Binary Options: Just Set and Forget!: Make Serious Money

Gravity's Rainbow Group Read | Sections 13-16 | Week 5

Well folks, this was a doozy of a week, wasn’t it? Some of these sections are quite challenging, for a variety of reasons. But we also see some pretty critical plot developments, and some genuine hilarity at poor Slothrop’s expense, too. Gotta love that cubeb.
This is also where the book really takes off in terms of it’s story arc (especially Slothrop’s origin story), as well as its embrace of sexual deviancy in all its forms, so I’m very curious to see the reactions from the first-timers. It’s a lot to take in.
Anyhoo, I’ll start this with a broader summary of themes, then break the summary and analysis down by section, and include some discussion prompts at the end. There’s a lot to work with this week - this section was twice as long as previous weeks. This analysis is going to be lengthy, but I’ll try to keep as focused as I can.
Several broad themes start to crystallize by this point in the narrative, especially opposition, which takes a multitude of forms: 1-0, white-black, death-life, social control-anarchy, Capitalism-black market, division-unification, colonizer-colonized, domination-submission, Elect-Preterite.
My ordering of items in those pairings is intentional. This book (and Pynchon) sees white, Euro-American colonial culture as intimately tied to a need for control, domination, and a belief in salvation (everyone likes to think they’re part of the Elect, nicht wahr?), which results in a culture of death and division. The War is the embodiment of this. Pynchon repeatedly takes the side of the Preterite - the anarchist, the minority, the colonized. Pigs, which Pynch clearly loves, seem to be emblematic of this noble-yet-humble Preterite.
Related to that is the idea of resisting baser desires and human nature vs accepting them vs sublimating them into full-blown pathologies (e.g. colonialism, Crutchfield the Westwardman). Many of the worst symptoms of society stem from our artificial divisions and denial of the natural order.
So, if we have deadly, pervasive, controlling systems, what are us poor folks stuck inside them to do? How do we free ourselves from the System? From Them?
Pynchon brings up at least three options in this week’s reading:
1.Escape (Katje leaving, vs Gottfried’s passive waiting for salvation) 2.Enjoy the good and ignore the negative (Jessica trying to live in her bubble with Roger, vs. Roger’s unhappy focus on the negatives without being able to change them) 3.Blow it all up (Katje’s option for Schußstelle 3, which she decides against, vs what? Death, perhaps?)
Finally, I’d like to discuss an underlying theme based on a separate work that has strongly influenced Pynchon, and Gravity’s Rainbow: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I never realized this before, but I’ve read the poem probably 75 times since I last read GR, so I’m pretty familiar with it by this point.
I highly recommend reading it, but it’s primarily about the decline of Europe after WWI into a wasteland and the death-and-rebirth cycle. A central theme relates to the ancient belief that the harvest god (or later, the king, such as in Arthurian legend) was fundamentally tied to the land. If the king was young and vibrant, the land would be fertile. As the king became old or fell ill, the land would become barren. Thus the king (or harvest god - see the Hanged Man of the tarot) would be sacrificed, either literally or symbolically, so he could be reborn and the land could be restored. “Death is a debt to nature due…” as ol’ Constant Slothrop’s epitaph read. We see this concept explicitly addressed in section 16 (p. 131):
If he’s not in fact the War then he’s its child-surrogate, living high for a certain term but come the ceremonial day, look out. The true king only dies a mock death. Remember. Any number of young men may be selected to die in his place while the real king, foxy old bastard, goes on.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
So how does this connect to our broader themes? Remember earlier when we discussed the invisible hand of the market, and how the economy and even social order are now hidden, directionless systems with no ruler?
If the king is the land and the land is the king, what do we think would happen to the land, to society, if we replaced the king with an invisible, incomprehensible force that operated under its own rules, outside human control? The chaos of WWII? The mass death without clear cause? The markets taking on a life of their own?
I think that’s what Pynchon’s getting at here. Would love your take.
On to our section summaries…
Section 13
YouTube Recording by u/ShisusBolton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69MV1vafocs
Here we delve further into formal psychology and it’s specific application not just on dogs, but humans.
We are finally shown the origin of Slothrop’s unique ability - psychological conditioning by Professor Jampf on poor “Infant Tyrone,” in an experiment that echoes the very real “Little Albert” experiment. We also learn why the connection is sexual - a simple matter of binary practicality to make it easier for lab assistants to measure the response to stimulus x. But what IS this mysterious stimulus? More importantly, was Infant Tyrone properly de-conditioned? It would appear not. Here we get a direct quote from Pavlov, the source for this part’s title. The concept of a “silent extinction beyond the zero,” the failure of which is the source of Slothrop’s rather intimate connection to the V2.
Slothrop is part of the psychological Preterite - a poor sap doomed from the beginning to be abnormal, no chance for salvation here. Controlled entirely by outside forces he’s not even aware of.
Apparently Slothrop’s “talent” is pretty damn precise, since his stars line up perfectly with the rocket strikes. We see some competing explanations for how this could be - from psychokinesis to some echo back through time of the rocket’s blast. We see characters all desperate to figure out why so they can predict where next? Maybe find out if they’re part of the Elect or not. The one possibility none of them consider, cannot consider: what if it’s all random? That’s too terrifying to contemplate for people who believe in predestination. Of course, only Jessica has the empathy to wonder if the women have all died or not.
As a slight aside, on p. 85 we get a linguistic exploration of the concept of “beyond the zero” by Mexico that I really loved:
Odd, odd, odd - think of the word: such white finality in its closing clap of the tongue. It implies moving past the tongue-stop - beyond the zero - and into the other realm. Of course, you don’t move past. But you do realize, intellectually, that’s how you ought to be moving.
The play on “ought” as the extension of “odd” beyond the zero is delightful. Here we also see “white” (remember our many examples of opposition?) being tied to finality. No death-rebirth cycle here.
We are then witness to a discussion between Pointsman and Mexico where the opposition of their personalities comes into sharp relief. Pointsman seeks binary cause/effect, Mexico seeks alternative between the 1 and the 0 - he proposes to “strike off at some other angle.” That scares Pointsman - it undermines not just his science but his fundamental worldview. His is one of predestination.
This also ties into the broader idea of how everyone’s actions and beliefs are consistently shaped by their (often unconscious) fundamental view of the nature of reality and how the world works. Thus, every character’s actions reflect not just their personalities, but distinct assumptions about the nature of causality, of human behavior, of society, of life and death.
Misc. notes:
The abbey near the White Visitation is described as a ruin on a cliff (p. 86) - it brings to mind the Tower from the Tarot and the related imagery of the Castle Perilous (both referenced in The Waste Land).
On p. 90-91 - I’m not positive, but this jumped out to me as an allusion to the play Waiting for Godot. The phrasing and pace of the segment starting “Why do you need me” and ending on the next page with “Help me” sounds very similar to an early scene in Godot, and the works share the themes of purposelessness, meaningless, invisible control, and the question of salvation.
Section 14
YouTube Recording by u/BodinethePig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6RFKZPX8rQ
Back to the mansion of the opening scene’s banana breakfast. An anonymous cameraman (is it us, the reader?) lends an element of voyeurism, as Katje models for the camera - but why? Meanwhile, Osbie Feel is busy making psychedelic cigarettes from mushrooms grown on the roof.
Pynchon notes Katje’s dress, and I suspect the focus on the name used for that particular cocoa shade is a subtle example of England’s casual racism and colonial past. A derogatory term repurposed for a product.
A view of Osbie’s oven triggers a flashback for Katje, to her time as a double-agent reporting to Pirate on the rocket battery Schußstelle 3, under the command of the sadistic Captain Blicero. We first heard of him back during the seance. His true name is Weissmann (literally white man), and his code name, Blicero, is the Teutonic name for death.
I mentioned the theme of opposition at the beginning of this increasingly-lengthy post, and Blicero is emblematic of one pole - literally white, male, colonizing death. But his teeth reveal hidden decay behind the white exterior. If Blicero is the personification of white Euro-American colonial culture, Pynchon’s saying there’s rot there, and it ain’t pretty.
Here’s where S&M comes into the narrative, in a darkly graphic way. Pynchon is fully willing to make the reader uncomfortable by confronting the parts of life that we normally avoid talking about or acknowledging, including those on the fringe. On top of that, we get the image of Der Kinderofen, echoing both Grimm’s fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel as well as the ovens of the concentration camps.
The house that Blicero, Katje, and Gottfried inhabit is a microcosm of colonialism and/or modern society. It’s literally referred to as “their Little State.” If that’s the case, Katje and Gottfried represent two responses to such a scenario: Katje decides that quitting the game is only way out, whereas Gottfried waits for salvation. Gottfried is confident he’s part of the Elect, but Katje isn’t so sure, and takes matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, the oven looms in the background - both the base of the State, and its ultimate destruction (p. 99). Is Pynchon implying that the modern state is fundamentally self-destructive? It would seem so.
We also get our first look at the other end of the arc: the rockets being fired. Interestingly, we realize they’re not as all-powerful and precise as they first appear. Deadly, sure, but many are exploding right after launch, even on the launchpad, killing the operators.
The flashback to Blicero’s history in colonial Africa introduces us to the Herero people, including Blicero’s lover, Enzian. Enzian represents an entirely different worldview from Blicero - a non-European, non-binary, non-Christian perspective. One of his gods, Ndjambi Karunga, represents the merging of the opposing forces that are so disconnected in the European’s worldview.
Back to the house, and we get more insight into Gottfried’s character. He’s clearly a passive participant, submissive, willing to do as he’s told. “If you cannot sing Siegfried at least you can carry a spear.” (p. 103). He accepts the suffering he endures as part of the system, a normal stage in life before moving on to some career of his own, some form of autonomy. But he doesn’t see any action required on his part to make this happen. After all, “He knows, like everyone, that captive children are always freed in the moment of maximum danger.” (p. 103). That’s the faith of one convinced he’s part of the Elect.
Here we see one of the most well-known quotes from the book - “Don’t forget the real business of the War is buying and selling…. The true war is a celebration of markets.” (p. 105). In the interest of brevity, I’ll leave it to y’all to delve more into this critical section, but at least on the surface, it gives one of Pynchon’s more direct statements on the nature of war, its function, and its objectification of human life.
We also get a fascinating aside on Katje’s ancestor committing avian genocide against the dodoes, that most unfortunate of birds. Yet again, we’re examining the conflict of Preterite vs Elect, and how the fantasy of salvation is is a way to pacify those who are doomed in their current lives. If not that, then all is chance and the dodoes are “only our prey. God could not be that cruel.” (p. 111). But couldn’t he? The evidence doesn’t appear in god’s favor, does it?
Last but not least, we see Katje’s film being put to use to condition good ol’ octopus Grigori. But again, to what end?
Section 15
YouTube Recording (by yours truly): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPgiptRr-W0
Mrs. Quoad! One of the funniest scenes in the book, and one of my favorites. It showcases both Pynchon’s visceral descriptive abilities as well as the insanity of prewar British candy.
Before the Disgusting English Candy Drill, we see Slothrop’s exit from a controlled, laboratory setting and instead being released “into the wild” for observation. He is moving toward Pointsman’s Rorschach-esque experiment, the nature of which is as-yet unknown, but which occupies much of Book 2.
This also marks the beginning of Slothrop’s (fully justified) paranoia. In the words of my father, “it’s not paranoia if they’re actually watching you.” Slothrop senses he’s being followed, observed, and starts to get a bit jumpy. Wouldn’t you?
My analysis is already far too long, so I’m grateful for this mercifully short and simple section. I think we all needed some levity after Blicero, no? Something tells me Pynchon was thinking the same thing in granting the reader this reprieve.
Section 16
YouTube Recording by u/DanteNathanael: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NapZnTK3TRU
In this section, we see more of Roger and Jessica’s history together, and the contrast between his more fearful, negative recognition of the System in which they live, and Jessica’s more carefree willingness to focus on the moments of joy she can find. But even nihilistic Roger finds some beauty on this Christmas eve walk.
An aside: the line, “who are all these people…. Freaks! Freeeeaks!” absolutely cracks me up.
The rest of this section alludes heavily to another poem by our friend T.S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi. It’s fairly short and accessible, and a truly beautiful work. It’s told from the point of view of one of the magi, looking back on his journey:
All this was a long time ago, I remember, / And I would do it again, but set down / This set down / This: were we led all that way for / Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly / We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, / But had thought they were different; this Birth was / Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We get glimpses into how the War has worn down the population, drained them, recycled even the most mundane objects (e.g. toothpaste tubes) into material for the war. But we also see a reversal of this, with Spam tins recycled into toys for children. An echo of the death/rebirth cycle we previously saw with the king and the land, and in the poem above. A glimmer of hope?
Pynchon discusses how the War relies on the illusion of unity but in fact is founded on disunity, on division. Society and the System depend on broad perception of rational, ordered, mechanistic system. Surrealism, the removal of this illusion of borders, en masse is societal suicide. But also an inextricable part of it. As with the microcosm of Blicero’s oven, the end is baked into the origin. The ordered reality of the System is a facade - even time’s sped up thanks to the War. In fact, Roger’s first moment of optimism, of faith, comes after the choir’s act of “minor surrealism” - the removal of artificial boundaries between race, culture, language (p. 129).
The War destroys the death/rebirth cycle: its death is a finality, with just a gold start as a consolation prize for the dead who lay buried under the snow in a bomb crater, and humans subdivided to the point of being individually numbered. But for a second, for just a second on Christmas eve, people can forget that - even Roger, who enters the ultraparadoxical phase when sound of the choir overcomes his knee-jerk nihilism and actually brings him back around to hope, if just for that night.
Questions
  1. What are your thoughts on Professor Jampf’s experiment on poor Infant Tyrone? What might be variable “x”? Does that even matter?
  2. Is Slothrop “sensing” the rockets before they are launched? Are the rockets somehow drawn to the locations of his sexual forays? Is he reading the minds of the rocket operators? Or worse, and most terrifyingly, is it all somehow coincidence?
  3. What was your initial reaction to the section with Blicero, Katje, and Gottfried? Did your perspective change after you finished the entire section?
  4. Why didn’t Katja give up location of Schußstelle 3?
  5. How does “the Change” that Blicero is fixated on play into our larger themes? There’s an allusion here to both Ovid’s Metamorphoses and several Romantic poets. How would you define Blicero’s desires?
  6. The Mrs. Quoad scene seems to largely be a light aside to break up some pretty heavy material. But is there anything more to it? Any other insights to be pulled from the candy jar?
Well, if you made it all the way to the end of this, thank you. I think I put more energy into this than several college essays I turned in, but it was a lot of fun, and I’m blown away by how much I gained from this exercise. I’m excited to see what insights you have!
Addendum: great discussion so far! Thanks for the excellent insights and observations!
submitted by KieselguhrKid13 to ThomasPynchon [link] [comments]

