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Harm City part 2: Rule of Mayhem

Oh Fuggof was not happy, much as that term could be applied to such a beautiful Lovecraftian beast as herself. The High Matriarch of the Benefactors knew how important it was to keep her subjects distracted, so she had the lesser beings’ training exercises televised. In this case, beings from the newly conquered planet were being hunted by all manner of warriors from across the universe. The city of Baltimore, barely the size of a small Gor’eck village, always seemed to give them trouble.
“Guys,” Oh Fuggof sighed once again. “It’s a single male in a single city. How hard can it be?”
One of her eyes watched the television broadcast as her lowly servitors all clambered to find an answer that would satisfy her.
“And once again,” the announcer, Skroo Yoself said in its giddy voice, “the city of Baltimore has taken far more lives than it logically could! This city just doesn’t wanna- HOLY SHIT! HE CRASHED A GROUND TRANSPORT INTO A FLITTER! ARE YOU SEEING THIS? Ladies, Gentlemen, and everything else watching, this may be the greatest exercise to be televised yet! Never have Ithought that I would witness something like this! Human bulls are strong, but-”
If she wasn’t before, Oh Fuggof was thoroughly annoyed now. Skroo Yoself was a major driving force for public opinions. If it was gushing over some primitive from a backwater world, people were going to follow it. In fact, Oh Fuggof already saw that the betting tables were beginning to skew in favor of this male.
The camera zoomed in, watching a human male run through the streets. It quickly rounded a corner however, and the image was lost.
After a while I managed to normalize my limp into a nice sort of step-flop sort of gait. As I ran through the city, I kept looking over my head for the other flitters. Soon, it occurred to me I needed something to keep the impact off my feet. Uh… um… I looked around feverishly. Perfect! I swung my arm, clotheslining a kid off his skateboard.
“Hey!” he yelled from the ground. “Asshole!”
“SorrykidmylifedependsonitI’lltrytogetthisbacktoyou,” I stammered as I got on the skateboard and zoomed off. Well, fast as I could get with a popped ankle on a skateboard. I wasn’t gonna be doing any tricks here. Next thing I needed was painkillers, and I had an idea to do that.
It was a little hard to skate into a CVS while steering with one foot, but I managed to make it to the pharmacist in the back. Ok, I knew what I was gonna do next was super illegal, so I took a deep breath and fired the ten gauge into the air. Everybody stopped what they were doing and stared at me with a gibbering panic.
The cashier reached under the shelf and pulled a pistol. Now that the police were replaced with the Civil Security, nobody wanted to deal with them, so they dealt with stuff on their own. Unlike the military, those folks didn’t care about collateral damage. That meant issues like me were dealt with in-house, in most places.
I fired over the cashier’s head and he squatted under the counter. Reloading time, so I started yelling my demands while I did. That's me, the multitasker.
“Ok, I don’t wanna hurt anybody, so just give me oxy! I need oxy!” I looked down at my mangled foot. “Quickly! I have to fix this! Now!”
“We can’t just give-”
I gestured with the shotgun, and the pharmacist stopped talking and started rifling through the drawers for the keys to the opiate storage. “Alright, give me a second!”
This was gonna take a while. I feverishly looked outside as the pharmacist fumbled with the keys.
“Oh come- motherfucker… There. Got it.” The pharmacist eventually got the drugs out and dropped a bottle on the counter. I ripped open the bottle and dropped a few oxies on the counter.
“Is anybody a doctor in here?” I crushed up one of the pills and snorted it. It would work faster that way.
One of the dudes on the floor got back up. “I am. I assume you want me to look at your foot?”
I nodded. “Sorry about, you know, this. I can’t stay here long. People are hunting me for sport!” It was the sorry facts, unfortunately. I sat on a counter while the guy took a look.
“You might still feel this.” He went and reset the ankle, and good lord was he right! With the dose of pretty much but not quite heroin in my system, it was dulled, but still hurt like shit. “Now I recommend you keep this elevated-”
“If I survive the day, I’ll keep that in mind.” I shoved the rest of the oxy into my pockets and staggered back to my skateboard just as Civil Security showed up. See, the first thing the Benefactors did when they took over was dismantle all police departments and replace them with security forces loyal to them. Like I’d mentioned, people preferred to deal with their problems themselves than let CS intervene.
And no doubt they’d been tipped off to… me, as well. That would explain why they were so heavily armed. The CS split into two groups, covering both exits. The cops at the front all had their force shields, so I wasn’t gonna shoot my way out. Speaking of, as the CS started shooting, I dropped to the floor, crawling towards the window. Grabbing my skateboard, I crawled over a dead cashier, then smashed out a window and dove through into the alley. There weren’t any CS here, so I just skated away.
I almost thought I was in the clear until one of the CS trucks smashed into me. My skateboard was gone, but I held onto the hood for dear life, shooting back into the cab in panic. I could feel the heels getting shredded off my shoes. Whatever was going on, I must’ve made the driver hit the brakes or something when I shot him, because the truck jerked to a stop, and he flew through the windshield as I flopped to the street. The rest of the CS guys all piled out and started stomping and kicking, or whatever their alien parts allowed them to do.
Now I was still pretty messed up on oxy at this point, so I barely felt it. Somehow I got to my feet and punched one of the security officers in the face. His friends beat the shit out of me.
They scrammed, as all corrupt police do, when they heard gunshots. My eye must’ve been bashed pretty hard, because all I saw were blurry figures. Two picked me up, pulled a bag over my head, and shoved me into a trunk while the others stood guard.
When the bag came off, I was chained to a chair in a basement somewhere, playing witness to a bizarre sight. Two Hasidic Jews stood there, black coats, felt hats and all. One held a baseball bat, and the other had a length of pipe.
“Bit of a putz, isn’t he?” one mused.
“Whatever, Yehuda,” the other one retorted. The height of witty banter. A real class act, these two. “Looks like the schlemiel’s awake, anyways.”
Baseball Bat tapped the bat against his hand menacingly. “You’re the one causing chaos around here, are you not?”
Baseball Bat swung his eponymous weapon into my chest. Even as oxyed up as I was, the blow made me double over far as I could, coughing. “I think you got the wrong guy!”
“You were found, having robbed a CVS on a stolen skateboard, being beaten to death by Civil Security. I think we have the right guy, Avram.” Sooooo… Avram was Pipe, and Yehuda was Bat? Was I getting this right?
I sighed. “Look, guys. It’s not even, what, Eight? I have been shot at, almost blown up, beaten up, all in less than thirty minutes.”
“And?” Avram leaned on his pipe. “You still did what we said you did, did you not?”
“Blame the Benefactors, not me. I’m just trying to survive.”
At this point, the door opened and a third person walked down. From the silhouette, I guessed it was another one of these guys. Then he stepped into focus, and, well, my one eye was basically bruised shut, but I could have sworn it was my old rabbi.
“Young Zimmerman?”
It was my old rabbi. “Rabbi Eleazar?” He turned to Yehuda and Avram. “What are you doing!? You idiots! Brendan Zimmerman would never go around hurting people like this! Something must be very wrong!” He unchained me from the chair. I rubbed my wrists and rolled my shoulders.
“You two-” Rabbi Eleazar waved the two idiots away. “Upstairs!” The two stooges traipsed upstairs as Rabbi Eleazar pulled up a chair.
“Wow…” I didn’t know what to say. “Didn’t you lose your Rabbinical… license or something? Everyone at the synagogue said it was because you smoked a bowl before every Purim.”
“Not correct.”
“So what was-”
“I smoked a bowl before and after.”
“I see…” This took a surprisingly odd turn, I’ll be the first to admit. “Soooooo… What do you want with me?” The oxy was wearing off, and my ankle hurt like a motherfucker.
“My dear boy,” Rabbi Eleazar laughed. “I’m sure you know of the fragile political meshuggas going on in Baltimore.
Ah yes. After collapsing the police and declaring martial law in the city, the Benefactors thought they were gonna roll right over this place. Not so. The gangs all banded together and militarized. You had Jewish gangsters working with Armenian loansharks working with Irish mobsters, so on and so forth. It was kinda funny. All it took for everyone to get along was another bad guy.
"So, what. You want me to rough up the Benefactors or something?”
“Nothing so crude.” Rabbi Eleazar laughed. “No. They’re already hunting you. If you have to die, you are going to take so many of those putzes with you that they’ll never set foot in this city again.”
Well, that was morbid. “I kind of want to figure out what’s happening first,” I admitted. “Then we can do your… thing after that. Promise.”
“Hm…” Rabbi Eleazar thought a moment. “You’ll want to find Tommy Tiernan, then, boychik. He works out of Orpheus, but that’s on the other side of town. Around Charles Street-”
“It’s on Pratt street.”
“Pratt Street. Right. I knew that. Anyways, You’re not gonna make it on foot. That whole area’s crazy heavily guarded.”
“Um… Let me think,” I thought. “The Benefactors don’t have any sort of navy. They avoid the water. We could go down to the Inner Harbor and then just cut onto Pratt Street from there.”
“You’ll want to take the trains.” Rabbi Eleazar pulled out an ancient rotary telephone. “You aren’t going to make it on foot. Lemme make a few calls.” Avram and Yehuda came back in while Rabbi Eleazar called up Moishe, Gavriel, and Lev. Apparently they were bringing the boys.
My old rabbi must’ve had a lot of clout or something, because these guys showed up quick. Anyways, once we had twenty or so guys, we set out. We must’ve made quite a sight, a bunch of heavily armed gangsters all walking down the street. I half expected Civil Security to meet us at the train station. No need to pay for a train ticket this time, of course. We all just jumped the gate and got on the southbound train. A few gangsters got in each train car, from what I could see.
I stepped into the train car with Rabbi Eleazar and, quote, his boy, Moishe. “Alright, everybody,” Moishe called as he made his guns very, very visible. I pulled out my own ten gauge and pointed it in the air. People screamed as they ran for the exits.
At long last, the train started moving. I had a few stops before Charles Street Station.
"So how'd you go from my rabbi to..." I gestured around. "This?"
Rabbi Eleazar laughed. "Some old friends of mine. We all grew up in a very orthodox part of town together. When the Benefactors came, we all worked to help each other out."
That’s when my luck ran out. Through the window to the forward, still-populated cars, I could see Civil Security checking peoples’ IDs.
“Rabbi.” I tugged on his sleeve. “Rabbi!”
“Yes, boychik?” Rabbi Eleazar raised his… grenade launcher and looked in the direction I was pointing. “Ah, this is not good. Not good at all.” He got on his phone and soon all his guys streamed in.
The door to our traincar slid Open. I knew for a fact we looked suspiciously empty in here. This wasn’t good. In the doorway stood one of the Civil Security officers.
“You will give me your ID’s,” it said in its blank, monotone voice. “I think not,” Moishe said as more CS guys showed. “Oh, fuck this shit!” He drew his Desert Eagle and fired it an inch from the first guy’s head, splattering it against the window. “Run!”
I tried to scram, only one of the CS guys to tackle me.
“It’s him! The bull!” The alien yelled as something jabbed into my side. My boxcutter! This was nice. It was still clipped to my belt. I held the alien by the neck as the four jaws in its mouth slid open, revealing a barbed tongue. It hissed as I grabbed my cutter and started jabbing.
Ok, I’ll admit, it wasn’t a pretty little throat slit or whatever. It was a panic stab. I started and just kept stabbing. Whatever, right? Once it flopped over, I stood up. “Oh, you motherfucker!” The next guy’s head, I slammed into the pole in the middle of the train just as Rabbi Eleazar loaded his grenade launcher.
“Everybody get down!” It turns out those Vietnam grenade launchers really do go off with a bloop. One of the CS soldiers was slammed into the corner before exploding, blowing out the windows and splattering the traincar with gore. Bright green gore. Acid green gore.
I didn’t care. Far worse things had happened today for me to care about icky green goo. My ears were ringing, but I think I was ok. With a yell, I grabbed a dazed soldier, throwing it through a window just as the train went underground.
“Oh shit!” I ducked as another soldier opened fire. This just wouldn’t do, now would it? While Rabbi Eleazar and Moishe grappled with their own aliens, I kicked my own annoyance towards the window. Its helmet scraped the exposed tunnel wall, shattering. See, the Light Rail trains zoom along at 60 miles an hour. Concrete isn’t gonna be forgiving at that speed. The alien was thrown to the floor.
My heart sank. He’d drawn his knife. The thing ran at me. As he swung, I grabbed its arm, throwing it against one of the poles as the train emerged from the tunnel. Once it got up, I grabbed it, throwing it against the shattered window.
Oh geez… its throat was sliced open on the glass. With a shove, I sawed its throat further open. That was that, I suppose. We were out of bad guys at that point. Just as well… We went into another tunnel, finally arriving at Charles Center. Once we got off the train and bounded up over the turnstiles, without paying, oh the horror, it was a two block walk, a left turn, and another three block walk to the elevated walkways.
It wasn’t that easy, of course. Soon as we left the subway station, CS was waiting for us. I took cover behind a bench as bolts of red shot over me. When I returned fire of my own, one of the Civil Security guys was blown away. Rabbi E, Moishe and I slowly advanced down the street, making our way to the inner harbor.
See, the Inner Harbor was once a major tourist destination, but now it was a no-go zone for the Benefactors, and travel there was incredibly restricted. The place was more or less a self-governing state now. There was a shantytown erected on the harbor itself, with the Science Center and other museums converted into schools, hospitals, and all the other things a rogue state built into a small harbor needed.
Once we made it to the walkways, Eleazar turned to me. “I can’t go any further, Boychik,” he said sadly. “They don’t really like me in here.”
I didn’t know what to say, but my ankle was hurting like crazy, so I popped another oxy. “Thank you for the help,” I slurred.
“Yeah, yeah, not a problem.” Moishe picked up a garbage pail and yeeted it into a CS officer’s face.
I turned and ran up the stairs to the walkway as more officers gave chase, dropping from flitters. I dropped to the floor, grabbing one of them and throwing the motherfucker over the side into the water. Aside from water being toxic to Benefactors, the water of the bay in particular was poisonous to humans. That double dose of poison basically melted the guy’s skin off.
Now, I just had to make it to the other side of the elevated walkways. The CS would chase me no further.
Easier said than done. I jumped over the side of one walkway down to another, firing up through the railings. As the CS gave chase, I ran for it, rounding a corner.
“Aw shit.” I was surrounded. There were CS coming up the stairs, and down the stairs. Not good. I fired my last shell into the downstairs ones, then ducked under a punch and swung the empty shotgun into an alien’s knee. As it went down, I smashed its helmeted head against the railing, shattering the helmet.
I drew my box cutter and got to work, stabbing, cutting, sawing and generally just brutalizing the aliens. As a final coup de grace, I extended the blade all the way and swung, jabbing it through an alien’s cheek. The CS officer stood there dumbly, before swinging its head to the side, snapping off the blade. It picked me up, blade in cheek, and threw me over the side to the lower walkway. I got up as it jumped down after me and grabbed me and held me down by my face.
“Human citizen Brendan Zimmerman,” it hissed. “You stand guilty of five counts of evading Benefactor personnel, fifteen counts of general mayhem and public unr- AAAAAAAARRRRRGH!” The aaarrgh wasn’t the charge or anything, I had bitten its finger off and spat it back in its face. While the alien was distracted, I unloaded on its face, beating the four eyed scaly beast to a pulp. I was so pissed off at that point I just yanked the blade out, tearing open my fingers, and cutting its eyes open.
And it was like that, torn open fingertips, gimpy leg, splattered with eye goo, I walked to safety.
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The Final Frontier

Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States of America
“Ready as you can ever be. Never thought when I joined they’d give me this kind of an operation.”
“I assumed when I became an astronaut that’d put my fighting days behind. But we’re here now.”
Bobby sighed. He’d known this was coming. The briefings had been stringent as hell. The cause was just. But it just didn’t feel right, not in a moral way, but in a literal way. Astronauts are not meant to fight wars. When he’d asked about it, he just got told “easier to teach astronauts how to be soldiers, than soldiers how to be astronauts”. As if that somehow assuaged the weirdness of the situation.
It was simple, though. Utilising a heavily modified Crew Dragon capsule, a 4 person team would, under the pretext of servicing a geostationary satellite, enter a high orbit, then setting up a rendezvous with a Hekatian space station. From there, they would board it, and hopefully take possession of it. Initially the plan had also involved a Chinese Shenzou rocket that would carry 3 more to space, but that had to be scrapped due to weather conditions today. Unfortunate, but they should be fine without.
If all went well, this would be the first battle of any type in space. Humans would be going up against plasma-armed Hekatians, with special guns that fired rockets, avoiding the recoil issue. Nothing was known about the station itself, but intelligence believed it to be a long range communications system, and that it controlled the network of satellites deployed by the Hekatians. This operation had been put together in hopes of capturing it, but it seemed that UN Command had plans for a massed anti-satellite missile strike if that was necessary. That was a last resort though, Humanity didn’t want to Kessler Syndrome itself.
No one was around to wish them luck, as the cover for the operation required a great deal of secrecy. Besides, fuel rationing made it impractical for most to come anyway.
Well, nearly time to get going.
Location: Geostationary orbit, approaching Hekatian space station
The station just looked wrong, like it just shouldn’t be a space station. It went against conventional Human station design so much, that it had to be the result of advanced technology far beyond the current cutting edge. There were no radiators, no solar panels, no observation windows, nothing. It was a smooth, mostly featureless tic tac shape, with two objects docked onto the side that Bobby assumed were the SSTO shuttles spotted occasionally flying between Earth and the station.
Barely visible at this distance, were 2 more docking ports for shuttles. 1 had been blown up by Resistance forces, while it was landed on the ground, while the other had been successfully captured intact during the liberation. That was good, it gave them the chance to return to Earth with any prisoners and casualties, and keep bringing science teams up to investigate the station. Plus they could disassemble one and still have a spare.
“100 metres now. Everyone get ready.” 100 metres would be close range in land warfare. In space, it was the equivalent of knife range.
The full team was wearing the famous “starman” suit, no other options being possible in the cramped space of a crew capsule. Helmets were donned, weapons retrieved, ammunition loaded. When everyone was ready, the nose retracted, revealing the modified docking collar.
“50 metres. 40 metres.” There was silence from the majority of the team as they approached the Hekatian space station. “30 metres, 25… shit we just lost the pole!”
That wasn’t good. The pole was just that, a special pole on a deployable arm that had been jury-rigged to the front of the capsule. It’s purpose was to confirm the suspected existence of an energy shield around the station, which was believed to be responsible for disintegrating any micrometeoroids that may otherwise have damaged it. Successful disintegration meant that they were now at risk of severe damage should they pass the threshold. Bobby imagined the constituent atoms of the pole being scattered into the
There were no questions of what to do now. Everyone had been over the plan dozens of times. Thermite charges were readied, and deployed from external storage ports, in a roughly circular pattern, large enough to fit the capsule through. With tiny thrusters, they inched towards the rough location of the shield, before the reaction was ignited.
The shield flickered and failed as the charges burnt, not designed to respond to something that powerful. This gave the capsule an opening, which it exploited quickly, the entire bulk of the capsule passing the threshold before the shield could reappear and destroy the craft.
“5 metres, 4, 3, 2, 1, contact.” The docking collar touched the skin of the space station. This inspired the usage of yet more thermite charges, cutting through in order to force a breach. The Human team took up positions, ready to fire on anything that appeared on the other side.
While they waited, a terse message from Mission Control informed them that the other team had made a successful breach of the shield perimeter, and were in a similar position to that of Bobby’s team.
Finally, the hole was formed, and the interior of the space station was visible through it. Jackie went first, her rifle tucked into her shoulder as she floated forwards. Then she fell.
“Looks like some sort of a gravity effect from the floor! Air is breathable as well.” Gravity generators? Incredible. The technology onboard could advance Human spaceflight by decades, if not centuries. Bobby went through next, feeling the same sudden tug down upon his head, then on his neck, and so on, as he faceplanted. It was the most bizarre feeling, impossible to describe to those who’ve never experienced low gravity. Oddly, the gravity seemed to be slightly stronger than that of Earth, a possible sign of what the Hekatians considered “normal”. Sergey came next, having been smart enough to go feet first, followed by Anjana, constituting all four members of the strike team.
“Suppose we could have just brought regular old rifles with us then.” Sergey chuckled as he scanned the corridor. Then he got down onto one knee, the rest of the team bar Jackie taking suit, at the sounds of an approaching Hekatian. Jackie placed herself around the frame of a door, ready to jump the Hekatian given the chance.
The Hekatian who came around the corner was armourless. He stopped, absolutely stunned by the sight of 3 armed Humans pointing their guns directly at his face. Then Jackie jumped out, seizing him and dragging him to the floor. She glanced at Bobby for orders, as he writhed in her grasp.
“Knock him out.” She complied, reaching into one of her suit’s pockets for a small bottle of CS gas, which she then sprayed directly into the Hekatian’s mouth. He sputtered, before slumping over. That reminded Bobby, the objective was to locate the air exchange facilities, and dump vast quantities of CS gas into them. It’s incapacitating effects upon the Hekatians were well documented by this point, and would make the task of clearing the station much easier.
The Human team relied on that same air, of course, but they had their helmets on, and air filters to scrub the gas before it affected them. Failing that, they had 5 minutes of reserve air to fall back on, likely enough to enable them to overwhelm the station before the gas started to affect them.
The group split in 2, searching for the air exchange facilities. Bobby went with Jackie, advancing steadily down the corridor. The problem was, none of them spoke Hekatian, nor could they read it, so they had to simply open every door on the way there.
After several minutes, they found the equipment in question. Sergey made a quick run back to the capsule, returning with multiple canisters, which he then emptied into the system. Thick clouds of gas were visible spreading through the pipes, and soon began appearing into the room.
“All right, everyone, onto the command centre!” Bobby said that as if they knew where the command centre was, which they did not.
“Ready? Breach on 3, 2, 1, BREACH!” Bobby gave the order, and the door was blown.
The first thing he noticed was the air from the corridor being blown into the room. The Hekatians inside had removed all the air from the room, likely an attempt to try and kill off their opponents. That wouldn’t work though, the team had switched to their emergency reserve air just before breaching, and the corridor likely had more than enough oxygen to spare.
The next thing was how objects seemed to be in different gravitational states. A wrench-like object immediately next to the door floated in mid air, but a small distance behind it, a book lay on the floor as if pulled by gravity.
The final, and most vital thing, was that there were 5 Hekatians pointing guns towards him, and all of them wore armour, a special type that didn’t match that seen on Earth. Plus several others sprawled on their desks with what looked like emergency depressurisation gear, but they weren’t as important. There was a 6th Hekatian, who seemed to lack proper combat gear, who was hunched behind the low wall of the circular console which dominated the room. He was likely controlling the station’s functions mid-battle.
Immediately shots began to be traded, Human miniature rockets against Hekatian plasma. One Hekatian went down immediately, fire from Sergey and Bobby combining to tear his armour to shreds. Disconcertingly, there was a brief flash similar to that seen with the shield as the first rockets barreled towards their targets. While it didn’t actually do anything to stop the rockets, likely being a similar mechanism to the station’s for protecting against micrometeorites, it did represent a slight edge for the Hekatians, and that was a threat in the future.
Bobby emptied his magazine, slapping a new one in rapidly, before tucking his head down and charging towards a central console by the door that offered a degree of cover. As he ran, he had the disconcerting experience of trying to run through what felt like reverse gravity, then returning to regular gravity, then back to reversed gravity, before regular gravity returned as he slammed himself into cover. Luckily, his momentum had carried him just far enough to reach the console, but that wasn’t the end of his trouble.
Panicked plasma fire from his left caught him by surprise. Turning to face the threat, he saw a single Hekatian who had been lying in wait for someone to come through, but hadn’t expected Bobby to react so well to the gravity switching. Bobby repaid their failure with several rockets aimed at the head, annihilating the Hekatian.
Anjana followed Bobby in, this time having come with more of a running start and reaching cover with more momentum to spare. As she pressed herself against the console, several plasma lances shot overhead, impacting Jackie who was still by the door. The first hit tore a great hole in her arm, the second carving straight through her cheek, and the third straight through her brain, killing her instantly.
Then the Hekatians switched the gravity in the corridor to what seemed to be reversed, and then zero gravity in the corridor, complicating things for Sergey as he was lifted “upwards” and left stranded. He struggled to grab hold of something to steady himself, while staying in cover and providing fire at the same time. Making things even worse, they similarly reversed and disabled gravity for the portion of the command centre under Human control.
“Anjana, on my word, flank right, I’ll go left. Sergey, try and launch yourself into the room, we’ll take the central console.” Bobby gave the orders via the radio. Sergey complied, setting himself up for a manouevre they’d planned in advance. He pushed himself off the wall, aiming for the wall on the opposite end of the corridor. Then, pulling himself along by use of the handrail, Sergey brought himself to face the open doorway, and kicked himself off the wall. The zero gravity environment allowed him to fly right through, his gun swiftly dispatching the lone Hekatian who manned the computer console.
Meanwhile, Bobby and Anjana sprung out from their cover, using each others boots as a launching point. Bobby grabbed a hold of the console with his right arm, hooking his momentum around and then forward, resulting in him passing back into a section where gravity was online. Downing another Hekatian, he ducked into the console, watching as Sergey not-so-gracefully landed on the side of the console, dragging himself to the floor. Bobby moved over to the computer the deceased Hekatian had been using.
It displayed a schematic of the control room, with different sections highlighted in various colours, presumably correlating to gravity levels. Bobby glanced behind him, roughly working out where the remaining Hekatians were on the schematic. He then selected that location, scrolling until the bar was at the bottom, before clicking what he assumed was the “confirm” button. Another glance showed the Hekatian team had lost their footing, and were being pushed away from the floor. Then, Bobby upped the gravity to maximum. He had no idea what maximum was, but if the scale on the bar was accurate, it was somewhat in the region of 2-3 times Earth’s gravity. The Hekatians slammed into the floor, struggling to pick themselves up.
Anjana moved out, firing several rounds into one of the Hekatians as he attempted to lift himself up. Bobby put the Hekatians back into reversed gravity, before yet again dragging them to the floor. He almost felt like he was toying with them at this point. Meanwhile Sergey fiddled around with the console, finding the section that dealt with atmospheric controls, and activating them, allowing the team to stop using their emergency reserves of air.
“I can keep doing this all day if you don’t give in!” Bobby shouted in the general direction of the Hekatians, as he repeated the same gravity trick on them. “Do you want to test my patience, or do you want to live?”
“Fine! We give in! Just stop doing this!” One of the Hekatians shouted back, as they began floating once more. Bobby complied, dumping them back down at a more leisurely 1G. Anjana collected their weapons, and led them away to be locked in some storage cabinet. Bobby leaned over and grabbed one of the Hekatians, bringing him towards the console.
“Alright, does this thing have a switch language function?”
“Of course not, why would we include such a feature? Are you stupid?”
“Still smart enough to beat you it seems. Anyway… well you know what that means?” Bobby nudged his gun far into the back of the Hekatian. “You’re going to explain how we take control of this station, and if you so much as try to trick me even once, I will pull this trigger. Got it?” That was somewhat of a bluff, the bullet needed time to accelerate once it left the barrel, and at this range wouldn’t be very effective.
Regardless, the threat seemed to work, and the Hekatian quickly explained how to work the most critical parts of the station, before he was herded to the same temporary prison as his friends.
“Complete control over the station achieved. I think that makes us the first space pirates in human history. A cause to celebrate, surely.” Sergey nudged Bobby as he watched Anjana lead the prisoners away.
“Shame we couldn’t all be here to see it.” Bobby noted as he glanced at the body of Jackie, which had returned to resting on the floor with the gravity now restored. He had just witnessed the first Human combat death in space, and had a distinct feeling that it would in no way be the last.
“Indeed. How will we bury her?”
“Not our choice is it. That’s the family’s to work out. Call Mission Control, give them a report, they’ll talk with them and give us our next orders.” Sergey nodded, heading towards the capsule to use it’s communications system.
Bobby fiddled with the controls, activating an external camera feed which began displaying on a nearby screen. It was nothing much really, just a view of a large collection of stars. Bobby then pressed another button, which added small annotations to the feed. He couldn’t read them of course, but he assumed them to be detailing who owned that system and so on.
Bet they think this is the furthest we’ll ever go unsupervised, Bobby thought to himself. Well, they’d best be prepared for a shock.
submitted by GIJoeVibin to HFY [link] [comments]

