Alexis Early is a partner in King & Spalding’s International Trade Group, where she helps devise regulatory and policy solutions for clients. Alexis counsels companies, financial institutions, and individuals on economic sanctions, export controls, anti-money laundering, and CFIUS national security reviews of foreign investments. Martha Stewart's daughter, Alexis, is selling her massive triplex atop 165 Charles Street in the West Village. Alexis, who formerly hosted a SiriusXM radio show and appeared on The Apprentice when ... This editor also talked in March with Tan and Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder and later Y Combinator partner with whom Tan, also a former YC partner, had founded Initialized. Alexis Pharma maintains the highest standards of quality, the products meet relevant pharmacopoeia standards and statutory requirements. Partnership. Our partners are biggest strength, we have in our journey to provide quality medicine to mankind. Mutual trust between us make one the desirable company to join as partner. In 1997, Martha Stewart's daughter, Alexis Stewart, married lawyer John Robert Cuti. According to ABC News, Cuti served as a trial lawyer in Alexis' mother's infamous legal case regarding stock trading. But the pair's relationship wouldn't last. The two were reportedly separated before Martha was indicted in June 2003, but they didn't get divorced until 2004, when the trial was over. Sowell Management and Alexis Investment Partners, LLC are independently owned and operated. Advisory services are offered through Sowell Management, a Registered Investment Adviser. Alexis Green who is working as the BBC South News journalist and weather reporter is a mother of an adorable child; a daughter named Imogen Foster. She is relishing her solidarity with her longterm boyfriend, Johnnie Foster. As of 2019, Alexis Green has a net worth of $1 million and her annual salary is over $60,000. Alexis Mateo’s Girlfriend. Alexis Mateo is single. He is not dating anyone currently. Alexis had at least 1 relationship in the past. Alexis Mateo has not been previously engaged. He was born as Carmina Alexis Mateo Pacheco in Florida, Puerto Rico. According to our records, he has no children. View Alexis Livanes’ profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Alexis has 1 job listed on their profile. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Alexis’ connections and jobs at similar companies. Découvrez le profil de Alexis Robert sur LinkedIn, la plus grande communauté professionnelle au monde. Alexis indique 4 postes sur son profil. Consultez le profil complet sur LinkedIn et découvrez les relations de Alexis, ainsi que des emplois dans des entreprises similaires.
I apologize in advance as this post will be a bit long. This will be my first time attempting to get unbiased advice and need to explain the situation in it's entirety. Please understand that I have talked to people close to me such as my mom and friends, but I know that they will side with me. I have resorted to strangers on the internet. I need the advice to be that unbiased. I also apologize if I seem to be rambling but I will try my hardest to explain every single detail because I am being made out to be "crazy" and I don't believe that I am.
Backstory: My gf and I met in college in circa 2016 and hit it off as friends basically the day she arrived on campus. I eventually left college a year later and went back home to MS. She stayed for another year and eventually transferred to a college near her home in VA.
Back in June I was kind of tired of MS and wanted a change in scenery. We had kept in touch over the years and felt like because we were so attached at the hip in college that living together would be a breeze. She brought up the idea of me moving to Virginia for a while and after visiting a few times I felt like it wasn't a bad idea. We worked very well together in college and we both figured it wouldn't hurt. I had no idea she was interested in me until I arrived, but had a clue that she was interested. Our chemistry had always been great and indescribably strong. It was almost inevitable that we would date someday, but we had never crossed that line with each other until after the move.
Present: When I first got here, my gf was working an hour away in her hometown since that is the job she had before she moved out of her parent's home. She worked about 3 consecutive 12 hour shifts and a little over time per week so it was just smarter to stay at her mom's house until her work "week" was over. I didn't grasp how much of a toll that would take on my mental health.. me being home alone in a new city and unable to go out and meet new people because of the pandemic. I started to go on a downhill spiral, drinking about 4/7 days a week, not cleaning up after myself (mostly leaving clothes around, forgetting to put my makeup up after doing it,) not wanting to go out and do things. My sadness came across as anger and I didn't realize it til later on. Of course this caused us to have issues. We worked through them or so I thought and the game plan was to clean up after ourselves, me cut back on drinking, me being more outgoing and trying to get out of the house more, etc.. So I did. I admitted my short comings and did my part to pick things back up. Here is where the sister comes in.
Alexis has a new born baby with a guy who is extremely aggressive and my gf kind of comes to Alexis' rescue whenever she mentions that there is an issue with the guy. Like literally stops whatever she is or we are doing and drives an hour away to her mom's house. I am by no means a victim blamer, but I need to explain why I have little to no sympathy for Alexis. Alexis and the child's father (John) had a big falling out and Alexis decided that she doesn't want the guy in her life until visitation can be supervised (he threatened to harm Alexis and my gf because Alexis told his mom that he was doing illegal things like selling drugs, check fraud, etc... all things she was fine with up until he no longer benefited her) The kicker here is that she will stay in contact with him and act as though she will let him see the child to like play with him. We all sincerely believe that he loves the child and would never do anything to harm her. Whenever time comes for them to actually meet up for him to see the baby, she kind of ghosts him.. that is when he explodes and gets upset. She plays these sick mind games with people and then acts innocent. That's how she gets under people's skin. My girlfriend does not understand that she too is in this sick game that her sister plays.
I think Alexis genuinely liked me up until she realized that this was an actual serious relationship that my gf was putting a lot of effort into and trying to make work. As I said early, no one has ever been this close to my gf. My gf has since left her job and found one here so she doesn't go home much unless she has to. Now, Alexis calls her 101 times a day for absolutely nothing. She'll ask what she's doing and my gf will say something like "Oh me and L (myself) are watching tv" she then will spend a good 30 minutes talking about nothing. My gf will say ok well I'll call you later and Alexis kind of gets a passive aggressive attitude and ends the call. She'll call my gf saying "Hey I need you to come down because John is acting crazy again and we need to go get a restraining order." My gf stops what she's doing and goes all the way down there and nothing gets taken care of. She calls me frustrated and I have literally no sympathy because I can't feed into the bs. So she'll say "I'm gonna be back home at 3pm" I literally won't hear from her until like 11 at night and then she's saying she'll be back the next morning. I know these are first world problems, but my issue here is that when she can't put her foot down with her family and it is always at my expense. She allows her mom to do this as well. I have to cancel whatever we had planned that day because she had to go save the day again. She'll call and complain about how her time is being wasted down here sometimes, but only when she has things planned that she wants to do. She never seems to have those same frustrations whenever I feel that way about my plans being ruined. When I try to explain my concerns she uses the "I don't understand why you have issues with my family, Alexis needed me, I'm not gonna not be there for my sister and my niece, etc.) completely missing my whole argument so of course over time I have stopped caring at all about expressing my concerns when it comes to them. I know that her response will be defensive and not sensitive. I clean, I try not to argue so much, I've gone out more, I've cut back on drinking, I've done all of these things that she said would help and all I am asking is for her to do what she says she will do. It's almost as if Alexis uses her baby to get my gf to come flying down the highway for fun. "ha ha, I will always win and come first" kind of deal.
So lastly (thank God I know)... We went to grab food a night or two ago since places are starting to open up here (we were very safe and sanitary). I was in a great mood. I wanted to get out of the house and go on a real date as we haven't done that since I've been here. Mid meal, her sister calls (she has her location and I'm sure she knew we were out.. she's just that invested) and my gf asks me if she can answer.. Y'all for the life of my I tried to fight the anger and annoyance I felt on the inside. I said yeah go ahead. She saw the annoyance on my face and said she'd decline and just text her to see what she wanted. I got annoyed because that would be my first response. We're having dinner for goodness sake. The both of us knows she doesn't want anything. She texts her sister and her sister confirms that she doesn't want anything but by that point i'm already annoyed. She of course pulls the whole "I don't get why you get that annoyed by my sister calling me, you are very jealous and I can't look past that, my sister is my sister and will always be and I can't change your jealousy towards that, etc." I couldn't even say anything, because I have tried many times to express that this is beyond that. I don't care about her sister calling. I don't care if they talk a million times a day. No one will ever treat me as a priority in her life if she doesn't and that is my only issue. Time and time again, I'm asked to do all of these things to make everything better and all I ask is to be treated as a priority. No one has stopped to ask me if i'm ok as I've moved across the country in the middle of a damn pandemic, knowing absolutely no one here other than her... feeling like I have no one here of my own who has a genuine, unbiased ear to hear me out. I vent to my family of course, but I try not to talk about my relationship problems until I am rock solid on my stance.. Your family won't forgive your partner although you may. So... here we are today.
My decision: After the "fight," we get home and she tells me she has to go back home and literally leaves at 11 at night to head to her mom's house... after she just sat across from me at dinner and stated that there was no emergency, that Alexis didn't want anything... absolutely no care for resolving the issues or care for leaving me home alone again after the fight, nothing. That was the final straw for me. I've decided already that I am parting ways and moving back home in a few weeks as we are living together and I didn't anticipate the extra expense of paying rent. I would also be miserable here as I haven't had a chance to meet hardly anyone other than coworkers. I would leave immediately, but I would like to save some extra money.. I told her the night of the fight that I wanted to part ways in a text message and live as roommates until I'm gone and she agreed to respect my decision. I just need someone to tell me if I am being dramatic. I feel like it's easier to paint me as some crazy, insensitive, jealous girlfriend than to admit that her family basically controls her and she has no backbone when it comes to putting her foot down to them or maybe she just doesn't want to. She reminds me of a "mama's boy" and Alexis reminds me of the mom that just won't accept that someone else is important in their son's life. I hate I had to be the first one, but it makes me wonder if that is why she has been single and hasn't formed any meaningful relationships. She's mentioned not "needing" a companion and boy do I see why.
From Timothy’s arrival on earth at fifteen-years-old to the multiple deaths of his comrades at Xyphiel’s hands, Timothy told me everything
How he received visions from the previous Metatron, Saint Dinah, the restoration of the Guardian Temple, all done by Timothy. He also told me of his rise in the United States Military and his tasks in finding artifacts on earth, both holy and unholy.
