Binary options FCA

[LONG] My Story of Disillusionment with and Disappointment in the World and Myself

Intro.
This might be a long one. I hope someone reads the thing, I put like 3 hours into writing it. A brief story of my life and how it all led up to this moment, where I am disillusioned with my self-image, my life choices, and certain aspects of the world, and have no idea what to do next. Warning: this whole thing might be a little depressing to read.
Childhood.
I am a 20yo Russian male. During my childhood, I was made to believe that I am capable of doing something great and doing better than anyone. At the same time I developed a very non-conformist life stance and very often rejected things and ideas simply because they were too popular for my taste, and I couldn't feel special whilst enjoying them. Of course, in turn, society rejected me, as it does with anyone who doesn't play by the rules. Oh well.
My only redeeming quality was that I considered myself pretty smart. Which is even easier to assume, when at the same time you think that you're different from everyone else. Now, I know that to some extent, I was indeed smarter than most people in certain areas. Unlike most people I knew back then, often with bare minimum efforts I was able to maintain near perfect grades at school. I was also enjoying learning new things and reading more than an average person. So, let's just say, I had a basis to assume I was a smart dude.
I wasn't happy and content with my life, though. I never had real friends, because I only hung out with people when they were my classmates/roommates/co-workers, and after we parted ways, I rarely if ever contacted them afterwards. I always enjoyed doing things you usually do in solitude more, because when I was alone, I wouldn't be afraid that someone could hurt me for being different. Because of that, I was never in a romantic relationship.
High School.
Still, life was going okay. By the end of school, I kind of accepted my social deficiency and I wanted to focus on improving the world and become a successful person - for myself. I was facing a dilemma, though. Despite the fact that I was doing great in school, the idea of having to invest four years of my time into studying something really specific, and then having to work another 20-30 years on the same job was terrifying, because I had no idea what I liked to do! Nothing seemed interesting to me, I didn't have a passion for doing anything... Thanks to my video game addiction, which made me lazy as fuck, probably. I also needed to meet my criteria for success with my future job, which included being financially successful. I grew up in top 1% income family, so... I always felt the pressure to outperform or at least match my parents' income.
Enter trading. My dad discovered investing several years ago (we don't live in US, so most of the people aren't as financially savvy, so he never thought about investing before then). I was always curious about financial independence and markets, but now I was seeing it all done in front of me, I realized that it might be a good opportunity to make a lot of money and become successful without being socially adept, which is something absolutely required in business or politics. So, I asked my father to open a brokerage account for me in the US, and started swing trading (trading in weekly/monthly time frames). I could only trade slow and small because of the trade restrictions put on accounts <$25k and <21yo in the US. Still, it was going well, but in hindsight I was just lucky to be there during a great bull market.
Even before I thought trading and more importantly investing were the ways smart people make money. I thought simply because I was conventionally smart, I had a talent or an innate ability to pick innovative stocks and do venture investing when I grow some capital. I truly believed in that long before I was introduced to financial markets, I believed that my surface level understanding of multiple areas of cutting edge and emerging technology would give me an edge compared to all the other investors.
US Community College and Return Back.
In the end, I've decided I want to go to a US community college and study finance and become a trader and later an investor, but I didn't want to work for a fund or something like that (lazy ass). I wanted to use my knowledge and skill and my own money to grow my net worth and make a living. I didn't really like the process of trading, I just needed the money to live by while I was trying to figure out what else to do with my life. Because I thought I were smart, I thought this would come easily to me. Boy was I wrong. From the nicest of conditions in my hometown, I was suddenly moved into a foreign setting, on the other side of the planet away form my family and mates, with a video game addiction and laziness that ruined my daily routine and studying as well. The fact that I didn't like my major was not helping. My grades fell from A- in the first quarter to C+ in the last. I gained +30% from my normal weight. I was stressed out, not going outside and sitting at my computer desk for days at a time, skipping all the classes I could if they were not absolutely essential for my grades, living on prepared foods. I never got out of my shell and barely talked to anyone in English, all of my friends were Russian speaking. I wasted an opportunity to improve my speaking, although aside from that my English skills satisfy me.
By the end of community college, last summer, I was left with B grades that wouldn't let me transfer anywhere decent, and the extreme stress that I put myself through started taking a toll on my mental health. I was planning to take a break and go back to Russia for several months, and transfer back to a US uni this winter. Needless to say, you can't run from yourself. It didn't really become much better after a few months in Russia. I didn't want to study finance anymore, because it was boring and I was exhausted. I still had the video game addiction, still was lazy and gained some more extra pounds of weight. I was not sleeping at all, extremely sleep deprived for months. Because of this and lack of mental stimulation I started to become dumber. And all that was happening where I didn't really have to do anything: not study or work, just sit around the house and do whatever I wanted. Turns out, these conditions didn't help me to get out of the incoming depression.
Finally, around November, when I already sent out all of my transfer applications and already got some positive answers from several universities, I knew I didn't have much time left at home, and I had to leave soon. But I really, really didn't want to go back. It was scarier than the first time. I was afraid of new changes, I just wanted for the time to stop and letting me relax, heal... I was having suicidal thoughts and talked about it with my family and my therapist. They were all supportive and helped me as much as they could. But I was the only person who could really help myself. If I wanted to breathe freely, I had to admit defeat and not go back to the US to continue my education. It was extremely hard at first, but then I just let go. I decided to find a temporary job as an English tutor and give myself time to think. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of money in my trading account. I still thought that I was pretty smart, despite failing college, so I figured, why not try move it to Russian brokers who don't have trading restrictions, and do it full time? Which is exactly what I did. And I started to study trading all by myself at a fast pace. I was now trading full time and it was going sideways: +10% in December, -20% in January. Then, something incredible happened. I was already in a shitty place in life, but I still had some hope for my future. Things were about to get much worse. I'm in the late January, and I discovered for myself that the whole financial industry of the world was a fraud.
Brief Explanation of My Discoveries.
In the image of the financial industry, there are several levels of perceived credibility.
In the bottom tier, there is pure gambling. In my country, there were periods when binary options trading and unreliable Forex brokers were popular among common folk, but these were obvious and unsophisticated fraudsters who were one step away from being prosecuted. There are also cryptocurrencies that don't hold any value and are also used only for speculation/redistribution of wealth. There is also a wonderful gambling subreddit wallstreetbets where most users don't even try to hide the fact that what they are doing is pure gambling. I love it. But the thing is, this is trading/investing for the people who have no idea what it is, and most people discredit it as a fraud, which it, indeed, is. These examples are 99% marketing/public image and 1% finance. But these offer x10-1000 returns in the shortest time span. Typical get-rich-quick schemes, but they attract attention.
Then, there is trading tier. You can have multiple sub levels here, in the bottom of this tier we would probably have complex technical analysis (indicators) and daily trading/scalping. I was doing this in the DecembeJanuary. At the top would be people who do fundamental analysis (study financial reports) and position trade (monthly time frames). Now, there is constant debate in the trading community whether technical analysis or fundamental analysis is better. I have a solid answer to the question. They work in the same way. Or rather, they don't work at all.
You'd ask: "Why you didn't discover this earlier? You were in this financial thing for several years now!" Well, you see, unlike on the previous level, here millions of people say that they actually believe trading works and there is a way to use the available tools to have great returns. Some of these people actually know that trading doesn't work, but they benefit from other traders believing in it, because they can sell them courses or take brokerage fees from them. Still, when there are millions around you telling you that it works, even a non-conformist like me would budge. Not that many people actually participate in the markets, so I thought that by being in this minority made me smart and protected from fraudsters. Lol. All it took for me to discover the truth is to accidentally discover that some technical indicators give random results, do a few google searches, reach some scientific studies which are freely available and prove that technical and fundamental analysis don't work. It was always in front of me, but the fucking trading community plugged my ears and closed my eyes shut so I wasn't able to see it. Trading usually promises 3-15% gain a month.
A huge shock, but surely there was still a way for me to work this out? Active investing it is!
The next level, active investing, is different from trading. You aim for 15-50% yearly returns, but you don't have to do as much work. You hold on to stocks of your choice for years at a time, once in a while you study the markets, re balance your portfolio, etc. Or you invest your money in a fund, that will select the stocks of their choice and manage their and your portfolio for you. For a small fee of course. All of these actions are aimed at trying to outperform the gain the market made as a whole, and so called index funds, which invest in basically everything and follow the market returns - about 7-10% a year. And if I ever had any doubts in trading, I firmly believed that active investing works since I was a little kid (yes I knew about it back then). And this is where the real fraud comes in.
The whole Wall Street and every broker, every stock exchange in the world are a part of a big fraud. Only about 10-20% of professional fund managers outperform the market in any 15 year period. If you take 30 years, this dwindles to almost nothing, which means that no one can predict the markets. These people have no idea what they are doing. Jim Cramer is pure show-business and has no idea what's going on. Warren Buffet gained his fortune with pure luck, and for every Buffet there are some people who made only a million bucks and countless folks who lost everything.
Wall Street. They have trillions of dollars and use all that money and power and marketing to convince you that there is a way to predict where the stocks are going without being a legal insider or somehow abusing the law. They will make you think you can somehow learn from them where to invest your money on your own or they will make you believe that you should just give it to them and they will manage it for you, because they know how everything works and they can predict the future using past data.
They won't. They don't. They can't. There are studies and statistics to prove it countless times over the span of a 100 years. But they will still charge you exchange fees, brokerage fees and management fees anyway. And they also manipulate certain studies, lobby where and when they need it, and spread misinformation on an unprecedented scale, creating a positive image of themselves. And everyone falls for that. Billions of people around the globe still think it's all legit.
Passive index investing is the last level. You just put your money in the market and wait. Markets will go up at a predetermined rate. If there's a crisis, in 10 years no one will even remember. Markets always go up in the end. But passive index investing can only give you only 7% inflation-adjusted returns a year. Not enough to stop working or even retire early, unless you have a high-paying job in a first-world country. I don't.
Despite all that, to put it simply, this is the only type of investing that works and doesn't involve any kind of fraud or gambling. It's the type of investing that will give you the most money. If you want to know why it is like that and how to do it, just go to financialindependence. They know this stuff better than any other sub. Better than investing, trading or any other sub where non-passive-index investing is still discussed as viable strategy.
Back to me.
My whole being was fucked over, my hopes and dreams and understanding of success and how this world works were shattered. I realized, I had no future in financial industry, because only middlemen make money in there, and I quit college needed to get there. Frankly, I wouldn't want to work there even if I had the opportunity. The pay is good, but the job is boring and I wouldn't want to be a part of this giant scheme anyway. But even if I wanted to go back, I also couldn't. Russia is in a worsening crisis and my parents could no longer afford a US university and now with coronavirus it's even worse. Good thing I quit before it all happened. I learned a valuable lesson and didn't lose that much money for it (only about 10% of my savings). God knows where it would lead me if I continued to be delusional. But now that my last temporary plans for the future were scrapped, I had no idea what to do next.
The future.
With the reality hitting me, I would lie if I say it didn't all come full circle and connect to my past. I realized that I was stupid and not intelligent, because I was living in a made-up world for years now. But even if I were intelligent, pure wit would not give me the success and fortune that I was craving, because trading and active investing were a no-go for me, and business/politics require a very different, extroverted mindset, different education and interest from my own. My only redeeming quality in a hopeless introvert world, my perceived intelligence was taken away from me and rendered useless at the same time.
Besides, failing at that one thing made me insecure about everything and now I think of myself as an average individual. So, if 8 out of 10 businesses fail, I shouldn't start one because I will probably fail. And if most politicians don't get anywhere, why should I bother? If average salary in my country is X, I shouldn't hope for more. I stopped believing in my ability to achieve something. First, I failed at education and now I failed... Professionally? I don't know how to describe it, but my life recently was just an emotional roller coaster. I just feel like a very old person and all I want calmness and stability in my life. I was very lazy before just because, but now I feel like I also don't want to do anything because I feel I would just fail. It feels better now I don't have to worry about trading anymore and I got rid of that load... But I am still miserable and perhaps worse than ever, maybe I just don't understand and feel it because I've become slow and numb. The only positive thing that happened to me recently, is that I finally started losing weight and about 1/4 of the way back to my normal weight.
As for my future, am looking at several possibilities here. So far the parents are allowing my miserable life to continue and they let me live with them and buy me food. I don't need anything else right now. But it can't go on like this forever. The thought of having a mundane low-paying job in this shithole of a country depresses me. I will probably temporarily do English tutoring if there's demand for such work. My old school friends want me to help them in their business and my dad wants me to help him in his, I and probably should, but I feel useless, pathetic and incapable of doing anything of value. And business just seems boring, difficult and too stressful for me right now. Just not my cup of tea.
I am also looking at creative work. I love video games, music, films and other forms of art. I love the games most though, so I am looking into game dev. I don't really like programming, I have learned some during school years, but the pay would probably be higher for a programmer than an creator of any kind of art. However, I think I would enjoy art creation much more, but I don't have any experience in drawing and only some limited experience in music production. And I am not one of these kids who always had a scrapbook with them at school. Having to make another life choice paralyzes me. I am leaning towards art. I don't feel confident in my ability to learn this skill from scratch, but I think it's my best shot at finding a job that would make me happy.
So perhaps, when this whole pandemic is over, I'll go to Europe and get my degree, get a job there and stay. American Dream is dead to me, and Europe is cheaper, closer, safe and comfortable. Just the thing for a person who feels like they are thrice their real age.
Outro.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. Special thanks if you read the whole thing, it means a whole lot to me, an internet stranger. But even if no one reads it, feels good to get this off my chest. I actually cried during writing some parts. Holy shit, this might be the longest and smartest looking thing my dumbed down head could manage to generate since college. I hope that you're having a great day. Stay healthy and be careful during this fucking pandemic. All the best.
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Weapons you should pick up Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s electric!
Now that I’ve met my one video per post quota, let’s get on with it shall we? Feel free to listen to that song in the background by the way. Really helps set the mood. Or something.
So yeah, hey, it's yah boy, Thatuserguy, back again with another weapon recommendations post. You may not remember me (I certainly don't remember you. Yeah, you in the back. Who the hell are you? How’d you get in my house?) but I'm back anyways. Probably doesn’t help that I promised this post was coming soonTM like over a week ago. But no worries, OP delivers! You bunch of chucklefucks seemed to like the last one pretty well, so I figured I'd give this another go. Who knows, maybe this'll somehow become a regular thing? "Boo! Get off the stage!" Well fuck you too, Jerry. Don’t just take my word for it though. Look at all these stellar reviews from satisfied readers of my last post:
This list is shit. Nothing on it is good.
This guy’s humor sucks.
Why the hell didn’t you include X weapon? It’s soooo much better than the ones you included.
See? If that doesn’t solidify your trust in me, I don’t know what will. Anyways, my last post only really covered weapons sold in The Tower. But hey, according to people commenting on it, I had too many guns picked out already, and all of them were shit. So I thought to myself, fuck it, why not add EVEN MORE shitty guns to the list? Because fuck you, and fuck your vault space. But mostly fuck you. I’m gonna be covering weapons that you can’t just grab from a vendor in the dead of night, marks in hand, and desperation in your eyes. No. These guns take skill. They take a steady hand. And most of all, they take RNG.
Seriously though, because of the very nature of these guns depending on RNG to both drop, and drop with good rolls, there will probably be a large amount of guns on this list. I will try my best to limit the amount that appear on here, but without set perk rolls, that’s a much harder task than it was last time. It also makes attempting to rank them damn near impossible. I’ll also try at the very end to summarize this post in case things involving words and thinking are not your strong suit. It’s okay, we’re all a little special on the inside. Just, some of us more so than others.
As for the rest, I could give you the same rundown I did last post about how I can’t possibly have tested all these weapons, how I’m not responsible for how RNG may fuck you over, and yada yada yada, but that’s long and boring. I like you, so I’m gonna spare you those details. Instead, I’m just gonna say, I’ll suggest you some fucking guns, and you’re gonna fucking like them. “What if I don’t?” I hear you ask. Well tough shit numbnuts. Go make your own fucking guide or some shit then. I don’t care. I’ll just be over here in my corner playing with my better guns. You can just sit over there eating glue or whatever the hell it is you do for fun. Now, everyone else, hop aboard the bullet train! We’re on a journey to gun city. Strap in tight, it’s gonna be a long and bumpy ride (side note: I’m probably on a list now for google searching “kid strapped onto toilet” If you don’t hear back from me, assume the worst.)
 

