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Results of the Subreddit Survey

This time last week, we put out a subreddit survey to gather demographic info and solicit opinions on the current state of Rule 8 (low-effort content) and Rule 9 (non-original fanart).
In 7 days, the survey got 1,558 responses, which is a whopping 0.77% of our 203,000 subscribers. We didn't expect to get anywhere close to full participation, given that a bunch of those subscribers are probably no longer active, and more still just view /FireEmblem through their own front page and so they were never going to see the survey in the first place. Effectively, each response to the survey is "representing" 130 people.
While perusing these results, it's important to keep in mind that this survey expresses the opinion of respondents to the survey, not necessarily our subscriber base at large. That said, we are still going to look to its results in informing our policies.
Here are the results.

Demographics

Three-quarters of respondents are male. According to this random article I found on Google, estimations of the gender balance on Reddit puts the male userbase at somewhere between 50 and 71%, meaning we skew slightly disproportionately male. I wouldn't look too far into it, though, given the response rate.
Around 70% of respondents are between the ages of 18 and 27, as expected. A mere 3% of respondents are older than 32 or younger than 13.
No particular trends in the number of years the respondents have been on Reddit.
About one-fifth of respondents joined the subreddit in the 6 months after Three Houses' release, and another one-fifth joined in the year or so preceding Three Houses' release. Let's compare this to our subscriber stats:
In the time between the release of the first Three Houses trailer (June 2018) and the game's release (July 2019), we went from 81,000 subscribers to 123,000. That means roughly 20% of our current subscriber base joined in that time, which matches up with the representation in the survey.
Meanwhile, between Three Houses' release and now, we've shot up from 123,000 subscribers to our current figure of 203,000. If those new subscribers were properly represented in the survey, they should fill up about 40% of the pie, not 20%. This suggests that brand new subscribers are underrepresented in the survey responses. Some of those might've subscribed to the sub for some hot tips while they were playing the game, and stopped looking at it afterward. Some might have subscribed because of the surge of fanart that accompanied release. I guess new subscribers just prefer to view the sub via their own front page. We're not 100% sure. All we know is that there's some sort of underrepresentation in these results.
Less than 10% of respondents post enough to consider themselves "active" in the sub. Including a third option here felt like kind of a cop-out, but surely if we left it between "active" and "not active", a lot of people would be unsure where they stood. Frankly, I was surprised by this result, because I figured that the only people who would care enough to respond to a big dumb survey would be the same people who care enough to actively post. Apparently not. What's up, all you politically-active lurkers?

Fire Emblem Games

Okay, disclaimer, I bungled things up here with regard to TMS♯FE. It was only brought to my attention that I forgot to include it as an option after 490 responses were already submitted. As such, I'll list the actual percentages for it in the remaining thousand or so responses below.
Here's a graph of which FE games respondents have PLAYED, but not necessarily beaten. TMS♯FE's real percentage is around 11%. Unsurprisingly, nearly all respondents have tried out Three Houses, and then Awakening follows it up. The very first FE game, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, is also unsurprisingly the least-played game.
The graph for which FE games respondents have BEATEN turns out similarly. TMS's actual percentage is around 7%. Unsurprisingly, the NES games also have the highest discrepancy between playing a game and beating it – less than 50% of people who've tried FE1 or FE2 have actually beaten them. If you flip between the two graphs, you'll see that the only game that changes position between them is FE11 - more respondents have beaten Radiant Dawn than Shadow Dragon despite the fact that Shadow Dragon is slightly more-played.
What were respondents' FIRST FE games, and which is their FAVOURITE? Because the visuals are unhelpful, here's a chart of the responses. I think Reddit formatting should let you sort the columns by frequency if you click the headings.
Game FIRST FAVOURITE
FE1 3 0
FE2 2 0
FE3 7 0
FE4 8 76
FE5 3 35
FE6 31 40
FE7 332 56
FE8 206 80
FE9 82 90
FE10 62 134
FE11 71 11
FE12 1 18
FE13 453 117
BR 62 5
CQ 33 35
RV 3 7
FE15 10 62
FE16 115 732
Heroes 48 7
Warriors 2 3
TMS 1 3
*Again, TMS got screwed, so multiply its responses by 1.5 to get an estimate of what it should've gotten.
Contrary to what one might expect, Awakening still dominates the first-game category for our respondents, followed by the localized GBA titles, and only then does Three Houses show up. If Fates's three versions are combined, it ends up right below Three Houses and right above Path of Radiance. This might be tied into our underrepresentation of new subscribers – presumably a lot of them started with Three Houses.
Meanwhile, Three Houses certainly dominates the favourite-game category, with nearly half of respondents saying it's their #1. Either the game is well-loved, or recency bias is a big thing. Or both. Radiant Dawn has to settle for a distant second place, followed by Awakening and Path of Radiance, all in single digit percentages. Unsurprisingly, Three Houses also takes the crown for the highest favourite/played ratio – 49.7% of people who've played Three Houses listed it as their favourite game, far higher than any other game.
Don't let the colours of this graph fool you - one-third of respondents sided with the Blue Lions first, while more than a third chose Black Eagles and less than a third chose Golden Deer.

Rule 9

Rule 9 concerns fanart. It states that fanart can only be posted by its original artist, or someone who paid the artist to create it and who is posting it with permission. As such, we remove any "found fanart". I've documented our reasons for Rule 9 in the survey post, so please refer to that if you have questions about why it exists.
First off, how do respondents feel about the current amount of fanart on the sub? Well… they feel… differently. We polled this using a sliding scale from 1 to 5, where 1 means "I want way more fanart on the sub", 5 means "I want way less fanart on the sub", 3 means the current amount is okay, and 2 and 4 represent their respective extremes, but, like, less extreme. As you can see, the sub is undoubtedly divided on this, but to our pleasant surprise, a plurality of respondents indicated that they don't want more or less. Nearly half of respondents chose 3, while the remaining 50% were divided almost equally between wanting more or less. Hooray for no-win situations.
That in itself, however, wouldn't be enough to justify not touching Rule 9, so we asked about it specifically. Nearly three-quarters of respondents are fine with the current Rule 9. Most of the rest want it to be relaxed. A small percentage want us to ban fanart entirely. An (undocumented) amount presumably would be happy if we confined all fanart to a single day of the week or some other measure to cut down on art without outright banning it. We aren't considering that as a course of action, which is why it wasn't included on the poll.
We also asked if users would be open to having a single day of the week where non-OC fanart could be posted (properly-sourced, obviously). Almost immediately after putting this question up, we realized that this would probably be a bad idea, and so we're glad that the response was rather lukewarm. A 45/55 split might not sound like it's definitive, but having given it some thought, it's nowhere near the result we would need to justify actually putting that plan into action.
We also included a section for free-form feedback on Rule 9. At the bottom of this post I'll include a link to an anonymized spreadsheet containing all the free-form responses we got for each question like that.
Given what you're about to see next in the Rule 8 section (hoo boy), we're going to go ahead and consider a 75% vote in favour of keeping Rule 9 the same a wild endorsement of our preferred course of action, which is this:
Going forward, Rule 9 will be unchanged.

Rule 8

Rule 8 concerns low-effort content, including unedited screenshots, pictures of merch/game boxes, and memes. After Three Houses released, we started enforcing Rule 8 so strictly that memes as a whole were effectively banned.
On this survey, we polled each component of Rule 8 separately to see if respondents thought they should be allowed on the sub.
Should unedited screenshots of dialogue be allowed? A little over 50% of respondents said no. There isn't sufficient support here for us to reconsider our stance on this one. I want to be clear here in saying that we're not looking for majority rule necessarily – our decision would be the same if the numbers were flipped and slightly more than 50% of respondents said yes instead.
Should unedited screenshots of gameplay be allowed? Here there was less of a split. Around 60% of respondents said yes. According to the free-form results (again, linked at the bottom of the post), we get the impression that some people would like gameplay screenshots to be allowed if they show something interesting, instead of just, you know, a shot of a maxed-out Ike or getting a 1% crit. If that was our policy, we'd then have to judge those posts based not on effort, but how noteworthy and radical they were. While I personally am not super opposed to a coolness-based moderating system, we'd prefer that gameplay stuff be confined to the Everyone Plays Fire Emblem thread or shared via self-posts rather than reversing our stance on screenshots. (Of course, EPFE has ironically been temporarily suspended to make room for these survey posts, but that's a separate problem.) 60% support isn't overwhelming enough for us to reconsider this part of the rule.
Should merch posts or pictures of game boxes be allowed, keeping in mind that "collection" posts are already allowed and would continue to be? Around 70% said no, so this is clearly the part of the rule that we're going to get yelled at about the least.
And then we arrive at the big one – memes. Three options here, as well as a free-form "Other" option that… I'm not really sure why we included when we had a separate free-form section right after. Whoops. Anyway, around 20% of respondents are fine with the current anti-meme Rule 8, another 20% want all memes to be allowed, and the remaining 60% would prefer a discretion-based system where we only remove memes that are truly "low-effort". Herein lies the rub: even the people who answered that question the same have different views about what makes something low-effort. If we do end up going back to the discretion-based system, we either have to somehow nail down a solid definition for what makes something removable, or else deal with posts on a case-by-case basis.
The possible problems with a discretionary system encouraged us to include a separate option on the survey. We asked respondents whether they would be supportive of a system where memes were restricted to a single day of the week. This was independent of their answer to the previous question, so if someone voted "no", they could have meant "no, I want memes every day" or "no, I don't memes at all". At least one respondent said that this binary choice indicated a lack of integrity of the mod team, that it was emblematic of the fact that we had already decided to ban memes before even making the poll, and that we should repoll the question. Given that we already covered that distinction in the previous question, it wasn't really relevant for the purposes of this question. All this question asked was whether you would support a meme day, because frankly, we just wanted to know to what extent such an arrangement would piss people off, not why.
Slightly over two-thirds of respondents indicated that they would be okay with a meme day system.
This leaves the mod team with two viable options – either we return to a discretionary system where some memes live and some die, or we cut the knot and allow most memes, save for those that violate Rule 1, on a single day of the week. We have not yet decided which approach we prefer – admittedly, the team is split. We wanted to get these results to you as soon as possible, though, in advance of having actually made a decision. One thing is clear, though: with only 20% of respondents happy with the current state of Rule 8, we can't just leave things as they are.
A factor that is going to colour our decision is, again, how divided the sub is on this issue. A lot of the free-form responses (which, to be fair, make up a relatively small percentage of the sub) expressed that the curbing of low-effort content is a big reason some people enjoy the sub. Meanwhile, other responses indicated that banning memes has killed the sub. To an extent, we can't win. If we return to a discretionary system, some people are going to hate that some memes are still banned, and some people are going to be upset that memes are allowed again at all. If we go with a meme day instead, some people are going to be upset that we half-assed it, and others are going to find the sub unusable on that day of the week.
We can't please everyone. We have to go with whatever is more practical. We're currently hashing this out.
In summary:
Screenshots and merch posts will remain banned. Rule 8 will be loosened with regard to memes in a manner to be determined.

Free-form responses and general feedback

We included a question about how good the mod team is doing in general. Stop it, you guys, we're blushing.
Finally, we included free-form response sections on the following topics, with the following response rates:
  1. Any thoughts on Rule 8?
  2. Any thoughts on Rule 9?
  3. Any other rules that should be modified?
  4. Any general feedback?
These responses contained some really good thoughts. For transparency, here is a Google doc containing all of the responses, with each column alphabetized for anonymity, and I do mean all of the responses, including the handful that I would have preferred to remove because they contained personal call-outs. I did take the liberty of censoring the responses we got that were just the n-word. The main thing to take away from these responses is that y'all can't agree on anything. As you can see, depending on the question, these free-form questions got between 93 and 248 responses, so they make up a smaller subset of our already-small sample size, so while they do represent important viewpoints of our subscribers, take them with a tiny grain of salt.
Oh, right, which mod would win in a fight. That was also a question. Well, first of all, we're all winners because we get to serve this wonderful community. That said:
Mod Respondents
"I have no idea who any of these people are" 693
Bot-ta_The_Beast 209
[question left blank] 148
LaqOfInterest 147
ForsetiHype 59
Shephen 49
Lhyon 42
RotomGuy 40
Gwimpage 34
Cecilyn 31
PrinceofIris 29
LeminaAusa 20
V2Blast 18
stalwartness 16
DoseofDhillon 12
Okkefac 11
I'd like to thank the Academy for awarding me a single vote less than the people who cared so little about this that they didn't even bother to pick the "I don't care" answer. Benefits of stealing the "post every announcement thread" job.
submitted by LaqOfInterest to fireemblem [link] [comments]