💎THE RESULTS: r/RomanceClub Community Survey!💎

💎THE RESULTS: RomanceClub Community Survey!💎
First of all, thank you very much to everyone who took part in the second ever Reddit Romance Club community survey! We mods were absolutely amazed by the high number of responses, so thank you for making this such a vibrant and engaged community! You all rock.
After grinding the (many) numbers, here are the results, which we hope you will find as interesting as we did.
Just a note: this survey was opened at the end of May and closed shortly after the June release, hence its questions only barely included Legend of the Willow and did not include Dracula: a Love Story. For this reason, we have not counted the (very few) replies that have been given in the "other" boxes mentioning characters that were not yet available as Lis/known as LIs in the May release (think Leo, Vlad, Kazu etc) as this would have not been fair to those who had answered the survey before the June update.
Having said that... buckle up for the ride! Lots of interesting info ahead.
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💎Question 1: Which RC story is your favourite?

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No one will be surprised to find out that Heaven's Secret is the top story in this community right now, chosen by over 45% of the respondents. Our nostalgic heart is very happy, however, to see some old favs still make the podium - albeit trailing significantly behind. Moonborn and Shadows of Saintfour score second and third place, only separated by a handful of votes at around 11%, but newer release Chasing You is already breathing on their neck at 10.7%.
A healthy mix of new and old stories follows: Sails in the fog is in fifth place with 7.8% of the preferences, while Legend of the willow, after only a few episodes, already scores a very good sixth place, in a tie with Seduced by the rhythm at 4.3% of the votes. Queen in 30 days is seventh with 3.5% and My Hollywood Story is eighth with 1.2%.
Last place goes to Wave Patrol at 0.4%, which sadly doesn't come as a shock given the general feeling that the romantic/reputation points system was too complicated.
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💎Question 2: Who are your favourite LIs?

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HS being the most popular story unsurprisingly propels some of its main LIs onto the podium with supersonic speed.
Bad boys rule, with Lucifer taking the crown with a whopping 65.7% of the votes and Alexander (CY) taking silver at 49.3%. The nice guys are not too far behind, though, with Dino in third place at 47.4% and Max (MB) only just about missing the podium in fourth place at 45.3%. We go back to bad boys with Brandon (SBR) in fifth, but soft spoken Sam (CY) is ready to balance things out again with his sixth place.
The most surprising result on top of the rankings is Jake (WP) who makes the top ten with a very healthy seventh place. He is really hard work, but obviously we all think he's totally worth it!
Old favourites Michael (SOS) and Victor (MB) still hold onto the hearts of their fans by scoring eight and ninth place respectively. First among the women - and the only female LI to make the top 10 - is the delightfully devilish Mimi (HS).
Waves' mate Sebastian misses the top ten only by a hair, placing himself in 11th place with a healthy 20.7%. Bodyguard Adam is the most favourite LI in Q30 in 12th place, followed by a row of SOS boys, with John, Derek and Aaron scoring very similar percentages in 13th, 14th and 15th place respectively. Sweetheart Ray is no longer the most favourite LI to come out of MHS, as in this round he ends up in a tie for 16th place with none other than his almost polar opposite, rough and ready Captain Jeff.
Leonard from Q30 (17th place) ties with Cherry from SOS but at least he beats his brother Richard (20th place) in the heart of the readers - and we all know that he'd be pretty pleased with that. Claire (SBR) is the second most favourite female LI in 18th place, while mysterious Luke (SOS) completes the top 20 in 19th place.
Here are the rest of the Lis who placed lower than the top 20:
(21) Carlos (SBR) 9.2%
(22) Justin (SBR) 8.6%
(23) Benny Bart (MB) 8.4%
(24) Tarino (MHS) 8.1%
(25) Gino (MHS) tied with Stephanie (SOS) at 7.8%
(26) Dante (MB) 6.9%
(27) Andy (HS) 6.3%
(28) Mike (MHS) 6.1 %
(29) Alek (WP) tied with Dante (CY) at 5.9%
(30) Kayla (WP) 5.3 %
(31) Alex (MHS) 3.9%
(32) Chris (SIF) 3.4%
(33) Frances (MB) 3.2%
(34) William (SIF) 3.1%
(35) Trisha (MB) 2.6%
(36) Charles (SBR) 2.1%
(37) Orlando (SBR) 1.8%
(38) Chris the bodyguard (MHS) tied with Adi (HS) at 1.6%
(39) Ellen (MHS) tied with Manta (SIF) at 1.2%
(40) Masked Man (SOS) 1.1%
(41) Ellia (CY) 0.8%
(42) Mermaid (SIF) 0.6%
(43) Simon (MB) 0.4%
(44) Charles (WP) tied with Emma (Q30) and Jackie (SIF) at 0.2%.
These lower rankings include some LIs that, based on the discussions we see on the subreddit, we were not expecting to get as many votes as they did - and vice versa. Dante from CY has more votes than Orlando from SBR? And Chris the bodyguard (MHS) beat the Masked Man (SOS)? Say what... Also: Jackie (SIF) definitely deserved a lot more votes! We might have to start a hashtag or something.
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💎Question 3: Which non-LI character you’d romance in a heartbeat?

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Here are the top 15 most desired LIs in this community:
To absolutely no one's surprise, Geralt (HS) takes the top spot with 39.1% of the readers eager to unbuckle his sexy neck belts at the first occasion. Dreamy Xander from MB takes a very respectable second place with 23.2%: we will forever long for his full lips and crisp linen suit. Another MB favourite, Prince Ethan Wood completes the podium with his Matrix-style coat and intense eyes, but sassy and sexy demon Austie (HS) is not very far behind in fourth place.
Vampires Dustin Chase in fifth place and - although at quite a distance - Sophia in sixth join the ranks of the many LIs who sadly never were in MB. Cute lifeguard Zoey from WP ranks seventh, and no worries if you don't remember who she is: her screen time was about 5 minutes total - but enough to end up in a tie with angelic mentor Misselina from HS. Frenemy Candy from SOS makes eighth place, while evil stunner Monica from MB clutches ninth. To complete the top 10 is no one else but grumpy Angel Fencio (HS) - we obviously all want him to show us his collection of talismans - tied with Bean from MHS, who sadly had the audacity to get married to someone else.
In 11th place is SOS great friend Bobby, whose bravery in the face of untold horrors gave him a special place in all our hearts, in a tie with another WP lifeguard, Ryan (yeah, we have little recollection of him as well). Party-loving and OSHA nemesis Anthony Wood (MHS) is in 12th place, while scheming yet gorgeous Julia (Q30) takes 13th.
In 14th place is no one else but our dear Sailor Bobby - an option that was added as humorous but instead raked up a fairly respectable 14% of votes. As they say, if you are not handsome you should be handy, and no one is a better dress maker than Bobby! Plus, how can we forget when he disguised himself as a tribesman to save Adelaide from becoming soup? He ends up in a tie with a fan favourite, sweet angel Sammy (HS). Completing the top-15 is another HS angel, the ethereal Leeloo.
This question also had an "other" box, where people could add names that were not included in the list. For all those (quite a few!) people who wrote Dino (HS), Sam (CY) and Orlando (SBR)... we choose to believe you misread the question, but if you didn't... oh boy, have we got good news for you!
A few people also wished for Rachel (CY) and Hiro (SBR) to be LIs, so that's another happy ending there as per the latest release.
Some also wished for Diego, Baron Samedi and Jackie from SIF, and Joseph, Christian and Gustavo from SBR to be LIs, and we are happy to say that, although their routes might be a bit hidden and not all of them can be endgame LIs, you can most definitely already hookup with/romance all of them. Check the wiki for details!
A few people asked for the coffee shop owner in CY... we have the feeling that we know who at least one of them is, and truth be told, that beard is dreamy so we can see their point! More bearded LIs please!
Those who asked for Fyr... far from us to kink shame here, but let's just hope he turns out to be human at some point! We also have some Seraph Crowley (HS) and Angel Mora (MB) fans amongst us, as clear proof that no one is ever too old for love, plus WP Agent Phillips' manbun has also scored him some eager fans.
But that one person who asked for Sean from MB... we hope for your sake you are also about 12 years old because otherwise you need an old priest, a young priest and also a police officer.
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💎Question 4: Which LI do you think is overrated, and why?

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Here are the top 10 most overrated LIs in the game according to our community.
You know how they say never rest on your laurels? In a surprising (or maybe not?) twist of fate, some of the most liked LIs also topped the most overrated rankings, which goes to show that the beauty of our community is that we all have different (and sometimes opposite) opinions! So please let's not fight in the comments, haha.
The most overrated LI crown goes to Lucifer with the 21.9% of the votes, (which is almost as him winning an Oscar and a Razzie on the same evening) mostly due to his behaviour, which many identify as "toxic", "abusive" and "triggering". Many readers are "not comfortable with his choking/manhandling of MC", and his "lack of respect for personal space". "Being treated poorly in the hope to finally reach a hidden soft side does not seem worth it". Some think "he needs therapy", and wonder "why he's still behaving like a teen while he's possibly thousands of years old". A reason why many dislike him however, is also "the daily flood of fanart that features him": we might all be a little Lucifered-out here on the subreddit!
Tied in second place (pun fully intended!) are Alexander (CY) and Victor (MB) at 11.5%: the reasons given for both of them are surprisingly similar. Both boys are into BDSM but neither seem to "truly know the rules of consent" and people think that they "overstep boundaries a little too often". Both have been described as "creepy", "controlling" and "plain weird". Victor is also guilty of being "boring" ("I asked for a tea not for your life story in India!" - someone wrote). Both have been invited to "drop the Christian Grey act" and some people think "they would be arrested in real life if they acted this way". Oh boy.
Justin (SBR) completes this unflattering podium at 9.1% because of his "obnoxious outbursts" and the way he treats MC. He is "rude" and "mean" and people seem to be willing to "pay diamonds to put him in his place". Hopefully that won't be necessary!
Jake from WP is fourth at 7.8%, the main reason being that he is "too difficult to romance", "too expensive and still rude", and that "we have to solve the Da Vinci code to get him" - as someone hilariously wrote.
Bad boy Brandon (SBR) scores 6.1% of the votes landing fifth place, with the word "jerk" being the most recurrently used to describe him. He is "arrogant", a "vanishing act", and "he is never nice to MC for long". Come on, Brandon! You can do better!
Unclaimed Andy (HS) takes sixth place with 4.5% for being "jealous" and "annoying" - although we would maybe argue that he's not really that overrated, as far as we can see from the sub...
In seventh place is Max (MB) at 4.1% but we are confused by the person who mentioned "his abs being too perfect" as a reason for disliking him. Of course, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, so... fair enough? Other words used are "too boring", otherwise many people voted for him but did not really give a reason why. Max needs to work on his PR clearly!
Another tie in eight place sees Adam (Q30) and Dino (HS) score 3.7% of the votes. The Royal bodyguard is described as "a barbarian" and his behaviour as "possessive" and "controlling", while the main complaints against Dino seem for the vast majority to be directed to his looks: comments range from "his eyes look disproportionally big compared to his head" to "his hair seems separated from his face" to some people calling him a "Fabio lookalike". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder indeed!
Gruff Captain Jeff (MHS) makes ninth with 3.3%, mostly because of "the dodgy power dynamic between him and MC" and his "bullying": "I like puppies is not a free get out of jail card!" someone wrote. The fact that SOS Luke "drugged MC" bags him unanimously the tenth spot with 2.8% of the votes.
Not in the top ten but voted often enough to deserve a special mention are John (SOS) because of his "murderous tendencies", Derek (SOS) because "people only likes him for his glow-up", and Leonard (Q30) as "he took Emma's spot as the third main LI in the story" and "that was a cop out!" Plus "he seems so good only because the other two are the worst", someone quipped.
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💎Question 5: Which LI do you think is underrated, and why?