Strike Exclusive Weapons:

Just kidding. These will never drop for you. Give up now while you still have hope left in your eyes, Guardian. Still determined? You poor fool. I’ll at least make this easy on you and tell you which ones are worth your time.
 
Imago Loop – Hand Cannon (Vex Strikes): This thing doesn’t just have the Fatebringer’s archetype. This thing is literally Fatebringer. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Really though, it’s got the exact same stats as Fatrebringer, and can roll with Firefly and Outlaw. You very well could end up with a Year 2 Fatebringer (minus the arc and oracle disrupter anyways. Don’t get greedy now.) If not, it’s still a pretty solid hand cannon. I’ve noticed that most of the hand cannons in TTK have really bad range, yet this sucker has at least 2-2.5x as much base range as them. Just like our little friend Nolandroid (Nolanbot? The Nolanator?), I may not be the best at math, but something being 2x better sounds pretty good to me.
Does Not Bow – Auto Rifle (The Shadow Thief): This thing is brown because it’s shit. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. It’s alright. If you were one of those weirdos who liked the look of the PoE AR (It’s okay, I did too) this thing is actually brown like the Devils’ color scheme. Damn good archetype too. It’s basically the same as The Summoner, Shadow Price, Vanquisher, SUROS Regime, and other such AR’s that kicked your ass in crucible. So if you like those guns but thought to yourself “I wish this came in the shape of a turd,” well, there you go.
Baron’s Ambition – Machine Gun (Fallen SABER): Basically the same gun as its older, not shit colored version. No idea if you guys tried out the older version, but it was pretty fun. Pretty solid gun either way. Though if your turds are solid, you should probably go see a doctor.
 

