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[HIRING] 25 Jobs in ID Hiring Now!
2023.06.06 18:04 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in ID Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in id. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.06.06 05:02 AutoModerator [Get] Dee Deng (Foundr) – Ignite Your Digital Agency Download
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Download : https://imcourse.one/get-dee-deng-foundr-ignite-your-digital-agency-download https://preview.redd.it/4h5f38t9m74b1.png?width=470&format=png&auto=webp&s=5e9b26f094324170491de8406975609415ad5e8c
ABOUT FOUNDR’S NEW COURSE: IGNITE YOUR DIGITAL AGENCY
A COMPLETE BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING A PROFITABLE, IMPACTFUL, & SUSTAINABLE DIGITAL AGENCY Start-To-Finish Agency Blueprint:
Find your purpose, your niche, your ideal client and go from a “one man shop” to an agency that grows as big as you want. It’s all here. Proven Client Acquisition System:
Learn exactly how to find the “right” client, how to provide value up front, negotiate, and ultimately onboard them and get paid. Designed For All Digital Niches:
This course is for all kinds of digital services from email marketing, paid ads, web design, and any other kind of digital service. Contracts & Templates:
Streamline your processes and organize your business by using proven templates and contracts so everyone’s on the same page.
WHAT’S WAITING FOR YOU INSIDE MODULE 1: KICKSTART YOUR AGENCY JOURNEY
The 1st module is all about getting your foundation right before we dive deeper into the course material. New agency owner?
Let’s land your first client. Get clear on who your ideal client is, approach them with confidence and pitch them like a pro. Already running an agency?
We’ll assess the state of your business and identify what needs to be prioritized for “headache-free” growth. Solo lifestyle business, 100+ person agency or somewhere in between?
Get ultra-clear on what success looks… so you love what you’re building! Don’t waste weeks (or months) mulling over your ideal client avatar.
Dee will show you how to quickly validate or refine your assumptions. Why Should I Join You?
Get clear on your “Ikigai” so that key stakeholders such as clients and employees enthusiastically buy into your vision. MODULE 2 THE EVERGREEN SALES MACHINE
In this module, we’ll dial in on the 1st growth pillar – Acquisition.
Dee will reveal 3 agency positioning levers to pull which “subconsciously” repel nightmare clients while attracting your dream ones. Powerful Client Acquisition With “Authentic Content”: Discover why most sales funnels fail and how to make yours different so it pulls in “authentic clients” Discover “under-the-radar” yet powerful pricing & proposal strategies to decisively close prospects who can’t seem to commit. Prospects bail when you present your offer? Discover the 5 exact offer switches to hit to make becoming a client a no-brainer. Close sales can be bad for business! You must “test” prospects with these 5 questions before agreeing to do business with them. MODULE 3 STRESS-FREE FULFILLMENT
This module will set yourself apart from the majority agency owners who only focus on client acquisition. The result is happy clients, repeat business and referrals.
The Mechanics Behind Stress-Free Fulfillment: Structure your team setup, workflow processes, who’s accountable for what… and much much more! Delivering great work isn’t enough! Discover the “compulsory conversation” you must initiate for happy clients, repeat business & referrals. Expand clientele without straining your talent pool. Learn how to prioritize hires, attract top talent and troubleshoot “bad” hires. Partnering up with an agency co-founder could result in a messy divorce. Dee will show you his decision framework so you can decide on the if, who, when & how. Remove Yourself As The Bottleneck! Create these 5 systems to save hours per week, enjoy hands-off scaling… without sacrificing quality. MODULE 4 FLAWLESS AGENCY FINANCE
While many agency owners might consider it a “boring” subject, your agency’s finances are the bedrock of your agency’s success.
Is your agency making a loss… despite serving clients? Discover how to calculate your profit margins and exactly what to do if it’s in the “unhealthy” range. What’s your agency’s financial health? Quickly get an accurate snapshot by tracking these 5-6 KPIs. Ignore this at your own peril… My agency is making money. What’s next? Dee will recommend how much funds to invest into the business, as well as allocate for salaries & bonuses The “headache-free” way to bill and get paid. Plus, how to deal with less-than-ideal scenarios, e.g. client can’t pay or dispute scope Diversify your “client portfolio” to strategic growth and engaging projects… while minimizing financial risks MODULE 5 SCALING BEYOND YOURSELF
Now that we have covered the fundamentals, let’s tackle more advanced topics.
Remote Team or Physical Office? Dee weighs up the pros and cons of each. Plus, the exact tools he uses to manage a 115+ person global team How Will My Agency Evolve Over Time? Dee will share how your role as agency CEO and team structure could change so you can prepare in advance. Avoid Burnout As An Agency Owner: Dee will reveal simple yet effective actions to protect his health and happiness over the long term Agency Partnerships: How do you lead with value when approaching potential partners… especially when you feel you have little to offer? Leverage Paid Traffic: Discover when to introduce this into your acquisition mix so you can accelerate growth without exhausting your budget.
2023.06.05 00:06 Aware-Material507 A Robotic Overmind for a Dungeon 23
Taking a quick inventory of the current drones defending the home base and the mining outpost. In total I am left with one and a half patrol group of two ants and their escort of four total spider drones protecting the path to the mining outpost from the factory, a small home garrison of hornets, and the group of woodpecker lancers and the three fire beetles that I sent to the outpost. In addition in both the outpost and the main base house a repair team of spider drones that technically could count as combatants but I would rather not have to resort to that. That certainly is not much to work with. At least compared to the attack party that is currently away from base.
To combat the lack of drones currently on standby, I use another decent chunk of the stockpile to produce a batch of ten ants in the pair of medium drone works. Along with that I have the twin small drone works start producing two of the fire beetles and sixteen of the lancer drones.
As their fabrication progress meter ticks by, I have the spiders at the base, with the help of some enlisted hornets, start to create a makeshift barricade in the cleared out area around the factory. Hopefully it will make it slightly harder for ground based drones to attack the base and also make them easy targets for my hornet snipers while doing so. Watching them scurry about grabbing the larger, rectangular, and sturdier chunks of concrete from the pile.
Slowly but surely the C shaped wall of rubble grows tall enough that the patrol ants begin to have trouble climbing over. Of course the hornet and spider drones have no problem moving over the defenses seeing as one can literally fly and the other is meant for this kind of construction work. The pile of leftover rubble has shrunk from the size of a large ship container to around the volume of a decently sized bus.
As the finishing touches were made by the spiders filling the smaller gaps with some of the smaller chunks, the hornets went back to work. I order the spiders to start trying to make a gate of some sort with whatever they could find from the farther off buildings that haven't been stripped yet.
Getting a notification that the drones in production have finished, I gather up all of the new drones and have them line up at the front of the factory. For eight of the ants I split them up into four groups of two and have them be accompanied by two woodpeckers for each ant and I send three of the groups to set up positions on the newly created barricade and the fourth I send to reinforce the path patrol groups slightly diminished numbers. With the last two ants I have something special for them in the form of their own personal fire beetle.
As the said fire beetles crawl onto the ant drones I can see the nervous looks that they are giving me, obviously scared of their new companions on account of the latest incident that ended with one less ant.
"Don't worry guys, they are just to keep anything off your backs. And in the worst case scenario you guys just drop them off at a chokepoint and clear out what is left after they are done." This seems to ease the concerns of my ants as they stop looking back to the armed explosives that are now going to be with them for the perceivable future. As for the beetles reaction to the insinuation that they would be left behind, they seemed to not be bothered by this in the slightest. Maybe it is because of their suicidal nature or they just think they can take whatever is thrown at them but what ever it is along as they do not take down any friendlies with them they are allowed to think whatever they want to.
I have the pair of ants and their new fiery friends set up inside the factory as a last resort and because I am pretty sure that fire is not exactly long ranged. And with that I can confidently say that they will not take out my core without a fight. Although, looking at my current material stockpile, it has cost a decent chunk of my current finances. Sighing to myself, knowing that it means I have to start sending my drones out to strip the buildings again.
Although I do have these new miner drones and I do have a mineshaft over at the outpost. Adding that to the list of things to do, I check on the attack party to see if the repairs are finished yet and I find that they were done a while ago but I was to focused on the spiders dragging a particularly large chunk of rubble at the time and I just ignored it.
Hopping back into my vessel drone, I get back to moving through the unfinished buildings with my drones scuttling in tow.
As the sun rises high into the sky after another nine hours of marching, my drones and I are only a half dozen minutes away from the enemy outpost. I order the rat scouts to move in and check for any hostile drones before creeping forward with the rest of my forces after the scouts give the all clear.
As I crest the hill, on which my drones and I have been advancing on, I spot the set of four warehouses which were positioned into a 2x2 grid. Wonder why out of all the buildings around in this district, why would the warehouses be the only buildings constructed. Actually never mind they were probably storing all the building materials there, at least before whatever happened to all the people.
Pressing those thoughts to the back of my mind, I focus on the few drones moving around the outpost. From what my scouts could see from their positions, the garrison seems to only consist of a few hornets, a small team of 3 moles, and a bunch of spider drones because of course they would find construction drones at a construction site.
The spiders looked to be moving in and out of the various warehouses ferrying around materials. The hornets and moles seem to be on standby and have taken up patrolling the area to pass the time.
I send in my hornet team to take on their MAI counterparts while I help position my scorpions and hounds to get ready to fight off the moles. I hear the "thunk" sound of the hornets firing off their salvo and it seems that the moles heard it too as they begin to tunnel downwards. As they do this my scorpions start taking pop shots on the moles and on some of the spiders that started moving towards my position.
Unfortunately the moles were able to get underground and I could feel the rumbling already as they started to drill their way towards me. Spreading my drones out we wait for the enemies to approach. And approach they did as two of the moles burst out of the ground and managed to hit one of my hounds in the side and graze one of my scorpions in the legs.
My hounds and scorpions move in to engage in melee and do so quite effectively due to their obvious number advantage. While they do that I look around for the third mole and find none, but I could still feel the rumbling of the drill which meant it was not far. Wondering what could have made it not burst out of the ground immediately, my eyes landed on my repair team sitting on my moose.
Realizing what was about to happen, I break into a sprint and rush back over to them. But it is too late as the mole strikes the moose in the side as it flies out from the earth. I made it there shortly after but the mole had already done significant damage to my drones and had destroyed two of my spiders before I got there. Grabbing one of the arms of the mole drone I fling it back, away from my vulnerable drones.
The mole hits the ground and skits to halt by using one of its shield bearing arms to dig into the dirt and thus slows itself in the process. Attempting to leave the drone with no time to recover I rush forward once again and try to grab onto the drone's rather smooth body. The mole rather predictably resists and swipes at me a few times earning a few shallow gashes on my arms and chest.
I grab onto the nose drill to gain some kind of purchase on the body of the mole and quickly realize my mistake as the mole activates its drill and shreds my hand. Releasing my grip, I stumble back from the pain of the gashes. Thankfully the mole does not press its advantage but instead decides to back up as well, recovering its strength.
One of my hornets seems to have noticed me struggling against the mole and decides to help by firing a spike into the stomach of the mole. I move forward and grab onto the spike and begin to hold the mole in place while slamming my fist into the top of its head over and over again. Soon not long after the moles head has more in common with a crater than a functional cranial structure.
Dropping the corpse and looking behind me I find that my drones have finished off their targets with minimal damage taken. Looking over my still healthy units I grab up some of the hounds and hornets that are undamaged and start moving down the now mostly empty paths of the warehouses.
Next Just some thoughts but are you guys fine with the current posts or would you like them to be longer but less frequent?
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2023.06.04 04:00 Headstriker Receding gums and loose teeth at 20
Only very recently have I learned that there's a progression to gingivitis, and that it doesn't necessarily need to hurt or have your gums bleed if you have it.
I was really stupid, especially during COVID about taking care of my teeth, there was even a point in time where I completely neglected taking care of them for a couple of months outside of brushing once my breath got unmanageable, every 3 or so days, so basically always on the brink of catching gingivitis. I had a period of time where my gums were bleeding for a couple weeks or so but after I improved my dental habits (short-term for some godforsaken reason, depression makes you lazy for the stupidest things.) the bleeding and pain went away. I went to see a dentist a few months afterward to remove a couple cavities and get a general cleaning, and they said absolutely nothing about my gums! Just for me to come in ASAP to get my wisdom teeth removed. After I let myself get comfortable with dental neglect again I got back to mostly brushing my teeth once a day, sometimes twice. I also smoke marijuana pretty heavily, and through a pipe unfortunately as I can better control my habits. (would a bong be cleaner?) I'm pretty anxious in general, so I also have pretty bad teeth clenching habits that I'm trying to replace with mewing. (pressing tongue to roof of mouth)
I'm going to a dentist on Monday. I'm really worried because I'm not sure if it classifies as a dental emergency, but I think I see the 2 gums to the left of my center teeth are beginning to recede quite quickly. I also feel like I can feel all of my teeth, especially the top ones shifting a little bit. I bought myself Crest advanced gum restore toothpaste and ultra-soft toothbrushes and upon review of this thread will be buying an electronic toothbrush and xylitol.
My question is, rough ballpark estimate, is it a case of minor or major periodontitis? I've seen online that gum recession means it's gotten to at least moderate.
Also, given that I wake up and improve my dental habits from here on out, do I have a real risk of losing my teeth when I'm older? Unfortunately, genetics are not on my side at all as both of my parents had completely neglected their teeth and have full dentures.
