Sand hill scout reservation

About Sand Hill Scout Reservation: Summer Camp . Established in 2003, Sand Hill Scout Reservation offers Summer Camps at 11210 Cortez Blvd Brooksville, FL - Hernando County and is a business listed in the categories Campgrounds, Rv Parks, Rv (Recreational Vehicle) Parks And Campgrounds, Recreational And Vacation Camps (Except Campgrounds), Sporting & Recreational Camps, Trailer Parks ... Sand Hill Scout Reservation belongs to the members of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring programs and is intended for their instruction and enjoyment. This website contains all of the resources needed to gain knowledge of the camp and history, available programs, and information ... Throughout Sand Hill Scout Reservation's hundreds of acres are various buildings, campsites, activity areas, and other facilities. Select the item you want to find out more about from the list on the left. This will take you to a page that shows pictures of the facility and other related information about it. Sand Hill Scout Reservation About the Camp This is a 1,300- acre camp, recognized as a premier Scout Summer Camp in the area, offering numerous programs such as archery, rifle and shotgun, canoeing, rappelling and swimming. Sand Hill Scout Reservation is the place to be this summer! Sand Hill is one of the premier summer camp programs in Florida and the Southeast. 2018 Summer Camp Reservations Sand Hill Scout Reservation is a scout camp of over 1,212 acres in the central Florida region, located near Brooksville, Florida.Sand Hill Scout Reservation belongs to the Tigers, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers of the West Central Florida Council and Gulf Ridge Council and is intended for their instruction and enjoyment. It serves as the main summer camp facility of the ...

The First Infestation

2020.09.03 01:14 Ghostmusing The First Infestation

Hey All, found this from an old Blizzard contest entry that I sent in a loooooooong time ago. While it's probably not lore correct even a little bit, it was still fun to reread something from my younger self. Hope you enjoy.

It was not always like this:

The rage and determination of a race comprised of thousands of broken species, from hundreds of worlds, guiding my movements and emotions. The connection terrifying, filled with the pain and merciless cruelty of the Swarm. Though underneath the horror, I find my family; my wife and child. I can swim through their memories like a cool lake, breathing in the sun kissed aroma of my wife’s hair, and I can hear the laugh of my son…

My son...

Used willingly after years of dormancy, to entice a squad of marines and firebats into a burrowed lurker ambush. My son stood motionless while the marine squad slowly circled around him. Hardened chitin spikes erupted from the ground in waves of destruction, piercing the light armor of the squads lead scout. I could see in my mind, the marines firing all around themselves, into the ground in confusion and alarm. A firebat was impaled, and a brilliant explosion erupted from inside his suit as the chemicals poured from his tanks and connected with the dual igniters he had lit on his forearms. A medic, who was injecting painkillers into a wounded comrade was caught in the fireball and was instantly disabled. She fell over the marine she was helping, dead. The remainder of the squad fell back with my son secured in the center. Chemicals inside my boy’s twisted body became alive, his skin bubbled and finally a great blast of energy erupted from deep within. The marine squad and my son became dust in a heartbeat. My son was seven when he fulfilled his oath to the Overmind that my family took so long ago

So long ago...

Our colony on the planet CX-P37 was informed by the Terran Confederacy fleet that an unidentified armada of “living ships” was approaching our system. This armada would enter our solar system within two months, and the Terran Confederacy’s main fleet would take twice that long to get into a defensible position around our planet. We were instructed to set up planet wide strongholds to fend off a possible invasion while the Terran Confederacy made for our system at their most economical speed.

Over the next month and a half, the production of military equipment tripled as planet wide preparations were made and put in place. In total, there were 25 strongholds centered on all the major colonies of P37, and countless bunkers in the more remote parts of the world that were built and used by those who wished to fend for themselves. The stronghold my family and I were placed in was located in and around the largest population center on the planet. Due to my background in mechanical engineering, I was given the opportunity to work inside the primary command center, bracing some of the super structure against direct explosive ordinances

When our long range scanners picked up a sizable wave of fast moving objects heading directly towards our location, the commander of our stronghold, an exceptionally efficient Major known as Jones by his closest subordinates, ordered all non essential personnel into their designated bunkers. Being one of the people in charge of the command center’s structural integrity, I was allowed in the nerve center, the heart of the primary command center.

I was known around the base as having an eye for sound architectural design and I believed that the command center was the most secure building on site, so I brought my family in under the noses of two guards by asking them how much they hated their sergeant. As they argued between themselves regarding whether their sergeant was the devil, or simply an agent of his, I rolled a loading cart with supply boxes past them with my wife and child inside.

After my family was safely inside an unmanned laboratory, I quickly wove my way through the concerned faces of specialists and scientists assigned to determine what communication, if any, could be established between the Terran Confederacy and the invading forces that were rushing toward our position.

The planet we colonized was used first and foremost as a resupply and communications outpost for the Terran Confederacy, so there was a significant military presence already established on the surface, it was simply a matter of splitting up the forces on the ground into coordinated groups to efficiently deal with any combination of hostile aggression. As I made it into the communications center, each squad assigned to the defense of our location was being given a final briefing before the Swarm was in range of our siege weapons.

Major Jones was just finishing up his pep talk when I walked in,

“So fight hard and fight strong. Whatever is coming, they are nothing but flesh and blood like us. The similarities stop there gentlemen. What we have is pride, courage, and the weapons each of you hold in your hands. Our enemies will crash against our fire, and melt under our arclite weapons!”

The communications satellite technician informed the major that the first visuals of the attackers were coming through.

“Main screen.”

There was a quick flicker as the connection to the satellite feed was rerouted to the giant screen at the front of the room. There was silence that slowly escalated into a collective groan, as tiny dots on the screen slowly magnified. The terror about to envelope the compound grew and came into focus; out in the front of the onslaught, elephantine quadrupeds with hooked razors as long as two full grown men, serrated and as thick as a person’s thigh, ran with a quickness that defied their size, while darting in and out from under their legs, came small lightning quick creatures that resembled insects the size of large dogs.

“We’ve got audio Major!”

Within five seconds, the cavitations of tens of thousands of creatures reverberated over the loudspeakers along with the volcanic roar of the giant armored plated monstrosities that eerily mixed with the high pitched screeches of the skittering, doglike insects. It was mesmerizing.

In the moments after seeing and listening to the oncoming rush of spines and armor, chaos could have erupted in the control room, except the Major began issuing target priorities and further instructions based on the information from the visual contact. Every person under his command knew exactly what to do, and followed the Majors orders to the letter.

“All channels!” the Major ordered. It was immediately followed by his communications team. He was now in the headset of each and every man under his command, from his platoon commanders down to the youngest private.

“Hold fast men, from the looks of these biologicals, they have to get within melee range to cause any actual damage. Science Vessel Archimedes, take a Wraith escort and do a quick flyby over that swarm of ground runners. I want radiation from your reactor focused onto their biggest creatures to see if it has any effect like it would on our biological systems. ComSat, disable that audio NOW. Comms get me my platoon sergeants”

The chaotic roars and shrieks were suddenly cut off and were replaced by the nervous, quick breathing of the platoon sergeants as they waited for their individual assignments. While information was being filtered through to each man under the Majors command, the rest of us civilians tensed and shuddered under the first shockwaves from the staggered tank lines. That initial volley was to test the maximum range of the newly implemented siege tank system. The tanks were positioned with giant stabilizers pounded into the ground to hold their chassis steady as they rained deadly fire onto their targets. Their cannons, aimed at a 45 degree angle for maximum distance, began to bellow as the new Arclite Shock Cannon technology started its deadly barrage against the oncoming enemy almost two miles away.

The 120mm arclite rounds screamed over the heads of the marines and other mechanical forces that comprised the bulk of the strongholds defense. The stabilizers held, and the ground shook with the force of the 45 tanks at the Majors disposal. The sky whistled and the cannons worked their deadly magic. Before the first rounds hit, the tanks had already loosed there next rounds into the air.

I could see from the satellite overview that the first rounds had missed their mark, landing too far in front of the advancing force. Earth erupted from where the rounds landed and dust began to fill the air. The energy expended by the siege cannons began to shake the command center in rhythmic concussive bursts.

“Targets within tested range for Arclite Cannon System Sir.”

The satellite image on the screen showed the front lines of the swarm being enveloped by the explosive rounds of the siege tanks second barrage.

“Direct hits Major. Targets are one and a half miles from our defensive perimeter.”

The smoke from the arclite rounds obscured the image from the satellite so my eyes were straining to see the carnage that was inflicted upon the enemy.

“Incoming targets have not changed course, nor reduced their speed Sir.”

As of yet, I was one of the few people in the control room that did not have a job to accomplish, so I was able to focus on several video screens with different perspectives at the same time. On the main screen, the satellite image was obscured by the barrage of shells from the siege tanks, but the thermal cameras on the squad of special operational units code named g.h.o.s.t.’s indicated that the progress of the Swarm was unhindered by our siege weapons direct hits.

“All stations, prepare to fire!” The call went out on all channels and the entire defensive perimeter locked and loaded. Marines lit their final smokes, and comrades for many years nodded to each other, acknowledging the fact they may not make it through this new horror.

“One mile from our perimeter Sir.”

I glanced up at the screen that showed the view from the front lines. A private name Yugiri, was checking his weapon, as the video feed from his visor mounted camera caught each fidgeting movement of his hands as he cycled the action and loaded a round into the chamber. I tapped into the audio feed of this man through the wireless receiver all the civilian engineers were issued.

“Can you see that Yugiri?” a voice off camera quietly muttered, presumably a fellow private assigned to the same bunker as the videographer.

“Yeah, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. That cloud is getting closer and I can feel the ground shaking real good.” Smoke passed in front of the camera indicating that the private was taking a last drag off the standard issue smokes that had been mixed with a mental enhancing drug which reduced a soldiers ability to disobey orders, as well as reducing the effectiveness of that part of the brain involved with the flight response when confronted with dangerous situations. Each soldier was issued ten of these before each battle and was required to smoke at least 3 while on the battle field.

The first official contact with what would later be classified as “Zerg” occurred when Yugiri noticed a small insect like creature, about the size of a wild boar, racing towards them far in front of the main dust cloud a half of a mile away. ”One shot one kill boys, watch this!” Yugiri aimed with practiced skill and fired a single round. The armor piercing round hit the animal square in the middle of its small head and it fell, sliding on the rough, pounded dirt of the plains in front of the marine, finally coming to a stop, lifeless.

“OoRah” was shouted from a private off camera and Yugiri turned to face his fellow marines in his bunker.

“Was nothin boys, just doing my jo…INCOMING!”

Where the creature lay dead, a dozen more had burrowed out of the ground and were fast approaching the reinforced position of the bunker. Yugiri had the luxury of not being able to hear all the other channels of the defense, because all along the line, hundreds of these small agile creatures were rising from under the earth.

“Must have burrowed down deep during the night! Here they come boys, Firebats to the front, Marines, cut a clean arc of fire for them to start roastin!” A corporal was giving orders to Yugiri and the others in his bunker as there were too few sergeants around to provide ample chain of command for each squad. “Firebats turn up the heat!”

As the perimeter braced for the advanced attack from the small creatures known later as zerglings, the siege tanks with their shock cannons continued to rain death into the middle of the Swarm pressing fast on the perimeter. As each round landed, blood was boiled, as zerglings melted under the heat and pressure of the 120mm rounds. The mammoth creatures with the blades, lovingly given the name Ultralisk by the scientists aboard the Science Vessel Archimedes, died, but not after stubbornly taking several direct hits, and shielding the smaller, more vulnerable zerglings as they continued to move closer to the defensive lines.

The Science Vessel Archimedes was one of two that was assigned to the stronghold. With its two Wraith escorts, it began a very quick, precise course over the tops of the Ultralisks and zerglings. The crew tested the Ultralisks to see if the radiation from their reactor would cause them any ill affects and found with some relish that they did indeed cause harm, but at a much slower rate than anticipated. The Wraiths took the opportunity to rain down death from above with lasers, disabling zerglings with a single shot, and taking pot shots at the giant Ultralisks.

“Archimedes to command, we have found that radiation does in fact hurt these bugs, and are preparing to remain above the swarm since there is no apparent air defenses. We recommend you scramble all available Wraiths so we can slow the advance of these buggers.”

The Major smiled a thin smile, the look on his face betraying his own nerves. A smile that said, “Finally something is swinging in my favor, we may have a shot.” The Major did what the Science Vessel suggested and released his Wraiths to take out any and all opportunistic targets in the area.

While the cannons and air units dealt death from afar, and in relative safety, the front lines of the defense were miraculously holding there own through the massive underground zergling ambush. The marines were unloading their ammunition into the masses of zerglings crawling up and around the blockades in front of the bunkers. The firebats were unleashing rivers of flame that cascaded in rolling walls as each firebats flame commingled with other flame jets on the line, creating firestorms of heat so intense, the blockades on the crests of the closest hills began to melt, running down the sides and pooling around the bodies of the zerglings not incinerated into ash.

“Major, the primary attack force is about to converge on our main defenses. 15 seconds.”

I saw on the video screen, that Yugiri was still alive and shooting with aggressive sweeps, his suit’s video screen had become gritty and unclear. I could tell by his voice, that his suits stimulant system had automatically injected a powerful mix of narcotics and stimulants into his body to heighten his senses and increase his aggression response.

“You getting this feed command! These insects ain’t nothing! They want some, I’ll give them some!” Yugiri was finally laughing and yelling at the top of his lungs. The barrel of his gun was white hot. I could see from the video feed that the weapon was almost to the point of jamming and becoming useless. Metal would begin to corrode, thanks to the constant firing and expending of armor piercing shells.

“12 seconds.”

“Hah, these bugs ain’t nothing Sarge!” Yugiri was still howling at the top of his lungs

“10 seconds.”

“When does the real action begin, I haven’t even broken a sweat!”

“7 seconds.”

“What I don’t understand…”

“5 seconds.”

“is how can these creatures…”

“3 seconds.”

“expect to win…”

“2 seconds.

“with marines…”

“Contact! Contact! Breach!”

“like m...”

The Ultralisks at the front of the advance were so battered and blooded, they could barely raise there heads high enough to slam down on the ceilings of the bunkers. Nevertheless, those giant creatures caused massive structural damage. Yugiri was the first official death of the conflict between the Terran Confederacy and The Swarm, his video feed cutting out as one of those giant blades entered its field of vision.

As the Ultralisks were riddled with bullets and slowly burnt in there now crispy, black shells, Zerglings swarmed through the holes and cracks left by them. The Swarm crashed like a wave, up and over the defenses; chaos ensued at the perimeter, Ultralisks and Zerglings crawling over each other, desperate to reach those still in the bunkers.

The Major, witnessing the total annihilation of his primary defense, desperately issued a new command, ordering every single man, woman and child in the base to arm themselves with whatever they could find, and if possible, to head towards the armory to get to the reserve weapons.

I immediately ran from the communications center and caught my wife as she was opening the door from inside the laboratory. She had tears in her eyes. I held her close for several seconds, and slowly lifted her head. She looked back at me. I smiled that smile of undying love and she nodded back knowingly. She returned to the lab and locked the door, held our son close and mouthed at me to go.

I ran as fast as I could out of the command center into the daylight. As I exited the building, I could see that the swarm had already destroyed our primary defensive perimeter. While I ran towards the armory, an intense heat hit my face and then a blinding flash as a shockwave knocked me off my feet. As I sat up, 3 huge mushroom clouds draped in the crimson of hellfire, spouted from a gaping hole in the Swarms mass. The g.h.o.s.t. recon squad saw no other option then to use tactical nuclear weapons to try to turn the tide of this dreadful day. The shock cannons no longer sang their deadly song. They had been quickly overrun once Zerglings got underneath their field of fire. One tank lost a stabilizer and turned over onto its side. It fired one final shot directly into a now empty barracks 100 meters from my position. The barracks expanded for a moment, its armored hull screeching in response and suddenly disappearing in a brilliant white hot flash.

The strongholds on the planet never truly had a chance; those in charge had no idea what they were up against. Even if staggered tactical nuclear weapons were used, the swarms numbers were infinite. They had covered the planet within a matter of hours, dropping from their living ships in almost exact unison. I had no idea what I was witnessing until our defenses were completely overrun. The only thought I had as I ran back towards the command center, was to be close to my son and wife when the time came for us to perish.

As I ran, I saw giant flying monstrosities envelop groups of people with a tangle of mucus. These people could not get up once they were forced down to the ground. They were trapped, and could only await their fate as the ground forces moved up through the ally ways of the stronghold. Small living capsules were screaming across the sky, I saw the Science Vessel Arcturian, the strongholds second vessel, take a direct hit from these flying banshees. It flew right into the center of the vessels hull and erupted in a hissing cloud. The Arcturian’s hull began to disintegrate and after a couple moments, fell from the sky, crushing several Zerglings as it hit the ground and erupted in flames.

I entered the command center and it was filled with the panic stricken faces of those I knew, and of those that were unfamiliar. I ran through the corridors to the room where my wife and son were sitting quietly, singing of a golden sun and clear, cool water.

I unlocked the door and calmly sat down beside my wife and picked up the song as they sang. The sounds of screaming and alien roars began to overpower our singing and we slowly sank into silence. I could hear the monsters outside the building, ripping and tearing at the plating. Entrance doors were torn open and zerglings poured in with a ferocious appetite for destruction, laying waste to anything and everything that was not of the Swarm.

People began running past the laboratories unlocked doors. I quickly ran to it and slid open the door panel. I ushered over 30 people into the enclosed room. The terror that was felt by some, soon became contagious and everyone was crying, begging the air for a way out. Some were clawing at the walls, trying to wedge themselves into a corner behind boxes in a vain attempt to stay alive.

Zerglings were crawling over each other as they ran down the halls inside the command center, tearing apart mechanical and electrical equipment as they hunted. They came to our door and began slashing at the shatterproof glass panels. Everyone was screaming, I was holding my wife tight, grasping my sons head and I felt his tears fall onto my hand. The first zerglings were breaking through the glass, screeching that now unforgettable high-pitched tone endlessly. We were all desperate, hoping for a miracle. The zerglings began to pour in through the holes they created, they were meters from us when suddenly they stopped, and simply stood facing us.

Softly at first, we felt a presence, a feeling that we could not believe existed in such a devilish place; a feeling of peace and calm that gained power each second, even though destruction was wrought all around us. I felt despair leave me and I was at once filled with the knowledge that if I agreed and followed the will of the Swarm, I would be with my wife and child, with Samantha and Jackson forever. I saw its face as it promised these things to me in the name of the Overmind. The face was that of a royal caste of the Zerg, a queen, able to bridge the gap between human and alien, speaking through emotion rather than words, and it was beautiful.

As I succumbed to the will of the Overmind, I felt my consciousness expand and understood why my wife, my son and I had been chosen. We were one of the few that survived long enough to be noticed by the Swarm, to be accepted and assimilated into it.

My wife’s body passed into the next world the same day we were accepted into the Swarm, she was given the honor of dispatching the Major in a way fitting his status. No piece of the Major or her remained, as the human sized crater filled with sand, as time slowly took back what the Zerg destroyed.

Though my son and wife are gone, their memories are still with me, with the Swarm. They are felt and remembered by billions, but understood only by me. I realize that the only way that I can remain with my wife and child, is to surrender completely to the will of that which keeps her memories forever. I live for the Swarm, and die for the Overmind, I will burrow into the earth and remain there for days, only to rise up and bring destruction onto my enemies. Because I give my life, because my wife and child gave their lives…

we will live forever…

Verbatim transcription from deep hypnosis memory recall of Lieutenant Kerrigan, recon mission of baron planet on the outskirts of Confederacy space. Transcribed by Science Vessel Odysseus Medical Officer Liems
submitted by Ghostmusing to StarcraftLore [link] [comments]


2020.08.07 14:15 eZGjBw1Z American Whiskey Price Table - 8/1/20 (Fixed Title)

I just now realized that when I posted this information on 8/1 I put '7/1' in the title. That's a big enough mistake that I had to make a new post. The information is the same.
Here's a table of American Whiskey products that are listed as in stock in at least one store sorted by price per fluid ounce. This post contains all American Whiskeys under $1.50 / fl oz. then I'll reply with the rest above $1.50 / fl oz.
Product Volume Price Proof Age In Stock Limited Inventory $/oz
SOUTHERN COMFORT 600 $2.99 80 139 3 $0.1474
OLD THOMPSON 1750 $11.99 80 135 27 $0.2026
OLD THOMPSON 1000 $7.56 80 149 13 $0.2236
GEORGIA MOON 750 $5.77 80 0 1 $0.2275
IMPERIAL 1750 $13.49 80 186 43 $0.2280
GUCKENHEIMER 1750 $14.49 80 183 38 $0.2449
GUCKENHEIMER 1000 $8.29 80 158 15 $0.2452
SENATORS CLUB 1750 $14.99 80 172 27 $0.2533
MCCORMICK WHISKEY 1000 $8.60 80 128 11 $0.2543
STILLHOUSE ORIGINAL 750 $6.56 80 0 1 $0.2587
BEAMS 8 STAR 1750 $15.99 80 317 43 $0.2702
BEAMS 8 STAR 1000 $9.49 80 311 13 $0.2807
KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN 1750 $17.49 80 48 128 24 $0.2956
TEN HIGH 1750 $17.49 80 48 319 60 $0.2956
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND 1750 $17.49 80 259 45 $0.2956
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN 1750 $17.49 80 48 235 62 $0.2956
TEN HIGH 1000 $10.29 80 48 328 26 $0.3043
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN 1000 $10.39 80 48 118 38 $0.3073
KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN 1000 $10.49 80 48 201 18 $0.3102
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND 1000 $10.49 80 249 24 $0.3102
J T S BROWN 1750 $18.99 80 48 128 34 $0.3209
KESSLER 1750 $18.99 80 345 63 $0.3209
BENCHMARK 1750 $18.99 80 0 301 $0.3209
ECHO SPRING 1750 $19.98 80 48 190 48 $0.3376
OLD CROW 1750 $19.99 80 36 378 63 $0.3378
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND 750 $8.69 80 187 15 $0.3427
BEAMS 8 STAR 375 $4.39 80 234 11 $0.3462
ECHO SPRING 1000 $11.79 80 48 207 14 $0.3487
RED STAG HARDCORE CIDER 750 $8.96 80 1 0 $0.3533
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND 375 $4.49 80 184 5 $0.3541
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN 375 $4.49 80 48 106 12 $0.3541
KESSLER 750 $8.99 80 311 16 $0.3545
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN 750 $8.99 80 48 119 23 $0.3545
KESSLER TRV 750 $8.99 80 164 10 $0.3545
SOUTHERN HOST 750 $8.99 100 168 13 $0.3545
OLD CROW 1000 $11.99 80 36 383 26 $0.3546
HEAVEN HILL 1000 $12.25 80 48 251 29 $0.3623
REBEL YELL ROOT BEER 750 $9.39 70 1 0 $0.3703
SEAGRAMS 7 1750 $21.99 80 439 36 $0.3716
HEAVEN HILL 1750 $21.99 80 48 174 43 $0.3716
OLD CROW 375 $4.79 80 36 139 18 $0.3778
KESSLER 1000 $12.99 80 329 31 $0.3842
ANCIENT AGE 1750 $22.99 80 270 100 $0.3885
JESSE JAMES SPICED 750 $9.89 70 36 3 0 $0.3900
JESSE JAMES HONEY 750 $9.89 70 1 0 $0.3900
BENCHMARK 750 $9.99 80 0 399 $0.3939
EARLY TIMES 1750 $23.49 80 244 66 $0.3970
OLD CROW TRV 750 $10.49 80 36 188 16 $0.4136
ANCIENT AGE 1000 $13.99 80 225 46 $0.4137
ANCIENT ANCIENT AGE 10 1750 $24.99 90 0 28 $0.4223
FIREFLY WHITE LIGHTING 750 $10.96 100 2 0 $0.4322
TRIPLE CROWN BLENDED WHSKY 750 $10.96 80 1 1 $0.4322
ANCIENT AGE 750 $10.99 80 267 43 $0.4334
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK 1750 $25.99 86 423 40 $0.4392
KESSLER 375 $5.59 80 264 7 $0.4408
ANCIENT ANCIENT AGE 10 1000 $14.99 90 0 53 $0.4433
EARLY TIMES 750 $11.49 80 291 32 $0.4531
EZRA BROOKS 1750 $26.99 90 380 45 $0.4561
EVAN WILLIAMS HONEY 1750 $26.99 70 188 58 $0.4561
EVAN WILLIAMS PEACH 1750 $26.99 70 41 14 $0.4561
STILLHOUSE COCONUT 750 $11.74 69 4 0 $0.4629
SOUTHERN COMFORT 80 PROOF 50 $0.79 80 209 1 $0.4673
ANCIENT AGE 375 $5.99 80 167 5 $0.4724
SEAGRAMS 7 750 $11.99 80 417 44 $0.4728
EZRA BROOKS 750 $11.99 90 380 33 $0.4728
SEAGRAM 7 TRV 750 $11.99 80 312 21 $0.4728
SEAGRAMS 7 HONEY 750 $11.99 71 283 29 $0.4728
SEAGRAM 7 APPLE 750 $11.99 71 250 23 $0.4728
SEAGRAMS 7 1000 $15.99 80 426 34 $0.4729
EZRA BROOKS 1000 $15.99 90 344 19 $0.4729
LIBERTY SPIRITS MOONSHINE 750 $12.32 100 1 0 $0.4858
LIBERTY SPIRITS CORN WHISKEY 750 $12.36 90 2 0 $0.4874
MIDNIGHT MOON CHERRY 750 $12.37 100 5 0 $0.4878
MIDNIGHT MOON 80 750 $12.37 80 5 0 $0.4878
MIDNIGHT MOON BLUEBERRY 750 $12.37 100 5 0 $0.4878
MIDNIGHT MOON AMERICAN WHISKEY 750 $12.37 90 3 0 $0.4878
REBEL RESERVE 750 $12.69 90.6 48 0 1 $0.5004
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK 1000 $16.99 86 383 22 $0.5025
OLD GRAND DAD 1750 $29.99 80 48 146 44 $0.5068
SOUTHERN COMFORT 1750 $29.99 70 272 57 $0.5068
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY 1750 $29.99 71 148 83 $0.5068
BIRD DOG PEACH GIFT 750 $12.99 80 1 3 $0.5122
BIRD DOG PEACH TRAVELER 750 $12.99 80 56 14 $0.5122
EZRA BROOKS GIFT 750 $12.99 90 0 8 $0.5122
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100 1750 $31.99 100 151 48 $0.5406
SEAGRAMS 7 375 $6.99 80 450 22 $0.5513
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK 375 $6.99 86 358 14 $0.5513
EZRA BROOKS 375 $6.99 90 210 3 $0.5513
EVAN WILLIAMS CHERRY 750 $13.99 70 275 29 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK 750 $13.99 86 432 18 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS HONEY 750 $13.99 70 381 30 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS PEACH 750 $13.99 70 282 30 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS APPLE 750 $13.99 70 265 23 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK TRAVELER 750 $13.99 86 40 8 $0.5516
EVAN WILLIAMS WHITE 1750 $32.99 100 47 10 $0.5575
MILL ST MOONSHINE 750 $14.35 80 4 0 $0.5658
CLIMAX FIRE NO 32 750 $14.64 80 4 1 $0.5773
JIM BEAM FAMILY 200 $3.99 80 48 17 5 $0.5900
OLD GRAND DAD 750 $14.99 80 48 291 27 $0.5911
SOUTHERN COMFORT 750 $14.99 70 411 42 $0.5911
JIM BEAM AND BUDWEISER VAP 750 $14.99 80 48 2 1 $0.5911
JIM BEAM GIFT 750 $14.99 80 48 7 5 $0.5911
SOUTHERN COMFORT 80 PROOF 750 $14.99 80 154 15 $0.5911
JIM BEAM PET 1750 $34.99 80 48 151 53 $0.5913
JIM BEAM 1750 $34.99 80 48 420 52 $0.5913
JIM BEAM PEACH 1750 $34.99 65 143 37 $0.5913
JIM BEAM HONEY 1750 $34.99 65 149 13 $0.5913
JIM BEAM APPLE 1750 $34.99 65 222 50 $0.5913
RED STAG 1750 $34.99 65 48 261 63 $0.5913
BIRD DOG BLACKBERRY 50 $1.00 80 148 4 $0.5915
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK 50 $1.00 86 146 5 $0.5915
EVAN WILLIAMS HONEY 50 $1.00 70 50 0 $0.5915
EVAN WILLIAMS APPLE 50 $1.00 70 4 0 $0.5915
JIM BEAM 50 $1.00 80 48 332 11 $0.5915
JIM BEAM PEACH 50 $1.00 65 77 1 $0.5915
JIM BEAM FIRE 50 $1.00 65 181 2 $0.5915
JIM BEAM APPLE 50 $1.00 65 184 2 $0.5915
JIM BEAM VANILLA 50 $1.00 65 171 1 $0.5915
RED STAG 50 $1.00 65 48 162 1 $0.5915
SQRRL PEANUT BUTTER WHISKEY 50 $1.00 70 1 0 $0.5915
BIRD DOG KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY 750 $15.69 80 48 4 0 $0.6187
OLD GRAND DAD 1000 $20.99 80 48 270 29 $0.6207
WILD TURKEY 81 1000 $20.99 81 272 36 $0.6207
SOUTHERN COMFORT TRV 750 $15.80 70 86 10 $0.6230
OLD FORESTER 1750 $36.99 86 48 170 42 $0.6251
JESSE JAMES 750 $15.91 80 36 186 22 $0.6274
SOUTHERN COMFORT 375 $7.99 70 292 13 $0.6301
BIRD DOG BLACK CHERRY WHISKEY 750 $15.99 80 60 114 29 $0.6305
BIRD DOG BLACKBERRY 750 $15.99 80 326 71 $0.6305
BIRD DOG APPLE 750 $15.99 80 277 58 $0.6305
BIRD DOG CHOCOLATE 750 $15.99 80 158 46 $0.6305
BIRD DOG STRAWBERRY 750 $15.99 80 135 29 $0.6305
JIM BEAM 750 $15.99 80 48 454 24 $0.6305
JIM BEAM PEACH 750 $15.99 65 418 22 $0.6305
JIM BEAM TRAVELER 750 $15.99 80 48 408 27 $0.6305
JIM BEAM FIRE 750 $15.99 65 385 27 $0.6305
JIM BEAM HONEY 750 $15.99 65 407 29 $0.6305
JIM BEAM MAPLE 750 $15.99 70 432 40 $0.6305
JIM BEAM APPLE 750 $15.99 65 453 14 $0.6305
JIM BEAM VANILLA 750 $15.99 65 354 36 $0.6305
OLD CAMP PEACH PECAN 750 $15.99 70 267 33 $0.6305
RED STAG 750 $15.99 65 48 417 43 $0.6305
SHEEP DOG 750 $15.99 70 70 68 6 $0.6305
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100 750 $15.99 100 386 48 $0.6305
WILD TURKEY 81 750 $15.99 81 341 43 $0.6305
GEORGE DICKEL TABASCO 750 $16.16 70 5 0 $0.6372
OLE SMOKY HARLEY DAVIDSON 750 $16.18 103 1 0 $0.6380
BEER BARREL AMERICAN 750 $16.21 80 24 3 0 $0.6392
WILD TURKEY 81 1750 $38.48 81 156 46 $0.6503
NORTHSIDE MNSHN 750 $16.95 80 11 9 $0.6684
REBEL YELL 750 $16.99 80 289 24 $0.6699
VIRGINIA BLACK WHISKEY 750 $17.20 80 4 0 $0.6782
OLD FORESTER 1000 $22.99 86 48 90 13 $0.6799
SOUTHERN COMFORT 1000 $22.99 70 347 41 $0.6799
JIM BEAM BLACK 1000 $22.99 86 96 52 19 $0.6799
OLD FORESTER MINT JULEP 1000 $22.99 60 40 6 $0.6799
ROBERSONS TENN 750 $17.91 100 25 2 $0.7062
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY 375 $8.97 71 297 18 $0.7074
FIREFLY APPLE PIE 750 $17.95 60 25 7 $0.7078
MIDNIGHT MOON BLACKBERRY 750 $17.95 100 72 29 $0.7078
OLD OVERHOLT RYE 750 $17.99 100 231 35 $0.7094
BIG HOUSE 750 $17.99 90 153 59 $0.7094
EVAN WILLIAMS WHITE 750 $17.99 100 318 33 $0.7094
GEORGE DICKEL 8 750 $17.99 80 230 23 $0.7094
JIM BEAM REPEAL BATCH 750 $17.99 86 192 3 $0.7094
PEARSE LYONS RESERVE 750 $18.31 80 36 2 0 $0.7220
FOUR ROSES BOURBON 1750 $42.99 80 130 54 $0.7265
STRAITSVILLE APPLE 750 $18.58 45 1 0 $0.7326
JACK DANIELS FAM OF BRNDS 600 $14.95 79 48 124 11 $0.7369
JIM BEAM WHISKEY OF THE SEASON 600 $14.99 65 2 0 $0.7388
EARLY TIMES BOTTLED IN BOND 1000 $24.99 100 36 43 13 $0.7390
JIM BEAM 1000 $24.99 80 48 469 11 $0.7390
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY 1000 $24.99 71 306 27 $0.7390
DOC HOWARDS CORN WHISKEY 750 $18.80 80 9 3 $0.7413
OLD FORESTER 750 $18.99 86 48 325 42 $0.7488
STILLHOUSE APPLE CRISP 750 $18.99 69 116 19 $0.7488
WILD TURKEY AM HONEY STING 750 $18.99 71 226 30 $0.7488
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY 750 $18.99 71 156 88 $0.7488
JIM BEAM BLACK 1750 $44.99 86 96 250 61 $0.7603
JIM BEAM DEVILS CUT 1750 $44.99 90 153 45 $0.7603
DOC HOW CINN 750 $19.64 80 7 2 $0.7744
MIDNIGHT MOON APPLE PIE 750 $19.95 70 266 95 $0.7867
MIDNIGHT MOON 100 750 $19.95 100 62 21 $0.7867
MIDNIGHT MOON STRAWBERRY 750 $19.95 100 151 54 $0.7867
WHITE DOG CORN WHISKEY 750 $19.95 90 1 0 $0.7867
JIM BEAM 375 $9.99 80 48 468 14 $0.7878
JIM BEAM APPLE 375 $9.99 65 245 9 $0.7878
RED STAG 375 $9.99 65 48 304 4 $0.7878
EVAN WILLIAMS 1783 750 $19.99 86 247 25 $0.7882
GEORGE DICKEL 12 750 $19.99 90 341 33 $0.7882
GEO DICKEL RYE 750 $19.99 90 191 35 $0.7882
HERITAGE BROWN SUGAR BOURBON 750 $19.99 60 121 20 $0.7882
JIM BEAM BLACK GIFT 750 $19.99 86 96 0 5 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY SALTY WATERMELON 750 $19.99 70 175 33 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY SALTY CARAMEL WHISKEY 750 $19.99 60 282 55 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY PEANUT BUTTER WHISKEY 750 $19.99 60 79 33 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY MANGO HABANERO WHISKEY 750 $19.99 70 234 59 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY PEACH WHISKEY 750 $19.99 60 167 41 $0.7882
OLE SMOKY 750 $19.99 50 64 14 $0.7882
REBEL YELL 100 PROOF 750 $19.99 100 96 11 $0.7882
REBEL YELL STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY 750 $19.99 90 48 107 34 $0.7882
SPIRIT OF THE APOCALYPSE WALKING DEAD 750 $19.99 94 2 0 $0.7882
LITTLE CHICAGO MOONSHINE GOLD LIGHTNING 750 $20.00 90 24 1 $0.7886
LITTLE CHICAGO MOONSHINE 750 $20.00 100 20 2 $0.7886
GHOST SHIP CORN WHISKEY 750 $20.01 80 9 2 $0.7890
RED STAG 1000 $26.99 65 48 254 21 $0.7982
WILD TURKEY 101 1750 $47.99 101 282 89 $0.8110
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100 375 $10.49 100 169 6 $0.8273
OLD GRAND DAD 100 750 $20.99 100 48 363 34 $0.8277
OLD FORESTER SIGNATURE 750 $20.99 100 155 20 $0.8277
OLD FORESTER RYE 750 $20.99 100 40 16 $0.8277
SLOW AND LOW 750 $20.99 84 142 45 $0.8277
JACK DANIELS 1750 $48.99 80 441 35 $0.8279
BUFFALO TRACE 1750 $48.99 90 0 6 $0.8279
JACK DANIELS FIRE 1750 $48.99 70 247 50 $0.8279
JACK DANIELS HONEY 1750 $48.99 70 251 85 $0.8279
BULLEIT 1750 $49.99 90 273 75 $0.8448
BULLEIT RYE 1750 $49.99 90 184 41 $0.8448
LARCENY 1750 $49.99 92 175 52 $0.8448
WELLER SPECIAL RESERVE 1750 $49.99 90 0 33 $0.8448
LEXINGTON 750 $21.47 86 4 0 $0.8466
FOUR ROSES BOURBON 750 $21.99 80 388 46 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS CORE RYE 750 $21.99 90 5 1 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS & GLASS 750 $21.99 80 48 9 4 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS MUSIC CTN WITH SHOT GLASS 750 $21.99 80 48 89 40 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WITH 2 GLASSES 750 $21.99 80 48 17 9 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS FIRE & 2 GLASSES 750 $21.99 70 99 22 $0.8671
JACK DANIELS EQUITY & GLASSES 750 $21.99 80 48 10 11 $0.8671
JIM BEAM BLACK 750 $21.99 86 96 447 24 $0.8671
JIM BEAM RYE 750 $21.99 90 48 252 24 $0.8671
JIM BEAM DEVILS CUT 750 $21.99 90 422 38 $0.8671
JIM BEAM BONDED 750 $21.99 100 108 12 $0.8671
JIM BEAM DOUBLE OAK 750 $21.99 86 279 36 $0.8671
OLE SMOKY MOONSHINE PEACHES 750 $21.99 65 148 43 $0.8671
OLE SMKY SPIK APL 750 $21.99 70 157 59 $0.8671
OLE SMOKY BLUE FLAME 750 $21.99 128 301 106 $0.8671
OLE SMOKY HUNCH PUNCH 750 $21.99 80 184 60 $0.8671
OLE SMOKY CHERRIES 750 $21.99 100 146 113 $0.8671
OLE SMOKY WHITE LIGHTNING 750 $21.99 100 162 40 $0.8671
OLD TUB 750 $21.99 100 1 0 $0.8671
SYCAMORE FIRE BRIGADE 750 $21.99 68 36 22 3 $0.8671
UGLY DOG PEANUT BUTTER KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY 750 $21.99 70 24 46 17 $0.8671
SQRRL PEANUT BUTTER WHISKEY 750 $21.99 70 85 0 $0.8671
WILD TURKEY RYE 81 750 $21.99 81 81 13 $0.8671
FOUR ROSES BOURBON GIFT SET 750 $22.13 80 3 5 $0.8726
JIM BEAM BLACK 50 $1.49 86 96 137 0 $0.8813
MIDNIGHT MOON WATERMELON 50 $1.49 70 84 7 $0.8813
JIM BEAM 200 $5.99 80 48 289 1 $0.8857
YELLOW SPRINGS APPLE PIE 750 $22.49 60 7 4 $0.8868
OLD OVERHOLT RYE 1000 $29.99 100 20 0 $0.8869
AM BORN APPLE 750 $22.53 83 55 18 $0.8884
AM BORN MOONSHINE 750 $22.53 103 41 21 $0.8884
FULL THROTTLE APPLE PIE 750 $22.54 70 1 3 $0.8888
STRAITSVILLE 750 $22.89 90 0 1 $0.9026
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE 375 $11.49 70 184 6 $0.9061
COOPERS CRAFT BOURBON 750 $22.99 82.2 75 33 $0.9065
WELLER SPECIAL RESERVE 750 $22.99 90 0 105 $0.9065
STILLWRIGHTS APPLE PIE 750 $23.16 70 32 8 $0.9132
STILLWRIGHTS CINNAMON 750 $23.16 70 30 8 $0.9132
STILLWRIGHTS KEY LIME PIE 750 $23.16 70 41 9 $0.9132
STILLWRIGHTS MARGARITA 750 $23.16 70 31 7 $0.9132
STILLWRIGHTS PEACH COBBLER 750 $23.16 70 27 10 $0.9132
STILLWRIGHTS TRADITIONAL 750 $23.16 104 64 6 $0.9132
BULLEIT 1000 $30.99 90 341 27 $0.9165
BULLEIT RYE 1000 $30.99 90 235 15 $0.9165
DOC HOWARDS MAPLE WHISKEY 750 $23.35 80 10 2 $0.9207
HOCKING HILLS BLACKBERRY 750 $23.35 45 98 8 $0.9207
HOCKING HILLS GRANNY APPLE 750 $23.35 45 98 15 $0.9207
HOCKING HILLS PEACH TEA 750 $23.35 45 85 15 $0.9207
HOCKING HILLS RASPBERRY 750 $23.35 45 67 9 $0.9207
APPARITION CORN WHISKEY 750 $23.47 100 6 0 $0.9255
TRIBUTE 40 WHISKEY 750 $23.54 80 1 16 0 $0.9282
ELIJAH CRAIG 1750 $54.99 94 144 293 121 $0.9293
MINGLEWOOD CIN WHISKY 750 $23.88 70 18 5 $0.9416
JACK DANIELS 750 $23.99 80 472 13 $0.9460
BULLEIT WITH BULLEIT RYE GIFT 750 $23.99 90 15 3 $0.9460
WILD TURKEY 101 750 $23.99 101 428 38 $0.9460
JACK DANIELS CORE RYE 750 $23.99 90 353 56 $0.9460
JACK DANIELS FIRE 750 $23.99 70 428 25 $0.9460
JACK DANIELS HONEY 750 $23.99 70 440 33 $0.9460
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE 750 $23.99 70 419 21 $0.9460
MAKERS MARK & GLASSES 750 $23.99 90 0 7 $0.9460
REDEMPTION BOURBON WHISKEY 750 $23.99 84 195 31 $0.9460
REDEMPTION HIGH RYE 750 $23.99 92 134 23 $0.9460
REDEMPTION RYE 750 $23.99 92 190 31 $0.9460
WILD TURKEY 101 TRAVELER 750 $23.99 101 178 17 $0.9460
MAKERS MARK 1750 $56.99 90 381 42 $0.9631
GENTLEMAN JACK 1750 $57.99 80 48 266 77 $0.9800
TINCUP 1750 $57.99 84 72 23 $0.9800
CASK & CREW RYE WHISKEY 750 $24.99 70 28 18 $0.9854
FISTFUL OF BOURBON 750 $24.99 90 24 150 34 $0.9854
JACK DANIELS LEGACY 2 750 $24.99 86 24 12 $0.9854
KILLBUCK CREEK WHITE 750 $24.99 90 25 8 $0.9854
MAKERS MARK 750 $24.99 90 465 15 $0.9854
MAKERS MARK GIFT 750 $24.99 90 1 2 $0.9854
REDNECK RIVIERA 750 $24.99 80 152 48 $0.9854
HOCKING HILLS MOONSHINE 90 750 $25.21 90 102 16 $0.9941
BUFFALO TRACE 750 $25.49 90 0 51 $1.0051
WILD TURKEY 101 1000 $33.99 101 376 39 $1.0052
MAUMEE MOONSHINE 750 $25.65 100 68 12 $1.0114
WILD TURKEY 101 RYE 1000 $34.49 101 74 24 $1.0200
THREE BINES HOP WHISKEY 750 $25.95 90 30 10 $1.0232
THREE BINES 12 SPICES OF CHRISTMAS 750 $25.95 90 25 21 $1.0232
WILD TURKEY 101 375 $12.99 101 374 47 $1.0244
BULLEIT 750 $25.99 90 439 31 $1.0248
BULLEIT RYE 750 $25.99 90 446 28 $1.0248
BULLEIT GIFT 750 $25.99 90 2 3 $1.0248
BULLEIT BOURBON WITH LEWIS BAG VAP 750 $25.99 90 5 7 $1.0248
RITTENHOUSE RYE 750 $25.99 100 48 132 23 $1.0248
BLACK DIAMOND DISTILLERY BLOODY BUTCHER MOONSHINE 750 $26.13 80 2 3 0 $1.0303
JACK DANIELS 1000 $34.99 80 453 28 $1.0348
JACK DANIELS FIRE 1000 $34.99 70 339 36 $1.0348
JACK DANIELS HONEY 1000 $34.99 70 374 42 $1.0348
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE 1000 $34.99 70 178 19 $1.0348
TOWN BRANCH RYE 750 $26.64 100 72 3 0 $1.0505
ROGUE DEAD GUY 750 $26.70 80 2 1 $1.0528
JACK DANIELS 375 $13.49 80 470 15 $1.0639
JACK DANIELS FIRE 375 $13.49 70 300 8 $1.0639
JACK DANIELS HONEY 375 $13.49 70 417 6 $1.0639
I W HARPER 750 $26.99 82 139 21 $1.0643
JACK DANIELS LEGACY EDITION 1905 750 $26.99 85 48 22 11 $1.0643
PEANUT BUTTER AND WHISKEY 750 $26.99 70 102 27 $1.0643
SKREWBALL 750 $26.99 70 437 27 $1.0643
TIM SMITHS CLIMAX MOONSHIN 750 $26.99 90 213 73 $1.0643
T SMITH WOOD FIR 750 $26.99 90 88 29 $1.0643
BLACK DIAMOND DISTILLERY PAW PAW MOONSHINE 750 $27.56 80 2 4 0 $1.0867
KNOB CREEK 1750 $64.99 100 108 211 50 $1.0983
OLD SCHOOL RECIPE MOONSHINE 750 $27.95 95 1 0 $1.1021
ELIJAH CRAIG GLASS & ICE MOLD 750 $27.99 94 1 1 $1.1037
GENTLEMAN JACK GIFT 750 $27.99 80 48 37 21 $1.1037
JACK DANIELS MASTER DISTILLER #6 750 $27.99 86 48 1 0 $1.1037
THE WHISTLER IRISH HONEY 750 $27.99 66 27 3 $1.1037
JACK DANIELS 200 $7.49 80 304 2 $1.1075
JACK DANIELS HONEY 200 $7.49 70 165 5 $1.1075
APPARITION PUMPKIN SPICE 750 $28.13 50 10 1 $1.1092
APPARITION BLACKBERRY 750 $28.15 80 4 0 $1.1100
APPARITION BLUEBERRY 750 $28.16 80 4 0 $1.1104
APPARITION APPLE PIE 750 $28.16 50 8 0 $1.1104
DOC HOW FAV 750 $28.32 90 1 6 2 $1.1167
DOC HOW TRIBUTE 750 $28.32 90 1 2 0 $1.1167
KILTED WHISKEY 750 $28.35 80 1 12 0 $1.1179
WOODFORD RESERVE 1750 $66.99 90.4 232 73 $1.1321
CLEVELAND BLACK RESERVE 750 $28.98 100 6 212 104 $1.1427
CLEVELAND 87 750 $28.99 87 6 135 56 $1.1431
LARCENY 750 $28.99 92 347 94 $1.1431
TINCUP RYE WHISKEY 750 $28.99 90 0 80 $1.1431
TINCUP 750 $28.99 84 371 42 $1.1431
GENTLEMAN JACK 1000 $38.99 80 48 266 49 $1.1531
MAKERS MARK 1000 $38.99 90 439 8 $1.1531
MIDDLE WEST WHITE RYE 750 $29.72 110 93 15 $1.1719
JACK DANIELS 50 $1.99 80 416 12 $1.1770
OLD FORESTER 50 $1.99 86 48 6 0 $1.1770
JACK DANIELS FIRE 50 $1.99 70 168 1 $1.1770
JACK DANIELS HONEY 50 $1.99 70 263 2 $1.1770
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE 50 $1.99 70 268 1 $1.1770
NORTHSIDE CORN WHISKEY 750 $29.95 80 29 3 $1.1810
BULLEIT 375 $14.99 90 294 42 $1.1822
BULLEIT RYE 375 $14.99 90 186 26 $1.1822
MAKERS MARK 375 $14.99 90 419 33 $1.1822
BALCONES TEXAS POT STILL BOURBON 750 $29.99 92 41 16 $1.1825
BERNHEIM WHEAT 750 $29.99 90 48 9 $1.1825
COOPERS CRAFT 100 750 $29.99 100 123 43 $1.1825
CLYDE MAYS CONECUH 750 $29.99 85 117 51 $1.1825
EIGHT & SAND BOURBON 750 $29.99 88 75 28 $1.1825
ELIJAH CRAIG 750 $29.99 94 144 408 50 $1.1825
EVAN WILLIAMS SINGLE BARREL 750 $29.99 86.6 262 93 $1.1825
GENTLEMAN JACK 750 $29.99 80 48 431 37 $1.1825
HOTEL TANGO BOURBON 750 $29.99 90 12 68 33 $1.1825
1776 STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY '100 PROOF' 750 $29.99 100 29 13 $1.1825
JEFFERSONS MANHATTAN 750 $29.99 68 73 29 $1.1825
JAMES E PEPPER 1776 STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY 750 $29.99 100 3 47 21 $1.1825
TRAVERSE CITY WHISKEY CO AMERICAN CHERRY EDITION 750 $29.99 70 24 33 15 $1.1825
OLD GRAND DAD 114 750 $29.99 114 0 99 $1.1825
KNOB CREEK 1000 $39.99 100 108 159 60 $1.1826
WILD TURKEY 101 50 $2.00 101 149 2 $1.1829
ELIJAH CRAIG 50 $2.00 94 144 5 0 $1.1829
LARCENY 50 $2.00 92 137 1 $1.1829
1792 SMALL BATCH 750 $30.99 93.7 96 263 82 $1.2220
WOODFORD RESERVE 1000 $41.99 90.4 311 36 $1.2418
WOODFORD RESERVE DERBY 1000 $41.99 90.4 116 12 $1.2418
WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT 1000 $41.99 90 3 6 $1.2418
CLEVELAND CHRISTMAS 750 $31.98 86 86 7 6 $1.2610
JEFFERSONS 8 750 $31.99 82.3 243 99 $1.2614
KNOB CREEK GIFT 750 $31.99 100 108 1 2 $1.2614
TRAVERSE CITY WHISKEY CO XXX STRAIGHT BOURBON 750 $31.99 86 48 34 13 $1.2614
NOBLE CUT APPLE WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 10 11 $1.2681
NOBLE CUT CHERRY WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 8 7 $1.2681
NOBLE CUT VANILLA FLAVORD WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 2 2 $1.2681
NOBLE CUT SALTED CARAMEL WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 0 1 $1.2681
NOBLE CUT MAPLE FLAVORED WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 1 2 $1.2681
NOBLE CUT PUMPKIN SPICED WHISKEY 750 $32.16 80 4 1 $1.2681
STILLWRIGHTS STRAIGHT 750 $32.19 90 86 14 $1.2693
SEVEN BROTHERS SPICED WHISKEY 750 $32.24 82 1 0 $1.2713
SEVEN BROTHERS HICKORY SMOKED WHEAT WHISKY 750 $32.24 80 114 25 $1.2713
DANDY JOHNS CORN WHISKEY 750 $32.70 90 7 0 $1.2894
HOCKING HILLS LIGHTNING 750 $32.71 120 184 24 $1.2898
LEADSLINGERS BOURBON 750 $32.98 80 56 16 $1.3004
FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH 90 750 $32.99 90 356 80 $1.3008
LIP SERVICE RYE 750 $32.99 90 36 34 14 $1.3008
KNOB CREEK RYE 750 $32.99 100 263 57 $1.3008
KNOB CREEK SMOKED MAPLE 750 $32.99 90 108 265 64 $1.3008
KNOB CREEK 750 $32.99 100 108 399 64 $1.3008
LEADSLINGERS RYE 750 $32.99 90 35 9 $1.3008
MAKERS MARK 46 GIFT 750 $32.99 94 1 3 $1.3008
WATERSHED OLD FASH 750 $32.99 70 251 20 $1.3008
WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT 750 $32.99 90.4 72 10 6 $1.3008
BULLEIT 200 $8.99 90 158 14 $1.3293
MAKERS MARK 200 $8.99 90 131 6 $1.3293
WOODSTONE CREEK BLENDED 750 $33.85 87 8 2 $1.3348
ELIJAH CRAIG 375 $16.99 94 144 160 14 $1.3399
WATERSHED OLD FASH 375 $16.99 70 22 5 $1.3399
HOCHS LO & RY 100 750 $33.99 100 0 3 $1.3403
MINGLEWOOD RYE WHISKY 750 $34.02 88 1 0 $1.3415
CANDELLA Y TOWN BOURBON 750 $34.13 100 7 2 $1.3458
BASIL HAYDENS 1750 $79.99 80 96 92 5 $1.3518
SLAUGHTER HOUSE WHISKEY 750 $34.69 88 52 20 $1.3679
GHOST SHIP WHISKEY 750 $34.72 80 8 1 $1.3691
TOWN BRANCH BBN 750 $34.97 80 48 100 68 $1.3789
SECOND GLANCE AMERICAN WHISKEY 750 $34.98 88 60 30 7 $1.3793
GENTLEMAN JACK 375 $17.49 80 48 325 30 $1.3793
SAGAMORE STRAIGHT RYE 750 $34.99 83 48 96 53 $1.3797
BREAKING & ENTERING AMERICAN WHISKEY 750 $34.99 86 30 29 6 $1.3797
CLYDE MAYS STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY 750 $34.99 92 69 32 $1.3797
NOBLE OAK BOURBON 750 $34.99 90 72 26 $1.3797
MAKERS MARK 46 750 $34.99 94 352 88 $1.3797
WOODFORD RESERVE WHEAT 750 $34.99 90.4 100 24 $1.3797
SMOOTH AMBLER OLD SCOUT 750 $34.99 99 72 127 49 $1.3797
TOWN BRANCH MALT 750 $34.99 87 84 11 2 $1.3797
TX BLENDED WHISKEY 750 $34.99 80 42 6 $1.3797
RUSSELLS RESERVE 10 YR 750 $34.99 90 120 261 96 $1.3797
WOODFORD RESERVE RYE 750 $34.99 90.4 232 57 $1.3797
WOODFORD RESERVE 750 $34.99 90.4 430 41 $1.3797
WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT 750 $34.99 90 207 2 $1.3797
WOODFORD RESERVE MALT 750 $34.99 90.4 72 0 199 $1.3797
WATERSHED BOURBON 1000 $46.99 90 97 8 $1.3897
KNOB CREEK 375 $17.99 100 108 311 34 $1.4187
WOODFORD RESERVE 375 $17.99 90.4 346 31 $1.4187
KAVALAN 750 $36.79 80 2 0 $1.4507
HIGH BANK WHISKEY WAR 750 $36.99 88 24 58 16 $1.4586
BUFFALO TRACE 50 $2.49 90 0 7 $1.4728
SKREWBALL 50 $2.49 70 331 7 $1.4728
MINGLEWOOD BOURBON 750 $37.47 88 20 5 $1.4775
MIDDLE WEST STRAIGHT RYE 750 $37.49 96 87 13 $1.4783
WOODFORD RESERVE BARREL 1000 $49.99 90.4 0 67 $1.4784
MIDDLE WEST WHEATED BOURBON 750 $37.59 95 48 230 36 $1.4822
MIDDLE WEST STRAIGHT WHEAT 750 $37.59 92 173 29 $1.4822
JIM BEAM SINGLE BARREL 750 $37.99 86 59 34 $1.4980
WOODINVILLE BOURBON 750 $37.99 90 124 11 $1.4980
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2020.07.18 17:48 Army_Bot Summary For: Weekly Question Thread (4/8 to 4/14)

Thinking about asking my BC for a letter of rec I can use to apply to graduate school. He's definitely aware of my existence because he knows me by name and is familiar with my work. The only issue I foresee is that I won't actually be applying for another six months or so. I want a letter of rec from this BC specifically because i've worked for him for two years and he's one of the best in the Army. Is it inappropriate to ask him for a letter of rec even though I won't be submitting it for another six months at least?
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About to sign a 35F contract. I am currently studying intelligence analysis in college but leaving for the army for financial reasons. Any advice or information about the MOS would be a great help. Thanks
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PSG is trying to force me to go to ranger school, I'm not staying in and fuck that shit. Apparently he thinks I could make it but I've told him a shit ton of times that I'm not interested but he's still doing everything in his power to try to make me go. Not really sure what the best way to deal with this situation is, any advice?
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I have a month left before I’m off to basic in Ft. Leonard Wood and need to get in shape. I heard there’s a shit ton of running and quite frankly, I don’t want to be the guy who is struggling too much in basic. Should I stick to 2 miles a day and push myself hard before basic since I’m out of shape or run every other day with less miles and not push myself too hard?
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Hey everyone, I’m currently about to graduate college with an associates in mechanical engineering. However, lately I’ve been having the desire to change career path and join the army. I currently only have 50 credits (15 away from graduation).
My question is this, would it be worth to wait to join till I get my associates or to say fuck it and join now? My recruiter is really pushing to join now but I want some different advice other than from him.
Particularly have an interest in Cav Scout, artillery, tank crew, and combat engineer.
I took the practice ASVAB and got an 84. Idk what that means but supposedly it’s good?
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This question has prolly been asked to death, but How can I get started in getting selected for RASP? Already in a unit, am a POG who wants to do greater things.
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Is being 32 too old to join?
The short of it is that I'm single, no kids, and have made some choices in life that have brought me to where I don't have a whole lot going for me, and not a whole lot to look forward to over the next several years except slogging through low level wage work while trying to build something for myself. In every objective sense, joining the Army seems like an ideal thing to do right now. And regardless of my age, it seems like it could be the very step I need in order to get my life going.
I do have some waiver issues. Fortunately I found a recruiting office willing to work with me despite all the hoops I've had to jump through. I'm pretty far along in the process and can get approved in the near future. But that also means I can't exactly be picky when it comes to picking a job at MEPS.
But at the same time, I wonder if being a recruit at my age might put me in a position that's even worse than I'm in now. If there aren't any jobs worth taking at MEPS, I'm still going to have to take one. But then I don't want to find myself in a position where my life ends up worse off than it is now. I guess the worst thing that can happen is I mop floors for four years, only to get out and use the GI Bill and other benefits to really start advancing my life. Still seems to be as good of an option for me as any other low wage job I can take right now while working towards the same thing.
On the other hand, if there are decent jobs available when I go to MEPS, I could end up liking the Army and deciding to see what opportunities are there.
But going back to my original question, is joining in your early 30s a worthy pursuit?
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Recently talked with a Recruiter who said that after OCS, there are almost mandatory follow-on schools (Ranger, Airborne, or Air Assault). Is that true?
I'd be thrilled with this news because I'd really like to go to one or all of them, but I thought those schools went predominantly to Combat Arms folks/getting in is quite difficult for non-Combat MOSs.
 
