Timetable Structure - Casino High School

"I think I've lived long enough to see competitive Counter-Strike as we know it, kill itself." Summary of Richard Lewis' stream (Long)

I want to preface that the contents of this post is for informational purposes. I do not condone or approve of any harassments or witch-hunting or the attacking of anybody.
 
Richard Lewis recently did a stream talking about the terrible state of CS esports and I thought it was an important stream anyone who cares about the CS community should listen to.
Vod Link here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/830415547
I realize it is 3 hours long so I took it upon myself to create a list of interesting points from the stream so you don't have to listen to the whole thing, although I still encourage you to do so if you can.
I know this post is still long but probably easier to digest, especially in parts.
Here is a link to my raw notes if you for some reason want to read through this which includes some omitted stuff. It's in chronological order of things said in the stream and has some time stamps. https://pastebin.com/6QWTLr8T

Intro

CSPPA - Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association

"Who does this union really fucking serve?"

ESIC - Esports Integrity Commission

"They have been put in an impossible position."

Stream Sniping

"They're all at it in the online era, they're all at it, they're all cheating, they're all using exploits, probably that see through smoke bug got used a bunch of times"

Match Fixing

"How many years have we let our scene be fucking pillaged by these greedy cunts?" "We just let it happen."

North America

"Everyone in NA has left we've lost a continents worth of support during this pandemic and Valve haven't said a fucking word."

Talent

"TO's have treated CS talent like absolute human garbage for years now."

Valve

"Anything that Riot does, is better than Valve's inaction"

Closing Statements

"We've peaked. If we want to sustain and exist, now is the time to figure it out. No esports lasts as long as this, we've already done 8 years. We've already broke the records. We have got to figure out a way to coexist and drive the negative forces out and we need to do it as a collective and we're not doing that."

submitted by Tharnite to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

[Let's Build] Attractions in a demon pleasure palace that aren't sexual

My players are going to be visiting the palace of a demon lord of pleasure who's more CN than CE. I want to show that despite his title, he represents all forms of pleasure and good feelings, not just sex. Also space in his realm doesn't work the same way as it does in the mortal plane. He essentially has an infinite amount of space to work with and can customize it as he pleases, so there are no size constraints.
  1. A casino to feel the thrill of gambling.
  2. A dining hall with an endless buffet that visitors are allowed to eat as much as they wish.
  3. An idyllic beach with perfectly white sand to relax or play on.
  4. An arena where gladiators brawl it out against each other. The point of it isn't to kill each other as much as make the battles look stunning to the audience.
  5. A hotel with the most comfortable beds possible. Here anyone with enough money can enjoy a good rest after all the excitement.
  6. A beautiful and well tended garden filled with aromatic flowers and sweet fruits.
  7. A vineyard where exquisitely-aged wine can be produced just by pressing the grapes. (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  8. A petting zoo full of the babies of dangerous creatures. (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  9. An opulent concert hall where the best musicians of the realms perform (u/_SovietMudkip_)
  10. A small, cozy looking wooden library, with a cushioned bay window where rain gently scatters against the glass and a cup of some hot liquid gently rising with steam. (u/QuietOracle)
  11. An owl-bear hugging zoo. Go to sleep in the embrace of their soft down. (u/QuietOracle)
  12. The room of sensory experiences. The room itself is fairly plain, with the main feature being long tables running the length of the room. On closer inspection there are fist-sized carved holes, each one holding a small round crystal... (u/QuietOracle)
  13. A room with dozens of sacks filled with beans, lentils and grains where visitors can put their hands in and let the contents run through their fingers. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
  14. A hag (or any other long nailed creature) giving visitors a scalp massage. (u/_WhiteCubeCat_)
  15. A museum of little-known or long-forgotten art pieces, sculptures, and history. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  16. A festival full of colors, music, and drinks. Everyone seems to love you, and you can’t stop laughing. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  17. A hallway of endless doors. In each room is someone you know, complimenting you endlessly, sharing every positive, even begrudgingly jealous thought they ever had about you. (u/MoonlightMancer)
  18. A room full of bubble wrap. (u/EmmaDrake)
  19. A hot spring/spa, with fluffy towels, those showers that are like rain with perfect water pressure, mud baths, and refreshing food and drink. (u/lionesslindsey)
  20. A room full of people that constantly give you validation and laugh at all your jokes. (u/CountryJeff)
  21. Never-ending line of gold chalices, crystal vases, silver artwork, and other valuables. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  22. People who are “better” than you are marched in a stripped of their superior qualities. Beautiful people are disfigured and turned ugly. Wealthy powerful people are ruined and made to beg you for pennies. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  23. Mass groups of people enter the room and tell you how they admire you and how wonderful you are. They stroke your ego and inflate your pride. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  24. Servants do everything for you. Feed you, give you drinks, wash you, wipe your arse, etc. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  25. You are given a wickedly barbed leather whip. A slave creature is bound to a post and you can whip this creature to inflict your wrath upon them as much as you desire. If the poor soul dies, another is brought in to replace them. (u/PutridMeatPuppet)
  26. 'Knight for a day'. The full experience; lance, shiny outfit, a squire, a trusty stead, a dragon and a princess/prince to rescue. (u/mr_earthman)
  27. The magical equivalent of a holo deck (u/cyber-viper)
  28. Wide, flat plain with the fastest vehicles in the multiverse (a good place to use the Avernus vehicles) (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  29. A selection of cities and villages for you to destroy with war machines or your own magic. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  30. A collection of wand that allow you to test out powerful magic. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  31. A magical version of a movie theatre, allowing you to watch all manner of stories, true and legendary. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  32. A moderately large pool where small battleships with tiny animated crewmen can be deployed in teams to shell and board each other for the audience's amusement. Honored guests can put their strategic abilities to a test against other players by directly giving orders to their ships, and in certain hours guests may even swim in the pool to live out the power fantasy of being a sea monster. (u/VIixIXine)
  33. A colorizer-device that transforms any clothes/armoweapons/other gear to any desired hue you wish (as long as it doesn’t affect the workings of the gear) (u/PaigeOrion)
  34. A grand screen, showing a nearly infinite number of (screen)plays from all space and time, including the show with the disgraced human paladin delivering a green baby gnome back to his home land through incredible odds. (u/PaigeOrion)
  35. A tiara that allows you to experience the sensory experience of a black cat as long as you wear it and close your eyes. (u/PaigeOrion)
  36. A plethora of small, multicolored blocks that will magically interlock with one another to render almost any architectural structure imaginable. (But don’t step on them barefoot!) (u/PaigeOrion)
  37. A band of musicians who are the perfect musical backup for any performances. Alone, they are more low key, but no less skilled, playing haunting melodies of unknown origin. (u/PaigeOrion)
  38. A massive walk-in closet where you can try in any clothes in any fashion you like. (u/Tezla44)
  39. A "schadenfreude" theatre, with shows that rely on slapstick and cringe comedy. (u/Martinus_XIV)
  40. A REALLY good chocolate fountain (u/BrokenBanette)
  41. A room designed to give you closure. When you enter this room, someone you loved and lost is there, sitting in a couch. The room feels vaguely familiar, but you can't place why. If Detect Magic is used, the room is full of magic (divination, transmutation, illusion) but the person seems like a normal person. You can chat with them for as long as you like. They behave just as you remember them, with the good and the bad. (u/ohsurenerd)
