TAB digital betting site

pathofexile.com is down right now - want to bet it is a DDoS attack related to the recent stash tab debacle?

submitted by Shortupdate to pathofexile [link] [comments]

General Election Polling Discussion Thread (July 19, 2020)

Introduction

Welcome to the /politics polling discussion thread for the general election. As the election nears, polling of both the national presidential popular vote and important swing states is ramping up, and with both parties effectively deciding on nominees, pollsters can get in the field to start assessing the state of the presidential race.
Please use this thread to discuss polling and the general state of the presidential or congressional election. Below, you'll find some of the most recent polls, but this is by no means exhaustive, as well as some links to prognosticators sharing election models.
As always though, polls don't vote, people do. Regardless of whether your candidate is doing well or poorly, democracy only works when people vote, and there are always at least a couple polling misses every cycle, some of which are pretty high profile. If you haven't yet done so, please take some time to register to vote or check your registration status.

Polls

Below is a collection of recent polling of the US Presidential election. Where the same poll applied different screening methodologies (All Adults, Registered Voters, Likely Voters), the result is shown as the most restrictive (Likely Voters > Registered Voters > All Adults). This is likely incomplete and also omits the generic congressional ballot as well as Senate/House/Gubernatorial numbers that may accompany these polls. Please use the discussion space below to discuss any additional polls not covered. Additionally, not all polls are created equal. If this is your first time looking at polls, the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings page is a helpful tool to assess historic partisan lean in certain pollsters, as well as their past performance.
Poll Date Type Biden Trump
Fox News 7-19 National 49 41
ABC News/The Washington Post 7-19 National 54 44
Gravis Marketing 7-18 South Carolina 46 50
Public Policy Polling 7-18 Michigan 51 44
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group 7-16 Kentucky 41 53
OH Predictive Insights 7-16 Arizona 49 44
Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape 7-17 National 49 41
Alaska Survey Research 7-17 Alaska 48 49
Monmouth University 7-15 Pennsylvania 51 44
NBC News 7-15 National 51 40
Ipsos 7-15 National 47 37
Quinnipiac University 7-15 National 52 37
YouGov 7-15 National 47 39
Rasmussen Reports 7-15 National 47 44
Monmouth University 7-15 Pennsylvania 52 42
YouGov 7-15 National 49 40
Morning Consult 7-15 National 47 39
Change Research 7-15 Michigan 48 42
Change Research 7-15 Wisconsin 48 42
Change Research 7-15 Pennsylvania 50 42
Change Research 7-15 North Carolina 47 46
Change Research 7-15 Florida 50 43
Change Research 7-15 Arizona 51 45
Change Research 7-15 National 51 41
Gravis Marketing 7-14 Texas 44 46
Gravis Marketing 7-14 Florida 53 43
Civiqs 7-14 Montana 45 49
Redfield & Wilton Strategies 7-13 National 48 39
RMG Research 7-13 National 46 39
YouGov 7-13 Missouri 42 49
Public Policy Polling 7-13 Montana 42 51
GQR Research (GQRR) 7-13 Nebraska CD-2 51 44
John Zogby Strategies 7-12 National 49 42
Gravis Marketing 7-12 Georgia 45 48
YouGov 7-12 Arizona 46 46
YouGov 7-12 Florida 48 42
YouGov 7-12 Texas 45 46
University of Texas at Tyler 7-12 Texas 48 43
GBAO 7-10 North Carolina 48 46
GBAO 7-10 Arizona 47 46
GBAO 7-10 Iowa 45 48
Morning Consult 7-10 National 48 39
Auburn University at Montgomery 7-10 Alabama 40 55
Data for Progress 7-10 National 51 41
Public Policy Polling 7-9 North Carolina 50 46
Public Policy Polling 7-9 Alaska 45 48
Harris Insights & Analytics 7-8 National 43 39
Rasmussen Reports 7-8 National 50 40
Ipsos 7-8 National 43 37
Opinium 7-8 National 52 40
Research Co. 7-8 National 49 40
YouGov 7-8 National 49 40
PureSpectrum 7-8 National 47 37
Public Policy Polling 7-7 National 53 42
Trafalgar Group 7-6 Pennsylvania 48 42
Public Policy Polling 7-6 Maine 53 42
Trafalgar Group 7-3 Florida 45 45
YouGov 7-2 National 45 40
Monmouth University 7-2 National 53 41
YouGov 7-2 Texas 44 48
Public Policy Polling 7-2 Texas 48 46
University of Montana 7-1 Montana 37 52
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group 7-1 National 55 41
Gravis Marketing 7-1 Arizona 45 49
Public Policy Polling 7-1 Michigan 50 44
Ipsos 7-1 National 46 38
Harris Insights & Analytics 7-1 National 56 44
Public Policy Polling 7-1 Colorado 56 39
IBD 7-1 National 48 40
Data Orbital 7-1 Arizona 47 45
YouGov 7-1 National 49 40
Morning Consult 7-1 National 47 40
Change Research 7-1 National 49 41
Change Research 7-1 Arizona 51 44
Change Research 7-1 Florida 50 45
Change Research 7-1 Michigan 48 43
Change Research 7-1 North Carolina 51 44
Change Research 7-1 Pennsylvania 50 44
Change Research 7-1 Wisconsin 51 43
East Carolina University 6-30 North Carolina 45 43
Suffolk University 6-30 National 53 41
Pew Research Center 6-30 National 54 44
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group 6-30 Missouri 48 46
Siena College 6-30 New York 57 32

Election Predictions

Prognosticators

Prognosticators are folks who make projected electoral maps, often on the strength of educated guesses as well as inside information in some cases from campaigns sharing internals with the teams involved. Below are a few of these prognosticators and their assessment of the state of the race:

Polling Models

Polling models are similar to prognosticators (and often the model authors will act like pundits as well), but tend to be about making "educated guesses" on the state of the election. Generally, the models are structured to take in data such as polls and electoral fundamentals, and make a guess based on research on prior elections as to the state of the race in each state. Below are a few of the more prominent models that are online or expected to be online soon:

Prediction Markets

Prediction markets are betting markets where people put money on the line to estimate the likelihood of one party winning a seat or state. Most of these markets will also tend to move depending on polling and other socioeconomic factors in the same way that prognosticators and models will work. Predictit and Election Betting Odds are prominent in this space, although RealClearPolitics has an aggregate of other betting sites as well.
submitted by Isentrope to politics [link] [comments]

General Election Polling Discussion Thread (July 26, 2020)

Introduction

Welcome to the /politics polling discussion thread for the general election. As the election nears, polling of both the national presidential popular vote and important swing states is ramping up, and with both parties effectively deciding on nominees, pollsters can get in the field to start assessing the state of the presidential race.
Please use this thread to discuss polling and the general state of the presidential or congressional election. Below, you'll find some of the most recent polls, but this is by no means exhaustive, as well as some links to prognosticators sharing election models.
As always though, polls don't vote, people do. Regardless of whether your candidate is doing well or poorly, democracy only works when people vote, and there are always at least a couple polling misses every cycle, some of which are pretty high profile. If you haven't yet done so, please take some time to register to vote or check your registration status.

Polls

Below is a collection of recent polling of the US Presidential election. This is likely incomplete and also omits the generic congressional ballot as well as Senate/House/Gubernatorial numbers that may accompany these polls. Please use the discussion space below to discuss any additional polls not covered. Additionally, not all polls are created equal. If this is your first time looking at polls, the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings page is a helpful tool to assess historic partisan lean in certain pollsters, as well as their past performance.
Poll Date Type Biden Trump
YouGov 7-26 National 51 41
YouGov 7-26 Michigan 48 42
YouGov 7-26 Ohio 45 46
Marist College 7-26 Arizona 50 45
SSRS/CNN 7-26 Michigan 52 40
SSRS/CNN 7-26 Florida 51 46
SSRS/CNN 7-26 Arizona 49 45
Gravis Marketing 7-25 Pennsylvania 48 45
Echelon Insights 7-24 National 50 37
Echelon Insights 7-24 National 49 40
Echelon Insights 7-24 National 51 41
Echelon Insights 7-24 National 52 43
Echelon Insights 7-24 National 53 38
Gravis Marketing 7-24 Michigan 51 42
Gravis Marketing 7-24 Wisconsin 50 42
Data for Progress 7-24 National 49 43
Data for Progress 7-24 National 49 43
Fox News 7-23 Minnesota 51 38
Fox News 7-23 Pennsylvania 50 39
Fox News 7-23 Michigan 49 40
Global Strategy Group 7-23 National 50 39
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group 7-23 National 51 43
GQR Research (GQRR) 7-23 National 55 44
Quinnipiac University 7-23 Florida 51 38
St. Pete Polls 7-23 Florida 50 44
Spry Strategies 7-22 Wisconsin 46 45
Spry Strategies 7-22 Texas 44 49
Spry Strategies 7-22 Iowa 47 45
Spry Strategies 7-22 Arizona 49 44
Spry Strategies 7-22 Georgia 45 48
Spry Strategies 7-22 Michigan 45 49
Spry Strategies 7-22 Kentucky 33 60
Spry Strategies 7-22 North Carolina 45 48
Spry Strategies 7-22 Montana 41 51
Spry Strategies 7-22 Pennsylvania 47 47
Harris Insights & Analytics 7-22 National 45 38
Quinnipiac University 7-22 Texas 45 44
Ipsos 7-22 National 43 34
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group 7-22 Georgia 47 43
Rasmussen Reports 7-22 National 47 45
Public Policy Polling 7-22 Arizona 49 45
YouGov 7-22 National 48 41
Morning Consult 7-22 National 47 40
Ipsos 7-22 National 46 38
Rasmussen Reports 7-21 Pennsylvania 51 46
Rasmussen Reports 7-21 Ohio 50 46
Trafalgar Group 7-20 Georgia 43 49
Cardinal Point Analytics (CardinalGPS) 7-20 North Carolina 47 48
Fox News 7-19 National 49 41

Election Predictions

Prognosticators

Prognosticators are folks who make projected electoral maps, often on the strength of educated guesses as well as inside information in some cases from campaigns sharing internals with the teams involved. Below are a few of these prognosticators and their assessment of the state of the race:

Polling Models

Polling models are similar to prognosticators (and often the model authors will act like pundits as well), but tend to be about making "educated guesses" on the state of the election. Generally, the models are structured to take in data such as polls and electoral fundamentals, and make a guess based on research on prior elections as to the state of the race in each state. Below are a few of the more prominent models that are online or expected to be online soon:

Prediction Markets

Prediction markets are betting markets where people put money on the line to estimate the likelihood of one party winning a seat or state. Most of these markets will also tend to move depending on polling and other socioeconomic factors in the same way that prognosticators and models will work. Predictit and Election Betting Odds are prominent in this space, although RealClearPolitics has an aggregate of other betting sites as well.
submitted by Isentrope to politics [link] [comments]

UPDATED List of Modding Guides for Skyrim Special Edition

Yes, I realize some of these are not so much guides as they are lists, however I've still included them because they (imho) deserve recognition for their contribution to the community.
DISCLAIMER: use these guides at your own risk. If you don't know what you're doing, research, ask questions, and as always, read, read, read.
The Northern Experience - while this is a great set of mods, I can't recommend it simply because of the author's arrogance .
Wabbajack - Probably the best bet for beginners, as most of the modding part is already done for you.
STEP v3
AMON A Complete Skyrim SE Modding Guide
SkyRem Guide
Lexy's LOTD SE
LOTD Plus
Legacy by Evertiro
TUCO Guide
Below the Sun's Dragon Rising
Dragon Rising - Blood's Honor
Skyrim Enhanced
Skyrim Untold Guide
The Phoenix Flavor
Simply The Best Skyrim Modlist - Under construction
Hinaloth's Immersive and Lore Friendly Modding List
Lightweight Skyrim Special Edition Basic Mod List
Exploring Skyrim - A RP-Friendly Modlist for LOTD - Outdated
Fantasy Modlist 2020
True Skyrim - Cold and Harsh - Outdated
Henriko's Amazing Modlist - Outdated
MeowWeow's 2020 Modlist for SSE - Outdated
Juanton's Skyrim Special Edition Mod list (2019) - Outdated
Nolvus Modding Guide
Nolvus Lite
DarkFox127 & SimSim899's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Outdated
Predcaliber 2019 & 2018 - Outdated
BOSS - Outdated and not recommended (also there is evidence the author is an asset thief)
Skyrim Beautification Project
Sinitar'd Guide - Outdated and not recommended
Skyrim SE for Beginners - NSFW
Odysseus Gaming is releasing a modlist soon, and has promised to add in the directions to make your own custom conflict resolution patch. This is directly related to comments that mentioned many of these lists not having conflict resolution. His guide looks promising!
Wazalang Perfect Vision 2020
Wazalang Perfect Vision Lite
Thoughtful Skyrim
Concise Skyrim Modding Guide 2020
Skyrim2020

If I've missed any please comment below so I can add them here. I'd like to keep a running tab of them so as to potentially get more people browsing and encouraging updates. I love seeing everyone's ideas!
Edit: Wabbajack added
Edit: Added back TNE because y'all are right it does deserve to be here. As for all the other comments, it isnt contributing anything to argue about it. There are good lists and bad lists, my aim was not to say "these are all perfect and should be followed to the t"... It was more of an aim at possibly getting some people enthusiastic about modding and finding new ideas. Sorry if I offended anyone, but I've removed my comments so as to not continuing to be disrespectful to anyone. I wish everyone well, and happy modding.
Edit: Skyrim Beautification Project added
Edit: Disclaimer added
Edit: Thoughtful Skyrim, Skyrim SE for Beginners, Odysseus Gaming, Concise Skyrim Modding Guide 2020 and Wazalang added

submitted by ARsparx to skyrimmods [link] [comments]

Tools I wish I had known about when I started coding

Hey all! I had compiled this list about two years ago, shortly after I started programming, and I found that is was helpful to a lot of folks, so I wanted to resurrect it.
While the way I do some things has changed a lot in the last couple of years, these all helped me a lot when I was just getting into web development, and hopefully they might help you too!

