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*Major Spoilers* I'd like to make a complete MHI timeline but in Need your help
Are you guys best as I could tell this is the order of events. I'm quite hazy and fuzzy on dates so any help you guys can give on those would be much appreciated. Once we have all the dates hammered out and all the finer details figure it out I'll do my best to attach this to a coherent timeline. Without further Ado let's get this show on the road. Beginning of time - The Fallen fall from Heaven 1500's - Machado touches the old ones power. 1700's? - Conrad Dipple "creates" Franks. 1776 - Frank's signed a treaty with Benjamin Franklin alling him with the United States. 1895 - Raymond "Bubba" Shackleford I creates the first professional Monster hunting outfit. 1907? - President Theodore Roosevelt creates PUFF. 1900 - Raymond Shackleford II is born. 1920's - Raymond Shackleford II is bitten by a werewolf and succumbs to the curse and must live his life as a monster. Early 1970's - Raymond Shackleford II is recruited by Agent Stricken for Special Task Force Unicorn to fight in Vietnam so he can earn a PUFF exemption. Raymond is given the code name Mr. Wolf. Early 1970's - Mr. Wolf clashes with the KGB agent named Nikolai Petrov, who is also a werewolf, over the course of many months. Mid 1970's - Mr. Wolf unknowingly bites Sharon Magnum, another member of Special Task Force Unicorn, in the last conflict of the Vietnam War. He leave his alias of Mister Wolf behind. Mid 1970's - Raymond Shackleford II adopts the new identity of Earle Harbinger and returns home to his family. Early 1980's - Oliver Chadwick "Chad" Gardenier survives a Barracks bombing in Beirut is granted a vision of his destiny, returns home, kills a horde of zombies at a church Revival, and joins MHI. Early 1980's - Chad is sent to Seattle where he kills a Lich and and installs a Fae princess as guardian of the city. Early 1980's - A Special Operations Soldier by the name of "Destroyer" is shot in the head on a small island off the coast of Russia. He is brought back to life by a powerful elder being and given a vision of his destiny and his childrens destiny. Early 1980's - "Destroyer" meets and marries a poor woman from the soviet union. "Destroyer" then has her immigrate from her home to the United States where she is then impregnated. She give birth to 2 sons named Owen and Mosh. Mid 1980's - Chad is caught fornicating with an underage elf in Seattle and is forced to flee to New Orleans. Mid 1980's - Martin Hood, a member of MHI's team smiley face, fakes his own death has it blamed on Earl Harbinger. As a consequence Dwayne Myers , another member of mhi's Team smiley face, quits MHI and joins the Monster Control Bureau. Mid 1980's - Chad becomes the only surviving member of The Fat Tuesday Massacre a level 4 event. Mid 1980's - Chad goes on sabbatical with "points", his on-again-off-again girlfriend. Subsequently Chad fornicates her brains out andimpregnates her, unbeknownst to Chad. Mid 1980's - Milo Anderson a Mormon from Utah (?) is saved from a monster attack and joins MHI. Mid 1980's - Chad and the entirety of Monster Hunter International kill a larval old one before it is allowed to awaken. Early 1990's - Susan goes "missing" in Europe hunting vampires. Suasan is presumed dead and this throws her husband Raymond Sackleford IV into despair and desperation. 1995 - The Christmas Party. Raymond Sackleford IV opens a portal in an attempt to return Susan back to the land of the living. A dimensional portal is opened and demon kill a great number of hunter including Chad and Raymond Sackleford V. International - Owen Zastava Pitt son of "Destroyer" kills a werewolf in a his accounting firms corporate offices. International - Owen meets Julie Shackelford and Earl Harbinger for the first time, and is recruited by MHI. International - Owen meets the rookies of the MHI squad Holly Newcastle and "Tripp" Jones. Owen also meet Skippy and Edward the Orcs. International - Owen encounters vampires and wights on the ship the Antoine Henri. And discovers a major plot in involving Master level vampires and more powerful being called Machado. International - Owen dies in Natchy Bottom from demons the same as the ones at the Christmas party. The MCB Nukes the portal. Owen reverses time and doesn't die in Natchy Bottom. The MCB still nukes the portal. International - Susan Shackelford is revealed to be a master vampire. Raymond Shackelford IV is "killed" by Susan. International - The the final battle between mhi and the master vampires take place at DeSoya Caverns. International - Julie Shackelford is saved from a fatal woundby a mysterious figure called "the guardian". International - Owen defeats Lord Machado. Vendetta - Martin Hood and his daughter Lucinda attack Owen in Mexico with a horde of zombies. Vendetta - The ogres Bia and cratos attack Owen's brother Mosh at a live concert. Vendetta - the MHI compound in Cazador Alabama is assaulted by a giant horde of zombies lead by Martin Hood. Vendetta - Julie is mortally wounded however it appears that she has been given the powers of the Guardian and is subsequently able to regenerate. Vendetta - mosh is kidnapped during the assault and has his fingers removed as part of torture. Vendetta - Owen marries Julie. Vendetta - Owen travels through a portal to save his brother. Vendetta - Lucinda loses an arm. Vendetta - Owen kills Martin hood and slays an old one. Alpha - Earl tracks Nikolai Petrov to Copper Lake Michigan, Just as a massive werewolf outbreak is about to begin. Lucinda hood is also present aiding a mysterious figure known as the Alpha. Alpha - a Shawty team are Monster Hunters known as Briarwood eradication services is dispatched to copper lake one of them is a man by the name of Jason lococo. Alpha - An officer known as Heather Kercanine is bitten and turned into a werewolf. Alpha - The Alpha kills Nikolai Alpha - Earle and Heather Kill Alpha Alpha - Jason is recruited to join MHI Alpha - Heather is forced by Stricken to join Special Task Force Unicorn in order to earn her PUFF exemption. Between Alpha & Legion - Owen impregnates Julie Between Alpha & Legion - Edward the orc meets Tanya the elf and convinces her to join MHI Legion - The International Conference for Monster Hunting Professionals is being held at the last dragon casino and hotel in Las Vegas. All major monster hunting teams are in attendance including MHI. The conference is being coordinated by an individual simply known as management. Legion - A mystrious being known as the Nachtmar is causing the worst nightmares of the casinos patrons to come to life. Legion - The entire casino is sucked into another dimension. Legion - Owen is forced to abandon a group of hunters including Jason in above mentioned dimension to defeat the Nachtmar. Legion - Owen defeats the Nachtmar. Nemesis - United States government breaks treaty with Franks and issues a bounty on him. Nemesis - the Nemesis program is given the green light Nemesis - Fallen Angel Kurst hunts for Frank's in one of the Nemesis body Nemesis - Meyers is killed by Paranormal Tactical? Or Nemisis I can't remember? Nemesis - Frank's least Alabama where he reenacts The Wolfman vs Frankenstein's monster fight Nemesis - Nemesis is defeated Seige - Owen and Julie meet Poly, a cylops who can see into other dimensions Seige - Owen collects a dead drop from management who appears to have survived the last dragon event. Seige - Owen hatch has a plan to save the missing hunters trapped in the other dimension Seige - Owen retrieve a ring from Gerecht, a legendary roman heroe, in order to find the hunters trapped in the other dimension Seige - Owen discovers that the only place he can get to the dimension is on a small island off the coast of Russia. Seige - Owen goes to Russia to broker a deal with officials to allow them to put the island Under Siege Seige - mhi trains in Alaska Seige - MHI puts the island Under Siege Seige - I want enters the other dimension looking for the hunters Seige - Owen meets "Jason" again as he is hiding from the wild Hunt Seige - Owen saves hunters from the wild Hunt and allows them to return home while he sacrifices himself and holds off the wild Hunt. Seige - Owen is captured and finds out that Jason lococo died in this dimension and Owen had been interacting with previously wasn't fact some form of dark God. Seige - Destroyer Dies Earthside so his spirit could save his son Owen. Guardian - Raymond "little bubba" Shackelford VI is born Guardian - Raymond Shackelford III dies while being attacked by a mysterious creature. Guardian - little bubba is "TAKEN" Guardian - Julie murders her way across Europe in search of her son. Guardian - Julie rescues her son. Seige - Owen escapes the capture of the dark God with the assistance of his father's spirit. Seige - Owen returns earthside months after the seige has ended. Guardian - Julie kills the mysterious creature ALUOCH who stole her son. ALRIGHT GUYS OTHER GRAMMATICAL ERRORS WHAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED? DATES? ORDER OF EVENTS? DETAILS? LET ME KNOW BELOW!
Collection of thoughts about my experience as a Prius Dweller
Thought I would finally join this subreddit and give a run down of my experiences. Last year, I bought a 2018 Prius with the intent of using it to go on road trips and live in it -- mostly because I have been trapped in the middle of frickin' nowhere my whole life and have never had a true adventure. I have never seen a mountain in-person prior to these trips. I also have a very comfortable IT job that easily facilitates me living in a car and working remotely without issues and with a lot of free time. I went on two separate trips so far. The first one was about 2.5 months long and the second one was about 3.5 months long. I have traveled from Seattle, WA to Key West, Florida and put over 20,000 miles on the car in the process. My first trip was comprised of South Dakota (Badlands, Black Hills), Yellowstone, Idaho (Coeur d'alene), Oregon (Forests, Crater Lake, Portland, beaches), Nor Cal (Redwood forests, beaches), Washington (Beaches, Seattle, Olympic National Park), and Montana(Glacier National Park). And for my second trip, I went to Louisiana(New Orleans), Florida(where I spent most of the time and explored nearly everything), up the coast to Charleston, SC, and into the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains(Gatlinburg, Asheville). Everything was amazing. I don't know if I have a favorite, but the beauty of Glacier National Park particularly strikes me. I also thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the crystal clear springs throughout Florida. My setup is not particularly elaborate, but I didn't spare much of an expense: - Tinted windows. - Front and rear dashcams with batteries for when the car is off. - Custom fit sun shades for all windows (Weathertech). - Weathertech floor liners. - A basic cooler. - Redundant IT setup so I don't get fired. (2 laptops, 3 chargers, a car charger, 2 hotspots) - A 4" thick full sized foam mattress pad and a sleeping bag, couple of blankets, couple of pillows. - Suitcase full of clothes, towels.- Bag with misc supplies (Laundry, food, trash bags, medicine, wet wipes). Wet wipes are great for cleaning yourself when you don't have access to a shower for some reason. - A Black Card membership to Planet Fitness (for showering mostly). It also makes a good excuse if you ever decide to sleep in a Planet Fitness parking lot (not my first choice). - Rain guards so that I can roll the windows down in bad weather. And that is basically all I needed. I know people have much more elaborate DIY setups, but much of that I never found necessary or was interested in. I also ended up buying a USB fan that I never used because if I ever really needed heat regulation I would just use the AC. One thing that I wish I had thought of beforehand is to get a Prius with a sunroof. It would have been nice to be able to stare up into the sky while I try to sleep, or to open it up and let some air in. One thing I might consider in the future is a signal booster for my hotspots. These can be pricey, but worth it if your job depends on a reliable connection. Although I think I can get by without one by using apps that help you pinpoint the location of cell towers and by mooching off of hotel wifi access. I took out a few credit cards prior to purchasing the car and supplies in order to score a bunch of bonus travel points (I had saved up most of the cost of the car prior to buying it). I used the Plastiq service in order to use car payments towards the qualifying payments required for the credit card bonuses. The fee they charged was definitely worth it for the points I accrued. So I set out on the road with a boat load of free points I had thought I would need for hotels here and there. It's a good idea if you like to go to them from time to time. During my first trip I went to hotels twice a week (mostly to work). I eventually realized that I could work entirely out of my car without issues and without much discomfort, and during my second trip I only booked a hotel a couple times. As I write this, I still have around half of my points... It's been the time of my life. I would do it full time if I didn't have other obligations (my cat, mostly, who waited patiently at home). As a result of these trips, I have decided to move to the west coast permanently, which means I have another trip coming up soon. On my next trip I plan on going through Colorado, maybe stop at the Grand Canyon, and make my way through southern/central California. Now I'll just focus on what it was like living in the Prius and what my preferences are when I do it rather than the trips themselves. If anyone has any questions about anything, feel free to ask. I've only been explicitly shoed away twice, and one time a security guard caught my attention but allowed me to continue what I was doing. The first time I was shoed away, I was at a casino parking lot. I have stayed at many casino parking lots, and most of them never bothered me, but this one in particular had saw me put up my sun shields (from the outside) and was determined to kick me out. Since then, I started putting my sun shields on only from within the car so that people are less likely to notice, and I think it has helped. The second time is when I was staying in Key West, Florida. Key West thinks they have a problem with people living in their car, so the locals don't take kindly to people camping in their cars and are extra vigilant about it. No one actually explicitly shoed me away, but someone dinged my car with a bell and yelled "No overnight parking" generally for the entire parking lot, which was enough to scare me away. They may not have known I was sleeping in my car. And the time when the security guard approached me, I was sleeping in a large vacant lot two nights in a row. The first night went fine, and the second night alerted them more that something was going on and caused them to approach me. But, they thought I was homeless and destitute or something, and they let me stay there because they pitied me, but they told me to leave first thing in the morning. My location of choice? Mid-sized hotel parking lots. I did this almost exclusively on my second trip. Holiday Inns, Courtyard by Marriots, etc. No one who worked at any hotel ever bothered me, tow away zone signs be damned. If I park in the right location, I get free wifi access, which is great for work. That was my primary motivation. Sometimes people staying at the hotel would catch on to someone being inside of the car and gossip about it such that I could hear them, but no one ever really bothered me. Other than hotels, free camp sites are nice. (freecampsites.net) Sometimes you can get really lucky and find an abandoned camp site with a full bathroom and shower and electricity next to a scenic lake or something like that. Other places I stayed at that I would recommend: Walmart parking lots (in good neighborhoods), 24 hour gym parking lots, Cracker Barrels, Cabelas, the aforementioned casino parking lots. Side streets. I am not really a fan of side streets, but I think it depends on the neighborhood. It's a bit paradoxical because these might be locations where it's actually legal to park and stay overnight, but the people who live in the house you park next to can get suspicious of you. I would much rather deal with someone who works at a hotel or as a security guard and is underpaid than with a curious and possibly grumpy homeowner. The first night I ever slept in my car, I stopped at a small town in South Dakota where I stood out like a sore thumb, and every time I would try to find a parking spot on a side street, someone would come out of their house and approach me. They would confuse me with someone they knew, or they would just look at me suspiciously. Everyone in a small town in the middle of nowhere knows everyone, and they know that you do not belong there. I ended up sleeping in a car dealership out of desperation and with someone probably watching me the entire time. Rest stops. I never use a rest stop. They do not seem safe to me, because everyone knows that there are sleeping travelers there, and thus predators can go to these places looking for people to victimize. It defeats the purpose of stealth. The safest thing to me is to draw minimum suspicion that someone is even trying to sleep in their car. But as I never used them, I don't have any real world experience. The stories of people being attacked at them was enough to keep me away from them. PEE JUGS: An art form. I don't know how female dwellers live without pee jugs. It must be difficult. I imagine getting up to pee a bunch would break stealth. It's bad enough that you're more vulnerable as a female to begin with. But as a male dweller, you will be presented with a variety of options. Gatorade bottles might seem like a good idea, being that they have a wide top and can store a decent amount. And while you may be able to pee in a Gatorade bottle here and there, you may underestimate how much you have to pee and how much space you actually have. Really, you want at least a gallon jug, and you want something with a nice tight screw cap and probably a firm handle. Large bottles of tea also work well. The last thing you want is to spill pee. Take this sage advice and do not learn the hard way. But also be sure to take advantage of the majestic pee jug if you are privileged to do so. And never go to bed when you have to poo and think you can hold it in. It sucks. You rarely ever do this when you live in a house and you may not appreciate how uncomfortable and how bad of an idea this is until you try it. No, I did not poo the bed, for the record. Anyway, that about wraps up everything I have to say for now. I will answer any questions. I love Prius Dwelling. It's been the time of my life. I want to continue doing it on and off for the rest of my life. These kinds of long trips are simply not financially possible to do if you stay at hotels unless you are loaded. I should probably write a tl;dr. Edit: Added Rain Guards to my setup list.
