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Christians bullied an Indiana school district into canceling a school play with LGBTQ characters. The students raised more than $83,000 and put the play on in a professional theatre.
2023.05.31 17:48 bitemy Christians bullied an Indiana school district into canceling a school play with LGBTQ characters. The students raised more than $83,000 and put the play on in a professional theatre.
(This excerpt is from a Washington Post article written by Hannah Natanson.)
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Sydney Knipp, 16, tiptoed to stage’s edge and peered around the black curtain at the nearly 1,500 people waiting for the play to start. It was the largest audience she had ever seen.
In a few minutes, Sydney was supposed to stride before them, braids streaming, to deliver the opening monologue as Alanna Dale in “Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood,” a gender-bending take on Sherwood Forest’s beloved bandit.
Dotted among the crowd, Sydney saw, were security personnel in bulletproof vests. At the entrance, theatergoers were submitting to bag checks and a metal detector wand. Behind Sydney stood Fia, her 14-year-old sister, costumed as Much the Miller’s son.
Sydney and Fia, and their characters, were the reason for the security — the reason this play was happening not at school but at an outdoor theater in the girls’ hometown. Alanna confesses her love for a woman in the 16th scene. Much declares they are nonbinary two scenes later. The LGBTQ storylines drew complaints from parents, spurring Carroll High School to cancel “Marian” in February out of concern for students’ safety.
But the cast of two dozen teenagers decided to put the play on anyway. Now, on a chilly evening in late May — after raising almost $84,000, booking Foellinger Theatre and whirling through 2½ weeks of late-night rehearsals squeezed between Advanced Placement exams and finals — it was opening night for a show adults had warned them not to do.
Sydney sidled to her little sister. “How are you feeling?”
The teens believed — knew — they were part of something bigger. They knew schools across the country are nixing plays and musicals that feature gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender roles, often due to parent objections. They were aware Republican politicians are passing a record-breaking wave of laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ children, and that Fort Wayne trends White and red.
The teens also knew they had fans: the thousands who bought $15.50 tickets or donated to their fundraiser; the local theater groups who lent decorations; even “Marian” playwright Adam Szymkowicz, whom they had met on a Zoom call.
But in these last moments with her sister, Fia had something to confide.
She was thinking about what producer Nathan Gotsch said a half-hour before showtime. Should any hecklers emerge, he told students, ushers would escort them out. One student, dressed as a king’s guard, had raised black armored gloves and promised to deter disrupters with his fists, earning laughs. But Fia wasn’t laughing now.
“If someone yells something,” Fia whispered to Sydney, “I think I’m going to cry.”
Sydney pointed to the audience. “Dude, there are so many people with dyed hair out there,” she said. “We’re going to be okay.”
She laid her arm on Fia’s shoulder. Fia rested her forehead on Sydney’s hand. The sisters stood, curled in an embrace, as the crowd began to hush.
Three months earlier, Meadowe Freeman arrived early to school for a surprise meeting called by her principal and theater director.
Auditions had just wrapped for Carroll High’s production of “Marian.” The 18-year-old, who chose theater because “I’m not very sporty,” had anticipated teasing from students about the play’s LGBTQ characters. But she never expected what she heard that day: that some parents disliked the play so much it couldn’t continue.
“You read about it on the news,” Meadowe said, “but you never expect it to happen in your school.”
Sitting near the front of the room was Tristan Wasserman, 18. He watched his friends start to cry. Walking from the meeting, he decided: The show would go on.
That night, Tristan hunted up the email of “Marian” playwright Szymkowicz. He researched the name of a reporter with Fort Wayne’s 21 Alive News. He fired off versions of the same email.
“Hello,” he wrote, “my name is Tristan Wasserman … It was actually on my 18th birthday that we found out that we wouldn’t be doing Marian.”
His efforts yielded news coverage and, ultimately, 5,600 signatures on a petition to reinstate the play. One of Tristan’s friends, Stella Brewer-Vartanian, president of a left-leaning political club at Carroll High, launched Twitter and Instagram accounts devoted to reversing the cancellation. But the school stuck by its decision.
So Tristan began recruiting students to speak at the next school board meeting. If enough teens explained why it was wrong, he figured, the adults would have to listen.
On Feb. 27, Tristan, Stella — who wasn’t part of the theater program but felt outraged by what she called adult bullying — and roughly 20 high schoolers showed up, some with prepared speeches.
Before most could speak, a woman rose. Kaye Niman said she was a taxpayer, a mother and a pastor’s wife. “Marian” — with its “LGBT whatever, however many ABCs you want to put on it” — was immoral, Niman said.
“What we believe in is what the Bible says, and the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin,” said Niman, who did not respond to a request for comment. “It’s forgivable, don’t get me wrong, it’s forgivable and we love them, but nevertheless … I applaud whoever made the decision to not have this play go on.”
As Niman wrapped up, 16-year-old Peyton Stratton sat picturing the role she had hoped for: that of Marian/Robin, who leads the troupe of Merry Men. Peyton, who wants to attend law school, admired Marian for her ferocity, wit and determination to protect the people she loves.
Telling herself to summon those traits now, Peyton walked to the microphone. She reminded the board of school anti-bullying initiatives that teach children not to tolerate hate.
“By taking down this play, you’re following the opposite of that message,” she said. “You are teaching students to fold at the first sign of struggle.”
Stella told the adults they were writing themselves into history as “hateful.”
And Tristan gave a promise: “I have not rested,” he said, “nor will I rest until this decision is reversed.”
Students headed home with hope. Tristan was in his bedroom when he got a text alerting him that the superintendent, Wayne Barker, was speaking about the play.
“This came down to an issue where our principal felt that it was going to be an unsafe activity for our students to participate in because of how divisive it was becoming,” Barker said. “I support his decision … I’m comfortable with why he did what he did.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, district spokeswoman Lizette Downey said the decision to cancel “Marian” was due not only to parent complaints, but primarily to “disruptions already occurring between students directly involved within the theater department.” She did not specify what those “disruptions” were.
Superintendent Barker declined repeated interview requests.
For a while, the students were lost. Some pondered putting on the play outside school, Stella said, but no one knew how. Then Stella got a message saying a local man she’d never met wanted to talk to her.
A former teacher born and raised in Fort Wayne, Nathan Gotsch, 40, sympathized with administrators’ plight — but felt more for the students. And, he felt, he was perfectly positioned to help.
Gotsch, who attended film school at the University of Southern California, spent his 20s working in entertainment in Los Angeles. After stints in education and journalism, he had just run unsuccessfully for Congress. Taken together, it meant Gotsch had the know-how and the network of political, activist and theater contacts the students would need to stage “Marian” themselves.
Over a video call, the idea took shape. Gotsch agreed to serve as overall producer, and four teens — Tristan, Stella, Meadowe and Kaitlyn Gulley, head of Carroll’s Gay-Straight Alliance — would become student-producers.
Gotsch set up a GoFundMe to pay for the play; it pulled in $80,000 in under two weeks. Nonprofit Fort Wayne Pride, which advocates for LGBTQ rights, stepped in as fiscal agent, managing the money.
Nathan and others identified two dozen students willing to act in “Marian” and assigned them parts. He hired a professional director and crew to handle stage management, engineering, sets, sound, costumes and lighting. He secured Foellinger Theatre for May 20 and coordinated security with Indiana State Police and parks personnel.
Meanwhile, Stella and Kaitlyn promoted the play at a “No Hate Fort Wayne” rally and a Democratic Party gathering. Meadowe and Tristan liaised between adults and students in the production — while Meadowe learned a role as a guard and Tristan served as assistant stage manager and sound designer, at one point imitating pigeon calls for the play’s soundtrack.
Rehearsals — running after school and on weekends — started May 3. The student-actors had fewer than 4o hours, across less than three weeks, to learn their lines.
Teens were facing APs and fast-approaching finals. They were fielding phone calls from journalists and messages from actors who wanted to cheer them on — support they appreciated but which took time.
The Friday before opening night, Peyton arrived late after ferrying over three students who lacked cars. Her hair was already braided in the intricate coils required for the role she had coveted: Marian.
She fast-walked into a kitchen tucked below the theater to cries of “Peyton! They need you in makeup!” and “Peyton! Go straight to makeup!”
“I know,” Peyton said, crossing to a wall and scribbling her initials onto a sign-in sheet.
She eyed the steaming
(To read the full article go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/05/31/marian-school-theater-lgbtq-indiana/
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2023.05.31 17:44 TheManwithaNoPlan Persistence Journalism 
*lightning sfx* You should check out u/Acceptable_Egg5560
, NOW! (Seriously, thanks again for doing this with me, you're the best.) [First]
-[Next] Memory transcript: Vekna, Venlil Citizen. Date: [Standardized human time] September 19th, 2136 Herd, I forgot how much I hate paperwork.
When we had pinpointed where Unzekep was a couple paws ago, I was eager to get on her trail. Unfortunately, reality just had to get in the way of those ambitions…which is where I find myself now. First was all the speh we had to submit to the Health and Safety Department regarding our “inquiries” into the construction site to find Tagelb. A noble action, no denying that, but it brought up questions about our presence on the site. “Why were we there? Were we associated with a third-party firm? What was the quality of evidence produced for the claim?”
Stuff like that, constantly, for almost an entire Paw.
We came clean, sort of. We at least disclosed about us being journalists. My evidence showing money changing paws between that foreman and the previous safety inspector came in handy in our explanation of us looking into corruption. As an additional surprise, many of the workers of the facility came forward with older stories of regulation skirting and site mismanagement. Tagelb even chipped in, providing another perspective of what we witnessed whilst in there. Safe to say, that foreman isn’t going to be in charge of much any time soon. But did we really need to fill out all of those affidavits??
The second problem was that, due to us revealing that we were journalists, we wouldn’t be able to simply walk up to Unzekep while she was on the job. We had to get a “press permit” that would allow us to walk in the tunnels, which meant more
paperwork signing that we agreed to the risk and knew the safety standards and procedures we had to follow while underground. They even made us take a test for that!
Today, though, marked the end of our tedious paperwork and safety waivers. We were finally cleared to go into the system, and the district had promised silence on the matter. Part of me thinks that their willingness to accommodate us is due to not having to pay us like their other safety inspectors. Oh well, at least it’s a way in that doesn’t require cartoonish cover stories.
I slide on my satchel and exit my room, waiting for the elevator to arrive at the correct floor so I can board.
After a short wait, I’m granted access, and yet another short wait later, I arrive at the foyer. First-meal would normally be first on the schedule, but today was special. In order to avoid detection by any unwanted eyes, we were due to leave first thing in the Paw, when almost no-one else would be out. After a brief scan of the lobby, I spot Sharnet sitting on a chair with a duffel bag on the ground next to it. I trot over to her, motioning to get her attention.
“Good Paw, Sharnet! You sleep well after all that paperwork?”
Sharnet shuts her holonote off and stows it away in her pack. “Yes, somewhat. I do wish that they would’ve just looked the other way completely, now we’re on their records. If someone’s watching, we’re a dead give-away.”
I sway my ears negatively. “I don’t think they’ll be looking deep in government registries. That would require access, and if they were in the government, chances are they’d have noticed long ago and already fled. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been much movement on the private nor the public transit systems, and none of the Harchen. Trust me, I had the same thought.” I pull out my pad, the tab for the transit logs still logged in with the temporary credentials the district has given us. “Check for yourself.”
Sharnet looks over the information rather inquisitively. “Now that’s interesting.”
I cock my head. “What is?”
“I looked up Unzekep’s home address,” she explains, “and it’s in an apartment building on the edge of town. She doesn’t have a vehicle, so by all rights she should be traveling on public transit. But this shows none of the Harchen have done so. The fact that she isn’t…”
Her sentence falls away as her ears twitch in thought. Now that she’s said it aloud, I realize how strange that is. “That…is odd, actually. You’d think that she would be using the public transit system to get to and from work each Paw.”
Sharnet’s tail swishes against the ground. “Do you remember what Tagleb said about her? He said that she spent a lot of time in the tunnels. Do you think… well, no, there’s a couple possibilities. But…”
As she’s making an appeal to rationality, I realize what she’s implying. “That she’s living in the tunnels. That’s what you were going to say, right?”
She sways her tail in the affirmative. “I don’t want to cast judgment yet. But…if she’s one of the overseers, those tunnels are well out of sight. People could probably survive a raid by hiding in there. Of course, if she isn’t a head, staying in those tunnels might not be her choice.”
I look at Sharnet skeptically. “Not her choice? What reason could someone possibly have to stay down there that isn’t their choice?”
“Well, that safety inspector that the foreman bribed likely didn’t inspect only one site.” Her claws clench against her wool. “In my previous job, there was a time when there was only one person on staff who knew how to maintain and repair the office electronics. The company has them stay on overtime. If she is in a similar situation in the tunnels…”
That’s not a good image to have in my mind. Being one of the only ones repairing equipment and materials that would have otherwise been flagged as a safety danger… My arms and legs are exhausted by just imagining what might be needed. “Oh, Herd, that’d be bad. I’m not certain that’s the case, though, as the District let us have our way with seeing her. They wouldn't do that if they had something to hide.”
Sharnet raises a finger. “If they’re smart.
I can’t help but give a low whistle to myself at that. “If they’re smart, yeah. Ready to go see how dumb they are?”
Her tail wags in amusement as she rises from her seat. “We can grab a couple to-go salads from the meal bar and head right out, if that’s okay with you.”
“Sure, might as well if we’re going to be spending all day in the sewers.” I follow Sharnet over to the salad bar, and we order some bog-standard salads to go. Nothing fancy, we are on the clock after all.
Once we receive our food, Sharnet heads back to grab that duffel bag and we head out, the light of our star bearing down on us as we exit the building.
It isn’t long before a bus comes to pick us up, the driver seemingly surprised to see someone waiting for him at this claw. We board and take our seats, eating our salads as we’re ferried to our next destination. Thankfully, only a single other person is on the bus right now, and they’re too busy with something on their pad to notice us. A public space with no noise, perfect.
As I eat, my mind wanders back to Tagelb. I had meant to go back and see him again last Paw, but paperwork had obviously gotten in the way of that. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m intrigued by the Yotuls’ archaic technology. Steam engines, massive train systems, even rudimentary hydrocarbon combustion engines! I wanted to learn more, but I knew Vekna was only tolerating that in search of our guy. I knew I had to go back to hiding eventually.
The worst part was how I had to hide myself from Tagelb, even if it was less than normal. I heard his views on Predator Disease, and I knew that if I slipped it, that was it. I’d lose yet another friend because I couldn’t keep my Herd-damned mouth shut. I’m determined to keep doing what I’m doing, even if it means hiding myself forever. From Tagelb, from Sharnet, from everybody. Ignorance is bliss, and if nobody knows I’m a monster, it’s a little easier to pretend I’m not for myself.
I’m shaken from my internal lamentations by a paw lightly shaking my shoulder. I glance over at the culprit, finding Sharnet’s gaze. “Are you okay? You went a little wall-eyed while you were eating your salad.”
I look down at my bowl, only to find it empty. I quickly reseal it and feign my innocence yet again. “Hm? Oh, yeah, just thinking about how we’re going to do this. Not an easy task, after all.”
She pulls up the duffel bag she’s been carrying into her lap and zips it open. “Thankfully, these should make it a bit easier.”
Inside are a pair of construction pelts. Visibility vests, gloves, foot coverings, and two helmets. Those… brahking uncomfortable helmets.
“Do we really have to wear those?”
I know it’s a dumb question. I read the same procedures as she did. This equipment is a basic requirement for us to go into the tunnels. No matter how much it rubbed up against my ears.
“Yes, I’m sure. We read the same waiver, we signed on the same lines. I’m not a fan either, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices.” She pulls out one of the pelts and hands it to me, retrieving the other for herself. I groan internally at the mere thought of having to wear another helmet. She gives her ears a comforting flick. “These are brand new, so the padding won’t be as worn down as the last helmets were. I don’t know if it will stop the bother, but at the very least it shouldn’t be as bad.” Small comforts.
“I hope so, yeah.” As I look over the helmet, the bus stops and opens its door to our destination. “Industrial center! Next stop, the Intraplanetary Transit Hub!” We stand from our seats and make it off the bus, which unceremoniously closes its doors and leaves us stranded in the dead center of the industrial heart of Sidestar.
The town is centered around maintaining the power plants that comprise the central economy of the District. As a city well within the twilight, power meant life. It allowed the growing houses to keep the local edible vegetation harvest alive, light up the iron ore mining operations in the mountains, and the steam tunnels flowing with heat to fight back against the cold winds from the night side flowing down from the mountains. Those steam and drain tunnels are where a large number of people work. Having to expand and repair sections as their city grows. And Unzekep is currently working on replacing outdated units. Somewhere in there…
I’m pulled from my analysis of the area by Sharnet, who has since applied her pelt. “Come on, put on your uniform so we can get down to where we need to be.” I heed her words and quickly apply my clothing before following Sharnet through the complicated system of tubes and ducts that comprises the ground-level of one of the for-profit geothermal reactors.
Thank the Herd for the 3d map the District had given us access to. According to the schedule, Unzekep should be in the coolwater pump room, replacing the turbines in one of the pumps. Unfortunately, that’s all the way in the basement of the building, accessible to the steam tunnels leading under the rest of the town.
Steam heating the town. And the Feds call the Yotul primitive for using the same principles.
I shake the annoyance from my mind as we descend down ladder after ladder, walking across steel catwalks over huge drops for the snowmelt that would occur after the night finished. I can see what all those waivers were about now.
From my map, we should be coming up to the pump room soon. It’s next to this… cargo… elevator… Oh for the Herd’s sake!
Sharnet huffs, panting from the humidity and heat of the underground caverns. “What puddle of Speh left that out of the official map? We could’ve been here a quarter-claw earlier!”
“Beats me, but at least we’re here,” I manage to say, leaning against the wall as it feels like I’m trying to breathe through syrup. “S-Sorry, just need to take a breather for a second. The humidity down here is really messing with me.”
“I understand,” she holds out her tail for a comfort touch, “if you think you’re about to have an attack, don’t hesitate to let me know. Your health is important.”
“Thanks,” I huff. After a few moments of slow breathing, the air managed to become a little more breathable. “Alright, I think I’m good. Are you ready to meet our next in line for Spehlicker of the Hectorotation?”
“If we’re lucky,” she replies before sliding open the doors. Four massive pumps dominate the room. They stand as long and tall as the bus we rode in on. It’s truly impressive to see the power of the planet itself being harnessed through the mechanics of these machines. But… I’m unsure about the noise. It isn’t too loud, Sharnet and I would be able to raise our voices over them without going into full on shouting, but it was a constant high volume I haven’t been around before. It feels…grating.
Thankfully, it’s obvious that we're in the correct room. One of the pumps has a series of curved pieces of metal with a pile of bolts and… a stack of impellers, if I’m remembering the word correctly, laying on the ground. Tools and spares are scattered around the area, a mug of some sort of beverage is on a nearby ledge, wisps of steam still coming from its surface. Wait…wisps of steam…
I place a paw against Sharnet’s chest, to her confusion, as I scan the room for anything out…of…the… There.
