Disease history tarkov


2013.07.11 01:43 morbidhistorymod MorbidHistory

This is a community intended for the study of morbid history, or history of morbidity. This involves death, violence, suffering and cruelty related to events such as war, genocide, crime, disaster, accident and disease.

2011.09.07 16:18 josephwdye Archiveteam - We Are Going to Rescue Your Shit !

Archive Team is a loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths dedicated to saving our digital heritage. Since 2009 this variant force of nature has caught wind of shutdowns, shutoffs, mergers, and plain old deletions - and done our best to save the history before it's lost forever.

2012.11.14 10:26 Gillianfn Melanoma

Ask for advice regarding your changing / concerning mole. To reduce your risk of skin cancer, it's important to check your moles regularly.

2023.03.30 03:06 muteisalwayson I’m so angry and tired

So the other week, I found this new song on tik tok. It’s called labour by Paris Paloma. Y’all should DEFINITELY listen to it. I’ve always been a bit of a history nerd, I love learning about history. I also like to dive into my own family history.
A lot of history, it’s just….women being wronged. A lot of people wronged, really, but I’m posting in this sub for a reason, aren’t I? I’m a 23 year old American woman. I grew up in Texas. I am thankfully across the country now. I’ve always been angry, brimming below the surface at how things are and how people treat women -even how other women treat other women!
But this song showed up randomly for me and ever since I first heard it, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. The RAGE. The hurt. It does kinda feel like a rage has woken up more in me and inside I can feel the rage of the women across the generations in my family and around the world. I’ll be the first to say that my family is seriously fucked up, but wow. Wow. I am so fucking angry. This may also have something to do with feeling safer to process my emotions very far from my family. Yes I am looking for a new therapist here.
There’s this quote I saw a while ago too. “A woman’s first bleed isn’t her period, it’s when she first bites her tongue”. Years upon years of doing the emotional labor for male relatives, male friends, and in relationships.
Shit has to change. We all know that here, but men keep popping up and going “nOt aLl mEn tHo”. SHUT UP. We know!! But I saw this comic on Facebook the other day. It boiled down to saying that men are like ticks. We understand that not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but when we see a tick on ourselves, we freak out because there’s a good chance they do have Lyme disease. We know it’s not all men, but there’s enough bad ones to fear all men. Fuck all this lol.
submitted by muteisalwayson to TwoXChromosomes [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 02:34 Alarming_Whereas_849 Pre-med Asian Male Gets Annihilated

Intended Major(s): Biology
Standardized Testing
List the highest scores earned and all scores that were reported.
List all extracurricular involvements, including leadership roles, time commitments, major achievements, etc.
  1. Research
  2. Robotics Chief Engineer
  3. Chess Club Co-founder and Vice President
  4. Shadowing
  5. Medical Outreach Volunteering
  6. Science Fairs
  7. Ambassador for school
  8. Debate
  9. Swimming
  10. Tennis
List all awards and honors submitted on your application.
  1. 2020 VEX Robotics World Championship Qualifier (canceled due to COVID)
  2. 2 pending publicans in biomedical engineering and infectious disease field
  3. 3rd place in Category at TXSEF
  4. 2nd place in Category at FWRSEF
  5. 2020 VEX Robotics State Champion
Letters of Recommendation
Anatomy Teacher (9/10)
Talked a lot with her and she thought I was one of her best students in 25 years, definitely wrote a good recommendation.
Math Teacher (6/10)
Didn't talk with her much but I improved a lot in her class, and she saw my progress, most likely a mid recommendation.
WashU (9/10)
Interviewer did similar research work to what I did so we got along really well. She was sad that she couldn't vouch for me harder to the admissions committee though and thought I was a great fit for WashU.
Mid (6-7/10)
Decisions (indicate ED/EA/REA/SCEA/RD)
Additional Information:
Basically just got into my safeties and got destroyed. Didn't expect to get rejected from UT Austin.
submitted by Alarming_Whereas_849 to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 02:31 ocdealing Need to vent - my life and head are a mess

So, most of my medical trauma stems from having three spontaneous lung collapses when I was 20 and subsequently having surgery that was supposed to fix it permanently. Supposed to. I just had another small collapse (~10%) 14 years later, so I'm freaking out.
I think compared to a lot of people what I experienced when I was 20 was probably pretty mild, but it left me feeling pervasively dehumanized. Things like being woken up at 5:00 in the morning for pain meds that made me throw up an hour later, and then being told I was supposed to take them with food. Umm, okay, so why didn't you tell me that when I took them half-asleep? Or ask if I needed them, given that I was previously sleeping peacefully? Then later I had a chest tube that turned out to be kinked and therefore not functioning properly. The process of air leaving the chest that way is really painful, but by that point I'd been weaned off the strongest post-surgery painkillers, and when I asked for something stronger, they were very stern about how I could become dependent. Which I understand, really, but since not noticing the problem was on them, maybe at least apologize for the fact that now I have to suffer through this rather than treat me like an addict in the making? Also, I have OCD, and some of the staff treated my anxiety as a nuisance. But it was mostly just the entire atmosphere that was stressful: I never knew what was going on or when people were going to be doing things to my body, and whenever I tried to find out anything, it would take hours thanks to hospital bureaucracy.
I was in the hospital yesterday for monitoring and now am waiting to follow up with a pulmonologist. I'm really not handling this well. Partly due to varying worries about the future. I don't want to have surgery again, especially now that I know it's not a guaranteed fix. So either way, it feels like the possibility of future collapses is going to be hanging over my head forever and limiting what I can do. I'm a very avid runner, and it's a major part of what keeps me relatively on track psychologically (if I couldn't do it, it would seriously decrease my quality life because of the hit my mental health would take--"light" exercise just does not calm me down the same way). I'm also really worried I have some underlying condition that, again, would come with restrictions. Rationally, that seems somewhat unlikely. My mother's sister also had a collapsed lung, so there is some family history, but there's no family history of the other things (heart issues, kidney cancer, liver disease, etc.) that can crop up with conditions that also cause pneumothoraces. Also, a lot of those conditions are dominantly inherited, and my mom and dad are respectively in their 60s and 70s and have never any major health problems (knock on wood). But I once had a pulmonologist casually throw out the word "marfanoid" and that freaked me the f out. She later clarified that she didn't think I had Marfan syndrome, just a similar body type (I'm tall and thin, like my dad so...not even the same side as the relevant family history), but because I have OCD, the damage was pretty much done: I latched onto the word and haven't ever gotten it out of my head.
But really what this all boils down to is that I'm terrified of having to spend more time interacting with doctors/hospitals going forward. The fact that most doctors/nurses don't seem to get the depth of this feeling just makes me more frustrated with them. When I went to the hospital for this most recent collapse, I really, really wanted to discharge myself against medical advice when I found out it was only a small collapse, figuring that 1) the surgery at least seemed to be preventing a major one, so I'd probably be fine, 2) I've never even had shortness of breath with much more extensive collapses, so I'D PROBABLY BE FINE, and 3) I'd recover faster at home because I'd be less stressed out and could actually sleep without people waking me up every 15 minutes to draw blood, take my temperature, etc. But I had to sit through an entire lecture about how I could die if my situation suddenly deteriorated, to which I foolishly blurted out, "honestly, I don't care." Obviously, the RN qives me a quizzical look and asks me to "expand on that," and obviously I don't say anything else because I don't want to end up on suicide watch as well. But honestly, since this is apparently just a threat I'm going to live with, how unreasonable is it to want to have a somewhat normal life rather than sit in a hospital bed with people prodding you and treating you as an oddity?
submitted by ocdealing to MedicalPTSD [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 02:20 sienna_grey Question about urinalysis and CKD

Species: Cat,
Age: 6, Sex/Neuter status: spayed female,
Breed: DSH,
Body weight: 9.5lbs,
History: Sophia only has 1 kidney due to a congenital birth defect. Only half of her uterus was found to be formed, and it was later found that she only has 1 kidney.
We follow with an internal medicine specialist. Sophia is on Hills K/D wet food. She does not drink water so I add it to her food. She gets ~195ml of water between her wet food and water (spread out between 4 meals/day) and stays hydrated. I test her skin and gums throughout the day.

Ref range 7/7/2022 1/18/2023
Specific Gravity 1.015-1.060 1.035 1.014 (LOW)
IDEXX SDMA 0-14ug/dL 17 20
Creatinine 0.9-2.3 2.1 2.2
BUN 16-37mg/dL 20 21
Phosphorus 2.9-6.3mg/dL 4.9 4.4
During her last visit, her SDMA and creatinine were slightly elevated, and her specific gravity was less concentrated. I'm fairly sure the concentration was effected by how the urine was collected. For the 7/2022 sample, the urine was extracted directly via cystocentesis at 10AM after being fasted overnight and using the litterbox in the AM. Although she has water bowls available, she did not drink. Not wanting to put her through the cystocentesis again, the 1/2023 sample was obtained the morning of the appointment via free catch. This sample includes the water she drank the night prior.
Now, the since her concentration was down and her values up, the vet wants to do a 3mo follow up instead of a 6mo. The vet suggested withholding her water in her food in order to see if we can get a more concentrated urine. I don't want to do this, because then it might throw off her blood work, which I feel is more important for an accurate representation of disease progression. I could try to withhold water on a different date and collect/drop off a urine sample prior to the appointment.. or I could continue to free catch and use this method as our new 'baseline'..
I guess my question is.. would the urinalysis actually tell us anything useful in this case? If we're not testing for some sort of UTI .. does it really matter that we can accurately document if she's concentrating urine? Either she is, and she continues to remain hydrated on our current routine.. or she isn't, and I find that she's getting dehydrated because of disease progression. I definitely don't want to put her through unnecessary cystos for the sake of testing her urine concentration, and I don't like the idea of withholding water either.. but if there's a significant reason to try and get a more accurate test, I'll see what I can do.
submitted by sienna_grey to AskVet [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 01:58 Dungeon_Dice JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #6: R4M9 - Passion Little and Dédalo Viatger vs ???

The results are in for Match 7. The winner is…
It reeked of bleach. Sharp and horrible, it burned the skin and sends the head swimming. Yet, this was not the rebellion Brandy had planned. Wah forced her to compromise at every angle. As time ticked by, their defences only grew, while hers diminished.
Now, the Wildebeest Queen stood in their oasis, cloaked in the skin of lions. They set to work destroying the walls, Brandy’s remaining resource, one by one.
She knew this was her only chance. Gathering her final angels, she hatched one last plan.
The waiting was the worst part. As seconds passed, the suspense ate at Wah. They glanced around, smashing wall after wall, trying to find her.
At last, their eyes caught sight of Brandy, charging forth with spear in hand. Her flesh bubbled with copper, trying to grow, trying to shock them, anything. But with a scream, Wah hurled a table at her head, smashing it into a splatter of gel.
Another fallen angel.
Tensed with instinct, Wah whirled around to find the real Brandy tearing through the last wall standing, leaping at them with The Heritors Picaro.
Everything stopped.
The two locked eyes.
Brandy realized how similar they look, while Wah confirmed what they had already feared.
What gripped them is a wordless, bestial terror…
…before the Bastion smashes Brandy to the ground.

Mx. Wah, with a score of 72 to Brandy Judge’s 65!

Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Brandy Judge 12 (3.5+2) - 18 (6.5+2) Brandy snagged a commanding early lead and held it through to the end!
Quality Mx. Wah 22 (7 7 8) - 17 (5 5 7) Reasoning
JoJolity Mx. Wah 28 (10 10 8) - 20 (6 7 7) Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10 Judges had issues with length in the delibs, but ultimately found no conduct penalty.
As Brandy hung on the verge of unconsciousness, it felt like a century went by. But finally, to break the silence, she felt a tap on her shoulder.
Opening her eyes, she saw Mx. Wah in front of her, offering a paper cone filled with water.
Brandy would slap the stupid offering away if she still had the strength. But all she could do is close her eyes again, drown it all out.
Sighing miserably, Wah finally staggered and crumples against the wall next to their daughter. Their ‘consequence’.
They tried to tell her they wouldn't kill her. They tried to tell her they just didn’t want to die. They tried to tell their child that they’re scared.
All the while, Brandy was silent.
Wah tried again. “Come back to COLOSSI with me, and we can work something out. I have to take responsibility once in my life. You already came this far for me–neither of us are going to give up now.”
At last, they extended a hand to her, remorse creasing their tired face. “...What do you say?”
Finally, Brandy pushed herself upward, and weakly nudged the hand away. She exhaled a pained breath, gave Wah a stoic look, and spoke at last.
“Fix your fucking life, mom.”
Wallowing in frustration and foiled rebellion, Brandy turned away. She had no more words to give.
Yet, before Wah could respond, footsteps approached. There stood Alalu, brows knit with concern, though her eyes were gleaming.
“Poor dears…” she sighs. “These battles are difficult, but the fact that you survived is a sign of your strength,” she smiles, nodding to Wah. “In honor of that, even though you didn’t fight Frederick, when we start this friendship I’ll still owe you a-”
”Not now,” Wah rasped. ”Please.”
Alalu raised her brows, before nodding solemnly.
“...I understand. Later, then. For now, allow me to escort you both home.”
She extended a hand to them both. Neither Wah nor Brandy had the strength left to refuse. With a smile, Alalu lifted them and led them from the wreckage. Outside, the night was cold. Alalu idly fussed over them as they walked to her car, as she talked about sending them a care package full of good food and clothing.
Love is warmth, Wah heard her say. But the night was so cold.
Quietly, they turned towards the ruined building.
「Wolf Murder」 watched back. Her body heaved with pelts, gathered from their funeral procession. There was respect in her eyes. This too was cold.
Above her, Wah spotted something else. Pale porcelain, and glowing socket eyes.
An old friend. The terror of death. Nobody at all.
They turned away quickly, heart pounding. Cold and desperate, Wah reached out a hand for Brandy. For their daughter. So they might share this promised warmth, this love.
She did not take it.
The results are in for Match 8. The winner is…

Errok, with a score of 72 to Cody Enfield’s 69!

Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Cody Enfield 14 (4+2) - 16 (5+2) A steady back and forth with Cody sliding in with a one vote lead!
Quality Tie 22 (7-7-8) - 22 (7-7-8) Reasoning
JoJolity Errok 26(9-8-9) - 21 (7-6-8) Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10 A strat time extension was issued without penalty, but do note that these are given wholly under judge discretion with sufficient notice and good cause. We have been more liberal than tournaments past, but even we have limits. So far extensions have been in lucky spots where they did not interfere with the schedule of other matches, but there is also the consideration of fairness to both teams and when an extension is necessary by circumstance or become needed due to not being able to finish in a given timeframe. The reason we delay granting match extensions for the latter case is because we are uncertain whether or not they are actually necessary or if the team will be able to work and have gotten in their strategy in anyways. And ideally we want people to work as if they will not be getting an extension to prevent procrastination or effectively squandering time that could have been utilized. Final note as a reminder, turning in a strategy late for a conduct penalty, while it can feel bad, is an option for a reason in the sorts of cases where we cannot grant an extension in good faith.
The dust settled, and Errok was alone to laugh.
“Ah…I love the putrid rot of millenia,” Errok mused aloud to himself, looking out with satisfaction towards the utterly brutalized ruins as he steps forward, foot planted on Cody’s stiff body as the demonstration of the land’s history lay in rotten, distorted pieces. He clutched a Temple in his hand, unsure what even to do with it. “Thousands of years it took for this place to hold, years of your archaeology to find it, mysteries awaiting answer and investigation…And it’s wiped away by disease and swordplay in a matter of minutes. In my professional opinion, in fact…I’ll even give you my answer for what became of this high-and-mighty civilization.”
Unsure if Cody was even alive or dead, Errok uncapped his hand once more, allowing the worms to trail slowly down it and burrow into his body, burrow into the soft, barely-living ground beneath him.
“They were struck down by a plague!”
Crash! Clang!
Errok was knocked forward into a nearby wall by an explosive volley of arrows, feeling a familiar cutting sensation digging into the flesh of his arm and demanding that he retract it. A familiarly ‘clean’ feeling attempts to invade his rotten arm, but his own disease and maggots eat it away before pumpkins could grow. Even as his helmeted head rested against the wall, he groaned, but it turned into a laugh nonetheless as he cracked his neck, rose, and looked at them.
Ninian and Dédalo stood , weapons drawn, staring him down with blatant contempt. Grey, in the back, also prepared to either support them or get Cody away.
“You removed everything, you stupid piece of shit!” Ninian shouted, voice low and grainy and bloodthirsty. “What’s the point of any of this? All this…Everything we’ve got here, and now..!”
“And it’s been reduced to feed for my worms…It, and all your documentation, and the spirits you wear…All of them will be reduced to nothing anyway! I’ve just become the agent of its rot. The conqueror of what had stood for ages…I did it because I can, in short, MacBeth.”
Realizing then that those were about to be his likely last words, he hurriedly held up what Temples he managed to steal, hold onto, waving them tauntingly. “And now, a half-life lays in my hands! The very last vestiges of what you all came out here…Strike me down, children, and it all becomes for naught. At least if I walk away…You’ll know that all your work was for something, no? It’s a compromise…Your Temples go to my Ends, and they’re still out there, someplace in this world. Sounds like a fine deal from where I’m standing…And the only one you’ve got.”
The others stood there, utterly stiff from realization that Errok, for once in his wretched life…was right. Like him, they had no choice now but to choose between a rotten-away half-life for the remains of this place and complete oblivion.
Scenario: Alexandria National Museum, Alexandria, Egypt — 7:16 AM
At this hour, the tour groups that normally plagued the museum’s halls weren’t due to arrive until later in the morning, leaving it in a state of calm for a few blissful hours. Beams of sunlight streamed in through the windows and illuminated the exhibits inside—important pieces symbolizing different periods in the grand history of Alexandria.
Dédalo idly wandered from display to display, examining each and every one of them. It had become a habit of his to do this in every museum that he came across on his travels, after discovering several artifacts and potential temples of Pieduron origin mislabeled as ones from other ancient civilizations. Dédalo’s eye passed over canopic jars, ushabti figurines, gleaming jewelry and statues of long-dead emperors and pharaohs. From the recreation of the funerary chamber on the first floor, to the display of Alexandria’s Hellenistic and Roman periods on the second, all the way up to the city’s Coptic, Muslim and 19th to 20th century, one could learn the entire history of Alexandria in a single trip.
As he scrutinized the exhibits Dédalo noticed that many of its placards had a small footnote underneath the main text: 「Donated by the House of Muses.」 While he wasn’t an expert in appraisal by any means, he could see the distinct glint of Cleria in some of the artifacts, masked by thin layers of acrylic resin.
“How strange,” Dédalo muttered. “The House of Muses have amassed a number of Temples, yet the ones here are all mislabeled. I should inform them when I get the chance.”
He pulled out a notebook and began to jot down a few of their names as Perdida floated behind him, arms crossed. “Are you not concerned that they have this many temples?”
“Well, relabelling everything will certainly take some time. And these pieces were improperly restored because the curator must have assumed them to be Egyptian relics, so that will also need to be taken care of...” Dédalo continued taking down notes and sketches.
“That’s not what I’m worried about, it’s just...”
“Excuse me,” A suited man with the build of a bodyguard interrupted Dédalo and Perdida’s conversation.“Patron Cullinan is ready to see you now. Please come with me.”
“Perfect timing, lead the way.” Dédalo closed his notebook and moved to follow the suited man with Perdida trailing after.
Scenario: Alexandria National Museum, Alexandria, Egypt—7:26 AM
Old painting…Stone tablet…Weird looking statue…
Passion didn’t know what she expected to find when she decided to sneak through the storage room of a history museum. It seemed like a fun idea at the time, but all that was here was a bunch of boxes filled with old junk; no wonder why it wasn’t being displayed.
Passion stepped over the snoring body of the security guard stationed at the door and started heading towards the nearest exit, past rows of shelves of more boxes.
“Sorry, miss, this is the employee-only section. Are you lost?” Passion looked to see a suited woman sorting boxes on a shelf, 15 or so meters away.
“Think I got separated from the tour group I was with,” Passion lied. “‘Scuse me.”
“I can help guide you where you need to go.” The woman put the box she was holding onto the shelf.
“Exit’s right there,” Passion pointed out. “I can just go,”
“Please, I insist. It's not everyday we get a direct visit from a member of COLOSSI.”
Passion remained silent, holding 「sleepyhead」 close to her chest. If the woman took one step closer, she could send her to dreamland…but she remained just shy of ten meters away.
“We fully respect your anonymity. But if we could have a moment of your time, the House of Muses could offer our services with your ‘problem’.” The suited woman made a devil horn sign with her hands and tapped the side of her nose.
Passion glanced at her plushie, one glassy eye staring back at her.
“Ah, Dédalo~boy and Perdida~girl. Make yourselves at home.” Cullinan spread his arms wide in a welcoming gesture.
They were in what Dédalo had first assumed to be the basement of the museum, but his adventuring sense told him this place was much older. The place was lit through a series of wired cave lamps; Too barren to be any sort of underground burial chamber, perhaps it was an old storage facility or some type of bunker.
“I am still waiting for another guest to arrive before we can begin the main event. But in the meantime, care to join me in a game of Senet?” Cullinan gestured to a table, a gridded board set up in the middle
Dédalo eyed the game board as he put his hat and coat on the back of his chair. “You know the rules of Senet?”
“Of course. The ultimate goal of the House of Muses is the preservation of information, and history most importantly. Especially when that information comes from its homeland of Egypt. However, the informal rules will suffice for now; we are not here to perform any funeral rites or cross into the afterlife.” Cullinan chuckled and sat down at one end of the table, Dédalo sitting across from him.
The game of modern Senet is simple! Each player has 5 pieces; whomever got all of their pieces off the board first won. The board itself is a 3 by 10 grid, with each piece starting in the first row. Each turn, players roll senet sticks to determine how many spaces they can move one of their pieces. If an opponent’s piece was in the slot they wished to move to, the player could swap the positions of the two pieces. However, if the opponent had two or more of their pieces adjacent to each other, those pieces were ‘protected’ and could not be swapped. Though many of its rules have been lost to time, it’s easy to see why Senet was such a popular game!
Dédalo stretched out his fingers and wrists. He had heard that Cullinan enjoyed board games, so he decided that he might as well humor him. This way, he could get on his good side and get the opportunity to ask a few questions.
“Would you like the wood pieces or the obsidian ones?” Cullinan offered as he set up the board.
“I’ll take the wood pieces.”
“Then I will be obsidian. Care to take the first turn?” Cullinan passed Dédalo the set of senet sticks. Dédalo gently tossed them onto the table, allowing the clatter to ring out before continuing.
“I understand that the House of Muses has been collecting temples and researching Pieduron history.” Dédalo inquired politely, moving forward one of his wooden pieces.
“Ah, so you’ve heard.” Cullinan rolled and moved his obsidian piece to the space right behind Dédalo’s. “Picking up the trail that Pieduro left behind in the Mediterranean has been a challenge, even for an organization of our size.”
Dédalo moved another one of his pieces. “Really? You might be further on that trail than you think. Quite a few of your artifacts upstairs are from Pieduro, you know.”
“Is that so? I’ll have to inform the curator, then.” Cullinan chuckled, as if he was making a private joke to himself. Dédalo sensed that Cullinan didn’t seem surprised by what he said.
“Tell me, Dédalo~boy. You have been in pursuit of the Piedurons for much longer than I. Why? What keeps you going on such a Sisyphean task as this?”
“Simple. I am helping Perdida find out what happened to her home and people.” Dédalo rolled the sticks and moved his front piece further forward. “As an adventurer, I can’t just leave this quest uncompleted.”
“My, how noble. Personally, I wish to document and understand what these Temples can do. Our research into their functions has been quite fascinating.” Cullinan took his turn and moved his second piece up behind his first.
“And how is that research going?” Perdida asked, hesitant, as Dédalo rolled his sticks and pondered his next move.
“It took the sacrifice of a few Temples, but I believe we have managed to understand how they work just a bit. Of course, not enough to craft any new ones or find a way to reliably power them.”
Perdida faded into the background, watching as Dédalo finally decided to swap his last piece with Cullinan’s fourth piece. Sacrifice…she didn’t like the way he said that so frivolously.
“That’s a shame,” Dédalo sighed. “Well, if it’s Temples that you need, my companion and I have become rather skilled in locating them. Perhaps we could come to a mutual agreement. You find the outposts, we find the Temples…I assume that’s what you called us here for, after all.”
“You would be correct, but we should wait for our other guest before we finalize any agreements.” Cullinan smiled mysteriously. “Patience, Dédalo~boy. Our game is not yet finished.”
Dédalo could feel his patience towards Cullinan’s vagueness beginning to wane—Cullinan maneuvered around his questions as masterfully as his pieces maneuvered around the board. Time to push harder.
“You’re aware of the symbolism of ‘Wood’ and ‘Obsidian’ to the Piedurons, I assume. ‘Wood’ represents the Earth that binds us all, grounding us to the world around us; Obsidian represents the power that we can wield, and the paradox of how strong yet brittle it can be. In your opinion, which one resonates with you more?”
Cullinan furrowed his brow. Feigning ignorance, Dédalo continued on. “Personally, I’m fascinated with the concept of ‘Wood’. Growing with the Earth, instead of against it. Rebuilding, persisting, even when all seems lost. ‘Wood’ reminds us of our place in the world—not to live wealthy, or live poorly, but to simply live.”
“Hm…I believe that ‘Wood’ is a beautiful ideal.. However, it is simply that; an ideal. For lack of a better term, it’s too ‘soft’ for my tastes.” Cullinan glanced at the obsidian piece he held in his hand. “‘Obsidian’, on the other hand…when it breaks, when it shatters, it is lost forever. But for the short time that it lasts, its strength outweighs its fragility. An obsidian dagger needs only to cut once to make a mark on the world. After that, what use does it have? Better to grind the shards into dust than risk them cutting your hand open.”
Dédalo nodded slowly. “I see.”
“Patron Cullinan, your other guest has arrived.” A suited woman opened the door and waved Passion inside. She surveyed the dimly-lit room as the woman shut the door behind her. She immediately noticed Dédalo, recognizing him as one of the strong Stand users to keep track of. “Big fuck-off airship,” if she remembered correctly.
She didn’t know who the bald man that he sat beside was, though. She barely even registered that he was talking to her.
“Passion~girl I presume?”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Oh pardon me, it’s a formal title I use for people. The House of Muses is akin to a familial structure in its design. Call it a bit of an archaic tradition, but it’s quite the honorific for guests such as yourselves.”
Passion cocked her head slightly. “Who’re you again?”
“Right, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Cullinan Dwarf Star, Patron of the House of Muses. You might know me as Sphinx.”
Vague recognition dawned on Passion’s face, “Oh. You’re the guy that shot Solsbury.”
“Shot past, actually,” Cullinan shrugged, “Anyway, to get to why I brought you here. How much do you know about Pieduron technology and history?”
“Not much,” Passion shrugged. She had seen Dédalo’s file before, and knew about Pieduron technology from there. Other than that, nothing.
“Perfect. You will be serving as an outsider’s perspective to our discussion.”
“...ok.” Passion took that to mean, “sit quietly and say “I see” every now and then.” Worked for her.
“Don’t look so glum. There may be a few details you and your organization may be interested in, if my introduction doesn’t bore you.” Cullinan smiled. Passion’s expression didn’t change. “Now, the Piedurons were an isolated people with highly advanced technology known as Temples. Based on our findings, these temples were highly sophisticated and almost universally ran off some type of spiritual energy. Dédalo~boy, what can you tell us about your recent findings in that planetarium?”
“It was extraordinary,” Dédalo explained, a bit of excitement escaping his guarded demeanor, followed by a mix of sadness and anger at the destruction Errok had wrought. “A visual history of Pieduron civilization. From its roots as an ancient agrarian civilization, the discovery of spiritual energy, the creation of the first Temples, their migration across the Mediterranean, and their eventual collapse. Like a last broadcast from the radio of a sinking ship, a final monument to their civilization before it was lost for good.”
“In our correspondence, you mentioned that there was a symbol in the depiction of their collapse; a face with a zero on it. What do you think that meant?” Cullinan motioned for Dédalo to elaborate.
“To be frank, it could mean anything. A bad ruler, a natural disaster, maybe something the Piedurons perceived as divine judgment.” Dédalo recalled the scene in his mind. “We can’t know for sure without more information.”
“The final stage showed that all of the active Temples stopped working, yes? And around the world, Temples have only recently regained their functionality. That includes your “El Cor Terra”, and your companion along with it, which you used to activate the Planetarium, yes?”
“How did you—”
Cullinan raised a hand. “The House can gather information in many ways, no matter the difficulty—especially when they align with our interests. My question is, if all of the Temples lost functionality, why would the Piedurons make the key to the planetarium a Temple itself? Surely, they would have built some other means of activating it so that future generations could read their message without the use of a Temple.”
“Maybe the necklace survived by chance,” Dédalo suggested, a bit too quickly.
“With all due respect, Dédalo, that’s preposterous. The capabilities of your traveling companion are unlike anything that we have ever seen, and far less powerful Temples were permanently deactivated by the shutdown. No, the Piedurons must have known that your necklace would survive their collapse and eventually regain its power, then built the planetarium around that fact.”
Dédalo grit his teeth. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Simple. I believe the Pieduron shut down their Temples on purpose. What’s more, the planetarium is not a simple message in a bottle. It’s a warning that could only be viewed if the Temples were ever reactivated.”
“Well. Uh. That’s. A bold claim,” Dédalo said slowly. “I understand the drive to speculate, but that is quite the outlandish theory. Isn’t it, Perdida? …Perdida?”
“...sorry, it’s nothing.” Perdida grasped her arm to stop it from shaking.
“The thought has crossed your mind before, hasn’t it, Perdida?” Cullinan leaned forward. “Try as you might to avoid it, you know it’s a plausible explanation.”
Perdida said nothing.
“Your silence speaks volumes, I’m afraid. My theory is as follows. Using the power of the Temples, the Pieduro created something so destructive, so threatening to themselves and maybe even the entire world, they were forced to deactivate all of the Temples to prevent it from ever being used. In their final moments, they created the planetarium and El Cor Terra as a final message to anyone who found it—the Temples are never to be used again.”
Cullinan sighed. “Thus, it is my utmost belief that knowledge of the Temples must never reach the public eye. As much as it pains me to say it…Pieduro must remain buried. For good.”
“...excuse me?” Dédalo’s eyes narrowed. “I thought you said that the House of Muses was supposed to preserve history. Now you’re just going to leave it to rot? Torch it like the Library of Alexandria?”
“Don’t be absurd. We will retain our records on Pieduro and any artifacts that we have collected to the utmost scrutiny. They will simply never see the light of day again.”
“Oh, so you’re keeping ‘em,” Passion spoke up. “That makes sense. But, sorry, I must’ve missed the part where you told us why the House won’t use the Temples as weapons either. Since you’re so worried about your safety and all that.”
Cullinan hesitated. “That’s…I would never allow that to happen.”
“Sure you won’t. But there’s gonna be other Patrons. Patrons that aren’t you. Patrons who’ll look at a vault full of ancient weaponry and think…well, you get the rest.”
“As if you aren’t salivating at the chance to obtain the Temples for yourself, young madam,” Cullinan retorted. “The Piedurons knew exactly how to use the Temples—where are they now? One small misstep, one fool with too much hubris, and the entire Mediterranean could be at risk. This way, everyone will be safe. I’ll make sure of that.”
The room grew silent. Cullinan cleared his throat and straightened his robes. Before he could continue, Dédalo rose to his feet.
“My apologies, Patron. I will have no part in this. Consider our deal off the table. Permanently.”
Dédalo snatched his hat and coat and made for the door, Perdida following close behind.
“There is no need for apologies, Mr. Viatger,” Cullinan called to him. “Not for you, and not for me. You have forced my hand.”
From within his sleeve, Cullinan produced a flat, rectangular stone in the shape of a playing card. Suddenly, it was as if the world froze, and all colors inverted to a photo negative. Then, just as suddenly, the world returned to normal; with one notable exception.
“Perdida?” Dédalo whipped around, searching frantically for his partner, clutching his necklace tight to his chest. “Cullinan, you bastard, what did you do to her!?”
“Calm yourself. I have done your companion no harm.” Cullinan flipped the stone card around. Carved into its surface was a perfect portrait of Perdida, eyes wide in shock, screaming a silent scream, reaching out towards Dédalo. “This is no different from how she rested before you found her. There’s no need to-”
Dédalo unsheathed his sabre and lunged for Cullinan’s throat. Cullinan rose from his seat—in one swift motion, he sidestepped Dédalo, grabbed him by the collar, and hurled him across the room into the opposite wall.
Passion shot awake and leaped back, pointing 「sleepyhead」 straight at Cullinan, its mouth open and ready to strike.
“It seems we have reached an impasse,” Cullinan stated calmly. “Dédalo, Passion, we could fight and make enemies of one another—but this is not the way of the House of Muses. Instead, I am willing to wager my resolve versus your own. A test of body, mind and spirit.” Cullinan pulled out an ornate hourglass, its frame entwined with green and gold snakes and its interior filled with fine metal shavings.
Dédalo slowly rose from the ground, forcing the air back into his lungs. “Your games mean nothing to me, Patron. Give me my friend back. Now.”
“You have been clear that you are unwilling to compromise and rash in your judgment. But I invite you to a game invented by the Piedurons.” Cullinan tapped the side of the hourglass. “I will reveal this to you now—my Stand is bound to this hourglass, and the hourglass itself is a Pieduron Temple. It can enforce any wager we make. Win this game, and you will have not just my word, but a promise to help understand and uncover the mysteries of the Piedurons. Not only that, I will do whatever you feel is appropriate in regards to anything related to the Piedurons.”
“And if we lose?” Passion interjected. She didn’t give a shit about Perdida, but she also didn’t want to lose her soul or whatever.
“I ask for nothing, I will even give your companion back. But give me this opportunity to show you what Piedruon technology is capable of and why it is so dangerous.”
It was hard to take Cullinan at his word, but it was the only option Dédalo had been given. “Fine.”
“You may resent me all you like, but know that I am trying to do you a favor. Most other factions would have already killed you by now. Here, I’ll make it easy for you.” Cullinan brushed a hand across his face, spreading a black glittery face paint with his palm. Opening his eyes he revealed black sclera and red pupils.
Motes of light saturated the room and flickering projections painted the room in bright light. It was like what happened at the planetarium, only on a smaller scale. No…this felt more real than even that, the floor changed underneath their feet and the stale cave air was replaced with fresh air. Dédalo felt a new weight press down on his arm as a disk-like shield materialized and attached to his gauntlet.
By this point Cullinan had moved to the other side of the room. “To make this fair we will be playing the simplified rule set! Once you are content you understand them, we may Open the game! (Shoutouts to u/TreeTurtle_852 for the match art!)
Location: A strange pocket dimension? The battlefield of a game played by the Piedurons.
The area here is 21 by 22 meters with each tile being 1 by 1 meters. Cullinan starts on the top of the map while the players are on the bottom half. The ceiling is 50 meters high and the stage is lit by an unknown, omnipresent light source.
The blacked out tiles are endless pits; a player is RETIREd if they fall in without a way to get back out.
The ground here is sandstone with certain areas having been painted to look like the colors shown on the map. The sides of the map are sandstone walls, the general rules of the game are outlined on the walls behind the players. Half a meter underneath the sandstone layers is a thick layer of A Durability Cleria.
The Purple “X” marked circles are Cullinan’s summoning zones and the Brown “X” marked circles are the Players’ summoning zones.
Goal: Beat your opponent in this game that tests body, mind, and spirit!
Additional Information: In this game designed by the Piedurons, each side summons Pieduron warriors to fight for them.
General Unit Info:
  • Unless otherwise stated, each unit has C Power, Speed, Durability, and C Precision with B Durability on their weapons and armor.
  • Units are defeated once they take C Durability’s worth of damage.
  • Units each have effectively a 3 stat in using their main weapons and working in their intended roles.
  • The armored parts of armored units are not removable
  • Similar to Stands, the units are able to incorporate their summoner’s experiences and utilize their fighting techniques. They are almost like a pseudo-swarm Stand, with their summoner having a mental link to the units and giving orders to them remotely.
  • For the players, Passion or Dédalo can summon and command units, but they share the same summoning zones and cooldowns.
  • Each unit is made of stone and clay, but are hollow enough to weigh about as much as a human
  • For Passion’s Stand, they count as living things with stamina while active and objects when defeated.
Each Summoning circle has a 30 second cooldown and can summon any of the listed units below:
Unit List:
  • Knights: Armed with a scimitar and small round shield. They have a layer of body armor and helmet.
  • Defenders: Armed with a large rectangular riot shield. They have a layer of body armor and helmet.
  • Spearmen: Armed with a spear. They have arm guards and a helmet.
  • Archers: Armed with a bow and quiver of 25 arrows
  • Fishermen: Armed with a fishing rod and three fishing spikes attached to their hip
  • Farmer: Armed with a sickle and hoe
  • Lumberjack: Armed with a hatchet
  • Excavator: Armed with a pickaxe and a shovel
  • Gremlin: Half the size of the normal sized units, the gremlin has D Power and D Durability as a trade off for its small size. They also have sharp B Durability claws with no opposable thumbs.
While the game is active, Cullinan and the Players are unable to attack or directly interact with one another (their bodies, Stands, and attacks will pass through each other.). Nor can they cross to the opponent’s side of the field (both sides can still cross into the center area)
Note, both sides are able to attack and use their abilities against enemy units.
Each side can only have up to 10 units at a time on their own side of the field. However they can have as many of their units as they would like on their opponent’s side of the field.
The game ends when their opponent(s) are Retired and no longer able to continue fighting. Any injuries when the game ends vanish and you will be brought back where you were before the game started.
Dédalo does not have Perdida physically with him in this match, but he does have access to the rest of Perdida’s ‘Stand’ abilities and starts with a Temple that is a thick shield-like attachment for his gauntlet:
Temple Name Tier 1 Ability Tier 2 Ability Tier 3 Ability
Alqurs Almubaraza (The Duel Disk) The front end of the shield opens up and can convert any one Temple stored in the gauntlet into a Cleria stone card (1 Pilot) The shield can convert a second Temple into a card (2 Pilots) The shield can convert a third temple into a card (3 Pilots)
In this game, cards created by this temple can be cast and equipped to any unit under Dédalo’s control, with any additional benefits Dédalo would have. (The card-form temples still require the requisite number of pilots to get their effects.) All they have to do is mentally target which unit they want and place the card on the face of the shield. When the equipped unit is defeated, the equipped Temple is returned and stored back in the gauntlet.
The game has just started and there is 5 seconds before all summoning zones can be activated.
Team Combatant JoJolity
House of Muses Cullinan Dwarf Star "I've split their souls into six chips each. In poker, if you think you might lose, you can fold. You need to be able to drop out and up the ante, so we can't play with just two chips. Winning back six chips is the equivalent of winning one soul." Show your resolve and your trust in your methods!
HECATONCHEIRES Passion Little and Dédalo Viatger "Fine. I'll bet my soul." Show your resolve and your trust in Pieduro!
Link to Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
Days ago…
As the stormwinds blew the ship off-course, Val instead took this as a blessing, standing at the bow, pointing ahead.
“THERE!” She barked, at the top of her voice. “IF THE STORM BLOWS US SO, WE! SHALL! FOLLOW!”
And so, The Bruce turned with the wind, merely allowing it to spell the course of the ship. And so soon did the ship arrive, at the deadliest trial yet.
Val stopped the vessel here, dropping the anchor just before the range of the Scylla, pulling down the sails so The Bruce might not continue into the depths. L pulled the spyglass to its eyes, spotting the beast.
Val readied the ‘cannonballs’, composed of the 30-odd-kg chunks of wood she had brought from Circe’s islands, and from a distance, she released her ‘grapeshot’–a group of possessed objects tied to a bullet as the leader.
Even from such a distance, the force of these were immense, barrelling down upon Scylla from past where she could manage to stop them. But even when Val’s volley had run its course, Scylla stood just barely. In her desperate search for more cannonballs, she had found the remains of a poor sandwich she hadn’t noticed being slipped into her belongings, gone hard from weeks unprotected at sea. It performed admirably as another cannonball, but there was still more to do, and Val was still determined to finish off this beast.
S possessed Val as R possessed the bullet of the Soul Slug Dividing Heart; Val shot the gunsword upwards, at a steep angle. Val now soared thousands of feet above the Scylla monster in the air, whereupon she had 70 seconds to travel the whole arc of the bullet. As she sailed towards her quarry, she readied her gun again: 70 seconds to fell this beast, 70 seconds of bullets, 70 seconds for one of the most epic victories of her life. With a deep breath, she smiled, laughing a little…God, this was…exhilarating!
submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:59 nonselfimage In Flames, Fear is the Weakness -AND- Zen for the non discriminating palette - Salt of the Earth, State of Slow decay... Your head is all in it