Raid Weapons:

Much like strike weapons, you probably won’t be getting these weapons. However, you do have a better chance, as Oryx isn’t as much of a dick as RNGesus is when it comes to strikes (emphasis on “as much of a dick”).
 
Smite of Merain – Pulse Rifle: This thing is actually pretty good. The most I could complain about is that its reload speed is a bit too slow (when it comes to pulse rifles, a slow reload speed means your enemy will die of old age before you can get those final rounds in). If you can get past that though (cocoon certainly helps this a ton obviously), it’s a pretty solid choice.
Qullim's Terminus – Machine Gun: This thing is literally just Ruin Wake with half the reload speed. If you like Ruin Wake, but think it could use some better stability and range, this thing is for you. The cocoon perk means that you can make range and stability pretty good at the cost of reload speed, which is of no concern with said perk. Plus the third perk slot has some pretty good rolls. If you can get this sucker, I’d definitely hold onto it.
Zaouli's Bane – Hand Cannon: In the words of everyone’s favorite person blue bastard, “Good weapon.” (Seriously though, does anyone else get irrationally upset when Rahool blurts out that line? Especially when he’s just finished decrypting it into a mote of light? Thanks man, I’ll just throw this ball of light at my enemies. I’ll tell you how that goes.) This thing’s got decent stability, and pretty good damage output. Plus it’s got the highest aim assistance in the game. The biggest issue is the range, but there’s a few perks to help that out at least somewhat.
Defiance of Yasmin – Sniper Rifle: Pretty good sniper. It isn’t completely the high impact, low rate of fire type of sniper that I prefer, but it’s not really low impact, high rate of fire either. It sits nestled somewhere in-between. I wasn’t very fond of the Antimony sniper sold by New Monarchy because of its rather poor stability and poor vendor rolls. This gun, while it does sacrifice some range and reload speed, has a much higher stability to fix this, which I find to be a preferable trade-off. Plus it’s got perks to make range better anyways, and the third perk slot has some decent choices. All without sacrificing the aim assist, which is one of the highest in the game for snipers. Good all-around gun to have.
Elulim's Frenzy – Rocket Launcher: It’s alright. If you can’t get your hands on a Vertigo (I don’t know how, FWC is basically giving it to you on a silver platter with your name engraved into it), this isn’t a bad one to replace it with. The lack of an ability to roll for Grenades & Horseshoes and the low base velocity kind of brings it down a notch or two in my book howver. You can mitigate the velocity issue a bit through the perks it provides at least though.
 

Crucible Drops:

Alright, so maybe PvE and higher level PvP aren’t your thing. Well lucky for you, pity items will drop for you just for playing PvP! And they’re all pretty good. What a novel concept, right? Just make sure you’re at the bottom of the team to increase your odds at said pity drop. Because fuck the guy that did all the work, right?
 
Party Crasher +1 – Shotgun: Another, ermh, “favorite” returning from HoW. And guess what? Bungie actually buffed its base range slightly to be one of the best in the game. Apparently Bungie and I both enjoy a good glass of salty guardian tears. So yeah. Get a good roll with this sucker, and go nuts. Now if only there was a Glass Half Full perk on this thing, the glass of tears joke would be complete…
Split Shifter Pro – Fusion Rifle: This thing was arguably pretty damn good in HoW, and now it’s back. Stability may not be the best compared to fusions like The Vacancy, but its charge rate is one of the best in the game, and it can roll for stability perks anyways. Worth at least giving it a spin if you get one as a drop.
Eyasluna – Hand Cannon: This baby Hawkmoon ain’t got its talons yet, so don’t expect it to maim targets as good as its momma bird. But it’s still got a pretty sharp beak to peck your fucking eyes out. I’d hold onto this little guy if you can snatch him from the nest of RNG. Are these bird metaphors becoming a bit too much by the way? I mean, I’m not going to stop, but I was just wondering.
The Revelator – Hand Cannon: This is basically Zaouli’s Bane lite. It has the same rate of fire, but slightly less impact. Same aim assistance. Ever so slight better range. Even slighter less stability. Basically, if you can’t get Zaouli’s Bane, this is nice to tide you over until you can. But once you do (especially if it’s the elemental version), kick this girl to the side of the road where she belongs.
The Ash Factory – Rocket Launcher: I was personally a bit partial to my Tomorrow’s Answer in HoW, so when I got this as a drop, I just dismantled it. Of course, par for the course, everyone couldn’t wait to tell me how wrong my opinion was (Fuck you too, reddit, I’m moving to voat!). Looking at it now, it’s not a bad launcher. I mean, only having a single rocket in the magazine without tripod sort of kills my explosion boner though. I’d probably still just tell everyone to get a Smolder, as that upsets two parties at once, and I feed on your salt. But anyways, if you get one with Javelin and tripod, it’s worth holding onto. I guess.
NL Shadow 701X – Scout Rifle: I’m pretty damn salty Bungie got rid of the ability to roll full auto on this thing from HoW. Either way, it’s a pretty nice scout to get your hands on. It fires pretty damn fast, and the impact is pretty good. Just don’t expect it to really excel in any other departments.
 

Iron Banana:

Right on time too! Are you excited to earn some cool weapons all while having fun playing this hyper competitive playlist!? Because you shouldn’t be. Iron Banner will leave you with a new fist-sized window in your wall, and a broken controller. Why? The lag. The bullshit. The incompetent teammates. OH FUCKING BOY THE INCOMPETENT TEAMMATES. For what? Some halfway decent rewards? But you’re going to play anyways. And you’re going to get angry. Just like you always do. You might get a weapon for it. But it won’t be worth it. Have fun!
 
Nirwen's Mercy – Pulse Rifle: Perhaps you ignored my role as the gun wizard and got yourself a Spare Change.25? And you realized it’s just sort of “alright” after all, and want something to replace it. Well, you’re in luck! Turns out, Lord Saladbar has been kind enough to gift us a pulse rifle with the same archetype as the godly 55A-allFATE, and with better stability and reload speed at the cost of some range. The range is a bit low on this thing compared to the Spare Change, but that can certainly be remedied with a good roll.
Finnala's Peril – Hand Cannon: Pretty good gun. It’s basically a Fatebringer with better stability and reload speed, at the cost of a little range. If you aren’t able to grab an Imago Loop or Eyasluna, this is your next best bet. And you certainly aren’t just settling for it.
Deidris's Retort – Shotgun: Should you not be able to grab yourself a Party Crasher 2.0, this is a pretty good replacement, mostly because it’s got a pretty good base range. You’re gonna want a roll with more range to catch up with the Party Crasher though, (as its base range is pretty insane) but it fires slightly faster than Party Crasher. Could end up being pretty good with the right roll.
Ashraven's Flight – Fusion Rifle: This thing takes longer to charge up, but has the same or worse stability compared to Long Far gone and Split Shifter Pro. However, it also has more impact, meaning it doesn’t require as many bolts to hit in order to kill. It doesn’t really blow me away, but if you get a good roll that satisfies you, I see no reason not to keep it.
Weyloran's March – Sniper Rifle: Impact is pretty sucky, so this isn’t a gun you should otherwise be using in PvE. In PvP however, this sucker has a very interesting aspect that you wouldn’t otherwise know about: it has the highest aim assistance for a sniper in the game. Roll it with Hidden Hand, and you’ll be popping headshots you didn’t even intend to land.
Haakon's Hatchet – Auto Rifle: Considering how fun to use low impact AR’s are now, this thing doesn’t look half bad to use. If it’s anything like the old Iron Banner AR though, it’s probably got a ton of kick to it, which sucks especially since the stability isn’t the best. You may just be better off grabbing the Dead Orbit AR unless you get a good stability roll.
Tormod's Bellows – Rocket Launcher: This thing has pretty good base velocity, and alright blast radius. If you can’t roll a perk to make blast radius better, it’s gonna be disappointing to use compared to other launchers with good blast radius. But if you can, and you get some other good perks with it, it’ll be a solid rocket launcher. Basically, if you feel like just buying The Vertigo is too easy, and you instead want to gamble with RNG (hint, you’ll lose. He rigged the game), go nuts with this thing.
Ironwreath-D – Sidearm: Deciding whether to include a weapon based on stats AND potential perk rolls is pretty tough. So when you have a weapon type where all the weapons have basically the exact same stats and possible stat rolls, what the hell do you do? I certainly have no idea. So I’m just plopping this thing here. I’ll let you guys sort things out for yourselves. You’re big boys and girls.
 