CMV: Morality being subjective is a fact that's nothing to be afraid of.

Morality is simply what’s good or bad and is a value based judgement. If morality is subjective then individuals can feel differently about the same action (I’m automatically running with the assumption it is like this to see what the consequences of it being true entail). This doesn’t necessarily mean people can do whatever they want because everything is subjective. Imagining a world like that paints a bleak picture. People murdering, stealing, and pillaging every direction you look. The human race would never have lasted as everyone began to randomly turn on members of the same species whenever they could. We had to evolve in such a way that we could cope and live with other people who are constantly invading the space we have to ourselves. We had to learn the game of tiptoeing on edge of other people’s personal boundaries, and being careful when encroaching upon someone else’s interests. In other words, we had to evolve to consider each other’s subjective interests to live in a functioning group, and compromise if we had conflicting subjective desires as the best survival strategy.
It’s almost like renting a flat with somebody else. If you were to move in with a roommate I bet you would set up x y z terms and conditions for them like, don’t snore like a hog, don't invade my side of the fridge, don't randomly wake up every midnight to make a ruckus in the kitchen for snacks and at the same time your roommate will introduce their own Ts and Cs for you. Of course the terms and conditions are not exhaustive because you can’t change people completely–only enough for you to live together in relative harmony so that you can both use your combined money to pay for your place. So at the cost of our own desires, we can compromise because we see we can achieve greater by living as a group. Ultimately, we contract ourselves to respecting other people’s personal space and desires in order to live as a group. Despite morality being subjective, we can still co-operate.
But what about when people do not co-operate?Because sometimes this formation of a contract is not smooth and you can’t decide to compromise your desires on behalf of someone else because you have to sacrifice too much to justify the end benefit of forming a group or mini-society with the other party. For example, your roommate can be highly demanding of you in terms of what you must sacrifice, and can control you to the extent of what you wear in the house, who you date and bring over into the house, what food you have to eat like a psycho. Over time they increasingly violate your personal space and interests. Eventually, if they are forceful enough, you will be done taking their bs and retaliate if they increasingly don’t listen and breach your personal desires. This results in conflict and you have to fight them off in order to protect your interests because they failed to honour your side of the agreement. If you are violated you have to fight for your personal rights.
I'll branch off from here to justify (or more accurately: self-justify) why we therefore have grounds to stop murderers despite morality being subjective. Murderers commit the most glaringly obvious violation of something people personally value by taking people's lives and purposefully ignoring our own desires. When murderers fail to compromise on account of their subjective desires to kill as they feel good about it, they fail to be able to contract themselves with others to form a healthy, functioning society and they make themselves an enemy to the survival and prospering of a society. If they breach our interests, it's fair to retaliate.
Therefore if morality is subjective, we can still stop what we perceive as evil. I don’t second guess whether I should keep my life or perhaps consider the validity of a murderer’s subjective viewpoint and let them take my life. These are the grounds I defend myself on. A simple self-justification to protect my life the same way murderers self-justify murder from their viewpoint.
People also keep claiming that one disadvantage to subjective morality is believing I can’t stop any culture which does heinous things to its citizens because morality is up to the culture, so we need to leave everyone to their personal business, even if they regularly rape women, beat children, or oppress minorities. I completely disagree. On similar grounds that we can protect our interests, we can similarly protect other people. When I say people will protect their “interests”, I don’t necessarily mean they’ll protect their own desires selfishly or only protect personal belongings. Part of people’s interest can include protecting and saving other people from suffering, even if it isn’t themselves personally who will suffer.
For example, if I was a parent and I was walking down the street one day and I’m met by a rapist who has a knife on hand, who tells me that if I give the child away to them and step away they won’t harm me, but if I try and act as a shield for the child they’ll kill me. I and I’m sure many other parents would refuse to hand my child over to a rapist, even if it’s not myself who’s going to suffer, I can and will similarly save them the same way I would save myself. If all the criminals in the world encroach on the people who I want to protect, I will retaliate. If those people who I want to protect involve people from cultures hundreds of miles from where I am, so be it. The same way you would without doubt protect your own child without compromise even if morality is subjective to a murderer with differing desires, you could also protect any other victim regardless of who they are as long as it's part of your personal, subjective interests.
Furthermore, saying morality is simply cultural ignores nuance. In many cultures there are divided views, and different people will hold different subjective perspectives. The ones in power will twist appearances to make it seem like the country is perfectly united and everybody has socially consented to the system and nobody dissents from the ruling party’s opinion. So when people are afraid of violating cultures because it seems we presume to impose our moral standards to them, it actually means we only violate the culture for the ones who benefit from the oppression.
TLDR; People are usually afraid of subjective morality because it seems like nobody is in the right and we can't argue that rapists and murderers are doing anything wrong. It's only wrong from our view. So what? We can still protect the things we hold dear and fight against bad people even if morality is subjective as it's precisely part of its definition. I'll give myself the self liberty to protect my subjective interests if a murderers' gives themselves the self liberty to violate my interests. It may not be objectively wrong, but the fact that something like my life is valuable to only myself even if a murderer doesn't agree is all I need to protect it. It doesn't mean the murderers' demands are suddenly higher than our own if morality is subjective. We can still fight back. We can still protect what's important to us and function as a healthy society with subjective morality so we don't need objective morality.
submitted by Wearing_human_skin to changemyview [link] [comments]

Just a player feedback :)

Greetings DEVS I congratulate you for the game, it is very well paced, addictive; However, I will highlight some points that I believe would be interesting to make a move, among them are:
1- The issue of the knife in the game, her situation is very bad, I believe that compared to other games like CS:GO it is not feasible to use for its delay, hitbox, in short it is only serving as a 'running shoe' at the moment, it would be interesting to take a look at it.
2- The title given in the battle pass of act 1 'Day One' has a translation to 'Portuguese Brazil' that apparently totally changes the meaning of what 'Principiante' is about, looks like another newbie title.
3- Now, about the store, I don't have much to complain about in terms of prices, after all it is better to buy the skins you want at a fixed price, even if it is a little expensive than betting on a 'Lottery' which are the Loot Box, but I do have a suggestion about the store, would be to change the rotating store format like Fortnite, to an open store like LoL, after all this format is totally discontent, most players in the game would have interested in being able to access the skins they want to buy their VP packages and invest without having to wait 1 full day for those who know how to be lucky to be there, or sometimes the Bank slip just compensate in another day and you lose the chance to get what you wanted, well, let's face it, it doesn't make sense to have this format, in Fortnite it 'works' more because the biggest attraction is the BATTLE PASS, and for almost every week they launch something new there, even so I don't think it's a good format, anyway, I believe League format is ideal.
4-Option to disable effects of some special skins (this would make many people who 'hated' the 'Elderflame' happy! That's it! Keep up the good work!
submitted by sweetoxicness to VALORANT [link] [comments]

🌻👑⚙️Reddit's Drag Race All Stars 2 - Episode 1: "Lean Green Queening Machines" PART 1⚙️👑🌻