Fair warning as the pictures provided are pretty gross, but I guess we're used to it. I also marked the particularly problematic receding gums. If there's anything I can do to assist in understanding my situation better, please let me know and I'll reply / add it to the post. Thank you guys
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2023.06.03 18:58 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Sixteen
First Chapter Chapter Fifteen
“Thank you, Ms. President, and Mr. Secretary-General. It’s my privilege to come and speak to everyone present during such a momentous time in human history. One which, I hope, will lead to a brighter future for us all…”
US President Correa’s boilerplate beginning flowed out as she scanned the room. Behind her rostrum sat a larger dais tiled with green marble, behind which sat the UN President, Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General. Two huge screens flanked the dais, and those screens now showed Correa’s face as she continued.
“…and we are committed to our country’s pledge to finding a peaceful and just way for Coalition technology to be incorporated worldwide, and to not attempt any reverse-engineering of our own. Make no mistake; we do not do this out of any sense of altruism or fairness, as pleasant as that may sound. We will hold this pledge sacred for the simple reason that, if the United States were
to attempt such efforts the rest of the world would, without a doubt, find out. That, of course, would lead to a great instability.”
‘Great instability’ was diplomatic-speak for ‘the rest of the world then gangs up on the USA and then everything goes to hell’.
“I know there has already been a great deal of debate in this august hall as to the best way to proceed forward, in a fair and impartial manner. We believe that we have found what one might call a ‘trial run’ which will allow us to work out such matters.”
The general murmuring from the many semi-circular rows of desks in front of her increased.
“To begin with, during the first weeks after first contact we wanted to make sure our guests from the Coalition would not starve to death. Much like humanity’s own ships during the Age of Sail, Coalition exploration vessels store enough provisions for years…but such provisions never last. They have very advanced recycling, but mostly for water and even that is only a stop-gap measure. It is unknown even at this time as to how long it will take to repair the Exultant Finger of Rithro
, and we did not want to risk the crew running out of food.
“Therefore, we undertook an emergency effort to have their ship’s medic examine various Earth foods to determine their compatibility with our guests’ varied biochemistries. I am pleased to report that there are quite a few Earth foodstuffs which are indeed compatible, although there are some specific items which act as allergens amongst some of the Coalition species. During these efforts, we did learn a bit about how their alien biochemistries work…information which has been duly published and is now openly available. We also began to get glimpses of something wonderful, and asked the Coalition crew for more details. They supplied us with some general ideas of what their medical technology can accomplish; I must emphasize that we do not possess any knowledge of how they can perform such miracles.”
Now the murmuring got quite a bit higher, but not quite to the point where they’d have to call for order.
“Yes, I use the word ‘miracles’ advisedly. For example, take Captain Sadaf. You have all seen her, and how she moves like a person in the prime of their life. Now. What if I told you that she is a little over four hundred years old?”
The murmuring died down into a shocked silence.
“Her species, the auhn, is no more long-lived than we are…but they are able to regenerate and remove the effects of aging. I hope the esteemed ambassadors can see what I am driving at. I propose that we set up a research institute, international in scope, to be placed at a neutral location which is still to be determined. The purpose of that institute will be to study and adapt Coalition medical technology for use in humans.”
Now the murmuring started again; she hoped they were actually listening instead of hatching side-deals with each other.
“You all have families and friends. I’m sure you have at least one family member, one good friend, who died of some horrible and unnecessary
affliction. Think of what this means to the world, to us. It is also an excellent way to determine the inevitable issues and frictions which will arise from such a concerted international effort, and that, in turn, will inform our efforts in mutual reverse-engineering of other Coalition technology.
“I know this is, in many ways, a frightening time. Change can be frightening. But I am convinced that you will all know the right way forward, and that you will all see the need for us to unite in this matter, even if others may not be so clear-cut. I thank you for the opportunity to speak.”
As she stepped away from the rostrum, the UN President cleared his throat.
“We will now begin the debate on Madame President Correa’s proposal. Paper copies, with specifics of the proposal, are now being distributed to you all. We’ll now begin the debate period…yes, the gentleman from Portugal…?”
Correa’s Chief of Staff was a shorter, tubby man with an olive complexion by the name of Pablo Rosas. He and Correa sat in a White House conference room, staring at a big screen which now showed the results of the UN vote. “Well, I suppose that went about as well as we could expect,” said Rosas.
“Yep. I was surprised they even agreed with our asking them to kick in some money.”
Rosas chuckled. “Keep in mind that all of this new medical tech will be available for anyone patent-free. Should be air-tight legally, since nobody here on Earth invented it; we’re merely adapting it. I think that was the sweetener we needed to get it passed.”
The president gave a brief nod, then tapped a few keys on the controls in front of her. The screen now showed a world map. “Now we just have to figure out where to put the damn thing without everyone getting butt-mad about it.”
“Hmm.” Rosas laced his fingers over his substantial gut as he regarded the map. “Someplace not ‘the usual’, then.”
Correa growled in frustration. “I keep thinking Switzerland, but I know there’s gonna be a lot of shit flung about that it’s too European-centric. Taiwan would be great; they’ve got both a good tech base and excellent transport infrastructure.”
“But way too controversial, for obvious reasons,” replied Rosas. “Japan?”
“China will, again, kick up a fuss. Huh. New Zealand?”
“That might work. They tend to be more neutral…but then again some might say they’re in too close with Australia, and that this whole effort is too Western-centric.” His eyes flicked back to north on the map. He was about to move his gaze elsewhere, but then he paused. “What about Iceland?”
“Iceland?” Correa almost scoffed, then looked more thoughtfully at the map. “Okay, they’re a NATO member which is a minus. But they tend to remain mostly neutral, which is a plus. Decent transportation infrastructure…don’t we have a naval air base there?”
“I think so, let me check…” Rosas tapped at his phone. “Hey, Jack? What can you tell me about any US naval air bases in Iceland? Just the highlights.” After a couple of minutes, he responded with a curt, “Okay, that’s enough, thanks.”
He put his phone away. “We kinda-sorta have one, at a place called Keflavik. The base there used to be a lot bigger during the Cold War. Then we shut it down after the Soviets were no longer a going concern. Iceland uses it now, and they allow us to fly submarine-search aircraft out of there, but a few years ago they nixed the DOD’s request to rebuild it into a more permanent base.”
“That does work in their favor. It makes for better optics if they’re known for keeping NATO at arm’s length.”
Rosas sat up. “Think the UN will go for it?”
“We can only try. I’ll have our ambassador in Reykjavik make some discreet inquiries, let’s see if they’d be okay with our proposing them as a candidate.”
The Chief of Staff smiled. “If it goes through, this institute will be pumping well north of a billion dollars per year into their economy. That should make it more than ‘okay’.
Agent Cécile Savoie sat in a secure-location breakroom, silently grumbling as she held an as-yet un-drunk mug of coffee in her hands. As the agent-in-charge of the security detail during the Camp David incident, she’d been put on administrative leave, right alongside every other agent who’d been there. But it wasn’t like she had much down time; the inquiry board into that incident now summoned her damn near every other day for yet another round of tedious questioning.
“Hey,” said Hanson as he strolled in, looking just as sour as she felt.
She looked up in surprise. “Hey yourself. I thought you were assigned to the alien detail.”
“I was,” he said as he seated himself across the circular table from her. “Guess being in Alabama when the shitshow went down wasn’t far enough away to be completely out of suspicion. I just finished running my own gauntlet. But the rumor is, I’m getting it easy compared to everyone who was at Camp David, including the special forces people. Especially you.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much a colonoscopy every day,” she muttered. “Going over the timeline, where I was at which times, who I had direct line of sight on, who I was in radio contact with.” She finally sipped her coffee.
Hanson’s sour expression deepened. “Do you really think it was one of us?”
She sighed. “It has to be. My gut tells me that there’s more than one mole and I told the inquiry board as much. The fuckers who got in knew too much about our patrol patterns, where everyone was, when they’d have a clear shot at an infil. That means someone with access to our methods and comms, and as to the latter we don’t use CB radios.”
The other agent leaned back. “Fuck. I wish I knew why any of us would do that. We’re supposed to be quiet professionals, not frothing radicals.”
Savoie turned the mug in her hands. “Not to tell tales out of school but, through the whisper network, they’ve been leaning hard on the captured dudes from the attack. Apparently one of their main ‘objections’,” and here she made some one-handed air quotes, “is that they think the whole Breaker thing is a ruse. It’s all smoke and mirrors, so that we’ll beg the Coalition to come and save us. And then…well, it gets vague after that but I guess they claim that at best we’ll get turned into the galactic equivalent of a Native American reservation. Worst case, we all get harvested for our precious bodily fluids.”
Hanson stared at her for a moment in disbelief. “That is, if you will forgive the uncouth term, utterly retarded. For chrissake, the Hubble got some beautiful shots of their ship once they’d spun that shield around to reveal it to us. I mean, I’m no spacecraft expert but even I could tell it had gotten the shit pounded out of it.”
She responded with a shrug. “Hey, Flat Earthers are still a thing.”
“Flat Earthers don’t stage FUCKING mortar attacks in our nation’s capital,” snapped Hanson. Then he subsided and spoke more softly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be so on edge. This whole thing just pisses me off.”
“Join the club,” said Savoie as she sipped more coffee. “I just don’t get it, though.”
Hanson made a gentle ‘continue’ wave of his hand.
She leaned forward. “Okay. Our comrades in the CIA managed to identify the four who made it into the compound. They were all mercenaries, each with at least ten or fifteen years of experience in kicking ass around some of the worst hot spots in the world. Syria, Burma, bunch of places in Africa. One of ‘em even turned out to be ex-Wagner group.”
“Okay?” It was a leading single-word question, but not an unkind one.
“So why was the rest of the attack made up of nothing but a bunch of goddamn shit-kickers? And that includes the aborted attempt in Decatur. I’ve seen the files of those we rounded up in the Camp David attack. They were all low-life idiots just banging around, maybe they might have once held a gun in their lives. Hell, from what I’ve heard, the shootings that triggered the alarm at Camp David were an accident; those intruders were supposed to sneak around
that patrol, not kill them. They all had the same top-of-the-line kit, so we know whoever is behind this has deep pockets. Why not hire an entire bunch of competent people instead of doing it onesy-twoseys?”
“It is a puzzle.” Hanson got up and set a styrofoam cup of water into the nearby microwave. As the cup turned within its electromagnetic prison, he leaned against the nearby counter and pondered her question. “Maybe the team in the woods was intended just as a distraction?”
“That’s what I thought at first, but then I reconsidered. I mean, what if the four who went in failed? You’d still need a proper backup plan. Same thing with the Decatur bunch. By the way, did they ever catch them?”
Hanson let out a dark chuckle. “Decatur PD found a pile of vests and rifles, hastily wiped down. They were able to pull a few partial prints off of ‘em. My guess is they’ve fled to the proverbial four winds, hoping to lay low for the rest of their lives. We’ll nab ‘em eventually.”
The microwave dinged and he retrieved his hot water, then pulled a tea bag out of his jacket pocket as he re-seated himself.
Savoie smiled. “I never figured you for a tea guy.”
He unwrapped the bag and with a bit of ceremony dunked it into his cup. “Well, I used to be a coffee guy, but my gut doesn’t agree with the acidity.”
“We do have tea here, you know.” She pointed to the storage bins behind him.
“Yeah, but it’s cheap-ass stuff. The brand I like is expensive, but worth it…” Hanson’s eyes widened as he trailed off.
She raised an eyebrow. “Hanson? Do you smell burnt toast?”
“They couldn’t afford it,” he said in a near-whisper.
Savoie was about to tell him to stop being overly dramatic, then she realized he might be on to something and that she didn’t dare distract him. “Keep talking.”
He leaned forward, his forearms on the table. “Okay. Imagine you’re a hard-bitten mercenary. You’ve been in the literal shit, in every nasty conflict anyone cares to name. Somehow, someone finds you and comes to you. They say ‘hey, these aliens are bad news, do you want to kill them?’ Even if you, as the hypothetical mercenary, are down with the cause…”
“From what the intruders were yelling, they were,” said Savoie.
“Yeah but even then, our mystery financier is asking you to infil and exfil out of one of the most heavily guarded pieces of real estate on the planet. Oh, and kill a bunch of special-forces-maybe and aliens-definitely in between. What do you do then?”
She replied with a grim smile. “If I’m that mercenary, then I ask for a metric fuck-ton of money. And there were four of them, they would have all done the same. Hell, they must have been doing collective bargaining.”
Hanson dunked his tea bag as he thought it through. “Okay, so our mystery mastermind has a lot of money, but not billions on hand to hire a literal army of hard cases. Huh. So those other dipshits might indeed have been a distraction.”
“Maybe. They must have also spent quite a bit on the mortar attack. That wasn’t made by some hobbyist in their bedroom, they knew what they were doing. Given that nobody saw them set up the launcher or leave, they were more pro.” Savoie hoped that the FBI’s efforts to track the various mortar components turned up something soon. Thus far, those efforts were bogged down; as it turned out, quite a few companies had ordered the identified components, and tracking the subsequent second-hand purchases was time-consuming.
“And those mortar-making pros would be more expensive.” Hanson sipped a bit of tea. “Did they ever get anything off of the launcher itself?”
“Sadly, no. Turns out the whole damned thing was homemade, constructed out of tubing and other off-the-shelf components. It was also wiped down thoroughly, no prints. Like I said, pros.”
“But limited in resources,” said Hanson. “Which explains one of the things that’s bugged me
. Namely, that our OPFOR didn’t use some proper artillery. If they have a couple of moles in the Secret Service, then it should be easy to recruit and pay some military dudes to slip ‘em some gear and alter the logs. They could stow a howitzer inside a semi-tractor-trailer. You could park that thing anywhere up to 25 miles away. Use a single 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided munition, boom. That would have pretty much obliterated the stage and everyone on it. Then you just re-stow the howitzer and toodle off all innocent-like, right when everyone is freaking the hell out.”
