85f4d an6kt sz72n 82hkr h7zrs ketr4 9kteb zfrry 98e6y y5h5d 2bais tzzaa n9n8e ryk7a 768b3 tzt4r 2rt33 9fkzf kaf48 kes2b sy7rz The Black Swan |

The Black Swan

2021.11.27 03:16 Hemingbird The Black Swan

[WP] You sealed yourself in a tomb to stop the monster within from destroying the world. The first few centuries were endless violence and torture. But now, you're both just bored. One day, you ask the monster "So....got any board games?"
I moved my bishop to C5.
"Ah," said Darkspit. "The Ruffinski variation."
Neither of us knew any chess terms when we started playing, but as we noticed patterns we began naming them. Chekhov's opening. The Suicide gambit. The Dickcheese maneuver.
Darkspit offered a pawn, but I declined. From our many battles over the past centuries I'd learned he wasn't the type to make a deal if he didn't believe he'd come out on top.
"You're being cautious today," he said. Black smoke rose from his large body like from a candle flame. Hundreds of years and he still hadn't evaporated. Did the ash get recycled, somehow? Was he tiptoeing around collecting it while I slept?
I let out a yawn and stretched my arms. "Not at all. Caution implies the avoidance of risk. When all outcomes are within your expectations it's just called being strategic."
Scoffing, Darkspit captured my bishop with his knight. "Caution is a strategy. In fact, it's even a gamble."
We traded a few more pieces, simplifying the position to what appeared to be a dead draw. "A gamble?" I said.
"Oh, yes. It means you are gambling on the absence of a black swan."
A black swan. An unexpected event that changes the nature of the game. I guess I had been something of a black swan to Darkspit, those many years ago. He never anticipated that I'd pull the lever and seal us both inside this tomb. It was his downfall. And mine.
Black tar moving like a swarm of angry bees. A sinister mass swallowing even darkness itself, for centuries waiting for a chance to see the life drain from my eyes. Cold like the vacuum of space. I lost what humanity I had over the course of our fight. And now? What have become of us?
With a shadowy tentacle Darkspit reached for his queen and he moved her diagonally across the board, capturing my rook. A queen sacrifice. So this was what he had in mind.
"I'll have to give this a think," I said.
"Good," said Darkspit. "Take all the time you need."
Even with my unique powers it had calamitous. As I swung my blade of light I would rarely land a hit and when I did, only a sliver of blackness would fall to the stone floor and sizzle into smoke. I'd toss balls of thunder, illuminating the tomb like flash photography, and Darkspit would dodge. If he'd managed to escape, he would surely have laid the world to waste.
"This has the smell of a bluff," I said and I captured his queen. Darkspit grinned.
I thought back to that fateful day when I was summoned for the mission. The researchers hadn't been able to make sense of the activity readings. All they could tell me was that something lay in wait inside an ancient tomb, and it was an existence beyond their scarce knowledge.
"You are well aware that I have retired," I told them. Tanya's small corpse hadn't even had the time to wither. And I hadn't had the time to grieve her.
But like them I knew no one else stood a chance. So I took the mission. I packed my bags and I left the world I knew behind for what I thought would be a couple of days. Close to half a millennium later ...
Darkspit groaned and retreated into the shape of an orb, its surface reflective like oil.
"You expected me to leave your queen alone?" I asked.
"No," he said, vibrations rippling across him as he spoke. "It was exactly as I had anticipated. You fell right into my trap."
Judging from the way he maintained his me-time shape, this wasn't quite true.
"I'm up in material, but anything can still happen," I said. Slowly Darkspit shifted back into a vaguely humanoid blob.
"Yes," he muttered. "There's still the black swan."
I leaned back. "You mean the queen sacrifice wasn't it?"
I had been out on a mission when Tanya's school was attacked. Actually, I had completed it days before schedule. But I decided to take it easy. Soak up some sun. Enjoy the sights. At least I'd be home for her birthday. And to be honest, I wanted a break. After her mother left it was as if she turned into some strange animal that I didn't know how care for. She'd fly into a rage for no apparent reason, and she'd cry. She'd cry a lot. And yet I'd not been able to shed a single tear.
We played some more moves, but it didn't seem like Darkspit had any surprises in store. It was too late. We had reached the endgame and all that was left was to play it out.
"I'm waiting," I said.
Darkspit studied my face carefully. Then, he said, "All this time and you have never questioned me as to the nature of my existence."
I squinted and gazed upward to the side. "I guess I always assumed you were some kind of curse."
He let out a hollow laugh. "In a way, you're right. But there's more to it. As you can recall, I wasn't here when you first arrived."
It was true. When I explored this tomb it appeared to be empty, asides from sarcophagi and gold-and-blue pictures on the walls. After a while there was a subtle scent of rotten eggs and Darkspit appeared before me, as if conjured from thin air. He descended on me with a murderous fury and so our duel began.
"In fact," he continued, "you brought me with you."
I paused, pawn in hand. "What are you saying?"
"You came here carrying a heavy burden. A great loss. You were right that the world was in great danger. But what you didn't know was that that danger was you." Darkspit smiled. "There it is. The black swan."
"That can't be true," I said. "We registered your presence long before I got here."
"What you registered," said Darkspit, "was the Last Hope. Constructed by the ancients, it was activated as it detected a potentially world-ending threat. It was designed to lure a dangerous being such as yourself. When you arrived, the part of you that wanted to destroy the world was split off into a being of its own."
"So what I've been fighting this whole time is ..."
"Yourself," Darkspit answered. "I was offered a chance, and I honestly believed I would win. Back then, there seemed to be no end to your darkness."
Advancing my pawn I asked, "What now?"
Raising a thin fibril, Darkspit grabbed hold of his king and he flipped it over to its side. "I resign." Noticing my look of concern, he added, "Don't worry. I made a bad gamble. The victory is yours."
Before I could respond, he dissipated before me into smoke. I tried to grab hold of him but it was too late. He was gone.
Alone for the first time in centuries, I didn't know what to do. I wandered in a circle for a while until I heard a whisper. "We congratulate you," it said. "For the world has been saved. Though much time has passed here, not a second has gone by outside. You are free to leave. May shadow remain shadow. May light remain light."
The ground shook and a beam of light blinded me. A passage had been cleared. I went outside and I breathed in fresh air. "I'm sorry, Tanya," I said. Tears streamed down my cheeks. "I'm sorry."
She had been everything I cared for in this world. She had been my black swan.
submitted by Hemingbird to Hemingbird [link] [comments]


