[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Hello Captain,

My distant friend Sally and I went out to dinner and she started asking me about my past relationships. I’ve known Sally for over a decade and she’s never pried into my dating life. I told Sally I wasn’t interested in dating anyways as I am looking for a job and like to online date or meet people through work. She tried to reason me out of all of this which seemed troubling.

A couple weeks ago Sally had a birthday party. She had put the event on Facebook. After our dinner, Sally texted me that her friend John saw me on the invite list and became “interested” in me. She said he might hit on me at the party ( he did not show up). This made me uncomfortable as I hate flirting with strangers. It’s odd but I’ve never even flirted with someone who’s become my boyfriend.

I also don’t trust Sally’s judgment at all. To be blunt I’ve met her friends and they aren’t horrible but they’re the “I don’t suffer fools gladly” type.

John has also been asking Sally about me. He wants to know when I’ve found a job and want to meet him. I have never indicated I want to meet John. I’m refusing, there’s something odd about a person in their late twenties being this invested in someone because of their FB profile. I rarely if ever post on FB. He is also asking me out through my friend which seems manipulative.

Do you have script suggestions?


– No thanks stranger ( female pronouns)

Dear No Thanks, Stranger!

I do have script suggestions! And other suggestions! I’m getting a weird vibe like John scouted you out before the dinner and was pressuring Sally to pave the way for him even back then, and you’re right, this needs to be shut down now.

Step 1: BLOCK that John dude from Facebook and then go ahead and find him on all social media platforms you use and preemptively block him there. Not unfollow, not unfriend, not “hide feed” – BLOCK. Also, consider temporarily changing publicly visible avatars to something other than your face, and locking down security/visibility of any photos of you that are out there. Make sure there is nothing out there to feed his fantasies.

If that seems mean or harsh or unfair, let’s remember: You’re not interested in him at all, you’re already vaguely creeped out by his attention, you are losing nothing from your life by cultivating your internet garden as you see fit. The way he’s monitoring you, asking for updates about your life, and trying to get Sally to set the stage for him but not talking to you directly is odd and he needs to stop it right now, so, help him out with that.

And if this is all projection/matchmaking by Sally, oops, you blocked a total stranger who doesn’t actually know who you are. Not a big deal at the end of the day.

Possible Reaction: John will get the message and leave you and the entire topic of you alone. Good news everyone! This Choose Your Own Adventure Story ends here!

Probable  Reaction: John will notice what you did immediately and he will contact Sally to see what happened. Sally will then ping you to talk about John and his Johnfeels of rejection. (If this happens, please keep reading Step 2)

Step 2: Tell Sally that the whole John thing made you really, really uncomfortable and you don’t want her to set you up for any more “hitting on” scenarios or act as your romantic go-between. Also you’d prefer to keep your information completely private where John is concerned, so, you’d appreciate it if she didn’t update him on your job search or your life or pass on requests from him.

Possible Reaction: Sally will say, “Oh wow, sorry for making you uncomfortable, I get it, don’t worry about a thing.” If this happens, keep enjoying whatever you enjoy about your “distant friendship” with Sally! Here endeth this Choose Your Own Adventure Tale! Yaaay!

Possible Reaction: Sally will be hurt that you didn’t appreciate her matchmaking efforts or feel bad for John and think you’re mean for rejecting him and she’ll double-down on John advocacy. If this happens, please continue reading Steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Do not give Sally reasons for your rejection of John. “I prefer not to.” “I’m just not interested.” Don’t pick apart his actions or his undesirable qualities or give excuses about being busy – she’ll use whatever you say to convince you to “give him a chaaaaaaaance.”

Step 4: If Sally continues sharing your info with John and trying to play matchmaker in your life, block Sally or, if you’re reluctant to do that after 10 years, put her in that Facebook-Jail thingy where she can’t see any of your posts for a good while.

If you miss Sally you can always dig up her number down the road. If John wanted to ask you out he could have come to the party, had a normal conversation with you and said “Hey, want to grab a drink with me sometime?” without all the fanfare. He could have also asked Sally straight up for an introduction (and respected your resulting “no thanks” when and if it came). He could have sent you a friend request and a note that says “I’m a friend of Sally’s, I saw you on the invite list, mind if we connect here?” Even if he’d chosen a less creepy and roundabout method of getting in touch, you’re not interested, so, farewell, John, we hardly knew ye.

