Prologue: The Patient (Deadman Wonderland; The Crow and the Swan)- Part One

I remember waking up in a strange and unfamiliar place; surrounded by strange, unfamiliar faces. I can’t recall much more than that. Even now as I wait to reach my destination, wherever that may be, I feel the farther away I get from the laboratory, the less I remember; the less I feel. I’ll never forget her, though. I can’t explain it, but she was different than the others. We connected. I know it sounds sad, but in a way, she’s the closest thing to family I think I’m ever going to know…

Her name was Dr. Noriko Masuda. She was an older woman, but her eyes were always young and full of life. If you looked really close, you could see a tinge of something darker; not sinister, just…regretful. Hers is the first face I can remember.
“Ah. So you’ve decided to join the living,” she would say. I was confused and afraid. I had no recollection of where I came from, nor could I recall my name. There I was, strapped to a hospital bed under a harsh white light, with a strange foreign pain all throughout my body. The doctor pulled out a needle from the small table at her side and flicked it a couple times. I tried to wrestle and break away from my confinement, but the needle had already punctured my skin. She must have seen the panic in my eyes. “Don’t worry, dear Evangeline. It’s only to numb the pain. You’re going to be awfully achy for some time, after all. As is the nature of surgery.”

Evangeline? Is that my name…? Somehow I doubted it. It didn’t fit quite right. And what did she mean by ‘surgery’? What surgery? I had so many questions, but so few answers. As I started to gain the courage to speak, darkness began to close in on my vision. Enveloped in the undeniable urge to sleep, I closed my eyes and drifted into the darkness once more. “Sleep now, Evangeline. The rest will do you good.”

I awoke a second time, but the harsh white light was gone and replaced by a faint glow outside the door across the room. My arms were no longer bound to my sides, but I could still feel constriction upon my ankles. Upon the small table at my bedside was a glass of water, two white pills, and a handwritten note. I raised my arm to take the note, fighting the feeling of pins and needles as my body protested against the movement.

 

Drink the water and take those pills as soon as you’ve regained consciousness. It should keep the soreness at bay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

I was skeptical, but even more so, I was parched. I reluctantly took the pills and downed the glass of water. Just as I set down the glass, there was a light knock at the room’s doorway. In it stood the doctor that had put me out the last time I recall being awake. She made her way to the side of my bed and pulled up a nearby stool.
“Smart girl; I know the pills aren’t the best-tasting things in the world, but believe me, you’d thank me if you knew what pain you would’ve been in for if you hadn’t taken the advice,” she smiled as she filled the glass with more water. I took the glass and shot it back without a second thought. I set it back down on the table as I found my voice.
“Who am I?” I asked. The question sounded more like a croak than an intelligible sentence, but she understood me somehow.
“Well, to be honest, those in my position don’t have access to that information.What I can tell you is that you were randomly selected to help our organization find and test new viruses and antibodies to benefit the medical world, and in turn, mankind. You should be very proud,” she explained with a half-hearted grin. The confusion in my eyes triggered a flash on concern in her eyes as her grin faded.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more than that, Evangeline. I could get in a great deal of trouble,” she said with a frown.
“Why are you calling me Evangeline if you don’t know who I am?” I asked. She sighed and looked away, but in her gaze I saw a trace of sadness.
“You remind me remarkably of my younger sister. Her name was also Evangeline, but sadly, she passed away some time ago. Your resemblance is uncanny. I suppose you could call that bittersweet sentiment on my part.”
I looked away in silence, unsure of how to respond. The doctor rose from her spot on the side of the hospital bed and said, “I will let you get back to resting. You’ve got a long road to recovery ahead of you.” She walked out of the room and quietly closed the door behind her. I lay back in my bed, unable to sleep as I struggled to remember some shred of who I was. Anything about my past. Did I have a family? A life?

Hours passed, but my memory remained as hazed as it was when I woke up the first time. The frustration born of helplessness began to set in. I don’t remember falling asleep that night, but to this day, I desperately wish I never woke up to what was waiting for me when I arose in that laboratory for the final time…

(to be continued…)


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Pokemon: Spectrum

Note: Just because I don’t want there to be any confusion. This is obviously NOT an article for any real Pokemon game. This is a concept I have been wishing for throughout the years. This is essentially simply a nerd’s fantasy of what would be the best Pokemon game to ever be released if done right (in my opinion). This is a LONG read; and it may continue to grow as I see fit. You’ve been warned.
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I have been following the Pokemon franchise since their debut in the 90s. While I stopped watching the television show after the Johto arc, and my card gaming faded from playing to simply collecting, I still play the games to this very day.
The Pokedex count has gone from 151 to over 700 Pokemon over the years, and that number has only been growing. Sure, there are more than a few questionable Pokemon concepts to come out over time (don’t know what I mean? Click here for my Top 10 List of the Dumbest Pokemon). With expanded features ranging from choosing your character’s gender (which started in Pokemon Crystal in the year 2000), to getting to play and interact with your Pokemon through PokemonAmie, despite the years, there seems to be no stopping the company from new releases and progressions.

However, realistically, we know that someday, the franchise will have to take a backseat. Companies that prolong a concept after the magic and creativity has gone only wind up destroying the series. I don’t know when that day will be, but I believe the best way to cap off the series, but still leave it open for continued profit would be through a concept I’ve been crossing my fingers for. Let’s call it Pokemon Spectrum.

I have been imagining this ever since I played Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, thinking, “wouldn’t it be amazing if you could play through all the regions with just one long game?” I would sigh and return to my playing, looking forward to the next game release. However, this wish has grown more and more as we see what the company has managed to incorporate with each release. So if you’re a fellow Pokemon fan, and you like to dream and get your hopes up for the impossible (or perhaps, the highly improbable), read on and cry a little inside with me as we go through the features of my fantasy Pokemon game.