tombstone mentality; war soad
Preface: 99% of this post is notes from past week, I never got around to flushing out. Ideas that came and went at work and in meditation, that I was NOT able to convey into writing in a timely manner, and am now moved on to other projects. Just posting what I had without proofreading or error correction or "flushing out".
Lazy post. From notes. Lost meaning of it all. Just a submission to consider after. Maybe remember what I felt in it (great way).
Merged/Combined Post. Original Edited/Deleted Post:
This one written 29/3/2023:
In Flames - all turned cold no one cares for anyon[e]:
Empathy post a few weeks back.
No one has empathy.
Burning place reserved for devil and his angels.
Reserved or rsvp means claim staked.
Jesus adamantly says don't stake a claim he will make you get up and move.
Yesterday wrote another in flames post but didn't post it.
King lear in berzerk. Cold. He dies on a frozen throne.
Consistent theme. I even called empathy a hot potato the other day. Empathy is like warmth in a frozen universe. Frozen is a great album by Sentanced. Hell frozen rain.
Common theme. A lot more forgot it all.
Edit: inspired by the jungle post and the zen term nests in book of nothing
Edit 2: Too Late - Type O Negative. Also why the lie, earth is flat. At altitude, horizon rises, not fall away. Sun still sets... etc. What point arguing with liar.
endit nth: idk what this is saying but for sure maybe world does end in fake heat death of satan so called empathy he who tries to save it shall lose it style. Then hereafter (poop) is freezing. The hot lie. Thus the prominent and conspicuous the lie of empathy on reddit et al.
Edit: Apollo and Daphne day comment and common quote I've seen a lot lately means same thing as weaving spiders come not here (better to be nice than correct).
This one mostly written 28/3/2023
Zen for the non discriminating palette - Salt of the Earth, State of Slow decay... Your head is all in it
(half post, not finished, just posting from notes because lost the train of thought)
I'll probably bee busy this week. April 1 has always been a turning spot in my life.
Started the book of nothing. Hsing hsing. Lots of notes but on other (work) phone.
Bottom line who cares. What comfort. What comfort in "who cares". World looks after it's own. It's manufactured solutions to it's manufactured problems. Insurance and Marriage and Mortgage, oh my!
In Flames has always kept the pulse on my psyche through the decades. Music from the soul... or the nausea of/wafting from it at least. Not unsurprisingly I'm writing this while taking a shit. Nicklas got out while getting was good, because I think In Flames took a shit and called it an album as well.
Not all that bad just first album I wasn't crazy for. But it is what I've been thinking for years now. Salt of the earth. We are the salt of the earth. Salt was a preservative and wage in those days. So means literally our job to maintain the world (and it's double standards) for it; else it is spoiled and stinks to high heaven, goes rotten.
Which reminds me. I made a thing. An album [note 1] for A band that doesn't exist. Its "debut" album title would be Heaven is just one more place to clean up after or Your head is all in it (play on it's all in your head, a swirly, zodiacal lights). No music. Idk. Seen angels inspiration in the "wafting" sense of souls. Also had first explicit djinn/genie dream last night. Like literally blue people. Maybe because I listened to the bubble by same people who do I'm blue... ? Idk.
Yeah. Go figure. I declared war on djinn kind of something in the dream apparently. The prince or princess of some mighty djinn was trying to hide me from their father or some shit. I always saw the blue as black and white together, as like Aang/Kora to Vishnu to Rudra et al etc. Deva? Asura? Aesir? Vanir? Idk not looking up spelling. Don't care. Speculation. Definite all one illusion vibe. Story. All the puppets on the stage couldn't be in on it, all the dream characters in the dream couldn't be in on it, etc. World looks after it's own. Salt of the earth. Book of nothing pretty good. Also title of first book I tried to write back around 2008. Book about the logic of the term/idea "nothing" and "no one". Infinite infinite regresses.
Notes from Monday or Tue, I think;
Not the person
What is the person
What are we
Service to life
Let him who(m?) Would be great among you be a servant of all
There were some posts a few hours after these notes on same topics, here on reddit. How to stay ahead of what you are manifesting and recognizing it as it is... carrying nothing, looking for nothing outside...
Caught back up to NOW: Apollo and Daphne.
What is this about
What does this mean
What is the meaning of this
Der religious wacken (The religious essence). Nietzsche's "cold spots". The man whom is becoming religious astounds many as "hot" - he is icy hot, burns to the touch. It is not warmth but sheer cold that "burns". What I meant on devil and his angels comment. Hot and cold. Song of fire and ice. Like smelting a sword. A single distinction... and heaven and earth infinately set apart (holy means set apart) from one another. More on that some other time.
Partial poem, notes from The fiasco the other day:
Way of world, way of man, way of lost redditors...
Patchwork spunk, all directions and none; bound.
Truant escaping koan sharks and Dharma creditors,
Wayless ways and gateless gates;
Path to destruction? Can't be found.
Penny or pound of flesh
If you take a stab, be sure to give it back
Even lamer and more gay but sharing anyway. Say and mean, ofc
[note 1] The Album:
(Album) Form of the formless
Tibetan book of the woke
(Added) Beauty in a Bottle
The rise and fall (this erection life)
Everything is a 4 letter word (no it's not)
This one (is called)
(No) MMI (hd)
Temperature in kilograms
My heart is heavier than that damn feather
Filthy do gooder
My advice
This heartache will go on
Not the (one)
Bonus track something like maybe cover of behind space in flames. Idk. Doesn't fit but that's the point. A joke.
Notes: this one and not the go together. My advice inspired by like shit msi. Heartache will go on titanic joke. Feather concludes what started in woke. Thought of KoRn Love song and The Evil that men do while pensive of names. Blood of innocents and all that. Hatred for the mortal earthbound. One sip. Tongue/Tounge like knife in cheek.
Not singing.
Anyway shizo diary out of the way... Seriously all these come from "meditations" at work I try to recall later while taking a shit. Doesn't usually go so well as I can tell by looking over it. The following isn't even notes, just a few words like "Apollo, witchcraft, Deutsch, warsoad, bon, ahkheem, etc". Hoping I'd know what I meant when I got "home".
That said, this was intended as a reply to this thread a while back but I'm not as lucid as I am at work or while meditating. I can't channel that state of mind (anger?) well when trying to type. The musician's curse. Close enough, as Nietzshe said, "it should have sang/sung, this new soul";
If you do not breathe through writing, cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it" - Anais Nin
Better to be "polite" than "correct".
Anyway that bit about cold spots and Nietzsche above. Make any distinction... need some of the Bon quote to proceed;
21 October 1974 am in Buddha Hall
WE WILL BE ENTERING the beautiful world of a Zen Master’s no-mind. Sosan is the third Zen Patriarch. Nothing much is known about him – this is as it should be, because history records only violence. History does not record silence – it cannot record it. All records are of disturbance. Whenever someone becomes really silent, he disappears from all records, he is no more a part of our madness. So it is as it should be.
Sosan remained a wandering monk his whole life. He never stayed anywhere; he was always passing, going, moving. He was a river; he was not a pond, static. He was a constant movement. That is the meaning of Buddha’s wanderers: not only in the outside world but in the inside world also they should be homeless – because whenever you make a home you become attached to it. They should remain rootless; there is no home for them except this whole universe.
Even when it was recognized that Sosan had become enlightened, he continued his old beggar’s way. And nothing was special about him. He was an ordinary man, the man of Tao.
One thing I would like to say, and you have to remember it: Zen is a crossbreeding. And just as more beautiful flowers can come out of crossbreeding, and more beautiful children are born out of crossbreeding, the same has happened with Zen.
Zen is a crossbreeding between Buddha’s thought and Lao Tzu’s thought. It is a great meeting, the greatest that ever took place. That’s why Zen is more beautiful than Buddha’s thought and more beautiful than Lao Tzu’s thought. It is a tare flowering of the highest peaks and the meeting of those peaks. Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist, but it carries both within it.
India is a little too serious about religion – a long past, a long weight on the mind of India, and religion has become serious. Lao Tzu remained a laughingstock – Lao Tzu is known as the old fool. He is not serious at all; you cannot find a more non-serious man.
Then Buddha’s thought and Lao Tzu’s thought met, India and China met, and Zen was born. And this Sosan was just near the original source when Zen was coming out of the womb. He carries the fundamental.
His biography is not relevant at all, because whenever a man becomes enlightened he has no biography. He is no more the form, so when he was born, when he died, are irrelevant facts. That’s why in the East we have never bothered about biographies, historical facts. That obsession has never existed here. That obsession has come from the West now; then people become interested more in irrelevant things. When a Sosan is born, what difference does it make – this year or that? When he dies, how is it important?
Sosan is important, not his entry into this world and the body, not his departure. Arrivals and departures are irrelevant. The only relevance is in the being.
And these are the only words Sosan uttered. Remember, they are not words, because they come out of a mind which has gone beyond words. They are not speculations, they are authentic experiences.
That's what I mean, kind of. Not really. It's Greek to me. The Greek thing. I've often called the "Greek Gods" the satans. You'd be hard pressed to find a single story of the Greek Gods that does not in some way have something to do with rape. Thus, preferences. The case I thought of was Apollo and Daphne in particular (or Heracles as well).
The Case As I knew it:
Apollo was boasting to Cupid, his bow of reason slew the Primordial dragon of Chaos/Madness. What could Cupid's little pathetic bow do?
Apollo made at least two distinctions; that between reason and madness, and between himself and cupid.
Cupid famously shoots Apollo and Daphne.
That's all really. Like with Arachne or weaving spiders, you can unpack as much as you want but I forgot it all, hey.
PS to self... before you have an aneurysm, the "flushed out" comment was on GR not reddit.
Bad religion: only entertainment. Msi: we want our money back.
Edit: "old" urls
submitted by nonselfimage to u/nonselfimage [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:47 DeadpooI Tried to see if i could get one of the AI bots to write a dresden files short story. even it it wasnt right it did better than i expected it to.