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Let's all cheer ourselves up with the opposite end of the spectrum! Here are the top 10 Lis that the community think deserve more love! The answers in this question were a lot more fragmented, with a lot of random characters getting very few votes, so the ranking percentages are significantly lower than in other questions.
A few people chose to write "every female LI" as this question's answer, and this is reflected in the rankings below, where way more female characters are mentioned compared to other questions. So RC, we need more screen time for badass, gorgeous, interesting female LIs!
HS still carries its weight as the most popular story, with three of its main LIs topping the rankings, all lamenting the fact that they are "unfairly overshadowed by bad boy Lucifer". Andy tops the list with 8.5% of the votes: players think he is "a really good guy", "sweet", "cute", "caring", "thoughtful". They admit "he has flaws" but he "will help if you need him" and "will stand up for those he cares about". It's nice to see him getting some love!
Devil cutie Mimi ends up as a close second with only a few votes of difference, at 8.1%. She is "cute", "badass", and "so cool". Many people wrote they don't usually romance female Lis but they chose her nonetheless because she is "a great LI in every way". Someone wishes RC would "flesh her out a little more" and "give her more screen time". Third spot is for Dino: a "sweetheart" and "the cutest man in the game".
Jake from WP nabs fourth place with the 4.9% of votes. Players thinks the focus is too much on how hard he is to pursue, while "he is totally worth it", because after the initial coldness he becomes "sweet", "kind" and "caring". His "love for his family is another big plus", and he is always "supportive", "mature", "loyal" and "intense". Someone also wrote that "his sex scenes are amazing".
Gorgeous dancer Carlos from SBR is in fifth place: he is described as "cute", "great personality", "respectful" and "the sweetest". One to watch for sure! Prince Leonard (Q30) ties with Claire (SBR) in sixth place. Leonard is "complicated", "interesting" and "clever", while Claire is "sweet", "mature" and "loyal". Seventh position is for Michael (SOS) - "cute", "affectionate", "funny" - and Kayla (WP) who's "really nice" and "one of the first female LIs that didn't seem like a complete afterthought".
Eight place goes to Sam (CY) - "wholesome", "the right amount of naughty and nice", "a sweet and likeable guy" - in a tie with Chris (SIF) - "funny", "strong", "loyal", "always has your back". Ninth place is another tie between Sebastian (SIF) - "sweet" and "supportive" - and Alex (MHS) - "amazing personality", "really helpful".
Last but not least the tenth place is a foursome: William (SIF) gets some love for being "good", "solid", "loyal" and "fun", in a tie with Charles (SBR) - described as "perfect", "romantic" and "caring", as well as "hot", "sexy" and "gentle" - Jackie (SIF) - "an under-appreciated king", "handsome" and "fun", and Frances (MB) - a "real badass" and "one of the best LIs in MB".
So, time to replay your favourite book and try out one of these Lis instead than your usual one!
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💎Question 6: If you could eat or drink one thing from the RC universe, what would you choose?

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Max (MB) might no longer hold the crown of most loved LI in the game, but his cooking skills still hold strong. A whopping 37.2% of the people in this community would eat anything he prepares. Getting drunk on Glyft at the HS Academy takes second spot with 23.1% of the preferences, while a sugar rush after a light BDSM session in CY is all what the 13.2% of us want, completing this delicious podium.
In fourth place is pizza with a bunch of MHS friends, fifth is potential death - as long as ice cream and Jake from WP are involved - and sixth is Anthony Wood's juice at one of his epic MHS parties.
Dinner at the SOS circus is seventh, chosen by a fearless 3% of the community, while canapés at a jewellery fashion show in Q30 score the eighth and last place.
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💎Question 7: If you could spend a weekend in any RC story, would you:

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An entire weekend in the RC universe! What mischief is our community planning to get up to?
It looks like HS is once again top of the list, with over 38% of players willing to test their wings and get some strange and possibly corrosive blue liquid down their unclaimed throats. But LOW's gorgeous backgrounds and atmospheric setting have convinced the 16% of us to go explore a Japanese village, and possibly meet some mysterious cutie. Adelaide and her SIF crew navigate steadily in third place: 10.7% of us would follow them over the edge of the world and beyond.
In fourth place is a spot of murder mystery fun in CY, as 10.3% of us would happily explore a British family mansion - bloodshed possible but not guaranteed. A diplomatic trip with the Q30 Sagar Royal Court appeals to the 6.1% of us, especially if a romantic sunset is on the bill. The quaint and frankly unsettling SOS woods do not scare the 5.7% of us, but as long as no one picks up a nice bouquet of flowers, we should all be ok. In seventh place is our favourite vampire popstar Benny Bart (MB) performing at the Taste of the Night, while eighth is a dance marathon in SBR, inclusive of a trip to romantic Paris. Tarino's somewhat unusual directorial skills in MHS score ninth place, while hot surfers in WP's Miami end up last.
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💎Question 8: If you could get more episodes of a series that has now ended, which one would you choose?

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It's time to go down memory lane! We loved all the stories that RC has now completed, but which one we miss the most?
Side note: SIF and WP were still ongoing when this survey was first opened hence they are not featured in this list.
Horror story SOS takes a clear lead, with over 47% of our community wishing we could get more adventures with MC and her friends. MB is second, with a healthy 34% of readers wishing to spend more time in the company of vampires and werewolves. Q30 is third, with 13.3% of readers missing its Royal Palace and all the intrigue coming with it, and last but not least is comedy MHS, which is missed by 5.4% of this community.
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And now, some questions about this community's gaming habits:
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💎Question 9: How do you usually approach LI relationships?

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This question had a fairly split response between those who date a few LIs but ultimately choose only one (48.9%) and those who are fiercely monogamous from the start (42.4%). A healthy 8.7% of the readers prefer instead to play the field and date as many LIs as the gameplay will allow. And with so many great characters to choose from, that's hardly a surprise!
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💎Question 10: Would you play a book that has a male MC?

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We all know that at the moment all RC stories are gender-locked with a female MC. But what does the community think? Would we play a book with a male MC? The majority is in favour, with 61.9% of the responders answering with a resounding YES.
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💎Question 11: Do you use the RC wiki on Fandom?

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Our amazing fan-written Romance Club wiki recently celebrated 100 pages!
It sounds like a whopping 78.8% of this community uses the wiki, while about 14.1% did not know it existed (so we hope you are using it now!) and 7.1% are true daredevils who play without any wiki help.
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💎Question 12: What genre of story do you enjoy the most?

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With new stories always coming up, we were curious to know which genres this community enjoys the most.
Despite the game being called Romance Club, the top of the genre ranking goes to Fantasy, with a striking 74.1% of preferences. But no worries: Romance is a steady second with a great 70.8% of the votes. Third place goes to Mystery with 65.7%.
Adventure comes fourth with 55.2%, followed by Horror (42.5%), Historical (35.1%), Science Fiction (29.1%) and finally Comedy (26.4%).
A very small number of people (too little to make percentage) also asked for drama, thriller, detective/crime, heist/spy, high school/teens, superheroes, zombies and time travel. All great ideas!
The community has spoken though: RC, give us elves and gnomes and medieval tales of debauchery and magic!
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💎Question 13: How long have you been playing Romance Club for?

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We were curious to know for how long we all have been playing this game we love. The survey showed a good mix of old and new readers, with a clear tendency towards long-term reading, which makes us so very happy to know we are all just equally addicted.
36% stated that they have been playing for over a year, 23.6% for more than six months, 17.8% for more than three months, 16.1% for more than one month and 6.4% for less than a month. Welcome one and all, we hope you are all going to be here for the long haul!
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💎Question 14: How did you find out about the game Romance Club?

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The main way in which our community has found out about RC is through the app store/google play store (70.9%). Another subreddit is a source for 13.5% of us (we probably have to say thank you to our friends at Lovestruck and Choices!) while a friend recommended the game to 8.7% of us.
Instagram (3%) and Facebook (1.5%) are also popular sources, but 2.4% of us arrived to the game through adverts, which is to us the most interesting data since in the mod team we haven't personally seen any adverts for this game - ever - so if anyone has screenshots, please post them in the comments, we are super curious!
Some users (too few to make percentage) also mentioned videos and memes on TikTok or Youtube, Google Search, Tumblr, Twitter, Vkontakte or even their own sister(s) as a source.
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💎Question 15: Which operating system do you play the game on?

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The majority of this community plays on Android (57.7%) while 42.3% play on iOS.
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💎Question 16: Which other story games do you play?

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Here are the top-10 story app games we play in this community, aside from RC.
Unsurprisingly, market leader Choices comes first with 53.3% of the votes. Another giant in the field, Episodes, comes second - although with quite a substantially smaller percentage of votes, clocking at 28.1%. The top-three is completed by UK TV show-inspired Love Island with the 24.6%.
Chapters is the fourth most played game at 24.2%, followed by Lovestruck and Love Sick - tied at 16.1%. Moments is sixth at 13.1%, new entry on the market Stories: Love and choices follows in seventh with 5.3%, Journeys is eighth with 4.7% and The Arcana is ninth with 2.6%. The top-ten is completed by Tabou Stories: Love Episodes in a tie with Originals - both at 1.2%.
Some also reminisced about Storyscapes (gone too soon but not forgotten!) and many other game apps were mentioned but by too few people to make up for an accountable percentage. We surely discovered some games we had never heard of before, though, including: Fictif, Heart's Choice, Everlasting Summer, Fancy Love, Romance: Stories and choices, Secrets: Game of choices, Fictions: Choose your emotions, Mystic Messenger, City of Love and many, many more... so thanks everyone for all these new suggestions!
And to that one person who selected half a dozen games and then commented with "it is a problem!" ... trust us, you are in very, very good company here!!
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And lastly, some demographics:
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💎Question 17: Where in the world are you from?

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We are a very international bunch, that's for sure! Here are the numbers:
45.5% of this community lives in Europe, 24.3% in North America, 16.9% is in Asia, 5.7% is in Central/South America, 5.3% is in Africa and 2.3% is in Australia/New Zealand. Welcome one and all! We are so happy you are here.
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💎Question 18: How old are you?

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How old are we? The survey has spoken: 44.7% is between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.1% is between 25 and 35; 21.1% is 17 or younger; 6.1 % is 36 or older.
We must admit that we did not expect so many people to be on the younger end of the spectrum! But we hope everyone - of all ages - will always find this subreddit to be a safe, welcoming and friendly place where to discuss this game we all love. We mods work hard every day to keep this the most relaxed and fun RC space on the net and we feel so lucky that you are all as awesome as you are!
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💎Question 19: What is your gender identity?

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The overwhelming majority of this community (93.5%) identifies as female, while 4.6% identifies as male, 1.3% is non-binary, 0,4% identifies as genderqueer and 0.2% marked themselves as confused.
The fact that MC is gender-locked female and that LGBTQ routes are limited in the game is certainly one of the reasons why our community is not more diverse. Hopefully RC will expand their stories to include more diverse gender choices in terms of MCs and LIs, so to allow more people to enjoy their great storytelling skills.
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💎Question 20: What is your sexual orientation?