40 Best Songs of All Times About Poker, Dice, Cards and Addiction
40. Go Down Gamblin’ - Blood Sweat and Tears
Released in 1971, Go Down Gamblin’ by Blood Sweat and Tears is a song describing a gambler who is “born a natural loser.” He never wins, no matter what game he plays, but, he doesn’t feel like a loser. As the song goes – “Cause I've been called a natural lover by that lady over there, Honey, I'm just a natural gambler but I try to do my share.”
39. Gambler - Madonna
Gambler is a song written and played by Madonna, made for the film Vision Quest. Although the song reached the top 10 in the charts of the UK, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, and Norway, Madonna performed it only once on her 1985The Virgin Tour. It’s a catchy song, we suggest you play it as you spin the reels of some of your favourite retro online slots.
38. The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
Our list wouldn’t be complete without the 1964 hit song - The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals. Everybody knows the famous lines ”My mother, she was a tailor, sewed these new blue jeans, my father was a gamblin' man way down in New Orleans.” This single had a major success and made it to the top 10 songs on mainstream rock radio stations in the USA. Likewise, the hit was featured in the video game Guitar Hero Live.
37. The Winner Takes It All - ABBA
Whether we admit it or not, we all love at least some songs played by the very well-known Swedish pop group, ABBA. According to some sources, Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote the 1980 hit song The Winner Takes It All which was inspired by his divorce to his fellow band member, Agnetha Fältskog. The winner takes it all is a sort of a comparison to a divorce (especially the part ”I've played all my cards and that's what you've done too, nothing more to say, no more ace to play”), where one of them is the winner and the other one is left with nothing. And things are just the same when it comes to gambling, so we’ve decided to put the song on our list.
36. Shape of my Heart - Sting
We’re all aware of the fact that our gambling behaviour can be influenced by certain types of music and that's because online gambling and music go hand in hand. So, we suggest you start playing your preferred games with one of everyone’s favourite songs by Sting called The Shape of my Heart. It was released in 1993 and used for the end credits of the film Léon. In one of his interviews, Sting explained that the lyrics of the song tell the story of a card player who places bets not in order to win but to figure out something that’s been bothering him - “some kind of scientific, almost religious law.”
35. All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards - Corb Lund
“Well, I guess I really oughta be makin up songs but all I wanna do is play cards. I know it's dumb and sick and wrong but all I wanna do is play cards. Got the studio booked in Tennessee, and my record producer's callin me, the tape will roll in just three weeks and all I wanna do is play cards.” Does it sound familiar? It’s a 2005 hit by Corb Lund called All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards, once you hear it you’ll be playing it on repeat.
34. Gambling Man - The Overtones
When you’re falling in love, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you want to gamble everything just to attract that person’s attention to notice you and love you back. Well, Gambling Man is a lively 2010 song that tells a story of a guy fascinated with his love, so he places all his bets on her, as the song goes - “I played my hand, I rolled the dice, now I'm paying for my sins, I got some bad addiction.” This time, he feels that this love affair is different from any other – “Baby, it's you, yeah, yeah, that's right.” The song was released in 2010 and has been popular ever since.
33. Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Although the Poker Face song is more about the game of romance rather than the game of poker, the catchy refrain that starts with “Can't read my, no he can't read my poker face” kinda reminds us of winning at the tables, so we couldn’t skip it this time. Released in 2008, the song achieved worldwide success, topping the charts in the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and several European countries.
32. Little Queen of Spades - Robert Johnson
Moving on to the Little Queen of Spades, a song title by the American blues musician Robert Johnson who recorded the song in 1937 and first released it in 1938. The first version of this gambling-themed song has a playing time of 2:11, whereas the second one lasts 4s longer (2:15), and is considered an alternate take and first appeared on Johnson's album The Complete Recordings, in 1990.
31. Train of Consequences - Megadeth
Another great song Train of Consequences is the title created by Megadeth, released as the first single from their sixth studio album Youthanasia in 1994. The song was later included on their compilation albums and its music video was the 26th most played video on MTV. There’s this part of the song “No horse ever ran as fast as the money that you bet, I'm blowing on my cards and I play them to my chest” – which is about a person’s gambling problem, who realises something’s wrong with this lifestyle, but it still hunts him down. Could be just the thrill, but he just can’t stop playing.
30. Gambler - Whitesnake
Released on the album Slide It In (1984) and appearing on the compilation album Gold (2006), Gambler is the song by the British hard rock band Whitesnake. These words may sound familiar - “No fame or fortune, no luck of the draw, when I dance with the Queen of Hearts, a jack of all trades, a loser in love, it's tearing my soul apart”. And in case you’ve never heard it, we think you should give it a shot, the chances are you’re going to love it!
29. Gambling Man - Woody Guthrie
Now here’s one single from 1957 - Gamblin' Man. The song was taped live at the London Palladium and published as a double A side, with Puttin' On the Style. Reaching #1 in the UK Singles Chart in the summer 1957, it was “the last UK number 1 to be released on 78 rpm format only, as 7' vinyl had become the norm by this time.” Written by Woody Guthrie and Donegan, this gambling themed song was produced by Alan Freeman and Michael Barclay.
28. Roll of the Dice - Bruce Springsteen
According to Songfacts, Roll of the Dice was the first Springsteen’s song he didn’t write by himself. In fact, E Street Band’s pianist Roy Bittan helped with the music, while Springsteen was in charge of the lyrics, starting with – “Well I've been a losin' gambler, just throwin' snake eyes, Love ain't got me downhearted. I know up around the corner lies, My fool's paradise in just another roll of the dice.” After he broke up the E Street Band in October 1989, Springsteen wrote lyrics for the Roll of the Dice (with two other songs) and liked them to the point where he began writing and recording more songs.
27. Queen of Diamonds - Tom Odell
Here’s one song about a gambling fanatic who’s trying to satisfy his own addiction but also someone else, hoping it’s going to save him. Released in 2018, Queen of Diamonds is Tom Odell’s song from the album Jubilee Road, based on the local characters that inspired this British songwriter to include the whisky-soaked gamblers who regularly visited one betting shop.
26. The Angel and the Gambler - Iron Maiden
Now, this song may divide Iron Maiden fans and it’s most probably because of its repetitive lyrics that can be a bit annoying. The release we’re talking about is The Angel and the Gambler. Truth be told, the melody in general is very catchy and, even a bit similar to The Who in some moments. As the song was released in 1998 while Blaze Bayley was its frontmen, it’s missing the well-known high-pitch vocals from Bruce Dickinson.
25. Ramblin' Gamblin Man - Bob Seger
We’re moving on to a rock single from 1978 - Ramblin' Gamblin Man by Bob Seger. The author meets an old acquaintance, a professional gambler who happens to be a swagger. As such, he attracts people’s attention whenever he bets. Putting so much of his faith in the cards (rather than in people), he walks away every time, just before avoiding loss. Along the way, the narrator realises that, if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find he’s a very cynical man, who will never change. Another gambling-themed song worth mentioning by Bob Seger is Still The Same.
24. Blow Up The Pokies - The Whitlams
Blow up the Pokies is the next song on our list, played by The Whitlams. It is the second single by the group from their 4th studio album, Love This City. Released in the year 2000, the song became a hit and made it to number 21 on the ARIA Singles Chart. According to several resources, the lyrics written by singer Tim Freedman were inspired by the destruction he saw in original Whitlams bassist Andy Lewis's life, due to his gambling addiction.
23. A Good Run of Bad Luck - Clint Black
Now here’s one 1994-song packed with gambling-related terms. As you listen to A Good Run of Bad Luck, recorded by American music artist Clint Black, you'll have a bit of fun as you try identifying what all these gambling terms mean. The song is a bit fast and is about falling in love by using gambling metaphors. The main character is willing to spend a lot of money to win his special lady over and, although he has had a period of bad luck, he is not giving up – “I've been to the table, and I've lost it all before, I'm willin' and able, always comin' back for more.”
22. When You’re Hot, You’re Hot - Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed won a Grammy for the song When You’re Hot, You’re Hot which was released in 1971. Most people remember it as it was a major hit, ranked as number 1 in the country charts, also making its way up the Pop Top 40. It’s an enjoyable novelty song about the ups and downs of the gambling life, about one’s winning streak caught in an illegal game of Crap. Country star Jerry Reed also came up with a version The Uptown Poker Club in 1973.
21. Lawyers, Guns and Money - Warren Zevon
Next one up - Lawyers, Guns and Money is a song by Warren Zevon, the closing track on his album Excitable Boy, released in 1978. An edited version of this song was distributed as a single and found itself on the A Quiet Normal Life best of compilation on the CD and LP. The song goes like this - “I went home with a waitress the way I always do, how was I to know she was with the russians, too? I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk Send lawyers, guns, and money Dad, get me out of this, hiyah!”
20. The Lottery Song - Harry Nilsson
According to the man in the 1972 pop-rock song The Lottery Song by Harry Nilsson, there's more than one way to get to Vegas. Addressing his lover, the narrator mentions a few different options for buying a ticket and going to Sin City – “We could win the lottery we could go to Vegas,” and “We could wait till summer, we could save our money” as well as “We could make a record, sell a lot of copies, we could play Las Vegas.”
19. Casino Queen - Wilco
Now here’s one black-humoured gambling-themed song, released in 1995 and titled after a casino. Featuring a dirty electric guitar, Casino Queen was composed by an American songwriter, Jeff Tweedy, who wrote this song after playing a game in a riverboat casino accompanied by his dad. Inspired by the event, the author wrote: “Casino Queen my lord you're mean, I've been gambling like a fiend on your tables so green.”
18. Have a Lucky Day - Morphine
Another song on our list that you simply must check out starts like this: “I feel lucky, I just feel that way, I'm on a bus to Atlantic City later on today. Now I'm sitting at a blackjack table and swear to God the dealer has a tag says, "Mabel." Hit me, hit me! I smile at Mabel, soon they're bringing complimentary drinks to the table.” Check it out yourself - it’s called Have a Lucky Day by Morphine.
17. Kentucky Gambler - Merle Haggard
Written by Dolly Parton and released in 1974, Merle Haggard’s Kentucky Gambler is another song on our ultimate gambling playlist that you should pay attention to. It’s about a miner from Kentucky who leaves his family to gamble, under the bright lights of Reno. Unsurprisingly, his winning streak comes to an end, and he loses all his winnings. All broke, he decided to return back home only when he arrived, he found out his wife was involved with someone else.
16. The Jack - AC/DC
The next song on our list will give you some adrenaline boost, for sure. It goes like this - “She gave me the queen, she gave me the king, she was wheelin' and dealin', just doin' her thing, she was holdin' a pair, but I had to try…” Sounds familiar? This song from the 1975s is called The Jack and is played by AC/DC and there’s no way you can skip it.
15. Blackjack - Ray Charles
Moving on to something a bit different - a melody that blackjack lovers can listen to as they play is Ray Charles’ Blackjack. Apart from being a good quality song from 1955, it carries an important message with an emphasis on how brutal the game of blackjack can be. Some sources say that Ray Charles wrote it after beating T-Bone Walker at a blackjack game session. Yet another Ray Charles’ famous song about gambling is called a Losing Hand.
14. Ooh Las Vegas - Gram Parson
“Ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me”... is a song-into for Ooh Las Vegas which was written by Gram Parsons and Ric Grech. It was first released by Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris in 1974. Playing this song would be perfect for the beginning of the road trip (i.e. to Las Vegas), especially if you have the energy to sing along.
13. The Stranger - Leonard Cohen
Published in 1968 and performed by Leonard Cohen, The Stranger appears in the The Ernie Game movie about a man released from a mental asylum. More appropriately, it is the perfect opening song in the 1971 Western McCabe & Mrs Miller, in which Warren Beatty plays a gambler. As you listen to this song (without watching the movie), it makes you see fascinating images of card games, smoky dreams, and concepts of risk versus safety.
12. Desperado - Eagles
Written by Glen Frey and Don Henley, Desperado song is one of The Eagles’ greatest hits from their 1973 album of the same name. The song features a classic tune while the ballad tells the story of a lone wolf imprisoned by his loneliness. As for the lyrics, they have loads of card references mentioning the queen of diamonds, the queen of hearts, and so on.
11. Huck's Tune - Bob Dylan
The next song on our list is about the risks of poker, money, and relationships, which are precisely what the movie Lucky You is all about. Does it ring a bell? That’s right, this 2007 song is called Huck’s Tune and is performed by Bob Dylan. Each of us can all relate to lines "You push it all in, and you've no chance to win, you play 'em on down to the end." Play the song and you’ll enjoy more than 4 amazing minutes of Bob Dylan. Likewise, Bob Dylan recorded Rambling, Gambling Willie and Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts, both excellent and both inspired by gambling.
10. Four Little Diamonds - Electric Light Orchestra
A song by the British rock band Electric Light Orchestra Four Little Diamonds was released in 1983 and found itself on the album Secret Messages. The single wasn’t so popular in the US, being only 2 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at number 86, and number 84 in the UK. This song refers to the singer’s cheating lover who tricked him out of a ring which had 'four little diamonds' on it.
9. You Can't Beat The House - Mark Knopfler
Moving on to our next choice for the day, You Can’t Beat the House. It’s the third song on the Get Lucky studio album released in 2009 by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler. The album and the songs received favorable reviews with the album reaching the top three positions on album charts in Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland. The singer’s divine voice combined with beautiful music and lyrics goes like this – “You can't bear the house, you can't bear the house, tell the man somebody, you can't beat the house.”
8. Deck of Cards - Don Williams
Deck of Cards is a recitation song that tells the story of a soldier who gets caught while playing cards in church and then faces a sentence from a superior officer. The soldier defends his case, explaining he wasn't about to deal a hand of poker, but was rather confirming his faith with the cards. Performed by T. Texas Tyler, the song managed to become a major hit in the 1940s and 1950s. Also, Wink Martindale had an even bigger hit with his 1959 cover, with a successful version by Don Williams featuring Tex Ritter and Buddy Cole.
7. Gambler’s Blues - B.B. King
First recording of the song Gambler’s Blues by B.B. King was in 1966, and it was released in 1967. The song appears on the album Back in the Alley (1970). Some say gambling and blues go hand in hand, so if you (gambling fans) haven’t heard it, listen and see for yourself.
6. Tumbling Dice - Rolling Stones
One of our favourite songs on the list is Tumbling Dice, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It tells the story of a gambler who can’t remain faithful to any woman. Being released in the 1970s and featuring a blues boogie-woogie rhythm, the song was and still is one of the greatest singles of all time. Rolling Stones also recorded Casino Boogie, and it’s from their 1972 album, Exile on Main St.
5. Luck Be A Lady - Frank Sinatra
The next song on our list is about a gambler who hopes that he will win a bet, the outcome of which will decide whether he is able to save his relationship with the girl of his dreams. You probably know what song we’re talking about; it’s called Luck be a Lady released in 1965 and performed by one of the most popular musical artists - Frank Sinatra.
4. Deal - Grateful Dead
Next one up is the song Deal. It was first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1971, as a regular part of the repertoire through their 1970's tour. Although being less common to the fans during the 1990s, the band continued to perform it. The singer opens with the message: “Since it cost a lot to win and even more to lose you and me bound to spend some time wondering what to choose,” that later kicks off with a chorus: “Don't let your deal go down...” Loser is another song first performed by the Grateful Dead in 1971 as well, heavily played during 1971 and 1972.
3. Ace of Spades - Motörhead
Ok, the next song is loaded with some great gambling verses like "The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say, I don't share your greed, the only card I need is the Ace of Spades" will definitely set you in the right mood for hitting some winning combinations. Released in 1980, the song was inspired by slot machines that the lead singer Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister played in London pubs.