In the corner, a few splotches of green on an otherwise gray surface. Imperfect camouflage, just like Tagelb had said.
As I focus, I can make out an outline of a trembling person, moving in tandem with the spots. She must have heard us approach.
I gesture to Sharnet in the direction and she flicks her ears affirmatively.
“You must be very skilled,” she says, staring at the splotches with an eye, “your camouflage is practically seamless.”
As I watch, the splotches increase in their trembling. A voice floats out under the hum of the pumps, barely heard by my ears. “No, no, go away, leave, this is safe, no, please leave, don’t hurt me, no.”
“We are here about Dawn Creek,” I say, “We-
The Harchen shrieks.
The gray walls reveal the colors of a Harchen in distress as she falls to the ground in sobs. It’s difficult to see anything about her, as she curls herself up and pleads. “P-Please! No! I don’t w-want to go back! Don’t m-make me go back!”
Both Sharnet and I had lightly backed away at her shriek, but now we both approached her. Her scale shifts seem almost sluggish, but they do indeed shift. It’s only once I get a better look at her face do I realize what Tagelb was talking about.
Her facial features are slightly flatter, looking almost compressed compared to that of the other two Harchens we’ve run into here. Her forehead is a bit larger than normal, and her neck is slightly shorter. In fact, she herself is shorter than average, if only by a little. Near her temples, four splotches of unchanging green remain constant despite the rest of her shifting form, each an imperfect circle of dull green.
She just keeps sobbing and pleading incoherently as we approach, not even attempting to run. It was like… it’s like she’s given up. This can’t be it, can it? I expected pathetic, but this? This is just sad to watch.
But as I do indeed watch, something comes to me. This isn’t fear of getting caught, this is fear of going back.
I remember what I learned about the treatments they used, the drugs they administered, and what Sharnet had said to Tagelb. People with no disease at all.
It all clicks together in an instant. This isn’t one of the heads of the Dawn Creek facility.
No. This is an escapee. [First]
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2023.05.31 17:43 m80mike I Was a Foreman at the Grazer Tower Demolition
Summary: A demolition firm struggles to take down a damaged building for their mysterious clients
I Was a Foreman at the Grazer Tower Demolition
By now Grazer Tower has faded as a household name but to some the rumors and madness surrounding it refuse to die. The demolition of the massive three hundred twenty foot octagonal hotel left a gap in the Atlanta skyline but little fondness in anyone's hearts. I have no particular first hand insight into the freak lightning strikes on the 30th floor atrium which killed 13 people but I am willing to tell my side of the story about the demolition effort leading to the botched implosion. I tell this as a full, open, and honest disclosure. The legal maneuvering and ink has dried, all of the dead are buried, and all the bleeding stopped. The scars remain, the pain persists, the things I saw there are burned in my head even after they've been discredited into the conspiracy theory woodwork of the internet. The lightning storm struck on a Sunday afternoon and the next day for all we knew the bodies were still warm when a lawyer representing the owners of Grazer Tower entered our corporate office. I look back on it now with open and clear eyes and realize it was all very strange from the start when my Lead Foreman, Tom, and I were called into the meeting in progress.
The lawyer and now our client, looked like a fairly normal man in his mid thirties aside from his impeccably white suit which was ironed to the point of looking like stone rather than cloth. Beside the white suit his lips were an uncomfortable maroon and glossy. Besides this he spoke in a plain, clear, and disarming manner refraining from legalese and maintaining a firm but not imposing eye contract with whomever he was speaking directly to.
He told us in no uncertain terms he was instructed to contract with our firm to take down his client's building. Tom and I were shocked when we heard this after all, the lightning disaster, while tragic and perhaps undeservedly tarnishing in the short term to the Grazer Hotel's reputation, did not render the structure unusable nor unsafe to its surroundings. The worst damage was that the steel dome of the 30th floor atrium had collapsed into the vaulted restaurant and ballroom of the 29th floor but that's where the structure damage started and ended, in fact aside from the 28th, 29th, and 30th floor, city engineers working overnight already declared the building sound. So while perhaps still time consuming and costly, repairing the building was definitely possible and cost effective but owners, to make an analogy, were basically insisting on totaling a car after a minor parking lot fender bender. They gave us a specific date by which the building needed to be taken down. When our Boss, Jim, rebuffed the lawyer, not only because the date was challenging and soon but also because it was possible we could have it dropped BEFORE the date specified. The lawyer insisted the building go down on the date given – not later and not earlier. Jim swallowed hard and then glanced at Tom and I. Then the lawyer involved the name of the head of the owner's group, a Mr. Rohmer.
Mr. Rohmer, according to the lawyer, was offering our firm one hundred percent of the cost upfront and another twenty perfect of the total cost plus any overruns – stating if the implosion came early or late, it would mean all very little – no, that's no a typo, that's how the lawyer phrased it from his client, Mr. Rohmer. With that detail out of the way, you can see how the car totaling analogy breaks down considering the owners did not stand to profit from it's demolition – in fact quite the opposite.
The lawyer chuckled a bit to break the tension. He explained his clients and Mr. Rohmer in particular were an unorthodox bunch and then even insisted he wear the white suit in any of their dealings. The lawyer produced a tablet PC from his messenger bag and leveled it to Jim. On the tablet was all the banking confirmation codes ready to go for a direct deposit into our firms account alongside a contract. Jim seemed to hiccup or belch in excitement as he hurried around the short side of his desk to sign it since his stubby t-rex arms could not reach across his desk.
The firm was committed, we were committed – I was committed and I started to mentally cramp up over the challenges we all faced. The Grazer Hotel was in the middle of a dense urban grid. It had to be precise drop with virtually no margin for error. Jim poured us a dram of scotch from the bottle hidden under his desk. None of us a second thought about Rohmer's cryptic remark – after all, how often did you get a one hundred twenty perfect no-bid contract walk in off the street, out of the blue?
A combination of exhilaration over the money and anxiety over the work load kept us all from sleeping that night. Jim and Tom ended up going out and having a wild night to celebrate while I went home to mentally prepare not only myself but also my wife and kids. As a family they were staring down a month and a half of late nights and weekends with no dad. My wife was frustrated until I told her about the bonus and then she said she'd fill the lonely time making plans to send the kids to Disney World and then find a place for us to spend alone together. The promise of a much needed vacation after this only super charged the butterflies in my stomach further in anticipation of this challenging season ending.
As the assistant foreman I had office and on-site duties. Most of it was coordinating between the two. This included personnel, setting up site security – including guards and cameras to keep urban explorers and vagrants of out the dangerous site and satisfy OSHA hazardous work place safety requirements. The most challenging duty was site prep which included disposal of furnishings, removal of windows and other flourishes of the structure's facade which could become deadly shrapnel during an implosion. Fortunately, despite all of this, the nagging questions about permits and clean-up contracts were already handled by the lawyer. Rohmer's group also waived any rights to furnishings which means they could be unceremoniously hauled out in any way we chose to and disposed of.
Now I suppose some of these things should have came as red flags to me – or at least some one in the company but we all justified it as the group must have connects and short cuts to permits and it was a relatively new building, only about twenty years old in fact and furnishings – whether old or new probably weren't of any antique or sentimental value. All in all these were blessings since they freed our hands a bit and made a near impossible deadline more possible.
Of course the good news came with some bad news. The city engineers forbade us from working at the 28th, 29th, and 30th floors – unless we brought in a separate crew to stabilize those levels first. This was quite the fly in the ointment for the controlled implosion plan we sketched out. The 30th floor wasn't as much of a problem but the 29th floor ballroom and the weakening of the 28th floor meant we can't inspect for how compromised they were by the steel atrium dome. For all we knew if we blew the 27th floor on down the dome could shift and topple over the top three floors outside of the implosion safe zone, imperiling people and nearby structures.
I raised holy hell about it while Tom stood calm. It could take months to stabilize and clear those floors and far more money than I thought our eccentric client would pay in overruns. Jim waved me off mid sentence and simply told me he'd take care of it. That was good enough for Tom so it had to be good enough for me. I went back to my job – securing site and planning drop.
Although we had a problem with the top floor our saving grace lie in the basements. It had a three story subterranean parking garage, a basement level pool, and a utility sub-basement. We could easily smash the first ten or twelve floors into that deep footprint. Also the utility sub-basement gave us a clean cut off from the grid and a fairly convenient way to protect the surrounding grid without interruption. Still, at least part of our team would take have to take three weeks out of our six and change to handle the utilities.
The first week was hectic, they always were but we hit no major snags. By the end of it were on schedule and all of the parts were coming together. We thought maybe, just maybe, we were well on our way to an early Christmas bonus but nothing could prepare us for what was coming.
If you work on a site long enough and work anywhere on the site security reporting chain you're bound to get a few questionable reports from your night guys. Let's face it, for folks who are wake all night five or six nights a week poking around with flashlights chasing shadows, every building every where is haunted. I've been on the site security chain for thirteen years so it was easy for me to dismiss reports from the night guys about unusual glows on gutted floors and stairwells, elevators which moved on their own with no one calling for them or inside when they opened on a random floor, or the security cameras and cellphones constantly going offline on the 27th floor and the utility sub-basement.
I wasn't convinced anything of concern was going on until I got called on site by the test drilling team. This team was responsible for sampling the support materials to determine where it was best to place the explosives and what explosives would be best to use. They reported the interior supports were designed in an unusual way with a honey comb of unorthodox metals and concrete not reported on the building's records or blueprints. Specifically, they reported the concrete was impregnated by some kind of metal veins which gave off a bright shimmer. I was asked to come identify it but they claimed it disappeared by the time I arrived.
I was irate at the team and their supervisor for having me to come on down on site for something that sounded so wrong to begin with. They showed me a grainy cellphone video and told me they would swear on a stack of Bibles the sparkling compound welled up in the test coring like mercury, turned blood red and bled on the floor before disappearing into the torn up carpet. I chastised them for making this up and threatened to get new sub contractors if they kept wasting my time. I spoke with a separate sample team on the lower levels and they too discovered some unusual metal compositions – ones which were different then the ones found the top floors. One of the engineers speculated that the contrast in metals between the top and bottom floors could be cause the building to hold an electrical charge, like a battery or like a capacitor. Either way, the engineer said it would require more explosives than initially thought to take down the structure.
A couple of weeks later we were painfully behind – glass removal in particular was going slow because those contractors claimed they were constantly losing their toys. They also claimed one night to have cleared the top five floors on the east side of all their glass – only for all the windows to appear fully intact the next morning. I was forced to end their sub contract due to misrepresentation of work accomplished.
The glass wasn't the only thing slowing us down. The wire and plumbing removal was hindered by the wires somehow were fused to the pipes and in some places, the pipes were fused to the load-bearing members – we thought maybe it was due to the lightning strikes but that really didn't make sense since all of the wiring and plumbing otherwise seemed to work fine before we turned off the utilities. The only thing going for us was the helicopter loophole. Instead of accessing the 30th floor through the condemned floors we were able to get work teams on the atrium floor by helicopter. The bodies of the 13 were removed before we started working and before the atrium fully collapsed into the ballroom but the teams working on the roof reported many unusual artifacts including stained glass and Greek letters comprised of unusual amalgams of metal.
All of the strangeness culminated in the disappearance of one of the night time security guards named Phillipe. I say disappear because his girlfriend filed a missing persons report with the police and when they came to investigate Tom was busy with the atrium operations so the job fell to me. I walked the investigator through guard's smart phone filed reports from the previous evenings. Admittedly I was behind on my end approving the reports so I was embarrassed when things in the report took a turn. His reports including the same odd glows the others were reporting in the stairwells and seeing metallic veins throb on the walls.
His last reports stuck in my head: Report: Sub-basement 4 clear, 0312. Report: Sub-basement 5 clear, 0305. Report: Sub-basement 6 clear 0237.
His “all clear” reports documented levels of the building which did not exist and the further he went into the areas which did not exist, the automatic timestamps went backwards in time. It made no sense – unless he was confused as to where he was due to intoxication and there was software glitch with the timestamps. I was forced to give the investigator no firm explanation.
It's easy to write off a high security guard – they're flaky by their nature and have plenty of reasons to ghost a part time gig and even to pull prank on their final reports. I almost wrote it all off until I saw his girlfriend – apparently his fiance, handing out missing persons fliers outside of the site gate one morning. She seemed absolutely heartbroken and I got stabbed in the gut thinking maybe this wasn't a ghosting and prank after all. Seeing is believing and the next week I started to believe. Tom was finishing up on the atrium level. We used some heavy lift choppers to remove the rest of the frame and glass. Now we could get a better look into the section which collapsed into the 29th floor. We started by using a series of video drones to investigate the melted twisted dome through the collapsed roof. We quickly learned that the drones were being interfered with as their feed would cut out or their batteries would die almost immediately upon entering the ballroom.
So, we had to cut some corners, against city regulations, we let Tom and two others rappel in from the roof on secured anchored lines with helicopter over watch support. We needed to do this because we needed make sure that collapsed wreckage would not move and potentially change the implosion direction. Tom got twisted in his gear as he tried to lean into one of the holes in the roof. He slipped and fell in, disappearing from sight. We frantically radioed for Tom as the other two workers abandoned their own attempts to peer in and scrambled to Tom's aid. Tom was pulled out of the section uninjured but he appeared to be in shock, he looked wild eyed and shook as he was put on the helicopter and lowered back to ground level. Within minutes, Jim called us back to the office to discuss the near miss.
Two weeks to go and week behind, a missing guard, and now a near fatal accident. That for Jim, was the last straw. Tom and I had run out the rope Jim gave us to hang ourselves with. Jim slammed his hand on his desk as he catastrophized, red in the face, nearly breathless, he yelled we could very well kiss that twenty percent goodbye with the way things are going. He pressured Tom to go on the record after his dip into the structure that the atrium debris ball in the ballroom posed no threat to the implosion. Tom was elsewhere. He stared off in a thousand yard stare before replying to Jim that it posed no threat. Then Tom headed for the door. Jim screamed at him that he wasn't done chew us out but Tom only said he had to get back to it. I supported Tom and followed him. He and I headed back to the site to secure the night shift changes – another night not at home and having a late dinner.
I asked Tom in the car ride back what he saw in there. Tom was fixed in a trance and barely responded. He said it was wild. When we got back to the site, Tom separated from me through the gate while I strolled across the street to grab us some dinner from a street vendor. As I stood around waiting for two gyros and two cokes I could help but be mesmerized by the gutted tower. It seemed to breath in the spotlights inhaling puffs of the dust and dirt on the site and then exhaling it. A faint glow, barely perceivable against the light pollution, seemed to brighten, dim, and fade from the upper floors with each of the building's breaths. I was transfixed on it and it was the first time the building gave me an eerie feeling.
I got back on the site, food in hand, there was a buzz in their air as the night shift streamed in and the day shift streamed out. I barely had my hardhat seated corrected on my head when the site's emergency alarm blew. The interim foreman tossed me a radio as I was swept with him and our site occupational safety and emergency personnel to the basement.
Our increasingly panicked footfalls blotted out the squawk of the radios but I could hear one name again and again in the equally panicked messages – Tom Tom Tom. Whatever was happening was happening to Tom.
We reached the pool level and a trail of gasps proceeded me into the pool. There was Tom in his vest and hardhat face down in the middle of the pool with crimson oozing out him into the cerulean tiles lining the drained pool. We piled in from the ladders and shallow end to get to him. It was apparent when the first folks reached him that he was dead. They hauled him out on a stretcher and to our shock he looked like he had been dead for much longer than possible and his skin was water logged despite there being no water. He had died of fall trauma possibly despite the pool only being six feet deep. The paramedics also claimed he had water in his lungs. Then I noticed he was wearing his rappelling harness weaved in his vest – but that made no sense – he took it and his vest off when we were getting chewed out by Jim. Why would he put his rappelling gear on again.
I was the assistant foreman no more. Now the buck stopped with me. As they took Tom to the morgue we all knew the show must go on – our client demanded it, Jim demanded it and Tom would have wanted it that way. The same police investigator from the guard's disappearance met with me over Tom's death. They said it was standard procedure with work place deaths. I gave him a copy of the footage on an SD card and left the moment after it left my hand.
I had the recording queued up to the time of the commotion. The video we provided had a poor angle and was focused on the door to monitor access – the comings and goings of people. It was shift change so people were filing in and out Tom was somewhere in the crowd. The pool was one of the areas which required both foot patrols and constant video monitoring. I hit the rewind button on accident and watched his body lie there and lie there and then the timestamp sped past the 1900 hour mark. We were in traffic from meeting with Jim at that time. This was impossible but I kept my finger on the rewind button. Around 1400 the camera shakes a bit and there is slight glow reflecting on the doors so I let it play back to the shake. There is a soft green glow and then could hear a heft thud in the room. I gulped knowing that was Tom falling into the pool around the same time he fell into the hole in the roof. The soft glow turned brighter and brighter like a laser shining into the lens – something that wasn't present on the rewind. There was a flash of an incomprehensible shape or form on the screen. I was physically hurt in my eyes like I had just stared into the sun. I was left dazed with the shaped burned into my eyes with each blink. Then the camera system shorted out and a tiny puff of smoke left the memory module. The cameras blinked off wall to wall, the whole system was dead.
With the cameras fried, regulations required someone high in the company to be on site or we'd have to leave for the night. So I stayed knowing we couldn't afford to lose an hour much less an entire night. I circled the pool between approving payrolls and directing the increased security guard traffic required to monitor more areas. I was thinking about what I would say at Tom's funeral. I was thinking about Tom's family and what they would think about his apparent suicide.
I was forced to patrol the rest of the sub-basements as well since most of the guards were at the site perimeters or higher levels. I would have to follow paths of Phillipe, the disappeared guard, and all of the other guards who had mismatched timestamps on their increasingly strange reports. If not for today's incident and the recording of Tom's death, I would have stood fast to the idea that these reports were the product of night jitters and drugs but now, no.
I gritted my teeth as I exited the pool area to patrol the lower levels. I hated this building I muttered to myself. I couldn't wait to see it all rumble. I thought about which part I'd like to keep from the site to place in Tom's casket – then I realized it probably wasn't going to be an open casket funeral. I was lost in my thoughts and hatred for the building as I roamed through the parking garage into the utilities basement. I lost track of where I was as I weaved down stairwells.
I shown my flashlight on the wall and the floor level sign said “Sub-basement 999”. I stopped cold in my tracks. I was hoping it was a prank but I knew it was no prank. Then I thought maybe I'd have some answers. Maybe I would finally see what all the strangeness was about. But then I freaked out about Phillipe's disappearance and turned to run back up the stairwell. I ran up four levels to what I thought was the lobby and I pushed the door open.
My jaw hit the floor when I saw a black and white galaxy – the stars were black and the space was white with gradations of gray. The whole room was just white outer space and the whole universe swirled fast counter clockwise. I tried to breath and when I did the galaxy shrunk before my eyes until it was the size of a tiny of marble and then even smaller to a speck of dust. I reached out as it floated towards me. I stared at the speck in a cold sweat. As I stared, I was looking deeper and deeper into impossible detail. In the dust I found the milky way galaxy, I found our solar system, I found Earth and then I found North America, and then I found myself back in the pool room dripping in sweat.