Chrome Extensions

Now that I am a self-proclaimed web developer, I practically live in my Chrome console. Below are some tools that allow me to spend less time there:

VS Code Extensions

Visual Studio Code is my editor of choice.
People love their text editors, and I am no exception. However, I’m willing to bet most of these extensions work for whatever editor you are using as well. Check out my favorite extensions:
EDIT: found more tools I had compiled on a per operating system basis!

Operating System Agnostic

Postman — At its most basic, this is an application that allows you to test the different endpoints of an API. You know, that good CRUD stuff. Once you dive deeper into it, you will find it is also incredibly useful for writing up test suites and much more.
Insomnia — This is an open-source alternative to Postman. It appears to have a lot of the same functionality with a slightly lower price tag for their premium packages. Between this and Postman, the choice seems to mostly be personal preference for the UX. Don’t stay up all night making a decision between the two (I had to, forgive me).
Restlet — If you don’t want to download either of the above, this is an API testing client that is available as a Chrome extension. It even allows the importing of Postman tests and several other formats.
Charles — This is a sweet web debugging proxy that allows you to view all of the information you could possibly want to see about the requests being made between your machine and the internet. It basically turns you into a hacker, allowing you to check your website for security vulnerabilities and such.
Fiddler — Basically the same tool as Charles. Personal preference seems to be the main deciding factor between the two, though both can greatly increase your debugging/troubleshooting capabilities.
Flux — If you’re reading this, chances are you probably spend a ton of time on your computer. Flux is a program that turns the blue light down on your screen as the sun sets, with the hopes of mimicking the day/night cycle and helping you sleep better. Not as good as getting time away from the screen, certainly, but it’s better than nothing!

Windows Specific

ConEmu — If you are on Windows and you would like to have multiple terminal tabs, this is an easy, free solution to your tab-related woes. Never again will you have to flip back and forth through entire windows just to look at your different error messages.-
Ditto — You know when you’re trying to copy four separate answers from Stack Overflow and you have to keep switching back and forth from your browser to your IDE? Worry no more. With the Ditto clipboard manager, you can copy-paste your way to victory.
TouchCursor — Programmers of all sorts are notorious for wanting to use the mouse as little as possible. If you find yourself in that camp, then this will be right up your alley
Cmder — I am going to forego my description of this product, as I feel the description on their website is much better — “Cmder is a software package created out of pure frustration over the absence of nice console emulators on Windows. It is based on amazing software, and spiced up with the Monokai color scheme and a custom prompt layout, looking sexy from the start.” I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of any software that describes itself as “sexy”
Directory Opus — This is basically what Windows Explorer should have been from the start. Opus allows you to dig through your poorly-organized documents almost as if they were well-organized.
Zeal — With over 200 documentation sets to search through, Zeal is an offline goldmine of documentation for the developer who loves to read documentation so much that they do it even when the internet is out. (Copy-pasted from Dash in the Mac section).

Mac Specific

Paw — A competitor to both Postman and Insomnia above, Paw is a similar piece of software that feels more like a native Mac application than the others. If you love that Mac feel, this might be the API tool for you.
Dash — With over 200 documentation sets to search through, Dash is an offline goldmine of documentation for the developer who loves to read documentation so much that they do it even when the internet is out.
Bear — Not directly coding related, but a neat piece of software for taking notes if that is something you do in your day-to-day. I can’t help but wish that this would be integrated with Paw somehow, for pun-related purposes.
Magnet — Okay. Fair warning: This one costs money. If you can afford to dish up the 99 cents, however, I think it is worth it for those tough times when you don’t have access to a second monitor. This tool allows you to easily snap different windows to separate areas of your screen so you can run multiple terminals at once and tell your mom you are a hacker. (They are not paying me for this recommendation, sadly. However, if you are the creator of Magnet and you wish to pay me, please get in touch).
EDIT 2: adding new version of Bracket Pair colorizer here and to description above https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=CoenraadS.bracket-pair-colorizer-2
EDIT 3: I've had people in dms asking about more advice/tooling. I'll definitely continue to cross post anything that makes sense to here like this post. I also try to help out on https://twitter.com/marioahoyos . I am a career switcher like many people here are and I want to help as many people make the transition as I can :)
submitted by mariohoyos to learnprogramming [link] [comments]

First Contact - TOTAL WAR - 217 (Foxtrot-Nine-Two)