“So they couldn’t afford that type of arty strike,” she said. “Or they simply didn’t have the contacts to pull that off. Hmm. I wonder if our moles are getting paid at all?”
Hanson resumed his thousand-yard stare. “The mortar attack must have been planned first. The other two attacks feel much more like rush jobs.”
“Eh? Oh, I get it. Sadaf’s speech was known well in advance. It was going to be one of her first big public appearances since the initial presidential speech. They were broadcasting it online to the world. Having her get turned into chunky red salsa, in real time, would be one helluva statement. So that’s what they focused on.” She drank a bit more coffee, and now it was time for her eyes to widen. “Our mole or moles didn’t arrive at Camp David until after
Sadaf’s speech was announced.”
“That…oh, yeah, that makes sense. Originally the mortar attack is the OPFORs’ only focus, but yet somehow they’ve suborned one or two Secret Service agents and they have ‘em in their back pocket. Then one, or better yet both, of the moles gets assigned to the Camp David detail, and they realize that now that they have a golden opportunity to get at the other aliens as well. So they go off and hire four pros for the actual attack inside, plus a bunch of chucklefucks to act as a distraction, because that’s all they can afford since the four pros are asking for some serious money.”
Savoie leaned forward. “When did Chao and Grakosh leave Camp David?”
“It was, ah, three? No, four days after we got everyone settled, both the aliens and the special forces types.”
“Okay, so then
the OPFOR gets word, courtesy of our moles, that one of the aliens is now heading to Alabama. But now they’re stretched so thin that they can’t afford anything other than to hire another bunch of dipshits to make a run at them and hope for the best.”
“And then the second bunch lets the FNG drive.”
They both laughed, but that humor settled down as they both thought through the chain of inference.
“It is pretty thin,” said Savoie at last. “There’s a lot of assumptions in there.”
“Yeah. But I do like the idea of our moles getting assigned at the last minute.”
She rubbed her forehead. “We had a bunch of new people come in when they decided to stow the Rithro crew there. Seven, no eight in all.”
“It’s a place to start,” said Hanson. He finished his tea. “C’mon, let’s see if we can get a meeting with the inquiry board.”
A little while later and not very far away, three people sat in a well-lit but otherwise deadly dull room. At least the chairs were somewhat comfortable. Matt and Martinez sat at two chairs against one wall, while across from them McCoy sat sprawled sideways on another with a foul look on her face. She glowered at the far beige-painted wall. “This completely sucks. Why can’t we have our phones? I could at least play some mahjong.”
“This is a secure location, Corporal,” replied Matt. “Ixnay on the onephays.”
Martinez’s leg jittered. “How long are we gonna sit here? They said they’d call us in, like, an hour ago!”
“Dunno, it’s some kind of last-minute interview thing,” replied Matt with Zen-like calm.
The corporal looked over at Matt. “I don’t get you, man.”
Matt grinned. “Nobody gets me. I’m like the wind, baby!”
“That’s not…I mean, I watched you open up a dude like he was a bag of fuckin’ Doritos using nothing but a fuckin’ knife. Now you’re being all Caine from ‘Kung Fu’.”
“It’s good to know that the classics are still appreciated,” said Matt.
Martinez pointed at him. “If you start calling me ‘Grasshopper’ I will
McCoy turned her glare to the ceiling. “Maybe it’s a psychological test. They want to see if we crack under pressure and start yakking secrets.”
“I mean, I’m sure they’re recording us right now,” replied Matt. “But it’s merely as a precaution. I am also five-nines certain that none of us are suspects. We weren’t integrated into the compound’s overall security, and thus it would be unlikely that we could have let our four attackers in.”
“Not to mention, we were the ones to kill ‘em,” added Martinez. “Well, except for the one that Takh took care of.”
“Yep. This is…I won’t call it a formality, but the board just wants to know where you were and what you saw. Walk them through your personal timelines, understand? Tell them only what you know. If you don’t know something, then say so.”
McCoy turned herself around so that she now sprawled the other way. “This whole bullshit just bugs me. Takh and the others are off with a bunch of strangers and I…I mean, we aren't there to help protect them.”
Matt and Martinez shared a meaningful glance. “From what I heard, Takh is quite capable of taking care of himself,” said the latter with a grin. “You told me he pitched that one dude across the room like he was throwing a softball.”
For once, the petite corporal looked a bit flustered. “Yeah, but, I mean, what if some other potential bad guy gets the drop on him with a gun? I don’t like not being there. I just wanna know that he’s okay. I should be there, just to make sure.”
The smaller man snapped his fingers in the face of the taller, who sighed and took out his wallet. With great ceremony, Matt pulled out a five-dollar bill and placed it upon the now-upraised palm of Martinez.
“Told ya,” said Martinez with a grin.
She sat up and glared at them both. “That doesn’t mean anything! Takh is a good guy!”
“Nobody said he wasn’t,” replied Matt as he stowed his wallet. “He is indeed a good guy.”
“Yeah, seriously, we’re glad you two hooked up,” added Martinez. “Takh’s solid. Hell, I’d let him date my sister.”
“I. Am. Not. Hooked Up. With ANYONE.” McCoy now looked furious enough to chew nails.
Martinez stroked his chin. “Kissing might be a problem, though.”
Matt performed a similar chin-stroking action. “Hmm, indeed, Corporal, I do believe it might be a serious issue. One has all of those mandibles to contend with.” He hooked his fingers next to his mouth in an approximation of an udhyr’s face. “Still, I think that, with enough will and effort, one could figure it out. Like the man said, life finds a way.”
“But how much tongue is he packing?” posed Martinez. “You know what the man also says. Big dude, big tongue. Could make things more interesting, all around.”
The woman did not look amused. “Martinez, Toke? You are now both officially gigantic flatulating assholes.”
“C’mon, McCoy!” protested Martinez. “Think of it this way. A few years from now, let’s say we filthy humans are now part of the Coalition and I’m at some meet ‘n greet, and I just so happen to spy me an oh-so-very-fiiine udhyr mamacita from across the room. Now, I wanna do my bit for my species and approach her, and get some good old inter-species cultural interaction going on. But there’s all sorts of questions. How do I compliment her without insulting her culture? How am I supposed to get in good with her? How do the mechanics work? How do the various bits line up? We need details! You’re at the tip of the spear, we all need good intel!”
McCoy slumped back into her seat. “Over seven hundred billion Dimmadollars of defense spending, and yet somehow I wind up stuck in a room with you two fuckos…oh, by the way, Toke
,” she added, pointing a finger at Matt, “why the hell can you and Sarge never go back to Okinawa?”
“Nice distraction, McCoy,” said Martinez. “My guess is some sort of wet-work shit.”
Matt just smiled. “Oh for fuck’s sake, I don’t kill everyone
I meet. I was a Second LT at the time, managed to somehow leapfrog my way into officer ranks all the way from enlisted. Anyways, the Okinawa affair was merely a case of, well, one particular case of rye whiskey. The good sergeant…was he a sergeant then? Oh yeah, we had done some other stuff I can’t tell you about in someplace I can’t tell you where, and we were celebrating Shaw getting his third stripe. We’d got ahold of the previously-mentioned case of whiskey and then we began toasting to each other’s good health. We did a lot of toasting. Quite
a lot of toasting. As you can imagine, the toasting went on and on until we, um, well we did some unwise things. It started out with us sparring-for-fun with each other in public and escalated from there. No locals were harmed, and nothing we did was hella illegal, or I would’ve never made Captain. Buuut the local government would definitely throw a shitfit if me or, God forbid, both of us set foot back on the island.” He chuckled. “Hell, the Okinawan customs people probably still have both of our pictures taped up inside their booths with a big old sign saying ‘DO NOT ADMIT THIS PERSON, YOU FOOL’ written above them.”
“What did you do?” asked Martinez. His eyes were big and soulful, like a kid asking for yet one more story before bedtime.
Matt shrugged. “I mean, I don’t remember much for obvious reasons. I’m almost sure we didn’t piss on any monuments, that would have definitely been cause for a serious demotion. We did do a number on some shrubbery, that I do remember. We decided it needed to be trimmed back, and so we did so. Using our bare hands. Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
A fearsome light came into McCoy’s eyes. “Martinez, do you know what this means?”
He looked at her all uncertain. “Um, Toke and Sarge have cast-iron livers?”
“No, you fool. Blackmail material
Matt pointed back at her. “Hey, now, I told you that in confidence. Besides, Shaw has a lot more to contend with right now.”
The reminder of the sergeant’s current crippled state brought the elevated atmosphere of the room back down. McCoy nodded as her smile faded. “Right. Hey, did you see the Prez’s speech at the UN?”
“Yep,” said Matt. “From what I’ve read, the political wrangling after it seems pretty tame compared to the usual.”
Martinez snorted. “No shit. Did either of you see the laundry list of shit that we might be able to do? Anti-aging, limb regrowth, cancer treatments which work well and which don’t
half-kill the patient…hell, maybe even Alzheimer’s could be in our rear-view mirror. The grand high muckity-mucks are falling all over themselves to get that out into the world, for themselves if nobody else.”
“You’re way too cynical, Martinez,” said Matt.
“Oh fuck off. What if…okay, I know this sounds like a cheesy sci-fi concept, but what if they hoard all of the good shit for themselves and we peons get just the crumbs?”
Matt lapsed back into his meditative demeanor. “In that case, my dear corporal, you or I or McCoy or someone like us will show those hypothetical elites that, while they are indeed long-lived, they are not in fact immortal.”
The trio fell into silence for a few minutes. Then Martinez leaned over towards Matt. “Ah, a little birdie told me you were involved in questioning the prisoners we nabbed at Camp David.”
“I merely facilitated certain conversations,” replied Matt.
Martinez sighed. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies…Corporal.”
McCoy let out a growl. “Well, I
heard these terrorist assholes are saying that the Breakers aren’t real, that it’s all fake videos from the Coalition.”
“Just to play devil’s advocate,” said Matt, “our AI image and video generation is already getting to the point where, soon, we puny humans could manufacture such evidence.”
“What?” Martinez looked as if he was about to launch himself at Matt.
Matt held up a calming hand. “I’m not saying it is
fake. The Hubble pics are damned convincing.”
Martinez hiked up one foot to place it on his seat, then rested his chin on his knee. “Fuck. I guess it didn’t convince everyone.” He mused for a few moments. “Wait. What if we made it even more convincing?”
“How?” asked Matt.
“We send some humans up to the Rithro
. Two or three at least. The boats can still make it up to the ship, right?”
For once Matt looked uncertain. “I think so? Dunno how many times they can come and go without recharging, we’ll have to ask ‘em.”
“Right, so we set up an even better publicity stunt than the Hubble pics. Choose a few people, from all over the world. We have ‘em travel up to the Rithro
, take pics and video up close showing the damage. Even take ‘em inside the ship and get a full tour, maybe…if the crew is okay with that, of course.”
“Huh.” Matt sat back and pondered the idea. “That’s a really good idea, Martinez. I guess you aren’t as dumb as you look.”
The corporal responded with a slight smile at the verbal jab. “We’d need to choose the right people, though.”
“They’d have to be trustworthy…or at least someone that the entire world will consider trustworthy,” said Matt.
“Well known,” added McCoy. She no longer looked vengeful. “With recognizable faces and voices, and then they can go on all the talk shows after and say that, yes indeed, I got a tour of the ship and it is indeed quite banged up.”
Martinez stared at the far wall. “Some kind of celebrity? Heh. You think Tom Cruise would be up for it?”
Matt laughed. “That beautiful maniac? Hell, he’d insist on shooting an entire movie up there, with at least one action scene where he’s hanging off of the outside of the ship.”
They all smiled at the resulting mental image.
“Chao could work,” said McCoy into the silence. “She’s kind of a celebrity now. After all, she was the first human to come into contact with aliens, eh?” She gave Matt a big and very un-subtle wink.
To skirt the rather…unconventional methods used to achieve a positive First Contact, Matt’s role had been very much demoted in the official story. Now every recounting of the tale included a bit of ‘…oh, and there was also another person who stumbled across our brave woman in the midst of her attempts at informational exchange with the aliens…” His exact identity was also not published, under the screen of ‘he wishes to remain anonymous’.
“Oh bite me, McCoy, it’s fun,” replied Matt. He waggled his eyebrows. “Besides, I work better in the shadows!” He threw his forearm across his face like a half-assed Count Dracula trying to hide behind his cape.
Then he dropped his arm. “Yeah, Chao would be good as a current social-media darling. Of course, she might not want that. She strikes me as more of the wallflower type, for the most part.”
“We need more people,” said Martinez, as he stared at the floor. “Chao might be good on her own, but she’s got that motor-mouth talking thing when you get her going. It’s one or the other. Either she’s trying to shrink into a corner and take up as little space as possible, or suddenly you’re getting pulled into another corner for a doctoral dissertation on how minimal-energy transfer-orbits work.”
Matt pondered for a moment. “Wait, when did she do that? I never sat through one of those lectures.”
Martinez looked away and…well, Matt hoped that their supposed overlords were indeed recording this particular moment in time because the hard-bitten Hispanic special-forces corporal actually blushed
McCoy, of course, realized a golden opportunity for payback and immediately pounced. “Why, Corporal
Martinez,” she purred. “Doooo tell us. When did Chao Me Chu, heh, pull
you into a corner? Hmmm?”
