2022.01.22 16:52 apostle-jesus Please! Send me ANYTHING 😩😩 I’m so horny and I want MORE!
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2022.01.22 16:52 Mervin-Blein Coming into Land
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2022.01.22 16:52 Super_Share_8721 To The Trillions Of Dollars Stolen From The Average American Worker….
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2022.01.22 16:52 cbbBot [Post Game Thread] George Washington defeats Rhode Island, 63-61
2022.01.22 16:52 taylorrr12 Fresh current gen xbox1 league couple good teams still open
2022.01.22 16:52 LeftOn4ya TheBrothersMurph - Thunder Road: Vendetta! Get ready for some MAYHEM!! (Twitch)
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2022.01.22 16:52 Additional-Highway84 Dad’s birthday is tomorrow.
Tomorrow is my Dad’s first birthday since he passed in June. I thought I was getting better. I was finally able to get rid of some clothing. But his birthday is hitting me hard. I can’t stop thinking about him and I feel sad all day. I almost want to just go back to sleep because it’s the only time I’m not sad. Anyway, I know I’ll get through it. I just needed to vent somewhere. Thanks for listening!
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2022.01.22 16:52 ECFungusSupply Gourmet Cultivation Supplies! Our Website is Live!
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2022.01.22 16:52 MyBigHugeCock Seriously. I love it for reals.
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2022.01.22 16:52 ShallowFreakingValue They outjerked us
2022.01.22 16:52 Flaky_Watch What are the pros and cons of living in Florida?
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2022.01.22 16:52 WastedTalent442 Saturday Synthwave Station
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2022.01.22 16:52 ChiefCozE Concerned about that top left corner
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2022.01.22 16:52 IconoclasticEye [FN] The Light of the Second Star (A Short Story Inspired by Worm from Last Semester)
The streets were cold, dark, and cracked as he dragged his feet across them. He was thankful, walking through the ruins of Detroit, that he had shoes. Without the soles of even a sneaker, a survivor is left to slap their flesh into the wet, grimy asphalt. That sort of thing leads to infection, and infection drags you towards death. He heard movement, pressed himself to the nearest building, and flattened his hands, before letting one move around the corner. Pellets, arranged in a hive-like shape were beginning to materialize in front of his palm before blasting from their resting place, quietly towards a fence.
Eighty years ago, people started developing superpowers. At first, the world just started to be like an adult version of Cops and Robbers; everyone had reason for greater hope and fear than they did before. Humanity was almost better for it. Twenty years ago, a massive electromagnetic pulse wiped most technology down to a blank state. Nuclear power plants went into meltdown across the world, satellites dropped, and the human race was pushed to the brink. At the same time, a massive shockwave rippled out from somewhere in the Far East. Japan, most of Mainland China and Siberia were flattened. Tidal waves crashed into the Pacific Coast, washed over Oceania and South Asia. Most of the people left were the people built to survive something like that: the Powered that the mundane had been saved by before.
Damien was tall, wrapped in deep ochre skin with olive undertones, the cold of the North and the sweeping wind of the great lakes flushed his skin with red, diluting the color like blood on gold. His head was blanketed with loose coiling hair, tied tightly behind his head so it was harder to take hold of, and he held his sharpened square face with the pride of warriors long gone. His father ran a group of powered, out of the East Side of Detroit. A gang from Chicago, the Ascended, for the last few months, had been pushing into Southwest Detroit, and they had already set up ramshackle defenses in Corktown. They were upset about the Legion in Detroit *“allowing”* the unpowered to survive, and work with them. The Ascended viewed this as a new beginning for humanity, a chance to have a true Nietzschean race of ubermensch; and because of this, the idea that Damien’s father was willing to live and work with the unpowered was heretical in nature.
So they killed him.
Damien’s power ripped through the chained up fence, allowing him access. There was a group down the alley, and Damien began his approach. The man Damien was behind was puffy, as though his muscle mass had grown and deteriorated repeatedly. He was smoking some herbal mixture rolled in a cigarette paper, passing it between him and a group of three other men and women, all of whom had hollowed faces, and dark circles around their eyes. One had the same puffy look, although the man and woman on the right side of the group had a gross musculature, herculean in nature. They nodded towards Damien and the group turned its eyes towards him.
“Who’re you supposed to be?” The man in front of Damien had a similarly gaunt face, wide eyes and twitchy hands.