Index

  • Welcome
  • Character Customization
  • The Wonderful World of Pokemon (seasons, times of day, etc.)
  • Our Story Begins: An Introduction to Pokemon Spectrum
  • Story Arcs
  • Pokemon Amie
  • Join Avenue
  • Hidden Bases and Build-a-Home
  • Careers
  • Medals
  • Systems Information

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Welcome
Welcome to Pokemon Spectrum; where you will embark on a lifelong journey through the many regions of the Pokemon world. Here, you will:

  • Create your own unique character with an identity all their own.
  • Build strong bonds with your Pokemon through an advanced PokemonAmie feature and real-world attachments to bring the experience to your everyday life.
  • Complete side-quests and explore endless story arcs as you discover the secrets and depths to this amazing world.
  • Be reintroduced to the concept of walking Pokemon, beauty contests, setting up shops, secret bases, and much more.
  • Connect with other trainers like never before!

You can now play through the games starting from your humble Pallet Town home, and relive old adventures all while making new ones. Come explore the real world of Pokemon in a celebration decades in the making!
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1. Starting Out
You are starting out as a character, aged 11. As the story progresses, your character will grow with story, but this is a toggled feature that will later be explained in detail.
This new customization feature allows you to:

  • Choose your character’s gender.
  • Decide whether your character is short, average, or tall.
  • Set a skin tone from a spectrum of highly fair skin to dark skin tones.
  • Set body types when you reach a certain age.
  • Choose your hair colour and hairstyle.
  • Dress your character!

Many of the options chosen can be changed and further customized as you continue throughout the game. You can later try new and adventurous hairstyles and colours, as well as buy and create your own clothing styles with an advanced mix-and-match system!

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2. Character Age Toggle
Your character will start off at the age of 11, but as you play through the game and enter new regions, you will have the option to age. For example, once you enter the Johto region, you can grow to your early teens; once you enter the Hoenn region, you will age to about 17, and so forth. This unlocks some different options where you can once again choose your starting style from the same categories (cute, cool, smart, etc). Reaching the final region of the Pokemon world unlocks the age of a distinguished adult.

Not ready to grow up just yet? Don’t worry! As you unlock an age group by moving through each region, you can decide if you want to stay as you are and grow up later. Be careful about what you choose, however! You won’t be able to go back to being a child/pre-teen again until you have completed the Giratina Story Arc. Once you have, however, you will have the option to move between the age groups whenever you please.


3. Pokemon Boutique Basics
As seen in Pokemon X and Y, this is where you express your style and make your character your own. Once you reach Cerulean City, you will find the first Pokemon Boutiques where you can change your hair to different colours (including multi-coloured hair), and new un-lockable styles, you can change your makeup, get eye contacts to change your eye colour, and this is also where you will find your first clothing store, which will work the same as they did in Pokemon X and Y, where each day of the week will feature different options.

Eventually, you can pursue a career in fashion and create your own styles, but that will be explained later.

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The Wonderful World of Pokemon

Pokemon locations would be generally the same, if not similar to that of the other games. So you would still find Pidgeys and such right after you’ve left Pallet Town, but some Pokemon would only be attainable through side-quests, and other game features which will be explained later.

Here, we will mix feature that showed up as early as Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal. Some Pokemon will only be attainable at certain times of day, or even during certain seasons. If you’ve enabled a connection between your game system and your local weather app, the weather in your area will be the weather you see in the game!

The music for each city and region would be the same as they were shown in their respective games, but the sound would of course simply be of modern quality. For example, Lavender Town’s theme would sound more like this:

The feature of a Pokemon Safari would also be reintroduced, but it would be one Safari Zone per region.

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Our Story Begins: An Introduction to Pokemon Spectrum
After an introductory video, you will see Professor Oak. “Hello there! Welcome to the world of Pokemon!” He will go through a similar dialogue to what was used in the original Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow games. Here is where you will:

  • Choose your gender.
  • Set your skin tone from a spectrum of natural colours (ranging from pale/fair to very dark).
  • Choose your eye colour (blue, green, brown, hazel or black).
  • Choose your natural hair colour (blonde, brown, black or red) and a style to start with.
  • Name your first rival.

This is when you would wake up in your bed in good ol’ Pallet Town. You would look into your mirror to get dressed in a beginner’s style (either cool, cute, elegant or smart) before you walked downstairs to meet your mother, who would send you on your way. You can run right off the bat in this one; you don’t need to find running shoes or anything.

When you would inevitably try to walk into the grass, Professor Oak will show up and capture that mean old Pikachu. Like in Pokemon Yellow, you would then meet your rival in the lab, who would take the Pokeball you were supposed to get, which contained an Eevee. Professor Oak would give you the Pikachu (which you can evolve with a Thunder Stone later in the game if you wish) and you would get to face your rival.

Your mom would hand you your Town Map and shoo you away (that was easy…).

You’d then begin your journey with your Pikachu. Now, this Pikachu doesn’t refuse to stay in it’s Pokeball. Any Pokemon you’ve got walking around in your PokemonAmie screen will show up on the game as it will be walking alongside/behind you like in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. Some Pokemon would not be able to walk with you, however (for example, it’s not fair to ask your little Magikarp to grow legs). In this case, if any of your other Pokemon are able to walk, they will be shown instead. If not, no Pokemon will be seen walking alongside you.

This feature will also be incorporated with various actions such as cycling. If your Pokemon is small enough, for example, it can be seen sitting in the basket on your bike.

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Story Arcs

Your goal is still to collect gym badges and defeat the Pokemon League Champion, and the storyline will essentially be the same as seen in the old games. However, along the way, you will get to play through different story arcs that are in reference to Pokemon lore and the anime.

Some of these would be optional, but others would be a part of the main story.

