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New casino opened up near my house today, this was one photo posted in the local news...looks like she only painted one hand for the big event submitted by happyjoylove to RedditLaqueristas [link] [comments]

Stokes's Bristol Nightclub incident in detail (From: The Comeback Summer by Geoff Lemon)

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a place where misadventure could begin, you can’t go past Mbargo. The nightclub’s streetfront is painted a purple so bright you’ll see it in your dreams. Strings of giant sequins shimmer in the breeze. Its phonically inventive name is spelt in silver letters that climb its three-storey terrace facade. Inside are strips of burning neon, a few booths, floorboards so marinated in drink that they have an ingredients list. Bristol is a student city on England’s south coast crowded with music and nightlife and street art. This is Banksy’s home town, and the tourism board suggests in rather strong terms that ‘you would be a fool not to see his amazing work firsthand’. The same organisation describes Mbargo as ‘intimate’, which is fair for a place where you can catch an STI standing up. Students cram into its modest dimensions while people with names like DJ Klaud battle for billing with £1.50 drink deals over seven sloppy nights a week. To get a sense of the story about to come, consider that it’s the kind of place open until two o’clock on a Monday morning, and that at two o’clock on a Monday morning, Ben Stokes still thought it had closed too early.
The Ashes of 2017–18 had disciplinary bookends. It was after that series that Australia’s two leaders went off the rails in South Africa. It was a few weeks before that Ashes tour that England’s biggest star windmilled his way into his own disaster.
In the early hours of 25 September 2017, Stokes and teammate Alex Hales were barred from re-entering Mbargo after a night out on the piss. A Sunday thrashing of an abject West Indies in an ignored series at the fag-end of the season apparently required ample celebration. After arguing with the bouncer and hanging about at the door for a while, they wandered off to find a casino in the hope of more drinking. They’d barely made it around the corner before getting in the middle of a conflict between four locals. As is said on the internet, it escalated quickly.
The 26 September reporting was bloodless. Withholding names, police stated that a man ‘was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm’ while another went to hospital with facial injuries. England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss separately confirmed that Stokes was the arrestee, adding that he had been released without charge and that Hales had gamely offered to ‘help police with their enquiries’. Administrators had a good chance of hiding behind that investigation, and the next day Stokes was named in the upcoming Ashes squad as expected. But that night the video emerged.
Bristol student Max Wilson had shot it on his phone, then offered it to The Sun. What he thought was playing hardball was actually lowball: his opening price of £3000 was snapped up by a tabloid that would have paid ten times that. The Sun went on to make a mint by syndicating the rights worldwide. From a window above the fray, the vision showed six men on the street below performing the muddled choreography of a melee. One was right at the centre of it. One was waving a bottle, one dipped in and out, one tried to calm it. Two others floated around the edges. The central figure was unmistakable: red hair burning even in the streetlight as he launched into a series of blows against two of the men, falling to grapple with them on the ground, then following both across the street, swinging punches the whole way. Hales trailed behind, repeatedly and impotently shouting ‘Stokes! Stop! Stokes! Enough!’ The ECB could fudge issues that existed only in thickets of legalese, but not those captured in moving colour. Stokes was stood down from the next West Indies match, then suspended indefinitely. It emerged that he had broken his hand during the fight, something he’d done twice before while punching objects in dressing rooms.
The response in Australia was fierce: Stokes was a thug, a lowlife, a selection that would disgrace England. It was not entirely coincidental that a ban for England’s best player would be handy for the Aussie team, but there was also a cultural split. In England, plenty of people still minimise pub fights as lads letting off steam. In Australia, heavy media coverage as a succession of young men were killed had inverted that tolerance. The discourse now saw any punch as potentially deadly and accordingly reckless. This was more poignant in a cricket context given that David Hookes, the dashing Test batsman and state coach, was killed in 2004 by a pub bouncer’s fist.
The PR situation was bad for Stokes as details emerged of the injuries to the men he’d hit, and that one was a young war veteran and father. Stokes wasn’t officially removed from the Ashes squad through October but stayed behind when his teammates left, hoping for police to dismiss the matter in time for a late dash to Australia. His annual contract was renewed on the due date in case that came to pass. Then 29 October brought a twist in the tale.
‘Ben Stokes praised by gay couple after defending them from homophobic thugs,’ ran the headline. Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell had emerged. Not entirely out of nowhere: while Stokes had made no public comment, this story in his defence had initially been leaked to TV host Piers Morgan after the fight, as soon as the video appeared. Police body-camera footage played in court would later show that Stokes had given the same story to the arresting officer on the night. But no-one knew the identities of the fifth and sixth men in the video, and police appeals had turned up nothing.
It was The Sun again with the breakthrough. Kai and Billy were perfect for a readership not keen on nuance. ‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out they were famous cricketers. I just thought Ben and Alex were quite hot, fit guys,’ said Kai, who was memorably described as a ‘former House of Fraser sales assistant’. The paper had the pair do a full photo shoot: layering the fake tan, showing off chest waxes, mixing Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton into a range of outfits. Their best shot had them standing back to back, heads turned to the camera, in a mirror-image Zoolander moment.
Suddenly The Sun was the England team’s best friend. ‘Their claims could lead to the all-rounder being cleared over the punch-up and freed to play in the First Test in Australia next month,’ it gushed, then gave a tasting platter of quotes: ‘We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero.’ ‘If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.’ ‘We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.’ Would it be known forever as Kai and Billy’s Ashes? No. While the Bristol boys provided spin for Stokes’ reputation they didn’t influence the police. With charges still pending there was little choice – not given Strauss had previously sacked Kevin Pietersen for being annoying. Stokes remained suspended through the Ashes and a one-day series in Australia, and lost the vice-captaincy. It was January 2018 before the Crown Prosecution Service laid a charge.
That charge surprisingly came in as affray, a crime that can carry prison time but is classified as ‘a breach of the peace as a result of disorderly conduct’. The men he had punched, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, faced the same count, charged as equal participants in a fight rather than Stokes being charged with assaulting them. Alex Hales was not charged, despite being seen in the video to aim several kicks when Ryan Ali was lying on the ground. Given the underwhelming standing of the offence, Stokes was cleared by the ECB to tour New Zealand, and kept playing until his trial in August 2018, which he missed a Test to attend. None of the three defendants would be convicted.
The reasoning behind the charges was never released and was attributed vaguely to ‘CPS lawyers’. The service gave the case to Alison Morgan, a prosecutor of a class known as Treasury Counsel who usually handle serious criminal matters. Morgan had a scheduling clash and never ended up court for the case, but in 2018 and 2019 she would go on to win damages and admissions of libel from The Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph variously for incorrectly reporting that she had been responsible for the inadequate and inconsistent charging decisions.
Morgan’s successor on the case was Nicholas Corsellis QC, who on the first day of trial was permitted by the CPS to request two assault charges be added against Stokes. ‘Upon further review,’ claimed a CPS statement, ‘we considered that additional assault charges would also be appropriate.’ This was patent nonsense from the service that eight months earlier had chosen the lesser charge. Any lawyer knows that no judge will allow new charges once a trial has begun, because the defence hasn’t had time to prepare. But such a request could deflect criticism of the prosecution service by technically making the judge the one who disallows the charge.
Working through the story from the trial and the tape is complicated. You had a Ryan and a Ryan, a Hale and a Hales, a Billy and a Barry and a Ben. You had several versions of events as to who knew whom, who was drinking with whom, who had insulted whom and who had merely engaged in ‘banter’, a word that in modern Britain has to do an unconscionable amount of lifting. The reporting had constantly mixed up the Ryans as to who had which injury, who was in hospital, who had played which part in the fight, and whose mum had which stern words to say about it.
Let’s agree that from now Ryan Ali is Ryan One, the firefighter who ended up with a fractured eye socket and a cracked tooth. Ryan Two can be Ryan Hale, the soldier who scored concussion and facial lacerations. Mr Barry and Mr O’Connell are best known per The Sun as Kai and Billy. In scorecard parlance we’ll leave the cricketers as Stokes and Hales.
Amid the confusion, Stokes and his lawyers built his case in a straightforward way. The UK legal definition of affray is ‘if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety’. That means it doesn’t account for violence that harms a target, but violence that might frighten a theoretical bystander. The wiggle room for Stokes was with ‘unlawful’, because the charge excuses violence in defending oneself or others.
This interpretation hinged on the beginning of the video, where Ryan One waves a beer bottle about and takes a swing at Kai. The version from Stokes was that he was minding his own business walking down the street when he heard homophobic abuse. He intervened verbally and was threatened verbally by Ryan One – something that Ryan One denied but that couldn’t be proved or disproved. In fear for his safety Stokes had to nullify that threat by bashing Ryan One before it went the other way. He registered Ryan Two in his peripheral vision as another possible threat, and again had only one recourse.
Stokes also had to convince the jury to disregard testimony from Mbargo’s bouncer that he had been looking for a fight. A solid lump of a man, Andrew Cunningham had not enjoyed his patron’s attempts to get back into the club after the bouncer declined an offer of a bribe. ‘He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a cunt and I replied, “Thank you very much.” He just looked at me and told me my tattoos were shit and to look at my job.’ Cunningham described these words as coming in ‘a spiteful tone, quite an angry tone’, and said that Stokes still seemed angry as he walked away.
These were details the doorman had nothing to gain by inventing, but each of them Stokes denied. By his own accounting he had drunk a beer at the game and three pints at his hotel, then ‘potentially had some Jägerbombs’ along with half a dozen vodkas at the club. He insisted that after all of this he was not drunk.
If I may take a moment here to call upon the wisdom of experience – a person who cannot definitively say whether they have had any Jägerbombs has definitely had some Jägerbombs. A Jägerbomb is an experience that does not pass one by. Further to that, a person who says they have ‘potentially’ done something has definitely done that thing and doesn’t want to admit it. A person who has had between 15 and 24 standard drinks in one evening is shitfaced. A person who tries to bribe a bouncer £300 – three hundred quid! – to get into Mbargo – Mbargo! – is beyond shitfaced.
If Stokes admitted that he was drunk then the prosecution could say he was out of control. He claimed clear recall of assessing a threat, feeling fear and deciding to protect himself with force. He confidently denied details from the bouncer’s testimony, like using the word ‘cunt’ or mentioning gold teeth. Yet on other details he claimed a ‘significant memory blackout’. He didn’t remember the punch that saw Ryan One taken away by ambulance. He didn’t remember what the Ryans had said to Kai and Billy, only that those words were homophobic. With no head injury, as one of the few people who hadn’t been hit, he had supposedly suffered this memory loss despite being sober.
The version from Kai and Billy was compatible but vague: they had been walking along, they ‘heard … shouts’ of abuse from an unspecified source, then Stokes ‘stepped in’ and thus they avoided possible harm. They claimed to have been bought a drink by Stokes at Mbargo, although CCTV showed them meeting outside. The overall implication from both accounts was that the cricketers had been pals with Kai and Billy, while the Ryans as per The Sun’s headline were a roving band of thugs.
The reality though is that the Ryans were the ones hanging out with Kai and Billy at Mbargo. Police discussed CCTV from inside the club in questioning and at trial. On that footage the four Bristolians bought drinks for one another, danced together, and Kai was noted to have variously touched Ryan Two’s crotch and Ryan One’s buttock. Ryan One told police that all of this was taken lightheartedly and wasn’t a problem. Indeed, when the Ryans called it a night the other two left with them.
This much is clear from footage out the front of Mbargo, which shows Kai and Billy exit the club and start talking with a subdued Hales and a demonstrative Stokes, who are stuck outside. The vision was played in court to determine whether Stokes was antagonistic towards Kai and Billy, as he appears to impersonate them and to throw a lit cigarette their way. More interesting is that after a few minutes the Ryans emerge, and all six actors in the fight video briefly form a prequel in the one frame.
Ryan Two pats Billy on the chest in friendly fashion with his right hand before clapping him on the back with his left. He moves past and does the same to Kai before leaving the shot. Ryan One stops to speak to Kai. They lean in for a moment, talking, then Kai turns and they walk out of frame together. Billy hangs around for a few seconds at the door and then looks after them and races to catch up. Stokes and Hales remain outside the club to remonstrate further with the bouncers. Whatever discord develops around the corner is between four men who left amicably together minutes earlier.
There’s no way to know what caused that friction. If Ryan One did use homophobic slurs, he might have been drunkenly obnoxious for no reason. He might have had an insecure macho response to some extra flirtation. He might have thought unkindness was funny – ‘banter’ once again. Or he might have said something that was misunderstood, as both Ryans insisted in court that they had not used nor had the impulse to use any abusive language.
What clearly didn’t happen was an attack by bigots on random passers-by. This kind of crime is regular enough that an audience understands the horror of it, and this is what was evoked by the public accounts of Stokes, Billy and Kai. All we know is that there was some verbal dispute among the Bristol locals, and that Stokes came along behind them and put himself in the middle of it. Ryan One responded to the interference aggressively and away they went. There are plenty of reasons to look sideways at the idea that Stokes was a saviour. Foremost, neither Kai nor Billy was called upon as witnesses in court. You’d think it would be ideal to have Stokes’ story backed up by those who benefited from his selflessness. But his defence team had developed the impression that the pair had shown a changeable recall of events amid a hard-partying lifestyle, and would be dismantled by the prosecution on the stand.
That raises the question of whether The Sun coached their quotes for the 2017 interview. Despite missing court, Kai and Billy clearly enjoyed the attention. In 2018 after the trial they did a follow-up spread in the same paper about how poor Ben had been mistreated. They got a television spot on Good Morning Britain and glowed about his heroism. In 2019 The Sun wheeled them out once more to say that Stokes should get a knighthood. In 2017 they had ‘never watched cricket’ but by 2019 were supposedly volunteering sentences like, ‘He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes.’ Whether they were paid for these appearances is not known, but the chance to be famous for a day can be lure enough.
If you find this cynical, consider that on the night in question, the Bristol boys were so deeply moved and thankful for Ben’s intervention that they left him to be arrested and never attempted to find out who he was. Seconds after the video ended, an off-duty policeman reached the scene. You might think that someone grateful to a saviour would speak on his behalf. Instead, said Kai, ‘it all got a bit scary so we walked off. It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.’ They didn’t give their hero a thought for over a month while police issued multiple appeals for witnesses.
As for Stokes, he told his arresting officer that ‘his friends’ had been attacked. After three minutes of chat outside a nightclub, these friends were so dear to him that he has never contacted them again: not after the newspaper piece, not after the verdict. He didn’t want to see how they were or thank them for their support. He didn’t mention them by name in his solicitor’s statement after the trial.
The Stokes defence rested on Ryan One’s bottle, which he had carried out of Mbargo to finish a beer, not to use in a Sharks versus Jets amateur production. But once he turned it over to hold it by the neck it became a weapon. Intent and interpretation can change the material nature of things. Part of Stokes’ justification in court was that the bottle implied that the two Ryans might have ‘other weapons’ hidden away. You can understand how a jury could decide that created doubt.
Not being convicted, though, doesn’t give the contents of the video a big green tick. It does not, as his lawyer claimed, vindicate Stokes. Looking in detail, Ryan One is belligerent but his movements telegraph a bluff. Hales is the person he’s gesturing at, but they’re several metres apart when Ryan One cocks his arm ostentatiously, showing off the bottle rather than bracing to swing. He skips forward but Hales skips back and Ryan One doesn’t follow. Kai stretches out an arm to impede Ryan One, who has a drunken stumble, nearly eats pavement, then staggers towards Kai and hits him in the back. That hand is still holding the bottle, but his strike is a side-arm cuff on a soft part of the body. It’s all pretty tame.
This is where Stokes gets involved. Having moved across to protect Hales, he now takes three large steps to run around Kai and booms his first punch at Ryan One. They fall to the ground and the bottle clinks away. Stokes gets to his feet to punch down at the fallen man, while Hales arrives to kick him ineffectively then runs off across the street for some unknown reason. Ice-cream van? Stokes is soon back in the grapple having his shirt pulled up to show off his Durham tan. Ryan Two steps in for the first time to pull Stokes away, prompting a couple more random punches at this new target, then Stokes trips backwards over Ryan One and sprawls in the street. Hales chooses this moment to return and aim some solid kicks at the head of the man on the ground. Nothing so far is a triumph of moral philosophy or the pugilistic arts. But if it all stopped here, perhaps you could say it was somewhere approaching fair. Ryan One has behaved like a turnip and it’s not an entirely unjust world that would give him a whack across the chops. The antagonists have disentangled, Stokes has some distance, it’s time to dust off and go home. Ryan Two steps forward for this purpose with his palm raised in conciliatory style and says, ‘Settle down, stop.’
So Stokes punches him.
It’s roughly his fifth punch overall, and he really winds up into this one. He misses so hard that he stumbles away into the shadows of the shop awnings along the road.
Hales starts shouting for him to stop. Ryan Two backs into the street, still holding his palm up. Stokes closes on him from about five metres away, six large steps, to where Ryan Two is standing on his own. Stokes pushes him a couple of times, as Ryan Two keeps trying to placate him and saying ‘Stop.’ Stokes throws his sixth punch, largely missing as his target ducks.
Ryan Two keeps pulling away and reversing, into the middle of the street now. Stokes follows him, grabbing his sleeve to drag him back. By this point Ryan One has found his feet and walked around behind his friend. Both of them are in the same line of sight for Stokes, and both are backing away. Stokes aims his seventh and his eighth punches, which Ryan Two tries to deflect, as Hales walks up behind Stokes to grab him.
Stokes yanks away from his friend and switches to Ryan One instead, taking seven paces to grab him before throwing his ninth punch of the night. He grabs again; Ryan One blocks that arm and pushes himself back away from Stokes. Ryan Two again intercedes, putting himself between the two with his palms up and his arm extended.
Stokes throws his tenth punch, a right-hander at the face of Ryan Two, then shoves him backwards. Ryan Two backs away once more, four paces. Stokes follows, steadies, lines up, then launches his strongest punch yet, his eleventh, a proper right hook from a solid base, one that cracks across the man’s head and gives him concussion. Ryan Two ends up flat on his back in the middle of the street, his hands still outstretched for a moment in useless protest until they twitch and drop to the blacktop.
Stokes isn’t done. He once more shoves away the restraining Hales and follows Ryan One, who keeps backing away saying, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ Five more paces from Stokes before another blow at the man’s head. Kai and Billy are now standing over the poleaxed Ryan Two. The video ends, but seconds later Stokes will punch Ryan One hard enough to knock him out too, before off-duty cop Andrew Spure arrives on the scene to bring down the curtain. When the body-camera footage kicks in some minutes later, Stokes is in handcuffs but Ryan One is still laid out in the street. Ryan Two has regained consciousness, folded his shirt under his friend’s head and is asking police for an ambulance.
‘At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others.’ This was how Stokes described that sequence to the court. An elite athlete with years of gym work and training to snap a bat through the line of a ball with astounding power and precision, swinging fists as hard as he can at men with none of those advantages. Punching so hard that he breaks his hand, and repeatedly shoving away a friend so he can punch some more. Frightened and threatened by two targets shouting ‘Get back!’ and ‘Stop!’
The off-duty officer testified that Stokes ‘seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to’ Ryan One, who was ‘trying to back away or get away from the situation’. The student who filmed the video can be heard on the tape at one stage exclaiming ‘Fuck!’ and testified that it was because ‘I felt a little bit sorry about the lad that had been punched and it looked like he had his hands up’. That tallied with the prosecutor’s depiction of ‘a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place’.
The defendant stuck to his strategy. ‘No, my sole focus was to protect myself.’ All up, in the 33 seconds of footage after he falls over, Stokes takes 35 steps forward to keep hitting two men who keep trying to get away. Not once is he hit back.
After the verdict, Stokes’ solicitor positioned him as the victim. It had been ‘an eleven-month ordeal for Ben … The jury’s decision fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night … He was minding his own business … It was only when others came under threat that Ben became physically engaged. The steps that he took were solely aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and the others present …’ The statement was impossibly self-righteous and self-absorbed.
If there was anyone to feel sorry for it was Ryan Hale, the second of our two Ryans. He’s the one who emerged from the club with a friendly arm around the shoulder for Kai and Billy. He’s the one who interposed himself to end the fight, then kept putting himself back in the firing line, trying to calm an intimidating stranger while dodging blows. For his show of restraint he got laid out regardless, concussed in the street, then was issued a criminal charge equal to that of the man who hit him, and described in national media as a violent bigot in an untested story to support that man’s defence.
Lawyers for Ryan Two made a more convincing post-trial statement, noting that Kai and Billy, ‘neither of whom were relied upon by the prosecution or the defence team for Mr Stokes, have taken the opportunity to speak with various media outlets about the alleged homophobic abuse that they received in the early hours of September 25. Mr Hale has passionately denied this allegation throughout the course of this case,’ it continued.
‘It is upsetting to Mr Hale that although he was acquitted, the accusation that he was the author of such abuse remains. Both Mr Hale and Mr Ali were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes, and although Mr Stokes has been acquitted of an affray, Mr Hale struggles with the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service did not treat him as a victim of an unlawful assault.’Good question. Avon and Somerset police were the investigating force, and they were frustrated by the decision. Ryan Two was filmed clearly not hurting anyone, but police were instructed by the CPS to proceed with a charge. Hales (the cricketer) was filmed fighting but ‘a decision was made at a senior level of the CPS’ not to proceed. Police expected Stokes to be charged with assault but the CPS declined. It doesn’t take a wild cynic to think that placing the same lukewarm charge on three men for vastly divergent behaviour might ensure that none would be convicted, even as the trial would maintain the pretence that a defendant of influential standing had not been given a free pass.
A couple of years down the line, the original interview with Kai and Billy has disappeared. All traces have been scrubbed from The Sun website, its social media history, and even from the Wayback Machine internet archive. Given its headline of ‘homophobic thugs’ and text that names Ryan Two but not Ryan One, the libel liability isn’t hard to spot. Later interviews with Kai and Billy take the passive voice – they ‘suffered homophobic slurs outside a Bristol nightclub’.
The article that was once claimed to exonerate brave Ben Stokes now links only to a missing content page, with a picture of a dropped ice-cream cone and the phrase ‘legal removal’ inserted into the web URL. In terms of consequences, Stokes missed one tour. When he resumed his career in January 2018, the Australians hadn’t yet ruined theirs. Their year-long bans looked much more stringent. But the Stokes case dragged on in other ways. With no criminal liability, the Australians confessed promptly enough for the sporting world to give them the full length of the lash. Their situation was ugly but there was closure. Stokes got stuck in legal stasis, unable to be fully backed or condemned. Instead his issue was always present, a browser full of open tabs that the ECB swore they would read any day now.
Through 2018 Stokes was back but he wasn’t back, in the sunglasses and finger-guns sense. In his return one-day series he nearly cost England a match with 39 from 73 balls in Wellington. His first Test hit was a duck as England got rolled in Auckland for 58. At Trent Bridge while Stokes was injured, England posted a world record 481 against Australia. With Stokes three weeks later at the same ground they made 268. He crawled to 50 from 103, the second-slowest any Englishman had reached that milestone in 20 years. That span covered Alastair Cook’s whole career. It was apologetic batting, acting out responsibility via the scorecard. Stokes was creeping back into the team like he’d been kicked out in a blazing row and was hoping to tip-toe to the sofa.
It was December 2018 before the ECB disciplinary committee ruled on him and Hales. In a ‘remarkable coincidence’, wrote Simon Heffer in The Telegraph, ‘the punishment both players faced in terms of bans from playing at international level was covered by the amount of games they had already missed when dropped by England’s selectors, in the furore that followed the incident’. The verdict compounded the omissions around the case by not addressing the violence at its heart. Nor did Stokes, apologising only ‘to my team-mates, coaches and support staff’, and then ‘to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute’.
The implicit next step was to rebuild that reputation. It might have been easier had his court defence not meant that he wasn’t game to admit any fault at all. It might have been easier if he or his advisers had been willing to change tack once the trial was done. Imagine a world where Stokes had stood outside court and apologised for overreacting, for the injuries he’d caused, and for the time and energy he had sucked out of other people’s lives. That would have been a show of responsibility beyond a scorecard. When the time came around to assess forgiveness, it might have meant forgiveness was deserved.
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I work at a crooked casino. You don't gamble with money here.