The Goblin's Dilemma
Harry Dresden was about to go to bed when he heard a loud knock on his door. He grabbed his staff and his coat and opened the door cautiously. To his surprise, he saw a small, green-skinned creature with pointed ears and teeth standing on his porch. It was wearing a tattered leather jacket and jeans, and it had a backpack slung over its shoulder.
"Hello," the creature said in a raspy voice. "I need your help."
Harry blinked. He recognized the creature as a goblin, one of the many faerie races that inhabited the NeverNever, the parallel world of magic and monsters. He had encountered goblins before, and they were usually hostile and violent. But this one seemed different. It looked scared and desperate, and it had a pleading expression on its face.
"What do you want?" Harry asked warily.
"I need to get back to the NeverNever," the goblin said. "I'm lost. I came here by accident. Please, you have to help me."
Harry frowned. He wondered how the goblin had ended up in Chicago, and why it had chosen him as its potential savior. He also wondered if this was some kind of trap or trick. He knew better than to trust anything from the NeverNever.
"How did you get here?" Harry asked.
"I don't know," the goblin said. "I was in the forest, hunting with my clan. We found a portal to this world. We thought it would be fun to explore. But then something went wrong. The portal closed behind us. We were trapped here. We tried to find another way back, but we couldn't. We ran into trouble. People saw us. They chased us. They shot at us. They killed some of my friends. I managed to escape. I've been hiding ever since."
The goblin's eyes filled with tears. Harry felt a pang of sympathy for the creature. It sounded like it had been through a lot.
"Where are the rest of your clan?" Harry asked.
"I don't know," the goblin said. "I lost them in the city. I think they're still alive. I hope they are."
Harry nodded. He decided to give the goblin the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was telling the truth. Maybe it was just a lost and frightened being that needed his help.
"OK," Harry said. "I'll help you get back to the NeverNever."
The goblin's face lit up with gratitude.
"Thank you," it said. "Thank you so much."
Harry smiled faintly.
"Don't mention it," he said.
He invited the goblin inside his apartment and closed the door behind them.
He hoped he wasn't making a mistake.
Harry led the goblin to his living room and offered it a seat on his couch. He then went to his kitchen and poured two glasses of coke. He handed one to the goblin and sat down on a chair opposite it.
"So," Harry said. "What's your name?"
The goblin looked at him with curiosity.
"My name?" it asked.
"Yeah," Harry said. "You have a name, right?"
The goblin nodded.
"Of course I have a name," it said. "But it's not something you can pronounce. It's a sound. A growl. A snarl."
Harry raised his eyebrows.
"OK," he said. "Can you make that sound for me?"
The goblin shook its head.
"No," it said. "It's too dangerous. It might attract unwanted attention. It might also offend you. It's a very personal thing, you know. A name."
Harry nodded.
"I understand," he said. "Well, can I call you something else? Something easier?"
The goblin shrugged.
"Sure," it said. "Whatever you want."
Harry thought for a moment.
"How about...Gob?" he suggested.
The goblin tilted its head.
"Gob?" it repeated.
"Yeah," Harry said. "Gob. Short for goblin."
The goblin smiled.
"I like it," it said. "Gob. It sounds good."
Harry smiled back.
"Great," he said. "Then Gob it is."
He took a sip of his coke and set the glass down on the table.
"So, Gob," he said. "Tell me more about yourself. Where do you come from? What do you do? What are your hobbies?"
Gob looked at him with confusion.
"My hobbies?" it asked.
"Yeah," Harry said. "You know, things you like to do for fun."
Gob thought for a while.
"Well," it said. "I like to hunt. I like to fight. I like to eat."
Harry nodded.
"Anything else?" he asked.
Gob shook its head.
"Not really," it said.
Harry sighed.
"OK," he said. "Well, let me tell you something about myself. I'm a wizard."
Gob's eyes widened with awe.
"A wizard?" it asked.
"Yes," Harry said. "A wizard."
He reached for his staff and showed it to Gob.
"This is my staff," he said. "I use it to channel my magic."
He then reached for his coat and showed it to Gob.
"This is my coat," he said. "It protects me from harm."
He then reached for his necklace and showed it to Gob.
"This is my amulet," he said. "It helps me sense things."
He then reached for his bracelet and showed it to Gob.
"This is my bracelet," he said. "It stores energy."
He then reached for his ring and showed it to Gob.
"This is my ring," he said. "It releases energy."
He then reached for his gun and showed it to Gob.
"This is my gun," he said. "It shoots bullets."
Gob looked at him with admiration.
"You have many things," it said.
Harry nodded.
"Yes, I do," he said.
He put all his things back in their places and leaned back on his chair.
"So, Gob," he said. "Do you have any questions for me?"
Gob nodded eagerly.
"Yes, I do," it said.
Gob leaned forward on the couch and looked at Harry with curiosity.
"What questions do you have?" Harry asked.
Gob cleared its throat.
"Well," it said. "First of all, what is this place? This world? It's so strange. So different from the NeverNever."
Harry nodded.
"This is Earth," he said. "The mortal world. The world of humans."
Gob frowned.
"Humans?" it asked. "What are humans?"
Harry raised his eyebrows.
"You don't know what humans are?" he asked.
Gob shook its head.
"No," it said. "Are you a human?"
Harry nodded.
"Yes, I am," he said. "Humans are the dominant species on this planet. We have many cultures, languages, religions, and nations. We also have many problems, such as war, poverty, disease, and pollution."
Gob looked at him with interest.
"Tell me more," it said.
Harry sighed.
"Well," he said. "Where do I begin?"
He decided to give Gob a brief overview of human history, starting from the ancient civilizations to the modern era. He told Gob about the rise and fall of empires, the development of science and technology, the discovery of new lands and peoples, the conflicts and revolutions that shaped the world, and the current state of affairs. He tried to keep it simple and concise, but he still had a lot to cover.