Also, should I take the PiCAT, or really press for the ASVAB? I've heard that the PiCAT isn't looked as highly upon at OCS, unsure if true.
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Im really interested In doing intelligence in the army and ideally would like to go in get experience then get a job down the road with FBI, CIA, etc. Is there a specific job best suited towards getting me there and enjoying my time in? Currently looking at 35m, 35f, 35L, 35p, 35g, 35s.
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Hey all. Just curious if this is even possible. I am 28 years old, overweight ( 5' 11'' 275lbs, working on that to the T with a strict diet and workout plan to shed the weight off as quick as I can. I want to enlist. Back in 2011 after graduating high school, I talked with a recruiter and got squared away and was set to ship to basic training that November. Long story short girlfriend at the time talked me out of it one month before basic. Had a long relationship with her got engaged, she left two years ago. Now I am this crossroads where I have a descent chunk of debt (12k or so in credit cards, 10k in a loan, 10k in student loans and a car lease that is about 410 a month for another 16 months) because of the whole situation and not knowing where to go, I keep kicking myself in the ass about not doing it in the first place. I know the cut off age is 35 and want to try to enlist in the next year or so(I know I can shed the weight easily in 4-6 months if not sooner). With the amount of debt I have would there be an issue? With the job I have now I am keeping up with minimum payments and a tad extra when I can.

Could it work still possibly? Should I just chalk it up as a loss and get this thought out of my head? Any feedback would be great.
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Enlisted last Friday and I'm leaving in May for Jackson, then to Eustis. Any advice is welcome.
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I'm looking for a pair of Army issued dress uniform pants from the early 70's I believe (I think it was being issued prior to the 70's). The specific color is "desert sand" I believe? I have an older gentlemen I'm trying to get pants for so he can attend his granddaughters naval graduation. He is a size 38 waist and 32 in length. Hopefully y'all can help. I did try ebay/google/called local mil surplus places in my area and to no avail.
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Will vaping effect my running too much at basic training? Im a decent runner already just wanna make sure I’ll be good
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So I want to enlist as a 68W with an Option 40 in about a year from now. One minor problem: I have no idea if I’m going to be medically DQ’ed or not due to possible color vision issues.
I know for a fact that I have some level of color vision deficiency. I fail the Ishihara palettes miserably. I know that RangeAirborne will let you in as long as your red/green is sufficient.
Is there any way I can get a medical screening now to find out whether or not I’m going to be disqualified from the Ranger option? I’d like to find out as soon as possible, as it will have a serious effect on how I plan the next year of my life.
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I’m currently in college studying Geographic Information Science, and have become interested in using my skills in the army once I graduate. As I understand it, my background would lead to work in intelligence and not combat. Would I be able to go to jump school if I pursue my field in the army? Or since I’m likely to end up at a desk, would it not be permitted?
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Anyone know how long promotion scrolls are taking? Got accepted for CAD and just waiting for promotion from 2LT to 1LT to go through
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multiple questions about PSYOP:
1) what is the attrition rate for the selection
2) what should my PFT score be for selection
3) what are the pass/fail obstacles I will have to encounter
4) what happens if i fail selection
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about what is the fail rate of the 18x program?
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I am unable to get my official college transcripts for rank before I ship (I owe the college money, yes, my fault). Am I able to rectify this problem after basic/during AIT when I can pay the amount I owe? I have enough to go in as an e-3, which would be much better than going in as an e-1.
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I am leaving on the 29th and I need to get my wisdom teeth removed preferably as soon as possible because they are starting to cause pain. I asked my recruiter and he said to wait because it would be free once I'm in but he didnt say when they would pull them. Will they pull them at reception, during basic or in AIT? Thanks
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How is the experience of talking to a recruiter like? I'm just very anxious about the whole thing.
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My cousin is currently in boot camp and I'm organizing a care package. Cookies were popular last time, what are some good items to include that won't get my cousin in trouble with his drill sergeant who seems to dislike him?
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If I attend ROTC’s Basic Camp (for grad school) and then choose not to continue with ROTC and do OCS instead, do I still have to attend BCT or does Basic Camp cover that requirement?
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Hey everyone, leaving for basic tomorrow and I have almost everything packed from the packing list I received from my recruiter. However looking online one list said I have to bring all my diplomas and degrees with me as well, is this true? It also said to have a direct deposit slip at the ready, but I’ve already filled one out.
I was curious if anyone had any idea as to what if anything else I might need. I have stamps and envelopes for letters, and a ballpoint. Should I bring a notebook as well? Is it okay to bring more than the prescribed number of socks and underwear?
Thank you in advance!
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Hello, I’m leaving for basic training in about 21 days. I’m really worried about losing weight and was wondering if there were any ways to counteract muscle mass loss. Right now my Bench is at 225 max (not a lot), my deadlift is at 360, and my squat is at like 275. I have a really hard time putting on muscle and it’s taken me like 6 months to get there. I weigh 156- ish at 5’7”. Are there ways to work these muscle groups with heavy weights during basic? I don’t want to lose what little strength I’ve built up
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I’m looking for more information on ADOS orders. I’m looking for a longer term gig. Doesn’t necessarily matter what I’d be doing either.
Besides looking on ToD from a mil computer (I tried), where else should I be looking? Who should I be bugging?
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I have a son who is in the military. He went in on an 18X and, after physically finishing the assessment course was tapped out due to a lack of leadership skills, and told he could return in two years. He was allowed at that point to go where he wanted, and chose RASP. He has been awaiting the start of the program, and learned today he had been dropped due to psychological history. Several years ago he had some minor issues, and he has not had any treatment or medication for over four years. Is there any process for reconsideration, or is he just SOL? Anyone he can talk to or appeal the decision?
Thanks.
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Switching from Guard to active army, can I keep old retirement or will they auto enroll me to new one?
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I’m just wondering if anyone knows the required scores on the DLAB for each language category (1-4). I’ve found some online but they appear to be dated. Took the DLAB and merely curious where my score falls.
Thanks in advance.
Edit: Assuming it’s relevant, my score was a 102.
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Discharged in DEC as a PV2 at AIT; Physical Standards RE Code 3, no PMOS. Currently in the process of reenlisting. I'm here because my recruiter (Who I'm not knocking, he's been a great help) tells me when I reenlist I'll be entering as an E1 again and I need to fill out an SF86 and maybe take the ASVAB and DLAB again. Since it seems like the whole process is restarting, would I be able to instead attend college in an ROTC program, or perhaps go street to seat?
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Does the Army still have Correspondence Courses?
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Had someone tell me that you can wear track shoes (with spikes) for an apft. Obviously only if you were running on a truck? Anyone who can verify this or know someone who has done this?
-edit- Track not Truck
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Throwaway account because i have weird porn shit on my main.
Anyway.
Currently looking at reclassing to 12N. Curious to know which duty stations are most common for this MOS?
If you help me i will pmyoumyweirdpornshit
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Hello army
Right now I’m a private in the infantry. And I hate what I do. I hate my daily life. My leadership makes my life miserable and I feel like I’m wasting my time when I could be doing something more productive.
I want to reclass to another MOS without reenlisting but I’d be okay with extending my contract, is this possible?
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Been thinking of joining for years (come from a military family as if that even matters) any way I’m 24 years old 5’11 245 I know I need to lose at least 50 pounds (very doable) , have hypothyroidism (controlled with medication) , and the biggest issue for me is that I do use cannabis. I’m currently getting clean. I guess my question is am I too late? I am physical active (definitely could be in way better shape) but I am not sure about my medical, and losing that much weight in a certain amount of time? Theoretically if I am clean for 6 months and talk to a recruiter would I still be able to join at say 205-210 pounds?
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I'm joining the reserves as an e5 going in an e6 slot, am I going to get promoted automatically or will I have to go to ALC when I get there? I'll be eligible for the board a month before I ets and promotion the day I get to my unit.
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Do 35P get any input on their first duty station after DLI graduation? If I get Korean as a language will I have any say in whether I get put stateside or not?
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Looking to go 12T national guard, I would like to know what day to day like is like in this MOS. I want to get into construction project management and this job seems to fit the bill. I am prior service, 4 years Air Force (Security Forces). Also is BCT required for all prior service or just MOS dependent?
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Trying to get into BLC and I need information awareness training certification to get NIPER access. Is this through ALMS or another site? Also, is it the same as cyber awareness or annual security refresher? No one seems to have the right answer for me. Helppppp!
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hello everybody i can’t find much information online about MOS 88h (cargo specialist) where do you get stationed ? Where and how often do you get deployed? Any chances to get deployed in Europe? any info about the MOS would be appreciated
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I signed a 6 year contract active.. along the way, is there a way for me to go back to school for grad school?
Or do i have to reno? If i do reno, when can i do that after bct/ait?
Googled but got no clear answer
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I have a question re: ROTC. I am interesting in enrolling in graduate school this upcoming fall (Fall 2019 semester). I was told that everything would be "settled" on campus, but I just learnt that one has to apply for a scholarship - and that the application was due in February! Did the ROTC recruiter mean that I could start ROTC in the fall, but only potentially win a scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year?
And if this is the case, should I forget about ROTC and enlist as a reservist? I am interested in serving my country and definitely interested in the educational benefits perk, but now I'm wondering if it's worth it? Would I be better off going to graduate school and taking out loans (100k for two years, total)?
Sorry if this is too rambling.
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I have a few questions that are kinda specific. Posting on behalf of my brother so I’m a little lost. He completed airborne school, got stationed in Europe. Doesn’t remember signing anything assignment wise but is active duty 3 year contract. He wants to drop airborne status. Is it still possible? If he is already is at his duty place does that mean he signed? If he drops airborne will he get sent somewhere else?
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Hi, my recruiter told me that I wasn’t going to be able to get a secret clearance “walk-in in off the streets” (I’m assuming he means for my first contract)
My boss who is a career vet said that even with my very small financial troubles (under 20k in debt) and my single possession of cannabis that it shouldn’t hinder my ability to gain a secret clearance (I’m not trying to get a top secret or TSSI, just secret)
Should I try to find a new recruiter or is he telling the truth?
My boss dosent trust his word and with my boss being former army and current navy I’m very very inclined to take his advice
The whole reason I ask is I’m wanting to join and go 11B and try out for ranger battalion (if I can’t make it in the battalion and get the scroll, I At least want to get my ranger tab)
So would one marijuana charge and a very small amount of debt take away my chance at the bare basic “secret” clearance?
Any guidance on how I should move forward would be appreciated
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Hey guys, I will be in rotc for grad school this fall and hopefully branch 11A, into the guard.
As a guard member, how likely would it be that I could find volunteer deployment slots as a 2LT? I know thy don’t happen that often due to their longer cycle, so I’d like to have the chance to volunteer.
Are all 11 series deployments usually 12 months, or are volunteer availabilities ever shorter than that, like if I’m filling a position because someone left a deployment early, etc? I’d like to volunteer but if could ever be less than a year that would be preferable.
Thanks!
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If I get a shoulder tattoo, how long should I wait before the next ruck march?
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Does anyone know the actual odds of me getting in with a food allergy? Allergic to milk, have an epi pen but I’ve never used it. Benadryl usually is enough to fix it. I’ve talked to a recruiter but they were unable to give me an answer but said that they know people with allergies to nuts who have gotten in.
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What are the lengths of ocs contracts? I met with a recruiter who told me that the only ocs contract length is 6 years active duty. Is this the case? I was under the impression that there were 3 or 5 year contracts.
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 Do they take blood at basic? I'm not worried in regard to anything involving drugs because that's not the case, I've never have and never will do drugs. But I did hear they took blood. Reason I ask is due to my mother have a thyroid problem and she mentioned about me getting it checked. I've never had any of the symptoms of a thyroid disorder either. I actually am losing alot of weight and grinding away doing alot of PT to enlist on an 11X Opt 40 Contract. 
Thanks much guys!
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Hey guys, I’m currently at AIT and I’m curious as to what FSSA debt is, it shows on my LES that I have a debt with it. Could someone explain to me what exactly it is? I’m Georgia national guard if that helps
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Looking to join active in a few months when bachelors is finished. The recruiter says OCS is probably not gonna happen for me out of the gates because I need a moral waiver for juvenile stuff. He said I can drop an OCS packet later after ive been in for a bit. He says I could try anyway now, but he recommends enlisting first, which is contrary to what i've heard on here.
Does his advice sound legit? He seems earnest enough about it.
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When transferring branches, I.E. Marines to army. Specifically inter-service, when do you secure an mos and any other contract incentives. I’m about to start the process, as I’m coming up on the end of my enlistment. But I want to ensure I get an 11B contract. I under the “needs of the army” so I’m willing to wait until a spot comes up. Any information would be much appreciated thank you.
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Hey guys do you know what a 91f does on daily basis based on personal experience ? Cant seem to find an answer on Google.
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After how many months after commissioning as a guard 11A can one apply for guard SF? Some people say when 1LT, others say when CPT, so I’m guessing somewhere in the 24-36 month time frame? Is there a more specific answer?
How long after application until SFAS?
Is there a certain amount of time deployed or combat experience an applicant needs to have to be considered?
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Is 35N a good job that translates to a good civilian career?
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Anyone know anything about TWI, SMU'S or working at the White House as a 91H E6? How to apply, in any case. I do get smu emails, but I'm never around base when they hold the meetings (school, rotation, etc).
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Posting this here cause why not. Thinking about reenlisting, however I have a permanent profile which makes my puhles not to standard for my current MOS, which is fine cause I hate my job. However, my MOS is understrength. What are my options? Would love to reclassified, but not needs of the army
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I’m in the process of joining ROTC, but my running is rough.
The thing is, I know I can run a 15:20 but the past two APFT I’ve done, I’ve gotten 16:00 and I know why. What are some tips on performance anxiety?
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I am in the process of decision in joining the army to pursue a career as Multimedia Illustrator (25M).
I want to know how this career is in the Army long term - can I work as a 25M even for at least 5 years in the US Army?
I am also curious about deployment. Where do 25M's get deployed to mostly, and what Fort are they most likely assigned too?
What to expect as 25M, what to love, what to hate, etc?
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Leaving for BCT then OCS in about 6 weeks. I would absolutely love to be a 15A come branch time, but I know the odds are slim. What are the options for reclassing to 15A in the future?
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How is the power on KAF? Is it 110V or 220 where i'll need to take converters?
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2 questions.
For the PiCat confirmation test, do u have to score about the same as you did when you finished the PiCat or is it get "X" amount wrong and you fail of the 30 questions.
I'm currently trying to exercise as much as I can as of right now I ship on the 7th of may. Should I be worried about my 1-1-1 test because I heard from different people they either have you continue anyway or they send you to FTU until you meat the standards and I also heard they could just send you home.
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Do you think this guy actually had a drill instructor with a hook for a hand, or is he making the whole thing up?
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How’s Fort Leonard Wood compared to Benning? My BCT was originally supposed to be at Benning but it got switched without notification. Leaving in 6 weeks.
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What Does a Combat Engineer (12B) do every day?
I'm thinking I want to go 12B but it'd be great to hear about what they do from something other than big Army or the packet my recruiter has. If anyone could give me a rundown of the day-to-day, that would be great.
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Someone tell me as much as you can about pre rasp I cant find any information.
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Looking for info on MOS 15J. I looked for this position in the 15 series megathread but didn't find any posts so I'm hopeful I'll get some responses here. I'm considering a couple different 15 series MOS' but couldnt find much on the Kiowa.
Just looking for info on what a day looks like for you depending on duty station and unit etc. How was AIT? Do you always work on the Kiowa or do you ever cross train on other helicopters? Is the majority of your day sitting around in the hangemotorpool or are you actually doing maintenance, tests, and repair? Most likely duty stations? (We are currently at Bragg and would like to stay here a bit longer) And lastly any suggestions for an older woman (I'm 32 😬) in what I would assume is predominantly a male dominated field?
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Hi guys, obvious throwaway. The big green weenie decided to visit me the other day. As the title states, my waivers for USMA/ROTC have been denied. How can my doctors (both civilian and military) best craft letters to support my case so that my waiver submissions can get a GO from the waiver authorities? I really want to fight this, hell, I'll go all the way up to the Surgeon General of the Army herself or even Donny T to fight for my case (/s). But you guys get my level of motivation I hope. Thanks in advance guys.
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Current active duty. Is there generally someone on-post that I can sit down with and discuss the green-to-gold process with?
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Can anyone tell me what a Germany deployment is like? Not stationed but simply deployed?
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Hi
I am thinking to join the army, I am 33 years and broke my femur when I was 10. I also had an arthroscopy at the age of 18. I don't have any records of these surgeries in the U.S.
Do a report from an orthopedic doctor saying that I am fine would be enough to make it to the MEPS?
Will I need any kind of waivers for these surgeries?
Thank you
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I'm in the process of joining the Army National Guard and will be applying for OCS. I'm in my late 20's, good physical shape, have been working in tech consulting since I graduated from undergrad. My question to the community is regarding your thoughts on a couple MOS choices. The following is some background:
My original plan was to join the Infantry, but now I am experiencing some self-doubt after several conversations with military folks (multiple branches) during processing. When they saw that I got a perfect score on the ASVAB, many implied that it was a bit of a shame I wasn't considering a more "intellectually demanding" MOS (e.g. cryptologic linguist, cyber operations, etc.). Military Intelligence also sounds like an engaging choice, so I am on the fence between the two (Infantry vs. MI) and would appreciate any advice that you folks can and are willing to give. Someone also mentioned Special Forces as an option, but I think my age may be a limiting factor in the SF selection process.
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TL;DR - I am stuck between choosing to pursue an officer position in either Infantry and Military Intelligence. Any advice is welcome!
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Edit: thank you all for your responses! They were very helpful. Seems like starting IN then branch detail to MI would be the mix I'm looking for. We'll see how things actually pan out.
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How do I get better at the duck walk?
I’ve been practicing in my room all afternoon and still can’t go two steps without falling over. Worried I’ll fail MEPs because of it.
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Hi, so I would like to have this cleared once again so I don't go into 11b with regrets of not asking.
If I require a Moral WaiveDMPM Waiver I will not be able to get the option 40 or 18x in my contract at all, is this true?
My recruiter said I won't get those options and I would need to have an honorable first term and reenlist before I could have a chance at either of those .
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What should one consider when choosing branches?
Im curious about becoming a tacp/cct or 18x/ranger. How can I make an educated decision?
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Going to Fort Leonard Wood on the 29th, 12B. I'll take my official OPAT there, was curious if anyone had tips on improving your long jump? I'm just shy of the required 5'3" (I believe it is, anyway.) and my practice jumps are always scattered from 4'7". Any tips appreciated! Last question is one I assume y'all get a lot. After basic and OSUT, Will i have time to head back home to spend a bit of time with my significant other and family?
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I just turned 34, 5’9 about 220 and 29%BF, recruiter gave me 2 weeks to lose about 10 lbs or 1” around the gut to be under the requirements. Got a 64 on pretest which he said was really good. I’ve been working in the medical field for over 10 years make almost six figures a year and would like to continue in the medical field. I’ve made up my mind and want to join. Anybody have any advice for me or just pros or cons, I would appreciate it.
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I’ve lost over 50 lbs here recently so I’m glad I have more motivation to keep losing. Honestly, the pay has me a bit worried but I don’t own a house (rent) and just have a car payment so I think I should be ok.
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2 mile 16 min. No idea what my 5 mile time is
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PCSing to Benning soon, do I have to go back to 30th AG?
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Well that sucks. Will my pushups go down if I’m not able to bench?
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Anyone have any anecdotes on hearing waivers?
I’m trying to get into WOFT street to seat. Failed MEPS audiogram in my left ear at 3k 45db (req 35db) all other values were fine.
I know at this point all I can do is wait, but I’m just curious.
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Shipping to Fort sill next month. Just curious on what it’s like?
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How to become warrant officer?????
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I'm trying to get my PT score up since I want to join with an Opt 40 contract (shooting for a 68w opt 40). I'm currently in horrible shape and I was wondering about, realistically), how long would it take to train to a point where I can max, or almost max, the APFT and also be able to get through the RPFT? My main concern is running as during my last run I only did 2 miles in about 20ish minutes, though I could probably have gotten it down to around 19 if I pushed a bit more.
Right now I'm doing push-ups and sit-ups every day and trying to run 5 days a week. So far I've only been trying to get my aerobic base up but I plan on doing hill sprints at least two of the five days days and distance runs at the other three days a week.
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I took my PiCAT and qualify for 35P but my recruiter has been acting real fishy about some things. He said because I scored beyond a certain threshold of 105 on my ST that I don't need to take the DLAB. He says my language testing will be done at AIT or Job skill training. I'm dedicated to attending DLIFLC in Monterey, Ca because I want to enroll in their Associates program and get a degree in my language, but he seems to dance around this point every time I bring it up.
  • Why does getting over 105 in ST mean I don't have to take the DLAB?
  • Is DLIFLC in Monterey not a guaranteed thing for 35P? Is it something I need in writing at MEPS? It's honestly a make-or-break factor for my enlistment.
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So I’m looking at one marijuana charge ( but according to the FBI background check, I have no criminal history. And apparently the fbi background checks will pull up dropped/expunged charges) and I’m 10k in debt
I’m looking to get a secret clearance cause I want to join the 75th Reg.
My marijuana charge is 6-7 years old and I’m currently setting up payment plans on the two big debts I have and I’m fully paying off all the little ones before I try to apply for the secret clearance
Does anybody know if there’s Atleast a shot, or should I listen to my recruiters advice and enlist 11B, get some time in (like a year or a little more), then apply for the secret clearance?
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So I'm a 35M headed to 504MI at Ft. Hood. What should I expect? What's the optempo? What are the barracks like? What's the day to day going to be like?
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2020.06.08 08:44 murazar OCS OPORD

Alright. I might regret this, but after a few drinks I'll hit the subject that gets everyone nervous beyond wandering the woods for points and where George Washington was during his campaigns.
First off this is purely for OCS. So since i cannot predict if your cadre are retarded or cool. Infantry or not. I'll keep it high speed, one version will be the office OPORD wherein instead of playing in the sand with terribly made terrain model kits. (buy the one from Troops. Its next to the gas station next to Commandos their terrain model kit is for ranger school and you couldnt ask for anything more high speed)
You'll be playing with acetate overlays (make sure you get them from office depot. Or mailed in. They're super cheap and you only need like 3 to 5 depending on how fancy you want to be.
Now mind you, I love this stuff and honestly I think I'm pretty good at it. So without further adieu we'll start off.
Garrison/paper OPORD:
Prep stuff: Beyond the shitty OPORD you get at OCS you need to grab some acetate overlays, about 5 should work. Permanent very fine map markers. (Anything else will be an issue) And one of those OPORD shells for sale at commandos. if you dont have one, shoot me a DM with your email and ask for it. I'll email you an attached folder when I can of the one I have. You can then use a binder and 3 puncher to make your own (or 550 cord with page protectors if you want to be cool).
Now I'm not going to make videos on how to brief this and all that nonsense. Theres more than a few out there and they give you a good enough idea to develop your own style. So watch a few, read the OPORD section of the ranger handbook, and memorize the typical infantry platoon (I.E. 4 squads, 9 PAX, what weapons the use, and whatnot.)
Alright now that you have all the stuff ready to go you're ready for a boring garrison order. I will be using acronyms and all that so either have the internet handy, knowledge, or a ranger handbook. The 5 paragraph OPORD isnt really 5 paragraphs, its more like 5 sections.
Before you begin you'll have your maps, the big macro area one, and the micro one. Macro is for planning to getting to the objective. As well as influences on your mission from far away. Micro is just the objective and literally is just actions on the OBJ. Orient, Box, Trace, and familiarize.
This is where the overlays come together. The GTAO is just OAKOC stuff like the AOS, restritive terrain. IV lines, etc. When you brief the map stuff you'll literally just use it to orient to the maps. Follow the OPORD shell in order and it takes 20 seconds.
The 1st paragraph is situation is relatively unimportant.
It should take a literal 5 minutes to brief. Give it barely more time than necessary to fill in the blanks. Think of OAKOC in terms of whatever the route is from where you're at to where you're going. Include exactly what the OPORD you're pulling from has and if you van think of some additional pertinent information (if you can't, dont put any extra crap here, dont make up key terrain that doesnt make sense, etc)
Now for VWPCT on weather, same thing as before except its easier to derive some info. Visibility can reference medevac, link up procedures, night time, neafar recognition procedures, etc. Wind references noise/smell or SLLS, smoke, medevac and those damn OCS enemy hinds.
Precipitation again references SLLS, smoke, difficulty in fording any rivers, casevac and AXPs, artillery responsiveness, and the enemy using wet weather gear and bunkering down. Cloud cover is all for sunlight visibility, heat, and more aviation stuff. Temperature references how much water to carry, speed of movement to the ORP, and overheating of engines/generators for that stuff.
ASCOPE. My favorite. Rarely taught and tossed to the wayside. Yet if you kill a random civilian in a real mission you're more fucked than ever.
Dont worry about it for OCS. You just talk about PID for hunters and some shit. Most of your cadre wont even try to trip you up on this. They'd rather IDF the fuck out of you. If you want to know more of this. Just ask.
Enemy: finally. Some real shit. Most of this is fill in the blank. You're squad level. So 2 up is company, 1 is platoon. Same is you. You're always fighting 1 down from you.
So you're a squad, you always fight a fire team. A platoon fights a squad. Etc. Its dumb to always train to fight half to 1/3 or 1/4 of what you're made of, but thats the Army way. They always have reserves and QRF. Just make sure its relevant to how long you have on the OBJ.
This should be mindless fill in the blank (write it how you'll read it outloud in the brief). Now when you get to enemy weaknesses by warfighting function you gotta think. If they have access to construction materials they'll make overhead cover and defensive or canalizing obstacles. Intel would be common, decentralized defense, roving patrols, LP/Ops, UAS, etc.
If they have artillery or mortars, wont they have final protective fires or preplanned fires on your route? Etc. Sustainment means food and water. Not really pertinent here. This is more for company and higher cutting enemy supply lines and big picture stuff as well as a ton of other stuff.
Etcetera. You should have a decent idea on deductions for situation stuff. The rest of the enemy stuff after WFF is fill in the blank. Friendly is literally fill in the blank.
Mission is fill in the blank from what the platoon is tasking you to do. Same az the CONOP. For OCS always make it a flank attack. Nothing else. Its boring, but otherwise you're gonna get questioned and open yourself to getting destroyed by cadre.
Now the COA sketch. Literally its super minimal, all you brief from it is phase 1 begins with blah blah, key to this phase is blah blah, ends with blah. Phase 2 begins with (whatever ended the previous phase). Nothing more. Nothing fancy. Use doctrine symbols, dont draw trees and shit, make it legible and make sure theres lines going from point to point. Theres some ok examples on the internet.
Scheme of Maneuver. The bread butter. Arguably the only thing people care about. If this is solid as fuck you might not even need to brief anything else.
Think of it like a story where you point at the map as you go. Start with phase 1, planning. Go through it properly. Start out like,
"My squad will conduct phase 1 starting at 0300 hours local time at MGRS 12345678. Major terrain feature is a hill. Here we will conduct PCC and PCIs in the form of Man, Weapons, Equipment. We will conduct rehearsals with emphasis on react to contact, react to indirect, react to near ambush, casevac, and squad attack.
I will request smokes, UAS/Raven, Arty, 60/81MM mortars (the only smoke available from those is the 81MM white phosphorus. If that gets approved I want to know. Thats funny shit.), frags, thermite, shotgun, designated marksmen, sniper support, extra mortars, claymores, DAGRs, extra maps, det cord, security from another squad in the PLT, engineesapper assets, scouts, AT4s, and Weapons squad support. (Whatever of those they'll give you.)
My squad will conduct priorities of work while maintaining our role in 360 security of the platoon. (In the field always request security from the cadre from another squad for the OPORD. Its notional, but dont call it notional.)"
This goes on and on like that. If you show your timeline at the beginning you only need to mention the highlights here.
Now for TTLODAC. Just copy what they give you and add whatever they give you. Simple. Situation 4. Casevac plan. Make it start from phase 1 and go through 4. Have AXPs, medevac, casevac, a MASCAL, and a legit plan. For each phase. Make it sound just like the scheme of Manuever. (OCS cadre wont expect you to do this shit. So if you do it, you'll look like some sort of ranger, SF, hardcore infantry superstar.)
After this its just copy and paste so to speak from the OPORD above yours. Oh, and a ruck plan (another dont need, but makes you look cool). Ask me about this one, because legit you wont do it at OCS. You will at IBOLC, but most cadre are retarded and dont know how to do it.
The rest of 4 and 5 are copy and paste.
When you make your garrison OPORD. Immediately figure out your part from the friendly stuff and what you're fighting against. Takes a couple minutes. Then knock out all your fill in the blank junk. Write quick and legible.
While you copy and write think up what your plan is going to be. Glance at the maps and figure out which ones you want to use.
After you're done copy/pasting. Now go to the maps and make your overlays with the acetate. Make the GTAO, ENY overlays, etc. Once you're at scheme of manuever you should understand as much as you're gonna understand.
Make the map overlay and start from the beginning of the story. Where you start and move with routes and checkpoints to the OBJ. Drop AXPs, CCPs, HLZs, CPs, fording, and everything to the ORP. Make sure everything has grid coordinates, the azimuth from point to point, distance in meters, nearest major terrain feature, left/right limits, a backdrop, and whatever else you can think of.
Make the route make sense. You dont want to be in the open or near anywhere people could show up. But you dont want to go through a swamp for no reason (it'll slow you the fuck down. Rivers dont count)
Then draw up actions on objective. Make 1 or 2 overlays for actions on objective. Use all the proper symbols. Phase lines mean a signal of some sort. You dont get radios and cadre are autistic with smoke so get creative. Whistles kind of work, but not if the 240B is going off against you.
TRPs work, but you gotta make sure both teams know them and they're easily recognizable. Have a solid PACE plan for everything. E is always runner. Dont be ashamed if you don't have 4 things. 2 or 3 is enough.
For field OPORDs, you'll need a water proof OPORD shell, lightweight, and you'll use a terrain model instead of overlays and maps. Which is nice in a way.
Now that terrain model kit from Troops? Its legit perfect. If you dont have it. Make water proof index cards with all the doctrinal symbols. Dont be a dumbass and use army men and shit. Be a professional. Also, for the terrain model. Legit make it look like a 3D version of the map.
So hills, ridges, swamps, spurs, depressions, buildings, leafs for foliage, string and empty dirt for roads. Etcetera. If you make a decent one your cadre will immediately judge the squad leader less harshly if they're a perfectionist.
So yeah. Thats not everything and isnt meant to be, but if you got questions go ahead. Also if you really want to know how to do Man, Weapons, Equipment right I'll tell you. Its a ranger school thing, but is legit going to give the cadre a boner and really isnt much extra work.
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2020.05.11 22:46 Walking_Fire Conquering the Mountains (Part 1/3)

[28 CE - 38 CE]
[Previous post which helps set the stage]
[Land intended to be annexed]
[There is a lot here... sorry expansion judges.]

Preparations for the Wars (25-28 CE)

Merging Armies
As outlined in the Treaty of Trapolli, the "green" human armies were merged into two larger armies, Human A and Human B. As with all federalization of kingdom-specific militias, these soldiers were ill trained, poorly equipped, and typically attempted to disregard the new commanders which attempted to organize them. The common weaponry in the kingdom armies included various sorts of polearms (from billhooks to halberds), the obvious inclusion of irregularly shapped swords, and, especially present in the richer kingdoms, bows.
The armies were quickly reformed under the direction of both regular ant officers and some human officers which proved useful in scuffles against nomantic hordes. The ants officers must be given specific credit; they provided quite advanced techniques which are further explained below. The Human A and B armies were then added to the pools of various Ant armies (which are labelled numerically), and human commanders helped laid plans alongside Ant commanders. Although most often the humans at these higher commander meeting simply didn't understand much of strategy during this time, they were learning what is considered acceptable.
The ant armies were already quite well maintained, having relatively recently fought a war to create the national Sajikaran Confederation. These ants didn't need much training as much as they needed supplies, which, as explained by the Treaty of Trapolli, would be produced by the humans. In the meantime, these ants often ran drills and aided with the harvesting of crops.
Human Army Organization, Equipment, Tactics
Humans, despite being soft bodied weaklings, do provide a specialty which the ants cannot create: thumbs. With thumbs, humans are able to quickly become valuable archers and in some cases, light infantry. This is mildly reflected in Armies A and B. Along with ant style organization, the humans learned of the value of specialty units, regular training, and some standardization. This coalesced into an organization of dividing the army into specific companies, headed by nobles or persons which the human kingdoms (which have long been acting as one) deemed worthy. Although the humans didn't officially create any smaller organizations, the Sirs and Madams, when assigned their forces, typically did allow for soldiers from the same kingdom to group together into bands, (obviously had a quite large variable of size), headed by either a lesser noble or band chosen leader that could more easily communicate with the overall commander.
The various units was a moderation between what the ants suggested and what the humans asserted; most light infantry maintained scimitars and tulwars. Some special cases see that certain bands used pollaxes. The commanders, pressed by a tight budget, refused to equip the regular soldiers with chainmail, helmets, or even boots, but gambeson was common. However, just as pollaxes were uncommon, some men from particularly economical families managed to scrounge up enough money to equip chainmail and the other pieces of necessary equipment.
Alongside light infantry were often archers. Archers themselves were much more heavily trained, not only to make them more effective fighters, but as these were often the groups that were attached to ants, meaning they were the face most ant soldiers saw. Bowmen were armed recurve bows, however many were also equipped with daggers in case if things got a little too bloody. Similar to light infantry, most archers chose gambeson, enough to give a chance of survival it they were to get poked and still retain a good degree of mobility.
Seen less often, but still present during the preparation period, were heavy infantry and soldiers mounted on the Mardaqi's didanu (thanks Wolfie!). Heavy infantry was much more managed than their lighter counterparts, which can be quite obviously seen when one considers their armaments. Coated in much more tightly chained mail, the heavy infantry most often came onto the battle field with mighty mauls with a side of daggers.
Finally, the last human unit during this period of importance, the mounted didanu. These soldiers were used in a much similar fashion to how cavalry charges in other cultures are executed. The didanu's typically were not armored during this period, however the mounted soldier wore a chain mail jacket with leather. As for the weapon, it was discovered the curved blade of the scimitar was excessively effective when charging enemies.
With four basic unit "templates" in mind, the composition of each human army can be addressed. Army A consisted of two units of light infantry (about ten thousand soldiers in each), two units of archers (about six thousand in each), and one unit of mounted didanus (about six thousand). Army B was organized to attack more well defended areas, being composed of two heavy infantry (about nine thousand in each), one archer group, and two mounted didanu groups.
Ant Army Organization, Tactics
The Sajikaran Ants, should one forget, is has the physical appearance quite literally almost exactly alike normal ants, with the exception they are larger. Soldier ants typically stand three to four feet high and five to six feet long. Most soldiers, without carrying anything, move about 10 mph. All skill is seemingly multiplied by the ant's innate gift of organization, specifically through pheromones. Sajikarans often can keep lines or quickly regroup despite terrain and other blockades that would disrupt most other disciplined soldiers.
Like the humans they organized, the ants themselves are highly organized, however there is less variation between armaments. A basic "loadout" would have a chainmail layer coating the head and thorax, with a specific small plate on the direct sides of each section. This armor, of course, is laid on top of the ant's natural exoskeleton, which itself is pretty thick. The antennae are dangerously vulnerable, but ultimately difficult to protect. Their jaws, which during war is coated with metallic spikes, have enough force to puncture all but the most abnormal animal leathers, pierce light gambesons and textiles, and, when tipped with metal, deal a decent dent to plate mail. Of course, there are concussive results both on the recipient of the chomp and on the soldier's jaw.
The most common soldier, just like the humans, is the light infantry, whose purpose is quite easily guessed: fodder, filler, leg work, overwhelming numbers, the list goes on. In most Queen's eyes, these soldiers are easily replaced and hence expendable. Despite their rather unskilled approach, should one get surrounded or meet an organized line, these light infantry can be a formidable foe.
Although the ants lack the ability to use bows, they are not incapable of ranged attacks. Catapults, ballistas, and their invention, the Apmaniq (more familiarly a trebuchet), are loaded with bundles of stones, metallic spikes, and other dangerous missiles to cripple enemy groups and strike walls. Expect these to be commonly used as field artillery.
Another specialty of the Sajikaran during war happens to not be a result of the biological capabilities of the soldiers, but of the workers. Their smaller size, flatter jaws, and greater carrying strength makes them excellent miners and engineers, which makes them invaluable for creating stagnant defenses and even digging under walls directly into nests. To maintain mobility, engineers are often less armored, a possible shortcoming as it could be difficult to move workers from an allied nest towards the front lines.
The final "unit" of the Sajikaran armies is the most legendary among their ranks, the Valkyrie. Biologically very different from other soldiers, the Valkyries have two sets of wings making them capable of airborne combat. They are used in a variety of ways. Foremostly, scouting. Their wings make them invaluable to get a greater idea of the landscape and to even drop loose pheromone trails high above the dangers of the enemy. Additionally, as developed during the Confederation Wars, (2 CE - 13 CE), Valkyries began to engage each other in mid air bloody combats, leading to the equipment of chainmail. Finally, the Valkyrie have been found fit to carry large stones, and (together with other Valkyries) large nets carrying heavy missiles to drop upon the enemy.
Mountain Kingdom Army, Economy, Details
The Mountain Kingdoms lie to the East of Sajikara, (the annexed land in the beginning of the post). Being the... Mountain Kingdoms, their land is perhaps slightly less difficult to farm on than the glass desert, however these mountains lack any major rivers, oasis, or even easy access to ground water, all present in the desert.0 Therefore, their population was noticeably smaller. Despite this, being in the mountains, they had a greater access to metals and wood, which perhaps is one of the reasons their desert cousins planned a war against them.
Their army is arguably both superior and inferior to the Sajikarans. The greater access to material allows them to armor their soldiers with full chainmail cloaks, and larger plates (but not in full platemail) on the head. Even the engineers have a small about of armor. Humans have also been integrated into their armies for longer, allowing them to fully make use of archers and the different advantages of the species. Even the mountainous terrain should be in their advantage. However, their commanders have been longer sitting dormant, therefore have not adopted newer technology (like the Apmaniq). The smaller size will likewise make defense of fields and valleys incredibly difficult.
Politically, the Kingdoms exist in a state not unlike that of the early Confederation. Political infrastructure exists to call meetings and organize events within their lands, however this entity has no legislative nor true political power. This organized disorganization will be a disadvantage to the defending armies, as they will be more split and untrusting. Nevertheless, through numerous advantages and disadvantages, the Mountain Kingdoms see a difficult, but possible road to maintain their sovereignty.
TL;DR for this section (forever remembered as the boring section):
- Humans create two armies, A and B. They have been organized into divisions, but tend to remain together on the actual battlefield with soldiers from the same kingdom. Most common is light infantry, however archers are in quite high demand. No chainmail on these lighter soldiers, rather cloths and some leathers provide mild protection from both the elements and enemies. Humans also have some heavier infantry capabilities, along with soldiers mounted on top of Mardaqi Didanus.
- Ant armies on both sides are quite similar, with the exception that the Mountain armies are less populous but much better armed. Expect waves of soldier ants with chainmail, artillery (including the Apmaniq/ Trebuchet), and a developing class of working ants serving as engineers and sappers. Most famously are the Valkyrie, winged ants which serve as scouts, air to air combat, carriers for air to ground projectiles, and, in some cases, air to ground surprise attacks. Not as common as the soldier ant.

Early War (28 CE - 32 CE)

Note
Now that the boring, "What does each side look like" part is over, the plan is to carry on using papers and journal entries, which is definitely more fun to write, therefore hopefully more fun to read. I will leave a TL;DR after each section to attempt to help summarize and explain the overall effects. Of course, it shouldn't be assumed that these primary documents account for all action across the kingdoms, but rather more significant or interesting events. Now be a good reader and pretend like I wrote something that seems more formal, like "Henceforth, due to a severe lacking of recovered battle plans (likely due to the non-permanent nature of pheromones), information will be provided from first hand accounts of the war across the Mountain Kingdoms. Of course, a greater picture of the overall progress into the Mountain Kingdoms can be vaguely guessed and information is provided from these assumptions. Nevertheless, the documents still may help create a better picture of the events and specifics as they occurred."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Declaration of the Sajikaran Right to Rule, 28 CE
Upon this day, the ninety-ninth of the second dimester of the year1, we, the Great Council of the Confederation of Sajikara, do exhume the ancient right to rule over all Sajikarans, displaced and home, in order to truly unify all under the justified Confederation of Sajikara. As such, the individual Mountain Kingdoms (too numerous to name individually), are all contestants to our peace and people and therefore cannot be allowed to continue their harmful and dangerous actions. These actions have included: proclaiming sovereignty over the Confederation of Sajikara's ants, usage of lands worked and lived in by Sajikarans, maintaining armies which constitute Sajikarans, and taxing and working Sajikarans. Given the numerous and intense grievances towards Sajikarans and the Confederation of Sajikara, along with the justified authority the Confederation of Sajikara should have over all kingdoms which exhibit a population of Sajikarans, the Confederation of Sajikara must, by the will of the Greatest Queen2, reassume our proper control over the Mountain Kingdoms by any means necessary.
Great Queen Shipackil II Queen Jifilip Queen Lishoq
Queen Kilik Queen Trafplop III Queen Quilk
Queen Utret Queen Trrillt Queen Iokich
(This looked all cool spaced out. Formatting never likes me. Nevertheless it's a bunch of names I've used in the past and will use again in the future, but not important on their own.)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Quahck, Scout Valkyrie attached to the 13th Sajikaran Army, flying over the highlands in the Northern regions of the Kingdoms, 28 CE. Transcribed shortly afterwards by a human historian.
On the dawn of the battle, I was told to prepare thirteen fellow Valkyrie, to send off over the hills and find the easiest track through the rugged terrain. We, of course, found much more than we anticipated. About mid day after scouring the foothills, we encountered what appeared to be an entrance to a nest. I personally investigated the area further, from an overhead view, and discovered that not only was it a proper entrance to what appeared to be an outpost, but the Mountains' armies were completely occupied with internal fortifications, as told by a lack of their presence on the surface. Their failure to even watch the skies shows their ineptitude, and therefore decided the our major forces should take advantage of this quite fortunate scenario. I sent the two faster fliers (even having them strip their armor to speed them up), and the greater portion of our scout team set to work laying a trail towards the hole. By nightfall, the 13th was making the trek.
It didn't take long for the soldiers to make through the path, and, from what we saw, that hole remained defenseless. It laid still even as the army began preparing an invasion of it, digging in the Apmaniqs and prepping the sappers to drive down into underground flanks. Easy pickings and a successful night was the ideal picture, but, as it should have already stricken some "too good to be true," things turned sour. As the armored ants began making their ways into the entrance, a great crash was heard to my far right. Again to the left. From just beyond, a rain of stones and metal began pelting the army beneath me. I called for the thirteen airborne from the earlier scouting mission, and took them to the source. There, we counted fifteen large catapults and an assortment of smaller launchers prepared, with a protection force of the unfamiliar armor designs of the Mountains' army.
My fellow Valkyries quickly flew around, back to the commanding force, to alert them of an ambush. But too late, for we must have been spotted. Flying at us from our fronts and sides were the much heavier Mountain wings, likely outnumbering us two to one. We continued towards them, readying ourselves for the clash. As we closed in, I caught a waft of familiar pheromones stretching up. I recognized it as a terrestrial scout's trail, but to my disadvantage, serving me only as a distraction, one which almost turned me about. In that quick moment, the enemy must have charged. I was later told three enemies charged me, however, thankfully, their inexperience or poor sight caused a failure in landing a killing blow. The first two whizzed past me while the third crashed into me with all of his weight. I dropped altitude, gaining a bit of distance to recover my wits. I spotted a silhouette attempting another charge, and once again dropped in height as to cause it to miss me again. I chased that one, and thanks to my own lighter armaments, was able to catch the thing thing in the rear. Pain seared through my jaw, recognition of a successful crunch. I couldn't tell the damage then, not even feel any liquids, therefore attempted to bite further up the body. I believe I caused another blow onto the enemy's thorax, confirmed again by my own pain. This time however, I felt the wings of the armored thing stutter.
I moved my legs, and my weight, fully onto the body, still flapping my wings to maintain altitude. Despite the Mountain's squirming and fluttering, I still maintained enough stability to move my head down, attempting to strike closer onto its underbelly. Rather than the typical pain of platemail, I felt crunching and the give of chain. I applied more force, and, given by the much greater crunch of the thing's exoskeleton, punctured it fully. I detached myself from the soon dead body, allowing the bleeding ant to fully embrace its demise, and began searching for my next target. I saw from the corner of my eyes the unlucky thing fall.
I disposed of another Mountain Valkyrie in a much similar fashion; latching on with my jaws, then legs, and finally going into a similar under protected zone of the enemy. By then, luckily, our friendly forces have fully experienced the enemy and sent reinforcements over the enemy artillery, to us. With our now superior numbers, even though they did send more Mountain Valkyrie to abuse, we were able to decisively eliminate them over the air, and began prepping to eliminate the artillery. The most common tactic was to swoop down and scoop up one of the clueless workers, crush them with our jaws, and drop the corpse.
By then however, most of the enemy's ill fated ambushing force had been properly decimated, and therefore there was not much left for us to clean up. Most ants claim the battle was completely over by daybreak, with the last of the honorable enemies bleeding into the gravely sand. We later found their proper outpost, which was empty of life with the exception of a good score of supplies. I figured that was perhaps their entire defending force for this section, for it wasn't until the Ikop fortress that we encountered another major fighting force.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Athon Minilisca, (Human), support archer lent to Sajikaran Army 5, regarding the defense of the ruins of Hookoo, 30 CE. Story supposedly collected at a tavern, 34 CE.
I arrived at the fortress after the actual siege and conquest of it, when most of the walls were downed and the subterranean nest a web of misshapen tunnels from sappers and escape attempts. The water well had to be contained, apparently some of the larva caretakers attempted to save the young by taking a swim in the reserves, their corpses contaminating the entire supply. Many of the entrance walls were either gaping with large holes or all together unstable. And the corpses... so many bodies. I really only saw it from outside the nest, who knows how many bodies they buried or burned underground, but thousands and thousands of dead ants were carried out of the fortress.
My attachment of archers actually came to the ruins with some hundred Sajikaran workers to help rebuild the most crucial defenses until a greater detail could come out to fully reestablish the stoneyard as a fortress. We did watch these workers, that is all we really could do, and, without jest, they were rather effective at their tasks. They must have finished the underground quarry first, for within the week great bricks were hauled from the major entrance hole and fitted where rubble once stood. The soldiers that were garrisoning continued removing the now rotting corpses and cleaning the wrecks. The surface, with exception to the shabby repair job on the walls, was rather clean. Another group of workers arrived with supplies upon the third week, and by then most of the sappers' tunnels were clogged. I could only guess what progress showed below.
My band ate well, these hills fare much better for game then the desert, and we did what we could to aid the ants. The commander had us undertake a project to rebuild the surface barracks, the very same one which many of us took to when we first arrived. My band started by reclaiming what may have been a mess hall, relaying the cracked bricks with fresh ones the ants delivered to us. A few times we needed their strength to heave up pile of rubble, but truly we tried to get much of it done without their aid. It was during this time that our work had to be paused.
Rumors spread about the archers that Mountaineer scouts had been spotted, apparently they planned to retake the area, avenge the fallen comrades and Queen slaughtered. These flames were fueled by the unexpected arrival of a group of Didanu Riders, and again when some archers, including my band, was suddenly brought up to reside on the heights of the few non-crippled walls. After a week of anticipation, the commanders gathered us up to formally address the rumors, (apparently word just then reached them), and perhaps did the worst thing possible, confirmed them. Of course, the actual attack didn't happen until a few days afterwards, with each night inbetween bringing on a new meaning of absolute, silent, paralyzing fear as we awaited to hear the terrifying sounds wings above and thousands of legs below. We tried to leave guards each night, to have an earlier system than what the ants might provide, however dispute on who would spend the entire night awake left most nights with all beds filled. I suppose that showed our stupidity, or even our lack of being in an actual battle before this.
Nevertheless, the night of the attack, I was personally awoken at about midnight by the clicking and buzzing of one Mountaineer Valkyrie that had landed on the roof above us. Such a terrifying sound that is, each movement releasing more crunching as the exoskeleton adjusts to another position. I initially assumed it to be just a rouge friendly soldier that somehow snuck up there without our hearing. I rolled and twisted, still unsettled by the large thing that I couldn't see. After a few moments, I heard it take off, jolting me awake. [There were no documented Sajikaran Valkyrie stationed in Hookoo.] It was I who sounded the alarm, the first in the entire fortress. The one that had landed on our roof was the first scout sent forward, and somehow dodged detection by the ants that were below us. Within a few moments, we were geared with our bows on the walls. My hands were shaking. I'm sure the same could be said by every man standing on that wall.
The Sajikarans had prepared much more quickly than we had, and were already pouring out the gates, the holes, some were even scaling the walls near us to try and prevent the enemy from reaching us. We at last saw the army, far too close to the fortress for comfort to be certain. With them was perhaps five hundred Valkyrie, which of course pose the greatest threat to us on the walls. We began firing at those ones first, some of our arrows landing damaging hits, most either missing the flying targets or being deflected by some of their face plates. I saw them closing in as we launched volley after volley, staggering them with the archers that were positioned on the ground just outside the walls. As I think upon this now, I don't really understand why they chose to defend the fortress from the exterior. Such stupidity followed some of these commanders, one must ask how they got into those positions.
The Sajikaran defense had already begun clashing with the forward lines of the Mountaineers, creating a devastating problem for us archers that still hung further away from the front lines. We were defenseless in a melee. We still fired volleys, seeing the winged beasts coming closer to us, each arrow fired with more desperation, hoping to land a crucial blow to stop the flying armored wave from closing in. The wall commander's voice shook, losing its authority as he realized the critical failure. His commands came faster, not giving me enough time to fully draw my bow.
The Valkyrie... they took a sudden dive. We assumed they were coming for us upon the wall, but rather, as they were almost directly above the archers on the ground in front of us, they dropped. I could hear the screams as soldiers from the same kingdom as my band were crushed and shredded. Some tried to flee, but they were just too slow. We, on the wall, stood there stupefied and horrified. I estimate about four hundred archers were suddenly mutilated.
Eventually, once shock subsided and was replaced by the sudden terror of realization of what happens when they are done down there, we began firing arrows back down the walls. We were much more effective hitting their weaker top armor, but still, after the majority of our archers had been killed, there still was too many for us to handle. [About one hundred garrisoned the walls.] They began taking flight again, gaining height, albeit a bit slow. Some archers began running away in terror, most finding a ladder or stairs, some struck dumb by the situation even jumped off the walls. I, along with my band, chose to stand our grounds, at least until the last of our arrows were loosed. I felt the arrows left in my quiver... five. My friend, Toems, took over ordering the volley. I loosed at the nearest ant, about twenty feet away. Four at sixteen. Three at thirteen. I grabbed two, but as I attempted to nock it, the shaft slipped through my fingers and fell to the ground. That may have been the only reason I survived to be honest. We should have ran. I ducked to grab that arrow (something that they told us not to do, we should just grab another arrow), and managed because of that, dodged the Valkyries' charge as they poured over the wall.
I looked up to see Toems getting crushed in a jaw, and, finally, ran. My comrades were trying their best to avoid their deaths, some attempted to use the puny daggers they gave us, other stepping back and were batting at the beasts with their bows. I, being at the end of the firing line, was able to slip into the tower which we slept in. I knew it well enough to find the hatch below to scale the slats in the bricks down. My entire survival, as ludicrous as it sounds, sums up to luck. Luck that none of the damned Valkyrie chased me, luck that I didn't slip on those bricks, and luck that they hadn't penetrated into the lower levels of the fortress. [The writer, who was jotting down the story as the man spoke in the bar, made specific note of a loud belch the orator produced at this point.]
I was in a crazed frenzy, running as fast as I could to find some sort of weapon or shelter. Behind me the wings of the monsters began to fan, the buzzes reverberating off the walls creating a terrifying quake through my bones. Faster I charge, trying to get as much distance as I could. I slid into one of the entrance structures situated around an ant hole. A sudden coolness stunned me, a hesitancy which, once again, led to another lucky scenario. From the ground before me sprung the mighty Didanu Riders, one of which almost trampled me. I rolled out of the way, watching in awe as an entire wave of fur, metal, and flesh combined in a fearsome horde no doubt surprising the grounded Valkyrie who were searching the exterior for something to kill.
I not only bore witness to the slaughter of those Vaklyrie, I took part. Inside the hole which the Didanu Riders hid was a complete armory, allowing me to refill my quiver and grab a new bow. I too sprung from the hole, ready for battle. The Vaklyrie were trying to escape to the skies, so I made it my personal duty to kill the cowardly monsters. I nocked one arrow, aimed, and loosed it towards on. It struck the rather unprotected underbelly, penetrating its natural armor and into the flesh. Another arrow in a similar location of the animal crippled it enough for it to struggle to stay airborne. I targeted another Valkyrie, one already midflight preparing to attack one of the Riders. An arrow found its way into the unprotected jaw region, forcing the thing to the ground out of pain and shock. The Rider finished the job, giving a nasty slash up head. This battle followed similar lines for another fifteen minutes, until, at last, the Valkyries gave up and fled the fortress. Shortly afterward, word reached us still in the castle that the battle had been won against the terrestrial forces.
After all this combat, of the some six hundred archers that came to Hookoo, only fifty three survived, all of which belonged to the force stationed on the walls. It was a terrifying night, and a worse day realizing who had been claimed in the clamor. Us archers were pulled out of Hookoo the week after, repurposed as reinforcements into another archer group. Myself and a few others ditched the army somewhere on the road, taking a few supplies and making our way back to our kingdoms. [He gestures towards the wooden stump on his leg] That my good fellows, is how I lost my foot. Not for poor skill in battle, like this puny man tries to claim, but because I wanted to see my family.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The early war period represents the initial gains into the foothills and lower altitudes the Mountain Kingdoms held. As could be generally assumed, most of the lower level commanders are horribly poor at maintaining a strong strategy, some even failing to recognize retreat as a valid and in some cases, the best option. This ultimately leads to wanton throwing of hordes of ants at each other, and into fortresses, leading to massive casualties and quick drains of supplies. However, obviously the two sides began learning their way through this, recognizing the significance of well positioned artillery, using sappers to disguise the movement onto flanks in especially prolonged battles, and experimenting as to refuse the opponent advantage due to terrain or numbers. These developments continue into the middle war.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Ha ha.... good job if you came this far, but your princess is in another castle! Continued in P2.
[Spot for link]
submitted by Walking_Fire to createthisworld [link] [comments]


