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The Meld II (16): Nefarious Times
Encouraging the Captain to leave his beloved Bridge had not been easy. Nahrl imagined it less trouble teasing an Armoured Clam out of its shell. It had taken much argument by both Gryll and Efor to simply get him to take their concerns seriously. Meanwhile, Nahrl and Jhasq stood on the side of the debate feeling misplaced and surplus to requirements. Still, after much spluttering and fussing the CaptainGek finally followed them down to the Terminus though clearly still agitated by the whole affair.
‘Very irregular.’ The Gek grumbled. ‘I promise nothing. Private OwnerTorrance equipment and business.’ He reminded. ‘You ask a lot eh with little proof? Open access, share confidential data. These things not done.’
‘Captain, you know us. We are not LiarGek or ThiefGek’ Efor stated.
‘I know you as associates, little enough more. You understand not my place, not my duty. We each have our roles eh. Each our role yes.’ He repeated. ‘This base, all private OwnerTorrance business. I ensure Verbose goes where Traveller wants to go. Keep her in good condition and in profit. Trespass on his business, not my place. Matter of deep security these levels of separation.’ The Captain lectured.
‘Bah! Formalities. Our friend could be in real danger. Please…’ Efor pointed at the device.
The Captain gave the FlyGek a less than admiring look but pulled out his Data Pad to, they guessed, link in to the Terminus in a wireless informational manner.
‘Ghuubaaluu, ee,ee,ee, hmmm, truly new gate registered on network, aaiiiiiii but dropped out again.’
‘Can you re-establish the link Captain, open our way onward?’ Gryll asked.
‘Fluurbaa haa, see, I am trying. Big problem yes, at far end. Aaiiiii, is beyond me GoodPassengers. I call Systems TechGek.’ The Captain tapped some more on his pad, muttering away to himself.
Moments later another Gek jogged into the base waving to the Captain. Like most of the crew the new Gek looked to Nahrl almost a GekClone of his superior. Thinking deeper the whole crew possibly closely related members of the same spawning group not as Tor joked due to secret Korvax scientists doing Gek cloning, well Nahrl hoped Tor was joking. Sometimes the Traveller taken by wilder fears and fancies.
‘Aehtis attend this broken network connection eh.’ The Captain ordered sharing his data over with a sweeping gesture of his hand that went from his pad into the empty air beyond.
Aehtis saluted more formally than the earlier wave, then scrolled down data on his own device. Soon looking less than happy with what he found there. The latecomer, as the Captain earlier, muttering away to himself. Occasionally glancing up at the Terminus then back to his pad again as he punched and scrolled away at various changing colourful screen options with a stubby finger. ‘Fah! Fah!’ He blurted.
‘Well Aeh?’ The Captain asked.
‘Small moment Most Honoured ElderGek Captain.’ Aehtis replied. Fiddling at the side of his pad he pulled out a tiny plug un-spooling a length of super fine spider-web nanofibre cable to make a direct wired link to a hidden socket in the Terminus, ‘Deeper bandwidth my Captain.’ He explained as he worked on.
They waited.
The Gek tapping away once more at first in a merrier mood but that soon souring, occasionally pulling outrageous faces, scratching his head and at one point Nahrl was positive briefly poking his tongue out at the machine.
The Captain also fidgeted impatiently during the sideshow joining the muttering every so often to make a weird overlapping chorus with his underling. The Foxes noting such actions almost standard with these Modern Gek deep in their natural environment, compared to say Efor. The FlyGek having adapted his habits somewhat to his non Gek colleagues. Though you might think the Gek when at home more relaxed, they actually seemed overflowing at times with either childlike excitement or an odd sort of nervous energy.
‘Bah!’ The TechGek complained shaking its head and rubbing at his brow.
‘Report Gek.’ The Captain demanded.
‘Big system wide failure Captain.’
‘Pah! That I know.’ His superior complained.
‘Reinstalling firmware software Boss, all remote to far end.’ He showed the Captain an installation and loading bar on his pad presently seemingly hung at 16%. He shook the pad a little as if that might move the process along quicker. Then contrived to look more than a little embarrassed at the impulse whilst under the scrutiny of all concerned. The shaking too obviously a vain motion. A sharp scent leaked out of the fellow that somehow conjured a vision of damp fireworks.
‘Sorry. Sorry. Bah! Often does that at 16. Ummm, ahhh, moving again in a moment, or two ,yes always in a moment or two. Any moment now, moving!’ He shuffled his feet looking uncomfortable again under his Captains fixed impatient stare. Reminding Nahrl of a greedy young Cub when caught stealing food.
The whole group amusingly soon gathered around to watch the yellow graphic bar and the blinking 16% as if it was the entirety of their present existence or super entertaining. The Gek tapped the side of his pad lightly glancing sideways at his superior in a sly fashion. The Captain looking briefly upward in turn as if seeking the benediction of greater powers from the Cosmic Depths or possibly further beyond.
17% finally flashed up, ‘Ahaa’ The TechGek squealed in triumph as the figures began to blink forward only to stick again this time at 22 for a spell.
‘Gluubaaluu, this one often does that.’ The TechGek admitted.
The Captain sighed. ’Hurry it along Aehtis? If OwnerTorrance has big trouble. Time a factor, yes?’ He questioned looking at the gathered Pentacle minus One for confirmation.
Gryll nodded his agreement but wasn’t positive the put upon Tech could do much more about it.
‘Nothing to speed it up this end Captain. Patience only.’ The TechGek confirmed.
‘Bah!’ The Captain retorted looking around the Farm possibly seeking a time killing distraction.
Nahrl soon musing that Efor might lately have picked up a few speech mannerisms from this Captain and his Crew as a lot seemed to come down to Bah! Or some incomprehensible spluttering of the moment. What the Geskhan was ‘Ghuubaaluu’? It was no Gek word he had ever heard of and Technically Fox speech a corruption of Ancient Gek as taught by Geskhan ages ago.’
‘Here we go again.’ The TechGek added merrily showing his pad around with a satisfied flourish and wide open mouthed grin. ‘Rockets now.’
The bar was filling up rapidly, numbers flashing through irregular sequence jumps only for it to firmly ground again this time at 66%.
Even Gryll giving the impression he wanted to groan via his stance alone.
‘Sorry, ahhhh TechGek forgets about that one, usually last big pause in this installation process eh.’ The Gek promised, he took a deep breadth. ‘Crops smell good. Where you harvesting, sweet and tangy?’
‘Never mind the crops. Just get that Spawning Terminus linked again.’ The Captain ordered.
‘Aye in moments. Almost done - First Phase.’
‘First Phase!’ The Captain repeated angrily.
‘First Phase. After reinitiating, self diagnostics, auto repairs then final verification of functionality... TechGek do quick analysis of old failure log data now, if Captain wishes.’
‘That data might be most helpful.’ Gryll stated.
‘Fine, make it so.’ The CaptainGek commanded imperiously.
New data began to spill onto the pad in various frames and bright colours as the TechGek poked again at options upon his tidy screen. Soon once again making more nonsense Gek noises, that seemed no actual words at all to the Foxes. Certainly no words they or anyone else in the Pentacle minus One could make out.
‘Well Tech?’
‘Much system memory loss, fragmentation too. Event partial logs only, data incomplete. Big mess.’
‘I am sure you are doing commendable work with difficult material. Your findings?’
‘Assume from pattern - best guesses using expertise - within margins of acceptable errors: Terminus struck great big EMP event. Super strong disruptive magnetic field. Clues not just broad mass data damage, nature of fragmentation pattern classic symptomatic too. In addition, Terminus hardened systems Captain know. Terrible disaster deep faults with folks in transit - very bad - so Korvax Scientists design super sturdy. Many, many inner backup systems and protections. Yet planet Terminus take big beating despite all: High end shielding, power surge sinks, multiple system redundancy - all protections overwhelmed - all is most unusual.’
‘Any idea what would cause such extreme issues?’ Gryll asked.
‘Something seriously anomalous, or perhaps a potent weapon eh? TechGek’s best guess. Certain little normal use do this level EMP damage. No by accident, quite extraordinary results. No damage durable Terminus easily.’ He repeated.
‘A potent weapon such as a big EMP Bomb?’ Gryll asked.
‘Truly big EMP Bomb yaa - Ancient First Spawn City Killer type - maybe - that do this job good. Lethal strong, also - best guess - gate close to epicentre of event, else this resistant - modern tech - not so damaged eh.’
‘Lethal strong?’ Efor repeated sounding rightly alarmed.
‘Certainly lethal for say Korvax nearby.’ The Gek replied, studying Gryll for a moment. ‘Most bad for any complex machinery. Terminus deeply hardened, super tough. Yet even some small hardware damage not just software corruption if TechGek reads data right.’
‘Sounds like the Terminus is trashed to me. Guess we fly down.’ Efor stated.
‘No, no, not trashed, temporary off line only. Now software upload reengages self repair nanotech functions. They do that, self repair - within reason. As said many failsafe measures in Terminus. Remember Terminus oft installed far hostile places, long left unsupervised by visiting Techs but still must work - zero error tolerances - so super stable tech you understand? Made to diagnose and fix self. Very durable, very advanced Korvax.’
‘Lethal strong you said, to a Traveller too?’ Gryll asked.
‘Hmmm, that TechGek not know, can‘t say. Atlas ExoSuit not quite like other exo-suits big mystery. Anomalous people - anomalous systems - many say. Who knows what strange Travellers could or could not survive? Still, big EMP flash hardly good for anyone too reliant on tech. Likely much system shut down, forced to reboot at best, some systems maybe fully damaged needing much repairs.’
‘How about strong enough to burn out Quantum Communication Links?’ Gryll asked.
‘Those hah, City Killer level EMP - very possibly - maybe among first things to go, those not so hardened against such big surges.’
‘We need to get down there.’ Efor stated. ‘Yet maybe you should stay up here Gryll under the circumstances. Since we don’t know what caused this freakishly strong EMP and it could happen again.’
‘No. We all rely on technology to some degree. I want to know what happened to our friend.’ Gryll replied stubbornly. ‘Besides Efor, if the Terminus reboots that would suggest the event is over, whatever caused it probably moving on, its cursed job done.’
‘Big assumption, whatever caused it might just as easily still be lingering or patrolling around armed and ready to fire off another tech disruptive blast.’ Efor stated.
‘Our Gek friend could be right.’ Nahrl interjected. ‘Why risk yourself Gryll? I should go first, scout the scene out. I am used to working without tech if necessary.’ Nahrl drew out a nasty looking dagger he now carried as a backup weapon and general purpose tool, it was actually of Vy’keen make. The blade super sharp: An off world gift from Torrance but of itself non technological merely an incredibly durable composite material that held a deadly very difficult to dull molecular fine edge. This one a replacement for another weapon Tor had also given him but had fallen into a deep abyss during a Dreamer Cult raid.
‘Us Foxes together then as you may need someone to watch your back.’ Jhasq volunteered.
‘No Jhasq, not this time. You are no scout. I will go first alone, report instantly back. If I don’t, you will know I am also in trouble then you must decide how to more safely follow up.’
‘Seems a sensible precaution. Nahrl here is our Pentacle Scout after all. Whilst if tech still works down there he will have his multi-tool and his exo-suit as support, whilst if it does not, or he is hit by another EMP strike he can still operate better than most of us.’ Efor suggested thinking about his own cybernetic upgrades. ‘It is his world down there too, so our Fox friend here might better spot anything immediately out of place either best avoided or worth immediate deeper investigation.’
‘I don’t know about that. That Terminus in the Lost Lands,’ Jhasq reminded, ‘not sited in our - better known - Taran Hinterlands. It could be almost as strange down there as another world.’
Before Jhasq had not thought that too likely, but Nahrl had slowly convinced her it might be so from some fragments of old stories he belatedly dug up from his memory and shared during their meal. Although those only hinted at strangeness rather than providing deeper facts.
‘I am still the Fox for this Job.’ Nahrl insisted.
‘Well I believe he is right.’ Efor agreed. ‘Scouting his profession and he is skilled with or without tech support, none of us better equipped or trained for this one.’
‘Can we scan the site from Orbit first as a precaution?’ Gryll asked the Captain of the Triple V.
