Alexis partner

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.

OK, here's another good hypothetical: A multiverse crossover scenario with a mix group of Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, Predacons, Mini-Cons, or whoever...

2020.09.25 04:56 Shades96 OK, here's another good hypothetical: A multiverse crossover scenario with a mix group of Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, Predacons, Mini-Cons, or whoever...

Now, say that one one point, Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, Predacons, Mini-Cons, etc. etc. from across the multiverse are suddenly in the same location and time, like Axiom Nexus, for instance (I mean, it is fitting considering that its is a multiversal hub for interdimensional (or TRANS-dimensional? What is it?) travel, after all). One character (either any of those factions or race I've already mentioned) from one universe meeting another and more and they're either having a conversation, or they (also) team up together to do... something, whatever.
If you could pick ANY Autobots, Decepticons, Mini-Cons, ANYone from across the Transformers multiverse, how would you reckon the scenario between them go? Like, would they be friends with each other, would they just be at each other's throats, would not get along until later on, anything?
For me, I would pick:
...and I would say that they'd probably be friends with each other just fine, I guess. Considering that, Arcee, in her reality, gets along her Bumblebee and Bulkhead very well, since they are her team mates after all. Except unlike Bulkhead of Malgus 1207.26 Alpha, her Bulkhead is more of a muscle type then he is a clumsy giant type, I guess? And unlike Bumblebee of Tyran 707.04 Delta, her Bee IS similar, but he mostly communicates with beeps instead of the radio, so imagine Bee and Arcee's conversation with each other.
Bulkhead, in his reality, is best friends with HIS Bumblebee, but to see another Bee who looks and sounds different to the Bee Bulkhead's use to, he would either have to be optimistic about it, or to be distant about it, I guess?... (OK, look, I'll be completely honest with ya, I've never watch watched Transformers Animated (I do wanna watch it, I heard it's REALLY good and it does seem like it , but judging by some of the scenes I saw on YouTube, like Bulkhead losing his head or even just reading his character profile online (gentle giant and all), I can sorta got the idea of what THIS Bulkhead's character is like in order for me to include him here. But please do forgive me if I got his character from Animated wrong, OK? I'm sorry))
And as for Bumblebee... Well, he seems pretty neutral towards other Autobots in the first three movies (though, he does remain very loyal to his leader, Optimus Prime, so there's that), though in AOE and TLK, however, he, Drift, and Crosshairs seemed to be pretty antagonistic with each other for some reason. So I'd guess having him paired up with a gentle giant, and a tough as nails but pretty friendly Autobot would probably be a breath of fresh air for him, I guess (Plus, I picked THIS Bumblebee, 'cause I wanna see more radio line potentials when chatting with these fellow bots, I mean, c'mon! I know fans hate the idea of Bumblebee speaking talking through the radio, but I honestly like, it's a charming character trait that I find out of him, so why not)
And then there's Hot Shot (again, Cybertron Defense Team) and his old partner Mini-Con, Jolt. If anything, Hot Shot would DEFINETELY offer these fellow bots his fist bump in camaraderie, and it would remind him the first time he ever tried a fist bump back in Armada. So, I would see him pulling the whole team up of mix-multverisal Autobots together, I think. Though, I'm not sure what to do with Jolt, unfortunately, does anyone have any ideas for him?
And now for their bonus conversations: They could talk about their human allies and what they're like as their best friends, like Rad, Carlos, Alexis, Kicker, Misha, Coby, Bud, and Lori of Aurex 802.23 Alpha, Sam Witwicky, Mikela, Carly, and Cade of Tyran 707.04 Delta, Sari Sumdac of Malgus 1207.26 Alpha, and Jack, Raf, and Miko of Uniend 911.05 Alpha. ALL of there human friends and more!... (I'll bet I gave you a headache just reading these universal stream designations, huh? Sorry haha LOL)

So, now that I'm done with my picks and my scenario (sorry if it's not a complete one, it's just hard to write these things, honestly. I'm a little tired as off this writing. But if you have any more ideas for my scenario, please lay it on me, I like to hear it), what are your picks for anyone in the entire multiverse to associate with each other, and what're your scenario for these characters? Let's all have fun with this, shall we?
submitted by Shades96 to transformers [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 08:30 shliam Hope for LAC, a post Battery Day Review

Given some of the disappointment in TSLA's battery day, and the lack of mentioning the magic letters of VALE or LAC, I thought I'd write up some further due diligence I dug up on LAC. I still think it's got a lot of promise, but I may be biased as I loaded up on it over the past few weeks.
Thacker Pass Project
First production Expectation Q3 – 2022 (LAC Website)
Q1 – 2023 is also a possibility as the a record of decision by the environmental authorities must be issues by February 5th, after which LAC has said they’ll begin a 2 year construction phase (https://sierranevadaally.org/2020/08/28/thacker-pass-lithium-mine-draft-environmental-impact-statement-reaction/)
Size: “The current exploration plan boundary encompasses approximately 3,550 acres. The project would involve expanding the plan boundary to approximately 18,000 acres, with an ultimate disturbance footprint of approximately 5,700 acres.” – Bureau of Land Management (https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bureau-land-management-seeks-public-input-proposed-lithium-nevada-corporation-thacker)
This meets Elon’s comments about having permits to a mining site that is over 10,000 acres / the expansion may be a part of an agreement that allow the mining rights to his 10,000 acres.
https://sierranevadaally.org/2020/08/28/thacker-pass-lithium-mine-draft-environmental-impact-statement-reaction/
This article is the most interesting one that talks bout the Environmental statement reaction (Same article referenced in the first production expectation section). The draft environmental impact statement was published July 29th and the public comment period ended on September 11th, 2020.
Article says they spent the last couple of years creating processing method using sulfuric acid. Sulphuric acid has been used for hard rock extraction for decades, but this is a new way for sedimentary clay. They said the excess acidity is neutralized to produce gypsum and Epsom salt as by products. Note, the Tesla battery day made a point of saying that they had a way that was sulphate free in processing lithium, with doesn’t seem to be in line with the above, unless it is to be updated/released later; It’s also possible the I’m misunderstanding this as my mining / chemical knowledge is limited
The proect is proposed to be a carbon-neutral mine operation; this seems in line with Tesla’s goals. The CEO, Alexi Zawadzki, made appoint of saying “Once the lithium is dissolved, it can be concentrated and purified to produce high-quality lithium compounds for batteries. Any excess acidity is neutralized to produce calcium sulfate (gypsum, also known as the main material in wall-board) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt)”
The article also said that an open pit is proposed with the remediation objective of back filling the hole; Elon made a big point his presentation that their mine would be putting the soil back into the land to return it to it’s natural state (aka remediate).
Finally: ““LNC is evaluating financing options to build the Thacker Pass mine including a partner in the Thacker Pass project. Current regulations restrict certain countries, including China, from owning strategic minerals deposits in the USA and the Company will fully abide by these laws.”
After all of the above, given Musk’s comment’s about Tesla itself obtaining Mining Rights and getting into the mining game, there is some speculation that Tesla could consider buying the mine from LAC (before and after the battery day)
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/06/27/tesla-terafactories-lithium-securing-the-supply-chain/
https://youtu.be/C6cXu1Ln6rk?t=227
At this point, it’s a gamble (like everything here), but I’m holding my position. Given the above, and the fact that Ganfeng Lithium (TSLA’s current Lithium provider – see more details and DD @ https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/iss0ez/how_to_get_big_tendies_off_tsla_battery_day/ ) is the biggest owner at 16.55%, I’m happy to hold.
There’s likely going to be some froth over the next little bit, but I think they’ve get a pretty good shot at being involved in the Tesla Mining project; even if they’re not, the approval of the mine and beginning construction on the project should provide some good PR and keep the stock on a profitable trajectory.
Best of luck you beautiful bastards
Holding shares
Also, 4/16, 2021 15C
submitted by shliam to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 08:26 shliam Hope for LAC, a post Battery Day Review

Given some of the disappointment in TSLA's battery day, and the lack of mentioning the magic letters of VALE or LAC, I thought I'd write up some further due diligence I dug up on LAC. I still think it's got a lot of promise, but I may be biased as I loaded up on it over the past few weeks.
The Thacker Pass Project
First production Expectation Q3 – 2022 (LAC Website)
Q1 – 2023 is also a possibility as the a record of decision by the environmental authorities must be issued by February 5th, after which LAC has said they’ll begin a 2 year construction phase (https://sierranevadaally.org/2020/08/28/thacker-pass-lithium-mine-draft-environmental-impact-statement-reaction/)
Size: “The current exploration plan boundary encompasses approximately 3,550 acres. The project would involve expanding the plan boundary to approximately 18,000 acres, with an ultimate disturbance footprint of approximately 5,700 acres.” – Bureau of Land Management (https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bureau-land-management-seeks-public-input-proposed-lithium-nevada-corporation-thacker)
The above meets Elon’s comments about having permits to a mining site that is over 10,000 acres. It could also be that the expansion may be a part of an agreement with Tesla that would allow Musk the mining rights to his 10,000+ acres.

