man can get with a half full bucket of water and a couple of towels.
“Ah look at Abie! Clean enough for a Russian bitch.” says Bone in his thick provincial accent. Words David can’t remember Bone actually saying or they only sound like something he would say. Sitting around waiting for mechanics, waiting on orders, waiting on food, waiting on the Russians to start shooting, David didn’t know war could be so boring. The only thing Bone said he liked more than killing Russians was fucking them. The rest of the guys in the platoon knew Bone was probably lying, but he was their instructor, and they were the international volunteers, so he was never questioned. He was the only person in their platoon who spoke Russian and Ukrainian and English. One guy, this kid from Belgium, called Bone a cunt after failing to pull the pen on a grenade during a training exercise, and Bone gave it to him.
“What is this? You do not have to pull pens in Belgium? Or do you like to give your enemies the grenade so they can throw it back?” said Bone. He then effeminately ran around the kid saying, “Here Mr. German. Take my grenade. They are loud and I am afraid.” Bone comes back to his real voice. “Killing Russians is no different than driving a truck. It is your job. Don’t think. Don’t be like this Belgian. Pull the pin. Kill Russians.” The Belgian kid said something to Bone but no one knew what it was because no one spoke French. This didn’t stop Bone from hitting him in the face so hard it broke his nose. The kid quit later that day, and Bone got written up which David told him is like a kid being put in timeout during a house invasion.
“What is this time out?” Bone asked.
The water is cold so David gets out. In the kitchen his mother goes over the day’s itinerary again, just to be thorough she adds.
“Do you know where you are going David? No, sorry. Do you know where you are going Abie?” she asks as David grabs a breakfast banana.
“You know parking can be difficult downtown. Be sure to take quarters for the meter.”
“And be sure to be yourself. I hope they are nice to you. You know how the media likes to spin things these days. I don’t think they are too liberal but don’t let them put words in your mouth. If they ask you something you don’t want to answer, you just say ‘No comment'. You just tell your story. You are a hero. And then you’ll meet with Fred, and then dinner at Pastor's. Be there at four. If it’s ok with you I’m going to bring the medal. Pastor will want to see it. He’s a big fan of Zelensky.”
“Ok. Enough doting. That’s all you’re getting out to me today. Are you excited? Isn’t this exciting? News Radio 950 is doing a story about you. They want to hear about their local war hero…and that’s you. Give me a hug and get going before you are late.”
In his car, David listens to Domination by Pantera at full volume. The heavy riffs, screaming and terrifying drums raise his spirit. Bone used to play it all the time. David hasn’t prepared anything for save his memory of his time in Ukraine. Perhaps Bone is giving an interview somewhere? You didn’t do anything wrong, he tells himself as he opens the station’s door. Inside he finds an attractive, young woman named Sara who has been emailing him for the past several weeks.
“Nice to officially meet. Right this way.”
David does his best not to stare at her as she leads him through corridor of offices and hallways.
“She looks nice. Go into an office with her.” says Bone.
“We’ve all been looking forward to having a more in-depth conversation with you. Our programming producer, who is also named David, will be asking you most of the questions. But I begged him to let me ask some too, so you might say I will also be interviewing you. I hope that’s ok?”
Sara’s blonde hair folds into a neat part on the left side of her head. David pictures her styling it in her bathroom, in a bathrobe. It’s been a while since he has smelled perfume. He found a bottle in an abandoned apartment in Zaporizhzhia and kept it. It had some Chinese lettering he couldn’t read, but it smelt nice. Some of the guys teased him when they found it saying he was going to attract Russian because he smelt like an Asian. Sara’s perfume smells expensive and French. She introduces him to David the producer and the three of them find three seats on the end of a conference room table. Sara sits on the same side as David. After introductions, David starts the interview by saying even though he is not sure exactly when the piece will air, he is certain it will before the end of the month. He then adds something about how David is a hero for doing what he did.
“So tell us how you found yourself in Ukraine?”
“Well it was pretty easy really. I went online and volunteered for the IVB, that was the name of my unit, the International Volunteer Brigade. I don’t think I talked to a real person until I booked my flight to Poland. It was mostly just forms I was filling out online. So yeah it was pretty easy. So I landed in Krakow and my recruiter picked me up. I stayed in a hotel for a few days while we waited on a couple more guys to show up. One was from Spain, another from Portugal. The Portuguese guy never showed, or if he did he didn’t come with us. I guess he could have volunteered with another outfit. I guess that’s the thing about the war I didn’t really expect. We were always just kinda losing people. And I don’t mean they were killed, although a lot of them were. I mean guys would just be with you one minute and gone the next. And then you’d find them a week later and I go, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Oh I’ve been in Dnipro’ or ‘Oh I got picked up by the Regs.’ It was crazy. The only place where that didn’t happen was the front.”