2. Viva Las Vegas - Elvis
As soon as you start playing the second song from our playlist “Viva Las Vegas,” you’ll probably picture a huge casino and a great gaming atmosphere. Performed by the legendary Elvis Presley, the 1964-released song brings the glamour of the city, and its beat will get you in the mood for some serious gameplay. This song was written for the movie of the same name starring Elvis Presley, in which he plays a race car driver waiting tables at a hotel to pay off a debt. There’s this famous scene when he performs this song at the talent competition alongside many showgirls.
1. The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Performed by the legendary country singer Kenny Rogers, The Gambler song is our number 1 - it's full of some betting advice that are relevant today, even though it was released more than 40 years ago, in 1978. Here’s how it goes… “If you're gonna play the game, boy you gotta learn to play it right, you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” These classic chorus lines were told from the first-person perspective inspired by a conversation the author had with an experienced poker player on a train. Written in the form of poker metaphors, Schlitz wrote the tune in honor of his late father. Johnny Cash is also among other musicians who recorded The Gambler in 1978, on Gone Girl.
Emotional and Financial toll from this virus may take years to normalize
Fellow geniuses, let me guide you through what many will consider a totally inept analysis of the virus impact. First, I am not a "permabear" despite many bearish posts and comments. However, I was already bearish prior to this virus, thinking the party had gone on too long and we needed a correction. It would be nice for people not to lose money, and everything be great, however I am a realist. TL;DR: This virus is here for awhile and that will impact consumer behavior longer than just a few months. Even with a cure or vaccine, the emotional toll of having to deal with the seasonal flu, plus coronavirus, could take years to normalize. The economic impact will be substantial. 'This virus is going to be with us'
I'm hopeful that we'll get through this first wave and, and have some time to prepare for the second wave. I'm hopeful that the private sector in its ingenuity and working with the government, NIH, will develop a vaccine that ultimately will change the impact of this virus. But for the next 24 months, you know, we're all in this together, and the most important thing that we can do is twofold: the American public fully embracing the social distancing that we requested to protect the vulnerable; and secondly, to operationalize the bread and butter of public health, you know, early case identification, isolation, contact tracing, so that this outbreak does not get the upper hand, as it has, unfortunately, in New York City, in northern New Jersey, and now New Orleans.- CDC Director
CDC Director - This Virus Will Be With Us This is not going away after the first wave. We will have a second wave, and most likely another after that. We all know the flu by itself kills tens of thousands annually, even with a vaccine available for years. People are used to the Flu, it has been with us for a long time. But it still kills many people worldwide each year. Now, imagine adding a new virus that we are all scared of to every flu season. If you did not get it during the first wave, you probably don't want to get it in the second or third. This fear will greatly impact many people's behavior. How they travel, spend, etc, and this will impact the economy for an extended length of time. One in three Americans say a household member has been laid off or had their pay cut
Fully a third of Americans have someone in their household who’s been laid off or lost pay. The economic and humanitarian damage here is incredibly widespread, even more than the unemployment claims data suggests. The Google Trends data is especially alarming right now, because searches for “file for unemployment” are far, far higher than they were in the depths of the Great Recession. Two economists, the University of Minnesota’s Aaron Sojourner and Yale’s Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, have built a model for predicting unemployment claims based on news reports. Their initial model nearly nailed the 3.3 million number, predicting 3.4 million new claims. They now project 4.7 million new claims for the week ending March 27, a huge spike from an already record number.
Vox - Economic Number Even with government checks and recovery money, many of these companies and jobs won't come back. Weak businesses, the small mom and pop types, who were already struggling, won't make it through this. Unemployment will remain elevated longer than some anticipate. We had already seen a shift to many people working for themselves, also known as the gig economy. Many of these people are either already unemployed or will remain underemployed for months, if not years. This includes everyone from subcontractors, to your self employed business owners. Multiple articles have popped up about different industries that are seeing an impact. Here are a few mentioned recently:
Ridesharing (Uber, Lift, Scooters, Bikes)
Restaurants (Chains, Bars, mom and pop, food trucks)
Wedding Industry (Venues, Caterers, Photographers, Florists)
Retail (Malls, Local Independent Stores, some chains)
Motion Picture (Studios, Labor, Theater)
Home Services (Landscapers, Small Construction, Builders)
Personal Services (Barbers, Spas, Salons, Pet Care, Child Care, Nannies, Home Health Aids)
Real Estate (2nd homes, Rentals, Realtors)
Music & Arts (Concerts, Galleries, Venues)
Auto (local dealers, new cars, big 3)
34% GDP Plunge
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects the U.S. economy to experience a far deeper slump than previously anticipated as the coronavirus pandemic hammers businesses, causing a wave of mass unemployment. The world’s largest economy will shrink an annualized 34% in the second quarter, compared with an earlier estimate of 24%, economists led by Jan Hatzius wrote in a report. Unemployment will soar to 15% by mid-year, up from a previous forecast of 9%, they wrote. The economists, however, now expect a stronger recovery in the third quarter, with gross domestic product expanding 19%.“Our estimates imply that a bit more than half of the near-term output decline is made up by year-end,” they wrote. While there’s a risk of longer-term fallout on income and spending, the aggressive action by the Federal Reserve and the government should help to contain this.
Goldman Sees Deeper Plunge 34% is just a massive impact. They do expect a strong recovery (as do many) but it still won't immediately make up for the total hit we will take. One can't help but wonder how much of this won't go away, and how long it will take to get back on track. Conclusion: We will get out of this and life will return to normal. However, those calling bottoms, and talking V shape recovery in only a month or so may be shortsighted. People will spend less going forward, impacting all areas of the economy. The emotional and financial toll of this virus may take years to fully normalize. Position: Overall outlook for the next few months or so is bearish, despite the irrational exuberance of the bulls this past week. Disclaimer: This is just a random opinion from some average guy locked in his house drinking copious amounts of coffee. Do your own DD and form your own opinion. I did not dig into lots of other areas in this post. Other things to look at or consider; EM, China data, Oil, Europe, Debt, Future World Virus Spread, etc..
"Hell is empty. All the devils are here." My name is Michael Cross, and I'm a reporter. I do a lot of crime news, written for all sorts of magazines and papers. I'm well-known across the country, and for good reason. I'm a good reporter, renowned for finding the truth behind a case. But this one's not like anything I've seen before. Three days ago, I sat down with an old man. Malcolm is a murderer. Killed a runaway for no apparent reason forty-eight years ago, and been in prison ever since. No one knows why he did it, but people have been whispering about it for years. He's always claimed innocence, telling some crazy story to exonerate himself. I went to talk to him to get the full story from the horse's mouth. As I sat down in the visiting room, I was surprised at Malcolm's appearance. For someone who's believed to be criminally insane, he looked surprisingly put-together. His eyes were clear and focused, and he made some pleasant small talk with me before I finally asked him what I was here for. "So, Malcolm. Tell me why you're here." He leaned back in his chair, looked at the back of his wrinkled, veiny hand, and sighed. "There's an old folk tune, maybe you've heard it. Called "House of the Rising Sun". Pretty tune, but very sad. I lived in New Orleans for years, so I've heard it more times than I can count. Let me tell you, though, I never thought I'd see the place. I know what you're thinking. You think I'm bullshitting. It's not a real place, just a story. And maybe it is. Maybe everything you're about to hear is nonsense, just pointless ranting from an old man whose mind broke years ago. I hope you're right. Honest to God, I do. Fifty-two years ago, I was twenty-three, and my life was in one hell of a rough patch. My parents died when I was sixteen. I was homeless, had gotten fired from half a dozen jobs. I slept on the streets in New Orleans every night. Damn near froze to death, ate next to nothing. It almost killed me. Looking back, I wish it had. One day, walking around the city, begging change off of strangers, I saw a building I'd never seen before. Big place, made of white marble. There were a big set of double doors in the front, white with gold trim. "Rising Sun Hotel and Casino" was written above the door in big, bold letters, with a golden sun symbol inscribed in the wall next to it. The front door had a flyer on it. "Now Hiring". I hadn't eaten in four days, and I'd always been pretty good at dealing cards, so I figured, fuck it, I'll give it a go." Malcolm leaned back in his chair again, gripping the table tightly with his right hand, knuckles white. "I went in and told a waiter I was here to apply for the job. He nodded and went to get the manager. While I was in there, I looked around. The place was huge, much bigger than it looked on the outside. There were more card tables than I could count, and all kinds of people sitting around, eating, playing, and drinking. Normal-looking casino, except for one thing. No matter where I looked, I didn't see any money change hands. Everyone seemed to be playing for free. Before I had time to think about it any more, the waiter came back with a well-dressed man in his fifties. Brown hair going to grey, black suit, deep red tie. Icy blue eyes. He walked up to me and shook my hand. 'Good afternoon, Malcolm. I'm John, the manager here. Alex tells me you want to apply for the dealer position?' I told him I did, and he took me back to a back room with a couple card tables scattered about. He sat at one and handed me a deck of cards. 'Pretend there are people at every chair, and deal a hand of blackjack.' I did as he asked. He went through the same procedure with a few different card games, and nodded. 'Well done. You're hired.' I shook his hand and thanked him profusely. Couldn't believe my luck. He pulled out some paper and a pen. 'Before you start, though, have to sign this.' I read through it thoroughly. Pretty straightforward, just something saying I couldn't talk about the Rising Sun or its customers to any non-employee. Thought it was a bit weird, but I was desperate for a job, so I signed. Seems like I'm breaking the deal now. Guess they could come after me for breach of contract." He laughed, but there was little joy in it. "I got my uniform the next day, and soon after got my first paycheck. I was shocked. Four hundred bucks a week doesn't sound like much now, but it was a hell of a lot back then. I found a nice apartment, and was living well for the first time in almost a decade. It was a great job. But I started noticing some strange things soon after I started." I nodded encouragingly. "Like what?" Malcolm shut his eyes for a second, then continued talking. "I dealt every day, saw all sorts of people. There were your usual hoodlums and runaways, but I never saw the same ones twice. A few times, I saw famous people, though. Names you'd recognize. Often, they were taken upstairs for meetings with the owner." I nodded, jotting this down. "Did you ever meet the owner?" Malcolm looked quite uncomfortable at this, nodded once, and kept talking. "Other weird shit happened, too. Every night, at three, the floor closed. Everyone had to be out by then. None of us ever knew what went on then." I thought about this for a second. "Did you and the others talk about what was weird about the casino?" Malcolm shook his head. "We weren't really friendly, and we weren't encouraged to be. None of us really knew each other, and John didn't let us talk much on the job. That wasn't the only weird thing, though. This place was a normal casino. There was the floor, a restaurant, a hotel, all that. The owner supposedly lived in a penthouse on the top floor. And I knew where everything was, except for one thing. There was an old door at the back of one of the storage rooms. I was told, on multiple occasions, never to go into that door. And for most of my time there, I listened." I cocked my head. "Most of your time?" He nodded. "We'll get there. After I worked there for a couple years, I found a note one day at my station. Neat little printing, red letters. Malcolm- You seem to be doing quite well here! Come join me for dinner in my penthouse tonight. My treat. Rex Lumos Rex Lumos was the name of the owner. At least we were told. After I found the note, I showed it to John, who told me to be there at seven." "Is that when you met the owner?" Malcolm grimaced. "Not exactly. That night, I was there at seven on the dot. When I opened the door and went in, the first thing I noticed was how damn cold it was. Felt like stepping into a fridge. Otherwise, it was what you'd expect for an old rich guy's house. Nice furniture, spacious, big dining room table. When I went into the dining room, John was sitting there at the table. No sign of Mr. Lumos. I asked John where he was, and of course he said that Mr. Lumos couldn't make it because of a sudden meeting, but wanted us to enjoy a nice dinner here anyways. One of the waiters brought in a couple steaks, and we ate. Delicious, but uncomfortable. We ate in complete silence, and I felt like I was being watched the entire time. I finished eating, excused myself quick, and got the fuck out of there." I leaned back in my chair. "Sounds quite unpleasant. Why'd you stay on after that?" Malcolm laughed, a harsh, barking sound. "Why the fuck do you think? Money. I got a raise, and I was already getting rich off of this. No one who's been homeless wants to go back to the street. So what if the place is fucking weird? A job's a job." I nodded. "I would imagine so." Malcolm nodded back, and kept going. "Eventually, after four years there, noticing more and more weird shit, I finally decided to solve at least one mystery." "You went through the door." "I went through the door. There was an old wooden set of steps behind it. Old even then. I walked down them for what felt like hours. It was creaky as hell, and eventually the electric lights turned into gas lamps. Finally, the steps stopped, and I ended up in what looked like another stockroom. Pretty similar to the restaurant's stockrooms upstairs. It was full of black crates like those were; but these ones were unlabeled and sealed shut. It was frigid down here, just like in the owner's penthouse. As I walked through the place, it kept getting colder and colder. Almost seemed like the room had no end. Eventually, though, I found another door." I furrowed my brow. "Another one?" Malcolm nodded, visibly shaken by the prospect of talking about this. "The door... The door was old. Ancient. I have no idea when this could have possibly been made. The thing was made of old black wood, and had an old brass knob. The really strange thing was, though, there was no gap at all between the door and the frame." I kept writing. "So you couldn't see what was behind it?" "I couldn't. And now I realize that's a good thing. It was fifty years ago. Lots of this stuff is hazy in my memory. But this... I'll never forget what happened here. Not if I live another century. I touched the door, and it was freezing. Colder than I ever could have imagined. I yanked my hand away, and heard footsteps behind me. I turned around, and saw John standing there. 'I wouldn't open that door, Malcolm.' I was fucking fed up at this point, so I asked what I was thinking. Bet it's the same thing you're thinking. 'What the hell is this place, John?' John nodded. 'A fair question. A long time ago, I ran a tavern. Called it the Rising Sun. I was eventually approached by Mr. Lumos, who made me a very tempting offer.' My gut was screaming at me to run, but I had to know what was happening here. 'Which was?' John ignored the question and kept going. 'This place, the Rising Sun,' he gestured around, 'is something of a gateway. It exists in two places simultaneously. Allows residents of one realm to go to the other. There's a price that must be paid, but, well,' he slapped one of the crates, 'we can help with that.' I stepped back, but ran into some of the crates. They felt disturbingly heavy. 'So that door leads to...' 'The door leads... Elsewhere. A place even I've never seen.' I stepped away from the crates, and away from John, backing towards the wall. 'And what about Mr. Lumos?! Where's he in all of this?' John's laugh sounded wrong. It was harsh, brittle, almost distorted. 'He's here, Malcolm. He knows everything that happens in his domain. And he's taken quite an interest in you.' Somehow, the air got colder, and I felt... something. A presence." My pen was off to the side, long forgotten now. "Could you describe it?" Malcolm shook his head. "Never. Hell, I can barely think about it without going into a cold sweat." I nodded, transfixed by the story. "What happened next?" "John took a step towards me, and held out his hand. 'We'd like to offer you a permanent position here at the Rising Sun. You'd be my assistant manager.' He smiled. 'Perhaps, one day, my successor.' I shook my head. I was horrified, and I wanted out. Something was so fundamentally wrong with this place that I'd rather go back to the streets. So I did the only thing I could think of. I ran. Straight past John, back through the room, and up those stairs. I heard a deep, low rumbling as I left. It almost sounded like laughter. When I went through the door at the top of the stairs, I wasn't back in the stockroom. I was on the streets of New Orleans again. There was an old, run-down brick building behind me that it seemed I'd just come out of. I tried the door. Locked. I walked around the place, looking in every nook and cranny. No doors, no windows, no other way in. Some people gave me some strange looks as they passed on the street, but this was New Orleans. I'm sure they'd seen stranger." I nodded, picking my pen back up and notating once again. "And what did you do next?" Malcolm shrugged. "I went back to my house. What the fuck else was I supposed to do? I didn't want anything more to do with that place. And it seemed like I'd gotten that wish. There was no sign of the Rising Sun anywhere. And I was happy with that. For about a day." "The next day?" "The next day, there was a knock at my door. The police. Arrested me for murder in the first degree. Apparently they'd gotten a tip, and found a dead teenager in that old brick house." "The murder you were convicted for." Malcolm nodded. "How could they not convict? There was a dead teen with his head smashed in with a crowbar. A crowbar that had my fingerprints all over it. Plenty of people had seen me around the building. Everyone thinks I did it, and I can't blame them. Maybe you think I did it, too. I won't blame you, either." I set my pen down, and Malcolm continued. "Like I said at the beginning, you don't have to believe me. Maybe I'm a liar. Maybe I'm crazy. Either way, if what I've told you today isn't true, then I'm a killer. And I deserve to be here. Whether you believe me or not is your choice, and I won't judge you for either." I began putting my things back in my briefcase. "This case... It's hard to believe you, Malcolm." Malcolm nodded and stood up. "It is. Whether you do or not, Mr. Cross, thank you for listening to an old man's story." He shook my hand, and we both left the room. It's been three days since then. At the time, I thought the same as everyone else. Either he's crazy or he's lying. But now I'm not sure. Maybe he wrote it himself. But maybe it's truly what he says it is. The note he pressed into my hand as we shook before I left. On the back, scrawled in black ink. I found this under my pillow last night. On the front, red ink, small neat printing. Malcolm- One last chance to accept my offer, friend. Otherwise we'll meet on the other side of the door. Rex Lumos
