Page 89 of 139

Bring the Paine (part VII)

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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

That’s not supposed to happen. He’s got the brains of an animal I was told when I took this assignment. He didn’t think like a human when he went into this state, that’s what I heard, and I know I heard right since I was listening intently. So what the hell?

It hits me only a moment later, but thankfully it doesn’t come with a sudden strike or blow that might end the story for me. Instead I realize that even a dumb animal can learn how to avoid danger when they sense it, and since this kid is still human part of him must still recognize the danger that certain objects can bring. He’s not as dumb as I was led to believe obviously, and that makes this game just a little more dangerous, as well as unpredictable. Now I really have to think about how I’m going to put my next few plans into motion.

The first thing I want to do is make sure that the little shit isn’t hanging on to the railing just to mess with me. So thinking I peer over the railing, gun still drawn and ready to pump a few shots into my adversary if I need to. A quick look however tells me that he’s not, and the blood trail I see on the deck indicates that he’s entered the lower level and is probably-

Yep. Just as I turn around I hear the snarl of anger as I spin and fire off several rounds before he tries to grab for the gun in my hand. The kid is just too fast somehow and not a single shot finds its mark, not even from less than ten feet as he closes the distance, lashing out as I manage to move aside just in time to avoid his raking fingernails and deliver a painful kick to right knee as I hear the thing crack and buckle. That’s a small victory, but it comes with an instant cost.

Be it adrenaline or whatever is racing through his veins the kid finds the strength to straighten that knee for just a split second and lash out in turn, and the fist he clubs me with leaves me seeing stars for a moment. I’ve been hit a few times in my life, first by a boyfriend in junior high that didn’t realize I’d learned how to hurt people in grade school, and most recently by a commanding officer that had decided I was an easy piece of meat to intimidate during basic training. They’d both been taught very quickly that I don’t suffer idiots that see my slight frame as weak, and both of them had been sent to the hospital soon after.

Of course in the case of the latter I was just about kicked out of the Army for striking a commanding officer, but had been welcomed back when the trial had been over. It was more than a little controversial thanks to the circumstances, but I ignored the stares, the whispers, and the added pressure that came from the incident until being discharged from the Army nearly six years later. I was still in my mid to late twenties at that point and had been skilled enough to sign on with a band of mercs that had been very hush-hush about their operations.

But back to it, right? Those individuals that had seen me as weak had paid the price since I can hit a lot harder than you think. But this kid made those that had struck me in the past look like weak little bitches. His knuckles felt like stone and the force behind them was enough to send me staggering into the nearest solid surface. The glass doorway leading in front the deck cracked and almost shattered as I fell into it, but it didn’t give way.

You might find this funny or not, but I actually pride myself on not passing out at that moment.

(to be continued)

My Books (The Sanu’te Chronicles)

This series contains the tale of a young female knight (keep in mind it’s fantasy) and the personal war she wages against her former order, who after having betrayed her now seek her demise. As she roams the countryside seeking her revenge she begins to unveil the real reason that she was brought into the order in the first place, and comes across a very stunning revelation that could end up having ramifications for all those involved.

What’s a “Real” Gamer?

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Anyone remember when being a gamer meant that you knew Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda inside and out? Gamers are the kind of people that will memorize a map on a video game and will play just about anything so long as it’s interesting, engaging, and keeps their attention for more than a few seconds. There’s an argument of over what constitutes a real gamer and what what marks a person as a poser, but in truth it’s kind of like the difference between fans and fanboys, it’s the level of obsession the gamer takes it to.

Games are insanely fun these days, as you can be playing with a person halfway across the world on the same game and never have to meet them in real life. The games are ridiculously complicated at times but if you can figure out the basic functions you can usually go from there and make it work. The rest you can figure out as you go. Cheat guides are for wussies more often than not as hardcore gamers will tend to spend hours and hours figuring out the game on their own, traversing the hidden tunnels, the unseen chambers, and discovering secrets about the game, sometimes by accident, as they stay glued to the couch, their chair, or wherever they’re sitting as the glow of the TV set or monitor paints their face with the many vivid colors given off by the game.

Real gamers aren’t foolish however, they will eventually get up.

The body does have needs after all and unless you’re a certified crazy person that has no sense of self-respect any and all gamers will have to take bathroom breaks, eventually take a shower, recharge their batteries, grab something to eat, and in other words take their eyes off of the game for a little while. Real gamers won’t sacrifice their own personal health unless they’re that hooked on the game, and even then they’ll listen to their bodies more often that not. No one wants to wet themselves or worse while playing a game after all, unless you’re just that invested, which makes a person a fanboy, and a disgusting one at that.

