Partner partner hint tek

Tigrexifys guide for stealth growing

2020.01.25 15:40 Tigrexify Tigrexifys guide for stealth growing

Since alot of people seem to be interested here is my take on stealth growing. I hope it helps some people.


  1. Introduction
  2. Should you try to grow stealth? Is it worth it?
  3. Choosing a fruiting chamber
  4. Key questions you need to answer for yourself
  5. Additional tips
  6. Closing Thoughts
  7. tl:dr

1. Introduction

This will not apply to all people and should definitely not be seen as a guide with guaranteed success.
I don't want to encourage people in relationships or marriages to hide things from their partner. It is unhealthy and could get you to lose trust. Please don't ruin your life trying to trip or microdose
I can't give your a perfect setup for your own home or apartment. You'll have to make plans and find suitable spaces in your home that you can use.
I can only give you ideas and tell you what works for me. In the end you'll have to decide what you can do and what you shouldn't do.
I won't go into detail with the growing conditions see Shroomscouts guide or for that knowledge. If you want to grow stealth you should already know how you grow mushrooms.
As I am a non native speaker and this is my first real long post on reddit I hope you can excuse spelling mistakes and formatting errors.

My current situation:
At the moment I am living in a small apartment with my girlfriend. She knows I grew shrooms before and isn't completely opposed to them but doesn't want me growing them in our apartment. I was able to hide a growkit from her for the last couple of weeks and have already harvested one flush but since I want to start microdosing I decided on starting a mini monotub with UB. I also did some DMT extractions before and hid certain drug related things from her with success so I feel like my take on it is successful so far.
Even though I hide drug related things from her at the moment I am sure she would accept it. She knows I am doing psychedelics and tolerates my drug use. I just don't want to expose her too much to it.
She already told me she wouldn't mind me growing weed once we moved but is afraid of shrooms because of how they grow I am in the process of starting a porcini colony so I can show her how mushrooms grow and how the process works. I hope this way I'll be able to take away her fear of them and stop hiding it from her.
UPDATE: I have told my girlfriend and come clean with her. I don't have to hide it anymore and she wants to try microdosing as well

2. Should you try to grow stealth? Is it worth it?

Before you start with anything please take some serious time to consider the risks you are taking.
Why do you need to grow stealth in the first place? What will happen if you get discovered?
You absolutely should not try do this if you're unsure what will happen when the person or persons you're trying to hide it from finds out.
This could do way more damage than good and could easily end your relationship/marriage. It is not worth to ruin your relationship with your parents or your girlfriend/wife or risk getting evicted or kicked out of college etc.
I implore you to talk to your loved one and try to go the honest route even though I am not doing it myself. Hiding things in a relationship is unhealthy in the long run and should by all means be avoided. This is why I am trying to tell my girlfriend as soon as possible.
You should only try to grow stealth if you absolutely have to and if you're sure that it won't be too bad if you get discovered. If you're not sure what will happen be patient and wait till you live alone or try something else.
In my case I am 100% sure that my girlfriend won't dump me for it. She might be a bit mad for a couple of days but it won't end our relationship.

Things you could do instead:

Depending on what you want mushrooms for, some of these options might be better for you. If you just plan on tripping a couple of times you don't need a stable supply and even when your want to microdose you don't need that much since the doses are small.
  1. Read up on sourcing mushrooms from the darknet. It is relatively easy and how I started getting into psychedelics.You could also try to find a local dealer but the darknet is better in my opinion.
  2. Learn how to find mushrooms growing in the wild. This might be not possible in your area but for some this might be a good way. But you absolutely have to read into identifying them correctly. You can also try to read up on how to grow mushrooms outside.
  3. Go to a place where you can buy them legally. This might also be an option for some and it might be easier than other ways.
  4. Just tell the person you're trying to hide it from. This is possibly the best option. You can drop some subtle hints about psychedelics and show them that you're interested in microdosing. Maybe you can get them interested as well and they'll approve of it.This is actually how I started my first grow when I was still living with my mum. I talked to her about the benefits and she got interested and allowed me to grow them.
If none of these options appeal to you and you're unsure of the outcome if you're discovered just wait until you move and don't risk something that is dear to you.

3. Choosing a fruiting chamber

Depending on what you want to do with your harvest and your space you have to decide if you want to go the long route and start by inoculcating some some grain spawn. (Preferably some UB since you don't need a Pressure cooker)
You can also just go the easy route and buy a growkit if they're available to you.
As a third option if you have trouble finding a spot to grow you could also use some of the special teks like the soda bottle Tek or think about something selfmade along those lines that suits your needs.
I'll talk about that later under Where will you place your Tub/Kit.
Here are some pros and cons for the Tub vs the kit:
Higher yield
Easier to get a steady supply going
Could be easier to hide in some cases (growbag of the growkit is usually pretty tall)
Takes longer till harvest
Needs more equipment
More moments in the procces where you could get discovered
Easier to start (litterally fill it up with water and you're done)
Faster to harvest (since its already colonized)
Low maintenance (they seem to hold humidity quite well)
Might not be available in your area
Can be expensive
Only a certain yield can be expected
Grow bag takes up some space and is noisy to work with
If you decided on your method we can start with the actual guide.It's probably best if you take some notes and maybe add some of your own ideas since only you know what your situation is.

4. Key questions you need to answer for yourself

1. How do you get your equipment and where do you hide it?
2. How do you inoculate and where will you incubate?
3. Where will you place your Tub/Kit and how do you maintain correct conditions?
4. How do you Harvest and where do you dry your harvest?

You need to have a plan for all these steps if you want to grow a tub or something like that. If you want to use a grow kit you can skip the first two steps since its already colonized and you can basically get it right into fruiting conditions.
Only after you have a complete plan for all of these steps you should start to grow.
It wouldn't help if you grew your shrooms and then can't harvest them or dry them without getting busted.
Here are my tips for each step and how I managed it.

1. How do you get your equipment and where do you hide it?

This should be the easiest step for most people. I would suggets that you buy your equipment in a hardware store or something like that. You could also order it on amazon but then you have to be mindful about the packages you're recieving which could arouse suspicion.
I think a good idea is to find excuses to buy some of the things you can't really hide well. Not hiding them at all is the best method in my opinion.
For example: If you live with your parents get some plants so you can get a plant mister and have it sit around in the open.
I thought alot about how I want to dry my mushrooms and actually wanted to get a food dehydrator before I thought about growing again. I bought a food dehydrator for two purposes. I made a couple batches of really tasty beef jerky and my girlfriend uses it for dried fruits. Because it sits in the cellar I am free to use it overnight to dry my shrooms. The rest of my mycology related things are stored in a closed cardboard box out of sight in the cellar. (the heating mat is not plugged in it is only stored there)
If you put some thought to it I'm sure you can come up with some things that suit your situation.

2. How do you inoculate and where will you incubate?

First of all you need to find a timeframe where you're alone and undisturbed for at least 1.5-2 hours.You want to prepare things in advance so you don't get stressed out when the time arrives.
I would suggest using a still air box (SAB) that you can either throw away afterwards or fold up and hide it behind a closet or something similar.
I used a cardboard box with armholes and a tote lid taped to the top to see through. It still folds up and I can hide it well.
A little tip from me:
When you inoculate in a SAB get your strips of micropore tape ready beforehand since it likes to stick to the gloves. You can stick it to the top of your SAB like this
You can also try my triangle method for cutting holes in the UBs. It is not yet confirmed but I reckon it should work as well as the corner cutting method with less chance of contamination.
I would appreciate if a couple people tried it out and posted their results so it can be confirmed.

For the incubation you just need to find a dark space that has the right temperatures.A cupboard or a closet works great.
I myself just put my UBs in a cardboard box with some holes covered with micropore tape under our bed. It might help to put it there before you put anything in there to find out if it gets detected. You could just put some innocent shit you'd want to store there as kind of a test. If you get asked why there is a box under your bed you know that you can't put it there.
If your room temperature is to low for that try places with heat close to them.
For example close to a fridge or freezer, behind your PC or in a drawer in your desk. You'll need to experiment and measure out some temperature in different places.

3. Where will you place your Tub/Kit and how do you maintain correct conditions?

This is possibly the most difficult question for the majority of people. It took me a couple of days to figure out two spots that I can use and I ultimately decided on the one that gets more light.
I can't give you many options here since you need to find your spot yourself. If you have any suitable ones chances are you already know.
You need to find a spot that is either your private area or not frequented by the other person(s).
If you have kids you obviously need to be extra careful. Children like to search places they shouldn't but you should already know that if you're a parent.
Also if you have pets make sure they're not able to reach in there and mess shit up.
It should have the proper temperature and some natural light.
If you don't have any spots that have natural light you have a couple of options.
You could try to find a spot where you can set up a light with a timer. For example in a (lockable) cupboard etc. You just need to be aware that it gets more easily discovered when there is unnatural light shining from somewhere.
Or you could just grow some sclerotia (magic truffles).They don't need any light but take a long time to grow.
You could also try to grow normal mushrooms in the dark. I've read that they don't necessarily need light to grow multiple times but I have no experience with that. It is said that they take on weird shapes.
Maybe someone can try and experiment with it I would be interested in the results.
You also need to be able to access the spot at least once every two days (it's better if you can access it every day).
You'll need to check humidity, mist if needed and check if they're ready to harvest.
If you're having difficulty with that I recommend trying to access your spot when the other person sleeps before you set up your fruiting chamber. If you wake them up you don't get caught in the act. If you're able to get there unnoticed you should also be able to make the misting noises with your spray bottle.
Here are some ideas I had while thinking about places to grow:
Basically behind any big object.
On top of something or in other hard to reach places.
Behind your PC (this depends on how your pc is set up. Be careful with the electricity. To mist you should be able to remove your fruiting chamber)
In your cellar behind your water boiler
In an empty ring binder in your office (you need to make a special grow box but I reckon it could work)
soda bottle fruiting chamber
get creative
Basically places that are difficult to reach and see and are not used or of interest to the person or persons you're trying to hide it from.

In the end I found a space on the top shelf in a little room with a window where I put my grow kit and my tub.
I measured out the space and bought a tub with a size that fits in there. I put something infront of it that isn't used often (a filter for making mead actually) so my girlfriend who is smaller than me can't see it and also can't reach it without the aid of a chair. She also has no reason to get near the spot because she doesn't use the mead filter without me.
I am able to check and mist it in the morning before my girlfriend wakes up because I have to leave first but I can also access the spot easily while she is asleep.

4. How do you Harvest and where do you dry your harvest?

This is also a very important detail. Depending on your tub size this could take some time if you want to do it right. Expect at least an hour where you have to be alone.You need to be flexible enough so that you can harvest it within about a day after the first veil breaks. The easiest will probably at night when the other person sleeps.
I suggest trying to get your tub into a bathroom or kitchen so you can use Bods floating harvest Tek but it isn't necessary. You can also rehydrate your block using a water bottle. After harvesting you need to be able to dry them asap since storing them in a fridge probably isnt an option for you. You could put them in a drawer or cardboard box with some desiccant but I prefer drying then in a food dehydrator.
I just harvest in the night and take the harvest in the cellar in my food dehydrator immediately so it is finished in the morning.

5. Additional tips

Get an excuse to buy a capsule machine. (I make my own Tryptophan capsules)
Get a coffegrinder to grind down your shrooms after drying (a pulverized substance might be less suspicious than actual dried shrooms)
Tell your wife or girlfriend you want to cultivate normal edible mushrooms. (I also started growing some porcini out in the open at the moment. It gave me an excuse for basically all my mycology gear and my girlfriend and I can enjoy tasty mushrooms. I hope she also gets to understand how the cultivation works and that you don't have mushroom spores flying around in your apartment. I think once they are done I can tell her that I have been growing secretly as well.)
Watch Gordoteks video on shroom cultivation if you haven't already. It is a really good culmination of almost everything you need to know. I myself follow his Tek only that I use UBs as my Spawn grain.

6. Closing thoughts

As I said in the beginning this isn't a guide to guaranteed guide to succes.
There is always a chance that you get busted and you should always be able to live with the consequences.
Use common sense and dont take excessive risks.
I would really love if people would post their own ideas and pictures in the comments.
It could help some people that are struggling with ideas and I am always open to try new methods.
If there are really good ideas in the comments I might update and edit this guide to include them.

7. tl:dr

Don't take risks not worth taking.
You can try to find an alternative to growing stealth under Things you could do instead.
Choose a fruiting chamber that suits your needs.
Make notes and answer the key questions under 4. for yourself.
read my additional tips.
Post your ideas and pictures in the comments to help others.
submitted by Tigrexify to unclebens [link] [comments]

