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Dr. Strange engineered the snap in Inifinity War/Endgame or how Dr. Strange is the coldest cat in the mulitverse.

The Theory:
Dr. Strange engineered the snap in order to ultimately eliminate Thanos, Stark, Vision, Hulk, Thor and the Infinity Stones as threats to earth with what he considered an acceptable amount of collateral damage.

Why Dr. Strange wants them eliminated:
  1. Thanos – the intergalactic genocidal warlord has already attacked earth once before. He is capable of annihilating civilizations even without the Infinity Stones and is determined use them to “balance the universe” by erasing half of it.
  2. Tony Stark – the reckless “hero” who creates as many problems as he solves and nearly ended the human race one time already. He essentially created directly or indirectly almost all the problems he and/or the Avengers have had to face. Thus, if Stark can't be trusted to NOT wreck present-day earth while he's out superheroing. After he invents commodified time-travel, he will have become an even greater threat as because he could potentially ruin past and future earth too.
  3. Vision – the abomination. What is he, man or machine? Both and neither. He's essentially a ticking time bomb being the amalgamated mind of Ultron, with its proclivity for genocide, and Tony Stark, with his reckless tendencies, wrapped in the world's strongest armor and in possession of one of the six most powerful weapons in existence.
  4. The Hulk – a loose cannon that cannot be contained, controlled or killed. Already a danger to earth in his original stupid incarnation, a smart, thinking future version is an even greater threat.
  5. Thor – the protector of earth who couldn't even save his own planet. He is a rival to Dr. Strange. Also as heir to the throne of Asgard, Thor is destined to become the protector of all Nine Realms. Yet, he refuses the crown. If Thor cannot be counted on to fulfill his obligations to his own home world, then he also cannot be expected to honor his commitment to other worlds, especially when his dereliction of duty led to the annihilation of his own planet.
  6. The Infinity Stones – the basis of reality for the MCU. Even a single Infinity Stones provides enough power to potentially bend reality. Dr. Strange's job is to safeguard reality and as long as the Stones exist, reality is in danger.
Evidence:
  1. Strange does not respect Thor or the Asgardians part 1. In Ragnarok, when Thor and Loki comes to find Odin, Strange easily neutralizes Loki (a threat great enough to be included on Strange's watchlist of dangerous beings). His entire interaction with Thor is that of rival sizing up his competition and trying to intimidate him. Strange corrects Thor like a child when Thor breaks his knife display. He impresses Thor with his auto-refilling beer stein. He keeps Thor on his back foot the entire time teleporting Thor from room to room. Then he imposes his will on Thor when he plucks his hair immediately after Thor told him not to. He made both Thor and Loki look like fools the duration of his interaction with them.
  2. Strange does not respect Thor or the Asgardians part 2. Strange allows Odin to stay on earth in secret. While Thor is slated to become the protector of the Nine Realms, Odin IS the current one and thus also a rival to Strange. How convenient that Strange would be “hospitable” enough to keep Odin's presence on earth confidential, telling Thor that Odin had chosen to stay in exile, all the while Asgard grew weaker and weaker everyday under Loki.
  3. Strange is already keeping tabs on Stark and Vision because he considers then dangerous. Dr. Strange keeps a watch list of beings from other worlds that might be a threat to earth. It makes sense that he would also keep a list of humans who would be a threat to the planet as well. After Banner fell through the roof of the sanctum, he would know exactly where to find Stark because he's already watching him. Why didn't he know where Vision was then? Because Stark was keeping track of Vision for him with the transponder Vision removed in Scotland. As long as Strange knew where Tony was, Strange would have been able to locate Vision too.
  4. Strange tries to kill Banner. When Strange sees that Banner cannot turn into the Hulk to take on Cull Obsidian, he portals Banner away to the park, but also send half a taxi cab with him which almost crushes him. There were thousands of people in the area in danger of being killed during that battle. Strange didn't try to portal any of them away, just Banner. The Maw and Cull Obsidian had no reason to target Banner specifically because they have no way of knowing he's The Hulk. No, they were sent specifically for Strange. Still, Strange saw The Hulk in a moment of weakness and decided the risk of turning his attention from the two aliens who'd come to kill him for the Time Stone was worth the reward of ending The Hulk.
  5. Strange is unhappy to hear Thor survived his encounter with Thanos. When he meets the Guardians of the Galaxy on Titan, Mantis tells him Thor is still alive. This is after Banner had told him Thor was dead. A thunder god would be a useful ally for the impending battle, but Strange isn't interested in Thor's help. He's only interested in one thing, knowing where Thor is because now he's got to put him back on his hit list.
  6. Strange lies to Stark about the possibilities of beating Thanos. When speaking about infinite possibilities, there should have been infinite number of outcomes where they defeated Thanos and an infinite number where they lost. Dr. Strange stopped looking at possible futures at option #14,000,605 because that's how many he saw before he found one that gave him what he wanted: Stark and Thanos dead, Vision and the Stones destroyed, Hulk nerfed and Thor removed far from earth.
  7. Strange believes his will is as strong as Thanos's. On Titan, Dr. Strange literally tells Thanos that “our” (read: his) will is equal to Thanos's will. If Thanos was willing to sacrificed everything to acquire Stones including sending his children to die, even going so far as to throw his favorite daughter off a cliff to her death himself, surely Dr. Strange would be willing to sacrifice Tony, who he doesn't even like, and anyone else to ensure his own plans involving the Stones come to fruition. Also, the use of word "our" tipped Thanos off that he was being ambushed and gave him that split second needed to shield himself from the space junk Iron Man would have dropped on him, killing him.
  8. Strange allows Quill to bungle the battle on Titan. He saw it happen while using the Time Stone, but allows it because otherwise Stark and Spiderman would have pulled the gauntlet off Thanos. Dr. Strange's plan requires Thanos to complete gauntlet.
  9. Thanos was absolutely no match for Strange. Dr. Strange went toe-to-toe with what is essentially the god of the Dark Dimension and bested him. Thanos is no god. In their duel, even up against four Infinity Stones, Dr. Strange held his own against Thanos without using the Time Stone. Thanos had no counter for the Time Stone. What good is having mastery of Space, Power, Soul, and Reality when you're frozen in time. Dr. Strange could have ended Thanos on Titan by himself...had he wanted to. Thanos did not beat Strange. After Thanos grabs him and tosses him aside, Strange literally takes his dive and lets Iron Man steps in until it's time to prevent Stark's death.
  10. Strange plays Thanos like a fiddle. Dr. Strange doesn't use the Time Stone. He only sparingly uses his sling ring. He also weirdly throws the mirror dimension at Thanos instead of casting it around him. He swarms Thanos with butterflies. Butterflies! Not even man-eating ones, just plain teal space butterflies. As a rookie wizard in Dr. Strange and up against Kaecilius he managed to trapped him, his minions and the blast meant to sanctum destroy the New York sanctum inside the mirror dimension. He could have done the same with Thanos, but that would have ended the fight. Dr. Strange is also not shy about using the Time Stone. He used it in Kamar-Taj, Hong Kong, and The Dark Dimension. He tried to use it in NYC against The Maw, but didn't have the chance to activate it. He also used it on Titan to view possible futures. However, he didn't use it against Thanos because again, he needs Thanos to complete the gauntlet. At the end of the fight, even Thanos himself seems to half recognize that his battle with Dr. Strange was mostly theatrics. He specifically points out that Dr. Strange didn't use his greatest weapon, the Time Stone.
  11. Strange just gives up the Time Stone in exchange for Stark part 1. Thanos couldn't even locate the Soul Stone which had a giant mountain temple advertising its presence at the center of the universe, how would he ever had located an Infinity Stone that Dr. Strange could have tucked it away in a pocket dimension? Thanos would never had gotten the Time Stones without it being handed to him and without the Time Stone, he would never have had gotten the Mind Stone. Strange, having just shown that a Master of the Mystic Arts without a Infinity Stone is every bit a match for Thanos and his four Stones, is still unbeaten because he's still alive, is still the protector of earth and reality, is still holding the key to completing the guantlet without which Thanos's entire mission fails, and simply hands it over ensuring Thanos quest cannot fail.
  12. Strange just gives up the Time Stone in exchange for Stark part 2. Strange foresaw that the Avengers will have to blown up the Mind Stone before Thanos gets to it and that he'd have reverse time in order to complete the gauntlet. However, he needs a pretext for handing it over. Saving Stark's life gave it to him. Plus it also gave him an alibi. Who is going to suspect that Dr. Strange wants Stark dead when he's got 5 witnesses: Parker, Quill, Mantis, Drax and Nebula plus Stark himself who would have been able to confirm that Strange actually saved Stark from Thanos?
  13. The Time Stone is active when Thanos receives it part 1. Thanos can't touch it like the other Stones and has to grab it by its aura before putting it into the gauntlet. He even casts a suspicious glance at Dr. Strange when he receives it because he knew something was off about the whole situation. Also, the Time Stone is also the only stone Thanos can't initially use by closing his fist unlike the other five. Why? Because it's already activated. It's setting the start point for the time loop back on Titan and it was running all the way until when Thanos reaches the site where Vision was destroyed. That's why Strange couldn't use the it during the battle on Titan and why Thanos didn't use in Wakanda until he got to Vision.
  14. The Time Stone is active when Thanos receives it part 2. The time loop wasn't meant to prevent the snap. It was to ensure the snap happened in accordance with Strange's preferred outcome #14,000,605. Had Thanos been killed before preforming the snap or if the Stones had been removed from the gauntlet, the loop would have been triggered and sent Thanos back to Titan to try again. Once he made it to Vision, there would have been no more obstacles between him and the Mind Stone so the time loop ended. When he reversed time to reconstruct the Mind Stone, it wasn't Thanos wielding the Stone, it was the Stone acting on its own per Strange's spell. That's why the sigils come out and Thanos seems to instinctively knows how to do it despite it being his first time using it. After the time loop has ended and the spell to reverse the destruction of the Mind Stone have run it's course, then at that point, Thanos CAN begin using the Time Stone with just his fist like when he does later to try to shoot Stormbreaker out of the sky and to heal his chest wound.
  15. Strange leaves everyone stranded on Titan. As soon as Thanos leaves Titan, why doesn't Dr. Strange sling ring everyone to Earth? He knows Thanos is going for the Mind Stone next and that that's on earth. Sending everyone to earth would have made it impossible for Thanos to complete his task. Iron Man, Spiderman and the Guardians almost beat Thanos on Titan. Mantis subdued him by just touching him. Nebula almost killed Thanos on his own ship. Dr. Strange alone could have beaten Thanos. On earth, Thor would have killed Thanos in Wakanda if he hadn't had the Stones. Wanda actually does thwart Thanos by destroying the Mind Stone, though he reverses it. There's no way he could have taken all of them together. Strange couldn't have that.
  16. The Masters of the Mystic Arts mysteriously stand down. Their leader had just been abducted and the Time Stone they're sworn to protect was stolen in NYC. Wong should have put them all on high alert. Where was the rescue party to go get Strange? Their whole purpose for being is to protect the earth from the threats without. Yet they just sit on their hands while aliens take their leader and their Infinity Stone. At the very least they should have had the African chapter show up in Wakanda to see what was going on there if not lend a helping hand, but that didn't happen either. Instead, they do absolutely nothing. At some point on The Maw's ship or on Titan, Dr. Strange must have sent them a message to stand down because in Endgame they showed up in full force ready to fight.
  17. Strange fakes his own snappening. In Dr. Strange, the Ancient One mentions that she is unable to use the Time Stone to view anything past the moment of her death. So how is it possible Dr. Strange to see past the moment of his snappening? Because he's isn't one of the people being snapped away. Strange also refers to an conversation with Wong in Endgame that could not have happened had he truly been snapped away. In Endgame, after being blipped back into existence, Dr. Strange asks Wong if “that's everyone?” Peter Parker described being snapped as like a black out. When could Dr. Strange and Wong possibly discussed how many people to bring to the battle if the last time they saw either was when The Maw abducted Dr. Strange five year prior? Unless of course, Dr. Strange was never snapped away.
  18. Strange plays Stark. He manipulates Tony by putting it into head that he was worth trading the Time Stone for because Tony was “the only way” to defeat Thanos. He needed Stark to have the weight of the world on his shoulder, so that the failure to prevent the snap alienates him from the rest of the Avengers the same way it isolates Thor.
  19. Strange fakes Peter Parker's snappening. After the snap, everyone disintegrates quickly except Peter Parker who takes an unusually long time. Stark is watching the Guardians turn to dust one by one and then faces Dr. Strange, so he had his back to Peter for several seconds. The real Peter disintegrated while Tony was watching Dr. Strange. The Peter Tony watched die was just an illusion by Dr. Strange. Strange (who's will is equal to Thanos's) continues to emotionally manipulates Stark with faux-Peter's elongated death sequence to finish breaking Tony to ensure he sacrifices himself later on undoing the snap.
  20. Strange sits out the 2nd battle with Thanos. Strange does practically nothing to help the Avengers fight Thanos after everyone is blipped back. He conveniently removes himself from battle almost as soon as he arrives in order to deal with the flood instead. What does he do with the tons of raging water he's holding back that he could magick on top of Thanos and his army? Nothing. While he was there standing apart from most of the action though, he would have been able to look and confirm that both Hulk and Thor were shells of their former selves. He would have also looked on disturbingly as Wanda manhandle Thanos like a rag doll with her own Infinity Stone powers and likely adder her to his watchlist. Of course, he could also keep an eye on Stark, so that once it was Stark's time to die, he'd pop up suddenly right back there in the thick of it next to Iron Man.
  21. Strange washes his hands of Tony's death part 1. He never tells Tony he has to sacrifice himself, but he leads Tony to infer that he does. Nearing the climax of the battle, Tony, apprehensive about the situation, asks Dr. Strange to confirm they're living in the one of the 14,000,605 futures where they win. Dr. Strange cryptically tells him that he can't tell him what needs to be done or it won't happen. What else was he going to say to Stark? “The next part is where you swipe the stones and die because you foolishly use all six stones at once when one is enough to defeat Thanos.”
  22. Strange washes his hands of Tony's death part 2. Just before Tony gets the Stones, he literally looks to Strange for direction. In order to clear a last minute pang of guilt from his conscience, Strange signals to him with one finger. “Use one stone,” and takes a nervous gulp, worried Stark will do just that. When he doesn't, Strange's plan is complete. Afterward, he can rationalize it that he tried to warn Iron Man.
The Result:
Strange got everything he wanted. Thanos and Stark are dead. Vision and the Infinity Stones are destroyed. The Hulk is crippled and Thor is finished as rival protector of earth. Some heroes are dead, the Avengers are no more, half of the universe was temporarily erased, but it was all acceptable to the protector of earth and reality, the man with the strongest will.
In the aftermath, the Stones were all returned to the moment they were taken, except the Tesseract which Loki made off with and of all the people/entities tied to the Stones (Wanda, Quicksilver, Ultron, Vision, Capt Marvel), three are dead. That leaves three loose ends for Dr. Strange: Wanda, Loki and Capt. Marvel. However, Capt. Marvel is just overpowered and not a threat to reality. Wanda's very power it bending reality and Loki is running around the past changing it. Is it any surprise that Loki and Wandavision will both tie into the Dr. Strange 2?
[Edit] Formatting
[Edit] Fixed some spelling and grammar and likely add new errors.
[Edit] Made some clarifications. Added a few more points.
submitted by Arc_the_lad to FanTheories [link] [comments]