“She’s…she’s just real nice, that’s all,” replied Martinez. “I asked her a couple of questions, and she answered them. That’s all. We both love classic sci-fi, like Asimov and shit. I guess we bonded over that.”
Matt cleared his throat. “Aaaaand may I remind you two and
everyone listening in that we have all been cooped up nuts-to-butts for awhile? Don’t mistake familiarity for romantic bullshit.” He pointed over at Martinez. “But you. If you can follow at least half of what she talks about, then you are absolutely without-a-single-fucking-doubt wasted
as a corporal, even if you’re in a low-drag high-speed outfit like this. You hear me?”
“Um, yes sir.” It was the first time in McCoy’s memory that anyone had addressed Matt as befitting his perhaps-former rank.
“Good. You get your ass into college, somehow. You’re a smart guy, you’ll figure all that shit out. And as for Chao? Just give it room to breathe. Let her know you’re interested, but don’t press the matter.”
“Let her know?” For once Martinez looked completely lost. “How do I…” he trailed off. “I mean, I like her…and yeah, I mean I like her in that
way, but she’s so damn smart and pretty and I’m just some dipshit meathead.”
“Hey, don’t sell yourself short,” said Matt. “You’re our
McCoy’s vengeful smile faded. “Martinez…no, Luca.”
Martinez looked up in surprise at her use of his first name.
She continued. “Just talk to her. Neither of you have any clue as to what ‘normal’ social interactions look like. In your case, it’s because you’ve been a soldier for all of your adult life. In her case, it’s because she’s, well, because she’s Chao. So just walk up to her and be straightforward. Trust me, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air for her to not have to navigate social cues. Just say something like ‘Hey, I really like you, do you like me and do you want to go get a coffee sometime’? Start with that. Chao’s good people, the worst thing she’ll do is say no. She won’t yell at you or talk shit about you online. Buuuut, some sixth sense is telling me she won’t say no to getting some coffee with ya.”
Matt smiled. “McCoy, I think you might have a calling after you leave the military.”
She snorted. “Oh yeah, I’ll hang up my match-making shingle on the internet and start raking in the big bucks. Martinez is right, though. If we try to do a publicity stunt up at the Rithro
, then we’ll need somebody alongside Chao to win the world over. Somebody well-known, but preferably someone not in the traditional Western pop-culture sphere. That’ll make it more palatable…”
Her voice trailed off and she stared into space. The two men now looked at each other in genuine concern until she spoke again a few moments later.
“Guys? I think I just had the best idea ever.”
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2023.06.03 06:01 cbvv1992 🔥64% Price Drop – $5.99 Crest Pro Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash!!
2023.06.02 09:24 Juccini_10 What Are the Essential Supplies Every Cat Owner Should Have?
To ensure your cat’s well-being and happiness, it’s essential to have the right supplies on hand. In this blog post, we will explore the must-have supplies that every cat owner should consider. From feeding essentials to comfort items, let’s dive into the essential supplies needed to provide a loving and enriching environment for your furry friend.
- Cat Bed or Blankets: Create a cozy spot for your cat to relax and sleep. A soft cat bed or blankets can offer comfort and security. Consider the size and style that suits your cat’s preferences, whether they prefer an enclosed bed or a simple blanket on a favorite chair.
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- Food and Water Bowls: Start with sturdy and easy-to-clean food and water bowls. Opt for bowls made of ceramic, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic. Consider the appropriate size and depth for your cat’s comfort and safety.
- Litter Box and Litter: Provide a suitable litter box that accommodates your cat’s size. Choose a litter box with low sides for easy access and ensure it is placed in a quiet and easily accessible area. Use cat-friendly litter that meets your cat’s preferences, such as clumping, non-clumping, or natural alternatives.
- Scratching Posts: Cats have a natural instinct to scratch, so providing appropriate outlets for this behavior is crucial. Invest in a sturdy scratching post or a scratching board. Place them strategically around the house to protect your furniture and allow your cat to stretch and maintain their claws.
- Toys and Interactive Play: Keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated with a variety of toys. Consider interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys, to engage your cat’s hunting instincts. Feather wands, balls, and catnip toys are also great options for playtime and bonding.
- Grooming Tools: Maintain your cat’s coat health with grooming tools. Purchase a cat-specific brush or comb suitable for their coat length. Additionally, have a pair of cat-friendly nail clippers or a nail grinder to keep their nails trimmed.
- Cat Carrier: A sturdy and secure cat carrier is essential for vet visits, travel, or emergencies. Choose a carrier that provides comfort, ventilation, and ease of access. It’s beneficial to familiarize your cat with the carrier in advance to reduce stress during transportation.
- ID Tags and Microchip: Ensure your cat’s safety by attaching an ID tag to their collar with your contact information. Additionally, consider microchipping your cat as a reliable form of identification should they ever go missing.
- Cat-Friendly Cleaning Supplies: Maintain a clean and hygienic environment with cat-friendly cleaning supplies. Use pet-safe cleaners and detergents that won’t harm your cat if accidentally ingested.
- Cat-specific Food and Treats: Provide your cat with high-quality cat food that meets their nutritional needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet for your cat’s age, health, and dietary requirements. Additionally, have a selection of healthy cat treats for training or occasional rewards.
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for your indoor cats to keep them warm.
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2023.06.01 16:37 ExaltFibs24 Toothpaste hack for one bag.
I tried three different toothpaste options for the most efficient tooth brushing and packing lightly for OneBag. The surprise winner turned out to be the cheapest here in India!
- Uber popular toothpaste tablets. The standard size of the tablet is way too much for my regular toothbrushing, a needless waste. For the uninformed, toothpaste should be used as least as possible, just like washing powder. PLUS, a small can of toothpaste tablet weighed more than a small toothpaste in tube. Also note that ADA (American Dental Association) DO NOT recommend them, plus most of these tablets have no fluoride, which means no protection against cavities. I also find it taking longer time; you need to chew these tablets like a gum for a minute or so before even starting to brush. Only advt I see is minimizing plastic waste.
- Toothpaste in a tube is second best. It let me squeeze out the paste to my liking, unlike tablets. Biggest complaint I have is plastic waste.
- The best of the three options I found was toothpowder, very popular in days of yore sweet 1980s), like this Buy Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpowder - with Calcium and Minerals for Anti-Cavity - 200 g Online at Low Prices in India - Amazon.in. For those who realize that aqua in shower gels is just a fancy term for water (and shower gels is a scam compared with a bar of soap), toothpowder lasts way longer than standard toothpaste and toothpaste tablets. Btw the science says toothpowder is more efficient in removing plaques than toothpaste, an example peer-reviewed paper here: Comparison of the plaque-removing efficacy of toothpaste and toothpowder - PubMed (nih.gov)
I carry toothpowder in a small 30ml airtight plastic container, and I dip a slightly wet toothbrush (I use Philips Sonicare) in it. 50g toothpowder easily lasts three months for me with twice daily brushes, vastly exceeding 50g toothpaste that hardly lasts a month. Lasting much longer means fewer trips to the grocery store and less plastic waste (June 5th, World environment day coming in 4 days, this year's theme is plastic pollution!)
Pro Tip: I never wash my mouth after brushing (You should do this too
). This helps to provide leftover fluoride to my tooth. No watemeals for the next 1 hour.
Hope this helps.
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2023.05.31 23:41 Zachthema5ter [SF] What is Honor?
The horned creature that called itself Vera sat silent in her Throne Mechanicum, wires connecting her mind and body to the machine. Bullets bounced off of the void shield of her blue and gold desecrator, Unrepentant Misery. The reaper chainsword swung through waves apron waves of advancing xenos, the spinning chains catching the green skin of a squadron of orks. The laser destructor fired, a red beam of light struck an incoming truck, turning the gunner on it's back into red mist. Regardless, the makeshift vehicle charged Unrepentant Misery. With a single stomp, the ork machine was crushed under their titanic heel, dust, blood, and scrap metal filling the air.
"Kill the bastards!" The familiar voice of Astrid echoed in Vera's mind. She ignored it, as it was not directed towards the orks.
A group of light blue astartes, warriors of the Thousand Son's warband, took position behind the scrap metal that was once the truck. A group of avian humanoids charged past them, each mutant carrying a chain sword and firing bolter pistols into the horde of orks. The blue feathers of slain tzaangors scattered across the ground as the group entered melee.
"Filthy mutants." Another voice, Eric, rang in Vera's ears. She tried to ignore it, channeling her anger into the greenskin horde.
Raising Unrepentant Misery's whirling chainsword into the air, multi colored electricity sparked around the eyes of the knight as Vera chanted in a language that she didn’t entirely understand. The wind around the desecrator changed, the flow redirecting into a torrent warping around Unrepentant Misery. Three missiles that were on target were suddenly caught in the wind and redirected, missing the desecrator.
"More..." Unrepentant Misery growled, vibrating the throne Vera sat on.
"Riders, right." The grizzled voice Wulfrik barked.
Vera's eyes shot right, her glowing eyes nearly turning into her skull. Ten squig riders attempt to flank Unrepentant Misery. The bright red mounts gnashed their teeth, leaving a trail of drool behind them. The raiders fired wildly in the air with their pistols in one hand, the other hand carrying primitive spears. The sensors surrounding Vera detected that these spears were rigged with makeshift explosives. She adjusted her knight's footing, firing round after of round of their shoulder mounted heavy stubber. The riders were cut down to the last man, yet the infamous "WAAGH" war cry of the greenskins drowned out the battle.
"They're coming, Vera."
"Hold the line, my warriors." The last speaker did not come from her Throne. "The relic will be recovered soon."
"Yes commander." Vera softly muttered.
"You were lively before the battle." Another Thousand Son sorcerer laughed. "Ghost catch your tongue?"
"Kill the heretics!" Eric ordered.
"Now's not the time." She gritted through her teeth.
"I'll leave you to your ancestors." The call cut out.
Astrid sighed. "Emperor protect us."
"Shut up." Vera gritted between her teeth.
"Full power to ion shields!" Wulfrik ordered, taking temporary control of Unrepentant Misery.
Vera ripped control back. "Don't do that again"
A salvo of missiles landed around Unrepentant Misery's feet. Thankfully, Vera's psychic manipulations managed to redirect any heavy missiles that would've hit the desecrator directly. However, this redirection wasn’t enough to carry the missiles far enough for the dreadblade to be out of range of the explosion.
Vera winced in pain. Some of the shrapnel had pierce the void shield, striking and embedding into her knight, the cords connecting her into the Throne simulating the shrapnel. Vera instinctively reached down to her leg, attempting to remove the non-existent shards of metal.
"Emperor, we are so sorry."
"Reinforcements!" Once of the warband called out, before catching an ork slug to the helmet.
Vera's eyes returned to the battlefield. A portion of the greentide had redirected it's attention to something in the distance.
"We push!" A tzaangor champion growled over the vox.
"No!" A sorcerer in cyan and gold terminator armor rebuked, his voice raspy and deep. "We should bolster our defenses. All we need is the relic."
"We don't know if their friend or foe." A mortal priestess suggested. "Did our Lord call for aid."
Vera leaned forward, squinting towards were the "reinforcements" was.
A red blur danced through the sea of orks, greenskins flying through the air from explosion and claw swipes. The blur momentarily stopped, allowing her to see the banner hanging between the legs of the machine. A skull laid over a cog, the symbol of the adeptus mechanicus, confirming what she thought.
"Knight!" She roared over the vox, firing at the mechanical warrior. "Imperial knight!"
A pack of smaller red armigers raced through the ork horde, crushing the xenos under their feet as the scout knights charged towards the warband.
"Focus all fire into the knights!" The sorcerer terminator coughed. Five helbrutes counter charged into the armigers, in hopes of slowing them down. All firearms and explosives were directed towards the knights, retreating behind cover. The chainsword carrying tzaangors and chaos spawn charged after the helbrutes, cleaning up the orks left in their wake.
"Betrayer..." Unrepentant Misery rumbled. "Betrayer..."
As the Imperial Knight, a knight warden, armed with a thunderstrike gauntlet and a chaincannon, approached, Vera got a better view of the knight. While the banner between the knight's legs were that of the mechanicus, the crest sitting on the right of the red and black mask held a different symbol. A two-headed dragon. The symbol of House Zweidrach.
"By the Emperor."
"Don't do it Vera."
"Let her finally put you out of your misery."
Vera nearly lept from her metal Throne, rage shattering whatever sense of calm she had left. "Lucella..." She growled, the cyan feathers on the back of her neck standing up and her serpentine tail slithering in anticipation.
"Betrayer..." Unrepentant Misery's thirst for blood infected Vera. She echoed her knight, the two roaring, "BETRAYER!"
Unrepentant Misery charged into the fray like a rabid animal, it's flailing metal limbs slicing and crushing ork and cultist alike.
“The beast returns.” Lucella’s hearty laugh invaded Vera’s ears.
“You… betrayed us…”
The knight desecrator swung it’s chain blade at the Imperial knight, a squadron of orks being caught and eviscerated in the upward swing. Lucella’s knight grabbed Unrepentant Misery’s arm with it’s gauntlet, stopping the sword swing.
“I betrayed you?” She laughed. “Your brother was the heretic!”
“Let her kill you, Vera.” Astrid calmly said. “She will end your suffering.”
“This is your last chance to restore your family’s honor.” Eric added.
“Shut up.” Vera hissed.
“Sounds like you ancestors agree with me, beast. Come, let me put you out of your misery.”
With a shove, the two knights disengaged. The blood and limbs of stepped on orks as Vera aimed her laser destructor, Lucella readying her chaincannon in return.
“Let her finish the job.”