Hi, everybody. My name is Sid, and I’m an addict.
It took me a long time to accept that. But when you take a job in a casino just so that you can be there all the time and try to gain an edge, you’re an addict. It’s obvious even to me. More so to my family and friends, who I barely see anymore.
It’s not pills or coke, booze or heroin that I’m hooked on. I’m addicted to gambling.
The casino that made me so obsessed is not an ordinary one, though. It’s far from ordinary.
You don’t play for money at Fantasy Casino. You play for your dreams.
I hear you laughing.
But have you ever had a really, really great dream? One that got so good you snapped awake the second it started to get really excellent?
Well, imagine that times a thousand. Times a million.
A dream so real and so perfect that all of your fantasies become reality. Time stretches out. You feel like you are there forever. A lifetime passes before your return.
Infinite wealth, the ability to fly like superman, you’re surrounded by sex and beautiful people all day as you relax in a palace built to your mind’s most exacting specifications of perfection.
But then you wake up, and in an instant it is gone.
The power, the wealth, the endless sex and supernatural powers.
Everything is suddenly NORMAL again.
And so you go back to the casino.
I went back to the casino.
But the problem with gambling is that you don’t always win. And when you lose, suddenly the winnings are gone as well, vanished without a trace. All I knew was that I had to have that feeling again.
So I went inside the giant building and then followed the secret signs which led to a door that led to a staircase going downwards.
I went down the stairs and knocked on the door marked “Private” and waited for an answer.
“Password.”
The voice on the other side of the black door waited for my response.
“Seramth Gin.” I said the unnatural words carefully and deliberately, still not knowing their meaning.
A friend had told me the password, a fellow gambler who I would later find dead in his apartment. His corpse white, bloated, and maggot-infested.
His eyes were black and filled with blood which streamed from his eye sockets like tears. He had bit his tongue clean off and his fingernails were found lodged in various surfaces throughout his apartment. Like he had been trying to claw his way out of a steel box that only he could see.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That was later. At this point I was still hopeful for another wonderful dream. Still thankful for his advice to seek out the place.
The door opened and I walked inside. It was the same as it had been the day before, only less busy at this time – still early afternoon.
I approached the table I had been sitting at the night before.
Poker – Texas Hold ‘em: Ten dream limit – the sign read.
The rules were simple. You got a stack of chips. If you doubled them, you received a dream. If you lost them, you lost a dream.
I wasn’t concerned about losing dreams yet, I still didn’t understand exactly what that meant.
When I lost my first stack of chips, I quickly bought in again. And again. And again.
Pretty soon I realized I had lost eight dreams with no winnings whatsoever. I was in a slump. A losing streak.
I decided to go home and count my losses. Literally, since I had no idea what that even meant.
As I got up to leave the table, the dealer looked at me. His eyes were remorseless and cold.
“See the cashier on your way out,” he said, handing me eight black chips.
I gulped and walked over to the glass window where the cashier sat waiting. Handing him the eight chips, he raised his eyebrows and clicked his tongue.
“That’s a shame. Hold out your hand please.”
Two men in black suits came up behind me suddenly and stood on either side of me, intimidating in their stature and demeanour.
I did as he asked and held out my hand with the palm facing up.
The cashier pulled out a strange-looking device from beneath the counter. It had a vial of vermillion-coloured liquid at the top that was attached to the rest of it which resembled a gun with a hypodermic needle at the end.
I screamed and tried to pull away, but the two men grabbed me and held my arm through the window. Thrashing and elbowing them, I tried to get away but it was useless.
The cashier injected the stuff into my veins quickly and it felt cold and slimy going through my system. I could feel it suddenly in my heart, turning it cold and then up into my mind and my lungs and all extremities causing me to shake and violently seize. I writhed on the floor, blood pouring from my ears and my eyes.
Finally the feeling settled down into a numbness that prickled the insides of my blood vessels. It wasn’t until later, once I realized what the casino really was, that I found out what they had done.
I went home with the certainty that they had injected me with something. If winning had resulted in the greatest dream I had ever had – essentially an almost never-ending fantasy – what would happen after a loss?
Nightmares. That was what it would be. I was sure of it.
I settled into bed that night and closed my eyes, drifting off to sleep quickly after such an emotionally exhausting afternoon.
As soon as my eyes closed, they opened again and it was morning.
It felt as if I had not slept at all. My mind was fuzzy and it was difficult to focus. My eyes wanted to close again but my alarm was telling me that it was time to get up for work, so I hit the “dismiss” button and hopped in the shower.
I threw on my clothes and went out the door. At work I noticed a few people looking at me strangely, but I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out to me that my shirt was on inside-out. At this point I was still working in an office doing commodities trading and such lapses were frowned upon.
If you couldn’t focus enough to put your shirt on properly in the morning, how could you focus enough to get the work done in such a demanding environment? Millions of dollars changing hands with each transaction meant that such trivial things were put under a magnifying glass and coupled with other subsequent mistakes each following day after that, I found myself in the boss’s office by the end of the week being handed my walking papers.
Desperate for rest after days of not feeling any benefit from sleep, I went back to the casino.
They knew just by looking at me how to dig their claws in further. After a couple hours I had managed to win myself a dream.
They handed me the complimentary cocktail as they had the time before. I hadn’t realized the significance of it and still didn’t, despite the unusual vermillion colour of the drink. I swallowed it in one gulp and went out the door practically dancing and clicking my heels, ready to go home and feel rested again.
My dream that night was wonderful. Everything I had hoped for in many ways.
But not as good as the first time. I wanted that feeling back again.
Knowing that it was a dream the whole time and realizing that it was going to end seemed to shorten the fantasy, made it seem hollow and manufactured.
If I could win again maybe it would be like that first time, I thought.
The casino drew me in again and again. I found myself a zombie most days, exhausted, at my wit’s end. Ready to call it quits for good and say goodbye.
But then I would win again and it would all seem to be alright for a while.
My debt kept growing and growing with nearly every trip. The hypodermic needle would be plunged into my skin and every time they had to hold me down. Every time I would feel a little more empty. A little more hollow.
Waking up every day began to feel the same. Nothing had definition or purpose.
“You’re here all the time,” one of the goons whispered to me as they shot the needle into my vein the time after that. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? You should just get a job here and then at least you’ll be in on the secret.”
I applied the next day and got an interview with the boss. I would find out later that if you got someone to apply there you got a one dream bonus.
In his office, the well-dressed man was sitting behind a massive polished ebony desk. The room was adorned with paintings, sculptures, and other high-priced artwork. He had photos everywhere of himself shaking hands with world leaders, new and old, for hundreds of years.
His face never changed. Never aged.
“So, you want to work with us? Tired of dreamless nights without end? You want to have some relief, is that it?”
“Yes. Please. Anything. I’ve been coming here for so long and it’s an endless cycle. I want back what I’ve lost but I keep finding myself more and more in debt with each visit.”
“Ah, so do you understand it now, then? What the ‘injections’ are?”
It finally dawned on me, sitting there. Not injections at all. They weren’t putting something in us. They were taking something out. The vermillion-coloured liquid in the vials – our dreams.
“If I take a job with you, will the same rules apply? Will they still take my sleep, my rest, every time I lose?”
“Yes. We can’t have the employees living by different rules than everyone else. But we will give you an alternative injection, so that you feel well-rested when you come in for your shift.”
“I’ll do it. I need to rest. I need to get some meaningful sleep. My life has been miserable ever since coming here.”
“Well, I can’t promise that this will help,” he said, getting up from his desk with a hypodermic gun in his hand. The vial of fluid sitting atop this one was jet-black and looked evil and poisonous. He rolled up his sleeves as he primed it and I watched a few beads of it drip oil-like out of the tip of the needle.
“What the hell is that!? I don’t want that stuff in me!”
“But you need to sleep, my dear worker. I can’t have you passing out at the blackjack table like a narcoleptic! You agreed to this, after all. You wanted to rest, and the only way for that to happen is for you to have SOME sort of dream. Not everyone is as lucky as you, you know. To have that wonderful vermillion fluid in your veins. Some people come to us begging to take it from them. Some of our employees for example, the ones who do the recruitment for us, are full of this black stuff.”
“What?” I had gotten up from the chair and was backing away from him towards the door. But I found it was locked as he approached.
“First you have to tell me the password, Sid.”
“Seramth Gin.” I said the words that I had said every time to gain access to the casino, only this time I pictured the letters and rearranged them in my mind.
“Nightmares.”
He smiled as he injected me with the vial of black hate, and it went into my veins feeling hot and unpleasant. I began to sweat and the beads of it turned cold on my skin as I shivered.
I’ll sleep tonight. I might even wake up feeling rested. But as long as I live and work at that casino, I’ll be afraid to dream again. Because now my unconscious hours are occupied by the most terrifying experiences imaginable. Nightmares beyond imagining in their awfulness. That is my fate.
Unless… Just maybe, I can win one more time.
JG
TCC
submitted by Jgrupe to nosleep [link] [comments]

