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The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 16 Jade Vs Keith

The results are in for Match 14. The winner is…
Raymond Delwyn Shimizu, with a score of 66 to Cy Syntheta’s 60!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Baker Street Rat Pack 13-17 The rat pack took a commanding early lead, but the Lookers managed to slowly catch up, ending 2 votes behind.
Quality Sharp Lookers 22-15 Reasoning
JoJolity Sharp Lookers 21-18 Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10
Raymond Delwyn Shimizu wasn’t sure what came over him there, thinking about this noted killer in terms of ghosts and ghouls, but it seemed to have served him well, at least, against this foe who had played with him a game of stealth of sorts. ‘Pure and True’ repaired his sword to the pristine state it had begun the match in, and then the man looked around at the damage this battle had caused, quiet contemplation on his face.
A tanned, casually-dressed (Ray, as part of the sharpest-dressed team, might even call his look outright shabby, were he the judgmental sort) young man with prominent eye bags met his gaze soon, and Raymond looked at the book the figure was reading, a story of sorts about local fauna of the Agricultural District. Fascinating stuff, he was sure, but of the younger people in the room who had been closely watching the battle, this guy was the one who, for some reason, he had felt the most curious about.
“Old enemy..?” Noticing he was being watched, but apparently not deeming being in the same room as Ray a threat, the tired-looking guy asked about the defeated Cy. “I mean, that was basically on sight that they started an Antlerhead cosplay and you turned this entire library into… This.” He gestured at the wreckage of the place, the vacantly malicious black-hatted man still walking around like nothing about this was odd, but many of the other obvious Stand Users of the area moving more cautiously around every oddity like an elaborate game of ‘floor is lava’ had just played out before them.
“Moreso a noted hired killer I happened to run across,” he answered, still weighing how much of his cover to blow as he spoke, “I just came here for research, and immediately understood that a fight had begun. Really did a number on this place, though…” Adjusting his hat, he summoned ‘Pure and True’ again. “All this, and I never actually met this ‘Oh No’ guy…”
“I saw a bunch of professors leaving to go ‘talk more at CaraMel’s’ earlier, when I came here, if you’re talking about that,” the guy answered, the purple beret girl nodding slightly as if to corroborate the story in the slight background, “and two of them seemed to be offering much of the same gripes about not finding this person… It wasn’t my business, so I minded my own, but it did stick out in my head somewhat.”
“I see… Thank you.” He’d heard somewhere that the head of the Institute would often blow off meetings and ask another member to say what he wanted to hear. And he’d wanted to check that place out, so maybe he could..!
Then, he looked around at him. That ‘assassin’ fought with almost a contempt for this place of learning, for some reason, which makes me wonder even more about who sent them, but… I had my part in this too. I can’t just leave a mess. If I did, that receptionist girl would either have a heart attack or cut my throat in my sleep, I’m feeling it… That helps too.
Ray, while he wished he could investigate further, felt a sense of responsibility for this wrecked-up place. Even using his Stand to fix this place up, public hours here were shorter than they were for faculty and students of Midnight Sun schools, so it would probably be close to closing time for the public by the time he finished up with that. Certainly barely anybody else walking around seemed to want to help clean…
He would have to choose how he used his limited research time wisely from here.
Keep reading to see what that young man Ray met is getting up to, but also keep in mind, as of this being posted, you have over a day still to vote on a cow heist that’ll shape the future of the district!
Narration:
While it might not be the most well known creature in the district’s storied history, there have certainly been rumors going about of one that is seldom seen, written about only briefly, and nonetheless a marvel in its own right.
Something dangerous that lurks in the forests of the Agriculture District. A creature that can best even expert hunters and is used to scare children away from wandering too far into the woods. They are only ever said to be spotted every 2 to 3 decades, but they are as fearsome as the rumors say they are.
Scenario:
Midnight Sun Parapsychological Institute Research Library
It was just Keith’s luck, two stand users were fighting inside the library. The worst part about it, very few people were even batting an eye at the literal silent war going on in the background. He could swear he saw some college kids placing bets on the fight over in the corner.
This was not at all what he came here for, he just wanted to learn more about the biodiversity of the Agricultural District. While it was hard to find specifics about it in the history and geography section, surely there would be something here that would be able to help him.
But as fate would have it, his hunt for books had ended up fruitless. Maybe some of the content was being gated, or maybe the Agriculture District was just difficult to get specific data on. Keith would not be dissuaded that easily though, changing the search terms and checking all the boxes in the computer catalogue, he hit enter.
The top result was an essay, and a recent one at that. Keith clicked the link, it was the only relevant result he got today.
“The Desert Jackalope of Los Fortuna”
The article was more of a news reading and summary on witness accounts of a jackalope that resembled a striking resemblance to a desert hare. It was just spotted recently along the outskirts of the city as well. But as luck would have it, Keith couldn’t glean any more information from the article besides the existence of the jackalope, the fact it could shed its horns, and the fact it was spotted in a number of varied biomes over the past century.
With that, bidding the Speedwagon Swordsman farewell, Keith closed the tab and turned to leave. It seemed as if he was going to need to do some investigating of his own if he wanted to see the jackalope and the other features of the Agriculture District in person.
A few days later…
Bounty Woods, the relative middle of nowhere - Agriculture District
Keith made his way over to the Agriculture District by bus, taking in the scenery and getting off at the last stop. Keith had visited the district a few times in the past few days, taking notes on the wildlife, exploring the strange desert biomes which somehow coexisted with frigid tundras and dense jungles, and trying to get more information on the elusive jackalope. Finally he managed to pin down its location here with the help of some locals.
Keith made his way to the foot of the hiking trail, and stopped as he noticed something in front of him. There was a large pick-up truck, and out of it he saw a man emerge, dressed in full uniform.
“Hey! What are you doing there? This range is currently off-limits, sir!” The man called out.
Keith, pointedly nonthreateningly, put his hands up when he realized the man he quickly surmised as the district’s Sheriff looked right at him. “Sorry officer, I didn’t know this was private property. I swear it won’t ever happen again.”
The officer was slightly taken aback by the reaction, but continued, “What? No boy, this place is dangerous. You gotta get out of here.”
“He… is… right,” A voice, low, uttered, before something opened the car door and stepped out.
Keith stood in silent shock. A creature over 7 feet tall, hide cloak, antlers adorned on their head, and glowing green eyes. There was no mistaking it, it was the Antlerhead, another one of the creatures said to be in the district, but what were they doing here? “Wh … what ... how …. Antlerhead?” Keith’s head ran wild with questions as he fumbled over what to ask first and finally put his arms down.
The man looked back at this ‘Antlerhead,’ and then back at Keith. “You got the stink of the Industrial District’s smoke all over you, but even besides that… You’re not from around here, are you? Another of that batch of newcomers…” He sighed, “probably means you’re just involved in this now. Guess I’ve got some explaining, then… Names, first. Sheriff East, to ya.” East walked over and sat down on the back of the truck.
The Black Hill Estate - Agriculture District, a day before
Sheriff East West was no stranger to the Estate, but ever since its enigmatic proprietor, “Spencer,” disappeared, and shortly after a bunch of new stand users moved in, the place had nonetheless put him a little on edge. What effective police the district had had were on loan to the Keshem family, aiding them in investigating a local’s tip into a possible heist, however, and the sole time since the recent incidents began he had been there had proven pleasant enough.
East walked down the bridge to the island estate. He knew that these people weren’t so unlike those of the area; most of them simply didn’t wish to be bothered, but under these circumstances, he thought it important. “Worth a shot, at least…” East mumbled to himself.
Sheriff East made his way up to the poarch and rang the doorbell… no response. Strange, he thought, surely there would be somebody left at the manor to respond… Is everyone out all at once? Or has the wild around here ended another stay here prematurely…
From behind East, then, making the hairs on his back stand on end, came an animalistic rumbling, and grumbling, and as he turned, he saw them: a massive, cloaked figure, another of the many beings whom had been recently sighted around the earth and Los Fortuna.
“What are… you doing… here?” Jade had followed after him the moment he crossed the bridge. They vaguely recalled the last time he was here, to pick up a lost child who, by all the limited follow up the Estate did, did in fact return safely and happily to his family, cementing at least the likely lack of malice of the man. He had introduced himself then, but here he had to be here for something else… Generally, the only people who came out here without a purpose were thrill seekers, and he had seemed a touch old for that.
East nearly jumped out of his shoes as he turned around. And almost did again as he got a look at Jade standing at the edge of the steps. “Chist, you can’t just do that to somebody. 38 is way too young to start gettin’ sent to the hospital with heart attacks!”
Still audibly breathing Jade reworded, basically, the same question, “What… are you… here for?” Jade was slightly curious, and it had seemed like the man wasn’t running away… Either brave, foolish, or simply… Not threatened?
East eventually caught his breath and cleared his throat. “Well, I had a favor I was going to ask for one of y’all, knowing that people with certain… Skillsets, have taken up residence out here. A certain, er… Problem has come up around Bounty Woods.” East tried to formulate his words carefully, thinking about how to phrase what he was about to say.
“On with it…” Jade prompted him, finding little amusement in how he took his time getting to his point.
“There is a creature that’s been wrecking the crops and the outlining forest.” East took another slight pause, realizing how that sentence might come across to Jade. “Wait, actually it's probably easier if I explain. Have you ever heard of a ‘Jackalope?’”
“‘Jackalope…’” Jade grunted, then slowly nodded, not particularly caring about the slip up East made. “Rabbit… with antlers. Like mine.”