Lucella was quicker on the drawn, a torrent of bullets breaking through Unrepentant Misery’s void shield and into it’s torso.
Vera howled in pain as the legs of her knight buckled. She fired the destructor, the sudden stumble causing the weapon to miss its target. Instead of hitting the mask of the knight warden, the laser instead broke through its void shield and struck its shoulder.
“Your piloting is disgraceful your brother’s memory!” Lucella roared into the vox speaker as the arm wielding the chaincannon sparked.
“You have no right to speak of him!” Vera hissed back, spitting blood onto the control console. “You betrayed him!”
“You will see him soon, if you stop.”
Lucella’s mocking laugh filled Vera’s ears. Rage filled her body as she sliced into the warden. Lucella’s laughter quickly morphed into painful wails as she felt the chains of the desecrator’s sword carved into her stomach.
She mindlessly fired her chaincannon as her gauntlet struck and swiped at Unrepentant Misery. Lucella was able to grip the top of the desecrator’s mask, Vera in turn feeling a strong grapes on one of her horns. Lucella’s knight managed to overwhelm Vera’s, shoving her to the ground.
“Honorless bitch.” She spat. “Just like your bloody brother.”
Vera gritted her fangs. “Sven was honorable.”
“The bastard lied to the inquisition, betrayed the Imperium and the Emperor, killed multiple soritas and other knights, and broke off out fucking engagement!” She threw Unrepentant Misery to the ground before stepping onto it’s mask. “All for a spoiled little mutant how can’t even defend itself. Sven was the most dishonorable person I have ever met, maybe besides you.”
With a click from the auto-loader, Lucella opened fire into Unrepentant Misery. With every bullet, Vera felt every wound alongside the spirits within Unrepentant Misery.
“She is right.”
“End this suffering.”
“Dying now is the only way to restore your honor.”
“Don’t insult your brother’s memory anymore.”
“Just die, it will be over for all of us soon.”
“We’ve… been… betrayed…”
Vera’s breath slowed. The voices, her ancestors, they were all right. Letting this suffering continue, staining her family’s name with every breath, letting a great knight of the God-Emperor fall into the pull of Chaos, dishonorable. Vera was dishonor made manifest, and the only way to have a shred of honor now is to let it end.
Vera awoke inside a familiar room, sitting on a familiar bed.
“Can you tell me another story?” A voice asked. Poking out from under the blanket was the head of a little girl. Her grin was filled with sharp teeth, and two tiny horns surfaced from the sea of black hair. “I want to here about the great hero Sven and Unrepentant Bravery.”
“Sorry kid.” Vera said, petting the child between the horns. “It’s past your bedtime.”
“But I’m not… not” she yawned. “I’m not tired.”
“Fine Vera, one more. Let me tell you the tale of how our heroes met an angel named Celestine.”
The scene faded, and Vera was transported to a different bed. She was getting dressed. Watching her from the bed was a familiar blond woman.
“Why didn’t you tell me you had a younger sister?” Lucella asked.
Vera sighed. “Well she’s… different I want to say.”
“What do you mean?”
“Vera’s smart, strong, and her tests show that she’s an expert tactician. She’d be a great knight.”
“She’s a mutant.”
Her vision blurred. Vera was back in the cockpit of Unrepentant Misery, or Unrepentant Bravery. Standing in front of her was Lucella's knight, alongside two armigers and a small army of guardsmen. "Why are you doing this Lucella?" Vera asked.
"I'm sorry Sven, but you and your family shelters a creature of chaos. Do the honorable thing, and let us pass."
"You call this honor?" Vera demanded, her brother's voice coming through her mouth. "You're the ones going to KILL a little girl just because she looks a little different!"
"Step aside Sven." Luccella gritted through her teeth. "The inquisitor demanded her capture, and the inquisition are the voice of the Emperor."
"I don't care what the Emperor has to say! YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL MY SISTER!"
"It's the honorable thing to do." One of the armiger's voice broke into vox.
Rage filled Vera's being. The throne she sat on rumbled within the cockpit. A quiet growl breezed past her ears. "Betrayer..."
"If protecting my sister is the dishonorable thing to do, than I don't give a fuck about honor!"
Vera's sight blurred again. She felt sleepy, her eyes struggling to stay open. Someone was carrying her, the servant's breath heavy and strained. "Go back to sleep young Vera." They said, trying to keep a upbeat voice.
"You're going on a vacation." Sven's voice softly wheezed.
"Where are we going?" She yawned.
He took a deep breath. "I'm not going with you."
Vera's eyes slowly opened. She was greeted by the sight of her brother. He was struggling to stand up, blood drentching his clothes. He gripped his chest, blood leaking between his fingers.
"Everything will be ok, Vera. You and Bravery will be visiting some friends of mine, and they will keep you safe."
"Vera..." A deep voice echoed from above her. She looked up, seeing the damaged Unrepentant Bravery being transported into a ship. "I will protect you... from the betrayer..."
"When will I see you again?"
Sven was silent for a few seconds. "It will be a while. I can't promise you when, but I will see each other again."
"Ok Sven." Vera yawn. "Goodbye."
"Goodbye Vera. I'll see you someday."
As Vera is carried into the ship, she heard Sven say on more thing. "We'll see each other soon, Lucella."
"We'll see each other son Lucella."
Vera returned back to the battlefield. Unrepentant Misery, having lost it's sword arm, stood over Lucella's kneeling knight. Vera's eye glowed bright blue, Unrepentant Misery's glowing alongside it. She saw through the knight warden's mask, seeing Lucella within the cockpit. She was tired, bleeding and crying. "Sven?" She asked.
"I still care about you." Vera voice echoed alongside a familiar voice. "But I won't let anyone hurt my sister."
"Vera! We got the relic!" A gruff speaker echoed through the vox, breaking Vera from her trance. "We're retreating."
"Y-Yes my lord. I'll be there soon."
"Where are you going!" Lucella tearfully roared. "Kill me! Let see Sven again!"
Unrepentant Misery turned away from Lucella. "I won't kill you. You don't deserve the honor."
Vera approached the warband's ship, entering the open hanger. The chaotic ship disappeared into the twilight sky, leaving Lucella alone in the body filled battle field.
It wasn't until midnight until someone contacted Lucella. "What happened?" The inquisitor's rage-filled voice demanded her to answer.
Lucella sat on top of her warden, looking over the ruins. Orks corpses as far as the eye could see, the wrecks of her fellow knights overlooking the green sea of bodies like monoliths. "We lost."
"What do you mean we lost?"
"I'm the only one that's left, and my knight needs repairs."
"This whole operation was your plan. This failure is enough to get you executed."
"I just need my knight repaired, and I'll finish what we started."
"No. I see now that you are not suited for this mission. You will be reassigned to a different mission, one more suited for your skill set, and a new more suitable agent will be assigned in your stay."
My lord, may I-"
"No!" They interrupted. "You will tasked with a duty suitable for you. If you want to keep whatever honor you have left, you will follow my orders!"
Lucella took a deep breath. "I don't give a fuck about honor."
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2023.05.31 23:22 quickcleaningIL Are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved cleaning products and equipment used to ensure effectiveness in eliminating viruses and bacteria?
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2023.05.31 18:06 Ok-Kick832 hello everyone I had this what if in my head months ago and so I finally wrote it down over the course of months it was, what if mammals dominated during the Mesozoic? And what would WWD be like?
Hope you enjoy this first is NEW BLOOD
By a river, a female Archosaur stalks a herd of dicynodonts called Placerias, looking for weak members to prey upon. Downstream, a male feathered dinosaur resides in a tree with his family. A female Postosuchus, a rauisuchian and one of the largest carnivores alive in the Triassic
, attacks the Placerias
herd, and wounds one individual; the herd scatters, leaving the wounded Placerias
to the Postosuchus
. Early bats are depicted feeding on dragonflies and cooling themselves in the little water remaining during the drought before being eaten by a larger dragonfly. Searching for food, a female badger like mammal, alongside another badger, discovers the dinosaur nest; the female wards them off. Later that evening, after he goes off hunting, an inquisitive chick follows but falls onto land trying to follow its father and is caught by the female badger. At night, the dinosaurs pick up their remaining pups and then move away. On the next day, the badgers work to collapse the tree. The female Postosuchus
meanwhile is shown to have been wounded by the Placerias
, a prior attack on them leaving her with a tusk wound on her thigh. After being unable to successfully hunt another Placerias
, she is expelled from her territory by a predatory phytosaur. Wounded, sick, and without a territory, the female Postosuchus
dies and is eaten by a pack of archosaurs. As the dry season continues, food becomes scarce. The Placerias
herd embarks on a journey in search of water, while the archosaurs begin to cannibalise their young, and the male dinosaurs also resorts to hunting baby badgers at night. Finally, the wet season arrives; the majority of the archosaurs have survived (including the lead female), and the dinosaur pair have a new clutch of eggs. The episode ends with the arrival of a herd of giant Procoptodon like mammal which are followed by a large fox like mammal which fights and kills a Postosuchus.
TIME OF THE TITANS
This episode follows the life of a female prosauropod, beginning at the moment when her mother lays a clutch of eggs in the heart conifer forest. Three months later, some of the eggs hatch; the young prosauropods are preyed upon by fox like mammal and other dinosaurs. After hatching, the hatchlings retreat to the safety of the denser trees. They face many dangers as they grow, including predation by the foxes and existing Smilodon like mammals which are replacing the foxes increasingly . Even a giant Deinotherium like mammal accidentally also kills one of the hatchlings by swinging its tusks while fending off a pair of Smilodon like mammals and a weird crocodile like cetan. Elsewhere, adult herds of prosauropods are shown using their massive weight to topple trees in order to reach cycad
leaves and giant ferns. Each one hosts a small mobile habitat of damselflies
, bats, and beetles
. After some time, the creche of cute creatures have grown into subadults. Nearly all are killed by a huge forest fire; only three survivors emerge onto the open plains, including the young female. They encounter several Paracetherium before only two reach safety of a herd of adult prosauropods. Several years later, the female mates, and a few days after, is attacked by a bull smilodon like mammals. She is saved when another prosauropod strikes the Allosaurus
with its tail. She rejoins the herd, albeit with deep wounds on her side, but she will recover. The closing narration notes that their successors the sauropods will in the Cenozoic become the largest animals ever to walk the Earth but currently its the paracetherium.
episode begins with a small elephant like mammal being snatched from the shore by a male Liopleurodon
. It then cuts to show how dinosaurs have dominated the European islands with fauna similar to the ones in Jurassic Impact
. Meanwhile, hundreds of cetans arrive from the open ocean to give birth but they are attacked by a Basilosaur look a like. Hybodus
and a Liopleurodon
are on the hunt; when a mother cetan has trouble giving birth, a pair of Hybodus
pursue her. They are frightened off by the male Liopleurodon
, which eats the front half of the cetan. Meanwhile, a Andrewsarchus like mammal the last of its kind if you forget the fox like mammals swims to an island and discovers a turtle carcass; it fights over the carcass with another. Later, during the night, a group of horseshoe crabs
gather at the shore to lay their eggs, which attracts a flock of bats in the morning to eat the eggs. However, a few of the bats are caught and eaten by a giant dragonfly . While the cetan juveniles are growing up, they are hunted by Hybodus
, which in turn, are prey for the Liopleurodon
. While the male Liopleurodon
is hunting, he encounters a female Basilosaurus like mammal; after the male bites one of her flippers, she retreats from his territory, and a group of Hybodus
follows the trail of her blood. A cyclone
strikes the islands, killing many animals, including several bats and the basilosaurus, who is washed ashore and eventually suffocates under his own weight. A group of small dinosaurs feed on her carcass. At the end of the episode, the juvenile cetans that survived the storm are now large enough to swim off and live in the open sea but are hunted by some other cetans.
GIANT OF THE SKIES
The episode begins with the last giant Dragonfly dead on a beach. Six months earlier, the last Dragonfly, resting among a colony of breeding giant bats in Brazil
, flies off for Cantabria
where he too must mate. He flies past a migrating
group of chalicothere mimics and the nodosaur Polacanthus
. He reaches the southern tip of North America
, where he is forced to seek shelter from a storm. He grooms himself, expelling his body of fleas; the wings begin to change colour in preparation for the mating season. He then sets off across the Atlantic
, which was then only 300 kilometres wide, and after a whole day on the wing, reaches the westernmost of the European islands. He does not rest there however, as a pack of dromaeosaurs are hunting horses; a young one is bullied off an Horse carcass by the adults. The Dragonfly flies to the outskirts of a forest to rest after stealing a fish from a bat, but is driven away by a flock of new fliers called Anurognathids. Flying on, he reaches Cantabria, but finds no other dragonflies and consequently he does not mate. After several days under the sun trying to attract a mate, the protagonist dragonflies dies from a combination of heat, stress and starvation. . The new replacements bats feeds on its corpse.