Time seemed to skip and space was malleable in that hotel. As we approached the deadline to drop it, some jobs which would take hours took days and some jobs which would take days took minutes. The anomalies seemed to swarm tonight and day and yet we pressed on. Tom was buried and I couldn't go.
We met the deadline and the city came out in numbers to watch us drop the thirty floor structure. They gathered nearly two blocks away clad in ponchos and dust masks bracing for the implosion triggered by half a ton of high explosives.
I was so burned out and demoralized. My mantra became “this is for Tom, this is for Tom” and it was the only thing carrying me to this day. I chalked up all the anomalies and even my own experience on 999th sub-basement level as a reaction to shock, loss, grief, and exhaustion.
We were on the thirty minute countdown and Mr. Rohmer's attorney was designated as the trigger man. He stood there with Jim and I in the command trailer with the detonator remote. The remote triggered a two minute countdown on the charges from a master control station in my command trailer. All the charges had to be hardwired old school style because we were getting too much walkie talkie and radio interference from inside the structure for any other method of trigger to be reliable. I was too tried to make a stink about insisting I do it. I just wanted it to be over but suddenly a freak thunderstorm brewed up over the city. The skies were overcast and we were on the verge of having to abort the implosion until the next day – despite the next day being a day past the deadline. If we didn't abort and went through with the implosion, there was a strong chance the shock waves from the blast would bounce back off the lower cloud base and shatter windows and ears across the city.
I sat in my command chair at the perimeter in dismay, almost in tears as it started to rain. I felt my heart drop into the acid of my stomach as I ordered the suspension of the implosion for the day. The lawyer, surprisingly, did not resist. I watched as the crowds dispersed from the viewing lines and police started to permit traffic back through the streets surrounding the site.
Then a group of unauthorized personnel threw open the door of the trailer. They were a mass of men and women clad in pressed white suits, stoney faces with thin maroon lips, one of them carried a white covered book.
The attorney dropped his eyes and head in deference to elderly man at the head of the congregation. The attorney addressed him as Monsignor. The man introduced himself as Monsignor Rohmer and he placed his hand on his attorney, calling him a cousin of the congregation, stating there will be no postponement and no delay.
Rohmer, a man I judged to be in his late 50's or early 60's was bald and covered it with a white derby hat. He was tall, about six five, and thin, so thin his suit fit him like snake half shedding its skin. His was face long and his cheeks thin and worn like a mountain side. His voice was steady and low like waterfall. Everything he said bloomed with authority and confidence. He ordered the building would be dropped in twenty minutes.
I told him I didn't care if he was the owner, the building could not be blown in this weather and I snatched the detonator out of his attorney's hands. Rohmer, moving faster than I believed humanly possible with some kind of martial arts move swiped the detonator from my hands. Simultaneously, he had two of his followers press Jim against the wall. They put him in a sleeper hold and he slumped down to the floor barely getting a word out. Then Rohmer gestured to his flock to follow towards the building.
They left in a fast deliberate almost choreographed walk like a flock of geese flying in formation. I grabbed the radio to get police help but I realized that was hopeless. I watched as our trailer was shrouded in the same interference we experienced in the building's interior. The CCTV monitors flickered out and the radio squawked static. Then I realized Rohmer had no control over the detonation and no way to contact his followers still with us in the command trailer. So I did what I had to and pulled the master key out of the master detonator in the command trailer and chased after the flock. I needed to know what was happening I needed to see with my own eyes what all of this was all about.
The Congregation had reached the lobby and I saw the trailing end of the clad white congregate into the stairwell. I darted at my best speed to follow them.
I reached the stair well door. I found Rohmer standing on the top step, apparently waiting for me. I was out of breath while he began to speak to me in his booming voice. He explained to me that if the building did not fall in the next twenty minutes, all of Earth would be pulled, sucked, inside out and down through the building into the black and white universe. The entire building, but especially the atrium dome, he continued, was designed and built to create and then temporarily contain an impossible shape, a living form, a 4 dimensional object, a tesseract, when struck by lightning in the presence of thirteen self-sacrificial Congregate members. This shape would slowly expand and cause space and time anomalies before growing so large inside compared to its size would pull us all into place with no life.
The shape was still in the process of forming even as we spoke, he said. It would reach critical mass and dimensional contortion and the only way to stop it was to disfigure and crush it in the hotel's collapse. He led me into the pool level where his entire congregation was sitting cross-legged where Tom fell. A green pulse, like a laser, came down from the ceiling into the group's center, where their white book lay open on blank pages. I had a feeling this glow was being projected down from the ballroom where the dome of the atrium was taking its final fourth dimensional form.
After a loud chant from the white clad followers, the book slammed shut and turned from a brilliant white shimming cover to one black as night. As they passed around book, their white suits turned black and the formed a single file line. Rohmer left my side and pulled the detonator from his suit. He showed it me and tossed it at me. In my panic I reached out with both hands to catch it but I forgot I still had the master key in my sweat slick hand and it fly out and fell at the foot of Rohmer.
I asked what he planned to do with the key without a lock and a jammed detonator. Rohmer bent down and grabbed the key and looked me without a hint of concern. He took the new black book into his hands and opened it facing the wall of the pool. A new green pulse launched from the book and flickered on the tiles. An octagonal outline appeared to frame a hazy image of a tropical beach. One by one Rohmer's congregation walked into the side of the pool, into glow and seemed to arrive safely on the otherside of the beach.
Once all his compatriots were on the beach, he turned a page in the book and reopened it, projecting another octagon portal on the side of the pool. I could see his destination – it was the command trailer. He stepped through portal and yelled to me from the other side that I had two minutes. The portal sealed.
I could hear the warning sirens we installed going off above me. Needless to say, I made it out, just barely. I reached the perimeter fence screaming to anyone who was in ear shot to run away. The building imploded as planned but I was caught in the dust cloud and developed tinnitus severe enough to be comparable with combat veterans.
The shock waves from the explosions were reflected off the cloud base and channeled down the street by other skyscrapers. Virtually every window in a two block radius around the site was shattered and hundreds of people were hurt in the resulting stampede and vehicle collisions caused by fleeing from the flying glass cascade. Parts of downtown looked like a war zone for weeks afterward.
Rohmer and the rest of his group, including the lawyer, had disappeared out of the trailer in another portal leaving a suitcase of gold equaling the twenty percent promised. Our company was fined, sued, and threatened with criminal charges and eventually put of business. There wasn't much left after paying the cities fines and lawyer fees.
Though I was spared any direct sanctions, I forced into an early retirement. I've had time to research Rohmer's group. There are at least six mentions of figures like Rohmer on the deepest parts of the conspiracy web. They seem to show up at a locale experiencing paranormal activity with a white book and then leave with a black book. Their departure usually marks the end of any strangeness. I can't be sure but this congregation seems to be summon demons, which they exorcise, by trapping them in their books. Trapping maybe a poor term to use since, as in the case of the Grazer hotel encounter, they can apparently cleanse the anomalies and then use the book containing them to weaponize a portion of the traits of whatever their unholy creations posses.
I suspect Rohmer and his congregation, now with the ability to teleport, are accelerating their plans, to whatever ends these paranormal means enable them.
Theo Plesha - Sequel to "Flush" by Theo Plesha on The Chilling App
submitted by m80mike
to ChillingApp [link] [comments]
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AUG Flame Jörmungandr FN, B/O: $234
P90 Run and Hide FT, B/O: $147
Five-SeveN Candy Apple FN, B/O: $61 Knives - Bowie Knife, Butterfly Knife, Falchion Knife, Flip Knife, Gut Knife, Huntsman Knife, M9 Bayonet, Bayonet, Karambit, Shadow Daggers, Stiletto Knife, Ursus Knife, Navaja Knife, Talon Knife, Classic Knife, Paracord Knife, Survival Knife, Nomad Knife, Skeleton Knife, Patterns - Gamma Doppler, Doppler (Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Black Pearl, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald), Crimson Web, Lore, Fade, Ultraviolet, Night, Marble Fade (Fire & Ice, Fake FI), Case Hardened (Blue Gem), Autotronic, Slaughter, Black Laminate, Tiger Tooth, Boreal Forest, Scorched, Blue Steel, Vanilla, Damascus Steel, Forest DDPAT, Urban Masked, Freehand, Stained, Bright Water, Safari Mesh, Rust Coat, Gloves - Bloodhound Gloves (Charred, Snakebite, Guerrilla, Bronzed), Driver Gloves (Snow Leopard, King Snake, Crimson Weave, Imperial Plaid, Black Tie, Lunar Weave, Diamondback, Rezan the Red, Overtake, Queen Jaguar, Convoy, Racing Green), Hand Wraps (Cobalt Skulls, CAUTION!, Overprint, Slaughter, Leather, Giraffe, Badlands, Spruce DDPAT, Arboreal, Constrictor, Desert Shamagh, Duct Tape), Moto Gloves (Spearmint, POW!, Cool Mint, Smoke Out, Finish Line, Polygon, Blood Pressure, Turtle, Boom!, Eclipse, 3rd Commando Company, Transport), Specialist Gloves (Crimson Kimono, Tiger Strike, Emerald Web, Field Agent, Marble Fade, Fade, Foundation, Lt. Commander, Crimson Web, Mogul, Forest DDPAT, Buckshot), Sport Gloves (Pandora's Box, Superconductor, Hedge Maze, Vice, Amphibious, Slingshot, Omega, Arid, Big Game, Nocts, Scarlet Shamagh, Bronze Morph), Hydra Gloves (Case Hardened, Emerald, Rattler, Mangrove), Broken Fang Gloves (Jade, Yellow-banded, Unhinged, Needle Point), Pistols - P2000 (Wicked Sick, Ocean Foam, Fire Element, Amber Fade, Corticera, Chainmail, Imperial Dragon, Obsidian, Scorpion, Handgun, Acid Etched), USP-S (Printstream, Kill Confirmed, Whiteout, Road Rash, Owergrowth, The Traitor, Neo-Noir, Dark Water, Orion, Blueprint, Stainless, Caiman, Serum, Monster Mashup, Royal Blue, Ancient Visions, Cortex, Orange Anolis, Ticket To Hell, Black Lotus, Cyrex, Check Engine, Guardian, Purple DDPAT, Torque, Blood Tiger, Flashback, Business Class, Pathfinder, Para Green), Lead Conduit, Glock-18 (Umbral Rabbit, Fade, Candy Apple, Bullet Queen, Synth Leaf, Neo-Noir, Nuclear Garden, Dragon Tatto, Reactor, Pink DDPAT, Twilight Galaxy, Sand Dune, Groundwater, Blue Fissure, Snack Attack, Water Elemental, Brass, Wasteland Rebel, Vogue, Franklin, Royal Legion, Gamma Doppler, Weasel, Steel Disruption, Ironwork, Grinder, High Beam, Moonrise, Oxide Blaze, Bunsen Burner, Clear Polymer, Bunsen Burner, Night), P250 (Re.built, Nuclear Threat, Modern Hunter, Splash, Whiteout, Vino Primo, Mehndi, Asiimov, Visions, Undertow, Cartel, See Ya Later, Gunsmoke, Splash, Digital Architect, Muertos, Red Rock, Bengal Tiger, Crimson Kimono, Wingshot, Metallic DDPAT, Hive, Dark Filigree, Mint Kimono), Five-Seven (Neon Kimono, Berries And Cherries, Fall Hazard, Crimson Blossom, Hyper Beast, Nitro, Fairy Tale, Case Hardened, Copper Galaxy, Angry Mob, Monkey Business, Fowl Play, Anodized Gunmetal, Hot Shot, Retrobution, Boost Protocol), CZ75-Auto (Chalice, Crimson Web, Emerald Quartz, The Fuschia is Now, Nitro, Xiangliu, Yellow Jacket, Victoria, Poison Dart, Syndicate, Eco, Hexane, Pole, Tigris), Tec-9 (Rebel, Terrace, Nuclear Threat, Hades, Rust Leaf, Decimator, Blast From, Orange Murano, Toxic, Fuel Injector, Remote Control, Bamboo Forest, Isaac, Avalanche, Brother, Re-Entry, Blue Titanium, Bamboozle), R8 Revolver (Banana Cannon, Fade, Blaze, Crimson Web, Liama Cannon, Crazy 8, Reboot, Canal Spray, Night, Amber Fade), Desert Eagle (Blaze, Hand Cannon, Fennec Fox, Sunset Storm, Emerald Jörmungandr, Pilot, Hypnotic, Golden Koi, Printstream, Cobalt Disruption, Code Red, Ocean Drive, Midnight Storm, Kumicho Dragon, Crimson Web, Heirloom, Night Heist, Mecha Industries, Night, Conspiracy, Trigger Discipline, Naga, Directive, Light Rail), Dual Berettas (Flora Carnivora, Duelist, Cobra Strike, Black Limba, Emerald, Hemoglobin, Twin Turbo, Marina, Melondrama, Pyre, Retribution, Briar, Dezastre, Royal Consorts, Urban Shock, Dualing Dragons, Panther, Balance), Rifles - Galil (Aqua Terrace, Winter Forest, Chatterbox, Sugar Rush, Pheonix Blacklight, CAUTION!, Orange DDPAT, Cerberus, Dusk Ruins, Eco, Chromatic Aberration, Stone Cold, Tuxedo, Sandstorm, Shattered, Urban Rubble, Rocket Pop, Kami, Crimson Tsunami, Connexion), SCAR-20 (Fragments, Brass, Cyrex, Palm, Splash Jam, Cardiac, Emerald, Crimson Web, Magna Carta, Stone Mosaico, Bloodsport, Enforcer), AWP (Duality, Gungnir, Dragon Lore, Prince, Medusa, Desert Hydra, Fade, Lightning Strike, Oni Taiji, Silk Tiger, Graphite, Chromatic Aberration, Asiimov, Snake Camo, Boom, Containment Breach, Wildfire, Redline, Electric Hive, Hyper Beast, Neo-Noir, Man-o'-war, Pink DDPAT, Corticera, Sun in Leo, Elite Build, Fever Dream, Atheris, Mortis, PAW, Exoskeleton, Worm God, POP AWP, Phobos, Acheron, Pit Viper, Capillary, Safari Mesh), AK-47 (Head Shot, Wild Lotus, Gold Arabesque, X-Ray, Fire Serpent, Hydroponic, Panthera Onca, Case Hardened, Vulcan, Jet Set, Fuel Injector, Bloodsport, Nightwish, First Class, Neon Rider, Asiimov, Red Laminate, Aquamarine Revenge, The Empress, Wasteland Rebel, Jaguar, Black Laminate, Leet Museo, Neon Revolution, Redline, Frontside Misty, Predator, Legion of Anubis, Point Disarray, Orbit Mk01, Blue Laminate, Green Laminate, Emerald Pinstripe, Cartel, Phantom Disruptor, Jungle Spray, Safety Net, Rat Rod, Baroque Purple, Slate, Elite Build, Uncharted, Safari Mesh), FAMAS (Sundown, Prime Conspiracy, Afterimage, Commemoration, Dark Water, Spitfire, Pulse, Eye of Athena, Meltdown, Rapid Eye Move, Roll Cage, Styx, Mecha Industrie, Djinn, ZX Spectron, Valence, Neural Net, Night Borre, Hexne), M4A4 (Temukau, Howl, Poseidon, Asiimov, Daybreak, Hellfire, Zirka, Red DDPAT, Radiation Hazard, Modern Hunter, The Emperor, The Coalition, Bullet Rain, Cyber Security, X-Ray, Dark Blossom, Buzz Kill, In Living Color, Neo-Noir, Desolate Space, 龍王 (Dragon King), Royal Paladin, The Battlestar, Global Offensive, Tooth Fairy, Desert-Strike, Griffin, Evil Daimyo, Spider Lily, Converter), M4A1-S (Emphorosaur-S, Welcome to the Jungle, Imminent Danger, Knight, Hot Rod, Icarus Fell, Blue Phosphor, Printstream, Master Piece, Dark Water, Golden Coil, Bright Water, Player Two, Atomic Alloy, Guardian, Chantico's Fire, Hyper Beast, Mecha Industries, Cyrex, Control Panel, Moss Quartz, Nightmare, Decimator, Leaded Glass, Basilisk, Blood Tiger, Briefing, Night Terror, Nitro, VariCamo, Flashback), SG 553 (Cyberforce, Hazard Pay, Bulldozer, Integrale, Dragon Tech, Ultraviolet, Colony IV, Hypnotic, Cyrex, Candy Apple, Barricade, Pulse), SSG 08 (Death Strike, Sea Calico, Blood in the Water, Orange Filigree, Dragonfire, Big Iron, Bloodshot, Detour, Turbo Peek, Red Stone), AUG (Akihabara Accept, Flame Jörmungandr, Hot Rod, Midnight Lily, Sand Storm, Carved Jade, Wings, Anodized Navy, Death by Puppy, Torque, Bengal Tiger, Chameleon, Fleet Flock, Random Access, Momentum, Syd Mead, Stymphalian, Arctic Wolf, Aristocrat, Navy Murano), G3SG1 (Chronos, Violet Murano, Flux, Demeter, Orange Kimono, The Executioner, Green Apple, Arctic Polar Camo, Contractor), SMGs - P90 (Neoqueen, Astral Jörmungandr, Run and Hide, Emerald Dragon, Cold Blooded, Death by Kitty, Baroque Red, Vent Rush, Blind Spot, Asiimov, Trigon, Sunset Lily, Death Grip, Leather, Nostalgia, Fallout Warning, Tiger Pit, Schermatic, Virus, Shapewood, Glacier Mesh, Shallow Grave, Chopper, Desert Warfare), MAC-10 (Sakkaku, Hot Snakes, Copper Borre, Red Filigree, Gold Brick, Graven, Case Hardened, Stalker, Amber Fade, Neon Rider, Tatter, Curse, Propaganda, Nuclear Garden, Disco Tech, Toybox, Heat, Indigo), UMP-45 (Wild Child, Fade, Blaze, Day Lily, Minotaur's Labyrinth, Crime Scene, Caramel, Bone Pile, Momentum, Primal Saber), MP7 (Teal Blossom, Fade, Nemesis, Whiteout, Asterion, Bloosport, Abyssal Apparition, Full Stop, Special Delivery, Neon Ply, Asterion, Ocean Foam, Powercore, Scorched, Impire), PP-Bizon (Modern Hunter, Rust Coat, Forest Leaves, Antique, High Roller, Blue Streak, Seabird, Judgement of Anubis, Bamboo Print, Embargo, Chemical Green, Coblat Halftone, Fuel Rod, Photic Zone, Irradiated Alert, Carbon Fiber), MP9 (Featherweight, Wild Lily, Pandora's Box, Stained Glass, Bulldozer, Dark Age, Hot Rod, Hypnotic, Hydra, Rose Iron, Music Box, Setting Sun, Food Chain, Airlock, Mount Fuji, Starlight Protector, Ruby Poison Dart, Deadly Poison), MP5-SD (Liquidation, Oxide Oasis, Phosphor, Nitro, Agent, Autumn Twilly), Shotguns, Machineguns - Sawed-Off (Kiss♥Love, First Class, Orange DDPAT, Rust Coat, The Kraken, Devourer, Mosaico, Wasteland Princess, Bamboo Shadow, Copper, Serenity, Limelight, Apocalypto), XM1014 (Frost Borre, Ancient Lore, Red Leather, Elegant Vines, Banana Leaf, Jungle, Urban Perforated, Grassland, Blaze Orange, Heaven Guard, VariCamo Blue, Entombed, XOXO, Seasons, Tranquility, Bone Machine, Incinegator, Teclu Burner, Black Tie, Zombie Offensive, Watchdog), Nova (Baroque Orange, Hyper Beast, Green Apple, Antique, Modern Hunter, Walnut, Forest Leaves, Graphite, Blaze Orange, Rising Skull, Tempest, Bloomstick, Interlock, Quick Sand, Moon in Libra, Clean Polymer, Red Quartz, Toy Soldier), MAG-7 (Insomnia, Cinqueda, Counter Terrace, Prism Terrace, Memento, Chainmail, Hazard, Justice, Bulldozer, Silver, Core Breach, Firestarter, Praetorian, Heat, Hard Water, Monster Call, BI83 Spectrum, SWAG-7), M249 (Humidor, Shipping Forecast, Blizzard Marbleized, Downtown, Jungle DDPAT, Nebula Crusader, Impact Drill, Emerald Poison Dart), Negev (Mjölnir, Anodized Navy, Palm, Power Loader, Bratatat, CaliCamo, Phoenix Stencil, Infrastructure, Boroque Sand), Wear - Factory New (FN), Minimal Wear (MW), Field-Tested (FT), Well-Worn (WW), Battle-Scarred (BS), Stickers Holo/Foil/Gold - Katowice 2014, Krakow 2017, Howling Dawn, Katowice 2015, Crown, London 2018, Cologne 2014, Boston 2018, Atlanta 2017, Cluj-Napoca 2015, DreamHack 2014, King on the Field, Harp of War, Winged Difuser, Cologne 2016, Cologne 2015, MLG Columbus 2016, Katowice 2019, Berlin 2019, RMR 2020, Stockholm 2021, Antwerp 2022, Swag Foil, Flammable foil, Others - Souvenirs, Agents, Pins, Passes, Gifts, Music Kits, Cases, Keys, Capsules, Packages, Patches
Some items on the list may no longer be available or are still locked, visit My Inventory for more details.