East continued, “While that’s true that’s not even the half of it, they are extremely dangerous but I’m getting ahead of myself.” East cleared his throat again, “There is a right mean one over near the outskirts of the forest. It’s practically kicked out all the other animals that lived in that area too.”
Jade grunted quizzically, “So… you want… my help?” Jade had never heard of any animal that could cause all others to flee from an area, not even they did that in their forest. This seemed to be a not terribly unusual occurrence here based on how East spoke of it.
“Yeah that’s about, er, the gist of it. My men are busy, Ernie’s busy, Matilda and that Green animal expert kid who works the airport are busy… Basically everyone I’d have asked normally is on something that, yeah, it’s more important long term, but in the meantime, there’s still this damn jackalope causing trouble, yeah?” East scratched his head, then turned to leave. “Though, honestly, maybe I can come back some other time and ask the others here… I take it you’re not interested in this kind of stuff, after all.”
Jade puts up a hand, “Wait...tell me... more.” Jade saw no reason to involve the others just yet, this was a problem they themself could probably easily solve.
Turned away, a grin was plastered on East’s face. I’ve got one… I wonder if ‘one’ is enough, though… I guess it’ll have to be, if nobody else shows up.
East wracked his brain for what to say, “I assume you’re from out of town. Did you come here to see the jackalope?”
Keith nodded, “Uh,..yes?” Keith wasn’t quite sure what this had to do with anything.
East continued “It must have been somebody from the college in the parapsychological whatchamacallit that got the information, but I don’t know what they’ve been telling you, so I want to make one thing clear. The jackalope is dangerous.” East pointed to Keith, “And it’s a stand user to boot.”
Exactly how surprising Keith Moon found this read clearly in his entirely unchanging facial features, beyond briefly resting his eyes as if to mentally prepare himself for what he’d sought out, and how much danger it might cause if left unattended.
“So we have to capture it before it starts ruining entire farms or injuring somebody here.” East said as though it were a totally clear matter of fact… Not that Keith or any other reasonable person would disagree.
Keith interjected, “Wait, you aren’t going to kill it, right?” Even if the jackalope was dangerous, Keith thought that pulling something like that would be a shame and a waste of life, if it could be avoided.
Jade chimed in, “Catch… And… Relocate… If we can.”
East nodded, “While I would prefer to bring them to a safe enclosure…”
Jade interrupted with a cross between a snort and a growl.
East continued a little defeated, “We reached a compromise on what to do with it. Although, admittedly, in the worst case we might have to put them down. I never like havin’ to pull the plug on anything either, but it’s like with all that stuff you hear about going down way down South… Sometimes, it’s just the nicest thing you can do for an animal outta place.”
Keith just took in all this information; frankly, none of it sounded good. This might’ve been his only chance to even see the jackalope in person, and he couldn’t stand the thought of it possibly being killed. “I can’t walk away here and I can’t let you kill it. I need to see the jackalope for myself first.” Keith talked with a quiet conviction.
East mused, “You know what, I’ll make you the same offer I made them,” East gestures over to Jade. “You help capture it and see for yourself what kind of damage that jackalope can do. If you do a better job than Jade over here, then you can decide what gets to happen to the jackalope, as long as you don’t let it loose near any hiking trails or settlements. Though, I, uh… Like I said, you smell like the Industrial District, so I’d at least like to hear what you mean to do with it if you mean to keep it after.” East turned over to Jade, “Does that sound fine to you?”
Jade gave another snort and rumbling noise, “Fine… I’ll still… Catch anyway. Makes no difference.” It would be troublesome having to share the space for trap setting, but if Keith got hurt that would be on him.
Now determined, Keith looked over to the mountain trail in front of them, “Deal.” There was no chance he was going to idly sit by and watch this happen.
“Alright now that that’s settled, let’s get ready to do this.” East said, reaching for some equipment from the truck. “Feel free to use anything you need, and don’t underestimate the jackalope. Run away if you have to and, I emphasize and emphasize again, absolutely do not try to confront it unprepared.”
As East rode his little posse the rest of the way he was comfortable driving without risking scaring the thing off, he explained some of its abilities to them, and as they drew to a halt…
“Everybody ready now?” East stood back, “Now I don’t want to make this seem like a trivial sport, but there is something on the line for both of you here so here I go.” East took a deep breath in.
“Three…”
Jade didn’t care much for the competition, but as long as the jackalope was a potential threat to the forest they had to deal with it where they could.
“Two…”
Keith had to compete in order to make sure the jackalope had a better possibility of surviving. Yes they were dangerous, but that didn’t mean they didn’t deserve the best possible outcome here.
“One…”
“Open The Game!”
Location: A Hillside forest in Los Fortuna’s aptly named ‘Bounty Woods’ region. The area here The area is 60 by 96 meters with each tile being 6 by 6 meters.
There are 5 elevation levels here denoted by the 5 tile colors, brown and four increasingly darker shades of green. The brown is flat ground, then the green tiles slope up to 4 meters the darker the color gets. So the lightest green goes up from 0 to 4 meters elevation as you make your way up the map, next is 4 to 8 meters, and so on.
The players are in the bottom left area of the map as represented by their character tokens. Sheriff East is represented by the nearby black circle with the rectangle between them being his pick-up truck. Inside the pick-up truck are various tools for catching the jackalope such as binoculars, nets, flashlights, carrots, fishing poles, dog catcher poles, and other potentially useful things for tracking/capturing the jackalope that wouldn’t directly harm it. There are even muzzles, hard plastic cages, and restraints custom made for its size. The players may feel free to take whatever they like from here.
The green circles are trees and the yellow star near the top center is the jackalope. The dotted orange rectangles are the rough direction of the dirt hiking path along the forest and the blue line going across the map is a river with wooden bridges denoted by brown arches. The river is about one meter deep towards the middle
Not visualized on the map are the rocks along the riverbed as well as the other vegetation in the forest. Basically everywhere on the map that is not directly along the dotted path has vegetation such as bushes and flowers growing on/around it as well as fallen logs, tree stumps and anything else you might find in a forest.
Goal: Catch the jackalope! Contributions such as traps, wrangling, and roadblocks and other effective contributions to catching the jackalope may also count to this score. Or in other words if you do more of the heavy lifting in catching the jackalope, you will be the victor!
Additional Information:
Warning: This jackalope is highly dangerous, it boasts a 345 stat line as well as the skills Jackalope 5 (more details later, just know that this is the base level of this animal stat usually) and a Berserk 3 skill(its bloodlust is effectively increased when you attack it allowing it to better work through pain and increase its strength under high stress)
Jackalopes are not to be messed around with, they boast near 360 degree field of vision, excellent hearing, great agility, sharp deer antlers, and burrowing capabilities as well as the combined strengths and traits of all other antlered animals on the body of a rabbit. Namely they have back leg kicking strength on par with a giraffe (meaning they are strong enough to kick the head off a lion), the speed of a gazelle (it can reach up to 60 mph), the ability to eat through things like a goat and the neck strength of a moose. Their most noticeable trait however is their ability to shed and regrow their horns at a moment’s notice.
This Jackalope in particular also seems to possess a stand ability, its stand ability allows its body or parts of its body to turn into metal, dirt, wood (or other plant material), or rock. It also lets it quickly regenerate by consuming any of those four things which it can do with relative ease at a one to one ratio of mass healing.
Onto the Jackalope’s general behaviors and other information:
  • Despite its powerhouse nature, the jackalope tends not to exert that power unless provoked.
  • It will usually turn parts of its fur and antlers into plants, leaves, and dirt to camouflage.
  • While the jackalope can eat just about anything, it can’t easily gnaw through rubber or hard plastic.
  • It will casually travel around at more usual rabbit speed looking for food and occasionally water throughout the match. But if necessary it will eat anything it can if it needs to regenerate.
  • It has a seemingly bottomless appetite and can eat through a whole carrot in less than half a second. Its stand ability also makes metals, dirt, wood, plants in general, and rocks just as easy to eat through. It will generally also eat its way through obstacles if needed.
  • It prefers vegetables, then berries and nuts, then grass = leaves = flowers, with everything else being beneath that for food preferences
  • If it ever needs to cross the river, the jackalope will turn its parts of its body into wood to better swim across or float downstream.
  • If attacked it will turn parts of its body into metal for defense and retaliate if you are in easy striking distance (around 6 meters in general, but can be shortened by other factors such as coverage, potential debuffs, injury severity, etc), otherwise it will hide or run.
  • They are rather territorial and will try to attack you if you get too close, but will not give chase if you run away.
  • Their attacks are generally limited to goring with their antlers, turn-around back leg kicks, and biting. If they are caught, they can flail with a flurry of strong kicks.
  • They can shed their horns if you try to grab/capture it by the horns, if they get stuck, or if it ever needs to go through denser foliage
  • The jackalope will make no active efforts to avoid or look for traps that are in its path.
  • Don’t expect this to be a quick match, with the jackalope’s strength, speed, and regeneration a direct conflict is ill advised.
  • The jackalope doesn’t have a known or proper name, but if you want you can call it ‘Jackie’ if you want to not have to type jackalope all the time
Team Combatant JoJolity
Black Hill Estate Jade (Antlerhead) “Wh… What’s this freak doing? Does he think he’s Bruce Lee or something?” This jackalope thinks it owns the forest it seems, maybe you can show it who’s really in charge here. Assert superiority in any forms you can by absolutely styling to the best of your abilities on this jackalope.
Underground Exodus Keith Moon “He may love coffee-flavored chewing gum, but he still won’t let his guard down for anyone.” This jackalope is a virtually extinct or critically endangered species for all you know; do whatever you can to keep close to it so you can study its behavior as you work to capture it.
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to R1 Match Schedule
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submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