An analysis on Penguin Magic user reviews

Hello,
To practise some programming, I made an analysis of the user reviews left on penguin magic. I thought you could be interested in some of the results. It made me check a lot of products that I did not know about.
I excluded the reviews for expos and gift cards to analyse only physical items and tricks. I investigated only the items with at least one review. I combined items as Penguin did. This left me with 87761 reviews for 11318 items.
50 Most Reviewed Items
Item Rating Review Count
Born to Perform Card Magic by Oz Pearlman 4.87 556
Invisible Deck 4.70 506
Self Tying Shoelace by Jay Noblezada 4.74 373
Melt 2.0 by Matthew Johnson 4.65 348
Marked Cards 4.67 344
The Stealth Pen presented by Rick Lax 4.73 327
Coffee Break by Gregory Wilson David Gripenwaldt 4.65 320
Torched and Restored by Brent Braun 4.83 252
All Seeing Eye by Dan Harlan 4.75 244
The Poker Test 2.0 by Erik Casey 4.44 236
Binary Code by Rick Lax 4.78 236
The End by Rick Lax 4.64 225
Starcle by Dan Harlan 4.85 220
OneTrix by Mario Lopez 4.50 214
Close-Up Illusion by Larry Jennings presented by Michael Ammar 4.70 206
Hummes Whirling Card 4.36 195
Two Dollar Window by Jay Noblezada 4.80 191
GREED Starring Daniel Garcia 4.54 190
Modern Transportation by David Regal 4.88 187
Vuja De by Rick Lax 4.78 181
DRESSCODE by Calen Morelli 4.75 181
Predixion by Max Maven 4.89 178
Color Monte 4.87 173
The Secrets of Magic by Rick Lax 4.67 173
In the Beginning There Were Coins Starring Jay Noblezada 4.76 170
Panic by Aaron Fisher 4.77 168
Or Not by Dani DaOrtiz 4.74 165
Bicycle Elite Edition Playing Cards 4.72 165
Super Soft Deluxe Nest of Wallets 2.0 by Nick Einhorn and Alan Wong 4.66 162
Tornado by Justin Flom and Rick Lax 4.82 161
BWave DELUXE by Max Maven 4.84 160
Bently by Chris Hanowell 3.60 159
Binary Code 2 by Rick Lax 4.88 159
Copycat by David Parr 4.88 157
BITCOIN by Rick Lax 4.57 157
Muldoon Match by Paul Gordon 4.77 156
ID7 by Rick Lax 4.37 155
Monkey in the Middle by Bill Goldman presented by Magick Balay 4.76 154
Little Door by Roddy McGhie 4.61 153
SPONGE Starring Jay Noblezada 4.80 152
Eclipse by Dave Loosley 4.60 152
Peter Turner LIVE 4.52 152
Position Impossible by Brent Braun 4.83 150
Clutch by Oz Pearlman 4.67 144
Zoltar by Shaun Dunn presented by Lewis Le Val 4.38 144
BANDIT by Darryl Davis & Daryl Williams (a.k.a. The Other Brothers) 4.80 144
The Known by Thom Peterson 4.47 143
The Ultimate Three Domino Monte 4.14 143
Psypher PRO by Robert Smith 4.73 142
Mnemonica Trainer by Rick Lax 4.81 141
25 5 Star (5*) Items
There are a lot of (3245 to be precise) items that received only perfect 5* reviews. But of course, that could be only one reviewer giving 5* and that would not mean a lot. The following table shows most reviewed yet still rated 5* items.
Item Rating Review Count
Diamond Jim Tyler LIVE 5.00 73
Carisa Hendrix LIVE ACTS 5.00 52
David Corsaro LIVE 5.00 30
Halloween by Natalia Silva 5.00 29
Howard Hamburg LIVE 5.00 25
Daniel Chard LIVE ACT 5.00 22
Sibyl by Phedon Bilek 5.00 21
Ian Rowland LIVE ACT 5.00 16
John (Fast Jack) Farrell LIVE 5.00 16
Morgan and West LIVE 5.00 16
Red Pill by Chris Ramsay 5.00 16
Jay Noblezada presents HTG LIVE: Hypnosis Training Group 5.00 16
NX11 :: The Noblezada Experience 5.00 16
QA Masterclass by Bob Cassidy 5.00 16
Takamiz Usui LIVE 5.00 15
Venom Cube by Henry Harrius 5.00 15
Move Zero (Vol 1) by John Bannon and Big Blind Media 5.00 15
Tom Wright LIVE 5.00 15
TC Tahoe LIVE 5.00 15
Jonathan Pendragon LIVE 5.00 15
Jan Forster LIVE ACT 5.00 14
13 Steps To Mentalism (6 DVDs) by Richard Osterlind 5.00 14
Jermays Mind (DVD Set) by Luke Jermay 5.00 14
Phoenix Deck 5.00 14
Tarbell 77: X-Ray Eyes and Blindfold Effects 5.00 14
50 Top Rated Items
I'll list the top-rated items. I'll include only the items that have at least 20 reviews. (This leaves us with 995 items to order).
Item Rating Review Count
Diamond Jim Tyler LIVE 5.00 73
Carisa Hendrix LIVE ACTS 5.00 52
David Corsaro LIVE 5.00 30
Halloween by Natalia Silva 5.00 29
Howard Hamburg LIVE 5.00 25
Daniel Chard LIVE ACT 5.00 22
Sibyl by Phedon Bilek 5.00 21
Diamond Jim Tyler LIVE 2 4.98 56
David Williamson LIVE 4.98 109
Drew Backenstoss LIVE ACT 4.98 83
Jay Scott Berry LIVE 4.97 37
David Hira LIVE 4.97 67
Toibox Card To Box System by Jonathan Kamm 4.97 133
Jason England LIVE 4.97 33
Dyno by Joe Rindfleisch 4.96 27
Paul Gordon LIVE 4.96 27
Roberto Giobbi LIVE 4.96 25
SvenPad® Minis Black Cover Pair 4.96 24
Mark Mason LIVE 4.96 23
Marc Paul LIVE ACT 4.96 23
Joshua Jay LIVE 4.96 23
Brent Braun LIVE 4.95 22
Seth Kramer LIVE ACT 4.95 21
Robert Temple LIVE 4.95 20
Bandwidth by Greg Wilson 4.95 37
Stegosaurus by Phill Smith 4.94 49
TRIUMPH Starring Oz Pearlman 4.94 31
Banachek LIVE 4.93 59
Fiber Optics Extended by Richard Sanders 4.93 29
Name and Place by Bob Cassidy 4.93 71
The Special Assortment Deck 4.93 28
Cody Fisher LIVE ACT 4.92 26
Blank Face Bicycle Deck 4.92 26
Richard Osterlind LIVE 2: Pocket Mentalism 4.92 38
Scratch by Chad Long 4.92 24
Caught Red-Handed by Michael Mode & Arthur Ottney 4.92 24
Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo 4.91 46
Dave Loosley LIVE 4.91 23
Mark James LIVE 4.91 22
Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz 4.91 22
Acrobatic Knot (with DVD) by Daryl 4.91 22
DMC ELITES : ROUGE marked deck 4.91 22
Shin Lim LIVE: Visual Magic. 4.90 21
Tornado REFILL 4.90 31
CLEAR CHOICE by Thinking Paradox 4.90 81
Choose Five for 99 4.90 79
True Triumph by Paul Cummins 4.90 29
Eugene Burger LIVE 4.89 57
Predixion by Max Maven 4.89 178
Bill Malone LIVE 4.89 36
25 Least Liked Items
Following table shows the 25 items that have the worst ratings and at least 10 reviews.
Item Rating Review Count
Phantom by Peter Eggink 1.44 16
RETRIEVE (Gimmick and Online Instructions) by Smagic Productions 1.56 16
Penciltration by Jesse Feinberg 1.70 10
Force of Will by Dave Hooper - DVD 1.71 17
Phone Phreak by Jeff Prace & Paul Harris 1.81 16
PK Coin by Nathan Kranzo 2.11 28
POST_NOTE By Antonio Smith-Plata 2.24 17
Never There by Morgan Strebler - DVD 2.29 14
Spirit by Arnel Renegado 2.33 12
The Gecko by Jim Rosenbaum 2.39 36
The Incredible Shrinking Finger by Dan Hauss (Additional handling by Paul Harris) 2.40 10
The Wizards Flip Book 2.41 17
Phone-omenon by Doug McKenzie 2.44 16
Elevator by Peter Loughran 2.47 15
BLAZE by Thinking Paradox 2.53 19
Ambitious Finger by Mario Lopez 2.53 53
Absolute Zero (Gimmick and Online Instructions) by SansMinds 2.53 15
Cheese Smile by Smagic Productions 2.55 11
Liquid Metal 2 by Morgan Strebler 2.57 14
Sealed by Menny Lindenfeld 2.57 61
GREEN FACES by Dalton Wayne 2.58 12
Ice Cold: Propless Mentalism (2 DVD Set) Limited Edition by Morgan Strebler and SansMinds - DVD 2.58 12
Nathan Kranzo LIVE 3 2.60 10
Jay Sankeys ORIGINAL Wrap It Up! (Trick Only) 2.62 21
Sharp This by Vanishing Inc 2.64 11
30 Most Controversial Items
I tried to measure controversiality with a ranking system. If all the reviewers gave the same rating for an item, then the controversiality is calculated as 0%. And the most divided option, where half of the reviewers rate an item 1* while the other half reviews it 5*, is rated as 100% controversiality. Here are the most controversial items with at least 10 reviews:

Item Rating Review Count Controversiality %
HACAAN 3.07 27 92.46
Chris Mayhew LIVE 2.94 16 90.63
Sharp This by Vanishing Inc 2.64 11 89.26
Justin Miller LIVE 3.05 22 88.64
CARD IN THE KEYCHAIN by Stefano Curci 3.20 10 88.00
Cut 2.0 LIMITED by Ran Pink 2.88 16 86.72
P'INK by Ran Pink 2.88 82 84.62
Ice Cold: Propless Mentalism (2 DVD Set) Limited Edition by Morgan Strebler and SansMinds - DVD 2.58 12 84.03
Winner's Dice (Gimmicks and Online Instructions) by Secret Factory 3.38 13 84.02
Stained Glass by Adam Grace 3.10 10 84.00
Joe Monti LIVE 3.36 14 82.14
Elevator by Peter Loughran 2.47 15 81.33
Strongman by Jimmy Strange 2.88 16 81.25
GREEN FACES by Dalton Wayne 2.58 12 80.56
iMove by Oliver Smith 2.67 12 80.56
Jay Sankey's GEMINI POUCH (Trick Only) 3.45 11 80.17
Nathan Kranzo LIVE 3 2.60 10 80.00
Titan's Finger by Titanas 3.63 16 79.69
vACAANt by Area52 3.42 24 78.13
Triple C (Red Gimmicks and Online Instructions) by Christian Engblom 3.70 10 78.00
The Switch by Shin Lim 3.67 18 77.78
Memoria by Luke Jermay (Instant Download) 3.64 11 77.69
Rudy Hunter's Total Control with Cards 3.77 13 77.51
Phone-omenon by Doug McKenzie 2.44 16 77.34
SansMinds Sharpie (DVD and Gimmick) by Will Tsai 3.00 13 76.92
Derren Brown LIVE 2.74 105 76.87
Hidden Hand by Sean Fields 2.84 51 76.62
Harlan's No Tape, No Glue, No Scissors, 20-second Setup Torn & Restored Newspaper 2.76 17 75.78
Darryl Vanamburg's "Black Widow" 3.77 13 75.74
Absolute Zero (Gimmick and Online Instructions) by SansMinds 2.53 15 75.56
submitted by VolkanOzcan to Magic [link] [comments]

DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 90

Continuing
We had three groups of demo wire: mine adit, ANFO on the mine floor, and just because, some black powder placed into the old, but unused, drill holes in the mine face. The party room was going to be detonated remotely. We decided to blow the face first, then the ANFO, then the adit. After the applause died down, I’d trigger the party room. Then, the final drinking light for this mine site would be lit. Tomorrow, we pack up and travel south.
But first!
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to your first abandoned mine demolition. This hole in the ground has become a menace, alas, through no fault of its own. But steps must be taken to remove it as a threat to society; to protect society from itself. I’ll let you cogitate over the irony of that statement at your leisure. Please, folks. This once was the provider of many a family’s daily bread, butter, and beer. A moment of silence. A moment of reverence. A moment of reflection. This is the place where you cut your subsurface teeth, where you lost your mining virginity, and now…we’re really gonna pop yer cherry!”
They laughed! They actually laughed loud and long. I was amazed. This was just my B-list material.
Dr. D and I alternated countdowns, Lucas was manning the detonators. Everybody, even the cooks, dish machine operators, and custodians joined in on the Safety Protocol song.
First went the face/black powder. A loud, rolling BOOM followed by the mine blowing a huge white smoke ring skyward. Not bad for a first shot.
Then the ANFO. Lucas needed to use the recently acquired replacement for Ol’ Reliable, my personal plunger-actuated blasting machine, as we needed the voltage and amperage. The ANFO shook everyone in camp, even set those in suspended hammocks rocking.
“We’re over a half-mile from the mine and you can actually here see the effects of low-explosives.”, I said, regarding the swinging hammocks. “Did the Earth move for you, too?”
Even that got a laugh.
Next came the mine adit itself. The sharp cracks of the dynamite were so distinctly different than the rolling thrump of the ANFO. People were getting a good physical demonstration of the differences in different types of explosives.
Everyone was about to clap, hoot, or holler, and head for the bar or leave when I shouted them down.
“What are you doing? Where are you going? We’re not done here yet, folks. We have a little bonus. Relax, sit back, and enjoy the death of the cess-pit. The end of the fetid party room. The cessation of the sewer some people around here went to have fun. Want fun? What could possibly be more fun than over 100 pounds of Torpex, PETN, RDX, Dynamite and Kinestik binary high explosives…and a remote detonator?”
All eyes one me grew three sizes that day.
“And I’m prepared to offer the honor of pressing the big, shiny red button to…the highest bidder!”
Consternation and grumbling.
“Actually, I kid. Before this, I had given a slip of paper to Dr. D. On that paper is a number, between 1 and 100. Here are some official guessing paper and pencils. The paper was recently outsourced from the DOI, so no fair trying to use any other. Now, write your guess down, a single number, between 1 and 100, one guess per participant. The closest gets the remote detonator and the honor of destroying the den of filth. In the case of prizes, duplicate ties will be awarded. You have 2 minutes before my number will be revealed. GO!”
Five minutes later, Dr. D announces the winner. There were no duplicates and my number was 86. Dr. I from Berkeley was the winner. She was a petite little hydrogeologist with a mean streak a mile wide. She grinned like a maniac when I handed her the remote detonator. She wanted to go immediately, but I restrained her for a 5 count.
“5...4…3…2…1…HIT IT!”
Whoa. Even though the mine was strictly closed, when that Torpex torpedo went off, the whole state probably felt it. It was very much like an earthquake. A very noisy, even that far underground in a closed-off mine, shatteringly brilliant earthquake.
Dr. I was ecstatic. “I did that?”
“Yes, you did. You’ll be receiving the bill in the mail.” I joshed.
It didn’t matter. Nothing could dampen the mood at that point.
Before lighting the drinking lamp, I recited a bit of doggerel for the crowd to close and commemorate our first victorious mine closing.
 “The Earth shakes, the ground cracks,
 And out steps fmax.
 Pleased as punch, fresh as a daisy,
 He watches while the world goes crazy.
 Strata shakes, structures tumble,
 Seismographs jump, formations crumble.
 When he’s finished, spent with sin,
 He returns as fmin.”
(fmax refers to the high-frequency band-limitation of the radiated field of earthquakes.)
It’s a geology thing…
They seemed to appreciate the effort. They loved that immediately afterward I lit the evening drinking lamp.
Dr. D, Lucas, and my own self had our cigars, drink, and maps. We were looking for our next contestant. Given the reaction of the crowd, I figured they’d be ready for something a little more ‘aggressive’. We had 11 days left, so it couldn’t be too far afield, as I didn’t want to waste time in transit, but here in Nevada, that wasn’t going to present a problem.
Lucas pointed out the Gobbler’s Knob mining area. It was studded with mines marked with the red ‘X’ of the Bureau indicating these mines had been vetted for critter populations and were slated for demolition, and there was quite the assortment. Sure, it was a good three and a half hours distant as a direct shot, or a full day for this crowd. However, we could just camp there for the last part of the trip; it would make a fine base camp. There were more than enough mines, in close proximity, of all types.
So, it was decided and announced. We’d all rendezvous at the titular Gobbler’s Knob gold mine area. I’d scout the area with Lucas and Dr. D, who would follow in his field car. We’d find a place to set up base camp. Sure, it was a diversion from the planned itinerary of the project, but that was at my discretion anyways. Given the shakedown at the Sharp Curve mine, we figure the less over-the-road travel for this crowd, the better.
I chatted with the concessionaires and explained our new plans. They were relieved, as once settled, they wouldn’t have to tear down and set up again every few days. We would be relatively closer to some larger cities, so they could assure us to continue the high quality of food and drink.
So, we were set. Lucas asked to ride with me and since he didn’t mind my cigars, so long as I shared. So Dr. D, in his rental field vehicle, and Lucas and I in the Hummer, hit the trail first. We’d be there in three or so hours. Real geologists don’t get lost out in the field, they just become slightly temporarily dislocated.
Not to waste any time, I had Lucas get on the radio and relate our plans to the Bureau. After this, he called the Nevada State Troopers and let them know what we were up to as well; just in case, as insurance. He called the local police in the town of Goonhaven, NV to warn them that we were on the way. They were most appreciative. They liked geologists and miners. They even gave us the address and phone number of the town’s single liquor store.
We had a radiotelephone lash up through the Bureau HF radio, so I had Lucas call the Boozerama and advise them we’ll need a lot of clear ice for the catering guys. Plus they might just want to go ahead and lay in a double, ok, triple supply of beer as there’s a gaggle of thirsty pseudogeologists on the way that are going to hang around for a week or more.
I asked them if they had any Russian Imperial Export vodka. They said they had some, but a good variety and supply of other brands. I thanked them and warned them again, that the geologists were coming. I also requested that they source some Bitter Lemon and a few cases of assorted Nehi flavors. They said they would try.
Always nice to phone ahead and give ample warning. Elicits discounts.
Lucas was a natural as a navigator.
“OK, Rock. Stay on the goat path until you hit Big Barn rock. Take a left and head up to Copperhead Canyon. Once past the canyon, go right on past Nellie’s Nipple and follow the arroyo. Once you pass Sniggler’s Gulch, hang a right and another right and we’ll be on the road to Gobbler’s Knob.”
I lowered my polychromic safety squints in place and said: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”.
I dropped the Hummer into low, stomped the gas, and leaped out across the desert; the trailer with nearly a ton of high explosives bouncing jauntily behind us.
Lucas started to protest, thought better of it, got us both a cold drink out of the back seat, just sat, white-knuckled it as he watched the desert fly by.
We made great time as we averaged some 60 miles per hour over the flat, rocky desert.
Well, maybe not average, but we did hit 60 mph until Lucas got too alarmed and worried feverishly over the trailer full of boom that was fast on our tails.
We pulled into the ghost town of the main Gobbler’s Knob camp. It was a large, open area up in the mountains. We got out and began our photoreconnaissance.
There was a lot of antique mining equipment and paraphernalia up here. Looks like we were either too high up in the middle of nowhere or perhaps the locals didn’t care enough to brave the route up to the camp area. It was as close to pristine as one could get in the region. It really looked like with a little spit and polish, one could fire up the mines once again.
The Gobbler’s Knob mining district covers an area of approximately 30 square miles in the Grunion Range in Nevada. Gold was discovered in the Gobbler’s Knob district in 1905, although quartz veins in the vicinity of the ‘Knob’ had been worked as early as 1866. The district immediately became one of the bigger "boom camps" of Nevada. The greatest production was reached in 1931, and since that time mining has declined until it was abandoned in the early 1940s. Placer gold, post-1945, from the deep gravels of the adjacent gulches have added to the total output. Total gold revenues from the area topped $550 million dollars.
The geology is extremely complex. The southern part of the district is underlain by closely folded Paleozoic rocks. These formations have been divided into five units, to four of which local names have been given. The oldest of these units, probably of Cambrian age, consists dominantly of siliceous mica-schist but contains beds and lenses of quartzite and dark sandstone and five beds of crystalline limestone. The total thickness exposed is estimated to be about 5,000 feet. Above this, and provisionally assigned to the Ordovician, is about 800 feet of chloritic schist, altered by thermal metamorphism to a "knotted" schist. This unit, in turn, is followed by 800 feet of gray limestone, partly altered to black jasper, which near the top grades into black slates. The lowest fossiliferous stratum is a thin bed of black slate' containing graptolites, which is separated from the underlying limestone by a thin layer of quartzite. The graptolites are of No-Kill-I (Ordovician) age. Above the graptolite bed is limestone similar in character to that below, followed by a great thickness of chloritic schist, with here and there thin beds of cherty slate and crystalline limestone. The total thickness of this group of beds probably exceeds 4,000 feet in the area mapped.
The Gobbler’s Knob mining district has produced an additional $350 million worth of copper, lead, silver, and rare earth elements. Productive rocks include the Pogostik Group, Euyankinme Quartzite, and Awfully Good Formation of Ordovician age, Lonesome Goose Dolomite of Silurian age, the Nowheyinhell Formation and Devil’s Dingus Limestone of Devonian age, and unnamed clastic units of Mississippian age, notably Bob’s Lime, the Coonskin Quartzite, and the Frammish metaconglomerates.
These rocks were folded into an overturned anticline and then broken by high-angle normal and reverse faults. Paleozoic rocks were intruded by a granitic stock having a rhyolite porphyry core and by rhyolite porphyry dikes. Primary pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and sphalerite and tetrahedrite in host rocks of marble and diopside and garnet skarn have been altered by weathering to oxide, carbonate, sulfate and silicate minerals. Some mineralized rock contains remarkably high concentrations of rare earth elements and beryllium.
We had carte blanche out here. We were the only bipedal mammals, as far as we could see, for hundreds, if not thousands, of square miles. Lucas tried to raise any local folks on the HF, VHF, ULF, and CB radios. Nothing. We were isolated, but we had our traveling funnel-cake trailers bringing up the rear. It was as nice a field area as one could ask.
Lucas and I scouted the area looking for an area to erect Camp Central. I had almost decided in occupying one of the larger old miner’s shacks. That is until Lucas pointed out the local indigenous population of packrats, coyotes, possums, and probably fleas, ticks, mites, no-see-um’s, and snakes.
“Good idea, Lucas”, I replied after reflection, “Let’s find us a new spot to camp out.”
Dr. D can slaloming into the ‘Knob in a flurry of dust and flying alluvium.
“Sorry I’m late, Guys, “he apologized, “But I found an outcrop of jaspalite out in the desert. I just had to stop and take samples.”
He showed us the jaspalized lahar, or quartzified ancient volcanic mudflow, samples. They were a riot of colors. Blood red jasper, green jadeite, yellow topaz, bluish-quartz knots, and purplish purpurite, a purply-purple mineral species.
It was very purple.
Esme would have loved some samples to play with if all her lapidary equipment wasn’t already in storage.
Dr. D got out the Gobbler’s Knob topographic map and stood on the roof of his rental, another reason rental car companies hate geologists, peering through his binoculars.
Lucas and I were exploring around the old campsite when Dr. D called us over.
A short distance away, there was a prominent wavy outcrop of thickly bedded sandstone. It has some nice re-entrants, like little rocky bays in an ancient geological harbor. This was fairly close to the flat highlands of the main camp but would be a prime dwelling for trailers, with some degree of privacy and the off-site storage of nearly a ton of high explosives.
In front of the outcrop, was a flat, wind-swept sandy blowout area that would be prime for the catering trailers.
If we parked the Porta Johns behind the outcrop, they’d still be close enough to be of facility. But they’d be distant enough that we wouldn’t be gassed in our sleep if the winds shifted during the night.
Plenty of parking off-site a piece once the trailers were set. The general area showed no signs of being anything of a hydrological nature, so it didn’t act as a wadi boundary, nor were we camping in a dry wash. We should be protected from the worst of the winds and rain if the inevitable summer high-desert thunderstorm rolled through.
“Boom!”, I said, “Gentlemen, we have a camp! First come, first served. Let’s go claim our spots.”
We all smiled, piled into our respective vehicles and drove the 350 meters or so over a small rise to our new home for the next week plus.
I found a very secure dead-end slot-canyon for the trailer. I backed it in, disconnected it from the Hummer, and secured it to some rock bolts Lucas and I pounded into the very living rock walls of the canyon.
Lucas and I chose the next re-entrant to the left. It was one of the larger ones, plenty of space to park the Hummer and for Lucas and my tents. Dr. D selected the one immediately to the right of Trailer Canyon. His rental fit in parallel to the rock face, and he pitched his tent between the rock wall and his vehicle. He had a flat area to pitch his tent, drag out his work table, and sling his hammock between the car and the outcrop. He’d be protected from the wind and rain, and any onslaught other than directly vertical.
Clever dude.
He even erected a sun-shade he devised from a thick sheet of tarpaulin and some support pipes he scrounged from the surrounding area. We helped him fabricate this bit of brilliance with guy lines attached to rock bolts we pounded into the outcrop and extra tent pegs anchored deep into the desert floor.
Very clever. He was secure as houses now.
We were set and ready to go. All we needed now was the rest of the retinue to arrive.
Lucas went walkabout once we had dragged out my worktable and one of the coolers I carried. I was working away on my field notebooks when Lucas ran up with a 2x2 foot square sheet of what appeared to be weathered white Masonite.
“What you got there, Luc?”, Dr. D asked.
“There’s tons of this shit lying around”, Lucas explained, “All the same size and thickness. I figure we’re going to be here a while, so we gather some posts, and we have a supply of ready-made signs for the crowd when they arrive.”
So, Lucas, Dr. D and I spend the next couple of hours devising road signs for the new arrivals.
“Slot 1 =>. Slot 2 =>.” And so one for the basic trailer parking/tenting slots.
“Food =>”, which needed to wait until the caterers' arrival.
“Shitters =>”, again, had to wait until the Porta-San farm arrived.
And so on and so forth.
All in bright day-glow orange.
Lucas and I did a rattlesnake sweep through the entire camp area and found not even a shed skin. We did find a slot canyon cut clear through the outcrop that would provide great access to the Porta Johns behind the outcrop. It was like this place was designed for us.
The food trailers and Porta Sans arrived at virtually the same time. We directed each to the area we thought would be best for each. The Porta San driver agreed this was a good place for the loos, especially since they’d be out of the elements and still close enough to be a convenience.
The caterers hemmed and hawed a while, but over a cold beer or two, decided the areas we already designated would prove to be acceptable, with a few minor alterations. A little C-4 remade those minor alterations and relocated some errant boulders. Before you knew it, we were back in business.
We figured the day would be a wash as it would take these hydroheads most of the day to find their shoes, much less a distant campsite. So, Lucas and Dr. D went out in his vehicle and posted sings to help direct these hopeless folks to the campsite.
I stayed back at camp and pored over the maps, literature, and write-ups regarding the area and the mines it contained.
There were literally hundreds of mines out there. Some no more than small prospect drifts that chased a vein of precious metals until it petered out in a few hundred yards. Others were full-fledged scary-ass deep, hard rock mines with vertical transit shafts whose depths were measured in thousands of feet.
I discounted those the Bureau hadn’t vetted as to animal worthiness and those that were deemed animal sanctuaries. A quick count left me with 104 mines to choose from. Some I could close “Old School” with a bundle of dynamite and a quick tug on a set-pull-forget and toss fuse.
Others were so extensive, it would take me and a trained crew at least a week to explore, devise, set, prime, and charge the thing.