2020.03.17 15:34 eZGjBw1Z [American Whiskey] Price Per fl oz Chart

Here's a list of American Whiskey that is available in Ohio sorted by price per fluid ounce. It also shows how many stores currently had the product In Stock or with Limited Supply at post time. Hopefully this helps you find something new if your go-to bottle is gone.
The list is too big to fit so I'll reply below with the rest
Product/ML Price Proof In Stock Limited Inventory Price/fl oz
SOUTHERN COMFORT/600 $2.99 80 122 1 $0.15
REVEL STOKE PUMPKIN/750 $5.76 70 1 $0.23
GEORGIA MOON/750 $5.77 80 1 $0.23
STILLHOUSE MINT CHIP/750 $6.56 69 1 $0.26
STILLHOUSE ORIGINAL/750 $6.56 80 1 1 $0.26
KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN/1750 $17.49 80 115 30 $0.30
TEN HIGH/1750 $17.49 80 299 71 $0.30
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN/1750 $17.49 80 235 53 $0.30
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND/1750 $17.49 80 224 59 $0.30
TEN HIGH/1000 $10.29 80 332 19 $0.30
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN/1000 $10.39 80 208 27 $0.31
KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN/1000 $10.49 80 202 18 $0.31
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND/1000 $10.49 80 252 20 $0.31
J T S BROWN/1750 $18.99 80 131 24 $0.32
BENCHMARK/1750 $18.99 80 192 $0.32
ECHO SPRING/1750 $19.98 80 184 50 $0.34
OLD CROW/1750 $19.99 80 331 86 $0.34
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND/750 $8.69 80 178 21 $0.34
ECHO SPRING/1000 $11.79 80 206 19 $0.35
BONNIE ROSE ORANGE PEEL/750 $8.96 70 1 1 $0.35
BONNIE ROSE SPICED APPLE/750 $8.96 70 1 $0.35
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN/375 $4.49 80 103 10 $0.35
BOURBON SUPREME RARE BLEND/375 $4.49 80 183 5 $0.35
SOUTHERN HOST/750 $8.99 100 166 13 $0.35
OLD KENTUCKY TAVERN/750 $8.99 80 159 10 $0.35
OLD CROW/1000 $11.99 80 376 28 $0.35
OLD CROW/375 $4.59 80 190 6 $0.36
HEAVEN HILL/1000 $12.25 80 246 31 $0.36
REBEL YELL ROOT BEER/750 $9.39 70 1 $0.37
HEAVEN HILL/1750 $21.99 80 148 56 $0.37
MIDNIGHT MOON RASPBERRY/750 $9.79 90 1 $0.39
ANCIENT AGE/1750 $22.99 80 263 88 $0.39
JESSE JAMES SPICED/750 $9.89 70 3 $0.39
BENCHMARK/750 $9.99 80 350 $0.39
EARLY TIMES/1750 $23.49 80 242 64 $0.40
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK/1750 $23.99 86 235 123 $0.41
OLD CROW TRV/750 $10.49 80 190 20 $0.41
ANCIENT AGE/1000 $13.99 80 233 59 $0.41
HATTER ROYALE/750 $10.60 80 1 1 $0.42
ANCIENT ANCIENT AGE 10/1750 $24.99 90 52 $0.42
EZRA BROOKS/750 $10.99 90 364 45 $0.43
ANCIENT AGE/750 $10.99 80 302 40 $0.43
SINFULLY THINN/750 $10.99 80 1 $0.43
EZRA BROOKS/1000 $14.99 90 316 32 $0.44
ANCIENT ANCIENT AGE 10/1000 $14.99 90 74 $0.44
WILD TURKEY 81/375 $5.69 81 1 $0.45
EARLY TIMES/750 $11.49 80 289 34 $0.45
EZRA BROOKS/1750 $26.99 90 270 96 $0.46
EVAN WILLIAMS HONEY/1750 $26.99 70 170 60 $0.46
STILLHOUSE COCONUT/750 $11.74 69 3 $0.46
SOUTHERN COMFORT 80 PROOF/50 $0.79 80 204 2 $0.47
ANCIENT AGE/375 $5.99 80 170 3 $0.47
SEAGRAMS 7 HONEY/750 $11.99 71 279 34 $0.47
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK/1000 $15.99 86 331 52 $0.47
EZRA BROOKS RYE/750 $12.16 90 1 1 $0.48
POPCORN SUTTON/750 $12.19 88 1 $0.48
LIBERTY SPIRITS CORN WHISKEY/750 $12.36 90 1 $0.49
MIDNIGHT MOON AMERICAN WHISKEY/750 $12.37 90 3 $0.49
REBEL RESERVE/750 $12.69 90.6 1 $0.50
OLD GRAND DAD/1750 $29.99 86 113 64 $0.51
DAVENPORT WILDFIRE/750 $12.95 80 1 $0.51
EZRA BROOKS GIFT/750 $12.99 90 6 15 $0.51
BIRD DOG PEACH TRAVELER/750 $12.99 80 49 13 $0.51
BIRD DOG PEACH GIFT/750 $12.99 80 4 6 $0.51
EZRA BROOKS/375 $6.79 90 200 6 $0.54
SOUTHERN COMFORT/1750 $31.99 70 263 56 $0.54
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK/375 $6.99 86 352 16 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK TRAVELER/750 $13.99 86 36 4 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS CHERRY/750 $13.99 70 266 29 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK/750 $13.99 86 417 23 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS PEACH/750 $13.99 70 269 32 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS HONEY/750 $13.99 70 377 29 $0.55
EVAN WILLIAMS APPLE/750 $13.99 70 264 22 $0.55
RED STAG/1750 $32.99 65 127 70 $0.56
JIM BEAM PEACH/1750 $32.99 65 32 16 $0.56
JIM BEAM HONEY/1750 $32.99 65 112 33 $0.56
JIM BEAM APPLE/1750 $32.99 65 192 62 $0.56
JIM BEAM/1750 $32.99 80 264 126 $0.56
MILL ST MOONSHINE/750 $14.35 80 4 $0.57
OLD GRAND DAD/750 $14.49 86 274 40 $0.57
JIM BEAM FIRE/50 $0.99 65 166 4 $0.59
EVAN WILLIAMS BLACK/50 $0.99 86 141 3 $0.59
RED STAG/50 $0.99 65 150 4 $0.59
JIM BEAM PEACH/50 $0.99 65 70 $0.59
BIRD DOG BLACKBERRY/50 $0.99 80 139 2 $0.59
JIM BEAM VANILLA/50 $0.99 65 157 3 $0.59
JIM BEAM APPLE/50 $0.99 65 173 2 $0.59
JIM BEAM/50 $0.99 80 324 9 $0.59
JIM BEAM FAMILY/200 $3.99 80 31 8 $0.59
JIM BEAM GIFT/750 $14.99 80 8 8 $0.59
JIM BEAM FIRE/750 $14.99 65 354 49 $0.59
JIM BEAM AND BUDWEISER VAP/750 $14.99 80 2 2 $0.59
RED STAG/750 $14.99 65 403 43 $0.59
JIM BEAM PEACH/750 $14.99 65 370 54 $0.59
WILD TURKEY 81/750 $14.99 81 320 54 $0.59
JIM BEAM TRAVELER/750 $14.99 80 401 31 $0.59
JIM BEAM HONEY/750 $14.99 65 391 38 $0.59
JIM BEAM VANILLA/750 $14.99 65 335 46 $0.59
JIM BEAM APPLE/750 $14.99 65 429 33 $0.59
JIM BEAM MAPLE/750 $14.99 70 269 41 $0.59
JIM BEAM/750 $14.99 80 445 29 $0.59
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY/1750 $34.99 71 249 65 $0.59
BIRD DOG KENTUCKY BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $15.69 80 4 $0.62
OLD GRAND DAD/1000 $20.99 86 267 27 $0.62
WILD TURKEY 81/1000 $20.99 81 268 36 $0.62
ROGUE CHIPOTLE/750 $15.77 80 1 $0.62
SOUTHERN COMFORT TRV/750 $15.80 70 90 6 $0.62
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100/1750 $36.99 100 157 36 $0.63
OLD FORESTER/1750 $36.99 86 124 59 $0.63
JESSE JAMES/750 $15.91 80 184 24 $0.63
BIRD DOG APPLE/750 $15.99 80 238 55 $0.63
SOUTHERN COMFORT/750 $15.99 70 401 48 $0.63
BIRD DOG STRAWBERRY/750 $15.99 80 121 31 $0.63
SOUTHERN COMFORT 80 PROOF/750 $15.99 80 160 14 $0.63
BIRD DOG BLACKBERRY/750 $15.99 80 286 88 $0.63
BIRD DOG BLACK CHERRY WHISKEY/750 $15.99 80 106 20 $0.63
BIRD DOG CHOCOLATE/750 $15.99 80 148 46 $0.63
GEORGE DICKEL TABASCO/750 $16.16 70 4 $0.64
OLE SMOKY HARLEY DAVIDSON/750 $16.18 103 1 $0.64
CLEVELAND CHRISTMAS 2013/750 $16.19 86 1 $0.64
BEER BARREL AMERICAN/750 $16.21 80 3 $0.64
WILD TURKEY 81/1750 $38.48 81 134 50 $0.65
OLD FORESTER/1000 $22.49 86 80 16 $0.67
REBEL YELL/750 $16.99 80 279 27 $0.67
SHEEP DOG/750 $16.99 70 7 $0.67
VIRGINIA BLACK WHISKEY/750 $17.20 80 3 $0.68
SOUTHERN COMFORT/1000 $22.99 70 356 33 $0.68
OLD FORESTER MINT JULEP/1000 $22.99 60 22 8 $0.68
FOUR ROSES YELLOW/1750 $40.69 80 73 64 $0.69
ROBERSONS TENN/750 $17.91 100 21 2 $0.71
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY/375 $8.97 71 295 16 $0.71
SOUTHERN COMFORT/375 $8.99 70 299 8 $0.71
RED STAG/375 $8.99 65 298 7 $0.71
JIM BEAM APPLE/375 $8.99 65 238 12 $0.71
JIM BEAM/375 $8.99 80 469 11 $0.71
OLD CAMP PEACH PECAN/750 $17.99 70 249 40 $0.71
EVAN WILLIAMS WHITE/750 $17.99 100 203 44 $0.71
GEORGE DICKEL 8/750 $17.99 80 207 40 $0.71
JIM BEAM REPEAL BATCH/750 $17.99 86 22 3 $0.71
OLD OVERHOLT RYE/750 $17.99 100 233 30 $0.71
BIG HOUSE/750 $17.99 90 123 58 $0.71
PEARSE LYONS RESERVE/750 $18.31 80 2 $0.72
STRAITSVILLE APPLE/750 $18.58 45 1 $0.73
CLEVELAND CHRISTMAS 2014/750 $18.59 86 1 $0.73
JACK DANIELS FAM OF BRNDS/600 $14.95 79 93 14 $0.74
JIM BEAM WHISKEY OF THE SEASON/600 $14.99 65 2 $0.74
EARLY TIMES BOTTLED IN BOND/1000 $24.99 100 97 9 $0.74
JIM BEAM/1000 $24.99 80 437 29 $0.74
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY/1000 $24.99 71 306 34 $0.74
DOC HOWARDS CORN WHISKEY/750 $18.80 80 11 1 $0.74
STILLHOUSE APPLE CRISP/750 $18.99 69 28 15 $0.75
OLD FORESTER/750 $18.99 86 310 41 $0.75
JIM BEAM DEVILS CUT/1750 $44.99 90 122 54 $0.76
JACK DANIELS/1750 $44.99 80 255 113 $0.76
JACK DANIELS FIRE/1750 $44.99 70 211 70 $0.76
JACK DANIELS HONEY/1750 $44.99 70 223 83 $0.76
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100/750 $19.49 100 394 43 $0.77
DOC HOW CINN/750 $19.64 80 8 1 $0.77
MIDNIGHT MOON AUGMENTED REALITY/750 $19.95 100 21 $0.79
WHITE DOG CORN WHISKEY/750 $19.95 90 1 $0.79
GEO DICKEL RYE/750 $19.99 90 187 30 $0.79
SPIRIT OF THE APOCALYPSE WALKING DEAD/750 $19.99 94 163 5 $0.79
GEORGE DICKEL 12/750 $19.99 90 315 45 $0.79
REBEL YELL STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY/750 $19.99 90 111 30 $0.79
OLE SMOKY PEACH WHISKEY/750 $19.99 60 129 28 $0.79
WILD TURKEY 101/750 $19.99 101 367 66 $0.79
REBEL YELL 100 PROOF/750 $19.99 100 68 28 $0.79
OLE SMOKY SALTY WATERMELON/750 $19.99 70 133 29 $0.79
WILD TURKEY AM HONEY STING/750 $19.99 71 225 24 $0.79
EVAN WILLIAMS 1783/750 $19.99 86 233 32 $0.79
OLE SMOKY SALTY CARAMEL WHISKEY/750 $19.99 60 252 56 $0.79
WILD TURKEY 101 TRAVELER/750 $19.99 101 160 22 $0.79
HERITAGE BROWN SUGAR BOURBON/750 $19.99 60 123 13 $0.79
OLE SMOKY MANGO HABANERO WHISKEY/750 $19.99 70 231 59 $0.79
WILD TURKEY AMERICAN HONEY/750 $19.99 71 415 34 $0.79
GHOST SHIP CORN WHISKEY/750 $20.01 80 7 2 $0.79
JIM BEAM BLACK/1750 $46.99 86 197 82 $0.79
RED STAG/1000 $26.99 65 242 23 $0.80
WILD TURKEY 101/1750 $47.99 101 258 112 $0.81
OLD FORESTER SIGNATURE/750 $20.69 100 133 27 $0.82
OLD FORESTER RYE/750 $20.69 100 162 22 $0.82
SOUTHERN COMFORT 100/375 $10.49 100 172 6 $0.83
OLD GRAND DAD 100/750 $20.99 100 323 54 $0.83
BUFFALO TRACE/1750 $48.99 90 7 $0.83
LARCENY/1750 $49.99 92 90 51 $0.84
WELLER SPECIAL RESERVE/1750 $49.99 90 36 $0.84
LEXINGTON/750 $21.47 86 4 $0.85
JIM BEAM BONDED/750 $21.99 100 97 11 $0.87
JACK DANIELS CORE RYE/750 $21.99 90 5 1 $0.87
OLE SMOKY MOONSHINE PEACHES/750 $21.99 65 151 29 $0.87
WILD TURKEY RYE 81/750 $21.99 81 77 9 $0.87
JIM BEAM DEVILS CUT/750 $21.99 90 393 56 $0.87
JACK DANIELS FIRE & 2 GLASSES/750 $21.99 70 37 11 $0.87
JACK DANIELS/750 $21.99 80 400 60 $0.87
JACK DANIELS HONEY GIFT/750 $21.99 70 1 $0.87
JIM BEAM DOUBLE OAK/750 $21.99 86 271 36 $0.87
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE/750 $21.99 70 406 16 $0.87
JACK DANIELS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WITH 2 GLASSES/750 $21.99 80 33 24 $0.87
JACK DANIELS MUSIC CTN WITH SHOT GLASS/750 $21.99 80 4 4 $0.87
JIM BEAM RYE/750 $21.99 90 241 32 $0.87
JACK DANIELS FIRE/750 $21.99 70 400 40 $0.87
JACK DANIELS HONEY/750 $21.99 70 418 45 $0.87
JACK DANIELS & GLASS/750 $21.99 80 17 8 $0.87
JACK DANIELS CORE RYE/750 $21.99 90 364 44 $0.87
FOUR ROSES YELLOW/750 $21.99 80 287 48 $0.87
JACK DANIELS EQUITY & GLASSES/750 $21.99 80 19 19 $0.87
FOUR ROSES BOURBON GIFT SET/750 $22.13 80 15 3 $0.87
BULLEIT RYE/1750 $51.99 90 97 46 $0.88
BULLEIT/1750 $51.99 90 151 76 $0.88
JIM BEAM BLACK/50 $1.49 86 3 $0.88
JIM BEAM/200 $5.99 80 287 $0.89
OLD OVERHOLT RYE/1000 $29.99 100 15 3 $0.89
FULL THROTTLE APPLE PIE/750 $22.54 70 1 5 $0.89
STRAITSVILLE/750 $22.89 90 1 $0.90
JIM BEAM BLACK/750 $22.99 86 421 35 $0.91
COOPERS CRAFT BOURBON/750 $22.99 82.2 91 40 $0.91
WELLER SPECIAL RESERVE/750 $22.99 90 45 $0.91
JIM BEAM BLACK GIFT/750 $22.99 86 2 10 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS PEACH COBBLER/750 $23.16 70 29 11 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS KEY LIME PIE/750 $23.16 70 42 7 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS CINNAMON/750 $23.16 70 31 6 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS APPLE PIE/750 $23.16 70 34 5 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS MARGARITA/750 $23.16 70 40 3 $0.91
STILLWRIGHTS TRADITIONAL/750 $23.16 104 59 9 $0.91
BULLEIT RYE/1000 $30.99 90 205 24 $0.92
BULLEIT/1000 $30.99 90 271 51 $0.92
DOC HOWARDS MAPLE WHISKEY/750 $23.35 80 10 1 $0.92
APPARITION CORN WHISKEY/750 $23.47 100 6 1 $0.93
TRIBUTE 40 WHISKEY/750 $23.54 80 15 1 $0.93
ELIJAH CRAIG/1750 $54.99 94 122 60 $0.93
GENTLEMAN JACK/1750 $54.99 80 229 96 $0.93
MAKERS MARK/1750 $54.99 90 224 100 $0.93
MINGLEWOOD CIN WHISKY/750 $23.88 70 17 5 $0.94
REDEMPTION HIGH RYE/750 $23.99 92 138 22 $0.95
BULLEIT WITH BULLEIT RYE GIFT/750 $23.99 90 17 8 $0.95
REDEMPTION RYE/750 $23.99 92 191 29 $0.95
BULLEIT GIFT/750 $23.99 90 4 5 $0.95
BULLEIT RYE/750 $23.99 90 382 39 $0.95
REDEMPTION BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $23.99 84 181 37 $0.95
BULLEIT/750 $23.99 90 399 49 $0.95
SLOW AND LOW/750 $23.99 84 132 52 $0.95
BULLEIT BOURBON WITH LEWIS BAG VAP/750 $23.99 90 12 7 $0.95
KNOB CREEK/1750 $57.99 100 140 72 $0.98
TINCUP/1750 $57.99 84 69 28 $0.98
MAKERS MARK & GLASSES/750 $24.99 90 1 11 $0.99
MAKERS MARK GIFT/750 $24.99 90 2 2 $0.99
FISTFUL OF BOURBON/750 $24.99 90 128 40 $0.99
MAKERS MARK/750 $24.99 90 395 57 $0.99
CASK & CREW RYE WHISKEY/750 $24.99 70 31 11 $0.99
JACK DANIELS LEGACY 2/750 $24.99 86 93 18 $0.99
REDNECK RIVIERA/750 $24.99 80 150 43 $0.99
BUFFALO TRACE/750 $25.49 90 75 $1.01
WILD TURKEY 101/1000 $33.99 101 367 40 $1.01
WILD TURKEY 101 RYE/1000 $34.49 101 75 19 $1.02
THREE BINES HOP WHISKEY/750 $25.95 90 35 5 $1.02
THREE BINES 12 SPICES OF CHRISTMAS/750 $25.95 90 28 24 $1.02
WILD TURKEY 101/375 $12.99 101 383 34 $1.02
RITTENHOUSE RYE/750 $25.99 100 53 $1.02
NEW STRAITSVILLE BLOODY BUTCHER MOONSHINE/750 $26.13 80 1 $1.03
GEORGE REMUS RYE/750 $26.18 93 1 1 $1.03
JACK DANIELS/1000 $34.99 80 429 37 $1.03
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE/1000 $34.99 70 146 21 $1.03
JACK DANIELS FIRE/1000 $34.99 70 350 25 $1.03
JACK DANIELS HONEY/1000 $34.99 70 378 41 $1.03
TOWN BRANCH RYE/750 $26.64 100 2 $1.05
ROGUE DEAD GUY/750 $26.70 80 3 $1.05
JACK DANIELS/375 $13.49 80 458 20 $1.06
JACK DANIELS FIRE/375 $13.49 70 292 13 $1.06
JACK DANIELS HONEY/375 $13.49 70 399 20 $1.06
I W HARPER/750 $26.99 82 143 24 $1.06
SKREWBALL/750 $26.99 70 288 70 $1.06
JACK DANIELS LEGACY EDITION 1905/750 $26.99 85 41 10 $1.06
PEANUT BUTTER AND WHISKEY/750 $26.99 70 140 18 $1.06
T SMITH WOOD FIR/750 $26.99 90 92 21 $1.06
NEW STRAITSVILLE PAW PAW MOONSHINE/750 $27.56 80 1 $1.09
OLD SCHOOL RECIPE MOONSHINE/750 $27.95 95 1 $1.10
JACK DANIELS MASTER DISTILLER #6/750 $27.99 86 2 1 $1.10
GENTLEMAN JACK GIFT/750 $27.99 80 46 18 $1.10
ELIJAH CRAIG GLASS & ICE MOLD/750 $27.99 94 1 4 $1.10
GENTLEMAN JACK/750 $27.99 80 413 56 $1.10
JACK DANIELS/200 $7.49 80 299 2 $1.11
JACK DANIELS HONEY/200 $7.49 70 165 2 $1.11
APPARITION APPLE PIE/750 $28.16 50 7 2 $1.11
DOC HOW TRIBUTE/750 $28.32 90 1 1 $1.12
DOC HOW FAV/750 $28.32 90 7 1 $1.12
KILTED WHISKEY/750 $28.35 80 10 1 $1.12
MAKERS MARK/1000 $37.99 90 378 39 $1.12
WOODFORD RESERVE/1750 $66.99 90.4 141 84 $1.13
CLEVELAND BLACK RESERVE/750 $28.98 100 214 90 $1.14
LARCENY/750 $28.99 92 369 65 $1.14
CLEVELAND 87/750 $28.99 87 157 31 $1.14
TINCUP/750 $28.99 84 376 32 $1.14
GENTLEMAN JACK/1000 $38.99 80 251 49 $1.15
MIDDLE WEST WHITE RYE/750 $29.72 110 96 12 $1.17
LARCENY/50 $1.99 92 131 1 $1.18
JACK DANIELS/50 $1.99 80 419 5 $1.18
JACK DANIELS TENNESSEE APPLE/50 $1.99 70 267 1 $1.18
WILD TURKEY 101/50 $1.99 101 143 $1.18
JACK DANIELS FIRE/50 $1.99 70 168 1 $1.18
JACK DANIELS HONEY/50 $1.99 70 254 5 $1.18
OLD FORESTER/50 $1.99 86 1 $1.18
NORTHSIDE CORN WHISKEY/750 $29.95 80 31 2 $1.18
ELIJAH CRAIG/375 $14.99 94 102 25 $1.18
BULLEIT RYE/375 $14.99 90 171 13 $1.18
BULLEIT/375 $14.99 90 275 30 $1.18
MAKERS MARK/375 $14.99 90 414 34 $1.18
BALCONES TEXAS POT STILL BOURBON/750 $29.99 92 22 11 $1.18
HOTEL TANGO WHISKEY/750 $29.99 90 66 20 $1.18
ELIJAH CRAIG/750 $29.99 94 377 61 $1.18
CLYDE MAYS CONECUH/750 $29.99 85 124 49 $1.18
JEFFERSONS MANHATTAN/750 $29.99 68 70 21 $1.18
EIGHT & SAND BOURBON/750 $29.99 88 41 11 $1.18
TRAVERSE CITY WHISKEY CO AMERICAN CHERRY EDITION/750 $29.99 70 26 13 $1.18
COOPERS CRAFT 100/750 $29.99 100 92 55 $1.18
OLD GRAND DAD 114/750 $29.99 114 10 $1.18
EVAN WILLIAMS SINGLE BARREL/750 $29.99 86.6 249 82 $1.18
WOODFORD RESERVE/1000 $39.99 90.4 246 50 $1.18
KNOB CREEK/1000 $39.99 100 228 51 $1.18
TOWN BRANCH MALT/750 $30.48 87 9 4 $1.20
1792 SMALL BATCH/750 $30.99 93.7 244 76 $1.22
WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT/1000 $41.99 90 9 10 $1.24
WOODSHED CORN/375 $15.85 116 1 $1.25
CLEVELAND CHRISTMAS/750 $31.98 6 9 7 $1.26
KNOB CREEK/750 $31.99 100 379 75 $1.26
KNOB CREEK RYE/750 $31.99 100 251 70 $1.26
KNOB CREEK GIFT/750 $31.99 100 5 8 $1.26
EAGLE RARE/750 $31.99 90 45 $1.26
TRAVERSE CITY WHISKEY CO XXX STRAIGHT BOURBON/750 $31.99 86 26 15 $1.26
KNOB CREEK SMOKED MAPLE/750 $31.99 90 233 86 $1.26
JEFFERSONS 8/750 $31.99 82.3 227 91 $1.26
NOBLE CUT PUMPKIN SPICED WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 4 $1.27
NOBLE CUT CHERRY WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 16 8 $1.27
NOBLE CUT MAPLE FLAVORED WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 2 1 $1.27
NOBLE CUT VANILLA FLAVORD WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 2 2 $1.27
NOBLE CUT SALTED CARAMEL WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 1 $1.27
NOBLE CUT APPLE WHISKEY/750 $32.16 80 18 5 $1.27
STILLWRIGHTS STRAIGHT/750 $32.19 90 85 16 $1.27
SEVEN BROTHERS HICKORY SMOKED WHEAT WHISKY/750 $32.24 80 115 25 $1.27
SEVEN BROTHERS SPICED WHISKEY/750 $32.24 82 1 $1.27
DANDY JOHNS CORN WHISKEY/750 $32.70 90 8 1 $1.29
HOCKING HILLS LIGHTNING/750 $32.71 120 163 35 $1.29
LEADSLINGERS BOURBON/750 $32.98 80 51 17 $1.30
FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH 90/750 $32.99 90 277 95 $1.30
LIP SERVICE RYE/750 $32.99 90 27 18 $1.30
WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT/750 $32.99 90.4 29 17 $1.30
LEADSLINGERS RYE/750 $32.99 90 37 4 $1.30
BULLEIT/200 $8.99 90 206 2 $1.33
MAKERS MARK/200 $8.99 90 131 4 $1.33
HUDSON MANHATTAN RYE/375 $16.89 92 1 $1.33
HOCHS LO & RY 100/750 $33.99 100 1 3 $1.34
MINGLEWOOD RYE WHISKY/750 $34.02 88 1 $1.34
CANDELLA Y TOWN BOURBON/750 $34.13 100 8 2 $1.35
BASIL HAYDENS/1750 $79.99 80 56 16 $1.35
SLAUGHTER HOUSE WHISKEY/750 $34.69 88 43 27 $1.37
GHOST SHIP WHISKEY/750 $34.72 80 1 $1.37
WATHENS SINGLE BARREL/750 $34.94 94 78 66 $1.38
TOWN BRANCH BBN/750 $34.97 80 113 58 $1.38
SECOND GLANCE AMERICAN WHISKEY/750 $34.98 88 26 9 $1.38
GENTLEMAN JACK/375 $17.49 80 329 28 $1.38
CLYDE MAYS STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $34.99 92 69 30 $1.38
WOODFORD RESERVE/750 $34.99 90.4 378 63 $1.38
WOODFORD RESERVE WHEAT/750 $34.99 90.4 74 19 $1.38
WOODFORD RESERVE RYE/750 $34.99 90.4 218 58 $1.38
MAKERS MARK 46/750 $34.99 94 333 91 $1.38
TEMPLETON RYE MAPLE CASK FINISH/750 $34.99 92 7 $1.38
WILD TURKEY LONG BRANCH/750 $34.99 86 217 66 $1.38
RUSSELLS RESERVE 10 YR/750 $34.99 90 292 71 $1.38
WOODFORD RESERVE MALT/750 $34.99 90.4 129 $1.38
SMOOTH AMBLER OLD SCOUT/750 $34.99 99 1 $1.38
MAKERS MARK 46 GIFT/750 $34.99 94 2 6 $1.38
NOBLE OAK BOURBON/750 $34.99 90 62 27 $1.38
WOODFORD RESERVE/375 $17.99 90.4 336 32 $1.42
KNOB CREEK/375 $17.99 100 314 26 $1.42
DAVID NICOLSON RESERVE/750 $35.99 100 74 15 $1.42
WYOMING WHISKEY/750 $36.06 88 31 10 $1.42
OHIRISH/750 $36.08 90 1 $1.42
KAVALAN/750 $36.79 80 1 $1.45
BUFFALO TRACE/50 $2.49 90 9 $1.47
MINGLEWOOD BOURBON/750 $37.47 88 17 7 $1.48
WOODFORD RESERVE BARREL/1000 $49.99 90.4 2 $1.48
SAGAMORE STRAIGHT RYE/750 $37.99 83 114 50 $1.50
JIM BEAM SINGLE BARREL/750 $37.99 86 92 44 $1.50
EH TAYLOR SMALL BATCH/750 $38.06 134 16 $1.50
1792 SINGLE BARREL/750 $38.27 98.6 1 $1.51
TOMS FOOLERY RYE/750 $38.55 90 48 23 $1.52
TOMS FOOLERY OHIO STR BBN/750 $38.55 90 85 43 $1.52
NEW RIFF BOURBON/750 $39.97 100 222 49 $1.58
NORTHSIDE DSTLLNG BOURBON/750 $39.98 90 40 7 $1.58
RED RIVER BOURBON/750 $39.98 84.2 50 25 $1.58
GEORGE REMUS BOURBON/750 $39.99 94 195 76 $1.58
MAKERS MARK BESPOKE/750 $39.99 90 29 $1.58
SMOOTH AMBLER CONTRADICTION/750 $39.99 99 107 26 $1.58
HIGH WEST AMERICAN PRAIRIE/750 $39.99 92 163 68 $1.58
REDWOOD EMPIRE 40TH ANNIVERSARY/750 $39.99 90 2 $1.58
REDWOOD EMPIRE EMERALD RYE/750 $39.99 90 15 14 $1.58
CLEVELAND SUGAR MAPLE/750 $39.99 92 97 27 $1.58
CLEV BEER BARREL/750 $39.99 86 1 $1.58
CLEVELAND UNDERGROUND RYE/750 $39.99 90 93 25 $1.58
ROSSVILLE UNION MASTER CRAFTED RYE WHISKEY/750 $39.99 94 47 23 $1.58
REDWOOD EMPIRE/750 $39.99 90 33 12 $1.58
CLEVELAND BLACK CHERRY/750 $39.99 94 183 56 $1.58
CLEVELAND HICKORY/750 $39.99 94 44 17 $1.58
BASIL HAYDENS/750 $39.99 80 321 76 $1.58
451 SPIRITS BONE SHAKER WHISKEY/750 $39.99 90 21 14 $1.58
FREEDOM BOURBON/750 $39.99 90 182 50 $1.58
SMOOTH AMBLER 107 BARREL/750 $39.99 107 3 3 $1.58
CLOVER SINGLE BARREL 4/750 $39.99 92 10 5 $1.58
CLEVELAND HONEY LOCUST/750 $39.99 90 13 9 $1.58
MINOR CASE STRAIGHT RYE/750 $39.99 90 91 39 $1.58
CLEVELAND APPLE/750 $39.99 90 105 35 $1.58
HIGH WEST DOUBLE RYE/750 $39.99 92 140 47 $1.58
REDWOOD EMPIRE PIPE DREAM BOURBON/750 $39.99 90 17 11 $1.58
BEAM BRWN RICE/375 $20.09 90 1 $1.58
NOBLE CUT WHEAT WHISKEY/750 $40.59 80 11 $1.60
CREEKSIDE BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $40.59 80 16 1 $1.60
MICHTERS RYE SINGLE BRL/750 $40.99 84 224 68 $1.62
MICHTERS SMALL BATCH/750 $40.99 91.4 197 $1.62
HIGH WEST MANHATTAN/750 $41.05 74 21 3 $1.62
CLEV UNDER MAPL/750 $41.06 84 1 $1.62
ELIAS STALEY RYE/750 $41.11 80 41 16 $1.62
BRECKENRIDGE BOURBON/750 $41.43 86 56 24 $1.63
TOMS FOOLERY BONDED RYE/750 $41.95 100 12 2 $1.65
TOMS FOOLERY BND BBN/750 $41.95 100 38 11 $1.65
TOMS FOOLERY CORN WHISKEY/750 $41.95 100 1 $1.65
TOMS FOOLERY FINISHED MAPLE SYRUP BARREL/750 $41.95 100 3 3 $1.65
BOOM BOOM BOURBON/750 $41.99 84 64 4 $1.66
FOUR ROSES SINGLE BARREL/750 $41.99 100 335 $1.66
JACK DEMPSEY WHISKEY/750 $41.99 100 24 4 $1.66
GEORGE DICKEL BARREL SELCT/750 $41.99 86 94 8 $1.66
AMADOR DOUBLE BARREL/750 $41.99 86.8 123 55 $1.66
BULLEIT 10/750 $41.99 91 285 34 $1.66
MIDDLE WEST STRAIGHT RYE/750 $42.14 96 83 10 $1.66
MIDDLE WEST WHEATED BOURBON/750 $42.18 95 229 35 $1.66
MIDDLE WEST STRAIGHT WHEAT/750 $42.18 92 179 20 $1.66
BREAKER/750 $42.92 90 16 7 $1.69
DUKE/750 $42.99 88 43 14 $1.70
RED EAGLE DISTILLERY BBN/375 $21.54 82 1 1 $1.70
RED EAGLE DISTILLERY RYE/375 $21.54 82 1 $1.70
NOBLE CUT PUMPKIN SPICED WHISKEY/375 $21.56 80 1 $1.70
NOBLE CUT MAPLE FLAVORED WHISKEY/375 $21.56 80 1 $1.70
NOBLE CUT VANILLA FLAVORD WHISKEY/375 $21.56 80 1 $1.70
451 SPIRITS DEAR JOHNNY/750 $43.67 90 31 9 $1.72
HUDSON FOUR GRAIN BOURBON/375 $21.84 92 2 $1.72
PRITCHARD SENIOR RYE/750 $43.80 90 8 $1.73
GEORGE REMUS REPEAL RESERVE BOURBON/750 $43.96 94 1 $1.73
MAKERS MARK 46/375 $21.99 94 173 9 $1.73
RUSSELLS RESERVE RYE/750 $43.99 90 132 40 $1.73
2BAR SPIRITS/750 $43.99 100 27 9 $1.73
WILD TURKEY RARE BREED/750 $43.99 116.8 247 104 $1.73
STRAIGHT EDGE BURBON/750 $44.52 84 55 18 $1.76
JIM BEAM WHITE AND BLACK COPACK/375 $22.34 80 19 5 $1.76
BULLEIT/50 $2.99 90 202 $1.77
MIDNIGHT MOON PEPPERMINT/50 $2.99 100 20 $1.77
GENTLEMAN JACK/50 $2.99 80 177 $1.77
TOMS FOOLERY CSK RYE/750 $44.95 110 1 $1.77
TOMS FOOLERY CSK BBN/750 $44.95 110 1 $1.77
OLD FORESTER 1870/750 $44.98 90 97 39 $1.77
CLYDE MAYS STRAIGHT RYE/750 $44.99 94 43 18 $1.77
BASIL HAYDENS DARK RYE/750 $44.99 80 168 47 $1.77
TEMPLETON 6 YEAR RYE/750 $44.99 91.5 112 25 $1.77
SMOOTH AMBLER OLD SCOUT/750 $44.99 99 137 37 $1.77
BASIL HAYDENS CARIBBEAN RYE LTO/750 $44.99 80 28 17 $1.77
OLD MEDLEY/750 $45.69 86 7 $1.80
TRAILS END BOURBON/750 $45.69 90 63 11 $1.80
BASIL HAYDENS/375 $22.99 80 176 9 $1.81
NEW RIFF RYE WHISKEY/750 $45.99 100 172 38 $1.81
BOONE COUNTY SMALL BATCH BOURBON/750 $45.99 90.8 139 29 $1.81
1792 FULL PROOF/750 $45.99 125 8 4 $1.81
FIFTH ELEMENT BBN/750 $46.67 90 1 $1.84
BUCKEYE THUNDER/750 $46.73 151 56 9 $1.84
ANDYS OLD NO 5/750 $46.85 90 1 $1.85
PIKESVILLE RYE 110/750 $46.99 110 8 $1.85
WILDERNESS TRAIL SINGLE BARREL KY STRAIGHT BOURBON/750 $47.99 100 142 44 $1.89
WILDERNESS TRAIL SMALL BATCH KY STRAIGHT BOURBON/750 $47.99 100 144 46 $1.89
WOODSTONE CREEK WH DOG WSK/750 $48.62 94 8 4 $1.92
HUDSON FOUR GRAIN BOURBON/750 $49.73 92 15 7 $1.96
HEAVEN HILL WHISKEY TSTNG/600 $39.99 80 26 4 $1.97
KNOB CREEK SINGLE BARREL/750 $49.99 120 260 79 $1.97
HUDSON SINGLE BABY BOURBON BARREL/750 $49.99 92 31 $1.97
JACK DANIELS SINGLE BARREL RYE/750 $49.99 94 16 $1.97
SMOKIN BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $49.99 90 43 23 $1.97
OLD ELK BLENDED STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $49.99 88 129 43 $1.97
HENRY MCKENNA/750 $49.99 100 21 $1.97
BULLEIT RYE 12 YR/750 $49.99 92 48 11 $1.97
JACK DANIELS SINGLE BARREL/750 $49.99 94 346 94 $1.97
HEAVENS DOOR TENNESEE BOURBON/750 $49.99 90 177 45 $1.97
WILD TURKEY KENTUCKY SPIRIT/750 $49.99 101 1 $1.97
IRON VAULT BOURBON WHISKEY/750 $49.99 90 1 $1.97
BELLE MEADE CLASSIC BOURBON/750 $49.99 90.4 103 35 $1.97
JEFFERSONS RESERVE/750 $49.99 90 280 73 $1.97
BLACK SADDLE 12 YEAR BOURBON/750 $49.99 90 32 18 $1.97
JACK DANIELS SGL BARRL RYE/750 $49.99 94 98 33 $1.97
OLD EZRA BROOKS 7 YR/750 $49.99 117 5 1 $1.97
THE BURNING CHAIR/750 $49.99 88 71 26 $1.97
ANGELS ENVY/750 $49.99 86.6 10 $1.97
BIB & TUCKER BOURBON 6 YR/750 $49.99 92 188 74 $1.97
BULLEIT BARREL STRENGTH/750 $49.99 99 300 132 $1.97
NEW RIFF SINGLE BARREL/750 $49.99 110 214 58 $1.97
UNCLE NEAREST 1856 AGED WHISKEY/750 $49.99 100 98 34 $1.97
OLD FORESTER 1897/750 $49.99 100 105 38 $1.97
submitted by eZGjBw1Z to OhioLiquor [link] [comments]


2020.02.25 05:47 sgigot Joshua Tree trip report 2/10-2/13, 2020

(edited: add formatting)
A couple weeks ago there was a post (rightfully) bemoaning the repeated questions in this sub and a relative lack of content. I’ll try to give back from the help I got.
I spent 3+ days in Joshua Tree Feb 10-14.
TL;DR: My favorite hikes were the Lost Palms Oasis (palms = cool, finding my way down to them was also cool) and Warren Peak / Panorama loop (great views and solitude, and hiking before dawn added a little something special). The thing I liked the least was that if you didn’t know exactly where you were, you had no idea because of all the footprints.
I think the keys to enjoying JT were to get off the beaten path a little bit – that’s what the desert is for –, go off-season (I’m sure I was only a couple weeks from it looking like Disneyland), and get out early. I normally loathe mornings, but I was pretty stoked to get up and out of the tent to get on the move even though it was hat and gloves weather to start the day (at least until I got hiking).
Got time on your hands:
Monday, February 10:
I left Las Vegas about 8 am and headed for Cottonwood via the Mojave Preserve and Amboy Crater. I entered at the North Entrance but couldn’t pay until I got to the Cottonwood VC (the gate was unmanned at the time). On the drive through the park I saw signs showing Belle was full (didn’t look like it) but plenty of spots at White Tank. I had a reservation for Monday night at Cottonwood (A15, which showed Open, not Reserved) but I flipped the sign and parked my tent.
I hiked to the Mastodon mine and climbed the peak, then headed to Lost Palms Oasis. I looked around to find a route down to the oasis itself which was very cool; on my way out, I found the easy way back up (just past the post before the final walk to the Overlook). In the dark I missed the Winona Mill but did enjoy the Cottonwood Oasis before walking the road back to camp for the night. It got windy enough overnight that I wondered what it was like to be in a tent that blew over; thankfully I was fine.
Tuesday, February 11:
I broke camp before dawn (sunrise at ~6:30 pst) and headed for the Bajada nature trail. I checked that out (nothing too special other than the sun coming up through the hills), then headed north for some short stops along the road: out and back to Turkey Flats sand dunes, Ocotillo Grove, Cholla Garden, and White tank / Arch rock.
I didn’t have a campsite for Tuesday (2/11) but I chose to take my chances at Hidden Valley. I snagged site 37 about noon; the campground was maybe half full by that point. I set off to climb Queen Mountain at the suggestion of a friend as a quieter alternative to Ryan Mountain. That hike was very secluded (one other car at the trailhead and I never saw anyone) but clearly someone had been there. Many someones. I will confess my route finding isn’t great and my GPS app sucks, but I thought I’d be able to follow the informal trail. Wrong! It seemed like there was a footprint around every rock and creosote bush. I got turned around a couple times (my bad, should have used my compass) and eventually climbed the ridge to the wrong saddle. I still saw a ton of footprints but eventually gave up about 3:15 pm before getting to the summit. I wound my way north of the peak (the high point west of QM, I think) and found snow in the cracks. Most of the terrain wasn’t too awful, but I was a little nerve-wracked from trying to pick my way through the rocks without having a clear path, plus wondering if I was going to run out of time, etc. I probably could have made it if I backtracked enough (by that time I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be) but I kind of had enough.
I got back to the car about an hour later (going down is faster, plus I had seen my way back from the elevation) and headed to a very windy and hazy Keys View for sunset. I decided not to follow the crowds and climb the point just to the northwest, especially considering the “do not enter, revegetation area” signs.
Wednesday, February 12:
I spent the night at Hidden Valley (23 F at sunrise!) and got up early again. I was the second car at the Barker Dam trailhead (a very cool walk, and the pond was skimmed with ice). From there I went to Wall St. Mill (I met one couple at the mill, then a lot more on the way back) and up Wonderland Wash (a nice escape from the forming crowds). I had the Wash to myself and walked up to Astro Domes, got turned around again (must have gone left past that rock, not right past that other rock) and after a few more minutes got straightened back out. Again, footprints every which way.
After I got back to my car at the Wall St Mill trailhead (now filled with cars; I let someone who was waiting have my spot when I left) I headed for the Boy Scout Trailhead (lot half full) to hike to Willow Hole. Starting at 1 pm I saw more people coming back in than heading out my direction. I made it to the Hole (the willow leaves were just starting to pop out; the shaded pools still had ice on them) and turned around. I saw a couple guys walking their vulture-bait dog on the trail who, when asked, said “Well, it’s a trail for dogs now.” At least they had it on a leash? I headed for the North visitor center to buy a magnet and stopped at Coyote Corner for a shower. All I had was a hand towel, but that was plenty in the dry desert air. I then discussed the glories of drinking Old Fashioneds by the pitcher with a professional pirate at the Joshua Tree Saloon.
I pulled into my reserved campsite at Black Rock Canyon (49, for fast access to the trail in the morning) and hit the tent.
Thursday, February 13:
I got up well before dawn to head up Warren Peak by moonlight. It was cool (maybe low 40’s?), calm, and utterly peaceful. I could see Yucca Valley still asleep as I walked up the slowly brightening canyon. I got to the top of the peak and enjoyed the view – the valley to the south wasn’t as hazy as Tuesday night, but still not clear…the trail register talked about seeing sunlight reflecting off the Salton Sea, but I couldn’t make it out at all). The view was still magnificent. I had made good time so I went back via the Panorama Loop and didn’t regret a step of the extra 2.5 miles. I finally saw my first person shortly before I exited the canyon about 9 am…almost four hours after I started.
I got back to my now well-aired tent about 9:40, broke camp, and headed back to Vegas along 247 (I missed the rocket crash), I-15, and with a stop at Zzyzx.
Overall: I really enjoyed the park. I have been through a number of parks in the Mojave Desert so I was prepared for the temps; I enjoyed the longer daylight of February vs. my normal trips in January, but that may be the coldest I woke up to. I was pleased to see how clean the park was in general, especially after the disaster of January 2019. There was very little litter (worst at Barker Dam where I couldn’t reach much of it) and people were generally very cool - I met a lot of interesting people (chatted with a couple of traveling nurses, a couple from my home state of Wisconsin who sold their house to cruise in their 5th wheel, and a couple from Minnesota I gave pointers to about the MNP, a trio of French people in a rented camper) and really only a couple of tools (the ones with their dog). I saw a little bit of depressing graffiti.
My favorite hikes were the Lost Palms Oasis (palms = cool, finding my way down to them was also cool) and Warren Peak / Panorama loop (great views and solitude, and hiking before dawn added a little something special). The thing I liked the least was that if you didn’t know exactly where you were, you had no idea because of all the footprints. I understand that the park gets very busy and as an out-of-stater I’m part of the “problem”, but I definitely felt like the experience would be tremendously different (not better for me) if the people showed up because it would be hordes of them.
I didn’t get the impression – at least at the time – that the place was filled with people only interested in the perfect insta-snap or busloads of tourists only interested in going a quarter mile out and back (qv Acadia NP in August). Yes, some places were busy (which I knew ahead of time) but I had plenty of time and miles to chill alone with my creosote bush and cactus companions. I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone.
Overall it was very good; I think the highlights matched up well with other parks I’ve been to. I enjoyed Death Valley a little more, but I spent more time there and was able to do some longer hikes that had just a little more mind-blowingness to them. I’m not a climber, so each individual pile of rocks didn’t have that special appeal. I missed some of the sights (with different terrain) in the dark, which was my fault. I was able to successfully crest some wilder “mountains” in both DV and the MNP, and failed on Queen Mountain which was kind of a disappointment from an accomplishment POV. Push come to shove, I might still rank Big Bend’s South Rim as my favorite hike so far, although it got far hairier (read: better story) because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing then.
I think the keys to enjoying JT were to get off the beaten path a little bit – that’s what the desert is for – go off-season (I’m sure I was only a couple weeks from it looking like Disneyland), and get out early. I normally loathe mornings, but I was pretty stoked to get up and out of the tent to get on the move even though it was hat and gloves weather to start the day (at least until I got hiking).
submitted by sgigot to JoshuaTree [link] [comments]


