I insulted a lady on accident early this morning...
A friend and I were at the casino derping around, as we were leaving I heard an older lady say a classic gambling slogan"win big!" without hesitation (and because I like the doucheyness of the saying) I repeated it in an insulting manner.. She and her girl who is her friend proceeded to chase us both through the parking lot until we made it to the bravada. It was a complete misunderstanding. I simply enjoy saying tacky casino slogans whilst at the casino. Anything like this happen to you lately ask?
@AFP: Statues at Caesar's Palace fenced off, the Venetian hotel's gondolas empty, the New York-New York casino rollercoaster halted In the absence of bustling crowds the slogan "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" feels very redundant https://t.co/rhniqvbghl https://t.co/OCy1yJJEAj
Chae’Sol stood at the centre of a large command deck, meticulously peeling the protective film from his new captain’s chair. The sensation of the slow but steady yielding of the film, the sweeping line following the contours of the seat in flowing curves; it was incredibly satisfying. Finally, with one last gentle pull, the last of his chair was uncovered and he stood back to admire his throne. Aside from the freshness of the seating itself, there were shiny new holo displays, touch sensors, and comms relays that were within easy reach of his seated fingertips. This ship would be the jewel in any fleet, a prototype Dreadnought made by the infamous Bardul of Shi’an. The Gowe Military faction had run into financial problems, and it had been left unpaid and unclaimed. What sorcery Kadir had used to find it, and purchase it, he did not know. His comms unit beeped and Danyd’s voice came through. “Chae’S-” -He grumbled incoherently- “Captain, we’re ready to get underway.” The Niham turned and sat back on his pristine chair, swinging his long legs over the armrest. “That was quick, Chief Engineer Ef’Yto” Danyd grunted at the use of his title. “Aye, these Awakened are efficient bastards.” The Satryn looked around at the enormous engineering bay. The entirety of the Porkchop Express could comfortably sit inside, and two of them could likely squeeze in. “Plus, this thing has never been used; feels weird not having anything to work on. It’s state of the art, and I’m having to read the manuals on half the new systems.” Chae’Sol laughed, looking around at the Awakened as they were preparing their workstations. “Yeah, this command deck is a little intimidating. Even the Niham Armada didn’t have ships like this. There are fifteen weapons stations here, what in Tulseria’s name were the Gowe planning to do with this thing?” “No idea.” The chief engineer walked to the large seat in front of his new work terminal, and hopped up onto it. The protective covering squeaked. “This thing has more firepower than half their fleet, it must have been something big. We’re lucky Kadir found out about the graveyard of unclaimed ships from one of his contacts.” The newly-minted captain swung his legs down and sat up, straightening his black uniform and white collar. “That’s another thing: how does he have so many contacts? I was in the Tulseria-damned military, and I had no idea they would sell us fighters and weapons.” “I know the feeling.” Danyd watched a junior engineer – Lily, an Awakened who wore a headband in her silver hair that sported long Kittran ears on it – begin running diagnostics on the Hoban Field Generator. “I'm aware he got the automated weapons for the system port from my people, somehow. As for how he accomplishes all he does, I think his time working with that fancy Anatidae councillor opened more than a couple of doors for him.” Chae’Sol stood, running his fingers through his perfect hair. “Doors, windows, rear entrances and damned secret portals, all leading to a dark realm of shady deals and supplies. We have an Imperium Capital Ship for Tulseria’s sake! Nobody knows where he got it, or where he’s now hidden it.” He looked at his holo display, noting the specks springing blinking into existence as the other ships of Federation origin came to life. “Let’s just be glad he’s on our side.” The chief engineer tugged at the green collar to his uniform. “Our side used to be a damn sight smaller.” Lily had finished her diagnostic tests and sent the results to his console. Her report included an adjustment that would create a potential three percent increase in crystal efficiency, and a small drawing of a smiling leokit with a crim-bar. He groaned, then reported back with, “We’re ready to go when you are.” The Niham strode confidently across the command deck, stopping to stand in front of the huge vid screen at the front of the room. All around him were his crew, made up mostly from the Ashi, Awakened, and Kasurians. “Let’s get this show started.”
Jaym sat with a bowl of Tony the leokas cereal in front of her. It wasn't just a catchy advertising slogan - it really was great. She and Elizabeth had worked together so much in the engineering section of the Porkchop Express that they had become close, often spending their free time together. Indeed, Elizabeth currently sat opposite her, carefully rebuilding a power coupling and occasionally tapping at her datapad. Shortly after the results of her most recent tap played out, Elizabeth paused her work on the power coupling. Without speaking, she held up her datapad so that Jaym could see. On the screen was Tony and his mate Jolie, and Skeena’s voice could be heard excitedly talking about collecting urine samples from the female. Jaym screwed up her face at first until Skeena announced the pregnancy test was positive. Tony was going to be a father! She couldn't contain her joy and screamed loudly, grabbing the screen and running all the way to the bridge to show the others. Ranjaz was stretched out across the captain’s chair as Jaym burst in, and didn’t open his eyes until she began shaking his leg. Even then he didn’t pay much attention. “I told you not to let Elizabeth play with any more systems till after the mission.” She blushed slightly, as their last improvement had inverted their water treatment system and blown six power couplings. "It's not that!" she said, holding up the datapad and starting the video. "Look!" At the first syllable of Skeena's voice, Ranjaz sat bolt upright. The video held his full attention, and when Tony's impending fatherhood was announced the Kittran's whoops of delight could be heard all through the Porkchop Express. He reached underneath his seat and retrieved a small, fluffy bed, then picked up Aiov. Ranjaz led his unusual dance partner in a quick spin of joy before replaying the GalacTube video for her. “You’re going to be an Aunty!” Eruwenn leaned back in the large seat that had once been Embar’s. “I didn’t think they were related?” The Kittran nodded. “Aiov is Tony’s sister. Aaron adopted them both, and that’s how human families work. They just keep adding members, like a Dular adding shells to its burrow. Family is family.” Cygna pressed a few buttons on her Navigator terminal, moving the video to the main screen as well as starting it over. “I still can’t believe you keep one of these under your seat. I mean, it’s a leokas!” Ranjaz held Aiov up and they briefly rubbed noses. “Just a little one!” The Anatidae laughed. “I can see living with the human has had quite a profound effect on you.” With one of his trademark grins he held Aiov out towards Eruwenn. “Wanna nose rub?” "Ah," the councillor said, shrinking back from the offer, "despite her size she is still a predator, and I am not quite ready for such a close encounter.” From the pilot seat Ripley stood, taking Aiov from Ranjaz. “She is not a toy.” She briefly snuggled the tiny leokit to her chest, then passed her to Jaym. “Take her for food and exercise; she must grow up strong.” Jaym also cuddled the wriggling Aiov close, and not just because the little leokit was adorable. Aiov had tripled in size, and was becoming a bit of a handful. “Thor was preparing her food; I’ll take her down to him.” Once the junior engineer had left, and Ripley returned to the pilot seat, Ranjaz began tapping on the console in front of him. “Looks like we’ll be free to take the shuttle down to the surface with the next group.” Cygna drummed her fingers on the arms of her chair. “I didn’t realise it would be so busy.” Ranjaz shrugged. “There was a quake on the fourth planet, so mining colonies are shut down while the nerds poke around. Along with that, we got three big freighters waiting for resupply. That’s a lot of bored folks looking to kill time.” Ripley grunted, prompting a chuckle from the Kittran. “You don’t approve of their choice of leisure activity?” After their few cycles together Eruwenn was already learning a lot about her shipmates. Ripley, for instance, wasn’t one for talking. She decided to interject before the Captain irritated her too much, as they would need her focus soon enough. “Gambling and pleasure palaces are not to everyone's taste, of course, but these sorts of things are covered under local governance.” Without skipping a beat Ranjaz replied, “I know that’s the official line, but you sure as shit have tax codes for all of it. If you want to look down on folks, don’t pretend you aren’t profiting from it.” Cygna, ever defensive of her mentor, jumped in. “That’s a bold statement for someone who never paid a credit in tax until it was automatically deducted from his Galactic Federation pay.” Ranjaz laughed, then continued, keeping his voice care-free. “Taxed on what? I never owned anything.” Eruwenn could see the trap her junior was walking into but decided to let this be a learning experience. The Kittran was wily, and the Anatidae found him entertaining. Cygna, as she had predicted, scoffed at his claims. “I’ve read your file. When you were arrested you had a ship, five shuttles and thousands in valuable goods confiscated.” “Exactly!” His eyes lit up as he cornered her. “It was confiscated because it was stolen, so I didn’t own it. Imagine a world where you can keep stolen goods if you pay tax on them. Even I think that’s crazy.” The Fae’Dan paused, and the anger evaporated from her voice as she realized what he had said, replaced by a slightly impressed tone of surprise. “Well, maybe, but… Really? You stole all of it?” Ranjaz shrugged. “Or won it. I’m pretty good at Dalcho.” Cygna perked up. “I play Dalcho myself, we shou-” “No,” Eruwenn interrupted. Some lessons were too expensive. “Do not play Dalcho with someone who can get free priority entry permits to a casino.” The former operative shook her head. “I’m a great player, you’ve seen me in the council chambers. I took that Ley’Rulian trader for five hundred credits.” The Anatidae smiled kindly. “And he had five shuttles when he was arrested.” Cygna slowly turned from Eruwenn to Ranjaz, noticing his grin and the sparkle in his eye. It was most definitely the smile of a predator. He gave a little chuckle. “Don’t worry, it’s been a long time since I played. No gambling on Galactic Federation ships, you know.” He laughed again. “Oh wait, you read my file.” The Fae’Dan nodded. “Perhaps we should focus on the mission.” She gave a slight bow to Eruwenn before returning her attention to her console. Ranjaz looked at Eruwenn and stuck out his tongue. “Don’t ruin my fun!” The Ambassador smiled. “I don’t play Dalcho, but there is a human game called chess I quite enjoy. Perhaps we could play sometime?” The Kittran gave a nod. Keeping his voice neutral, he replied. “I don’t know that one, but there’s another human game we could try. Poker?” "We have permission to dock at the holding ring and send down a shuttle," Ripley abruptly called out. "Let’s get this whatever it is and make the rendez-vous.” Both of Ranjaz’s fangs showed as he grinned. “If we’re going to pull a job on Chisola Prime, first you’re going to need to look the part!”
