7 CLANS GASINO RED ROCK 8401 Highway 177 Red Rock, OK ...

Tales of Specter (Chapter 6)

CHAPTER 6
Astrapian City
SpenceSpecter Journal:
Entry - ??? It's been days and weeks since the Castle of the Valkyrie Queen crashed into the surface of the earth. Mostly I don't know where the heck are we... However I’m back to the Clan...
There is no place like Home...
I never thought that this place can look so good. The Specter Clan did a fantastic job in making it secure.
Specter says "Darkcrow, can you walk now?" "Well... With the Mechanic's help, I can walk, but it's going to take awhile before my leg is healed completely." He replied Spencer sits on his bed and think about what can he do.
Melody interview with my Clanmates, How did she found Specter also known as Me the Legendary Demon-Hunter.
One of the elf girl said "OMG! HOW DID YOU FOUND THE REAL SPECTER BLACKWING" and she continued ask questions for an extended period of time.
Melody said "Did you know about Me and Specter? I'm his Girlfriend." The Elf Girl said "OMG! Me and my friend have been waiting for this day for years! We've been Specter fans from the beginning! Sooooo... You guys are together now?" Melody replied "Well maybe... I do love Specter, He so cool and edgy..." The Elf Girl said "AHHHH, She's soooo Lucky to have him!" and they decided to scream in romantic excitements Melody blushed and stopped the rest of her reply.
Roger legs has fixed and he gone to trained outside in the clan with the clan mechanics. The clan mechanics added some new features of weapon in his robotic hand. Also the clan warriors added some new features of armor on his robotic body. After the upgrades, Roger is ready for combat for future missions.
The Clan Warrior said "This is the new metal coats for your new body, It can protect you from Corrosion and Bullets!” Roger will be a great robot warrior for the Specter Clan!
Lily, well she is now awake and has a interview with the knights on the other kingdom about the crash of the Castle of the Queen Valkyrie. She also has a chat with the Mechanic's of the Elf Clan about her motor skills.
Spencer said "Yeah, well it's good that she enjoy herself and not think about the sad stuff."
Victor, on the other hand, he kinda problem in his past-life as a Gambler. He can't stop thinking about it, he even tried to get the Specter help him to get cured, but they couldn't help.
Victor is a total greed loving Magi-Caster and I liked him... But his problem, is he attached on a past life. What is he hiding?
The next day after training and having fun, the Clans resume their meeting.
Specter says "Axelegore kill my partner Lurk and I have to avenge him for good. But i need the 7 orbs to combine into "The Elemental Orb" "The Elemental orb is a powerful magic artifact. It was used by the 6 knights of Lairon, but the creation of the Elemental orb is Unknown..." Specter explained the story
Specter says "Gizmo, The Small Chimera Furry who the former of the Axelegore Orders and has reveal the story of Axelegore Plan and the 6 knights but he died due to the battle with Cupiditas in The Castle of the Valkyrie Queen..." Gizmo is the Chimera Furry with a chip on his shoulder, but he has a bit of a hero complex. I can relate to that.
Specter says "We got the 5 orbs and the next one is the Electric Orb." The Mechanic's look at the 5 orbs and then to Specter. "We can make a Orb." One of the Mechanic's Replied.
Specter says "You can't unless you got them all 12 of them..." One of the Mechanic's look at each other and said "What, do we do?" "Well... We got the 5 orbs correct?" "Correct!
Specter says "Victor, did you seen the Electric Orb before?" "Yes, I saw it in the treasury before all of this chaos broke loose." Victor said with regret. "We have to get it back then."
Victor said "Mostly the Electric Orb was on Astrapian City, The most futuristic city with full of Money and Violence. It was found by the mayor for some unknown reasons. "It's know for power the entire city." "Do you remember where?" "Yes, It was in the Empire Astrapia State Building." "Can we get it?" Victor said "It's a risky try..." "We have to take down the entire state security force with all the Mercenaries and military there to defend it.”
Victor said "The mayor is worked for Axelegore, His name is unknown but the people called him The Black Dragon"
Specter says "Black Dragon, Is that the 4th orders?" "Yes they are, they were created recently. but yeah, that person is very dangerous.
List of Axelegore Orders
The Sky Crasher Leader: Gruz "They are the one, Sky Pirates who try to fly by shooting and cast magic to destroy all of the traveling ship and make them to banned traveling with airship all over the world and make their home."
The Dark Mechanicus Leader: Cogwheel "They are the ones who have all invented the really big and dangerous machine for the warfare and combat that does most of what the Dark Mechanicus does.
The Phantom Cultist Leader: Light "They are the ones who use their magic to battle and cast through the battlefield. They are the magical and powerful of all the orders.
The Black Dragon Leader: The Black Dragon. "This is the most unknown order, they are invisible to everyone except other members and seem to only be used as assassins by the other orders."
Specter says "They are one tough Orders..." "We can try but the attempt is most dangerous and failed to do this." Darkcrow said. Victor said "We are ready to go then, let's head to the city."
Specter says "Right, we got a world to save!" Victor and you all head to the city and begin your attempt to save the world.
The Astrapian City is a miles away from my Clanhouse and my Village but it's a very long walk to prepare for the Electric Orb... I packed up some food as well as the Orbs also my old dagger and my ropes...
Specter says "Where can i use the ropes for?" The ropes are for climbing big and small rocks. so, you can try climbing some nearby rocks. You find a few rocks you can climb near your current location.
Specter says "Well, i have to use the ropes or the dagger later until we headed to Astrapian City..." You begin to climb the rocks while packing the Orbs in your pack. While climbing, you accidentally drop one of the Orbs.
Victor grab and said "I got it!" and after a quick examination of the Orb, he said "Yes, it's still good!" You all continue to climb rocks until one of the rocks you are climbing is slightly wet.
After you climb a thousands steps. You see a great view and found Astrapian City.
"Woah..." he whisper. "We have to be very careful now, we are in their lands and they may have powerful fighters." Victor says.
Specter says "You got it!" Victor says "Right then, let's start heading to the city and quietly drop our pace until we find a good place to sleep." You all continue your journey to Astrapian City.
Astrapian City A cyberpunk world where everyone is a gambler, perverts, hackers, creepers and rogue.
"Everything is illegal is legal" is their motto!
Interesting Fun Fact! Astrapian City has the highest crime rate in Lairon Region! (Surprised?)
The buildings are tall and the streets are very wide. There is a large park area in the center of the city.
The city is ruled by a The Black Dragon and his council of advisors.
Specter says "What a bunch of rogue..." Just a bunch of gamblers and perverts though. We should ask for a job at the gambling hall... Well, looks like we are already in a lot of trouble.
Victor said "Those guys can break a skull on you for good!" which scared you a bit. You all go into a dark alley way to rest for the night.
Roger sleeps while standing up and Victor get a little too close to your personal space before going to sleep.
Specter says "This is kinda creepy place..." The three of you look around and see if there is any potential danger. "Yeah, this place is creepy..." Victor says in a low voice. You all feel your weapons ready just in case.
Well it's just a drunk guy who drank a lot of beer... and passed out. Still, might be best to keep an eye on him. The Six all proceed to sleep and wait for midnight to start to find the Electric Orb.
Specter wake up and their items got stolen! They all wake up at the same time and check your stuff.
To his surprise, his weapons are gone. He look at Victor, he's still asleep, he whisper to him that his weapons are missing.
Specter says "Damnit! Victor wake up our stuff is gone!" Victor slowly wake up and feel his stuff. "Hmm, my things are gone too..." "Well I guess we might as well get up..."
Specter says "Where the thief at!" You all notice the drunk guy sleeping at the end of the alley. You wonder if he is the one who took your stuff.
Then you wonder if killing him is going to make things worse for you.
Specter says "Hey, you drunk head! Where our stuff!" The drunk guy wakes up and immediately realizes something is wrong. You all wonder if it would be better to wait for him to pass out again. However, he starts running in your direction.