2020.01.30 07:05 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS, PART 77

Continuing
“Yes,” he replies, “Two will drive in in their own vehicles, but one will be flying, I think, it’s not yet been confirmed. If he does arrive on time, he’ll have to go in the field with you in your truck.”
“OK, now I’m a taxi service?” I snicker, “Price of poker’s going up.”
“Yes, right,” he grimaces, “As per your prospectus, you’re running the show out in the field. You have to being you’re the only one fully licensed. “
“This is news?” I asked.
“Well, “he continues, “All of your associates will possess some degree of blasting experience.”
“But none are licensed?” I ask.
“Not as such,” he replies. “Either way, you’re running the show out there. Make certain they all survive and return moderately intact.”
“Always my intention,” I say, “Can I see the list?”
“Certainly,” Harry says, sitting back and lighting up my cigar.
OK, let’s see…”
No doctors, yet. All last-year PhD candidates in either mining or engineering geology. Well, not my absolute first choices, but I guess it’s better than a sharp stick on the eye.
There’s:
• Albert W. Armstrong. “Al”. University of Missouri, Rolla. Mining geology.
• Charles F. Glaciisto. “Chuck”. New Mexico Tech., Socorro. Mining geology.
•Leonard. R. Paskapää. “Leonard”. Colorado School of Mines. Engineering geology.
“Well, there’s a nice assortment,” I say, “Guess I’ll see them when they get there.”
“Chuck and Al are driving out. Leonard is flying out, I think, and won’t be there for another two weeks.” Harry tells me.
“Fine by me. Hope they boned up and brought all the necessary gear. This is a real job, not a field trip.” I said.
“I agree Rock,” Harry intones, “They have the project prospectus, so there should be few surprises. Well, I’m off to some meetings in DC. I’ll have to catch you for dinner when you return. In the meantime, we have a reservation for you at the Hyatt next door. I’ve also arranged for your trailer and supplies tomorrow at 0600. I knew you’d want to be out on the road early.”
“Fair dinkum, Harry,” I say, “Sounds like a plan. I’ll be in touch. Have a good trip.”
“You too,” he says as we shake hands and depart.
The Hyatt was comfortable, but just another in a long line of chain hotels. Adequate clean room, decent food, ridiculous mini-bar prices. I was up at 0500, showered, and ready to head over to the armory for my Nevada supplies.
I show up at 0545. I was that ready to get back on the road. Surprisingly, all I had time for was an early morning Bear Claw and coffee before everyone showed up.
“Right this way, Rock,” Andy the Armorer told me. “Drive right back to bay 5. I’ll open it up and we’ll have you on your way.”
So, I wheeled back to Bay 5, spun the truck around, and backed right up to the door.
I tootled my horn and the corrugated door began to roll up.
Andy motioned for me to back in, slowly. Using hand signs, I backed in enough for them to close the door again.
I saw my old trailer over in the corner and was thinking it was nice to have a familiar bit of kit.
Then another trailer was rolled out. Fully twice the size of the old trailer, it was painted a ghastly government green, overlain with black and yellow cross stripes. It was plastered with DOD, DOT, DOI, and all the other necessary stickers. There was one large and very prominent sticker on the bumper that proclaimed; “EXPLOSIVES! DANGER! STAY BACK 500 FEET.”
“Oh, that’s nice and unobtrusive,” I said. “No one will give that a second thought.”
Fucking sheesh-buckets.
Half the trailer was taken up by a cast-iron tub, with hinged lid. It had an electric motor to raise and lower the lid, just the thing for going out in the boonies, I thought. It was made of very stout and thick welded steel and was quite lockable. It also looked bullet, lightning, and nuke-proof.
It also weighed a fucking ton.
The rest of the trailer had several lockable compartments, of varying sizes for the inclusions of all my different blasting equipment, all made of the same stern stuff.
The whole trailer had a resolute fiberglass lid, although the munitions tub still stuck out proclaiming its message of impending doom for all tailgaters to see.
“Is this all really necessary?” I asked Andy.
“Latest DOD, DOT, and DOI specs,” he told me.
“Marvelous,” I muttered.
“Well, let’s get on with the show,” I said. “You have my goodies list? I want to get out on the road.”
“Yes, sir!” he saluted, as he was still military. He barked some orders and suddenly, cart after cart after cart of the fun stuff arrived.
He delighted in showing me that this was a custom trailer. A special compartment in the tub was for binaries, a special section for dynamite, and one for all the other permissibles. The rest of the trailer was marked with cute little lockable cubbies for “Blasting caps,” “Galvanometer,” “Primacord,” “Demolitoin [sic] Wire,” etc.
It was all a very governmental job. Over-designed, over-engineered, and over-wrought.
I came to love it.
The lockbox in my truck was now empty, so I had the opportunity to load up with a few extras. I thought “You can’t go wrong with Primacord,” so 3 extra spools went in there. As did another couple boxes of initiators, pop-drop-forget fuses, a box of Fusees (road flares), delay caps, a couple of pairs of blaster’s pliers, as I kept losing mine, spools of demo wire, and extra batteries and an extra electronic detonator.
Best to be prepared, as I always say.
I was now weighed down with over to a ton of explosives, along with all the ancillary tackle.
Luckily my truck had that big, ol’ turbocharged V-8. We’re going into the mountains dragging the equivalent of a rental company Toy-Auto behind us.
I signed all the paperwork and waited until everyone present had their own notarized copy to lose. I was given two sets of keys, just in case. After I disbursed some thank you cigars, I eased out of the armory, dragging this trailer down that endless black ribbon of highway.
It was chained, wired, and padlocked to my truck. It would be a serious pain in the ass to take it off and park it for the night. Until I hit Reno, I either camp rough or stick to the plastic water glass circuit, that is, truck stops.
“No problem,” I thought. “I’ve done worse.”
Back on the road again, I’m cutting due west towards Arizona. Even with my truck’s big turbo V-8, with all the shit I was carrying and dragging behind, forget rapid acceleration or passing on anything even approximating a stiff grade.
I eased on down the road, out of New Mexico and into Arizona. I resolve to visit Cuba on the return trip.
A simple swing across Arizona and I’m in Nevada. Looks like smooth sailing ahead…
Things are going along swimmingly. I’m making great time on I-40 across Arizona.
Sure, it’s hot out, but there’s not much traffic and I can keep a pretty steady pace. So much so, I’m pointing the truck in a generally westward direction and I busy my long hours away futzing with the CB radio, eavesdropping on truckers on channel 19. Or, I futz with my shortwave trying to find Radio Moscow.
Yeah, even the CWG, car window geology, can pale after miles and miles of miles…
I’m tempted to swing through Winslow, Arizona just because I’m a fan of the Eagles. But the road is humming so nicely, I just decide to ‘Take it Easy’, and continue onwards.
Through Flagstaff, through Ash Fork, through Seligman. I’m blazing along only to have to take a bit a break outside of Kingman to avail myself of the roadside rest area facilities before I make the lane change and head for Vegas.
Or, more accurately, around Vegas. I want no part of dragging over a ton of high explosives down The Strip. Besides, the DOT would hang me by my thumbs, or more tender appendages, if I didn’t take an ‘ODOT’, or ‘Optional Direction Of Travel’.
Got to stay away from agglomerations of those people things.
That won’t be for a while as I head up Highway 93. Through Chloride and Willow Beach, up toward Henderson. I zip over the Colorado River and I’m in my destination state. In the far, far south of the state, and I’m headed to the extreme northwest of the state, but, hey, I’m in the damned state nonetheless.
Up towards Las Vegas, I really want to pull in, grab a suite, and go all Vegas-y. But, duty calls. I resolve to take Esme to Vegas when I get back to Houston and before we make any plans to head to some Middle Eastern sandpit.
I schuss up the 11 right towards Vegas and right on past via 215. I’m now on 160 headed towards one of my favorite cities: Pahrump, Nevada.
Governor Lepetomane: [pointing to a member of his cabinet] “I didn't get a "Pahrump" out of that guy!”
Hedley Lamarr: “Give the Governor a ‘Pahrump’!”
Politician: “Pahrump!!”
Governor Lepetomane: “You watch your ass.”
Pahrump, indeed.
Anyways, I continue along in Nevada as the sun slowly slinks down ahead of me. All the hours on the road, all this fresh air, all the cigars…
Shit, I need a drink and a nap.
I’m between Beatty and Bonne Claire, just outside the Mojave Desert when I suddenly felt the urge to pull over, climb in the back of my truck, have a stout drink, and flake out until it cools off some.
There’s really not much out in this part of the world, so I pull off the highway and go off-road some 150 meters or so; parking parallel, but somewhat distant to, the highway. That way, people would think I’m a local, or a camper, but not anyone in trouble. So they’d just flash by and leave me the fuck alone for a while. Plus, I didn’t need to look for a motel, pay for a motel, schlep baggage…oh, fuck, I need a road snooze…
I lock the cab of the truck, pop open the step cap, and climb inside. I couldn’t be arsed to find a proper glass for a cocktail, so I just liberated a frosty beer from the closest cooler.
I rearranged my tack in the back of the truck to make a most serviceable little nest, and pulled down, but didn’t lock, the back window. Just right for a few hours’ kip. I set my .454 next to me, got comfy on my sleeping bag, and was out before I could even start that initial beer.
I awoke suddenly, hearing rather than seeing something prowling around in the impenetrable darkness outside. Of indigenous animals, I possess no fear. But I’ve seen ‘The Hill Have Eyes,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and actually hail from the land that spawned Ed Gein, so I’m a bit, well, ‘alert’.
I spy the glint of something possibly metallic, so it’s official. There’s an ax-wielding serial killer wandering around outside lusting for my giblets. He probably has a hook for a hand and only appears on the roadside on the anniversary of his family’s decapitations in a bloody sweater knitted by his dead wife.
Either that or it’s a silver possum.
Whatever it was, it went up to the front of my truck and seemed to be testing the doors.
I still have on my field boots, loosened, so I tie them as securely as I can manage. I slowly ease open the rear window of the step cap and, silently as a moose, slip out of the truck.
I have my .454 loaded and in defense position. Any small, slow, and stupid beast that turned its back on me was looking for a stomping.
The world went dazzling white as someone, or something shone a very powerful flashlight in my face. Imagine going from the inside of a cavern to the bright side of the sun in the space of 11 milliseconds. Luckily, my firearms training prevented any potential disaster.
Although, it did hurt like hell having one’s iris’ snap shut like that.
“Whoa!” I heard a voice, “Who the fuck are you?”
“Whoa!” I said, “Who the fuck are you?”
“STAND DOWN! NOW!” I heard.
“OK,” I thought, “It’s a cop…”
“Cool out! I’m licensed for CCL. See? Gun going down!” I said, loudly.
“OK, gun on the ground and stand back!” He ordered.
“Absolutely, sir,” I said, “I hear and comply.”
“What the hell is that?” I heard someone ask.
“Umm, Officer?” I asked, “I’m Doctor Rocknocker of Texas. I’m going to Reno to the BLM and DOI. I am licensed for CCL and that, lying there getting dusty, is a custom .454 Casull Magnum.”
“Come forward so I can see your hands and be recognized.” He orders.
“Yes, sir,” I said and complied.
“OK, slowly. Your identification.” He barked as I slowly handed him my wallet.
“OK. Doctor Rocknocker. Right. Texas CCL. OK. Texas Driver’s License. Right. Blaster’s license. OK. Master Blaster’s certificate. Umm. ISEE membership. Yeah. What’s this?” he asks, shining his light on my wallet.
“My Russian Driver’s License,” I reply.
“Um, yeah. OK…” he says and hands back my wallet.
“May I retrieve my sidearm?” I ask.
“Certainly,” he replies.
I grab my Casull and dust it off as best I can before shoving it out of sight, back into its holster.
“What the hell are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night? He asks.
“Well, I’m a geologist…” I begin.
He holds up a hand and stops me right there.
“That explains it.” he snickers. “You fuckers are nuts.”
“Well, I cannot in good faith argue that point,” I concur.
Officer Westmoreland, as I soon found out, is a Nevada State Trooper. He saw my rig parked, dark, on the side of the road out here on the fringes of the Mojave. He was checking if anyone was around or might be in of need assistance.
I told him my long, sordid tale. I wandered over to my truck and pulled out a cigar. Officer Westmoreland refused my initial offer.
He didn’t resist when I pulled over my larger cooler, grabbed a glass, and poured myself several hands of bourbon over ice.
“Officer, I know you’re on duty, but could I interest you in a cold drink?” I asked. “I have several soft and hard drinks, whatever is your pleasure.”
“Well, Doctor,” he smiled, “I was on my way home and I was actually off duty when I saw your rig and stopped. Got a cold beer?”
“Certainly. Remember, I’m a geologist? Right. Lager? IPA? Stout? Porter? Can? Bottle? Domestic? Import?” I asked.
“Yep. You’re a geologist. Whatever’s handy,” he laughs.
I hand him a cold Spotted Coo from a small brewery way back in the Foam Town state.
I sit down on the tailgate and fire up a Coleman lantern to dispel the gloom. For the first time, I see Officer Westmoreland and he sees me.
“Please, have a seat.” I said, “I’m just trying to get my heart rate back down to normal.”
He does, at the far end of the tailgate. We’re still sniffing each other out.
He looks closely for the first time at my trailer.
“What’s all that about?” he asks.
“Oh, that?” I ask and take a deep draught of Kentucky’s Finest. “That’s just the transport system for over a ton of high explosives.”
He looks at me like I’m joking.
“Ah, it’s empty, right?” he asks.
“Nope. Totally loaded. Want to see the manifests?” I ask.
“You’re not fucking with me, are you, Doctor? Is that really is a ton of high explosives sitting there not 5 feet away…it’s not empty?” he shudders.
“Nope. It is quite full. See, I’m going to the DOI, pick up some trainees, and some toilet paper in Reno. Then we’ll all head out into the wild and blow the living shit out of some old, abandoned mines.” I reply.
“OH!” he says, relieved, “Wait! I’ve heard of that program. Hey! You’re that crazy guy from Texas, right?”
“I guess,” I replied offhandedly, “If that Texas guy is a geologist and fully licensed blaster.”
“Yeah! You’re him” he laughs, “Good to meet you, sir. It’s about time someone’s doing something about all these old fucking mines. I have to pull corpses out of them two or three times a year. Seal ‘em up, cement ‘em tight, leave bat bars, don’t matter none. Assholes rip it right down and tear it up, go in, fall down a fucking shaft and die. I have better things to do with my time than retrieve bodies, Doctor. I am glad you’re here.”
“I am glad to be here.” I reply, “We’re on a kind of pilot program. Another doctor, Dr. Eva and I, kind of pioneered the process of sealing mines completely or sealing them leaving bat access in the Four Corners area. One thing leads to another and here we are. Sharing a drink, and a smoke, not 1.5 meters away from a ton of high explosives.”
“Well,” Office Westmoreland says, “If you’re cool with it, so am I.” as he lights another Marlboro.
He decides on another quick beer, as he’s never has a Spotted Coo before. We sit and have a really nice chat. He was keen on looking at my .454. I showed him my 10 gauge Mossberg and he was impressed with that. Then I opened my vest to show him the twin 10mm Glocks I was toting.
“Preparing for action?” he asks.
“But failing to prepare, you prepare to fail,” I noted.
“I hear that!” he says and drains his beer.
He hands me the empty as I always carry garbage bags for just such an emergency.
“Pack out your trash” isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law.”
“Well, Doctor,” he says, “Time for me to go on home. Take it easy out here and get a few hours rest before you head out, you’ve had some of the wet stuff.”
“I plan to, Officer Westmoreland,” I assure him, “Thanks, and have a good rest of the night.”
“And watch out for serial killers” He chuckles, as he gets back into his squad car and heads off down the road.
“He was a nice chap. Very affable. Weird sense of humor, though.” I muse.
The next morning, I whip up a quick breakfast of roadside yaws and goiters. I clean up, pack everything back, and am back on the road.
I’ll be on 95 most of the way to Reno. Past Tonopah, Coaldale, and Hawthorne. Heading more or less due north.
The sun is already baking and I strip off my vest and put my Glocks in the lockbox. I am still wearing my Casull because reasons.
I motor past Schurz, and up to Silver Springs. I spend an hour there refueling and availing myself of the facilities.
I made sure to keep everyone happy and park out on the fringes of the truck stop after I gas up.
Now it’s 439 to Clark, Nevada, onto I-80. Headed more westy than northy now, aimed directly for Reno.
I check my DOI prepared itinerary and see I need to find Financial Boulevard in Reno. Very easy as the town’s laid out in a nice, neat grid-like sort of pattern, kind of.
I circle around the area looking for an entrance and spy the Genghis Khan Mongolian restaurant about a quarter-mile from the DOI office. I know where I’m having lunch.
I pull into the Bureau’s parking lot and head for the rear. I show my credentials at the gate as I don’t think I should leave this trailer out front.
I park and wander back into the DOI, weapons all secured in my truck.
Inside, I tell the secretary who I am and that I ‘m here on the Abandoned Mines initiative.
She says “Of course,” and picks up the phone.
Minutes later I am introduced to one Dr. Sam Muleshoe, the director of the DOI around these parts. He walks me back to his office.
“Well, Doctor,” he says, “Welcome to Reno. I trust you had a good trip.”
“Mostly uneventful,” I replied.
“Very good,” he says. “Your associates have not arrived as of yet. Should be here later tonight or early tomorrow. At least two of them will as Leonard won’t be here until the latter part of your project.”
“Fair enough,” I said. “Do we know of their vehicles”? I asked.
“What do you mean?” he says.
“Well, if there are three of us, I can only transport two. I hope one of the vehicles they’re bringing is a four-wheel drive.” I explain.
“I’m not certain.” he relates, “But I can check.”
“No worries,” I reply, “There’s nothing at this point we can do. Best to just wait and see.”
“Right,” he agrees. “Your truck. Is it parked out back?”
“Yes,” I reply.
“Good’, he says, “Let’s go.”
We go out to the back lot and just as I said, my truck and the trailer are sitting there.
“OK, Doctor,” he explains, “While we wait, we’ll get your communications sorted out. We have DOI HF (High Frequency) radios for all outgoing vehicles. We’re on a state-wide government frequency. Plus, we can add a bit of extra kit to your trailer if you like.”
“Such as?” I ask.
“We can add a motorcycle carrier.” he says, “That way, you can take a small dirt bike with you out in the field. If you desire.”
“Oh, fuckin’-A Bubba, hell yeah. I desire”. I think.
“Yes. Yes.,” I agree, “That might just come in handy.” I agree.
A member of the Bureau’s motor pool comes over and asks for my keys. He’ll handle all the modifications.
I hand over my keys, and we walk back to Sam’s office. We spend a few hours getting acquainted. Technical talk, very prosaic.
Since my associates don’t appear to be arriving that day, Dr. Muleshoe suggests I take a room at the Motel 666 just down the road. My truck will be safe and secure until tomorrow.
I agree and go back to my vehicle to gather a few odds and ends. The front seat looks like a Radio Shack exploded. The mechanics and electricians are having the very Devil’s Grandmother of a time hooking up the DOI radio. Seems I have already taken every fusible link available for my stereo, speakers, and other communications devices.
I stash the Mossberg in the back of the truck, under lock and key. I replace my Glocks under my vest and have my Casull on my hip. I grab my field case full of reprints and such, and a change of duds.
Back in the DOI offices, Dr. Muleshoe remarks that with my sidearms and Stetson, I look like a co-star in some Clint Eastwood flick.
This really blew my mind, the fact that me, an overfed, long-haired leaping gnome should be the star of a Hollywood movie.
But I didn’t Burdon myself with that thought for long. Didn’t want to start a War, now, did I?
A Bureau worker drives me over to the hotel. He drops me off with a directory of Reno BLM and DOI, with phone numbers. He also tells me that although this looks like an unassuming motel, they have delivery service from most of the better restaurants in town and that their Happy Hour should be starting soon.
I thank him and he tells me he’ll pick me up tomorrow at 0900 sharp.
I obtain a room easily as evidently nothing fazes these people out here. I wanted to take some time and fart around downtown Reno. But, I decided to let that go until the job is done.
Besides, I don’t feel like walking all over a new town the first night I’m in.
It was a very nice room, clean, utilitarian and with an in-room safe. I stash my sidearms and lock it up solid. I then get to the phone and make some calls.
I call Esme and let her know of my progress. Everything’s puttering along fine back home. Es is thrilled at the new blades I got for her rock saw and she tells me that the omphacite vase is almost ready. She also tells me that I need to bring back representative examples of Nevada’s oddball geology for her to work on. I assure her I will, profess my undying love, and hang up.
I call Rack and Run with an update. All very routine, the call lasts less than five minutes.
Then I call Harry in Albuquerque. Then I remember he’s in DC at a conference of some kind. I leave a quick message on his machine and hang up.
“Well, now,” I say to no one in particular, as I comb back my long silver hair. “Everything business-related is done and dusted. And I’m dusty.”
Down the hall, down the elevator, and off to Happy Hour.
Two for one drinks and they’ll even serve interlopers dressed in ghastly Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts. I explain the proper construction methods of my signature cocktail and shortly, two large tumblers full of Rocknocker-cocktail appear as I’m perched upon Mahogany Ridge.
All for the princely sum of US$2.00.
I realize that I really like Reno.
It’s sort of a mini-Vegas, I find. I’ve never really been to Reno before and it really is “The Biggest Little City in the World”. Even in this little unassuming bar in this little unassuming motel, there are a couple of tables for roulette, craps, and blackjack.
And walls full of One-Armed Bandits.
Figuring I already paid my Stupid Tax by purchasing some scratch-off lottery tickets for Esme, and dropping $5 on the “Pick Five,” I could forego paying any more into the state’s coffers.
After several more cocktails, I was already 8 bucks in the hole for drinks and $40 bucks more feeding those infernally blinking, though ineffably inviting machines.
I tried the Blazing 7’s machine.
I lost.
I tried the Monopoly slots.
I lost.
I tried the Cash Express.
I came >< this close but still lost.
Disgustapated, I tried one final machine, The Jackpot.
I won $50 bucks.
“Holy shit!” I wowed, “Wow! I broke even!”
I quit immediately and went back to the bar.
I had another couple of drinks and after tipping out the bartender, I realized I had still lost.
I was down $12 dollars.
In other words, I did as well as usual.
Back in my room, I ordered some chow from the Genghis Khan Mongolian restaurant. At least here my luck was changing. It was excellent.
After checking out the next morning, I’m puffing on a cigar, waiting on my driver. He shows up spot on time and I go to snuff my cigar in an outside ashtray.
“That’s OK, Sir’, he tells me, “I don’t mind if you smoke. As long as you don’t mind me.”
“Fair enough,” I tell him, and we sally down the road to the DOI.
Of my three acolytes,
• Albert W. Armstrong. “Al”. University of Missouri, Rolla. Mining geology.
• Charles F. Glaciisto. “Chuck”. New Mexico Tech., Socorro. Mining geology.
• Leonard. R. Paskapää. “Leonard”. Colorado School of Mines. Engineering geology.
Albert and Charles arrived late last night, they drove in. Leonard, as Dr. Muleshoe noted, will arrive later, flying or driving in.
My truck is ready to go as is my trailer. I have my choice of several BLM/DOI motocross and dirt bikes, so I choose a cute little Maico 501, as the bike featured the largest two-stroke single-cylinder engine ever stuffed into a production bike. I figured I’d need all the torque I could get to haul my carcass around.
I receive extra fuel bowsers already pre-mixed with oil for the bike.
I’ve been a rider for years and even though most of my latest motorcycle driving concerns my Indian Super Chief, I’ve ridden dirt for years when I was younger.
I introduce myself to Albert and Charles. We shake hands and they tell me to refer to them as ‘Al’ and ‘Chuck’.
“And you will call me Rock,” I reply.
They were both cool with that.
I ask what vehicles brought them here. Al drove in via a beat-to-shit Volkswagen Van. Chuck drove his International Harvester Super Scout, also beat to death, or close to it.
“Gentlemen,” I say, assaying their field vehicles. “These will not do.”
They both immediately looked unconformable.
“It’s like this,” I relate to them, “I have my GMC 1-ton. It has room for two people, but not two passengers. I’m also towing a trailer, so I don’t want to be weighed down by all your field gear as well.”
They nodded in agreement.
“Let’s have a chat with Sr. Muleshoe,” I suggested, “He might be able to come up with a solution to our problems.”
So we did. The BLM lent us one of their field-kitted out Land Cruiser, a J-70. A boxy, utilitarian vehicle, with an eight-cylinder petrol engine with a five-speed standard transmission.
“Either you two know how to drive a standard shift?” I asked.
They both replied in the affirmative.
Harrumph. Try that today…
“Well, gents,” I said, “We’re burning daylight. We leave as soon as you two get loaded and figure out who’s doing all the stick and rudder work. You can drive together, or one can ride with me. Either way, we leave ASAP and we’ll do orientations and Q&A once we’re in the field. Chop-chop!”
The haul ass to their respective vehicles. They’ll park their rides in the DOI back parking lot for the duration. I go to get my truck and see if the trailer’s hooked back up.
It is and on the rear of the trailer, right above the warning signs for ill-advised tailgaters, is a well-used but still going to be fun as hell Maico 501 dirt bike.
This mission has suddenly taken on a more wholesome and lighthearted mien.
Al and Chuck decide to make the Land Cruise their vehicle and drive together, at least at the beginning. I have no objection and after dispensing the appropriate maps, itineraries, and other documentation, we do a radio check, as the BLM vehicle already had an HF radio.
With that sorted, we head out into the wilderness.
Once out on the streets of Reno, I ask for them to find us a grocery store so we can obtain field provisions for the next week or so. We’ll be out in the sticks, but there are enough little towns scattered about and with two vehicles, we won’t be as isolated as I first thought. I remember to stock up on Charmin Extra-Fluffy.
I mean, we’re not savages here.
We wheel into BinCo foods and invade the store for supplies. Al and Chuck ask what they should buy, as we all have BLM/DOI credit cards for the duration, and I tell them “whatever you want to make for chow”. I explain that I’ll eat just about anything, and am partial to meat, meat, and more meat. I leave them at that and head over to the liquor store down the street.
I have 5 huge coolers in the back of my truck. Two for drinks of all sorts, and three for food.
I obtain some of the necessary outback fluids and several bags of ice.
I ice down all the drinks and wheel back to the grocery store.
Al and Chuck are just emerging. I whistle them over to my truck as it’s going to be the Chuckwagon, no pun intended, on this tour.
We load their selections into the coolers and ice everything that needs icing down. I go into the store and purchase a few items I note they have missed, and place them in the bed of my truck.
I ask if they have everything necessary for a month out in the boonies, and they look to each other, shrug their shoulders, and reply that they think they do.
“OK,” I say, “Either of you armed?” I ask.
“No,” came the reply.
“You will be,” I reply, and ask if there truck’s gassed up.
At the Bumoco station, we fill our vehicles to the top. I check all fluid levels as my blinker light fluid’s been being used profligately lately.
“OK,” I say, “Last chance. Anything you even think you might have forgotten before we head into the wilds? Chapstick? Bug spray? Aloe?”
“No,” they reply, “We think we’re good.”
“All-righty, then,” I reply. “You have your maps, you have your compasses, and you have your vehicle. We will rendezvous at Pinnate Ridge in four hours. Bye.”
I jump into my truck, fire her up, grab a cigar, crank up some Floyd. I head out of the parking lot, generally south.
Both of them just stand there like guppy fish at feeding time.
They both realize I’m not fucking around and scramble back to their vehicle. The last I saw, they were still trying to get it into first gear.
I made it to Pinnate Ridge in 2.5 hours. It’s really very easy to find, even off the road. There are signs everywhere, even out in the sticks. Its prime desert dune and badland riding area, along with several mines on our agenda that are going to be closing down for good.
I arrive and scope out a likely looking camping spot. Nice flat ground, nicely elevated. A not-too-distant outcrop that will be fine for a latrine area. No running water, no trees, no firewood. I expected as much.
I pull to where my truck acts as a windbreak and set up camp.
Well, my camp at least.
Four hours later, I’m slurping a Grape Nehi sitting in my camping chair. I have a fire pit all set up but without fuel. I’m smoking a large cigar and looking through some of the older Mining News magazines. I haven’t seen another person the whole day since we all went off-grid.
Over a crest, I see the BLM Land Cruiser. Well, better late than never, I suppose.
They finally pull into camp, far too close to my truck, their back wheels in the soft sand.
“Gentlemen,” I say, arising from my chair, “Welcome to your first camp. As for your first test, well, more about that later. Let’s make camp, shall we?”
Wordlessly, they set about pitching tents, getting out sleeping bags and the like.
“Gentlemen,” “I ask, “How’s the weather?”
They look at me with blank expressions.
“You have radios in your vehicle, do you not? I suggest you call for an update for the next few days.” I recommend.
Later, “We did, Rock,” Chuck reports, “No rain, hot, with moderate northwesterly winds.”
“OK, good.” I continue, “What do you think of your campsite?”
They look and proclaim it fit.
“Hmmm,” I say, “Parked to the southeast, back wheels off solid rock and in the sand. What happens if a sandstorm kicks up tonight?”
They look, smack themselves collectively in the head, and reposition their vehicle, nose to tail with mine, forming a good windbreak for the entire camp.
“Gents,” I say, “’ Be prepared’. Get used to these words, you’ll be hearing them a lot from now on.”
“Boy,” I say, “I could sure go for a coffee. There’s the pot, here’s the water, and here’s the coffee. There’s the fire pit…”
“Where’s the wood?” Al asks.
“Oh, you didn’t bring any firewood?” I ask.
“No…,” they both say , sheepishly.
“Good thing I did,” I say, motioning to my truck. “Be prepared.”
Over coffee and cigars; well, a cigar for me, Al smokes a pipe, and Chuck is tweaking over Marlboro Reds, I go over the basics of our project:
  1. Locate mines.
  2. Map mines if maps need updating. Some are from the turn of the last century, so yeah, this will almost always be a task.
  3. Take representative geological samples. This is my own twist on the job.
  4. Photograph any mine chronological, or unusual, subjects.
  5. Inspect mines for ‘biologicals’. They’ve already been vetted, but I want to be certain.
  6. Find and delineate all surficial openings.
  7. Prepare mine for demolition.
  8. Wire in, prime, and set charges.
  9. Run demo wire out of the mine and back to the safety muster area.
  10. Demolish mine.
  11. Drink vodka & beer, sleep, repeat.
  12. There is no #12.
“Any questions?” I ask.
Chuck and Al were so busy taking notes, they didn’t have time to formulate any questions.
“OK, guys. Once you get all that, pencils down,” I say.
They finish writing and I see it’s already getting late in the day.
“OK,” I say, “Dinner if you’re hungry. Shall we eat?” I ask.
I decide on dry sausage and beer, as I’m not terribly peckish.
Chuck and Al get the fire going higher and grill up some hot dogs and beans.
Sitting around the campfire as dusk begins to descend, we sit around with our geological desserts. Beers for the guys and a double Rocknocker for me.
Now the drinking lamp’s been lit, we have a chance to chat and get to know each other.
“You guys are still doing dishes tonight,” I remind them.
“Yes, boss man.” They smile.
“OK,” I say, “There are a few things I need to get clear with you. One, I am the hookin’ bull around here. I say ‘jump’, you say ‘how high?’. I’m not too terribly tyrannical, but when playing around with high explosives, your very life might depend on it. Two, I’m the only one licensed to handle the explosives. You’re in training, but you will not go into the lockbox in the back of my truck nor the trailer until I deem you are ready. Violation of this rule is cause for immediate expulsion. And we’ll keep the vehicles. We green?”
To be continued.
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2020.01.22 10:43 Rocknocker DEMOLITION DAYS Part 73

Continuing.
I slow down and just crawl along the main drag. Past the Spanner’s gas station, past the Cuba Café, down past Spanner’s Liquor store, past Spanners livery and tack, past Spanner’s market, and into the Cuba Motel car park.
The place is mostly empty, being off-season and not terribly busy on a god day. I park my truck, park my cigar, and go into the motel’s lobby.
“Doctor Rock!” Jose the owner says behind the counter, “How good to see you! Welcome back!”
Manly handshakes ensue. I remark that it’s good to be back. I ask about my room reservations.
“You can have your old room if you like”, Jose explains, “We’re not that busy. Where would you like to put your companion?”
“Back in driving school”, I snicker. “If there’s a room close, but not adjoining, that’d be great.”
“I have a fine room three doors down.” Jose notes.” Is that acceptable?”
“Perfecto!” I tell him. “Can I park my trailer in the lot or do I need to chain it up out back?”
“In the frontcourt is fine”, Jose smiles, “As I said, we’re not terribly busy here today.”
“Groovy”, I reply, as I sign for both our rooms.
“Need any help, Doc?” Jose asks.
“Nah. Thanks”, I reply, “I got this.”
I wheel over to my room and disconnect the trailer. I maneuver it into the space next to my truck, chain and padlock it to the overhead cover.
I back my truck right in front of my room. I’m unloaded within minutes and sitting on the hood of my truck with a cigar, my 2-way radio, and a cold Yorshch.
I listen to the radio between sips and puffs. She must drive like Granny O’Slowly if she’s not here by now. I am ready to key the radio but decide against it. She’s a big girl, let her handle her end of the log.
I finish my Yorshch and grab a new one from the cooler in my room. I’m waving my arm tired from all the folks driving by, tootling me with vigor, and gesticulating in greeting.
A few puffs of the cigar later, I see a cream-colored Toy-Auto with Texas plates potter slowly past the motel.
It’s Eva. How the hell she got this far is a mystery.
I key the mike and ask her if she just wants to head to Colorado tonight.
“What do you mean?” she asks.
“You just drove past the hotel”, I reply, “I’m amazed you didn’t see me sitting out in the parking lot on the hood of my truck.”
“Oh, sorry”, she replies.
I figured she’d stop, pull a U-ey, and hotfoot it back to the motel.
10 minutes later, I call her and ask what the holdup was.
“I can’t find a place to turn around.” She says, clearly in distress.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I think but do not say, “It’s all prairie dogs and badlands from here to Colorado. It’s nothing but turn-around zones.”
I key the radio. “Do you want me to come out and get you?” I ask.
“No. No…that won’t be necessary” she stutters.
“I can be there in just minutes if you want,” I reply.
“Oh, OK then.” She replies.
“OK, pull over. Stop and don’t move. Put on your flashers. I’ll be right there.” I say.
I lock my room, jump in the truck, and pull up behind her 5 minutes later. I walk over to her car and tap on the window.
“Are you OK?” I ask.
“I’m just so not sure. This is the first time I’ve been out driving on my own. Usually, someone else in the family drives.” She wobbles.
“OK, just follow my lead. OK?” I ask.
“Yeah, sure”, she replies unsteadily.
I pull in front of her, find a likely looking flat area where I could have turned the USS Enterprise around in, and slowly pull a 1800 turn. She follows closely.
We drive back to the hotel and I back into my still vacant parking slot. I jump out and direct her to pull into the one two spaces down.
She’s noticeably relieved. I give her the room key for her room. She’s pleased but doesn’t say anything, that my room is at least two doors away.
This kid is green as grass, and not in a good way. She’s skittish as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Gonna have to toughen her up, quickly. Gently, but quickly.
I offer to help her unpack her car, but she refuses, citing the need for a shower and a rest.
Gonna have to toughen her up, quickly. Maybe not so gently, but quickly.
I retire to my room and partake of a couple of long hard day at the office drinks. It suddenly appears that this is going to be a lot less fun than I had originally imagined.
I call Esme and let her know where I am. She is delighted that I made it intact and that I’m back in one of my favorite places on Earth. I tell her about Eva. She’s unconcerned that she’s female but very concerned that she’s so seemingly inept.
I agree with her and say that if I knew this was another training exercise I’d have told Rack and Ruin to go hang. But, we’re in it now up to our necks. Best to make whatever we can out of a strange situation. I tell her that I miss and love her and the kids, and sign off.
I decide to call Eva and have a little powwow.
I ring her room and there’s no answer.
“OK”, I sigh, “She might be in the shower. I’ll call her back later.”
An hour later, same scene, same result.
I’m beginning to wonder.
After another hour and no answer, I grab the 2-way and call her directly.
Fully five minutes later, she groggily answers and asks ‘what’s the problem?’
“Problem?” I ask, “I was wondering if you survived today’s travails. I was just calling to see if we could chat about the project and maybe get to know each other a bit better since we’ll be working together for the next three weeks…”
“Oh, I’m just so sleepy”, she yawns, “Can’t we do all this tomorrow?”
“OK” I reply, “I’ll give you this one. But this one only. Tomorrow, we go over the schedule and you get yourself steeled up for some work. See you at 0700 hours.” As I un-key the mike and toss the radio over into the chair.
OK, I’m peeved. Cheesed even. This keeps up, even for one more day, I’m dragging her back to Albuquerque and telling Dr. Harry to find someone else…
I walk over to the Cuba Café for a spot of dinner. It’s a grand reunion, and the food was just as good as I remember. The beers flowed free and steadily.
Back in my room, I pull out my field notebooks and begin making the appropriate annotations. Thus far, I’m not at all impressed with Dr. Eva. She keeps this up and it’s my $20 gold piece and a flip for her destiny.
The next morning, I’m pounding on her door at precisely 0700.
And waiting.
And waiting.
Finally, the door opens and Eva stands there, looking like liquid death.
“Holy wow. What’s wrong with you?” I ask, “Do you need medical attention?”
“Oh, Doctor”, she is almost crying, “It’s my allergies. I’m not used to the plants in this part of the world.”
“Do you have any medicine to combat this situation?” I ask.
“Yes”, she says and begins to break down. “I’m so sorry. I thought I could handle this. My first real solo field project and I’ve already muffed it.”
“OK, OK,” I say, “Knock off the waterworks. You take your meds and get some rest.”
I remember my first time out in the field. Unknown pollen can be a cruel mistress.
“Look, it’s not a total loss.” I reassure her, “I can do some running around here today, and do some preliminary reconnaissance.” Like I needed any in my old field area.
“It’ll actually save us some time when we come back from Arizona”. I note.
Besides, it’ll give me a day to fart around in my old stomping grounds.
She begins to apologize when I cut her off.
“You’re no use to anyone in your present condition,” I say, “Get some rest. Get better, read your reports today, and be ready to go tomorrow, 0700 sharp.”
“OK, Doctor”, she snuffles.
“Do you need anything today?” I ask.
“No. I’m good”, she replies.
“If you do need anything, call the front desk and ask for Jose. He’ll take good care of you. I’ll be out in the field and unavailable for a while.” I note.
“OK, thank you”, she says and closes the door silently.
“Sheesh”, I grumble, walking back to my room. “I do hope she gets her shit together.”
In the meantime, I’m back in my truck and over to the Cuba Café. I get three chili rellenos with salsa verde, to go. And a Greenland coffee.
I’m whipping down NM-550 to Counselor, New Mexico. Take a sharp right onto Navajo-8 right to Lago de Estrella.
I blow past Lago de Estrella straight down the pipeline access road. It’s like nothing has changed, as I watch the clouds of reddish-brown dust I’m kicking up.
Up to the Scavada Wash, I creep across. That ultra-fine wadi sand can slurp down even a 1-ton GMC with four-wheel drive.
Crawling up over the wash, I see the Scavada Trading Post, Gas, and Pro Station. I wheel in there in a flooming wall of trailed dust. Not giving ol’ Fred the chance, I park and jog over to the entrance.
I flang open the door and loudly yell: “Hands up, motherstickers! This is a fuck up!”
Fred turns around with his shotgun, looks, blinks, and throws a cold beer at me.
I catch it and wander in. The two locals that were in the shop at the time are looking at me like I just teleported in from Ceti Alpha 5.
“Fred, you old reprobate. What’s shakin’?” I ask.
“Doctor Rocknocker. I should have known. How the hell are you?” Fred grins.
“Fred, I am rolling” I grin, and slurp half of the cold tall-boy Coors.
We sit at a close table and Fred shares my chili rellenos. I work on my Greenland coffee and Fred works on a cold beer.
I tell Fred of some of my adventures since we last met. Fred tells me he was almost married a couple of times, but it all went south at the Squaw Dance. He didn’t seem too upset.
“Y’know, Sani was in here the other day, looking for you,” Fred tells me.
“Really?” I ask.
“Well, he was in here and asking about you. Asking if I’d heard from you lately.” He tells me.
“Like you always said, Fred, ‘Ain’t no secrets on the res”. I snicker.
“Damn right. I see you’re still carrying that god damn hand cannon.” He snickers, looking over the edge of the table.
“Got my Mossberg out in the truck. Plus a load of USDA-government approved explosives.” I add.
“What’re those for,” he asks.
I explain my current project and Eva, Harry and the BLM, BIA, and DOI.
“God damn, you’ve gone over to the enemy,” Fred says, in mock horror.
“Nope, just playing the field. They pay, they supply the boom, and I blow up some old mines. Fun for the whole family.” I reply and grab another beer from the cooler.
“That’s going on your tab”, Fred warns me.
“Government’s paying for it, so I don’t care,” I reply.
“In that case”, Fred smiles, “Grab one for me.”
We spend the rest of the morning sitting around, talking over old times, doing gas station and pawnshop stuff, and basically having a large time.
After lunch, I tell Fred to go through all his dead pawn. I explain I’ll be back in a few weeks’ time and I need to fill Es’ shopping list.
“Turquoise”, I tell him, “No turtle shell. And silver Conchos.”
“Will do.” He replies. “Where you headed now?”
“Recon trip”, I reply, “A little mapping, spotting mines with the GPS, and devising a strategy to blow them the hell and gone.”
“Fuck”, Fred replies, “You get to have all the fun.”
“That I do”, I respond. “See you in a couple weeks’ time”, I say and shake his hand.
“Later you whack job”, he smiles, “Stay lucky, you nut. And look up Sani, if you could.”
“I will, in fact, I’m headed over to the grim Mt. Badass. There’s an old silver mine out there. Dollars to doughnuts I’ll run into Sani and that broken-down old horse of his.” I grin.
Off I go back down the pipeline road, a little more slowly this time around. I drive slowly past Lago de Esterella pump station. It’s been highly modernized and automated. There are precious few cars out in the old lot. I look for anyone I recognize, but there’s no one around.
Even Long John’s tepee is gone.
With a slightly heavy heart, I drive over to the grim Mt. Badass. I pop the truck into four-wheel, and go off-road, following the old map I have, looking for the mine adit.
Down into the wash, up the side of a cuesta. It’s slow going, but I finally find the portal. I photograph it and make entries in my field books. Get out to look around. The whole area is utterly deserted. I’m not about to go into the old mine alone or without anyone here, so I just scout around the perimeter, looking for…things.
Nothing. No old claim markers, no old claim stakes, zip.
I walk clear around the whole mesa, which takes me about half an hour. No access, no egress. Basically, just an unfinished tunnel into the base of the mountain. I make my notes, mark my map, get the GPS coordinates, and decide to walk back to the truck.
I come around the mesa and hear a horse nicker.
Damned if it isn’t Sani.
“Sure is hot out today,” I say.
“Dusty, too”, Sani grins.
Sani Yáʼátʼééh shi akʼis”, I greet him.
Yáʼátʼééh Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies.
I walk over to my truck, and in the time-honored tradition, open the cap, open the cooler and grab us a couple of beers. I drop the tailgate and invite Sani to have a seat.
“I was just up at the Scavada. Fred says you were looking for me.” I say.
“Truth. I have been told that you will be in the area soon.” He says.
“As always, they are correct. It’s great to see you again, Sani. You are doing well?” I ask.
“Sani could be better. It’s age. My time will be soon.” He says, a matter of factly.
“I hate to disagree, Sani. You’re looking great. You’ll be around for a good, long time.” I say.
“Sani wishes that were true.” he sadly says, slowly nodding his head.
I derail this far too serious conversation and steer towards lighter subjects. I tell Sani of my current project and some of the ones in the past.
Sani tells me that the pump station is almost deserted.
“Many good people are gone. Left for the city.” He laments.
“That’s progress for you. At least I kept my word and returned.” I said brightly.
“I was told this long ago. Sani knew you would.” He smiles at me.
We spend an hour or two just chatting in a most amenable manner. He decides it’s time for him to go and I note I need to locate a couple more mines and scoot back to Cuba.
“Sani”, I say, “I do hope we will meet again if the accident will”
Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies, “I fear not. This has been foretold.”
“Well, I trust the spirits and your wisdom”, I say, “But in this instance, I hope you’re both wrong.”
Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, Sani replies. “I take my leave of you. Be well. The best for you and your family.”
“Sani”, I say, “I don’t have the words.” I grab him in a very manly man hug. I end up with the Aboriginal grasping forearms handshake.
It’s all I can do to say: “Hágoónee’, Sani. Uh-quo-ho nihí néiidleehígíí” ‘Until we meet again’.
Ládáá di hatsijįʼ áhootʼé, Kǫʼdził-hastiin”, ‘If the accident will, fire mountain man.’
With that, Sani jumps up on his horse and saunters away.
I get back in my truck, fire up a cigar, wipe my dusty eyes, and drive back to the pipeline road.
I find three more mine adits in a fairly short time. I make my notes, and head back to Navajo-8 and back to Cuba.
I am feeling oddly discomfited.
I get to the hotel and just pour myself a straight-up stiff draught of Old Thought Provoker. I work on that going over what Sani had told me.
I call Eva and she answers on the first ring. She sounds much better. I ask her if she requires anything.
“No, I’m OK”, she says, “I talked with Jose and he got me some lunch from the café. It was enough for dinner as well.”
“OK”, I reply unenthusiastically, “Let’s meet tomorrow at 0700 and plan the rest of the project. I mapped four mines today so that will save us some time once we return from Arizona.”
“OK, Doctor”, she says, “I guess you really are the hookin’ bull around here.”
“Yeah, so it has been foretold”, I reply and hang up the phone.
I pour another Old Thought Provoker. My field books are up to date, I just talked with Es so I decided to take a little down time and see what’s on the box.
Not much. I kill off the jug of Old Thought Provoker, make certain everything is secure. I have my Mossberg in here with me. My .454 was locked in the room safe right after I arrived. I decide to call it a night.
It was not a restful night. No nightmares. Not even bad dreams. More like, well, odd visions of things I could recognize from the past. Odder visions of things I don’t recognize, perhaps from the future.
I don’t cotton to all that parapsychological mumbo-jumbo, but it sure can make for a restless night.
I finally drop off into REM land and get some decent rest. The alarm goes off seemingly far too early.
I shower, dress, and head over to Eva’s room.
She’s dressed and ready to go. She looks like an entirely different person from yesterday.
I feel like an entirely different person from yesterday.
We decide to go to the Cuba Café for breakfast and planning our strategy. I tell her I’ll drive and she’s more than welcome to accompany me on the 30-second trip.
“You’re going to have to passenger with me sooner than later. “ I say, “Let me prove I’m not some creature from a black lagoon.”
“OK, Doctor”, she says, “Whatever you say.”
“Well”, I muse, “That’s more like it.”
At the café, I order a Mexican Omelet with a breakfast beer and Eva goes for some flapjacks and sausage.
Nothing like getting into the local culture.
We talk about the job at hand and she tells me of the new kit she’s got. It’s a pneumatic potato-gun sort of gizmo that fires a round which contains a chemical that bats find really irritating. You shoot that off into a mine and they vamoose. It doesn’t harm them, just gets them out of the way so she can count them and figure out their species.
“That way”, she says, “We don’t even have to go into these old mines.”
“Many mines have an active outward airflow”, I note, “Also, some mines are twisty-turny and not just straight passages. We’re going to have to enter these mines and then maybe we can deploy your gun.”
“Oh, hell”, she says, “That’s the part that I am really not looking forward to.”
“Don’t worry”, I say, “That’s one of the reasons I’m here. If the mine can support me, it won’t even know you’re there. I’ll train you before we make any ingress. Don’t fret, it will be OK.”
“Yes, Doctor”, she says.
“Look, Eva”, I say, “Please just call me ‘Rock’. It’ll be so much easier.”
“OK”, she says, “That will take some getting used to. Back at university, everyone with a doctorate insists.”
“Yeah, I know”, I replied. “It gets sort of old after a while. Just save it for when it can be of some use.”
She looked at me a bit puzzled, but we proceed.
“Now, about your driving.” I continue, “You are going to have to get a bit more aggressive and drive more observantly.”
“Oh, I know, Rock”, she replies, “It’s just I didn’t drive much back home. Mom and Dad always had chauffeurs for us kids…”
“Chauffeurs?” I asked.
“Oh, yes”, she said brightly, “I didn’t even think about a driver’s license until I was in Grad school.”
“So”, I snicker, “I take it your folks are loaded?”
“One could say that.” She replies, “Dad’s part of the Bass family. Mom kept her maiden name and I took that instead.”
“I see”, I replied, “Do you see that as presenting a problem on this project?”
“I don’t think it should,” she says, “I’ve done my doctorate on my own.”
“Did you work while you went to school?” I asked.
“No”, she replies, “But I did RAs [Research Assistantships] for the years I was in school.”
“OK,” I say, “Well, out here, it’s every man for themselves. I’ll try and help when it’s necessary. But food, lodging, taking care of your vehicle, ad infinitum are your responsibility. I just want to get that out on the table.”
“OK”, she says, “I appreciate your candor.”
“And I appreciate your acceptance of the facts,” I reply, not really trying to be a boor, but it just sort of slipped out.
“Doctor…ah, Rock”, she continues, “As long as we’re being upright and forthwith. Do you always need to carry that sidearm?”
“I think so”, I replied. “I carried it in Texas, Baja Canada, Mongolia, Central Asia, and different versions in Russia and other wild and woolly places. Don’t think of it as a gun, it’s just another tool. Just like a hammer or a camera.”
“Well, I suppose. I don’t care for guns…” she opines.
“Have you ever shot a gun?” I ask.
“Me?” she laughs, “Oh, my no. Never.”
Another note goes into the field book. I resolve to have her going all Anny Oakley before this trip is over.
“And your cigars.” She continues.
“Yes?” I growl, furrowing my brow deeply.
“Oh, nothing”, she quickly recovers.
Muck with my gun, I’ll get snarky. Mess with my cigars, and I’m making calls to the Agency calling for personnel replacements.
After breakfast, it's back to the motel and pack up. We’re off to the field today and if I don’t blow something up soon, I’m going to go spare.
Eva loads her kit in about three minutes, I need to wrangle a heavy trailer, get it all hooked up, chained, and centered, then drag all my shit out of the room and back into my truck.
Finally, we’re back on the road headed north to Colorado. Next stop, Pagosa Springs.
I tell Eva that she has a map, she has a radio, and she has our itinerary. I tell her I’ll see her next in the first Schlotzsky's parking lot in the Springs. I walk over to my truck, fire up a road heater, drop her in first gear, and ease out of the parking lot headed north. It should be a 2.5-3 hour trip.
Easy-peasy.
Later, I’m sitting in my truck, eating a Schlotzsky's Original when the radio crackles.
“Rock, come in”, I hear.
“Go for Rock”, I reply.
“Order me an Original and a large Dr. Pepper. Be at your 20 in 5.” I hear.
“Roger that”, I reply.
Suddenly Eva’s gone all ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ on me.
Evidently, she talked to someone yesterday that gave her a crash course in driving and navigating, as well as radio use.
I’m moderately impressed, particularly if she arrives here on time.
She does, parks next to me, and asks where her sandwich was.
“Eva”, I say, “Color me impressed. You are staging a remarkable comeback.”
“Yes”, she says, “About that.”
I am sore perplexed.
“I called my folks and was ready to bail on the whole project.” she confides, “It was all just too much, too fast. You are one scary person. The project with mines, explosives, and bats is really scary.”
“But you’re an amply degreed Chiropteran Biologist”, I remarked.
“Just because I study them doesn’t mean I like them”, she replies.
“Honesty”, I reply, “I like that.”
“I had a stern talking-to from my father”, she continues, “Really read me the riot act. He had someone do some research on you. He was most impressed and chewed me out that I was being ‘a little brat’, and ‘should be grateful Dr. Rock was in on this project.’”
Evidently someone’s been talking with Rack and Ruin. I jot down a note to annoy them as soon as possible.
“He also told me to talk with my driver”, she adds, “I spoke with him and he gave me all sorts of pointers on what to do now that I’m on my own.”
“Initiative. I like that”, I reply, “OK, cool. Back to the project at hand. Here’s your sandwich and Dr. Pepper. Eat up while I tell you what’s happening next.”
Eva chows down, after making a remarkable recovery.
We are going to drive up to the Ever Last gold mine in the hills outside of Pagosa Springs. Eva will follow me as best she can, as we have radios and detailed maps. We’re up in the mountains now, so she’s going to struggle with that Toy-Auto of hers. My truck is turbo-ed, so I shouldn’t have any problem.
We will drive as far as her car will allow, then abandon it.
Temporarily.
Eva will join me in the truck and we’ll drive to the mine’s portal or adit.
Then we’ll do want’s necessary.
Up the mountainside, off the asphalt, and down a dirt path. Eva’s Toy-Auto does a commendable job, but a couple of miles in, it’s all pine cones, rocks, and boulders.
I find a likely looking spot and direct Eva to park her car there for the time being.
She does so, and we grab the necessary kit out of her car and toss it in the back of my truck. I check to see the trailer’s still secure, drop the truck into Granny Low, and head up to the mine.
It’s a bouncy-jouncy trip over a hardly used Intershire goat-path. After a half-hour or so, the remains of the mining camp hoves into view. We’re here, our first job of the project.
We find the adit and check the maps. Only one entrance or exit. It’s basically a long tube through the very living rock of the mountainside. I park close to the adit and tell Eva it’s time for our EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity).
She laughs at the reference.
First up: photograph everything. Documentation.
Next up, a quick recon of the adit itself. It’s in great disrepair. The shoring timbers are old, rotting and falling apart, even though the portal is still open. It appears no one’s been here for quite some time. Still, we need to check for any Flittermice, then do what’s necessary.
I drag out my field notebooks and start taking my usual copious notes. Eva’s setting up a work table, laying out maps of the area and mine, making her own notes. Good. As little prefacing as possible. Down to work.
The mine has a strong air draft coming out. Eva’s bat-annoyance cannon won’t work unless I get into the mine closer to an active population of the flittery little bastards.
“OK, Eva”, I say, “Its nut-cuttin’ time. I’m going in, you stay out here and watch for your bats.”
“If you think that’s best”, she replies.
“I do”, I say, “But I want you here with the radio if anything goes south. You take notes as I talk. Hard to do in total darkness, especially with all the kit I’ve got to carry.”
“Right, Rock”, she smiles.
Back at the truck, I gear up. Hardhat, gloves, monitors, lights, batteries, cigars, camera, radio, air pack, dosimeters, blah, blah, blah.
All this kit adds another 60 pounds or so to my already large frame. I’m also hooked up to a Hip Chain, a clever little gizmo that measures distance as you walk. You just tie the line to rock or stake and set the meter to zero. As you walk, the meter indicates the length of line pulled, giving you the distance you’ve traveled, freeing your hands for other tasks.
Back at the adit, I prepare to invade. I show Eva all the gear I need to do this safely, and she takes a couple of pictures and makes some notes.
“Now you see why I’ll do this one alone”, I chuckle. “At least this time.”
Eva lets loose a low whistle and asks for a radio check. We have new ELF radios that will work even in underground workings. We check and they’re working fine.
I make entry to the mine.
It’s wet, cool, clammy, and 100% pitch black. No reflected light at all after 50 feet. It’s a type of total blackness few people seldom experience.
It’s unnerving, to say the least.
I continue into the mine, snapping pictures of the workings and the geology. If there’s some miner’s graffiti, I might be able to get an idea when the last worker was in there.
There’s an impressive example of shoring timbers. Cut lapped-end wood eventually yields to rough-cut tree sections. Cheaper, but more unstable. Treated lumber will last and you can be assured of soundness. A rotten core hidden in a tree trunk can ruin your whole weekend.
Roof bolts are rusted and falling out of some of their holes. Not a good sign. These are drilled and set into the roof to keep it in place. Rust and missing bolts foretell an eventual collapse. But not when…
Past ore chutes, past raises, and down the main tunnel. There are some side rooms that are blocked by stacked “waste rock”, a process called ‘gobbing’. No entrance there. I continue apace.
The mine follows an ore vein. Most of it has been removed, hence the mine. But there are chilled margins and other geological evidence of the genesis of the worked ore deposits.
There’s mining debris everywhere. Old ventilator tubing, wires, cables, old empty boxes of dynamite, broken tools, twisted rails for ore carts. Old, rusty empty cans of beans, coffee, and tobacco. This is an old mine, one that hasn’t seen humans for decades, it’s that undisturbed.
As far as animals go, there are abandoned pack-rat nests and their midden piles. Piles of bat guano, but no sign of any living bats. Around a winze, there’s the skeleton of what appears to be a raccoon or possum. It’s eerie. Dead quiet except for the distant sound of dripping water, little air movement this far in, and absolute, deathlike deserted darkness.
I report in again to Eva on my findings. She tells me that I’m approaching the dead-end of the mine soon. I look at my hip chain and note I’m in some 1100 meters. The maps note that the mine was only some near 1000 meters in length. Well, so much for the accuracy of old maps.
I reach the terminus of the mine, the final work face. There are old handheld chisels, a broken pickaxe, and loads of human debris. No sign of any living creatures, I report. We all know what that means.
I break my hip chain line and retrace my steps. There are a few places with probable false floors, and some water-filled sink pits that I didn’t see the first time. I take it slow going out of the mine. Here is where accidents usually happen. Almost home and back in the sun.
Nope, not until you step out of that adit.
I’m out and report to Eva. No bats. I’m going to close this mine once and for all. It’ll no longer be an attraction nor a potential death trap.
I shed many pieces of gear, keeping only what I need to venture back into the mine to place my charges. I’ll be staying in the light, but still, Ineed a good flashlight.
Now, how to accomplish what we need? Primacord? Of course. Binary explosives? No, not yet. I still need to see what this particular batch of stuff will do. C-4? Nah. Guess it’s good, old dynamite. I figure about 8 sticks should suffice.
I help Eva strike her camp and pull her stuff back to the truck. No need for cement or aluminum bars, this place is closing for business, forever.
Eva asks if she can do anything as I’m priming the charges on the tailgate of my truck.
“Yep”, I say, “Hands in pockets. Watch and learn.”
She does so. I wire up eight sticks of 60% Extra Fast, jack in the blasting caps, and make a show of tying off the charges. I take a spool of Primacord with me and go back into the mine, but just a bit.
I use the old ventilator-handling roof bolts to hang the dynamite. I tuck them in tight and tie each in with Primacord. As they say, the last will be first, followed some milliseconds later by those closer to the adit. The penultimate one will be 20 feet back of the portal to contain any errant flying pieces of country rock.
It takes me about 5 minutes to set the charges. I’m thinking I might use a safety fuse to detonate the charges or do it electrically.
Yep, Captain America it is.
I tell Eva to stand here and wait while I move my truck. She’s holding the Primacord pre-initiator for the first time. She doesn’t look happy.
I tell her it’s safe as houses. It wouldn’t go off without the proper actuator.
She doesn’t look too relieved.
I drive about 100 meters away, around the side of the mine, well out of the way of any errant flying rocks. I walk back to the portal with the detonator and two pairs of blaster’s earmuffs.
I find a good spot to hunker down behind about 50 meters from the mine. I tell Eva that we’ll blast from there.
“That close?” she asks.
“Yep.” I reply, “Don’t worry. We’re out of the line of fire.”
I hand her the earmuffs and tell her to go get comfy behind that pile of rock, but look for snakes and scorpions first. She’s not amused until she sees I’m serious.
I set the blasting actuator boosters and begin to run the demolition wire back to our hidey-hole.
I explain the pre-blast procedures of clearing the compass, tootling with vigor, and FIRE IN THE HOLE. She nods and hangs on to her ear protectors, already covering her ears.
Compass cleared, I tootle the air horn. Look around. No one and nothing breathing around here but us two.
“FIRE IN THE HOLE!” x3.
I look at Eva, smile, and mime: “Showtime!” and mash the big, red shiny button.
To be continued...
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]


2019.12.15 15:26 STLhistoryBuff Weekly Events Thread 12/16/19 - 12/22/19

Please, feel free to add any events below! Check out the Events Calendar and Visitor's Guide for more info!

