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GigaBet - Bitcoin Gold Gambling Casino - Dice/Roulette/Hilo/Mines submitted by Affiliate38 to BitcoinGoldHQ [link] [comments]

Jul/9/2020 news: () Tsarukyan's casino loses license () Gold mine in trouble () Solar incoming () Anti-bribery () TEAM licensed () BHK & Traditions () Foreign affairs () Diplomatic passports () Artsakh () Rebel arrested () Emergency powers () Yandex helps Yerevan () Finances () Construction QA ()

In case you missed yesterday's important news:

https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/hnp6ti/jul82020_news_1_echr_rejects_judges_plea_2_making/?

BHK leader Tsarukyan's casino loses license

In May/6/2020, before the "big bust" that got BHK leader Tsarukyan in trouble, the regulators had audited his Shangri La casino and found violations. The Casino was given time to fix the problems.
Later, after Tsarukyan's alleged voter bribery and financial crimes were revealed, his casino was implicated in a criminal case.
Today the Finance Ministry revoked the casino's license for failing to pay fees for 2020Q3.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192177

Regulators audited BHK leader Tsarukyan's gold mine...

... located in Mkhart, and issued a $200 fine for operating without an environmental audit. The mine and its factory are told to get an audit.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192166

Regulators audited the Electric Networks of Armenia...

... and issued a $21,000 fine. The company routinely overcharged consumers by writing higher usage numbers in the books, likely due to an error. Other problems were found.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192145

BHK plans to "defend Armenia's traditions"

BHK leader Tsarukyan has instructed BHK's youth wing to organize a campaign against the upcoming Education Ministry reform that will merge Armenian Church subject with Armenian History in schools.
Tsarukyan called it an attack on Armenian values. The Ministry says having it as a separate subject makes no sense, but schools will have flexibility.
 
BHK will also protest against the upcoming education reforms that will help children better protect themselves against pedophiles.
BHK and other hardline traditionalists believe it'll teach sexual materials to children. The govt denies it, saying the education is more like "don't take candy from a stranger's van".
https://news.am/arm/news/590348.html

Diplomatic passports

After the 2018 evolution, it was revealed that the former administrations generously distributed diplomatic passports to their friends. Kocharyan's and Serj's entire family line, singer Sirusho, grandchildren, etc. received the privilege.
After the evolution, 395 such passports were revoked, while 762 new were issued.
 
The full list of owners is still considered a secret because "it contains classified information". Journalists want to get their hands on the list to make sure MFA isn't doing the same shenanigans.
MFA responded saying "the passports were issued according to law."
https://factor.am/267065.html

Greece...

...doesn't like the fact that Turkey's Erdogan wants to convert the Hagia Sophia museum-church into a mosque.
Greek politicians proposed converting Ataturk's house-museum in Thessaloniki into a museum dedicated to the Greek Genocide.
The Hagio Sophia's topic was brought up in the Armenian Parliament today, with an MP expressing his dissatisfaction.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021147.html

stirring the pot in 3... 2... 1...

System of a Down drummer Dolmayan caused some noise after criticizing the "Black Lives Matter" movement on his Instagram page. He isn't happy with the "media coverage, sensationalism, and the riots."
Possible context: The recent defacement of an Armenian Genocide Memorial in Colorado has rubbed some Armenians the wrong way. It was addressed by the White House.
http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282793/

CNN documentary: What it's like to visit a country [Artsakh] that doesn't officially exist

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/visit-country-that-doesnt-exist/index.html

COVID stats

+1,995 tested. +526 infected. +573 healed. +14 deaths.
129,166 tested. 11,641 active. 18,000 healed. 535 deaths.
 
There are no patients in serious condition left out of hospitals, but the beds are still overloaded. Spitak's clinic joined the fight and all 120 beds are already occupied.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192150 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192161

"Armenia is turning into a dictatorship"

Breaking news. The govt has approved a bill that will grant the Healthcare Ministry a full authority over all private and public medical centers across Armenia during Emergency situations.
"It's needed to make the fight against pandemic more efficient," said the govt. The bill needs Parliamentary approval.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021190.html

Rebel leader is captured during a tense standoff

A young woman had a confrontation with a policeman about COVID rules. It appears she didn't have an ID on her, attempted to leave the scene, and when told about ID's requirement, she said, "I don't care about the law and the Emergency Taskforce's order."
The police dragged her to a police station while she screamed.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=355693375398332 , https://youtu.be/zTAoVuBzEU8

Yerevan municipality will distribute...

$206,000 to doctors fighting COVID. It'll come from city's "salary bonus" fund.
https://factor.am/267474.html

COVID vs Tax Collection

Taxes collected in 2020H1 vs 2019H1...
Tax revenues: $1,4bln vs $1.47bln
Border tariffs: $254mln vs $330mln
Refunded: $134mln vs $104mln
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192160

Armenia's foreign and public debt

The debt as of January 1st of 2020 vs 2019...
Foreign: $5.7bln vs $5.5bln
Internal: $1.7bln vs $1.4bln
The debt to GDP ratio is expected to rise due to COVID. It was earlier predicted at 57%.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021116.html

New rules to reduce corruption in social aid departments

Right now the same public office accepts petitions for aid submitted by seniors, before deciding whether grant it. This opens the door for corruption. Some workers would ask for a bribe to approve the aid.
The govt decided to separate the decision-makers.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192025

Elevator Made in Armenia

Norq hospital has a new elevator manufactured locally by ArtLifs.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192171

The new TEAM ISP gets a license

The utility commission authorized TEAM to broadcast TV and radio over cable.
TEAM was formed after UCOM's founder left UCOM and founded TEAM.
https://hetq.am/hy/article/119212

Monitoring the construction quality

Gegharquniq had 103 subsidized infrastructure upgrades last year. 23 were unfinished because the govt refused to accept them due to poor quality.
5 of them were road repair upgrades, 4 of which have since fixed the problems.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021175.html

Tax waiver for a winemaker

Armenia Wine will import technology for winemaking in Aragatsotn. $3.3mln investment, 40 new jobs with avg $520/mo salary.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192168

Tax waiver for a solar farm investment

SunEnergy will import solar tech for a farm in Armavir. $2.2mln investment, 5 permanent and 50 temporary jobs, $225/mo salary.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192168

Electric grid to prepare a network for solar energy

Today the govt authorized the "High Voltage Electric Networks" to sign an $8.9mln deal with Lichq electric substation.
The company will repair Lichq substation which has been operating since 1961.
 