‘We could, but I won’t order it.’
‘Why not?’ Gryll demanded sharply.
‘Would mean relocating over the mission site. I know enough of this business from OwnerTorrance that he expressly did not want us going there, did not want to draw attention to the deemed Far Side of Hellespae as his new focus. Korvax at the Space Station monitoring. They keep close optics and scanners on many things here including our movements and launches. That I believe is why Tor made an insertion during a judged patrol gap. Leaping out system first then back in but arriving at the far side of the planet to the station, before journeying the long way around under the cover of atmosphere as if a smuggler. Not so easy to spot, not so easy to scan, not so easy to track - perhaps.’
‘Ah that explains much. Why he had us have a meal. I did not know he was taking all those elaborate precautions, to confuse Convergent spies. He never mentioned all of that to me.’ Efor admitted.
‘I won’t go against the spirit of OwnerTorrance’s standing orders.’ The GekCaptain advised.
‘Not even to possibly save his life?’ Jhasq asked.
‘Not even then. Otherwise, too easy accidentally compromise delicate operations. Many times well aware our Traveller in high risk, high security ventures. We each know place, otherwise risk each other instead not helping but hindering.’
‘I can understand how that is so.’ Gryll stated.
‘Well I don’t.’ Jhasq complained. ‘Lethal level EMP and our friend relies on life support Suit Systems even if his technology is a little special and peculiar to most.’ She reminded. ‘All this talk too - we should be doing - not talking so much.’
‘The on planet Terminus Gate not run though reboot cycle yet.’ The Tech reminded. ‘No fully operational until undergone entire recovering self diagnostics, post estimated system repair... Device won’t permit travel until satisfied safely operational within guideline parameters. Those also hardened failsafe measures. Procedures TechGek cannot override.’ Aehtis advised.
‘Approximately how long until I can Terminus?’ Nahrl asked.
The Gek punched up a new display and showed a new countdown timer around.
‘Fine. That gives us just enough time to alert the Interns and so on as they may be needed as Surface Support Troops. We should inform the Frigate Commanders as well, will you bring them up to a state of alert Captain. It may be we are overreacting but best be ready for any possibility even some kind of unwelcome clash or standoff with the overseeing Korvax authority.’
The Captain spluttered out a protest at that idea. ‘Not wise, pick a fight with Convergent military.’
‘Not exactly suggesting picking a fight but we might need to make a withdrawal under the pressure of let’s say a disagreement of philosophy.’ Gryll stated.
The Captain pulling a face clearly not liking that idea, but eventually nodded.
‘Will authorise readiness and do what we must but also abide by all current rules imposed by Korvax unless they obviously break faith first. Usually much leeway as Torrance friends, but even the Verbose always operates under some local strictures of regulation. Quite recently Korvax significantly reduce our in system permissions.’
‘Quite recently. When exactly was that?’ Gryll asked his suspicions suddenly raised.
‘I believe when they first imposed that extra quarantine on the surface site. The Dreamer Peak.’
‘So not that recent then,’ the Rogue relaxing a bit, ‘as much as about a month ago.’
‘CaptainGek estimate four and a half weeks.’
‘Incredible how much can happen in four and a half weeks.’ Nahrl stated.
‘The Convergent wouldn’t attack Torrance would they? Not just for say slipping a little around a few of their quarantine rules? Or would they?’ Jhasq asked.
‘I don’t know. The KVC no ordinary Convergent Korvax folk, no ordinary Korvax Company despite their many fronts though not everyone knows this. They can be harsh enough, but they usually give Tor a lot of operational space especially here. Though maybe Tor stumbled onto something very dodgy going on below, on the other side of the planet. Is weird, all those precautions yet this attack so early in the mission. Though that might just be ill chance. I do wonder.’ Gryll questioned.
‘Torrance claims KVC have spies, agents and spying tech all over - if anyone might learn about this op - they might learn.’ Efor reminded. ‘Hidden microphones, hidden optics and agents maybe even here.’
‘We sweep often after Vy’keen 8 incident.’ The Captain stated.
‘This all waxing a little paranoid, but I guess it could be the KVC, or even some sort of cursed Blood Cult deal or Atlas knows what else? It is the Lost Lands as you Fox say. Maybe some unexpected local trouble unrelated directly to our business simply something old triggered at his landing site. Possibly even an accident an unexploded bomb - from an earlier conflict - perhaps one dropped by the First Spawn Inquisition in antiquity accidentally set off by Tor.’
‘Such a bane just happening to be at his landing site - please - that seems equally far fetched.’ Efor stated.
‘Not necessarily, Tor might have picked something anomalous up, landing nearby to investigate, a rogue signal or scanner return or some such. Travellers are very curious people, they like to poke at things and of late he has been doing many salvage operations.’
‘What? First putting in the Mission Terminus on top of some dodgy signal - not sure I am buying it.’
‘Could be he landed at the site of one of the Lost Cities. Some say some of them were bombarded from orbit just prior to The Fall.’ Nahrl stated.
‘Still a big coincidence to me, not sure even Tor is that much of a trouble magnet or so unlucky.’ Efor stated.
‘Maybe our Father did this with his machines?’ Nahrl added.
‘Geskhan somehow being involved is always a possibility as well.’ Gryll admitted.
‘Is it just me or does our friend often seem to find big trouble.’ Efor complained. ‘I thought I had a way with calamity, but our Tor can be something else.’
‘Well it was your idea to go down there Far Side.’ Gryll reminded.
‘Hah! - So now - it is My Operation. Now that it is all Spawned Up and Torrance is off our radar.’ He complained.
‘No one is blaming you Efor, certainly not me. Just saying it was not Tor’s big plan to do this one.’
‘Bah! So just my bad luck rubbing off on our Traveller friend this time eh?’
‘Not my point either. History is fated Gek. Whatever has happened down there, has happened. Nothing to do with any fool superstitious style luck be it - good or bad - just Great Machine chance, or maybe some cursed machinations by ill folk.’ Gryll stated.
‘I will return to the Bridge.’ The Captain announced. ‘Better able to coordinate with the Fleet from there - if our fleet is needed.’ Again he looked a bit sick at the idea of a combat action in this system. ‘Please keep me informed of all progress with the recovery of OwnerTorrance. Aehtis that means you too. Unless any other critical ship priorities call you away, I want you to stay right here. I want that Terminus connection constantly monitored and kept functional - even if it is attacked again with more EMP. Should anything else significant occur, I expect to be informed immediately. If OwnerTorrance is in deep trouble down there we must bring him home - yes?’
‘Aye Captain.’
‘As you say.’ Gryll agreed. ‘When you go Nahrl you keep linked in full open channel. If it seems sensible to do so call us down as quickly as possible. I don’t want to be stuck up here, if something dodgy is going on down there and You and Tor need reinforcement.’ Gryll stated.
‘Same.’ Efor admitted.
‘Be careful Nahrl.’ Jhasq added. ‘Don’t take any silly risks, remember for a while you will be on your own.’
‘Don’t worry as Efor said, ‘this is what I do,’ and I am used to working solo.’
‘I don’t like this plan much.’ Jhasq admitted. ‘You remember that not the hinterland down there Young One.’ She stressed again.
‘I know, but it is still our world.’ the Scout replied.
‘Is it our world though? Was it ever really our world? I begin to doubt. Else was it always really Geskhan’s Planet and us just currently living there. With sleeping machines now returning to life, it all the hegemony of our Maker?’ Jhasq retorted.
‘Geskhan is dead, only a digital copy of our Great Maker remains. It is our world now - for as long as we choose to stay there - I say Spawn Geskhan and all his ancient works. That old Gek had his day, this is our time.’ Nahrl insisted.
‘Like it or not Nahrl we are his Ancient Works too.’ Jhasq reminded.
‘Bah!’ Nahrl barked out copying the Gek mannerism to Jhasq’s amusement despite the tension.
‘I will be back in a moment,’ Gryll promised, ‘want to have that quick word with the Interns.’ He hurried off at a brisk march.
‘Gate ready very soon.’ The TechGek called out to his back.
‘Won’t be long.’ Gryll replied without turning around.
‘Maybe we should contact Bwathan.’ Jhasq noted. ‘I wonder if he should be here. Excluding him possibly a big mistake. He might notice or be able to find things out we cannot. The Tusks have a deep Tech Affinity put in them by Geskhan. Also our specific friend has that link to our Maker.’
‘A link that possibly makes him an inadvertent spy in our midst. Too great a risk at this time.’ Efor stated. ‘Maybe later when we understand more about what is happening with Geskhan and the KVC. If we ever do.’
‘Later may be a bit too late, what if we need his help now?’
‘He might be little assistance if Geskhan proves the problem. In fact, our Tusk friend could be a great deal of extra trouble.’ Efor reminded.
‘Seems the return of our Father is dividing his children up again with suspicions already.’ Jhasq complained.
‘We are just being sensibly cautious. As Torrance might tell you, often wise to be careful around any Gek professing to be a First Spawn Survivor. They can be slippery dangerous - unholy - people.’ Efor stated. ‘Sadly, the KVC can be problematic as well. I know Tor only reluctantly brought them here in part to help keep the Blood Cults out.’
‘Yet that plan only partly successful.’ Nahrl noted.
‘True enough, yet without the overt Korvax System Overwatch it might be a lot worse. Now we have occasional smuggled in covert operations style Blood Cult penetrations but without the KVC here, whole fleets of those scum might be roaming around in system drawn by spilling intelligence rumours of the Shadow Library find. They have grown plentiful out there - in recent times - falling here from cracks in creation like those maggots forming out of the slime pit in the Grand Warren. It said many First Spawn Survivors now arriving to this timeline. Sadly, they have affinities with Elder Tech - with dark sciences - that now seems to make them prone to dimensional rift transits. Fortunately a lot of these newcomers still fighting among themselves in a brutal doctrinal civil war. That abiding internal conflict, I am positive, - KVC work - agitations overseen in part by Reefee on one side of that new First Spawn split.’ Efor explained.
‘The Clone that took your eye again?’ Jhasq asked.
‘The very same Spawn, that one did a lot of damage here on the Verbose too. I am sure you have heard Torrance mention the tragedy of the Vy’keen 8. I worry that Gek Blood Cult civil war might come here one day. That is trouble none of us need right now. Though I would love a chance to burn them all together, including that GekSpawn Reefee. I don‘t care what Tor thinks, I don’t consider Reefee any better than the rest.’ Efor admitted.
‘You know I am pretty sure our friends had me come here originally in part to take my mind off all of that. Even though at first I hoped to find evidence here proving that Gek still as big a foe as any other Blood Cult Grandmaster. You see he is supposed to be a Reformed First Spawn Clone. Bah! As if they can! Supposed to be trying to reform the rest of his kind as well, even trying to free us all from an old Korvax ill - not many can even think about - but I don’t believe any of it.’
‘I’ll never believe it. If you ask me there are some people can’t change. Really very few people capable of true reform. Sure, we can all change a little, and we often do but deep down inside not so different. I was recruited by the Cults - as a very young and stupid Gek - but that was not really who I was, so I could turn my back on it all later. However Reefee, Bah! He is just what he is and that is all rotten First Spawn Clone. Yet Tor refuses to always see it that way deep down - he still hopes - he still doubts - he still believes a little deeper. He holds faith in redemption even for the worst. He wants to believe in big second chances. All well and good for some folk yes! Yet others, some others not so much. Some others but play those games, play roles to continue abusing.’
‘Those that profess to be First Spawn, they play many subtle games - many deceitful roles - yet they are exactly what they are and that is the very worst that the Blood Cults have to offer. Believe me, as once Cult, my good Fox friends, that is Dark Dreamer level nasty.’
‘You hate them with a passion.’ Jhasq stated.
‘With all my wounded Gek soul.’ Efor confessed. ‘Spawn them all. Tor thinks he hates them too, but with him I feel it is more a philosophic clash of ideology. With me, it is personal. A lifetime of wrongs - I would right - if only I could. Maybe no righting some wrong though - what is done being fate.’
‘Careful Efor such hate can burn you up like a bad fever.’ Jhasq warned.
‘True. I know that too well.’ Efor admitted.