Gob listened attentively, occasionally asking questions or making comments. It seemed fascinated by some aspects of human culture, such as music, art, literature, and sports. It also seemed amused by some aspects of human behavior, such as politics, religion, and romance. It also seemed confused by some aspects of human society, such as laws, money, and education.

Harry enjoyed talking to Gob. He found it refreshing to share his knowledge and perspective with someone who had no preconceptions or biases. He also found it amusing to see Gob's reactions and expressions. He felt a bond forming between them.

They talked for about an hour, until Harry noticed that it was getting late.
"Wow," he said. "Time flies when you're having fun."
He checked his watch and saw that it was almost midnight.
"I think we should call it a night," he said. "We have a big day tomorrow."
Gob nodded.
"OK," it said. "What are we going to do tomorrow?"
Harry smiled.
"We're going to find a way to get you back to the NeverNever," he said.
Gob smiled back.
"Thank you," it said. "You're very kind."
Harry shrugged.
"Don't mention it," he said.
He got up from his chair and stretched his arms.
"Come on," he said. "I'll show you where you can sleep."
He led Gob to his spare bedroom and opened the door.
"This is where you'll stay," he said. "It's not much, but it's comfortable."
He turned on the light and showed Gob the bed, the closet, the dresser, and the window.
"You can use anything you need," he said. "There are some clothes in the closet that might fit you. There are also some books on the shelf that you might like to read."
He pointed to a phone on the nightstand.
"This is a phone," he said. "You can use it to call me if you need anything. Just press this button and say my name."
He pointed to a door on the other side of the room.
"This is the bathroom," he said. "You can use it to wash yourself or relieve yourself. There are some towels and toiletries in there that you can use."
He pointed to a switch on the wall.
"This is a light switch," he said. "You can use it to turn on or off the light."
He pointed to a clock on the wall.
"This is a clock," he said. "It tells you what time it is."
He pointed to a picture on the wall.
"This is a picture," he said. "It's a painting of my parents. They died when I was young."
He looked at Gob and smiled.
"Do you have any questions?" he asked.
Gob shook its head.
"No," it said. "I think I understand everything."
Harry nodded.
"Good," he said. "Then I'll leave you alone now."
He walked towards the door and turned off the light.
submitted by DeadpooI to dresdenfiles [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:37 Acceptable-Emu-4670 Went to medical here on base and have an issue with the paperwork...

When I went to bootcamp during pdays and on the dental records I was filling out a form and there was a question about Family History of Heart Disease but the thing is that question had an automatic printed checkmark and I think there was no option of Yes or No just a box, as it is in boot camp during the first days not wanting to get yelled at etc I didn't say anything about this because u can clearly see it is an automatic printed checkmark compared to the rest of my hand written checkmarks on the form. And figured if it was an issue they would say something they didn't and I didn't have any issues with it all for the rest of my time in boot camp.
Anyway today I went to medical here on base and filling out forms and the same question pops up family history of heart disease I put no because that is the truth.
Is this something I should worry about, will I be kicked out because on one it says yes and on the other no?
submitted by Acceptable-Emu-4670 to navy [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 00:25 bubbleratty Ileostomy & oophorectomy procedures combined

After dealing with Ulcerative Colitis & it's many flare ups & failed meds for years, my GI referred me to the Colorectal surgical team to discuss my options. Mentally I am done with my diseased intestine and just want the whole lot gone, permanent ileostomy, no rectal stump & full doll butt. I am prepared for the different issues that may arise from major surgery & a new way of processing body waste, but again, I feel I am ready for that journey.
During the appointment, my colorectal surgeon was going to discuss the risks to childbearing following a permanent ileostomy, I said to him I do not want children and half jokingly said while they're in there they can whip that equipment out. I was not expecting him to go OK, that is a possibility if its something you want, not a full hysterectomy but removal of the ovaries & tubes. Obviously comes with a bit extra recovery & added complication risks, but I could go away & think (and research) about it because I hadn't actually considered it could be an option. Especially after seeing gynaecology & they were not keen on doing a tube tie so I put it to the back of my mind.
So now I'm weighing up the pros & cons of having an oophorectomy.
Cons Instant menopause Hot flashes (already having) Low libido (don't think it could get any lower than it already is) Vaginal dryness Higher risk osteoporosis & heart disease If taking Hrt, have to take oestrogen with progesterone to reduce risk of uterine cancer (when I'm finally at a place understanding my specific hormone levels & cycle tracking) Fatigue/insomnia (already live with this so meh)
Pros No more menstruation Removes risk of ovarian cancer (family history) No pregnancy risk if sex is had Gender affirming (non-binary) Could use natural alternatives to HRT to control menopause symptoms One & done surgery, won't have to revisit further down the line if I need it done (cancer risk) No more monthly ovulation pain No hormonal fluctuations worsening Ehlers-Danlos symptoms No more PMDD every month
It's a lot to consider & process over the next few weeks, I'm pencilled in for surgery any time from mid June, barring complications will be done Laparoscopicly, intestine wheeched out my butthole then sealed up.
I'd be interested in hearing anyone's experience of having both procedures done in one sitting. If they would do things differently, what to expect recovery wise, any anecdotal advice.
Thank you.
submitted by bubbleratty to ostomy [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 23:12 Substantial-Status55 Parkinsonism

Age 31 Male No drugs or alcohol Healthy bmi Ontario Canada
Interesting question for you folks. While taking anti depressant medication ( Effexor ) I displayed all of the symptoms of multiple system atrophy. Urinary incontinence/urgency Rem behavioural disorder Startle response Orthostatic hypotension Hand tremors Erectile dysfunction.
Fast forward six months being off of the prescription and I’ve become Ill with progressively worse dysautonomia.
I have body wide fasciculations Minipolyclonus in my fingers Levido reticularis Blood pooling in my feet Petechia Action tremors Constipation Inappropriate sinus tachycardia POTS Seborheic dermatitis
There have been many case study’s that SSRIs can unmask future Parkinsonism.
Given my worsening health conditions and history fitting the diagnostic criteria for MSA, is it reasonable to consider that I might be facing this disease in the prodromal phase? I’ve had many tests to rule out other disease or ailments and everything comes back okay.
Can anyone elaborate on what my next steps should be?
submitted by Substantial-Status55 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:51 HoadsA PCOS? (2008 CT included)

I've been questioning PCOS for awhile. I have uncontrollable cravings, weight gain, binge eating disorder, regular fatigue, my period is mostly regular, but will be a couple of weeks late at times. Bleeding seems normal, but I have pain/cramps throughout my period and even when I'm not menstruating. I recently hired a personal trainer to help with accountability while I attempt to lose weight... I've been trying to for over a year. The number keeps rising. I am fortunate enough to not have chronic acne, but a cystic pimple or two around my menses. I also have a family history of diabetes. I was searching through past diagnostics and found the attached report. I have another that mentions a 3cm anehoic lesion on the right ovary. Is PCOS likely and is it worth taking to OBGYN?
submitted by HoadsA to AskMD [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 20:58 BroadwDrrtyHair-781 Chiari Malformation Aggravation Rating Question

I was diagnosed last October with a significant (22mm) Chiari Malformation after a VA ER visit. However, I had a long history of headaches and mutiple CT scans as a child and teenager but I was never diagnosed with anything. Fast forward to the Army, and another female popped my entire spine (including my neck, up to my skull) during combatives. I began experiencing loss of sensation in my feet, pain on my right side, etc. Was discharged for degenerative disc disease. 10 years later, the symptoms got worse and I had to start using a cane and lost vision in my right eye. I had the decompression surgery in January and submitted for an aggravation to my chiari with the VA.
What do you all think is the likelihood of them connecting this? I have a rating for the loss of sensation and the back pain.
submitted by BroadwDrrtyHair-781 to VeteransBenefits [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 20:33 Remarkable_Fox_5782 Please guys help I feel hopeless (Urgent)

So I am a 19-year-old Male. My weight is around 130 pounds, and I'm 5'7". My parents are 4'11 and 5'11. This is my first Reddit post ever, so please forgive me if I made mistakes.
Age: 19 sex: Male Race: Indian Country of residence: USA No existing diagnosis no medications currently Never smoked
My medical history: I had jaundice when I was born I have a history of epilepsy from the age of 5 to 8. I had meningitis at the age of 15 and bronchitis at the age of 16. I had a lot of nosebleeds before the age of 10, and my docs never found out why. My height hadn't grown for 4 years, so I did an x-ray of my knees at 17 to check growth plates. It came back with 1st stage osteoarthritis. I showed the x-ray to an orthopedic, and he said I have never seen something like this. Your joints are of a 50-year-old, and spaces are eroded, and they were a little bit eroded in a spinal X-ray I had when I was 15 years old. He gave me some supplements, and after 6 months, the X-ray was normal. like tf happened there idk.
Okay, so my concern is that I am extremely scared I have werners syndrome. I know it is extremely rare, but I feel I have symptoms. So, I stopped growing at the age of 13 and have stayed the same height since then. Never had a growth spurt, and all guys in my high school had one. Peers shorter than me became my height, and peers taller than me are now much taller. Besides that, my voice never changed, and I never got much chest or beard hair. Few hairs on the nipples. I have a mustache but just a few hairs everywhere else on my face. I never got acne during puberty. Mind that my ethnicity is Indian, and everyone in my extended family is hairy af. All male cousins had beards by 17. I also have ejaculation problems. I have been masturbating since 11 but never ejaculated while doing so. I only ever ejaculated in the night, which happens once in about 2 months. The frequency has decreased recently, and my ejaculation is now clear in color. My testosterone levels are just 330, and the minimum is 300.
Nine months ago, I noticed that I was losing a lot of scalp hair, and it was not growing back. This was accompanied by eyebrow fall. My scalp hair has no patches, but it is not growing to the same length it used to, and I am losing a lot of hair. I don't need haircuts anymore because the length of my hair is not increasing. As far as eyebrows go, I even sometimes lose 20-30 in one sitting. 2 or 3 weeks ago, I started having body hair fall from my eyelashes, legs, pubic, and armpit. I have a stocky trunk that developed about 6 months ago. I thought the stocky trunk was because of bad food in college, but I do walk many miles every day in between classes. I always had superficial veins on my arms, but now I can see them on my hands and feet too. I recently developed a few red spots on my face, but doc said it is acne. LDL is 114, and I have normal thyroid levels.
Two weeks ago, A medical friend told me about Werner syndrome, and I read so many case studies and the symptoms from rarediseases.org. I was shocked that my initial symptoms matched. I think I am 19, so that's why I haven't developed other symptoms yet. The lack of growth spurt and the hair fall with eyebrow fall match. I also have a lot of superficial veins and a stocky trunk that developed about 6 months ago. I thought the stocky trunk was because of bad food in college, but I do walk many miles every day in between classes.
I went to two internal medicine docs who know my parents really well. They are husband and wife. I talked to the husband over the call cause he was not in the country, and he said my symptoms are weird and require further testing. So I went to the wife and told her my symptoms, she ran tests, and everything was within range, so she sent me home. I went to her again, crying that I have these symptoms; she prescribed anti-anxiety meds, hugged and counseled me, and said everything would be fine. She said she would study Werner syndrome just for me because she didn't know much about it. She said she would call after studying, but she never did. Her husband came from India to Usa, so then I consulted him because I also had male problems. He thrashed me and said you don't have werners. Everything is in your mind, and he can bet that I don't have it. But my symptoms are of the past. I think what happened was that his wife told him I have health anxiety, so he came with the mindset that I didn't have any symptoms and I was just anxious. It's weird that previously he agreed with my issues being peculiar and that he said further evaluation is required and we would consult an endocrinologist. Now, everything is suddenly in my mind. He said cause of genetics, you stopped growing at 13, and not caused by some disease. I said I lost a lot of eyebrows he said I don't know how thick they were, but they don't look thin to me. He checked scalp hair and said there is no Alopecia. He said at least you have nocturnal emissions sometimes, and if you can't do it while masturbating, then we can later on check retrograde ejaculation.
Right now, no one is listening to my symptoms, and they are saying everything is "normal." What can be causing all of this? Can't it just be bad genes and not like some disease cause my uncle (My mother's brother) did lose a lot of eyebrows and scalp hair in his early to mid 20s. He is bald. Please, I don't want to have Werner's.
Guys, I am really scared. My parents always wanted a son, and I think I will end up being a liability.
submitted by Remarkable_Fox_5782 to medical_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 20:19 Remarkable_Fox_5782 Please guys help I feel hopeless