The repair will allow Lichq to handle electricity coming from a big solar farm "Masrik-1" recently approved by the govt.
It'll also boost Artsakh's electric security.
 
"We must make sure Lichq is ready before Masrik solar farm is ready. Armenia is required to purchase electricity produced by Masrik as part of the deal. Lichq will handle that flow. We can finish Lichq's renovation in 8 months," said Pashinyan.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192174 , https://factor.am/267280.html

Russian tech giant and UN to help Yerevan w/traffic

Yandex tech giant's experts have been examining traffic in Yerevan center, near the Circular Park, to see how traffic patterns change based on location, time, holidays.
Several roads were examined. Some had 45km/h speed one way, but much slower in the opposite direction. Isahakyan Street was the slowest with speeds dropping to 4km/h.
Yandex's data is sent to two Russia-based companies for a further examination before it's sent to Yerevan municipality.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192182

400km roads will be built in Artsakh...

...in 5 years, said president Arayik.
https://factor.am/267319.html

More inclusive education system

USAID gave the Education Ministry $825,000 for a project. Fewer disabled kids will be left out of schools and be forced to attend special centers away from peers or families.
Disability ramps will be built in some schools. 56 schools will be renovated with accommodations.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021107.html

Pashinyan's son returns from the army

It's been 2 years since the 2018 evolution and PM's subsequent decision to send his son Ashot to Artsakh frontlines.
Saying goodbye to fellows: https://youtu.be/He2SmsIynJ8
Little Arpi waits for his brother: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=276473180108549

update: Where to find Nalbandyan books

Recently the American University of Armenia digitalizes the legendary writer Mikael Nalbandyan's entire collection.
The collection is available at digilib.am
http://digilib.aua.am/am/ՆԱԼԲԱՆԴԵԱՆ%20ՄԻՔԱՅԷԼ/library/2300
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021075.html
Tag: T0ManyTakenUsernames

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is officially back

Last time he scored a goal but the team lost. This time, while playing against Parma, he scored a goal and gave a pass that led to the second and victorious goal. Roma 2:1 Parma.
Sofa Score declared Heno the best player of the entire match with an 8.8 score.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192152
 
You've read 1315 words.

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

A gold mine where all the excavation is done by professional sculptors into a beautiful hotel/casino/country club

Really the possibilities are endless, but i assume it would cost a whole lot of money so it would be targeted toward the super rich
submitted by whatdoesitsay- to CrazyIdeas [link] [comments]

Looking to do casino heist b2b in a few hours (mine is Big con gold) I’ll go first if you show me you have one too /big con/s&s only\

Message or comment
submitted by IJustDoGTA to HeistTeams [link] [comments]

Owning Bitcoin is like owning equity in a virtual whole-life insurance policy, a bank, data storage provider, gold mining/energy company, networking company, a casino, a credit union, a money market, and a communications company all rolled into one. (x-post from /r/Bitcoin)

submitted by ASICmachine to CryptoCurrencyClassic [link] [comments]

Anyone up for a casino b2b. Mine is big con Gold. Be a good hacker

submitted by Rising_Starz1 to HeistTeams [link] [comments]

Anyone up for a casino b2b. Mine is Gruppe Sechs Target Gold. Show proof you have a casino heist ready. Must be a fast hacker and know gold glitch. Preferably have the same approach and target with me

submitted by Rising_Starz1 to HeistTeams [link] [comments]

Casino b2b. Mine is silent and sneaky with target gold. Must show proof you have casino heist ready. Must also be a fast hacker

submitted by Rising_Starz1 to HeistTeams [link] [comments]

Diamond Mine Extra Gold Megaways an explosively exclusive game release at Casumo - Best Online Casino

Diamond Mine Extra Gold Megaways an explosively exclusive game release at Casumo - Best Online Casino submitted by Interrupted_Cover to GrandCasino [link] [comments]

Is the Shadowgun Legends Casino a TRAP or a GOLD MINE?

submitted by Awallvs to ShadowgunLegends [link] [comments]

Hondaiscoin (HNDC) launches website, one-pager, giving full platform support including faucet, web wallet, announces CASINO and GOLD MINE partnership

Hondaiscoin (HNDC) launches website, one-pager, giving full platform support including faucet, web wallet, announces CASINO and GOLD MINE partnership submitted by bisti123 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Hacker who Hit Canadian Gold Mines & Casinos Plotting New Attacks

Hacker who Hit Canadian Gold Mines & Casinos Plotting New Attacks submitted by Hidden_Domi to hacking [link] [comments]

For my yearly New Vegas playthrough I decided to play Dead Money in Very Hard + Hardcore

Call me crazy, delusional or even sadistic, I’m confident I’ll make it through . I’m not at my first playthrough after all and I got quite some experience with dead money. But for you guy’s enjoyment I’ll try to give this post a daily update to let you know how it’s going.
19/12/2020 : starting the Dead Money DLC Edit : 19/12/20 : well first of all thank you all for the upvotes, to be fair I never had so much upvotes so I’m really happy that you took interest in this little adventure of mine. For the people interested in my progress : I freed Dean, God and Christine and I’m going for the meeting. It’s not nearly as difficult as I imagined and for people planning on doing it it’s totally doable Edit (19/12/20 again) : it’s starting to be really more challenging, as I explore the outskirts of the villa ghost peoples start to literally 1v5 me and with the scarce resources I have it’s becoming more challenging, story wise I’m just before the gala opening
Hello everyone this is the last update at 20/12/20 So what happened ? Shit happened! After my last update things got really difficult and let’s say I might have insulted my controller a bit. Nonetheless I finally entered the casino, did the mission (killed Dean cause he’s a bitch, gave a new personality to God/Dog and well been nice to Christine. Finally I pulled an extra sneaky on Elijah by stealing the 37 gold bars and locking him in the vault. In conclusion I wanted to say thanks to all of you because without this post motivation I might have just given up a few times. If you want a review of my experience: it’s difficult by moment, extremely annoying for the most of it but I’m still alive (even if I lost 80% of my sanity). For peoples interested in stats I Died 11 times in a total of 9 hours (took some pause)! So that’s about it for my experience. Have a good one everybody!
submitted by GRNTOG to Fallout [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

Why you’re not just shooting pixel botes but instead are spending your time in an online casino..