He informed me about the werewolf, Demond Winter, that he recruited, and his undead brother, Elon, who Xyphiel had killed. This touched on a sensitive point, as Demond and Timothy seemed close companions, and the recent death of Elon had placed some strain on their relationship.
My heart sank as it seemed that every
comrade Timothy had lost was killed at the hands of Xyphiel.
The first casualty was Colonel Anderson, a close friend, and mentor of Timothy. Next was Fred and Sandra Macaione. Which Xyphiel added salt to the wound by turning Sandra into some cybernetic monstrosity who he named Serenity. Lastly was Elon Winter, who was a subordinate of Timothy and apparently was Xei’s romantic interest.
My heart went out to Xei, she had poor luck when it came to romantic partners.
That led to the most recent events. Timothy informed me that, though Evangeline was still alive, her soul was trapped in Sheol, a realm between Heaven and Hell.
Elon Winter, a deceased comrade of Timothy’s, who apparently was a reaper, informed him of Evangeline’s plight. Which made me more than curious.
“So, allow me to recap:” I began, looking Timothy over, “you speak to God?”
Timothy gave me a nod, “With Eva’s help, yes. We speak to God.”
“Because Saint Dinah is your grandmother?” I clarified, my arms crossed. This seemed unlikely and I was curious how this came about.
I remember Xyphiel had left Saint Dinah on earth, if she was Timothy’s grandmother that would mean that Rachel would be her daughter. I suppose it was
possible, after all, Xyphiel did find Rachel on earth a number of years later.
I looked down at Timothy, “I attempted to help Evangeline, but Zepherina would not let me near her.”
“That figures,” Timothy sighed.
“Why didn’t you tell Zepherina about me, Timothy?” I asked, addressing the elephant in the room.
Timothy heaved a sigh, looking up to me, “Because she was the only one who could
have killed you. Her mind had to be clear, without any thoughts about you being her mother.”
“It’s not the first time you've tried to kill me,” I smiled, “she almost got me, you know.”
Timothy did not laugh as I had hoped.
“You act like I’ll hold it against you,” I pushed further.
“I hadn’t expected you to be so…” Timothy trailed off trying to find the words, wringing his hands and glancing at the floor.
“Proud that my
son was able to mobilize a force against Xyphiel and me? That you successfully subverted our systems and took out our most powerful weapon? That you have been driving Xyphiel and I insane as the most
formidable adversary we have ever faced?” I boasted.
Timothy gave me a perplexed look.
“You do realize that every other world we came upon, the initial forces we would thwart within a day or so,” I laughed. “We rarely found any resistance, even from the supposed ‘heroes’ of the world.”
“Yes, I’ve seen how Xyphiel handles ‘heroes’,” Timothy narrowed his eyes.
“Yes,” I rolled my eyes, but smiled at him regardless, “Timothy, if I didn’t almost die fighting you, you wouldn’t be a worthy opponent. I’m telling you that I’m proud of you.”
Timothy chuckled at me, “You’re insane, mom.”
I gave him a nod, “Now, Evangeline's situation…?”
“We have to find the daughter of Persephone,” Timothy informed me, “so that Persephone will release Eva from Sheol.”
My heart twisted a little bit as I smiled softly, “It’s interesting to hear that Persphone is looking for her daughter.”
“Why?” Timothy asked, “Do you know who her daughter is, mom?”
“Of course I do,” I laughed.
“Tell me!” Timothy shouted, “I need to know so we can save Eva!”
“Persephone's daughter?” I grinned at Timothy, “Why, that would be me.”
“What?!” Timothy shouted in surprise, “Why did you never tell me?!”
“It never came up, besides,” I smiled to him, “my mother is Yuki Misho. She’s the one who raised me.”
Timothy frowned, “but then how do you know your birth-mother is Persphone?”
“I may have never met my birth-mother, but mind you, I knew her name,” I explained. “When I was first brought to Nite, I was an infant. The woman who ferried me with her wasn’t my mother, but she was
a close friend of hers. She carried with her a note, stating that I was the daughter of Persphone and in need of protection.”
Timothy jumped to his feet, “Then if you’re the daughter of Persephone, we need to act fast!” He began to pace.
I beamed to him, “I can see your brain working hard.”
“What would your mother, Persephone, Queen of the Underworld and ruler of Sheol, want with Eva?” Timothy asked out loud.
“Catching up with family?” I mused, smiling, “Timothy, you’re rather frantic,” watching my son panic and pace was amusing.
“We have to find a way to save Eva. How do we get into the underworld?” Timothy asked, wracking his brain.
“Calm down,” I said, stopping his rapid-fire thought process, or trying to, “you act as if Evangeline is in danger.”
“This is important!” Timothy pointed out, “without Eva we can’t properly communicate with God! We need her, as soon as possible, for all we know we’re running out of-”
“Time,” I interrupted, “is relative,” I reminded him calmly.
Timothy glared at me, “I know that, mom!”
I gave a nod, “in the Underworld the flow of time doesn’t function in lock-step with our flow of time.”
Timothy seemed perplexed, “I don’t follow.”
“You told me that whenever your friend Elon went into his
shadow world’ that time ceased, yes?”
Timothy nodded, “yes, he said it slowed down.”
“That makes sense,” I explained, “As a Reaper who ferries souls, the task would be impossible if time flowed normally,” I postulated, “For Elon to interact with you,” I stated, “in order to get you this information, he likely chose the proper times to tell you. So you, Timothy, need to tell Elon of what you have discovered. I’m sure he’ll come to you soon.”
“Then what?” Timothy frowned.
“From there…” I heaved a sigh, leaning back in the chair, “it’s not really a matter of how I get to the Underworld or not.”
“What do you mean?” Timothy asked.
“Timothy, if time doesn’t function normally down in this 'Sheol' then it stands to reason that Elon, being ‘a reaper’ as you put it, will simply ferry me to my mother upon my death,” I smiled at him.
“But you’re…. immortal,” Timothy pointed out.
“Everything dies at some point, I’d hate to discover I never
die,” I got to my feet, “now I’ll know: if Eva wakes up shortly, then my time does come at some point or another.”
“And if not?” Timothy asked.
“Well,” I thought for a moment, “I guess we’ll have to convince Zepherina to let me look into Evangeline’s consciousness. The soul has to return to the body at some point, once it's fully healed.”
Timothy heaved a sigh, “Maybe this was a mistake like Sofia said.”
I narrowed my eyes, “Sofia? That witch? I do not grasp how you can stand such a heartless woman.”
“She’s my wife,” Timothy informed me.
My jaw dropped, “That murderous, raging bitch? She’s an absolute brute and a monster! You married her
?!” I shouted.
Timothy laughed, “well, they do say men choose women who are just
like their mothers.”
I couldn’t stay mad, as much as I tried, “Oh, of course. You would pick a strong-willed woman wouldn’t you, Timothy?” I laughed.
“I learned from the best,” Timothy walked to where the door was. We had been in here a better part of a day or so. “Please, consider my offer, mom?” Timothy pleaded to me.
“And consider mine,” I argued. “Timothy, fighting Xyphiel is just going to get one or the both of you hurt. He does love you, you know.”
Timothy nodded to me, “you say that. But I don’t think you’re right.” Timothy turned to me, his eyes narrowing, “So tell me, mom, why do you still follow him? No man has hurt you like he has and yet you still tolerate him. Why?”
That question made my heart sink. Timothy was right. Xyphiel had
hurt me badly. Killing Moira, driving away Rachel, surely both of those were terrible acts. But Timothy didn’t know of all the good times we had.
The times Xyphiel and I were far simpler. When we were Kriggary and Sellenia. When I would work at my internship with Aunt Rezza only for Kriggary to happily drag me away so I could help him with his work in the church.
The wonderful memories I had with our friends Tassel and Lasser and how I missed them all terribly so, even today. Just to reminisce with Xyphiel about days long past.
Even our times as we aged and tried to discover our immortal curses’ origin. The times Xyphiel comforted me when I received yet another rejection from a woman who wouldn’t have me.
“You don’t know him as well as I do,” I finally confessed.
“I don’t think you know him at all,” Timothy shot back. “I think you’re recalling a man who died years ago. I don’t believe Xyphiel is the same brother you once knew.”
I sighed, “Timothy-”
“I will die when I fight Xyphiel,” Timothy said simply.
I rolled my eyes, “he will not
kill you, Timothy!” I argued, “you are his only
son! He would never
cause you harm. This fight you wish to spark up is only going to end in a stalemate: Xyphiel will not end your life.”
“We’ll see about that,” Timothy said, “I’d like to leave now.”
I clicked a button on the small device in my hand, the door opening.
Outside Tasha and Rachel were waiting as if we had never left.
As we walked out, I looked to Tasha, “you’re more than welcome to practice in the Penthesilean churches again, Tasha. You’re not barred.”
“I’m afraid that ship has sailed,” Tasha said softly.
I turned to Timothy, clearing my throat, “ehem?”
Timothy walked up to Rachel, looking her over, “You’re a selfish, egotistical, sociopath and at the same time a complete and utter coward.”
I covered my face with my hand, shaking my head.
“But,” Timothy sighed, “...I know you left me because you thought I would temper Xyphiel’s anger… as Alyssa did.”
Rachel nodded to him, “I was also going to a city of women, Timothy. I would have had to surrender you to a stranger,” Rachel explained. “The devil you know vs the devil you don’t know. And I knew your father wasn’t going to hurt you.”
Timothy looked Rachel in the eye and for a moment I feared he was going to tell her something that I was not entirely sure she could handle.
Finally, Timothy just hugged her.
Rachel burst into tears and hugged him back, “I never wanted
to leave you…”
“I forgive you,” Timothy said softly.
Tasha was all smiles as she approached the pair and as soon as Timothy was done holding Rachel, Tasha was hugging him tightly.
“Oh, I’m so proud of you, Timothy!” Tasha gushed.
Timothy hugged back and moved a few steps away from us, Tasha in tow.
“I’ll be in touch with Xyphiel,” Timothy said, “so expect me soon.”
With that, to my surprise, a pair of massive doors opened behind Timothy and Tasha.
As they swung open, I saw the Guardian Temple, in all the splendor it once was before I had razed it so thoroughly all those centuries ago.