Specter says "Hey, that the Thief! Get him!" You all quickly begin chasing the guy. You try to grab his leg, however he eludes your grasp. By now other people have seen the commotion and are also taking an interest.
Specter says "Where the orbs and our stuff!" The Drunk guy starts running in random directions trying to get away from you all. The drunkard runs into a dead end alley and the Specters and you all wonder what to do next.
Specter says "I tell you one last time! Where is our stuff!" Victor then says something that surprises you all. "We might as well let him go and get our stuff back, he is just a little drunk right now..."
The drunk guy return the weapons and the orb back to Specter and run away from him
And Specter said "God! I hate this city!" So, the thief was not punished, but you are all satisfied that he will not do it again. But you realize there something over the dead end alley wall.
It's the Empire Astrapia State Building! Making you all think... "Hey, I thought that...!" Victor says something that surprises you all.
The Empire Astarpia State Building One of the Tallest Building in Astarpian City. It's also the Tallest Building in Entire Lairon Region with over 150th floors and powered and controlled by the Electric Orb with 1,000,000 gigavolts per years!
It was named Astrapia State Building by Victor as a joke for the Mayor.
Specter says "That's the Empire Astrapia State Building, or should i called E.A.S.B" "So Victor, what are you going to do with the Empire Astrapia State Building?" "I'm going to make a profit of course!" "Wait but isn't it illegal to use?
Victor said "Have you read the motto of Astarpian City?" "No?" "It's Everything is illegal is legal!" Victor then said "If you know what you are doing, it's perfectly legal to use.
Specter says "What kind of motto is that..." "Indeed." "How stupid can the government of this city get? (Sigh) Well, we can come back for the Building later, I guess. “Are you questioning my intelligence?" "No, but I’m asking you a question. Darkcrow can't stand up yet. but he found a way to enter the Empire Astrapia State Building. There two girls employees are entering the dressing room at the back door. And he saw one of the mafia with a VIP pass entering the E.A.S.B entrance door.
Specter says "Darkcrow, What's your plan?" "Plan? I don't have a plan, yet." "Just wait, maybe the best way is to..." Melody and Lily interrupts Darkcrow plan. Darkcrow said "Geez! What you doing here..." They both replies at the same time "Specter's orders!" Lily said. "We're here to escort you to the Empire Astrapia State Building! Melody said. Darkcrow complain. "Specter!"
Specter says "Well.. I don't even know... because I like some girls escort our team..."
Darkcrow punched Specter in a shoulder. "Ow! Why you punch me for?" "I don't know... I’m just pissed at something right now!" Darkcrow secretly doesn't want the girls joining his team mission. One of the gang at outside at the entrance of the E.A.S.B said to the gambler who want to gamble in E.A.S.B "Hey man, Give me your money or we'll beat you up!" Gang beat the Gambler to his death and drop his VIP pass.
"What the?" Victor said when he saw the crime.
"Well, it's obvious now that this is a perfect place to steal some stuff!" Specter said.
Specter steal the VIP pass.
"Alright team, we need to get out this stinky alley and find the Electric Orb!" Victor nods. You all take a good look outside the Empire Astrapia State Building. But the guards blocking you and said "May i see your pass, please?
Specter present his VIP pass.
You and the rest of your team pass the guards while they say "Wow! You're really lucky, man! Welcome to the Empire Astrapia State Building!"
Empire Astrapia State Building A huge skyscraper. While you're on the 40th floor, you can see the nice views of Astarpian City. This means that there should be some spare items around here somewhere.
Specter says "We need to register a room to rest up for the plan."
And you're all surprised to see that this city has a hotel on top of the sky city. Of course, it's the Empire Hotel Astarpia State Building.
The hotel room has a very luxury bedroom, kitchen, and a very large living room. A butler awaits your orders and ready to serve you at all times. You can make people think you're really rich by just telling them your name is Master Specter.
The butler announced the Black Dragon has a ceremony at E.A.S.B event hall. Tonight at 12:00 AM "Be there or we'll kill you!"
"You bet, boys!" Victor said. You nod at each other. "Go get some rest of the guys, we're heading to the ceremony." Specter ask. "Yes, Master Specter." The butler leave your hotel room.
Specter says "Geez! What we gonna do to get the Electric Orb!"
Victor says "I don't know." Spencer thinks for a moment. Roger says "Does anyone remember where the location of the location was? Victor said "Basically it's on the top to the tower." Spencer stands up "Let's get to the 100th floor!"
Specter says "But, how we gonna get the Electric Orb without getting caught by Black Dragon and his guards"
Specter hears and saw in the peephole. About those Bunny-Suit waitress talking in the hallway about The Black Dragon Identity.
The one waitress said "Did you know that he is working with Axelegore. That's why we should sit next to the VIP area in the event hall." Another waitress replies "Well, I heard he is the head of the Black Dragon Order.”
Specter says "Melody, Lily. I think you gotta need a distraction as the Bunny Girls Waitress at The Black Dragon."
"Haha, good idea!" Victor laughs. Spencer says "Victor, let's use your trick card to open the control room."
Specter says "Darkcrow, Roger. You guys up to make money at the Casino for me."
Darkcrow said "You serious, man?" Roger said "Yeah, I'm programmed to never ever to do gambling!" Victor says "Well, you can help me at the Control Room instead." Darkcrow said "Really, this is my worst mission of my life!
Specter says "I bet you, all the money from the Casino is yours!
Darkcrow agreed with his greedy attitude "Deal!" Melody replied "Hey Specter, why do I really need to distract The Black Dragon with the Bunny Suits anyways?"
Spencer says "I think the plan is, you seduce him with the bunny suit to prevent him from calling the guards, so we can get the orb from the room. also you with Lily!
Specter says "Lily, on the other hand is also has a Magi-Ability: Lilith"
Linda "Lily" Lilith Skyhound, The Demon Pilot in the Sky, Specter Ex-Girlfriend.
Magi-Ability: Lilith She can turn into a lilith or a succubus and any type of class such as Knight, Wizard or Cleric anything she wants! According to her beautiful and seductive dress of the entire female class!
She can take the job of a magical-demon to be tricked actively by the Black Dragon, but she is not stupid and agrees with Specter. Lily said "I agreed with the plans of Specter, also if I wears the bunny suits, I can turn my class Pilot into Magician! " Spencer: "Yes, I think you can do it. Lily said "Melody, are you doing this?" Melody replied "Of course :)" Lily said "Beautiful, let's get ready!"
11:55 PM before the shows started…
The plan has already started at E.A.S.B. Lily and Melody are in the dressing room where they going to serve some wine to the mayor also known as The Black Dragon, Darkcrow is on his black suits and got some chips and some cheating cards to his pocket. While Specter, Roger and Victor wearing a suit and they now going to the 100th floor.
The Bunny Waitress Team is on their way to the Casino as well, Specter decide not to tell them of the plan, they will probably just do the distraction.
Darkcrow is on his poker table with some Mafia around him. He gulp nervously... and he got the sweat all over him and said "Oh, hello there!" The mafia has a menacing look all over him! "Do you know how to play game?" The game master asks politely. "Why yes! I got a huge game of 5D-Jacks going on right now! Come let do this!" Darkcrow says happily.
Darkcrow sweating nerverously and wished "Man, i wish Roger should join me in this Casino!
Meanwhile, Victor, Specter and Roger enter the control room...
Spencer uses his magical powers, but no one is around, in fact the room seems deserted.
Specter says "No one here..." "It's empty!" Victor said with a creepy laugh. "Let's get the work done!" "What happens if the boss comes back?" Roger asks.
Specter says "Well, we have to stay focus." Suddenly, The Electric Orb is gone!
"Where is it?" Victor asks. "I don't know, someone must have took it." Roger says.
Specter says "It's must be that Black Dragon Guy at the Event Hall!"
"We have to find it!" Victor says. "Orb's power can be accessed by anyone." Roger points out.
Specter call Melody in her small microphone on her Bowtie.
"Melody! Lily! The Black Dragon got the Electric Orb!”