I'mma head out

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withdraw within without witness woman wonder wonderful wood wooden word work worker working works workshop world worried worry worth would wound wrap write writer writing wrong yard yeah year yell yellow yes yesterday yet yield you young your yours yourself youth zone
submitted by TastyUdders to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

Casinos NOt On Gamstop


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submitted by CasinosNotOnGamstop to u/CasinosNotOnGamstop [link] [comments]

/r/CollegeBasketball Presents: The 2020 NCAA Tournament - FINAL FOUR WEEKEND HUB

HELLO COLLEGE BASKETBALL FANS!

What is going on here? For a refresher, click here.
 

Welcome to the Reddit March Madness FINAL FOUR WEEKEND

This Saturday, the virtual ball will be virtually tipped in virtual Atlanta.* And by day's end, we'll have our final two teams set for Monday night's championship game. Will you be there?
 
*the Alamo Dome, which is like the Georgia Dome, except it exists in 2K8
 
Saturday, 4/18: Final Four
Monday 4/20: Championship Game
 
 

Quick Links

Schedule (and full bracket)

Find the full schedule here!

Where can I watch these games?

We'll have direct links in the game threads, but you can find our Youtube channel here!

Bracket Challenge

Unfortunately, since we normally run our bracket challenge through ESPN, we can't use it this year. Thankfully, user leprachaun77 has kindly put together a Challonge bracket here.

Where can I keep up with everything?

 
 

FAQ

Some of today's players were six years old when College Hoops 2K8 came out. Are you using updated rosters for 2020?

Yep! We originally took rosters from Operation Sports, but they've been modified so much at this point that we've uploaded a new file here. We did our best to balance via updated stats where necessary. If you see an issue with your team during a stream, be sure to let us know - there's a lot of teams (68, to be exact) and we're happy to update as the tournament moves along!

How can I spread the word?

We want this to get to as many college basketball-deprived people as possible, so feel free to use #RedditMarchMadness on Twitter and to tell anyone who'd be interested!

Can I get a downloadable bracket?

Yes. Just go to File -> Download -> PDF Document in the bracket link above!

Can I bet on these games?

We're running no official lines from our HQ, but DraftKings has joined us in the fight against boredom! Check out our post here for more info.
DISCLAIMER: Those who are running this tournament are not participating in any betting on it and will not profit off it in any way.
submitted by rCBB_Mod to CollegeBasketball [link] [comments]

7 Ways to Choose The Right Sports Betting Site

1. Trusted websites

Reading website reviews ensures that bookmakers play by the rules, pay out winners and are fair and friendly with their customer service. If they do not, punters may be forced to contact management officials to outline the problems and apply pressure to have the situation resolved.
Doing your own research is the hardest way to choose a sports betting site. It’s time consuming, and you may find it difficult to get all the information you need. Nonetheless, it’s an approach that you should consider. Just make sure you do it correctly.
Nobody wants a bad experience with any company they do business with, and online betting sites are no different. That’s why punters need to do their homework in advance and find out as much about them as possible. You should ask yourself at least these questions:
1. What deposit options are available? 2. Does the bookmaker offer bonuses for an initial deposit and/or to re-deposit funds into an account? 3. How difficult is it to withdraw money from the account? 4. How many different betting options are offered on the sports gambling site? (For example do they offer in-play betting?)
These are all important questions that need to be answered by the punter before deciding to make a deposit.

2. Read online reviews

Another way to choose where to bet is to read third party reviews online and talk to fellow punters. Online bookmakers with positive reviews on multiples sources, feedback and comments from current customers and your own additional research will help you choose trusted brand.
Each review should contain information including deposit options available, bonuses on offer, sports covered, and various betting options. Thus providing a real insight into what it is like to use the site - ultimately this is what really matters.