‘Almost ready now.’ The TechGek said. ’You wish to wait for your Korvax friend to get back?’
‘No. If it is ready first, I must go. Delayed long enough by this necessary repair.’ Nahrl stated.
‘Can go now.’ Aehtis informed some small moments later.
Nahrl did not hesitate, saying not a word more, he stepped through into that seeming flaring tunnel of light and vanished. Being so close to the destination - it proved a short translation - the Fox soon stepping out blinking into a steamy hot bright afternoon. The Fox taking a natural wary crouch to sniff deeply. The very still very close air scenting more tropical than in the hinterlands with a hint of electricity as if after a lightning strike. He could feel an abundance of static raising exposed hairs. The Fox arriving without gloves, a helmet or his tail sheaf on.
He quickly spotted Tor’s star ship Hauler, the newly renamed Wings of Heaven. Lately Tor had been flying that one as it had plenty of cargo space and apparently he had been doing a lot of salvage operations and even a little bit of system to system trading. Tor occasionally varying his side activities to stave off boredom. Although when enjoying any particular toil he could stick with the same for a time too. Anyway, the imposingly tall winged Hauler parked a little distance away seeming at first glance unharmed, yet looking deeper Nahrl noted some usual running lights off as if blown. Still, if that was the only damage he would be deeply surprised.
Next Nahrl gazed down and back taking in the still active Terminus noting it rested on a simple wooden platform raised but one step above the general ground level. Nearby a cluster of solar panel generators linked into the contraption via interfacing humming batteries. A fairly standard power matrix. There seemed no other substantive base construction nearby. Interesting, to him, that the modern solar panels and batteries not ruined by the EMP either, though no doubt they also had been offline for a time.
City Killers - only old style Cities perhaps - with less durable older component parts and systems Nahrl mused. Science and technology having come a long way from Geskhan’s Time. Even if Geskhan might have tapped, in places, some esoteric Elder Tech of a different level altogether that sat firmly apart.
Tor’s Base Site rested fairly central, within a deep basin, surrounded by tall sharply vertical cliffs that annoyingly blocked any far distant wider view in every direction. Rearing up as if great rocky prison walls the cliffs seemed to be incarcerating the Fox’s perception. Otherwise occasional trees, bushes and various not so substantial scattered rocks littered the immediate fairly flat landscape. An impressive looking cave entrance however undercut the closet cliff face. The Terminus seeming to be orientated to face that under-dark as if a great glowing blue Cyclops eye peering into ominous underworld gloom.
There was no immediate sign of the Traveller. Quickly searching closer for tracks beyond the plinth or other signs of life or activity, Nahrl found a few clean enough footprint impressions he guessed left by Tor as he wandered about his site including to and from his ship. However, he also tellingly came upon some other impressions that looked different. Following some of those he located two other landing sites each marked by engine scorch marks and landing gear indentations. Two other ships with very differing burn and gear characteristics. Although hardly an expert from viewing light visiting traffic Nahrl still easily guessed the imprints from a Scout ship type and a large shuttle.
Also carefully studying the site he began to find occasional small scattered fragment of metal and composite casing. Again he was no expert but to him the way those widely distributed perhaps indicating dropping from above. Making him think some sort of air bursting ordnance, maybe the imagined heavy EMP bomb or perhaps even some kind of air detonating EMP missile. He judged it possible therefore someone made a bombing or missile strike at the Base then after the event came in to land. To do what? A few drag marks in the direction of the shuttle possibly suggested a kidnapping, especially with the Traveller apparently missing. Nahrl tried to pick out the scent of his friend but was swamped by the ghost of a Gek stink that made his head swim for a second instead. He felt a primal desire to shout aloud, to call out a great wolf howl to Tor on the off-chance but resisted. The desire seemed imprudent. Not wise, in such a yet unknown location, to so boldly announce himself. Yet he tried repeatedly to link to Tor without success. Whilst during all these examinations Nahrl constantly relaying his findings back to Jhasq, Gryll and Efor via open comms..
With no clear and present seeming danger at least in the depression, not even any animal signs. Those three soon also transmitting down via the Terminus.
‘I agree, from the landing gear a large shuttle and a scout ship.’ Gryll noted whilst viewing one site. ‘Good work.’
‘It must be a kidnapping. Tor must be alive and they must have taken him. If he was dead he would have been reborn and surely contacted us by now or at least summoned one of his ships to himself.’ Efor stated.
‘Could it be the whole plan was to take him. An EMP strike to ground his ship and disable him in his suit. Perhaps they knew killing our friend would just set him on the Atlas wheel of instant rebirth. That is if this probable Gek snatch operation specifically targeting him.’ Efor added.
‘What cannot be easily killed can be imprisoned or enslaved, my people, the Ancient Korvax discovered that to their great cost under First Spawn dominion.’ Gryll noted. ‘Star ships also confirm this as off world business, so most likely Blood Cult Gek, Gek Smugglers, or Gek Space Pirates or our KVC friends being especially nefarious and double dealing by hiring some Gek Mercenaries.’
‘Agree those prints also look like Gek to me from their spread and size, so lingering Gek scent and Gek feet.’ Efor stated. ‘Truly Blood Cult Gek, Smuggler Gek or Space Pirate Gek or Gek that are involved in some or all of three of those nefarious activities that now seems a pretty good bet.’
‘Else the KVC using some Gek Mercenaries as I previously mentioned to cunningly cover their tracks.’ Gryll noted.
‘Got to be less obscure, safer ways they could remove Tor from the game, if the KVC wanted to, my friend.’ Efor suggested.
‘Perhaps true, but the whole point is oft obscuration with KVC business.’ Gryll reminded.
‘Why would they though?’ Efor asked.
‘Possibly to keep him from any future meddling in their activities with Geskhan given his close association and feelings for the Uplifts dwelling here. Though I admit, I am always a bit over suspicious of those Convergent Agents so my estimations here may be a bit suspect.’ Gryll confessed.
‘How are we going to find those ships? I am no use to you there. I can’t track ships on the wind or in the void.’ Nahrl complained.
‘Well lets take detailed measurements of these landing imprints for a start that might help us match the models involved slightly better.’ Gryll suggested.
‘May help with the shuttle configuration a bit, but the scout ship? Those ships landing gear very uniform in configuration over models. They use anti-grav stabilisation to offset wider structural balance disparities unlike lower tech shuttles with simple superstructure load based mounts. Still, even with shuttles, unless this just happens to be a - far less popular model in these parts - we could be looking at a very wide pool of suspects. Pah! Even if say these tracks correspond to any well known registered system traffic. These ones might be fully off the books as criminal trespassers.’ Efor complained.
‘Every bit of data we gather now might help find them later and for now it is all we have to work with, unless scanning around here picks up some other clues. We should check his Hauler too. It might have useful log info. It might have automatically recorded the entire incident via passive security camera and sensor footage.’
‘Haa, we should be that lucky. How are we going to get access to it anyway? She will be all locked up tight except to Torrance.’ Efor reminded.
‘When I said I was a law abiding Korvax earlier, did I mention that a generality not a universal. I am still a Rogue after all. How do you think I obtained my first star ship?’
‘You a naughty Korvax.’ Efor stated before grinning open mouthed.
‘We all do what we must to survive.’
‘If you lot take recordings out here. I will crack open the Wings of Heaven over there.’ Gryll directed.
‘Fair enough.’ Efor replied before getting down to work.
’I would like to scout around a bit further out, in case we are missing something that might be relevant beyond this natural enclosure.’ Nahrl suggested.
‘If you think that is useful go ahead.’ Efor stated.
‘Just wondering why he landed here in this depression. Seems a bit of a poor place to explore out from since all you can see is cliff and to go anywhere means a big jetpack climb.’
‘Maybe he thought it a good place to be semi concealed, a sort of hill fort in reverse: A Basin Base.’ Efor stated.
‘Very possibly. Yet if so why? Did he see something on the way in he wanted to be hidden from?’
‘Now that is a good point well raised. You should take a jet up there and have a look around.’ Efor suggested. ‘Interesting it seems hotter here and steamier than your hinterlands.’ Efor also noted.
submitted by Brain_evacuated to NmsMindwarArchive [link] [comments]


2020.08.01 23:44 BiffTheTimid Audio Work Flow for Short Film Shooting Questions

Hey everyone, big fan of this sub. Thanks to you guys I successfully made my first "starter" short which allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the process without too much commitment to gear. I shot everything on my iPhone with a Moment Anamorphic lens on a Gimbal, used Filmic Pro, got myself a lav mic and used an older iPhone to record audio. All the ADFoley was recorded directly to my laptop using a Yeti Blue.
I'll be upgrading to a mirrorless full frame cam/lens, and get a tripod, as well as a light or two. Thoughts on Audio Recording:
1) Ace bandage was the only way to secure a hidden lav mic. Tape would fall off after 10 minutes due to sweat. Hiding it on my other actor (my girlfriend) was excruciating due to clothing/hair rub.
2) Recording directly to an old iPhone with a headphone jack into Voice Memos was terrible. Constantly having to unlock phone sucked, using iTunes to import memos sucked, the file names were terrible, and the audio quality was so-so at best.
3) Syncing audio was the most time consuming step of the whole short film process. After a few shoots we landed on long takes of the shot to reduce how many audio files I'd have to sync up. Didn't love having to dig through really long shots to find my favorite take, but wasn't terrible. (We'd clap for waveform syncing, which also terrifies our dog)
I want to record crisp dialogue with minimal but present room ambience (footsteps, furniture shuffling) to reduce foley work. Lots of videos recommend shoe mounted shotgun mics, but most are from YouTubers who vlog, take walking selfie videos, or do interviews. Being able to record to camera would save time audio syncing, but I don't know how realistic that is since shotguns for moving actors generally need a boom op, and it's just us two (quarantine).
I would love some insight on how you go about recording audio for short films and how you get it to your timeline. External multi channel recorders? Wireless Lav mics? Shotgun mics? Direct to cam? (Obviously not the cam mic)
Any thoughts would be a huge help, since all the YouTube videos I find are either product reviews, how a fully crewed shoot does it, or how a vlogger does it. Cheers!
submitted by BiffTheTimid to Filmmakers [link] [comments]


2020.07.06 00:01 LetsRead_YouTube Best wireless hidden camera

The internet is the most powerful informational tool the world has ever known. Although there is an almost endless torrent of misinformation uploaded and shared on a daily basis, the World Wide Web has become a database of knowledge and wisdom so vast that it would have the Librarians of Alexandria awestruck. Yet just as much as the internet can be enlightening, it can also be baffling and mysterious. And in the darkest of online corners, there are conundrums can be as terrifying as they can be confusing. This is the story of one of those mysteries. This is the story of ‘Cicada 3301’.
On a brisk January evening, back in 2012, a 34-year-old Swedish computer analyst named Joel Eriksson was engaging in an online pastime familiar to many of us, procrastination. He’d had a long, gruelling work day, straining his eyes as her peered over lines and lines of coding, and was looking for something a little more inconsequential, something fun and light hearted. Instead, he found something that would send him down a rabbit hole of epic proportions. Joel was browsing 4chan forums when he happened upon a message from an anonymous poster. It was written with stark white type, against a black background, accompanied by a picture of a winged insect. The message read as follows: “Hello We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck. - 3301” The number ‘3301’ was the only identifier left by the poster, there was no name, no location, no organization to give Joel an idea as to who posted the message, or if it was at all legitimate.
But still, Joel’s interested was instantly piqued. By his own admission, he was a computer security nerd, and a skill cryptographer in his own right. He knew enough to recognize that this was a classic example of what is known as ‘digital steganography’, the careful concealment of furtive information within a digital file. Digital Steganography is most often associated with image files such as ‘jpegs’, or any other pixelated image. For example, with such images it is possible to change the colour of every fiftieth or hundredth pixel, in order to retrieve or detect an entirely different image from what is considered to be ‘randomised background noise’.
This is a technique more commonly used by organizations with considerably more nefarious ends, such as those who which to traffic in illegal pornography or terrorism. Like in 2002, when intelligence officials suggested that agents of al-Qaeda s had planned the devastating 9/11 attacks via the auction site, eBay, using encrypting messages that were secreted inside digital photographs.
