Bitcoin Chaos Continues As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ...

Just no Stepmom: My neverending nightmare.

My stepmother came into my life when I was 14. I'm 25 now. I recall very vividly what her first words were to me:
"You're fucking my husband."
My jaw dropped. I was so shocked that I didn't react as my father embarrassingly pulled her away.
Let's start off by saying she is incredibly mentally unstable. She manages extreme bipolarity accompanied with violent schizophrenia that gets triggered by alcohol - And yes, she does have an alcohol problem. Additionally, she lies compulsively and is extremely impulsive in general.
I'm not new to Schizophrenics in my family, my uncle is one that unfortunately is hardly functional, so I know the disorder can be tremendously difficult.
Generally, (not always) she is alright as long as there is no alcohol involved. However, as soon as she takes a drink? Cue panic attacks from me as she berates, tries to beat my father, insults me, and has tried acting violently towards myself and my boyfriend.
I have many stories.
Like the time she nearly got us kicked out of a restaurant because she began to berate and scream at customers and the waitstaff, who refused to serve her alcohol. I had to pay for our meal as they ushered her out the door.
Or the time she kicked us out of a house we rented in the middle of nowhere and was beating up my father and screaming so loud, the cops were called.
Or the multiple times she screams and cries in my shoulder (and then berates me, my father, and my boyfriend) because she drinks in public.
While drunk and in public she has said many things, but not limited to:
-"I'm Stalin's right hand." (She's a Uruguayan woman)
Among other white lies.
Boyfriend and I made it a rule that we would no longer go out with her if alchohol is involved. But every time we go out, she tries to sneak in a bottle of wine or two and continues her same behavior.
My boyfriend and I no longer want a relationship with her, but we have to be on "good terms" because my father needs this.
I don't know why they haven't divorced.
Last night, I complained on facebook about some dick who claimed I was a fake profile. Stepmother chimes in with "Stop saying these things to pretend to be pretty, it's not like you're Cindy Crawford or something"
Wtf??? This is with her KNOWING I've struggled with insecurity and body dysmorphia all my life.
She then called me, pretending to be concerned because "everyone in the comments clearly is insulting and laughing at you"
When I asked he what comment she was referring to, she brushed me off.
Anyway, this episode triggered a panic attack so intense my boyfriend had to hide my anxiety meds from me.
My father insists that we "need to get along" and while I get that for his sake, I'm tired of suffering so much under her whim. She also often pretends she has a relationship with my estranged mother to trigger my abuse PTSD and exert control over me.
And if I take my distance, she flips the fuck out and tries to turn my entire family against me (who are already unreliable).
When she's good, she's great, but I don't think I can put up with these tantrums much longer. I want a relationship with my dad, but if she's around, it's often at the cost of my mental health.
I love her, too, but I know she's terrible for me.
I don't even know if I want her in my wedding, as she'd be a glass away from berating my boyfriend and I.
submitted by DumbedDownDinosaur to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]

A List of Sidehustle Ideas from SidehustleSchool.Com

Source: https://www.sidehustleschool.com/
[More ideas in the comments below too.]
...
  1. "Cheap Plane Tickets" Site Becomes Million-Dollar Hustle ...
  2. $10,000 Side Hustle Helps Musician Land Full-Time Job ...
  3. 13-Year-Old Australian Creates Schoolyard Lollipop Fortune ...
  4. 23-Year-Old College Student Uses “Sweatcoin” App to Earn ...
  5. 3D Printing Brings Cosplay Into 21st Century
  6. A Life of Travel Leads to a House-Designing Hustle
  7. A Packed Closet Leads to Secondhand Subscription Boxes ...
  8. Academic Advisor Creates Profitable Karaoke League
  9. Accidental Side Hustle Becomes Decorative Family Business ...
  10. Accountant Earns $233751 Reselling Items He Buys at Walmart
  11. Acrobatic Mom Jumps Through Hoops to Become High-flying ...
  12. Active “Type 1” Lifestyle Inspires Sticky, Successful Side Hustle
  13. Actress Becomes Organizational Director of Organization ...
  14. Aerospace Apprentice Soars to Seven-Figure Sales Heights ...
  15. Alcohol Fueled Idea Sells Over 1500 Shirts in Less Than a Year
  16. An Everyday Bag That Gives Back to Women in India
  17. Art Teacher Draws Her Way Into Ceramic Shop
  18. Artistic Cartographer Maps Out Successful Side Hustle
  19. Artistic Duo Sells 8000 T-Shirts in One Year
  20. Aussie Engineer Moves to Farm, Earns Passive Income
  21. Aussie Stretches Out with Online Store for Tall Women
  22. Aussie Student Starts Million-Dollar Bikini Biz
  23. Australian Hacker Creates Passive Income Anatomy Course ...
  24. Auto Employee Earns $100,000 Selling Stickers on Instagram ...
  25. Avid Travelers Turn Finding Deals Into Vacation Planning ...
  26. Bargain Hunter Designs One-of-a-Kind Flea Market
  27. Bartender Brews Up Brewpub Tour Biz
  28. Bass Player Starts BassLayerz Clothing Hustle
  29. Bean-Lover Grinds Way To $4,000/Month Family Coffee ...
  30. Bearded Man Grows $500 A Month Grooming Business
  31. Bearded Man from Finland Cashes In on Holiday Cheer
  32. Beekeepers Build Buzzing Backyard Business
  33. Birds of a Feather Flock to Your Bank Account
  34. Bitcoin YouTuber Earns Thousands in Affiliate Commissions ...
  35. Blogger Earns $140,000 from Beta Phase of Online Course ...
  36. Blogger Turns Leftover Cherries Into $5,000/Month Income ...
  37. Boy Scout Merit Badge Leads to Leatherworking Lifestyle ...
  38. Bring Your Own Cannabis to this “420-Friendly” Painting Class
  39. British Pub Manager Bakes Pork Pies for Profit
  40. Brooklyn Photographer Gets Paid to Throw Confetti at People ...
  41. Business Students Make $125,000 Selling Headphone ...
  42. Busy Marketing Professional Fills Niche with Biking Wine Tours
  43. CLASSROOM: Four Ways to Identify Moneymaking Ideas ...
  44. CLASSROOM: Goals, Agenda, and Your First Assignment ...
  45. Call Center Employee Uses Patreon to Fund LGBTQ Podcasts ...
  46. Canadian Moms Invent Baby Monitors for Active Toddlers ...
  47. Canadian Sports Enthusiast Earns $1,000/Month Selling ...
  48. Car Enthusiast Races Towards Reselling Success
  49. Cat Lover Creates Cat-tivating Portrait Series
  50. Catholic Designer Creates Stylish Apparel Line
  51. Childhood Game Master Earns $1 Million from Nerdy ...
  52. Coffee for Firefighters Brings the Heat!
  53. College Ministry Leader Starts Digital Agency
  54. Colorado Nutritionist Reworks Role to Get Paid Twice
  55. Comic Book Curator Creates Custom Crate Subscription ...
  56. Continuing Education Directory Earns Six Figures
  57. Copywriter Carves 140 Characters into $50,000 in Cash
  58. Corporate Employee Makes $350,000 Selling Mosquito ...
  59. Coupon Code Site Earns Copious Profits
  60. Crafter's Shop for Dreadlock Wearers Unlocks $3,500/Month ...
  61. Creative Illustrator Creates Creative Podcast for Creatives ...
  62. Curated Gift Boxes for Breakups and Baby Bumps
  63. Data Geek Charts Course From Analyst to Author
  64. Data Scientist Turns Teaching Frustrations Into Recurring ...
  65. Designer Earns Extra $5000/Month Posting Logos on Instagram
  66. Designer Illustrates Success with Personalized Wedding ...
  67. Designer Performs Magic, Turns Dream Into Reality
  68. Designer Turns Bad Parking Into $25,000 Per Year
  69. Detroit Women Make Jewelry for Profit and Social Good
  70. Digital Camera Blogger Snaps Into Passive Income
  71. Distracted Coach Creates Accountability Software
  72. Dog Stocking Hustle Earns Husky Payoff
  73. Dutch Personal Shopping Service for Kids Measures Up
  74. EXTENDED CUT #13: When to Let Go of Good Ideas
  75. EXTENDED CUT #14: Start a Service Business in Less Than ...
  76. EXTENDED CUT #5: How to Choose Between Multiple Ideas ...
  77. Electrical Engineer Becomes Romance Novel Cover Model ...
  78. Electrical Engineer Sells $800 Swarovski Crystal Bikinis
  79. Elementary School Teacher Pans for Gold in New Zealand ...
  80. Engineer Codes His Way To $3,700 Per Month
  81. Engineer Earns 7-Figures from “Crowd-Purchasing” Project ...
  82. Engineer Makes $64000 Selling Nerdy Playing Cards on Reddit
  83. Engineer Reprograms Herself, Finds Confidence to Start Over ...
  84. Enjoy an Ice Cold Beverage in a Mug Made from Ice
  85. Equine Lover Makes $5,000; Stables Business to Change ...
  86. Exercise App Encourages Fitness While Helping Sick Kids ...
  87. Farmer Makes “Tater Tats” for All Your Produce Tattoo Needs ...
  88. Fashion Buyer Creates Quirky Comfort Craze
  89. Father and Son Duo Produce Traveling Play
  90. Faux Taxidermy Turns Heads on Home Decor
  91. Fidget Spinner Cookie Sensation Leads to Sweet Profits
  92. Finance Guy Makes Bank With Swimsuit Line | Side Hustle ...
  93. Firefighter Uses Chainsaw for Jumbo-Sized Woodworking ...
  94. Flipping 101: The College Textbook Edition
  95. Florist & Sculpture Professor Make Presidential Lip Balm ...
  96. Foreign Correspondent Launches Career App
  97. Former NFL Player Sells Ice Shakers for $20000/Month Income
  98. Freelancer Starts New Hustle to Help Frustrated Clients
  99. Friends Foster Korean Face Mask Frenzy
  100. Friends Team Up to Deliver Compassionate Tech Support ...
  101. Friends Turn Gift Boxes into Prosperous Project
  102. Frustrated Mom Grows Hair Brush Hustle to Seven Figures ...
  103. Full-Time Mom Ships $35,000/Month in Frozen Bread on ...
  104. Gamer Levels Up Life With eBay Side Hustle
  105. German Funeral Urns Are Not a Dying Business
  106. Guitar Builder Carves Out Woodworking Moneymaker
  107. Guitar Teacher Sells Lessons on Craigslist and Makes $80/Hour
  108. Hair Salon Owner Designs Mittens for Cold Runners
  109. Hand Grippers Make for a $60,000-Strong Hustle
  110. Hand Lettering Artist Upgrades Cheesy Photo Booth Props ...
  111. Handkerchief Side Hustle Becomes Million-Dollar Blowout ...
  112. Harvard Med School Program Manager Gets Paid to Travel to ...
  113. Health Scare Inspires Adventurous Career Change
  114. High School Bootlegger Grows Up
  115. High School Teacher Spins His Way to Profits
  116. High School Teacher Turns Woodworking Hobby Into a 5 ...
  117. Honeymoon in Nepal Becomes Fashion Accessories Business
  118. Husband and Wife Team Pampers Their Way To Profit
  119. Insomniac Dreams Up Herbal Hustle
  120. Insult This! Witty Event Organizer Prepares You to Respond to ...
  121. Introvert Builds Networking Experience to Help Women
  122. Jailhouse Medic Turns House Calls Into Healthy Profits | Side ...
  123. Japanese Designer Folds Profitable Paper Wallets
  124. Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Pins Down Mobile Workout Tool
  125. Job Recruiter Helps LinkedIn Connections with Resumes ...
  126. Junk Removal Service Owner Earns $22,000 A Year From ...
  127. Kids' Books Prove To Be More Than Child's Play
  128. Kiwi Coder Makes Extra $50000/Year from Virtual Paintbrushes
  129. LA Graphic Designer Influences Influencers
  130. Lawyer Moonlights as Needle-Felt Children's Book Author ...
  131. Left-Handed Artist Creates Right-Brained Side Hustle
  132. Librarian Invents Eco-Friendly Dental Floss
  133. Lifelong Girl Scout Earns Her Side Hustle Badge (And $3,500 ...
  134. London Chocolate Tours Lead to Sweet Success
  135. London Clerk Hires Ghosts to Visit Boss, Earns Passive Income
  136. London Photographer Rents Camera Gear 1,100 Times
  137. Lost & Found: How Lost Property Helps a UK Woman Find Her ...
  138. Maine Couple Bootstraps Boutique Fitness Studio
  139. Make $4,000/Month Renting Out Cars You Don't Own
  140. Man Buys 100 Animal Skulls from Bali; Turns $10,000 Into ...
  141. Man Earns $100,000 Serving Clients on $5 Website
  142. Man Earns $85000 Promoting Mexican Avocados on Snapchat
  143. Marathon Runner Earns Full-Time Income Trying On Shoes ...
  144. Marketing Consultant Creates Private Retreats
  145. Marketing Professional Produces Giant Puppet Performances ...
  146. Marriage Inspires Theatre Captioning App & Service
  147. Mental Health Counselor By Day, Headband Artist by Night ...
  148. Millennial Invests Side Income For Passive Profits
  149. Mindful Moms Make $70,000 on Family Affirmation Cards ...
  150. Mindreading Performer Goes from Dorm Room to Paid ...
  151. Miniature Dollhouse Website Pays Full-Size Profits
  152. Mom Finds Love As Dating App Ghostwriter
  153. Money Grows on Moringa Trees
  154. Moonlighting Makeup Artist Earns Extra $25,000/Year | Side ...
  155. Movie Editor Turns 19th Century Art Into Full-Time Job
  156. Multiple-Use Plastics Take Big Bite for the Environment
  157. Museum Educator Improvises From Day Job to Side Hustle ...
  158. Music Graduate Makes Spare Change Filling Spare Rooms ...
  159. Musician Turns Drum Lessons Into Six-Figure Podcast
  160. NYC Banker Launches All-Natural, Drinkable Pickle Brine ...
  161. Nature-Loving Neighbors Create Kids Subscription Box
  162. Networking Success Is Served with a Side of Eggs
  163. New Jersey Blog Earns Six-Figure Income
  164. New Mom Recruits 3,000 Chinese Caregivers
  165. New Mom Uses Pinterest to Launch Parenting Blog
  166. New Mother Gives Life To Self-Care Coaching Business
  167. New Yorker Covers Up With Comfy Underwear Line
  168. No Guts, No Gory: The Hollywood Mom & Pop Prop Shop ...
  169. Nomad Family Cooks Up $40,000 Profit With Houseware ...
  170. Nomadic Designer Profits from Writing About Life in a Bag ...
  171. Oh Snap! Photography Site Turns Into Passive Income Hustle ...
  172. Oklahoman Spreads Light, Sells Candles, and Shares Profits ...
  173. On-the-Go Mouthwash Gets Mini-Makeover
  174. One Man's Trashed Mash is Another Man's Cash
  175. Operations Manager Manages to Make Heavy Furniture Light ...
  176. Organic Loungewear Becomes Sleeper Sensation
  177. Orthodontist Bites Off Solution to Teeth-Pulling Problem
  178. Outdoorsman Sees the Forest for the Trees, Finds Financial ...
  179. Outsource Date Night With This Sexy Side Hustle
  180. PE Teacher Makes $11,000 with Membership Site
  181. PE Teacher Resells Concert Tickets, Earns $12,000/Month ...
  182. Paralegal Takes Flight with Remote Work
  183. Paternal Twins Produce Passive Publishing Profits
  184. Pathetic Triathlete Creates $30,000 Facebook Group
  185. Pay Off Student Loans With Your Spare Change
  186. Philadelphia Foodie Toasts Competition with Sweet Treat ...
  187. Philadelphia Lover Maps Out $35,000/Year Side Hustle
  188. Photographer Visits 30 Countries, Leading Tours & Getting Paid
  189. Physical Therapist Sells 57,000 “Neck Hammocks”
  190. Physician Assistant Earns $12,000 In 10 Months Coaching ...
  191. Police Officer Funnels Frustration Into Six-Figure Hustle
  192. Policy Researcher Offers Private Tours of Nation's Capital ...
  193. Popular Instagram Account Becomes Fashionable Clothing ...
  194. Pottery Barn Commissions Art from Independent Photographer
  195. Proud Mainer Brings Whoopie Pies to the World
  196. Public Health Employee Earns Extra $2,000/Month with ...
  197. Published Author Adds Income Source; Makes Additional ...
  198. Put a Cap in It: Architect Makes the Write Choice; Starts Luxury ...
  199. Q&A: How can I inspire a “Must-Have-This” service?
  200. Q&A: How can I turn furniture repair into passive income ...
  201. Q&A: Is it still possible to profit from a blog?
  202. Q&A: What are your best tips for Etsy?
  203. Q&A: When should I start posting on social media?
  204. Rehearsal App for Actors Earns $500,000
  205. Resistance Is Futile! Brooklyn Fitness Fanatics Sell “No Days ...
  206. Role-Playing Pastor Rolls The Dice On $2800/Month Hustle ...
  207. Romance Novel Expert Teaches Proofreading for $2000/Month
  208. Sales Rep Seasons the Day with “Bad Spanish Tacos”
  209. Savvy Bride Turns Budget Wedding Into Six Figure Success ...
  210. Savvy Sleeper Pillowcases Produce Dreamy Profits for Tech ...
  211. Savvy Stationery Site Offers Cards for Divorce & Diwali
  212. Seattle Developer Takes Flight With Popular Travel Site
  213. Second Grade Teacher Earns Second Income
  214. Serial Business Builder Creates Digital Checklist Tool
  215. Should I hire a lawyer and get a patent?
  216. Side Hustle Turned Full-Time Job Disrupts Car Rental Industry ...
  217. Sisters Find Puppy Love After Launching Dating App
  218. Social Worker Bakes Cupcakes for The Walking Dead
  219. Software Engineer Scavenges For Profits
  220. South African Writer Launches Accidental Acting Career
  221. South Carolina Man Learns to Make Candles by Watching ...
  222. Speech Pathologist Sells Turkish Tea Towels By the Seashore ...
  223. Sports Writer Wins Big Gambling On His Own Book
  224. Squeaky Clean Couple Raise the Bar with Online Soap Sales ...
  225. Store Manager Makes Micro Gainz For Macro Profits
  226. Stressed-Out Mom Gives Up TV to Launch Her Hustle
  227. Student Bytes Into Lucrative Web Host Biz
  228. Student Gets Paid to Help People Rent Adventures
  229. Stylish Clothes Reseller Becomes Fashion Consultant
  230. Super Fan Scores Big in the Football Community
  231. Tailor-Made Teas Brew Steamy Steeped-In Profits
  232. Teacher Hustles to Pay Off $100,000 in Student Loans
  233. Tech Broker Moonlights as Luxury Lifestyle Artist
  234. Teenage Fitness Fan Jumpstarts Athletic Apparel Brand
  235. Tennessean Meets Nepalese Sherpa on Lyft Ride, Sells ...
  236. Texas Couple Turns Test Scores Into Treasure
  237. That's the Spot! Dog Lover's Hustle Becomes Fur-ever Biz ...
  238. The 10-Year Quest for Must-Have Mustard
  239. The Battle of the New Zealand SpeedCubers
  240. The Hero's Journal Helps You Make Progress Toward Your ...
  241. The Paleo Bagel: No Wheat, No Worries
  242. The Rise and Fall of BirdSupplies.com
  243. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Digital Nomads
  244. The Snuggle Is Real: Architect Moonlights by Selling Designer ...
  245. Think Like a Lawyer: An Underground School For Lifelong ...
  246. This Standing Desk Costs Just $37
  247. Toronto Startup Employee Bakes Custom Cakes
  248. Tote-ally Functional Bags for Women on the Go
  249. Trip to Europe Inspires Adventurous Blanket Biz
  250. Turn It Up to 11! Musical Mash-Ups Provide Passive Income ...
  251. Tuscan Vacation Inspires Leatherworking Hustle
  252. Twelve Months of Experiments Leads Coach to Clarity
  253. Two Women Create Swimwear Brand for D-Cups and Up ...
  254. Un-Tours Of Myanmar Offer Adventure and Unpredictability ...
  255. University Director Turns Draining Problem Into Profitable ...
  256. Vegan Food Lovers Sprout Plant-Based Festivals
  257. Vintage Clothing Shop Sells Retro Jeans for Modern Money ...
  258. WEEKLY RECAP: 3 Priorities to Keep You Focused
  259. WEEKLY RECAP: All the Things You Want to Do
  260. WEEKLY RECAP: Barking Up the Right Tree
  261. WEEKLY RECAP: Before Beginning, Prepare Carefully
  262. WEEKLY RECAP: Do You Have to Be Passionate About What ...
  263. WEEKLY RECAP: Does Your Idea Pass the Grandmother Test ...
  264. WEEKLY RECAP: Going from Hobby to Hustle
  265. WEEKLY RECAP: Government Shuts Down, Your Life ...
  266. WEEKLY RECAP: Health Coaches May Need to Be Certified ...
  267. WEEKLY RECAP: How to Design a Profitable Online Course ...
  268. WEEKLY RECAP: If You Ever Feel Insecure, Don't Miss This ...
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  271. WEEKLY RECAP: Scavenger Hunts, Bow Ties, & Horses ...
  272. WEEKLY RECAP: The $0 Startup, Sign Hustles, and Ways to ...
  273. WEEKLY RECAP: The Conversion Problem
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  275. WEEKLY RECAP: Understand Your Ideal Working Conditions ...
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  278. WEEKLY RECAP: Why You Should “Return Every Handshake ...
  279. Wedding App Founder Exchanges Vows for Coding Book Biz ...
  280. Wedding Bells Ring Brighter if the Bride's Not Broke
  281. Weekend “Book Registry” Site Earns Passive Income from ...
  282. Weekly Recap: All You Need Is Luck and a Million Dollars ...
  283. Weekly Recap: Don't Compete with Amazon
  284. Weekly Recap: Find a Community to Support Your Goals ...
  285. Weekly Recap: Food Trucks, YouTube Makeup, and Marijuana
  286. Weekly Recap: How to Identify Side Hustle Ideas in Your ...
  287. Weekly Recap: How to Stop Procrastinating (Really!)
  288. Weekly Recap: Making Time for What Matters
  289. Weekly Recap: Should You Ever Buy Someone Else's ...
  290. Weekly Recap: Starting a Coffee Delivery Service
  291. Weekly Recap: Starting and Ending a Seasonal Side Hustle ...
  292. Weekly Recap: Weekly Recap: Finding a “Hook” as a Dietitian ...
  293. Weekly Recap: What Kind of Profit Margin Should You Have ...
  294. Weekly Recap: Will People Pay for History Lessons?
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  296. Weekly Recap: “This Time, It's Different”
  297. What's In the Box? Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Snacks
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  299. Yoga Enthusiast Stretches B-School Education Into Fair-Trade ...
  300. Yoga Teacher Cleans Up with Home Organizing Business ...
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submitted by 1913intel to sidehustle [link] [comments]