Send a Trade Offer for fastest response. I consider all offers.
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submitted by _Triple_
to Csgotrading [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:32 Idkman4182 I had my breaks replaced on my Saturn ion coupe but the reaction time is terrible
I have to press my brakes super far in just for it to stop. My brakes were even checked at a different mechanic today but they didn’t say anything was wrong. My power steering is out I guess because it says “pwr str” all the time. It also says “coolant” all the time even though the level is fine. My check engine light is on which was apparently a knock sensor according to the code which I had replaced twice with no luck. The mechanic said I probably have to get some wiring harness or something like that but that it’s over $1000 and not worth it he said. Anyone else having these issues? I drive a lot doing ubereats and I love my car and want to keep it as long as possible
submitted by Idkman4182
to Saturn_Cars [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:29 Kermitz99_ Well it was fun while it lasted
2023.05.31 17:23 Myje-Max A Textbook-Hit-Job, an action-thriller short story by Max Franklin (Sensitive content-Blood, death, and violence)part (1 of 2)
For Adam Pincer, it was an ordinary day, like every day he has had for almost his entire life, he woke up on his own, right before his alarm went off at 6:30, his body always woke him up before his alarm since it knew his schedule almost as good as his brain did. He got up, trying not to wake his wife, even though the alarm’s blaring had most likely made his stealth pointless, he thought. He went into his bathroom, silently closed the door and turned on his shower. He made it as hot as possible to wake himself up. He shaved, got dressed in his third favorite suit, the navy blue pinstripe with a light blue shirt and tied his deep navy tie. He went downstairs, read the stove clock in his fabulously decorated kitchen, it read 7:05.His kitchen matched the rest of his house. His job paid well, almost too well. He almost didn’t know how to spend it all, almost. Everything was pristine, that’s the way he liked it. Started the coffee for his wife, and went outside to his Porche 911. The car was a stunning champagne, and he loved driving it, he started it up and started his drive to Oscar’s Diner, his usual place to eat breakfast. For Mack Jacobs, his day was about as regular as days go for someone like him. He had woken up at 5:15, he felt almost like he had slept in. After almost a decade in the military plus four years in Annapolis had gotten him used to early mornings. He got dressed in a gray t-shirt with USMC printed on the chest, a pair of white socks, black joggers, and he put on his black Nike Air Force Ones. He checked the weather app on his phone, it said sixty degrees, he put on a USMC hoodie to be safe, he packed his other things into his bag and went down out of his motel room to the desk, he checked out and left his things in his car, Taking with him a small gym bag with soap, a towel and a change of clothes. He jogged to the nearest gym he found online and worked out, showered,and changed. He now wore a black t shirt, khaki pants, brown hiking boots, and a windbreaker like jacket, he wore the jacket not for temperature, but for concealment. Mack walked back to the motel. When he got there he turned the car on, a rental ford explorer, it was an old car, but he didn’t want anything flashy. The clock said 6:45. He looked up Oscar’s diner on his phone and started driving. Adam’s Porsche drove smoothly through his suburban neighborhood and onto the interstate going into the city, he turned the radio onto the 80’s best hits station and turned up the volume as he pulled onto the offramp going towards Oscar’s, the clock read 7:16 Mack drove from the motel into the city, the sun was basically already up, he hated when the sun was up so early, he liked the quiet of the early morning. He pulled onto the offramp when his phone told him to and drove towards what was assumed to be Oscar’s Diner, across the street was a parking ramp, his destination. He pulled in, drove to around the middle of the ramp, and parked, no one else was in the ramp he checked his phone, 7:02. Mack opened the trunk of the explorer, it was a big trunk, enough room for several people to sit back and be comfortable while driving. But it was also enough room for his suitcase, dufflebag, a small plastic case, and a large black zip-up case. He opened the small case, inside was his custom black colt 1911 with wooden grips and a compensator. He got it as a promotion bonus from a coworker. He loaded the gun and put it into the back of his pants at the waist. Also inside the case was a neck gaiter, Mack put it around his neck, grabbed the big zip up case and walked to the ramp elevator.
The ramp was connected to a mall, but the mall didn’t open until 8:00. Mack knew there weren’t any cameras, the ramp was old and everyone used the ramp on the other side of the mall because it was attached to the main street. Mack entered the elevator and pushed the button for the top level. He stood there alone as the elevator rose, he noticed the light was flickering and low dimmer on one side, and that the elevator rattled when it goes past a level. The elevator opened and the bright sun shone and was like a camera flash for Mack’s eyes. They adjusted finally and he walked towards the edge of the ramp, the side facing Oscar’s Diner. He unzipped the case, inside was an M40A3 sniper, it was a gun he was all too familiar with, the gun of choice for a Marine Corps sniper, he never was a sniper, but he knew one, or did he? Mack thinks hard, trying to remember. He swears he did, but he can’t remember anyone at all. It feels like he is hitting a blurry glass wall, he can almost see through but all the shapes are unrecognizable. Mack brushes it off, there is a more important tasks at hand, stay focused. Mack readies the sniper and zeroes the scope. He checks his phone and messages someone with the contact name “Wesson” that he is in position, his phone’s clock reads 7:16.
submitted by Myje-Max
to creativewriting [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:20 anthonymm511 Check engine light code P0440
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Got a CEL with this error code, on a 2016 BMW 340i, 62k miles. Can anyone estimate how much a good deal to fix this up might be? submitted by anthonymm511 to BmwTech [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:17 marcifyed Purchase or pass on ‘07 Rabbit?
Manual, 50k miles, in pristine condition. What’s been replaced: brake pads and rotors, clutch, clutch pressure plate, clutch slave cylinder, outside mirror, light bulbs, cabin air filter.
Tires rotated and oil change 4 times.
What’s been checked: steering, suspension, engine/powertrain module, body electrical system.
I just had my 2005 Golf’s automatic transmission go out with only 60k miles on it, I’m upset, and not thinking clearly.
submitted by marcifyed
to Volkswagen [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:16 theborah93 Defrauded by a car "dealer" in Birmingham
Hi everyone, so I already posted a couple of days ago but since then I have gotten some new information and so decided to post again in a more detailed way maybe someone can help me.
On the 5th of March in the morning I enquired about a listing on autotrader posted by a trader called “James Cars”. He called me around 12pm that day. The car was a 2017 Suzuki Ignis and it had 120k miles and priced at GBP4995. I had been shopping around for a while so I knew that the low price was because of the mileage. I was concerned about the mileage obviously because that is the first thing that you look out for in a car. When he called me and I voiced my worries he assured me that these were motorway miles implying that any wear and tear would be less than if the car was used for short distances regularly. He assured me that the only issue that the car had was the stereo which had a broken screen and that he could fix free delivery for me from Birmingham.I agreed and gave him a 1000GBP deposit on the 5th of March and on the 6th of March I sent him 4000GBP.
On the 8th of March the car arrived and as soon as I started it it stalled. I called him and he assured me that the issue might be from the battery because the driver might have left it switched on. We charged it and all was fine.
On the 12th of March the check engine light came on. It took a while to diagnose as the mechanic told me that it could be a variety of problems. He even suggested I go to another mechanic in Hexham who might be more suited to deal with Suzuki engine issues. This took until April 28th to diagnose. The mechanic told me that the cambelt and the sensors are busted and that it would cost me around 1.3k to fix. I would like to point out that everytime we went to the mechanic, he reset the system and the check engine light went off and came back on again after about 60 miles, which is the distance we had driven it before it came on in the first place. So I suspect that the guy reset it so it wasn’t on when I drove it.
After this diagnosis we decided to get in touch with the seller, so we messaged him. When he didn’t reply we tried calling but his phone is always switched off. He has even deregistered his number on whatsapp.
I then remebered that I had transferred the money to a certain “Simon Cars”. We contacted a Simon Harrison Cars that we found in the area and he told us that he was not the person who sold us the car but he knows that a Pakistani national is posing as different dealerships in the West Bromwich areas, in order to gain people’s trust as an English family company. He has been also known to operate under “Stuart cars”.
We gave him a call on the phone number listed on the “Simon Cars” trading profile on autotrader, telling him that we know what he is up to and that we expect him to reimburse us for the car and any work we had done on it so far. He seemed really surprised but never denied anything. We told him that we will go to the police and he said to message him the registration number and he never replied back.
We have submitted a report to Action Fraud, and I have spoken to my bank. We are still waiting to hear back on the report but my bank said there is nothing that they can do.
I really hope someone can help me, maybe someone has been through something similar and can suggest what I can do.
submitted by theborah93
to LegalAdviceUK [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:13 Zealousideal-Ad-6039 Crystal raid best strategys/ Crystal raid guide
Also want to know your races and strategys you use in Crystal Raids.
Also Crystal Raid guide I guess?
Currently I have three anti-boss cacs with specific niches they fill if anybody cares to read.
A Majin with hmhmhm equipped with secret poison and super guard, and taunt with (PU) or alternatively : (Purification or PU, purification allows you to have offensive capability) with kami nor piccolo ss , frost poison ult, and the KI Regen glitch (if you know you know) along with super guard (this is my scummiest one, it's genuinely just to waste a boss's time, especially if know they are a toxic player)
A male human (PU or Beast) (I'm finally warmed up now SS) with secret poison, angry hit (it does a huge chunk of damage when you stamina break them, it endlessly juggles) and pearl flash along with super guard and Instant Servance (punishes people with healing moves)
And lastly a Frieza clan member (Golden) (don't go all out SS/ The real hell begins here SS/ HAAAAA SS)
mainstay moves are consecutive energy blast (it can be spammed against healers) super guard, and audacious laugh/super destructo disc (this thing hits like a truck)
Emperors death beam, naturally, and a poison ult (if I'm going with HAAA ss) or super ki explosion to support my teammates so they can hit their Ults easiereduce bosses stamina Regen after broken
Generally, I've found my male human to be the most successful, due to most crystal raid teammates not knowing how to step vanish to dodge the bosses supers/attacks, being basically human meat shields, so bringing my support Majin doesn't help much UNLESS there's more players that know what they are doing. (Why can't we invite actual good teammates???)
I will say though, using the support Majin build almost guarantees a win (if you are evading him and not getting within grab range) against Crystal raids most overpowered, cheap boss; corrupted Zamasu. Since he has no mass attacks, he will be forced to chase you around. (you hopefully carry either super guard or kai kai, and don't have braindead teammates who somehow still manage to get hit by his attacks-) best case scenario is you poison him, and he chases you around fruitlessly while he is forced to watch his hp bar wittle away while your teammates give him well deserved bonks on the head (every corrupted Zamasu player deserves a bonk on the head)
Here's some tips for anybody playing crystal raids:
Hold light attack button and the block button while locked on to a downed ally to instantly revive at the cost of health. It seriously helps if you go with a support build (and annoys the boss)
ALWAYS check the bosses moves with your scouter, you can tell what their strategy will be by checking during the charging/beginning phase. If they have assault rain, assume your teamates are as good as dead and you better hope you have a strike build and poison at the ready to 1v1 the boss. If they have super ki explosion ALWAYS BE WARY WHEN ENGAGING IN CLOSE COMBAT WITH THEM, this is the only instance where Strikers do not have the advantage, as you never know when they will pop out that ult, generally super ki explosion is chosen to surprise enemies in groups. If you have super guard though, you are safe, since you can use super guard, and then step vanish out of it (the I-frames allow you to take no damage within it.) If they have Shining Slash , you have to be at your best side step game possible, this CANNOT be step vanished out of. Side step as soon as you see them use it, or appear Infront of you. All of the boss moves (brainwash, the razor blade attack, and the huge purple ki blast can all easily be step vanished, so don't worry about using super guard or an evasive to get away from them unless they use the purple ki blast on tandem with something like shining Slash or brain wash attack, which is rare.)
A competent boss player will chase you down if they notice you are the only real threat, so practice your sidesteps, step vanishing and knowing when to attack when the opportunity presents itself (when they charge, when they whiff a burst dash, when you dodge out of a ki super)
Another tip: PLEASE DONT USE YOUR LIMIT BURST IF IT WONT DO ANYTHING FOR OYUR TEAM (unless you use the scummy Majin build, in which case go ahead-) I'm talking about "energy wave atk up!" Or "dynamite kick atk up!" Nobody needs to be using that shit just to not be killed by the boss💀 worst case scenario, is you die. You will be revived by your teammates, trust.
Also, if you are a PS player, and you have a guy called HB Network on your team, you already won. You could put down your controller and watch as he turns the boss's ass inside out solo all with only sidestep mastery. (I love you HBnetwork, big inspiration for real, he's Japanese (I think) though so he won't read this I guess)
submitted by Zealousideal-Ad-6039
to DragonBallXenoverse2 [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:08 r3crac BANGGOOD Deals (31.5.2023)!
BANGGOOD Deals Compilation (31.5.2023)!
Check products in compilation image: https://i.imgur.com/DSmrW1n.jpeg
-1- Lenovo 64GB A1 U3 Micro SD Card
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-2- HXSJ M107 2.4GHz BT5.1 Wireless Mouse
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🏆 Coupon: BG789724
-3- Portable LED Mosquito Killing Lamp
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-4- A13 1080P 2MP WiFi IP Camera
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-5- BlitzWolf BW-S22 Mini PD 35W GaN Wall Charger
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👌 Coupon: BG79ebda
-6- BlitzWolf BW-TF1 UHS-3 V30 128GB MicroSD Card
👌 Price: 13.29 USD / Lowest: 15.99 USD
-7- Ulanzi VL49 RGB LED Video Light 2500K-9000K [EU]
🚨 Price: 13.99 USD / Lowest: 17.99 USD
⏳ Coupon: BGaf9465
-8- Microdrive 256GB MicroSD Card
💲 Price: 14.94 USD / Lowest: 14.94 USD
🔓 Coupon: BG20c7d0
-9- Xiaomi DUKA LS-P Laser Rangefinder
👉 Price: 14.99 USD / Lowest: 14.99 USD
-10- Guudgo WIFI PTZ HD 1080P E27 Camera
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✌️ Coupon: BGc74624
-11- Xiaovv V380 Pro HD 1080P IP Camera
🥇 Price: 16.99 USD / Lowest: -1 USD
-12- GUUDGO V380 WIFI E27 Bulb IP Camera PTZ
👉 Price: 16.99 USD / Lowest: 23.99 USD
🏆 Coupon: BGcb6be2
-13- Zsuit Type-C&USB3.1 Flash Drive 128GB
📉 Price: 17.99 USD / Lowest: 19.99 USD
-14- Xiaomi Mijia 10inch Drawing Blackboard Colorful
💣 Price: 18.99 USD / Lowest: 18.99 USD
🏆 Coupon: BGa2f1bd
-15- Xiaovv V380 Pro HD 2MP IP Camera
⭕️ Price: 19.99 USD / Lowest: 25.99 USD
-16- Rechargeable Mirror Digital Alarm Clock
💣 Price: 21.99 USD / Lowest: 21.99 USD
-17- SF900 4700 Games SNES NES TV Game Console
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▪️ Coupon: BGe15f6f
-18- KINGSO 2 Pack LED Wall Lamps 12W
👌 Price: 21.99 USD / Lowest: 26.09 USD
-19- Haylou RT2 LS10 Smart Watch
💥 Price: 22.99 USD / Lowest: 36.49 USD
💵 Coupon: BG736b82
-20- BlitzWolf BW-TH5 7 in 1 Data Hub
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-47- Creality 3D Sermoon V1 Pro 3D Printer [EU]
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-50- ATOMSTACK A10 PRO 10W Laser Engraving Machine [EU]
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-51- ATOMSTACK S10 PRO Flagship Laser Engraving Cutting Machine [EU]
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-58- FAFREES F20 Light 250W 36V 14.5Ah 20x1.95inch Electric Bicycle [EU]
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-59- KETELES K820 1000W 48V 18Ah Electric Bicycle [EU]
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-62- YUME X11+ 60V 30Ah 3000Wx2 11inch Electric Scooter [EU]
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-63- Xiaomi Laser Cinema 2 UST 4K UHD 3/32GB Projector
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Products compilation image: https://i.imgur.com/DSmrW1n.jpeg
submitted by r3crac
to couponsfromchina [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 17:00 DGS_Cass3636 Anyone familiar with this issue?
| || |
I have a 2022 Peugeot 308 sw, and yesterday the ‘check engine light’ turned on. However in the system, it says that it is a ‘self-diagnosis’ from the car itself. submitted by DGS_Cass3636 to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]
I checked oil, coolant and all, but nothing is wrong. Went to the mechanic(where I have a full check of the car already planned this Friday). They can’t find anything in particular of it being a fault and the engine doesn’t show any signs of it being wrong, however, they can’t disable the light
They told me I am perfectly fine driving my car for now and that they will check with Peugeot before Friday to see what might be wrong, or what the light means. (I’ll only drive to work and back once in the meantime)
Do any of you know what might be wrong, or is there any known case of the light turning on for no reason?