Gamers aren’t fools, they’re a bit obsessive at times if they find the right game, but they’re grounded just enough in the real world that they know when to call the game and go handle their responsibilities. It’s a new world that we live in and gamers are those that know the ins and outs of the virtual world in ways that a lot of us born in the 70s to 80s might never fully understand. But it’s an interesting world all the same and when you really look at it, the world runs on technology at this point, both in and out.

So long as a person realizes when to unplug for a little while there’s really no harm in being a gamer.

The Little Things (part VI)

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(continued)

Anacortes, WA

December 4th, 2018

Looking down on her brother as he was sleeping she felt the words she’d spoken yesterday warring with the darker desires she held back most days. No, she was never mad at her brother, but she was plenty mad at a lot of other people. Her parents for starters, for leaving them when they needed someone the most. She was mad at Clinton a lot right now since he didn’t do much of anything except use their apartment as a place to crash and tried to get in her pants when he was drunk. But she wasn’t even really mad at Todd to be honest.

But she was never mad at Linus. She knew that she’d done a couple of things that werent’ right, she’d lobbed a shoe at him to get him to stop looking at her while she was going to the bathroom once or twice, but that couldn’t be helped. Linus wasn’t a pervert, but when he wanted something and she was indisposed he had a habit of just hanging around until he got your attention. Both times she’d tossed a shoe at him it had never been hard, but it had hurt his feelings, and she’d felt like dirt the moment after.

But she couldn’t bring herself to blame him for much of anything in this world. He looked so peaceful when he was sleeping, as though nothing in the world bothered him any longer, and he could rest easy knowing that no one was going to call him names or torment him in any way. He was damaged in a way that couldn’t be fixed, but he was still her brother, and she’d refused to have him put into a home. The biggest reason was that while he was soft in the head, so to speak, he could still function as a human being, meaning he could help her around the house, help her go grocery shopping, could make some of his own decisions, and could also be counted on to stay put when she went to work.

That’s what confused her about why he’d been outside. Todd had tried to explain, and a part of her had wanted to listen, but she’d been more concerned with Linus at that moment, and the fact that Todd had stuck his nose in her business. Of course, it didn’t help that Clinton had called her brother a retard, or had gone after Todd as she’d seen from a distance. It was just, well, she didn’t want it to be known that she absolutely needed someone to come to her rescue. She didn’t want to be seen as weak, especially when she’d been able to handle Clinton on her own for so long.

Leaving her brother’s room she heaved a silent sigh. Maybe it was time for things to change. As she rubbed her hands together however she suddenly realized that something obviously had.

(to be continued)

Bring the Paine (part VI)

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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

Taking the time to reload my crossbow isn’t an option since I already hear him making his way to the stairs, maybe thinking to take me from another direction. From what I read on this kid he’s not all that smart when he’s like this, but even a dumb animal can be smart enough at times to outwit a human being. I just didn’t expect it, and that’s my failing.

Instead of waiting around for him though I’m already up on the couch and leaping over the windscreen that will send me sliding down to the next deck. Thankfully the deck below juts out enough that I won’t go sailing off to land hard on the main deck. That would hurt, and possibly break my legs, ankles, or something else.

As I see the kid suddenly emerge on the deck however, right below me no less, my landing is the least of my worries. When I say ‘kid’ I mean adolescent, this guy can’t be more than fifteen or sixteen years of age. But in this current state, with his eyes wild and bloodshot and his teeth bared in a feral snarl, he looks more like a wild man that’s been living in the bushes for years than a kid that’s been experimented on by the US government.

The problem takes me a second to assess, but by that time I’m almost in his arms, where only death would await a few seconds later. There’s blood in his mouth and all over his face from the crossbow bolt, which I note has been ripped out, leaving a large hole in his face. That gives me an idea and in the split second between getting the idea and almost running into the kid I find myself glad that I didn’t toss my crossbow or leave it behind. I huck the thing at the kid and it hits right where I want it, kind of. The whole thing twists as I let it go and the entire body of the crossbow slams into his face, knocking him back and almost over the next railing as I land hard and roll, feeling the impact in my knees as I’m up and reaching for one of my pistols as he snarls at me, throwing the crossbow over the railing as he sees that I’m armed.

And then he does something that has me floored. He jumps the railing and is over the edge and out of sight before I can even take aim.

What the hell?

(to be continued)

Minimum Wage Issues

"Oh I'm willing to take a minimum wage job. I'm just not willing to work at one."

The minimum wage issue is not going away anytime soon, and there’s a reason for it. People want to get paid enough to live on, but unfortunately some of them want to be paid for doing jobs that are typically the type that are not paid all that much since they aren’t considered skilled labor. There are jobs that should be paid more simply because they’re far more important, the skills that one needs to possess are harder to develop, and because they impact society on a much deeper level.

Should writers be paid a minimum wage? No, not really, in fact it would be one of the most pointless things you could think about. While writing is included in many different parts of our society and throughout various cultures it’s still not seen as something that deserves the kind of pay that some folks think is going to come their way when they step into it. But as far as other jobs go, let’s take a look.