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Here's the sexual orientation of our community:
70.1% identifies as Straight/Heterosexual
22.5% identifies as Bisexual
1.9% identifies as Lesbian/WLW
1.7% identifies as Pansexual
1.5% identifies as Gay/MLM
0.4% identifies as Aromantic
0.3% identifies as Aromantic/Bisexual
0.3% identifies as Asexual
0.3% identifies as Demisexual
0.2% identifies as Asexual/Biromantic
0.2% identifies as Asexual/Heterosexual
Once again, we hope that future plots featuring more diverse MC/LIs will attract more diverse players to our community.
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That's all folks! We hope you found these results interesting and we look forward to a new survey once we hit 5000 users! Until then... happy gaming and thanks for making this awesome community as great as it is! :)
💎 RomanceClub mods 💎
💎u/LauraVi 💎u/swankytutu 💎u/directormmn
💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎
submitted by LauraVi to RomanceClub [link] [comments]

Step-by-Step Guide for Adding a Stack, Expanding Control Lines, and Building an Assembler

After the positive response to my first tutorial on expanding the RAM, I thought I'd continue the fun by expanding the capabilities of Ben's 8-bit CPU even further. That said, you'll need to have done the work in the previous post to be able to do this. You can get a sense for what we'll do in this Imgur gallery.
In this tutorial, we'll balance software and hardware improvements to make this a pretty capable machine:

Parts List

To only update the hardware, you'll need:
If you want to update the toolchain, you'll need:
  1. Arduino Mega 2560 (Amazon) to create the programmer.
  2. Ribbon Jumper Cables (Amazon) to connect the Arduino to the breadboard.
  3. TL866 II Plus EEPROM Programmer (Amazon) to program the ROM.
Bonus Clock Improvement: One additional thing I did is replace the 74LS04 inverter in Ben's clock circuit with a 74LS14 inverting Schmitt trigger (datasheet, Jameco). The pinouts are identical! Just drop it in, wire the existing lines, and then run the clock output through it twice (since it's inverting) to get a squeaky clean clock signal. Useful if you want to go even faster with the CPU.

Step 1: Program with an Arduino and Assembler (Image 1, Image 2)

There's a certain delight in the physical programming of a computer with switches. This is how Bill Gates and Paul Allen famously programmed the Altair 8800 and started Microsoft. But at some point, the hardware becomes limited by how effectively you can input the software. After upgrading the RAM, I quickly felt constrained by how long it took to program everything.
You can continue to program the computer physically if you want and even after upgrading that option is still available, so this step is optional. There's probably many ways to approach the programming, but this way felt simple and in the spirit of the build. We'll use an Arduino Mega 2560, like the one in Ben's 6502 build, to program the RAM. We'll start with a homemade assembler then switch to something more robust.
Preparing the Physical Interface
The first thing to do is prepare the CPU to be programmed by the Arduino. We already did the hard work on this in the RAM upgrade tutorial by using the bus to write to the RAM and disconnecting the control ROM while in program mode. Now we just need to route the appropriate lines to a convenient spot on the board to plug the Arduino into.
  1. This is optional, but I rewired all the DIP switches to have ground on one side, rather than alternating sides like Ben's build. This just makes it easier to route wires.
  2. Wire the 8 address lines from the DIP switch, connecting the side opposite to ground (the one going to the chips) to a convenient point on the board. I put them on the far left, next to the address LEDs and above the write button circuit.
  3. Wire the 8 data lines from the DIP switch, connecting the side opposite to ground (the one going to the chips) directly below the address lines. Make sure they're separated by the gutter so they're not connected.
  4. Wire a line from the write button to your input area. You want to connect the side of the button that's not connected to ground (the one going to the chip).
So now you have one convenient spot with 8 address lines, 8 data lines, and a write line. If you want to get fancy, you can wire them into some kind of connector, but I found that ribbon jumper cables work nicely and keep things tidy.
The way we'll program the RAM is to enter program mode and set all the DIP switches to the high position (e.g., 11111111). Since the switches are upside-down, this means they'll all be disconnected and not driving to ground. The address and write lines will simply be floating and the data lines will be weakly pulled up by 1k resistors. Either way, the Arduino can now drive the signals going into the chips using its outputs.
Creating the Arduino Programmer
Now that we can interface with an Arduino, we need to write some software. If you follow Ben's 6502 video, you'll have all the knowledge you need to get this working. If you want some hints and code, see below (source code):
  1. Create arrays for your data and address lines. For example: const char ADDRESS_LINES[] = {39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53};. Create your write line with #define RAM_WRITE 3.
  2. Create functions to enable and disable your address and data lines. You want to enable them before writing. Make sure to disable them afterward so that you can still manually program using DIP switches without disconnecting the Arduino. The code looks like this (just change INPUT to OUTPUT accordingly): for(int n = 0; n < 8; n += 1) { pinMode(ADDRESS_LINES[n], OUTPUT); }
  3. Create a function to write to an address. It'll look like void writeData(byte writeAddress, byte writeData) and basically use two loops, one for address and one for data, followed by toggling the write.
  4. Create a char array that contains your program and data. You can use #define to create opcodes like #define LDA 0x01.
  5. In your main function, loop through the program array and send it through writeData.
With this setup, you can now load multi-line programs in a fraction of a second! This can really come in handy with debugging by stress testing your CPU with software. Make sure to test your setup with existing programs you know run reliably. Now that you have your basic setup working, you can add 8 additional lines to read the bus and expand the program to let you read memory locations or even monitor the running of your CPU.
Making an Assembler
The above will serve us well but it's missing a key feature: labels. Labels are invaluable in assembly because they're so versatile. Jumps, subroutines, variables all use labels. The problem is that labels require parsing. Parsing is a fun project on the road to a compiler but not something I wanted to delve into right now--if you're interested, you can learn about Flex and Bison. Instead, I found a custom assembler that lets you define your CPU's instruction set and it'll do everything else for you. Let's get it setup:
  1. If you're on Windows, you can use the pre-built binaries. Otherwise, you'll need to install Rust and compile via cargo build.
  2. Create a file called 8bit.cpu and define your CPU instructions (source code). For example, LDA would be lda {address} -> 0x01 @ address[7:0]. What's cool is you can also now create the instruction's immediate variant instead of having to call it LDI: lda #{value} -> 0x05 @ value[7:0].
  3. You can now write assembly by adding #include "8bit.cpu" to the top of your code. There's a lot of neat features so make sure to read the documentation!
  4. Once you've written some assembly, you can generate the machine code using ./customasm yourprogram.s -f hexc -p. This prints out a char array just like our Arduino program used!
  5. Copy the char array into your Arduino program and send it to your CPU.
At this stage, you can start creating some pretty complex programs with ease. I would definitely play around with writing some larger programs. I actually found a bug in my hardware that was hidden for a while because my programs were never very complex!

Step 2: Expand the Control Lines (Image)

Before we can expand the CPU any further, we have to address the fact we're running out of control lines. An easy way to do this is to add a 3rd 28C16 ROM and be on your way. If you want something a little more involved but satisfying, read on.
Right now the control lines are one hot encoded. This means that if you have 4 lines, you can encode 4 states. But we know that a 4-bit binary number can encode 16 states. We'll use this principle via 74LS138 decoders, just like Ben used for the step counter.
Choosing the Control Line Combinations
Everything comes with trade-offs. In the case of combining control lines, it means the two control lines we choose to combine can never be activated at the same time. We can ensure this by encoding all the inputs together in the first 74LS138 and all the outputs together in a second 74LS138. We'll keep the remaining control lines directly connected.
Rewiring the Control Lines
If your build is anything like mine, the control lines are a bit of a mess. You'll need to be careful when rewiring to ensure it all comes back together correctly. Let's get to it:
  1. Place the two 74LS138 decoders on the far right side of the breadboard with the ROMs. Connect them to power and ground.
  2. You'll likely run out of inverters, so place a 74LS04 on the breadboard above your decoders. Connect it to power and ground.
  3. Carefully take your inputs (MI, RI, II, AI, BI, J) and wire them to the outputs of the left 74LS138. Do not wire anything to O0 because that's activated by 000 which won't work for us!
  4. Carefully take your outputs (RO, CO, AO, EO) and wire them to the outputs of the right 74LS138. Remember, do not wire anything to O0!
  5. Now, the 74LS138 outputs are active low, but the ROM outputs were active high. This means you need to swap the wiring on all your existing 74LS04 inverters for the LEDs and control lines to work. Make sure you track which control lines are supposed to be active high vs. active low!
  6. Wire E3 to power and E2 to ground. Connect the E1 on both 138s together, then connect it to the same line as OE on your ROMs. This will ensure that the outputs are disabled when you're in program mode. You can actually take off the 1k pull-up resistors from the previous tutorial at this stage, because the 138s actively drive the lines going to the 74LS04 inverters rather than floating like the ROMs.
At this point, you really need to ensure that the massive rewiring job was successful. Connect 3 jumper wires to A0-A2 and test all the combinations manually. Make sure the correct LED lights up and check with a multimeteoscilloscope that you're getting the right signal at each chip. Catching mistakes at this point will save you a lot of headaches! Now that everything is working, let's finish up:
  1. Connect A0-A2 of the left 74LS138 to the left ROM's A0-A2.
  2. Connect A0-A2 of the right 74LS138 to the right ROM's A0-A2.
  3. Distribute the rest of the control signals across the two ROMs.
Changing the ROM Code
This part is easy. We just need to update all of our #define with the new addresses and program the ROMs again. For clarity that we're not using one-hot encoding anymore, I recommend using hex instead of binary. So instead of #define MI 0b0000000100000000, we can use #define MI 0x0100, #define RI 0x0200, and so on.
Testing
Expanding the control lines required physically rewiring a lot of critical stuff, so small mistakes can creep up and make mysterious errors down the road. Write a program that activates each control line at least once and make sure it works properly! With your assembler and Arduino programmer, this should be trivial.
Bonus: Adding B Register Output
With the additional control lines, don't forget you can now add a BO signal easily which lets you fully use the B register.

Step 3: Add a Stack (Image 1, Image 2)

Adding a stack significantly expands the capability of the CPU. It enables subroutines, recursion, and handling interrupts (with some additional logic). We'll create our stack with an 8-bit stack pointer hard-coded from $0100 to $01FF, just like the 6502.
Wiring up the Stack Pointer
A stack pointer is conceptually similar to a program counter. It stores an address, you can read it and write to it, and it increments. The only difference between a stack pointer and a program counter is that the stack pointer must also decrement. To create our stack pointer, we'll use two 74LS193 4-bit up/down binary counters:
  1. Place a 74LS00 NAND gate, 74LS245 transceiver, and two 74LS193 counters in a row next to your output register. Wire up power and ground.
  2. Wire the the Carry output of the right 193 to the Count Up input of the left 193. Do the same for the Borrow output and Count Down input.
  3. Connect the Clear input between the two 193s and with an active high reset line. The B register has one you can use on its 74LS173s.
  4. Connect the Load input between the two 193s and to a new active low control line called SI on your 74LS138 decoder.
  5. Connect the QA-QD outputs of the lower counter to A8-A5 and the upper counter to A4-A1. Pay special attention because the output are in a weird order (BACD) and you want to make sure the lower A is connected to A8 and the upper A is connected to A4.
  6. Connect the A-D inputs of the lower counter to B8-B5 and the upper counter to B4-B1. Again, the inputs are in a weird order and on both sides of the chip so pay special attention.
  7. Connect the B1-B8 outputs of the 74LS245 transceiver to the bus.
  8. On the 74LS245 transceiver, connect DIR to power (high) and connect OE to a new active low control line called SO on your 74LS138 decoder.
  9. Add 8 LEDs and resistors to the lower part of the 74LS245 transceiver (A1-A8) so you can see what's going on with the stack pointer.
Enabling Increment & Decrement
We've now connected everything but the Count Up and Count Down inputs. The way the 74LS193 works is that if nothing is counting, both inputs are high. If you want to increment, you keep Count Down high and pulse Count Up. To decrement, you do the opposite. We'll use a 74LS00 NAND gate for this:
  1. Take the clock from the 74LS08 AND gate and make it an input into two different NAND gates on the 74LS00.
  2. Take the output from one NAND gate and wire it to the Count Up input on the lower 74LS193 counter. Take the other output and wire it to the Count Down input.
  3. Wire up a new active high control line called SP from your ROM to the NAND gate going into Count Up.
  4. Wire up a new active high control line called SM from your ROM to the NAND gate going into Count Down.
At this point, everything should be working. Your counter should be able to reset, input a value, output a value, and increment/decrement. But the issue is it'll be writing to $0000 to $00FF in the RAM! Let's fix that.
Accessing Higher Memory Addresses
We need the stack to be in a different place in memory than our regular program. The problem is, we only have an 8-bit bus, so how do we tell the RAM we want a higher address? We'll use a special control line to do this:
  1. Wire up an active high line called SA from the 28C16 ROM to A8 on the Cypress CY7C199 RAM.
  2. Add an LED and resistor so you can see when the stack is active.
That's it! Now, whenever we need the stack we can use a combination of the control line and stack pointer to access $0100 to $01FF.
Updating the Instruction Set
All that's left now is to create some instructions that utilize the stack. We'll need to settle some conventions before we begin:
If you want to add a little personal flair to your design, you can change the convention fairly easily. Let's implement push and pop (source code):
  1. Define all your new control lines, such as #define SI 0x0700 and #define SO 0x0005.
  2. Create two new instructions: PSH (1011) and POP (1100).
  3. PSH starts the same as any other for the first two steps: MI|CO and RO|II|CE. The next step is to put the contents of the stack pointer into the address register via MI|SO|SA. Recall that SA is the special control line that tells the memory to access the $01XX bank rather than $00XX.
  4. We then take the contents of AO and write it into the RAM. We can also increment the stack pointer at this stage. All of this is done via: AO|RI|SP|SA, followed by TR.
  5. POP is pretty similar. Start off with MI|CO and RO|II|CE. We then need to take a cycle and decrement the stack pointer with SM. Like with PSH, we then set the address register with MI|SO|SA.
  6. We now just need to output the RAM into our A register with RO|AI|SA and then end the instruction with TR.
  7. Updating the assembler is easy since neither instruction has operands. For example, push is just psh -> 0x0B.
And that's it! Write some programs that take advantage of your new 256 byte stack to make sure everything works as expected.