I beamed, “you did
Timothy nodded, “near to perfection. Thanks to many friends, many who Xyphiel has killed.”
With that the pair walked inside, the doors closed and vanished.
Rachel walked up next to me, holding my arm, “thank you for talking to Timothy .”
I nodded, “it took a lot for me to convince him to forgive you.”
Rachel hung her head low, holding my arm tighter, “I never should have left.”
“No,” I lifted Rachel’s chin, looking at her guilt-ridden eyes, tears flowing from them silently. I dried her tears away and tilted her chin upward, kissing her sweetly, “but that’s the past. The future is what we should focus on.” I said placing my hand on her flat, for now, stomach.
I groaned as I lay in my bed. Bella was on my right, Serenity on my left.
Bella’s finger traced over my chest, her head laying on my shoulder, “So, I see everything’s working,” she kissed my chest and purred, “perfectly, yes? Are you feeling all better?”
“Thanks to you,” I reminded her.
“Bella, you did great!” Serenity giggled, her hand caressing my left-wing, “I’m so happy Master has been fully
I turned to Serenity, smiling at my white-haired creation, “are you now?”
Serenity smiled and pushed herself up to kiss my cheek, “yes, Master!”
Bella gently dragged her nails over my stomach under the covers, “I’m glad to see everything worked so,” she lifted a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at me, grinning, “seamlessly.”
Serenity’s eyes widened and she sighed, “Master, your sister has informed me she wishes to complete the Coven of the Alexandrata.”
I sighed, turning to Bella, “You’re certain you can break open the seal?”
Bella smiled, her hand caressing my right palm, “if what you showed me is true? The only thing I’ll need is a proper sacrifice.”
I grinned, “Good,” I looked to my stomach, “There’s no drawback to what you've done to heal me, is there?”
“Well, normally the drawback is that four people have to die for your healing,” Bella chuckled, “not exactly a loss if you don’t care about the lives of mortals.”
I scoffed, “Mortal lives?” my eyes traced Bella’s supple form as she slipped from the sheets.
She snapped her fingers, black flames covering her body. As the flames vanished they left behind a black and gold dress which clung to her curves alluringly. The shoulders were framed in black feathers, the skirt was slit to reveal her lovely leg and an elegant high heel.
“Your magic is the only thing that has given those pathetic creatures any true worth,” I grinned, sliding out of the bed, slowly dressing myself. “Serenity, tell Ragna she can leave me out
of the covenant.”
Bella frowned to me, “Xyphiel, are you sure
you don’t wish to control the Titans?”
I shook my head, “There exists the slightest chance that if I were to breach the gate, Lucifer might take command of me. I’d prefer to leave the Alexandrata to Ragna, if at all possible.”
Serenity nodded, “I’ll inform her, Master.”
I was sleeping or trying to. I was kept awake wondering where on earth Zepherina had gone.
It had been days since she left and she hadn’t tried to reach out to me. Was she being kept from me? Who could keep her from me?
Was she hurt?
The door was soon opened forcefully and I shot up in bed, shocked to see Rasper in the doorway. “Rasper?”
Rasper moved to me and grabbed my arm, “Sorry brotha, but it’s time.”
“What?! No! You swore I’d be myself and-” I tried to protest before Rasper dragged me down the hallway.
“The plans ‘ave moved up and changed,” Rasper said, turning to me, a mixed look of excitement and worry on his face, “don’t ‘ate me brotha.”
I tried to pull away but his grip was too strong, “Rasper, please!”
“Sorry, brotha,” Rasper turned from me, marching down the hallway, “orders.”
As we continued down the hallway, my eyes widened as I saw Ragna standing before a large doorway.
“Zithero,” Ragna smiled, “welcome home.” She flicked her head to the right as Rasper continued to drag me behind him.
“Release me!” I shouted as Rasper dragged me into the room.
“In a moment,” Ragna smiled and followed Rasper and me inside, “I won’t get this opportunity for long. Xyphiel has relinquished his claim on the Alexandrata.”
“You promised Zepherina!” I shouted.
Ragna huffed, “my daughter hates me even when I shower her with affection and gifts,” she walked towards a large circle where Alexis and Syria stood at points of a five-pointed star. “Doing this will not make her hate me any more than she already does.”
I narrowed my eyes on her, “I do not blame her!”
Ragna rolled her eyes, “Rasper, get him in position.”
I was moved to another point of the pentacle on the ground. Rasper soon shackled me to a chain that was attached to the floor beneath my feet.
Rasper moved to a point on the other side of the star from me, looking away from me.
I turned to Syria, “Don’t worry,” Syria offered a weak smile, “when it’s over, Zithero, you’ll feel much
“Zithy-poo!” Alexis giggled, “I can’t wait till we can do whatever we want!”
I glared at Ragna as she moved to the further point of the pentagram.
“Let’s complete this coven and all of you can continue the remainder of your existence under my rule only,” Ragna announced.
Rasper nodded, “Thank God.”
Syria was apprehensive, “Are you certain Master Xyphiel has authorized this?”
Ragna nodded, “he has and I don’t want to hear any
more on this matter,” Ragna snapped.
Syria shrank back at Ragna’s order.
“I haven’t authorized it!” I shouted, “Release me! I don’t want this!”
Ragna sighed, “Zithero, to be honest, you need
to let this happen. At this very moment, it is your best option. My brother, Xyphiel, has relinquished his claim on all of you and as such I will take the reins. As Rasper can attest, I am the better option.”
“Aye,” Rasper reluctantly agreed, “If dis is the only way for us to become titans again, so be it.”
“There must be a better way!” I argued, “I protest this!”
“Your compliance isn’t really needed,” Ragna shrugged, “now, let’s begin.”
Rasper’s hands were soon engulfed in flames. I turned to see electricity spark around Syria’s hands and water swirl around Alexis’s.
Ragna turned to me, “and now the earth shall rise.”
I narrowed my eyes, but before I could resist, I felt the earth spirits rise out from the ground below me and surround my hands. “No!” I shouted, closing my eyes tight, ‘Zeph, I’m so sorry.’
The ground shook for a moment and I heard Zeph’s voice in my mind, ‘Zith?! Where are you?!’
I looked around, not seeing Zeph, and turned to see Ragna’s eyes closed, as she started chanting. ‘Ragna has me and she’s going to activate the Alexandrata!’
I informed her.
That’s when an announcement came from Rage.
“Ragna, your daughter Zepherina is demanding you cease,” Rage droned.
Ragna opened her eyes and sighed, “tell her to come here.”
“I am directing her to the Ritual Room now,” Rage informed Ragna.
I sighed in relief.
“Damn it,” Rasper cursed.
After a moment I heard Zeph’s voice shout from the doorway, “Ragna, what are you doing?!”
Ragna turned to the doorway, “what are you doing here Zepherina?”
Zeph was silent for a moment, “I want you to leave Zithero alone!”
Ragna narrowed her eyes, “No, Zepherina. I am done trying to appease you at every turn. Nothing seems to satisfy you, so why should I continue to try? I am going to do what I must,” Ragna declared. “Now, young lady
, if you wish to put a stop to this come here and speak to me face to face or leave.”
I frowned, “Zeph?”
Zeph slowly walked in, her head hung low. Her wings were black, blade-like and she wore some strange blackened armor that had markings of Penthesil on them.
“What is this Zepherina?” Ragna said, stepping off of the symbol, looking concerned, “look at me.”
Zepherina shook her head, refusing to look up, “Ragna, just let Zithero go.”
“No, I will not!” Ragna narrowed her eyes on Zeph, “If I do, then Xyphiel will take control of Zithero,” Ragna said, moving her hand to Zeph’s chin, tilting her head up to look her in the eye, “Is that
what you want?”
I looked up to see Zepherina’s eyes were gone, replaced by two burning orbs of violet steam. I tugged hard at my chains.
“What did you do to her?!” I screamed.
“What have I
done?” Ragna turned to me, “I
have done nothing.”
Zeph turned from the sound of my voice.
“Zeph!” I shouted, “are you okay!?”
Zeph clenched her jaw and turned to me, “Zith, I’m… sorry I…” she trailed off, she turned from me once more.
I frowned, “Zeph?”
Ragna looked between Zepherina and me and walked over to me, undoing my chains.
“What-” I was about to say before Ragna whispered into my ear.
“She is terrified of what she’s become and she is afraid of showing you, you idiot! Now comfort her,” Ragna hissed, “or I’ll destroy you.” she emphasized this by pushing me towards Zepherina.
I stumbled to Zepherina’s feet, looking up at her, “Zeph?” I smiled up to her, “I was so worried about you.”
Zepherina knelt down and hugged me tightly. Her stiff wings soon wrapped around me tightly and she picked me up in her arms. “I’m sorry, I was just…”
I tried to look into her eyes, only seeing the void broken by the light of the glowing wisps of violet. I realized the orbs of steam were her soul, manifested. I could see Zeph’s spirit, “so can you blink or… just… always seeing?”
Zepherina half laughed and half sobbed at me, holding me tightly, shoving my face in her shoulder, “I won’t let her take you, Zithero!”
Ragna crossed her arms and smiled at us, “Zepherina, if I may pose an amicable solution for everyone here?”
Zeph looked up to her, pulling me away from Ragna’s gaze as if I were nothing but a toy she was trying to take from Zeph, “what?” she snapped at Ragna, her eyes shifting from orbs of steam to balls of fire.
“Xyphiel has relinquished his stake in the Alexandrata,” Ragna explained, “thus why I wanted to act and consolidate my hold on them.”
Zepherina narrowed her eyes, “Consolidate? They aren’t objects for you to collect! They’re people!”
“Perhaps,” Ragna grinned as she shrugged, “regardless, I will do what I must to take complete control over the Alexandrata. The Alexandrata, after all, cannot be complete without a master.”
“It’s true!” Syria shouted, “We always
need a master! That’s part of the covenant! We will become Titans in exchange for our free will.”
Rasper growled, “for the rest of our lives, sadly.”
Ragna nodded, “indeed, a master is
needed to keep the Alexandrata in check.”
Zepherina lifted an eyebrow, “why are you all so willing to sell your souls over this?”