The backing track of Rain on Me starts playing as shots of the new workroom play in a short montage. The clacking of heels can be heard getting louder and louder as the camera zooms in on the entrance archway.
Creolla Azzedine is the first to walk into the werkroom, stopping in a tea stand pose, head slightly down, with one feet gracefully behind the other and goes “ ¡ ZAZ ! ” cutting the air with her finger. She stands, pointing finger high in the air, a very strong pose facing the camera and, giving shoulder, she turns around, shows a little butt, resting her arm on her waist while inclining the huge hat just a little down, looking over her back with an mischievous expression. She then pops a leg and poses to the camera.
Latex chaps that grab tight to her thighs and make them pop out, so juicy, her waist is cinched, her hat is huge, this design is very Mugler.
She’s wearing a little black bolero with long sleeves; black ruffles on her chest, a long drape of satin goes around her head and flows behind as she walks. Her head is in this cotton mask that shows off just the face shape and has one circular cut for the eye. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZBQ81xYkIJlDowqcIpIp7hpjmXBnbRqRd8mDO0JxedE/edit
CREOLLA’S CONFESSIONAL: “My entrance is inspired by the legend of Zorro! I’m bringing latin reference, minimalism, chic, vintage and new age with defined angles and cuts, sharp lines everywhere. I’m living my best fantasy and ready to cut a bitch out!”
The sound of a motorcycle engine revving can be heard as Cass drives through the werk room in her lovely yellow motorcycle, she speeds around the contestants in the corner of the room like a sheepdog rounding up the sheep before driving back to the entrance of the werk room. She parks in front of the entrance and gets off the vehicle and stands in front of the camera, holding the severed head of David Carradine (Bill) in one hand and her long katana in the other. She drops his head to the ground and removes her motorcycle helmet “Bill’s dead so now who’s next to be Cass-trated?” *Swings Katana* . http://imgur.com/a/xyRjtPi Cass’s look is inspired by Kill Bill’s very own Uma Thurman in her iconic yellow jumpsuit. She wears the iconic yellow latex jumpsuit which is now covered all over with blood and bullet wounds. Her blonde hair and face is also covered with dark red blood. With her she brings her long silver katana, a matching yellow motorcycle helmet and the severed head of Bill (which for legal reasons is fake).
CASS-TRATED’S CONFESSIONAL: “Hello my name is Cass-trated and I came to chop through the competition . . . LITERALLY! I’m your lovely forgotten contestant on S3, yes I was there! And now I’m here to finally be remembered and make some type of impact.
Cass and Creolla give each other friendly hugs as they look around the renovated workroom. “It’s all happening!” Says an excited Creolla.
The next girl struts confidently into the werk room and hits her mark, putting her right hand on her hip, forming a physical visual of the Singapore Flag with her look (like Bob with her entrance look). “That bitch Cass left me on the damn moon, but whatever, the pride of Singapore is BACK!!!!” yells Anita Dragname.
CREOLLA’S CONFESSIONAL: “I gotta say I’m pretty impressed by Anita. I also know she is pretty impressed by me so I can respect and see her as competition.”
Referencing Anita’s last challenge before she yeeted out of the sub and her country of origin, Anita wears a replica of the Totally Spies Superspy Suit; a red, skin-tight latex catsuit with metallic silver installations on her shoulders, side of the knees and elbows. Just like the original, there are 2 “tones'' to the suit. The sides of the suit that goes from under her pits to her ankles are matte red and slightly darker to act as a “body contour”, while the rest of the suit is rhinestoned, adding a little iridescence and contrast. The full length of her right sleeve, however, is full white. In the middle of the Superspy Suit, 5 white stars can be found placed in a circle, on top of her D-cup breasteses. She has on matching white shin-length gogo boots with a chunky heel that glows a bright, neon white when they are activated.
Her hair is a big, blown out ginger quiff (think Trinity Taylor’s Naughty Nighties) that goes up to about 10 cm above her scalp. It is huge, thick and voluminous and ends right at her shoulders. White glitter comes out of the roots of her hair and extends outwards into the hair creating an ombre effect of shiny glitter and the bright ginger. Her makeup is her signature beat; high-arched graphic brows in a dark brown, soft, blended contours, double-stacked 301s, smokey eyes and a silver glitter lid. She uses cute little silver star stickers as “freckles” on her face. She finishes off her mug with a pop of colour in a bright red to match the concept of her look.
ANITA’S CONFESSIONAL:Assalamualaikum semua, my name is Anita Dragname and she’s back……….. for some of that good tex-mex they serve for breakfast. I’m back with the drive to perform rigorous CPR to this sub and give it the revival it so desperately needs. I’m hoping to have a good time and have some fun with the dolls! A crown along the way wouldn’t hurt, would it?”
The next queen walks to the centre of the entrance way and pauses for a few seconds; she places her hands on her hips and gives a confident smirk on her face. She walks to her mark, and with her hands on her hips, she says: “As smooth as silk … as rich as Velvet.” Amelia Velvet turns several times while moving her hands in various posing positions around her face. She looks towards the other girls and smirks.
Amelia is wearing a rich, ethereal, one piece garment - a short cocoon dress with a built in floor length cape. The whole garment is in a light shade of baby blue, and the fabric is a slightly rigid, rich radzimir. The piece has two cutouts for her arms to slide out. Her wig is a shoulder length dirty blonde piece. It is wet looking and slicked back, as if she has just run her fingers through it to push it back. Her face is beautifully painted. Her jaw, cheeks and nose are contoured harshly as per usual. Amelia’s brows are highly arched and her eye makeup blends from a glittered silver to a baby blue on the upper lid, with the baby blue blending round to the bottom lid. At the outer corner of each eye, there are three tiny jewels glued on closely together to make a small triangular shape. These are the same jewels used on her embellished gloves, only smaller ( 5mm each). Amelia’s lips are a beautiful plump nude colour, with a light layer of clear silver glitter on top. Her highlighter is very visible and also has a touch of silver glitter in it. A rope pulls Amelia’s waist in, and her breasts are unpadded, though through the keyhole cutout, contouring is visible. Her hips and bum are padded generously. Her pumps are of the same colour as the garment, only they have a glossy, shiny tinge. https://docs.google.com/document/d/10LQhZcpBV5UCK5nxBKBugDo9qlpyhrre-_csAssrJGc/edit
AMELIA’S CONFESSIONAL:They must’ve been desperate for girls if they called me, but bitch, I’ll take it! Hey loves, it’s Amelia Velvet from Season 5 where I finished in tenth … well bitch at least it wasn’t last. I’m so excited to be back and show how much I’ve grown, especially with all these season 5 girls here - I’m here to prove to them that I was robbed and that I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. Since my season, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for drag and learnt to trust my instincts a lot more. Let’s see how that plays out - it’s probably going to be a shit show, but bitch, you’ll be entertained!”
Amelia looks around to see the other girls lounging about, she runs over to introduce herself and kiki.
AMELIA’S CONFESSIONAL: “I’m super excited to see Anita here. I’m pumped to be able to prove that I can hang with the likes of her.”
Lu runs into the werkroom, all frantic, wearing a jumpsuit made out of leaves with gold accessories, twigs on her wet brown hair, looks to both sides, sighs and says “I finally got past through security”. She then regains composure, removes the twigs of her hair, takes out the sunglasses she hid in her cleavage and poses.
After posing, Lu looks at the girls and says: “I wish I known this was happening sooner, I would have trimmed my lady bush.”
LU’S CONFESSIONAL: “Hi everyone! It’s me, Lu! I’m so excited to walk into this werkroom and compete again! Back on season 5, I had 0 experience and I overthought too much and got stuck in my head a lot so I feel very excited to see what I can do with a better headspace. The possibilities are endless! Season 5 felt like an All Stars season so I’m a bit nervous to actually compete in an All Stars season, not gonna lie, but this time I’m more sure of myself and I know I can bring my A-Game to every challenge.”
Lu doesn’t seem to immediately click with the other girls, being a more quiet queen, but she still manages to laugh along with the group.
The next queen struts in lightly letting her coat follow her, and simply says ‘All Stars 2 bitches, let’s get relevant!”
Aurora Borealis walks into the werk room in a very genderfuck/more casual look. She has on a cashmere cheetah print button down shirt. The sleeves are cut midway before the elbow, and are quite baggy, but on the actual torso, it is stretched down and tucked into the pants fabric. The top two buttons are unbuttoned, which shows a little bit of chest hair, nicely groomed and very thin. It is a light brown, but nothing light enough that it wouldn’t be seen. Out of a chest pocket hangs a small black handkerchief, that only goes slightly below her chest. Now, the pants are high-waisted vibrant bright red bell bottoms that end slightly above the ground. The vibrant colors of the cheetah print and the bright red pop against each other to create an interesting contrast. Underneath, she has on black platform shoes, where only the very bottom of the shoe is shown. Overtop the entire outfit, she has a large suit jacket coat that extends to the bottom of her ankles. The outside of it is bright red, but on the inside is a solid jet black. When she moves, it floats behind her, only staying completely still on the shoulders. She holds a small red clutch with a bright gold circle right in the middle, with gold lacing and lining around it. Her nails are simple, light brown and short, adding just a slight addition of detail. Aurora does not have a wig on, rather has her curly dark brown hair that hangs above her head with clumps of hair solidly formed. Her makeup is simple, a soft dark red on her eyeshadow, blended with white, and just giving a soft look, with small lashes, and a light nude lip. However, she has a lot of blush on her cheekbones and nose giving a ‘flushed’ look, and she drew freckles on her nose and cheeks. This is her whole look, and it’s blending in her ‘drag’ side, and the person she is outside of when she performs.
AURORA’S CONFESSIONAL: “My name is Aurora Borealis, the first out from season 4! I’m just here to have fun and hopefully not submit later xoxo.”
CREOLLA’S CONFESSIONAL: “Aurora did a good job. I see improvement.”
The clicking of heels echoes throughout the werkroom, drawing the other queens attention towards the entrance, as a tall figure turns the corner and struts her way forward.
Satina is wearing a skin-tight burgundy latex dress with a jewel neckline. The dress is cut down to her knees, showing off a bit of leg, before ending the ensemble with a pair of 6 inch black pumps. Across the front of the dress is a cut-out showing of most of Satina’s stomach and a bit of underboob from the queen’s breastplate - the trim of the cutout lined with black triangular jewels, giving the cut-out the appearance an open mouth eating away at Satina’s snatched body. Satina wears a slightly lighter shade of foundation, than what would normally fit her, and the queen’s facial features have been heavily carved out with an extensive use of dark contour. Her eyes consist of black smudged eyeliner, highlighted by some Scarlet red eyeshadow with a bit of red glitter mixed in. Her cheeks have been painted with a light pink rouge and to finish of the looks is Satina’s signature overdrawn lips topped with a Scarlet red matte lipstick. A long black wig styled into a small slicked-back pompadour on top rests upon Satina’s head a reveals 2 tiny red horns poking out from the queen’s scalp. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DVzYRI8Ryq-cJtgr3ps9gdC-p-flTCqfOQIMYVqT_0g
As she reaches her mark, Satina does a few quick spins, showing off the open back of the dress held together by black lace - A long scaly and slightly greasy serpentine tail is poking out through the laces, and now sweeps across the floor as the queen finishes her spinning. Satina lifts a black and red Devil’s pitchfork to the air, almost triumphantly, as she looks into the camera:
“Here to raise hell on Earth - All hail Satina!”
SATINA’S CONFESSIONAL: “I’m home! Hey y’all - I'm Satina. Season 5’s salty queen, the “reigning Miss robbed” and a lovely (mumbled) alternate for crown! I am here to show these bitches that Satina is a force to be reckoned with… Actually you know what - Cut the check already, Thank you!”
“You look so good girl! Nothing like you used to...” says Lu. “Nah, just kidding. Get in here girl!”
SATINA’S CONFESSIONAL: “Even though it’s nice to know so many queens already, it’s honestly a bit scary competing with so many of my Season 5 sisters, seeing that a lot of these have already beat me once… Allegedly at least…”
The next girl pops in, a little shy at first but finds her confidence to deliver her opening catchphrase: “Well….let’s just try this again you bunch of bastards!” says a seductive Heather Bouvier.
She is wearing a houndstooth print bodysuit, with a leather peplum skirt and top. Leather fingerless short gloves. Also has her houndstooth earrings, arm bands, and shoes! To top it off (literally) she has got her houndstooth couture hat, complete with a little veil hiding part of her face (I’m prematurely mourning for some of you bitches. Black white Makeup, with a houndstooth lip and snatched black bun <3. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N-VFoypSSmofBk-n164heEdgJYeUaBRgrOqMcGz55EA/edit
HEATHER’S CONFESSIONAL: “Hey hey! My name is Heather Bouvier, I am 23 years of age, and I am from Los Angeles! You may know me from the SPICE Pageant….all 2 episodes of it, but I am back to take back the crown I was robbed of! My drag is very fun, campy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t turn some high fashion lewks. I’m ready to show y’all just what Heather has in store!”
CASS-TRATED’S CONFESSIONAL: “Heather is jumping out because I don’t know her and don’t know what she can do so I’m really intrigued to see what she’ll bring… or not.”
Princest slowly struts into the room. She is wearing what appears to be a fat suit with a two piece silver bikini. Her quadruple Ds wanting to slip out of her top.The stretch marks on her stomach appeared to be stoned as they shimmered under the light, even with some of them on her thighs too. Her stiletto heels were a soft gold to go with her bikini set. We then shift to her face; her makeup was very simplistic. Blue eyeshadow, a cat eye liner, thick lashes, contoured cheeks and pink lips. Her eyes were a sapphire blue. She also wore a 22 inch blonde wig that reached to her ass. Princest then stood in a basic supermodel pose with her hands on her hips and a big smile. She looked around, confused with her surroundings. "This isn't 'The Biggest Loser'!" She shouted, starting to tear off the fat suit to reveal her bloody red anatomy in a full body suit that resembles her insides. Her vital organs shined in the light as she smirked. "God, that feels a lot better."
PRINCEST’S CONFESSIONAL: (Princest's confessional look was a cute brown pixie cut with soft makeup. She was wearing a black graphic t-shirt as she smiled.) "Hey everyone, Princest has risen from the dead! It has been way too fucking long since season 5, and I came here to win for once. I just hope I can impress everyone for once."
Miss Fey walks in wearing a ballerina-inspired gown, with a white bodice and tail, green middle-piece and red tulle overlay. (SKETCH + REFERENCES: https://imgur.com/a/voYZdoa)
She walks en pointe, moving ethereally. The red tulle covers her bare legs. She stops and says: “Can you feel the fantasy? Because I can!.... or it could just be the hookah.”
FEY’S CONFESSIONAL: “مرحبا! I’m Fey-Té Bill Hate, the incredibly funny and sexy drag queen that finished 3rd on RDR S5. My entrance look pays tribute to 2 things: the Lebanese flag (red, white and green) and the first time I walked on the runway I was in a ballerina dress! I’m excited to show off my growth, but most importantly, I’m excited to have fun! Let’s do this!”
When the next queen walks into the werk room she is holding a green rhinestoned apple covering her whole face. She holds it by the tip with her big, acrylic, pointy pink nails. She walks with little steps until she is in and takes the apple out of her face revealing her mug. Her eyeshadow is a gradient of greens from darker to lighter with glitter on the end and green long lashes too. Her lips are also light green and are covered in glitter like she just bit the apple she is holding. After a smile she turns the apple showing that it has been bitten and says: “One apple a day keeps this bitches away”.
Sardonyx’s look is a drag version of René Madritte’s painting “The Son of Man''. For this she is wearing a bright pink, fully rhinestoned bowler hat on top of her head. Underneath she is wearing a monet-style apple green pussycat wig. The main garment is a matching bright pink long overcoat with glitter on the lapels. The buttons of the coat are of a clearer pink with glitter on them. The top of the overcoat is wide with shoulder-pads and slowly narrows on the waist. The bottom part, which arrives almost to the knees, has a line with brighter pink and glitter in the same shade that the buttons and the lapels. Inside the coat, she has on a plain, white shirt like the one on the painting with a pink tie with a glittery S to sign the whole thing. For the bottom part of the outfit she is wearing pink pants with the same lining as the coat, with the lighter pink stripe. The shoes are some simple, glittery, pink pumps that obviously match, the bottom part of those is from the bright pink.
SARDONYX’S CONFESSIONAL: “I wanted to do something a little different from what I usually bring so... just for you to know… THIS IS ART MAWMA. But in all seriousness, this is my way of saying that drag is fun, and drag is art, so let’s make art fun for everybody.”
CREOLLA’S CONFESSIONAL: “I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of crazy shit my Season 4 sister Sardonyx is about to bring. I know she has personality.”
SARDONYX’S CONFESSIONAL: “Talking with Lu was nice, she looks really friendly.”
Del ducks under the entrance doors. She takes silly clown steps forwards to her mark. She poses to her left, her head pointing to the camera. Del thrusts her hands forward, displaying a lavender-coloured cake atop a black cake stand. The lemon sponge is coated in a thin layer of lavender frosting, and is topped with mint-coloured (and flavoured!) chocolate shards and some white-chocolate shards too. Del holds her pose until the rabble (RE: other queens) start to give her confused looks…