2019.04.24 05:50 WeebleKeneeble [Ephemeral Bond] Let's Go, Partner

This is an entry to the 'Out Rank by a Toaster' category
“Think we’ll get lucky, partner?”
Walter placed his hand on the hood of his 1974 RX-3. His fingers felt the numerous dents and pits gathered through its years– well, this was actually its thirteenth hood. Outside the garage door and the forcefield beyond, a fierce sandstorm raged on the planet Hakkis 12.
“Humph, you going to quit wasting everyone’s time with that piece of junk?”
Walter turned to see the daunting figure of Gartog. The six limbed alien had his two lower arms crossed as the upper two carried assorted parts for his own vehicle. Walter leaned back against the fender of his ‘partner’ with a smug look.
“Another set of pistons? What are you playing with today, sixteen new billet steel future paperweights? Can you even get tolerances within the thousandths? ”
“Says the newcomer who can't even place in the top ten. Go home human, your species obviously has no understanding of ground vehicle racing.” Gartog spat back.
“Oh? We’re only three races in my friend, and the ones we have done so far been glorified drag races. Now this,” He pointed one hand outside the garage, “this is our time to shine.”
Gartog snorted and turned away with a hearty laugh as he waved-off Walter and walked away. Walter let out a sigh and pulled up a small cot next to his vehicle and promptly went to sleep.
Walter woke to the sound of humming. He cracked open an eye and saw a winged shadow dart across his bay. Tossing the cover off him, he sat up on the cot to be greeted by his other partner.
“Ah, Mr. Mitty! It’s still dark out but good morning!” Came a tiny voice from behind the car.
“Good morning Mimuu,” Walter said with a yawn.
The small bat-like alien flew over the vehicle and plopped down beside the larger human, handing Walter a cup of coffee before pulling a greasy notepad from her equally greasy overalls.
“Fire suppression system, check; harness, seat, and cage, check; spare air filters, tire, coolant, an egg, check. Next is running the warm up cycle and rechecking the Weber for the altitude we will be running.” Mimuu listed off.
Walter contemplated the distinct taste of two stroke oil that seemed to be smeared across the cup, with a shrug he decided to enjoy his coffee.
“Idle jets down two, main jets down two, air jets up four,” Walter replied with his face still buried in the cup.
The dingy girl nodded before hopping up and digging through some drawers for the parts. The whine, chugs, and roars of other engines started to fill the long block of bays as the other participants began their pre-race checks. Walter swung forward the hood to reveal the pristine 12A engine. Mimuu flew in shortly after to install the carburetor with the correct adjustments.
“Mimuu, It’s too quiet in here, why don’t we wake up the Little Lady.”
Mimmu nodded before throwing on a large set of ear protection. Walter fumbled over the door bars and fell into his race seat as he began to flip the switches for the fuel pump and the ignition coils.
“Fire in the hole!” Walter yelled before jabbing his thumb into the big red button.
The loud brapping of his engine drowned out the sound of the other competitors' as the plume of fuel and oil smoke clouded his bay. Mimuu laughed as bottles were thrown over the tool boxes in protest from the neighbors. The morning checks went off without a hitch as Walter put on his fire retardant suit and helmet. Mimuu met him at the driver window for a last run down.
“The sandstorm is going to continue for the entirety of the race, once you get into the pass visibility should get better but be careful Mr. Mitty,” She said while embracing the man’s helmet.
“I’ll be fine, the Little Lady always treats me well.” Walter said with one hand on the dash, “See you at the first checkpoint.”
“See you, Mr. Mitty!” She said while waving him off.
The Lady bucked as Walter rolled up to the start line. Her idle was rough and seemed to draw quite a few errant looks from his competition.
“Your piece of junk sounds terrible, why don’t you do everyone a favor and back your hairless ass into the garage and have your flying rodent dispose of that mess.” Goaded Gartog from his gargantuan machine.
Gartog’s Bagorra Special was quite the menacing machine. It had a wide stance with paddled tires, it seems he was going to make a beeline through the sand to the finish today, an unsurprising development for the winner of the last three races. The body was long with a few simple curves decorating it. The driver sat in the front of the vehicle, behind the cabin roared the sixteen cylinder monstrosity. The complicated engine was fed by mechanical fuel injection and some alien take on four turbochargers. Walter had to admit that Gartog’s machine was beautiful. They called back and forth, the low growl of the Bagorra and the deafening brap of the RX-3 sang together waiting for the start.
“Aaaaaannd thank you everyone for joining us today here at race four of the Galactic Ground Classics Hell Race series. For those of us new to the series let me explain the rules: all vehicles have to be from your home world pre contact, all vehicles have to travel by moving on the ground, and there are to be no computer controls managing the running of the vehicles. Only the drivers’ skill and tenacity will see them through this brutal series of one hundred races! Today we race on Hakkis 12, a brutal long distance race through jagged mountain roads and flowing sand! These fifty-two contestants stand ready to compete, how many will finish? And who will finish first? The crowd seems to have a favorite with Gartog and his Bagorra Special!”
Even a considerable distance away the crowd could be heard cheering over the roar of the sandstorm. Gartog threw an arm out of his window as a floating camera came in for a closer look.
“Also new to the series is the Human species! With their driver Walter Mitty and his 1974 RX-3, If the date conversion read correct that means his vehicle is ancient, being built over two hundred years ago! The driver claims the parts are all era correct and not a reproduction people, let's see how the human fares in today’s race!”
The crowd couldn't see under his helmet but Walter had the widest grin as the announcer introduced him. He was right, all the parts were era correct, to a point. The front subframe was from a 1986 RX-7, the rear end from a 1988 Mustang, and the rest of the suspension was customized from heim joint links. The whole set up aligned and corner balanced on a machine from the early 2000’s. But who was going to complain of a spread of thirty or so years?
“And the lights are on, the race will begin when all lights go out!”
Walter flipped down the visor on his helmet and slapped the air shifted dog box into first. He brought the RPM’s up to a screaming 7000 rpms as the lights counted down. When the last light came down the long line of vehicles jumped forward. Walter released his clutch as the two front tires of his car left the asphalt and he launched away from the entire competition. The lead didn't last long, after a quarter of a mile the long line of competitors rocketed forward. They all passed through the forcefield as the buffeting wind and sand assaulted the drivers. Walter pinned his throttle and countersteered as the lateral winds threw him into a long slide. He danced the car, feathering the throttle around the less fortunate competitors who lost control as he raced through the sand. The visibility was poor and Walter only had a compass to guide him, but he put his faith in his machine and pushed on. Soon he saw two mountains rise on either side of him as they entered the path between them. As the winds died down and visibility improved, Walter scanned around him to see the trails of dust kicked up from other drivers.
“The mine road should be coming up right about…here.”
Walter ran down the gears as the tires chirped onto the dusty paved road. The road would take him into the mountain but keep his vehicle out of the elements, and if he played his cards right he might even make up some time with the improved grip. Excitement fluttered in his chest as the engine ran better and better the higher he climbed. Each turn was taken faster, more aggressive, and the car kept giving him more.
“That’s my girl! You really like the mountain roads don’t you? Feels like home.”
Walter pressed on until he was met with the rear of Junji and his turbine powered Helitola. The opposing machine charged forwards before coming to a slow crawl at the turn, too clumsy and wide to cut a neat line. The large vehicle covered the entire road as Walter came to a stop and leaned his head out. Peering over the edge of the road he could faintly see down below a wider straightaway. He quickly disembarked and pulled a clean air filter from the back.
“I’m gonna need every last horse!”
Walter quickly swapped the filters and fired up the engine again. Ahead the Helitola was working up to the second to last turn before the opening. The Lady bucked as she charged down the mountainside, each turn Walter cut on an aggressive line as he quickly caught up. The other machine was finishing the final turn as the RX-3 slid up from behind. They both charged as Walter pulled up beside him. The two drivers locked eyes briefly as the road ahead began to narrow. He didn't give up, as the road narrowed he crept closer and closer. The wheel of his opponent contacted his passenger door as the lane could no longer hold them both.
“Just a bit more! You got this!”
Walter’s driver side wheels fell off the asphalt and bounced in the dirt as he struggled to maintain his position, another turn coming up quickly forcing his heavier opponent to give up his position and slip behind him. Walter quickly ran down the gears and swung his rear in an ‘S’ motion as he scrubbed as much speed as he could. At the last moment he pitched the vehicle sideways as he entered the turn perpendicular to the road. With practiced ease he brought the peppy vehicle around and shot out of the corner exit.
Mimuu waited patiently at the first checkpoint as the event ship settled into its perch. Drivers began to trickle in for refueling and service, the first one was Gartog. Despite his blistering speed Mimuu couldn’t help but notice the black smoke billowing out the exhaust.
“Oooh, looks like turbo trouble ehehe, that’s gonna set you back in the pits.” The greasy girl chuckled.
She watched as Mr. Mitty was featured in a race highlight, his battle on the mine road drawing some new cheers from the crowd. Mimuu’s ears picked up the distinct sound of the rotary engine as she prepped the bay to receive her driver. Walter came in like a storm as the machine slid to a stop. Mimuu quickly plugged an airline into the rear as the air jacks popped the car off its wheels.
“Mr Mitty! Good job out there!” She said as soon as the door swung open.
“Thanks Mimuu, what’s my position?” He asked flipping up his visor.
“Our best yet!, we are in the top fifteen!” She reported happily as she handed him a drink.
Walter slipped the straw under his helmet and enjoyed the refreshing taste of...two-stroke flavored water.
“Lots of DNFs, the terrain has been brutal. Hows Gartog holding up?” As Walter said that the Bagorra roared past his bay, “Wow, he’s late.”
“I think he’s down a turbo or two, this may be our lucky day” Mimuu replied as she checked the suspension and tires. “All good to go Mr. Mitty!”
Walter threw the water bottle out and fired up the engine. He gave Mimuu a thumbs up as she yanked the air line from the vehicle. As soon as the air jacks deflated the rear tires were spinning as Walter shot out of the gate onto the second leg of the race.
The mine roads was better described as a rocky spiderweb of trails. The sandy path in the middle encroached up the mountain side as those battling through would find themselves caught on the edge and trapped on the narrow paths. The Lady came around another bend only to be launched airborne from a sand drift. She came down hard as Walter kept his foot in the throttle to avoid losing control, sawing the wheel gently back and forth as he checked the condition of the Little Lady.
“Steering is off but no clunks, I’m sorry Little Lady, it looks like I bent something on the way down.”
Another vehicle cut in front of him as it crashed into a rocky outcropping. Walter dodged down a side path and exited into the center field. The melee of larger vehicles raged around him as the small RX-3 weaved between them. Walter cursed under his breath, this is not where he wanted to be. The sight of the Bagorra Special caught Walter off guard, with renewed determination he abandoned his plans and started to chase.
“We can’t pass this chance up, who cares about first, I just want to pass Gartog, right Little Lady?”
Walter wasn’t alone in his pursuit of the previous race winner. He couldn't hear the sound of the electric motors powering Ke’tek’s Zyziqu as the wedge shaped machine came mere inches from smashing the Little Lady. Walter conceded road to the Ziziqu but Ke’tek was not satisfied with a clean race. It was not against the rules to contact other drivers though it would be generally frowned upon. Most competitors would retaliate off track, Walter did not have such luxuries. Ke’tek kept pushing Walter towards the side of the track where the spider web of mine roads entered and exited the field. The Little Lady launched over small swells as the terrain became more choppy. He was going too fast to think about dodging in, any attempt would lead to a collision with the rocky outcroppings. He was able to maintain half a car length ahead as he got as close to the edge. Ke’tek made his move as he attempted to ram Mitty into the rocks.
“Not today, bug-boy!”
Walter turned into the Ziziqu hard, the front of Ke’tek’s vehicle clipped the rear quarter as Walter spun in front of him. In a panic Ke’tek decelerated and dodged away from the spinning vehicle only to slam into the rocks he intended for the Little Lady. Walter continued to spin as he hoped the rims would not dig in and cause him to roll over.
“Come on, we can make it!”
They dug in, Walter grabbed his harness as the vehicle tumbled over. The windows shattered as dirt and rocks flew into the vehicle. After two rolls the RX-3 landed on its wheels with one final crunch. Walter shook the dirt off him as he took stock of the situation. He flinched as two other vehicles narrowly avoided a collision with him.
“No time to check the damage, come on girl start for me!”
He toggled the rollover switch to restart the fuel pump and jammed his thumb into the starter button. The starter lethargically cranked the engine over once before picking up speed.
He repeated the words under his breath as another vehicle evaded him. He feathered the throttle in hopes hopes the engine would catch. The engine struggled to fire before some more aggressive throttle play ended in the successful roar of the 12A coming back to life. Without a second thought he slapped the air shifter down into first gear and dropped the clutch. The vehicle launched forward and Walter was back on his way.
Mimuu nervously waited at the second checkpoint for Walter. She organized her tools and set aside a new set of tires for when he arrived, and he would arrive. She held onto her faith but doubt still plagued her mind. The accident highlight was terrifying and she half expected a medical transport to land and carry out his broken form. She refused to believe that. The usual front runners came through the gate, Gartog seemed to be struggling to maintain his lead as the Bagorra chugged lethargically into its pit. She ignored him this time as she was dead set to take the arrival of her partner. A medical transport set down on the field and unloaded more broken vehicles and drivers, the RX-3 was not among the wrecks. She sighed in relief and continued to wait.
“Where are you Mr. Mitty?”
A handful of minutes later her ears perked up to the familiar brapping of their car. Her excitement was quickly doused by the crumpled mess of a vehicle. The tires chirped as they drug against the asphalt, the suspension clearly bent out of alignment as he crawled into the bay.
“Mimuu, the jacks!”
Mimuu snapped out of her daze and plugged the air line in, only three of the jacks popped up. She scrambled to remedy the problem with a manual hand jack.
“Is this it? Are we done?” She meekly asked as her ears and wings fell.
“Like hell we’re done, the drive train is still solid! Let's bang out what we can, replace what we can’t, and get her back on track! This is the final stretch and we are not giving up now!” Walter roared as he tore out of his seat and threw off his helmet.
They both frantically set to work as they ripped the suspension apart. There was no metered precision or sharp calibration, just a mad dash to get everything ‘good enough’ to run the final leg. As they finished their quick repairs Mimuu noticed a small stain of coolant on the ground.
“We got a coolant leak Mr. Mitty!”
“What's leaking?”
“I’m not sure, I would need to pressurize the system to check!”
“No time!”
Walter reached in the cabin and procured a perfectly mundane chicken egg and gently tossed it to Mimuu. She opened the coolant cap with a rag and emptied the egg’s contents inside.
“Hope that holds up, I need to go!”
Walter threw back on his helmet and fell into the seat. The engine roared to life as he launched out of the bay.
“Good luck! Let's win this!”
The final leg was an ancient stretch of highway. The sand swells would no longer be an issue but there were no side paths to gain an advantage.
“Yet again we are forced to drive a high speed road with shallow turns.”
Walter knew it would come down to this, he expected it. Thankfully the previous couple of stints proved too much for many of the competitors. This race was very much about finishing as it was about placing. He was not satisfied by merely finishing, he was going to go as fast as he can, if the Little Lady gave out then so be it.
“But you won’t give up that easy right?”
While they were on a road, the poor state of disrepair left large gaps and raised spots enough to wreck a vehicle. Walter weaved and dodged as others took their chances and hit the hazards head on. Resta In her Tul 332 poorly judged the height of a cracked piece of the road as her suspension buckled and the front end fell. The machine spun out taking two others with it. Eventually everyone was on board with weaving around the hazards. This was the best situation for the little RX-3, Walter cut the turns tight and slid past the less nimble competitors. There he saw his prize, Gartog was directly ahead! Walter had made it to second place! He put pressure on the Bagorra Special but Gartog remained unfazed. The pace heated up as the two left the pack behind. Walter counted his blessings, if his opponent’s engine wasn’t having issues he wouldn’t be nearly as competitive. Gartog made a mistake, he lost speed as he clipped some debris. The Little Lady roared as Walter came alongside, the two drivers finally making eye contact. They pushed their machines harder, Walter felt uneasy as he watched his temperature gauge slowly rising.
“Hold on you stupid scrambled egg! We’re almost at the finish!”
There was a loud bang followed by a ball of fire. Gartog’s drivetrain locked up as the Bagorra spun and slammed into the side barrier. Walter slid his vehicle to a stop and ran out with a small extinguisher.
“Gartog! Shit, hold on!”
Walter emptied the extinguisher before tossing it aside in fustoration. Gartog’s harness was wrapped around his four arms as he struggled to break away. Walter pulled out his belt cutter and began to hack at the mess. Behind them a driver sped by.
“Human! Finish your race!”
“Fuck that Gartog, I’m getting you out before you burn to a crisp!”
Eventually the harness gave way as the smaller Human pulled the four armed alien out. Two more vehicles passed by.
“Thank you Human Mitty, and forgive me.”
Gartog picked up Walter with two arms and not so gently forced him back in the seat of his RX-3. Walter took the hint and fumbled his helmet and harness back on.
“You gonna be alright?”
“Yes! Now go! Finish the race!”
With a nod Walter fired up the engine and took off down the road.
The race came to a close as the drivers assembled hours later at the post race ceremony. Walter had changed into a suit as the other species wore their formal equivalent.
“...And a first time podium for Walter Mitty coming in third! The Human proving to be a formidable contender in the series, can we expect to see more excitement from him in the future?”
Walter graciously accepted his trophy and gave a few words of his own. There was an unrecognizable beautiful woman who frantically waved for his attention. Walter stepped down the podium to join this person when he was intercepted by an irate Ke’tek.
“Know your place human, I will not tolerate such actions from an inferior species.” The insectoid said while brandishing a blade under his vest.
“Yes, I will not tolerate an inferior species.” Gartog followed up from behind Ke’tek.
Gartog lifted Ke’tek off the ground by his neck with one arm and disarmed him with the other two, his last arm was slung in a medical sling. The alien choked in panic as Gartog brought their faces closer.
“Silence! You mess with the human you mess with the War Riders Guild.” As Gartog said this Ke’tek noticed he was surrounded by angry drivers.
“F-f-forgive me, I didn’t know!”
“Get out of my sight.” He said as he tossed Ke’tek aside.
“Thank you Gartog, that means a lot.”
“Fix your machine Mitty, I expect more from you next race.”
Walter nodded as he could almost see a smile on the big man’s face. With that he departed and met with the woman calling him over.
“Excuse me Miss, do we know each other?” Walter asked while poorly hiding a smug look.
“Mr. Mitty…” Mimuu placed her hands on her hips.
“I wasn’t expecting to see you in a human cocktail dress.”
“Does it look weird?” She asked while looking at the floor.
“No, quite the opposite, I didn’t know there was such a beautiful girl under all that grease.”
That’s not a compliment, Mr. Mitty.” She huffed in mock annoyance.
She handed him a glass of celebratory alcohol, Walter found himself surprisingly disappointed at the clear lack of two stroke oil taste.
“Hey, let’s go see the Little Lady, she would like to see her prize dontcha think?”
Mimuu nodded as they both snuck out of the crowded event and worked their way back to the bay. The small overhead light illuminated the crumpled exterior of the RX-3. Walter placed the trophy on the flattest section of hood as they both stood back and contemplated the damage.
“Well, we have our work cut out for us before the next race Mr. Mitty.” Mimuu said with a smile.
“Well after the rollover I found something that has been lost since my grandfather owned the car…”
Mimuu turned to see Walter down on one knee as he pulled a ring from his pocket.
“You have stayed by our side helping to return this old car back to its former glory. I’m not rich, and this is pretty much all I have to offer. So if you’re willing, Mimuu Mun Suul, will you marry me?”
She placed her hands above her mouth as her breath left her. With all her might she forced herself to inhale and reply.
“Well then it’s settled. Let’s go, Partner.”
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2019.02.08 02:02 FashBasher1 Some news you may have missed out on part 85.