Let me take the recent christmas loot box debacle as a pretense to maybe attract some attention to the matter and explain to you why I think some light should be shown on the design philosophy behind WoWs:
My personal background is in psychology (degree comparable to a masters) so I would like to invite you to have a look at the game through the lense of cognitive-behavioral mindset. Another background of mine is that of a veteran WoWs player who quit once more than a year ago, came back and did so again. This time it’s probably forever. What is this guy talking about? Well, I will try to keep it short because I don’t know how many people actually care and I am aware that I am preaching old news. Anyway..
Imagine two scenarios:
A: you got a mouse in a cage that can pull a lever and get sugacocaine/pick a drug everytime it does.
B: you got another mouse in another cage that can pull a lever and get it’s drug not everytime it does. This reward is unpredictable.
Reinforcing the new behaviour is called conditioning.
So which of the mice you think will become addicted quicker? It’s mouse B. It’s widely found that an unpredictable reinforcement is more effective at getting the mouse to learn the target behavior.
At this point you probably start wondering how this is all tied to addiction in general and yes, that’s something to talk about too, but let’s stay with the basics for a moment longer.
You and I we’re the mouse in cage B, except our personal skinner box is more pretty (insert praise fort he art department here) and made for humans, but in regards of conditioning new behavior, learning and such our minds work remarkebly alike.
Everything in WoWs is unpredictable reinforcement.
Many people are already aware of this, but let me just give you guys some food for thought:
look at all the build-in randomness and unpredictability from my point of view for a second.
I mean intransparent lootboxes are pretty obvious by now, but how about the 3 daily containers? You ever wondered why the progress bar showing the progress to the third daily container in-game might be intentionably not to scale? Yes, it looks like it is three-times the distance to reach the third container, when it’s actually a lot more XP needed. (don’t have it installed, can’t check exact number)
Edit: thx for the gold thing. now I feel I should have spent some time on it to make an elaborate argument :D
So what’s my deal? When I saw the christmas crate fiasco repeat for another year with people literally spending over thousand euros/dollars for the chance of getting a single, otherwise unavailable pixel boat I atleast wanna rant a bit on reddit:
you’re being exploited.
these mechanics are designed to use your brain against you.
this is intentionally trying to turn you into an addict.
WG is not the only game company applying these predatory industry standards to make bank. As a 33 y/o guy it saddens me to see how games have turned into cash machines when big money got involved in the last 10-15 years or so.
I feel lucky to still have grown up as a kid that just spend way too much time playing playstation and counterstrike 1.3 instead of these evil contraptions with their real world money in-game stores, skins, loot boxes, etc.
So if you’re still with me and think what is this guy on about I am not addicted. Then atleast ask yourself if you want to support that other people are being exploited, that minors are falling prey to a big corporation which keeps pumping out stellar numbers for share-holders while saving their taxes happily on cyprus.
Last time I checked minors were not allowed in casinos. To protect them. Atleast in the real world.
submitted by dabsch_ to WorldOfWarships [link] [comments]

So you're a gamer? Name every game.

!Que Pasa Neng!
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&: Sora no Mukou de Saki Masuyou ni
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u/field
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submitted by Zipdox to copypasta [link] [comments]

Dec/29/2020 news: \\ political party law reformed: idea > individual; transparency; female % \\ Pashinyan responds to "not being enough pro-Russian" \\ who owns which business? \\ protests & snap elect. \\ burglary case & HHK MP \\ humanitarian aid for Artsakh \\ Vitalik flexes muscles \\ bills pass

Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.

Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:

The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014?
The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan.
It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock.
And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place?
There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war].
The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html

businesses owned by opposition leaders

What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?

Vazgen Manukyan

20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council.
In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
 

Arthur Vanetsyan

Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here. Here is a Hetq investigative report.
Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer.
Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans transportation company.
In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business). The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore.
Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles). The cousins don't do this business in Armenia.
Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million.
Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge).
Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide.
Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd.
 

ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan

Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way.
Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia.
Saghatelyan founded Navasar company and serves as director. It's owned by his father.
Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2 (a hectare?).
As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000.
Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation.
Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd which is no longer active.
 

BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan

BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц.
His business empire was covered in details here. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels.
He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses.
He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia.
Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
 
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below.
 
https://fip.am/14388
https://hetq.am/hy/article/88755
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/gagkyp/apr292020_wednesday_news_armenia_being_sued_fo?
www.civilnet.am/news/2019/11/01/Զանգեզուրի-պղնձամոլիբդենային-Մաքսիմ-Հակոբյանի-ու-նրա-որդու-փոխարեն-նոր-բաժնետերեր-Ժնևից-և-Աջափնյակից/369792
www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/01/29/Բենզինի-շուկա-Արթուր-Վանեցյանի-հայրը-դուրս-է-եկել-ոլորտից-Միքայել-Մինասյանի-մերձավորը՝-խոշորների-մա/182670

opposition continues the demonstrations

The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections.
ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable". The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html

Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties

QP leader Lilith: there is a possibility there will be a meeting between Pashinyan and the three Parliamentary political parties. They could discuss snap elections. The impression is that politicians who demand Pashinyan's resignation do not want snap elections in an attempt to bypass the citizen's right to form a government. Our political team reaffirms the position that none of us is clinging on seats. //
LHK MP Gorgisyan: we cannot hold snap elections now, under this chaotic situation. We will discuss snap elections if Pashinyan discusses his resignation and transfer of power. (LHK wants its leader Marukyan to be elected as Prime Minister by a Parliamentary vote) //
Pashinyan met BHK leader Tsarukyan. The latter is against holding snap elections unless Pashinyan resigns now, and presumably, he wants Vazgen Manukyan appointed as PM.
LHK leader Marukyan also wants Pashinyan to resign now so a new Prime Minister can form a new government cabinet "consisted of experts".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039261.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039268.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039299.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039322.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039323.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039327.html

felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official

In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand)
NSS says: suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008.
AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia.
Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia.
[MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim), he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars.
[read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you]
The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 , https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A , https://factor.am/274836.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 ,

Russian Orthodox chapel will be built

... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html

Russian peacekeepers conducted training

... to stay in shape. A report by WarGonzo's Semyon Pegovn who returned to Artsakh to meet the New Year there.
https://youtu.be/-c1BSTkC-a8

Russia and Turkey comment

Russian MFA: The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be used for the infiltration of foreign mercenaries into the region. Here we have exactly the same position as our Turkish partners.
Turkish MFA: we see that a ceasefire has been established. We hope to establish the joint RU-TR monitoring center soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039281.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039282.html

Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook

Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief.
Vitalik: we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues.
We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office).
Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now.
We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army.
No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work.
More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/

search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign

Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war.
HR Ombudsman: Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.]
The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039237.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039244.html , https://factor.am/325511.html

Parliament votes: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan's chairmanship

Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure), and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details.*
QP MP Arthur: the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. //
The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out.
QP MP Arthur: per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. //
Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote.
BHK MP Zohrabyan: this termination was a Constitutional crime.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039264.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039304.html , https://factor.am/325132.html

Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency

The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly.
Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms.
The law also requires more financial transparency.
The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300.
Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards.
Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html , https://youtu.be/bPuZViCCCxo

Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised

Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets:
֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month
֏3,000 for < ֏200k
֏5,500 for < ֏500k
֏8,500 for < ֏1 million
֏15,000 for > ֏1 million
Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html

Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022

The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic.
QP MP: the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers.
Healthcare Ministry: it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues.
Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html

Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia

QP MP: When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. //
Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html

how is the Judicial Branch doing?