Step 4: Add Subroutine Instructions (Image)

The last step to complete our stack is to add subroutine instructions. This allows us to write complex programs and paves the way for things like interrupt handling.
Subroutines are like a blend of push/pop instructions and a jump. Basically, when you want to call a subroutine, you save your spot in the program by pushing the program counter onto the stack, then jumping to the subroutine's location in memory. When you're done with the subroutine, you simply pop the program counter value from the stack and jump back into it.
We'll follow 6502 conventions and only save and restore the program counter for subroutines. Other CPUs may choose to save more state, but it's generally left up to the programmer to ensure they're not wiping out states in their subroutines (e.g., push the A register at the start of your subroutine if you're messing with it and restore it before you leave).
Adding an Extra Opcode Line
I've started running low on opcodes at this point. Luckily, we still have two free address lines we can use. To enable 5-bit opcodes, simply wire up the 4Q output of your upper 74LS173 register to A7 of your 28C16 ROM (this assumes your opcodes are at A3-A6).
Updating the ROM Writer
At this point, you simply need to update the Arduino writer to support 32 instructions vs. the current 16. So, for example, UCODE_TEMPLATE[16][8] becomes UCODE_TEMPLATE[32][8] and you fill in the 16 new array elements with nop. The problem is that the Arduino only has so much memory and with the way Ben's code is written to support conditional jumps, it starts to get tight.
I bet the code can be re-written to handle this, but I had a TL866II Plus EEPROM programmer handy from the 6502 build and I felt it would be easier to start using that instead. Converting to a regular C program is really simple (source code):
  1. Copy all the #define, global const arrays (don't forget to expand them from 16 to 32), and void initUCode(). Add #include and #include to the top.
  2. In your traditional int main (void) C function, after initializing with initUCode(), make two arrays: char ucode_upper[2048] and char ucode_lower[2048].
  3. Take your existing loop code that loops through all addresses: for (int address = 0; address < 2048; address++).
  4. Modify instruction to be 5-bit with int instruction = (address & 0b00011111000) >> 3;.
  5. When writing, just write to the arrays like so: ucode_lower[address] = ucode[flags][instruction][step]; and ucode_upper[address] = ucode[flags][instruction][step] >> 8;.
  6. Open a new file with FILE *f = fopen("rom_upper.hex", "wb");, write to it with fwrite(ucode_upper, sizeof(char), sizeof(ucode_upper), f); and close it with fclose(f);. Repeat this with the lower ROM too.
  7. Compile your code using gcc (you can use any C compiler), like so: gcc -Wall makerom.c -o makerom.
Running your program will spit out two binary files with the full contents of each ROM. Writing the file via the TL866II Plus requires minipro and the following command: minipro -p CAT28C16A -w rom_upper.hex.
Adding Subroutine Instructions
At this point, I cleaned up my instruction set layout a bit. I made psh and pop 1000 and 1001, respectively. I then created two new instructions: jsr and rts. These allow us to jump to a subroutine and returns from a subroutine. They're relatively simple:
  1. For jsr, the first three steps are the same as psh: MI|CO, RO|II|CE, MI|SO|SA.
  2. On the next step, instead of AO we use CO to save the program counter to the stack: CO|RI|SP|SA.
  3. We then essentially read the 2nd byte to do a jump and terminate: MI|CO, RO|J.
  4. For rts, the first four steps are the same as pop: MI|CO, RO|II|CE, SM, MI|SO|SA.
  5. On the next step, instead of AI we use J to load the program counter with the contents in stack: RO|J|SA.
  6. We're not done! If we just left this as-is, we'd jump to the 2nd byte of jsr which is not an opcode, but a memory address. All hell would break loose! We need to add a CE step to increment the program counter and then terminate.
Once you update the ROM, you should have fully functioning subroutines with 5-bit opcodes. One great way to test them is to create a recursive program to calculate something--just don't go too deep or you'll end up with a stack overflow!

Conclusion

And that's it! Another successful upgrade of your 8-bit CPU. You now have a very capable machine and toolchain. At this point I would have a bunch of fun with the software aspects. In terms of hardware, there's a number of ways to go from here:
  1. Interrupts. Interrupts are just special subroutines triggered by an external line. You can make one similar to how Ben did conditional jumps. The only added complexity is the need to load/save the flags register since an interrupt can happen at any time and you don't want to destroy the state. Given this would take more than 8 steps, you'd also need to add another line for the step counter (see below).
  2. ROM expansion. At this point, address lines on the ROM are getting tight which limits any expansion possibilities. With the new approach to ROM programming, it's trivial to switch out the 28C16 for the 28C256 that Ben uses in the 6502. These give you 4 additional address lines for flags/interrupts, opcodes, and steps.
  3. LCD output. At this point, adding a 16x2 character LCD like Ben uses in the 6502 is very possible.
  4. Segment/bank register. It's essentially a 2nd memory address register that lets you access 256-byte segments/banks of RAM using bank switching. This lets you take full advantage of the 32K of RAM in the Cypress chip.
  5. Fast increment instructions. Add these to registers by replacing 74LS173s with 74LS193s, allowing you to more quickly increment without going through the ALU. This is used to speed up loops and array operations.
submitted by MironV to beneater [link] [comments]

They Are Not One

Just two cycles ago the ship had appeared seemingly out of nowhere. To a first approximation, that’s also where it was encountered — in the vast void of space beyond Fomalhaut’s debris disc. I can still relive it perfectly without Flashback.
Actually, I’m not retelling this right. My neural rhythms are still off balance from the shock. Let me start over.
Two cycles ago something suddenly caused the survey data for the Fomalhaut system to go all wrong. In general I have no idea what the Provians are trying to complain to me about. I’m just as much of a Unified Fleet supporter as the next captain, but it can be hard working with the Provians. Anyway, I’m sure every single Proxian who’s ever left Protia could’ve immediately figured out what was wrong — Fomalhaut had suddenly disappeared from view.
The Provian surveyors told me this happens all the time, just not like this. A nearby comet can obscure the view or a massive debris field in the inner system can partially obscure the star. But it’s not sudden — comets are easy to track and we’re far off axis with Fomalhaut’s debris field. No, Fomalhaut seemed to just disappear, although of course it hadn’t as we could still see its light reflected off the almost innumerable inner system objects.
Honestly, on a survey mission being captain is overwhelmingly people management. There’s always tension between the current survey team and the next one eager to get started. Maintenance team is constantly trying to temporarily decommission systems so they can be overhauled. Okay, yes I’m making excuses for myself. I know Unified Fleet command wouldn’t officially agree, but those who’ve actually been captains know that on a survey mission you just let the Prime Surveyor run operations. No debate I’m responsible, but I didn’t activate that laser beam array.
Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself again. Autodoc says my neural rhythms are now trending towards stable. Trending. Still far too unstable to reenter cryohibernation, but I’ve got to survive this to get the message back to Protia. If Protia is still there.
No, I didn’t mean it like that. Don’t be offended. I want to survive, certainly, but the reason I’m telling you is in case I don’t. I’ve always been so fond of you Projians with your incredibly stable neural rhythms. You’re following, right? I know you’re a botanist, of course you are — what else would a Projian be doing on this ship, but this all makes sense? Good, good.
Prime Surveyor swept the main laser beam array over the void where Fomalhaut should’ve been. A few of the beams bounced back to us. A few others were observed exciting small pockets of outer system gas near our ship. Most unremarkably disappeared into the void undetected. Prime Surveyor swept the auxiliary laser beam arrays while focusing the main array on the reflective spot. It took no imagination to realize the object was a perfectly reflective ovoid.
No, actually we only learned that later. They told us it was perfectly reflective.
Obviously artificial. The survey mission was over; first contact procedures initiated. In the void of space around an uninhabited system with no Gateway? This was a first. I wasn’t the best at command apprenticeship, but I know every detail of every first contact. What Proxian wouldn’t, we don’t forget anything unlike you Projians. I sincerely hope you remember everything I’m telling you. I’ll survive this, I will. But if I don’t, remember.
Four first contacts, seven secondary introductions. Eleven homeworlds, thirty two sapient species. Contact had always been near a homeworld or a Gateway. Except with the sapients of Tradgiu, who had intentionally placed themselves in orbit around our neighboring planet Morea which of course we could see easily observe from Protia. A very cautious sapient group. You already know all of this? Oh, you just don’t care. Fair enough. It’s helping me stabilize, or at least I’d like that to be true.
We transmitted in wide band to start. Followed protocol exactly: binary pulses, prime sequence, pulsar map, fractional sequence. Then our current location, Fomalhaut, relative to the pulsar map. Then wait. Form a numeric basis, then a location one, derive a common terminology for the universal constants and build from there. In apprenticeship learning about the process sounded boring, now I realize how mistaken that was. Regardless of how mundane the actions, it was thrilling to be part of such a moment.
Our wide band transmission was reflecting off of the ovoid. We were hopeful some amount was being absorbed. What would they reply with? I suppose it would’ve been reasonable to consider they wouldn’t reply, but I didn’t — that had never happened before.
Bvoort first contact, our first, went unexpectedly well when they followed up with basic arithmetic functions. You’ve met a Bvoort sapient I’m sure? No? Well they certainly don’t look anything like us, but they think similarly enough.
The Galant, that was beyond challenging as I understand. The Orcon’s first reply was the position of their homeworld relative to our pulsars. While our most recent contact, with the Tradgiu was by far the most cautious and conservative, they merely broadcast the prime sequence and continued it further than we had to demonstrate they understood.
The ovoid ship, it started to glow. Not in a way that any Protia sapient could perceive, but the sensors could. Uniform heat radiation apparently, perfectly uniform. Prime Surveyor theorized the ship had actually been in some sort of inert state and was now becoming active. It was a good theory and it might be correct; we’ll probably never know.
We received a wide band transmission that matched the exact frequency range we used. They did not transmit a prime sequence, arithmetic operations, nor stellar coordinates. No. What they sent destabilized every Provian on the ship. Us Proxians struggled through, most of us anyway. Yeah I know you’re fine, but well Projians are different. It wasn’t what they said, it was how they did.
The transmission was Protian Modern Script in Unified Fleet standard encoding.
Right I’m getting ahead of myself. What I actually saw was Prime Surveyor go motionless. Standard protocol in first contact is all transmissions are broadcast to the whole ship. Well intentioned I’m sure, but ultimately fatal in this case. Prime Surveyor recovered, temporarily, and set the incoming transmissions to auto relay within the ship.
Provians are brilliant. Standard evolutionary pressure between sapient groups. I’m sure you learned all about it. You always get differentiation; high intelligence comes with instability. Seems to be a universal constant. Just read up on the Tradgia, I’ve never learned of a more paranoid species. Yes, yes of course now is a terrible time to do that.
The message was short, fully comprehensible, but awkwardly structured. It was staggeringly impressive for a first contact reply.
“Salutations Protian vessel. Honor is ours to intersect you at Fomalhaut.”
Prime Surveyor was most qualified to reply, but had slumped to the ground. Every Provian in the operations cylinder was in some sort of incapacitated state. The profoundness of what this implied was just too overwhelming for them. Had they deduced our language and communication systems in a moment? Had they already visited Protia and then somehow arrived here before we would’ve received speed of light transmission from our homeworld informing us? I’m sure the Provian mind came up with so many other perplexing and disconcerting questions.
Us Proxians were a bit rattled, but were able to struggle on. You were reorganizing the garden and unaware this was happening? No offense, but that’s the most Projian thing I can imagine. I hope that detail makes it into a history document, assuming one ever gets written. No, no, sorry I’m sure it’ll work out okay.
Since every first contact has always been near a homeworld or Gateway, by the time numerical and stellar coordinate communication is established an expert team (entirely Provian of course) has been brought in to establish full linguistic communication. They don’t go over that part during command apprenticeship. No other Proxian in the operations cylinder knew either.
So I tried my best. I don’t think I succeeded; I don’t think success was ever an option.
They call themselves Terrans. Their sapient group is composed of humans and mechs, an artificial construct the humans had created. Also some combinations of the two; what they described sounded circular — we didn’t understand. I still don’t. Maybe the Provians would’ve, but they were so overwhelmed by this point.
We asked about the other sapients in their group, the natural ones. All gone, eliminated by the humans long before they had written language. Most of Provians in the operations cylinder died of neural hemorrhages. A few lived who were too overwhelmed by then to comprehend what had been learned.
Their homeworld was called Earth. Was. An accident. They destroyed it in a way I still don’t understand. Spatial folding, the same way ships move quickly between the stars. I’m not an expert in how Gateways work, but I was certain they can’t destroy planets. The other Proxians lost their minds. I don’t blame them. We’re a strong species, but one can only envision so much destruction before succumbing. Command apprenticeship toughens the mind. I struggled terribly. You were still in the garden? When did you even realize what was going on? Never mind.
I tried to understand, but they’ve never heard of Gateways. Apparently the way their ships move can’t be adequately described in Protian Modern Script.
We were told to leave the Fomalhaut system. They were expecting other Terran ships, but not their ships. It was hard to comprehend, you still don’t do you? Understandable, Protian barely has the words to describe this. You must understand though, it’s important.
The Terrans are a sapient group, but they are not one. No, not like the Projians, Proxians, and Provians make up of the Protian sapient group. These groups are of their choice. For example you and I chose to join the Unified Fleet. That makes us a group, a grouping of sapients who chose to be on ships. Yes, it’s like that somehow. It’s hard to understand. Yes, they’re still all Terrans and both groups have humans and mechs and also the confusing combination of them. Actually I’m assuming it’s just two groups, could it be more than two? This is all too much.
These two groups are disagreeing with each other. Extremely disagreeable. They said our language lacks the vocabulary to properly explain. It is a type of disagreement that can't be resolved and therefore results in destruction. The other ships will be coming to destroy them although they will try to destroy them first. I know it sounds wrong to say “destroy” — that’s what asteroids and volcanos do, not sapients to one another. Clearly Protian Modern doesn't have the words for what they’re expecting to happen.
I’m sure I was beyond insane at that point. I don’t know if anyone else was still alive in the operations cylinder, but certainly no one else was functional. My astronavigation skills are limited, but I was fully committed to do the unprecedented and flee a first contact, at the alien race's request no less.
I’m not normally curious, no Proxian is, but I suppose insane ones are. I asked the Terrans how they knew our language. They found a ship of ours recently, crashed on a planet in the Pollux system. I’d learned of that ship, it was the first non-Gateway exploratory ship every dispatched from Protia. It was a profound discovery for them, proof of other sapients. They are jubilant to have encountered our ship so soon after, they said they’ll come to Protia when they are done disagreeing. They did not ask where our homeworld is, they did not ask to visit.
They examined our crashed ship to see if the ship’s technology could help them in their disagreement with the other Terran group. They said it could not, it was extremely well built yet rudimentary. I suppose I should’ve been insulted, Unified Fleet ships are the most advanced in known space, yet I was too far gone to say anything.
They told us once more to leave. Then the space around their ship moved in an impossible way, bending the light of the distant stars behind them. Their ship disappeared only slightly less suddenly than it had appeared.
I charted a course back to Protia at full thrust. I still don’t know if we have enough fuel for such a route, I’ll figure it out later. I got myself into the full autodoc before I lost consciousness. That was two cycles ago. I didn’t expect to revive. I suppose I’m grateful I did yet I’m still not sane, I don’t know that I can ever be. We Proxians never forget.
They are like sapient volcanos. It’s only a matter of time until they flow through our home system, indifferently destroying all in their path. None of this makes sense? Yes, I know I’m insane, but that changes nothing. Please remember.
submitted by NothingIsArtificial to HFY [link] [comments]