Here are a few arcs that would be addressed:

  • Meet Team Rocket: that’s right, they’re back. Near the end of Mt. Moon, you will meet Jessie, James and Meowth. They’ll demand you hand over your Pokemon, and will use Ekans and Koffing to try to force you to comply. After defeating them in your first double-battle, your Pokemon will send ’em blasting off again, but you will meet them again and again throughout your journey, where Ekans and Koffing will have evolved. Their team will grow throughout the story, too; including Wobbuffet, Victreebell, Gourgeist, Seviper, Woobat, Yanmega, Frillish, Inkay, Growlithe, and much more!splash_of_team_rocket__by_iza_nagi-d64rry9
  • The Three Starters: Like in Pokemon Yellow, you will be able to find the three original starters in a similar way by playing through their short-lived arcs at any time. These arcs would require the use of PokemonAmie to complete.
    Charmander can be attained north of the Nugget Bridge. You will find it by a large stone where you can play mini games with it. However, it will not join your party until it likes you enough.
    Bulbasaur can be found at the Day Care house south of Cerulean City. After it likes you enough, it will challenge you to a battle. Capture it and it will join you on your journey.
    Finally, there’s Squirtle. This arc would be a little bit longer. When you reach Vermillion, you would come across a strange patch of grass. If you stepped on it, you would fall into a trap and trigger this arc. You would play through a story arc where you have been captured by the Squirtle Squad and Team Rocket. You would eventually befriend the Squirtle Squad’s leader and after helping you battle Jessie and James, you would escape with a spunky Squirtle on your side.278e6204-db86-4715-8752-c123df3241b3_560_420
  • S.S. Anne: In the original games, you would briefly get to board the S.S. Anne in Vermillion City before it sailed on it’s journey, but you never got to play through the Shipwreck scenario seen in the anime. You could choose to stay on after obtaining your HM01 from the Captain to play through, or to get off and return to the original story. Choose carefully, you cannot return to this story arc if you’ve said no. You can explore the shipwreck much later, but you will not get to play through the arc. If you chose to stay on board, however, you will then battle Team Rocket before working with them to escape the doomed vessel. Once complete, you will arrive back in Vermillion City to continue your adventure.
  • Lavender Town: This would be quite possibly the darkest arc in the game and the Silph Scope is required to finish it. When you arrive in Lavender Town, you will see a sequence where you overhear two Team Rocket Grunts talking about selling Cubone skulls, and how it’s mother was accidentally killed when it tried to protect it’s child. You would then fight your way to the top of Pokemon Tower, ridding it of Team Rocket, topping it off with a battle against Jessie and James. Beyond, you find a crying Cubone. You will not have to battle Marrowak’s ghost. You would simply see a sad cutscene where it says goodbye to it’s mother’s ghost before she flies off. After this, you would wake up in the Volunteer House where you would be given the choice to take Cubone with you.
    This would be the only way to obtain a Cubone in the game, but if you refused, you could always return to bring it with you later..you_re_not_alone___by_thatwildmary-d6pc3ts


Other story arcs would involve traveling between regions. For example, you would complete a story arc involving Lugia, based off the movie, Pokemon 2000; where you would see the Legendary Birds. After this arc is complete, you can return to Kanto any time to challenge and capture Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos in their locations which would be the same as in the Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow games. This would also cause Lugia to show up in the wild at random so you could challenge and capture it as well.
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Pokemon Amie

I think PokemonAmie was a great addition to the franchise. Getting to interact with your Pokemon one-on-one really makes it all feel more personal, and I think all they’d really have to do is expand on it. For example, more mini games, which can be unlocked by doing certain things throughout the game!

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I think, as a part of the culinary career path, being able to make your own recipes of Pokemon Food, poffins, etc. would be a fun and interesting addition!

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Being able to set up new backgrounds and such for each individual Pokemon would be wonderful, too; we can set up decorations and backgrounds for the out-of-game screen of PokemonAmie, but I’d like to see that incorporated in the actual feature.

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Pokemon Spectrum’s Join Avenue (perhaps under a different name) would take inspiration from Pokemon Black/White 2. Upon reaching a specific area, you could start your own marketplace either on your own, or with friends (maybe even create you own mall). It could be accessed in-game, through your computer, phone, or nearly any other device with internet connection. You could decorate and customize this area and open all kinds of shops/services such as (but not limited to):

  • Pokeball Boutique: You could create custom-made Pokeballs for trainers to keep their Pokemon in. Rather than the plain-Jane red tops, you could change that colour to anything you choose, add stickers and decals, and even interesting animated effects for when it opens in battle.
  • Boutiques: Here, you could create your own outfits and accessories to be bought by other trainers.
  • Restaurants: You could serve foods to trainers and Pokemon to make them happier, or even boost certain stats. Create your own recipes and share them with your friends!
  • Real Estate Office: You can create concepts of homes and hidden bases for others to see and purchase.
  • PokeTheatre: You can showcase videos you have made with your Pokemon and let others star in your productions for a price.
  • Pokemon Day Care: You could help speed up the process of hatching eggs, set up a breeding/adoption program, and even offer a move tutoring service!
  • Pokemon Gyms: that’s right; now you can open your own Pokemon Gym with your friends! People would try their luck battling it out against you and your chosen comrades.

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Hidden Bases and Build-a-Home
Let’s face it, when Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald were introduced, and we found out we could create a secret base, many of us collectively lost our minds and spent lots of time and Pokemon dollars building our base. However, looking at how far the franchise has come, there’s so much they could easily do to make it worthwhile.

For one thing, aside from a secret base, you could even save up to build your own entire house once you’ve managed to play past a certain point. You could create a custom home on a feature available on the Pokemon website, or you could buy one from another player’s Real Estate shop through Join Avenue. Once that’s done, you can build on the house, change up colour schemes, move in furniture, and all kinds of things!