OK, I selected 10 easy mines for quick annihilation and set those aside as Class-1, the easiest bundle-of-boom, for later. Sort of a bonus as the project drew to a close.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to go all 1880s and pop the fuse on a bundle of stick dynamite then chuck them down a deep hole?
I know I would.
Then I chose five or six what I considered medium-class, or Class-2, mines. Multi-level, dry, no real obvious nasties like rotten cribbing, loose broke down piles of rock, talc…gad, talc… or noxious gasses. These went into pile number two.
Then I chose two that I considered Class-3 mines. Real bastards. Multi-level, flooded, raises, winzes, stopes, shifts, staves, shafts, tunnels, all sorts of fun shit. I decided that Dr. D, Lucas and I would discuss which of these we’d close. It was a point of vanity, I guess. I needed to nuke just one of these tricky fuckers to show the Bureau what they were going to be missing once I left. As well as prove what I can accomplish out in the field, even saddled with a passel of greenhorns.
With my field notebooks up to date, all my demolition paperwork in order, and piles of mine candidates to choose from, I declared the day a wash and lit the drinking light.
Dr. D looked at our supplies and declared it inadequate. Besides, we didn’t have any Bass Ale, his favorite tipple. He decides that he and Lucas would run into town, only about 75 miles distant, pick up the necessary supplies, and bet me a sawbuck he’d return before the first camper made camp-fall.
“You’re on!”, I said as I handed Lucas the cash for the wager. I also slipped him a few extra bucks if he found any good looking cigars, vodka, bourbon or beer we just couldn’t live without.
The concessions folks got wind of our plans and asked if one of their tribe could accompany Dr. D and Lucas to town with a couple of coolers for ice. They could make ice on-site, but it’d be hours before they had any in abundance. Dr. D had no problem with that as they could bungee the coolers down to the roof rack of the rental.
I asked Dr. D if this extra time to get ice would invalidate our wager.
In a flurry of dust and cigar smoke, he yelled out the window as he, Lucas and the food court guy hauled ass town ward: “No way! I’ll still beat them all back!”
I was essentially alone out in the wilds of Nevada’s high desert. Nothing much to do, I loafed around, wandered over to the boomtown remains and had a look round, and generally just mooched about waiting.
Back at Rock Central, as Dr. D had christened our campsite; as he had created, posted, and signed the signs to prove it, I was called over to one of the cook trailers. They had questions for me.
They wanted to know what the gunfire was all about the other day. They’d heard rumors of everything from armed insurgency to just some late-night target practice.
I regaled them of the story of the ‘Motorcycle Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight’ and they laughed and laughed. They were pleased to know they were well protected out here in the boonies.
After that, with nothing much else to do, I offered them all a beer or whatever else they could find in my depleted larders. They gratefully accepted and we sat around, just shootin’ the shit for a while.
Two or three beers in, one of the head chefs excused himself and returned a bit later with an unlabeled bottle of suspicious-looking clearish fluid.
“We keep some on hand for emergencies”, he told me, “But since they were working for the Bureau and had to conform to their rules, we were asked to run a dry camp.”
“Well,” I said, “As long as it’s kept under control, and as I’m the sole Bureau representative here; I don’t run a dry camp, so if it’s kept low-key, I don’t see a damned thing.”
After the whoops and hollers died down, I was presented an iced glass of very suspicious-looking homemade high-octane hooch. The head chef, who assured me he has CIA credentials, i.e., Culinary Institute of America, and knew how to run a still, promised me I’d find his latest creation most enjoyable. Or unusual, I forget which.
“Slurp!”
Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ on A Soda Cracker! That stuff was smooth.
No, not smooth. What’s the opposite of smooth? Sandpapery? Abrasive? Crenulate? Squamulose? Rock ripping?
He smiled broadly as I choked down that slug. I gasped for breath. My eyes glazed over. My ears were on fire. My teeth vibrated. My nose ran off. My tongue was contemplating filing for divorce.
It was pure loathsomeness. It was fucking horrendous. I hated the fucking stuff.
“Care for another?” he asked.
“Oh yes, please,” I replied.
A while later I heard a car approaching. Given the speed at which it was traveling, I knew without looking who it was.
Yep, five minutes later Dr. D roared into camp, sliding backward to a stop only feet from the lead chow trailer in a cloud of Cretaceous floodplain dust.
“Did I win?” he asked, as he looked the camp over. Lucas and the cook assistant fumbled out of the car as best their rubbery legs would allow.
“Sure as hell.” I replied, “Lucas, please pay the man.”
We helped remove the coolers of the roof of Dr. D’s car. Each was filled with a single crystal-clear block of water ice. Seems this old town still had an ice house and it was simple as squash to take dimensions of the cooler, and chip a chunk of the correct size off the glacier they had in the storerooms. The cook crew were ecstatic.
Dr. D found his Bass Ale and bought the town dry. Lucas had purchased a supply of classic field camp beers: Lucky Lager, Henry Weinhard's, Hamms, Blatz, Falstaff, Walter’s Bock, Grain Belt, and Buckhorn. It was frosty, ice-cold nostalgia.
Plus, Lucas found a bottle of George Dickel, Rebel Yell, and Hoggs Bourbon for me. As well as liters of Monopolowa, Popov, Bowmans’s, Royal Gate, and Ruskaya Vodka. He also admitted to a bottle of Yukon Jack and Captain Morgan for himself since everyone else was getting what they wanted. Plus three cases of really weird flavored Nehi soda. No Bitter Lemon though…he was disconsolate. But still smiling like a loon.
Dr. D had also stopped and filled his trunk with firewood purchased from a farmer on the outskirts of town. We stacked that centrally next to where we’d construct the communal fire pit.
The high desert. Out in the middle of absolute nowhere. Camping. Few creature comforts. A serious geology job laid out in front of us, a couple already behind us. Campfires. Good friends. Good food. Good cigars. Cheap booze.
It really was like coming home again.
Finally, some hours later, just as the sun was getting ready to bounce off the western edge of the desert, the trailers and campers began to arrive. They all caravanned, en masse so they wouldn’t get lost. Their tarmacked travels took them through many tank towns, so they stopped along the way for beer, booze, and other things to make the camp run that much more smoothly.
One after another, the tenters and campers pulled in. Dr. D, Lucas and I decided we had done enough for one day, so we sat at Lucas’ and my campsite, stoked a smallish campfire and decided to sample the wares of Dr. D’s sojourn to the big city.
The trailers all parked, first come, first served. No arguments, no bitching, no sweat. The tenters consolidated the northern end of the camp area, the trailers, the south.
The chow triangle was rung and it was dinner time, all right on schedule.
Deep-fried cod and chips, mushy peas, Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Pudding, and roast joints of beef rounded out the British-themed meal. There was Spotted Dick, Banoffee pie, and Syllabub for pudding.
You had to eat your meat or you couldn’t have any pudding.
Maybe the chef really was CIA.
After tea, and before the drinking light was lit, I called everyone for a quick meeting to explain what I had intended for the next 10 days. I explained how Class -1, -2, and -3 mines were defined. I noted that we would, at minimum, close at least one of each type in our time remaining. Everyone would be in on Class 1 & 2 mines, but I’d only ask for volunteers for the single Class-3 mine, due to its inherent complexity and danger.
I also noted that since this would be home for the next near score of days, that I have access to VHF, HF, UHF, ELF, SW, and CB radios, with a lash up for telecommunications with the Bureau HF radio, if there was an emergency. I also have a satellite phone if there were any particularly spectacular emergencies. It was available, but not for idle chit chat. Perhaps, later in the week, I noted, I could allow a 10-minute call home for everyone if there was nothing untoward that happened in the interim.
There were general shouts of approval on all points. I asked for questions, and there were none. Either I was that good at covering all the bases of these guys were really thirsty.
“Folks”, I said, “The drinking light is lit. Remember, we muster front and center tomorrow 0630. Please bear that in mind. Naz dirovya!
After a catered breakfast of breakfast pizza, breakfast burritos, and breakfast Egg WacMuffins, I had the whole crowd assembled, most all sipping coffee and a few lamenting some real humdinger headaches.
“OK, gang”, I began, “Class-2 mines today. Class-1 mines are super easy, barely an inconvenience. I’m retaining them as door prizes for the best mine demolishers nearer the end of the week. I won’t say much about these exit prizes, but suffice to say, think 1880s, and bundled sticks of dynamite.”
That got the crowd’s interest.
As usual, I broke the crowd up into groups. Dr. D, being near as up as me on mine construction and dangers, so kindly offered to take one group in the morning so I could handle the second group in the afternoon, or vice versa, just for flavor. After that, we’d compare notes, ask for volunteers, go back in and charge the mines. Then, we’d retire to a safe distance and blow the living shit out of them.
We’d alternate, and when I wasn’t in the mine, he’d radio back what he thought would be appropriate to nuke these mines out of existence. I’d begin work on building the demolition charges. After which, I’d store them, then I’d take a group on a walkthrough. We’d all get together, have a powwow, get people’s impressions and concerns of the mine and formulate a demolition procedure.
That way, in six days we blasted out of existence six Class-2 mines. We were humming along like a well-oiled machine. No bitching, no kvetching, just lots and lots of questions, good food, cheap booze, and cheaper beer with mines closing left and right.
Things were actually humming right along. Until the afternoon of day 8.
Clouds rolled in, covering the skies with their frothy white, billowy cloudiness.
I was looking up to the unfolding aerial montage when Lucas and Dr. D wandered over.
“You saw it as well.”, Dr. D noted., “Best get the word out, it’s going to be a real toad-floater.” He and Lucas were old-time field hands out in the desert. They knew what was coming.
I agreed, this had all the earmarks of a major-league desert thunderstorm. Heavy rain, wicked winds, thundering thunder, dismal darkness, all split by jagged lightning.
I called for an immediate camp meeting.
“Folks,” I said loudly, so the cook crew could hear as well, “Look due up. We’re in for a real humdinger of a summer thunderstorm. As soon as we’re finished here, get back to your camp. Secure everything not nailed down. Check guy ropes and make sure they’re doubled-down. If it’s loose, pack it, or nail it down tight. I don’t know how many of you have experienced Mother Nature at her nastiest out in the field, but make no mistake, she’s got stuff that makes my best explosives look like Tinker Toys. Get sorted and hunker down. There will be wind. There will be rain. There will be wind. They may be hail, so tenters, you might want to call in some favors with the folks who have trailers. Questions?”
There were none, but Dr. D added, “Rock ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie here, gang. It’s got all the earmarks of being a nasty bugger. Prepare to take cover and hunker down solid.”
They saw that when the two most senior field trippers said that this was to be a real event, it’s best to listen and ask questions later.
The camp scattered. Lucas and I flattened our tents, no need getting them ripped to shreds.
I made certain the explosives trailer was nailed down, locked, and well-grounded. What are the odds of a lightning strike? Don’t care. I made double-damn uber-certain.
Dr. D flattened his camp and said he’d ride it out in his rental. I offered him a spot in the Hummer, as it was big enough for us to sack out if the storm lingered.
He declined. He said he’d be fine in his rental.
The cook trailers were stowed and secured, and if the Port-a-San farm took a hit, there wasn’t much now we could do but hope otherwise.
Lucas, Dr. D and I sat out in out camp chairs, with fresh cigars and beers, savoring the ridiculously salubrious pre-storm ozonic fresh air, awaiting the inevitable atmospheric show. The clouds above roiled, rolled, and built to astonishing heights. They grew as dark and foreboding as a volcanic ashfall. Over more beer and cigars, and maybe a tot of bourbon, we watched and waited.
And waited.
“Was this going to be a false alarm?” I wondered.
KA-HOLY SHIT-BOOM! The thunder roared.
Nope. Not this time.
We all sat outside admiring the coming show. It was going to be fun, lots of lightning and peals of thunder. Torrential rains, for certain, with that exciting hint of hail that might come for a visit.
Over beers, we sat, watched, and pointed out some of the amazing structures in a building series of cranky cumulonimbus clouds.
“PLOP!” the first drops of rain appeared. The camp chairs went into the back of the Hummer. Dr. D departed to his sanctuary and Lucas and I sat in the truck, fiddling with the radios to see if we could get any info on the storm.
KRRAACK! Lightning buzzed with a vengeance.
We’re in the high desert out here. Some 9,000’ plus above sea level. Puts us that much closer to the storm.
KABOOM! Thunder rumbled.
“Odd”, I thought, “Not much rain or wind…”
The Hummer rocked like it took a hit from an RPG. The rain and wind I wondered about had arrived.
If you had anything not locked down outside, it was well on its way to California by now.
Rain pummeled. Winds howled. Lightning cracked. Thunder rumbled.
And it got very, very dark.
Dr. D did a great job of picking out our camp location. The rain puddled, ponded, then ran off to the west. The winds, for at least a small part, were funneled around the campsite rather than lay waste to it.
But that’s where all the good things ended.
The hail began. Pea-sized first. Then marble-sized. Then organic, free-range, farm-fresh, egg-sized. Finally, high-velocity ice golf balls. It made a hell of a racket on the reinforced roof of the Hummer. I didn’t even want to think what it was doing to thin-sheet aluminum topped trailers.
It grew in intensity. Winds whipped even stronger. Hail bounced merrily of the outcrops, cook trailer’s roofs and the very ground. In short order, it looked as if it had snowed. The entire campsite’s grounds were covered with whole inches of accumulation of hailstones.
Then, as quickly as it appeared, it was over. The sun cautiously peeked through the waning clouds and lit the devastated tableaux for all to see.
Lucas, Dr. D and I got out of our vehicles to survey the circumstances. We brushed the icy accumulations off our tents and raised them so they’d begin drying. There would have been nothing left if we hadn’t collapsed them first.
Slowly, the rest of the campers showed up. They milled around the snow-like accumulation and just goggled. Many had never seen, much less experienced, such climatic fury firsthand.
Of course, everyone had to pick up and examine the hailstones. Then it happened, one northern wag decided that since it looked like snow, it must act like snow. One West Coaster was the first casualty. He took a hailstone snowball to the back.
That’s all it took, a snowball fight broke out. It was hilarious, even though I was less than amused when I played innocent bystander and took a snowball hit directly to the cocktail in my hand, spilling my drink.
“Of course you realize.”, I mused, “This means war.”
Many campers learned that day, through hard experience, you never start a snowball fight with Baja Canada and Real Canada residents. The carnage was spectacular.
It was a late night before anyone hit the sack. They were having too much fun.
I finally picked the last mine of the tour, the Gobbler’s Knob #33 shaft.
I gave it several days because it was a motherfucker.
Fully 7 levels deep. A central shaft that was 33’ across the diagonal, hence the mine’s name.
The deepest record we had for the mine was the last work face in level 7 was at 2,729 feet below surface level, more than a half a mile in depth.
The last reports were that level 7 might have flooded. Looks like I’m going to need some severely hardy folks to accompany me on this initial trek.
After dinner that night, I called a camp meeting. I explained the need for the initial reconnaissance of this mine, and I was looking for volunteers. This was an entirely optional mine, although I’d like input at the nightly meetings. You don’t have to go, but it’d probably look real good on those final reports I have to write up for everyone.
Yeah, no pressure. No pressure at all.
Of course, Dr. D and Lucas volunteered immediately. Truth be told, if that’s all that wanted to go, it would have been fine with me.
However, Dr. I, the Ms. maniac torpedo detonator from earlier, Dr. F, and Dr. H and his associate made the move forward.
“OK,” I declared, “That’s seven. Just in case, do any of you have technical rope-climbing skills? That might come in handy on this recon trip.”
Dr. H decided that it might be a bit too strenuous for him, but asked if his associate, Gary the Grad Student could accompany us. This guy was supposedly half-gibbon, he was that good of a technical climber. I almost told him to get bent as I didn’t need anyone showing me up.
Of course, I relented. I noted that we’d all meet here, tomorrow, fully kitted out with all our gear, at 0600 for the initial assault. We’d take the Hummer as it had plenty of room. The mine adit itself was less than a mile distant, but we’d get so knackered walking that distance even in the early morning desert heat, that I insisted we drive, even if it took a couple of trips.
There was a pretty good Happy Hour that night, but not for six of the more intrepid adventurers. We held off until after our explorations were complete.
I had copies of the latest mine schematics and handed one out to everyone.
“Carry this with you and mark it as you go”, I said, “Find something not on the map, like an ore chute, drift, stope, raise, or winze, make a note. Also, keep tabs on where you are at all times.”
All agreed as this was serious nut cuttin’ time. This mine could be a real killer. I doubt it’s going to cut any of us any slack.
After checking and re-checking our gear, at the mine adit, we synchronized our watches and rechecked our coordinates. Our ELF radios would work underground as would the mine GPS we had along.
To be continued.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