Rasper growled, “Because being mortal is a curse after we’ve become one with the spirits!”
Alexis whined, “I miss the ocean and sea whispering to me.”
“And I long to become nothing but wind gentle or terrible as my mood of the day,” Syria confessed.
“All of their powers will be restored once I bring Zithero into the fold,” Ragna grinned,
Zepherina narrowed her eyes, “Unless what?”
Ragna grinned wickedly, “Zepherina, why don’t you
take control of the Alexandrata?”
I returned with Tasha and saw Sofia waiting for both of us.
“So, how did the talk go?” Sofia asked.
“Well enough,” I sighed.
“Well? Is she going to kill him?” Sofia probed.
“Not without proof that Xyphiel is no longer Kriggary,” I informed her.
Sofia closed her milky eyes and gave a short exhale through her nostrils, “which means you’re going to run off to your death, to die by your father’s hands?”
Tasha walked up to Sofia, “Sofia, listen, you and I need to put our differences aside here-”
Sofia opened her eyes and narrowed them on Tasha, “Oh? Are you also for this insane plan?”
“No!” Tasha protested, “Absolutely
not! My avatar is the protector of Enoch! I can’t just let him roam off to his certain death!” She pointed at me, “Help me talk him out of it!”
Et Tu, Tasha?
Sofia turned to me, with Tasha now standing next to her, “You’re getting outnumbered pretty quickly here, Timothy
I winced, my full name from Sofia always felt like a knife jabbed into my heart.
Tasha clasped her hands together, “Timothy, I’m begging you, don’t do this! You don’t know what Father is capable of.”
Demond soon joined the pair, seemingly having caught wind of the discussion with his enhanced hearing, “I do and I can say it was disappointing to realize that he was fighting me with one hand tied behind his back.”
Tasha turned to Demond, dismay on her face, “What?”
“I was fighting him and I thought I was doing well,” he turned to Sofia and Tasha, “but the final blow he hit? He pushed me back with one arm and cut me down with the other. He was toying with me the entire fight, likely for shits and giggles.”
“I know what Xyphiel is capable of,” I informed Demond.
“Do you, Timothy
?” Sofia asked, walking up to me, Sofia's small size doing very little to hide the fire behind her milky eyes as she glared up at me.
I gave Sofia a nod, “I know what he can do. I know what I’m up against,” I tapped the side of my head, “I have Sync to guide me.”
Demond looked to Sofia and Tasha, then to me, “Major, sir, I want to help if you’re going to face Xyphiel.”
I shook my head, “Demond, I understand your desire but you cannot, I need you for other operations.”
Tasha nodded, “Yes, that much I agree with.”
“I have a score to settle with him, Major,” Demond narrowed his eyes, “I
want to be the one to take him out.”
Tasha heaved a sigh, “is this a man thing? To want to rush to their deaths?” she asked Sofia.
“Maybe,” Sofia turned and approached Tasha, “come on, if these two get their way, we’ve got funerals to plan.”
Tasha frowned, turning from us and giving Demond a devastating look before turning and leaving with Sofia.
Demond and I stood alone in the foyer watching the pair leave.
“Well,” Demond heaved a sigh once they had exited the foyer, “they’re upset.”
“Yeah,” I swallowed hard, turning to Demond, “Tasha needs you.”
Demond turned to me, “Sir-”
“Drop the sir,” I said, “My sister needs you.”
“And what about Sofia?” Demond shot back, “doesn’t she need you too?”
I turned from him, looking to where Sofia had walked off too, “I never wanted her involved in any of this. But she climbed her way in and forced herself to be part of this operation.”
“Yeah, that sounds like the Captain,” Demond confirmed.
“If I had my way,” I sighed, “she’d be safe under Colonel Anderson’s department, working a safe desk job.”
“I’m pretty sure that, one way or the other, Sofia would have found you, Timothy,” Demond said simply.
I turned to face him, “oh?”
“She’s not the sort of woman to just lay back and accept things the way they are,” Demond smiled, “reminds me a bit of how my mom was with my father. To a lesser degree, sure, but she was always strong. Even in the end.”
I placed my hand on Demond’s shoulder, “I want you to know, that wasn’t hyperbole. I need you.”
Demond turned to me, a smile on his face, “What for? The US has basically turned their back on you and I’m guessing they’ve done the same to all of us.”
I chuckled, “the United States isn’t the only
superpower in the world.”
As I approached the bridge, I felt as if I had an entourage behind me.
Bella strode next to me on my right, in her lustful humanoid form, while Serenity was on my left.
Serenity was wearing a form-fitting suit, hugging her from neck to toe. Her feet were clad in combat boots. Fingerless gloves graced her delicate yet deadly fingers, all the same grey and glossy fabric that I knew was laced with the nanites that empowered the cyborg.
On the bridge was Ragna and Rachel, both clearly waiting for my arrival.
“Fashionably late, I see?” Ragna mocked.
I glanced up to the main screen, seeing Timothy wearing a heavy trench coat, his wings prominently displayed.
I sneered as I sat at my seat, looking at his face.
I’d seen this face before.
He was about to bluster about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘faith’ and how my tyranny would come to an end. Or perhaps about how I’ll reap what I sow and so on.
I was slightly surprised by what he said.
“I’ll meet you here, soon. Face to face. I picked a location that’s devoid of potential collateral damage,” Timothy informed me.
Apparently he wanted to move the location of his little
speech. “Fine, boy,” I said, “after our talk, you’ll be coming home.”
“I am home,” Timothy said as the communication was cut off.
I took a deep breath and heaved a sigh.
“He’s done well for himself, Xyphiel,” Ragna stated.
“He’s our son, I’d expect no less,” I argued.
“Well, I’m proud of him,” Ragna turned to me, “he’s been very
resourceful,” she lifted an eyebrow, “Why are you wearing the Claws of Echidna?”
“Protection,” I said simply, glancing to my gauntlet.
“And the Flint Boots?” Ragna asked, looking them over, narrowing her eyes. “I didn’t expect you to pull out powerful weapons from our previous allies.”
“Gifts are gifts,” I grinned to Ragna, “Why the concern?”
Ragna shook her head, “nothing. Bring our son home safely, please?” Ragna asked me.
“I will try,” I turned from her, standing up and walking away.
“Master, do you need our assistance?” Serenity asked.
I turned to Bella and Serenity, “no. Why don’t you wait here for me? I shouldn’t be too long.”
Serenity smiled, “I’ll be awaiting your return, Master.”
Bella scoffed, “fine, but don’t expect me to be friendly with the boy.”
I turned to Bella, “actually, why don’t you send me down to him.”
Bella smiled, “Certainly,” she snapped her fingers, a dark portal opening for me.
I walked through the portal and before me stood my son, Timothy.
“Timothy,” I smiled to him, “it’s been too long.”
“Not long enough,” Timothy responded.
I sighed, the portal closing behind me, “Timothy, I think you need things placed into context.”
“Context?” Timothy narrowed his eyes, “you walked into the Guardian Temple, strode into the Guardian Council room, and slaughtered
those responsible for enforcing God’s will on the mortal plane!”
“Did you ever ask yourself, why I did that?” I offered.
“Why?” Timothy said, confusion on his face.
I closed my eyes, shaking my head, “My boy… I had hoped to spare your faith but it seems you’ve taken the road of Zealotry. So allow me to free you from the lies.”
“I doubt you can shake my
faith,” Timothy sneered, “father
“Do you know what happened to me? How I was cursed?” I asked.
“I know you fell from grace and that you didn’t get your way, so you destroyed the Guardian Temple,” Timothy claimed.
“I was the Scribe Lord of Nite,” I laughed, “I was the point of contact for the Angels of God!”
Timothy narrowed his eyes on me.
fell,” I described, “I was transformed into this…
” I motioned with my hands to the present state of my body, “Only able to achieve my pure Niten form when angered. A terrible irony. But,” I questioned, “do you even know who cursed me?”
“Lucifer,” Timothy stated
“Correct,” I snapped. “I was cursed by Lucifer himself... and as you know a curse can only be undone by a more powerful angel, deity, or the angel who performed the curse.”
Timothy was silent.
“So,” I grinned to Timothy, “when I went before the Guardian Council I was certain
my curse could be lifted,” I narrowed my eyes, “but do you know what that charlatan Dinah said to me?”
“I am pretty sure the word was ‘no’,” Timothy said.
“No, she said: ‘I am unable
to remove the curse from you’,” I narrowed my eyes, “unable. Meaning she did not
have the power of God, nor
was she even more powerful than Lucifer. Meaning her and all the angels within, were nothing
“They were avatars!” Timothy shouted, “they served God, they are not gods themselves!”
I shook my head, “Avatars… they’re imbued?” I laughed. “Yet they still cannot perform a simple cleansing? My Boy, that is shaky ground for your faith to stand upon.”
“Good thing I have wings,” Timothy shot back.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the naive boy.
Timothy was not amused.
“Come. boy, return home. Your mothers are waiting and I’m sure everyone else would like to see you again as well,” I offered, extending my hand, “I’m willing to let this all slide by the wayside.”
“I’m not,” Timothy snapped, “You’ve killed a slew of my friends and comrades.”
“To be fair,” I smiled, “they were
trying to kill me.”
“This isn’t a joke nor a game,” Timothy growled.
“No, you’re wrong,” I mocked, “it is
a game and you, my boy, are a joke
Timothy’s fist clenched as his eyes narrowed on me, the blue of his eyes pulsed with energy.
“Are you insulted? By all means, my son, you’ve played well. It’s been damn near entertaining to clash with your wits,” I smiled to him, “dare I say? I’m proud.”
“Your praise means nothing
to me!” Timothy spat.
“Be that as it may,” I continued, “the game here, is no longer in your favor. Now that I know who you are and what you’re trying to do, I can say with impunity that you will lose today.”
“And I can say, if you love me as a son, you won’t kill me,” Timothy pointed out. Damn. Maybe, he is not a complete fool.
I grinned, “Oh?”
“You’re my father, I know you must have some
love for me, somewhere in that shriveled thing you call a heart,” Timothy jabbed.
I laughed, “I do love you boy, that I do.”