[first] [prev] [Last Night Terror] [SOMEONE PLEASE WAKE ME UP!] [next]
The multi-role strike hovercraft slipped through the air, dropping altitude quickly. The intact ships of the squadron were smoking, over half of them the battle-screens were down and the particle screens were so overloaded they were flickering and snarling.
Mukstet, pilot of Foxtrot-Niner-Two, lead striker of the squadron due to their unorthodox launch, looked around, the window shields covering the smart-armaglass retracted. The trees were whipping by and so far there hadn't been any Precursors popping up on the sensors.
That could be because our sensors are hashed, he thought to himself. He saw a faint glimmer of sparkling blue and did a slow bank toward it.
The controls were mushy, slow to respond. The two fifty-gallon reactor mass tanks were empty, used to power the afterburners, which meant his fusion reactor was offline. He was running on the auxilary zero-point reactors now and they barely had the power to keep the ship in the air. They were at over 80% heat, which left the alarms pinging in his ear. The hotter they got the higher the impedance and the less power the reactors produced due to the power being converted to heat.
It was a vicious self-sustaining cycle.
Terrans have been able to beat everything but heat, Mukstet thought, dropping his altitude even further. He was barely skimming above the tree-tops now. He glanced around him, doing a visual on the other striker craft. Four of them were streaming smoke, one white, one bluish, the other two black smoke pouring from where the weapon covers had torn free. A glance at the squadron icons showed him that of the twenty strikers besides his all of them were yellow or amber.
"973, can you do field repairs?" he asked over the link.
--need time and mass nano-forges too hot too slushy slushy-- the green mantid sent back along with a picture of a half-dozen green mantids standing on the lid of a top loading clothes washing machine with bubbles pouring out from the edges of the lid. The caption read "C17H35COONa/H2O!!!!!" Mukstet didn't get it completely but he got the gist.
The blue glimmer came out to be a large lake surrounded by manicured lawns, decorative tree groves, shrubs, and estates for Lanaktallan. There were wrecking equipment near the manors and over half of them were in the middle of being demolished.
"All Foxtrot-Niner elements, all strikers on me, we're going land near the lake and do field repairs," Mukstet said. "All dismount strike team leaderss give me a status report on your dismount teams once we're on the ground. Have your green buddies reconfigure your suits for intra-atmospheric combat. My appreciation to your green buddies for keeping everyone alive during our insertion."
Blinks came back from the squad leaders.
"Foxtrot-Niner-Two, this is Foxtrot-Niner-Twelve, my center-line gravitons are out and my zero-point heat is at 92% and rising. Tell me we're setting down soon," came Dulketit's voice.
"Five mikes, that's it, just five mikes, Foxtrot-Niner-Twelve," Mukstet said. "All squadron strikers, drop speed to two-hundred kay."
The icons blinked and Mukstet went back to keeping his battered striker in the air.
He managed to get his landing gear deployed and set down on what was obviously a manor's ornate back lawn. The striker hovercraft settled down slowly, bumping, and Mukstet killed the power. The vehicle made a whining sound that slowly went silent. The other twenty striker craft settled down on the lawn, not quite dress right dress but close enough.
Foxtrot-Nine-Seven and Foxtrot-Nine-Eighteen both had fires erupt. Black armored troops jumped out with fire extinquishers, hosing down the fires with white powder.
"How's she look?" Mukstet asked his mantids.
--couple hours need mass good to stop at water you run hoses-- 973 sent back with an image of armored Telkan wrestling umbilicals from the lake to the strikers.
"All right. How's the engineers? You all make it?" Mukstet asked.
--some injured two lost legs three lost bladearms be okie okie-- 973 transmitted back with a sweating smiley face.
"All right. Make sure they get first aid," Mukstet said. He reached down and popped the umbilical connecting him to Jekib. He turned on the system, feeling cool air flood in. He hadn't realized how overheated he'd gotten during the insertion. He undid his five-point harness and hit the release stud for his neural jack connector.
It felt weird being disconnected from the striker. Light he was lighter somehow. Aches and pains vanished for a second to be replaced by other aches and pains. His shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers hurt from the vibration through the stick and how tightly he'd gripped everything.
He closed his eyes, just like he'd been trained to, and took several deep breaths, giving his brain time to synch back up to his body. A count of five, opening and closing his hands each count, and then he opened his eyes again. He reached out and hit the stud on the side to open up the cock-pit side door.
Air rolled over him, smelling of water and alien green things. He could see the dismount strikers spreading out at the pointed directions of Sergeant Kuplo. Some of the scouts were running for the construction equipment, others were opening up panels on the striker craft and pulling out hoses, still others were kneeling down while a handful of troops with the red cross, red crescent, and red square of medical personnel were checking their armor's statistics.
The next two hours passed with a blur. Pulling the hoses out to refill the reactor mass with filtered water, the debris caught by the filters passed to the nano-forges, the greenies making repairs as rapidly as possible. Telkan Marines helped put mass into the hoppers for the nano-forges to tear apart once the creation engines had cooled down and deslushed.
"You get anyone yet?" Mukstet asked Kanpuk, his Technical Specialist operating the com-system.
"No. Tegket's working with the other EW guys to try to cut through the interference, but these Precusors are a lot better at jamming than the other ones," Kanpuk said. "So far we've heard some chatter, including a Telkan Marine Heavy Assault Battalion that got dropped into the wrong zone and are protecting a refugee center or ammo dump or something, as well as a couple of Terran Pacific Rim Class warmechs just jumping from the Boop and making landfall via impact."
Mukstet shook his head. They'd barely made it, he couldn't imagine dropping free fall to planet-side in a three hundred foot tall ten thousand ton mech. But then, those mech guys were a whole different breed of crazy. Mukstet's brother had tried out for the war-mech program and now was the pilot of a heavy assault class mech.
But then, he'd always been a little weird, even before the Terrans came.
"Keep me posted. Let me know if we find anyone that needs close air support once we get the strikers reconfigured for intra-atmosphere work and as much of the field repairs as we can do are done," Mukstet said. He'd opened the faceplate on his armored vac-rated flight suit and was enjoying the cool fresh air after all the hours sharing Jekib's air.
The Marine Scout armor used a laser to stimulate a small fungus to produce oxygen from CO2 and CO with enough efficency they could operate in total vacuum for months.
That was something that Mukstet had noticed. During comparisons to Lanaktallan equipment, he'd noticed that the Overseers had created all of their equipment under the assumption that everything would run perfectly. Terrans on the other hand, designed all their equipment as if the world was coming to end and whoever was using the equipment was in the worst possible conditions in the worst possible situation.
Which Mukstet was glad for now.
--refabbing ordnance-- 973 reported. --airframe repairs during wing repairs done--
Mukstet looked over and could see the green mantid engineers, in their hard-shell extreme environment armor moving off the wings of the strikers. They'd been forced to weld the wings in the open position to prevent an actuator failure from allowing the wings to slide into the retracted position. Now that they were ground-side the mantids had to cut the welds and smooth the armor again to allow the wings to deploy and shift properly.
"Everyone get something to eat. Sergeant Kuplo, make sure your men take shifts, eat, and get some water into them, that was a rough landing," Mukstet ordered.
"Yes, sir," the Scout Sergeant said. "You heard him, men. Squad leaders, take charge of your squads. Get with me in half an hour and I'll have guard rotations."
There was a click as Sergeant Kuplo switched to the leadership channel. "What's the ETA on the strikers being ready?"
Mukstet checked the chron display on his retinal link. "Eight hours for full repairs, two more to combat capable. We had to strip the ordnance to run the afterburners in vacuum."
"I'll assign shifts as if its eight hours then, sir," Sergeant Kuplo said.
"You know I'm just a Private First Class, right?" Mukstet said.
"You're striker a pilot and you're in charge of the squadron, that makes you 'sir', sir," Sergeant Kuplo said and then shut off the link to stop any more discussion.
Mukstet sighed and went back to overseeing the striker hovercraft being worked on. The weapons were all deployable, able to be rotated back up into the airframe to increase stealth then deployed when live fire time came.
One thing that Mukstet had noticed is that Terrans really liked kinetic weaponry. His striker had two six barrel rotating autocannons, two door guns, and an underbelly deployable cannon. Missile pods, sure, but he noted there wasn't any laser, plasma, or maser systems. All kinetic.
He wondered why that was as he moved around Striker Foxtrot-Niner-Fifteen, noting that the mantids were repairing the pilot side smartglass and had the armor off the nose to expose where they were working on the airframe.
He took a moment to admit to himself that he really really really wished the Terran pilots and dismount leaders had made it off the Boop. He didn't have any orders loaded up, the only scans of the planet were the ones he'd managed to get from orbit and on the way down, and he had no idea of who had even made it groundside and who hadn't.
He was glad to hear at least some of his fellow Telkans had made it groundside. Second Telkan was largely unblooded with the exception of the power armor guys and most of those were in the infantry units.
Mukstet had joined the Marines after fighting on the wall of Log Base Gamma on Telkan-2 for nearly a month, dressed in an armored vac-suit and running a massive rotary laser cannon. He'd never felt so helpless in his life as when he'd been on that wall. He'd swore he'd never feel that way again and signed up when the Telkan Marine recruiter had come through.
It was slowly getting dark, the pale sparks of the mantid engineers becoming brighter and brighter as time went on and the night got darker. He could see holograms springing up where the mantids clustered together and went to work.
--airframe repaired armor repaired ordnance almost done-- 973 reported. --software checks done combat capable but fragile fragile need two more hours--
"You've got it," Mukstet sighed. My first combat command and the entire squadron is grounded. At least I got them onto the ground.
Mukstet kept walking back and forth on the grass, his palm turned up so he could look at what little ground-side data they had. A BOLO almost four hundred miles out but Mukstet's trainers had all stressed that unless it was coming to your rescue or had requested you a trooper never had a reason to go into the hellfire of a BOLO's combat zone. Off to the east, roughly a hundred and fifty miles, the sensors had picked up heavy Precursor movement almost three hours ago but Mukstet had no idea where they were now. To the west there was heavy groundfire that they'd managed to avoid during their orbits.
The nearest population center was over a hundred miles away to the south, what had looked like a refining facility next to a lake with close packed barracks. Next closest one was two hundred miles to the north, a city from the looks of it.
Mukstet looked at the scans he'd managed to pull of the Precursor vehicles, comparing them to the ones loaded in his striker's IFF. After a little bit he walked over to where Sergeant Kuplo was standing, watching his men who were dug into the ruins of the half-demolished manors.
"Sir?" Sergeant Kuplo asked.
"Do you have your Precursor profiles loaded?" Mukstet asked.
"Yes, sir," the Sergeant said. "Same with the men."
Mukstet held his hand out, palm up, and showed the most common type of Precursor machine that was estimated to be over 5,000 tons. "You have this in your database?"
The Telkan NCO leaned forward, examining it. It had what looked like three snail shells side by side with massive tracks on either side, crawler legs on the side and in front and what looked like a set of jaws up front.
"No, sir. It doesn't match any of my profiles," Kuplo answered. "Where was this taken?"
"Over a thousand of them, from orbit. It's about two hundred meters long and twenty meters wide," Mukstet said. "I've seen something like it before, though."
"Where?" the NCO asked.
"Log Base Gamma, Second Telkan War," Mukstet said. "One large shell at the rear, and made of meat and chitin, but it definitely fits the look."
"You sure, sir?" Kuplo asked. "I was on Telisminia, we mostly had the big layered plate ones."
"I'm sure," Mukstet said. "Which means, these aren't the Precursors from the First Telkan War."
"All right, sir," Kuplo said, nodding slowly. "What's the plan?"
"Give me a few minutes, Sergeant," Mukstet said.
"I'll be over here, sir," the NCO said.
Mukstet walked away, looking at the different types of Precursor machines they'd spotted on the way in, as well as the vessels that they'd passed that had been fighting the Boop and other ships.
More flowing, more like they were patterned off of something living. Lots of mechanical tentacles and pinchers and crab/insect legs. They moved in groups, smaller ones around the big ones, the smallest ones riding on the bigger ones.
These aren't related to the ones from the first war, these are related to those things that came from outer space. Maybe the things made them somehow? Mukstet wondered. A terrible thought bubbled up.
Maybe something else made both?
He looked around. The field was good sized, large enough that all the strikers could be landed on it and then some room. The lake was important, if there was one thing the strikers were it was thirsty. There was plenty of debris to salvage to stuff in the hoppers, the trees on three sides would provide warning of anything large coming in.
I need to think of more than just now. I need to consider that we might not be able to regroup for several days. The strikers will need repair, reloading, remassed. Flight crews will need sleep and food, Musktet thought to himself, looking around.
He checked his armor's database and ran a search string for the terms he needed.
There were six field manuals detailing creation of an operations base. He stood by the lake, looking at the 3D wire-frames, reading the manuals quickly. There were some conflicting thoughts, some stuff that he didn't quite understand.
"Sergeant Kuplo, join me if you would," he sent over the comlink.
"On my way, sir," the NCO said.
It took a few moments for the NCO to join him and he kept scanning the field manuals the whole time.
"You needed me, sir?" Kuplo asked.
"Our current situation is one we've only lightly trained for. I don't doubt we would have trained for it when we arrived here but right now we've got some problems," Mukstet said.
"Aye, sir," Kuplo answered.
"Right now we have no support base. The squadron is based off the Boop, and the Boop is gone. That means right now, all we'd be doing is flying in circles squawking 'DOES ANYONE NEED HELP?' like jumping lizards with their heads cut off," Mukstet said.
"True, sir," Kuplo said, nodding.
"Everyone landed under fire. We passed heavy ground fire repeatedly, which means III Corps and Second Telkan landed into the teeth of heavy fire. Right now, we have a secure area," Mukstet turned and motioned at the field. "We don't know how far we are from any front, but even if this isn't a strategic area for a strike base we can still start a logistics base right here."
"How so, sir?" Kuplo asked.
"Foxtrot-Two-Twenty-Two has bad airframe damage. It's combat capable under the current conditions but to be honest I wouldn't want to have the crew risk it," Mukstet said. "I'm saying we have one active wing at all times, doing recon patrols. Two wings on standby, one on repairs. We pull the nano-forges from Twenty-two, Seventeen, and Eight, and start fabricating the things we need to fabricate a strike base."
Mukstet turned and waved at the area. "We already have construction equipment. You told me that there was construction supplies, that it was obvious something was going to be built out here on top of the Lanaktallan estates that are being torn down. We construct an airfield, rearming point, remassing point. Establish an urgent care clinic, mess hall, and at least get some tents up for sleeping so you don't have to sleep in holes."
Kuplo nodded slowly.
"The Corpsmen on standby will run the urgent care clinic. We've already got wounded little brothers, so we pull the worst wounded to work on building the camp, take the strikers in with the teams we can put together," Mukstet said. He pinged the hasty file he'd put together over to the NCO.
Kuplo turned his hand up, looking at the proposed idea.
"Wish we had something bigger as far as nano-forges go, but the little brothers care capable of damn near miracles with the stuff we've got," Mukstet said. "Right now, we'll break into wing shifts, the ones on standby work on the striker base, one in the air, one grounded. Four wings of four strikers each."
Kuplo nodded. "It could work. Even if we have to abandon the base due to the front shifting or being reassigned another place, digging in is our best bet, at least till the commo channels clear up or we can get something on the command net."
"Let's get it done, Sergeant," Mukstet said.
"Ayut," the NCO said. He put his hand to his helmet to signal he was speaking to the dismount crews.
Mukstet stared at the night around him, made bright as day by the electronics in his suit.
-----------
"Foxtrot-Niner-Two, taking command of Foxtrot Wing One," Mukstet said, checking over his instruments. He knew he'd need to be careful of the port-side graviton generators, but it beat not having the striker up and running.
"Roger, Foxtrot-Niner-Two. You are green to begin mission," Pv2 Dektol, communications technician for the grounded Striker-Twenty-Two said over the headset.
"Establish link with us when you get that commo-antenna up," Mukstet said.
"Roger that, sir," the Pv2, only one rank below Mukstet, said into the mic. "Good luck."
Mukstet got the striker, fully loaded and with a compliment of dismount light scout Marines aboard, into the air. He started moving forward, the rest of the Wing-One following him, then banked to fly low over the lake.
Let's go see if we have any neighbors, Mukstet thought, tabbing up a piece of stimgum.
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submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne to HFY [link] [comments]

Thought Process Behind Building a PC. For Beginners, by Beginners.

Disclaimer: I wrote this out of boredom, and to put every knowledge I gathered this last months somewhere for everyone to see. I do not claim any authority nor will take any responsability for whatever you decide to do with this guide. I guarantee that all I wrote, I wrote in good faith. I would really love to be criticized and corrected. Thank you u/buildapc for your help!

Hello fellow /builder! You are probably here to ask for help about your dream pc build. I know I did. For hours. Weeks, actually. I have put together my system about a month ago. Rather than simply sharing my story and showing off my build (I'm not showing because cable management is b a d, ugh), I'd like to give something back to this wonderful community. So here it is, a guide for beginners, in layman terms, without unnecessary technical information.

Fundamentals

In order to even begin to request help for building your pc, first you need to know what your computer is going to be used for! There's 3 orders of information priority:
Primary informations:
If you can't provide these, nobody can really help you, at best they can make educated guesses. These informations relate directly to the parts responsible for your performance: CPU, Graphics Card, RAM, and indirectly to Motherboard.
If you own a monitor, you need to find out its specs either by googling the model name, or in Advanced Display Informations. To find details about your monitor, head to Settings > System > Display and scroll down and click on “Advanced Display Settings”. If you are going to buy a monitor, you should always have resolution and refresh rate in mind when picking one.
Budget and intended purpose are self explanatory!
Secondary informations:
These informations are optional, but might help tailoring your build to your exact needs.
Let's say you like Cities Skylines and are going to play that title 90% of the time. Now whoever is helping you, is going to recommend up to 32 gb ram and a slightly overpowered CPU to handle that. Let's say you want to play e-sports only, you might be able to scale down the project and save something on your budget. It's not an everyday occurrance to find someone who is going to play a couple of titles only, but it's less uncommon than you might think! Knowing this specific piece of information can make a measurable difference.
If your intention is overclocking, then it's a good idea to say so in your build request. Not every piece of hardware can be overclocked, and not every motherboard can support overclocking. Nevertheless, if you need this guide, then I kindly suggest you do not oveclock.
About ambient temperature, it's only really a concern at the high spectrum of the curve, but it might force you to pick a thermal solution.
More on thermal solution later.
Tertiary informations:
These informations are merely cosmetic.
Some people are obsessed by RGB, some are not. If you don't mention your cosmetic preference, nobody is going to care. Function is always over form when building a pc, particularly with a budget in mind.
Most people prefer a brand - I know I do - but most will settle for something else as long as it's better for their needs. If you are a die hard brand loyalist, you should mention that before someone figures out a build for you only to scrap it because you'd rather have a nVidia Graphics Card or Intel instead of AMD CPUs.
It happens mostly when upgrading, but sometimes people want their build to end up in their dream (or old) case. If you are in this position, you should mention that because of space constraints. More on this later.
So, here's an example of a terrible build request:
pls help I need help for a new pc for under 1k, help?
And here's an example of a good build request:
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling.
Signed: a gentleman and a scholar

