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Primedice & Bitcoin Gambling

Bitcoin gambling & www.primedice.com discussion. Find out why Bitcoin is the future of online gaming, betting & casinos!
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Quick Question I have to order some perlite online not to sure where the best bet is. Been looking over sites and their reviews. I'm canadian In ontario maybe someone here can point me in the right direction?

submitted by NanoOfTheNine to GrowingMarijuana [link] [comments]

Daily Picks Thread [29.10.2012]

Since there hasn't been one yet I thought I'd post this.
Here is a small list of links and resources of which can help you become a better gambler, reducing the risk of your bets, I constantly find new links daily and will add any I find to it as soon as I find them. If you have any links pm me, or comment on this.
Forums: http://www.bettingexpert.com/
http://www.olbg.com/forum/
http://www.betswelike.com/livebettin...e-Betting-Tips
http://forum.bettingadvice.com/index.php
http://www.goonersguide.com/forum-frame.htm
http://forum.punterslounge.com/
http://mboard.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x
http://www.olbg.com/forum/
http://forum.sbrforum.com/
http://www.covers.com/postingforum/
http://community.betfair.com/
http://www.cappersmall.com/forums/
http://gamelive.com/forum/
http://www.bangthebook.com/picks/?h=1
http://www.majorwager.com/forums/
http://www.predictem.com/forums/
Form/Streaks:
http://www.betexplorer.com/streaks/wins/
http://www.soccerway.com/
http://betvirus.com/streaks/
Arbitrage Sure Betting Sites:
http://www.betscanner.com/sure-bets/
http://www.livebestodds.com/surebets.php
http://www.oddshelp.com/?page=sure_b..._view&view=6.0
http://oddsandstats.com/sure_bets.asp
http://www.bmbets.com/sure-bets/
http://www.oddschecker.com/
http://www.oddsmeter.com/
http://www.oddsportal.com/sure-bets/
http://www.mysurebets.net/
http://www.couponarbitrage.com/odds-comparison.html
Dropping Odds:
http://www.livebestodds.com/dropping-odds.php#h=2001
http://www.betscanner.com/dropping-odds/
http://www.oddshelp.com/?page=droppingodds
http://www.betexplorer.com/odds-movements/
http://www.oddsfutures.com/
http://www.bet-mate.com/View/DroppingOdds
Odds:
http://www.oddsway.com/
Statistics:
http://www.sport-analyzer.com/analyzer.aspx
http://www.soccerbase.com/
http://www.365stats.com/
http://stats.football365.com/
http://www.soccerstats.com/
http://stats.checkyourodds.co.uk/
http://oddsandstats.com/
http://www.betinfo.cc/hot-bet-info.php
Calculators:
http://www.arbets.com/tools/arb_calculator.php
http://www.arbcruncher.com/
E-Wallets:
https://www.moneybookers.com/
http://www.paypal.com/ __
Neteller
Bookmakers:
http://www.bet365.com
http://www.paddypower.com
http://www.ladbrokes.com
http://www.stanjames.com / http://www.betpack.com
http://www.victorchandler.com
http://www.williamhill.co.uk
http://www.sportingbet.com
http://www.bwin.com
http://www.skybet.com
http://www.sbobet.com
http://www.boylesports.com
~
Exchanges:
http://www.betfair.com (5% commission, we're not using this yet.)
http://betdaq.com/
~
Review sites:
http://www.sportsbookreview.com/
submitted by Paddykg to SoccerBetting [link] [comments]

Sure Bet Prediction Sites

We are a firm of sports betting investors with over 100 years of combined experience in handicapping soccer. Investing in sporting events is all we do to earn a living.
submitted by jasperalex1984 to u/jasperalex1984 [link] [comments]

Why do Twitch streamers keep playing blackjack (not sure if there's multiple sites they all look the same) and betting real money if everybody says they're rigged ?

I've watched a few games, the dealers always keep their hands in view, but the thing they scan the cards on, i see them scan it twice and shit. Doubt that matters but it seems weird to bet donation money on something that's rigged.
submitted by NormThaPenguine to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]

Dear reddit, What are some slow, but almost sure ways to earn some money on betting sites.

submitted by Cruzzeh to AskReddit [link] [comments]

bias:Trump:120547 posts in support since Oct 15,2016:Most of you guys on here seem pretty convinced that Trump is going to win - but betting sites are giving Clinton odds of >80%? There's money to be made here if you're so sure of the outcome... /r/The_Donald

bias:Trump:120547 posts in support since Oct 15,2016:Most of you guys on here seem pretty convinced that Trump is going to win - but betting sites are giving Clinton odds of >80%? There's money to be made here if you're so sure of the outcome... /The_Donald submitted by BitcoinAllBot to PoliticsAll [link] [comments]

m0E has over $250,000 on a skin betting site, surely the law needs to regulate these sites better

m0E has over $250,000 on a skin betting site, surely the law needs to regulate these sites better submitted by skengcsgo to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

The Current OP Meta is a Result of all of Valorant's Combined Flaws.

Hey guys, I'm a 10 year CS player here. Previously played at Level 9 Faceit and A - ESEA. Have probably 1000+ hours of watching pro games under my belt, and even more spent in KZ and HnS servers. I love Valorant, and I love a lot of what they're trying to do with this game in comparison to CS. But, I think the current OP meta is a result of almost every short coming the game has right now (for the most part).
Firstly, I think it's important to preface this by saying that Valorant is 100% by design, made to be easier / more approachable than CS:GO. You can see this in almost every aspect of the game. If it's something that was intimidating to new players in CS, it's been massively simplified here. Spray patterns are far less aggressive. Lineups have been almost entirely eliminated, or completely streamlined. Movement speed has been reduced to allow for easier tracking and aiming. Counter-strafing has been forgotten and replaced by instant momentum. Even the slight advantage you got from good movement (brought along by thousands of hours of practice in CS:GO) has been entirely eliminated by a massive simplification of movement in general, as well as how severe tagging is. I'm not saying these are negative aspects of the game. I understand almost if not all of these changes. Tons of these choices succeed in their desired goal, and it's lead to tons of my friends enjoying this game despite never getting more than 4 games into CS.
With all that said tho, lots of these choices indirectly feed into the current OP meta.
I don't say this lightly either. If you were to directly compare the AWP and the OP, the AWP is hands down 3x more powerful than the OP currently is.
It boasts :
//Thanks to u/IAmNotOnRedditAtWork for pointing some of these out as they escaped me
I have a shortish video on this, with some old community server / lower level faceit games. It's presented as more of a frag movie than anything so there's no need to watch it, but I do think it can offer some important context when talking about how insane the AWP actually is for high level players.
I've edited it to have specific time stamps in the description so that you can jump between the clips that are actually relevant to this discussion. Turn down volume as there is music and I'm sure its obnoxious. Here you go
Despite the obvious advantages the AWP has, we don't really see it being as prevalent and oppressive as we do in Valorant. We do not see double AWP and Triple AWP rounds being NEAR as viable as they are here, with triple AWP rounds being almost nonexistent.
I chalk this up to quite a few things :



And this kinda brings me to my next issue. And probably the one we all should have expected.

CS has very tried and true bits of utility at play. Smokes, Mollies, and Flashes. When you play CS at a level where executes are necessary, it's actually quite fascinating to learn how each map has been designed with utility constantly in mind. Cache B site for instance, there's a window directly above site meant for throwing utility. Mirage A has a massive area above ramp for throwing util. Inferno Apts even has fucking windows on the opposite side of site, with a chimney adjacent to them in order for you to bank utility off of. Dust 2 recently underwent a change in B tuns to allow for more utility and site executes given how hard the site was too take control of. Whether it be on attacks or retakes. Valorant has streamlined "utility" so much, that they've forgotten the exact reason why it was implemented in the way that it was in CS:GO, and why it worked so well. Valorant has thrown thoughtful map design out the window in favor of meaningless gimmicks that fall flat after your 5th game on the map.
Guess what Riot, I don't care about opening and closing destructible doors, or ropes that give you a surprising amount of velocity and accuracy while attached, and definitely not 3 fucking sites. I play ranked games where my opponents go 3-14 and then start fragging out when they decide to whip out the OP. The gun is too easy to use and it sports almost zero counter-play. IT IS AN ISSUE. I understand not jumping the gun and rushing towards some half ass balancing decision, but you've been so quick to address smaller issues that didn't actively suck the fun out of the game and reward players for using an obvious crutch.
// People have pointed out some poor phrasing on my part here, would just like to iterate that I'm not against these kinds of gimmicks, they have a place and I don't mean to undermine anyone who enjoys them. I just think these gimmicks are being used in place of good map design. Sort of a "sure ascent is a terrible map but here are some doors you can open and close, this one has ropes!"
Ascent is the closest map to CS design we currently have in Valorant in my opinion, and it still ignores most of what made those maps work in the first place. Scrap the gimmicks. Nobody wants this random shit. I want maps with intelligent design choices, meaningful spots for fair trades at the beginning of rounds, I want maps designed with rotates in mind and counter-play at heart. You can tell CS maps are designed with all the games utility in mind. I'm constantly reminded that I can't say the same about any of Valorant's maps.
With that being said, what are some ways to fix these issues?

  1. Add a slight time frame with the OP that adds inaccuracy after moving, keep this outside of movement speed, have it be its own value. For instance, if you scope in with the OP, then strafe to the side and stop moving, add an extra .5 or whatever amount of time where there is still an innaccuracy debuff applied. OPs are meant for holding angles, they are already ridiculously good at that in this game. Punish them for playing aggressive.
  2. Phoenix's flash needs a slight "rework" to come more into line with vision blocking utility in relation to cutting off angles. Phoenix's flash shouldn't pop so quickly. I think it sports niche usability with little counter-play. When throwing out Phoenix's flash, have it hover in air at the very end of it's duration while giving it an obvious "charge-up" animation, give a larger (but still small) window in order to either back off an angle, or to turn your back too it, and then have it pop, and increase the time frame in which you're flashed slightly. I also considered having Phoenix be invulnerable to his flash, as a way to give Phoenix a way to more reliably entry, while still forcing him to play slightly outside of his team in these situations, (or risk flashing them). This promotes playing anti flash and/or less predictable and maybe even more dangerous positions in order to deny Phoenix this ground when he attempts to entry. I think it adds a reasonable amount of counter play in a game that severely lacks it currently, I think it gives Phoenix some needed independence and room to make these types of solo plays, while also letting an agent specifically gain ground around OPers. I think a good way to envision this is Ascension A site. Instead of OPing heaven when you know Phoenix likes to flash in from main and push you off your angle, you can play on site to the left, and play anti flash in order to kill him when he attempts to entry. Diagram Here
  3. LET YOUR COMMUNITY DESIGN MAPS FOR YOU. For the love of god the fact that I even have to say this makes me angry. Community interaction has lead to CS being the powerhouse of an E-sport it is today. Volcano's involvement is proof of this. No one is saying you have to add them as actual competitive maps, but acting like you can produce better content than your entire community is ridiculously naive when you've already shown that's NOT the case. Add some kind of community tool for your players to design maps, and have some kind of game mode that rotates these featured community maps every couple of months or something. Even if it's just to give the team at Riot ideas and inspiration. I was worried months ago when you said you weren't going to allow even the most basic of community creativity in this regard. It's okay to be wrong Riot. Valve was smart enough to realize the community could carry some of that workload, while also teaching them and giving them inspiration. Volcano is on your dev team because of this reality.
submitted by mckaystites to VALORANT [link] [comments]

How $12 and 10 minutes has ruined Warzone

So after match after match of frustration and being dumped on by hackers my squad mate had an idea. He performed a quick google search, found the site and got the common $12 for 24 hour cheats for Warzone. The following is what we learned and what happened next.
To preface this, before everyone gets upset we set certain rules for ourselves to make sure this was for research etc.
  1. No aimbot period. We know how this works, there’s no reason to be aimbotting people. Plus it makes what we are trying obvious and we wanted to see how well we could “blend in” as first time hack users. (Spoiler alert, easily)
  2. No winning, the goal of this was to see how bad the cheating is, so we did it on a Thursday night around 11pm and made sure to kill our selves instead of winning. Even though as you read in that was pointless.
  3. Only fight to defend ourselves to collect data, no hunting etc and being what we hate.
Here is what we discovered. Every member of this Reddit has to be the only people not cheating in this game. We literally in 7 hours of straight match after match in Trios didn’t have a single game without hackers. Not the entire lobby, but there was ALWAYS 3-4 squads with at LEAST 1 guy using walls. This was obvious as you can see people across the map, it’s so insidious you can see whether they are crouching, ADS, the direction they are facing, their exact distance in meters and THEIR NAME. Oh and if they look at you their little box turns blue, which is by the way how we discovered this game is infected and unplayable. In EVERY SINGLE MATCH we would watch people through walls as they watched us, we would gulag friend crouch a coupe times and they would as well. Let me say again for those in the back who pretend this isn’t a problem EVERY MATCH. We sit in the 1.0-1.5 KD range so it’s not upper lobbies or the lowest lobby. It’s dead middle.
We learned that by the end of circle 4 80% of the squads remaining have a hacker in ever single game we played. They range from the hunters who use the hacks to flank and push and go for kills to the clever guys who use them to watch you and just creep on the edge perfectly out of sight until the end disengaging everyone. There is nothing more obvious then watching someone through a wall and noticing they are watching you as well, there’s no mistaking it. This isn’t made up, this isn’t back burner, it’s real and I feel sorry for everyone still on this game. This taught us that we are done, we assumed it was bad but now we KNOW it’s bad, there is no anticheat period in this game, it was literally $12 and one computer reset and in under 10 minutes we could have ruined the game for 147 other people. PC gaming itself competitively is dead to me and I’ll be buying a PS5 and turning off crossplay for this when it comes out this holiday.
Also, it’s brain dead easy to make it look like you don’t have them, only other hackers will know and they aren’t exactly reporting their own hacks. We would be at 2-3 kills a piece before we died in the gas purposefully and no one we killed yelled hacker or assumed. Pop a UAV before a fight and everyone assumes your legit.
TL:DR We hacked for research, learned EVERY match is full of wall hackers. Quitting the game until PS5 and no crossplay is an option for my squad. Game is broken Game is trash Game is infected and they aren’t doing a thing about it
Edit: didn’t expect this to blow up, I get there’s a lot of deniers and nay sayers which is to be expected. We decided we will make you guys a video but not convinced it will help the rampant delusions of this games fans lol. Now I’m going to clear up some of the most common questions;
  1. Bruh like bruh IW said there are hacker lobbies now bruh I bet when you never hacked before and hacked the very first game their amazing bruhcheat software caught you bruh and put you in the hacker lobby bruh!
  2. No, stop it. The shadow ban process is well documented even ON THIS SUB just search the sub for shadowban and you will see it A. Auto sets you to like 200-3000ping matchmaking and doesn’t ever load you in a match. B. If this was the case then IW sucks because there were PLENTY of clean squads in our matches getting innocently massacred by hackers we were observing. Explain that? You cannot. The hacker lobby issue is DOA.
  3. How can you tell someone else is hacking? What’s this blue box business?
  4. So the easiest way to explain this is this, imagine you have advanced UAV all the time, does that not affect the way you navigate populated areas? You either A. Push and flank perfectly knowing where they are and where they are looking or B. Move on out of a bad area without being seen as you can see where they are looking. This style of movement is deliberate and weird and when you have walls you can see other teams moving this way nonstop. Because hell man you’re doing the same thing. The difference is it’s not just advanced UAV you can see them through the literal map, and they have a red indicator thing on them, you can see if they are crouching, ads, distance away and even their names. Add to that the advanced UAV on the top right of the map and you have some awkward sneaky boys who are obviously walling lol. As far as the blue box, it turns blue when they see you, not just looking in your direction, this tech already exists in a perk so I assume the hackers just piggy backed that code, except with walls it works through the walls so it’s completely obvious if two hackers are staring at each other lol.
  5. Bruh fuck you man we got wins and I get kills if there was hackers in every lobby I wouldn’t win bruh bruh bruh
  6. So you may just be a better player then you think let me put it this way wall hacks are essentially soft cheats they are not aimbot, they are not god mode, they don’t predict circle, they don’t help you make tactical decisions on when to push or chill, they literally just give you info on where someone is and where they are looking. The smaller the circle the less it helps, as the info overload is a bit much and the clutter on the screen can be hard to navigate. They get to circle 4 so easily as because in the start after first round of looting wall hacks are deadly as there’s room to get around and you’re only on one squad usually and you can prevent a third party. If you’re decent at the game and have good aim you will kill these players and never know they existed. It’s easy to hide it (Example, our cheater didn’t kill people he just fed us info so we could kill them, we couldn’t track through walls so ALWAYS looked like a legit kill, we just had better “game sense”)
Edit 2: So my squadmate who ran the hacks wiped his PC after to be safe etc, he didn’t mind doing it again, then apparently he spent last night reading these replies and had a pretty solid opinion, nah fuck em. Lol to his credit he made good points;
  1. You can find how the hacks work and see them working on YouTube in 30 seconds.
  2. Judging by the response and accusatory nature of half the cucks here, even with a video we can already see the replies, “That’s not diff matches” “I don’t think he’s hacking bruh he’s got wall game sense bruh” “How do I know that’s not the same team or you guys are lying in some way” “I need to see data that’s impossible to extrapolate alongside this video to prove it to me” I dunno, felt like a lot of work that’s not our job.
  3. We did it, we shared it, and we no longer care if you believe it, I took a lot of time to reply to even the dumbest of asses on here, it’s time to retire the post, I’ll follow with some parting words and advice.
Advice for how to counter? Play recons and get to the better position as fast as possible and play it slow, is it fun? Nah, but if you want to win and you’re not a hacker that seems to be the best way. The walls get convoluted and hard to navigate through in the final circles, it becomes a mess and relating into to your team also becomes hard, so get to the end and then pick your fights. Good luck guys! Consider the post retired.
submitted by Questioned_Kadavr to CODWarzone [link] [comments]

DOTA2 ESL One in Frankfurt, Hi, any eSports fans here? I'm not sure if it's a good site or not, but it offers the option to bet on the esports...

submitted by notsoheavymetal to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Tales from 2+2: The Biggest Loser at Microstakes of All Time, A Story of Struggle

Link to Previous Tales From 2+2: Poker player steals $1m+ chips and tries to sell it on 2+2 poker forums
More Tales From 2+2: A Very Controversial $70k prop bet
Tales from 2+2: Homelessness, Grinding and the Biggest Shot of a Grinder’s Life: The Jared Huggins Story

The Blossoming of TV Poker

The Year is 2006. Online poker is thriving. Partypoker has the highest traffic of any poker site but Pokerstars are gaining new players quickly with aggressive marketing strategies. Lots of poker sites are investing heavily into marketing and one key place to channel their advertising budget is TV. New innovations, improved graphics and increasing funding meant that poker TV is at an all-time peak of popularity.
40% of the the 2006 WSOP Main Event’s attendance is from online sites and poker sites are offering large amounts of cash for players on TV to wear an advertising patch. According to Dan Goldman’s blog, Pokerstars spent over $730,000 on WSOP players’ gift bags. The WSOP is seeing more TV time and this year the $50k HORSE event is added to the TV schedule alongside the WSOP main event. This year’s $50k WSOP HORSE final table saw some huge names including Chip Reese, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Doyle Brunson.

