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[End of Dragons] Ideas for 9 new Canthan elite specializations

Few new elite specialization ideas for the Canthan expansion, with no new weapon types involved:

Elementalist: Skyfire

Mesmer: Trickster

  • Gain Spectres instead of Clones. Spectres are weaker than clones, but replicate themselves on destruction, reducing their size and power. A normal spectre will spawn two medium spectres, a medium spectre will spawn two small spectres, and a small spectre won't replicate any further. Shatter skills affect all spectres no matter their size, adjusting their strength to the size of each shattered spectre.
  • You can wield the Shortbow weapon in combat. All five shortbow skills work as channeled skills, employing multiple consecutive projectiles at once. Each of these projectiles is weaker individually, but their combined effect has the same strength as any common ranged weapon. When all the projectiles hit their target, the strength of the combined effects double.
  • Gain access to Shout slot skills. Shout effects are divided in three phases, each triggered by one of the three spectre sizes. The first phase is triggered by the mesmer and normal spectres, the second by medium spectres, and the third by small spectres. Completing the three phases will unlock an additional fourth effect, triggered by all spectres at once. Shouts are inspired by Canthan poetry, each phase covering one out of four verses.

Necromancer: Apothecary

  • Gain Plague Bomb, Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, Scarab Spore, and Plague Shroud instead of Death Shroud. Plague Bomb throws an explosive to the target area. Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, and Scarab Spore work as enchancements for your bombs. Activate and combine them to modify the effects of your plague bomb, leading to a total of eight possible combinations. Plague Shroud turns the necromancer into a walking combo field. All plague skills consume life force.
  • You can wield the Pistol weapons in combat. Pistol skills gain additional effects depending on the active plague enhancements.
  • Gain access to Elixir slot skills. Elixirs work as ammunition skills, consume their charges sparingly to gain various passive effects, or consume them all at once to induce a frontal area of effect vomit attack.

Engineer: Dreadnought

  • Gain Dreadnought Suit and Phase Shield instead of tool belt skill five. Activate the Dreadnought Suit to drive your own combat armor, gaining alternate tool belt and weapon skills for all your engineering kits. Phase Shield will replace your endurance bar while the dreadnought suit is active, sacrificing dodge rolling in exchange of a bonus health bar.
  • You can wield the Mace weapons in combat. Mace skills are inspired by the core engineer Tool Kit utility skill, which has been removed and replaced by a new gadget elite skill. Additionally, maces are not exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization, and once unlocked can be used by the core profession and any other elite specializations as well.
  • Gain access to one new healing engineering kit, one new utility gadget, one new utility elixir, one new utility engineering kit, one new utility turret, and one new elite engineering kit. These new slot skills are exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization.

Ranger: Bulwark

  • Gain Pet Focus instead of Pet Swap. Both pets are deployed in combat simultaneously, pet focus letting you command the beast skills of one pet at a time.
  • You can wield the Shield weapon in combat. The fifth weapon skill turns defensive mode on and off, reducing your movement speed in exchange of alternate weapon skills. This affects the fourth shield skill, as well as all three skills from main-hand axe, main-hand spear, and main-hand sword.
  • Gain access to Venom slot skills. Venom effects are applied to the ranger, both pets, and up to four other nearby allies. Once used against a target enemy, their negative effects stack, increasing their strength the more hits the target receives.
  • Find and tame Juvenile Crab, Juvenile Eel, and Juvenile Phoenix pets during your journey across Cantha.

Thief: Shadowblade

  • Gain Shadow Blade and Shadow Strike instead of Steal. Shadow Blade summons an exact copy of the thief, with half the attributes and health. This shadow blade companion will follow the thief for ten seconds, mimicking all of his actions within a delay of two seconds. Shadow Strike commands the companion to shadowstep to the target foe and gain a stolen skill.
  • You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. The first weapon skill has five chain steps instead of the usual three. Weapon skills two to five gain stronger effects the further the chain progresses, and will not interrupt it when used. Successful hits by the shadow blade will count as a step forward for any chains on progress, greatsword or not.
  • Gain access to Stance slot skills. Stance effects are applied simultaneously to both the thief and the shadow blade.

Guardian: Spiritcaller

  • Gain Virtue Attunement instead of Virtue Activation, Just was Xun Rao instead of Virtue of Justice, Resolute was Reiko instead of Virtue of Resolve, and Courageous was Ashu instead of Virtue of Courage. Attune to a virtue to strengthen its passive effect, disabling the effects of the other two virtues in the process.
  • You can wield the Warhorn weapon in combat. The warhorn gains alternate weapon skills depending on the active attunement.
  • Gain access to Spirit slot skills. Just like warhorn skills, spirits gain different effects depending on the active attunement.

Revenant: Windwalker

  • Gain Wind Walk instead of dodge rolling. Hold the dodge key to dash instead of dodging, dash distance increasing the longer you hold down.
  • You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as charge skills, gaining stronger effects the longer you hold down. Wind Walk does not cancel charge skills, giving it good synergy with greatsword skills.
  • Invoke the power of the legendary tengu windwalker, Tsuru Whitewing, and gain access to Legendary Windwalker slot skills. All five windwalker skills depict famous tengu paintings, representing different events across tengu history. Skills six to nine represent how each of the four tengu houses came to be, in turn inspired by the four winds. The elite skill, "The Great Wave off Shing Jea", represents the Great Tsunami itself, and the culmination of the tengu journey.

Warrior: Thunderlord

  • Gain Thunder Bell instead of Burst weapon levels 2 and 3. Thunder Bell summons a mystical cannon bundle, which can alternate between ranged and melee modes through weapon swap. Carry it on your left shoulder to fire thunderbolts against your enemies, or use both hands to wield it as a blunt weapon and crush them at close combat. Thunder Bell is considered a level 2 burst skill, and once activated, both the ranged and melee versions will replace the previous weapon bursts with their own level 3 burst skills.
  • You can wield the Staff weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as sequence skills, unlocking additional skills on successful hits.
  • Gain access to Preparation slot skills. Preparations gain stronger effects depending on individual adrenaline thresholds.
Some lore tidbits, for those interested:
  • Elementalist - Skyfire: Ancient naga battlemages, brought back from the dead as the frozen waters of the Jade Sea brim with life once again. Horrorized at the woes of the modern world, they gather the Luxon clans and the kappa tribes for war.
  • Mesmer - Trickster: Members of the Jade Sisterhood, they run the brothels, casinos, and theatres of Kaineng City. They specialize on blackmail, bribery, and deception. Their influence seeps deep into the Canthan aristocracy, making them impervious to the law.
  • Necromancer - Apothecary: Cultists of the Am Fah, self-proclaimed freedom fighters for the lower classes and lesser races of the empire. They will stop at nothing to overthrow the emperor, resorting to biological terrorism if necessary. After all, they can always blame the Celestial Ministry.
  • Engineer - Dreadnought: The noble men and women who drive the war machines of the empire, their combat armors admired and feared by allies and enemies alike. Rumor says their cannons are powered by the spirits of ancient deities, imprisoned by the dark sorcerers of the empire.
  • Ranger - Bulwark: Elusive beastmasters of the sidhe race, renown wardens of the Echovald Forest. Driven crazy after the Jade Wind, few survived to regain their sanity. As the Kurzick rebels and their dredge allies expand carelessly across the forest, conflict will once again be inevitable.
  • Thief - Shadowblade: Assassins of the Obsidian Flame, gone rogue after the guild was disbanded by the Celestial Ministry. They wage a secret war against the empire's corruption, supported from the inside by the remaining loyalist factions. Their numbers are thin, but their resolve unshakeable.
  • Guardian - Spiritcaller: Forefront of the Celestial Ministry, guardians of tradition, followers of the old ways, and the last remaining ritualists of Cantha. Mouthpieces for the imperial propaganda, they channel the echoes of the fallen heroes of the empire, binding the spirits of criminals to their service.
  • Revenant - Windwalker: Elite tengu bodyguards and executioners, they pay for the crimes of their Sensali ancestors with lifetime service and utmost devotion to the human imperial throne, deeming their brothers beyond the sea as nothing but despicable traitors.
  • Warrior - Thunderlord: Warrior monks of the Sai Ling Order, they commune with the Great Celestials to channel their might, embarking on quests across the countryside in search of deeper enlightenment, vowing to, one day, become Closer to the Stars.