Doing your research

Sometimes, you just want to figure out things on your own. Good. Here's what I did, starting with basics.
This is the list of parts directly tied to performance:
This is the list of parts that support your performance:
This is the list of parts that handle your system safety and are indirectly tied to performance
How do you even begin? Let's see first what these parts do.
CPU
The Processor... processes. Want to open a Chrome tab? Process that! Discord in background? A core will take care of that! Preparing a frame for your GPU to render with lights, textures, shadows? That's exactly what your CPU is for.
Explaining how and what a CPU does is over the scope of this guide, so here's what you really need to know: core clock, and core count. And that's it for the most part. These two concepts are interrelated. You could have 64 core to work with at a low core clock and it could handle a ludicrous amount of processes, while unable to handle a single process that takes up to 4 cores but requires from each of them a high core clock. Such is the case with videogames, which mostly work off a limited number of cores and will perform better the faster each used core is. More cores ain't going to help, because the game ain't going to use it unless it is programmed to do so!
Manufacturer usually take care of this for the consumers, by splitting their hardware portfolio in processors for servers and for consumers. AMD server CPUs are called Epyc and have a consumer equivalent (read: from the same generation) called Ryzen. Intel has Xeons for servers and their i3/i5/i7 line up for consumers.
Every generation of CPUs has its own fitting socket. You physically can't put a CPU in a socket that was not designed for that CPU. A CPU socket is a part of motherboards.
If you are going to pick a Ryzen CPU, it is a good idea to check what RAM capacity and clock it works best with. You can find benchmarks online for that.
Some CPUs are integrated with Graphics Card. These are referred to as APUs, and I'm not going to talk about them because I'm uninformed.
Tip: when picking a CPU, check console hardware. I'm not joking. Consoles are meant for gaming and are the common denominator of hardware progress for gaming. PS5 and XBox X are going to have 8 core CPUs, of which 2 are reserved for the system, thus 6 cores for videogames to play with. It's a reasonable expectation that the new standard for CPU core count is going to be 6 in the years to come.
Graphics Card
If you're a gamer, you want to pay close attention when picking a good GPU for your build. The GPU market is not as segmented as CPU market is, and you can easily find benchmarks for each of them at any mainstream resolution tier. Thus, picking a GPU is commonly the first step of your build, because it is directly tied to the resolution and refresh rate of your monitor.
You need not to worry too much about the specs of your GPU. Benchmarks are pretty accurate at predicting their performance, but picking an aftermarket card (sometimes referred to as custom cards) can be tricky. Every Graphic Card design is reinterpreted by different manufacturers, offer different software and bios support, different thermal solutions and features.
Here's some of them:
About I/O shield: this is generally a concern for multi monitor setup, but you should always double check that the graphics card you are buying has the correct port for your monitor, be it HDMI, Display Port, DVI or VGA. Adapters exist, but are unreliable.
AMD and Nvidia have their own V-sync function, which must be supported by the monitor in the first place in order to work. AMD has Free Sync, and most monitors have this. Nvidia has G-Sync, and most monitors do not have this. Good news for Nvidia, though. They finally caved in and added support for Free Sync, but your monitor needs to have both Free Sync and Display Port 1.2 (well, most of them do, and you should always double check that).
Resources:
Motherboard
The motherboard is the lymphatic system of your build. It draws power from the PSU to be carefully administered to your other components. Some people think that cheaping out on Motherboard is a good idea.
To a degree.
As long as your motherboard can handle your CPU power draw, is compatible with your RAM, has enough SATA ports for your storage, has a good number of USB ports and a decent BIOS, it is good to go. Easy right? ...well.
Here's some research you can do on your own:
Motherboard power draw is very hard to investigate, you need to rely on trusted reviewers (such as Buildzoid, Gamer Nexus, Hardware Unboxed) or tier lists on popular forums/sites/reddits.
Note that if you plan to overclock, you must have a good Motherboard.
Tip: the bulk of your work can be done automatically by PCPartPicker system builder. Pick your designated CPU, compatible motherboards will be already filtered. If you pick both CPU and motherboard, RAMs will also be filtered for compatibility.
Resources:
RAM
While PCPartPicker exists, picking a compatible RAM is easy. Picking the right RAM is something else entirely.
First things first: do never, ever, buy a single stick of ram. You want 2 sticks of RAMs, which should be bought in pairs. I can't advice against buying 4 sticks of RAM, but make sure motherboard supports them or do some in depth research because system stability is at stake. Nowadays, 16gb of ram, rated 3200 to 3600 mhz, with a Cas Latency (CL) of 16 is the norm.
Ryzen CPUs are particularly sensitive to RAMs. As a rule of thumb you should get 3000-3200 mhz CL16 rams for Zen+, and 3200-3600 mhz CL16 rams for Zen2. You can get better rams, but there's no guarantee they will be stable if they are terribly overpowered for your Ryzen CPU (a good motherboard and a good overclocker might make anything stable with little compromise nevertheless). Lower latency RAMs usually cost more than higher frequency rams, but will not incur in such issues.
Here's benchmarks for 2 of the most popular CPUs:
Bottleneck
Bottleneck is what happens when in a particular task, one of your component (RAM, CPU or GPU) is at the limit of its performance, while the others aren't. Let's cut to the chase: you can not avoid bottlenecking entirely. Bottleneck is hardware, software and settings dependant. You can not make the perfect match, you can only avoid a bad match.
This is extremely dependant on target resolution and refresh rate. CPU has the same workload at either 1080p or 4k. Meanwhile, a given GPU might give you perfect 144 fps at 1080p, and struggle to reach 75 at 4k. The higher your resolution is, the better your GPU needs to be. Conversely, if you know you are playing at 4k and can push 75 fps at most, CPU might aswell be slightly cheaper, because you ain't ever going to use it to its full extent. With consideration for the target resolution and refresh rate, the rule of thumb is: within a given generation of hardware, same range components will not bottleneck each other (a lot).
Let's say you are playing Cities Skyline at over 100k population. While not much really changed for your GPU, at that point your CPU is probably gasping for watts. Ouch.Let's say you are playing AC:Odyssey. Your GPU is probably working at breakneck pace while your CPU is scheduling her counseling (yup, graphics cards are a she).
The same CPU and the same GPU took turns bottlenecking each other, because the workload for each of them was uneven in each title. This is why if you play only a handful of titles it is a good idea to keep them in mind while you request help or figure out your build.
This is corollary to the previous point. Some specific settings are CPU and/or GPU intensity, and lowering them will make a big difference. This is just here to remind you that you do have some influence over bottleneck, and figuring out a sweet spot where both your CPU and GPU are working close to the same pace is a good idea.
Resources:
You can crosscheck CPU/GPU bottleneck with this site but always keep in mind this is at best a rough estimate that feeds off algorithms, and you should never ever obsess over bottleneck unless you're breaking the rule of thumb (same generation, same tier, with resolution and refresh rate in mind): https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu-benchmark-comparison
Thermal Solutions
Air or water? The answer is: budget.
Air is cheap and reliable, meaning that in the worst case scenario a fan stops spinning and you replace it for 10-15€. Air has diminishing returns, meaning that throwing money at it is only going to help so much performance wise. When buying an air cooler, you need to check for its height to make sure it fits in your case and doesn't touch any other component (mostly happens with RAMs and rarely with Motherboard heat sinks).
Water is expensive, powerful but potentially unsafe. A bad installation, a loose bit, spilled water on a running motherboard, the recipe for disaster. Let's be clear here: water cooling your CPU is a perfectly valid solution (it's the best!), as long as your budget is right. You can't cheap out on a water cooler, because if it breaks or fails it will potentially kill your whole build. If you are going to buy a modest water cooler, my personal recommendation is to go for air instead: you are going to spend less and have literally the same performance. If you can spare more of your budget for water cooling, go ahead. Water cooling has a higher performance ceiling, which means less diminishing returns, which means that as long as you keep throwing money at it, it will get better.
TL;DR: low into mid range Air cooling wins, mid range to high range Water cooling wins.
This is an example of a benchmark between various air and water coolers: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3573-zalman-cnps20x-cpu-cooler-review-benchmark-vs-noctua-nh-d15-others
What do high and low temperatures really mean for your hardware?
Every single piece of hardware is rated for a specific temperature. When it approaches that temperature, the hardware will start thermal throttling until eventually shutting down. You could call throttling underclocking but, at its core, it's a safety measure to prevent irreversible damage to your components. Most pieces of new hardware nowadays also have a "Boost" feature. This feature is effectively a dynamic, factory overclock, meant to push your hardware to its limit while the conditions (read: temperatures) are right. The lower your component temperature, the more it will boost.
Technically speaking, a CPU or a GPU boosting for less while temperatures are high, does not strictly qualify for throttling, but this is merely semantycs. The thing is, that not only your parts are safer, more stable, and will last longer while their temperatures are low. Your parts will also be undeniably faster. A good thermal solution is the safest overclock you can get!
PSU
Your entire build is at the mercy of the reliability of a single component: the PSU. There are standards that you should always look up to when buying a PSU, and the following is written with exactly those standards in mind, and with the intent of teaching you about them.
Before picking a PSU, you first have to figure out the peak power draw of your whole build. This figure is meant to represent how much power your system is going to use under a full synthetic load, while every component is stressed beyond what constitutes normal and even stressful non-synthetic operation. Figuring it out can be tricky and each part has its own caveats. The baseline is always CPU + GPU + a realistic static figure meant to represent the rest of the components. Let's see each of them:
While TDP is a decent baseline, it doesn't exactly refers to the peak power draw. TDP means Thermal Design Power, and it refers to the maximum amount of heat generated in Watts, which might or might not coincide with peak power draw. It's good practice to check for power consumption benchmarks of the CPU you are going to buy, although most of those benchmarks are done with the entire system power consumption figures. The real peak power draw of the CPU under extreme circumstances is rather nebulous. A good bet if you just can't find benchmarks is adding 50% to the TDP to account for synthetic benchmarks, and up to 75% to account for both synthetics and overclock (this figure might not hold up in extreme overclocking). This is a very conservative figure that will most likely cover the vast majority of CPUs. Still, some TDPs are hilariously underrated. I can not stress this enough: you must look for benchmarks for your CPU power draw. Even if you stumble upon a system power consumption, you can use that as a baseline if the build is anywhere near your own.
GPUs peak power draw are much more adherent to their rated TDP, but there's a reliable way to check it out. The Power Limit of every GPU is written in their own BIOS, of which we luckily have a database: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/
Search for Vendor, Brand and Model. Sometimes the entire range of the Power Limit is provided (minimum, stock, and maximum power draw), here's an example: RTX 2060. Sometimes it's just a single entry of Power Limit, and an Adjustment Range somewhere in there for you to figure out the minimum and maximum power draw, here's another example: RX 5600 XT. In this last example, you can read a nondescript "Total" under Power Limit and under Adjustment Range you can read "Power: -50% to +20%". This also gives you an accurate estimate of the extra power draw resulting from a software overclock.
Motherboard, RAMs, storage, fans and fans controllers, RGB, Water Pumps, WiFi, everything draws power, but it might be less than you would expect. Motherboards draw at most 10W, the biggest RAMs barely reach 10W per stick, SSD/M.2/HDD are in the ballpark of 2-5W. The peak power draw of all components of your system, except for CPU and GPU, is at the very most 50W. And that's a conservative figure, meant to account for the impossible case in which you somehow can push every single thing in your system to its limit.
So there it is, add up the power draw from CPU and GPU, then the static figure (50W), and that's your baseline. Well done! Now add about 25% and up to 40% to that figure depending on your anxiety levels, and that's the capacity you need to look for in your PSU. Not convinced? Check for power consumption benchmarks from reputable sources, they list the entire system setup, and then test the power consumption of the whole system at the socket. Even if the entire system is not exactly the same as yours, you can scale things up or down intuitevely researching those components.
Now, let's move onto PSUs.
PSUs have 3 main characteristics:
The rated capacity expressed in Watts refers to the stable point of continuous power delivery. In truth, most PSUs will handle much more power than that, this limit is commonly referred to as Peak or Maximum Power. For example, my PSU is rated at 550W, but benchmarks have shown it's peak power to be over 700W.
Good PSUs are very efficient. 80 Plus has taken it upon themselves to test the efficiency of most of the PSUs ever made. 80 Plus badges range from White (ew) to Titanium (ow). A 80 Plus Bronze is the absolute least I would settle for, but it's not a guarantee that you're buying a good PSU. Gold is a good standard, and most PSU that come with that badge are pretty good.
Quantitative data is not enough, not every PSU is born equal, and they will differ for quality. You can't possibly figure out the quality of a PSU without buying, testing, benching, and taking it apart. Luckily, some people on the internet have already done that for you. Refer to the resources down here to research for a PSU that fits your needs.
Resources:
Revisioned with the unvaluable help of u/GallantGentleman, the conversation took place here.
Case
A case is not merely cosmetic. A good case will support multiple fan configurations, have great cable management, and most importantly will fit all your components. Once you account for all of that, you can pick a case based on your taste. So here's what to consider before you even begin to care about aesthetics.
A few words or airflow. Positive and negative pressure are a measure of how much air is getting in your case versus how much air is getting out of your case. If you push more air out, it's negative pressure. If you push more air in, it's positive pressure.
Based on my own tests and everything I could find on the internet about it, I firmly believe positive air pressure is better than negative air pressure. Not only dust filters are going to keep your case dust free for longer while you have positive pressure, it is also that much better for GPU temps. Negative air pressure is still valid, I simply think it is inferior.