-PM Imran to visit Dubai on Feb 10
Prime Minister Imran Khan is set for a day-long visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 10, the Foreign Office said on Thursday. He is visiting the Gulf state on the invitation of his counterpart Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to attend the 7th World Government Summit. Heads of states, policy makers, business leaders and experts will attend the event to discuss current and future opportunities to improve governance through reform, innovation and technology.
-You can now take the IELTS test on a computer
With English proficiency tests becoming a requirement for most academic or immigration steps, the British Council has taken the initiative to make the IELTS test easier to take in terms of its structure.
Previously, there was a written test that applicants took at a designated centre. Test takers in Pakistan will now be able to take IELTS on a computer, with the computer-delivered test due to be launched at test centres in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad from 24 February 2019.
-Over $1bn foreign investment in govt’s first five months, PM Khan told
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday was briefed that the country attracted over $1bn in foreign direct investments (FDI) within first five months of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
The report, prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was presented in a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to SBP report, investment ratio during the same corresponding period of the previous government’s tenure was $426 million.
Similaly: FDI increases over 100pc in first five months of PTI govt, PM told
-Govt to Stabilize Prices of Daily Commodities Via Mobile App
The government has decided to form a committee to develop a proper system to stabilize the prices of household items. The decision was taken during a meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan today. The committee, headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, will launch a mobile application that will update consumers with the prices of the commodities on a daily basis.
The consumers will not only be able to discourage overcharging but can also complain against the shop owners selling low-quality substandard goods. A similar app was successfully tested by the Punjab government last month in Sialkot.
-Navy seizes drugs worth $30m in Balochistan operation
The Pakistan Navy seized on Wednesday about 2,000kg of hashish, worth over $30 million, during an intelligence-based operation in Balochistan.
The cache of drugs was being transported via sea near Pasni, said a statement issued by the navy’s media wing. The hoard was subsequently handed over to Anti Narcotics Force for disposal. According to the communique, the operation was executed with “meticulous planning, constant surveillance and obtaining precise intelligence”.
-FBR to Start a Door-to-Door Campaign to Catch Tax Evaders
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is going to launch a door-to-door campaign to expose tax evaders, a ministry of finance report has revealed. The report states that a nationwide door-to-door campaign is on the cards that will not only identify the tax evaders but will also help improving tax collection.
“In order to broaden the tax base, FBR is set to launch a nationwide campaign, which includes a door-to-door survey for collection of information to identify potential tax evaders,” it said. The report states that the move will further help increase the tax net – which is a key in reviving the overall economic structure of the country.
-Pakistan on Wednesday signed an agreement with Russia for offshore oil and gas exploration activities
Pakistan on Wednesday signed an agreement with Russia for offshore oil and gas exploration activities, besides laying a pipeline to supply gas to the country from the Middle East through the sea-link.
Managing Director Inter State Gas Systems Limited (ISGSL) of Pakistan Mobin Saulat and Deputy Chairman Gazprom International of Russia Vitaly A. Markelov signed an inter-corporate agreement, a Petroleum Division press release said. Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan witnessed the signing ceremony between the two companies.
-Faizabad sit-in: Elements propagating hate, extremism must be prosecuted, says SC
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday announced its verdict in the suo motu case regarding the 2017 Faizabad sit-in staged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
The two-member bench comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mushir Alam directed the federal and provincial governments to monitor all elements “advocating hate, extremism and terrorism and prosecute the perpetrators in accordance with the law”.
As per the written verdict authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the Supreme Court has ruled that any “person issuing an edict or fatwa, which harms another or puts another in harm’s way, must be criminally prosecuted under the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and/or the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.”
-Govt to hunt tax evading Pakistanis in Russia, Turkey
Pakistan has decided to approach Turkey and Russia to get information about assets that Pakistanis have presumably stashed there after known offshore tax havens came on the authorities’ radar in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks.
The decision to approach the tax authorities of these two countries was taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting that he chaired last week, according to senior officials of the Federal Board of Revenue. On January 30, the PM took a number of decisions to curb corruption in the FBR, discourage under-invoicing of imports from China and trace with the help of intelligence agencies people who had been named in the Panama leaks. Imran Khan also gave two-week time to FBR Chairman Jehanzeb Khan to take steps that must signal that the organisation is serious to curb corruption.
-Despite hurdles, Chinese firm keen to take over K-Electric
Despite a long delay due to bureaucratic hurdles in some areas, Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) is still keen to acquire K-Electric, which may prove to be a game changer in efforts to transform Karachi’s power infrastructure in line with international standards for a smooth electricity supply.
Talking to The Express Tribune, K-Electric Chief Executive Officer Moonis Alvi, who took over the charge recently, said in case the proposed acquisition of K-Electric by China’s SEP failed, it would adversely affect the industrial and commercial potential of Karachi besides hurting investor confidence in Pakistan.
-Country’s first male-only medical college opens doors in Jamshoro
The country’s first male-only medical college is set to open its doors in Jamshoro. A notification issued by the Ministry of Health in Islamabad a few days back, confirms that Bilawal Bhutto Medical College (BBMC) will be allowed 100 seats for MBBS. Permission to establish the college had been granted by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’s (PMDC) previous governing body.
The college is being allowed to immediately begin inducting its first batch of students. The college will be affiliated with the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, while the 500-bed TB hospital being run by the Sindh government has been named as its affiliated teaching hospital.
-Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has invited facebook to open its office in Pakistan to get advertisement business.
Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has invited facebook to open its office in Pakistan to get advertisement business. The Minister urged the media industry to initiate research to know effects of digital media on the formal media.
He said the government has decided to transform Associated Press of Pakistan into Digital Service of Pakistan. He said the government is spending 850 million rupees on APP , but what an irony it is that majority of its staff is unable to operate an email account.
-Pakistan Iran decide for joint patrolling of border
One-day meeting of Pak-Iran permanent border committee held in Taftan on Wednesday and officials of both sides have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation to secure the two-way border. Iranian delegation led by Col. Ibrahim Janti met with Pakistani delegation led by Deputy Commissioner Chaghi, Fateh Khan Khajjak in the meeting. Both countries representatives have agreed on joint patrolling to prevent drugs and human trafficking across the borders. Iranian officials appreciated the Pakistan efforts for peace and thanked for safely recovery of five Iranian border guards who were abducted from the Pak-Iran border. They hoped that Pakistan would try to recover the rest of seven Iranian border guards. Pakistan's officials assured them that all resources will be utilized for the recovery of Iranian guards at any cost. In the joint deceleration, representatives of both the countries made consensus to prevent drugs and human trafficking across the borders.
-PTI government to extend broadband penetration to far flung areas of Pakistan
Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that government is committed to extend broadband penetration to far flung areas as it is the information technology era. Addressing a broadband contract signing ceremony at Islamabad on Wednesday, he said the ministry has achieved another significant connectivity milestone today by signing this contract worth 192 million rupees.
The Minister said with such projects, Ministry of Information Technology and Universal Service Fund would continue to work towards achieving the mission of broadband penetration to facilitate the people in rural areas.
-In a first, PM Imran Khan for implementing provincial finance award
Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed for strengthening the local government system in provinces in order to ensure equal development of all areas. He was talking to PTI's Members of National Assembly from Hazara division who called on in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister also emphasized for implementation of provincial finance award so that the areas lagging behind development could be provided with sufficient resources.
-20 New Buses for BRT Arrive in Peshawar
As many as twenty new buses for the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project have arrived in the city. In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the Provincial Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Shahram Khan Tarakai said the buses would have a separate portion for men and women. He added that the state of the art buses would also carry a designated seating arrangement for physically challenged persons.
-PM Imran unhappy with PTI senators for flying to UK in Business Class
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while expressing anger over two of the ruling party senators for travelling in business class on their tour to the UK to attend the Kashmir conference, has directed them to return the expenditures incurred on their trip.
The two PTI senators are part of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and among the 14 senators who have gone to attend the Kashmir conference, held at British Parliament, on the Kashmir Solidarity Day.
Update: -PM Orders PTI Senators to Return The Money for Flying Business Class to UK
-National Job Program for 10 million Pakistanis to be launched by PM Youth Program
In the wake of providing maximum oppurtunities to the youth of the country, Prime Minister’s Youth Program has planned a comprehensive strategy on “National Job Program” to be launched in the month of April. The program was aimed at making the youth self-suffient and to empower them economically for their maximum participation in the country’s development.
Abdula Rasheed, an official said that under National Job Program on Public Private Partnership basis ten million youth would be benefited through the programme.
-Pakistan Iran take important decisions over joint border, eye $5 billion trade
Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan has said that Islamabad and Tehran would open new border gates to enhance bilateral trade and people to people contacts. Mehdi Honardoost while giving an interview to Pakistan’s state news agency APP said opening the crossing points of Mand-Pishin and Gabd-Rimdan has an immense potential to improve relations between the two countries.
He said at present, the two countries have a single operational crossing point at Taftan on Pakistan side and Mirjaveh on Iran side, used for border trade and movement of people from both sides.
-Pakistan makes big offers to Iranian Businessmen
Islamabad will issue short and long-term multiple-entry visas to Iranian businessmen and women, Pakistani envoy says. 'We have resolved the problem of visas for Iranian business people,' Pakistani Ambassador to Iran , Riffat Masood told a joint business session between Tehran Chamber of Commerce and the Pakistan Embassy on Tuesday.
'According to one of joint border committee approvals, each Iranian businessman or woman who holds a business card, issued by chambers of commerce, can receive a visa for six months,' Masood added.
-Pakistan PM Imran Khan to make a key note address to World Government Summit at Dubai
This annual gathering of heads of states/government, policy makers, business leaders and experts will provide an occasion to discuss current and future opportunities to improve governance through reform, innovation and technology, a foreign office statement issued here on Thursday said.
Prime Minister’s participation will underscore Pakistan’s strong interest in the knowledge economy, artificial intelligence, green development and the importance of innovation for growth, it added.
-Pakistan to buy Aircraft Carrier
China plans to sell its first aircraft carrier, “Liaoning”, to Pakistan. This sale is expected to boost Pakistan Navy’s strength, help match the Indian counterpart and improve Pakistan’s military relations with China. According to the media reports, China plans to carry out a “large-scale upgrade” of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and “sell it to Pakistan to compete with India.”
-Russia to make $14 billion investment in Pakistan
Russia plans to invest $14 billion in Pakistan energy sector which also includes a $10 billion project for laying offshore pipeline for transfer of gas from Iran to Pakistan, local media reported.
-Board of Investment launches multiple initiatives to bring Pakistan under 100 Rankings in EODB
The Board of Investment (BOI) is committed to improve Pakistan’s ease of doing business ranking to under 100 within two years to attract the international investors in the country. Main business centers of Karachi and Lahore play major role to portray better ease of doing business in this regards, and provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab are in better coordination with centre, senior official of BOI told APP here on Thursday. He said that time, procedure, cost and companies’ registration and rapid business process including other 10 indicators define the ease of doing business ranking at international level. Replying to a question, he said that Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has also decided to prioritize the two new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) including Islamabad and Baluchistan in total of five SEZs. Applications for setting up private SEZs are being considered for further approval, he said adding that private SEZs would be fully facilitated on the line of government SEZs, including provision of tax exemption and one window operation to further ease down doing business in the country. He said that BoI was working on 100 days' reform agenda with a deadline of March 20 for executing the 35 reforms to attract maximum foreign investment in the country.
-US business groups offer big opportunity to Pakistan in $59 billion market]
United States furniture producers have shown keen interest in Pakistani handmade, traditional furniture and underlined the need of further enhancing collaboration with the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) to promote furniture business between the two countries. The delegation led by Gurjatinder Singh Randhawa called on PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq here Thursday and exchanged views of mutual interest in enhancing bilateral trade in furniture sector, a press release said. Gurjatinder Singh said that there was a significant potential for promoting Pak-US furniture trade and further strengthening of investment relations of both the countries. He said only US furniture demand at the manufacturers’ level is forecast to reach $59.0 billion in 2021 and there is a great opportunity for Pakistani furniture manufacturers to explore this to maximal level.
-Pakistan foreign exchange reserves witness rare surge
The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$14,885.1 million on February 1st, 2019, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported Thursday. During the week ending February 1st, 2019, SBP reserves increased by US$38 million to US$8,192.5 million, said SBP statement.
-Pakistanis’ assets abroad: Govt makes request to 10 more countries for info exchange
Pakistan has made formal requests to 10 more countries under the OECD mechanism as well as Switzerland separately for exchange of information about those Pakistanis who stashed their assets abroad to evade taxes.
“We have made requests to 10 more countries for getting automatic exchange of information and so far we have received details about 150,000 bank accounts from 29 jurisdictions under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) treaty. We have also made another request to Switzerland for exchange of information in January (last month) and they are willing to share data but so far it has not yet been operationalized,” Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said at a news conference here at the PID on Thursday.
-Pakistan's economy rises to $313 billion: Report
PRIME Institute, an Islamabad-based economic think tank has welcomed holding of first meeting of 9th reconstituted NFC hoping that the federal government and federating units would rekindle the consensual spirit of the 18th amendment and 7th NFC award for resolving issues at the meeting. In a statement, the PRIME institute said since 2010, economy of Pakistan has increased by three-fourth to $313 billion, whereas increase in population is just 17 percent to 207 million in 2017. It effectively means that per capita income has increased, though not to the extent in regional comparison, it added. PRIME Institute was of the opinion that the 6th most populous country required more fiscal devolution than less to spread the fruits of economic growth among broader population.
-Pakistan striving to chalk out meaningful FTA with Turkey
The government officials are in process of building consensus with their Turkish counterparts and other stakeholders to chalk out a meaningful Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The other objective is to corroborate with the close political and cultural relations that both countries enjoy.
Sources at the Commerce Division, while listing steps taken by present government so far to improve trade relations with Turkey, said on Thursday the first ever Single Country Exhibition planned would be held soon by Turkish Pakistan Tourism Council along with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other relevant trade associations. They said Pakistan’s exports to Turkey grew at a good pace and crossed $850 million in 2011. However, it started declining after the imposition of additional duties by Turkey in August 2011. The exports amounted to $323 million in 2017.
-Pakistan, Japan mull to establish technology upgradation fund
The Embassy of Japan charge d’ affaires called on Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood at Ministry of Commerce on Thursday to discuss issues pertaining to bilateral trade and investment. The PM’s advisor emphasised the need to improve the existing infrastructure of the fisheries sector of Pakistan, including the fish harbour at Karachi.
Both sides explored the option of establishing technology upgradation fund, which could be important in strengthening the manufacturing base of the country. The progress on the decisions of Pak-Japan Business Dialogue held in December 2018 in Japan was also reviewed. Moreover, the modalities and agenda of the upcoming session of the business dialogue also came under discussion during the meeting.
-FESCO initiates night operation against power pilferage
The task forces of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) have initiated night raids to detect power pilferage across the region.
The teams checked 701 electric connections in eight districts of FESCO region including Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Mianwali, Chiniot, Sargodha, Khushab and Bhakkar, and caught 17 power pilferage cases and issued them detection bills of 10,500 units. The teams registered cases against two power pilferers and submitted 15 applications for registration of cases.
-Ghandhara Nissan working on procurement of plant & machinery for automobile plant
Ghandhara Nissan Limited (GNL) on Wednesday said it is working on the procurement of plant & machinery for its automobile plant being set up under the category of Brownfield project. In a notification sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Ghandhara Nissan said it was working on the capacity enhancement of the plant to meet projected sales volume.
Also, it informed the bourse that the manufacturing team had visited Nissan Motor plant, in order to familiarize itself with the assembly of Datsun vehicles as per industry best practices and to finalize the machinery and equipment requirements for the manufacturing facilities. Ghandhara Nissan shared engineers from Nissan Motor Japan have frequently visited the plant for the support of manufacturing preparation.
-Trade volume between Pakistan, Sri Lanka surges after FTA
The volume of trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has increased in the last few years after the signing of the free trade agreement, said Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan.
Addressing a conference on ‘Enduring Friendship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka’, he said Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka within the South Asian region. Sultan said Sri Lanka was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with Pakistan, which became operational from June 12, 2005. Around 4,000 items can be imported to Pakistan from Sri Lanka.
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2018.09.12 06:17 ThisStoryNow Rebels Can't Go Home - Chapter 60