Looking to meet up with people? Check out Meetup St. Louis.



Sporting Events This Week
Recurring Outdoor Activities
Recurring Events on the Mississippi River
Comedy This Week
Live Music This Week
submitted by STLhistoryBuff to StLouis [link] [comments]


2019.10.17 21:22 jay_noel87 Paranormal Sites in the USA List

Thought it might be helpful to have a list in one place of well-known (or little-known) sites, parks, woods, roads, etc. throughout the USA that are paranormal hot-spots, or that you (or someone you know) have experienced paranormal activity in.
Just so everyone can be aware to avoid.. or explore :)
I'll start with some of the more well-known spots in each state:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC

Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York

North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
submitted by jay_noel87 to Paranormal [link] [comments]


2019.10.01 18:47 LordIlthari Paladins: Order Undivided Chapter 107: Dawn of the Final Day

I am the Bard, who is under a mighty doom, that I would bear witness to the ends of ages, and record them that those who come after shall not forget.
The blow fell upon San Jonas, not utterly without warning, but with such ferocity and swiftness not even the paladins could have anticipated it.
Following the death of the black lion who viewed Yeenoghu, Julian had withdrawn all use of divination to view the army. The risk of loosing a powerful mage was simply too great. Instead, he sent forth his scouts. They spread out far, operating using familiars to communicate with each other and San Jonas.
Then, on the thirty-first day of the tenth month, every single scout went silent, their familiars vanishing. One after another, within hours they vanished, screaming in pain and terror.
The enemy was here, and moving faster than any thought possible. Swiftly the outer city was evacuated into the inner city, and the outer city prepared with layers of defense. Nearly the entire Ordanic Army, forty thousand soldiers, manned the walls and filled the empty streets, though the dwarves and their artillery were yet to arrive. They would bleed the enemy badly, but would it be enough?
The night was sleepless for many. Families clung closely to one another. Comrades slept in turns, watching each other’s backs. A sickening fear held over the whole city, the whole nation.
The moon waxed crescent, and was turned the color of blood, so too had the hungry stars. All the living things in the wild had fled or fallen silent.
In the citadel at the center of the city, the paladins, like all the other families, huddled together. A fire had been lit and each one tended it in their turn. Kazador had arrived just a few hours before sunrise, and so all seven were assembled.
Kazador held Senket close, the abbess resting her horned head on his chest, his arms held tightly around her.
Yndri counted her arrows, then counted them again, and again, and again nearby to them. Her head would snap every few seconds towards the window, looking out towards the north. She stayed close by to Kaz and Senket, huddling near as if to ward off the cold.
Faron sat by the mantle, back resting against the side of the fireplace, looking towards the door. His son stood guard over him, both holding their swords tightly.
Julian sat in the center, staring into the fire and keeping it burning all through the night.
Peregrin was the only one to sleep, bundled under heavy blankets in a favorite rocking chairs. Despite the grim mood, the halfling remained implacable, and dreamed gentle dreams. His snores were the only sound in that room, and his peace brought a measure of comfort to the room.
Jort kept watch over the sleeping halfling, in the same way that Anglezar kept watch over his father. He affectionately moved the blankets back over when the soft rocking of the chair disturbed them.
None spoke, for there are none needed between family as they come together to ride out a cold and dark night.
The flame kept burning until the red rays of dawn came creeping over the hills.
For the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The dawn of the last day was one of blood, streaked through with black clouds. The sun’s light was dimmed, like the light of an old and dying star. The shadows were long and hungry, and the red did not diminish as the dawn passed into day.
They felt it before they heard it. The ground shook, and the whole city rumbled. The trees were shaken and their leaves fell like in autumn. The blood quickened, pupils dilated. Men began to drool and foam at the mouth, like one who sees a feast before them.
Perhaps the initial wave of madness would have been enough to overwhelm the men of the Ordanic Union, but the seven were not the only paladins in the city. Seven orders, the students and followers of the paladins stood within the city. Over two thousand holy warriors, the largest gathering of their kind in history, stood as one, granting their strength to the ordinary troops.
This was the city of paladins, and it would not fall so easily.
The wind blew down from the north, and they smelled it before they heard it. A rank and retching wrongness, the smell of a world turned to a charnel house. It was the stench of a great wound, a chaos of chaos, infected and swarming with maggots. The men retched and vomited, but the scent only reinforced their resolve.
This was a taste of the world these monsters would make, what would become of their loved ones, of their city, of the entire world if they were not stopped here. They gritted their teeth, and braced.
They heard it before they saw them. A howling, baying, gnashing, snarling wave of savage noise. It was like an ocean of butchery and barbarity. Flowing and rolling and writhing like undulating flesh and water around a swarm of feasting piranhas.
The men of order answered, with one voice, one tongue, one tribe, one nation. Elves and dwarves, men and hobgoblins, halflings, goblins, kobolds, Tieflings, half-orcs, and a dozen other races. They spoke as one, they were one.
[ORDO VULT! ORDO UT INVICTA!]( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP8G-LwWNn0
Then they saw it. The army came, a quarter of a million gnolls and demons came screaming out of the north, a tide of flesh and ectoplasm able to bring the world to its knees.
But the Ordanic Union did not kneel!
Guns roared, crossbows rattled, elven longbows sang. As the spotted tide came on, the demons driving the gnolls before them, they found only death. Forests of arrows and bolts, and a mountain of shot met them. Thousands died in those first moments, and the land before and around the city was stained as red as the sun.
Still they came on, and still the men of order fired, over and over again, faster than they had ever done before. A madness had come upon them, and as the demons slavered and the gnolls howled all around them, they screamed their battlecry, their oath, their hope and their will so that the heavens would hear them and be amazed.
”ORDER VULT! ORDO UT INVICTA!”
Even as the deadly rain fell upon them, even as ballista and cannons from wall mounted towers tore canyons through their formations, the army of chaos came on. They met the northern wall first and spread all around it until the entire city was encircled, and still they kept coming.
They came over the hills in such numbers that they outnumbered the trees. They trampled over one another in their haste to the slaughter. They were like sand on the beach, and more numerous than the stars in heaven.
And that was only the chaff, the gnolls and the dretches. Greater and more terrible demons were there in their hundreds. The skies were filled with vrocks and chasmes, like a great buzzing, cawing cloud of corruption.
The noise was deafening. Even those hidden away in the catacombs and sewers heard the roar of an incredible battle and covered their ears.
Glabrezu walked the formation like captains, and worse things yet were waiting in reserves. Kazador could feel it in his soul, an ancestral dread that he could name.
A Balrog was upon this battlefield.
The assaulting forces had no siege equipment, for the forces of chaos neither build nor craft. Instead, the forces which reached the walls brought with them maw demons, which were thrown at the walls. The demons bit chunks out of the walls to form handholds, and even began to try and chew through the walls.
The later strategy would be ineffective, as the walls were thick and well built, so that even a demon could not get a good tooth-grip on it. Still, the gnolls began to use the handholds to climb the walls.
The men on the walls fired down through the matriculations, but they could not fire fast enough. Though hundreds more perished, the gnolls reached the tops of the walls.
The guns and crossbows on the walls began to falter in their roars, as their users were forced into melee. The smoke from the guns covered the whole of the walls, tinted crimson by the blighted sun. The shadows of men and beasts fought with the utmost savagery, until blood fell in waterfalls from both sides of the wall.
Inside that deadly smog, it was a scene from hell. Steel and faith strived against fang and maw, neither side retreating, neither side showing mercy. Swords flashed, soldiers fighting back to back against overwhelming numbers.
The bodies began to pile higher than the crenellations.
When a sword became lodged in an enemy, the riflemen set to work with the buts of their guns. One man went down under a gnoll, and his brother fired into his gunpowder satchel. Masonry and bits of man and gnoll rained down.
Another, bereft of all weapons, threw himself upon a gnoll with his bare hands. Even as the beast tore and rent him with its fangs, he broke its neck, before being cast off the wall moments later.
Yet another man was swarmed by maw demons and flung himself off the wall into the ravening horde. He drew forth a vial of alchemist’s fire and broke it as he landed, burning himself and the demons to death.
Yet another found himself atop a pile of bodies holding nothing but a shovel. He drove it into another beast before both toppled off the wall and were torn to pieces.
In one of the towers the crew was granted a moment’s reprieve. The guards defending them had slain so many that the bodies blocked the doorways. They continued to fire, over and over, until a gnoll leapt out of the smoke and onto the summit of the tower.
With his mighty flail, he cast the pair aside. One fell all the way down to the mob, and the other remained on the edge of the tower, half his ribs torn out of his body. The gnoll leapt to feast upon him, but he took up his sidearm and blasted its jaws from its body.
Mortally wounded, he staggered to his feet, and fired the ballista. He staggered to the ammunition pile and with tremendous effort lifted one of the bolts. He placed it next to the ballista and began to crank the release, when his legs failed him and he fell dead upon it.
Despite the valiant efforts of the men on the walls, they were hopelessly outnumbered, and the walls fell. They were too high for the beasts to leap down into the city, and so they came down through the towers.
But the walls were only the first line of defenses. Once down through the towers, the gnolls found themselves surrounded on three sides. At the base of every tower, a killbox awaited to slaughter the enemy coming through those chokepoints.
Only if they were able to breach the gates would the forces be able to stream into the city, but that was not a task the chaff were able to accomplish. The gatehouses could only be accessed from within the city, and each one was filled with a unit of black lions and paladins.
As for the gates themselves, they were personally forged and designed by King Kazador, and nothing short of a titan could breach them.
It was a bloodier day than any other in history. In minutes, tens of thousands were dead. Within the university tower, every mage available toiled relentlessly in a ritual to control and contain the energies unleashed. So near to a thin place, the walls between the world and the Shadowfell would have completely collapsed if not for these preparations.
But the energy of so much death continued to build and build, beyond the realms of containment by mortal or even a god.
So Maria did not contain it any longer. She ascended to the pinnacle of the university tower, and began to direct the energy.
Magic such has not been seen in a thousand years, more terrible than any I have ever seen was cut lose. Orbs of death energy, like black suns, swirled into being above the formations. Gnolls and demons alike were pulled in and turned to dust.
Black vines erupted and stormed in all directions from the city walls, strangling and devouring. Gnolls fell where they stood, blood turned to stone.
The Blight had returned to the Northern Garden, and it feasted like never before.
Maria herself was not immune to this though. As she channeled such terrible power, her flesh withered, her skin melted. She still stood and channeled, but her heart was gone, turned to dust. Now a skeletal magi stood atop the cathedral, an undead thing and vessel for anti-life.
But that problem would have to be solved after the demon invasion, for a titan had indeed come to the northernmost gate.
It was taller than a building, possessed of sturdy bulk and moving with unnatural swiftness on crushing hooves. Horns were upon its head, and its pelt was spotted and mangy. Their kind is called Goristo, and they are the most physically mighty of all demons.
It struck the gates with the force of a freight train, and it was not enough to break them. They bent, but did not buckle.
The stone it was built into on the other hand, shattered. The gate went flying and the demon was in the city. A unit of halberdiers was ready and waiting, but it threw them aside like a child tosses blocks. The black lions and the paladins poured into the gap to stem the tide, forming a thin line.
Then the remaining mages unleashed their fury into the gate. With demons and gnolls swarming through, they blasted aside dozens upon dozens, allowing the lions and the paladins to hold the line.
If the goristo had turned and rear-charged the line, it would have broken. However, demons are cruel and base creatures, and goristos particularly stupid ones. It continued its headlong charge towards the mages, even as a figure on a great boar rushed forwards to meet it.
Kazador and the Goristo met head on, axes against horns, and the shockwave shattered every piece of glass within a dozen meters. Both went flying back, the demon struggling to its feet and Kaz slamming an axe into the pavement to steady himself.
It prepared to charge again, when a lance came flying towards it and lodged in its shoulder. It howled in utter agony as Anathema burned its very essence. In a flash of brimstone, Julian teleported to his thrown spear. He tore it free from the beast’s shoulder and cut it across the face as he leapt back.
The behemoth lost an eye to the unholy avenger and reached out to crush the Aasimar, only for two arrows to slam into it like cannonballs. Yndri drew another to her bow as Julian retreated to stand besides Kazador.
Senket rode up on the other side, shield and mace ready. Faron and Anglezar watched the flanks, and Jort vanished into a side alley.
”ORDER ON ME!” Kazador roared, and the paladins entered the fray.
submitted by LordIlthari to DnDGreentext [link] [comments]


2019.10.01 18:47 LordIlthari Paladins: Order Undivided Chapter 107: Dawn of the Final Day

I am the Bard, who is under a mighty doom, that I would bear witness to the ends of ages, and record them that those who come after shall not forget.
The blow fell upon San Jonas, not utterly without warning, but with such ferocity and swiftness not even the paladins could have anticipated it.
Following the death of the black lion who viewed Yeenoghu, Julian had withdrawn all use of divination to view the army. The risk of loosing a powerful mage was simply too great. Instead, he sent forth his scouts. They spread out far, operating using familiars to communicate with each other and San Jonas.
Then, on the thirty-first day of the tenth month, every single scout went silent, their familiars vanishing. One after another, within hours they vanished, screaming in pain and terror.
The enemy was here, and moving faster than any thought possible. Swiftly the outer city was evacuated into the inner city, and the outer city prepared with layers of defense. Nearly the entire Ordanic Army, forty thousand soldiers, manned the walls and filled the empty streets, though the dwarves and their artillery were yet to arrive. They would bleed the enemy badly, but would it be enough?
The night was sleepless for many. Families clung closely to one another. Comrades slept in turns, watching each other’s backs. A sickening fear held over the whole city, the whole nation.
The moon waxed crescent, and was turned the color of blood, so too had the hungry stars. All the living things in the wild had fled or fallen silent.
In the citadel at the center of the city, the paladins, like all the other families, huddled together. A fire had been lit and each one tended it in their turn. Kazador had arrived just a few hours before sunrise, and so all seven were assembled.
Kazador held Senket close, the abbess resting her horned head on his chest, his arms held tightly around her.
Yndri counted her arrows, then counted them again, and again, and again nearby to them. Her head would snap every few seconds towards the window, looking out towards the north. She stayed close by to Kaz and Senket, huddling near as if to ward off the cold.
Faron sat by the mantle, back resting against the side of the fireplace, looking towards the door. His son stood guard over him, both holding their swords tightly.
Julian sat in the center, staring into the fire and keeping it burning all through the night.
Peregrin was the only one to sleep, bundled under heavy blankets in a favorite rocking chairs. Despite the grim mood, the halfling remained implacable, and dreamed gentle dreams. His snores were the only sound in that room, and his peace brought a measure of comfort to the room.
Jort kept watch over the sleeping halfling, in the same way that Anglezar kept watch over his father. He affectionately moved the blankets back over when the soft rocking of the chair disturbed them.
None spoke, for there are none needed between family as they come together to ride out a cold and dark night.
The flame kept burning until the red rays of dawn came creeping over the hills.
For the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The dawn of the last day was one of blood, streaked through with black clouds. The sun’s light was dimmed, like the light of an old and dying star. The shadows were long and hungry, and the red did not diminish as the dawn passed into day.
They felt it before they heard it. The ground shook, and the whole city rumbled. The trees were shaken and their leaves fell like in autumn. The blood quickened, pupils dilated. Men began to drool and foam at the mouth, like one who sees a feast before them.
Perhaps the initial wave of madness would have been enough to overwhelm the men of the Ordanic Union, but the seven were not the only paladins in the city. Seven orders, the students and followers of the paladins stood within the city. Over two thousand holy warriors, the largest gathering of their kind in history, stood as one, granting their strength to the ordinary troops.
This was the city of paladins, and it would not fall so easily.
The wind blew down from the north, and they smelled it before they heard it. A rank and retching wrongness, the smell of a world turned to a charnel house. It was the stench of a great wound, a chaos of chaos, infected and swarming with maggots. The men retched and vomited, but the scent only reinforced their resolve.
This was a taste of the world these monsters would make, what would become of their loved ones, of their city, of the entire world if they were not stopped here. They gritted their teeth, and braced.
They heard it before they saw them. A howling, baying, gnashing, snarling wave of savage noise. It was like an ocean of butchery and barbarity. Flowing and rolling and writhing like undulating flesh and water around a swarm of feasting piranhas.
The men of order answered, with one voice, one tongue, one tribe, one nation. Elves and dwarves, men and hobgoblins, halflings, goblins, kobolds, Tieflings, half-orcs, and a dozen other races. They spoke as one, they were one.
[ORDO VULT! ORDO UT INVICTA!]( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP8G-LwWNn0
Then they saw it. The army came, a quarter of a million gnolls and demons came screaming out of the north, a tide of flesh and ectoplasm able to bring the world to its knees.
But the Ordanic Union did not kneel!
Guns roared, crossbows rattled, elven longbows sang. As the spotted tide came on, the demons driving the gnolls before them, they found only death. Forests of arrows and bolts, and a mountain of shot met them. Thousands died in those first moments, and the land before and around the city was stained as red as the sun.
Still they came on, and still the men of order fired, over and over again, faster than they had ever done before. A madness had come upon them, and as the demons slavered and the gnolls howled all around them, they screamed their battlecry, their oath, their hope and their will so that the heavens would hear them and be amazed.
”ORDER VULT! ORDO UT INVICTA!”
Even as the deadly rain fell upon them, even as ballista and cannons from wall mounted towers tore canyons through their formations, the army of chaos came on. They met the northern wall first and spread all around it until the entire city was encircled, and still they kept coming.
They came over the hills in such numbers that they outnumbered the trees. They trampled over one another in their haste to the slaughter. They were like sand on the beach, and more numerous than the stars in heaven.
And that was only the chaff, the gnolls and the dretches. Greater and more terrible demons were there in their hundreds. The skies were filled with vrocks and chasmes, like a great buzzing, cawing cloud of corruption.
The noise was deafening. Even those hidden away in the catacombs and sewers heard the roar of an incredible battle and covered their ears.
Glabrezu walked the formation like captains, and worse things yet were waiting in reserves. Kazador could feel it in his soul, an ancestral dread that he could name.
A Balrog was upon this battlefield.
The assaulting forces had no siege equipment, for the forces of chaos neither build nor craft. Instead, the forces which reached the walls brought with them maw demons, which were thrown at the walls. The demons bit chunks out of the walls to form handholds, and even began to try and chew through the walls.
The later strategy would be ineffective, as the walls were thick and well built, so that even a demon could not get a good tooth-grip on it. Still, the gnolls began to use the handholds to climb the walls.
The men on the walls fired down through the matriculations, but they could not fire fast enough. Though hundreds more perished, the gnolls reached the tops of the walls.
The guns and crossbows on the walls began to falter in their roars, as their users were forced into melee. The smoke from the guns covered the whole of the walls, tinted crimson by the blighted sun. The shadows of men and beasts fought with the utmost savagery, until blood fell in waterfalls from both sides of the wall.
Inside that deadly smog, it was a scene from hell. Steel and faith strived against fang and maw, neither side retreating, neither side showing mercy. Swords flashed, soldiers fighting back to back against overwhelming numbers.
The bodies began to pile higher than the crenellations.
When a sword became lodged in an enemy, the riflemen set to work with the buts of their guns. One man went down under a gnoll, and his brother fired into his gunpowder satchel. Masonry and bits of man and gnoll rained down.
Another, bereft of all weapons, threw himself upon a gnoll with his bare hands. Even as the beast tore and rent him with its fangs, he broke its neck, before being cast off the wall moments later.
Yet another man was swarmed by maw demons and flung himself off the wall into the ravening horde. He drew forth a vial of alchemist’s fire and broke it as he landed, burning himself and the demons to death.
Yet another found himself atop a pile of bodies holding nothing but a shovel. He drove it into another beast before both toppled off the wall and were torn to pieces.
In one of the towers the crew was granted a moment’s reprieve. The guards defending them had slain so many that the bodies blocked the doorways. They continued to fire, over and over, until a gnoll leapt out of the smoke and onto the summit of the tower.
With his mighty flail, he cast the pair aside. One fell all the way down to the mob, and the other remained on the edge of the tower, half his ribs torn out of his body. The gnoll leapt to feast upon him, but he took up his sidearm and blasted its jaws from its body.
Mortally wounded, he staggered to his feet, and fired the ballista. He staggered to the ammunition pile and with tremendous effort lifted one of the bolts. He placed it next to the ballista and began to crank the release, when his legs failed him and he fell dead upon it.
Despite the valiant efforts of the men on the walls, they were hopelessly outnumbered, and the walls fell. They were too high for the beasts to leap down into the city, and so they came down through the towers.
But the walls were only the first line of defenses. Once down through the towers, the gnolls found themselves surrounded on three sides. At the base of every tower, a killbox awaited to slaughter the enemy coming through those chokepoints.
Only if they were able to breach the gates would the forces be able to stream into the city, but that was not a task the chaff were able to accomplish. The gatehouses could only be accessed from within the city, and each one was filled with a unit of black lions and paladins.
As for the gates themselves, they were personally forged and designed by King Kazador, and nothing short of a titan could breach them.
It was a bloodier day than any other in history. In minutes, tens of thousands were dead. Within the university tower, every mage available toiled relentlessly in a ritual to control and contain the energies unleashed. So near to a thin place, the walls between the world and the Shadowfell would have completely collapsed if not for these preparations.
But the energy of so much death continued to build and build, beyond the realms of containment by mortal or even a god.
So Maria did not contain it any longer. She ascended to the pinnacle of the university tower, and began to direct the energy.
Magic such has not been seen in a thousand years, more terrible than any I have ever seen was cut lose. Orbs of death energy, like black suns, swirled into being above the formations. Gnolls and demons alike were pulled in and turned to dust.
Black vines erupted and stormed in all directions from the city walls, strangling and devouring. Gnolls fell where they stood, blood turned to stone.
The Blight had returned to the Northern Garden, and it feasted like never before.
Maria herself was not immune to this though. As she channeled such terrible power, her flesh withered, her skin melted. She still stood and channeled, but her heart was gone, turned to dust. Now a skeletal magi stood atop the cathedral, an undead thing and vessel for anti-life.
But that problem would have to be solved after the demon invasion, for a titan had indeed come to the northernmost gate.
It was taller than a building, possessed of sturdy bulk and moving with unnatural swiftness on crushing hooves. Horns were upon its head, and its pelt was spotted and mangy. Their kind is called Goristo, and they are the most physically mighty of all demons.
It struck the gates with the force of a freight train, and it was not enough to break them. They bent, but did not buckle.
The stone it was built into on the other hand, shattered. The gate went flying and the demon was in the city. A unit of halberdiers was ready and waiting, but it threw them aside like a child tosses blocks. The black lions and the paladins poured into the gap to stem the tide, forming a thin line.
Then the remaining mages unleashed their fury into the gate. With demons and gnolls swarming through, they blasted aside dozens upon dozens, allowing the lions and the paladins to hold the line.
If the goristo had turned and rear-charged the line, it would have broken. However, demons are cruel and base creatures, and goristos particularly stupid ones. It continued its headlong charge towards the mages, even as a figure on a great boar rushed forwards to meet it.
Kazador and the Goristo met head on, axes against horns, and the shockwave shattered every piece of glass within a dozen meters. Both went flying back, the demon struggling to its feet and Kaz slamming an axe into the pavement to steady himself.
It prepared to charge again, when a lance came flying towards it and lodged in its shoulder. It howled in utter agony as Anathema burned its very essence. In a flash of brimstone, Julian teleported to his thrown spear. He tore it free from the beast’s shoulder and cut it across the face as he leapt back.
The behemoth lost an eye to the unholy avenger and reached out to crush the Aasimar, only for two arrows to slam into it like cannonballs. Yndri drew another to her bow as Julian retreated to stand besides Kazador.
Senket rode up on the other side, shield and mace ready. Faron and Anglezar watched the flanks, and Jort vanished into a side alley.
”ORDER ON ME!” Kazador roared, and the paladins entered the fray.
submitted by LordIlthari to The_Ilthari_Library [link] [comments]


2019.08.10 14:59 Rocknocker Central Asia antics.

That reminds me of a story.
I was pounding away on the keyboard very recently when my wife came up to my third-floor office, ostensibly looking for her morning cup of coffee.
Oh, sure, we have a De'Longhi Maestosa Coffee gizmo downstairs; but it’s kind of slow, noisy, only makes one cup at a time and is just plain fiddly. We reserve using that thing mostly for when we have company.
For Irish Coffees.
However, adjacent to my office is my homemade, bespoke java-engine.
It is powered by a 454 cubic-inch, 1,200 bhp, blocked & blueprinted, stroked & bored, nitrous-charged Chevy Big Block V-8. It boasts Jahn’s Racing Pistons, Banks Twin-Turbocharger, Edelbrock E-Force Supercharger, Lyndon Poskitt Racing high-lift-and-duration cam, Offenhauser manifolds, dual Holley 4-barrel double-pumper carburetors, Hooker headers, and Denso Iridium Racing Spark Plugs.
Once fired up, it can flash boil 4.7 liters of water in 72.1 milliseconds, and roast 100 grams of Ethiopian Harrar to perfection before the water is fully boiled. It will smash-flash that steam through the grounds at over 5000 kips at speeds approaching Mach 4.
I no longer go to full-afterburner, so now it doesn’t contravene any Geneva Noise Conventions.
It will have a perfectly brewed, filtered and decanted cup of coffee sitting on the delivery board before one can walk around the hydroxygen fuel cells on the floor.
My wife loves my coffee but refuses to go anywhere near my coffee maker.
So, I get up to make my beloved her morning caffeine-delivery system, hence she has a sit-down and begins reading my latest legendary literature…the one about my colleague here in the Middle East who needed some yard work and my local youngster audience.
“Rock, Hon. Y’know…what you’re writing here reminds me of a story…”
Guess it runs in the family.
“Oh, yes dear? How so?”
“Remember way back when? We were in Central Asia, in Northeastern Wherethefuckistan?”
“Ummm...Yes?”
“You took on that exploration job and were press-ganged into doing QA/QC on those long reconnaissance seismic lines. Up in the Tien Shan Mountains? Remember the fun you had with that horse? And the leftover KGB? And those dams…?”
“Actually, I have been trying to forget.”
“Why it’s just like the story you’re writing (how’s that for meta?) except the kids were a whole lot older, and more officious…”
“Ah. Now I see at what you’re driving. Here’s your coffee. Be a dear and grab an Opus X out of Humidor #5 for me, I have a story to write…Thank you, m’dear…”
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of Central Asia lies a small unregarded dusty-yellow country.
This was the time of global upheaval, where former superpowers, overnight, fragmented like a frenzied meth-addled amoeba into numerous distinct, disparate, and desperate countries.
The great global power that was once the Soviet Union more or less overnight transmogrified into the Former Soviet Union. What was once a huge agglomeration of distinct regions and republics had disintegrated into Mother Russia and her 14 newly independent, often squabbling, offspring nations.
Somehow, I ended up as one of the first groups of Western industrial scientists allowed into a certain Central Asian country. We were to do the initial exploration of said country and see if there were any resources there that us nasty ol’ Capitalists might find interesting.
This was True-Blue, first-of-its-kind, rank wildcat exploration of a country known for…
Well.
Not much of anything, actually; other than rampant xenophobia, seclusion and being as tightlipped as an Aldebaran shell-mouth.
My new temporary home during this 5 or 6-month project is a landlocked country. It is farther from the sea than any other country, and all its rivers flow into closed drainage systems which do not reach the sea. The mountainous regions cover over 80% of the country with the remainder made up of valleys and basins. It is dry and hot in the summer and dry and cold in the winter. It is not a terrane that will suffer fools lightly.
So what the fuck am I doing here?
Fate twisted off and I found myself in the employ of a large international company that undertakes commissioned quests. More specifically, they whore themselves out to the global oil & gas, minerals, hydropower, and timber companies doing initial reconnaissance.
They are basically cataloging interesting looking areas that are marked for later, more in-depth, look-sees.
I was chosen to head up the oil and gas section of the exploration endeavors.
I had already spent months before scouring various libraries for geological data. I also spent a not insignificant sum of the company’s money having those documents translated.
There are few outcrops of interesting looking rocks accessible during our short sojourn. I’ll do preliminary remote sensing and photogrammetry and map what I can once I get boots on the ground.
Which meant geophysics. More specifically, it means acquiring long (120-150 km) 2-D (as opposed to 3-D or 4-D…really) seismic lines.
Since the terrain here is ruggedly mountainous, forget Vibroseis (large truck mounted seismic-signal generators), this is a job for the ol’ ‘punch-n-pop’. That is, using relatively small, portable drilling rigs for shallow shot holes (30-40m depth) and a whole lot of entertaining energetic explosives.
Except for the fact that the newly christened government will not allow the import of explosives on, in, or over their lands.
Is nothing ever easy?
Whereupon, I gain an audience with the country’s titular leader (pro tem) and explain to him, in no uncertain terms, that without our specially-designed geophysical explosives, we are going to be unable to explore their country. If we can’t explore your country, no one will ever know if there are oil and mineral riches hiding within your country’s borders and your country will return to the sleep of the ages. Forlorn, forgotten and fuckered.
“No, no, no. I will not allow Western Imperialists (he actually said that…guess old habits die hard) to import or transport potential weapons across our sovereign boundaries.”
Whoa. These characters learn their rhetoric quickly.
“Sorry, sir. Without our tools, we are unable to perform our tasks. If that’s your final answer, I tip my hard hat to you and bid you Da Svidonya. There are myriad other countries waiting on my sort of specialized services.”
“Now…Now, wait. Let’s be reasonable.”
“I’m nothing if not reasonable, Sir.”
“We have a rather large stockpile of diverse explosives leftover from our relationship with the Soviet Union. Perhaps you could investigate and see if any might prove efficacious?”
“Only if I have free reign over the disbursement, handling and implementing of these explosives. That is, if any of them could possibly be utilized in place of our highly specialized geophysical explosives.”
“Oh, most certainly. I will have the proper documents created and assign several handlers to assist you in your tasks.”
“Several handlers” = Code for: “Several Ex-KGB Agents assigned to keep an eye on me and my crews”.
“Sir, that would be acceptable. But I must insist that I have the final say in the how, what, and where of these explosives; that is if I find them applicable. I cannot and will not tolerate interference, intrusion or intervention just because some ‘handler’ doesn’t understand what I’m doing and gets all nervy. Nor do I have the time nor inclination to train them. You are, Sir, simply going to have to trust me, my dedication to duty, and my professionalism. Either that, or we shake hands, and I button-up my crews and go elsewhere. Please note, Sir, this is not a threat, nor is intended to be; it is a promise. Do we have a clear understanding?”
He walks over to his desk, retrieves two tall glasses and a bottle of locally distilled fuming high-octane ethanol.
“As clear as vodka, Doctor.”
Obviously, my reputation precedes me.
I reluctantly returned back to our hastily-cobbled together and altogether austere office and inform my colleagues of the afternoon’s events.
They are not happy.
Besides all the technicians, computer types, and data gurus; I have several assistant shot handlers, shot hole drillers, a couple of sand hogs (those who backfill loaded and primed shot-holes), and HSE characters who express their immense discontentment of having to work with that “Old Soviet-era shit”.
“That shit is unstable.”
“That shit is dangerous.”
“That shit is not been checked for exact mixture.” (“Oh, it will be…”)
OK, enough of that shit.
A judicious application of the ol’ “double-double” pay suddenly makes all those qualms and fears disappear.
One less speedbump with which to deal.
I wander off to my office to pound my head against the wall (it feels so good when it stops hurting), fire up a calming cigar and swig a toddy or seven. A few hours later an official governmental messenger arrives with a package for me.
“For me? And I didn’t get you anything…” Although he did accept a snort of Rye and a couple of my cigars.
I open the package to find a map to the armory, several official-looking, complete with wax-seal, documents, and a set of keys.
The map was freshly drawn and conveniently left out several local landmarks, having been drafted in the old Soviet-style. Still, it was enough for me and my team to find the armory.
The documents, signed by the president himself, sealed with his official chop, granted me carte blanche in the investigation, disbursement, and use of any and all explosives and devices found in said armory.
Yeah.
The set of keys were those that opened the Disneyesque-Toyland of the armory itself.
They have virtually just entrusted Dracula with the keys to the Blood Bank.
First things first, we had to check the provided inventory against what actually was housed in the armory. I had to account for all these goodies one way or another and didn’t want any developing feet or wings and ending up doing something other than what I wanted them where I intended it to happen.
But first, I call in my staff for a celebratory series of toasts and cigars.
A few hours later, we are milling around a Raider’s-style end-of-the-movie warehouse. It is wall-to-wall, tree-top tall, with virtually every type of high, medium, and low explosive available at the time:
Dynamite. Nitroglycerine. ANFO. RDX. PETN.
C4. C5. C6…
Powder explosives. Fuel-air-gas explosives. Emulsion explosives. Permitted explosives.
Binary liquids. Gelatinous explosives. Ternary explosives.
Black powder. Gun powder. Guncotton. Nitrocellulose.
Detonating cord. Prima Cord. Shock cord. Kent McCord.
Blasting caps. Delay caps. Booster caps. Gimme caps.
High explosives – raw materials (DIY boom-booms).
I was like a kid in a candy store. It was Christmas in April.
“Well, Doc, think you can make any of this garbage work?” asks one of my drillers.
Doc?”
DOC!?!?
“Oh, sorry. Miles away... Yeah, I do think we can make some of this serve our purposes.”
“I thought as much…”
Back at the office, I take our inventory and begin figuring out how much of what we’re going to need. How much that will all weigh, and how we’ll be able to transport the stuff to where it needs to go.
Logistics.
The bane of all planners.
I fucking hate logistics.
I figure we can make do with about 10 Russian Ural-4320 6-WD trucks. Half will be for transporting crew, and the other half will carry the ordinance while towing our portable drilling rigs and other implements of destruction.
Then there's food, beer, fuel, beer, water, booze, lodging, medical, cigars, toilet paper (never forget the necessities), transport of assorted single-use materials…the lists went on and on.
However, we are located and working in a not-so-well-to-do brand-new country. Procuring some of these articles is going to take some doing and may not be possible at all.
Helicopters for the transport of fuel bladders for the trucks and equipment was no problem; thank you Soviet Air Command and your rampant paranoia. In fact, I had reserved a small chopper for my own use as I needed to scout the scenery from the air first and then ground-verify our intentionally less-that-reliable maps.
I counseled with my section heads over what maps we had available. We devised a rather intensive 4-5 month season where we could shoot and record some 2,250 km of relatively deep-seated 2-D reconnaissance seismic.
The trucks were arranged, but transport in the field area was proving to be a real tough nut to crack. This country was 80% jagged, disorderly and jumbled mountains. Getting to the base camps wasn’t going to be that big of a deal, but going out from the camps (in some cases 100’s of kilometers) was going to require some form of reliable ground transportation. A type used to going ‘up’.
ATVs didn’t yet exist. Motorcycles were not really practical. The only ones available were large Russian touring-type bikes, not motocross or dirt bikes. Yet, I needed to literally be boots on the ground, so helicopters had but limited use here.
It was the Aide de President who came up with the answer. Or rather, an answer.
He would secure for us handlers, kit, trailers and horses.
Horses.
Horses?
Nyet. I don’t do horses. Because of that fact, the entire equine universe is most appreciative.
Helicopters? Sure. Tracked vehicles? No problem. Cars, trucks, and bulldozers? A dottle.
Horses?
No fucking way.
I found myself in a rather intense dialogue with the President’s Aide.
“I thank you for the suggestion. It will work fine for some of my section heads, but it’s not really a viable solution for me.”
“Why not?”
“Well, for one thing; I don’t ride. Never really saw a reason to learn. I kept to mechanical contrivances that respond better to a pipe-wrench upside the head than would a living, breathing animal.”
“Oh, that’s no problem. We can bring several mounts for you and several handlers. We’ll have you up and riding in no time.”
“Well, for another thing, I’d snap the back of your sturdy little local ponies on the first step. I mean, I’m not exactly a small person and I’d hate to injure any of your fine animals.”
“That’s no problem; barely an inconvenience. The President himself has a stable of several fine animals from around the world. Surely there is one there that would suit you.”
“Great. OK, one final objection. It takes time to learn to ride and I’m not about to go out into these mountainous boondocks green. That would be like starting a 100-mile hike with brand new boots. You have to break them in first…”
“Again, that’s not a problem. We have several world-class riding instructors. I will assign them to you for a week-long intensive training period. You are a clever person, Doctor, I’m certain you will be an able rider in that time…”
Damn. It would take at least 2 weeks to sort out all the logistics and begin to get the camp basics choppered out into the field. Fuck, there would be time for this to happen.
“OK, but the animal must be affable, saddle-broken, and large enough so that I would not cause it any damage. Those points are non-negotiable.”
“Worry not, Doctor. We have many riders in our country even larger than you…”
Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
Two days later, I’m standing in the Presidential Riding Stable. Sure enough, there’s rather the astonishing array of fine-looking horseflesh. That is, as far as I can tell, which isn’t very far.
There’s a couple of handlers going on in rapid-fire who-the-fuck-knows-what language as they look at me, snicker, rabbet-on some more, look at me again, chuckle, and skitter off to find some unfortunate animal for my riding pleasure.
A short while later, they return with this hugely massive, solid-black demon animal.
It was fucking enormous, with fuzzy fetlocks and an evil glint in its eyes.
His name was “Sahtan” and I’ll give you 7 seconds to figure out what that meant in the local lingo…
‘Sahtan the Black Horse’ was Belgian draft-cross or Brabançon. 17 hands tall, and approximately 900 or so kilograms (about one US ton). He was wide, sleek and entirely terrifying (but damned if I’d let him see that).
He had a really rather nicely ornate Western saddle and all his other leather accouterments made me wonder if he indulged in a little light equine S&M or B&D after pasture hours.
After a lot of bad noise, I began to become acquainted with my new mount. The handlers gave me all the traditional horsey-warnings about walking around the rear of the beast (pat the rump to let him know you’re back there), don’t make any quick movements toward their face or eyes (they might be ‘head-shy’), and the litany of don’t put any of your appendages where he might put his feet.
Finally, it was time. Time for me to mount up for the very first time.
Stone-cold sober. It was not a way I wanted to be looking forward to this event.
It really wasn’t that much of a chore. I actually made it into the saddle and found it to be quite spacious and comfortable. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad…
“HOLY FUCKING DOGBALLS!!!”
Sahtan moved.
Hey, I didn’t even touch the starter, wherever the hell that was.
Sahtan was not terribly appreciative of me sitting on his back and began to move about in a decidedly jerky and disconcerting manner. He tried to swing his massive head back to bite me as I patted him on the neck (as the handler’s suggested) and did a couple of ‘bunny hops’ to bounce my ass around in the suddenly uncomfortable saddle.
“That’s enough for today!” I bellowed as I de-horsed as quickly and gracelessly as I could.
This problem is going to require some research. Think, think, think…
After some intense council with some of my closest friends and confidantes, I went to the mess hall and requisitioned a carton each of carrots and apples.
If cleverness and guile wouldn’t work, certainly bribery should.
I went up to Sahtan’s stall where he roundly ignored me.
I hitched-up my Subsurface Manager voice and told the horse: “Listen up, here. You are my ride for the next four or five months. Nothing’s going to change that. You can either submit to this or you can find yourself next in line at the nearest glue-factory.”
Of course, that was an empty threat; but he didn’t know that. I had to take the upper hand and let this critter know whose boss around here.
All I got in return was a derisory snort.
“Look here, Scooter. We appear to have some sort of a lack of communication, so let me lay it out for you. I am the boss. You are my ride. You diggin’ me here, Beaumont?”
Snort.
OK, threats don’t seem to be working. How about a little bribery?
“Hey, horseface. Want a carrot?”
That got his attention and almost a couple of fingers from my right hand.
“Ah, now we’re talking.”
More carrots.
Now he seemed a little more interested.
“Look, Chuckles. You do right by me and I’ll keep you in carrots for the entire trip.”
The handler previously let me know he really loved apples.
I pull out a large red fruit and dangle it just out of reach…
“Now, we have an understanding?”
CHOMP. The apple disappears and I swear there’s this Oliver Twistian look from him:
“Please, Sir. May I have some more?”
“Yeah, I know you like apples and they’re tough to come by around these parts. Make nice, and you’ll be chewing on apples daily. Play real nice and maybe I’ll introduce you to that cute bay filly over in stall 22.”
God, I’m cheap. Now, I’m a horse pimp.
I left him with another apple (not too many now) and a bunch of carrots. We’ll see if I had any real impact with this beast.
The next day, it was the start of my intensive “learn to ride, you doofus” training. I showed up with wearing my riding duds and down vest where I had secreted a few apples and some carrots.
They trundle Sahtan out of his stall and he damn near gallops over me as he looks for all the world like he’s nuzzling a long-lost friend.
Horse apples. He was searching my pockets for treats. And horse carrots.
The week went by rather quickly and damn it if I didn’t really begin to enjoy my impromptu schooling. My bribery seemed to have worked and Sahtan took it easy on me (up to the point he decided to show me how he could gallop). My next few month’s expense accounts were going to reflect a sudden upsurge in expensive fresh vegetables and fruits.
That sorted, plans were made and implemented. Materials were being choppered out into the vast wilderness as the new camps were being built.
Crews were being deployed to areas where the forests were going to need to be pruned for our seismic vehicles and roads and bridges built (or rebuilt) for access of same.
Our first camp was only 60 km out of town so I had one of the local pilots take my chopper out and meet me there. I decided to get to really know Sahtan and ride him to base camp #1.
They were right. I really, really wouldn’t care to hike anywhere in this country. Everywhere you went was “up”. Sahtan proved to be incredibly sure-footed and only once tried to toss me when I made the mistake of giving him the heel while he was stopped for a whizz.
Hell, looking back, I’d have smacked someone for kicking me in the ribs whilst I tried to take a piss…
We made it unscathed to our first camp. Already there were tents erected, a makeshift helipad where 3 Soviet-era helicopters nestled, a new 3-seater privy, a mess tent, medical tent, storage bunkers for food and such, and several out-of-the-way lock-down bunkers for the ordinance. It looked like a really displaced MASH outfit.
There was a corral for our steeds, and a stockpile of steed-feed to keep them fueled.
They even had thoughtfully constructed an impromptu club where one could go, relax, unwind and sip a few of the region’s local high-octane delights. Or beer, if one was so inclined. Several spontaneous poker games broke out over the next few months in that tent.
Fleecing Ex-KGB agents proved to be a cottage industry.
But first to the job at hand.
I went out with the surveyors, confidently astride Sahtan. He didn’t grouse a single bit and didn’t even get grouchy when I slung my pack (containing only such items I deemed necessary for survival: flares and flare pistol, custom 10mm Makarov and extra magazines, Iridium satellite phone, Brunton International compass, field notebooks, jerky, first-aid kit, cigars, lighters, and my travel flasks) over his back.
He was proving to be a most affable boon companion. I actually began to enjoy his company.
Things, as is their wont, progressed. Lines were surveyed, marked and the cutting or building crews were released for the next line. Once access was attained, the 6-bys (trucks) dragged the portable drilling rigs out and shot-holes were commenced. Water supply continued to be a continuous bugaboo, so arrangements were made for a Sky Crane to be at our beck and call outfitted with an aerial bucket.
Stock tanks were dug, lined, and summarily filled with just a few scoops of these mammoth helicopters.
I had a grand time figuring out the RDX and AFNO equivalents to Seismogel (one came nicely packaged in threaded 1 meter units the others in buckets) and spent a good portion of field time out in the boonies “experimenting”. The first time, I parked Sahtan over 1,000 meters distant for my first shots. I had no idea how he’d react to explosions.
“Fire in the hole!” “Утка и крышка!” “Өзіңіздің есегіңізді қараңыз!”
BOOM goes a ½ kilo package of 1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetraazacyclooctane.
Sahtan didn’t as much as wiggle an ear.
Each time, I’d let Sahtan hang a bit closer until I convinced myself that he had no problem with short, sharp shocks.
Come to find out later, Mr. President used to take Sahtan hunting. If a shotgun fired over his head elicited no response, munching grass 350m from a small package of binary explosives wouldn’t even be noticed.
Every Friday, after the day’s activities, I’d light the drinking and smoking lamp. A bonfire would be constructed (it was chilly out in those mountains) and cigars and beer (among other potables) would be distributed.
About a month in, I heard Sahtan being loud and whickery one Friday evening. I wandered over with my beer mug to see if there was a problem. Seems to find out, Sahtan was peeved that I didn’t include him in our weekly revelries. I set my mug on top of a post that made up the corral and whistled for him to come over for his carrots and apples.
He slurped down my beer quicker than one could drop a handful of carrots and try to rescue their beer. I consulted with several horse handlers and they concluded that beer was fine for horses; in fact, it might actually provide a few needed vitamins and trace elements.
Every Friday from that point on, Sahtan and a few of his cohorts joined us around the weekly campfire. My requisitions suddenly reflected a bit of a jump for that particular potable from that point onward.
“Whiskey. Beer for my horse.”
Things were progressing well until we went above the treeline. There were these huge, linear structures about 10 or 15 km in length, 5-10 m wide, looked to be made of concrete and buried on the uphill side by legions of trees and other assorted vegetal schmoo.
These were getting in the way of jumping-correlating some seismic lines and if I couldn’t undershoot the things, I’d have to make them go away. So, I talked with some of the Ex-KGB types and asked what the hell these things were.
Evidently, they were dams.
They were dams built back in the Soviet era, to contain not only the snowmelt but all the debris rapidly running water tends to carry with it as it scoots swiftly downhill. They had been looked after for some time, but it was obvious that no one had given them a second thought in decades.
“OK, then. So I can just blast a passage through them, right? They seem to serve no useful purpose in their present state.”
“No. No. No, Sir. These dams are very important, even as badly maintained as they are. Even as they are in their current state, they slow avalanches, divert water when it storms and holds back debris from falling into the lowlands…”
“Oh, I see. Well, is it permissible to blast some of that debris away from the windward side so my team can plant their jugs and we can devise an undershoot? That is if we leave the dam’s structure intact?”
“You can do that?”
“Oh, fuck yeah. With all the goodies I’ve got, I could clear huge patches clean with just a couple of charges…”
“Could you clear some of the more proximate areas just downslope from those avalanche chutes?” as he points upward.
“If properly motivated…”
I decided we needed to attack this problem seriously and scientifically. I had some of the crew dig shallow, up-slope pits adjacent to the dams to get an idea of what we were going to be up against.
It wasn’t just logs, boulders and other sorts of natural debris.
There were cars, trucks, a few tanks, armored personnel carriers, semi-trailer trucks, semi-trailer truck-trailers, and other flotsam and jetsam of the Soviet “We may not like it here, but it’s ours. So there.” outposts.
These had been abandoned years and years ago. Everything that was once safely nestled up in the passes paid the eventual gravity bill, eventually washed downslope only to be contained and buried up against these control dams.
The question remained, could we open up a few of the more critical passageways?
Silly question. Just watch our smoke…
Now, every week, alongside our usual Friday fete, we designated Wednesday as blast day.
During the weeks to come, we surveyed in our lines, drilled our shot holes, and if close enough, scooted over to drill a few extra shot holes next to the dam section we are about to liberate.
Come Wednesday, we all knocked off early in the afternoon and spent the time just blowing the living shit out of the accumulated crapola that had washed up to and buried these dams.
At first, our ‘handlers’ were more than leery of the whole situation. Here, a batch of Imperialistic Capitalists were running around, armed to the teeth, laughing like loons, and setting off massive explosions in what was, up until a few months ago, the Motherland, Central Asian Division.
When it became obvious that we both knew what we were doing and having a damned fine time doing it, they relented and began to take a real, rather than prurient, interest.
A real interest if they could somehow get involved.
Like big kids in a candy store, I was being bombarded with questions:
“What about that block there? Can I handle the plunger?”
“We found an old tank. May we blow her up?”
“Look over here. That jumbled knot of fallen trees is blocking that avalanche chute. It’s got to go, right Doc?”
Until that point, I never ever saw a KGB man smile.
It got to be a game of one-upmanship. Who could find the best thing to detonate and how much material could we move in one shot?
We kept our helicopter pilots busy ferrying our order lists of ordinance into the armory and then transport our goodies back to the field. All on the single proviso that we did not set off a single charge unless they were present.
It got to be the greatest show on this part of Earth.
Being the inquisitive, imitative and clever bunch that they were, they started asking me innumerable questions.
“Why can’t we use straight-run nitro on the APC?”
I explained that the shrapnel it would cause could make for many bad days if someone wasn’t properly secluded.
“Is 22 sticks of Red Cross 40% going to be enough to remove that clot of trees?”
“Yep. Shouldn’t be a problem.” It’ll also put it into low earth orbit, so there’s that too.
He grudgingly cut it back to 12 sticks, which worked a treat; if anything can be gauged by the smile on this character’s post-blast face.
They were all quick studies and once they got the hang of things, really saved a lot of time in clearing some not-too-shabby section of the dams.
I would let them appraise the problem, survey it, map it, and bring me their solutions to the problem at hand.
I would critique all their work and supervise (with my crew of blaster’s assistants) the placements of the various charges. They couldn’t set and prime the charges (only I was so licensed) but once that was done and dusted, I could hand over the blasting machine, detonation device, or hand them the “Strike Anywhere” match for initiation, as long as it was under my direct supervision.
Like big kids in a candy store. Just the grins were that much wider.
There were some achingly beautiful intermontane lakes nestled between the cragged, raggedy peaks. These proved to be full of fish.
I expressly forbade any dynamite fishing, much to the chagrin of several of my students.
I showed them instead of the fun of a Shakespeare spinning reel and Mepps Aliga spinners.
Time progressed, and we relieved the armory of approximately 60% of its wares. We had over 2,500 km of great looking seismic data in the can, ready to be transported home for processing. Our maps were ground verified and drafted. We had a modest amount of time off to blast more dam-front property, go fishing or just pony-trek around some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve seen then or since.
We actually opened up over 35 avalanche chutes so come the spring thaw; the towns, villages, and pastures downslope should have no soggy vernal surprises.
All in all, it was a pretty satisfying job.
I even learned to ride and make friends with one very large 4-legged beastie.
We were starting to pack up camp as our workings had been set to bring us back to base at the end of the job. It was the end of a long contract and a long week, so I said “The hell with this” and gave everyone the next day off. One or two extra days weren’t going to amount to a hill of beans in the overall scheme of things.
After everyone sobered up and their hangovers abated, we heard the deep-throated thrum of a heavy, very heavy, indeed, helicopter.
“Hey, Doc, looks like we’ve got some visitors.”
Yes, we had.
Since this was the culmination of the first joint-resources venture in the country, the President (pro tem) and a number of his advisors made the pilgrimage out to our base camp before we struck and headed for the four winds.
He was very pleased with our progress. We exceeded every KPI in the contract. We had over 20% extra seismic data ready for processing, and the initial, admittedly fuzzy, investigation of the data looked very much encouraging. There were handshakes and backslaps all around.
The President made a spontaneous speech about east-west relations, how we could all work together for the common good and how he was particularly pleased that I had found his horse to be so useful in our endeavors.
Bottles of the good stuff were broken out and toasts were about to be offered when he asked me about the rumor he had heard about our dam-un-busting activities.
I told him the story and he asked to see what we had accomplished. A quick chopper run later, we were back at base with the President goggling over our activities. The first fulfilled contract, all that data, all the mapping and now, the unclogging of several key dams to boot.
He confided to me that he knew about the dam problem, but with one thing and another, he was at a loss to fit it into his busy schedule.
He then requested a brief demonstration of how we succeeded in opening up the avalanche chutes and didn’t destroy the dams in the process.
A Presidential Command performance.
“I would be honored, sir.”
We all knew of this place where an old WWII-vintage T-37(A) tank had found itself buried about a meter upslope of section of an out-of-the-way dam; just below the mouth of an active avalanche chute. It would take a fairly good batch of high-energy pyrotechnics to just move the damned thing. Which was OK, it would be that much less we’d have to drag back to the armory and that much less paperwork.
Asked if this would make for a suitable demonstration, he most eagerly replied in the affirmative.
“Would you like us to move the tank or…”
He grinned a very toothy grin at me and lowly said: “Obliterate it.”
He grinned as we pored over the carcass of that war machine and loaded every last bit of ordinance we had on, in and around its rusty hulk.
He beamed even wider when I handed him the actuator, yelled “FIRE IN THE HOLE” x3 and told him: “Hit It!”
Suddenly a 20 meter wide, 5-meter deep crater appeared where the tank was once buried.
It seemed only slightly larger than the smiles of all the government officials present.
TL;DR: Right after the Iron Curtain dropped, I found myself in Central Asia, working to fulfill a data acquisition exploration contract. Explosives, booze and horse riding hilarity ensue.
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2019.04.25 16:08 a_man_in_black [OC]Skyclad - Chapter 9: Run, Fight, or Die