“Just passing through. Trying to get the hell out of here, you know?” Damien replied nervously.
“Yeah, we understand, think you could spare us anything to help us get out?” The blonde, muscular woman steps towards him.
“I don’t got much,” Damien took a step back.
“You don’t got a gun? Bullets? A knife?” One of the puffy men dropped the cigarette, he was shorter than the man right in front of Damien, and stepped next to his taller friend.
“Never had access, but when the boss died, I knew Archangel’s crew would come butcher up any of us without a power, so I left.” Damien glanced between the four people. They had stopped approaching.
They looked between each other and chuckled. “You’re with those lightweights on the East Side?” The woman barked jokingly. “You need tweaks or something while you’re on your way.”
“Nah, I don’t need any of that shit, just wanna pass on through. Maybe head towards Columbus, there could still be some Staties out east,” Damien lied, tongue pressed to his teeth.
The grotesque statue of a man chuckled as he leaned against the brick wall that structured part of the alley. “The Staties shoulda gave up decades ago. Government did anyway, never protected us from fuckin’ capes anyway.”
The woman chimed in, “They let it get so bad someone made this mess, ruined the entire damn world. Should have started killing the little demons when they got powers anyway.”
The mundane hated the Powered. They had every right too, it’s one thing to walk among giants, it’s another to have those giants walk among you. Villains used to maim and rob with little discriminance, Heroes had collateral damage insurance, the government had little it could do to handle the situation. Everyone had a popular theory about how the apocalypse came about, and a vast majority of the mundane left in the world agree:
Somebody got their power, and it was just a little too much for a person to handle. Someone ended the world, maybe even by accident.
Damien cracked under pressure, he hadn’t yet been exposed to fire like this, and it was a hell of a starting trial. Just as his composure did, he broke into a full sprint past them.
“Fucking grab him!” The taller puffy man yelled.
“What’re you scared for kid, you’re not one of ‘em right?” The woman called after him. Damien got a few blocks down and ducked into a building. He heard them shouting after him.
Dammit. Dammit. Damien was breathing heavily as he peered up over the window sill to watch for his would-be attackers. Couldn’t just keep my cool could I. Some of the weaker willed mundane turned out poorly after armageddon. Occasionally turning to performance enhancers and stimulants to feel as though they could compete with the Powered of the Wasteland. Truth be told, most Powered are just as easy to kill as the mundane. The ones that aren’t usually let you know pretty quick.
Damien watched the group as they began to walk down what he could see of the street. They shoved and argued with each other, blame pushed like various dishes at a feast. Damien waited, unwilling to attack. His power had left hunted deer without mountable heads, and the Legion attempted to instill in its ranks that powers ought not be used against the unpowered, unless entirely non-lethally. Damien looked at the streetlamps, barely standing up on their own along the sidewalks.
He stepped outside and behind the group and called out. “Look, I really don’t see why we have to do this.”
The group looked him down, puzzled. “We’re hungry too,” The shorter puffy man responded as the group closed the distance slowly.
“I don’t wanna hurt no one. Can we leave it there?” Damien’s heart was sinking into his stomach.
“Give us the bag then.” The woman looked him up and down.
Damien lifted his right arm and pointed it at a street lamp, firing a blast off while only glancing towards it to keep his eyes on the group. The round metallic objects hit the tarnished pole and shredded it like paper, knocking the top half of the lamp into one of the roofs. The five watched it clang to the ground, Damien tensing as he looked back at the group after.
They looked at the house. The woman spoke up. “Get lost. Wherever the hell you go, stay far away from here.” The rest of the group looked at her in frustrated understanding. Damien hesitantly turned down another road, looking to put distance between them before he started back west.
Ann Arbor was a place that no one in the Legion walked through. After the first few times of folks trying to make contact, they realized that the people they sent weren’t ever going to come back. There’s a reason the Ascended came from the South, and it’s Ann Arbor.
Damien had become a fly in a web, before he even realized it. As he had passed the Sunoco on Interstate 12, a route he was taking to avoid directly passing through the city just north of him, he heard the compounded movement from both of his flanks. Turning, almost 12 people, dressed in normal clothing, without weaponry began screaming at him. His mind went blank, they all moved towards him in a harmonious sprint. Damien watched the robotic, mechanical movement of their bodies as he ran towards the Sam’s Club away from them. He sprinted past the group, he was terrified, knowing full well he couldn’t keep up with more than a few of them. He fired a shot of his power at a car and the alarm sounded, the group was unmoved by the noise. He looked towards the Sunoco and fired a blast at the gas pumps.