The Path of a New Player

In Finland, Mikael Paisting is watching the 2006 WSOP on TV. He enjoys watching poker broadcasts and is fascinated by the game. It’s a very common story for players to catch an interest by watching poker TV and sign up with to one of the many poker sites available. He chooses to deposit on Partypoker. Mikael is a committed learner and player. He reads several poker books from well-known authors such as Dan Harrington and David Sklansky. He also watches many training videos. Like many players starting in online poker he begins at the microstakes cash tables.
Microstakes are a rite of passage for many online poker players. The limits range from 2nl to 10nl, so the standard buy in is $2-10. Some will play microstakes for weeks, months or even years improving their game and increasing their bankroll so they can move up to small stakes, 25nl and above. Some players see the microstakes as a job and play as many tables as they can to eke out a living wage. Some players have never played microstakes and skip it entirely for higher stakes. Mikael starts to play and doesn’t do well, this is normal for many beginners, even those who study. However, over the next few weeks Mikael continues to lose. Months go by and Mikael still hasn’t turned a profit. He discovers problems with tilt and often takes his frustration out in the chat box. An example of his rage:
Paisting:THAT IS NOT NORMAL OMG!! JUST UNBELIEVABLE
Mikael doesn’t play 10nl very often and spends the majority of him time playing 2nl and 5nl. He continues to multitable cash games on Partypoker but he just can’t win. He starts to lose big, thousands of dollars, mostly at 2nl which is known as the softest cash game on the internet.

Getting Noticed

Mikael continues to play long sessions over the next five years, he claims to play 5-7 days a week for 4-8 hours a day. By 2011 he had played 2 and a half million hands while playing 6 to 9 cash tables at one time. Mikael is still mostly playing 2nl and is down a colossal amount: $7000. Mikael has been suffering from major tilt problems and has a very wild and noticeable style of playing microstakes. He starts to get noticed on 2+2, a very popular poker forum. A player posts a link to his PTR graph, a site which tracks online cash games. They are shocked at his losses over so many hands:
yegor: wow such a massive fail
he played 2.5m hands at 2nl and 5nl and he's losing
Donkey111: I remember him from my 2NL days.
often goes on some massive tilt sessions and spews like 20 BI in 500 hands by shoving any 2 cards preflop.
He even gets hate from his PTR account where he is ridiculed on his profile comments, he also replies:
VELAir26: Spend your time with family, friends or other hobbies instead
Paisting: im fine with this you stupid idiot
Mikael continues to play his reckless and tilting style over the years. By 2014, he has been playing for 8 years and is down five figures at microstakes; he starts to look for excuses for how much he has lost. He posts a thread on 2+2 detailing how he feels that he wins at the start of the month and then inevitably starts to lose. He asks how he can take legal action against Partypoker. His fellow posters tease him:
5thStreethog: Did the thought ever cross your mind that it might be possible that the reason you cant beat NL2 in over a million hands might be because you arent very good at poker?

An Attempt at Redemption

2019 comes and Mikael Paisting has been playing microstakes for 13 years, and steadily losing a lot of money. He got a new computer in late 2018 and has been grinding away on it. Mikael is getting mentioned more on 2+2 and he is well known on the tables of Partypoker as he drops stack after stack. Many players on Partypoker furiously try to get on his tables to call his tilt shoves; when Mikael is present other player’s stacks can get as high as $100 at 2nl as he shoves buy in after buy in to button steals. Some were said to be using seating scripts to instantly be placed on a table with Paisting. At this point he is feeling very low. But despite years of losing money and insane tilting he is determined to improve. Mikael is aware of his losses and has a fierce desire to make back the money he has lost since he’s started tracking on his new PC.
He decides get help and he looks to 2+2, the very same forum that had mocked him over the last decade. He logs in as Paisting, his last name. He starts a new thread, types out a post and chooses a title: 'Biggest loser in online poker history wants to grind $16k'. He posts this thread in the sub-forum Poker Goals & Challenges, a place where players post their goals and try to update their thread with their progress. He posts graphs of his losses from his database on his PC. He starts the thread by posting some shocking graphs of $8700 lost at 2nl, $6000 lost at 5nl and $800 lost at 10nl. At 2nl he had an incredible rate of -170BB each 100 hands. The final graph of his microstakes losses posted show $15,000 lost over 365,000 hands. An average loss of $75 a day.
The 2+2 poker community are stunned by the graphs:
HorseofHell: I'm actually shocked it's possible to lose this much at 2nl
Mahsjdj: This can't be real can it?
Mikael posts about the hard work he’s put into poker and mentions that has watched videos, read many instructional books and is honest with his astounding losses:
Paisting: I've lost literally all my money including all my life savings to online poker. I want to try one last time to win those money back and little bit of extra. That's why $16k. What I need is support and guiding.
The community react to his plan to grind all the money back at microstakes:
Fodersneso: This is really disturbing.
Why on earth would you try to grind this all back? Losing at this rate is traumatizing. You're going to grind out 3000 BIs @nl5 now or what's the plan? Really curious how you think you can turn this pile of insanity around...
The community show disbelief and doubt that his story is real but several posters claim that what he says is true. He has been active in Finnish forums for more than 10 years and players starts to share hand histories and stories about his playstyle. He posts about his regret of picking the game up:
Paisting: Never had a winning week in 13 years.
If it were possible to go back ten years I would say to myself "Do not never play single one hand!"
He then goes on to tell 2+2 posters a disturbing source of his funds for his staggering 2nl losses:
Paisting: I've taken huge amount of fast loans.
He sheds a little light into his personal life:
Paisting: My age and relationships has nothing to do with this. But not working, no kids or wife and middle aged. What I have is time to play.
I get a little unemployment benefit that goes straight to the rent. My eating costs are very little because I'm only eating one meal per day. There are times when I must take more fast loans if need of clothes, unexpected bills, sickness etc. That's why getting back those $16k is so important to me.
No disability, never played anything else than poker or lottery when pots are bigger, maybe 5 times in year. Playing poker does not give me any excitement or I'm not cheering won pots.
Posters try to give him strategy advice, they try to persuade him time and time again that shoving 100+ blinds to a minsteal isn’t a good idea. Some others question his sanity and tell him to quit:
FazendeiroBH: Not trolling, I´m actually serious here. You lost an absurd amount of money playing the easiest stake in the world (nl2). You keep losing doing the same faulty strategy. No book ever said you should jam 100 bb preflop rfi. It´s quite obvious there is something wrong with you and your brain, and the more you delay seeking professional care for your mental problems, the worst it´s gonna be for you.
Paitsing updates his thread with highlight hands from his cash sessions. He seems to cherry pick hands to post and will only post hands where he loses all ins as a 70-95% favourite. He delusion leads him to blame the site, his luck and the other micro grinders. He often writes about specific players and gives his opinion on how badly they play. He often quotes their HUD stats and wide calling ranges while ignoring that they are probably adjusting heavily to his own playstyle. Some time passes and he discloses that he has lost almost $500 at 2nl since starting the thread three weeks ago.
He updates his followers with the first monthly graph of the thread from his 2nl play in April 2019. He plays for 90 hours in April and his average daily loss is $50, 25 buy ins each day. 2+2 players start to analyse the graph. They notice that there are several breakeven spots where he may be playing reasonable poker but also huge 150 buy in downswings, some drops in the graph are so steep that he is losing about a buy in every 5 hands for periods of hundreds of hands. He says:
Paitsing: Only trying to get my money back from guys who are playing nl2 forever and never moving up. When I started poker long time ago I tought it's exciting to read watch videos if it gives me more money. After 2 years figured out it's just sitting on computer like in work and if I'm someday +-0 never ever playing this stupid game. This is like war.
The thread goes on like this for almost a year. The thread repeats itself over and over. He will post a few selective bad beats, ignore good advice and berate his microstakes tablemates. A fellow microstakes grinder makes his first appearance in the thread: 6betpot. 6Betpot would play at Paisting's tables and often win many buy ins, 6Betpot would go on to post highly contrasting hand histories to the bad beats that Paisting posts, he would also reveal Paisting’s preflop 3 bet is around 30%. Some players would criticize 6Betpot for predatory behavior but 6Betpot would maintain that he would try to persuade Paisting to stop playing in a spewy manner. Someone asks to see the hands and 6Betpot posts some, here is one:
888 Poker - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
BTN: 250.5 BB
SB (Paisting): 425.5 BB
BB: 101.5 BB
UTG: 100 BB
MP: 106.5 BB
CO: 84.5 BB
Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) BTN has AdQs
fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2 BB, Paisting raises to 425.5 BB and is all-in, fold, BTN calls 248.5 BB and is all-in
Flop: (502 BB, 2 players) Kh4s4c
Turn: (502 BB, 2 players) 3h
River: (502 BB, 2 players) Jc
BTN shows AdQs (One Pair, Fours)
Paisting shows 5s Js (Two Pair, Jacks and Fours)
Paisting wins 471 BB<
Later in the thread Paisting would reveal his line of thinking during hands like these; a poster asked why he though 3 betting hands like J5 was a good idea. Paisting replies:
Paisting: If you don't want them to run over you, you must do something. Blind play is very important and you can't let them run over you. When 80+ habit stealer gets shoves straight to his face he must learn at some point that I'm not giving blinds.
Many tried to reason with him and show him clearly why this was wrong, he not only refuted their strategy but would argue against them, often citing his opponent’s HUD stats.
Later on in the thread Mikael posts horrifying news. He explains that he didn’t transfer hands from his old computer to his new computer. The graphs he posted at the start of the thread only showed the tip of the iceberg. He reveals that $16k loss from the graphs was from just 7 months of play!:
Paisting: That 16k is in 209 days and in about 1 year as you can see from the first post. Big part of my losings has left to hard drive of my old crashed computer. That's past and I don't wanna think about it anymore. Main goal is this database I have here in my computer. But yes what I have been repeating many times, moving to 888 poker has sky rocketed my losses although I can play only 6 tables compared to party's 9 tables.
Posters speculate that his lifetime microstakes losses probably amount to six figures:
SpinMeRightRound: I mean if he's lost $20k in the last year, and he's been doing this for more than 10 years, he may have lost $200k or more.
In late 2019, Paisting claims that there was a ring of players were colluding against him. He goes on to say that the new site he plays on, 888, were asking for hand histories from certain players. He showed emails of his communications and posted that 8 players had had their account frozen. He also shows screenshots that his account is temporarily frozen during the investigation. Posters speculated:
CrunchyBlack: Pretty sure they think you're chip dumping lmao
.isolated: They think you're chip dumping to him. Funniest. Thing. Ever. The irony here is nearly palpable.

2020: The Struggle Continues

At the end of the year Paisting posts his 2019 graphs. He says that he hasn’t had a winning week yet and he’s still committed to making back 2019’s losses. His graphs show down 12k from 320k hands of 2nl in 2019.
In January 2020 he continues to post regularly and makes comments about him hunting down players worse than him:
Paisting: When you hunt really bad player (yes enzet there are plenty of worst player than me on 888 look those hand histories really carefully) hours and hours and wait good hand just to site let them to suck out it is affecting your game really badly.
He posts about his continuing struggle to win back the $16k:
Paisting: I have years dedicated for this project and anything back from that amount is winning to me. At this point it’s impossible to make any profit because of horrible suckouts.
He also posts about the high interest loans he’s taken out:
Paisting: I have huge amounts of loans that are basically all taken for poker. I don't eat much and all my other costs are very low.
And because of those loans I must get back so much money that is possible and these suck outs must stop.
February 2020 arrives and he posts his January chart, the worst posted yet. He takes a gigantic loss of $1,550 at an eye-watering rate of 210bb/100 hands. Often when he posts monthly graphs he would highlight that he ran a few buy ins below EV when he would be down hundreds of buy ins for the month.
The months pass and the cycle continues. Paisting posts the usual bad beats, posters berate him and try to give him advice and Paisting resists their efforts. Here is one of many similar hands posted in February:
888Poker, Hold'em No Limit - $0.01/$0.02 - 6 players
UTG: $1.46 (73 bb) Paisting (MP): $7.45 (373 bb) CO: $15.44 (772 bb) BU: $2.00 (100 bb) SB: $3.47 (174 bb) BB: $2.00 (100 bb)
Pre-Flop: ($0.03) 1 fold, Paisting(MP) raises to $7.45 (all-in), CO calls $7.45, 3 players fold
Flop: ($14.93) 6c7c4d (2 players, 1 all-in)
Turn: ($14.93) Ts (2 players, 1 all-in)
River: ($14.93) 8h (2 players, 1 all-in)
Total pot: $14.93 (Rake: $0.93)
Showdown: Paisting (MP) shows 7dTc (two pair, Tens and Sevens) (CO) shows JsJc (a pair of Jacks) Paisting (MP) wins $14
March comes and the regular monthly graph is posted. The uploaded graph shows is he down $1900 or 950 buy ins for last month. Mikael refutes that he is a gambling addict:
Paisting: 888 has given many 10 dollar bonuses to me play slots. I have never played them and in fact my account has 20 dollars freeplay bonus to play their slots. I will not use those money now or in future. So that's gambling addict to you.
April and May roll by and the monthly graphs are posted. He played fewer hands than normal, 43,000. But is down $1,250, all at 2nl.
In June he posts the usual monthly graph with -$1900 and it’s the lowest win rate he’s posted before, a colossal -335b/100hands, the graph has some alarmingly steep downswings with one section where he loses $500 in 1000 hands. That’s a loss of one buy in every 4 hands. Getting these monthly updates shows how quickly he loses money at 2nl and collaborates with earlier estimations that he is likely down more than $100k at microstakes over the past 14 years. Approximations indicate that Mikael has paid over $20k in rake to poker sites over the years.