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Chapter 9: Run, Fight, or Die

Morgan Mackenzie was running for her life, with a warbling scrubby giving panic-filled trills while desperately hanging on to her shoulder with whatever loofah magic that Lulu used. When the first giant wolf had appeared at the far edge of the meadow, she had felt confident in her abilities to defend herself with her magic. But [Naked Instinct] had simply kept ratcheting up in its intensity, and when [The Naked Eye] had revealed at least a dozen more wolves closing in through the trees her confidence had drained away like the last swirling dregs of dishwater flowing down the sink. Nervousness became naked fear as a dozen became two dozen became three.
Thankfully [Naked Instinct] was more useful than a simple feeling as she had found herself rolling to the side without thinking, just as Lulu had given a warbling warning right in her ear. The wolf that had managed to sneak up behind her had missed its lunging attack, but its near-silent passing over her was equally disturbing. As Morgan rolled back to her feet she had tossed a sizzling bolt of lightning at the creature, but it had simply twisted in mid-air with a snarl, avoiding the charged projectile without so much as singeing its fur as it landed with a roll through the dirt.
The girl had immediately turned to run, only to find the entire meadow surrounded. The lone attacking wolf was merely the vanguard before the rest of the pack closed in. [Spell Surge], followed by her tossing several [Flame Bolt] spells, resulted in new craters and one side of the encirclement scattering. Morgan had wasted no time sprinting for the opening, and that was how she found herself dashing madly through the forest with howling death nipping at her heels.
The damaging backlash she had suffered from using [Spell Surge] with the fire magic had left her hands once again blistered and cracked. She did not even consider slowing down, however. The pain was tolerable thanks to her [Pain Resistance] and the damage was fairly superficial thanks to her affinities for Heat and Fire and the associated resistances.
Her boosted physical capability both from her spent stat points and the skill [Naked Athleticism] were paying dividends with interest now. Similar to when she had climbed down from the giant tree, the skill helped her instinctively make the most efficient movements as she ran, and her increased strength meant her strides practically launched her with each step, while her agility helped her keep her balance with the impact of every footfall. Morgan had never imagined being able to run like this, and would have been amazed at her speed if not for the sheer terror driving her heart to pound like a jackhammer.
Any possible thoughts of slowing down were immediately curtailed by the moonlit shapes keeping pace with her through the woods in the distance to either side. As fast as she had been running, the wolves were easily keeping pace, almost as if they were toying with her. They had closed in a few times, and she had responded with bursts of lightning and flame and terrible accuracy since she could not spare the attention to aim. The oversized canines simply melted back into the trees unscathed, howls mocking her every effort at retaliation.
Morgan ran for hours. She had no idea how many miles she had covered. Probably somewhere between a whole bunch of miles and a heck of a lot, she thought to herself, having no breath to spare to speak out loud. As night had fallen sometime around the beginning of her running, the moons had soon risen somewhere to her right. With no frame of reference for the greater surrounding region as a whole, she figured north was as good a direction as any. Between the moonlight and [The Naked Eye] she could see better in the pale night than she had been able to during the day before she gained the skill.
Back on Earth, a run like this would have killed me all by itself, she thought with mixed emotions. It was almost surreal that she could even think in a situation like this, but her options were simple and required little thought to process. Either run, fight, or die. Twice she had tried to slow down to make a stand with her back to a large tree or earth abutment, and twice the wolves simply melted away from the reach of her spells, panting like laughter as if she were merely a game to them. With fighting proven useless, her choices were reduced to running or death.
Morgan had found she could spend Stamina like extra effort in short bursts. She had leapt over fallen trees and jumped over a small stream with the enhanced exertion, resulting in feats that would make olympic medalists on Earth feel inadequate. Her stamina could not recover under the strain of her fear-driven flight, however. When she let herself slow enough that it began to restore itself, there was always a wolf or two right on her heels, nipping at her backside as Lulu’s warning warbles rose to a piercing pitch.
This is an endurance race, she realized with sudden dawning clarity. Every big jump or dash brings my Stamina lower, she thought, and they won’t let me slow down enough to get it back.
That realization almost brought her to the brink of despair. With their numbers and the ease with which they kept pace with her it was only a matter of time until her stamina was low enough that her body would begin to devour itself to keep her going. Simply running, even at her impressive pace, was no terrible burden on her reserves thanks to her improved stat attributes. She could tell through her healing skill’s senses that Stamina aside, she would run into sleep deprivation problems before her caloric reserves became an issue, going by how efficiently her body seemed to presently be operating.
Stamina was simply her ultimate problem. Every bite at her flanks and bare bottom, when the wolves rushed her or she slowed her pace, required healing at least enough to stop the bleeding. Vaulting streams or other obstacles and the healings each cost her a small portion of stamina, and running at her current pace took enough of it to keep her from regenerating it, even with her high Vitality stat.
Mana, on the other hand, she had plenty of. There has to be a way to use Mana instead of Stamina to go faster! Her thoughts were frantic; she could not exactly stop to experiment or look for a solution. But I have to try something now while I have the Stamina to recover if it doesn’t work, she scolded herself.
After running so long, she was getting familiar with how her body used up Stamina when she burned it to speed up or jump higher or dodge the snarling fangs. If I can just use Mana instead of Stamina, but I have no idea which Element…
At Lulu’s sudden trill of warning that her pursuers were once again closing in, Morgan seized her Mana without attempting to filter out the Elements she had already become familiar with. I’ll just have to throw it all in and hope something sticks, she thought. She pushed off with her legs in the same way she had used Stamina to jump before, hoping to at least lunge ahead of snapping jaws, but willed her Mana into the jump instead.
She had hoped to gain a few dozen paces in a burst of speed. The result she actually got was a burst of Mana running wild as the ground underneath her exploded under the pressure of her foot’s impact. Startled yelps and snarls she barely noticed behind her, as she was launched several dozen Morgan-lengths ahead at a truly frightening speed. She would have considered it a resounding success except for the fact that her left knee had shattered under the shock, and she was not only flying through the air but also tumbling while a terrified Lulu emitted purbling whimpers right in her ear.
Morgan hit the ground in a flopping roll, only her [Pain Resistance] skill keeping her conscious. She could see with her recovery skill that the bones in her knee joint had compressed together with such force that the crystalline marrow core had fractured, then splintered against each other and practically exploded inside her knee. The marrow-crystals burned with mana and were quickly dissolving back into her blood as [Naked Recovery] regrew then re-aligned the joint almost before she hit the ground, but even with her resistance the pain was enough to have her screaming. She was worried she might have spent too much Stamina to heal it so quickly, but it was necessary if she were to remain able to run.
She scrambled to her feet, still limping but quickly recovering. Lulu had come loose from her shoulder when she landed and she dashed franticly over to the scrubby and picked it up, sticking the loofah back on her shoulder as she looked around for the wolves. She could see many in the distance running between the trees, and the two who had harried her were both over a hundred yards away, shaking the mud and dirt off their tawny brown fur. They were standing in the middle of a splattered sprawl of earth and brushy detritus that had been kicked up by Morgan’s sudden launch, and it was only the sudden shock of it that had bought the girl a moment’s respite
She had rolled partway up a low rounded hillside, and she put her back to the mounded earth as the pair of wolves closed in. Every moment not running was a few more points of Stamina regenerated, but that wasn’t the only reason she stopped. The rest of the pack had been left farther behind the two vanguards, and Morgan was not about to miss a chance at some payback. Especially not when her Mana was literally brimming over, the channeled recovery skill having topped her off. As the wolves spread apart to attack her from both sides, she planted her feet and timed their simultaneous lunge as much by instinct as by sight.
[Spell Surge] caused violet arcs of wild power to snap at the air around her as she pulled on every bit of Earth Mana she could muster and shoved outwards with both hands. No amount of twisting could save either wolf as the ground around Morgan exploded towards them in a massive [Earth Wave]. Hundreds of finger-width spines of jagged stone, accompanied by tons of smaller rocks and a cascading wall of mud, blasted outwards from where she stood. The raised wave of muddy dirt fell away but Morgan was already certain of her victory because of notifications, even before she could see the pincushioned canines suspended in the air mid-charge.
You have defeated [Wildlands Direwolf Scout(Lvl - 6)]
For earning your victory while [Naked] and [Unequipped], experience gain doubled.
+300 experience gained.
You have defeated [Wildlands Direwolf Scout(Lvl - 6)]
For earning your victory while [Naked] and [Unequipped], experience gain doubled.
+300 experience gained.
A minor victory, but she felt a surge of exultation anyway. The sudden and massive expenditure of power had drained her mana by almost two thirds, but it was quickly coming back as she activated [Naked Recovery] to finish healing her shattered knee. The rest of the pack seemed almost stunned by her sudden violent retaliation, slowing their approach through the trees and slowing to a creeping stalk as they paced through the trees around her. The deaths of two of their packmates did not go without consequence, however, as a new howl Morgan had not yet heard shattered the hushed whispering quiet of the night.
The howl wasn’t just louder than the previous ones that had so terrified Morgan during her frantic flight from the pack. It was deeper, and it vibrated her bones with mournful notes that spoke to her soul of ancient rage and forlorn despair and wild expectation all at once. The night itself stilled as the sorrowed sound laid like a blanket across the world. With this new eerie howl turning her fear to stark terror she actually wet herself. As one, every wolf in sight sank to their bellies, even the ones closest to her. Those four had stopped just shy of her range, and they now lay trembling before the moonlit grief of that primordial howl. The shaking woman grit her teeth and fought to keep from kneeling as two more howls, just as powerful though shorter and not quite as deeply pitched, answered the first.
Farther behind the crouching wolves, the dappled moonlight seemed to bow away from three massive shadows that even [The Naked Eye] could not pierce. All of the pack were huge, as tall as Morgan even crouched as low as they were, with massive triangular heads that turned in deference before their betters. The three shadows stepped into the bright moonlit night from under the forest canopy, and Morgan understood why the pack had knelt, as the same urge to kneel almost overcame her senses.
This was submission, for the Alphas of the Pack had arrived. On her shoulder, Lulu’s whimpering purble trailed away to a quivering vibration that Morgan could feel as the scrubby tried to shrink itself and hide in her hair. The Alphas were true giants, and she could have easily walked underneath any of them without her head so much as disturbing their chest fur. Two of them were golden shades of dappled brown fading to darker reddish hues along their ears and paws and tails, and they spread out to the sides with silent steps to bracket her position. The third was slightly larger than the first two, and dark grey, with black ears and muzzle instead of brown. Undeniably the dominant male leader of all the others, he stepped forward to where her earthen spikes had skewered the two lesser wolves.
With a chuffing rumble and growl that gave off power she could feel from over thirty yards away, the spikes holding up the two wolves crumbled to dust and the corpses fell to the ground. Morgan backed up slowly, trying to angle her path to bring the hillside between her and the wolves. Her plan was to put some distance between her and these mighty beasts, even if she had to burn half her Stamina and Mana at the same time to do it. She was in a place somewhere beyond fear and dread, and it was empty and calm and clear as the still surface of a cold winter pond. She knew, beyond all certainty, that she would either live or die, and all she could do was all she could do. She had no hope of outrunning these three, not even with enhanced abilities nor with any magic she could imagine, but she had somehow decided that she would not just lay down and accept it.
The massive Alpha male silently gazed down at her as the two females stepped forward, each gently lifting the smaller dead wolves by the blood-matted napes of their necks like cubs. The Alpha turned his head to watch as they somberly strode away to Morgan’s left, while she backed away to the side of the hill readying her will for a last-ditch effort to sprint away to the right. She called forth her Mana in full with [Spell Surge], the Alpha snapped its muzzle back in her direction with a snarl, and then the hill to Morgan’s left side stood up, and all hell broke loose.
Morgan fell to the ground, staring at the terrain to her left that kept on rising despite its appearance of being a mere hill that had no business having any methods of locomotion whatsoever. The Alpha, too, fell flat on its ass, and Morgan took a grain of comfort in that she wasn’t the only one who had been surprised by whatever this new catastrophe happened to be.
Her eardrums were simply blown out by an impossibly loud hooting roar, somewhere between a steam whistle and a jetliner on take-off. Dirt and rocks and even small trees tumbled all round, and her ears -now ringing as she healed herself- revealed shocked yips and snarls as the sudden mountain turned. A mighty chelonian foot the size of a steam-shovel bucket descended next to her, sending her tumbling to the ground once again. As the rubble continued to fall away it revealed a broad domed shell that had been the hilltop only moments before, and as it finished turning the mighty beaked head struck.
In the span of a heartbeat one of the female alphas was completely devoured in a single echoing snap of that horrible maw. The wolf’s front half, including the cub it had been carrying, were simply gone, leaving shortened hindquarters that took a ludicrously stretched out moment to fall over. The Pack scattered, and the Alpha’s howl of rage shook even the moonlight itself.
Morgan did not stick around to watch the imminent battle. She still held her Mana, and now she tried again to boost her speed, this time using her Stamina at the same time as a sort of guide. She headed north once again, fueled by terror and adrenaline and urged on by Lulu’s whimpering purbles. With her Stamina and Mana together, she was finally rewarded with a most exceptionally useful skill:
You have learned the skill [Naked Acceleration]! All too often, sheer speed is the key to survival! Expend mana to accelerate your body with a temporal dilation effect, but beware! Inertia is not cancelled out by this skill! This skill shares synergy with [Naked Instinct], allowing you to more easily compensate for high impact movements while the skill is active.
The experience was surreal, especially given her situation. Morgan wasn’t moving faster so much as the rest of the world was barely moving at all, at least to her senses. As she curved her path around what she had already mentally named the Doomturtle, the rocks and trees still tumbling down moved in slow motion. Sound was felt more than heard, a full body buzzing like low pitched static while swimming underwater. As she leaned into turns to dodge nearly still rocks slowly descending towards the ground, her bare feet punched divots of dirt into the air every time she kicked off to change direction.
She now understood what the skill description meant by inertia and high impact movements. She could feel her knees and ankles developing microfractures she constantly had to heal with her stamina as she burned mana to keep her speed up. But while she felt as if she was running normally, albeit at a full sprint, she knew the reality was that, well…
This is fucking FAST! Morgan thought to herself. A glance back had revealed that the wolves had barely begun to react, and the Doomturtle’s movements were nearly imperceptible. She turned her attention back to putting as much distance between her and the danger as she possibly could before her Mana got too low. Every step she pushed off with launched her forward in bounds that covered over twenty yards per footfall. She felt she could go even faster, but that would cost too much Stamina due to the constant healing. She paced herself in order to allow her Stamina to recover. By the time her Mana had dropped below half she had put several miles between herself and the pack, and she let go of the newly acquired skill.
Panting, she slowed to a stop, shaking from the adrenaline and remnants of fear. Lulu was quite upset as well, manic purbles and warbles a riot of vocalization from the little scrubby. Its own concern and panic were quite obvious as the poor thing seemed to not know what to do, hopping all over Morgan as if checking to make sure her everything was okay. “Oh shit, I’m sorry Lulu,” Morgan said, pulling the scrubby in for a comforting hug. “That had to be terrifying if the haste effect didn’t cover you as well.” The loofah took several long moments to finally calm down, followed by stern wurbling as she scolded her mistress for such a distressing experience. Morgan knew they could not tarry for long, as the howls in the distance were already closing in.
She no longer felt totally hopeless though, and took a brief time to let her mind settle and try to think of a plan. She thought very seriously about using [Earth Sculpt] to burrow down as deeply as she could, but that plan was tossed out as she realized the wolves could dig, or might have other abilities she hadn’t seen. At the very least they could simply camp out in the area and ambush her wherever she popped up for air or food.
Morgan knew she just had to keep running until she found a place the wolves simply had no possible way to follow. With the howls getting closer once again, she started doing exactly that. Heading north again if only for lack of a better idea, she once again used the acceleration skill. This time she warned Lulu first, however, and the scrubby responded by burrowing up into her mane of hair, anchoring itself solidly before giving a purble to announce its readiness for the impending burst of speed.
This time Morgan was starting with both her Stamina and Mana almost full, so she didn’t hold back. She took off at a full sprint and kept it up. It quickly became apparent just how hard she could push off against the ground before damaging herself, and she soon settled into a loping pace that she could maintain for hours. And she did just that. Navigating the forest by moonlight was almost trivial under the light of the twin moons, especially with [The Naked Eye]. The greatest difficulty she had came from slowing down and releasing her haste skill so she could jump over fallen trees and the like. Her singular attempt at jumping over a stump while under the effects of [Naked Acceleration] had launched her through the next tree in the way.
Broken bones and warbling protests had punctuated another break from running while she healed herself again amidst the shattered ruins of the tree that had stopped her. As her flesh knit itself back together and her bones realigned, she staggered to her feet. She could hear no howls, but [Naked Instinct] still screamed danger to her senses. The frequent healing was also beginning to take its toll on her body’s reserves that she had gained from eating most of a giant crispy cat, even with the extreme metabolic efficiency of [Naked Recovery]. She was nowhere near starving yet, but as things were currently going she would need some form of food within a day or she would burn through her body’s reserves. That time would be greatly reduced if she had to recover from more extreme injuries.
The forest seemed truly endless to Morgan as she continued to run, and everything sort of fell into a pattern of sameness. She would cancel [Naked Acceleration] and slow to an easy lope for a time to let her Mana recover while she healed the accrued damage that built up from pushing her body so hard. So far her bursts of speed had kept her far enough ahead of the pack that they were no longer chewing on her backside as she ran, but Morgan knew that this was their game.
Run the prey to exhaustion, she thought, recalling every wolf documentary she now wished she had actually paid attention to. Dad always loved his animal shows; he’d know exactly what to do. The repetitive cycle of accelerated sprinting and slower loping really did leave her mind almost too free to wander. Aside from the occasional creek or boulder or fallen tree, she only really had to think about navigating the sparse brush that grew under the gaps in the forest canopy. That all changed when the forest gave way abruptly, the rolling hills of the woods dropping off to a vast grassy field that stretched for miles in either direction. And from her higher vantage point at the forest edge where she had slowed to a stop, she could see just a mile or so in the distance a river winding through the plain.
This was no small stream, she realized as the fading light of the moons gave way to the first glimmers of dawn that sent rippling reflections twinkling across the water. She had been running all night, and she felt the first spark of hope in all that time flare up while she gazed at the other side. In the distance past the far riverbank, a sheer cliff rose up from the low hills. The vertical stone walls stretched skyward for thousands of feet, the tops of the cliffs shrouded in mists not yet burned away by the day’s rising sun. She could see with [The Naked Eye] various cracks and formations in the winding ribbon-like walls of rock. Trees and brush and lush verdant ivy painted intense green contrast to the nearly black mountainside where ledges and outcroppings allowed plants to find purchase.
“AHA!” she shouted in exultation as she jumped up and down clutching the scrubby in her hands despite its surprised purbling protests. “Lets see those fuckers climb that shit, Lulu! And I can make my own handholds!”
Her sudden outburst had startled more than the scrubby, however, as Morgan’s [Naked Instinct] reared its insistent head once again. Two utterly massive oversized ears suddenly appeared above the shoulder-height grasses less than a dozen yards from the surprised woman, the tips of the ears almost comically flopped forward and tufted in white. She would have thought they were cute, if the Morgan-length ears had not kept rising, followed by a very not-cute and honestly quite frightening caricature of a rabbit’s head. The eyes were solid red and, instead of the typical rodent incisors she would have expected even a giant sort of rabbit to have, its mouth opened wide to reveal double rows of wickedly sharp fangs. As it rose up on its haunches, the horse-sized creature let loose a scream that gave Morgan a notification and left her body frozen perfectly still and helpless.
Status afflicted: [Paralysis]! You have been frozen in place by [Tyrannorabbit]’s [Scream]!
Morgan’s mind was nearly as frozen in shock as her body was. Her magic was dropping away as if there were a layer of static interference between her and her Mana. The whole absurdity of her situation only fueled her outrage, and she furiously willed herself to move as the new threat hopped towards her with a ridiculous wobbling gait. She had just managed to get her fingers and toes to move as it pushed its way out of the grass and came into full view, but her magic was still not responding. The creature looked almost cartoonishly mutated, its front limbs smaller and held in close to its chest while its hind legs and feet were oversized in the extreme. The juxtaposition of its name and its mutated form were not lost on Morgan, and she would have laughed were it not for the danger. It lacked the balancing tail that made its namesake dinosaur beneficiary so mobile, and that gave it a waddling gait that belied the obvious lethality of that ever-widening maw of teeth.
She managed to stumble back a half-step, as the [Tyrannorabbit] duck-walked closer, and saw several more pairs of ears pop up in the grass beyond. But these were not facing her direction. A sudden basso snarl revealed exactly what they were listening to as the familiar canine form of a wolf slammed into the [Tyrannorabbit] with enough force that she felt the thump of it in her chest from the impact. With her legs working slightly better she tried another step, and fell backwards away from the brawl.
The fall was enough to clear the paralysis and her magic once again felt under her control. As she rolled to her feet Morgan saw wolves pouring out of the forest, and what had before been a beautiful dawnlit landscape devolved to snarls and howls and rabbit-esque screams that cut short in sprays of blood and flying fur.
She wasted no time making her break for the river. The tall grass was much harder to run through than the mossy dirt and leaves she had grown used to padding across with her bare feet in the forest. A full sprint was practically impossible, stubs of grass and roots tearing her feet to a degree that would have been crippling without her [Pain Resistance] and [Naked Recovery].
A wrenching, rage-filled howl that bent the grasses down in rippling waves as far as the eye could see had Morgan instantly re-thinking that full sprint. She ignored the pain from her feet and leaned into a pulse of [Naked Acceleration] as the giant Alpha from before made its appearance. [Naked Instinct] spiked again as the bigger wolf ignored the other prey and homed in on her, almost keeping up with her accelerated rush. As Morgan broke free of the grassland onto the sandy bank of the river, her feet kicked up a rooster tail of sandy dirt sprays behind her. Approaching the water at a pace faster than most highway speed limits, she called upon [Spell Surge] to boost her acceleration skill even farther, and burned almost half of her total Stamina at the same time to temporarily empower her body.
Less than a step before the water’s edge, Morgan planted her feet at the lowest point in her stride and pulled Lulu from her shoulder to the middle of her chest, and with both her Mana and her Stamina aiding her efforts, she jumped.
Between the force against the ground and her feet and legs, Morgan managed to launch herself up and across the river at a speed that was truly frightening, even as her mind was buffered by [Naked Acceleration]. The kick-off had crushed her ankles and knees and even fractured her hips and pelvis, and the same force against the ground had excavated several tons of silty sand and mud. As she tumbled through the air she watched the Alpha charge right through the spray wreathed in enough of his own ambient power to repel the wave of dirt, and also the water of the river as he continued the pursuit.
At the apex of her flight trajectory, just as she levelled off and began to descend, Morgan released [Naked Acceleration] but not [Spell Surge], as she used the only form of manipulating the Air Element that she had so far managed. Already using her Stamina furiously to heal the damage from her jump, she curled herself into a ball and cradled a very loudly warbling and panicked Lulu. Empowered by [Spell Surge], she hardened the Air around them into a round ball.
She did not quite make the distance, hitting the water almost thirty feet shy of the far bank, but her improvised sphere of Air Mana worked. She bounced once off the water, skipping like a stone to plow into soft sand and leaving a shallow furrow excavated out of the earth. She also gained her very first Air spell:
You have gained the spell [Wind Barrier]! What cannot hit you cannot hurt you! Increase the density of the air around you and shape a barrier as you desire! Expending more Mana increases the strength of your Barrier!
Morgan dismissed the notification almost without a thought. She had no time to stop and play with the new spell, not with less than a quarter of her Mana left and her Stamina reduced to a similar amount. She sacrificed even more Stamina as she scrambled to her feet, preparing to resume her sprint for the cliffs. Expecting to face the pursuing Alpha, she turned and could only stare in shock.
The rest of the pack, including the remaining Alpha Female, had all stopped well short of the water. From the edge of the grassland they stood witness to the same sight that now held Morgan transfixed. The giant alpha male that had been chasing her had made it across the water right behind her, but was now in a fight for its life. Thing was the only word she could think of to describe the new monster now embattled with her pursuer barely a few dozen paces away from where she had landed.
The rest of the pack refused to come any closer to the water, and Morgan well understood why, if the monster she was now seeing had any relatives lurking below. She had thought it was tentacles at first, but as she watched the battle play out she realized it was more like a cluster of eels growing out where a larger eel would have had a head. The wolf and the thing thrashed in the shallows, deep rumbling snarls and slimy sounding hisses roiling against Morgan’s eardrums. The great wolf’s flanks were shredded and bleeding, and it was now missing an eye, but it was giving even better than it had got.
She stood there watching almost in a trance, letting [Naked Recovery] heal her fractured bones and restore her much depleted Mana. She could feel Mana being used in the fight as well as see the effects. The eel-hydra seemed to be made from electric eels, as several of its heads latched onto the wolf’s forelegs and sides and green lightning arced around them. It was only temporarily effective though, as the mighty wolf had managed to sink his jaws into the clump where all the necks grew out from the main body. With an almost contemptuous snarling the wolf dug in with its hindquarters and viciously jerked its head from side to side as it worked the massive eel monster farther out of the water.
With its biggest advantage negated the thing tried to escape, thrashing in the mud in an attempt to retreat to the safety of the water, but the enraged Alpha was having none of that. With all four feet on solid ground it danced around the weakening strikes, tearing at one neck after the other. When the last of its heads finally came free, the main body thrashed a few more times before going still. The giant wolf, wheezing and exhausted, gave it one final vicious shake with its jaws before dropping it. The victor stood with his front paws on his defeated foe and gave one last victorious howl to the sky.
Just in time for Morgan’s [Spell Surge] amplified [Flame Bolt] to blast its head from its shoulders in a singularly impressive display of burning brains and bones and teeth. And then several surprising things happened almost all at once.
You have defeated [Lesser Direwolf Alpha(Lvl - 14)]
For earning your victory while [Naked] and [Unequipped], experience gain doubled.
+5300 experience gained.
Morgan stared in shock at the notification. “Lesser!?”
Lulu made strange purbling noises from her shoulder and suddenly began glowing, startling Morgan back to attention as another notification popped up.
Congratulations! Lulu has reached Level 2!
Followed by another:
Congratulations! Lulu has reached Level 3!
And then another:
DING!
You have reached Level 10! Health and Status partially restored!
For reaching this milestone while [Naked] and [Unequipped], rewarded points doubled.
10 distributable Stat Points awarded.
10 Skill Points awarded.
Class Selection Unlocked!
Initialize Class Selection for one-time review before choosing. After reviewing available classes, you may choose your class or choose to Delay Class Selection to allow new possible class options later. WARNING! Levelling capped at Level 10 until a Class has been Chosen!
Initialize Class Selection now? [Yes/No]
Morgan had but a moment to parse this new influx of data, however. WIth the death of the [Lesser Direwolf Alpha], the howling and yipping rest of the pack had fallen silent on the other side of the river. Every previous feeling of fear and panic spurred on by her [Naked Instinct] suddenly faded to a pale memory as without even thinking she instinctively crouched low in the sand clutching Lulu, and activated [Naked Camouflage]. She had almost forgotten she even had the skill, and it was no comfort before this dread pressure now squeezing the very light out of the day.
A low roiling mist had began to slowly creep out of the trees, and it flowed across the ground and the rest of the wolfpack. The mist curled almost lovingly around the pack members before thickening and rising higher. It came to the very edge of the now calmed waters and stopped there, as the morning sunlight seemed to fade back to the dim pre-dawn night. The mists gently roiled higher until they obscured the trees of the distant forest edge, and then receded like a slow sigh finally released.
The pack of wolves was now simply gone. In their place, on the other side of the river and looking directly at Morgan was an utterly massive wolf, easily twice the size of the [Lesser Direwolf Alpha]. It made no sound and did not blink, and though its fur rippled as if there were a breeze, there was no wind. She stared back at it, entranced by the glow of its ancient amber eyes. And she had no doubts, this wolf was old. Its fur was a yellowed gray with white on its muzzle and ears. She could suddenly hear its slow growling breath even from hundreds of yards away, and as it kept its eyes locked on hers yet another notification slammed into her mind:
The Ancient Direwolf Packmother has Marked you as Enemy of The Pack! Cross their territory at your peril! The Moonlit Hunt is Unending!
She could feel something hit her along with the notification, something that rattled her entire body and knocked her out of [Naked Camouflage]. A whisper of Mana of a type she could not touch brushed across her bones, leaving traces that faded a heartbeat later. Any delusions of being hidden fled her mind, and Morgan stood up with resignation. If this wolf wanted to cross the river, it would, and Morgan knew she could not outrun this one. Her only salvation was the fact that she seemed to have made it outside the territory of the pack. This ancient being not only respected the oldest rules, for all Morgan knew the thing had written them.
The Packmother raised her head to the sky, and what came forth could not simply be called a howl. It was grief made manifest, a resonating sorrow that caused the land and waters to vibrate kicking up dirt and river spray. It was a memory of a time older than ancient, when mankind feared the dark and worshiped the life-giving fire, and the only safety to be found in the world was within the light of those embers. It made Morgan want to rip her own heart out of her chest in mourning, and at the same time she wanted to dance for triumph and sheer joy of survival.
The piercing cry carried on and on and brought tears to her eyes as it faded. She felt like she had lost something important as the sound faded away, but gained a new understanding as well. As she blinked the tears away the daylight returned between one moment and the next, and the Packmother was gone.
Sobbing for multiple reasons, Morgan fell to her knees as [Naked Instinct] finally faded and the adrenaline shock hit her. Relief at no longer being hunted warred with a guilt she did not understand feeling over killing the Lesser Alpha. She knew it would have killed her, but that did not make her proud of it. It only meant she was the one that survived. And so she sat and cried while Lulu made comforting purrs.
It was a much needed release, and after a few minutes Morgan felt much better, and well recovered in Mana and Stamina. Her body’s reserves were low, but there were literal tons of fresh meat less than a dozen yards away, so with food and safety at least minimally assured, she returned her attention to the previous notification.
Initialize Class Selection now? [Yes/No]
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, Lulu.” she said. The little scrubby responded with a puffling gesture very evocative of a shrug, and hopped off her shoulder with a warble. The precocious loofah seemed completely over the train wreck that had been their entire night, and seemed to have decided to stand guard while Morgan did whatever it was she was about to do.
Without any further words, she responded to the notification with a mental yes.
Class Selection Initializing. Preparing Temporal Suspension Instance.
And then the world vanished around her.
You can check out the rest of the story on Royal Road, and i'll be posting chapters here on the HFY until i get caught up. My Patreon is a few chapters ahead of the RR story, and if you'd like to support the Skyclad project you can check that out too:)
submitted by a_man_in_black to HFY [link] [comments]


2019.03.19 02:20 Chili1220 Cursed Sands, Part 3

Part 3 of "Cursed Sands".





After a few quiet minutes, Hilaire ordered us all to dismount and survey the perimeter for any signs of life. With reluctance, we all climbed out and had a good look at our surroundings. The buildings, particularly that obelisk, were even more impressive and ominous up close and personal. We explored all around the base of the obelisk, and on the others side from where we parked we saw yet another strange structure that escaped our notice before. It was a large ziggurat, mostly covered by sand, set in a low depression in the ground, like something sitting in the base of a bowl. But this wasn't like any normal ziggurat I had learned about in sixth grade history class; this one had rounded edges on each successive tier, and each tier was not flat, but slightly inclined upwards. Unlike the other structures, this ziggurat was quite fairly squat and wide, though still very tall compared to the others, and the stones that made up the outside were a dark rusty red color, almost like brick, but completely smooth and without seams. At its base was an arched opening with a high peak, blending seamlessly into the smooth exterior. Being in a depression in the ground, the top of the ziggurat was still lower than the other buildings, but up close we could see that it was at least as tall as all the others.
Entranced as we were by this unusual scene, we still couldn't deny that we were in a similarly dismal situation as before. We were still stranded far into the desert, and now we had too little fuel left to go anywhere else, and the hopeful sign of human habitation had turned out to be totally lifeless and abandoned. The best we could claim was that we now had a recognizable landmark, but without fuel or other transportation, navigating according to this landmark would have been useless. The buildings might provide better shelter from the sandstorms, so could still hope to wait out the shamal and try signaling to passing aircraft. This of course was assuming that aircraft were momentarily grounded by the storm. We still had plenty of MREs and fresh water, as well as a mostly-stocked survival pack with medical supplies and tents, so if needed we could last in this spot for a week or more, but none of us were excited about that. But there was no alternative. We had used much of what remained of our fuel getting here, and driving back out into the desert would have been worse than useless. However, being at a distinct landmark in a featureless desert could make it easy to find us from the air, so for the time being that was the obvious choice.
For the rest of the day we explored the whole site, examining the buildings for any clue of recent human activity. Many of the buildings on the perimeter were still inaccessible, their entrances presumably buried underneath the sand, and only three had usable openings. The insides of these structures were strange and fascinating, but disappointing as far as survival was concerned. Like the exteriors, their interiors were largely barren, consisting of a single cavernous chamber whose ceiling was many meters above our heads. Strangely, the insides were reasonably well lit, even though there were no windows or obvious sources of illumination. Looking up, we saw that there was shallow dome protruding from the ceiling that seemed to be composed of a highly polished metal that appeared to be brass or even gold. The dome was highly reflective, and though its surface was totally opaque, there still seemed to be a mesmerizing amber glow that seemed to reflect from within it. This feature was repeated in identical fashion in the other outer buildings we accessed, and it struck us that such a building didn't seem like it was meant for humans to dwell in. What could this building even be for? It had no furnishings like tables or places to sit. Higher up there were ledges that stuck out from the wall, but with no clear place to climb up to reach them. These bizarre identical buildings seemed to have no obvious function, and in fact didn't even seem like they were meant for human beings at all.

We explored the ziggurat last, thinking that this might be the obvious place for us to shack up during our time here. The entrance to the ziggurat was quite dark and seemed to shrink a bit as we moved inward. It led into a similar open chamber as the last last buildings, but this one was almost in the shape of globe, with the walls and ceiling being a cavernous dome and the floor being a bowl-shaped depression similar to the one the ziggurat rested in. In the center was a trapezoidal mound with rounded edges, perhaps six feet tall and similar dimensions wide and long. Like the others, this chamber was illuminated by some unseen source, but with a soft greenish-blue light instead. The ground in the depression was especially bright, as if cast in the harsh glow of a spotlight, but from no visible source. The surface inside the dome was noticeably less smooth, but on closer examination, we could see that it was because it was absolutely covered in strange drawings and hieroglyphics etched into the stone. These markings were so bizarre that we could hardly decipher their meaning, but some of the drawing were more legible. The drawings clearly showed crude human shapes, not much more than stick figures, but they were clearly meant to represent humans.

The drawings showed many vaguely recognizable scenes, like people gathering around what I assume was a campfire, and another appeared to show a battle of some sort. But this battle scene was where things got strange. On one side was clearly human shapes, gathered with spears and other weapons, but the other side was composed of something that didn't even resemble a human being. It appeared to have two arms, but instead of legs it had a cluster of flat, wide appendages that were splayed out almost like knives. Altogether these strange “legs” formed a wide fan, like a bird spreading its wings. The head was also oddly shaped, with a pear-shaped base and a wide crescent perched on top. From this “head” were etched lines pointing towards to humans on the other side, like some kind ray or emanation. Further down was another drawing with human figures arranged in a sequence. The sequence started with a typical drawing of a human figure, but further drawings showed human figures with increasingly long limbs, while at the same time they adopted a more hunched gait, like more like a gorilla or a chimpanzee than a man. Above the sequence was a figure of the non-human creature from the previous battle drawing, hovering above the sequence as if it were observing it. What was most odd about this sequence is that it appeared to go right-to-left, with the normal man at the logical beginning of the sequence, and the long limned creatures further down towards the end of the sequence.

But these disturbing drawings weren't our main focus for now. When we finished our explorations, it was nearing darkness and about time for us to set up camp. The storm outside, which had previously been so calm around this strange city, was now increasing in force. But strangely, the wind didn't feel like it carried the familiar abrasive sand; now, it appeared more like a very fine dust, almost like smoke, with only a few grains of sand mixed in. Laury mounted the tank and drove it around to the front above the ziggurat so that we could clearly see it from the entrance. In another situation it would have been more appropriate to camp near our tank, but with such crappy weather and a spacious shelter so close at hand, we decided to make our camp inside the ziggurat. To avoid the brightness inside, we camped in the middle of the entrance tunnel, sheltered from the wind but with a clear line of sight up to the tank.

Our guard was relatively low as we bedded down for the night, but we kept all of our rifles and sidearms with us at our sides. Since there was no sign of human life in the area, and because we were so isolated, we didn't really expect visitors. But at the back of my mind, I clearly remembered the previous night, when we came under attack from those creatures roaming through the sandstorm. We weren't really all that far from where it happened, and as darkness fell, I felt my heart sink, desperately fearing that those creatures might have followed us. I volunteered for first watch, not wanting to take any chances, and for two hours I sat on watch, ruminating on our situation. I thought mostly about those creatures. They had descended upon us the previous night in the middle of the storm, as if it didn't bother them. Clearly they had no trouble moving in the storm, and had even managed to follow us for a ways before their attack. But they couldn't just live out in the empty desert, could they? Did they need any kind of shelter as they roamed the sand dunes? Maybe they burrowed into the ground, or hid under rocks like scorpions. If they burrowed, maybe there were whole underground colonies of them out there, lurking under every dune or canyon wall. Maybe they sought shelter other places; maybe even in a place like this.

Hilaire had the second watch, and I woke him after I finished mine. I almost didn't want to end my watch, trusting nobody else to hear what I heard, or see what I saw. I could've let Hilaire stay asleep and continued on my own sleepless vigil. He could certainly use the sleep after the last few days we've had. But at the appointed time, I woke him anyway, still nursing vague hopes of sleeping through any of this. Castro, who had been on edge for three days straight, was now sleeping like the dead, so if he could do it, I suppose I could as well. As I closed my eyes, I kept thinking about whether or not we were really alone out here. Hilaire took up his post without complaint and reassured me that he would keep a sharp lookout; he must have known what I was thinking. But as I drifted off to sleep, I could swear I heard through my dreamless haze that distinctive high-pitched howling in the far distance, echoing slightly through the entrance of the ziggurat.
I woke up to find my blanket covered in dirt from the storm the previous night. Laury and Hilaire were discussing doing any more exploration around the perimeter, hoping that our elevated position would give us a better view of landmarks in the distance. A stiff breeze was still blowing, but it didn't carry much dirt or dust, so I was hopeful that the hellish shamal was finally calming down. Castro sat against the outside wall of the ziggurat, staring blankly off into the distance. Once again, we set ourselves to exploring the outer limits of the ruins, looking for any other areas that might be accessed. We would spend most of this day examining the horizon from the edge of the hill, hoping for a sign of a landmark, all the while keeping an eye on the sky for any passing aircraft. Still, nothing. That didn't make any sense to any of us. We knew the war was pretty much over, but there still should have been aircraft overhead. Even worse, the weather was now quite clear; Coalition planes shouldn't have been grounded. Unless the Coalition had completely stopped their air operations, I couldn't think of any reason why we were so isolated out here.

We convened back at the ziggurat to discuss our options, so thoroughly discouraged by our lack of success that we were all starting to doubt that we would ever get out of this place. Tempers began to flare as we argued about our next move. Laury was now openly pessimistic about our chances; Hilaire was doing his best to convince us to stay together stick with the plan; Castro didn't say much at all. He abruptly left the argument and began tentatively exploring around the mound at the base of the ziggurat chamber. We hardly paid him any mind while we argued, but then a resounding thud echoed throughout the chamber, followed by a ear-piercing hiss and an enormous gust of air from the middle of the chamber. As we turned, we were just able to see that the mound in the center had collapsed into the ground through a large sinkhole, and we saw Castro falling after it. We forgot our grievances with one another and sprinted to edge of sinkhole to see what happened to Castro. Leaning over the edge, we called out his name at the top of our lungs, hoping that he had survived the fall. But that sinkhole was astonishingly deep, so far that we couldn't even see the bottom of it, even with the light in the chamber. After several minutes calling his name down the sinkhole, we finally heard his voice faintly echoing up the abyss.

We called to him to see if he was injured, but we could hardly make out his voice, he had fallen so deep. From what I could make of his faint words, he said he was unable to get up. We couldn't see him from where we stood, and the light we shined down the hole couldn't penetrate the thick dust that still hung in the air. Hilaire went back to the tank and quickly returned with a length of rope, intending to try and rappel down the sinkhole to retrieve Castro. The hole was so deep that Laury and I didn't have high hopes for retrieving him, but we knew that we would certainly try. Laury and I both secured the rope and Hilaire began his descent down the sinkhole, shining his light down into the abyss. He tried to descend rapidly, but the dust and loose dirt at the edge of the hole made it difficult for him to get a decent foothold. He went ever deeper in to the hole, getting so far down that we could hardly see him, and we were starting to run out of rope. All the while Hilaire was calling down to Castro, trying to reassure him that we would get him out of there, but Castro's responses became increasingly faint and inaudible, and finally ceased completely. When we ran out of rope to safely lower Hilaire any further, we called down to urge him to come back up. After a few minutes he resurfaced, utterly defeated and on the verge of tears. It seemed that Castro was all but lost down that godforsaken sinkhole, and it seemed like we had no real chance to get down there and find him.

Morale was poor before, but losing Castro like this was absolutely devastating. He was the youngest man in our crew, just shy of his twentieth birthday, yet dependable and steadfast as a man twice his age. Despite his odd behavior in the last few days, we still owed a lot to him. He led us here to this place, and even though we were still lost, it was better than taking our chances in the desert. In those early days, when we were bogged down in the sand dunes, he took the personal risk of scouting a way out of there. Losing him like this, in this strange and ominous place, was something that hammered home more than anything the hopelessness of our situation. Even so, Hilaire still talked about making another rescue attempt down the hole, even though Castro's voice was gone, and we didn't have nearly enough rope to make it down. When Laury and I suggested that Castro could be gone for good, Hilaire flew into a rage and cursed us out for just abandoning him like this, saying that we shouldn't even be thinking about leaving a man behind, alive or dead. We didn't say anything in response. Between our fatalistic helplessness and Hilaire's guilt about this whole situation, hope seemed like a vulgar proposition.
Hilaire sat by the hole for the rest of the day, occasionally calling Castro's name down the hole with no response. Laury and I camped outside of the entrance, ostensibly to keep watch, but mostly to commiserate where Hilaire couldn't hear us. Both of us were convinced that we would probably die out here. Either we would run out of food and water, or be the victim of an accident like Castro's, or we would try our luck in the desert and die of thirst and heat stroke. Darkness came again, and Hilaire was still inside the ziggurat, shouting down the sinkhole until his voice went hoarse. Laury and I regretted telling Hilaire to just give up, even though we still believed it was hopeless. No aircraft had ever shown up. No sign of a search operation looking for us. We were the only human faces that any of us had seen in days. There's really something strange about being stranded in a place so lifeless and empty. I guess we're not really used to the idea of being so alone, so far from city lights and crowded avenues, the general hustle and bustle of human life. This place, these ancient ruins, all of it should have reassured us with a reminder that once upon the time, human beings had set foot in this place. Instead, it seemed like there was nothing really human about this place at all.
We prepared to spend another night in the ziggurat, and Hilaire finally gave up his desperate mission. This time, he volunteered for the first watch; Laury and I were nervous about being around him, because of his desperate and clearly agitated frame of mind. We didn't really think he would hurt us, but his abrasive outbursts were starting to get more personal and hostile, and being around him like this was an extremely unpleasant experience. Nonetheless, we supposed that he could really use some alone time to work through his issues. Being around us probably wasn't easy for him either, the way Laury and I were moping and being generally hopeless.

I was asleep when Hilaire charged in through the entrance shouting in pain and panic, rousting Laury and I from our leaden sleep. As we came to our senses, I noticed that the air outside was utterly clouded by a resurgent sandstorm and through it I heard distinctly that high-pitched howl that we all knew so well. Hilaire was limping as he sprinted inside, and I saw that his right leg was slick with blood and a large gouge was ripped in his pant leg. He shouted “they're back, they're back” as he charged in, more terrified than I had ever seen him. In less than a second we gathered our weapons and trained them on the entrance, nerves alight and convinced that this would be our last stand. The howls grew louder with each passing second, and more of those horrific, sibilant voices joined in with the chorus of screams and howls. For several seconds we focused on the wall of airborne sand blowing across the entrance, knowing at any second that something could come storming in with great numbers. When a shadow became visible through the storm, one of us must have panicked an opened fire through the entrance, the report of gunfire nearly deafening us in the confined space. All of us joined in, firing rapidly at every shadow and vague silhouette visible through the darkness, without regard to conserving our ammunition. When my rifle went dry, I didn't pause for a second to reload, instead drawing my sidearm and keeping up the fire until I emptied that as well. We had taken the ammunition for our individual weapons with us when we made camp inside the ziggurat, but anything more powerful than small arms was still on the tank, outside the storm and probably surrounded by those creatures. As our magazines went empty, we stopped for a moment, examining the entrance. Nothing had apparently come through, but we couldn't see if all of our fire had actually hit anything.

But something was obviously out there. We turned our attention to Hilaire's leg wound, a sizable gash running down his right leg that must have been nearly a foot long. That was clearer evidence than anything that whatever had followed us here was now clearly hostile and meant to do much worse to all of us. We were now unexpectedly throw back into a fight for our lives, and if Hilaire was right, then the outside of the ziggurat was just about crawling with those creatures, and they were almost certainly prepared to descend upon us once they had gotten their second wind. Holding out inside the tunnel might have some advantages; we could funnel the hostiles into a narrow path and create a virtual shooting gallery out of whatever came through, but we could only do this with our small arms. And what would we do once we ran dry? Could we possibly hope to kill or drive off a hostile force of that size using only what we had? If they remained committed to the attack after we fired our last rounds, the only hope of defense would be to physically block the entrance, and without any nearby loose debris or entrenching tools, we couldn't make that happen. But our tank seemed the best bet for defense. The coaxial and cupola machine guns still had thousands of rounds of ammunition left, and if that failed to drive them off, then we could just button our hatches and wait out the hostiles.

But getting back out to our tank would mean having go back outside and dash over 150 meters up the edge of bowl, all through both the storm and the creatures outside waiting to ambush us. As we saw it, there was no alternative. As long as we stayed inside, we were confined in a kill zone from which there would be no retreat. We hastily reloaded our weapons, planning to make a dash for the tank, firing from the hip in the hopes that we could suppress our enemies long enough to make it. Hilaire stuffed a rag into the wound on his leg, and I worried about whether or not he would be able to make it the distance to the tank, but he had as little choice in the matter as any of us. We braced ourselves for a few seconds, preparing for our mad dash, convinced that we would all be dead within the next few minutes. Hilaire, like a true leader, was the first out the entrance, and we followed close behind, expected to be set upon the second we left the opening. We were relieved not to have anything jump on our backs as we plunged into the storm, but that relief was short lived as we saw dozens of silhouettes coming through the sand on both sides. We fired wildly from the hip, spraying fire at the level of these grotesque, vaguely human shadows. This bold maneuver certainly did catch these things off guard, backing off for a few seconds, but others ducked and weaved and carried on their attack. Laury, immediately behind me the whole way, stumbled to the ground as I saw one of those things tackle him from behind, swiping and scrabbling at the back of his head. I turned back, and rather than risk shooting Laury, I charged in like an old time Napoleonic soldier, rifle tucked at my hip, and reaching the creature I swung out my weapon like a club and bashed it across its face with the butt of the rifle. I helped Laury to his feet and got him moving again as he clasped the back of his head with both hands.