Now Build It!

Let's help the guy who requested help earlier.
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling.
He wants to play AAA/ultra at 1440p/75hz. Let's assume he lives in Europe. A 2060 Super or a 2070 super will do him good. Let's check benchmarks: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3486-nvidia-rtx-2060-super-and-2070-super-review-benchmarks . Well, the 2060s could keep up with that for the time being, but if there's any budget headroom, a 2070 super would do him better.
Now let's pair his GPU to a decent CPU. He needs to push at least 75 fps in the most demanding games. GPUcheck says R5 3600 will not bottleneck the 2070, which is cool, but gpucheck is good at a sight, you still need to check crossbenchmarks if you can find any, in this case you should look for the difference between 3600+2060s and 3600+2070s at 1440p. Here's something:
2070s + 3600 @ 2k*1440p (ultrawide) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0xdYMInuiA2060s + 3600 @ 1440p https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc9cXWYtBk
All fine. 2070s can handle 1440p/75hz like a breeze and will max anything you throw at it for the next 2-3 years.
I'll just put the CPU and GPU in PCPartPicker, put a Tomahawk because it works with literally anything, and grab the best rams for a R5 3600 and the most reliable PSU I can find.
https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/BNfG8M
There, within budget.
Does it even matter that there's no case? I mean you can stretch a bit, right? Right?

Revisioned on 21/07/2020. Some formatting fix, expanded Thermal Solutions, revisioned the entire PSU section with the help of u/GallantGentleman. Thank you all for the support, criticism, advices, and the awards! This guide is now over, and hopefully it will help anyone who stumbles upon it.
submitted by Cozzolino92 to buildapc [link] [comments]

[Major Update] Interactive Worm CYOA V6.1.1

You can now close and reopen sections with the click of a button, there are now more worlds you can be sent to instead of Earth Bet (Though remember that Gold Morning will affect any universe you're in), more Shardless options, more Combo powers, more drawbacks, and more!
Website: https://interactivewormcyoav6.neocities.org/WormCYOAV6/WormCYOAV6.html
Previous Versions: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17V5085RxLbTPNDb1MIgFCDRLzFxKFh5H?usp=sharing(Versions 6.0.9 and 6.1.0 are unavailable on Google Drive due to needing to bug fix before I got the chance to upload them to my Google Drive)
Offline + Versions 6.0.9 and 6.1.0: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5ygnb6maf65blsc/AAAj2MssLGpGfRIxLccVlz1ua?dl=0
Directions for Offline Use: To use the Interactive CYOA offline, you first click the dropbox link above, click the ... next to the Interactive Worm CYOA folder, and click Download. That'll get you Version 6.1.1. For previous versions, you then go into the Version folder by clicking the word Version next to the folder, click the version you want, click the ... next to the file in that folder, and click download. You'll then go to the Interactive Worm CYOA folder you now have downloaded, go into the js folder, then drag the file you just downloaded into there and replace the current file in there. Then go back to the Interactive Worm CYOA folder and double click the Interactive Worm CYOA.html.
Discord: https://discord.gg/jddcpyH
Static: https://imgur.com/gallery/L7t0BW0 (I accidentally placed the last page first, and have no idea how to fix this on Imgur) Also: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SMot9d-uiFJbaV8QubSskBPROoTZfTr7?usp=sharing
Changelog (Sorry if tenses are wrong, I mostly just copied and pasted this from my to-do list): Changelog V6.0.9 - V6.1.1: Added new worlds and added notes to many of the worlds. Added May you live in Interesting Times drawback. Changed Heracles to Olympic. Buffed the Siberian and made her more costly. Made Panacea, Riley, Dinah, Taylor, Aisha, Lily, Cherish powers more costly. Made Gallant cost 1 SP. Made Negentropy possible to choose with the Thinker Shard and clarified its downsides. Renamed Self-Insert to Character Insert. Hive Mind now costs as much as Khepri. Made it so Copycat is not labeled as a Striker power. Powerswap now has a range of 1 kilometer. Clarified how Self-Biokinesis/Shapeshift works with Case 53. Clarified teleportation power Manton limits. Renamed the TARDIS powers and the Glory Girl Forcefield power. Reduced price of Death Touch and increased price of Reinforcement (made it usable on self). Added 1 point powers for each power classification in a Tier-4 section. Peaceful Vibes perk that makes it so people of the same alignment are more likely to work well with you. Late to the Party drawback, requiring April 7, 2011: One player of the good, neutral, and evil alignments were inserted with their builds into the setting during the earlier scenarios and all of them arrived during different scenarios. Perk that makes it so Wildbow's predictions were focused on Conflict and that in reality events were more spread out after 2011, giving an extra two years. Make Thinker Shard a requirement for C53. Frankenstein Perk: The being who has given you powers messed with your body and brain and now you're a low level brute and are resistant to master effects. Blindspot removal perk. Requiring Case 53: Fallen Recruting. With Corona Pollentia you still have the character's power if you chose Character Insert. Servant/Handicapped incompatibility. Change Victoria Dallon's picture so it isn't the same as Gallant's. Make Tier-1 Demiservant and make Tier-2 Demiservant 5 points cheaper. Move Omniscient to Tier-1 section. Specify that Demiservant only works with characters from an official source. Elaboratd on Magecraft. Make it so the Orphaned Civilian Identities only give two more points than their non-orphaned counterparts. Change end of the cycle to Gold Morning, apparently not the same thing. Language skill. Made toggles for sections. I put M/S disclaimers on all Wards, New Wave, and Protectorate members. Limited Biobringer to carbon based lifeforms. Added combo powers. Make a Worm option for Oops. Minion resurrection shouldn't be required for minion resurrection. Made it so biomass generation works with avalon or deadpool. Specify that if someone else has cloak then they can't be predicted even with all-seeing. Made an Open All option on the tabs and fixed Combo Powers.
submitted by PixelGMS to makeyourchoice [link] [comments]

How Cicero Trades Penny Stocks: This Works For Me, it Might Work For You Too!

How Cicero Trades Penny Stocks
So why should you care how Cicero trades penny stocks? Beyond learning an alternative method of trading, not much. There are numerous ways to turn a profit in the pennies. Do what’s comfortable to you but this strategy have been wildly successful to me! This is not the end all or be all. It may or may not be profitable for you, as it requires some experience, some risk tolerance, and foresight. It also requires that you do some DD to mitigate risk. This is not the trading strategy for the feint of heart or lazy minded. There are a number of pitfalls to this method. Day traders will no doubt hate it. But then again most day traders aren't turning a profit, and in few cases, they're dumping otherwise profitable securities for a loss. With trivial exception, I am not a day trader.
-Catalysts: There are a number of ways to identify catalysis and it isn't as hard as many make it out to be. Of course, you could do a deep dive and find your own, but this can be tedious and few have the time or expertise to do it. A shortcut is to utilize social media to see what others are talking about. One of my favorite ways of identifying catalysts is to see what all the penny flippers are talking about. I simply add the tickers to my watch list on Stock Twits (ST) and from time to time review what all the hullabaloo is about. Whether the ticker has already popped or not does not matter. In many cases an offering will destroy the momentum of a catalyst and provide new traders with an entry point. Naturally it is never advised to listen to the folks on ST and always do your own Catalyst DD.
When it comes to catalysts you are looking for one of three things: 1) Immanent News, 2) Expectation of News, 3) Rumors of News. Imminent News can be easy to identify from reviewing what folks are talking about within the tickers of your ST watch list. Once again be careful and verify. Expectation of good news can happen after previous catalysts or fundraising. For example, if the company has raised record funds in past months, there is a good chance that traders will bet on solid earnings. Not that these businesses will be profitable, but that these businesses will be expected to announce that they will have enough funding to last a while before they raise money again. Rumors of news can often be problematic and I don't usually trade this. A "leaked" email, a questionable report, inferred consensus on what a particular report means, etcetera.
If you want some more examples of catalysts see Risk / Reward Analysis on Micro and Low Cap Securities (Penny Stocks): How to Research and Trade Penny-Stocks
-Risk Assessment: Like catalysts, there are shortcuts to identifying risk. Of course, no one on ST talks about the risk though a few on Reddit will. As noted before, if you aren't considering the risk it isn't DD. At minimum though you will want to know three things. 1) What is the risk of an offering, 2) What is the risk of an exercised warrant, 3) What is the risk of a reverse split?
To find the risk of an offering simply look at the most recent 10-Q or earnings call (Earnings call transcripts can easily be found in Seeking Alpha). and see how long they estimate they can sustain operations before they run out of money. This type of information is generally required. The SEC isn't going to allow a company to forgo reporting how long they can last before funding runs out. Keep in mind that they will never wait until they're about to run out of money before they raise additional funding. In most cases they raise money from anywhere between 6 months to a year out. If you cant find it in the 10-Q or earnings call, try the 10-K. Be sure to account for offerings that took place after the 10-Q. Also be sure to account for changes in operations. Both will have bearing on the date they expect to run out of money and the cost of operations.
Finding outstanding warrants can be tougher. There are two reasons for this. 1) You must first identify the existing warrants from previous offerings. 2) You must figure out which ones have been exercised and which ones have not. The remainder are the outstanding warrants. From there you will want to see where their strike price is and at what price you expect them to exercise the warrant. I find Seeking Alpha invaluable to identifying the warrants. Simply search for the ticker, click the news tab, and look at all the offerings and warrants exercised. From there you should be able to assess the warrant threat.
Finding the risk of a reverse split is easy. In many cases their DEF-14A will let shareholders know the drop dead date for NASDAQ compliance. Quite often they will bring the reverse split to a shareholder vote. If you cannot find it in the DEF-14A try the 10-Q or the 10-K. Once again this is information they are not allowed to keep from their shareholders.
Conclusion: Identifying catalysts and conducting this partial risk assessment should only take about 30 minutes to an hour of your time, pending that you leverage ST to aid you in your search. If you are looking for less than obvious picks it can take considerably longer. But if you have identified a probable catalyst, or a series of probable catalysts, and you are comfortable with the risk, then congratulations! You have now found a a security that warrants your interest!
For more about what constitutes risk see Risk / Reward Analysis on Micro & Low Cap Securities (Penny Stocks): How to Research and Trade Penny-Stocks
For more about how to leverage social media to find picks see The Quickest Way to Figure Out Whats Happening to Your Stock and Helpful Tips on Leveraging Social Media
To see how to find SEC documents to aid you in your analyses see Know Your SEC Forms: An "How to" SEC Filing Reference Guide for Traders and Investors (Boring But Essential!)
-Once I have committed to a security, I build my position. This could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in some cases. I never go all in, rather I assess the amount of money I want to commit to the security, though I rarely stick to it. For the following example lets say I am willing to commit $1,000. (Note: I usually commit considerably more but I realize many of you have small accounts).
EXAMPLE OF HOW CICERO's TRADES USUALLY TURN OUT:
1) Now that I have identified how much money I want to commit I will begin buying shares. Lets say the security is trading at $0.50 cents per share. I'll buy 100 shares at $0.50. Now I'm in $50 for 100 shares.
2) Later I find out that the security price has dropped to $0.48 cents per share. I'll buy another 100 shares. Now my average is $0.49 cents per share for 200 shares for a total commitment of $98 and a loss of $1 (-1% of my new position).
3) Perhaps the security dips again to $0.46 cents per share. I'll buy 200 more shares. Now my average is $0.475 per share for 400 shares and a total commitment of $190 and a loss of $6 (A -3% of my new position.
4) Lets say it dipped unexpectedly again to $0.44 cents per share. I'll buy 400 more shares. Now i'm in at 800 shares with an average cost of $.4575 per share and a total commitment of $366 and a loss of $14 (-3.8% of my new position).
5) Yet again, lets pretend it not my day, and my security drops once more to $.042 per share. I will then buy another 800 shares. Now I'm in for 1600 shares at an average cost of $.43875 per share and total commitment of $702 and a loss of $30 (-4.27% of my new position).
6) Man I can't catch a break!! Market Maker manipulation I tell ya! The security drops down to $0.40 cents per share. Looks like I'm going to exceed the amount I initially wanted to commit. I'll add another 1600 shares. Screw it!! I trust my DD and analysis! Now I'm in for 3200 shares at an average cost of $0.419375 per share and a total commitment of $1,342 and a loss of $62 (-4.62% of my new position).
Quick Observation: Originally I committed $1000 which could have bought me 2,000 shares if I bought all in at $0.50 per share. If I had done that I would be realizing a loss of $200 by the time the price dropped to $0.40 cents per share, not my current loss of $62 at 3200 shares. And instead of hoping that the security raises back to $0.50 to break even on 2000 shares (up $0.10 cents), I just need a small short squeeze to raise the security price up by $0.02 to gain a small profit where I can sell my excess shares as I am waiting on the future catalyst. So I'm not out of the game yet!
7) Shit! it seems I have over committed. I originally wanted to commit only $1000. However I'm on for $1,342. I now have three options. 1) Continue to average down, 2) Pray for a short squeeze and sell the excess, 3) Cut my $62 loss and run.
8) If I've gotten in this deep I am usually lucky enough to experience a short squeeze that bails me out of my excess shares. Lets say the share price popped from $0.40 to $0.44. So I went from being down $62 to being up $66. I opt to readjust to my original budget by selling shares to get back down to my original commitment of $1,000. Sure, I could get greedy and hope for more, but then I wouldn't be able to use this money to average down further should the trade turn against me. Better safe than sorry! So I'm sitting on 3,200 shares at $0.44 cents per share for a total of $1,408. I will take profit on 927 shares leaving me with 2,273 shares with an average cost of $0.419375 per share at a total value of all shares at $1000.12. Now I'm back within my budget and I have some extra change to average down as I wait for the catalyst. Sure as hell can sleep easier now!
9) The security seems to have bottomed out but there have been a few times where I bought in and averaged down only to sell on a short squeeze. My small profits from playing the short squeezes have added up! I've made $200 alone on averaging down and selling the pops while waiting for a catalyst.
10) Your catalyst finally comes and you experience a 50% increase in share value. You close your position at $1500, making a total profit of $700 total when you account for the short squeezes. Congratulations!
Notes and Observations: Notice that at no time did I implement a stop loss. In fact I am usually yelling at my phone begging for the price to go lower. Additionally, if at any time the catalyst came early I would not have chased, opting instead to take the profit on that which I have already committed. I do not wait for offerings or someone to drop a warrant down my throat. I sell on the first squeeze of the catalyst. I do not sweat missing out on additional profit so as long as I made a healthy profit. However there have been times where I should have known that it would go higher. Moreover you will be surprised to find out that I have paid for full positions averaging down and selling short squeezes. For example, lets say I committed $1,000 to a trade and after repeatedly averaging down and selling on pops I made $1,000 and I still have $1,000 worth of stock left over. This has happened on more than one occasion! Please also note that the scenario above does not happen all in one day, but is built over a series of days! Finally, you may have noticed that the above strategy doubles the position every two cents or so. It’s just an example! Sometimes I may buy 500 shares, then wait for it to drop, then buy another 500 shares, then wait for it to drop, then buy 500 shares, etc. The when to buy, and how many shares to buy, is dependent on the security. So there isn’t a single way to implement the above. Though it’s funny to note that I do the opposite of what many do here. I put in sell orders at different levels to take profit, but buy orders where people typically place stop loses. Your analysis must be solid to implement this strategy and you’ve got to trust it!!! I will always recommend a more comprehensive DD than suggested above.
If you liked this info you will also likely enjoy The Ultimate Quick Resource for the Amateur Trader
Any questions?
submitted by Cicero1982 to pennystocks [link] [comments]

