Discussion of the Android TV Operating System and devices that run it. This community is unofficial and is not affiliated with Google in any way.
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My pup (5 1/2 months of age) just began task training. I've scoped through a large handful of how-to's regarding DPT on YouTube and have received tips from many kind friends. Our first attempt sent my confidence through the roof, as he almost perfected the position and held it for a good 8-10 seconds, until I made my first effort to lure him off my lap with a slice of hotdog (one of his favorite high-value treats). He did a decent job releasing.. a bit resistant, but he got the job done. After many praises and rubs (and of course.. hotdog slices..) I was more than thrilled to give it a second shot because of how well he performed; but, to my disbelief, he just sat and stared as I lured the treat from his nose closer to my position as did the first time. I tried once more.. no reaction. A few sniffs to the hand, but zero attempt to retrieve the treat. I tried yet another time, still no reaction, still nothing at all enthusiastic. I got up, changed my position on the floor, and cued him to come over. He acknowledged his recall, making his way over to my side, but immediately laid down afterwards, even after being highly rewarded for his obedience. Again, I made an attempt to lure him into position. He just looked at me as if I was asking him to do a double backflip. He's usually never like this - he's definitely not the most eager dog on the planet, but this was just shocking to me.
Maybe it has something to do with it being around bedtime where usually we just hang around and chill? Maybe he's not feeling hotdogs tonight? Maybe he's tired out from our trail walk we had today? Examples like these are just lesser reasons he would act like this.. please tell me what you think! Feel free to ask any questions! Tips are more helpful than ever right now.
We're probably going to pack it up for the night and give it a shot again tomorrow. I'd love to hear from everyone! It helps more than you think <3
Hey guys I've had some moderate success with my YouTube channel. By moderate I've grown to about 2600 subscribers and was able to join the partner program after about 6 months. But I've noticed that although my seo will be 100% and I market as much as possible. I just haven't had a solid breakthrough with my content. It seems like no matter what I do I can't get the algorithm to recommend me, even though the majority of my content is now monetized and has been for several months.
I upload every week and have for my YouTube career. And I just recently decided to start making my content more episodic / more like a show week to week.
Now I make a variety of mystery type content. From ghost stories to more fact based stuff. Nothing too risky. So I'm not sure if that would play a part in the whole not being recommended. But I'm here to ask for recommendations if anyone has any.
I actively use tubebuddy, YouTube search and Google analytics to research seo. And try to improve my presentation and targeted keywords each week. But on average just manage to pull a few hundred views a video even if I rank for a keyword or phrase that gets millions of searches a month. And I love YouTube and I love making content. It would just be a bit more motivating if I could somehow get my videos to start reaching a wider audience.
Sorry for the long winded explanation but I wanted to give a good scope of info. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
INB4 everyone starts white knighting for the Wubs: I’ve been a subscriber of his on YouTube since his ASMR video came across my feed on Reddit and have been subbed on and off on Twitch for almost as long. I love the guy. He’s given me thousands of hours of entertainment. And have thus far never disagreed with him. HOWEVER, I think he had a really bad hot take when it comes to the infamous Corpse Husband.
Ik, Ik: “I’m a simp.” I understand there will be trolls in the comments -I expect nothing less of this community. And to a certain degree, that may be true. I am also a big fan of Corpse. I’ve been subscribed to him since 2016 when all he had on his channel were horror stories and maybe a few hundred thousand subscribers. I’ve been listening to his shit to fall asleep for years and he’s always been one of my favorite horror story YouTubers.
What I don’t get is all the hate. I get that Wubby wouldn’t like his music. Like all music, it isn’t for everyone. Wubby has already made it very clear that he doesn’t care for the genre of music that Corpse makes by voicing that opinion whenever anyone donates a song from a similar genre. AND THAT’S OKAY. Wubby is (no shit) entitled to give his opinion on his own stream. But he also doesn’t understand the context behind Corpse and his music. He admits himself that he’s never watched any of his content other than the music he saw on Tic Tok. So then why is he even giving an opinion on it? I get that it’s a “hot take,” and, by definition, is like a first impression of Corpse. But this deviates from Wubby’s usual takes where he does extensive research into the person he’s talking about. I realize that this was on stream and not made into a whole ass video. But if you’re going to put hours of research into the Pokémon unboxing you talked about in the same stream, can you not do 5 seconds of research into a very prevalent up-and-coming YouTuber that he CLEARLY wanted to bring up before stream?
Corpse is known for being a bit of a weeb and the traditional “goth”. So, no shit that’s going to bleed into his lyrics. And he’s cited some of the bands/artists that he loves and that’s why he emulates them through his music. Again, I get that the genre isn’t for everyone. I find country cringe, but I’m not gonna shit on some small YouTuber who makes country music for 30 minutes on stream.
And to my fellow Wub Cubs who are going to say “WeLl, He jUsT SAiD hE dIdN’T LikE thE MuSIc!” he also did more research into whether the man’s voice was fake then he did into knowing anything about him before bringing him up. The dude started his YouTube channel 5 years ago when he was around 18 years old. Idk about ya’ll, but I’m 25 and just started being able to grow a wispy ass beard. Puberty hits people different. I’m not gonna say the guy has GERD –I've never heard him address it. All I’m saying is you can see the progression of his voice over the years. This is either due to puberty shit or even just the quality of his mics which have gotten a lot better as he got bigger. No duh, his voice is going to sound different in his music videos. And honestly, who actually cares if it’s a fake voice he puts on or not? It’s to entice people and the gimmick has clearly worked. I just find it funny that a chubby ginger who cosplays an asshole in a green suit is calling out another content creator for their shtick.
I ain’t even mad that Wubby doesn’t like or enjoy his content. That’s not what this is about. It’s about the fact that Wubby didn’t know what he was talking about at all and still went on a tirade on stream about it. Which is just not a good look.
TLDR: Fanboy defends 13-year-old sex idol Corpse as Wubby yes-men tear him apart in the comments.