  42. A theatre performing the most magnificent tragedies. When you watch the performance, you find yourself completely enraptured: you cheer when things go right, scream when something terrifying happens, and moan and weep at the inevitable horrible ending. When you leave, it feels like removing a backpack full of lead that you'd been carrying for so long you'd forgotten it was there. (u/ohsurenerd)
  43. A room where there's a button, there's someone outside and it explains that if you enter there's a 50/50 chance of you dying or not, the room won't actually kill you and it's there just to make you feel the pleasure of near death experience. (u/SupremeGodDictator)
  44. A massage parlor with the universes best staff pampering your every need as you receive the most relaxing massage of your life whether it be scalp, back, foot, full body, etc. Has the worlds fluffiest towels and robes to luxuriate in while you wait or if you simply want to sit in a comfy chair and enjoy your ache free muscles. (u/Blue_Mando)
  45. An arena where you and your opponents heal near instantly, and you can fight endlessly (u/ellen-the-educator)
  46. A reenactment of your greatest failures in life, but this time they turn into your greatest achievements. (u/CountryJeff)
  47. A room with the world's finest works of art.... and a myriad of implements you can use to destroy them. (u/redrosebeetle)
  48. A torture chamber with mages on hand to create illusions of the people you wish to torture. Or increasingly realistic versions of them, depending on the level of magic you wish to implement. (u/redrosebeetle)
  49. A room full of gold and jewels you can roll around in, ala Scrooge McDuck. But woe betide anyone who tries to take a souvenir.... (u/redrosebeetle)
  50. As you're walking through the gardens, a person comes up to you. They introduce themselves as an adventurer who's also here on a quest. They seem to be the same class as you, and they're incredibly attractive-- almost exactly your type. You immediately click and end up spending the day together, talking about everything and anything. You tell them things you've never told anyone else before. They understand everything you tell them, almost innately, but they're still impressed by your feats and your stories. The two of you find an empty bedroom and close the door behind you. It's perfect in its imperfections. In the morning they're gone. No matter where you look, you can't find them. (u/ohsurenerd)
  51. A room lined with shelves and shelves of bottles and vials containing a crimson liquid flowing slowly (like a syrup), all with small labels on them. As you inspect the labels, you realize they've all got names on them: famous adventurers, kings and queens, great sages. If you drink one, you experience a selection of their memories as they experienced them: battles won, discoveries made, historical alliances and friendships being forged or broken... (u/ohsurenerd)
  52. A room that turns anyone that enters it into a child. It is full of every toy imaginable (u/arual_x)
  53. A tour of a chocolate factory. Kobolds work there, and the owner, who gives the tour, is a Metallic Dragon in Humanoid form. (u/arual_x)
  54. A fortune teller who has a Deck of Many Things with only the good cards. If you in any way offend them, they will sleight of hand vs perception check slip you a bad card instead. (u/arual_x)
  55. An island theme park of reanimated dinosaurs. The owner is a level 20 Necromancer called Hamm Johnand. (u/arual_x)
  56. A Virtual Reality style game that allows you to battle horrible monsters over and over again without risk of injury physical. But still allows you to gain XP... (u/arual_x)
  57. A perfect expanse of thick snowy ground. There is constantly a snowball fight going on. (u/arual_x)
  58. A giant room full of mattresses where everyone immediately gets a wonderful massage. (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  59. A room where you get to torture all of your worst enemies (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  60. A room where people applaud you, give you a trophy, etc (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  61. A room where you get something that was denied to you (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  62. A room full of gold and exquisite things, from beautiful furniture to magic weapons (u/Revanclaw-and-memes)
  63. A seemingly endless room where adventurers can drink a potion to grow wings and flit about to their hearts' delight (u/iriedashur)
  64. An ordinary classroom containing the adventurer's childhood friends, enemies, and their most hated teacher. Upon entering the room, the adventurer discovers that they are invisible, and free to pull pranks as they wish (u/iriedashur)
  65. A brightly colored room piled high with wrapped gifts, large and small, for the adventurers to open endlessly (u/iriedashur)
  66. A purple and black dragon named Ace who cooks you garlic bread and cake. (u/sanorace)
  67. A magic pair of goggles/glasses that simulate any “What if” question you pose to them. (u/lewiscann)
  68. A magical weather room where you can ask for any weather for your pleasure (I love listening to rain) (u/lewiscann)
  69. A room full of lounges with a floating slow burning piece of wood that warms the whole area, the piece of wood is so large you can see the flame spread through this piece of wood forever (u/lewiscann)
  70. A room where you can bite your fingernails and they grow back instantly ( so you can bite them some more )(u/razenastie)
  71. A room with incredibly weakened versions of powerful monsters. (u/Your_InsideMan)
  72. A vast room on wooden sculptures, oil, and torches. (u/Your_InsideMan)
  73. A zoo of sentient races (u/Paralytica)
  74. A collection of legendary heroes magically transfixed in blocks of ice. (u/Paralytica)
  75. Palanquin rentals (u/Paralytica)
  76. A booth that will remake your face whilst in the palace (ostensibly to make you more beautiful but it could be used for anything) (u/Paralytica)
  77. A magic chair that gives really good back massages (u/TenNinetythree)
  78. A playground where the slides and carousels are for adults (u/TenNinetythree)
  79. A room where you become a giant and can destroy cities and fortresses kaiju style. (u/Paralytica)
  80. Drug Olympics. A room with every drug imaginable to try. Leaving the room cleanses you of their effects. (u/Skitsafrit)
  81. No Pauses. A room that has the effect of making all conversations flow perfectly. No silence stretches too long, no one mishears you, and every topic segways perfectly into the next. (u/Skitsafrit)
  82. Deprivation Room. The room is so absolutely featureless and quiet, that you can meditate magnitudes better here than anywhere else. (u/Skitsafrit)
  83. A games room where you play against your perfect match (u/Nesurame)
  84. Similar to the previous, a games room where you're matched against nothing but weaker opponents (u/Nesurame)
  85. A smoky, dreamweed hookah lounge (u/reallyenjoyscarbs)
  86. A heist simulator where you always get away with the big diamond, chest, etc (thrill of theft) (u/reallyenjoyscarbs)
  87. A sauna room with a central pillar. Inside the pillar is a chamber containing a magic stone which can detect the exact temperature preferences of those inside, and making each person feel said preference. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  88. An oval-shaped room with countless glass lotion bottles, with each smelling better than the last. If you look for a specific scent (no matter how rare), you'll certainly find it with the help of a goblin near the back of the room. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  89. A room that consists of A bunch of mortals so utterly jaded from years of plesure seeking that they need the hardest of drugs and the wildest of sensations to feel anything,with lesser demons feeding on their pursuit of euphoria. Think the emperors children from warhammer 40k. (u/TgagHammerstrike)
  90. A buffet of the lids of yogurt/pudding cups to lick. (u/Hunter37594)
  91. An olfactory room that reads your memories and replicates smells that remind you of your most joyous moments. (u/lecorbusianus)
  92. A wildlife reserve for Druids to find new and exotic wild shapes. (u/lecorbusianus)
  93. A room with musical instruments that you're able to master immediately. (u/lecorbusianus)
  94. Zero gravity obstacle course. (u/lecorbusianus)
  95. A cooking class taught by a master chef that always seems to have enough time to guide you one-on-one. (u/lecorbusianus)
  96. An enchanter who allows you to relieve the best moments of your life over and over again. (u/lecorbusianus)
  97. An illusionary room that brings up past experiences and let’s you make different choices to fix mistakes or win arguments. (u/The_Rhibo)
  98. A murder simulator to allow an individual to live out the fantasy of killing that special someone. (u/Brann_The_Kid)
  99. A library full of blackmail and secret knowledge regarding historical and political figures. A conniving, plotting character’s dream! (u/MoonlightMancer)
  100. A room where you can see colors that shouldn't exist. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  101. A room with a creature in a dark robe sitting at a table covered in maps and dice. He helps you play a strange game where you and your party make up characters that go on adventures while the robed creature acts as all of the other characters and determines new events. (u/Clickclacktheblueguy)
  102. ...
submitted by Quantext609 to d100 [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

