2022.01.28 23:31 MiNuggets If I fits I sits
2022.01.28 23:31 Bloodytearsofrage My Favorite Human (Part 2 of 2)
The sketchiest-looking Gonhir stepped forward, looking smug and punchable. "Well, well. If it isn't Hargrenn of Stormhill. The infamous captain of the Merry Dirge." This one had a hint of a lisp to go along with the Gonhir accent and had a green sash knotted around his waist. He turned his attention to the Human momentarily. "We are grateful to you, Human. We have been waiting for this one to lower her guard enough for us to take, and now you've beaten her halfway into submission for us."
"You're welcome," snarled the Human. "As repayment, how about you fuck off and let us finish?"
"Sorry, no. We've been waiting a long time for this." The sashed Gonhir took a step closer, gun still on me. "Do you remember me, Hargrenn?"
"Can't say I do," I answered truthfully.
"You killed a great many comrades of mine."
"I kill a lot of people. You'll have to be more specific." I actually wasn't even trying to remember who this tool and his cronies were. The important thing was to keep him talking. Because the longer he talked, the more likely he would screw up. It was already obvious that these assholes weren't professionals. If they were, they'd have just shot me the moment they confirmed my identity. No, these were amateurs. Amateurs who wanted to feel like big boss badasses. And amateurs can always be counted on to do something stupid. That was the big difference between us. The booze had made me pretty fucking stupid myself, but as a professional, I didn't need my brains in a situation like this. I had doctrine, training, and muscle-memory to do my thinking for me. Amateurs have to think and decide every step, with the first bad decision they make leading to another and another in cascading failure. It's just a matter of forcing them to make those decisions, or giving them enough time to happen naturally.
"It was in the Throgubanda system," green-sash hissed.
"Oh man, I killed shitloads of people there! That doesn't really help." That just made the Gonhir angrier, which was good, because the only thing more likely to fuck up than an amateur is an emotionally-invested amateur. By getting him focused on our conversation and what he was going to say next, he was not focusing on what I was doing. Namely, on me stealthily palming the combat knife I had tucked into a sheath on my lower back. I had two more on me in other places, but they'd be more obvious if I went for them.
I glanced over at the Human, who seemed less-than-thrilled with these new arrivals. Which was fine by me. Yeah, we'd been beating the shit out of each other, but we weren't serious about it. At least, I wasn't. I mean, I hadn't tried to stab her or anything. And she hadn't pulled whatever that duralloy-handled thing was she had sticking out the top of her right boot. I was assuming it was a weapon, because why would somebody carry something that wasn't one? Anyway, it looked like she was not on the enemy team, which moved the calculus slightly in my favor.
"You and your crew raided our compound on one of the lesser moons," the Gonhir prodded. "You came in, guns blazing, and butchered my brothers-in-arms without warning!" His three followers were starting to look kind of antsy. The scar-faced one who'd been in the bar seemed the most alert and competent, so I decided to knife him first when the time came.
"Yeah," I replied. "We did like six or seven of those smash-and-grab raids in Throgubanda. Which one were you?" Unseen, I flipped the knife over in my hand, by some miracle not dropping it, and took it by the tip. As soon as I could get these jerks distracted enough to point their eyes and/or weapons at something else for a moment, I'd throw it at scar-face and then charge to get amongst the Gonhir, who were unwisely clustered together. It would be hard to fire pulsers in such a grouping without hitting each other, so either they'd hesitate and I'd take them down, they'd fire anyway and hit each other, or, just possibly, they'd actually manage to kill me.
Eh, death was always a possibility, and one I'd long ago come to terms with. Because of a particular enemy I once had, I'd also taken a little precaution against that eventuality. It wouldn't save my life, but it meant that unless my killer took me out from over 300 yards away, they, along with everybody else within that radius of my fresh corpse, were going to have a very, very bad day. Also a very brief one. But that's a story Hargrenn will have to tell you sweetmeats another time. Suffice it to say that when I eventually do get killed, the people near my body better be some sprinting motherfuckers, or have a blast bunker in easy reach.