https://sierranevadaally.org/2020/08/28/thacker-pass-lithium-mine-draft-environmental-impact-statement-reaction/
This article is the most interesting one that talks bout the Environmental statement reaction (Same article referenced in the first production expectation section). The draft environmental impact statement was published July 29th and the public comment period ended on September 11th, 2020.
Article says they spent the last couple of years creating processing method using sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid has been used for hard rock extraction for decades, but this is a new way for sedimentary clay in a more environmentally friendly way. They said the excess acidity is neutralized to produce gypsum and Epsom salt as by products.
The project is proposed to be a carbon-neutral mine operation; this seems in line with Tesla’s goals. The CEO, Alexi Zawadzki, made appoint of saying “Once the lithium is dissolved, it can be concentrated and purified to produce high-quality lithium compounds for batteries. Any excess acidity is neutralized to produce calcium sulfate (gypsum, also known as the main material in wall-board) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt)”
The article also said that an open pit is proposed with the remediation objective of back filling the hole; Elon made a big point his presentation that their mine would be putting the soil back into the land to return it to it’s natural state.
Finally: “LNC is evaluating financing options to build the Thacker Pass mine including a partner in the Thacker Pass project. Current regulations restrict certain countries, including China, from owning strategic minerals deposits in the USA and the Company will fully abide by these laws.”
After all of the above, given Musk’s comment’s about Tesla itself obtaining Mining Rights and getting into the mining game, there is also some speculation from others that Tesla could consider buying the mine from LAC (some before and after the battery day):
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/06/27/tesla-terafactories-lithium-securing-the-supply-chain/
https://youtu.be/C6cXu1Ln6rk?t=227
At this point, it’s a gamble (like everything here), but I’m holding my position. Given the above, and the fact that Ganfeng Lithium (TSLA’s current Lithium provider – see more details and DD @ https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/iss0ez/how_to_get_big_tendies_off_tsla_battery_day/ ) is the biggest owner at 16.55%, I’m happy to hold.
There’s likely going to be some froth over the next little bit, but I think they’ve get a pretty good shot at being involved in Tesla's Mining project; even if they’re not, the approval of the mine and beginning construction on the project should provide some good PR and keep the stock on a profitable trajectory.
Best of luck you beautiful bastards
Also, 4/16, 2021 15C
submitted by shliam to pennystocks [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 20:03 ThrowRA_fedupgf My (23F) GF (22F) has a very weird attachment to her sister (23F) and I am fed up

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.
submitted by ThrowRA_fedupgf to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.20 05:38 Zithero Book 1: Chapter 30: Ultimatums

Ragna
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 restore it…”
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.

Xyphiel
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 restored.”
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.”

Zithero
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 better.”
“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,
“Unless…”
Zepherina narrowed her eyes, “Unless what?”
Ragna grinned wickedly, “Zepherina, why don’t you take control of the Alexandrata?”
...
Timothy
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.”

Xyphiel
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.
“When I 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.”
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2020.09.18 04:41 XRubico Fairy Godfather Part 3

“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?”
“Do what?”
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.
“Like what?”
“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!
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2020.09.15 14:39 PemsRoses Unpopular Opinion it seems : I enjoyed the premiere of DWTS 29.

As someone who didn't fully watch the last 3 seasons I had quite a good time watching the premiere of this season. Production did good with the current situation.
Some general points : - New outfits YAY! Most of the teams looked really great.
Now onto more specifics points :
The big topic now : Tyra Banks. First I want to say it that for weeks people were telling her she was the worst, bad, she had the racists on her back but she kept playing it off. So seeing the same people rejoying in the fact that she was nervous because she was in pathetic. Second : They changed the host after 28 seasons of course they have to make the promos around the new host because they are not the stars of the show put it's important to showcase her. The slight nuance is that Tyra already has the reputation of being self absorbed so they should have tone it down a bit during the promos. However I had no complain during the show. Third people saying it lacked of interaction well she tried and it's difficult to really connect with someone who is 8 feet away and to transmit that connection threw the TV. Fourth and last : we are in the middle of a pandemic, there is no audience, the host can't interact with anyone, it was her first time on DWTS so people be honest she did good. Far from perfect but she was not a nuisance at all. I've had bad host on DALS that were actually bothering but I didn't get that vibe from Tyra. Also to the people complaining - yet again - about her wardrobe change come on now, she is a model of course she will bring some her style into it. Yes I missed Tom A LOT and think that it was really stupid to fire him now because he already has a connection with the pros so it would have been easier for him but aside from some nerves and cringy moment, Tyra did what she had to do.
So I'm actually excited for this season. There are some contestants I'm really looking for like Johnny, Skai, Anne, Jesse, Jeannie, AJ and Justina. I also think Charles will do much better next week because he will be more at ease, he won't be great but less stiff. I think Chrishell is in trouble because while she has a great personality she had 1) Gleb and 2) She is stiff and doesn't really use her muscle to control her movements so I'm not expecting a huge improvement from her but we'll see. So yep, that's it.
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2020.09.13 09:03 whyisitsodarkaaaah Recommendations For October

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.
Thank you!
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2020.09.08 16:25 TabithaCosgrove AoE Ladies Night Year 18

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!
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2020.09.06 14:49 readingrachelx Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - September 6th, 2020

Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - September 6th, 2020

Erika Jayne for SavageXFenty
  • Erika Jayne named ambassador for SavageXFenty (Erika Jayne Instagram)
  • Cut RHOBH footage of the ladies discussing Aaron Phypers (Queens of Bravo Twitter)
  • Lisa Vanderpump Opens Up About Her Finances Taking a Hit Amid Pandemic (Reality Blurb/Give Them Lala... with Randall podcast) "While Lala described Lisa as “wealthy [as f**k]” during the episode after Lisa revealed that she is now doing her own nails, Lisa clarified that she “used to be” wealthy prior to the pandemic before saying she hopes it will be safe to reopen her restaurants soon. “Five months of paying rent and insurance, and having no business is taxing, stretching, [has been] a bit of a nightmare. But we’ll get back on track soon,” she shared. “When we do decide to open, we have good-sized patios. Pump is 90 percent garden. TomTom has two gardens and we can put tables outside. So we are very fortunate with that but we’ve just been waiting for it to be safe.” “Vanderpump Garden is open but distancing is essential and Caesars is doing a really good job with that,” she stated about her Las Vegas eatery which she opened last year. The Pump Rules boss also admitted during the interview that she helped her two children, Pandora Sabo and Max Todd, buy their homes. “I did buy them both… gave them the deposit for a place to live and they both have a mortgage,” shared Lisa. “Pandora and Jason have a mortgage and Max has a mortgage. I gave them a start but I like them to have their responsibilities.”
  • Extended RHOP preview for tonight's episode (Queens of Bravo Twitter) I'm FAR too excited for this.
  • Teresa Giudice: How She Feels About Dating After Divorce From Joe Is Finalized (HollywoodLife Exclusive) “Teresa is having fun and flirting with men but she’s not dating anyone seriously. It’ll probably be some time before that happens but her friends are trying to set her up,” an insider close to the Real Housewives of New Jersey star spilled to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She seems to feel weird about it because of her younger daughters, so maybe when they’re a bit older,” the source added. “The girls aren’t ready for her to date and she’s really busy with them and filming that it’s just not at the top of her priority list. Maybe one day she’ll be open to a relationship and love again, but right now, she’s still healing from the end of her marriage and focusing on herself,” the insider explained. “She’s in the best place she’s been in quite sometime and you can tell how light and happy she is. The girls are doing well too and Gia being home so much has helped Teresa out tremendously. She is able to get out and have fun and unwind. She didn’t get to do that for a long time while Joe was away.” “Joe isn’t dating anyone seriously either for the same reasons. He’s missing his girls tremendously and that consumes his thoughts a lot,” the source said. “The family is all on FaceTime all day, every day. He sees his family often and has made friends and stays busy with work. This is a new chapter for all of them. The girls can’t wait to see their dad. As soon as it’s safe, it will happen,” they also noted. Despite the divorce, Teresa and Joe have maintained a friendly relationship — and are even going to be working together to sell sex toys! The duo have partnered with European distributor Zalo USA, which will be prominently featured on RHONJ‘s season 11."
  • Pics of the Jersey cast filming an all-white party at Melissa's shore home in memory of Teresa and Joe's late father (realhousewivesfranchise Instagram)
  • Video interview: Ashley Darby on Her ‘Unconventional’ Marriage to Michael and Their Season 5 Troubles (ET Online exclusive) "Ashley Darby very much relates to Jada Pinkett Smith and the whole "entanglement" saga. "Oh my gosh," the Real Housewives of Potomac star sighs when the topic comes up. Back in June, Jada and her husband, Will Smith, revealed to the world that Jada had a relationship outside of her marriage to Will with singer August Alsina that went on for quite some time. Jada and August's "entanglement," as Jada dubbed it, occurred while Will and Jada were on a break of sorts from their marriage. "You know, I related to that a little more than I'd like to admit," Ashley says, recalling watching the episode of Red Table Talk on which Will and Jada discussed their relationship woes. "I was like, man, Jada. I'm with you girl," she continues. "I get it. I mean, marriage is just so hard -- and it's really hard being a public figure and having difficulties, and it's even more difficult when you decide to talk about them and say some things that aren't necessarily fitting the mold of what people think a marriage is or should be." Ashley's marriage to her husband, Michael, has been under a microscope for five years of RHOP. They have an age difference (she's a millennial, he's in his 50s) and a number of cultural differences (she's American and biracial, he's from Australia), and there hasn't been a single season where allegations of infidelity, hidden sexuality or some combination of the two aren't a topic of discussion. Season 5 is no different, as Ashley's co-star, Candiace Dillard Bassett, receives a text message with new accusations against Michael. This time, someone claims to have seen Michael out at a strip club, where he allegedly shared that he has "a boyfriend and a wife." "Obviously, Candiace and I have had our share of differences in the past, so I wasn't really keen on believing her from the beginning, because Candiace has said a lot of things that weren't true," Ashley shares of what starts to play out in this Sunday's episode. "I took it with a grain of salt... and then it unfolds and boy, does it unfold," she adds. "I mean, there's, like, layers upon layers upon layers of it." In the past, Ashley and Michael have largely brushed off the rumors, denied them or gotten involved in legal action about them. This time will be different, though, as Ashley admits Michael did make a "pretty significant" mistake. Viewers will see the 32-year-old confront her husband in an upcoming episode. "I'm truthful and I know that can be a hard thing to believe, and that people want to think that we make up things and there's all these facades around our relationship, but I really am truthful," she says. "So if there's something that needs to be talked about, if there's a hurdle that we actually do need to overcome or an issue we have to address, we're going to address it." "It's not as though I've said those things in the past to be facetious, or to just, like, you know, create this false illusion about my marriage," she adds, referencing the way the couple has handled marital speed bumps in the past. "No, if there was an issue then, I would've talked about it. When we were having issues with the restaurant [we owned], I was upfront and talked about it. When I was having issues with my mom and how my family dynamic was working, we talked about it, and this is not going to be any different. So, the things that were false, yes, I said those were false. The things that are true, I will talk about them, and if they're true, they're true." Ashley says fans will definitely learn some new information about her relationship and how it works before season 5’s end. "I'm not a conventional person and I just don't think it's gonna come as a shock to anybody," she teases. "Michael and I are an unconventional couple in many ways." The pair is still very much together, though. They recently wrapped up an extended stay at their beach house in Delaware, and are now back home in the Potomac area. (And she's not sure why Google has Michael labeled as "Ashley Darby’s ex-husband," but offers a joke guess of a petty employee of the search engine just wanting to mess with her.) "I love my husband," she declares. "He's a great husband, and my relationship is going to withstand. It's strong enough to withstand a lot. It's really going to be up to us to what we think is something we can overcome. I'm not going to let the media, or the public, or the opinions of others affect what I do and how I approach my marriage. Everyone's going to have an opinion. I'm sure there'll be some very strong reactions to what they see and what happens, but ultimately the only person who really lays next to Michael at night and has to have these discussions is me. So, that's that." (more in article and in video)
  • New RHOA star LaToya Ali announced she was getting a divorce in June 2020. She and her husband seem to have since reconciled as they were photographed with Kandi and Todd. (Bossip) Something to watch for this season - we'll see if it's addressed on the show.
  • Lydia McLaughlin Weighs in on the New RHOC Season (bravotv.com) "Lydia still spends lots of time with her RHOC friends Gretchen Rossi, Lizzie Rovsek, and Alexis Bellino. In fact, all three women made an appearance on Glitter Town during a super glam brunch Lydia and Judy threw. Lydia actually sees Gretchen (and her adorable daughter, Skylar Gray) on a weekly basis. “We’re in a bible study together,” Lydia explained. “We’ve grown really close. She’s a wonderful mom, and she loves her little baby, and she’s just dedicated her whole life to Skylar. I’m so proud of her.” When asked how she feels about Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson not returning, Lydia explained, “I felt like it was a long time coming, honestly. I think it’s a good switch-up. I’m excited to see what the cast does.” “I love Vicki, and I ran into her a couple times, and I think it’s good for her. I think she’s ready to leave,” Lydia continued. “She has a successful relationship, she has an engagement. She has a daughter, she’s a grandmother. I think that she has a lot going on. I do know that Tamra…she’s not letting it go. She’s still talking about it. I just feel bad for her, it’s kind of like, OK, you need to move on and do something else. She’s talking about the next season, and I think it’s a little…it sounds pathetic.” There are also two ‘Wives she’s not on great terms with. “Shannon [Storms Beador] and Tamra both have blocked me, so I don’t know what’s going on in their lives,” she said. “I don’t know, maybe they’ve unblocked me now. I haven’t checked lately.” Lydia went on to say that after 15 seasons, she finds it refreshing to meet some fresh faces, as it’s interesting to take a look into the lives of new people who have stories to tell."
  • An Instagram story clip where Kelly Dodd refers to OC as "her show" (Queens of Bravo Twitter)
  • Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward reveals she and her family have contracted coronavirus (Manchester Evening News)
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2020.09.03 22:04 autotldr Trump's press secretary refuses to blame Russia for the nerve agent attack on Putin's top opponent

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 58%. (I'm a bot)
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday avoided assigning direct blame to Russia for the poisoning of Putin's top opponent, Alexei Navalny.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday decried the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as "Reprehensible," but declined to assign direct blame for the incident to the Russian government or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We're deeply troubled by the results released yesterday. Alexi Navalny's poisoning is completely reprehensible. Russia has used chemical nerve agents in the past and we're working with our allies in the international community to hold those in Russia accountable," McEnany said, essentially repeating a statement from the National Security Council released on Wednesday.
Navalny is Putin's most prominent opponent and has faced various forms of harassment from the Russian government for years.
Russian authorities initially prohibited Navalny from leaving the country, but he was ultimately transferred to Germany for further treatment.
"We have seen first-hand the deadly consequences of Novichok in the UK. The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny - we will work with international partners to ensure justice is done."
Summary Source FAQ Feedback Top keywords: Navalny#1 Russian#2 poisoned#3 government#4 blame#5
Post found in /politics.
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2020.09.03 13:10 AmbivalentAlexi3 New chapter.

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.
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2020.09.03 01:01 STATICinMOTION The Shoulders of Orion- Ch. 2: No Man's Land

Previous

“Godfuckingdamnit Ben, WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO!?”
Ganymede’s Lt. Governor Vanessa Nkosi stormed into the corridor, a whirlwind of wrath and incredulity bearing down on the two officers waiting near the airlock.
“Hey, Vanessa, long time n-”
Ben’s greeting was abruptly silenced as the irate woman reached him in a flash, barely constrained rage dripping from every word as she began berating him.
“Don’t play that coy shit with me. Do you have even the slightest idea of what you’ve done? Have you even looked at the news feeds? The entire Commonwealth is rioting! The Fermi-Exceptionalist nutjobs are up in arms, claiming this is some kind of hoax. The Ferm-Ex’es that believe this is real are out bombing or burning Exceptionalist churches for lying to them. There are already reports of hundreds injured and dozens of fatalities. Every member of that damned religion is out in the streets, and half of everyone else can’t tell if we’re under attack or not!” She grabbed the collar of Ben’s uniform with both hands, shaking him as she yelled. “Aliens docked at Hephaestus? Did you even fucking THINK!?”
“Van-” Alexi tried to interrupt, but Vanessa cut him off before he could form his first word, rounding on him with her anger.
“And YOU. You LET him do this, didn’t you? What happened to ‘It’s my job to keep him from doing anything too stupid?’ If this doesn’t count, Alexi, then WHAT THE FUCK DOES?”
“Vanessa, when was the last time one of Ben’s hunches was wrong?”
“Don’t give me that shit, Alexi. It’s not about if he’s right or not. He does not have the authority to speak for 20 billion people. That’s what we have elected officials for. Professional diplomats. There is a process for this, and Ben isn’t supposed to be part of it. And he certainly doesn’t have unilateral authority for decisions of this magnitude.”
“Well,” Ben tried to chime in, “I mean, maritime law does still apply ou-”
“MARITIME LAW WAS NOT WRITTEN WITH FIRST CONTACT IN MIND, YOU INSUFFERABLE CHILD!”
“Come on, Vanessa,” Ben said, finally able to complete a sentence amid his old friend's maelstrom of anger. “They’re good people. You’ll like ‘em.”
Vanessa’s eye twitched. “They. Are. Not. People, Ben. They’re aliens. That showed up in a fleet of warships. You do understand that, right?”
Ben dismissively waved his hand. “That’s a rather narrow way of looking at things. How are you going to make nice with an attitude like that?”
Vanessa’s eye twitched again. “My job is not to make nice. It’s my job to keep your new friends from eradicating the human race until the professional diplomats get here.”
“Well, then, you’ve got a pretty easy job. They’ve been quite friendly so far,” Ben said as he started ushering the small group towards the airlock. “The admiral is a little hesitant to talk shop, but the science officer is extremely curious and seems about as excited as I am. Now let’s hurry this up, I want to get back to our match.”
Vanessa stopped dead in her tracks. “Match?”
“Yeah, I broke out my favorite chess board. You know, the nice marble one?. Printed out some diagrams for how the pieces move. Va seemed to really take to it. I’ve been teaching him for the past hour. Great way to fill time while their translator programs are still...” Ben’s words trailed off as he looked back at Vanessa, who was standing in the corridor where she had stopped, visibly shaking with rage.
“You mean to tell me, that while I was being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, being briefed on the single most significant event in human history, and while all of humanity has been gripped with panic and chaos, on the verge of ripping itself apart, instead of doing absolutely anything substantive, you’ve been PLAYING A FUCKING GAME?!”
Ben walked back and wrapped his arm around the seething ball of fury’s shoulders, gently steering her down the corridor towards the airlock and the alien commanders awaiting her on the other side. “Not substantive.” Ben snorted. “Vanessa, that really hurts. In all the years we’ve been friends, have you ever known me to waste a move?”