The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court.
bad boys
19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared.
the system is overloaded
61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases.
86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases.
24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases.
The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900.
finances
This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039284.html

anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent

SIS says: IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html

IRS wants you to file less paperwork

IRS says the latest reforms will help the exporters and simplify the process in which Armenia is used as a transit country for trade. Some tasks can be done online.
More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039247.html

update: electricity prices

...won't go up for low-income families or those using less than 400 kWh. That's 90% of consumers. The rest will pay 3 Drams more. The rates are presented (6-10¢):
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039285.html

police to guard Lake Sevan against poachers

Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish.
Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake.
https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html

rare Caucasus Leopard is spotted by cameras again

https://youtu.be/2nidC5QJaIg

"only 10% of villagers should do agriculture"

...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office.
The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills.
The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan.
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html

State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia

Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry.
The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period.
http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html

Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"

The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior.
Public Regulator: "Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork.
(Facebook next?)
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html

Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits

First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k
Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k
(or ֏500k if one parent is disabled)
As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2.
https://factor.am/325487.html

year wrap-up: births in capital Yerevan

girls 2019: 10173
girls 2020: 10489
boys 2019: 11251
boys 2020: 11430
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039278.html

year wrap-up: tax revenues

2018: ֏1.257 trillion
2019: ֏1.458 trillion
2020: ֏1.379 trillion
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203846

COVID stats

+2483 tested. +348 infected. +22 deaths. +1267 healed. 13881 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039240.html

chess news

Levon Aronyan has advanced to the Airthings Masters quarter-finals where he will play against Hikaru Nakamura. He is 1pt behind the leaders. The winner receives a $60,000 prize.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/airthings-masters-chess-day-4
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039228.html

French city of Valence to name a street

... after Artsakh capital Stenapakert. It already had Ijevan Park, Armenia Street, and Yerevan Street. Stepanakert Street will be located in a newly built district. There will be Toros Street as well.
https://youtu.be/EuQV5bt4Ytc
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203833

Italian city of di Lovere has officially recognized the Artsakh Republic

https://www.facebook.com/HayastaniDespanutyun/posts/3499573803472410
https://factor.am/325379.html

Kapan Medical Center has a new CT scanner

... thanks to generous diasporan donors like you. The first one was installed during the war in Goris city.
https://factor.am/325090.html

Artsakh children receive New Years' gifts

Focus on Children Now charity organization distributed gifts to hundreds of Artsakh kids residing in Gegharquniq province. Backpacks, clothing, items of basic necessity, money, and postcards written by kids living in the United States.
https://www.focusonchildrennow.org/
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039302.html

Himnadram donates to refugee families

700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html

daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan

https://youtu.be/E1UJd4NtLLs
https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/29/Շուռնուխ-Որոտան․-կյանքը-անկոչ-հարևանների-հետ/414772

donations for Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

Unleashed pt. 47

This chapter was a labour of love, heists are hard. Big thanks to u/eruwenn for helping tidy up this bag of snakes.
First / Prev / Next
 
 
“Ranjaz K’Lua, you thieving scumbag!” the Kah’Ree in the purple suit exclaimed loudly as he spotted them across the busy room. “As I live and skral, I never thought you would have the Jolos show your face here again!”
Two J’Rami in suits detached themselves from the lobby wall, walking towards the Kittran and his friends. “Alfor, my old friend!” Ranjaz smiled broadly. “No need for the welcoming party, I’ve got your credits” —he gestured to Cygna— “and a sweetener, for all the trouble I caused last time.”
Alfor paused, lecherous eyes assessing the Fae’Dan. “You know I have a thing for purple.” He chuckled at his own joke and waved the guards back to their posts. “How about we have a drink, and discuss your forgiveness.” He pointed to Thor and Eruwenn. “Brought your own security, or are these Gal. Fed. goons? Everyone knows about your probation.”
The Kittran gave a broad grin. “I got a Tulseria-damned pardon, a new ship and a very lucrative opportunity.”
The Kah’Ree smiled. “How’d a thieving cat like you get a pardon?” He gave Ranjaz an appraising look up and down. “Oh? Now, let me guess, you need something from me and my brother?”
Ranjaz fired his finger guns. “You were always the smart one Alfor, that’s why you run the casino floor.” The Kittran stepped in close. “The item, do you still have it?”
Alfor tilted his head back and away from Ranjaz. “Your little guarantee?” He looked back down at Ranjaz. “We have it somewhere safe. Had some unusual people come by after you got caught. Asked a lot of questions. Made a lot of threats.” His face contorted in anger. “We got audited thanks to you.”
The Kittran smiled. “If only they knew you better, they could have simply paid you for the information.”
“We give nothing for free.” The Kah’Ree gave a sinister smile. “House rule.”
Ranjaz walked forward to put his his arm on Alfor’s back. “Let’s go see your brother. Have a few drinks, maybe gamble a little, and discuss our future riches.”
 