The End, for Now

Mikael is still playing microstakes to this day. His poker story isn’t over yet but so far it is a sad one. My previous two Tales from 2+2 stories had mostly happy endings but not this one. This story is like a car falling down a cliff and it hasn’t hit the bottom yet.
Let this story be a lesson that poker isn’t for everyone. Players with addiction or mental issues should reconsider if the game is best for their lives. Serious poker players should consider bankroll management and how tilt affects their winrate if they do choose to play.
Seek help if you think you or others need it.
Original thread (Still active)
submitted by GiantHorse to poker [link] [comments]

PCG, a second shot at riding 11->18+ on bankruptcy exit

PCG, a second shot at riding 11->18+ on bankruptcy exit
EDIT: JUDGE JUST RULED, DISMISSING ABRAMS MOTION, WE GOING TO THE MOON BOIIIISS, NO DELAYS ON EXIT!
Hey all, here to share the last chance you have at getting PCG cheap before all the catalysts the next two weeks make it run like Usain Bolt to the mid-high teens
This past week there’s been a few good posts on PCG—thanks u/veritasinvestments and u/hjkoivu. Credit to mgr4 and others who helped contribute to this DD through discussion and research
I’m sure most of you degenerates are too lazy to read them, much less figure out what’s going on, so feel free to skip to the tl;dr. But for those of you who care, here’s my take on things. I wanted to post because this is a rare good opportunity on WSB, and also because it needs to be explained more simply, with greater examination of the details, so that my fellow gamblers can understand.
I told people to buy PCG back in December almost six months ago https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/e7h72m/pcg_growing_more_and_more_likely_to_exit/ when it was under 10$ and looked like a potential bankruptcy exit was possible. It ran to 18$ by February on the idea that PCG would exit bankruptcy and made mucho tendies. If you played this and made money, great, if not don't fret, you got another shot rabbit, don't choke this time
Just this morning Barclays upgraded to overweight, earlier UBS upgraded to 15$ PT based on exiting bankruptcy likely
Today we got a once in a lifetime do-over thanks to COVID where we are at the final precipice of bankruptcy exit, its priced at 11$ (and rising with upgrades each week), the final votes are the next two weeks and things are all looking positive.
TL;DR PCG going towards 20$ by end of June, Shares = free $$, 5/29 calls near 14.50/15 are high risk targets, 6/19 calls towards 15$ are less risky and mucho money, september 20C are free money, buy, sell on run up next 6 weeks and IV spikes
PCG - A Load of Hot Shit
PCG is a CA power company that did a bunch of naughty things and some homes / people burnt up (CA is a tinderbox come summertime). This resulted in PCG having to account for huge insurance claims, which obviously sent them into bankruptcy. The share price understandably plummeted:
https://preview.redd.it/4vir721wnxy41.png?width=773&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0c47db89008359b791a0d1765969f4c52d4a433
Now, the more observant among you may also note rather large spikes in volume in Jan 2019 and December / Jan 2020, followed by the share price rising significantly. What caused these spikes, you may ask? Well, the chance that PCG could come out of bankruptcy in a manner that would be beneficial to the shareholders of PCG’s equity. However, both times the plan was delayed, resulting in lower confidence and the share price dropping.
Clearly, if these had been actual exits, PCG would have skyrocketed—we’re seeing the price hit $17-20+ on proposals and rumors alone. That’s because PCG is monopolistic in California, and would be an absolute beast given two things: 1. It could exit on semi-favorable terms and 2. It could ensure, in some way, that it wouldn’t get fucked over by a fire yet again through enforcement of measures to reduce risk (and a nice tidy 20B+ wildfire fund that the state provides to help utilities reduce the burden of paying for fire liabilities).
Simply look at the following screenshot of its income statement these last few years, and imagine what it would look like if “unusual items” (give you one guess as to what those are) were removed:

https://preview.redd.it/i2r4y3vxnxy41.png?width=660&format=png&auto=webp&s=d86e04b205546dcce59fcc720a0ab11bce57082d
Good news, degens! The bankruptcy exit plans are underway again, and they do the two major things mentioned above. PG&E is allowed to remain solvent and continue generating huge revenues ($4.3 billion + in Q12020 and even more in Covid times as people stay home). Second, assuming PG&E exits by June 30th—a provision designed to help speed the process along—they’ll have access to $20+ billion in protection from a CA fund for future wildfire liabilities. So why will the bankruptcy exit occur now, when it didn’t in the past? Well, as Sir John Templeton once said when noting the four most promising words in investing, “This time it’s different!”
A Phoenix from the Ashes
For detailed past context on this whole process, read this article, it's great https://www.ft.com/content/582dd6e7-2ea5-4520-ae4c-d50c00c3799e
Here’s a timeline of the bankruptcy exit process. The two key dates are today, the 21st, and the 27th, which are when the victims' votes and the CPUC approval vote will be in, respectively, and when judge will confirm bankruptcy exit plan assuming everything positive. I’ll explain these terms soon, but just know that if both of these pass, PCG will almost certainly exit, resulting in mucho (California term) tendies when judge confirms bankruptcy exit:
https://preview.redd.it/mz45y0uynxy41.png?width=257&format=png&auto=webp&s=fbd24b8306a61de087f8d2a2c87f7686fbc7edb8
What are the chances of these votes passing? I’ll address the CPUC vote first. The California Public Utilities Commission is basically in charge of regulating utilities like PCG and therefore of approving bankruptcy exit. They are influenced mainly by their commissioner and by the governor. Gov. Slickback (Newsom) has already approved of the current proposal, and will urge the CPUC to approve it. In fact, the previous Gov. was largely ousted in part because of how he handled the PG&E situation. The CPUC commissioner also approves, and CPUC members are doing everything they can to see that this passes, including waiving a $200 million fine against PG&E. They’ve essentially approved already. Basically, if the people vote yes, CPUC will vote yes too.
And the people of California have been voting overwhelmingly in favor of the plan—we’re talking around 97+% of the votes that have been cast are “yes” votes. The plan needs only 2/3rds of those who bother to vote to vote yes. Further, the votes mentioned below account for a huge portion of those who can possibly vote (~70k max claimants and far fewer than that will vote). If you aren’t grateful for me wading into 60 pages of legalese to find this, fuck you (and yes, I didn’t just trust the seeking alpha article).
https://preview.redd.it/cl9loyn0oxy41.png?width=470&format=png&auto=webp&s=8465086d456c2e93fa6ba22128a8892fa5a526b9
Additionally, in this video, a lawyer representing several thousand more claimants mentions that his clients' votes are overwhelmingly in favor of the plan.
There’s only one issue in all of this, and it’s not even a real problem. A man named William Abrams is essentially alleging that a small proportion of the votes are invalid for conflict-of-interest reasons; Abrams wants these votes to be thrown out or wants the lawyers involved to initiate a re-vote with more disclosures. The WSJ picked up on this, causing algos to drop the PCG share price earlier this week.
The motion can be read here and is, in my opinion, largely BS. This is true on a purely mathematical level. From what I understand, the total debt owned by wall street firms is around $20 million dollars out of a $100 million credit facility. This hardly seems a conflict of interest when the facility is fixed-rate, and the creditors to Mr. Watt’s law firm have no say over him. Further, Watts’ law firm may make up to $1 billion from settlement, which is not considered by the court to be an issue (after all, contingent settlement fees are what align clients and attorneys’ interests, allowing victims to get compensation in the first place)! The $20 million pales in comparison and is a red herring.
Abrams actually has an alternate motivation himself: to get PCG to admit liability for the Tubbs wildfire, which destroyed his home. This is blatantly obvious when you consider the letter he filed to the court in August of last year. Abrams has a totally understandable motivation, but his claims are not legally legitimate. Further, he’s positioning himself as an advocate for victims, whereas in reality he’ll be screwing over the only company which could provide them with remuneration, as well as causing payments to be delayed by years and years.
Take a look at the response which was filed to Mr. Abrams’ motion: short, no-BS, and compelling. It doesn’t seem like the big boys think he’s worth worrying about.
Also worth noting is that the Judge, Dennis Montali, really wants this thing to go through. He’s taken Abrams’ claim “under advisement,” which essentially is necessary for PR and optics, but is largely ceremonial. If he was keen on delaying the vote he’d have done it at the hearing on the 12th. Since then he's moved forward with confirmation protocol and vote staying same. Consider the advise, dismissed.
Lastly, Governor was supportive if the CEO steps down as well as the BoD is replaced
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-ceo-to-step-down-after-tumultuous-year-11587564703 is stepping down mid-June, his job was to navigate bankruptcy exit, he's done that, time for new CEO
BoD is being replaced except 3 people https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-promises-board-shake-up-as-it-pursues-californias-approval-on-bankruptcy-exit-11580535837
So who else knows this?
I’ve done enough DD for you already. Go look at the involved players betting on an exit: Centerbridge, Elliot, Apollo, etc. Serengeti Asset Management is a bankruptcy focused hedge fund that often profits when firms exit bankruptcy, and they have nearly 10% of their portfolio in PG&E. More will pile in once the bankruptcy exit is confirmed, and still more when the company emerges from bankruptcy (many institutional investors have mandates to hold off until such things happen). There's over 80% tute ownership, billions in a company in Ch11 currently. What happens when they exit and have liability protection for future fires and can truck on to a proper PE valuation? Big money inflow is what
Further, dark pool data shows buying at every slight dip:
https://preview.redd.it/uvvz2062oxy41.png?width=1879&format=png&auto=webp&s=155826b7029b6a00e31046a96e8d36a9aa0c0f5e
For Dark pools, read this article https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/050614/introduction-dark-pools.asp
Because of the aforementioned issues, PGC’s stock price has been depressed. While I’m not going to lie and say that I could accurately value it going forward, I will note that a ~3x NTM PEG is standard for utilities. If you want to compare metrics further, Edison International is the closest peer at 2.7x. In any case, the process of PCG’s depressed stock price recovering towards a more normal ratio should begin this month, and rapidly accelerate. I’ve seen longer term targets from $15 (UBS just raised their target to this, and they’re definitely still being conservative because of the hearing) to $25+. See below for a lazy comp set, and mess around with the numbers yourself:
https://preview.redd.it/dmsdj9t3oxy41.png?width=788&format=png&auto=webp&s=154ca45cd6aa48f03f8ae8d0e1b9398afd1c6540
There are two bear theories that are uncertain.
  1. Fires can happen in summer. If this happens PCG sells off just by fear of fires. My play involves selling before end of june on run up and then just wheeling PCG. Definitely not holding through entire Summer
  2. August 29th according to settlement plan is when PCG must deposit settlement money which is half cash and half issued as new equity. How much dilution will occur is uncertain as it must add up to 6.75B, but the idea is that this is undervalued and will normalize to 20s when exiting bankruptcy and be less dilution than expected. It'll get into a trust that sells shares in 18 months to return victims money.
Ultimately, the point is that smart money is betting on this play. Because we’re all single minded degenerates, that might be a turnoff, but it’s a vital piece of the puzzle.
There are other attractive things about PCG, too, particularly in this environment: it’ll actually be helped by more people staying home, it has no chance of falling in recession as utilities are safe havens (and this is massively undervalued), etc. But I’ve written enough. I’d encourage you to do your own research, and to look into all these interesting points.
TL;DR for you illiterate fucks.
PCG go up. Call good. PCG May 29th $15 Call (13-14.50 if you want to play it safer), June 19th 15$ Call, Sept 18th $20 Call. Enjoy IV kicks along the way up until the ruling on the 27th.
Also literally first time in 2 years Barclays made it a Buy vs a Hold
https://preview.redd.it/6lnbmpjfvxy41.png?width=765&format=png&auto=webp&s=49cf278e2dcd7477a8a460cf45f5a1e7bf6bd179
My Positions http://opcalc.com/7Pz
I hope to exit some of it near term positions around 14$ next Friday else on IV spike near judge ruling, depends how catalysts make it run next week
https://preview.redd.it/m5bwoaw4oxy41.png?width=1603&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d65fcf5a11308b985a9761e62db24dd39f712b9
I also have around 90K in shares on PCG
submitted by cpgupta561 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

FYI if you are successful with live betting, FanDuel Sportsbook will put a substantial delay on your account's ability to live bet

So after using Fanduel Sportsbook for a few weeks and being quite successful (primarily but not solely with live betting), I've had a 15 second delay placed on my account that affects my ability to live bet. That is, after clicking on the "Place Bet" button, it now shows a countdown that goes from 15 all the way down to 0 before the bet is actually placed. It is now nearly impossible for me to bet on sports where the odds change rapidly, such as tennis or table tennis.
I contacted their customer support about this and after much back and forth was told that they reserve the right to institute these delays and that it is a "traders' decision". I don't doubt that it is likely in their terms somewhere, but it sure does suck to know that you'll be penalized if you are successful. Just figured I'd pass this knowledge along to you all as I think it is important information when deciding which site to bet with.
submitted by McMichaelman to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Which awards are locked in? Which are still up for debate? a glance through the odds and campaigns in each category

It feels like it's been 5 years since we've seen actual NBA basketball, which may make awards debates and campaigns more difficult. Wait, who was playing well again...? Dennis Schroder? Seriously? Huh. Okay then.
As we soldier back into the bubble, there's a risk that awards voters will forget about that early part of the season (aka the vast majority) and fall victim to recency bias. Given that, we wanted to glance through the major races and determine which -- if any -- awards may still be in debate.
For this exercise, I'm using the current odds as listed by an online betting site (bovada). Note: the percentages do NOT add up to 100% because online betting sites like your money.
MVP
Giannis Antetokounmpo: - 3500 (97%)
LeBron James: +600 (14%)
is the race over?
This betting site heavily favors Giannis Antetokounmpo, although some other metrics have it closer than that. Basketball-reference's MVP tracker lists Giannis at 50.7% and LeBron at 17.3%.
I'm more inclined to believe the latter and that LeBron James would be closer to 15-20% odds. No doubt, Giannis is a worthy MVP. He's been a dominant force (again) for the top statistical team in the league (again.) He's racking up 30-14-6 in only 30.9 minutes per game. In most circumstances, he'd win this award in a walk.
That said, you can never discount "narrative," and LeBron James has a few of those going for him. The Lakers have vaulted up to the # 1 seed in the West, outperforming preseason expectations. James has played exceptionally well, and even led the league in assists. Partly because of that, James' camp has successfully gotten the media to buy into the storyline that he made a sudden transition to point guard (ya know, because he had always deferred to his point guards like Mo Williams and Mario Chalmers in the past...)
More than that, James may benefit from this strange corona-bubble. He's been a leading advocate for continuing on, and as always, players tend to follow his lead. I can see more than a few media members giving James an MVP vote for "saving the season." All in all, I expect this vote to be closer than it should be (and I expect poor James Harden to finish well behind where he should as well.)
So James will get some votes, but can he actually win the award? I wouldn't rule it out. The Lakers are currently 3 games behind the Bucks for the # 1 overall seed. It's hard to imagine Milwaukee losing enough to slip, but it's not Wallace Shawn inconceivable either. If the Lakers somehow manage to catch them, then I actually think LeBron will win MVP. Of course, it's more likely the Bucks will hang onto the # 1 seed, and Giannis will hang onto MVP. But again, I don't think it's a stone cold lock -- yet.
Rookie of the Year
Ja Morant: - 3500 (97%)
Zion Williamson: +850 (11%)
is the race over?
It should be. Zion Williamson is freakin' amazing, but he's played 19 games so far. That's 40 less than Ja Morant, who has played stellar ball for a rookie from a small school, and somehow led the Memphis Grizzlies to the 8th seed.
Still, we can't rule out the risk of recency bias and a wild overreaction from the media. Williamson has a chance to lead the Pelicans up to the 9th spot, at which point they'd play Morant's Grizzlies. If Williamson can lead New Orleans to two victories over Memphis in a row -- and thus leapfrog them in the standings -- then it's very feasible the media would throw their vote his way. The media (and the league as a whole) tends to like this Zion fella, if you haven't noticed.
Sixth Man
Dennis Schroder: - 220 (69%)
Montrezl Harrell: +190 (34%)
Lou Williams: +450 (18%)
Derrick Rose: +3000 (3%)
is the race over?
Simply put: no. It's still a three-man race in my book. The Clippers' Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell finished 1-2 last season, and are right back in the thick of things this year. Among the two, it's harder to justify Williams' winning for the third season in a row. He hasn't played as well as last year, and hasn't been as big of a focal point for the Clippers' game plan.
With Sweet Lou taking a slight step back, it's opened the door for Dennis Schroder. He's having a career season in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's hard to understate his jump this year. In his six previous seasons, his career high true shooting percentage was only 53.3%. This season? He's vaulted up to 57.3%. The question is: have enough voters noticed? OKC has been a feel-good story this year, but Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tend to get the most credit for that.
Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if voters get lazy and just fall back on the highest scorer among the three. And even by those standards, the race is wide open. Schroder is at 19.0 PPG, Williams is at 18.7 PPG, and Harrell is at 18.6 PPG. A strong (or bad) week or two in the bubble may tilt this race in any direction.
Defensive Player of the Year
Giannis Antetokounmpo: -500 (83%)
Anthony Davis: +200 (33%)
Rudy Gobert: +2800 (3%)
is the race over?
Even among savvy and analytically-inclined media members, "defense" is still something of a mystery to quantify. We see a lot of herd mentality emerge for DPOY voting, with candidates needing to stake their claim early on and campaign all season long.
In terms of storylines and narratives, it felt like Anthony Davis had the early momentum. He's a wrecking ball (1.5 steals, 2.4 blocks) who helped improve the Lakers' defense from # 12 to # 3 this season. Still, Giannis Antetokounmpo has steadily built his case for a double MVP + DPOY, and currently ranks as the betting favorite on this site.
Personally, I believe it's a closer race than these numbers suggest. At the same time, I'm not sure what their play in the bubble is going to do about it. More likely, it'll be an influential media piece (like Zach Lowe pushing for Marc Gasol) that may get voters ushering on one side or another.
Most Improved
Bam Adebayo: -150 (60%)
Brandon Ingram: +250 (29%)
Luka Doncic: +500 (17%)
Jayson Tatum: +900 (10%)
Devonte Graham: +1000 (9%)
is the race over?
Again, this race feels "too close to call" to me. John King and David Chalian may be tallying up the counties all night long.
Earlier this season, I looked back at previous Most Improved winners and tried to find some common threads. On average, the winner improved from 11.7 PPG to 19.6 PPG (roughly +8 points.)
Historically speaking, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum fit close to those templates. Ingram has swelled from 18.3 PPG to 24.3 PPG in his first season in New Orleans (+6). Tatum has made an even bigger leap, going from 15.7 PPG to 23.6 PPG (essentially our exact +8). Of the two, I may lean more to Ingram myself. Tatum's taking more shots and more threes, but he was already considered a proven star prior to this. Ingram had been more of a question mark before, but has now established himself as a potential max player. The key for him has been an improved FT%. In his first three seasons, he shot 62%, 68%, and 68% from the line. This year, he's up to 86%. That's major progress, and represents a massive difference in his efficiency "floor." Still, you wonder if Ingram's momentum peaked too early. Ever since Zion Williamson came back, it feels like Ingram has been an afterthought in the media.
Conversely, Bam Adebayo's reputation within the media is still surging. He's been a major reason for the Miami Heat's success this year, nearly doubling from 8.9 PPG to 16.2 PPG (+7.3 overall.) He's also doubled his assists (from 2.2 to 5.1). If you wanted to nitpick Adebayo's candidacy, you may suggest he was pretty darn good already. A lot of the statistical upswing comes from an increase in minutes, from 23.3 to 34.4 this year.
Overall, I'd say Abebayo is the favorite, but I wouldn't lock it in yet. A player like Brandon Ingram could get hot and have a few 40 point games, at which point the momentum may swing back in his favor.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

Betting Markets - Betfair, a well-established sports betting site, puts Obama’s odds at 77 percent. That’s not as high as Silver, but it’s surely enough to puncture the notion that only pointy-headed NY Times types believe that Obama is the favorite.