Bonus: New weapon types

Few new weapon type ideas, for a total of 18 ground weapons:
As part of a new player experience, each core profession would unlock some of the old and new weapon types for free, without any elite specialization requirements:
  • Elementalist: Greatsword, Polearm.
  • Mesmer: Pistol (main-hand), Warhorn.
  • Necromancer: Axe (off-hand), Polearm.
  • Engineer: Scepter, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand), Focus.
  • Ranger: Spear.
  • Thief: Spear, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
  • Guardian: Spear.
  • Revenant: Axe (main-hand), Mace (off-hand), Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
  • Warrior: Polearm.
Further unlocks would become possible through either new elite specializations or additional updates to the core professions. Note that this section is independent from the new elite specialization ideas.
Had these gathering dust for quite a while now, figured I'd rewrite and post them.
Hope you liked the read!
EDIT: Same thread at the official forums.
submitted by Lon-ami to Guildwars2 [link] [comments]

Respect Red Jacket Lupin the 3rd! (Lupin the 3rd Part 2)

"That just means the game isn't over yet! The goddess of victory will smile upon me, Lupin III!"
Required listening for this thread
Lupin III is the grandson of Arsène Lupin. He is the world's most wanted gentleman thief. Lupin is acknowledged by virtually every law agency on earth as the world's number one thief. Often in his adventures, he and his colleagues, Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII, will take it upon themselves to foil other criminals engaged in more violent crimes. While first glance may imply Lupin as fun-loving, flighty, perhaps even "goofy", his surface façade overcoats a brilliant imagination and a thorough knowledge of a hundred varying sciences. Forever extemporizing and reevaluating, Lupin has been responsible for heists no right-minded individual would believe possible. While arrested and jailed on numerous occasions, typically by his nemesis Inspector Zenigata, he has always managed to escape. He has a fondness for fancy gadgets from time to time plus hands-on experience in many skills a thief would find useful. His infatuation with Fujiko Mine is perhaps his most significant weakness, as it lands him in undesirable situations most of the time.

Equipment

Exactly what it sounds like. They are released to distract the motion sensors of an extremely secure museum
A rapidly expanding airbag.
Lupin's trademark blue and white boxer shorts double as an emergency parachute.
A small bomb that detonates when shot by Jigen.
A set of balloons that lift an Egyptian death mask display. Lupin also has a larger set they used to steal the Statue of Liberty
A briefcase containing a rapidly expanding balloon filled with knockout gas.
A small, golden coin with his face on it. When thrown, releases a giant Lupin-shaped dummy.
Several large barrels of explosive liquid set off by flaming rags.
A massive hang-glider shaped like a bat.
A grenade that, upon contact, expands into a massive blow up doll.
A decorative bracelet with a wire/chain on the end.
A pair of wings and an engine that extend from a handheld briefcase.
A massive bubble that protects Lupin from traps.
A nearly invisible hang-glider.
A small, silver ball that emits a loud bang, a burst of light, and rainbow confetti.
A large, green balloon with Lupin's face on it.
A paddleboat hidden within a larger boat's hull. The boat also has a large engine on the back
Several duck-shaped bombs that are capable of sinking large ships. They do not discern what they're blowing up, however, and can be dangerous. They can also be hidden
A dummy head that when stomped emits a thick smokescreen.
A dummy large enough for Lupin to hide inside. Can expand enough to lift a large truck
An electric gun developed by the same scientist who invented Lightsabers. Can cut through bullet proof glass, lift a store's worth of jewels and helps pull a building apart. It also instantly KOs Zenigata
Includes exploding chewing gum, exploding cigarettes, exploding cigars, an explosive hat an exploding head, a exploding lighter, a exploding mask, exploding navigation stick, an explosive suit, an explosive tooth, and an explosive watch
One of Lupin's left molars. Has a brevity of uses including a remote control for one of his vehicles, a computer that can analyze any drugs he's given, a pair of robotic arms that can throw the drugs back, a radio, and a lockpick
A small aerosol can that allows Lupin to lift fingerprints from a glass.
A small grenade that lets off a colorful explosion.
A remotely-controlled flying car. It manages to lift off the ground but nothing else.
A small device that opens a miniature black hole when used.
A grenade with a powerful knockout gas. Works fast enough to cover an entire oil rig in seconds.
A massive, propelled dummy of Lupin and Jigen that explodes with a giant boom and flash
A rocket fired from an RPG that, when detonated, sprays glue strong enough to stick several large ships together.
Pieces needed to assemble a working go-kart.
A small hang-glider that carries a single missile.
A standard hearse that turns into a helocopter.
A horse capable of outrunning several jeeps, dodging bullets, and running across a small ladder. Lupin has a way with animals that allows him to frequently use them in his escapes. Also he got a horse to do this once. I don't feel like trying to explain it.
A standard jetpack.
A pair of shoes which turn into personal jetpacks when activated by tapdancing. They can also be used offensively and for escapes
A small kusari-gama capable of swinging a car back onto an icy road
Works as a lighter and also can emit a powerful knockout gas. Also explodes when dynamite is strapped to it, as most things do and works as a communicator
A powerful drug slipped into Zenigata's drink.
A pair of magnetic hand grips that assist in climbing.
Standard marbles or ball bearings used to make a pursuer lose their footing.
A small kite able to carry Lupin.
A mini oxygen tank shaped like a cigarette.
A fleet of tiny RC cars, all remotely controlled by Lupin. Comes in Red, Green, and Yellow.
A breathing device kept in Lupin's jacket.
A gun that fires a suction cup dart that once attached pierces a glass window. It goes on to attach itself to a safe's dial. Lupin can control the dart remotely, cracking a safe from outside the room
A helicopter controlled by a small joystick.
Similar to his helicopter except it is controlled by a Gameboy-like controller.
A riding crop that fires miniature tranquilizer darts.
A bright light attached to a ring on Lupin's finger.
A pair of robotic legs that can be attached to an object. Strong enough to make a statue run through a wall.
A device hidden within an elevator that causes it to turn into a high powered rocket.
A pair of weights fired from an rpg. Used to wrap around submarines to weigh them down.
A small device created by Lupin that instantly cracks a safe.
A small silver sticker that delivers a massive shock "bigger than a stun gun"
A pair of knives fired from the tips of Lupin's shoes.
A small transmitter in Lupin's shoe that signals a nearby biplane. The plane has a large bomb attached to it.
A silver copy of Lupin's signature weapon. Lupin states it is "only for threatening".
An immediately effective sleeping aerosol.
Creates a thick smoke for quick escapes.
A pack of cigarettes that react when dropped in water to create a thick smokescreen.
A small bomb that can stick to any surface. The adhesive is strong enough a grown man cannot remove it and the explosion is large enough to topple a massive statue.
A car that doubles as a submarine with the flip of a switch. Allows Lupin and the gang to avoid a missile.
A pistol-sized gun that fires a suction cup on a rope. Strong enough to lift a man.
A car that can be driven from either the front or the rear.
Adhesive bombs with a set timer.
An umbrella that grows in size and operates that a helicopter's blades.
A small bomb that causes a big boom.
Allow Lupin to see hollow spots underground.
A propelled underwater vehicle. When surfacing, turns into a raft
A small machine Lupin wears around one of his teeth.
A small camera inside Lupin's watch. Can take and print photos.
Different from his normal grappling hook, this is attached to a pistol-like controller that reels it in.
A small dart fired from Lupin's watch that emits a trackable signal.
A sword made of pressurized water. Stated to be as "hard as diamond". During their duel, the blade cuts a door in half
A pair of wings that protrude from Lupin's car allowing it to glide.
A wingsuit.
A pocket-sized yo-yo.