So I am a 19-year-old Male. My weight is around 130 pounds, and I'm 5'7". My parents are 4'11 and 5'11. This is my first Reddit post ever, so please forgive me if I made mistakes.
My medical history: I had jaundice when I was born I have a history of epilepsy from the age of 5 to 8. I had meningitis at the age of 15 and bronchitis at the age of 16. I had a lot of nosebleeds before the age of 10, and my docs never found out why. My height hadn't grown for 4 years, so I did an x-ray of my knees at 17 to check growth plates. It came back with 1st stage osteoarthritis. I showed the x-ray to an orthopedic, and he said I have never seen something like this. Your joints are of a 50-year-old and spaces are eroded, and they were a little bit eroded in a spinal X-ray I had when I was 15 years old. He gave me some supplements, and after 6 months, the X-ray was normal. like tf happened there idk.
Okay, so my concern is that I am extremely scared I have werners syndrome. I know it is extremely rare, but I feel I have symptoms. So, I stopped growing at the age of 13 and have stayed the same height since then. Never really had a growth spurt, and all guys in my high school had one. Peers shorter than me became my height, and peers taller than me are now much taller. Besides that, my voice never changed, and I never got much chest or beard hair. Few hairs on the nipples. I have a mustache but just a few hairs everywhere else on my face. Mind that my ethnicity is Indian, and everyone in my extended family is hairy af. All male cousins had beards by 17.
I also have ejaculation problems. I have been masturbating since 11 but never ejaculated while doing so. I only ever ejaculated in the night, which happens once in about 2 months. The frequency has decreased recently, and my ejaculation is now clear in color. My testosterone levels are just 330, and the minimum is 300.
Nine months ago, I noticed that I was losing a lot of scalp hair, and it was not growing back. This was accompanied by eyebrow fall. My scalp hair has no patches, but it is not growing to the same length it used to, and I am losing a lot of hair. I don't need haircuts anymore because the length of my hair is not increasing. As far as eyebrows go, I even sometimes lose 20-30 in one sitting. I have normal thyroid levels, btw. 2 or 3 weeks ago, I started having body hair fall from my eyelashes, legs, pubic, and armpit.
Two weeks ago, A medical friend told me about Werner syndrome, and I read so many case studies and the symptoms from rarediseases.org. I was shocked that my initial symptoms matched. I think I am 19, so that's why I haven't developed other symptoms yet. The lack of growth spurt and the hair fall with eyebrow fall match. I also have a lot of superficial veins and a stocky trunk that developed about 6 months ago. I thought the stocky trunk was because of bad food in college, but I do walk many miles every day in between classes.
I went to two internal medicine docs who know my parents really well. They are husband and wife. I talked to the husband over the call cause he was not in the country, and he said my symptoms are weird and require further testing. So I went to the wife and told her my symptoms, she ran tests, and everything was within range, so she sent me home. I went to her again, crying that I have these symptoms; she prescribed anti-anxiety meds, hugged and counseled me, and said everything would be fine. She said she would study Werner syndrome just for me because she didn't know much about it. She said she would call after studying, but she never did. Her husband came from India to Usa, so then I consulted him because I also had male problems. He thrashed me and said you don't have werners. Everything is in your mind, and he can bet that I don't have it. But my symptoms are of the past. I think what happened was that his wife told him I have health anxiety, so he came with the mindset that I didn't have any symptoms and I was just anxious. It's weird that previously he agreed with my issues being peculiar and that he said further evaluation is required and we would consult an endocrinologist. Now, everything is suddenly in my mind. He said cause of genetics, you stopped growing at 13, and not caused by some disease. I said I lost a lot of eyebrows he said I don't know how thick they were, but they don't look thin to me. He checked scalp hair and said there is no Alopecia. He said at least you have nocturnal emissions sometimes, and if you can't do it while masturbating, then we can later on check retrograde ejaculation.
Right now, no one is listening to my symptoms, and they are saying everything is "normal." What can be causing all of this? Can't it just be bad genes and not like some disease cause my uncle (My mother's brother) did lose a lot of eyebrows and scalp hair in his early to mid 20s. He is bald. Please, I don't want to have Werner's.
Guys, I am really scared. My parents always wanted a son, and I think I will end up being a liability.
submitted by Remarkable_Fox_5782 to medical [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 19:45 caitie578 I started over again

Basically as the title states. Today is day two of a medical diet I tried 2 years ago but ended because I couldn't come to terms with my binge eating. Since fall I am about 20 lbs over my heaviest ever. My family has a history of weight related diabetes and there is heart disease on my father's side.
I wanted to try something like Ozempic as a means to just lose some lbs as when I do work out (twice a week with a trainer) my heart rate has been nuts. But I failed at monitoring what I ate as a plan of trying to eat well even as I am on something. I decided I needed the diet again to get me to eat more specific foods (fruits/veggies) while also adding back in walking. I stopped in fall.
I luckily have come to terms with my binge eating and am working with my therapist to specifically talk about my relationship with food and my thoughts directed at it. I had a physical on Friday which allowed me not to run away from the scale and just had blood tests come back. Glucose and bad cholesterol are higher, however, still within fixing range. My doctor seemed very supportive and wants me come back in two months.
I am doing it for my health. I have to lose or it will continue to snowball and I will reach a point of no return in some areas. I feel lighter already, mostly just not as bloated. But we'll see how it goes three weeks, 2 months etc from now. I am honestly taking it one day at a time, almost one meal at a time.
Wish me luck.
submitted by caitie578 to SuperMorbidlyObese [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 19:43 Extension_Ad_9546 Global Lidocaine Market Overview

What is Lidocaine?
A local anaesthetic called lidocaine is frequently used to numb a body part before to a procedure or surgery. It belongs to the group of medications known as amide local anaesthetics, which block nerve signals in the region where they are applied to stop pain signals from reaching the brain. Lidocaine is frequently injected into the skin or a muscle and used topically as a cream, gel, or ointment, or both.
Uses of Lidocaine: Lidocaine has a number of medical applications. Its usage as a local anaesthetic for dental operations is one of its most popular applications. Moreover, it is employed for suturing and small procedures such as skin biopsies. Certain chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis pain or nerve pain, are also treated with lidocaine. Lidocaine is additionally utilised as a cardiac drug to treat heart arrhythmias.
Get complete info: https://www.datalibraryresearch.com/reports/lidocaine-market-2171
Precautions for Using Lidocaine: It's crucial to let the doctor know about any illnesses, allergies, or prescription drugs the patient is taking before administering lidocaine. Those who have a known allergy to lidocaine or any other amide local anaesthetics shouldn't use lidocaine. Additionally, patients with heart disease, liver or kidney disease, kidney disease, or a history of seizures should use lidocaine with caution.
Conclusion: Lidocaine is a commonly prescribed drug that reduces pain by numbing a part of the body. It is frequently used for medical investigations, small surgery, and dentistry operations. Moreover, it is used to treat some forms of chronic pain. When taken as instructed, lidocaine is generally safe, but like all drugs, it might have negative effects. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about using lidocaine.
submitted by Extension_Ad_9546 to u/Extension_Ad_9546 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 19:40 Rarok85 Do I have Menieres?

So, I actually do not want people to say "yes" or "no" because I know it is impossible on reddit. I do not have the main symptom, which is vertigo. I am wondering if anyone can describe their symptoms as similar to mine though.
Right now I can hear only 50% out of my left ear. I get ringing and it feels full. I can plug my nose and blow until I hear popping in my ear and everything gets louder out of it. If I stop blowing, it will soon go back to hearing as if I am cupping my ear with my hand. After about two months, this will go away and I will hear normally again. I was previously diagnosed with fluid in my middle ear brought on by an upper respiratory infection. This started happening after I had my tonsils removed.
I have a family history of menieres in my family, which is the only reason I know about it. Thank goodness I do not have vertigo, because everything else is manageable. It is annoying when I lose my hearing, but I know it will come back.
The real question, does this sound like the same thing people with menieres disease experience, minus the vertigo?
submitted by Rarok85 to Menieres [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 18:59 LostCareTaker Humanity’s Potential - Part 4

First Previous
Recounting of First Contact with Species HS-01 - Humans, Sol System, Primary sentient Species in the Star system.
Recounting the events, Captain Invil Ta'Kotian, of the Serdes Hegemony, ally to the greater Federation that makes up much of the civilized galaxy. The nature of this retelling is to best determine the future that species HS-01 may have in the greater Galactic Stage, and whether they are friend or foe.
This particular continuation begins after three members of Species HS-01, David, Sten, and Sasha, have escaped custody. After being shot several times without provocation, Sten and David discovered the alien weapons did little more than bruise their bodies. With swift action. Sten murdered an Aporyion guard. The three now stalk the halls of the Ship Zelkirko, while much of the crew has barricaded itself on the Bridge.

Sten happily walked without a care in the world, laughing and banging on doors. His disappointment seemed to grow as the metal wouldn't budge. "Oh come on, now that's just unfair. We're bullet proof and these things are like glass, but the doors have to still be doors?" He growled before kicking at one. A violent warble echoed around them as the door wouldn't give way.
"Sten will you get a hold of yourself damn it? At least try to remember your training." David snapped back.
"Oh I'm so sorry illustrious leader, please show me your superior American ways in handling foreign relations. Oh, oh, please gift them money and weapons to make them feel better. Maybe one of your leaders can get caught with one of their kids. I'm sure that'll make them feel happy." Sten mocked before David turned the gun on him. Sten's psychopathic eyes showed no fear, and instead seemed excited more than anything. "There we go, there's some FIRE," Sten grabbed the barrel and kept the weapon firmly aimed at his chest. "Go on... Give me a tickle."
It was fruitless, and with having been lost in space their supplies had left the three humans hungry, thirsty, and exhausted. What little they'd been given wasn't enough, so David pulled the gun away. His anger boiling from having to deal with Sten was great, but at least the madmen was more interesting in killing their newly discovered neighbors as opposed to them. "Crazy Norwegian bastard."
"Crazy? We just found out we're immune to bullets and you call me crazy? Ha! David, you need to cut loose. I didn't think the Legion stripped you of your sense of humor." Sten grinned before another whistle caught the men's attention. Sasha had left them behind to get ahead, and now stood at the end of the hall. She gestured for them to approach, and upon doing so began to sign away. "What is little red riding hood saying hm? Is there a big bad wolf nearby?" Sten further teased.
An annoyed tch escaped Sasha's lips as she glared at Sten. "Sasha, don't." David said before she sighed and regained her composure, looking up at him almost seeming to ask why they had kept Sten. "I know, he's an idiot, but he's a strong idiot."
"Good looking too," Sten added before winking at Sasha shook her head.
As she continued to sign, David nodded. "Long hallway. Cameras. No sign of anyone around, might be abandoned. Says she has a bad feeling about center and left. Says going down the hall the right is smarter."
"Smarter, to what end?" Sten added while peeking out around the corner. To his disappointment, there was no one around. "To go back and what? Fight a buncha upset farmers on Mars? Ha, I like killing. I don't like killing for someone else."
"Knock it off, Sten, your politics aren't gonna do you any good now. We go to the Bridge, I guess. If we can figure out how to pilot this thing we'll take it. If not, we'll kindly ask them to take us somewhere." David answered as Sten shrugged. "Kindly." He once again emphasized.
"Whatever you say, boss, but if they shoot me with those little airsoft pistols again, I'm seeing if I can pull off their fluffy little heads by the horns." He grinned back at David before the trio proceeded down the hall. Unlike their previous carelessness, Sten suddenly fell into line. His body was kept low like David's as he followed close. Both men carefully paced a few feet behind Sasha, who quickly checked around corners for them with barely a peep. All together, they moved like a very well oiled machine.

As they watched the humans from the Birdge, Invil anxiously tapped his claws against the arm of his chair. His crew hastily barricaded the door as Teema nervously watched the humans prowl through the halls. "They're not going left."
Invil rubbed at his eyes with a heavy sigh. "I made the wrong call." He stated bluntly.
"Arguably so." Teema added as she zoomed in on the hairless apes slowly moving forward.
"Only thing we know is that one of them is convict, the other a cold blooded killer, and the last can at least talk to us."
"I'd argue you encouraged the killing."
"Yeah and I'm sure everyone would be a perfect judge in the situation too. Everyone. Every last soul in the galaxy would've done the exact opposite. Don't pull that hindsight talk with me, you and the crew were just as scared." Invil snapped back before sighing.
"Captain!" The communication specialist suddenly blurted out. "We have a signal!"
"What?!" Invil practically shot up in his chair, fully alert with a flash of hope in his eyes. "From who?! Is it the Hegemony?!"
"I.... Wait no... The signal just disappeared... Wait there it is again!" The specialist excitedly said before suddenly freezing.
As the silence continued, Invil suddenly stood from his chair. "Well? What is it, Specialist?"
"H... Hvista scout," The specialist relayed.
As fear suddenly seemed to grip the crew, Invil shook it off as quickly as he could, "Power down! Power everything but life support down! Cut communications, ghost the ship!"
As the crew quickly took steps to begin following said orders, they once again came to a stop as a soft beeping could be heard. At the front of the viewport, a signal line of text stated a transmission was incoming. "S-Sir?" The specialist relayed hesitantly.
"They know we're here." Teema said before dropping her tablet to the ground, eyes wide with fear as her body tensed up. The flood of chemicals screaming that they needed to run.
"Orders?" The specialist once again requested.
"Put it through." Invil stated.
"Did you hear me, Specialist?! I said put it through!" Invil barked before marching forward.

Not a moment later and the viewport sprang to life with the image of another mammalian like creature. The fur covering its body was bright white, as two pairs of eyes dotted its face. The viper like pupils were bright orange with a brilliant obsidian surrounding it. Armor adorned its muscular body, and several bone charms and trophies from past kills dotted its chest. As it stood with its hands behind its back, a jagged tail bobbed behind it. The creature, this Hvista, suddenly grinned to showcase a mouth full of canines suited for flesh. It opened its arms wide and bellowed a laugh. "Aporyions, just my luck! It was almost time to eat, and I needed to trade a few slaves for fuel money. Well lets not waste time with idle chatter. If you surrender quietly, I swear by the Ancestors, I shall let fate of chance chose who is to be slave and who is to be meat. Will you comply?" The creature requested, as nearly six others behind it stepped forward, looking quite eager. "Or shall you fight?"