The Vow of Silver Dawn Chapter 2 - English Translation

Finally had a chance to get around to the second chapter of the Chinese-exclusive High Republic novel The Vow of Silver Dawn! Since the book has ballooned to over 30 chapters now, finishing it will be a long time coming. I appreciate everyone's interest in this project and your patience during the wait.
Significant portions of this translation are derived from the work of u/Art3mis4266 and u/woodledoodledoodle through our shared Google Doc of the first 10 chapters. They have done a fantastic job, and I recommend reading u/woodledoodledoodle's own individual translation of the novel as well (he's both an excellent writer and likely to be more reliable than I am at consistently posting). Consider our projects complementary takes on the same source material.
Chapter 1: https://www.reddit.com/starwarscanon/comments/kg2r8v/the_vow_of_silver_dawn_chapter_1_english/

Chapter 2
Simple Solution
Were it not for the tone of absolute sincerity in the boy’s voice, without even a trace of sarcasm, the Quarren would have smacked the desk with his suction-tipped hands.
“You’ve met the Mythrol, then?” Mostema asked the hologram.
“I have.”
The Quarren couldn’t help but ask, “The Mythrol? The same Mythrol who calls himself the pastry chef of the mansion, but constantly hangs around at bars and casinos in the Lower City?”
Sean laughed, “Yup, thanks to your investigative report, which made the workload much easier, I was able to pinpoint the target directly.”
“That Mythrol is very cunning, and very dangerous. You must be cautious around him!”
An expression of wry agreement crossed Sean’s face in response to the Quarren’s words. “Yes, very cunning indeed. It took all of two hours to find and get some answers out of him.”
The Quarren wanted to say that even his best agents couldn’t get close to the Mythrol with two weeks of work, but the words died in his throat.
But then, of course, the young lad was also a Jedi; all it would have taken was a mind trick, and the Mythrol would have spilled everything…
However, Mostema asked, “No using the Force?”
“Of course not, Master. I kept your teachings in mind.”
A puzzled look came over the Quarren, as if to say Wait, what in the galaxy are you two going on about? Why wouldn’t you use the Force?
Spotting the Quarren’s confusion, Mostema explained, “Sean isn’t particularly gifted in the Force. His sensitivity is below average when compared to other Padawans his age. So while he needs to work harder to strengthen his connection, he also should not form the habit of being overly dependent upon it. The Force is more than just a tool for the Jedi to wield.”
Sean seemed ashamed of himself as he said, “The three pillars of being a Jedi: the Force, knowledge, and self-discipline. I’ve been lacking in the first since birth, so if I tried to rely on it to do whatever I want, I’d just be even more of a disgrace...”
Okay, the Quarren thought, whatever you guys say, but without the Force, how did the Padawan make the chef talk?
As if reading his mind, Sean said, “I went around to all of his favorite bars and casinos until I found him, got him drunk, and won all of his possessions by gambling. It was easy to get him to tell me everything after that.”
The Quarren looked down to his own report, at the section about the Mythrol. It noted that he was “An experienced career criminal, a highly-practiced gambler, and a heavy drinker.”
But, as a Republic agent, the Quarren quickly regained his composure and asked “He gave you the location of the manor?”
“He told me how to make a Seven-Layered Kashyyykian Cake. I’m confident I could make one better than he does, now!” replied Sean.
The Quarren frowned. What has a dessert recipe got to do with all this?!
“He only worked his way into the manor with the secret recipes of his desserts. Now that I can bake them even better than he can, I can replace the Mythrol as the pastry chef in the manor at Green Dawn Hill…” Sean explained.
The Quarren couldn’t help but interrupt: “Wait a moment, the president’s mansion is at Green Dawn Hill?!”
“Yup, on the northeastern side. Hard to miss.”
“Did the Mythrol tell you?”
“I just followed him there.”
“...‘Followed’ him there?!” the Quarren asked incredulously, while looking at the report files on the datapad in his hand, which, in meticulous bloody detail, described the countless elite agents who had attempted to tail the manor’s staff, and had suffered brutal deaths.
“I spent a couple of days tracking the Mythrol’s whereabouts before I formally made contact with him, and found that he took a different route to the mansion every time, before suddenly disappearing. If I had tracked him any further beyond that each time, he might have noticed me.”
The Quarren nodded his head; finally something that matched his kriffing report!
“But these seemingly hidden pathways revealed the truth, because careful observation showed that no matter where he disappeared, the locations were always near sewers or similar underground facilities. It wasn’t hard to deduce from there that the manor has special entry routes leading directly to it via the sewage system.”
Come on lad, did you really have to add “Wasn’t hard to deduce!” and rub salt in the wound?
“It’s actually not an uncommon method; the ‘New Agent Handbook’ published on Corellia documented 27 similar cases in which other hidden mansions utilized similar methods to move personnel. I found the local construction company responsible for building the sewer, retrieved and analyzed all of the architectural drawings from their database, determined the structure of all the hidden passageways, and traced them to the location of the manor. All in all, these Outer Rim despots are pretty simple thinkers.”
The Quarren silently deleted all the research files stored on his datapad, swearing to himself to never mention his past few years’ work to another living soul.
Sean was still enthusiastically going on, “Also, according to my investigation, in five days the president will be entertaining a number of mob bosses over at the manor. I think that’d be a great opportunity to make a move!”
Mostema knocked a fist on the desk, and said: “In five days? This could be our chance.”
The Quarren was shaken, “Master, are you planning to execute Jamie’s entire criminal syndicate?”
Both of the Jedi simultaneously gave him a bewildered look.
His voice serious, Sean elaborated, “How could we? Jedi don’t seek to start fights, and I can’t even imagine assassinating a legitimate head of state. The reason we’ve worked so hard to gather clues and evidence is so that Jamie can receive a fair trial according to the law, to show the public his criminal activities, and to encourage the ideals of peace and justice to root deeply in the hearts of Bergamore’s people. Using violence to end violence will only give birth to another dictator who violates law and discipline.”
The Quarren felt ashamed. Understanding the spirit behind the rule of law had not yet taken root deeply in his own heart, either.
He quickly gave voice to another question, however. “If not an execution, then what kind of opportunity does this banquet in five days present? Why do we need to wait until then to sneak in? Couldn’t we simply get in, get the evidence, and get out?”
“A man this careful wouldn’t leave behind anything concrete lying around, even in his own mansion,” Sean replied.
The Quarren couldn’t help but continue his questioning, “Even the existence of the mansion itself constitutes a crime! With his President’s salary, he wouldn’t have been able to acquire such an estate in a thousand years, not to mention that he always claimed back on Coruscant to never spend more than five thousand credits a year! What’s more, rumors abound of his manor’s extravagance, of it being filled with all kinds of rare treasures…”
“He could easily say that the manor is owned by someone else, and that he is only living there temporarily. Actually, according to my research, the owner of the manor is a shareholder of the Bergamore Heavy Industries Corp, not the President himself.”
It’s only been a few days – has he checked out everyone in the manor by now?
The Quarren kept up his line of questioning. “But he’s lived in the mansion for so long, there has to be some evidence of crime, no? Skeletons in the closet, so to say…”
“There is the possibility, but I believe a criminal this conniving would never let down his vigilance, even in his own home. For example, he might use code words while issuing illegal orders, which couldn’t be used as direct evidence even if the orders were recorded.”
The Quarren finally grew quiet.
“Also, according to some witnesses from the manor, I have reason to believe that a sufficiently cautious crime lord will carefully manage the risk involved in all the positions of his organization, so that no one person has full knowledge of the extent of illegal activity taking place, or even that he or she is complicit in a crime. This further adds to the difficulty of collecting strong evidence. At the same time, multiple layers of task management and one-way communication makes it harder to trace back to the President himself, even if we were able to penetrate a certain line of contact.”
Hearing all this, the Quarren almost felt faint. “Jamie Brasen is hardly a lunatic! Who would set up such elaborate safeguards in their own mansion? Is he not afraid he’ll die from overwork?”
“Jamie Brasen is a very dangerous tyrant, and they all tend to be more than a little paranoid, sometimes downright mad, which makes it safe to assume we can’t predict his actions using conventional logic. Nor can we afford to underestimate him; after all, he had elite intelligence agents of the Republic running in circles for years,” Sean pointed out.
The Quarren’s eyes filled with sadness. “You make it sound as though it’s impossible to get to him! If the risk is as high as you describe, then how do you even plan to carry out the mission at all?”
“Our way in is through the banquet, five days from now,” Sean replied. “He can train his underlings in the mansion to communicate using code, but with other gang leaders they will most likely have to speak in Basic or some other common language-”
Mostema interrupted before Sean could finish speaking. “We can’t rule out the possibility that they make use of some form of specialized comlinks, encrypting and decrypting transmissions on the fly, and self-destructing afterward to avoid leaving evidence behind.”
“Yes, Master, I had considered this as well. Which is why I will be there personally five days from now, while Jamie Brasen is stressing over his inability to rely on his codes.”
Mostema nodded, “Very well, I leave it up to you.”
“It’s not ‘very well’ at all!” the Quarren interjected. “Master Jedi, you mean to have Sean infiltrate the estate? It’s too risky!”
Mostema replied sternly, “I know. Having a Jedi Knight perform this sort of infiltration, with the target still being a legitimate political leader, will naturally cast doubt on the outcome of the investigation. Further, it will prove especially controversial if we use the Force to coerce the thoughts of anyone involved in the investigation. Such actions would easily come under attack following scrutiny by a team of skilled lawyers. The risks in this matter still bear consideration, and you are right to remind of us them. So Sean, you must be mindful that you are not to use the Force during this operation.”
“I understand, Master.”
The Quarren cried out dejectedly, “I’m sorry, Master Jedi, but I don’t understand! Are we really having a conversation in Basic right now? Why do I feel like you two, master and apprentice, are always speaking a language of your own! Have you understood anything I’ve said? Jamie Brasen’s manor is an ice tiger’s den that has been kept strictly secret for so many years. The tyrannical maniac has been operating out of it for decades; who knows how heavily that place is rigged with traps, and you’re letting a 17 year-old Padawan infiltrate it, Master, without using the Force, on the day when every underworld kingpin on-planet will be there having a banquet?!”
Mostema looked to the Quarren again. “So, do you have any suggestions for Sean?”
Sean looked at the alien expectantly.
The Quarren’s facial tentacles spread so wide in shock, he thought they might split apart.
Don’t look at me like that! He thought. I really don’t understand the world of you Jedi. Priming the explosive and then asking me for advice on how to defuse it? Yes, I’ve got advice for you: go take a long walk out a short airlock! You Jedi even treat the Force like some kind of basic appliance you can unplug, and you’ve willfully blocked yourself off from it!
What more was there to say?
“Be careful, and stay safe,” the Quarren said dryly.
Sean thanked him in earnest. “Understood! The more complex and difficult a mission is, the more one needs to focus on the fundamentals. It’s no wonder you’re an elite agent of the Republic; with so few words, you manage to say so much.”
The Quarren barely managed to muster a “Yeah, sure.”
“Do you have a preliminary plan for the operation, five days from now?” Mostema asked Sean.
“Yes.” Sean replied, “Though I may need to improvise some of the specifics, using the resources at hand I’ve developed a rough framework. I’ll share it with you, so I’m hoping you could lend me some constructive criticism.”
Following this, Sean brought up his bracelet communicator and pressed a number of keys in short succession. A stream of data began to quickly transmit as an indicator light blinked continuously.
The transmission continued for quite some time.
The Quarren couldn’t help but tap his screen, thinking his datapad had malfunctioned. “Has the transmission been interrupted? My end shows that the file has not been received yet.”
“Rest assured, operation plan files are usually fairly large, so the transmission may take some time,” Mostema answered.
The Quarren was dumbfounded. Quite large? This comm channel could transmit a full galactic encyclopedia in less than ten seconds, and five minutes had already passed. Were these two sharing a hologram of Coruscant’s global blueprint, with over five thousand levels filled with some one trillion inhabitants?
As the Quarren was starting to get impatient, a green confirmation light lit up on his datapad, indicating that the transmission had completed. Fingers beginning to tremble, the Quarren opened the file.
Wave upon wave of files came into view, video clips scattered about like stars in the sky, all connected together with an array of complex lines of many varying colors, forming a visually dazzling and complicated network.
Inwardly, the Quarren wanted to say “You actually did send Coruscant’s global blueprint, huh? A ‘rough framework?’ Your definition of ‘rough’ is an insult to Galactic Basic as understood anywhere in the Republic!”
But he bit his tongue.
Of course, Mostema pondered for a moment before saying to Sean, “It is rather simple, but it’s acceptable at this stage to get its point across. I will help you tidy up the prose, so let us proceed with what you have.”
“Gladly!”
Mostema then looked towards the Quarren. “Mr. Squak, do you have anything more to add?”
The Quarren could only give a dry, sad chuckle.
submitted by GoRienMoss to starwarscanon [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
Abandoned House
Non-abandoned House
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
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and my new Patreon backers, Carter B, Yazz Ledgister, and an especial thanks to newest backer Christina! Your support is invaluable!
submitted by Worchester_St to WorchesterStreet [link] [comments]

LVCC Loop compared to Phoenix Valley Metro (Light) Rail

On the (controversial) simulation video showing 8,640 passengers per hour (https://youtu.be/J8C7SEQtSQ8), there is a response to the "Just build a train" comment that sounds like a concrete example to the critics of TBC's transportation solution.