Federation High Admiral Halon Va spent a long, quiet few minutes taking stock of his current predicament before snorting derisively. He wasn’t cut out for this; he was a soldier, not an ambassador. And even if Va had been a diplomat, specially trained for situations like this, there was still so much out of order. The Federation planned First Contacts decades, sometimes centuries, in advance. Any species deemed capable of potentially self-uplifting and achieving interstellar travel were studied and monitored incessantly. Generations of science and preparation went into each First Contact.
Yet here he was, docked at some unknown primate’s shipyard, thousands of light years from the nearest diplomat or scientist, with a crippled warfleet and an algorithm that was still scrambling to finish a translation. They had been forced to rely on a system of hastily patched together microphones and speakers in order to communicate with the humans. The small jumble of electronics with stray wires seemingly running everywhere looked very out of place in the center of his desk.
Science Officer Lentith sat beside him, pouring over his data pad, soaking up every small scrap of information the computer could translate from the human datanet. Mercifully, there were hundreds of dictionaries and encyclopedias available to access, exponentially increasing the productivity of the algorithms. Occasionally the young science officer would stop and tinker with the jumble of wires on the desk, trying to coax as smooth a performance from their piecemeal translator system as possible.
Va exhaled heavily. Normally, by the time First Contact with a species came around, enough research would have been performed for the Federation scientists to have functional translator implants ready for the new race. First Contact was supposed to be a wondrous moment in a species’ history when the older, more advanced races of the galaxy reached out, with their might, technology, and societal pride on full display, and beckoned the newcomers to join their ranks. Poor translations and patchwork speakers were not the best way to create a favorable first impression of the Federation. Though, the state of his fleet was probably a much more noticeable black mark against those positive perceptions, Va thought bitterly.
Rather than continuing to dwell on the ridiculous nature of his current circumstances, Va turned his attention instead to the stone board placed on his desk and the game the human had been teaching him to play.
It had been incredibly strange. Ben, the human captain had insisted on being called Ben, had sat down across from him and began introducing him to this wonderful game straight away, leaving his subordinate to discuss matters with Science Officer Lentith. Va had followed the conversation closely, to be sure, but he largely hadn’t been a part of it, instead listening and focusing on the human’s reactions. He had a suspicion that the human captain had been doing something very similar.
Va picked up and examined one of the pieces, the one Ben had called a ‘knight.’ Lentith had enough of the translation done to inform him that a knight was some kind of ancient warrior in the human’s civilization, though he couldn’t imagine what kind of creature this piece was modeled after or what that had to do with a warrior. The craftsmanship was exquisite, however, and he spent several more long moments simply admiring the carving.
Placing the piece back down on the board, he redoubled his efforts of trying to understand this game. The rules were easy enough. How to win was clearly defined, and all the pieces could only move in certain ways. It had seemed so simple at first glance. Yet the more Va lost, and the more Ben had taught him about why he lost, the more he began to understand the true scope of the game. It was a microcosm of everything Va had ever learned about strategy and tactics, all distilled down into an elegant little 8x8 board.
He carried on his studies until his security officer’s voice rang out over the com, informing him that the humans were waiting outside his office door. The human officers had excused themselves to greet and brief their chief diplomat, and had finally returned. Va allowed them in immediately. Ben was the first to enter, and began speaking the moment he was through the door.
“Ah, Va, I want to introduce you to an old friend of mine. This is Vanessa Nkosi, Lieutenant Governor of the nearby moon of Ganymede. She went through the Academy with Alexi and I. Served with her for years, damn fine commander. After she got out she went into public service, and just happened to be the highest ranking public official within any reasonable proximity to us.”
The speakers began outputting sounds that both Va and Lentith could understand the instant Ben had stopped talking. Va noted with some relief that the translation algorithms had made more progress, as the translated human speech reached Va’s ears tinged with excitement.
The humans paused while the makeshift translator did its work, allowing Va time to study the newest xeno. While all the humans were significantly smaller than Va, this newest human was smaller still, being over a full head shorter than Ben, the tallest of the three humans, and fully half of Va’s own height. She also had a variety of very distinct morphological differences and a more narrow frame. Most noticeably, her skin was significantly darker than that of the two officers, and her hair was longer, darker, and thicker as well.
Va began to wonder just how widely the appearance of these creatures could vary.
He greeted her as warmly as he could though, hoping that the cold, mechanical sound of the speakers would convey the sentiment. They exchanged formalities quickly, and he motioned towards the chairs on the other side of his desk, hoping that his gesture was universal enough for them to understand. It was, and the three humans quickly seated themselves.
“What are your intentions with our species?”
Before anyone else seated around the massive desk could say or do anything, Vanessa had grabbed hold of the conversation, and was locking eyes with Va as she spoke. She never averted her gaze, and rarely blinked, seemingly trying to bore into the admiral’s mind with her vision alone. Va was taken aback by the bluntness of her speech and aggressiveness of her demeanor. This hadn’t been how the other humans had behaved at all.
“Intentions?” Va didn’t understand the question. If the translators were working correctly, the human diplomat seemed to think that he had brought his fleet here for some nefarious purpose.
“What do you want with us? Or from us? Why are you here?”
“It was actually a bit of a navigational anomaly,” Va replied, as cordially as he could. “We didn’t know anyone was here, and we came here to refuel and repair. I assure you, I was incredibly surprised to find you here. Finding a new sentient species is a major discovery, something that the entire galaxy takes very seriously, and such a haphazard First Contact would never have been allowed if anyone knew about you beforehand. If anything, we’re overdue. Your Commander Alexi has informed me that your species has a series of colonies outside this system. Most species capable of such a feat would have been contacted long ago.”
“Why didn’t you contact us before now?” Once again, the human governor turned ambassador was straight to the point.
“That’s a rather complicated question. There are some significant, large scale politics involved.”
“Please, enlighten me. Does Sol already belong to some interstellar empire? Are your scientists forbidden from exploring here?”
“No, no, it’s nothing like that. But it is a rather messy situation to try and explain.”
“Oh come on, Va. I most likely just sacrificed my career by letting you dock and repair at this station.” Ben had finally gotten a word in before Vanessa, and his tone was clearly pleading, even through the rough translation. “The least you could do is tell us how and why you ended up here. And why you never showed up before”
Va snorted heavily in response, and finally relented. “Well, you’re going to find out eventually. I suppose I might as well get this out of the way.”
He reached into his desk and removed a datapad and a small remote, quickly tapping the later as he stood. The wall of screens across from him flared to life, and the humans all turned in their seats to see the display. A full and incredibly intricate map of the galaxy was spread over every screen, rotating across the wall in stunning detail. Another click of the remote brought the map rapidly zooming in on a single, wispy spiral arm, centering it on his office wall display screens.
Va fumbled with his datapad, forcing the translation algorithm to mine the human data network for a name the humans would recognize. When he finally found it, a few quick taps later the spiral arm on display was labeled [Carina-Sagitarius] in human lettering. Two more quick taps, and the whole of the displayed spiral arm dyed itself a striking bright purple. Quick flashes lit up the screen as stars and systems started labeling themselves, though Va knew the humans couldn’t understand the markings.
“This is our home. The United Federation of Sentient Races spans this entire minor galactic arm. Two dozen sentient species have their cradle worlds located in this stretch of space, and all are voting members of the Federation. We are one of the largest and oldest political unions of multiple species in the galaxy. Our union has thrived on trade and peaceful negotiations with the bulk of the galaxy for millennia, and all sentient species are welcome to find homes within the Federation, even if their cradle lies on the other side of the galaxy.”
Another tap of the datapad brought a stream of images flooding across the map display. Pictures of every sentient species in the Federation paraded into view. Famous locations and cities from around the Federation were likewise displayed, leading the humans through a brief tour of Federation society. It was a hastily repurposed section of the actual First Contact Protocol, but it still served its purpose well. At least something about this whole mess was handled properly, thought Va.
The brief display had a profound effect on the humans. Both the officers were sitting with mouths agape and a sparkle in their eyes that reminded Va of his science officer’s reaction to finding a new sentient species. Even the human governor seemed unable to hold her harsh demeanor as the scope of the Federation washed over them.
“As you no doubt noticed,” Va began, hoping the resignation in his voice wouldn’t translate, “I arrived here in a fleet designed for war. The galaxy is by no means a peaceful or safe place beyond Federation borders. With so many uncharted places in the galaxy to hide, piracy is common. Many of the smaller, less secure species, out in the galaxy on their own, will war with each other trying to gain that security. However, the biggest threat to the Federation lies here.”
Va clicked the remote again, and the wall sized map of the Federation pulled away, panning towards the edge of the galaxy and focusing on another, larger spiral arm. Another few taps on Va’s datapad labeled the arm [Perseus] in human. In a flash, the whole rim-ward half of the main galactic arm turned a deep orange. The bright purple band of the Federation suddenly seemed much less impressive.
“This is the Qorthi Dominion, our main political and military rival. The Federation has been warring with them intermittently for the past 2000 of your years. The Dominion is aggressive and expansionist, and prospers via the subjugation of other species. We have successfully resisted all of their offensives, but the wars are vicious and costly.” Va silently chided himself for being so open about what was in store for these aliens. A professional diplomat wouldn’t be giving so much away. The Humans had been exceptionally kind and welcoming, however, and Va thought that they should know the truth sooner rather than later. They deserved that much. He tried to keep the weariness from his voice as he continued. “The wars do end, however, and there will be long stretches of uneasy peace. Which, unfortunately, brings us to humanity.”
The map once again shifted perspective, this time focusing on a small, oddly angled segment of a galactic arm. Rather than fitting neatly into the spiral pattern of the rest of the galaxy, this spur jutted out of the edge of Federation space near the base of [Carina-Sagitarius] and crossed the void between arms, spearing right through the middle of the [Perseus] arm in the center of the Dominion. Va tapped his datapad, and the new band of stars labeled itself [Orion-Cygnus]. Almost right in the center of the spur, near the edge of the arm closest to Federation claimed space, a new data point highlighted itself, and was quickly labeled [Sol].
“The Spur that you find your home nestled in the middle of has been set aside as neutral ground by both sides of our conflict. Travel through the Spur is the most direct way for one adversary to reach the other. As such, colonization, resource extraction, and territorial claims within the Spur are strictly forbidden for both sides. In the past, this buffer has averted several wars, but when full scale conflict does break out, areas of the Spur can turn to bloodbaths. By chance, none of those wars have ever strayed through your system. Until now.”