Although it was late at night, and Joel Eriksson was exhausted after a long work day, he took the time to try his hand at decoding the message from the mysterious user, known only as ‘3001’. Yet after only ten minutes or so of working through some of the more basic decryption techniques he knew of, Joel had seemingly made progress. He found a vague reference to ‘Tiberius Claudius Caesar’, along with a line of apparently meaningless letters. Joel recognized this for what is was, a ‘Caesar Cipher’, a method of encryption once used by Julius Caesar himself in some of his own personal correspondence. A relatively simple, but ancient technique, it replaces characters by a letter a certain number of positions down the alphabet. Given that Claudius was the fourth emperor of the Roman Empire, the reference suggested that the number four may well be crucial to solving the puzzle. Keeping this in mind, it only took a short while longer before Joel found a web address concealed among in the image’s code. With a smug feeling of fulfilment, Joel clicked the link. But web address only led him to a picture of a duck, along with a goading message that read “Woops! Just decoys this way. Looks like you can’t guess how to get the message out”. But Joel was not deterred. He often found that if a puzzle seemed too routine or easy to crack, that he would lose interest fast. Yet it seemed that this particular problem was much more challenging than he had been lead to believe. Joel was now hooked. And although he didn’t quite realise it at the time, he was embarking on one of the internet’s most enduring puzzles, an online scavenger hunt that led thousands of competing cryptographers across cyberspace, to several real world locations across the world, and into previously unchartered areas of the so-called ‘Dark Web’.
As it stands, the search for the truth behind Cicada 3301 has required an intimate familiarity with the Occult, advanced number theory, cyberpunk literature, Mayan numerology and even classical music. The epic puzzle has also included a mysterious, tuneless guitar ditty, a few lines from a poem, and most intriguingly, an enigmatic female known only as ‘Wind’, who may, or may not, exist in real life. There was also an apparent clue left on a lamppost in the Hawaiian islands, which gave those who wished to decipher the puzzle a crucial clue as to where the creators originated. There are many variables, but only one certainty, that no one really knows what Cicada 3301 is all about, or who is actually behind it.
Various rumours tell of a secret society who use the puzzle to search for new members, but it is just as likely that it is a challenge laid out by some quasi-military body or government intelligence agency, such as the CIA or Britain’s MI5. For many, the Cicada puzzle is merely a piece of cerebral, albeit mysterious entertainment, nothing more than a kind of Sudoku puzzle for the more intellectually curious. But for other seekers, Cicada has become a dangerous obsession. More than eight years after he discovered the puzzle, Joel Eriksson is still trying to discern exactly what the whole thing means to him. Although one thing is clear to him, that’s a battle of minds, a challenge so alluring that he finds it impossible to resist.
Let’s rewind for a moment to the night of January 5 th , 2012, the night Joel read the decoy message which featured the included the image of the duck. Interpreting the duck’s derision as an actual clue unto itself, Eriksson began to run the image through a decryption program known as’ OutGuess’. That’s when he made yet another breakthrough, discovering an additional concealed message, this one linking to another thread on the massively popular social media site, Reddit. It was there that encrypted lines from a novel were being posted once every couple of hours. But Joel also found a series of unusual symbols, each comprising of several lines and dots. He copied and pasted them into a Google search bar, and the results showed that they were in fact Mayan numbers that comprised yet another cipher. Up until that point, none of the puzzles had required any truly advanced decryption expertise, which gave Joel the idea that this was nothing more than the work of a single, anonymous trickster, playing an elaborate prank on the online communities he frequented. But the Mayan numerals changed everything for him, and led him to believe that the truth behind Cicada ran far deeper, and was far more shadowy than he can first thought.
The puzzles themselves had begun to mutate into several different directions, including hexadecimal characters, reverse-engineering and prime numbers. Pictures of the winged Cicada, reminiscent of the Death’s Head moth imagery in Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs had become a common theme. Joel believed there could be no coincidence there, and began conducting his own research into the biology of the insect itself. He soon discovered that Cicadas only emerged over a particularly number of years, either thirteen or seventeen, to avoid synchronising with the life cycles of their natural predators. Being familiar with advanced mathematics, Joel instantly recognized the significance of this, they were Prime Numbers. Everything was beginning to come together. Joel poured himself into researching the other cryptic references posted on Reddit, discovering that some of the literary quotes were from a poem about King Arthur taken from ‘The Mabinogion’, a collection of pre-Christian medieval Welsh manuscripts. As well a poem by cyberpunk writer William Gibson called ‘Agrippa – a Book of the Dead. Written in 1992, the poem was infamous for the fact that it was only
published on a series of 3.5inch floppy disks that were programmed to erase themselves after being read only once.
As word of Cicada 3301 spread online, thousands of amateur sleuths joined the hunt for clues. A veritable army of users from the 4chan forums, the place the first Cicada message is thought to have appeared, pooled their collective intelligence in an attempt to crack the puzzle. And thanks to their mammoth efforts, a new message was discovered after studying the references taken from ‘The Mabinogion’. “Call us” it read, “at telephone number 214-390-9608”. By the time the phone number was posted online, Joel Eriksson had become so obsessed with the Cicada puzzle that he had actually taken time off from his job to work on the puzzle full time. At present, the number is disconnected, but we know that the line was based in state of Texas, and that those that called it were met by an answering machine message, in which a robotic voice told seekers to find the prime numbers hidden in the original Cicada image. They did so, and by multiplying them together, found a new prime and a new website: 845145127.com. A countdown clock and a huge picture of a winged Cicada confirmed they were indeed on the correct course. Joel found the scope and scale of the puzzle simply breath taking, but unbelievably, the puzzle was about to prove even more thrilling for those who attempted to solve it.
At noon, eastern seaboard time, on January 9 th , 2012, the countdown clock on the mysterious website reached zero. It was then that fourteen GPS coordinates from around the world were revealed. These referenced real- world locations in Poland, France, South Korea, as well as several places around the United States. Sat in his Swedish bedroom, Eriksson poured over the data, waiting patiently as seekers around the globe went to investigate the coordinates in their respective nations. Slowly but surely, reports came in of what they’d found at each location. There had been a coordinated effort, around the globe, to attach posters to lampposts and walls. It was now blindingly obvious that the Cicada phenomenon was not merely the work of one ingenious, determined individual. There was a network of people behind this thing, operating from the shadows. Each poster bore the same cicada image that had been found on the websites, along with a QR code. Those are those small, black and white bar code style things that smartphones cameras can scan, taking the user to a specific website or downloadable application. Joel Eriksson found the discovery absolutely thrilling, his suspicions of some kind of underground organization being suddenly confirmed by people all over the world. But who exactly these people were, or who they were working for, was this unnervingly unclear.
Ever since the first Cicada 3301 image first appeared, theories abounded as to whom exactly was responsible. Many believed that Cicada may well be nothing more than an elaborate PR stunt, an unusually intricate Alternate Reality Game designed by some multi-national company whose end game merely to promote some new product. And there was a precedent for this. In 2004, during the promotional effort for the video game ‘Halo 2’, Microsoft had coordinated what became known as the ‘I Love Bees’ campaign. They used random payphones around the world to broadcast various episodes of a self-produced radio drama, in the style of Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’. The campaign was well publicized, and helped push millions of units for the company, so it is understandable that the cynics among the Cicada crowd chose to believe that the rabbit hole would come to a commercial dead end.
However there were certain details surrounding the Cicada puzzle which separated it from your average guerrilla advertising campaign. For example, it became obvious that some of those behind the puzzle itself were actively working to frustrate the efforts of those involved. You remember the woman known as ‘Wind’ mentioned earlier. She claimed to be a cryptographer from Michigan who was actively engaged in solving the Cicada puzzle. But over time, many noticed that she was apparently spreading misinformation, in an apparent effort to throw people off the scent. Another detail is considerably more terrifying. A warning was posted by an anonymous user on the website Pastebin, who claimed to be an ex-Cicada member and military officer who was recruited to the organisation by one of his superior officers. The warning stated that the Cicada movement purported to be a progressive, scientific organisation, but was in fact a cabal of satanic worship, who practiced malevolent magical practices in order to secure vast personal power and wealth. Their ranks included powerful politicians, members of the armed forces and leading academics who wished to manipulate the course of history in their own wicked vision.
Yet there were also persistent rumours that Cicada was a recruitment drive by the CIA, MI6 or America’s National Security Agency, as part of a search for highly talented code breakers. And again, there would be a well-documented precedent for this. Because in 2010, the United States’ ‘Air Force Cyber Command’– the American’s premier hacking defence force, secretly embedded a complex hexadecimal code in their new logo. Cyber Command chief, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander then challenged the world’s code breaking community to crack it. Yet it took the internet a mere three hours to crack the code, and was a major embarrassment for the organization.
And in September of 2013, Great Britain’s GCHQ launched the "Can You Find It?” programme, which consisted of a series of cryptic codes designed to find the next generation of top tier British cryptographers. Jane Jones, GCHQ’s head of resourcing, stated that despite it being a puzzle designed to capture the imaginations of younger people, it was also a serious test, the rewards of which would be highly paid jobs that were vital to protecting the UK’s national security interests.
This kind of viral campaign had been a tried and tested method of recruitment, and has been for many years. During World War Two, the British government’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School used crossword puzzles printed in The Daily Telegraph newspaper to identify potential candidates to break the Nazi Enigma machine. But many professional cryptographers were sceptical of the theories that the CIA or NSA was responsible for the Cicada puzzle. Both organizations are extremely careful with security, and experts believed that since the puzzle originated on what is essentially an anarchic internet forum, it was highly unlikely that the CIA and their ilk would want to attract those with a diminished respect for authority, let alone recruit them. But this leaves us with the possibility that certain private organisations, multi-national corporations and the like, were behind the campaign in order to recruit those with a talent for what is known as Black Hat hacking. The proliferation of wireless devices, mobile telephones, e-commerce websites like Amazon and chip-and-pin machines, means the demand for cryptologists has never been higher.
But there is one more group that we have yet to mention, who would certainly have the need to go fishing for talented hackers and codebreakers, the hacker group known as Anonymous. It is worth mentioning that the previously mentioned coordinates released by the Cicada countdown website were all places that are home to some of the most talented hackers and cyber security experts in the world. When the QR codes left on the lamp posts were decoded, a hidden message pointed people towards a TOR address. TOR, short for The Onion Router, is an obscure routing network that allows anonymous access to the so-called Dark Web, a huge, shadowy section of the internet that cannot be accessed by run of the mill search engines such as Google or Bing. The Dark Web is thought to be five thousand times larger than the regular internet. It’s in these recesses where you’ll find human-trafficking rings, black market drug markets and terrorist networks. It’s here where the Cicada rabbit hole came to a dead end.
It seems like this particular Dark Web page was coded to only give access to a limited number of visitor, as after a while, it closed down, replaced with the following message.
“We want the best, not the followers” Those the accessed the website first received personal emails which apparently asked for their complete secrecy in participating in private code breaking trials. This has never been completely confirmed, but what we do know for certain is that a few weeks later, a new message from Cicada was posted on Reddit, reading as follows: “Hello. We have now found the individuals we sought. Thus our month-long journey ends. For now.” To the disappointment of thousands of fascinated seekers, the journey was over, and all hope of finding out the truth was lost.
However on January 4th of 2013, almost a year to the day since the original puzzle picture was posted on 4Chan, a brand new image appeared.
A new message in the same white text read “Hello again. Our search for intelligent individuals now continues.” Close study of the image would reveal yet another poem , this one from the book ‘Liber Al Vel Legis;, a religious doctrine written by the infamous occultist and magician, Aleister Crowley. This led to a downloadable file containing thousands of prime numbers, along with an MP3 file, a song called ‘The Instar Emergence’ by an artist known only as ‘3301’, which begins with the sound of chirping cicadas. Detailed analysis of the song brought seekers to a bizarrely named Twitter account which pumped out random numbers, which in turn produced a ‘gematria’, an ancient Hebrew code table, but this time based on Anglo-Saxon runes. This led the solvers back into the Dark Web, where they found seven new physical locations, from Texas to Japan and Russia, with yet more QR codes printed on insect beating posters. The cycle had begun again.