"It was on Mabrathak," the Gonhir snarled. Or, as near a noise to a snarl as a sphincter-mouth can make. "The Stonesea Mountains." He got even madder when I just shrugged. "Damn you! How dare you forget your infamous massacre of my people!"
I just shook my head. "Sorry, but all my massacres start to run together after a while." Then it hit me and I perked up and swiveled my ears attentively toward him, because I'm all polite and shit. "Oh, wait. You're talking about that terrorist group we wiped out! The Gonhir supremacists! The green-flag assholes, right?"
"They were courageous freedom fighters!" green-sash shrieked. "The Throgubanda Gonhir Liberation Front is dedicated to the empowerment of the Gonhir minority of the Throgubanda System! By any means necessary!" Yeah, he was getting angry enough that the stupid mis-step had to be coming soon.
I laughed at him. Because it was funny, but mostly because the only thing a fanatic hates more than his sworn enemy is being laughed at. "Dude, your main tactic was bombing xeno day cares and maternity clinics. You're fucking terrorists."
"Those were the necessary means! The non-Gonhir pollute our pristine new homeland with their damn spawn!" He was really shaking now.
Scar-face nudged him for attention. "Sir. We should kill her right now. Shoot her and get out of here."
"No. Nothing so merciful. Not now." He was trying to sound all cold and terrifying now, but I wasn't feeling it. "An example must be made. This flippant bitch needs to suffer for what she did to our brothers. Her death-agonies will be a warning to all that the TGLF is not dead and can still punish its enemies."
There. That right there is another big reason why amateurs suck so much in the organized-violence business. They take things way too personally and end up trading operational momentum for emotional validation, which on the battlefield is like trading your virginity for a promise of free candy -- what you've traded away you will never, ever get back, and what you're trading for you will probably never receive. I unobtrusively flexed my knees and secured my throwing-grip on the knife.
"But sir--" scar-face protested. Yeah, he was the least-incompetent of these assholes. He would definitely have to die first. As soon as his attention shifted focus to arguing with his boss...
Before that could happen, the Human stood up and cleared her throat. "Excuse me," she grunted, not sounding particularly unsettled by the guns being waved around. Points for nerviness, I suppose. "If I'm hearing this right, your business is with Miss Fluffytwat over there and not me, correct? If that's the case, can I go? I mean, I don't like this vapid pom slut, either. If you guys want to kill her, I am absolutely okay with that."
"Hey!" I objected. Being called 'vapid' was just hurtful.
The green-sashed guy glanced over at her, a little testily. "You are hermin filth," he snapped, using a popular slur for Humans. But then he softened a little. "But you have shed the blood of our foe and aided our organization's righteous vengeance." He jerked a thumb toward the street behind him. "Begone."
Now, lest you think it was a completely unreasonable fuck-up for them to let a witness just walk away like that, be aware that it really wasn't. Tlabahaan's only real law enforcement was the corporate security forces and those only kept order in the Company Zones. Outside that, businesses and residential blocks hired their own private guards and watchmen. She could run out and tell whoever she wanted to that these guys had murdered me. Since I wasn't paying for any of those guards or watchmen, the only people who might bother pursuing the matter were my friends. Not that she seemed too inclined to tell anyone, anyway. It was almost as if she didn't like me very much. Strange, but true.
"Thanks, guys," the Human said, moving toward the alley exit with a lurch. She paused and glanced over her shoulder at me. "Have fun getting murdered, bitch."
Ooh, that was a pretty good line. All coldly nonchalant and everything. Green sash guy could have learned something from her. I might even steal that line for later use myself. Assuming I, you know, didn't actually get murdered here.
As the Human wobbled down the alley, it was obvious the Gonhir who were cordoning it off would have to step aside to let her pass. That moment of distraction and divided attention would be my opening.