"We're in the begin in the ceremony now!" She replied. "Got it! Thanks Blueberry!" He replied. "We're on our way, we'll be there soon!" Roger said. "Huh, whoever he is, he must be a powerful and intelligent guy..." Victor mutters.
Specter end the call with Melody.
and Victor said "You called your Girlfriend, Blueberry?" "Yeah, she's a big hero around the campus..." Specter said with a cheeky smile. "Heh, well alright, I guess it's just as well that we have you along then."
Meanwhile at Melody...
Melody said "The Black Dragon got the Electric Orb!"
"That's great!" Lily replied. "Let's get going, we have to meet The Black Dragon in the ceremony!" Melody said. "OK!" She agreed.
The show announcer said "And now, the biggest guest! we like to announce..."
PLEASE WELCOME! THE MAYOR OF ASTARPIA CITY AND OWNWR OF E.A.S.B!
THE BLACK DRAGON! The Black Dragon has a shiny black silky tuxedo and a sharp white hair that cover his one eyes also with a black fedora and a Skull staff on his hand. He looks like Specter.
"Hello Everyone! Thank you for attending my biggest event so far!" He has a microphone in his hand.
Dragon said "This ceremony about my greatest city of them all and my biggest power in this city!"
Then, the Dragon begin to speaks...
"Now, I want you know that this event WILL be a historical moment! Axelegore, He one of my working partner with this work and this city, Our powers will rise above the world! I make this promise! Now, this isn't a speech this time, this is a question and answer session. If you don't ask me, you don't sit at the table! I HAD THIS! BABY!" he present the Electric Orb!
The Crowd gasp and say "WOW!" "Now, ask me a question, and i will answer!" The Dragon said while smiling. "This Orb can powered our City to the Unlimited Powers!" That mean More Crimes, More Violence’s and More Deaths in this Death Arena for those weaklings heroes who tries to restore the Orb! Now it's your turn to be the Dragon! "Why didn't you restored the other Orbs?" A Man asked. "It's a long story..." Dragon began to tell his tale... Dragon disagree the tale "But, it's a secret!" "Don't worry about it!" He replied. "But..." The Man said. "IT'S A TRUTH, NOT A BIG DEAL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU!" He replied angrily!" "I WANT TRUTH NOW!" He yelled to him!
Dragon yelled "OK, I'll reveal the truth, WHOEVER SHOOT THAT MOTHERFUCKING MAN HEAD WIN FOR A THOUSANDS BUCKS!" The man said "Wait, please no!" Then he turned to the Crowd and said "I'm sorry for my actions, I'm new at this and it was a mistake to come back here!"
Dragon said "IT'S TOO LATE! EVERYONE DRAW!" Everyone shoot at the Man Head and lead him in the painful death with a thousands bullet shot through the entire body...
The Black Dragon is a very powerful and dangerous man with a huge killing streak. Surprisingly, he dislikes to talk about his past.
Dragon said "What a Bloodbath! Guards, Send this man corpse to the Cremation Room. Before those grubs eaten him alive. Also here some thousands bucks whoever kill that guy!" He throw the Bill towards to the Crowd!
Everyone starts to grab the Bill! Dragon laughed insanely "Haha! I loved this city!" Melody was serious and said "What a dangerous man..."
Suddenly, Dragon invited "Who's that pretty woman? You want to join us for some drinks?" He pointed his staff to Melody... Melody accepted, this is some kind of amazing thing... Melody said "Me?"
"Yes, come sit next to me!" Dragon replied. "Really?" She replied back. "Yes, really! Don't I know you?" Dragon questioned. Melody walk down the stairs and sit with Dragon but Lily started sit with Dragon, But he said "Stop! NOT YOU!"
Lily said "But..." Dragon replied "Aren't you the blue haired bunny-suit woman that I pointed to her? Lily said "Yes, I'm her partner." "Oh, you look prettier! Come sit next to me…” Dragon agreed her info! Melody and Lily were sitting next to Dragon… They talked about life as the mayor of Astarpian City and then he said. "So tell me, have you ever loved a boy before?"
Melody reply with embarrassment "Wha.. What? No! Please, who would love a girl like me? Dragon said "Tell me, have you ever loved a boy before?"
"Seriously?" She replied. "Serious" He replied. "No, why would I?" Melody replied again. "Tell me, have you?" Dragon replied again. "No! Melody replied. Dragon said "Well, this is your lucky day for you. Because I'm here!"
The next moment, Dragon started to stare at Lily very close...
Then he said "Hmmm, you're not quite pretty enough to be a succubus, but you could make an excellent-" Lily said "What?"
Dragon interrupted him "I was going to say you could make an EXCELLENT PAWN ... or MEAT..."
Lily ask the Crowd "WHAT?!" Meanwhile... Specter, Roger and Victor is now on the Casino and saw Darkcrow won a lot of pokers chips bets from the mafia. The mafia are well known defeated and broke!
Darkcrow said "FUCK YEAH! FIFTY TIMES IN THE ROW!" He high fived the Crowd surrounding him. Roger said "Let's stake our winnings here!"
Specter says "Yo! Dark! Are you done here?" Darkcrow said "Yeah! I won 50 times in a row!" Victor and Specter got some chips from Darkcrow. "Victor, what do you think of Darkcrow's winning? Victor, disagree his winning streaks and said "Amateur! I won 100 times in this Casino!" Darkcrow look confused and said "What? You're joking!" Victor said "I swear to God! I'm the best Gambler here! Darkcrow said "OH YEAH?"
"Yeah, you're still an amateur." Victor said and walk away. Specter said "Let's stake our chips here! Dark shouted "Oh yeah! Victor, For now on, You're now my rival!" and high fived him.
Victor said "Hah, you and your 50 winning-streak in the row. Enough with the High Fives! Let's play Poker right here! Right now!"
Specter says "Enough! You Greedy Rats! We're have to find Melody and Lily!" "Oh, sorry! Let's go!" Darkcrow said. They left the casino room to find Melody and Lily and Darkcrow came back to get the chips "Sorry, but the chips coming with us!" He steal the chips and put them in the loot bag!
Meanwhile... Melody and Lily trying their best to distract Dragon! "Hey you! Stop staring at my butt!" Lily said. "Oh wait, are you talking to me?" Dragon replied. "Yeah, you better stop that." she replied. "Or what?" he replied. Melody try to sneaky steal the Electric Orb... and Dragon caught her! "What are you doing?! You trying to shock me?" he said in annoyance. "NO! But you have to let us go." Melody replied. "Oh yeah, I should let you go..." Dragon said. She smiled. "NOT, IF I GIVE YOU A KISS!" Dragon laughed insanity. “No, No, No, No!” Melody tries to run for it! He ran towards her and kissed her.
Suddenly, Specter saw Dragon kissing Melody in her lips... Dragon saw Specter and said "Aw... was that your Girlfriend that I kissed her in front of you?"
Specter says Rghh..." Specter stare at Dragon angrily and completely cover with red haze and aura in his body! "Should have waited until we're alone!" Dragon now knows. Melody tries to free herself from Dragon, but he is too strong! “By the way, as the mayor of the Astarpian City, She is now shall will be my QUEEN!” Dragon shouted!
Specter says "YOU GET AWAY MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU FUCKING FREAK!" In his demonic voice! He dash towards Dragon and gave him a punch in the face cause his skull break and then another one, and then another one! But Dragon won't go down! He punch back, and then several of them!
Specter summon the dead, demon and ghosts from out of nowhere to be his ally to protect from the Crowd! Several Ghosts and Demons started to appear around the area! More ghosts, skeletons and demon appeared to back them up! "Come on Specters! Do your thing!" Darkcrow orders. Dragon cast his mysterious Magi, and blew many specters away, including the crowd! Grim and evil spirits are powerful indeed! The crowd shoot the dead with their Tommy Gun. But no effects to the dead! The ghost slice through the crowd! The crowd died instantly!
Specter cast his powerful weapon Hades Scythe! Dragon casted an spell against him, but Specter block the attack! Then, he used his weapon, Hades Scythe to cut Dragon's arm! It was bleeding! The battle now begin to heating up! Dragon said "Damnit! Where that Rogue come from!" Then, in a flash of light, Dragon see a man standing there holding a very large scythe! He was tall, with dark shadow aura and long red hair!