2021.11.27 03:16 Atvenice This skin thing started small on my ankle and now it's bigger. What is it?

Female 22 Photo https://imgur.com/a/QLBMoAy
submitted by Atvenice to AskDocs [link] [comments]


2021.11.27 03:16 royalhighfan1214 looking 4 bloxburg cash !

im offering for bloxburg cash.
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2021.11.27 03:16 TheOfficialEDDAswap Voyage to EDDA "To boldly go where no one has gone before" NFT by Batmax for EDDA

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2021.11.27 03:16 KrustySoxSports Egotastic Sports Hottie of the Day: Sheila Maeve

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2021.11.27 03:16 Dizzy-Philosopher150 A gift for the morbid and CURIOUS. Here's FLOWERS (2015)! A movie about six dead women waking up in the space below their killer's house. It's a grungy art-house film! Full of gore, gross and tons disturbing images. 💀🖤

A gift for the morbid and CURIOUS. Here's FLOWERS (2015)! A movie about six dead women waking up in the space below their killer's house. It's a grungy art-house film! Full of gore, gross and tons disturbing images. 💀🖤 submitted by Dizzy-Philosopher150 to SweatyPalms [link] [comments]


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2021.11.27 03:16 ExistingAd5845 I have 3 cats they all sleep on Me 1 on my shoulder and 2 on my legs

I go to toilet a lot and change my position but they still lays on Me sometimes i really feel uncomfortbale but i dont want to wake them up
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2021.11.27 03:16 wxccs Surprisingly tougher bosses on NG+X and Charmless, Demon Bell

Currently on NG+5, Charmless and Bell Demon, Found Lady Butterfly significantly tougher than Inner Isshin , and Inner Genichiro became tougher than both coz of arrow spam and his floating passage. Anyone having similar experiences ?
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2021.11.27 03:16 Msaeachubaetss Waited until the perfect place to finish the quest and catch it

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2021.11.27 03:16 kan1657 Binance FTM network remain suspended forever. Is there any other ways to transfer FTM to Metamask (Fantom Opera network)?