Betting Markets - Betfair, a well-established sports betting site, puts Obama’s odds at 77 percent. That’s not as high as Silver, but it’s surely enough to puncture the notion that only pointy-headed NY Times types believe that Obama is the favorite. submitted by BillTowne to politics [link] [comments]

2020 Hungarian GP Race Debrief - r/Formula1 Editorial Team

2020 Hungarian GP Race Debrief

By ZeroSuitFalcon, Felix_670, showstopperNL, and christopherkj
Race Result and Fastest Laps by Driver
Hello there, fellow Formula 1 fanatic! Following the two race blitz of Austria, we are now treated to our third race in three weeks, completing our tour of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire at the Hungaroring!

The Empire Strikes Back Again Possibly Forever

As the weekend progressed, a Mercedes 1-2 on Sunday felt pre-ordained. Apart from Free Practice 2, during which running was severely disrupted, The Black Arrows were in a class of their own; Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas seemingly racing in a different class than the rest of the field.
In the Star Wars metaphor where Mercedes is the Empire, it looks like the rebellion has been crushed and there is no hope for the system. Mother Nature tried her best to hold back the Mercedes freight train, with the Hungaroring presenting the drivers with a slippery surface and uncertain conditions as start time approached, but nothing could stop the Mercedes team and Bottas could stop Lewis Hamilton from winning yet again in Hungary.
The championship leader is the undisputed King of the Hungaroring for this era. Records are tumbling down as Hamilton’s career unfolds, and he is, as a result of his victory today, tied with Michael Schumacher for winning the same Grand Prix eight times (Schumacher having done so at the French GP), while being five wins short of the overall win record held by the heptachampion.
It is worth pointing out that both drivers have also won the same Grand Prix seven times (Canadian and San Marino for Schumacher, Canadian for Hamilton), and six times as well (Schumacher doing it in 4 different GPs, Hamilton in 3), sharing that mark with little known names such as Alain Prost (Brazilian and French) and Ayrton Senna (Monaco). If anyone had any doubts before, it does seem as if this Hamilton chap is pretty handy behind the wheel.

Red Bull Drama

Before the cars had even reached the grid, the tricky conditions had already claimed their first victim. On his way to the grid, Max Verstappen’s tires momentarily lost grip coming into Turn 12 and, unable to regain traction, the Red Bull skidded off into the barriers, the nightmare weekend for Red Bull seemingly about to get much worse, as his left suspension looked damaged as he made his way to the grid
The Red Bull mechanics proved their extraordinary quality once more, however, bringing his car back to working conditions with 20 seconds to spare. Verstappen would make sure their efforts did not go to waste, ultimately salvaging the best possible result from what looked to be a dreadful Hungarian experience for the entire Red Bull family.

And It's Lights Out

Once the lights went out, Hamilton scampered away and seemingly without breaking a sweat had a more than comfortable 3-second lead to Lance Stroll in P2 at the end of Lap 1. If anyone still harbored illusions that Mercedes could be contained, those evaporated after just one lap around the track.
Behind the leader, things were chaotic. Bottas and Sergio Perez, starting P2 and 4, had terrible starts, dropping to P6 and 7 respectively, jumbling the order up and down the field, as the cars behind them scrambled for space in the narrow Hungarian track. Kimi Räikkönen, fresh off an AMA with our sub, started dead last and was immediately up to P15, with Nicolas Latifi reaching P10 in the Williams, with the Ferraris getting jumped by fast starting Max Verstappen.
As conditions improved, a flurry of pit stops jumbled the order even further. Charles Leclerc and Bottas both pitted at the end of Lap 2, going on Softs and Mediums respectively, followed by seemingly the entire field the following lap, the gaggle of cars going in and out of the tight pitlane causing some drivers to lose significant time, as their teams waited for an opening to release their cars safely, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz being the biggest losers in this category, as Ferrari and McLaren holding them stationary for over 8 seconds.
Williams was not interested in such frivolities, releasing Latifi into the path of Sainz, who did well to avoid a collision at the exit of the pits. The Williams suffered a puncture, the rookie spinning as he went into T1. In addition to dropping to last, he would also be given a 5-second time penalty for the unsafe release, rather destroying any chance of a good result after his tremendous start (he did have this excellent exchange before the race, though). After an excellent Saturday, Sunday would come to a close with both Williams cars dead last, with George Russell leading Latifi home. Even if Russell would finish the race as with the 9th best lap between drivers, the momentum from yesterday led to a deflating Sunday for the team.
The same fate would befall the Alfa Romeos. After Räikkönen’s excellent start, their cars would drop down the order as the race progressed, ultimately finishing ahead of only the Williamses, with Giovinazzi trailing his teammate home. A nondescript and ultimately frustrating weekend for the Italian team, highlighted only by Kimi’s AMA with us, naturally.
Once the flurry of pit stops ended, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean found themselves P3 and 4, as they jumped into the pits after the formation lap. Although both cars would not be able to withstand the pressure of the frontrunners as the order re-established, the race would prove to be an unexpected boon for the USA-based squad, as Magnussen’s no-prisoners attitude was in full display as he fought tooth and nail all race before managing to hold a hard charging Sainz at the end to finish P9P10 and score the team’s first points of the season, with the team exploding into celebration as the flag dropped at the end. Both drivers are under investigation, however, for a possible violating, during the formation lap, of the rule against driver aids (article 27.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations).Both drivers were penalized for violating article 27.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations when the team told them to box during the formation lap, so Magnussen dropped to P10 behind Sainz.
After pitting for Medium tires, Stroll made good on his start and was quickly back with both Haas cars, eventually overtaking both to stay in P3, as Red Bull pulled off a tiny strategic master stroke, leaving Verstappen out for a few additional laps, during which he did a sequence of fast laps to overcut Stroll.
Eventually, Bottas would also overtake both Haas cars, setting off in pursuit of Stroll and Verstappen. Although he would take P3 from Stroll, Verstappen put on an amazing driving display and held back the charging Mercedes until the end, securing a second place finish that seemed impossible less than two hours before.
Across the garage, Alexander Albon also salvaged an excellent result, coming home in P5 after his troubles on Saturday. Albeit short of his teammate, it was a beautiful drive, in a rear-happy car in trick conditions, and the Thai driver also escaped a penalty that could have wrecked his Sunday.
Even if Pierre Gasly could not shake his mechanical troubles from Saturday (the team changed his ICE, TC, MGU-H, and MGU-K, but his gearbox had a very smoky failure after only 15 laps) and was the only retirement for the race, a weekend that looked like a nightmare for both Red Bull teams turned out to be quite decent, with Daniil Kvyat managing to climb up to P12 after starting in 17th place.
Renault saw Daniel Ricciardo among the midfield leaders for a long spell, but he was ultimately unable to progress much further than the P8 he finished in, with his teammate Esteban Ocon came home P14, one position behind McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was unable to deploy Scenario 7 today. The team has again protesting the Racing Point cars’ brake ducts, in what is obviously going to be a repeating pattern until a decision on the matter is issued.
Racing Point again showed that they are a real threat to anyone not named Mercedes, even if Perez could never quite recover from his race start to join his teammate at the head of the field, but a finish of P4 for Stroll and P7 for Perez means the team is in an excellent position to challenge for “Best of the Rest” honors.
Ferrari had a much happier day compared to the Styrian GP, but the Scuderia is still in some trouble. Finishing with only one car in the points (Vettel in P6, who appeared to achieve more than the car should be capable of today), with Leclerc P11, is certainly not what Maranello hoped to achieve this season. To add another layer of ignominy to the season so far, both cars were lapped by Hamilton, which cannot be a good sign for those hoping for a Ferrari resurgence this season.
Leclerc was put on Softs after his first pitstop and his race was severely compromised from there on out, ending up on 40+ lap old Hards that hampered his pace so much he was unable to challenge Magnussen for P9 nor hold back Sainz for P10.
Back to the race winner and now championship leader, apart from a late pitstop in Lap 67 for Soft tires (enough for a race lap record 1:16.627, over a second faster than the next fastest driver), Hamilton’s race was as straight-forward as a mixed conditions win in a tight and twisty track can be, in yet another reminder of the seeming inevitability of the Mercedes/Hamilton combo this season.

Conclusion

As with any complex machine, Formula 1 is a contraption that requires multiple cogs working together to create a precise (or in this case, chaotic) race. Here are the most important gears in today’s race.
The largest cog in this race was made up for several smaller ones. Max Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing team performed flawlessly after Verstappen broke his left front push rod on the installation lap, securing a second place that even the most ardent RBR fan would not bet on just minutes before the start. The RBR mechanics performed a near miracle to repair the car with 20 seconds to go in the start procedure deadline and, after a scintillating start, along with great strategy calls, Verstappen clearly finished much higher than what the car should have been capable of. Even if the team debrief will be extensive and detailed as they look to solve their understeer, oversteer and setup problems that have plagued them the last two weekends before the F1 circus reaches Silverstone. A fun stat for today: Car 33 has 33 points in the WDC and took his 33rd podium this weekend.
Another big gear is Lewis Hamilton. With the pace the Mercedes has shown and the exquisite form he is showing, Michael Schumacher’s days as the holder of the record for most wins in Formula 1 seem unlikely to reach 2021. Along with the obscene advantage Mercedes already enjoys in the Constructors’ Championship (they currently have more than double Red Bull’s tally), the only question seems to be when will the team confirm their 7th straight WCC and who will win the team’s 7th straight WDC.
Smaller cogs added to the chaos of this race, including the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, able to secure a P910, with the team’s strategy call to pit at the start proving both a boon before ultimately costing their drivers 10 seconds each, and (even if their race result proved disappointing) Williams, as they made their second straight Q2 appearance.
After three races, we are still waiting for a clear picture of what the midfield looks like. Racing Point is, undoubtedly, at the front of the pack, even if their wet and dynamic weather pace seem to be a weakness, as both Red Bulls and Vettel’s Ferrari could take points away from them today. Ferrari and McLaren seem to be interchangeable depending on the weekend, while Renault and AlphaTauri try to break through to trouble them.
With the triple header done, we now have a much needed one week break before the fans and the paddock can set their eyes on the next triple header, with two races at Silverstone, including the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, along with a visit to Catalunya, starting August 2.
In the meantime, we will try our best to keep you informed and entertained, with the last part of the excellent “The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team" series dropping this week.
submitted by F1-Editorial to formula1 [link] [comments]

[Undertale Fan Art/Fandom] Sans is MINE!!1! and the tale of the tainted cookies

Welcome, one and all. I’ve been a lurker on this sub for a while, and I’ve decided it was time I contribute. This is my first shot with a story post on the snoo snoo site, so go easy on me. A warning for Undertale spoilers. Also, this write-up will make mention of pedophilia, incest, needles, tongue injuries, and food that has been tampered with. Yeah, the fandom gets kind of fucked up at points, but if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be writing this, now would I?
Unless you make your residence under a rock, you’re aware of the 2015 indie game Undertale, developed by Toby Fox and Temmie Chang. You also probably know about its 2018 sort-of-sequel, Deltarune. But we’re not talking about Deltarune here. In a shellnut, the plot of Undertale is about a human child who falls into an underground world full of monsters. The monsters have been trapped there for centuries by magic, and the child’s soul is the key to their escape. The gimmick of Undertale is that the player can do a full “pacifist” run of the game in which they don’t kill a single NPC or random encounter creature. Doing this unlocks the Golden Ending. The player can also go out of their way to slaughter every NPC and creature in the Underground, in what’s called the “Genocide” or “No Mercy” run. The game will be sure to punish you for your pointless virtual cruelty if you do that (more on that later.)
Undertale exploded in popularity because it is indeed a very well-made game. It’s been greatly praised for its themes, storytelling, music, humor, and atmosphere. Special mention goes to the characters; all the main characters and even some minor encounters are extremely well-developed and complex. Of these, fans are most obsessed with Sans the Skeleton. He’s a lazy but good-natured skeleton monster who loves cracking puns, drinking ketchup, and his brother Papyrus. In a pacifist run, he’s a fun jokester type and promises to look after you, but there are hints that he knows more about you and the game’s mechanics than he lets on. In a genocide run, all bets are off, since you killed his brother and everyone else. He subjects you to a ridiculously hard boss battle (you don’t fight him in a pacifist run at all) at the end of the run. Said boss battle is set to “Megalovania,” which Toby Fox composed for earlier games of his and then adapted for Undertale. Sans is a cool character. His boss battle is kickass. “Megalovania” is a banger. You can see where this is going.
I don’t know why people are thirsty for Sans, though. Being obsessed with him for being cool, I understand. But the thirst, I don’t. He’s not hot and he wasn’t supposed to be, either. He’s short, implied to be chubby, always sports a shit-eating grin, and walks around in a hoodie, shorts, and silly bedroom slippers*. If you ask me, he’s more huggable than hot. But fans will be fans, I guess. It wasn’t long before there were scores of thirsty fans (mostly female, for usual reasons) all over this goofy skeleton. I don’t think I need to link fanart to prove it. Use your imagination. Insert pun about wanting to bone him. Sans would approve. What he wouldn’t approve, though, were some of their choices of who to ship him with. There are three Sans ships that are most popular in the fandom, and only one of them isn’t flagrantly creepy. Enter the stinkies, Frans and Fontcest, and the maybe-not-creepy Soriel.
*There was a debate whether he wore slippers or sneakers. Undertale has simple pixel graphics and all battle sprites are in black and white, so it’s hard to tell going off the game alone. But the official merch shows him wearing slippers, so that’s what I’m going with.
Frans refers to Frisk x Sans. If you didn’t know, Frisk is the canon name for the playable character in Undertale. Normally shipping the player character with an NPC would be fine, if not a bit wish fulfilly, since the PC is usually a stand in for you, the geek at the controls. Problem is, Frisk is a child, unambiguously so. They’re repeatedly called “kid,” “my child,” “kiddo,” etc. Based on the in-game sprite and official artwork, Frisk doesn’t look any older than 10. Sans, on the other hand, is clearly an adult. Cue the accusations of it being pedoriffic, and I can’t say as if I disagree.
You most likely know the issue with Fontcest just by looking at the name. Yeah, it’s shipping Sans with Papyrus. His brother. Yuck. What is with fans and shipping incest? Anyway, Fontcest was also virulently hated in the fandom. Maybe even more so than Frans, since you can age up Frisk to make it less creepy, whereas explaining away Sans and Papyrus’s relationship is more difficult. Some people ship Fontcest shamelessly, while others try to find a workaround. Usually, they’ll bring in a Sans or Papyrus from one of the copious alternate universes in the fandom. (Most of which are just Sans and Papy in various hats.) Is it incest if they’re from different universes? I dunno, you make that judgment call. I’m just the reporter guy.
That leaves us with Soriel – Sans shipped with Toriel, a character who is, thankfully, neither underage nor related to him. Toriel is an early-game NPC who rescues you from a flower trying to murder you (it makes sense in context) and escorts you through the tutorial level. (Toriel? Tu-torial? Get it? Yeah, I thought it was a little cheesy, too.) She’s a goat woman who loves humankind, despite what they’ve done to her race, and adores being a mom. She’s obsessively protective of you, to the point where she literally fights you when you try to leave her home. Her connection to Sans is that she befriended him through corny jokes and asked him to look after you. According to Sans, she’s the reason you aren’t “D E A D W H E R E Y O U S T A N D.” Okay, so Toriel isn’t underage, isn’t related to Sans, and has a meaningful connection to him, to boot.
So where’s the problem? Why do fans get pissy over Soriel shipping? Well, to be honest...I have no idea. Sure, Toby Fox confirmed that Sans is too lazy for a relationship, but if you’re going to take that as gospel, then you shouldn’t ship him with anyone. And since when has the fandom listened to creators’ requests to not do the hippy dippy super shippy? Some people pulled out the “pedo” argument since Toriel is noticeably older than Sans (he even calls her “old lady” at one point), but an older woman and a younger man is different than an adult and a literal child if you ask me. Consenting adults and all that. Maybe the goat woman is a cougar, but I’d rather have that than skeletons being pedos and/or incest partakers.
Of course, there’s always the tried-and-true “I’ll ship them with my OC.” Okay, fair enough, I guess. You do you. But you know how fandoms are, and naturally a lot of the Sans fangirls got slapped with “Sans is MINE!!1!” jokes. And who’s likely to root for Sans hooking up with some random chick instead of a well-known character, especially if said random chick stinks of Mary Sueishness and self-insert. I won’t cheer for Mary Sue x Sans, but it is better than those god-awful stories of him banging his sibling or creeping on a kid.
So this probably just seems like normal fandom dumbfuckery, right? Well, I’m sorry to say that it goes beyond that. Our investigation into drama over who Sans should date leads us to the big incident that forms the real drama. Someone almost got killed because of Undertale shipping drama. Here’s the sordid story. This is where the part about the needles and tampered food comes in, so if that’s a trigger for you, this is your last chance to turn back.
Apparently someone missed the core theme of the game – all that hoopla about mercy and love. A popular Undertale fan artist, Avimedes, attended a convention in Taiwan in 2017. While at the convention, a person, who has not yet been identified, approached Avimedes and offered her a box of homemade cookies. The artist, thinking it was a gesture of goodwill, accepted the treat and tried a cookie. Except this wasn’t a random act of kindness from a fan of her artwork; it was an attempt to get her hospitalized or worse. The cookies had needles in them – large sewing needles, to be exact. As Avimedes wasn’t aware of the adulteration before trying one, she ended up piercing her tongue on the needle and needed medical attention. Shortly thereafter, she posted a picture of the blood and needle on her Plurk (a Taiwanese social media site) with a morose comment about how she now has an extra piercing and can’t track down the person who did this to her.
Despite the inability to catch the miscreant, fans suspect a particular motivation for the crime. Avimedes is a Frans shipper and often does artwork of it. Frisk is aged up in her artwork to avoid the whole deal seeming creepy. Despite the aging up, her behavior supposedly pissed off an “anti,” -- that is, a person who is opposed to shipping incest, pedo-ish stuff, and so on. The anti then concocted the tainted cookies and gave them to Avimedes with the hopes of injuring or even killing her. Fans have since been holding up the incident as an example of toxic anti culture (see the last two links in the references section), where moral ideology gets so fevered that it turns murderous. If that was indeed the cookie criminal’s intent, then those people have a point. As you’re probably well aware if you’ve spent five minutes in a fandom on Tumblr dot hell, shit really hits the fan when the antis and proshippers clash. But we don’t know the con criminal’s motives, and we never really will.
Just don’t accept food from strangers at a con. And maybe don’t ship adults with children.
References
WARNING: Some links contain images of needles, blood, and chewed up food. DO NOT click on a link if those are a trigger for you.
submitted by Upbeat_Ruin to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]