It was enough. Damien didn’t understand the mechanics of powers, how they applied to physics, but it was enough; the tank blew entirely, throwing them back and setting off several car alarms from the shockwave. He saw several of them rolling on the concrete, rocking in a prone position. He approached a man, no older than thirty, who was close to the tank. He looked blank, and as Damien put a hand to his neck to feel for a pulse the man grabbed his wrist.
Damien instinctively punched the man, and reeled backwards. The rest of them were starting to come to their senses. He turned around and began a full sprint away from the ambushers. Something felt wrong, a screaming piece of him wanted him to turn around, whether he would be attacked again or not.
He continued up the ground beside Interstate 23, traveling into Ann Arbor, staring behind him to make sure none of them got back up. They may not look Ascended, but he couldn’t be sure, he didn’t see any use a power.
Moving west through Turnberry Park, he felt the pang of perturbation. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be here, and fought every urge in his body to run away. He had felt powers like this, the kind that make someone harder to find. He recalled the nursery rhyme his father had given him to remember the archetypes.
Bruisers and Breakers,
Blaster and Thinker,
Trump and Stranger.
A Stranger’s power is what made them difficult to combat. A child no older than six had fallen and been stared at, and suddenly no one noticed him anymore. It took sincere mental strain to realize he was there, let alone to hold a conversation with him. He was alone, crying out for the attention previously unwanted. There was no solace in others for him anymore, only the cruel reminder that the feelings of a child are often punished.
Damien had seen a school in the distance, and walked towards it, the path was clear, there wasn’t a soul to speak of, empty blocks that could echo for hours through the small city. None of the people he had seen had followed him, but the effect got stronger as looked at the schoolhouse, telling him to leave. He knew what was there. The Stranger inside could be an Ascended. Could tell him how to find Archangel. How to strip the blood from his father’s name.
Damien continued towards the school, his body would clench occasionally, leaving him to over power it just to take another step. He watched the children inside moving in lock step down the hall, into a class as he entered. He wandered, crouched, and watched several classes taught to children through inner windows. Some looked devoid, others looked straight ahead towards the teachers, who moved robotically, their jaws opening and closing like puppets as they tapped the chalkboard with meter sticks.
Upon turning down the hall, he was greeted by two more adults. They looked stern, but their eyes were entirely void. “Do you have a hall pass?” The first one chattered out, teeth clanking.
“... This school has been abandoned. Probably for decades, you feeling alright, up here?” Damien tapped the side of his head. What the hell is going on here?
Their faces warped into scowls. “Insolent child, We ought to take you to the office, right now.” The second stated, blankly.
Damien looked at them both, puzzled. They seemed like bad actors, unable to play a part. As they reached to grab his hand and pull him along, he struck the first in the jaw. The second turned to grab him, and he shoved her down. Damien broke into a sprint down the hall, where he saw more monitors seeming to come for the disturbance. Another walked towards him with the original pair.
“No running in the hallways.” He said.
Damien readied his fists, thinking to himself ‘It’s just like sparring, just hit harder’. He couldn’t reasonably calm himself down, knowing he had chosen to embroil himself in danger. He threw a jab at the second Monitor. She had reacted to it like it was a choreographed stage fight this time, weaving to the right as she grabbed his hand. The first Monitor grabbed his left arm at the shoulder and elbow, wrenching it backwards. He felt acutely what it was like to be powerless.
The third Monitor had several meter sticks taped together. He reared his shoulder back, and swung. Damien’s vision went black, as he felt his brain rattle in his skull.
When Damien woke up, he was exactly where he was told he’d end up. His hands were bound in front of him, and he looked around the candlelit office. As he stood up, he was quickly greeted by a man in a suit, who wouldn’t come too close. The man was tall, of average build and middle aged; his hair was greying in some areas and was crew cut above his eyebrows. His eyes pierced through the air around him like bright flashes of lightning, when you could retain the will power to want to focus on him, they drew you away from the rest of his features. He was simply a tall, gaunt man with bright eyes and grey hair; the polished ivory quilt the man called his skin was flushed like it was bleeding from underneath. Damien couldn’t discern much more, he was unwilling to.