Specter says "Dragon, You're souls is mine... AND I WON’T FORGIVE YOU!!!" He swing his scythe and Dragon casted his own Magi against him, but the Specter easily blocked the attack! "Let's make one thing clear, before I kill you!"
Specter ignore his orders and attack his wrath! “IT’S TOO LATE, TO PAY YOUR CONSEQUENCE!” He attacked him, with several ghosts, skeletons, and demons supporting him! Dragon casted some sort of shield against Specter attack! The clash of the powerful auras shock both fighters and their minions!
Suddenly, Dragon cast Nova! Nova appears to be a powerful explosion of light and sound! He can barely hear anything, but he see everything! Demons, Specters and even some ghosts blown away instantly!
“NGAHHHHH! DRAGOOOOON!” Specter shouted!
Dragon is retreating with his cutted right arm and left the Electric Orb behind. Dragon run for his life and got collapse on the ground and Suddenly, the mysterious pirate grab him and take him to the familiar ship.
Dragon said "Thanks for saving me, Gruz..." Gruz reply "No problem, but I think it's time we stop this little fight. The other group is ready to retreat this rogue wrath." "Hmm, let me just finish this fight, and then we can attack together!" Dragon replied
Gruz said "I'm afraid, you can't do that! Step on it, Sizzling Sisters! We have to retreat!"
The Sky Crasher ship retreat to the another place instead of the E.A.S.B.
Meanwhile... Melody and her teams trying to stop Specter wrath, Specter walking down the hallway to the exit to find Dragon!
Melody said "Specter! Just listen to me!" But he's not listening to anyone. He's too focused on killing Dragon cowering at the Sky Crasher ship. Melody said "Come on! Specter! Just listen to me!" She grab him and kiss him!
Specter heart is filled with love... He calmed down the Wrath... The shadows aura began to fade away..
Specter return to his former self... Melody take back her right hand away from him and just stood there awkwardly "Uh... Just let me come with you..." He said sadly. She said "Sorry Specter."
Specter says "Melody..." She turn around and she run away. She left him standing alone.
Meanwhile in Dragon...
Gruz said "Dragon, I can't believe that Specter Boy, destroyed your headquarter!"
Dragon said "Heh! I know..." Gruz said "I take it you want revenge?" Dragon said "Of course..." Gruz nods and hands over a small black orb.
Gruz, The Captain of the Sky Crasher Magi-Ability: Chaos
The Black Dragon, Leader of the Black Dragon Magi-Ability: Omega
Gruz: He can cast every Dark Magi from every Dark Magi-User.
Dragon: While Dragon on the Other Hands. He has the power to cast every Magi whatever he likes!
Gruz: Well, Axelegore is on Death Island with the Entire Orders also aren't you wanna stay with your crew at Death Island first, It's for resting for the battle you and that Specter Boy?
Dragon: Yes, fly your ship to Death Island.
Gruz: WELL THEN, OF WE GO TO DEATH ISLAND!
END OF CHAPTER 6
You have reached to Chapter 6
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OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…11

Continuing…
That being handled, I leave a wakeup call for 0430 as I want a shower and a couple shower-sunrisers before we leave. It takes me about 10 minutes to pack. I call home to let Es know what’s going on. She’s not in, so I leave a message. Same for my friends Rack and Ruin of the Agency. They’re thrilled so far with my reports.
The security forces here are absolutely going to freak if they reverse-review my phone records once we leave.
Covert? Schmovert. I’m too old for playing such games.
The next morning, after a sudsy shower and a couple of vodka-infused shower-beers; I’m in the lobby with all my kit, checked-out, and waiting on the tour leader. My passport was stamp-stamp-stampity-stamped here at the hotel, which I thought was weird, but after spending time in this here country, not all that unusual.
At 0545 on the dime, the tour bus pulls into the lot. Without a word, bellhops grab near all my kit and escort it out to the waiting bus.
After tipping each extravagantly, I fire up a huge cigar, and wander around outside, loitering by the bus. I see members of my team at the front desk, checking out. Everything’s been paid for already, they just have to sign documents that they’re not secreting hotel towels or televisions or errant nationals in their luggage.
It’s a weird country.
I see them loading box breakfasts for us as well as box lunches on the bus.
Hell, they’re actually doing ‘field trip’ correctly.
If the bus us fueled up, we can go for days at this rate. There are several coolers bearing the hotel’s brand and I sidle over to see what they’re carrying.
Case after case of iced-down beer and a couple of cases of various high-octane potables; and over there? A couple of boxes of mixers…ah, soda…pop…carbonated citrusy goodness.
“OK”, I sigh, “All is as it should be. Now the field excursion may begin.”
My teammates filter outside as does their luggage. I suggest they get out and keep what is necessary for preliminary outcrop excursions; such as a backpack or knapsack, hammer, acid bottles, field notebooks, Brunton compass, lighters, cameras, personal tobacco products, and the like in the bus. That way, we don’t have to go tearing through all the luggage at every stop.
I pull out a bundle of 100 Hubco™ large geological dual-sample bags. That’s right: ‘dual’ sample…
I distribute these to everyone on the team. I ask that they devise their own numbering system and make absolutely certain I have a copy of it when we’re done. I’ll be correlating and curating all the samples when we get back to the world.
I ask that a cooler of drinks are left on board the bus, rather than in the hold. It’s humid, sticky, and muggy today. We must expend valiant effort in remaining hydrated and this will help.
Luckily, the bus has on-board lavatory facilities.
We are seated on the bus, my 10 collective team members, myself, our 4 ‘guides’, ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’; our driver, relief driver, one incredibly shy national geologist, Myung-Dae Soo, and four of the shiny suit clan.
The hotel wheels out a large cart laden with pastries and a huge coffee urn. A bit of a “Bon Voyage” from the casino and bar crowd, as they put this together for us when they heard we were leaving.
“Hey. That’s really nice of them.” Dax notes.
Dax handed over our raw “elevator waiting” funds as we didn’t have time to run it through the casino-machine before we left. We donated over 75,000 won to our friends at the bar, casino, and massage parlor. The ones delivering our going away present assured us it would be divided equitably.
“It best be”, I laughed, “You never know when one of us might be back!”
There was a collective horrified look on their faces for the merest moments. Then they all laughed and said that they hoped we would return someday soon.
“Nice folks”, I thought, “Stupid as shit country, but nice folks.”
We had all separately left tips for the room maids, bellmen, and matrons back before we checked-out.
There was a flurry of handshaking and goodbyes. Not a bad hotel experience here in the so-called land of Best Korea.
Serious dark coffee was passed out amongst the riders, but Ivan, myself, and Dax were already giving one of my emergency flasks a workout.
Ivan smiled and said: “We drink our coffee the Russian way. That is to say we had vodka before it and vodka afterward. HA!”
Ivan and I are cut from the same bolt.
Faux-doughnuts, pseudo-bear claws and fake-long johns all distributed; the bus is fired up, and rumbling. We are exhorted to watch our drinks as we pull away from the hotel and into the wilds of Northern Korea.
I’m humming away:

On the road again -Just can't wait to get on the road again,
The life I love is bashing rocks in the field with my friends.
And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again.
Goin' places that we've never been,
Seein' things that we may never see again…
--
“Rock?”, Dax inquires.
“Yes?” I reply.
“Do please shut up.”
“Music hater”, I muse and comply.
We’re rolling down the highway, as it were, headed generally north. We all have cameras of one kind or another; and rather than relieve us of them, they quietly and without much fuss, slowly darken the windows.
They claim it’s to keep the sun out and temperatures down, but just before things go all black, we’re seeing sights and scenes of the true North Korea. They’re trying to keep us from seeing that en route to the outcrops.
This new bus has some sort of electronic tint-control gizmo for the windows. However, if one has a pair of polarizing sunglasses, as all good field geologists do, you see right past that and can view the passing scenery unencumbered.