Trials of Osiris:

Trials is gonna be pretty interesting to watch. A change in the way it works, AND no more relying on Thorn to win (RIP Thorns of Osiris and weekly lighthouse visits). And to top it all off, a new meta is likely going to be established very quickly this time around. The other two jokes about not getting weapons were just that: jokes. If you’re not a crucible god, good fucking luck getting these new weapons. If you’re not TripleWreck, you better pray to whatever god you believe in. If you don’t believe in any gods, you damn well better believe in miracles. Because it probably won’t be happening. On the bright side, there are some weapons that are roughly equivalent to the Trials guns (minus the element on the lighthouse versions anyways). Also, I’m just going to save you some reading and say unless otherwise specified, these weapons are basically the best for their archetype. I will therefore be listing replacement guns in this section instead.
 
The Water Star – Hand Cannon: If you can’t grab this, an Eyasluna or Imago Loop are not too far behind as far as stats. In fact, Imago Loop even has more potential perk rolls than either of the other two.
The Doctrine of Passing – Auto Rifle: Archetypal competitors include Antipodal Hindsight, An Answering Chord, SUROS ARI-45, The Dealbreaker, and Does Not Bow. Funny side note that’s also kind of sad: SUROS Regime is actually worse than this thing even though it’s a legendary.
Reflection Sum – Pulse Rifle: The Lyudmila-D is the next best option (it’s not that far behind) but its recoil is kind of bad. If you can get a recoil-reduction roll on this thing, it’ll probably be just as good. Otherwise, Spare Change.25 is your only other option. Both these options are guns with some pretty bad recoil, but I have a feeling this thing won’t suffer from it as much, so in the end it’ll probably still be the best anyways.
The Inward Lamp – Scout Rifle: If you can pick up a Cocytus SR4, you basically have this gun (slightly worse range, but slightly better stability). If not, consider a Last Extremity or a Colovance's Duty.
Binary Dawn – Shotgun: Ah yes, a weapon to surpass Metal Ge—erhm, I mean Party Crasher. Better base range AND impact at the cost of some stability (literally who cares). The next best option is therefore Party Crasher +1. After that, if you can get a range focused roll, a Conspiracy Theory ain’t that bad either. But you aren’t gonna get as much range squeezed out of it as a Binary Dawn or Party Crasher with range perks obviously.
Elevating Vision – Fusion Rifle: This thing’s actually not all that amazing in my opinion. You’re actually not much worse off if you just grab a Long Fare Gone, Split Shifter Pro, or The Vortex.
Glass Promontory – Sniper Rifle: I had a couple of friends who played Trials a ton when it was first out. We won like every week. One of those friends and I got the old version of this sniper from it, and we both absolutely HATED it. Aiming it just felt so off. This new gun has exactly the same stats, aim assist and all. Personally, I’d say it’s not worth your time. If you’re set on it though, I’d say go with Weyloran's March if you want to go the insane route and max out your aim assist, or go the opposite way and grab a Uzume RR4 if you want to aim your gun and fire like a big boy without the game trying to help.
The Unseeing Eye – Machine Gun: So many damn guns trying to get noticed by their senpai, Ruin Wake. This thing is Ruin Wake with a longer reload time, but more bullets in the magazine. Meh. The extra bullets are nice, but I’d rather not take forever trying to reload.
The Tamarind – Rocket Launcher: Guys! GUYS! Guess what! They took the old Tomorrow’s Answer and made it infinitely better! How so? More stability! Rocket Launcher users rejoice! Honestly though, just grab a damn Vertigo. Its blast radius is the same, but its velocity is better.
 

Gunsmith:

Ah, we’ve reached the final stop. Everyone please grab your belongings. The bullet train will be arriving at gun city shortly. The Gunsmith is fun. He doesn’t seem like he’s actively trying to screw you over, and it always seems like he’s got some pretty good offerings. Plus he’s got a nice voice.
 
Zarinaea-D – Auto Rifle: This little guy fits the low impact, high rate of fire archetype. I’ve played around with it a little, and I actually really like it. Usually Hakke weapons are a bit more recoil heavy, but I didn’t really notice any such issue with this guy. It looks cool, and in my opinion is better than its SUROS equivalent.
SUROS ARI-45 – Auto Rifle: An Answering Chord is arguably a better gun than this as far as range and reload speed, but I like this thing as far as rolls go. After all, both can drop as random rolls, but it’s arguably easier to get the roll you want with this gun because of how the Gunsmith operates.
Uffern HC4 – Hand Cannon: Pretty good hand cannon. It’s Fatebringer’s archetype, but with slightly more impact. Range is pretty good compared to the other vendor hand cannons (though equal with Byronic Hero). It’s also got some damn good stability and pretty decent reload speed.
Judith-D – Hand Cannon: Really high impact hand cannon with some pretty good range (slightly better than Fatebringer’s), but pretty poor stability and reload speed. However, stability is arguably not as important on low rate of fire hand cannons. That being said, it would still be nice to go for a roll that has a stability upgrade, as well as a reload upgrade of some sort (You can never go wrong with Outlaw).
Ace of Spades – This gun is pretty cool. You know how Imago Loop is literally just Fatebringer with a white coat of paint and no arc damage? Well, this thing is as well, but it’s got that little bit extra that makes it special: it was made with love by Cayde. Oh, and some exotic perk that basically makes it so you don’t have to reload if you keep getting kills with it or whatever. It takes away all the pain and suffering of hoping RNG not only drops Imago Loop for you, but also drops it with a Fatebringer roll.
SUROS PDX-45 – Pulse Rifle: Not as good as its vendor equivalent the Hawksaw, but I included it for similar reasons as the SUROS ARI-45. Get a roll with full auto and some range (and maybe stability) increasing perks, and this thing’ll be a beast.
SUROS PDX-41 – Pulse Rifle: Similar to Nirwen’s Mercy, but with better range at the cost of a little stability and reload speed. Roll this thing for stability, and maybe with Outlaw, and you’re golden.
Cocytus SR4 – Scout Rifle: Different archetype from Hung Jury, so I’ll begrudgingly allow it. Its stats aren’t all that bad. High impact scouts aren’t exactly a bad thing to get your hands on. You may want to focus on range and stability for this thing either way.
Tlaloc – Scout Rifle: This thing is warlock exclusive. I was REALLY tempted to not bothering including this thing. Why? It’s literally just a Hung Jury with worse stats. It also basically forces you to sit on your super in order to make it a justifiable gun to use your exotic slot for. That being said, when the exotic perk is active, the increased rate of fire makes this thing pretty damn fun to use, and pretty damn effective at that.
Immobius – Shotgun: This thing is Titan only. And actually, it wouldn’t really be on this list if it weren’t for its signature perk (its range is sort of sucky otherwise). This thing doesn’t expend ammo when you’re sitting in your defender bubble with armor of light getting kills, AND gets bonus damage when three or more enemies are charging at you. Pretty damn good for locking down a point.
Susanoo – Fusion Rifle. This fusion is warlock exclusive, and man, is it nice. Charge rate isn’t the best, but stability is pretty nice, and impact ain’t half bad. And then it has its signature perk to fall back on that makes it start dealing elemental damage based on the elemental damage you just dealt with your subclass. It’s kind of like Dracula if he started spewing blood at his enemies after drinking someone some. Also, I suck at analogies by the way.
Thesan FR4 – Fusion Rifle: The Vacancy is a pretty useful little bugger. But fuck that shit, because then there’s this monster. Its charge rate is slightly better at the cost of an exceedingly minor difference in damage and range. And then it has stability and reload speed that kicks The Vacancy’s ass. So yeah, pick this fucker up faster than a puppy that just stole your heart at a rescue shelter. Don’t let it just sit there, whimpering that you just left it behind. Probably to some guy who wouldn’t love it as much as you would. Don’t worry, your man card will still be intact.
Eirene RR4 – Sniper Rifle: This guy’s been making some waves as of its recent sale by Banshee. I’ve had this sucker on my list of guns to get before TTK even released. I’m the damn gun wizard. Don’t doubt me. Anyways yeah, it’s got slightly more impact than 1000-yard stare, but less stability and reload speed. Either way, not a bad sniper to have, especially if you can get a good roll on it.
Tamar-D – Sniper Rifle: Basically the Antimony sniper with less reload speed. However, I was not fond of the Antimony sniper because of its low stability. This being a gunsmith weapon, you can more easily get a roll with higher stability to make this gun more enjoyable than the Antimony sniper. And you don’t even have to give up much aim assist for it.
Stillpiercer – Sniper Rifle: Gotta mention this sniper or people are gonna get mad at me. It’s a 1000-yard stare but with better reload speed and some cool perks. It’s hunter exclusive however, so sorry to everyone not playing an overpowered class ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Honorable Mentions:
Lyudmila-D – Pulse Rifle: I have this thing, and I love it to death. However, I didn’t include it for similar reasons to Spare Change.25: it’s got some pretty nasty recoil. For most people, this will be a complete no-no for a pulse rifle especially. I don’t mind it that much, but I can understand why most would. SUROS weapons tend to not have nearly as much kick as Hakke weapons, which is why I only included SUROS weapons for Pulse Rifles. They aren’t bad Pulse Rifles though.
SUROS DIS-47 – Scout Rifle: Much like the Lyudmila, I love this thing. It can fire basically as fast as you can pull the trigger. It’s a good weapon for dealing a ton of damage over time as opposed to dealing large amounts of damage all at once. Still some might not like a scout like that. Not to mention your fingers can get tired pretty quick considering how fast you have the slam down the trigger in order to deliver a good amount of damage.
Uzume RR4 – Sniper Rifle: This thing’s alright. I’m not an amazing fan of low impact snipers, but I do like snipers with a lower aim assist. This thing has decently low aim assist, which is fine in my book. It also has the highest base stability in the game for making follow up shots easier. However, I realize low impact snipers aren’t the most popular, and self-acclaimed pro snipers can’t wait to tell me how great high aim assist snipers are, so I’m gonna leave this little guy right here.
SUROS JLB-47 – Rocket Launcher: Just get The Vertigo dammit. If you really don’t, this thing is the exact same launcher, but you can choose the perks it rolls with easier. But honestly, The Vertigo already has good perks, so why bother?
 