For those who like to matchmake (I sometimes like to matchmake, especially “you live in the same city and I think you’d make good friends” matchmaking), I recommend asking the people in advance, like, “Hey, I’d love to introduce you to a friend of mine who lives in your city/does what you do for a living/reminds me of you/keeps sending me the exact same Twin Peaks memes that you send, I think you’d really get along, would that be cool?” and then if it is cool with both people I make a quick introduction and then I get out of the middle of things – the people will either find their own conversation or they won’t. If it’s not cool, I drop the subject.

This Was the Final Week of IMZY

23 June 2017 09:44 am
zorkist: (Default)
[personal profile] zorkist posting in [community profile] imzy
The grand IMZY experiment reverted to read-only mode a week ago and it goes dark today.

Before it went read-only, I scheduled a number of posts to publish, which I've captured and re-edited slightly to make it a little clearer at a glance.

Thank you all endlessly.

Here's a document of my final week of posts on IMZY, in chronology:

Read more... )

Clinton Francis J. Barton

23 June 2017 08:48 am
[syndicated profile] clintbarton_philcoul_feed

Posted by <a href="/users/Skayt/pseuds/Skayt" rel="author">Skayt</a>


Le battement d'ailes d'un papillon au Brésil peut-il provoquer une tornade au Texas ? Une rencontre faite entre deux roulottes peut, elle, en tout cas, changer bien des vies.

Words: 3424, Chapters: 1/?, Language: Français


23 June 2017 02:28 pm
wakeupinacoma: (The Judgement Club)
[personal profile] wakeupinacoma posting in [community profile] summer_of_giles
So, I've been working on this story and I was going to wait until my last day to post it but I couldn't wait because I really wanted to post it and this has kind of taken over my life at the moment.

Before I post my first chapter I would like to introduce you to...

Read more... )

fatalism o' the day

23 June 2017 06:30 am
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[personal profile] metaphortunate
I am not good at political predictions. And I hope I'm wrong about this. But I don't see how we can keep the ACA.

I mean, this is why Republicans have been swallowing Trump's shit, right? For the Supreme Court seats and the right to pass this enormous tax cut? Isn't this what they sold the republic for? If they don't pass it now, wouldn't that require them to decide to have given it all up for nothing? Wouldn't they be taking a huge personal hit to their own opinion of themselves, not to mention their own taxes, and their own donors, for no other reason than to help millions of people they've never personally met and would probably not like if they did meet? Humans are not super good at doing that kind of thing; the richer the worse, the more powerful the worse, and I just don't really see how I can expect these particular rich old powerful motherfuckers to transcend the limitations of their species at this moment in time.
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Women in engineering and Cornish Black history: I've mentioned Black people in Kernow (Cornwall) before, such as musician and composer Joseph Emidy, and y'all know my passion for engineering, so here's a combination of both. While in Penwith I visited the excellent Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno and was lucky enough to have a guide who used to work there when it was a telecommunications engineering college for Cable and Wireless (back when the people of the UK all owned a share in that successful nationalised international business). My volunteer museum guide was Black. I only mention this because it's likely that if I didn't then most readers would assume otherwise.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973, was the first woman engineering student at this Cable and Wireless college.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, during the 1980s.

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1980s

One more small image, and three book reviews. )

• [...]
four steps forward and three back, and yet nothing
remains the same, for the mountains are piled up
and worn down, for the rivers eat into the stone
and the fields blow away and the sea makes sand

The Big Idea: Laura Lam

23 June 2017 12:47 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Big Ideas are great for a book (I mean, that’s kind of the whole point of the “Big Idea” pieces). But as Laura Lam explains about her novel Shattered Minds, sometimes the Big Idea is just the jumping off point.


Sometimes you get the big idea for the story. Sometimes that’s not enough, even when you’ve written the damn thing.

My first idea excited me and got that fire of creativity going. I wanted to play with the Dexter notion—the serial killer who feels conflicted about it. A character who loves killing in rather inventive ways, who thrives off violence, but has enough of a glimmer of a conscious to want to change. A serial killer who doesn’t want to kill innocents is sort of like a vampire who doesn’t want to drink human blood—can they suppress that thirst or will they succumb? We as humans love staring into that darkness. It’s why we read about serial killers, about mythological creatures who prey on humans, or it’s why we watch horror. Carina, the protagonist of Shattered Minds, is a serial killer who becomes deliberately addicted to a dream drug called Zeal so she’s only killing people in her imagination.

