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Hermit last won the day on January 22

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  1. By the next day, the departing Samaritans had loaded up and prepped to go to Port Cascade, but I have to say it was nice that some of them took time to take to hang out with me. In fact, they all had something to say. "Relax, you got this," Arctic Fox said, "Much as I had to admit it, your instincts are usually good. You saw through my ex," She made a face. "Well, that might have been because he was hoping to get ride of me personally to create a spot on the team," I admitted. "So was I," Fox said, "Look, you're a good guy. Annoying, but good. But the fact you and Lady Obsidian have caught the same things at the same time more than once is probably how she knows you've got the stuff. You have similarities where it counts, and enough difference that you're not some mini-she." "Thanks," I said with a smile. "Besides, Ariana will probably do the bulk of the work," She said. "Hey? Lady Obsidian said 'co captains'," I reminded. "I'll do my share." "Yes, but you and I weren't partials, we weren't always stuck at 'good enough to be a side show but not a superhero'," Arctic Fox said casually, almost callously. "Ariana is a hero," I said, "She was taking risks even before-" "Peace, Lover-boy," She held up a hand, "She was a friend of mine before she was your girlfriend. Of course she was a hero, but it's the super part I'm talking about. She was minor league, not because of a character flaw, but because she just didn't have the power level. But watch out, for once a government super soldier program kind of sort of didn't lead to doom, our leader improved it, and suddenly there's a way over that wall. Partials can hang with us. The one percent is now the five percent, and while none of us really think much of it, Ariana is leading that wave. She's the one who has been there in the minors, made it to the majors. She earned her spot, but she still had to work for it. You mark my words, she's going to be the hard ass, not you. " "Right," I chuckled. My girlfriend was one of the most understanding, sweetest woman I'd ever met, playful sure, and brave and bad-ass, but R.Lee Emery she was not. "Fine, don't believe me," Arctic Fox said with a shrug. "This old foes of yours?" I said changing the subject, or trying to, "The three you said old dance partners, one of them you gave a pretty hard look at. Personal business?" "Meaning you're hoping it's not so you can nose in?" She arched a brow. "Yeah," I confessed. "Ice Queen, not only is her name too on the nose for my liking, we're so evenly matched it can lead to some long frustrating drawn out battles. She's like evil opposite with the same shtick." "She's evil but modest, open, and non-judgmental?" I said in a surprised tone. "Why Ariana likes you I am still not sure, but perhaps she just decided to bite a bullet to save the rest of womankind," Her eyes narrowed. At least three responses came to mind, on a bit dirty, one a bit smug, and another probably not as clever as I thought it was. However, as I had already thrown myself into a hole here, socially speaking, I took the fourth option and gave a 'who knows?' shrug. Now, Valentino giving me advice was a sure thing. He'd been the first of the team to actually befriend me, and while my dating his niece had cause some protective hackles on his part to rise, they'd smoothed over pretty quickly. To my surprise, the nature of his counsel had very little to do with Ariana. **** "You've got to get them to know the city, man," he said as we walked plains clothes through a food market of sorts, a bazaar might be a better word. With Mabel detatched, he'd volunteered for some shopping, "you need to give them an appreciation for the cultures, have them spread their patrols through the neighborhoods, meet and greet folks, get to know our fellow citizens." There was a pause as he motioned to a bag of oranges and spoke in Spanish too rapid for me to follow with an older man regarding price. The haggling that followed seemed to have the older man accusing Tino of being some kind of highwayman robbing from him, and Tino rattling off that if he wanted to be ripped off he could go to a grocery store. It was all very dramatic sounding. I wanted to cut in and tell Tino to just pay the asked for price so we could move on, but I admit I was too tickled. I'd seen Tornado bantering with supervillains with less intensity back and forth than this. Valentino gestured and make some comment about one of the oranges being oddly shaped, the gent selling it countered something about flavor and I think texture? I really do know Spanish now, but as fast as they were flying (Figuratively, not literally) I wouldn't just need subtitles, I'd need to slow down the speed of play on this particular bit. Finally, it seemed Tino found a price he could abide. The transaction was made and with bag of fruit in hand, we went on. Once I was sure no one could overhear I had to say it, "Is the world safe for reasonable rates on food produce once more, or will the dark