Hi all, I do reviews on my YouTube channel LC Gatsu and would love to have more focus on some LitRPGs! I have previously reviewed Halfwit Halfling: A Bard's Tale and really enjoyed it. Let me know what I should read and review!
I’ve always loved music and became really passionate about making music since 2016, I occasionally write but I want to learn how to produce music, I’ve watched countless YouTube videos and tried apps like GarageBand and others but I still can’t get the hang of it, anybody have any tips on where I could start
So over the last few years streaming has become very popular to the point I would say it rivals if not exceeds the YouTube years between MW2-MW3. (Can’t remember the exact years) But with the rise of streaming and twitch why does everyone feel the need to stream? I know many people who are just average gamers, COD and other games, and they steam daily. With little if any views. I just don’t understand the draw for casual players to stream. I just find the concept of streaming strange. Why would I watch someone play a game that I have when I could just play it myself? I would love peoples input of streaming, maybe I am missing something.
So I have an ALEXA and I love her. I have rain sounds always going basically and it helps me sleep. I can’t really hear it, it more sounds like static super low but it’s still quite calming.
I am wondering if anyone else does this. I also sometimes put on YouTube videos and have the voices in the background.
What sounds are the best for sleeping if you do it? I am always on the hunt for something to keep me sleeping!
I fell in love with the series as a kid and I found a New Century playlist on YouTube but is there a solid place where I can watch the rest?
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
My name is [REDACTED]
, but you know me as Rory. And that's how I'll stay through these accounts.
I've worried for a long time that I'm losing my mind, and now I'm terrified that I'm losing my body too. My lungs feel starved of oxygen, and yet I can breathe. My breaths feel mechanical, like something is embedded deep inside my chest, breathing for me. There is blood all over the fucking screen, and yet somehow, I'm still here. I'm still typing to you even if I feel like I'm falling apart.
I'm sitting in a small bathroom stall.
The walls are covered in my own gory handprints, like a scene from a horror movie.
I know they're after me. They know I got away. They know I'm not with the others, and they're coming for me. So, I'm going to do what I promised [REDACTED], even when she wasn't there when I made that oath. I am going to keep updating you for as long as I can.
I'm not going to let her down.
My castmates deserve that.
Because they're not Noah Keaton, Robin Harley, Lana Faraday, and Isabelle Bright.
Those names are works of fiction. These names are ones you know. [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]
It's who I know them as.
Who they have always been to me.
Attached to their names are memories I'm being forced to forget; I can almost feel them fading, disappearing down the drain in my mind. I will hold onto them for as long as I can.
You know us. At least some of you do. You have seen our faces on social media. You know our TV show. You know the controversy surrounding it. Telling you who we are is so easy, and I understand how frustrated [REDACTED]
must have been. Our identities are the only hurdle. If our names weren't blanked out, we would have been saved by now, and I wouldn't be here. Wondering if there's still a chance I can save them. And then remembering what I've seen.
What led me here.
I'm not doing too good right now, so this update will be a mess. I'll start from the last time I wrote to you, and I'll try and tell you everything as clearly as I can.
That night, I refused to sleep in the bed provided. When I pulled back the blankets, there were wrist and ankle straps hanging from the sides. I grabbed a pillow and blanket, curling up on the floor. It wasn't comfortable. I didn't sleep because Robin's phone kept vibrating with replies to my post.
I didn't believe what you wrote about Noah. I was in denial. Hell, I was in denial about a lot of things. After replying to your comments, I realized they weren't appearing, and I automatically suspected James.
So, I switched off the phone, and shoved it back in my pocket. I thought about a lot of things that night. Mainly Robin and Noah. They were downstairs, probably filled with a cocktail of mind-numbing drugs. Part of me wanted to try and break out of the room and find them. But the rest of me just wanted to sleep. I was exhausted, and so much had happened in such a small amount of time. The fan was still on my mind. Sabrina, she had told me in the comments. I couldn't stop thinking about her note. If she was legit.
Could a fan really save us? Was a particularly hysterical thought.
God knows how long I lay there freezing my ass off. Before I knew it, the darkness was replaced with the dim morning light of a late fall morning, and James was standing over me with his signature smirk. I wondered how much trouble I'd get in for kicking him in the balls, but then I realised it wouldn't even matter. Soon enough, I would be mindless and thoughtless like the others. Again. It was a mystery why it had not worked the first time, but I was almost positive my body wasn't going to reject it a second time.
"Good morning." He leaned forward with his arms behind his back, as if he were hiding something. James' gaze flicked to the bed, and then me. "I'm sorry, was the bed not comfortable?"
I wasn't in the mood for pleasantries. Scowling, I tried to get up, but James shoved me back down, placing the sole of his shoe firmly on my chest. When I struggled, he pressed down harder. My chest tightened and I gave up, letting my head hit the rough carpet
James was triumphant. He loomed over me, grinning from ear to ear. He reminded me of one of those cartoon villains. "Oh, don't bother getting up, Rory," he bent down and ruffled my hair with a little laugh. "Doctor Sykes was about to administer a relaxant."
His words sent ice slithering down my spine, but I kept my expression passive. "Noah and Robin," I said, trying not to look the bastard in the eye. "Where are they?"
The door flung open, and I only glimpsed plimsols at the corner of my vision, before the crackhead doctor, or "Doctor Sykes" was kneeling next to me. In one hand was a needle, and the other, a glass of water. "Sit up, boy." he commanded, and I did without protest. I don't know why my body responds to them so easily. I can't stop it, it's like I'm on autopilot. Sitting up, I wrapped my arms around myself, glaring the doctor down.
He offered me a wide smile. "Now Rory, what we're going to do this morning, is try a reinsertion." with a cheerful bop of his head, he nodded to the glass of water.
"Drink this first. Your body needs to be hydrated."
I shook my head, swallowing bile. "Where are Noah and Robin?" I demanded. When Sykes tried to hand me the glass of water I shuffled back, wrapping my arms around my legs.
"He's a child." James muttered after a moment. "If Rory doesn't want to drink the water, don't give him it," his voice was hard. "If you really want to hydrate the body, Sykes, do it when he's under. It's not fucking rocket science."