The first big idea: serial killer lost in dream drugs. I knew this book would be more violent than my other work and have some cool, trippy dream sequences. I also wanted to build on the world I created in False Hearts, which came out last year (the Pacifica novels are a series of standalones set on the West Coast of the formerly United States). This book is set in Los Angeles instead of San Francisco. The series blends psychological thriller and near future tech, with a big nod at 80s and 90s cyberpunk. Shattered Minds has hover cars, floating skyscrapers and mansions, bright moving ads against the sides of buildings. People can change their appearance at will thanks to flesh parlours. Moving tattoos are etched on their skin, and their eyes might glimmer in the dark from extra implants. Pacifica is a shiny ecotopia that’s an ugly dystopia once you scratch the surface.

I wrote Shattered Minds, and the plot worked, for the most part. Carina scared me, but not quite as much as the villain, Roz (if you watch Orphan Black, Rachel is a big inspiration for her). I did a lot of research on serial killers, especially female ones, and neuroscience, hacking, corporate espionage, and more. But something was missing. All the pieces were there, made sense, but it was just . . . lacking. The puzzle pieces had the right images but they weren’t slotting together. And that was terrifying. This was going to be my fifth published book. Shouldn’t I have a better handle on this by now? I’d put in all this work, and I could tell something was wrong. This is where good editors are worth their weight in gold. Together, we found the second big idea to bring the project back to life.

It became a Frankenstein retelling. I struck the thing with lightning, basically (har, har). In the first draft, Carina was a serial killer just because . . . she was. There wasn’t much explanation or reason. No purpose (to use the most overused word said in lectures on the MA in Creative Writing I help teach at Napier in Edinburgh). In the next draft, Roz experimented on Carina when she was a teen, reprogramming her brain to be cool and collected—the perfect unbiased scientist, unbothered by things like empathy or ethics. (Note: this isn’t a spoiler—you find all this out in chapter three after the third murder in a row). However, Roz’s experiment went wrong. Carina started feeling things again, with the side effect of her also wanting to kill everything around her. Now Roz has a much stronger reason to want to take down Carina rather than just greed. Carina is the broken experiment that much be eradicated. The one who got under her skin. The one she couldn’t let go.

The next draft just worked. I loved editing Shattered Minds as much as I had hated writing the first draft. Scenes slotted into place, Carina and Roz finally worked, circling each other like sharks. It was glorious fun to make my dark, bloody book even darker and more twisted.

Sometimes, maybe a book needs more than one big idea. More than just “what if” question. Maybe something is missing in the first draft and you just need to add a little lightning to revitalise the corpse.


Shattered Minds: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.

[syndicated profile] bookbinge_feed

Posted by Rowena

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Rowena
Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan continues her sexy new series, as the Ferraros—a Chicago crime family—use their power as shadow riders to protect their empire and the ones they love…

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in this series but that didn’t stop me from wanting to read this book because I was a fan of Ricco’s and I wanted to get to know him better. In the first book, Ricco goes through some stuff and you can tell because he keeps getting himself into scrapes that the family has to get him out of and you know that there’s a story there so I requested this book to find out that story.

This book starts off with Ricco in the hospital after getting into a car wreck that was damn close to ending his life. His siblings are a) pissed at him for putting himself in danger again and b) worried as hell about him. He’s going through some stuff and things are starting to spill over and I could tell that he was close to the brink which made me interested in continuing this series just to read his story.

I wish I could say that the story lived up to what I was hoping it would be but the whole thing was slow going for me and I ended up putting this book down for good after about a week and a half of trying to get interested in what was going on. Between the slow story telling and not being able to connect to either Ricco (that was a bummer, too) or Mariko, I gave up and don’t know if I’ll give it a try later on. I doubt it.

Grade: DNF

[syndicated profile] genes_blog_feed

Posted by Chris Paton

In August I will be heading once again to Australia and New Zealand to participate as a speaker in the Unlock the Past sponsored Researching Abroad roadshow (see www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-finding-british-isles-and-european-ancestors), which will focus on British and European themes.

Both myself and Dirk Weissleider will be providing several presentations on the key themes (I'll be focussing in particular on Scotland and Ireland), but we will also be joined by many local speakers from down under whilst on our travels! As they say in my neck of the woods, it should be some craic!