 
Ripley stood in the shadows of the staff shuttle bay, watching as the numerous employees of assorted races came and went. Loud laughter caught her attention, and a very strangely dressed Niham broke away from a small group and walked towards her. Ripley tried to maintain her low profile as the scantily clad female strutted towards her in long black boots with pointed heels that clacked loudly with every step.
Deliberately avoiding eye contact the Awakened tried to will herself into the wall but it was too late and a voice called out to her. “Hey Darling! You must be the one I’m looking for.”
Ripley shook her head. The Kittran had said the contact was an Ashi pirate captain, a master gambler and expert in procuring the unusual. “I don’t-”
“Listen cutie,” she interrupted, “you’re the one lurking in dark corners drawing attention to yourself. I’ve got your security card. You tell that fluffy little stud he owes me. And more than a bottle of Fae’Dan wine and a good time, if you know what I mean.” She held up the card between her fingers, just a little out of Ripley’s reach.
The Awakened considered the phrase ‘fluffy little stud’ and decided that, despite her hopes, this was probably her contact. “You’re Captain Whiplash?”
The Ashi laughed genuinely, the jiggling of tightly squeezed breasts bursting at shiny black restraints making Ripley nervous. “Oh, Darling! Only my little pets call me that! You may call me Sho’Na.”
Ripley was momentarily confused. “So, you aren’t a pirate captain?”
“I’m anything they pay me to be.” She smiled at the silver-haired woman's naivety. “You really are new to this.”
Ripley, caught off guard, simply nodded, then replied, “I’m a quick learner.”
“Good for you, Darling.” Sho’Na handed over the card. “Just make sure you get paid up front, and don’t use your real name with clients. Ruins the mystique.”
Ripley was unsure of what was being said. Turning the card over in her hands she saw that the holo-image on the front was of a male Arkellian. “This isn’t me?”
“Honey, I was given half a cycle to get you a level three security card. Just be glad it’s a biped.” Sho’Na looked Ripley up and down. “Our mutual acquaintance told me you were some sort of master of disguise who could even trick Selva Blaster.”
Ripley paused, then smiled. Her appearance had become such an integral part of her identity she had forgotten that it was entirely optional. “It won’t be a problem.” She looked at the card again. “Unless the owner comes looking for it.”
Sho’Na gave another bosom-trembling laugh that threatened to spill out at any moment. “Oh, don’t worry, he’s tied up at the moment.”
The Awakened considered the risk. “Hmmm, but for how long?”
The few strips of shiny black material that comprised Sho’Na’s revealing outfit strained under her amusement. “Don’t you worry, Darling. He paid for the whole night.”
 
 
Eruwenn had reassessed her opinion of Ranjaz many times since meeting him. The criminal. The loyal friend. The lazy trouble-maker. All were true, but now she was seeing something new. He sat opposite Toran, the brother of Alfor, in a game of dalcho she wished she could have taken part in, but was equally glad she did not.
At first she had thought the Kittran was outmatched, a few reckless mistakes costing him dearly as the Kah’Ree deftly selected his tiles. Toran was clearly a seasoned gambler, using a blend of the Remee Le’Bow Gambit and the Kowals’Kee Analysis she hadn’t seen before. It seemed to be dismantling Ranjaz’s tiles before he could even prepare his cards. A few fortunate dice rolls and he had taken a strong lead from the outset. The Kittran appeared desperate, playing any tile available to try and slow the defeat.
It had all been a ruse, she saw it; Ranjaz had saved his best tiles and carefully thrown hands to manipulate the cards. In just a few rounds he would be able to dominate the board and raise the stakes, recouping his losses and changing the course of the game entirely. She had encountered few players who could manipulate the game so deftly, using memory and layers of strategy to corner their opponent. It was magnificent.
Eruwenn couldn’t tear her eyes from the board as she stood beside Thor. The Awakened had shown no interest in the game, studiously watching the opposite door as Toran’s staff came in and out. When a waiter entered and began preparing drinks at the small private bar in the executive gambling room, Thor coughed. It was a strange thing for an Awakened to do, and Eruwenn finally looked up from the table. “Are you ok?”
Thor nodded. By the time he had looked towards her, she had returned her attention completely to the game. “You don’t seem concerned about your friend?” he asked.
The Anatidae watched as Ranjaz used a blind double feint, and the sheer audacity of such a move made her swallow hard. She didn’t look back to Thor, but mumbled a response. “I’m very confident in her abilities.”
The waiter was methodically placing drinks by each of the players, but when they stood behind Ranjaz the Kittran surged to his feet, shouting, “Hey! No cheating Toran! Getting your waiter to look over my shoulder? That’s a dirty move I’d expect from your brother!”
Thor had reacted faster than Eruwenn, pinning the arms of the Arkellian waiter in a vice-like bear hug. Toran slowly stood. He was big, heavily muscled, and the veins on his neck bulged as his anger rose. “Don’t accuse me in my own place.” He cracked his knuckles and glowered down at Ranjaz. “I run a straight game.”
Fearlessly the Kittran walked right up to the Kah’Ree and stared up into his face from waist height. “Don’t try and intimidate me, you son of a Vogel.” Ranjaz puffed out his chest and began pushing the burly casino owner. “Nobody cheats me!”
The blow caught Ranjaz across the cheek and sent him sprawling across the room. Eruwenn winced at the impact, but maintained her composure. Toran laughed. “Watch your tongue or I’ll add it to my collection.” He walked round the table and kicked Ranjaz in the stomach, glaring at Thor and Eruwenn, daring them to act. “Know your place trash. You’re at this table because you put credits up front. You are a dishonest thief, begging for scraps, and cosying up to me any my brother to get your little trinket back.” He returned to his seat. “Why would I need to cheat against the likes of you?”
Ranjaz stood, brushing himself off. “Fine, fine.” He waved a hand and Thor dropped the Arkellian. Ranjaz tapped him on the chest. “My mistake.” He sat down and picked up his cards once more. “You’re right Toran, you run a clean game. I’m just a sore loser.” He shuffled the order of the tiles that were still face down on the table. “To show my sincerity, how about we double the buy for the rest of the game?”
Toran snorted. “Double?” He looked at the Kittran, scrutinising his opponent. The game was already over; he had control of the board and his tiles occupied the three prime positions. Was the thief trying to buy his favour, he wondered? How much was the trinket he wanted truly worth? He decided it was worth testing. “Triple, and I’ll forget you dared touch me.”
The Kittran swallowed hard, his ears flat to his head. Toran momentarily worried he’d pushed for too much but a decision seemed to be reached. “Fine. Triple.” The look of defeat was delicious to the Kah’Ree.
 