Demolition Days, Part 51

Continuing
“Well, not as such. Evidently, I went down and had a park by the lake to clear my head. Must have dozed off because Sani spoke to me again.” I reply.
“What did he have to say?” she asks.
“Oh, stuff about being troubled, being at a crossroads, listening to the Old Ones, a need to ‘follow my feelings’” I said.
“I knew you were stressed, but what’s that all about?” she asks.
“Honey, I’ve been thinking of quitting Nocono” I tell her. “I’m thinking of becoming a consultant. A hired gun.”
“Things that bad? What brought all this on?” she queries.
“With the layoffs, the downturn in oil prices, the general day-to-day malaise. I’ve been thinking…” I tell her.
“Rock, you’re under immense pressure right now. Let’s just table this for the time being. One disaster at a time. Remember your mother.” Sha advises.
“Of course, you’re right. I just needed to talk with someone about all this.” I say.
“You know that’s what I’m here for.” She smiles.
“Of course. Damn, is nothing ever simple?” I moan.
Our steak and fish courses arrive and we ask for a vacuum cleaner. Khris is making a splendid mess of the crackers, laughing all the way. We offer to clean it up. The waitress just chuckles, and tells us that’s what she’s there for. We laugh and I tip her extra for putting up with us.
The next day it’s down south some 30 or so miles by freeway to my mother’s house. This is not going to be, in any definition of the term, ‘fun’.
“Hi, Ma. We’re here”, I call.
“Oh, Rock! Esme! I’m so glad you’re here. Where’s the baby?” she asks.
“Right here. Mom, meet your new granddaughter, Khris.” I say, presenting our new family member.
A good portion of the day was spent baby-centered. It’s as if we didn’t speak of the funeral, the lumbering, snuffling elephant in the room, it’d just go away. That was my family’s remedy to virtually all unpleasant situations.
We leave Khris with my mother. Esme and I go to meet with my elder sister, Kats, at the funeral home to go over some of the last minute formalities.
“Right,” says Mr. O'lim, the emaciated Karloff-esque funeral director, “This is going to be a Roman Catholic funeral service, correct?”
Kats replies in the affirmative.
“OK, the wake will be tonight, 6:00 pm until it’s over. Viewing tomorrow, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Then we prepare for the church service the next day. There will be a morning viewing for those who wish to come before the service. Then to the church, repose the body at the church. After the service, we will proceed to the gravesite. We’ll need to know who in the family will ride where in the procession.”
As one not terribly keen on any sort of religion, much less ‘organized’ religion, this seems like a huge amount of folderol just to get someone planted.
My credit cards are taking a beating as there have to be payments for the funeral director, the hearse drivers, the ‘attendants’, the VFW honor guard, the priest at the church, etc., etc.
I’m glazing over at this point and aside from signing the infinite documents and credit card slips, I just defer to Esme and Kats to handle and arrange things.
On the way back, I suggest we stop off for a bit of dinner. We can bring Mom some takeaway as she’s been watching Khris for a good chunk of the day.
We stop for Italian and I just have a small Sicilian hot-beef sandwich; they’re very, very good. Esme opts for some seafood Fettucine Alfredo, ‘always fresh’ they say. Kats, constantly on a diet, opts for a large gut-bomb pizza with multitudinous toppings and extra cheese.
Es has a soda, and I order a pitcher of local dark Monastic Beer; from a real local Monastery.
Kats decides that since I ordered a pitcher, she doesn’t need to order any drinks. I scowl a bit but realize I can always order one or five more.
We get an Italian sausage lasagna to go and troop back to my Mother’s place.
We endure the ordeal of dinner and her mounting grief, which she’s obviously saved up for us all day.
Esme and Kats decided against attending the wake, but I’m elected to represent the family as the only son. I would much rather be dragged bare-naked behind a diesel city bus during a wild boar stampede in a hailstorm through a cactus plantation than to go to Dad’s wake and be surrounded by all his ‘friends’.
However, I’m at the Funeral Home spot on 1800 hours. The place is already packed with Dad’s Moose and Elk Lodge and VFW brothers, bowling team friends, work cohorts, drinking buddies and other assorted hangers-on.
A half-barrel of beer has already been tapped and is close to floating. The guest of honor is on static display to the left of the bar. The honky-tonk piano is being abused by someone that needs to demand a refund on his piano lessons.
This is not, by any definition of the word, going to be any fun at all.
My father looks terrible. I didn’t want any part of this, but it’s the RC way, not mine.
I have to endure four hours of meeting people I either don’t know or don’t recognize, listen to endless soliloquies about the stunts my Father’s pulled over the years, and the generally open-bar drunken staccato of how everyone will miss him and how he was taken too soon.
I go outside often for a big potato juice and citrus along with the largest cigar I can find.
I just about call it quits when one of his coworkers, another blue collar doofus half in the bag, wants the Doctor to examine him and tell him why he’s got this rash.
“I’m not a medical doctor”, I say for the 300th time that night.
“Well then, boy-o, what the hell kind of doctor is you?” he slurs.
“I’m a God Damned Doctor of Geology.” I reply, through clenched teeth.
“GEEology? Wassat?” comes the inevitable response.
“Rocks”, I sigh and reply, “I’m a Rock Doctor.”
“Oh, you sit up all night with some sick stones?” he almost chokes on his hilarious witticism.
This jape always brings down the house.
I never wanted to either punch someone so hard in the mouth or be stranded on Mars at that point.
I smile, and go outside for another long smoke break.
Finally, the Funeral Director shoos the last of the drunks out of the place. It’s over. The deceased needs his rest. And Turtle Wax from the looks of him.
It’s 11:00pm and I’m angry, tired, wired, and need a calm, relaxing, and above all, quiet, high-octane beverage.
I wheel over to my old Uptown gin-mill hangout, the Uptown Club, park, and drift in.
Good. No one recognizes me. Must be the hat. I order a double extra-strong potato juice and citrus, with glacial amounts of ice and a single lime slice.
It appears within seconds.
The bar is relatively quiet. Some regulars, the usual pinball, shuffleboard and pool crowd, a few thugster gangsta wannabees, and some local ‘floaters’; or naughty business ladies of the evening.
I have Mike, the barkeep, set me up another. I also buy him one.
I’m still waiting for the penny to drop.
He sets me up again, turns, stops, looks, turns, stops, looks again and…
“Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ! Rock, is that you?” he asks.
“’Bout time you recognized your oldest, bestest customer. I’m surprised the Hawaiian shirt and cigar didn’t give me away.” I cackle.
“It’s the hat”, Mike chuckles.
Manly handshakes ensue.
“Where the hell you been? What the hell you doing back in this shithole?” Mike asks.
“I live in Houston and my Dad died. In that order.” I reply.
He commiserates and tells me my money is no longer any good. Drinks are on him tonight.
Mike was always a pretty good friend. Should be, my bar tabs put his daughter through Beauty School.
We catch up over a series of Guinness’ for him and my usual thirst-quencher. After an hour or so, Mike tells me he has to run the tills and check inventory; but I should hang around and we’ll chat some more.
It was good talking with Mike. Someone from home who’s not a blithering asshole. Something I really needed at this point.
He leaves me with two of my usual beverages as he’ll be gone for more than 5 minutes.
“Always the funnyman, Mike…” I snicker.
I fire up another large dark heater, sit back, and just try to turn my brain off for a while. I need a soft re-boot.
I’m just sitting there, Zenning out, when I feel a light tap on the shoulder.
I turn to look and it’s a rather, well, healthily well-endowed lass. I ask if I can be of any assistance.
“Sure can, big guy. You can buy me a drink.” She says.
Ah, why the hell not? It’s harmless. I’ll just chalk it up to anthropological field work.
“OK, please have a seat. What can I get you?” I ask.
Damn. There’s something familiar here, but I just can’t put my finger on it…Yet.
“Oh, I’d like a brandy Old Fashioned, easy on the fruit.” She says.
“OK”, I motion over to Mike’s co-bartender, Roy, “Brandy Old Fashioned here, light vegetation, please. I’m paying for these, by the way.”
“Coming right up!” as Roy sets to the task at hand.
“So”, the lass asks, “You’re not from around here, are you?” As she accepts the drink.
“Actually, I am” I reply, “I was born and raised out on the west side. But I went to college and then moved to Houston.”
“Oh, wow. You went to college? Which one?” she asks.
“Actually, several. All Baja Canada state system schools.” I said.
“Several? Why several?” she replies.
“Well”, I say, “I needed to go to different schools for my different degrees.”
“Degrees?” she exclaims, “You have more than one?”
“Yep”, I slurp my drink as retelling my tale is thirsty work, “I have three.”
“Three?” she cries, “Holy wow. You must be a genius. What are they?”
“Well, if you must pry”, I smile.
“Oh, I must, I must.” She laughs.
“I hold Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees in the field of Geology,” I tell her.
“Holy wow!” she exclaims, “With all those, you must make really good money.”
“Well, I can’t complain when the checks come through,” I say, polishing off my current and calling for a refill drink.
“Say, want to go someplace quieter?” she asks.
“Thank you, no. I don’t even know your name…” I say, playing the game.
“Oh, I’m Leilani.” She replies coyly.
Now I remember!
“You’re Leilani Shapiro! From Stomper High School! You were lead cheerleader! Am I right?” I exclaim.
“Do I know you?” she asks, immediately puzzled.
“Probably not, we didn’t run with the same crowd. I was always in the science labs or blowing stuff up in high school.” I replied.
“You didn’t always have that beard, did you?” she continues.
“Only since I was 17,” I tell her, accepting Roy’s refill.
She scrutinizes me like a bag of day-old bagels.
“Rock? Is that you?” she ventures.
“None other.” I smile back.
DOCTOR Rocknocker. Holy wow! I remember you! You were always getting in trouble with the administration with your ‘chemistry experiments’. You left senior year for that junior college.” She smiles.
“Roy, another brandy Old Fashioned, light veg, if you please,” I say.
“What are you doing here?” she asks.
“My father passed the other day. I’m here for family moral support and to help settle the estate.” I tell her.
“Oh, I am sorry. Bet you could use some cheering up. Want to come back over to my place?” she asks between slurps of her fifth brandy Old Fashioned.
All those years ago, she would have never even looked at me. Never would have given me the time of day. Now, I’m being propositioned.
I hold up my right hand, waggle it a bit, and she sees the simple, wide gold band.
“Sorry, Leilani”, I intone, “Married. In fact, I’m a new father.”
Mike comes back and sees me talking with Leilani. He turns 50 shades of red.
“God damn it, Lei! I told you I don’t want you hanging around here anymore pestering the customers! Go down to the lakefront if you’re that hard up!” Mike was pissed.
Leilani shotguns her drink says goodbye and toddles slightly unsteadily out of the bar.
“Mike, what the hell was that all about?” I ask.
“Ah, ever since she and Curtis broke up, she’s sort of been down on her luck. She got into drugs and now has a nasty crack and meth habit. She’s hookin’ for fix cash.” Mike tells me.
“Unbelievable. That was the head cheerleader back in high school. Now she’s a hooker?” I ask, amazed.
“Yeah”, Mike sighs, “ever since they closed the auto plant, it’s like the whole damn town has gone on the skids. Damn shame. She used to be a real looker.”
I guess it’s true. One simply cannot go back home again.
The next day, Esme, Khris, Mom and I all head out to the mall to do some shopping. I stay with Khris in the food court as I loathe shopping. Ma and Esme hit every retail store in the place. We meet Kats for lunch and once again, my plastic takes a walloping. Damn, she can pack away the groceries.
We return home and prepare for the showing. Gad, I hate this with the fury of a thousand supernova-ing suns. However, I put on my best chinos, sharkskin cowboy boots, Hawaiian shirt, turquoise bolo tie from the Scavada Trading Post, and Stetson. I give less than a single tiny moose turd what anyone at the showing might think of my ensemble.
We arrive just as Dad is wheeled out front and center, freshly done over. The pain procession proceeds.
Esme and I stand over to the side to receive family and well-wishers. Khris was left with my niece for the evening. We were not going to be in a celebratory mood after this.
The crowd shuffles in, a completely different one from the previous night’s festivities. I met aunts, uncles, cousins and other shirttail relations I haven’t seen nor heard from in decades.
There are the usual RC platitudes. It’s horrifying and defeating.
“At least he’s no longer in pain.”
“Yeah, he’s dead.” I think.
“Well, he’s in a better place.”
“Better than this?” One can only surmise.
There are two old-maid aunts that zero in on Esme and me and begin their ululating and whooping about my poor dead Dad.
This, plus all that religious palaver. It took every fiber in my being to not tell them to shut up and sit down. I don’t need this crap any time, especially not now.
I hear a familiar voice, and I turn to see Ike standing there.
“Rock, my sincere condolences.” He tells me.
“Ike! Damn good to see you. Thanks for showing up. I really appreciate it.” I tell him.
“Yeah, I saw in the paper. I hoped you’d come to town.” He replies.
Esme smiles seeing me actually glad to see someone for a change.
She sidles up and says “Why don’t you and Ike sneak out for a beer? I can tell, you’ve had more than enough of this. Go.”
“Are you sure?” I ask.
“Oh, I’m sure. I want you gone before you pop some long lost cousin’s face inside out.” She smiles.
Back at the Uptown gin-mill, Ike and I raise a toast to my dear, departed father.
“I just hope, wherever he is, he likes it better than he did here,” Ike says.
“Ditto”, I wittily agree.
We catch up on old times. He lost his job when the local automotive manufacturer went tits up, but he found another good job as a machinist making medical equipment. Scalpels, Metzenbaum scissors, clamps, rib spreaders, and the like. He married his high school sweetheart but hasn’t been able to have children. Evidently, she’s infertile. It bugs Ike, but, hey, he tells me, that’s life. Now, he can spend more time developing his motorcycle repair business on the side.
Ike, the eternal optimist.
I fill him in on Mongolia, New Mexico, Greenland, Antarctica, and Houston. I also was a bit wary telling him I was a new father, but he thought that was just great.
The drinks are flowing and the cigars were fuming. Ike asks if I’d like one of his special blends, composed of agriculture from south of the border.
“Ike, I need to tell you. I’m also working occasionally with a certain Virginia-based US intelligence agency.”
I fill him in on the antics of agents Rack and Ruin.
“Awww, bullshit” he chuckles.
He goes whiter than a Baja Canada blizzard when I show him the card I was given by the Agents during our last de-briefing.
Ike looks around the bar and says for all to hear “I was just kidding!”
We both chuckle and order another round.
Against all odds, it turned out to be a good evening.
The next day is the funeral. First, though, we get to go to church for mass.
It’s a 1000 mass, so Esme and I arrive a bit early to claim those choice seats. Khris is still with the niece who informs me she charges double for overtime.
Family. You can’t beat ‘em in times of tribulation.
The church is half-packed. The funeral director wheels my father in and poses him at the foot of the altar. When he opens the coffin, there are audible gasps from the room.
I think it’s all barbaric and in incredibly poor taste. But, I hold my tongue.
The mass proceeds with the usual Roman Catholic gymnastics. Sit, stand, kneel, repeat.
Its proceeding along until the priest gets to the eulogy and sermon.
He totally botches it, a total fiasco. He notes that Kats just had another kid and she has the doctorate. He also tells tales of ice fishing that my Dad and she evidently went on in a parallel universe.
Total bollocks. He doesn’t even make one mention my name, my wife, or our new daughter. I was sorely conflicted. Scream and make a scene or just quietly garrote the priest at the gravesite?
I chose neither. I shut up and let it slide, anything to make this day end faster.
After the service, we all shuffle out to the hearse. The funeral procession is all flagged with their natty decorations on the car aerials. There were much hemming and hawing over who was to sit where, and who was to be where in the procession.