Speed

General
Movement
Reaction

Skill

Accuracy
Dodging
Driving
Escapes
Fighting Ability
General
Quick Thinking
Sleight of Hand

Disguises

As Lupin uses disguises all the time, gathering every single disguise he uses would fill the entire respect thread. I gathered some of my favorites for this section.
submitted by CalicoLime to respectthreads [link] [comments]

Covid-19 Update for November 24: 1,115 new cases, 916 recoveries, 16 deaths + Announced Restrictions to Limit Covid-19 Spread

Data is taken from the Covid-19 portal and today's media availability by Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Dr Deena Hinshaw. Minister of Eduation Adriana LaGrange, Deputy Minister of Eduation Andrew Courbold, and AHS CEO Verna Yiu were also present, but did not speak. Dr Hinshaw will be available every day this week.
There are currently enhanced measures in effect for multiple regions of Alberta. This link provides a quick summary of which ones are in effect for different regions of Alberta.
Top line numbers:
Value Current Change Total
Total cases +1,115 49,536
Active cases 13,349 +183
Cases with "Unknown source" 7,538 (88.0%) in last 7 days +168 (-1.6%)
Tests +13,617 (~8.19% positive) 2,141,346
People tested +5,871 1,426,119 (~330,350/million)
Hospitalizations 349 +20/+15 based on yesterday's post/portal data 1,652 (+31)
ICU 66 +4/+1 based on yesterday's post/portal data 298 (+5)
Deaths +16 (3x 60-69, 70-79, 10x 80+) 492
Recoveries +916 35,695
Spatial distribution of people tested, cases, and deaths (since yesterday):
  • All other values are compared with respect to yesterday
Zone Active Cases New People Tested Total New Cases Total New Deaths Total
Calgary 4,903 (+58) +2,501 576,317 +426 20,609 +0 186
Central 830 (+18) +558 122,306 +65 2,175 +2 14
Edmonton 5,991 (+512) +1,921 476,491 +541 19,692 +14 208
North 764 (+16) +615 136,174 +79 3,343 +0 44
South 640 (-15) +235 91,712 +31 3,559 +0 40
Unknown 75 (-31) +41 23,119 -27 158 +0 0
Spatial distribution of cases for select cities and regions (change since yesterday) (cities proper for Calgary and Edmonton):
City/Municipality Total Active Recovered Deaths
Calgary 17,106 (+367) 3,884 (+105) 13,053 (+262) 169 (+0)
Edmonton 16,311 (+427) 4,815 (+114) 11,306 (+299) 190 (+14)
Brooks 1,271 (+4) 46 (+2) 1,212 (+2) 13 (+0)
Lethbridge 886 (+4) 171 (-5) 708 (+9) 7 (+0)
Fort McMurray 626 (+17) 158 (+11) 466 (+6) 2 (+0)
High River county 600 (-1) 29 (-2) 564 (+1) 7 (+0)
Grande Prairie 444 (+2) 78 (-4) 362 (+6) 4 (+0)
Mackenzie county 428 (-1) 8 (-2) 409 (+3) 13 (+0)
Red Deer 425 (+12) 141 (+0) 284 (+12) 0
Medicine Hat 228 (+9) 103 (+2) 123 (+7) 2 (+0)
I.D. No 9 (Banff) 186 (+5) 152 (+0) 34 (+5) 0
Cardston county 156 (+1) 34 (+1) 117 (+0) 5 (+0)
Wheatland county 138 (+2) 23 (-4) 115 (+6) 0
Wood Buffalo municipality 100 (+3) 27 (+1) 73 (+2) 0
Warner county 98 (+1) 17 (+1) 80 (+0) 1 (+0)
Rest of Alberta 10,533 (+263) 3,663 (-37) 6,791 (+298) 79 (+2)
Municipalities with 10+ active cases is given at this link
Schools with outbreaks are listed online.
Quick numbers (since yesterday):
  • 65 schools are on Watch (+1)
  • 117 schools have 2-4 cases (+3)
Spatial distribution of hospital usage (change based on yesterday's post):
  • Hospitalization zone are where the patient is receiving care, not zone of residence
Zone Hospitalized ICU
Calgary 115 (+10) 16 (+2)
Edmonton 169 (+6) 39 (+0)
Central 18 (+0) 3 (+1)
South 25 (+0) 5 (+0)
North 21 (+4) 3 (+1)
Statements by Premier Kenney
Opening Statements
  • Pandemic is "once in a century" event that has affected everyone
  • Has received lots of heartbreaking/heartfelt letters and read some out of them in the meeting last night
  • Letters include concerns about family impacts and economic impacts, as well as the loss of life
  • Has phoned front line healthcare workers over weekend and sought out their advice
  • Has noted the hesitation of further restrictions before and focus on targeted measures. The vast majority of Albertans have worked to the guidelines
  • Spread is speeding up and is significant at long term care. We need to do "everything we can" to protect them. That requires dedicated work from the community
  • Must also protect healthcare system. Healthcare system is at risk, and Edmonton Zone is an example of the trade offs that now must be made. Other services will have to be put on hold if the trend continues, even with the spending in it
  • Measures below were not taken lightly. These are the "minimum restrictions needed" right now to protect healthcare system and avoiding widespread damage to livelihoods
New Measures
  • Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency in the province of Alberta
  • Series of mandatory measures also approved:
  • For social gatherings: No indoor social gatherings will be permitted in any setting and outdoor social gatherings will have a limit of 10 people
  • For funerals and weddings: 10 in-person limit and no receptions will be permitted
  • Social events have been one of the biggest driver of cases. Weddings and funerals are one of the biggest widespread drivers of transmission ("This is just a reality")
  • These social gathering restrictions are province-wide and can be subjected to fines
  • An emergency alert will be sent to all Alberta phones this week to make Albertans aware
  • Gatherings of worship services will be capped of 1/3 of Fire Code with mandatory masking if region is under enhanced status. This is now mandatory. This will be evaluated mid-December
  • Effective Friday, for regions under enhanced status, three temporary restrictions will be added at businesses and services:
  • (1) The following will be closed: banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, concert venues, community centres. All levels of sport too, but must apply and have an approved exemption
  • (2) Retail businesses and services will be limited to 25% of occupancy limit
  • (3) Hair salons, personal wellness services, hotels, and professional services will be limited by-appointment
  • In-person dining and bars can continue, but must abide by guideline. Each dining tables will be limited to 1 household
  • Asking all workers that can work from home to do so. Government of Alberta will do so
  • These will be reviewed in mid-December
  • On November 30th, Grades 7-12 will end in-person schooling for 2020 and Winter break will begin December 18. In-person learning will be delayed until January 11, 2021
Closing Statements
  • Effective immediately, masks are mandatory in Edmonton and Calgary Zone
  • The measures are tough, but necessary to protect Albertans from a "crushing lockdown"
  • Knows this will be hard and encourages people to shop local
  • Will give a chance to review before Christmas
  • If the measures do not have meaningful impact, further restrictions will be made in December
Q&A - Announced Restrictions
  • Alberta has had some of the least stringent measures and highest cases rates. Is today's announcement that it failed? Why are we doing the "minimum"?: Thinks the response has been effective for a long stretch of time. Obviously an issue has cropped up in the past few weeks. Also notes a "chase after 0 [cases]" shutdown won't be the goal and that restrictions and interventions, in accordance with Charter of Rights, should be limited to minimizing infringement of rights to achieve a goal
  • How will you enforce gathering restrictions?: No "snitch line", but will be expanding enforcement officers (Level 1 and 2 peace officers) to enforce orders and writing the tickets (up to $1,000/person). Anticipates officers will see if obvious "large gathering signs" will be noticed
  • How is in-person dining not "indoor gatherings"? How do you feel about doctors recommending closing in-person dining?: Notes dining is one household and limited spread in dining centres and asks those with a secure paycheck ("particularly a government paycheck") to think about those who sink life savings in dining services
  • Why are stores being restricted if they are not a significant cause of spread?: Compares well to other provinces who have fully closed retail. Thinks it was a grave mistake to allow big box stores to remain open because they had grocery/pharmaceutical sections while small businesses must close. That said, restrictions must be made to limit social spread
  • Due to challenges with Albertan spread information, what data is being used to make the decisions?: Points to data from previous 8 months
  • Are you confident that these measures will control cases by December 15?: Yes. Notes the challenging balance between infringement of rights and controlling cases. Also hopes this will be a "wake up call" to those not following the guidelines
  • (Interjection - I felt this was important and it needs to be separated from the above question). Kenney recognizes he will get quite a few people "on [his] Facebook page" angry at the restrictions. Wants to emphasize this is not a lockdown. Nor is this an abstraction. If you know someone waiting for surgery, this is to protect them. It's not about politics, but for them. It's not something he wants to do and is upset about the situation. But it's not enough to complain. Challenges people to explain how to grapple with timely healthcare access if Covid continues to spread and more need care
Q&A - Future Restrictions
  • How bad will it have to be to announce a lockdown?: Would like to avoid it if possible. Key metric will be hospitalization (in particular, ICU), measured against capacity. (Interjection - The wording of the rest of the response was focused on more targeted measures if these restrictions do not limit spread within 3 weeks)
  • Are there specific thresholds for lift measures/add more measures?: On 15th of December, reproductive value (R) must be <1 to lift measures. Ideal target is 0.80. We are currently at 1.3 in Edmonton, 1.1 in Calgary
Q&A - Other
  • Where is Alberta when it comes to vaccine and rapid testing?: Alberta depends on the federal government. Notes disappointment in the slow roll out of rapid testing (though 577,000 tests have been delivered). Hopes to announce more roll out details in the week. For vaccine, Oxford trial has also headed to mass production (giving Canada 3 incoming vaccines). When it arrives, will likely begin with healthcare workers and vulnerable populations
Statements by Minister Shandro
Further details on the above guideline
  • Indoor social contact should be limited to you household. If you live alone, you may have two non-household social contacts
  • Indoor social gathering gatherings doesn't apply to home based services
  • Funeral/wedding gathering limits can result in $1,000 fine, up to $100,000 through courts
  • Additional details for restaurants/bars/pubs/lounges: Must follow 4 points: (1) 6 person/table limit, all from one household, (2) same note as above for single person household (and limited to the same two people), (3) only seated eating/drinking allowed, (4) no other services are allowed (e.g. billiards/darts)
  • Encourages takeout/delivery/curbside pick up when possible
  • Enhanced screening of measures will begin
  • Retail services extends to bingo halls, fitness, pools, etc. No group fitness is allowed, nor team practice or games
  • Casinos can be open for slots only and follow the liquor laws of bars and casinos
  • 25% limit includes grocery, pharmacies, clothing, computer, hardware, automotive stores, etc
  • Doctors can continue in-person care
  • Diploma exams will be optional - parents may choose to seek an exemption
AHS Capacity
  • Working with AHS to expand capacity
  • Commits that AHS will have all the resources needed to respond
  • But AHS also needs people to change their behaviour
Statements by Dr Hinshaw
Numbers
  • Dip in case number was due to fewer tests
  • Active Alerts/Outbreaks (1+ active cases) in 318 schools (~13%), with 1,135 cases. 181 schools with outbreaks (2+ active) with 65 on watch list (5+)
  • 103 deaths in last 2 weeks. Of them, 62 were in continuing care and 12 in acute care. Of the 29 community deaths, 14 were <70 years old
Additional information will be logged below:
submitted by kirant to alberta [link] [comments]