I curled my lip in disgust and he chuckled.
"I preferred it when you were submissive," James said. "Or when you at least pretended to be under the effects of the pill." cocking his head to the side, he frowned at me like I was a child acting out. "Right now, you're acting like a pathetic little kid."
"Marley-" Sykes started to say, but James shook his head with a sigh, before snatching the needle off the doctor and lowering himself in front of me.
Being so close to him sent my heart racing, and I panicked, struggling to get away. His hand whipped out, bony fingers fisting a handful of my hair and tugging violently, so I was looking him in the eye. “I’m not a monster, Rory," he murmured, giving another tug. This time I did cry out, my own hands battering at his grip. "But if you do not give me your arm, I will take you to see Noah and Robin, and believe me they are not a pretty sight right now. They're unfinished, so I'm afraid seeing them would probably break what little soul you have left." his smile broadened, eyes glittering with unkempt lunacy.
"Are we clear, hmm? Or do you want me to spell it out for you and waste more time?"
"Unfinished?" I managed to choke out. His words sent my thoughts into a tailspin. I barely felt the pain of his hand clawing at my scalp. "What...what do you mean by that?"
James tightened his grip, ragging me like a doll. "I said, are we clear?"
With the gutter of my throat I gasped out, "We're clear."
"Good." He let go with a final tug, and I reluctantly held out a trembling arm. I felt the familiar pinch of the needle slipping into my skin, and the world around me went blurry. I was expecting it though. When my other arm fell limp, I didn't panic. When my vision turned cloudy, I blinked slowly, letting it happen. I don't remember hitting the floor, or James lifting me into his arms. I swayed for a while, and in my head, I wasn't thinking about reality. I wasn't thinking about what had happened to Noah and Robin, and what "unfinished" meant. No. Instead, I was thinking about the safari I had gone on as a kid. I remember sitting on an elephant’s back, under a blazing blue sky.
My mum and dad were on the elephant in front of me. My eyes had been pinpointed on the elephant’s tail swinging back and forth. In the muddle of my mind, I was on its back.
Watching its tail swing back and forth.
Back and forth.
My eyes started stinging. When I sniffled, James made a remark, but his voice was faded. It was like water trickling through cupped hands, seeping away before I could register it. All I could do was sway, my flickering vision taking in parched white corridors and silver staircases.
I counted James' footsteps as I swung, but the numbers were tangling in my brain. I couldn't make sense of them. He took several sharp turns before carrying me through a set of automatic double doors. When I felt the cool graze of breeze on my flushed cheeks, I allowed myself a sharp breath of relief. It wasn't much, but it felt so good to be outside. The crunch of tarmac under James' feet kept me anchored to reality.
Confused, I moved my head, struggling to figure out where we were going. We were outside, I kept thinking. Freedom. But when I twisted my head around, I was seeing high chain-link fences and a blur of black standing in a line.
Guards. My head spun and I struggled to swallow vomit climbing up my throat. All of this was for the five of us?
In front of me was a glass building around five stories high. More automatic doors. The smell of bleach hit me automatically, and then James was treading on fancy marble flooring. Something cool blasted me in the face. Air con. The lights were too bright.
More swaying. More identical looking corridors that seemingly went on forever.
I held my breath, unable to stop myself tremoring in his arms. When I was shoved onto something cold, I already knew what it was. The back of my head hit scratchy leather, and I bit back a cry. A leather strap was fastened over my torso, and then one across my forehead, forcing my neck against the padding. Above me were two circles of white light and to my left side was a table lain out with silver instruments. My body jolted slightly, but the drugs held me captive.
When I opened my mouth to cry out, I only managed a whimper.
"The others," James said casually, when he was checking my wrists and ankles were secure under the restraints. The writer shot me a bright smile when my eyes flashed to him. He winked. "They're coming along quite nicely as prototypes! I can't wait for their final models."
Unable to speak, I could only stare at him. The words, "What are you talking about?!" were on my lips, but I couldn't speak. My tongue felt like it was swelling up.
"What?" James chuckled. "No response? Would you like me to tell you what I've done to them?" He leaned close, his breath reeking of garlic. "All you have to do is talk to me, Rory. Go on! Say something. Why don't you use that venomous mouth on me, hmm?"
I couldn't. And he knew that.
With a knowing smirk, James held his finger to his lips before straightening up. "Wait your turn, Mr Gallagher. It won't be long before you'll be joining them."
Doctor Sykes hurried in, stationing himself next to James. Tufts of his grey hair poked from a light blue surgical cap. He got to work preparing an IV, sticking it in my wrist. “His brain needs to settle, so I'm going to give him a steady drip of anaesthetic. I can monitor him before I attempt the reinsertion."
James nodded. "I trust you can complete the procedure without my help?" his gaze flicked to me, his lips quirking into a vindictive smile. "I'm needed elsewhere."
"Go." Sykes gestured to the door. "I can assure you when you're back, the boy's body will be ready to enter the remodelling stage."
"He better be." James shot me one last smile.
"If not, we'll have no choice but to introduce more pressing measures."
The writer left, his words sending my already cloudy head spinning.
I was left with the crackhead doctor, who buzzed around me like an out of control pinball machine. He pulled out a surgical mask and put in on, his grey eyes shining.
"Oh, don't be so glum!" he smiled brightly, before pressing a mask over my mouth and nose. When I panicked, the doctor chuckled and leaned over me, his eyes sparkling. I expected both he and James were taking the same loony pills. "There is no reason to be scared, young man. It's a little like going to sleep, okay? Think of it as a long nap."
Yeah, that I would never wake from.
The drugs were wearing off. I opened my mouth, my throat dry. "What did..." I struggled to speak through the mask, my voice muffling. "What did you do to the others?"