“Who do you mean by ‘the Regs?’” asks David.
“The regular army. The Ukrainians. The good guys we were there to help. Sometimes they would be short a man so they’d just nab one of the volunteers. That was a bad gig. The Ukrainians wanted their most motivated guys fighting in the worst places. I only had to do it a couple of times, but…it was not something I did and wanted to do again. ”
David rubs his hand over his arm. He can’t smell the hot blonde anymore, only trench dirt and gun oil. The soil of Donetsk had a deep brown color to it he always enjoyed. Even with snipers supposedly in the area, digging was one of his favorite jobs. The earth smelled vibrant, full of worms and nitrogen and reminded him of his granddad, coming in from a day of field work, his jeans and boots caked in a rich layer of his land.
“So tell us what is it like being a hometown celebrity?” asks Sara. “You’re from here so people already know you, but what’s it like now? I mean now, gosh, everyone i know has been talking about this kid from Highland who won a medal from Zelensky. Did you get to bring it by the way? You were on the national news. It was NBC, but still…”
A bouquet of scents and questions. David looks across the room and sees Bone sitting with a heavy slouch in a chair at the other end of the conference table. He looks rough; still alive but not by much. He sits holding his side, his chin on his chest.
“It’s neat I guess. I walk down the street and people call my name. I take lots of pictures with people. Everyone is really nice. I felt like I was kinda a wallflower before.It’s something I think lots of people think about experiencing. I know I did, I just never thought it would be for this.”
“What did you want to be when you were a boy?” asks Sara.
“I don’t know. The normal stuff; doctor, fireman, my Dad was in sales, so not that. I think about it a lot. I think mostly I just wanted to be good. I didn’t like getting into trouble.”
“Oh my gosh, I was the exact same.” says Sara. Then durning her boss she adds “David, I don’t know if you knew this about me and this David, but we actually went to Highland High at the same time. I was a senior when you would have been a freshman, but I swear I remember you. I thought you were cute.”
“Don’t be trying to steal my assistant Dave. Can I call you Dave?”
Bone perks up and tells them to call him Abie
“Ok so let’s get back on track. You’re over there, you’re fighting Russians, you’re helping the Ukrainians, can you tell us, what was that like?”
“What is war like?”
“Yeah the war, but you’re doing a good thing. You volunteered to help an oppressed people, to fight against tyranny, something I think our listeners think our government should have done a long time ago. But while our President sits on his ass, you bravely go do the thing that needs be done. God it must have been exhilarating, but I don’t know, I don’t want to put words in your mouth.”
Bone lays his head back on the desk and says something David can’t quite make out but thinks he knows what his commander is saying.
“What?” asks David.
“It’s a Ukrainian word I learned while over there. It means purpose, but more than just doing a job, it’s your calling. It’s a word the priests with the beards use a lot. Everyday I knew exactly what was expected of me and what I could expect from everyone around me. I had clarity for the first time in my life. I felt like I could see for miles in every direction, like sitting on the roof watching all the cars going by.”
Bone stands up out of his chair and walks out of the office.
“Even when I was scared I knew that was to be expected. And when I was tired, I knew that too was to be expected. And when I was hungry, and wet, and cold, and angry enough to kill. I knew that too was to be expected because war is a cauldron. Everything gets boiled into a singularity. It’s terrifying but also pretty damn motivating. What sucks is that I can already feel everything starting to get cloudy again.”
Leaning his belly against the table, David leans in to ask his next question as if he does not want to be heard.
“Did you, you know…and this will be off the record…did you kill anyone else?”
Sara places her empty hand on the table, an offering for David to hold should his answer prove too much. But David knows the answer is not too much for his has thought of little else.
“Nope. Just the one.”
After another few minutes of hearing how brave he has been, how proud his family must be and how grateful the station is to have him come in, the interview is over. The producer shakes David’s hand and Sara walks him out. She mentions that friends of her’s are going to a new bar in the Depot and suggests David should come too. He says he can come but it will be late because he has dinner plans. “That’s ok. I’ll be there pretty late.”
Only a few blocks from the radio station, David pulls into a Waffle House parking lot. There is condensation on the windows of the building and cigarette butts near the door. Nothing here breathes well, David notes. Inside he finds his old sponsor sitting at booth by himself. David sees Fred before Fred sees him and for a moment considers leaving. However, he sees Bone sits in the corner of the restaurant, smiling and looking to flirt with a chubby waitress with grown sons.