 
Cygna had done her part and lured Alfor to a private room away from his security. She had danced, skipped and side-stepped his groping hands so far, maintaining a playfulness that ensured he complied. This sort of thing was not new to her; she had spent time undercover in the past. Fortunately, there had been little call for it since she had joined forces with Eruwenn.
Alfor’s eyes scanned her body once more. “The Kittran has very good taste.” He licked his lips, a small amount of drool escaping and running down his chin. He wiped it on his sleeve. “Now, I brought you somewhere quiet. How about you show me how sweet you can be?”
The Fae’Dan smiled coyly and continued her dancing just out of reach, glancing to the doorway where Alfor’s two guards stood watching her. “With an audience?” She raised her eyebrows expectantly.
With a sly grin he waved the guards out of the room. “Now come here and let me satisfy you like only a Kah’Ree can.” His eyes wandered over her body once more.
Cygna smiled, her own eyes moving from the Kah’Ree’s hands to his shoulders, then up towards his neck. An interesting fact about the Kah’Ree was the thick blood vessels on the side of their neck. They often bulged when a Kah’Ree was angry or excited, like Alfor’s were as he leered at her. She danced closer. Another interesting fact was that their brains were not as efficient as those of other species, hence the requirement for additional blood flow; more oxygen per limited thought.
He leaned forward, his eyes locked to her swaying hips. Cygna turned slowly, and his head tilted to appreciate her assets. The third, lesser known, fact about the Kah’Ree was that an interruption to the blood flow while they were in this excited state caused them to lose consciousness rapidly as their brain burned through the available oxygen. “My eyes are up here.” She smiled as he looked up at her with his head still tilted.
He sneered. “Who ca-”
The Fae’Dan struck the side of his neck with the edge of her hand, targeting the throbbing blood vessel with a powerful blow. The interruption to his brain's oxygen supply worked perfectly and he fell face forward onto the ground at her feet. She let out a sigh of relief and looked down at his unconscious body. “Thank you, that was particularly satisfying.”
She walked over to the door and peeked out, finding the guards standing either side. “He said to order us some drinks.” One of the guards nodded and immediately put his hand to his lapel communicator.
Back inside the room, Cygna used her foot to roll Alfor to his back and began searching his pockets. She came up empty. Her eyes caught a glimmer from his collar and she found a heavy gold chain, at the end of which was his security key. She removed it just as a knock came at the door. A deep voice from the other side called out. “Your drinks, boss.”
The Fae’Dan quickly messed up her hair. Using the back of her hand she smeared her lipstick sideways, and then pulled the strap of her dress down off her shoulder. She opened the door and, to her surprise, was faced with an Arkellian waiter. The bodyguards noted her dishevelled appearance and shared a smirk, and she said, “Oh, I wasn’t expec-”
The waiter pushed the trolley into the room. “Don’t keep the boss waiting, lady.” Before Cygna could reply they were inside and the door closed. “Relax, it’s me.”
Ripley’s voice sounded bizarre coming from the male Arkellian form, and Cygna’s eyes went wide in shock. Her sharp mind quickly adjusted to this new information. Of course the Awakened could change their physical appearance; she had just never seen it. They all seemed quite attached to their chosen human forms. “Neat trick.” She held out Alfor’s key. “Did you get the other one?”
Ripley nodded. “The Kittran played his part well. I didn’t see him take it, and didn’t feel it when he placed it in my pocket. Now that was a neat trick.”
The Fae’Dan smiled. “I think I’ll pass on that dalcho game.”
The Arkellian Ripley smiled. “Probably wise.” Turning, she slipped the key into her pocket and headed back out of the door.
 
 
Ripley entered the elevator to the owner's private offices on the top floor. Thanks to the distractions downstairs, the two large desks in the centre of the room were empty. She walked straight past them to the large leokas painting on the wall and swung it forward. Behind it was a Fae’Dan safe; she took out the two keys and a small homemade device the Kittran had given her.
Attaching the device to the bio-lock and standing before the safe, she elongated her arms to reach both key positions at once. There was more than one reason she was the one chosen for this task. The device beeped twice and small lights above each lock lit up. She simultaneously turned both keys, and there was a satisfying clunk.
She raised an eyebrow. The device had worked. The heavy safe door swung open and she began her search. Ranjaz had been very specific: while there was one item she had to get, she was to grab as much as possible to obscure their true target.
Quickly grabbing as much as she could she retrieved the keys and ran back across the room towards the elevator.
 
 
Cygna hauled Alfor back onto the seat, putting him in a more natural position and messing up his hair. She looked away as she began unbuttoning his clothes, pulling his trousers around his ankles and opening his shirt up to bare his chest. From a secret pocket inside her dress she pulled out a lace thong, setting it on his head like a bandana. She also had a small box which she opened, inside of which was a replica mouth with lipstick that matched her own.
Cygna carefully applied kiss marks all over his exposed skin before popping the fake lips back into the secret pocket. She took the Fae’Dan wine and partially filled two glasses, making sure to take a long drink from one and leave more lipstick marks. The rest of the wine was poured into the ice bucket.
She heard the sound of voices outside the door. The guards were arguing with someone, refusing them entry, but when the name Toran was mentioned it was Ripley who entered, still in uniform but now looking much like her usual self. She smirked at the Kah’Ree in his derobed state. “I can see you had fun.”
The Fae’Dan chuckled. “That’s the idea.” She looked at the Awakened in her true form. “You look… better.”
Ripley cocked her head. “It would be strange if the waiter came back to deliver a message.” She tossed the necklace key to Cygna, who replaced it on Alfor’s neck.
Reclining on the sofa and picking up her glass, Cygna took another long drink. “Get the other one back to Ranjaz quickly. This one won’t be napping much longer.”
The Awakened gave an almost Ranjaz-like grin. “You could always hit him again.” Before the Fae’Dan could reply she had ducked back out of the door. She caught the eye of one of the bodyguards and gave a head tilt back towards the room. “The boss is really enjoying himself!”
As the suited pair chuckled, the larger of the two got a message in his ear piece. “Hey, silver hair.” He grunted. “Boss has an important guest. Meet them in the foyer and bring them to the dalcho room.”
Ripley was relieved – she needed a reason to get into that room. “On my way.”
 