[End of Dragons] Ideas for 9 new Canthan elite specializations

Few new elite specialization ideas for the Canthan expansion, with no new weapon types involved:

Elementalist: Skyfire

Mesmer: Trickster

  • Gain Spectres instead of Clones. Spectres are weaker than clones, but replicate themselves on destruction, reducing their size and power. A normal spectre will spawn two medium spectres, a medium spectre will spawn two small spectres, and a small spectre won't replicate any further. Shatter skills affect all spectres no matter their size, adjusting their strength to the size of each shattered spectre.
  • You can wield the Shortbow weapon in combat. All five shortbow skills work as channeled skills, employing multiple consecutive projectiles at once. Each of these projectiles is weaker individually, but their combined effect has the same strength as any common ranged weapon. When all the projectiles hit their target, the strength of the combined effects double.
  • Gain access to Shout slot skills. Shout effects are divided in three phases, each triggered by one of the three spectre sizes. The first phase is triggered by the mesmer and normal spectres, the second by medium spectres, and the third by small spectres. Completing the three phases will unlock an additional fourth effect, triggered by all spectres at once. Shouts are inspired by Canthan poetry, each phase covering one out of four verses.

Necromancer: Apothecary

  • Gain Plague Bomb, Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, Scarab Spore, and Plague Shroud instead of Death Shroud. Plague Bomb throws an explosive to the target area. Toxic Pollen, Afflicted Miasma, and Scarab Spore work as enchancements for your bombs. Activate and combine them to modify the effects of your plague bomb, leading to a total of eight possible combinations. Plague Shroud turns the necromancer into a walking combo field. All plague skills consume life force.
  • You can wield the Pistol weapons in combat. Pistol skills gain additional effects depending on the active plague enhancements.
  • Gain access to Elixir slot skills. Elixirs work as ammunition skills, consume their charges sparingly to gain various passive effects, or consume them all at once to induce a frontal area of effect vomit attack.

Engineer: Dreadnought

  • Gain Dreadnought Suit and Phase Shield instead of tool belt skill five. Activate the Dreadnought Suit to drive your own combat armor, gaining alternate tool belt and weapon skills for all your engineering kits. Phase Shield will replace your endurance bar while the dreadnought suit is active, sacrificing dodge rolling in exchange of a bonus health bar.
  • You can wield the Mace weapons in combat. Mace skills are inspired by the core engineer Tool Kit utility skill, which has been removed and replaced by a new gadget elite skill. Additionally, maces are not exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization, and once unlocked can be used by the core profession and any other elite specializations as well.
  • Gain access to one new healing engineering kit, one new utility gadget, one new utility elixir, one new utility engineering kit, one new utility turret, and one new elite engineering kit. These new slot skills are exclusive for the dreadnought elite specialization.

Ranger: Bulwark

  • Gain Pet Focus instead of Pet Swap. Both pets are deployed in combat simultaneously, pet focus letting you command the beast skills of one pet at a time.
  • You can wield the Shield weapon in combat. The fifth weapon skill turns defensive mode on and off, reducing your movement speed in exchange of alternate weapon skills. This affects the fourth shield skill, as well as all three skills from main-hand axe, main-hand spear, and main-hand sword.
  • Gain access to Venom slot skills. Venom effects are applied to the ranger, both pets, and up to four other nearby allies. Once used against a target enemy, their negative effects stack, increasing their strength the more hits the target receives.
  • Find and tame Juvenile Crab, Juvenile Eel, and Juvenile Phoenix pets during your journey across Cantha.

Thief: Shadowblade

  • Gain Shadow Blade and Shadow Strike instead of Steal. Shadow Blade summons an exact copy of the thief, with half the attributes and health. This shadow blade companion will follow the thief for ten seconds, mimicking all of his actions within a delay of two seconds. Shadow Strike commands the companion to shadowstep to the target foe and gain a stolen skill.
  • You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. The first weapon skill has five chain steps instead of the usual three. Weapon skills two to five gain stronger effects the further the chain progresses, and will not interrupt it when used. Successful hits by the shadow blade will count as a step forward for any chains on progress, greatsword or not.
  • Gain access to Stance slot skills. Stance effects are applied simultaneously to both the thief and the shadow blade.

Guardian: Spiritcaller

  • Gain Virtue Attunement instead of Virtue Activation, Just was Xun Rao instead of Virtue of Justice, Resolute was Reiko instead of Virtue of Resolve, and Courageous was Ashu instead of Virtue of Courage. Attune to a virtue to strengthen its passive effect, disabling the effects of the other two virtues in the process.
  • You can wield the Warhorn weapon in combat. The warhorn gains alternate weapon skills depending on the active attunement.
  • Gain access to Spirit slot skills. Just like warhorn skills, spirits gain different effects depending on the active attunement.

Revenant: Windwalker

  • Gain Wind Walk instead of dodge rolling. Hold the dodge key to dash instead of dodging, dash distance increasing the longer you hold down.
  • You can wield the Greatsword weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as charge skills, gaining stronger effects the longer you hold down. Wind Walk does not cancel charge skills, giving it good synergy with greatsword skills.
  • Invoke the power of the legendary tengu windwalker, Tsuru Whitewing, and gain access to Legendary Windwalker slot skills. All five windwalker skills depict famous tengu paintings, representing different events across tengu history. Skills six to nine represent how each of the four tengu houses came to be, in turn inspired by the four winds. The elite skill, "The Great Wave off Shing Jea", represents the Great Tsunami itself, and the culmination of the tengu journey.

Warrior: Thunderlord

  • Gain Thunder Bell instead of Burst weapon levels 2 and 3. Thunder Bell summons a mystical cannon bundle, which can alternate between ranged and melee modes through weapon swap. Carry it on your left shoulder to fire thunderbolts against your enemies, or use both hands to wield it as a blunt weapon and crush them at close combat. Thunder Bell is considered a level 2 burst skill, and once activated, both the ranged and melee versions will replace the previous weapon bursts with their own level 3 burst skills.
  • You can wield the Staff weapon in combat. Weapon skills two to five work as sequence skills, unlocking additional skills on successful hits.
  • Gain access to Preparation slot skills. Preparations gain stronger effects depending on individual adrenaline thresholds.
Some lore tidbits, for those interested:
  • Elementalist - Skyfire: Ancient naga battlemages, brought back from the dead as the frozen waters of the Jade Sea brim with life once again. Horrorized at the woes of the modern world, they gather the Luxon clans and the kappa tribes for war.
  • Mesmer - Trickster: Members of the Jade Sisterhood, they run the brothels, casinos, and theatres of Kaineng City. They specialize on blackmail, bribery, and deception. Their influence seeps deep into the Canthan aristocracy, making them impervious to the law.
  • Necromancer - Apothecary: Cultists of the Am Fah, self-proclaimed freedom fighters for the lower classes and lesser races of the empire. They will stop at nothing to overthrow the emperor, resorting to biological terrorism if necessary. After all, they can always blame the Celestial Ministry.
  • Engineer - Dreadnought: The noble men and women who drive the war machines of the empire, their combat armors admired and feared by allies and enemies alike. Rumor says their cannons are powered by the spirits of ancient deities, imprisoned by the dark sorcerers of the empire.
  • Ranger - Bulwark: Elusive beastmasters of the sidhe race, renown wardens of the Echovald Forest. Driven crazy after the Jade Wind, few survived to regain their sanity. As the Kurzick rebels and their dredge allies expand carelessly across the forest, conflict will once again be inevitable.
  • Thief - Shadowblade: Assassins of the Obsidian Flame, gone rogue after the guild was disbanded by the Celestial Ministry. They wage a secret war against the empire's corruption, supported from the inside by the remaining loyalist factions. Their numbers are thin, but their resolve unshakeable.
  • Guardian - Spiritcaller: Forefront of the Celestial Ministry, guardians of tradition, followers of the old ways, and the last remaining ritualists of Cantha. Mouthpieces for the imperial propaganda, they channel the echoes of the fallen heroes of the empire, binding the spirits of criminals to their service.
  • Revenant - Windwalker: Elite tengu bodyguards and executioners, they pay for the crimes of their Sensali ancestors with lifetime service and utmost devotion to the human imperial throne, deeming their brothers beyond the sea as nothing but despicable traitors.
  • Warrior - Thunderlord: Warrior monks of the Sai Ling Order, they commune with the Great Celestials to channel their might, embarking on quests across the countryside in search of deeper enlightenment, vowing to, one day, become Closer to the Stars.