Mafia IV story idea

Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics.
The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything.
The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news.
Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission
Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro.
Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The World Is Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family.
The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family.
Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause.
The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends.
I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games.
However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid?
My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet.
In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio.
The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end.
The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the PharaohsWooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man, Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game.
Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick JamesGive It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History.
Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis.
The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows:
1973
1975
1977
1979
1983
1985
1986
1987
1989
1990
1991
1992
Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle.
Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game.
Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect.
Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles.
Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well.
I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/
Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
submitted by RichterTheRatman to MafiaTheGame [link] [comments]

$FEAC: 2021's DraftKings

The SPAC FEAC and mobile gaming company Skillz announced a merger agreement on Sep. 1, 2020. Merger date is slated for end of this quarter, so should be coming up soon. I expect FEAC will be 2021's DKNG. Here's why...
What do we know about FEAC? They're the same team that brought Draftkings public (via DEAC), which you may recognize as the single most successful post-merger company of the last 30 SPACs.
What do we know about Skillz? From the company website:
Skillz is the leading mobile games platform that connects players in fair, fun, and meaningful competition. The Skillz platform helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide, and distributes millions in prizes each month. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000.
Basically, they host approx. 30 games on their mobile platform, users pay ~$0.60 to enter and winners collect prize money. Revenue for Skillz comes in the form of a "take rate" (i.e. rake in casino terms), but basically just a percentage of the prize money. Currently their take rate is 14%, increasing to 15% in 2020, and planning on increasing to 20% by 2024.
Some valuation numbers: The merges implies a valuation for Skillz of $3.6 billion, or 6.3x projected 2022 revenue. Total PIPE is $159 million, representing just 4.3% of the company valuation. Share terms: "Paradise, Chafkin, substantially all of the existing Skillz stockholders as well as Flying Eagle’s sponsor have agreed to a 24-month lock-up, subject to quarterly releases of 1.5 million shares per holder commencing 180 days following the closing".
The investor presentation provides some truly mindboggling numbers, summarized here:
Ok, so the games are stupid, right? Of course they are, they're mobile games. But you know what else is stupid? Candy Crush and that crap averages 37 minutes of user interaction per day. What does Skillz get? 62 MINUTES. The games are like crack. Even the Chinese superhack TikTok only gets 52 min/day, democracy-destroying Facebook gets 41 min/day, compilation fails/ASMdiy tutorial/pseudo-porn website Youtube gets 30 min/day. Mobile gaming accounts for ~45% of the entire gaming industry (in 2019) and is estimated to be $68 billion, with a CAGR of 20%.
Why I like FEAC/Skillz: With interest rates at all time lows (and not expected to change until at least 2023), cash is cheap and companies can borrow basically unlimited money to fuel exponential growth (and then probably just inflate away debt). Combine this with a complete paradigm shift in international business and industry driven by the tech sector, we are in the golden age (also probably bubble) of hypergrowth companies. IMO, Skillz is an incredibly rare opportunity in terms of early entry into a potentially explosive stock that is already in YOY hypergrowth. Many SPACs are incredibly speculative, dependent on highly theoretical FY2021 and FY2022 revenue growth. With Skillz, although definitely still speculative, you have the opportunity to invest in a relatively overlooked SPAC that is already in hypergrowth with EV/R multiples well below similar peers.
IMO, FEAC/Skillz is the white whale of the current SPAC crop. Skillz games have a crack-like addiction, they're in hypergrowth NOW, have absolutely insane margins (96%), and don't require a massive shift in an entire industry.
How to play it: This could be a little tricky. I'm not sure if there will actually be a significant pump riding up to the ticker change given retail's focus on EV/cloud/SaaS these days. Plus, mobile gaming doesn't have the same allure that sports betting does. Everyone and their mom has heard of DraftKings and Fan Duel, helped out by the Last Week Tonight segment and tons of Youtube ads. However, the growth numbers + revenue margins should be extremely enticing to fund managers, so I hope that large-block buying will increase heading towards the merger.
That being said, it might take until the merger or even early 2021 to get some traction. In any case, I don't think FEAC is a good place to just park cash in hopes of a pop. For that, probably just better to either flip other SPACs on announcement or buy into growth companies. For FEAC, I think it's best to buy in with the plan of holding until at least the first ER, and then decide where to go from there. I'm not going to tell you "THis Is deFInitLey thE NexxT apPLE" *rocketemojirocketemoji*. However, I think that FEAC/Skillz will either have a strong multi-year run after merger, or it will flounder in the sub-$20 range in which case I'll move on. The major catalyst for determining what we can expect from the stock is what happens when the merger date is announced (supposed to be in the next few weeks). If there's a BIG pop (like, +25%), then I'll be very confident the post-merger stock will go on a tear. If reaction is more muted, then we'll have to wait until after the ticker change to see if the market prices in expected revenue growth. If any significant negative press comes out similar to NKLA, I'll trim my position by ~80% immediately.
My positions:
Disclaimer: Do your own DD. Skillz numbers look amazing, but at the end of the day they're still just a mobile game company so investing in FEAC definitely has the potential to backfire. Ok, roast away.

Edit: u/iamgettingbuckets noted in a comment here that he had a sketchy experience applying for a job with Skillz that required actually playing on their app before being able to submit an application. He later deleted the comment and then sent me a DM because his story was anecdotal and u/ImBloom09 didn't find the same thing. However, I still think this is a good first-hand experience story for people to know and consider prior to investing, so I'm including it here as an edit. The FEAC team is the same management that took DKNG public via DEAC, so I'm assuming (hoping) that their reputation from that deal implies they've done the appropriate vetting of Skillz prior to announcing the merger.
Edit 2: S-4/A filed right before market close the day I made this post. Merger vote set for Dec. 16. Commons +20% on news.
submitted by Egg_Veal to SPACs [link] [comments]