As an added effect, you could meet your friends in your secret base, or at your home. Communicate online and meet them where you agreed so you can play exclusive mini-games for boosts, prizes and more!

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Careers
Here’s where it gets interesting. This is also one of the more time-consuming parts of the game that appeal to the older demographic as well.

So much importance has been set on training and battling Pokemon, but establishing yourself as anything else has never been an option; until now! Now you can chose from an array of career paths, but when you start out, you will simply be a ‘trainer.’ You can choose up to two titles to be displayed as you find them an complete their paths. Your career would include, but would not be limited to: fashion designer, actor/actress, musician, architect, chef, athlete, medic, scientist, gym leader, and much more!

These are all completely optional and not essential to the main storyline in any way, but their arcs would be very involved.

Here’s how this would work:

  • Designer: Upon seeing the Pokemon Boutique in Cerulean, you would unlock the ability to go down this path. From there, you can design your own clothes to wear and sell in Join Avenue, you can purchase styles others have created, and plenty more! Though completing designer quests, you can unlock new features, and you can even dress up Pokemon for shows; but the Pokemon’s clothing would be removed for the rest of the story. The Designer story arc would be the only way to obtain a Feebas (and a Prism Scale) without trading for it. Oh, and if you’re worried about how much the clothes would go for, don’t be; the maker would not have control over the pricing; it would automatically be chosen from the system, so no million dollar t-shirts here.
  • Actor/Actress/Musician: This is where you can pursue fame and fortune through your acting and musical chops! You can unlock features such as creating musical groups with your friends, starring and directing movies and commercials, etc. This would be unlocked by shooting your first Trainer Video (as seen in Pokemon X and Y). The Trainer Videos would have more options, and lots of unlockable features throughout the game. Pursuing the musician’s path would be the only way to obtain Meloetta.
  • Medic: whether you breed them or rescue them, a Pokemon medic’s job is endless. You could unlock this arc by receiving your first egg from the Day Care Man south of Cerulean when he recognizes your talent. You would spend your time helping others hatch their eggs faster, granting training bonuses, rescuing, healing and treating Pokemon and their injuries, etc. This would be the only way to get a Chansey.nurse_joy_by_piwikiwii-d57d6phWell, you get the idea!

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Medals

Just as seen in Pokemon Black/White 2, you could collect Medals for various achievements throughout the game, and even receive prizes as you go!

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Systems Information
This would be an interesting feature that would possibly be one of the most difficult things to include. The base game would be playable on a handheld device such as the Nintendo3DS, but other features would accessible through (sometimes exclusively) a different system/console.

Computers: You could access Join Avenue and play mini-games by simply visiting the proper website. Storing Pokemon, sharing your Pokedex progress, and trading Pokemon online would all be possible through their online database. This would be the primary career-based console; making it easy to create/customize fashion, secret bases, houses, Pokeballs and much more.

Smartphones: After downloading the free application on your smartphone, you could play mini-games and capture Pokemon in the real world with a Pokemon Go-style gameplay. Certain legendaries and shiny Pokemon could only be found in this way. For example, you could find a Shiny Articuno, but you’d have to visit the North Pole!

Other Consoles: There could be a Pokemon Stadium-style game available for purchase on the Nintendo Store where you battle Pokemon and build teams for fun, which would be great for battling your friends and you could even play console-exclusive PokemonAmie mini-games to build your friendships with your Pokemon. This would also include the ability to play games with your friends as was seen in the old Pokemon Stadium games.

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Other possible general features:

  • Cute romantic paths with characters/rivals once a certain age is reached. This would involve adorable side-quests and sweet alternative dialogue options, along with the ability to include them in your Trainer Videos, your home, and they will even call you in-game, and send you texts if you’ve signed up with your smartphone! Obviously, this wouldn’t go far, so it would still be family-friendly, but this could cause various problems regardless, so this may be a difficult feature to include.
  • You can choose to restart your game from each region. For example, if you’re happy with your progress in Kanto, but you want to Johto over from the beginning, you absolutely can!
  • You can use your Pokemon from the previous region in the game to start the next, but each region’s Pokemon and difficulty will reset back to easy. Ergo, you will only find Level 3 Pokemon at the beginning, so it’s suggested that you put your previous Pokemon in your PC to start the new region more fairly, but that’s all up to you.
  • The Pokemon Company could add new features to the game whenever they please, making events more immersive, and keeping the doors open for new content and continued income from their clients. This could also open them up for partnering with other companies (for example, partnering with Coca-Cola to create a cute 50’s-style Coca-Cola brand of fashion options).64c21dd925c6313b57a3335f9387f5de-d53r9nmWell, folks; what do you think would help create the perfect Pokemon gaming experience? Add your own ideas in the comments below. Do you have your own dream Pokemon game thought out? Link me so I can see what you’ve got!

    Until next time, this is Miss B blasting off again. 😉


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Oceanic

Note: A song I’ve come across always makes me think of this dream. If you feel so inclined, check out this song by Brunuhville; it’s called ‘Ascension’.



As the dance floor’s sporadic lights dimmed to a dozen tones of blue, and the pulsing bass faded into a slow rock ballad, couples from all directions crowded the dance floor to bask in the atmosphere of romance and tender bliss. I sat at my table, gliding my finger across the edge of my nearly empty wine glass and watched as hands entwined and as eyes connected, glistening in the dancing lights. Bodies swayed back and forth and I placed my glass back down with a sigh. I stood from my seat and wandered out to the main deck of the ship. It was deserted. It seemed everyone was down in the dance room for the party. I made my way to the railing at the side of the ship and leaned forward to look into the waters. I breathed deep the vaguely familiar scent of the ocean; a friend I had missed every day since I had last seen it. Despite the fact I was twelve decks above the water, the wind graciously lifted the spray of the sea to kiss the side of my cheek.