3. Website promotions and offers

There are a number of factors that punters need to take into account when choosing a top online bookmaker. Bonuses, free bets and concessions should be at the forefront of punters minds, and they significantly vary by bookmaker. Acquiring bonuses can provide a powerful boost to punters winnings, especially when it comes to those betting for the first time.
Bookmakers are battling with their competitors to offer potential new customers a reason to choose their company over another, so there’s plenty of a choice available before you decide to sign up.

4. Competitive odds and payment options

Most bookmakers are expanding the number of payment methods they offer to clients – however there are huge differences between them. The major European firms have debit/credit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfers, cheques and much more.
Customers in some countries, where there are restrictions may be limited to only using e-wallets (providing a degree of anonymity), and that will dictate which bookmakers they can use.
Furthermore, does the sport betting site have payment security certificates on their websites like Skrill, Trustly, MasterCard or Verified by Visa? And are they using a secure and encrypted https domain?
Obviously, the competitiveness of odds is vital when choosing a bookmaker. Punters want to find the best possible value in their selections. Therefore, having an account with a bookmaker who works to small margins is important. However, more importantly the bookmaker must be willing to lay a decent bet at the odds advertised. There are some bookmakers out there who offer fantastic odds, but when customers try to place a bet on those odds, they are unable to receive the advertised rate. Ensure the bookmaker you choose does not do this by placing a small bet first.

5. What sports do the bookmakers cover?

Betting on football is by far the most popular sport to bet on, and most bookmakers have an expansive betting section for the beautiful game – including live betting. However, plenty of punters have a passion (and expertise) for other sports, and an individual’s preferences for a particular sport can dictate which bookmaker is most suitable for their needs.
For instance, Northern European firms tend to offer odds on Handball, Ice Hockey and Basketball sections as the sports are popular in the region and the bookmakers who compile the odds are confident enough in their knowledge to go against the punters. The major UK websites offer betting on horse and dog racing, but a large number of their European counterparts do not (horse racing markets require significant resources and constant attention as the odds continuously change).
Location also matters within each individual sport as well. For instance, a Chinese bookmaker is likely to have extensive knowledge for Chinese football than a bookmaker operating out of the Caribbean. Therefore the suitability of a bookmaker can depend on its location and where the punter is based.

6. Online customer service is essential

Unlike Las Vegas, where you can physically visit a bookmaker at a casino resort; online gaming sites and sportsbooks are essentially virtual casinos that accept real money to wager on real sporting events. However, this does not mean an online bookmakers address is only located on the internet.
Any reputable online bookmaker will have a physical address located on its website along with contact information you can use to call them and ask questions if needed. Trusted bookmakers will even have an FAQ section you can read to help you feel more comfortable about betting with them.
Another important source you can use to research online betting sites is social media. Every trustworthy site should have a presence on Facebook as a valuable customer service tool. Some sites are active on Twitter and even have different Twitter accounts in different languages.
Following and/or “Liking” the bookmaker enables punters to see how the company communicates and interacts with potential and current customers, giving them another level of trust, integrity and the necessary knowledge needed to make the right decision when the time comes to place a bet with them.
If a bookmaker is very responsive on social media, you can see that they really care about their customers and want to resolve issues in a timely and efficient manner.

7. Help center and support articles

Top bookmakers will have invaluable resources online to empower you to get started. This maybe articles on responsible gaming to a company blog that provides the latest sports betting tips and tactics to maximize your bets.
An online bookmaker that makes the effort on updating a regular blog provides punters with a sustained integrity that disreputable bookmakers do not have.
Blog and help center articles demonstrate to punters not only is there an actual team behind managing the online website, but the bookmaker is professional and knowledgeable in sports and the industry as well. Meaning that you can determine why the bookmaker is offering certain odds based on the topics and expertise written in their blog articles.
submitted by PresentType to sportsbetKRinfomore [link] [comments]

7 Ways to Choose The Right Sports Betting Site

1. Trusted websites

Reading website reviews ensures that bookmakers play by the rules, pay out winners and are fair and friendly with their customer service. If they do not, punters may be forced to contact management officials to outline the problems and apply pressure to have the situation resolved.
Doing your own research is the hardest way to choose a sports betting site. It’s time consuming, and you may find it difficult to get all the information you need. Nonetheless, it’s an approach that you should consider. Just make sure you do it correctly.
Nobody wants a bad experience with any company they do business with, and online betting sites are no different. That’s why punters need to do their homework in advance and find out as much about them as possible. You should ask yourself at least these questions:
These are all important questions that need to be answered by the punter before deciding to make a deposit.

2. Read online reviews

Another way to choose where to bet is to read third party reviews online and talk to fellow punters. Online bookmakers with positive reviews on multiples sources, feedback and comments from current customers and your own additional research will help you choose trusted brand.
Each review should contain information including deposit options available, bonuses on offer, sports covered, and various betting options. Thus providing a real insight into what it is like to use the site - ultimately this is what really matters.

3. Website promotions and offers

There are a number of factors that punters need to take into account when choosing a top online bookmaker. Bonuses, free bets and concessions should be at the forefront of punters minds, and they significantly vary by bookmaker. Acquiring bonuses can provide a powerful boost to punters winnings, especially when it comes to those betting for the first time.
Bookmakers are battling with their competitors to offer potential new customers a reason to choose their company over another, so there’s plenty of a choice available before you decide to sign up.

4. Competitive odds and payment options

Most bookmakers are expanding the number of payment methods they offer to clients – however there are huge differences between them. The major European firms have debit/credit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfers, cheques and much more.
Customers in some countries, where there are restrictions may be limited to only using e-wallets (providing a degree of anonymity), and that will dictate which bookmakers they can use.
Furthermore, does the sport betting site have payment security certificates on their websites like Skrill, Trustly, MasterCard or Verified by Visa? And are they using a secure and encrypted https domain?
Obviously, the competitiveness of odds is vital when choosing a bookmaker. Punters want to find the best possible value in their selections. Therefore, having an account with a bookmaker who works to small margins is important. However, more importantly the bookmaker must be willing to lay a decent bet at the odds advertised. There are some bookmakers out there who offer fantastic odds, but when customers try to place a bet on those odds, they are unable to receive the advertised rate. Ensure the bookmaker you choose does not do this by placing a small bet first.

5. What sports do the bookmakers cover?

Betting on football is by far the most popular sport to bet on, and most bookmakers have an expansive betting section for the beautiful game – including live betting. However, plenty of punters have a passion (and expertise) for other sports, and an individual’s preferences for a particular sport can dictate which bookmaker is most suitable for their needs.
For instance, Northern European firms tend to offer odds on Handball, Ice Hockey and Basketball sections as the sports are popular in the region and the bookmakers who compile the odds are confident enough in their knowledge to go against the punters. The major UK websites offer betting on horse and dog racing, but a large number of their European counterparts do not (horse racing markets require significant resources and constant attention as the odds continuously change).
Location also matters within each individual sport as well. For instance, a Chinese bookmaker is likely to have extensive knowledge for Chinese football than a bookmaker operating out of the Caribbean. Therefore the suitability of a bookmaker can depend on its location and where the punter is based.

6. Online customer service is essential

Unlike Las Vegas, where you can physically visit a bookmaker at a casino resort; online gaming sites and sportsbooks are essentially virtual casinos that accept real money to wager on real sporting events. However, this does not mean an online bookmakers address is only located on the internet.
Any reputable online bookmaker will have a physical address located on its website along with contact information you can use to call them and ask questions if needed. Trusted bookmakers will even have an FAQ section you can read to help you feel more comfortable about betting with them.
Another important source you can use to research online betting sites is social media. Every trustworthy site should have a presence on Facebook as a valuable customer service tool. Some sites are active on Twitter and even have different Twitter accounts in different languages.
Following and/or “Liking” the bookmaker enables punters to see how the company communicates and interacts with potential and current customers, giving them another level of trust, integrity and the necessary knowledge needed to make the right decision when the time comes to place a bet with them.
If a bookmaker is very responsive on social media, you can see that they really care about their customers and want to resolve issues in a timely and efficient manner.