Sykes pulled back his mask for a moment and shot me a "wouldn't you like to know" grin, before snapping it back in place. The doctor grabbed a big white machine I'd been eyeing warily, with both hands and pushed it into position above my right eye. I couldn't breathe. The contraption was all silver, all blades. I could only blink back at it, swallowing the screech building in my throat. Then, with his smile obvious in the pinch of his mask and the twinkle in his eyes, Sykes ruffled my hair like I was a dog. "That's right." he gave me a patronising pat. "Just let go, son."
"Doctor Sykes." A mechanical voice I didn't know dancing on static, sounded out. I flailed manically, struggling to sit up. "What percentage is the emptying?"
The doctor pulled off his mask. "Not yet commenced," he replied. "He's fighting, sir." He let out a dramatic sigh. "You were right about Gallagher. He's not like the others."
"I see." a pause. "What about the reinsertion?"
"I'm letting his brain settle first. Though I'm setting up the reinsertion now. Mr Marley is impatient."
"Is Mr Gallagher restrained?"
Sykes scoffed. "Of course. He is conscious and disoriented. The emptying process will be slow, since right now, he appears to be stronger than the Neurological Barrier."
"Good. I need to see you regarding an urgent matter. You are not contracted to leave your post normally, but this is important."
"I... uh..." Sykes jumped into action, nodding. He shut off the machine before stumbling over to me. I felt his fingers prodding at my wrist, making sure the needle was secure.
"I'll be right there."
When he was gone, I managed to sit up, a fresh wave of panic setting my heart on fire.
I needed to get out.
That's all I could think. I needed to find Robin and Noah.
With growing frustration, I tugged violently at my restraints, a cry ripping from my throat. Except with every pull, every shriek choking my lungs, I felt more helpless. I wrenched at the leather straps pinning me down. Then, when something loosened around my left wrist, I tried again, straining under the ties. With them less constrict, I managed to slip one wrist free.
I squeezed my lips together, muffling a shout of victory. With my free hand I wrenched the other from the restraints and tried to sit up but was immediately yanked back down by the velcro straps pinned across my torso and forehead. Panting into harsh plastic, I yanked off the oxygen mask and sucked in precious gasps of air. Then I pulled out the IV, ignoring the stinging pain when I ripped out the needle. Blood ran down my arm, an intense scarlet stream, but I didn’t care.
My shaking hands worked quickly, undoing the restraints around my ankles and torso, before I threw my legs off the chair, tumbling to the floor. My legs were weak, but I forced myself to stay on my feet, a fresh dose of adrenaline keeping me going. I could barely stand, but forcing one foot in front of the other, I found the door and yanked it open, peering into an expanse of white.
My eyes were still foggy, blurry from the drugs. I blinked rapidly, trying to grab my bearings; a long winding corridor where the doors seemed to blend into the walls stood out in front of me.
Quickening my stride, I found myself breaking into a stumbled run, James' cutting words playing like a stuck record in the back of my mind.
"Robin and Noah are in quite a state right now. They're unfinished."
What did that mean? My thoughts whirred, struggling to articulate an answer.
There was a set of doors at the end of the corridor. I entered without thinking.
The place I found myself in had a sterile smell to it that tingled in my nose. It was built like a mad scientist’s laboratory, a warehouse like room, the ceiling stretching for far beyond my line of sight. Motion sensor lights flickered on one by one, and I started forwards, automatically looking for my castmates. But the place was dead. There was a chill in the air sending shivers crawling up my spine.
Everything seemed to be lit up in smouldering golden light. Every surface was glass and metal, test tubes and beakers glistening on steel surfaces. There were screens dotting the perimeter displaying readings I couldn't make sense of. It reminded me of that cartoon I used to watch. The one about the little kid with his own laboratory. Everything inside me told me to leave. But something glued my feet to the floor. I couldn’t stop, mystified by each surface and machine. I walked past them, hesitantly, whipping my head back and forth, searching for pursuers. Beyond the strange looking computers, there were hundreds of metal shelves stacked with what looked like large jars.
I found myself heading down the first of multiple aisles. When my vision cleared, I blinked, squinting at what was displayed. Each jar glistened in the light, projecting my reflection staring back.
And then I realised what I was staring at.
My chest heaved. Something inside me snapped, and I twisted around gagging, bringing up nothing but bile. I was on my knees, choking, a phantom cry ripping from my lips. But I couldn’t cry out. My body had stiffened, my mind going into fight or flight. Except I couldn’t move. All I could do was stare at what was neatly packed in rows, almost like a library. Like some sick fuck had sorted them alphabetically. On each shelf, displayed in glass jars were thousands of human brains. They hovered in clear liquid tinged red; light pink horrors staring back at me. Each jar was labelled with a name, but I couldn’t look at them. I couldn’t do it. Stumbling away from them, I crashed into another shelf.
That time, it was easier to stop myself gagging. But bile still slithered up my throat. In front of me, instead of human brains, were eyes. Human eyes trapped in small, sealed jars.
My vision went blurry. My head spun. It almost felt like I was dancing, twirling around frantically, trying to find the exit.
The next thing I saw were metal beds. But they weren’t empty.
On them were husks of bodies where their insides had been scooped out. Some of them were headless, limbless. Some were just heads sitting on bloodstained metal.
I don’t know how I found the exit. I don’t even know if it was the exit.
All I remember is stumbling out of the room, struggling to breathe, trying to keep my gut from projecting from my mouth. This time, I was in what looked like a conference room. There was a long metal table surrounded by chairs in front of a whiteboard covered in scrawled notes in marker pen.
Voices hit my ears, and I panicked, diving under the table.
“These are the other two prototypes?”
I recognised that voice. It was the man from the presentation.
I pressed my hand over my mouth.
He sounded triumphant. He was talking about Noah and Robin, I realised. The overwhelming urge to risk a glance came over me, but I forced myself to stay put.
“And they’re empty?” The man sounded impatient. “They better, James. I’m growing tired of your promises.”
“See for yourself, Mr Dalton.” James murmured. “Go on. Talk to them.”
Dalton huffed. There was a pause before, “Young man, what is your name?”
Noah’s voice sent my heart into my throat. He sounded like my best friend, but there was something… wrong. Something robotic. Something inhuman. I had to bite back a hiss.