Unlock the Past has just announced a new initiative to help try to promote the events, and that is to ask folk to consider registering as a Researching Abroad Roadshow Ambassador. There are perks involved for bloggers and societies who might wish to help promote the tour, so if you are interested, please do take a look at the terms at www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/researching-abroad-finding-british-isles-and-european-ancestors/ambassadors

I'm looking forward to heading back to Oz again in a few weeks time - hopefully see you there!

UPDATE: Dirk has also just recorded a short video inviting you to come along!

(Also available at https://youtu.be/rs8KyiQVGOc)


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Charline Jao

If you left Mad Max: Fury Road wishing you were the hero and excellent driver in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, you weren’t alone. Writer/director Ian Pfaff turned his kid’s Little Tikes Cozy Coupe toy car in a decked out Mad Max machine with an action-packed trailer to boot.

The description reads, “My wife and I turned a couple of Little Tykes cars into Mad Max Mobiles for our kids. With the help of some friends we took the cars and kids out to the desert to make this ‘family home video.'” Man, forget the subway I’m going to start commuting in one of those tiny death machines. Their daughter Junior even has her own license plate!

There’s chases, heartfelt flashbacks, and how is this only 1:43 seconds? The premise is familiar: Her family was stolen from her and she’s going to get them back. “The post-apocalypse is no place for baby,” says the narration. We agree, but if there must be a baby the Pfaff babies make pretty great heroes in this lawless wasteland.

“Get ready for the family reunion at the end of the world.” What did you think about Pfaff’s video?

(via Laughing Squid, image: screencap)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

King James VI Hospital in Perth

23 June 2017 11:43 am
[syndicated profile] genes_blog_feed

Posted by Chris Paton

I've written a blog post on 'my other wee blog' looking at a university study I did some time ago into the role of King James VI Hospital in the development of the city of Perth, Scotland, the feudal records involved, and some personal family connections found along the way.

The post is available at https://scotlandsgreateststory.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/king-james-vi-hospital-in-perth/.

And thanks to Sue Moon Warner on The Genes Blog Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BritishGENES/) for adding a comment that might also be of interest, which ties in, concerning the potential final location of one of the king's ancestors, James I! See http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/msp-calls-for-king-james-i-perth-grave-dig-bid-1-2785052.


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.
[syndicated profile] genes_blog_feed

Posted by Chris Paton

I had a bit of fun earlier today with a website yesterday, whilst writing an article for Family Tree magazine - it's the English Folk Dance and Song Society Resource Bank, with many digitised recordings of old English folk songs, including some sea shanties. The site is accessible at www.efdss.org/efdss-education/resource-bank/a-z-list.

Enjoy! :)


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Free access to FindmyPast

23 June 2017 11:26 am
[syndicated profile] genes_blog_feed

Posted by Chris Paton

FindmyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk) is offering free access to most of its British and Irish records collections from June 22nd - 26th. There are some exceptions to this, including the 1939 English and Welsh National Identity Register entries, and the British Newspaper Archive holdings.

For further details visit http://www.findmypast.com/british-and-irish-family-history/.


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102.
For details on my Scottish & Irish genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.
For my genealogy research service, please visit http://www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk.

Interesting Links for 23-06-2017

23 June 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Necessity by Jo Walton

23 June 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] strangehorizons_feed

Posted by Alexandra Pierce

Necessity opens with an aged, mortal incarnation of the son of Zeus, Apollo, dying and immediately undergoing apotheosis. This is also the same day that the first human spaceship contacts Plato, the planet where Apollo has been living with his family and fellow inhabitants of the Just City experiments for some decades.

Neither of these things is the focus of the story.

In the first book of the Thessaly trilogy, The Just City, the goddess of knowledge, Athene, decided to experiment with setting up Plato’s ideal city by snatching (at the moment of their deaths) adults from all over history to be teachers in a new city, and purchasing enslaved children who would learn to be philosopher-kings. Additionally, Apollo chose to incarnate in order to explore the idea of individual significance. For all that it involves gods, The Just City is not a particularly fantastical or science fictional book; the focus is on (deeply interesting) philosophical discussions about justice and significance. The follow-up, The Philosopher Kings, had slightly more action and less discussion, as the original city fragmented and different people set up their own versions of just cities. It was somewhat more fantastical, as mortal-Apollo’s children manifested godly powers, and it went full tilt science fictional in the conclusion where Zeus transported all of the cities physically to an entirely new planet, and temporally into the future.