7. Help center and support articles

Top bookmakers will have invaluable resources online to empower you to get started. This maybe articles on responsible gaming to a company blog that provides the latest sports betting tips and tactics to maximize your bets.
An online bookmaker that makes the effort on updating a regular blog provides punters with a sustained integrity that disreputable bookmakers do not have.
Blog and help center articles demonstrate to punters not only is there an actual team behind managing the online website, but the bookmaker is professional and knowledgeable in sports and the industry as well. Meaning that you can determine why the bookmaker is offering certain odds based on the topics and expertise written in their blog articles.
submitted by PresentType to sportsbetKRinfomore [link] [comments]

The Flash #13 - Will you marry me?

DC Next Proudly Presents…!

The Flash: The Heist

Part 4, Break In
Written by JPM11S
Edited by AdamantAce and Dwright
< | Next>>
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive! When I was eight years old my father, Jay Garrick, the original Flash, sacrificed himself to save the multiverse. One month later, my mother died while surrounded by a tornado of red and yellow lightning. For years, I worked as an ordinary CSI for the CCPD, but one day, I was struck by lighting and given the gift of a lifetime when I gained the ability to run faster than the speed of sound! Now, I try to live up to my father’s legacy and protect the twin cities from those who seek to do it harm as the Flash!
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
Last we left our hero, his plan to capture the new Captain Cold and Heat Wave had failed, being sprung instead by Papercut, who was quickly taken in by the police. Barry didn’t have much time to dwell on the failure though, because he was already late to bringing Patty to therapy. While walking with her, he subtlety asked about what kind of ring she would like. After he dropped her off, Barry went to buy a ring, where, overwhelmed at his choices, he decided to call his friend Dick Grayson for advice. After a quick chat, Barry managed to pick out a ring. Later that night, while out on patrol, Barry stopped the mayor of Keystone City from being kidnapped by the new Captain Boomerang, then began to run over to S.T.A.R Labs after he heard the new Captain Cold and Heat Wave were trying to rob it! Meanwhile, Patty voiced her concerns about her and Barry’s relationship to her therapist and, after hearing his son William had fallen ill, Daniel took his boss up on his offer of “extra work.”
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
Central City - Present Day
Ever since the night of that freaky storm, ever since Zackary Snart and Donald Hunt had been gifted their strange, wondrous abilities, they had dared to dream bigger than ever before. No longer would they be satisfied with knocking over small time business. Now, they were setting their sights on banks controlled by the goddamn kingpin himself. No longer would they keep their mouths shut when it came to what they thought. Now, they were making sure everyone knew exactly what the hell they thought, everyone else be damned. They were starting to make enemies, sure, put themselves in more dangerous situations than ever before, but with their power? Bring it on.
And the building that stood before them was proof of that: S.T.A.R Labs. Despite their best efforts at hiding it, it was something of common knowledge that deep underground, they had a high tech security vault that contained all manner of delightful things. While its exact contents were unknown, Zack and Don knew that the Rogues' infamous guns were kept there. And they were going to steal them. Such a heist was a far cry from the jobs they were pulling off before they got their powers, before they were emboldened. It was dangerous, risky; not only would it without a doubt attract the attention of none other than the Flash, but it would also put a target on their backs, courtesy of none other than the kingpin himself. Boy, would stealing those guns piss him off even more than Zack and Don calling themselves Captain Cold and Heat Wave.
“You ready, Don?”
“Practically fuming.”
Zack clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Remember the plan and we’ll be fine.”
The plan was rather simple, really. From what they had gathered, it was impossible to phase through the vault walls, a precaution put in place because of the Rival, but just because someone couldn’t phase through the walls, that didn’t mean the walls couldn’t phrase through them. The Particle Phaser worked by vibrating the molecules of whatever was in it’s boundaries, making it perfect for the job. A loophole.
“Something always goes wrong, you know that,” grunted Don.Zack flashed a smile. “Don’t I know it. Say, wanna bet on what does?”
“I’ll bite. I’ma say the Flash rears his ugly mug.”
“Oh, come on. That ain’t much of a bet.”
Don grunted again.
“You know, I’m not even sure that counts. We beat him once, we can do it again. Minor inconvenience at best!”
“Let's just get going.”
“Fine, fine.”
A swagger in his step, Zack burst through the glass front doors of S.T.A.R Labs, entering into a largely abandoned lobby, with only a few people milling about and a single person at the reception desk.
“Torch ‘em, Don. Don’t want anyone calling the cops.”
“Gladly.” With a flick of the wrist, Heat Wave ushered his fist in a ball of flame, raising it towards the innocent civilians. “Nothing personal,” he shouted, “Just business.” The fire suddenly flew out from Heat Wave’s hand, a raging, sputtering torrent of heat that distorted the very air around it. A shrill scream echoed through the large lobby as the flame met one of the civilians, soon followed by another and another until finally, all that was left was stinking, smoldering corpses.
“It’ll buy us some time.” spoke Don. “But someone is going to notice the corpses lying around.”
“We better get a move on, then.”
Quickening their pace, the pair made their way through the immaculate white halls of S.T.A.R Labs until they came to a large, metal door with a keypad on the side. While they did not know the combination, such a thing was of no concern to them.
“Set it up, Don. I’ll watch your back.”
Don took the four disks that made up the Particle Phaser from his various coat pockets and set them against the door in a rectangle pattern. He pressed the red button on the top of each, beams of some sort of multicolored energy cutting their way through the metal to connect to each disk, forming a vibrating doorway of sorts that the duo stepped through, bringing them into a tiny room.
Said room was rather unremarkable, there only being a single security camera mounted in one of the top corners of the room and another metal door, with yet another keypad. Don went in first, followed closely by Zack, who took each disk down the other side of the door. A small, oddly satisfying snapping sound met their ears as the doorway ceased it’s vibrating. Zack went up to the next door and placed the disks in the same configuration as Don had just done, pressing the red button on each. Zack and Don stepped through the doorway yet again, this time entering into an elevator, which they promptly sent downward.
Most curiously, the elevator had… elevator music, which the pair found to be rather comical, as they each let out a small laugh. Though perhaps they just needed an excuse to break the tension in however small a way. The elevator let out into yet another room that looked virtually identical to the one before, even down to the dust crowded in the corners of the room.
“Really! Another fucking door!”
“Chill, Don, chill.”
“How many doors are there?!”
Zack placed the disks against the door and tapped the red button on each. “Let’s find out.” He stepped through the doorway, only to poke his head back out, a smile on his face. “You gotta see this.”
Don stepped through the doorway and into something that surpassed his wildest dreams. Contained within the four, dull grey walls of the vault, illuminated by fluorescent were all manor of fantastical things, all of which would fetch a ludicrously high price on the black market. On one shelf, there sat what appeared to be containers of the Flash’s lightning, though rather than being a single solid color, it was rotating between a whole myriad of them. Across from that, some sort of strange, alien looking android laid on a shelf just below some sci-fi-esque, laser-gun-looking thing.
“My friend,” grinned Zack, placing his arm around Don’s shoulder, “I think we’ve just hit the jackpot.”
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
Hot, sweat tinged air nipped at Daniel West’s nose, so foul and fearsome that it made his eyes water, bile rise in his throat. He did his best to ignore it though, focusing his mind on fastening the various straps on his tactical gear, making sure his boots were tied as tight as can be, trying to keep the gun pressed tight to his chest… God, what had he gotten himself into? The thought plagued Daniel’s mind, going so far as to wrack his body with small tremors, tremors that he did his best to hide, lest he attract the ire of the similarly clad men that surrounded him in the van they were crammed into.