I breathed in deeper still, and a shiver traveled across my skin. I looked out to the east to see a flicker of lightning in the clouds ahead. I gulped hard and made my way to the bow of the ship to watch as we slowly inched closer to the storm. I was torn between being nervous and excited. I zipped up my jacket, gripped my hands around the railing, planted my feet firmly on the deck and prepared for the ride. I didn’t want to go inside. I could never forgive myself for missing this; the night sky, the ocean and a thunderstorm all at once.

As I waited for the storm to engulf us, I looked up to the stars. I had never seen them as clearly as that night. No city lights loud enough to hide them, no skyscrapers to cover them. Just an endless abyss of stars, and moonlight that danced across the tumbling waves below. This truly was the calm before the storm. As the wind grew ever stronger, and the storm grew ever closer, any doubt I had evaporated and disappeared into the night.

The waves became more playful as the ship rocked left and right. Rain surrounded me, and any trace of the moon and stars that had stunned me before had been covered by dark clouds, lined and lit up with vicious lightning. As I gripped the railing of the handle and the thunder shook every bone in my body, I let out what seemed to be a mixture of a scream, laugh and a cheer as we began to climb the face of a massive wave; plummeting down once more to the base as my stomach dropped in protest. No thrill ride I had ever experienced compared to this. In this lurked true danger, and the intensity of the adrenaline within me was nearly unbearable.

The storm ended nearly as quickly as it had come. I checked my watch when I was able to pry my hands away from the railing and realized I had spent two hours on deck. I sprawled out on the deck with a contented sigh born of great satisfaction and looked out into the stars again. They almost seemed brighter.

I lurched myself back up to my feet and started to make my way back inside, and before I entered the ship’s indoor area again, I looked out to the sea and smiled with a feeling that was bittersweet. I was torn between two worlds. Although I found myself homesick the familiarity of home, I now realized I would also be homesick when I returned to the city. Nothing makes me feel more at home than the sky, the wind and the sea.


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Miss Bloodstone’s Top 10 Favourite Pokemon

Hello again, folks! Now, most people at least are familiar with the Pokemon franchise, but if you’re anything like me, you grew up with it. My life as a child consisted of 3 things; Pokemon, Neopets and Slurpees. Throughout the years, the original 150 Pokemon I knew and loved have now grown to over 720! While I do think that’s a bit much, there have been a few of the newer Pokemon that have made it to my personal favourites list.

Now, as you read on, please keep in mind, this is my personal Top 10; I’m not necessarily judging based on how strong they are, or how popular they are; this is simply my own opinion of which Pokemon would make it onto my team for various reasons. If you’ve made your own Pokemon Top 10, link me so I can see your favourites!

I am only setting up two restrictions:

  • No legendaries; so you won’t find the official legendary dogs or birds on this list.
  • Only ONE Eevee-lution. I love my Eevees and all the evolutionary facets, but to ensure I keep my other favourites on here, I’ll stick to the one that stands above the rest in my eyes.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

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10. Absol (#359)
Released in Gen III, Absol is a Pokemon I sympathize with a little. Absabsol_zpsd121e90aol is very in-tune with it’s surroundings and can often times predict an impending disaster. In it’s attempt to warn and aid others, it is often blamed for the disaster itself. This misunderstood dark-type Pokemon may not be the most powerful, but it has the potential to have a lot of heart. That and let’s not forget it’s a beautifully-designed Pokemon; especially it’s mega-evolution.
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All aboard the train to Feeledelphia; this ground-type Pokemon from Gen I has possibly one of the most depressing backstories (and if you think about it, one of the darkest) of the Pokemon even to today’s standards. The skull this adorable Pokemon wears is actually the skull of it’s dead mother. As a result of the trauma, it has been nicknamed ‘The104 Lonely Pokemon’ as it closes up and keeps to itself. Particularly on nights where the full moon is visible, this Pokemon cries loudly in mourning as it connects the full moon to the memory of it’s mother. As if that wasn’t bad enough, if you played the Red, Blue and Yellow Game Boy Pokemon games, you’ll find out that Cubone’s mother was atually murdered by Team Rocket! Isn’t this suppose to be a kids show?!

It’s okay, little Cubone; here, have a spot on this list. *cries*

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I love my dragon Pokemon, and Flygon is one of my favourites! This ground/dragon-type Pokemon was released during Gen III and is one of those slightly unfair Pokemon that can learn pretty much any kind of attack. It manages to look both adorable and intimidating, and it looks a bit like a dragonfly. 🙂 See, Yanma? You could learn a thing or two from this one.
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7. Milotic (#350)
This is possibly one of the most beautiful Pokemon in my opinion; and not only thatmilotic_zps39e396fd, it’s deceptively strong. Feebas, being only slightly more useful than Magikarp evolves into this water-type, creature I call “Girly Gyarados.” It is even said that by releasing a wave on energy, this Pokemon can calm emotions and cease anger and conflict around it. Now, that’s a Pokemon that commands respect. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Pokemon to come out of Generation III.
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One of my best Pokemon-related memories is connected to this badass rightgyarados_zps3efad08b here. I remember pulling up to Mt. Moon while I was played Pokemon Red back in the day. I had no idea what Magikarp was, but some dude was selling it in the Pokemon Centre; so of course, I said “yes please!” To my dismay, I wound up with a fish. That fish eventually learned tackle. I was about to give up on it before it began to evolve into one of the coolest Pokemon ever made (and quite possibly one of the angriest). Needless to say, this water/flying-type Pokemon is a prime example of why you should never underestimate someone just because of the beginning of it’s story. It just may come back to kick your ass.