Aaron walked down the corridor of the Hive ship, the strange spiderlike creature trailing behind him as he followed one of the corpse vines as it receded deeper into the ship. He turned and watched the creature, which shrank back from him and crouched low to the ground. “I’m sorry I kicked you. You simply startled me; you don’t have to hide.” The lighting never changed in the endless corridors of the ship, and only the most uninteresting of doors deigned open for him. At this point, he had lost track of time completely. Through perseverance he’d made several important discoveries. The bulbous shapes in the flower vase room were seats; he was fairly certain of that after finding another room with bodies sitting in them. The vines that came for them were the ones he was now following, and by now he must have seen hundreds of dead Hive. The second discovery was that the Hive came in a variety of shapes and sizes. There were two main ones, as far as he could tell, and the first were the four legged kind that had so kindly thrown him in the rejuvenating jelly bean. The second was bipedal, and looked a hell of a lot meaner. While the ones he deemed workers looked somewhat like ants to him, in shades of reds and browns, the second type looked much more commanding. Their carapace had thicker layers of armour in green, gold and red, and was spiked at the shoulders and joints. Even their legs had spines and to top the look off their heads were much more angular. Whether they were soldiers, commanders, or something else, he didn’t know. Through observation of the corpses he had discovered the most confusing feature yet: a strange section in the centre of their abdomen that was filled with what seemed to be a grey fluid. Ahead of him, not skittering away like the rest, was an aphid that no longer emitted a pale green glow. Something whooshed overhead towards the slow and sluggish aphid, and Aaron instinctively threw himself to the ground before he realized what it was. "That's how you get kicked!” He stood up, brushing himself off. “Fuck, that scares the ever-loving shit out of me every fucking time.” The huge creature looked up at him and whined as it munched on the sick aphid. He was probably imagining the apology in its eyes, but Aaron still shook his head. “I know, I know. It’s your job. They clean the floors, you keep their population healthy. Just stop leaping over me like that, fuck. I’m going to have a heart attack.” It whined and backed away from his angry words, and he tried to keep his voice to calmer tones. “Don’t be like that. I’ve told you enough times.” When he looked down the corridor again, the retreating corpse vines had disappeared around a corner. Aaron began to jog after them, and after he'd put some distance in he heard the pattering footsteps of his terrifying shadow. He tried to pay it no mind. Once the vines were back in sight he slowed and followed behind them, singing his direction song quietly to himself. “Left, right, straight. Left, left, right. Straight, straight, left, left. Right, right, straight, right, right.” The ship was massive and, other than some areas smelling funkier than others, there was no variation in lighting, decoration or layout. The song was his map back to the rejuvenation pod, which was his only safe source of hydration. His companion padded along behind him, a friendly nightmare to accompany him on his seemingly endless journey. “We really need to give you a name.” He wished he had his phone with him so he could channel all his nervous energy into making a video. “The audience demands a name. Plus, I won’t be able to sell merch without one.” He turned and looked at the creature. “I’ll probably have to create space-halloween first, or maybe I’ll get lucky and find that you’re cute to some species.” Aaron returned to following the corpse vine, waving a hand high as he spoke, gesticulating to the heavens. “The name is what matters: a good name makes all the difference.” He began seriously pondering the naming matter. “Aragog, Shelob; you know, lean into your size for a characterization. But then again, that's not really going to make people like you.” He looked back over his shoulder as the unnamed beast trotted happily behind him. He assumed happy, at least. It now tended to make an odd gurgling noise after eating, and it roamed closer to him than before. “You know, I never got to name Sassie – she’s my dog. I told you about her yesterday, or the day before.” He really was losing track of the days he’d been here. “I got her from a rescue. She was skinny, and so damn angry, with scars on her legs and under her fur. I had to have special visits before I could keep her. Prove I was worthy.” Talking helped take his mind from the gnawing emptiness in his stomach. Hydration and nutrients osmotically obtained from some weird pod were nowhere near as satisfying as a burger and a cold beer. “Her first visit, she had a rubber ball. It was her only possession, and she loved it.” There was a touch of pride in his voice. “Took me an hour before she gave it up to play. The lady from the rescue centre said I was the first.” He choked up, blinking back tears. “Anyway, couple more visits and she got to stay. Crazy dog was such a handful. She once tried to climb a tree to chase a squirrel. Got her legs over the first branch and just dangled, kicking her back legs.” He began chuckling to himself. “She once tried to jump through a car window; some guy was parked at the lights as we walked past.” He was just chatting now, lost in his memories as he walked. “You know the type, loud radio, windows rolled down on a sunny day, annoying the shit out of everyone in the town. He tossed some litter out of his window and she just launched herself at him. Scared the life out of me at the time - funny as fuck now, of course.” He laughed again. “Then there were the swans. Man, were they not ready. She loved to swim – I told you that before – swimming and splashing was her favourite release. Well, that and chasing rabbits which is, kinda, how I ended up here. Anyway, she would just swim up and down, right past the ducks and stuff, somehow never interested in them. Then one summer these swans came along...” He paused, realising his new friend didn’t know what a duck or a swan was, or even summer, probably. Before attempting to explain, he realised they also didn’t understand english, so it really didn’t matter. “Anyway, swans being belligerent bastards, I called her out of the water straight away. Those mean white fuckers chased her all the way to shore.” He turned around, now grinning broadly. “But, once her feet hit the ground in the shallow water and she was able to stand, did those sons of bitches turn and swim away as fast as they could.” He paused, trying to remember his original point. He really was very hungry. “Oh yeah, so trying to stop her fighting everything that moved meant I didn’t have time to teach her a new name. Figured it would be confusing to her. Sassie she was, and so Sassie she stayed.” There was a tightening in his chest as he thought of her missing him. “Took a lot of years and a lot of time for her to get where she is now. I know Alexa will take care of her, but still, it’s my job, and I need to get back to doing it. She won’t understand…” He choked up completely, taking a moment to compose himself before clearing his throat and returning his monologue to its original course. “Anyway, names. Names matter.” “Maybe you’re a girl monster. Charlotte?” He shook his head. That name just didn’t seem fitting. “We could call you Peter Parker? Although, you’re more of a man-sized spider than a spiderman... Parker Peter? Then again, big, scary spiders say one thing to me. Australia. You like to jump, we could call you Roo? Or, how about Ozzy? Or Bruce? Hmm, that’s a sharks name though… can you swim?” His train of thought derailed suddenly as he saw an open door ahead of them through which the vines were receding. The pair of them continued walking behind the vine until it disappeared into the doorway and Aaron ran forward, pulling something from his pocket. He’d been saving the foil wrapping from the ration bricks, folding them together to form a wedge. He jammed his makeshift door stop under the bottom corner of the door as it began to slide shut. It ground to a halt. “Boom! Told you it would work.” He stood and finally looked into the vastness beyond. Through the doors was, somehow, a rolling meadow, complete with trees, giant mushrooms and plants he had no name for. Vines were also everywhere, receding further across the great wilderness. “What the hell? I thought I was on a spaceship? Am I underground?” Staring intently at the sky, he stepped onto the deep moss beyond the door. He looked at the wall around the interior and saw it was rock, and more plant life clung to every crack and crevice. As he walked slowly forward his eyes followed the vine as it headed for a large, colourful, monolith. He approached and saw that its shape was similar to the vase flowers. He watched as the corpse vines deposited their cargo on top of the monolith. Not on, he corrected himself;they were dropping inside. He looked back to the door, nervous that it might close and lock him in. A large black shadow lurked just beyond the door, and he was torn. Should he explore this 'outside' world, or retreat to the place where he at least had the rejuvenation pods? He looked up at the sky, basking in the warm and invigorating embrace of the sunlight. He blinked at the brightness, being cautious to not look at the sun directly, and something else suddenly caught his eye. It was, incredibly, a door. A door that floated in the sky. The thing about human eyes is that they might be easily fooled, but a shift in perspective can easily change what you see to something entirely different. Aaron was looking up at a ceiling, like the one in the Atrium back on the Azrimad, but a hundred times more convincing. Once back inside the doorway he watched the spiderling he was beginning to think of it as a friend dancing back and forth a short distance away. It seemed… happy. “Ok buddy, I’m back.” Aaron’s stomach made a loud gurgling sound and he rubbed it, trying to squeeze the hunger away. Fingers found muscle easier than usual, and he knew he was definitely losing weight. “We should head back. I need sleep.” He thought for a moment and made a final decision, bending down to pull the foil wedge clear. “I doubt there’s a communicator or command deck in there. Let’s go home, Ozzy.” The trip back was uneventful, Aaron sang his direction song as they navigated the labyrinth. A few more aphids were snacked on by his leggy companion, but his own legs were heavy by the time he was almost back to the jelly beans. Despite being exhausted he had made two stops to create another pair of flower vases for the aphids, as well as scattering a ration brick as he passed by. The aphids waited, as they always did, till he and Ozzy were far enough away before enjoying his bounty. Still, the human derived satisfaction from their presence. Exhausted and weary, Aaron was glad to finally make it back to the room he was reluctantly calling his temporary home. As the door to the rejuvenation pod slid open he was met, forcefully, by the barrel of an energy rifle. Unfortunately for Aaron, due to a considerable height difference, the barrel had struck him squarely in the groin, and he instantly fell to his knees. He came face to face with his attacker with tears in his eyes, clutching his tenderness and coughing. From the other being came incomprehensible yelling, as well as a lot of gun waving. Also, there was coughing. Aaron, eventually mustering enough self-presence to do something other than deal with the after effects of the gun-to-groin encounter, wiped the moisture from his eyes and tried to butt in to the one-sided conversation. "Relax! I'm the one who just got snookered in the fucking balls, here! Why in the world are you so mad?"” The gun was pressed to his forehead by the tiny attacker, who shouted something unintelligible with their black eyes focused on him. They paused to cough, then stepped back, glaring at Aaron until they seemed to feel comfortable enough with the situation to take one hand off of their weapon and pull out a datapad. They held it up, and Aaron frowned at the familiar but still unintelligible colours that swirled on the screen. Then a small vent at the bottom of the device squirted out a puff of sickly sweet scent. Aaron pulled back from the odour. "What the fuck was that?" With some distance between them, the human finally got a good look at his opponent. They were barely waist-height, furry, with a long nose and dark banding across their brown fur. The banding was heaviest across their eyes and although that’s where the similarities ended, it was enough for the human’s brain to forge a connection. “Listen, Rocket, there’s a virus on this ship. You need to get in the jelly bean. Trust me.” The rifle was thrust at him shakily in one hand, the tablet again was raised and a swirl of colours and shapes greeted him. “I don’t speak fucking winamp plugin!” On the wall behind his captor Aaron spotted a dull orange aphid, struggling to climb the wall. He smiled as he slowly leaned to one side. “Have you met Ozzy?” The huge arachnid leapt over them both, causing the newcomer to blindfire at the wall. Aaron seized his chance and snatched away the weapon. He grabbed the newcomer by the front of their armoured uniform and slammed them to the ground. They cried out in pain and began their incomprehensible yelling once more. The accompanying coughing fit was bad, and Aaron dragged them to their feet. Realising that his solitude had caused him to revert to English, he switched back to galactic standard to offer a warning about the disease. “You’re going to die!” A shocked look crossed their face as the human effortlessly lifted them and slam dunked them into a blue jelly bean. Ozzy gurgled happily through his aphid crunching. Aaron snatched up the energy rifle, but found it was difficult to hold due to its small size. He leaned over the jelly bean, noting the occupant drifting off to sleep. Hunger and tiredness were forgotten as adrenaline flooded his system. There was no way the newcomer was alone. He left the pod room to begin searching, and Ozzy seemed to pick up on his intention and followed behind, keeping close to the human. “Good boy!” He had no idea what prompted it, likely some automated response, and it was as though he watched his movements from outside of his body as he reached back and gently scratched the arachnid's head. He was rewarded with happy gurgles, or at least that's what he hoped the noises were. “You did good back there.” He made his way along the corridor towards the same airlock he had once chosen as his final exit. His recent suspicion proved correct as he heard a strange sound up ahead, as if someone was running a wet finger around the rim of a glass. He carefully leaned around the curve and saw another figure, dressed in the same uniform as the first. No fur on this one, although they were equally small in size, and they somehow looked like they were made of glass which couldn’t decide on a colour. This time he remembered to use galactic standard. “Keep your hands where we can see you. We’ve got you surrounded!” The figure was clearly startled, as the ambient resonating noise began varying wildly in pitch at the same moment as their colour shifted to a solid blue. Aaron cursed. He didn’t have a translator, having instead opted for learning standard and winging everything else. The whole federation knew standard, so he hadn’t truly considered getting the implant. “Something is wrong with our translators,” he continued to bluff. “Do you speak galactic standard?” A datapad was hastily pulled from a pocket, and as buttons were pressed the resonating sound became more rhythmic. From the datapad sprung noises. No, it was a voice! “Why do you speak Procyon? Where is Commander Bertolannixostraphes? Aaron began relaxing at the situation he found himself in, but inside he was brimming with joy. Finally, he could talk with someone! “There is a virus on this ship, and many are dead. If your commander is the raccoon-looking guy, I got them into a healing pod. They’re going to be fine.” Under his breath he added, “probably.” The resonating began and shortly afterwards the voice translated, “Who are you? Why did you not answer our communications.” Opting for honesty in the hopes of leniency, Aaron stepped into view. “I’m a passenger. I don’t have access to the ship's systems.” The newcomer was looking at the tiny gun, so the human tossed it forward. “I didn’t know if you were friendly. I can take you to your friend, and you should probably get treatment as well.” The now-orange alien walked forward, their movement accompanied by the strange sound of ceramic plates rubbing together. “That won’t be a problem, we Tricinic do not catch meat diseases. I am Tsy'lo, take me to the commander.” They turned to look behind them. “Where are the others?” Aaron pointed to Ozzy. “It’s just us two.” Colours swirled and the small glass person thrummed. The datapad spoke, “You are the last human, the Ambassador. Correct?” Turning and gesturing to be followed, he began to lead the way to the rejuvenation room. “I am the first human, Ambassador Aaron Cooper, professional bounty hunter. Just call me Aaron. Are you the rescue party? Is Alexa here? Did she bring Sassie?” It took a moment for the translation to come back. “I don’t know those names. We are the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad and we responded to distress calls and found this ship. Adrift.” They had walked a little way when Tsy'lo stopped and regarded Ozzy, who was still faithfully following behind. “Why does the achalo follow you?” “Ozzy?” Aaron shrugged. “I think he was lonely. So, were you sent into Hive space to find me, or are you on some top secret mission? You aren’t with the Sentinels, are you?” “Lonely? But it is an achalo.” Tsy'lo was confused and their colour visibly swirled. “Why would a rescue mission be secret? And, we weren’t sent, we were already here.” Now it was the human who was confused. “Like spies behind enemy lines? Is that why you are in Hive space?” The Tricinic hummed at a higher frequency. “It is our space. We are the Hive!”