I return from a quick beer-recycling loo trip and am amused to see 10 Western scientists, sitting in a blacked-out bus, all wearing polarizing sunglasses.
It was just the surreal note this trip needed as we left the confines of the capital city.
We traveled north, and the empties pile began to grow. We had a few trash bags we had liberated from the hotel, but the shiny suits were very insistent that every empty can, bottle, and bag, yes they had beer in bags…had to be repatriated to a box in the far back of the bus.
Evidently, they either were paid a bounty on each container or were accountable for each vessel. They were soon to realize just the capacity for drink that a group of 11 seasoned very Senior Field Geologists, and one stowaway geologist-in-training can amass.
As we ply our way northward, we see the agricultural side of North Korea. The contrast between rural areas and the capital was striking. There were miles of rice paddies being harvested by people with sickles in their hands. And no cars on the highway. It was most destabilizing for this Westerner.
I think we saw a maximum of three tractors, as most of the work was done with ox power, there was very little evidence of rural electrification. Oh, hold on. We saw many more tractors, I should correct that: we saw three running and not rusted into oblivion tractors.
The farmers we see are using equipment that is quite literally medieval - single-share plows pulled by large, cranky bovines; sweeping sickles to bring in the harvest, and twin-engine, bilateral, botanical-fired ox-carts to transport it. It’s hard to believe that this third-world level of poverty exists in the same country that’s capable of building rockets, nuclear weapons, and tall, well-appointed hotels.
But when we stop at a motorway service station for fuel - a bizarre alien spaceship-like building squatting over the empty carriageways - we do encounter a jangmadang, or semi-official market. Here they are selling cans of knock-off Vietnamese Red Bull and Malaysian-made King Cobra™ Cola.
It reminds me of Russia right after the wall fell. Off the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk, the Gateway to Eastern Siberia. You can buy Chinese hams, Chinese sodas, Chinese knock-off liquor, and those bloody delicious little bullets of Vitamin-C, Chinese mandarins.
Here, it’s similar. You can get most anything you desire, except it isn’t of Korean manufacture. That stuff is even too shitty to pawn off on tourists.
Instead, it’s knock-off Malaysian, Chinese, or Indonesian beer, wine, or soft drinks.
“Tiger-brand energy drink. Now with 40% more real tiger.” Here? I believe them.
Vodka from everywhere not known for its vodka distilling prowess. Rural hotel shops sell nastily stale crisps, gummy gummies, filling-ripping ‘chewy’ taffy or caramel, and biscuits with a severely limited choice. Rural hotels do not have full electricity so beer is warm and often tossed on the table, waiting for tourists to arrive - as is the food. We were warned to be prepared for cold rice, cold fish, cold potato – and plenty of kimchi and tofu.
Back on the road again, we’re passing small burgs that are not on any of our maps; even the ones we traded for back in the hotel that are specially marked: “For Internal Use ONLY!”.
They were amazingly the same. Clean. Bright. Uncluttered. And attended by cadres of prim, uniform-clad, though non-military people. They were all doing a day’s work keeping everything neat and clean.
There were no cars, trucks, forklifts…only rickshaws and ox-carts. However every one of these ‘towns’ were identical, and exactly, as Ivan pointed out, ‘X’ number of minutes apart.
“Watch! Is so!”, Ivan said. We passed one of these villages, and exactly 3 minutes later, an exact copy. Three minutes later? Another one. 3 more minutes? Xerox-city.
“What the fuck?” Dax asked.
“Potemkin village.” Comrade Dr. Academician Ivan replied.
A Potemkin village is any construction, literal or figurative, whose sole purpose is to provide an external façade to a country which is faring poorly. It is for making people believe that the country is faring better, although statistics and data would suggest otherwise.
“Russia pioneered the process,” Ivan noted with no small amount of pride. “During Cold War with West, entire cities were built, moved, raised, and razed. Ever hear of Krasnoyarsk-25? Atomic Research City? Supposed place of weapons study and manufacture. Huge ‘accident’. Entire city demolished, total populace relocated supposedly, after massive nuclear calamity.”
“Is that true? Cliff asks.
“No. Not at all.” Ivan smiles, “Deliberate misinformation. At least for K-25. It was diversion for actual towns where accidents; nuclear, biological, or worse, had happened. West so concerned about K-25 because it was big, near big capital city of Krasnoyarsk and suitably located out in the taiga. Easy to spot, easy to watch. Kept Western satellites busy while real towns of I-33, U-10, and AR-13 out in the forest were quietly demolished and people relocated or mass buried after some horrible, horrible accidents...”
“You think it’s the same here?” I asked Ivan.
“No, Dr. Rock”, Ivan smiled, and helped himself to my freshly constructed, but untouched, Yorshch, “This is all fake and bluster. Make West think everything is all A-OK, is that right idiom?”
“Yep.” I reply, “Precisely.”
“Make West believe all is OK and green”, as he winks at me, “And bustling and growing. Cover up what is real case here. We all see it and we see right through. Shoddy even for Asians.”
We all had to snicker and smirk as the shiny suit squad, who sat up at the front of the bus, and were not supposed to be listening; reacted like every cell in their bodies were just hit with a drop of pure lemon juice.
“Comrade Dr. Academician. Decorum, please.” I snickered.
“Oh, fuck them!”, Ivan replied, “I am old Russian. They try and pull burlap over my eyes? St. Petersburg? Moscow? Krasnoyarsk.? I’ve been there, seen them. They think this display of tawdriness…Even goofy American and Canadian can see the fakes they are. Britisher? I’m not so sure…”
“Damn, Doctor., I said to Ivan, “You’re just making friends all over the planet today.”
We all knew it was in jest; but the shiny suit squad certainly had their feathers ruffled and either didn’t care or wanted us to know we were under their observation.
“Fuck them twice”, Ivan said, “Ask them for bottle opener. I’m too lazy to search for my field jackknife.”
I hand him my pocket Leatherman and he pries the top of another bottle of ‘Budveiser’ beer.
“They can’t even make fake the name correctly”, he smirks and drains the bottle.
‘Town’ after ‘town’ and even that parade gets uninteresting. We’re headed north and finally come to a crossroads.
The bus driver, who must be a regular paranoid-maniac because he actually stopped to look for oncoming traffic, which we have seen precisely none since leaving the capital city, made a hard right. We’re heading back and up into the hills, leaving the bright lights of the big city far behind.
After an hour or so of driving, we pull off to the left-hand side of the road.
“Rock, Ivan, Cliff…holy shit, look at this!” Dax was uncharacteristically excited.
It was an open field that leads to a series of low outcrops of polychromatic, obviously sedimentary rocks. Magentas, greens, purples, rust-reds, browns, blacks, olive greens…holy shit. A real sedimentary pile.
We filed out of the bus with our field gear. The shiny suit squad started in with a bullhorn.
“You will wait for tour guides!”
“You will listen to group leaders!”
“You will not stray from the designated paths set up…”
No one heard them as the group of 11 remaining Western geoscientists were already across the highway and hieing for the exposures like outcrop-seeking multiple-warhead re-entry vehicles.
“You must wait!” we heard from exasperated voices back at the bus. “You must stop!”
“You must piss off!” Cliff said, “This is what we’ve been waiting over two weeks to see!”
“They are very angry with us”, Myung-dae the young Korean geologist said. “I find that just too bad.”
“And you are?” I asked.
Myung-dae Soo, the young Korean geologist, introduced himself.
“Well”, I said, “Welcome aboard. I’m Dr. Rock.”
“They are very, very angry”, he repeats.
“So? Are you tagging along to give them internal reports?” I asked.
“No, Doctor”, he replied, “I too am a geologist. I want to get away from those assholes and see some real rocks.”
“Who are you with?” I ask, “What group?”
“I am 5th-year student at Pyongyang College. I am not officially here. We were told in class that you were coming. I decided to see if I could join you. This morning, I was standing by bus and they thought I was hotel worker or orderly. I was given cooler full of beer and told to find place for it on the bus. I did and after that, just stayed in the back. I am stowaway. I am ashamed, but I had to see for myself. But, I like Western field trips so far!”