Invil attempted to remain poised, though the twitching was obvious. As one of the less physically imposing races, his kind had relied on the protection given to them by other species. Delegated more as eager explorers and labor workers, he knew there wasn't much they could do with small arms against a Hvista raid. A sudden quiet beep caught his attention as he gazed down at Teema's table on the floor. Spying the humans, Invil straightened up before looking back to the Hvista. "Whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?"
"I am Araxium Akivas, a pleasure," He said with an almost insultingly small bow. "It is good to know the names of the one that shall take your head, honor me with yours, meat."
"I am Captain Invil Ta'Kotian, and I'm afraid we are unable to surrender at this time due to-"
A sudden chorus of laughter gave him pause as Araxium and his crew interrupted him. "Oh that is too good, you plan to fight us, little Aporyion?"
"We have an infestation on board." Invil quickly relayed.
"An infestation... Ha," Araxium chuckled. "My kind are immune to most any disease. Especially ones by your people. So forgive me if I laugh at your little attempt to discourage me."
"Not a disease, Araxium... A new species. A dangerous one." Invil stated before hesitantly stepping forward. His fear was apparent, but the hopes that the humans could atleast throw off the Hvista was his best chance at survival in his mind. Solve one problem, worry about the other after.
"A new species... Well, this should be interesting, shouldn't it everyone?" Araxium continued to taunt Invil by making his crew laugh even more. "And uh... Is this new species some kind of... Scary plant?" He added before laughing with his crew once more.
"Dr. Teema, send them the footage of the humans in the brig." Invil muttered.
"Invil? What are you-" Teema began before Invil turned to glare at her.
"Do it!" He ordered, causing Teema to rush and grab her tablet.
"T-Transmitting data now."
The Hvista rolled their eyes and chuckled again as they eagerly awaited what new 'horror' they were going to see. Their species was drenched in a long history of war and bloodshed. Whether amongst themselves or with rest of the galaxy. To their kind, battle was everything. It was honor, it was to find their Gods, appease the ancestors. Even the raising of animal husbandry was a fight. Whether it was to fight off rival competitors, predators, or even the hardy beasts they raised. They had little in way of fear.
However, even Araxium paused as the footage finally came too. The entities with fur on their heads being shot at, only to stand up right after. He watched in amusement as they fought, but even he raised his brow as he witnessed Sten throw an Aporyion onto the ground, killing it almost instantly. The Hvista were strong, one of the strongest still in the galaxy. It'd been too long since another species had come to matching their strength. These creatures were immediately of interest, and looked almost half starved.
Araxium folded his arms, scratching his chin as he rewatched the footage a few times. "What are these things?"
"They call themselves humans. They're violent, bloodthirsty, and currently on my ship. We advise you break away. If not for our sake, for the sake of your own people not having these things around." Invil relayed, much to Teema's dismay. He overexaggerated of course, but in the spur of the moment it was all he could do. Hvista rarely engaged in open diplomacy save for threats and taunts. Would this one be smart enough to heed the warning? Surely the trophies and scars meant he knew how to see a bad situation. To Invil's dismay, the hunter only laughed with excitement.
"Then it shall be a fine hunt! The Marshal of this sector will surely reward me with a Gonoshia slave if I am to bring back the pelt of one of these new creatures! Aporyion vessel, prepare to be boarded." Araxium stated before the transmission cut.
"We're dead, You just made them more excited!" one of the crew muttered before Invil tried to think of a plan. Hvista and humans on his ship, there was no way he'd be returning home in one piece.
Knocking on the door suddenly caught the crews attention. Many of them readied their small arms pistols and aimed at the barricade. "What do we do?" Teema questioned. Silence. What could they do? Surrender to the humans to be killed, or surrender to the Hvista to be enslaved or eaten. Hell, what was to stop the humans from doing the same?
"Captain?! You in there?!" David's voice shouted.
"Invil?" Teema's voice shook with fear as she turned to him. The captain reached for his translator, and turned it off.
"The tale of Osnil and Leomor." Invil stood up and turned to his crew. "When Osnil and Leomor tricked the demon of Harrjik into fighting its own worshippers... So too shall we live by their example. Our best hope... Is to pin one monster against another." Invil stated before stepping towards the door. Many of the crew nodded in understanding, as some began to pray once again.
Invil took a deep breath and stood straight in front of the barricade. Activating his translator, he cleared his throat. "David? I think we should talk."

submitted by LostCareTaker to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 18:08 delusionalraccoon Can't seem to reliably differentiate between Alzheimer's and Fronto-Temporal Dementia

Q- A 69-year-old man is brought to the office by his wife due to recent changes in behavior. Despite years of managing the family's finances, over the previous 12 months the patient has failed to pay a number of important bills. He has become more withdrawn and no longer enjoys social gatherings. When he does socialize now, he is often irritable and offensive. The patient used to smoke a quarter pack of cigarettes a day but has increased to a pack a day over the previous 12 months. He also now insists on eating the same thing for breakfast every morning and gets very upset if a different meal is prepared. The patient denies having any problems and seems indifferent to his wife's concern. Medical history includes hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is a family history of Alzheimer disease. Temperature is 36.7 C (98 F), blood pressure is 144/86 mm Hg, pulse is 62/min, and respirations are 14/min. The patient scores a 24 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (normal ≥26). Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis in this patient?
A. Alzheimer disease (My selection)
B. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
C. Dementia with Lewy bodies
D. Frontotemporal dementia (Correct answer)
E. Mild cognitive impairment
F. Vascular dementia

From what I know, Alzheimer's chronology starts with memory impairment, while FTD starts with behavioural changes. But this question also states that he has had trouble paying bills since 12 months. I read the explaination but it doesn't seem to acknowledge this point. What subtle change in this question would make the answer Alzheimer's?(eg- changing 'failed to pay' to 'forgot to pay'. Would that make the correct answer - Alzheimer?)
submitted by delusionalraccoon to Step2 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 17:48 QuixoticWeekender Primary trying to make due until specialist seen

39F, sudden symptom onset in early December right before & after a migraine. Do the cervical MRI results warrant the symptoms? What other tests could my primary order until I see a neurologist? (she’s very open to suggestions but knows she’s a generalist) Are there any other specialties she should consider referring me to? My primary is doing her best bc the neurologist who first saw me wouldn’t let me share my symptoms, then also didn’t answer my primary’s questions when she tried. My outside referral, approved by insurance, was turned down by the med group for lack of appt availability.
PRIOR DIAGNOSES ADHD (hyper type), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (sleep study 2021), Mild asthma (mostly in extreme temps or with fever), PMDD
Meds Gabapentin and trazadone for sleep leg twitches, Adderall XR (was newly on Vyvanse when symptoms started, switched back when Adderall shortage let up), flexeril as needed since symptoms started; Discontinued since symptom onset: Vyvanse, Singulair (due to black box warning w/some symptom overlap), Sumatriptan (not to take it since I’d had an aura); Attempted birth control in case it could interrupt migraines, but it didn’t and made me have a flat affect, so went off.
Migraine history: Onset around 32 w/1 occurrence, which quickly abated after sudden vomiting. Around 35: started having migraine w/out aura at the end of every period, until I discovered that prenatals helped. About a year ago, 38: started having migraines at time of ovulation, which I had confirmed was happening exactly two weeks before every period, regardless of cycle length - prenatals did not help these. Nov 2022: had my first aura, visual, right before a migraine. Dec 2022: was very restless for first two period days, not in my hyperactive/good ideas adhd sort of way, but, if I’m remembering correctly since I didn’t suspect anything and therefore wasn’t tracking, just constant startling and needing to move and getting annoyed. Period day 3: migraine but different bc it was across both eyes, not just eitheor, no aura. This was also earliest I’d had one during a period. I maxed out on Sumatriptan, spacing out as prescribed. Period day 4: woke up w/right side facial numbness, was advised to go to ER. I did, but they quickly surrounded me for a stroke check, I got very overstimulated, then they sent me back to lobby to wait. I became very restless again and ended up leaving when I couldn’t sit still but was somehow also too exhausted to pace for release.
Other History Severe neck injuries at 18 &21ish, medium bad ones at 28ish & 34ish. The ‘vid: I’ve never tested + despite testing when my wife or I have been sick, and she had never tested + either. Before I took Adderall, I would get every cold for two weeks straight, so I’ve been very careful about masking and other preventative steps.
Tests since: Brain: MRI without, later with, contrast; MRA and MRV = all normal Blood (all normal): ANA, thyroid, thyroid antibody, sedimentation rate, CRP, complete blood count, metabolic panel, magnesium level, ACE, Lyme antibody Cervical MRI w/contrast: bulging discs and foraminal stenosis at all points between C3 and C7; mild and moderate spinal stenosis at C3-4, 5-6, 6-7; facet disease at C7-T1. Scheduled: routine EEG
*Symptoms: -twitching in neck and face -muscle tightness, but not like anything I’ve felt before - can feel like energy is coursing through the front of my neck It has gone as far up as my eye(s), is usually on right side but occasionally switches for very short time and even more occasionally is on both sides. (Something I haven’t seen anyone say about muscle tightness: I usually have a low amount of pain at all times, but when this happens, pain is less or gone) -blurry eye(s), usually just right side, or inability to focus eye(s) without facial twitching or pain behind them, and is sometimes accompanied by eye dryness -overstimulation, way beyond my normal for my adhd, primarily with sounds & light, sounds being most frequent -after never having more than two migraines/month, had four in one week, and what feels like migraines, but shorter, more frequently -migraines now worse when changing positions, worst is going into laying down and best is sitting up -new headache type that best matches what I’ve seen called “ice pick” -sound most similar to waves crashing in my ears (started as occasional ringing, but changed to this, happens especially with headaches or when laying down) -difficulty finding words; my primary noted it as describing words, as opposed to knowing them. (This has been weird bc I’m a communications professional) It happened spoken first, now writing just as frequent; once lost ability to verbally speak for a few minutes (got stuck on the “s” sound) -difficulty organizing thoughts & work (this, & word difficulty, causing me to sometimes take hours on tasks I’ve done in 15 minutes) -switching words/letters: I didn’t notice this at first but others pointed it out and I’ve seen when I’ve gone back to review my notes -short, intense mood bursts: remind me of during a migraine, but more frequent and w/o headaches -much more easily stressed, and symptoms are worsened by stress -getting overheated, especially w/attempt to exercise beyond walking 1/4 mile (it’s been 50-60 degrees F) -forgetfulness: that “why’d I walk in here” feeling but, when it’s bad, happens on repeat and can happen while at my desk, in the time it takes to grab a pen to write down what I wanted to remember -restlessness that comes for a day or two at a time and has been bad enough that I wake up after 3 hrs, even w/ Flexiril + gabapentin + trazadone -Occasional nervousness that I don’t know how to describe bc it’s unlike any I’ve felt before
Timing Initially symptoms were around for 2-3 weeks, then mostly gone for a couple, but I’ve only had 2-3 days of less symptoms in March. -symptoms don’t seem to follow patterns, but some seem more likely to be present with certain others, I.e. twitching w/ tightness and forgetfulness w/ disorganization, but have occasionally had other mash ups or many at once
Family history: MOM refused the next steps tests, but stiff person syndrome is suspected; confirmed she has low dopamine but Parkinson’s ruled out; PATERNAL GRANDFATHER: per my dad - his dad was diagnosed with MS, but it was later ruled out and, as far as he knows, my grandpa never received a final diagnoses, then he lived into his 70s - I recall him also having heart issues. DAD and at least 1 of my 2 BROTHERS have had migraines, and my brother mentioned he’s had some very intense visual auras
TL/DR I have a history of pretty common diagnoses, which are often seen overlapping one another, that I’ve had for varying lengths, but my brain has felt broken since December and attempts to see a neurologist keep following through
submitted by QuixoticWeekender to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 17:20 IdaHistory Dr Alan Hart- Trans Healer of Idaho Consumptives

Dr Alan Hart- Trans Healer of Idaho Consumptives
New Episode of the IdaHistory Podcast:
Dr. Alan Hart: Trans Healer of Idaho Consumptives:
Humankind has been plagued by one disease more than others, a disease that tears apart a person's lungs and often much more. Tuberculosis has killed more people than any other malady in human history, hands down. Tragically, for most, being diagnosed with TB was a death sentence. Idaho lost many to TB, but a remarkable person, Dr. Alan Hart, came to Idaho and saved thousands, drastically reducing the death rate caused by TB. Interestingly, Dr. Hart was also born Lucille Hart on October 4, 1890.
Find out more on Episode 9 of the podcast:
Thanks to our sponsors, Flying M Boise, Advanced Services and Birch Leaf Realty.
submitted by IdaHistory to Idaho [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 17:17 Narrow_Muscle9572 The Lawn Killer - The Island