“So I have an advantage, if you love me, you can’t kill me, but I can kill you,” Timothy reasoned.
“Ask Eva how that worked out for her,” I grinned, “the girl bit off far more than she could chew.”
Timothy continued, unabated, “Regardless, I have the advantage here, I have the will to kill you.”
“But do you have the capacity?” I mused, “doubtful. You can claim you wish
to kill me all you want but you lack the ability.”
“I’ll give you this one chance: Give up. Go away, find something to fill your time that isn’t breaking open the doorway to Hell,” Timothy requested.
I couldn’t help but laugh. I laughed long and well at the boy. Finally, when I was done, I grinned at him, making sure it was a wicked grin, “That’s your ultimatum? If I can remind you, you destroyed my only way to go anywhere else!” I chuckled, “do you expect me to take your pathetic space station? No boy, I’m here to stay now.”
Timothy’s lip lifted up in a sneer and I could have sworn I saw his skin darken.
“Here is my
ultimatum,” I began, “you come with me, take your angelic friends and powers with me and together we will unlock the gateway to Hell. I will go down into the depths, slaughter Lucifer himself as vengeance for all of Nite and then, after that task has been completed… you may kill me.”
Timothy shook his head, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to skip the better part of that plan, father.”
I grinned, “you cannot kill me.”
“I’m going to give it my best,” Timothy glared, “it’s like you said Father: Inaction is action. But I won’t stand by and let you get away with murder after murder and atrocity after atrocity. Today is your reckoning. As God as my witness, I will end you here and now!”
Timothy pulled out the Spear of Destiny, as I knew it and I couldn’t help but smile.
He had the tools but I knew the skills were lacking. I wondered if he even knew that I could see every card on his table.
The game was set and all things considered, Timothy would have been a worthy opponent. Though I was disappointed by one assertion he made.
“God?” I shook my head, “you’re still under the delusion that he cares about you.”
Timothy nodded, “God loves all of his children.”
“Even me?” I asked, grinning ear to ear.
“Even you,” Timothy growled.
I shook my head, “no, Timothy.”
Timothy was at the ready, like a kitten who found a moth to pounce upon, but I wasn’t in the mood to fight him, not yet. I had to ensure he understood his position.
“You claim that I will not kill you,” I narrowed my eyes on him, “is that because that’s what Synchronous is telling you?”
Timothy’s eyes went wide.
“Ragna found she was missing, Ragna’s video to out you was actually a trap to determine if Sync was, indeed, here,” I grinned, “clever as Xei is, without a quantum computer of Synchronous’s caliber she’d never be able to decrypt Rage’s encryption.”
Timothy was growing frustrated now that I had unraveled his plot.
“You don’t seem to understand how much I’ve suffered,
” I growled, “Do I wish to kill you, Timothy? No. But you are
making the mistake so many men before you have made.”
“And what’s that?” Timothy asked.
“You’re standing in my way,” I growled. “Do you know the formula for a hero?”
Timothy looked confused.
“A hero is a man who’s bravery pits him against immeasurable odds,” I smiled, “but you’re not a hero unless you die for your cause.”
Timothy took a step back, readying himself.
“So, are you ready to become a hero for your God?” I mocked.
“I am ready to die for God, yes,” Timothy declared.
I shook my head in disappointment, “God sees you as nothing more than a pawn, boy. I wish you could see that. We are naught but pieces in his continued game against His most potent son.”
“So, what?” Timothy snapped, “you plan on moving up from pawn?”
“I am no pawn,” I grinned, clenching my gauntlet before him, “I am the King.
Timothy’s eyes widened, “You’re insane.”
I laughed, “And I will not remain a simple chess piece,” I declared as I lifted my fist into the air, “I will become "The Player". I am the piece that shall strike his master and take his place!” I shouted, “I shall take my own destiny! And I will destroy anyone who stands in my way!” I narrowed my eyes on Timothy. “Even my own son
“Hello, sister, I wasn’t expecting you to be here,” said Alexis, her smile as beautiful and cruel as ever. “If I had known you would show up, I would have brought you something. Maybe a crockpot or something, I never know what you like.”
“Good to see you too,” said Maria, forcing a smile through gritted teeth.
Alexis was the sole daughter of the King and the true heir by blood, meaning she was next in line should something happen to her father. If anything happened to the King, natural or not, the duty and responsibility would fall onto the svelte shoulders of Alexis Harrow, and many things had happened over the years that may or may not have been the result of attempted patricide, though no one would admit it. When an exploratory expedition returned with strange legumes, Alexis was the first to pitch the idea that eating them raw was the best course of action to celebrate. It had not been a pleasant evening for those in attendance, and the restrooms of the palace still held some rather questionable stains as a result. Fallen gargoyles and debris, animals let loose in the palace halls, miniature coups that went nowhere - something was off about the way things happened around the King when Alexis was near, and it seemed only Maria could sniff it out. Frankly, it was a miracle the King was alive at all.
“Eliza here was just telling me about your guest,” said Alexis.
Maria crossed her arms. “And?”
“And I think it’s lovely that you’ve taken to these outings after all, sister.”
Maria’s eyes widened. It was unusual to see Alexis even feign interest in anything other than herself. “You’ve lost me.”
“It just warms my heart to see you participate like this, that’s all,” Alexis said, looking down her sharp nose.
“It takes plenty to warm the dead, sister,” said Maria, a scowl barely protruding between her smile. “And I’ve always been here in court. Participation isn’t the problem, making a difference is.”
By now the other guests of the event had begun to take notice of the quiet squabble, and they chattered amongst themselves just quiet enough that they could still hear all the dirty details. It wasn’t like they caught this hot gossip often enough to warrant a little discretion, so the ears burned and bent to the sisters.
Alexis turned on her heels to face Pilly, not wasting a moment to seize control of the situation. Pilly looked cool compared to his fluster early in the evening, almost serene. Did he know something nobody else did?
“You must be Pilsbury then?” she said.
“It’s Pilly, ma’am,” he responded. “My friends call me Pill, but you can call me Mr Vedrano.”
Alexis, not one to take a backhand like that, stepped closer to him. If it weren’t for her heels, she would have had to crane her neck up at him to match his eyes, but the towering stilettos she wore put them on an even keel. “Do you know who I am?” she prodded.
“You must be good old Lexy, right?” Pilly hadn’t had much time to fully plot out a little black book of the who’s who of the kingdom, but he remembered enough. “Stepsister to Maria, first in line to the heir of the throne, royal pain in the neck - yeah, I know who you are.”
“And why are you here?”
“What, am I not allowed to be here?” Pilly asked facetiously.
“Do you really need me to spell it out for you, fairy?”
“I don’t know, human
, do you know how to spell racial oppression?”
She snapped back around to Maria and thrust a finger out, tapping her on the chest. “I don’t know what you think you’re doing or what game you’re playing, but this isn’t the way to go about it. All you’re doing is stirring up trouble that you don’t know how to stop.”
“It’s always a game with you, isn’t it?” said Maria.
“How else am I going to win?”
The conversation seemingly ended, Alexis showed her back to her sisters and walked away. The few members of her entourage fell in quickly behind her, no doubt working up the next big rumour to spread.
“Um, thanks for stopping by!” Eliza shouted like the good hostess she was. She faced Maria. “Why do you always have to do that?”
Eliza sighed. “You’re new to the family, I understand that, but I have to warn you about a certain policy we like to keep.” She leaned in and whispered, “Don’t spit in the face of others and blame the rain. Everything you disturb will come back to bite you in the end.”
Maria grabbed Pilly by the hand and said to Eliza, “I’ll keep that in mind, sis. I’ve got a party to enjoy.” She gently pulled Pilly away from the confections table, knocking the fresh plate of shrimp out of his hands.
In a few brisk steps, the two were alone in the back of the room. With Alexis gone, the prying eyes had fallen inexplicably ill and now turned to their own devices.
“How are you liking the party so far?” Pilly asked, his mouth full of hors d’oeuvres.
“Too much drama, not enough action,” said Maria, adjusting her hair and dress. “Not even a single punch was thrown, though I can think of a few key moments where I should have pitched.”
Pilly licked his fingers, savouring the final piece of shrimp. “You should come to my kind of parties then. None of this prissy stuff.”
Maria hummed. The night was still young, the music still played, and her dance card was terrifyingly empty. Something needed to change. “Do you think he’s here?” she asked.
“What, Julio Studmuffin, or whatever his name was? Your lover boy?”
Her face blushed. “Julian Stadafin, and he’s not my lover boy. Yet.”
She craned her neck around the shoulders of the nearby guests, trying to find a specific face in the crowd. More looking for the spectacular, chiselled body rather than the face, but all’s the same in love and lust. Her heart fluttered at the thought of speaking with Julian again, and this time in a more appropriate situation and not the horrid mess they’d met in last time. A bloody croquet mishap hadn’t been the best conversation starter, not with all that blood.
Just as Maria was about to abandon her search, the door she’d come in through slowly opened again, a small group of individuals stepping in. A few men, armed with sabres at their hips and weighed down by needless medals on their lapels, took charge of the entrance, followed by three younger men clad in the valet’s red. Each of the young men carried either a coat, a bandolier or a plate of drinks, and bowed deeply to the incoming crowd. People from around the room, staff and guests alike, moved over to the doorway for the expected newcomer, eyebrows raised and gazes steadied.
Maria tapped on Pilly’s shoulder to grab his attention. The tall fairy, his attention now torn from his snack, followed Maria’s stare to the back of the room. As the small gathering of men and women parted, a sharply dressed man in military dress waltzed in, confidence and assuredness seeping from his aura. His short black hair was carefully parted down the middle, a proclamation of his conquering of male pattern baldness. The sabre at his hip, shiny and new, said he was ready to fight anyone who dared challenge him but would rather have someone else do it for him.
“There he is!” said Maria, a tad louder than she intended. “I mean, oh look, he’s here.”
“If you need me, I’ll be at the bar,” said Pilly, marching away from the red-faced princess.
Marai slowly sidled up the commotion and nudged her way through the shoulders of the other curious patrons, moving like a rat in a maze. Twisting and turning through the crowd, Maria could only think about the cheese at the end of her maze. That hunky, beautiful cheese.