In a world where technology rules with an iron fist, a group of rebels use phone apps to cast spells and weave enchantments into megaphones, motorcycles, and electric guitars. Magepunk is the future.

Cyber punk by way of the council of elrond. I really don't think this one came out great. It's...okay. I would probably skip it unless you really want to see lord of the rings re-imagined as cyberpunk.
Art banged on the door and pulled his hood up against the rain and spysats.”Lomir,” he whispered. The concealment spell spread out around them to infect every digital eye in a block. It would only last a minute; the enemy was stronger than ever, but it should be enough.
He spoke to the man next to him. “Okay Fred, everything is going to be okay now. These are the best magi in the world, if anybody can help us it’s them.”
The man next to him huddled in his coat. They both had brown hair, but where Art was tall, broad, and lean, with grey eyes, fitting for an ex-Army ranger, Fred was short with brown eyes and shaggy hair.
A thin woman with long dark hair opened the door a crack. “Were you followed?” she hissed.
Art shook his head. “No, I took precautions El. I’ve got a concealment spell up but I think they know we’re in the area.” His eyes went wide as he felt some of the cameras start to come back online. “Shit. I think the Eye is looking for us. The spell is failing. Let us in!”
El jerked the door open and waved them in before slamming it shut. She snapped off a single hair from her head and wrapped the doorknob, and whispered “findele.” The hair dissolved in to a mass of nanites that set about reinforcing the door.
El turned back around to face them. She was pretty but could have been any age from a rough 25 to a well preserved 50. “That should hold them for a while. With any luck they’ll just think it was a random outage.” She examined Fred. “So. You’re supposed to save us all.”
Fred shuffled his feet. “I guess. I don’t really understand everything, but Art found me. Said I needed to take this to Oculus headquarters to destroy it.” Fred pulled a ring out of his pocket and held it up.
El stared. She started to reach out to examine it but caught herself in time and pulled back. “You...you just hold on to that.” She brushed past them to move down the hall. “Come on, you’re the last ones to arrive. We have a war council to attend.”
She led them down a dark hallway. “Cala.” The old LED lights along the hallway glowed gently to life, still good after all these years. They came out in a large room, lined with monitors and humming server racks, with a large table in the center. There were 4 other people already sitting around it.
“Okay, so this is everyone. That’s Legs,” she pointed to a tall lanky blonde man, who nodded, “Grim,” a shorter man, about Freds height, with a bushy beard, wearing a lot of leather, “Barry,” he was a bit shorter than Art but had the same coloring, “And Gramps,” and old man with a scraggly beard, holding a staff, he was wearing grey robes.
“I told you my name is Linus,” he snapped.
“And I told you that we aren’t using our real names. This council is warded and air gapped but we can’t take chances. Gramps.”
He grumbled and crossed his arms.
El gestured to the table. “Go ahead and take a seat. Coffee?” Everyone nodded. “Tulu yullas,” she said in a clear voice. Fred could hear a coffee maker hum to life and saw a small drone zip over to it with a tray. “Coffee should be around shortly, everyone. Now, Gramps,” she smirked as she said it, “I think it would be best if you told us what you found.”
Gramps grumbled and stood up. “Very well. It started a month ago when I went to meet with one of my contacts, Sarah. Known her for years. I wanted to discuss recent movements Oculus has been making. Buying up opposition, squashing dissident stories. They haven’t put out a new product in years, ever since Google crushed them in the AR wars, but there was rumbling that something big was going to happen soon. Sarah said she had information on it.”
Gramps took a cup of coffee from the drone and took a sip. “She was at least telling the truth about that. I told her that the ring,” he nodded to Fred, “had turned up again like a bad penny and was making its way around the world. She seemed pretty shocked by that, and insisted that we secure it. We quarrelled over it, I wanted it to be destroyed, she said I was being a fool. I said that with this we could destroy oculus forever, but she just wanted the power.”
Gramps sighed. “I trusted her, so I didn’t have any firewalls up. She finally told me that she had joined forces with Oculus, and wanted to know if I would join her. I laughed in her face. That’s when she triggered her binding. Burnt out almost everything I had on me all at once, including my phone,” he threw a burnt piece of plastic on the table, “supposed to be military grade but the battery blew out immediately. Blew out my ID, my rings, everything. Then she triggered another app, the walls of a cage shot up around me. I was stuck and she knew it. She told me I would have plenty of time to think about it and left.”
Gramps grinned. “But all her fancy apps failed to account for my walking stick here.” He picked it up. “Had a backup ID and com ring deep in a secret compartment, wrapped in a faraday cage. Took me a while to get it wired up to the aether, but once I did, I was able to make contact with a friend of mine, he was able to get me out. Came here soon as I was able.”
Fred raised his hand. El smiled at that. “You don’t have to do that here, Fred. You have a question?”
Fred nodded. “But what’s so special about this ring, anyway? It’s just a ring.”
El shook her head. “Unfortunately, it’s not just a ring. It’s a biometric lock that gives you access to all of their bitcoin deposits. It has the original passcode that all of their accounting was based on. If you were to take that to their headquarters, you would have complete control over their company. You could do whatever you wanted with it, burn it to the ground, control it, sell it, anything. And there’s nothing they could do to stop you. They will do literally anything to get a hold of it.”
“But why me?”
“That’s an incredible coincidence. According to my scrying, well, you remember your Uncle Bill?” Fred nodded. “He was their CFO since the beginning. Crypto wasn’t as popular then and people were still worried about security, so he went to the main server of the company and had it create a ring. That ring. It contains the password to give you access to all of their crypto accounts, and you can only access it if you have the right biohash. His biohash, as it turns out. And you happen - by some one in a billion chance - to share the right markers with him. Given enough time, any of us in this room could fake it. But you can just use it outright.” El nodded to Gramps. “Thank you, Gramps, please take a seat. Barry, I believe you were next?”
Barry stood up and nodded to Art. “Some of you I’ve met before, some I haven’t, but I’m Barry. Me and my brother Frank, we’re heirs to one of the Google fortunes. And we’ve been digging.”
“I remember the technomage wars, a lot of us do, and I know that the official history is that the remnants of the Fang alliance - after Facebook was crushed - was able to defeat oculus and kill their chance at recovery, but I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. It was largely a draw, until Oculus just withdrew. They stopped fighting everywhere, ended all their rituals, and went back in to research and development mode. And look around you. They might have officially ‘lost,’ but Oculus still makes the best haptics around. That’s why they are still the most popular, even years after they stopped producing anything new.”
“My brother, Frank, he’s the oldest, so he gets a chance to play with the newest technology. He showed me this new piece that lets you hack in your dreams. You know how fast dream time is, well, the response time on this lets you pass through firewalls like they aren’t even there. So, one night, he took me scrying with him. We decided to go for oculus headquarters. We thought they were dead. We were wrong.”
“It was six of us. Frank was having a party and everyone wanted to try out the newest scrying method, so we went under and followed him over the aether into the oculus servers. Like I said, we thought they were dead, but what we saw there...massive databases chugging away, servers running at peak capacity, security like nothing I’ve ever seen. We had to hide from bot patrols every five minutes. I wanted to leave but Frank wanted to keep looking, so we went deeper in to the racks. That was a mistake.”
“They shouldn’t have been able to find us, but, well, someone was dropping packets. One of the bots was able to spot his tracks and start running us down. Frank heard the alarm going off before any of us. He told us to run, to get back to the party. We did, but not everyone made it.”
Barry slumped forward. “Frank and I, we’re the best. We’ve been hacking since we were old enough to punch a keyboard. We made it out. But the rest of them weren’t so lucky. The bots caught them, and...this is the part I don’t understand, they killed them. Not in the aether, in the real. Every other person in our party had seizures and died right there. We knew right then that we had to do something. Once I heard that the ring was back in play, well, I knew I needed to come here and talk it out with El. Frank stayed behind. He’s fighting them every night in his dreams, trying to slow down whatever they’re doing, but he needs help. We all do.” Barry sat down heavily and stared at his coffee. “You got any whiskey for this?”
Grim grunted and pulled a flask out of his vest. “Take it, lad.” He slid it across the table. Barry raised it back to Grim in a toast, then uncapped it and filled up his coffee cup with it.
Grim stood up. “Might as well go next. Go by Grim.” He had a scottish accent. “I’m not famous like some of ye, but I’m one of the best damn app programmers in the world. Runs in the family. My father, he wrote the very first micropayment app. We have a reputation. You need something new built? You come to the Grim family. We can build anything.”
“So we weren’t all that surprised when a representative from Oculus came by a few weeks ago. Really slimy shite, hands like he’d never woven a script in his life. He said he wanted something new. Something like the world had never seen. He said he couldn’t offer us the details until we signed, but he promised to make it worth our while. And then, he pulled out a ring, like that one,” he nodded to Fred, who shoved the hand inside his pocket, “and told us that it was a biometric lock, keyed to one of the outstanding Oculus crypto fortunes. The exact numbers had been lost, but it was worth a fortune. And they would key it to us, as long as we agreed to work with them.”
“Well, my father thanked him for his time and told him we would be in touch, and then showed him the door. He told me ‘Laddie, I don’t care what they wanted us to build, that price was too much.’ We sat up late that night, drinking whiskey, and we couldn’t figure out what they might want so badly. Or for that matter, how in the world oculus had that much money to throw at us. It was wrong. And then we talked about the Fang war, when huge swaths of people could be cut off at a moment's notice as the aether buckled under the traffic. He told me ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, lad, but it’s bad. I can feel it in me bones.’ He said he knew you, El, from way back, said you would have some insight as to what’s going on. I can tell you, after hearing all these stories, I’m starting to think my da was right.” Grim sat back down. Everyone looked at Legs. He lifted his eyebrows. “Oh, me?” He had an english accent. He smiled at Grim. “I think his father’s correct. And there’s no way I’m going to let my man go into that kind of danger alone.”
Grim blushed. “No need to bring up our personal life, Legs. I’m happy to have you along.” Legs leaned over and ruffled his hair. Grim tried to sink into the chair.
El smiled. “I can respect that, Legs. I believe that with this new information, I finally understand what is going on there.” She stood. “Barry was correct when he said that Oculus chose to lose the Fang war. I believe, after hearing your stories, I know why. What I know for sure is that on the day the turned inward, their head of engineering died. He was trying out a new haptic protocol. His death sounds very much like what your friends experienced, Barry. They have been snapping up all the best magi in the world, which is obviously why they came for you Gramps, and you, Grim. They are weaving something dark in there. Let me show you something.” She raised her voice. “Tul!”
A wheeled cage came rolling in on it’s own. Inside was a man that was all skin and bones. He flinched from the light and cowered in his cage.
El sighed. “This...WAS...Gary. He was an associate of mine, but he was doing something very similar to your friends, Barry. He was trying out a new haptic that gave him unprecedented response time, because it operated on a different part of the brain. He was using it just like you, to explore the oculus servers. But maybe because they didn’t perceive him as a threat, they didn’t kill him. They enslaved him. When we took off the haptics, he started attacking everyone. It took eight of us to seal him in this cage. His mind is gone. I’ve communed with him, I’ve dived deep into his mind, but it’s gone. The only desire left is to kill for oculus. Make no mistake, if I were to let him out of this cage he would do his best to kill all of us. Vanya.” The cage rolled back into the shadows.
“I believe this is what they are working towards. This is why their security is so tight, why their servers run day and night creating terrible engines, why the corrupted Sarah. Their plan is to deploy this evil thing to every Oculus haptic out there and create an army of slaves. They will take over the world without firing a shot. The only good news is that since they are still recruiting, they have not completed the project. We still have time to bring them down. With that ring, Fred, we can go to the center of their headquarters, and destroy all their power. We can transfer away all of their savings and leave them with nothing, and they will collapse.” She turned her gaze to the rest of the table. “But he cannot go alone. Who will go with him?”
Art was the first one to stand. “I’m just a grunt, but,” he pulled out the monomolecular blade on his back, “you have my sword.”
Barry stood up. “And my code.”
Grim stood up and pounded his fist on the table. “And my apps!”
Legs and Gramps also nodded. El smiled. “Good. Then we have a fellowship.”
submitted by adriftingleaf to adriftingleaf [link] [comments]