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This flying-dragon-type Pokemon was one of the more pleasant surprises from the Gen VI, this is easily my favourite bat-like Pokemon (I should know; I love my bats). It can naturally learn many of my personal favourite attacks, and it’s stronger than it looks; and it’s very speedy. Aside from that, it’s one of those Pokemon I can’t completely explain why I love it; I just do.
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I know what you’re thinking. “Really? That’s your favourite Eeveelution?” Well, this o134ne has a little meaning behind it. Shortly after I started playing the games and watching the show, I began growing unhealthily addicted to the card game. My grandfather took me to the shop one day and bought me by first large pack of Pokemon cards, and the first holographic ‘rare’ card I ever had was Vaporeon. While I no longer play the game and have either lost or given away most of my collection, I still have that same card with me to this day. This water-type Pokemon was released during Gen I.
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3. Dragonair (#148)
This dragon-type Pokemon from Gen I has the ability to change the weather, antumblr_mzq9vpw5k51scncwdo1_500d not only that, it’s one of the more beautiful and powerful Pokemon. Capable of pretty much all move types, I always have at last two of these beauties captured and trained up for battle. It seems slightly reminiscent of the Cardcaptors art-style and looks as though it could be a legendary Pokemon in it’s own right.

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divider_by_danotomorrow2. Starmie (#121)
I love this Pokemon. Seriously, this is my favourite psychic/water-type Pokemon of all time. Starmie was released in Gen I, this is one of those overpowered Pokemon that can learn bloody-well anything. Behind the number one Pokemon on thi121s list, Starmie has always been the second Pokemon I always, always have on my team as soon as I’m able. It’s believed to be extraterrestrial, but I suppose anything this amazing must come from somewhere unfathomable. Regardless, I recommend training one of these up and bringing it with you on your next Pokemon journey; it won’t disappoint you.
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Here it is, folks. My favourite Pokemon of ALL time; no other has even come close. The mighty (and unfortunately under-powered) Arcanine! It’s a fire-type Pokemon from Gen I and it is said to be brave and fiercely loyal; which are 059instant wins in my books. This Pokemon just screams pride, and was even theorized to have been considered a legendary Pokemon. For some reason, it never received that honour, but it will always be a legend in my books. No team of mine will ever be complete without an Arcanine on my side. (I mean just look at this adorable thing!) Don’t let that fool you though; this speedy Pokemon is known for putting others in their place.

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There you have it! You now know all about my favourite Pokemon of all time! What about you? Which Pokemon would you have on your team? Be sure to link me to your own Top 10 List so I can check it out, or comment away below!

For more Top 10 lists, be sure to check back again.

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Evangeline: The Swan (Deadman Wonderland Character Sheet)

-Name: Evangeline


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-Aliases: The Swan (white or black depending on her state).
-Age: 
22.
-Species: Human (Deadman)

Branches of Sin:

  • Swansong: steel-like feathers burst from Evangeline’s back and arms, forming bird-like, layered wings. She can fire off the blades at will like pieces of shrapnel. She does not have a great deal of control on the aim, but if she can cover an impressive distance with a scattered attack. She only has enough strength to build her full wingspan once, however. After that, she can only regenerate one feather at a time at a cost of excess blood and energy.

    She has been known to also use the wings as a relatively brittle shield that can aid her in less intense times of danger.

  • Curtain Call: at a dangerous loss of blood, Evangeline goes into a kind of “berserker-mode”, where she is driven purely by rage and bloodlust. Using the only blood she has left before her point of exhaustion, she forms a single serrated blade in the palm of her hand, she attacks with reckless abandon with a drastically heightened level of speed and power. However, this burst of energy is very short-lived and it drains her strength rapidly, ending in unconsciousness and a great deal of pain and weakness for a prolonged period of time.
    Each time Curtain Call is activated, it causes her mentality to alter and shift, blurring the line between her white and black swan personas. It is predicted that extended or repetitive use of this condition could result in a permanent Black Swan takeover.

-Skin: Caucasian.
-Hair colour and style/length: Bleach blonde, wavy curls to her lower back.
-Eyes: Brown.
-Body type: Medium height, somewhat stocky, her body has various unsightly scars from what she suspects resulted from experiments conducted on her before and during her involvement the Deadman program; she is very self-conscious about them.
 -Personality: Quiet, soft-spoken and kind, Evangeline enjoys simplicity for the most part. She is musically inclined, being a very talented jazz and blues singer (but that is the extent of her artistic talent). It is rare that she gets angry, but when she is, it’s generally best to stay clear as she has a slight temper and tends to hold grudges.
-Likes: the colour purple, quiet areas, jazz, rock and metal music, simplicity, fruits and vegetables, horror movies.
-Dislikes: being cold, being put on the spot, clowns, most animals, doing things with her hands (she’s never been good with instruments, arts and general control).
 -Theme Song(if any): ‘Civilian’ by Wye Oak, ‘Mz. Hyde’ by Halestorm


 

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Like Evangeline’s look? Create your own free character designs at Doll Divine!
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Top 10 Evanescence Songs

Let’s talk about one of my favourite bands of all time. Unless you’re living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard a few songs from Evanescence’s Fallen album. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing ‘Bring Me To Life’, ‘My Immortal’, or ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ at least twice; and for good reason. Evanescence has managed to find trademark sound through their variance between soft gothic ballads, and heavier metal-inspired tracks. Amy Lee’s unmistakable vocals are at the heart of this band’s creation, and while we’ve seen a rather constant revolving door for the band members involved, with the band announcing a 2016 tour, I think it’s high time we review some of their best songs so far.

Please note I will only be covering Evanescence songs; solo work work by Amy Lee will be saved for a list all it’s own!