Some time ago, Daniel had accepted an offer of extra work from his boss, Harold. While Harold certainly looked the part of some sort of mafioso and seemed to talk like one, Daniel had brushed all that aside, chalking it up to mere coincidence, nothing beyond the surface level. After all, the Twin Cities were far from a hotbed of mob related crime. No, that was always much more Gotham’s thing. Turns out, he had been horribly, terribly mistaken, and was now paying the price for his mistake. Daniel felt like such an idiot, but then again, smart thinking had never been his thing. No, that honor had to go to his siblings, Barry and Iris. Barry was always something of a science whizz, if not a little brooding and self-serious for a kid. And Iris… easily one of the sharpest people he knew. Always so perceptive, astute, she wouldn’t have made the mistake he did.
But he wasn’t Iris. He wasn’t Barry. He was a man. A painfully ordinary man… well, except in one regard, but he hadn’t exactly let anyone onto that, nor did he ever plan to. No, Daniel would have to figure this out on his own, find some way to make sure he got out of whatever situation he was in intact, make sure that no harm came to his family. As… misguided as William could be at times, he was his son, and he loved him with all his heart.
At the head of the van was a rather unusual looking woman, sporting ebony hair that was tied back in a ponytail and a, for lack of the word, metallic suit, though it didn’t appear to be quite as such. While it could only be viewed if one stared at the armor for some time, the metal seemed to be… shimmering, moving ever so slightly. Deducing the cause of such an event would have been much more Barry’s area of expertise. She carried herself with a certain pompous, yet carefree attitude, sitting cross-legged yet also leaning back.
“Alrighty, boys,” she smiled, “listen up!”
The steady clattering of equipment ceased.
“I do apologize for keeping the situation shrouded in such secrecy until now, but we couldn’t risk any leaks. Leaks of what, you may ask? Great question!
“Those new Captain Cold and Heat Wave are planning to steal the Rogues' guns from S.T.A.R Labs! Er… well… they’ve probably already robbed them by now, but that’s beside the point! The point is, the kingpin wants those guns for himself. We’re gonna thieve from the thieves!” A wide, eerie smile came over her face as she clapped her hands excitedly. “How ironic! I love it!
“There’s only so many places they can escape out of and if I’m right, they’ll exit the way they came. It’s the quickest way in and out of the vault. And on top of that… well, let’s just say dear Zackary didn’t inherit daddy’s smarts.
“When they get out of S.T.A.R Labs, we’re going to ambush them. There’s only two of them and a few van-fulls of us. Shouldn’t be much of a bother.”
Someone raised their hand. “Yeah, but, like, they have super powers and stuff.”
“And we have guns, sweetie. Lots and lots of guns that fire lots and lots of bullets.”
“I’m convinced,” spoke another person.
“Splendid!” Amunet cheered. “Now all we do is wait.”
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
No time to waste. He’d already waited long enough. Streaking through the streets of Keystone City to Central, the Flash had already had to divert his attention to stopping one woman from jumping off the Twin City Bridge, two attempted murders, three bank robbers, four purse snatchers, retrieving five balloons let go by children, and six people from getting hit by cars. He wasn’t complaining about such things, no, but there was a high profile robbery in progress that he needed to get to. Time was of the essence. Barry Allen was late, not the Flash. Never.
But they didn’t call him the Fastest Man Alive for nothing and he soon reached his destination: S.T.A.R Labs. As the Flash came up to the scene, his eyes widened, face marred with a look of deep concern. Twenty or so armed men, who were definitely not police, were unleashing a hail of bullets on the new Captain Cold and Heat Wave, the former of whom had erected a wall of ice to protect himself and his partner. What concerned the Flash most was not the combatants though, but rather the people surrounding them. While it was far from rush hour traffic, quite a number of civilians found themselves in close proximity to the fight, whether they be on the sidewalk or in one of the cars between the men and Captain Cold and Heat Wave.
Knowing what need to be done, the Flash wasted no time in springing to action, filling the air with a flurry of crackling crimson lightning splashed against a blur of red and gold as he moved from person to person, getting them out of harm's way before most would even be able to register danger was afoot. From there, the Crimson Comet found himself underneath each car that lay in the crossfire between the men firing guns and the two metahuman criminals, severing the gas lines to drain the gas out so that, in case any car was hit, it wouldn’t explode in a ball of flame, as per the advice Mister Crandall had given him on the run over. With those things out of the way, he moved against his enemies.
Fired from nasty looking, clearly high powered guns, most would say the bullets rocketed towards their destination, screaming through the air with an unbridled rage, but to the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive, such a thing was not the case. Instead, each bullet hung in the air, suspended by some unseen, all powerful force that was capable of defying even gravity itself. The sight reminded him of falling snow or rain, assuming that those things moved sideways and were made of metal, that is. Perhaps it wasn’t the best of comparisons. Nonetheless, the Flash plucked each bullet from the air with ease, expending only minimal effort. This was child’s play to a person with his abilities. As he quickly found there were too many to hold in just one or two hands, the hero momentarily dropped out of Flashtime just so that he could drop all the bullets in front of their shooters, mocking them.
“Flash!” cried out Amunet Black, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave all in unison, as well as a couple of the men.
Flash did his best to sound as heroic as possible and crossed his arms. “What is this? A flashmob? Without me?.”
Everyone groaned.
“Since when does the Flash make so many dad jokes?” whispered the guy next to Daniel.
“I don’t know.” he replied, “Maybe he’s a dad now? Who knows?”
“I'll give all of you one chance!” yelled the Flash, a stern look on his face, “Surrender now! Give yourself over to the police and we can avoid a conflict!”
Heat Wave grunted. “Back off Twinkle Toes and I won’t have to fry ya like I did last time!”
“Hate to say this, Red,” screamed Captain Cold so he could be heard over his ice wall, “but my partner and I aren’t too keen on going back to the ‘land. We’ve also hit the score of a lifetime, so there’s that too.”
“Shame you won’t be holding onto it much longer!” taunted Amunet.
A sneer came over Captain Cold’s face. “Over my cold, dead body.”
“I’d love to say that that can be arranged, but the kingpin explicitly told me that I couldn’t kill you. Your friend, on the other hand…” She winked at Heat Wave.
Who’s the kingpin?’ thought the Flash. He pushed the question out of his mind, focusing on the here and now. They were busy bickering with each other, creating the perfect opportunity to get a pair of power dampening cuffs on Captain Cold and Heat Wave.
But suddenly, that opportunity was ripped away as Heat Wave hurled a ball of fire at Amunet Black and her men, burning the air itself as it seared towards its destination. He didn’t stop with just one though, choosing to unleash a cacophony of flame against the current target of his burning anger. Snapping back into Flashtime, the Scarlet Speedster immediately raced to save anyone in danger of being hit, scooping them up in his arms, carrying them to a safe location, then promptly giving each a stern punch to the head, knocking them out for the time being.
But in the middle of the Flash’s final rescue attempt, he felt a gentle tug on his earpieces, a tug that grew stronger and stronger until finally, he felt his yellow soled boots leave the ground. Three dozen or so feet into the air, the hero panickedly whipped his head around, eyes eventually landing on one Amunet Black, her arm extended and palm facing upward. Knowing that being in such a position was far from advantageous, after all, he was only new to being a hero, not an idiot, the Crimson Comet took advantage of his accelerated state to allow his mind to race for solutions to his predicament. But all that thinking soon went to waste as he found himself being thrown towards Captain Cold’s ice wall.
Deciding that he had to act now, the Flash did the first thing that came to mind when he thought of slowing himself down: Creating vortexes of wind with his arms. Immediately, he began to rotate his arms clockwise, steadily creating the desired effect. In this instance though, slow and steady would not be good enough. Not able to create his vortexes fast enough, ironic for someone who claimed to be the fastest man alive, the Scarlet Speedster was left with two options: Take the hit or… or phase. Taking the hit was out of the question, not while surrounded by so many enemies.