FanFiction / The Fourth Age Volume 1

Premise: A Wheel of Time fan fiction series exploring politics in the Fourth Age, set twenty years after the Last Battle. Themes will include coming of age stories, non-binary channeling, and intimacy in the White Tower.
*Open to feedback, please also let me know if there are topics you want me to explore.
Volume 1 - The Practice Yard
Phae pulled the hood of their cloak tight, perching on the root of an ancient Leatherleaf. Despite their newly waxed vestments icy droplets beat across their ink-etched cheeks. Lightning split the purple sky, illuminating chaos in the practice yard below. Phae took care to tuck their color-banded hem out of sight, though doubting even a GoldenEye could spy them in this torrent. The sorda who hunts in plain sight becomes the prey in hindsight.
The picture before them was something from the Age of Legends, unconscionable just years prior. A dozen red frocked women, some in deep crimson, others scarlet as a tinker, seemed to sprout from sodden gravel like wild roses. Onyx clad thorns twined through their ranks, stoic and deadly. From the West earth churned, rippling across the yard like Bloodsnakes, exploding into fire-brimmed clouds of shrapnel. On the East end of the yard, a small red and black Circle wove nets of ice and air, quelling the Dragon Cloud just feet from their defense line. Scents of singed silks and burnt hair carried on the wind. In the White Tower practice could be fatal.
Phae studied the weaves greedily, as had come to be their weekly exercise these past few months. C’mon, do it again. Once more you lazy mutton boils. Within the White Tower walls, there were few opportunities to witness the weavings of Saidin. They eased closer, ducking behind the Northern fence for a better view. Every thread would need to be memorized and replicated perfectly later. A single negligent mistake, a fleeting moment of distraction, and their gift could be snuffed from the pattern. They did not think even the Queen of Malkier could heal that wound.
Phae knew no one living who could appreciate this particular dance such as they. It was said that the Asha’man bond created an intuition in Aes Sedai, a type of seventh sense for Saidin. But actually seeing both flows, forget flaming weaving both halves of the One Power? That was simply unfathomed.
“Until me.”
Tracing the weaves in the practice yard, Phae let their mind wander. Perhaps if I were to choose Brown I might discover some remnant from the Age of Legends, some inkling of my heritage. But no. Brown had never been a real option. Hours in the library had proved futile, too often inducing hazardous rages. Perhaps more like them had existed in the Third Age, and simply went mad and died? The Tower was either ignorant, or keeping secrets.
Phae smirked, imagining the shock on ol’ Mother Cadsuane’s face when they finally revealed their true nature, their true Power. Phae imagined themselves among the warriors of Tarmon Gai’don, facing the Forsaken, even outstripping the Dragon himself. What role could Phae have played? The White & Black Towers had served in kind, and both had suffered staggering casualties.
The rain could do nothing to dampen the pernicious spectacle before Phae, a show of Saidar and Saidin weaves to put Seanchan SkyLlights to shame. Opening to the Immensity of the nearby flows, the savor of Saidin grew stronger, became a throbbing torrent begging, howling to embrace more, always more.
I will be more. A silent mantra.
Flicker, flicker, flicker.
Suddenly, white painted the sky as ebony shadows blanketed the ground. A deafening quake descending faster than comprehension. Instinct. Leaping in the air like a Maiden, Phae sprinted up the steep path away from danger, lungs burning, blood trickling from their nape. They did not turn to glance at the splintered Leatherleaf, did not see the charred carcass that lay where Phae stood a heart’s beat ago.
__
On the southern end of the yard, Bellana Sedai watched a dark, willowy figure dart up the cobble stones. She breathed a small sigh of relief, then smiled to herself satisfactorily. “That girl will choose the Red after all. And soon I should think. Let the Browns sip on that!” This new generation was ambitious, but Phaedra stood out even among Wilders. No doubt she would be raised by Spring, and be leading Circles within a year or two after. Bellana released the power, ignoring the fleeting sense of loss and steeling herself against fatigue.
“Soldier Barris!” She crowed, turning her attention to the Asha’man in training.
A stocky, stump of a boy lumbered across the yard to where she stood.
“What in the Light do you think you are doing Solider? Ripping out trees that have stood hundreds of years from before you were a wish in your mother’s milk?”
“Uh, well, Sir I thought, I mean Ma'am, I mean Aes Sedai, Sir.” Barris stammered. It was his first tour at the Tower, and unaccustomed to the restraints of Aes Sedai training. Bellana silenced him with a cool, raised brow.
“You thought you were ready to try a weave that could burn you out, destroy a soldier from a hundred yards off? You aren’t ready to be off leading strings it seems, never mind wear the dragon. Now, see to it that Leatherleaf stays dry long enough to become firewood for the Tower, and bring a birch cutting to Rosil Sedai. It can be accomplished before sundown I should think.”
With a simple nod, Bellana Sedai turned her back on the soldier, assured her orders would be followed to the letter. These children required a firm hand, but she tried to avoid discharging them to Black Tower methods when possible. The M’Hael’s punishments made a trip to the Mistress of Novices look like afternoon tea.
___
Phae did not stop running when they reached the Tower, nor once they crossed the threshold into Accepted quarters. They did not give thought to supper, or to the dull ache at the back of their head. Upon reaching their modest room, Phae finally stopped, promptly collapsing in a heap on the cold stone floor.
Tears came first. Then laughter. Then both in union, until exhaustion took them and they were forced to crawl to the refuge of their four-post bed. But Phae was not delirious from a brush with death, nor the thought of being caught embracing Saidin. No, the lightning had not fried their wits. They had done it. At long last they had caught the deadly weavings of Saidin & Saidar on the practice yard, memorized both sides of the complex flows exactly. Small accomplishment though it may seem, it was the first puzzle piece to fit into place for a very, very long time. It was a start. Something clicked, and they knew they would not stumble, would not burn out, they would Blaze like the fires of Dragonmount.
I am ready to begin.
___
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Fourth Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose over the Field of Merrilor. The wind graced a forgotten child, brought from the far lands of Shara, and born in blood. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
submitted by FanFicSedai to WoT [link] [comments]

The Complete Guide To Pulling Girls Home

Note: This is a guide to the steps of pulling, if you want to learn about how to get women to want you to pull them, see this video: https://youtu.be/6GxYBjI53BI And this video: https://youtu.be/nK2tYyla5Is
 
How To Pull Girls Home
 
Sometimes, pulling is as simple as saying, "Let's get out of here." If a girl already knows she wants to have sex with you, you don't need any special tactics to bring her home.
However, women rarely decide they want to have sex with a man before they're in a bed with him.
One girl told me, "We're not having sex tonight," three times before she went back to my place. Then, on my couch, she sighed and said, "Are you going to fuck me already?"
For men, sexual interest is binary. If we find a woman attractive, we'd probably agree to have sex with her. For girls, sex is more complicated.
In terms of being interested in sleeping with you, women will sometimes categorize you as a "yes" or "no," but most often, you'll be classified as a "maybe." Even if a girl is so attracted to you that she's turned on in your presence, she still may decide against having sex with you.
As a woman, sex comes with a lot of risks—physically and socially. A woman needs to know she can trust a man before she goes home with him.
The average man is more than twice as strong as the average woman. There's a real risk of being harmed.
Furthermore, many women encounter men who are too pushy and aggressive. Even if a girl likes you, she may be subconsciously concerned that you're going to be one of those overly aggressive guys.
Then, there's the risk of being slut-shamed. Although some women encourage their friends to hook up with random guys, other women mercilessly judge their friends when they do something 'slutty.'
Even if a girl thinks you're extremely attractive, she would probably reject you if you were to try to pull her five minutes after meeting her. She needs to go through a process to be ready to go home with you and have sex.
Generally, women need to see that you are assertive, but not pushy. You must take the lead, but at a pace she can relate to. There are no universal rules to this; every girl is different.
As an experiment, I once approached 20 women with the line, "Hey, you're cute, would you like to come back to my place?" Nineteen of them said no, but one girl said yes.
Of course, that's not the best strategy. But don't limit yourself by thinking thoughts like, "I think she's into me, but I can't pull a girl on the first date." Or, "It's the beginning of the night; there's no way she's going to leave with me now."
As a rule-of-thumb, pulling a girl usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, but there are plenty of exceptions.
 

The Process of Pulling

 
Pulling has momentum to it. You're leading the girl—both physically and emotionally—towards having sex with you.
This starts small with intense eye contact or a spark of sexual energy; then, you gradually escalate as the tension increases.
If you rush this, the girl will feel that you're pushing her towards something you want, without regard to what she wants. The pacing is what matters most; you're not fixated on the 'finish line.' Instead, you are slowly escalating.
Think of an entire interaction with a woman like foreplay. If you were to fuck a girl the second she got on your bed without any foreplay, it would be a dull experience for her—there was no time for her to arousal to grow.
Similarly, if you try to pull a girl as quickly as possible, there's no time for her to build a desire to go home with you.
She wants to know who you are, she wants to know she can trust you, and she wants to experience a growing excitement for hooking up with you.
In the following sections, I lay out a comprehensive guide to pulling based on how women want to be pulled. It's a process that takes place over an extended period and gradually builds in intensity.
 