2023.05.31 16:55 RipExtra1053 Honda accord 2006 ex v6
2023.05.31 16:47 aszsedw Proteus taking forever?
I have read the mod description multiple times now but I just wanted to make sure.
The mod description says it takes around 30s to swap characters but as I am making this post I have been waiting for 30min to swap to my previous character. I had no issues creating a new character but even that took several minutes.
Also, it seems Proteus starts lagging after i've used a player module feature. Now even when I want to select the player module from the wheel it takes a few minutes to show me the menu.
Has anyone else experienced this issue? According to my google search there are very few problems with proteus and those mainly center around player appearence. Regardless I figured I should try my luck here.
Edit: Here's my modlist as demanded by the rules:
Bashed Patch 3 Legacy of the Dragonborn Patches (Official) kryptopyr's Automated Patches Hearthfires Extended and Creation Club Fishing Patch Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods - Alternate strat patch Ordinator Beyond Skyrim Patch UVCPC - Umgak's Vokrii Compatibility Patch Compendium Summermyst - WACCF Patch Project AHO - Skytest Patch (Fix Invisible Mudcrabs) - ESPFE Unofficial Moonpath to Elsweyr Patch eFPS - Official Patch Hub Deadly Dragons SE Patches Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - Update and MCM Odin - Ordinator Compatibility Patch Mysticism 2 - Vokrii Compatibility Patch Odin - Vokrii Compatibility Patch Apothecary - Saints and Seducers Patch Apothecary - Wyrmstooth Patch Apothecary - Rare Curios Patch Apothecary - Food and Drink Addon - USSEP Patch Apothecary - Food and Drink Addon - Survival Mode Patch Apothecary - Fishing Patch Apothecary - Bruma Patch identity crisis - Beyond Skyrim - Bruma Patch Helgen Reborn Patch - landscape fixes for grass mods Immersive Citizens Patch - landscape fixes for grass mods Immersive Wenches -KS hairs- Patch_SE (KS hairs 1.61f) Immersive Wenches -Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul- Patch Legacy of the Dragonborn - Creation Club Patch Hub Summermyst X Immersive Jewelry Beyond Skyrim - DLC Integration Patch 1.6.2 Armor and Clothing Extension - Spell Perk Item Distributor (SPID) Patch Skyrim Reputation - Sacrosanct Patch Skyrim Reputation - Growl Patch
PROTEUS Souls Do Things 2 Simply Order Summons Unequip Quiver SE Remote Interactions YASTM - Yet Another Soul Trap Manager Purchaseable Store-Display-Items Nether's Follower Framework Crosshair-aligned Crossbow AH Hotkeys - Skyrim Hotkey Manager SSE Talkative Dragons Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers Remember Lockpick Angle - Updated Rich Skyrim Merchants Loading Screens With Extra Sarcasm SE - ESL Flagged Lore-Based Loading Screens Formation with Followers Realistic Torch Light NPC's Run and Walk at Your Pace Extended Carryweight Dead NPC Body Cleaner Remover
RAID Weathers Lux Orbis Lux Lux Via
Folkvangr - Grass and Landscape Overhaul The Wheels of Lull Retexture SE Footprints Immersive Armors Retexture and Mesh Fixes SE RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special Edition SkySight Skins - Ultra HD Male Textures and Real Feet Meshes (4K2K HIGH) Skyrim Textures Redone Enhanced Night Sky The Eyes of Beauty - Vampire Eyes SE The Eyes Of Beauty SSE Blended Roads Enhanced Blood Textures Better Dynamic Snow SE Realistic Water Two SE Tempered Skins for Females Salt and Wind - Rough Hair for KS Hairdos SE Dirt and Blood - Dynamic Visual Effects Eye Normal Map Fix SSE Superior Lore-Friendly Hair - HD textures Vanilla Body with UNP Textures Moonpath To Elsweyr Retexture SE Sensible Bribes - Based on Speechcraft Not Level Soaking Wet - Character Wetness Effect Face Discoloration Fix Nordic Snow RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special Edition Cleaned Skyrim SE Textures - Performance Optimized
Skyrim Extended Cut - Saints and Seducers Legacy of the Dragonborn Moonpath to Elsweyr SSE Carved Brink Identity Crisis Helgen Reborn The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal SE Project AHO The Wheels of Lull SE Wyrmstooth Beyond Skyrim - Bruma SE Beyond Skyrim - Assets Nilheim - Misc Quest Expansion The Only Cure - Quest Expansion College of Winterhold - Quest Expansion Paarthurnax - Quest Expansion House of Horrors - Quest Expansion The Whispering Door - Quest Expansion The Innocence Lost - Quest Expansion
Armor Variants Expansion Proper Crossbow Integration Royal Armory - New Artifacts Heavy Armory - New Weapons Immersive Weapons Immersive Armors Armor and Clothing Extension Guards Armor Replacer SSE Immersive Jewelry 1.06a Immersive Jewelry SSE
Taunt Your Enemies - Taunting Matters Immersive Speechcraft SE Arcanum - A New Age of Magic (Fixed) Ordinator - Combat Styles - ESL Path of Sorcery - Magic Perk Overhaul SPERG - Skyrim Perk Enhancements and Rebalanced Gameplay SSE Port Adamant - A Perk Overhaul Mysticism - A Magic Overhaul Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim Vokriinator - Choice Cuts Mannaz - Integrated Races of Skyrim VioLens - A Killmove Mod SE Valravn - Integrated Combat of Skyrim Chapter II - Jeremy Soule Inspired Music Take a Peek - New Stealth Mechanic Apothecary - Food and Drink Addon Apothecary - An Alchemy Overhaul Vitrium Hunterborn Sojourn Over Signposts - Witcher-Style Fast Travel Alternative Archery Gameplay Overhaul SE Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - RDO SE Last Seed Campfire and Frostfall - Unofficial SSE Update Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered Summermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim Skyrim Reputation Improved Skyrim Reputation - Fixed and Patched Skyrim Reputation Growl - Werebeasts of Skyrim Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim Odin - Skyrim Magic Overhaul Sacrosanct - Vampires of Skyrim Arcanum - A New Age of Magic 4.0.1 Bugfix Arcanum - A New Age of Magic Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim Wintersun - Faiths of Skyrim Realistic AI Detection (RAID) Predator Vision - Night Eye and Thermal Vision Overhaul PapyrusUtil SE - Modders Scripting Utility Functions Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival Wet and Cold SE Campfire - Complete Camping System (Supports Skyrim VR)
NPCs React To Invisibility Civil War Lines Expansion Carriages and Stables Dialogue Bundle Forsworn and Thalmor Lines Expansion Orc Addon for Vampire Lines Expansion Vampire Lines Expansion Guard Dialogue Overhaul SE Xelzaz - Custom Fully Voiced Argonian Telvanni Follower Immersive World Encounters SE Immersive Patrols SE AE Diverse Werewolves Collection SE Skyrim Skill Uncapper for SE and AE Deadly Dragons and Splendor Dragon Variants SE (PATCH) Splendor - Dragon Variants SE Diverse Dragons Collection SE (DDCse) Deadly Dragons Immersive Wenches SkyTEST Integration Project SE SkyTEST - Realistic Animals and Predators SE INIGO Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul Sleeping Expanded - Animations and NPC reactions NPCs React To Necromancy (And More) Interesting NPCs SE (3DNPC) Interesting NPCs 3DNPC SE Alternative Locations - ESL Flag OBIS SE - Organized Bandits In Skyrim Special Edition DIVERSE SKYRIM SSE
Cage of Clavicus SE Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes Skyrim Project Optimization SE eFPS - Exterior FPS boost Point The Way Lightened Skyrim Hearthfire Extended Artifacts - The Ice Blade of the Monarch [SSE] Artifacts - The Tournament of the Ten Bloods [SSE] Grass FPS Booster New Beginnings - Live Another Life Extension SSE Alternate Start - Live Another Life - SSE Gildergreen Regrown Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods eFPS - AnniversaryEditionFreeCC
Hvergelmir's Aesthetics - Beards KS Hairdos SSE Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes Ruins Clutter Improved SE Flickering Meshes Fix Static Mesh Improvement Mod
Dual Casting Fix ConsolePlusPlus Unofficial Skyrim Modder's Patch - USMP SE Precision Creatures Precision Vanilla Script (micro)Optimizations Dynamic Collision Adjustment Scrambled Bugs Payload Interpreter Optimised Scripts for SPERG PAPER Customizable Camera moreHUD SE moreHUD Inventory Edition Immersive HUD - iHUD Special Edition Heels Fix Dynamic Animation Casting - NG Better Combat Escape - SSE Whose Quest Is It Anyway Scaleform Translation Plus Plus MCM Recorder Menu Maid 2 - MCM manager Recipe Auto-Learn To Your Face SE - AE - VR B.O.O.B.I.E.S (aka Immersive Icons) Keyword Item Distributor Inventory Interface Information Injector MergeMapper Armor Rating Rescaled SKSE Remake Constructible Object Custom Keyword System UIExtensions ConsoleUtilSSE Notification Filter - Remove unwanted notifications Compass Navigation Overhaul Infinity UI Run For Your Lives Favorite Things - Extended Favorites Menu for SkyUI SkyUI Weapons Pack SE Dynamic Animation Replacer More Informative Console Better Jumping SE iWant Widgets Immersive Sounds - Compendium A Quality World Map First Person Camera Height Fix Player Rotation in ShowRaceMenu RaceMenu Lazy Renamer No Spinning Death Animation SE Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent Voice Better MessageBox Controls Better Dialogue Controls Clean Menu Animation Motion Revolution MCM Helper Spell Perk Item Distributor SkyUI Item Card Fixes Fix Note icon for SkyUI (SKSE64 plugin) powerofthree's Papyrus Extender Wider MCM Menu for SkyUI SkyUI - Ghost Item Bug Fix SkyUI SE - Flashing Savegames Fix Complete Widescreen Fix for Vanilla and SkyUI 2.2 and 5.2 SE SkyUI JContainersGOG SSE Display Tweaks powerofthree's Tweaks Bug Fixes SSE SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin) Skyrim Priority SE AE - skse plugin Address Library for SKSE Plugins Realistic Ragdolls and Force Nemesis Creature Behaivour - WereWolf Addon Nemesis Creatures BEHAVIOUR compatibility Project New Reign - Nemesis Unlimited Behavior Engine Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
*Creation Club: ccBGSSSE025-AdvDSGS *Creation Club: ccBGSSSE037-Curios *Creation Club: ccBGSSSE001-Fish *Creation Club: ccQDRSSE001-SurvivalMode *DLC: Dawnguard *DLC: Dragonborn *DLC: HearthFires
submitted by aszsedw
to skyrimmods [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 16:27 nnevergreen P00b7 issues 2015 Chevy spark
Howdy. On 5/28 I was driving 4 hours and halfway through my AC shit out. Got home, 5/29 AC working again. 5/30 check engine light goes on. Hooked it up to computer got p00b7 code. Checked the coolant and it was bone dry. Refilled it as per user manual. Check engine light still on and it’s been about 10-20ish starts at this point. I was thinking about disconnecting battery to see if the problem was solved. Any ideas on what could be going on? Is it safe to drive now that the coolant is refilled? I have an appt with my local dealer in a few days but work needs me on the road in the meantime. Any thoughts appreciated.
submitted by nnevergreen
to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 16:16 morird74 Potential lemon on my 21 powerboost? Looking for advice
Bought my 2021 Lariat Powerboost (24k miles) just over a month ago. Had to drive 6 hours and two states over to get the truck I wanted as no local ford dealers had it, but this ford dealer did. but seemed worth it.
I absolutely love everything about the truck from the looks to the features. But have had to bring it to the dealer 3 times now.
This latest time the check engine light came on, and i would sometimes get a notification on the dash “power reduced to lower engine temperature” even though the temp looks fine from the gauge.
I read the code and it came up as P2C22. Which from my research looked like it had to do with the heat exchanger.
Finally got an appointment at my local dealer and they said it’s a faulty “flex pipe water heater”. They said there is no ETA on this part but he estimates it’ll be in by July… which is over a month away.
He said I would be fine driving it for normal every day driving, but I operate a side business where I need to tow a trailer several times a week… he said I should not tow until it’s fixed.
Also said they do not have a loaner to give me. So now for at least a month I can’t use my truck for my business..
I’m not sure what to do at this point.. I don’t want to get rid of my truck as I love it, but I’m now going to be losing business because this nearly brand new truck has issues.
submitted by morird74
to f150 [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 16:06 cmccomas18 Car stopped while merging onto highway
Yesterday, I was driving around town just fine and was then headed to the highway/shoreway (speed limit is only 35 but structured like a highway, if that makes sense?). When I was in the merging lane about to get on, my car started to slow down and I was unable to press down on either the gas or the brakes. When my car finally came to a stop right where the lanes merged, the BATTERY CHECK, OIL PRESSURE, and CHECK ENGINE lights all came on. I immediately put my hazards on and shut off the car. Luckily I was far enough away that oncoming cars were able to see my hazards and merge early, but it was still scary. After opening and closing the passenger door, I tried to turn on the car again and it started right away without any issues, and none of the lights were on my dash. I drove around for a bit to see if it was going to die again, and it didn't. I went back and started up the car again a few hours later, and no issues. What the heck happened when I was merging?!
TL;DR - car died when merging onto highway, but started back up perfectly normal afterwards.
(Sorry, I really don't know much about cars or how to properly explain exactly what happened. I tried my best!)
submitted by cmccomas18
to Cartalk [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 16:04 KiddKnyghtMarez I Got Caught Up With Some Loan Sharks, And Someone Totally Unexpected Saved My Ass.
Since freshman year I’ve been in and out of trouble, often getting myself in all kinds of nasty situations. It was around that time my grades started to drop and my parents got more complaints from my teachers. I hung with the wrong crowds and would often get suspended. Over the years things got worse. My problems left school and became minor offenses with the law. Everything from shoplifting to vandalism. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been dragged home in a squad car, only to be snatched in and scolded by my dad.
In the middle of senior year not much had changed. My grades were overall still piss poor and I almost got busted for selling prescription pills. At that point I had messed up so much that my parents finally decided that they’ve had enough. They gave me an ultimatum. I had just turned eighteen, so they told me either I got my shit together, or they were going to let me go - one more mishap and I was out of the house.
Honestly, I’ve been wanting to move out and get away from my parents for a while anyways. My “unruly” and rebellious acts in high school was a result of their constant bickering and attempts at controlling every aspect of my life. I’ve become more and more annoyed with them as time passed.
After our talk I became determined to stay out of trouble. I still needed somewhere to stay before leaving, and I didn’t want to get thrown out before I found a way to support myself. I was motivated to turn my life around. But I had to start somewhere, and it was in an industry I knew I’d hate working in.
I found a position at a burger joint. After a few weeks of faithfully punching the clock after school, and fulfilling my duty as a cashier, I really was off to a good start. That was until I decided I needed a car. Although my job was only a few blocks away, I thought I would need some reliable transportation for myself in the future.
Obviously I had no money to purchase a new car, so I planned on buying a used one. One day after school I made a trip to the nearest dealership and searched for a used vehicle with a low price. I wanted to get the car as soon as possible, but I had no credit and I couldn’t pay the full price up front. I searched for other solutions.
An old acquaintance told me about a guy called Bucky-Mac. He told me this guy would loan me the money for the car no matter what my credit was like. From what I've heard, Bucky-Mac was primarily a drug dealer, but he also lent money to desperate people on the side.
Apparently he's been around for years, so I found it odd that I've never heard of this guy before. The fact that this guy was pretty much a loan shark did very little to deter me at the time. My sudden enthusiasm and hope that came with finally wanting to get my life together and taking my future seriously kind of clouded my judgment.
I went to the guy that my old friend had informed me of. Bucky-Mac spent a lot of time in a spot located on the other side of town. It was in a wooded area, at the end of a long dirt road deep into a labyrinth of trees. I rode my bike over there that day, so it took me about ten minutes to travel down the dirt road and reach the small wooden house with boarded up windows.
There were four black trucks parked on the property, with a few men hanging out and standing here and there. One guy smoking a cigarette turned and spotted me coming his way. He stopped in the middle of taking another swig and stared at me as I came closer. The other guys nearby spotted me soon after. I rode closer to the guy with the cigarette and hopped off my bike. All the eyes glued on me made me feel uneasy, so I was slow about speaking. After seconds of awkward silence the cigarette smoking guy says,
“Who are you?”
The curious men that surrounded him looked as if they also wanted to know.
“I-I’m Jake. I’m here to talk to Bucky-Mac,” I said.
He nodded his head in approval before flicking his still lit cigarette away. Then he gestured for me to follow him. I was led into the nearly dilapidated house, as many of the other guys had their gaze locked on me as I entered.
The place was mostly dark inside. But there were a few dimly lit areas, many of which were occupied with boxes and blocks of a suspicious substance heavily wrapped in tape. There was a guy inside hauling many of the blocks into the boxes as he taped them up. The house also reeked of marijuana. The scent was so strong I was surprised it didn’t hit me while I was outside.
We made a turn down a hall which had a closed door at the end. The guy in front of me knocked twice when we reached it. The door swung open in seconds, revealing a middle aged man standing in the doorway. He was smiling. He glanced at me quickly then laid eyes back on the guy in front of me.
“Who is this?” he asked.
The guy in front me shrugged his shoulders.
The middle aged man’s smile grew wider. He had one gold tooth. His hair was slicked back, and it shined in the sunlight beaming in through the window behind him.
“How’s it going?” He said, still smiling.
“I’m fine, man. You?” I replied.
Although I felt a little uneasy, I tried to present myself as confident and just as friendly as this guy appeared to be so far.
“Why don’t you come into my office?” He said, stepping back and giving way for me and the other guy to enter.
We walked in then the middle aged man closed the door behind us. There were two chairs sitting in front of a decorative desk, which had a revolver and a half consumed glass of liquor near it. I took a seat in one of the chairs, as the man came and sat behind his desk. The other guy stood by the door.
“So, what’s up? "
“You are Bucky-Mac, right?” I asked.
He picked up the glass of liquor and gulped down what remained before saying,
“Of course, mate! All day everyday.”
I looked behind me and saw the guy by the door grinning. Then I spun back around only to see Bucky-Mac still smiling.
“I need to borrow some cash,” I said.
From there I explained my situation. I told him that I just turned eighteen and was about to graduate high school in a few months. I informed him of my bumpy years of high school, why I wanted to turn my life around after graduating, and how the money would allow me to buy a car, which would be convenient during the job hunting process.
“Hmm, I see,” Bucky-Mac mumbled, staring at his desk, “You seem to be a man of good intent. You made some mistakes, and now you wanna do better. I can respect that.”
He pulled a bottle of booze from behind his desk and started to refill the glass in front of him.
“You know, most people would find this hard to believe. But sometimes I wish I did the same when I was your age,” Bucky-Mac continued, “If I had thought the same as you earlier on, I’d have a much more stable life right now.”
I heard the guy by the door chuckle, as if he disagreed with Bucky-Mac’s statement.
“Thanks, man,” I said.
He offered me a drink, but I kindly turned it down.