I tried to keep any bloodthirsty grin of anticipation off my face, which was difficult because -- being totally honest here -- I live for this kind of shit. I mean, yeah, I work hard in the mercenary business as a way to get pussy. And money. And then I use the money to get more pussy. All true. But there are other ways I could earn enough cash to drown myself in high-class vag, if I really wanted to. I could be a stockbroker, or a real estate mogul, or some shit like that. Only, those professions don't offer many chances for you take the ultimate gamble. To bet your very existence, literally everything you are or ever will be, versus another's own existence on the simple question of, 'Which one of us is better at not dying?' Few other feelings can match the rush, the thrill of accepting the ultimate wager and coming out the winner. Once you've tasted that, playing for any other stake just feels like chump change.
Anyway, the opportunity came, just as I expected. The Gonhir shifted to let the Human get past. For just a moment, a second or two, their attention was on things other than me -- on the Human, on their own positions, on where to put their feet. And in that moment, I flicked my hand out in a smooth and practiced underhand throw. My blade flashed across the gap between me and the scar-faced Gonhir, who was fully refocusing on me just as the point struck home. The knife caught him in the same arm that held his gun, the monomolecular edge slicing straight through his sleeve as the blade buried itself in his bicep. He jerked at the impact and the pulse-pistol lost its point of aim. Severed tendon, probably. A beautiful piece of work on my part, marred only slightly by the fact that I'd been aiming for his face.
Eh, no time to think about that. I was already up and moving while the knife was still in flight. I snatched my other two knives off my hips and sprang forward, to get in among my foes and lay waste to them in their moment of fatal inattention. Or so I intended. What actually happened was that I made two steps forward, lost my balance in a drunken stumble, and hit the pavement eight feet shy of my goal.
I looked up to see those gun muzzles tracking my way. They had me. Had me dead to rights. Though I was already trying to scramble back to my feet, to get up and moving and back in the fight, I could see that it wasn't going to happen. Barring some miracle, some divine intervention, I'd be hammered with blast-pulses before I could even stand up again. Even a bunch of stupid Gonhir terrorist amateurs couldn't miss me at that range. But I didn't just meekly accept my fate, either, because Hargrenn of Stormhill doesn't do meek anything, and because you just never know. Anything can happen in this crazy universe. Even miracles. Maybe even divine intervention.
Or even Human intervention.
As the three unwounded Gonhir brought their weapons to bear, the Human shoved the one closest to her into the other two. All three Gonhir stumbled together in a confused scrum for a moment and in the two seconds or so it took to sort themselves out, I was up and on them and slashing.
The monomol-edged knives sliced through clothes and flesh like it wasn't even there. I wasn't stabbing yet because I didn't want to get a blade stuck in a body and have to lose time and momentum getting it out. Stabs are for finishing. I needed to disable multiple opponents quickly, so I just concentrated on slashing everything within reach, cutting through muscles and spilling blood and organs. I got the leader with a long cut across the belly that left his guts falling out over his formerly-green sash. A return stroke across the forearm sent his pulse-pistol tumbling from a hand that could no longer grip. Meanwhile, my other knife took two of the three eyestalks off the top of his nearest buddy's head. Still, that guy had his chance to shoot me and could have done it if he wasn't so busy screaming and bleeding instead. Fucking amateurs, I tell you.
In my peripheral vision, I could see the scar-faced Gonhir switching his pistol over to his good hand. Before he could draw a bead, the Human slugged him in the face, causing him to drop the gun as the punch threw him back into the alley wall.
That left one unwounded Gonhir. He was on the other side of the eviscerated green sash guy, between the Human and me. His attention wavered between us, undecided which one he should be trying to shoot. Amateur shit again. The Human was closer, but I was hacking apart his buddies. But he couldn't fire a burst at me without his friends getting caught in it. So he dithered. Only for a moment, but that's all it takes. Before he could act one way or the other, the Human rendered his choice forever moot by whacking him across the back of the head with whatever that duralloy-handled thing was that she'd just snatched out of her boot. The Gonhir didn't fall, but his mouth kind of went slack and his body gave an all-over, loose-limbed shudder. Then the Human drew back to hit him again and I could make out what her weapon was: a heavy-duty adjustable wrench, nearly a foot-and-a-half long.