This planet is where Necessity opens, a generation or so after Zeus’s intervention. This third novel, too, is less philosophical than The Just City, although it continues to explore interesting ideas. It is the most science fictional (or fantastical, depending on your categorisation) of the trilogy, with humans interacting with aliens and gods on a regular basis.

Despite opening with new humans arriving, much of the novel’s action focuses on the fact that Athene has gone missing and that Apollo and Hermes must find her before Zeus realises what she’s done—which is to go outside of time itself, into the Chaos that is before/after/outside of time. To do so, the gods must search through time for the clues she has left them. This is the first time in the trilogy that Apollo is acting fully as Apollo, rather than his human incarnation, and his understanding of human significance impacts positively on his interactions with mortals, and even with other gods. By contrast, Hermes comes across as an unpleasant character because he cares little for individuals. This is compounded when it’s revealed that Hermes is not Hermes, but actually an alien god, who has been manipulating situations and people (including gods) for his own ends for quite some time. Through this comparison, in particular, Apollo’s development as an individual is highlighted.

On the philosophical side, the interactions of Apollo and Hermes demonstrate how gods are themselves constrained by higher powers: both by Zeus, father of all the gods, and Necessity. As the title suggests, the compulsion of Necessity is an important aspect of the novel. It’s a force that not even gods can avoid, and it can even be used to avoid the potentially damaging aspects of time travel, of getting stuck in difficult situations: if Necessity says you must do something later in your timeline, you can’t be stuck somewhere else. Complementing this is a strong focus on the free choices of humans to undertake either stupid or worthy actions, in politics and personal relationships and everything else—and the contention that this is a noble part of the human condition.

At the same time as gods are being rescued, the novel is also focussed on character interactions back on Plato. Its inhabitants include people who may be concerned for Apollo and Athene, but whose immediate focus is on their own lives—love and friendship and getting enough fish to feed everyone. This has been a strong current throughout the trilogy, and Walton delivers these different aspects through her various narrators. Apollo is the only consistent narrator across all three novels, and in this book he is very focused on Athene. It’s the human narrators that I have generally found most interesting. In this instance, the two dominant voices are Marsilia, one of Apollo’s human descendants and newly elected consul, and Jason, a young man who accidentally gets involved in the godly goings-on.

Marsilia is a Gold, which means that she has been found to be one of the most excellent citizens, one of Plato’s philosopher-kings who can be trusted with the running of the city. Jason is a Silver: not quite as excellent as a Gold, but still trusted with important work like fishing for the community. The justice and appropriateness of this division of people into categories is one of the recurring themes across the novel, since Marsilia also likes going fishing, and Jason is clearly a deep thinker; Thetis—Marsilia’s sister—is a Bronze, and works in childcare (which is worthy but not highly prized), but/and is also someone who thinks deeply about issues. Because of her categorisation, she frequently talks herself down—a reaction that the novel interrogates.

An additional, and wonderful, voice is added via occasional chapters from the perspective of Crocus, the first of the Workers (machines imported by Athene back in The Just City) to develop sentience. Through him we get a rumination on why the Workers became conscious—perhaps as a result of their having to set priorities—as well as a non-human perspective on what it means to live a just life. These chapters also provide a more disinterested perspective on the humans, and fill in some of the gaps in the history of Plato. Crocus’s presence meshes neatly with Apollo’s realisation about humans having equal significance: Apollo was forced to concede significance to humans, while machines developing the ability to be philosophers forces humans to concede it to non-humans—which is fortunate given their later interactions with aliens, who also demonstrate a capacity for philosophy.

Overall, Necessity blends deeply philosophical questions about what it means to be conscious, what it means to be excellent, and what it means to do the right thing with a bit of action and delightfully individual characters. One thing that did, and does still, confuse me, however, is why that human spaceship is part of the story. Its presence does lead to some interesting philosophical discussions about whether humans ought simply to do what gods tell them to do when the gods are definitively real, and there are some nice moments of cultural confusion around the Just City inhabitants not understanding capitalism as a driving force. But—for an event that would surely end up being revolutionary for the planet and the arrival of which is set up, at the opening of the novel, as an incredibly significant moment—it plays a surprisingly minor role in the narrative. The philosophical discussions could easily have been had around some other issue connected to the dominant action. It almost feels like the set-up for a further novel in the sequence. If that ends up being the case, I will be in raptures to read it; but as it stands, it feels like an unresolved plot point.


elisi: (Default)elisi
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