“Hello, Damien.” The man spoke calmly. He was all too used to this situation.
“How in the fuck do you know my name?” Damien’s fear had shown through his anger. Either way he knew the answer: Thinker. Stranger. Master.
“I know the names of all my prospective students. Anyone who wishes to enroll has to go through the process,” He avoided mentioning the many other inhabitants of Ann Arbor.
“I’m a little old for elementary school, don’t you think?” He resorted to a lens of humor, trying to remain present.
“You’d be a lovely teacher’s aide.”
Damien narrowed his eyes, he had been led to the Principal’s Office through their conversation, all the while, struggling against his bindings. Damien had been captured, a mixture of anger and fear were throwing each other about in his mind. Even in the Legion compound, life could never be this clean cut.
“So is this how you get your kicks? Pretend you're running the only school– hell the only functional place– in the world left?” Damien’s face contorted into desperate rage.
“You wouldn’t want to be rejected from this opportunity, would you, Damien?” He felt trusted, powerful; as he knew Damien’s attention was on him.
Damien was struggling to only focus on his words, “You don’t take all applicants? So what do you do with the kids you don’t think will fit in, you sick fuck?” What about all the kids who graduate? He failed. Does he put them outside?
The Principal slammed his hands on the desk between them. “Enough!” Damien flinched despite his lack of surprise. The powers this man possessed screamed a hatred for lack of control.
“Push a button did I? No wonder you have to keep all these people around you by force, I wouldn’t want to be around a grimy little control freak like you either,” Damien felt like he was going to die, his wrists beginning to raw from grinding together. This was all he had, and he pushed his right hand through the binding.
The Principal looked down, and saw Damien’s hand had slid forward enough to open his palm. He dove over the table, but by the time his finger touched Damien, it was too late. Damien felt The Principal’s mind surge through his own, in momentary bliss he realized the vision those under his control had seen. An opioid-induced fever dream. A real school. Things Damien had never known. The Principal brought them back to Eden.
Damien had struck him in the shoulder. The man crumpled to the floor, groaning from the attack rending his shoulder. Damien tried not to look at him, recognizing the pathetic aspirations of a man who couldn’t understand the world he knew was gone.
Damien left the office and walked out into a scattered crowd of children confused and crying, concerned; a few remained blank, looking past the scene in front of them in the same way the adults of the wasteland did. The ones who never had his power affect them. A few tall heads poking in the crowd were headed towards an exit, some had begun to speak to the children, though most were uncaring of those they left behind. When one tugged his sleeve, he crouched down.
“Hey. I’ve got to go, but I think there’s a few people in here who could help out.” Damien looked at some of the other adults. A few had children latch on to them, some on their backs; probably parents who could recognize the mass of scared children. Damien stood back up fully, and begrudgingly left.
He walked out and watched as the uncaring adults separated, they had no concern for each other, and Damien wanted to believe he didn’t have any for them either. He wondered about the world his father had seen, a world with heroes, and questioned if this is how they felt, knowing their thanks was seen as part of the job. Part of surviving. He could have survived easier if he never walked into that school.
It had been about two days since he left Ann Arbor, and less than three since he left Detroit. As Damien was crossing the Mud Lake Bog between Buchanan and Galien, he felt exhaustion setting in. He only stole more than enough provisions before leaving, and he was on about three and a half meals a day. It takes a little less than four days to hike to Chicago from Detroit, when you add in sleep, it’s closer to five, and he’d eaten half his stock by now. He was unkempt, unclean, and uncomfortable. For apocalypse living, he thought, I had it easy before.
A sharp screech brought him back to attention, as something had tackled him. He’d been mounted and pinned by a humanoid creature; it was covered in some sort of black scales, and had long talons in place of its hands, dripping an iridescent black substance.
It shrieked triumphantly with its prey under it, until thrown off. Damien flourished his arm, but by the time he had sent a shot, it was back in the trees. What the fuck?
Damien narrowed his eyes, and furrowed his brow as he scanned the nature around him. It’s intelligent. That’s a Powered, Jesus Christ, who knows what’s going on in that thing's head.
“Some of the Powered are… off, when they trigger. Some can’t handle it, it changes them physically, mentally. They become animalistic and the ability doesn’t form like it’s supposed to. It warps them into a danger. To them. To their family.” A shot rings out. Damien flinches as his father shoots one of the boys he trains with. For just a moment, as his father continues, a surge rushes through Damien, and he triggers.