The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.21]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
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Previous | First | Patreon
Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, Benjamin Durbin, and 42 others supporting me on patreon.
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With little else on his plate, Russell Winters took his time walking through the corridors and facilities of the Event Horizon. More than a few curious civilians who weren’t aware of his identity nodded or waved his way, surprised to see a new face after so long aboard. He returned the greetings briefly but carried on towards the rear of the ship, his confident stride impressing upon those he met that he had somewhere to go and something to do. The reality wasn’t quite that demanding, but it allowed him to avoid any sort of prolonged discussion, or any discussion beyond a simple nod of his head or a single word to acknowledge a passerby. Deep down he couldn’t help but feel adrift or alone. For the first time since he’d lost the Lancer not even Io was around to chat. That wasn’t exactly true, of course, but she was with Veera and Asha, and he did not want to be seen conversing with the ceiling.
So instead he continued through mostly empty corridors, lightly used thanks to the marvel that was the tube system and the fact that most everyone was at their job or station given the hour of the day. The midpoint of the ship was actually quite easy to spot, with the gently sloping, white hallways of the civilian half giving way to defined edges and metallic gray of the military. When those long stretches of metal and polymer began to blend together, the novelty of the ship itself having long worn off, the Jumper fell into reflection as so many humans do in times of solitude. Given his conversation with Natori earlier in the day, it was perhaps natural that his thoughts eventually turned to Jess and the others. Emotions once raw and crippling felt muted and distant, the passive mask on his face only giving way when he cursed and chastised himself, upset that he couldn’t remember Jess’ face as clearly as he wanted to. With his personal effects also blown to smithereens, it would be many more months until he could see her again the way he wanted to, smiling and clothed like a civilian in photographs saved on his personal devices back home. He resolved not to get upset at Kaczynski if the Admiral chose to do something involving the stock photographs taken of every member of the HEL for just such an occasion, the ones with forced smiles, uniforms, and flags in the background. Finding himself in yet another empty corridor, save a passing maintenance bot, he felt comfortable muttering a quiet thank you to Veera, recalling the first time she’d told him about her parents and the ‘dull ache’ that their passing had left behind. He thought he understood better what she meant by calling it a scar that never truly faded.
After half an hour or so, which consisted of a couple stops to check his location within the orbiting behemoth that was the Event Horizon, Russell finally arrived at a familiar junction, the area just outside the armory proper where he’d ‘introduced himself’ to Lipper’s squad. Finding the place to be blessedly quiet and devoid of cocky, bombastic Jumpers, Russell walked through the automatic doors, nodding his head as weapons and munitions of all types greeted him. All were locked and stowed according to HEL protocol, of course, so he didn’t exactly have free reign to try out what looked to be the newest version of humanity’s shoulder-fired rocket launcher. Instead, he nodded approvingly at what appeared to be remote detonated airburst shells before moving along the line towards a shooting range style storefront and workshop built into the back of the armory. Russell did bother trying to hide his surprise when he recognized the graying Persian man behind the counter.
“Darius?”
The well built master at arms glanced up from a book he was reading, real paper and ink, to furrow his brow at the young man. “Two weeks. I was wondering if you were going to stop in and say hello. Didn’t think Marshall Winters’ son was that ungrateful. I assume those two weapons I received this morning are yours then?” he asked, placing his bookmark and slowly unlocking the door to his range. Despite Winters’ slight height advantage, Darius had some choice words for him as the two men stood face to face. “Next time you decide to pick fights in my neck of the woods, the sparring room is right over there,” he growled, pointing over his shoulder to another, nondescript door in the gray wall of the armory.
“I finished that one, Darius. Didn’t start it,” Winters insisted, standing his ground.
“You’ll forgive me if I don’t take that one at face value, Rusty. My memory isn’t gone yet and I seem to recall more than a handful of brawls that ended up in the ring after you started em.”
“Yeah well, you can ask my wife about this one. Don’t worry, sounds like they’re back in action already.”
Darius cocked his dark eyebrows at Winters, sizing him up. “Now you wouldn’t joke around with a well armed old man, would you?”
“Oh shut it, Darius. You don’t look a day over fifty.”
“That’s cause I am fifty you little punk, now what’s all this about you getting hitched?” the stocky man demanded, crossing his arms over his chest and threatening the seams of his shirt sleeves. Russell couldn’t help but smile. Darius always seemed to run a size too small, but he had the musculature to pull it off.
“Married planetside, one of the local women. They’re very intelligent, just a bit behind on the tech curve.”
“Hah! Not intelligent enough to avoid you, kid. Ah, it’s funny,” Darius sighed regretfully. “I always assumed that when everything was said and done you and that plucky little captain would shack up together after seeing a bit of the galaxy. Guess fate had other ideas.” When the grizzled armorer looked close and saw not just sorrow, but guilt on Russell’s face, he pressed the issue. “Ah damn, don’t tell me?”
“Yeah, best I don’t tell you,” the Jumper agreed. Darius extended his hand and the two of them shook.
“I’m glad you got off that ship alive, kid. Like I said, fate had other ideas. Shame about Jessica and the others. To think I’d hear about your damn wedding before your pops and mother? C’mon, there’s only one thing to do at a time like this.”
With a shrug, Winters followed the man who’d armed and equipped him during basic training and beyond through the door to his inner sanctum of sorts. “Looks just like back on Earth, Darius. How’d you end up here?”
“Not complicated, Rusty. The Admiral offered me a promotion and a pay raise,” Darius offered, heaving a standard small arms container onto the shelf and unlocking the clasps. “And before you accuse me of betraying Delta or Omega or whatever other nonsense you might be thinking, Beta holds all the patents and Natori knows what to do with them.”
“Hey, he came all this way to get me. I’m not complaining… except for the fact that he almost got my sister and everyone else aboard killed,” Russell groused, his words stopping Darius mid-motion as the master at arms unveiled the Jumper’s rifle and pistol.
“I’m still alive, which means I don’t want to know, kid. Now, where the hell is your sword and shield?” he wondered, taking a critical look at the rifle first.
“The locals have whetstones and the like. No problems there,” Russell reported.
“I don’t care if the locals have self-churning ice cream, soldier. You have access to an armory now. I expect you to properly care for your weapons,” Darius ordered in no uncertain tones, reminding Russell very much of his own father. He didn’t think it a coincidence. Most senior individuals in the HEL’s military branches knew one another.
“Then by all means, master. Proceed,” Russell chuckled at Darius’ new title. The weaponsmith did just that.
“Says the First Lieutenant? Congratulations, by the way. Pistol looks fine, I’ll admit. We use a newer model but it’s chambered in the same caliber. Hang onto this one,” Darius advised. Russell showed him a picture on his B-MASS. He knew he looked a bit silly walking around with just one gauntlet, but he hated the idea of downgrading to other portable technology when he was so familiar with his own.
“Given what that thing’s killed, you bet your ass I will.”
Darius carefully placed the handgun on the countertop, meaning to give it a full cleaning anyway. “Kid, what the hell is that?”
“One hell of a story.”
“Oh fine, keep your damn secrets,” the Persian scoffed, bending over to examine Russell’s rifle closely. A golden chain with the Persian lion, sword and all, hung from his neck. “What was the last time you fired this thing, Rusty? Sight is misaligned.”
“My wife was the last one to use that weapon. Had to adjust it for her.”
“The hell happened down there?” Darius wondered quietly, shaking his head and moving on to the chamber. After a brief visual inspection he left it with its partner and reached for a small wooden case on the lowest shelf next to boxes of ammunition, earplugs, and eye protection. He opened it and withdrew two glasses, each of which featured the Persian Sun and Lion, as well as the Goddess Anahita around the sides. Nestled between an additional two glasses were multiple bottles of whiskey from Japan, India, Scotland, and the United States.
“Drinking on the range?” Russell wondered sarcastically.
“Did you leave ammunition in the chambers?” Darius asked flippantly, already knowing the answer as he poured a small taste from Japan first, flicking a couple drops of water into his own from a nearby water bottle. “No, didn’t think so; cause you aren’t an idiot like Rex was his first day. Now that we’ve established the guns won’t self-animate and kill us, we’re drinking.”
“I’m not complaining but isn’t that, you know, haram or something?” Russell asked, accepting the glass with thanks. Darius took a smell of the amber liquid in his glass before furrowing his brows at the young Jumper.
“How long have you known me, Rusty?”
“Geez… I guess I’m twenty five now so call it seven years on and off?”
“And in those seven years, how many times a day have you seen me kneeling on a rug facing East?”
Russell bobbed his head back and forth to acknowledge the point, taking a smell of his own. The scent was utterly divine, smooth, powerful, and pure. “Guess none?”
“That’s because I’m Zoroastrian. One day, god or gods willing, whichever you prefer, the fatherland will return to its true roots. Until then, we must drink to something else. To Jessica and the other honored dead, may they be at peace.” Darius and Russell clinked glasses before partaking. The former downed his like it was nothing, while the Jumper savored the taste of alcohol for the first time in almost a year. He kept it on his palate a bit too long and began coughing as he swallowed. Darius’ laughed loudly, his voice carrying down the silent firing range and back.
“What’s wrong, kid? Out of practice?”
“You could say that,” Russell agreed, handing back his glass. “No alcohol on Mara. No dairy or fruit either.”
“What an awful place,” the master at arms declared immediately, rinsing their glasses quickly before chucking the wastewater over his shoulder and onto the nearest firing line. “We must remedy that immediately. Do they have grain?”
“Darius, we don’t even know if they can process alcohol yet,” Russell explained as the older man prepared a second toast, this one from the US.
“Bah, I’m sure the scientists aboard all think they’re doing more important things. Been hearing talk of aliens aboard the ship more and more, suppose that wife of yours is one of them. On that subject,” he handed Russell his glass back, this time containing a hearty helping of booze. “To your wife, her health, and your marriage.”
“To Veera then,” Russell agreed, taking his time with that one. Darius nodded and sat in his chair, leaning back while his guest leaned against the countertop of his ‘sanctuary’.
“That her name? Not bad. To Veera then. How’d you two meet?”
“Almost flattened her farm with my pod,” Witners related with a small smile, remembering the scrawny young Cauthan who’d introduced him to Mara.
“You got anywhere to be?” Darius wondered.
“Me? Nah. Veera’s up with a couple of her people in the civilian hospital, good friends of ours. One is due in a couple months so she’s getting an ultrasound. As you might imagine, the husband is the only man allowed.”
“Well damn, is that right? I’ll be. In that case, in accordance with great Persian traditions, you owe me a bit of a story, Rusty.”
“Is that really a tradition?” he asked critically.
“I shared my booze with you, damnit. Tell me how you got hitched.” Both men laughed loudly, feeling the pleasant burn of whiskey in their throats and its warmth in their stomachs. Winters took a moment to consider the past, glancing upward as he thought.
“Well, I guess it starts right about when they almost flogged her on my account.”
“You idiot.”
“Judging by the clowns on this ship, all Jumpers are idiots, Darius.”
“We’ll talk about them later, now spill.”
-----
“Stevie! Did you miss me?” Rex shouted the moment their shuttle touched down, jumping out of the open hull door and striding confidently over to the now quite established base camp. The facility consisted of a prefabricated living space for about half a dozen scientists at any given time, which sat next to various tents that covered gear and assorted supplies. The tiny compound was protected by two auto-turrets with a connection to the bridge of the Event Horizon, but nothing had disturbed the camp since the arrival of Beta division personnel. Rex parted the handful of scientists going about their work easily, making his way to the covered cage that contained Steve the aquila. The little bat-like alien had its wing properly bandaged, and it looked up as the daylight penetrated its sanctuary. It did not seem pleased. “Okay okay, didn’t mean to startle you. Just wanted to say hi. I’ll feed you tonight when you’re awake. Gotta see if any of these smart people have some bugs for you.”
While Rex went about his business and Orlova dealt with the shuttle, Corporal Mendes spoke with the lead researcher. Natori had called on ahead, conveying to both teams the suggestion from Io and Winters, specifically that the anomaly in the first hallway be examined. After a short conversation, Mendes shook hands with the researcher and notified his team that the scientists would be ‘spectating’ the expedition. After collecting Rex, he rejoined Orlova and Lipper, who had remained with the shuttle near the entrance to the Forge.
“We all set then… sir?” Lipper wondered as they pulled their helmets on and made their final comms checks. Orlova looked purposefully at Mendes, but he seemed content to chalk the pause up to lack of familiarity with the new command structure.
“Yes. Per the Admiral’s order’s we’re heading inside and looking for something akin to a large metallic skeleton. He said we’d recognize it due to radiation leaks from what is assumed to be a core of some sort.”
“Yo that’s sick let’s fucking go!” Rex shouted, grabbing his hammer off his back and practically bouncing off towards the Forge’s entrance.
“Private Rex!” Mendes bade him halt, the burly Jumper turning his skull-adorned helmet back towards them.
“What?”
“Wait for your squad, Private,” the Brazilian replied coolly as they all caught up with him. “And take point.”
“Heh, yes sir!” Rex agreed, charging forward and promptly going down on account of the rather sizable piles of aquila droppings at the mouth of the Forge. While Mendes could hardly fault his exuberance, he was forced to scold him as he rushed forward and took a knee to cover the surprised soldier.
“Maybe watch your step, Rex. Last thing we need is your big ass triggering any traps left in here,” Mendes advised.
“Well said, sir. Nice paint job, Rex,” Lipper added.
“Oh shut up, Lipp. By the way, your axe looks stupid as hell,” Rex declared as Mendes and Lipper helped him up and he did his best to wipe some of the fresher aquila crap off his backside.
“Uh, what? You hit your head too?”
“Last time you were here you said my hammer looked ridiculous. Well your axe is just as ridiculous,” Rex insisted.
“I am surrounded by boys,” Natalya insisted, walking proudly past them and into the facility. “You know the science teams are watching everything, right?”
“That’s where the hammer comes in!” Rex assured her with a laugh, having more than shaken off his momentary stumble. And so with the first ‘pitfall’ of the Forge conquered, the four soldiers proceeded slowly into the cavernous vault that formed the Forge’s entryway, the path sloping down ever so gently before them. “Mother of God. How big is this thing?”
“Big,” Mendes replied simply, pulling up the seismic imaging model of the installation on his armor’s B-MASS so they could all have a look. A small red dot marked their position at the entrance.”
“We have an estimate for the location of this anomaly?” Lipper asked. Mendes shook his head.
“Nothing definite, but according to information provided by the Lieutenant it should be the first thing we come across.”
“I hope that bastard took a shit dip too,” Rex muttered as they carried on.
“Stow it, Rex,” Mendes ordered. “You can bitch about getting your ass kicked when we aren’t in the middle of an alien installation.”
The Lance Corporal’s words seemed to finally get the point across that they were truly within the belly of the beast, the unknown. No longer was it an unremarkable grassy knoll where some aquila nested. Now it was an expansive chamber of darkness that was deep enough to swallow the light from their armor. Mendes radioed the base station. “Surface team, I’m going to request you keep this channel clear until further notice. We will radio in the event we need an expert opinion. Lance Corporal Mendes out.”
“Mmm, good,” Natalya agreed on the private channel shared between their suits. “Now let us move.”