She bumped into something strong and stoic and fell on the ground. She looked up to find her strong and stoic hero standing over her, offering a hand. She blushed, grabbed the proffered hand and pulled herself to her feet.
She could smell Julian before she saw him. The musk of pine and sweat flooded her senses, however subtle it might have been. But when she levelled out onto her feet again, Maria tried not to stare at Julian’s face. His jaw sharp as a blade and just as disarming, brow wide and strong, eyes deep and soulful like a wishing well. There was just something about him, Maria thought, that made the whole world stop spinning for her.
“Are you okay, your majesty?” he asked, still holding her hand.
Maria looked down at her hand and wished for this moment to never end. “Never better,” she said dreamily.
Julian Stadafin was the son of the late Duke of Coreton, a small hamlet in the mining district, and had inherited more than a fair sum of money from his recent dowry, making him a prime target for bachelorettes everywhere. His looks and bravado wrote cheques his bank account had no trouble cashing. Sought after by every eligible woman in the kingdom, Julian knew he was popular, so much so that, if he was so inclined, he could host a show at the theatre and have every woman who wanted to fight for a single rose to give to him so they might spend their lives together. A silly notion, but it had been done in the past, before the Actor’s Guild came and vetoed the idea right out into the street.
Him and Maria had only met once before after a freak, rogue croquet mallet struck him in the face, a blatant rule violation by Maria who apologized profusely. She was unsure if he’d actually heard her as he was carried off by the doctors, but at least it had been memorable.
Julian looked Maria up and down, his large, blue eyes shining in the dim light of the overhanging chandeliers. “Mary, right?”
Maria dusted off her dress and stood up straight. “Uh, Maria, actually. We met at -”
“Right!” he interrupted. “The croquet incident. I remember now. I must say, you have a good swing. A bit inaccurate, but you’ve got some heft to it.”
“Perhaps you can show me the ropes one day?” she asked, batting her eyelids.
“That would be nice.”
The small pause seemed to stretch beyond the room. Quickly realizing that she was still in the middle of the crowd, Maria stepped back a pace. “You must be busy. Maybe we can chat later, possibly even dance?”
Julian’s head moved from side to side as he shook the hand of approaching guests, looking for something but saying nothing. Maria went to his side. “What are you looking for?”
“Is Alexis here yet?” he asked.
“She is. Why? Scared she’ll turn you to stone?” she said, teasingly.
“Well, she does make me hard. She’s my date tonight,” he said before walking away.
Maria’s heart sank into her gut. Of course that bitch would take the only good thing Maria had going for her. It wasn’t like she’d been crushing on him for weeks or kept a portrait of him in her room or thought about him every day, not at all.
She returned to Pilly’s side at the bar, where Pilly cradled a small tumbler in his hands. The fairy looked no worse for wear from the evening’s events, but the same couldn’t be said for Maria. She looked like she’d just escaped the clutches of a hungry predator, which, in a way, she had.
“I hate this place,” she grumbled, taking a seat next to Pilly. She pointed to Pilly’s glass then her, and the bartender quickly began fixing up a fresh pour for her
Without turning his head, Pilly said, “I told you this wasn’t gonna go well.”
The bartender set down a small glass, presumably filled with courage, on the bar and slid it over to Maria who caught the sliding glass in one hand. She brought it to her mouth and downed the drink like a soldier on leave. It burned as the drink went down, and she savoured the feeling of being in control of something. She knew the burn well and it was a partner she didn’t expect to need this evening. She tapped on the bar once more summoning the bartender, mouthing another order.
“This was a mistake, coming here,” she admitted.
“I think we learned plenty, M,” said Pilly.
“I don’t look good in a suit.”
Part 1 Part 2
----- Took a while to get to writing this one. I've been kind of stalled a bit, I don't know why. Hope you enjoyed this chapter! And if you come up with a better name for this than Fairy Godfather, please share. I'd need to delete the posts and relabel them so the sooner the better. Thanks!
Hey Horrorlit, my partner and I are planning a month long horror buddy read thing in October, and we're a bit stuck for suggestions. A few things we both really love in books are, small town horror, prophets, cults, body horror, intense slow building creepy vibes, and anything claustrophobic - caves, underwater, tiny enclosed spaces etc, also old creepy motels or long creepy stretches of highway.
A few books we have read recently that we have really liked are, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Hunger by Alma Katsu, The Year Of The Witching by Alexis Henderson and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James. We are also massive horror podcast fans, and listen to the wicked library and the wrong station, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and I'll check back on my lunch break to thank anyone who can suggest things.
Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. Let's kick off the week with a PPV review of Ladies Night!
Starting off the night right we have our lovely ladies Battle Royale featuring Autumn, Winter, Tarah Thompson, Destiny, Missy Thicc, Pink Champagne, Sheba, Cotton Candy, Magdalena and Paradise.
Throughout the last few weeks the competitors have been vying for the coveted 10th spot. Autumn, following her recent heel turn, squared off against her sister Winter for the last position, coming up short and giving Winter the final spot in the match. Autumn started the match and lasted the whole way through the other competitors to meet up with her sister and Tarah Thompson as the final three in the ring. Letting the sisters have at each other Tarah scored the win by dumping Autumn onto the mat after she eliminated her own sister. Winner- Tarah Thompson
Women's Tag Team Championship Match
Eliza Brat and Carolina Strutter (c) v Andromeda Prime and Liberty
In a feud culminating over the last couple of months worth of back and forth the commissioner granted Andromeda and Liberty their rematch for the titles after proving themselves in a series of matches against Carolina and Eliza. During their contract signing Eliza berated the Commissioner for giving them a second chance.
The match started before the bell with Liberty being taken out by Eliza backstage, leaving the match as a two on one. Against the odds Andromeda pulled off an upset by allowing Eliza to accidentally hit her own partner before hitting the StarGazer on her from the top rope. Winners - Andromeda Prime and Liberty
After the match we cut to backstage with Grifter, his cheshire grin beaming with delight. He holds in front of the camera his Cruiserweight Championship with one hand and his bat in the other. "No one in AoE has what it takes to contend with me and my "equalizer". I've been champion for year. I've held this title longer than anyone in AoE history and I intend to keep my place at the top until I decide otherwise."
Tag Team Championship Match
Max Contact (c) v Over Knights
The Over Knights start off the month with a challenge to the undefeated champions, claiming that at Ladies Night, the Knights will leave with the gold around their waists and the ladies around their arms. This leads to a 3v3 match between the Knights with Son of Samoa versus Max Contact and Mack Caliber in which the Knights got the upper hand going into Ladies Night.
A very hard hitting match with both teams refusing to let the other gain an upper hand. The tides turn when GridIron gets a hot tag to Swish leading to a Posterizer from across the ring onto Jackson Good, leaving the tag team champions again without another set of challengers as they pick up the win. Winners- Max Contact
In another quick cut away from the ring we see Abe Buckingham alone in his dressing room, staring into the mirror with doubt. The lights flicker off and on before the reflection in the mirror turns into SlashMaster, making Abe back away in disbelief. Slash stares with dead eyes as the corners of his lips begin to curl into a terrifying smile before the mirror shatters.
World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match
Son of Samoa (c) v Alexi Monstro
After becoming the "Man of Madness" Alexi Monstro has set his sights on Son of Samoa, claiming he isn't worthy of the weight he bares, that the title deserves to be back around his waist. Last month Alexi lost his title opportunity in a defeat to Samoa leading him to diver further into his desperation, forcing his way into a number one contenders match against Domingo. After the match Samoa came out to congratulate Alexi on his win before announcing their match would be a Last Man Standing match to show once and for all that he is a worthy champion.
The two fought through the crowd, into the backstage area and back into the ring in a forty minutes contest which saw both competitors busted wide open as they attempted daring feat after daring feat to put each other away. Samoa dropped Alexi off of the stage onto the concrete to a nine count before landing a Harpoon through a concrete wall putting Alexi down for good and solidifying his grasp around the world championship. Winner- Son of Samoa
Women's Championship Match
Sweet Jane (c) v Tarah Thompson
The main event is here folks. Tarah Thompson our Battle Royale winner versus Sweet Jane, the fighting champion. This match has the crowd on it's feet as the two women square off for the first time ever. In a test of strength Sweet Jane attempts to lock up with Tarah but is turned away quickly, putting the challenger on the offensive. Keeping her momentum going she gives a flurry of kicks and punches before hitting the Forever First, receiving only a two count. Crawling to her feet Jane pushes on with the match, coming back with a offense of her own before Tarah cuts her off with yet another Forever First. Unhappy with just one finisher Tarah goes for it again only for it to be countered leaving her open for a Sweet Dreams! 1...2...3! Sweet Jane wins the match, keeping her own dream alive! Winner- Sweet Jane
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and enjoyed the break down! Take care and have fun until Red, White and Blue Bash!