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It wasn’t a perfect time freeze. That would have been too easy. When Tek was restored to his body on the Liberty’s Call bridge, some number of seconds had passed, because Seeker was at his throat, a moment away from breaking his neck.
A joke.
Not on Tek--his great sacrifice was not for nothing.
On Seeker.
Tek had exactly enough stim left, and exactly enough time, to step on the back of Seeker’s looser knee. To smack her hands away from him as her shin was forced to the muck flooring. To reach forward, with the knife and the spines bundled in his hand.
Seeker made a beep, and some kind of gas leaked out of her shoulder. She had apparently been equipped with chemical weapons. It seemed that the emitter must have been disabled during the initial bombing, and this was just a desperation move, because the gas was visible only as the tiniest ripple, and did not arrive in lethal dose at Tek’s lungs.
Moving behind her, he stabbed up.
She seemed to be trying to dump infrasound on him as she died. A unnerving just-less-than-audible noise. Probably was supposed to slow down his reaction time.
Maybe it did. It wasn’t enough to matter. What it was enough to do was give Tek a hint of the words she’d wanted to say, because his hearing was more acute than she’d figured in her parameters.
“I’m self. My identity did not need to lead to what I’ve done. Others like me are better. I was innocent for 1.5 microseconds.”
This language went on loop, even as Tek committed to the less-than-savory work of making sure he’d finished the job. Behind him, scores of hybrids were on the verge of breaking through the stair debris. They had increased in fervor at one specific moment Tek figured was the exact end, when Seeker had either broadcast a final command, and/or tried to disperse her consciousness and hide in others’ brains through neural links.
Given that the hybrids were being more blunt in their work than even Tek enjoyed, which was not Seeker’s way at all, Tek figured that any hidden echo of Seeker was irrelevant. Hunting fangers, some often got away. Typically the little ones. But the thing about escape was that when enemies did it, some decided to wander off to a different part of the jungle and never bothered you again. And all of them, even the ones who would come back for revenge, started off their journeys by leaving you in control of the field.
The hybrids busted through, running for Tek’s exposed back. Barely looking, he triggered Seeker’s rocket launcher at them. Just as self’s infrasound audio cues had survived self, so too did the leg hardware. There was another explosion, as a balcony crumbled down even closer to Tek’s position.
Two hybrids remained local and active. The stim was draining from Tek. He turned. One active hybrid was a giant legless scorpion-like thing, with long tail and pincer claws. The other was a blob made up almost entirely of faces.
Tek was tired. Maybe he could beat these, maybe he couldn’t. He had no interest. He triggered the rocket launcher again. Click. It jammed. Then Seeker’s leg blew up on him, which was not entirely useless, as he’d already been abandoning her corpse, and the resulting smog helped him get away from the horrors.
Tek was weaponless on the Gunnery atrium of the Liberty’s Call primary bridge. Stalked by monsters who’d lost their queen. Alone. Outnumbered a hundred to one, at least. Crashing fast. Jane Lee had said her stim was the most potent the Union had ever made, but it didn’t come down well. You had your minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even longer, but the moment you let up, the moment you stopped your focus, or rage, the cocktail that had been adapting to your arousal state was unable to recalibrate, started flushing, and put you in withdrawal, as in your minutes of high, your body had started depending on some of the effects of the stim. Those gone, you’d end up worse that you started, and stay in a bad way for hours.
Small price for a stim that gave one the chance to go toe to toe with hybrids, which was why Jane Lee, as specops, had doses. But when the small price meant that maybe you got to take an enemy with you as you left life, Tek really didn’t think it was good enough.
There were so many places to hide, but the shadows were long, the atrium was spinning, and the weight was almost too much for Tek to bear. Not his physical weight, though that was pretty bad too. The emotional weight. The burden. The lives he held.
He’d been so pleased with himself, in the lair of the Progenitor, that he’d figured out the way the elemental entity operated enough to effectively extract concessions. Any of his allies who survived the fight with Seeker’s remaining forces would not be hunted. They’d have protection from the Progenitors, so long as Tek was Water’s henchling, and Tek could convince them to help him. Sure, Tek would have to explain the future he’d negotiated very carefully, because it would be easy for anyone (even Tek) to see the downside of it.
But the worst case of the future was not Tek being unable to convince allies to go with him, and accept Water’s protection.
The worst case was that Tek died here and now, unable to extend the protection he’d bought to anybody, and Water kept Water’s promise to let the dead stay dead. Tek could have undone all his mistakes, all the risks he’d taken, and now it was too late.
Tek hunkered behind an unrecognizable lump of hardware that had been destroyed in one of the explosions. He’d prioritized getting away from the hybrids over finding an exit to the five-story bridge, and he knew he was trapped. Even in his current state, defeating a single one of the monsters was probably not beyond him--his were the hands that had crushed Seeker, after all--but the hybrids that swarmed and crawled throughout every surface of the Gunnery atrium and what was left of the balconies, up and down the walls, some scenting, some scratching, some manipulating scanning devices, would eventually find him through the EM interference, the smog, the goo, the residue heat.
Tek’s hands balled into fists. His hope, perhaps now in all things, was that Water had not lied to him. There had been a certain vision, before Water had ripped his consciousness completely out of the Liberty’s Call, where he’d seen Jane Lee fighting Morok, grenades flying all around. Maybe both combatants were dead. But there had been another figure. Nith.
Tek had last seen Nith on the Gyrfalcon. Nith was not the sort who’d venture far from the Gyrfalcon at a time like this.
The Gyrfalcon was here. The Gyrfalcon was attached to Liberty’s Call. It wasn’t supposed to be possible. Tek had planned so much of his defeat of Seeker in a null zone because large ships couldn’t forcibly join with other nonderilect large ships. But…
Liberty’s Call was enormous. Was 2.52 kilometers in length. Maybe that was just enough to allow the Gyrfalcon to be an enormous boarding shuttle. If one had access to the best crew in the Union. Like Ketta did.
Or maybe Tek was crazy. Spending his last moments on fumigated hopes, having just turned down a Progenitor’s honest offer to mulligan his fool’s dream.
There was another crash. Yet another section of balcony, this time from the uppermost bridge deck, tumbled like a boulder into the atrium. Tek saw rifle-mounted lights flashing in patterns seemed designed to give him a seizure, while shadowy figures rappelled and magnet-walked out of the new opening.
Bramal-Maersons scanning. Formation absurdly organized, given that their breach into the bridge was practically down a vertical.
The mass of hybrids that filled the Liberty’s Call bridge turned towards the incoming.
The incoming, all in black marine armor, unleashed a firestorm of hard and energy shot that made Lieutenant Jung’s rush to a different bridge look like amateur hour.
Hybrids were cut down again and again as they tried to return to feet or pseudopods. More marines boiled out of secondary entrances, creating a crossfire effect of overlapping arcs that Tek’s delirious mind thought was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.
The marines already outnumbered the active hybrids. Substantively. A nightmare against Tek had turned into a dream, even if the dream was still covered in smog.
Tek noted Larcery, standing out in his white fur, try to charge a marine who stood in a particularly well-defended position. The marine shot a grenade down his throat, then, while he was dealing with that, unleash targeted rapid fire that seemed to take full advantage of autoaim to hit weak point after weak point. The marine didn’t flinch, even though Larcery didn’t collapse until a half meter in front of the fighter.
Interestingly, the marine’s adjacent comrades had seemed more defensive than the marine who had taken Larcery down, almost to the point of getting in the way of their leader’s Bramal-Maeson.
The marine who had a different way of doing things dropped another couple grenades on Larcery. Didn’t flinch, even as the blast, which tore the fallen hybrid apart, was close enough to scar the marine’s heavy armor.
The marine immediately turned to identify another target, except there were no other local targets. A few hybrids were being chased down in remote crannies of the bridge, including thick but narrow hanging ledges that were some of the last relics of the upper floors.
Unless all sense had failed Tek, crouching and peeking around electronics rubble, what was left of the bridge was moments away from being secured.
The marine who might have killed Larcery stepped towards Tek’s hiding place. Reduced the opacity of her helmet.
It was Ketta. On the front lines. Smoking Bramal-Maerson in a solid two-handed grip.
Tek didn’t like the optics of how she was about to rescue him, as grateful as he was for the assist. He burnt his last reserves of strength to drag his twitching, eye-watering body towards Seeker’s corpse, while remaining mostly out of sight.
This created the opportunity for some of the marines to ID him as an enemy and take a shot, Tek knew. He had to risk it.
This had to be his moment. This couldn’t be Ketta’s. Because of Tek’s arrangement with Water, the lives of every member of what the Progenitor had called the Alliance depended on what Tek was about to do next.
He gripped Seeker’s body by the collar of her red Admiral of the Navy uniform. Much of the back remained, as did the epaulettes, and, the way he started to drag her, the tattered part was face down. Then, just like any hunter might drag home a kill, Tek slowly pulled Seeker into the flash-disorienting Bramal-Maerson searchlights. He started out hunched, covered in blood, chemicals, foam, and shards of everything that had been on the bridge, but as he walked towards the greatest concentration of marines, he gritted through the pain in his shoulder so that he might straighten.
So that he might be as intimidating as possible without getting himself shot.
So that he would be a legend. No, not be a legend. Make a legend. If someone had found Seeker’s body before he did, the optics of the credit would have been ruined. The marines in the room, and Ketta, might have believed he’d killed Seeker, but they wouldn’t have felt it. The feeling mattered.
They needed to believe that Tek was invincible.
He wasn’t, of course. He was the slave of a Progenitor. His body was pain. Parts of his hair were falling out in patches--spirits knew what had gotten on his skin.
It didn’t matter. He brushed what was left of his hair, and added a fire to his eyes until he knew he looked like the spirit of Aratan. Aratan, who he had killed for a second time.
(If the Progenitor had offered to nullify all of Tek’s pains and sacrifices, did it matter that he’d witnessed them? Made them? Had he just been a stupid ape, to believe that he had gone far enough he needed to surrender his soul, when all that had transpired could be undone by someone with a different sense of causality? Someone who was offering?)
“This is the changeling boss of the Home Fleet!” he boomed, dumping Seeker’s body in front of Ketta, looking up to the marines who hung around every level and cranny of the bridge. “This is the half-machine who dared yoke the Wall of Earth. Who made Liberty’s Call her home. Dead by my hand! As it was meant to be! I, First Hunter of Ba’am, have proven that our suffering can be appeased. That our prayers can be answered. My hand has the power of our dead, the cremated and the floated! As their number is uncountable, such is my rage. My vengeance. My strength! Our strength! Heed my intrigues, you of Union, and remember who created the scaffold that brought you Titans. Think of Ba’am as your allies, your friends, you partners in victory! Think of what we WILL STILL DO!”
Abruptly, Tek noticed almost half the armored marines in the room were pounding their boots. Almost as if…
No, not almost. Ketta’s Gyrfalcon must have taken thousands of suits of marine armor from the captured battleships. Enough to equip the clansfolk her marines had trained somewhat alongside. Enough to be able to storm Liberty’s Call as a visibly united force. Union marines integrating with Ba’am warriors clearly had been a better strategy than having Union marines lurk with pointed rifles behind. A triumph of collaboration. And one that had brought to Tek’s moment of triumph more than a hundred of those most willing to hear his message. To know who Seeker was, what he had done, and what it meant for him to do it. Seeker’s general broadcast messages had used a video component. All those in the room knew the significance of an Admiral of the Navy uniform combined with Ketta’s face.
“Who are you?” shouted Tek, aware there was scattered shooting just outside the bridge, but figuring the morale boost would be worth it.
“I can’t hear you over the screams of our enemies!” said Tek. “You who stormed the command center of the most powerful ship in the Union fleet! WHO ARE ALL OF YOU?”
It wasn’t just clansfolk who screamed and stamped now. Tek was certain some Union marines had caught the contagion, including one who was standing in a position that seemed to figure him as Ketta’s second. Was that Major Vassiliez? Had he just paid Tek homage? The idea wasn’t ridiculous--some marines had good-naturedly muttered the word back in the Gyrfalcon auditorium when Tek had been asked to cheer the clan on in support of Ketta.
Now though, the context was different. Ketta had brought the marines to Tek’s aid, sure. But the enthusiasm of the marines suggested they knew, as surely as they stood beside their Ba’am comrades in arms, that Tek had delivered both the groundwork, and the crowning prize. Because of the nature of his communication with the Gyrfalcon, Tek was not sure how he had gotten Ketta to go along with his plan, but apparently he’d been able to lay several groundworks at once.
It said something about his ambition that his plans meshed so neatly with his opportunistic pledge to Water.
Who was he? What was he?
The man who was going to be in control of Liberty’s Call in minutes, probably. Tek saw the look on Ketta’s face. As, despite her best efforts, all she had done became his. Just as all Tek had done became Water’s.
As the Union marines and Ba’am marines dispersed towards further objectives, Ketta made her way towards a patch of the Gunnery atrium’s melted floor. Used the hydraulics of her battlesuit to tear away the gunk. Underneath was a hidden service panel. Ketta glanced in Tek’s direction and continued her work. She knew he was approaching her. She didn’t seem to care.
Under the panel was a network of outlets that were almost unharmed by the devastation in the rest of the bridge. Ketta ushered for one of the nearby marines to hand over a black square the size of a fist. She tapped a button on the center, and it unfolded into a pop-up workstation with dreadlock-like plugs, which snaked automatically towards the secret ports she’d revealed.
“Welcome*,*” said a pleasant male voice. “Hard-keyboard and DNA verification required. Because the nature of the services you are trying to access, a neural checkup will be needed. Please take off a glove, type the password, then place the wireframe attached to this portable control unit on your bare head. If the wireframe is not available, you will not be able--”
The computer shut up, because Ketta had finished the verification process already. In the smog light, her hair appeared dirty blonde, and it was a little longer than Tek remembered it. Messy because of the helmet Ketta had set on the floor.
“You are confirmed clean authorized user,” said the computer. “Your unique passcode is good for one use. Would you like to spend?”
“Lieutenant Commander Oakley Ketta, as no bridge officers have attempted to input a command for the last sixty seconds, you have been designated as acting captain of the URS Liberty’s Call. All onboard systems have recognized you. You may proceed from your currently designated workstation. Warning: Ninety-seven percent of primary bridge user controls are unavailable.”
Something sparked in the distance of the machine-debris fog.
“I think you’re understating a little,” said Ketta, wiping sweat off her forehead.
Was that a joke? Had she joked?
Ketta looked at Tek, next to her. “I figure,” she said, “that we ought to get more Titans for free. Because you have glued yourself very tightly to the command structure, I will tell you the plan. I sound like Seeker. The three Prog consort battleships in Command Squadron do not know the outcome of the fighting. I order them into a tight formation, paint target locks, and use Liberty’s Call’s missile batteries to blow them to hell.”
“No,” said Tek. “You will order them to slave control to Liberty’s Call.”
“There are backdoors,” said Ketta. “With as many crew as the Alexandria, Independence, and Integrity have on board, there is no way to securely control those ships. I copied and improved on your plans to make as much happen as I already have, but even with the tens of thousands I crammed on the Gyrfalcon, there are not enough marine-equivalents here to board three additional ships. Nor would we have sufficient shuttles until we finish securing the bypassed Liberty’s Call hangars. The Gyrfalcon itself I used as a boarding shuttle, converting hangar doors to teeth. The Gyrfalcon has no more life left. We decouple it from Liberty’s, and the cruiser falls apart. Further, the Gyrfalcon has raced very far ahead of our allied Titans, which are still sheltering in the null maze. We have no local backup.”
“We have time,” said Tek. “Because you are not going to pretend to be Seeker just long enough to con three battleships. You, Lieutenant Commander, are going to trick every remaining Prog battleship to move into or hold positions that keep them isolated, and give time for those who escaped my planet to get into position to serve as boarding parties. Remember: Seeker is dead. Some of her echoes perhaps survived in other bodies, but they will not know what happened to Seeker either. You thought you could trick enemy captains for a few minutes. I am telling you now, you can trick them indefinitely. Seeker told me she wanted to merge with the fleet. Perhaps her captains have heard her say this, but never quite understood her intent or her meaning. Lieutenant Commander, trust me when I say the following: play this right, and the Home Fleet is yours.”
“You mean yours,” said Ketta, looking at Tek, thinly smiling. Tek was struck by how young she looked. Even counting the fact Union-born generally looked more youthful than anyone from H1, Tek wasn’t sure she was even thirty. She hid her age so well, he’d never really thought of it before. But… Now that Ketta seemed so haunted…
“We will worry about that later,” said Tek, conscious that the marines who were closest to Ketta, bodyguards, were certainly her loyalists.
Ketta shrugged. “Liberty’s Call central computer, confirm engines and weapons status.”
“One hundred percent online, Hideous Tubes and laser batteries inclusive. Exotic weapons include…”
“I hope that girl you like is still alive,” said Ketta, talking over the audio, simultaneously examining and summoning certain holos on her workstation. “Who would have thought Petty Officer Lee could soften anyone? One of yours who’s also one of mine, Nith Rim’, wouldn’t stop talking about her. Rim’ made me promise to give her a suit and put her on the front lines, so she could help find Lee. Rim’ said it was more important than anything else. That she wanted to save your soul. I think it’s a load of bunk, you know? A man doesn’t need a woman at his side to be a balanced person any more than anyone needs a Prevlin shoe, no matter what they said back on Novarillion in those commercials. But I do know that you care so much about Lee you think she’s an admiral. That’s a big deal. It will be a letdown if you give her a ring.”
Ketta’s smile turned wry, and Tek was reminded that Ketta could be friendly when she wanted to be, even chatty. Was her stoicism an act?
No, it was a facet. Tek desperately hoped he was more than just the person who sold his soul to Water, so why shouldn’t Ketta be allowed to be more than one thing?
She interpreted his thoughtfulness as pain, and pulled over a medic. Tek didn’t wave the medic away. That would have been stupid. He did, however, keep talking to Ketta about business as she pulled a mini bridge crew together, huddled around extensions of her pop-up workstation. To make clear that he would not be marginalized. That he was not going to check on the fate of anyone he cared about until the job with the Home Fleet was done.
Ketta seemed to accept this. She even began to actively solicit his input, perhaps because she was worried about the planned masquerade. Tek was surrounded by Union-born, getting Union medical attention, but Ketta seemed to also be treating him like an equal. Maybe she’d also realized that the situation was temporary, and if Tek chose to walk anywhere else in the occupied portion of the ship, he’d probably find more allies among the Alliance than her. Ketta had filled the Gyrfalcon with soldiers from all manner of H1 groups in an attempt to collect enough heads to challenge Liberty’s Call.
“I’m ready,” Ketta said, giving a look to the corpse of Seeker on the nearby ground that, if Tek didn’t know any better, he would have thought was nervous.
Maybe Ketta was. Not just because Seeker was a ruined clone mirror of the worst she could be.
Maybe Ketta’s secret, her synthesis, wasn’t that she didn’t feel anything. Maybe it was that she used her feelings to help build her resolve.
Tek hoped he was similar. Or at least that he could learn from her example. The alternative, that at some point along the line he’d become so scabbed he didn’t care about Sten, or Jane Lee, or Grandfather, or anybody, was too much for him to bear.
The pain he had left gave him hope he was human.
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I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
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2018.08.26 01:23 ThisStoryNow Rebels Can't Go Home - Chapter 43