Summary of United States of America White House Press Briefing - Sunday, April 19, 2020
Comments by President Trump: - Negotiation is underway with the Democrats to continue funding the Paycheck Protection Program. Hospitals may get help too, in this package. - To date in the US, 4.18 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus. - There is a scheduled call Monday with the nation’s governors. One item to emphasize is the number of unused testing capacity in each state, through commercial labs such as Quest and LabCorp. They are being used at only a 10% level now, 90% is available. - The Wall Street Journal wrote a favorable article about the administration, by Christopher DeMuth, called “Trump rewrites the book on emergencies”, about how well federal, state, and local heads of government are working together. - Thank you to the doctors, nurses, orderlies, and truckers. - We’re close to finalizing a second partnership through which a U.S. manufacturer would convert its existing plant to produce over 10 million additional swabs for a month. - We’re preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by over 20 million additional swabs per month. - We’re working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to use its injection molding capacity to produce 10 million collection tubes per week. - Testing is the responsibility of the states. - Governor Cuomo is going to be sending up to Massachusetts some of the excess ventilators from New York - The number of new hospital admissions is significantly down. 50% decline over a 9 day period in New York City. - Numbers are indicating that the coronavirus is NOT similar to the flu. - New guidelines are coming out to doctors and patients to resume elective surgeries. - A massive military operation is still underway to supply our hospitals with equipment they need and beds if necessary. Through Project Air Bridge, we’ve completed 64 flights carrying over 600 million pieces of personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, and other medical gear with 50 more flights scheduled in the very near future. - The federal government is currently procuring more than 100,000 ventilators through new production or purchases with thousands already delivered. - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that heroic efforts have been made by government, federal and state. - FEMA is working to commit another $384 million to produce another 64 million gowns for healthcare. - US companies, Hanes and Standard Textile, are on track to produce five million gowns by the end of the month. - Honeywell recently began manufacturing N95 masks in Rhode Island, where they converted a factory in less than five weeks instead of the nine months it was normally expected to take. - Honeywell is hiring more than 1,000 American workers to produce 20 million masks per month. - 500 million more N95 masks have been ordered. - This pandemic has underscored the vital importance of reshoring our supply chains and bringing them back into the United States where they belong. - We’ve launched an unprecedented effort to develop new treatments and therapies to battle the coronavirus. Comments by Vice President Pence: - 746,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, more than 68,000 Americans have fully recovered, but sadly more than 41,000 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. We always want to express our deepest sympathies to the families in their loss. - Large metro areas continue to stabilize and even see progress. The New York metro area, including New Jersey, New York, Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Detroit, New Orleans, and Denver all appeared to be past their peak. - 5,528 military personnel have been deployed across 24 hospitals and facilities and 28,700 National Guard are on duty. - We have 9,055 ventilators on hand. We added 91 ventilators to that supply because of the production that the president has activated. In the next seven days, we’ll be adding 576 ventilators to the strategic national stockpile. - We’re going to be working with governors tomorrow on the subject of testing and supplies. Comments by Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Seema Verma: - We’ve put out $90 billion in accelerated payments under the Medicare program, and provided $30 billion of grants. - Guidelines are going out how hospitals can restart elective surgeries, and manage surges in coronavirus cases. - FEMA is working on a plan to make sure that nursing homes have the supplies that they need. - We are announcing that we are requiring nursing homes to report to patients and their families if there are cases of COVID virus inside the nursing home. We are also requiring nursing homes to report directly to the CDC when they have cases of COVID virus. Questions from the White House Press Pool: Q1: If there were groups of people planning to protest tomorrow against the government shutdown, what would be your advice? A1: You’re allowed to protest. Some governors have gone too far. Q2: Are you considering giving any aid to Iran? A2: Yes, if they ask for it. Q3: Which governors have gone too far? A3: Virginia, on guns. Q4: Do you hope that a deal may come tomorrow on the small business loan program? A4: Well, I hope so. We are negotiating with the democrats. We want to take care of our workers. We want to take care of our small companies. Q5: Do you want the reopening of the US economy to be safe? A5: Yes. We are starting to open our country. Q6: Why would the virus suddenly be different? A6: (Dr. Hahn) I don’t think we have evidence that one would be more susceptible or less. Q7: Is there a chance of sort of rebounding if you reopen too soon without the type of mitigation efforts that we’ve had still in place? A7: (Mike Pence) Yes. Q8: Why did you wait so long to warn people in February about the virus? A8: I banned China from coming in. There were no US deaths at the time I closed up the country. Q9: Germany is allowing small stores to open tomorrow. Does this give you confidence that some European countries are on the mend of recovering? A9: Well, I hope so. Q10: The mayor of Las Vegas thinks it’s total insanity for business to be shut down in Nevada, which Governor Sisolak ordered. Who’s right? A10: Well, they shut one of my hotels down too, okay? I’m not involved in that. Q11: Is the paycheck protection money going to small casinos? A11: They are looking into it right now because they have small casinos that don’t have too many people, and they’re going to make a ruling, I understand, next week. Q12: States say they can’t get reagents. A12: We’re in great shape. It’s so easy to get. Q13: Will the latest stimulus package have funding for states and local governments? A13: Well, I don’t want to comment on it, but we will be saving that for another time. Q14: What is the administration doing to make sure that hotel chains and hedge funds can recover? A14: Hopefully they’re going to be able to open up relatively quickly. Q15: Is this really the time for self-congratulations? A15: I’m standing up for the men and women that have done such an incredible job. Q16: Should publicly traded companies like Shake Shack, and Quantum Corp, and Ruth’s Chris have access to the PPP program? A16: Not if they are owned by large franchises. Q17: Are you concerned that your talk about liberation the second amendment, are you inciting violence among a few people? A17: They want their life back. Q18: Have you thought any more about pardoning Paul Manafort or Roger Stone so they’re not exposed to the coronavirus in jail? A18: You’ll find out what I’m going to do. Q19: The CDC has finally admitted to profound failures with testing kits from the beginning of the outbreak. Is this a function of lax oversight from the Obama/Biden administration? A19: Well, it’s not from me. We’ve straightened it out. Q20: On President Xi, you now talk about the missteps that China made early on in this crisis and how it put the United States. So when you repeatedly praised Xi in January and February you said he will solve the problem. You said he was doing a great job. Where you duped by President Xi? A20: Well, based on an investigation we’re going to find out. Yeah. Q21: The first of the month is next week, so for people that are worried about whether or not they’re going to see a stimulus check again next month, will there be another stimulus check? A21: Well, we’re looking at it, we’re talking about it. Q22: Do you plan to coordinate with Mexico and Canada to ensure U.S. manufacturers have what they need? A22: We’re coordinating right now with both. I spoke with the President of Mexico yesterday. I spoke with the Prime Minister of Canada a lot, Justin, and we’re in very good coordination right now. Q23: The White House announced a congressional task force for reopening America, and included every Republican senator but Mitt Romney. Does that show that you’re still holding a grudge against Mitt Romney? A23: Yeah, it does. You know, I’m not a fan of Mitt Romney. Q24: Why on that task force did you include Senator Kelly Locklear? There’s some questions about whether she was involved in insider trading. A24: Well, that I don’t know. Q25: Many of the countries that maybe have taken their eye off the ball and let coronavirus let rip in their countries. Which ones were you talking about? The UK? A25: I don’t say that, but you just have to look. What’s happened to Italy is very, very tough. Sunday, April 19, 2020 6:29pm EDT to 7:58pm EDT
All about Rich Guy, his plans, and other stuff from the offseason
1-5-19 It's been awhile since I posted because I’ve been grinding the game and vegas happened. Dashy filled expectations of being a young formal and its funny that ppl only see that now. Congratulations to Optic on winning Vegas the event was lit. My old sub is fucked up and I can't make it public now so I made the new one and copied the main posts over and locked them but their here now for history. My last post said I could write one last one until next rostermania about small stuff and some stuff I heard that I thought was fugaze. Its good I waited because it turns out lots of it was true and I heard straight from lots of ppl involved. Theirs not too much to talk about for rosters bc everything is set for the qualifier so the only topic left is rich guy and who he is. No its not Marc Cuban lol. I think hes one of the bigger stories in cod since he caused so much movement and was the reason I made my burner in the first place. So I worked on this post for awhile now in MS Word so its easier to read and made it into sections since everybody kept frying me over it lol. This is going to be my last post until next rostermania so thanks for reading and hope it’s been fun and thanks to ppl that dm’d me info and helped me figure this out. If you weren't around for Seattle Rostermania when the Optic roster of Scump, Crim, Formal, and Karma broke up, I heard from multiple people that the plan was for them to actually leave together and join some rich guy. These are the two posts I made about it and if your confused they can help.
Before ww2 even started the optic guys weren’t happy with what they were being paid and felt like infinite didnt care about them. They would joke about leaving and talking to other teams but other players thought it was just banter. Then infinite kept part of their paycheck bc part of it said they didn’t have to pay it bc it was a good behavior bonus which lots of players have and the org decides if you behaved good or not and it happened around new orleans. That’s one of the things they were pissed off about along with infinite taking forever to redo their contracts bc they only made 8000 up from 3000 and it was about to end. Then crim made the reddit AMA in February where he publicly said they weren’t happy with optic... https://www.reddit.com/OpTicGaming/comments/7xk9sp/crimsix_surprise_ama/du8yest/ Guys in optic started to think they made a huge mistake selling to the wrong group months before. Then rich guy probably heard about the AMA post. He got someone to get him in touch with the cod roster to see if they were for real about what was said in Crims AMA. Theres a rumor rich guy was one of the ppl that tried to buy optic when they were looking for investors but hecz sold to the rangers guy instead so he knew of the cod team.
(2) CWL Atlanta WW2
So the optic guys talked on skype with rich guy a few times before cwl atlanta which was in march and they planned to meet at the event to talk in person. Supposedly right before they were going to meet infinite decided to drop the halo team and very nearly dropped the cod team the day before the event too. That’s something scump said himself to lots of different players. I heard it was only crim that met in person at first with rich guy on Wednesday before the event and funny theres a post by someone who saw it and posted way before I made my burner account. Basically he saw crim meeting with rich guy at a strip club. You can read the other guys post thread here... https://www.reddit.com/CoDCompetitive/comments/8auxou/rostermania_news_and_predictions_thread/dx2ya73/
This is going to sound made up but I live in Atlanta and I saw crim having a meeting with a guy in a suit who I think is the ceo of another team. It was the wednesday before Atlanta open and they were both wearing suits. My friends and me sat at a table behind them and we heard them talking about money. they stayed about an hour and when they were leaving his friend in a suit went to the bathroom so i went to crim and shook his hand and said good luck this weekend. He was surprised and it seemed like they went there bc they didnt want anyone to see them meeting. When they left they got into a Roles Royce. I can post more after work if anyone wants to know more... I didnt think anything of it either when we first saw them but as i watched them it was obvious the guy was from another team. Both him and crim were in suits and i swear I heard crim say he loves the offer or something. This was on wednesay or Thursday night near midnight. Then on monday one of my friends that was there with me told me that he saw the same suit guy out sunday night with karma and scumpi and that they were talking loudly about teams or something. so my friend brad walked up to them and asked if he could get a picture with all 3 of them. The suit guy said no so my friend said he really wants one with all 3. Karma and the suit guy said no and that my friend could have a picture with just him and Scumpi without the suit guy or else no picture at all. My friend said ok so he just got a pic with Karma and Scumpi. After he got the picture our other friend Travis walked up to the suit guy and told him we saw him and Crim out in suits the other night. He laughed and shook my friend's hand and asked where did we see them. My friend told him we saw them at tattletales and that he said hi to Crim there. The suit guy laughed and smiled and told my friend to keep that secret. My friend asked him which team he was from or if he could even tell them who he was and he smiled and said dont worry about it everyone will find out in about a month then gave a wink. Then Scump got in a car with Silly and Study and left but the suit guy and Karma talked a little more then both of them got in the same uber and said they were going to hang out more at the hotel since it was closing time already. From what I saw on wednesday night and what my friends saw on Sunday night we all say it was obvious something was happening because of how they were acting all secretive.
One of Crims friends and other pros say he said the post was all true but he took him to an expensive steak dinner first and it lines up with what I know about rich guy. The guys second post says something about rich guy and scump getting into an argument and I can see it happening bc scump is a dick when hes wasted which always happens after events. Other ppl I talked to said they saw rich guy around the W hotel bar downtown where everyone was staying but didnt know who he was. He was talking to attach but attach was trolling and said he was his cousin when ppl asked him so thats where the intel came from that rich guy was someone attach knew. No one knows why attach was talking to him or why he knew him then either even now.
(3) CWL Birmingham WW2
rich guy took scump and crim out to dinner and smoothed things over. After the team lost they went to the bars and gambled until morning. i heard this is where he upped his offer to them to 20k a month salary each for the next 4 games. Scump and rich guy smoothed out things at the event here bc before that they didnt like each other after atlanta. I heard from a friend of crim that he said scump was rude to rich guy the first time they met in person but I dont know if the argument in the guys second post is the first time they met in person. This is when formal wanted karma gone and tried to get him dropped since he was costing and gunless would easily be available since rise didnt win yet. Im told rich guy then told crim he only wanted all 4 of them and no one would come close to salary and crim and karma thought all they needed was a team change away from infinite then. I heard attach say rich guy knew cod would be 5v5 the next year and crim said they would want him as their 5th at the bar in bham. I cant confirm that though but it makes sense on why attach would of been talking to him at Atlanta.
(4) CWL Seattle WW2
I heard rich guy took Crim, Attach, Felo, Dashy, and Study out to dinner at a steak house there then went to a few bars with crim and attach. In the players lounge the optic guys were all saying it was done deal and they were leaving optic. Then we all know what happened with t16 so optic knew they needed a change and thats when the talk of gunless came up with him taking karmas spot but crim and scump really wanted john and octane. John was cool with playing with them but only if it was to the rich guy since he thought hed get so much blame if they didnt win from the fans. I heard that night they settled on scump crim john and formal and they had a party to celebrate. Karma wasnt told at the time for sure he was getting dropped and wouldnt go to the rich guys team with the others so he still went to the party. We all heard what happened here with a tshirt being made but it wasnt finger paint but was from a stripper party rich guy threw for all the players in the hotel not even those he was going to sign. I heard it got freaky and one of the strippers had green hair. Karma was high and going off no sleep so he went down to the lobby and hecz saw him and told him to take the shirt off and told other non optic players to go back upstairs and stop being retards. There is more than one shirt that got made which is why karma says the one in the pic isnt his. https://imgur.com/jVRSIFU Then scump crim and a bunch of other players went out to the bars with rich guy. I heard they partied Wednesday Thursday Saturday and Sunday nights based on what other players said especially Saturday and Sunday ppl saw them get back to the hotel real late with rich guy. Everyone thought it was a done deal when they left on Monday morning. Sometime after that I made my first post about optic leaving. scump and crim were insisting on john and octane but then john couldnt get out of his contract with LG because there wasnt an even trade with him unlike octane for formal. I heard thats what then scared rich guy off because if formal and karma stayed on optic together and he only got scump and crim then he wouldnt get a league spot since it would stay with optic bc of the rules. So in the end formal got traded for octane and scump and crim got new deals. Then optic tried to get Zooma but faze wouldnt sell him. So optic bought methodz contract because tk didnt pay for it and then tried to trade him for zooma bc the other faze guys like methodz. Faze said no and then told Zooma they will give him a raise to 20k a month. He said they had their locks on him and wouldnt let him go. So optic then tries to get Kenny but his contract said he had to give notice of using his buyout 20 days in advance and that meant it would be after roster lock so he was stuck too. So optic got stuck with methodz as the 4th. I heard from an optic content guy they asked karma to come back but he said no.