The four Jumpers moved slowly and deliberately through the structure, promptly sheathing their melee weapons in favor of their rifles. The extra lights were welcome as the glow of Seil grew fainter and fainter behind them as they walked. Per the descriptions left by Winters they did notice a faint red glow far in the distance along their direction of travel, but that was the only anomaly. “Damn, this place is something else,” Lipper muttered, his senses torn between the boredom of black and gray metal on the one hand and the gnawing threat of the unknown on the other.
“Corporal, I think we have contact,” Rex suddenly called after about ten minutes of travel. All four Jumpers pointed their weapons forward, the light illuminating a tangled mess of metal that stood in their way.
“Detecting higher than expected levels of background alpha radiation,” Natalya added, consulting her B-MASS as they drew closer to the construct. “This must be what the First Lieutenant mentioned. Looks like a poor attempt at impersonating M. C. Escher.”
“Corporal Mendes to surface team, you getting this?” Mendes demanded, sighing as only dead air greeted him. “Damnit. We’re on our own. Start recording, everyone.”
“Yes sir,” Lipper replied, taking a step forward and kneeling next to the object. “I suppose we should have expected that much. We’re going to have our work cut out for us getting cables in here.”
“That’s what they pay us for. I seem to recall you and Rex getting into a bit of trouble on account of your cabin fever,” Mendes replied, prompting Lipper to glance over his shoulder.
“If we could not speak about that again, Lance Corporal, I’d appreciate it.”
“Noted, Private. That the core?”
“Sure as hell looks like it,” Lipper said, reaching deep into the mess of pointed metal and running his hand along the cylindrical object. “Now I’m no Alice Winters, but I’ll bet my useless sergeant’s bars that this is alien script.” True to Lipper’s word, when they all gathered around they could see scratched and faded symbols. “Feeling it yet, Rex?”
“Fuck you, Tom. Don’t tell me you aren’t freaking out too,” Rex shot back, his voice tense.
“Seems the natural reaction,” Lipper agreed as they fanned out and did their best to record the object from every angle using what light was available to them and their helmets’ video recording capabilities. “So the Lieutenant described this thing as a skeleton, and I guess I can see that but where the hell is the head. This looks like a twisted ribcage. A big fucking ribcage, mind you, but still just a ribcage.”
“Perhaps those have something to do with it?” Natalya suggested, having located the various discolorations and markings on the walls and floor that seemed to indicate some sort of conflict or struggle.
“Hard to say,” Mendes opined, staring further into the facility. Part of him wanted desperately to proceed further, to see what Lieutenant Winters had seen months before, to see if anything could be gleaned from further within the strange installation. Orders were orders, however, and he had no intention of improvising on his first mission as commanding officer. “But no matter what else is in here, I think this is where we should start. Let’s get this thing scanned and get as many visuals as we can for the teams back up top. Then we’ll figure out how or if we should move it.”
“Can I ask a question?” Rex wondered, not waiting for permission. “What sort of idiot stuffs a nuclear reactor into their ribcage?” In spite of the situation, the team found themselves chuckling quietly. Lipper answered.
“Assuming we aren’t all incredibly wrong, which we damn well could be, something a hell of a lot larger than you, Rex.”
-----
When Mendes’ team returned to the surface after about two hours below ground, they found the majority of the science team waiting nervously for them at the mouth of the Forge. The lead of the expedition was on the line with Admiral Kaczynsky when Mendes’ suit regained connection to the Event Horizon’s network.
“Ah, it seems we worry too much!” he declared. “Lance Corporal Mendes, your report?”
“Yes sir. No casualties or difficulties minus Rex slipping in a pile of alien bat shit, sir.” Unseen by Mendes, Natori found himself attempting to keep a straight face on his bridge and not chuckle like a teenager.
“Given how quickly we lost contact with your team after you entered the facility, it is no small relief to hear that, Rodrigo. Did you find the anomaly mentioned in the mission report?”
“Yes sir, it was exactly as the Lieutenant described, including the cracked, radioactive core. We took video and conducted scans using the B-MASS which we will provide to the ground teams shortly.”
“Thank you. I look forward to your full report. But let us speak frankly for a moment, Lance Corporal. What are your thoughts on the installation?” Natori wondered, pressing a couple fingers against his temple as he tried to place himself on the surface. The lack of real time footage had not only been worrying, it had been incredibly disappointing.
“Sorry Admiral, but I’m not sure how much I can give you that you don’t already know,” Mendes apologized. “Whoever built it is certainly no longer around. That or they’re extremely well hidden. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s beyond the technological capability of the locals. We didn’t analyze the alloys of the walls or the skeletal object so I can’t say much on those accounts. It’s almost certainly alien in its construction, and there is something towards the end of the entry corridor that glows red, again as Lieutenant Winters described, sir. I don’t have anything else at this time.”
“Next steps, Lance Corporal?”
Mendes waved the rest of his squad on, indicating that they should proceed back to the camp and begin the relevant data transfers while he continued to speak with Natori. “Well, that depends on how nice you want to be to the current residents, sir,” the Jumper supplied, looking up so that Natori could see the various aquila nests above the entrance.
“We will make all reasonable accommodations.”
“Yes sir. In that case I think the first thing we need to do is get cable inside here, make sure we can communicate with the surface teams and possibly move in some light sources deeper in, far past the little bat-like organisms. I’ll leave what to do with the skeletal formation to the science teams, sir. I can see arguments both for leaving it in place and moving it out of the installation for analysis aboard the ship. I guess if we do that we should check for EMP shielding and other electronics, fry them all if we find them.” Natori hummed approvingly in his earpiece.
“Yes, I suppose a remote attack is a possibility even if the age of the installation is confirmed. Very well, Corporal Mendes. You and your team will have the lead on this operation as far as protection of the science teams is concerned.”
Mendes made to salute before he remembered that Natori would be unable to see the gesture, his chest swelling with pride. “Yes sir, we’d be honored. But what about Lieutenant Winters?”
“Believe it or not, Rodrigo, I believe he’s more than happy to let you and your team have this one. From the sound of it, village life is more suited to him. And believe me when I tell you that I am very sensitive to what occurred between you all and how to proceed moving forward. In spite of the obvious and noble human tendency to divide itself into groups and prove one superior to the other, we are all on the same side when it comes to discovering the truth of this planet and our way home.”
“That sounds a lot more noble than the first bit, sir,” Mendes replied, earning a chuckle from Natori.
“Quite so, Corporal, but that doesn’t not mean I don’t wish to see you and your team succeed both for yourselves and for Beta Division as a whole. For now, please go ahead and rendezvous with the science teams and assist them however you can. I’m sure they will have questions for you. In the meantime, I will make the necessary arrangements for the equipment we will surely need to examine this installation in detail.”
“Yes sir, signing off,” Mendes affirmed before cutting the link and proceeding the short distance to rejoin his squad. Civilian researchers were already poring over the data and recordings that the team had brought back. Natalya was engaged in conversation with an older gentleman regarding the radioactivity signatures from the casing, her helmet off and her long, blonde hair tied up in a neat bun. Lipper and Rex were uploading their scans of the skeleton to the available computers and terminals in the compound, relating what they’d seen and suggesting various conclusions. “Everything good?”
“Took us seven months and change and a bit of a fuck up,” Lipper began.
“A bit?” Rex cut in, looking at his friend accusingly.
“Your nose looks even better than it used to and I can eat again. Sergeant will return with time,” Lipper insisted, looking Mendes dead in the eye. “But yeah, Corporal, it feels like we’re finally getting to do something here.”
-----
“I’m not going to remember all this, but it’s very impressive,” Xan admitted as he, Alice and Anita strolled through one of the industrial growing bays on the Event Horizon. Unlike bay number seven, which was essentially full of pet projects, bay number one was designed to produce as much nutritious biomass per cubic foot of space as possible. Many plants needed no soil at all, growing in clear troughs of water stacked to the ceiling and tended to by mechanical arms and extensions.
“Thank you, I helped design the cultivators,” Anita said quietly, guiding the crippled Cauthan around. “And I wouldn’t worry too much about remembering it. At this point I don’t have to think much about growing either except for maintenance. What we would need from you is instructions on how to care for your various crops. How often you water them, if they need support to grow, direct or indirect sunlight, things of that nature.”
“Yeah, that much I can do,” Xan agreed. “I can ask my parents and some of the other farmers I know. You want to come, Alice?”
“Assuming I’m not tied up with Alyra, I’d be happy to come along and record things.”
“Yeah, I guess Thantis and I have been keeping you busy for a while now. She’s been itching to talk with you about whatever it is she cares about. You see her staring at her reflection in the water trough the other day, experimenting with those glasses? Crazy.”
“Xan, just because you don’t give a darn about how you look doesn’t mean us girls don’t. What’s wrong with wanting to look presentable?”
Xan huffed, not able to come up with a decent reply. A light breeze drifted through the room, strengthening over a few seconds before dissipating. “Alright you have to explain that though. How did you harness the winds all the way out here. Felen isn’t supposed to have any power in Kel’s domain. And where is your water coming from? I’ve never seen it rain in here.”
“Smart cookie, isn’t he?” Alice asked Anita, who seemed a mite confused.
“What are Felen and Kel?” the engineer wondered. Alice did her best to explain the two Cauthan gods in five minutes or less. It was enough for Anita to understand Xan’s question.
“Well, we have mechanical fans that blow air through the ship and these growing areas. Plants that grow without any wind develop weakly in many cases. They need to be stressed in a positive way,” Anita explained.
“Is that right? What’s a ‘mechanical fan’?” Xan replied, butchering the pronunciation of the word mechanical. Anita looked around, but none of her green, floral companions were forthcoming with a decent simplification of electricity or motors.
“I think that would be a bit hard to explain,” she admitted. “Same with the water situation. We have a set amount on board which we reuse and recycle.”
“What she means to say is that we use our waste, convert it to clean water, and use that for the plants,” Alice summarized.
“What? That’s silly. Just take the poop and throw it down, works great. Maybe even mix some in with your water,” Xan suggested, managing to elicit a flush even through Anita’s dark brown skin.
“Xan, you dork,” Alice chastised him as she tried not to giggle too hard. “That’s a great way to get the whole ship infected.”
“Don’t know what that means, but I defer to your crazy human magics,” Xan replied flippantly. “I stopped trying to understand the specifics a while ago, made my head hurt. But we can grow dato and kina up here, right?”
“I believe so,” Anita affirmed. “Alice, didn’t you say you got some soil samples?”
“Yeah, days ago. You didn’t get them?”
“No, I think they’re still with the microbiologists. Growing alien vegetables wasn’t really high priority until forty eight hours ago or so.”
“Well if you need some just come down to the village,” Alice suggested. “They’re real friendly and the food is to die for!”
“Yeah, you should totally come down with us today,” Xan agreed, enthused at the idea of being the one doing the explaining and guiding. “I can take you around and you can ask your questions and grab as much dirt as you want. Not like we’re hoarding it or anything.”
“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Natori’s voice agreed, causing them all to jump. Anita threw her hand over her chest in fright while Alice shook her fist at the ceiling.
“Darn it, Admiral! Don’t you have, you know, a ship to run or something?!”
“My dear Alice, thanks to the efforts of Io, my esteemed bridge crew, and dedicated engineers like Ms. Prakash, I find myself quite bored on a regular basis. I believe this is a preferable state of affairs to your brother or our Jumpers shooting at something, however. Ms. Prakash, I will be happy to arrange for you to head to the surface for a period of time. In return, I believe we could take our intrepid Cauthan here on a little voyage.”
“Look, I don’t want to be rude but I think I know enough about your leader to know he’s not like Antoth. Little voyage sounds bad,” Xan stated. Alice nodded and rested a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m with Xan, Admiral. Details,” Alice demanded.
“Of course! It’s been just about seven months since we left Earth. While I am immensely pleased with the performance of our various waste and water treatment facilities, the fact of the matter is that my morning coffee is beginning to taste like an industrial filter. Given that we have found your brother, made friends with the locals, and established that we will be in the system for a period of time, I believe it would be prudent to top off our reserves of materials and replenish our water stores,” Natori explained, using the display on his captain’s chair to pan through several groups of asteroids flagged by his bridge crew.
“Natori!” Alice had a hand on her hip. “Are you seriously suggesting taking Xan on an asteroid mining mission?”
“Veera and any other Cauthan are welcome to come along as well! They have invited us to partake in their harvest festival, I think it’s only fair we return the favor so long as they keep their claws off the controls.”
“Harvesting asteroids is not a holiday!” Alice insisted.
“No, it involves far too many high powered lasers for that!” Natori agreed, eliciting a light giggle from Anita.
“Why do I bother with him?” Alice demanded of herself. “Fine, Natori. When we head back down today we’ll ask about the mission. I honestly can’t see Antoth agreeing to it even for Xan, but we’ll give it a shot and see if there’s interest. Thanks for giving me an incredibly difficult concept to explain, by the way. What about the teams at the other ground site?”
“Oh, I’ll be sure they have plenty of supplies. We’ll only be gone a day or two and I want to be sure we are back in orbit to commemorate the anniversary of the loss of the Lancer. Do let me know what Antoth says, would you?”
Alice pinched the bridge of her nose, tilting her head back as though she had a nosebleed. While the idea of taking Xan along on a space mining mission was undoubtedly an exciting prospect, especially given the fact that she would not typically be allowed on one either, explaining the concept to Antoth and Ratha was decidedly not. She made a mental note to include Thantis in any such discussion; he was the one Cauthan most likely to end up in her corner. “Yes sir, Natori. Anything else?”
“No no, carry on!” the Admiral encouraged as though he hadn’t been eavesdropping on them. “Miss Prakash, your plants will survive a few hours without you, I’m sure.”
“O-Oh. I mean… thank you, Admiral.”
“Be nice to her,” Alice whispered extremely quietly, relying on Xan’s perky ears to do the rest of the work, even if one of them was rough around the edges. To her relief, he was not a complete blockhead and nodded that he understood.
“Sorry, Alice. If I’m going to head down I should probably change and get a few things,” Anita explained, excusing herself. “It was nice to meet you, Xan. Selah.”
“Selah,” Xan replied as Anita departed. Alice was more than fine finding her way back on her own.
“So, want to keep exploring here?” she asked Xan.
“Nah. I’m sure I’ll be back up when our own crops are growing here,” the Cauthan guessed, stiffening his back and exhaling with something of a grunt.
“How’s the leg? You’ve been walking around a while,” Alice asked sympathetically.
“That obvious?”
“You don’t need to hide it around someone like Anita, you know?”
“I was just practicing,” Xan told her, looking intently at a nearby head of lettuce.
“Ok,” Alice smiled kindly. “Do you want to head back to your room or one of the hangars? I think Asha and the rest will probably be a little while.”
“Floating?” Xan suggested.
“The hangars it is! Let’s see where the nearest one is,” Alice replied pleasantly, calling up a map of the ship and locating an inactive shuttle bay nearby. “This way, my fluffy, crippled friend! Tally ho!”
Xan pulled his scarred face into a grin as he plodded after her with his cane. “You and your brother have to be the worst humans ever to learn your culture from.”
Xan’s newfound ability to take his disability somewhat in stride was encouraging to Alice, recalling to her mind her brother’s desire that she help instead of study. She already had a new idea or three for her doctoral thesis. “Excuse me, we’re obviously the best.”
“Heh, of course. My mistake.”
-----
Previous | First
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Own The HEL Jumper: Survive in the format of your choice: Hardcover, Softcover, and epub from Lulu | Amazon Kindle
submitted by SabatonBabylon to HFY [link] [comments]