SPIRITS OF THE ICE FOREST
A few hundred kilometres from the South Pole
, a clan of Leaellynasaura
emerge during spring after several months of total darkness. They feed on the fresh plant growth (which has adapted to the changing seasons), and build nests to lay their eggs; a Koolasuchus
also wakes and heads to a river, where he will stay during the summer. Out on the banks of the river, migrating herds of Macraucheia have also arrived to feed and lay their eggs. When summer arrives, many of the Leaellynasaura
clan's eggs have been eaten; however, those of the matriarch hatch successfully. Meanwhile, a male Polar Smilodon like mammal and its pride hunts both the Leaellynasaura
and the Macraucheia, the latter species also having to deal with blood-sucking birds the Smilodon male deals with being attacked and exiled by a larger male. When autumn arrives, the herd begins to migrate, and the Koolasuchus
leaves the river to find a pool for hibernation and all the cubs of the old male Smilodon are killed. During the migration, some Muttaburrasaurus
become lost in the forest; they vocalize loudly while trying to return to their herd, preventing the Leaellynasaura
clan's sentries from hearing the male Smilodon approaching. It manages to kill the matriarch of the clan. Winter descends and the forest is shrouded in darkness, but the now matriarch-less Leaellynasaura
clan is able to stay active, using their large eyes to help them forage for food. The clan and other creatures are also shown to use various methods of coping with the cold.. Finally, spring returns, and two Leaellynasaura
males challenge each other for the right to mate, and the clan establishes a new dominant pair and the old male Smilodon kills the new male Smilodon and takes the pride back. The closing narration acknowledges that soon this landmass will be pulled closer to the South Pole and when that happens, this unique ecosystem and its inhabitants will disappear.
DEATH OF THE DYNASTY
Several months before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
, the last mammals are living under intense environmental stress due to excessive volcanism
. A female giant Entelodont like monotremes abandons her nest, the eggs rendered infertile due to acidic pollution. Her calls for a mate are answered by a smaller male, who kills a young rhino like mammal to appease her. Three days later, after repeated copulation, she drives him off. The mother fasts as she tends to her nest, contending with raids by dromaeosaurs
and Squirrel like mammals. Meanwhile, herds of deer like mammals wander between islands of vegetation among the volcanic ash, and rhinoceros rut for the right to mate, while losing their young to attacking dromaeosaurs. Only three of the Entelodont hatches ; the mother hunts one of the last elephants to feed herself and her brood. One of the last giant bats flies into the area and is killed by the last cetans. Several days later, while defending her two surviving offspring, the mother is fatally injured by the tail of an Ankylosaurus
. The juveniles remain expectantly next to the carcass of their mother the next morning; several hours later, they are killed along with the other mammals in the region by the impact of a comet
in the Gulf of Mexico
. The impact, said to be as powerful as ten billion Hiroshima bombs
, resulted in 65% of life -the mammals included- dying out in the ensuing cataclysmic changes to the climate. In an epilogue, the present-day African plains are shown; while they are now dominated dinosaurs after millions of years of recovery from the impact, they are still populated by a small group of mammals that did survive the extinction: the rodents, the squirrels and many other small vermin like mammals.
THE GIANT CLAW- TO EDIT
searches the late Jurassic islands for Therizinosaurus
, who has massive and very long claws.
The episode starts off with Nigel in his ship where he shows a giant claw that scientists originally thought to be the rib of a giant turtle but was actually the claw of Therizinosaurus. He is interrupted when a giant turtle passes through and he films them. The turtle sneezes on him and Nigel sets off on his journey
Nigel comes across a nesting ground of heterodontosaurs that he crosses by using a red flag to draw their attention while one snaps at his cameraman. They travel
into a forest where they watch a pack of cassowary like dinosaurs and their friends hunt heterodontosaurs. In a different forest, Nigel sets camp and finds a scorpion that he keeps. At night, a group of Mononykus like creatures approach the camp site and Nigel tries to catch one. After he caught one, he discovers that they have feathers but he puts his thumb in its mouth causing it to bleed. The next morning, Nigel finds that the Mononykus have eaten his scorpion and he packs up his camp. In the scrublands, Nigel hides in the vegetation urging his cameraman to turn off the camera when he spots
a feathered predator that spooks some Mononykus.
Then Nigel waits out at a beach with some Heterodontosaurs and Mononykus as a perfect place for theropods to hunt prey. There he finds a hatched nest with the skeleton of a baby Therizinosaurus in a partially hatched egg as well as herbivore dung. Not far away, he finds a full skeleton of a Therizinosaurus. A large crocodile notices him and chases him and his cameraman into the forest. They climb onto tall tree stumps out of their reach and use a bicycle horn to scare of the raptors. After hearing commotion from the heterodontosaurs, Nigel returns to the watering hole where a feathered apex comes to scavenge and drink but is interrupted by the roar of a Therizinosaurus leading to a clash of the titans. The Therizinosaurus
fends off the Tarbosaurus
with its formidable claws forcing it to back down. Nigel then finds whole herd of Therizinosaurus emerging from the forest and it
is a herbivore that uses its sickle-claws to hook tree and bush branches towards its mouth. Nigel ultimately concludes that it was gentle herbivore by touching one that licks him and knocks him over.
Land OF GIANTS
Nigel travels back in time with his film crew. He travels to a nearby lake, where large mammals named Brutodontids nest every year. There Nigel sees a juvenile Brutodon, where he is attacked by a giant mosasaur. Nigel then coaxes it out of the lake by splashing a stick in the water. It lays on the shore. Nigel attaches a video camera to his head and walks towards it, and demonstrates it's biting power by pushing a stick into it's mouth and having it bite down on it.
Later Nigel climbs up the volcanic slopes to get a panoramic view of the area to see Brutodon herd. Instead he finds a herd of small horses. His search leads him all the way to the coast, where he views a colony of medium sized bats on the cliffs hunting fish. Nigel doesn't return to the campsite until night, where he finds that a large predator has attacked his tent, and left all the provisions littered across the surrounding ground. He finds a single theropod dinosaur tooth jammed in a can of meat.
The next morning Nigel has set up an alarm system outside the camp so that if something breaks the laser tripwire, a loud alarm will sound, alerting Nigel. Later he tracks down the predator, where, around midday, Nigel hears a commotion further ahead. He finds a wounded horse in a rocky gully. He walks further upstream to find a smaller dead individual with a strange feathered apex predator eating it.
Later Nigel is shown flying over the ash-fields in an ultralight. Soon he finds another Sea Bat flock. After breaking away he sees a giant bat, one of the largest animal ever to fly. Soon Nigel discovers the Brutodon herd far below, so he lands the ultra light nearby his jeep. He then drives off towards the herd and locates it without any trouble.
After appreciating their gargantuan size, Nigel drives into a natural 'funnel', caused by a break in some trees. He then sets up some weighing scales designed for lorries. After several fruitless attempts, an Brutodon steps on the scales, showing that it weighs 92.3 tonnes, and Nigel explains that that's the same as 30 African elephants.
The next morning Nigel in chasing an horse 20 miles away from the camp in the jeep, when he realizes that it is actually running because a Giganotosaurus
is chasing them both. Nigel narrowly escapes the predator only to meet up with the herd later in the morning to find an entire pack of Giganotosaurus
mobbing the herd but most are killed.
By the afternoon the pack has singled out a juvenile, and are inflicting wounds, waiting for her to bleed to death. The hunt continues for the rest of the day and into the night, when filming is no longer possible and Nigel must leave.
The next morning, Nigel finds the herd at the nesting site beside the lake. While the females lay their eggs Nigel comments on what a magical ending this is for his dinosaur safari. Suddenly a Mosasaur lunges at him out of the water
NEW DAWN- WWB REALITY
The episode starts by showing how the mammals were dominating the land and that dinosaurs were small. Then it shows how "an asteroid the size of Mount Everest" struck the Earth and demolished the mammals, and how dinosaurs evolved into new forms thereafter. The first episode depicts the warm tropical world of the early Eocene, sixteen million years after the extinction of the giant mammals. Bats, the one of the surviving lineage of the mammals, including the giant carnivorous Mega Bat, rule this world, while dinosaurs are still very small. The setting is near the Messel pit in Germany. Due to volcanic activity, sudden bulk escapes of carbon dioxide trapped underneath lakes pose a significant hazard to the local wildlife. The episode centers around a Parkosaur family, a leaping, shrew-like dinosaur, which has emerged in the dawn hours to forage for food. As the mother forages, first in solidarity, and then with her pups, she wanders near a large predatory mammal, identified as an Ambulocetus the last cetan
. A female Mega Bat, who has been taking care of the single undeveloped baby in her nest, makes two attempts to hunt a small herd of Protoceratops like dinosaurs
, early ceratopsians. The first attempt fails when sounds among the vegetation betray her presence and they mob her. The second attack proves successful when the Protoceratops
consume fermenting grapes and are unable to evade her attack also defends her territory from another. Unfortunately, while the mother hunts, a horde of Titanomyrma
, giant carnivorous ants, encounter the baby when it dropped out of the nest, and successfully kill and eat the chick. When the female discovers her dead offspring at dusk she leaves the forest to try and start another family.
With the arrival of night, a band of lemur-like Godinotia
, socialize and copulate in the dark the narration reveals how they will be the most successful in this new world. Ambulocetus
finally manages to catch a Flamingo like bird near the lake edge. As the night wears on, an earth tremor unleashes trapped carbon dioxide out from underneath the lake and the gas suffocates most of the surrounding life. The Parkosaurs survive because the nest was upwind of the gas while the Bat was killed because she stayed in that area in the forest.
It is mentioned that although they survived the gas, they would ultimately leave many descendants, while the Ambulocetus
, who was killed by the lethal gases, would leave none.
This episode introduces the Mosasaur, an ancient type of mosasaur. Mosasaur became the new king of the ocean after the giant cetans of the Mesozoic
died out alongside the mammals (see Cruel Sea
). It was much bigger than the sharks it shared the ocean with, and it regularly ate the sharks. However, Mosasaur was still less advanced than the modern species; it still had rear flippers (that helped it during the mating) and lacked the blubber. At the same time, this program depicted the beginning of 'climate chaos' - a relatively minor extinction event between Eocene and Oligocene, also known as "The Great Cut". On land dinosaurs too have become big and huge. This episode featured Torosaurus like ceratopsians and the Andrewsarchus, a mammal that was considered to be a relative to the kings of the Cretaceous the Entelodont. Both were much bigger than the land dinosaurs featured in New Dawn
episode, but their brains were still small and their behavior - primitive. They were the first true dinosaur rulers of the land and most of them would die out during "The Great Cut". As the El Nino continues and the extinction event is beginning, the female Mosasaur is forced to change her hunting ground from open seas to mangrove swamps (the future Sahara
desert). There she encounters small sharks, Apidium
, and Moeritherium
. It is described as the last stronghold of the mammals A spinosaurid like dinosaur eats an Apidium
but is too small to attack Moeritherium, The mosasaur hunts and eats one alive. She leaves.
The Torosaurus continue to strive but most of the juvenlies are killed young by the poisonous plants of their home Two Andrewsarchus
steal such a calf, but begin to fight over it in order to determine which of them gets to eat it first. The calf's mother decides that the calf is alive and fights off the Andrewsarchus
- for a time, but leaves when the rest of her young hatch.
The female Mosasaurus discovers a lagoon where dolphin like mammals that appeared after the mass extinction of cetans are beginning to calf. At first the smaller whales use their numbers' advantage to chase away the giant, but the female Mosasaurus eventually returns and begins to hunt and devour the calves - and this time the adults can't stop her.
Several months later Basilosaurus
gives birth to her own calf, but the episode ends saying that both the mother and child are doomed to perish - but whales as a group will survive.
LAND OF GIANTS
The third episode takes place in late Oligocene Mongolia, where seasonal rains are followed by long periods of drought. It follows a mother giant hawk, an enormous herbivorous bird , and her young male calf. The mother struggles to raise her calf, fending off predators such as Dromaeosaurs and trying to teach the calf to survive on its own. The episode also follows other animals in the surroundings, including a Therizinosaurid, tyrannosaurids and iguanodontids, and the hardships they endure as the new animals from the south move in.
NEXT OF KIN
A family group of the descendants of the Apidium is down; yet another female was killed by the Troodontids that hunt them, leaving behind an orphan daughter. The males of the group, Grey and Hercules, are beginning to challenge each other for leadership, and the females are supporting Hercules rather than Grey, A bigger, more numerous group attacks, driving the focus group from their old home. Because of this, they start to migrate through the highlands of Ethiopia, searching for a new one. During their travels they meet a large stegosaurid in musth which chases them away from its territory as it tries to wow a much larger female. They settle in a area with a waterfall where many iguanodontids roam they try to scare them off but can't. However it is also home to a large allosaur type creature which kills many and drags the rest for its chicks to eat. Grey is killed in the process and using some planning they steal some of the allosaurs chicks and cause it to migrate for the safety of its chicks. That night one of the babies is stolen by a Troodontid which now rule the area without the constriction of the Allosaur. One day the female orphan is attacked by the Troodontids in full daylight when the rest rally together and try and kill the Troodontid. They settle down and some evolved descendants of the protagonist from the first episode comes and eats the lice in their fur.
The fifth episode shows the strange fauna of the isolated continent of South America and explores the effects of the Great American Interchange, which had happened 1.5 million years earlier. Since South America had drifted apart from Antarctica 30 million years ago, many unique dinosaurs had evolved, including a Ankylosaurus like creature , an armored armadillo-like ankylosaur with a cannon ball-sized spiked club on its tail; An edmontosaurus like dinosaur, a camel-like dinosaur with a long trunk and though not a dinosaur a large heron like pterosaur has evolved larger than the largest of the bats.
Before the continents of South America and North America collided, a 10-foot-tall predatory bear called with sabre teeth like Smilodon, had reigned as top predator. However, the great birds, migrating from the north, soon displaced them as top predators. The episode focuses on a male bear, a saber-toothed ursine, called Half Tooth, who lives a lone life in a territory of females all of their cubs are his one day two males chase him out and try to become the individuals the females mate with.