(5) CWL Anaheim WW2
Im not fully sure if rich guy was here but I heard after this event is when he hired apoc to work for him once the season was fully over ( https://twitter.com/Apoccc ). Apocs been in the scene for a long time and knows everyone so it makes sense why hed do it. It also makes sense because after the season it turned out unilad got sold to someone else and got rid of esports. I heard rich guy hung out with a few of the owners from other teams but I never got real confirmation.
(6) Pro league stage 2 WW2
In July between weeks 7 and 8 for group B (optic eu unilad rise lg col MF TM) that nameless had a house party on some random night and rich guy went with the optic and eu guys. I think he took all of them to dinner. One of the players said he was the only one at the party that wasnt a caster or a player. I heard they went out to a small bar after.
(7) Champs WW2
This is where it gets good. So Apoc was supposed to start working for rich guy officially when unilad was knocked out but the unilad owner let him do work for rich guy earlier since unilad was leaving esports anyway. Rich guys original plan was to build around john and attach and start talking to them after the event. Then they were going to go after slasher bc with those 3 on board they could get anyone they wanted to fill out the roster. Also behind the scenes I heard nade was already offering players to come to 100t before champs even started offering 10k. This is the start of the bidding war for lots of players that happened during rostermania. That fourth they went after was scump. After optic was eliminated in groups scump and methodz were the only ones who stayed while crim and octane flew home the next morning and skipped the autograph session at champs. So its just scump and zinni hanging out with nothing to do so I heard they partied alot with rich guy. From what I know scump and rich guy are actually friends and drink together so thats what happened Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. A player who heard some of their talks said that scump was still unhappy with optic and wanted to leave and start his own thing like nade did with 100t so he went to dinner on one of the nights with rich guy and heard he still wanted a team. Rich guy and apoc told him they wanted to try to try to get john attach and slasher. I heard scump was going around the venue the next few days telling ppl thats what he was going to do. Someone said John told them rich guy asked him if he would play with scump and he said yes. The thing is so many ppl say they hate each other but their good friends and hang out alot in cbus and other places. Fans always get things wrong or blow things up when its not a big deal. Ppl thought scump hated jkap but in cbus he started working out with him bc he had back pains and it helped. Or ppl thought formal was mad about karma piping lisserboo when it was opposite but no one its not a big deal. One thing true is the players completely hate larew’s +1 even mlg staff bc she’d get drunk at the venue and cussing security out for not letting her back stage just bc larew was on optic. Scump couldnt leave champs after losing in groups was bc his mom and friends and family were coming into town to watch him. They were seen talking to rich guy at the venue and I heard he took scumps whole group of 15 ppl out to steak dinners the next few nights. The story about scump being drunk on Sunday at the hotel bar talking to karma was true but he also talked to lots of players like apathy and asked him to team too but its normal for scump and all the players to be wasted on Sunday nights after events. Lots of them talk fugaze but ppl say scump was serious and also said it wouldnt be with optic but sometimes he blacks out so idk. He was carrying a printed contract with him from rich guy and I heard the offer was 50k a month for 3 years plus a small ownership part of the org. Supposedly scump agreed and wanted it down in writing so rich guy flew one of his lawyers in to write it up and give it to him. Lots of ppl are going to say 50k a month is crazy but for scump its definitely not just look how he got 30k subs on twitch plus all the other stuff he brings to the table for exposure like playing with guys like jack and shroud and ninja. Scump is the face of optic and cod so its good to see salaries going higher.
(8) Rostermania BO4
Everybody leaves champs and rostermania started alot earlier then before. At the start optic didnt know if it was 4v4 or 5v5 yet so they were planning for 4v4 although they found out earlier than the other teams. They thought they had scump locked up but he went awol for about a week and I heard thats bc john and him were calling around to see who would want to play with them. I heard a rumor of slasher scump john Kenny as a 4 and with karma as the 5th. I heard this is when rich guy had players sign NDAs if they wanted to negotiate so thats why no one really said anything about the details or who he is because he can sue them if they go public. Someone close to one of the players confirmed it. I also heard from another person close to one of the players that rich guy scheduled face to face meetings where him apoc and their lawyers would fly to see the players and talk. One of apocs former players told me rich guy moved him to the USA from England full time to work for him and go around doing face to face meetings with everyone for 2 months. The players were also supposedly shown detailed presentations about marketing stuff salary investments and other things. Around then John and Scump decided they wanted Clay instead of slasher so he became the new target and they wanted to get it done quick before other teams made moves and so scump could get away from optic without it dragging out. Now idk exactly what happened but I heard scump started getting worried they couldnt get players out of their contracts with their current teams so he decided to go back to optic when crim and him decided to get Teej and dashy instead then add karma if it went to 5. So karma was still the most wanted FA out there still and everyone wanted him…eu, rise, LG, faze, etc, but for a time he agreed to go to 100t and Nade but then decided he didnt want to go there because he didnt believe in one of the players they signed. John and Karma also wanted to play together so nade thought karma could bring john with him but john said no and he would only go to rich guy or stay on LG. He would only go to rich guy because apoc is his close friend for 8 years. Karma liked it too bc he knew apoc for about a decade. Here’s Karma talking about Apoc in an old video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYmOnBL13sA&feature=youtu.be&t=315 So Karma and John got talking and also decided they would want to play with Clay so that became the new core for team rich guy. I heard they stopped going after attach because faze wouldnt sell him and they thought he would be too slow and be a bad fit. Even though rich guy supposedly really liked attach…remember how they were talking in atlanta before anyone knew anything…I heard he wanted to be hands off when it came to roster moves and let the staff decide that. Someone who talked to him told me he wanted to hire the experts and trust their advice and just be the guy paying the bills. Karma supposedly didnt know what he wanted to do so rich guy wanted to fly to see him with Apoc. This is unconfirmed but theres lots of evidence to support it that rich guy flew clay to frisco to help meet with karma in person. Clay tweeted out this pic of a steakhouse... https://twitter.com/Claystestatus/1040436939416059910 Google maps street view shows that restuarant is in Frisco... https://email@example.com,-96.8266338,3a,75y,88.68h,63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sesXQ0x2CWoJ3c49igD2ZRA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 So Karma agreed on the core 3 and they decided to try to get Gunless since they heard they were leaving the scene after selling teej to optic and knowing they didnt have alot of money to invest into cod. Gunless didnt want to go to team rich guy because he wanted to play with formal on LG. Someone said rich guy was going to buy him anyway for 200k but then changed his mind when he found out gunless’s contract would end on December 31st so he’d only have him for one event then he could walk away for free to LG if he wanted. The word on the street is the core 3 convinced rich guy to still go after him bc if they placed top 4 at vegas they would be locked into a league spot and it would be risky for him to tank and be stuck in the qualifier where anything can happen. That weekend is also when holly had her birthday and rich guy wanted to help win over holly so karma would sign. The story is rich guy took hollys group out at a club with vip service that cost maybe 5000 then a strip club afterwards. She told them to not take pics of him and apoc and it was some big surprise. She supposedly spent alot of time talking to him on a couch in the corner. I posted more details about it here before... https://www.reddit.com/codburnecomments/abxcvy/92918_some_stuff_about_rich_guy/ Here's a portion of it...
i know alot of u are wondering who rich guy is bc crim confirmed today he exists and partly confirmed what i posted about him going over to karmas house and seeing he was already there. i dont know exactly who it is but a few ppl DMd me a few likely suspects that i wont name without more proof. maybe u guys can help out here. When i posted about crim running into him i thought it was insane timing but now i think rich guy was there in frisco for a week. i dont post stuff without hearing from ppl first and if it sounds crazy i wait even longer before doing it and with crim kinda confirming what i said in my other post i decided to. A few weeks ago someone DMd saying that their friend in frisco met rich guy but he didnt know who he was at the time. the story is holly had a birthday where she invited her twitch subs to show up. she said the plan was to go out to a nightclub to meet up with ppl and she didnt say who it was. when they got there some big guy met them outside and walked them past a huge line right into the club and they had vip and bottles of goose and champ all night on the mysterious dudes tab at a vip table while holly hung out with him for alot of the night talking on the couch. then they went to a strip club. my source said his friend swears this was rich guy.
I think Clayster left the morning of but I think ppl at the barlow house saw him when he went to visit. This was the weekend before the 5v5 announcement so they thought the roster if it stayed 4 would be john karma gunless clayster. If it went to five and faze still wouldnt sell attach, I heard they were looking at jurd, felo, bance, shockz, censor, or slacked. Someone told me rich would of wanted dashy bc hes a fan of his but he knew he was already signed to optic. Remember rich guy was paying for apoc to live in the usa the whole time so I heard he stayed there in frisco for 2 weeks. The announcement happens that week that its 5v5 and I heard rich guy and apoc watched it happen with the barlows in their house. Optic guys said karma didnt answer his phone all day so crim decided to go over there the next day to find out what was going on. All the teams were calling him trying to get him but I heard from someone close to holly that karma really wanted to go to rich guy by then. So I posted about this before but I had the details wrong…the old post is here: https://www.reddit.com/codburnecomments/abxcp4/92418_karma/ What really happens is crim goes to karmas house in the morning but karma wont see him bc hes playing pubg and wont get off the game bc he didnt want to talk to him. Supposedly crim sat there for 4 hours and decided to leave when he figured out karma wouldnt talk. He almost gets to his car when another car pulls up and its rich guy, apoc, and a lawyer in it…they get out and holly says hi to them then they walk inside the house. So the word starts spreading and optic thinks karma is gone for sure if rich guy is going to fly in like that so higher ups at optic start calling karma and he still doesnt answer but then holly tells them they all went out to dinner. I heard hecz was about to go over there and whoop rich guys ass. Somebody sent me a clip from hollys stream showing apoc was at least in the house. Holly also talks to someone who tries to stay off camera. https://vimeo.com/309676910 The next day I heard optic started talking to other players and their big target was apathy. I heard aches got really mad and called karma and told him to sign back with optic because NV wanted to buy EG and it got stuck when optic talked to apathy. But apathy is too loyal at times and decided to stick with EG/NV after a raise even though splyce was trying to buy that roster because all their contracts expired in November and add jurd to them. So optic called eu about arcitys and he wasnt available and gunless wanted to go to LG but nade and rich guy would start a bidding war for him. So I heard john and clay were happy and rich guy started doing more face to face meetings with the other players he wanted. Another week goes by and Karma had a 150K buyout, clay had 100K, and johns contract was ending so no buyout at all. Then optic announces the next vision episode will have the cod roster announcement and everyone that was supposed to be on team rich guy thought it was gunless. Im not sure on the timing of this now but I heard sometime around rich guy then offered 300k each for zooma and attach for a five of john, zooma, karma, attach, clay but faze still wouldnt sell them. So all the players involved with team rich guy were watching it and were surprised when karma was announced...it aired during the last week of September. The story is he got really nervous because john’s contract ended second week of October so that was the earliest rich guy could sign him and he was scared he would get left out of competing again and was really stressed about waiting 2 more weeks. Someone really close to the other players told me they were surprised because the night before they all group texted and said everything was good including karma. After that clay wanted to stay on eunited and that left rich guy with just John. I heard he called up faze and offered them 800k for their whole roster but they said no. Ghost and splyce originally tried to buy them too. So that would of left john and a bunch of leftovers. 100t bought slasher and signed enable to complete their squad and Rise left the scene and sold loony to splyce and gunless to LG. I heard thats when rich guy decided it wasnt worth signing john + am players so he backed out. All ended good for john though bc I heard he got a raise to 25k. I heard rich guy was pissed but hes still friends all the guys but doesnt talk to karma but is friends with holly. In the end this is how the team rich guy wanted changed…. First… Scump, John, Attach, Slasher Then… Scump, John, Attach, Clayster Then… John, Attach, Clayster, Karma Then… John, Clayster, Karma, Gunless Then… John, Clayster, Karma, Gunless, Jurd/Felo/Shockz/Slacked/Bance/Censor Finally… John, Clayster, Karma, Attach, Zooma Then after Clay and Karma weren't joining and he tried to buy the whole Faze roster... John/Attach/Zooma/Reep/Priest I also heard rich guy offered 250k about a week after champs to get John out of his contract 2 months early but LG wanted to keep him and thought they could convince him. I gotta say steve LGs owner has big iron balls bc he could of lost john for free instead of taking the 250k but it worked out for him in the end so huge win for him. I think if karma smoked some green and chilled for a few weeks until john was free then the most likely roster would have been the John/Karma/ClaysteGunless core with rich guy taking a gamble on Gunless and adding one of Felo/Slacked to them because Shockz wanted to finish school and splyce wasn’t going to sell jurd and ended up getting loony, temp, aqua, and lamar. So karmas decision to go back to optic changed the fates of eU, LG, Optic, NV, possibly faze, and mostly rich guy. A different decision could of changed this season too….last year john signed his contract with LG late and it was for exactly 1 year. If he signed it 2 weeks earlier it obviously ended 2 weeks earlier and rich guy could of signed him before the 5v5 announcement and that probably could of gotten karma to commit because he wouldnt of been nervous about optic and not having a spot anymore. From there rich guy pays for clays buyout then the rest is history. Im also gonna say optic with J in charge is in a much better place now and the players feel like their being taken care of unlike during ww2. I heard rumors orgs are still looking for money and some reached out to rich guy to see if he would invest in them instead of making his own but either way I hope he comes into the scene if its franchise next year since he has balls trying to come in and get the best guys like nade did and makes things interesting. All the pros in the scene benefitted from nade and rich guy being around since they all got raises and other bonuses so their happy but I can see orgs being mad lol but thats what happens when you have nade opening at 10k then splyce coming in at 12k then rich guy going in at 20k lol.
(9) CWL Vegas BO4
So rich guy was at Vegas but idk if he went inside at the event. He was at the casino with players and a few people came up and talked to him. He was doing $500 and $1000 roulette and blackjack so he attracted attention. I heard he was mainly playing with Felo, Clay, and Revan but holly and nufo came up to bet on roulette with them too. One egirl told me they talked to him and he was nice and bought people some shots. All the players including optic guys hung out with him at the hard rock bar after the event and then took them out for a wild night at the nightclubs and strip clubs and apparently he did that every night with different people in the scene. A caster told me they approached him and said his name and acted like they already met before when they didnt and he was chill about it. People were calling him Edgar in person including Scump.
(10) Rich Guy’s Twitter
From what I know and what ive heard im 99% certain rich guy is this guy on twitter and he uses it as his own burner for online stuff only: https://twitter.com/EdgarAllanPwn3d He has an interesting group of followers including Nadeshot, all the old and new Optic roster, along with some of their girlfriends, the faze roster, Clayster, Felo, Saints, and other big people in the scene. It doesn’t look like hes really active but he has pics of exotic cars, first class flights, receipts from bars, and he has a 100k pc setup to play video games thats linked on his page. It looks like he gifted 5000 subs on twitch during Christmas time according to his tweets and people saying thank you to him. That’s $25k. https://twitter.com/EdgarAllanPwn3d/status/1077413765325471746 Someone sent me this clip from scumps stream where he gifted him 500 tier 3s which is $12.5k and like a grand donation over an hour. He says he knows him IRL and he wants to hang out with him next time hes back in dallas and get dinner. He even jokes about edgar and hecz being close. This clip is after karma resigned with optic and bo4 was already out and it shows how much scump and rich guy/edgar are friends even though the team didnt work out. https://vimeo.com/309676948 He has another 400 subs in Crims that I think are tier 3. Then he has another 500 in rallieds and I think 300 in nadeshots supposedly. Theres also these tweets between holly and edgar that make it sound like theyre friends including meeting up in Vegas and at a bar in Frisco in November. Edgar even tweeted a location pic of where he was.