 

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10. Missing
I’d like to start by acknowledging a less well-known song from my favourite band; Missing. Originally, I heard this song on their Anywhere But Home album. This is one of their sadder tracks, in my opinion, which resonated with me a great deal in my adolescence when I was struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm for the first time. Far from their heavier sounds of other tracks, Missing has a sound of someone in the distance desperately reaching out into what feels like thin air as they begin to lose hope in their endeavor to know in the heart they are loved, or simply significant to someone; anyone.
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9. Lost In Paradise
Musically, this is one of Evanescence’s more outstanding pieces from their 2011 album Evanescence. Starting out soft and simple as a piano ballad, it builds more and more with intensity before quickly silencing into what feels like a cliffhanger for more. Amy Lee had originally written the song during the band’s hiatus as she laid her focus on her family and her personal life, but she described her life as no longer feeling, “whole” as she realized she missed making music with the band, basically apologizing to the fans for the break. It was not originally going to be a full-band piece, but after giving it a try, Amy realized the band only made the song that much better. You can’t help but value a song with such personal meaning to the writer.

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8. Disappear
Disappear was one of four bonus tracks on Evanescence (2011), and an absolute treat for any fans of the band’s work with Fallen as it resonated a sound nostalgic to the album that drew in more fans than any other in 2003. I’m not clear on the official meaning of the song, but to me, it has a great connection to the concept of allowing one’s past to dictate the choices they make in their present. So many people I’ve seen who have had past traumas continue to negatively influence their lives through self-harm, drugs, alcohol, and even suicide; often resulting in the loss of everything they ever were. Disappear is a wake up call, and to me, it says you are stronger than your fears. It’s the 2011 song that screams, “we’re back; and we’ve still got it.”

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7. Bring Me To Life
Ah, the song everyone knows, whether they’re a fan or not. The reason I’ve put it so high on this list is because of the unfortunate details behind it’s production, and I’d heard it sooooo much back when it first came out; even now, you’ll still catch it on the radio from time to time, but for good reason! The sound is catching and a staple of the sound we all loved back in the early 2000’s. With powerful vocals, a sound from the band that will not be overlooked, and lyrics that can snap you out of that emotional funk you’re in.
It originally was not intended to have male vocals (originally by  Paul McCoy), but the record company insisted the song would not be successful without a male counterpart. (Pretty sad, huh?) That’s why in the versions of this song you’ll hear on the radio these days will generally only have Amy Lee’s vocals; you won’t hear the trademark ‘Wake me up/I can’t wake up/Save me’ these days. To his credit, however, I did enjoy Paul McCoy’s contribution to the song; it’s simply disappointing it was forced into the song for marketing purposes.

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6. Tourniquet
This was actually written by the drummer, Rocky Gray, who was in a Christian metal band called Soul Embraced before he joined Evanescence! With Christian roots, this hard-hitting song doesn’t shy away from the topic of suicide, and the idea that someone who has taken/is contemplating taking their own life, and the thought of not being accepted into heaven as a result. It screams the silent words of someone who desperately wants to end their life, but instead feels trapped by their belief. This song paints a vivid image of someone with a kind of inner battle between their emotions and their religion, uncertain of their method of escape. Musically, this is one of the songs that sounds a little more death-metal inspired than many of their other works, but still manages to sound melodic and musically enjoyable by those less inclined to listen to anything too rhythmically heavy. This is why we love this band; they don’t sugar-coat the harsh realities.

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5. Lithium
While not as popular as ‘Bring Me To Life’, Lithium is one of the only songs on The Open Door (2006) that really managed to reach me on a more personal level. The album was my least favourite at the time, as I didn’t feel as much heart from the band’s sound. However, this song resonates with me in many ways. As someone who has struggled with many facets of depression and anxiety, I often battled with the idea of whether it was better to feel the various emotions battling for dominance, or to go numb and push those feelings away. In the end, I’ve found that it almost says to learn to find solace in emotion, whether it be happiness, anger, sadness, what have you. There is beauty in emotion, and in this beauty, you may find your inspiration and in turn, inspire those around you. Musically, it has a perfect blend of the attributes of a ballad and a heavy, driving beat that leads you to sway in the euphoria of the sound.

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4. My Last Breath
This is one of those songs I played on loop when I first picked up the Fallen (2003) album. While it seems unclear to me what the inspiration was behind this one, it almost sounds like a description of a scene from a dark, gothic fairy tale. It’s has a mysterious, romantic, and melancholy air about it that cannot be understated. This song showcases Amy’s vocal power and the band’s incredible sound and passionate, creative influence. If you want classic gothic romance, look no further; this song will have you hooked with it’s first perfect note.

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3. My Heart Is Broken
This is the song that got me hooked on their self-titled Evanescence album in 2011. We all know Amy has an unmistakable sound, but few songs can capture that raw power as well as this track. Contrary to what some may think, Amy Lee explained this song was inspired after meeting the victims of sex trafficking, and imagining how they felt in their situation of being trapped in a world they didn’t belong, with no escape and no way of telling anyone about it out of fear of what would happen. I feel this song can be applied to so many situations; sometimes we create fantasies and dreams in our minds to offer a kind of escape and solace from the pain we feel, or difficult situations from which we feel there is no escape/end in sight. Returning to the real world, having to be forced to relive those problems feels like being torn away from a dream, and the viscous cycle continues as frustration builds. Particularly in the final half of the song, you can almost feel Amy pouring out her heart in the lyrics, really giving you a glimpse of the inspiration’s dark, and disturbing roots.