But still, we are no closer to knowing the source, or fundamental purpose, of Cicada 3301. But therein lies the terrifying scope and scale of the mystery, that it is almost impossible to know just who is behind it, and even more difficult to discern why. Whether or not it is the work of some shadowy, cult-like organization, or something less nefarious, we might never know. But it is haunting to realize that there are dark curtains out there that most of us will
never, ever get to look behind. With figures working away in dark basements and high rise tower blocks, on a mystery that may never, ever be solved.
submitted by LetsRead_YouTube to LetsReadOfficial [link] [comments]


2020.07.04 23:00 AngryaboutVideogames Best wireless hidden camera

A small bit of a day in the life of Jack on a new station.

[Prev] [next]

Enjoy.
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Jack was observing the various happenings of Xezis Station. It was exciting to watch new organics interacting with each other. The markets were quite similar to a human market, with the exception of the heat stones. They looked to be some kind of solar panel attached to a chunk metal that would heat when turned on. Looking around the station, Jack noticed it was the most common heating implement. "Interesting, It seems discrepancy of station dwellers and planet dwellers are vast indeed."
He noticed the dust and clouds in the air on Aaster prevented solar panels from being used, causing them to rely on ancient wind turbines to power the enviro domes. This made it remarkably difficult to power their planet side civilisation," they haven't had the time to invent wireless power. Perhaps I can help them along." Jack quickly submitted a Terran paper on orbital solar transfer under a fake name to their science council. "That should help them along that route." He thought happily.
Checking in on how Michael was doing, he let out a digital chuckle at his friend's misfortune. Michael talked about how he arrived in the system and explained Terran culture to his not girlfriends parents over dinner. He seemed to like the moss but had a hard time eating the grubs served. Jack worked his best to get Michael to realise Srettia was trying to flirt with him, But Michael was oblivious, Seeming to think it was a cultural alien thing.
Jack was also enjoying the news broadcasts. It seemed the arrival of the Terrans was seen as both a good and bad sign. The news was filming the relief efforts on the planet, explaining that the aliens were friendly but dangerous and should not be trusted yet. He expected something like that would be common, the Aasteran people seemed to distrust the Terrans but accepted the aid.
Tuning into a heat spa and listening to the wealthy, he noticed the sentiments were a bit different. "They are disruption stone consumption on the surface." One said with a disgruntled look. "Agreed, We need to get ahead of this and find a way to disrupt those heated areas the Terrans set up." Another said. Jack recorded their long conversation and distributed it amongst the stations he could reach. "That should solve that problem." He thought.
Looking into another area, he witnessed some merchants talking amongst themselves. "So it's agreed? I'll have rights to the model ship distribution and you'll have Terran action figure distribution. We'll both contract 'Plas model.Inc' for creation?" the 3 merchants nodded and signed a data pad and went their separate ways. "Well, I guess that was bound to happen." Jack happily thought and altered the designs to be more accurate.
Jack peeked back in on his partner. He was sweating a bit but seemed fine. He was sitting in a living room watching TV with Srettia and her parents, explaining the tools being used by the Terrans on the news broadcast. Her parents seem nice. A bit surprised their daughter was with an alien male, but supportive. Jack assumed it was because they were smart and figured if their daughter bound herself to this Terran male, they would have access to a Terran's standard of living.
Overall things seem to be business as usual. No panic, no riots. The Aasteran seemed to just accept the Terran's arrival and continued to live."Was it because they didn't show up and destroy their planet?" Jack thought.
Jack spent the rest of his time doing much the same over the station. Reporting crime, or people trying to take advantage of the Terrans to disrupt their aid. But overall he liked watching the people go about their day.
"Now, if only I could fix my partner." Jack thought.
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Chrarada was watching the video broadcast from the surface. "They seem... Nice." She thought. Her soldiers were keeping a close eye on the aliens, but from what she could tell they were doing their best to help her citizens.
"Bridge to Chrarada you have an incoming com from Captain Andriet." Sighing to herself she keyed the com and beheld the smiling Terran that was becoming a regular contact. "Captain Andriet what can I do for you?" She said with a passive face.
"Ah, Hello First Tail!" The Terran said with that smile she always had. " I just wanted to inform you that we're almost at max capacity for our fabricators, and ask if there was a settlement that needed immediate aid we might have missed?"
The smile always annoyed Chrarada, but the captain was always nice and tried to help the people who needed it most. "Envirodome F-3 has been having problems with power over the last few years. They have managed to keep it running, but power could go out at a moment's notice. Perhaps you can send some engineers to help?"
"We'd be happy to! Anything else you need?" The female asked keying something into her data pad. Chrarada Thought for a moment, looking over the domes that needed the most help. Most were in the same situation, limited stones, low power, not enough food, and medicine in low supply. "Focus on heat and medical distribution for now on the remaining domes captain. Food rationing has been in effect for decades I'm sure a few more months won't be too terrible." She hated deciding to keep her people starving, but health and heat were much the same as starving at this point.
"In that case, until the ten thousand volunteers arrive from the fleet, my people are at max capacity for aid." Chrarada was surprised when she heard so many had volunteered to help her people. Even more so when she heard the ten thousand were handpicked as more than half the Terran fleet volunteered to help.
"Thank you for your help Captain Andriet. I don't know what my people can do to repay your kindness, but If there is anything I can do to help, I will do what's within my power to make it happen.. Within reason of course." She replied out of courtesy.
She watched as the captain's eyes went wide, and her smile grew even larger. " In that case, can I invite you over for a tour of my ship and a drink perhaps?"
Chrarada looked over the duty roaster of her ship. "The second tail can handle the fleet for a few hours, and Ethuci won't arrive for another two days." Taking a risk Chrarada thought it might be best to observe the Terrans. "I will accept your offer captain Andriet." She watched as the Terran bounced and made a strange noise.
"Excellent! I'll let my team know to expect your arrival." The Terran said and transmitted landing clearance to her ship. "I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay First Tail Chrarada."
Chrarada transmitted her expected time of arrival, and cut the signal."Are you sure that's wise? To board their ship I mean." Her second advised.
"I see no problem. And they seem friendly enough, if this was a ruse I doubt it would look half as convincing, besides I would like to see how their ship operates." Chrarada responded.
Getting up and going to her personal quarters, she decided it would be best to wear her dress uniform. Deciding to go with The black blazer, and long skirt, she grabbed a cleaning cloth and began to polish her scales and wipe herself down.
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Srettia watched Michael leave her residence, giving her a few minutes alone with her parents before leaving to start a journey of exploration.
"He was a nice male." Her mother stated, hugging her. "Be safe my daughter, don't let him grab your tail to quickly." She said, her tail poking Srettia in the side.
"Or at all." Her father added, arms crossed.
"I'll be fine. We're going to visit his people's fleet, and make sure he can come exploring with me before we even go anywhere too far." She replied. "I'll get to see all sorts of things, and my ship is safer than anything our people have produced so don't worry about me." Hugging her father, she took a step back and walked out the door.
"Well ready to go?" Michael asked, looking around the hall.
"Yup! Let's head back to the docking bay and get a move on." She said, taking the lead and once again pointing out places and interest as they walked through the metal halls of the station.
When they arrived at the market, it seemed oddly busy. A riot broke out it seems. A prominent heating establishment was being torn down as people were shouting slurs and screaming traitor at the owners. The safety officers stood off to the side and let the riot continue as the people took out their rage on the store. "That seems odd," Michael commented. Srettia thought the same. Why destroy a store that supplied much-needed heating stones?
Walking through the Market, she grabbed a few supplies she wasn't sure her ship fabricator could make and continued to the docking bay. As she came up to the hangar doors Srettia swiped her pass and was granted entrance, she stepped through the doors with Michael and walked towards her ship, to which he pointed out that a small crowd was gathered around it. "Hey, back off that's my ship!" She shouted. running towards the crowd.
"Oh, Missy that you ship? It's a beauty, where did you have it made?" An old-looking male asked.
She hesitated, but before she could answer Michael stood beside her and put his hand on her shoulder." It's a Terran ship, she helped broker peace between our people, so our fleet admiral gifted it to her." He stated, his heat pleasantly flowing into her.
"Ohh, that right Missy? She's a strong-looking ship can't wait to get my hands on something like this." The old man replied happily. He looked at Michael with a smile "What do ya think? You Terrans willing to start selling your ships?" He said with excitement.
Michael laughed at the old man. "Not sure, my people have a disaster relief fleet on the way capable of building ships like this. Won't arrive for a good four or five months though. On the topic of sale. I'm not sure, depends on what kind of trade agreements our people sign."
"Well, I'll be sure to put some pressure on our trade guild then." The old man seemed to do something with his tail and continued, " Name's Muldios I lead the mining guild of this fair station. If your people are bringing us ships like this, I'll be damn sure to make the trade agreements go smooth" He said with laughter and started dispersing the crowd.
"Thanks, I'll be sure to put in a good word to the admiral for you then." Michael laughed and walked towards the ship with Srettia.
Srettia walked up to her ship and keyed the unlock. "I guess I should have expected that." She declared stepping into her ship.
"They seemed content to observe the ship, so I saw no reason to alert you."
"Thanks for defending the ship Jack," Srettia said with a smile looking into a nearly hidden camera. Organising her supplies in her new room, she felt the ship start to power up. "That you jack?"
"I figured you wouldn't mind since the startup sequence takes a few minutes."
"No its fine, I was just curious is all." She finished putting her supplies away and started walking towards the bridge, meeting Michael on the way.
"Ya ready?" He asked as they both walked into the cockpit and sat in their crash couches.
"Yup!" She replied taking hold of the controls and requesting clearance to leave the hangar. After waiting for a few minutes, clearances we granted, and she attempted to smoothly guide her ship out of the hangar being mostly successful.
"Pretty good for being new to this ship," Michael commented with that dumb smile.
"She is better than a lot of Terran pilots partner".
"I'd like to see you do better!" She hissed. Michael began to open his mouth with a wide grin, but she cut him off. Remembering he was a test pilot, and this was a Terran ship. "Better yet how about you shut your mouth."
Michael laughed and keyed some controls she wasn't familiar with. "What are you doing?" She asked, waiting for him to respond as she flew away from the station.
"I noticed you were a bit stiff with the controls, so I'm adjusting the input so it's easier to fly, They were meant for Terran hand strength, figured this would make it easier for you," he said plainly.
Srettia was about to protest when her controls softened up. True to his words, they felt much better. She smiled and keyed in the coordinates for the Terran fleet and looked over to Michael. "Does this look right?"
"Yup nothing seems wrong. You could get a bit closer if you did it like this though." She watched as the flight path changed, and sure enough, it dropped her right inside the fleet.
"How did you do that? The system was throwing me errors when I tried getting even a little close." She looked at him confused.
He looked over at her and gave her that stupid smile. " I'm not the best pilot in the fleet for nothing you know. You'll get the hang of it I'll show you how to get around the stupid errors without overriding the system."
"He could park us directly in a carrier out of warp if he wanted to override the system. It was his first infraction in the navy."
Srettia laughed as she pictured her idiot Terran suddenly appearing inside a carrier hangar and hit the warp button. Feeling her ship shudder for a moment before the screens displaying the stars changed to multiple colours. "its a bit anti-climatic, only feeling a slight shudder isn't it?"
Michael laughed for a good while confusing Srettia before he opened his mouth. "You should try to jump space. It's just a bunch of nothing." He said with a chuckle.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Chrarada was standing in the hangar of the Gentle Winds in astonishment. Large machines were throwing a massive amount of heat, spitting out all sorts of tools and rations. The Terrans were running around loading them into shuttles that were constantly coming and going, heading towards the surface.
"First Tail!" Came a voice she had become very familiar with. "it's a pleasure to meet you in person," Captain Andriet greeted outstretching her hand.
Having read some surface reports, Chrarada knew this was a handshake and grasped the captain's hand. Her eyes flew open. These humans were hot to the touch. With a smile of her own she greeted the Terran, holding onto her hand a bit longer then she should have, stealing some extra heat. "The pleasure is Mine, Captain."
" Please call me Andriet," she replied, " Now I see you've taken an interest in my fabricators, so how about we start there."