"Captain, the Major here is probably committing a warcrime..."

edit disclaimer: No one died in any of the incidents I'm talking about.
So there I was, in the 'Stan in the mid/late 2000s. I was on what would become a back to back deployment that was something like 1.4 years. The chain at the time was nuts. I was on an IA with one task force who would in turn TAD me out to anyone and everyone who had use of my teams particular set of skills. I mostly worked with a USASOC task force with the same dudes on back to back sets of 90 day TAD orders (literally sent an email asking for the short bald Navy guy). But... when those 90 day TAD orders would run out I'd go back to the original task force and usually end up doing a few ops with conventional forces until the new set of TAD orders were finished.
Technically I reported to the Navy Captain (o-6 btw) who ran all Navy shit on BAF and he made damn sure I knew he always had my back and gave me his personal sat phone #. He had EOD, SWCC, SWO, ect and was a mustang. He was like 50 and ran 6 minute miles for the entire BAF tour route. He plays a key role in this story.
So my TAD orders to task force coolguy shit ran out and I get put on some orders with a conventional infantry people. They had shot so many civilians in Iraq they had been thrown out of country and sent to Afghanistan (due to putting others at additional risk due to retaliation attacks). Due to this we were already expecting bad times. The guy in charge of this rucklefest was an O-4 who was the shiney example of toxic leadership.
While screaming at his dudes he would say motivational things like, "I don't have to be right you just have to do what the fuck I say!". He would also threaten to stop loss his dudes when they were getting close to going home. If you weren't aware back then when your EAOS would come up the Army could go, "haha just kidding!" and extend your deployment. This dude openly threatened his people with it if they did things he didn't like. So all of that was a thing. Oh oh! He also was SUPER pissed I was allowed to PT in whatever because back then the Navy didn't have a PT uniform. The mere fact I was allowed to wear civilian clothes and, "whateva! I do wut I want!" infuriated him. I wasn't disrespectful but I also wasn't going to let him push me or my team around.
The incidents.
So this whole thing takes places in a period of less than 2 weeks. I don't remember exactly how long it was. So day one dude asks for SCI material and tells us he has a TS/SCI so it's okay. I call up my chain and ask them to look him up because someone in TF coolguys had just gotten their ass burned for this exact lie. Sure as fuck the dude only had a secret. So that was reported but seemingly nothing came from it. He tried to bully us into giving him information a few times.
Some of his dudes had some fancy counter mortar radar that they clearly had not been trained on. We were sitting on 2 mountains pretending to be rocks gathering intel and he flies over and lands on the mountain to yell at me because, "MY site didn't have the CMR operational!". I said something to the effect of, "Major I have no knowledge of that system at all, don't do anything with radars, and YOUR men should have trained with it before they brought it out in the field". Ohhh I bet you can guess how well that went over. He starts shit talking me to my chain at this point. Which is hilarious because my Lt didn't give a fuck because TF coolguys loved me and my whole team. My Lt in turn starts sending me choice snippets of his emails for lulz.
At another point we had indications and warning and visuals on a group about to shoot down one of our helicopters. We'd had them for about an hour. We were out of LOS comms with anyone and we needed to get on the satcom. The problem was this Major was chewing out someone OVER A UNIFORM issue, on a mission, in Afghanistan. For like 90 minutes straight he tied up the sat com just to scream at someone. Everyone back at HQ could hear him doing this. No one did shit. I finally had to "break break break" and so we could get the TOC to warn the pilot. He then claimed it was 'his satcom channel' and he could do anything he wanted on it.
I reported all of this. No one cared.
Finally he did something fucking crazy. So his dudes had a habit of firing a 'warning shot' only magically hitting people in the legs when they tried to run away. It's what had gotten them thrown out of Iraq. Fairly sure he had ordered them to do that but no one could prove shit. This is why warning shots are dumb in the first place though.
edit (note it is also possible his dudes were shooting civilians because that was a great way to ruin an officers career)
So my ATL comes over and is like dude. DUDE you need to hear this shit. So I put on my headset. it's the Major screaming at one of his dudes about shooting some kid who was like 8. They had tried to fire a warning shot and "somehow warned him in the leg" <- exact phrasing. The major flat out refused to call in a medivac. He claimed it was due to weather. (it was totally clear). On our LOS radios he's screaming at this dude how he's going to have to watch that kid die and live with it for the rest of his life. That he'd ruined his (the majors) career and they were going to get kicked out of country because he (the dude who shot kid) was a fucking idiot. This went on long enough I started recording it.
While that's going on I call the Captain Awesome back at BAF. He is also WTF. So we ignore the major and called in the 9line urgent surgical. Shit hits the fan about here. Everyone is pulled out the next day. We turned over the recording but there were so many 'witnesses' who heard it on the radio that no one talked to us. Everyone hated that guy. I know he was court martialed but I don't remember his name or the details. The kid was fine though and his parents got like $30,000. He's probably off planting EFPs right now.
While this may seem extreme this was the same time period where they were stop lossing people, letting 6 sex offenders a year join, and other such nonsense.
edit disclaimer: No one died in any of the incidents I'm talking about.
submitted by elitist_ferret to MilitaryStories [link] [comments]

Debunking some Legends Palpatine wank

Star Wars is easily the worst franchise to talk about on WhoWouldWin by far. At least with Naruto or Dragon Ball Z or One Punch Man there's some difference in the comments once in a while. But literally, and I mean literally, the replies of every single Star Wars thread, no matter the character, no matter the matchup, are exactly the same every single time without fail.
Here's every Star Wars thread on WhoWouldWin ever:
Star Wars character vs. other character
Round 1: Canon
Round 2: Legends
Top comment with 3k+ upvotes: Star Wars character loses round 1, but in round 2 they absolutely godstomp 10/10 times they speedblitz the other character at FTL speeds and slash them seventeen thousand times in an attosecond with their lightsaber, or they use their Planetary+++ Force abilities to choke the other person to death and while they're choking them they stab them, or they make their heart stop or rip their organs out their chest with the Force in a microsecond. The other character literally can't even hit them because they're FTL and have nanosecond level precog that lets them avoid every hit ever. Palpatine can destroy planets Obi-Wan can open black holes with his mind Luke is literally a Force God who can annihilate half the galaxy with a blink LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!!
Reply to that comment with 500+ upvotes: Yeah bro, this is kind of a complete and total godstomp, don't know why OP bothered posting it lol legends always wins LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!!
Reply to first comment, score below threshold, hidden: Um, scans?
Now, for all you people unfamiliar with Star Wars, you're probably wondering what "Legends" is. Legends is simply the official term used to refer to the old Expanded Universe content made for Star Wars, so books, comics, anything other than the movies pretty much. After buying Star Wars, Disney went and made the majority of the Expanded Universe part of its own separate non-canon continuity, meaning there's two versions of most Star Wars characters: Canon and Legends. "Star Wars Legends," or just "Legends" is used to refer to the Legends continuity as a whole.
Legends, and I'm brave enough to say this, is the single most wanked series in battleboarding history. The way people talk about it, you'd think every book is a non-stop balls to the wall orgy of FTL and planet-busting feats. It's to the point where you don't have to link any scans or post any clips: just saying the words "LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO" is a bulletproof argument in and of itself.
But is Legends crazy, bro?
The answer is: It's fake. All of it. The feats, the preconceptions... it's all fake.
I can't fucking stand Legends wank, mostly because it kills all discussion of Star Wars on versus sites. I like Star Wars quite a bit, and I'd like to see some intelligent discussion of it in my dumb, pointless hobby. But every attempt at a Star Wars thread is drowned out by the incessant drum of LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! It fucking haunts me, I close my eyes and instead of black it's just the Obi-Wan VS Kakashi Death Battle on loop.
At the suggestion of my therapist, I'm fighting back. This is the beginning of a series of posts where I'm going to be debunking Legends wank I find on sites like VSBW. I decided to start with Palpatine because he's personally the character I see getting the most of it. And besides, this is gonna be my own personal Order 66 on Legends wank. So who else could be more appropriate?
Onto the debunking:

The Claim: Palpatine can make planet-destroying Force Storms on a whim.

When someone mentions planet-busting Palpatine on WhoWouldWin, nine times out of ten this is what they're talking about. You usually don't get links for Legends claims, but for the power of the Force Storm ability, I usually see this one posted when its brought up. It's from a book called The Jedi Path, which is supposed to be an in-universe Jedi manual complete with notations from the characters who owned it. So the quote from Luke - "it has the power to kill worlds" - is an in-universe statement of power.
So, what's Force Storm? Basically its an ability where a hyperspace wormhole is opened using the Force. It can be used to transport people across the galaxy and destroy things, which yes, includes planets according to The Jedi Path. It's a not very commonly seen Force power, first appearing in the Dark Empire comics. Palpatine creates one and uses it to do some major damage to Coruscant and the New Republic fleet. However, he ends up killing himself with the storm accidentally after Luke and Leia interrupt his connection to it.
Palpatine can create Force Storms, Force Storms can destroy planets. So Palpatine's planetary. Seems pretty clean cut, right?
Except, he can't create Force Storms. At least according to Tom Veitch, author of Dark Empire (which had the first appearance of the power). Third line. If you want to read the full 2016 interview, here it is. It's translated from Spanish, but the translation is very direct, at least for the relevant section.
Yep, apparently Force Storms are "in fact a phenomenon that occurs rarely, when the minds of two great Force users meet and struggle with each other at a distance." Straight from the mouth of God, Palpatine can't make them of his own will.
There's probably arguments you could make that he could, like Palpatine claiming he can create them of his own will in-story, but that same scan mentions him lying about how much control he has over the power, so I don't really buy his word. Some roleplaying guidebooks give him the power in his list of abilities (like if you want to play as him in the game or use him as an enemy) but I feel that's too tertiary to count. And really, it kinda makes sense he can't really pull them out all the time when you think about it. There's two sequels to Dark Empire where he's reborn again in clone bodies, and in none of the sequels does he try to use a Force Storm. Even though it would come in handy, like, a lot.
In any case, if you're arguing Palpatine can make Force Storms, you're arguing against the guy that created Force Storms to begin with. I think he'd know how they work.

EDIT: Additional supporting content found.

Special thanks to GregLeagueGamingAlt for digging up another interview with Tom Veitch that backs up this other interview. (Sorry for being unnecessarily dickish to you, Greg, I was just in a bad mood)
Basically, Tom reiterates what's said in the other interview, going into a bit more detail. He says that the intended mechanism behind the Force Storm in Dark Empire is the "meeting of two great minds" thing from before, with one being Luke and one being Palpy, with Palpy just being the one who can actually use the storm to his advantage. While he does say that there are other possible explanations, like Luke finding a Sith holocron or saying that the interviewer's suggestion of Palpatine maybe only stumbling across the power recently could work, the intended explanation when the comic was being published was the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation.
I'd also like to mention the Force Storm's entry from the updated version of the Star Wars Encyclopedia: "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force. Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms. Emperor Palpatine claimed the ability to create and control Force storms at will. Light-side practitioners could also band together and create powerful Force storms."
This backs up the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation in a few ways.
First, going back to the interview, Tom implied that things were kept kind of vague about how the Force Storm works when details had to be hashed out to other publications. So that's probably why both this and the Dark Empire endnotes only say that Palpatine claimed he had the ability to create and control the storms at will.
Second off, I'd like to point out the main description - "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force." Sounds a bit less like a standard Force power and more like something a bit more exceptional. The destruction of Alderaan caused a great disturbance in the Force, and that was a pretty major event. Also going back to the interview, Tom all but says he made this description up himself.
Third, "Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms" seems like it could debunk the idea, unless you read it as "multiple Dark Side adepts working together could demonstrate limited control over the creation of a Force Storm," which I think is perfectly reasonable considering the next line about multiple Light-side practicioners having to band together to create one. This final line also gives canon support to the idea of multiple Force users being involved in the creation of a Force Storm.
Yes, there are some sources that say he can make Force Storms of his own will, but for each of those sources there's also one that says it's a claim, and the Dark Empire endnotes prove Palpy isn't 100% trustworthy. Not to mention the other sources are, let's face it, pretty much on the level of WoG too. Just an author saying things about a story outside the context of that story. Do you take diluted, inconsistent, but published WoG from some handbooks, or do you take straight fron the source, consistent for 20 years (going off the second interview) WoG from the author of Dark Empire and creator of Force Storms himself? Personally, I'll take the latter, thanks. You can scream "WoG is fake!" until your face turns blue, I usually do too, but I feel this is consistent and not-off-the-cuff enough to count, and doesn't step on that many toes other than some guides he didn't even write published years after his own work. If you read Dark Empire with this idea in mind, you'll find pretty much everything makes perfect sense.
I've also seen people bring up two things in trying to say that this couldn't possibly be true: one, that we've seen other people make Force Storms of their own power in Legends, and two, that Force Storms naturally occur on the planet Tython. The thing is, we haven't. The only other uses of Force Storm needed an incredibly powerful, magic, sentient staff that absorbs large amounts of Force to pull off, which actually supports the idea that Sith need an external force or push to be able to make a Force Storm, and the "Force storm" on the planet Tython is actually a different thing with the same name.
In any case, I really don't think Force Storms matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Once again, Palpatine doesn't whip these out all the time, and its already been established that it's dubious he's completely making them of his own power, taking into account consistent Word of God, multiple sources saying he only claims he can make them of his own power, and a canon basis for it taking multiple Force users to make one. He'd probably end up killing himself if he tried to make one in a fight, and there's no other evidence to suggest that he has planet-level power anyway other than this one power in this one series that the primary author has said he can't really even do.
Besides, it's not like the power for the Force Storm comes from Palpatine even if you believe (against the author of Dark Empire and creator of the power) that he can make them at a snap of his fingers. If you ignore Veitch's definition of the power, then we're left with stuff like Palpatine's descriptions to go off of, and he explicitly says in both the endnotes and audiobook that the Force Storm utilizes external energy. As I've said, I find his word iffy, but The Jedi Path also calls the Force Storm "pure natural energy," and the previously mentioned magical staff relies on absorbing external energy to create a Force Storm. Once again, even ignoring Veitch's words, it's consistent that it's external energy being used. So if you're trying to do a VSBW thing where "using the Force Storms means he has planetary power which he can harness in his other Force attacks," no.
Finally, I'd like to debunk the idea that Palpatine created multiple Force Storms at once in Dark Empire. Post's too big to fit it, so read it here.
To TL;DR it all, there's solid WoG backed up by canon evidence that says Palpy can't make Force Storms, and even if you throw that WoG out, Force Storms aren't applicable in most matchups since Palpy would almost certainly kill himself with one in a 1v1 fight because they're fucking massive and he hasn't shown full control over them. His other Force abilities don't scale to Force Storms either.

Updated Verdict: No, he still probably can't on his own, and if he can, they're still not particularly combat applicable and you can't scale his other Force powers to them.

The Claim: Palpatine is a SOLAR SYSTEM BUSTER!

This next thing I'm talking about comes from a novel called Darth Plagueis. This is the book your Legends fan friend wont shut up about.
Basically, the prologue has a highly poetically worded scene describing Palpatine's feelings after killing his master. Some of it has been misinterpreted as actually happening in the context of the story.
Here's the scene.
I don't really know what else to say here, it's not actually happening. It's just a flowery description of how Palpatine feels, it's not literally going on. This was spread on VSBW as proof of Palpatine being planet/stasolar system level, I'm assuming because of these parts:
A tremor took hold of the planet.
Sprung from death, it unleashed itself in a powerful wave, at once burrowing deep into the world’s core and radiating through its saccharine atmosphere to shake the stars themselves. At the quake’s epicenter stood Sidious, one elegant hand vised on the burnished sill of an expansive translucency, a vessel filled suddenly to bursting, the Force so strong within him that he feared he might disappear into it, never to return. But the moment didn’t constitute an ending so much as a true beginning, long overdue; it was less a transformation than an intensification—a gravitic shift.
A welter of voices, near and far, present and from eons past, drowned his thoughts. Raised in praise, the voices proclaimed his reign and cheered the inauguration of a new order. Yellow eyes lifted to the night sky, he saw the trembling stars flare, and in the depth of his being he felt the power of the dark side anoint him.
Slowly, almost reluctantly, he came back to himself, his gaze settling on his manicured hands. Returned to the present, he took note of his rapid breathing, while behind him the room labored to restore order.
And...
His eyes sought and found an ascending constellation of stars, one of power and consequence new to the sky, though soon to be overwhelmed by dawn’s first light. Low in the sky over the flatlands, visible only to those who knew where and how to look, it ushered in a bold future. To some the stars and planets might seem to be moving as ever, destined to align in configurations calculated long before their fiery births. But in fact the heavens had been perturbed, tugged by dark matter into novel alignments. In his mouth, Sidious tasted the tang of blood; in his chest, he felt the monster rising, emerging from shadowy depths and contorting his aspect into something fearsome just short of revealing itself to the world.
Yeah, this is just... again, it's not actually happening. I could go on and say what each line represents about what Palpatine's currently feeling and how its clearly just a reflection of his emotions, but I don't have to. All I have to do is flip over to the last chapter of the book, which describes the same scene with a whole lot less flair. For anyone who wants to make the argument that at least the quake happened because the text I linked mentions overturned furniture, it was overturned in the fight between Palpatine and Plagueis. Not by any Force earthquake.
So, yeah. It's just in Palpy's head after he kills his master. Not literal.

Verdict: Learn reading comprehension.

The Claim: Palpatine is 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light.