Admiral Pelar of the third fleet stood in the centre of the training mat. On the floor around her were four tough looking Ashi, while a fifth was now squaring off against her. She blocked the jab and the surprise knee strike that followed, turning effortlessly to bring her elbow to her opponents ribs. With another deft turn she was behind him and kicking his knees forward. He tried to roll clear but she had anticipated the move and, as he rose, her spinning boot struck the side of his head. “Nice try gentlemen.” She walked away and caught a towel thrown by the drill instructor. “That last one has potential,” she said, and the drill instructor nodded. “Next time, I expect at least one of them to land a hit. If not, I’ll have you in the ring instead, to make sure you still have what it takes.” She saw the fear in his eyes. “I accept nothing but the best from the Third Fleet.” The medics ran onto the mat as she dabbed at her forehead, and she spotted Jar’Bek sitting on a bench nearby. She walked over to him and he stood, straightening what was no doubt an extremely expensive suit. “From one disappointment to another.” The lawyer smiled. “Imagine only seeing your son when he is paid to be in your presence,” he countered. She smirked. “Your tongue is still your most deadly weapon.” He nodded. “Ah, but it must make you proud to see me make use of the things you taught me.” Her face twitched. “I taught you to be a true Ashi, a soldier. I taught you to respect-” Jar’Bek held up his hand. “I’m here on my client’s business, not yours. And, as I am paid a considerable sum per gal, let us not waste their money on matters that are concluded.” He enjoyed the irritation on her face. “I am here to finalise the amnesty treaties, and conclude your membership as citizens of Earth.” The Admiral held up her hands, looking down at her combat training clothing. “I must shower and change first. Please, wait for me in my private office.” She smiled politely. “No.” His smile seemed to hover as if it was a mask that could slip at any time. “You may have disowned me, but I still remember your tricks. You knew the time of our meeting; you had me brought here so you could intimidate me with this display of aggression. Then you ask me to wait in your office amongst your memorabilia and trophies.” He watched the anger behind her eyes. “You really think these tired old tricks will work on me?” She sneered. “At least you remember something.” “Oh, I had the scars removed, but I kept the lessons.” He walked away. “My client's time is valuable and I have scheduled a meeting with the other fleet Admiral’s for later this cycle. Since we have no time for your games, let us go to the briefing room. My team is already set up. If you wish to shower, know that it is more of your negotiating time you are wasting, and I do so hate waste.” He collected his briefcase and walked out of the room. Captain Loring hurried after Jar’Bek, catching him as he entered the elevator. “You sure you want to antagonise the Admiral like that?” He leaned back against the wall of the elevator and relaxed, letting out a small sigh. “A little negotiating trick a Kittran taught me. Anyway, she is no longer my Admiral.” Elora’Tan leaned back on the opposite wall. “She is your mother, Jar.” “Ha.” Jar’Bek laughed. “She disowned me. This is the first contact we’ve had in I forget how many celes. Her first thought is to try and intimidate me with that display. She likes to beat on cadets, she likes to cause pain, and she wanted me to watch.” Loring gave a weak smile. “It forges strong soldiers. We can’t afford weakness.” The elevator stopped and Jar’Bek took a step closer to Elora’Tan. “You think it was weakness that made me leave?” He didn’t let her answer, turning and exiting into the hallway. His voice now resonated with authority as he growled, “In case you people have forgotten, the Ashi will operate under the same rules as the rest of the colony. My mother is not the law... I am the law.”
parts from Pashinyan speech: past & present, investigation, border demarcation
We will need a comprehensive evaluation of how and why things developed and ended that way. We must face the reality and admit that we have made mistakes for many years, the mistakes we have made have been systemic, conceptual, substantive. This cannot be a result of one person or events in just a few years. Did I understand all this while taking office as Prime Minister? Of course. Was I trying to change the situation? Of course. I am now more convinced than ever that there was simply no time to stop the spinning wheel of history. The borders in the Syunik sector are being adjusted, or rather, the Armenian Armed Forces are being stationed on the internationally recognized borders of Armenia (there were no soldiers here before because Syunik was not bordering Azerbaijan before the war). This process changes certain setups we're familiar with, introduces inconveniences, complications, and emotions. In reality, this is being done to ensure and strengthen the safety of Syunik. How? In areas outside of the Republic of Armenia, there was a high risk of military actions, which could carry on to Syunik with all their consequences. By doing the border demarcation of our internationally-recognized lands, we are introducing security assurances. Additionally, Russian border guards are already stationed in some parts of Syunik, which creates a whole new situation. The demarcation can complicate travel on some roads, but these are issues that can be resolved by having an AM-AZ-RU document (specifically about road safety). Not one millimeter of Syunik or Republic of Armenia land has been conceded. Any claim to the contrary is simply false. The people, only the people, should decide the fate of the government and not the elite circles. My November 18th Roadmap will address post-war issues and establish internal stability. "Let's build Armenia anew." I chose this slogan before the war to guide Armenia's transformation strategy. And this formula is useful for our future as well. We have to perceive the world in a new way, we have to look at what we have to do in a new way, we have to re-evaluate our capabilities in a new way, first of all in education, science, technological development, we have to build our dream anew, and we have to dream anew. Glory to our fallen heroes, glory to our living heroes, and glory to those who will still be heroes on the way to realizing the dreams of our people. Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038333.html
borders: fake news, rumors, and rebuttals
Artsakh president office: the media rumors about giving Karmir Shuka (south) to Azerbaijan is fake news. Moreover, we plan to build new housing there soon. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038399.html MoD denied media rumors that two Tavush villages are being handed over to Azerbaijan and that the soldiers were told to leave. "Refrain from spreading unverified fake news," said MoD. Tavush governor called the reports "irresponsible and dangerous". https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038457.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038464.html Sosu Purak is a park in Syunik province, bordering Azerbaijan. The Nature Ministry rebutted the media rumors about half of the park going under Azeri control. *"Sosu Purak, which is managed by Zangezur POAK, has 64.1 hectares of lands, which are located within the Republic of Armenia." https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038477.html
border demarcation continues in Syunik / Pashinyan visits the border settlements
NSS says: border adjustments are being made in Goris-Kapan road sections under the mediation of Russia. (read Friday report for details). The process will finish in a few days. It'll nesure safe passage for cars. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038380.html Syunik governor Melikset: don't exit the Armenian border to collect or chop wood. Keep your animal herds within Armenia. The border roads will have info-plates with numbers that you can dial if you have questions. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038383.html Pashinyan before visiting Syunik: I am saddened to learn that my visit to Syunik has ignited certain passions. I hope you will be convinced that my decision to visit Syunik is not intended to inflame everyone. I made the decision to convey my respect and appreciation for the people of Syunik. The second most important reason is to answer your questions, to give the necessary explanations. Not a single millimeter of land has been ceded from Syunik Province of RA and I hope we'll be able to talk about this. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038397.html protesters A group of protesters, lead by the city's deputy-mayors, closed the Goris road so Pashinyan couldn't enter the city. The police were involved, there was a scuffle. Goris mayor ex-HHK Arush Arushanyan was taken to the police station earlier that day and charged with attempting to organize an unauthorized event/protest (Code 34-2251) to prevent the PM from entering the city. HHK and BHK officials gathered outside of the police station to show him support. 2010 border demarcation law, the "GPS" myth Pashinyan met the crowd in Sisian. One of the opposition's complaints has been "GPS is inaccurate and cannot be used for demarcation", to which, Pashinyan answered, "[the demarcation] is done multiple times, with different methods. There is no issue in this regard." Pashinyan: There is a lot of talk about *"giving away" Syunik". In fact, it is quite the opposite. When we deploy our border troops in accordance with the Armenian border, our level of security increases because that border also becomes the border of the security system of which we are a member. The demarcation is carried out following the law adopted in 2010. The issue is that the current borders, the description of the administrative borders of our communities, were clarified by the law on the "administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia", adopted in 2010. In that law, for example, villages Khndzoresk and Tegh were drawn to include borders with Azerbaijan. The government in 2010 had accepted that demarcation; now we're facing problems here. And today, some of the people, who ask why and how the borders are being demarcated this way, are the same officials who were public officials in 2010, who adopted this law.If what we're doing today is "treason", then what happened in 2010 is even more of a "treason". "why didn't CSTO get involved during war?" Pashinyan: why didn't CSTO act during the war? For the same reason: our 2010 law states that this is what our official Republic of Armenia border is and that anything beyond Tegh village is Azerbaijan. CSTO, naturally, couldn't act beyond our official borders. We have received assurances that in the event of action within our borders, the bloc will act. army & people Resident: our army did not lose the war. Pashinyan: Our army and the people are heroes, there can be no two opinions about it. That doesn't mean there weren't issues, or some soldiers and generals didn't complete their tasks. We must build our self-confidence and optimism one by one, we must rebuild Armenia and Artsakh. meeting in Sisian Pashinyan visited Sisian city Pantheon. He then met a crowd in the main square and thanked them for "for such an understanding, for such an acceptance". During a speech in Sisian, Pashinyan said he will avoid confrontation with those who closed the road to Goris city. He said there were families and supporters who wanted to meet in Goris, and that one of the reasons the road was closed to possibly prevent that from happening. Father of a fallen soldier: Pashinyan still has 8 months to go. He must and will answer all the questions. Tomorrow, ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan and those guys [ex-regime] must also answer. Tomorrow they [ex-regime] will say "go ask Nikol if you have questions". So Nikol should do his part and answer the questions, so others can answer theirs. Pashinyan: please try not to politicize today [about giving ARF Ishkhan's name]. Father of a fallen soldier: we must give their names. The same names and their parties are gathered in the public square today. Today you [Nikol] must enter Sisian and elsewhere with your head held high and without bodyguards. Let's get rid of pain and sorrow then we will know what to do next. various concerns Residents spoke about various border and social issues. Pashinyan: I came to look at Syunik residents in the eye. I know that I'm guilty in many ways. Our citizens deserve more. Unfortunately, not a single government, including ours, has been able to deliver what our citizens deserve. I apologize on behalf of all governments. priest vs Pashinyan While in Syunik, Pashinyan entered a church and lit a candle in memory of the fallen. Upon exiting, he came across priest Pargev Zeynalyan. Pashinyan raised his hand to greet but the priest let it hang in the air. Pashinyan left. A church representative said the priest had the right to express his political beliefs. That didn't prevent the crowd, angry at the priest's conduct, to march to the church and block its entrance. They wanted to kick the priest out. The police told the crowd not to enter. The priest refused to meet the protesters. The protesters left and promised, "not to allow the politicized priest to enter that church again". The priest denied subsequent false rumors about police allegedly raiding his house over the incident. (of course, gotta throw a couple of fake news here and there for "political persecutions" illusion)
border demarcation: Shurnukh border village suburbs
Mayor of border village Shurnukh, Syunik: The 12 houses in the lower suburbs, which according to rumors were supposed to go under Azeri control, will stay under Armenian control, according to the latest updated information. The army and Russians came and began working on border installation beyond the village area. I'm not entirely sure this is the final status, it could change, so stay tuned. There will be a demarcation process but I don't know when. Our local volunteers guard the borders. Women and children were evacuated from the area for now, just in case. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203332
re: Russians will guard parts of 21km Syunik road
MoD says: some of the 21km Goris-Kapan road goes through disputed areas. We have an agreement for Russian border guards to monitor Goris-Kapan and Goris-Davit Bek sections to ensure safe passage. Armenian and Azeri troops will be stationed on opposite sides of the road. More info in the coming days. (if you look at the map, the road is the exact border) https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203346
press unions condemn attacks on media outlets / free press
First incident. Former regime's activists attempted to prevent Pashinyan and tens of thousands of participants from marching to Yerablur Pantheon on weekend. During the incident, they identified a journalist from "Azatutyun" (pro-western) and began assaulting him. (Azatutyun office was also raided by supporters of former regime on November 10th). Second incident. 5TV is owned by Kocharyan's friend. It has a record of manipulating interviews and information in general (e.g. the March 1st documentary). Some people don't like them for this reason. 5TV reporter was cussed by Pashinyan supporters, while QP MP Andranik Kocharyan refused to take questions from him. Third incident. Opposition activists cussed Azatutyun reporters and tried to prevent them from doing the work. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038471.html
PRESS casualties during the war
HR Ombusmn: Five foreign and two Armenian reporters received severe injuries during the war. One reporter was killed. They were targeted by Azerbaijan intentionally. They were wearing PRESS uniforms, which are visibly different from army uniforms. Azerbaijan prevented reporters from working in front lines and launched a felony investigation against some international reporters (Semyon Pegov) for visiting Artsakh. https://web.archive.org/web/20201219074426/https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203315
felony investigations post-war / SIS launches an investigation to examine:
1) Reports of officers disobeying commands during the war, and desertion. 882 cases are being examined. Dozens have been charged. 2) Several civilian and military individuals intentionally spread alarming information to create panic among soldiers in the front lines (Vitalik's friend's incident, possibly), and claimed that the war was already decided, it was a conspiracy, and that it was pointless to fight. There are multiple felony cases regarding this. Investigation continues. 3) A felony case is launched against an officer who refused to do his duties in the southern part of Artsakh. (if this is General Movses Hakobyan, expect him to cry "political persecution" because he was the first one to give a press conference to create a narrative, a-la Dodi Gago). 4) Investigations over claims made by General Movses Hakobyan on November 19th. We're investigating a group of high-ranking officials for possibly violating protocols set by the Defense Ministry, which lead to reduced performance, which impacted the outcome of the war. We are also examining the reports, submitted by various political parties, to investigate the $5 billion offer that was made to Pashinyan by Aliyev (the offer Aliyev made to Serj and Pashinyan to give away 7 regions without a fight). 5) A felony investigation was launched [to investigate Pashinyan] after [former regime figure] Garnik Isagulyan claimed that Pashinyan took a $48 million bribe from Turkey and that his NSS chief Qyaramyan gave away 1400 passports to Azerbaijan, and helped Azeris to invade Hadrut. Isaghulyan was invited to SIS to provide evidence; he refused. The examination found no proof of these claims. A felony case was launched against Isagulyan himself for making false reports. 6) There were multiple reports in mid-November that Shushi was "sold" and an order was given for soldiers to deliberately retreat so Azeris could take it. This was investigated by SIS and NSS, courts were involved, reports from various media outlets are being investigated, including Arayik's leaked phone call and General Samvel Babayan's "post-mortem" interview. Additionally, there is an investigation of the embezzlement of property belonging to the army. Besides investigating these claims, we will also investigate their impact on the final outcome of the war. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038432.html
lawsuits / Pashinyan's son / army officer / Dmbo Gago
Volunteer soldier Mikael Mikaelyan is suing pro-Kocharyan blog "Politik" over an alleged defamation. The soldier says: Earlier I wrote that on October 1st I was yelling at deserting soldiers not to leave positions near Jabrayil. Then a similar story in Kubatlu; I wrote that I witnessed how Pashinyan's son Ashot was yelling at deserting soldiers; he was asking them to stay and help. My post received a lot of attention. It's clear that these two were separate incidents on separate dates, right? They [former regime] began calling me a liar because I could not have seen Pashinyan's son on October 1st because he was sent to the front lines on the 5th. They wrote an article "Yet another chatlakh who says everyone routed except Ashotik". https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202933 Deputy Army General Chief of Staff Tiran Khachatryan is suing BHK MP Naira Zohrabyabn over an alleged defamation. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038342.html BHK chief Gago's casino "Onira Club" (Shangri La) was in legal trouble over alleged financial crimes. It also lost the license on July 9th over not paying the necessary fees. The casino is now suing the Finance Ministry to have its license back. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203413
306 refugees returned to Artsakh on Sunday. 1.6km of roads were cleared of explosives, and 1 house was renovated. The peacekeepers have so far renovated 23 houses and rebuilt 8km of electric lines in Martakert. 35 patients were given medical care in Chartar settlement. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038385.html
The Public Utility Commission decided to keep the electricity prices the same for low-income families, and 90% of those who consume less than 400 kW/h. The large-scale consumers will see AMD 3 increase. The rate will go into effect in February. (the nuclear plant will be closed for much of the year for the final big renovation; there were talks that it could impact prices) https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288860/
7km of roads and water drainage were repaired and installed in Horbategh, Vayots Dzor. It's a tourist area. Locals hope the renovations will improve their economic status. Smbataberd, Tsaghatsqar complex, and St. Hreshtakapetats are located nearby. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203420
All Armenia Fund met Artsakh govt to discuss housing for refugees and the homeless. They plan 9 new buildings with 236 in Askeran, 132 in Martuni, while the assessment for capital Stepanakert and elsewhere continues. Contracts were signed with construction firms. Artsakh govt thanked Himnadram for continuous help. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203336
Over 42 years ago the "Magnetic Drill Gang" robbed the Murwillumbah (Australia) Bank of NSW getting away with $2 million in cash. No one has ever been charged, no money recovered.