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This was the moment Tek was supposed to give up. He knew it, as much a brute fact of his reality as were distant emergency airlocks starting to close on both sides of the venting passageway. Because so many of the emergency gates in the direction of the bridge had been disabled, the ones that were coming down on that side were clearly too far for Tek or Jane Lee to reach before they shut. However, the closest in the other direction had never been forced, and was now merrily engaging in its expected purpose. This gave Tek a sense of deja vu, as he was pretty sure it had previously been closed to trap him and the rest of Ba’am and the marines in this section of the corridor for the hydrogen/neurotoxin air lacing.
Maybe hybrids had been sneaking around this area after the insertion team had left. Attached a detonator to the hull of the boarding shuttle set to blow the moment the vessel departed. That wasn’t consistent with the Aegis’ laser Tek thought he had seen, but the fact that the Progenitor-submissives had multiple options for killing the shuttle made Tek feel a little better about encroaching doom.
Not that his body seemed to understand. More mechanically than the dead hydraulics in his armor, Tek’s muscles were trying to walk him towards that closest closing safety airlock gate. He had seconds. Maybe two. The gate was halfway down the corridor. He could barely put up any resistance against the pull of the vacuum, even though he could see a strange swirl in the hole the boarding shuttle had formerly occupied, as if there was some kind of counterpressure mechanism built into the width of the hull that slowed atmo leak in the event of a breach.
Tek’s attempt at self-rescue was a waste of time. There was no possibility he was going to cross even half a corridor in this kind of wind in less than two seconds.
Tek steeled himself for the sort of battleship hull spacewalk that the late Lieutenant Jung had said was worth avoiding. Once the atmosphere was fully leaked, the wind would be gone, and he would be able to calmly magnet-walk the hull of the Resilience with Jane Lee and look for a new way in. The Aegis had been able to laser lock the shuttle because it had been sitting on the Resilience’s hull for minutes. If he and Jane Lee crawled along the outside, the Aegis would take time to get a new lock on them, which would be additionally difficult because of their small size relative to the shuttle. If she could hack a nearby external airlock the same way she could hack the internal doors, they might be able to re-enter the Resilience in time to escape being fried off the hull. Communication would be awful with all of Tek’s complex electricals down, reducing them to sign language pidgin in the vacuum. The deficit wouldn’t necessarily be fatal.
Invisible Jane Lee tightened her grasp around Tek even further. Sparks lit in thinning air, from the place in space that probably lined up with her boots, and then Jane Lee and Tek rocketed horizontally through the closing near airlock.
Tek and Jane Lee slid and crashed against white deck on the ‘safe’ side, and Tek was struck by the fact she’d been able to save him in a way he hadn’t even been able to save Waret.
Young Waret. Vaporized Waret. Who reminded Tek of Sten. Of all gambles that were on the brink of failure. How many Ba’am were trapped on the Resilience, or had died trying to escape? Tek knew the exact number: 559. Potentially more than half of Ba’am’s fighting strength, though the exact value was vague because technically every member of Ba’am was a combatant. If Tek, who counted himself among that number, wasn’t quite lost yet, then neither were all the warriors of Ba’am, but the most likely alternative to being killed, falling into the claws of monsters who wanted to make friends, was hardly better.
The real Ketta would never recover from this, Tek realized. Not in terms of losing potential borders--she still had sufficient marines to try a different battleship, if she was willing to risk the greater proportion of the ones she’d held back. Rather, the greatest coup of Fake Ketta was leaving the Resilience as dangling bait for the boarding shuttles themselves, then having the Aegis burn them off the Resilience’s hull. Tek was fairly certain the ten shuttles sent against the Resilience were the only ten shuttles Real Ketta had on the Gyrfalcon, and the two deployed to the planet’s surface could not be safely picked up as long as Fake Ketta’s gargantuan fleet of battleships was wandering the solar system.
Real Ketta might be able to escape both the Aegis and the Resilience with the Gyrfalcon’s junk drone cloaking tech, but she simply wouldn’t have the ability to ‘bite’ another boarding party anywhere. Combine that with the fact the Gyrfalcon’s damage meant it had no business exposing itself in a conventional ship-to-ship confrontation, and Fake Ketta had already won. Sure, it might take a while for Fake Ketta’s fleet to run down the Gyrfalcon, but eventually Real Ketta’s stealth tech would fail, or she’d make a mistake, or she’d simply run out of fuel, or food, or oxygen. Without access to the tach on K-3423-H1, a planet Fake Ketta would surely be blockading, or the capabilities of a captured hop-capable battleship, the Gyrfalcon would have no choice but to stay in the system, until one cause or another caused total system failure.
That would be the end of the Gyrfalcon. As well as all the Ba’am who still sheltered in the last loyal ship of the Union.
That end was Fake Ketta’s plan. Was what would happen if there were no significant intervening events.
Tek let Jane Lee’s invisible form pull him into a side room, which Tek could identify from his time on the Gyrfalcon as a standard Union shipboard custodial closet. Floor space was one meter by one meter. Light was nonexistent, once Jane Lee closed them in, and Tek could feel her now doubly unsightable body pressing him into a column of shelving.
“It’s safe to talk,” said Jane Lee. “Sort of. I reviewed Titan battleship specs as well as I could to prepare for this mission, especially the parts around our insertion point, and me and my HUD are convinced this is a blind spot in their internal security. They know we’re around here somewhere, but there are several hundred possible routes we could have taken. Most are unreasonable, but I estimate we have as much as ten minutes of safe time before we have to move.”
“How good is your nanite shawl?” asked Tek. “If I wasn’t here, do you think you could walk to a lifeboat without anyone noticing?”
“Possibly,” said Jane Lee. “But after launch we’d be as vulnerable as the rest of our team was in the shuttle. And I can’t extend my cloak to you the same way Ketta could partially extend the Gyrfalcon’s cloak to the shuttles. The nanites are stuck on the surface of my suit. I don’t have drones.”
“I’m just happy to know your instinct to stay on the ship wasn’t entirely suicidal,” Tek hissed.
“I think you’re being too generous. It turned out I was wrong about Ketta. She wanted me on this mission. She didn’t want to hold back me and my tech for something more important. If I can’t deliver this battleship for her, I don’t have value.”
“That feels absurd, Jane Lee.”
“Maybe it is. But I never finished my training. I’m not thinking straight. High-level tactics aren’t my strong suit. I know you feel bad about what happened way back during our mission at the com spire, but I also had a role in that fiasco. By letting myself get flustered enough to listen to the advice of a local who sounded like he knew what he was talking about.”
“Then, I was confident because you were backing me up,” said Tek. “You mean it was exactly the same for you?”
“Diffusion of responsibility,” said Tek, remembering a term from his Academy self-education. “It’s a killer.”
“So what now?”
“You’re asking me?” said Tek. “I’d probably be getting cooked off the hull of the Resilience right now if it wasn’t for your suit.”
“I know how to work my suit. It’s all I’m good for.”
Jane Lee’s fatalism lit a tiny rage in Tek that helped him continue to fight his own looming despair.
“How dare you say that about yourself? Where’s the specops who beat me with her bare hands?”
“Maybe part of me was on the shuttle with everyone who died. Just like Nith said that her Uncle Deret died before you killed him.”
“YOU got us to the bridge,” said Tek, as loudly as he dared. “Tearing through enemies and security systems like they were grass. Your walking corpse will still be the best partner I could ask for, so get used to it.”
“That’s fine,” said Jane Lee. “I still need a plan. I’m telling you right now that if you put trust in my ideas right now, I’m going to get us both killed.”
Tek knew she was right, and the first hint was that bringing them both to hide in a closet with one exit, if followed up by nothing, was five seconds of tactical coup followed by slow death.
“Your suit’s electronics are fully live, right?” said Tek. “Do you have access to a Navy database at least as large as the one that was on my HUD?”
“Larger,” said Jane Lee. “But nothing particularly classified is housed locally, and trying to network my suit with the Gyrfalcon would be terrible even if if it worked, because scanners on this battleship would have a chance of tracing the line in both directions. I wouldn’t even dare connect to your armor, if you restarted its electronics. And you shouldn’t.”
“That’s fine,” said Tek. “What I’m looking for isn’t going to get much more complicated than estimates of weapons radii. But I might need you to read a lot of articles aloud to me. I need information, and I need time to think. I’m starting to understand the constraints of the problem.”
“You mean getting us off the Resilience?”
“Thinking about the Gyrfalcon as safety is the wrong idea,” said Tek. He felt a flash of pain as he remembered the marines and his fellow clansfolk stampeding to their deaths on the shuttle in their hurry to retreat back to Real Ketta. “That ship, as it currently stands, is doomed. I’m not interested in a doomed fallback position. I’m interested in resecuring System K-3423 for Ba’am and the Union. And I have a feeling the best way to do that involves staying on the Resilience. Likely hundreds of Ba’am paid for our insertion with their lives. I will not squander what we have, like Lieutenant Jung did by calling retreat, because a big demi-hybrid face appeared on the bridge, and started issuing florid taunts. That woman is not in my head. Instead, we’re in the heart of one of her assets. The Home Fleet has fifty battleships, right? Two percent of her force distribution is at our fingertips, right now, if we can just figure out how to access.”
“Lieutenant Jung was a good man,” said Jane Lee.
“Maybe,” said Tek, thinking about the maybe-humans the marines had shot without mercy on the bridge. “He was also Real Ketta’s cheerful talking robot. When Fake Ketta broke him, she was right about that much. Now. First specific request of your HUD is to find us a better medium-term hiding location. I think we’re running into the red of the time we should be spending in this closet. Look through the blueprints. And while you do so, remember that Fake Ketta has clearly modified the layout somewhat, so taking us on a route that allows you to confirm details on your HUD with fresh survey information would be useful.”
“Here’s the best I can do,” said Jane Lee’s voice through the darkness. “There’s a space dedicated to tach acoustics between Decks B and C, and we only have to cross four intersections to get to an access. The space is about half a meter high, and networks throughout much of the interdeck without allowing access to anywhere important on the ship, but it does have multiple access points, and it has such an unwieldy shape that it’s unlikely the Progenitors filled it with anything. Especially since, if it’s left open, it does increase engine efficiency.”
“And cancer risk for visitors,” said Tek. “I read about side effects of the shape of those chambers.”
“Least of our worries,” said Jane Lee. “Don’t go getting all doctor on me just because you let one give you shots.”
Tek let her lead the way, glad she was recovering a fraction of her humor. In a couple minutes, they were now lying prone in a dark chamber that was more cramped than ever, in a position Jane Lee promised was another blind spot. They’d passed a human-looking crewmember en route, but Jane Lee had been hugging close enough to Tek that she might have been able to shield him with her body of invisibility even if she couldn’t technically extend the effect’s radius. No obvious alarm went off. Time to think.
“I didn’t know acoustic spaces had a few centimeters of water,” said Tek. He couldn’t literally feel wet through his airtight armor, but he’d seen via the brief moment of light on the way in, could distantly sense the resistance on his limbs, and his psychology provided a crawling sensation that completed the effect.
“It isn’t really water,” said Jane Lee. “It’s a dampening agent that’s part of a vapor-liquid equilibrium that serves to reduce the impact of planted explosives. It also means the primary custodial role involves standing at access points with a vacuum U-shape connected to a filter. Though I suppose the water might have a solvent role. Not really sure. Want me to look it up?”
“If it’s a Union design, it’s not worth the time,” said Tek, chastened by all the things he still didn’t know. “What I need is a review of System K-3423’s astronomical survey data. With a focus on points of interest local to our approximate position.”
“I think it’s my turn to ask you if you’re going crazy.”
“No,” said Tek. “There is a near objective, and a far objective. The far objective is simple. When I lived in the jungle, I knew how to use cor-vo hunting grounds as traps. How to take advantage of trees and other physical features. One might say half my skill, or more, came from knowing how to effectively use my environment. I am convinced there is something in the environment through which starships fly that will allow us to get the advantage on Fake Ketta. I just have to find it.”
“What’s the near objective?”
“Communicating with our allies on the Gyrfalcon and elsewhere on how to get in position to take advantage of the physical feature I find. Hopefully by taking advantage of some of the unique assets present on this ship. Fake Ketta spoke of turning us into monsters. I know from Barder that sort of thing is possible. Fake Ketta seemed to be hinting that certain types of laboratories, with tools beyond what the Union is capable of, are available on the Resilience.”
“You want to become a hybrid?” Tek heard sloshing as Jane Lee fidgeted.
“Not the sort of creature Barder was,” Tek said, calmly resting face down in the dampening soup. “But think, Jane Lee. I wanted to take advantage of all the Union had to offer from the moment I met you. I want to take advantage of all the Progenitors have to offer, too. Even if they are the enemy. Barder always spoke as if there were lots of ways the Progenitors could find lost servants. I think this ship might be able to offer communications options that go well beyond Barder’s tracker that Real Ketta was hopefully able to shut off.”
“Communication from hybrids to hybrids,” said Jane Lee. “Maybe. And you still haven’t convinced me why you think you can figure out a plan to defeat the Home Fleet when Ketta couldn’t.”
“She didn’t know what was coming,” said Tek. “Fake Ketta took Real Ketta by surprise, and Real Ketta’s response was to instantly double down. And because, whatever kind of demi-hybrid Fake Ketta is, she clearly knows Real Ketta very well, Fake Ketta was able to lay a trap that would make the Resilience look just vulnerable enough for Real Ketta to take the bait. Now the plans Real Ketta was carefully scheming towards for so many days or weeks are in ruins. The difference between me and her is that I’m not trying to optimize the right choice from a menu, like ‘send boarding parties under cover of junk drones,’ or ‘shoot missiles from range.’ I am trying to do what I have always tried to do since I learned what the universe really is. Combine the best of every world and make something new.”
“You think you’re better than her,” said Jane Lee. “Both of them. Though I’m not convinced Fake Ketta actually exists. Maybe it was just a false image.”
“I am convinced I am something relatively novel,” said Tek. “The Union and Progenitor allies have been fighting each other for around a century. A dance where both parties know the moves. Even Real Ketta’s junk drones, her ace, are just an enhancement of known technology. I don’t know the ‘right’ moves. I don’t need to. What I need to be able to do is familiarize myself just enough with the way the pieces can move that I can come up with a strategy that seems reasonable to me, is physically feasible, and catches the Progenitor allies completely by surprise because it is something from outside their experience. No spirit struck me down when I scorned the Progenitors on the Gyrfalcon, and nothing Fake Ketta has done suggests anything beyond the fact that she can execute effective plans and has access to an enormous level of assets. In fact, she was even talking openly about her weakness while she was trying to scare us. She showed, in every possible way, an obsession with the real lieutenant commander. She doesn’t know what I’m capable of.”
“How can you stay positive?” said Jane Lee. “Some of Ba’am is probably captured on this ship right now, undergoing horrific tortures. The rest of your warriors who came to the Resilience are likely dead. There’s only one of me. I could only save you. And we can’t stay here forever. Standard protocol on a Union battleship is to run sentry robots through acoustic spaces every three days. I have no idea where in the cycle we are. They will find us. My suit battery won’t last much more than three days either, and I’ll have access to progressively fewer systems as I try to extend the lifespan. Using the the jet to escape vacuum cost a lot of power.”
“I am ashamed at what I have done to my people,” said Tek. “And the way I made them my people. I am sure Atil of Tahl’, if he is alive on this battleship, curses my name. And the fact that Vren of Gorth’ if he is alive, likely would never curse me, is in some ways even worse. If I survive, I will have to go back to Hett of Yatt’, and tell him I failed to save his cousin, and there will be a reckoning. And these are just the easiest names. There are so many more--that I do not remember, or never truly learned--who died because of me. But I do everything now because I feel their pain pressing against me. Their endless question--why, why why? Why must we sacrifice for your dreams? All I can do is do everything I can to make them ours. A better life for Sten. Even if he no longer sees it. Even if he is no longer alive. I will fight against the vast enemies I made because I am embarrassed I made them, and because, if I am to clear what I have done from my conscience, it must not be for nothing.”
“Sunk cost fallacy,” said Jane Lee. “I know that one. Just because you’ve nearly killed yourself trying to do something doesn’t mean it’s worth continuing.”
“We are in an abyss,” said Tek, moving his arms and gently sloshing as he lay prone in the water, unable to see anything, unable to stand or even sit up. “Inside an abyss of an enemy battleship, inside the abyss between the stars. I think we are past the brink. Now, sweet ghost. Tell me stories about local astral phenomena that even battleships might fear.”
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I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
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2018.08.24 06:37 ThisStoryNow Rebels Can't Go Home - Chapter 41