Of all the Star Wars stats, speed is the fuckiest of all. That's because the main projectile of the series, blaster bolts, are incredibly vague in terms of speed. The movies usually show them as like, Nerf dart to baseball speed, while the novels go as high as calling them lightspeed (they're obviously not, but that's for another post). Since pretty much all speed feats that would involve gunfire in other series instead involve blaster fire, it makes things really annoying to pin down, as well as open to dipshit amounts of wank.
If you open up Palpatine's VSBW page, he's given a speed ranking of "MFTL+," thanks to incestuous scaling, taking blaster bolts as lightspeed due to like 7 dubious statements across 381 books, and a calc of the time his Sith spirit moved across the galaxy to inhabit a new clone body. The calc specifically puts him at 34,292c, or over 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light.
Star Wars characters are fast, guise!
Alright, let me try to explain why this is dumb. First off, why would the speed of Palpatine's spirit be equal to his speed in a mortal body? It's not like he can like, fucking fly through space like his spirit presumably can. I'm also going to guess his spirit weighs less, but, that's straying into dumb territory. To summarize this point: I don't see why Palpatine would be as fast as his disembodied consciousness, and I think it's kinda weird and dumb to assume so.
Second off, here's a few lines of text I want to take a closer look at.
He had spent over a year disembodied, formless, drifting through the maddening void of the Dark Side. He had never foreseen having to transport his spirit so far across space. He had nearly dispersed forever, but he had survived, and now need never fear death again.
According to the Dark Empire Sourcebook, Palpatine traveled "through the maddening void of the Dark Side." Sounds a little different than traveling through actual space.
But in that moment, when flashing blue energy rushed from exploded flesh, the Emperor entered a bodiless transitional state. As conscious Dark Force he was translated across the Galaxy...
According to the Dark Empire Endnotes, he was "translated across the galaxy" as "conscious Dark Force," which again, sounds a little different from traveling the distance in real space as a ghost.
There's other stuff like this too. Personally, I think there is far too much weirdness around this "feat" to count it as some sort of actual indication of Palpatine's speed. Force users generally don't seem this fast in the majority of Star Wars media anyway. Just as a note, Vitiate also has a feat that's pretty much the exact same as this one, and wrong for the exact same reasons.

Verdict: No.

The Claim: Palpatine scales to other Sith Lords who have CRAZY feats, bro!!1!!!

So, Palpy can't summon planet-destroying Force Storms whenever he pleases, rearrange stars with his own power, or move faster than the speed of light. But, I hear the people scream, what about scaling!?! Palpatine is routinely called the strongest Dark Side user in history, so he should scale to all previous Sith Lords and such, right?
I can actually buy that, yes. There's tons of statements backing up Sheev as pretty much the ultimate Dark Side user, so I think it's reasonable enough to assume he can match his predecessors. So, lets look at all the high end Dark Side stuff I could dig up, and why it's all either fake or not really something you should scale Sidious to. Most of this stuff I found on VSBW. I might be missing one or two things, but honestly, they're probably just fake too..
If you're wondering about the absence of Vitiate and Nihilus, this is going to be a multi-post series, and I'm thinking KOTOR will just get its entire own post. That being said, most of Vitiate's stuff is rituals, which I think Palpatine could replicate but wouldn't really be able to in a standard matchup, and I think Nihilus's status as a wound in the Force explains his unique attributes, and as such I'm not really sure if Palpatine could replicate the things he does. I haven't really done much of the research in that department yet, though, so it's entirely possible I'm wrong.

Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress (and a Triceratops Jedi named Thon)

VSBW notoriously uses buttfuck-long scaling chains in their profiles which usually have several dozen incestuous loops stretching across pages for certain series. It's really, really hard to actually find the feats being scaled off of because of the layers and layers of scaling you need to peel away like onionskin. But, in my research, I've found that approximately 50% of "Planetary Legends" comes from this one feat. The other 50% is Yarael Poof. That'll be elaborated on later.
So, what's the feat? Well, it's about what Wookieepedia dubs "the Devastation of Ambria." Ambria was once a mineral rich planet eyed by mining companies, but was eventually deserted. A Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress (RUSS, from here on out) came across the planet and decided to set up shop, creating a massive obelisk that she performed an ancient Sith ritual with. The ritual devastated the planet's landscape, warping it and killing the native creatures by the thousand.
Alright. Ignoring that this is - at best, being completely generous - only surface wiping, and not planetary as VSBW calls it, there's a fuckton of caveats around the feat. The obelisk that was presumably necessary for RUSS's ritual took centuries to build. This isn't something a Sith can just do on a whim. They need to spend hundreds of years building a fucking obelisk to do it. Not to mention, it requires a "complex ritual" that involves calling on a ton of Dark Side energy, presumably not all from RUSS herself. Oh yeah, and, RUSS died from doing this too. Let's not forget that, she was literally destroyed from doing this.
Palpatine could probably replicate this, yes, but only after building an obelisk and doing a complex ritual. In most matchups he probably wont have the time and materials to do that. I really don't consider it something you can just blindly scale him to - or any Force user, for that matter.
However, VSBW knows this, and has a defense for it. A Triceratops-looking Jedi named Thon was able to lock up all the Dark Side evil left behind on the planet in a lake called Natth. So, according to them, that makes Thon planetary, and thus everyone can scale to it.
However, Thon's cleanup took an unknown amount of time to do. Not to mention he didn't just like, absorb all the lingering evil over the surface of the planet into himself and jizz it out into a lake. He did it by fighting off the evil spirits living on the planet for a bit, then tricking them into drawing close and ensnaring them in a lattice of lightside energy. He also didn't even fix the entire place. To quote Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, "the damage was too widespread for the world to ever be completely healed."
I think at that point it's not really something you can power scale off of. Saying Palpatine can casually destroy planets because a random Triceratops Jedi corralled most but not all of the lingering evil on a planet into a lake over an unknown amount of time by tricking Sith spirits is just like, come on dude, that's fucking dumb.
Also, I'd like to point out this is a pretty massive antifeat for the Dark Side, actually. Centuries of work and only a vague surface wiping feat to show for it? When you think every Force user is planetary like VSBW does, this is a pretty bad showing.

Jerec with the Valley of the Jedi

Jerec is a Miraluka Dark Jedi most famous for his appearance in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, a classic game starring the fan favorite Kyle Katarn. The Valley of the Jedi is a location of great power that plays an important part in the plot of the game. According to Qu Rahn, a Jedi Master, if Jerec gets his hands on the power in the Valley of the Jedi, he'll be strong enough to trigger supernovas and wipe out entire star systems.
"Jerec, the man who murdered your father, is a great evil. He searches for the location of a sacred place, the Valley of the Jedi. The Force of thousands of Jedi is trapped here. If Jerec captures this power, he will be a creature such as the universe has never seen. A supernova of stars in a fleeting thought—the eradication of life from a star system in a whisper—will be within his power."
So, what exactly is the Valley of the Jedi? Well, the backstory is that there was a war between Jedi and Sith there that culminated in the use of an ancient ritual which killed thousands of Jedi and Sith alike and trapped their souls in the valley. A temple was built there and the place became an incredibly powerful Force nexus.
With all that laid out - remind me why VSBW says Palpatine should scale to this? It's a guy drawing power from the spirits of literally thousands of Force users. There's a ton of statements saying Palpatine is above all other Sith, but I don't really think that includes when they're being amped by the souls of countless other Force users. I feel this is pretty easy to throw out for that reason.
I've seen some reasoning tossed around to try and support this scaling. Namely, that it took the power of Every Jedi Literally Ever to keep Palpatine from rising as a spirit again and just taking some new body in the last Dark Empire series. Except, it really didn't? It took fucking Chex Quest here to put him down.
Read the scene for yourself. The wording here isn't "ugh, he's so powerful I need all the other Jedis help to keep him from rising again, Palpatine is literally stronger than every Jedi ever combined put together," it's "me, and the Force, and the other Jedi will keep him from reviving." The New Essential Chronology doesn't even bother to mention the other Jedi spirits, most sources give the credit to Chex Quest, and I think it's really sketchy to try and justify scaling Palpatine to a guy being amped by thousands of Force user spirits because his own spirit was pulled down by a Chex Quest guy and kept down with the assistance of other Jedi spirits and the Force itself too. We're getting into the same territory as Triceratops Jedi putting Sith spirits created by centuries of work in a lake here, there's just too much nonsense going on to get anything out of it.
Anyways, TL;DR: Palpatine shouldn't scale to this. I can buy him scaling off of other Sith Lords, but not when they're being empowered by literally thousands of other Force users.

Aleema Kato with the Sith Corsair

The Sith Corsair is a massive superweapon ship that can pull the core out of a star and blow them up outright, though seemingly though some sort of chain reaction. A Sith sorceress named Aleema Kato uses it in one comic, as well as a guy named Naga Sadow in another. It requires the manipulation of these special crystal things that just brim with Dark Side energy.
I don't really think Palpatine scales to Sith-created superweapons. Like, I don't really see why he would? The statements are that he's the most powerful Sith Lord, not the most powerful Sith Lord including Sith using superweapons. The power's coming from the weapon, not the Sith using it. It's a serious reach to try and say that, because a Sith made ship with special crystals in it exists that Palpatine can equal it in power.

Naga Sadow with the Sith Meditation Sphere

Another "person with the thing." Once again, I don't think you should scale Palpatine to Sith Lords using some piece of fucking equipment. When Legends writers type out "Palpatine is the strongestest Sith Lord in history!" I don't think they mean "Palpatine is the strongestest Sith Lord in history (including certain Sith Lords at the time they were tapping into large reserves of power that isn't theirs to begin with)!" I'm just repeating myself at this point, all this shit is the same kind of fake.
To get this over with, the Sith Meditation Sphere is an eyeball-shaped spaceship piloted by Sith Lord Naga Sadow. It's equipped with advanced Sith technology that amplifies Naga Sadow's Force abilities to an unknown extent, but seemingly pretty high given how they describe the technology as being developed and perfected over centuries and millenia.
Personally, I think the Sith Meditation Sphere amps Sadow a lot. Like, a lot a lot. With the Sphere, it's claimed Sadow can destroy stars. I don't really think Sadow is anywhere close to that alone, considering he uses the Force to pelt a guy with rocks in a fight to the death instead of just immediately turning him to red mist with his star level destructive power. Not to mention he had to use the above mentioned Sith Corsair to blow up a star at the end of The Fall of the Sith Empire comic series instead of his own power or anything.
So, yeah. Same justification as the last two, doesn't scale cause the feats are amped by a superweapon thing, and I don't think the "strongest Sith Lord" statements take into account Sith using a superweapon or drawing power from some outside source. I mean, Palpatine's certainly stronger than the guys with the dumb helmets turning dials and throwing switches on the Death Star, which can blow up planets, but nobody seriously uses that to scale him to planetary.
Huh, wait a minute. Three Sith in a row can't reach star level without some kind of massive amp or incredibly powerful tool. There's almost a pattern here... almost like, maybe these Sith guys can't blow up stars with their mind or something...

Wutzek and the World Razer

These two are different, but I'm lumping them together because the reasoning is the same. Wutzek is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one comic book (and a canceled novella). The World Razer is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one mission in an MMO (and a canceled novella).
I'll talk about Wutzek first. Basically, he shows up in one weird UK story of the classic Star Wars comics. He's introduced as a bunch of glowing lights encased in a glass thingy. According to this weirdo that captured the crew of the Falcon, he's a "demon, a Force creature of unimaginable power." It's believed his kind owned the universe long ago.
In the comic, there's a statement of Wutzek's power that puts him at like, planet or solar system. Though the most we see him do is incinerate some people and blow up a ship, then grow big and fly off.
Next up, World Razer. Almost is nothing is known about this guy, even in universe. Here's his codex entry from the Old Republic game.
"Almost nothing is known of the ancient being known as the World Razer. No one has seen or spoken to the creature for thousands of years; the Rakata’s cryptic warnings suggest the World Razer is Belsavis’s oldest prisoner, and that the prison was first constructed to hold the terrible entity whose hunger consumed a thousand worlds. According to the Rakata inscriptions in the Tomb, it took the combined might of the Infinite Empire to subdue the World Razer, and an entire planet to contain its fury. If such a creature were ever released, its rage might very well shatter the galaxy."
Wow. "Shatter the galaxy?" Clearly this thing is galaxy level! Or... y'know, it's just fancy language describing how it could destroy the galaxy over a large span of time. That's at least the impression that I get from this one quote from the World Razer. Other in-game dialogue suggests the World Razer can destroy planets and stars as well.
Sidenote: There's an infamous speed calc made off this statement which assumes a literal timeframe of one day based on what this character says about it happening "tomorrow." The character uses the word "yesterday" in the same scene to talk about something that happened a while in the past, so it's probably not literally being used to refer to one day. Sometimes the word "tomorrow" is used to refer to just the future in general, y'know, like how sometimes Superman is called "the Man of Tomorrow." Or, "Tomorrowland." If you look on dictionary.com, it's literally the second definition of the word. God, I have to explain words now, fuck Star Wars wank dude this is what it does to you.
Moving on. Here's the thing about these guys: we know next to nothing about them. For fuck's sake, we don't even see the World Razer, even its in-game codex starts off with "almost nothing is known about this thing." Wutzek we know almost even less about, he's just apparently some Force demon from the beginning of the universe.
Why is Palpatine getting scaled to these things? They're incredibly vague, ancient powers that definitely seem to be above any Force user we've seen. Are we really getting to the point where we're saying the main villain of the franchise is equal in power to two incredibly vague characters with one appearance each, for the sole reason of "they exist in the same universe?" This is just so stupid, and in my opinion, not legitimate in the slightest.
About that canceled novella I mentioned: it confirms both of these guys as like, both being ancient Force gods. If the book was published, that'd be pretty solid evidence against Palpy scaling.

Darth Plagueis

Update: This wasn't in the original version of the post. I found it afterwards, and I decided to add it in. I didn't think it was worthy of its entire own post.
Did you ever hear about the multi-continental feat of Darth Plagueis The Wise? I thought not. Because it's fake as shit.
This text comes from the Darth Plagueis novel I mentioned earlier:
Later it would be said by Naboo and Gungan alike that they couldn’t recall a colder winter than the one that followed Hego Damask’s autumnal visit to their world. The rivers and even the falls below Theed froze; the rolling plains and tall forests were blanketed three meters deep with snow; plasmic quakes rocked the Gallo Mountains and the Lake Country, the Holy Places and the undersea city of Otoh Gunga; and many of the egresses of the underwaterways that hollowed the planet were blocked by ice floes.
Basically, Plagueis goes to the planet Naboo, and afterwards they have a really bad winter. This has been calced by good ol' NarutoForums (the best site for VS debating) to say Plagueis can output 5.036 petatons of power!
The thing is, there's no evidence to suggest that Plagueis had any hand in this. Like, he's never given credit for the bad winter. It's just a thing that happens. Assuming he did it is like... really, really weird. He goes to other planets in the story and there's never a bad winter there after he comes. It's literally just some random bad weather, he didn't do shit, you people are desperate.

Darth Bane

This one isn't serious, I just wanted to share this cause I think it's really fucking funny.
One time when a VSBW person came on a server I was on, they were trying to argue planetary Star Wars with this. "Bane's world-crushing strategy!" Why are you so goddamn desperate? It's a fucking cropped book blurb or something, shut up. I don't know what this scan is particularly from, but its referring to something he's doing as a general, not Bane literally crushing a planet with the Force, Jesus Christ.
This is 90% of Legends wank, just nonsense taken out of context, then completely and almost willingly misinterpreted. I swear, there's a single shriveled-up little brain cell being passed around at VSBW like the Fates from Hercules.

Verdict: Either the feats are fake or he doesn't scale.

So, after all that, I bet you're wondering how strong Sidious actually is then. The answer is: fuck if I know. Do you know how many goddamn Legends books and comics there are that he's in? I didn't read that all for this thread, but I can tell you this: he sure as shit isn't planetary or fucking solar system level. If there was actually a single, solid planet busting feat for him, or any other Force user you can scale others to, you'd see it paraded around every versus forum until the heat death of the universe. But guess what? There isn't.
That's why you only ever see shit like Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress taking centuries to ruin a planet's surface or Yarael Poof and his non-feat being brought up. Speaking of that fucking long-necked bastard, I'm retconning this old post I made about him into the first episode of this series. Go read it if you're wondering about the infamous "Yarael Poof holding back a planetary explosion" feat, or re-read it if you want to see me address a defense I found, I added a new part to it.
Gotta say though, making this post kinda made me want to go through and make an actually comprehensive Legends Palpatine respect thread. The one on the Respect Threads subreddit is pretty laughable, since it's literally just a segment of the "Force powers" section of his Wookieepedia article with added commentary. All the other ones I can find are pretty dogshit too. So maybe I'll put that out sometime, I don't know.
Oh yeah, one last thing. If you're wondering about other characters you think Palpatine should scale to, like Legends Luke (everything you think you know about him is lies), Vitiate and Nihilus (explained above), and Abeloth (I haven't read any Abeloth stuff but it's probably all fake too, given Legends's track record), they're getting their own posts in the future. This post is specifically about Palpatine and C-list Sith stuff.
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