By the time I was sixteen Linda got my dad to send me off to what they thought was boarding school. In reality it was a compound where the Order of the Wren would begin training me so I could be a full-fledged member.
During this time D and I would talk on the phone a few times a week. Since the Order had me move around so often I had to be the one doing the calling. These conversations didn't last as long as I would have liked because there was no privacy in the hotel rooms we would frequently stay at.
By we, I mean the two experienced hunters I would have to learn from. Their names were Williams and King. Neither did much talking and I could tell they didn't like having me around. Not that I could blame them. I was inexperienced and they had better things to do than to hold my hand and explain things to me. That meant that when we had to go somewhere to slay some monstrosity, I would have to wait in the hotel we were staying at.
I was bored out of my mind most of the time when we were traveling the country but I would learn to love those dull moments soon enough.
Williams was alright even though he smelt like a chimney, but at least he was patient with me and kind. However, King was crazy, cynical and had an unhealthy obsession with explosives. I asked him about it once and he told me “In this line of work, some things are vulnerable to fire, monk root, silver and stuff, right? But in my experience nothing can survive when twenty pounds of homemade explosives go boom.”
The days passed slowly so I would kill time by sharpening rune covered blades that would hurt all sorts of monsters, making specialized ammo, documenting everything I thought was noteworthy so future generations of members could learn from us, reading, playing cards and waiting for Farsight to call.
I asked Williams about Farsight on a few occasions and he told me that they were high ranking members of the Order who essentially ran everything. Since they were a secretive bunch, who they were and how they knew where to send all the teams was a mystery.
Most people I spoke to said they thought the biggest clue on how Farsight operated was the history of the Order itself.
Learning about the Order was a top priority during my studies at the compound. The long and the short is: back in the day there were some nerds that saved a bunch of books and scrolls from a fire that was about to consume a library named after some guy named Alexander. Lots of these people died as a result of saving what they could and because of their sacrifice the Order knows how to dispose and kill monsters.
My studies were not limited to history either. Most of the time was spent doing military drills, however on a few occasions I got to try my hand at magic. That being said, magic welders are rare and I was not one of them.
The first time I ever saw any action we were waiting somewhere in Ohio when the phone rang.
King answered the phone, waited and responded with ‘yes’, ‘no’ and finally ‘understood’ before hanging up.
“What did they say?” asked Williams.
King sighed and shook his head. “We got a plane to catch,” King answered as he slapped his knees and stood up.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“What's in Alaska?” Williams asked before I could.
“Farsight got wind of some town that went missing.”
“A town went missing?” I asked, pinching my eyebrows together in confusion.
“It happens,” King shrugged. “Roanoke, Waterway… Etcetera.”
“Waterway?” I asked. “Never heard of it.”
“That's because it disappeared,” Williams answered before turning to King. “Did Farsight tell you what was there?”
King gave him a look before returning to pack up his things. “Do they ever?”
Getting to our destination meant getting in three different single engine planes that all took off and landed on someone's field instead of an airport. Each of the planes were held together by duct tape and prayers. After that, we rode in a boat for an hour.
The island we were assigned to go to was small and covered with equal parts trees, brush and rocks. There weren't many houses and the nicest one of them was a doublewide trailer in poor condition.
“Where is everyone?” I asked as we made our way off the dock and onto land.
“I don't like this,” Williams added as he took out the HSD (Handheld Supernatural Detector. It sort of looked like half of a bike handle covered in copper wire, black electricians tape and at the end there are two antennas). “Nothing” Williams said after waving it around a little while.
“Keep it activated” King said, his shotgun at the ready as he led us through what passed as a town on this island.
“Maybe the signal is too weak” I suggested.
“Might be,” King responded. “Might not even be supernatural?”
“What else could it be?” I asked.
“Disease? Jobs disappearing” King answered.
“Doesn't look like there were lots of jobs here anyways” Williams pointed out, waving the HSD in different directions but not picking up anything. “Besides, Farsight isn't wrong about these things” he added as King led us to the first house and walked in.
“How many people lived here?” I asked.
“No more than thirty,” King answered.
We kept checking the houses, but time after time there were no clues to tell us what happened to the island's occupants. There were no signs of struggle, the clothes were still on the hangers and there was even food that sat around for so long that whatever it once was became mostly mold.
“So what's the plan?” I asked after reaching the last house before the forest started. I was hoping that they would say something that involved a hot shower. After the trip out here I felt that I could have used one.
Or two.
“It's going to get dark soon,” King answered, looking at the sunset. “And since we don't know what we are dealing with, we should find a place to stay for the night.”
“Where?” I asked.
“Churches are safer than most places” Williams suggested, pointing to a squat, square building.
The door was unlocked so we let ourselves in. The first thing King and Williams did was to see if we were alone. They checked the confessionals, the back office, the bathroom, under every pew and kept their eyes on the rafters.
King figured the safest part of the building was the back office, so we all went there. With the three of us it was cramped. I would have suggested staying in one of the houses, but it wouldn't have felt right sleeping in a strangers house when they were missing, besides, places of worship would provide safety. At least from some things.
On the desk that belonged to the priest was a newspaper and Williams picked it up to check the date. Something I would never have thought of doing, and saw that it was two months old.
“In a place like this, I wouldn't think they would get their news fresh off the press” King responded when Williams pointed this out.
“Still” Williams said. “That's a long time, even for way out here.”
When it came to claiming sleeping areas it was nearly impossible for all of us to be satisfied with the results. Not only was it crammed with all of us in the back office, but both men also suffered from night terrors.
By the time we all had our designated sleeping spots, Williams grumbled about being low on cigarettes and ordered me to run to the island's convenience store and “grab an armful.”
At first I protested, but they told me that since the island was abandoned it wasn't stealing.
It was my turn to grumble, but I did as I was told.
As I walked to the convenience store, I wondered how Farsight would react if they knew King and Williams sent me off by myself like this.
Pulling the door open to go inside, I was surprised to find that the store looked nearly the same as the one in Gray Hill. They had stuffed animals on the walls, pickled pig parts in glass jars, they even had the same off brand food items that I could never find anywhere other than home.
Excited, I raced to the cooler and found the same brand of ginger ale I loved so much. I sucked down one, feeling the carbonation reach up into my nose and burn like hell.
Once I loaded the rest of the bottles in my bag I went over to the counter and hopped over it to grab Williams his cigarettes.
After leaving the store I saw a truck parked out front of the church that wasn't there when I left. Feeling something was wrong I ducked behind a fence. Just in time too because a second later the door swung open and a group of people were dragging King and Williams to the truck.
The people seemed to be wearing the furs of all sorts of animals. From skunk to deer to bear and whatever else that lived on the island. At first I thought their faces were covered in dirt, however thanks to D’s alterations I could see that it was actually black rocks glistening in the dying light. Not only that but they were growing out of these people. One had a large piece coming straight up from behind his left collarbone, another had her face peppered with small rocks but the man who appeared to be their leader had one coming out of his eye socket.
King and Williams were shouting at the group, what they were saying I can’t repeat and if I cleaned it up it wouldn't be much of a sentence.
I stayed still and out of sight until the truck pulled away. Since I was only armed with the buck knife I kept on my belt at all times I wouldn’t be much help. Even less so if I was caught by whoever took the more experienced monster hunters.
As soon as the truck was out of sight I ran into the church to grab the weapons we brought with us. Both shotguns that were filled with special shells we made ourselves and our rune covered machetes.
Just as I was about to leave I remembered the backpack filled with explosives. When I scooped that up I took off in the direction I last saw the truck going.
I ran for about two miles before finally finding the truck which was parked in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road. Most of the journey was uphill, however thanks to what D did to me I had plenty of energy to spare.
It didn't take long for me to see that there were tracks that led into the woods and without thinking about it, I followed them. King and Williams needed my help.
The tracks were easy to follow considering there were six people plus King and Williams who were struggling with their abductors.
I had been tracking these people for fifteen or twenty minutes by the time I came across a rocky hill, and since rocks don't leave tracks, I thought I lost them. However, just then I saw a small cave entrance. Figuring that was where King and Williams were taken, I hustled up the hill to investigate, making sure I kept low and quiet.
When I got in the cave I thought my eyes would adjust, however it didn't. Inside was completely dark and there was no sound other than my own breathing and footfalls. I would come to learn later than caves are like that. Completely dark so even my eyes couldn't adjust and they muffle sounds.
After a short time of navigating down a narrow passageway by dragging my hand on the wall I saw a faint orange glow and slowly walked towards it, careful not to make any sound. As I drew closer, I heard a group of people chanting in a strange language that almost sounded like angry small dogs.
A few stalagmites and stalactites separated the passageway I was on from a large open area with small bonfires scattered around. The people who took King and Williams were circling a large black monolith that sat in the middle of the room and they seemed to be praying to it. To me the monolith resembled the rocks that grew out of the people.
“I’mma kill you” shouted a familiar voice about ten feet below where I stood. It was King. Both he and Williams had their hands tied behind them, around a rock. “Stem to stern, you hear that? You hear that?!”
As King was shouting, I figured I would have less of a chance at getting caught if I climbed down the steep cave wall instead of following the path. Thankfully I managed to get to them without making a sound that Kings yelling didn't muffle.
D made me a borderline superhero, and superheroes save people. So even though my heart was jumping out of my chest, that didn't stop me from doing what I had to do.
“Shh” I whispered to Williams as I put the handle of my knife in his still bound hand. “I’m leaving the bag of explosives behind you. The shotguns and your machete too.”
Williams didn't make a sound, but he nodded and started to cut the ropes.
King was still shouting to his abductors, masking my voice as I told Williams that I was going to buy them time by serving as a distraction.
Without waiting for a nod, I went back the way I came and started climbing. I was sure I was going to get caught when I caused a few rocks to fall, but then Williams started to yell, joining King to mask the sound.
After reaching the passageway I came from, I turned around to see Williams give me a slight nod. Then I shouted for everyone to hear.
“Your mom shaves her chest and you—”
I didn't get any further than that because the people hissed and ran towards me. Some climbed the wall I just did while others ran down the path I chose not to take in order to reach the two more experienced hunters.
Seeing how fast they were moving made me regret not thinking past this part of the plan.
I ran as fast as I could down the dark and narrow path I entered from. The entire time I could hear them behind me and I imagined that they were getting closer.
As soon as I got outside, it was dark and I made a split second decision to run to the coast. This would make it look like I was trying to get to a boat instead of buying the more experienced monster hunters some time. However every time I tried to head towards the beach a few of my pursuers would be in my way, forcing me to change course.
After what D did to me I was fast, not Olympic speed but it was safe to say I was faster than everyone I knew. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that these people were keeping pace with me. If it was just one of them, I wouldn't have given it much thought, but all of them were. Even the fat and the old ones.
I tried coming up with answers that might help my chances if I had to fight these people, or should I say what these people became? The rocks gave them enhanced strength and speed, but other than that the clues I had were minimal. The rocks could have been anything from viral, extraterrestrial, interdimensional or even parasitic.
However it was safe to say that even if it was parasitic it was not demonic. If it was, the HSD would’ve picked it up.
If I knew what language these people were speaking, that would narrow the possibilities that much further.
I must have been running for about ten minutes before I realized three things at once. The first thing was these people were much faster than they were letting on and were just toying with me. The second was that I was being herded back to the cave and the third was that I was going to have to stop running and fight.
As soon as I stopped running, I pulled the machete out from its sheath and turned to face those who meant me harm.
They surrounded me like a pack of wolves, and like a pack of wolves they snapped their jaws and made sounds that reminded me of a group of angry tiny dogs barking. These people also attacked like wolves too because the ones behind me would be doing the attacking.
The first one tried to jump onto my shoulders but before she could wrap her arms and legs around me I quickly turned around and used her momentum to throw her into the others. Immediately another lept towards me and was met with a front kick, connecting right below the belly button.
That was when the third one, the one with the rock growing out of his eye, bit my hand.
I don't know who was more surprised, me because I was bit, or him because it cracked his teeth.
I recovered from the shock before he did and raised the machete up to cut off his head.
As I swung he lifted up his hand to block it. Even though I didn't take his head, I still managed to take his hand and half of his forearm.
If he felt pain he sure hid it well.
He swiped at me with his other hand and I leaned back to dodge it. He was fast though and managed to rake my cheek with his nails.
Before I could swing my weapon again, another jumped on my back and put me in a choke hold. The grip was tight and as I tried to free myself the others tackled me. Thankfully this loosened the grip around my neck. However I was on my back and the others were closing in.
I kicked one of my attackers in the knee so it broke and went backwards. This person didn't make a sound and I doubt they felt it.
One of them kicked me in the face and even though it didn't knock me out, it hurt like hell and made me see stars.
I swung my machete in a wide half circle, managing to open the belly of another.
That bought me some room but as I tried to stand up two more jumped on my back and took me to the ground. The rest all piled on top of me, snapping at me while growling and nipping at each other to get out of the way so they could get to me.
I really thought this was going to be how I was going to die, however just then all of them went limp and fell.
A fraction of a second later I heard an explosion coming from the cave.
As I layed there, in the bottom of the pile of bodies, it felt like my heart was going to explode. I was so close to dying, but I prevailed.
I won.
I let out a warcry that Otis would have been proud of and pushed the bodies off of me.
Standing up, I gave one of my attackers a kick for good measure. However it was like kicking a dried up hornets nest and the toe of my boot went right through. The only part that wasn’t brittle was the rocks that grew out of them.
Wiping my boots off in the grass, I heard shouting on the other side of the hill. As soon as I heard this I knew it was Williams and King and ran towards them, a large grin on my face.
“Hey” I yelled out happily when I saw them, but they didn’t seem to hear me and were yelling at each other. Not because they were angry, but because the explosion made them momentarily deaf.
“What?” King asked as he rubbed his ears.
“You’re an idiot,” Williams shouted.
“I can’t hear you,” King complained, pointing at his ears.
“Are you two okay?” I asked as I jogged closer to them.
Williams saw me in the corner of his eye and jumped. When he saw it was me a grin spread on his face. “Hey, you’re alive.”
“Of course I am.”
“What?” King shouted before turning around and seeing me.
“You saved us” Williams answered as he used his pinkie finger to rub deep in his ear.
“Damn,” King said as he took my chin in hand and turned my head to get a look at my face.
“It was nothing,” I answered.
With a closer inspection of my nose, King sucked air through his teeth. “Could've been worse, I guess.”
“It’s true what they said about you,” Williams yelled. “The Order is going to hear of this.”
“Hear of—-“ I started, nervously. “Did I do something wrong?”
“Wrong?” Williams asked loudly, his ears were still ringing.
“What are you saying?” King shouted.
“Did I do something wrong?” I asked, louder than before.
Williams and King looked at each other for a moment and there was a fleeting mischievous expression that came over their faces.
“Where's my cigarettes?” Williams asked sternly.
I didn't know what to say to this and stammered.
A smile grew on William's face and he walked past me. “Just playing with you, kid. Just playing with you.”
“You did good,” King said, placing his hand on my shoulder. “I think Farsight was right about you.”
“Right about me?” I asked. “What do you mean?”
King smiled. “You remember the first day of training?”
I nodded because dozens of kids jogged in formation for miles at five in the morning, sparring with blunt weapons, performing military drills, eating in the mess hall during mealtimes and sleeping in one of the bunkhouses that were hidden in the woods wasn't something I was likely to forget. “Why?”
“You remember that little test they gave you?”
I nodded. All of the questions involved how to dispose of one monster or another. Most of the monsters I never heard of, but as I filled the questionnaire out I remembered Otis’ wise words during my time mowing the lawn at Miss Luther's house: Gotta hit them with your bullets.
This was what I used to answer all the questions.
“Yeah, what about it?”
King squeezed my shoulder and his smile grew. “The Order was impressed and I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but… they think you're going to save the world.”
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