Bonus: New weapon types

Few new weapon type ideas, for a total of 18 ground weapons:
As part of a new player experience, each core profession would unlock some of the old and new weapon types for free, without any elite specialization requirements:
  • Elementalist: Greatsword, Polearm.
  • Mesmer: Pistol (main-hand), Warhorn.
  • Necromancer: Axe (off-hand), Polearm.
  • Engineer: Scepter, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand), Focus.
  • Ranger: Spear.
  • Thief: Spear, Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
  • Guardian: Spear.
  • Revenant: Axe (main-hand), Mace (off-hand), Knuckles (main-hand and off-hand).
  • Warrior: Polearm.
Further unlocks would become possible through either new elite specializations or additional updates to the core professions. Note that this section is independent from the new elite specialization ideas.
Had these gathering dust for quite a while now, figured I'd rewrite and post them.
Hope you liked the read!
EDIT: Same thread at the official forums.
submitted by Lon-ami to Guildwars2 [link] [comments]

Huge destash! Some new items and lowered prices! Tarte x Aspyn, Glossier, Charlotte Tilbury, Fenty, Huda, Pat McGrath, Melt, Nudestix, Nars, Colourpop, Urban Decay, Nabla, Too Faced, RMS, Tom Ford, Benefit, Jouer, YSL, Ilia, Milk, KKW, KL Polish, & more! Come take a look 👀

Hi, I am selling new & lightly swatched or used items from a non-smoking home. If you want more pictures of specific items, let me know. Everything is full sized unless marked as ds.
Feel free to make reasonable offers especially for multiple items. $5.00 minimum purchase preferably. Shipping is $4.00 unless they are heavier items. I accept PayPal G&S (I cover fees). I will send tracking info as soon as I have it and will ship packages within 2-3 days.
If you would like some reviews from people I have sold to on previous posts, let me know.
If you change your mind, please let me know. I will move to next person in line after 2 hours. If you need more time than that, just let me know and we can work something out. Thank you for looking 😃
FOR SALE!!
EYESHADOW PALETTES: Verification
• Tarte Aspyn Ovard palette (Used a few times/endless summer has been repressed)- Limited edition, Asking $35
• Urban Decay Naked 2 palette (Only used 1x)-Retails for $54, Asking $20
• Dominique Cosmetics Berries & Cream palette (Used 5-6x)- Retails for $44, Asking $13
• (SOLD) Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette (Only used 1x)- Retails for $65, Asking $21
• Too Faced Natural Love palette (Used 2-3x)- Retails for $59, Asking $18
• Kylie Cosmetics bronze palette (Only swatched)- Retails for $29.40, Asking $6
• (SOLD) Nars Atomic Blonde eye and cheek palette (Used/the 2 left shades are pressed togetheprice will reflect condition)- Retails for $59, Asking $15
• (SOLD) Nabla Cutie palette (Nude) (Used 2-3x)- Retails for $24, Asking $10
• Dose of Colors Marvelous Mauves palette (Only swatched)- Retails for $32, Asking $10
• Elf x Jkissa palette (first one) (All shades only swatched except bottom left blue shade is used 1x)- Cant find retail price because it’s limited edition, Asking $8
• Colourpop Give it to Me Straight palette (Some shades never used/some used 1x)- Retails for $18, Asking $7
• Colourpop Fem Rosa palette (Used 4-5x)- Retails for $16, Asking $7
• BH Cosmetics Weekend Festival palette (Used 2x)- Retails for $18, Asking $7
• BH Cosmetics Take Me Back to Brazil palette (Used 2x/some shades never used)- Retails for $20, Asking $8
• Milani Bold Obsessions eyeshadow palette (Used 1-2x)- Retails for $10.99, Asking $4
• Alamar Reina Del Caribe 1 palette (Used 5-6x)- I can’t find retail price because it’s limited edition, Asking $4
FACE PALETTES: Verification
• Benefit cheekleaders bronze (some shades only swatched/some used 1x)- Retails for $60, Asking $23
• Kevyn Aucoin contour book volume 3 (Used 2-3x)- Retails for $59, Asking $22
• Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate with box in shade 1 and Tom Ford bag the compact comes in (cream bronzer and highlighter) (Only swatched lightly)- Retails for $88, Asking $37
• Nars Exposed palette (Some shades only used 1x/some used 3-4x)- Retails for $59, Asking $22
• RMS Signature Set palette (Pop collection)(Comes with Buriti bronzer, Magic luminizer, Demure lip2cheek, Beloved lip2cheek, & Simply vanilla lip and skin balm) (Used 1x)- Retails for $44, Asking $14
• Jouer bronzer duo in Sunlight/Suntan (Used 1-2x)- Retails for $32, Asking $13
• Juvia’s The Saharan blush palette (2)- Retails for $18, Asking $7
HIGHLIGHTERS- Verification
• (SOLD) Benefit Tickle highlighter (swatched only)- Retails for $30, Asking $13
• (SOLD) YSL Lumiere Divine highlighting finishing powder- Retails for $47, Asking $12
• Perricone No Makeup highlighter (Used 5-6x)- Retails for $35, Asking $10
• Charlotte Tilbury highlighter wand in Spotlight (Used 3-4x/took sponge off of applicator because I thought it dispensed better)- Retails for $38, Asking $13
• Urban Decay highlighter in Sin (Used 4-5x)- Retails for $26, Asking $5
• Kaja Mochi Glow in Prizm (Used 1-2x)- Retails for $19, Asking $3
• Kaja Mochi Glow in Toy Alien (ds) (Used 1x)- Asking $2
• Ofra Pillowtalk highlighter (ds)(Only used 1x)- Retails for $18, Asking $4
• (SOLD) Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Slimlight in Pearl (Used 1x)- Asking $3
• Maybelline Master Strobing Stick in Medium (Swatched only)- Retails for $9.99, Asking $2
• Ulta Beauty Illuminator in Brilliant Diamond (Swatched only)- Retails for $10, Asking $2
• Wet n Wild rainbow highlighter in bronze over the rainbow- new still sealed- Asking $1
BLUSH: Verification
• Nudestix Nudies matte blush stick in Bareback (Used 3-4x)- Retails for $32, Asking $13
• Ilia multistick in A Fine Romance (Used 2-3x)- Retails for $34. Asking $13
• Stila convertible color cream blush in Peony (Swatched only)- Retails for $25, Asking $8
• Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Paaarty (ds .05 oz)(Swatched only)- Asking $2
• Ulta mineral blush in Sweet Pea (Swatched only)- Retails for $12, Asking $2
• Stila aqua glow watercolor blush in shimmering lotus (Swatched only)- Retails for $3
• Milani baked blush in Delizioso Pink (Swatched only)- Retails for $9.49, Asking $2
• Milani baked blush in Bella Rosa (Swatched only)- Retails for $ 9.49, Asking for $2
• Elf blush in Shy (Used 2-3x)- Asking $.50
BRONZER\CONTOUR: Verification
• Milk Makeup bronzer stick in Baked (Used 1-2x)- Retails for $28, Asking $13
• Kylie Cosmetics bronzer in Khaki (Swatched only)-Retails for $18, Asking $6
• Bare Minerals Endless Summer bronzer in Faux Tan (Used 2x)- Retails for $29, Asking $11
• Benefit Hoola (ds) (Used 2x)- Asking $2
• NYX Micro Contour duo pencil in Light (Swatched only)- Asking $2
• Milani baked bronzer in 04 Glow (Swatched only)- Retails for $8.99, Asking $1
POWDERS: Verification
• (SOLD) KKW brightening powder in 1 (Vanilla) (Used a few times)- Retails for $18, Asking $9
• Laura Gellar Baked Balance N Brighten powder foundation in Porcelain (Used 10x)- Retails for $34, Asking $6
• JCat Aquasurance powder foundation in Ivory (Used 3-4x)- Retails for $13.99, Asking $3
• Urban Decay Velvetizer mix in medium (ds .14 oz)- (Can use as regular powder) (Used 1x)- Retails for $17, Asking $3
• Ilia Fade Into You soft focus finishing powder (ds .05 oz) (Used 1x)- Asking $2
• (SOLD) Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Creamy Natural (Used 6x)- Retails for $4.69, Asking $1
FOUNDATIONS: Verification
• (SOLD) Fenty Pro Filt’r Matte longwear foundation in 120 (only used once)- Retails for $35, Asking $12
• Smashbox Studio Skin 15 hour wear foundation in .2 (Used 3-4x, bottle is about 7/8 full)- Retails for $38, Asking $12
• Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear foundation in 1C1 Shell (Used a few times, bottle is almost full)- Retails for $48, Asking $13
• (SOLD) Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Porcelain (Used 2-3x, almost full)- Retails for $46, Asking $13
• Too Faced born this way foundation in sand (new in box, got sent wrong shade)- Asking $16
• RMS Uncover Up foundation/concealer pot in 000 (Used 5-6x, a little over 3/4 full)- Retails for $36, Asking $12
• (SOLD) Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation in 1C0 Shell (Used 2-3x)- Retails for $43, Asking $13
• Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation stick in Y225 (About 40-45% remaining)- Retails for $43, Asking $7
• Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation stick in Y225 (About 20% remaining)- Retails for $43, Asking $4
• It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting cream (About half full)- Retails for $34, Asking $6
CONCEALERS- Verification
• Dose of Colors Meet Your Hue concealer in 01 (used a few times)- Retails for $24, Asking $8
• It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye full coverage concealer in Light (used a few times)- Retails for $27, Asking $8
PRIMERS- Verification
• First Aid Beauty Hello Fab coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer- Retails for $29, Asking $11
• First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Pores Be Gone matte primer- Retails for $29, Asking $11
• Milk Makeup Hydrogrip gripping primer (ds) (used 1x, mostly full)- Retails for $15, Asking $5
• Laura Mercier radiance primer (ds .5 oz) (Used 1x, mostly full)- Asking $2
• (SOLD) Becca First Light priming filter (ds .5 oz) (Used 1-2x)- Asking $2
• Maybelline Master blur stick primer in universal transparent (Used 1-2x)- Retails for $7.99, Asking $1
EYES/BROWS/LASHES: Verification
• Pat McGrath Dark Matter pigment- Part of the dark star labs set which was $95, Asking $13
• Melt Cosmetics single eyeshadow in Rubbish (Swatched only)- Retails for $17, Asking $8
• Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde (Used 1x)- Retails for $16, Asking $7
• Nudestix Magnetic Luminous eye color stick in Copper Foil (swatched only)- Retails for $26, Asking $7
• Nudestix Magnetic eye color stick in Twilight (swatched only)- Retails for $26, Asking $7
• Nudestix Magnetic eye color in Lilith (used 1x lightly)- Retails for $26, Asking $7
• Nudestix Magnetic matte eye color stick in Putty (swatched only)- Retails for $26, Asking $7
• Nudestix Magnetic matte eye color stick in Taupe (used 1x lightly)- Retails for $26, Asking $7
• Tarte Chrome Paint shadow pot in Top Yacht (swatched only)- Retails for $22, Asking $7
• Nars Velvet Shadow Stick in Hollywoodland (used 2x)- Retails for $20, Asking $5
• Stila Glitter & Glow in Sunset Fire (ds) (new never used)- Came in set, Asking $3
• Stila Magnificent Metals foil finish eyeshadow in Metallic Gilded Gold (swatched lightly)(comes with box and mixing medium)- Can’t find retail because it’s discontinued, Asking $4
• Colourpop Zodiac loose pigment in The Crab (used 1-2x)- Retails for $6, Asking $2
• Colourpop single eyeshadow in Checkmate (comes in compact) (swatched only)- Retails for $4.50, Asking $2
• Colourpop SSS in Bandit (used 2x)- Retails for $6, Asking $1.00
• Colourpop SSS in Cornelious (Broken/price will reflect condition)- Retails for $6, Asking $.50
• Colourpop SSS in Brady (Broken/price will reflect condition)- Retails for $6, Asking $.50
• Colourpop pencil eyeliner in Mr. Bing (new)- Retails for $6, Asking $1.00
• Colourpop pencil eyeliner in Besto (used 5-6x)- Retails for $6, Asking $.50
• CoverGirl x Katy Perry Katy Kat Wink lashes in Kat Whiskers (New in box)- Asking $1.50
• Revlon brow mousse in Soft Brown (new)- Retails for $10.99, Asking $.75
• Revlon brow mousse in blonde (used 1x)- Retails for $10.99, Asking $.50
• Revlon Colorstay Bold creme eyeshadow in Cognac (swatched)- Retails for $8.49, Asking $.75
• Revlon Colorstay Bold creme eyeshadow in Merlot (swatched)- Retails for $8.49, Asking $.75
Lips: Verification
•Glossier generation g in jam- (older version) Never used, swatched 1x lightly on back of hand- Retails for $18, Asking $8
• Kylie Cosmetics lip kit in Koko K (no box) (new)- Retails for $27, Asking $10
• Nars Tonka lipstick (new with box but I just got it in the mail recently and it was broken on the bottom so it can fall out of tube and also the top is a little smashed so price will reflect condition)- Retails for $26, Asking $5
• Mac Lustre lipstick on See Sheer (More of a lip tint) (swatched 1x lightly on back of hand)- Retails for $19, Asking $7
• Mac cremesheen lipstick in Creme D’ Nude- never used, swatched 1x lightly on back of hand- Retails for $19, Asking $7
•Mac amplified lipstick in Saint Germain- never used, swatched 1x lightly on back of hand- Retails for $19, Asking $7
• Urban Decay cream lipstick in Wired- Retails for $22, Asking $7
• Rodin luxury lipstick in Dahlia- never used, lightly swatched once on back of hand- Retails for $38, Asking $9
• Nars Velvet Matte lip pencil in Do Me Baby (ds .06 oz)- Asking $3
• Ofra liquid lipstick in Nude Potion (new)- Retails for $20, Asking $5
• Ofra liquid lipstick in Verona (new)- Retails for $20, Asking $5 • • Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Crucifx (used 2-3x)- Retails for $21, Asking $3
• Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Hawkwind (new)- Retails for $21, Asking $4
• Dose of Colors liquid lipstick in Flirty (new)- Retails for $18, Asking $4
• Jeffrey Star liquid lipstick in Christmas Cookie (ds) Asking $3
• Colourpop lippie stix in Little Tings (swatched)- Retails for $7, Asking $2
• Maybelline shine lipstick in Baddest Beige (swatched)- Retails for $7.99, Asking $1.50
• Bite matte cream lip crayon in Glacé (ds) (swatched)- Asking $1
• Ella & Mila glossy liquid lipstick (New in box)- Retails for $14, Asking $1
•Loreal lipstick in Doutzen’s nude- Used 1x lightly, sanitized- Retails for $8.95, Asking $.50
•Covergirl x Katy Perry Katy kat matte lipstick in cosmo kitty- Used 1x lightly, sanitized- Asking $ $.50
• Nyx matte lipstick in pale pink (Used 2 times)- Retails for $6, Asking .50
NAIL POLISH: Verification
• (SOLD) KL Polish in Wishbone- Retails for $8.50, Asking $5
• (SOLD) KL Polish in Casino Night- Asking $5
• (SOLD) KL Polish in Winter is Coming- Asking $5
submitted by juliamera8 to makeupexchange [link] [comments]

So you're a gamer? Name every game.