Chrarada listened with rapt attention. The fabricators, the capabilities of the shuttles, The drop pods. All of it amazed Chrarada who fought to keep her face neutral. She saw how the Terrans worked together and ran themselves ragged trying to get just a bit of extra supplies to the surface. She felt ashamed of herself for doubting these Terrans coming across three sleeping against the side of a shuttle that had just returned from the surface.
After finishing the tour, she joined the Captain in her personal quarters. "You have been a kind host, Captain. It was an enlightening tour." She saw the captain's smile grow larger, she was a bubbly person always happy and excited and always smiling at her.
"It's been my pleasure!" Andriet replied, pouring a glass of some unknown liquid and motioning towards a seat. "my medical team says this drink is suitable for your tastes its a fermented fruit drink." The captain said handing over the glass.
Chrarada took a sip and her hood started to make waving motions. "This is utterly delightful," Chrarada replied as the Terran made some sort of weird noise.
"I had hoped you would like it, Chrarada" Andriet replied with a smile.
Chrarada didn't mind the Terran calling her by her name. She was more interested in the drink. "I have witnessed your crew working hard for my people, but I still don't understand why you would go to such lengths."
Her host seemed lost in thought before replying. "I won't say its all good. But really, our people are just looking for space friends."
Chrarada took a sip of her drink "Would your own people not make for better friends?"
"Maybe, My people have always looked to the stars and wondered what else is out there, how they would think or act, and have concepts that are beyond us. So it's been quite a pleasure to meet you." Andriet replied.
Chrarada thought about her own people before replying. "Mine might have been that way long ago. But that was smashed with Acarro, people began to look to the stars in terror, what wanted us dead some thought. It surprises me that our people accepted your aid so readily.
Andriet looked sad for a moment. "I know you won't believe me. I don't expect you to with everything that's happened to your people. But I promise you. We're here to help. And maybe one day when we can trust each other. We'll find who did this to your people and make them pay."
Chrarada looked the Terran in the eyes, "Maybe they aren't so bad. A bit weird though"
Andriet broke the silence. "Now enough about that sad stuff this should be a happy moment. How about I tell you about the time I accidentally set a fabricator to auto produce empty drink containers and forgot about it for a day."
Chrarada laughed and took another drink of her cider while listening to the captain's story.
submitted by AngryaboutVideogames to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.06.29 05:34 emadbably Best wireless hidden camera

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2020.06.27 14:58 thehorrorwriter2 Idol Worship Opening (Part 2/2)

Link To Part 1
Still filming, Bonnie staggered through the hallway. Her steps slow. Unlike Carty, her filmmaking skills were non-existent. The footage she was shooting would've been shaky-cam quality at best or nausea-inducing at worst. Bonnie's nervous excitement was getting the better of her.
The singing was now deafening, echoing through the farmhouse without the aid of a speaker.
Relying on the camera's light, Bonnie stopped in the middle of the hallway, searching the ominous landscape for any sign of the singer.
The singer's voice was harsher. Now not so much a song as it was a mumbled compulsion.
Bonnie listened closely. She could discern the words and could finally understand the lyrics.
Eyes without a face. Eyes without a face, got no human grace...
The singer repeated this same chorus in slow, agonizing fashion.
Bonnie remembered the song. A 1983 pop song. Eyes Without A Face. But it wasn't being sung with the clear, brooding tone of Billy Idol. It sounded like a harrowing soliloquy from someone in an asylum cell. Not an eloquent ballad courtesy of Idol. This was someone's serenade to alienation. And they wouldn't stop. Hell, maybe they couldn't stop.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
The singer wasn't even bothering to hold a tune at this point. Their bitter tone just had to keep repeating those words. Those safe words. Pop music for their sanity.
Eyes without a face...
Holding on tight to the camera, Bonnie waved it around the room. But she didn't see anything. All the while, the voice continued, seemingly taunting her.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Bonnie turned and looked down the narrow hallway. The front door was now shut. No way the singer was outside. "What the Hell..." Bonnie said to herself.
Reaching out of the darkness, Carty's hand snatched Bonnie's arm.
For once, Bonnie jumped in fear. "Shit!" she exclaimed as she faced Carty.
"It's just me," Carty said in a hushed tone. The fact that Bonnie was this jumpy destroyed Carty's hope that the singing was "just the wind" or some other lame excuse.
"Damn, girl, you scared the shit outta me!"
Eyes without a face...
Hearing the singer's unnerving cover of Eyes Without A Face, Carty's frantic eyes searched the room. "Where is he?" she asked Bonnie.
Bonnie broke away from her. "Shit, I don't know!"
Carty saw the closed front door. Faint hope struck her. They had a straight shot to escape.
Your eyes without a face...
The mysterious voice was more violent and hectic on this time around. Idol's lyrics now spouted in a wild burst. A burst that came from the staircase.
Carty turned and saw Bonnie rush toward those stairs. "Bonnie, no!" Carty yelled.
Hellbent on securing the footage, Bonnie held her camera out in front of her as she made her way to the staircase. Too determined to notice how shitty her handheld filmmaking was.
"Let's get the fuck outta here!" Carty yelled after Bonnie.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Terrified, Carty ran toward the stairs. Toward Bonnie. She couldn't let the love of her life confront the eerie voice alone. "Bonnie!" she yelled.
Your eyes without a face...
Bonnie laid one foot on the first wooden step. A grueling creak erupted.
Carty grabbed Bonnie's arm, stopping her from going further. "Bonnie, please!" Carty pleaded.
Annoyed, Bonnie pulled her arm back. "Carty, just chill!"
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Both women listened in horror. The voice was louder than ever. And the couple now realized it was coming from beneath them.
Carty grabbed Bonnie's arm, ready to lead them off to the front door at around 100 miles per hour. "Let's go-"
The small door under the staircase burst open with great force.
Carty let out a horrified scream.
A masked person emerged from the closet beneath the staircase. A tall, slender figure. Their outfit couldn't mask what was undoubtedly evil intentions. They wore black leather gloves. A gray hooded bathrobe perfect for an occult ceremony. They made their way toward the uneasy couple.
A black paper-mâché mask with painted red streaks covered the mysterious person's face. But it couldn't hide their glowering eyes. The mask was homemade and looked faded with age. A paper-mâché recreation of a melancholy face. A face that wasn't overtly feminine or masculine. An androgynous Angel of death.
The figure's gloves tightened their grip on the handle of a double bit axe. Both ends of the vicious weapon were clean and pristine. Sharp as Hell as well.
The masked person didn't say a word or sing the Idol lyrics as they marched toward the scared Carty and Bonnie.
A horrifying realization became clear to both women: they were this singer's target all along.
Trying to play tough, Bonnie pulled Carty up on the stairs with her. "What the fuck is this!" she yelled at the figure.
Bonnie aimed the camera right at the figure.
The singer stopped a few feet away from them. They stood tall and strong, basking in the camera's glorious light.
Carty stared at the singer, petrified in fear.
"Leave us alone, asshole!" Bonnie yelled.
The singer just looked at them with those unflinching eyes.
Carty couldn't tell if the masked intruder was either studying them or challenging the couple to make the first move. Even hidden behind a robe and mask, the figure seemed too confident, Carty thought. They weren't scared like us.
"Well, what the fuck you gonna do, huh!" Bonnie hurled at the singer. "You little bitch!"
Carty looked between Bonnie and the figure, hesitant on what to do. Maybe Bonnie was being too antagonistic, but Carty had seen Bonnie's tough-butch routine work plenty of times. If there was one thing Carty was confident in, it was that Bonnie could back up that mouth.
"Yeah, you're just a pussy!" Bonnie continued to the singer. Taunting the figure, she stepped off the stairs and walked toward them. "I got your bitchass on camera now!"
To Carty's surprise, both the figure and Bonnie were the same height. Close to the same build. Minus the axe, this’d be a fair fight.
"We already called the cops," Bonnie shouted at the figure. She put the camera up toward the androgynous mask. "We got your ass too! Fucking stalker bitch!"
The masked figure's gloved hands gripped the handle tighter. Their muscles flexed through the robe. The singer belied their uneven voice with real brute strength. Any more pressure in their grip, and the wooden handle would've probably snapped in two.
Uncomfortable, Carty watched the confrontation unfold. The figure's rage seemed to accelerate with each one of Bonnie's insults.
Bonnie gave the figure a harsh shove. "Get outta the way, bitch!" Bonnie yelled.
But the singer didn't budge at all. They stood tall. Their broad shoulders were only the beginning of a sculpted frame.
Carty reached into her pocket. She felt her phone. All she needed was the perfect time pull that baby out and dial the cops. Even if she was hesitant to do so considering her and Bonnie's modest criminal record.
Ready to fight back, Bonnie raised the flashlight up toward that fucking mask. "You stupid bitch-"
In a quick and sudden movement, the singer's gloved hand snatched Bonnie's wrist.
"Bonnie!" Carty said in horror.
Bonnie tried to break free but didn't have a chance. The figure's grip was harsh and stronger than Bonnie expected. During the struggle, Bonnie dropped the camera.
It hit the ground and slid over by the first step, the camera's red record light still on. The lens pointed right at the stairway, putting the spotlight now on the frightened Carty.
Bonnie turned and looked toward Carty. "Carty, run!" she yelled.
Leaving her phone in her pocket, Carty rushed toward them. Saving her lover was more important than calling a bunch of bumpkin-fuck police officers.
Using her free hand, Bonnie tried to swing on the figure, but the blows didn't bother them in the slightest. Instead, their stoic mask just looked straight at Bonnie. No anger on the androgynous face. Just nothingness.
"Bonnie!" Carty yelled. She tried to pull Bonnie away from the clutches of the singer.
"No, go!" Bonnie screamed. She pushed Carty toward the front door. "Get out!"
"I ain't leaving you!" Carty proclaimed. Channeling her inner Bonnie, Carty raised the wireless mic like a weapon.
Acting quick, the singer threw Bonnie back against the staircase.
Bonnie tripped on the first step and busted her ass on the uncomfortable stairs. All the steps caved in slightly beneath her weight.
The singer turned and honed their gaze on Carty.
"Run, Carty!" Bonnie pleaded.
Advancing upon Carty, the figure raised the axe with the flourish of a knight unsheathing a long sword.
Overcome in fear, Carty held on to the mic and backed against a wall. The eerie mask quashed her newfound "bravery."
"Carty!" Bonnie yelled. Cringing in pain, she leaned up on the staircase. "Carty, run!"
The singer held their weapon out and traced both blades against Carty's fragile face.
"No!" Bonnie cried out. She staggered back to her feet.
Disturbed, Carty swung the mic toward the mask in a pathetic attempt at protecting herself. "Get back!" she said in a loud whimper.
With unnerving agility, the figure dodged the mic. They hoisted the axe back for the fatal blow.
"Oh God..." Carty said, helpless. She pressed her head against the wall, wishing she could dissolve into it before suffering at the hands of the double bit axe.
Bonnie rushed toward them. "Carty!" she cried.
The singer brought the axe down in a forceful swing.
Carty shut her eyes, bracing for the vicious hit.
A messy THWACK erupted in the farmhouse.
Thick drops sprayed across the floor.
Realizing she was still alive, Carty opened her eyes in confusion. Then she screamed in a bellow of distraught horror.
The axe protruded out the top of Bonnie's skull. Bonnie had gotten in front of the weapon just in time. Just in time to save Carty.
Bonnie stood still… The sheer force of the hit froze her in place. Blood flowed all down her face and body. Bonnie a fountain of flowing red water.
Weeping, Carty looked down at her hands. Another helpless scream escaped her lips. Gallons of Bonnie's blood had splattered across Carty's smooth skin.
The crimson spots resembled an incurable disease. Then again, it was. Bonnie was dead. And Carty was next.
The helplessness only further set in for Carty once the masked killer yanked the axe back out without so much as a grunt.
The effortless pull sent more of Bonnie's blood spraying across Carty's mortified face.
Bonnie's corpse tumbled to the ground. The vivid wound had split the top of her head open. Her blood and gray matter spewed out in a spilled bowl of fleshy fruit. Bonnie's face forever frozen in fear, her dead eyes looking straight at Carty.