Food and Hospitality

Sure, any job in this industry is going to be a bit tough going in as serving people in any capacity is difficult. You have to deal with rude customers, you have to learn how to prep, cook, clean, follow state and federal regulations, and in short you have to do just about anything and everything for your guest/customer that you can in order to earn that paycheck.

Unless you’re thinking of making this a career however, and some people do, then you should be thinking that it’s not going to be a job that will make you a great deal of money. Minimum wage changes from state to state, but in jobs such as this people are typically loathe to pay workers much more for several reasons, some of which include that working in the food industry is not always considered skilled labor. Yes, chefs, managers, owners, supervisors, and anyone that sits in the top tiers of the business will earn a better living, largely because they generally have an education and have put in the time to earn it.

Just coming into the job doesn’t mean you’ve earned $10-$15 an hour. Living expenses might be hard to meet, but keep in mind that a lot of restaurant jobs that are entry-level or lower than manager are fairly simple jobs when compared to running the place. Having worked at many a restaurant and hotel in the past I can attest that the pay is horrible, but the job duties, while numerous, are quite simple and not as complicated.

Education is key.

I get it, a lot of people didn’t go to college, couldn’t afford to go to college, and for some reason didn’t think that their education was a workable deal. Unfortunately, this is the product of it, not being able to employ any marketable skills when it comes time to find a job. The argument that one has kids and so many other responsibilities to take care of is invalid largely because there are numerous programs, scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid available in the world today that might incur a debt but at the very least can allow a person to gain the necessary skills they will need to market themselves as a valuable individual to an employer and possibly find something above minimum wage.

There’s no real argument against education at this point, as even the most basic, rudimentary form of education can elevate a person and make them worth a lot more than minimum wage.

There’s a big risk that the increase of minimum wage would increase the cost of consumer goods.

It makes a lot of sense to think that if wages go up then the equilibrium of the business is going to demand that the prices go up. In essence the workers will be fine, they’ll be making more money, but eventually that wage increase will take its toll on their patrons and there’s a good bet that people will cease coming to their establishment after a while as the prices will be too much for even a single person, let alone a family.

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It’s frustrating since a lot of people would love to pay people enough to pay their monthly expenses and be able to save, but paying exorbitant wages for consumer items that can essentially be done without seems a bit much. There are plenty of ways this could happen if more funds were allocated in a sensible manner towards the economy, but at this point it doesn’t seem as though the people running our government understand just how hard it is to survive on a seemingly non-existent budget that is continually eaten away by bills and living expenses.

But raising the minimum wage is a tricky thing that can’t be rushed into without knowing the ups and downs that are to come.

Woman Bodyslams Man in Restaurant

As the father of three daughters this struck me as funny and I just had to share in case anyone missed it. The clip stands as one of those that might be added into an Instant Karma mashup showing just how a person that isn’t thinking at that moment might finally realize that they can’t just do what they want and get away with it.

As you can see in the video the guy walking by thought he was going to be slick and just cop a feel while moving on and the waitress might not do anything about it. He got a rather big wakeup call when the woman, who was shorter and slimmer than he was, suddenly tossed him to the ground without hesitation or much trouble it seems.

Guys, women are not as weak as you might like to think at times.

This this absolute truth. It’s not just because they have the capacity to have babies that they’re tough, it’s because guys seem to think that some women wouldn’t be able to give them a problem if they tried. That’s so far and away from the truth that it’s laughable. If, as a man, you’ve ever been socked in the face, kicked, or injured in any way by a woman, other than a shot to the groin, then you’ll know that some women do in fact have the ability to hurt a man no matter how big he is. This woman reached up and manhandled this guy like he was a featherweight, and didn’t worry all that much about as she took him to the ground and gave him a piece of her mind.

Women aren’t meant to be groped at a man’s pleasure.

If there’s anything that my wife and I will teach our daughter it’s that a woman’s body is not just a man’s plaything. It might come from having daughters but in truth it’s only been strengthened by it since no man, EVER, has a right to simply touch a woman when it’s not wanted. This means EVER. A woman should have all the reason in the world to expect that she’ll get through the day without being subjected to leering looks, unwanted attention, and obviously no jerks that think that they can just reach out and take a quick feel.

The hope for my daughters is that they’ll do the same thing this woman did without hesitation, as words won’t be enough in such a situation. Ever seen a guy getting dressed down by a woman that decides to just shout and rail at him? A lot of jerks laugh and display an attitude that says ‘whatever’. You can get the feeling that this guy wasn’t thinking that when his butt hit the floor.

Think about this clip the next time you feel like copping a feel or pulling any kind of similar prank that a woman might not like. You could find yourself on the floor quicker than you can say “I’m sorry”. And you’ll have earned every butt-bruising moment of it.