Alright everyone. We’ve reached our destination. Everyone get the fuck off my train. The trip isn’t completely over yet though! Because RNGesus’ wrath knows no bounds, your bus home has been delayed. So you get to sit here longer and look at whatever else I have to show you. For all you fuckers who don’t like to read (I got enough comments about it last time to know there’s plenty of you out there), here’s a nice concise summary of everything. But before we get to the nice concise summary, here’s a lot of reading. Now pay close attention, because this could get complicated. I have each weapon split into the archetype it fits for its weapon type. Next to that archetype, I have listed the general stats for weapons of that archetype (such as low or high range, low or high stability, etc.). Next to each weapon, I have listed the stats important to that weapon type, and how much you should focus on improving the weapon in said areas in order to make it hit the best stats for that archetype.
So if an AR has a stability of 10/100, and the highest stability in that archetype is 40/100, it will be listed that the weapon we are looking at needs a high focus on stability. But if a weapon has a stability of 40/100 and the highest weapon stability in that archetype is, say, 45/100, then the weapon will be listed as needing a low focus on stability. Make sense? It should be noted that while this makes it easy for comparing how much work is needed to make a gun good within an archetype, it isn’t that useful for comparing across archetypes. Therefore, you should pick the archetype you are most fond of, and search within that. There’s no easy way for me to compare across archetypes besides what I’ve already done (listing what the archetype as a whole tends to gravitate around). Here’s some tips on using that to the best potential:
If an archetype is listed as low stability, and a weapon in that archetype is listed with a low focus on stability, it’s pretty close to the best stability stat in that archetype. However, its stability stat isn’t that great in the grand scheme of things because of its archetype. If the weapon was listed as having a high focus on stability in that archetype, that means its stability is pretty damn piss poor in comparison to other AR’s. Likewise, if an archetype is listed as high stability, and a weapon is listed with a low focus on stability, overall, it’s got a pretty damn amazing base stability. But if it’s listed as having a high focus on stability, while its stability is likely alright, and perhaps better than an archetype with low stability, its stability isn’t all that great in comparison to its peers. You must also take into account that the higher the rate of fire a weapon has, the more stability it will need. So an AR with only medium stability isn’t that bad if it’s a high impact archetype, but will kick like a bronco if it’s a low impact archetype. If all these words confused you, and perhaps even scared you, it’s probably just easiest to pick an archetype that sounds good, and pick out the weapon you think looks coolest. I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you already anyways.
 
Auto Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, medium to high range
Low Impact: Medium to high stability, low to medium range
 
Scout Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, high range
Low Impact: Medium stability, low range
 
Hand Cannons:
High Impact: Medium stability and range
Low Impact: Medium stability, low range
 
Pulse Rifles:
High Impact: Low to medium stability, high range
Medium Impact: High stability, medium range
Low Impact: High stability, low range
 
Shotguns:
High Impact: Medium to high range
 
Fusions:
High Charge Rate: Medium stability, low impact
Medium Charge Rate: Medium to high stability and impact
 
Snipers:
High Impact: Medium to high stability
Medium Impact: Low to medium stability
Low Impact: Medium to high stability
 
Machine Guns:
High Impact: High stability, medium range
Medium Impact: High stability and range
 
Rocket Launchers:
 
As a final note, I’m obviously not suggesting you get ALL of these weapons (gotta clear this up because this wasn’t obvious enough last time apparently). These are just suggestions of ones to look at. These are guns that if you get a good roll to combat the listed weaknesses, you’ll overall have a really good weapon on your hands. If you get something that isn’t on this list or the vendor weapon list, it probably isn’t worth your time. Which one you get, and which rolls you get, are up to RNG. Which ones you keep are up to you. If you have any questions over what I personally believe to be the best weapon to snag for each category, I’ll be more than happy to give my two cents. Happy hunting, Guardians!
submitted by Thatuserguy to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]

Hellbound V - The Deals

First
Previous
 
 
Commander Sam Robinson – Valkyrie – Standing before the city gates of Hil’Sania  
 
“Ah crap, we’ve been calling them assholes all this time?” Sam asked.  
Þorgeir coughed, “Yeah, seems so commander. Looking at the inputs it seems that the probe is receiving both the elven words and the direct translation in binary. It’s really freaky, but I guess that’s how magic works? I guess? It’s making the translation process go really fast.”  
“Uh, commander, I think they’re waiting for us to respond,” Myrael cut in.  
“Ah crap, ok. Everyone, let’s turn on the charm offensive. Turn on our speakers, don’t talk about anything remotely confidential and use our callsigns,” Sam replied.  
“That’s our charm offensive?” Jacqueline asked.  
“Uh, wait, ah crap. I will take my helmet off and show them that we mean no harm, I guess. None of you take your helmets off unless ordered to, alright? If the skinny dude can conjure up a mountain of food and the actual Mage has a ring that lets him speak in multiple languages at the same time, then we’d do good by not underestimating them,” Sam answered.  
Sam took a deep breath and slowly took her helmet off and moved towards the Mage. She noted how this Mage, Ilfundel as he called himself, looked like he came straight out of a fantasy movie. A middle-aged looking elf, with red wizard robes, a long and gnarled staff with a lightly glowing orb at the top, and most importantly, dangerous eyes. Even though he was of a different species, the intent behind his oversized eyes was clearly that of caution and skill, honed by experience as she felt herself being appraised and saw the Mage stare at every possible part of her power armour, looking for potential danger.  
“Thank you for allowing us entry, Mage Ilfundel. We apologize for calling you the wrong term, it was simply a misunderstanding,” Sam said as she shot a glare at Arundosar who instantly sucked in a breath and looked away.  
“Not a problem. My Apprentice here has a tendency to lash back at those who scorn his kind. But enough of that,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Ah, yes. We have noticed some of that behaviour,” Sam answered and then continued, “Regardless. I am Valkyrie, and this is Camper [Myrael], Alien [Jacqueline], Icebear [Þorgeir] and lastly Barhead [Alix]. It’s a privilege to meet you all.”  
The Mage seemed to raise his eyebrows at each of the names, but decided to ignore it and replied in kind, “A privilege indeed. According to our history books the last time a human visited the plane of Arenal, was close to 15 centuries ago, so to see you all here is an amazing sight indeed. What is even more amazing is that the stories of the citizens you’ve rescued appear to be an understatement.” As he said that the mage pointed to the cage where the still unconscious POW was. He continued with measured words, “Yes, taking a pit fiend as a prisoner is extremely difficult. And I assume that you have done so with the help of your armour? Just a single glance at it just shouts power.”  
“Ah, yes.” Sam answered. She sensed where the conversation was going next and lied, “They are a powerful tool of humanity, but really uncomfortable. Have you ever worn armour? It’s really a shame we can’t get out of ours now that we are in a safe place again.”  
The raised eyebrow of the Mage now went accompanied with his other eyebrow. “Ah, you can’t get out of them? Why not?” Ilfundel asked.  
“Well, it’s a bit of secret, but that’s how they are made. It saves, uh, space and energy and it made it easier to design if you don’t have to worry about the user having to be able to do everything. It’s how we can get them to be so big. It’s not a worry as long as you have a team of support personnel,” Sam answered while trying her best to maintain a poker face.  
“I suppose that makes sense. The last entries into our history books was that you humans and your knights were quite fearsome in your armour and on horseback. But I notice that you are not on a horse and most of the rescued people told me that you can fly and carry no swords and have magical shields?” Ilfundel asked with yet another raised eyebrow and an intense stare.  
“Ah, yes. Our magics have advanced quite a bit. But I, uh, know very little of them, I’m just a soldier,” Sam replied.  
“Mmmh. Very well. I understand,” the Mage said with a disappointed smile. “I was going to ask you all to leave your weapons and armour at the gates, but I suppose that’s not really feasible, is it? I will ask the captain of the guard to make an exception for you all, after all, you did save a lot of our people. I will request however that your prisoner will be kept under guard by both our guards and my colleagues. I hope you won’t object?”  
“Of course not, so long as one of our own can observe the prisoner at all times,” Sam answered.  
“Very well, that can be arranged. You may enter the city, and are now under our protection, though I suppose you won’t need it. May I suggest we walk and talk a bit towards the tavern? I’m sure you understand that I have many, many questions,” Ilfundel said as Sam breathed an internal sigh of relief.  
 