Horrified, Carty stared at her deceased girlfriend. This wasn't the Bonnie she wanted to remember. This wasn't the sexy, confident Bonnie she'd fallen in love with. This was a slaughtered corpse.
A flurry of quick whacks from the figure's axe ravaged those final moments between Carty and Bonnie. Unstoppable, the singer swung the axe straight down onto Bonnie's face, smashing it into a hundred red pieces.
Tears falling down her face, Carty screamed. "Bonnie! No!"
The masked intruder heaved the axe back. The axe's cleanliness was now marred by thick, wet blood. Both sides of the weapon for that matter.
Quicker than a lion on the prowl, the killer turned and faced Carty. Blood and grue was all over their mask. At least now, the androgynous mask had some literal color.
But their cold eyes chilled Carty to the bone. And the killer didn't seem exhausted in the slightest. They were just getting started.
Carty knew there was nothing else she could do. She hauled ass for the front door.
The singer lunged right in front of her, blocking Carty's path.
Panicking, Carty took a few nervous steps back. "No!" she yelled at the singer. "Fuck you!"
The killer matched her every step, even matching Carty's speed. The gap never closed between them, but to Carty, the mask and axe only seemed to get closer.
"Fuck you!" Carty screamed. She swung the wireless mic at the androgynous mask.
Taunting Carty, the killer dodged her swing with lackadaisical ease.
"You crazy bitch!" Carty screamed at the singer.
In an eruption of madness, the murderer raised the axe and went charging after Carty.
"No!" Carty shouted. Lowering the mic, she turned and ran toward the staircase.
Her feet splashed through her lover's blood. Hearing the singer's heavy footsteps, Carty turned and saw them gaining ground. Goddamn, he was fast!
Carty reached the stairs. With the joy of a runner completing a marathon, she put her foot on that first step in triumph. A shrill creak greeted her ears.
Right behind Carty, the killer lunged forward and swung the axe with all their might.
A nasty slice to the Achilles tendon dashed both Carty's hope at escape. She screamed in a most horrific agony as she fell onto the flight of stairs.
Slipping from Carty's grasp, the mic went flying through the air and smashed into the wall in front of her.
Helpless, Carty looked at her wound. The cut on the Achilles was rough and brutal. The mark of the axe's blade wasn't clean in the slightest.
Blood shot out of Carty's Achilles in thick spurts. A grisly sprinkler. Carty couldn't bear to look at the wound... and looking back at the hallway only meant having to see Bonnie's mutilated body once more.
Carty grabbed the cut in a pitiful attempt to stop the bleeding. Instead, all she got was a firsthand feel of a dam bursting with her own blood.
She looked over and saw the murderer step right toward her. Their axe only looked to be clamoring for more of Carty. The other side of the double bit weapon felt left out of the Achilles slash…
Overwhelmed in fear, Carty turned and tried to stand up, but the attempt only stretched her heel's hack to even greater depths. The window of the wound spread even wider, exposing bloodied muscle within her skin.
"Ah, fuck!" Carty unleashed in an awful scream.
She watched the killer stand up over her. "No!" Carty yelled. She attempted to crawl away, the damaged Achilles making Carty resemble an animal struggling to escape with a trap enclosed around its leg. Straining, she laid an elbow on the next step.
The wooden step collapsed under Carty's weight. She yelled as her arm disappeared through the busted wood. "Fuck!" Carty cried out, weary helplessness in her tone.
Sitting further away, Bonnie's camcorder filmed Carty's agony in all its visceral glory.
Taunting Carty, the killer put the axe to Carty's face.
An exhausted Carty looked on at the blood-stained mask. Its indiscernible features never failed to terrify her. The mask was somewhere between the world's creepiest mannequin and the face of a stoic high school psychopath.
"Why?" Carty asked the singer in defeat. She struggled to fight back her tears. "Why are you doing this?"
At a deliberate pace, the killer lowered the axe and leaned in closer toward Carty.
With uncomfortable fear, Carty watched them get closer. "No..." she muttered.
The singer's gloved hand reached out and stroked Carty's golden hair.
To Carty's surprise, their touch wasn't rough but gentle. Even as the glove tinged Carty's hair with a redness that mirrored the red stains scattered across the singer's mask.
Determined, Carty reached out and pulled off the androgynous mask.
Carty's expression was hit by an unsettling wave of confusion. Somehow, the situation had gotten weirder. And scarier.
Underneath the mask was a human face. The face of a middle-aged black woman. A stern, masculine face with wide eyes and hollow cheekbones. Streaks of red dye in her short hair. Her rough features couldn't hide her natural beauty. Even given her athletic frame, she could've been an unorthodox model if she ever gave a damn about dolling herself up.
The killer looked just as surprised as Carty. Maybe other victims had wanted to see what she looked like before... but no one had ever lived long enough to actually unmask the singer.
"No," Carty said in a terrified whimper. Clutching the mask, she tried to pull her arm out of the busted step. But she was trapped. Trapped with a mysterious female killer.
The murderer leaned back and raised her axe. Her eyes stared down upon Carty. Eyes more expressionless than the mask.
All Carty could do was stare back at the killer. "Please," Carty said, frightened. "Don't do-"
With primal strength, the killer sunk the blade straight into the side of Carty's neck, slicing into her precious jugular. The force of the hit made Carty's head tilt to the side.
Upon impact, the back of Carty's head collapsed onto a step, busting through the ancient wood. Much like her entrapped arm, Carty's head dangled through the shattered opening.
Grisly threads of her flesh were exposed. Blood scurried all down her body. All the way down her arms and all the way down to the mask she still held in her dead grip.
The axe still stuck straight out of Carty's neck. The other side of the weapon had finally gotten its taste of Carty.
Recovering from the kills, the murderer leaned against the stairway's railing. She stole a brief admiring glance down at Carty's corpse. Carty was still pretty after all... even after death.
As she took off her gloves with routine indifference, the killer's soft voice drifted through the room. It was the pretty voice she had earlier. Before her singing went off the rails and morphed into a demented compulsion. "Eyes without a face, got no human grace," the murderer sang with the reserved shyness of an awkward teenager at a talent show.
Finishing the chorus, she wiped sweat off her brow. Her eyes gazed over at the camcorder's beaming light.
Intrigued, the killer approached the camera, stepping through the overflowing blood. She scooped up the camcorder in excitement and tinkered with it. Even a sly smile crossed her lips.
The murderer looked over at both dead bodies. The sexy lesbian couple. The killer almost regretted killing off the two hotties. Almost. Deep down, she knew she had to. She wanted those sweet kills.
Turning her attention back to the camera, the singer played back all the footage from earlier.
Her eyes were particularly drawn to one specific scene: Carty and Bonnie's steamy farmhouse sex. The killer traced her finger along the camera's screen, right over the couple's nubile bodies. Excitement shattered through the singer's shield of coldness.
Link To eBook
submitted by thehorrorwriter2 to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]


2020.06.24 18:34 emadbably Best wireless hidden camera

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2020.06.10 02:46 Wolflmg [USA][H] n3dsxl, 3ds/ds, wii/wiiu, switch, ps3/ps4, psvita, anime, comics, autographs, figures, much more [W] PayPal

Pictures upon request. If you prefer to swap head over to gameswap and my post with be there or message me and I can pm it to you. Majority of games will come with its case, unless otherwise noted. All games are adult owned. Any questions feel free to ask
Switch
Team Sonic Racing $27 plus shipping
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Lego Worlds $12 plus shipping
Lego Marvel $18 plus shipping
3DS games
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Spyro $5 plus shipping
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Trail Blazer $8 plus shipping
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2020.06.08 22:55 unknownhorrorwriter2 Idol Worship (Part 2/2)

Link To Part 1
Still filming, Bonnie staggered through the hallway. Her steps slow. Unlike Carty, her filmmaking skills were non-existent. The footage she was shooting would've been shaky-cam quality at best or nausea-inducing at worst. Bonnie's nervous excitement was getting the better of her.
The singing was now deafening, echoing through the farmhouse without the aid of a speaker.
Relying on the camera's light, Bonnie stopped in the middle of the hallway, searching the ominous landscape for any sign of the singer.
The singer's voice was harsher. Now not so much a song as it was a mumbled compulsion.
Bonnie listened closely. She could discern the words and could finally understand the lyrics.
Eyes without a face. Eyes without a face, got no human grace...
The singer repeated this same chorus in slow, agonizing fashion.
Bonnie remembered the song. A 1983 pop song. Eyes Without A Face. But it wasn't being sung with the clear, brooding tone of Billy Idol. It sounded like a harrowing soliloquy from someone in an asylum cell. Not an eloquent ballad courtesy of Idol. This was someone's serenade to alienation. And they wouldn't stop. Hell, maybe they couldn't stop.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
The singer wasn't even bothering to hold a tune at this point. Their bitter tone just had to keep repeating those words. Those safe words. Pop music for their sanity.
Eyes without a face...
Holding on tight to the camera, Bonnie waved it around the room. But she didn't see anything. All the while, the voice continued, seemingly taunting her.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Bonnie turned and looked down the narrow hallway. The front door was now shut. No way the singer was outside. "What the Hell..." Bonnie said to herself.
Reaching out of the darkness, Carty's hand snatched Bonnie's arm.
For once, Bonnie jumped in fear. "Shit!" she exclaimed as she faced Carty.
"It's just me," Carty said in a hushed tone. The fact that Bonnie was this jumpy destroyed Carty's hope that the singing was "just the wind" or some other lame excuse.
"Damn, girl, you scared the shit outta me!"
Eyes without a face...
Hearing the singer's unnerving cover of Eyes Without A Face, Carty's frantic eyes searched the room. "Where is he?" she asked Bonnie.
Bonnie broke away from her. "Shit, I don't know!"
Carty saw the closed front door. Faint hope struck her. They had a straight shot to escape.
Your eyes without a face...
The mysterious voice was more violent and hectic on this time around. Idol's lyrics now spouted in a wild burst. A burst that came from the staircase.
Carty turned and saw Bonnie rush toward those stairs. "Bonnie, no!" Carty yelled.
Hellbent on securing the footage, Bonnie held her camera out in front of her as she made her way to the staircase. Too determined to notice how shitty her handheld filmmaking was.
"Let's get the fuck outta here!" Carty yelled after Bonnie.
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Terrified, Carty ran toward the stairs. Toward Bonnie. She couldn't let the love of her life confront the eerie voice alone. "Bonnie!" she yelled.
Your eyes without a face...
Bonnie laid one foot on the first wooden step. A grueling creak erupted.
Carty grabbed Bonnie's arm, stopping her from going further. "Bonnie, please!" Carty pleaded.
Annoyed, Bonnie pulled her arm back. "Carty, just chill!"
Got no human grace. Your eyes without a face...
Both women listened in horror. The voice was louder than ever. And the couple now realized it was coming from beneath them.
Carty grabbed Bonnie's arm, ready to lead them off to the front door at around 100 miles per hour. "Let's go-"
The small door under the staircase burst open with great force.
Carty let out a horrified scream.
A masked person emerged from the closet beneath the staircase. A tall, slender figure. Their outfit couldn't mask what was undoubtedly evil intentions. They wore black leather gloves. A gray hooded bathrobe perfect for an occult ceremony. They made their way toward the uneasy couple.
A black paper-mâché mask with painted red streaks covered the mysterious person's face. But it couldn't hide their glowering eyes. The mask was homemade and looked faded with age. A paper-mâché recreation of a melancholy face. A face that wasn't overtly feminine or masculine. An androgynous Angel of death.
The figure's gloves tightened their grip on the handle of a double bit axe. Both ends of the vicious weapon were clean and pristine. Sharp as Hell as well.
The masked person didn't say a word or sing the Idol lyrics as they marched toward the scared Carty and Bonnie.
A horrifying realization became clear to both women: they were this singer's target all along.
Trying to play tough, Bonnie pulled Carty up on the stairs with her. "What the fuck is this!" she yelled at the figure.
Bonnie aimed the camera right at the figure.
The singer stopped a few feet away from them. They stood tall and strong, basking in the camera's glorious light.
Carty stared at the singer, petrified in fear.