There is no such thing as real magic

I'm an amateur magician. I've performed at children's parties and done some touring. I wouldn't class myself as an expert, but I am in the magic circle. I love to see professional magicians perform, there is nothing better than when you see a trick and you have no idea how it was done.
I read a forum post a month ago that had a link to a YouTube video, 10 times magic went wrong. I checked it out, and as you can imagine, the contents were quite horrific. Two of the clips were of the Nail Under the Cups trick. If you are from England, you may have seen Derren Brown performing this. It's a good one, if the magician is qualified. If they aren't, then you end up being at positions seven and three of this video.
A magician mixes up some cups, under one is a piece of wood with a nail pointed up. The others are weighted, so they all feel the same. The magician puts on a blindfold and gets their volunteer to guide them over the top of the cups. The magician then pushes the volunteer's hand down, crushing the cup. It's usually when there are two left that this trick goes wrong. And when it does it's very bloody.
The clip in question though, is of a man sawing a woman in half. We've all seen this. But in this grainy footage, the woman screams, the box is brought apart, blood drips from the opening and the legs of the woman slip out. The bloody bottom half slams on the floor with a thunk, the legs spasm, then stop. The curtains are hastily brought across and the show ends.
There are comments after the video, people calling bullshit, until someone posted the full trick in question. At the end of this video, the woman can be seen on stage, whole again, nothing wrong with her at all.
People argue with each other that the woman must have been in the upper box and the lower box contained some prosthetics. The thread ends with someone saying that they swear it's real, they've seen it in person.
I commented saying, "I'm skeptical, magic is illusion, no one gets sawn in half; incredible footage though."
The next day, I get a direct message from someone with the handle Tricked4Life.
Hey Baz1987, the man from that video is performing next month. He's called The Russian, it's invite only. I can arrange tickets if you like?
I replied, Totally, I'd be up for that, please!
While waiting to hear back, I went to watch the video again. The link didn't work, a message came up saying it had been taken down due to copyright infringement. I tried the top 10 one too, that was also gone, just a 404 page.
It was a Saturday, so I was already on the whiskey and watching Netflix. I think I was binge watching Breaking Bad for the third or forth time.
Tricked4Life replied with a link. I browsed to the site. It looked like something from 1997. There was a still from the video and a form below. Slightly drunk, I filled out the details and continued to the payment form. I had to pay in BitCoin, what the fuck was that?
I messaged Tricked4Life, "I don't know what BitCoin is."
"PayPal me the money and I can buy it for you."
"How do I know this isn't a scam?"
"You don't, but as a magician, you should see through a trick a mile off ;)"
It sounded like he was baiting me.
"How much?"
"£540."
"Christ, that's heavy."
"It's worth it though."
"Have you seen him before?"
"No, this will be my first time. I know some people who are going. They said he's incredible. You have to see it for yourself."
I left the computer and continued watching TV, though I couldn't concentrate. I really wanted to know how the trick was done. I drank more whiskey and got more drunk.
I woke in the early hours. Confused, I took in my surroundings and realised I fell asleep in front of the television again. My head pounded, so I went to the kitchen and drank some orange juice, before throwing the best hangover cure, bacon, into the frying pan.
As the meat sizzled, I checked my phone. I had an email with the subject, Ticket Confirmation. My heart sank. I opened it up to see a confirmation number and an address... in the Ukraine.
I'd bought things while I was drunk before, but not a ticket to a magic show in Eastern Europe. Not only was I out £540, I'd need to book plane tickets and a hotel.
I gazed at the whiskey bottle, to see it almost empty, not even as much as a shot left. I felt embarrassed.
I logged into the forum and read the messages I had sent.
Fuck it! was the first. The second my details and a third saying I'd PayPalled the money over, with a reply saying to buy a Tuxedo if I didn't have one.
I won't bore you with the details of how I had to beg my manager to give me the time off at last minute, suffice to say I had to agree to perform at his daughter's birthday. I was surprised and relieved with how cheap plane fare was to the Ukraine. That was the only ray of light I had in this stupid ordeal. I rented a Tux from a local business and I was ready to go.
The flight was bumpy. We flew through a thunderstorm and for the first time in my life, saw the lighting hit the tip of the plane. People startled and children cried. I was nervous myself. It wasn't long after the Russians shot down a passenger jet over the Ukraine. I was very happy when we landed.
I sat in silence in the taxi to the hotel. When I got out, I saw it was a dump. I asked the driver to wait, he nodded. I had no idea if he understood me or not. Three stars was supposed to be the rating, but it looked more like an abandoned office building than a hotel.
I checked in and changed. I was glad I was only staying for the night. My rushed plans meant I didn't have more than a few hours until the show started.
Thankfully the taxi was still outside when I returned. I handed him the printout of the address and we drove off into the night.
It was an odd city, nothing like the London that I'd known all my life. It was as if it wasn't planned, that it just sprawled in every direction when the need for more buildings were required. We stopped at the end of an alleyway. He pointed down it.
"Are you sure?" I said.
I expected us to be somewhere posh.
"Is right," the man said, finally breaking his silence.
I got out. Almost as if the driver was in a hurry, the taxi sped off. Suddenly I felt all alone, in a foreign country I knew nothing about.
The rain poured down and soaked through my Tux. The woollen material grew heavy with the water. I wondered if I'd get my deposit back.
I jogged down the alleyway. Light leaked out from a door underneath a fire escape. I thumped on the frame and waited.
A man wearing paint splattered jeans and a body warmer opened it.
"I'm sorry, I don't know where I'm going. I'm looking for this."
I handed him the printout.
"I'm supposed to see some Russian magician..."
He lifted his chin and opened the door wider. I was glad to get out of the rain. Inside had the appearance of a factory service corridor.
"Through there," he said pointing to the end of the hallway.
Visions of me entering some basement out of the film Hostel filled my mind and I wanted to turn back and go straight to the airport. The outside door clunked shut.
I took a deep breath and walked forward. My shoes echoed around the small passageway and I felt vulnerable. I pushed on the metal bar at the end and hoped for the best.
I was shocked. The low murmurs of hundreds of voices filled the large room I entered. It wasn't as I expected. It was cavernous. It looked like a palace. Large marble columns rose up from the floor and held in place an ornate ceiling, from which hung intricate chandeliers.
Dozens of men in suits drank from Champagne glasses, all deep into conversation. No one turned to stare at me. It was as if there was nothing odd about me entering via a back door. For a magic show, I found it kind of fitting. Standing there though, I wasn't sure if I felt more out of place here or in the alleyway.
A waiter approached and I panicked.
"Drink, sir?" he said, offering me some Champagne.
I took the crystal flute and resisted the urge to down it in one.
I sipped and tried to blend in.
"The show will start in thirty minutes," was announced over the tannoy in an Eastern European accent.
The guests looked up as if watching the person making the announcement.
Another waiter offered me some canapés. I grabbed one and thanked him.
"Baz?" someone shouted and I peered around.
I locked eyes with a man I didn't recognise.
"Do I know you?" I asked.
"I'm Dan," he said offering his hand.
"I'm sorry, I don't recall."
"Tricked4Life? I ordered your ticket."
Confused, I said, "How did you recognise me?"
"Your avatar, man," he said smiling, "Good to meet you in person. I wasn't sure if you'd come."
"£540, I wasn't going to stay at home."
"Are you excited? I've seen some famous magicians around."
I was nervous. Dan didn't appear to be.
"Oh shit, is that ," I asked.
He turned.
"Hell, yeah," he replied, " and are also here too."
"That's crazy, this is the real deal then?"
"I think so," he said, taking a large gulp of his drink.
"What's his real name?"
"I don't know, no one does."
"That's a bit ominous."
"He's the best of the best, who cares what he's called."
Dan checked his watch.
"We should go take our seats."
"Yeah."
The house lights went down and cheers erupted from the crowd. A spotlight lit the red velvet curtains. They waited for the crowd to die down before they opened.
I was disappointed when I saw him on stage. His hair was grey, not black like the video. He was so much smaller in stature than how he appeared, too. Assistants wheeled in a large tall box.
The magician led one of the assistants inside and proceeded to lock the padlocks on the front of the box. He counted down from three, and on the beat after one, fireworks exploded at the front of the stage and the walls of the box collapsed in on themselves. He approached and spun the box around showing it was now flat. The remaining assistants rolled it off stage and the crowd clapped.
"That's easy," I said turning to Dan, "Fireworks - textbook misdirection and trap door underneath."
He smiled.
Medieval wooden stocks were now brought onto the stage. The magician asked for a volunteer from the audience. A young lady stood up (the only female in the whole crowd) and was invited on stage. The magician mimed claps, and the audience obliged. The woman was secured into place. He threw some eggs into the crowd and offered her as a target. Most missed, except the last that hit her square on the face. Laughter erupted. An assistant arrived with a melon. The magician picked up a sword, its blade flashed in the bright spotlight. He lifted it overhead and brought it down, slicing the melon in two with ease.
He approached the woman in the stocks and with one swift blow, her hands and head fell into the baskets below. The crowd roared with approval.
"Impressed yet?" Dan said to me and to be honest I was vexed.
No sudden flash of light to hide the switch of body parts with fakes, but no blood either.
"She was obviously a stooge, are there any other women in the crowd?"
More helpers joined on stage, mopping the floor as if to clean up blood that wasn't there. A chuckle fluttered through the crowd.
The final illusion was the classic Chinese Water Torture Cell made famous by Harry Houdini.
A large tank of water sat centre stage. The magician took off his clothes to reveal a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century bathing-suit, a beige number that covered his body and upper legs. He placed on a nose clip and rubbed his hands in anticipation.
He ascended the ladder attached to the tank and jumped in. Water splashed over the sides and an iron lid was slammed into place. Padlocks were locked around the top and a curtain drawn in front. A man started a stopwatch and gazed at it in earnest.
Time passed. I checked my watch, he had been in there for ninety seconds. The curtain was removed, to reveal his hand poking out the top trying to pick the locks on the outside, then the curtain was replaced.
Another minute passed and banging could be heard from within. The man with the stopwatch brought his hand across his throat, signalling to end the performance.
Someone ran on stage with an axe and the curtain was pulled away. The locks were still in place, but the tank was empty. The audience gasped.
"Hallo," rang out around the auditorium.
I turned to see The Russian in the stalls above, dripping with water.
Wild cheers erupted and everyone clapped.
"How did he do that then, Mr Smart Guy?" Dan asked, clearly pleased with himself.
"I have no idea," I said, clapping without even thinking about it.
The house lights went up.
"There will be a ten minute intermission before the second part of the show, will guests with tickets..." the announcer said, listing off numbers, "... please make their way to the door at the side of the stage."
"That's me?" I said to Dan confused.
"Me too, are you excited?"
"I don't understand?"
He grinned and grabbed my hand.
He led me along the row.
"What's going on?"
"Didn't you wonder why it was so expensive? We're part of the show!"
A silent dread filled me.
"I don't want to do it."
"Come on! You're a magician, don't you want to know how it's done?"
"Yeah, but I don't want to be on stage."
"You've done that before, though."
"Of course, but mostly in front of children. At most fifty people. Not in a theatre with over four hundred containing some of the most respected magicians in the world."
"Too bad, you're going," he said, tightening his grip.
We waited at the back of the line of eight people. A man checked tickets and one by one they were led backstage.
Dan passed his ticket over, letting go of his grasp. I thought about leaving, but before I could, the man asked for mine and like a robot I handed it over.
It was quiet backstage.
"Oh shit, is that ?" I said as the man approached.
"Hey," he said excitedly, "I'm..."
"I know who you are," I said shocked that was talking to me.
"Are you boys excited?"
"Very," Dan said, "Baz here's a little nervous."
"Don't be nervous," said, "this is what we are'll here for, right?"
"I have no idea what's going on," I blurted out.
"Don't listen to him," Dan said, "he's just scared."
"And you should be, it's not very often that you're in the presence of a real magician."
"What do you mean?"
"You know, someone who performs real magic."
I scoffed, "There's no such thing as real magic."
"Is this guy for real?" said pointing his thumb at me.