"Eat it"
Del wears a lavender ghillie suit covered in unnatural lime-grass green. Her face is covered in a black mesh mask that obscures her features. Atop the mask sit a pair of white acrylic sunglasses, a white acrylic nose and moustache set, and a white acrylic dot as a beauty spot. Del's hands and feet poke out of the camouflage suit. Her hands have Lavender latex gloves on them, each coated in a brilliance of purple stones. Del's feet wear chunky lavender pumps, again covered near completely in the purple stones. A black plastic tail arches up behind Del. The S-shaped appendage arcs up to between her shoulders, where the end curls in on itself 5 times. The tail holds two implements: a mint-coloured fork and a grass-coloured knife each inset with a dark lilac jewel in the base of the handle. The cutlery are crossed like crossbones. https://imgur.com/a/HoB0Dt7
DEL’S CONFESSIONAL: Out-of-drag Del grins wide. "Hi I'm Del O'Ryan. I baked this cake just to recycle an entrance line". Del puts their index finger on their temple, "Ding".
DEL’S CONFESSIONAL: “I was pretty withdrawn… cold… pressurised? During Season 5, so I’m keen to connect properly with Lu and Satina. I hate Fey with the intensity of a thousand thousand blazing suns. The entirety of human language cannot begin to express my disdain for Fey, that sniveling worm, that grunting ape, that whining dog. Fey has insulted, demeaned, and outright mocked forces beyond her comprehension, and an end shall soon be upon Fey. As we speak, the legions of Hades come against Fey, there will be no mercy, no recompense, and no respite, for her transgressions are beyond forgiveness, and she will answer for them. Eternal torment and woe be upon you Fey, lowliest of fools, weakest of queens, dirtiest of filth, for oblivion's embrace is beyond you.”
The camera starts shaking a little and thundering and scraping noise is heard as yet another queen approaches the werkroom. The queens present turn their heads at once in time to see a menacing figure appear in the doorway. Enter Marianna, her hulking muscle(suit) covered head to toe in green body paint. She is clad in a barbarian orc warrior outfit, consisting of a black wool brasserie with silver stitching, and a napier tartan wool skirt reaching just above her knee. The skirt and the bra have two silver rings which are attached to a light grey asymmetrical fur cloak. The ring on her bra also has two straps which reach up to a fur epaulette with three spikes, which rests on her opposing shoulder. She also wears brown leather almost-knee-high boots with steel greaves. Her hair is silver and the first foot of it is tied into a spiked mohawk with the rest allowed to fall freely. Her look is accentuated with two tusks on her lower jaw (https://sun9-9.userapi.com/c858336/v858336326/c22c7/4082jW17YNk.jpg - right one, obvi).
Marianna then swings the source of the scraping sound forward, which turns out to be a heavy double headed ax, and looks menacingly at the girls present. “I am just here to…” she snarls and gives a wicked grin, before continuing. “Quit” She then drops the axe and promptly stomps out.
MARIANNA’S CONFESSIONAL:Surprise bitch, bet you thought you'd seen the last of me. I'm the newly christened Marianna Toreador, the star, icon and undeniable main feature of seasons 1, 2, 3, AND season 1 redone.” Mari drawls with a lazy smile. “In the past I was known for some unconventional looks cut to her exploding alien baby, odd challenge ideas cut to Mari staring into nothingness on s2 and quitting supercut of Mari quitting, but I'm here to show that I still got it.”
“What... the fuck?” mumbles someone in a small voice after a moment of confused silence, before glancing around and emitting an eardrum-rupturing scream at the sight of Marianna smiling from the other side of the mirror, "!ϱnibbiʞ ɈƨυႱ" written in lipstick on her left. "
MARIANNA’S CONFESSIONAL: "This cast seems okay. Some strong queens,” Camera pans to Anita and Creolla, “some wildcards,” camera pans to Heather and me, “and no one seems to be filler…” Marianna shrugs, but the camera silently pans to Cass and Princest... “Hey, I said they're NOT filler!"
Eve Kennedy walks in backward so the other queens can’t see her face. She then spins around giving a wink and a kiss then says her entrance line: “Out of Eden and back in the competition.”
The look is a skin tight gown that goes into an off the shoulder neckline. It is in a caucasian color and made out of a stretch jersey fabric. The gown is detailed in floral patch decals of roses and green stones to match the leaves or branches. There are wraps of the floral print that go around the arms up top and also around the bottom of the gown. The hair is a blonde wig slicked back with a second stacked wig on the top. The separation is hidden by a matching rose headpiece. The look is finished off with a red high heel. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-uw5NMT7fH7ItYj4fJbscHPa8YsMaQ2ciXHGN813ROk/edit#
EVE’S CONFESSIONAL:Hello it’s me Eve Kennedy, that bitchy 1 from season 5. You might remember me for winning 2 challenges, being a double shante, & my infamous exit but don’t worry I’m here for the long haul this time. I’m just a bad bitch top looking for some other hoes to bottom. I wanna win.”
LU’S CONFESSIONAL: “This is really an All Stars cast. There’s a lot of pressure to do good, especially when I’m competing against queens like Eve and Creolla.”
MARIANNA’S CONFESSIONAL: “From the girls collected I immediately recognised several people: a) Anita, who is perhaps the strongest contender here and definitely the one to beat, b) Cass, who I've been friendly with since Season 3 and c) Eve who shat on me and Bella on Queens of Code and that kinda stained my perception of her. Whether we can get that resolved or not remains to be seen, but I'll be watching her with great interest. I’m the star of the show, okay, THE A-list extra.”
EVE’S CONFESSIONAL: “I wish Diana was here honestly cause she and I were kiki queens together. The girl who captured my attention most was Creolla, she had the most charisma of the girls that I’m just now meeting in this setting.”
submitted by rdrofficial to RDRInteractiveSeason [link] [comments]

[D] CSGO Newbie Investing Guide (2019)

This is the first iteration of a new Newbie Guide to Investing in CSGO, covering most basic issues. Some subjects are in the work and will be added at a later date.

Before we start, THIS is a fantastic overview of CSGO Market History (until April 2019) and a must-have, including timeframes for regular and operation drops, many important events and lots of useful info, made by steamfrag

Which items can be invested in?

Introductionary Note: Discontinued consumables (cases, stickers and basically all containers) are better items for long term investment than non-consumables, since consumables get deleted from the market when used, thus reducing their quantity over time, unlike skins which are only deleted if a user gets banned or if the skins are used in trade-up contracts. Specific skins/knives/gloves could be profitable to invest and to hold long term, if you know exactly what you are doing. But generally skins are better suited for frequent trading and not long term investing, or if you want skins to play with and more or less hold their value with some potential to go up in price. As an example, Here is a video from TDM HeyJesus from last year explaining what I mean. If you are more interested in trading with others, nice knives and gloves, etc. and not mid/long term investing, visit /GlobalOffensiveTrade

List of all CSGO Cases in Chronological Order:

Case Name Release Date Rare or Active Drop
CSGO Weapon Case 14. August 2013 Confirmed Rare
eSports 2013 Case 14. August 2013 Confirmed Rare
Operation Bravo Case 19. September 2013 Confirmed Rare
CSGO Weapon Case 2 08. November 2013 Confirmed Rare
eSports 2013 Winter Case 18. December 2013 Confirmed Rare
Winter Offensive Weapon Case 18. December 2013 Confirmed Rare
CSGO Weapon Case 3 12. February 2014 Confirmed Rare
Operation Phoenix Weapon Case 20. February 2014 Confirmed Rare
Huntsman Weapon Case 01. May 2014 Confirmed Rare
Operation Breakout Weapon Case 01. July 2014 Confirmed Rare
eSports 2014 Summer Case 10. July 2014 Confirmed Rare
Operation Vanguard Weapon Case 11. November 2014 Confirmed Rare
Chroma Case 08. January 2015 Confirmed Rare
Chroma 2 Case 15. April 2015 Confirmed Rare
Falchion Case 26. May 2015 Confirmed Rare
Shadow Case 17. September 2015 Confirmed Rare
Revolver Case 08. December 2015 Confirmed Rare
Operation Wildfire Case 17. February 2016 Confirmed Rare
Chroma 3 Case 20. April 2016 Confirmed Rare
Gamma Case 15. June 2016 Confirmed Rare
Gamma 2 Case 18. August 2016 Confirmed Rare
Glove Case 28. November 2016 Confirmed Rare
Spectrum Case 15. March 2017 Confirmed Rare
Operation Hydra Case 23. May 2017 Confirmed Rare
Spectrum 2 Case 14. September 2017 Active
Clutch Case 15. February 2018 Active
Horizon Case 02. August 2018 Possibly Rare (needs more data)
Danger Zone Case 06. December 2018 Active
Prisma Case 13. March 2019 Active
CS20 Case 18. October 2019 Active
Shattered Web Case 19. November 2019 Active

  1. The Cache Collection
  2. The Chop Shop Collection
  3. The Cobblestone Collection
  4. The Gods and Monsters Collection
  5. The Overpass Collection
  6. The Rising Sun Collection

  1. The Assault Collection
  2. The Aztec Collection
  3. The Baggage Collection
  4. The Dust Collection
  5. The Inferno Collection (The Old One)
  6. The Militia Collection
  7. The Mirage Collection
  8. The Nuke Collection (The Old One)
  9. The Office Collection
  10. The Vertigo Collection

  1. The 2018 Inferno Collection
  2. The 2018 Nuke Collection
  3. The Bank Collection
  4. The Dust 2 Collection
  5. The Italy Collection
  6. The Lake Collection
  7. The Safehouse Collection
  8. The Train Collection

  1. M4A4 Howl (removed due to copyright violation) - The only Contraband item in CSGO
  2. Dual Berettas Retribution (removed due to artist ban)
  3. P90 Desert Warfare (removed due to artist ban)
  4. CZ75-Auto Poison Dart (removed due to artist ban)
  5. MAC-10 Curse (removed due to artist ban)
  6. USP-S Orion (removed due to artist ban)
Note: Some skins were banned from a case, but can be traded up to with trade-up contracts

  1. Sticker Howling Dawn (removed due to copyright violation)
  2. Sticker King on the Field (removed due to artist ban)
  3. Sticker Winged Defuser (removed due to artist ban)
  4. Sticker Harp of War (Holo) (removed due to artist ban)

Other ways to profit on the market than long/mid term investing


How many items can I hold in my inventory?
Officially, 1000. You can list excess items on the steam market (for high unrealistic prices) and basically use the steam market as extra space. Note that the price of your listed items on market + your steam wallet cannot exceed $2000 at any given time. You can increase the number of items in your inventory and the amount of steam wallet money through some tricks. It is however recommanded that instead you simply make extra accounts and prepare them for usage as extra space and as storage accounts, if you need more space.