Engineers and their toys, man. What can you do?
She gave the Gonhir another smack that splattered blood and brains across the alley. As that one dropped, I gave the blinded screamer a finishing stab through the neck. My knife bound up in cartilage or vertebrae or something, so I left it there so I could move on the next threat. Since the leader was sinking to his knees while trying to stuff his intestines back in, I just kicked his pistol away and turned toward scar-face. A breath slower than me, the Human did the same.
Before either of us could move against him, he took off down the alley, pinkish Gonhir blood dribbling along as my knife fell out of his arm. Instead of trying to get past us, he was going the other way, toward the bar's back door. And say what you would about the little anus-faced bastard, he was quick on his feet. I don't think I could have caught him even if I'd been sober. I threw my knife instead and it absolutely would have caught him if I'd been sober. But I wasn't, so it bounced off the wall about three feet above his head. Then he was through the door and safely inside the Daughters of Kathralin.
"Shit!" I snarled. I hate it when people survive my murderous rampages.
The crash of furniture being knocked over carried through the bar's still-open door. On the heels of that came a Felra-accented voice calling out, "Those were new tables, you Gonhir fuck!" And then the unmistakable thunder of a riot pistol going off in an enclosed space.
Heh. I hate it rather less when people survive my murderous rampages, only to die anyway shortly afterwards. Irony like that gives me the giggles.
Speaking of short-term survivors, there was still the green sash guy to finish up with. He was on his knees, functional hand clutching at the guts that were slithering out through his new belly-opening. He looked up at me as I knelt in front of him.
"S-surrender," he gasped out.
"Not accepted," I replied with a smile. Then I grabbed his head with both hands and gave it a sudden sharp twist to the left. The delightful crackle of snapping vertebrae was my reward and I let the now-limp body thump to the pavement. One more gambler who'd bet everything he had on being better than Hargrenn of Stormhill at not getting killed. The fact that I had long since lost count of how many of those there had been would have bothered a better person.
Fortunately for me, I'm not a better person.
I found the Human staring at me, not saying anything, so I did the same right back to her. Her pale face was a little flushed with exertion, but otherwise just as dour and morose as before. I wasn't sure at the time if it was because she had resting bitch face, or resting bitch personality. I've since learned that the answer to that is 'yes'.
She didn't say anything. I didn't say anything. From inside the bar, somebody loudly asked what color Gonhir brains were, because they thought some had gotten in their drink.
My silence appeared to incense the Human for some reason. She started to fidget, then jammed the blood-clotted wrench back down her boot, glaring at me like she was my landlord or something. "Well?" she demanded.
That made her glare harder. "Aren't you going to thank me for saving you?"
That was a question I totally did not expect. I'm pretty sure I looked at her like she'd just asked for my grandmother's toe jam on a toasted roll. "What? Why would I do that?"
"Um, because I saved you?"
I just shook my head. "Uh, no. You said you were fine with them killing me."
She waved that aside as unimportant. "Yes. But I didn't let them, did I? I mean, you are annoying as fuck, but when those guys admitted to blowing up little babies, I decided, you know, to hell with them! So I chose to take them down and save your dumb ass in the bargain."
"That's bullshit and you know it," I snapped back. "I had everything well in hand the whole time." A slight exaggeration, perhaps. But not nearly as much truth-mutilating as she was doing.
The Human barked a scornful laugh. "Kurwa! You fell on your stupid pom face right in front of their guns! If I hadn't intervened--"
"Against this trash?" I demanded, prodding a Gonhir corpse with my boot. There was blood everywhere, but I wasn't worried about getting it on my nice boots. Everything in my wardrobe is blood and body-fluid repellent and has been ever since I was a teenager. Let's just say that I started at a young age. "I wouldn't have needed your help on my worst day, bitch!"
Her arctic-sea eyes narrowed dangerously and she raised her clenched fists. "Oh really? You want to fight about it, then? Fight some more, I mean?"