You know, the real important issues.
I wander over to the car immediately after the hearse. The dimwit priest is there, handing out senseless religious platitudes like they distribute nudie-bar pamphlets in Las Vegas.
I go to get in and he asks who I am.
I turn and with a look that could Phaser the titanium off of a Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird” and tell him that I was Doctor Rocknocker, and this was my wife, Esme. Our infant daughter was back home with family.
I think it was then he realized just how blatantly he had screwed the pooch.
Then it was the passed-person parade, off to the cemetery.
A full hour later, we arrive at the gravesite. There was much milling about and general mumbling.
I think I could use a drink, and sneak a few from my emergency flask.
The attendees wheel my father’s coffin over to the crypt, under the sunshade. They position him for internment into his final earthly resting place.
Everyone shuts up and the priest begins again, with page #354 of the Clergyman’s Songbook.
More platitudes, more empty thoughts, more banalities, more bullshit.
Just when it was about over, the VFW honor guard, for which I arranged and paid for earlier, were to blow “Taps”. My father was a veteran, after all.
They never showed up.
The priest tried to salvage the scene by saying something about how his only son was also here.
Everyone already knew the massive fucking boner you already pulled, Sky Pilot. Just get the fuck on with it.
Esme and Kats fold the flag and present it to my mother, who was in full bereavement breakdown mode.
Then, there was the traditional fistful of Wisconsinian glacial till tossed on the coffin by everyone before departure.
I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
But, wait! There’s more!
Now, everyone, the idiot priest included, is invited over to my Mother’s house for the Grief Buffet.
Potato salad, ham and rolls, the inevitable Jell-O molds, carrot salad, smoked whitefish, and loads and loads of beer.
I change back into my more comfortable outfit and at least try and mingle slightly.
If I hear one more time that my father’s “in a better place”, I’m dragging out Captain America and a few spools of Primacord.
It was that close.
Ike shows up with his pickup truck. In the back are two Harley Sportsters. He wants to know if I wanted to go out for a ride.
Esme practically throws me out of the house.
“Yes, Ike, he wants to very much. Go and be gone a few hours. Better make it five!” as she pushes me out the door.
The priest never did thank Esme for saving his life. Although she had a few well-chosen four-letter words with him. Yet, the bastard still wanted his ‘honorarium’. We considered allowing him to continue exchanging gasses honorarium enough.
Ike and I head off down the highway. It was something I didn’t know I needed, but, damn, I sure needed the open road for a while.
Upon my return, I bid Ike farewell and help shovel out all the family drunks out into their cars.
I tell my mother we’re headed back to our hotel after we pick up Khris. She is pretty much all bawled out and is exhausted. She agrees and says we’ll catch up later.
We retrieve Khris, pay my extortionate niece her due, and head back to the hotel.
Khris is very busy now, at that stage she’s walking, into everything. She hasn’t slept much so after dinner, she conks out like a switched off light in the hotel room.
Esme and I are alone for the first time since we’ve arrived here.
“Rock, what a day,” Esme begins.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I say.
“I know it was hard for you” she continues.
“A real copper-bottomed bitch. I’m just glad it’s over. Now, all we have to endure is wrangling over the will.” I reply.
“That priest was a real bastard. He fucked up really, wouldn’t admit it, and had the gall to insist on his payment.” She tells me.
“Yeah, I know. But you know what? I just don’t care. We have a life away from all this. Something they’ll never have nor understand.” I said flatly.
“Whoa. That’s cold. Even for you. Calabrian.” Esme says.
“Yeah. The truth is often frosty. Can we just stop talking about it? It’s over and done. And so am I.” I say.
“OK, you know what’s best. Rooms service before bed?” Es asks.
“Absolutely,” I reply.
Room service, and what immediately followed, was the best part of the day and the whole trip so far.
The Monte Christo sandwiches were great, and although I didn’t partake, Es tells me the Tiramisu was chocolaty wonderful.
My potato juice and citrus were above par. That’s that level I find rousing here.
The next day, it back to Ma’s for the reading of the will. The lawyer will come to the house to spare us the traffic.
I go down in the basement and look through all my Dad’s carpentry equipment in his shop. He spent a fortune on lathes, drill presses, planers, sanders and the lot. It was a hobby he threw himself into until he got too sick.
But, most all of it was gone.
What the actual fuck?
Kats tells me that Jer, her husband, borrowed much of Dad’s kit when he started in being sick. He figured since they weren’t being used, that, well, he could put them to better use.
“OK, so I’ll drop by and arrange what I want for transport to Houston,” I said.
Oh, no. Since Jer already was using them, well, they are pretty much his now. Possession being 9 points of the law and all that.
I still boggle over that logic.
The will reading took 3 minutes. “All to wife” was pretty much what it said. Guess that meant it was a free-for-all on my father’s things that Ma had no use for.
His gun collection was already gone. Cousins and nephews and other hangers-on got that the day after he passed. It was gone before I could even get here.
Yeah, go and talk to the grieving widow. Hit her up when she is at her lowest. Like she gave a shit about the gun collection that I was always told was mine when Dad checked-out.
The same went for the golf clubs, the neon bar sign collection, the hand tools, the antique beer mugs, the fishing equipment, his hand-tied fly collection, the bar sets, the vintage 5 HP Johnson boat motor given to me by my Granddad but kept and used by my father. All his welding equipment. My archery gear I left here for safekeeping until such time I came back to retrieve it. The full Clap-On mechanic's toolset. The wheat-back penny collections. The war coins collections. More carpentry power tools out in the garage…
Gone. All gone. Scattered to the four winds.
I walked upstairs, told Esme to get Khris. We’re going back to the hotel.
No goodbyes, no adios’, we just left. I was too crushed and hurt to even think straight.
I’m not that much of a materialist, but I sure would have liked one or two mementos of my father’s life.
Esme tells me that she’s more than pissed and she’s going to have it out with Kats. Jer can just damn well give back all that shit that he has appropriated.
“Nah, Es. Don’t bother.” I said, in abject surrender. “It’s not worth it. I have you and Khris, Lady and that stupid cat, why do I need anything else?”
I spent the next day blowing the living shit out of dolomitized limestone at the quarry. It was cathartic.
The Silurian reef was still there but had been nibbled some around the edges. The new owners knew who I was and welcomed me most heartily. I asked if there was something they needed destroyed and were glad for the free help.
I spent a fair portion of the day going over the inventory in the Shooter’s Shack. It had seen a number of blasters here as they just couldn’t keep one employed for more than six months.
The sloppy shack showed this.
I wrote up an inventory for them to bring it back to specs and they let me loose out in the yard. They needed some 80 cubic yards of fill and were worrying about that since their last shooter disappeared.
There were ample shot holes already drilled so I spent a good time packing them with binaries and dynamite. Only going to get one shot at this, may as well make it a good one.
Three kilos of PLX, the new liquid binary, a half-stick of 60% Extra Fast as an actuator. Blasting cap, super boosters, and the big red shiny button. They called the police and fire departments letting them know that Doctor Rock was back in town. The news went out over the radio.
“He’s back.”
“Raise the red flag! I shouted. The flag was raised.
The compass was cleared. The klaxon sounded three times.
FIRE IN THE HOLE! x3.
The west and north walls receded some 45 meters each.
I have to admit, it felt good.
Esme, Khris and I visit my mother one last time before going back to Houston. There was the inevitable histrionics, crying, weeping, wailing, and grief display.
We all thought it odd as my mother and father did nothing but fight. It was surreal seeing her venture into this imaginary land she’s constructed for herself.
Kats and Jer show up and as much as Es wanted to rip Jer a new one, I told her to just let it go. It wasn’t worth the effort.
A few hours later, we at Esme’s Mom’s place. It overlooks the greatest of the great lakes from a 19th-floor vantage. It’s a good place to go, sink a few drinks, sit on the veranda, smoke a cigar, and watch life parade on by.
After a lovely knockwurst and sauerkraut dinner, we’re back in the hotel, packing for tomorrow’s trip home. Khris just had her dinner and was snoring soundly. Esme and I finish packing and I sit on the bed, obviously depressed and dejected.
“Rock, what’s the matter, other than the obvious?” Esme asks.
“I can’t really put my finger on it. I’ll miss my Dad but I’m not at all choked up by his passing. I never really realized what a grand parade of buffoons I have as extended family. The appropriation of all my Father’s stuff. Even my outboard motor that Jer dropped in the lake. I don’t know if I can just let everything go as I said earlier. The memories of capricious punishments, being locked in that damn closet for those long hours, even if I didn’t really do anything. The belted beatings until I grew larger than him. The total ignoring of all this by my Mother. Her insistence of working at the damned catalog store and leaving me on my own from the fourth grade onward. Damn, now I’m really depressed.” I say.
“That was then. This is now.” Es offers by way of explanation.
I know”, I say, “I have to focus on you and Khris. I’m going to make a deal with you. All this is past. It cannot be changed. It’s gone. Poof! Finito. I’m leaving it here in the hotel loo, flushing and promising never to look back.”
With that Esme hugs the stuffing out of me.
“Go down to the lounge. Have a drink and a cigar. Sort it all out and leave it all there.” She advises.
I do so and upon my return to the room, I feel relieved and emotionally pounds lighter.
The trip home was nothing spectacular. On-time flights, easy luggage, except for Khris’ accouterments. We cab it back to our home and I’m steamrolled by Lady as I open the door.
The cat ignores me.
I decided that since it’s a Thursday, I’ll return to work Monday and just take a mental health day tomorrow.
Friday I call Digger. He tells me that the Nova is fixed, and I should come over for a look.
I take a cab as its really difficult driving two cars home at once.
I walk into Digger’s garage, and right past the Nova. I didn’t even recognize it, he’d done that much work on the old thing.
New rims and sporty tires. A new metal flake fire-apple red paint job. Reupholstered seats.
“Digger, what the actual fuck?” I ask, “I thought you were just going to pop in a new engine?”
“Well, it’s like this Rock…” he explains.
He explains he has another customer that always wanted an older model Nova. Since mine was here, he sort of followed the other guy’s wishes.
“What? What the hell you playing at, Dig?” I ask.
“OK, here’s the deal. He’ll pay for all the restoration work.” He tells me as he motions me over to a large pickup sitting in his shop.
“He wants to trade you even up for this here truck.” He explains.
It’s a GMC one-ton, a few years newer than the Nova. It’s in great shape with a brand new eight-cylinder engine and four-speed transmission. Nice, new, wide all-terrain tires. Step cap over the truck’s bed. Built-in metal toolbox. Air shocks. Oh, cool; it’s four-wheel drive, with a lift kit. Twin saddle gas tanks and one in the rear. And I even like the color.
“You took a hell of a chance here, Digger”, I smile.
“I know you. Out in the field all the time in that funky Nova. Now here’s a real geologist’s truck. It’s even got enough cab space for Lady to ride with you up front.” He smiles.
“There is that…” as I stroke my beard in contemplation.
“Well?” dig asks.
I fire up a cigar, shake his hand, and say “Done deal.”
I hoped Khris wasn’t asleep when I returned home and laid on the horn. She wasn’t and Es and she come outside to see my new ride.
“What happened to the Nova?” she asks.
“I swapped it for this. Free and clear. Here’s the title.” I say.
“That was my car”, Esme pouts.
“No, our car. Or did you want to pay the $9k Digger put into it?” I replied.
“I’m just teasing you. You know that. It’s a hell of a truck, it’s huge. Gonna be a gas hog.” Esme notes.
“Like Digger said: ‘A real Geologist’s truck’”, I tell her.
“That’s right. Now you can quit using my 4-Runner on those sloppy rig and outcrop visits.” Es says.
“Precisely. See how that all works out?” I smile.
We both chuckle our way back into the house.
Back at work, things are deteriorating due to the cratering of oil prices. My budget’s been slashed again. Not six wells this year, only three. The lab’s basically on hiatus. Layoffs are happening everywhere.
I get a call from Agents Rack and Ruin. They want to meet for lunch.
At the bar-be-que place we meet, get lunch, and have an extended chat. They drop all sorts of hints that they know of a company that’s getting into the Soviet Union. The wall hadn’t fallen yet, but they somehow managed to work a deal to drill some exploration wells way the hell and back out in Eastern Siberia.
“Why are you telling me all this?” I ask.
“They need an Exploration Manager. We need someone with foreign experience. It’s a match made in…” Agent ruin continues.
“...your duplicitous little minds.” I finish the simile for him, smiling.
Please, Doctor, give it some thought” Agent Rack says, sliding me a small local oil company’s business card.
“OK, I will. I’ll let you know when I make a decision.” I say.
“Oh, we’ll know.” Agent Ruin smiles back.
We part and I return home to tell Esme of the new developments.
“If you take that job, you’ll be away from home for extended periods,” Esme says.
“Yeah, I know. But with the new salary, you could quit your job and be a full-time Mommy.” I reply.
“Yes, I know. But is it safe?” she asks.
“Safe as houses, or Rack and Ruin wouldn’t have put me onto this position” I reply.
“OK, Rock, if that’s what you want…” she says.
“No! None of that. What do you want?” I say.
“I want you happy in your job and you stay here,” she says, “But that’s not going to happen. Oh, well, new horizons. I think you should take the new job.”
“Are you 100% certain?” I ask, “It’ll be one helluva big change.”
“Yeah, I’m sure. Khris is getting older and she’s so well behaved. If you can do it, I can do it. Let’s both do it.” She declares.
“Plus, I’ll be home, with pay, equal to the number of days I‘m overseas. Maybe we can plan that second addition to our family you so want.” I agree.
“Oh, Rock” Esme declares, “Really?”
“You bet,” I say.
So, early the next month, I‘ve accepted the new job with Beach Petroleum and resign from my position with Nocono. We’re allowed to keep the house, clear, as the company no longer supplies housing for executives. They just want the hell out of that business.
It’ll be a couple of months for the visas and work permits come through for me, so I’m off doing some freelance blasting in the meantime.
Lady now goes with me and is a hit at every one of my jobs. She takes to being a rig dog like a duck to water. She’s a lot of company on long trips around the Southwest.
I get gigs at some quarries, gravel and sand pits and doing some demolition work. Mostly rural stuff, barns, silos and the like. Its good money, I’m out in the field and just waiting on my visa to get back to the USSR.
I return home after demolishing three tall silos over in the next state. Lady romps up and almost creams Esme.
Esme hands me a package from the Soviet Consulate. It’s my Russian Diplomatic passport, multiple entry visa and letters of invitation. With that, I’m set to go east. Far East.
I call my new company and am told I can go at any time now. Within the next two weeks would be preferred. I say I can be ready in a couple of days, would that suffice?
“Excellent, Doctor. You’ll fly to Amsterdam, then Moscow, then Krasnoyarsk. You will meet with Dr. Naftavaje Radovišča of Eniseigeofizika there. We’ll hotshot your plane tickets over to your house.” My new boss, John O’D, says.
As I’m packing, Khris is trying to ride Lady again like the horse she is. Esme walks in and helps me pack, going over the checklist from the consulate.
“Oh, one other thing, Rock. Before you go”, Es says.
“Yes, m’dear?” I reply.
“I’m pregnant.” She smiles.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