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2. End of the Dream
This is one of the exceptions to the belief that all gothic music is sad and depressing; this song is one of my personal favourite because it talks about embracing life, pain and all; living your life to the fullest because it’s too short to waste on petty things. The vocals in this song are some of my favourite in Evanescence’s history, and this is one of those songs that you could just imagine being performed in a massive stadium, slaying the crowd completely. The guitar and bass riffs are amazing, the subtle piano is reminiscent of that used in ‘Going Under’ and ‘Bring Me To Life’, the drums are driving and fit the song perfectly as usual. You want a little inspiration to get yourself back on track? Find this song, crank it up, and just let it hit you.
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Honourable mentions: My Immortal (Origin, Fallen), Breathe No More (Anywhere But Home), Oceans (Evanescence), Taking Over Me (Fallen), Before the Dawn, Everybody’s Fool (Fallen), Swimming Home (Evanescence), Snow White Queen (The Open Door).
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1. Going Under
This is it, folks; one of my favourite songs of all time, not just by Evanescence, but in general. Going Under talks specifically about coming out of an abusive relationship after reaching a point where you realize something needs to change, and you need to make it happen. As with much of their work, this iconic gothic masterpiece can be applied to any tough situation as an inspirational push; if you need something to change, change it. And let’s not forget about the sound; ah, the sound. We all know this entire band has only ever consisted of people with talent and a unique style on their own, but if you’re looking for a song that makes you want to stand up and do something, you’re going to love this one. The world’s a harsh and cruel place, and we’ve all struggled somewhere; Going Under’s message rings true as it tells us to “break through.”
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Well, my beauties? Do you agree with my list? Which Evanescence song inspired you? Let me know, and link me if you’ve made your own list of favourites so I can have a look! \m/


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Thank/Fuck You For Smoking

Okay, folks. Sit on down and let me talk to you about something that seems to be pretty back-and-forth these days; nic-sticks, cancer sticks, smokes, cigarettes.

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We’re bombarded with messages from both sides. In media, smoking has often been portrayed as stylish and glamourous. Sultry jazz divas charming the microphone with a cigarette between wine-coloured lips, leather-clad badasses racing muscle-cars  with impossibly attractive women on their arms.giphy

Now, if you were raised in a similar society as I was, from day one, you’ve also been surrounded with the propaganda that all screams the same thing; smoking’s bad, mkay? I grew up with the D.A.R.E. program which focused on everything from alcohol to drugs, but they also touched on cigarettes and their effects. I grew up with a family with very set morals against it. So, what do I think? Are cigarettes really all that bad?

Yes. Yes they are.
(now, all you smoking enthusiasts out there; bear with me. My views on this are far from black and white).

It’s not exactly a secret that cigarettes cause a multitude of health problems. Hell, we’ve had it jammed down our throats all our lives since as far back as I can remember. It does a serious number on your body, and yes; addiction is an issue. There’s the danger of second-hand smoke, causing harm to those around you. So, my mind seems made up; why am I even talking about this?

Well, despite everything you’ve just read, I’m a smoker.
Yep, I smoke cigarettes. I’m no chain-smoker or anything; generally, I smoke socially. Frankly, I’m not a very social person, so one small pack of cigarettes will take over a year to go through; and that’s with lending most of them out to fellow smokers. I simply don’t smoke very often. However, from time to time, I do enjoy a cigarette every now and then. Why? Well, why do people like to enjoy the occasional beer? Or get a new tattoo? Or eat copious amounts of sugar? Everyone has something they enjoy that’s not exactly good for them, a vice as it were. I simply chalk it up to one of my favourite philosophies; everything in moderation.

In all things, going overboard is never that far away. The best thing you can do is be educated about something before jumping in if you’re unsure. If you understand the risks and problems, who am I to stop you or say you’re right or wrong? All I ask is that you are mindful of others whilst you make these choices. In this case, the biggest example I must stress is second-hand smoking. I know it’s unfortunate, but it is a danger. I do not see smoking as a free-pass to be inconsiderate. For example, I don’t smoke around children. If I know a child nearby can even see me smoking, I will lower the cigarette, or put it out and light it up later; I don’t want to be an influence to them at such a young age when it comes to something you should only really do when you’re old enough to really understand the severity of the potential consequences.
If I’m walking with someone who doesn’t smoke, but I decide I’d like a cigarette, I always check first, and I never subject them to the smoke more than I absolutely must; it’s as simple as standing downwind, taking it easy on blowing that smoke everywhere, etc. But generally, I won’t smoke around non-smokers as it’s not fair of me to subject them to a choice they didn’t make.

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Now, right here I’m specifically addressing the non-smokers out there; specifically the ones who are anti-smoking advocates. All I ask if that if you see someone smoking, that you take it easy on the hate. I’ve had it happen to me; I’ll light up for my semi-annual cigarette and all of moments later, I’ll get the look of disapproval, or even sometimes a little mini-rant on how unattractive it makes me look. Generally, I simply say, “who says I desire to be seen as attractive through anyone’s eyes but my own?”
People will always find your flaws and many will be happy to point them out. Maybe you’ve got tattoos or piercings; maybe you have no tattoos or piercings. Maybe you’ve dyed your hair a wild colour, maybe you’re wearing a brand of clothing that isn’t 100% vegan.

Fuck those people. The only one you need to be concerned about when it comes to your aesthetic value is you. You like how you look in those skinny-jeans? You wear them whenever you please. You like wearing that adorable frilly dress? Own it; you know you can. Just know that everyone still has their opinions, and people will think as they please regardless of your feelings. To those people, you have my respect; all I ask is that you grant me the same courtesy I have shown you by keeping those opinions to myself unless it’s brought up. I’m not going to judge you based on how attractive I think you are, or how you’ve made one choice I wouldn’t have; I will judge you based on the kind of person you are. How do you treat the people around you? That’s the essential question I ask myself before I really decide whether a person is worth my time or not.

So folks, there’s two bottom lines to be said:

  • If you’re a non-smoker and proud, you go on with your bad self. Just remember that not everyone thinks like you, and while you are welcome to your opinions, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to attack those around you for their choices. Save it for someone who really deserves the hostility.
  • If you looooove your nicotine-sticks, I’m not going to judge you if you love your nicotine. I partake every now and then and I enjoy an occasional cigarette myself. All I ask is that you uphold the same standard that should be upheld whilst drinking; smoke responsibly, know the risks, and be considerate.

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