I had a friend who came from this town who told me all about it. It was widely considered to be an "inside job". Interesting that everyone involved has kept their lips sealed for all these years. Forty years ago, a group of men known as the 'magnetic drill gang' broke into the Bank of NSW in the quiet town of Murwillumbah in the wee hours and stole almost $2 million. To this day, no-one knows what happened to the cash — worth around $8.5 million in today's money. The bank is now Westpac. A country bank in Murwillumbah The bank is now the Westpac bank in Murwillumbah.(ABC North Coast: Donna Harper) The money — $1.7 million — and the gang, whose signature was to use an electromagnetic diamond-tipped drill, were never seen again. The thieves broke through the bank's back door and used clever techniques to crack the safe open and lock it again, once they had stolen all the cash. The following morning, a security guard found the back door ajar, and the vault locked from the inside. A locksmith tried to break the safe open, but failed. Former Tweed mayor, Max Boyd, who was a councillor at the time of the infamous robbery, said a council work crew, who were repairing roads nearby, were called in to help. "The robbers had spiked the vault door so the bank staff couldn't get inside to see how much money had been stolen, so a council work crew were called in and they had to smash a hole through the bank's thick brick wall to get access inside the vault," Mr Boyd said. A bank official finally managed to get into the safe and told police "they got the lot". This slogan was to become famous and was printed on T-shirts and beer glasses that were sold around Australia and the world. Mr Boyd said many in the community thought it was an inside job. "The crooks knew that the Murwillumbah branch of the Bank of New South Wales kept cash supplies from other banks in the area, so someone must have told them this as why would they target a country branch?" he said. He said there were also suggestions that a new police officer in town or one of the security guards could have been involved. A display of T-shirts and a beer glass with the slogan "They Got the Lot" and a cartoon picture of a criminal running away 'They got the lot' became a slogan for T-shirts and beer glasses, after the daring heist.(Supplied: Tweed Regional Museum) Mr Boyd said he and his brother, Jack Boyd, who was the state member for Byron at the time of the robbery, had concerns about gangsters leaving the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne to move into the Tweed Shire to start up criminal syndicates. The Boyd brothers successfully stopped former premier Neville Wran's plans to build a casino in south Tweed Heads in the late 1970s. "Jack was strongly opposed to the casino because he didn't want to see the underworld getting established up in this part of the world and he fought strongly against it during his time in State Parliament and I did too as a Tweed councillor," Mr Boyd said. Mr Boyd said the famous robbery was part of the Tweed's colourful history, and he wondered if the case would ever be solved. Police said the case was still open, and they welcomed any new information. "Even though today marks 40 years since this robbery occurred, the NSW Police remain dedicated to arresting those responsible," NSW Police said in a statement. "Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000." https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-23/murwillumbah-remembers-magnetic-drill-gang-bank-robbery/10519858
So I have recently noticed a few similarities between the new radio station and Clifford. For starters, their logos are rather similar in design. Clifford’s Logo resembles an eye, with the pupil being a triangle. The Kult FM logo also has an eye, but it’s colour scheme is a lot darker than the Clifford one. We know that Clifford has been removed from power, but Lester hints at his survival in the Casino Heist “Pretty basic AI experiments that swear at me in Russian” (Quote might be slightly different). His Clones are also still around, as in one of the Vault Laser missions you actually steal it off of a Clifford remnant group. There is also the connection between their slogans. Clifford’s being “Thinking, Only Better”. KULT FMs logo from what I recall seeing on the loading screen is something like “Low Power, Better Thinking”. I am still trying to figure out why the hell would they make a radio station that seemingly has no attachment to them at all. There have been a few instances of organizations using similar tech to recruit people (Cicada 3301 for example). This is probably far fetched, but I wanted to share it here. Any thoughts?
Las Vegas' new slogan: "All the fun of the TSA - every time you walk into a casino!"™ :D
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 70%. (I'm a bot)
The new security protocol, put in place after Sunday's mass shooting nearby, is likely to become the norm on the Strip and possibly beyond. Casinos and entertainment venues are going to have to take a more holistic approach to security, thinking about rooftops and other potential shooting perches - considering the possibilities for an attack from all angles, said David Shepherd, a former FBI special agent in counterterrorism who later was the security director for Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Venetian resort. One executive at another casino operator, who asked not to be identified because security matters are sensitive, said the Wynn's security check at the door is probably the industry's future because there's no other way to screen for people carrying weapons. MGM and Wynn Resorts Ltd. declined to comment on their security operations. "In Orlando, that's how a lot of people died," he told attendees at a panel on security on Monday morning at the Global Gaming Expo, an industry conference that started Monday in Las Vegas. The future of live events will likely include anti-sniper teams, metal detectors and better separation of audiences so they can be evacuated quickly and first responders can get in, said Ed Davis, Boston's police commissioner from 2006 to 2013 and now a security consultant.
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Playing Card Manufacturer: Taiwan Playing Card Company (TWPCC)
In the world of playing cards, there are some big names and recognizable entities like United States Playing Cards and their Bicycle brand of playing cards. Other leading figures in the industry include successful publishing companies like European-based Cartamundi. There are also several smaller Taiwan-based manufacturers that have been making an impact, such as Legends Playing Cards, Expert Playing Cards, and Hanson Chien Production Company. But even the big names had to start small, and once in a while something small makes some explosive sounds to catch our attention. Today let's take a look at Taiwan Playing Card Company (TWPCC), which is distributed by BombMagic, and first caught my eye with the colourful fireworks of their Casino Royale deck. TAIWAN PLAYING CARD COMPANY When I first came across the beautiful looking Casino Royale deck, I started crawling down a rabbit hole which eventually led me to Hanson Bomb, founder of BombMagic. BombMagic started in 2007 as a small studio that focused on the study of performing magic, and the slogan they came up with for their tenth anniversary in 2017 gives an indication of their original focus: "Born for Magic, Beyond the Magic." Since their inception they have slowly built up their brand, and have been focusing more on playing cards. They began releasing some playing card products, launched a website, and in 2016 released their Bomber Series Playing Cards as their own branded deck. Eventually they set up the Bomber Playing Card Company in order to focus on the design, manufacture, sale, and distribution of playing cards, which the following year became part of the new Taiwan Playing Card Company. Today BombMagic is considered the official distributor of Taiwan Playing Card Company, and it includes a large online operation. But besides being a source for magic items in the Asian market and abroad, they also produce a range of custom playing cards, some of which they have created in-house and are featured below. Of special interest is the fact that their decks are printed in Taiwan, which is also where respected playing card manufacturers like Legends and Expert Playing Cards operate from in order to produce high quality playing cards. TWPCC has their own label and specifications, but uses the same factory, so there's good reason to expect good things from this brand. So let's take a look at some of their decks, and talk about what we can expect from this smaller playing card manufacturer. https://preview.redd.it/twksnpjmcy061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cf78f9f9daaab0667214d062a11b44379a9ab45e CASINO ROYALE PLAYING CARDS The name Casino Royale reflects the fact that this deck is created to be a practical casino style deck that represents the height of luxury. The title brings to mind James Bond's visits to Europe's most famous gambling houses. Similarly this deck is intended to capture something of a quality that is fitting for a classy secret agent and for royalty, while being suitable for an enthusiast playing a poker game at home as well. BombMagic has produced several different Casino Royale decks, and they are definitely the most practical of the in-house decks from TWPCC. The number cards are very functional and readable, and that makes this a deck of playing cards that can perform well for crossover purposes, including at the card table or in the hands of a traditional gamer. They work especially well for casino type games, while having a "royale" look that sets them apart from a typical deck of plain ordinary cards. The touch of royalty is already evident from the tuck box, with its window style die-cut design that gives a glimpse of the stylish card backs. The colourful diamond backed design of the card backs adds a sense of luxury and class, and so the Casino Royale decks will add elegance and style to any card game. https://preview.redd.it/hjad2o37dy061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e49d9a540a3a62aedd4f0be78a0c72f0b9c73b60 FUJIN & RAIJIN PLAYING CARDS The Fujin & Rajin decks are a complementary pair of decks named after two Japanese gods. These are Fujin, the god of the wind, and Raijin, the god of thunder. Blue and red being the two colours of focus for this pair of decks. UK illustrator Fionn Jordan did the artwork, drawing on his experiences in living in Japan and Taiwan, and his experience as a comic artist. These decks have a very different visual feel from the Casino Royale decks. While it has a clearly Eastern theme and style, it has been produced by a Westerner who was born in the UK. The Japanese theme will particularly appeal to those who have an interest in Oriental culture and ideas, but the fact that it has been created by a European shows that this theme can have a universal appeal. Most custom decks from the modern era are indebted to Western influences and artwork, so it is refreshing to see some playing cards with a unique flavour. The combination of a garish blue and red that dominates these decks also gives them a very different feel from traditional playing cards. https://preview.redd.it/oeljtj0idy061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=67e808d8ccf4dc79311d37ec4580186b47de4264 CARDISTRY CALLIGRAPHY PLAYING CARDS The Cardistry Calligraphy decks were first released at the 2017 Cardistry Con. The series consists of three decks, a red and blue pair with silver foil lettering on the tuck box, and a more luxurious limited edition gold foil deck with gold accents on the tuck box and on the card backs. The graphic design of the striking Cardistry Calligraphy decks favours card flourishing, with a bold colour on the card backs that emphasizes colour and shape. The use of ornate calligraphic letters for the court cards is somewhat unusual, but suits the concept of the deck well, especially when used for cardistry. It means that the card faces have a more consistent look, and don't have images that could distract when the cards are in motion. The design of the court cards and Aces does make these less functional than a typical deck, but that's also what makes it ideal for cardistry. The concept of calligraphy - with its flowing lines and curves - also works very well as a thematic concept that suits card flourishing. https://preview.redd.it/hu0fajx2fy061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5a5d9522142887e023dac67311754fa4e7f2bfaa HIDDEN KING PLAYING CARDS The two basic decks that were part of the Hidden King series were intended to be low-cost decks inspired by the Siberian Tiger. The tuck boxes both feature the same graphic design, with a mono-coloured drawing of a Siberian tiger on the white and yellow fronts. The goal of the Hidden King deck was to be a budget style traditional deck, with some style and life added courtesy of the artwork on the card backs, and some small elements of