He sold his technology company for $650 million he founded and now is a executive at the company that bought his so hes one of those silicone valley guys.
Hes sort of young and likes to party and goes out to clubs so lots of players like to hang around him.
Hes about 6’3 and looks like hes half thai or hispanic. Hes like half white.
He lives in New York city and travels alot and people have DMd me saying he has lots of business in Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Singapore, and all over Europe.
He owns a bunch of other businesses now like fast food restaurants and more tech companies.
He has alot of investment in EA and other stocks
People said hes real smart and a chill guy but some people were intimidated by him.
A cod team was supposed to only be the start for his org since they wanted to expand to every game quickly.
I have what I think is his full name but don’t want to post it and link their non burner twitter without confirmation in case it’s wrong. If one of the players involved wants to secretly DM with me to confirm then I might come back and post it.
(12) Final Thoughts
I think Rallied is the guy that got edgarich guy into contact with optic since he was seen with him at the strip club in Atlanta after the event and hanging out with him in Seattle. It might be Felo too.
I think Methodz knows what Scump and EdgaRich guy talked about at champs since I heard he went to dinner with them and they had nothing else to do since they got fried in groups.
Optic is damn good and Dashy will soon be the best player in the game no question.
I think its baller he went to meet players in person to sign them like its the NFL.
There’s other small things that eventually led to Optic needing to make a roster change because it got so toxic. One of them Scump said was that Formal didn’t share the MVP money from Champs when all of them agreed to do it before. What Nade said before about players wanting to be friends with teammates first also happened here when Formal didn’t want to chill outside the game like Scump does with Crim, John, or Saints.
I heard edgarich guy was planning on getting into cod during BO4 but tried to get in early when he saw the original Optic roster was available because of Crim’s AMA.
EdgaRich guy was really going to spend over a million on buyouts on top of salary which is fucking crazy.
I think Apoc could be working for Red Reserve now since he’s been posting pictures with them in Vegas.
--------------------------------- Thanks for reading and I will monitor this thread for a few days to answer a few questions possibly and add something I might remember later. If not then this is my last post until the next rostermania or if Rich guy gives me an interview lol.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE:1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998
A week later and it's even less clear what WCW hoped to accomplish by putting Sable on Nitro. It did nothing for the ratings, either that week or the following. All it has done is strengthen WWF's case against WCW in the ongoing antitrust lawsuit. WCW is claiming that she bought a ticket and just happened to show up to their show, which is bullshit that nobody is buying, especially since she was sitting front row with security guards on either side of her and then repeatedly shown in close-up shots on camera. Plus, she didn't show up until more than an hour into the show and then left soon after being shown on camera. Sable's explanation was even dumber, as she was quoted in USA Today saying, "I wanted to see if the same level of obscenity was taking place. It was not." Anyway, all WCW employees were told not to mention her name, even her real name, on air but they had pictures of her on the WCW website after Nitro aired and one of them referred to her as Sable. WCW immediately removed the photos the next day but everything is forever on the internet so you know how that goes. WWF lawyer Jerry McDevitt spoke with WCW's lawyers and threatened to file a federal lawsuit against WCW and is investigating whether or not Sable was paid for her appearance (WCW lawyers refused to answer that question). Sable appearing on WCW TV like she did is a blatant violation of her WWF contract and WWF has made it clear that under no circumstances will they give up the rights to the name Sable, with McDevitt saying, "She can sue us till the cows come home and she's not going to get it." The rights to the name are especially important for her right now due to her upcoming Playboy issue, which is due out in August. Without WWF signing off on it, Playboy can't promote her as "Sable" which is going to be a huge blow to sales of the magazine (and especially considering WWF isn't promoting it on TV at all).
Sable has gotten a lot of publicity out of the lawsuit, appearing on various shows and doing media interviews, mostly trashing the WWF and calling it obscene. Dave notes that Sable's credibility in this is lacking, since she willingly participated in the obscene behavior for years and in fact was one of the leading stars of it and benefited enormously from it. Furthermore, over the years, she has done countless interviews defending WWF against media outlets who called the product obscene (unlike Owen Hart, who was on the record in the past admitting he didn't like the direction of the company). It really looks like Sable had no problem with the on-screen obscenity until she started having a contract dispute. Jerry McDevitt says there's no truth to Sable's claim that she signed her contract under duress or that Jim Ross threatened to fire her if she didn't sign immediately. That being said, nobody in WWF has denied her allegations that they wanted her to "accidentally" lose her top on TV, which is pretty sketchy and, along with other sexual harassment allegations, it makes it hard to look at WWF as an innocent victim here. In a USA Today story, Vince McMahon responded by basically trying to blame all of this negativity on WCW, which is obviously absurd, saying, "I think that opportunists such as our competitor are really behind a lot of all of this negativity. They don't know how to compete with us, and in essence what they're trying to do is beat the drums of negativity, hoping that, in some way, that is going to hurt the organization or hurt our fans."
Of course, WWF is also facing a major lawsuit from the family of Owen Hart. One of the Hart family lawyers is a Kansas City attorney named Gary C. Robb who is recognized as one of the best lawyers in America and is known for winning record-high settlements in several major cases. In one 1995 case, he got a verdict of $350 million for his clients following a helicopter crash, which is the highest liability jury verdict in U.S. history. Soooo...not great news for WWF (spoiler: he ends up getting Hart's family $18 million, which was also a record for that sort of case, but we'll get there eventually). WWF is just one of many parties named in the suit (the stunt people, the arena people, the harness manufacturers, and more). The lawsuit alleges negligence, failure to provide proper equipment, failure to provide proper training, failure to follow basic safety procedures, etc. For what it's worth, after the incident, the NBA banned having mascots come down from the ceiling. Eric Bischoff hasn't said for sure if they're going to ban it or not, but they don't plan to lower Sting from the ceiling anytime soon again. Famous O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran appeared on a TV show and sided with the Hart family and blamed WWF for the accident. McDevitt responded, basically telling Cochran to fuck off and saying that the whole thing was just a tragic accident and that in the entire history of the WWF, Owen Hart was the first time a wrestler has ever died in the ring.
Oh, we're not done. Bassam Al Othman, the host of Good Morning Kuwait, filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against WWF related to Vader roughing him up on TV back in 1997. Jerry McDevitt called it a "silly lawsuit" and accused Othman of trying to pile on to WWF while they're facing the Hart and Sable lawsuits. Othman is particularly upset that WWF aired footage of Vader roughing him up on TV.
Konnan was quoted in a newspaper article saying some stuff about WCW that got him in a lot of hot water with Eric Bischoff. Konnan was quoted saying, "You have a lot of wrestlers that wield a lot of power. If you don't conform or be part of their clique, if you're not drinking or training with them, you get cut out. That's just bad business." Konnan also said that in the past, Bischoff had become intolerable and condescending to people, but that Bischoff had been trying to be better lately. Regardless, the comments infuriated Bischoff and he and Konnan had a loud screaming argument at each other backstage at Nitro, with Bischoff particularly upset that Time-Warner executives might see the quote and start wondering what's going on backstage that they don't know about.
There's been an extreme lack of 5-star matches in recent years, but we finally got one! Misawa vs. Kobashi for the Triple Crown title in AJPW is a strong front-runner for match of the year and Dave gives it the full 5 (and yes, this ends up winning match of the year, making it 2 years in a row that Misawa and Kobashi win that award). Kobashi ended up getting his nose destroyed and had surgery 5 days later to repair it and was supposed to take a month off, but he's already announced he'll be back on the next tour starting next week, because Kobashi.
Hayabusa is expected to be unmasked soon. They're doing an angle where FMW's heel commissioner is telling him he can't wear his mask anymore. The real reason is because Hayabusa is so broken down from injuries that he knows he needs to change his in-ring style and the idea is for him to become more of a ground-based wrestler and he wants to unmask and basically change his character entirely (he briefly wrestles under the name H for awhile, unmasked, before eventually returning to the Hayabusa gimmick).
Antonio Inoki is bringing back the Big Van Vader gimmick and giving it to some new guy named Sylvester Terkay who works in Inoki's UFO promotion. If you recall, there was a big lawsuit deal in the early 90s because Inoki owned the rights to the name "Big Van Vader" and the smoking headgear thing. That's why the real Vader dropped the "Big Van" part of his name and stopped using the smoking helmet. Dave thinks trying to give this classic gimmick to a green rookie is a terrible idea (this dude dabbled in WWE for a minute back in 2006ish but never amounted to anything beyond that).
The ECW/TNN deal still hasn't been finalized. There may have been a snag due to Rob Van Dam's recent interview in High Times magazine where he talks about smoking pot, which the TNN people evidently weren't thrilled with. But it doesn't seem to be that big a deal and ECW is still expected to finalize a deal with TNN soon, with the first episode of ECW on TNN likely debuting in August. There's no word on how this will all work out as far as tapings go or what can be shown where (there's going to be issues with TNN not allowing ECW to air any of the TNN-show footage on their syndicated shows). Either way, ECW is basically coasting right now because they don't want to shoot any big angles or start any new storylines until the national show debuts. When that happens, the plan is to push Van Dam as the top star and eventually build to him winning the ECW title.
Christopher Daniels debuted in ECW in a match with Super Crazy and everyone there reported that it was the best match of the show, but Paul Heyman didn't like it for some reason and decided not to air it on TV. Anyway, after the match, Daniels cut a promo saying that if you're 200 pounds and from Mexico they call you a Luchador, if you're 200 pounds and from Japan they call you an international superstar, but if you're 200 pounds and American, you get a needle in your ass as quick as you can.
ECW had their first ever show in Chicago this week which was a big success with a sold out crowd of 3,000. There was one part that almost went bad. A fan threw a chair in the ring, leading to Bubba Ray Dudley leaving the ring and going into the crowd after the fan, but luckily, nothing happened. Also, Sabu did a run-in at the end of the show. That doesn't sound like a big deal until you hear this part: Sabu was on a tour with FMW in Japan. He flew from Tokyo to Chicago, just to do the run-in on the ECW show, then immediately flew back to Japan to finish the FMW tour (having read every issue of the Observer from this decade, I'm convinced that there wasn't a harder working guy in the business during the 90s than Sabu, especially earlier in the decade).
ECW wanted to bring in Vader to put over Taz at the upcoming PPV, but it's not happening. Due to his deal with AJPW, they want Vader to be kept strong and won't allow him to do any jobs elsewhere. ECW wants to find big name stars who will put over Taz clean and Vader was willing to do it, but since AJPW won't let him, it won't be happening.
There's a new promotion starting up in California called Xtreme Pro Wrestling, that is co-founded by male porn staproducers Tom Byron and Rob Zicari, who performs as Rob Black. The promotion is expected to heavily feature porn stars from their companies.
WCW's Great American Bash PPV did a 0.43 buyrate, making it the 5th lowest PPV buyrate in WCW history. Considering how hot wrestling (well, WWF) is right now in the mainstream, that's a pretty horrific number.
Goldberg appeared on the Dennis Miller Show on HBO this week and a few days prior to the show, Bischoff had a meeting with Goldberg's agent Barry Bloom because there was significant concern over what Goldberg might say, since the two sides are still at pretty heated odds over Goldberg's contract situation right now. Anyway, Goldberg didn't say anything bad and Dennis Miller was actually really defensive of wrestling, talking about taking his son to a WCW show and how nice everyone was. He didn't seem to understand the whole promotional war though and he brought up Steve Austin, but Goldberg just sorta changed the subject. He did complain about the schedule, but never complained about WCW directly. Others weren't as nice. In a recent radio interview, Hulk Hogan was interviewed and although he didn't name Goldberg by name, he referenced him, saying there was a guy in the company who was given a huge push but didn't have much experience and now he's self-destructing before their eyes. Okay Hulk, sure.
WCW has pretty much given up on trying to re-sign Chris Jericho and have all but accepted that he's leaving when his contract runs out soon. Dave says it's basically because certain people have gotten in other peoples' ears and convinced WCW that Jericho isn't worth it and that he's never drawn money. Dave thinks Jericho, along with Goldberg, have potential to be two of WCW's most marketable stars in the future if they were positioned right but hey, what does Dave know? Anyway, the only real pitch WCW has given to Jericho is they want to put him in a young guys vs. old guys feud, with people like Jericho feuding with Flair. Of course, that isn't really a promotion for Jericho, it's mostly just a way to move Flair down to midcard (also, Randy Savage shot down the idea of being involved in the angle because he doesn't want to be seen as an old guy). As for WWF, they're basically promising to push Jericho as the next Shawn Michaels.
Arn Anderson is said to be uncomfortable with the fact that WCW has brought Sid Vicious back, but is willing to go along with it and do business. When asked about it, Eric Bischoff had this to say: "It became clear to me he has matured over the past five years. He realizes he made mistakes in and out of the ring and recognizes the tremendous opportunity he has here. So far, he has conducted himself very professionally. I've got all the confidence in the world that he's learned from his mistakes... If it doesn't work out, Sid's options are really limited. I think he's matured to the point that he understands that."
Kevin Nash was said to be pretty upset about Sable being at ringside during his promo on Nitro last week, since it completely took the focus off him and the crowd spent the entire time chanting for her during his segment.
WCW hopes Bret Hart will return at the July 5th Nitro at the Georgia Dome. Dave thinks Hart has the potential to come back as a huge babyface, but then again, he should have been the biggest babyface in the world when he debuted in WCW last year after the Screwjob, but they botched that so don't hold your breath. It's possible Hart may not be back by then, because Bischoff told him to take all the time he needs in the wake of Owen's death. Hart has been telling people that he's not sure if he's going to wrestle again, although most people still think he will.
WCW was going to bring in rap group Naughty By Nature to perform at the Georgia Dome Nitro, but Master P flexed some muscle and got it nixed (as a lifelong hip hop fan, this is the most random shit ever. Also, I never heard anything about those guys having beef and in fact, I think Master P was featured on a NBN song around this time. So I'm gonna assume this is a case of Dave maybe getting one wrong here).
Notes from WCW Nitro at the Superdome in New Orleans: the show drew a little over 15,500 fans paid. They were looking to be in the 13-14,000 range but sales surged slightly once Master P (who's from New Orleans) got added to the show and they sold an extra 2,000 tickets or so. Master P was telling people last week that him in WCW would sell out the Superdome and, well, so much for that. Eddie Guerrero returned, after a 7-month absence, to absolutely zero fanfare. Dave says Eddie was noticeably slow and seemed hesitant in the ring since it was his first match back. The No Limit rappers were all over the show and it all pretty much sucked.
Random WCW Notes: Scott Steiner's back has been in terrible shape lately and there's rumors he may not be able to keep wrestling much longer. Bam Bam Bigelow has been getting epidurals to drain excess fluid out of his spine. Referee Charles Robinson has 4 cracked vertebrae in his upper back from Randy Savage doing the elbow drop on him a few weeks back. Steve Regal has been training at the WCW Power Plant. There's also an impressive tag team at the Power Plant named Shannon Moore and Shane Helms who have worked some indies.
Curt Hennig's anti-rap redneck group is actually getting over with WCW crowds even though they're supposed to be heels. WCW is aware of it and not happy about it, and they're planning to bring in Willie Nelson to film a vignette with Hennig, where Hennig tries to buddy up to Willie but gets shot down. They want country music fans to also think Hennig's group is uncool. (Trying to promote a redneck group against a group of rappers to their mostly southern fanbase. How did they think this was gonna go?)