!Que Pasa Neng!
!Shin Chan: Flipa en colores!
&: Sora no Mukou de Saki Masuyou ni
'70s Robot Anime: Geppy-X
'89 Dennou Kyuusei Uranai
'96 Zenkoku Koukou Soccer Senshuken
'98 Koushien
'99 Koushien
*NSYNC: Get to the Show
-8
...Iru!
.hack//Fragment
.hack//G.U. vol. 1//Rebirth
.hack//G.U. vol. 2//Reminisce
.hack//G.U. vol. 3//Redemption
.hack//Infection Part 1
.hack//Link
.hack//Mutation Part 2
.hack//Outbreak Part 3
.hack//Quarantine Part 4
.hack//Vol. 1 x Vol. 2
.hack: Sekai no Mukou ni+ Versus - Hybrid Pack
0 Story
0-Kara no Shogi: Shogi Youchien - Ayumi Gumi
0-ji no Kane to Cinderella: Halloween Wedding
007 Legends
007 Racing
007: Agent Under Fire
007: Everything or Nothing
007: NightFire
007: Quantum of Solace
007: Racing / Medal of Honor / 007: Tomorrow Never Dies - Collector's Edition
007: The World Is Not Enough
007: The World is Not Enough
007: Tomorrow Never Dies
1 vs. 100
1, 2, Switch
1-Jikan de Wakaru Kabushiki Toushi
1/2 summer+
10 Minute Solution
10 Pin Bowling
10 Pin: Champions Alley
10,000 Bullets
10-Yard Fight
100 All-Time Favorites
100 Classic Books
100 Classic Games
100 Kiri Golf DS
100 Manyen Quiz Hunter
100% Pascal Sensei: Kanpeki Paint Bombers
1000 Cooking Recipes from Elle a Table
1001 Crosswords
1001 Touch Games
101-in-1 Explosive Megamix
101-in-1 Party Megamix
101-in-1 Sports Megamix
101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix
10101: "Will" the Starship
1080 Snowboarding
1080: Avalanche
11 Eyes: CrossOver
12-Ji no Kane to Cinderella: Cinderella Series Triple Zenkan Pack
12-Ji no Kane to Cinderella: Halloween Wedding
12-Sai. Honto no Kimochi
12-Sai. Koisuru Diary
12-Sai. Torokeru Puzzle Futari no Harmony
12-Toki no Kane to Cinderella Series Triple Zenkan Pack
120-en no Haru: 120 Yen Stories
12Riven: The Psi-Climinal of Integral
13-Sai no Hello Work DS
1500DS Spirits Vol. 10: Igo
1500DS Spirits Vol. 1: Mahjong
1500DS Spirits Vol. 2: Shogi
1500DS Spirits Vol. 3: Block Kuzushi
1500DS Spirits Vol. 4: Reversi
1500DS Spirits Vol. 5: Hanafuda
1500DS Spirits Vol. 6: Trump
1500DS Spirits Vol. 7: Chess
1500DS Spirits Vol. 8: Darts
1500DS Spirits Vol. 9: Futari-uchi Mahjong
1500DS Spirits: Mahjong V
1500DS Spirits: Shogi V
1552 Tenka Tairan
16 Tales: Vol. 1
16 Tales: Vol. 2
16 Tales: Vol. 3
16 Tales: Vol. 4
18 Card Games
18 Classic Card Games
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
187 Ride or Die
1941: Counter Attack
1942
1943 Kai
1943: The Battle of Midway
1945 I&II The Arcade Games
1999 Hore, Mitakotoka! Seikimatsu
19: Neunzehn
19:03 Ueno Hatsu Yakou Ressha
2 Games For 1 Great Price!: Big Beach Sports / Big Beach Sports 2
2 Games In 1 Double Pack - Hot Wheels: World Race / Velocity X
2 Games In 1 Double Pack - SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom / Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy
2 Games In 1 Double Pack - SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge / Revenge of the Flying Dutchman
2 Games In 1 Double Pack: Finding Nemo / Monsters, Inc.
2 Games In 1 Double Pack: Power Rangers: Time Force / Power Rangers: Ninja Storm
2 Games In 1 Double Value!: Monster Trucks / Quad Desert Fury
2 Games In 1: Disney Princess + Disney's The Lion King
2 Games In 1: Disney's Baren Bruder + Disney's Konig der Lowen
2 Games In 1: Disney's Brother Bear / Disney Princess
2 Games In 1: Finding Nemo / The Incredibles
2 Games In 1: LEGO Knights' Kingdom + LEGO Bionicle
2 Games In 1: Shrek 2 / Shark Tale
2 Games In 1: Sonic Pinball Party + Sonic Battle
2 Games In 1: Sonic Pinball Party / Columns Crown
2 Games In 1: SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge / Rugrats Go Wild
2 Games In 1: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie / SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends in Freeze Frame Frenzy
2 Games for 1 Great Price!: Wheel of Fortune / Jeopardy!
2 Games in 1 Double Pack: Scooby-Doo / Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
2 Games in 1 Double Pack: Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase / Scooby-Doo! Mystery Mayhem
2 Games in 1 Double Pack: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom / The Fairly OddParents! Breakin' Da Rules
2 Games in 1 Double Pack: The Incredibles / Finding Nemo: The Continuing Adventures
2 Games in 1! Archer Maclean's Mercury / Mercury Meltdown
2 Games in 1: GT Advance 3: Pro Concept Racing + MotoGP
2 Games in 1: Sonic Advance + Sonic Battle
2 Games in 1: The Incredibles / Finding Nemo
2 Games in 1: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie / Battle for Bikini Bottom
2 Games in 1: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie / Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams
2 Hits Pack: Sonic Forces / Puyo Puyo Tetris - Sega Collection
2 In 1 Game Pack: Shrek 2 / Shark Tale
2 In 1 Game Pack: Spider-Man / Spider-Man 2
2 In 1 Game Pack: Spider-Man Mysterio's Menace / X2 Wolverine's Revenge
2 In 1 Game Pack: Tony Hawk's Underground / Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
2 In 1: Asterix & Obelix Jetzt Geht's Rund! + Asterix & Obelix XXL
2 Jeux En 1: Titeuf: Ze Gag Machine / Titeuf: Mega Compet
2 Pak Special: Dungeon Master / Creature Strike
2 Xtreme
2 for 1 Power Pack: Indianapolis 500 Legends/WWII Aces
2 for 1 Power Pack: Kawasaki Jet Ski/Summer Sports 2
2 for 1 Power Pack: Winter Blast/Summer Sports 2
2 in 1 Combo Pack: Sonic Heroes / Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
2 in 1 Combo Pack: Sonic Mega Collection Plus / Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
2-In-1 Fun Pack: Madagascar: Operation Penguin / Shrek 2
2-in-1 Party Pack: Shrek's Carnival Craze / Madagascar Kartz
200-Mannin no KanKen: Tokoton Kanji Nou
2002 FIFA World Cup
2003-Toshi Kaimaku: Ganbare Kyuukaiou
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
2020 Super Baseball
20th Century Video Almanac
21 Card Games
21 Emon: Mezase! Hotel Ou
21: TwoOne
24-ji no Kane to Cinderella: Halloween Wedding
24: The Game
25 to Life
250 Mannin no Kanken Premium - Zenkyuu Zen-Kanji Kanzen Seiha
250 Mannin no Kanken: Wii de Tokoton Kanji Nou
2999 Game Kids
2Dark
2K Essentials Collection: Bioshock / Borderlands / XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2K Essentials Collection: Bioshock / Borderlands/ XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2K Power Pack
2Tax Gold
3 Choume no Tama: Tama and Friends - 3 Choume Obake Panic!!
3 Count Bout
3 Games in 1: Tak / SuperSponge / Rugrats: I Gotta Go Party
3 Ninjas Kick Back
3 Ninjas Kick Back / Hook
3 in 1: Solitaire, Mahjong & Tangram
3-D Tetris
3-D Tic-Tac-Toe
3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride
3-D WorldRunner
3-Fun Yosou Umaban Club
3-Nen B-Gumi Kinpachi Sensei: Densetsu no Kyoudan ni Tate!
300: March to Glory
360: Three Sixty
3D Atlas
3D Baseball
3D Crazy Coaster
3D Dot Game Heroes
3D Game Collection: 55-in-1
3D Lemmings
3D MahJongg
3D Mine Storm
3D MiniGolf
3D Narrow Escape
3D Pocket Pool
3D Shooting Tsukuru
3DO Buffet
3LDK: Shiawase ni Narouyo
3X3 Eyes: Kyuusei Koushu S
3Xtreme
3on3 Freestyle
3x3 Eyes: Juuma Houkan
3x3 Eyes: Kyuusei Koushu
3x3 Eyes: Sanjiyan Henjyo
3x3 Eyes: Seima Kourinden
3x3 Eyes: Tenrinou Genmu
4 Elements
4 Elements II
4 Games on One Game Pak: GT Advance / GT Advance 2 / GT Advance 3 / MotoGP
4 Nin Shogi
4 Nin uchi Mahjong
4 Wheel Thunder
4 in 1 Action Pack
4 in 1 Row
4 in 1 Super CD
4-4-2 Soccer
4-in-1 Fun Pak
4-in-1 Funpak: Volume II
40 Winks
428: Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de
4X4 EVO 2
4X4 Evolution
4x4 EVO 2
4x4 Evolution
5 In One Fun Pak
5 Star Racing
5-Kyuu kara 1-Kyuu Kanzen Taiou: Saishin Kako Mondai - 2-Ji Shiken Taisaku - Eiken Kanzenban
5-nin no Koi Prince: Himitsu no Keiyaku Kekkon
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
50 Cent: Bulletproof
50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition
50 Classic Games
50 Classic Games 3D
50 More Classic Games
6 Inch My Darling
6 in 1
6-Pak
64 Hanafuda: Tenshi no Yakusoku
64 Oozumou
64 Oozumou 2
64 Trump Collection: Alice no Waku Waku Trump World
64 de Hakken! Tamagotchi Minna de Tamagotchi World
688 Attack Sub
7 Blades
7 Days to Die
7 Sins
7 Wonders II
7 Wonders of the Ancient World
7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven
7'scarlet
700-Banjin no Atama o Yokusuru: Chou Keisan DS - 13000-Mon + Image Keisan
720 Degrees
77: Beyond the Milky Way
7th Dragon
7th Dragon 2020
7th Dragon 2020-II
7th Dragon III Code: VFD
8 Eyes
8-Bit Armies
88 Heroes
88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition
8BallAllstars
90 Minutes: European Prime Goal
90 Minutes: Sega Championship Football
989 Sports Demo Disc
99 Nendohan: Eitango Center 1500
99 no Namida
u/field
A Boy and His Blob
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia
A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life / Tigger's Honey Hunt / Tarzan - Collector's Edition
A Bug's Life Activity Centre
A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV
A Labyrinth Game / Supermind
A Mars Moose Adventure - Cosmic Quest 1: City Sights
A Mars Moose Adventure - Cosmic Quest 2: Fairy Tale Island
A Mars Moose Adventure - Cosmic Quest 3: Race Through France
A Mars Moose Adventure - Stay & Play 1: In the Clubhouse
A Mars Moose Adventure - Stay & Play 2: In Mars' Bedroom
A Mars Moose Adventure - Stay & Play 3: In Lonnie's Classroom
A Mars Moose Adventure - Walkabout 1: The Natural History Museum
A Mars Moose Adventure - Walkabout 2: The Shakespeare Festival
A Mars Moose Adventure - Walkabout 3: World Sports Day
A Nanjarin
A Rose in the Twilight
A Witch's Tale
A Year at Pooh Corner
A-Rank Thunder Tanjouhen
A-Ressha de Ikou
A-Ressha de Ikou 2001
A-Ressha de Ikou 2001 Perfect Set
A-Ressha de Ikou 3D NEO
A-Ressha de Ikou DS
A-Ressha de Ikou DS: Navigation Pack
A-Ressha de Ikou MD
A-Ressha de Ikou Z: Mezase! Tairiku Oudan
A-Train 3D: City Simulator
A-Train 6
A-Train HX
A-Train: City Simulator
A-Train: Trains - Power - Money
A. IV Evolution: A-Ressha de Ikou 4
A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode
A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode 2
A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode 3: The Final
A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode R
A.III: A-Ressha de Ikou III
A.P.B.
A.S.P. Air Strike Patrol
A.W. Phoenix Festa
A/X-101
A2 Racer II
A2 Racer III: Europa Tour
A5: A-Ressha de Ikou 5
AAAHH!!! Real Monsters
ABBA: You Can Dance
ABC Monday Night Football
ABPA Backgammon
ABZU
AC/DC LIVE: Rock Band Track Pack
AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack
ACB Total 2010/2011
ACME Animation Factory
ADK Tamashii
AFL 99
AFL Live 2004
AH-3 Thunderstrike
AI Igo
AI Igo 2003
AI Igo: Saturn Version
AI Mahjong
AI Mahjong 2003
AI Mahjong Selection
AI Shogi
AI Shogi 2
AI Shogi 2 Deluxe
AI Shogi 2000
AI Shogi 2003
AI Shogi 3
AI Shogi Selection
AIII S.V.: A-Ressha de Ikou 3 Super Version
AKB1/149: Renai Sousenkyo
AKB1/48: Idol to Guam de Koishitara...
AKB1/48: Idol to Koishitara...
AKB48+Me
ALC no 10-Punkan Eigo Master: Chuukyuu
ALC no 10-Punkan Eigo Master: Joukyuu
ALC no 10-Punkan Eigo Master: Shokyuu
ALF
AMF Bowling 2004
AMF Bowling Pinbusters!
AMF Bowling World Lanes
AMF Xtreme Bowling
AR Games
ARK: Survival Evolved
ASCII Entertainment Demo Disc
ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat
ATP Tour Championship Tennis
ATV Mania
ATV Offroad Fury
ATV Offroad Fury 2
ATV Offroad Fury 3
ATV Offroad Fury 4
ATV Offroad Fury Pro
ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails
ATV Quad Frenzy
ATV Quad Kings
ATV Quad Power Racing 2
ATV Racers
ATV Racing
ATV Renegades
ATV Thunder Ridge Riders / Monster Trucks Mayhem
ATV Wild Ride
ATV: Quad Power Racing
ATV: Thunder Ridge Riders
AV Poker World Gambler
Aa Harimanada
Aa Megami-sama
Aa Yakyuu Jinsei Icchokusen
Abadox: The Deadly Inner War
AbalaBurn
Abarenbou Princess
Absolute Supercars
Absolute: Blazing Infinity
Abunai Koi no Sousashitsu: Eternal Happiness
Abunai: Koi no Sousa Shitsu
Academy of Champions: Soccer
Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight
Accel World: Ginyoku no Kakusei
Accel World: Kasoku no Chouten
Accele Brid
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
Ace Combat 2
Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
Ace Combat 6: Kaihou e no Senka / Beautiful Katamari Damacy
Ace Combat 6: Kaihou e no Senka / Lost Planet: Colonies
Ace Combat Advance
Ace Combat Assault Horizon
Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+
Ace Combat: Joint Assault
Ace Lightning
Ace o Nerae!
Ace of Aces
Aces of War
Aces of the Air
Acid
Acid Drop
Aconcagua
Acrobat Mission
Acrylic Palette: Irodori Cafe - Cheers
ActRaiser
ActRaiser 2
Action 52
Action Bass
Action Fighter
Action Girlz Racing
Action Man A.T.O.M.: Alpha Teens on Machines
Action Man: Destruction X
Action Man: Operation Extreme
Action Man: Robot Atak
Action Man: Search for Base X
Action Pachio
Action Pack: Prince of Persia Revelations, Driver 76, Rainbow Six Vegas
Active Health with Carol Vorderman
Active Life Explorer
Active Life Value Pack
Active Life: Extreme Challenge
Active Life: Magical Carnival
Active Life: Outdoor Challenge
Activision Anthology
Activision Classic Games
Activision Demo Action Pack
Activision Hits Remixed
Actua Golf 3
Actua Ice Hockey
Actua Ice Hockey 2
Actua Pool
Actua Soccer 2
Actua Soccer 3
Actua Soccer: Club Edition
Actua Tennis
Ad Lib Ouji ...to Fuyukai na Nakama-tachi!?
Adam & Eve
Adam's Venture Chronicles
Adam's Venture: Origins
Addams Family Values
Addie no Okurimono: To Moze from Addie
Adian no Tsue
Adiboo & Paziral's Secret
Adiboo and the Energy Thieves
Adibou Et L'Ombre Verte
Adidas Power Soccer
Adidas Power Soccer 2
Adidas Power Soccer 98
Adidas Power Soccer International '97
Adidas miCoach
Adrenalin Misfits
Adult Swim Collection
Advan Racing
Advance Guardian Heroes
Advance Wars
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Advanced Daisenryaku 2001
Advanced Daisenryaku: Deutsch Dengeki Sakusen
Advanced Daisenryaku: Europe no Arashi - Doitsu Dengeki Sakusen
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: DragonStrike
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Dragons of Flame
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Hillsfar
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin
Advanced V.G.
Advanced V.G. 2
Advanced World War: Sennen Teikoku no Koubou
Advent Rising
Adventure
Adventure II
Adventure Island
Adventure Island 3
Adventure Island II
Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise
Adventure Mega Pack
Adventure Player
Adventure Quiz Capcom World: Hatena no Daibouken
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
Adventure of Little Ralph
Adventure of Tokyo Disney Sea
Adventures in Letterland With Jack and Jill
Adventures of Dino Riki
Adventures of Lolo
Adventures of Lolo 2
Adventures of Lolo 3
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Adventures of Tron
Adventures of Yogi Bear
Adventures to Go!
Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault
Aeon Flux
AereA
Aerial Assault
Aero Blasters
Aero Dancing F: Todoroki Tsubasa no Hatsu Hikou
Aero Dancing i
Aero Dancing i: Jikai Sakuma de Machite Masen
Aero Dancing: Torodoki Taichou no Himitsu Disc
Aero Elite: Combat Academy
Aero Fighters
Aero Fighters 2
Aero Fighters 3
Aero Fighters Assault
Aero The Acro-Bat
Aero the Acro-Bat
Aero the Acro-Bat 2
Aero the Acro-bat
AeroGauge
AeroWings
AeroWings 2: Air Strike
Aerobics Revolution
Aerobiz
Aerobiz Supersonic
Aerostar
AeternoBlade
Afraid Gear
Afraid Gear Another
Afrika
Afro Inu: The Puzzle
Afro Samurai
After Armageddon Gaiden: Majuu Toushouden Eclipse
After Burner
After Burner II
After Burner III
After Burner: Black Falcon
After Burst
After Hours Athletes
After... Wasureenu Kizuna
Again: Interactive Crime Novel
Agarest Senki Mariage
Agassi Tennis Generation
Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders
Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie: Evil Under the Sun
Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
Age of Empires: Mythologies
Age of Empires: The Age of Kings
Agent Armstrong: Himitsu Shirei Daisakusen
Agent Collection
Agent Hugo
Agent Hugo: Hula Holiday
Agent Hugo: Lemoon Twist
Agent Hugo: Roborumble
Agents of Mayhem
Aggressive Inline
Aggressors of Dark Kombat
Agile Warrior F-111X
Ai Cho Aniki
Ai Sensei no Oshiete: Watashi no Hoshi
Ai Senshi Nicol
Ai Yori Aoshi
Aibou DS
Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage
Aigiina no Yogen: Balubalouk no Densetsu Yori
Aigina no Yogen: Balubalouk no Densetsu Yori
Aikagi
Aikatsu Stars! My Special Appeal
Aikatsu! 2-nin no My Princess
Aikatsu! 365-Hi no Idol Days
Aikatsu! Cinderella Lesson
Aikatsu! My No.1 Stage!
Ailu de Puzzle
Air
Air Battle!
Air Buster
Air Cavalry
Air Combat
Air Conflicts Double Pack
Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II
Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars - Ultimate Edition
Air Conflicts: Vietnam
Air Conflicts: Vietnam Ultimate Edition
Air Diver
Air Fortress
Air Hockey
Air Management '96
Air Race Championship
Air Raid
Air Raid 3
Air Raiders
Air Ranger 2 Plus: Rescue Helicopter
Air Ranger 2: Rescue Helicopter
Air Ranger: Rescue Helicopter
Air Rescue
Air Strike
Air Traffic Chaos
Air Zonk
Air-Sea Battle
AirBlade
AirBoarder 64
AirForce Delta
AirForce Delta Storm
AirForce Delta Strike
AirGrave
Airaki
Airborne Troops: Countdown to D-Day
Aircars
Airlock
Aironauts
Airs Adventure
Airship Q
Airwolf
Airwolf (Japan)
Aishiau Kotoshika Dekinai
Aisle Lord
Aitakute...Your Smiles in My Heart
Aiyoku no Eustia: Angel's Blessing
Aka-Chan Doubutsu Sono
Akagawa Jirou Mystery: Tsuki no Hikari
Akagawa Jirou Mystery: Yasoukyoku - Hon ni Manekareta Satsujin
Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha
Akagawa Jirou: Majotachi no Nemuri: Fukkatsusai
Akagawa Jirou: Yasoukyoku
Akagawa Jirou: Yasoukyoku 2
Akagi: Touhaiden
Akagi: Yami ni Furitatta Tensai
Akai Ito
Akai Ito DS
Akai Ito Destiny DS
Akai Katana
Akai Suna Ochiru Tsuki
Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka Portable
Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka: Parallel
Akatsuki no Amaneka to Aoi Kyojin
Akatsuki no Goei Trinity
Akaya Akashiya Ayakashino
Akazu no Ma
Akazukin ChaCha
Akiba's Beat
Akiba's Trip
Akiba's Trip 2+A
Akiba's Trip Plus
Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
Akihabara Dennou Kumi Peta Pies!
Akira
Akira Psycho Ball
Akiyama Jin No Suugaku Mystery
Akko de Pon! Ikasama Hourouki
Akko ni Omakase! Brain Shock
Akogare Girls Collection: Lovely Youchien
Akogare Girls Collection: Mister Donut DS
Akogare Girls Collection: Ohanaya-San Monogatari
Akogare Girls Collection: Pika Pika Nurse Monogatari
Akogare Girls Collection: Suteki ni Nurse Days
Akudaikan
Akudaikan 2: Mousouden
Akudaikan 3
Akudaikan Manyuuki
Akudaikan Manyuuki: Seigi no Yaiba
Akuji the Heartless
Akuma Zensho Dainishuu
Akuma-kun: Makai no Wana
Akumajou Dracula
Akumajou Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku
Akumajou Special: Boku Dracula-kun
Akuu Senki Raijin
Al Unser Jr.'s Road to the Top
Al Unser Jr.'s Turbo Racing
Alabama Meets Will Vi
Aladdin Magic Racer
Alan Hansen's Sports Challenge
Alan Wake
Alarm for Cobra 11: Crash Time
Alarm fuer Cobra 11 Vol II
Albert Odyssey
Albert Odyssey 2: Jashin no Taidou
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean
Album Club: Mune Kyun * Saint Poria Jogakuin
Alcahest
Aldynes
Aleck Bordon Adventure: Tower & Shaft Advance
Alekhine's Gun
Alex Ferguson's Player Manager 2001
Alex Ferguson's Player Manager 2002
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alex Kidd: High-Tech World
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
Alex Rider: Stormbreaker
Alexandra Ledermann: Summer Camp Adventures
Alexi Lalas International Soccer
Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano
Alfred Chicken
Alfred's Adventure
Alia's Carnival! Sacrament
Alias
Alice in Cyberland
Alice in Wonderland
Alice no Paint Adventure
Alice on Borderlines
Alice's Mom's Rescue
Alice: Madness Returns
Alien
Alien 3
Alien Breed Trilogy
Alien Brigade
Alien Chaos 3D
Alien Crush
Alien Front Online
Alien Hominid
Alien Invaders Plus!
Alien Monster Bowling League
Alien Olympics
Alien Raiders
Alien Resurrection
Alien Soldier
Alien Storm
Alien Syndrome
Alien Trilogy
Alien vs. Predator
Alien vs. Predator: The Last of His Clan
Alien: Isolation
Alienators: Evolution Continues
Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction
Aliens in the Attic
Aliens vs. Predator
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Aliens: Infestation
Aliens: Thanatos Encounter
Alisia Dragoon
Alive
All 1
All Grown Up! Express Yourself
All Japan Pro Wrestling Featuring Virtua
All Japan Woman Pro Wrestling
All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation
All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation 2
All Kamen Rider: Rider Revolution
All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.
All Round Hunter
All Star 5-A-Side Football
All Star Action
All Star Cheer Squad
All Star Cheer Squad 2
All Star Karate
All Star Pro-Wrestling
All Star Racing
All Star Racing 2
All Star Soccer
All Star Tennis '99
All Star Tennis 2000
All Star Tennis 99
All Star Watersports
All-Pro Basketball
All-Pro Football 2K8
All-Star 1997 Featuring Frank Thomas
All-Star Baseball
All-Star Baseball 2000
All-Star Baseball 2001
All-Star Baseball 2002
All-Star Baseball 2003
All-Star Baseball 2004
All-Star Baseball 2005
All-Star Baseball 99
All-Star Fighters
All-Star Mahjong: Kareinaru Shoubushi Kara no Chousen
All-Star Major League Baseball
All-Star Professional Wrestling II
All-Star Professional Wrestling III
All-Star Slammin' D-Ball
All-Star Tennis 2
Alleyway
Allied Ace Pilots
Allied General
Alnam no Kiba: Juuzoku Juuni Shinto Densetsu
Alnam no Tsubasa: Shoujin no Sora no Kanata e
Alone in the Dark
Alone in the Dark 2
Alone in the Dark: Inferno
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submitted by Zipdox to copypasta [link] [comments]