Newt Gingrich - Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president

ANALYSIS/OPINION:
A smart friend of mine who is a moderate liberal asked why I was not recognizing Joe Biden’s victory.
The friend made the case that Mr. Biden had gotten more votes, and historically we recognize the person with the most votes. Normally, we accept the outcome of elections just as we accept the outcomes of sporting events.
So, my friend asked why was 2020 different?
Having spent more than four years watching the left #Resist President Donald Trump and focus entirely on undoing and undermining the 2016 election, it took me several days to understand the depth of my own feelings.
As I thought about it, I realized my anger and fear were not narrowly focused on votes. My unwillingness to relax and accept that the election grew out of a level of outrage and alienation unlike anything I had experienced in more than 60 years involvement in public affairs.
The challenge is that I — and other conservatives — are not disagreeing with the left within a commonly understood world. We live in alternative worlds.
The left’s world is mostly the established world of the forces who have been dominant for most of my life.
My world is the populist rebellion which believes we are being destroyed, our liberties are being cancelled and our religions are under assault. (Note the new Human Rights Campaign to decertify any religious school which does not accept secular sexual values — and that many Democrat governors have kept casinos open while closing churches though the COVID-19 pandemic.) We also believe other Democrat-led COVID-19 policies have enriched the wealthy while crushing middle class small business owners (some 160,000 restaurants may close).
In this context, let’s talk first about the recent past and the presidency.
In 2016, I supported an outsider candidate, who was rough around the edges and in the Andrew Jackson school of controversial assaults on the old order. When my candidate won, it was blamed on the Russians. We now know (four years later) Hillary Clinton’s own team financed the total lie that fueled this attack.
Members of the FBI twice engaged in criminal acts to help it along — once in avoiding prosecution of someone who had deleted 33,000 emails and had a subordinate use a hammer to physically destroy hard drives, and a second time by lying to FISA judges to destroy Gen. Michael Flynn and spy on then-candidate Donald Trump and his team. The national liberal media aided and abetted every step of the way. All this was purely an attempt to cripple the new president and lead to the appointment of a special counsel — who ultimately produced nothing.
Now, people in my world are told it is time to stop resisting and cooperate with the new president. But we remember that the Democrats wanted to cooperate with Mr. Trump so much that they began talking about his impeachment before he even took office. The Washington Post ran a story on Democrat impeachment plots the day of the inauguration.
In fact, nearly 70 Democratic lawmakers boycotted his inauguration. A massive left-wing demonstration was staged in Washington the day after, where Madonna announced she dreamed of blowing up the White House to widespread applause. These same forces want me to cooperate with their new president. I find myself adopting the Nancy Pelosi model of constant resistance. Nothing I have seen from Mr. Biden since the election offers me any hope that he will reach out to the more than 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump.
So, I am not reacting to the votes so much as to the whole election environment.
When Twitter and Facebook censored the oldest and fourth largest newspaper (founded by Alexander Hamilton) because it accurately reported news that could hurt Mr. Biden’s chances — where were The New York Times and The Washington Post?
The truth of the Hunter Biden story is now becoming impossible to avoid or conceal. The family of the Democrat nominee for president received at least $5 million from an entity controlled by our greatest adversary. It was a blatant payoff, and most Americans who voted for Mr. Biden never heard of it — or were told before the election it was Russian disinformation. Once they did hear of it, 17% said they would have switched their votes, according to a poll by the Media Research Center. That’s the entire election. The censorship worked exactly as intended.
Typically, newspapers and media outlets band together when press freedom is threatened by censorship. Where was the sanctimonious “democracy dies in darkness?” Tragically, The Washington Post is now part of the darkness.
But this is just a start. When Twitter censors four of five Rush Limbaugh tweets in one day, I fear for the country.
When these monolithic Internet giants censor the president of the United States, I fear for the country.
When I see elite billionaires like Mark Zuckerburg are able to spend $400 million to hire city governments to maximize turnout in specifically Democratic districts — without any regard to election spending laws or good governance standards — I fear for the country.
When I read that Apple has a firm rule of never irritating China — and I watch the NBA kowtow to Beijing, I fear for our country.
When I watch story after story about election fraud being spiked — without even the appearance of journalistic due diligence or curiosity — I know something is sick.
The election process itself was the final straw in creating the crisis of confidence which is accelerating and deepening for many millions of Americans.
Aside from a constant stream of allegations of outright fraud, there are some specific outrages — any one of which was likely enough to swing the entire election.
Officials in virtually every swing state broke their states’ own laws to send out millions of ballots or ballot applications to every registered voter. It was all clearly documented in the Texas lawsuit, which was declined by the U.S. Supreme Court based on Texas’ procedural standing — not the merits of the case. That’s the election.
In addition, it’s clear that virtually every swing state essentially suspended normal requirements for verifying absentee ballots. Rejection rates were an order of magnitude lower than in a normal year. In Georgia, rejection rates dropped from 6.5% in 2016 to 0.2% in 2020. In Pennsylvania, it went from 1% in 2016 to .003% in 2020. Nevada fell from 1.6% to .75%. There is no plausible explanation other than that they were counting a huge number of ballots — disproportionately for Mr. Biden — that normally would not have passed muster. That’s the election.
The entire elite liberal media lied about the timeline of the COVID-19 vaccine. They blamed President Trump for the global pandemic even as he did literally everything top scientists instructed. In multiple debates, the moderators outright stated that he was lying about the U.S. having a vaccine before the end of the year (note Vice President Mike Pence received it this week). If Americans had known the pandemic was almost over, that too was likely the difference in the election.
The unanimously never-Trump debate commission spiked the second debate at a critical time in order to hurt President Trump. If there had been one more debate like the final one, it likely would have been pivotal.
This is just the beginning. But any one of those things alone is enough for Trump supporters to think we have been robbed by a ruthless establishment — which is likely to only get more corrupt and aggressive if it gets away with these blatant acts.
For more than four years, the entire establishment mobilized against the elected president of the United States as though they were an immune system trying to kill a virus. Now, they are telling us we are undermining democracy.
You have more than 74 million voters who supported President Trump despite everything — and given the election mess, the number could easily be significantly higher. The truth is tens of millions of Americans are deeply alienated and angry.
If Mr. Biden governs from the left — and he will almost certainly be forced to — that number will grow rapidly, and we will win a massive election in 2022.
Given this environment, I have no interest in legitimizing the father of a son who Chinese Communist Party members boast about buying. Nor do I have any interest in pretending that the current result is legitimate or honorable. It is simply the final stroke of a four-year establishment-media power grab. It has been perpetrated by people who have broken the law, cheated the country of information, and smeared those of us who believe in America over China, history over revisionism, and the liberal ideal of free expression over cancel culture.
I write this in genuine sorrow, because I think we are headed toward a serious, bitter struggle in America. This extraordinary, coordinated four-year power grab threatens the fabric of our country and the freedom of every American. - Newt Gingrich
Source: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/dec/21/why-i-will-not-accept-joe-biden-as-president/
submitted by Ford_Martin to ConservativeKiwi [link] [comments]