“No worries, pal. You have my support,” Bucky-Mac assured, “So how much we lookin’ at?”
The second I left Bucky-Mac’s spot I headed straight for the dealership and purchased the car I’ve had my eye on. Then on the following day I pulled up to school in it. Some of the kids standing in the crowd in front of the school building noticed me as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. A few of them were my friends, and I often walked to school with them everyday.
They were surprised to see me suddenly pull up to school driving a car, and no longer walking with them. I must say, it felt good to drive around in a vehicle that I could say was mine. Although it was only a cheap used one, it was still my first car.
Among some of the kids in the crowd was a girl. She was standing in an area alone by the front doors. She was really tall, towering over most of the boys that stood in a group not too far away from her. Her eyes were locked on me as I drove by.
Abatha is her name. I’ve known her since first grade. No, we weren’t quite friends. If anything we were the opposite. Abatha has been a total bitch to me ever since the first day we met as small children.
It all started in second grade. Abatha snatched a toy from me. Then she proceeded to push me down and go crying to the teacher, saying I was the one that took the toy from her. The teacher believed her, and I was put in time out. I remember seven year old Abatha teasing me for the rest of the day after that.
This small childish incident led to non-stop feuding between us, year after year, well into our high school years. Most of it was initiated by her.
Often Abatha would taunt and harass me every chance she got. It became worse at the beginning of high school when my years of delinquency began. She had many field days laughing and making fun of me the second she found out I’d gotten into some trouble.
Her harassment was never anything more than verbal. Abatha never physically assaulted me, or displayed a desire to do so. I found this odd, as she very well could've, and inflicted some damage due to her large size. She’s always been a larger girl. Even when we were younger she had always been taller than me. By the time junior year came around she was 6’4.
As I pulled into a parking spot I saw Abatha grin before turning and entering the school building.
Two hundred fifty dollar payments a week. That was the deal. I told Bucky-Mac about my job as a cashier and he was willing to work with me. I expected close to half of my check to be gone every time I got paid for the next few months, but it was for a good cause.
I returned to Bucky-Mac’s spot one afternoon after leaving work, to pay him his share. The first week of paying was a piece of cake. Easy in, easy out. But it was when I went back the following week I realized I may have made a grave mistake.
He wanted double of what was paid the previous week. Five hundred dollars.
When he told me that, my stomach dropped. During our negotiation he specifically said two hundred fifty dollars per week. I was confused as to why he was changing the terms and conditions.
“I forgot to mention a little something called…interest,” Bucky-Mac explained, “Look at it this way. You’re helping me, help you.” Bucky-Mac said.
That friendly smile he once had when I first met him had turned into something else.
I already knew there would be some interest involved, because otherwise he wouldn’t make any profit lending money. But I didn’t expect it to be that much. Fortunately I was able to make the payment, as I could work more hours than most high schoolers who were restricted by child labor laws. But I barely had any money left afterwards.
When I went back the third week he wanted a thousand dollars.
One thousand dollars.
I mean, there was just no way he could expect me to pull that kind of cash on the spot. Especially after I told him about my low paying occupation.
I told him I couldn’t pay him that week. Then that’s when the shit hit the fan, and the guy beneath that friendly façade came to surface. Bucky-Mac’s smile faded completely, then he abruptly gained an expression of pure rage.
“We had a deal,” he said, standing up out of his seat.
That same guy from before was standing by the door, but the second Bucky-Mac stood up out of his seat, he moved in closer to me.
With my heart now racing, I mumble, “You didn’t say anything about interest rates this high -”
“We had a deal!” Bucky-Mac shouted.
“Dude, I get that. But w-we agreed to something totally different!” I said, now starting to get even more nervous.
I glanced behind me once more and saw that the other guy was almost leaning right up on me, still glaring. At this point I wanted to just run out of the room.
As Bucky-Mac walked from behind his desk the guy behind me wrapped his arm around my neck, locking me in a tight choke hold. I struggled to break free but the guy was too strong.
“What the fuck is thi - “ I started.
Before I could finish my sentence, Bucky-Mac came and punched me in the stomach. I grunted in pain then coughed multiple times. Then he kneeled down to look me right in the eye, as the guy behind me still had a hold on me.
“Now I’m gonna tell you this, Jake. I don’t like being ripped off,” Bucky-Mac said.
I felt the guy's arm slightly constrict around my neck tighter.
Bucky-Mac searched my pockets then pulled out all the cash I was carrying, which wasn’t very much.
“You’re short on payment,” he continued, “From now on, I want full payments every single week, starting next week. By then, I expect two thousand dollars sitting on my desk….no excuses. Or we’re gonna have some serious problems, Jake.”
Bucky-Mac delivered a few more punches to my gut before the guy behind me finally released me, letting me fall to the floor as I held my stomach.
“You can leave my office now,” Bucky-Mac mumbled, drawing a cigar from the inside of his suit.
After that incident I hadn’t returned to Bucky-Mac’s spot for two whole weeks. Bucky-Mac called my phone constantly during that time. I ignored. Every time my phone rang and I saw his number my heart would instantly leap. I didn’t know what I was going to do. But I had to think of something quick.
In the meantime, everyone at school was already excited about prom. I wasn’t. I had gotten myself caught up in some debt. Prom was the last thing I cared about.
During the next few weeks that’s all everyone at school discussed. My parents even brought it up to me, expressing how they hoped I planned on going to the last prom of high school. At first I disregarded their suggestion and didn’t plan on going. I had no one to take. I was pretty sure anyone I asked would’ve turned me down anyways. But to my surprise, someone asked me to prom instead.
A girl named Alexis. This was odd because I hadn’t interacted with her much over the years, and I barely knew her. But she told me she had no one to take to prom and she’s been checking me out for some time. So reluctantly, I agreed to go to prom with her. Afterwards, we spent some time hanging out and dating off and on. Some mornings I’d even pick her up and give her rides to school in my car.
One morning Abatha caught Alexis and I getting out of my car and heading to the school building. Abatha was standing alone once again. This time she was scrolling away on her phone. She spotted us out in the parking lot, then waited for us to approach her. Another mischievous grin plastered her face.
“Looks like the troublemaker caught himself another fish,” Abatha said as we passed by.
When I didn’t reply, Abatha stepped out in front of us and blocked our way.
“Abatha, not today”.
I had to look up to her as I spoke.
“I don’t wanna get into it with you right now. Please move,” I continued.
I took Alexis by the hand and tried to move around her but she just blocked me again.
Abatha did this often. I’ve had many girlfriends throughout high school. Every time Abatha saw me with a new girl she’d come and embarrass me in front of my date.
I sighed again. Abatha chuckled.
“What’s wrong, Jakey boy?...still feelin’ butterflies?” Abatha taunted.
She glanced at Alexis.
“Let me ask you something,” Abatha continued, stepping closer to Alexis, “Does he often get…jittery, when you’re alone?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your busine - “ Alexis started.
“Does he scream when you see him with his pants down?” Abatha interrupted, “Only asking because he did it before. When I pulled his pants down back in sixth grade…..wait, have you seen him with his pants down yet?”
Agitated, Alexis took me by the hand and made her way around Abatha, pulling me along with her. As we trotted along, I glanced back and saw Abatha frowning. I smirked at her as we walked further away. Abatha rolled her eyes in frustration before turning around and going in the opposite direction.
I was just getting off work on one Saturday night, as my shift had just ended. My manager was counting the till and I just cleaned the last table in the restaurant. While I waited by the door for the manager to lock up for the night, I saw a black truck pull into the parking lot outside. The truck parked right beside my car. My guess was a last minute customer. Evidently my manager thought the same because he told me to tell whoever was in the truck that we were closed. When they came to the door, that is. But no one ever did get out of the truck. About ten minutes had passed by and they were still sitting there letting the engine run.
My manager and I stepped outside after he had set the alarm and finished the till. Then the both of us went our separate ways in the parking lot, after the manager had locked the restaurant doors.
When I got to my car I tried to sneak a peek into the truck that was parked beside me but the windows were tinted very dark.
I heard the manager start the engine on his car and pull out of the parking lot. That’s when a door on the mysterious black truck suddenly shot open. A large man hopped out of the back seat and grabbed me from behind, hauling me into the truck afterwards.
As soon as the large man threw me into the back seat, I was reminded that I had told Bucky-Mac where I worked when we first met. I told him part of my schedule, and gave some specifics on times. I had also informed him of some other things I couldn’t recall at the moment. I know I may have told him a little too much but the guy seemed so friendly at first I thought I could trust him.
The guy that hauled me in pushed me further across the seat, before getting back in himself and closing the door. Someone else in the truck flipped on a light. Then I could clearly see Bucky-Mac sitting right beside me. He didn’t look happy.
“Sup, Jake?” He said.
He stared at me with cold and menacing eyes.
There were two guys in the front. They were looking back at me, holding expressions similar to Bucky-Mac’s.
“You’ve missed some payments, and it better be for good reason. Now, I hope you have cash to cover these couple weeks you’ve decided to skedaddle,” Bucky-Mac said.
He continued to glare at me, waiting for a response.
“I-I’ve been trying to get the money. What do you think I’m at this restaurant for?” I stammered.
He snickered then covered his face with his hand.
“Now, that’s a good one!.....But it’s still unacceptable. You haven’t been paying, and you’ve been ignoring my calls,” he snarled.
He elbowed me in the face, striking me right in my nose. My nose began to gush blood.
One of the guys up front lit a cigarette, then that’s when Bucky-Mac and the large guy sitting on my other side started to viciously beat me. They kicked my ass in that back seat for minutes, then the large guy opened the door again before shoving me outside on the ground.
The black truck backed up and took off, leaving me behind in the moonlit parking lot.
My entire body was aching like hell, and one of my eyes throbbed non-stop. I touched my bottom lip. It was swollen, and felt slightly enlarged. I could barely stand up straight heading to my car, as the pain had caused my body to beg for rest.
As I opened my car door, I heard something from a distance. A strange sound. Like a howl. It was echoing out into the night, and it went on for seconds. I turned in all directions making several attempts at finding the source.
I found nothing.
I even glanced at the sky. There was nothing there but the half moon.
I had dug myself deeper into the debt hole by not visiting Bucky-Mac for those two weeks. He increased my debt even more, and accounted for the times I didn’t show up. As expected, he doubled the amount for each week. This meant I owed him a total of eight thousand dollars as of the night in the parking lot.
After that I made sure I stopped by Bucky-Mac’s spot and paid him as much as I could for the following few weeks after, even though it was nowhere near enough. As a result of the low payments, I received more beatings everytime I went. But I had to keep going and pay him what I could, otherwise he’d do something worse if I didn’t show up at all.
But what was I kidding. I was never going to pay off this debt. At this point I realized that’s exactly how Bucky-Mac wanted things. He wanted a constant flow of cash that never ended. Even if I showed up to his office one day and paid what I owed in full, he’d just double the debt and kick my ass again.
The beatings were getting unbearable. I couldn’t take it anymore. So I felt I had to skip out on him for a couple more weeks as a way to catch a break from getting my ass kicked. Again I ignored his calls when he hit up my cell phone. After that I just anticipated the black truck waiting for me outside of my job.
Bucky-Mac didn’t show up at my job anymore. He came to my school instead. After the bell rang and the school day came to an end, fear showered me when I walked outside and saw the black truck parked across the street.
I planned on giving Alexis a ride home that day, so she was by my side as I tried to ease my way to my car. Unfortunately I was spotted as I crawled into the driver’s seat. The backdoor on the black truck swung open, then that same large guy from before came trotting across the street. When the guy approached my car, he swung my door back open then gently pulled me out of the driver’s seat.
“Jake, where are you going?” Alexis said, “Who is this?”
The guy held his arm on my shoulder as he walked me across the street to the black truck. He faked a smile and pretended to be an acquaintance to avoid drawing the attention of the nearby students around us. We got to the truck then the guy shoved me into the back seat once again.
I met Bucky-Mac with an unsettled gaze the second I was thrown in. I could hear Alexis constantly shouting my name outside.
“I thought I wouldn’t have to tell you again,” Bucky-Mac mumbled, “But it looks like you’re a pretty terrible listener!”
With that, the guy up front started to slowly drive away from the school. I glanced out the window and saw Alexis jogging on the sidewalk to keep up with us. The truck made a stop after a block of cruising. They parked near a curb closeby.
Another beating was initiated, and I can tell you this was the worst one yet. They gave me double the amount of blows to my body. I received so many strikes to the face I was surprised I could see at all when it was over.
Alexis peeped through the window with her hands cupped around her eyes, yelling for them to stop.
“Stop it, you’re gonna hurt him!” she cried.
They kept going, punching and elbowing me for minutes. I could feel blood elevating my throat.
Bucky-Mac drew a knife and held it to my pupil.
“Listen here you little shit. The next time you screw me over, not only are we gonna beat you twice as worse and twice as longer, but I’m gonna take my blade…and pluck one of your eyes,” He threatened.
He brought the blade even closer to my eye. Almost to the point where I could almost feel the tip touching my eyeball.
“You can’t afford to test me again, Jake.”
I was shoved out of the truck once more, only to be meant with Alexis crying on the sidewalk. The panic on her face grew more intense when she saw my nose dripping with blood.
“Jake, what’s going on?” she sobbed.
I didn’t answer.
Someone else was walking towards us on the sidewalk. It was Abatha. She saw Alexis crying, then glanced at me. As soon as she saw my battered face there was an expression of concern.
Abatha wasn’t smiling.
Alexis broke up with me the next day. She got spooked by the incident and decided she didn’t want much to do with me anymore. Our plans to go to prom together were also canceled. The incident had given Alexis the wrong impression - that I was still engaging in pathological behavior. She complained of not being able to be around me anymore, saying,
“So these are the kind of people you deal with?!...If that’s the case, then I’m afraid we’re not gonna work.”
She walked away then barely spoke to me anymore after that. Then of course Abatha just had to be nearby to witness and overhear everything. Abatha was already holding her usual grin when I glanced at her.
“Looks like you messed up again, Jakey boy!” She teased, “Your fish unhooked itself and swam away?”
I glared at her angrily, then brushed past her to enter the school building.
It was pretty disappointing for our plans to be canceled. But hell, my whole ideal ending for my senior year had been canceled as far as I knew. Just when I was starting to grow more enthusiastic about senior prom all hope was taken away. Prom was just a month and a half away and I no longer had a date to take. To make matters worse, Alexis had already found another prom date within days after splitting up with me.
Abatha wouldn’t shut up about that. She rubbed it in face for days.
“Well that was quick. We’ll see how fast you can find another date…if at all,” she said before trailing away, giggling.
I lifted a middle finger at her as she walked.
At this point in time I no longer cared about the car. I wished I could return it and take back everything. I just wanted out of this debt with Bucky-Mac, and for senior year to just end already. I was giving up on all hopes for my plans for the future. As a matter of fact, after being too afraid to face Bucky-Mac once again and skipping out on meeting him for another three weeks, I decided that I’d contact the police and inform them of the situation I’d gotten myself in soon. Then let my parents know what was going on.
I was sure my parents would definitely kick me out after finding out I made a deal with a loan shark. But I didn’t care. Keeping a secret wasn’t worth my life. Or in this case - my eye.
Unfortunately I made the fatal mistake of not acting on those thoughts soon enough, as I ended another night shift at work with the black truck waiting for me out in the parking lot. My heart leaped instantly as I felt my body run cold. I wanted badly to just tell my manager everything and beg him to call the police for me. But instead all he did was activate the security system and lock the doors as usual. Then he pulled out of the parking lot, leaving me to endure what was to come.
The black truck pulled out of its parking spot and made its way over to me. That same large guy hopped out and started to haul me into the truck.
“Get his ass in here!!” I heard Bucky-Mac hiss.
We all heard something. Then the large guy holding me paused.
It was the same howling sound I heard before. Again it echoed out into the night, and got louder the longer it went on.
“What the hell is that?” The large guy said.
“Who gives a shit?!! Get him in!” Bucky-Mac demanded.
The large guy did just that.
This time instead of giving me the usual beating quickie, they pulled off as soon as I was hauled into the truck and drove me back to Bucky-Mac’s spot. The truck halted at a stop upon arriving at the small raggedy house.
This was my first time at the spot during the night, and it looked a bit different. There was no kind of artificial light in this wooded area so it was a lot darker than usual. But the light from the full moon above provided enough to see around the dark pit that surrounded us.
The men shoved me out of the truck and started their beating ritual. The other two men joined in this time, punching and kicking me, barely giving me a chance to breathe. In the middle of all this was the sound of the howling again.
The large guy was the only one to acknowledge it. He paused, but Bucky-Mac and the other two continued to beat me.
After minutes of receiving many more blows, they all stopped. The large guy positioned my body to lean against the back tire of the truck. Then Bucky-Mac drew his pocket knife and kneeled down to face me.
I moaned and groaned from the painful sensations moving throughout my body.
"I tried," Bucky-Mac started, "I've really tried to work with you. But it's obvious you're a fraud."
He had some nerve. The loan shark, calling me a fraud.
"I think you get a kick out of not giving me what I want…what I deserve.”
He opened the blade on the knife and brought the point to my eye.
“Now I’m gonna take something away you desperately want….and don’t deserve,” he continued.
I swore I could feel the tip of the blade slightly drive into my sclera. Before it could go any deeper, we all heard that howl for the third time that night. Except it sounded very close this time. So close no one could ignore it. Not even Bucky-Mac. He lowered the knife then glanced behind him, as that’s where it seemed the howling came from.
There was nothing there but a patch of darkness resting between the trees.
“What the - ?” Bucky-mac whispered.
As we all stared at the patch of darkness, two glowing dots emerged in front of our eyes.
Two yellow glowing dots.
Behind the yellow dots came another howl, along with some deep and beastly growls.
The dots started to come closer, then continued until whatever was hiding in the shadows came out into view, and was exposed beneath the moonlight.
The sight of the creature we were looking at had caught us all off guard. Bucky-Mac dropped the knife then all five of us began backing away.
In front of us was some kind of tall and fury beast. The creature stood upright just like a human, and had to be no less than seven feet tall. Its muscles were so defined they practically rippled through its black and shiny coat of fur. Turns out the yellow dots were the creature’s eyes. Those beady eyes were locked on us, as we backed away even further.
The creature opened its long snout full of pointed teeth, dripping with saliva, and let out a deafening, monstrous sound.
"Bucky, what the hell is going on?!" One of the other guys shouted.
"H-how the fuck should I know?" Bucky-Mac yelled.
I could hear the fear and concern in their voices.
The creature let out several smaller growls, then suddenly began sprinting towards us on all fours. Bucky-Mac and his guys drew pistols and began firing multiple shots at the hairy beast.
I turned to run but instantly tripped and fell on my stomach. The sharp pain in my stomach left me stagnant for seconds.
Bullets struck the creature in several areas on its muscular body. The gunfire seemed to do little to no damage, but it was enough to keep the creature temporarily distant. The beast backed off then started to crawl up the walls of Bucky-Mac’s small drug house. The men continued to fire at the creature until it reached the roof.
“Come on, kill this fuckin’ thing!” Bucky-Mac shouted, firing away with his revolver.