How much is the Tax/Fee on Steam Community Market?
Approx. 13%-15% total for most.
Here is one in Euro by donbernie and Here is one for items under $1 by HwanZike
Yes, if you want to make Gaben really happy, sell for 3 cents and give him 2

What are some real-money marketplaces for CSGO items?
Use all external sites at your own risk

I've personally used skinbaron and skinbay and had no problems so far. There are others out there like cs deals. Update (Oct 2019): I used Bitskins before they changed ownership in Oct. 2019. I am waiting to see who the new owners are (still unknown) and how the site develops, before using them again.
Also note that the most popular one, OPSkins was BANNED by Valve in 2018. Do not use OPSkins if you want to cash out from or cash in to Steam anymore. Their so called VGO Skins aren't actual CSGO skins, even though they look similar. Update (Oct. 2019): OPSkins apparently made a comeback with a P2P system without using Bots. Proceed with caution, because Valve basically sent them a cease and desist letter in the past letting them know that they aren't allowed to be associated with CSGO and use any intellectual property of Valve on their websites at all anymore.

What is the most efficient way to cash out?
Sell the items directly at Bitskins, Skinbaron or another trustworthy site. Depending on the items, this can take a while. As an alternative you can exchange your investments into liquid items (popular skins for frequently used weapons, certain knives, case keys, sticker keys, nametags etc. - spend some time to determine which item gives you the best rate) and sell those liquid items on external cashout sites. The latter method will increase the speed at which you get money but will lose you a larger percentage. Keep in mind that BitSkins/Skinbaron take a percentage (5% to 15%), Paypal takes a percentage (~2%), and that the item values on external sites (real money value) are always lower than in the Steam Community Market. Also, every transaction on the Steam Community Market takes away 15% already. Occasionally the items on external sites are so cheap compared to SCM that it becomes worth it to sell them on SCM instead, buy keys from the in-game store, and then sell those keys on external sites again. When selling on SCM it almost always is correct to sell with an order that's higher than the highest buy order and higher than the lowest sell order if the lowest sell order is lower than recent trends display.

What is the most efficient way to buy in?
Buy items (not necessarily CSGO only) from trustworthy external cashout sites or from highly reputable sellers with high cash rep if they offer a better deal (you can find some on /GlobalOffensiveTrade) and sell the items on the Steam Community Market. Spend some time to determine which item gives you the best discount compared to Steam Market Price. Be aware that some items such as souvenir skins, certain Stattrak knives, etc. might have a very high discount, but are very very hard to resell back on steam market, avoid these items and stick to popular items. There is a reason why they have such a high discount. Also be aware that some items might be manipulated on steam market, thus showing a very high discount on 3rd party sites when compared, avoid these items and check their market history to be sure. http://csgo.steamanalyst.com/hotdeals is one of the tools that can help you with good deals, or the deals section at BitSkins. The general rule is also the cheaper the items, the higher the possible discount. For instance you could buy very cheap stickers for sometimes 50% off, and resell on steam market. But the downside is that it takes a lot of time and effort than a single expensive item, but gives you more steam wallet money at the end. Make sure that after steam tax, you always get more money than if you deposit the money directly to Steam, otherwise this whole process becomes completely pointless.

What are the case opening odds?

Normal StatTrak
Knives and Gloves 0.26% 0.026%
Covert 0.64% 0.064%
Classified 3.20% 0.32%
Restricted 15.98% 1.598%
Mil-Spec 79.92% 7.992%

Why did item X increase/decrease in price?
Possible reasons: CS:GO updates/balance changes/game changes/market changes (e.g., Tradeup Contract), new cases/operations (both short-term, due to opening frenzies, and long-term, due to increased supplies of skins), a famous streameyoutuber hypes an item, someone tries to manipulate the market, a AAA game is released, a tournament is taking place (CS:GO, DOta 2 etc.), a Steam-sale like Summer sale is going on, a market-bug is ongoing, the ingame drop rate was increased/decreased, legal issues about things related to the CSGO market (e.g., betting/gambling), etc.

If I create a new Steam account, how do I transfer items to that account? How long does this take?
Create a new account, log in (via the thick client), set up your profile, enable Steam Guard, wait 15 days, and transfer the items to the account from your main (double check that it is your account). If you intend to use the thin client (e.g., via Chrome), make sure that you log in from there as well because Steam will impose a 7 day trade restriction on your account when you attempt to create a new transaction from a new device (a device meaning a new browser). Also, if you do not have mobile authentication enabled on the alt account, there will be a 3 day delay for trades. You can use the same phone number & email address for many Steam accounts. Also, Gmail forwards emails addressed to your account even if dots (.) are added in between the username characters of your email address.

If I create a new Steam account, how do I use the Community Market? How long does this take?
Same steps as above, but you need to purchase a game that costs at least $5 or deposit $5 into your Steam wallet (and wait a month) before being able to use the Community Market. Keep in mind that using a new payment method will trigger a weeklong community market cooldown on your account.

After buying a CSGO item from the Steam Community Market, how long do I have to wait until I can sell/trade it?
They are sellable immediately on the Market. You need to wait 7 days until you can trade them to another account. Note that items from some other games, have the 7 days cool down both for trading AND steam market (like Rust).

How do buy orders work?
When you place a buy order, the market first looks for all the cheapest items that can fulfill your order. Then the oldest listing (i.e. the seller who has waited the longest) is selected and purchased. If the items are listed in multiple currencies, the amounts are first converted into your currency before being selected (i.e. a 0.03 RUB listing has no priority over a 0.03 USD listing). If multiple buy orders satisfy a new market listing, the oldest matching buy order will be selected. It used to be different in the past, but was changed in 2017.

How do I create multiple listings at once on Steam Market?
You could use one the addons listed in the "useful sites and tools" section of this guide down below. The current most secure way (since no external extensions are used) is a solution suggested by u/soldture . Simply copy this link: https://steamcommunity.com/market/multisell?appid=730&contextid=2&items[]=Falchion%20Case
Change Falchion%20Case to your desired item name. This solution only works with commodity items. This also works with other games (you have to change the appid and replace it with the appid of that game, for instance Rust is 440.

Item X hyped and is going to moon. Should I Buy?
Usually parabolic moves are followed by a crash (not always but most of the time). It is almost never a good idea to buy when something is mooning because of a video, some news, manipulation, mass hysteria and hype or whatever else. Buy the rumour, sell the news.

Item X is crashing hard. The Market is crashing. I am shaking and panicking. Should I Sell?
Stay calm, take a deep breath and find out what is really going on and what you really think about it. As an example: there was a huge panic when gambling sites were being banned. Many people panicked and sold their items for ridiculously low prices. People were telling eachother that the skin market will crash and never recover if there is no gambling and the world is going to end. And here we are in 2019, and almost everything (including skins) is at its all time high. However, sometimes you just need to sell fast. Let's say you have a skin from a collection which was inactive for a long time, making the prices of the skins go very high, and then suddenly the collection became active again for whatever reason. Or Gaben officially tells us that he is going to do something crazy with the market which will inevitably crash everything. In that case yes, sell fast (just an example)

Useful sites and tools

Use all external sites, tools and addons at your own risk, some are risky to use, some old and not updated

Chrome addons:

Useful Youtube Channels

Helicobacter: FAQ 2.0 (huge shoutout, copied a lot of stuff from this FAQ, sometimes word by word)
Steamfrag: Very useful graphs and market data

Disclaimer: The information offered here is not financial advice. We, the mod team, are just a bunch of gamers and hobby investors. Do your own due dilligence before investing any real money in to a game and do it at your own risk! Use all external links, sites, tools, addons, etc. at your own risk! Any information in this thread may be outdated at any given time. You should be mentally prepared to lose everything invested in virtual items. Valve could change the rules affecting the market anytime. Third party cashout and trading sites and their BOTS could be banned anytime. External events such as successful lawsuits against Valve, new state laws, new country laws, etc. could also affect the market anytime by forcing Valve to take measures (for instance case opening is now restricted in Belgium and Netherlands, OPSkins got banned, Gambling sites were banned, etc.). Also note that all of your items legally belong to Valve, even if you paid for them.

Suggestions and potential corrections to this guide are always welcomed and will be added if necessary and approved by the mod team. I will try to keep this guide updated.

Last updated: Nov. 2019
submitted by HostileHero to csgomarketforum [link] [comments]

Online Gambling on the Rise, but who’s it Targeting?

Online Gambling on the Rise, but who’s it Targeting?

Twenty years after the worldwide panic resulting from the Y2K controversy, the internet has become a constant in our daily lives. Little thought is put into regulations on how it affects our youth, and how it affects the world we live in. With the rise of social media, we are seeing the drastic results of this ignorance. Since 2016, cyberbullying has increased by over 35%, and the tactics of predators have changed while we have found ourselves left in the mud. Applications like Kik and Snapchat have become havens for these attacks on our youth, resulting in terrible tragedy after a terrible tragedy. In recent years, there have been token attempts to put forth regulations to force these companies to address these issues, but one major problem continues to rear its ugly head in our cultural zeitgeist: Online Gambling.
Online gambling has become one of the world's most profitable and expanding businesses. The industry itself is projected to take over on-site gambling by 2030, and children are most at risk. In recent studies conducted by the University of Hartford, 17% of teens in America have gambled online at least once before their 18th birthday. It may come as a shock to many of the influence this industry has gained in such a quick time period; however, much of the gambling being discussed is not even on sites that use Playtech or Net Entertainment, but rather, through video game collectibles functioning as pseudo-cryptocurrency.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive, a first-person shooter, developed by Valve, has an in-game feature that allows players to receive cases and open them with purchasable keys for a chance to win valuable weapons skins. Due to certain rarities of skins, these skins build value where players can buy and sell them through the steam marketplace. Do not hope for a return on investment. In statistics released by the launch of Counter-Strike in China in 2017, Valve was forced to admit that each grade of weapons operates on a five to one rarity level. In essence, every time you go up a grade your odds of receiving anything of value are cut by 4/5ths. So the lowest grade of weapons have an ~80% drop rate, the second-lowest have a ~16% drop rate. This continues until the rarest item, knife skins, where the drop rate falls to 0.26%. In most cases, of course, you do not make the $2.50 required to open the containers back unless you receive a pink item, which has a 3% drop rate. However, gambling does not stop there. In recent years, gambling sites have been opened, allowing players to place their skins on the line to win big prize-pools of unbelievable value. Sites like CSGORoll and CSGOEmpire have seen more than 1,000,000 visitors a month and have seen more than $5,500,000 be gambled through their site at that same time.
So where does the youth of America play into this? The demographics have shown more than 30% of CS:GO’s player base are individuals under the age of 18. With this rise in youth player bases and many youth role models encouraging the practice of CS:GO Gambling among their fan base, it’s hard for a child to not get caught within the online gambling world. Back in 2017, Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell, two popular CS:GO YouTubers and both owners of CS:GO Gambling sites, reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after multiple complaints were filed about youth gambling being encouraged. They were also criticized for their unethical promotion of gambling sites, which they owned, without disclosing such ownership to their viewers. In their words, they had "just found this new site" which was in fact their own site operating with shady practices and unverifiable odds.
With the new decade starting, online gambling is still a threat to the youth and many families. While sites such as CSGOLotto and CSGORoll are still active slowly losing interest, the youth have gone to other ways of online gambling. ESport Fantasy Leagues, Sports Fantasy Leagues, and other betting services have become the front for youth gambling. Players will bet money on, in-game items, on their favorite teams, favorite players, and favorite characters.
Until such time where we see action by Congress, the youth will continue to be victims of predatory individuals who seek to capitalize on their naivety and on their parent's unwatchful eyes. Something must be done to combat the rise in childhood gambling, and to ensure the safety of our children.
submitted by JarlFrosty to ModelBusinessInsider [link] [comments]