 
Sam was grateful for the inbuilt tech of the Paladin suits. Having shared camera feeds and a mic and audio setup that allowed for subvocalized communications allowed Sam to focus on the conversation with Ilfundel while her squad kept sending updates from themselves and the probe that was flying high above the town for Sam to watch and listen to later.  
When they finally reached the tavern, they subtly switched whoever was talking to Ilfundel, with the nature of the conversation constantly shifting between the world of the elves and the world of humans, and this third world called Arenal. The world where the Elves came from, is called Ljosalfar and seems to be quite similar to this world, much like most worlds as the mage explained.  
Looking around and listening to descriptions that the Mage gave, Sam guessed that they were in a medieval era town in a medieval era society. Jacqueline guessed that it was closer to a beginning renaissance era or perhaps late medieval era society, due to the high-quality steel they had and a surprising number of merchants that were wondering around on the market square, near which was their tavern. The fact that they had stone paved roads, and not all-too shabby houses with plenty of flourishes and colourfully painted doors and windows added to the sense that the city they were in wasn’t poor.  
More questions were asked and answered. It seemed that the elves were unified under the rule of the Ljosalfar empire and that the empire extended its reach quite far into this third world, Arenal. Arenal was the common dimensional plane that bordered all other planes and as such, any border tensions, new settlements, colonies and the occasional vassal kingdoms were in Arenal. The only exception was a vassal subterranean kingdom named Dokkalfar, home of the drow. They were in open revolt against the elves after they had rejected their rule after being subservient to them for well over 5 centuries when another emperor had united all the people on the world of Ljosalfar. This knowledge had answered a bit of the questions Sam and the squad had about Arundosar, his heritage and why the other elves were quite clearly being hostile to him.  
The conversation quickly turned to the situation on Earth and how humanity had progressed so far so quickly. Sam answered what questions she could but often played the role of being just a dumb soldier far from home who didn’t know about much about the complex nature of how exactly their technology and magic worked. She did explain that the humans were still divided and did not serve a single ruler. The Mage was clearly sceptical and explained that every civilized species only truly made advances when a powerful centralized ruler could allocate all the funds necessary to perform ambitious projects that increased the people’s knowledge of technology, magic, or other matters. The Mage explained that this was the way that the gnomes, halflings and even the orcs and giants did it. The dwarves were an exception, but their ways were strange, and perhaps so were the humans as well he conceded.  
Sam just nodded as she tried to comprehend that they were now fully stuck in a fantasy novel full on with fantasy races. At least knowing that this dimensional plane of Arenal bordered all other dimensions, made it quite clear how it was that things such as grass and chicken, as well as human words had seemed to migrate here. And the idea of elves and other mythological creatures had migrated to Earth.  
Eventually they reached the Mage tower in the middle of the square. It was a 60 meter tall round tower made of blue-grey bricks and a flat top. Ilfundel explained that it was a repository for knowledge, arcane materials, and an academy for what few magical practitioners there were that visited this close to unclaimed territory. There they dropped off their devil prisoner and left behind Alix and some obviously nervous city guards to watch over the POW in the dungeons as they went to the massive round library to continue their conversation.  
“Alright everyone, just a few more important questions and then we’ll go to the tavern and have dinner. After that Þorgeir relieves Alix and we re-assess the overload of information we just got and re-plan,” Sam sub-vocalized to her squad. In rapid succession she heard 4 soft “affirmative” through her earplug and contemplated sitting down on the luxurious dark wooden polished seat in front of her. The other tables and chairs, floors, walls and bookshelves were all of the same material in this library. There were easily thousands of books all around her as the library continued to spiral up another four or five floors, with a stone spiral staircase in the middle of it all. Sam wanted to sit down, but quickly didn’t as she realized that only stone or steel could support her suit’s weight. She remained standing, while the rest of the squad were slowly walking around and secretly taking tons of footage of interesting looking books.  
“Mage Ilfundel, I thank you very much for your introduction to your world, I only regret that I do not know more about mine to be able to give you more information about my world in kind. And I am sorry that I impose on your hospitality again, but I must insist on asking one more pertinent question,” Sam said as she looked Ilfundel intently in the eye. “You’ve told us that you need magical crystals and a magic user to be able to open up a portal. And that depending on how large you want the portal and how long you want to keep it open, the bigger the crystal or more powerful magic users you would need. But we don’t have any crystals at all. And we are just soldiers and aren’t capable of magic. Could you help us get home?”  
The Mage rubbed his chin and contemplated the question a bit before he answered, “Yes. I had been wondering about that. It’s quite strange really, the history books clearly state that humans didn’t practice magic when they first came to Arenal and thus were always reliant on the other species to open up a portal. And yet here you stand before us with a very magical suit of armour.”  
Sam could feel the doubt of the ever-skeptical Mage on his tone of questioning, but continued nonetheless, “Ah yes. Like I’ve explained earlier, our magic is a bit different and there is just an extremely small portion of humanity that is capable of magic. Like, one in a million.”  
The Mage sighed once more as he seemed to get an answer that he didn’t really like. “That’s alright, I can still help you. I can lend Arundosar to you, he is capable of opening up portals and could use the practice. He is not an expert on it and would require a larger crystal to open up a portal for your size, but if you keep the portal open for only a few days instead of a few weeks, then it wouldn’t be a problem. In return,” Ilfundel said as he gave a sly smile, “I would like to take custody of your prisoner and thoroughly study him. Don’t worry, you can have him back when you return to Earth.”  
“Everybody hear that?” Sam subvocalized.  
“Aha! You were lying!” Ilfundel boasted out, “You are telepathically speaking with your fellows right now, aren’t you?”  
“Uh-“ Sam said as she looked like a deer in headlights. “Ah, crap. No. I mean, we don’t have magic. It’s the suits that allow us to talk to each other. Please, we didn’t lie. If we really lied about knowing magic, would we really ask for your help, or even come here in the first place to get help to get home?”  
“Mmh, true. Alright fine. I’m sure there are many secrets you are keeping from me, I can see it in your eyes. But you are not enemies of the empire, so I’ll let it be. But I must insist on getting something out of this for me, or else this would have just been a massive waste of time. Let me experiment and study on your prisoner and I will keep to my word and help you all to get home, alright?” Ilfundel said as he folded his arms and looked a bit discontent at how this negotiation was going.  
“We get him back when we return to Earth?” Sam asked.  
“Yes, and you’ll have my Apprentice on loan until he has opened up a portal,” Ilfundel replied.  
“Sounds like a good deal, commander,” Myrael said along with some positive murmurs from the rest of the squad.  
“Wait!” Jacqueline cut in, “Is Arundosar going to use that magical ring of translation? How else are we going to understand him?”  
“Good one,” Sam subvocalized back and turned her attention back to Ilfundel. “Alright, we accept, as long as Arundosar gets to use your ring. He won’t be very useful to us if we can’t understand him.”  
Ilfundel looked at Sam and then at his magical ring and pondered her request before answering, “That’s reasonable. Alright, I agree. It’s a deal then.”  
“A deal, let’s shake on it,” Sam replied.  
“The soldier you had guarding the devil can leave now. Don’t worry, you can come see him anytime, and you’ll have him back when you return to Earth. Just ask me and I’ll arrange it,” Ilfundel said as he took off his ring and then slowly turned to Arundosar who was at his side and started speaking in hushed tones in elven that Sam could suddenly no longer understand.  
“Record everything,” Sam subvocalized, “I want to know what he really wants from us.”  
 
 
Admiral Dai – Dimensional plane of Earth – UN Headquarters, N.Y.C.  
 