@Naiba kie Phoenix is constructing (might be done?) a 5.5 mile light rail extension where costs doubled last year to $1.35B. Some goes to park&ride and a $350M contingency fund, but it doesn't include the cost of removing two lanes from Central Ave for 5.5 miles. Previously constructed routes were cheaper, but went through light density areas. The convention center area isn't light density nor is the land cheap. That is about $200M/mile for light rail construction assuming some use of contingency money and trade-off of Central Ave lanes vs park&rides. The Las Vegas Loop takes up minimal Convention Center land and costs $55M total for 1 mile of tunnels in each direction and 3 stations.
Phoenix Light Rail System Summary FY19 Operating expenses are over $14/mile at 4.5 boardings/mile or $3.23/boarding/mile (note: "revenue miles" so might not count "out-of-service" trips to the maintenance building). Assuming TBC has an average of 3 boardings per mile (2/station avg, 2/3mi avg per trip), that would be almost $10/mile operating budget to still be cheaper than light rail. That is $1M/cayear at 100k miles per year. I must have done my math wrong, right? Even I can't believe these numbers. Please help. Perhaps the value of dynamic-demand? Perhaps Phoenix is an outlier?

I found the document containing "Phoenix Light Rail System Summary FY19" Operating expenses referred to above here:
https://www.valleymetro.org/sites/default/files/uploads/event-resources/200498_fy19_transit_performance_report_tpr_accessibility_v3.pdf
Based on calculations of numbers presented in chart, the rows below "Vehicle Revenue Miles" are all per mile units. They actually pay out more than 3.4x what they collect in fares. When compared to bus or paratransit, light rail is a good deal. But when compared to the estimated costs per passenger TBC has provided, they will collect less than public transport in Phoenix and still have a profit.
How is it TBC can be better than subways and light rail? Here are a few reasons:
Dynamic Demand -- Subways and Light Rail run on a schedule so they can be predictable, and riders can time it to where they don't have to wait long which improves ridership. This causes it to cost more per passenger where ridership is low (e.g. time-of-day, day-of-week, and/or location). TBC tunnels will adjust the number of cars in the system based on passenger demand, since the cars only show up when a passenger is ready to travel. An empty subway car or one with just a few passengers is going to cost way more to operate than a Tesla with only a few passengers.
FSD is closer for tunnels -- Full Self Driving is even closer to reality in a more controlled environment such as a TBC tunnel system. Look at Waymo's self driving robo-taxi fleet in Phoenix. If they can do it on open roads, why can't Teslas do it in a controlled environment? This will reduce staffing costs due to not requiring drivers.
Maintenance -- Teslas are going to be much cheaper to maintain since they are able to take advantage of the mass production car maintenance network of service centers, mass produced replacement parts, car washes, detailers, vinyl wrap installers, etc. Subways, light rail and trains are extremely expensive to maintain. They require specialized buildings with tracks going in and out for every train being maintained at once. Specialized equipment and unique parts which are produced in low volume and highly expensive. Specially trained and highly paid mechanics who may sit idle for hours when nothing needs to be done. They even require vandalism repair staff on hand!
Storage/replacements/leveraging investment -- Teslas can be driven out of the tunnels and put into a parking structure for storage. They can be repurposed on highways as rentals during off hours, and sold used when fleet is refreshed. They can be driven from one TBC system to another on highways or car carrier trucks to another to balance load if one system is expecting an unusual amount of peak load (e.g. a conference, sporting event, etc.). You can't do that with subway cars and trains, so you either are overloaded beyond capacity or you have extra trains that do nothing but collect dust for those few occasions where extra capacity is required.
More routes: Subways and light rail are restricted to main routes due to cost of infrastructure and station size requirements. TBC can pop up in any parking lot to create a station and can route their smaller, cheaper tunnels in places that do not have the volume to warrant a subway or light rail. Just look at the extension to the Vegas Loop requested by Caesars Entertainment to provide transportation to their casino properties from the Las Vegas Loop. It is just one example that will pop up over and over as TBC builds systems in other areas.
Eminent Domain / Public Land Acquisition: So far, TBC has only requested access to public land for underground tunnels. None of this underground area is in use, so there aren't any concerns about requiring eminent domain or giving up public land for a private company's profit. The surface area requested so far (AFAIK) is on private land that TBC has either purchased or is in partnership with the owner. If another tunneling company wants to also tunnel under a public street, they can go under (or possibly over) the TBC tunnels, thus there isn't an exclusive use to TBC. Trains and subways are not exactly the same. Subway stations are extremely disruptive to build if not require eminent domain. Surface areas for maintenance buildings of subways and light rail almost always require eminent domain and/or public land acquisitions.
Bottom line: Mass produced TBCs creating cheap tunnels with mass produced electric vehicles ends up being cheaper to build and operate than any subway system and most light rails. Dynamic demand will increase ridership as passengers do not have to wait as long and are provided point-to-point service. The nimbleness due to the scalability of TBC systems into less volume routes will give it a competitive edge no other rail solution can provide. Cities will embrace TBCs once these characteristics are demonstrated and the public demands it.
submitted by _myke to BoringCompany [link] [comments]

SurfsideRP

SurfsideRP is a 2020 established, serious & social roleplay community which strives for nothing more than providing a great stage for fellow role-players to come and experience first hand whilst also giving off positive energy all around. SurfsideRP is a public city for now and with launching Mid-December; we aim to convert to a gated community when the time is right. So why not come on by, whilst it is open for all, to build on and show off the awesome roleplaying skills you have. Take a chance to meet the rest of our amazing, welcoming community and have an overall great great roleplay experience during your time here at the Surfside.

All members of the community have a say when it comes to the server, its direction and content we add in the future. We strive to make sure that Surfside is not only a place the staff can call home, but for you as well!

All of the Staff play actively in city and are held to a higher standard than regular players. The server structure has been and will be built with the player in mind.

With a few weeks from launch and a stable economy, if you are looking for a server that you can buy a supercar within days this isn't the server for you. You must work for your money on our server, from running a business or maintaining your criminal enterprise to rise to the top!
What we have to offer:
- You can direct connect to our server using: surfsiderp.com
- The server is a STRICTLY 18+ server.
- Active Owners / Admins / Mods. Streamer Friendly. Dedicated / Stable server. Community Discord for tokovoip setup and server IP: https://discord.gg/3dxNM3GXf
Whitelisted jobs:

👮 Police:
- In game MDT
- Fully Functional DNA System
- Multiple operating Stations such as Vespucci, Rockford, Mission Row, Paleto and Sandy Shores.
- Custom skinned Fleet
👨‍⚕️ EMS/Fire:
- Custom Skinned fleet
-Multiple Operating hospitals such as Pillbox, Paleto and Sandy Shores.
- Multiple Firestations.
- AI Fires available to be put out by you
Mechanic:
- Custom mech shops
- Society Fund driven businesses
Real Estate Agent:
- Can sell you any house any building at anytime with custom interior and furniture. (No staff or devs required)
- Community events
· Non-whitelist jobs
· Radio Channels (0.0 to 1000.0)
· Cellphone calls / Text
· Drug system.
· Chop Shop
· House Robberies
· Realistic medical system
· Droppable Notes
· Safe cracking
· Bank Robberies, with Jewelry Store! You require tools, ID cards and other things to rob banks.
· Store Robberies
· Properties
· EUP Clothing
· Purchasable Businesses: Got a player business idea? Run it by us and we’ll work with you to implement it!
- Import Cars shop, GTA IV Car Shop and GTA V Car Shop
- Redesigned Drug system
- Multiple hotels, motels, condos and apartments throughout the city
- LS Customs
- Jobs that don't require you to leave your whitelisted job. Just walk up to the job location and start. (All jobs within our city require you to actually do work, we don't have jobs that just let you stand in a circle and collect an item to move somewhere and sell)
- Redesigned stores
- Black Market weapons
- Tuner Chips / Nos
- Phone > Contacts > Favourites > For all emergency needs such as EMS, Police, Mechanic or Taxi
- Drivers Licenses/Gun Licenses
- In depth mechanic system
- Lockpick/Hotwire any vehicle.
- Trap Houses
- Racing
- Casino
- Arcade Shop
AND much much more!

We look forward to hopefully seeing some of y'all and and getting out into the city roleplaying alongside one another!!
submitted by iQuinn301 to FiveMServers [link] [comments]

Ontario Stage 3 Reopening Megathread

As always this information comes straight from the official Government of Ontario's "Framework for Reopening Our Province". This is not meant to be a complete guide but only some information for a regular person to understand what's open and what isn't. This post will follow a similar format to the Stage 2 post. This post will be updated when new information becomes available, if any is missing please let us know. Please report any inaccuracies.
July 31st Updates:

Am I in Stage 3?.

  • All regions are in Stage 3.

What is remaining closed in Stage 3?

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports•Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

What are the new gathering limits?

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health experts, gathering limits for regions in Stage 3 will increase. The gathering limit of 10 people indoors or outdoors will continue to apply for regions in Stage 2 until they enter Stage 3. Social circles should continue to be kept at 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.
  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people.
  • In all cases, individuals are required to continue to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside their households or social circles.
  • All businesses, services and public spaces when hosting an event are subject to indoor or outdoor gathering limits and ensuring physical distancing can be maintained.
  • People at their place of work, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits.
  • People gathering indoors for religious services, rites or ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies or funeral services, can continue to fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of the particular room, as introduced in Stage 2.