Odyssey Movie Playlist Project - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

THE ODYSSEY PROJECT

What is this claptrap?
A movie/playlist I created after getting a little too deep into the Gizzverse theory. Let this stand as a monument to my folly - I don't think the Gizzverse is a cohesive, narrative thing, but what I did manage to do was create a very nice, flowing playlist that follows a narrative, using the clues, lyrical links and musical motifs presented by the band to take us on a vast, mystical journey throughout the Universe.
If you're on this page, you've either come from my YouTube Videos, been sent here via myself dropping you a link, or stumbled upon this post after clicking my profile. Either way, welcome.
The Odyssey project consists of 5 movies, entirely soundtracked by the incredible music of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Movie might be the wrong word to describe what is going on here, however, as the playlist came first, with the visual content added later - inspired by the stories, themes, vibes and voodoo put forward by the boys. Where the band have released a clip for a given song, I've used it, and they are scattered throughout the project like golden nuggets of hilarity and, more often than not, lo-fi psychedelic insanity. Where the work was up to me, I've tried very hard to match the mood and theme of the song in question, covering a diverse mix of visual content, all of which comes with a healthy sprinkling of my own brand of psychedelia.
So, you have two options to dig into this glorious mess.
Here you can find the Odyssey Project Download Links (via Google Drive), a folder hosted online with the files ready to be grabbed and owned forever. This is the best option by far, provided you have the space and bandwidth to download the admittedly large files.
The other option is to scroll below, and click the links one by one. This will open the movie for a streaming 'preview', essentially YouTube, which, whilst convenient, the quality suffers from compression and is unable to be loaded into a playlist etc, since it's coming straight from Google Drive.
Book 1 - Failures of Humanity and the Rise of the Altered Beast (1:28:53)
Book 2 - The Open Door, The Battle Of Gods, and the Rats of Mars (1:26:12)
Book 3 - Microtonal Hellscape and Han Tyumi's Vomitverse (1:07:50)
Book 4 - Crumbling Castles, Dream-escapes, and the Fall of Polygondwanaland (1:19:13)
Book 5 - The Altered Plan of the Consciousness Can (1:26:34)
If the book names above mean nothing to you, or you want to dig in a little more into the whys and hows and whens of what I've done, and what this narrative could possibly be, keep scrolling. I've written up a paragraph or so to explain the core concepts of each book, which may help or confuse. Either way,
Enjoy.


Book 1 - Failures of Humanity and the Rise of the Altered Beast
(9.33gb, 1:28:53 runtime, mainly PMDB/Mind Fuzz/MotU content)
CONCEPT;
The failures of humanity are mounting, pressing, and inevitable, given the human races' lack of desire to embrace anything but the status quo. We slip into our extinction with barely a pause or whimper, willingly ignorant of the issues we face - social, environmental, and, it turns out, existential... The Altered Beast rises as a consequence of an Altered world, marking the start of a new era, where humanity can no longer ignore the damage we have done, or the bleak future we face.
TRACKLIST;
The Failures of Humanity
Beginner's Luck - "...The Beginners Luck, now don't mess it up..."
Sense -"It's in vogue, to be feckless, when it comes to the mother taking care of us. I know it's so conventional, but it don't make no sense at all. But in fact, it's a pattern, everything I hear will always make me ashen..."
Bone -"...If Heaven is a place I know, I won't be taking my bones..."
Paper Mache Dream Balloon - "...Are you eluding, that I'm brooding? Moping around on my own. Stuck in a daydream, under a moonbeam, head on my pillow at home..."
NGRI -"I've awoken from my slumber, I was dreaming 'bout a flood, covered in my blood. Now my pits are getting sweaty, it's a sign I have to go, back to where I know..."
Empty - "Empty. Life is nothing like it used to be, feeling so empty..."
Hot Water - "...Echoes ending, Whispers trending, Heat is coming, everybody's stranded in..."
Bitter Boogie - "...I wouldn't like to say I didn't warn ya'..."
Slow Jam 1 - "...And when it feels like coming on, Boy it makes it hard to talk, for me..."
Satan Speeds Up - "...And when I stop to think of all that we've done, Satan's at the door..."
Her and I |Slow Jam 2| - "It wouldn't hurt to give you more, of my love. The sun shone through into a wave of thought..."
Billabong Valley -"...Bloodthirsty tendancies, Mad Dog Morgan. He never gave a warning..."
Anoxia -"...We waste no time, leaving in light, a different sun bakes the breeze tonight. My mind wanders, alone..."
Am I In Heaven? - "Got ideas in my brain about the end of the world that I won't even say. When all the bricks that built our brain have been turned into sand by the eternal wave. Oh, if we save her, we'll live on a star. Mother nature made everybody else so far..."
Paper Mache - Instrumental
The Rise of the Altered Beast
A New World - "As soon as the dust settles, you can see, a new world in place of where the old one had been. Your skin is crawling with dry, crusted mud, and your naked feet are wet in a pool of blood..."
Altered Beast I - "...He came from underneath, I met an Altered Beast..."
Alter Me I -"...For all it's revulsion, and warp, and taboo, a part of you wants to be Altered, too..."
Altered Beast II - "...What harm could a mere mortal like you do? I am the Golden Wolf, and you are caribou..."
Alter Me II - "...Your dumb human head is filled with naivete; your impending fate is to be one with me..."
Altered Beast III - "...Hair on my skin, and I'm feeling beastly, Feel it trickle in, a new life in me... ...I see you, and I can see right through, I see you, and I will take you to my Altered world..."
Alter Me III - "Altered Beast, Alter Me!"
Altered Beast IV - "...The sole thing that will make your void obsolete, is to find someone new, some sapid fresh meat... ...I think I see, an Altered Beast, Inside Me! I am an Altered Beast!"
Mr Beat - "...Happy days seem so absurd, lightning that's unlikely heard, Nova sunshine while I nap, making all my dreams so sad..."
Evil Death Roll - "...The night is young - full of sin, time to slither away again, You can see our history hanging on a Knife, so let's start killing things. 'Cos you started everything. And let's start severing limbs..."
Life/Death - "Are you you? Are you me? Or someone inbetween? You lost track inside the labyrinthine. You lost your will, and your sanity; you certainly lost your humanity. In life, you have taken much more than your worth, now it's your turn to give back to the earth. May you return to the ground and ossify, it's time for you to die, die, die."

Book 2 - The Open Door, The Battle Of Gods, and the Rats of Mars
(8.88gb, 1:26:12 runtime, mainly Nonagon/Mind Fuzz/MotU/ITRN content)
CONCEPT;
Powers beyond our current understanding battle for supremacy in this era of decline. But before we are ready to understand the forces that are, that be, we must understand the power that is - The power of the Nonagon. Wild and bizarre and infinite, the Door to this realm is opened, and from Hell the demons pour forth. First among the new rulers of a ruined world is the Lightning Lord, supreme in power and arrogance, and his battle with the Hell-sent Balrog is wrecking and disastrous. From the rubble climbs forth brave human survivors; keen to make amends and tell their story, keener still to exact vengeance on the remnant of the precursors who bought forth this folly.
TRACKLIST;
The Open Door
Some Context - Instrumental
Invisible Face - "...I climb up the stalk and plant the bean, the Universe is a machine, that has awoken from a dream..."
Wah Wah - "...I can feel the earth is moving, underneath my hoofed foots earthing. Fire protrudes from whence I'm pointing, fading every jewel..."
Road Train - "...Across the desert to the trees, Obliteration of the place, From the fire to the sea, Nonagon Infinity is coming!"
Gamma Knife - "...Milk and Honey for my body, come on through the door, see; It's your unborn self..."
People-Vultures -"...People Vultures, God approaches, final hearing, disappearing, tainted voodoo, headless guru, final head-spin, what else have I got left to spew down?"
Some Context |redux| - Instrumental
The Battle Of Gods
The Reticent Raconteur - "...Every time I think of the poor lot I recall, the fear upon their faces and the doomed fate of them all. I saw Death become of Light, and Life become of Fire..."
The Lord of Lightning - "...Floating Fire, Golden Wire, Silver Trails, Flashing Spire... ...And from the Lord's electric snare, one goes in His electric chair... ...Then the figure sprung up and at once it caught alight, and the creature known as Balrog was born that very night..."
I'm In Your Mind - "...Everybody's lazy 'cause they're fried, 'cause everybody's sucking on fluoride, when I'm in your mind, then I'm in your mind..."
I'm Not In Your Mind - Instrumental
Cellophane - "...You can colour everything you see, it's so strange..."
I'm In Your Mind Fuzz - "...And everybody's filing into line, 'cause everybody's sucking on fluoride, when I'm in your mind..."
The Balrog - "...You caused a massive rift, you made the atom split, and it came screaming through, here to bite the head off you!"
Trapdoor - "...And everybody goes to great lengths, for sure, to hide themselves away, and keep the beast at bay..."
The Great Chain Of Being - "...I usurp the precious stones, I have come to take the throne, I transcend the natural flesh, I will lay your God to rest..."
Floating Fire - "...Vehement Lightning quake, Head begins to ache, Lord has thunder snake, Balrog he will break... ...Lord of lightning safe, pulls a golden stake and launches into space, and mutters to the beast one word... Lightning!"
The Acrid Corpse - "...Leaving us, not without a final clap of light, the Lightning Lord escapes as day fades into moonless night..."
The Rats Of Mars
Planet B - "...Snowflakes blanket old deserts, outskirts disperse, earth is a blank verse, last hearse, dry nurse... Open your eyes and see, there is no Planet B.."
Mars For The Rich - "...Mars for the privileged, Earth for the poor, Mars terraforming slowly, Earth has been deformed..."
Organ Farmer - "...Farm colossal, wake the fossil, in the fields of beef!"
Superbug - "Superbug in my blood..."
Venusian 1 - "...Oh, we're going to the second planet from the sun, oh, our ship can deliver us from our ruin..."
Perihelion - "...Solar mountain comes on the perihelion, no rerouting only countin' till we're done, Shoutin' sins until we're in the sun..."
Venusian 2 - "In the lap of the gods, the last one did explode, in a blaze all fiery. I sit in the cockpit, it may be a sinking ship, but fortune favours bravery..."
Self Immolate - "I have gone insane-o, I lust for volcano, be with molten lava, give me my nirvana..."
Hell - "Here I was thinking I'd die, I see a thousand flies and wings and tails and spines. Nausea-less, resoluteness near the entrance, Satan points me to the Rats Nest..."

Book 3 - Microtonal Hellscape and Han Tyumi's Vomitverse
(7.41gb, 1:07:50 runtime, mainly FMB/MotU/Gumboot content)
CONCEPT;
The vast bulk of humanity is dead, dying, or somewhere between. The Earth is ruined beyond repair, a blasted wasteland where nothing will grow, and nothing can survive. Hear now tales of the poor souls who are last to call this place home. As the final drips of humanity fall from the tap, one last soul remains behind, only to finally take his place in the Digital Black at a cost beyond belief; The Universe itself.
TRACKLIST;
Microtonal Hellscape
Greenhouse Heat Death - "...My house is fried, all life has died, My house was blue, beautiful too..."
Flying Microtonal Banana - Instrumental - Dawn on an empty planet
Rattlesnake - "...I'm the serpent, Devil's servant, time to meet your end..."
Melting - "...Conflagrated and cremated when the world is consummated, devastated populated world of isolated mortal folk..."
Open Water - "...The Kraken's got the best of me this time..."
Sleep Drifter - "...Please no-one wake me, when I'm sleep drifting..."
Barefoot Desert -"...Never think ahead, unprepared, barefoot desert, come on in if you dare to my capsule of stress."
Han Tyumi's Vomitverse
Welcome to an Altered Future - "...Augmented entities, Unremembered God, the world fades to black...digital black. Welcome to an Altered Future."
Digital Black - "...I am the word of the last human, illusion, confusion, last human..."
Han Tyumi The Confused Cyborg - "...Born, if you may call it that, in a world that is dense and black. Created without a desire to draw breath. Without a desire to have being. Without a yearning of just to be. I'd like my desire back, my life back, my soul back, my humanity... ...I am bereft of two human things, two things that a cyborg can never do, two things that I strive for, two things between myself and mankind; Death, and to Vomit..."
Soy Protein Munt Machine - "So I built a machine, a Human machine, I made it with steel and soy protein. Born from a test tube, and into a vat, to live and to heave, and to die, just like that."
Robot Stop - "...My body works I know, It's just the same I know, my only difference is robot influence... Upload me to the robot brain, I'm the drudge that goes again and again..."
Big Fig Wasp - "...Did your God know insects grow in my pome...?"
Vomit Coffin - "...So I took over my creation, the spew coated protein, I plugged myself in and became one with machine..."
Murder of the Universe - "The spatter becomes a spray, and the spray becomes a stream... ...Inside my body the pressure is too great, and like some ancient geyser I erupt... ...Vomit bomb; chunky shrapnel tears through everything around me; I am vomit vomiting, I grow and disperse... ...I integrate. I am double, triple, I am ten times the size... ...I am a noxious soup filling valleys with vomit-torrents. Castles Crumble in landslides and I munch the rubble... ...Ten thousand times bigger, I seep into power sockets and travel along the wires at the speed of light across vast electric networks.... ...One million; I am supercharged flaming puke storming every cell, molecule and atom I can find - I am cancer... ...One billion, I am Saturn's rings, I am Jupiter's storms... ...One Trillion. The Stars are my cells, racing faster outwards, upwards, downwars, inwards... ...I shoot arrows of time in all directions... ...Nonillion, the Cosmic Microtone background becomes transparent; like rising damp, munt soaks into the walls of the cosmos and it topples like soggy bread. I am dark energy accelerating, Multiverse entanglement, I am time. Centillion, time is sick, critical density, contraction, singularity, everything and nothing, life and death....Murder of the Universe."
Doom City - "...Spark in firmament, Doom City sky opens up. He disorients everyone's lives with his breath; Charged with particles, Doom City air rips me up..."
Nuclear Fusion - "...Ocean like a moat fortification, separating me from restoration, my spirit leaves my body in frustration, flying through the world in radiation. The devils inside all the detail..."