It had been a busy week, filled with papers, meetings, conference calls, heated discussions over phone calls and tired face-to-face negotiations. Taking stock of the score, admiral Stephen Dai re-evaluated this past tiring week. Disbelief amongst the citizens of Earth quickly turned into extreme and even radical changes. Churches, long-time dying, found themselves overwhelmed by erstwhile atheists now afraid of hell’s portals opening up. The first cries of populists proclaiming an end to peace and safety who needed your vote and support to reform laws and thus to survive were accompanied by madmen proclaiming this to be the coming apocalypse but needing donations to save your soul.  
Nations in the UN were behaving in a similar manner. Every single member wanted to have more information, while demanding more security in the form of returning fleets and warships. They all neglected the Alpha Centauri pirate insurgency in face of personal peril. Countries already started shifting their trading priorities to get more fuel and rare earth materials to be diverted from colonies and to go to Earth, in preparation, of whatever may come. An entire species was panicking.  
Worse yet, some of Earth’s leaders who were not susceptible to panic due to years of political manoeuvring to become a player at the top, were now precisely the people who were the only ones who could rationally respond to this crisis and had zero incentive to do so. The United States proclaimed a state of emergency, recalled 3 heavy cruisers and a dozen lightweight-class ships to help with relief efforts, whilst congress quickly passed a crisis budget that doubled military spending to stave off political and populist pressures, and perhaps cynically, win the vote for the next set of elections. In response, China’s president had issued a similar state of emergency and recalled 1 of 3 dreadnought class ships from the Luyten system, accompanied by a full fleet of an assortment of a dozen capital-class ships and close to a hundred lightweight-class ships. This prompted Russia and India, along with the British commonwealth to recall significant portions of their fleets as well, which meant that Europe could not stay behind and retreated large portions of their fleet back to Earth as well. And just like that, the efforts of decades of peace-making was undone in a week. The bad days where a single press of a button could obliterate millions were back.  
The moments of silence and grief, the endless headlines and talking points, the sheer number of questions, regular commerce grating to a halt, all of it, were extra side-issues that put extra stress and pressure on the now fragile political landscape. The only blessing, Stephen cynically thought to himself, was that those devils attacked almost every major political player simultaneously, dispelling any notion of some sort of conspiracy or powerplay from a single country. Not that that stopped crazy people from spouting these theories. Regardless, the stage before him, the UN assembly room, where he was negotiating with all of humanity for its future, was a chaotic and perilous stage indeed.  
Stephen heard the audio prompt, sighed, and moved towards the podium and was granted the rights to speak to the assembly by the Speaker. To his surprise, almost every country had reacted favourably or positively to his amendment and his proposal to ramp up spending and production to quickly get rid of the Alpha Centauri problem so that they could all focus on this new problem swiftly and cohesively. Almost every country was going to vote in favour of it. All except China. And over the course of the past 36 hours, China had effectively been lobbying, bribing, bullying or blackmailing another 42 countries to join their stance. Stephen took his seat behind the microphones and cameras and turned them live, “Speaker, I am ready for the next round of questions and remarks regarding the amendment of the proposal for the ‘Star Shield’ initiative.”  
“Thank you, admiral. The first question is from the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Zhang, you may speak,” the UN’s Speaker said.  
Stephen raised his eyebrow and pondered. Usually China would have their proxies talk endlessly to tire out the other countries and would speak themselves much later, sometimes months or years, only to swoop in, talk of ‘this-is-going-nowhere, decide-on-this-now-so-we-can-move-on’, and sway the vote in their favour. If China was willing to talk after 36 hours, then they must have something cooked up.  
Ambassador Zhang turned her microphone on live and began. “We of the People’s Republic of China have been against this proposal for reasons we have already explained in previous sessions of the UN assembly. However, we have a new amendment to submit that if included in the amended proposal of the admiral, would make us amenable to voting in favour of his proposal.”  
As Stephen listened to the translation coming in both of his eyebrows went up. They were being aggressive on the diplomatic scene. Normally they were only aggressive on the military side of things. Something was wrong. Stephen looked down at the inbuilt screen panel and saw an attachment that had the newly submitted Chinese amendment. The 15 minutes of break to allow for quickly skimming through the 40 page monster had caused a greater commotion than last week. China wanted to bring back drone warfare.  
2 hours went by as the planned question session turned into a heated discussion about China’s amendment.  
“The enemy is not spaceborne, it only engaged by land and air, and presumably is further capable of seaborne activity. All the UN members have specialized in space operations, not on terrestrial operations. While both the UN Space Defense Fleet and national armies can perform terrestrial operations, none have the scale necessary to do so sustainably for every major metropolitan area on Earth. The only still-maintained expertise that could perform this task and is available to us is drones and drone operations. The only short-term solution we have to properly defend ourselves adequately is through drones. The UN prohibition on drones must end for the safety of humanity!” the Chinese Ambassador spoke as she gave their main rationale.  
Korea, Japan and many other South-East Asian countries immediately objected, “We have not forgotten what happened to the territories you invaded with those drones! We will not allow this to happen!”  
“That was well over a century ago, and you do not have veto power,” the Chinese Ambassador responded swiftly and coolly. The resulting screams and shouts were disruptive enough that the whole assembly retreated for dinner. And by sheer coincidence, Chinese state tv had broadcast a new segment showcasing the building of a 4th dreadnought vessel, bigger than the other 3, followed up immediately by another segment that proclaimed that China’s multiple state agencies were talking of starting up agricultural and fuel production subsidies that would make China more self-sufficient on those two sectors within 6 years. TV dinner was never fun at the UN.  
China was being really aggressive. Their play was ‘give us what we want, or we walk and do it anyway’. Was this a calculated move? Or was this reactionary and panic? What was China’s goal? And most importantly, how could Stephen keep the peace whilst ensuring that the ‘Star Shield’ initiative was accepted? It didn’t help that UN members were now completely forgetting formality and protocol and were just acting out of emotion.  
The US delegate, had accused China in backroom talks of wanting to police their own population in an even more totalitarian manner, with China replying that such drones helped prevent massacres in the Luyten systems before, while completely ignoring the question of repressed domestic protests.  
Another 4 hours had now passed, making 27 without sleep. Stephen had to admit, even here the tactic of stalling and patiently bullying and tiring out everyone was working, although usually it wasn’t in such a heated and aggressive manner. In a strange turn of events and almost against protocol, it was now his turn to ask questions, even though he was not part of a member state delegation and was only the initiative submitter.  
Stephen had to take a gamble. Was China taking a calculated move? Or were they panicking and grasping at any straw they had? If it was the first, his question would worsen the situation considerably and set Earth back on the path of drone warfare. If it was the last, he might salvage the situation, and Earth would just maybe set back on the path of drone warfare and he would get his proposal passed.  
Stephen tried to push his stress and tiredness away and began to ask, “Ambassador Zhang. The enemy’s capabilities are on 2 sides of an extreme. They are both superior and inferior. They can simultaneously open multiple and fully functional wormholes within a gravitational body. And yet they fight with swords and shields. My question is, what happens when the enemy engages with your drones and they manage to capture sophisticated gunpowder weaponry, or worse, energy and railgun weaponry, or other technology they can reverse engineer?”  
Something snapped. The ambassador was silent and slack-jawed as she thought over the implications. After a full minute of awkward and oppressive silence, the Chinese delegation started to speak to each other in hushed whispers, despite the Speaker’s prompt for them to answer the question. It was panic then, Stephen sighed gratefully. The Chinese panicked and overreacted. Their rule not being democratic, was always more fragile in that it had to keep its citizens permanently placated and peaceful, violently or otherwise. Drones would’ve been a good solution for that, both against an enemy combatant as well as domestic threats.  
But the Chinese government wasn’t stupid. Giving the enemy any potential whatsoever to gain a disproportionate advantage would be a grave strategic error that could cost humanity everything. The hushed whispers turned into hurried phone calls, and a few minutes of delay turned into another 4 hours of waiting as the Chinese delegation finally returned to the floor of the UN assembly. Admiral Zhang indicated to the Speaker that she was at last ready to answer Stephen’s question.  
“Admiral, we believe that it would be a grave strategic error to allow the enemy any opportunity to reverse engineer human advanced weaponry,” she finally said. “Your question opens a glaring flaw in our amendment, and so we have taken some time to correct that mistake. We propose to the floor that the assembly should take some time to read the new amendment. We believe it will both address our concerns regarding Earth’s safety as well as compromise enough to allow the ‘Star Shield’ proposal to go through unopposed.”  
In the half-hour break that followed Stephen read the amended amendment and then laughed at the brilliance of it. The UN prohibition on drones was targeted specifically on armed drones, but exempted police-keeping forces that did not carry projectile-based weaponry, meaning only humans were allowed to carry and operate firearms, railguns and laser weaponry. The Chinese amendment circumvented this by explicitly stating that the millions of drones that they and other nations had, would only be allowed to carry melee weapons and shields.  
Another 2 hours passed as each delegation talked with their own respective governments and finally the ‘Star Shield’ proposal with its 2 extra amendments was passed. Stephen was silently basking in the victory with his own team of administrative workers and diplomatic aides and thought that perhaps finally he had figured out the political game and that it wasn’t so bad.  
He woke the next early afternoon to the news that the Chinese dreadnought would not reverse course despite the newly signed proposal and that the 4th dreadnought’s construction would continue as planned. In fact, the production facility would be expanded to start mass-producing a new prototype material that would be used for swords and shields. Stephen cursed and realized that he still hated politics as always.  
 