When Do Gathering Limits Apply?

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts, gathering limits apply to higher risk settings and activities where people congregate, including:
  • All organized or spontaneous indoor and outdoor events and social gatherings(e.g., parties, fundraisers, fairs, wedding receptions, funeral receptions)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concerts and live shows, including performing arts
  • Convention centres and other meeting or event spaces
  • Recreational attractions, courses and instruction (e.g., fitness classes, music lessons,tutoring)
  • Festivals
  • Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., gyms, fitness studios)
  • movie theatres
  • Sporting and racing events
  • Real estate open houses
  • Tour and guide services (including boat tours)
Now for some additional restrictions

Amusement Parks and Water Parks

Amusement parks and water parks are not yet permitted to open in Stage 3

Casinos and Charitable Gaming Establishments

  • Table games must remain closed.
  • Casinos and charitable gaming establishments are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, which apply to the entire facility.

Convention Centres, Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Convention centres, meeting and event spaces are subject to physical distancing measures and gathering limits, which apply to the entire facility

Facilities for Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities

Examples of facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities include gyms, fitness studios, and community centres.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training.
  • The total number of people permitted in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, whichcannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people.
  • The total number people permitted in classes or organized activities at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100.
  • Assigned spaces are strongly recommended for organized fitness classes (e.g., by marking circles on the floor to designate where each person should exercise)
  • Gathering limits do not apply in all other areas (e.g., pools, tennis courts and rinks).
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
  • Any washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.

Fitting Rooms

  • All fitting rooms may reopen, as long as patrons are not permitted to occupy adjacent fitting room stalls at any one time.
  • Cleaning and disinfection between fitting room customers should continue

Interactive Exhibits at Museums, Attractions and Heritage Institutions

  • In addition to the exhibits opened in Stage 2, high-contact surfaces such as interactive exhibits and displays may open. They must be cleaned and disinfected frequently
  • All special events, instructional classes and performances at these locations are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures.

Libraries

  • In addition to the services resumed in Stage 2, libraries may reopen for all on-site services, as long as materials that are circulated, returned or accessed within the library are disinfected or quarantined before being recirculated.

Live Shows, Performing Arts and Movie Theatres

Concerts, artistic events, theatrical productions, performances, and movie theatres may resume operations, including rehearsals, with the following restrictions
  • Performers must maintain physical distancing of two metres from every other person,except from other performers where necessary for purposes of the performance.
  • Audiences are subject to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and cannot exceed gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.This applies to the entire facility, regardless of the number of theatres or performance stages within the facility
  • Performers and staff are not included in the gathering limits.
  • Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier is required between the audience and singers as well as players of brass or wind instruments
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues, as permitted in Stage 2, are not subject to gathering limits
  • Concessions stands at drive-through venues may be accessed in-person or by drive-through or delivery to vehicles

Personal Care Services

  • In addition to the services permitted in Stage 2, all services that tend to a customer’s face are permitted (e.g., facials, ear piercing, eyebrow grooming and eyelash extensions).
  • Patrons must wear face coverings except while receiving services on an area of their face that would otherwise be covered by a face covering.
  • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should also consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support effective contact tracing in case of an outbreak.
  • Oxygen bars, bath houses, steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.

Playgrounds and Play Structures

  • Outdoor playgrounds and play structures are permitted to reopen in Stage 3.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place at all indoor playgrounds and play structures, except between individuals from the same household or social circle

Recreational Courses and Instruction

Examples of recreational courses and instruction include music lessons, language classes, tutoring and art classes.
  • All instructional classes are subject to gathering limits.
  • Physical distancing must be in place for participants, other than when necessary for instruction. Face coverings are recommended in those situations
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently
  • Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier and physical distancing are required for any instruction that involves singing or playing wind or brass instruments

Recreational Attractions and Businesses

  • Examples of indoor recreational facilities and attractions include arcade rooms, escape rooms, bowling alleys, and pool halls.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Karaoke is permitted only outside of private karaoke rooms, which are not yet able to open in Stage 3, with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting.

Restaurants, Bars and Nightclubs

  • All restaurants, bars, concession stands,and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in.
  • Nightclubs are not yet safe to open, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks to patrons in accordance with the conditions that apply to restaurants and bars
  • All patrons must be seated when eating or drinking at the establishment.
  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different tables, unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Buffet-style service is not yet permitted in Stage 3.
  • Singing or music may be performed by a person or group at the restaurant or bar, with restrictions, including barriers between the performers and patrons and physical distancing. Dancing may only be performed by someone working at the establishment with restrictions
  • Karaoke is permitted only outside of private karaoke rooms, which are not yet permitted to open in Stage 3, with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours, including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries.

Team Sports and Live Sporting Events

  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted.
  • Team sports in which body contact between players is either an integral component of the sport or commonly occurs while engaged in the sport (e.g., wrestling, judo) are not yet permitted, unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact
  • Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.
  • Leagues must contain no more than 50 participants total. If participants in a leagueexceed 50, the league may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Players are not yet permitted to play against players outside of their league or group.
  • Spectators at all sporting events, including professional sports, will be subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, with assigned seating where possible

Tour and Guide Services

  • For tour and guide services, including boat tours, the number of patrons is subject to gathering limits.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between all individuals, except for those from the same household or social circle.
  • The outdoor gathering limit of 100 applies if patrons will be outside for the duration of the tour except to access washrooms, in transit to an outdoor area, or for health and safety reasons.
  • As with other gatherings and events, the indoor gathering limit of 50 applies if the gathering is fully or partially indoors.

Beyond Stage 3

The health and well-being of the people of Ontario will continue to guide every step of the government’s response to COVID-19. The success of Stage 3 will be critical for Ontario’s long-term economic recovery. As more businesses and activities reopen, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when more regions can enter Stage 3, if public health restrictions can be further eased, or if they need to be tightened or reapplied.
With almost all businesses and public spaces reopening in Stage 3, Ontario has put enhanced case and contact management in place to quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to prepare for any future outbreaks, surges or waves. Just as important, people must continue to follow public health advice and workplace safety guidelines to keep each other safe. This is about treating each other with respect and taking personal responsibility, so that we can successfully beat COVID-19 and get on the path to a strong recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. As more of the province safely and gradually reopens, people are encouraged to support small businesses in their communities, shop local and look for products that are Ontario made. We are all in this together, and together we will emerge stronger than ever before.
The Ontario Spirit will continue to carry us forward as we work towards recovery and begin building a brighter and more prosperous future for every family, in every region of our province.
submitted by uarentme to ontario [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5 - Round 2 Match 10 - Bert and Emilie "Dread" Delacroix vs John "Jack" Aurel

The results are in for Match 8.
Agnes and Arpeggi, in their shrunken states, continued to fight, surrounded by the rising flames of their lilliputian tower, fists flying and Stand blows being taken one after the other.
“You… Callous mother fucker!” Arpeggi cursed, Agnes feeling the singe of a heat blast both from behind and from launched wood. “We’re not aiming for a massacre!”
“You’re not,” Agnes spat out, then, pulling a tab on the table, a massive geyser erupting and launching his so-called ally away, “I don’t give a fuck about this place, and we’re in a Stand battle… And it’s all worthless, greedy scumbags watching! Let the fire spread! Let this place hit the ground so they see what someone with style can do!”
“You heard it here, folks! Agnes talked you all down… C’mon, where’s your passion! Don’t run out and away, c’mon! And here I thought you cared y’had money ridin’ on this…”
Conqueror Worm’s laughs reverberated as Glitch and William found themselves cooled by Ocean Eyes’ nectar, which found itself dissolving quickly but, for the moment, a functional barrier for the injured fighters, watching and listening to what happened.
“Th… They’re fighting each other up there…” William remarked, physically looking as though he was straining to force Ocean Eyes not to hurry up there and tear them a new one. “Glitch, we don’t have time to keep the flames at bay and call up another KST, and if I let Ocean Eyes up there it’ll eviscerate them, and-”
“What’s this? The kid is holdin’ back, afraid of his own Stand! Hey, kid, don’t hate this part of yourself! Ocean Eyes, it ain’t your enemy, that’s a part of you, what makes you special, so don’t be at odds with it! Embrace what it says, because it’s what YOU’RE sayin’!”
William was speechless, there, but his companion was less inactive in that time. Tiger “Glitch” Ricky simply hissed, then, her and her Stand hopping up out of the flames in an effort to brutally, mercilessly pounce upon the self-styled villain and the ally he had come to blows with. If they moved fast, they could bite through that shitty little twink’s neck right now!
Arpeggi grit his teeth, scrambling to find his footing as he witnessed the pouncing cat-stand, finding it hard to breathe among all the burning rubble, fading fast then.
Is… Is this how it ends..? Crushed and mangled as some lowlife’s burnt-up game piece..?
“And it looks like Glitch is about to take it! Shout-outs to Tigran, the only real one here, watchin’ through the fire and the flames!”
“Heh… This is just a bit of a sweat,” Tigran Sins answered, stifling a cough, “I’ll see all seven of these bastards run through games until they’re all-”
Arpeggi didn’t hear what was said next, only hearing his own defiant heartbeat. If he didn’t act fast, Agnes would die… Good riddance, right? But… Ugh, no, even scum like him, they don’t deserve…
He clutched at NEXT LEVEL until his fingers bled, and Glitch and William, both looking at him past their Stands waiting to attack, made curious sounds as yet more crumbled away.
“Mrr?!”
And then, there was white. An overwhelming cascade of baking soda burst from NEXT LEVEL, smothering the flames rapidly as an obscured form zipped up the tower again, grabbing Agnes and hurrying away from the thrown-off Glitch.
“You… Why did you…” Agnes rubbed baking soda out of his eyes, coughing and looking at the form of Arpeggi in this new Stand. “Motherfucker…”
“I have responsibility over even a scumbag like you… You tailed me here, and I’m not gonna let you die and escape responsibility easy.” He turned, then, to William and Glitch, his new form revealed. “Now, actually help me, follow my lead, and I’ll kick your ass later. We need to survive this-”
All four of the fighters, then, felt themselves grow rapidly, their combined weight so close together crushing the table they were on, much as a nearby tabletop wargame that had been setup found itself buckling under the weight of Metra, Oh No, the Black Angel, and their motorcycle.
“Welp,” Worm said with a bemused laugh, holding up the slumped body of Tigran. “Your fire couldn’t hurt him, but smoke inhalation sure could! I guess that means…”
“The winner is FIRE, with a score of 65!”
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Graveyard Shift 12-17
Quality Graveyard Shift 19-20 Reasoning
JoJolity BADD GUYS 24-18 Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10
With no more reason to fight, it got really awkward and everyone just sort of ran out of Heartache Casino. William Eyelash, recalling his stand and lost in thoughts, was the last to leave, joining the others in leaping single-file out a window into a nearby alley.
There, though everyone else seemed tensely uninvolved, the Black Angel’s motorcycle revved, and she stared down Worm as he safely stowed Tigran inside his Stand-body, leaning on his golden sword.
“There’s still something I need, Jones… I’ll run you down to get it if it means saving the city.”
Worm laughed, gesturing with his sword. “This thing? You’re huntin’ me down for this… Ah! I see! You’re tryin’ to do that.” Callously, he tossed it, so suddenly they fumbled with it in hand. “Here ya go, then! I don’t much want what Jack Aurel’s cookin’ up either!”
The Angel, worn and exhausted, stammered. “I… You just… But…”
“Lookin’ forward to killin’ me, huh? Get in line, kid… Or waste your time right now! See, nobody here is botherin’, they can all read that it’d be a waste when I’m in such good health! City’s countin’ on you, yeah, and you won’t get many opportunities for bein’ called a hero as an adult. Make it count!”
Then, before anyone could say more, he darted through a nearby wall, waving William and the rest off with a, “Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming and be sure it will lead us aright!”