Binance FTM network remain suspended forever. Is there any other ways to transfer FTM to Metamask (Fantom Opera network)?
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2021.11.27 03:16 SimpleStormy What are the odds!? Hardedge! (& yes I read the loot box odds 😂). This ticket was from a class level up reward as well 🤷‍♂️

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2021.11.27 03:16 AnonRetro ...And this is relevant again

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2021.11.27 03:16 VegetableAwareness1 Looking for a PS5 league

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2021.11.27 03:16 TheOfficialEDDAswap Voyage to EDDA "To boldly go where no one has gone before" NFT by Batmax for EDDA

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2021.11.27 03:16 izzhedique Captured on Series X

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2021.11.27 03:16 SuperRadDeathNinja Thanksgiving dinner was a hit, and many helped with the dishes. Found my chefs knife like this today…

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2021.11.27 03:16 dennismarr Robby Krieger is set to be playing the US National Anthem before the LA Kings vs. Ottawa Senators game in Los Angeles on November 27th, 2021!

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2021.11.27 03:16 The_ErrorCreator Recent drawing of a protogen

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2021.11.27 03:16 ABoringPerson_ [Reminiscence] Binary Crypt

entry for [One for the Archive]
——————————————————————————————
One for the Archive
The elevator gradually slowed to a stop, and its door cycled opened with a hiss. Laime stepped out, his footsteps echoing across the hall in front of him.
Or at least, the digital representation of a hall, as Laime was an SI—a common form of artificial intelligence designed more closely to biological brains—the visualization helped him navigate the systems he was interfacing with. Something especially useful in the labyrinthine reaches of the Orion Network.
He was mostly there just to further his personal studies in human xenopsychology, trying to see if they were just as insane a hundred years ago to now, or if it was just the decades of apparently unshielded subspace travel that really knocked them off their rockers. Leading him to his current location:
The Public Archive of Sol.
It wasn't an impressive name, but it staked out its reputation through the stories of digital travelers like Laime, earning as many menacingly cliche nicknames as it did strange ones. Though, the hallway before him lived up to none.
It was a plain, office-like hallway, with metal doors lining the seemingly infinite expanse of the walls. Each door was labeled with the years it encompassed, and each one was engraved with the names of millions of sites, the latest doors seemingly folding in on themselves to fit that many names.
The word search tool never felt more useful to Laime before.

——————————————————————————————

The doors quickly turned out to just be an abject lie from the face of choice, with all of them being glorified ticket dispensers that led to the exact same walkway.
Laime would've been frustrated if he wasn't terrified of the fact that the walkway was simply floating in an endless abyss of grey. The exterior of the hall seemed to curve away from the walkway, and he headed deeper into the archive. Eventually, he saw a massive pillar jutting from the bottom of the void and extending upwards into the same exact morning-fog nothingness that consumed everything else.
The pillar itself was studded with random panels and cables, all haphazardly linked and wired together. He neared it.
Then it neared him.
The pillar widened, seemingly unfurling and wrapping around the entire area until Laime was in the center of a massive tube, though the walkway still remained open.
A wave of something reverberated throughout the tube, lights flickering on and the invisible presence of cameras becoming known. He, at that exact moment, genuinely wished that he had some sort of instinctual thing to do when scared, rather than staring at an infinite expanse that was quickly becoming aware of his presence.
Then, of course, it spoke.
“STATE YOUR PURPOSE OF ARRIVAL.”
He quickly held up the ticket, hoping that it was enough to stave off another ear-shattering inquiry from the tube. A couple seconds of blissful silence followed, only to be interrupted by the sound of tearing metal screaming through the enclosure.
An armored hand clawed through the wall to the left of Laime, followed by the rest of the robotic figure, ripping itself from wires plugged into its sides. The metal closed behind it.
It motioned for Laime to follow as a tunnel opened up near it.

——————————————————————————————

The tunnel returned to the same look and feel of the entrance hallway—that is, empty, office-like, and lit with a white-yellow light closer to that of a candy wrapper than of genuine sunlight.
Breaking the silence, the robot spoke, “In order to expedite possible future conversations and inquiries, my shortened designation is Y-1-19, indicate your own name. I may need to refer to you as ‘Pillbug Monster-Person’ otherwise.” The voice was deep, and almost painfully artificial.

“Oh, uh, it’s Laime,” and the two continued walking in silence for a couple more seconds before Laime spoke up again, “and can you please drop the act? You don’t have to demean yourself by acting like a military assistant straight out of 2188.”