He collapses to the floor in a heap, and his father rushes to his side, comforting him, the fresh blood transferring onto his son’s skin. Concern flushes the man’s face, though previously callous in his euthanization. A rabid dog is put down for the good of the pack.
Damien feels the weight of the wooden walkway he stands on shift, as the Creature lands behind him, slashing his back. The oil seeps into the wound, and Damien feels himself tense up, as he begins feeling woozy. This is fucking venom, he frailly thought, sticking out his arm again shakily at the Creature. It shrieked, quickly moving before the shot left Damien’s palm. Fuck this. Damien began to stumble and rush forward along the bridge, unsure if he was even still going the same direction.
The Creature saw nothing but an intruder in it’s hunting grounds, and as such, it saw prey. Damien’s saunter-sprint told the Creature he was wounded, and most importantly, afraid. He couldn’t keep fighting. It landed in front of him, and as Damien stumbled and fell forward, he fired off another shot, striking the Creature in the right hip. He stumbled towards it. It was shrieking, panting heavily and flailing. He’d done a number to it’s vitals, and as he stuck his arm out, he hesitated; remembering the morning before his trigger.
As he approached Michael’s home, walking through the camp felt as though it were a fun game. The fences, the patrols, the children, the apocalypse was just a big game of pretend. He knocked on the war wounded door, gouges and divets in the wood almost withered and smoothed away again. There was no answer, until the door was kicked down from the inside, Damien caught under and struggling to get out. He watched as his friend sprinted out of the doorway, into the street. Super-capabilities were a very common set of powers, and his friend had developed the basics.
He ripped a man open like a paper-mache.
This Creature was probably supposed to be a Shifter. It swiped towards Damien, crawling at him like a wounded animal. He backed away and struggled for a moment, and as the Creature gasped, he let it release the breath, relieved from whatever hell the man was in. The deliriant’s effect had since peaked and begun to dissolve slowly. Damien threw up into the bog off the side of the bridge. He hadn’t killed anyone. He had barely fought most things. His father’s execution of Michael only looked darker and colder in his memory. His father didn’t share his remorse. Damien never meant to. He never wanted to. He had forgotten who he was here to avenge. What revenge meant. His jumbled thoughts spiraled in and out of control, as he sat next to the man’s body. He shut the body’s eyes.
He wished he had closed Michael’s.
Damien had only been back on his feet since the morning, and had struggled to rise. He left the man he had killed behind; unsure of what a proper burial looked like in a bog. The thought weighed on him as his thoughts quarreled over the humanity left in the man, whether or not it was no different from killing a bear. Slippery slopes are more than a fallacy, as sometimes a slope is slippery, even if we’d like to imagine otherwise. A callous disregard for one life becomes a callous disregard for another, and eventually your own.
Powered can become consumed by what they do, believing that it is what they are; allowing their trauma to wash over them, and sweep them with it.
“Damien. I know it’s sudden, but I need you to listen to me. You’re old now, and those aren’t just little ball bearings anymore. Those are bullets. You could hurt someone.” Damien’s father was a regal looking man, his skin an umber-bronze suit of armor, embedded with sapphire and silver undertones; His eyes were dark holes, the pupil almost inseparable from the iris, a window to the soul that seemed far more open than others. “When I was younger,” the man leaned back into the sofa next to his son. “A lot of Powered ran around. People got scared sometimes when your kid turned into one. A person, they have a bad day and they might punch a hole in a wall. A Powered could have a bad day and end up with a body count in the double digits.”
Damien looked at his father, longing for a continued explanation, an answer, anything to explain what he could do; why he wanted to use his power so often, why it seemed so effortless to go hunting with the older boys.
“You have to learn your own responsibilities, Damien. You’re always going to want to use it,” the man looked around as candles were snuffed out around the room. Books were disturbed from the shelf and shook gently as the man used his ability, distorting the air in the room. “You need to use it carefully. Precisely. With caution.”
As Damien shuffled through New Buffalo, he heard chortling, and local gulls or geese crying at each other. He felt an absence of nostalgia looking towards the old carnival rides on the lakefront. He finally saw her, just barely able to look at her details against the merry-go-round.