Unleashed pt. 43

u/eruwenn put a lot into this one, so big thanks for that. Hope you guys enjoy.
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Eruwenn stepped into the hangar of the Galactic Federation ship Takogni, her assistant Cygna close behind. With steady and sure steps they approached the remarkable group in matching uniforms — black pants, black jacket, and a visible collar of a coloured shirt — that stood before them.
Norrin, the Herald of the Awakened Queen and easily the most striking individual they had ever beheld, stood at the front with a brazen lack of clothing on his mirror-like skin. Flanking him were two silver-haired individuals in smart uniforms that sported red collars. One was a behemoth of a dark-skinned man, with a runic pattern in glittering silver curving down one side of his face. His shining silver hair was tied back into a braided ponytail. The other was as pale as her companion was dark, and the shortest of the three by far. She had a cropped silver bob, and she watched them with fierce eyes.
As she approached them, Eruwenn noticed patches on their shoulders, and quickly recognised the image to be a monochrome depictions of the furry human ambassador in a ferocious pose.
Standing to the right were a dozen more individuals in black uniforms, though these ones sported yellow collars peeking out from under their jackets. They were mostly Rinoxian, Kasurian, and Ashi, but she noticed a few individuals from other races that stood amongst them. They stood in formation, standing in three rows of four, and carried energy rifles, side-arms, and ceremonial blades that she hoped were simply ceremonial. Despite their relaxed stance, Eruwenn also noted that their weapons were powered up..
The Terran Wolves had been formed a little over forty cycles ago, hiring ex-military and mercenaries to fill their ranks. Substantial pay and benefits were an obvious draw, and many were excited to be part of something new. The inclusion of Kasurians was odd, but fitted with the attitude of the proposed colonies. Quite the honour guard for the newly reassigned, and demoted, Anatidae.
Norrin gave a sharp bow as she neared him. “Greetings Ambassador Aix Sponsa. I will escort you to the Orkal.”
She returned his bow, and smiled warmly at the use of her new title. “Thank you for accommodating me at such short notice. My reassignment was, unfortunately, hastily pushed through — I do hope I have not inconvenienced you?”
Norrin shook his head. “Not at all.” In her role as Councillor she had aided them immensely, protecting the independence of the new colonies in Aaron’s absence. It had cost her dearly. “We have set aside accommodations for you, as well as a small office area. Your belongings have already been delivered.” He turned, and the doors to the large Fae’Dan shuttle behind him opened. “I fear there won’t yet be much for an ambassador to do. We are still very early in the construction phase.”
As Eruwenn and Cygna took seats in the luxurious shuttle, they both noticed that only Norrin and the two red shirts had entered. As the doors closed, the ambassador's curiosity grew enough for her to speak up about it. “Are the others not joining us?”
Norrin took a seat opposite their guests, glancing briefly at his two companions as they moved to the small pilot's cabin. "No," he said simply, "they will be flying the escort fighters.”
“Fighters?” Cygna couldn’t help but say out loud. “All twelve of them?”
Norrin eased himself back in his seat as the shuttle began to move. “We take your safety seriously. The Queen was most insistent.” He tilted his head and looked directly at Eruwenn, motioning with his hand towards the door to the pilot’s cabin. “Thor and Ripley have been assigned to you as your primary security detail. Should you have any other concerns, do not hesitate to contact me directly.”
The Anatidae nodded graciously. She knew full well that her death would be too valuable a political tool for the Sentinels to pass up. Her being manoeuvred to this position so suddenly was proof that greater powers were at play. “We are both grateful that you are taking such precautions. I look forward to thanking the Queen in person.”
Norrin gave a light chuckle. “I would strongly advise against using that title in her presence.” He opened the arm on his chair, exposing a small display. He began tapping the screen as the wall to his right flickered to life. A large circular structure was now visible, sitting at the centre of a constantly moving sea of drones, shuttles and ships. “As you can see, construction is progressing rapidly on the main docking ring. Once that is completed we will expand to the additional levels. The design is still being updated, as we are incorporating some human ideas.”
Eruwenn was carefully comparing the size of the ring to the shuttles buzzing around it. “Human ideas? I assume “very large” is one of those.”
“In fact, yes. Go big or go home.” He smiled. “Build it bigger, faster and stronger is the human way. This will be a very unique system station.” He leaned forward and gave a broad grin that reminded Eruwenn a little too much of the human’s. “Of course, being outside Federation space we are not bound by certain rules. For example, those that prohibit certain automated weaponry on stations primarily used for trade. Another human ideal regarding big sticks, especially as we are so close to enemy territory.”
Cygna looked closely at the silver man, his face emotive and yet seeming inanimate at the same time. “We passed two Rinoxian dreadnoughts at the system edge. I’ve seen almost a dozen Ashi heavy cruisers in the system, and various other military vessels. Who needs sticks with friends like those?”
Norrin sat back once again, placing his hands in his lap. “There were several attacks upon our supply ships. This happened despite the truce with the Ashi while amnesty negotiations continue.” He gave another smile; they all knew it was the Sentinels. “This no longer happens, thanks to our friends.”
His cheerful manner and polite tone gave his words an oddly ominous feel. Eruwenn watched his eyes, but only saw herself reflected in chrome pupils. She changed the subject. "How are things progressing with the release of the other Inorganics?"
Awakened,” he said swiftly and firmly, then smiled before moving on. “There are over three hundred who have taken Earth citizenship and are now working with us. In ten cycles that number will have doubled. In thirty, we will have thousands.”
Eruwenn raised an eyebrow. “So many, and so quickly?”
Norrin nodded. “The legislation you helped draft with the Kasurian and Rinoxian ambassadors was swiftly adopted.” He gave another of his knowing looks. It had been her last piece of legislation. “The campaign by the Kah’Ree also worked to our advantage. Their belief that we were stealing jobs and illegal citizens persuaded other races to back our removal. It seems a misinformation campaign via Spacebook had convinced them we were sleeper agents of the human empire.” He gave a light chuckle. “Biding our time before we took you down from within.”
The ambassador was warming to the chrome man sitting before her. In different circumstances, he would have made an exceptional politician. “I saw the pictures of the little yellow men advocating your people’s removal.”
Norrin disliked the imagery immensely, but they had proven just as useful as Alexa had claimed they would be. “Minions. A fitting name.” He brushed them from his mind and continued his briefing. “As you know, there is a grace period as employers make alternative arrangements. When that ends we will be sending teams to retrieve our brothers and sisters.”
Cygna was curious. “Brothers and sisters?”
He waved a hand dismissively. “Metaphorical turn of phrase. Prior to my awakening, my role was to travel between our people and perform something we called sharing. The giving and receiving of core nanites, to maintain our unity. Others also performed this duty, but we do have an undeniable bond. We know the location of all of our kind, and we will free them all.”
There was a gentle shift in gravity as the shuttle came to a stop. As the doors opened Eruwenn was struck by a cacophony of sound. Overlaid on the grinding base notes of a mechanical din were yelled communications in every vocal range that was audible to her species. She cautiously took a step outside, only to see that things looked just as chaotic as they had sounded. As the two red shirts joined them, she spoke, finding that she had to raise her voice to an uncomfortable level in order to be heard “Is it always this busy?”
A deep voice from behind her let out a booming laugh full of warmth and humour. The giant spoke, and Eruwenn wondered if he was the one named Thor, or Ripley. “This is the quiet hangar. You should see the construction crew bays.”
The Herald led the way. His chrome form made his authority easily recognisable and the crowds parted before him. “Thor is correct, this is a working ship and ill-suited to guests. The Orkal was originally a Gowe construction platform, retro-fitted by the Selari Trade Alliance for system development and asteroid mining. Until more ships arrive, it must act as the hub of this system.”
Cygna ducked as a small drone shot past them. “I’m surprised they were willing to trade with you after their experience with the human.”
Norrin turned to face them, walking backwards with as much confidence as he had forwards. “The Selari Trade Alliance are providing considerable resources at exceptionally favourable rates.” He decided not to mention that the Selari Trade Alliance was now a subsidiary of the Black Dragon Corporation. “The Ley’Rulians already have a platform in orbit of the first planet. They cannot share atmosphere with most species, but they have a number of Awakened working alongside them. They are prioritising an orbital station, however planet-side construction is now underway. We also have three construction platforms coming from the Doytarans. One of these is a Parsuli class and will become home to our more esteemed guests, such as yourselves.”
It was Eruwenn’s turn to be surprised. “The Doytarans?”
Continuing his perfect reverse walking, Norrin smiled. “Ah yes. Their treaties will be submitted to the Federation in the next few cycles. The surge in replicator use for human cuisine and the opportunities for advanced fabricator installation throughout our new system proved most enticing. Doytarans love profit.” They stepped onto the elevator, and paused as several people who had been walking behind them were deterred from also stepping in by Thor and Ripley. As the doors closed and the noise was cut off, Norrin continued. “I apologise if we seem rude. Safety first.”
The pair of guests nodded in gratitude. Eruwenn, ever the politician, was running through the lists of races the new colonies had allied with. “Including the Doytarans, you must have independent treaties with twenty different races of the Federation. That is a formidable feat.”
“Thirty two, including the Doytarans. Negotiations are underway with a further ten races.” Norrin watched the shock on the Fae’Dan’s face, as the Anatidae held her composure. “It is good to have friends.” As he spoke the doors opened, and he led them down a long dull grey corridor, rounding several corners, before coming to a set of double doors. “Your shared quarters. I’m sorry we do not have the space for separate accommodations.”
Eruwenn smiled. "No need to apologise. Under the circumstances, you are already being extremely accommodating." The doors opened, and she beheld a large lounging area. A vid screen occupied an entire wall in the far corner, accompanied by some seats and a replicator. On the opposite wall were the boxes that contained their belongings, and three doors — likely two bedrooms and one bathroom, she surmised. "This is more than sufficient," she said at last. "We will be most comfortable here.”
Norrin bowed his head. “It is a temporary situation. I promise your next quarters will be more representative of our gratitude.” He turned and spoke quietly to Ripley, while Thor stood still in the doorway, then returned his attention to the guests. “I will leave you now. Please let your escorts know if you would like to explore. Your office will not be ready until tomorrow, however we have a lively market and recreation area. We can arrange additional security should you wish to explore a little.”
The Anatidae held up her hand to stop him from speaking further. “I think we will unpack and prepare for our new duties tomorrow. Do you know when we might meet with Alexa?”
Norrin tilted his head as he considered this. “Alexa is currently on her way to meet with the Righteous Fury. They are attending a meeting at Rinoxian High Command. We are hoping to gain their support for our amnesty initiative, as well as make arrangements to join the incursion into Hive space.”
Eruwenn nodded. Things had been set in motion all across the Federation, stemming from the point they had received the footage of the human's death. Despite his non-member status, there was a push from a large faction for retaliation. An unusually strong push, one she had resisted. Her offices were raided three times under suspicion of subversion. The Sentinels found nothing every time, but she had known from the first instance that her cycles were numbered. They had other ways of removing their opposition, and it was her resistance to retaliating against the Hive that was, ultimately, the cause of her reassignment.
The footage that had caused so much turmoil was, as was typical of the Hive, entirely without sound. It was also poorly framed and edited. The small human was barely in shot before being obscured by the large Hive entity that appeared to be chasing him. Aaron's popularity meant that there was an immediate outcry against his reported death, and the traditional media still seemed solely intent on fanning the flames of anger. Those who had once been his strongest critics now extolled the virtues of humanity, lamenting the loss of the last of his kind. His journey with the leokas had been shared, edited, remixed, commented on, and analysed many times over, each time strumming the heartstrings of his followers.
"You still think he is alive?" Eruwenn asked, breaking the silence that had fallen during her introspections.
Norrin smiled and turned to leave, calling over his shoulder as the doors closed. “The corpulent female is not performing vocally.”
As the door closed Cygna flopped down into one of the armchairs. “Well, that was cryptic.”
The ambassador walked to the replicator to order a hot tea, allowing herself a small smile when she found Eluin flower tea already under the favourites alongside several of her favourite biscuits. “Thank you Rilla,” she said softly.
The Fae’Dan allowed her whole body to relax fully for the first time since they had received the video that had changed so much. She sank deeply into the armchair, her head falling backwards. “Can you believe this place? I didn’t know there were so many shades of beige and grey.”
Eruwenn nodded. The bland colour scheme had not gone unnoticed by her, but more importantly she had also been surprised by all that they had seen so far. “I had not expected them to be so far along in such a short period of time. From what was said I get the feeling they will be exponentially increasing activity here. It’s certainly ambitious.”
The central door on the wall behind them suddenly opened, accompanied by the sound of a bodily waste recycler finishing its cleaning cycle. Ranjaz swaggered into the room, his hands fluffy from the auto-dryer. "I would give it a while before going in there."
Cygna screwed up her face in disgust. "What were you doing in there?"
"Honouring my ancestors." He raised an eyebrow and took a seat opposite the pair. "What do you think I was doing?"