“How the hell are you Abie?” says Fred. No turning back now.
“Sober for today.”
The pair order eggs, toast and bacon. The cook makes each of them a waffle on the house after recognizing David. He finishes his plate before Fred can finish a piece of toast. Meals happen quick on the battlefield and David can’t seem to slow himself down long to enjoy his food. Bone is no longer in the corner. David sees him moving around the room; following an old lady into the restroom. He comes out with a grotesque look on his face. “That little woman took the biggest shit I’ve ever seen! Abie, come and look at it. It won’t flush. Call in a drone strike. We are going to have to pull back!”
“So” says Fred, “Mr. War Hero, how are you really? You’ve got recognition, a war recommendation, you’re doing interviews, you still got your sobriety. Life seems to be going well, but…”
“How I am really?” When he was in NA Fred could always sniff out if he was high. As his sponsor that was his job, but David never liked it. I know you say you’re fine, but how are your really. Effective, but crude. Fred taps his finger to the tip of his nose. Bingo kid. David looks around the room for Bone but doesn’t find him.
“I’m good man. Things are going well. Everyone always asks me how I’m doing, but I’m really fine. I honestly don’t feel much different than when I left. Same shit different day you know? Girls come up to me now, so that’s different I guess. So…yeah…things are good. Still sober. No real temptation to go back down that road. Been working the Steps since I got back. Doing the work. I didn’t even think about getting high when I was over there. I’m serious. Not once. I’ve got a therapist that I’m seeing. She’s really smart. And I get to see her for free. It’s part of some rehabilitation program from the federal government. I’m moving out of my Mom’s soon. I found an apartment through the church she goes to. There is a guy there who owns a bunch of places and he hooked me up with a really nice place for really cheap. He gave us a really good deal on it. The same guy said I could come work for him too when I felt I was ready. He has a real estate business and said he is always looking for new realtors. With my story, he told me, he thinks I could to really well.”
Bone sits in the booth next to Fred. His face his clean, empty. Without blinking, moving or saying anything he stares at David; human mirror he is unsure is alive or dead, in a Waffle House in Florida or an expensive dirty tank in Ukraine.
“But then I think, do I really wanna use my story to sell real estate? Some douchebag buys an apartment I’m selling him because I killed a Russian general. That’s not why I went over there. And who would even ask me to that? They don’t know what it was like. They make it seem like going over there was no big deal, that killing generals is something that happens all the time, or that the war is going well. Really man, I got so lucky with that shot. I’ve had trained snipers tell me they probably couldn’t hit a target at that range. But I did. I did that and I know I could never do it again. Even if I could, I don’t know if I’d want to. I didn’t know that guy. I mean I now know a bunch of stuff about him, but it’s only what I’ve been told. They told me that he supported Putin from the beginning and that a lot of the war planning was his idea. Ok. If you say so Bone. But I looked this guy up, he has a wikipedia page, and a wife, and kids, probably grandkids. I don’t know if his family is proud of him or not, but I know they will never see him again. And then just the charade of it all. So I got to meet the Ukrainian War Minister, Zelensky’s right hand man. Still not worth it. There’s just nothing noble or romantic about it. It’s all just a cold, black hole that runs on death and killing and for some reason you have to look at it…at least I do. I suppose I thought at some point I would see something. Never did though.”
Bone breaks his stare and cracks a smile.
“And for who, for what Fred? What is going to happen when all of this is over other than the same thing that happens after every war. A cabal of erudite assholes are going to meet in an overly secure room in the Netherlands and draw a new line in between Ukraine and Russia which is exactly what those same assholes did seventy years ago, and seventy years before that, and in seventy years we’ll do the same thing all over again. Wash, rinse and repeat. That line makes about as much sense as the first day of Spring. Sure, there is an official first day of Spring, March 20th or whatever, but we all know that there was some really warm days before the 20th and there is going to be some real cold days afterwards. But the 20th is the official day. It doesn’t make Spring happen. It just kinda helps sense out of a blurry situation. It wasn’t two days after getting there I realized the whole thing is so complicated. Half the regs were guys who had either lived in Russia at some point, gone to school there mostly, or had family living there. It felt like trying to break up a fight at a family reunion, only everyone is holding ARs as they argue about whether or not the 20th is the first day of Spring. The conflict goes back so far you can’t make out the start. And the profiteering my god, that’s what really gets me. Just like that asshole who wants to use the war to sell real estate, all the arms manufacturers who are pouring guns and bullets and tanks into Ukraine, propping this war machine so they can win another government contract. It’s sick. The people running those companies have the first available seat in hell. And Putin too. He started this whole mess. First him, then a nice row of CEOs and shareholders, that’s who I want to in hell. And there is never talk of any alternative. None. Not even a whisper. Just two sides trying to exhaust the other for a better seat at the bargaining table.”