"Leave us alone, asshole!" Bonnie yelled.
The singer just looked at them with those unflinching eyes.
Carty couldn't tell if the masked intruder was either studying them or challenging the couple to make the first move. Even hidden behind a robe and mask, the figure seemed too confident, Carty thought. They weren't scared like us.
"Well, what the fuck you gonna do, huh!" Bonnie hurled at the singer. "You little bitch!"
Carty looked between Bonnie and the figure, hesitant on what to do. Maybe Bonnie was being too antagonistic, but Carty had seen Bonnie's tough-butch routine work plenty of times. If there was one thing Carty was confident in, it was that Bonnie could back up that mouth.
"Yeah, you're just a pussy!" Bonnie continued to the singer. Taunting the figure, she stepped off the stairs and walked toward them. "I got your bitchass on camera now!"
To Carty's surprise, both the figure and Bonnie were the same height. Close to the same build. Minus the axe, this’d be a fair fight.
"We already called the cops," Bonnie shouted at the figure. She put the camera up toward the androgynous mask. "We got your ass too! Fucking stalker bitch!"
The masked figure's gloved hands gripped the handle tighter. Their muscles flexed through the robe. The singer belied their uneven voice with real brute strength. Any more pressure in their grip, and the wooden handle would've probably snapped in two.
Uncomfortable, Carty watched the confrontation unfold. The figure's rage seemed to accelerate with each one of Bonnie's insults.
Bonnie gave the figure a harsh shove. "Get outta the way, bitch!" Bonnie yelled.
But the singer didn't budge at all. They stood tall. Their broad shoulders were only the beginning of a sculpted frame.
Carty reached into her pocket. She felt her phone. All she needed was the perfect time pull that baby out and dial the cops. Even if she was hesitant to do so considering her and Bonnie's modest criminal record.
Ready to fight back, Bonnie raised the flashlight up toward that fucking mask. "You stupid bitch-"
In a quick and sudden movement, the singer's gloved hand snatched Bonnie's wrist.
"Bonnie!" Carty said in horror.
Bonnie tried to break free but didn't have a chance. The figure's grip was harsh and stronger than Bonnie expected. During the struggle, Bonnie dropped the camera.
It hit the ground and slid over by the first step, the camera's red record light still on. The lens pointed right at the stairway, putting the spotlight now on the frightened Carty.
Bonnie turned and looked toward Carty. "Carty, run!" she yelled.
Leaving her phone in her pocket, Carty rushed toward them. Saving her lover was more important than calling a bunch of bumpkin-fuck police officers.
Using her free hand, Bonnie tried to swing on the figure, but the blows didn't bother them in the slightest. Instead, their stoic mask just looked straight at Bonnie. No anger on the androgynous face. Just nothingness.
"Bonnie!" Carty yelled. She tried to pull Bonnie away from the clutches of the singer.
"No, go!" Bonnie screamed. She pushed Carty toward the front door. "Get out!"
"I ain't leaving you!" Carty proclaimed. Channeling her inner Bonnie, Carty raised the wireless mic like a weapon.
Acting quick, the singer threw Bonnie back against the staircase.
Bonnie tripped on the first step and busted her ass on the uncomfortable stairs. All the steps caved in slightly beneath her weight.
The singer turned and honed their gaze on Carty.
"Run, Carty!" Bonnie pleaded.
Advancing upon Carty, the figure raised the axe with the flourish of a knight unsheathing a long sword.
Overcome in fear, Carty held on to the mic and backed against a wall. The eerie mask quashed her newfound "bravery."
"Carty!" Bonnie yelled. Cringing in pain, she leaned up on the staircase. "Carty, run!"
The singer held their weapon out and traced both blades against Carty's fragile face.
"No!" Bonnie cried out. She staggered back to her feet.
Disturbed, Carty swung the mic toward the mask in a pathetic attempt at protecting herself. "Get back!" she said in a loud whimper.
With unnerving agility, the figure dodged the mic. They hoisted the axe back for the fatal blow.
"Oh God..." Carty said, helpless. She pressed her head against the wall, wishing she could dissolve into it before suffering at the hands of the double bit axe.
Bonnie rushed toward them. "Carty!" she cried.
The singer brought the axe down in a forceful swing.
Carty shut her eyes, bracing for the vicious hit.
A messy THWACK erupted in the farmhouse.
Thick drops sprayed across the floor.
Realizing she was still alive, Carty opened her eyes in confusion. Then she screamed in a bellow of distraught horror.
The axe protruded out the top of Bonnie's skull. Bonnie had gotten in front of the weapon just in time. Just in time to save Carty.
Bonnie stood still… The sheer force of the hit froze her in place. Blood flowed all down her face and body. Bonnie a fountain of flowing red water.
Weeping, Carty looked down at her hands. Another helpless scream escaped her lips. Gallons of Bonnie's blood had splattered across Carty's smooth skin.
The crimson spots resembled an incurable disease. Then again, it was. Bonnie was dead. And Carty was next.
The helplessness only further set in for Carty once the masked killer yanked the axe back out without so much as a grunt.
The effortless pull sent more of Bonnie's blood spraying across Carty's mortified face.
Bonnie's corpse tumbled to the ground. The vivid wound had split the top of her head open. Her blood and gray matter spewed out in a spilled bowl of fleshy fruit. Bonnie's face forever frozen in fear, her dead eyes looking straight at Carty.
Horrified, Carty stared at her deceased girlfriend. This wasn't the Bonnie she wanted to remember. This wasn't the sexy, confident Bonnie she'd fallen in love with. This was a slaughtered corpse.
A flurry of quick whacks from the figure's axe ravaged those final moments between Carty and Bonnie. Unstoppable, the singer swung the axe straight down onto Bonnie's face, smashing it into a hundred red pieces.
Tears falling down her face, Carty screamed. "Bonnie! No!"
The masked intruder heaved the axe back. The axe's cleanliness was now marred by thick, wet blood. Both sides of the weapon for that matter.
Quicker than a lion on the prowl, the killer turned and faced Carty. Blood and grue was all over their mask. At least now, the androgynous mask had some literal color.
But their cold eyes chilled Carty to the bone. And the killer didn't seem exhausted in the slightest. They were just getting started.
Carty knew there was nothing else she could do. She hauled ass for the front door.
The singer lunged right in front of her, blocking Carty's path.
Panicking, Carty took a few nervous steps back. "No!" she yelled at the singer. "Fuck you!"
The killer matched her every step, even matching Carty's speed. The gap never closed between them, but to Carty, the mask and axe only seemed to get closer.
"Fuck you!" Carty screamed. She swung the wireless mic at the androgynous mask.
Taunting Carty, the killer dodged her swing with lackadaisical ease.
"You crazy bitch!" Carty screamed at the singer.
In an eruption of madness, the murderer raised the axe and went charging after Carty.
"No!" Carty shouted. Lowering the mic, she turned and ran toward the staircase.
Her feet splashed through her lover's blood. Hearing the singer's heavy footsteps, Carty turned and saw them gaining ground. Goddamn, he was fast!
Carty reached the stairs. With the joy of a runner completing a marathon, she put her foot on that first step in triumph. A shrill creak greeted her ears.
Right behind Carty, the killer lunged forward and swung the axe with all their might.
A nasty slice to the Achilles tendon dashed both Carty's hope at escape. She screamed in a most horrific agony as she fell onto the flight of stairs.
Slipping from Carty's grasp, the mic went flying through the air and smashed into the wall in front of her.
Helpless, Carty looked at her wound. The cut on the Achilles was rough and brutal. The mark of the axe's blade wasn't clean in the slightest.
Blood shot out of Carty's Achilles in thick spurts. A grisly sprinkler. Carty couldn't bear to look at the wound... and looking back at the hallway only meant having to see Bonnie's mutilated body once more.
Carty grabbed the cut in a pitiful attempt to stop the bleeding. Instead, all she got was a firsthand feel of a dam bursting with her own blood.
She looked over and saw the murderer step right toward her. Their axe only looked to be clamoring for more of Carty. The other side of the double bit weapon felt left out of the Achilles slash…
Overwhelmed in fear, Carty turned and tried to stand up, but the attempt only stretched her heel's hack to even greater depths. The window of the wound spread even wider, exposing bloodied muscle within her skin.
"Ah, fuck!" Carty unleashed in an awful scream.
She watched the killer stand up over her. "No!" Carty yelled. She attempted to crawl away, the damaged Achilles making Carty resemble an animal struggling to escape with a trap enclosed around its leg. Straining, she laid an elbow on the next step.
The wooden step collapsed under Carty's weight. She yelled as her arm disappeared through the busted wood. "Fuck!" Carty cried out, weary helplessness in her tone.
Sitting further away, Bonnie's camcorder filmed Carty's agony in all its visceral glory.
Taunting Carty, the killer put the axe to Carty's face.
An exhausted Carty looked on at the blood-stained mask. Its indiscernible features never failed to terrify her. The mask was somewhere between the world's creepiest mannequin and the face of a stoic high school psychopath.
"Why?" Carty asked the singer in defeat. She struggled to fight back her tears. "Why are you doing this?"
At a deliberate pace, the killer lowered the axe and leaned in closer toward Carty.
With uncomfortable fear, Carty watched them get closer. "No..." she muttered.
The singer's gloved hand reached out and stroked Carty's golden hair.
To Carty's surprise, their touch wasn't rough but gentle. Even as the glove tinged Carty's hair with a redness that mirrored the red stains scattered across the singer's mask.
Determined, Carty reached out and pulled off the androgynous mask.
Carty's expression was hit by an unsettling wave of confusion. Somehow, the situation had gotten weirder. And scarier.
Underneath the mask was a human face. The face of a middle-aged black woman. A stern, masculine face with wide eyes and hollow cheekbones. Streaks of red dye in her short hair. Her rough features couldn't hide her natural beauty. Even given her athletic frame, she could've been an unorthodox model if she ever gave a damn about dolling herself up.
The killer looked just as surprised as Carty. Maybe other victims had wanted to see what she looked like before... but no one had ever lived long enough to actually unmask the singer.
"No," Carty said in a terrified whimper. Clutching the mask, she tried to pull her arm out of the busted step. But she was trapped. Trapped with a mysterious female killer.
The murderer leaned back and raised her axe. Her eyes stared down upon Carty. Eyes more expressionless than the mask.
All Carty could do was stare back at the killer. "Please," Carty said, frightened. "Don't do-"
With primal strength, the killer sunk the blade straight into the side of Carty's neck, slicing into her precious jugular. The force of the hit made Carty's head tilt to the side.
Upon impact, the back of Carty's head collapsed onto a step, busting through the ancient wood. Much like her entrapped arm, Carty's head dangled through the shattered opening.
Grisly threads of her flesh were exposed. Blood scurried all down her body. All the way down her arms and all the way down to the mask she still held in her dead grip.
The axe still stuck straight out of Carty's neck. The other side of the weapon had finally gotten its taste of Carty.
Recovering from the kills, the murderer leaned against the stairway's railing. She stole a brief admiring glance down at Carty's corpse. Carty was still pretty after all... even after death.
As she took off her gloves with routine indifference, the killer's soft voice drifted through the room. It was the pretty voice she had earlier. Before her singing went off the rails and morphed into a demented compulsion. "Eyes without a face, got no human grace," the murderer sang with the reserved shyness of an awkward teenager at a talent show.
Finishing the chorus, she wiped sweat off her brow. Her eyes gazed over at the camcorder's beaming light.
Intrigued, the killer approached the camera, stepping through the overflowing blood. She scooped up the camcorder in excitement and tinkered with it. Even a sly smile crossed her lips.
The murderer looked over at both dead bodies. The sexy lesbian couple. The killer almost regretted killing off the two hotties. Almost. Deep down, she knew she had to. She wanted those sweet kills.
Turning her attention back to the camera, the singer played back all the footage from earlier.
Her eyes were particularly drawn to one specific scene: Carty and Bonnie's steamy farmhouse sex. The killer traced her finger along the camera's screen, right over the couple's nubile bodies. Excitement shattered through the singer's shield of coldness.
Link To eBook
submitted by unknownhorrorwriter2 to SignalHorrorFiction [link] [comments]