I found a massive network of farming bots in Delirium softcore.

TL;DR: This game is infested with self-gearing, map-farming bots and here's how I found them.
For backstory, I usually put all the rare rings I can find in a dump tab at 10-15 chaos. It makes me some currency, it is honest work. However, I noticed that there was a common relationship between most of the rings I sold... they were 40% or more "Increased Item Rarity" rare rings. These buyers were all very similar, and acted weirdly, so I investigated. In conclusion, I am 100% certain they are all self gearing, map- farming bots.
Common traits between these bots:
* Some of my experiments... *
I decided I must test if they were elaborate trolls or real bots. I crafted another 40% IIR ring and listed bothl for 10 chaos, same as the first ring. A suspected bot messaged me about both rings at the same time, but he would only respond to the first buy request. This happened on multiple separate occasions, and it aroused my suspicion.
Shortly after, I had two bots message me about both rings -- simultaneously. Yes, I got four messages at the same time about two different rings from two different people. They were both zombie/spectre summoner Necromancers, neither of them moved, they both afked for two mins then left, and neither of them would accept the second item. They only wanted the first item.
Moreover, when I put an exalt in the trade window, they do not accept. They will only accept when their ring is in the trade window. When the ring enters the trade window, they quickly accept the trade. Otherwise, they do not accept anything.
I started to remember their names and invite them to my party randomly. Usually, they accept and then leave the party repeatedly. However, sometimes a bot would not respond to my party request, then ~4 minutes later, he would accept and begin mapping. I watched twp different bots on two separate occasions for 20 minutes each. I noticed they paused frequently, got stuck in corners, had trouble with doors and zone transitions, etc. They farm blood aqueduct and low tier maps.
I am willing to bet money that not a single human has tried to buy these 40% IIR rings I crafted. I messaged every one of them and investigated individually. These are all similar bots trying to farm with Magic Find builds, and I suspect they do chaos recipe.
Today...
Today, I have three of these 40% + IIQ rings on the market. The same ~15 bots are spamming my inbox repeatedly. As time goes on, I find more of them. I have over 60 messages for the same three items from the same 10+ bots in under one hour. I believe they stop spamming when they finally get their rings. I have acquired a screenshot of each of their hideouts, they're all nearly identical.
I have only been able to find bots that are willing to trade with me. There is no doubt hundreds more of them hiding in maps, blood aqueduct and Sarn Encampment.
Here is a large selection of screenshots for your viewing pleasure: https://imgur.com/a/5VL5EHP It contains several identical hideouts, my chat logs, and some of my attempted trades.
I encourage you to experiment yourself with 40% or more rare IIR rings. List them around 4-10 chaos. Real humans likely will not buy these. If you have multiple, you will get heavily spammed by these self-gearing, map-farming bots. Thank you for your interest, and good luck out there :)
submitted by ManlyPoop to pathofexile [link] [comments]

The Happiest Place Stole My Little Brother (Part 2)