shadow of its threat rise again should we neglect vigilance?" "Macho talk from a guy who once needed help fighting poultry," He shot back good-naturedly, neglecting the part where said chicken was fifty foot tall and superpowered! Before I could think of a clever rejoinder (Hey, a minute or two and I could have come up with something) he said, "But seriously, Caleb, you need to get them in touch with the people." "Tino," I said, "They're not staying in Costa Sagrado beyond maybe a month. It's train em, then then wish them well." "Don't be so sure, besides, this is an important lesson period, it's not about the city, it's about appreciating where you are and who you're fighting for. You know how it is for some supers, they live in some secret base on the moon, or at the South Pole, and have enough resources to avoid the Nine to Five rat race that swallows most folks up. For some of those lucky bastards, it becomes all about the next fight, the next villain. Some superheroes get so caught up in 'the struggle of good versus evil', 'us against them', 'white cape dukes it out with black mask' and so on, that they neglect being a part of who they're fighting for," Tino said, "You need to drive home to these rookies that it's not a villain hero only world." "I'm pretty sure any superhero wants to protect the innocents," I raised a brow, "I mean, it's one of the reasons I'm a superhero and not an act at Sea World." He smiled at that, but then shook his head, "It's not enough, man. Look, Lady Obsidian likes us to have places to live outside the base. She told you why, right?" A light dawned, "Right, so we could remember we're part of the population, not above them." "Exactly," He said, "Same thing. You need to get the rookies to appreciate the breadth of humanity, and hold onto it. Too many folks with power, even outside of superheroes, assume that their position as guardian excuses them acting like jackasses, or bullies. There is a danger in being so focused on protecting your fellow humans that you forget you are one." As if to empahasise his last point, he spread out his free hand to the crowds in the distance, "They need to be able to relate to all this, wherever they go, not to be better crime fighters, but so they'll be better people." It was not entirely new advice, but it was damn good advice, and timely, "Thanks, TIno," Then I thought of something, "You ever see some hero forget this lesson personally?" A frown crossed his features, and he seemed ,troubled, "Angels fall, Sheep Dogs can turn on the flock, and the path from zealous do gooder to delusional villain is not a hard one to find if your'e not looking where you're going." That was a bit more poetic an answer than I was used to, and I was tempted to ask for details if details there were, but by that time? He was already haggling for avocados..
  2. Williamson Backs Andrew Yang! I really like this lady. I think she's too much a mystic for the job and it's well she dropped out, but she's something of a breath of fresh air regardless. Also, I like a lot of Yang's ideas. So this makes me smile, even if I'm still going Sanders or Warren
  3. "I really wanted to write, but in those days that wasn't at all the sort of thing a grammar school could encourage. Primary school had been quite different, and they'd really taken an interest in my poetry, but the grammar school took the attitude that you can't ever make a living out of writing so stop thinking about it. The best you can hope for is to become a teacher. There was one master, Mr Martin, who encouraged me; he used to read my essays out to the class, and that really helped me get through - feeling somebody appreciated the kind of things I wrote. But otherwise I had a feeling that grammar school was like being fitted out with a straightjacket. It certainly fitted and was very practical but you couldn't expect to do anything in it."- Terry Jones I'd say you broke out of that jacket and then some, Sir. RIP
  4. Oh ,folks, Old Man already did this, but if i could have titles for your 'movies' ? That would help with voting time when the poll does come up
  5. I guess I better catch up on a draft I started Greatest Warrior in all the Land: James Garner as Sir Cullough the Black, Knight Pragmatic! Wizardress: Bernadette Peters as the Lura the queen's 'useless' vamp sister, who is secretly a practicing mystic! Stealing from another Set/Studio: Undermountain from various D&D Modules Optional Character: Dan Frishman as the Goblin Graffle Bloodsprinkler who works for a way to free his people from the Lich
  6. In some areas, I am to the right of Sanders. But we've veered so far off to the right... as in, perfectly honorable and good Republicans are now considered RINOS or Lib lovers, that I think the country needs a hard jerk to the left to course correct back to the middle. My hope is that Sanders is the guy to do that. When I hear Biden has the lead, it always seems to be 'okay, he's safe' but I don't feel any enthusiasm for him. Maybe that's my bias and folks are shaking pom poms for him... but safe doesn't motivate folks to get excited enough to vote.