customization. Given how nice and clean and practical the cards look, I'd like to think that this mission was accomplished with style. Super soft cards ensure a very pleasant and satisfying performance to go along with the crisp artwork. https://preview.redd.it/nqteb7qxdy061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5828725d042455cdacf6f37c738826adfcb380b1 IMPRESSIONS Quality What's going to be of real interest to us as card enthusiasts is the quality of the cards from these TWPCC decks, and how they handle. Card collectors and card flourishers are notoriously fussy about where their playing cards are produced, because it can make a big difference in quality. The good news is that these playing cards are produced in the same factory that is used by Legends and Expert Playing Card Company. It is located in Taiwan, and reports about playing cards printed there are consistently positive, unlike the mixed reports about decks produced in China. The printing quality of the TWPCC decks seems to be very similar to that of LPCC/EPCC decks. It's very good, with sharp and accurate registration, and clean colours. Like other Taiwan produced decks, the cut of all these decks is extremely clean, so the edges of the cards don't feel as rough as a standard Bicycle deck; they also faro perfectly and easily. The cards of all these decks are very durable, but don't expect fanning and spreading to remain as consistent over time as what you'd typically experience with a USPCC produced deck. https://preview.redd.it/iudbzmfqey061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d4d03a971def8b051c37e845bdfed8a42ef8529c Performance The performance does also depend on the combination of stock and finish they use, and this can vary. TWPCC uses their own terminology for paper stocks and finishes, so it doesn't compare exactly with the terminology of finishes used by other publishers. The main stock options they appear to make available at present include their Casino stock and their Luxury stock, although they have also used Artist stock for at least one project, which like the Artist stock used by HCPC, is a stiff stock matching the Diamond/Master finish used by LPCC/EPCC. Casino stock is used for the Casino Royale decks and the pair of Japanese inspired Fujin and Raijin decks. It has a wide embossing pattern that approximates quite closely the Elite/Damask finish used by LPCC/EPCC. The cards have a slightly stiff feel that ensures a high level of durability, and it is firmer and pleasantly snappier than a typical USPCC deck. The overall handling and feel is much like the Classic or Elite finishes from Taiwanese manufacturer LPCC/EPCC. Luxury stock is used for the Hidden King decks, and handles and feels very differently. Besides the crisp white colour used for the card stock of these decks, it is instantly evident that this is a thinner than normal card stock, which cardists will love, and which corresponds quite closely to the performance and feel of USPCC's crushed stock. I find that it's almost too soft for some card sleights, because accidental folding can result if you're overly aggressive with your moves. But the soft feel means the deck doesn't require any breaking in, and it handles superbly straight from the box. If you like decks with crushed stock from USPCC, then you'll love these cards also. They also have a more traditional air-cushion style embossing pattern that handles smoothly and evenly. The different stocks primarily refer to the thickness of the cards and the embossing pattern used. There are also different options for the coating that is added afterwards, which impacts the performance as well. The options for this include Magic Finish, Royal Finish, or Legendary Finish, which is similar to the range that Hanson Chien Production Company (HCPC) also uses when printing cards at the same factory. https://preview.redd.it/7yy6sohyey061.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fc94bd49a084d916bd75f6d8d30aa911eba1643c Other decks Of course these are not the only TWPCC produced decks out there. There are plenty more, and cardists will especially want to check out some of the decks with the super soft Luxury stock, such as the Vigor Blue deck and the Flow deck. Meanwhile the Kete Moon Special Edition deckuses the Classic stock. Magicians might be interested in the Elemental Master decks (in red and green), which are marked decks, and also incorporate unique elements like astrological signs and ESP symbols. The red and blue Cosmos decks were created to commemorate Horret Wu becoming FISM World Champion of Magic in 2015, and use the Casino stock. https://preview.redd.it/it9ujk5cey061.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7ff312d997421b25c9b95475de2ad92cf9cc6f1c Where to get them? You'll find a selected range of TWPCC produced decks on PlayingCardDecks.com here. Want to learn more? - Visit the Taiwan Playing Card Company: Official website, Instagram - Visit their distributer BombMagic: Official website, Facebook, Instagram Author's note: I first published this article at PlayingCardDeckshere.
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11-13 01:26 - 'Mate, it's complete and utter bullshit. It's a word thrown there at random, the full accusation they made is a long string of words one of which is "xenophobic". It's infuriating how ignorant and removed from the actual story...' by /u/SamirCasino removed from /r/europe within 3-13min
''' Mate, it's complete and utter bullshit. It's a word thrown there at random, the full accusation they made is a long string of words one of which is "xenophobic". It's infuriating how ignorant and removed from the actual story here you are, yet you act like you know better than all of us. There is no Roma party. The Roma are in any party. It's not an ethnic slogan, it has absolutely nothing to do with ethnicity. It's just politics. In the case of the party that accused it, filthy politics. The party that had that slogan has made it their primary goal to combat corruption ever since they were established 4 years ago. They're constantly yelling about corruption. Not once has any member mentioned absolutely anything about the Roma or any ethnicity. There are no xenophobic undertones. None. And i'm done discussing this with someone that can't ever, and will never try to understand it. And all of this is coming from a leftie, pro-immigration, secular, pro-Roma integration and pro-positive action and quotas person that often gets called a woke sjw, mind you. I swear it never even crossed my mind that anybody would see this targeted at the Roma until i opened this thread. By the way, the court literally said that "the slogan is wrong because it induces the idea that all the other competing parties would steal and break the law". Nothing about xenophobia. Nothing at all. ''' Context Link Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: SamirCasino
[DREAD] I adapted/wrote and ran an adventure called “HORRORSTÖR” about an IKEA of Doom
Hey everyone! Last fall, I ran a session of DREAD at a con with an adventure that I adapted from “Horrorstör”, a novel by Grady Hendrix. Since the session went well, I thought I’d share my prep for others – both as inspiration as well as to get some additional feedback/new ideas if you got any. There’s also some music at the end. Sorry if I missed some typos etc. in the write-up. ------- ADVENTURE TL;DR Employees of a large-scale furniture store get hunted down by Cronenbergian abominations because Corporate wants to increase quarterly profits. MAIN THEMES Entrapment, Hopelessness, Annihilation of the Self, Fear of (Social) Decline, Assimilation SETTING INFO & PLOT “Horrorstör” takes place in a store called ORSK (basically a knock-off IKEA). It’s set in 2009 in an American flyover state, right after the first big shockwave of the last financial crisis. Characters are tasked with finding out the causes of nightly vandalism, only to uncover they’re trapped in the store with something more sinister. THE STORE
The local ORSK should feel like an oppressive vault of niceness. Located well outside the nearest town and framed by a lake of cement, this blue-white megastore offers shoppers everything they need to make a space a home.
Shoppers are guided through its showroom, market place and self-serving warehouse by a long and winding path that induces retail hypnosis. Even ORSK employees (or “partners”, as they’re called by Corporate) sometimes need to concentrate in order to not get lost.
Within its walls, ORSK has no windows, skylights or clocks. Like a casino, it exists in an eternal now. Of course, there’s also little to no cell phone reception.
Aside from the retail floors, ORSK has a restaurant (whose meatballs are actually quite good) and a Scandinavian Food Market (where no food actually comes from Scandinavia).
Behind the scenes, there’s various break rooms, a larger storage warehouse, a basement and freight elevators. There’s one way to the store manager’s offices upstairs above the showroom.
Whereas the threat in the original novel was a [spin on the supernatural “haunted house” trope], my adventure features “Projekt Drön” – an attempt by Corporate to create the perfect worker.
Drön are pure cyborg bodyhorror. They seem humanoid from a distance (because they once were humans), but land smack-dab in the uncanny valley the closer you get. When Drön speak, they don’t move their mouths. They unhinge their jaws and play pre-recorded stock phrases (“Thank you for shopping at ORSK”, “The store is closing, please proceed to the exit”, “Do you have an ORSK family card?”).
As the night progresses, their appearance should become more horrific, with limbs elongating or shortening, muscles bulging obscenely and flesh peeling off, revealing metallic mesh and sinews beneath. They will hunt the players down – your choice either to kill them or use them as raw material to make more Drön.
The ORSK store should become more and more deadly as the game progresses. Start by cutting off shortcuts in the floor plan, make furniture shatter and fall, have storage racks squash them…
QUESTIONNAIRES I’ve made the player questionnaires look like job application forms for ORSK. As it was a con game for a max of 5 players, I kept it short – 12 questions each. I started off with setting questions (“Why do you wanna work here? ; “What’s your favorite ORSK piece of furniture” ; “How would you describe your work ethos?”), then ventured into background questions (“You’re overqualified for this job. Why do you still need it?” ; “What made you leave your hometown so abruptly?” ; “A part of the store lets you shudder. Which one, and why?”), turned the screw towards the personal (“Why wasn’t your mother proud of you?” ; “Why can’t you let others see the real you?”), and finally cranked up the unease towards Corporate and the feeling of entrapment (“Why is true that a person’s worth is based on their efficiency?” ; “If a person is dependent on their job, wouldn’t they be well to follow Corporate’s orders?”). At the end, players should feel their character’s inability to just up and quit – either because there are no better jobs available, or because the neatness of ORSK provides a security blanket for their neurosis or what have you. NPCs
Basil, the supervisor (mandatory). Basil loves his job at ORSK, as his benefits pay for his little sister’s medication (he is her sole guardian). Basil also likes the PCs and wants them to succeed. He might get promoted soon, he heard, and would love for one of them to a rise to a higher position as well. Besides the store manager, Basil is the only one in possession of an Override key that can deactivate a store-wide lockdown.
Matthew (optional), one of the storehouse workers. Ethnically ambiguous. His beard is the last thing a craft beer sees before it dies. Matt has never encountered a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, so you take his ramblings about “corporate replacing us all with automatons” with a grain of salt.
Trinity Prendergast (optional), co-worker and resident MySpace goth. Her family is *really* into pageants, so her look is aimed squarely at riling her mom up. Her first and last act at work is wiping off and reapplying black lipstick, respectively.
Ruth Anne, the good soul of this ORSK (optional). She’s been doing odd jobs all her life, with ORSK being by far her favorite. Kind, communal and protective, but can pack a punch when cornered. If she has a vice, it’s strawberry flavored chapstick. Looks like if your older aunt was cosplaying as Dolly Parton.
Michael, the drifter (optional). Has lost his home, and his family, during the financial crisis and sleeps in the store. Michael can be used as a red herring to explain the strange things during the night… except he’s been here far shorter than those.
The raccoon (optional). Another red herring for the player’s to find before they encounter the real threat.
Tom Perssons, CEO of ORSK North America. All-American sweetheart turned corporate. Pomenade and teeth whitener made human. His picture hangs in every ORSK, but no one has actually seen Tom in real life.