The person with alexithymia will become passive or passive aggressive. This overlaps into altruism & selflessness. They hate conflict and will rather sulk than confront. Because they maybe passive -they may be also taken advantage of. Because they may be passive aggressive -others dont want to deal with them. But their reasons are different. They are passive because they dont understand conversations social rules and how to or when to be assertive-not because they are just shy. So being passive means to be safe and they can observe while also being apart of things. However when a aggressive personality like a narcissist comes along they wont know how to defend themselves. They need to be taught to recognize personalities and patterns people have. Because passiveness is about not expressing how they really feel and alexithymia is about not being able to express how they feel these two are mixed. Because they struggle with emotional expression- its easier to be passive. But its not a result just being negative, shy or positive optimistic or pessemistic. They are passive aggressive because while they have enough expression to show hints of displeasure , they dont have enough to assert thier anger or they dont know how to assert the anger. When the person engages them and tries to draw them out they avoid the conflict. Expressing anger takes a measure of confidence , measure of confidence a passive person wont have. So they are agressive yet passive. But there is also the logical mindset vs emotional mindset. See a mature person knows when to pick their battles and who to pick them with. They know sometimes people overreact. If the alexithymic has the logical mindset with alexithymia they will see all conflict as illogical. But conflict is how we learn. They miss out on emotional experience. I would see children have temper tantrums and I would wonder what that was like. I was mature enough to know it was an overreaction. I saw the outcomes. They usually didnt get what they wanted. I knew if i threw one i wouldnt get what i wanted. But i also noticed people who i viewed as "emotional" got catered to. I did not. I could not. My logical mind wouldnt allow me to because it would be manipulation as i had the mindset to understand it. However the logical mind robbed me of emotional expirence and practice expression. Granted my needs couldnt be met at the time. They still get catered to. Emotional people rule the world. There are more of them than us. Its very backwards for the alexi. A normal person has a child mindset that grows with the emotional child. They both become mature together. This is reversed with the alexithymic. We have the mindset of an adult , while the emotions of a child. The result is the mindset of the adult wont allow the emotional child in us to grow. Because we do what our minds tell us and the logical mind wont have emotional outbursts we miss out on emotional development and regulation. There is nothing to regulate if we listen to our mind when it says its illogical to express the emotion. We have to express the emotions to regulate them. The early maturity stunts the emotional growth. So now you enter a relationship where you are already expected to have somewhat mastered your feelings. The more expirence partner feels like they are raising a child and in a way they are. The child that never got to grow. This goes into gender roles as well. A woman is typically more nurturing than a man especially with children. A woman with alexithymia will not be as nurturing- she doesnt know how. A man while typically being behind a woman when it comes to feelings will have enough to make her feel safe, provide stability, and communicate. With alexithymia? Not so much.
Every title is on the line! Every champion is on their heels as the challengers climb to the top of the mountain. Who is going to walk away with all the fold around their waist?
Television Championship Prison Match
Sharif (C) v Jakob Hearse Winner: Sharif A two month long feud culminates in victory for Sharif as he over comes the mountain that is Jakob Hearse. The back and forth exchange of titles over March and May led to Sharif asking for their final confrontation to be locked inside the prison cell. After a long brutal match Sharif hits his non conformity on the unforgiving steel before picking up the win.
Abe Buckingham returns from his injuries ahead of schedule, letting the AoE crowd know that he was indeed back and looking for justice. "SlashMaster, you might have taken my title but be rest assured I'm healed and coming for you. Not the gold, not a win. I'm coming to end what you started."
Tag Team Championship Match
GridIron/Swish (C) v Diablo/Seraph Winners: GridIron/Swish In their ninth defense Diablo and Seraph stood up to the plate and fell at the hands of Max Contact. In another impressive showing the athletic team put down the luchadors within five minutes, keeping their dominate streak alive.
Women's Tag Team Championship Match
Carolina Strutter and Eliza Brat (C) v Andromeda Prime and Liberty Winners: Draw! The women's championship match lasted the sixty minute stretch, leaving all the competitors exhausted as they scrambled for the win. Just before the Referee called the match Carolina put Liberty in the Figure 8, hoping for a quick tap out but Liberty persevered, leading their heated rivalry to continue.
Cruiserweight Championship Match
Grifter (C) v Professor When v Captain Danger Winner: Grifter With his signature bat Grifter walked in and out of Silver Stadium as Cruiserweight Champion. Professor When felt the Brain Basher after a distraction to the referee.
Donny Atomic was invited to Club Electronica. He claims himself and Pendragon to be the next contenders for Max Contacts Tag Team titles, that they are going to put their reign in jeopardy.
Women's Championship Match
Sweet Jane (C) v Autumn Winner: Sweet Jane Coming from the longest reign in AoE Women's Tag Team Championship history Autumn has put herself against a former friend in Sweet Jane. After losing her title Autumn has grown desperate for a title, turning heel and attacking Sweet Jane from behind post match with her sister Winter. Things came to a head at the contract signing as Autumn got in Jane's face and received a slap for her efforts before hitting a Sweet Dreams and signing the contract over top of Autumn's unconscious body. The match was hard hitting and Autumn was relentless but in the end Jane brought down Autumn's final hopes of championship gold with another Sweet Dreams in the center of the ring to retain her belt.
Alexi Monstro v Domingo Winner: Alexi Monstro During his feud with Son of Samoa, the Man of Madness himself Alexi had to watch as Son of Samoa won the number one contendership for the world title in Abe Buckingham's place. Enraged he barged into the commissioners office demanding to be added to the match. Instead he was placed in a match a former champion Domingo at Clash of Champions.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
SlashMaster (C) v Son of Samoa Winner: Samoa After his devastating win against Abe Buckingham SlashMaster vowed to bring back the darkness to AoE but was cut short when his former partner Son of Samoa challenged him for the title. The two titans stood face to face at Clash of Champions, taking each other to their limit with bone breaking moves before Samoa hit a surprise Harpoon ending the match before Slash could get his bearings back underneath him.
I love reading all the name suggestions and thoughts on here so I thought I'd throw my list of baby names out there and see what people think. Nowhere near ready to have a baby but its a fun topic to discuss! If it helps I'm Afro-Caribbean with a peanut butter (albeit very unique) name that is 100% always confused with a few diff variants. My parents named my brother and I with the initials of my parents first names, which I think is kinda unique. My partner is European with a more common name but uniquely spelled.
For girls I like more feminine, Southern-Belle names. I'm okay with top 100 or whatever, but I really dislike "old lady names". My list: - Charlotte - Maya - Olivia - Savannah - Sienna - Alexis - Amelia
The only name my partner came up with is Elizabeth and Camilla.
For boys I dont have any theme. My partner definitely wants the first boy to have the middle name Charles. He tends to like author names or video game names. He is dead set on Isaac Charles. He also likes the name Zachary.
My list is: - Ethan (absolutely dead set on) - Elliot/Elliott - Kingston (also okay with this as a middle name) - Nathan - Alexander
Thoughts? Suggestions? ETA: I'm thinking of giving the girl the middle name of Helen after my grandmother who helped raise me. Likewise Charles is passed down from my partner's grandfather's name.
Hello and welcome to another year in review for AoE! We have prided ourselves in n our ability to take our talent and push them to their limits for our viewers and this year was no different.
With the tenuous end of year we had last year we welcomed the Pale Rider home with his new horsemen to combat the Blessed Ones. The first quarter of our year saw these forces clash on multiple occasions, seeing the glitter guard lose their tag team championships due to interference from Grifter and Shadow. Mother Mercy lost her title opportunity to Tempest allowing Tarah Thompson to regain her coveted belt. The final straw for Enyu's faction came when Pale Rider put him through the stage at Beach Bash, effectively ending the year long reign of tyranny of the Blessed Ones.
Tensions mounted in those months and the world championship was in limbo for many months with a back and forth between Richie Billions and Mack Caliber before Abe Buckingham with some help from his partner Domingo captured the World Championship. Soon after his inauguration Domingo turned on his partner and friend, claiming the title will always be his. Their feud lasted through a draw at Red, White and Blue before Domingo finally drew blood at Summer Smash, taking the gold all for himself and burying their friendship.
Carolina Strutter and Flint Decker, the 'IT' couple, left AoE but kept the cameras on themselves, highlighting their daily lives outside of the company before making their surprise return at Survival of the Fittest with Alexi Monstro. Speaking of Alexi Monstro, what a thunderous return for him our former longest reigning World and Television Champion as he challenged Domingo for the world title at Beyond Wardome, coming up short to his underhanded tactics.
Our women's division is exceptional and this year was no different! Some new blood came in and made the division theirs. Destiny, Autumn and Candy Cotton all made their marks, capturing the championship title throughout the year. After capturing the women's tag team championships in April of Year 15 Autumn and Winter, sisterhood, lost their titles finally at the end of the year due to a coalition of Andromeda Prime and Liberty at the end of the year. Autumn and Winter are on to bigger and better things in the coming years, we can feel it in the air.
With only a few years left on the contract, what is left in store for AoE. Years of excitement, drama and explosive action. Prepare for the future.
Back for my fourth year, got some good feedback in the past, so I'm here to go again! The analysts and pundits told us how ungrateful we were for sacking club legend Chris Hughton and we would regret it. However, we did not and we're back for season #4 on the back of our most successful season of the 3 so far! I have been a Brighton fan for 20+ years, watched every game last season and run a podcast on the club, I can answer any questions you have.
Chelsea (H), Newcastle (A), Man Utd (H), Everton (A), Palace (A), WBA (H)
Mathew Ryan 4.5 - Ryan will 100% start, he continues to be available for a very good price thanks to the leaky defence Potter had us suffer through for the first 2/3rds of the season throughout 2020. He finished 8th in the GK standings last year, still a top 10 GK and still only 4.5. He is now operating behind an excellent back 2 or 3 of Webster, Dunk & White along with Burn, Veltman and others keen on coming into the fold. He starts with some brutal fixtures in his opening group of 3 with Chelsea and United but overall I would expect him to be defensively solid at all times, regardless of the opposition and I see him as a perfect 4.5 option who will not let you down. The reason I say this is the defensive growth we have shown since the restart, we saw hints and progression as the season went on but we really turned a corner after the restart with 3 clean sheets and a club record 7 unbeaten away from home.
Avoid Steele and Walton, all are backups, with Steele number 2 FOR NOW. If you choose to double barrel your keepers to set and forget go with Ryan and someone else maybe steele because Walton is injured.
Verdict - Ryan is a clear candidate for quality value 4.5 keepers, I would put him as a GK that should really be a 5.0 by now if we hadn’t been a team in flux last year. He has a brutal opening 3 fixtures, but after that I think he’ll be a good option. Also worth noting those first 2 of Man U and Chelsea are at home so it could be worse.
Lewis Dunk 5.0 - A very valid option at the back, 10th in all defenders last year and will be the first CB on the team sheet as club captain. When we play 3 at the back he plays in the middle of the 3 and pushes forward regularly and grew with the ball at his feet dramatically last year. He is a goal threat and is on free kicks outside of the box regularly, scoring v Liverpool. As a 5.0 I think it is tough because of SO many good 4.5 options including some at Brighton, BUT the word has been out for a while that Chelsea are interested, and if he moves to Chelsea 5.0 is daylight robbery for one of Englands best and most ignored CBs.