I thought about that, then made a noncommittal half-shrug. "Meh. Not really." I kicked the dead Gonhir a little harder, making a nasty semi-liquid squelch. "These guys kind of ruined the mood." It was true. Ass-kicking was one thing, bloody slaughter was entirely another. It was kind of the same way eating a big, serious steak ruins your desire for fun and sugary candy for a little while. You just get full and the contrast of flavors so close together is too much to deal with. Still, one mood leads to another and if this chick was wanting some gratitude...
"How about sex, instead?" I asked her, giving my ass a little wiggle. "You up for that?"
Her face twisted a little. "Maybe. But not with you."
We glared at each other some more. "You are a mouthy, arrogant--" I started.
The Human cut me off. "Opie."
I assumed that was another bit of her native lingo, since she seemed to like peppering her Galactiphonic with it. "What the hell's an opie?" I growled, just about at my limit with her.
"I am. It's my name. Opie Walczak."
"Well, you are a mouthy, arrogant frump, Opie Walczak!"
The Human -- Opie, I mean -- drew herself up to her full height. Still shorter than me, but as she sucked in an angry breath, she seemed to swell up like a Volian swamphopper preening for a mate, only ticked-off and badly-dressed. "Perhaps I am. But I'm the mouthy, arrogant, frumpy engineer who just saved your ass, while you are a conceited, headstrong, oversexed--"
"Hargrenn," I interrupted. "Hargrenn of Stormhill."
"Then you are a conceited, headstrong, oversexed thug, Hargrenn of Stormhill."
I considered that statement and could find surprisingly little to dispute in it. "Yeah, pretty much," I told her.
For the very first time, her expression changed to something that wasn't absolutely pissy. It wasn't a smile by any means, but the gloom in that broad, pale face lightened just a little bit. "You also know nothing of starship engine technology," she added.
I sighed. "I'll have to grant you that one, too."
She still wasn't smiling. But if a person could be said to have a sly, almost cheeky bitchscowl, then that was what was on Opie's face right then as she said, "And I totally saved you from those Gonhir."
I raised a cautionary finger at her. "Don't push your luck, sugartits."
"Whatever." She motioned toward the Daughters of Kathralin's delivery door, from which the faint, melodious sound of non-stop Felra profanity could be heard. "Want to go back inside?"
I shook my head. "We better not. Ellaltra's in a mood now. She's likely to blame us for having to shoot that guy. We'll either get shot ourselves, or end up mopping." Opie didn't look like she fancied those possibilities any more than I did. But an alternative occurred to me. One I knew she would go for. And after all, whether I'd really needed her or not, she'd gotten involved when she didn't have to and that was worth something. "How about we go to this place I know two blocks over where the drinks are cheap and the Dahu waitress will do freaky things to you under the table for a tenner? We can finish getting plastered and you can lecture me all about how I need to change my ship's engine specs."
"I don't do engineering consultations for free!" she huffed.
That took the huffiness right back out of her. She gestured toward the street like we were high society and she was asking me out onto a dance floor. "Oh. Well then, lead the way, you fuzzy slutbag."
"Right this way, you unrelenting shrew-bitch," I politely replied as we staggered side-by-side out of the corpse-strewn alley.
And that, as they say, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Motivation in Yellow, another Captain Hargrenn story
More Known Galaxy stories
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2022.01.28 23:31 LumpyGravy21 544 Athlete Cardiac Arrests, Serious Issues, 331 Dead, After COVID Shot
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Little bit of info: Zero history of doing drugs, smoking or alcohol. I am also kind of sedentary (I workout once per week, no weightlifting, just push ups and running mainly). Never tested positive for COVID.
Like the title says, I have reoccurring chest pain, with no shortness of breath or any other noticeable symptoms, that lasts for a couple of seconds at the very least (Never beyond a minute). The pain is stabbing. This happens near my left armpit, on an upper rib. There is no pain upon touching it. There is an image I linked which should help visualize this...
The important part is that it happens when I twist my upper torso (e.g. stretching or even just moving). Sometimes it just happens for no reason.
(The full circle is where the most pain occurs. The non-full circle is where pain sometimes occurs).