With many bullets still striking its body, the creature took a huge leap off the building. It jumped so high I could see the full moon behind it’s body as it accelerated through the air - towards us. It landed right on top of the guy who drove the truck, crushing his puny human body and taking a huge bite out of his head afterwards. Blood sprayed from the exposed brains in his skull, dousing his partner in the face nearby and preventing him from seeing where he was shooting.
The guy screamed and tried to flee the area. He could barely turn around before the creature took one of its paws and ran its razor sharp claws across his face, slicing one of his eyes in the process and leaving three gruesome gashes behind.
Shocked, Bucky-Mac dropped his gun and watched the creature lift his disfigured partner off the ground and pull one his arms clean off his body. The guy screamed in agony as his stump cascaded with blood and fell to the ground like a waterfall. He wiggled and twitched in pain, making several feeble attempts at breaking free of the creature’s grasp.
Bucky-Mac turned and started to flee. The big guy followed behind him, dashing right past me, and leaving me alone with the beast.
The creature turned and started to stare at me with those yellow eyes, still holding Bucky-Mac’s mangled partner in its hand. The fear and terror left me paralyzed. I couldn’t move.
I started to feel a little light headed, and keeping my eyes open became difficult.
The last thing I remembered before I passed out, was those glowing eyes and those sharp canines dripping with crimson.
When I woke up I couldn’t tell how much time had passed. I stood up and scanned the area, only to see the truck still beside me. The mangled bodies of the driver and passenger of the truck were laid out not too far away. But Bucky-Mac and the large guy were nowhere to be found.
The creature had disappeared too.
I wasted no time. Right away I started to run, trying to make my way out of that neck of the woods. While darting through the trees, I came across two more bodies, one slumped on its side and the other on its back.
I ran to one of the bodies and rolled it over using my foot. I almost screamed when I saw the face. It was Bucky-Mac, and he was unrecognizable. His face had been completely torn away, leaving nothing behind but his exposed and bleeding face muscles. His mouth was slightly open. Opened wide enough for me to see his one gold tooth.
The large guy’s torso had been torn open, his body sprawled out, eyes staring out into nothing but the darkness that surrounded him. Dried blood was caked all over his face and neck.
I heard some growls.
This caused me to start running again. I got a glimpse of a pair of yellow eyes hiding in the middle of some trees as I passed by. I ran faster. Then I heard multiple footsteps behind me.
It was following me.
I made it out of the woods and reached a street light out on the road, where I sat down on the curb and took some time to catch my breath. I didn’t hear the footsteps anymore so I assumed I was safe. I also glanced behind me again and saw nothing pursuing me.
That thing had all the time in the world to maul me to bits. It could’ve easily caught me while I was running…so why didn’t it?
For some reason I still felt a bit light headed. I rested my head on my hand. But while doing so I felt a rough substance on my forehead. I brought my finger to my face to see what I had touched. Something blue and dry.
Someone kissed me.
My parents wondered where I was and wanted to know why I was getting home so late that night. I lied and said I went to a party after work. They were a bit upset that I didn't call and let them know what was going on. I was fine with that. I was just glad to be alive, and for the first time since forever I was happy to see them.
It was that night I realized I would be just fine staying with my parents for a while longer. I also decided that I had no problem working at the burger joint until I figured out what I really wanted out of life, and college just may be a possibility in the future.
I continued to faithfully show up to work and complete my shifts, and wait patiently for my senior year to come to an end.
Meanwhile, the authorities found Bucky-Mac and his men. Then they raided his drug house. No one could identify the cause of their deaths, or tell whether another animal or human was responsible. The story was all over the news, and it had people in town shook. Everyone kept talking about the gruesome killings until the end of the school year. Who or what might have done it was always up for debate.
To this day, no one knows that I was there to see it all. I always got uneasy overhearing someone at school talk about it.
Two weeks before prom I opened my locker to see a pink envelope lying on top of my books. I picked it up and saw Abatha's name written across the front. While tearing open the envelope I sighed and rolled my eyes, expecting to see something crude and belligerent.
There was a folded letter inside, and upon opening it my eyes went wide. My heart started racing, and I was shocked to my core. At the very top of the page was an imprint of lips with…
Below that was a lengthy letter from Abatha, explaining how she really felt about me. How she's felt for a long time. In the last paragraph was something else that left me perplexed.
She was asking me out, and she wanted to be my girlfriend.
She..she also wanted to take me to prom.
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2023.05.31 16:01 khoafraelich789 TOYOTA COROLLA HYBRID 2023 REVIEW: A SENSIBLE UPDATE FOR A SENSIBLE CAR
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Toyota has long had an image of quiet sensibleness about it. They used to be the sort of car bought by those who prioritise reliability above all else, and for whom excitement is anathema. That has begun to change, and not just in the fire-breathing GR models. Outgoing Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda (grandson of the company founder) is a car nut to his fingertips, and waged a long campaign to make his family company’s products more exciting to drive, and to look at.
The once-bland Corolla has been a major part of that plan, relaunched in 2019 with sharper styling and a more invigorating driving experience. Now, for 2023, it’s getting a facelift (of the most minor sort) and an upgrade to its hybrid powertrain. Does that make it a more interesting prospect still, or is Toyota once again playing it safe?
Exterior design and rivals
If you can line up the outgoing Corolla and the new side by side and spot all the differences, you’ll probably win a Toyota-branded anorak. The updated Corolla looks all-but identical to the outgoing one, with only the front bumper, the internal bits of the head- and tail-lights and the back bumper actually new. There are some updated alloy wheel designs, admittedly, and a couple of new paint options including the handsome new ‘Juniper Blue’ finish pictured here.
For all its familiarity. the Corolla remains a smart looking car. It can even look enticingly sporty at times, especially in estate form, and especially in the more overt GR Sport trim (not to be confused with the actual GR Corolla hot hatch that British buyers are still denied). The blandness of previous models has been thoroughly banished, and the Corolla is much the better for it.
Will that be enough to give the Corolla more kerbside and showroom appeal than the new Honda Civic, or the venerable Volkswagen Golf? Perhaps — impressive though the new Civic is, it is a very conservatively-styled car on the outside, while the droopy-nosed eighth-generation Golf is looking tired already, unless you get a sporty model such as the GTI.
Hyundai’s handsome i30 Fastback is arguably the Corolla’s sharpest looking rival, although it currently lacks any kind of hybrid or plug-in hybrid option, while the Skoda Octavia provides a strong contest, as not only is it quietly handsome on the outside, it’s significantly more spacious than the Corolla inside.
Interior and practicality
Toyota has made more meaningful changes to the Corolla’s interior, but those changes come under the heading of technology, so we’ll cover those below. Elsewhere, the overall shapes and styling are the same as before, and so too are the exceptional quality levels — the Corolla remains a car able to put much more expensive models to shame with its cabin quality.
It’s far from the roomiest car around, though. While the front seats are very comfortable and supportive, and the driving position good, the high centre console and the way the dashboard design juts outward above your knees makes the car feel a touch cramped, especially if you’re tall.
There’s also a lack of storage space. The box under the front armrest, the door bins and the little shelf in front of the gear lever (which is optionally occupied by a wireless phone charger) are all a bit small, so there isn’t quite enough room for all your keys, wallets, water bottles and so on.
In the five-door hatchback there’s simply not enough legroom for one tall adult to sit behind another. If you’re going to accommodate anyone over the age of 13 in the back seats, the driver and front passenger are going to have to slide their seats forward. Headroom is also less than generous.
The boot isn’t much better. Even Toyota people will admit that the 361-litre boot is less than class leading, some 20 litres shy of the Golf’s and hundreds of litres smaller than a Skoda Octavia’s. The only upside is that the Toyota’s boot is roomier or at least as roomy as some plug-in hybrid rivals — such as the Vauxhall Astra.
You’d be much better off in the Corolla Touring Sports estate. This sits on a structure with the front and rear wheels pushed apart by 10cm and which offers rear space that, if not exactly generous, is at least adequate.
The Touring Sport’s boot is more useful, too — at 598 litres up to the luggage cover it’s not the biggest in the class, but it’s more than enough for most purposes. Fold the estate’s back seats flat (disappointingly, they only split 60:40, compared to the 40:20:40 of the Peugeot 308 SW) and you’ve got 1,606 litres of load space.
Technology and safety
The new 12.3in digital driver’s display is a welcome replacement for the previous mixed analogue and digital instrument panel, which looked tired and old even when it was new.
The new digital screen is much sharper, and while you’ll have to submit to a somewhat confusing settings menu to alter the layout, you can at least do so. The graphics look crisp, too.
A dramatic backlit side view of the Corolla pops up as you switch driving modes.
In the centre of the dash is a new 10.5in touchscreen infotainment system, which is a massive improvement on that of the outgoing Corolla.
Its graphics are bang up to date, and its menu layout is significantly more simple and logical. Toyota has helpfully retained physical stereo volume buttons, as well as separate physical heating and ventilation controls, which makes life much easier and safer on the move.
The screen includes a cloud-based navigation system that can give you live traffic advice, but which can be a touch laggy and slip behind the physical position of the car if you’re in an area of low mobile reception.
The Corolla now has a built-in antenna for internet connectivity, though, which powers that cloud-based nav, and which is free to use for the first four years of ownership. It also enables connection to your mobile phone through an app, which allows you to monitor the car’s various functions, flash the lights in a busy car park so that you can find it and remotely start the climate control so that you can cool the car down, or defrost it, before leaving the house.
The app, called MyT, also includes hybrid driving tips for anyone new to part-battery driving.
The Corolla already had a full five-star rating from Euro NCAP when it comes to crash safety, but Toyota has updated and upgraded the electronic safety kit under the name T-Mate. That upgrade includes a new forward-facing camera and radar that are claimed to be more effective than before, and which give the Corolla standard-fit adaptive cruise control.
The camera also allows for a new system called Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) — while this has some familiar functions such as collision warnings, it also includes a new active braking system that automatically ramps up the amount of energy recovered back into the battery when you lift off the accelerator while approaching a corner or when there’s a slower moving car in front.
It’s not quite ‘one-pedal’ driving, but it’s quite a useful and intuitive system that is backed up by a new active steering assistant that can help you swerve away from danger in an extreme situation.
Optionally, you can fit your Corolla with a blind-spot monitor and a rear cross-traffic alert, and with these systems comes an extra one — Safe Exit Assist, which warns you if you’re about to open a door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. It only works on the front doors, though, and unlike Hyundai’s system — which will actually inhibit the door latch to stop you opening it — the Corolla just has a flashing light and a warning beep.
Performance, power output and acceleration
While the engine capacity of the basic 1.8-litre Corolla hybrid has remained the same, Toyota says that has been significantly upgraded as part of its new fifth-generation hybrid setup. For the 1.8, that means a new, more efficient, lithium-ion battery and a more powerful — 94bhp and 136lb ft of torque — electric motor, as well as a new computer brain.
The effect of all that is higher peak power — 138bhp now, up from 121bhp previously — and the same or better efficiency.
The 2-litre version also gets more power — it’s now up to 193bhp — and it’s slightly lighter than before as it has switched from a nickel metal hydride battery to a lithium-ion pack.
The 1.8 version arguably makes the 2-litre model redundant, as its extra power is really only noticeable under hard acceleration and that’s just not how you drive a Corolla hybrid. Much better to accelerate relatively gently, and let the improved electric motor do more of the work.
Do that and you’ll not only save fuel (55mpg is easy, beyond 60mpg is certainly possible), but you’ll also save your ears. Toyota has worked hard — and largely successfully — over the years to remove from its hybrids the high-revving noise when accelerating, and it’s certainly noticeable that the Corolla spends less time grinding away at high rpm to gather speed on the motorway. Long uphill runs are not its friend, but noise levels are rarely excessive in day-to-day driving.
The extra power on offer has given the Corolla swifter 0-62mph times — 9.1 seconds for the 1.8, 7.4 seconds for the 2-litre, but you’ll need to be in Sport mode if you want to feel the system at its highest performing. In the more likely event that you’re driving in Normal or Eco modes, the Corolla’s hybrid engine just rows along nicely, if unspectacularly.
It’s certainly more noticeable how much more of the work is done by the electric motor than before. Not so long ago, you had to drive any Toyota hybrid with exceptional care to keep it running on electric power – as indicated by a little “EV” icon in the instruments. Now, you can accelerate quite decisively, and get well above 30mph before the petrol engine wakes up.
Toyota reckons that as much as 80 per cent of urban journeys in a Corolla can be done on just electric power, which is impressive if it can be replicated (we scored an apparent 50 per cent electric ratio on our mixed country road, motorway and town drive if the dashboard display is to be believed).
Ride and handling
In 2019, the Corolla was almost shocking in how nice it was to drive. Previous generations had been pretty forgettable, but with this 12th generation, suddenly there was sharp steering and a willing, engaging chassis. That carries forward to the updated model.
Comfort is still clearly more of a priority than excitement. The Corolla rides firmly, but with a well-damped sense of comfort. It only gets harsh if you spec it up with the 18in alloy wheels of the GR Sport models. The mid-spec 17in wheels are perfectly fine when it comes to comfort, although all Corolla models seem to suffer from too much tyre roar on coarse tarmac, which does spoil the refinement.
The steering is light but very fluid in feel and quite quick across its locks. The Corolla also seems to have plenty of front-end grip in reserve, so tightening corners hold no great fears.
It’s not as sharp in its steering feel as say a Ford Focus or a Mazda3, but it’s certainly satisfying, and on a twisty mountain road it’s easy to get the Corolla into a pleasant and enjoyable rhythm, sweeping from corner to corner.
That Proactive Driving Assist also helps, as the extra bit of regenerative braking when approaching a bend can help you better balance the car on corner entry, so it’s as much a driving aid as a safety and energy-saving feature.
Pricing and on-sale date
The Corolla is on sale now and prices start from £30,210 for an Icon spec hatchback with the 1.8-litre hybrid engine. Standard spec for Icon models includes 16in alloys, LED headlights, the 12.3in digital instrument screen, the 10.5in infotainment system with online connectivity and cloud-based navigation, a wireless phone charger, keyless entry and ignition, two-zone air conditioning, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats.
If you want the 2-litre engine in Icon form, that’ll cost you £31,955 while the Touring Sports estate costs £31,545 with the 1.8 engine, or £33,290 as a 2-litre, both in Icon spec.
For £31,780 you can upgrade your 1.8 hatchback to Design spec, which comes with 17in machined-look alloy wheels, uprated LED headlights, rear privacy glass, auto-folding door mirrors, rain sensing wipers, ambient cabin lighting and a self-dimming rear-view mirror. A 2-litre hatch in Design spec costs £33,525, while the estate 1.8 Design is £33,115 and the 2-litre Design is £34,860.
Sporty-looking GR Sport spec starts from £32,990 for the 1.8 hatchback (£34,735 for the 2-litre and £34,705 or £36,450 for the 1.8 and 2-litre Touring Sports respectively). For that you get a chunky body kit with unique front and rear bumper designs, 18in dark grey alloys, black door mirror caps, red contrast stitching for the inside (along with embossed GR Sport logos) and the option of a contrast-colour roof.
At the top of the range is the Excel model, which will set you back £33,400 for the 1.8 hatch; £35,145 for the 2-litre hatch; £35,115 for the 1.8 estate; or £36,860 for the 2-litre estate. Standard Excel equipment includes 18in alloys, adaptive high-beam control, leather upholstery, a head-up display, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, safe exit assist and the option of a panoramic glass sunroof.
Verdict: Toyota Corolla Hybrid review
The fact that Toyota hasn’t changed the Corolla much is perhaps not very surprising. After all, in 2021, the 50 millionth Corolla was sold, underscoring the success of the model’s history of steady evolution rather than stunning revolution.
It remains a sensible choice, and the upgrades to the hybrid system are welcome both for the extra power and for the still-excellent economy. It’s no high-performance ball of fire but the Corolla is sharper and more rewarding to drive than you might expect. Given Toyota’s well-earned reputation for reliability, it should be a satisfying car to own in the long term.
Source: driving co
2023.05.31 15:57 Acceptable-League153 115 mile service Q5 3.0T
2023.05.31 15:31 JohannesMeanAd2 The Centennial Series, S2E2: 1923 Indianapolis 500 - Indy goes international!
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Hello everyone! I hope you all had fun watching the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, filled with many different strategic twists and turns and showcasing some of the finest displays of driver ability we've seen this season!
As we all know, the Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most historic motor races on the planet, with a rich heritage going all the way back to 1929. However, there is one other open wheel race that has historically been run on the same day, but halfway across the world in America: The Indianapolis 500. With speeds in excess of 230 miles per hour and attendance soaring past 300,000 on race day, the Indy 500 boasts arguably the most impressive CV of any active motor race in the world with its over 110-year-long history. Makes sense, then, that this would be our next destination for The Centennial Series retrospective.
The Start of the 1923 Indianapolis 500. Image credits to michaeljesse.net
For those of you on this sub who don't know, I make a series of commemorative posts for Grand Prix-adjacent races that occurred exactly 100 years ago as their anniversaries pass by us. Here's my most recent one in case you're interested in reading further.
This will be the second installment in this year's retrospective, so let's get into it!
Just like today, in 1923 the Indianapolis 500 held a special place in the motor racing world as arguably one of the fastest and most exciting races out there. If we had a holy trinity of races in the 1920s, they would be the Italian Targa Florio, the French Grand Prix, and this race. Indy represented the peak of American motor racing since the end of World War I, when rival events such as the ACA Grand Prize and the William K. Vanderbilt Cup fell into abeyance and irrelevance.
Aerial view of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1923.
You might be wondering, "this is a race that's still held today in the IndyCar series. Why would you do a retrospective on it if it's not a Grand Prix?" That's a great question and the answer lies in the past. Though it may seem strange, unlike in the 1950s, during the 1920s the Indy 500 was equally as relevant to the Grand Prix racing world as it was to that of racing in the United States. Quite often, many of the best manufacturers of Europe sought after victory in the Indianapolis 500 as a means of proving their race cars’ (and road cars) worthiness on a global scale. Some successful examples include Delage in the 1914 running, and Peugeot, who successfully won three times in 1913, 1916 and 1919.
As such, it made sense that the then-organizers of the Indy 500 (and most auto racing in America), the AAA Contest Board, wanted to keep in touch with the latest developments in international racing to maintain that worldwide interest in the Sweepstakes. In the previous year's Indianapolis 500 (Which you can read my post about here
), the technical regulations remained the same as they had been since the end of World War I, that of 3.0 liter engine regulations, on the grounds that the American auto industry still hadn't fully recovered a regular peacetime manufacturing capacity after The Great War.
However, this would all change for 1923. In 1922, the Automobile Club de France, or the ACF, adopted new, 2.0 liter engine regulations with slightly smaller weight requirements as the first true "new" post-war regulation. In the pursuit of maintaining international interest in the Indy 500, the AAA decided to follow suit for the 1923 season. In recognition of unifying their formula, the folks in Europe known as the AIACR (Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus, the FIA of its day) designated the Indianapolis 500 as a Grande Epreuve (French for “big test”), which was back then the term for an "official" international Grand Prix race.