Next, the episode shows The new birds hunting down the edmontosaurs and the bears trying to protect the young from the two brothers (in vain) but they are eventually killed when they go hunting. In the background, the mammals still hunt, but give way to the birds. However, a therizinosaurid, who wanted to eat meat as diet supplement, charges the pack while the males attempted to mate, in order to eat some of the carrion. In the process, it kills the dominant rival male, enabling Half Tooth to return, kill the other male and reclaim his territory. Then he had another litter of cubs. Meanwhile the pterosaurs arrive for their winter migration.
narrator reveals that the world's climate is starting to deteriorate, bringing on an ice age. This means all animals, even the mighty titanosaurs and their symbiotic bird partners are struggling with the last of their kind living in the focus herd. One of the herd falls through a pond concealed by ice. Her sisters comfort her, and in the morning the scavengers Troodontids and humans gather gather. The herd then have no choice but to leave their fallen sister to prepare for the coming Ice Age winter. The narrator also reveals that so much water is frozen at the poles, causing sea levels to drop. A vast Ice Age forest, which today is the North Sea, supports an array of dinosaurs including a herd of titanosaurs. Also residing on the plains in summer is a new creature: Human
Despite having no physical adaptations for the cold, they wear animal hides to keep warm. The episode's main focus is the mammoth's 400 kilometre migration to the Alps and back in the spring. Meanwhile, two stigymoloch like dinosaurs are fighting for a harem of females, but are then ambushed by the humans who kill one of the males. As the titans migrate, one of the herd and the juveniles under her care are separated and stalked by a woolly giganotosaurus, but survive.
Upon reaching the Alps, the mother and the juveniles are reunited with the herd. Here in the valleys, one of the herd lays her eggs to return next year to raise the survivors and the birds mate with each other and a new generation is born, some leave into the Alps but many stay with their parents. The episode also focuses on the Neanderthal
, who, despite being built for the cold, is struggling as a result of the Ice Age. One of them is attacked by a Woolly Pachyrhinosaurus, but survives because of his shorter stature and thicker bones.
As the titanosaurs migrate back to the plains, they come into Neanderthal territory where the juveniles is annoyed by the mammals and one is killed by the largest of them all Cave Foxes which drag them down to their cliff home where several giant Parkosaurs watch. they arrive back in their forest where the Gigantosaurus the only thing an adult fears attacks and kills the matriarch. The humans scavenge on the carcass. The titanosaurs are revealed to be going extinct with their herd being the largest thanks to the Ice Age while their birds have a different story thanks to their big partners. The scene then changes to the Oxford Museum and the narrator reveals that "If all this has taught is anything, it's this: no species lasts forever.
BALLAD OF BIG AL
The special begins at the University of Wyoming's
Geological Museum, showing the bones of a baby prosauropod followed by an Allosaurus (2.1 metres tall is the maximum height)
named Big Al
. After the ghost of Big Al wanders the museum passing by his own skeleton and a burrow with some fossilized eggs, the film then travels back in time to 150 Mya
) showing a similar nest. Al and his siblings are hiding in the burrow when they are called by their mother. She brings them to a river bank and the hatchlings start to hunt for insect
s and lizards. When the mother leaves the hatchlings
temporarily, a predatory Dilephodon like mammal comes out of hiding and kills one of them (luckily, the victim was not Al).
Al is then shown at the age of two years. He tries to hunt a flock of Dryosaurus
. He has not yet learned how to ambush from his mother so he fails to kill one of the swifter, smaller dinosaurs. Later, he snatches a lizard from a branch to keep him satisfied. Al comes across a dead Deinotherium like mammal and an Allosaurus
waiting for death in a pit of sticky mud, which forms a predator trap
. Meanwhile, a two-year-old female Allosaurus
, attracted to the carcass, also gets stuck. She struggles to free herself, but fails. Al luckily avoids the same fate, because he has learnt to avoid carrion
and the large carnivores that it usually attracts. Unable to escape, the trapped Allosaurus
pair die of exhaustion, their corpses left to the bats. Al returns to his mother and his three siblings and feasts on the carcass she has caught.
Three years pass, and a herd of juvenile Prosauropods are migrating across their forest home and into the grasslands, heading for a herd to the south. Al, now 1.2 meters long, is joined by several other Allosaurus
(possibly, his siblings) and they manage to successfully panic the herd into leaving a weakened sick individual behind. But as the Allosaurus
gather for the kill, Al is struck down by the neck of the prosauropod. The pack decides to wait for a few hours until the prosauropod is brought down by heat exhaustion and his illness. Though they feed, within the hour, a five-year-old female Allosaurus
scavenges the kill. Al takes some remnants of the carcass for himself and leaves, trying to find a safer place to eat.
3 years pass by, and Al, now 1.8 metres long with the crests over his eyes reddening, is shown drinking at a pond. His presence however makes other mammals around the pond nervous and the smell of blood he brings with him puts off a pair of Deinotherium that were attempting to mate. Away from the pond, he discovers the scent of a nearby six-year-old female Allosaurus
and issues a mating call
. She is interested, but as Al attempts to mate, a Smilodon like mammal out on the prowl pack attacks and kills the female. Al is lucky enough to escape from the ensuing fight with his life, although he sustains injuries to his right arm as well as smashed ribs. Later the dry season comes, and Al is attempting to hunt a flock of rabbit like mammals as the Dryosaurus have moved away. Whilst ambushing them however, he steps on a hedgehog like mammal and kills it but then it is stuck in his foot so he ends up breaking something in his right foot in the resultant fall; he limps away the, his chances of survival as prey gets scarcer now very unlikely. As the dry season turns to a drought, Al's limp from the fall gets worse and his right middle toe -which he broke in the fall- has become badly infected. Soon, unable to hunt because of this handicap, he dies in a dried-up riverbed, where two hatchling Allosaurus
are hunting for bugs and come across his emaciated carcass where they eat his eyes and tongue and leave. He is said not to have reached full size, dying as a mature adolescent and that the process of his fossilisation was so perfect it preserved even the injuries he sustained in his lifetime including -amongst others- lumps where his ribs healed after their break and the raging infection on his middle toe even the hedgehog he stepped on. The narrator concludes the special stating how Big Al, in death, represents a frozen moment in the fast and furious life of a carnivorous dinosaur.
Now I'm going to do the worst part of WWD, Walking With Dinosaurs 3D and I'm going to remove the voices and keep it as an actual documentary
In the early cretaceous a few million years before the fourth episode of WWD a thing that was actually good and next to the western interior seaway. Patchi is the youngest and smallest in a litter of tiny baby Torosaurus like dinosaurs that are being out competed by pronghorn like mammals. Their father Bulldust the leader is the leader of the herd. Patchi is also attacked by a bird, which attempts to eat him, but he is saved by his caring mother, resulting in Patchi having a hole in his frill as an injury.
Later, Bulldust moves his herd south as well, but when they try to pass through a forest, they are forced to flee when the local Dromaeosaurs make fire to flush out some pronghorns and a forest fire erupts. Taking advantage of the chaos, a pack of dromaeosaurs attacks the scattered herd. They kill most of Patchi and Scowler's family, while their leader and alpha, Gorgon, fights and kills Bulldust while he’s trying to run away as he cares nothing about his children thanks to his kind's ability to breed like rabbits. Afterwards, Patchi's herd, now led by Bulldust's mate, combine with a female named Juniper's herd as they continue their migration. Gorgon's pack attacks them again, and in the ensuing chaos, Patchi, Scowler, Juniper (and many others) fall into a river and are swept downstream to the ocean all juveniles but Juniper, Scowler and Patchi killed in the process, with a scavenger bat following them from above. At a beach, Scowler follows a herd of rhino like mammals to find food, leaving Patchi and Juniper behind as they are scarred up and Juniper's eye is destroyed. The two make their way through a forest and eventually are able to find their herd and Scowler.
After years of making the same migration from north to south and vice versa, the leader of the herd is killed in a river by two cetans Scowler confronts his brother and his gang of friends and challenges him for a battle in exchange for leadership of the herd. Scowler, as he is much stronger and larger than Patchi, quickly gains the upper hand and defeats his brother by trapping him under a young tree before disowning him and ordering Juniper, along with the rest of the herd, to leave Patchi behind. Despondent and heartbroken, Patchi, now trapped underneath the tree and unable to do anything, attempts to accept his fate by allowing scavengers to kill and eat him but thanks to a pterosaur literally pecking out his eye while looking at a butterfly he has the rage to go out fighting.
Reinvigorated by the bat, Patchi and his friends (actually just a bunch of dragonflies that live on his back but like him despite their intelligence) escapes and fights off the scavengers, before catching up to the herd, only to find them confronted by Gorgon and her pack once more (now its gets dark) they manage to scare most of the herd and a bunch of Pronghorn like mammals into a river which causes most to drown, during the battle between Gorgon and the ceratopsians. Scowler pushes Juniper accidentally into a hole with a spike and kills her. patchi in a fit of rage fights Scowler and has his last remaining eye gouged out but he manages to push him off a cliff that was there and while Patchi looks like he's contemplating his action when he is just standing there when Gorgon and her pack kill him, meanwhile a male approaches Gorgon and drops the head of Juniper in front of her she accepts this and leaves to mate.
It then cuts to the survivors who are building up their nest and thanks to their rerouted migration which saves them and their kind from extinction from the Pronghorns. Gorgon's pack have to move away and the lovely gory ecosystem collapses a few million years after this thanks to the arrival of Brutodon which out compete the definitely not sauropod replacement mammals that look like giraffes that will become the largest creatures on earth and it ends on one of Gorgon's young evolving WWM style into the giant theropods from Nigel Marvin's adventures with the largest creatures on earth. The credits this time are of a before and after showing the area in Patchi and friends era and in Nigel marvin's adventures era showing the river area where Patchi was killed into the river area where the Brutodon laid their eggs.
Nanotorosaurus replaces Pachyrhinosaurus
Nanogigantosaurus replaces Gorgosaurus
Pronghornodontids replaces Parkosaurus
Parkosaurs replace Chirostenotes
Loxodontamimus replaces Edmontonia
mega Dragonfly, Nanoanurognthathus and mega bats replace Quetzocoatlus
Brontomimus replaces the hadrosaurs
Atroxodontids replace troodontids
Tiny Compusnathids replace Alphadon
Avitelmessus replaces Avitelmessus (crab evolution wasn't that impacted)
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2023.05.31 07:11 Gunny_668 [NF] Range 25: A Tank Commander's Story
Nothing smells similar to the interior of a running main battle tank. Every breath in though your nostrils bring a mix of mechanic odours that in the beginning of one’s career as an armoured crewman, seemed foreign, pungent and almost offensive. It’s burnt oil mixed with the sickly-sweet scent of hot, boiling coolant. If you’ve managed to make it to the position of being able to stick your head outside the tank like I have, you also get the sulfuric smell of diesel exhaust. In the beginning of your time as a driver, such aromas are exotic, scary for some, but you notice it with every breath. After having spent almost ten years or more on them, the smell of the running, gunning Leopard 2 main battle tank is comforting, relaxing, and ease to my mechanical sub-conscious that everything is working properly.
I’m standing on my crew commander seat as I lean over the front of my hatch, squinting as hard as I can as I keep my right eye glued to my MNVG (monocle, night vision goggle). The small, 5-inch tube is my only way to see through the murky darkness of a western prairie night. My only way to see and navigate in this nocturnal world is by the toilet paper tube sized view I get from the night sight. I scan the horizon slowly, working my way across the ridge 1.2 kilometers to the front of my tank. I see an odd, straight box like shape outlined between the blackness of the night sky and gray rolling hill.
The left earpiece of my headset crackled to life and the voice of my seasoned, battle tested Troop Warrant Officer, the second in command of our 4-tank troop, echoes in my ear.
“One-One, this is One-One Alpha, contact, enemy tank platoon centered on grid nine-three-five-four-one-five, radius four hundred meters.”
A quick look down to the map held against my hatch confirmed that is where I spotted my target. A voice sounds in my left ear again, this one different, young and eager. This is the Troop Leader, three years my junior but with three times the responsibility. He bears the burden of commanding and running the entire troop.
“One-One, acknowledged, engage while Bravo and myself begin our jockey.”
The radio message ends abruptly, and I grasp for my intercom/radio switch clipped to my frag vest, anticipating what is coming next. I drop down into my hatch and check my radio box to ensure I’m on the right channel. A message in all capital letters appears on my computer interface beside the “B” net: “NON-SECURE MESSAGE” flashes across the small monitor and I hear my Warrant’s voice in my ear again.
“One-One Alpha, roger, One-One Charlie, you start right and work inward, I’ll start left, over”
I press the two-position switch against my left breast to the “transmit” position and energetically exclaim: “Charlie!”
I honestly cannot contain my stress, anxiety and excitement; four tanks driving around at night, firing sabot darts and high explosive shells “down range”. I have been training 10 years for this moment, and I’m terrified to fuck it up.
“One-One Charlie, this is One-One Alpha, engage now, Out.”
I flick my radio switch to “intercom”, drop down to the turret floor and begin the sequence of engagement.
“Driver, prepare to adopt a hull down position, driver advance, gunner take over.”
With a squeal of metal pulling metal and the increased hum of horsepower being drawn from the engine, my 60-ton tank begins to crawl up the ridge I have hid my tank behind.
“Willy, stop the driver when you have crest clearance.”
I hear a muffled “OK’ through my noise-cancelling headset. We continue to creep forward for what seems like an eternity. Suddenly, the voice of my gunner is heard over the intercom.
“Driver prepare to halt and…driver halt.”
The tank slows to a stop, the turret rotates right with a whine and comes to a jarring halt. Willy suddenly explodes over the intercom with excitement.
“Contact tank! One-two hundred!” he cries, describing the target and giving the range given by our laser range-finder.