“No shit? Well, then”, I said, “Double welcome aboard. None of this ‘I am ashamed’ shit. You’re a geologist, but you haven’t even worked through your first field-evening get-together with us. But this is no pleasure cruise. It’s real work, real geology, real serious science shit. You savvy?”
“Yes, sir, Doctor Rocknocker from Sultanate in the Middle East.” Myung-dae smiled.
“And you fucking stay close to me”, I smirked.
I fired a couple of BLAAATS! from my portable air horn.
“Field Meeting! Field Meeting! Assholes & Elbows!” I called aloud.
Everyone gathered within earshot.
“OK, guys, here’s the deal. We do not know how long we’ve got here. So, let’s split up into teams. Geophysicists, go do your structural thing. Stratigraphers? Field relations. Geologists? Let’s go talk to some ronery-rooking-rocks. No offense, Mr. Myung.”
Myung-dae was laughing up a storm. He got that reference. He later told us all around the campfire he thought ‘Team America’ was a “fucking hilarious movie.”
Oh, we are going to be a real bad influence on this poor kid.
The groups spontaneously broke up into 4 or 5 sub-groups. They headed for areas they thought were important and they were photographing, measuring, pounding on rocks, and arguing within minutes.
“No, you idiot! It’s continental. Look at those adhesion ripples.”
“The fuck you know. It’s only a little low-level eggbeater tectonics. Where the fuck would you get continental collision-size energy around here?”
“Oh, the fuck you say. It’s non-marine. Those are mud cracks. Look at the sandy aeolian infill, fer chrissake.”
Formal? Proper? Detached Doctors of Geology?
Not when you’re in the field. It all goes out the window when different opinions collide like subducting plates.
“The music of my people!” I said to Morse.
“I thought that was the ‘Safety Dance’?” he chided.
“We’re a big family. We can have more than one.” I snickered.
We’re wandering around the site, with individual purpose.
We are looking for or looking at items of interest.
We’re hacking at the outcrops.
We’re all looking at…things.
It’s hard to describe. Get a load of geologists or geology students out of the office, lab, or classroom; stick them out on a bare expanse of heavily weathered rock and it’s simply…numinous.
We’re rebuilding worlds here.
This rock says this.
This rock says that.
And you’re not fluent in that dialect. Here, let me interpret for you…
We’re at each other’s throats, in the academic-metaphorical sense. Tempers have been known to run hot. There has been the occasional bloody nose or rocks sailing down an outcrop without the obligate “HEADACHE!” call. Hammers and Marsh Picks have ended up swimming without the owner’s knowledge.
But once we’re back; settled in the hotel room, tavern, or around the campfire, we’re all a Band of Brothers again. It’s an odd thing to watch; as if you’re not of the clan, you’d need an interpreter. It defies all boundaries: political, sexual, educational, geographical, linguistic, social, et cetera.
We’re all geologists first. We share the common scientific bond of Geology.
That’s why Geology is the First Science.
Plus we tend to drink a serious fucking whole bloody awful lot.
We’ve all been on that ‘crawlin’ home puker’.
We’ve also been to the ends of the earth: the deepest depths, the highest heights, we deal with the greatest pressures, the hottest temperatures; we’ve been to the mountain, we’ve seen the elephant, and we’ve held a bear’s nose to dogshit.
We wear the scars attained in our travels like badges of honor.
We’re God-Damned Scientists.
Back off, man. Geologist comin’ through.
Anyways, I’m looking at the bedding-plane boundaries between the purple unit and the underlying olive-green unit. The upper unit it looks, to me, continental in origin. Fluvial, perhaps. The lower unit is much finer-grained. Marine mudstone, perhaps? But what age?
The cadged Korean Geological maps are worse than useless. They never would go down to the outcrop scale. Consulting them, they don’t even note these exposures in a field sense.
Myung-dae, who is working about 35 meters down-section from me calls out, “Doctors! Sirs! Look here! I’ve found something!”
We all wander over as he is hacking away at the dusty, eroded rock. He stands and dusts off his find.
It’s a very large, nearly 1-meter diameter, coiled fossil cephalopod.
I wander over for a closer look. Dax, Cliff, Morse, and Ivan do as well.
“Blimey! Will you look at that? Outstanding, Mr. Myung!” Cliff says.
“Well, that confirms it. This layer, at least, is marine. Look at that suture pattern”, I say, dusting off an unweathered bit.
“Look at the radius of coiling.”, Cliff joins in.
We’re slowly wresting information out of this silent witness.
“Ornamentation?”, Dr. Ivan asks. “Knobs, bosses, and excrutions?” Oh, yes.”
In unison, we declare: “Hyphoplites!”
Morse adds, “And therefore…these rocks are middle Cretaceous. Marine. Not bad…”
“Need to get some samples for geochemical analysis. Dig deep, gentlemen, we need unweathered samples for TOC (Total Organic Carbon) content.”, Dr. Erlen Meyer notes.
With that, we have a relative age of the rock, a good idea of its depositional environment, and therefore extent, ideas of field relationships, and an indication of some of its fauna.
Could it be source rock worthy?
Samples? Best get diggin’, Beaumont.
That unit is right smack in the middle of this pile of rocks. Dax and I will work up-section and Ivan and Cliff will work down-section. We’re going to see what lies above, what lies below, what trends we can discern, and develop an idea of what happened here some 100 million years ago.
This is what happens when you get geologists out in the field with the proper amounts of field gear, outcrops, and alcohol.
Overall, the deeper down-section, and therefore, earlier in geological time you go, the more marine the rocks are. Conversely, the higher you go in the column, i.e., up-section, into younger rocks, the more continental it appears.
We find fragments of marine fish fossils, sea-crocodile scutes and teeth, heaps of mosasaur coprolites, i.e., fossil shit piles, and other indications that the lower, older rocks are Lower Cretaceous ocean basin-fill.
But up higher; we find mud cracks, rain prints, land turtle shells, land-snails (Bellerophontid gastropods), and what may actually be a fossil feather. All indications of a more continental, i.e., fluvial (river), floodplain, lacustrine (lake), and paludal (swamp) deposition.
That’s my particular bailiwick.
I’m ‘elephant walking’ along the upper outcrops looking for fossils. You basically bend over at the waist and sweep from left to right as you take exaggerated step after step, scanning the ground looking for…well…it takes years, but once you see it, you never forget it.
“Fossil sign”.
A disjunct endemism. Something not in situ. Something out of place. A bit of a different, out of context color. Out of context texture. Out of context size. Out of context context.
Something that looks like it shouldn’t ought to be there.
I’m picking up 1 cm. square hunks of what look like an ordinary rock. I taste them. Well, I stick them to my tongue. If it liquefies and runs away, it’s ordinary mudstone, shale, or the like.
If it sticks…well, it might just be fossil bone.
“PTWTWOO!”
“Damn right, Rock”, Cliff says from behind me, “Fucking North Korea tastes terrible.”
“Still, it’s the best way I know to…” I paused.
“Got something?” Cliff asked.
“Look here.” I said, “Anthill. Big, nasty buggers. Look around the edges. Pieces of flat, cream-colored rock on this gaudy purple stuff. Tongue test? They stick like cockleburs. Let’s look upslope, see if there’s a drainage…”
There it was, a nice little drainage incised about 1.5 meters deep into the nearly horizontal rocks we were walking on.
“Any float?” I asked.
“Not yet,” Cliff said.
We followed the weak, little drainage that was cut into the outcrop, up another couple of meters.
There were very scrappy, very small, very scattered pieces of that same cream-colored rock. Some were ornamented with a scroll-work or some sort of striations. Most un-geological. More biological. We followed the trail, up here, around here, over there.
Cliff noticed it first, a soccer-ball sized lump of completely out-of-place crème-colored ‘rock’ working its way out by gradual erosion of the variegated pastels of the continental rocks upon which we were treading.
I got there first and began to clear the area with my Estwing.