  7. I have a theory... Florida is God's Etch a Sketch *Shake shake shake*
  8. In our democratic race, it looks like Bloomberg's money dump is paying off.. he's in 4th place according to a new national poll anyway Man I hope Warren and Sanders can make nice again and team up
  9. Excellent points there. But I worry that acknowledgement is out of fashion in today's polarized political climate
  10. Not sure about "Will always" . What do you consider primarily rural? Because if it's states that have the majority of their population outside of cities, there may not be as many of them as you think. If you mean the less populated states period, that still varies. Wyoming and Vermont each have 3 Electoral votes. They don't tend to vote for the same party though- on the opposite end of things for population, Texas and California aren't always drinking buddies (Though I do hope Texas will flip blue sooner rather than later, but that's me) Speaking of California , it can pretty much steam roll any small state it wants economically if not always politically. What I hear is that if it suddenly left the USA it would be the 5th Largest economy in the world. If it wanted to bully Idaho it has ways Many folks think the Electoral College is broken, I'm one of them, but I think it can be solved more gracefully and smoothly by having the electoral votes divided along percentages via popular votes than throwing it out entirely which will possibly cause a panic/resentment in less populated states. Maybe I'm too cautious there.
  11. Props to ya. If our country had more people who sympathize with those even though they vote differently or in other interests, we'd be a lot better off. It's one of the reason's Trump's cult disgusts me. "He's hurting the wrong people" to quote an article that showed what's wrong with some of his followers. One can disagree, one can win, without hoping it turns into a torture session for the different.
  12. We both agree that the EC is broken though we might vary on what to do about it. My point about the pipeline was not about the EC specifically, but rather the idea that urban majorities can and do abuse rural minorities... be they white, Native American or so on. Ditto for the River example. You said "Why is this even a concern? There are fewer people in densely populated areas, therefore there are fewer people in densely populated areas. Why is this a special voting bloc that needs some kind of special protection?" And the answer , historically and sometimes currently, is YES. Rural dwellers themselves are a minority. Urban and Suburban dwellers have them out numbered... and neither quite understands the other. It's not unreasonable for rural citizens to fear a possible Tyranny of the Majority situation of Urban focused politicians screwing them over through ignorance (and sometimes Malice). Now, you can go on about how the EC does NOTHING to help less populated states against abuses, but from their perspective at least it makes them important every four years. Disproportionately important (Again, we agree the EC is broken) but from their viewpoints, it is a protection. The fact it is a weak protection doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't help them at all. Maybe it's my anti corporate bias coming out, but if we could undo Citizens United, it might help with the abuse of the EC because, less populated states are often in a economic and influential chokehold by certain big money interests because they're cheaper to manipulate IMO. Trying to buy florida influence is a war... an expensive one. A company wants to own the Dakotas? Set up shop , make their economy reliant on you and gain a near monopoly there, then own their messages political and otherwise... and you can get it for a comparable bargain. BUT again, personal bias there. And, in case it need be said, again, Your mileage May and probably does vary and I get that.
  13. Not sure why this came to mind but... "The bumps you feel are asteroids smashing into the hull of the ship. Also, we're flying without a navigational system and can't seem to change course." "Miss? Are you telling us absolutely everything?" "Not exactly... we're also out of coffee." *Passengers freak out!* - Airplane II: The Sequel
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