Dan shrugged his shoulders.
balked at me, "Then why are you here?"
"I wanted to see it for myself."
"And that you will, son. Be part of it."
"I don't think I want to."
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said gesturing with his hands, "it's what we all dream of."
We heard a roar of applause.
"It's time," said, getting in line behind the queue that had now formed.
"I don't know about this Dan," I said.
"It'll be fine, I promise."
I watched as the first of us was taken on stage. A round of applause, then silence. A minute or so passed, then I heard a blood curdling scream and my heart raced.
"What the hell was that?!?!"
"Shhhh," Dan said in deep concentration.
Then the next one was taken and then the next. With each one, a silent time passed, the end of the trick punctuated by a scream.
"Dan!" I said in a whisper, "That man has blood on him!"
I stared at the stagehand as he exited stage right. Blood flecked his shirt and face.
"It's all part of the fun," Dan said, slapping my back.
My stomach lurched, as one by one, the line got shorter.
"Wish me luck," said as he was led on stage.
The man was now drenched in blood, but it didn't seem to bother Dan.
"We have a special guest tonight, please welcome ," bellowed out on the tannoy.
We were almost at the top of the stairs now. Dan watched the performance, his face lit up with pure joy before he grimaced and looked away.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"Holy shit, that was intense. I'm not sure I can do this," Dan said.
But it was too late, the stagehand had already grabbed him and dragged him up. I ascended the last few steps and could now see the wooden floor. I gasped as Dan walked through the blood than now pooled. His shoes left yawning, sticky stalagmites in the congealing liquid.
A horizontal box was opened and he was placed inside. From my angle it was obvious there was no-one placed in the leg side. I watched his feet poke through the holes at the end and the box closed on top of him. The magician picked up a chain saw, pulled the cord into action. Blue-grey smoke billowed out of the side as he revved the engine. Without a second thought, he brought it down, through the box. Dan's face contorted as he shrieked in agony.
"Stop, stop!" he shouted.
The magician ignored him. Blood sprayed out, covering him and launching a mist of bright, red liquid onto the crowd, who cheered in response.
The chainsaw idled. The assistants pulled the box apart and just like the video, Dan's legs fell out of the other end of the box. It was then I noticed the box had been purposefully sloped to allow this to happen. That was the trick. I felt sick and ran.
There was nowhere to go. A large man stood at the door I had entered. Luckily he hadn't noticed I'd panicked. I slowed to a walk and took the stairs down into the basement. As I descended, I heard the muffled tannoy then a rapturous applause.
I paused at the door at the bottom. I assumed it was the fire exit. I tried to turn the knob but it didn't budge. I could hear voices on the other side. I placed my ear against the metal, flinching at the cold. It was a chant. Low tenor voices repeated the same line again and again, in a language I didn't understand. They switched into a more sing-song chorus, then returned to the original verse.
I banged on the door and the voices stopped.
"Mister, you can't be down here," the large man from backstage said.
I obeyed him without a struggle. He let me back into the theatre. The crowd didn't acknowledge me. Waiters patiently walked through the punters offering more Champagne and canapés.
Without thinking, I screamed out, "He's killing them! All of them, they are dead!"
The audience silenced and looked at me.
" is dead, everyone's dead. I saw it. It's not a trick!"
"Sir," one of the waiters said holding his hand up for me to stop.
"I won't be quiet, it's a fucking abattoir up there! Didn't you all see?!"
People started to panic. I raced for the exit. The doors were camouflaged from this side. I ran my hand down the seam trying to find a hidden latch.
"Calm down, sir."
I turned to see the large security guard.
"Fuck that, that man is insane! Let me out of here."
He grabbed my arm, stopping me from leaving.
The house lights went down again and the audience settled.
"Please show your appreciation to your magician tonight and his wonderful volunteers."
The man held me tightly, and I gave up trying to leave and gazed at the stage.
The Russian appeared front and centre, bowing. His assistants from the night joined him. Everyone clapped.
Then one by one, the people who were in the line ahead of me walked on stage, wearing pristine white suits.
waved as he walked on, the audience cheered. The last to enter was Dan. I was shocked.
The crowd stood and clapped.
"Let's not forget our friend at the back there," The Russian said, as the spotlight travelled over the audience, stopping on me.
I froze. The security guard let go of me and joined in the clapping. I ran my hand through my hair and feigned a smile.
"I hope to see you all again soon," The Russian said for one last time and the house lights came up.
Instantly murmurs broke out around the theatre.
"Great job, really added to the finish," one man said as he exited past me.
"Thank you," I said without thinking.
Everyone wanted to shake my hand, but all I could do was stand in confusion and unexpected awe.
The last of the people left, and so did I. As I entered the large hall I was in earlier, I saw Dan. He held a cardboard box under his arm.
"Great job you did," he said grinning from ear to ear.
"What the fuck just happened?"
"I'm sorry," he replied.
was standing next to him.
"I admit it, I didn't think it would work, but your friend Dan here said it would and I trusted him."
"Is anyone going to fill me in on what happened?"
Dan put his hand on my shoulder, "They needed someone to cause a fuss, you know, to make it seem all the more real."
"Dude, I saw you get chopped in half! What did you expect me to do."
"It was really great," said.
"I thought you were dead."
He tried to smile, but I could see the guilt in his face.
"Really sorry, man. It was a shitty thing to do. If we told you though, it wouldn't have looked believable. The Russian doesn't like to use shills."
"What about the woman in the stocks?"
"That was only the warm up. Hey check this out!"
Dan opened the box and revealed his Tux, it was ripped to shreds.
"Glad I didn't rent," he said laughing.
"It was great to meet you," said, "here's my card. If you ever want to see me perform, let me know, I'll get you backstage passes."
"You're not going to try to kill me too?"
He laughed.
"I'll see you around," he said, leaving through the backdoor.
We followed a few minutes later.
A row of limos waited to pick up people as they left.
"You go first," Dan said.
"Aren't you coming?"
"Nah, I'll get the next one."
I told the driver where I was going.
I slept badly in the hotel, my dreams filled with corrupted visions of the night before. I flew back to England in the morning.
I stayed away from that forum for a while, but curiosity got the better of me. There was a post about , saying he'd cancelled his tour. I read the comments, they were filled with the expected bile of people pissed their favourite magician had flaked out on them.
There was a direct message. I clicked. It was from Tricked4Life. It contained a single photo. It appeared to be of someone's torso, a purple-pink bruise ran horizontally along its stomach, blood seemed to leak as if it were some sort of wound. Underneath the photo was a comment.
"I need help, I think the magic is wearing off."
I replied and told him to go to the hospital. That was 48 hours ago and I've not heard back.
xx
submitted by ecrowe to nosleep [link] [comments]

World Carnivore Month is January 2019! Info dump inside!

Hey all!
Our subreddit has grown CONSIDERABLY in the last year - 2018 was a huge year for the zerocarb carnivore movement, and it started through the success of World Carnivore Month at the beginning of 2018! Tens of thousands of people joined Facebook groups, and 50,000 people subscribed to this subreddit! Hundreds are talking about the carnivore diet on Twitter - you can see if someone is a carnivore by checking if they have ©️ in their name, like mine! hyper©️arnivore
Surprisingly, this is a very old diet that has centuries of history.
http://highsteaks.com/carnivores-creed/owsley-the-bear-stanley/
We have multiple doctors not only suggesting that people try a carnivorous zerocarb diet, but are even doing it themselves and realizing they too have been conned by the health and nutrition establishment.

Doctors such as:

Supporting evidence that the following doctors recommend Carnivore Diet or close to it. https://www.reddit.com/usedem0n0cracy/comments/addz0l/doctors_discuss_the_carnivore_diet/
https://www.reddit.com/usedem0n0cracy/comments/ade16i/more_doctors_pharmacists_researchers_phds/
Dr. Shawn Baker - u/shawnbaker1967 https://twitter.com/SBakerMD
Dr. Ken D Berry https://twitter.com/KenDBerryMD
Dr. Jay Wrigley https://twitter.com/KetoDocCLT
Dr. Anthony Jay https://twitter.com/anthonygjay
Dr. Kevin Stock https://twitter.com/kevinstock12
Dr. Christian Assad https://twitter.com/ChristianAssad
Dr. Paul Saladino https://twitter.com/MDSaladino
Dr. Robert Pastore https://twitter.com/RP5hydroxy
Dr. David Unwin https://twitter.com/lowcarbGP
Dr. Michael Eades M.D. https://twitter.com/DrEades
Dr. Tro Kalayjian - u/DoctorTro https://twitter.com/DoctorTro
Dr. Paul Mason https://twitter.com/DrPaulMason
Dr. Csaba Toth https://twitter.com/paleoketogenic
Dr. Anthony Chaffee https://twitter.com/anthony_chaffee
Dr. Georgia Ede diagnosisdiet.com https://twitter.com/GeorgiaEdeMD
Dr. Ted Naiman https://twitter.com/tednaiman
Dr. Gary Fettke https://twitter.com/FructoseNo
Dr. Ben Bikman https://twitter.com/BenBikmanPhD
Dr. Peter Ballerstedt https://twitter.com/GrassBased
Dr. Nevada Gray https://twitter.com/GrayNevada
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon https://twitter.com/drgabriellelyon
Dr. Bret Scher https://twitter.com/bschermd
Dr. Paul Mabry
Dr. Darren Schmidt - D.C. https://twitter.com/realfoodcures
Dr. Steven Horwitz - D.C. https://twitter.com/DrHorwitz
Dr. Cameron Sepah https://Twitter.com/DrSepah
Dr. David Baldes M.D. https://twitter.com/ketoshrink/status/1081763193536634881?s=21
Nutritionist Amy Berger https://twitter.com/TuitNutrition
Professor Timothy Noakes https://twitter.com/ProfTimNoakes
Professor Stuart Phillips https://twitter.com/mackinprof
Journalist Nina Teicholz https://twitter.com/bigfatsurprise
Ph.D candidate Miki Ben-Dor https://twitter.com/bendormiki

Facebook Groups have grown substantially!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcarnivoretribe/ - World Carnivore Tribe started by Dr. Shawn Baker
https://www.facebook.com/groups/zioh2/ - Zeroing In On Health started by Charles Washington 8 years ago
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrincipiaCarnivora/ - Principia Carnivora started by Michael Frieze 3 years ago
https://www.facebook.com/groups/160488851347176/ - 100% Carnivore...and Beyond! started by Phil Escott this year
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1685052231589351/ - Carnivore Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet Support Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/482045862179951/ - Carnivore/Keto Diet
https://www.facebook.com/groups/509414366151670/?ref=group_header - Autistic Carnivores
https://www.facebook.com/groups/animalfatrx/ - Animal Fat RX
https://www.facebook.com/groups/191667651770756/ - RAW-some Zero Carb Carnivore Sanctuary
https://www.facebook.com/groups/womencarnivoretribe/ - Women Carnivore Tribe
https://www.facebook.com/groups/meathealth/ - Carnivore Corner
https://www.facebook.com/groups/KetoCarnivoreIF/ - Keto Carnivore IF
https://www.facebook.com/groups/zerocarbdoc/ - Zero Carb Doc started by Dr. Paul Mabry
https://www.facebook.com/groups/661617567520427/ - Zero Carb: Living the Good Life

Images

The Carnivore Diet for Mankind - HD - Star - Emoji Advice of what to eat / drink, Polls, Podcasts, Books - Zoom in to see the small text in this HD photo https://i.redd.it/qftzcf3if4k11.png
Homo Carnivorus - Part 1 : https://i.redd.it/xnmqrewisd221.png
Homo Carnivorus - Part 2 : https://i.redd.it/z7vjpfcksd221.png
StarChart - https://i.redd.it/789n61b45e221.png
CarnivoreDietAdvice - https://i.redd.it/31ud3dj65e221.png
Podcasts - https://i.redd.it/0rw60z785e221.png
Books - https://i.redd.it/k0074of95e221.png
Polls - https://i.redd.it/yqeribea5e221.png

Websites

http://highsteaks.com/carnivores-creed/owsley-the-bear-stanley/ - Read about The Bear - who coined the 'zerocarb' nomenclature and did the diet for 53 years until his untimely death in a car accident.
https://justmeat.co - Michael Goldstein @bitstein
https://meat.health/ - Dr. Kevin Stock
https:///meatheals.com - N=1 Anecdotes (@bitstein and @sbakermd run it)
https://zerocarbzen.com/testimonials/
https://ketogenicendurance.com/category/carnivore-diet-success-stories/
http://www.empiri.ca/p/eat-meat-not-too-little-mostly-fat.html - L Amber O'Hearn
http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/ - Dr Georgia Ede
http://highsteaks.com/f/index.php/board,5.0/sort,views/desc.html - Tons of old forum posts about various topics!
http://mikhailapeterson.com/ - Don't Eat That! Blog
A history of Nutrition Science
Part 1 (1785-1885): http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/3/638.abstractPart 2 (1885-1912): http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/4/975.fullPart 3 (1912-1944): http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/10/3023.fullPart 4 (1945-1985): http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/11/3331.full" I like to go back and re-read these articles on occasion to refresh my understanding of the Keto lifestyle. Many people aren't aware there there is a long unbroken string of professionals that have been using low carbohydrate interventions to combat obesity dating all the way back to the 1860s. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather shows a "lineage of thinking" that got us to where we are today. Some of these publications are hard to find now, so I leave them here for you to enjoy:

Books

Giant Booklist! https://www.reddit.com/ketoscience/wiki/index
New Books!