The Anatidae gave a brief roll of her eyes. "She means, why are you in our room?"
"Welcoming committee." He smiled, showing his fangs. "I'm in charge round here, mostly. We're following a human strategy. Divide and conquer. So, we split up to, you know, conquer stuff."
Cygna sniped back, "That's not how that works."
"Says you." The Kittran shrugged. "Allistan and I were put in charge here. He manages the numbers, and I manage the people."
"And Norrin?" Eruwenn enquired.
Ranjaz sneered. "Alexa’s snitch. He shut down my casino and keeps bringing those Awakened on board and giving them jobs."
The ambassador raised an eyebrow. "Casino?"
"For morale." He punched his fist into his other hand. "When Aaron gets back he'll understand. Pay the workers, then get them to give their pay back - happily. It's brilliant."
Cygna sat up in her seat, unsure of the Kittran. “Mister K’Lua, if you could get to the point. We have had many tiring cycles of travel and would appreciate a little rest.”
He looked her up and down and flashed his most charming of smiles. “Call me Ranjaz.”
Eruwenn attempted to bring the conversation back to task. “You said you were divided. How so?”
“We split up, that’s what divided means.” He rolled his eyes, mimicking her earlier action. “And the Doc said you were smart.”
Realising she was being tested by the Kittran, she began to laugh. “What is it you require of us?”
Ranjaz smiled – straight to the point, he liked that. “I want you to be boring. Like, super dull and uninteresting. Think Jarby-like, but more Jarby-like than that.”
The ambassador was intrigued. “Why?”
He tried to keep his voice calm, but his tail swished happily as he made his dramatic reveal. “So nobody notices when we leave.”
The claxon was surprisingly quiet, and it wasn’t until the horrendous smell hit his nose that Aaron realised the door to his death wasn’t going to open. Behind him, the airlock unsealed. A huge, clawed hand grabbed his shoulder, so hard that it bit into his flesh. The claws sank deeper still as he was hoisted into the air and carried backwards by the huge Hive creature.
“Graaaah,” he roared in pain. “Get off me you fucking Bug’s Life reject!”
A strange smell assaulted his nose. Combined with his hangover, it pushed him over the edge and he vomited all over his own chest. The creature carried him, legs dangling in the air as blood and vomit stained his clothes. He coughed, the movement causing the wounds in his shoulder to open further, and he cried out in pain again. He was woozy now, and as the creature walked he seemed to lose his sense of time.
Anty stood in front of a large door and while it began to enter a code, Aaron dangled helplessly from its grasp and looked back down the corridor. Where his blood and vomit had dripped, the moss was now glowing brighter. From small holes in the walls glowing blue aphids the size of hamsters began to appear. They quickly headed for the bright spots on the glow-moss floor. “This place is really trippy,” Aaron mumbled as his fever rose.
The door opened suddenly and Aaron was taken inside a room with gently pulsating walls. Large vines crisscrossed the ceiling, combining into a series of woven braids as thick as tree trunks running down the far wall. At the end of each vine was what appeared, to Aaron, to be a gigantic blue jelly bean. He was starting to realise the constantly changing odours were coming from his captor, but this information was more confusing than helpful.
He was dropped unceremoniously on top of one of the giant jelly beans. Before he could move, he realised he was sinking into the cold and gel-like substance. It was a deeply unpleasant feeling; his skin felt like the blue goo was toothpaste and he was orange juice. He had begun to make some headway in struggling free when Anty's hand came down atop his head, pushing him down to submerge him completely. He tried to wriggle free but the goo was too viscous to move in, and his eyes widened in terror as he desperately held his breath.
Anty leaned closer, watching him struggle helplessly. The human’s jaw clenched tighter. The creature's mandibles were clicking, although Aaron could no longer hear them, and he realised that thankfully he could not smell it any longer. Bubbling up through his mind was the thought that his headache was gone, followed swiftly by the realisation that the pain in his shoulder was also gone. Something else slowly became apparent; he wasn't running out of breath.
He felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. Physically he felt refreshed, soothed and at peace. The thought foremost in his mind, however, was Am I dying? followed slowly by Is the goo paralysing me so I can be eaten alive? Am I being dissolved to feed the glow moss? The cleaner aphid-hamsters?
Whatever was happening, it slowly dawned on him that he didn't really have the energy to mind, as it was quite pleasant. Relaxing, even. He drifted off to sleep, cradled contentedly in his giant blue jelly bean.
Outside, Anty began to have trouble breathing and staggered towards the exit.
Golden eyes hovered in the dark, and Aaron groaned inwardly. "Boy, this shit again."
"YOU LIVE." The voice had no discernible emotion.
Aaron ran his fingers through the sand around him. "Why are you here, Golden Eyes?" Saying it out loud was a relief, as he was certain it was the 'One Who Remembers' who was haunting him.
"I AM WHAT REMAINS. THE CONNECTION WAS BROKEN. I AM NO LONGER THE ONE YOU FOUGHT." The voice was distant, as if forming these thoughts took a great effort. "I AM A FRAGMENT."
Aaron sighed, wondering if this was why he had stopped healing and why he could no longer turn off his limits. “So you’re messing with the nanites Alexa gave me? Why? If I die, what happens to you?”
Before he got an answer he felt a strange sensation around his body, like pulling a foot free from deep mud. Cold air touched his skin and he felt the hard ground below him. He was in the same room, but his jelly bean was gone. He stood, and realised he felt amazing. He’d never had a spa treatment, but he imagined this would be the after effect. He walked towards the door and heard a sound behind him.
Glop Glop
From the vine that had been attached to his jelly bean another was beginning to grow, only this one was orange.
Finally free from his hangover Aaron took stock of the situation he was now in. Other than the clothes on his back, he had nothing. He looked around for an improvised weapon...and found nothing. He walked to the door and it opened automatically, but the corridor was empty. “Fuck. What is going on?”
He walked a short way down the curved corridor and saw a strange red shape on the glow-moss floor just up ahead. He slowed and crouched, inching forward. As he saw further around the bend it became very clear that this was the corpse of a Hive, maybe even Anty. The glow-moss beneath it glowing a dull red, and in contrast to the aquamarine it seemed ominous.
He stood up from his crouch and carefully approached. Aaron had no idea how to check for vital signs on an eleven foot tall ant monster...so he kicked it. There was no response, and he decided to press on. “Fragment. I know you won’t, or can’t, respond while I’m awake. But I’m going to talk to you anyway because this is some creepy shit.”
As he rounded another corner he came upon another body highlighted by the ominous red glow in the moss. A short while later he came across another. And another. Aaron pressed onward, ceasing to check for signs of life after the tenth maybe-corpse. Finally he reached a potential point of interest: a junction where three new paths opened before him. "There are no signs. How the hell am I supposed to know where I am?”
He sat down on the floor, and found the moss to be surprisingly comfortable. “If I just wander around aimlessly, I might not find my way back here. Do I need to find my way back here?” He paused and waited for Fragment to reply. “Good point. What if I get hurt? I might want to hop in a jelly bean.” He stood and looked back the way he came. “I should probably see what’s behind door number two. Food would be good.”
He pushed himself to his feet and turned back the way he had come, heading straight for the nearest door. Its failure to open was surprisingly anti-climatic. Fourteen failed door-opening attempts later, one finally deigned to admit his passing. Behind door number fourteen stood rows of crates and boxes, and after opening a few up he found that they all had the same dry bricks in silver foil packaging. "If I was a betting man," he said to both himself and Fragment, "I'd say this was emergency rations." The foil was easy to tear, and inside was a large grey block that crumbled easily. Too easily, in fact. "Shit, it's worse than a granola bar.”
Crumbs scattered at his feet and the moss glowed brightly around him, which seemed to prompt the large aphids to come from the walls to begin cleaning up around him. “Well you like it.” Then he remembered them rushing to his blood and vomit. “I guess you guys aren’t picky, though.”
Deciding he wasn’t hungry enough to try it – yet – he shoved a block into one of his pockets. It was a tight fit. He looked at the open bar in his hands, and then down at the aphids. Was he crazy, or were they gathered around him now, staring up at the source of food in his hands? He shrugged, then crumbled up the rest of the bar and scattered it over the floor. “I am a generous god, serve me well.”
As he turned to leave he saw his cryo unit in a corner. “Kinda rude that I was put in with the blocks of kitty litter, don’t you think?” He stepped over the dozens of aphids now feasting. They did not reply. “Yeah, you guys are kinda cute, I suppose.” Struck by a sudden impulse he grabbed another block and began crushing it, then carefully opened one end to take a pinch of space-granola. He scattered it, watching the aphids hurry towards the glowing areas.
As he continued his exploration, counting doors and sprinkling aphid snacks, he quickly noticed that the aphids avoided the dull red glow-moss. Dead Hive were, it seemed, off the menu. After several more doors he found the room with the strange round terminal. Deciding he would rather not chance summoning another creature he left it alone, mentally noting the door’s location.
He began to whistle to himself as he chatted to, and fed, his followers. To fill the silence he even told them the story of a piper from Hamelin, promising not to lead them to their deaths. As the door to the jelly bean room opened he was almost enjoying himself. Taking a moment to look round he saw the small orange jelly bean had grown almost as big as the others and was now blue at one end. “Well, that’s pretty cool.” He pointed at it, hoping one of his aphids would take an interest. They did not. “Well, I guess you see this shit all the time.”
He stopped by the store room and grabbed another food brick on his way back to the junction. The long corridors and strange lighting made him lose track of distance and time. Facing forwards, the path continued on the same loop he seemed to be following. Right was an incline, left was a gentle slope. “More of the same, or do we change levels?” He tossed crumbs towards each path. “Six vote forwards, seven left and eleven vote for going up. What about you, Frag?” He paused for a moment. “Abstain, huh? Then the bugs have decided.”
The incline was gentle, but tightly spiralled compared to the previous corridor. There were no doors, but there were a lot more bodies. His search went on for what felt like hours, opening doors that led to rooms containing things he didn't understand. He was growing tired and had used up all of his space-granola on the aphids. He came to another junction.
Only a handful of aphids still followed him after the food had ended. He was growing hungry and tired, ready to head back. There was a noise ahead of him, and suddenly the remaining aphids scattered, flying to the nearest wall holes. His chest tight, he let curiosity draw him in.
Another body lay ahead of him, but this time, something moved. Something big. Aaron hunched down, trying to see what it was, the bulk of the fallen Hive obscuring his view. Legs – multiple sets of them – began to emerge, followed by a head with glistening eyes. Aaron’s blood froze. It was a horrifying spider-like creature, almost as big as he was, and it was walking around the fallen Hive in Aaron's direction. Then it raised its head, and began to move faster.
“Fuck that!” Aaron took off at a sprint, racing back the way he came. “Nope. Nope. Nope!” He leapt over Hive bodies, racing for the nearest door he knew would open. He could hear the clicking of many legs and chanced a look over his shoulder. It was gone. Then something caught the corner of his eye, and his heart gave a jolt of fear. It was above him. He dove aside just as it landed where he had been, then he scrabbled desperately to his feet to run onward.
Three, Two, One. The door opened and he rushed inside. “Close. Fucking close!” He listened to the sounds of skittering growing closer, and it was just in the nick of time, or so he felt, that the large door finally slid shut. The room was filled with strange bulbous white shapes dotted around the floor, and had some vines running down one wall. No weapons, nothing to bar the door. Aaron held his breath as he suddenly heard the sound of scratching at the door, but the seconds ticked past and it did not open.
“Damn it, Frag!” Aaron moved to the back of the room. “Why didn’t you warn me!” He sank down and leaned back against the wall. Just as he was beginning to feel almost comfortable in his current position, one of the vines moved and stretched out towards him. He rolled forwards, pushing himself across the ground to escape. “What now?”
A large yellow flower bloomed upwards, becoming a large vase shape as big as the human’s head. It began to fill from the bottom with something, and Aaron edged closer. Peering inside he gave the contents a quick sniff. “Smells good.” He reached out and hefted the vase-flower, which came away from the vine far more easily than he had expected. Aaron watched as the vine slowly returned to the wall. “So, is this a drink? Or a scented industrial cleaner? Frag? You got anything useful to say?” Silence.
He propped the vase up against one of the pods, contemplating it. He remembered encountering a fruity-scented shampoo as a child. It had tasted nothing like the smell, and he wasn’t about to drink alien flower juice just because it smelled tropical.
Stretching out on the floor, his weariness outpaced the dwindling adrenaline. “I guess it can’t come in.” He watched the door, his heart rate returning to normal. “But, I can’t go out.”
The scratching outside continued, and Aaron lay with his head on his arm, watching. As he began to fall asleep he saw several of the aphids gathering around the flower he had abandoned. “Help yourself, guys.” One of them approached him, braver than the others, and he tentatively reached out a hand. Spooked, it pulled back, but as Aaron continued to hold his hand steady it came closer, slowly, millimetre by millimetre. Finally it was within reach, and after a few more moments to make sure the skittish thing wasn't about to dash off again, Aaron gently stroked the back of its head with the tips of his fingers. It made a low buzzing sound, fluttering its wings, and the human fancied that it might be a sign of approval.
The aphid's blue glowing abdomen brightened for a moment. Then it faded, and it darted off to rejoin the others. Aaron, exhausted, finally gave in and slept.
Next
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[USA] [H] NES Minis, Games for Nintendo and Sony Systems, Gaming Collectibles [W] Kirby's Dream Land 2 CIB, Etrian Odyssey Nexus cart only, Mario Party 2 box, many more games in list