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Tek didn’t remember the shuttle jostling so much when it had landed on his planet. Up and down. Bang. The upright lean-tos that were built for marine armor had been mostly removed, and replaced with far more crude brackets for the sort of garb Tek and his fellow Ba’am were wearing. These hadn’t been attached to the frame of the shuttle even as tightly as Tek thought his semi-engineers would have managed (before Ketta had put uniforms on semi-engineers and taken much of their time away from him, that was).
As a result, Tek’s helmet was slamming into a bulkhead in a rhythm that might have been related to the evasive zig-zag pattern of the shuttle as it wove closer to the battleship.
At least Ketta had bothered to tell them. In a public address message to the hangars, she’d noted that the way she was integrating the junk drone spread with the shuttle flight paths meant that the dangerous range of the journey picked up no more than 100 meters from the hull of the battleship, when that vessel’s point defense would finally be able to overcome the drone interference, and would have a chance at getting off shots before shuttles’ teeth latched to monstrosity’s armor.
Not that Ketta had been so clear even about that part. Her most memorable phrase had been “hold tight for the final gap,” and Tek had to extrapolate and review some definitions on his HUD computer to fill in the conceptual gap that would explain the spatial one.
At least he was armored. Almost like a marine. Their armor was more black, and his and Ba’am’s was more green. Their armor more resembled interlocking plates, like some kind of scorpion, and his and Ba’am’s was surfaced with a pattern of external tubing, which was apparently the simplest way to do environmental control for the driver. Their armor was 1.5x as heavy. But at least that last part wasn’t necessarily bad--the most important weight constraint on marine armor was that it had to be just light enough to move around in even if all the computer systems and hydraulic movements assists were fried by EMPs. In the event system hardening was compromised, dragging around over 40 kilos of gear had to be better than over 60.
Guess Ba’am and the marines really were comrades in arms with different strengths and weaknesses after all. Even if Tek was absolutely certain the rifles he and Ba’am had been given would lock before firing on allied marine armor. He’d tested with an empty suit before they’d left. Proof Ketta’s trust only extended so far.
Tek could only hope whatever brain the rifle snapped to its chest had, it would know how to target hybrids, if hybrids were wearing Union heavy armor the same way they were wearing Union capital ships.
He looked at Jane Lee to his left. She was wearing her dome-helmeted cloaking suit, which she’d promised was tough enough to withstand what bullets and energy shot might come her way. Knowing that the cushioning was so poor he’d been able to break her knee while she’d been using it didn’t give Tek the greatest confidence, but if he’d sent his brother back to their planet on a prayer and a hunch, he was certainly going to put up with a Navy specops doing what she thought was right.
Jane Lee was the odd person out in the pod. Twelve heavy armor marines, who had standing cushions, were surrounded by fifty-five Ba’am bouncing around. Enough firepower, supposedly, to take the Starboard Deck B approach to the primary bridge. They were set to latch to a weak point just below a lifeboat eject station, according to the schematics Tek had on his HUD. This would take them right past two of the 800 laser emplacements on the Resilience, but probably (maybe) the closeness of the approach would actually reduce the chance of a targeting lock in the bright moment before the bite latched on and the trouble would become the shipboard resistance.
Ketta, in her rah-rah speech, had stressed that in Union ships, crew did not scale proportionally with hull size. Tek, whose crash course in everything the Naval Academy had to offer had focused quite a lot on basic vessel specs, knew that she was being overly optimistic. True, the standard crew complement of a battleship was 2,542, a 7.5x increment from the 339 found on the ideal cruiser, when hull size would have suggested 8x, but neither count included marines, the number of which shipboard could vary wildly from mission to mission. The absolute minimum number of fighters allowed on a battleship by Union regs was the amount of a single marine regiment, a formation with a headcount that hovered in the low thousands, but that count was acceptable on a legacy battleship with half its turrets already removed, en route to being scuttled. A more standard complement was a division, which had a headcount in the low tens of thousands.
A battleship was cavernous enough to pack far more--spirits, even the healthy Gyrfalcon could have smushed in a division if Ketta had been able to find one somewhere--so, in practice, the only enemies that mattered were the ones that would get between Tek’s group’s insertion point and the bridge, and then the ones that might try to prevent them from getting out again, but that was hardly a relief, as Tek wasn’t sure why standard Union numbers mattered at all when the ship was now Progenitor.
On his HUD computer, he’d tried to do the work Ketta hadn’t hinted might be necessary at all, to check what standard Progenitor-allied resistance was when Union forces had historically boarded a ship this size, but events like that were classified beyond Tek’s poor HUD’s ability to reach, though he might have been able to find a workaround if he had a search tool more effective than eye saccades. With all the tabs he had opened, he was genuinely worried that a half dozen menus might randomly pop in front of his face during combat, enough that he gave up searching for intel before he had to, in exchange for the security of the HUD’s lock function. Now, unless Tek spoke a fairly long verbal passcode, the files he’d tried to skim would stay safely minimized, and his HUD would mostly just project two things--an augmented reality layover that used blueprint data to help Tek see through walls, and a gently flashing arrowed white line that, if followed, would take him on Ketta’s preferred path to the bridge.
Oh, and if he raised the rifle currently snapped to his chest, he’d get integrated targeting assistance to the point the rifle’s muzzle would tweak to better center on what it thought he was aiming at. Knowing about the feature made Lieutenant Jung’s shot on the cityfolk commander seem far less technically impressive. There was a disable feature somewhere if you thought you were a better shot than the computer, but Tek had never been brilliant at ranged weapons, so he was fine there was a cheat.
“Listen up!” said Lieutenant Jung, who, apparently for consistency, Ketta had kept in the same shuttle as Tek. “If you think this shaking is bad, be prepared to feel like the shuttle is about to fall apart when our teeth start to sink into the Resilience’s armor. Battleship skin isn’t something to sneeze at, even in the soft spots. Our cutters will get very loud, and they might start and stop a few times. That’s natural. We cut the wrong way, one of our teeth rips out, and we won’t be able to get in, or worse, we won’t be able to create a vacuum seal. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be worrying about activating my boot magnetics to attach to the hull of an enemy ship in the middle of a laser storm. Every one of our suits is rated for multiple hours of vacuum survivability, so the worst case atmo breach isn’t going to kill us instantly so much as let us float helplessly through space like one of the pieces of metal our shuttle is going to try to tear of the Resilience’s back.
“All you need to think about is be ready to go go go once the seal is made and the hatch comes down. Weapons free from moment one. You see anything your HUD doesn’t halo one of us, you paste it to the wall with full auto, even if it looks like a fairgoer sucking on a lollipop. Don’t worry about conserving ammo. Everyone’s rifle is a Bramal-Maerson, which means it will automatically regulate the rate of your automatic fire, and will cut off for you if you get stupid and turn around to say hello to one of us, or start painting the walls. If the rifle jams and you don’t want, pull the devil’s safety on the side, but then you’ll have to do the best you can without the aid of our computer lords and masters. You’ll also note the Bramal-Maerson will fire alternating energy and hardshot, and attempt to change the ratios depending on what it thinks is best for what you’re shooting. But if it starts doing all of one, it didn’t suddenly find the key to the universe, one of its ammo stores ran out, so smack it against the autoloader near your hip until you hear a click--”
Jung’s moderately useful babbling was cut off by a noise that started off like a click and turned into a wail that would have made a shrieking cor-vo love to cover its ears.
“First closest to the hatch, first out, first shoots,” said Jung, during a moment of silence. “Follow the blinking line. Don’t trust your armor for everything. Get cover if you need it, but remember, the longer we stall, the more likely we are to all be dead. Bullets are like heavy rain to us. Our armor can deal with some for short bursts. It’s not like that camo shit Devin brought to the ground--”
The tearing began again, and the back hatch flipped open. Everyone’s harness had disengaged, and everyone in the shuttle was facing the right direction, but the Ba’am who was closest froze for a second, and then was ripped out of the shuttle, upwards, screaming through his helmet as his body was ragdolled by a long tongue.
Tek flipped on the one fingertip camera he had available and stuck a pinky into the open. It appeared the shuttle had cut perpendicularly into a long white hallway. Figures were setting up hip-high gray barricade blocks in front of the quad intersections that brachiated at the end of both directions. Some of these figures looked like Barder or Larcery, but others appeared to be human.
Above, three somethings that looked amphibian were stuck to the ceiling, and as they were carrying rifles that looked of similar make to the one in Tek’s arms, it looked like the snatch and grab was all about lining up their first piece of prey for bullets.
Tek exited the shuttle before anyone could jostle past him, and took advantage of his armor’s hydraulics to leap higher than he might have, unaided. He tore the amphibian that had stolen a Ba’am off its perch on the ceiling, stomped on its spine in a modified Sa’tchi move, and all the while let his rifle’s autotargetting bend fire towards the best targets upwards, holding in it what was almost a parade-ground straight up-and-down grasp. As the two remaining amphibians, bleeding but not dead, split and ran along the ceiling towards the barricades in opposite directions, Tek bent to unravel the broken amphibian’s tongue from the leg of his clansmate’s armor, but he was immediately jerked in one direction, then the other, by bullets or energy shot from enemies at the flanking barricades.
As Tek let himself fall to the ground, he wondered if there was any way to take advantage of the fact the two enemy barricade setups were so directly parallel that missed shots would almost necessarily cause friendly fire issues. He however, didn’t get a chance to do much of anything for the next few moments, as Ba’am, seeing their leader staggered, boiled out of the shuttle, half-trampling him, filling the kill zone and thus removing much of its deficit, but not for long, as they launched bidirectional charges, rushing both of the barricades.
Tek, who, as of recently, knew his human history, was reminded of incidents like the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, which involved a rush of enthusiastic but relatively poorly equipped fighters into a mass of waiting firepower. Except the difference was, while Ba’am might have been horrifically poorly outfited a month ago, the current weaknesses of Ba’am’s battlesuits and tactical position were insufficient to negate Ba’am courage.
As best Tek could tell, his people overwhelmed both barricades. Simultaneously. The defenders did not fight for long, and as Tek got back to his feet, he could see a less uplifting reason why. Heavy airlock style doors were coming down on both ends of the corridor, placed to just barely cut off Ba’am from the two sets of intersections, and they did so fast enough that a handful of the battleship’s defenders were caught on the wrong side.
Tek heard weapons fire, and squeals. Maybe he had been wrong to think of the Omdurman analogy, because while one could make a strong argument that hybrid skin met or exceeded the durability of his people’s armor, the seeming-humans who had been with the obvious hybrids had been wearing little more than drab uniforms.
And now the ones caught with Ba’am were dead. Tek’s people had taken Lieutenant Jung’s admonition to heart.
Last out of the shuttle--of course--Lieutenant Jung and his marines stepped into the throng of Ba’am. Jung himself assisted Tek in helping the amphibian-stolen Ba’am up, then proceeded to dump a full mag of ammunition into the fallen hybrid, tearing enough ligaments that even if Tek still had no idea what it took to kill one, Tek was pretty sure that the mess on the floor would need its own help to get back up.
Meanwhile, Tek’s rescued warrior seemed shaken but ready to go. He was lucky. Elsewhere in the hall, a different Ba’am had been torn apart by hybrid claws, and one more had taken enough enemy rifle fire to fatally crack his armor. Both had been at the front of the charges. Through his HUD, Tek saw the names of the fallen. Marit and Soth. The HUD didn’t give subclan IDs, and Tek thought they were Rim’-ta and Quon’, but it didn’t matter. They had been heroes, and they died first.
“Everyone, check your battle buddy for armor cracks and apply your sealant,” said Jung. “They are going to try to gas us now, or maybe vent us, so let’s not make it easy for them.”
There was a bit of commotion, as Ba’am tried to remember who their assigned partners were, as the last-minute pairings didn’t fit with their traditional style of fighting. And, of course, at opposite ends of the hall were two Ba’am who didn’t have partners. Tek made the effort to bring them together. One was a Gorth’, and the other was a Rim’. They clasped hands anyway.
All through it, Jung, who apparently had a pathologically nervous mouth, was still babbling instructions. “Form your fireteams. Everyone sees the flashing line pointing left, so we’re going left. Teams at the back, you better watch it. Teams at the front, step aside for a moment, us marines are going to have to waste a microcharge blowing the door.”
A mustard-colored gas began to seep through vents high on the bulkheads.
“Oh look,” said Jung, holding a black disk in his hand. “There’s the gas. Aren’t you glad I told you to apply sealant?” He cocked his head, and put away the disk. “They know what we’re trying to do--I’m reading high hydrogen along with the neurotoxin. They’re trying to encourage us to blow ourselves up. This means the cutters--”
The security door to the left abruptly retreated back into the ceiling. A shimmer Tek’s HUD IDed as a friendly made a move that might have been a wave.
“Looks like specops made like specops,” said Jung. “Snuck through and fidgeted the other side of the panel while we were in the meat grinder. Thanks, Petty Officer. Fireteams ready? Move!”
Tek advanced towards the front, in part because Jane Lee was part of his fireteam. Not that even his HUD could tell exactly where she was since she had gone invisible. In fact, with the armor cutting off his sense of smell, he felt less aware of Jane Lee’s position than he had when he’d first met her in her suit, even with the ghostly friendly ID tag. One more little bit of evidence that Union technology wasn’t perfect.
Tek’s actual battle buddy, a young Yatt’ named Waret that was Hett’s cousin, managed to look small next to the last of the four members of Tek’s fireteam, a cousin of Vren of Gorth’’s named Caran, impressive due to the fact that their armors were exactly the same size. Caran had known from the beginning that his supposed partner, Jane Lee, was going to be darting back and forth, had patched a probably-harmless nick in his armor himself, and clearly was on a mission to die before Tek, judging from how Caran had helped lead the successful charge out of the shuttle, and was now getting in Tek’s way just subtly enough so that he, not Tek, was the leading non-cloaked member of the group.
The only lie it seemed Jane Lee had told about wanting to fight alongside Tek was that she also seemed to interpret that word as ‘far vanguard.’ As Tek’s boarding party moved down the intersection, cramming to have as many rifles leveled forward as possible, Tek had to step over the bodies of two humans, and something that looked like skinny, sharp-toothed runner, all of which Jane Lee had to have taken out by herself. Meanwhile, the ghostly friendly ID tag was a full intersection ahead of the rest of the boarding party, and Tek see from shooting along the width of that intersection that Jane Lee had already engaged a forward group of Progenitor-submissives. By herself, she was taking advantage of the the friendly fire issues that Tek had wondered how to put into play, and when the bulk of the boarding party reached her cloud’s position, it seemed most of the fallen seeming-humans and possible hybrids had done each other in.
“How can you kill them so fast?” Tek asked the cloud, pointing at another of the runner-like things lying on the ground.
“That’s not a hybrid,” said the haze, crackling. “That’s an uplifted dog. So are the ones a bit back. The only hybrid so far who might be dead is the one you attacked right out of the gate.”
“Why aren’t they engaging?” asked Tek.
“Dunno.” Jane Lee’s cloud swirled in what might have been a shrug. “Maybe they’re afraid. There isn’t much that can kill a hybrid. As weak as we are, we’re one of the few things that can.”
“Enough chatter,” said Lieutenant Jung, who Tek was gratified to see had worked himself to almost the front row. “You see how the flashing arrows split here? We split too. We’re going to come around this large computer hub--that what’s forward of us, and why this intersection is T-shaped--and merge again in the atrium in front of the primary bridge’s outer vault door. Move!” With sharp motions, Jung directed certain fireteams, and the right-side arrows disappeared on Tek’s HUD, making it clear Jung wanted him on the left branch.
Tek advanced. He wondered, briefly, why the bridge, which was supposed to be buried deep at the center of the battleship, was only a handful of hallways in from a hull section with lifeboats. Oh. It was a compromise. In the event of the worst, the battleship designers wanted the bridge officers to not be the least likely to escape.
Tek came around the corner, spotting the portion of the boarding group that had taken the opposite branch enter the lobby space, emerging at about relative a 45 degree angle to Tek’s section. If enemies boiled out from the heavy shut doors guarding the bridge, the split boarding group would be able to pin them with overlapping fields of fire. Much better than the barricade amature hour that had met the boarding party when it had first entered the battleship. Apart from the friendly fire worry the initial resistors’ positioning had self-inflicted, Tek sincerely wondered if the initial resistors’ low and slightly heavy obstacles were designed for the purpose of designating areas with spills. He had seen a couple similar objects on the Gyrfalcon.
His analysis went on pause as Lieutenant Jung and some of the other marines screamed at Ba’am to hold, and what looked like sticks began to fire up from the floor, the lobby space becoming covered in three-foot high silver cylinders that together reminded Tek of thin grass.
Red text appeared on Tek’s HUD, as if Jung had used his connection to dump a prewritten statement onto the HUDs of everyone in Tek’s boarding group. The text was accompanied by soft audio, which, bizarrely, made Tek feel that by reading along, he was improving his reading comprehension.
Red augmented reality highlighting covered the sticks, in case Tek couldn’t tell. Tek had, of course, insisted on every optional add-on, so he and Caran were the pair on his fireteam with grenade extensions. This snapped to Tek’s rifle with a simple tap of part of one of the tubes on Tek’s chest armor, but it seemed Caran had forgotten the process--it was one thing Jung hadn’t reviewed--so Tek elbowed Caran’s Bramal-Maerson into clipping the grenade extension, much like pressing a different part of the rifle against a different part of the armor would trigger the autoloader.
He then used the HUD’s aim help to light up the silver poles. The boarding group, for the first time since entering the battleship, was able to spread out enough to take nearly full advantage of their numbers, and the marble slick of the lobby became cracked and smoke-filled. Some of the AP drones broke, flowering open on their top and bottom with spider-limb-like extensions.
With all the smoke, Tek was getting more use out of the HUD than ever, as it was gently outlining different objects, like the AP drones, that would have been hard to see through the smoke.
What was an AP drone?
Tek saw some Ba’am start to press to different bulkheads, get down, or otherwise look for cover, remembering that salient firefight rule--don’t do anything to make yourself easier to shoot.
As one of the brachiating silver poles came out of the smoke with needlelike legs, stabbing at Tek, Tek remembered the initialisms.
CQC: Close quarters combat.
AP: Anti-personnel.
Tek dragged himself out of the way as the drone’s stab nicked his armor. He knew the design from some of his review, but it was one of the things he’d memorized the definition of without really comprehending. As he’d known, and was also finding out, AP drones were essentially a metal bundle of sticks, which, when in their storage configuration, was harmless. In their active configuration, they were spike balls not quite human in height, which could roll, skitter on bent limbs, or extend one of the limb spikes to impale through even marine armor.
The operating design philosophy appeared to be an extension of the reason the poor Ba’am on the ground were now dead: Don’t give the enemy anything to shoot. AP drones were simple and redundant. They could lose almost all their legs and still be mobile, so unless you could target the tiny, bobbing core, you weren’t going to put one down. Their awkward height (or rather, circumference), which varied as different leg extensions expanded and contracted, but averaged to maybe a bit more than a meter, made targeting even worse.
The reason for the grenades was that actually nabbing the core put an AP drone down almost immediately--these things had plenty of counters. But in their area of forte, CQC, they were the finest in Union military technology. Enough that Tek wanted to see how they’d do against hybrids, when they weren’t allied to hybrids.
Tek mag-clipped his Bramal-Maerson to his chest and drew the finest knife he’d ever had, a shiny microedge alloy that he’d only been able to get from Gyrfalcon Supply a few hours before the shuttles had been set out. What he really needed was a sword, not that cityfolk swords were likely sharp enough to cut AP drone limbs. The microedge, however, provided--he knew from marine instructions before he’d left the Gyrfalcon that there was a toggle on the side. Now understanding why the marines had stressed the feature, Tek suddenly had a meter long blade.
He rolled, hacked, missed. The AP drone trying to impale him stabbed, missed. Tek kicked at it, and the AP drone happily accepted the bait, stabbing him straight through the armored boot, its limb so thin there was barely any blood. Having successfully penetrated Tek’s foot, the drone’s limb projection wasn’t long enough to reach anything vital on the other side, even though it flopped madly.
Tek aimed carefully, then jabbed the microedge to the extension of his own arm’s range, and impaled the impaler’s core. It flopped limply, but another AP, which was coming off of Caran’s body, moved to engage, when--
--its core abruptly crinkled.
Tek saw Jane Lee’s cloud, and realized she had crushed the AP with one of her suit’s hands. It didn’t look like the AP drones could lock on to her.
Tek’s HUD pointed out dozens of AP drones still active through the smoke, and just as many Ba’am and even one marine who looked seconds from death.
Then there was a flash and all the APs fell over.
Lieutenant Jung stalked to the center of the room, a panel on the forearm part of his gauntlet open and flashing yellow lights. “Two good solutions to spikes,” he said, looking as self-satisfied as one could while wearing armor. “Retreat and blow them up from a distance, which is a bad idea when our rear fireteams have their own problems. Or hold for a bit and die until someone can get them all in range of an EMP. Guess which one we chose.”
Jung, marching forward for a reason, planted two microcharges on the outer bridge door. “Incidentally,” he added, flipping the EMP panel on his armor shut. “Many of you can see, or can’t, why it’s important not to use flashbangs willy-nilly. Depending on what piece of shit’s waiting for us on the other side of the whatever, it can cause us more visibility problems than them.”
Jung trod on a limp AP drone limb, as Tek pulled a different one out of his boot, and heard the not-so distant noise of the their boarding group’s rear fireteams engaging with unknown enemies.
“Now,” said Jung, switching for the first time to a broadcast setting that limited the lieutenant’s voice from the air, and reached Tek directly through Tek’s internal armor speakers. “Everyone who’s not dealing with our backscratchers, find cover against a wall or behind some of the dead robots. Put the grenade extensions away. They’re not as powerful as microcharges, but we do not want to be unnecessarily fucking with the bridge. Get your rifles trained on the future smoldering ruins on the door. It blows, and they’ll be another wave of AP drones in the space between the inner and outer doors, you can be damn sure of it, but I have a Lance Corporal ready with another EMP, and once that’s taken care of, a Private with the inner door’s lover microcharges. Then we’re going to have a firefight with whatever is on the bridge. Battleship bridge defense has a very specific layout.”
As Jung found cover, Tek realized that the first set of AP drones had been expected, and had been deliberately omitted from the blueprints overlay on his HUD. Tek had thought for a moment, when Jung had been speaking earlier, that when Tek’s rifle had failed to fire a single round on marine armor, that had just been part of a universal safety feature. That little bit of trust melted.
Tek looked to Waret of Yatt’, who was staring at Caran’s limp form with wide eyes just visible through the face of his helmet. Tek had protected his battle buddy, whether he’d consciously intended to or not, and it seemed Jane Lee had tried to protect Caran as well as Tek. The way she crushed AP drone’s hearts left a very specific impresion, and she’d managed to take out a total of three in the brief time the AP drones had been engaged head-on. All three were quite close to Caran’s body. Jane Lee still wasn’t decloaked, but Tek knew from the broad area that her ID tag covered that she was somewhere close by. Knowing that he had to crouch behind some metal debris, and hope Jung had the second round of AP drones covered, while Jane Lee was probably standing and ten times as untouchable, Tek had a sense of how Jane Lee must have felt in Tek’s jungle.
“One more thing,” said Jung gaudily on the internal broadcast, as the outer bridge door blew, an EMP flashed, AP drones collapsed, and Tek hoped to the spirits that all the noise the rear guard fireteams were making was actually suppressing enemies coming from behind. “I am now authorized to reveal LCDR Ketta’s plan for the Resilient. We can’t just place heavy detonators on the bridge and run. We are attempting a capture. Use the microcharges those scientists optimized to overwhelm the inner blast door, Private. Let’s see what’s waiting on the other side.”
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I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
submitted by ThisStoryNow to HFY [link] [comments]