Unleashed pt. 47

This chapter was a labour of love, heists are hard. Big thanks to u/eruwenn for helping tidy up this bag of snakes.
First / Prev / Next
 
 
“Ranjaz K’Lua, you thieving scumbag!” the Kah’Ree in the purple suit exclaimed loudly as he spotted them across the busy room. “As I live and skral, I never thought you would have the Jolos show your face here again!”
Two J’Rami in suits detached themselves from the lobby wall, walking towards the Kittran and his friends. “Alfor, my old friend!” Ranjaz smiled broadly. “No need for the welcoming party, I’ve got your credits” —he gestured to Cygna— “and a sweetener, for all the trouble I caused last time.”
Alfor paused, lecherous eyes assessing the Fae’Dan. “You know I have a thing for purple.” He chuckled at his own joke and waved the guards back to their posts. “How about we have a drink, and discuss your forgiveness.” He pointed to Thor and Eruwenn. “Brought your own security, or are these Gal. Fed. goons? Everyone knows about your probation.”
The Kittran gave a broad grin. “I got a Tulseria-damned pardon, a new ship and a very lucrative opportunity.”
The Kah’Ree smiled. “How’d a thieving cat like you get a pardon?” He gave Ranjaz an appraising look up and down. “Oh? Now, let me guess, you need something from me and my brother?”
Ranjaz fired his finger guns. “You were always the smart one Alfor, that’s why you run the casino floor.” The Kittran stepped in close. “The item, do you still have it?”
Alfor tilted his head back and away from Ranjaz. “Your little guarantee?” He looked back down at Ranjaz. “We have it somewhere safe. Had some unusual people come by after you got caught. Asked a lot of questions. Made a lot of threats.” His face contorted in anger. “We got audited thanks to you.”
The Kittran smiled. “If only they knew you better, they could have simply paid you for the information.”
“We give nothing for free.” The Kah’Ree gave a sinister smile. “House rule.”
Ranjaz walked forward to put his his arm on Alfor’s back. “Let’s go see your brother. Have a few drinks, maybe gamble a little, and discuss our future riches.”
 