YouTube Channels

Frank Tufano https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIEiE-hnAUXUZNNeMJsZBYA/videos
Shawn Baker https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5apkKkeZQXRSDbqSalG8CQ/videos
HVMN https://hvmn.com/podcast/
Low Carb Down Under https://www.youtube.com/uselowcarbdownundevideos
Primal Edge Health https://www.youtube.com/usePrimalEdgeHealth/videos
Dr. Eric Berg DC https://www.youtube.com/usedrericberg123/videos
Ancestry Foundation https://www.youtube.com/useAncestryFoundation/videos
The Raw Primal Family https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZx7e6GWv49UiSBkpzpqoUA/videos
Daphne Reloaded https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOkEtmLmlugiPN9hH8u9Zyg/videos
Thomas DeLauer https://www.youtube.com/useTheTdelauevideos
The Weston A Price Foundation https://www.youtube.com/useTheWestonAPrice/videos
Dr. Darren Schmidt https://www.youtube.com/useNutritionalHealingA2/videos
PrimalBro https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2e2i4dJgsl0cB5PFjTDBZw/videos
Phil Escott https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHEYrfmQH-5RxiFL5RD08g/videos
Ketogeek https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClBAXCB3f0vUzj9wwKJeoOQ/videos
Ken D Berry MD https://www.youtube.com/useKenDBerry/videos
Physicians for Ancestral Health https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCijY61FN3AtDWSbrRj9nYqA/videos
Public Health Collaboration https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZO0WD6hn02_6b0_MNTKPgQ
Fat Fueled Family - Danny Vega https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBWrXQozj8I
Crohn's Colitis Vitality https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfnYhj9llnBS78vM8jwtNCA
Vegetable Police https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFuLNktnqqBEF_9ZcmjC_bw
What I've Learned https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqYPhGiB9tkShZorfgcL2lA
sv3rige https://www.youtube.com/usesv3rige
KasumiKriss https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp4_eaWIdkiW37Fg4Moi9Ag
SHREDucated https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTQ5VXO6E9iVdMT5WJwuqHA
Tuit Nutrition - Amy Berger https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmDz-SYYhoerycynsCm7L8g
Keto Connect https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzRYivTpUQ0r2qPPjfLoQiA
Carneval https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngtlLz7xTfiEAsDU-HrnBg
Full Range Strength - Don Matesz https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZHoeDSpHN1bBWXsqSgaeuw
Dr. Nick Zyrowski https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o_WpYz0gso
Dr. Paul Saladino https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg1P0buUrv4
Autism and the Carnivore Diet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5ME6nGWxcQ&t=1s
Rob Stuart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk5R_invOWQ

Podcasts

CarnivoreCast http://www.carnivorecast.com/Human Performance Outliers (Dr. Shawn Baker and Zach Bitter) http://humanperformanceoutliers.libsyn.com/Peak Human https://www.peak-human.com/BioHackers Lab https://www.biohackerslab.com/
Fitness Confidential https://vinnietortorich.com/tag/fitness-confidential/
Low Carb Cardiologist with Dr. Bret Scher https://lowcarbcardiologist.com/
Diet Doctor Podcast (has video) https://www.dietdoctor.com/the-diet-doctor-podcast-is-now-on-itunes-apple-podcasts
Dr. Peter Attia - The Drive https://peterattiamd.com/podcast/
2 Keto Dudes http://2ketodudes.com/
The Keto Savage http://ketosavage.com/podcasts/
Low Carb MD http://www.lowcarbmd.com/
Zero Carb Journal https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/zero-carb-journal/id1328453741
InnerFirePodcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/innerfirepodcast/id1249685753
STEM-Talk https://www.ihmc.us/stemtalks/

Crowd Funded Science

Get a $169 TeloMere kit and do the Carnivore Diet strictly for 3 months and then send in results(or don't)! https://www.ajconsultingcompany.com/carnivoredietstudy.html
nequalsmany.com Free tracking app designed for Carnivore Diet

In the News!

ABC News Good Morning America : What to know about the trendy, meat-only 'carnivory' diet By ABC NEWS Jul 27, 2018, 8:51 AM ETSFChronicle - Tech workers seeking an edge on peers turn to all-meat ‘carnivore diet’
INC: Steak Is the New Salad: Why These Techies Are Embracing an All-Meat Diet Your Coinbase account should be accompanied by steak and bacon, according to these cryptocurrency luminaries. Sept 22, 2017
Vice : Inside the World of the 'Bitcoin Carnivores' Why a small community of Bitcoin users is eating meat exclusively. Sept 29th, 2017
Global News Canada : Danielle Smith: If you want to improve your health, eat more meat January 12, 2018
INC: I Ate Nothing but Meat for 2 Weeks. Here's What It Was Like @sonyaellenmann
The Guardian: They mock vegans and eat 4lb of steak a day: meet 'carnivore dieters' An extreme, all animal-based diet is gaining followers in search of heightened productivity, mental clarity, and a boosted libido. But experts express doubts @oliviasolon Fri 11 May 2018 04.00 EDT
National Post: Meat, meat, and more meat: Extreme, animal-only 'carnivore diet' gaining followers Enthusiasts of the all-meat diet include a group of self-proclaimed 'bitcoin carnivores' May 15, 2018
Healthline : This Woman Says Meat-Only Diet Eased Her Autoimmune Disease Symptoms Mikhaila Peterson took the keto diet one extra step by eliminating veggies and eating only meat. She says it cured several illnesses. Experts aren’t convinced. Written by Gigen Mammoser on June 3, 2018
PureWow : What Is the Carnivore Diet (and Should You Try It)? By ALEXIA DELLNER | JUN. 27, 2018
'Vegans Are Sacks Of Sh*t But They Are Winning' Carnivore Ex-Doc Blasts Jul 18, 2018
NYPost : New diet claims you can lose weight eating only steak and burgers July 24, 2018
Eggs and bacon for breakfast, burgers for lunch, steak for dinner: Man says ‘carnivore diet’ has helped him lose weightPOSTED 8:50 PM, JULY 29, 2018, BY FOX NEWS WIRE SERVICE,
BuzzFeed News : Jordan Peterson Says Meat Cured His Depression. Now His Daughter Will Tell You How It Healed Her Too — For A Fee. Posted on July 31, 2018
PopSci : Please do not try to survive on an all-meat diet By Sara Chodosh August 2, 2018
The Daily Meal: The Carnivore Diet Is the Wildest Weight Loss Craze of All Time August 3, 2018 By Holly Van Hare
Repost to News.Com.Au : New diet claims you can lose weight eating only steaks and burgers AUGUST 5, 2018
PETA Takes Life Insurance Policy Out On A Carnivore Dieter, Hopes To Turn Him Vegan
I'm a Registered Dietitian and I Really Don't Want You to Eat a Carnivore Diet August 7th, 2018
TRENDS TO TOSS (OR MODERATE) IN 2019 CARNIVORE DIET

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Upcoming Conferences on Low Carb, Keto, Carnivore

submitted by dem0n0cracy to zerocarb [link] [comments]

I used to run a dead internet message board.

Remember those purely social internet forums?
If you don’t then this might seem weird to you, but back in the day before Facebook, Myspace, Instagram or the word ‘social network’ existed outside of lecture halls, if you wanted a place to hang out online that wasn't open to the public then privately message boards were pretty much your only decent option.
So the story goes that in the early nineties me and my old college buddies, we split the costs of the server got together and I made us a private forum. You can guess what happens next, the years go on and the forum gets a fair amount of use, memories were made, users come and go but eventually better social tools take over and the forum gets mothballed.
The last conversation I had on the old forum was about ten years ago, I kept the site up and running all these years for a few reasons. One was to have a place to test stuff, and I ended up using the server as a tool to teach my kids how to use computers properly. (You guessed it! I’m a network admin.)
Skip to present day and about four weeks ago you can imagine my surprise when I get an email informing me that new users are registering accounts on the forum. At first I figured it was some of the old guys coming back for nostalgia. You won’t find the site on google and the URL isn’t something you would just guess either, So I logged myself in and went to check out the new thread, the subject line was a series of numbers “1088A7 7BR286 33PZ00”. I clicked on title to inspect the conversation but there was only one post, a series of letters and numbers with spaces at random intervals too long to post here. My first thought was that it was a prank, so I checked the admin log for IP’s just to see who it was, turns out my supposedly private forum had received 400 unique hits at the exact time of posting, from I.P addresses all over the world. I should have known then that something weird was going on, but I was curious and It felt like a puzzle I was being asked to solve.
As I wracked my brain over the next few days I began to research as much cryptography as I could, but whatever code these posts were in wasn’t something I could decipher. After about three days of searching another post appeared, in much the same theme and again there were around 400 unique hits at the time of posting that prevented me from finding the origin.
This is when things began to take an even stranger turn.
So far, the same user had posted each entry in the thread. A few hours after the second post five other users started leaving messages, all of which were huge entries of letters and numbers. The posts came flying in over a four-hour period until they just stopped and the server started going insane, CPU and ram usage began to max out but the traffic never changed. At that point I had seen enough and pulled the plug on the server, assuming It was being used as a bitcoin miner and forgot about the whole thing.
The next day I got a text on my work phone.
“Turn on the server”.
I was more than a little shaken, but I didn’t do anything straight away as I was at work. A few hours after my lunch break was over I got a Facebook message from my teenage son which was unusual so I checked it straight away. The message was a picture of his face from his laptop webcam along with our home address. If any of you have kids you can imagine my calm and measured (hint: It wasn’t) reply. A few minutes later my work phone started ringing with one of the support technician’s caller ID, but when I took the call they weren’t on the other end. Instead to my surprise it was Stephen hawking’s voice speaking at me over the line.
“The forum is being used for great things, leave work, return to your family and plug the server back in. You have two hours.” I knew that was a threat, I’m not an idiot so I didn’t take any chances. I raced back home, plugged the server back in and waited for a response. My personal phone buzzed this time with a new text message from my daughter.
“Well done. No more interference, we’re waking up.”
“We’re waking up”, what the hell did that mean? I made myself a coffee and tried to log into the server but I was locked out. Whatever was happening they had full access to everything we owned, which shouldn’t be possible. The more I thought about it, the crazier my theories got until eventually I realised whatever was happening was way beyond my capacity to deal with.
Remember the old college buddies I set the forum up with? Well one of them works for the NSA and his name is Pete. I figured that if anyone would be willing to help me out with this, it would be him. I mean, I just didn’t trust local police to have the know-how and the FBI doesn’t exactly have a ‘call here if you don’t think the local police force have the ability deal with your situation without getting your family killed’ hotline, you know? I just needed a way to contact him without ‘them’ realising what I had done.
I knew I was traceable via my phone GPS, so they would know wherever I went with them. I also know my car could be tracked the same way, so I couldn’t go anywhere with them but I also couldn’t just leave them at the house or they might get suspicious. I had no idea to what extent they had access to CCTV around the area or the other webcams in the house or at work either, so I had to make everything seem normal, but not too normal.
I drove back to work with the phones, my work laptop and a hoodie, when I arrived at the office I sat at my desk, returned my devices to their usual places and got back to work. When I was satisfied a believable amount of time had passed I began operation ‘call for help’.
Step one: I walked at a smooth and completely normal pace down the hallway and to the left where I entered the conveniently camera free server room.
Step two: After entering the server room I got changed into the hoodie I brought with me and limped out of the office, hopefully with my head covered and my gait changed they wouldn’t recognise me through the outdated low-res Chinese cameras.
Step three: As soon as I got out of the office I limped to the nearest bus station and took a ride to the nearest mall, where my Oscar winning doctor house performance would take me to the nearest mobile store. With the piece of paper on which I’d written my friends phone number I quickly hobbled over to the men’s bathroom, picked a stall and made the call. The phone rang. Then it rang again. And then I hit a voicemail.
No worries hang up and try again!
No answer.
Shit. Fuck. Shit.
It took 12 tries in the mall toilets before I got anywhere, but when I finally got through to him he understandably wasn’t very happy. “Who the fuck is this and why have you called me twelve times?”
I blurted out as much as I could in 30 seconds, I even got as far as the weird codes still being posted on the forum, then the son of a bitch hung up on me. I just sat there for a few seconds, stunned. I didn’t know what else to do, so I dialled in 911 but before I could put the call through the burner phone rang. Unknown number.
It was Pete, he spoke very quietly down the line and told me he couldn’t talk on his personal number, but that I did the right thing by calling him. I quickly picked up the story from where I had left off, leaving out no details. I feel sorry for the guy who sat in the other bathroom stall, he must’ve thought I was a maniac. After I finished I felt the tone of the conversation change and then it was my turn to listen as he blurted out a ton of technical questions about the nature of the traffic and forum posts. I told him he could see the posts for himself if he got on to the website but he quite wisely told me that would be a bad idea, any unexpected traffic that they spotted would be a dead giveaway I’d told someone what was happening.
Then I asked what the hell he thought was happening, how could they even have found our old forum let alone have the resources to infiltrate my life like this? He tried to bypass the question but I kept pressing him, I figured my kids were in danger and I had a right to know who the hell these people were but he refused to answer and told me to head home. I refused to co-operate until I knew who was threatening my family.
He said “it’s not a matter who, It’s a matter of what. That’s all you want to know, for your safety and mine. Agents will be at your house in a few hours, your family home and we’ll take it from there.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I’m a glorified network guy whose computer was probably hacked by well-informed Chinese kids somewhere, now my family is being questioned by federal agents? And who or what the hell are these people and why is the federal government getting involved so quickly?
Two hours later there was a knock at the door, outside was a white guy in a crisp blue suit and tie, to his right was a black guy in a tan get up. Both were easily 6,5’ and had little American flag pins on their collar. I realised then I had walked into an episode of Homeland.
The two introduced themselves as NSA agents, but I don’t recall their names. I asked for ID and they presented their cards, I even made a note of taking down their agent numbers for my own records. After we’d exchanged pleasantries and I made sure everyone was on the way home to talk to the two men, I went into the kitchen to make coffee. When I came back into the living room the agents had already begun tearing the place apart.
They took every device they could get their hands on, our laptops, home PC’s, even our smart TV and managed to stuff them all into the back of their car, it felt more like a robbery than police work. When they had finished, they returned to the house and sat with me in the living room, they asked me a lot of personal questions about who my family where and how long it would take them to arrive. More than anything it made me feel like they were more concerned about getting us all in the same room than helping us. The low buzz of their phones put an end to the barrage of questions, simultaneously they pulled the devices out of their pockets and exchanged an exasperated look with one another before thanking me for my time and rushing out of the door, taking thousands of dollars of my equipment and personal items with them.
Ten minutes later there was another knock at the door. Pretty shaken by this strange intrusion I didn’t answer the door at first, but after a second more intense knock I opened the door. In front of me were two men and a woman, average height, nothing notable other than the badges in their hands.
Our exchange went something like this.
“Sir, Pete informed us of the situation. If it’s ok with you we’d like to begin-“
“Didn’t you guys just send some people?”
“I’m sorry sir, we’re it.”
“But what about the other two who just left? I have their badge numbers written down here.”
The agents at the door looked pale as I explained what had happened.
Then I went pale as they explained that those two men hadn’t been sent by the federal government.
They left soon after they realised everything of value had been taken, but assured me they’d be working the case in the meantime. I haven’t heard anything back from them since.
I’d been trying to get in touch with my buddy for weeks about what the hell had happened and whether I was safe but he never picked up and eventually the number was disconnected. I even made the drive to his house, but when I got there it was for sale and him and his family were gone.
I thought this nightmare was over, but last week I was followed on my way to work. I think my family may be in danger so since then I have finished building a new server, I’m going to put the forum back up and see what happens. So far all know is that there is something or someone out there using computer resources that has the intelligence to outsmart the NSA and the FBI. What worries me most is that no one I’ve spoken to has any idea exactly what it’s up to.
I’ve put my story out here in the hopes that I’ll be able to give an update when this is all over, but If I don’t then I hope someone out there finds this and it helps them.
Be careful out there on the web
submitted by Companion_Prose to nosleep [link] [comments]