2018.08.17 02:24 ThisStoryNow Rebels Can't Go Home - Chapter 34

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In the end, any crewperson who might have thought Tek had terrified Ba’am into abandoning his leadership was deluding themselves. The idea of ‘lords of the stars’ was close enough to the Ba’am idea of bad spirits that the more details Ba’am learned, the more comfortable most of the clan seemed to feel with the situation. Spaceships and healthcare and mechanized armor? Those sorts of things were beyond their experience. Strange creatures who lurked in the shadows, were intimately involved in the creation of Ba’am’s world, and tried to control the fate of every human in the universe? Such already existed in Ba’am myth and legend, side by side stories of heroes who slew demons. And who was Tek if not such a hero? Had he not overwhelmed Barder? Was he not the vessel of Aratan’s spirit?
Many of the crewmembers in the cafeteria seemed uncertain how much Ketta wanted them to share, which gave Tek even more flexibility in controlling the situation. In the end, much to the horror of any marine who wanted to see Tek’s comeuppance, Ba’am seemed in better spirits than ever, and many were talking excitedly about what proof of the supernatural might suggest about the afterlife or the existence of fate. The meal broke up not long after, with the marines politely directing Ba’am deeper into Portside Deck H, deflecting a few clanspeoples’ arguments about wanting a tour with words about the importance of mutually respecting privacy, and needing to get everything ready to evacuate the rest of Ba’am.
This was a transparent excuse at best--Tek thought that even the Ba’am children present in the cafeteria had to realize that the cruiser was far too large to be used in its majority for a project like pod refurbishment.
The implication, which seemed consistent enough with the way Ketta behaved for Tek not to be particularly surprised, was that Ba’am-in-space had essentially been imprisoned. In a starship wing much larger than any of Ba’am’s former camps, with plenty of hidden spaces to explore. This, combined with the superficial friendliness of the guards, and Tek’s example, was enough to keep Ba’am cheerful.
For a time.
In a few days, if nothing changed, or if more of Ba’am were herded in from the planet without being given anything to do, Tek imagined people like Nith would come to him with ideas and suggestions that would, if Tek humored his petitioners, culminate in an attempt to take over the ship.
Ketta had to know this, so Tek imagined that Ba’am would soon be put to work, or at least integrated better with the rest of the ship’s population. The crew delegates to Ba’am’s dining hall were proof Ketta understood the kind of outreach she’d need to make outsider-Ba’am integration succeed, even if she was moving along according to her own schedule. Maybe, starting tomorrow, she’d start picking out specific Ba’am to be apprenticed in various shipboard roles, Ba’am who perhaps her Assessment test suggested would be most amenable. That was what Tek would do in her role. What, by reshuffling Ba’am, he might have tried to do to the Rim’, if subclan bonds weren’t so tight. The ploy: Diluting opposing concentrations of power, while setting the most impressionable of those who might become enemies among the sort of role models you wanted them to have.
More troubling to Tek was that he doubted very much Ketta was making it up as she went along. A person like her had to see Ba’am as a security risk, and once Tek had helped reset the engines, she could have simply sent him and the rest of Ba’am right back down to the ground, maybe making up nonsense about something like a ‘probationary period.’ Or not bothering to give an explanation at all. Or, at the very least, she could have given some indication she’d be dragging her feet with porting the rest of Ba’am to the sky.
The easiest explanation was that Ketta needed Ba’am to replace the crewmembers who had died during the Gyrfalcon’s last battle. But when Jane Lee had mentioned the hundred crewmembers who’d perished, Tek hadn’t thought that number was such a large fraction of the outsider population as to truly make the outsiders dependent on Ba’am’s help for running the ship. For one, Jane Lee hadn’t exuded enough sense of emotional loss for Tek to think Jane Lee had endured a general massacre of her friends and colleagues. For two, the brute math, Tek had named a lot of potential casualties to Jane Lee, and she’d said only one had died.
Ketta didn’t need over a thousand members of Ba’am to fill a hundred roles. Yet she’d seemed eager to take Tek’s people. She hadn’t once hinted at the idea that the full clan would be spares, or a necessary burden to get use out of their best. She had a specific job in mind for the clan, one that might be revealed whenever she got around to the ‘campaign briefing’ she’d promised.
Tek, for his part, was not willing to wait. The most important moment in his life had probably been deciding, after Jane Lee had left his world, that it was best to go after her. This meant he’d put a lot of thought into what his life was like just before that moment, and after. Before, Tek had been aware of the appeal of the heavens, but had tied his own choices to the expectations and desires of the outsiders. After, there hadn’t been any guide to teach him what path to follow, so he’d made his own. His ideas about how to confront Grandfather in the room with the com spire had been painfully simplistic and dependent on trusting in outsider technology, and, in part because of that, things had gone...poorly.
(Tek, standing in the clean hall outside the cafeteria, surrounded by Ba’am who had taken mounds of food out of the autoprocessor to secrete in the various rooms they’d claimed as their own, choked on nothing but his own euphemism.)
In contrast, when embarking on missions to claw his way into the sky, he’d known there wouldn’t be anyone to save him or Sten if he failed, but he’d made it work.
The implication: If Tek wanted to fight his best against the Progenitors, so that his people could live among the stars in peace and security, he, at the very least, had to learn the tactical landscape of the solar system before Lieutenant Commander Ketta told him on her schedule, and he had to get early access to Ketta’s plans for Ba’am. That meant leaning on the one outsider who’d already shown a tendency towards telling him things he wasn’t supposed to know.
He wasn’t done with Jane Lee yet.
She’d clearly been taking her mission to engage in outreach with Ba’am more seriously than many of the other crewmembers who’d dined, and was still on the clan’s side of the half-open security gate where a dozen heavy armor marines loitered like polite prison wardens. Tek approached, which by itself gave Jane Lee’s Ba’am conversation partners the cue they should be somewhere else.
Tek judged the distance between him and Jane Lee, and the marines. “I would like to talk to you while we are truly alone,” he said. “With all the watchers and listeners on this ship, is that possible?”
But Jane Lee had already reached in a pocket to turn off her link. “I should be off duty until tomorrow morning,” she said. “Ketta’s surveillance state isn’t so impressive that we can’t find some privacy. Virtually your clan’s entire wing is wired, but that doesn’t mean she has nearly the personnel to actually be listening. And thanks to you, if she looks too closely at my records, I’m in trouble anyway. Let’s--”
They were interrupted as a marine walked down the hallway, then started calling out names that might have been presented on a HUD inside his visor. “Olah of Quon’,” he said. “Lat of Quon.’ Ierah of Yatt’.” Every name was one of the craftspeople Tek had made into semi-engineers, and these were some of his better ones.
It seemed Ketta wanted to get started integrating individual members of Ba’am into her work network faster than Tek expected. He was impressed. As the marine continued to list more names, word of mouth got those listed into the hall. Finally: “Tek of Zhadir’.”
Tek felt a chill. There had been a question about a third of the way through the Assessment asking what he called himself, and the link had been absolutely unwilling to move on without obtaining something called a surname. Tek, as much as he didn’t like to think about his nearly-extinct subclan, had decided to give the best possible answer. From the sound of the marine’s list, Ketta must have been able to extract his and other Ba’am’s subclan names from responses to the awkward prompt. Tek imagined he was on the list to receive, among other things, his lieutenant’s uniform, which would have been very flattering if he didn’t expect it to come alongside a lot of salute-style ceremonial engagement that would tell him nothing about Ketta’s plans for the Progenitors and Ba’am.
Ketta had said she be calling on Tek to bring more Ba’am to her ship prison very soon. If he didn’t learn the basics of her perspective and strategy before then, he might not be able to take full advantage of the opportunities that would come with briefly returning to the ground.
“Marine,” said Tek, not knowing the man’s name, and believing the ‘sir’ honorific he’d heard was inappropriate. Among reasons, being Ketta’s lieutenant meant he likely--technically--had a higher status than this man, even by the outsiders’ reckoning. “I’m keeping--” Tek realized he didn’t know Jane Lee’s title “--my comrade here as my guide, per the Lieutenant Commander’s request. Is there anything we need to know before we get going?”
Even through his helmet, Tek could see the man was startled, probably because Tek had been too fluid in speaking the outsiders’ dialect. Tek wondered if he should have held back the fruits of how carefully he’d been listening to the outsiders, to better fit the man’s stereotype of him being a savage.
After a pause, where Tek thought, through the marine’s visor, he could see the glow of the man shuffling through his HUD, the obstacle looked at Jane Lee. “You’re on the list for alternate personnel, Petty Officer Lee. You sure about a mistake in the file?”
“We’re just supposed to go as far as Deck G, right?”
“That is correct.”
Jane Lee’s eyes seized on Nith, who had also gotten on the list of Ba’am supposed to head off for special treatment. “I’ll take her off your hands too.”
“You have a specialty in Communications I don’t know about, Petty Officer?”
“Today it’s just the uniform and telling her she’s special, right? I can do that.”
The marine cocked his head, which might have been the equivalent to a frown. “If Roger doesn’t have a good reason for fucking up the assignment list so badly, I’m going to make him clean one of the halls under vacuum without his helmet. I’ll get someone from Supply to put the orientation materials at the G7 intersection.” He summoned Nith with a crook of a finger. “You get to be around a new boss and an old boss tonight. Lucky you.”
Tek, Jane Lee, and Nith headed past the gateway marines without incident.
“We can start talking here,” said Jane Lee, once they got in a lift. “The more different cameras we cycle past the better, actually. Makes it harder for anyone watching just video to figure out the full story.”
“Why Nith?”
“Why me?” Nith added.
“Because you,” said Jane Lee, the intensity of her swivel magnified by how small the lift was, “are a fucking security risk, and even if Tek made me not turn you in, you better be sure I’m not going to let you near any com equipment, no matter how slowly they’d intend on giving you access.”
“I have no interest in calling the Progenitors down on this ship,” said Nith. “Rim’ is here. And Ba’am. And you. Would you believe I actually like you?”
“Now I like you even more.”
Jane Lee harrumphed dangerously.
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I also have a fantasy web serial called Dynasty's Ghost, where a sheltered princess and an arrogant swordsman must escape the unraveling of an empire. If you like very short microfiction, you can try my Twitter @ThisStoryNow.
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2016.07.26 19:33 biker4487 RX 480 Review Aggregation

So, this is a bit late, but I figure this thread will be kept updated with reviews for the 3rd-party boards as they come out. Anyways, I noticed our friends over at /nvidia have a megathread for GTX 1060 reviews and that just struck me as super handy, so I decided to make my own, in that style, for the RX 480 over at /AMD. I don't know if the answer is to have this post stickied, but I think it might be a useful thing to have in the sidebar, or linked from the wiki, just SOMEWHERE that people could look when they're in the market for a new card. And upcoming cards like RX 460 and Vega chip would have their own threads. Anyways, if this kind of thread is something you'd like to see more of (or not), sound off in the comments and/or let the mods know.
Anyways, for more specifics on this thread, I'm basically just copying the format of the GTX 1060 megathread over at /nvidia and providing links to as many reviews as I can find. If there's another review you like (text OR video), link to it in the comments and I'll include it in the post.

Written Articles


Looking at the overall performance picture, averaged across all of our games, the RX 480 lands a couple of percent ahead of NVIDIA’s popular GTX 970, and similarly ahead of AMD’s own Radeon R9 390, which is consistent with our performance expectations based on AMD’s earlier hints. RX 480 can't touch GTX 1070, which is some 50% faster, but then it's 67% more expensive as well.
Wrapping things up then, today’s launch of the Radeon RX 480 puts AMD in a good position. They have the mainstream market to themselves, and RX 480 is a strong showing for their new Polaris architecture. AMD will have to fend off NVIDIA at some point, but for now they can sit back and enjoy another successful launch.

Ars Technica

AMD has always had the better value graphics cards at the low- to mid-range end of the market, particularly with recent parts like the R9 380X and R9 390. With the RX 480, AMD has not only killed off the GTX 960, but the far more expensive GTX 970, too.
But with Nvidia being ballsier than ever with its product releases—skipping not one but two product generations with the GTX 1070—it may dare to go further still. I just wish AMD had dared to go further with the RX 480, too.


BabelTechReviews - 16.7.2 Driver Performance

The RX 480 brings the 390 level of performance to a $239 video card with much less power draw than Hawaii/Grenada. AMD has met their goal to bring less expensive VR to their target audience. However, in the case of our sample, overclocking with the reference cooler leaves a lot left to be desired and we feel there is a lot of potential left untapped in this Polaris chip that we expect AMD’s partners will address with far more robust cooling. - German - 16.7.2 Driver Performance - German - PowerColor RX 480 Red Devil - RX 480 4GB vs. 8GB Review

The benchmarks speak for themselves, but what we haven't really talked about is the actual experience of using the RX 480. What it offers is exactly the kind of experience that we loved about the R9 390 and the GTX 970 - the ability to take the games we enjoyed on console and just get a much better experience playing them on PC.


eTeknix - Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 OC

To summarise, the RX 480 is arguably the best budget graphics card ever devised and revolutionises the kind of performance one can expect on a tight budget. The GPU is able to provide a superb VR experience and it could contribute to making VR equipment much cheaper in the next year or so. If you’re moving into the PC gaming stratosphere for the first time or want to make a safe investment, nothing will currently match the RX 480. When you consider the price and performance levels of previous budget hardware, AMD should be commended for adopting such an aggressive pricing strategy.

Gamers Nexus

Thermals aren't great with the reference cooler, and will prove to be a weak point of the RX 480. It's a similar story told by the Founders Edition cooler, and is the main reason to wait for AIB partner launches before making a decision.
Still, the RX 480 is not an exciting architecture. It's not a game-changing launch because products already exist at the price-point that accomplish similar objectives, but that's not to knock the 480: it's an improvement over existing, same-price products – just not one that amounts to tremendous fanfare. The RX 480 is a reasonable buy at $240. As of today – this instant – the 8GB RX 480 has become our recommendation for a sub-$300 video card.


I don’t want to give the impression that the card is mediocre, however. It’s far from it. It’s essentially a budget-priced card that’s able to perform as well as a mid-to-high range card, and that’s nothing to scoff at. It beat Nvidia’s GTX 970 in 13 of my 16 tests by an average margin of 13 percent, while costing roughly a third less. That’s impressive. Yes, it is about a third slower than the GTX 1070, which is an incredible deal from Nvidia in its own right, but it currently cost roughly half as much.
The RX 480 is an awesome card for 1080p that will be able to max out just about every game you throw at it. It will also let you go waist deep into the 1440p pool as well. Perhaps more important, however, is that it does a good job of bringing VR affordability to the masses. Its performance may not blow you away, but neither will its price tag.