 
Ripley stood in the shadows of the staff shuttle bay, watching as the numerous employees of assorted races came and went. Loud laughter caught her attention, and a very strangely dressed Niham broke away from a small group and walked towards her. Ripley tried to maintain her low profile as the scantily clad female strutted towards her in long black boots with pointed heels that clacked loudly with every step.
Deliberately avoiding eye contact the Awakened tried to will herself into the wall but it was too late and a voice called out to her. “Hey Darling! You must be the one I’m looking for.”
Ripley shook her head. The Kittran had said the contact was an Ashi pirate captain, a master gambler and expert in procuring the unusual. “I don’t-”
“Listen cutie,” she interrupted, “you’re the one lurking in dark corners drawing attention to yourself. I’ve got your security card. You tell that fluffy little stud he owes me. And more than a bottle of Fae’Dan wine and a good time, if you know what I mean.” She held up the card between her fingers, just a little out of Ripley’s reach.
The Awakened considered the phrase ‘fluffy little stud’ and decided that, despite her hopes, this was probably her contact. “You’re Captain Whiplash?”
The Ashi laughed genuinely, the jiggling of tightly squeezed breasts bursting at shiny black restraints making Ripley nervous. “Oh, Darling! Only my little pets call me that! You may call me Sho’Na.”
Ripley was momentarily confused. “So, you aren’t a pirate captain?”
“I’m anything they pay me to be.” She smiled at the silver-haired woman's naivety. “You really are new to this.”
Ripley, caught off guard, simply nodded, then replied, “I’m a quick learner.”
“Good for you, Darling.” Sho’Na handed over the card. “Just make sure you get paid up front, and don’t use your real name with clients. Ruins the mystique.”
Ripley was unsure of what was being said. Turning the card over in her hands she saw that the holo-image on the front was of a male Arkellian. “This isn’t me?”
“Honey, I was given half a cycle to get you a level three security card. Just be glad it’s a biped.” Sho’Na looked Ripley up and down. “Our mutual acquaintance told me you were some sort of master of disguise who could even trick Selva Blaster.”
Ripley paused, then smiled. Her appearance had become such an integral part of her identity she had forgotten that it was entirely optional. “It won’t be a problem.” She looked at the card again. “Unless the owner comes looking for it.”
Sho’Na gave another bosom-trembling laugh that threatened to spill out at any moment. “Oh, don’t worry, he’s tied up at the moment.”
The Awakened considered the risk. “Hmmm, but for how long?”
The few strips of shiny black material that comprised Sho’Na’s revealing outfit strained under her amusement. “Don’t you worry, Darling. He paid for the whole night.”
 
 
Eruwenn had reassessed her opinion of Ranjaz many times since meeting him. The criminal. The loyal friend. The lazy trouble-maker. All were true, but now she was seeing something new. He sat opposite Toran, the brother of Alfor, in a game of dalcho she wished she could have taken part in, but was equally glad she did not.
At first she had thought the Kittran was outmatched, a few reckless mistakes costing him dearly as the Kah’Ree deftly selected his tiles. Toran was clearly a seasoned gambler, using a blend of the Remee Le’Bow Gambit and the Kowals’Kee Analysis she hadn’t seen before. It seemed to be dismantling Ranjaz’s tiles before he could even prepare his cards. A few fortunate dice rolls and he had taken a strong lead from the outset. The Kittran appeared desperate, playing any tile available to try and slow the defeat.
It had all been a ruse, she saw it; Ranjaz had saved his best tiles and carefully thrown hands to manipulate the cards. In just a few rounds he would be able to dominate the board and raise the stakes, recouping his losses and changing the course of the game entirely. She had encountered few players who could manipulate the game so deftly, using memory and layers of strategy to corner their opponent. It was magnificent.
Eruwenn couldn’t tear her eyes from the board as she stood beside Thor. The Awakened had shown no interest in the game, studiously watching the opposite door as Toran’s staff came in and out. When a waiter entered and began preparing drinks at the small private bar in the executive gambling room, Thor coughed. It was a strange thing for an Awakened to do, and Eruwenn finally looked up from the table. “Are you ok?”
Thor nodded. By the time he had looked towards her, she had returned her attention completely to the game. “You don’t seem concerned about your friend?” he asked.
The Anatidae watched as Ranjaz used a blind double feint, and the sheer audacity of such a move made her swallow hard. She didn’t look back to Thor, but mumbled a response. “I’m very confident in her abilities.”
The waiter was methodically placing drinks by each of the players, but when they stood behind Ranjaz the Kittran surged to his feet, shouting, “Hey! No cheating Toran! Getting your waiter to look over my shoulder? That’s a dirty move I’d expect from your brother!”
Thor had reacted faster than Eruwenn, pinning the arms of the Arkellian waiter in a vice-like bear hug. Toran slowly stood. He was big, heavily muscled, and the veins on his neck bulged as his anger rose. “Don’t accuse me in my own place.” He cracked his knuckles and glowered down at Ranjaz. “I run a straight game.”
Fearlessly the Kittran walked right up to the Kah’Ree and stared up into his face from waist height. “Don’t try and intimidate me, you son of a Vogel.” Ranjaz puffed out his chest and began pushing the burly casino owner. “Nobody cheats me!”
The blow caught Ranjaz across the cheek and sent him sprawling across the room. Eruwenn winced at the impact, but maintained her composure. Toran laughed. “Watch your tongue or I’ll add it to my collection.” He walked round the table and kicked Ranjaz in the stomach, glaring at Thor and Eruwenn, daring them to act. “Know your place trash. You’re at this table because you put credits up front. You are a dishonest thief, begging for scraps, and cosying up to me any my brother to get your little trinket back.” He returned to his seat. “Why would I need to cheat against the likes of you?”
Ranjaz stood, brushing himself off. “Fine, fine.” He waved a hand and Thor dropped the Arkellian. Ranjaz tapped him on the chest. “My mistake.” He sat down and picked up his cards once more. “You’re right Toran, you run a clean game. I’m just a sore loser.” He shuffled the order of the tiles that were still face down on the table. “To show my sincerity, how about we double the buy for the rest of the game?”
Toran snorted. “Double?” He looked at the Kittran, scrutinising his opponent. The game was already over; he had control of the board and his tiles occupied the three prime positions. Was the thief trying to buy his favour, he wondered? How much was the trinket he wanted truly worth? He decided it was worth testing. “Triple, and I’ll forget you dared touch me.”
The Kittran swallowed hard, his ears flat to his head. Toran momentarily worried he’d pushed for too much but a decision seemed to be reached. “Fine. Triple.” The look of defeat was delicious to the Kah’Ree.
 
 
Cygna had done her part and lured Alfor to a private room away from his security. She had danced, skipped and side-stepped his groping hands so far, maintaining a playfulness that ensured he complied. This sort of thing was not new to her; she had spent time undercover in the past. Fortunately, there had been little call for it since she had joined forces with Eruwenn.
Alfor’s eyes scanned her body once more. “The Kittran has very good taste.” He licked his lips, a small amount of drool escaping and running down his chin. He wiped it on his sleeve. “Now, I brought you somewhere quiet. How about you show me how sweet you can be?”
The Fae’Dan smiled coyly and continued her dancing just out of reach, glancing to the doorway where Alfor’s two guards stood watching her. “With an audience?” She raised her eyebrows expectantly.
With a sly grin he waved the guards out of the room. “Now come here and let me satisfy you like only a Kah’Ree can.” His eyes wandered over her body once more.
Cygna smiled, her own eyes moving from the Kah’Ree’s hands to his shoulders, then up towards his neck. An interesting fact about the Kah’Ree was the thick blood vessels on the side of their neck. They often bulged when a Kah’Ree was angry or excited, like Alfor’s were as he leered at her. She danced closer. Another interesting fact was that their brains were not as efficient as those of other species, hence the requirement for additional blood flow; more oxygen per limited thought.
He leaned forward, his eyes locked to her swaying hips. Cygna turned slowly, and his head tilted to appreciate her assets. The third, lesser known, fact about the Kah’Ree was that an interruption to the blood flow while they were in this excited state caused them to lose consciousness rapidly as their brain burned through the available oxygen. “My eyes are up here.” She smiled as he looked up at her with his head still tilted.
He sneered. “Who ca-”
The Fae’Dan struck the side of his neck with the edge of her hand, targeting the throbbing blood vessel with a powerful blow. The interruption to his brain's oxygen supply worked perfectly and he fell face forward onto the ground at her feet. She let out a sigh of relief and looked down at his unconscious body. “Thank you, that was particularly satisfying.”
She walked over to the door and peeked out, finding the guards standing either side. “He said to order us some drinks.” One of the guards nodded and immediately put his hand to his lapel communicator.
Back inside the room, Cygna used her foot to roll Alfor to his back and began searching his pockets. She came up empty. Her eyes caught a glimmer from his collar and she found a heavy gold chain, at the end of which was his security key. She removed it just as a knock came at the door. A deep voice from the other side called out. “Your drinks, boss.”
The Fae’Dan quickly messed up her hair. Using the back of her hand she smeared her lipstick sideways, and then pulled the strap of her dress down off her shoulder. She opened the door and, to her surprise, was faced with an Arkellian waiter. The bodyguards noted her dishevelled appearance and shared a smirk, and she said, “Oh, I wasn’t expec-”
The waiter pushed the trolley into the room. “Don’t keep the boss waiting, lady.” Before Cygna could reply they were inside and the door closed. “Relax, it’s me.”
Ripley’s voice sounded bizarre coming from the male Arkellian form, and Cygna’s eyes went wide in shock. Her sharp mind quickly adjusted to this new information. Of course the Awakened could change their physical appearance; she had just never seen it. They all seemed quite attached to their chosen human forms. “Neat trick.” She held out Alfor’s key. “Did you get the other one?”
Ripley nodded. “The Kittran played his part well. I didn’t see him take it, and didn’t feel it when he placed it in my pocket. Now that was a neat trick.”
The Fae’Dan smiled. “I think I’ll pass on that dalcho game.”
The Arkellian Ripley smiled. “Probably wise.” Turning, she slipped the key into her pocket and headed back out of the door.
 
 
Ripley entered the elevator to the owner's private offices on the top floor. Thanks to the distractions downstairs, the two large desks in the centre of the room were empty. She walked straight past them to the large leokas painting on the wall and swung it forward. Behind it was a Fae’Dan safe; she took out the two keys and a small homemade device the Kittran had given her.
Attaching the device to the bio-lock and standing before the safe, she elongated her arms to reach both key positions at once. There was more than one reason she was the one chosen for this task. The device beeped twice and small lights above each lock lit up. She simultaneously turned both keys, and there was a satisfying clunk.
She raised an eyebrow. The device had worked. The heavy safe door swung open and she began her search. Ranjaz had been very specific: while there was one item she had to get, she was to grab as much as possible to obscure their true target.
Quickly grabbing as much as she could she retrieved the keys and ran back across the room towards the elevator.
 
 
Cygna hauled Alfor back onto the seat, putting him in a more natural position and messing up his hair. She looked away as she began unbuttoning his clothes, pulling his trousers around his ankles and opening his shirt up to bare his chest. From a secret pocket inside her dress she pulled out a lace thong, setting it on his head like a bandana. She also had a small box which she opened, inside of which was a replica mouth with lipstick that matched her own.
Cygna carefully applied kiss marks all over his exposed skin before popping the fake lips back into the secret pocket. She took the Fae’Dan wine and partially filled two glasses, making sure to take a long drink from one and leave more lipstick marks. The rest of the wine was poured into the ice bucket.
She heard the sound of voices outside the door. The guards were arguing with someone, refusing them entry, but when the name Toran was mentioned it was Ripley who entered, still in uniform but now looking much like her usual self. She smirked at the Kah’Ree in his derobed state. “I can see you had fun.”
The Fae’Dan chuckled. “That’s the idea.” She looked at the Awakened in her true form. “You look… better.”
Ripley cocked her head. “It would be strange if the waiter came back to deliver a message.” She tossed the necklace key to Cygna, who replaced it on Alfor’s neck.
Reclining on the sofa and picking up her glass, Cygna took another long drink. “Get the other one back to Ranjaz quickly. This one won’t be napping much longer.”
The Awakened gave an almost Ranjaz-like grin. “You could always hit him again.” Before the Fae’Dan could reply she had ducked back out of the door. She caught the eye of one of the bodyguards and gave a head tilt back towards the room. “The boss is really enjoying himself!”
As the suited pair chuckled, the larger of the two got a message in his ear piece. “Hey, silver hair.” He grunted. “Boss has an important guest. Meet them in the foyer and bring them to the dalcho room.”
Ripley was relieved – she needed a reason to get into that room. “On my way.”
 