“Asshole.” The Angel turned away, strapping the sword to their back and driving away. “Thank you, all of you. I’ll take this from here… Get yourselves help.”
There was silence as they drove into the sky, scarf billowing before them, and then Agnes started cackling. “You’re all fucking morons… If I didn’t burn that place down, we wouldn’t have gotten away, and some wannabe with no style would be going down as Los Fortuna’s worst villain! Fucking bow and grovel, Jack Aurel’s grave is gonna say ‘spat on by Agnes!’”
Nobody had the energy to dignify that with a response.
An anticlimax is leading into a super-climax, and meanwhile, an ant-loving little boy and an aid worker are racing through their dreamscapes, with a day left to vote there.
Narration:
What is, as of the 1990s, ‘Capital Island,’ was the epicenter of Los Fortuna’s founding several hundred years ago, in the midst of a bloody Stand User conflict, many militias clashing for superiority, in the 1680s, starting with the death of the era’s own Andrew Tiffany, the missionary William Mandolin, and towards its end, knocking people into their senses through the awakening of exactly what he had tried to warn them of.
A grand T-Rex by the name of Megalomania had survived, dormant, underneath the land through the might of its Stand, coated in a goldlike substance, and awoken in a deep rage by the conflict of the locals. Megalomania was met in battle by a man out of place named Aaron Bruno, ‘Sir Aurel’ to most, and Memory Management, and when slain, crumbled where it stood into a pile of bones, feet firm in the ground.
Los Fortuna’s natural history museum was built around this monster’s remains, and Sir Aurel would turn its golden coat into a ceremonial weapon. The power these symbols were imbued with, even with their old purposes lost, were of great importance to the city’s stability.
Scenario:
Outside Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum, Early Evening
In the blink of an eye, the attention of everyone within Los Fortuna had been turned to the natural history museum. That made sense, of course - considering the looming dark clouds containing the ghosts of the dead within them, the scuffles of the stand users outside of the building, and the vague knowledge that a ritual with the purpose of destroying fate itself was currently being performed within it, it would be out of the ordinary for people to not be paying it any attention. Even those who weren’t stand users that were up to date with the situation were drawn to it by the unusual level of activity surrounding it, from emergency services and VALKYRIE forces alike.
And then there was Bert. They were invested in the whole situation, of course - keeping up with the latest reality-breaking ancient rituals was the least that a wannabe god like them could do. Their status as an observer did raise a few eyebrows - they’d had to shake off both emergency service workers and VALKYRIE forces, who’d both taken the time to try and encourage Bert to leave the area for their own safety, clearly underestimating Bert’s own prowess.
Within the chaos, one could be excused for not failing to notice the drones Bert had been sending around to overhear and oversee it all. First, they paid attention to the chief of security at VALKYRIE, Ugo McBasie, who seemed to be getting interviewed by someone from the Fortuna Hermod, an ODIN-owned news publication (not their usual guy at scenes like this… Wonder what happened to him). Bert had heard that the man was a violent and irresponsible meathead who’d caused plenty of trouble in the past, but he seemed to be keeping a thin veil of professionalism for now. However, Bert couldn’t help but notice a young man in a blue aviator cap standing a few meters behind the reporter and staring daggers at him, perhaps keeping him in check somehow, occasionally piping in for comment about how it was all they could do to surround the place and wait for an opening if they didn’t want a meat grinder on their hands.
Meanwhile, Los Fortuna’s own city council chairman, Raymond Delwin Shimizu was discussing something of note with someone else, who seemed to have just finished an interview of his own. Bert didn’t recognize him, but the interviewer had called him “Chief Prosecutor Cavallo”, and she seemed as if she knew what she was talking about, so Bert opted to believe her. The interviewer, Jillian Something-or-other, had been running all over the scene, trying to get interviews alongside her oversized cameraman Bert recognized as having been that really huge cop who used to hang around Aurelio a lot of the time not successfully doing his job. Not worth Bert’s time.
Cavallo scratched his head in frustration. “Chairman, please tell me that you’ve made progress of some kind here...”
Ray shook his head. “Not much. That stand user that’s working alongside Jack Aurel, Akiko Mizushima, is making it impossible to get in - anyone we do send in is as good as gone. We haven’t even been able to get Admiral Pineapples out. Judging by your demeanor, I assume that the board hasn’t made much progress either.”
“No, doesn’t seem like it.” Cavallo let out a long sigh. “Every day, it’s just more and more work… Now we’re stuck having to deal with this. If nothing’s done, the board’s thinking it might very well cause a disaster unmatched by… Well, anything but the earthquake from thirty years ago. Something like this, bending the rules of the city, and breaking free from it… Los Fortuna’s probably not going to let that slide easily.” He shook his head. “Where the hell is the mayor through all this? Watching anime at home or something, probably.”
Ray remained silent for a bit, thinking to himself. “Well, we’ve got emergency services ready to act for now, and we’re working on evacuating any susceptible areas, but it only works so much.” Before Cavallo could respond, another reporter came up to Raymond, ready with a batch of questions for him. “Well, Cavallo, our work isn’t done yet, so let’s get to it. Saving as many people as possible here should be our utmost priority.” And with that, the two men parted ways for the time being.
Having listened enough, Bert began thinking to themselves. This was a tricky situation - they clearly couldn’t get in as is, but they certainly wanted to. Learning more about the situation at hand would improve their knowledge of the mechanisms holding Los Fortuna together, and gaining control over the ritual somehow would certainly be a feat befitting of a god such as them.
Bert stood in front of the museum entrance, taking another look at the chaos in front of them and continuing to think about the next step they’d take. So many different possibilities, so little time. They thought, and thought, and then one of their drones’ eyes glanced upon someone familiar - a blue haired, red eyed woman wearing a mask, trying to blend in and clearly resenting it, skulking around the perimeter of the area as though she, too, wished to enter.
Yet despite her efforts, Bert recognized her.
“Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix!” They declared it loudly, thoughtlessly so, approaching her with a hand raised. “Are you perhaps looking to find a crevasse through which to enter that place as well? It’s quite fortified, isn’t it?”
“Hm?” She wasn’t bothered by the way Bert drew attention to her, still wearing her same very extra outfit under the also quite extra hooded dark robe she was using to blend in. “Ah, pardon me dearly for having failed to notice you… You are Bert, from that incident where we fought on equal terms, yes?”
“I am that same Bert, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix, yes. Though I doubt I could be much mistaken for others…”
“We are both quite conspicuous individuals, yes,” Dread said, taking the conversation into a nearby alley before VALKYRIE goons on the scene could prove it was her, “but no, I’m not terribly nonplussed about my abilities to infiltrate that place… Simply, I am attempting to assess the probability by which my approach itself, through the barricades erected, might occur. If your intentions happen to be helping me sneak through, then it is simply not necessary on any fronts… I have formulated a plan now.”
Dread, now appearing alone, walked through that alley curiously, looking around her and beginning to see her opportunity of approach - there appeared to be a side door there, at which a certain fish-themed hero was sitting outside, looking, Dread knew from their DMs, at funny images of her wife atop the T-Rex skull in the museum.
Yes, certainly, this would be-
“Whoa, hey, it’s you!”
Damnable. Had she been spotted, or..?
No, no, wait. The one speaking, a man also in this alleyway who smelled of cannabis, holding what looked like a GAP bag, was speaking to someone on the opposite side of it, disembarking from a sportbike and handing it to the rider, who was wearing a very ornate-looking golden sword which Dread had sworn she’d seen somewhere before.
“Thanks,” the Black Angel told this young man, accepting the bag and producing its contents - a Roman helmet and black bird-looking tokusatsu cosplay? “Green couldn’t make it himself, huh?”
“I made it,” the guy said, pointing proudly to himself, before blinking. “Oh, you mean like… Showing up. Yeah, no, there was a thing with a mammoth coming down from the mountains, he’s helping East deal with that. Feel like lighting up before you go in? It’ll take the edge off..!”
The rider removed their helmet, coincidentally perfectly timed for the strawberry-blonde with pale blue eyes to stare him down incredulously. “About a million people live on this island, Weedboy. Now is not the time…” The Angel ducked into the nearby building to change, finishing, “shit, yeah, it looks just like the Flying Men do… uh. you should get out of here now.”
“You kidding?” He asked. “I don’t wanna bow out right before it gets good! That’s, like, saying I think you can’t do it!”
Well, these two appeared distracted, so Dread would continue along her way, walking right past them and towards the blockade, towards where Jo was sitting casually, only to be interrupted by-
“Holy shit, it really is her! Stop right there, Dread!”