Deciding To Pull

 
Whenever you're talking to a girl you're attracted to, it's crucial to determine the ideal outcome for the interaction.
For instance, if a girl has an interview in 30 minutes, you probably don't have time to pull her. In this case, your ideal outcome for the interaction would be to set up a date with her.
You must find out if pulling a girl home is a realistic possibility. Otherwise, you could easily spend over an hour with a woman only to get a pat on the back and a hearty, "It was nice meeting you!"
In the men's dating advice community, this is referred to as screening for logistics. You're determining how likely it is that you will be able to pull a particular girl later that night.
Whenever you have an interaction with a woman that lasts more than 30 seconds, you should ask a few logistical questions.
For example, you might ask:
Asking the above questions will give you useful information. If, for instance, you learn that a girl drove her five friends to the club, she lives an hour away, and she's flying across the country tomorrow morning, chances are, you're not going to pull her.
Conversely, if a girl lives across the street, she came to the club alone, and she's not doing anything later, the likelihood that she'll go home with you is much higher.
Of course, asking too many logistical questions can quickly become obnoxious. To avoid coming across as inquisitional, sprinkle these questions throughout the interaction rather than asking them back-to-back.
Below, you'll find a general guideline for the best and worst answers to logistical questions:
Good logistics: Nothing, what are you doing later? Bad logistics: I'm going back to my parent's house.
Good logistics: I'm here with my roommate, Sarah. Bad logistics: I'm here with my dad.
Good logistics: I drove here. Bad logistics: My friend Dave drove me.
Good logistics: 5 minutes away from here. Bad logistics: About an hour away.
Good logistics: Not sure yet. Bad logistics: I have to wake up at 4 a.m. to go to work.
To be clear, if a girl really wants to hook up with you, you may be able to find a way to overcome a bad logistical situation.
Once in Vegas, my wingman and I pulled two girls from the club. My girl was excited to hang out more and get a drink back at our hotel.
However, the other girl wasn't so enthusiastic: during the car ride, she repeatedly complained that she just wanted to go home and sleep.
But it didn't matter because the girl I was with was determined to spend more time with me.
My girl told her friend that she could sleep in the car while we had shots in the hotel room. And that's exactly what happened.
Ultimately, it's useful to know a girl's logistics, but you can often make something happen regardless of the situation.
Memorizing all these logistical questions can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there's a simple way you can get an idea of whether a girl might be interested in going home with you later that night. Say either,
"What are you doing later?" Or, "There's an after-party later tonight; you should come."
More often than not, women will respond to this question based on how they feel about you. If they want to keep hanging out with you, they will make themselves available:
Conversely, if a girl knows she isn't going home with you later, she might say something like,
To be clear, a girl might make herself unavailable when you ask this question only to change her mind later.
But generally, her response to, "What are you doing later?" will give you a good idea as to whether she would like to go home with you.
 

When She Makes Herself Unavailable

 
What should you do when a girl says she's busy later or can't go to an after-party?
If you don't have much experience approaching women, your best option in this situation is to exchange numbers with the girl and start meeting other women.
Maybe she likes you; maybe she doesn't, but you know she's probably not going home with you that night. Remember, your most valuable resource when you go out is time.
Besides, you have her number, so if she is interested in you, she will likely agree to go on a date with you.
As you gain experience meeting women, you will develop an intuitive ability to sense whether you'll be able to pull a girl later.
And in many cases, even if a girl initially seems uninterested in going home with you, you'll be able to change her mind. But when you're new to cold approach, taking this kind of risk isn't likely to pay off.
I strongly recommend you ask this question to every girl you approach. It's the first step to pulling a girl.
When a girl says she's busy later, ask for her number. When a girl makes herself available, move on to the next step.
 

When She Has Good Logistics

 
If you get the sense that you might be able to pull a girl (I.E.she says she's not busy later), you should find out if she will leave her friends to hang out with you in a different area.
Make a suggestion like:
 

When She Won't Go With You

 
If a girl is unwilling to move to a different area with you, it's unlikely she'll go home with you later.
You will have to decide whether you think the girl won't move to another area because she isn't interested in you or because she has a tight-knit group of friends that she doesn't want to leave.
If you think she is attracted to you, you may still be able to go home with her at the end of the night. Instead of pulling her, you can let her pull you (see the section, "Go With Her.")
Conversely, if you think she might not be interested in you, it's best to exchange numbers with her before leaving her to approach other women.
When a girl refuses to leave her friends, you'll have to weigh your options. It isn't likely you'll be able to make something happen with this girl on that same night, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
Again, as a rule-of-thumb, it's better to play it safe (get the number and move on to another girl) when you're new to approaching women, and it's better to take risks when you're more experienced.
Trying to push an interaction when the girl is giving signs she isn't interested is like doubling down on a bad hand of poker - it's better just to play another hand.
So, if you're new to cold approach, you will get the best results by: Setting up as many dates as possible (on a date, the logistics are very much in your favor).
By finding girls who have a good logistical situation in clubs.
Basically, find the "yes" girls who are actively interested in going home with you that night and exchange numbers with the "maybe" girls who are less enthusiastic and less available.
As you accumulate experience, you will develop a fine-tuned sense of how interested a particular girl is.
You'll know whether you can overcome a bad logistical situation or if it's best to move on to someone else.
 

If She Agrees To Go With You

 
If a girl says yes to your request to go to another area, this is a strong sign that you may be able to pull her. Women will rarely say they want to go home with you: instead, they show interest through their actions.
A girl's willingness to follow you from one area to another is a significant green light that she might be open to going home with you later.
 

Taking Her Home

 
At this point, the girl is following your lead from one area to another.
After you've been talking for roughly 45 minutes to an hour and a half, the next step of leading is to bring her home with you.
Fortunately, pulling isn't rocket science.
So long as the emotions are right, many women will want to go home with you. Often, all you have to do is ask. More than a few times, I've pulled girls simply by saying something to the effect of, "Want to get out of here?"
That said, there are ways to pull a girl more smoothly.
If you mentioned the idea of going to an after-party earlier in the interaction, you can pull by saying, "Hey, let's go to that after-party I mentioned."
Now, inviting a girl to an 'after-party' when it's really just you and her might sound creepy. Here's the truth, if you use lines like the above when there's no mutual sexual attraction, then yeah, it will be a little awkward.
I once brought two girls back to my place to go to an "after-party," but when we arrived, they realized there was no real after-party, and they said they had to get an Uber.
But this has only happened once in my entire life, and it was my own fault—I was focusing on the pull without considering whether there was enough sexual desire and trust.
Ultimately, if a girl is interested in you and she agrees to go home with you, it's unlikely she'll be surprised if it turns out the after-party is just you and her.
If you're unsure whether a girl is attracted to you, you can make a point to physically escalate before bringing her home.
When you've been making out with a girl or grinding with her on the dance floor, you can be fairly confident she's interested. Afterward, you can pull her without worrying about whether she's attracted to you or not.
You don't need a great reason to bring a girl to your place, you just need an excuse that isn't "let's fuck," or, "Would you like to have sex?" (saying that puts way too much pressure on the girl).
If a woman is interested in hooking up with you, she will agree to go to your place for whatever silly reason you come up with.
A friend of mine once pulled by saying, "I have an amazing book collection at my place; you have to see it."
Here are a few more examples of simple excuses you can use to bring a girl home with you:
Or you can pull by inviting a girl to watch a show or movie with you:
What if you don't have a place to pull girls to?
Let's say you still live with your parents, and you can't bring girls back to your place. Is it still possible to pull? Yes, of course, the only difference is that you must pull to the girl's house.
Here's how: when you bring up an excuse to hang out in private with a girl (watching a T.V. show, getting a. drink, etc.), and she agrees, follow up by saying something to the effect of, "Okay, how far is your place from here?"
Whether she replies with, "I'm 5 minutes away." Or, "I'm 20 minutes away," you can say, Okay, cool, that's much closer than my place; let's go."
Sometimes, a girl will not be able to bring you back to her place (I.E., she lives with her parents); in this case, you can either get a hotel or move on to the next girl. However, many of the women you meet will have a place you can go back to.
I've pulled girls back to their place many times, and despite what many guys think, it doesn't need to be much more complicated or difficult than pulling to your place.
 

Go With Her

 
Even if a girl is unwilling to leave her group of friends and move to another area with you, you still may be able to go home with her.
To do this, you should find out what the girl is doing after the bar closes. If she says something that makes her seem uninterested (I.E., she's going to her brother's place to get some sleep), it's unlikely you'll be able to leave with her at the end of the night.
Conversely, if she makes herself available, you may be able to make something happen (I.E., "My friends and I are just going to hang out." Or, "I'm not sure yet, just going home.")
Before deciding to go back to a girl's place, ask yourself, "What would happen if she and I were alone in a room together?"
If the answer is, "We'd tear each other's clothes off," then going with her has a good chance of leading to sex.
If you're not sure, the safer option is to mention that there's an after-party later and invite her (before moving on to meet other people).
You don't want to spend your entire night with a girl who is only interested in you as a friend.
However, if you think she is attracted to you, but she doesn't want her friends to see her leaving with some random guy, you may be able to go home with her at the end of the night.
Once you've decided that you're going to stick with a girl and go with her at the end of the night, just stay with her while making a point of winning over her friends.
If the friend-group doesn't like you, it will be exceedingly difficult to go back with them at the end of the night. I've seen so many men ignore a girl's friends until they got upset and dragged the girl away from him.
Offer value to the friend group the same way you offer value to the girl you're interested in (just without the sexual elements).
Once the bar or club closes (or the girl says she's about to head home), you can go with her. To do this, ask, "What area of town are you headed to?"
Reply to whatever her answer is with, "Oh, I'm near there; we should split an Uber." If she's unenthusiastic about the idea, she's probably not interested in going with you, but if she says something along the lines of, "Yeah, that sounds good." Then you can leave with her at the end of the night.
When you're in the Uber with the girl, you need to create an excuse to enter her house. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask if you can use her restroom while you wait for another Uber to your place.
When you're in the girl's house, one thing should lead to another. You'll both forget that you were "waiting for your Uber".
Now, if you're thinking, "This sounds creepy," it is creepy if she's not into you. However, if she wants to have sex with you, you're simply creating a logical excuse to do what you both want to do.
You can't tell a girl, "Oh, you have to go home with your friends? Can I come along so we can fuck when you get home?" That wouldn't be relatable.
If you want to go home with a girl, it helps to create a situation where it makes sense for you to end up in her house.
Again, you should only do this if you believe that it's on between the two of you.
However, even if it turns out she isn't interested in hooking up with you, it's not the end of the world. Just politely excuse yourself--so long as you don't get bitter or aggressive, she's unlikely to be upset.
With that said, you can often go home with a girl by being direct. When you ask, "What area of town are you headed to?" you can reply to her answer by saying, "I'm going with you."
So long as you come across as confident and your interaction up to that point was strong, she will likely agree to your proposition.
It can be useful to create a logical excuse to go home with a girl because she will be less likely to feel judged for acting 'slutty.' But you can be upfront with your intentions successfully so long as you've built enough trust and sexual tension in the interaction.
 

When She Refuses To Go Home With You

 
If a girl declines your invitation to go home with you, it might mean she's just not interested.
However, sometimes a girl will refuse to go home with you even when she likes you. Maybe the girl has a boyfriend she didn't mention.
Maybe she just doesn't do one-night stands. Sometimes, a girl won't go home with you because she doesn't want to get judged by her friends.
Once again, if a girl won't go home with you, your best option is to make plans to go on a date with her later before going to meet other people. Say something like, "It's been cool talking to you; we should get coffee sometime."
When a girl rejects your invitation to go home with you, it's often not that she's rejecting you, she just can't go home with you at that particular moment. That's why you should make plans to hang out with the girl later.
If you want to see more of my content, check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4kTcVi-b_9qQnMCRG9WggA
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A close examination of the story. Part 8: "Katarina Rostova." The personal angle: wife, daughter, lover, friend.