 
Toran was seething as he watched as the Kittran flipped his final tile. Why would he have waited so long to play the Wings of Tulseria tile? His stomach sank, and he couldn’t hold back his anger any longer. “Damn you!”
Ranjaz gave a full-fanged grin. “Looks like my luck turned at just the right moment.”
“Luck!” Toran’s tile snapped between his fingers. Why had he let the damned cat goad him into constantly increasing their bet? The cycle had started with him owing the brothers a million credits plus interest, and now the infuritating Kittran had won nearly forty times that. “Nobody is that lucky.”
“Woah!” Ranjaz held up his hands. “I would never cheat, well... certainly not a second time. After you caught me, I’d be a fool to try.”
“Hmm.” Toran looked at the two behind the Kittran. The big one would be a problem, but the Anatidae looked to be nothing special. “How about I give you back your little trinket and we call it even?”
“My trinket?” Ranjaz shook his head. “I had to convince you it was worth the million I owed. Why would you think I’d trade it for thirty eight million credits? I’ll pay what I owe, take my trinket and my winnings and leave.”
Toran folded his arms and looked across the dalcho board at Ranjaz. “And why would I let you do that?” The atmosphere in the room changed as the two security guards changed their stance. “Transfer the credits back to the house.”
Ranjaz dropped the grin, replacing it with a defiant glare. “What happened to you running a straight game?”
“The game was straight. You won, didn’t you?” He leaned forward, his eyes cold and hard. “You’re just in no position to collect.”
The Kittran was about to argue when the door behind Toran opened. He looked up as Ripley entered, and his eyes widened in shock. She wasn’t alone. “Toran, you bastard! You sold me out!”
“For ten million credits.” Toran stared hard at Ranjaz. “Care to make a better offer?”
Eruwenn’s eyes blazed with anger as the grey-suited Niham pulled up a seat and sat down beside Toran. “Now, now, you lied to me about having the item before. Don’t double cross me.” Sentinel Krast placed his hands together on the table, interlacing his fingers. “I’m not somebody who forgives easily.” He looked directly at Eruwenn. “Isn’t that right, former Councillor? A little far from your new Ambassador position, aren’t you?”
Ripley stood back against the wall. She had no idea who the newcomer was, but this most definitely was not the plan. The golden green Anatidae walked forward to stand behind Ranjaz. “Oh, I had a little vacation time saved up, and decided to spend it with my good friend here.” She placed a hand on the Kittrans shoulder. “And what brings a Sentinel here?”
Krast’s lips curled in what might approximate a smile. “I’m also acquainted with Mr K’Lua. In fact, we go back a very long way.” He turned to look directly at Ranjaz. “Now, return what is mine.”
Toran looked from Ranjaz to Krast. “Yours? You don’t look like the tiara wearing type.”
The Sentinel didn’t turn his head. “Ah, so you hid the data chip inside some shiny bauble. As inventive as ever, Mr K’Lua.” The Niham finally acknowledged Toran by looking at him. “Bring. It. Here.”
The Kah’Ree sucked air through his teeth. “Well, seems like we have something mighty important, and two very interested parties.” He stood and walked to his two security officers, who drew their weapons in unison. “Now then, I believe you” —he nodded to Krast— “offered ten million. How about it Ranjaz, old friend? What’s your counter offer?”
The Kittran had been sitting, silently seething at his double cross being double crossed. He looked at Krast. “Were you the one?”
Toran was surprised at being ignored, but before he could reply Krast answered, “The one?”
Ranjaz’s eyes narrowed, his ears alert, his tail swishing aggressively. “The one who took my friend!” he snarled as he felt Eruwenn’s hand holding him back gently.
Krast’s eyes glittered as he saw the impotent rage in his opponent’s eyes. “Ah, the poor deceased human?” He smiled his mannequin-esque smile. “And if I was?”
Toran snatched a pistol from one of his men and fired a blast at the ceiling. “Your quarrel can wait. Let’s settle our business first and you can kill each other after I’m paid.” He paused, then added, “but, not in my casino. Body disposal costs extra.”
Eruwenn’s hand gripped Ranjaz’s shoulder harder, and he braced himself. In one smooth move she both threw him backwards and to the right, and kicked the dalcho table up and forward into Krast's face. The Sentinel fell backwards as a blast from Toran struck the table, but Eruwenn was already on the move, sidestepping left and ducking forward into a cartwheel. Toran's gun had been following Ranjaz, but as her leg swept down it knocked the weapon from his grip.
Once she stabilized, her fist, already primed with momentum from the cartwheel, struck Toran below the ribs and knocked the wind from him. The guard, whose gun the Kah'Ree had been holding, lunged forward to grab Eruwenn but she simply deflected his hand, pairing his forward momentum with her rising elbow to swiftly render him unconscious.
The second guard had just begun to raise his weapon when a huge fist struck him in his chest, sending him careening backwards into the wall. Thor loomed over him, shaking his head as he retrieved the energy pistol. “Too slow.”
Ripley helped Ranjaz to his feet as Krast pushed the table off his chest. Toran was coughing and struggling to breathe as Ranjaz pressed the retrieved energy pistol to his forehead. “Double cross me?” He dragged the Kah’Ree forward. “I want to see the item, then I’ll pay what I owe.” The two of them awkwardly made their way back towards Krast, so Ranjaz could point the gun in his face. “Then we can talk about your body disposal fee.”
Krast stood, and his phony smile was gone. “You can’t kill me. The Sentinels will tear this place apart, hunt you down and kill you. You think I came alone? My ship is in orbit and waiting for my orders!”
Ranjaz grabbed him by the jacket, pulling him down to his level, and struck him in the face with the butt of the pistol. Thor cooly kept his stolen pistol pointed at Toran and the one conscious guard. By the third blow Krast’s face was bloody, his nose broken and he began to struggle against Ranjaz’s assault.
A muted boom caused everyone present to stop in their tracks. Alarms began to sound and Toran swore loudly. He pulled out his communicator, ignoring Thor’s pistol. “What the hell was that!” He held the device close as he listened. “My office?” He patted his pocket. Finding his key in place, he looked to Ranjaz and then Krast. “Seal the casino! And where is my brother?”
Ripley suddenly understood why the Kittran had told her to leave his device on the safe door. After a brief further moment of shock, which she kept from showing on her face, she realized that she had been carrying an explosive without being told. If they survived, Ranjaz was going to need to explain himself. Thoroughly.
Eruwenn, Thor and Ranjaz had backed away to the opposite side of the room, standing by the door. Krast stood alone, holding his profusely bleeding nose. The opposite door soon opened to reveal scrambling casino security, with Toran and his guard standing nearby.
The unconscious guard was carried out without comment, and the Kah’Ree turned to Ripley. “Why are you still here?” She nodded and slipped out of the door, leaving one less concern for the remaining three. “Alright, which one of your skrolg-licking bastards broke into my private safe?”
Krast spat blood onto the floor, pointing at Ranjaz. “He’s the thief. You and I had a deal.”
The Kittran smirked. “I’m a better thief than blowing up a Tulseria-damned safe. If I wanted to steal it, I would have done just that. I would not have announced my arrival and sat down to a game of dalcho.”
Toran looked between the two of them. “He’s got a point.” One of his men handed him a pistol, and he continued to talk a little distractedly into his communicator. “Well, check everywhere!”
Ranjaz stirred the pot. “He’s the bastard who double crossed me, why would he honour your deal?”
Eruwenn nodded. “A government agent can’t be seen working with criminals.”
Krast's face contorted in rage. “Don’t be a damned fool, Toran!” He pointed at Ranjaz. “This is clearly some convoluted distraction.”
Toran shook his head. “They had the upper hand. You were the one getting your face ruined.”
 