Book 4 - Crumbling Castles, Dream-escapes, and the Fall of Polygondwanaland
(8.77gb, 1:19:13 runtime, mainly Poly/Quarters/Gumboot content)
CONCEPT;
In a land at the end of time, the remnant of a remnant cling to life, only for their bastion to be taken under by the vomitwave as Han Tyumi's destruction reaches even here. As the Castle Crumbles, the pilgrims flee, down The River into the dream, to arrive at Polygondwanaland; A place of power and mystery. Plots thicken, conspiracies abound, and a new hero emerges, only to be cast down as the inevitable machinations of Han Tyumi creep into the land beyond.
TRACKLIST;
Crumbling Castles
Crumbling Castle - "Meet me, glassy eyed, blind and divine. Hold down the the fort on the coastline. The castle is a pimple on the face of our orb, A humble spot for clues to drop if you eavesdrop. I see through the bricks, to the see, crumbling castle. Waters' rising up, thick and green, crumbling castle. Inching closer each century, crumbling castle. Are we safe in our citadel..."
Polygondwanaland - "...We're gonna get there, we don't need a whereabouts. We're gonna get there, follow where the river runs.. We're gonna get there, Polygondwanaland..."
Castle in the Air |intro| - "The River opened her mouth and spat into a vast sea, larger and bluer than a cloudless sky. Muscular, prodigious, immortal. But our vessel was invulnerable; It was well built. The boat rocked me to sleep and I floated through a deep dream - smooth sailing through the castle in the air..."
The Dream-escape
The River - "...Once you're where I led, it will be clear what I have said. Float without a home; The River flows like another long road. I can't believe it, it is frozen. It's not the first time, I had noticed. She will deliver, I am floating, trust in the river I had floated down..."
Muddy Water - "...Give me over to the River, my place that loves me - Gum leaves and tea trees, the river is immortal. I'm parched, I'll cark, the salty spray arrests..."
Sleeping In - "...I know within my body, I need to locate the switch hidden in me which will turn me off..."
Last Oasis - "...Dreamin' takes my mind away, it suffocates my brain airwaves. Optical illusion, sheet of water, heat perfusion, search the corners... ...the last oasis is like a flag beating in the wind. The world has wasted and the squandered lands are companionless. The last oasis shines a beacon like a lighthouse over lonely countries of death, like a black sea..."
Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer - "....My lonely wings are ready to fly, the ocean is breathing between you and I, my lonely wings don't make it right, wrapped in a steel sheet, and ready to fly..."
The Fall of Polygondwanaland
Castle in the Air |outro| - "...Could it be faithful? It couldn't seem more real. As I opened my eyes the dream decolourised until it was obscured, and the harsh reality hit me like salty water..."
Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet - "Deserted dunes welcome weary feet... ...Nervous natives watch pompous pilgrims, foreign nature, Polygondwanaland...
Inner Cell - "Anemic rule, now hear me say our time has come, transcending us above the one, to ego death. For now, he sits inside the fire, oblivious that we will keep Him in the spire, have found resolve and our own crimes to commit in cold blood, as he did his...."
Loyalty - "...This is a test, I am Lord, fear my wrath. This is a test, I am Lord, I am death..."
Horology - "...Just like that the plot was crushed, brushed away without a thought. Some were found alive though, left to roam without their skin... One did make a pilgrimage in search of a family evaporated in the dark, stolen by the despot. A journey made all the worse having had his eyes gouged; he left without the gift of sight to face his true destroyer... ...Sit down weary traveler, I am that what you seek..."
Tetrachromacy - "...The story man was glassy-eyed. He told me about the power lines, and in subarctic caribou eyes, the metal wires burst into life..."
Searching - "Doctor please, I'll do anything, Alter me, let me see, give me more. I want to see the world differently..."
The Fourth Colour -"I believe the hyperbole, I see the fourth colour. I am born again, I see the light, it's in my face. I am analyzing information now that I am a God..."
Superposition - "Superposition, real world wisdom, everything is moving to the beauty of this system. Total question; fearless reason. We; One; I: Many: Superposition..."
All Is Known - "Burn their meat, sweep the streets, bind their hands unto their feet and digitize, cut the eyes from the King and augment to the fourth cone...All is known..."
|Fourth Colour Redux| - Instrumental - Han Tyumi says Hello.

Book 5 - The Altered Plan of the Consciousness Can
(9.56gb, 1:26:34 runtime, mainly Sketches/FFF/Gumboot content)
CONCEPT;
Cyboogie. Han Tyumi. Who am I? Am I alive? Was it all a dream? Passing on the memory to the only humans remaining, The Reticent Raconteur and The Tetrochromat, the Vomitverse plans are unveiled, before Han-Boogie begins lamentations of the Old World, calling out the Failures in an effort to prevent them repeating in his Altered Plan. But intrusive thoughts keep calling - is this real, real? How much of what has transpired has been by his own hand? And the power of the Nonagon Infinity makes him wonder if it's all about to come back around again...
TRACKLIST;
The Altered Plan of the Consciousness Can
Cyboogie - "...Cyboogie, lump in his throat, palpitations and nausea ensue, Cyboogie's chorophobia, terminal error vascular tissue. So Cyboogie's fishing for fishies, Red-bellied trout in a binary brook. How is it that he is depressed? The humans have pierced through his cheek with a hook..."
Boogieman Sam - "...Causing mayhem, cause he's Boogieman Sam..."
Down The Sink - "...Down the sink, back and forth, follow the stream, the city is bleak forget all your dreams. Down you'll go..."
Sketches Pt1 - Intrumental
Countdown - "...When it all falls away, clothes start to fray, buildings decay, rabble remain. Where they were green, sterility. Humanity, staring at me..."
D-Day - "...11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..."
Tezeta - "If I've been insane my whole life, well now I've changed into something that see's. I love the feeling, shape shifting ceiling; my mental projection is pink... ...Everything that lives and dies is a hologram, nothing is as real as that... ...Do you remember now? What? Yes I do? This; my Altered Plan..."
Cranes Planes Migraines - Instrumental
The Spider and Me -"Let me just introduce you to my friend, under a tree, spider and me..."
The Bird Song - "To a bird, what's a plane? A shiny flying elephant..."
Plastic Boogie -"...Fuck all of that plastic, wrapped up in my dinner. It's not fantastic, it's gonna come and kill us. It's gonna be massive. It's gonna be brutal; Death will come from plastic. Death will come from people..."
The Cruel Millenial - "...Can't relate face to face with modern day youth. Outdated, the post-millennial will get you..."
Real's Not Real - "...What in the world is going on, here? Your past is built upon your fear, and happy is what you'll never be. I'm afraid that you're lacking some free will, Your real's not real..."
This Thing - "...I hide my riches in embarrassing sheets that reek of suspicious happenings, 'Cause I'm a different person and that will make you sick; There's no stopping what this is..."
Acarine - "...Buried deep inside of me....Acarine..."
The Wheel - "...Shivering pilgrims climb the steeper path to the idealistic reaper. Destroying all that will keep us headed for a better thesis..."
Sketches Pt2 - Instrumental
Dusk to Dawn on Lygon St -"...Black lines bend round a cityscape while trailing off in the sunsets wake. I can foresee that dawn will bring the light, as the sun gives way to night..."
The Book - "God gave me a sign; he put it in my glass of wine. A great theophany, he told me every sinner had to die..."
A Journey to |s|hell - Instrumental
Rolling Stoned - Instrumental
You Can Be Your Silhouette - "...When all the ticking stops dead, you may find your time instead, and you can be your silhouette..."
Sketches Pt3 - Instrumental
Fishing For Fishies - "Oh your heart's a hook. Ego tied in knots, baiting fate. Don't do it, you ain't a god; Don't hurt salmon, carp, or cod... ...Fishing for fishies, don't make them feel happy, or me neither, I feel so sorry for fishies.... I have been fishing and I don't want to catch none, I've let them swum..."
submitted by 4burner to u/4burner [link] [comments]