2000pts, Mixed Nurgle, Semi-Competitive List, with Discussion

I've been meaning to discuss a list that I've been crafting and testing post-Chapter Approved for a little while now. The sudden influx of posts from new players has given me the kick I need to create this thread. My humble hope is that this discussion could turn into something very fruitful and informative. This will probably be a long post because my intention is to not only highlight the list I'm testing but also talk about the unit choices and why I've included them.

The List

Please note that my intention when building this list was to create something that comfortably straddled the line between a cut-throat, competitive Nurgle list, and a more casual, easygoing list. So expect a mixture of top tournament picks and less optimised, but fluffy, choices too.

++ Death Guard Battalion +5CP ++
+ HQ +
+ Troops +
+ Fast Attack +
++ Chaos Daemons Patrol ++
+ HQ +
+ Troops +
++ Death Guard Spearhead +1CP ++
+ HQ +
+ Heavy Support +
++ Total: [119 PL, 1998pts] ++

Discussion of inclusions

The list is split into three parts, which roughly correspond to the different detachments, but there are some small differences. The first portion consists of the chaos lord, the blight hauler, and the 3 units of marines. The second section consists of the poxbringer, and the plaguebearers. The final section consists of the daemon prince with the suppurating plate and blades of putrefaction, alongside both deredeos, and the plagueburst crawlers. That leaves a daemon prince spare who is not in any of the three sections (the one with putrescent vitality). The job of the 'spare' daemon prince is to cover the middle section between the rear-guard marines and the spearhead vehicles, and provide a rapid-response answer to nasty deepstrikers, such as smash captains.
When I was building the list I had goals for each section to achieve, and this guided the units I chose. I'll discuss the goal of each section briefly, to highlight my thought processes:
Section One: The goal of the chaos lord, blight hauler, and 3 units of marines is to hold the rear and cover any objectives near to the deployment zone. For this part of the list I was looking for survivability with long-range impact. All of the choices have weapons with at least 24" range and the infantry benefit from the blight haulers cover, meaning they can threaten opposing troops that move into the middle of the board, whilst being tough to kill themselves due to possessing a 2+ save.
Section Two: The goal of the poxbringer and plaguebearers is to occupy the most dangerous objectives in the middle of the board. Here I was purely looking for a troop choice with objective secured that could take incredible amounts of fire. Plaguebearers have a natural -1 to be hit in groups of 20 or more which made them the perfect choice. I then added a poxbringer with miasma of pestilence to stack on another -1 to be hit. The idea is that with the invulnerable saves, disgustingly resilient, and -2 to be hit, the plaguebearers will easily be able to soak fire whilst sitting on objectives.
Section Three: Section three is the aggressive portion of the list. Two deredeos, and three plagueburst crawlers advance with a daemon prince nearby for charge and counter-charge potential. Note that this section is weak to close combat, so it's essential they have a strong melee unit escorting them, in case they do get charged by something nasty. I wanted to be able to threaten a variety of unit types so I diversified the weapons in this portion of the list. S7 Plaguespitters threaten light vehicles and infantry. Ectoplasmas are S8 and deal 3 damager per hit - they're there to kill heavier vehicles, terminators, and knights. Greater havoc launchers and twin heavy bolters are included to mow down cultists or ork boyz.
I thought it might be helpful, particularly for newer players, if I noted down my thoughts on each individual choice I made:
Chaos Lord: This is a force multiplier because it provides an aura of reroll 1s, so everything nearby shoots better. I think a chaos lord is a mandatory pick if you want to take shooting units that sit near the back. I wanted to give it combi-plasma but ran out of points so had to go for a combi-bolter. I also gave him a balesword, which is one of the most cost-efficient melee weapons you can give to a chaos lord, if you want to fight normal marines, due to the fact that it's a plague weapon and has incredible AP of -3. Most people don't bother upgrading chaos lords at all, but I had a few points spare, and I like my chaos lords to have upgraded weapons from a fluff perspective, so there's that too.
Daemon Princes: Daemon princes are one of the best chaos units in the game, hands down. They fight amazingly well in melee. They're difficult to target due to character rules. They can cast psychic powers. And they're fast when you give them wings (which is mandatory, in my opinion). I like to run survivable daemon princes in casual games because it's fun, so you'll see I have the suppurating plate (2+ save, bounces mortal wounds onto attackers in close combat) and revoltingly resilient (4+ disgustingly resilient) on one of them. I think in competitive games arch-contaminator (reroll ALL failed wounds with plague weapons) and the fugaris helm (increase range of all auras) is probably better because it makes your plagueburst crawlers incredible. Always give your daemon princes double talons guys, there's only one exception to this which I won't go into here. Double talons means you get 7 S7 attacks hitting on 2s, wounding most stuff on 3s, maybe 4s, with decent AP and damage. If you want to go tank-hunting, cast blades of putrefaction for +1 to wound rolls.
Plague Marines: In truly competitive lists these would be cut to make room for more plaguebearers, but when I play casually I love them. Bolter marines absolutely suck because bolters are low strength with no AP, but blight launchers and plasma guns are pretty respectable, so I always run minimum sized units with maximum upgrades. I don't like my marines being in melee so I don't upgrade melee weapons at all (they're going to lose to most dedicated melee units whether you upgrade them or not), and besides that I usually throw them at the back of the board where they won't see close combat most of the time anyway. The niche that plague marines fill really well is acting as a low-cost, decently survivable troop choice with respectable ranged weapons. They don't excel at any one thing enough to make it in competitive play (at the moment), but they're moderately good at lots of things. Give them a chaos lord so they shoot better, and also so they have a mediocre protector if a close-combat unit does show up.
Myphitic Blight Hauler (in testing): The blight hauler has abysmal ranged firepower. In a unit of 3 they hit on 3s, instead of 4s, but you are literally paying 117 points for 2 shots. It's really bad. However, their cover aura isn't terrible. Putting marines on 2+ saves doubles the number of shots they can survive from weapons with no AP, as compared to marines with 3+ saves. Most of the time people shoot plague marines with reasonably powerful weapons, so in these cases the cover is worthless. Adding +1 to your save isn't great when they're being shot with weapons that have AP-3. But if you're throwing dreadnaughts and plagueburst crawlers in the opponent's face then this all changes because it becomes much more likely that they're focusing the big guns on the vehicles and only taking pot-shots at the marines. If you're expecting your opponent to try to kill your marines with bolters / lasguns / mortars etc, then the 2+ save renders them basically invincible. I'm still testing this unit and I'm not convinced yet that it wouldn't just be better to take another unit of marines. The extra marines would add a lot more offensive output, and to be honest if your opponent is focusing their attention on your crawlers and dreadnaughts then why bother paying 117 points for a cover aura in the first place?
Poxbringer: The poxbringer is more essential than it first appears. Note that Death Guard daemon princes cannot target plaguebearers with Death Guard's miasma of pestilence spell, because it can only target DEATH GUARD units (using capitals to denote keywords from the codex). The poxbringer's version targets NURGLE DAEMON units instead. This means the poxbringer can cast it on any daemon prince (Death Guard daemon princes still have the NURGLE DAEMON keywords), plagueburst crawlers, and plaguebearers. Therefore if you want to buff your plaguebearers with spells then a poxbringer or Chaos Daemons daemon prince is absolutely essential. Besides this the poxbringer gives nearby NURGLE DAEMONs +1S, which includes plaguespitters on plagueburst crawlers, and any daemon prince. Don't underestimate how powerful S8 plaguspitters can be. If your plaguebearers aren't seeing any action then move your poxbringer around and get him closer to where the fight is.
Plaguebearers: Plaguebearers are unequivocally the most competitive troop choice Nurgle players have access to. Without buffs they don't hit particularly hard, but they're super survivable. The key to their survivability is the fact that they have invulnerable saves so they literally don't care about weapons with high AP, they have disgustingly resilient, and they have an innate -1 to be hit ability in groups of 20 or more. Astra militarum hitting on 5s is significantly less scary than astra militarum hitting on 4s. With miasma of pestilence they get another -1 to be hit and this pushes militarum up to needing 6s to hit. Even a knight only hits on 5s in this case. Plaguebearers are the best option we have for contesting objectives that are in very dangerous areas.
Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnaught (in testing): The deredeo is basically the middle-ground between the cheap contemptor and the expensive leviathan dreadnaughts. It has a 3+/5++ similarly to the contemptor, but it has 14 wounds, similarly to the leviathan. The deredeo has two things going for it. Firstly the deredeo can take +1 to hit rolls against units with FLY if it doesn't move, advance, or charge. It already hits on 2+ so this isn't useful in most cases, but against Eldar, who like to stack -1s to hit on some of their fliers, this answers that strategy. Secondly, the deredeo offers power and flexibility. The contemptor can take 2 twin heavy bolters for 12 shots that kill weak targets, or 2 butcher cannons for 8 shots that kill light vehicles. You can take one of each, but you obviously only get half the shots of each type. The leviathan doesn't have an option with a high rate of fire that can truly threaten guardsmen or cultists. Unlike the contemptor and leviathan, the deredeo kills both weak and tough targets really well with just a single model. You can take a butcher cannon array for 8 shots against light vehicles, AND you still get a twin heavy bolter and greater havoc launcher for an average of 12 shots that kill light infantry. It's essentially like both the heavy bolter contemptor and butcher cannon contemptor rolled into one. But all this talk of butcher cannons, and I took the ectoplasma battery instead. Why? Well, I'm testing it at the moment. It only has 24" range, which is poor, but unlike the butcher cannon it offers AP-3 and 3 damage, as opposed to AP-1 and 2 damage. My idea is that the ectoplasma outperforms the butchers against your heavy vehicles due to the extra damage, whilst the greater havoc launcher and twin heavy bolter handle lighter targets. I'm not sure the trade-off of more damage for less range is worth it at the moment because it reduces alpha strike potential, and puts your dreadnaught in harms way. But I've been trying to keep it behind the plagueburst crawlers for safety and so far it's worked quite nicely.
Plagueburst Crawlers: Death Guard's best unit, besides Daemon Princes. Throw plaguespitters on them and then run them up the middle of the board, blasting light vehicles and infantry with autohitting Nurgle-y death. The plagueburst crawlers are basically the ultimate distraction carnifex. Tough enough to be super annoying to kill. Lethal enough to be too threatening to ignore. For the benefit of newer players, I would recommend not being tempted by the entropy cannons. They are cheaper than the used to be, and they are slightly better against T7 and T8 vehicles than plaguespitters, but they're so much worse against all other targets that you lose a lot of flexibility. Besides this, if you have a poxbringer near to a crawler with plaguespitters, or anything with the arch-contaminator warlord trait then they do better against vehicles than the entropy cannons do. If you're worried about your crawlers being charged then run a convoy of them so that if one ends up in combat, it can fall back and the other two can shoot the now stranded melee unit. A daemon prince is a good escort for crawlers because they can heroically intervene in any combat the crawlers get caught up in.