And so, with the race now genuinely having international importance once more, it's time to see who's who and who the favorites were for the 1923 Indy 500:
The Team of Bugattis lining up for a photo at the 1923 Indy 500. Image credits to Simanaitis Says.
The first major European manufacturer to jump at the Indy opportunity would be Bugatti. Led by the great Ettore Bugatti himself, the Alsatian manufacturer had gained a reputation for punching well above their weight in the Grand Prix scene, with multiple voiturette victories to their name in 1920 and 1921, and making the step up to the Grand Prix races in 1922. Despite their gentlemanly lineup, their results were very promising, taking runner-up in France
and third place at Monza
. For 1923, they planned bigger and better things, but for the sake of getting their name out, Bugatti set out with their 1922-spec Type 30, modified to only have one seat (because back then Grand Prix racers still needed two seats).
Their drivers would be led by Pierre de Vizcaya and the legendary Polish designer Count Louis Zborowski. They were joined by a series of other wealthy aristocrats interested in a flick of speed, including the Parisian Prince de Cystria, and the Argentinians Martin de Alzaga and Raul Riganti. With just 90 horsepower on tap, Bugatti's best chances came from capitalizing on attrition. But still it's quite incredible that they're out here having only made it to the big leagues a year prior.
The Supercharged Mercedes M7294. Stripped down to only one seat for Indianapolis. Image credits to Supercars.net
Christian F. Lautenschlager. Image from Fine Art America.
And now for a manufacturer I'm sure everyone is familiar with: Mercedes! By this point, Mercedes were still virtually the "exiled genius” of the European racing world. Their status as a German car manufacturer left them banned from taking part in the French Grand Prix after The Great War, but that did not stop the engineers at Stuttgart from innovating and being ahead of the curve. At the 1922 Targa Florio, they introduced the world's first supercharged (and by extension, forced induction) racecars, capitalizing on a gray area for the Grand Prix regulations of the time. Seeing the potential of the supercharging device, Mercedes opted to take it one step further for 1923. In a design that complies with the 2.0 liter Grand Prix regulations, they introduced the M7294, designed by Paul Daimler himself. This 120-horsepower beast used centrifugal supercharging to make up for the below-average RPM compared to the naturally aspirated American racers they'd be up against, making this the first effort for a supercharged race car at Indy.
As they were once again playing with hot stuff, Mercedes entrusted only their absolute best and most knowledgeable drivers with the M7294. The headlining driver would be two-time Grand Prix champion Christian Lautenschlager, alongside their top testers Max Sailer and Christian Werner.
Duesenberg Special at Indianapolis, 1924. No good photos of their 1923 special exist. Image credits to Indiana Memory Collections.
The rather abrupt nature of the switch from 3.0 liter engines to 2.0 liter engines for the Indy 500 sent a paradigm-changing shockwave to the balance of power among American racing teams. Many manufacturers found themselves largely underprepared or ill-equipped to handle making all new designs in such a short time for the 1923 Indy 500. One such example would be the Duesenberg brothers. High off of an incredible upset victory at the 1921 French Grand Prix, and a record-breaking Indy 500 win (both with Jimmy Murphy at the helm), it’s safe to say Duesenberg were a staple of American open wheel racing, and in 1923 their absence was very much felt. In the hurried rush to put together a special car in time for Indianapolis, they depleted most of their resources, and sent out three cars, mostly for relief drivers. Only one car would start the race, for their chief relief driver Wade Morton, making his Indy 500 debut. Quite the contrast to see only one car from such a big team.
The Detroit-based Packard team were able to create a reasonably strong package for the 1923 season, managing around 115 horsepower from their new 2.0 liter special. Although not in as desperate of a situation as Duesenberg were, Packard still put together a strong team, fielding the legendary Ralph DePalma as their headlining driver, alongside Joe Boyer and 1916 winner Dario Resta.
Others wouldn’t be so fortunate as Duesenberg and Packard to survive the sudden shift. The Frontenac Motor Corporation, a joint venture between Louis Chevrolet (yes, that Chevrolet), Joe Boyer and car salesman William Small, was the dominant force in Champ Car racing during and after The Great War, with Chevrolet himself leading the race team to glory. After a suboptimal 1922 race in which none of Chevrolet’s cars finished in the top 5, the devastating news that they’d have to rebuild everything they had was the nail in the coffin that would make the Frontenac project go bankrupt, ridding American open wheel racing of one of its strongest teams. Can you imagine that happening to Chevrolet and Team Penske today? Because that’s what this felt like at the time. Miller Type 122 Special, as entered by HCS. Image credits to ConceptCarz.
However, where some had failed or struggled, others would absolutely thrive. In the immediate post-war years, The Wisconsonite Harry Miller was the owner of a very successful carburetor-selling business, generating over $1 million in yearly revenue. Miller would put this money to good use, developing a durable and fast racing engine for the Indy 500 (inspired by the old Peugeot engines), which in 1922 would be used by the overall race winner, Jimmy Murphy on his special Duesenberg chassis. The record-breaking pace of Murphy's win ignited huge interest in Miller's fast-growing racing team. Luckily for Miller, his team would stay ahead of the curve for the 1923 regulation change, developing a strong 2.0 liter engine for an elegant and functional design: the Type 122 (named such for the engine size in cubic inches).
The Miller 122 was the very first dedicated single-seater race car in the United States. Talk about an innovative race car for the time, back in those days the top Grand Prix cars mandated two seats for driver and mechanic! However, as the need for a mechanic was now optional for the Indy 500, the 122 only had the one seat. The car also boasted a very impressive 120 horsepower. A similar power output to Miller's previous engines, but far more dense given the smaller engine size.
With the promise of stability at over 110 miles per hour, and especially given the short notice of the regulation change hurting other American manufacturers, Harry Miller's design would have an explosion of interest from many drivers of the American Open Wheel racing establishment. There were no less than eleven
of these bad boys lining up for the 1923 Indy 500, making this car a clear favorite for race day. There were two top teams fielding Millers this year, including Cliff Durant’s stable of eight cars with champion drivers such as Earl Cooper and Jimmy Murphy headlining his team’s attack. They would be rivaled by the Harry C. Stutz team (H.C.S. for short), who had just two cars, but packed a real punch by fielding two past Indy 500 champions: Howard “Howdy” Wilcox, and Thomas “Tommy” Milton.
Headline for Indiana law prohibiting sporting events occurring on memorial day. Taken from The Daily Republican, January 25th, 1923.
So now that we have the exposition out of the way, it's time for the race itself. Well, almost
. You see, at the start of 1923, the Indiana State Legislature passed a law that prohibited all sporting events from occurring on Memorial Day, which included the Indianapolis 500 itself. This was done on the grounds that not enough respect had been given to the fallen American soldiers, and that the day was instead used for “games, races, and revelry.” Although this reasoning was sound, many people found this law un-American for limiting free expression. This included the organizers of the Indy 500, who relied on a holiday to guarantee maximal race attendance. There were talks of moving the race to the Saturday before Memorial day (May 26th in this instance), and even potentially making Saturday a special holiday! Honestly, it kind of reeks of making a town around the racetrack called “Speedway” (which actually happened). As no better solution could be found due to the organizers’ insistence on running on a holiday, the race would be held on a Wednesday, May 30th.
Joe Boyer in the Packard Special, 1923.
Now that we know when the race happens, it's time to actually get into the swing of things. Most teams used the entire month of May leading up to the race to get in private practice sessions, to have the best possible independent data regarding average speed and reliability. As such, there was a pretty clear picture of who had better overall speed, which turned out to be everybody. Before the 4-lap time trials began on Saturday the 26th, Harry Hartz in his Cliff Durant Miller car set a 106 mph average speed lap, which was nearly SIX
miles per hour faster than Jimmy Murphy’s pole lap from the year prior. This speed would soon be matched by the likes of Murphy and Milton. Already this Indy 500 was promising to be a showstopper with these speeds.
Qualifying began on Saturday, the 26th. Just like it is today, the starting grid would be set by doing 4 laps of the Indy oval at speed, with the average lap (measured in speed, not time) determining your placement. The gentleman Bugatti drivers had very consistent lap speeds, even if their trials were rather slow for the time. The best lap came from Raul Riganti, clocking in at a 95 mph average speed. The Mercedes cars fared only a little better. Lautenschlager and Werner both showed very strong speed in excess of 105 mph on the straights, but had to back off quite a bit in the corners. This evened out to give a lap speed of approximately 95 mph from Werner, and 93 mph from Lautenschlager.
Cars lining up for the start of the 1923 Indy 500, ground view, pace car in front.
As the European manufacturers struggled, the Americans fared much better. Packard and Miller would both have drivers that beat out Jimmy Murphy’s 100 mph qualifying record from 1922. For Packard, it was DePalma, at around 100.42 miles per hour, promising to the public that this wouldn’t be a Miller whitewash as far as speed goes. But even then, the Millers stood head and shoulders above the rest, particularly with the HCS-entered cars. Tommy Milton would throw down the gauntlet with a murderous speed of 108 mph for pole position! Talk about crazy improvement from the year before. For reference, this year’s record-setting Indy 500 pole speed improved on last year’s by only 0.2 mph. Really speaks to how much of a wild west era 100 years ago was like. Milton’s time would be closely matched by the top two from the past year, Jimmy Murphy and Harry Hartz. They would be joined in the top 5 speeds by Cliff Durant himself, and Packard’s DePalma.
And now for the race itself. In front of a rambunctious crowd of over 100,000 strong (there were far less grandstand tickets back then), the pace car led the 24 cars to a rolling start as they roared into turn 1. Tommy Milton built up a very strong lead in the first lap, but Jimmy Murphy negotiated the cars in front of him from the third row to pass Milton by turn four, with Boyer and Hartz closely following. By lap three, Milton overtook Murphy to return to first place, setting the stage for the opening 50 laps of the race, which would be a constant back and forth tussle between these two drivers, both representing the top teams using Miller cars: Murphy for Durant Racing, and Milton for the H.C.S. Motor Company. The crowd could hardly believe such a close and fast battle, no one had ever seen anything like it (they would swap the lead 25 times). Joe Boyer and Ralph DePalma helped keep Packard within touching distance, and the supercharged Mercedes’ proved to surprise in race trim, with Werner reaching the top 10 very quickly.
Leaderboard after Lap 10. Credits to goldenera.fi
The first 50 laps would see several retirements, including two high speed crashes. On lap 14 Mercedes’ Christian Lautenschlager skidded into the wall at turn 1 at nearly 90 mph, with the driver mostly uninjured. His riding mechanic Jakob Krauss was less fortunate, as he’d suffer a left leg contusion. Lautenschlager was the only driver in the field with a riding mechanic, and the mechanic’s injuries called into question the safety of even having one at all.
The other crash would come from Tom Alley, relief driver for former national champion Earl Cooper. Alley lost control at 105 mph entering turn 3, crashing straight into the fence and throwing Alley 20 feet from the car. Alley survived with serious lacerations to his back, but the sheer impact of his car on the catch fence would tragically take the life of a young local spectator, Herbert Shoup. I know it’s very upsetting, but in this day and age it’s always important to remind ourselves of, and respect, the consequences of the danger these drivers, and the people who watched them, faced when racing. A stillframe of actual footage of Howdy Wilcox, Tommy Milton, and Jimmy Murphy battling for the lead in the 1923 Indianapolis 500. Taken from the official Indianapolis Motor Speedway YouTube channel. Leaderboard After 20 out of 200 laps.
After Joe Boyer hit the pits for an extended period of time by lap 30 to change spark plugs, Packard’s best hope of a win faded, making it a Miller show up front. But the battle for the lead ramped up considerably by lap 50. Now, joining Milton and Murphy were their team-mates at HCS and Durant respectively, making it a two on two battle. Howard Wilcox had recovered from a serious qualifying mistake putting him much lower on the grid and now was in the mix with Milton, and Murphy was joined by the owner of the team himself, Cliff Durant. The Mercedes of Werner slowly improved once more, now up to 6th, showing promise that the supercharger may really be the game changer Mercedes had made it out to be.
Jimmy Murphy (right). Image credits to Sports Car Digest.
Wilcox’s charge wouldn’t last very long, as by lap 60 his car had a broken clutch, dropping him out of the race. He would soon be followed by Murphy, who by the same time had problems brewing from within his Miller that slowed his pace a good bit. He went into the pits for nearly five laps to resolve these issues, which put him well down the order and hoping for a miracle for a repeat victory. This left only Durant and Milton up front, with only 10 seconds between them, and Harry Hartz half a track behind, though Durant began to ease off due to slowly-building exhaustion that would go on to affect several drivers throughout the day.
Even though they showed promise early on, much like the Frontenacs from the year prior, Packard would have a devastating and sudden end to their 500 charge. On lap 59, they lost Joe Boyer due to a defective differential, and it would seem that some of the mechanics didn’t check the head gaskets on the other two cars, as those breaking would be the downfall of both DePalma and Dario Resta, on laps 69 and 88 respectively. Less than halfway through the race the biggest challenger to the Millers on outright speed would be gone in a flash.
Christian Werner, circa 1924. His car was the strongest of the Mercs at Indy that day. Image from Mercedes-Benz digital archive.
Where some challengers would flounder, others would silently surprise. By lap 80, the two remaining Mercedes’, piloted by Werner and Sailer, had found themselves in the top 5. Although not challenging race leader Milton for pace, it was as clear as day that the two Germans had consistent speed and utmost confidence with the M7294. With that being said, driving it at the pace they were proved extremely exhausting. Multiple stops had to be made to rotate drivers out of the cars, sometimes requiring assistance to even get out of the car. Despite all of that the Mercs maintained position, and by the halfway point had found themselves in third place.
Howdy Wilcox in H.C.S. Special, 1923.
By that point, however, the battle for the lead had cooled off. On the back stretch of the circuit, Cliff Durant came to a dead stop. The exact reasoning never got clarified, but eventually his car restarted and he rejoined the race more than 6 laps behind the leader. This left his more conservative team-mate Harry Hartz inheriting second place, one of the only cars left to not get lapped by Tommy Milton. With a huge lead now established, the HCS team pulled Milton in to give him a rest, as even he isn’t impervious to severe exhaustion. Milton had blistered, severely injured hands, which prompted the team to order Milton to have some rest, handing the car over to Wilcox, who remained on standby after his own car had dropped out. With only Hartz and Werner anywhere near their huge lead, Wilcox took over, with only one goal in mind: to keep the car on the track until Milton recovered. Leaderboard after 120 out of 200 laps
Wilcox would relieve Milton for 48 laps, and the car remained firmly in the lead over Hartz, even extending it to one full lap ahead. In that time several other cars would be vanquished through spending countless dozens of minutes in the pitlane, fixing mechanical problems that developed over time. This included the Mercedes of Werner, which by lap 120 was the only good Mercedes left. Their race was compromised significantly when the car caught fire in the pitlane, though it would be extinguished very quickly. As Werner’s car left the pitlane, relieved by Sailer, the crowd gave the Germans a standing ovation! Talk about ways of catching people’s attention, a pitstop fire is definitely one of them! Although this frantic moment almost took them out, at its very next pitstop at 140 laps, Werner’s battered Mercedes came into the pits overheated and clearly in need of a rest. They would rejoin after spending dozens of laps in the pits, but with the dream of a supercharged podium at the fastest race in the world officially over.
The excitement of the beginning of the race wore off by lap 150, as due to the high temperatures of the day, many drivers had to be relieved and substituted by their designated stand-ins, removing the grandeur from what started as such a competitive race. The high “driver attrition,” so to speak, caused the race to be significantly slower than the 1922 Indy 500. Although Milton had recovered in time to return to his HCS Miller, his lap speeds dropped off significantly, which did allow the catching Jimmy Murphy to unlap himself a couple times, but never enough to actively challenge for victory.
Official Race Results as reported in The Indianapolis Star, May 31st, 1923. Tommy Milton crossing the line to receive the checkered flag for victory.
After 200 laps, five-and-a-half hours, At an average speed of approximately 90 miles per hour, bruised and battered, but NOT beaten, the H.C.S. Special Tommy Milton crossed the finish line in first place, making him the first-ever two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500. The crowd roared in excitement for such a valiant effort, very deserving of over $30,000 in winnings he received. Cliff Durant’s team also performed admirably despite failing to win, with Harry Hartz once again finishing 2nd only one lap behind Milton, and Jimmy Murphy taking home third place. This Indy 500 would go down in history as a groundbreaking one, putting Indianapolis back on the global stage and providing the best framework in the world for close wheel to wheel racing at high speeds, just like the Indy 500 does today.
Manufacturers left this race both brilliantly satisfied and extremely disappointed:
Bugatti wasn't exactly the fastest manufacturer out there, having only one finishing car in 9th place, 56 minutes
behind Milton. But the aristocrats that funded their entry had an absolute blast driving at speed down the fastest racetrack on Earth, and for that you gotta at least respect the effort. The independent work of Prince de Cystria and his fellow aristocratic racing enthusiasts helped put Bugatti on the map across the pond. Within one year, Bugatti had made their Grand Prix debut at home, raced in the first Grand Prix at Monza, and now raced at Indianapolis. It’s safe to say their future looked bright at this point in time.
Packard, by the skin of their teeth, and thanks to a truly great driver lineup, had proven that they could come close to challenge Miller’s outright speed, but their mechanical shortcomings on the biggest stage would prove to be the most embarrassing. Just like Frontenac and Chevrolet before them, Packard would “pack up” their racing efforts at the end of the 1923 season, unwilling to spend more money on what they and the general public viewed as a losing effort.
With this result, it became 100% clear that Miller 122 was the open wheel race car to beat not just in America, but the world over, having been the only car to complete the full 200 lap distance in less than 6 hours, and occupying the entire top 4. Although several of the top brass manufacturers in Europe hadn’t raced their designs properly yet, in the first year of American-European convergence, it seemed quite clear that the Americans had a real threat up their sleeve. Rest assured, this would not be the end of Miller’s escapades in Grandes Epreuves this season…
It seems history is destined to repeat itself. Just like the Mercedes Formula 1 team of today, in this race Mercedes came with a vision, and despite a very slow start, they steadily improved their position, making the overall podium late in the race. This great result showed the world that a supercharged design really is a viable option in the racing landscape, and it’s safe to say that many in America took notice of their heroics. The M7294 sadly wouldn’t race again in 1923, but rest assured, supercharging would make a ferocious return later in the year…
And that concludes my retrospective on the 1923 Indianapolis 500. I want to give a big shoutout to all of the online resources I have used to compile images for this post, to give a more visual aspect to the race we’re looking back on. I also cannot thank enough https://www.goldenera.fi/
, the absolutely phenomenal interwar Grand Prix racing website, for the more obscure and detailed information that simply can’t be found anywhere else, especially with the intermediate leaderboards. I adored writing this up, but it wouldn’t be what it is without the invaluable research by the other incredible racing historians that came before me.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about this race as much as I did writing it up. Like I’ve always said, it's important that we remind ourselves of our history, especially with races as long ago as these, as they definitely deserve a fair shot in this fast-paced day and age. The Centennial Series will return in July, for the most important race of the year, and one which bears relevance even in today's racing world: The 1923 French Grand Prix.
Until next time, folks! :)