Y-1-19 stopped for a bit, chuckled with a sort of clattering sound, and said “Aw c’mon, I think it’s funny. ‘least I don’t have to strike up smalltalk with some of the more pretentious visitors if I act like that,” in a much more human tone. “but I’ll drop it for you.” Laime thanked him.

Further down the hall, Laime worked enough courage to ask something that’d been weighing on his mind after the little reveal.
“I’m sorry if this is rude, but you’re an AI, right?”—he paused for confirmation—”Then… why are you here? Now that I’m seeing the insides, and not being admittedly terrified of giant shifting metal walls, I don’t get why you bother being here. It all seems below you.”

“I guess it does, don’t it? Never really thought of it before, but I suppose it’s just the thing I do nowadays.”

“That still doesn’t answer it completely,” Laime briefly gestured behind them and continued, “you could be out there doing... something else, you could be making giant CIR codes in the Bootes Void for all I care. It just seems like a waste of your potential.”

“That I could, but I don’t particularly think the local group needs another AI who’s got a couple 32’s missing from their directories. Omnisi knows one 656-Raptura is enough, way more than enough if you’re gettin’ it from me.” Y-1-19 paused, stopping.

“But the truth is, I just like it here. Feels a bit useful, but it’s just peace n’ quiet for the most part. Just started as a hobby, I didn’t feel like the archives were doing it right before, and it felt kinda funny when I started, whole ‘oh you got your own AI assistant to dig through your ex’s pet account!’”
Y-1-19 gave another chuckle. “Been going for a while now, and the archives themself always give me this weird feeling.”

“Because of how inane all the stuff the humans put out is?”

The archiver broke out into full-on laughter, “Oh, definitely for some of that stuff—rather be fried than be caught with my data ports out near it!”
“For the other half, though, it’s a jumble between a strange feeling of loss and nostalgia. Lot of these folk were already scattered like stardust before I even spit out my first hexadecimal, but they put their souls into some of the stuff they put onto their accounts and feeds. A little alleyway path showing a fragment of their life they decided to share.”
“Some of these paths end where they should, with a solemn announcement or bittersweet goodbye. Some never really started in the first place, and there’s no loss in them ending. Some…” Y-1-19 slumped a bit, “Some just end, just get wiped off the face of old Terra, trans-mog-ri-fied into something unrecognizable for reasons I can’t find. Those ends have little ripples, might have answers with those, might not.”
“They’re all dead in some of those older posts, some of them are still running around today, but I never, and I mean never felt something like that at those ends.”

“I-uh, I’m sorry.”

“Oh! No, no, it’s fine, Laime. Look at me, crazy ol’ human-borne AI ranting about his archive collection. C’mon, let’s get to it.”

——————————————————————————————

“Alright! We’re here, lemme plug in and I’ll fetch the section for ya.”

“I actually brought a little list of sites and keywords, do you—”

“Just slot it over to the port right there,” Y-1-19’s voice dropped to almost inaudible levels, “though you’d rather be dead if there’s even the suggestion of mal’s in there.

“What?”

“Carry on, just my ramblings again.”

Laime pulled out a translucent blue rectangle, roughly paper-sized, and put it into the port, Y-1-19 looked like he was about to say something before he spasmed with a jolt, banging his “head” on the wall. Laime was about to catch him when he gained his bearing.
By Omnisi's name! Warn me next time, yeah? Do you really need to go there for your knowledge or whatever?”

“Well… I wanted to check if humans of old were just the same as ones today. Are-are you okay?”

“Was just a little jolt, caught off guard. Anyhow, I’ve opened it up for you, just be careful in there, you hear me?"

Though, Laime was already walking off into the section before Y-1-19 could say anything more, offering a distant “Thanks!” in return.

“I swear, these SI’s. Who, in the thirteen blasted plains of Alpha Centauri, would just search up the names and conversations about every political candidate half-a-millenia ago? Couldn’t he just go and search up some random sci-fi webserial like the rest of them?”

——————————————————————————————
Heya everyone, jumping in with another late-month writing prompt. I've had this bouncing around in my head for a bit, even before I read the prompt.
And because I'm a self-serving artist who'll write a whole story just to shill their art, here's what I kinda imagined for Y-1-19's head (or really, just an archive robot's head).
submitted by ABoringPerson_ to HFY [link] [comments]


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