10 Reasons Why CS:GO Doesn't Suck As Much As You Think

A YouTube channel by the name of Valve Guides just released a video titled "10 Reason Why CS:GO Sucks Right Now". I've seen a few videos like this from various channels, and have been getting increasingly frustrated at the misinformation these videos come with. Most importantly, I've become sad that people seem to have completely given up on CS:GO when it is currently better than it has ever been (as CS:GO, and arguably as a Counter-Strike game in general). So I've made this post in an attempt to counter the points in that specific video, while also explaining my frustrations in general at what I've heard over the past few weeks from other YouTubers and players.
  10 - Messy Gameplay   What? 1.6 was one of the clunkiest FPSs of its time, the pacing was pretty good but there were some stupidly-busted mechanics like wallbangs through insanely thick walls, not being able to move AT ALL after being shot (meaning first shot = kill 90% of the time, allowing for little counterplay other than reaction times), insanely reduced first-shot accuracy (especially due to that insanely huge crosshair that you couldn't really modify without some technical knowhow - further increasing the skill floor for first-time players), etc.   By "1.6 is clunky" I mean to say the movement system didn't mesh well with the object of the game. Bunnyhopping is a prime example of how the game was artificially sped up when the pacing of the rounds would've been much slower without them. By pacing of the round I mean, how much action is going on in a specific time frame (1 round or 30 seconds, etc.).
CS:GO's pacing is controlled by grenades currently, whereas 1.6 was more about the "glitches" like Bunnyhopping, wallbanging and "tagging" which isn't a glitch but arguably overly powerful. I don't know much more about 1.6's systems but I can say that after about 100 hours I just had the feeling that I had less control over my movement in 1.6 due to these more advanced systems (that I didn't, at the time, have the tools to learn about) than I do currently in CS:GO. This is more opinion based than the rest of the piece, and I feel like people are taking it out of context. I was just trying to tone down the 1.6 nostalgia-tinted glasses that seems to be going around where people are saying that 1.6 was 1000x better in every aspect and was the best competitive shooter in history (that title goes to Quake 3 btw ;).   9 - Balance issues   This one I'll agree with, there are things that can still be balanced but I think griping on this now, at a time where Valve has been at its most active in reaching out to the community and actually acting on our suggestions, is kind of mean-spirited and preaching to the choir at this point. Hitboxes are better than ever, they're actually trying to fix jumpshotting, spraying, first-shot accuracy, etc. in a meaningful way. xx   He also says something here I want to touch on. "Changes to a weapon can reduce your incentive to come back and continue playing." Really? If changes in a video game that force you to re-learn a skill stop you from wanting to play that game, fine, but you're in the insanely small minority. That's what video games are, constantly changing, ever-evolving. They're young, they aren't like most sports that have been around for a century or more and have fine-tuned their rules over that period of time. So it's just kind of a part of every game, not just CS - and it's something you have to deal with as a competitive player. If you don't want to, that's up to you, but it doesn't make CS:GO "suck".
8 - Skin Betting Ban   So this is part of the community SURROUNDING the game, not about the game itself. But I'll still say something about it.   Betting on sports in general has always been a touchy subject, especially in North America (where a lot of CS:GO fans are located currently - not all, just saying the majority of betting sites were located here, etc.). So it makes sense to continue the trend in NA and specifically the US to just outright ban it and force them to act illegally. It reduces the chance of under-aged people wanting to bet - by reducing the popularity, and reducing the # of legitimate players (i.e. streamers and pros) that advocate it. But it also de-legitimizes betting which was a large source of income for the CS:GO scene. So banning it has some positives and some negatives. The best route here would be for Valve to release an official betting system using skins and not just the "Pick 'Em" system they have now - similar to what CSGOLounge used. I still believe that the roulette-style sites are straight-up casino gambling and should always be illegal, regardless of currency used (skins, money, chips, w/e). Again, doesn't even come close to making the game "suck". I also don't really understand how Valve banning all betting sites (which are definitively illegal) makes the whole scene look "shady". If anything it has the opposite effect to onlookers in that it creates a sense that Valve have some control over the scene and want to legitimize eSports.   7 - Scandals   sigh Again, community - not the game itself. All communities have bad eggs. CS:GO is the biggest FPS in terms of eSport popularity, hands down. But it isn't the biggest eSport. DotA, League and Starcraft also have their fair share of scandals, so it's no big surprise to anyone that CS:GO has had some as well. It is also the first extremely large FPS eSport, whereas DotA and League have Starcraft 2 to thank (partially) for paving the way for their popularity, and their ruleset (as well, Riot in particular has done a stellar job in cracking down on illegitimate practices, reducing the # of scandals as the years have progressed). CS:GO happens to be the youngest large eSport out there, so the # of scandals currently should go down as things subside (and indeed they seem to be dying down, the last big one I can remember was IBP throwing as well as some fishy stuff going on at a tournament that I can not recall currently, over the summer IIRC). AGAIN, does not make CS:GO as a game suck. Just means it's a growing eSport and as such, Valve should be doing things to crack down on illegitimate behaviour...which it has been doing, and continues to do. Some might say too little too late, or not fast enough, but I prefer to say better late than never, or better a little than not at all.   6 - Toxic Community   Every multiplayer video game since WoW has had a toxic community. It's literally a meme at this point. Saying a game sucks because it has a toxic community is like saying a slice of bread sucks because it has a crust. It comes with the territory, and there's not much the developemanufacturer can do to avoid this. It's up to the end-user to tailor their own experience. With bread, you have a knife capable of cutting the crust off. With video games, developers give you the ability to mute your fellow gamers if you find their actions distasteful. It's not a fantastic solution because it requires effort of the end-user, and in gaming it hinders your ability to play competitively, but it is a solution. You can also play with friends to cut out the issue entirely, and you can make friends by adding people you find that are kind or communicative in solo-queue to your list and continuing to play with them. I just joined/started to form an ESEA team with some random guy I met while solo-queueing who happens to live <2 hours away from me.   So yeah, again - doesn't mean CS:GO sucks - just means the community is large enough where the toxicity is more noticeable. Just like every other major eSport (League, DotA, Starcraft . . . even larger MMOs like EvE & WoW, and casual FPSs like CoD and Halo, as he mentioned in the video).   5 - Hackers   Okay so this seems to be a heated topic in CS:GO for some reason, when it has never been in any game before...even though the # of hackers I've witnessed in CS:S, and other games like ArmA, DayZ, Battlefield, America's Army, and Call of Duty is far greater than I've ever seen in CS:GO. Maybe it's because the hackers have a greater impact on the game, due to matchmaking having ranks and people putting so much emphasis on having a good rank. Or maybe it's because the game itself takes longer to complete than most eSports, so you have more riding on it. Not sure.   But I will say that the # of hackers in CS:GO is on the decline, and continues to be due to tremendous efforts by Valve. Despite what many believe, VAC actually does its job! gasp I know, hard to believe. But it does its job, and does it well. It acts in secrecy because it must, if it gives status updates of any kind it also gives coders a way to discern in what way they are being detected and allows for hackers to stay ahead. By operating in secrecy, it allows Valve to catch up to the hackers (or attempt to) and detect many hacks at once (which is why bans come in "waves" - when a system is detected VAC takes several days to collect data on as many people using the hacks with that system implemented as possible, and bans them all at once).   I will also say that Valve has taken a good starting point with the Prime Matchmaking system. I have noticed a significant drop in hackers in my games at the DMG-LEM range (where I've been since Prime started, and for many months prior) since its release, and I know that even though the # of hackers in GE is higher, it still seems to be less for most people across the board. There are also 3rd-party clients that help to alleviate this issue, but I won't give them too much credence as they aren't truly a part of CS:GO as a game.   So while yes, CS:GO has cheaters, Valve as a developer is doing a good job (in my humble opinion) at deterring and punishing cheaters, and can't be held accountable for every single time you witness a cheater in a game. Especially if it isn't a blatant cheater, due to human error in accusing people of cheating they can't spectate, which I think creates this image that the problem is larger than it appears.   I also want to address the video here. It makes light of VAC by spouting a meme at the end (unprofessional, and more importantly demonstrates ignorance of how VAC actually works). But the video also states that some pros have made it to LAN tournaments (I think that's the inference by saying "pros make it to ESEA"?). There's been no proof that any pro has used a cheat during a tournament. There are a few that come to mind (KQLY, and I know of at least one other whom I can't recall the name of) but I can't recall any time where there was video proof of cheats. (#FreeKrimz #ImNotAProfessionalYouTuberSoICanMeme)   4 - Deranking Updates   Ranks don't mean anything. I repeat, ranks don't mean anything. Pros don't care about their ranks. Really good players shouldn't (and often don't) care about their ranks. The ONLY rank that counts right now is ESEA, and that's a new thing. It only matters because S Rank is a way for players to showcase their skills, and reaching that really is a testament to how good you are and can potentially launch an eSport career.   But to say that CS:GO sucks partially because Valve balances their rank update to better distribute skill across their ranks is ludicrous. There's really no other way to put it, and no way I can articulate why it's wrong other than to say that balancing your game is important, and allowing people to play against those with the same rank is paramount to the success of a game. Just think of it this way - if you deranked, that means MOST people at your rank ALSO deranked. So everyone that WAS Supreme was deranked to LEM (or whatever the case was with the literally one time this happened in the past 2-3 years). It's a good point that players might become disinterested after seeing their hard work "go to waste", but honestly it only goes to waste if they quit, because only then will the work have been for nothing. Losing your rank doesn't strip you of the skill you acquired. So it shouldn't matter what rank you are, only how good you perceive yourself to be. And if a random image next to your name validates your perception of yourself, you might want to look deeper at why you play CS:GO in the first place.   3 - Lack of Support   I said a lot of what I would normally say here above at #9, in that Valve has been more active with updates and support in the past year than from launch to the beginning of this year, but I also want to add one more thing. The narrator mentions in the video that TF2 received way more support than CS:GO has. And I want to explain why that's total bullshit. &nsp; The first major update that added new content to TF2 was 4 months after its release, however of course many updates were done prior on balancing. CS:GO had maybe a dozen updates in the months prior to its release (I can't find any evidence this was so for TF2 but correct me if I'm wrong). And the first major update (a new mode) came 2 months after release (competitive matchmaking and skill groups). Another mode (DM) was launched 2 months after that, and the first map 3 months after that. There have been consistent updates at least once a month since release, seen here (since launch) and here (since December 2013).   A few specifics to address. VAC bans I've already covered, but the reason pros are banned is because they are high-priority targets as they affect revenue streams on a greater scale, and proof is the only thing required. To VAC ban someone who plays the game normally, you can't go around banning everyone with proof because that would take forever (hence the Overwatch system), so VAC banning is automated to when it detects a cheat. Valve doesn't need to detect a pro player's cheat client to have them VAC banned. Problems that take months to fix is a moot issue now, as they have proven they can be fast at fixing issues when they are presented in a meaningful and easy-to-reproduce way. And for the console version, he already covers why that's again a moot issue. I'd also add that very few people most likely play CS:GO on console, and that Valve developers can choose which projects they want to work on which most likely led to the decline in updates for that platform. An excuse and not a reason, but yeah, I can see his point here - it kinda sucks to abandon part of your playerbase, however small it is. But seriously, #PCMasterRace.   2 - Bad Updates   Again, another moot point. Valve just recently introduced a Beta platform that has been used to great effect in reducing the number of issues an update causes when pushed to the live servers. None of the problems he lists have been since that was implemented. And again, he says "Months to fix issues" where again this has changed.   1 - Betraying Trust   I don't really have much to say here, because everything he said is true but I don't think Valve ever betrayed our trust in them to the point where the game ultimately sucks. They are still trying to win our trust back, and for some of us have succeeded. And I choose not to believe that they ever willingly chose to betray our trust. I truly believe that all changes they've made is with their community (and bottom line) in mind. And it would be very bad for their bottom line to betray their community on a fundamental level. I think they did that a few times, but never willingly, because Valve operates as a business first and foremost and business operate under the true meaning of "The Customer is Always Right" which means that the customer knows what they want, give it to them mentality. In gaming, developers have to be careful because not all their customers want the same thing, so it is a fine line in knowing what to do and what not to do, but it does come down in the end to our faith in their ability to create a solid game.   And in the end, I truly believe Valve has done that. They continue to support it through major tournament pots and prizes, major updates fairly frequently (one to two a year, that continue to produce content for a month or two due to the nature of the drops these updates bring), and balance changes (that admittedly are sometimes done poorly). Again, I truly believe that Valve want the best for this game and for its community, and I believe that they have shown that in the past few months. They have shown that they believe in their community, and they have shown that they have the ability to do CS:GO's community justice. And I don't think that making a video that says CS:GO straight-up sucks is the best course of action, and I've been seeing quite a few videos to this end.   If you truly cared about Counter-Strike and its playerbase, you wouldn't say the game is terrible and tell people not to play it, because that will just cause Valve to abandon it all together. Encourage them to speak out about what they dislike without completely dismissing the game as a lost cause (which is what, in my opinion, saying a game is fundamentally "bad"/sucks, does). Encourage them to educate themselves on the development process, on the ins and outs of the game's mechanics, and how to give your own input like many redditors have done in the past. And in general, just enjoy the game for what it is without worrying about the future. Because currently, in many people's opinion, the game is quite fun to play. I know it is for me.
TL;DR: CS:GO doesn't suck, it really hasn't ever sucked - at least not for quite some time. Valve has proved itself worthy again, in the last few months, by releasing Prime Matchmaking, Beta Versions of updates, and timely fixes for issues found by the community. The game is in quite a good spot, with quite a few gripes about the game (mechanically-speaking) being non-issues now. So, with that in mind, I disagree that making videos such as the one listed above is really helping anything. In fact, I believe it's a detriment to CS:GO as it might make people shy away from the game where they otherwise wouldn't have.  
In short: Play the game. Inform yourself about the ins and outs of what is and isn't possible for Valve to do, and what is and isn't realistic in terms of expectations for updates, and the timing of those updates. And give constructive criticism in whatever form you can. But please, don't abandon this game. Help make Counter-Strike great again.
EDIT: Thanks to everyone who has participated (and continues to participate) in the discussion! I think I've said all I wanted to say, if you have questions look in my comment history for my opinion and if you don't see it feel free to PM me and I can explain anything unclear about my opinion specifically.
But I think we can all agree that ValveGuides was just view-baiting with the title and content, the arguments for each of the points (except #10 it seems) are all flawed, and most of you understand the point of my post. Some were just here to fanboy 1.6 and complain about how bad CS:GO is in comparison, and I understand that nostalgia and time spent playing a game you loved when you're younger can taint your opinion so I won't take it too harshly the amount of illogical and false statements made. I'll stop replying to comments on this thread, though. Have a good night everyone!
submitted by SoupOrJuice13 to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