Lamptey 4.5 – What. A. Bargain. Signing from Chelsea for a couple of million in January he was no doubt our player of the restart along with Bissouma. He is FAST (outpacing vardy anyone?), he is a good defender and a better option at RB than anyone else we currently have. He primarily plays as a very attacking RB if not out and out RWB. There was a game after the restart where he was played as a proper RM/RW against Manchester United at the AMEX. He stands out among the 4.5 options as a very, very good option like KWP and others as a major attacking outlet. If you look at Potters history his wingbacks/fullbacks are often a vital component, and you should see Lamptey as a very good option.
Webster 4.5 – Essentially a cheaper version of Dunk that also provides a goal threat at set pieces, he beat Duffy out of the first team and while he was a little slow to adapt and provided some very worrying moments he was another standout after the restart, becoming the CB Potter and co. obviously hoped he would be. IF we play a back 3 he WILL be a starter no doubt. With the return of White I worry about whether he is still our starter next to Dunk, only preseason will tell.
White 4.5 – Leeds legend after just one year on loan and a player with eyes on him from all over the place, with rumours of every team in the top 6 being interested, Leeds rumoured to have had 3 bids turned down and Brighton slapping a 50 million pound price tag on him. I cannot see him being anywhere but firmly in the starting lineup battle. With the ascent and growth of Webster I worry about whether he is our starter next to Dunk, only preseason will tell.
Burn 4.5 – What a weird guy. 6’7 LB/LWB? What? Superb ball control, can mark his man very well and is a good solid defender. If we do not sign a left back (which we are in the market for) then I assume he will be our starting left sided defender for the Albion, but compared to Lamptey his value is a lot less impactful.
Other defenders – Veltman is a new signing and I cannot see him beating out the current 3 CBs, possibly a backup to Lamptey? Bernardo hasn’t figured even when fully fit.
Verdict - If you want a solid 4.5 defender then Lamptey is a superb shout. Dunk worries me because the extra .5 puts him out of the gamble area really, with a 5.0 defender you're hoping for a bit more proven value before taking the leap, and an excellent restart doesn’t cover it.
Leandro Trossard 6.0 - Scored more goals than any other attacking midfielder at the Albion last year and broke the 100 point mark despite an injury issue at the start of the season last year. He is a great talent but seems to still make some dumb decisions. At 6.0 and staying at 6.0 I like his price as one of those midfielders that could do a Pascal Gross this year and fly up the values if he grows on last years performances, but when you have people like ASM at 5.5 he becomes a LITTLE less attractive IMO. I expect him to be a starter and a mainstay, but he’s just a bit “eh” on value, at 5.5 it’d be a different story.
Pascal Groß 6.0 - Avoid, too expensive, isn’t a starter anymore, his pace is being exposed HEAVILY under Potter system and is battling for a spot with Mooy who also isn’t even guaranteed a starter spot either. Trossard the same price and better in Potters style.
Davy Propper 5.0 – Avoid, he is playing more and more defensively and seems to have regressed heavily this season, especially since the restart he seemed exposed as a player lacking the edge needed in the midfield.
Bissouma 4.5 – This is it, this is the gem. Lamptey and he were our biggest standouts since the restart and I cannot see him losing his spot in the midfield. He scored an absolute banger against Burnley on the final day and loves to maraud forward. He is capable of playing as a holding midfielder but seems to prefer playing Box to Box and I see him doing that next to Lallana. He honestly stands out as the best 4.5 midfielder option by a million miles, if you’re in the market for one, PICK HIM.
Adam Lallana 6.5 – What an interesting signing this was. His caliber is undeniable and I am delighted to have a player like him at the club but I think at 6.5 he is too expensive. Personally, I think he partners Bissouma in the midfield two, as a “deep lying playmaker” type player if you’re a Football Manager fan like me. Love the signing, do not love the price, worth a watch list though, imo.
Alexis Mac Allister 5.5 – IF we play a 4-2-3-1 which we did a little after the restart he is currently #1 choice for the man behind the striker, but Potter is so unpredictable with his starting formation I don’t think he is worth the risk even at 5.5. Again, comparing to someone like ASM his worth is WAY less. He is on FKs and corners though, behind Mooy and Gross (who I truly see having less and less influence this year).
The rest - Dale Stephens, Izquierdo, Alzate, March, Alireza are all either not going to start, or might be on their way out of the club, or have injury issues. AVOID.
Verdict - Bissouma. This is literally the gold standard for 4.5 midfielders, if Odin himself comes down to earth and curses him to never start for the Albion again then I’d consider that a good reason to not touch him as a 4.5 mid. Otherwise he is the best 4.5 mid by a mile. Trossard, Lallana and Mac Allister are all in that group of players that could be THAT break out midfielder this year at a good value, watch list them all and see. Potters teams score goals, there WILL be an attacking player that provides immense value this year we just don’t know who.
Florin Andone 5.0 – LOL no, he probably will not be here.
Aaron Connolly 5.5 – A bit expensive for my taste, we’re no doubt going after another striker, putting Aaron down the list. Not reliable enough, still really young and being developed. Avoid.
Neal Maupay 6.5 – Only Wood and Ayew finished ahead of him in his price bracket. The little French shit house is a brilliant option IMO even at 6.5. I say that because as of right now he will be starting the vast majority of our games and is our #1 striker by a million miles. He scored double figure goals last year in his first PL season and he is still under 25 and continuing to grow. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him score 15 this year and get bought by someone better than us for a stupid lump of cash next summer. Even if we do sign another striker I see them partnering Neal, not taking away his time. I also am HUGELY bias towards Maupay. I try to keep my bias out of this stuff, but for Neal its so tough.
Verdict – Maupay is our #1 striker and nobody else comes close, excellent option in his price range.
Brighton are a treasure trove of cheap options, priced off the back of another season battling relegation but the evolution under Potter continues to chug along and we continue to look better week on week. The issue this year is which player is going to grab that brass ring and become the fabulous value pick that FPL loves because I am convinced there is one amongst that bunch of midfielders. We have so many potentials in there. In terms of transfer market moves I expect us to look to sign the following: Striker, LB and an attacking midfielder, while possibly offloading Solly March and/or Pascal Gross along with a couple of CBs, with Duffy on the list of probable outgoings and the possible loss of Dunk or White for big money.
Set and Forget - None.
GREAT Options - Maupay, Lamptey, Bissouma
Solid Options – Ryan.
Ones to Watch – Lallana, Mac Allister, Trossard.
Avoid - All the rest, some fine PL players in there, but not for FPL as either too prone to bookings, not established in the squad enough or simply in a world of unknowns with new signings looming.
Any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best!
Edited: Wiped out any mention of Duffy, Montoya, Clarke, Mooy, Button and Murray as all have left the club. Nothing else to add as of yet, all the rest still stands.
Edited again Friday before season start:
All in all nothing has changed from my original post, everything I posted presented itself in preseason and continues to do so. Only notable things worth looking at are:
Possible OOP - Trossard, has been playing as a striker alongside Maupay in preseason when we played 532, with only two strikers on the books in Maupay and Connolly we are woefully under prepared for this season going forward and Trossard might provide the relief we need. I'd keep him under the ones to watch tab but if he does play OOP it could be pretty significant as a differential pick in that midfield.
Formation for preseason - we played 3 at the back both preseason games against WBA and Chelsea, we switched between 2 up front and 3 but the significant part there is it was exclusively 3atb. Good news for Webster, White, Dunk and Lamptey owners.
Predicted lineup v Chelsea (5-3-2): Ryan, Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, White, March, Alzate, Bissouma, Lallana, Trossard, Maupay
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to another year in the record books for AoE! We are all about crafting new stars and this year was no acception to the rule. Without further ado here are our top feuds and moments from our Super Duper Show to Beyond Wardome.
At the end of last year Alexi Monstro suffered an injury at the hands of Greg Quebec and Reviver putting him out of action for the first quarter of year 16, as the year rolled on promos and vignettes aired with Alexi off in the shadows, biding his time. As of the end of year 16 we have yet to see Alexi back in the fold but expect him to make an explosive return some time in the new year.
The 'IT' couple Carolina Strutter and Flint Decker began the year as champions and ended the year on a sour note. Flint ran the Television Division for the majority of the year, looking to out do his former partner Alexi's reign. His reign came up short with 14 wins before losing to Haruki Enyu (we'll get to his story later) and going on a losing streak before telling the crowd that they didn't deserve the couple anymore and exiting AoE with his wife Carolina.
Speaking of Haruki Enyu, the enigmatic leader has found himself a group, going under the name of The Blessed. He debuted them during our Super Duper Show and went out for gold. Mother Mercy, Glitter Dash and Glitter Dazzle soon went to work and captured the Tag Team Championships and Women's World Championship from their respective champions (Son of Slash and Carolina Strutter) before capturing the television championship from Flint Decker. Many of our new up and comers went up against their new stable and fell to the wayside. Abe Buckingham, Tempest, Sheba, Richie Billions and many more stepped up to the plate and missed the mark, leaving The Blessed unchallenged until...
The Pale Rider has arrived, bringing his horseman with him! Grifter, Shadow and Tempest have joined forces with The Pale Rider to battle against the Blessed Ones. We're excited to watch them clash and hopefully bring the respect and honor back to AoE.
And last but not least our newest up start Tarah Thompson got renewed hope after Carolina Strutter lost her championship to Mother Mercy, regaining the title from the blessed lady just before the end of the year. As a reminder she couldn't challenge for the title as long as Carolina was champion. We look to the future with her as champion and wonder where her path lies.
What an exciting year we had, I hope you all enjoyed our yearly recap in detail. As an added bonus we will run through the feuds built on and made during this year and our champions crowned during the year.
Noteworthy feuds: Abe Buckingham v Richie Billions
Domingo cheating his way to the World Championship v Richie, Haruki and Flint Decker.
Son of Slash v Glitter Guard
Mother Mercy v Carolina
Tarah Thompson v Mother Mercy
Champions at the begining v end of year:
World Champion- Domingo/SlashMaster
Television- GunslingeMack Caliber
Tag Team- Son of Slash/Glitter Guard
Cruiser- Concrete Charlie/Seraph
Women's- Carolina StrutteTarah Thompson
Women's Tag- Sisterhood/Sisterhood
Thank you for reading! Enjoy your universe!
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