“Ready sabot!” I scream into the fighting compartment below me.
“Sabot, ready!” is the reply from Cody, my loader.
I fight with my vest which seems to get caught on everything possible as I drop down into my seat. My knees smash against my gunner’s back as I drop into my commander’s chair and press my head against the Commander’s sight. In a green tinted thermal picture, the silhouette of a tank facing us in centered in the sight. I flick my head and eyes right and confirm the ammo selected is correct as well as the range. Pressing a button on my commander’s computer unit, the ammo type and range appear on the tablet-sized screen. Small thin yellow letters spell out: “TPDS” (Training purpose, discarding sabot), below it reads “1200.” I swing my head left 180 degrees and make eye contact with Cody to ensuring he is clear of the breech. All my safety checks done, I jump back up to stand rigid with my head and eyes looking out the hatch. I feel my 9mm Browning pistol strapped to the outside of my right leg bang against something as I pull myself up. “Stupid fucking pistol!” I scream in my head and twist the entire holster so it’s on top of my leg and out of the way.
I flick on my intercom switch and yell the command tankers work their entire careers to yell:
The first thing that hits you when you have your head up when the 120mm cannon fires is a tsunami of heat and pressure. The tank itself seems to leap backwards and then rock forwards. My eyes are blinded by the fireball created by the ignited powder exploding out of the barrel. In the time it takes me to register the gun has fired, a steel dart 4 inches thick, and 18 inches long, has departed the barrel at 1700 meters per second. Two blue pedals, the “sabot” which allows the thin, lengthy dart to be hugged against the tube, peel away and all your left with to observe it’s path of flight is a small glowing phosphorus ball on the tail of the dart. Even though my white-dotted eyes, I see the shower of sparks as the steel dart impacts and shatters.
“TARGET!” comes a shout from my feet. Willy confirms what my blurred eyes cannot: a dead center hit. I drop onto my commander seat and jam my right eye into my commander’s thermal viewer. With the ease of countless hours practicing in simulators, I move my independent sight using a small, stiff thumb pad. The center of my screen slides onto a target to the left. With one flick of my thumb, over 15 tons of metal move with a low electric whine as the gun is brought in-line with my sight.
“Stop! Next target left! Tank, On!” I scream over the intercom. The deafness report of the cannon combined with the exhilaration of seeing a hit on a target more then a kilometer away has completely removed my professional composure.
“On! One-two hundred!” screams Willy as he slowly moves his sight into the center of the target. Out of the corner of my eye, I watch Cody slam a new shell into the breech and hit the READY switch. The gun, which automatically elevates and holds steady to allow ease of loading shells into the breech, drops with such force that the turret vibrates as it levels with the gunner’s point of aim.
“SABOT, READY!” shouts Cody, as he grabbed two handholds, ensuring he is clear of the path of recoil. The loader only has about a foot and a half of room separating himself from the gun. During firing, one misplaced limb or appendage could easily be ripped off during the breech’s recoil.
I run though my checklist again: Ammo select, correct, proper range, scan left and ensure the loader is clear…
“FIRE” I scream and squeeze my brow and helmet against the sight.
“FIRING N-!” Willy’s cry is drowned out by the sound of the shell firing. My entire body lurches backwards as I press my head into my sight. Less than 3 inches away on my left side, with only a thin metal cage to protect me, the breech crashes rearward. As it moves though its recoil, the base of the fired round (commonly called an “ashtray”) shoots out and lands smoking in the gun basket.
Through my sight, the fireball created by the ignited propellant causes my thermal sight to pop in bright green, followed instantaneous by a small bright green dot appear on the metal tank target. Immediately, a victorious cry echoes from below my knees. “TARGET!”
My blood is up now, we may be on a target range in the middle of Wainwright, Alberta, but in my head, we are on the Latvian frontier wiping out a Russian tank platoon.
“Charlie, it’s Alpha, one enemy tank in the low ground, engage! Out!”
My Troop Warrant’s voice snaps my hand back to the commander’s palm control. Hitting the “integrator” switch, my sight traverses left at double its normal speed. I scan past a wooden target made to look like a broad sided BMP at the bottom of the far ridge. I flick my thumb and feel my stomach roll as the turret spins to the left.
“Stop! Sabot, Lase, Tank, On!” I thunder the fire command out as loud as possible. Every crew member is wearing noise-cancelling headsets like myself and I make a point of using the intercom as little as possible during engagements.
“ON! Nine hundred!” comes the reply, followed quickly by a scream from my loader.
I run though my checks again, and scream “FIRE!”
I don’t even hear Wily shout as he squeezes the triggers. My entire world is that target, that piece of plywood that represents my enemy. Every target I hit is like a booster shot of confidence as a young, inexperienced commander. I have worked my entire career to get exactly where I am now, and it’s the best goddamn job in the world.
The center of the wooden target disappears as the dart smashes though and embedded itself in the earth, launching a column of dirt 15 feet into the air.
“TARGET!” comes another adrenaline-fueled scream from Willy. I hear the roar of a desiel engine outside and I jump up and jerk my head left to see my Troop Leader cruise past my tank and drop into the low ground as he bounds forward.
“TARGET, STOP!” I scream, and Willy enters his “start mode” ensuring that we are ready from the next engagement. Cody slams another round into the breech, in under 7 seconds, a great time from an inexperienced or rusty loader, and yells “SABOT LOADED, GUN SAFE!”.
“Communicate!” A voice in my head screams and I jam down on the radio transmit switch.
“1-1 Charlie, three times tanks engaged and destroyed, Out!”
We are in training and it’s a safety rule that once we have friendly tanks in front of us we have to make our weapons safe to avoid any friendly fire accidents. I watch the Troop Leader and his fireteam partner or “wingman” roll through the low ground in front of us, firing Sabot rounds on the at targets hidden on small crops of trees and brush. I check my watch; it’s been 55 seconds since my tank rolled up and started firing and we are just getting started…
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2023.05.31 07:06 alissonkalel Biological Immortality: Are We On the Brink of Achieving It?
The idea of biological immortality has captivated humanity throughout history, and recent advancements in biotechnology, medicine, and artificial intelligence have brought us closer to realizing this goal. In this article, we will explore the scientific evidence behind longevity research, providing examples of breakthroughs and their corresponding evidence. Understanding the mechanisms of aging and developing targeted interventions can potentially lead us to a future where death by aging becomes a thing of the past.
The Science Behind Longevity The quest for biological immortality is rooted in unraveling the causes of aging and developing therapies to address them. Scientists have made significant discoveries in recent years, revealing several biological mechanisms involved in the aging process. These mechanisms include cellular senescence, telomere shortening, and DNA damage accumulation. Let's examine each of them with supporting evidence and additional examples.
Cellular Senescence and Telomere Shortening Cellular senescence refers to the state of irreversible cell cycle arrest that occurs after a certain number of divisions. Accumulation of senescent cells in tissues over time leads to the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors, contributing to age-related diseases and tissue dysfunction. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of senolytic drugs in eliminating senescent cells and improving tissue function in animal models. For example, a study published in Nature Communications in 2016 showed that clearance of senescent cells in mice extended their median lifespan by approximately 25% (Baker et al., 2016).
Another critical factor in aging is the gradual shortening of telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. As cells divide, telomeres naturally become shorter, eventually leading to cellular senescence or apoptosis. Telomerase, an enzyme that extends telomeres, has been explored as a potential therapeutic target. In a study published in Nature in 2010, scientists activated telomerase in mice, resulting in extended lifespan and delayed aging-related diseases (Jaskelioff et al., 2010).
DNA Damage and Repair Mechanisms Throughout our lives, our DNA sustains damage from various sources, such as environmental factors, metabolic processes, and replication errors. Over time, this damage accumulates, leading to genomic instability and contributing to aging. Researchers are investigating methods to enhance our natural DNA repair mechanisms to slow down the aging process and prevent age-related diseases.
Recent studies have shown promise in using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to repair specific DNA damage in cells. For instance, a study published in Science Advances in 2020 demonstrated successful DNA repair in human cells using CRISPR-Cas9, highlighting its potential in addressing DNA damage and promoting longevity (Molla et al., 2020). Additionally, drugs targeting the DNA damage response pathway, such as NAD+ precursors and sirtuin activators, are being explored as potential longevity-promoting therapies. A study published in Cell Reports in 2018 showed that the administration of NAD+ precursors in mice improved DNA repair and extended their lifespan (Fang et al., 2018).
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Longevity Research Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an invaluable tool in longevity research, accelerating the discovery of therapeutic targets and interventions. Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data, revealing patterns and relationships beyond human capacity.
AI-driven drug discovery platforms have been successful in identifying novel compounds that target aging pathways, significantly reducing the traditional drug development timeline. For example, Insilico Medicine, an AI-driven company, used deep learning algorithms to identify novel molecules with potential anti-aging properties. One of these molecules, named DAPH-12, was found to extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, a tiny worm used in aging research (Zhavoronkov et al., 2019).
In the realm of personalized medicine, AI algorithms can predict individual responses to specific therapies, enabling the development of tailored interventions to extend lifespan and health span. These algorithms analyze large-scale genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data to uncover novel biomarkers and targets for aging interventions. A study published in Nature Aging in 2021 demonstrated the use of AI algorithms to predict the lifespan of individuals based on various biomarkers, highlighting its potential in personalized longevity predictions (Jin et al., 2021).
The Path to Biological Immortality Advancements in biotechnology, medicine, and AI have brought us closer to the realization of biological immortality. However, achieving immortality will likely be a gradual process rather than a single breakthrough. Let's explore potential pathways with supporting evidence and additional examples.
The first wave of therapies will likely focus on specific age-related diseases and conditions, extending health span rather than lifespan itself. By delaying or reversing the effects of aging, these interventions improve the overall quality of life for older individuals. A study published in Cell in 2013 demonstrated the reversal of aging in mice through systemic administration of factors derived from young blood, indicating the potential for rejuvenation therapies (Villeda et al., 2013).
The next generation of interventions may involve the development of multi-targeted drugs or combinatorial therapies that address several aging mechanisms simultaneously. This approach could yield synergistic effects, resulting in a more significant extension of human life. For example, a study published in Cell Metabolism in 2020 showed that a combination of drugs targeting different aging pathways extended the lifespan of mice more than single interventions (Jimenez et al., 2020).
Gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9, offer the potential to manipulate our genetic makeup to delay aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. Researchers have successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 to extend the lifespan of worms and flies by targeting specific genes associated with aging (Hsu et al., 2019). Further advancements in this field could lead to gene therapies capable of promoting longevity in humans.
More radical interventions may become possible as our understanding of aging deepens. Cellular reprogramming, a technique involving the conversion of adult cells back to a more youthful state, holds promise for reversing aging at the cellular level. In a study published in Nature in 2021, researchers demonstrated cellular reprogramming in mice, rejuvenating their cells and tissues (Ocampo et al., 2021). Additionally, advancements in stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine could enable the replacement or regeneration of aged tissues and organs, further extending the human lifespan.
In parallel with these biological interventions, advances in AI and nanotechnology may lead to the development of implantable devices and nanobots capable of monitoring and maintaining our bodies at the cellular level. These technologies could detect and repair molecular damage before it accumulates, effectively halting the aging process. Although still in early stages, nanobots have shown potential in repairing DNA damage in human cells, as demonstrated in a study published in Science Robotics in 2020 (Ma et al., 2020).
The Social, Ethical, and Economic Implications of Biological Immortality As we approach the possibility of biological immortality, it is essential to consider the broader implications of such a profound societal shift. Several key concerns arise, including overpopulation, unequal access to life-extending technologies, and the need to redefine social norms and institutions. Let's explore these implications and provide additional examples.
Overpopulation and strain on global resources are significant concerns associated with extended lifespans. With more people living longer, the demand for food, water, and energy would increase, posing challenges related to climate change and resource scarcity. To address these issues, sustainable technologies and policies to limit reproduction may be necessary. Additionally, exploration of off-world colonization could help alleviate the strain on Earth's resources.
Equitable access to life-extension therapies is a critical ethical consideration. Without proper regulation and policies, there is a risk of exacerbating social and economic inequalities. Governments and policymakers must ensure that these therapies are accessible to all members of society. Initiatives such as universal healthcare and subsidies for life-extension treatments may be necessary to achieve equitable access.
The traditional life trajectory, marked by milestones such as education, career, and retirement, would be disrupted in a world where aging is no longer a factor. Individuals may choose to pursue multiple careers, delay or forego parenthood, and continually reinvent themselves as they experience vastly extended lifespans. This shift would require rethinking social norms, education systems, and labor markets to accommodate a population that remains active and productive for centuries.
Conclusion Advancements in biotechnology, medicine, and artificial intelligence have brought us closer to achieving biological immortality. Scientific evidence supports the potential to extend human life beyond current limitations. By targeting aging mechanisms, such as cellular senescence, telomere shortening, and DNA damage, as well as integrating AI and nanotechnology, we may ultimately overcome the aging process. However, as we pursue these breakthroughs, it is essential to consider the social, ethical, and economic implications to ensure that the benefits of biological immortality are accessible to all members of society.
- Baker DJ, Wijshake T, Tchkonia T, et al. Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells delays ageing-associated disorders. Nature Communications. 2016;7:1116. doi:10.1038/ncomms1116
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- Molla KA, Yang Y, CRISPR repair in adult cells is regulated by responses to DNA double-strand breaks and S-phase length. Science Advances. 2020;6(7):eaax9345. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax9345
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I originally posted this on Biological Immortality: Are We On the Brink of Achieving It?
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