Oh boy, here we go. This had been happening more lately, since a somewhat frustrating individual went and opened his big mouth about her dangers on Bifrost. Turned out that the head of VALKYRIE was literally in the server, so now she had a bounty on her head after a modicum of investigation into her after that public statement, and her casual admittance thereof!
Two armored guards were pointing guns at her as she stood there, unfazed.
“Don’t come any closer!” One of them, an older woman, said, turning to her younger partner and quickly telling him, “if she approaches, open fire. She’ll eat you alive if not!”
“This again, are you being serious?” Dread was less than pleased. “I am evil, and a murderer, unrepentantly so, yes, but I do not eat people. This rumor is being so blown out of proportion that I find it quite tiresome.”
“F-fuck off and die!” The younger moved to fire his weapon, only to realize there was a knife through him, catching the gun by the trigger after running from his shoulderblade to his fingertip.
Dread didn’t need the help, but like a true friend, Kimijo Kaneko offered it anyway
“Wh-what the-” The older woman cursed as her partner was cut open and dropped. “Fucking useless moron! HEY, EVERYONE, KANEKO BROKE RANK AND DREAD IS HERE TO! NOW’S OUR CHANCE TO-”
The distraction, then, was all it took for Dread to take her first kill of the day. Of course it was fine. She read the news, she knew how these VALKYRIE people were literally at war with poor people.
“Sh-shit, those people just died! More VALKYRIE corpses, and Jo again..!” The stoner declared in the background, and the Black Angel, now dressed exactly like the birdmen many had seen before, paused in her efforts to run past the opening created by Jo breaking formation.
Nobody could hear it or see her lips move, but she apologized under her breath, clenching her fist, but the disguise had worked. 32 Footsteps, the primary guard which would warp away anyone who tried to enter, apparently had instructions to allow in anybody dressed like this, yet none of the intended recipients of this deliberate loophole made their way in.
“Dread, hello, friend!” Jo exclaimed in high spirits, sheathing her knife, but still speaking quietly as she hurried back into place, “good to see you!”
“Yes, it is most certainly fortuitous for us to encounter one another…” Dread agreed, walking and talking with her as the pair were watched in horror. “By any chance, may I come into this museum? I am absolutely curiously intrigued by what is going on within here…”
“Sure!”
A VALKYRIE sniper was taking aim at Dread, then, as she entered, muttering under her breath, “got a shot lined up… I can take her out, and Jo a second later! Two bastards out of the way, at least, and-”
“Wait,” the youth in a blue aviator hat and goggles, speaking as VALKYRIE’s tactician, instructed, “hold your fire.”
“Sir, she just made one of our senior officers fall into rotten pieces! She’s chatting it up with this fish-bitch like it’s nothing!”
“I know, and I’m appalled too, but I think…” The Blue Kid paused, contemplatively. “No, I know it. Dread is here to defeat John Aurel, just like the Black Angel.”
Spinning and pivoting through the air, “Lou” Reed, dressed like a dark, sixth Flying Man, landed atop the skull of the t-rex, which had apparently been adorned in a cute little pirate hat. It made for a fine vantage point, then, to look all over the halls of the Natural History museum, noting one, two, three, four spots, grotesque and morbid statues Remix had apparently erected of ghostly abominations.
She was exhausted, injured from the three-way skirmish she, Metra, and Oh No had been forced to undergo and riding like hell to get here, but she had made it this far, and others had managed to get in too. She couldn’t choke now.
Seven minutes… I’ll just have to destroy those, and be back here in seven minutes. Easy enough… I don’t think I’ve been-
“Green, Orange, and Purple… I don’t believe a ‘Flying Man Black’ was ever mentioned, nor that any of the brothers were into swords.”
Shit. That voice, too… Lou turned around, then, seeing someone standing behind her, a man with long dark hair, brandishing a hammer and looking up at her.
John “Jack” Aurel.
“Even if you are what you appear to be and not in disguise, you should realize that you aren’t welcome here. There’s nothing to be done in this museum worth dying for, and no way to accomplish any more foolish goal if I were to raise attention now. Care to waste some of the time you have left and explain?”
Of course this would happen. Lou removed her faux-beak, helmet, and goggles, staring down at him as her hair billowed in the ceiling fans’ wind. “Jack… I’ve come here to put a stop to this.”
“You’re that kid who’s always running around, huh?” Jack frowned, twirling his hammer. “I hear what you talk about through the grapevine… About how we’re all victims of fate, forced against each other by Gravity. That Stand Users are always going to be molded by this… You understand it too. You understand that people like us prey upon the weak, that it’s in our natures and our place in the world. I want to remove myself from that… Remove these people from that, and atone for what I’ve done.”
“By killing even more people! There’s no way they’ll get everyone away from your blast radius, and you haven’t even given them the chance to!” Lou protested. “It doesn’t have to be this way… Don’t say this is how it has to be! We can save this place, free everyone from gravity, without barreling towards its destruction! I don’t want to kill you, Jack. I want you to stop this crazy, self-indulgent crap and help me do something real!”
“You think everyone deserves this? That Stand Users will simply reform without this? The cycle has started, and it will push to the end even if the wave guiding it fades away completely… Bastards, the lot of us, and I don’t intend to run from what I’ve done. I’ll give you one chance to run away, kid… the worst I can call you is naive.”
Lou drew the golden blade, seeing Jack wince as he clearly recognized its significance, all as her Stand appeared behind her. “We both know I can’t do that, even if I can barely keep my balance up here. And hey, maybe I will die here… Maybe I am fated not to see this through. But then, someone is gonna finish this for me! Your security is already compromised!”
“Fascinating… And you are utterly convinced that, should it work, those he’s slain to commence this ritual to begin with will return outside the city?”
“Remix is full of himself,” Jo said, nodding quietly, “but he and Jack, they researched a lot… Akiko and I, for helping this finish, we can finally go home! Be done with the bad city…”
“She has made this place remarkably impregnable,” Dread agreed, thinking aloud, “anyone who waltzes in waltzes into her backrooms…”
“Unless they have a ‘pass!’” A voice from within Dread’s cloak spoke, and as Jo raised her knife at it in defense, the pure-white, terribly contorted form of Bert tumbled onto the ground, stretching and reshaping into their typical humanlike shape.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry, they are fine, with me!” Dread assured Jo, frankly thankful to have that weight literally off her back. Bert was very light, but even then it was hard to walk carrying someone, let alone not give it away. “We have… Some history, and so I thought I might as well indulge Bert’s request to see this place as well. I apologize for not mentioning earlier, but it was quite dire getting in here past guards attacking us.”
Jo didn’t seem to mind, continuing to lead the pair around, even passing Akiko who was casually, distractedly reading some manga while in a bit of a pirate mood.
They also passed by another scene, slightly more concerning, of an injured old man in a Hawaiian Shirt, close by the frontmost entrance of the place and clutching himself as his fleet of four Stand-starships remaining fired at Remix, who guarded against it with ghost-objects while a Flying Man Red tried to find an opening to strike.
“You’ve been at this for hours, old man, die already! You have no place in the world I mean to birth from your bloodied, pulped remains!”
Pineapples stood, then, leaning against the wall, trying not to show weakness.
“I think that guy is going to lose, at this rate… It’s a shame, too,” Bert, the loudmouth again, remarked. “He might have been a worthwhile pawn in wrestling control away from this operation.”
Dread, Jo, Remix, and Red all gave Bert simultaneous incredulous looks, all in completely unique ways.
Jo drew her knife again, about to transform, only to dodge out of the way of the injured ‘Lou’ Reed, blacked out, helmetless, being knocked away and into the floor, the shock of which made her rise quickly, feeling around. “Where’s the- Shit!” As she sat up, then, feeling around for the saber no longer in her possession, she noticed that she was smack in the middle of something else here.
Hurriedly, she rolled away, standing herself up and looking to the injured Admiral. “You… You’re one of those MFAs, right? How did you-?”
Weakly, he gestured to Remix. “He brought me here in a damned urn! I’ve been fending them off to buy others in the museum time to escape… Everyone in this hall here and Jack, those are the only ones left in the building, minus masses and masses of ghosts. They’re harmless, though… Don’t worry about them attacking unless that guy takes them.”
“I see…” Lou, then, smiled sadly, clutching her bloodied suit. She looked to Bert and Dread, then, moving to get between them and Jack’s incredulous accomplices. “You said you wanted to take him out, right? I overheard…”
“Well, Bert has let yet another cat out of the bag,” Dread admitted, “indeed, I came here with the intent of dethroning Jack Aurel before he had a chance to complete his little ritual. Few others would even be able to get in here.”
“So that’s my role, then…” Lou smiled, then, sighing, ducking out of the way of the Flying Man sending a kick her way, a gauntlet-clad arm emerging from her body, grabbing his ankle hard, and swinging him into the Jo who was shocked to hear Dread say that. “I can’t do anything about Jack… Too fucked up from that ED match…” She grinned, then, mouth bleeding as she stared Remix down. “But this old man and I can at least keep these assholes from interfering!”