Suddenly, it all made sense to Ben. It was no wonder that mankind had never seen or heard anything indicating that there was other intelligent life out in the void. There wasn’t a sentient thing in the entire Orion Arm, and mankind was just now scraping against the walls of the Local Bubble.The nearest labeled colony on the galactic map was over a thousand light years away. Even if the colony was hundreds of years old, radio signals wouldn’t reach human space for several hundred more years.
So many things in human history took on a new meaning. The fruitless search for life beyond Earth. The existential dread that had plagued humanity for the 250 years of wandering through empty, lonely space. The Exeptionalists bastardizing the ‘answer’ to Fermi’s Paradox into justification for their religion. If Sol had just shifted a few hundred light years in any direction, how different would human history have been?
More importantly, Ben thought, what does this mean for mankind going forward? The Commonwealth was fracturing; squabbling and infighting was tearing the fragile union apart at the seams. It was a slow, random, unplanned tearing, but it was real. There were so many different factions, and so many ideas for where humanity should be going, about what the future could look like for everyone. About what being human meant. All of it was pushing people in opposite directions. And with a limitless expanse of space in front of them, people could run as far as they wanted without looking back. The strain on the government and on society was palpable, but there was no way to stop it. With the whole of the universe laid out before someone, empty and waiting for them, how can you tell them what they can and can’t do?
In an instant, that unlimited, free expanse had shrunk to a mere pocket of no-man’s-land between warring empires.
Ben turned to his old friends in the quiet that still filled the alien admiral’s office, examining their reactions. Both were still as lost in thought as he had just been, each rolling over the implications of Humanity’s new reality in their minds. Seeing Vanessa struck silent after her vicious tirade earlier brought a smile to Ben’s lips, and his composure returned.
Swinging his chair back around to face the massive alien sitting behind the ornate desk, Ben quickly finished resetting the chessboard between them and moved a pawn, signalling the start of a new game. He waited for Va’s reply over the board before diving into his questions.
“So, I assume it was this Dominion that inflicted so much damage on your fleet?”
Several moves passed on the board before Va replied with a simple “Yes, it was.”
“Which means that your Federation is now in a state of open war?”
“That is correct.”
“What caused it?”
Va again let several long moments pass before answering. “The Dominion advanced into the Spur. They moved to set up massive shipyard facilities and fuel mining operations on the outer edge of a nebula well within the neutral zone. The completion of those facilities would have given their fleets free range to strike at our borders with remarkable ease. It was an unprecedented act of aggression, so we struck before the facilities could be brought online. The battle... did not go well.”
“Well, that’s a hell of a story. So what happens to us now? Are we going to be the next species to join your Federation? Are we going to get caught up in this war?”
Next to him, Vanessa had regained her sensibilities and joined the discussion. “My apologies, Admiral. But if your intentions for humanity are for us to join your Federation, I’m afraid that’s quite impossible. There is no way a vote would ever pass for such a thing. Not so soon.” Her voice darkened as she continued. “And not if your people are at war.”
“We’re not asking you to join. Not yet,” Va replied hastily. “Membership in the Federation means you become an equal partner. Member species are expected to contribute to the protection of the Federation, and as such, they are all given access to Federation military technology and secrets. It is an immense responsibility, and, to protect ourselves, all applicant species must wait at least three of their species’ generations after uplift before they can be considered for membership. We must be confident in the intentions of a new race before they are given such power to wield. It’s a lesson learned from experience, and a rule about which we are quite inflexible.”
“So,” Vanessa pressed, “Not joining your Federation won’t get our planets glassed? We’re still free to choose for ourselves?”
“Of course!” Va sounded slightly scandalized through the translator. “What’s more, you will have the full technological and logistical support of the Federation, regardless of your species desire to join. A proper uplift is nothing less than what any new species would receive when entering the wider galaxy, and what you should have been given when you left your cradle world. Humanity was born into an incredibly dangerous region of the galaxy, and we will not simply abandon you to whatever fate that entails. Hopefully, our species will become good friends and great neighbors, as is our desire of every newfound species. However, that is entirely up for your people to decide.”
Ben smiled again as he watched the tension visibly drain away from Vanessa . He could almost hear her ligaments popping as the stress melted out of them. After taking a moment to compose herself, she continued with her questions. “Have there been other species that chose not to join? What does existence look like for the species that choose to follow their own path?”
“There have indeed been others who chose not to join, as was their prerogative. The species with core-ward homeworlds are mostly still thriving.” A deep sadness came over Va’s demeanor that the translator’s had no trouble conveying. “The others are not there anymore.”
The confused looks on each of the human’s faces clearly crossed the divide between their species, as Va chose to elaborate in the same, saddened voice.
“The Dominion bases its might on subjugating other species. Even if they don’t annex the conquered territory, they will still take the newly subjugated sentients back to Dominion space by force. The conquered worlds are stripped bare of living beings and technology, and the rest of the galaxy is left to wonder what happened to their new neighbors.” Va snorted heavily. “That’s what started the last war between us. The Wrrelben, a newly uplifted species, opted to forge their own destiny, and we wished them well. Then one day, all contact with their worlds stopped. We don’t know what the Qorthi wanted with them, but no one has seen a Wrrelben alive in almost 200 years.”
A heavy stillness settled over the human delegates. Vanessa had instantly tensed back up and Alexi was clearly distraught by the implied plight of any of their neighboring sentients. The oppressive weight of the revelation seemed to be pressing down on them, forcing them to scramble about in their minds to make sense of their limited options and their poor chances for survival.
Ben was as calm and focused as he had ever been.
For the first time in his career, there was something to actually do. There was a task at hand to fully apply himself to that mattered. Really, truly mattered. No more chasing pirates, no more ‘display the flag’ cruises to the outer colonies. Surviving in this new, fully inhabited galaxy would be the greatest challenge mankind had ever been faced with, and humanity’s very existence was at stake.
And Ben would be right in the middle of it.
While each of the humans had been lost in thought examining their newfound reality, Va had been studying the chess board in front of him. After the lull in the talks had dragged on for longer than it probably should have, Va broke the silence with a more personal question for Ben.
“You said earlier that you had sacrificed your career by letting us dock here. What did you mean by that?”
“Oh, I’ll be fine,” Ben said as he extricated himself from his own thoughts and waved the question away. “Things have gone super well, so the court martial should just be a formality.”
Va sat back in his chair, concern seeping into his voice through the speakers. “What are you talking about? Why would you be put on trial?”
Ben made a sweeping gesture in the general direction of the station they were currently docked at. “Hephaestus is the primary naval shipyard for the Commonwealth navy, and Callisto, the moon that it’s orbiting, is home to the admiralty and the central administrative centers for the fleet. I absolutely did not have the authority to let you dock here. Due to the sudden appearance of your fleet of warships, and where you’re docked, there’s a not insignificant portion of the population that thinks you’ve occupied Fleet Command. There are some, uh, rather large riots going on right now.”
Ben hadn’t expected ‘aghast’ to be the first emotion that he learned to read on an aliens face. He quickly continued, trying to reassure the massive alien there was no cause for concern.
“This is by no means your fault. These are growing pains that humanity needs to go through if we’re going to survive in a decidedly not-empty galaxy. There’s a lot that has to change if we’re going to move forward. It’ll hurt, but we needed this. Once things calm down, and people have a chance to process this, mankind will be united in a way we’ve never been before. For the first time, we’ll all be pulling in the same direction. And we have you to thank for that.”