ADVENTURE STRUCTURE Part I After a mysterious shipment of new prototype furniture is delivered, the store suffers from weird acts of nightly vandalisms. Players are tasked with spending an extra night shift to get to the bottom of it. In this part, GMs should introduce characters and a general sense of unease towards Corporate. Mention slogans that seem both cheery and ominous at the same time (“ORSK: A home, forever!” ; (“ORSK partners: Our most valuable resource” etc.), “Employees of the Month” that you’ve never seen in the store (they’re either been “promoted” or switched stores) and that despite the spotless façade, your ORSK is in dire need of some repairs. It should also become apparent that ORSK is cutting costs by firing the cleaning and security staff. Of course, the mysterious shipment are DRÖN compartments. After they’ve been put in the basement, this part of the store will become off-limits for employees due to a “leak”. Mention a rotting, electrical stench emanating from behind the doors. Part II The store shuts down for a national holiday – which means there’s no shoppers or staff coming for a few days. Perfect time to hunt for vandals. Characters get more than what they’ve bargained for. Use the first section of this part to (further) develop a sense of camaraderie between characters and introduce the red herring. Generate a feeling of paranoia and uncanniness. Whereas the ORSK is well-lit and pleasant during the day, at night the scenery – with the lights off and no white noise playing – plays with and confuses your senses. When players have encountered the red herring and are ready to call it in, guide them towards the store manager’s office. Shortly before they reach it, have the Drön show up first and claim Basil and additional victims, if applicable. End this part of the adventure with players discovering a case file for “Projekt Drön”. Part III After discovering the “Projekt Drön” video, characters need to find Basil (or what’s left of him) so they can get the Override switch and escape the ORSK. To do so, they have to cross the floors of ORSK that the Drön have turned into death traps, get into the basement and survive long enough to make it to the exit. ------ DID YOU USE PROPS? Yeah. As I’ve mentioned, the questionnaires looked like job applications; I’ve photoshopped and printed out an actual IKEA Store map. The original “Horrorstör” novel also provides some nifty and appropriately creepy furniture artwork. A quick Google Image search will help you out. WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE FROM THE ORIGINAL NOVEL? The threat, mainly. The original book is basically a>! fun take on the "haunted house" trope!<, I thought I'd play up the callousness of Corporate and invented new villains to match my intent. SO WAIT, IS THE TRUE VILLAIN CAPITALISM? Whatever gave you that idea? IS THERE A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST?You bet your ORSK there is!
Stop making me feel like its my duty to pick sides on political issues. I'm confused, I'm not educated enough to make a fucking stance. I'm sorry, would you like me to go vote for the 'wrong side?' I'm sorry, you want me, who has been just watching all this shit happen, without emotions in his fucking way, to pick a side? You're both annoying. All Lives Matter? You think that's a solution? You think that's going to help do anything, but stir up more shit in this country? Your joke of a protest is just a protest to their own, even though it should be about all lives, everyone knows that the slogan All Lives Matter was made for mockery reasons. You also want me to believe, that some cops aren't racist? I'm sorry, but something tells me that I'm either the luckiest man alive, or they really can be because I've gotten away with all kinds of shit when I get pulled over, and thats because I'm white. What? You're upset because you can't respect the fact that the black community does need help? You think you deserve the same hand up as what they are trying to achieve even though this country held them down for over a century? No wonder black men and women are becoming racist (look at Nick Canon) its because everytime they cry out for help, salty white mother fuckers gotta make it hard for them and get in their way. Black Lives Matter? Well, yeah, they do, but that doesn't mean I automatically respect everybody who supports it and that doesn't mean I'm just going to assume that every poor black man on the street is just there because of racism. That doesn't mean I support some people's ideas of protesting, and that doesn't mean I haven't seen the countless vidoes on youtube and facebook of some of its supporters making everyone else look bad. Videos of white people kissing black peoples feet (litteratly) and saying that they apologize for slavery and racism? I'm sorry, but, why are they doing that? I'm not racist, they clearly aren't, and I'll be damned if I kiss anybody's feet unless its a goddamn adorable ass baby. The ones they are looting? Some of then are black bussiness owners! Ignore the fact that some of its leaders would be called terrible people if they were not BLM supporters? Getting rid of police completely and replacing them with social workers? You can't be serious. No. Fuck that completely. I don't support you, I support no racism. Something like that doesn't need a label anyway! Lesser of two evils? What? No. I don't have to do anything, and I won't. I'll say something to the bitch being a racist asshole, but at the same time I will never advocate for that kind of protesting. Republicans? Okay, so they seem to care a lot about national security, making money, and taking pride in their home. Thats the good. But the bad... oh boy... racist politicians, uncaring of its people's social issues, some of the most retarded policies about the virus, and having a kill or be killed philosophies. Its outrageous.The people who support this party pretty much believe everything their favorite politican says to them. Anti Pot Smoking bastards. If it were up to them, all pot smokers caught with a gram of weed would be in prision for 15 years... especially if you're black. Thats it. We all know whats wrong with that party. I don't have to say much. But Liberals? They believe in equality, free school, an equal chance for everybody... or at least its non politican supporters do. They just want people to be happy it seems. Gay rights, ect. But, they got Hillary in the primary, HILLARY. I suspect that it was because she was a woman. Did you people not realize that she ran against Obama and as a republican and supported its policies? Anti Gay marriage ect, then 8 years later or whatever she ran against Trump and just said whatever to make herself president? You people really think she gave a damn about any of that? They were EMPTY fucking promises! You want to take away my guns? What? NO SIR. I know some of you all just want to restrict them a little more, stop school shootings and overall violence, I get it. But dude, criminals get drugs, what makes you think they cant get guns, but then you wanna get mad at Trump for suggesting that we build a wall? You should have been all over that! If the wall is up, ths border security is secure, then who in the hell is going to bring the guns in? You guys really believe everything you hear... its so clear. "Trump said to inject yourself with bleach." No he didn't, he was alluding to the fact of coming up with a way to inject a substance that would kill all viruses and harmful bacteria without killing good bacteria and cells. And he wasn't far off! Surgens use something like this when they clean certain organs during surgery, its just not something you can inject... yet. You know just as well as I do that he didn't litteratly say to go inject bleach, you just hear what you want to hear because you're so passionate that you're biased. Don't get me wrong, you're honestly better than the republicans for the most part, but IF YOU ALL HAD JUST VOTED FOR BERNIE... SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY SEEMS LIKE HE CARES INSTEAD OF SOMEONE WHO YOU VOTED FOR JUST BECAUSE SHE WAS A WOMAN... MAYBE WE WOULDNT BE TALKING ABOUT TRUMP PERIOD. Never wear a mask? Are you a COVID denier, sure, it doesn't exsist. All those stories about people dieing from it are fake. Yep. sarcasim All of it. The doctors and nurses are in on it too. Thats why they make sarcasimsomuchmoney. Don't want to wear one? Fine. Then stay at home or somewhere not heavily populated. I'll admit that there are days where I don't wear a mask in public. Nobody at my gym does. We just clean the equipment up when we're done and before use. I do go to restaurants. But I wash my fucking hands and stay the fuck away from people who I know are vulnerable and certainly don't go around coughing on people who wear masks and be a dick about it. If I'm in a store, I wear my mask. At a bar? Mask. Casino? Mask. Anywhere with a dense population. This isn't a hoax, now whether or not this has been bluffed up is debateable, but just have some common sense about a health crisis, anyway. I can't see how my surronding counties are supposedly hotspots for it, because nobody I know has ever had it. And half of them didn't really give a shit about staying safe from this virus, maybe a couple who I do know somebody who had it, but, I don't know... something about all this is weird. I'm done ranting. That felt good. I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings, but thats just what I feel is the truth about everything. I could on about religion too, or military funding, or really anything controversial, but it doesnt matter, nobody has anything right, so stop expecting people to pick sides or judging them for how they feel about something. Its a waste of time. I'd really just like to see poverty and racism end peacefully, without all the drama, but unfortunately, Martin Luther King died a long time ago. EDIT: Spelling, Grammar. Was really tired last night. Don't see how I didn't get downvoted to hell.
My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 3)
If you're curious: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE. STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 2) As the battleship Comet Chaser flees the destruction of the planet Coruscant, New Republic officers frantically man the guns and attempt to call for help. But as they soon learn: calls for help are coming in from all over the galaxy. "We're getting a distress signal!" one officer yells. "The Black Fleetis attackingCorellia!" "The Crimson Legionjust landed onMon Calamari!" another officer calls. "The Dark Chosenare onCarida! They're reporting thousands dead—soldiers and civilians!" "The True Sithare bombingNaboo!" All over the galaxy, Imperial loyalist groups are emerging from the shadows to attack the New Republic in a massive coordinated strike. Individually, each group would be no match for the New Republic fleet—but with the First Order's brazen attack on Coruscant, dozens of terrorist groups are finally coming together. As the Comet Chaser fights its way through the swarming First Order starships, Leia confers with the fleet's admiral, who asks for her help in bringing Kylo Ren to justice—unaware that he's actually her son. Suddenly, the bridge takes a direct hit from a First Order dreadnaught, and Leia and the admiral are sucked into the vacuum of space. Moments later, as Finn and Poe look on in astonishment, Leia reveals her long-nurtured Force sensitivity and manages to use her telekinetic abilities to propel her body through space and guide herself back to the airlock. She narrowly survives, but she collapses upon being brought back into the ship, and the officers are forced to take her to the sickbay as they make the jump to lightspeed and flee Coruscant. Back on Ahch-To, Rey is gripped by a palpable sense of dread and fear as she senses that thousands of innocent lives have been snuffed out on Coruscant. As she looks to Luke for guidance, he collapses. With his keen Force abilities, Luke feels every individual life as it ends, and he feels each moment of terror and pain. He instantly knows what's happened. "Ben..." he gasps. "What have you done?" As Luke shares his vision of the destruction of the New Republic's capital at the hands of the Star Hammer, Rey begs him to leave Ahch-To to aid his old comrades, but Luke sadly shakes his head and turns away. As Rey follows him into his stone temple, he tells her that the Jedi were never as great or powerful as they were made out to be, and they caused nearly as much death and destruction as they stopped. When Rey implores Luke to remember all the good that he did in his younger days, Luke stubbornly insists that he never amounted to much either. Now that Kylo Ren has turned his wrath on the galaxy, Luke finds himself haunted by his memories of the last time he saw Kylo, when he tried to save him from the allure of the Dark Side—and failed. As he and Rey sit down together in the temple, Luke finally opens up about his brief time as Ben Solo's teacher. "For many years, there was balance," he says. "And then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him. I could pass on my strengths.Hanwas Han about it, but Leia trusted me with her son. I took him and a dozen students, and began a training temple. By the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late." "What happened?" Rey asks. "I went to confront him," Luke says. "And he turned on me." As Luke flashes back to his younger days, we see a brief vision of Luke approaching a young Ben Solo as he lies in bed in his quarters at the temple. When Ben opens his eyes and sees his uncle standing over him, he moves to draw his lightsaber, and he raises his hand. Calling upon the full might of his powers, Ben unleashes a blast of Force energy—and the walls of the temple come crashing down, burying Luke in stone rubble. "He must have thought I was dead," Luke says. "When I came to, the temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed herself, but it was me. I failed. Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend..." As the Comet Chaser drops out of hyperspace at the head of a small fleet of surviving New Republic warships, the ship's ranking officer takes stock of the New Republic's unfolding crisis. With the death of the admiral, his second-in-command—Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo—takes command of the fleet and orders her mechanics to begin repairs. As reports of mounting casualties and continuous attacks continue to pour in, Holdo soon realizes that every Republic world within reach of a hyperspace jump is now under siege by Imperial militants. For the moment, the fleet is alone, with no backup or safe harbor in sight. Worse still: at least half of the Galactic Senate and the New Republic High Command were killed in the escape from Coruscant. The New Republic is in shambles, and it may never rebuild itself. As the crew awaits orders from their new commanding officer, Holdo gives them just one: keep flying. Upon learning that Leia brought two civilians onboard, the ship's first mate gives Finn and Poe the opportunity to temporarily join the Comet Chaser's crew as active-duty crewmen. Accepting the offer, they're assigned to a mechanic squad alongside a new recruit named Rose Tico. As they bond with Rose, Finn and Poe tell her all about their adventures on Jakku, Takodana and Ilum, and they open up about their lives before the two of them crossed paths. Finn admits that he's a former operative of the First Order himself, and Poe admits that he's a member of the underground Resistance movement. Much like Finn and Poe, Rose was born into poverty in a backwater world on the Outer Rim—but she ultimately chose to join the military, believing that she could make a better life for herself by serving the New Republic. Now that the New Republic might not exist anymore, though, Rose feels adrift. In spite of their differences, the three realize that they have a common enemy in Kylo Ren. To give Rose a glimmer of hope, Finn and Poe share a secret with her: just a few weeks ago, Finn managed to find a map that led directly to Luke Skywalker—and they have a friend who went looking for him. After ten long years, the legendary Jedi Knight might finally be returning to aid the galaxy in its darkest hour. And if anybody can beat back the tide of the Imperial cause, it's him. Their bonding is interrupted when a small fleet of First Order starships suddenly drops out of hyperspace, with Kylo Ren's flagship in the lead. Somehow, the First Order has managed to track the fleet through hyperspace. Moments later, the ship trembles as the First Order takes aim and fires, and alarm sirens blare as Holdo calls the ship's crew to their stations. As a tense space battle ensues, the trio are forced into the fray as the Comet Chaser begins taking damage, and they're ultimately forced to don pressurized spacesuits and venture onto the ship's exterior to repair one of its primary laser cannons. When they do, Finn and Poe find themselves in a tense firefight with a squadron of the First Order's "Space Troopers", who attempt to sabotage the ship from the outside while wearing armored rocket-propelled spacesuits. After defeating the Space Troopers and returning to the ship, they soon learn that the Comet Chaser is running disastrously low on fuel—and with the First Order apparently capable of tracking the fleet through hyperspace, they may not be able to use their hyperdrive to escape. But when Poe and Finn confront Holdo in hopes of finding out her plans to save the fleet, she angrily turns on both of them. By now, Holdo has learned that her two new "civilian" recruits are far from civilians: Poe is a known member of the Resistance with ties to multiple high-profile radicals, and Finn is a former soldier of the First Order who's wanted by Planetary Security for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. As an argument ensues, it becomes abundantly clear that Holdo has no love for the Resistance, and she's unwilling to overlook Finn's past. "In the Resistance, you might talk a good game about freedom," Holdo says coldly to Poe. "But on this ship, I'm in charge! I won't be questioned by radical scum, or by a runaway terrorist! While you were skulking in back-alleys and shouting slogans, I was defending the borders of the Republic that my forefathers died for! You say that you're keeping Luke Skywalker's dream alive—but you don't even understand what that means! Luke Skywalker was a leader! He made sacrifices for us! What haveyousacrificed, Dameron?" Rose attempts to jump to her new friends' defense, but she's sternly silenced by Holdo, who orders her back to her post. "When this is over, I want you off my ship!" Holdo angrily tells Finn and Poe. "You'll leave, and you'll never come back!" After the argument, Rose comforts Finn and Poe, assuring them that she doesn't share her commanding officer's view of them. Later, when the trio find a secluded place to talk, Finn shares some key information with the others: During his time with the First Order, he learned that Kylo Ren's technicians were working on a cutting-edge hyperspace tracker that could track enemy starships through hyperspace. If the First Order managed to attack them immediately after they dropped out of hyperspace, it's possible that they've completed their hyperspace tracker. If his hunch is correct, then they might be able to escape the First Order's fleet by shutting down the tracker. But since the tracker used an advanced computer mainframe to track ships' movements, it could only be shut down by hacking it. "It's at the heart of the ship, guarded by at least a few dozen troopers," Finn says. "But if I could just get aboard that ship, I could find it. I know I could!" "Holdo would never go for a plan like that," Rose says. "But if you really think it could save us all, then I can stomach breaking a few regulations." "But what about hacking it?" Finn asks. "Could any of us really pull off something like that?" "No," Poe says. "But I know somebody who could..." As Poe shares with his friends: during his time with the Resistance, he and his comrades would regularly hack into holographic news broadcasts on Jakku to send out Resistance slogans. While hacking was never Poe's specialty, one of his old comrades was a man called "DJ" who was legendary for his skill with computers. Incidentally, DJ has owed Poe a favor ever since he saved his life during one of their many run-ins with Planetary Security—and according to a persistent rumor, he recently resettled in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, which is only a short flight away. Convinced that recruiting DJ could be the only way to disable the hyperspace tracker and save the ship, Rose uses her access codes to get Finn and Poe into the Comet Chaser's hangar, where she helps them steal a shuttle. Firing the shuttle's engines, the trio slips out of the hangar and sets course for Canto Bight. On Ahch-To, Rey is startled by a vision of Kylo Ren, who calls out to her by name. Although she initially believes that she's hallucinating, she realizes that Kylo is using the Force to psychically communicate with her. Still haunted by her memories of watching Kylo stab Han Solo to death, Rey tearfully asks him why he murdered his own father. Kylo insists that he killed him because he was his sole remaining link to his old life as Ben Solo, and he believed that he needed to cut all ties to his old life in order to realize his full potential. Kylo suggests that Rey also struggles with her lingering ties to her old life on Jakku, and that she also needs to cut those ties in order to become truly strong in the Force. "Your parents threw you away like garbage," Kylo says. "But you can't stop needing them." Kylo recalls the night that he destroyed Luke's temple and ran away. Although Luke claimed that Kylo lashed out at him after he tried to confront him about his temptation to turn to the Dark Side, Kylo tells a different tale: Luke feared that he would become more powerful than he ever was, and he tried to kill him in his sleep out of jealousy. Rey shares her own secret: the previous night, she disobeyed Luke's warnings and snuck into the haunted cavern beneath his temple, lured by a strong feeling that it would finally answer her questions about the identity of her parents. Instead, she simply saw a reflection of herself: alone and lost, just as she's always been. Extending his hand in a gesture of friendship, Kylo assures Rey that she's not alone, and he'll never abandon her like her parents did. And although she may have been forced to live in poverty and squalor in the New Republic, Kylo promises Rey that she can have a place at his right hand when he sets out to built a better society. The past is over—and only the future beckons. "Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be." Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Luke, who is enraged to learn that Rey has been in contact with the man who killed Han Solo and destroyed his academy. Drawing her lightsaber, Rey confronts Luke about what happened between him and his old apprentice, telling him that Ben told her everything. Luke doesn't deny that he drew his lightsaber on his teenaged apprentice while he slept, but he insists that Kylo didn't tell her the full truth about that night either. Luke saw a vision of the death and destruction that young Ben Solo was destined to wreak upon the galaxy when he embraced the Dark Side—and for one awful moment, he was tempted by the thought of preventing that future by killing Ben in his sleep. He came to his senses before he could strike the fatal blow, but the temptation lasted just long enough that Ben woke up to find his teacher standing above him with a lightsaber in his hand. Even though he never struck Ben, Luke blames himself for his turn to the Dark Side, believing that his apprentice's feelings of betrayal and disillusionment ultimately pushed him over the edge, showing him that he couldn't put his trust in the Jedi. Haunted by his failure, Luke went into exile, and Ben found a new teacher: the Oracle. Rey believes that there is still good in Kylo Ren, and he could be turned back to the Light Side—just like Anakin Skywalker was. Luke tries to persuade Rey that it's far too late for that, but Rey refuses to listen. With that, she boards the Millennium Falcon and sets course for Kylo's ship, believing that she can convince him to leave the First Order and return to his family. Landing just outside of Canto Bight, Finn and Rose find themselves entranced by the glitz and glamor of the upscale resort town, but Poe warns them that it can be a dangerous place. As they make their way through a swanky casino packed with wealthy alien patrons, they soon realize that most of the denizens of Canto Bight don't seem to know or care that the New Republic is under attack by terrorists and on the verge of collapsing. As Poe explains: the people who spend their time in Canto Bight are rich enough that they're effectively outside the New Republic's jurisdiction, and they've built their own insular paradise that will outlast even the most destructive war. Many of them, in fact, have found ways to profit handsomely from the New Republic's ongoing clashes with Imperial militants—and whichever side wins, they'll find a way to get rich. Inside the casino, Poe finds his old friend DJ entertaining a group of well-dressed businessmen at a private table, and the two old comrades warmly embrace. Their reunion takes a sour turn, however, when DJ admits that he's got gambling debts at the casino, and can't leave Canto Bight until he finds a way to pay them back. DJ claims that he can't help Poe hack into Kylo Ren's ship—but Rose manages to sway him by convincing him that she's a high-ranking officer in the New Republic fleet, and that she can use her influence to protect him from his creditors in exchange for his help. In a frenetic chase sequence, the trio manage to escape from the casino with DJ in tow, but they end up with the casino's security detail on their tail when they realize that DJ is attempting to dodge his gambling debts and skip town. On the outskirts of Canto Bight, the group makes their escape after hijacking a shuttle owned by one of the many arms dealers in the city. As they set course for the First Order's fleet, DJ rifles through the arms dealer's onboard computer, and soon finds evidence that he—like many other war profiteers in Canto Bight—was selling weapons to various Imperial loyalist groups in addition to the New Republic. While Finn and Rose are horrified to learn this, DJ tells them that it's simply the way of the galaxy: money and power are the only constants in the world, and "Good" and "Evil" are just imaginary concepts that exist to keep the wheels of commerce spinning. DJ admits that he left the Resistance when he became disillusioned with their mission, and he came to believe that their ideals were just as hollow as anything that the Republic or the Empire ever believed in. Now, he devotes his life to the pursuit of money and power, the only things that can make a difference in the world. "It's all a machine, partner," he tells Poe. "Live free! Don't join." As Rey intercepts Kylo's flagship and flies into the docking bay, she finds Kylo waiting for her. She's cuffed by Stormtroopers and marched into the Oracle's private chamber to face his judgment. Although she tells Kylo that it isn't too late to break free of the Oracle's influence, Kylo doesn't seem to listen. Undeterred, Kylo pushes Rey into the room. Flanked by his Praetorian Guard, the Oracle is waiting for her. Just as Rey and the Oracle lock eyes, DJ's hijacked shuttle coasts into the hangar of the ship, and DJ shows off his hacking skills as he disables the ship's security system. After stealing a set of officer's uniforms from a nearby locker room, they proceed to the center of the ship in disguise. Back on the Comet Chaser, Leia awakens from her coma to find Vice Admiral Holdo standing over her. As Holdo tells Leia: she has a plan to save the remnants of the New Republic Fleet—but it's a risky plan with no room for error. As the First Order closes in on the fleet, Holdo plans to use the Comet Chaser as a decoy while she evacuates the passengers and crew in a small fleet of cloaked shuttles. The shuttles will slip away and take refuge in an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on the nearby planet of Crait. But in order for the escape to work, someone will need to stay behind to pilot the ship so that the First Order doesn't suspect that it's been abandoned. Holdo volunteers to stay behind, despite knowing that the choice will likely lead to her death. As Holdo escorts Leia to a shuttle, the two women say their goodbyes, and Holdo reveals that it was Leia's heroic actions in the Galactic Civil War that inspired her to enlist in the fleet. As Leia boards a shuttle, Holdo leaves Leia with a simple farewell message: "May the Force be with you—always," she says. Back on Ahch-To, Luke carries a flaming torch up to the top of a hill, where his crude stone temple overlooks the ocean. He plans to burn the temple to ground—and with it, the sacred Jedi texts that have sat there for centuries. Before he can set the temple ablaze, though, a familiar face stops him in his tracks. Yoda, his old teacher, has appeared to him, using the Force to speak to him from beyond the veil of death. Luke defiantly tells Yoda that he plans to destroy the Jedi texts, ensuring that the Jedi Order will die with him—and nobody will ever repeat the Jedi's mistakes. Much to his surprise, though, Yoda takes the initiative himself, using his Force powers to set the temple alight with a bolt of lightning. Overcome with sorrow, Luke sinks to the ground and watches the temple burn. Taking a seat beside his aging student, Yoda assures Luke that the sacred Jedi texts didn't contain any wisdom that Rey doesn't already possess. If the Jedi are truly going to survive into a new era, they can't spend all of their time looking to the past for answers. Instead, they must look to the future and put their faith in the next generation. And although Luke may never be able to undo his mistake that drove Ben Solo to the Dark Side, he can ensure that Rey doesn't go down the same path that he did. "I can't be what she needs me to be," Luke says, hanging his head. "Heeded my words not, did you?" Yoda asks. "Pass on what you have learned! Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes... Failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters." Contemplating his master's words, Luke looks to the sky. As they make their way through the winding hallways of the flagship, Finn, Poe, Rose, DJ and BB-8 find themselves surrounded by First Order troops, who quite clearly knew that they were coming. It turns out that DJ sent a secret message to the First Order while flying the others to the ship, promising to deliver three high-ranking Republic soldiers into their custody in exchange for having his debts cleared. Poe lashes out in anger as he realizes that his friend betrayed him, but the soldiers force him and his companions to their knees, preparing to execute them. In the Oracle's chamber, Kylo confiscates Rey's lightsaber and presents it to his teacher as a gift. As the Oracle lies back in his bed, he clasps the lightsaber in his gnarled hands, laughing a low, mirthless laugh. Taunting Rey, the Oracle reveals that he and Kylo know about the Republic's plan to evacuate their fleet. Kylo already used the Force to locate their shuttles, and he ordered his crew to target them and destroy them as soon as they were all boarded. Moments later, the ship's guns begin firing—and Rey is forced to watch as she stands at the nearest viewing window, looking out across the vast gulf of space as one shuttle after another explodes. As dozens of lives are snuffed out with each explosion, she feels a sharp pain in her heart. Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo watches in horror as the fleeing transport ships are blasted into oblivion. Her plan to evacuate her crew has failed, and the last remnants of the New Republic fleet may die. Unless she can come up with a new plan to save them... Thinking fast, she takes the helm of the Comet Chaser and prepares to turn it around. As the First Order's guns continue to target the defenseless transports, they don't see her aiming the prow of her ship at the center of their fleet... The Oracle turns to Kylo. "The end of your journey nears, my worthy apprentice," he says. "The ultimate powerawaits you. But remember your lessons well: the stories of the strong are written in the blood of the weak. If you would claim the ultimate power, none may challenge you. Least of all, Skywalker's apprentice." As a final test, the Oracle orders Kylo to kill Rey, proving that he will not be held back by mercy or compassion as he embarks on his last journey. Kylo looks across the room at Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which Rey stole from his personal shrine. Two great Jedi in the Skywalker bloodline have wielded that lightsaber. One of them fought for the Dark Side, and the other fought for the Light. But which path will Kylo choose when he reclaims his birthright? For the first time in a long while, Kylo feels his soul cleft by doubt. Is there a third path, somewhere between light and darkness—or is he doomed to become a monster? Raising his hand, Kylo reaches out with the Force, and the lightsaber floats into the air. But before he summons the lightsaber it to his hand, he ignites the blade and stabs the Oracle through the heart, killing him. Enraged, the warriors of the Praetorian Guard charge at Rey and Kylo with weapons drawn. In an intense battle, the two of them fight the Praetorian Guard side-by-side, narrowly winning after a long and grueling duel. As Rey looks at the Oracle's dead body, she realizes that Kylo spared her life and chose to save her, and willingly chose to kill his own master instead of her. Perhaps she was right all along, and Kylo really does want to abandon the Dark Side. When Rey looks out at the remnants of the Republic fleet, she realizes that there are still a handful of shuttles left, but the First Order's guns are still firing on them. Only Kylo can give the order for them to stop shooting. Rey asks Kylo to order his men to cease fire. But to her horror, he refuses. At the end of his journey with the Oracle, Kylo has become convinced that both the Dark Side and the Light Side are built on lies, and he refuses to follow either path. "It's time to let old things die," Kylo says. "The Oracle. Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die. Rey, I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy!" Rey, however, sees Kylo for the delusional would-be tyrant that he is. While Kylo might believe that he's embraced a higher worldview beyond Light and Darkness, his mindless pursuit of power has led him down a path trodden by countless murderers and tyrants. Finally, Kylo tries one last ploy to convince Rey to join him: he reminds her of her journey into the cave, and of what she saw there. While Rey couldn't bring herself to say it outright, Kylo knows that Rey learned the identities of her parents—and he knows that she was utterly devastated by what she learned. And if she could only admit the truth about them, she could finally be persuaded to abandon the past and embrace a new future. "Do you want to know the truth about your parents?" Kylo asks. "Or have you always known, and only hidden it away? You know the truth. Say it." As her memories of the cave come flooding back, Rey's eyes brim with years. "They were nobody..." she softly whispers. Kylo nods. "They were born on a peaceful planet at the edge of the galaxy," he says. "And when the last war came to their doorstep, the Rebels and the Empire fought over their world. Your mother was pregnant when she watched the skies burn. And when she cried out to the heavens, neither side answered her. Your parents fled to Jakku in search of a better life, but they knew that they couldn't keep a child fed and clothed. So they abandoned you in the slums, and they never saw you again. Your parents have been dead for years, Rey. They starved to death in a back-alley at the heart of the city. They died cold, hungry, and forgotten. And nobody cared." At last, Rey finally understands to full truth of who she is. She isn't the heir to a proud legacy, and there's no momentous destiny laid out for her. She's just the cast-off daughter of two poor, homeless refugees who were driven from their home by a war that they never wanted any part in, and she was never meant for great things. Perhaps Kylo is right. Maybe there is no real difference between the Dark Side and the Light. To a pair of homeless refugees, after all, it didn't matter which side won the war. Neither side cared about them. And neither side would care if it happened all over again. Maybe letting it all die really is the only way forward. But no. If there's really a better future for the galaxy, an unrepentant murderer like Kylo Ren won't be the one to bring it into being. Rey raises her hand and reaches out with the Force, attempting to grab back Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Kylo raises his hand and attempts to pull the lightsaber toward him. As Rey and Kylo grapple over the lightsaber, the force of their exertions threatens to pull it apart. Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo keys a command into her control panel, plotting a jump to lightspeed—right through the heart of the First Order's fleet. The jump will require incredibly precise calculations—but if she can pull it off correctly, she could cripple the First Order's warships, possibly buying the transports the time that they need to complete the journey to Crait. With her course plotted, Holdo takes a deep breath...and engages the ship's hyperdrive. BOOM! For a moment, time seems to stop as the Comet Chaser engages its hyperdrive and tears through the First Order fleet in a streak of light. One by one, the First Order's ships shatter and explode, torn apart by the herculean force of the Comet Chaser's hyperdrive engines as they propel the ship forward in a suicide run at the speed of light. Chaos erupts in Kylo's flagship as it's rocked by the explosions of nearby ships. In one part of the ship, a squad of First Order troops are thrown against a bulkhead before they pull their triggers and execute Finn, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. Taking advantage of the distraction, they make a break for it, running toward the ship's hangar. Back in the Oracle's chamber, Rey and Kylo are thrown to opposite ends of the room—just as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber splits in two. Leia stands at the window of her transport ship as she watches the First Order fleet explode. After fighting their way through dazed and confused First Order troops, Finn, Poe, Rose and BB-8 make it to the hangar and hijack a First Order shuttle. Gunning the engines, they set course for Crait to join the rest of the fleet. On the surface of Crait, Leia takes refuge in the abandoned Rebel Alliance base with the last few survivors of the fleet—a few dozen soldiers, technicians, and crewmen. Finn and his companions manage to pilot their hijacked shuttle to the base, and they take their place among the assembled New Republic troop as they prepare to make their final stand against the First Order. Within the hour, Kylo Ren's fleet lands on Crait, and a massive army of tanks and walkers disembarks from the First Order's landing craft, preparing to make their move on the armored base. The soldiers make a valiant effort to drive them back—but soon, the base's wall comes crashing down. From inside, a crestfallen Leia watches as the First Order's forces advance. Then, just when she least expects it, a familiar figure walks into the room. A bearded man with weary eyes, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi Knight. It's Luke! For the first time in ten years, brother and sister are reunited. As their eyes meet from across the room, they smile. A moment passes, and Luke walks forward to embrace Leia. Luke's years of buried regrets come bubbling to the surface as he remembers the day that he left his sister behind, but he knows that he can't undo whatever pain he caused her. "Leia, I'm sorry..." Luke says. I know," Leia says. "I know you are. I'm just glad you're here at the end." "I came to face him, Leia. And I can't save him." "I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone." Luke gives her a wary look. "No one's ever really gone," he says. Without another word, Luke strides out onto the salt plains of Crait, lightsaber in hand. Almost immediately, Kylo catches sight of him from the cockpit of a walker. Overcome with blind rage, Kylo orders every one of his armed vehicles to target Luke and blow him away. They obey his order—but when the smoke clears, Luke is still alive, and there isn't a scratch on him. Kylo exits his walker. Lightsaber in hand, he steps forward to confront his master. "Did you come back to say you forgive me?" Kylo asks mockingly. "To save my soul?" "No," Luke says simply. As master and apprentice ignite their lightsabers, they circle each other and begin to duel. Moments later, it finally dawns on Poe: Luke is distracting the First Order to buy them enough time to escape. At first, it seems impossible to slip out undetected—but with some quick thinking, they manage to find a hidden tunnel amid the disused mines at the interior of the base. Luke's duel with his old apprentice rages on. Finally, as Kylo steps back and prepares to charge at his old master one more time, Luke stares him down. I failed you, Ben," Luke says. "I'm sorry." "I'm sure you are!" Kylo spits back. "The New Republic is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!" Luke smiles. "No," he says. "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I willnotbe the last Jedi!" Kylo sneers. "I'll destroy Rey, and you, and all of it," he says. "No," Luke says, still undaunted. "Strike me down in anger, and I'll always be with you. Just like your father." Screaming with rage, Kylo charges at Luke, raises his saber, and brings it down for a killing blow... ...But when his blade comes down, it passes through Luke's body as if he's a ghost. Gaping in disbelief, Kylo steps back. And at last, he realizes what has happened: Luke never left his island refuge. He used the full might of his Force abilities to project himself to Crait through the astral plane, allowing himself to distract the First Order and buy the New Republic's forces a few precious moments to escape. Many years ago, Luke nearly succumbed to the temptation of anger and killed his young apprentice. Now, he has mastered that anger. Heeding the words of his mentors, he found a way to use the Force to save his old comrades without taking a single life. Blinded by his anger at the teacher who failed him, Kylo has been vainly fighting an illusion. Once again, Luke smiles. "See you around, kid," he says. With that, Luke vanishes—leaving Kylo standing alone on the salt plains. Back on Ahch-To, Luke sits cross-legged at the top of a rocky hill, his body levitating just a few feet off the ground as he reaches out with the Force and projects himself to Crait. As soon as he's confident that his work is done, he opens his eyes and floats back down. His limbs tremble with fatigue, sweat coats his body, and blood drips from his nose. He has given the last remnants of the New Republic a fighting chance—but this last great feat of Force magic has taken every last ounce of his strength. Now, he has nothing left. At long last, he can die at peace. As the sun sets over the wind-tossed seas of Ahch-To, Luke lies back against a rock and breathes his last breaths. Moments later, his body fades away and vanishes as he becomes one with the Force. When the wind picks up, it blows away his empty robes. As Finn, Poe, Rose, and Leia lead the remnants of the New Republic's forces through the mines, they come to a pass blocked by fallen rocks. It seems impossible to make it through—but then the rocks rise into the air as if by magic, clearing the way. At the other side of the pass, they see a familiar figure standing proudly with her hand raised, using the Force to lift the rocks aside. It's Rey—and she's standing in front of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca by her side! After her battle with Kylo, Rey managed to escape his ship in the Falcon, and she made it to Crait just in time to help the New Republic's forces escape. Together, the soldiers board the Falcon and soar into the skies of Crait, escaping in the nick of time. Hour after the battle on Crait, the halls of the Falcon swarm with New Republic soldiers and crewmen, numbering in the dozens. They're low on supplies, they're far from safe haven, and they know that the First Order and their allies aren't far behind them—but they're still alive, and they've sworn to take the galaxy back when the time is right. When things seem uncertain, Rey turns to Leia, who knows what it's like to be outnumbered and outgunned. While Rey isn't sure if they can build a fighting force out of a few dozen soldiers and a battered old freighter, Leia urges her to have faith. "We have everything we need," Leia says. As Rey walks away to join her friends, we zoom in on a shelf by Han's old dejarik board. Among the various assorted trinkets on the shelf is a set of dusty old books: the sacred Jedi texts. It turns out that Rey took the Jedi texts from the temple before she left Ahch-To. And while the temple was destroyed, the Jedi texts weren't. Luke Skywalker is dead—but the wisdom of the Jedi lives on, and Luke's apprentice will carry on his legacy no matter what it takes. On the other side of the galaxy, Kylo Ren sits alone in the Oracle's old chamber. Rey and her companions slipped through his fingers, but the New Republic is still in ruins—and even if Rey can evade the First Order, she and her companions can never bring back the New Republic as it once was. All over the galaxy, reports continue to pour in: most of the Core Worlds have fallen to attacks from Imperial loyalists, the New Republic fleet has been routed, and at least half of the Outer Rim worlds have seceded from the New Republic. With the New Republic a shadow of its former self, anarchy reigns, and there is no obstacle to the Knights of Ren and their ultimate mission. Yet until Rey dies, Kylo knows that he won't be able to rest. But for now, none of that matters. All that matters is the quest for the ultimate power, which drew Kylo to the Oracle's side long ago. Once, the Oracle promised that he would guide Kylo to his destiny. But with the Oracle gone, Kylo has no choice but to embark down that path by himself. The road will be long and full of trials, but he's ready. Kylo reaches into a metal chest that sits beside the space where the Oracle's life-support machine once stood. He pulls out a small object: an ornate wooden box with arcane symbols and characters etched along its surface. He takes a deep breath and opens the box by a fraction of an inch—and golden light streams upon his face. TO BE CONCLUDED... TL;DR: While the remnants of the New Republic fleet escape the destruction of Coruscant with the First Order in hot pursuit, Finn and Poe are temporarily pressed into service on the Comet Chaser’s crew while the ship attempts to find safe harbor. While serving on the crew, they find themselves clashing with their new commanding officer Vice Admiral Holdo, who looks down upon them for their pasts with the First Order and the Resistance. Instead of simply disliking each other, Poe and Vice Admiral Holdo distrust each other because Holdo views the Resistance as dangerous radicals, while Poe believes that the New Republic is just as oppressive as the Empire. In the Canto Bight sequence, Poe accompanies Finn and Rose Tico to recruit DJ, and DJ is introduced as one of Poe’s former comrades from the Resistance. And instead of being "filthy junk traders who sold [her] off for drinking money", Rey's parents are revealed to be refugees from the Galactic Civil War who abandoned her in the slums of Jakku because they couldn't afford to raise a child. In the final scene, Kylo Ren finds and opens a mysterious box in the Oracle’s quarters, which is hinted to be a key to the "ultimate power" that the Oracle promised him.
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