Dalton hummed. “Alright, and how old are you, Will?”
Noah didn’t hesitate. “I’m sixteen years old.”
Dalton let out a startled laugh. “Fascinating!” He hissed. “This is Noah Keaton? Didn’t he have you by the balls just a few months ago? I was told the little brat found out your little project,” he chuckled. “He’s just like the others!” his tone was full of glee. “And you, sweetie! What is your name?”
“Katie Parker!” Robin’s voice was sickly sweet. Nothing like her actual one. It was laced with enough sugar to make me gag.
“Wow. They’re certainly something!” Dalton chuckled. “Are they ready for the presentation? What about Gallagher?”
James cleared his throat. He clearly hadn’t been expecting the man to bring up my absence. Even if I was the main character. “Ahh, of course. We have a slight problem with Gallagher. His brain- “
Dalton snorted. His voice grew cold. “Five prototypes are what I was promised, so I expect five prototypes. Has Gallagher been emptied?”
“He was. But before we could reach stage four, his mind was able to fight off the programming.”
“Mr Marley, I’ve invited a lot of important people. And they’re not going to be happy if Rory Gallagher is not on that stage. So, whatever you can do, make it happen. I want him emptied. Do you understand me?”
There was a pause, before James coughed lightly. “Yes, of course Mr Dalton.”
“Have the hosts been sanctified of disease? The bodies must stay in perfect condition.”
Sanctified? What the hell did that mean?
“Yes, I’ve been feeding them a cleanse through an IV. They’re pristine.”
“And their diet?”
“They’re given the nutrients they need through a single vitamin.”
“Huh.” Dalton made a noise of approval. “I like them. And remember, I want Gallagher for the presentation this afternoon. He is Mac after all. We can’t have [REDACTED]
James laughed. But I could tell he was nervous. “Yes, Gallagher is being emptied as we speak, and then we will attempt the reinsertion. Now, allow me to get you a drink! The other two prototypes are back at the studio- “
When the sound of footsteps faded, and I was sure I was alone, I jumped up to be faced with Noah and Robin. But not how I remembered them. They stood in front of the whiteboard, unblinking.
Noah’s skin glistened, unnatural, glowing. Robin’s lips were plump. Perfect. They were dolls. The two of them were dressed in white; Noah wore a sleeveless shirt and pants, and Robin a pristine dress. All the hair had been removed from their skin. Every flaw was gone. Robin’s freckles. The mole Noah always complained about, the one above his left brow. Their hair looked unnaturally coloured, an erratic mix of raven and blonde which dragged the breath from my lungs.
I grabbed hold of Noah, my eyes stinging. I wasn’t going to fucking cry, but tears were already trickling down my cheeks. “We’re going.” I gasped out, squeezing his shoulders.
When he didn’t even blink, when his eyes didn’t move, and I don’t even think he breathed, I lost it.
The first punch hit him in the stomach. But he still didn’t move. It was like his body was suspended, a puppet on strings I couldn’t fucking see. “Hey!” I was screaming then, uncaring that I was going to attract attention. I shook him violently, until my hands slipped away, and I let out a sharp cry.
You were right. That’s when it hit me. You said Noah was dead. You said he was gone, and I didn’t believe you.
But looking at him then, looking at his empty eyes dyed a whole other shade of blue that wasn’t his natural shade. That permanent fucking smirk. I knew it wasn’t him.
I didn’t bother with Robin. If I did, I would have broken apart. I grabbed her hand, and just feeling how cold she was, and looking at her plastic grin, I let go of her like she was contagious.
There was a mug of coffee on the table, and I grabbed it, hurling it at the wall.
I saw red. Everything in my line of vision was streaking red, and I couldn’t see from the tears blurring my eyes. My chest was heaving. I remember finding something sharp. I don’t know what It was, but it sliced through my hand. I didn’t care. I didn’t give a fuck. I was inches from Noah’s face, and in my clenched fist was a blade. Pressing pressure below his eye, my shaking hand struggled to find the right trajectory to cut. Get it out. That’s all I could think. I had to get that thing out of Noah.
His voice startled me, and I twisted around, baring my teeth like an animal.
James was standing in the doorway looking unimpressed. “I wouldn’t do that if I was you.” He started forwards. “If you take out the program, there will be nothing but an empty shell.”
The writer pulled a face. “Which I know you don’t want to see.” He cocked his head, his expression feigning sympathy. “Your castmates are gone, Rory. Even if I were to attempt a reversal procedure, their bodies have been turned into armour for the program. A normal human consciousness would go mad if it were to be put back. Therefore, I was wary of showing you their final models.”
I started laughing. Hysterical bubbles of laughter climbed up my throat, and I choked on it. “You’re lying.” I spat, waving the blade when he tried to start towards me. “Don’t come any closer!” I cried out, holding the blade to my own face. “How about I slice open myself up, huh?”
I was breathless. “Then…then you won’t need me, right?”
James shook his head. “Rory don’t be ridiculous. Of course we have the technology to fix up your face if you were to have an accident.”
I didn’t drop the blade. “You’re lying.” I repeated through gritted teeth. “You’re lying to me!”
“Am I not?” James cleared his throat. “Rory, like I said, we are using technology which is the stuff of sci-fi. But if I must explain, there are three implants; the first one is of course the program. Then, when the character is fully inserted, we installed two more. This time at the base of the neck. The second one turns off basic human requirements, and the third acts as a shield. So, nothing can happen to them.” He spread out his arms. “Hand me the blade and I’ll be pleased to demonstrate.”
I shook my head. “Fuck you.” I gritted out, gesturing behind me. “What you did.... in there...”
His expression didn’t change. “In there is the work of an organisation, not just me. You have to understand, to make this project possible, it meant we would have to make sacrifices.”
The names I’d suppressed, the ones labelling the jars, ones I knew. [REDACTED]
I thought he was in Australia.
When in reality, he’d been cut up. His body preserved for the next experiment.
Something warm slipped from my nose, but I barely noticed it.