 
Devil Lord Azzazzel – The Horned Death – Dimensional Plane of the 9 Hells  
 
Azzazzel stared into the scrying orb and looked at the fat pig-beast that was clearly overcompensating by covering the top of his head down to the last tip of his tail with spikes and horns. “Gabruziel, how goes the raiding?”  
“Fine enough, though the prey here is hardly resisting. It is clear that none of those petty kingdoms and pathetic towns were prepared for a full invasion force of 50 legions. But I am having some difficulty with sieging a heavily fortified mage conclave as well as 2 deeply burrowed dwarven fortresses. I will need more contingents of siege-breakers from you. Some more pit fiends would do fine,” Gabruziel said in his slow drawl that managed to slobber spit and slime everywhere.  
“While we are of equal rank, our master still chose me as the leader for this invasion. I will not give you anything, you foul beast!” Azzazzel growled out. “Listen to me and obey! Belial has awoken and our master has regained his connection. In turn I have gained his location. He is held captive by a Mage elf whom Belial will surely try to corrupt from within his cage. Irrespective of his ability to break free, you are to move on from your current sieges and march all your forces straight for the border of the Sylvan Empire. It is conveniently near the border with the human’s dimensional plane, so your plans will not change much. I will maintain my plans and reinforce you in 3 weeks from now with the main bulk arriving in another 4 weeks after that. Go!”  
Gabruziel growled back in anger, “I will do no such thing without more support from you! You may be the leader of this invasion, but you will fail without me setting up a proper breeching point and supply chain. I have already suffered enough losses from the dwarves and orcs, and the Sylvan empire outmatches them both, especially in magic! While I may be punished and demoted for failing in my mission, you will be stripped of all power by our God himself! You have more to lose! So if you want to succeed, you will send me more pit fiends and other magic resistant siege-breakers!”  
Azzazzel’s horns flared brightly in an almost white-hot flame out of pure anger, “RAGH! Fine. You shall have your support. But if I still fail, I will drag you down with me and let our master consume you first!”  
Gabruziel grinned, exposing his sickly yellow and many sharp tusks. “It’s a deal!”  
 
 
Apprentice Mage Arundosar – Dimensional plane of Arenal – tavern in Hil’Sania  
 
“It is a strange experience to be sure,” Arundosar said as he kept staring at his new Ring of Translation while the humans kept eating. Arundosar had long given up on the voracious appetite of the humans who after half an hour were still eating, demanding more soup and chicken from the overworked tavern owner. Not that the surly elves behind the bar were to be pitied, they would just send the bill towards the city who would have to pay according to the reward they gave to the humans for rescuing all those families.  
“When you say certain words or especially when you say certain concepts that are strange to us, it seems to try and give me a feeling of an idea that tries to come as close as possible to the figurative meaning of the word, while I actually hear a word or words that most closely resemble the literal meaning,” Arundosar said as he continued the conversation on his own.  
“Can you give us an example?” the red-headed commander asked.  
“Sure, your name for instance. You say f- v-, uh, vall’keeree, right?” Arundosar asked as she nodded in confirmation. “Right, all I heard the first time you said it with the ring on was ‘warrior-maiden’ with a feeling of fierceness, and a deep, red-blooded focus. Like peering down at a ruby in a darkened hallway, and if you angled it just right so that a single ray of sunlight would hit it, you would see a glorious burst of fire from within.”  
Sam nodded while the others smiled and started nudging her. “Yeah, that sounds like our commander alright,” the biggest and most resembling a drow male, Camper, said. His name was directly translatable.  
“Camper is a strange name, are all humans’ names so strange?” Arundosar asked, “I mean no offense of course, just curious.”  
“Oh, no offense taken. They’re not really our names, but codenames, short new names that we use whenever we can’t use our real names. Like when we are in unknown territory, like now,” Camper said.  
“Ah, makes sense. You humans have been absent from Arenal for centuries, so of course it would be an unknown territory to you all. It’s no wonder then that the devils attacked you then. They tend to invade dimensions that are weak or isolated, so that no one will come to their aid. It increases the number of slaves and riches they can take,” Arundosar explained with a sneer.  
“Yeah, bet they’re regretting that decision now,” the large white male with pale blond hair, Icebear, said. His name was also directly translatable, although Arundosar had never seen an ice-bear before. Although, looking at him now, he figured he may as well have. He was a large and pale man who strangled a dire bear to death and was scaring the commoners around him constantly by wearing its fur and growling like an utter madman when his commander wasn’t around. The humans had a strange sense of humour. Funny, but definitely strange.  
“Alright, that was a good meal,” the commander said as was done destroying her second whole chicken. She turned to the Apprentice and asked, “what’s the plan for tomorrow, Arundosar?”  
Arundosar thought for a bit as he replied, “Ah, well, it all depends on you really. My master said that I was to help you all open up a portal to home, and I need a crystal for that. Now the Academy sells-“  
“We’ve been over this. The reward from the city is 50 gold pieces. Buying a crystal according to everyone here is at least 10.000 gold pieces. We can’t afford that,” Valkyrie answered. “And no. We are not selling any pieces of our armour or technology to the Academy.”  
“Yes, I understand, you were very clear about that, haha” Arundosar said half-heartedly. They were understandably adamant against such things, they were truly powerful suits of armour. But the reward he would get for it made him try in earnest. His master had promised him an instant promotion to Journeyman as well as a glowing recommendation to start the process of becoming an official Mage depending on how many secrets, both magical and non-magical, Arundosar could bring back from the humans to his master.  
“Well, that leaves 2 options. We dig for it ourselves and risk a tunnel collapse, getting robbed, finding no crystals at all, or potentially get raided by competing miners,” Arundosar said and noticed that none of the humans looked very impressed or willing. “Or we go win the main prize at the adventurer’s guild. I’ve seen it, it’s quite a sizeable crystal, enough to open up the portal for your size for at least a month, even at my Apprentice-level skill.”  
The humans seemed more enthusiastic, if still sceptical at that option. The one they called ‘Alien’, was the only one who really smiled at that option and seemed consistently ready to skip sleep and go sign up right now. Alien was translated strangely for Arundosar. He heard it as ‘foreigner-from-beyond-Earth’, with a deep and dark feeling along with a mysterious even dangerous after-feeling to it. And yet she looked so sweet and innocent, it was quite bizarre to Arundosar. The other names were quite fitting so far, as although he also didn’t understand the nickname of ‘Barhead’, he could imagine that the smallest of the human women could perhaps drink a lot.  
“However, the adventurer’s guild is a bit of a meatgrinder as the commoners say. You either get lucky or you are very skilled and you win big, or you die on the job either from dangerous and wild animals, gangs of thieves and robbers, a crazed lone mage, poisonous plants and other hazardous terrain, competing guilds, some kind of evil mastermind with an idiotic plot to conquer a kingdom, or stranded in a strange and unexplored planar dimension where the winds could fill your head with nightmares and make you fight each other,” Arundosar almost nonchalantly said with a slight shrug as he listed off the most common ways to die in the meatgrinder.  
“Oh, please commander, puh-lease!” Alien almost shouted as she pleaded with Valkyrie.  
“Gods-fucking-damnit. Fine. If only because we have no guarantee of quickly finding a crystal at all while mining. We’ll get some rest tonight and tomorrow morning we’ll see how much effort it takes to win a damn-fucking magic crystal so we can get home,” Valkyrie replied in defeat.  
“It will probably be a lot more effort, but almost assuredly much, much quicker,” Arundosar said. “Mining a large enough crystal to be of use may take months, if you even know where to look. Winning big in the guilds can take as little as a week, if you are strong enough. And I think you are,” Arundosar said with a wink. “I’ll be here tomorrow morning. Oh, and don’t spend any of that gold.”  
“Why not?” Icebear asked.  
“The sign-up fee for the guild is 50 gold pieces per adventuring party,” Arundosar replied as he got up, ready to go to his sleeping quarters in the Mage tower.  
All the humans simultaneously grumbled and complained about wanting to buy souvenirs, but Valkyrie cut them off and finished the conversation, “Alright. We’ll bring the gold pieces with us tomorrow. Easy come, easy go, I guess.”  
 
 
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