 
Toran was seething as he watched as the Kittran flipped his final tile. Why would he have waited so long to play the Wings of Tulseria tile? His stomach sank, and he couldn’t hold back his anger any longer. “Damn you!”
Ranjaz gave a full-fanged grin. “Looks like my luck turned at just the right moment.”
“Luck!” Toran’s tile snapped between his fingers. Why had he let the damned cat goad him into constantly increasing their bet? The cycle had started with him owing the brothers a million credits plus interest, and now the infuritating Kittran had won nearly forty times that. “Nobody is that lucky.”
“Woah!” Ranjaz held up his hands. “I would never cheat, well... certainly not a second time. After you caught me, I’d be a fool to try.”
“Hmm.” Toran looked at the two behind the Kittran. The big one would be a problem, but the Anatidae looked to be nothing special. “How about I give you back your little trinket and we call it even?”
“My trinket?” Ranjaz shook his head. “I had to convince you it was worth the million I owed. Why would you think I’d trade it for thirty eight million credits? I’ll pay what I owe, take my trinket and my winnings and leave.”
Toran folded his arms and looked across the dalcho board at Ranjaz. “And why would I let you do that?” The atmosphere in the room changed as the two security guards changed their stance. “Transfer the credits back to the house.”
Ranjaz dropped the grin, replacing it with a defiant glare. “What happened to you running a straight game?”
“The game was straight. You won, didn’t you?” He leaned forward, his eyes cold and hard. “You’re just in no position to collect.”
The Kittran was about to argue when the door behind Toran opened. He looked up as Ripley entered, and his eyes widened in shock. She wasn’t alone. “Toran, you bastard! You sold me out!”
“For ten million credits.” Toran stared hard at Ranjaz. “Care to make a better offer?”
Eruwenn’s eyes blazed with anger as the grey-suited Niham pulled up a seat and sat down beside Toran. “Now, now, you lied to me about having the item before. Don’t double cross me.” Sentinel Krast placed his hands together on the table, interlacing his fingers. “I’m not somebody who forgives easily.” He looked directly at Eruwenn. “Isn’t that right, former Councillor? A little far from your new Ambassador position, aren’t you?”
Ripley stood back against the wall. She had no idea who the newcomer was, but this most definitely was not the plan. The golden green Anatidae walked forward to stand behind Ranjaz. “Oh, I had a little vacation time saved up, and decided to spend it with my good friend here.” She placed a hand on the Kittrans shoulder. “And what brings a Sentinel here?”
Krast’s lips curled in what might approximate a smile. “I’m also acquainted with Mr K’Lua. In fact, we go back a very long way.” He turned to look directly at Ranjaz. “Now, return what is mine.”
Toran looked from Ranjaz to Krast. “Yours? You don’t look like the tiara wearing type.”
The Sentinel didn’t turn his head. “Ah, so you hid the data chip inside some shiny bauble. As inventive as ever, Mr K’Lua.” The Niham finally acknowledged Toran by looking at him. “Bring. It. Here.”
The Kah’Ree sucked air through his teeth. “Well, seems like we have something mighty important, and two very interested parties.” He stood and walked to his two security officers, who drew their weapons in unison. “Now then, I believe you” —he nodded to Krast— “offered ten million. How about it Ranjaz, old friend? What’s your counter offer?”
The Kittran had been sitting, silently seething at his double cross being double crossed. He looked at Krast. “Were you the one?”
Toran was surprised at being ignored, but before he could reply Krast answered, “The one?”
Ranjaz’s eyes narrowed, his ears alert, his tail swishing aggressively. “The one who took my friend!” he snarled as he felt Eruwenn’s hand holding him back gently.
Krast’s eyes glittered as he saw the impotent rage in his opponent’s eyes. “Ah, the poor deceased human?” He smiled his mannequin-esque smile. “And if I was?”
Toran snatched a pistol from one of his men and fired a blast at the ceiling. “Your quarrel can wait. Let’s settle our business first and you can kill each other after I’m paid.” He paused, then added, “but, not in my casino. Body disposal costs extra.”
Eruwenn’s hand gripped Ranjaz’s shoulder harder, and he braced himself. In one smooth move she both threw him backwards and to the right, and kicked the dalcho table up and forward into Krast's face. The Sentinel fell backwards as a blast from Toran struck the table, but Eruwenn was already on the move, sidestepping left and ducking forward into a cartwheel. Toran's gun had been following Ranjaz, but as her leg swept down it knocked the weapon from his grip.
Once she stabilized, her fist, already primed with momentum from the cartwheel, struck Toran below the ribs and knocked the wind from him. The guard, whose gun the Kah'Ree had been holding, lunged forward to grab Eruwenn but she simply deflected his hand, pairing his forward momentum with her rising elbow to swiftly render him unconscious.
The second guard had just begun to raise his weapon when a huge fist struck him in his chest, sending him careening backwards into the wall. Thor loomed over him, shaking his head as he retrieved the energy pistol. “Too slow.”
Ripley helped Ranjaz to his feet as Krast pushed the table off his chest. Toran was coughing and struggling to breathe as Ranjaz pressed the retrieved energy pistol to his forehead. “Double cross me?” He dragged the Kah’Ree forward. “I want to see the item, then I’ll pay what I owe.” The two of them awkwardly made their way back towards Krast, so Ranjaz could point the gun in his face. “Then we can talk about your body disposal fee.”
Krast stood, and his phony smile was gone. “You can’t kill me. The Sentinels will tear this place apart, hunt you down and kill you. You think I came alone? My ship is in orbit and waiting for my orders!”
Ranjaz grabbed him by the jacket, pulling him down to his level, and struck him in the face with the butt of the pistol. Thor cooly kept his stolen pistol pointed at Toran and the one conscious guard. By the third blow Krast’s face was bloody, his nose broken and he began to struggle against Ranjaz’s assault.
A muted boom caused everyone present to stop in their tracks. Alarms began to sound and Toran swore loudly. He pulled out his communicator, ignoring Thor’s pistol. “What the hell was that!” He held the device close as he listened. “My office?” He patted his pocket. Finding his key in place, he looked to Ranjaz and then Krast. “Seal the casino! And where is my brother?”
Ripley suddenly understood why the Kittran had told her to leave his device on the safe door. After a brief further moment of shock, which she kept from showing on her face, she realized that she had been carrying an explosive without being told. If they survived, Ranjaz was going to need to explain himself. Thoroughly.
Eruwenn, Thor and Ranjaz had backed away to the opposite side of the room, standing by the door. Krast stood alone, holding his profusely bleeding nose. The opposite door soon opened to reveal scrambling casino security, with Toran and his guard standing nearby.
The unconscious guard was carried out without comment, and the Kah’Ree turned to Ripley. “Why are you still here?” She nodded and slipped out of the door, leaving one less concern for the remaining three. “Alright, which one of your skrolg-licking bastards broke into my private safe?”
Krast spat blood onto the floor, pointing at Ranjaz. “He’s the thief. You and I had a deal.”
The Kittran smirked. “I’m a better thief than blowing up a Tulseria-damned safe. If I wanted to steal it, I would have done just that. I would not have announced my arrival and sat down to a game of dalcho.”
Toran looked between the two of them. “He’s got a point.” One of his men handed him a pistol, and he continued to talk a little distractedly into his communicator. “Well, check everywhere!”
Ranjaz stirred the pot. “He’s the bastard who double crossed me, why would he honour your deal?”
Eruwenn nodded. “A government agent can’t be seen working with criminals.”
Krast's face contorted in rage. “Don’t be a damned fool, Toran!” He pointed at Ranjaz. “This is clearly some convoluted distraction.”
Toran shook his head. “They had the upper hand. You were the one getting your face ruined.”
 
 
Cygna watched nervously as Alfor began to stir. Things were taking a lot longer than expected. Finally, her signal came; it was not as subtle as she had been led to believe. As soon as the explosion went off the two bodyguards quickly came into the room, glancing from Alfor’s sleeping body to her. She staggered forward, wine bottle in hand. “We need more drinkshh!”
The guard ignored her as he saw the condition of his boss. “Not again,” he groaned. “Toran will kill us for letting him get like this.”
The second guard stepped out into the corridor. “I’m not dressing him! Last time he tried to kiss me!”
Cygna paused, not having expected it to go this way. The first bodyguard walked out as well. “He pissed on my new shoes the time before that. I’m not moving him.”
Their communicators went off and their faces became more serious. Bodyguard two spoke first. “Damn it. Toran wants him.”
The first turned to look at the increasingly bewildered Cygna. “You!” He smiled. “You got him undressed. You can dress him.”
Cygna spotted Ripley running down the corridor towards them, causing her confusion to grow further. The Awakened shouted one word. “Sentinels!”
The Fae’Dan’s mind raced. The plan was clearly blown, and they had to get out. Fast. As the guards were now facing Ripley, she took the opportunity to kick one in the back of the knee. He fell forward, and as the second turned he was met with the upward swing of a wine bottle. The first guard discovered first-hand the shocking truth of how hard the knee of an Awakened could be, and both were unconscious by the time they hit the ground.
Cygna smiled at Ripley. "Thanks."
The Awakened gave a swift nod of acknowledgement. “A Sentinel turned up, so Ranjaz set off the diversion he promised. The other brother is busy trying to figure out whether it’s us or the Sentinels robbing him.”
Cygna took on board the new information quickly, knowing she needed to help the others. “I have an idea. Lie over there and look dead.” She ran back into the room, where Alfor was groaning and starting to move. She slipped the chain from his neck and dropped it into the ice bucket, where it sank out of sight below the dark Fae’Dan wine. She began to slowly shake him.
“Huh,” he grumbled, and slowly opened his eyes. “Wha.. what happened?”
Cygna clung to him tightly. “Oh thank goodness! I thought they killed you!”
“Killed?” Alfor’s head was pounding, his memory blurry. “Who-” He caught sight of his downed guards in the open doorway. “What the hell happened?” He began pulling at his clothes, and swiftly checked that his trousers were dry.
“While we were.. You know…” He nodded; he was buttoning up his clothes. He didn’t remember, but he knew. “Some scary men burst into the room and shot you! I was so scared.” She hugged him tight, pressing herself against him.
He put his arm around her. “What men? Be brave, and tell me what happened.”
She looked up at him, trying to make her eyes as big as possible, adding a lip tremble to really sell it. “I don’t know! They wore grey suits. And one of them took your necklace!”
“My necklace.” He clutched at his chest where it should have been. “Damn Sentinels! I told Toran we couldn't trust them!”
He stepped into the corridor, where Ripley lay on the ground with a terrible energy weapon burn on the side of her face. He pulled out his communicator. “Toran.” He instantly got hold of his brother. “I didn’t answer because I was knocked out. Damn Sentinels took my key, killed some of our guys.” He looked around. “Nobody important, just some waiter.” He finally pulled the underwear from his head. “I’ll go to the security room and look at the video.”
He ended the call and turned back to Cygna. “You stay here.”
She smiled. “Sorry, we can’t let you check the security footage.”
“Wha-”
Ripley struck him from behind and he crumpled to the ground, her fake burn melting from her face. The Awakened looked around, rechecking that all was clear. “I think that’s all we can do; we should get out of here. Come with me, my shuttle is in the staff bay.”
 
 
Toran closed his communicator and motioned to a guard. “Search him.”
Eruwenn wished she had some way to capture the look on Krast’s face when the remote detonator was pulled from his pocket. She'd have to hug the light-fingered Kittran later.
The Sentinel grit his teeth. “That’s not mine.”
“Sure, sure,” Toran agreed, while simultaneously shaking his head at the Sentinel. “Looks like you really didn’t come alone.”
Krast was furious, yelling, “I’m telling you-” He broke off when Ranjaz shot him in the leg, falling to the floor.
The Kah’Ree pointed his pistol at the Kittran. “Can’t let you kill a Sentinel in my casino, even if they did just rob me.”
Ranjaz was surprised the Kah’Ree had believed them so easily. “What about us?”
Toran sighed, lowering his weapon. “Take your winnings and get out. If you stole the thing once, I’m sure you can steal it again.”
Eruwenn and Thor both made to leave. Ranjaz paused, knowing he might not get another chance. “And him?”
The Kah’Ree looked at the Sentinel holding his wounded leg. “We’ll send him back to his ship. As much as I hate it, the Sentinels are untouchable.”
Ranjaz raised his pistol. “He took my friend.”
“And we’ll get him back,” Eruwenn said softly. “Then we’ll all deal with him, and the rest of the Sentinels.”
Krast sneered and spat blood once more. “Your human is dead.”
Ranjaz fired.
Krast screamed and grabbed his other leg. “You bastard!”
Toran and his men raised their weapons as the Kah’Ree yelled, “Get the hell out of here!”
Ranjaz turned and followed the others out of the door, but just as it was about to close he poked his head back in. “Oh, one last thing.”
Toran could be seen looking up just as the Kittran fired again, but he ducked out of sight before the true outcome of his shot could be seen. The shrieks of agony, however, followed the trio down the corridor as they broke into a run. Eruwenn spared a glance down at Ranjaz during their retreat. “What did you do?”
The full-fanged grin had never been larger. “Made sure we’ll see him again.”
On the floor of the dalcho room Krast was screaming in agony. He turned over to stare at the closed door. “I’ll kill you! I will hunt you down and kill every last one of you!”
Toran spoke into his communicator. “Tell the Sentinel ship to come get their man. And, bring a doctor. A really good doctor.” He nudged one of his guards and finally let out a chuckle. After all, the Sentinels had just robbed him. “You double-crossing scum always get what you deserve.”
The J’Rami guard raised an eyebrow. “Not sure anyone deserves getting shot in the balls.”
 
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