I know this sounds a lot like just a pulled muscle or torn muscle or something like that, but on one occasion within this month I experienced a crushing pain (only for like ~8 seconds though) on the left side of my chest near where the heart resides. Not only that, but sometimes I experience a dull/burning pain again (for <15 seconds) near where the heart resides. Hopefully it isn't anything too serious...
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2022.01.28 23:31 velroz_ Deciding on getting a gti, these are the ones I liked but I’m not sure if they’re overpriced. I kinda want a 4 door and be willing to get a manual but it would be my first time driving manual. Is there a difference in mods for the manual and auto? Any help would be great
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2022.01.28 23:31 boostreet Want to understand the economics of Two Dots?
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2022.01.28 23:31 KIZFO Thin Mint
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2022.01.28 23:31 Powerful-Ad-6292 I might buy a 256gb iPhone XS for $300. Is it still worth it?
I'm coming from an iPhone 7. I'm not sure if the XS is a big upgrade from the 7, but the 256gb XS is in my budget and I'm having a lot of problems with my 7. For $400 I could get an iPhone 11 but the XS really caught my eye because of the design, I love the stainless steel design, the OLED display, and the gold XS looks so nice. I'm not set on it yet though.
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2022.01.28 23:31 FO76-Trade [PS4] H: 25K Caps W: Sneak Bobbleheads
2022.01.28 23:31 VoightKampff-2019 Help with Anydice: Reroll lowest dice of multi dice pool.
I’m trying to model the process of rolling 1d6+1d4 then rerolling the lowest result of the two dice if the total is below 5.
I’m terrible with both coding and math, so I’ve only been able to kludge together a model that shows the results of rerolling just the d4 if that die rolls under 3, but I don’t have the skills to create this more complicated function. I was hoping someone here might be able to help.
I used this, for reference. (Maybe it would be better to ask there?)
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2022.01.28 23:31 fozzy2223 Right before the motor blew 🤙
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2022.01.28 23:31 warriors_cats_lover The lyrics don't even make sense...
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2022.01.28 23:31 bruno77689 BUSDMachine v2
BUSDMachine v1 was on fire, price and daily TVL was growing like the hulk. We however ran into a situation where we were minting tokens more quickly than we could sell them. This situation is ongoing currently. A vote was had in the channel on what to do. Users voted to keep BUSDMachine v1 intact and "Ride or Die" it out but to also launch a new BUSDMachine that fixes the flaws Features added: - Configurable Min investment (to stop that sneaky airdrop issue) - Configurable Daily Sell Limit (to stop us not being able to sell quick enough) - Configurable APRs incase we need to do something here
What do you guys think?
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2022.01.28 23:31 hilanderclinton Forever Family
2022.01.28 23:31 truyret Dont make me regret this 2 min risk please 🥵
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2022.01.28 23:31 Intrepid_Papaya831 Asian restaurant pickups are aggressive “can you please confirm?Looking at my phone, can you please confirm? Calm down I don’t want this shit😂
2022.01.28 23:31 OvrNOutt Twitter GiveAway – link in comments
| Follow the steps over on twitter for your entry|
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2022.01.28 23:31 hyderabadipotta432 Isnt the game suppose to tell me my place in the qeue?
Everytime i try to log on the game says that im in the server queue, but it doesnt show my position in it. In fact it shows nothing, it just says that im in server queue and then there is a loading line underneath it that just keeps "loading".
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2022.01.28 23:31 Jimbao2 AIO Coolant Temps
I just installed my first AIO which is the Corsair H100i Elite Capellix. I was wondering around what temp should the Liquid Coolant be while browsing the web and watching vids (I get around 34-35 °C). Lastly, at around what temp does is get dangerous for the Liquid Coolant?
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2022.01.28 23:31 WalkTheDock Which of the listed Countries, in your opinion, helped Nazi Germany the most?
2022.01.28 23:31 ScarfFanatic64 😔
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2022.01.28 23:31 BlackGirlsRockk What’s better on AR-D? Atk/ Speed push, or atk speed solo?