The dash to the tank must have taken a minute at the most, but it seemed like at least an hour, a frantic hour firing wildly at shadows in the mist. But against all odds, we had actually made it back our machine, and I have to say, the dusty outline of Hell Hound seemed like a divine gift from above. We remounted the tank like getting reacquainted with an old friend, but rather than close the hatches, Hilaire got on the fifty-cal machine gun on the cupola and without hesitation swung around in the direction of our assailants. He bellowed a vicious war cry that seemed to come from the bowels of Hell itself and without pause opened up on the outlines coming through the storm. Laury and I crouched at the bottom of the turret while I inspected his wounds. He had indeed sustained numerous cuts on the back of his scalp, and though these didn't look too deep, they still bled like mad bastards as scalp wounds often do. I wrapped his face rag around the back of his head like turban hoping to staunch the flow of blood; that was the best I could do for time being until we got out our medical supplies. I used the commander's override to switch on our auxiliary engine and restore power to tank, and even though we were dangerously low on fuel, I knew it could keep us going for a little while longer at least. I tapped the back of Hilaire's leg and let him know that I was about to traverse the turret, and he shouted back in acknowledgment. I shifted the turret the turret in the direction of our attackers, turned on the thermal and flipped over to the coaxial machine gun. And good God, I must have seen hundreds of thermal signatures through the dust. Pausing was not an option. I immediately let it rip with the coax into the line of thermal spots, firing long bursts in a general sweeping motion aimed at ground level. For the first time, I could see with my own eyes that we were doing serious damage to our attackers, mowing them down in absolute droves between the sharp chatter of the coax machine gun and the steady hammering of the fifty cal. But these little bastards learned quick. Soon they were skittering across the ground, ducking and weaving and even leaping several feet in the air to avoid the incoming fire. Worse still, I could see in the peripheral that now thermal signatures were coming from further to the sides in both directions; there was no way I could move the turret fast enough to get them all. I shouted to Hilaire that they were trying to split our fire, and that he should aim right as I moved the turret left.
But there were just too many of them, moving too quickly in all directions. No sooner did I set my sights on the attackers from the left that Hilaire screamed that they were about to climb onto the tank. I heard then the pounding and scratching on the turret walls as the creatures scrambled up the sides, and Hilaire screamed something and tried to draw his sidearm. One of those things tackled him and tried to grapple with him, and for the very first time I got a close look at what exactly these creatures were. It was pale and hairless thing, humanoid in shape, but with no nose and a long, sloping maw with no lips and glossy black orbs for eyes. I was stunned by this sight for a second, and I tried to pull Hilaire down into the turret. Several more scrambled up the tank piled on top of him, scrabbling and clawing at his whole upper body as he screamed with panic and rage. Laury threw himself around Hilaire's legs and we pulled as hard as we could to get him back into the turret. With a sudden and violent jerk, Laury and I were yanked upwards with Hilaire, bashing our heads into the turret ceiling, and in a flash we felt Hilaire's legs slip through our grip and out of the turret hatch.

We were stunned and horrified for a few seconds as we struggled to comprehend what had just happened. Hilaire was gone, torn out of the turret by the creatures that had overwhelmed our position. For a few moments were stared dumbly at the open hatch, listening for a scream or any sign that Hilaire was still out there, alive. I thought I could make out his shouts through the roaring storm, but they quickly faded into the din of howls and gales of sand. Laury had the presence of mind to finally close the hatch, a move that in that instant probably saved our lives as well, as the hatch wasn't closed for a second before violent scratching and pounding resonated through it. We both slunk to the bottom of the turret floor, staring at the hatch and hoping that it was secure enough to keep out a determined group of these creatures. And they were determined- we must have sat there for hours riveted on the hatch, jumping at every violent assault on the turret hull. Good God, there must have been hundreds of them out there, and not the least bit dissuaded by the heavy losses they took trying to overwhelm us.

We lay on the turret floor horrified and completely despondent about our predicament. We were now down to half of our number. Losing Castro had been bad, the worst moment so far, but losing Hilaire was a virtually irrecoverable blow. Without leadership, trapped in a metal box, with our choices being to stay here and starve or risk getting torn to pieces, we believed we now had a clear picture of exactly how we would end up dying. When it finally struck us that Hilaire was lost, I couldn't take it anymore. I broke down in tears, both in despair and disbelief. I had never suspected that such a situation like this was even possible on Earth. I had expectations of dying as an old man, surrounded by my children and grandchildren, or of dying a noble death in combat with a foreign enemy. Getting trapped in the middle of the desert and getting torn to bits by hideous unknown creatures didn't even seem possible, but no matter how much I blinked and rubbed my eyes, there was no waking up from this nightmare. There are no words to describe what it's like to stare your imminent death in the face. Even in the worst scenarios, there would seem to be some optimism, some skepticism about death that could carry you through the worst of the fear. That battle at the airport those days before was like that. Rolling forward against enemy fire, wary that a lurking enemy tank or RPG could suddenly light you up end your war without warning; that was a real fear, but you also knew that it might not happen as well, that you'd be lucky or good enough to get out of combat with all your parts intact. But knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the jig was up, in a way more horrible and seemingly impossible than you ever thought possible, took my last reserves of courage right out of me.

Laury wasn't doing much better himself. He had never broken into tears, but he was definitely showing the same hopelessness that had crushed me. Without options, we just curled up on the turret floor, resigned to waiting hours or days or whatever might come. Somewhere in there, I fell into a dreamless sleep that must have lasted several hours. No nightmares; when you're truly exhausted, miserable, and emotionally drained, there are no dreams or nightmares. The only nightmare is waking up again. When I did awake, I looked at my watch and saw that it was 0530 hours. Laury was still awake, staring back up at the hatch. He turned his attention to me and pointed out that the outside was completely silent, no pounding or scratching. This got my attention. Had our attackers given up? Were they waiting for another opportunity, or did they have some other plan for leaving us? Laury proposed that maybe we should take a brief look outside, even consider making a run for it. That didn't make much sense to me, because there didn't seem like there was any place to run. However, having a quick look around for an idea of what to do next wasn't a terrible idea.

I looked through the thermal sight and saw nothing. Laury used the commander's cupola to examine in all directions around the tank, and again, no sign of anything. He picked up his rifle and cautiously opened the hatch while I held my breath, waiting for something to storm in as soon as it opened. But there was nothing, silence. Unusual silence, in fact. Even the storm had finally calmed down, and although dust still hung in the air and clouded the sky, there wasn't even a slight breeze. For several minutes Laury scanned all around, not sticking his head out above eye level. He noticed that the fifty cal machine gun had been torn out of its mount and laid on the ground next to the track. Laury said he going out, and even though I protested harshly, he pulled himself up and out of the hatch. After a few minutes with no screams of alarm, I tentatively followed him up. Indeed, the whole scene was eerily still and silent. No trace of our attackers remained, not even the corpses of all those we had slain the night before. They had evidently taken their dead with them and done God knows what with them. More disturbingly, there was no sign of Hilaire either. When he was snatched from that turret, he had simply disappeared off the face of the Earth. But at this point, I had no real hopes of finding him. I can only surmise what must have happened him at the hands of those creatures, but if their violent attacks were any indication, I would be surprised if anything was left.

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2019.03.19 02:09 Chili1220 Cursed Sands, Part 2

Part 2 of "Cursed Sands".




Getting out of the dunes was as difficult as we feared, and we all sat on the edge of seats, listening to the engine roar, hoping desperately that the dreaded sound of a track being thrown wouldn't come. Finally, it seemed that we crested the hill and were moving down, when we saw that the dunes continued in that direction for miles. Hilaire was now starting to get seriously concerned about our fuel consumption; we had four-fifths of tank left when we first turned back, but now we had only three-fifths left, even though we had gone only a fraction of the distance across the desert. The effort to climb up those dunes had taken up a lot of fuel, and now with sand dunes in every direction, and the sandstorm picking up again, we were all starting to despair. Hilaire remained cool, and ordered Laury not to climb up any more hills, and just stick to the low ground between them. Castro however was starting to get agitated. He was not quite twenty years old, and in his short life had probably never been in a situation as bad as ours. He was starting to pester Hilaire with questions about where we were going, did we have enough fuel, are we sure this was right way, et cetera. Finally Hilaire snapped at him to calm down, and Castro retreated into himself, sulking.

After a few hours, the engine started to overheat from the exertion, and we stopped to give it a chance to cool down. The storm had slacked off again, and we all dismounted to do a maintenance check and scout around for a potential path. Hilaire decided to clean out the air filter while the engine was cooling off, Laury and I checked the track tension, and Castro was sent out to scout across the top of a sand dune for a way out. We had gone far enough that the desert had flattened out a bit, with much more space in between hills, and we took this as a good sign. Still, fuel was now a concern, and lacking any landmarks we couldn't tell how much further we needed to go. Castro returned from his scouting mission, saying that there were still no landmarks, but the ground to the south was much flatter and probably easier to get across. Laury and I went back to our work, thinking Castro would just mill around until we remounted. A few minutes later, we looked up to see that Castro had wandered off. He had one of the weapons issued to our crew, a Colt Commando, and we were worried what he might have gotten himself into. I climbed a hill to west to get a view around to find him, and I saw him cautiously walking west, rifle in hand, as if he expected a threat. He was probably about a hundred meters away, scanning the horizon, and didn't respond when I shouted his named. I ran out after him and caught up with him before he got too far, but he still didn't respond even when came up next to him. He was absolutely fixated on some point in the distance that I couldn't recognize, and I practically had to shake him to get his attention. He acted like a man coming out of a trance, and when I asked him what the hell he was doing, he answered, “Nothing, I didn't see nothing,” almost as if I were accusing him of something. He abruptly turned around, slinging his rifle, and brisked walked back in the direction of the tank.

I was baffled by this strange behavior, especially from a man like Castro, who wasn't much more than a kid. I chalked it up to the stress of the situation, but I still resolved to tell Hilaire about it, in case something escalated. I returned to the tank shortly after Castro and saw that Hilaire was still working on the engine and nursing some skinned knuckles. The engine had finally cooled down, but he said that the coolant was starting to pick up sand, which could clog the whole system. Unless we jury-rigged some kind of water filter, we'd just have to deal with it and watch the engine temperature more carefully. I told him about Castro, and he said that noticed similar behavior, and the normally verbose young man was uncharacteristically quiet. Our concerns expressed, we remounted and proceeded south, towards the hopefully flatter terrain.

We went south and east, trying to stick to low ground, and for a time we had relatively clear visibility in our path, so we could stay on a rough course. It was like this throughout the afternoon, with Laury counting down the ticks on the fuel gauge. Out of nowhere, in the course of less than a minute, the storm brewed up again more violently than at any point so far. We were all startled when we heard especially harsh gales of wind and sand pelting against the outside of the tank, and visibility dropped so low that even the thermals couldn't make out anything much further than 60 meters. Worse still, we even noticed some bright flashes of lightning, and if there was lightning, there could be rain, and in this terrain and sudden downpour could cause a flash flood that could swamp our tank. The suddenness of the storm caught us all by surprise; we had gotten used to the general ebb and flow of the weather, with periods of relative calm in between constant winds. I kept scanning the horizon through the thermal when I started noticing some strange objects. Actually, they didn't even seem like just objects; I could swear they were moving! At first I briefly panicked when I thought I saw a human outline, maybe a hostile enemy, but it sank low to the ground and tumbled across the sand like no living creature I knew of. I was thinking that perhaps it was some kind of loose debris, a tarp maybe, that had drifted across the desert in the storm, but then I noticed that there were more of them.

I was so stunned for a moment that I didn't immediately tell Hilaire what was out there. I wasn't even sure what exactly *it* was out there. There were at least three or four signatures in the thermal, all white hot like you would expect from a person or animal, but there was nothing about them that made them seem like a person. After all, what would a person be doing out here in a storm like this, in the middle of nowhere? I saw some of those signatures suddenly flip up, and I could swear then that there was something vaguely human about that posture. When I told Hilaire, he immediately got on his periscope and scanned in that direction, but he couldn't make out anything. Castro suddenly seemed even more agitated and froze up, just riveted to his seat. I wondered at that for a second, but kept scanning for these “beings” or whatever they were, not sure if they were hostiles or just wild animals. But as quickly as they came into view, they suddenly disappeared into the storm, with no trace of their passing.

The sudden apparition and the brief panic it caused left all of us rattled for a time. We were definitively lost out in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert, with no clear clue where we were or what direction we should go, and now there was the possibility that we were trapped with some strange creatures in a blinding sandstorm. I say 'possibility' because I was not completely sure that what I saw was a living thing, but the way it glowed in the thermal scope would suggest that it was. The storm continued to rage all around us as we moved further south and east, and the pelting of sand against the turret hull grew stronger and stronger. Fuel was now getting worryingly low, as according to Laury, we now had just under a third of a tank left, enough to get us 150 kilometers at an efficient speed, but we were not at an efficient speed. We were still trudging across open desert, burning more fuel than usual, and the possibility of having to hoof it from here to civilization left us all deeply worried. Eventually evening came with still no sign of human habitation anywhere, and we knew that it meant spending yet another night out in the open desert. As a Marine I'm used to the idea of spending nights far from civilization, but out here, totally alone, and with some strange creatures roaming about the wastes, I was starting to have serious doubts about my choice of career.

When the storm finally eased off, we stopped to do our necessaries and call it an evening. Castro was being particularly fidgety, so we gave him the first watch. Exhausted as I was, having not slept much the previous night, I finally was able to get some quality shuteye, curled up at the back of the turret floor under the loader's ready rack. Since I had third watch, I was able to get a few hours in before my turn. I was woken by Laury at 0300 hours to begin my watch, although I wasn't thrilled about spending any time outside the tank in that storm. I opted to keep my sidearm with me in addition to the rifle; whatever was out there, I would take no chances. I sat outside the tank on the front glacis next to the driver's hatch, surveying the scene. I was glad that I would have a break in the storm, but this small comfort was rather short lived. The wind slowly picked up its pace, and once again the tank was shrouded in complete darkness. It was then that I was able to register a faint sound, indistinct at first, but which started to stand out as high-pitched howl. If I didn't know better, I would've said it was like the nasally hoot of an elk, but I knew it couldn't have been that. In a different situation, I might have dismissed it as a trick of the constant winds, but this time I was fully alert and on the lookout for any sign of the creatures from the previous day. I pounded on the hatch and Hilaire almost immediately came out of it and wanted to know what was happening. I told him that I heard something out there, even though I couldn't see it, and I wanted to be inside the tank if it showed up.

We both climbed back into the tank and I immediately got to my position and scanned the horizon for anything. But to my disappointment, the thermal optic was on the fritz, and everything appeared hazy and dim, but even so I could make out something in the distance. I was just about shitting bricks at this point, convinced that these were the creatures I had seen yesterday, and even though I couldn't prove they were hostile, I just felt it. The storm was making it difficult to see, but I recognized those forms, and I was sure they were getting closer. That howl was now slightly audible inside the tank, and everybody was on alert. We had done numerous close-combat drills before, practicing scenarios where enemy troops got in close enough to our vehicle that we couldn't use the main weapons against them, but even our practiced minds couldn't fathom just what kind of threat we faced.

We stayed absolutely silent inside the tank for several minutes, trying to discern the howls from the ceaseless gales outside. The howling ceased abruptly, and Castro, who had gone white with fear, suddenly jerked up from his seat. Through the turret wall behind him, we could make out a faint scratching noise, like the pawing of an animal, and we were so riveted by this that we were caught off guard by harsh thunk on the turret behind me. I jumped at this and nearly brained myself on turret roof, and a few seconds later, I could swear I heard something like laughter. It was a thin and sibilant sound, not human at all, high-pitched and sinister. Then we heard a skittering sound across the roof of the turret, like a large creature scuttling across it, and Hilaire tried to look through the cupola to see what it was, but nothing was there. The scratching sound became more insistent, and now the pattering was happening across the entire outer surface of the turret, and sharp, screeching sound came from the front, right over the port for the gunner's sight. Castro, who was fighting panic this entire time, finally lost it and began pounding on the turret walls, screaming and cursing, demanding to whatever was outside to leave us alone. At first we were about to smack him and make him be quiet, but his outburst gave way to a moment of silence around the tank. When the attacks resumed, we all took Castro's cue and started banging on the walls, shouting and swearing, giving our best 'war faces', trying to scare off the hostiles. Finally they gave up their attack and ceased their scratching and banging on the outside. But as they made their retreat, I once again heard that horrible, sinister laugh, fading into the night.

Morning came with all of us completely drained. The attack during the evening had left us all shaken, and now more than ever we felt the urgency of our situation. We all wanted to leave this area immediately, and Hilaire agreed with us. But the situation did not improve. We kept rolling onwards in the same direction for about an hour when Hilaire suddenly ordered us to stop. None of us saw any reason for the delay, but we weren't stopped for a second before he jumped out through his hatch and strode in front the tank. We all followed his lead, not knowing just what he had in mind. We caught up with him to see that he holding his head in his hands, growling “No, no” to himself. We asked what was wrong, and he rounded on us pointed out that it was impossible for us to have gone so far and not arrived anywhere near civilization. We had traveled well over a hundred kilometers since getting lost, but in all that time we had not seen or discovered anything. There should at least have been a road or trail somewhere, or a village or hamlet. There should have been aircraft overhead, and even though we were lost, some kind of search effort must have been underway, but we had neither seen nor encountered anything but endless hills of sand. He cursed himself for his decision to go off the main road when we first got separated from the column, saying we should have stayed put and waited for a break in the storm.

But he was right about one thing: we should definitely have encountered something by now, just by the sheer distance we had traveled. Kuwait is a small country, it seemed impossible that we should be so hopelessly lost when we knew where we started from and how far we needed to go. All we had seen since then was nothing but rolling sand dunes that always seemed to be in a different place when you looked at them. Our fuel was now perilously low, only about a quarter of a tank, and days' worth of travel had gotten us nowhere. Had we wandered out into the desert even farther than we thought? We knew that heading east, even with a moderate deviation to the south, should have gotten us someplace that could recognize, but there was nothing but desert in all directions, and no sign whatsoever of human civilization anywhere in all that time. Unless Kuwait had magically gotten twice as large in the span of two days, this couldn't have happened. Hilaire was almost despondent, and seeing him start to lose it had a serious effect on us.

All this time Laury was observing the horizon, which had now mostly cleared as the shamal finally died down after all this time. He called out to us while we listened to Hilaire, and we saw that he was pointing to some spot on the horizon that we couldn't make out at first. But he was insistent, and kept pointing towards what he called a “tower”, and after a minute I saw just what he was pointing at. Far in the distance off to the west I could faintly see a grey object, a tower like he described, and I could see that it actually glittered slightly in the sunlight. It was quite small in the distance from where we stood, hardly poking out above the hills, but it seemed attainable, and it most definitely was not a mirage. But it was to the west, deeper into the desert, in the complete opposite direction we had resolved to go. This dissuaded us for minute, but when we realized we had endlessly driven east with no result, heading west towards a sign of civilization seemed totally rational to our desperate minds. All at once, our spirits lifted tremendously, and we decided then and there that we would turn west, making a dash towards the only sign of humanity we had seen in days, fuel reserves be damned.

Castro, however, did not seem all that pleased. I thought he would be the most excited by this news, given that he was under serious strain from our situation, but he was actually quite muted. We told him that our new path led west, and assented to this without any comment or complaint. But the rest of us were jubilant, thinking that the end of our ordeal was in sight, and we gave little thought to what we would actually find there. We mounted our machine and turned it west, into the direction of this heavenly sign to a group of stranded and desperate men. We took a much quicker pace than we had in days, only loosely paying attention to our remaining fuel. Our tank surged across those hated desert sands, and even as the weather yet again took a turn for the worse, we felt unstoppable. The shamal we thought had died out picked up with a vengeance, and once again we were nearly blinded that curtain of sand and grit, but we kept that shining tower in our sight the whole way. As if rising to the challenge, the storm grew ever worse, and soon visibility was nearly gone, but we still had our bearings. Through the thermal I observed the horizon for this tower, catching faint streaks of heat in the direction we were going, convinced that this was our destination.
At this point, Hilaire once again began working on the radio, and after days of inactivity, that voice recording once again filled the speaker. It was still muffled and filled with static, and no more intelligible, but it was a stronger and clearer signal than before. Days before we had wondered at the wisdom of trying to follow such a signal, but in our desperation, we were prepared to accept many risks. Indeed, it seemed as if the source of this mysterious signal was coming from this tower we had spotted in the distance, as the signal came in clearer and clearer as we kept going. I thought we must have been very close when the violence of the storm suddenly became worse, and the pattering on the outside of the turret gave a sign of what we had feared most: rain. We were in one of the driest places on Earth, and we had somehow stumbled into a goddamned rainstorm! I suppose it was possible that a shamal could bring in scattered rain clouds that hung over the desert, but this seemed like an unfathomable stroke of bad luck. But still we pushed on, hoping that our mad dash would bring us to our destination before the worst of it took hold.

Our desperate hopes proved fruitless as we came upon a distinctive sight of a torrent of water rolling across the sand: a flash flood, brought on by this rain. For a vehicle as large and heavy as a Patton tank, a flash flood might not seem that dangerous, but we were driving over soft, porous sand, and there was no telling just how deep this stream could be or if the ground beneath would hold out. Hilaire was unimpressed by this obstacle, and seeing we were so close to our goal, he made a snap decision to just ford ahead through the flood, hoping that speed and weight would keep us upright. At Hilaire's signal, Laury gunned the throttle and drove forward into the mud and muck of the flash flood, and the tank noticeably sank into the ground, but we still managed to keep moving forward. But this momentum was slowly fading, and as we made to within a few meters of the other side, the tank started getting bogged down in that water-logged sand. Laury kept at it, pushing the engine harder and harder, and old Hell Hound managed to slowly inch forward. After a tense few minutes that seemed like hours, we finally reached the other side, but it was still not over. The rear of the tank was still in the stream, and just as the rear made it up onto the bank, we heard the dreaded clunk-clunk-screech of a track being thrown. Despite lurching onto more solid ground at the last second, the Laury had still placed too much stress on it, and it simply bunched up and rolled off.
We all got out to examine the damage, our once high spirits now crushed, and saw that it would take hours of work to get the track back in place, hours spent out in this horrible storm, even when we were so close to our destination. Hilaire wanted us to focus on getting the tank back in order, but Castro and Laury both floated the idea of simply pushing ahead on foot, hoping that we were close enough to reach our destination without transport. Hilaire aggressively vetoed this idea, saying that leaving our machine behind was not an option, especially since all of the weapons were still operational. Following his suggestion, we all gathered at the side of the tank to begin the arduous task of getting the track back on the road wheels. All this time, the storm had kept up its constant assault, and even face-wrapping and goggles could only do so much against the high speed barrage of sand. Thankfully the rain had ceased and the threat of any more flash floods was gone, although the stream of water we had just crossed continued flowing for hours.

We had been working on the track for just over an hour and making good progress when Laury pointed out that Castro yet again seemed like he was going wander off from the rest of us. He was stalking off into the storm, rifle in hand, behaving very similarly to that trance-like state I found him in the day before. Shouting over the wind would do no good, so I ran after Castro to try and get his attention. To my surprise and shock, Castro suddenly broke into a heaving sprint further into the blowing sands, and Hilaire bellowed from behind me to follow after him. I wasn't thrilled by this idea as I was convinced that I would end up getting myself lost out in the storm, but I was still deeply worried about Castro. His increasingly strange behavior these last few days had left us all quite disturbed, especially since he had been so cool and levelheaded during the battle at the airport. I charged after him, barely keeping up and struggling to even see him through all the dust and grit in air. For a few moments, he disappeared from my sight completely, and I nearly panicked thinking that both of us were now hopelessly lost out this weather. I kept running in the direction I last saw him, silently praying that he would turn up while simultaneously cursing him for running off like this. Without warning, I suddenly moved into break in the storm, my vision suddenly clear, and I saw Castro at a dead stop about thirty yards in front of me, staring up in awe at something in the sky. I was then that I saw just what we had been traveling towards all this time.

Looming high above us, silhouetted against a sky still filled with storm and moving sands, were a pair of dark stone objects that I recognized as buildings. The bases of these buildings seemed totally buried in sand, but the rest of them stuck out above the ground at least five or six stories tall. They were mostly square and featureless, the sides canted inwards slightly like a trapezoid, with no trace of windows or doors on the outside. The facade of each building was just a flat, barren stone exterior, not sand-colored or beige like most structures I had seen in this region, but dark grey and very smooth. Above us they loomed on the side of a particularly steep sand dune, like the ramparts of a great fortress, spaced only a short ways apart. Castro and I were equally dumbfounded by this unexpected discovery of such strange architecture in the middle of a barren, featureless desert. But odd as this was, it was still the first clear sign of civilization we had seen in days, and these clearly were not natural features of the land.

I finally broke out of my own astonishment and got Castro's attention. He was still awestruck, but not pleased or excited as I felt. I urged him to follow me back to the tank to tell the rest that we had finally arrived at the mysterious destination we had been following this whole day. With some reluctance, he agreed to follow me back to the others. We must have wandered off close to a quarter mile into the storm, and I had no clue how we might find the rest going back through the storm. Castro suddenly took the lead and began moving briskly back in the rough direction we had come. Since I had no better ideas, I followed him closely through the storm, hoping that he his sudden confidence meant he knew where he was going. To my relief, we shortly caught sight of our tank and saw Hilaire waving his arms over his head, signaling to us his position. He must've been incredibly relieved to see us back. I excitedly told Hilaire and Laury what we had found ahead, and they were just as perplexed by what we told them as we had been when we found it. The work on the track was nearly done, outstripping our expectations, and I tried again to urge Hilaire to just push ahead on foot back the structures. Again he rejected this idea, but with Castro and I back, we could more quickly finish repairing the track.

With great speed and excitement we got back to fixing the track, and in less than an hour, our tank was operational again. We remounted and proceeded in the direction we had gone earlier, still carefully rationing our last sips of fuel to cover the short distance. Once again, we made it through that sudden break in the storm and once again beheld the awe-inspiring sight of those looming towers. We knew we likely couldn't get the tank up that steep hill, so we circled around the base of it, our eyes fixed upwards to survey the perimeter of this bizarre settlement we found so far out into the desert. As we drove around, we saw that there were other structures around the top of the hill extremely similar to the first two, spaced evenly apart. Between two of them we finally found a relatively manageable slope leading up to the crest of the hill, and cautiously we moved up this path, alert for whatever we may find in this strange and remote place. We reached the top of the slope and moved slowly between the two structures, nervously eyeing the upper reaches for any possible sign of trouble.

We passed between the towers and came into a flat, empty area surrounded on all sides by these strange buildings, an area that seemed strangely like a plaza of some sort. And in the center of this plaza was the glittering tower we had spotted in the distance hours before. It was an enormous steel-gray obelisk that must have been a hundred meters tall or more, built out of smooth and polished stone that still shined slightly in the dim sky. But despite this obvious sign of civilization, there was no trace of human life anyplace around the whole area. This whole unexpected scene left us dumbstruck for many minutes until Laury suggested we dismount and explore the area in the hopes of finding any locals we might ask for information. We were reticent about this at first given the unnatural solitude of this strange and isolated city. Apart from these blank and ominous buildings, the whole area was still as barren as much of the rest of the desert we had just left. We moved slowly and cautiously deeper into the plaza area, now completely unnerved by the silence. Though the sky was still hazy and mostly obscured by the sandstorm, the wind on the ground level was quite calm. We finally parked our tank in the shadow of the obelisk, and we all sat quietly for a few minutes, internally debating our next course of action. The excitement of the hours before, when we thought our predicament had come to an end, was all but gone. No sign of life was remotely present here; all we seemed to have followed were some ancient and long-abandoned ruins far from anywhere.
submitted by Chili1220 to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2018.07.30 07:27 nexquietus The Tale of Lorrin McBane (D&D 5e)

This is a work in progress. We are doing the Phandelver missions, and I'm using it as a creative writing inspiration. What dialog is in this is mostly accurate as to what happened in the session, as far as I could remember, as are the actions.
Lorrin McBane is inspired by Donald McBane a Scottish fencing master with an incredible life story. His book is worth a read.
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I am putting quill to parchment in hopes that my life may be an inspiration for some or a tale of caution for others. I was born like many of us are, into a life less than easy surrounded by poverty and rough and tumble people trying just to get by. My dearest mother, may Tyr find her soul pure, made her way in this world a madame for a handful of working women in a small human settlement named Asbluf outside the Dwarven foundries at Naramunz. Being on a crossroads between the port city of Sastow and Naramunz, Asbluf had more Inns, taverns and illicit dealings than many other towns it’s size.
Miners would come down from the hill with their monthly earnings, and trading caravans rested up here before their long journeys home. Me mother was a tough woman and had built a small public house with her own hands. She had a few women who leased rooms from her, and all was well in the house for several years, them all trading skin for coin. My father was some sort of scoundrel or another and was gone with the blowing leaves. Not that any of us cared. After I was born, me mother stuck to managing the house, wanting to me to have some sort of respectable mother.
Me mother often talked at length of the god Tyr and his love of justice. She believed that if you were a decent person, Tyr would take care of you. At the time, I didn’t understand how the gods would bother to watch over us dregs, but now I know different. “May Tyr find your sins Light and your Kindness heavy.” Those words parted from her sweet lips every time she and a friend parted. I hear them in my mind still.
I busied myself learning how to use a pick-lock from Jareth Longleaf, and running cons with Maribel Stoneaker, tossing dice with the boys in Hakel’s alley, and soon as not I was nearly a man. I helped mother run the house, even going so far as to learn some healing from the local Dwarf Cleric Hrarrahg Grizzen, drunk though he often was, so I could heal the girls who would find it hard to otherwise find a reputable healer.
It was the night that I escorted one of the girls to a ‘date’ with a Caravan Leader that my life forever changed. I was chatting up one of the caravan oxen handlers in the main room when I heard a scream from the room where I dropped off the girl. I hurried back there and threw open the door to find the caravan leader readying to hit the woman a second time with a short club. Her eye was already blacked from the first strike and tears poured from her sobbing face.
Now, remember, I was not a soldier as yet, but I wasn’t small lad either. I charged across the room, and tackled him to the floor. He hit his head on the floor as he dropped and I beat him a bit for his trouble even so. The girl and I took his coin purse as he slept, and I gave most of the money to her before making our escape.
I told her to go to me mother’s house while I fetched some healing kit from drunk old Grizzen. It took far too long to make the necessary sale, we all know how much fun it is to interact with someone halfway into their third bottle, but what is, is. When I returned, my mother lay on the floor of the common room, her head half caved in, barely breathing. The girls were sobbing and told of how the man came for his money with some others and when me mother told him to go, he beat her senseless for it.
“Sonny,” she said to me between long slow breaths. “I want ye’ to go.”
I was crying. “I shall not leave you, mother,” I said. I could not.
“Disobey me not,” she said. She could not open her eyes. She was dying and knew it.
“Whatever you wish, mother,” I said.
“Good boy,” said she. “Killian says... they are recruiting down... in Tiford.” Her sentences were coming slower with longer pauses between words.
“But mother...” I was lost. I could not fathom the loss of my mother. I looked to one of the girls. “Healer, get the healer,” I yelled.
“Tyr knows you to be a good boy, find honest work.” she said. “Tyr will watch over me...and you. I can see it.”
With that, she took her last breath and was gone from this world.
My soul cried out, my tears ran in hot streams down my face, and I buried my face in the neck of the only woman I had ever loved. I know not how long I was there, but I know old Grizzen, a Claric of Tyr was the one that pulled me up.
“She is with brother Tyr now, lad,” he said, his voice deep and coarse like gravel. His breath smelled of alcohol, but he looked not effected by it.
I ran a shirt sleeve across my face as I knelt, looking into his sun creased face.
“You best hurry on, son,” the now sober dwarf said. “Word is the militia is looking for you for assault and robbery. Several of the caravaners bore witness that you and that girl beat and robbed their leader, and when they came looking for you, your mother attacked them and they acted in self defense.”
I was beside myself with grief, and now anger, but also fear. I knew them to have gold and I knew we were dregs. The militia would believe the gold.
Gently, I kissed my mother’s dear forehead. From her neck I took two things. First the Scales and hammer necklace of Tyr on a silver chain. Second, a small cloth pouch. In it was a family heirloom needle that never bent and some silk thread. It had been in her family for ages, and though it held value for only our family, I wanted it to remain in our family.
Outside I could hear some loud voices and a ruckus. Madi, one of the girls pressed a coin purse in my hand, also my mother’s and another girl, Karliie handed me a small pack full of provisions and snuck me out the secret door to the back.
Several days later I arrived in Tiford and signed my name to the recruiting papers. Three years did I fight under Tiford’s banner. Much did I learn, but my heart cried out for something, and so, when my term was up, I packed up a bag and headed to parts unknown.
After a spell, I found myself in the employ of a Dwarf, tasked to take supplies to Phandelin. Along with a few fellow adventurers, we were off. The first hours of the trail dragged on, as most marches began. The boredom wore on until our scout, Skolas, one of the best young rangers I have met spotted something up ahead.
Across the road, a pair of horses in full tack lay dead, across so no wagon could travel past. He stopped us, and went ahead stealthliy. I readied my small crossbow. The forest was thick, and we’d just rounded a bend. I scanned the edges of the road, alert for any ambushers. I could see none, but still I bade our sorcerer to hold our oxen firm, lest they spook at a sudden assault. The presence of (Delina’s character), a Life cleric of Tyr bolstered my spirits for I knew if tragedy would befall us, she could right what damage was done.
At once, there was a commotion in the wood, and just as Skolas was to leave the cover of the trees to my right, a Goblin broke from the woods on each side of the road. One charged me, shooting at me with a wee little bow. It skived of my armored shoulder, causing not a scratch. I shot at it with my crossbow, and missed, my luck with the damnable things ever miserable.
It was then that all hell erupted with our sorcerer hitting my goblin with a freezing blast of some sort right before the Cleric burned the poor little bugger with heavenly fire. Skolas accounted well of himself as he made a long shot against a goblin that had also fired upon me, striking the green little fool in the chest and tossing him on his back. I dropped the crossbow and drew my sword and shield, charging the tough little goblin, we exchanged blows a few times before another of the goblins shot at me. My goblin, seeing what was to befall of himself, headed to the woods, but was intercepted by Skolas and the elf wizard Reginald, receiving a blow from each and seeing his life snuffed out.
Emboldened by the death of his friend, yet another shot at Skolas, wounding him severely. The quick ranger dashed behind some cover. He was met by (Delina’s character) and in a word she healed him of his wounds.
I advanced toward the two remaining goblins. I heard a muttering from Reggie, and saw his hand disappear into a pocket in his robes. When it was withdrawn, he cast his hand wide and I watched as a cloud of fine sand flew straight and true to the goblin on my left. I watched the little fella slump against a fallen log, dead asleep. That left only one.
I approached him behind my shield and suddenly the whip of an arrow went by my left ear. The last goblin caught an arrow in the neck, the arterial spray of blood visible even these 20 paces away.
Reggie and I approached the sleeping goblin, he behind me and my shield.
“McBane, I speak the goblin tongue,” he said. “We must question the retched little thing. Find out what he knows.”
“Aye lad, that we do,” I said, holding my sowrd point to his throat menacingly. I struck the little toad with the flat of my sword, waking him up, and loomed over him, menacing him threateningly.
Words were exchanged between Reggie and the goblin, the gutteral, clipt words strange coming from the Elf’s mouth.
“He says he was hired by a particularly nasty bugbear named Clargh? I think. He lives in a cavern close to here.”
Skolas and (Delina’s Character) walked up behind us and (Delina’s Character) added questions in the Goblin tongue as well. Reggie translated for me and Skolas.
“She just asked him what was he trying to do. She asked if he was a simple bandit or was on a mission. The goblin replied that Clargh was ordered by the King of the Cragmaw tribe to ambush our particular cart. We were expected.”
Reggie asked some of his own questions, and the little monster, fearing for his life answered without reservation.
“He says that Cragmaw castle is to the north of the trail,” Reggie said.
We all looked at each other for a second. Skolas and Reggie were looking at the horses while I guarded the goblin.
“I see a couple problems here,” I said. “First, as much as I would love to venture off and offend those would would attack me and mine, we’ve a job to do.”
“Agreed,” the beautiful Aasimar cleric. “Though we dare not suffer enemies to live within the Church of Tyr.”
“There is another problem,” the gravely voice of Skolas was much more quiet that I would have imagined. “These Horses belonged to our patron and his guard.” He indicated some leather-work on an empty map tube tied to the saddle of one of the horses. I remembered that tube from when our patron bid us farewell as he rode ahead of us on our errand, thinking it a rather nice piece of leather work.
Reggie had been absently walking around, thinking and pointed to a poorly hidden path that under closer scrutiny, it could be surmised, a pair of bodies had been dragged through. “It looks like they might have been dragged away through here,” he said.
The trail led deep within the forest, away from where were to deliver our goods.
“What about him,” I asked, indicating the scared little goblin. “Not often do I kill the unarmed and harmless.”
“He is anything but harmless,” the Aasimar said. “He’s indicated his willingness to do evil, and I say we end him as we see him.”
Skolas shook his head. “I will have no part in the decision, but will stand with those that do.”
Reggie nodded. “I don’t see a probem either way, but I don’ t want to make the decision.”
I was conflicted. My time in the Army of Tiford beat into me the idea of giving quarter so the enemy would do the same. But this was a goblin, and an evil one. My mother’s god Tyr would likely find him guilty. I nodded, knowing what must be done.
“May the righteous hand of Tyr guide my hand, so your soul may find damnation,” I said. With a stroke, the goblin’s life was snuffed out.
(Delina’s Character) nodded approvingly. “I did not know you were a follower of Tyr.”
I knelt, wiping off my blade of the goblin’s sash. I stood and sheathed my weapon, then knelt again, rumaging through the Goblin’s belongings.
“I’ll be honest, Lass,” I said as I worked. “It was me mother that was. That was just something I picked up through the years that sounded menacing. I liked it because an invocation of Tyr reminded me of me mother, may Tyr hold her close.” I stood, holding a rough short quiver, a small leather pouch, and a crude but serviceable scimitar.
“Well, it is a beautiful invocation. We may have to talk more about Tyr,” she said smiling. “He may guide your blade weather you can feel it or not.”
We joined the others who had already added the dead horses tack and a few quivers of arrows to the Cart’s cargo. Skolas divvied up the meager coppers we’d found and handed them out.
It took us the better part of an hour to drag the horses out of the way and pile the goblin bodies on top. We were considering burning them, but decided against, lest an unseen enemy investigate the smoke. Instead we continued down the road, only stopping when we absolutely had to, maybe a half day’s journey from our destination.
We made a rough camp, none of us being cityfied types and the Elf took the first bit of watch. Skolas took the middle, and it was then that we were awoke by him raising the alarm.
Though I hated to do it,I had slept in my armor, and so armored, I grabbed my shield and lept up. There was a fierce buzzing, and suddenly a tree near to Reggie lit up brightly, turning our little clearing into daylight. The buzzing materialized in the light into 9 flying creatures the size of a loaf of bread. The fight was miserable, and Reggie nearly had to sleep the group, (Delina’s Character and I barely remaining awake, while all the bugs and a severely wounded ranger were put to sleep.
Boots and staves made quick work of our adversaries and Skolas was nearly dead, but with the blessing of (Delina’s Character) made a full recovery. We remained awake for a time, then changed guard and fell again to a more natural slumber this time.
-edited for some spelling.
submitted by nexquietus to nexquietus [link] [comments]


2018.07.04 18:29 Ainsoph777 The Jesuits are in Control of Ernst and Young!

The Jesuits are tied to Ernst and Young

Jesuit Political Thought, Harro Hopfl, page 370 As Suarez commented: ‘a ´ directive power without a coercive power is ineffective’.83
David Kautter is an American lawyer and tax policy advisor who currently serves as Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury for Tax Policy. Prior to assuming his current role, he was a partner at accounting firm RSM International. Kautter was previously the managing director of the Kogod Tax Center and executive-in-residence at the Kogod School of Business at American University. He was a partner at Ernst & Young!!!! and served as tax legislative counsel for former U.S. Senator John Danforth. Prior to his work at AU, Mr. Kautter spent over 30 years at Ernst and Young, including serving as Director of National Tax for over 13 years.
[1][2] According to The Hill, "If confirmed, Kautter would oversee tax matters in the department and would likely play a key role in the administration's tax-reform efforts."[3] On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump(educated at Jesuit Fordham) announced the designation of Kautter to be the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service effective November 13, 2017. Kautter was educated at the University of Notre Dame (Catholic) and Georgetown University!!(Jesuit)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kautter
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/commissioner-david-j-kautter-acting
https://cathedral.org/staff/david-j-kautte
EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, England. EY is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and is one of the "Big Four" accounting firms.
EY operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. It has 231,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries in the world. It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.[5]
The firm dates back to 1849 with the founding of Harding & Pullein in England. The current firm was formed by a merger of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Co. in 1989.[6] It was known as Ernst & Young until 2013, when it underwent a rebranding to EY. The acronym "EY" was already an informal name for the firm prior to its official adoption.[7]
In 2017, Fortune magazine ranked EY 29th on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list.[8] In 2016, EY was the 11th largest privately owned organization in the United States.[9]
Check out some of the scandals Ernst and Young has been apart off here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_%26_Young#Controversies
So lets see who is running the show here at EY....
Mark Weinberger is the Global Chairman & CEO of EY, a leading global professional services organization that provides assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. With approximately 250,000 people in more than 150 countries, EY is one of the largest professional services organizations in the world. Prior to being elected Chairman & CEO, he served as EY’s Global Vice Chair—Tax and Americas Vice Chair—Tax.
In addition to his time at EY, Mark has previously served as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury (Tax Policy) in the George W. Bush Administration. Mark was also appointed by President Clinton (educated at Jesuit Georgetown)to serve on the US Social Security Administration Advisory Board, which advises the President and Congress on all aspects of the Social Security system. Mark has also held other US government and policy positions, including Chief of Staff of President Clinton’s 1994 Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform; Chief Tax and Budget Counsel to US Senator John Danforth (R-Missouri); advisor to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform; and Commissioner on the National Commission on Retirement Policy.
Mark was co-founder of Washington Counsel, P.C., a Washington DC-based law and legislative advisory firm that merged into EY and now operates as Washington Council EY.
Mark plays an active role in the World Economic Forum (WEF), serving as a member of its International Business Council and as a Global Agenda Trustee for Economic Growth and Social Inclusion. He co-chairs the Russia Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and serves as Chairman of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council (IBLAC) to the Mayor of Shanghai. He is an Executive Committee member of the Washington DC-based, US Business Roundtable and chairs its Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of British-American Business, is a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and is on the Board of Advisors for the American Council for Capital Formation. Mark is a frequent speaker at WEF and other international events, including the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia. Mark was a member of President Trump’s former Strategic Policy Forum and provided input on how government policy impacted economic growth, job creation, and productivity.
Mark sits on the Board of Directors for Catalyst as Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as on the Boards for The Tax Council and the Bullis School in Potomac. In addition, Mark is a Vice Chair on the Corporate Fund Board at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), the Greater Washington Partnership and The Concord Coalition. Mark is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Emory University and Case Western Reserve University.
In December 2012 Mark was presented the prestigious Achievement Award by the Anti-Defamation League. Cornell University honored him in September 2015 with the Robert S. Hatfield Fellowship in Economic Education Award, the highest honor Cornell can bestow on someone from the private sector. The award stands as a platform for the exchange of ideas between the academic and corporate communities. In 2015, Mark also received the Tax Council Policy Institute’s Pillar of Excellence Award.
Mark holds a B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, an M.B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University(Jesuit) Law Center in Washington, D.C. Mark has an honorary doctorate from the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington DC.
Mark and his wife, Nancy, live in Potomac, Maryland with their four children.
http://www.ey.com/gl/en/about-us/our-leaders/mark-weinberger-ey-biography-profile
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/authors/mark-weinberge
http://government.ru/en/news/7646/
Steve Landry PARTNER AT ERNST & YOUNG, LLP
Steve Landry is a 1983 Loyola College(Jesuit) of Business graduate and is a partner with Ernst & Young LLP in Houston, Texas. He originally joined the firm’s New Orleans office in 1985 where he worked with oil field clients. From January 2007 to April 2013, Landry served as director of tax compliance and accounting with Marathon Oil Company, and later as its vice president of tax.
http://www.loyno.edu/boardoftrustees/bio/steve-landry
Lynda M. Rubino ’90 is an associate director in the New York City office of Ernst and Young, one of the largest professional services firms in the world. She has been at Ernst and Young since graduating from Le Moyne. She was in the audit practice for 12 years, then worked with the consumer products sector, and now works with the firm’s digital and innovation markets team. In addition to her work, Rubino spent many years volunteering on nuerous boards, including president of the school board at the St. Agnes Cathedral School Board in Rockville Centre, N.Y. She sits on the Finance Committee of St. Agnes Cathedral Parish and the Rockwille Centre Citizen’s Advisory Budget Committee. Rubino served on the 2005 and 2010 Reunion Committees, as well as the 2012-16 Le Moyne in New York: A Tribute to Jesuit Leadership Committee, this past year as a co-chair of the event. She has been a volunteer with the Office of Admission at Le Moyne(Jesuit) since 2005 and was a member of the Board of Regents from since 2007. Rubino earned a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne in accounting. http://www.lemoyne.edu/Portals/0/BfmPdfs/Board%20Booklet.pdf
Beth A. Brooke-Marciniak Global Vice Chair – Public Policy Beth is responsible for shaping EY's positions on public policy. She engages with regulators, policy makers, business leaders, investors and other stakeholders around the world to address the critical issues facing our profession and global capital markets. She is also the global sponsor of EY's diversity and inclusiveness efforts and a prominent advocate for the benefits of inclusive leadership.
Previous experience Beth joined EY in 1981. She has held a number of leadership roles including US National Director of Tax Advisory Services, and Global and Americas Vice Chair for Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement. Over the course of her career with EY, Beth has served some of the largest companies in the insurance, financial services and healthcare industries. Beth worked in the US Department of the Treasury during the Clinton administration where she was responsible for all tax policy matters related to insurance and managed care.
Credentials and community activities She is a member of the inaugural class of the Henry Crown Fellows of The Aspen Institute, which seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders, and a member of the Committee of 200, which fosters, celebrates and advances women's leadership in business.
She also serves on the Women’s Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum, Vital Voices, and The Conference Board. Beth is also the Co-Chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership, now at Georgetown(Jesuit), founded by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. and is regularly named by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women.
Beth is a Certified Public Accountant and a Fellow, Life Management Institute. She has a Bachelor’s degree and an honorary Doctorate from Purdue University.
http://www.ey.com/gl/en/about-us/our-global-approach/our-leaders/ernst---young---global-executive---beth-brooke--biography
https://giwps.georgetown.edu/womens-business-council/
Kathryn J. Barton, Ernst & Young LLP (US),EY Americas Vice Chair —Tax Services, New York.Kate is the EY Americas Vice Chair — Tax Services for the Americas Tax practices at Ernst & Young, the global EY firm. These practices consists of more than 14,000 tax professionals at EY member firms in North, South and Central America and Israel. Kate is involved in all aspects of the Americas Tax practices, including strategy and operations, people development, client relations, quality control, risk management, thought leadership, knowledge and learning as well as innovation efforts to bring new services to market. Kate is a member of the Americas Operating Executive, the US Board, the Global Practice Group and the Global Tax Executive Committee. Kate remains active in client service, serving as senior tax advisory partner on numerous priority accounts.Kate received a BS from Boston University, a JD from Boston College(Jesuit), and an LLM in Taxation from Boston University.
http://cdn.ey.com/events/ITC16/bios/ITC16_bios/assets/common/downloads/publication.pdf
John Ferraro Global Chief Operating Officer In his role as Global Chief Operating Officer, John is responsible for the operations of EY around the world, with a focus on helping support and align EY’s 141,000 people so that they can deliver exceptional client service anywhere in the world.
John has played an integral role in EY’s global integration efforts and oversaw the creation of both its Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Area and its Asia-Pacific Area. In addition to his management duties, John maintains a personal commitment to client service, acting as senior advisory partner to several major global clients.
Previous experience Since joining EY in 1977, John has worked with a wide range of businesses and held global and US leadership positions, including: Global Vice Chair – Assurance and Advisory Business Services; Area Managing Partner – Americas; and Americas Vice Chair – Client Service. During his career he has lived and worked in cities around the world including Rome, London, New York and Chicago. Currently based in London, his role took him to more than 40 countries last year.
Credentials Reflecting his commitment to strengthening cross-cultural links in both the business and governmental spheres, John sits on the Board of Directors of the long-established Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU). He is also a member of the Kazakh Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC), as well as the Audit Committee Leadership Network, a group of audit committee chairpersons from leading global businesses. Reflecting his commitment to education, he is the Vice Chair of Marquette University’s(Jesuit) Board of Trustees and the Chair of Boston College High School’s Board(Jesuit).
Born in Boston, John spent his early years in nearby Cambridge with his supportive parents and 10 brothers and sisters. He is a graduate of Marquette(Jesuit) with a bachelor of science in business. John currently serves on the boards of directors of Advance Auto Parts, International Flavors & Fragrances, and ManpowerGroup. He is also a principal owner and director of Turner Hill LLC.
http://www.marquette.edu/leadership/trustee-ferraro.php
http://www.ey.com/ca/en/about-us/our-global-approach/our-leaders/ernst---young---global-executive---john-ferraro---biography
https://www.bchigh.edu/page/about/leadership/board-of-trustees
Michael T. Dings ’81 Michael T. Dings ’81 retired from Ernst & Young LLP in December 2014 after 33 years with the firm. Dings was an International Tax Partner and spent his entire career serving large, complex multinational companies across upstate New York and in Pittsburgh, Pa. Over the course of his professional life, he was the Managing Partner of the upstate New York audit, tax and advisory practice (2003-2008; 2012-2014) and the Tax Leader of upstate New York, Pittsburgh, Pa. and Charleston, W.V. (2003-2012). Dings’ current board affiliations include the Madden School of Business Advisory Board and the Accounting Advisory Board at Le Moyne College, as well as the Desert Mountain Master Association. His previous affiliations include the Buffalo/Niagara Partnership (equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce); Buffalo/Niagara Enterprise (equivalent of the economic development council); Canisius College Accounting Advisory Board; Junior Achievement of Western New York; and Museum of Science and Technology, of which he served as treasurer. Dings earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Le Moyne(Jesuit). He and his wife, Ann, have two children, Erin and Adam, and split their time between Hamburg, N.Y., and Scottsdale, Ariz.
http://www.lemoyne.edu/Portals/0/BfmPdfs/Board%20Booklet.pdf
James C. Boland is an American businessman.[1]Early life His father comes from Moyasta, County Clare, and his mother, Catherine Monaghan, from Carnaclay, County Mayo, Ireland.[2] He was born in Cleveland, Ohio.[3] He graduated from John Carroll University(Jesuit) and received an M.A. from George Washington University.[3][4] He served as an Officer in the United States Army for two years.[3]
Career From 1976 to 1998, he served as a partner at Ernst & Young, including Vice Chairman and member of its Management Committee.[1][2][4] From 1998 to 2002, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Gund Arena.[1][4] He served as its Vice Chairman from January 1, 2003 to June 30, 2007.[1] He sits on the Boards of Directors of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Invacare and DDR Corp..[1][3][4] He has served on the Board of the International Steel Group.[3]
He serves as Chairman of Jobs Ohio, and on the Board of the Center for Global Business Studies in Washington, D.C..[3] He has served on the Boards of Trustees of the Ohio Business Roundtable, Cleveland Tomorrow, Leadership Cleveland, the Cleveland Health and Education Museum, University Circle Inc., the Hawken School, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, the Great Lakes Science Center and United Way Services' cabinet, and the Harvard Business School Club of Cleveland.[3][4]
He has served as Chairman of the Cleveland Boy Scouts Capital Campaign, the YMCA Corporate Challenge, the March of Dimes "Walka-thon", the Olympic Torch Relay Committee.[3] He has served on the Rain Forest Development Committee.[3] He has chaired benefits for the United Cerebral Palsy, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Cleveland Sight Center, Alzheimer's Association, the Ethnic Extravaganza for the Neighborhood Centers Association and the Achievement Center of Cleveland.[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_C._Boland
Arlene Fitzpatrick, Ernst & Young LLP (US),Washington, DC.Arlene, a member of the National Tax Department, Ernst & Young LLP, the US EY member firm, practices in the area of international tax issues, principally in inbound and tax treaty matters. Prior to re-joining the firm in October 2014, she served as an attorneyadviser with the Office of the International Tax Counsel at the US Department of Treasury, assisting to formulate international tax policy, draft international tax guidance, and negotiate income tax treaties. Additionally, Arlene served as a Treasury representative on several OECD working parties and was engaged in the OECD’s base erosion and profit-shifting (BEPS) project. She also is a presenter at industry events and has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University(Jesuit) Law Center.
http://cdn.ey.com/events/ITC16/bios/ITC16_bios/assets/common/downloads/publication.pdf
Nancy Altobello Global Vice Chair – Talent Nancy is responsible for leading EY’s Talent function and specifically, how EY delivers on its promise to its people: whenever you join, however long you stay, the exceptional EY experience lasts a lifetime. She leads EY’s efforts to build an exceptional experience to each of our more than 250,000 people, from recruiting to world-class learning, development and coaching to our commitment to build a better working world through sponsored corporate responsibility and volunteerism efforts.
She champions EY’s commitment to inclusiveness and related diversity issues, and in building and supporting career mobility. These efforts yield a culture that builds the highest performing teams, teams that delivers exceptional client service to clients, while building lifelong relationship with EY’s people. Nancy is a member of the Global Executive and the Global Talent Executive Committee.
Previous experience Nancy joined EY in 1980 in its New Haven, Connecticut, office, and served a variety of clients in the technology, consumer products and insurance industries across the Northeast United States. She became an audit partner in 1994 and served as Global Client Service Partner for many of EY’s largest global accounts. She has held a number of senior roles at the country and area levels, including Managing Partner for Assurance and Advisory Business Services in the Northeast, Managing Partner for the North America Assurance and Advisory Area Practices, and National Director of Human Resources for the Assurance and Advisory Practice.
Credentials and community activities Nancy has a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairfield University(Jesuit), where she is on the Board of Trustees and serves as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. She is both a board member and Treasurer for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, as well The Business Council for International Understanding.
She is a Certified Public Accountant.
"Six trustees elected at Fairfield University" Fairfield University has announced the election of six new members to its board of trustees. The group includes Nancy Altobello, a managing partner of Ernst & Young and Jack L. Kelly, managing director with Goldman, Sachs & Co., both Fairfield University graduates; Rev. Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., academic vice president and provost of the University of Detroit Mercy; John R. Joyce, CFO of the IBM Corporation and Daniel L. Simon, president of KJ Investment, LLC in Chicago. William P. Egan, managing general partner of a Boston venture capital firm and a Fairfield graduate, Nancy Altobellois returning to the board where he served from 1987 to 1993 and 1994 to 2000.
Nancy Altobello has been a partner with Ernst & Young in New York City since 1980 and currently serves as managing partner of operations. A 1980 graduate of Fairfield with a bachelor of science degree in accounting, she is a member of the boards of the MS Society and of Junior Achievement. She resides in Greenwich with her husband, Joel.
https://www.fairfield.edu/lassochannel/press/pr_index/index.lasso?id=590
http://www.ey.com/gl/en/about-us/our-global-approach/our-leaders/ernst---young---nancy-altobello---biography
"EY announces the appointment of Kelly Grier to the posts of EY US Chairman and Managing Partner-Elect and EY Americas Area Managing Partner-Elect, with her term commencing 1 July 2018."
In her new role, Kelly will lead the EY US firm and the EY Americas geographic area, which represents more than US$14.5b in combined revenues and more than 71,500 people in member firms in 31 countries. She will also join the EY Global Executive committee.
Kelly will succeed Steve Howe, who has served as EY US Chairman and Managing Partner, and EY Americas Area Managing Partner since 2006, and is retiring from EY on December 31, 2018 after an eminent 36-year career with the organization. Steve has been a prominent leader in governance and regulatory matters affecting the profession and capital markets.
Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO, educated at Jesuit Georgetown University!!! says:
“The Americas is our largest market, and its strong foundation comes from our shared culture and purpose of building a better working world. Kelly has demonstrated uncompromised integrity and an ability to manage high-performing teams, while delivering exceptional results for EY clients. I look forward to working closely with Kelly and her team as we continue to execute our strategy and grow the Americas area.”
http://www.ey.com/gl/en/newsroom/news-releases/news-kelly-grier-appointed-ey-us-chairman-and-managing-partner-elect-and-ey-americas-managing-partner-elect
Kelly, originally from Avon, Minnesota, has a BA in Accounting from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame(Catholic), Indiana and previously served as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. Kelly was also recognized as the Anti-Defamation League’s Woman of Achievement.
Saint Mary's College is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women's liberal arts college located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States—as are the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. The name of the school refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary(Catholics worship Mary....)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mary%27s_College_(Indiana))
Lou Pagnutti Global Managing Partner – Business Enablement Lou is responsible for EY's global functions ensuring that that they are closely connected with the business. He oversees the strategy and its execution for all globalized functions including; finance, risk management, shared services, and technology.
Lou also maintains a personal commitment to client service, acting as a senior advisory partner to several major global clients.
Previous experience Lou began his career in EY's Assurance practice in 1981 before moving to the Tax practice in 1986 and leading the Canadian International Tax Services practice from 2000 to 2004. From 2004 until 2010, he was Canada's Managing Partner and a member of the Americas Executive Board. From 2010 to 2013, Lou was Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner, leading 29,000 people across 22 countries.
Credentials and community activities Lou is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace and to making a difference in the community. While in Canada he was on the Board of both the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation and Pathways to Education where he initiated EY Canada's role as Pathway's National Volunteer Partner. Lou was also active in the United Way and Laurentian University campaigns.
Lou holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University(Catholic). He earned his Chartered Accountant designation in 1983 and was honoured with a Fellow Chartered Accountant designation in 2006
http://www.ey.com/gl/en/about-us/our-global-approach/our-leaders/ernst---young---global-executive---lou-pagnutti---biography
"Laurentian's historical roots lie in the Roman Catholic church.[9] A university federation combining representatives from the Roman Catholic, United, and Anglican churches was formed in the 1959–60 academic year.[9] With the new university's space needs exceeding the capacity of the existing Collège du Sacré-Coeur facility, the university held classes in a variety of locations in the city, including the Sudbury Steelworkers Hall, until its current campus was opened in 1964.[10]
The federated colleges include Huntington College (United Church), University of Sudbury College (Roman Catholic, descended from the Collège du Sacré-Coeur established by the Jesuits in 1913), and Thorneloe College (Anglican)[11] Collège universitaire de Hearst in Hearst is the only remaining affiliated college while both Nipissing University College in North Bay and Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie were previously affiliated with Laurentian.[9] Nipissing University and Algoma University were established as independent universities, in 1992 and in 2008 respectively.[10]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentian_University#Overview
Denis O’Brien is Chairman and principal shareholder of the privately-owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing communications providers in the world.
Mr. O’Brien founded Digicel in 2001 when the company launched a GSM cellular phone service in the Caribbean. The Digicel Group has extended its operations to 32 markets with over 1.4 million subscribers in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions, including Jamaica, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.
Mr. O’Brien is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including radio, media, property, leisure and oil distribution. Denis was voted Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 in the inaugural running of the worldwide competition organised and sponsored by Ernst & Young!!!.
Denis O’Brien founded the Esat Telecom Group plc and built it throughout the 1990’s until its sale to British Telecom plc for € 2.4 billion.
Outside of his extensive business interests, Denis chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. He holds a B.A. from University College Dublin and an MBA from Boston College(Jesuit), and he has an honorary Doctorate of Laws from University College Dublin. Denis is also Chairman of Digicel Holdings Ltd. and Digicel PNG, subsidiaries of Digicel Group Ltd. Denis has been Chairman of the board of directors since 2000.
https://www.digicelgroup.com/en/about/leadership/denis-o-brien.html
http://naahpusa.org/profile/denis-obrien/
Jad Shimaly Managing Partner, Advisory Jad was appointed Managing Partner, Advisory, in 2015, and is a member of our Executive Committee. Jad leads a team of Partners and executives across the country focused on delivering business outcomes and value to our clients. Prior to this role, Jad led the Performance Improvement practice in Canada since 2011, and served as the Global client service partner and Advisory account leader on some of our firm's largest clients.
Jad has more than twenty years of business experience both in industry and consulting. He joined EY in Cleveland in 2000, and transferred to the Toronto office in 2001 where he played a key role in building and growing our Canadian Advisory practice. He was admitted to the partnership in 2007. Before joining EY, he held numerous positions in the finance and supply chain functions of a US Fortune 250 consumer products company. Jad has extensively advised clients across sectors on a range of strategic process improvement/transformation and IT-enabled business change initiatives, driving business value across the organizations.
Jad has a MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics from Notre Dame University(Catholic).
http://www.ey.com/ca/en/about-us/our-global-approach/our-leaders
John J. Mahoney Jr, Independent Director,Bloomin' Brands, Inc. Mahoney is also the current chairman of the board of directors at the Jesuit College of Holly Cross.https://catalog.holycross.edu/admin/boardtrustees Mr. John J. Mahoney Jr., served as the Chief Financial Officer of Staples, Inc. from September 1996 to February 1, 2012 and also served as its Executive Vice President from September 1996 to October 1997 and Chief Administrative Officer from October 1997 to January 2006. Mr. Mahoney served as a Partner with Ernst & Young LLP, where he served in various capacities in its National Office, in its accounting and auditing groups from 1975 to 1996. He served as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board at Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., since June 2004. He serves as the Chairman of Boston Sand & Gravel. He served as Vice Chairman of Staples, Inc. from January 30, 2006 to July 2012. He serves as a Member of Supervisory Board of Corporate Express B.V. He has been a Director of Burlington Coat Factory Investments Holdings, Inc. since December 13, 2013 and has been its Lead Independent Director since April 06, 2016. He has been an Independent Director at Bloomin' Brands, Inc. since May 2012. He has been an Independent Director of Chico's FAS Inc. since August 24, 2007. He has been an Independent Director of Burlington Stores, Inc. since December 13, 2013 and Michaels Stores, Inc. since September 2013. He has been Lead Independent Director of Burlington Stores, Inc. since April 05, 2016. He has been an Independent Director of The Michaels Companies, Inc. since September 18, 2013. He serves as a Director of Boston Sand and Gravel. He serves as a Trustee of Catholic Charitable Bureau Of The Archdiocese Of Boston Inc!!!. Mr. Mahoney served as Director at Valassis Direct Mail, Inc. since January 2001. He served as Board of Director of Advo, Inc. from 2001 to 2007. He served as a Director of Zipcar Inc., from October 2010 to March 14, 2013 and served as its Lead Director. He served as a Director of Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc. from April 2004 to May 3, 2007. He holds an MBA from Northeastern University, as well as an undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross(Jesuit).
https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=1087665&privcapId=128530849
Mr. Stephen M. Todd serves as an Independent Consultant at Ernst & Young. Mr. Todd has significant financial experience in both domestic and international business and had a 40-year career at Ernst & Young where he specialized in assurance and audit. He served as Global Vice Chairman of Ernst & Young Global Limited's Assurance Professional Practice since 2003. Mr. Todd began his career at E&Y as an auditing professional in 1970. Mr. Todd serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees at Ancora Trust. He has been Independent Director of Dover Corporation since November 2010.
This was written by Stephen M Todd himself... "Effective December 2, 2011, I was appointed to the Board of Directors of John Carroll University(Jesuit) (JCU). JCU is a private, Jesuit university located in University Heights, Ohio providing programs in the liberal arts, sciences and business at the undergraduate and master's levels."
http://sb.cofc.edu/academics/academicdepartments/accounting/documents/toddstephen.pdf
http://sites.jcu.edu/boardofdirectors/home/members/
Here is yet another major company that is being controlled by the Jesuit order.... it is undeniable
submitted by Ainsoph777 to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2018.06.11 01:16 oldbloodmazdamundi Harbinger