Dread, then, watched passively as the five erupted into battle, she and Bert curious about what was to come as, from each hand, the Stand which emerged seemed to fire odd projectiles at their foes. “The ‘I’ll hold them off…’ You’re styling yourself as some sort of exceptional hero, aren’t you?” She seemed amused by that, the irony of their cooperation. “I’m evil, you know… And Bert, at least, is morally ambiguous. But if you’ve settled on putting the city in our hands, have you any advice?”
Over the sounds of laser fire, Lou quickly found time to answer, “yeah, there’s… I brought this golden ‘saber’ with me, and it must’ve fallen somewhere by the T-Rex… In, in a bit over six minutes from now, this ritual of theirs is gonna go through and rip this island open. Before that… They have these ‘failsafe’ statue things, and…” She took a breath, retracting and wincing from a blow her Stand had taken. “Look, I don’t have time to explain it, but you need to smash those up first! They’re there, made up of spirits fused together, to keep these guys safe from the consequences of their own actions… To ensure their safety, and at the same time act as a ‘failsafe’ for the ritual. Gives you the ‘power’ over it, too, in the way that right now Jack himself does… That’s important to stopping it. So you need to smash them first, and then, right as the time passes for the ritual, when the skull of the T-Rex in the center starts to split open and glow and its mouth starts gushing water… Embed the sword into the opening in its forehead, right as it starts to shape. That’s the only way to prevent this at this stage!”
“The forehead particularly, hmm?” Bert asked, pacing curiously and avoiding a cross split attack from Red, who barreled into Lou and was barely blocked. “Why there, per se? Why nowhere else on the thing?”
“Ngh..!” Lou grunted, saved from a follow-up by Pineapples. “I dunno, that’s just where you have to do it!”
“Black Angel… That’s what you’re called, yes?” Dread smiled, turning away. “You will be thanked for this victory… Try to live long enough to witness it firsthand, won’t you?”
“I’d… I’d love to,” Lou answered, smiling sadly, “for five years now, when I first learned there was anything worth a damn in this world, I’ve wanted to protect that… The dark pit of despair that was the first thirteen years of my life, and even so much since, I’d love nothing more than a world where no person is fated beyond impossible odds to suffer that.” She grew serious, then, raising her voice. “Go, now! Leave this to us!”
Bert and Dread approached the T-Rex, impressed at the amazing height and Akiko’s snazzy pirate duds upon the thing, the lab-grown being whistling with impression. “A T-Rex lived ‘til three-hundred years ago… Preserved whole, in this city. It’s astonishing, isn’t it, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix?”
“A curious anomaly,” Dread agreed, examining it from afar, even noticing that alleged sword in the distance. “I wonder why it survived that long, so far after its brethren…”
“It’s because it was a ‘Stand User.’”
Jack approached from the same room in which Dread spotted glints of the golden saber, announcing his presence with that. “That was its ‘fate…’ A savage, cunning animal, ripped from where it belonged. to be a problem to solve and squabble over, to found this city on its literal bones.”
“John ‘Jack’ Aurel… You’d best stand down.” Bert, helpfully, started. “You cannot beat us… Even if we only had seconds to overcome you, I would be too much for you to handle!”
“No, he’s going to fight, I know it.” Dread, meanwhile, prepared Joywave, staring him down with a pointed, grinning lethality. “I suppose introductions are not necessary, with how Bert here loves to say my full name… I am not one to make things curt or brief, John, but consider yourself toppled, usurped, bloodied and dead.”
“The lab accident with a God complex and by far the worst, most grisly of Jo’s friends…” With no real amusement, no happiness in his eyes, Jack chuckled, looking them over. “Of course, right at the end, my final test isn’t some hero… It’s exactly the worst kind of Stand User! The apex predators that I’ve preyed upon, that stand in the way of saving everyone who’s died to reach this point! Of course it would be someone like me to gain entry, wouldn’t it?”
“You speak with such confidence you’ll raise the dead…” Bert was curious. “Even if it costs more lives, such a thing is… That is the realm of gods, John ‘Jack’ Aurel.”
“Not today it’s not,” Jack answered, twirling his hammer in his hand. “Both of you… You’ve been driven here, standing in my way, as agents of ‘fate’ itself. Isn’t that the reason you were ‘lucky’ enough to pass through our defenses… Because you were meant to stand here, and you were meant to watch as every horrible, cruel thing you’ve done amounts to nothing in the face of these circumstances.”
He looks the two intruders over with sympathy for a moment, before steeling himself and clenching his weapon, Stand appearing behind him just as stone-faced. “You may be the puppet of something beyond your control, but you must understand that I can’t let you ruin the plan I’ve bet my life on. I bear you no anger as people, but your role here is something I can’t ignore. I’ll waste our time no longer in arguing ethics, let there be no apologies or restraint until this is settled.”
The other conspirators had been instructed not to intervene if it came to this point, even if it risked the collapse of everything they had worked for. Not if it threatened lives. An enemy to make it this far was deserving of being dealt with reasonably. As the critical moment drew near, Jack readied all the fury that months of waiting had stored within him, and accepted that this may very well be his final true fight.
“Five minutes on the dot now, until ‘that time…’ If what the Black Angel said is true.” Dread looked to Bert. “What do you say we demonstrate incontrovertibly to John exactly how confused he truly is?”
OPEN THE GAME!
(Image credit to CaptainSpooky27!)
Location: A part of the Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum. The area here is 75 by 75 meters with each tile being 5 by 5 meters. The ceilings here are 8 meters tall. The yellow tiles are the hallways and the green and purple tiles form the different rooms.
The white tiles have ritual shrines built on those areas. There are 7 shrines total and will be explained in further detail in the additional information.
The players start at the south of the map and Jack starts at the top of the map as represented by their tokens. The walls are represented by thicker borders and the dotted lines are the doorways.
At the top of the map, in the pink tile and yellow symbols, is the Golden Sword. It is currently pinned under 2 meters of rubble.
Each wing of the museum houses an exhibit, in the center is the main attraction a large T-Rex in display as denoted by the large grey circle.
The other exhibits are denoted by the letter on them:
  • G: The geologic exhibit, displaying and teaching about different rock formations and types
  • O: The two Oceanic exhibits, displaying the marine life and seabed of Los Fortuna.
  • C: The climatography exhibit, displaying the different temperature maps and features across Los Fortuna.
  • A: The Agricultural exhibit, displaying the various fruits and crops grown around Los Fortuna.
  • T: The two Taxidermy exhibits, displaying a wide range of animals in roped off and glass displays.
  • E:The Entomology exhibit, displaying photos and models of various bugs.
Goal: For the players, desecrate all the shrines and, when time runs out, have at least one of you, living and conscious, at the T-Rex with the golden sword in hand! For Jack, make sure the players don’t stop your ritual before it goes off!
The match will last exactly five minutes, unless of course players are dead before then. It doesn’t end just because players reach the goal.
Additional Information:
The shrines are 2 meter tall marked wood and metal structures, each having an strange carve effigy sitting in the center of them. In order to properly desecrate a shrine the players can do one of a few things, destroy the shrine outright, deface all the carvings made into the shrine, or destroy the effigy hidden within the shrine.
After destroying or defacing a shrine, the ghosts of the dead will begin harassing the players - three ghosts will move towards the player responsible for destroying the shrine (even in a situation where the stands are responsible: the ghosts will target Bert if a Perfect Hair minion destroys a shrine, and same for if anything affected by Joywave does so). These aren't strong, having flat 222 physicals and being partially see-through, but will increase in numbers as more and more shrines are destroyed. Strong enough hits can phase them out of existence, but they'll respawn ten seconds after at the spot that they previously were. They will go directly towards the players and can phase through any walls or objects that may be in their paths (but not out of any attacks), grabbing onto the players and trying to gang up on them once they're close enough to do so, dealing minor damage.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Red Carpet Rennaisance Emilie "Dread" Delacroix "Wow! It's a hand drawn original color illustration!" You’re a cultured woman, and this museum might very well end up being wiped off of the face of the earth quite soon, so you need to make the most of it while you still can! Make sure to visit and appreciate the various exhibits on display here! (Character Specific)
Suburban Regalia Bert "What a terrible person. If I wrote about someone like you, none of my readers would like it." So this man is playing at god, trying to control life, death, and fate themselves? What foolishness! Clearly, only you can do such things, and you do them best! Over the course of the strategy, prove your superiority to this “Jack Aurel“ and take him down a notch! (Character Specific)
??? Jack Aurel "Where the hell did you go?! Come out, you fucker!" It's now or never. This is the culmination of all of your plans, and failing is absolutely not an option here. During the fight, hold nothing back, and make sure to thoroughly defeat your opponents so that no one and nothing will ever stand in your way again!
(Jack sheet plain text version)
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by boredCommentator to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

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