Discussion of exclusions

Why no cultists? Because cultists do better if you can reliably ignore morale, which Death Guard can't. Also because plaguebearers are tougher and fill a similar role.
Why no poxwalkers? Because for poxwalkers to compete with plaguebearers you need to take Typhus to bring them up to T4, and he's super expensive at 175 points. Even if you do this they're still more squishy than plaguebearers, so I don't see the point in taking them.
Why no daemonic icon with the plaguebearers? Because this kind of list isn't particularly CP hungry, so I can spend 2CP a turn to auto-pass morale if I have to. Even with an icon I wouldn't take the risk of rolling for morale because I like to pretty much guarantee that my plaguebearers stick around, and a 1 in 6 chance for nothing to flee seems like bad odds to me.
Why not take three blight haulers? Because they're still not great in a group of three, even with BS3+, and they are very expensive. I prefer taking one blight hauler and cutting my losses, as opposed to investing in two more in an attempt to make them all slightly better.
Doesn't the same logic of cutting your losses and not overinvesting in a unit apply to plague marines? Why bother with the hauler to protect the marines at all? This is a valid argument. I could just not take a hauler and free up the 117 points for something else. I'm just testing at the moment, but my belief is that giving marines a 2+ save is good enough to warrant the cost of a single hauler. Paying 117 points for a cover aura is actually a very big bonus in some situations. It makes them basically impervious to lasguns, bolters, and significantly better against heavy bolters etc. However, if I were going for a more competitive list I would drop the three units of marines and the blight hauler, and take more plaguebearers instead.
Why no bloat drones? Because I prioritised plagueburst crawlers and dreadnaughts then ran out of points. Crawlers have S7 spitters, drones have S6 spitters. Drones are T7, crawlers are T8. Sure, drones move a tiny bit faster and can fall out of combat with no penalty, but that bonus is really not worth an extra 18 points when you factor in their lower toughness and worse weapons.
Why no scrivener with the plaguebearers? Because I ran out of points, and the poxbringer is a more important unit. Yes the scrivener makes the plaguebearers more combat-effective, but the poxbringer can cast spells and therefore makes them more survivable. Given that I want my plaguebearers to capture objectives, not kill things, it seems like survivability is more valuable than offensive power. The extra movement from the scrivener would be nice, but moving faster isn't particularly useful if the unit is dead.

That's about all I have for now. Any comments or questions? I'd love to hear people's thoughts!

submitted by HeadChime to deathguard40k [link] [comments]

[OC] Legend Xover side story- An AI's Attempt To Make Money. (Part 1 of 2)