Dusty Rhodes returned to doing commentary for WCW Saturday Night and Dave says it was gruesome. "I need a damn thesaurus to keep finding new words to describe WCW," he adds.
Chris Jericho did some concerts with a band called Fozzy Osbourne in Atlanta. Jericho was the lead singer and people said he was good. Then Dave drops a classic deadpan Dave-joke: "He said both rap and country suck and heavy metal rules. If he could have kept his drug problems under control he'd have probably been the best worker in the business by this point. That's Heavy Metal, not Jericho I'm talking about."
WWF Raw Notes: Kurt Angle beat Matt Hardy in a dark match. Al Snow picked his nose and ate the booger. Prince Albert wore panties. The Rock is really over.
WWF is claiming that they want to sell their Las Vegas hotel and casino because they can't renovate it to be an arena that they could hold events at, and that they're planning to buy a bigger hotel somewhere in Vegas. But a lot of people are saying the real reason is that WWF just doesn't want to admit that they made a mistake and way overpaid for this shitty hotel and now they're just trying to dump it and be rid of it. There's no plans to actually buy another hotel in Vegas, that's just to save face.
Random WWF notes: Brian Christopher needs major knee surgery and will be out the rest of the year. Mick Foley is also working on his autobiography while he recovers from knee surgery. Expect Rock and Austin biographies to come out later this year also.
Steve Austin was going to go on the Jay Leno show to respond to Goldberg's challenge awhile back but when WWF informed Leno's people that Austin would be turning down the challenge, they cancelled it. Leno only wanted him on the show if he was going to accept and obviously that's not happening.
Letters this week are mostly about Owen Hart and Sable. The usual, people remembering him, then picking sides. Who's to blame, why Vince is the devil, so on and so forth. There's also several letters about Sable's lawsuit, sadly all of which have pretty much the same theme: she paraded around half-naked on TV, she posed for Playboy so she's basically a whore, she knew what she signed up for, she should shut up, WWF made her who she is, etc.
WEDNESDAY:King of the Ring fallout, Hogan goes on Larry King's show to tell lies for an hour, Vince McMahon makes the media rounds, and more...
First chapter here: https://www.reddit.com/HFY/comments/cbg4gs/damage_control_chapter_1/ So, this one's going to be a deep cut. If you haven't read the novels I've done before, this story throws you in at the deep end, and it spoils at least one major plot point from the 6th novel, Skin Hunger, as well as several other major plot points from other novels. If you want to catch up with that stuff, https://hellskitchensink.com/ check it out here. If you'd just like to jump into things, this is what matters: There are Atlanteans, an apparently fish-like race who have recently revealed themselves to humans, who have a population of approximately 50,000 and who are on the verge of extinction, and who were recently partially responsible for a near-catastrophe involving a war between a psychotic god of dreams and a primordial entity of stasis, and are trying to make amends. There is supernatural craziness. There is a top secret branch of the US Military- or possibly intelligence services, or maybe even just running loose- referred to as the Esoteric Forces of the United States. There's a lot of damage to control. ----
Chapter 3: Hel
USEF Report Dagon, section C (Culture), Paragraph 5-11, Rank HEL-6 Almost all of the 'threat' posed by the Atlanteans is, fundamentally, cultural. It is also largely unintentional. While the Atlantean capacity to develop gods is formidable compared to individual humans, their population is .001% that of humanity, and their rate of population increase is hovering at just shy of 0%. They cannot meaningfully invade us, and they sacrificed the element of surprise that could- conceivably- have let them conquer us. They are not a threat directly, and any genocidal actions on our part would not change that- The damage the Atlanteans can do has already been done. Obviously, the reverse is not true. The Atlanteans are a very small, discreet, and largely insular minority. These have historically been poorly treated in America, and literally every other nation. While legislation has been passed to recognize them as a protected minority, the current administration has shown a certain disregard. The survival of the Atlantean culture is threatened in a number of ways, not least the possibility of a repeat of the Neanderthal extinction. There is substantial evidence that humans and Neanderthals crossbred. This no doubt contributed to the gradual extinction of the Neanderthal. The possibility that someday the only sign remaining of the Atlanteans will be a certain cast of the eyes, a certain hair color, or a few dozen introns on the end of a DNA strand, is disconcertingly likely. Back to the issue of culture. Atlantean culture is broadly monarchic. Because of its small population and strained resources, collectivism has been endemic. These traits are likely to fade, but because of the long lifespans and conservative attitudes of older Atlanteans, this fading is likely to take place over decades, or even centuries. Many younger Atlanteans have begun to emigrate, many of them to other countries. This is a pain in the ass for security purposes, as almost all Atlanteans have access to information that is destabilizing, but the most we can hope to do is mitigate cultural harm by encouraging their integration. Large Atlantean populations- a thousand or more- have settled in the mouth of the Amazon River, the Thames, on the eastern shores of Puerto Rico, on the coast of New Orleans, and off the shore of Kyushu. Smaller populations- a hundred or more- have taken up shelter off Australia by Rottnest Island, the Vietnam coast near Hai Phong, in the Mozambique Channel by Madagascar, south of the Canary Islands, the Strait of Gibraltar, Copenhagen's bays, in the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, and a sizable population in Lake Erie, right by Buffalo. The largest political push that the Atlanteans have been showing is for renewable energy sources and less water pollution. The Atlantean Queen, Ku-kaili-moku-polemo, has made a dramatic push for intervention in the Pacific Trash Gyre. There have notably been no Atlantean populations settled in India or China, possibly a commentary on the state of their ecological systems and water pollution; Unfortunately, this has also been a cause for increased tensions between the two nascent superpowers and the USA. More domestically, Atlanteans have managed to tap into the 'Crystal Spires and Togas' new age movement. While not fitting the classical Greek image of Atlanteans, their spirituality has attracted adherents to a number of small schools of meditation. While these might be uncharitably referred to as cults, the Atlantean attitude towards divinity and free will has largely kept them on the 'church' side of the divide. While the media has questioned the wisdom of Atlantean teachings being spread in the wake of the near-catastrophe last September, the EFUS attitude has been that creating a home-grown population of human divingeneers is worth the relatively small risk; We can't get this genie back in the bottle, but we can ask it for a few wishes. Chief Researcher Cherry H. Verne The helicopter was a misery. Loud, suspended above the ground, uncomfortably exposed. The jet, on the other hand, was a wonder. It moved through the air with only the most modest occasional turbulence, high above the clouds. I stared out of one of the windows, my breath caught in my throat as I watched the clouds drift far below, like sand dunes deep beneath the sea. Even the fastest currents of Atlantis had been limited compared to this speed. Atlantis had been small, and centralized. The humans lived across the vast and desiccated skin of their world, and sometimes they had to get from place to place quickly. Without the advantages of being able to leap between worlds with the intercedence of their gods, they came to novel solutions. It was not as convenient, but it wound up pushing them to greater heights. We travelled at speeds where the air itself became a kind of fluid, thick and turbulent, full of currents and doldrums. It was glorious. "Fucking son of a bitch," growled Miller. "The news got out. The Exquisition and the Peers are sending a delegation to join us. Using the goddamn Concorde. They'll be there before we will." His eyes flickered over to Smith, narrowing. "I know you like to think of us as having our lips fastened thoroughly to the royal teat, you metallic fuck, but I loathe those imperialist assholes. Not least because we both know they will demand the death of the Archmage. I didn't leak word, and nobody I told would. On the other hand..." Her eyes drifted over to Pagan. The Major sat on the far side of the aisle in the small craft, silently listening to the conversation. "The official policy of the Mexican Government is that any supernatural being found to be contravening the law in aid of organized crime, or taking the life of a human, is to be executed." The unspoken subtext in that statement was clear to everyone. The Mexican authorities would not want anyone to find out about any deals they cut. They would have good reason to keep the mission a secret. So, had someone betrayed one another? Or was the presence of an Archmage just that difficult to hide? How on earth had everything devolved so quickly? Miller groaned. "It gets worse. Chatter suggests that the Tongxinheli and the Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation have learned about this, too. They're likely to get involved." "And they are hardly known for throwing away a useful resource," said Smith, teeth gritted. "Fucking arrogant pricks. What are they thinking?" "That the United States is unlikely to go to war over a man who, according to official statements, doesn't actually exist. They'll be out of their environment, though. They won't have access to heavy equipment- I don't care how secret the supernatural is, East Asian ordinance going off on U.S. soil is going to go over like a lead balloon. Their supernatural advantage will be..." He chewed the words for a moment, frowning. "Harder to judge. Both are capable of substantial, if inconsistent, supernatural power multipliers." "I am sorry," I said, finally pressured by sheer curiosity. "But- these groups-" "The Tonxinheli is a grab bag of mainland hick priests, Hong Kong triads, Tibetan monks working under duress, and Mongolian shamans, all being pressured- financially, diplomatically, or personally- by the Chinese government. The Ministry..." His face darkened. "They feed people to monsters," said Smith. "Usually poor, or undesirable." "No actual evidence of that," grumbled Miller, but not very loudly. "They've got some nasty alliances in the supernatural world. Blood's a lot closer to the skin, down there. Her Majesty's Most Loyal Exquisition is British. They mostly deal with faeries, because the fuckers are thick as flies over there, but we usually have close relations with them. The Peers started as an old knightly order descending from Charlemagne, and rose to prominence after World War 2 turned the Franco-German border into the largest source of Undead ever. There are rumors of a 'Bloody War' that they were involved in before that, but mostly, they're a bunch of overly religious technology-obsessed freaks." "You are playing an incredibly brave card there, metal-boy," said Smith, an eyebrow raised. "I did this to myself because I was suffering from severe PTSD, quadrapalegia, and had been manipulated by a psychotic monster. They did it because they thought pacts were unholy." He looked out the window, his brow wrinkled. "This is bad. This is fucked up on a scale that defies simple Murphy's Law. Everything's coming together too quickly." He shook his head. "Hope we're not putting our foot in another hornet's nest." I tried to think of something comforting to say, some way to encourage my superior officer. None were obvious to me. I settled for patting his shoulder companionably. "What is our plan, Sergeant?" "Twofold. We need to strike fast and hard when we get in, which means dividing." He gritted his teeth. "I hate to do this to you, not least because I want you close by where you can watch for ambushes, but I need you to check out the hotel. See what you can find out there. Any chance you can track down what supernaturals were in there?" "I can promise nothing, but if anyone can..." "Good." Miller nodded to the two foreign officials and the four men who had stayed silent in the back of the plane, dressed in heavy black fatigues, masks covering their faces, heavy weapons sleeved over their shoulders. The men were anonymous, but I could read them beneath those masks. Pulses of belief both strong and weak- One nostalgia, one fear, one anger, one loathing like I'd never seen, one joy and innocence, one ambivalent melancholy. I could see such things in the unguarded, and often, those who wore masks left their souls very bare indeed. "What will you be doing, Sergeant, if I may ask?" "The mission profile says that our man was bilking a local casino, the Treasure Chest, using... Well, they weren't entirely clear, but he'd won enough money to be odd. There's a possibility he may be going for one last big score there. Major Pagan, Jissika Smith, and I will be keeping an eye there. Privates, you'll be keeping an eye on the local traffic and making sure he doesn't rabbit without us knowing about it. If we don't find him in the next few hours, it's going to be damned near impossible to figure out where he goes. And if he goes to ground..." He didn't have to finish the statement. This was a man who could afford to spend decades in hiding. The plane landed in New Orleans, where we were studiously ignored by the locals. On the streets, I drew more than a few surprised glances as I walked, and even the occasional venomous look. There were a handful of Atlanteans in the city, but I did not keep my eye out for them. I slipped through the crowd without notice or care, making my way towards the hotel where the scene had been found. The police had not yet been notified. The scene of the crime was untouched. As I entered, I was struck by several things. The lack of blood, for one thing. The fact that, aside from the now-clearly-severed arm, there was no sign of the men supposedly murdered in this room. The lingering aroma of divinity. And finally, a slender, hard-knuckled fist. I awoke, in a large metallic room. A slender young man who nonetheless had wrinkles around the corners of his eyes from too much smiling was studying me. "Are you alright?" he asked, softly, in heavily accented English. "Sorry about the blow. Are you well?" Had I been a person entirely unlike myself, I might have responded violently. Sent current surging through the metal walls, fried every other person within, fought and struggled. Instead, I nodded. "You didn't strike anything particularly vital. Blow to the head, but I do not feel murky, or concussed." I studied him for a moment. He was slender, not very old, and his head was shaved bare. His warm brown eyes twinkled, and he wore a loose saffron robe. He had hit me at least as hard as Miller could, and he blazed with oddly tinted belief. Practically a furnace. The others... Three of them were humans. One of them was tall, broad-shouldered, a pair of black sunglasses over his eyes, dressed in a white business suit. A gun sat in a holster under one armpit, and a leather bag under the other. The second was dressed like a tourist, a colorful T-shirt, shorts, and sandals. He sat with the same ramrod stiffness I had seen in Pagan. The third had his hair up in a bright white turban, wrapped elegantly, with an impressive mane of black hair surrounding his face on all sides. I knew something of the significance of the garment to certain religions, but I did not recognize this specific variant off hand. This man was- I studied my memories- Latino, or Indian, judging by his features. The others were East Asian, I thought. Chinese, I decided, from the context of who was expected to get involved. The last person in the truck was not human in the least. Nearly seven feet tall, skin black not like a human's but like a burn victim's. Wiry but with muscles like coconuts stuffed into a stocking, her proportions were almost comical, massive tusks forcing her mouth open, growing in place of her canines. A long, red tongue hung out of her mouth, dripping reddish saliva onto the floor almost constantly. "" said the man in the tourist's clothing, "" He was speaking Mandarin Chinese. I had taken the time to learn Mandarin. The tonal nature of the language was unusual, but I had mastered it quickly. "You are safe," said the young man who had hit me. "What are you?" I asked, frowning as I studied him. That belief- Was it belief? Or divinity? He did not feel like a god, but he was not entirely human, either. I had read files about the human phenomenon of 'Heroes'- those who were, in a sense, gods made out of still-living humans. Was this what they looked like? "A humble monk," he said, bowing his head once. "" said the man who I now strongly suspected was the leader of this small group. "Does he speak English?" I asked, feigning lack of knowledge. Their assumptions were a useful tool. "He understands it," said the monk, giving me a warm smile. "I am more proficient, so he asks me to translate his words, so they are not misinterpreted. We are aware that the Atlanteans have made many agreements with the Americans. You more than many. We wish to offer you an alternative." "" "You have a choice in the matter, of course. We do not intend to abduct you. But if you should wish to explore your options, to experience what another government may be willing to offer, you can." He was elaborate. Eloquent. Trying to confuse his compatriots, whose English was not as good. I wondered about the wisdom of sending only one man who understood English so well. "Monk," said the man in the white business suit and the sunglasses, and his English sounded like he'd spent his entire life in the south, "don't go scarin' the lady by acting all vague and odd." He stepped forward, and settled down on his heels, coming level with me, eye to eye. "The monk's in this job because the government leans on his people, because that's the only way he'll work. The Political Officer there is here to make sure that he doesn't go AWOL. But I'm here because the PRC pays damn well. What you're looking for, what you want, they can provide. You just have to be willing to work together with them." "" asked the black-skinned creature, in some ancient and esoteric dialect of Hindi. "" murmured the man in the turban, in the same near-forgotten language. "" Alright, perhaps I cheat a bit in learning languages. Being able to read the soul of a man makes understanding them much easier when they speak. It was not the kind of talent I would ever broadcast. People were far more honest if they believed you could not understand them. I would hate to take that comfort from them. "What do you want from me?" I asked, allowing a tiny hint of the trepidation and fear I felt ease into my words. "" said the man in charge. "" "Nothing serious. We were alerted by contacts in the US government of a..." The man with the sunglasses paused, and frowned at the monk. "Bodhisattva?" asked the monk, amusement flickering in his eyes. "Of a very potent being," said the