Hey, as always, here is the link to my previous story. All of those will be part of a greater narrative, I drew inspiration from this one from one of the Quest Battles in the Warhammer Total War game. As always, feel free for any kind of criticism, as I´m still very very new to writing and not a native speaker.
Gerald overlooked the beach. He had his Freeguild dig in here for several weeks now, ever since the news of Nuanlec had arrived along the last remnants of their Swifthawks. Gerald sighed. He had served alongside Lord Tevon and his Freeguild on that island for years, before taking up the command of the garrison here on Saroy. His heart was heavy with regret and sadness, but at least the enemy had given him a chance for revenge.
Mylord, the fleet has been spotted. Gerald turned towards his Sergeant who had snapped him out of his thoughts. The Corsairs have spotted the Harbinger among their vessels the man added, confirming Gerald´s suspicions.
So the council was right he answered, trying to hide his emotions. How long do we have?.
Well, according to our scouts, the winds are not in their favor. Four hours has been the estimate. The Sergeant looked afraid. Gerald gave him a reassuring look, nodding slowly.
You did good, Sergeant. Do not fear the storm. Vanlek is but a man, no matter what the tales make him out to be. Hold to your faith, to your shield and your sword and you will endure the coming tempest. Gerald almost believed himself, saying this. He placed his right hand upon the man´s shoulder. And now go and gather the troops. With that, he sent the man away.
In truth, Gerald had lost his hopes for victory when he had heard of Nuanlec´s fate. The island had been a lot larger, being in the centre of a cluster of fertile islands in the Sea of Lifebloom. But when the Marauders had landed with their longships, they had swept away all resistance in a tide of cruelty. Many had fallen, but the size of Vanlek´s fleet did not seem impaired in the slightest. If the scouts were to believed, there were still several hundreds of ships coming for Saroy, and their isle was but a shadow compared to Nuanlec. Still, they would fight, determined to repel those slaves of the Dark gods. At least the mages had been right, they had spent days with scrying rituals to determine their landing spot. It was a small beachhead, only a few hundred feet wide. But it was the only safe landing space on the northern side of the isle - and the foe seemed to rely on their brute strength. Perhaps this arrogance might be their undoing.
Gerald saddled his horse and returned to their camp. He commanded a few hundred man of his Freeguild and a contingent of the Ironweld Arsenals finest creations. Even a mighty Steam Tank stood by their side. He looked into frightened faces as he walked through their camp.
Men of Sigmar! Do not fear what is to come! This island is a bastion, a bastion of Order! A bastion of faith. A bastion of SIGMAR! he raised his hammer as high as he could. Evil stalks this lands. It stalks the seas that provide for us. It taints the very air we breath. BUT NO LONGER! We will hold this beach, standing side by side with our Aelven brothers and sisters.
The Aelves answered in return. Their commander rose her hand, and dozens of trumpets answered in return. She held the harness of her Gryphon, reassuring the startled beast. Gerald saw stern determination in her scarred face.
General Velheim honors use! she started, once the roaring had calmed down. And he speaks true. We will repel this scum. Our Isleguard will be the first line of defense. Pummel them with your arrows, stab them with your spears and smash them with your shield. You will buy the artillery the time to bloody them. Once the signal is made, retreat to the chokepoints. Our honored allies will hold their, while our Skycutters will shatter them from above. Their foul blood shall stain these sands until they drown in it!
Gerald was impressed. Joltarra knew as good as him that they were doomed, still she never once let that slip through. He was thankful that she had offered to take the brunt of the assault and Gerald hoped he would be able to repay her. His Freeguild had spent the last weeks digging moats and filling up hills, making every step as challenging as possible. The hills would be filled with Handgunners, Archers and artillery while Spearmen held moats. The Aelves had raised palisade walls around the hills, creating chokepoints for the enemy. A few hundred feet inland was another layer of defenses, dunes that formed natural defenses. This was where their cavalry was waiting, crushing the oncoming tide against the walls once their first layer broke. A few dozen halbediers were stationed here, held back as the reserve to cover their inevitable retreat into the stronghold inland.
But that was not it. The still had one trick up their sleeves. Gerald pointed toward Tenlui, the Fleetmaster of a band of Corsairs they had hired in a haste. The Aelf stepped forward, bowing gracefully. He was clad in adorned armor and some fell beast´s cloak.
Thank you, master Gerald. He bowed again, this time in an even more excessive manner. My crew and I are at your disposal. We will honor our contract and fight alongside your noble host. He now stood in a central place of their camp, slowly turning around while speaking. He had is arms stretched out, as if he was some sort holy preacher. Once I give the signal, my hidden ships will reveal themselves. They are too few to take the fiendish tide of longships head on - but, once their invasion has begun, we will make for the Harbinger, striking at their heart. And with us, we have a famed Shadowblade Assassin, yearning to share his embrace with the foul servant of Chaos.
Gerald looked at the surprised faces. In truth, he did not believe in this plan. It would be half a miracle for their mere four ships to arrive at the Harbinger at all, and even then, hacking through a hundred of their elite Marauders to get to their chieftain. Still, it gave their troops hope, and every last bit of that would count. And if nothing else, it might disrupt their charge towards the beach, granting the defenders precious minutes to reorder their defenses.
And once the assault has begun the corsair continued I shall reinforce them from the air. It had startled him, but Tenlui had demanded one of the Great Eagles as part of his payment. Though it had startled him, Gerald had been happy to oblige, glad for every coin he could use for ammunition, weapons and supplies.
The last hours had moved painfully slow. Some man had lost themselves in prayer, begging for courage, for luck or for strength. Gerald had spent the last hours in his tent, going over their plan again and again. He knew they had done what they could, but he could not help feeling terribly unprepared for what was to come. His thoughts drifted to Nuanlec again. He wondered how long they had held out, how many they had slain, what their plan had been.
They are here. Two of his men stood at the entrance of his tent. Gerald rose from his seat, grabbing his shield and fastening his pistol belt.
Give the signal. May Sigmar preserve us. his soldiers nodded, bowed and retreated from the tent. Gerald grabbed his half-helm and stepped outside. He heard trumpets and wardrums, his soldiers where rushing outside their camp. Gerald rose on his horse, marching to the front. He heard the familiar screeching sounds of the great eagles above him, as they were carrying the heavy chariots through the air. He could make out the first enemy sails, just a few minutes outside their artilleries range.
It took Gerald a few more moments to reach the his post. He would overlook the battle from one of the palisades, overlooking the battle as best as he could. He tied his horse to a post and ascended the small hill. The soldiers saluted him and he nodded in approval.
How long? he asked, seeing the sails creep ever closer. We have the winds in our back, so we will gain a few extra steps of range the Gunmaster answered, concentrated on his telescope. There is only one way to know for sure. He turned to his right, where one of their cannons had been placed.
FIRE! he yelled, and the cannon answered. Spewing forth iron and smoke, the cannon hit one of the smaller rowboats that accompanied the longships. It exploded into a mist of splinters and blood. The Gunmaster turned towards Gerald. I believe it is time to give the command.
Gerald grabbed his pistol, aimed it towards the fleet and fired. A thick trail of red smoke shot forth, and the Ironweld Arsenal answered. Half a dozen of Cannons fired, shaking the ground. Gerald watched in anticipation, as the cannons reaped their toll. One of the advancing longships had been hit twice, turned into a sinking ruin. Another rowboat had been hit and sunk, but the rest had failed to hit anything.
The Gunmaster looked disappointed. He scribbled some notes down a paper and pressed it into the hands of one of the Outriders. Bring this to the other cannons. And, by Sigmar, HURRY! he said, practically pushing the man off the walls. He turned towards Gerald. They forgot the wind he said in an apologizing tone.
The cannons kept firing, sinking more boats and ships. Yet, for every ship sunken, ten crept forward. Gerald had trouble to make out any water, all he could see were sails and ships. He reloaded his pistol, using another of the special shells.
It took two more rounds of cannon fire before Gerald used it again. The first ships and boats were a mere stone-throw away from the shore when the Hellblaster Volley Guns opened up fire. Ripping through man and wood, they left a trail of destruction, sinking several of the smaller vessels. Men were thrown through the air, screaming and bleeding and dying. The shore started to turn red.
Once the first Marauders reached the shore, Gerald fired another shell. In unison, the Aelven Guard on the shore fired their bows. Dozens of men fell with every volley, yet the attackers managed to slowly form a shieldwall against the oncoming barrage. Gerald turned to the Gunmaster.
Point your cannon towards them he said, as he pointed towards one of the groups who had managed to form a shieldwall on the shore.
The Gunmaster nodded, and gave the instruction. Spears splintered and men were torn apart by the cannonball. Always quick of thought, the Aelves started to fire into those weakpoints again. Once again an Outrider was sent, delivering the new commands towards the other firesquads.
More and more ships and boats made their landing. Without the cannons holding them back, the only thing stalling their advance were the sinking wrecks of their fleet. Some of the smaller vessels pulled some of the wounded out of the water, but most of the armada kept coming at them at full speed. And for every boat the Hellblasters managed to smash two more managed to spill forth their load onto the beach.
Seeing the Marauders slowly approach towards their line, he fire yet another signal. With a thundering noise the Skycutter chariots answered. Led by the Aelven general Joltarra they rushed towards the fleet, trying to stall their advance. Gerald half pitied one of their fools who had climbed upon one of their ships pole, trying to throw spears towards their air force. Joltarras Gryphon grabbed him with one claw, tearing him apart in the air.
The Skycutters fired load after load onto the decks, trying to catch their attention. Some of the fools fell for it, trying to throw their axes and spears at the Skycutters. But ultimately, it was to no avail. They managed to grab some Marauders here and there, picking off stragglers and sinking a hand full of row boats. And while their arrows flew through, their mere dozen of chariots hardly made a difference. Still, Gerald was thankful for every foe they managed to finish off on the sea.
On the shore, the assault into their lines started. Waves upon waves of Marauders threw themselves into their lines, swinging their cruel and blunt weapons into the Aelven shields. And, yet again, Gerald answered with his pistol, signaling that the foe had come into range of their firing line. Hundreds of Archers and Handgunners opened fire from upon the walls, while groups of Reavers rode forth to pick off foes from behind their shieldwall. Even the Gunmaster assembled his Longrifle, setting up a triad to rest his weapon upon.
Gerald looked upon the Aelven wall, sensing the first cracks. While their resolve was still strong, Gerald knew they would not hold for long. He had two shells left, and he prepared his weapon once again. He nodded towards the Gunmaster, who would shortly take command of the wall. Gerald readied his weapon, once again coloring the beach red.
With the signal given, Tenlui strode forth on his Eagle, while the Aelven Guard slowly retreated. Line after line chipped back, before only three lines of Aelves remained. And while the others safely retreated behind their lines, those left behind made the ultimate sacrifice.
Gerald rushed to his horse, making for the choke point. He´d lead their resistance their, hoping against hope that they would somehow hold off the onslaught. He tried to make out the sails of the Harbinger on his way, but he could not see it.
As Gerald arrived at the chokepoint, the first fighting had already broken out. The surviving Aelves had taken their post behind the lines, once again peppering the foe with arrows. Still, the tide of Marauders advanced, throwing themselves against Freeguild. The Spearmen in the front held them off, trying more to keep alive than to deal any damage. Gerald took up his post on the wall, this time loading his usual pistol. In the distance, he could make out the last of the Aelves getting cut down. It was a sad sight, but he had not expected any mercy today. They had died as to give others the chance to mourn them.
Gerald loaded his pistol, hitting one of their assailants in the chest. It had been his first kill of the day and filled Gerald with a strange sense of accomplishment. Seeing the unending tide, his contribution had been laughable, still this was all he was capable of and for the first time on this day he felt empowered.
While reloading, he tried to make out the situation on the beach. A handful of Reavers were still alive, doing their best to dodge the spears and axes thrown their way while picking off stragglers with spear and bow. Yet the beach got ever more crowded, as more and more Archers and Handgunners started to focus on the Marauders trying to scale their Palisades. Easy targets, but it left their troops unable to help each other out.
Gerald fired his pistol, finishing a Marauder chasing after one of the last surviving Aelven Guards. He felt his heart get heavy, seeing the horror filled face of the young She-Aelf. She had lost shield and helmet and ran for her life - battered, beaten and bloody. It took everything from Gerald to beat the urge to jump down and fight off her assailants. All he could do was reload his pistol and hope for the best. As he picked another target he saw the girl falling forward, revealing an axe in her leg. Gerald killed another Marauder, desperately trying to keep the girl alive.
As the biggest ship yet made it´s landing, Gerald watched it unload a dozen of riders in horror. They would make short work of the last surviving Aelves on the beach, and their horses were loaded with spears and throwing axes.
Shoot them! he yelled towards a group of Archers, not far from his position. TAKE THEM OUT!
More and more ships landed on the beach, many Marauders were already clearing the landing spots of the rubble and wracks of the other ships to make way. Gerald hoped against all odds that the Corsairs would somehow make it through.
A crushing scream pulled him back into the bleak reality in front of him. The Marauders had put a rope around the girls neck, dragging her across the beach on one of their horses. Gerald felt his heart fill with hatred. He tried to take her out of her misery at least, but failed miserably. Instead of shooting the girl and giving an end to her pain he hit the horse, causing the steed to go into a pain induced rampage, violently jerking the girl forth.
Gerald felt the last of his courage fail him. All around him he witnessed death and destruction as his helpless forces were slowly overwhelmed. More and more Marauders scaled the walls, the first of them making it upwards. He saw the remnants of Skycutters return, with no sign of a Gryphon. No Aelves were alive on the beach and the chokepoint was buckling.
Gerald made a decision. He knew the plan had been different, but they needed the Mages. They had governed the Island for centuries, seeking safety behind the walls of their stronghold. But Gerald knew that there was no point to it - the stronghold would fall. They had to repel them here, drive them into the sea - or the island was lost. He grabbed one of his Outriders, sending him back, hoping that -somehow - the Aelves would listen. Their stronghold was guarded by a handful of Swordmasters and a few Archers - they would stand no chance.
Some hope had returned to the void in his chest. If the mages helped them - maybe, just maybe, they would stand a chance. He once again unloaded his pistol, dropping a Marauder from the walls.
Suddenly, he felt something in his chest. It took him several heartbeats to understand that he was falling. As he crashed into the ground, he realized the spear in his chest. He had fallen into a world of pain. His head was pounding as if his brain tried to crack open his skull, his leg seemed to be on fire. His mouth was filled with blood and splintered teeth. He could barely move his arm. Two of his men had rushed towards him. It took Gerald all of his strengths to focus on their words.
We´re being overrun, sir! the soldier looked panicked. Funny, Gerald thought, once the Mages arrived it would all look different. He wanted to tell him not to worry. They would heal him, no question. They would rescue the girl and he would tell her of his bravery, how he tried to safe her, how many foes he had felled. He looked startled as the soldiers grabbed his gun. Strange, he thought. Why would the fire the red shell? That one signals the retreat. He shook his head. NO! he wanted to scream, but all he managed was a suppressed gurgling sound. The Mages... he thought as the soldier took his second pistol from him.
Funny he thought. It almost looks like he is aiming at me.
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2018.03.30 02:53 jakemans24 An x Ominous x Presence (Jacob and Aleah Part 2 Ch. 1! New arc WOW)

Day in and day out, Jacob, Aleah, Grey, and Zenrai trained. Jacob constantly worked from behind, mastering techniques and fighting styles weeks after his friends. For every style he learned, there were three more that his friends uncovered. Weeks into his training, he decided to focus on things that he could keep up in. His aura control improved steadily, and while he was still the shakiest in that area, he wasn’t so far behind that he couldn’t compete. His aura density and concentration, however, skyrocketed beyond Zenrai’s, and sat slightly ahead of Aleah and Grey’s. This instilled some comfort, even if it could be mostly chalked up to his Nen type. Zenrai and Aleah were the top contenders for aura control, and Grey was physically the best fit in terms of martial arts. Each day they worked on different categories of Hatsu, taking turns leading until Jacob caught on enough to lead the Enhancement exercises. Aleah led Transmutation and half of Conjuration, Grey led Emission and half of Manipulation, and Zenrai led the other halves of Conjuration and Manipulation. They all had their favorite and least favorite days, but the company was good, and they could laugh and smile during their arduous training. When their daily training was over, they would travel to remote villages or bustling markets and try new things. Their surprise never waned when Jacob showed his intellect concerning culinary products, and always kept well fed and connected, meeting new chefs along the way.
.
“Alright, today’s sparring day,” Grey stood up and stretched. The others, still sitting around a campfire, groaned.
“Hey, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to, but you’ll never know when our next bar fight will be.”
“Probably the next time Zenrai hits on the bouncer,” Aleah snickered.
“Or the next time he asks the waitress if her breasts are real.” Zenrai’s face went red, knowing Jacob would continue, “Of course, that one could’ve been avoided if he didn’t poke them.”
“Look,” Zenrai said sheepishly, “You guys know I was raised in a valley cut off from everyone but my weird cult family. I’m still figuring out this social thing.”
Grey laughed aloud, and motioned for Zenrai to match him.
“Do you want to try a team spar?” Jacob asked, “I can’t beat Aleah alone, and we haven’t tried tag teaming yet. We could try me and Aleah versus you two? I think it could help if we ever have to fight as a group, that way Aleah won’t accidentally kick me in the shins.”
“I only did that because you hit me with a chair!”
Grey let them bicker for a second, then shepherded them in again.
“That sounds like an awesome idea. We can alternate teams and have a team spar and solo spars each week!”
Groans resurfaced, and as they faded out, Grey dropped his voice.
“Plus, we’ve been followed for the past week or so. If we don’t know how to fight together, we’ll just get in each other’s way.”
Jacob and Aleah stood and went to face Grey and Zenrai.
“Before we start,” Aleah inquired with a slyness in her voice, “What are the rules regarding Hatsu?”
The others looked at her in disbelief, then realized that she was likely lying.
“I mean, Zenrai has one, and I know they’re forbidden in the one on one matches, but could they be used here? I support it. That way we don’t have to hold back and can learn more about other Nen users.”
Grey nodded. “All Nen applications are allowed, even Hatsu. If you have them, use them. If not, good luck.”
Jacob saw the worried look on Grey’s face that mirrored how he himself felt inside. Learning to deal with Hatsus had great importance, but Jacob expected to have his own by the time he fought another.
“Alright, starting in three, two, one, begin!” A camera clicked as Grey shouted the last word, and Aleah giggled at their surprise. She darted at Zenrai and attempted a quick sweep on his legs. Jacob moved to her side to occupy Grey, and was met with the pastor’s punch in the side of his face. Zenrai dodged the sweep, and Jacob held back laughter at the familiarity of the pain he received. A weird feeling sat in the minds of Jacob, Grey, and Zenrai as they observed Aleah over the course of the fight. Blow after blow, she grimaced, and it looked like her aura depleted with every action she took. Jacob could see Grey and Zenrai lightening up on her, subsequently increasing the strength of their attacks when not dealing with Aleah. Suddenly, something clicked in Jacob’s brain, and he shifted some of his aura to his eyes. He saw a massive web of speckled aura woven between Grey and Zenrai, all places where Aleah has struck them or had been struck by them. Her aura surrounding her body was just as strong, but she had been concealing more and more of it with In as the fight went on. Aleah saw Jacob’s realization, and couldn’t have been happier with his reaction. He began to step in front of the attacks meant for Aleah, trading punch for punch by preying on their mercy. Finally, Aleah felt comfortable enough to end the fight.
“You lose.” She declared, and stood smugly behind Jacob. Her confused opponents relaxed their stances and looked around.
“But you didn’t do anything. You were getting beaten down…” Zenrai’s eyes held no understanding. Grey looked down at his arms, used Gyo on his eyes, and chuckled. Zenrai chose to rush in at Aleah. After two steps, a large explosion engulfed Zenrai, and after the smoke cleared, the group saw him lying unconscious a few feet back.
“What is this stuff, Aleah?” Grey poked at the aura that was stuck to him. It felt grainy, a little rougher than sand.
“It’s sugar! I transmute my aura to have the sweetness, texture, and explosive qualities of sugar. It’s pretty versatile as it is right now, but I’m thinking of more applications.”
Jacob and Grey nodded in amazement.
“How’s work on your hatsu coming, Grey?” Jacob chattered nervously.
“Not as well as Aleah’s.” The nervous laughter made Aleah uncomfortable.
“Well, I think it’s safe to say that Aleah and Zenrai have to be on opposite teams for a few days,” Grey spoke up, “Just to make sure that a double Hatsu team doesn’t get out of control.” Grey looked slightly defeated. “Now at least Aleah and Zenrai can spar one on one with Hatsu, but something tells me he might not get it - even after the first time.”
The joke restored smiles to the group, and Jacob walked over to Zenrai, picking the unconscious boy up and throwing him over his shoulder.
“Soooo, where are we off to now?” Aleah was happy the tension was gone. Grey motioned for everyone to come closer.
“We’re splitting up again,” he whispered hastily, “Meeting at the Rave Blossom in Nearon in time for dinner tonight. Jacob made reservations at 7pm, you can use your name to get in. Jacob will take Zenrai and take the most direct route northwest. The Northern Forest is thinner this way, although you should stay a little off the beaten path. Aleah will loop through the same forest taking that weird cave directly to the north we found yesterday. I’ll take the western route through the hills. If our pursuer finds you, light one of the flares Aleah made us.”
“It should make a light, it will make a sound,” Aleah smirked.
Grey nodded. “Remember, we don’t know anything about our pursuer. Fight if you have to, but running is the ultimate goal. Aleah, you leave first, and we’ll split up 30 minutes later.” Jacob and Aleah indicated their agreement, and Aleah grabbed her bag and darted away. The sun was high in the sky, and Aleah enjoyed the prospect of the longer path. 7 hours was plenty of time to get to Nearon, and she let her mind wander to sightseeing. Nearon was a farming village made famous by its cultivation of edible flowers. The countryside was rumored to smell pleasant before you could see the fields. She ran through the thick woods, admiring the trees and light vines, feeling that the presence watching her flickered on and off over the course of the next hour.
“I just don’t understand how he follows us so well.” She talked to herself for a minute, and then realized that they had never used Zetsu. “That makes a lot of sense… I guess there’s a reason Candy taught us application.” She silenced her aura and felt the observing energy increase, flickering as if in a panic. Eventually, the presence shifted itself totally away from her. She continued her pace, and found herself at the mouth of Glowing Grotto.
Grey ran through the hills ducking under small overhangs and zigzagging, enjoying the brief reprieves from some mysterious watchful eyes. Periodically, he would force himself into a state of Ken and burst from the aura, leaving a shoddy copy of himself behind. He smiled every time he felt the stutter of his observer, but the effect lessened overtime. Continuing his run, he thought of more ideas to taunt the presence. He burst his Ken forth, and stayed with it, retracting the aura to appear as if he himself was the clone. He felt a quick survey of the hillside, before the focus seemed to realize it was tricked. “If only there was a way to-.” Grey palmed his forehead. Running a little further, he bursted three aura blasts around himself and moved them in separate directions. He forced himself into Zetsu, then popped back into a state of Ten. He flickered his aura clones on and off with In, before silencing all of his aura. The presence pulsed as if it as searching frantically, before finally giving up. Grey paused, and looked ahead as the hills sharpened. He looked back at the softer hills, then at the woods that Jacob was to be traveling through. As he took his first step towards the crags, he heard an explosion in the distance.
As Jacob ran, he felt the frequency at which he was being watched increase, before it fully focused on him. He felt the presence start it’s pursuit, getting closer and closer, gaining faster than Jacob could outrun it. “Why is it chasing me now? What was stopping it the last time?” Jacob huffed angrily. Trying his best to analyze the situation, he thought of the potential Hatsu he’d been working on. “Well, better now than never I guess.” He thought back to his transmutation training, and quickly ran through the numbers 1-10, transmuting them on his finger. “Candy would be so disappointed in me…” Gelatin had been a favorite snack of Jacob’s since his childhood. It was inexpensive, flavorful, and had a texture that he absolutely adored. He forgot about the chase and remembered cubes of gelatin sitting in a bowl. He focused on the aura on his feet, and remembered the gelatinous feeling. Surging his Gyo, he jumped, landing a normal distance away. He had expected a bit more give, and the cushioning he wanted wasn’t quite there.
“Okay, deep breaths. You can do this.” Jacob stopped, forgetting everything around him except Zenrai slumped over his shoulder. His Gyo was on his feet still, and he focused his imagination there as well. Feeling a gentle change in his aura, he bounced in place for a second, smiling. He launched himself forward, soaring through the tops of the trees. Upon his landing, he bounced forward again, whimsically giggling. The second bounce did not go as planned, as it was not really a bounce. A large crash rang out, and Jacob found himself tangled in the thicket, dizzy and hurting. Zenrai jolted awake.
“Whaaaa… Where are we?” Zenrai muttered, sleep and pain in his voice.
“Running away from someone in the forest. How do you feel?”
Zenrai looked around, and noticed the stark lack of movement. “It doesn’t look like you’re running,” His eyes wandered to Jacob’s legs, “Actually, it looks like your legs are broken. How’d you break your legs without breaking your feet? Wait… Someone’s getting closer... ” Zenrai shot up and put one hand on each of Jacob’s shins. “These fractures aren’t awful. I can adjust the bone position safely, but they might not heal well if you walk around on them...”
“Well, it’s either I walk on them or you carry me. Your choice.”
Zenrai manipulated the pieces of bones to their proper places, and Jacob stood up shakily. Three steps later, the pain caught up to Jacob. He was a crippled rabbit running from a wolf. Zenrai gathered himself, and scouted the area. Whatever was chasing them would be within eyesight momentarily. To his surprise, a massive gorilla careened into view, shrouded in aura, massive and angry-looking. It took a step closer to where Jacob and Zenrai were standing, and roared. Suddenly, a rock hurtled through the air and hit the beast in the face. Grey emerged from the brush with an armful of stones, each one covered in aura. The gorilla looked up at Grey, looked down at Zenrai and Jacob, and a sharp realization came across the face of the animal. It held its arms high, as if surrendering, and looked at Grey, while taking a step back. The figure of the gorilla melted away, revealing a young man with green hair.
“J-Jueki?” Zenrai stuttered. “What the hell, man! That’s not how normal people visit people!”
Jacob smirked through his pain at the thought of Zenrai knowing anything about being normal. Jueki spoke up.
“I’ve been trying to catch you guys for months! You take separate paths, never stick around, it’s like you’re paranoid! I came because I had a problem I needed your help with.”
“First,” Grey said, “Nice to see you again. Next, I can see why Jacob set off his explosives. You make a scary gorilla… Is that your Hatsu?”
“Yes,” Jueki retorted, “It makes travel easier. Did you guys have explosives to signal if someone was caught? What were you running from?”
“From what it feels like, we were running from you. You should know that when you’re watching prey, you hide your presence and sneak up on them, right?” Jacob felt a twinge of pride for learning something about the hunt. “And Grey, I didn’t set my explosives off. I didn’t hear anything, and Zenrai was still unconscious...”
Grey’s face melted into concern. “Jueki, did you hear any explosives?”
“Yeah, I did. They came from the north, and they were deafening. You have another friend?”
Grey darted through the trees. “Zenrai, Aleah’s in trouble! Follow me!” Zenrai leapt into place and dashed behind Grey, following as closely as possible.
Jacob and Jueki were alone now, with Jacob writhing in agony.
“So, what did you come here to tell us?”
Jueki pursed his lips and whistled nervously. “I only wanna say it once, because it’s a difficult concept. Do you want me to take you to your rendezvous point?”
Jacob nodded. “It’s the Rave Blossom in Nearon. Just a few miles up this path.” Jueki spiked in aura, and his hair and muscle mass became more profound. Within a few seconds, he was a gorilla again. He picked Jacob up and continued stomping down the path.
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2018.01.19 05:25 nitrejack A Prehistoric Epic, Chapter 3, part 1

A Prehistoric Epic: Chapter 3
The days turned into weeks. The four companions had traveled many miles further northwest. They had not encountered any Trolls since the night in the thicket. The further northwest they went, the cooler the weather got. Once in a while, they would come upon an abandoned Troll campsite but they were always months old. The weeks began to turn into months before Kel could see the top of the ice wall beginning to peek over the horizon when he found a good vantage point to get his bearings. By this time, the mid-autumn weather of the north felt like early winter at the stronghold.
After the battle with the Troll, Kel had begun to dig a hole about a foot deep to build his small cook fires in, to hide the light. He would bury his fire pit the next morning and carefully replace the leaves over the soil. By the time Kel could see the ice wall without climbing a tree, they had fallen into a routine of wake, trek, hunt, and camp. The leaves had long since fallen and winter had finally arrived when they made camp in the shelter of some boulders on the sandy bank of a stream. The sparse forest was beginning to give way to the northern tundra. Kel decided to use this opportunity to resupply his reserve rations. He did not know what the days ahead would hold, but he knew the Ice held little game.
They had been at the stream for four days. Kel built a fire pit in the sand with fresh branches from the few rare trees in the area to cover it. He used the pit to smoke elk, and some fish he had caught with a fish trap he had made. He dried some edible roots as well. His pack was filled to bursting as was his belt pouch. The companions had become more wary as they neared the ice wall. The signs of Trolls were fresher here. He always made sure he smothered the fire well before nightfall.
From the top of the boulders, late on the fourth day, Kel tried to gauge the distance to the ice wall. He estimated they would be there within 3 days, once they set out again. The wolves had been restless and uneasy for the last 2 days. Kel figured they were anxious to move again. By nightfall, the four of them huddled in the protection of the crevice between the boulders, having shared a large meal of elk and fish that would not fit in the pack. They stayed warm this way with no fire at night. Soon they slept, Kel would be jostled awake from time to time by the wolves waking from their fitful sleep.
Sometime after midnight, Kel was awaked by Boulder nudging him insistently. He immediately noticed Mountain and Hill slinking away, around the sides of the rocks in different directions. Something was up. The light from the half-moon gave a good view of the open tundra towards the north. Kel studied the landscape as he slid his shield onto his left arm and hefted his ax with his right. It took several seconds before he noticed what seemed to have put the wolves on alert. 50 to 60 yards out in the waist tall grass of the tundra, he spotted movement. In at least a half-dozen places the frost-tipped grass seemed to part and close as if something unseen was moving through it. Whatever they were they were moving towards him. He realized they had the advantage of being downwind of him. The darkness in the crevice between the boulders was complete. No moonlight filtered in there. They might smell the companions but he was reasonably sure they could not see them. They were moving slowly towards the stream. The stream was between Kel and his stalkers. They would have to expose themselves for the last 20 yards to get to his position.
Kel’s mind raced. There were at least six of them. He would not be caught trapped in the crevice between the boulders like a fish in a trap. Kel slung his bow and quiver over his left shoulder just before he eased around through the shadows of the rocks to his left following the path Hill had taken. As if in unspoken agreement, Boulder, the smallest of the three dire-wolves slipped into the shadows to the right to join his big brother, Mountain.
Kel slipped silently around to the side of the rock formation till he found Hill, crouched at the ready staring intently at the approaching movement of the grass. The predators had started angling towards the place on the side of the rocks where Hill and Kel had taken positions. Kel laid his shield and ax on the opposite side of him within easy reach and readied his bow. There was no running, he was not prey. He doubted he could outrun them anyway. They were almost to the edge of the grass at the stream when they stopped briefly.
“Here it comes,” thought Kel. He could feel Hill tensing her muscles beside him, readying herself. Kel had an arrow nocked and the bowstring drawn when suddenly there was a deep guttural scream from the grass. The trolls burst from their cover and charged into the stream. The troll in the lead fell with Kel’s arrow sprouting from its eye as Kel quickly nocked and fired a second. The next troll fell dead into the water. By now they were only ten yards away. Kel dropped his bow and grabbed ax and shield. The four remaining trolls splashed out of the stream as Kel and Hill charged them. His shield deflected the spear thrust of the first, narrowly as Kel’s ax slashed out its throat with a sidelong swing. The last troll in the charge was taken by surprise as two huge snarling shadows flew from the shadows of the rocks and while one hamstrung him, the second tore out his throat. The last spear thrust caught Mountain. Even as he jumped aside to avoid it, the spearhead slid along his flank leaving a long trail of blood in its wake. Mountain howled in pain and rage as he slammed into the dying troll and they fell together in the sand. Kel braced himself for defeat as the two remaining trolls closed in. They moved together as only pack hunters would do. Unlike the scout Kel had killed in the Thicket back in the summer, these trolls wore thick leather armor. Ranged attacks with a bow and ambush from the shadows would no longer work. There was no way Kel believed he could successfully take on 2 heavily armored trolls, even with the wolves help. Mountain was out of the fray. He was alive, but he had been injured badly. He tried to move in but he knew he was done.
As the last two trolls closed in on him, Kel braced himself. Hill and Boulder circled just out of reach of the trolls’ axes waiting for an opening. Just as Kel took a step forward to attack, both troll’s suddenly sprouted several arrows each from their eyes and chests. They fell in the sand at Kel’s feet. He stared at them in shock for at least several heartbeats before he comprehended what had just happened. A deep voice from behind him ordered, “See to the wolf.” As Kel whipped around, seven dark figures materialized out of the shadows, bows at the ready. Unsure what was next, Kel waited.
A woman in strange dark leather rushed to Mountain’s side and threw her pack on the ground beside her bow. She looked at him and called back, “He is losing a lot of blood, but he will heal if I treat him now.” With that, she opened her pack and began to care for the injured wolf. He growled warningly at her but seemed to calm down when she applied some herbs that soothed and help staunch the blood flow. He knew at that moment, she was a friend. He could smell the Ancestors’ blood in her veins.
Still confused by the sudden diversion of his demise, Kel looked at the strange archers questioningly. The man giving the orders turned to him, having told the others to make sure all the trolls were dead and to search the bodies. “It has been a long time since we have seen any other People of the Ancestors in these lands. What are you called?” said the newcomer. It had been months since Kel had seen another human being. He was a little taken aback. As his mind struggled with all that had just happened, Kel answered. “I am Kel of the Tribes of the Ancestors, son of Kal, the First Among Hunters of the Tribe of Gawl.” “Kal? I knew of Kal. Years ago, before the Last Tribe of the ancestors moved east, there was only one tribe left. We have heard nothing of them in many years. We feared they had fallen to the Trolls. I am Abel, First among Hunters of the Shaman Order of the Ice,” said Abel. “The Shaman Order of the Ice?” Kel inquired curiously. “There will be time for this, soon,” answered Abel. “We need a fire and some rest. We have tracked these trolls across the tundra for two days without sleep. There are no others nearby now.”
The troll hunters made camp in front of the crevice where Kel had slept. They brought wood from the trees a few hundred yards south of the rocks and built a fire to roast meat they had killed the day before. Raw meat kept much longer in the cold of the north. As they sat down to eat, they invited Kel to join them. The wolves, having already gorged themselves that evening on the surplus meat and fish Kel could not carry, lay down next to Mountain as he slept from the healing herbs the shaman woman had given him. Kel’s mind was full of questions, but he held his tongue. He was still a little put off by meeting strangers in a land where he had expected naught but trolls.
“You have questions,” said Abel. “It is marked on your face like runes on a cave wall.” Abel carved a piece of meat with his dagger as he waited. This was when Kel saw the black blade. It all of the excitement and confusion up to this point, Kel had not noticed. The blades of their weapons were a shiny black like nothing he had seen before. It was not obsidian, but a black metal of some type. Seeing where his eyes were focused, Abel held the blade up to the light of the fire so Kel could get a good look. The reflection of the flames revealed an iridescent sheen as it danced along the 12-inch blade. Abel spoke. “It is the black metal of the Gods. We take it from the stones the Gods hurled into the side of the ice wall in the days just before the Last Tribe headed east. It is hard to work, but it is much stronger and much rarer than the red metal you carry.”
The conversation continued on for some time, with Abel learning of the fate of the Tribes over the past 17 years and Kel learning more of the strange, troll-hunting shaman. As Kel told Abel of the stronghold built by the Tribes, Kel began to take a closer look at his rescuers. All of the weapons had the black metal blades. The axes, the knives, and daggers, all had them. Abel began to introduce Kel to the group as Kel noticed even more details the darkness and the heat of the moment had hidden from him earlier. Abel had several small, sealed, fist-sized clay pots hanging from his belt. Each had a piece of thick stiff cord protruding from its top. The man named Silas wore black leather similar to the others, but his leather glinted with reddish highlights in the light of the flames. Closer inspection revealed a netlike pattern of woven copper wires with interspersed small black polished stones woven into them covered the outside of his leather armor.
Two of the men did not carry axes, instead, they carried long black double-edged blades as long as Kel’s arm. “Those long blades are called swords,” Abel told him when he saw his stare. “We modeled them after the blades the Lore tells us that the Fair Ones carried before the Doom Winter fell upon the world. A lot of the information he was learning was new to Kel. His education had only focused on the parts of the Lore that could directly help him in making war. There was too much for him to learn all of it if he was to become proficient at healing, hunting, fighting, tactics, strategy and other survival skills. None of their leather armor was the boiled leather like Kel’s, just tough, cured, polished, black leather, reinforced at key places, such as the shoulders and the forearms, with the strange black metal. What he had taken for shiny black leather on the chest and back of some of the group, earlier in the dark, turned out to be black metal chest and back plates over top of the leather. Their helms also were covered with a layer of the black metal.
Noticing his interest, Abel said, “When we get back to the temple in the ice cavern in a couple of days, all of your questions will be answered. Let us sleep until dawn and we can be on our way.” Kel’s curiosity ate at him, but he did not want to seem too eager. He decided it would be best to wait and see. With that, the party posted a watch and doused the fire. Sleep came much faster than Kel would have thought. The night had exhausted him. He fell into a dreamless sleep.
With the dawn, the party made a litter for Mountain from a couple of troll spears and a spare cloak and the group headed north. They did not stop for meals. They ate dried meat and fruit on the move. They would take turns carrying Mountain as the big wolf slept from the healing herbs. When Kel checked him from time to time, he was breathing normally and would rouse to Kel’s touch before laying his head back down and closing his eyes. The shaman healer was a tall, lean, blonde woman. Kel would have guessed she was about 30 years old. Her name was Inga. She told Kel he was very lucky that Mountain was treated immediately after the injury. If it had been any later, he might have bled out or died from shock from the blood loss and the cold.
Kel had come to love the three wolves during his journey. When he was in the stronghold, the wolves were the tribes’ allies, but they were normally very independent and a little aloof. He had played with their cubs when he was a cub, but much like the people of the Tribe, the Brother Wolves would become more serious when they reached adulthood. The adult wolves preferred hunting and fighting to playing and affection. The People of the Tribes of the Ancestors thought of the Brother Wolves as another Tribe. They treated them as allies and as equals.
In the early days, the Brother Wolves had followed the migration of the Tribes out of curiosity as much as for the scraps always buried after the hunting kills. In time, the hunters stopped burying their scraps and just left them along with peace offerings of some meat and organs for the wolves they had begun to think of as guardians sent by the Gods. Over a few generations, the wolves had lost their initial fear of men. The People of the Tribes were not like the hated Trolls. They did not hunt or harm the Brother Wolves. After more than two centuries of following, on an extremely cold night, one particularly cold winter, long ago, the Brother Wolves had simply walked into the camp of the people and laid down by their fires to survive the night. It is said in the Lore of the People that on that night, an accord was made between the Tribes and the Brother Wolves. They had been allies ever since. It was a mutually symbiotic relationship.
The morning of the second day of the journey to the temple, a scout that had been ranging ahead came back to the group. He reported to Abel that he had spotted three trolls about an hour’s walk to the west of the party. They appeared to be a hunting party. They had been unarmored and only carrying obsidian spears and daggers. If the party turned northwest now, they would intersect the trolls’ path before noon. Abel considered the action and spoke. “Let’s take them.” With that, the party turned to intercept the trolls.
Just before noon, the party lay in wait at the top of a small swell in the tundra in the tall frozen grass. A strong west wind blew from behind the trolls as they came into view. The trolls were oblivious to the ambush. Their attention was focused on the reindeer they were tracking. With the sound of the wind rustling the frozen grass, the trolls never heard the snaps of bowstrings. The first warning they had was also their last. A storm of razor-sharp arrows rained down on them, felling them in their tracks. The party moved in swiftly and silently to make sure of the kills and dispatch any that might still breathe.
Kel was impressed by the organization, the efficiency and the team-work of the Shaman Order. He expressed his admiration to Abel in the short, simple way of the Tribes, “Good kill,” said Kel. “Yes,” answered Abel. “Your arrows were true as well.”
An hour before midnight, the party entered the ice cave where the shamans' temple was located. They were tired and cold. After a meal, some hot tea, and seeing to Mountain, Kel slept the deep sleep of safety for the first time since leaving the stronghold.
End of part 1.
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Jeep Wagoneer Woody's hill climb Morris Mountain 1975 IH Scout II Playin in the backyard. Amazing Cave In Ladakh Drive Ladakh 2012 Brooksville Florida Civil War Reenactment Brooksville Raid 2015 - 35th Annual Reenactment Brooksville Raid 2013 2020 Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation Promotional Video www.youtube.com Gaither Vocal Band - I Believe in a Hill Called Mount ...

Sand Hill Scout Reservation - Greater Tampa Bay Area Council

  1. Jeep Wagoneer Woody's hill climb Morris Mountain
  2. 1975 IH Scout II Playin in the backyard.
  3. Amazing Cave In Ladakh Drive Ladakh
  4. 2012 Brooksville Florida Civil War Reenactment
  5. Brooksville Raid 2015 - 35th Annual Reenactment
  6. Brooksville Raid 2013
  7. 2020 Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation Promotional Video
  8. www.youtube.com
  9. Gaither Vocal Band - I Believe in a Hill Called Mount ...

1967 Shelby GT500 Barn Find and Appraisal That Buyer Uses To Pay Widow - Price Revealed - Duration: 22:15. Jerry Heasley Recommended for you. New The event is held in late January at the Sand Hill Scout Reservation. The battle is reenacted on Saturday and Sunday. The Confederate and Union forces take turns winning. Named after the man who originally owned the land, Diepolder Cave is located on Sand Hill Boy Scout Reservation near Brooksville, Florida. DEER CAVE IN MULU NATIONAL PARK 1975 IH Scout II 304 V8 Just put a locker in the front. ... Anything Scout Quick Sand LS Scout II ... 2:24. recoveryteam 25,213 views. 2:24. Sweet 4x4's making a tough hill look easy - Duration: 2 ... The Brooksville Raid Reenactment, January 19, 2013 at the Sand Hill Scout Reservation. I took the pictures, but I can't claim the music! The music is by the 2nd South Carolina String Band. 2020 Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation Promotional Video Housatonic Council, BSA ... Aluminum Casting a Vehicle Gear Using Sand Mold - Duration: ... 8-Ball IPT King of the Hill 2005 - Duration: ... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The definitive video of the 2012 Brooksville Florida Civil War Reenactment (The Brooksville Raid) held at Sand Hill Scout Reservation. Gaither Vocal Band - Official Video for “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary (Live)', available now! Buy the full length DVD/CD ‘Gaither Vocal Band: Bet...