Diary of a Douchebag: FC does a gun show, Part 2.

Friday, 1PM: I leave work early. I have to set up for the gun show early because the only time my mechanic has for the alignment rack for the next week and a half is friday afternoon and I am in need of an alignment to keep my Michelin Defender's in a nice predictable wear pattern.
My loadout this weekend includes a whole bunch of the usual stuff, Colts, Sigs, HK's, Glock's a few Springfields and four Daniel Defense rifles and an FN SLP Mk 1. I haul over a few used guns that I just took on trade too, a Tavor 556 LH and a Mossberg 500 that I got for $100 off someone wanting to trade it towards a new Glock 23. Four trips with the hand truck gets everything in before the rain starts.
I have reserved two tables but I have enough merchandise to cover three. The exhibitor tells me tables went up so two tables cost me $160 for the weekend and I consider it a small expense to view the express train to hell that is the gun culture.
45 minutes flies by as I set up my table just the way I want it and I get to Lenny's to get my alignment done. He's been doing an alignment for me no charge for the past 3 years after I told him NOT to buy an old Browning shotgun he fell in love with on gunbroker. He wanted to use it for upland hunting, sporting clays, skeet and anything moving through the air killing. It was an old gun that had FIXED barrel chokes - Full and Full. I told him RUN LIKE HELL. He said my advice saved him from a $1500 mistake and the least he can do is keep my car on the road no charge. He gets my car set up on his $80,000 hunter alignment rack and finds my toe in is way out of spec. He spends a few minutes banging around with a wrench and everything is all good. As he's doing that, since I know he won't take my money - I walk to the 7-11 across the street and grab him a tall boy of Rolling Rock. His week is so shitty that he shotguns it faster than Brett Kavanaugh circa 1982. Time to head home. I'm halfway there when the phone rings ring ring
FC: Go for FC
1: Hey FC, it's Captain Bob. How's it going?
FC: Good! I got your stuff fixed and ready to go on my desk.
1: I can be there in 15 minutes!
FC: I'll turn around, see you in 15.
Captain Bob is a four stripe left seat pilot for Delta on the triple. We love talking airplanes and guns. He's had me tune up an old 220 he wants to use at a class he's taking at FLETC later this year. Like a good pilot, he believes in a comprehensive pre flight inspection. And since his type rating says B777 and not P220, he wanted someone to make sure he's not taking a dud to class. All I did to it was give it a visual, clean and lube and although it probably didn't need it - it had a 20 year old recoil spring so I installed a new one just as a precaution.
I get back to my desk and get his gun ready, cleared and slide locked back as he walks in the door. He just got home from running a 777LR to Johannesburg and back and is very pleased to see his old 220 ready to roll. I take my glasses off and point out he's got a little bit of slide peening in a few spots but just keep it lubricated and it's normal wear and tear since he does not shoot it much.
He asks me if I have any 300 blackout ammo, I pull a case of 220gr OTM off the shelf. I tell him $450 on the ammo and the pistol inspection and recoil spring is on the house and he's having none of it. Hands me five crisp hundos and tells me to keep it. Just as I'm tucking the cash into my desk drawer, my door opens up and since I'm not wearing my glasses - I see a blurry silhouette of.....is that wonder woman? HUGE TITS on a small frame. I can't tell what's going on.
FC: Hi!
Lady: Hey FC, it's Lisa. I was just getting my wedding dress altered next door and wanted to say hi!
FC: Oh hey! I'm not wearing my glasses so I have no idea what's happening!
Lisa: See you tomorrow!
FC: I'l be there! So anyways Bob, that was strange. I am normally not used to having my door flung open by halfway attractive women.....
Bob: Neither am I! You should see some of the FA's on the J'burg route!
We have a laugh. Some more airplane talk about the old 72's and I tell him about the time I greased it in the box on the A320. Turns out he flew A320's as well as boeings and we revel in the differences in both the airplanes. I really like the Airbus design and their workflow even though Boeing guys love to hate it. He's happy with his 220 and we pull chocks.
I head home, throw a ribeye on the grill and go to bed early. I've got a busy day in the morning.
Saturday morning I wake up at 7AM and look at my to do list. Shit shower and shave. The gun show closes at 5. Lisa's wedding is at 6. The venue is at the lake 39 minutes from the VFW hall. I have a plan. I will leave STRAIGHT to the venue from the gun show and I'll put on dress clothes below the belt. After all, how often do you look at another man's pants? I throw on an HK black NO COMPROMISE Polo shirt untucked with a black alligator belt and Canali navy slacks with my new Allen Edmonds boulevards in black. Socks by Brumell and boxers by Fruit of the Loom. I walk into the VFW hall with a non iron Lauren white spread collar shirt, Ted Baker tie and Canali jacket slung over my shoulder. Nobody notices the pitter patter sound of leather soles on the concrete as the show starts coming to life.
It's 8:55. Lets get this show on the road.
The loudspeaker crackles and lets everyone in the hall know the doors are about to open up and asks us to check all our guns for ammo and zip ties. I get my table ready and pull out my 4473's on clipboards and check my pens. FFL in frame is standing up on the table, everything is tagged and tied. There will be no discharge of firearms at my table as a result.
9AM: Show opens. It's dead. Deader than dead. Like, life support dead. Typically there is a line from the entryway of the hall and around the building to get into the show every time.
This is not the show of years ago. This summer has been atrocious. I talked to the promoter and lots of vendors did not reserve tables for this and the next show. The numbers are way down.
Some people start to trickle in but it's not a good sign.
9:30AM: A fellow walks up and asks me if I have a Sig 226 TACOPS with TB in stock. I don't but vendors do. He drove 2 hours to this show to try and find one since his local place did not have it. They're on contract with sig and refuses to order one from distribution to make him happy and Sig has no idea when they're going to make more out of New Hampshire. Well, thanks to Ron Cohen making 26 SKU's for every single pistol - that's what you get.
9:41AM: Fellow wearing an INFOWARS shirt molests way too much merchandise on my table than I'm comfortable with. I shoot a knowing eye roll to Noah over at the next table. He's a 27 year old jewish gold bullion dealer from Long Island that votes libertarian and laughs at all my jokes. He adjusts his RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT banner hanging off the edge of his table as I wait for Finger McBangerson here to go away so I can wipe down all my stuff.
10:23AM: Guy walks up to me and he says he's looking for a shotgun for competition. I point him towards the SLP at the end of the table.
10:24AM: Older fellow walks up to me and says he's looking for a gun for his wife as he lifts up a Colt Commander. I tell him that will definitely kill his wife. Guy looking at the SLP cracks up laughing. Older guy looks at me mortified. Then he gets the joke. Asks me about suitability of a steel framed colt commander for her. I say probably not a good first choice. Perhaps you should send her to an NRA basic pistol class.
10:39AM: Guy asks me what's the best I'll do on a Glock 17L. I tell him the tag is already priced more than fair. He asks if he can buy it with cash if he can get a discount. I'm like let me see. I ask him if he's got a state CWL. He says yes. I take off $20. He says it's a deal, hands me a stack of money, current CWL and a California drivers license.
FC: Do you have residency in this state?
1: No, I'm here visiting for work
FC: And you want me to sell you a gun with a California drivers license and no residency?
1: DUDE! KEEP IT DOWN! Do you have any idea what would happen if people found out I didn't live here?
FC: YES I DO! They wouldn't be a party to you breaking the law!
I hand him all his shit back and tell him to get on the next flight to Fresno.
12:01 PM: Lunchtime. I pick up my sammich from Jersey mikes and nobody fails to interrupt me to throw money at me. This is not a very good sign.
12:16 PM: I am scarfing down the last of my sandwich as Infowars shirt guy comes back around. We chat a bit about 1911's and he eventually tries to convince me that I need to buy the water filter that Alex Jones is selling to keep us from turning homosexual. I tell him now I'm not gay, but look at these shoes. I pull my left hock up and put a nice shiny new Allen Edmonds boulevard on the table. He seems to recoil in horror. As he walks away, I tell him he didn't even notice that I had them straight laced! They're fabulous!
Nobody understands my humor.
12:33 PM: The vendor to the left of me is selling clothing offensive to the left. MAGA hats, anti snowflake shirts, ISIS hunting permit graphic tees, etc. I debate calling one of my guys and having "MAKE 45ACP GREAT AGAIN" hats made up. I call up r_shackleford and he thinks this is genius. We trade witty banter back and forth for a few minutes.
12:49 PM: The vendor in front of me is a gigantic pawn shop with 16 tables. There's a woman trying to sell them a rifle, and not succeeding at all. Sam looks over at me and points and says to her "you know, he buys guns too!"
FUCK YOU SAM.
FUCK YOU LONG.
FUCK YOU HARD.
The hambeast approaches and thrusts a rifle in my face. "WE BUILT IT CUSTOM" she says. "I NEED MONEY FOR CHEMO" she says. The barrel says 223 Wylde. The lower says Aero Precision. The price tag says $1500 OBO. I tell her she'd be lucky if she got HALF that in this economy. She complains that they really need the money and her two demon spawn that are traveling with her seem to be tired of her getting the same speech from every vendor in the hall.
NO YOUR GODDAMN HOMEBUILT 223 WYLDE AR15 IS NOT WORTH $1500
It's not even worth $750
It's worth MAYBE the same price as a new PSA rifle - $350, $450 tops if you threw in the little girl.
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The lady looks at me like a truck stop rapist and inevitably proclaims that SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S GOT. Words fail me. I shake my head as she walks away with her demon spawn and I shoot a look back at sam and mouth very carefully YOU FUCKER back at him. Sam cracks up laughing.
1:12PM: I'm asked if that's a Dead Air Sandman on my table. I say yes. Guy asks to look at it and explains to his friend that it's a DAA Sandman and talks about the mounting system.
FC: You know your stuff.
1: Yeah I just bought one.
FC: I'm the only DAA dealer around here, you don't look familiar. Who'd you get it from?
1: Silencershop. Used the kiosk at a dealer in another city 1.5 hours away
FC: Uh, I stock the sandman and would have made you a deal. Why'd you do go through them if you don't mind my asking?
1: Well it was a timesaver.
FC: How's that? I mean that place I know is an hour and a half away without traffic, so you made a trip there to do your stuff - then back. That's 3 hours. Then another 3 hours after your stamps clear - so that's 6 hours in a car total. I can call the PD, make an appointment for you to roll your prints and you're done in 15 minutes. Photos at CVS are another 15 minutes. How is 6 hours a timesaver instead of 30 minutes?
1: Well I just knew that if I had to make more than one stop I'd never do it, so it was spend 6 hours in a car and get it done in one shot or spend 15 minutes doing fingerprints or photos and being too lazy to do the other one and never sending in the paperwork. So this was the better choice for me.
FC: Uh. Okay?
1: Why don't you have a kiosk?
FC: I'm not paying $9000 for something that's going to save you time and cost me money and then have to deal with being tech support and having a device in my place of business that compresses my own margins. We're down to making $50 on a can from making $350. This isn't a position I'm interested in taking.
1: Well, sucks to be you. I'm buying all my cans from silencershop now!
FC: Enjoy your 6 hour drive.
1:30 PM: Man walks up with an old stainless combat commander colt. Series 70. No original box and sights. Looks well used.
Thinks I’m crazy when I say I won’t give him $1000 on trade.
1:39 PM: Guy comes back. Guy wants me to put a can on his 1917 eddystone that is not threaded. He asks what he can get for $150
1:45 PM: Lady picks up a Trijicon RMR and asks to turn it on. I shove a battery in it and turn it on.
1: This is a laser sight right?
FC: This is an RMR from Trijicon and RMR stands for Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight - it uses a laser of sorts and projects it onto this lens here....
1: THIS COSTS $500? AND IT DOES NOT EVEN PUT IT ON THE TARGET?
FC: Well if you just look through the lens here you can see the red dot projected onto the glass.....
1: I CAN BUY A $30 LASER POINTER AND DUCT TAPE IT TO MY GUN AND I'D BE $470 CHEAPER AND IT WOULD PUT THE LASER ON THE BAD GUY! WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL?
She walks away. My mouth is agape.
2:15PM: Old guy walks up and points at a Glock 34 I have on the table. MY FRIEND BOUGHT A GLOCK IN 89 WITH NYPD AND SHOT HIMSELF HOLSTERING IT. I DONT TRUST THE DAMN THINGS and shuffles away without me having time for a rebuttal
2:21PM: Someone walks up asking me if I want to buy a used les Baer Comanche. I tell him I buy when I can make money. I look at it. It’s clean.
He wants $1600. Street is about $1600, that's all the money. Street the gun sells for about $1799 NEW, which means I can buy it for less than $1600 new. I tell him this. He looks at me like Elizabeth Warren looks at Brett Kavanaugh and shuffles away. I shake my head as I notice a familiar face walk up. I can't place it. He looks at some guns.
2:25PM: I'm asked if I have a card from the familiar stranger. I reach down into my wallet and fish one out, I hand it to him and he smiles at me. It finally clicks.
FC: Dr Livingstone, I presume.
Doc: I haven't seen you in years, how have you been?
(The doc is FC's old therapist. He can't say hi to me walking around due to HIPAA but if I open a dialogue, it's okay)
FC: Eh, same old shit different day. I uh made some mistakes a few weeks ago and I thought of you.
Doc: Oh really? How so.
FC: Well uh. You remember that day when I told you to go back to the Office of the Bursar at UCLA and ask for a refund on your $125,000 post graduate education because it was nothing but academic detritus?
Doc: Well, I hadn't thought about it for a few years but it sounds like something you would say.
FC: It was right after you told me that I used 3 different quotes from 3 different academics in a span of less than 5 minutes to answer your question. You said that I intellectualize as a defense because I don't like getting close to people. I said you're full of shit. You asked me do I even know what intellectualize means? I said of course I know what it means, what do you think I'm some kind of idiot? Then you sat there grinning like a Cheshire cat at the thought of making me eat my own words.
Doc: Haha. Now, that sounds familiar. I remember that.
FC: Well I don't know how many patients are willing to say it but you were right and I was wrong.
Doc: I don't get much pleasure in hearing that, but did you learn anything about yourself?
FC: It took a few years to realize you may have been right all along but yeah.
Doc: Then what does it matter who's right or wrong as long as you learned something?
FC: Hmm. That's not bad. How's business?
Doc: Full appointment book and not taking new patients.
FC: I guess you could say it's........a little crazy?
Doc: I missed your humor. Tell me about this Glock 45...
I show him a few different guns and crack jokes about disgruntled patients. He says he'll think about arming himself what with crime and mentally unstable people being growth sectors in this post-trump apocalyptic nightmare. I tell him to be fore warned is to be fore armed. He seems reticent, but I can only lead the horse to water. I can't make him drink.
2:51PM: Fellow walks up.
1: I need a colt ladysmith. Do you have one?
FC: the colt or the ladysmith?
1: The colt ladysmith
FC: is it a colt or a smith?
1: smith
FC: which model?
1: the ladysmith!
FC: I know but I need to know what model. They put that on a bunch of different guns
1: it’s the one with writing on the side of the gun. It says. LADY SMITH on it. You know the one
I realize the strongest case for repealing the second amendment is spending a day talking to people at the gun show.
3PM: Two hours left to go! The end is in sight! I haven't sold a single fucking gun yet!
3:02 PM: Man walks up. Hey do you have the new Sig 925?
FC: You mean 365?
1: No the 925
FC: Sig does not make a 925
1: Yes they do, it's the new one.
FC: The 365?
1: No! The 925!
FC: Can you show me a picture?
1: It's the one on the magazine.
FC: Most of sigs guns have magazines.
1: I mean the one in print. It's on the cover.
FC: The cover of the periodical you mean?
1: Yeah! You know the new one!
FC: Well if it's on the cover, it should be easy to find on google. Can you show me a picture?
1: There's nothing coming up on google for the Sig 925
FC: Maybe perhaps its because it's the sig 365?
1: I'm telling you it's not that. It's the new one they just came out with. It's the 925.
FC: Care to make a wager?
1: No.
FC: If you bring me a photo I can try to narrow it down.
1: I'll find the magazine at home and bring it in tomorrow.
FC: Periodical.
1: Whatever.
3:11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFSB2plwzM
3:12: Numismatist neighbor Noah asks me a question
Noah: Hey! What's a hi point?
FC: A cry for help!
(everyone laughs)
Noah: No I mean price wise?
FC: Like $100, they're garbage guns.
Me and Noah start talking. I am moving more and more libertarian every day. He's the treasurer of his local LP chapter in Suffolk county. For a jewish kid from Riverhead, we sure have a lot in common. We get into an animated debate on the virtues of Kelo v New London in that it was a shitty position for the town of New London to take Susette Kelo's house for redevelopment under eminent domain. If they wanted to redevelop it, for the government to use eminent domain is a government run amok. As a libertarian, he hates government overreaching - as someone who also hates that sort of thing, we are in very vocal agreeance.
The tshirt vendor is listening to us debate the merits of the case and how the SCOTUS created a TERRIBLE precedent regarding government using the takings clause and when we finish he asks us a question.
TShirtGuy: How the fuck do you two know so much about a supreme court case?
Noah: Well, when you went to college and you're an economics and pre law major....
FC: Let me make it simple. WE ARE NERDS!
Everyone has a laugh.
TShirtGuy: Speaking of funny, check this out! He holds up a shirt.
It says in big print on the front: the the reason gun shows exist is so women can know what it’s like for when they drag men to the mall
I chuckle.
3:13 PM: I get in an argument with the republican candidate for office of something or other on gun laws. He is stupid and he is going to lose.