She was in a grimy yellow denim overall-skirt, and stained white polka dot patterns on the t-shirt under and her stockings. Her face was a smeared corpse white, a few tones lighter than the rest of her organic costume, her nose covered by a red and brown encrusted ball, her grey eyes framed by the discordant red and yellow diamonds growing away from them. Muddied ruby red flats adorned her feet, matching her short curly bob.
Damien gawked at the clown, consumed by the raw primal fear humans are entranced by when they see something so out of place. This was worse than the Stranger effect he’d been exposed to days prior. She began to walk towards him, honking her nose and barely containing giggles. Damien took a step backwards and started to lift his arm. Her leg grew to the size of a full bear, in a matter of moments and she had taken a few larger steps towards him. She began cackling as he dropped his arm, moving towards him with increasing pace.
Damien felt dread building in him, unsure of what this was. He knew what a clown was, to an extent, but had never felt quite horrified by the idea of them. He snapped his arm up and fired at her. Her left shoulder shrunk instantly as he did, the shot missing it’s mark. Her laughter grew as she began to draw the knife from her skirt pocket.
She broke into a full sprint as Damien fired another shot, her legs spacing like a picnic table to avoid the projectiles. She was far out of arm's reach, and so hers grew the extra few feet to swipe at him. He backpedaled, still feeling the tip of the kitchen knife tear the fabric of his clothing and the warm body beneath. He had no time to look, firing a shot wider than his hand to try and land something. Her leg shriveled up to evade, but her foot hung into the blast.
As her leg contorted to a normal size, she yelped. Her eyes began to well up with tears, and she sprinted at him again, obnoxiously long strides tapping the concrete. Damien dove out of the way this time, landing onto his right shoulder blade, and rolling to his feet. The adrenaline was getting him through his general state, and that’s all that mattered for the moment.
“What the fuck is wrong with you!” Damien threw the words at her rhetorically. He knew the response wasn’t coming. Her power consumed her, long after her trigger, there wasn’t enough of her left to talk to him. Trapped in a state driven only by her power; the lucidity she had was nearly nonexistent. He wouldn’t be surprised if she triggered because of a clown herself.
She was just a watcher in the window now.
The Clown thrusted at him, her arm spiraling at him like pasta, and she gouged his shoulder blade. He fell to the ground, quickly backing up in a half-crab walk, right arm extended. He fired towards her right arm this time, and her body curved out of the way, warping to avoid the blast. She snapped down at him with the knife, elbow moving hydraulically to attack. He rolled away from the arm and used his momentum to swing upward and sprint towards her, tackling her to the floor and pinning her under his knees as the knife flung across the street. She attempted to writhe her way out by shrinking and growing, and Damien pulled his arm back to punch her. He hesitated for a moment as he considered. He looked remorsefully at the struggling woman.
He extended his arm, flattened his hand, and closed his eyes.
Neither of them had to watch anymore.
Damien had managed to drag himself across state lines into Michigan City; finally walking through the corner of Indiana. He was far more than worse for wear, the average eye could easily discern his shuffling, bent shape. The City wasn’t too much larger than New Buffalo had been, though it was in a similar state to Damien. Disheveled, broken, beyond repair. Something about the buildings had caught his eye.
The normal cement, the brick wood and stone that made up the outer walls of buildings had been replaced. He walked up to the wall, the bumps of texture remained, though it was slick and shiny; pink and red fibers had grown in place of the material, white streaks among the new structure.
An eye opened on the wall, staring at Damien. This was flesh. The building was made organic. A mouth groaned at Damien from below him, fingers began twitching their way out of the wall. He shrieked and stumbled back, confusion and terror ripping through his mind. What the hell even is that?
The fleshy wall began to recede as someone made their presence known. “You took that rather well.” A tall, dark haired woman in a long coat came into view. She had a full face, he looked constantly rattled, eyes moving all around to search, not unlike a chameleon. She was round in her face, with softer features that gave a warm familial presence. She had a rather rectangular shape, standing upright with uneasy confidence. Her skin was the shiny white of snow, and she was almost elven in appearance.
He looked at her, aghast. “What was that? Why the hell did you do that?”
She gave a slight huff, “I don’t always notice I’m doing it, if I’m honest.”
A Quaker, Damien changed his tune and looked at the woman. “You seemed like you noticed pretty well, were you just scaring me for shits and giggles?”
“You’d notice too if somebody shrieked outside and when you glance up the entire wall looks like a ribeye.”