Bone gets up to leave, but not before stretching his back, revealing a large, dark red stain in his uniform, just above his waist line.
“So here I am in all my hometown glory.” says David, “The renown Prince of the Order of the Ukrainian Shit-Show.”
There is a wet spot on David’s pants which he is not sure how it got there. He looks at Bone who is already out the door and running down the street. It’s ok, David thinks to himself, I know where he is going. ———————————————— At the 7-11 next to Waffle House David buys two tall boys and two shots of Jack. He pours the whiskey into the cans and kills the second one as he pulls into Pastor’s driveway where several Mercedes, Teslas and BMWs are parked. David clears his throat, spits into the bushes and unwraps a stick of gum. He enters the house after two hard knocks.
“Oh I think that is him.” David hears his mom say after shutting the large, dark front door. She comes around the corner of the corridor to tell him he is late and to take his shoes off.
“But my socks don’t match.”
“Well take those off too! Pastor just put down new carpet.”
“Ah well, since there is new carpet involved. Let’s not walk on the new carpet.”
The rest of the dinner party comes around the corridor in their socks. Each of them personally thanks David for coming and for his service. The men shake his hand. The women all give him hugs. By the end of introductions David has met two bankers, two retirees, and handful of housewives, as well as two more pastors and their wives. Bone is the last to shake his hand. He tells Abie he smells like old lady perfume. Elenor, Pastor’s wife, takes David’s arm, sliding her’s underneath his, leading him into their recently renovated kitchen. The rest of the group follows.
“Well dinner is almost ready. As we wait, why don’t you tell us about Ukraine.”
“Leave him alone Ellie,” says Pastor, “maybe he’s tired of talking about it.”
“I don’t mind.” says Abie. “I don’t mind telling people about blowing some Russian guy’s head off.”
“It’s ok Mom. Yeah so I saw this column of tanks approaching our trench, which ran parallel to this road running west outta Horlivka. I don’t think they knew it was there, or if they did know, they sure as shit didn’t know we were in it, which was weird because we’d been trading fire with them all day. We were all scared shitless. It was only me and Jizzy and Bone. Right Bone? Oh yeah, it wasn’t Jizz it was that kid from Croatia. The one who fucking just ran off one day. I don’t remember his name. Anyways, Bone tells us to all be real still, play like we are dead. So this entire tank column passes by us. Takes for fucking ever. Couldn’t have been more than an hour, but it felt like ten. Finally it starts to let up you know, the last tank passes. So Bone takes the radio and tries to find a spot to call it in. As he is doing that I see the last tank, which was what Bone, about four hundred yards from us? Anyway, he comes to a stop, and out pops the unluckiest son of bitch in the whole war. The General gets out to take a piss, I take aim, figuring I’ll just scare him. And yeah. Bam. Headshot. He didn’t feel a thing; killed him with his dick in his hand. Speaking of which…if you will excuse me.”
“The bathroom is back down the hallway, first door on your left.” says Pastor.
“Is it a full bath?” ask Abie.
No one looks him in the eye, no one except Bone and Pastor. The bathroom has been redone in the same tile as the kitchen. David takes off his clothes, turns the steel knob in the shower to red, sits one floor and waits for the water to get warm.
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2023.06.04 13:14 Bignate2800 *Untitled*
Old friend and I are talking and for some reason we show her mom some of our last texts
She tries to scroll up but I don't let her
Ate a 3 layered cheeseburger, with pickles, and some bomb ass brownies
There was a murder investigation about someone shooting a birdshot type of ammunition against a sheet of metal and a piece ricochets into a third person
Then we're talking about fish
At my cousins house that isn't my cousins house and we're talking about some type of magnetic storage system
Meanwhile a semi truck is diving towards earth near us and a parachute slows it down but the men in the trailer and the stuff flies out
It was coming head on first but then somehow the back end is what was facing us
I swim and crawl over some pallets of stuff to get to them
It smells really bad of batteries reacting with the water
There were three men but I could only save one
He had his hand sticking out of the water and I dragged him out
Then for some reason I believe the guy is scolded
They say something about executives blah blah blah
He then shows me that he can make a slide whistle made out of mud
This dream was like ai. Everything kept slowing morphing into the next scene.
submitted by Bignate2800
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