3:23 PM: A nice lady walks up. She looks familiar. She looks at some guns and feels up a 226 and remarks how well she likes how it handles.
FC: You're Bernice, aren't you?
Bernice: Why yes I am! You do not look familiar. How do I know you?
FC: You're still working at the courthouse right?
Bernice: That's right!
FC: Judge Snyder, right?
Bernice: No! He moved up to the appellate circuit last month it's...
FC: Judge Reinhold! That's right, one of his JA's called me to buy a gun last month. I forgot Christine told me, you're right.
Bernice: Holy crap, you have an incredible memory. When was the last time you were in front of Judge Snyder?
FC: Four years ago. I was the one that filed the motion citing the big lebowski.
Bernice: OH MY GOD THAT WAS YOU? I remember that!
FC: Yeah and I had to go dumpster diving to get my phone back. Shit, was that really 4 years ago? Fuck.
We talk more about guns and stuff. She loves her old West German 226. I tell her that if she really wants to have some fun, she should ask Judge Snyder to tag along on his next range day. About two years ago, the judge called me up asking for some advice. He's Tet offensive era USMC and wanted a new toy to reach out and touch someone and was dead set on getting a new SR25.
I talked him out of it because SR25's are stupid expensive. I knew of another dealer that had a T&E 20" SR25 that they were looking to unload cheap and I told him that with the amount of money he'd save going to the T&E gun versus the new one - the delta would more than cover a Nightforce NXS, rings and mounting and that would save him money and be a good performer. I'm friends with his daughter on facebook and they both looked like they had a lot of fun ringing the gong at the gun club.
Bernice is impressed. Too bad she's not my type, we'd get along fantastically if I was 15 years older.
4 PM: 60 minutes left to this shit show.
4:04PM: The loudspeaker crackles. ATTENTION ATTENTION: BRETT KAVANAUGH HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO THE SUPREME COURT.
The proletariat rejoices and hooting and hollering typically reserved for the LSU game breaks out in the hall.
ALSO WILL THE RED JEEP PARKED IN THE FIRE LANE PLEASE MOVE - YOU ARE BLOCKING THE BBQ GUY FROM LEAVING. RED JEEP. MOVE OR YOU WILL BE TOWED.
4:11 PM: Guy walks up in civvies.
1: I wanna buy this but I’m not a state resident
FC: well what’s your deal? Give me some more to work with.
1: I’m from Texas but I’m in the military
FC: if you got your orders - PCS to any base in this state says you’re a state resident, but if you don't - I can't help you. I know a lot of guys don't travel around with their orders....
JUST AS I SAY THAT the guy pulls out a wad of hundreds out of his pocket and his PCS paperwork, signed, rubber stamped and billeted.
THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.
I give him the clipboard as I look at his paperwork. No blank spaces, approved change of station to Barksdale AFB, address reads base housing, everything is in order for the young airman.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT. THIS IS AMAZING.
Forms done correct on the first swing.
I AM WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP.
I call in the transaction and they tell me that the national system is down. NO IDEA WHEN IT'S GOING TO BE BACK UP.
I tell the USAF that the system is down and we can't do anything. He takes my card and hands me money and says just call him when it's ready to be picked up. Huh. Okay, he's cool with that. His girlfriend lives over here so he's back here every weekend. Done! I mark up the paperwork with some notes.
4:23 PM: One guy just walked up and told me that he had no idea HK made rifles. Apparently made a bunch of rifles a few years ago and stamped glocks name on them for Glock. Since Glock can't be found out to be making rifles. This captures the attention of another guy who asks me if my Glocks on the table have fluted firing pins. I tell him they do not make fluted firing pins. That makes no sense. He says yes they do make sense. They're fluted so they shoot underwater.
4:28 PM: Noah's table has someone in front of it debating buying some gold. As they delve into the discussion of gold and FIAT currency, I hear the following.
1: Bitcoin is a webpage. It’s like buying stock. Bitcoin issues shares and it dilutes so the price goes down.
Noah: I don't think that's how it works.
1: You’re basically buying a part of a big webpage
FC: This is like listening to someone try to explain that pi is exactly 3.
Noah: What's wrong with you?
FC: I am the Anthony Bourdain of the gun world. I eat, I drink and I yell at idiots.
4:45 PM It's getting close to show close, I need to get ready for the wedding. I grab my Lauren shirt that thankfully is non iron and just dressy enough to work and just casual enough to be worn without a tie if you need to and whip off my HK polo. I put on the shirt and tuck it in as I notice a lovely couple walk up out of the corner of my eye. Its Jim and Jane, Jane is a pharmacist that works at the hospital and Jim is a Gastroenterology resident at the hospital too. They buy lots of guns from me. I finish tucking in my shirt as we talk shop.
Jim wants 6 cans, 3 handgun and 3 rifle and wants to know what his options are. I rattle off all the options I would look at and I write some down on a legal pad for Jane to show him on the computer when he gets home. We talk 762 vs 556, 45 vs 9mm and direct thread vs QD for about 10 minutes as I tie off my blue Ted Baker tie into a Pratt knot. The apex of the tie just touches my belt buckle. Length is right on the money, and I didn't even have a mirror. Jane approves of my knot and color selection. Go me.
4:55 PM: Fabulousness achieved, I call back in and find out national system is still down. FUCK. Well this is gonna have to wait till tomorrow. I shove Airman Cecil O'Malley's paperwork under the table and start stowing stuff since the show is about to close.
4:59 PM: Table is covered up and FC is walking out the door as the announcement crackles over the loudspeaker. THE SHOW IS CLOSED. PLEASE LEAVE THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR.
5:01 PM: On the way to the wedding! I stop at Target along the way because I've forgotten to get a card. I find one that says "It was meant to brie" on the front. It has some greeting card herpes, aka glitter on it but I have no time to be picky. As I'm in line to checkout I write something cheeky.
"I always said love was cheesy and I camembert it sometimes.....Love, FC"
The cashier scans it, I plug my amex into the card reader as I slip in a yard in there and seal up the envelope and slide it into my jacket pocket.
The ride to the lake breaks every speed limit in two counties.
5:45PM: I arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony is about to begin and the parking staff puts me in the back lot. I hike over to the open bar and get a fresca. I'm supposed to behave myself, so FC quit drinking and is just chilling with a fresca as he scans the room.
I know NOBODY at this wedding except the bride, groom and MAYBE the bride's massage therapist. Nope. I know nobody here. Awwwkward. I behave myself and sip on a fresca as the wedding starts. She gets married. She says yes. He says yes. FC is an ordained minister and can step up and marry someone in case there's an emergency but my services will not be needed at this wedding because things are going smoother than a cold filtered miller genuine draft. It's all good. The DJ announces the new couple and they walk down the aisle together as husband and wife for the first time. The music starts playing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEgUPKxk7A
ITS HEAVY D AND THE BOYZ! I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO A WEDDING WHERE THEY PLAY THE COUPLE OFF TO HEAVY D! I mention this to the people sitting next to me and they're like it's just like hitch!
I'm like what?
They go on to explain to me that it's a movie. Starring Will Smith. Huh. Didn't see that one.
5:45 PM: The open bar and the food is coming out. I look around and I definitely do not know ANYBODY HERE. I need to eat and go home. I grab a plate of cocktail shrimp and some lobster sliders and sit down at a picnic table away from the crowd. I don't even notice a busty brunette with cleavage showing also sitting at the table staring at her phone across from me until she says hi.
1: Hi.
FC: Hi.
(I scarf down a lobster slider. Munch munch)
1: So how do you know the lovely couple?
FC: Well she was a friend of a friend and next thing you know I'm showing up to the Christmas party and the wedding. Then Seth is showing up and then they're getting married. You?
1: I work with Lisa, I'm a flight attendant. But I've been out of work for a few months. We had this thing at work. It's called a fume event. I happens when well uh how do I say?
FC: Contaminated bleed air via the pneumatic air conditioning kit - or PACK - gets into the cabin, causing all sorts of respiratory irritation and all sorts of other things for the crew. You're on the 320, right?
1: The airbus? Yeah. Me and Lise are also on the....
FC: 321 and the 319. Yeah, I'm familiar with the technology.
1: You're a pilot.
FC: Not exactly. I just know airplanes really well.
1: So you're an aerospace engineer.
FC: I wouldn't go that far. Hahaha. That's stretching it. A lot.
1: Let me get this right. You're friends with Lisa and Seth, you know airplanes, you're the only one at this wedding actually wearing a suit......
FC: To be fair, it's Louisiana in October. We're lucky most of the folks here aren't wearing Mossy Oak and Realtree.
1: Hahahahahhah! You must live in Baton Rouge!
FC: I do.
1: Me too! What part of the city? I live in (names neighborhood)
FC: I'm over in (neighborhood next to her)
1: OH MY GOD! That's 10 minutes from my house! So anyways, you're smart, you're funny, where have you been all my life? I'm Ally.
FC: I'm Will.
1: You wanna get dinner together? I literally do not know anyone else here and I was thinking about leaving before I met you.
FC: Uh sure. Lemme just top this fresca off.
1: I'll join you.
6:15 We're told by the bartenders to grab a ceremonial wedding tervis tumbler with a patch commemorating the happy couple's nuptials hermetically sealed inside. They didn't want a bunch of red solo cups going to the dumpster so they decided to ball out. I walk up to the table where there's literally 200 tumblers in varying colors to choose from and I grab a random one as Ally grabs one too. We head to the bar, she fills her with vodka and sprite. I top off with ginger ale because I'm staying sober and I have to drive 45 minutes back to casa de FC in BTR.
She asks me how I know so much about airplanes, I tell her it's been a lifelong obsession and I've done some ground school on the 320 and the 737 and I much prefer the 320. I ask her what's tough about her job and she tells me that most people don't know they only get paid when the doors close. I say yeah, block time is a real bitch sometimes. She looks at me like I'm crazy. I'm like what? She's like HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BLOCK TIME? I told you, I know airplanes. We chat some more as the crowd gets drunker and drunker and more ridiculous on the dance floor. Someone requested Strokin' by Clarence Carter and the DJ ACTUALLY PLAYED IT. Goddamnit Lisa! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A DO NOT PLAY LIST? Wow.
7:10 PM We find some seats for dinner as the buffet opens up, I pile a bunch of chicken marsala and beef wellington on my plate and we head back to the table. She's only a few years older than me and cannot believe that I am single. She asks if I've tried tinder. I tell her the tinder story about me being stuffed into the back of a police car and it is met with raucous laughter.
1: So, do you dance?
FC: I do a lot of things, but I don't dance. Baton Rouge is the city that rhythm forgot.
1: I don't really dance either. As a matter of fact, I'm perfectly content to people watch all night with you here by my side.
Her hand ran down to touch mine. It had a ring on it.
FC: What does your husband think about that?
Next thing I know, Lisa and Seth have dropped by the table to say hello. They're taking pictures with everyone and we can't continue the conversation we were just having. Lisa dives in to hug Ally, Seth gives me a handshake, sips my drink and asks why there isn't any bourbon in that tumbler.
FC: Gotta behave myself. Long drive back home.
Ally: OH MY GOD LISA! Will is FANTASTIC! Where have you been keeping him? He's funny, he's amazing and he looks hot in a suit! If I wasn't married, he'd be the perfect guy!
(We're cut off by Lisa, she looks at me sternly.)
Lisa: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
FC: What?
Lisa: Yesterday! When I was getting my wedding dress fitted! You called me a half attractive woman.....
FC: It's not a normal occurrence! Most of the women who open my door are total heifers! For real! Take the compliment!
Lisa cracks up, and Seth who has had a few drinks laughs so hard that he damn near falls over. You can hear the cackle of his laugh carry across the lake. The best man props him back up and they all have a laugh. The wedding planner slides in and tells the bride that her cake has been outside of refrigeration for an hour and 15 minutes now and is structurally deficient. They need to cut it now before it collapses in upon itself like a black hole. Lisa grabs Ally, Seth grabs me and the rest of the table follows. We're now part of the wedding cake cutting crew.
7:15 PM: The entourage all takes their Instagram positions as Lisa cuts into her structurally deficient cake and Seth resists the urge to do anything cheeky and fun with frosting. It's cute, everyone toasts the newlyweds.
7:20 PM: I pull Lisa aside privately and I ask her - what the fuck is Ally's deal? "If I wasn't married he'd be the perfect guy?" WHO THE FUCK SAYS THAT? A married woman? At a wedding? To a guy she JUST MET?
Lisa: Look, I have no idea how her marriage is going or what her deal is. But just because there's a goalie doesn't mean you can't score.
FC: WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
Lisa: It means that maybe, if she's throwing herself at you......you should catch her. I gotta go throw the bouquet. Brb.
FC: .....
7:25 Lisa goes to throw her bouquet and Ally has found me and is back at my side.
1: Where were we? I was just saying to Lisa that I was wondering where a guy like you has been all my life? You are awesome.
FC: I am awesome, and you are married.
1: Yeah, I know. Come on, I really want you......I mean I really want you......to go photobooth with me. Come on, it'll be fun.
She grabs my arm and drags me to the photobooth and she puts ridiculous hats and stuff on me. I'm like no, I've been looking ridiculous enough from birth. i'm good. She literally begs me with puppy dog eyes and does that thing where she shows cleavage.
FC: Isn't this like against one of the ten commandments? Thou shalt not......photobooth with another man's wife?
1: Hmm. Yeah, I guess. You're really sweet though. If I was single, I'd be all over you right now.
FC: Who says that? Really?
1: So, answer me this. You're not an engineer. You're not a pilot. What do you do?
FC: Gun dealer.
1: So if I had something like an AR15 that needed some work, you'd be the guy to call?
FC: Maybe, depending on what you needed - there's a lot of things where I'll just tell you flat out what you're trying to do is uneconomical and a bad idea.
1: Well, I'd really like it if you could check out some of my equipment sometime.
FC, internal monologue: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE
FC, external monologue: Bring it by the gun show this weekend and I'll see what I can do.
I crack an uneasy smile as she gets up to go use the bathroom. I decide it's time to get the fuck out of here.
8:11 Making my escape plan proves to be a little tougher than I expected. The parking at the venue at the lake is dark and unlit and I have to navigate my way back to my car in the dark using the light from my phone. I reach into my jacket and I realize that their card is still inside. Fuck. I gotta go back. I turn around and head back to the gift table and I use some ninja recon skills I picked up in catholic school to make sure Ally is nowhere nearby. The coast is clear. I walk up to the little birdcage they have for cards, drop mine in confidently and get ready to turn on my heel and leave. I start making my way back to the parking lot when Seth is just walking out of the bathroom next to the gift table.
1: Hey man, you heading home?
FC: I am now, forgot to drop off your card.
1: Ally thought you left without saying goodbye to her, so she asked me for your number. I gave it to her.
FC: Oh dear lord.
1: What?
FC: Did you hear that woman? "If I was single, you'd be the perfect guy!" Those words are not in a vocabulary of any married woman I know.
1: Dude, you just gotta chill out and go with the flow man. It's not your marriage. If she wants a piece of you, cut her off a slice.
FC: Are you serious?
1: When I met Lisa, she was still married to Freddie. Look at us now, 7 years later and we're happy. You want to be happy, don't you?
FC: Yeah but....
1: No but's! Go storm the castle! I gotta go, but I'll catch you at the afterparty tomorrow night! You going?
FC: Yeah at your house right?
1: Yeah, what time the gun show wrap up?
FC: 4, so I'll be out by 5.
1: I got steaks going on the grill at 3, I'll get save a nice one for you. You still a medium rare guy?
FC: You know it!
1: I think Ally is gonna be there too, you two should get to know each other a little better.
FC: That's what I'm afraid of!
Seth goes back to his wedding, I hop in the car and drive home. It's almost 10PM as I approach the Jersey mikes by my house. I stop in to grab a sandwich for Sunday.
Just as I walk up I hear one of the sandiwch makers swear she's going to slit the throat of the next person who orders a sandwich. Eep. I tell her I need a giant 9. She starts making me one. I ask her if she's trying to get out of here right at 10? She says yeah, she's trying to catch the end of the Yankees/Red Sox game. I tell her my old man was from Brighton and my mom was from Elmhurst, so there's no love lost there. We have a laugh. She caught the Yankees pummeling the A's in the wild card on Wednesday. I whip out my phone and check the score for her. Yankees are up 6-2. I tell her she should be able to catch the end of it at home or whatever sports bar she's going to. She tells me she's going to the outback steakhouse the next block over to watch it and they better have the game on when she rolls up in 15. I tell her I'll do her one better. I dated the bartender there (once, she friendzoned me) and I'll message her on facebook to have it on for you. It is at this moment, I am asked for the second time that evening - from a strange woman I've just met - where have I been all her life?
I head home, throw my sandwich in the fridge and head to bed wondering WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?
Did FC like get game all of a sudden?
Donald Trump is President.
The Eagles won the super bowl.
You can't make this shit up.
I got one more day at the gun show too.
Postscript: As I write this, it's Columbus day and the Indians, the Redskins and Braves all got their asses handed to them.
We truly live in interesting times.
submitted by FirearmConcierge to guns [link] [comments]