Damien was at a loss, he stood and dusted himself off, then looked at the woman with hesitance. “So, you gonna let me go through here, or…”
“Nothing’s stopping you, there’s a few people here, but we’re all just trying to survive.”
He looked down. *Just trying to survive.* “I have my own food, but do you think I could rest here for an hour or so?” Damien scanned the wounds on his body, feeling the light burn of the claw from the man before on his back.
The woman shook her head as she looked at him. “Yeah… yeah come on.” She looked at the sun's placement in the sky. “It’s about time for lunch anyway.”
Damien sat with a group of four others in what had once been a rec center. A woman named Yukio had washed and wrapped some of his wounds before they had gone to eat. He heated up one of his MREs, and looked at the crowd of thirty eating a stew they had been cooking since the morning. The woman he had met, Wednesday, had him sit with her parents; an older couple named Melanie and Andrew. Her younger brother Anthony sat with them.
Andrew looked at Damien, “Where are you headed? You said you came from Detroit, got all roughed up on the way.”
Damien dropped his head slightly. “West. My father passed,” He considered his words. “He said we had family in Idaho, I figured it was worth a shot. Now that he’s gone there just wasn’t much left for me.”
Wednesday looked at him, knowingly. Anthony cut in “Did you get into a fight? You looked all beat up!” He had an almost religious fervor, unbecoming of anyone but a child.
“A couple, yeah.” Damien’s throat dried, the swelling feeling of emotion pushed at the walls of his neck.
Melanie lightly tapped her son on the side of the head, mumbling about the manners of asking a stranger things like that, but it seemed distant compared to the constant locked stare for Damien. Wednesday hadn’t stopped looking.
After the meal had ended, she pulled him to the side.
“You’re a Powered, aren’t you?”
“Listen I’m leaving anyway, I’m not gonna cause any trouble and I don’t have anyone fo-”
“What do you mean?” Damien was flustered by the reaction he got.
“Stay here. They’re good people, we’re safe here. Nothing happens, I don’t use my power for anything like that.”
Damien’s trepidation began to creep up on him. It sounded too good, to stop, to call it quits and not worry about a war between the Ascended and the Legion. Never feel compelled to use his power again; to leave Archangel as a bad dream for someone else to deal with. Eventually though, the Ascended would come through here. Only Wednesday would get spared, if she didn’t try to fight back.
“I know people out there are scared. I understand why too, Damien. I can’t tell what’s fake flesh and real flesh sometimes. Sometimes other people see the walls changing and sometimes it’s in my head. People here don’t hate the Powered. They remember Heroes.”
Damien had a melancholy glaze over his face. “It’s not us I’m worried about, Wednesday.” He began to walk towards the west side of town. He didn’t want to stay any longer, he could already feel fear compelling him to stay. As he exited the town, he looked at the road signs.
CHICAGO 55 MI Damien felt a renewed vigor as he read the number. He had no plan, or method he considered as he walked. All he knew is he would kill Archangel when he got to Chicago. His father needed it, and so did he. The rage of his father’s death consumed him on his march, left hand tucked into a pocket, and right hand ready.
Damien had made it through Beverly Shores, considerably starting his descent into the Greater Chicago area, where the only distinction between cities would be the arbitrary lines on maps. He crept through the Indiana Dunes, eager and wanting. He had run clean out of all but three meals, he had barely rested, and had hiked through cities, forests, bogs, he was wounded. He had never felt more alive and alert than he was now. He didn’t know how he’d find Archangel among the massive hordes of Ascended deeper in the city, and frankly he didn’t care.
Indiana’s dunes were the most beautiful place Damien had seen yet. He stared at beaches across the lake, the plains that struggled and stayed light green as they clung to life, the areas of complete desertion, where field mice would scurry across the sand, scavenging for homes to cling onto. Few places sat here, at this impasse between life and death. There was despair in the surrounding life, as it could never grow, struggling only to knowingly fail.
He began to consider that this was what his father had tried to lead him away from, failure. Damien had glanced behind himself at his warpath, he had carved a way through the land, he’d ended two lives. The only thing his father could have been proud of was what Damien had done in Ann Arbor, and even then he didn’t lift a finger to help those children; he let other people who only just had come back to reality take care of a mess he had made. Damien watched his actions through the window of the past. He tried to convince himself he’d done right, but he could have just as easily remained in Detroit, helped the Legion recoordinate after their loss of leadership. Not stolen from them and left. His grief and pride blinded him to the selfish origin of his action.