man in the sunglasses, forehead wrinkled in an obvious glare at the monk. "Since your people ain't been interested in joining the PRC, they've been... understandably tense. We find out about something that could give the Americans a greater advantage. Understandably, we want to avoid that." He smiled. "And if we can persuade you to give us a greater advantage, as well..." "I... I'm not sure. If I were to betray them- There could be repercussions. Strikes against my people." "" said the man in charge. "" "We just need a distraction. A chance to help this guy- Victim of at least a couple of genocides- escape from the governments that perpetuated those genocides." The man in the glasses smiled. "You know about the Westerners’ history. We never did anything like that." I did not correct him. "How will I contact you?" "Don't worry about that. We will know." The man in sunglasses winked as he patted me companionably on the shoulder. "Magic." I did not detect magic. I did detect the faint spark of electricity in the tiny thing he'd planted on my shoulder. It had sunk into the slick material of the raincoat. "" asked the political officer. The man in sunglasses smiled. "Consider it. Whatever you're looking for, we can certainly offer it." "I'll think about it," I said, letting the nervousness flow through my words. Disguising the planning, the certainty, that hid beneath. I would not switch sides. There were a thousand reasons, but they all condensed down to one. The game of sides was just that: A game. It was a distraction, and in the face of annihilation, a lethal one. These humans were positioning themselves to have the strongest position on the chessboard after it had been set on fire. The most logical solution to this was to destroy them, utterly, giving them no choice but to throw their efforts behind the EFUS. It was my side- By chance, but that was reason enough. As they stopped the truck- We had apparently been in the back of an 18-wheeler- and allowed me to return to the city, I strategized internally. If I simply alerted Miller or destroyed the scrying device, it would scare them off. Let the prey know that they had been scented. But if they committed themselves to the conflict, they would be forced to see it through. I studied the bug, and my brows knit. It was delicate, finer than an eyelash. That such a small, inconsequential thing could be used to track me, to transmit sound, was... impressive. Also annoying. I would have to avoid discharge. There was no question that something so delicate would be destroyed by the shocks I could produce. The phone in my pocket rang. I took it out, fumbling with the interface. The phone was a phenomenal device, though a strange one. An invisible network of oracles, allowing people across the world to speak, find information, plan things. I had seen the way humans cared for theirs, placed so much belief and thought into them. The only thing that kept them from awakening was that they were fragile, and not built to last. That was a terrible crime, to me and my people. To make a tool that was disposable. To create a tool that was never meant to be more. You built to last, because that was how you made a tool truly great, growing more potent with the years. This... I tried to think of the words to describe it. Child soldiers. Cancer-ridden fetuses. A thousand dark images. Then I hit the 'answer' button, because it had been ringing for nearly half a minute while I stared blankly. "Yes?" "Yeagerta! It's nearly sunset, I've called you three times, what's the news?" I shook my head. Strategy. "I was-" I let the silence hang for just a moment, as though I was planning to tell Miller. Showing the foreign agents what they expected, a self-interested person who thought themselves loyal, who had to talk themselves into betrayal. "Distraction. It took longer than I thought to sniff out the crime scene. I'm on my way now, and I've got bad news." "Shit. How bad?" "Your men might not be dead. They might just be hostages." "Aaaaah, double-shit! We tracked him down to the Treasure Chest Casino, but... Well, things are a little bit fraught here. Get here as quick as you can, I could use a voice of reason, or alternatively, another pair of fists." "Yes, Sergeant." I made my way to the address, up the stairs into a cheap motel, and into a doorway. I knocked twice, and the door opened. Major Pagan had a large machete in one hand, standing halfway out of her chair. She settled as she recognized me, and the ivory-handled machete disappeared like smoke in the wind. Jissika Smith had been holding a slender bone needle, carved in scrimshaw. The other three members of the room were somewhat less calm. The man and the woman in elegant evening dress were in a pact, I could tell- And the woman was visibly not human, her skin the color of silver, tall, thin, elfin, almost as tall as me. She stood with her long, delicate hands folded in front of her, the man with a drink in hand, the scent of sharp alcohol filling the air. The last... Well, I couldn't guess at their gender... was actually quite like Miller. The lines of electricity were not as all-encompassing as in him, but still encompassed the limbs, and significant portions of the torso. They sat at the corner, a weapon still drawn. I didn't recognize it, precisely, but it hummed softly, and clearly had a right side and a wrong side. The wrong side was aimed at me. "Fuck's sake, Anseis, you crazy bitch, she's more human than you or I am." The weapon was slowly raised towards the ceiling. The woman, superficially, did not look particularly odd. She was delicately built, slender, with skin as pale as milk, and rich golden hair, blue eyes piercing and cold. She was androgynous to the point that Miller's description of her was the only reason I could settle on 'female', and the long leather jacket she wore seemed wholly inappropriate for the hot, muggy environs. "You were studying the crime scene. Any sign of their assailants?" "Four demons. The archmage himself was not there. All of the demons left substantial traces of power. I'd say centuries old, at least, maybe more. I don't know what they were exactly, but..." "Four?" said the British man, an eyebrow raised. "You could distinguish them? Hell's bells, the man has four pacts?" "I suspect so," said Miller. "The mechanics aren't well-known, but being able to make and raise your own supernatural flying monkeys is probably going to make it simpler. So, one big, fat target, and at least four unknown bogies." He looked up. "I bet you've got a solution in place already." "The Heinlein is within firing distance, isn't it?" said Anseis. "An obvious solution suggests itself. Archmage or not..." "I'll accept any solutions that don't involve firing a weapon of mass destruction at a riverboat full of American citizens," said Miller. "I'd suggest coming up behind him and slitting his throat," said the British man, a slender stiletto appearing in his hand as quickly as Pagan's machete had disappeared from hers. "But if he were that easy to take down, I suspect someone already would have." "Three teams," said Miller. "One team evacuates the ship. That's Jissika, Punk Barnes, and Lady Featherbottom. One team confronts him- That's you and me, Anseis, we've got the best chance at surprising him or being able to take whatever he's got waiting for him. If there are any civilians hurt as collateral damage, I'm ripping you limb from limb. Then the last team- Major, and Yeagerta- You commandeer the ship. Once it's empty, you take control, move us away from the docks and out into open water." "He may be able to escape the ship regardless," said Anseis, her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Yes. But he'll also be where a round from the Heinlein won't kill anyone I care about." This brought a smile to Anseis' lips, though not to her eyes. It was interesting, the way time skipped. It could move at a snail's pace as adrenaline and fear and violence made the brain rush, made it record every moment in brutal slow motion in the vain hope that it could make the right decisions. It could speed by like a shark through a current when nothing was happening and too much awareness would drive you mad with boredom. I observed the way the time passed, fast as lightning, until the moment when Pagan pushed open the door. "Department of Homeland Security," I said, holding up a forgery so good that the government didn't realize it was a forgery. "We've got reports of a lone wolf terrorist on the ship. You need to evacuate immediately while we get the situation under control." The men in the boat’s wheelhouse didn't argue. They looked happy enough for the unexpected vacation, if slightly worried about their prospects for employment tomorrow. Pagan checked the ship's controls, while I watched the screens. The British man and his fairy lady, along with Jissika, guiding the last of the passengers off of the ship. Unmooring it. The people on the ship were slowly streaming off, Miller and Anseis pushing through them, watching the crowd. "So," said Pagan, conversationally. "You joined the EFUS. Why?" "Chance," I said, checking for any sign of our target. "That doesn't seem like a very good reason," said Pagan, an eyebrow lifted. "It's why every patriot does what they do." “Really?” She smiled. “But you were not an American. You had a choice. You came into this world, and you chose them.” “Geographical convenience. And… I suppose… a lingering debt.” I smiled half-heartedly. “It was an American who saved our queen, and another American who offered us shelter. I am confident that any country would have done the same.” “Optimist,” she said, and there was a wry smile on her face. I realized I was seeing her amused. And there, in the main casino floor, in front of an unfamiliar but colorful table, a very short Native American man stood with a grin, one leg crossed in front of the other, leaning back against the table, cornered by Anseis and Sergeant Miller. He was dressed in an extremely fine black suit. I flicked a switch, and sound came through from a black grill beneath the screen. The man- I had to assume the Archmage- was speaking. "-already in place, ready to carry out simultaneous strikes throughout Washington D.C. You're already too late to stop me. I might remember it under torture, if you want to try." "My heart weeps," said Aneis. "I invite you to tell us, or I will shoot you-" It was amazing how quickly things went wrong. The entire ship lurched, throwing the three agents on the ship's edge onto the dock, tearing it free of its burdens. On screen, Aneis let out a single sharp scream of rage as something huge and sharp-toothed latched onto her leg, and then she was gone, water gushing up through the jagged hole in the floor. Miller was wrestling with a small, slender girl, built like a waif, who was also apparently overpowering him in a bear-hug, while a big man with bizarrely long and well-groomed facial hair, sticking out like whiskers, lunged at him from the side. The Archmage laughed, and was gone like a shot, running for the deck. "Things are going downhill," I said. "I'm going to go stop him from getting away." "Hey, if you run off with him and the US starts fielding a bunch of Archmages, I'm going to gut you," Pagan said, her voice calm and matter-of-fact even as I set out onto the deck. The short man was glaring down at the water, his arms crossed. "You are under arrest," I said. "I don't think I am," he responded, and I blinked. "I'm sorry to hear that. Would you rather be dead? Several of us want you dead." I studied him quietly. Were those listening to me already moving in? Had they taken the bait yet? If I could capture him... "You know, what I don't get is, you Atlanteans were being wiped out by humans. That's why you left, right? Ever since you came back, I've been turning it over and over in my head. Why would you come back? Why would you side with the people who genocided you before?" I blinked. "Because times change." "Really?" He grunted. "Give me another ten thousand years to think about it, maybe I'd be ready to make peace too. But I'm not quite there yet." He judged the water again. "I really am much faster than you in the water," I said. "Even if your abomination tries to stop me, I am definitely going to kill it, and catch you." "My! You're very certain about that." He looked over his shoulder at me, and grinned. "I've been doing this for a very long time." "So have I. Why?" "Why what? There are a lot of answers." "Why did you leave the spider there? She didn't have orders, or training. She was just an abandoned thing." "She was a tool," said the man, still distracted. "A thing to be used, and disposed of. That's what they all are." "Demons?" "People." He looked up, and his grin was wide and a little bit frightening. "Oh, those two bought the 'I'm fighting for my poor benighted people' thing, but fuck my people. Fuck them all. They thought that they knew what I was. Words like Yeahnáglóshii, Skinwalker... They thought they knew what I was. They thought it was simple. That I was neglecting my duty, that I was a monster, a freak, because I didn't believe that a simple accident of birth meant that the tribe was owed my power." He looked up at me, his head tilted. "God, all of this is going right over your head, isn't it? You're like me. A freak of nature. And because you're guilty about it, you'll spend your life trying to make up for the gift you were given." "It is funny," I said, though it was about as far from funny as it could be. "I never even considered that. I was always grateful that I could do something, anything, to help the people I loved. And while I hate demons, I could never imagine treating a tool so carelessly." I tilted my head. "Why do you do all of this?" He grinned. "Why not?" It was about the least heartening answer I could have gotten. “Are there really demons set to terrorize Washington?” “Yeah. They’re called Senators. I was just fucking with those two, seeing how they’d react under stress. It’s always interesting, isn’t it? Being above them all. Watching them play their games, and knowing that you’re playing a far more interesting game.” "Get down on the ground." "You know, I'd fight you, but-" He winced. "Looks like three of the four demons I spent centuries cultivating, strengthening, have just died. That's a blow." He shrugged. "I can always make more, though." He turned towards me, grinning. "I can still take you on with just one." "I'd like to see that." He straightened his shoulders, and grinned cheerfully, lifting one arm theatrically, his sleeve slipping down to the shoulder, exposing the bronzed, wrinkled skin. "Nothing up my sleeve, and presto change-o!" He blurred. I was already in motion as he jumped into the air, and I felt him slip through my fingers. Conservation of mass and energy did extremely strange things as he rocketed up nearly twenty feet in the shape of a small, very fluffy white bunny. A massive owl swept down out of the darkness, its divine energy muted so that I hadn't noticed it above me, and then was gone again, winging towards the swamps along the river with the archmage. I brushed my arms as I stood up, annoyed that I hadn't caught him, but watching. The ship was already shifting to follow him at a fast clip, and there was only so long a bird like that could fly. Sergeant Miller stepped onto the ship's deck, looking well-worn. He was missing an arm, and I stared for a moment. "Sergeant, are you okay?" "Fine, fine," he said, absently, glaring around the deck. "Tell me he didn't get away while I was putting down that fucking goonch." "What? Oh, no. We are in pursuit." I looked forward, narrowing my eyes. "Swamp village. Old, looks abandoned. We're maybe five or six miles away from it, going at ten knots." "Yeah?" said the sergeant, and he frowned. "Oddly detailed." "Just keeping my eye out, Miller," I said, and hoped he understood what I was saying. "Couldn't taze him?" "Not at the moment, Miller." "Huh." He nodded, his eyes on me for a very long moment. I hated the games. USEF Report Pallas, Appendix B (Known Accomplices), Paragraphs 69-76 Rank HEL-8 Not all of Athena's contacts and accomplices are as celebrated as the Cat of Paris. She is, after all, the Patron of Heroes, and this sometimes involves choosing people who no one would ever take for exceptional. Atina LeRoux is on the lowest end of these. Middle-class family, relatively unremarkable childhood marked only by a brief hours-long visit to a mental institution after she told a classmate she wanted to kill herself in high school, and three years of homeschooling from the age of eleven to fourteen that apparently permanently warped her social development. She took the LSATs twice, scored surprisingly well the second time, went to a mediocre law school, barely avoided failing out, passed the Bar, and then drifted. Her life up to this point has been marked by a distinct lack of focus or achievement. She's never done anything worth noting in the mundane sphere. She worked part-time legal work, keeping her head above water in New York City, until she moved upstate and tried starting her own practice, apparently resigned to the fact that she would spend the rest of her life in the same state of mediocrity. When the Jiang-shi known as Li Fang Fen (See USEF Report Hsien-Ko H1 and remind me to smack whatever moron convinced me that was an appropriate code-name) walked into her office seeking defense on a murder charge, it should have been a short path to an early grave or making a pact. Humans who discover the supernatural inevitably drift towards one of these two. Atina's only apparent talent is for paranoia. She has, in fact, managed to survive at least a handful of assassination attempts from supernatural creatures she has pissed off royally. Mostly by becoming a hermit. 90% of her socialization is with supernatural creatures at this point, with her only known pure-human contacts being her family, and some fry cook she's in an apparently unpredictable relationship with. This is all in keeping with Pallas Athena's strategies. In chess terms, Atina is a pawn. She's capable of very little, but is also generally below notice. The chances that she will figure prominently into one of Athena's schemes is extremely low, but the whole thing about pawns is that they take you by surprise, at an angle. Her resources are largely a surprising number of favors and control she's acquired in Binghamton, but she's still yet to put it to any particular use. As in the rest of her life, Atina LeRoux seems largely at loose ends. Aside from her connections with Jack Knife (See USEF Report Ripper FJ-5) and the Camazotz Jenny Nishi (See USEF Report Sparkly Vampires FJ-4), she has no notable power. One lingering concern remains: The Fishbelly incident. We still don't know what exactly happened in there, and no one in Binghamton is talking about it. The working theory is that Athena intervened directly, as she's occasionally wont to do. This in spite of the complete lack of any evidence of her presence. The mummy we interrogated after the fact claimed it was the work of a dragon, apparently traumatized by the encounter and prone to confabulation. We've combed the city from top to bottom, and there's no sign of anything that could be called a dragon. Every supernatural creature we interrogate about dragons gives the same answer: They’re extinct. I’m inclined to chalk it up to trauma. For now, I'd suggest stepping down surveillance to an occasional check-in. Given her position, means, and inclinations, Atina Leroux is a minor player. Chief Researcher Cherry H. Verne
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