Many hours later, the three humans had stepped back through the airlocks and onto Hephaestus proper, exhausted but thrilled with the results of the day. No more stunning revelations about the population of the galaxy had been forthcoming, and talks had settled into exchanges of culture and technology. The discussions had been friendly, and even Vanessa, who boarded the alien ship prepared to resist demands for the outright surrender of humanity, had to admit there seemed to be nothing to fear from these particular aliens. The Federation’s plans for Humanities uplift already seemed very thorough, and the admiral had assured them that was just the beginning.
None of that could keep their minds from drifting towards the specter of the war they now found themselves in the middle of.
“This shit is so far above my pay grade.” It was Vanessa who spoke first, venting the frustrations she had kept bottled up all day. She then turned to Ben, asking “How fucked are we?”
“I don’t think it’s that bad,” Ben said thoughtfully. “And even if it is that bad, we should have time.”
“Did you really mean that earlier? About this finally bringing humanity together?”
“I did. If this isn’t enough, nothing will be.”
“That’s all well and good,” Alexi chimed in. “But what good will simple unity do in the face of imperialistic, genocidal, space alien slavers? What is there for us to actually do?”
“We start building, Alexi.” In spite of the gravity of the situation, Ben couldn’t suppress his smile.
“And we get ready.”

NEXT
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2020.09.02 20:25 geekbread A few mid-to-long term moonshots

Hey all,
If you are like me you are tired of the yield farming and meme tokens, I get that people are getting rich off them, but its hard to choose the winners before they make big moves and there isn't a good sense of logic as to what will move and when.
I've been investing in coins that I think are going to make me money in 2021 or 2022, not this week.
Here are some of my picks:
  1. OGN https://www.originprotocol.com/en/ - This one has huge potential, it's been steadily moving up. The biggest things that interested me in them is Mr. reddit himself, Alexis Ohanian, invested in the project, and OGN has an amazing team filled with founding youtube engineers. In short, they are a decentralized shopify/craigslist/airbnb. You can easily start your own shop there and not have a middleman. They already have a working product and partnership with google cloud. It's a lofty goal, but if they pull off product that gains traction, this will be huge, not to mention the speculative investments a small amount of success in crypto brings.
  2. VIDT https://about.v-id.org/datalink/ - Another project with a working product that is already being used today. This is used for data certification and they have partnered with IBM. It's made some major moves already, but I could see an easy 10-20x from the $44mil market cap over the next 6 months or so
  3. Avalanche https://www.avalabs.org/ - This one could be huge, and it's still early. They are a layer 1 (or 0 depending on what your definitions are) solution, meaning they have created an entirely new blockchain and platform. Their big claim is they have a whole new consensus algorithm. This is big as no one has really actually innovated (to my knowledge) on that level since Bitcoin's inception. This is different than polkadot, which has a new architecture to increase scaling. The big thing that has me interested in them is they support the ethereum virtual machine, which means projects on ethereum can move to avalanche and not re-write existing code. I don't have to tell you what this means if a big ethereum project like Uniswap moves to Avalanche. They also aren't trying to "kill" ethereum, like the media may say, but they totally respect interoperability between chains. I think the big difference between this and polkadot will be creating a new platform vs. migrating the existing one to another platform. I'm not sure how this new generation will pan out, but it sure will be an interesting ride. Naval Ravinkant (huge silicon valley investor, early Twitter and Uber investor) has invested in them, and I trust his judgement. They haven't released their maninnet yet, but according to telegram it will be released Sept 12th (EDIT: mid-september) and exchange announcements will be done then.
I would love to hear other recommendations of mid-to-long term holds! Shill me on some good teams and tech!
submitted by geekbread to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 09:30 ib80 Alexis Investment Partners President on risk amid the rally

Alexis Investment Partners President on risk amid the rally submitted by ib80 to u/ib80 [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 16:14 TabithaCosgrove AoE Clash of Champions

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.
submitted by TabithaCosgrove to ModernManiaWrestling [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 04:17 Tiffanyblue235 Thoughts/suggestions welcome on baby name list

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.
submitted by Tiffanyblue235 to namenerds [link] [comments]


2020.08.26 15:08 TabithaCosgrove AoE Year 17 in review

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.
submitted by TabithaCosgrove to ModernManiaWrestling [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 17:06 sauce_murica Green and Gold Part 4 A closer look at United's Finances - Where Has the Money Been Spent?