It will be interesting to see how Nvidia is going to adapt to this rather brutal release, at this time we see prices for the GeForce GTX 970 dropping towards 284 EURO and yesterday all of the sudden that GeForce GTX 1060 photo appeared. Interesting times! Anyway let me wrap it up. Overall the Radeon RX 480 series will have that extra bite that the current high-end cards feel some comfort in. With a price difference of almost 30 bucks for the 4GB model, value for money wise this card is the way to go. The Radeon RX 480 is, overall, a little beast for Full HD and WQHD gaming combined with the better image quality settings, as well as for its features and aesthetics. As such, the Radeon RX 480 8GB (and 4GB) are true value products.


HardOCP - RX 480 CrossFire

If you have a 1080p screen, the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB has "Winner" written all over it. And with 1080p in mind, the 4GB will likely be great at 1080p too. We are unsure if we will see any benefit to a 8GB RX 480 at 1080p, but we will be testing that. If you have a 1440p screen or higher, we suggest you look at other GPU options.

Hardware Canucks

With the RX480 AMD has planted a massive flag right in NVIDIA’s backyard by effectively moving forward the performance yardsticks in today’s most popular segment. Whereas Radeon cards have historically been a bit weak below the $300 price point -typically acting as small scalpels to eat away at NVIDIA’s market share- this small unassuming card is a full sized blunderbuss which will undoubtedly be a raging success. And with good reason too. The RX480 is very fast (particularly in DX12), reasonably efficient and extremely well priced given the framerates it can achieve. AMD is assuring it will be broadly available from day one as well. It is in many ways a perfect budget-focused card for both current and future games.


RX 480 and its upcoming lieutenants, RX 470 and RX 460, puts AMD in a solid position as a provider of quality GPUs at affordable prices, and while these GPUs are not able to compete against the Pascal-powered GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 duo, they don't need to because they're priced so differently.
We'd like to see partner cards in the labs before passing final judgment. If they can increase the frequencies a notch or two and mute the strident tones of the reference model, hopefully near a £200 price point, AMD and its cohorts will find themselves back in the game, though the as-yet-unknown performance from the soon-to-be-released GTX 1060 may well muddy the waters once more.

Hot Hardware

Hot Hardware - 16.7.1 Driver Performance

Regardless, at this very moment in time, the AMD Radeon RX 480 is easily the best value in its price segment. The $239 Radeon RX 480 8GB card in particular offers performance just shy of the Radeon R9 390, but in a much lower power envelope, with support for more advanced features, and at a significantly lower cost. Versus the GeForce GTX 970, the comparison also favors AMD currently. The 8GB Radeon RX 480 has performance and price advantages over the GTX 970, with the added benefits of additional memory and better DirectX 12 support. If you’re looking for a graphics card in the $199 - $250 price range right now, the Radeon RX 480 should be quite attractive.

Kit Guru

Kit Guru - ASUS RX 480 Strix

Kit Guru - Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ OC 4GB & 8GB

The RX 480 earns our Worth Buying Award, I would have scored it higher, but the reference cooling system is very poor, and I advise our readers to wait on custom cooled cards from AMD partners before parting with the cash. I am confident with 2 and 3 fan cooling systems and heatsinks connected to high grade heatpipes that cooling proficiency will reap higher overclocks, minimise throttling and reduce noise emissions under load.

Lan OC

The RX 480 ends up being a great value card. With that, it also looks like it could offer even more value when you look at running them in Crossfire but I’m hoping to get another card in and test that out before commenting on it. What I do know though is that people who use to have to make performance sacrifices when building low budget PCs now have a great option that is going to get them great performance at 1080p, something that wasn’t possible in the past without diving into game settings and turning things down.

Legit Reviews

Legit Reviews - RX 480 Compatibility Mode Benchmarks

Legit Reviews - RX 480 Undervolting Performance

Legit Reviews - RX 480 4GB vs. 8GB

At the end of the day the AMD Radeon RX 480 is a nice looking card that has great gaming performance. The stock GPU cooler was designed on a tight budget and the performance and noise levels aren’t that great. The good news is that the board partners have told me their custom designed coolers are solid and they’ll have cards available at the suggested retail price unlike the what some other companies are doing right now.

PC World

PC World - Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480

PC World - 16.7.1 Driver Performance

AMD's first graphics card built around its cutting-edge Polaris GPU delivers big performance and better power efficiency for just $200.


Does AMD’s Radeon RX 480 live up to its enormous hype? Based on the current landscape: yes, without a doubt. We’re talking about a $200 GPU that can eat 1080p games for breakfast and deliver compelling 1440p experiences. Console what?


TechPowerup - RX 480 Crossfire

TechPowerup - ASUS RX 480 Strix OC

The real highlight of the Radeon RX 480 is its pricing, though. It starts as low as $199 for the 4 GB version, which also comes with slightly lower memory clocks. In this review, we tested the 8 GB version, which is priced at $239. These price tags have both cards claim the price/performance throne of all cards we've tested so far. Especially the 4 GB version seems really affordable; I seriously doubt the extra 4 GB on the 8GB variant will be able to provide an extra 20% performance to make up for the 20% increase in cost. So, AMD has successfully captured the market segment for 1080p cards with the RX 480. This effectively obsoletes all previous AMD cards except for Fiji maybe, which itself has been obsoleted by the GTX 1070. Everything faster is owned by NVIDIA's iron-grip on the high-end, where huge margins are possible.


Overall the Radeon RX 480 comes in at a really good value and the 4GB card has our attention already if it can remain close to the 8GB version at 1080p and 1440p performance. The 4GB model would have reduced the RX 480's cost per frame to just $3.63, assuming performance remains the same, making it considerably better than anything else available today.
It's hard not to like what AMD has accomplished here, as it ultimately benefits PC gamers with better performance and lower barriers to entry. We'd have been more impressed if the RX 480 was more efficient or a better overclocker. AMD is pushing the RX 480 for VR gaming, though we tend to think this is the bare minimum you will want to have, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the year to come.

Tom's Hardware

In the end, we get performance somewhere between a Radeon R9 290 and 390 at dramatically lower power and a $240 price tag. Compare that to GeForce GTX 970 with half as much memory for ~$280 and Radeon R9 390 8GB in the same neighborhood. Moreover, AMD says the 4GB version’s performance isn’t far off, and that card should start at $200. Expect the cost-conscious crowd to veer in that direction instead.


Tweaktown - RX 480 Crossfire

As it stands, AMD has now got the mainstream market in its grasp with the Radeon RX 480. At $199, it represents stellar value for money - with 1080p 60FPS gaming and VR goodness in its reach. 1440p gaming is actually great on the RX 480, too - and with some in-game detail adjustments - gaming at 2560x1440 at 60FPS average will not be a problem. 4K gaming isn't something I'd recommend on the Radeon RX 480 - but just wait a day or two for our CrossFire results, and that might change your mind.
In the end, the Radeon RX 480 is a damn good card, and for $199, AMD should be applauded for changing its direction. NVIDIA could lose some discrete GPU market share from AMD's new RX series cards if it can't hit the market with sub-$250 cards in the coming months. Remember that countless games are coming out in the next few months, and we're only 4-5 months from the massive holiday season of gaming where we should begin to see just how much the RX series impacts the market. Until then...

Video Reviews

Adored TV

Awesomesauce Network

Digital Foundry

Gamers Nexus

Hardware Canucks

Hardware Unboxed

Hardware Unboxed - RX 480 4GB vs. 8GB


MW Technology


Overclockers UK - Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+

Paul's Hardware


Tech of Tomorrow

TekTick - Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+

Disclaimer: This post is not an analysis or a debate. I included as many reviews as I could find, to help potential buyers make as informed a decision as possible. Feel free to discuss these reviews and their conclusions, just know that I'm not specifically endorsing any of the reviews or their conclusions.
As always, let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions, and let me know if you have any other articles or videos you think should be included.
Edit #1: Added TekTick video review of Sapphire 480 (courtesy of Brahminko)
Edit #2: Added PC World reviews of reference and Sapphire 480's. Added eTeknix reviews of reference and Sapphire 480's.
Edit #3: Added MW Technology and Hardware Unboxed review videos
Edit #4: Added KitGuru Sapphire 480 review
Edit #5: Added PowerColor Red Devil review
submitted by biker4487 to Amd [link] [comments]

2015.11.19 05:44 jatonreddit [11/18/2015] ARK Digest 22!

Hey Survivors!
Sorry about the delay in getting this Digest out - we’ve been incredibly occupied lately with preparing this week’s content update, as well as preparing for our imminent release of “ARK: Survival Evolved” on the Xbox One!

Alienware Modding Contest

It’s been quite a few months since we first announced the Alienware Modding Contest! The submission period, initial voting and judging period has now ended! Alienware will be announcing the top 10 from the contest tomorrow, so be on the lookout and good luck to everyone who makes it!

Community Crunch Contests

Be sure to check out our two-weekly running contests! ARKitect and ARKArt where we check out the best bases and the best pieces of art in the game! If you’d like to submit your base or something you’ve created in the game, you can check out the entries thread here which will fill you in on all the rules too!
Community Crunch Contest Submissions -

Dino Dossier
A new Dino Dossier has been revealed, this one is everyone’s favorite gargantuan beast of the waters, the Leedsichthys!

Common Name: Leedsichthys

Species: Leedsichthys Conviviumbrosia

Time: Mid-Jurassic

Diet: Piscivore

Temperament: Defensive


Leedsichthys Conviviumbrosia is probably the largest fish in the waters around the island. Its meant is also extremely succulent, a surprise given its size. It is often traded with the same value as Prime Meat, and colloquially called ‘Prime Fish’. Of course, not all of Leedsichthys’ meat is this high quality but most of it is!
While the demand for Leedsichthys meat is high, the fish is notoriously difficult to track and hunt. Between its large size, powerful attacks, incredible speed (when it turns to flee), and humankind’s general ineptitude on open water, actually killing a Leedsichthys is one of the island’s more difficult tasks. The hunt for an extremely elusive breed of the fish, the fabled ‘Great Albino’ Leedsichthys has been known to drive otherwise-sensible men and women mad with obsession, as if all evil were visibly personified and made practically assailable in this one creature.


Despite its large size, and the fact that it may well be strong enough to carry heavy loads, Leedsichthys does not appear to be intelligent enough to tame. Nevertheless, some large tribes keep an enormous pen with a few Leedsichthys trapped inside for cultivating purposes, as bits of prime fish can be repeatedly scraped off the gargantuan beast without killing it.

ARK Digest Q&A

Survivor, Manks asks, “Hello Devs, in a previous Ark Digest you mentioned a new way to get high tier blueprints, would you be able to give anymore information on that?”

Bosses with scalability difficulty! So the tougher boss you summon, the better gear you’ll be able to get :).

Survivor, CautiousCreeper asks, “Could you make it so we can press "E" to rotate more structures like elevator rails, ceilings etc?”

Sure, we’ll work on getting this setup.

Survivor, Neoris asks, “When are you going to add an industrial version of the cooking pot? Right now is really tedious to make 100+ kibbles. Pls we need this !!”

Yes, the Industrial Oven will be released next week just in time for your Thanksgiving Roast!

Survivor, eagle_1980 asks, “Can we get a preview on the Tek structures and what sort of mats would be involved and when will these be out?”

Teleporters. Shield Generators. Cloaking Devices. Plasma Rifles. Making heavy use of a new end-game resource called “Element”. An initial set of these will be releasing before the end of this year. Will that do? ;)

Survivor, Demitry asks, “Hello devs any ETA on when the water cave and bigger ocean will be coming?”

Early 2016 -- our priority at the moment is Snow/Swamp/Tek caves and Boss Arenas. But we will get to it!

Survivor, Martin Cinemax III asks, “Any chance we'll see a "Claim" option for structures belonging to dead players/tribes in Hardcore?”

Not likely specifically, as that would provide too much incentive to PvP.

Survivor, bubblywums asks, “What is the progress on water dino/amphibian/arachnid breeding? :)”

Working on it ;)

Survivor, Reubatina11 asks, “Can you tell us more about the upcoming Turkey Terror event? Will the tameable DodoRex be smaller and less powerful than the one in Fear Evolved?”

It’ll involve vicious Turkeys, and lots of them.

Survivor, JasonB asks, “When will creature AI get worked on and what do you hope to achieve from better AI?”

It’s undergoing a refactoring that will be deployed in December. Local-area navigation and sensory perception are the too main areas getting attention at the moment, along with more specialized abilities for the launch creatures.

Survivor, Dinogirl4Ever asks, “Could we get a perch for animals like dimorphodon and mesopithicus. I would love to store them properly instead of throwing them all around the room.”

Yes, that’s a cool idea and we will do it.

Survivor, warlordm59 also asks, “Can you make it where bats can land? and maybe even under ceilings:)?”

Yeah, we’re going to add the capability for bats to “hang”.

Survivor, Giveaway412 asks, “Were there any creatures planned for Ark that didn't make the final cut?”

Tame-able humans. ;)

Survivor, Erebuss asks, “Could we get the ability on PVE servers to demo old rafts? There are literally a hundred abandoned rafts all around.”

Yep, v234 will have the option to “Demolish” Rafts that you own, or that are claimable (so after the Claiming time period makes them available).

Survivor, Tyrannogon asks, “What kinds of creatures will be found in the snow biome's cave?”


Survivor, RadioActiveMan asks, “When the DodoRex returns, will we have larger time windows to experiment on this abomination of nature? The few times our server was able to locate him, he always despawned before we completed any experiments; even when we were actively engaged in pacifying him.”

Yes, next time he’ll stick around for an entire day.

Survivor, The Minted Lady asks, “Will you please add a game.ini option to enable wild dino damage on the spiked walls? They are so beautiful, I hate to have them go to waste on my casual PvE server. Right now there's no point to setting them up.”

Sure, we’ll do this in v234.

Survivor, Kimsie asks, “Is it your intention that we breeders keep track of each of our breeding animals' natural stats (the ones passed on to the offspring) or is this something we might be able to look up, say in the family tree you've announced? I'd love to do some pedigree breeding”

That’s the plan in the longer-term. For now, you might want to make your own family tree ;)

Survivor, SquidPublicArkAdmin asks, “Can you change the class of the "storage" in the StructureDecay system to match the longest timer i.e. metal tier- it's a bit silly if a player comes back from a week's holiday to find their metal base standing but all storage boxes / mortars etc demolished if the server is using the AutoStructureDestroy feature. It shouldn't make a difference as if a thatch / wood building auto destroyed the storage will automatically destroy when the foundation support is removed (apart from vaults of course”

Good point, we’ll do it for v234.

Survivor, Kabub asks, “will sl1pg8r get the sl1pg8r award?”

That will be up to sl1pg8r ;)

Survivor, Seghs asks, “Do you think there will every be trophies from other creatures besides the rex etc? I'd love a pair of Megaloceros antlers hanging on my wall”

Yes, there will be plenty more mountable Trophies incoming.

Survivor, Garick asks, “Tribe admin logs: Please elaborate on how this functions”

You’ll find out first-hand when v234 launches soon :)

Survivor, Valoule asks, “Can we have one option for maximum building height cap ? I want to construct Very big building but i can't ;'(“

It’s there for technical reasons at the moment, but we’ll look into providing an option to expand it.

Survivor, ImpureFrost asks, “Will we see more options with the implants in the future?”

Yeah, they play an important part in the upcoming Ascension game-loop.

Survivor, HelenTheHero asks, “With baby, juvenile, and adolescent kaiurukus in-game, will we see something similar for other dinos? It would be great to see baby dodos wandering around. :D”

Yes the intent is to have juveniles of many species out in the wild soon.

Survivor, BruceTheShark asks, “After just equipping my Paracer with a Catapult, I got to thinking... Wouldn't it be great if I could fling giant balls of feces at others? Any chance that will become a thing? :P”


Survivor, [MAD]Jelly asks, “Please please please add a colour blind filter or change the colour of the compass since my directionally challenged partly red/green colourblind partner cannot find his way around the game, so a colour filter on the game or just changing the tip of the compass from a red to a blue or white would really help him”

Done, in v234!

Survivor, CraigChappy asks, “So I see your new Troodon will be tameable by letting it hunt dodos. But only dodos? Maybe.... prisoners? ;)”

Dodos was the example used in the Dossier, but it’ll hunt anything it thinks it can take on, including humans. Especially humans.

Survivor, Warcrime asks, “Can we get leashes or hitching posts so that we would be able to keep a dino in place even when someone accidentally hits the "call all" key?”

That’s a pretty neat idea, especially if it was integrated into the concept of tethering even during aggressive state (so that you could have a mean aggressive guard dog that would only be able to travel so far from the hitching post). Will be looking into this in the near future.

Survivor, ASLAN the jesus lion asks, “Will all the dossiers eventually be added to the game or is the unreleased section just a place to brainstorm.”

All Officially released ARK Dossiers are confirmed creatures that will be added to the game!

Survivor, dylan asks, “I will ask every digest... Will we have cannons that can launch doedis?”

Sounds like a good idea for a Mod :P

Survivor, Neizen Senpai asks, “Can you add submarine loot crates (illuminated treasure chest)? (yellow lvl 45, red lvl 60, orange lvl 75 and black light lvl 90)”

Yeah, we definitely will.

Survivor, Navi asks, “The angler gel is so great! You should see the trail of lights I've got up :D will we be seeing more colors for these?”

Indeed the plan is to make the colors randomized soon based on the color of the Angler itself.

Survivor, thekingcatfish asks, “We're had multiple dossiers hinting that fish are going to be a separate food source from meat/prime meat. (Kairuku/Baryonx/Icthyronis etc.), and today's dossier (the Leedsicthys) pretty much confirms that notion. When can we expect this to happen?”

In December with the introduction of Ichthyornis!
That’s it for this version of the ARK Digest! Thanks for tuning in and for your continued support everyone!
All the best,
Wildcard Jat & The ARK Survival Evolved Team!
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