“Careful. Careful”, Cliff admonished.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mind your Mincies. [Mince pies = eyes]”, as I’m swinging away at the reluctant, reticent, rocks.
The excavation grew, slowly. From the rounded dome, we could see small sutures that had developed…
Then condyles, fenestrae, then more ‘bone’. Then a jaw, teeth, vertebrae…
“HOLY DOUBLE-DAMN SHIT!” I tootled my air horn. We needed the group to see this.
It was a skull. A dinosaur skull. A small, non-avian dinosaur skull.
Everyone has crowded around and looked at the small quarry we had just built.
“Whatcha got, Rock? Cliff?” Joon asked.
“Fuck me, but I think we’ve got us a dinosaur skull,” I said.
Professor Doctor Academician Ivan walked over and cleared the area.
As Professor Emeritus, he had pole position priority.
“I agree.” is all he said.
I cleared the area and let others take a whack at opening up the quarry.
We may have been low on power tools, but we had a surfeit of opinions.
“OK,” I said, “Let’s look at the facts…”
  1. Age? Cretaceous. Probably lower to lower-middle Cretaceous.
  2. Continental deposits. That’s very fine sand we’re hacking away. Fluvial, without a doubt. Or, possibly aeolian; there’s no such thing as a geological certainty. Dunes? Ephemeral creeks? Low floodplain? Geo-talk… .
  3. Small size. Potentially a juvenile?
  4. Nope. Not a juvie. Sutures are closed, fused. This is, well was, an adult; perhaps a subadult, given its size.
  5. In situ? In place? Or washed in?
Hard to tell when all you’ve exposed is half the critter’s brain box.
“Look at that!” Myung-dae exclaimed, “Squamosal bones and the inner parietals…temporal fenestrae. It had a frill; a small one.”
“OK,”, I said, looking closely at the exposed scrappy remains, “Fucking-A Bubba. Nailed it.” I said, giving him the thumbs up.
“Ceratopsian. Look at those greens-grinder molars. There’s some small osteoderms on the skull; knobby old bastard. Early critter.” I continued.
Others looked around and confirmed my observations.
“Reminds me of Protoceratops from when I was back in Mongolia,” I said.
Dax chimed in with, “Looks something like Psittacosaurus from back in the Cretaceous Belly River of Canada.”
Drs. Ivan and Morse agree. “Most assuredly. It is definitely proto-ceratopsian. Young adult, as Dr. Rock notes by the cranial sutures. Do they have a record of proto-ceratopsians here?”
Myung-dae replies, “I have read reports of Korean proto-ceratopsian found in South Korea. Not long ago, 2019, it is called…ah… Auroraceratops. It is a genus of bipedal basal neo-ceratopsian dinosaur.”
“Bipedal?” I query. “Well, there’s a fine how do you do. All the proto-ceratopsians I’ve known were obligate quadrupeds.”
“Well”, Ivan, Dax, Cliff, and Morse agree, “That should give the shiny suit squad something to report. That’ll keep them the hell out of our hair for a while.”
We photograph each step as we excavate the critter. It’s more or less in situ, buried where it fell. Probably killed by a sand slip off a dune, or a river sandbar slip and burial. It’s not complete, but we do have the skull and a good portion of the post-cranial elements to about just before the pelvis. A good pectoral girdle, skull, jaw, frill, forelimbs, forefeet…easily half-a cute little herbivorous dinosaur. About the size of a smallish Highland Coo or large Great Dane.
We flag it with the team particulars, it’s GPS position, and carefully rebury the animal. We don’t have any of the equipment nor time to excavate it properly, but we can conserve it. Of course, we’ll be informing the proper authorities of our discovery.
I have an absolutely ancient Polaroid instant camera. Before re-internment, I take several pictures of our “Koreasaurus”, as we’ve dubbed the animal, with items for scale; like a hammer, cigar, and oddly enough, a photographic scale. Then I get a photo of the whole crew standing around, drinking warm beers from their individual day packs, smiling about the find ‘they‘ made.
We hear the melodious tootle of the bus’s horns. We make sure to pack out all our trash and wander back to our terrestrial transport.
“You were gone too long!” the chief shiny suited character goes all ballistic on me.
“Watch yourself, Herr Mac.”, I calmly said, “You’re going to burn your nose on my cigar.”
“You left without your handlers…err…guides!” he fumed.
“Hey, Scooter. Cool out. We’re geologists. We never get lost.” I said.
It sometimes just takes us longer to get back than it took us to leave…
“Your impertinence will be reported.” He smoldered.
“Report this, Mother Chuckler”, I observed and held out the pictures of our newly discovered Koreasaurus.
“Show those photos to your handlers,” I said in a mocking tone. “We found a brand new species of God-damned dinosaur for you geezers. It took us less than two hours. You can spin it that it’s a new, never-before-seen species of very specialized dinosaur found right here in beautiful Korea del Norte. Be quite the scientific coup, don’t you think? Trust us. We won’t say anything.”
He immediately shut up and went into conference with the rest of the shiny suit squad.
“Doctor”, one of the clan covert asked, “This is a new dinosaur?”
I had a thunderbolt of an idea.
“Oh! Yes, it is. I’d stake my reputation on it. You’ve had no concerted search here for the beasts and well, with the normalizing of relations between your country and the world, it allowed your specialists to perform real science. In fact, on the bus is the young North Korean geoscientist who made the discovery.” I said. “Give me a minute. I’ll go and get him. I think he was off taking a shi…ah, using the lavatory. Just give me a minute.”
I did have an idea. A wonderful idea. A wonderfully evil idea.
Back on the bus, I ordered the doors closed.
“Gentlemen! Ears and eyes! Please.” I said loudly.
Continuing…
“The shiny suits have their knickers all a-twist because we don’t want to listen to them; the assholes. Fuck that. I’ve got an idea. Let’s make our young acolyte here, Mr. Myung-dae Soo, a national hero. He would probably get his ass in a crack for sneaking on board the Western bus today the way he did. Well, double fuck that. Let’s all say he found the dinosaur. Let him take the glory for the homeland. No one else will ever need to know.” I said smiling.
“Fuck Yeah! You bet! Замечательное! Ihmeellisiä! Maravilhoso! Geweldig!”
Good to know we’re all on the same page. Geologists. You can always count on them…
“Mr. Myung-dae Soo? Front and center. Time to go and become ‘Hero of Best Korea’.” I smiled.
He was absolutely terrified.
“Doctor…I …don't…wait…no…” he stammered.
Cliff, Dax, Ivan, and I trotted him out to confront the shiny suit squad.
“Don’t worry, Myung. We’ve got your back. Trust us.” I said in a low conspiratorial tone.
The shiny suit squad turned as one and gave Mr. Myung the Stink Eye treatment.
“Here you go. The man of the hour. Mr. Myung-Dae Soo, young geologist and up and coming paleontologist.” I say loudly and with the utmost honor.
They look at him and the Korean erupts in rapid-fire staccato bursts.
Cliff just wanders in and interjects, “Yes. Righto. Top form. Found the float. Tracked down that dino like he was on safari. Highest marks. Good man!”
Dax adds more fuel to the fire. “Like he knew where to go, knew where to look. He’s a natural.”
Dr. Academician Ivan blustered forth: “Excellent scholar. Excellent field man. Banner geologist.”
I couldn’t have added more. The shiny suit squad was gobsmacked.
I asked Myung-dae what they were saying.
“They were talking about reprisals. Reporting to authorities. Then, they stopped. You have them completely confounded.” He said.
“How so?” I asked, quietly.
“Between an international incident where we don’t listen to our handlers and this potential important scientific discovery.” Mr. Myung-dae reported, trying hard to parse the evolving situation.
“Yes”, I added to Ivan’s bluster.
To the shiny suits: “I’ve worked as visiting Dinosaurian Vertebrate Paleontology Curator at all the major American museums. This is a find quite unlike anything known. It is a watershed discovery. It will help unravel the evolution and distribution of the clan Dinosauria for the whole Korean Peninsula. Perhaps, even with international impact on the recent finds in China.”