Part 1 Part 3
Weeks went by with absolutely nothing. We tried to keep in contact with the park and the police every day, but we always got the same response. They were 'looking into it.' From what we were being told, they were contacting people that had been at the park and pouring over hours of security footage, but there were no new developments. We tried organizing search parties to look around the various cities surrounding Cheesy's and hunting down employees that worked that day, but no one had any information.
To say that I was frustrated was an understatement. It felt like nobody in the world cared a fraction as much as I did. People get arrested for murders where all they left behind was a single strand of hair. Yet my brother was taken from right under me, and all anybody could say is, "I don't know?" How the hell does that make any God damn sense?
Depression hit me hard. I couldn't escape the stain of guilt Amari's disappearance left on my mind and in my heart. My brain worked overtime to process the potential variables leading up to his disappearance. Maybe if my lazy ass had woken up earlier, he wouldn't have been in a bad mood, to begin with. Maybe if I didn't insist we go on that roller coaster. Maybe if I had just kept my eyes on him for one second longer. If I had done one fucking thing differently, maybe my brother might still be here. I'd get to see that beautiful smile and hug him when I came back from school.
Stressful thoughts plagued my mind. I couldn't eat, I became lethargic, and the pain of losing Amari made my stomach churn whenever I was reminded of his absence. As a result, I was unfit to attend school for weeks. When you live in a small town, word travels fast. And this was the biggest news story to happen in years. When I returned, the darting eyes and whispers surrounded me constantly. And the ever-present headlines on the local news only served to remind me of the pain.
Chloe and Mark tried their best to make sure that I was okay, but, realistically, how could a seventeen-year-old ever be expected to deal with a loss like that? Especially when a lot of that loss was still a mystery.
On Monday after class, I was sitting by myself at the tables just outside the library. I had taken to doing a lot of my schoolwork outside of home because I felt I could focus better without the reminder that Amari wasn't there. Suddenly, someone walked up from behind and covered my eyes from behind.
"Guess who?" Asked a playful voice.
"Hm. You know? If I had to guess I'd say... Chloe?" I replied.
"Aw. You couldn't have at least given me one free wrong guess?" Chloe said, slightly disappointed.
I shrugged. "What can I say? I'm pretty good at guessing the voices of people I've known since I was six. Call it a superpower." I immediately noticed the girl standing next to Chloe. The two almost looked like twins outside of the fact that the girl's hair was blonde instead of brunette, and she had no freckles. "Hey, Amber."
"Hey," Amber replied with a wide smile. "I know you've been down because of everything that happened, so I wanted to maybe help cheer you up."
"Oh?" I said with an eyebrow raised. "And how's that?"
"Well," She tossed her blonde hair over one shoulder. "There's this college party going down on Friday a few towns over, and I know a couple of the guys in the frat so I could definitely get you in if you wanted."
I think Chloe could sense what I was going to say before I said it because she instantly hit me with, "C'mon, it'll be fun! One night to forget about everything! Brandon, its awful seeing you hurt like this. Maybe it'll help."
I sighed and stood up. "Yeah, right. Look, I gotta go. I'll let you guys know when I know." I began to make the walk home.
After a twenty-minute walk, I reached my house. But as soon as I reached for the doorknob, I felt my phone buzz. Looking at the caller ID, I could see that Mark was calling.
"What's up, man?"
"Brandon, dude. I heard Clo and Amber invited you to that party on Friday."
"Yup. I do recall that happening twenty minutes ago."
"And you turned them down? Amber is one of the hottest girls in school, dude!"
"I said I'll let them know." I shrugged.
"C'mon bro. She's just trying to help. I know what you're going through is rough. I can't even imagine what I'd do if I lost my sister, but if you keep wallowing in pain, you'll never feel better." Mark's voice lowered a bit before perking up again. "You need to do things that make you happy. And as dumb as it sounds, maybe this is the opportunity to forget for a few hours.."
"Getting drunk isn't going to solve my problems, Mark. Maybe that works for you, but alcohol isn't bringing Amari back. Plus, what the hell would you know about dealing with trauma?" I hadn't even noticed how much I raised my voice. "It's great that you think you have an idea of how you would feel, but nobody really knows what this pain is like until they fucking go through it. I don't need a damn lecture about my own feelings!"
Mark went silent for a moment. I wanted to apologize for attacking him, but before I could, he started speaking again, "You know. I never told anyone that my mom's sister was murdered. It impacted her for years, and seeing her go through that emotion was really hard. Your parents are supposed to be your rock, and when they can't keep it together, then how do you think a child feels?" He paused again to think. "For a long time, I felt guilty for not getting to know my aunt, but in a way, I guess I'm lucky that not knowing her made the pain not as bad. But my mom was devastated, Brandon. And the only way she pulled herself out of it was trying. She made an effort to be happy, and even though she carries that pain to this day, she can still smile and be kind and enjoy life."
"Mark, I..."
"Don't, man. It's cool. My point is. It's natural to feel what you're feeling. I'm sure that the other families that lost kids there felt the same pain. But you have to start somewhere no matter how much it hurts. At the end of the day, there's still hope Amari will be found. But it doesn't help to mope around until you get the news that's he's either found or... You know."
"Yeah, you're right," I said quietly. "I'll figure it out. Just give me some time."
"Of course. If you need anything, Clo and I are here for you."
"Yeah. I gotcha." I hung up, went inside, and walked up to my room with mixed emotions. Was it really as simple as just doing things I liked and pretending to be happy until I was? What was really the healthiest way to deal with this? And what about the other families? How had they dealt with it?
The sudden realization hit me like a Mack Truck. The other families. I rushed to my laptop to do some research. I found a lot of news sites that had reported on the disappearances. "Child Goes Missing From Beloved Amusement Park, 1967," "Child at Cheesy's Never Found, 1973," "Parents Baffled at Child's Disappearance at Cheesy's, 2005," every single fucking year. It was never on the same date. No two kids seemed alike, but the one consistent thing was the age. All of them were between five and twelve. Not only was Jose right about the sheer number of cases, but he was also right about some of these stories being absolutely buried. It looked like some families had to go to really obscure sites to mention that their kids disappeared. And even then, there was never a lot of information given or any follow-up stories done.
"Why weren't more mainstream sites reporting on them?" I thought.
This place had been associated with a ton of missing kids. All of the police interviews done in subsequent years, all of them had said that they were looking, but there was no clear evidence to go on.
I dug further and found that the owner had only even commented on the kids once in the nineties. Most of it was typical PR jargon. But there was one quote that stuck out to me. He mentioned that wherever they were, he was sure they were happy and healthy.
"What the fuck does that mean?" I whispered to myself. "Why on earth would you assume a missing child is happy or healthy?" It was a simple remark that didn't get much play in the media and easily could've meant nothing. But the fact that he wanted everyone to pretend like things were okay gave me a bad vibe. Why at Cheesy's? What the hell did he know?
I couldn't go rushing into some CEO's house, but maybe I could talk to someone who had more knowledge than me. I dug until I found the phone number of a woman who had lost a kid at the park over two decades ago. She had been in several legal battles and even got into trouble herself for trying to stalk the owner along with breaking and entering into the park a few times.
I didn't expect her to have all the answers, but if there was anyone who could tell me something important about the park, it was her. Finding her number was easy and I immediately called her up. After only a couple rings, a scratchy voice, no doubt ravaged by years of cigarette smoke, picked up on the other end.
"Hello?"
"Uh... hi. My name is Brandon. Is this, Ms. Turner?"
"Yes, it is. How can I help you?"
Not wanting to scare her or make her think that I was some weirdo looking to connect over tragedy, I made up a lie. "I know this is gonna sound strange, but I'm a student doing a research project on some places that had an impact on us growing up. I happened to pick Cheesy's World, and I was wondering if I could talk to you?"
She went silent on the other end for a moment, and when she spoke again, I could hear a hint of stress in her voice. "Uh, Cheesy's World? What specifically about it?"
"The project has to include the history of the place, and from my research, I found that your family's name came up in a couple of articles because of... what happened."
Another moment of silence passed before she talked again. "How old are you, Brandon?"
"Eighteen," Another lie.
"Can you come to my place? I can't talk right now, but I'll be free at about nine tonight if you want to speak to me about what happened. But I'm only free tonight."
I hesitated. I only had my permit and no car, which meant it would be difficult for me to meet Ms. Turner. However, it was a chance I had to take.
"I'll be there." Mrs. Turner gave me an address about a forty-minute drive away, and once we hung up, it only took me a moment to realize who I should call.
I promptly dialed Chloe's number.
"Hey, Clo."
"Brandon, hey! Are you doing better?"
"I might've found a path to that, yeah. Can you do me a favor?"
"Anything, what's up?
"Can you come by at around eight and take me somewhere? It's kinda far, though."
"Uh, yeah, I think I can get all my homework done by then. What's going on?"
"It's... Weird. I can't even really explain what's happening. I'm kinda just going off of instinct here. Look, you mentioned the party on Friday, right? I promise to go and have as great of a time as you want me to have, but only on the condition that you do this for me, no questions asked."
"Of course. It doesn't have to be 'no questions asked.' I'm here for you anytime."
I thanked her repeatedly and hung up. The seeds of what I was planning to do were already forming in my head. And unfortunately, I had to keep Chloe as far away from the truth as possible. I know it sounds stupid and selfish, and it absolutely was, but I didn't want to risk Chloe getting too deeply involved in something that was my burden to bear. Not only that, if she knew I was doing research on the park, she'd also do everything in power to convince me to stay away for the sake of my mental health. Including not giving me a ride.
But still, I could clearly see that my friends were really making an effort to make me feel better, and that meant the world to me. I didn't know how I'd do it, but I needed to make it up to them somehow.
I waited until about 8:15, and just like she said, Chloe was right outside. I would've told my parents that I was going out to catch a late movie, but they were gone. Oddly enough, there were a lot of days in the recent weeks where I completely missed one or both of them. But that was an issue for another time.
Before greeting Chloe, I sent out a text to Ms. Turner, stating that I was on my way, and we began the drive over.
"So, are we picking up Mark?" She asked.
"Nah, he's got a project to work on. I'm pretty sure if he doesn't get an A, he's gonna fail the class, and I respect that. So guess it's just us."
"Ah. Just us like old times."
"Yeah. Back when things weren't as fucked up."
"Stop that, Brandon. Can we not bring the mood down? It's a long ride, and I want to keep things as positive as possible." She let out an exasperated sigh. "Wanna know why Amber thought the party would be a good idea?"
"Why's that?"
"She said she knows a girl who's single and as a cute guy she thought..."
I nearly spat snot out of my nose as I laughed at Chloe's revelation. "Hold up! Was the party an excuse to set me up with some girl she knows? But for the record, we're gonna get kicked out as soon as we get in. Mark would tell you that from experience."
She responded with laughter and brushed the hair out of her face. Once again, I got to see that beautiful smile. This was another moment where I really "noticed" Chloe. Every perfect feature brought together by those stunning eyes. But on top of it? We had been so close. This girl is the reason I'm not failing most of my classes. She's been my biggest supporter at my lowest points, and the number of inside jokes we have about the dumbest things is endless.
It simultaneously filled me with warmth and sadness. Here I was, around someone I cared about so much. And yet, I was lying to her. I hadn't told Chloe about what I found or who I was meeting. I planned to leave her in the car and come up with some bullshit excuse once I got back, and it killed me. Mainly because she had done me the kindness of taking her own time to do something for me. The least I could do was keep the conversation positive.
We laughed and laughed throughout the ride, and it felt like my problems were melting away. Of course, the circumstances didn't allow me to feel completely normal, but for the moment, I felt better than I had in a long time.
We drove up to a non-distinct house in the middle of a dark suburb. I searched up the address again and confirmed that this was indeed the house. Chloe started to get out, and before she could, I grabbed her arm.
"What're you doing?" She asked, confused.
"I've gotta go in alone."
"Why?" She snapped at me. "I drove all the way here for you to leave me in the car?"
"It's really personal stuff, Clo. Remember, I said no questions asked. I promise it's nothing too crazy. I just really need to talk to this person. I won't be more than twenty minutes."
"And if I try and come in with you anyway?"
"I'm not getting out of this car if you try to. Please just trust me."
I could tell she was grappling with the idea of leaving me to do whatever mysterious thing I had planned. Still, eventually, she relented and told me to just be quick about it. I gave her a nod and told her I'd be right back.
Walking up to the house felt strange. A million thoughts about who would be on the other side of that door ran through my mind. Just after the third knock, a shorter blonde woman with streaks of grey hair opened the door.
"Hi, Ms. Turner. I'm Brandon. I wanted to talk to you about my project?"
She nodded and motioned for me to come in. From the moment I stepped into her home, I could feel the tension in the air. As soon as I sat down on the couch, she began to talk.
"I know you're not here about some project, Brandon."
I was bewildered at how she knew, and all I could do was fumble over my words, trying to keep up my charade.
"Honestly, it was a dumb lie to begin with." She said.
I could see her start to pour a glass of whiskey and then downing it in one go. She offered me some, but I politely declined, not trusting her yet.
"How'd you know I was lying?"
"Because I've dedicated so much of my fucking time to keeping an eye on every weird thing that happens at that park ever since I lost my son, Daniel. When I heard about your brother going missing, I had a feeling you'd come looking for me. A lot of people come to me asking what steps to take because I've been so outspoken."
"Why were you so convinced that the park was responsible for taking Daniel?"
She laughed at my question as if it was the most ridiculous thing in the world. "When kids get taken, it's almost always by someone they know. Before I moved out here, I lived my entire life in a small town with maybe two thousand people. Never made an enemy, and I knew just about every Goddamn person by the first name. None of them wanted to take him. You figure out who that leaves."
"Crazy strangers? How would you know that the park is involved?"
"Think about it, Brandon. A popular theme park wouldn't do everything in its power to prevent people from taking your fucking kids? Cameras, Security, other people who go there for a fun time. All of that and my kid still gets snatched never to be seen again? Then they tell me they've found absolutely nothing for years? How likely does that sound to you?" I went silent as she continued to speak, contemplating the gravity of her words. "Every single family I've talked to. Every one of them said the same thing. Nobody they knew would've wanted to target them, and yet they had their kids taken without a trace. For most of them, it happened in a second. One moment they're looking at a map of the place. The next, their baby is gone forever. If that doesn't sound like something is going on, then I don't know what to tell you."
It sounded insane. What would a park do with kids? And how could they do that without anyone seeing them? It didn't make any sense. "Do you think the owner is involved?" I asked. "I saw that you were investigating him before. Maybe he knows something?"
She shook her head. "No. I don't think so. If anything, that park should be a burden for him. From what I've found, that place bleeds money every single year. It hasn't been profitable in decades. The man hasn't even made an appearance there since the 90s. But not only that, in one interview, he said he wished the place would just burn in a fire. I'm not sure why he chooses to keep the land, but from everything I've gathered, he's not involved."
"So if you had to guess, you'd say it's likely that the park has my brother somewhere?"
"Think? No. I'm sure of it. Your brother. My son. Every single kid that was stolen since the sixties. When I managed to get into one of the on-park offices, I found a list of kids' names and their favorite characters. That list didn't just include my Daniel, it included so many of the poor kids that have gone missing over the decades. And some that would come to go missing in future years. If that's not damning."
"Future years? They keep tabs on kids? Why the hell didn't you go to the police?"
"I tried!" She snapped, getting frustrated with me for not believing her. "But who's going to listen to the crazy lady that broke into an amusement park? And who's going to think that she didn't just print up a list of names because she has a grudge? Look, Brandon. I know it sounds crazy, and it absolutely is. But that park is fucking evil. No one else wanted to take these kids, the last place they were seen was at Cheesy's, and Cheesy's denies having any evidence these kids were taken. Do the fucking math."