Manchester United remain a global behemoth. With annual revenues in excess of £627m, [1] United is one of the most valuable clubs on the face of the planet. [1]
As explained in prior G&G installments, in purchasing United, the Glazer family loaded United with heavy debts. [1] The evolution of that debt over time has caused some to question how United are spending their money. For example, by June 2010, those debts had escalated to over £784m. [1] The infamous payment-in-kind loans were quietly repaid in 2010. At that same time, the cash earned from Ronaldo's sale (and the Aon shirt deal) was reportedly used to repay a significant portion of the bonds issued in February 2010. [1] In August 2012, half of the club's IPO proceeds were used for debt reduction, with the other half heading to Glazers. [1]
In total, this led to a bond debt reduction from 509m in June 2010, to 360m as of September 2012 --- resulting in some reputable sources to question whether it was "very possible that debt is virtually eliminated in the next few years." [1]
That has not come to pass. This entry into our Green & Gold Series takes aim at the following question: United remains one of the biggest and most profitable clubs in world football, with some of the largest revenues around. Where has the money gone?
We can do things others can only dream of Are United a Growing Giant or a Shrinking Violet?
In 2018, Ed Woodward famously stated to investors that "[p]laying performance doesn't really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side of the business." [1]
There is some truth to this sentiment. From 2009 - 2019, the club's finances have grown significantly. [1] [2] In 2009, the club's commercial revenue was approximately 66 million. By 2019, that figure had more than quadrupled to 275 million. [1] [2] The club likewise benefited from the Premier League's own boon in popularity. From 2009 to 2019, TV revenues grew from 98 million to 241 million. [1] In total, from 2009 - 2019, matchday revenue decreased from 41% of the revenue base, to 19%. One of the results of this can be seen during COVID. While other clubs scrambled to secure finances, furloughing staff and cutting wages, United has to date been able to survive without such significant cuts. [1]
However, if a deeper look is taken into these figures, combined with the relative growth of similarly-situated clubs, cracks begin to appear in Woodward's "results don't matter" assertion. For example, as illustrated here, the club's on-again off-again relationship with the Champion's League has seen a drastic reduction in gate and TV revenue from the infamous Tuesday/Wednesday night matches:
Looking at it differently, as of 2014, by some conservative estimates the cost of missing out on CL football was approximately the cost of one Marouane Fellaini. [1] [2] By 2019, the figure was estimated by the club at around £65million (which figure excludes any potential reduction in the Adidas sponsorship deal). [1] Simply put, the cost of missing out on the sport's elite competition has grown alongside the expansion of the sport itself.
Comparing United's Growth Relative to That of Our Rivals
As recently as 2016, United's revenue growth continued to outpace rivals. [1] [2] [3] However, as years have gone by, that gap has shrunk. From 2017-2018, Liverpool's revenue growth increased nearly 100m, up to £455m from £364m --- taking them from 5th highest to 3rd highest in the league. [1] City's revenues likewise increased from £473m to £500m (2nd highest in the league). [1]
Thus, while United's revenue increased from £515m in 2016 to £590m in 2018, City's increased from £392m to £500m, and Liverpool's increased from £302m to £455m *within the span of two years. [1] [2] This change is highlighted in the following chart:
Club 2016 Revenue 2018 Revenue Growth % Difference
Manchester United £515m £590m £75m 15%
Manchester City £392m £500m £108m 28%
Liverpool £302m £455m £153m 51%
As for commercial revenue alone (an area United is often touted as being the best), the following chart highlights the relative growth of commercial revenue by comparing United to its biggest European counterparts: https://cdn.theathletic.com/app/uploads/2020/05/25080041/revenue-compares.png
As can be seen, over time United's closest rivals appear to be closing the gap on United's claim as one of, if not the, biggest clubs in world football. With that in mind - let's take a closer look at how United has expanded its global reach since the Glazer takeover in 2005.
A change in the club's branding/commercialization approach
Glazer acquired Manchester United in 2005. At the time of the takeover, "United's income of 171.5 million pounds ($323.8m) for the 2003-04 season kept them top of the list [of richest clubs] for the eighth year in a row." [1] Simply put: Glazer inherited a behemoth at the top of the footballing world.
Upon buying the club, the Glazer contingent reportedly met with staff, and according to a former executive indicated:
“They said, ‘Look, we’ve bought this club because we saw an opportunity.' They never came with, ‘We are fans of the club forever and always will be’. They didn’t claim to be anything other than businessmen and they are very good at what they do.” [1]
The change in tactic upon Glazer arrival allegedly prompted United Chairman Sir Roy Gardner and non-executive directors Ian Much and Jim O'Neill to offer their resignations. [1]
Concerns have been raised since regarding the manner by which the Glazer family extended MUFC's reach / image / branding. Edward Freedman served as managing director of the club's merchandising from 1992-97. [1] During his time at United, he took the club's merchandising operation "from a turnover of £1.2 million in 1992 to £28 million when he left five years later." [1] His work with Tottenham, and then United, was significant enough to merit BBC including him in their documentary titled "The Men That Changed Football." [1]
Asked to speak regarding the Glazers' work with United's continued expansion, Freedman responded:
“They haven’t got a clue what a brand is. It’s a very clever money-making move for them to get those deals. However, I’m sorry to say that, as far as enhancing Manchester United, it doesn’t work.” [1]
Freedman's ire related to the manner in which the club worked to increase the reach of its branding efforts. Freedman's aimed to maintain United's status as a "premium brand" and expand the club's reach by working with select, "high profile" branding partners (a la a Rolex or Porsche). Instead, Freedman's ire was drawn by the club choosing, after he left, to sign onto multiple, "lower-quality" partners. The result of this change in branding strategy can be seen through the years. For example:
Mr. Potato
Tomato Juice
X Men - Apocalypse
Independence Day - Resurgence
Yanmar
Tyres
Chevrolet's Dab University
Others in the footballing world have taken issue with how the increased commercial efforts impacted the players:
One high-profile agent privately complained that the club was “obsessed with commercialism” and “one big money-making machine”. After arriving back in the early hours following a match at West Ham, some stars were required to drive mini kids’ Chevrolets in a sponsored stunt the next day instead of resting. [1]
As for Freedman's thoughts on United's approach to branding expansion, he stated “I really can’t deal with it. We were offered all that long ago and never would accept any of it. Not for all the money in the world. Then, of course, the people who understood the brand left and people came in who saw only the recompense of taking money. But taking money for things that aren’t compatible with your brand will eventually ruin your brand. That’s what I can see them doing. The whole charisma, the whole glory of Manchester United, seems to have gone.” [1]
Freedman was not alone in this concern. In April 2007, Lee Daley (a reported lifelong United supporter), left Saatchi & Saatchi UK to become United's group commercial director. [1] He resigned four months later, with one source claiming he quickly became disillusioned at becoming "a glorified sponsorship sales manager." [1]
And although United's sponsorship efforts have resulted in some successes, including what was, at the time, one of the most profitable kit sponsorship of all time, [1] those successes have not always been well-received:
On the commercial side, the shirt sponsorship struck with Chevrolet, worth £450 million over seven seasons, was a major success. But the deal will not be renewed past 2021 and the person responsible for the deal at General Motors, Joel Ewanick, was dismissed soon after its announcement in 2012, with a spokesman saying he had “failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee”. [1] [2]
Although some have lauded the Glazers' "industrialization/branding efforts" at United, and other clubs have since copied the process, others are more critical - claiming that United's continued growth and success has resulted more from the continued growth of the Premier League than from Glazer ingenuity.
“The step-change in television income, which came out of nowhere and could not have possibly been projected in a business plan, helped them massively.” In the UK alone, Premier League rights rose from £1.024 billion to £1.706 billion in 2007 and reached £5.136 billion in 2016. [1]
Other sources insist the Glazers did project such an increase, based upon their prior experience with US sports, including their ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [1]
Not all of the Glazers' initial plans came to fruition. For example, the Glazers reportedly initially planned to increase revenues through higher matchday costs. [1] In 2006 documents, it was outlined that the cost of matchday tickets to attend games at Old Trafford was "undervalued" despite increased pricing, on average, by 12.5% in their first season at the helm. [1] The Glazer plan envisaged a further 36% increase in matchday costs prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. [1] However, that plan was not borne into action, which is one reason matchday revenues have stayed level.
Social Media The Claimed Expansion of the Supporter-Base
Alongside the club's expanding commercial revenues, the club has repeatedly touted its expanding supporter-base to shareholders as a measure of the club's off-field success. In 2013, United claimed to shareholders that it had "659 million" supporters. [1] Stated differently, United claimed that, as of 2010, approximately 1 out of every 10 human beings on the planet supported United.
To reach that figure, United hired Kantar, a market research company, who polled 54,000 adults in 39 countries in the summer of 2011. Most questions were answered online. [1] The figures were then extrapolated to produce a number for each of those countries, with that information then extrapolated to cover the rest of the world, "taking into account such things as the popularity of football in these countries, and whether players born in them had played for Manchester United in the past." Kantar director Richard Brinkman claimed he "would back my figures and argue [they are accurate] to within a 1% margin of error." [1]
The claim drew plenty of detractors. For example, Nick Harris, editor of sports finance website SportingIntelligence.com, noted at the time that:
"In five years, purportedly, Manchester United's following has gone from 333 million, or thereabouts, to 659 million. So almost a doubling of people following Manchester United in five years. This is eyebrow-raising stuff!" [1]
Mr. Harris likewise questioned other Kantar claims, such as the suggestion "that more than 30% of South Korea's total population of 49 million were followers of Manchester United." [1] Especially in light of the live viewing figures for United in the country, at the time, registering less than one million people. [1]
By 2019, United reported to investors claiming to have 1.1 billion fans. [1] Stated differently - from 2013 to 2019, United claimed to have gone from "1 in 10" people worldwide supporting United, to "1 in 7."
The survey for the 2019 report was once more completed by Kantar.
We're Man United and We'll Spend What We Want
Alongside being one of the top earning clubs in world football, United are also one of the top spending clubs. As discussed previously, [1] United are not shrinking violets in the transfer market - with one of the highest net spends over the last decade. [1] [2]
Let's take a closer look at where United, under Glazer ownership, has spent those funds.
Player Signings
United last won the Premier League in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since that time, United have spent over £1.015 billion on player purchases. [1] [2] But let's break that down a bit further. First, let's take a look at what that billion has gotten us:
Year Signed Manager Player Position Cost
2020 Solskjaer Bruno Fernandes Mid £49.50m
2019 Solskjaer Harry Maguire CB £78.30m
2019 Solskjaer Aaron Wan Bissaka RB £49.50m
2019 Solskjaer Daniel James RW £15.30m
2018 Mourinho Fred CM £53.10m
2018 Mourinho Dalot RB £19.80m
2018 Mourinho Lee Grant GK £1.53m
2017 Mourinho Romelu Lukaku ST £76.23m
2017 Mourinho Nemanja Matic CM £40.23m
2017 Mourinho Victor Lindelof CB £31.50m
2017 Mourinho Alexis Sanchez ST Mkhitaryan
2016 Mourinho Paul Pogba CM £94.50m
2016 Mourinho Henrikh Mkhitaryan RW £37.80m
2016 Mourinho Eric Bailly CB £34.20m
2015 van Gaal Anthony Martial LW/ST £54.00m
2015 van Gaal Morgan Schneiderlin CM £31.50m
2015 van Gaal Memphis Depay LW £30.60m
2015 van Gaal Matteo Darmian RB £16.20m
2015 van Gaal Bastian Schweinsteiger CM £8.10m
2014 van Gaal Angel di Maria LW £67.50m
2014 van Gaal Luke Shaw LB £33.75m
2014 van Gaal Ander Herrera CM £32.40m
2014 van Gaal Marcos Rojo LB/CB £18.00m
2014 van Gaal Daley Blind LB/CB £15.75m
2014 van Gaal Falcao ST £6.84m (loan fee)
2014 van Gaal Vanja Milinkovic-Savic GK £1.58m
2013 Moyes Juan Mata RW/CM £40.26m
2013 Moyes Marouane Fellaini CM £29.16m
All figures in this thread are taken from Transfermarkt.
Prior to that, from 2005-2012, Sir Alex spent a total of £362.8m. Accordingly, from 2005 to date, under Glazer ownership United has spent £1.3778 billion on player acquisitions.
Player Sales
Year Player Transfer Fee
2005 Phil Neville £4.77m
2005 Kleberson £2.34m
2006 Ruud van Nistelrooy £13.50m
2006 David Jones £1.35m
2006 Jonathan Sepctor £675,000
2006 David Bellion £450,000
2006 Luke Steele £225,000
2007 Gabriel Heinze £10.8m
2007 Giuseppe Rossi £9m
2007 Alan Smith £8.1m 
2007 Kieran Richardson £7.38m
2007 Tim Howard £3.78m
2007 Phil Bardsley £2.7m
2008 Gerard Pique £4.5m
2008 Chris Eagles £1.35m
2008 Mikael Silvestre £855,000
2009 Cristiano Ronaldo £84.60m
2009 Frazier Campbell £3.69m
2009 Manucho £2.48m
2009 Lee Martin £2.03m
2009 Danny Simpson £779,000
2010 Zoran Tosic £8.55m
2010 Ben Foster £6.3m
2011 John O'Shea £4.05m
2011 Gabriel Obertan £3.06m
2011 Mama Diouf £1.62m
2011 Wes Brown £1.35m
2011 Danny Drinkwater £810,000
2011 Darron Gibson £540,000
2011 Jue Dudgeon £86,000
2012 Dimitar Berbatov £4.50m
2012 Ji-sung Park £2.79m
2012 Ritchie De Laet £1.13m
2014 Danny Welbeck £18.00m
2014 Shinji Kagawa £7.20m
2014 Alexander Buttner £4.95m
2014 Wilfried Zaha £3.42m
2014 Chicharito £2.70m (loan fee)
2014 Bebe £2.70m
2014 Michael Keane £2.30m
2014 Patrice Evra £1.71m
2015 Angel di Maria £56.70m
2015 Chicharito £10.80m
2015 Jonny Evans £7.47m
2015 Robin van Persie £5.85m
2015 Nani £5.40m
2015 Rafael £2.88m
2015 Angelo Henriquez £1.50m
2015 Reece James £1.26m
2016 Morgan Schneiderlin £20.70m
2016 Memphis Depay £14.40m
2016 Paddy McNair £4.73m
2016 Tyler Blackett £1.62m
2016 Will Keane £1.08m
2017 Henrikh Mkhitaryan Sanchez
2017 Adnan Januzaj £7.65m
2017 Andreas Pereira £2.70m (loan fee)
2018 Daley Blind £14.40m
2018 Sam Johnstone £6.62m
2018 Marouane Fellaini £6.48m
2019 Romelu Lukaku £66.60m
2019 Chris Smalling £2.70m (loan fee)
2019 Matteo Darmian £2.23m
2019 Ashley Young £1.53m
In total, United has recovered £488.42m (plus one Alexis Sanchez) from player sales/loans.
Accordingly, under Glazer ownership, Manchester United has a total net spend of £889.38m.