“Rory.” James tutted. “Young man, you’re bleeding. We should get you back to Doctor Sykes.”
I stumbled back. Something told me to grab Robin’s hand. But I couldn’t bring myself to. “No.” I said, slurring slightly. Blood continued to run from my nose and my vision went funny, but I stood my ground.
“Fine.” James rolled his eyes, before pulling something out of his own pocket.
A flash-drive. It was like a kick in the gut. The one Robin had buried. The one containing Noah.
He dangled it between two fingers, like he was teasing a little kid. “Robin is smart, I’ll give her that. Now, you’re going to follow me to the lab, where you will undergo stage four, or I will crush Noah Keaton’s mind beneath my shoe. I despise the boy, but he is intelligent. His consciousness may come in handy. With some minor adjustments, I could sell him to HBO. Of course, if a body is available. But if you do not give yourself in, I will permanently get rid of him. And I mean permanently.”
James dropped the flash drive onto the floor. It hit the marble with a crack, and I struggled to cry out, blood still staining my hands. The flow was heavy, and I started to feel dizzy.
I was going to faint.
“Tick tock, Mr Gallagher.”
I don’t remember surrendering. All I can recall is the bastard opening his arms and pulling me into a hug. I fell against him, my body giving up on me. I blacked out for a while and slipped into consciousness before I was back under the two circles of light. I was restrained to metal this time.
Nothing comforting blanketed my head, only cold steel.
Something was pressed against my mouth and nose, muffling my panicked gasps.
“Take everything, and do an insertion,” James’s voice sounded like it was underwater. I felt something scratchy against my right eye. The nib of a marker pen drawing an X.
“I don’t want one morsel of his mind left. And when you’re done, don’t even bother with uploading like the others. Just trash it. We’ll wait until after the presentation to finalise the body. Get on with it before he haemorrhages again.”
“No.” I managed to moan under the mask.
James’ expression was illuminated under the light. He pulled back my mask with a sneer, leaning forward. “Yes.” He chuckled, before snapping it back in place. I winced when I saw the front of the mask sticky scarlet with my blood.
James carded his fingers through my hair. “Think about it like this; you were never good for anything really, were you? Young Hollywood stars like yourselves don’t understand how good you have it. Just like the others. Noah was a narcissistic brat who asked far too many questions. Lana and Isabelle were more interested in building an influencing career, and Robin- dear Robin. She was a little troublemaker. A thorn in my side. "
Playing with strands of my hair, James sighed. "You will all be serving a purpose, let it be known. You will shine on [REDACTED
] And I will be eternally grateful for your service.”
I stared at him through flitting eyelids. “You’re a fucking psycho.”
“Do it.” James spat at the doctor.
I started to struggle, pulling at the wrist and ankle straps.
“No. No, you’re not- “
I choked on the rest.
“Too late now, Mr Gallagher.” James was laughing. He was laughing, and I wanted to wrap my hands around his throat until his eyes bulged, until the bastard begged for his own breath.
“Now, be a good boy, and sleep.”
Something was inserted into my arm, and I drifted into the dark.
They must have been fucking with my brain because my thoughts drifted back to The Before. When I was nothing but an actor trying to make it in LA, a C list celebrity recognised because of my character. The memories were vivid, warm air licking at my bare arms. I was heading down Hollywood Boulevard, my steps erratic. I think I was subconsciously playing don’t step on the cracks.
Something was warm, nursing my hands. Coffee.
Then a voice. My own. It shattered the memory, breaking into my skull.
“My apartment later?”
I already knew what came next. There was someone next to me, a shadow bleeding into the sidewalk, that head of raven curls I loved sticking from a baseball cap.
Noah turned to me with his usual smirk. “Yeah, sure. I just need to talk to Derek for a bit.”
I laughed. Loudly. Some girl I passed shot me an odd look. “You’re never confused when you get your script. Mate, you get the normal lines.”
Noah shoved me, and I almost stumbled over. “And I’m not allowed to check?”
Scoffing, I took a sip of coffee, my lips twisting into a grin. “Teachers pet.” “Asshole
.” Noah laughed, nudging me “Hey, have you seen Avery lately?” “Not since a few days ago. Why?”
Noah took a sip of coffee. “I have a bad feeling.”
I groaned. “Because of Avery? Dude, he probably hooked up with some guy and forgot to charge his phone.” “Still though.”
Noah murmured. He raised his brows. “It’s always safe to check, right?”
The memory fell away quickly, and I was left to grab onto the name, this time it was reachable. Avery. A guy around Noah’s age with brown curly hair and a nervous smile popped into my head.
How the fuck did I forget him?
Before I could register that thought, voices slipped into my thought process.
“Sir, it’s not working. Whatever I do- “
I wanted to hold onto the voice and push myself out of the fog, but before I could, another memory enveloped me. This time I was sitting on the side of Lana’s swimming pool, my feet dipping in cool water. The stink of chlorine tingled in my nose, but I didn’t care. My head was spinning, and the sky looked strange. So many… stars. There was a pop song blasting, and I was swaying to it.
Lana’s voice made me jump, and I almost toppled into glowing blue water, lit up by fancy pool lights. The girl broke the surface laughing, splashing me with water. But I was too drunk to care.
I only sent her the finger, and she rolled her eyes, diving back under. “Alright, so now we’re all back, I want you all to promise me something.”
Someone nudged me, and I turned to find Noah sitting next to me; clearly drunk or maybe high, I couldn’t tell. He was holding a beer. Izzie was perched on his lap, practically straddling him, while Robin sat to my left, legs crossed. She was balancing a Margarita on her lap, a lazy smile on her face.
“What’s that?” Robin lay her head on my shoulder, strands of her hair tickling my neck.
Noah cleared his throat loudly. “Don’t trust the writers.”
“Huh?” Lana swam to the edge of the pool, resting her golden arms on the side.
Noah’s voice was suddenly serious, and I was briefly brought back to sobriety. Peering at him through foggy vision, I raised a brow. It took me a moment to realize he wasn’t kidding.
Noah leaned forward, his eyes darkening. He was no longer smiling.