 
Cygna watched nervously as Alfor began to stir. Things were taking a lot longer than expected. Finally, her signal came; it was not as subtle as she had been led to believe. As soon as the explosion went off the two bodyguards quickly came into the room, glancing from Alfor’s sleeping body to her. She staggered forward, wine bottle in hand. “We need more drinkshh!”
The guard ignored her as he saw the condition of his boss. “Not again,” he groaned. “Toran will kill us for letting him get like this.”
The second guard stepped out into the corridor. “I’m not dressing him! Last time he tried to kiss me!”
Cygna paused, not having expected it to go this way. The first bodyguard walked out as well. “He pissed on my new shoes the time before that. I’m not moving him.”
Their communicators went off and their faces became more serious. Bodyguard two spoke first. “Damn it. Toran wants him.”
The first turned to look at the increasingly bewildered Cygna. “You!” He smiled. “You got him undressed. You can dress him.”
Cygna spotted Ripley running down the corridor towards them, causing her confusion to grow further. The Awakened shouted one word. “Sentinels!”
The Fae’Dan’s mind raced. The plan was clearly blown, and they had to get out. Fast. As the guards were now facing Ripley, she took the opportunity to kick one in the back of the knee. He fell forward, and as the second turned he was met with the upward swing of a wine bottle. The first guard discovered first-hand the shocking truth of how hard the knee of an Awakened could be, and both were unconscious by the time they hit the ground.
Cygna smiled at Ripley. "Thanks."
The Awakened gave a swift nod of acknowledgement. “A Sentinel turned up, so Ranjaz set off the diversion he promised. The other brother is busy trying to figure out whether it’s us or the Sentinels robbing him.”
Cygna took on board the new information quickly, knowing she needed to help the others. “I have an idea. Lie over there and look dead.” She ran back into the room, where Alfor was groaning and starting to move. She slipped the chain from his neck and dropped it into the ice bucket, where it sank out of sight below the dark Fae’Dan wine. She began to slowly shake him.
“Huh,” he grumbled, and slowly opened his eyes. “Wha.. what happened?”
Cygna clung to him tightly. “Oh thank goodness! I thought they killed you!”
“Killed?” Alfor’s head was pounding, his memory blurry. “Who-” He caught sight of his downed guards in the open doorway. “What the hell happened?” He began pulling at his clothes, and swiftly checked that his trousers were dry.
“While we were.. You know…” He nodded; he was buttoning up his clothes. He didn’t remember, but he knew. “Some scary men burst into the room and shot you! I was so scared.” She hugged him tight, pressing herself against him.
He put his arm around her. “What men? Be brave, and tell me what happened.”
She looked up at him, trying to make her eyes as big as possible, adding a lip tremble to really sell it. “I don’t know! They wore grey suits. And one of them took your necklace!”
“My necklace.” He clutched at his chest where it should have been. “Damn Sentinels! I told Toran we couldn't trust them!”
He stepped into the corridor, where Ripley lay on the ground with a terrible energy weapon burn on the side of her face. He pulled out his communicator. “Toran.” He instantly got hold of his brother. “I didn’t answer because I was knocked out. Damn Sentinels took my key, killed some of our guys.” He looked around. “Nobody important, just some waiter.” He finally pulled the underwear from his head. “I’ll go to the security room and look at the video.”
He ended the call and turned back to Cygna. “You stay here.”
She smiled. “Sorry, we can’t let you check the security footage.”
“Wha-”
Ripley struck him from behind and he crumpled to the ground, her fake burn melting from her face. The Awakened looked around, rechecking that all was clear. “I think that’s all we can do; we should get out of here. Come with me, my shuttle is in the staff bay.”
 
 
Toran closed his communicator and motioned to a guard. “Search him.”
Eruwenn wished she had some way to capture the look on Krast’s face when the remote detonator was pulled from his pocket. She'd have to hug the light-fingered Kittran later.
The Sentinel grit his teeth. “That’s not mine.”
“Sure, sure,” Toran agreed, while simultaneously shaking his head at the Sentinel. “Looks like you really didn’t come alone.”
Krast was furious, yelling, “I’m telling you-” He broke off when Ranjaz shot him in the leg, falling to the floor.
The Kah’Ree pointed his pistol at the Kittran. “Can’t let you kill a Sentinel in my casino, even if they did just rob me.”
Ranjaz was surprised the Kah’Ree had believed them so easily. “What about us?”
Toran sighed, lowering his weapon. “Take your winnings and get out. If you stole the thing once, I’m sure you can steal it again.”
Eruwenn and Thor both made to leave. Ranjaz paused, knowing he might not get another chance. “And him?”
The Kah’Ree looked at the Sentinel holding his wounded leg. “We’ll send him back to his ship. As much as I hate it, the Sentinels are untouchable.”
Ranjaz raised his pistol. “He took my friend.”
“And we’ll get him back,” Eruwenn said softly. “Then we’ll all deal with him, and the rest of the Sentinels.”
Krast sneered and spat blood once more. “Your human is dead.”
Ranjaz fired.
Krast screamed and grabbed his other leg. “You bastard!”
Toran and his men raised their weapons as the Kah’Ree yelled, “Get the hell out of here!”
Ranjaz turned and followed the others out of the door, but just as it was about to close he poked his head back in. “Oh, one last thing.”
Toran could be seen looking up just as the Kittran fired again, but he ducked out of sight before the true outcome of his shot could be seen. The shrieks of agony, however, followed the trio down the corridor as they broke into a run. Eruwenn spared a glance down at Ranjaz during their retreat. “What did you do?”
The full-fanged grin had never been larger. “Made sure we’ll see him again.”
On the floor of the dalcho room Krast was screaming in agony. He turned over to stare at the closed door. “I’ll kill you! I will hunt you down and kill every last one of you!”
Toran spoke into his communicator. “Tell the Sentinel ship to come get their man. And, bring a doctor. A really good doctor.” He nudged one of his guards and finally let out a chuckle. After all, the Sentinels had just robbed him. “You double-crossing scum always get what you deserve.”
The J’Rami guard raised an eyebrow. “Not sure anyone deserves getting shot in the balls.”
 
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