It was too late to go back now.
As he crossed the sandy, purgatorial landscape, he heard distinct laughter, like howling. He turned towards the origin, considering he may be thinking too much about the Clown, he saw a large mixed pack, coyotes and wolves standing in unison. Wildlife had spread and remingled after the collapse of society. This was only one example, the timber and grey wolves mixing into almost one species with coyotes. The Great Lakes was especially notable for this, having a large canid population hiding in its tree lines.
Damien fired a warning shot, knocking a small grey coyote over. Ten or more dogs began sprinting towards him, fearless and unknowing of his ability. He was quickly encircled, pacing aggressors clearly marking him as prey. He shot one, and another grabbed on his leg. He crumpled to the ground in pain, firing a shot at the one on his leg. Just as quickly, another clamped onto his forearm, shaking it like a chew toy; his palm faced the sky. He began struggling, a wolf biting into his opposite shoulder, another clamping onto his ankle.
Damien’s vision began to narrow, black enclosing the corners; the tunnel he could see through growing into a blood red. He screamed in desperation, cut short by a coyote clamping onto his throat. The threads of fate strummed, then fell silent; vibration ending like a guitar string cut.
Through Ann Arbor, there was finally safe passage, though the scarred and tattooed group had no real inkling why it had changed. They walked east, towards Turnberry Park. They all burned with power, long since shedding the morality of lesser men; they had Ascended past humans. Archangel stepped forward, symbols from as many religions as had once existed carved into every inch of his skin, and he began to leak flame, razing the school next to him.
submitted by IconoclasticEye to shortstories [link] [comments]
2022.01.22 16:52 Consistent_Dream_740 I'm out of the house!
I'm sitting in the passenger seat of my friend's/Neighbor's car. He asked me to come with him to run some errands. This is the first time I've left the house with a friend in months. It's such a small thing but I'm so proud of myself. I'm really nervous about such a simple thing of going to the grocery store.
Last night I even got on a love chat with fellow redditors that really lifted my spirits. I cried after and I think it gave me the courage to say yes to hanging out today. Radical.
submitted by Consistent_Dream_740 to socialanxiety [link] [comments]
2022.01.22 16:52 ChromeRed67 Growing on a mango tree, Southwest Florida.
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2022.01.22 16:52 Pellta13 Is this ich? Marineland 5 gal tank 8.0 ph 0 ammonia 0 nitrates 0 nitrites
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2022.01.22 16:52 Quoted1200 Worth using chain blades
Returning player after about a year ish and used chain blades most out of all the weapons but after the changes i still enjoy them. I probably will continue to use them to a degree. But I was wondering if I should move onto other weapons now that they don't have as much damage and of so what weapons would you recommend?
submitted by Quoted1200 to dauntless [link] [comments]
2022.01.22 16:52 MaxiKING59 Mensch, Marcus! – Über Staigers Weigerung, sich impfen zu lassen
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2022.01.22 16:52 Chaos31509 whats going on with Secrets of Sulpher Springs
2022.01.22 16:52 PicklCat Which distro would fit the best for me according to experienced people?
I know there are a lot of different distributions and such and for very different usages, so allow me to quickly elaborate my computer usage.
I am currently an IT student, mostly only ever used Windows and MacOS. I recently gained an interest in trying out maining a Linux system. I have only tocuhed upon Debian and such before as I have a Raspberry PI.
My computer usage isn't that heavy. I do some programming, primarily python, but I'm currently learning a bunch of other languages. As you could've figured, I am interesting in computer development. And I am gradually learning cyber security as it will be a part of my next coming education. I'm not a cybersec professional, so suggesting Kali will be to no help.
Now what I have worried about the most is the gaming. I'm not that big of a gamer anymore, but sometimes I just like sitting down and playing some Civ or some other small games. Never really anything graphically heavy.
Either way I would be willing to sacrifice some of the gaming.
If I haven't elaborated enough, please ask more if you feel like it.
Appreciate any answers!
submitted by PicklCat to linuxquestions [link] [comments]
2022.01.22 16:52 cactuspizza Only one can stay. You can never eat the other two again in any form. Which do you keep?
2022.01.22 16:52 yfcplayer A short film
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2022.01.22 16:52 Z3D101 me_irl
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