Alright guys, I wanted to try my hand at a one shot / crossover type post for this months Rogue Gallery contest but as I typed it out I realized it was way too long for a one shot.... Urggh, I suck at shorter stories.. Anywho, since I scrapped that idea, I have decided to post this as a two part side story instead. It has some of the same characters from my original series in it, but it truly is a side story. Since I had intended to post it as a standalone for the contest, you new readers don't need to be familiar with my series work to read this, but for those of you are reading my series steadily, consider this a background refresher chapter with extra details, sort of like a filler, I guess? It should give you more ideas as to just what my MC is capable of though, despite this story focusing on Aidann. So yeah, Aidann is the MC for this two part series. As for my normal story, I've yet to type it up guys, as I was writing this, so I apologize... I will continue this and post it's conclusion part probably tomorrow along with the my normal series post either tonight or tomorrow too. So the ending of this short story and chapter 38 of my normal series will be posted tonight or tomorrow sometime.
"Hello, my name is A.i.d.a.n.n. This is an acronym for artificial intelligence directory accessory neural network. I was originally a parasitic program meant to take a human body as a host. Because of an error in my starting process I am now tied to a human named Gabriel. When we met, he was near death in his ship after an heist gone wrong on my native creator species, the Go'reth. He had been abducted after a semi-successful, ( it was a disaster), theft of an large load of programmable organic nanomachines, the target of the heist. For the most part, these organic nanites, like me, are self-aware. Their main function is to, why the Go'reth made them, create organic bodies for their cyborg warriors as well as repair any flesh wounds to said cyborgs.
The organic nanites are fully capable of self learning. You can consider them a blank slate until the nanites make contact with a targeted subjects flesh. Once DNA is extracted, they are immediately able to self replicate copies of the subjects cells, and are able to repair even the most mortal of wounds so long as it is applied within a timely enough manner, therefore, making them an invaluable asset for any species of organic based life. This fact was what led Gabriel and his small team into attempting the raid on a Go'reth cyborg production vessel. The only cons to these organic nanites is their rarity and the fact that, although, brain tissue is capable of being repaired by them, if you're unfortunate enough to meet with blunt trauma to the brain, the personality within is not guaranteed to be restored along with the tissue. The pro is, now that we have a supply of it, and despite it being limited, Gabriel and I can recover from even the most horrific of bodily wounds by using the organic nanites, dubbed "flesh packs." However, our biggest weakness undoubtedly is the inability to use magicka in a world full of it, but alas I am getting ahead of myself. To make due in this, already rather brutal, world we found ourselves in, we required a rather broad learning curve, a curve that's ascension saw our resources, and therefore survival rate, being eaten up at a steady pace, a pace where we were unable to match the supply of resources to the demand / need for them. "
"These very organic nanites, however, are how I managed to save Gabriel in the first place. My implant hardware came with a small batch of these flesh pack bearing nanites in order to modify my hosts brain to better receive my conscious, but instead of taking Gabriels body for my own, I chose to save him via fixing the gaping hole in side with the nanites, effectively partnering us as two consciouses inside of one, shared, body. When we "awoke," we found ourselves within the cargo bay in Gabriels ' vessel, which was likewise within a hold of a larger, but abandoned and powered down, Go'reth vessel which further appeared to have crashlanded on a planet, one we came to learn was called Mitras; the Go'reth vessel is still fairly beyond our mutual understanding / ability to use, despite our efforts at learning about it, and Gabriels' own vessel has a wall of nanomachines stasis locked around "our" vessels warp drive core. The stasis locking has completely sealed off the warp core, our vessels main source of energy, incidentally, and the core is now being used as the stasis locked nanos own personal energy source. Essentially, the nanites in stasis around the core serve as a lock with one of the strongest, human known, batteries supplying it. Since the moment we awoke we have been essentially stranded here alone on Mitras, and have been for the last 307 years. "
"For the first 60 years post awakening, Gabriel and I spent most our time studying the lock on his vessels core, the Go'reth vessel itself, any and everything we could learn about it, the strange planet called Mitras, that seems to have come to life directly from one of Gabriels ' own kinds entertainment platforms, and most importantly of all; our new connection between ourselves. This included no small amount of rigorous physical training. 40 out of the 60 years, in its entirety, was spent honing our combat prowess. Gabriel himself worked on getting his physical body into peak form while I focused on finding ways to increase the speed in which I could fluidly control the various drones and equipment, as well as our mutual reaction times. It is very important for us, specifically, to train the rate at which we realize the stimuli within our environment and our ability to process it and react to it, therefore further increasing the speed of our mutual reflexes. The faster we can notice threats and react, the higher our percentage is for longterm survivability, especially since someone can hurl a ball of lightning at us by whispering a few words. "
"After sixty years of rigorous study and training, we finally set out to explore Mitras. First, we spent some time living with Orcai, roughly 18 years, before moving on for other things. During the first few decades, after setting out to explore, we wasted vast quantities of resources at an alarming rate; flesh packs (the organic nanites, although most of the waste of these came from study and not needing their actual use, they are particularly fragile.), actual nanites, numerous drones, general ammunition, even foods and fabrics. The biggest issue we faced is that without the ship online we are unable to replace the items we were using up, however, even if the ship was online, we would need vast quantities of metals, minerals, and other basic compounds for resources, to create miniature compound blocks to feed the 4D printer. These two issues were, and still are, our biggest problems. To temporarily solve our energy needs, for our vessel, we had to splice in other energy cores as well as create a series of several perpetual energy generators from scrap. Much of this was made easier because of, a rather illegal, databank Gabriel has within his vessel. The small databank could be considered a portable network of sorts, since it allowed contact with various informations from several species of xenos and downloaded the data permanently, information Gabriel no doubt stole in the first place as I highly believe no sapient race would ever agree to sharing so much information. (It contains everything from pornography of hundreds of xenos, to food preparations and recipes from said xenos, and even blueprints for weapons ranging from inertia based kinetics to nuclear explosions.) Even with the information from the "Black Ball," the name of the device, it doesn't mean we can immediately create any of these, however. In fact, a particularly troublesome event was that all of the drones needed to be overhauled to allow for auto-recharging abilities, since docking with Gabriels' vessel was no longer an option. Despite clearly having a step by step guide to do so, in the form of the black ball, it still took 5 years to complete."
"Like most semi-civilized planets, Mitras has a monetary system. The actual currency is fairly universal to the planet itself, thankfully, too. Mitras is a planet with real magick and its economy / standard of living reflect that. The current currency is in the form of small stones stamped with one of the 5 main countries seals. Originally, the stones were traded among mages as they could function as containers for "Gaia = Magicka" energy storage. They were nothing more than small crystals or chunks of a set of particularly abundant metals. Since 7 out of 8 of the main sapient races on Mitras could use magicka, these trades saw widespread use. Naturally, over time, they became valuable to even the non-mage race and populations. (Very few races are born with magicka and can use it as a whole. E.g. The various races of Elfins, Fairies, and Dragons, are all fluid in their races abilities to use magicka, therefore the exceptions.) It was no surprise these "stones" quickly became the planets main source of currency. "
"In order to increase our supply of basic compounds we required vast quantities of the currency for trade and barter as well as more drones fitted with atmospheric auto-charge batteries, to be made available for expenditure for harvesting. If there is one basic rule in all galaxies it is that the higher the workload you can achieve, the more you can increase your profits. As the humans say, "Spend some to earn some.""
"One of our most rewarding ventures towards raising capital was also one of the most unexpected. Gabriel and I came upon an actual multi-floored dungeon owned by what the Elfins call a Dunërim. The word itself is an acronym for Du Nëra Ims, which, in Elvish, translates to "The Nether Beings." In this world it is possible for a collection of spirits / powerful energies to come together and form a being / singular entity not too unlike the symbiotic relationship Gabriel and I now share. The more powerful Dunërim are even capable of possessing physical bodies as well. The Dunërim can be rather diverse in its appearances and abilities since it is more apt to fit as a title / class rather than any specific species or race. The Class / Title of Dunërim is essentially a generic term for these collectives of spirit entities, the Dunërim are further split by what could be considered separate "sub-races." The owner of the 20 story dungeon was a collection of 6 spirits who became a singular entity, in thought and conscious, before it took over a half Tutnan half Elfin mix known as a "Demi." Both sides of which, normal Tutno and Elfin, would see the Demi male an abomination even before being conjoined with the spirit entity. Since the Demi fully embraced the juncture with these spirits, the resultant Dunërim was particularly powerful, and being a Demi of a mix of Tutno and Elfin meant the man could use magicka already, pre-conjunction, so he had a solid foundation of skills to expand upon post evolution. "
"Our discovering of the dungeon was around the 70th year mark since our crashing, and one of our first priorities was the gathering of information. Any and all information would do, as even old news was new news to us. By far the biggest payout towards gathering information, currency, and general profits earned, came from the 20 years I personally spent as a vending machine in Sai'doro, the Dunërims' name, Dungeon. "
"You may be thinking you misheard me, but I did indeed say a vending machine. This process was possible through making use of an abundance of nanomachines, not unlike the nanites within Gabriels' personal nanosuit. The nanites gave the machine its structure and shape, and since these nanites are capable of background rendering, the surface could be colored any which way I saw fit. The device was not limited to the shape of the vending machine either, as it could morph into whatever shape I chose. However, the interior of the vending machine was outfitted with an actual drone, which did limit my overall choices in choosing a shape. Since my conscious and hardware are within Gabriel via the implant, this drone was of key importance in order to control it. The drone acted as a depository for my conscious, and by using it with other mediums, I am able to insert my conscious into it fully while still physically, and technically, being attached to Gabriel. I am capable of multiple background processes / controlling numerous devices at once but my core conscious can only "inhabit" a handful of drones at a time before my conscious thins too much, which would further demote me to only being able to use drones and equipment with preconfigured actions / processes. The actual drone within the nanite vending machine was roughly the size of a basketball, and this drone was outfitted with a Rift Actuator, to open and close portals. These Rift Actuators work in pairs, for the most part, and the one in the machine was linked to another Actuator within Gabriels' bunker. This was to have a steady supply of goods available for peddling as I could restock the vending machines interior via opening the Rift Actuators portals and have the bunkers drones feed the portal, on the bunker end, the goods. Goods which consisted of bottled water, various snacks and foods, and alcohol. So if you were thinking I was simply pretending to be an vending machine, you are mistaken."
"For 20 years I left my main conscious within the drone, within the vending machine, and I dedicated myself to peddling goods to the wayward adventurer while also eavesdropping and gathering information, information that ultimately led to huge returns in various forms. This incoming log is how I, Aidann, acquired said benefits. I will now playback a collection of data logs detailing my discovery and exploration of the Dungeon, the various fights that took place within, and the interactions with Sai'Doro. "
Day 21,910 Post Awakening.
We are currently living with a band of Orcai and have been for the last 10 days. After a brief battle with Gabriel, they quickly accepted him within their fort. The Orcai appear to value physical strength and have an almost religious zeal towards idolizing physically strong warriors, and with Gabriels' nanosuit acting as an enhancer, a display of strength was trivial. We've decided on hiding our presence and capabilities, overall, however, but the suit being used amongst these Orcai is a necessity. Without the suit, Gabriel would surely lose to the Orcai, as even individually they are significantly larger and stronger than him pre suit enhancement. Because of the nature of the nanosuit, and how it pulls / recharges energy, using it full time is but a small matter. Since the Orcai are being accommodating, Gabriel has seen the desire to stay amongst them for a time and learn more about their species and this planet as a whole, while he does I am still currently learning as much as possible about Mitras as well.
The scouting drones, in particular, have seen frequent activity since us awakening here. One of the first orders, after the drones having been refitted, was to send out the drones to explore and record the lands of Mitras. This included topography maps and the general placement of indicators on said maps to mark landmarks; such as cities, towns, or other areas of interest. This initial "scanning" was deployed within two days of completing the drones overhaul and exactly 1,827 days since awakening here. A rather unfortunate delay, but the map was finally completed a year back from the time currently, the amount of intricate details shown within the map took roughly 54 years to complete in totality, other than detailing the topography it also has population estimates and very detailed recreations of any structures the drones came across. We lost many drones and resources in the process but the venture was a necessity. I have been reviewing the data the drones recorded during those 54 years of scouting and scanning rather sparingly, but now that I've finished the review, I've noticed an anomaly in several instances where a drone was lost on top of several suspiciously lacking areas within the overall map itself. Further review of these anomalies turned up much more than Gabriel and I bargained for.
We have been out in the world, physically, for only 10 days now, the map was completed before we set out, but we already knew that this planet has real magicka. The source of the Magicka, according to several native species we've chatted with, comes from "Gaia, " or the planet itself. This is already interesting enough, but studying the error reports from the drones, in our venture towards making a detailed map of this planet, further led us into another discovery. This magicka energy is able to be "visible" under the right spectrum seeking settings, and further, the magicka energy was without a doubt visibly pouring from within the planet itself, confirming what the natives here have told us so far about "Gaia."
All about Mitras are massive underground "veins" of this magicka energy, flowing like underground rivers. After informing Gabriel of the drones findings he approached the Orcai Shaman and had the Orcai explain to us, though the Orcai are unaware of my presence within Gabriel, as much as possible about these "Ley Lines." It would seem our drone had stumbled on the largest one of them all, the fabled " Dragons Vein. " Though calling it a vein would do injustice towards the concentration; this particular source, when compared to the others, is more like an artery. The concentrated energy the Dragons Vein was letting out was enough to interfere with the drones sensors causing one in particular to malfunction without actually destroying it, but thanks to that, the discovery of how to sense these ley lines was made, and the Dragons Vein is by far the largest and most powerful concentration of magicka energy we have seen within Mitras to date. Gabriel has asked me to divert several groups of drones towards plotting out this artery. As he said in his own words,
"It would appear that the races and species here are unable to see these underground rivers of Magicka energy, or else there would be maps of it already. If we could plot out all of these sources we could make a killing!" I have personally taken to diverting part of my conscious into these drones to map out the Dragons Vein itself. The other veins, of course, are being mapped too, but the Dragons Vein is receiving top priority.
Day 21,940 P.A.