“Trust me. I’m onto Derek. He knows something about Avery. It’s bullshit he left the show as soon as his character died,” He threw his beer in the pool. “They’re hiding something.” Turning to me, Noah looked directly at me. “They’re drugging us.”
“Here he goes with his conspiracy theories.” Izzie scoffed. “We believe you, babe.”
My castmate rolled his eyes, playfully jerking his knee so the girl nearly tumbled off his lap. She squeaked, wrapping her arms around him. “Isabelle. Shush.” He smirked. “Listen to me. I have gaps in my memory, and I bet you guys do too. They’re drugging us. They’ve been doing it for a while.”
“And how do you know this?” My own voice. This time I sounded serious.
Noah turned to me.
“Just trust me, okay? I’m going to figure out what’s going on.”
The fog lifted. When it did, I found myself standing once again. In front of me were silk curtains, and I panicked, looking down at myself. I was dressed up again, this time in a black short sleeved tee and jeans. But something was… wrong. I felt weird and light. Next to me were the others, dressed in a variety of smart formal dress. Perfect hair. Perfect skin. It didn’t take me long to realise I was back behind curtains, ready for the final presentation. I could hear chatter from behind the curtain.
The audience. The ones who were going to see us. See my castmates who might as well have been corpses.
With panic twisting my gut, I stumbled out of formation. The back of my neck was stinging.
When I passed Robin, something caught my eye; printed below her elbow were the words: PRTY OF REDACTED.
I looked away, swallowing a shriek.
I had to get the fuck out of there.
Managing to get backstage, I glimpsed signs for the REDACTED
hotel. But it’s weird. My eyes were clearer than normal. I could perfectly see the letters for the hotel written in cursive font.
Starting towards some fancy doors which looked like they headed to the hotel reception and away from the conference theatre, I stopped dead when two men in suits crossed the room. I must have been at least several feet away from them, but I heard them perfectly.
“- Gallagher is broken.” The first man said with a sad shake of his head. “There’s nothing we can do. We’re putting him on stage, but as far as we’re concerned, he is a failure. His brain will not submit to the program. The presentation had to be moved to today because of Gallagher. We had to stop the remodelling halfway through. His brain won’t take it.”
The other man hummed.
“And what is Marley going to do?”
“Gallagher is worth millions. James is in talks with a Japanese doctor. But it requires removing the boy manually.”
“There is talk of a procedure called a prefrontal leukotomy.”
“Slice and dice, eh? Marley’s really going that far?”
“Looks like it.”
That was all I needed to hear.
I was off like a shot, and my body felt like it was flying. I was running, but it didn’t feel like it. Keeping my head down, I struggled to find an exit. But all I found were fancy glittering staircases.
The hotel’s name haunted me as I passed each sign, throwing myself past guests that I knew were there to see me. I didn’t realize I was crying, until I ran into an old woman.
“Young man!” Peering at me through beady eyes, she cocked her head. “Are you okay?”
Unable to stop myself, I spluttered out, “No” and a combination of word-vomit and real vomit was coming out of my mouth. I was halfway through telling her about brains in jars when a pair of hands grabbed me from behind and twisted me around. I flailed, knowing it was James, knowing I was going to get taken away again. Except the man was way younger than James.
He looked to be in his mid-thirties with dark hair peeking from a beanie. His expression was twisted, his eyes wide. “Rory.” His grip tightened on my shoulders, and I shook my head.
He searched my expression. “Rory. You’re Rory Gallagher.”
I only meant to push past him. But when I lunged forwards, the man was catapulted across the room, like some unseen force had thrown him back.
Someone cried out, but I was already staggering away.
I found the boy’s bathrooms, and then I started bleeding.
I still am bleeding. I can’t fucking stop.
Something is wrong with me. Something is really fucking wrong with me.
I feel like I’m not in control of my own body.
I need your help. Fuck. I need to know what that asshole is planning on doing to me next, because I’ve no idea what those men were talking about.
Who was that man? Why did he look like he knew me? Not just from TV, but something else.
What is wrong with me? What did they do to me? Why am I here, thinking, with my own thoughts, my own free-will, and my friends are empty puppets on strings? Why am I not like them?
I don’t think I can save my castmates, and it hurts. It really fucking hurts.
I know it sounds wrong, but I would have preferred them to die.
I would have preferred to die with them.
I’m scared I’m becoming like them.
Whatever the fuck they are.
Why am I broken? Why did I reject the program again?
I need to expose these bastards once and for all.
Noah taught me Morse code, and I know some of it.
I’m going to try and tell you at least what City I am in. If it gets blanked out, I’m fucked. Dot, dot, dot, dash Dot, dash Dash, dot Dash, dot, dash, dot Dash, dash, dash Dot, dot, dash Dot, dot, dash Dot Dot, dash, dot
(after I post this, I’m planning to make a run for it. Please, if anyone is reading this knows what I should do with the others, tell me. Because I’m torn. I can’t leave them, but it’s killing me to even look at them). If where I am is not blanked out, please find us.
I’ll update as soon as I can.
I need some name recommendations (idk if I’m allowed to do that? Lol) and I also just want to share what I’m going through and see if anyone can either relate or help me out. I’m not very good at explaining things; so I hope this is okay. Lol I am a very feminine looking person figure wise. I have a pear shaped body; yet my face looks very boyish. Even with makeup.
So, I’ve always felt very insecure about my appearance; so I always wear oversized hoodies to help and hide my figure so that my figure will match my face a bit more. I’ve also always acted like a guy and I feel more comfortable around them and people who act more boyish much like I do. I’m also bisexual (if that matters.)