How I lost my religion

So ripe feel free to use this on your channel and stupid I'm on mobile so formatting is impossible.
Anywho let's get this story started the right way. With rambling background! I apologize now I will put a TL:DR at the end for those that don't want to read it.
Now to start this story I need to point out how I got here. Mainly because this took years to complete and I am summarizing a lot. Biggest point being I do not hate my family.
Now to start off might as well start happy. So growing up yes happy childhood, not physically abusive. You know small town, me and my cousins and friends played power rangers, sports, and all the crap you can fit into hyperactive kids days. Church on sundays enjoy your Sunday school fun, youth group Sunday night.
Yeah sounds like a great life minus a few things. First off, no we weren't poor, my mom and her friend constantly tried to get me and her daughter to spend more and more time together. Little 6-13 year old us did not understand why and since we liked all the same things we didn't care we just considered it extra play time so fuck everything let's go. Anyone from a rather mentally abusive church would understand they wanted us to fall for each other because of fond memories and all that yadda yadda.
There was an issue. We may have been good friends, but I wanted to be a pastor(didn't realize my sect allowed pastors to marry soooooooo I never saw it as more as a friendship) and she wanted to focus on school because she wanted to open her own charity. We were weird kids, but then again our parents shoved christianity down our throats and made jesus our only roll model so meet what happens when good hearted people only have the living God as a role model.
Funny part to their entire plan. I'm a year younger than her. Every part of Christian doctrine we got dealt especially the media we were offered showed man had to be older or the same age. In truth now I still wouldn't date her, but it's because of the memories making it hurt more and we don't talk a ton anymore. Yes we go out for drinks every now and again, but I never flirt towards her and she enjoys having someone that can encourage her to chase the charity dream without talking about dating... okay maybe she flirts, but even at 23 I am blind deaf and dumb when it comes to signals so I'm just never going to press it. I never ask so there is no need to find out unless she seems sad about it.
Anyways let's continue onto this trek. So while me and my friend are growing up I am loving church. I even take time to sit with my pastor to find out about becoming one. No he didn't molest me he actually got me really involved. I helped with planning Youth Group events, church events, set up and break down, missions trips, basically if my church did it I got involved wanting to run just as good of a church one day. I honestly need to thank PB for all he did. He made me feel accepted and apart of something bigger than myself for the first time outside of my circle of friends.
Now yes I know that feeling could be taken as indoctrination into a cult, but no my church was and is fine. They preach the "live and let live God will forgive them when they pass on" style of christianity(if it wasn't clear I was not a catholic). Anyway by this point aside from heartbreaks, one sided crushes(mainly because I am the king of passing on perfect situations because I would rather make someone happy than take advantage of them in a time of sorrow or teenage heartbreak), failed ventures into sports and clubs I was slowly removing myself from my religion, but mainly because when you are the stick everyone leans on and you're not even 15 you kind of eventually start to break.
My break was probably the biggest thing to fuck up my life. To explain I was 275 pound(yes overweight, but it was because I never cared about being chubby and could still keep a 10 minute mile) and had who I thought was my one. 2nd girlfriend should have listened to the old saying 3rd times the charm. We had gotten together when we were 14 I think... it may have been 13, but we never said we wanted to date for the longest time yet we went on dates, cuddled, talked everyday... f* it aside from straight up passionately hugging we had done it. And I mean any kind. I did still have the idea of becoming a priest in my head, but at the time I thought about becoming a chaplain in the US Army or Marines(kinda liked the name devil dogs shut up I was 15). Well I bet you can guess how to really f* up a 6'5" tall 15 year old working on dropping the 25 pounds to enlist.
Well I will tell you. Plan on a camping weekend together at a friend of my moms lake house because we were already going out there. Go to pick her up and because her parents love you be free to walk in. Then the killer. And probably the most scarring scene I could lay before you. Open the door as her parents tell you "oh your friend blue falcon stopped by" and get the worst seat in the house. I can tell you my friend for 16 didn't shave and really fucking needed to. I can also tell you she didn't either, but after about 5 seconds of shock the silent about face and double time it out of there was real.
Yes she screwed my best friend, no I don't talk to either of them. My former best friend was already on a short leash because he was pushing his girlfriend, a nice catholic girl, to go further and I told him to stop. I guess somehow instead of stop I said "oh you're girl isnt putting out use mine!" Well of course I go on the trip on a lie and thank God for no cell reception. I told my parents she was sick and I was going to let her get better. I guess they knew something was up because the last time she had the sniffles I asked for the stuff to make her homemade chicken noodle soup. Well i guess thanks mom and dad. You knew i was lying and i spent that trip just lost.
Well that just kind of killed me so you can guess how high school went. Straight As turned to Bs and Cs for the rest of that year. I took a vocation to escape seeing either of them for half the school day the last 2 years of school. And no I didn't get the weight off I went in the opposite direction and yes it is a b*** to get it going in the right direction. I have been working on that so little positives. My goal honestly for this year is to get it down to 225 and enlist. I just want a reason to see other parts of the world even if it means being stationed in a combat zone.
Well the story of my ex doesn't end there. So I bet you've heard of the old "she is lying that I hurt her down there with my thing?" Yeah that happened. Lucky me she had a huge monkey wrench she didn't realize. I was still involved in my church and my grandfather was friends with every cop in the county. Bless that old man he deserves to rest after the shit he got me out of. He had the cops watch what I did for a couple days and after 1 and seeing me spend my day off at my church didn't pursue the case. I feel bad I didn't do anything, even though I didn't know until I was graduating high school, because she got another guy thrown in juvenile detention when we all were 13 before we met.
If you're wondering why it never came up with my grandfather they all believe the guy did it. He was the troubled kid already smoking and drinking and running away from home. He must have seen it as I was helping her heal and she would never have to worry with me.
Well let's wrap up high school years short and sweet. I was bullied relentlessly because I denied everything aside from leaving her. Add in the gained weight from unhealthy starving then binging and the slow withdrawal from church and I made a perfect storm for it.
Anyways first year out was horrible. My job moved to Florida and no place was hiring for my trade at a rate I could accept(I had agreed to pay the car insurance and internet bill and at the time my explorer was shit on gas mileage so 10 an hour with an hour drive was not going to work) so I had to take a job back at McDonalds. I didn't enroll into college because I had 0 aspirations. My church life was basically mass and done.
By the end of that year I wasn't even going. I obviously had some mental problems, but through all of this my moms idea of helping was saying to get over it and get in shape. I couldn't because I was still peoples leaning stick even though I was broken. It came to an end when 2 of my friends took their lives and one ended it after possibly the most odd and dangerous moment ever. We were working at McDonalds unloading the restocking truck. After the driver left and the door was shut she pulled a knife and kissed me. No I wasn't scared I was mostly confused. I did like her, but I never told her because she liked one of our coworkers or at least that's what I thought from talking to him.
So 2 lost friends, the worse moment to find out you're being cheated on and I bet you can guess where I went for support. I gave and went to church. I talked with the new youth pastor because the priest was busy with meetings and got the shittiest advice ever. Basically calling me an angel of death that was only meant to deal with sorrow until I atoned for my wrongdoings. My worst offense was being a boy and playing with fire in a fire pit. I have burned a lot of random stuff, but always controlled and I kept a ABCD fire extinguisher with me in case it started to go out of control. Yes that was the worst. I didn't steal, murder, be rude to my parents unless you call the dropped grades rude, lie(I regret that one), etc.
So that's when I left. I was 19. Godless and just distraught. 2 of my friends were never coming back and I still can't listen to a few songs because I will break down crying. I did try to go back a few times since on my own, but the last straw happened last June. I turned 22 and went back after talking to my counselor about transitioning and figured it would be good to have the old support I remembered.
That was the outright biggest mistake of my life. The new pastor definetly is old fashioned. I went and sat through the last mass of a Sunday and asked if I could sit down to talk to him since I used to be a very active member of the church. So we went to a quiet room and spoke. It took him a few minutes to realize who I was and he avoided what the youth pastor had said about me. The thing that made him flip his tune was when I told him I was considering transitioning.
He instantly looked at me like I was Lucifer himself. He told me that the youth pastor was right and this was gods punishment for me killing 2 people. Just saying I wasn't in either note. The girl had her brother give me a letter she wrote, but he didn't until he figured I was moving forward. I was 20 and still not, but she explained it wasn't my fault I couldn't save her. However the priest(sorry for the random switches I'm not sure which my sect went with because its just confusing) drug up all the feelings I had held down. I left telling him to f** off and I would never come back.
Since then I found I was happier with my 4 friends. I lost a majority of my family because I, unknowingly, am my grandfathers last straight grandson. I have 0 gaydar. I haven't told him I just told my parents to say I was with friends or out of town for something. I am working through my states process to transition and decided I need to pay respect to my lost friend. Yes when I fully finish my middle name is going to be her first name because it's what me and my psychiatrist believe will help me not be so depressed about her being gone.
Anyways that is the story of how I lost my religion and found myself.
TL:DR I had the shittiest circumstances come up and ended up leaving my church after being called an angel of death and dragging sorrow with me.
Come to think of it... are there even angels of death aside from the horseman of death supposed to bring part of the end of times?
submitted by awokenlion4823 to RipeStories [link] [comments]

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