So Where Has the Money Gone?

The Cost of a Takeover & Multiple Re-Financings
The Glazer family acquired United in 2005. United spent more money paying the interest costs associated with the newfound debt than they spent on player acquisitions any year between 2005 - when the club was acquired - and 2013 - when the debt was refinanced. [1] [2] [3]
In 2013, United refinanced their debt. By refinancing, United repaid about half of its outstanding bonds using a new bank loan from Bank of America. [1] By doing so, United reduced the club's interest bill from around £31m per year (pro-forma post the IPO) to around £21m per year. [1]
By the summer of 2015, Manchester United refinanced the club's debt on four separate occasions - the last of which occurred in 2015. [1] In 2015, the club's debt stood at £382m, with total annual interest costs of £20m. [1] The refinancing reduced the cash interest paid.
The amount of interest paid between 2005 and 2015 can be visualized here:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pilgsdeAZRc/VWn1gP4bkYI/AAAAAAAAEQw/tButyOPUIlM/s1600/2015%2Brefi%2Btable%2B3.png
Public float profits Glazers
Some have viewed the public float of the club's stock as evidence of a possible future in which the club is sold. To date, reality has not matched this expectation.
The initial public float raked in £150 million in funds. Per some reports, the initial plan was for the Glazers to pocket the full profits from the float, but the NYSE expressed reservations with that plan. [1]. Ultimately, half of the funds was used to pay off some of the club's takeover debt. [1] The remaining half landed in Glazer pockets. [1] [2]
Despite the funds realized from the float, the target price for the shares was $16-20 per share. The price was ultimately set at $14/share. [1] [2]
Hopes that the float would result in greater transparency were likewise short-lived. "Classed as an 'emerging growth' company, [1] United were exempted from having to reveal all their financial data to the market, [1] a position they reinforced by moving company registry from Old Trafford to the Cayman Islands." [1] [2] And by setting different voting rights for Class A and B shares, and retaining the Class B shares, the Glazers were able to retain a 78% ownership interest in the club - and an iron grip on the club's voting rights. [1]
Glazer Profits
Per the most recent financial reports, annual dividends total approximately £84 million. [1] In January, dividends of £11.3 million went to shareholders. [1] The Glazer family currently owns approximately 78% of the club, meaning they split approximately £8.8 million of that equally. [1]
In addition, the Glazers recovered approximately £75 million from the NYSE listing, together with loans to other companies (between 2005-'12), and further share sales. In total, the Glazers have made more than £200m selling slices of their shareholdings to investors. [1]
Upon refinancing the club's debt in 2010, the paperwork submitted revealed the Glazers had, since 2006, been paid £10m in “management and administration fees” and Kassewitz and each of her five brothers had borrowed £1.66m, £10m in total, from the club. [1] The total paid to the board and executive management in 2018-19 was £10.7m, which the accounts do not break down individually. Woodward is paid by a subsidiary company, Manchester United Football Club Ltd; his salary in 2017-18, the most recently published, was £4.152m. [1]
By comparison, in nine years at Liverpool, FSG has put in a net £100m. [1] Meanwhile, since initially purchasing the club in a £790 million leveraged takeover, the Glazers have "personally received close to £200 million from the club." [1]

Conclusion

In total, by some estimates the Glazers' ownership has cost the club £1.5 billion in interest, debt and other outgoing expenses. [1] By comparison, United has spent £1.3778 billion on player acquisitions, and recovered £488.42m from sales/loans, for a net spend of £889.38m. In total, Glazer ownership has cost United £610.6m more than United have spent on player acquisitions from 2005 to date.
Past Green & Gold Installments:
Part One: Who are the Glazers?
Part Two: The Takeover: How did that happen?
Part Three: The Glazer Transfer History - Can Insight be Gleaned regarding our Potential Summer Business?
submitted by sauce_murica to reddevils [link] [comments]


2020.08.23 22:42 techwabbit First Time: MS13 member charged with Terrorism-related Offenses - DOJ Announces - Trump Task Force to Dismantle MS-13 Takes Down Gang’s Key Leaders - Judicial Watch

Trump Task Force to Dismantle MS-13 Takes Down Gang’s Key Leaders
Some good news for a change. A special task force launched by President Donald Trump to gut the nation’s deadliest street gang has taken down key leaders in less than a year and for the first time charged a gang banger with terrorism-related offenses. The feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), has spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. The Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like MS-13 are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs.
Thanks to Barack Obama’s open border policies, MS-13 was energized with new recruits provided by a steady flow of illegal immigrant minors. When the Obama administration started welcoming a barrage of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in 2014, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. The Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently confirmed that the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state under Obama’s disastrous program, which saw over 60,000 illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months. Tens of thousands more have entered since then.
POTUS - Executive Order - Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking - Feb. 2017
President Trump vowed to crush the famously savage MS-13 and shortly after taking office issued an Executive Order directing several agencies, including the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, to coordinate an effort to restore safety for the American people by extinguishing transitional criminal organizations such as MS-13. The order states that the criminal groups have spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens. “These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life,” the order says. “They, for example, have been known to commit brutal murders, rapes, and other barbaric acts. These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.” The president gives federal agencies 120 days to report progress in combating the criminal organizations as well as recommended actions for dismantling them.
In August 2019 Attorney General William Barr launched an initiative known as Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) to address MS-13 with a coordinated force of federal law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice (DOJ). JTFV has increased collaboration with foreign law enforcement partners, including in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala; designated priority MS-13 programs, cliques and leaders, who have the most impact on the U.S., for targeted prosecutions, and; coordinated significant MS-13 indictments in U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, such as New York, Virginia and Nevada. Less than a year after its formation, the task force has recorded big successes. This week the DOJ announced a number of significant JTFV cases, including for the first time an MS-13 member being charged with terrorism-related offenses, the take down of the MS-13 Hollywood leadership and the Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty against an MS-13 operative. (emphasis mine) JTFV Director John Durham calls it the result of tremendous teamwork between prosecutors and law enforcement officers across the United States and Central America.
The cases announced this week include an indictment against a high-ranking MS-13 operative, Melgar Diaz, in Virginia. Diaz is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill or maim persons overseas, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiring to finance terrorism, and; conspiring to engage in narco-terrorism, in addition to racketeering conspiracy and drug trafficking. In another case eight MS-13 members were indicted in New York for committing six murders, two attempted murders, kidnapping, narcotics felonies and related firearms offenses. In Nevada 13 MS-13 gang bangers, including leaders of the “Hollywood Locos” clique and “Los Angeles Program” were charged with multiple counts of narcotics distribution and weapons crimes. The task force is also responsible for the indictment in New York of Alexi Saenz, an MS-13 leader accused of committing seven murders, including two high school students with a machete and baseball bat. “MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization, whose criminal activities respect no boundaries,” said Durham, the JTFV director. “The only way to defeat MS-13 is by targeting the organization as a whole, focusing on the leadership structure, and deploying a whole-of-government approach against a common enemy.” (emphasis mine)
I don't believe in being soft on violent criminals. This isn't a cruel stand, its a fact of life, that those people who will perform a violent crime once, statistically will do so again.
Highlights:
  • The violent crime rate in the United States rose 7% from 2014 to 2016 (from 362 to 387 violent crimes per 100,000 persons) and fell 5% from 2016 to 2018 (from 387 to 369 per 100,000 persons).
  • The murder rate (including non-negligent manslaughter) in the U.S. rose 23% from 2014 to 2016 and fell 7% from 2016 to 2018.
  • The rate of rape (revised definition) in the U.S. rose every year from 2014 to 2018, rising 15% over that span.
  • The U.S. robbery rate rose 2% from 2014 to 2016 and fell 16% from 2016 to 2018. The U.S. aggravated assault rate rose 8% from 2014 to 2016 and fell 0.6% from 2016 to 2018.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6929
However, we all know those crimes have risen significantly in 2019-2020 as the Dem's along with BLM and Antifa wage wars in our cities.
While Dem's let criminals out of jail, burn our cities and put Small Biz America outa work, our DOJ and Barr are hard at work attempting to make our street safers and put criminals in Jail.
What a stark and extremely relevant contrast in our present day Cultural War.
  • What do you think about this?
  • What do you think about MS 13 leader being charged under Terrorism Statutes?
https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/1297588675333591040
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2020.08.20 20:59 J05huaJack Brighton Preseason Guide 20/21

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.
Opening Fixtures:
Chelsea (H), Newcastle (A), Man Utd (H), Everton (A), Palace (A), WBA (H)
Goalkeepers
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.
Defenders
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.
Midfielders
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.
Forwards
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.
Summary
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
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2020.08.20 16:24 TabithaCosgrove AoE Season 1 Year 16

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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