And so the Flash closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, steadying himself. All his previous attempts at phasing had ended in whatever he tried to phase through blowing up, a result he wasn’t so keen on replicating given the size of the object he was about to attempt to phase through and the proximity of Captain Cold and Heat Wave to it. As such, he decided to abandon Mister Crandall’s more abstract methodology in favor of something more… concrete. After all, his way hadn’t exactly been working. In his mind, the hero pictured himself passing through the ice barrier without a hitch, his very molecules slipping through solid matter itself! As he inched closer and closer to the ice, he felt a deep cold grow against his face, nipping at the exposed tip of his nose. The Flash braced himself, waiting with bated breath until he felt the familiar tingle of his molecules passing through matter wash over his body. He quickly stopped vibrating his body, crashing against the two men that laid behind it, breaking his fall.
Quickly, the Scarlet Speedster scurried to his feet, eyes instantly latching onto the ice barrier… which was still there! In celebration, the hero thrust his fists into the air, elated at his latest accomplishment. However, so swept up in his victory, he hadn’t even noticed that he had fallen out of Flashtime, something that left him wide open for attack by the two crooks who had just made their way to their feet behind him. The Flash felt two pairs of hands grab onto each of his arms, sending pangs of cold up one and white hot needles up the other, causing his heart to skip a beat as he realized the grave error he had made. Without missing a beat, Captain Cold and Heat Wave let loose their fearsome might on the Crimson Comet, an apt nickname as they sent him hurling like one through the ice barrier and towards Amunet Black, licks of flame and water sputtering off him, burning away his sleeves and areas on his chest.
Instead of colliding with Amunet like he had done with Captain Cold and Heat Wave, the Scarlet Speedster found himself halted in midair, presumably by the woman herself as she once more had her arm outstretched. Amunet turned her palm upwards, levitating the Flash into the air again.
“Fire on the Flash, men!” she commanded.
The sound of a dozen guns clicking filled the air, sooned followed by the ear splintering sound of them all going off in unison. Joining in on the fun were Captain Cold and Heat Wave, who fired blasts of ice and fire at the speedster suspended in midair. While the situation may… did look deire, the Flash met it with a smile stretched wide on his face, watching everything rocket towards him in Flashtime. Once more, he took a deep breath and pictured himself passing through the objects, something that soon became reality as the volley of attacks heading his way passed through without leaving so much as a scratch.
While everyone else stood shocked at the sight of the Flash still breathing, a look of rage marred Amunet’s face, her brow furrowed and teeth bared. She began moving her hand frantically up and down, repeatedly bludgeoning the Scarlet Speedster against the street once, twice, three times, the pavement cracking underneath her assault. Though the hero laid moaning on the ground, she was not yet satisfied, bringing her finger inwards to make a fist, an action that resulted in the earpieces on the Flash’s cowl exploding, taking part of the surrounding cowl with it. Instantly, a terrible ringing wracked his head and blood trickled out his lightly charred ears. The hero tried to stagger to his feet, knees wobbling with the effort it was taking him, but alas, it proved to be too much. He fell back to the ground… broken…
As he laid on the ground, his suit in tatters, more disoriented than he had ever been in his life, the Flash couldn’t help but wonder if this was the end for him. Was this how his story ended? Dying alone on cold asphalt, surrounded by his enemies? On the night of the Speed Force Storm, he had met his grandson from the future, Bart, who told him that he was destined to become the best of us. Mister Crandall had said the same thing too. Looks like they were wrong. So much for some grand destiny. Some heroic sacrifice like his dad.
His dad… the Flash’s mind wandered to his father, Jay Garrick, the original Flash, who had given his life to stop the first storm back when he was only eight years old. The speedster remembered the sky suddenly tearing asunder with far more colors than he could name, how he clutched onto his mother like his life depended on it… every detail of that night had been burned into his mind, especially when… when his father materialized in front of their house, a trail of golden lightning against a wall of red and blue in his wake, and rushed up to his family, pushing them back inside. Even then, with the world coming apart around them, his dad put on a smile for him. “I’m going to do what I always do, Barry.” his dad had said when he asked him how he was going to save the day, “Run really fast and cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Even in the face of such destruction, such insurmountable odds, his father had never given up, never given up hope, and neither could he. No, he didn’t have the luxury of allowing himself to slip away into the abyss; the Twin Cities needed the Flash to protect them, to inspire them, and most importantly, to give them hope. Hope that even with people like the Rival and the Joker running amok in the world, even with tragedies like the crisis in Coast City, that there would always be a better tomorrow. It was an ideal that the Flash had made core to his very being and he wasn’t about to compromise that now. Not now, not ever.
Come on, Barry, get up!’ He propped himself up with his arms. ‘You got this!’ He was pushing up with his legs now. ‘There are still people that need you.’ Finally, he was standing on two feet. ‘Now run, Barry, run!
With a whirl of crimson lightning, the Flash exploded from where he once laid and charged at Amunet Black, delivering a punch to her chest so powerful that she went flying towards Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Next up was her men, who were dealt with in short order, being tied together with a steel cable that the hero saw fit to borrow from a nearby construction site. In that time though, seeing an imminent defeat, Daniel West disappeared into the distance, purple lightning trailing behind him. Captain Cold and Heat Wave would prove to be more troublesome, but the Scarlet Speedster quickly devised a plan that would disable them.
The Flash ran up to the two costumed crooks, dropping out of Flashtime in the middle of them, his arms crossed and a mocking smile plastered on his face. “Take your best shot, boys!” he taunted.
Without a moment’s hesitation, the two costumed crooks thrust out their hands, tendrils of their power arcing from them. But the Flash paid it no mind, slipping into Flashtime and vibrating his molecules so that the fire and ice passed harmlessly through him. Captain Cold and Heat Wave did not find themselves as lucky as the speedster, no, they had fallen perfectly into the heroes remarkably simple trap, so caught up in their growing hatred for him that they began to disregard all logic in favor of acting on impulse. Each let out a howl of agony as the other’s blast hit them, knocking them to the ground for all but an instant. But an instant was all that the Fastest Man Alive needed. Confident that in such a state, they would be unable to pull any tricks on him like they had done last time, he slipped a pair of power dampening handcuffs onto each. The Scarlet Speedster then turned his attention to Amunet Black, who had somehow managed to escape… and abscond with the Rogue’s guns! Blast!
The Flash sighed, doing his best to look on the bright side of things. At least two supervillains had been brought to justice. In the distance, the crowd that had gathered to watch the fight between their hometown hero and the forces of evil burst into thunderous applause. The Flash couldn’t help but look over to them and give his best smile.
Some time later, the CCPD arrived on the scene, led by detectives Fred Chyre and Joe West, and cordoned it off. The pair went up to Captain Cold and Heat Wave and arrested them properly, reading them their rights then shoving them into the back of the metahuman transport vehicles. With a look of pride, the Flash watched the truck barrel off into the distance, until he felt a repeated tapping on his shoulder. Startled, he whipped his head around, shocked at who he found, though he really should not have been, given her chosen profession: Iris West, his sister.
“Hey, Flash,” smiled Iris. Her face was slightly obscured by her auburn hair and she held a pen and paper in her hand. “You probably don’t know me, but my name is Iris West. I’m a--”
The Flash smiled. “Let me guess, you’re a reporter for CCPN?” He vibrated his vocal cords so that she couldn’t recognize his voice.
“What gave it away?” she laughed. “I hope you don’t mind me asking you a few questions, then?”
“Not at all.”
“Great! First of all, you look a little worse for wear. Are you alright?”
“I’ve been in worse scraps, ma’am.”