Room 221: Unicode PART I

Room U+221E: Unicode (Part I)
The brand-new wooden floors of the hospital glistened under the abrasive lighting, while Logan’s frail mother shivered underneath a pile of paper-thin blankets. She spoke in fragmented sentences, her breathing labored and so, so fragile.
“Logan, tell me you’ll settle down after I’m gone… Find someone to love... Someone that’ll love you… and care for you. Life just isn’t worth… living without - love… without someone to talk you off the ledge when…. things become… unclear.”
What started as innocent headaches had turned into something much more: ominous, never ending pressure in the back of her skull. She would scream, grab fistfuls of hair, plead with God to make it go away. No matter what she did, it just wouldn’t cease. She continued to writhe, and wither.
A CT scan revealed a large mass on her cerebellum.
Anaplastic Astrocytoma, they called it. The intensity of the words gave Logan anxiety. Those types of words made things too science-y; they made it too easy for doctors to separate themselves from the trauma inflicted upon their patients and families. It depersonalized everything about cancer. And despite the dread that took refuge in his bones, it angered him even more.
The cancer aged Logan’s mother fifty years in a matter of months. Its tendril-like forms had taken hold of the surrounding tissue, strangling other parts of her brain. Eventually, it would lasso her spinal cord – and she’d stop breathing - her heart would stop beating. It would be the end.
“You know, they say the…. tumor…. is like a star,” she said. “We’re all made of stars, Lo. We’re all made of the same… cosmic… molecules.”
Logan didn’t answer, yet. He wanted to make sure she was finished, and he wasn’t entirely sure lately when she was because of her difficulty speaking. So, he waited.
“It’s poetic, really,” she continued. “I’m going to die from a… shooting… star. Its tendrils have… exploded… like the birth of a… u-universe.”
After a moment, he responded. “It is, Mom. And you’re beautiful, more beautiful than the brightest star in the sky.”
“They’re already dead, you know… by the time we can see them. Will I still be… beautiful then?”
“Of course, Ma.”
It pained him to say those words, to participate in a conversation implying the inevitable death of his mother. Tears burned the corners of Logan’s eyes and caused his nostrils to flare.
“Promise me you’ll take care of yourself. Swear it,” she said through a tired smile.
“I swear, Ma.”
It was a lie. A white lie, he told himself.
Logan swore again on the same topic not long after that night, this time on his mother’s grave; but there was no weight to his word after what had happened. The only time Logan would swear and mean it, was when he would swear to himself to avoid relationships altogether - any form of social commitment, really. Logan loved his mother, but he couldn’t care much at all for love now that she was gone. He just couldn’t believe in it anymore. How could he? His childhood was spent watching it decay before his very eyes. As far as he was concerned, it was an inevitable heartbreak; and in his parent’s case, it led to a pain far beyond that. Love was a fallacy, something blindly worshipped and depended on for happiness; bound to fail, bound to disappoint. And now she was gone.
Logan had always been a loner and was content with his idea (at least he had himself convinced) that his life the way it was would be enough. He worked a job that occupied a large portion of his time and the money was great. As an auditor for a large automobile company travelling back and forth across the country looking over financial records, it would be his escape, his own plastic bubble to keep him safe from the world.
The conversation with his mother in the hospital was the night before she had passed, and Logan buried her only this morning. He was due back for an audit at 9 A.M. sharp in Charleston.
The plane was two hours late. A strong lightning storm had been taking hold over Atlanta and grounded all inbound and outbound flights until the skies cleared. Logan rented a car with the intent of facing the elements on the road. Postponing the audit was not an option. There wasn’t a safe place in his mind to take pause and mourn his mother, not yet. In fact, Logan wasn’t sure if there ever would be. There was comfort in being busy with his work, a lame excuse to pretend as if nothing else exists.
Outside, static energy clung to the hairs on Logan’s skin, almost plucking them at the roots. He pushed the unlock button on the key fab and pulled on the driver’s side door handle, discharging the static and zapping his fingers.
Shit,” Logan hissed, whipping his hand back reflexively. The hairs on his arms and the back of his neck relaxed. He swung open the door and hopped inside. It was a little before 8 PM and the GPS on Logan’s cell had him reaching his hotel around 1 AM. With any luck, he would be able to sleep in a bed instead of on a hard, plastic chair in a crowd of agitated strangers in an airport.
Logan drove into the storm, thinking more of his last night in the hospital with his mother. He gulped down the bold, black coffee he bought from the airport. The jolt of caffeine kept him going, sure, but it sent his mind racing into overdrive. He couldn’t help but recall more of the conversation, particularly about his father:
“I tried to do that for your father, you know… Be there for him… I loved your father,” his mother said. She was fighting them back, but Logan could see the tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “I still do. I… always will.”
Logan sat on the edge of her bed, holding his mother’s hands in his, praying silently, but no less powerful than if he were screaming, that she would be cured by a miracle.
“I know Ma. Me too.”
“He loved looking at the stars before-” She didn’t finish the sentence. She didn’t have to. Logan knew. “Before it all started, he told me that he realized nothing mattered. He was on the back... porch… looking through his telescope. It was late. I was… in bed… he had a look in his eyes. They were… empty... yet, full. He told me he knew everything. I asked him… what that meant… that he knew everything… he said nothing matters. He saw himself in the sky, infinite… versions of himself... like a kaleidoscope. He… saw God.”
“He was ill,” Logan said, this time not waiting to see if she was finished. “You need rest. Come on, let’s talk about this some other time.”
“I tried to be there for him… I tried so hard for so long. That night… in the mirror… I didn’t know what to do. I wish I could go back… I would try… harder.”
Her breath became even more labored, deteriorating from sudden stridor.
“Please don’t say that. You did everything you could. It wasn’t your fault. I love you, Mom. Dad loves you too. You’ve got to know that.” -Logan put a hand on his mother’s shoulder- “Dad knows you did your best.”
“If it… starts to split”-she drew a raspy breath, her words harder to hear- “don’t search… for answers. Just… close your eyes. Don’t look between… the seams.”
“See what split?” Logan asked, but her eyes were already closing. “Ma? What are you talking about? What does that mean?”
He wanted to shake her - demand an explanation - but she was asleep. The monitors were steady, rhythmic. She was free from pain in her slumber, and there he let her remain. Maybe he would have if he had known it would be the last time they would speak.
A burst of white noise brought his mind back to the present, freeing him from the painful memory. He searched the cab for the source of the noise, opening the glove box and rummaging through its contents, but found nothing. He slowed to a crawl and rolled the window down. It was coming from outside, from up above in the sky. Logan acknowledged the change in architecture, and the obvious, almost claustrophobic layout of downtown Charleston. He checked the maps on his phone. He had traveled over 300 miles in what felt like minutes.
Down a narrow cobblestone road was a bright lettered sign:
HOTEL NON-DORMIUNT
VISITORS WELCOME
The sign seemed to scatter - or flicker - like static on a vacant television channel - much like the sound resonating in the recesses of the black clouds. It wasn’t the name of the hotel indicated by his GPS, but it was a hotel, nonetheless. He was checking in regardless.
Logan turned down the road, the car rocking and bouncing on the cobblestone. Despite being downtown, the street was vacant - the hotel the only standing building on the short block. It had an old-money feel, stone filigree flowed along the columns supporting the overhang of the entranceway. He parked the rental car in a small lot across the way and gathered his things. The large black door of the hotel flickered white in a flash of lightning. The door knocker, polished brass in the form of a screaming man’s head, with flowy, floating hair watched him approach as he dragged his luggage bag forward. The door flickered just like the sign, but Logan was sure it was only more lightning. He turned the lever on the door and let himself inside.
A large, black desk sat across from the doorway, about ten feet across from a freshly waxed, black and white checkerboard floor; the high-top chair behind it empty. Classical music played over an old speaker system overhead. A framed sign sat on its side on the desk, next to a silver service bell. Logan tilted his head to the side to read it:
Back in 8 minutes!
Time had passed at an incomprehensible pace. The rush of caffeine had worn off. Irritation and frustration were taking hold. Logan did not wait 8 minutes, because who knows how long 8 minutes had been from when they left the sign, he thought, and he slapped the bell thrice.
The crunchy, high-treble music overhead fell silent, and Logan heard voices coming from a small speaker on the counter that had been hiding behind the fallen sign. The voices were muffled and indiscernible. It looked old, with two bulky knobs on the bottom: one on each side.
Logan eyes grew wide as a more distinct voice came through the speaker.
“I have a son. I had a daughter. I have a son I had a daughter I have a son I had a daughter HAVE A SON HAD A DAUGHTER HAVE A SON-”
“Dad?” Logan belted out.
“May I help you?” Another voice, now female and brash, cut through the speaker.
“Uh, may I have a room, please? I’m not feeling well and I have an early morning,” Logan said.
“You may,” the voice responded. “Bell boy, see Logan Atlas to room 221.”
“How do you know my name?” Logan asked the empty desk.
“Mr. Atlas, you’ve been here before and don’t you dare start asking questions now,” the voice replied. “We’re all very busy here at Hotel Non Dormiunt. We have no time for nonsense.”
Before Logan could respond, a small boy emerged from behind the counter looking no older than eight or nine. He wore a small hat that covered his eyes. He never looked up at Logan, only handed him his room key and took his bag.
Logan came down on one knee to meet the boy at his level.
“Hey, buddy. What’s your name?” Logan asked, but the boy hid his face and continued down the hall. Logan stayed there for a moment, but swiftly caught up, ultimately afraid of being stuck at the counter with that speaker and the voices, one of them impossible to forget (sounding awfully like his father).
“Hey,” Logan carefully grabbed the boy’s shoulder. He stopped, turned, and looked up at Logan with black, beady eyes. He shook his head slowly, never blinking.
“What is this? Are you messing with me?” Logan asked, recoiling a few steps back. The elevator beeped next to him, and Logan left the floor with both feet. The boy stepped inside, dragging Logan’s luggage with him. He pressed a button once inside and the doors began to close. Logan threw his hand up between the doors and, with what felt like no other choice, reluctantly stepped inside.
“I don’t know what’s going on here, but can you please say something? I’ve had a really bad day and I just need you to say something, okay? Can you do that?”
The doors to the elevator closed, and it started to ascend. The boy looked up again at Logan, opened his mouth and said, “ahhhh.” To his horror was a knotted piece of purple flesh where his tongue should have been. His teeth were rotted down to the roots and there was a feint smell of rotting meat that must have been his breath.
Logan screamed. The doors opened on queue as he snatched his bag from the boy and ran down the hall, frantically searching for Room 221, looking over his shoulder at the boy; but he never came out of the elevator. He simply waved goodbye as the doors closed, and the elevator descended.
The door to Room 221 was vandalized with carvings of letters and symbols. Before the numbers 221 was the letter “U” and the “+” symbol. After the 221 was the letter “E,” carved in the same choppy manner. Nothing made any fucking sense. Logan put the key in the door and let himself inside, sure that once he got into a bed of any sort everything would be okay again. He was scared, frustrated and tired. He would fall asleep, wake up for work and everything would be normal, at least temporarily. That’s what he thought.
As Logan stepped inside, the space between the doorframe flickered. Columns and rows of 1’s and 0’s raced across the open doorway. He had crossed the threshold without even noticing, too busy failing to make sense of the events of the last few hours. The room was dull and gray, the walls decorated with monotone, gray-scale pictures and photographs of an assortment of landscapes and portraits. Logan would have felt more comfortable with a little more color and a little less dread, but it managed to calm him. He threw his bag over the bed, which surprisingly didn’t make a sound, and retrieved a change of clothes to sleep in.
A powerful crack of lightning flashed in the window, lighting up the room like the flash of an old Polaroid. An immense, rolling thunder followed. Logan’s mother would tell him it was God bowling. When it was especially loud, she would cheer, and applaud God for getting a strike. While Dad argued with himself in the mirrors, demanding to know which version of himself was the real one, Mom preserved Logan’s childhood as best she could. He remembered his father locking himself in the bathroom for hours, his lips pressed into the space between the door and the doorframe, whispering, “I write with my left hand. I can write with my right. I write with my left hand I can write with my right. It’s in the mirror – I have a daughter in the mirror. I write with my left hand.”
He pulled back the covers of the bed and tucked himself inside. He closed his eyes for a short while before the sound of shattering glass forced them back open. That familiar static back in Atlanta filled the air. Logan felt an electric charge looming over his exterior, waiting to detonate. He caught his reflection in the window with the light of the lamp and saw his hair standing on end, like the man on the door knocker, he thought.
Logan cautiously headed toward the bathroom but stalled when he heard a voice.
“FUCK YOU! WHICH ONE IS REAL? IS ANY OF THIS REAL? TELL ME GOD DAMNIT!”
He took a few more steps, terrified of what he knew he was going to find.
His father stood in front of the fractured mirror, the larger pieces still sticking to the mirror frame reflecting distorted versions of himself. They were all screaming and yelling, begging for the truth from within the shards. He held a piece in his hand so tight it was cutting into his flesh. When he turned and saw his son, he held it up to his throat.
“Wait! Stop!” Logan yelled, running toward him.
“It’s okay son.” The images of Logan’s father spoke to him in unison. “You’ll see, it doesn’t matter. You always come back in some form. We’re not really here.
“You are, Dad. Maybe not anymore, but you were.
“No, I’m not. I wasn’t. And neither are you.”
His father pushed the glass shard into his neck, and he flickered, then disappeared. The walls of the bathroom split at the seams, and streams of binary code filled the cracks. With another flash of lightning it was gone. The walls were intact, along with the mirror.
GUEST BOOK
submitted by NewUnknowns to nosleep [link] [comments]