I laid it on with a trowel.
I hit all the buzzwords.
“Yes. Yes, perhaps.”, the head shiny-suiter said. “I will report this bit of very good news to the proper authorities. Myung-dae, with us. We require more information.”
“Ah, we’d prefer him to ride in back with us if you don’t mind. Scientific courtesy, old man. He needs to be classically de-interviewed after such a find.” I insisted, making certain I stand as tall, wide, and menacing as possible while smiling like a damned Cheshire cat, one smoking a very large cigar.
“Very well. We are not far from our evening stop. We can talk later.” He agreed.
We all moseyed, laughing silently, back to the bus; literally supporting our young hero Mr. Myung-dae as he seemed to have gone all wobbly of late.
Myung-dae was ashen-white. He looked like he had just given birth to a basketball. He was visibly shaking.
We get on the bus and I whip up a stout Yorshch for the young hero of the hour.
“Here! This is for you. If you’re going to be a world-class geologist, you’d damn sure better start acting like one.” I smile broadly.
There were hoots, cheers, and cat-calls.
Beers were popped, bottles uncorked; cigars, cigarettes, and pipes lit.
“Damn Skippy!” some anonymous reveler added.
Myung-dae slurped a good half the drink. I offered him a cigar. He stopped shaking enough to accept the novel offer.
Remember “crawlin’ home puker”? He’s taken his first step into a larger world.
OK, just to recap. Here are the dramatis personae left on the bus…
Bus driver (Kim) and his relief (Won).
My team and I. That’s 11 Western geoscientists: Morse, Cliff, Volna, Ack, Viv, Graco, Erlen, Dr. Academician Ivan, Joon, Dax, and myself.
Then there are our guides: Yuk, No, Man, and Kong.
Our stowaway hero geologist-in-training: Myung-dae Soo, aka, “Mung”.
And the four members of the shiny suit clan: Pak, Mak, Tak, and Jak. At least, that’s the names we used when we addressed them.
The bus was rumbling down the deserted highway. We were headed more or less due east, passing the occasional Potemkin Village. They knew we cracked their code long ago, so they didn’t bother with darkening the windows any longer.
We are passing a series of highway road cut outcrops. We’re only going approximately 35 or 40 miles per hour. Suddenly, Morse jumps out of his seat and runs up to the driver.
“STOP! STOP! Back up! We almost missed it!” he barks in heavily Russian inflected English.
The driver, shaken to the core, just slams on the brakes. The bus grinds to a stop. Good thing there’s no traffic out here.
Or anywhere else, for that matter.
Jak of the suit clan jumps up and asks “What is the problem?”
“How could you miss that?” Morse shouts. “Huge fault. Mineralization. I saw that from a glimpse. We must return to investigate.”
“Is not possible. We have appointment at the hotel.” Jak replies.
“Fuck that!”, Morse shouts. I guess he’s just really into faults…
I wander up and try to defuse the situation.
“OK, guys, cool out. Let’s be reasonable. Do it our way. Go back to that road cut. We spend a half-hour there then we go on to the hotel. The hotel will still be there when we arrive, won’t it? Even if we’re a bit late?” I ask.
Jak looks to Pak, who converses with Mak and Tak. They know they’re outgunned.
The driver shifts the bus into reverse and we back down the luckily deserted highway over a mile to the outcrop in question.
We had to admit, it was a mother beautiful normal fault. In perfect, textbook cross-section.
Morse and Joon were on it like white on rice; given the mineralization along the fault plane. All sorts of implications for the thermal and geological history of the area. But with just one exposure like this, more or less just a real interesting geo-oddity.
We spent precisely 30 minutes at the exposure, and when our handlers requested we re-board and head to the motel, we complied like nice, normal sort of folks.
I believe the appropriate maxim here is: “Lull them into a false sense of security…”
Once more down the road we travel. Beers popped, bottles uncorked; you know, the usual.
Forty-five minutes later, we pull into, I kid you not, a replica US of A 1950s Motor-Inn.
“Mr. Myung”, I ask, “What the hell is this?”
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

I have compiled all the data from this sub and broken down who is out and who is still in play, I will update this list daily until the lineup is released.

Edit 4/4: The lineup has dropped, bold denotes acts playing
This is a list of acts that are potentially in and are most certainly out for OSLs 2017, I mostly stuck to notable names so that I only had to turn over hundreds of rocks rather than thousands. I intend to update this list via edit from now until the lineup drop (within 30 days at this point I should think). If you want to add someone to this list just comment below and I will modify the list and credit your handle next to the edit. If you want to find someone in particular quickly I suggest you use ctrl F.
Out due to gigs at AT&T Park/Levi's Stadium in San Francisco and Santa Clara CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Oracle arena in Oakland CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the SAP Center in San Jose CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Golden One Center in Sacramento CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Concord Pavilion in Concord CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Greek Theatre in Berkley CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Masonic in San Francisco CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Fox theater in Oakland CA (May through November)
Edit 4/3/17 (undeadsinatra) added: Out due to gigs at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga CA (May through November
Out due to gigs at the Warfield in San Francisco CA (May through November)
Out due to gigs at the Fillmore in San Francisco CA (May through November)
Out due to playing Bottlerock in Napa CA (May 26th-28th, this is just the first several lines)
Out due to playing Santa Cruz American music festival in Santa Cruz CA (May 27th & 28th)
Out due to playing Colossal Clusterfest in San Francisco CA (June 2nd-4th)
Out due to playing Phono Del Sol Music and Food Festival in San Francisco CA (June 17th)
Out due to playing Id1ot Fest in Mountain View CA (June 24th & 25th)
Out due to playing Burger Boogaloo in Oakland CA (July 1st & 2nd)
Out due to playing San Jose Jazz Summer Fest in San Jose CA (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Flow festival in Finland (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Boardmasters festival in the UK (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Way out West festival in Sweden (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Smukfest in Denmark (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Oya Festival in Norway (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing SonneMondSterne Festival in Germany (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Boomtown Fair in the UK (same weekend as OSLs)
Out due to playing Haven Festival in Denmark (same weekend as OSLs)
Probably out due to Sziget Festival in Hungary (same weekend as OSLs, note that this festival is seven days long and therefore it is possible that some of the names below will make it to OSLs, we'll know more when the day by day breakdown comes out)
The following are acts that were in the first six lines of OSLs in 2015 and 2016 that are not already ruled out above and can safely be assumed out for this year.
Headliners
2016
2015
Others that are out
Edit 3/11/17 added: The following are acts that played bay area gigs the same year as an OSLs appearance
2016
2015
2014
Edit 3/13/17 added: The following is a list of returnees and the gaps between return performances
Headliners
No gap
Three year gap
Four year gap
Five year gap
Seven year gap
Eight year gap
The following are acts that are still in play that have been mentioned in this sub since January 1st, this does not mean that every name below is necessarily likely so much as not eliminated.
Potential Headliners
Potential Undercard
Edit 3/13/17 added: Past lineup drop dates:
Edit 3/27/17 added: Confirmations
Electric guest: Confirmed on 3/27/17 by A_lonerist https://www.reddit.com/OutsideLands/comments/61povt/electric_guest_confirmed/
Metallica: Confirmed on 3/29/17 by Ranger Dave and first reported by r-fitz_24 https://www.reddit.com/OutsideLands/comments/6290zj/osl_twitter_basically_confirmed_metallica/
Empire of the Sun Confirmed on 3/29/17 by Ranger Dave and first reported by 0kvn_prz0 https://www.reddit.com/OutsideLands/comments/5y60fc/i_have_compiled_all_the_data_from_this_sub_and/dfkrq94/?context=3
Sofi Tucker Confirmed on 3/29/17 by Ranger Dave and first reported by IrateDesperado https://www.reddit.com/OutsideLands/comments/62b3sw/new_hints_megathreadspeculation/dfl7nky/
Acts that were mentioned by no one that ended up on the lineup (in order of appearance)
submitted by sconce2600 to OutsideLands [link] [comments]

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