“Like Coast City? Tell me, why did you disappear for so long after? Where did you go?”
It was in times like this that he was reminded that the public didn’t know that he was not the same Flash as the one that was at Coast City. He could have changed that, let people know he wasn’t the same person, but had long ago decided against such a thing, believing that such news would only deepen the tragedy of that day. It gave people comfort thinking that there was still a member of the Justice League running around out there and he didn’t want to ruin that. The Flash decided to respond in the only way he knew how: Avoid the question. “That’s a very personal thing you’re asking.”
“The people deserve the truth.”
“Do you have any other questions, Miss West?”
Iris pursed her lips, clearly unhappy that the Flash would not answer her question, but understanding of it nonetheless. “Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers?”
“Tell your readers that as long as I’m around, the Twin Cities will be safe, and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
Barry Allen wasn’t usually one to feel overly anxious about things, to obsess and worry about some upcoming event, play through how it could play out over and over again in his head until he had exhausted all possible scenarios, but since he had decided he was going to propose to Patty, he had been doing just that. And as he bolted through the streets of Central City, that feeling in his stomach grew, a nervous energy sending tremors throughout his body. Not only was he able to perseverate over his proposal, but also about the fact he was running late, due in no small part to him having to foil the two-way robbery at S.T.A.R Labs. To his luck though, he had been given the gift of super speed, something especially handy in situations such as these, and his accelerated healing had already taken care of his wounds.
In less than the blink of the eye, Barry charged up the wall of his apartment building and through the window of his apartment, phasing through it. From there, practically every inch of floor space found itself engulfed in a sheet of crimson lightning as the perpetually late CSI hurriedly prepped for his big date, combing his messy blond hair into something neat, picking through his closet to find his dress clothes, tying his bright red bowtie that his sister, Iris, had given him around his neck. Once everything was done to his satisfaction, Barry left his apartment, racing towards his destination.
A handful of seconds later, he arrived in front of Veloce’s, one of the premier restaurants in the city. To conceal his super fast arrival, Barry ducked into a nearby abandoned alley, walking out of it normally and towards the front entrance. Situated underneath a brilliant violet awning, the facade oozed a certain kind of elegance, one that didn’t feel pompous or conceited, but rather commanded respect. The frames of the polished glass windows were an ornate design, though nothing overly complex, and at the corners of each window, spilled over slightly to give the appearance of holding it in place. At the front door, there stood a maitre d' wearing a stiff looking black suit, purple trim running around it, a podium in front of him.
Barry walked up to the man. “I have a reservation. Under Allen, or Barry. One of those, I can’t remember.”
He looked down at his tablet, then smiled. “She is already here, Mister Allen. Right this way. Oh, and you may want to fix your hair.”
Barry’s hand shot to his head, feeling the unkempt mop atop it. Must have gotten messed up when he ran over. Blast. Quickly, he ran his fingers through his hair, pushing it into something that resembled a tidy state.
As they neared the table, the man leaned over to Barry and said, “The ring will come in the salad just as you have asked. Good luck.” They reached the table and the man pulled out Barry’s chair for him.
“Sorry I’m late.” Barry said as he took a seat. “I was working late in the lab on that Captain Cold and Heat Wave case.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been doing that a lot lately. Is there anything I can help with?”
Barry smiled. “Not anymore there isn’t.” He leaned in. “Because I caught them… I mean the Flash caught them! And I’m not the Flash! I mean, uh… if I was, why would I, uh, be late all the time?”
Patty snickered. “I know what you mean, Barry.”
That was great, because even he wasn’t entirely sure what he meant.
“And besides, if you were the Flash and you were late, I’d assume it was because you were out helping people.”
“Seems like an accurate scenario.” Barry took a sip of water out of his glass. “So, uh, what’ve you been up to today?”
“Nothing much, really. Certainly nothing as exciting as your Captain Cold and Heat Wave case, that’s for sure.”
“Oh, don’t say that. I’m sure there had to be something.”
Patty smiled. “The most exciting thing I’ve done today is watch the news. Hey, did you know the Flash just saved Mayor Jones from some new Captain Boomerang?”
“No, no I didn’t.” The lie came all too easily.
“Yeah, they rode right up to him while he was talking to a crowd of people and snatched him right up! Luckily, the Flash was nearby and caught up to her. Oh, it’s a her, by the way. Bit odd since most of these supervillain types tend to be guys. But anyway, Flash got her without much trouble and turned her into the police.” Patty sighed. “I swear, why would someone want to name themselves after a supervillain? An actual supervillain?!”
“Beats me.” Out of the corner of his eye, Barry spotted a waiter coming towards them with two salads. Instantly, his leg began to shake, slowly picking up speed to the point where he had to grab onto it and physically stop it. It was show time.
The waiter placed the salads in front of them.
Barry and Patty spoke in unison. “Thank you.” They both started on their salads.
“So…” Barry began. “Nothing anything in your salad?” Their salads were arranged in such a way that, if the ring was to be placed in the middle, it would act as a sort of centerpiece.
“Nope. Why, is there something in yours?”
It had probably just got lost in the lettuce. She’d find it when she hit it with her fork. “On, nothing…” Barry took a bite of his salad and swallowed, quickly finding himself choking on something. He began to make an awful hacking sound that drew the attention of everyone in the restaurant.
Leaping up from her seat, Patty rushed over to her boyfriend, placing her fists around his abdomen and delivering repeated pushes. Soon, he coughed up his bite, something in it causing Patty’s eyes to widen.
“This isn’t exactly how I imagined this playing out.” Barry spoke, catching his breath.”
Patty covered her mouth, seemingly hiding the impossibly wide smile stretched across it. “I would hope so.”
Barry took the ring and dried it off using a napkin, then dropped to one knee. “So, I, uh… I tried to think of some grand speech, but… well… um… I couldn’t think of anything. Science was always much more my thing, not English. But… I love you and I know I’m not always good at… at expressing that. And I know that I’m always late to things and sometimes have to cancel things and can be a bit scattered brained and--”
“Barry.”
“Heh, moving on. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not amazing, but you make me want to be. Patty Spivot, will you marry me?”
Tears started to roll down her cheeks. “Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes--”
Barry stood up and took hold of her face in his hands, giving her the most passionate kiss anyone ever in any timeline would ever receive.
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
Central City - The Next Day
While preventing the robbery at S.T.A.R Labs, Barry’s Flash costume had been destroyed, filled with holes and even missing the sleeves entirely. As such, a replacement would obviously be needed. Less obvious though was where to get one. After some deliberation with Mister Crandall, Barry decided it would be best to go back to where he got his suit in the first place: Bart’s vault in S.T.A.R Labs. He quickly made his way there and, after a thirty seconds or so, figured out how to enter into the large, white room. As he walked through it, Barry ran his fingers over the countless bumps on the wall, each one adorned with a strange symbol that looked like it belonged to some pictographic language. He moved to the podium at the head of the room.
“How do I turn this thing on?” Barry mumbled to himself, waving his hand around the podium.
Suddenly, a blue display blared to life in front of him.
“Well, that’s that.” Barry began scrolling through the display by waving his hand in the air. “Now just to…” He landed on something… a newspaper article from the CCPN from the future. His heart began to flutter. A simple phrase stood as the headline.
FLASH DIES IN CRISIS.
⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡
The adventures of Barry Allen continue in The Flash #14, Velocity Ten! Remember how back in The Flash #12, Mister Crandall said that he could talk to dead speedsters?
Check out Barry’s conversation with his father, Jay Garrick, in Tales from the Speed Force #1, Happy Father’s Day!
Next year in The Flash…!
New allies,
New crossovers,
New villains,
and…
THE RETURN OF THE REVERSE FLASH!
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