Her words echoed in my ears. What she was saying couldn't be true, could it? If it was, then, unfortunately, I knew exactly where to find Amari. But the big question still was why? What would the park want with a seven-year-old? And how could they have taken him without a single person noticing?
"I'm still curious why you'd agree to tell me all of this. And you never told me why we had to do this at your place."
"Because someone has to. I'm going to be honest with you. Fighting that park is impossible. I've tried in every conceivable way. But the one thing I can do is bring some kind of closure. As for doing this here... There are fewer rats."
With that, I nodded and walked off. I didn't feel comfortable enough to say bye because it wasn't like this was a friendly conversation. I had just learned that it was very likely my brother was taken by a park that I damn near grew up with. So many thoughts were bouncing around in my head that by the time I returned to Chloe, she could immediately tell that something was wrong.
"Well, you kept it under twenty minutes, which is great, but you also look like someone stole your lunch money."
"It's nothing. Just thinking a lot."
Chloe sighed. "Brandon, I can tell you're hurting. I'll never know the pain you're feeling, but please, talk to me. I need you to be okay."
I wanted so badly to tell her, but all I could do was stare at the dashboard. At that time, I couldn't bring her or Mark into it more than I needed to. Maybe after everything was done. Things were changing every second, and this rabbit hole I was determined to descend into had gone from a mysterious place to an absolutely terrifying one.
Her look of anger suddenly turned to one of concern, "Please just say something..." I turned away from her, resolved to my silence. "Fine." She said quietly. "I know that you're scared, Brandon. But going through pain alone is the worst way to handle it."
We drove back to my place in silence. I gave a soft, "Bye." Before getting out of the car and going back up to my room. My parents still hadn't come back yet, which I found odd but worked out for me because I had one more call to make, and I didn't want them to overhear me.
Jose sounded half-asleep when he picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Yo, man. It's Brandon."
"Brandon? Hey, I heard what happened I'm really s-"
"Don't worry about it. You were the first one to mention that kids went missing from that place. That being said, I have some questions. First, how'd you know about that place?"
His voice turned serious. "I've always been interested in urban legends. And there wasn't a day where that place didn't give me weird vibes. Reading about all the disappearances just confirmed things for me."
"Would you say that the park is connected to the kids disappearing?"
"Oh, 100%. There's no way they didn't catch those kids being taken on camera. If I was a betting man, I'd say they have footage of everything going back a long time."
This piqued my interest. "That's interesting. So if someone could get that footage, then they could expose everything, right?"
"Hypothetically, yes. But you're not hacking into the computers from the outside. I know that for a fact. And you're not going to get remotely close enough in the day to look through their files."
"So, what could someone hypothetically do?"
"Well, what you would have to do that might work is physically putting in a flash drive with spyware so that you could have access to everything. And that involves a bit of breaking and entering."
"I might know someone that can help with that. The only issue is that I don't have a flash drive with spyware."
"And that's where I could help you out, buddy. Meet me after class tomorrow, and I'll let you have something."
I really wanted to ask why Jose had a flash drive with spyware on it but figured it'd be for the best to leave it alone. The most important thing was that now I had a plan. I'd go to the park, find the security office, use my lock-picking skills to get in, install the spyware, and then prove that those bastards took my brother. I texted Ms. Turner and asked her how she managed to get into Cheesy's. She had a few questions about my intentions but didn't push too hard when I gave her soft answers about just being curious. Once I had a basic understanding of what to do, there was one final thing to take care of.
I came downstairs, nearly killing myself when I was caught off-guard by a scurrying rat that I later captured and put outside. I looked outside to see that my parents had returned and that the car was parked out front. To that point, I was still resolved to keep Mark and Chloe out of this, and I didn't want to ask anyone else to drive me. But if I could take the car while they were asleep, I wouldn't need to. I knew I would be a few hours, but it shouldn't have mattered if I left late enough. Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly. I went to bed resolved with what I would do.
The next day was pretty average save for Chloe being unusually quiet when she hung around me. Mark tried to pry for info, but she kept telling both of us that she was fine. He suggested that we go somewhere after class to cheer her up, but I shot down the idea telling them I had homework to do.
Once class ended, I met up with Jose and he gave me the flash drive. He made it a point to stress that once I put it into Security's computer, I'd need to log in as a guest and open up the program. He claimed that the program should run whenever someone logs in on their personal account. From there, Jose would have remote access and all of the password information. For him, having access to this info was payment enough for giving me the flash drive.
Now I had spyware, a means of transportation, and the knowledge of how to get into the park. All I needed was patience. I waited until roughly one in the morning before making my move. Donning all black complete with a bandana wrapped around the lower half of my face, I grabbed my old lock-picking tools, and I was ready to go.
I made sure my parents were fast asleep before hopping into my dad's car. As I turned the keys in the ignition, I took a deep breath and tried to center myself. When I turned off my phone before taking off so that it wouldn't buzz and give away my location, I noticed a text message.
Chloe: Hey, I don't know if you're up, but I can't sleep. You doing okay?
It killed me to silence my phone and ignore the message, but I knew that it would be worth it once this was all over. Amari would be back, and I'd be more than okay. I'd be whole once again. I took off towards the park with a single goal in mind, which was to get Amari back home at all costs.
I think I zoned out on the drive over because it didn't feel like I was consciously doing it. I kind of just floated towards the general direction of the park. My mind was devoid of thought. It was just me and the dark road that was simply a pathway to Amari.
But once I had passed the sign with Cheesy's smiling face welcoming you to the park over that stupid fucking slogan, I knew this was it. This was when my life could finally start to be normal again. Instead of pulling into the parking lot, I parked just off the park's campus at a nearby twenty-four-hour convenience store and made the walk over.
I could feel my heartbeat ring in my ears as I made the silent walk through the parking lot. The ominous atmosphere and knowledge of what I was planning to do made every step towards the park feel like I was walking towards a terrifying fate. I couldn't describe it at the time, but from everything I had learned until that point, the place just seemed off. I knew that I was afraid. My own fear of breaking into a beloved park was to be expected. And if it was true that they were holding kids captive then, of course, that was another concern. But beyond that? There was something else. Something was tickling the primal part of my brain, flashing signals that everything went so much deeper than I could ever understand.
But whatever I was feeling had to wait as I walked up to those gates. I could see a large number of rats crawling out from under the entrance, which caused me to jump back in surprise. Feeling down the cold steel, I attempted to jingle the entrance open just in case. I noticed the electric keypad lock and knew that I had to resort to the actual plan.
Looking over to my left, I saw that there was a set of bushes flanking the gates. From what Ms. Turner had told me, kids used to climb under those bushes to gain access into the park, but they had since installed sheets of wood to block the crawlspace. Of course, with the park operating in the red, these sheets weren't exactly the most expensive or durable and could easily be kicked out.
Normally it'd be a struggle to do this because I'd be noticed pretty quickly, but with no one there, it only took a few hard kicks to the wood for me to break it down. Once it was out of the way, I was able to army crawl under the bushes and into the second park check-point. There it was as simple as hopping a turnstile and strolling into the park. I had actually managed to make it inside.
Even though I had done what I thought would be the most challenging part, it felt wrong. There was no security at the front, and I didn't see any flashlights in the distance. I assumed I'd have to be ducking and dodging a lot, but the place almost looked abandoned. Could they really be struggling so much that they couldn't afford security guards? Regardless of how much money they were bleeding, protecting your property is a necessity, so why wasn't this more challenging?
As I made my way through the park, I stopped a few times to marvel at what the place looked like wholly shut down.
Looking for the security office was difficult. I had only been to that office once, and I wasn't in the right frame of mind to commit the path to memory. Eventually, I conceded that I was lost and was going to resort to using the park's online map to find where I was. Maybe I could even find a landmark to locate the general area of the office.
No sooner had I pulled my phone out did I hear the very distinct sound of a can being kicked in the distance. I immediately scanned the area but saw no flashlights and heard no voices. Logically it made sense to assume it was an animal, but in the back of my mind, something was screaming that that was the wrong assumption.
I continued to scan the area, and to my horror, what I saw confirmed every dark fear I had about this place. Standing in the distance and clearly facing in my direction was Ronald. He was softly illuminated under a dim pathway light so I couldn't get a good look, but what I saw unnerved me to my core. His suit was absolutely filthy, and his ordinarily perky ears hung low. Parts of his costume were in various states of decay, and he stood hunched forward with his arms dangling lazily in front of him.
For a second, neither of us moved, but then in an instant, he charged. I screamed out, "Oh shit," and hauled ass out of there. I didn't know where I was going, but anywhere was better than there. I could hear his footsteps quickly gaining on me. For as clumsy as I thought the costume would make him, he was coming at me like an Olympic sprinter. I knew that I'd have no chance to outrun him and that my only real option was to hide. I dove towards the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster and hid amongst the support structure, making sure to keep absolutely still against one of the beams as he raced past me.
Millions of thoughts were firing in my head. Before I had even a second to process them, I looked up and saw Nina impossibly contorting her body to clutch onto the horizontal beams around her. She, too, was twisted. She was twice her regular size, and her beak was missing. In its place was a large, open hole in the shape of a smile with a few human teeth embedded around the hole's borders. Her costume was also rotting away and in place of her pom-poms were human-like hands with disturbingly long fingers that each seemed to have more fingers growing from them. Her once sultry eyes were now bloodshot and sunken into her face. Her famous pizza shirt was gone revealing multiple patches of missing feathers.
She stared down at me like a spider examining its prey, and I could see drips of saliva flowing freely from her mouth. As soon as we made eye contact, she descended upon me with lightning speed. I ran into the darkness, not caring where I ended up. For a brief moment, I looked back and saw that she was running on all fours, easily climbing over all obstacles in her path.
Not only did I have to worry about Nina, but Ronald was still lurking in the darkness, and I had nothing to defend myself with. For a moment, I thought that she would surely catch me as I had no place to go. But by sheer luck, I spotted the Haunted Estate ride and figured I could at least hide in there briefly and come up with a plan to escape.
But as I made a beeline towards the ride, something grabbed my ankle and pushed me to the ground. Before I knew it, I was being dragged behind a patch of bushes, and I could only look up in horror to meet my captor's eyes. Dizzy was looking down at me. His long freezing cold fingers wrapped all the way around my head, and he made sure to keep enough pressure to make it painful. As expected, he also looked to be in a state of disarray. His muzzle hung like a deflated balloon, and his straw hat had numerous holes in it on top of his overall look of rot. I could see chunks of his costume missing in random sections, and parts of the costume seemed to hang like loose skin.
Using his other hand, he reached into my pocket and pulled out the flash drive and crushed it in one motion. Then he pulled out my lock-picking kit and flung it far from where he had me pinned. He raised a long finger to the end of his drooping mouth and made a "silence" motion before getting me to my feet and looking around. He stood much taller than he usually did. Last time I saw him, he was around my height at six feet, but this version easily stood a foot taller than me, and his arms hung low to his feet.
I was in utter shock, and sweat was pouring down my face. Here before me was this... monster and I didn't know if I could run, fight, or reason with it. But it didn't matter because I didn't even get to choose. In the blink of an eye, he reached out to grab me and shoved me into his body through a partially open slit in the suit. In my mind, I was dead. It was pitch black and freezing inside the costume. Something was hard and small at my back, and I could feel little buglike things crawling around me. If it wasn't for my mask, they definitely would've invaded my mouth. But did it matter? I had been caught, my flash drive was destroyed, and I couldn't even make it to the security office. On top of it all, I was going to die at the hands of some otherworldly creature just because I wanted to see my little brother again.
Tears began to flow liberally as I slowly resigned myself to my horrible fate. Thoughts about everything leading up to that point raided my mind. Despite every shitty thought that permeated my mind, the ones that stood out were of my friends and family. Mark. Chloe. My parents. And most of all, Amari. I'd never see them again. And why? Because I was afraid to ask for help? Because I felt that I could deal with something that I obviously didn't even understand? The least I could've done was be honest. I could've said goodbye, or I love you. They'd at least have that closure of knowing how much I cared about them. And now, this was my punishment.
I was in there for what felt like hours. But to my complete surprise, I could feel a set of cold boney hands wrap around my body and rip me from the inside of my captor.
I was back outside the park. Dizzy stood over me, and I could see numerous roaches crawling in and out of the slit that I had assumed to be my tomb. I scrambled to my feet, but he didn't move. He pointed towards the street in what I could only think was his way of telling me to go. I could see Ronald and Nina in the distance making their way towards us. To my horror, they had brought company. Numerous other deformed characters were following them, peeking out of the darkness and descending on me. Even though I was in the parking lot, I knew I wouldn't be safe until I was completely off-campus. I didn't know whether Dizzy had intentionally helped me escape or if this was simply their way of warning me to stay out. Maybe it was both. But before I ran off toward the safety of my car, Dizzy began to choke out something that seemed to be akin to his version of speech.
"Brother. Not. Safe. Here. Deep. Soon. Go."
"What the fuck?" I thought. I didn't have time to contemplate what he meant. I simply ran and didn't look back until I was in the car and already speeding back home. I only stopped after I had been driving for half an hour. Finally, I pulled over to cry. It was all hitting me at once. This went so much deeper than I could've ever imagined. It was far more than I could've bargained for, and I had no idea where to even start. I pulled out my phone to check the time, and the first thing I saw were numerous missed calls and texts from my parents, asking where I was and why the car was missing.
"Shit!" I yelled, slamming my fist on the dashboard.
I took off towards home, knowing that a storm was waiting as soon as I pulled up. And that's precisely what it was. A couple police officers were parked outside of my house, standing with my parents outside. I knew I was in a world of trouble. My whole world was about to come crashing down for the second time in one night.
They absolutely tore into me. Though I left out that I was at the park, I tried to explain that I was out looking for Amari, but they were livid. I wanted my parents to understand that I had done this for the right reasons. I wanted them to know that I was trying to cope with it the best I could and that the reason I was out was the same reason they had also been away so much. We were all out there searching. I knew at the end of the day, they needed me to be safe. And how could I fight them on that? Especially right after losing one of their kids.
I was told that I could no longer go out late or use the car. My grades had to be absolutely perfect from here on out and that I shouldn't make any plans for the summer because I was getting a job.
I had lost in a lot of ways that night, but this felt the most deflating. All I could do was nod and walk up those steps without saying another word. That night, vivid images of those creatures hunting me down made for the most terrifying sleep I've ever had.
Despite the trauma that would burn horrible memories into my psyche for years to come, it wasn't the creatures or my parents yelling at me that I was focused on that night. No. As I drifted off to sleep, the thought at the forefront of my mind was that as Dizzy stood over me, his name tag no longer said, "Your Pal, Dizzy the Dog." It clearly read, "Your Pal, Daniel."
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