I’ve thought about being trans male (is that the word? I’m still learning phrases. Lol) but I’m a very short person. I’m 5’1; so I don’t think a lot of people would be attracted to me if I was a guy. I also sometimes do like to lean more on the feminine side. I like to wear makeup and all of that jazz; but sometimes I like to be more masculine. My friend recommended that I might be both. Lol so, I guess I’ll try that. I think the first thing that I’ll do is lose weight so that when I’m feeling more masculine I can hide my curves easier and when I’m feeling more feminine I can wear more feminine things; if that makes any sense. Lol For the name recommendations; I guess I should describe my personality a bit? (This is already so long. I’m so sorry. Lmao) I’m a fairly chill person, I guess. I have a dumb sense of humor and I love wearing flannels, ripped jeans, and beanies. I have short, dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. (So, I’m kind of a sk8ter kid.) My favorite games are portal, life is strange, PUBG, Skyrim, and Read Dead Redemption. I love watching YouTube. It consumes the majority of my day. Some of my favorite YouTubers are DougDoug, Jenna Marbles, Modest Pelican, and Simply Nailogical. Lol I listen to a lot of music as well. My favorite bands are Mother Mother, Weezer, Rare Americans, and Katzenjammer.
My real name is Elizabeth; I prefer that a lot of people call me Liz, though. Yet, I’m finding that name doesn’t really fit me anymore. I like names that are very “punk” sounding or “sk8ter-ish”. I guess I’ll provide some examples of names I’ve always found appealing? Sebastian, Jasper, and Raven. (I know a person named Raven, so I can’t use that, tho. Lol) but if you have any recommendations; I’d love that. Thank you for reading this unnecessarily long post, tho. I hope you guys don’t mind and are having a wonderful day. Lol
I want to start by saying I apologize if I say anything offensive or seemingly transphobic. I’m not trying to be, sometimes I‘m not good at explaining things. I love my friend so much and she always has my support. Zoe came out a few months ago as a woman (before transitioning she identified as a bi male since high school, and before that a straight male). She started taking estradiol a couple months ago. She’s been a happier person since she’s came out but I don’t think she’s really taking transitioning as seriously as she should. Like I understand that the transitioning experience is unique and she should go at her own pace but her behaviors confuse me sometimes. She’s non-passing. She has a soft face and nice legs so with the right amount of effort I think she can leave the house looking an amazon queen! But, she complains about hating looking like a man EXCESSIVELY and how she doesn’t get attention from guys how they aren’t attracted to her. Keep in mind the guys she likes are straight guys who like feminine cis women. She gets genuinely upset over this. Would it be rude to tell her that it’s because she’s not really passing? Like, it’s bad enough that a lot of men have insane “preferences” when it comes to cis women and she’s non passing so it’s gonna be hard for her to date outside the queer community. I’m really sorry if that sounded transphobic:(
Another thing. Her mother gave her some hand me downs. A couple articles of clothing are nice but for the most part the outfits just look either basic, old, or distasteful. They don’t look too awful but it’s just not a good look. I know she wants to dress like a bad bitch but she just doesn’t have to clothes to. When she asks me to help her pick out an outfit I kind of go blank because I don’t like the clothes and there’s not a great selection. I don’t want to make her feel bad and say the clothes are ugly. And I don’t want her leaving the house looking like a hot mess. What do I do? She talks about getting piercings, tattoos, games, and other stuff but doesn’t mention anything about clothes or makeup. She only gets like a few hundred dollars a month but that’s more than enough to buy from sites like SHEIN. How do I bring up this conversation? How do I tell her she needs different clothes? Especially since she’ll be getting a designer purse for Christmas. She CAN NOT leave the house in a bad outfit and a nice bag.
Also, how do I go about the makeup situation? I have a decent amount of makeup. Most of my makeup is high quality so I don’t really want her practicing with it. She asks me to guide her but I’m not good at doing that. I have ADHD and BPD and I have a lot of trouble teaching and explaining things when it comes to anything artistic. It makes me VERY anxious and it triggers me when people get irritated when I’m not giving proper direction. It makes me not even want to be around the person and I’ll come off as bitchy and disinterestedly. I feel so fucking bad. I feel like it would be a great bonding experience but I just can’t get myself to do it. I try to tell her that her best option is YouTube. and that goes for just about anything when it comes to girly shit. Could you guys give me some preferably mtf content creators I could show her? I’d appreciate it!
Last thing. I think what would also help with her passing is if she got a cute wig with bangs. I tried bringing up her getting a wig and she got defensive. She has very thin hair and a big bald spot. She wears beanies all time. And it really doesn’t help her pass. She says she loves her hair but I honestly doubt it. Maybe she used to but I know she’s insecure about it😕 Should I talk to her about this more or no? I know it’s a sensitive topic. I just feel like there’s a lot she can be doing to help her dysphoria and I want to tell her this without seeming like a pocket watching know it all. I also
feel like Its not to my place to have these raw conversations with her because I’m not trans. I also feel like a HUGE part of this is that she’s not seeing a therapist. She wouldn’t even get one prior to transitioning. There was a point in time earlier this year where she was always having breakdowns and it got sooooooo emotionally draining. She got better after her best friend talked some sense into her but I really have no patience with some of her emotions and thinking anymore. Talking someone down twice a week and giving the same advice over and over again yet they ignore it is tiring. Also traumatic especially when they are s**c*d*l. I had to do the same fucking thing with my abusive ex. Not fun. I want the best for Zoe. I want her to be healthier and treat herself right. She is very privileged and has all the resources in the world. I want her to realize that if she wants to pass so bad she needs to put forth a bit more effort so I can work with her better. Her complaining 24/7 and making social situations awkward is not it. I want to do what I can to support her and gas her up but I don’t wanna lie to her. I want her to hold herself to a higher standard. I know she’s more than capable.
Thanks for reading all this. I appreciate any and all advice.
One more thing. I follow mtf creators on tiktok. Would it be weird if i sent their advice videos to her?
I really love the instrumentals in a lot of The Weeknds songs. It is very atmospheric and cinematic, with a heavy bass.
I don’t know anything about music production but I would like to make rap songs with similar instrumentals.
What type of instrumentals / sound is “ The Weeknd - The Hills “ ?
And how and where can I find similar instrumentals ?
I know I’m able to YouTube search “ The Weeknd type beat “ but that gives a wide array of genres and I’m more-so just interested in “ The Hills “ instrumental.
Thanks guys !