Choice is an Illusion. Your Only Choice is to Accept That

I used to think reality was made up of choices. A hundred little choices made every day in a row, strung up like a necklace of pearls. You probably think reality is something like this too, each thing that you do could go a hundred different ways, and the only way it goes is the way that you choose for it to go...but that's not how it works at all. That's not how anything works. Reality is manipulative, just like people are and it's manipulating all of us. It's even manipulating you. You might not think so. Choices are only binary. Yes or no. True or false. There's no great big gray areas like they tell you.
Do you think we should have just one more beer Jeremy? Yes.
You probably think I'm wrong for believing that, but, for instance, let's take your closet: let's say you had 20 shirts to choose from. You might say, "Jeremy that's 20 different ways to choose!" But it's not. Your only choices were ever "yes" or "no" and for 19 of those shirts, your choice was "no."
Will Jeremy tip better if I can keep him drinking? Yes.
Sorry, stay with me, I promise I've got a point and it's this: what if you didn't have any choices at all? What if you only think you do. What if everything has already been decided and there's nothing you can do to change it. What if the shirt was chosen for you and you only believed it were the other way around? We can say we choose yes or no, but that never mattered because it was always an illusion. The pearls are already strung on your string for you from the moment you're born.
What if there'd only been two instead of three of them? Would it have mattered more or mattered less? What if one of them was going to grow up to be the next Hitler? Stalin? The next Kellyanne Conway? Wouldn't that make it all okay?
Wouldn't it?
Would it?
Yes.
I think so.
The thing about pearl necklaces is that they're not like in the movies. Those are fake, dramatic things that come apart everywhere. The ones with real pearls don't do that. Pearls are expensive. They put little knots between each one so they don't wear out rubbing against each other but also so if the string breaks they stay together. They don't scatter in a hundred hopeless directions. They're each knotted individually so they can't.
What if my phone was dead and I couldn't have looked at it? But it wasn't. It was never supposed to be dead because I charged it. I didn't choose to charge it. I had to. I charged it because that was part of the design... part of the reality last night. I just did it because I was supposed to do it. What if the kids looked before walking into the goddamn street? But they didn't. What if I chose not to put gas in last Tuesday and the tank ran empty before this all happened? What if, what if, and what if?
What you have to understand is that I didn't choose to hit those kids with my car just as much as they didn't choose to be hit by my car. There's no choices at all. True or false. He loves me, he loves me not. Yes or no. Life is just events tied up together on a string.
It doesn't matter because you can't pull them apart and watch them scatter and rearrange them from what they were to the way you want them to be.
When I didn't stop. When I drove away… it wasn't a choice. I didn't have a choice. I just did it because I was always going to. I see that now.
It was predetermined. That's just how it is and you can't argue with reality.
_______________
The Greeks believed there were three. Three witches, high on mount Olympus, creeping in a damp cave just beneath Zeus's castle in the clouds. They determined all things that would come to pass. A young adventurer might defy the odds and climb to them--if that adventurer were brave enough, and if they'd predetermined to let them.
The Greeks understood the illusion of choice in those epic poems far better than we ever will.
I woke up thinking about my choices--or more accurately--the events of the night before.
Those goddamn kids choosing not to look both ways before stepping off the goddamn curb and into the goddamn street in their goddamn costumes.
I'm going to jail. I thought. Fuck. I am. I know I am.
I poured myself a bowl of cereal, but I couldn't eat it. It just stared at me, a hundred little cheerio eyes glaring wide with shock. Fuck you! I thought, sweeping the bowl to the floor. It crashed there in a puddle of milk and shards of glass, judging me still. Collecting myself, I sighed heavily and placed my head into my hands and slowed my ragged breathing until I was calm. I'd left the pantry open and when I looked up from the table that stupid man on the tube of oatmeal was staring out at me with judgement as well. He of the stupid frilly shirt and dumb white hair and quiet knowing smirk.
Fuck him in his fucking Quaker ass. And fuck his hat. It wasn't my fault!
I got up and slunk away from the table wondering if I hadn't dreamed it all to begin with. I could have. I didn't think so, but I could have. Please God.
Please God, if you're out there, make this all a bad dream.
I saw nothing on the morning news. I watched it for hours in a stupor until my phone broke me from the rotten headspace I'd been floating in and back to Earth.
Before the call, so far there hadn't been anything on the local news about a hit and run.
"Where the fuck are you Bailey?" a small voice demanded. I hadn't even realized I'd picked the phone up before the voice of Gary Turner began screaming through the speaker. The corpulence of his jowls, like the drooping cheeks of a basset hound, could be heard smacking as he screamed at me through the phone.
I didn't respond.
"Jeremy Bailey, the BCU is a huge fucking client and you were supposed to be meeting with their advisory board almost an hour ago. You better have a real fucking good reason to--"
"My grandmother died," I lied.
He was quiet for a moment and when he began to mutter a half-hearted apology, I interrupted him again and told him I was taking a personal day and hung up before he could say another word.
It wasn't nice, but I hoped he had some sort of stroke later. It would serve you right, Gary Turner.
One witch is Clotho, she's the Spinner. She weaves the threads.
"It's 8:59. Stay tuned after this short word from our sponsors for the latest headlines and Weather-on-the-Ones"
Her sister Lachesis, was the Allotter. She chose the lengths of each.
"It's gonna be a cold wet one today for Braden County and the surrounding areas. You can expect highs in the mid 40°s with an 80% chance of precipitation around 4pm. The low for this evening--"
Atropos, the Inflexible one, was the third. She was the one who cuts it. The three old crones share one eye passed between them, examining every strand they made in turn, like a jeweler, looking for flaws. They do it because they're compelled to, but they never find anything during inspection. The Greeks called them The Fates and they were the cause of every last thing.
"The tragic news of the death of loved ones struck three families overnight."
The television provided my second undesired jolt back to reality that morning. I held my breath. This was it. I'd really done it. I killed those kids. They were looking for me. I could hear my heart rattling in my chest as though it had come loose. This was the story. Here she was, Avon Sugowski standing on the street in front of an apartment building as cars rushed past. She was about to tell the world about those kids and their last Halloween. About what I'd done.
"In the heart of Bradenville this morning, three were found dead in a tragedy that could have been easily avoided."
She held something in her hand. Round and white and the size of her palm.
"Emergency services reported the deaths of the residents who lived in the number 8 building of Bluegrass Ridge, the apartment building just behind be. Tenants are blaming the deaths on the negligence of apartment management and this particular model of carbon monoxide detector which is still installed in every unit here. Recalled by the manufacturer nearly 6 years ago due to mechanical flaws."
The camera cut to show an older woman. She's angry and her lips are pursed into a wrinkled scowl. She began speaking and I turned the volume up to hear her better. I bit my lip, still only hearing the part about 3 dead and irrationally expecting the story to suddenly change direction and be about me. I attempted to stifle anxious tears that I could feel coming.
"I've been living here 'bout 13, 14 years or so. Not once did they ever schedule any kind of maintenance or check on those damn things in my place. Too cheap is what they are. The makers said in the recall they'd replace the faulty ones for free, but who pays to install them? Nobody if you live in Bluegrass Ridge, that's who. That's how cheap these people are. Oughtta be ashamed."
Avon returned, this time boxed to the right of her was an infographic:
"Carbon monoxide is a deadly colorless, odorless gas…"
I began to laugh. It wasn't funny, but I was relieved the story was about something other than my accident. Her voice trailed off and I went back to thinking about The Fates once more.
"...filled four apartments, one of which was unoccupied at the time before a working carbon monoxide detector alerted residents in the rest of the building."
I turned the television off and breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe I'd imagined it all and there was one sure way to tell. I went outside and looked at my car.
The sun was bright for 9:15. It could have been brighter than usual or it may have been the hangover. The birds were far too loud and as I walked around my car, their lighthearted singing died. A dozen crows on the telephone wires, where I hadn't initially seen them began to drown them out with their awful dirge.
It was probably just their standard squawking sounds, but all I heard from their beaks was the word "murderer" over and over again.
My knees felt weak as I examined the damage. The hood was cratered and where it wasn't covered with dried smears of blood, the paint was scraped down to the metal.
How many of my neighbors had seen this? What had I done? What should I do?
This brings me back to choices and why choices aren't real. There's not a handful of things to do. There's not a dozen options I had available to consider. There was just one. It was the only thing I could do. It was done. I didn't think there was any way to undo the damage I'd caused or the hurt…or bring them back.
I put the car into the garage.
Listen, I know you think I'm an awful person but you're missing the point really. You don't even know the rest. It's not that I didn't feel bad. Of course I felt bad. I threw a whole bowl of cheerios onto the floor I felt so bad. The point is that this was part of a design. It wasn't up to me. It was fate.
Choices aren't real. Everything happens because it's meant to. I parked the car where it belonged and decided to take my breakfast after all: a bowl of Jack Daniels. 86 the Cheerios and their judgement. After, I went back to bed.
When I woke again the world outside should have been midday and perhaps a bit gray to match the cold weather the newsman promised.
I opened my eyes. Normally, I might have taken the time to wake slowly, stretching my arms above my head, gaping my jaw with a wide, dramatic air. This time, instead of yawning, I felt myself releasing a scream that found its way out from the depths of my gut.
The clock on my nightstand read 3:14pm. That small end-table and my bed itself were all that remained of my room. The rest was gone, swallowed up by swirls of restless darkness. The walls had fallen away, replaced by nebulas of nearly impenetrable fog. It moved around me, consuming the world beyond my bed in an irregular circle. Nearly solid, but not quite, it was peppered through as though blasted by a shotgun with birdshot from every angle possible. Light, the powerful, atomic white of pure energy lay just beyond that opaque wall of tenebrous shadow. The brightness of it filtered through like a hundred spinning lights in a club, each directed onto me where I lay while the thick dark mist fluctuated, moving like something alive.
I was trying to take this all in when I saw them. One of them might have grown up to be a serial killer--the next Elizabeth Bathory--and I might have done the world a favor with my car the night before. At the time I was willing to bet money that none of them seemed to share that line of thinking.
They hovered shoulder to shoulder at the end of my footboard. Each of their faces twisted into dark scowls. The one at the center wore a light blue dress that might have been an Elsa costume once, except the gossamer snowflaked sleeves were now stained red entirely. Her neck was bent unnaturally to one side. The one to her right was dressed in a cat jumpsuit. The tail that was attached to the back of it seemed to be alive, swaying with cobraesque charm. Her features were dark, and smears of makeup stained her cheeks in patterns that had once been whiskers. One black and pointy ear, broken halfway up, dangled pathetic from her kitty-cat headband. It flopped onto and off from her slick, wine-dark, and blood-matted hair as she moved. The final, the one to the left, held a basket in one hand, the straw broken nearly into kindling. her face was obscured by a red hood. It hung down to her chin until she slowly began to pull it back and away. Most of her face appeared to be untouched like the smooth white of a china figurine, but as she continued, she revealed the destruction of an entire side of her skull. What remained there was the deviating void of the indentation made by my tire.
The first two had only darkness in the spaces where their eyes should have been. The eyes were gone. There was nothing there. The third with the basket, Little Red Riding Hood--as I realized her costume then--was missing one of her's in the vacuous space where her skull should have been intact. The other eye, which still existed hung limply halfway down her cheek in the side of her skull that wasn't crushed. It dangled there, suspended by a knot of nerves.
Their empty eyes were fixed upon me, unseeing. Red plucked the dangling eye she retained from her skull and pointed it to stare at me.
When they spoke, they spoke in unison, their mouths hanging open like endless screams, speaking the words through unmoving lips as they passed the single eye between them.
"Jeremy Bailey, son of Katie Eckhart and Richard Bailey. You have been chosen." They said.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! I didn't mean--"
"SILENCE!" they screamed and I would have chosen to listen but they didn't give me a choice of whether or not I should comply. My mouth slammed shut on its own and I felt something horrible moving inside of my gums, burrowing through them, pressing out of them. Four holes made their way through my lips as though drawn by four unseen needles and something white and tapeworm-thin began to slither out of my clenched jaw as I thrashed in bed.
"BE STILL!" they demanded and my body went rigid as though each limb had been tied to the posts.
The tapeworms slid their way back and forth, in and out in a haphazard and gruesome stitch until my lips were sealed with rugged white x-patterns of tapeworm yarn. I felt every molecule in my body begin to burn then. My blood was boiling.
Tears ran down my cheeks.
"You have been chosen." They began again. "This is by no choice you've made, not by omission of choices you might have made. Your choices do not matter. Your fate has been preordained."
"We are those who they have named The Fates." they continued. Elsa held the eye now and though it had no face or lids of its own to convey itself, I could feel its gaze upon me widen and intensify.
"We appear before you in these forms to resolve you of your sin. You shall perform a task for us and these faces, though not our true faces, have been chosen to help you understand what is required. We, the daughters of Nyx the Unending Night have no true faces of our own."
I could hear myself whimpering beneath my stitches and any leverage I managed to gain against my invisible bindings was immediately overpowered. Lifting my left arm 8 inches from the mattress caused it to violently be slammed down again. I began to cry, too shocked to react before that moment, and squeezed my eyes shut.
"OPEN YOUR EYES" they wailed, "OR THEY SHALL BE LIDLESS--AS EYES THAT WERE FORCED OPEN FOR YOU--FOREVER. THERE ARE NO CHOICES TO BE MADE HERE, JEREMY BAILEY. THIS IS YOUR FATE, SO DETERMINED AT YOUR BIRTH."
Terrified by the threat, I opened my eyes again, wide. Kitty had the eye now. A whip-like smile snapped across her face, much wider than the smiles of her sisters.
"We are the ones who work the wheel to spin the threads. We are the ones to measure them. We are the ones to cut them at their ends."
"Last night, another took this task upon herself." They continued, their lips still unmoving, "the threads of the three children who appear before you were ordained to be cut Halloween night at 8:17 as they went door-to-door in search of sweet things."
"This may seem cruel to you. You who's entire life spans but mere moments. We are Endless. A hundred years are but moments for the Endless. It is our discretion how long those moments of mortal lives are meant to span."
"These three young girls were taken by another. Then that other was led to subvert our grand design. This was forseen. Before your conception or hers, this was forseen. Your purpose in this was forseen " They explained.
"We are The Fates. We are Endless. Though we share but one eye, nothing in this world goes unseen. We have spun and measured and cut your thread for this sole purpose."
"You were chosen to wield the shears that deliver justice to the one who caused the death of the children standing before you. Her witchcraft violated the very laws of time and nature to shift the burden of her actions onto another."
I don't want this. No I don't want this. Do I? True or False? It's not my fault but I'm sorry still. If I take their revenge aren't I just as wrong? Aren't I? Yes or No?
"You were chosen to be the hand to deliver this message to the races of mortals: we will not suffer the meddling of interlopers in matters of fate."
They finished by telling me what I was meant to do and handing me a pair of gleaming scissors, shears the size of garden loppers.
When I woke, the clock read 3:15 and the dial on the 5 was slowly turning over to 6. I felt as though I must have listened to them for hours but only a moment or two had passed in the waking world. The sky outside was a cold as dull steel. I slowly sat up, wondering if the entire event had been a wild dream brought on by guilt.
When I looked at my face in the mirror, my mouth was still fastened by their thread which had now become a part of me. Knots of skin that twisted in X-formations like puffy scars. I examined them knowing for certain then that it was all true.
Kassandra Petersen lived at 832 Cypress Lake Drive. I knew this because that was what they told me.
I was on a date at 7:30 with a man I'd met online. He was strange but nice. He refinished furniture in his spare time. He loved animals and made time for his nieces and nephews that lived a few hours away every other weekend because they were important to him. He told me beforehand online that he knew a dozen ways to preserve flowers. I thought that was endearing so I gave him one as an icebreaker for our first meeting--a yellow rose--and he told me how he planned to save it.
"Maybe forever," he said that with stars in his eyes.
My heart melted.
While we ate dinner, Kassandra Petersen hit three girls as they crossed the street in their Halloween costumes. A Red Riding Hood, An Elsa, and A Black Cat. Because there are no choices, she did just as she was meant to. She went home and opened a book and said the words on the pages within. She made the accident shift. The dents in her car restored themselves and the blood slowly faded until it was never there at all.
Daniel and I were having drinks by 9:00
"Do you think we should have just one more beer, Jeremy?" He asked. I should have said "no," but I didn't because I'd said "yes" instead. It didn't matter because the choice wasn't mine.
The bartender wondered if I would tip better if he kept us drinking and I did. When Daniel and I parted ways, we shared our first kiss. He offered to share his Uber too, but I couldn't do that. I had to tell him "no " I had to tell him I was fine to drive despite knowing that I wasn't. It wasn't a choice. It was preordained.
I hit those girls on my way home, but I wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of doing that. That was not my fault. That was Kassandra meddling with time--pushing them forward. Passing the blame. There would never be any evidence that I'd done it because they weren't meant to be in that place at that time...
And still, this was always meant to happen this way. It was by their design. The Fates told me themselves. Those girls existed only to fulfill that moment and to teach all of us… All of you reading this...that these things aren't ours to meddle with. Our time here and what happens belongs to them. They send us--people like Kassandra and people like me--as reminders from time to time. She is the example to be made and I am to be their messenger.
Atropos gave me her giant scissors. I will go to her house and wait. I will remove her head. As soon as I do the stitches will dissolve and the dents in my car will rebound to their normal shape. The blood will subside on its own, just as it had from the original vehicle that took those lives.
I don't have a choice because I want to see Daniel again and get to know him. I want to give him more flowers to preserve. I have to fix my face so we can have a second kiss. I have to fix my car so I can make it to our next date. I'll share his Uber home this time.
I take the scissors from the bed and head out the door to punish the one who broke the rules and made her way too far out of line. And I'll do what they said. I'll cut off Kassandra's head.
I understand all of this.
What I don't understand is if there are no choices, and everything is preordained by The Fates and their all-knowing eye, that can only meet Kassandra didn't have a choice in what she did either. She could only meddle with fate because they made her do so. She didn't have a choice or decide to do anything. None of us control anything we do.
What I don't understand is why they've set these things into motion. In my head I can only think they must get bored after so long. In my head I can hear them laughing, but I'll do this because I'm destined to do it.
There are no choices. Choice is an illusion. The only choice I have is to accept that for what it is. This is my fate…
And Fate is a cruel, three headed bitch with a sick sense of humor that shares one eye...
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Binary – A way of representing information using only 2 options. Bit – Short for “Binary Digit”. It is one digit’s location in a binary number. 8 bits make 1 byte. Code/Coding – Transformation from one interpretation to another. Decode – Convert a coded message into something familiar. Encode – To convert a familiar message into ... Cut a length of cording, sized to your wrist, with a few extra inches added on. For example, if you have an approximate 6" wrist, add 4" of string for 10" total, or for an 8" wrist, add 4" of string for 12" total. Make a triple knot to start the bracelet. Then string each of your bits and delimiter beads on the string towards the knotted end. 5. Holding the open end carefully, try wrapping it ... How to Read Binary. Trying to read a string of binary 1's and 0's can seem a daunting task. However, with a bit of logic we can figure out what they mean. Humans have adapted to use a base ten number system simply because we have ten... The binary isn’t “carefully constructed” in this case–it’s a natural outgrowth of first past the post voting systems and a single executive elected by a national vote. If we had a different voting system, we’d get different results. If you want multiparty systems, you need a voting system that makes it possible to win seats with less votes (such as proportional voting) and have ... Binary Editor will display the compare binary next to the base binary. This will populate the “Value2” column on the Scalars tab and the 3rd and 4th columns on the Functions tab and the bottom table on the Tables tab. The cells associated with the compare binary are editable but cannot be saved. This allows you to cut and copy from one binary to another. If you have multiple compare files ... Executable binary: Knot.bin.(DATE).tar.gz Source codes: Knot.src.(DATE).tar.gz ... Cut off segment in diagram "Del string": remove string "Add Band": saddle band for knotted surface in S^4. In this version, it cannot distinguish upper or lower saddle, So, we can not draw exact geometric condition but compute knot group and related invariants. band for surgery 3rd element for theta 3 curve ... Cut a length of cording, sized to your wrist, with a few extra inches added on. For example, if you have an approximate 6” wrist, add 4” of string for 10” total, or for an 8” wrist, add 4” of string for 12” total. Make a triple knot to start the bracelet. Then string each of your bits and delimiter beads on the string towards the knotted end. 5. Holding the open end carefully, try ... Binary Bracelets A Bracelet that Spells out a Word in Binary Sample bracelet that reads “liger” 1. Write out the letters of a word you want to put on your bracelet. 2. Tie a knot in one end of the elastic string to keep the beads from sliding off when you add them. 3. Slide beads onto the elastic in the order of the gcc <options> <files> <options> We will compile ‘hello.c’ in the most simple manner. Compile ‘hello.c’ with the below command. gcc hello.c This command simply tells to compile ‘hello.c’ file. No options are applied in this command. After the command has completed you notice that a new file is created in the directory named ‘a.out ... 1. Cut string or cord to desired length for a necklace or bracelet. Remember to leave a little extra for the knot. 2. Put a piece of tape across one end of the cord and fold it over on itself. This keeps your beads from falling off. 3. Use the binary alphabet code below to place your beads in the order for each letter. Remember to add a

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Cara Trading Turbo Binary Option

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