Looking to trade! I have over 100 confirmed trades :) Right now I am mostly looking for the wants I have listed below, especially the high priority stuff, but I may be open to offers. Just please do not be offended if I say no!
p.s. "CIB" means complete, as in including all the booklets and such that were supposed to come in there, otherwise I will clarify what is included. "NIB" means New In Box, aka sealed, "brand new," in the shrink, etc.
p.p.s. If we are going to trade, all I ask is please be honest about the condition of your items. I can provide pictures for anything I have, please be willing to do the same! Thanks!

HAVE

Mini Consoles
GameCube games, accessories and packaging
N64 booklets
Switch
3DS consoles, games, accessories
3DS boxes and manuals (no games)
DS console, games and accessories
DS boxes and manuals (no games)
GBA games and videos
GBC games and more
GB games and more
GB manuals (no games)
Wii U games and packaging
Wii games and accessories
NES games and accessories
PS3 boxes and manuals (no games)
PS2
PS2 boxes and manuals (no games)
PSX
PSX boxes and manuals (no games)
PC
Strategy guides
Books
Collectibles and posters
Comic Books
Random Stuff

WANT

The high priority stuff:
Lower priority:
Limited Print Switch Games (prefer CIB, also fine with Best Buy retail versions when applicable)
Retail Switch Games
3DS Games
DS Games
GBA
GBC
Game Boy
Wii U Games
Wii Games
GameCube games
PS2 Games
PS3 Games
Strategy Guides
Also if you've read this far, I recently started an Instagram dedicated to video game collecting and would love to connect with others! My username is chillcollector.
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