As for the waitress, that was simply awesome to watch.

Banning Books

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Banning books is not a new practice and in fact it’s been happening for centuries. Unfortunately the idea of banning any book, however distasteful or wise it might seem, is akin to telling people that it’s not okay to take up or even inquire about the state of mind that the author might have been in when the book was written. It’s also censorship on a level that makes absolutely no sense considering that a book is an idea, a story, something that can be picked up or ignored at the whim of the reader. Those with fragile psyches that pick up books that make sense to them and help lead them down a path that is anything but healthy are often used as an excuse for people to ban certain books, while other times it is seen that people simply don’t like the ideas, content, or use of certain words or themes in a book.

Yet no one ever seems to think about the very simple fact that you don’t have to pick the book up or even crack open the first page.

Book banning is, in many ways, quite childish.

Think about it from a different perspective other than the one you know. Books are ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that are felt by other people. They are the manner in which that person sees the world and the perspective from which they decide to speak. No one is saying they’re right or wrong, and certainly no one has the right to state that others shouldn’t have the chance to choose for themselves just which ideas are worth reading and which aren’t. By banning a book the idea seems to be that the ideas are dangerous and shouldn’t be shared with the world, but in truth it is denying that the perspective another has any worth simply based on the fact that someone doesn’t want to acknowledge that they might have a point.

In other words it’s a classic “you’re not right I am” kind of moment, and is extremely childish.

Banning books can unfortunately lead to stagnation in a society.

Books are ideas, this cannot be denied. Books, be they fiction or reality, are the words and thoughts of generations both past and present that help to shape the world in one way or another and are valuable in that they lay the groundwork, for good or ill, as to how the future will take shape. Without books and the various ideas they bring forth and the change they can enact society tends to stagnate and go about it’s business as usual.

The ideas and the amount of change that can be brought about by different ideas and thought patterns isn’t always perfect, but the idea of change is what keeps the world moving forward.

The reason that certain books get banned is hard to fathom.

Racism, propaganda, improper images, and all other reasons seem to be why some books get banned, and yet people still don’t seem to get the point. YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ THE BOOK. But his doesn’t give you the right to ban the book from others and deny them the chance to read it and make up their own minds. Ideas are and aren’t like diseases, they do spread, but the free-thinking individual has a choice when it comes to believing the idea or simply seeing it as another in a long list of ideas that they don’t ascribe to. By denying someone the right to a book you only make that interest grow and grow and by the time they read the book the chances that they’re going to accept the idea are a lot better than they might have been if they’d simply had access to it.

That, or they’ll look at the person that banned the book and think they’re a complete and utter moron.

Banning books doesn’t work when it comes to sharing and exploring new ideas within a society. It’s a very churlish and immature way to deny people access to the thoughts, ideas, and designs of others that could possibly open their minds just a little more and allow them to make their own decisions when it comes to what they’ll accept in their lives.

After all, a lot of folks don’t care for others telling them what they can and can’t have. Books should never be a part of that equation.

Bring the Paine (part V)

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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

I’m going to run out of boat to run through eventually, I know that, but as I come up from behind the couch, pushing cushions aside, I can still hear him roaring from downstairs. Thankfully his hearing isn’t his strongest sense or otherwise this game would be done a lot quicker. Of course now that his eyes are burning and his nostrils are in about the same state it can be assumed that tracking me will be a lot more difficult. But he’ll be combing the boat as much as he can, no doubt hoping for the effect to wear off eventually.

Mace basically blinds a person and, if it’s taken to an extreme, can even kill them if they have any respiratory problems since it tends to constrict the airways. Your body is a lot wiser then you give it credit for since when something threatens it from the outside it will do its damndest to make sure that nothing else is getting in to cause any further damage.

But as I’ve already said this kid is tough, so the 20 to 90 minutes that the effect is supposed to last will probably on be like 30 minutes, max, before his heightened abilities start pushing through the effects of the spray. That means I’ve got to make every minute count if I’m going to survive. So thinking I keep my ears open as I take my crossbow off my back and fit a bolt to the bow, drawing it back until I hear that satisfying click. The yelling from downstairs is already starting to dim, but hopefully I still have enough time to-

– a couch cushion just hit me in the back. I know what it means immediately as I whirl and fire,seeing only his arms and face for a moment as I see the feral look he’s giving me. He’s smiling as though he’s caught on to a great secret, and in truth he kind of has since I had no idea that he would recover this fast, or find my point of egress from the middle deck. My heart’s pumping wildly now as my bolt flies, sinking home into the kid’s left cheek as he falls away howling, the bolt burying itself up to the fletchings as the thumps and bangs that accompany him down the shaft are quite loud.

Unfortunately I’m now at a loss. How in the hell did he figure out the secret passage?

(to be continued)