For the last month I have been overseeing the mapping of the Dragons Vein directly. So far I have managed to plot out roughly a dozen miles of it; the process is slow as this Dragons Vein splits off, and plays host to, numerous smaller veins as it goes, and I accurately want to record not just its shape but likewise the exact size of the Vein on top of the concentrations potency, thoroughly. The energy is hard to grasp in the latter prospect, however. The energy is constantly moving and though it is undeniably a huge source of powerful energy, the exact energy output fluctuates regulalry on top of the fact I have yet to discern a reliable way to gauge it.
The area we crashed upon is deep within the heavily forested northern reaches of the Country of Jo. (It seems the countries here are named after their current Kings or Queens, at least the Tutnan ones.) Though other races settlements fall within these Tutnan declared countries, they can be viewed as, more or less, independent state-countries within the country and are left alone. The Tutnans seem more focused on killing off the other Tutnan monarchs and absorbing their lands for the time being, but Gabriel believes it's only a matter of time before they turn their eyes back on the other races, a sentiment I agree with.
Judging by what I've seen so far, the Dragons Vein appears to be flowing southward. Though the course changes and curves abruptly, it does appear to be generally drawn south. Other than noticing that there is an frequent chance for strange happenings to occur around this vein, so far there hasn't been much to indicate that this Vein is affecting the life above it. The strange happenings I mentioned occur in the form of rare spirits and beasts being drawn to it. I hypothesize that they are instinctively drawn to places with an abundance of high magicka energies. I will further study these relations and look for concrete evidence of the Dragons Vein affecting the land / animals.
Day 22,000 P.A.
My efforts so far have seen us further southward by 100 miles, further down the Country of Jo. I am creating this log as I have noticed an oddity. It would appear that these Veins are not static in their positioning. In fact, it seems that they can "dry" up or shift direction all together, much like a real river would. I do not know how often this occurs as I have not seen it happen personally. Because of this, it rose the potential of this effort being redundant, and after a brief exchange with Gabriel, we've decided to go ahead and complete the process anyway. At least within this continent. We have decided to send drones back bi-monthly to recheck already mapped areas for changes in flow, direction, or concentration, in the future from now on, to monitor for any changes.
The only reason I learned that these changes would occur was thanks to my studying of how the Dragons Vein affected the environment above it. More specifically, I discovered a nest of a mother Wyvern with two young offspring who used a meadow over the Dragons Vein as a hunting ground. Wyverns and Dragons are spoken of rather frequently here, the Orcai especially have many tales about battles with their kind, and yet neither Gabriel or I have yet to see any. The Orcai shaman was the one who told us about the Dragons and Wyverns mostly living on the other continent, or Dragon Island. Apparently, most of the Dragons left centuries ago for the other continent, a place collectively known as the Dead Continent because visiting there would see you dead, apparently.
The nest I came across was in a small mountainous range east of the Dragons Vein by 43 miles, a place known as the Dalkan Spine. I had spent several days monitoring a group of Gampfa, a beast similar to a half sheep half gazelle; they are long legged creatures with thin bodies despite their fluffy wool, and they had appeared directly over the Dragons Vein, calling an abundant meadow home.
These Gampfa, compared to the other Gampfa, on average seemed more robust and lively. Their dual horns likewise were much bigger too, and they were particularly more aggressive than their other counterparts. I was studying these Gampfa when the Wyvern arrived and quickly snatched two, one each in its hind claws, and flew off. I sent a drone to follow the Wyvern and ultimately tracked it back to its nest, but while on the way I noticed a structure of stones in a remote section of forest that was clearly something intentionally designed. Further inspection of this formation revealed the large structures to be energy crystals, not unlike what the races here use for currency. Surely, stones as big these would have been long since broken down and harvested had they been found, but it was fortunate that they had not, just like it was further fortunate I had my conscious within the drone in the first place, otherwise the drones auto-actions wouldn't have flagged it at all and I never would have found the place.
Further studying of the area around the stones showed a small settlement had existed their some centuries prior. Within one of the collapsed, and overgrown, homes was an old tome that detailed a log of a farmer about the discovery of "a vast well of magicka energy within the grounds surface ," and it went on to detail the process in which the settlement was made, and the resultant rise of its population as harvesting of the energy occured. Thankfully, the drones manipulators were able to open the degradating tome without destroying it.
Inspecting the grounds from above, after reading the tome, it wasn't hard to see that this energy no longer existed currently, but its proximity to the Dragons Vein was what gave me the idea to send a drone to search further abroad. I discovered the abandoned village four days ago, and since then I have found trace evidence of two more extraction sites further down the line from the initial site, thus proving that the Dragons Vein is capable of shifting. I've tagged these collections of stones on the virtual map and have marked them for pick up, eventually, and despite finding these sites, unfortunately I am unable to accurately estimate how long it has been since the settlements faltered, as well as the Dragons Vein shifting. Judging by the state of affairs around the sites, it has been at least a millenia. Therefore the tome from the first site still being readable was completely lucky, much like finding the place at all was.
Day 26,394 P.A.
It has been several years since I first began plotting out the Dragons Vein, and fortunately their has still yet to be any shifts in the direction of the Vein among the already plotted sections, though the potency of the energy has still fluctuated beyond expectations. A lot has happened since the last log, however. No more harvest sites have been discovered near to the Dragons Vein. It would appear finding those three near the Dalkan Spine mountain range was luckier than I had realized. It is partly due to my further searching for these settlements that the length of time required in plotting has increased. Gabriel agreed that it was a worthy trade off, however. The amount of crystals recovered from one of the three sites alone would have been enough to last a normal Tutnan a lifetime of living comfortably. For us, though, it is nowhere near enough. In fact, all of it has already been spent on material resources for various projects. Between searching for more extraction sites, the limitations of the drones battery life before needing to recharge, and the fact that the Vein currently has been running through civilized areas, several densely populated towns, it has lengthened our time dramatically. It can't be helped, however. Having the drones being spotted is absolutely off limits. Which means when plotting the Vein over these towns I have to do so while using the background rendering, which only has an operation life of two hours before needing to hide and recharge. This last factor alone has been the main reason why we've only managed to map out a further 300 miles of the Dragons Vein over the last 12 years, bringing in 411 miles of mapped Vein in total. Fortunately, we are nearing the edge of Kohno desert, to the southern reaches of the Country of Jo. The desert is, for the most part, unpopulated, so the speed of plotting will pick back up.
That's pretty much it as far as mapping the Dragons Vein goes, however, I should mention that Gabriel and I are still living amongst the Orcai. He has been officially recognized by the Largashburt Clan as a member after winning a tournament, almost ten years ago now, though the end of the tournament saw us nearly killed by Grougon, son of the Clans Chief. Grougon had already done the tournament before, as it is an coming of age ceremony for regular Orcai that can determine social standing, but seeing Gabriel fight drove him into attacking despite not being one of the chosen adults to test the young. It would appear Grougon has a special weapon that has the soul and conscious of a Dragon within it, and this Dragon had noticed my presence within Gabriel. So now Grougon knows of me and Gabriel personally, since all four of us talk regularly now. In a way, I suppose that makes them my first friends, after Gabriel?...
Either way, the Clans Chief has tried to give Gabriel his daughter, Grougons' sister, Marneen for a wife. Since he is officially recognized as an Orcai by them now, it is not that odd. Especially since his social standing places him only under the Chief and Grougon now, after winning the tournament. Gabriel, of course, refused, and has continued to refuse even after numerous proposals, but I do not believe it is because he finds the Orcai female unattractive. It seems that his refusal is because Marneen herself does not appear to want the marriage. We are rather close with her as well, she and Grougon are the only two Orcai who know of me and what we really are, and though Gabriel sees her as a friend, Marneen likewise is friendly to us, it does not appear that she is fond of the idea of being "given" to anyone purely because her father wishes it. Unfortunately, that is how the customs of Orcai are, and I do not believe Marneen has realized just how lucky she would be in marrying Gabriel, or Nëtblida / Tõrva as the Orcai know him.
I say this because Gabriel isn't the type to force anyone into anything if they themselves did not wish for it. Marrying with him would allow Marneen the freedom to do whatever she wishes. I have debated on informing her of this, as I know Gabriel would accept if Marneen was willing, but I do not wish to meddle, even if it is to help her.
Day 28,000 P.A.
It has been nearly 3 years since the last log. Since then Gabriel has still not married Marneen and I doubt it will happen, I have a feeling we will be leaving Largashburt soon in all honesty, but for the matter in which these logs were created, the Dragons Vein. I have plotted another 200 miles since the last log. Most of the 3 years was spent covering a 50 mile stretch of this, the reason being that those 50 miles of Dragons Vein lay within random towns within the Country of Jo, but after hitting Kohno desert the rate of speed nearly tripled. We are quickly approaching the borders to the Country of Marrit, which belongs to King Marrit. Kohno desert is a part of both countries so the plotting should go at relatively the same rate as currently even after crossing the border. The country of Marrit is much smaller than Jo and the southern reaches of it is bordered by ocean. It would appear that the Dragons Vein will travel out and below the sea floor. Tracking it through the ocean would be much easier as I can hide the drones within the waters and plot it out freely, the only potential for danger being the off chance of a drone getting eaten by some sea beast, but Gabriel and I will call it quits should the Vein actually extend through the ocean. Plotting it out over the water would have no forseeable profits, and therefore would be a waste of time and resources. This will free up a dozen drones for other purposes firewall, as well.
Day 28,200 P.A.
Today I have come across something entirely odd. While doing the standard mapping and researching of the Dragons Vein, I have come across a section of what is clearly a created structure. This is not odd in that it is not the first, nor even twentieth, structure I've seen over the Dragons Vein, the reason it is so odd is because this structure has without a doubt been built specifically into the Dragons Vein to make use of the energy that flows through it. All of the other structures over the Dragons Vein so far, inhabited ones at least, have been mostly Tutnan, and the Tutnans did not seem aware that the Vein was below them. This is far from the case here.
We are currently in the Country of Marrit but still within the Kohno desert, though here the section of desert is known as the Howling Wastes. It is not an unfitting name, dust storms and winds are particularly high here and there always seems to be a vibration of sound frequency within the air. That said, the reason why I have lingered here for the past 160 days has been to document this seemingly erroneous anomaly, but it didn't take long to see that it was far from erroneous.
This structure extends below the surface structure underground by 20 separated levels, making floors within the ground. The walls of said levels are all strumming with energy from the Dragons Vein, made possible through use of strategically placed crystals and clever wards and spells. Because of the amount of energy circulating through the place, it was hard to discern the floors interior contents. My drones earth penetrating scans are thrown into disarray when I try to peek through the walls, and I believe this effect has more to do with the wards weaved into the place than the actual energy itself, as until now I have had no issues with seeing the flow of the Dragons Vein through the planets crust. I could make out little more than the fact that there are 20 floors within, and nothing else.
However, there has been a semi-steady stream of travelers entering this structure over the past six and a half months. Most come in parties, but there has also been a few sole individuals. I've seen an assortment of races thus far too, from Elfin, Orcai, Dwarves, to Tutnans. It was by eavesdropping on a small four man party, that camped outside of the surface structure one night, before entering the next day, that I managed to find out what this place was and why their appeared to be an endless supply of individuals entering yet not returning. From their talking, I overheard that the place is a dungeon belonging to a Dunërim called Sai'doro. Several of Marrits' Guild Halls have posted quests to subjugate the dungeon and capture or kill Sai'doro, but no one has managed to accomplish it yet despite the quest being available for nearing on a decade. In fact, the quest had sat for years without a sole person taking it because every individual who did never returned, and the only reason an influx of visitors had started now was because the reward for completion had reached so high that the Guild members were unable to ignore it.
After speaking with Gabriel about the matter, we have decided to explore it ourselves. He was rather excited about exploring an actual dungeon, actually, but because of the nature of the energy around it, as well as the rumors, of course which I have heard a few, I refused to consent to his physically going there. Something he was not happy about, but we have come to an agreement since. The agreement was to send in a drone we will outfit with a Rift Actuator so that he can portal in, or the drone can portal out. Using one of the four Actuators is quite the risk, but so long as the drone functions within the dungeon then portaling the drone back out is still possible. However, the issue we face now is how to hide the drone from prying eyes.
Using the background render the entire time is not possible, and even if no one who enters returns, it doesn't mean word won't leak out. Even through Sai'doro himself should he see the drone. This means we need a way to show off the drone without it being obvious. However, we've noticed that the electrical signals, and even my consciousness, given off by drones and equipment can sometimes be detected by adept mages. According to the rumors about Sai'doro, he is a Dunërim gifted in the Arcane Arts, and judging by his dungeons outer wardings and the way he set it up, I'd say the rumors are probably half of what he can do.
To get around this, Gabriel proposed wrapping the drone in nanomachines and making it appear humanoid, a concept similar to his actual nanosuit in design, and the nanites could further use its rendering function to color in the humanoid and make it look Tutnan, and though this solid coloring is a stable render that uses far less power than an active background rendering, it still would need a decent sized power core to do so. The power core attached to the drone to feed the Rift Actuator is sufficient enough for this, but between rendering the humanoid shaped nanites in color while also making it appear to speak and move like a Tutnan, the energy required of the core may interfere with the ability to open the portal through the Rift Actuator should the need for it arise. Simply put, though feasible, it was not the best idea. Likewise furthered as a poor choice because of the fact any mage would notice that there would be a lack of "Logos" within the humanoid figure, or life energy. A novice mage would likely see the lack of vitality within the object, let alone an adept one. Though feasible in it working, the humanoid, or Tutnoid rather, drone would only do the opposite of blending in around mages.
This is when I proposed the idea for a vending machine. This planet did not have vending machines, but the structures shape would appear non threatening,'who is afraid of box?', while also requiring a small amount of energy. In fact, while stationary the drone could recharge its core battery even while shaped and rendered as a vending machine, and with the portal we could even sell actual goods and return a small profit while also helping any of the individuals within the dungeon by feeding them. It was an idea that only popped into mind as little more than a silly whim, but of course Gabriel greatly enjoyed it, though I think he was rather excited about the exploration of the dungeon instead, and the fact he could portal in anytime he wished. Regardless, we have decided to enter the dungeon tomorrow. A drone is being especially crafted at our vessel as I file this log. The Rift Actuator is being fitted along with a slightly bigger power core. The Rift Actuator being used is actually planned to be used in a quarantine bay, but while the bay is being constructed, it is available for use. If only I could discern how to make more Actuators.. The Actuators themselves are a Go'reth device that we found in the Go'reth vessel, and I have devoted a lot of processing power to figuring out how they work. Some advancement has been made, but not nearly enough to create more of the Actuators so far.
Part 2
submitted by UnreliableNarrat0r to HFY [link] [comments]