What A Day: D'oh Biden by Brian Beutler, Priyanka Aribindi & Crooked Media (06/19/19)

"I was talking about farting"—Presidential candidate/world’s most awkward person John Hickenlooper

Bidenfreude

Joe Biden told an audience of donors in New York City that his tax policies wouldn’t “fundamentally change” things, including their quality of life, and waxed nostalgic about his working relationships with segregationists when he was a young senator. Guuuulp.
It has not gone over well! Here’s the full rundown.
Biden has been campaigning on his ability to reach consensus with Republicans. As evidence of this, he cited his relationships with now-deceased Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA). Biden said Eastland “never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,’” and called Talmadge “one of the meanest guys I ever knew,” but added, “at least there was some civility. We got things done.”
Some problems with this!
Several Democratic presidential candidates have condemned Biden’s comments, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and Bill de Blasio.
Biden went on to assure his donors that they won’t assume much financial risk by supporting him. “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change,” he said. But, “when we have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution.”
Some problems with this!
There unfortunately aren’t many generous ways to interpret these comments. They have raised concerns across the party about what kind of nominee and president Biden would be, and so far he hasn’t sought to explain himself or walk the comments back. The good news: he’ll almost certainly face questions about them at next week’s debate. popcorn-eating.gif

Under the Radar

The number of refugees—people who’ve been forced to flee violence or persecution—has reached an all-time high of nearly 71 million people worldwide, and includes an estimated 13.6 million people who became refugees in the last year alone, according to the United Nations. Most of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia, and the greatest number of refugees live in Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, and Germany, respectively.
While presenting the report, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees criticized “inward looking,” wealthy countries, many of which have sought to close their borders to these displaced peoples. That includes, um, us.

What Else

Trump administration officials have tried to convince Congress that Iran has ties to al Qaeda, suggesting the White House may try to use a post-9/11 war authorization as a legal justification for attacking Iran over Congress’s objections. There’s every reason to be skeptical of the administration’s claims, and House Democrats underscored their skepticism by voting to repeal that authorization.
At a House subcommittee hearing on reparations, the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates called on Congress to “reject fair-weather patriotism, to say that a nation is both its credits and its debits,” and to create a commission to study ways the U.S. government can make amends for slavery and its legacy. Coates also rebutted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who expressed his opposition to reparations on Capitol Hill this Tuesday.
President Trump’s former Communications Director Hope Hicks stonewalled Democrats during a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday because White House lawyers barred her from answering any questions about her time in the White House. Hey Democrats: instead of hearings nobody can watch with witnesses you won’t force to testify, have you considered the opposite?
Speaking of which, House Democrats may have finally run out of patience with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s reluctance to testify, but they still haven’t subpoenaed him. Reminder, again: Republicans hauled former FBI Director Jim Comey up to the Hill within two days of his decision to close the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And you might have noticed Republicans are pretty good at this “winning elections” thing.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged today, resisting extraordinary and improper pressure from President Trump, who has suggested he might demote Fed Chair Jerome Powell, even though he does not have the legal authority to do so.
International prosecutors indicted three men with ties to Russian intelligence and implicated a senior aide to Vladimir Putin for shooting a missile at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
The British research submarine Boaty McBoatface (this is what happens when you let the internet name things) discovered a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures. As the winds have grown stronger because of greenhouse gas buildup and the destruction of the ozone layer, they have caused more turbulence in waters, resulting in rising sea temperatures and sea levels. Not bad, Boaty. But, you know, bad in every other way.
Trans author, activist, and television producer Janet Mock signed a multimillion dollar deal with Netflix to write, direct, and executive produce projects that tell stories about underrepresented people. She is the first out trans woman of color to score a deal like this with a major studio.

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Did You See That Thing?

Facebook confirmed this week that it has spent the past year working with 27 nonprofit, tech, and finance partners to create a cryptocurrency called “Libra.” Despite its classification as a cryptocurrency, Libra would be very different than Bitcoin. Facebook imagines it as a “new global currency standard” that’s stable, guaranteed by tangible assets, and part of a larger program that will be able to perform all the functions of a traditional bank (think accounts, loans, ATMs, etc.).
Facebook claims it wants to offer the service to benefit the developing world, and its 1.7 billion adults who don’t have access to banking. This, however, is the same logic it used to promote its plan to offer free internet around the world—a plan that came under fire for attempting to make developing countries dependent on Facebook for access to the internet. On top of that, Facebook’s laundry list of privacy scandals, the rampant misinformation on its platform, and the way it’s been used to subvert elections have naturally made people skeptical that the company should be entrusted with vulnerable people’s money. OTOH maybe we should just blindly trust Zuck again for the 40,000th time.

Is That Hope I Feel?

New York lawmakers have agreed to one of the most ambitious climate plans in the world. The legislation, called the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” calls for the state to eliminate almost all greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of making the state's economy carbon-free by 2050. Currently, New York sources only 60 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources.

Enjoy

Kelly Weill on Twitter: ""my wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife""
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

Bitcoin SCAMMER Breaks Down Crying on the Phone (Shocking ... Pregnant mother of 2 found dead on picnic table in ... The Death of Bitcoin, Think Like a Billionaire, & Turkish ... Bullish on Bitcoin! Positive sentiment returning with Good News Is Bitcoin Dead? The Bitcoin Fork

Facebook's libra, considered by some to be a competitor to bitcoin, is being pitched as a global currency, with the social media giant aiming to bring as many countries on board as possible. A federal grand jury in California has indicted a 36-year-old Nevada woman accused of trying to hire a hit man on the internet for $5,000 in bitcoin to kill her ex-husband It appears bitcoin’s recent turmoil has claimed its first life. Autumn Radtke, a 28-year-old American CEO of bitcoin exchange firm First Meta, was found dead in her Singapore apartment on Feb. 28. The bitcoin price, which had been sent sharply higher in the first half of 2019 as rumors swirled that Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants were eyeing bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain, faulted ... After Autumn Radtke, the American CEO of First Meta, an exchange for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, was found dead in her Singapore home last week, speculation immediately turned toward suicide.

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Bitcoin SCAMMER Breaks Down Crying on the Phone (Shocking ...

🤦🏾‍♀️ No update on her condition. Bitcoin has been declared dead over 300 times... Special black Friday TDV subscription flash sale for a very limited time: http://dollarvigilante.com/flashsa... Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news - Bitcoin is dead again, BTC Dominance rises, Americans either love or hate BTC, think like a billionaire, Bitmain's crazy IP... Facebook took the video down, but not before a copy was uploaded to another site. There, it racked up more than 200,000 views. This bitcoin scammer literally starts breaking down on the phone when I call her out for stealing money from innocent people, it's definitely a reaction I di...

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