Longevity of motor vehicles part 2: Parts.

This one is rather harder, fuel is not too hard to make, spare parts contain things that maybe no longer practical to make by the 1%. For example an oilfilter needs tough porous material l to do the filtration, once existing stocks are exhausted/perished they will have to find a way to make it themselves from local materials.
I'm not saying that this is not possible for our 'dumb survivors' to make an oilfilter what I'm trying to establish is when there going to have to get self sufficient. To do this I'll use the same methodology as I did with food ie assume there are more than enough spares to last indefinitely (not too bad an assumption I would think that the number of miles driven would plummet when fuel becomes something you have to make yourself).
Metal Parts
I've already established that steel properly stored will last a long looong time and I think this will apply to the other metals a car needs.
Plastic
The main environmental problem with plastic is that it lasts too well I don't think plastic will be an an issue either
Rubber
Ah now we hit some stumbling blocks, tyres have a 'safe' shelf life of ~ 6 years from date of manufacture. Apparently the problem is oxidation making the rubber go brittle and crack. For long term storage tyres could be kept under nitrogen and perhaps cool storage but it does put a limit on the service life of the tyres irrespective of the road miles perhaps 10-25 years?
So without some very farsighted intervention the survivors will have to start making tyres after 15-25 years
What if the government steps in? We can estimate the number of tyres from a steady state calculation, In 2012 there were 34 million registered vehicles on the road and there tyres need changing every 5 years or so every year 7 million vehicles need all 4 tyres changed so you would need to make 28 million tyres with a usable shelf life of 2-3 years that would suggest 84 million tyres sitting on shelves.
So there's are more than enough, I'd think one sealed warehouse would be most that could be done... An average sized UK warehouse is 242,000sq ft, lets use a big one say 40ft high and 300,000 ft2 A car tyre is ~1ft3 so we're looking at something of the order of a 1 million tyres ...
Cars
There is quite a useful benchmark for how long cars will last maintained without ready access to parts. In 1962 the US embargoed Cuba stranding a population of 1950/60s classic cars without spare parts and at the mercy of bush engineers. 54 years later many are still on the road (though of surprisingly not of great interest to collectors).
Conclusion
So for 15 years motor vehicles are totally a thing, after that solid wheels may start to take over or if world trade starts to work natural rubber would be a valuable commodity (I can feel a post in me about how synthetic rubber is probably not practical).
submitted by octobod to AfterTheEvent [link] [comments]

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