Tell the story as the narrative would have it, and what we are left with is a mass of contradictions and nonsense, the best indication of a charade. Most of those come from identity. "Katarina Rostova" is one of the sources of the confusion. In part 3 I examined the mythic spy, in part 2, her curious contradiction in Rassvet, about her treasonous status, in part 1 the bizarre abduction of "Masha Rostova" from her Canadian home, in part 4, the likelihood that there was no person born as "Raymond Reddington". Part 5 examines the curious Alan Fitch, and his relationship to Red. Part 6 looks at the real question Jennifer posed of Red, and why was she satisfied with the answer about the individual chased by both the CIA and the KGB, while part 7 deals with her bizarre way of showing Liz the bones, considering she knew well where Liz lived.
In many ways, Red is like a magician, as Aram said. Going by the charade Dom accuses him of creating, "Katarina Rostova" was one of his magic tricks.
"You were the architect of this charade". "she's a figment"
But this myth had a family, friends, colleagues. And Red.
but with young Katarina, and Fakerina, who is who. Was Fakerina one the other women inhabiting the myth? How do we distinguish?
It is clear that all the others are referring to Dom's daughter, the character played by Lotte Verbeek as a young woman. BUT when it comes to Red, things are far more complicated, especially for the space where Liz, and her mother intersect.

For Constantin Rostov, Katarina was the wife who loved him:

I don't really know how we got here, Raymond. I remember being an honest businessman in a happy marriage until you came along.... Seduced my wife. To her credit, Katarina broke it off, but you couldn't let go.... I came home one night and they were gone my wife, my child.
All that matters is that we had a family, and you destroyed it. We had a daughter, and you took her from us.
He describes the time when she and him met and how she seduced him, much like thrill seeker Elodie seduced Aram into a relationship with him:
When when we when we first met, there was this house near where she lived, a case study house built by this famous mid-century architect. Over dinner one night, she said she wanted to look at it. I thought she meant look from the street. But when we got there, she jumped the fence. The lights were on. People lived there. She didn't care. I stood there frozen, angry, nervous. Then I felt this rush of exhilaration. I climbed up, looked into the yard and she was just Dancing. Unafraid. Daring. Being. I'd never seen anything like it.
A woman with a joie-de-vivre
She was more alive than anyone I knew.
He never believed she killed herself, so Constantin believes she is either alive or she was murdered, and she is still convinced that she loved him.
When I heard she killed herself I didn't believe it. I still don't. You're wrong. I didn't see what she wanted me to see of her, I saw her. And despite what happened, I know she loved me.
What happened to Constantin after Katarina left? Was he on the run too? We know he changed his name to Alexander Kirk, we know he started buying energy outfits cheap in the former USSR, but he was a billionaire before:
https://preview.redd.it/zyd1hqr6dj451.png?width=1684&format=png&auto=webp&s=9e7d20c4dc5a5d95b10cf1e100eb5af36cda28ca
Did he loose it all when Katarina left and he was forced to become someone else? Because he continued to operate in Russia, but under a different name. Did he have surgery? Or was the man known to the Russians as Constantin Rostov NOT him? Nobody tells him that they knew him as Constantin Rostov, when he takes the name Alexander Kirk, so that is a possibility.
Red tells her that the KGB had trained Katarina in making people believe what she wanted them to. She had wanted Constantin to believe she was a wife in a happy marriage, that they had a child, and that she loved him. The truth is that she never even let him know she was OK, that she had not committed suicide. She had not let him know that "Masha" was not his daughter. Constantin is not even mentioned by her again, or by Kate, or by Dom. He was a useful idiot in a charade.
I think Red is who gets to understand the depth of the turmoil that Katarina created in his life, when Rostov is on the roof about to jump, a turmoil that years later, he is still defined by a love of Katarina, who left him behind like yesterday's news, and the hatred of Red, who he blames for it all.
This is madness, Constantin. Because you cannot have that child, you're gonna take her forever from her mother? It's madness. Constantin, this needs to end now.
It is clear that the wife Constantin refers to is Katarina, Dom's daughter.

For Kate, Katarina was her best friend, her employer. A tragic figure who was a spy, and a loving mother.

My friend just died.... I think she was my best friend.
she made an uncalled for promise to protect Masha:
I made a promise to Elizabeth's mother to protect her girl at all costs.
she was a bit strange, advising her employer to terminate a relationship with an American, being aware that Katarina was a KGB agent:
KATE: Soviet Intelligence?
This means Kate, an American, was fine with aiding an abetting a soviet spy by caring for her daughter while she went and worked against America. And then she calls Red a traitor? Kate has to have been a Soviet sympathizer, or a sleeper spy. And since people tend to kill agents of the opposite side, it is likely Kate already knew that "Katarina Rostova" was a KGB agent. It may be that Kate used that killing to let Katarina know she knew.
https://preview.redd.it/yzl18d6uuj451.png?width=432&format=png&auto=webp&s=a1466cc768eea5443117f75c2a687da8d9765faa
There is that strange comment that Annie makes after hearing the story:
ANNIE: So what's next for you? You gonna find some more Russians to live with?
KATE: I don't know. - I can't think about it right now. Masha and her family were my whole world for so long.
as if Kate's life had been going from one Russian family to another.
Kate's life was back on track and then Annie is killed. Then she is sucked back for reasons unknown by Red, who in 1997 decides to hire her. Why? Was she starting to investigate Katarina, using the resources of Little Nikos, who could track people?
https://preview.redd.it/ql2o8srbej451.png?width=360&format=png&auto=webp&s=8411e72aa8e919c1c90a9b8bdb937a41e193bd37
She seemed not to even give Constantin Rostov a thought. It never occurred to her to bring Liz to him. Red says Kate did not know about Dom (but she may have known about Oleander). Katarina kept many secrets from her.

For Sam, she was "Kat", obviously someone who trusted him

SAM TO KATE: I'm sorry you had to drive all this way. But I'm in no position to help here. - I told Kat -
SAM TO KATE: Did Kat happen to mention that I'm a grifter?
SAM TO KATE: I know Katarina is not coming back. She called me.

https://preview.redd.it/vkd8ehl5vj451.png?width=310&format=png&auto=webp&s=69a2f8c2e6ed3b183ece5b4f8c896d34fd78faf7
For Sam, Katarina was "Kat" or "Katarina" and she reached out to him to care for Liz, but I doubt he figured it was a permanent thing. In Rassvet he seems anxious Katarina comes back to take her kid:
SAM: Where are you? What's going on? Do you know what they're saying about Reddington?
KATARINA: Sam, I need to talk to her.
SAM: Talk to her! You can come and get her.
Sam is the second person where Red and Katarina intersect. For those who do not believe Red is RR, Sam seemed to have been trusted by all three then. What is intriguing to me is this conversation Red and Sam have in his deathbed:
Oh, my God. I've never been more scared of a woman in my life. She was thrilling in bed. What a pair of legs. I think she played field hockey in college.
Could that woman be Katarina?
It would be difficult to ascertain if both Red and Katarina knew Sam at about the same time, because we do not have a sense when Katarina met him. But we know Red told Liz
I've been friends with Sam for all of yours and most of my life.
I loved Sam, Lizzy. Taking his life was of all the difficult things that I've done that may may be the most.
I have a feeling that Sam is a longtime friend of Red, and met Katarina later, but I have nothing to back it other than the ease at which they are laughing about things, when Sam is dying, contrasting with Sam's way of talking to Katarina, seemingly indignant about what is being said about Reddington, telling her to come back for Liz.

For Dembe

It is clear Dembe has met Liz's mother, he tells Liz so:
He's right. You remind me of her, too.
This is when Liz betrays Red, and tries to hide it. Dembe calls Katarina simply "Katarina":
Raymond I'm not sure Elizabeth will ever be ready to learn about what you did to Katarina.
It is Dembe who comes back in Season 6 telling Red that the Townsend Directive has been reactivated:
The Townsend Directive. Our friend in Miami says it's in play.... He says it's very important.

For Dom, Katarina was his daughter.

Dom always refers to her as "Katarina" or "my daughter".
TO LIZ: Yes, I knew Katarina quite well
TO LIZ: Last time I saw my daughter was in this rearview mirror nearly 30 years ago. If my Katarina was still here, she would have let me know
TO FRANKIE: I never betrayed Katarina . She betrayed me.
EXCEPT when he is talking about the charade of blowing up Fakerina in Belgrade:
And there are witnesses. It's a mess! The world was supposed to see Katarina Rostova die, and instead all we've done is confirm that she's very much alive.
It is the only concession to a charade he makes. He also seems to completely ignore Constantin Rostov, and blames Red for the charade that resulted in his losing his daughter. Yet he says that Katarina betrayed him by fanning the flames of an insurrection, the cabal's plan.
https://preview.redd.it/ny0ysztewj451.png?width=360&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c49cde00d46da52627bad00489a6aaa6a463e74
Dom uses the simple Katarina when talking to Liz:
Ah, Katarina and I, we worked in the same building for a time.
I never heard from Katarina after she left for America.
For Katarina, it wasn't so easy.
A few months after I made it to America, Katarina met me here on that sidewalk.... If my Katarina was still here, she would have let me know.
as he does to Frankie:
My daughter's. Katarina....
I never betrayed Katarina. She betrayed me.
Dom however, has a relationship with both Katarina and Fakerina. She says he asked her to help in keeping his daughter safe:
Dom promised me no one would get hurt. Said he loved his child and just wanted her to be safe.
and he betrayed her. But I find curious that he sends Ilya to ask Fakerina to deliver documents to Dom, when they set her up in Belgrade.

For Ilya, Katarina was a friend.

When we get to Ilya, we have a complex situation. Ilya is who Katarina reach out to in her hour of need, but he also has a relationship to Fakerina. He does not seem to have any real loyalty to Fakerina.
Katarina is "Katarina". He certainly knows Dom, but does not seem to like him too much, but when asked, he betrayed Fakerina. Ilya is a childhood friend of Red, and if that part of Rassvet is true, he is also a childhood friend of Katarina (which does not mean Red and Katarina knew one another as children, but does not preclude it either.)
Katarina. I thought you were dead.
It was myself, Katarina, Dr. Koehler.
https://preview.redd.it/3vp36pq2wj451.png?width=360&format=png&auto=webp&s=8d6748fac8869202fdd31ea9bc6ac09c6a9f3d2e
Katarina calls him, not her mother, or father, according to Rassvet. But when we met him, he does not seem to be that affected by believing Katarina and someone else (Raymond? Masha?) were dead:
YOUG ILYA TO KATARINA: The world thinks you're dead.
ILYA TO SKOVIC: I thought they were dead.
A contrast to Red's suicide speech in Cape May. Red was despondent, Ilya was just working.
It is interesting to note that not once has Ilya referred to Fakerina by name, to her, or to Red:
ILYA ABOUT FAKERINA: Our friend in Paris made a series of payments to him under the alias of Constance Drucker.
ILYA ABOUT FAKERINA: I underestimated her
But unlike Dom, he cries as he remembers the Belgrade incident. His distress seems sincere. Yet he sacrificed Fakerina to comply with Dom's plan to save "his own". What is the relationship to Dom and to Katarina, that Ilya is compelled to do so, even as it causes him pain.
And like Dom, there is one time he uses the full name, and it has a strong whiff of charade:
He leaked that his daughter, that you, were staying at the inn and that you carried sensitive intel. This might be the last chance to catch the infamous Russian traitor Katarina Rostova.

For Red

When it comes to Red, that's when things get much iffier, a step up from even the CIA talking about her.
https://preview.redd.it/ukbwk9hnvj451.png?width=360&format=png&auto=webp&s=c378f91946c5b1277be886925ff57305e3916aea
When Red talks to strangers about "Katarina Rostova" he has no issues. She was a myth, a figment, an illusion.
I may not have told you what you want, but I told you all you need. You'll never find Rostova... She's a figment of the collective imagination... Some people in this world are soul mates. Katarina Rostova and I shared one. Betraying her would be like betraying myself.
He almost always uses always the entire name, as he did during most of the trial:
You know what else is possible? That I was framed by Katarina Rostova
Have you ever heard of Katarina Rostova? ... She was a KGB officer. Would it surprise you to learn that she and I had quite a complicated history? Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll. Did I say "sex"? Sex.
But not always:
How about that Katarina hid the fact that she was a KGB agent, stole the coordinates for the submarine U.S.S. Gideon, and passed them on to her superiors?
To the people in his inner circle, Dom, Dembe and Ilya, he talks about her as "Katarina" which is normal:
RED TO DEMBE: Not when she mentioned Katarina. Now Elizabeth will stop at nothing.
RED TO DOM: You forgave Katarina..... The last time you saw Katarina was in the rearview mirror.
RED TO DOM: I was just imagining young Katarina covered in glitter.
RED TO ILYA: They're actively looking for Katarina.
As with Kate:
We shared the affection of Katarina.... Katarina was a traitor to two countries, both global superpowers. God willing, Katarina's daughter will live a private life of quiet courage.
But when it comes to Liz, he uses two ways to refer to her, one normal ("your mother")
Your mother was a Russian spy, and now they've made it look like you are, too.
When your mother was pregnant with you, it was terribly inconvenient. The Cold War was ending. Her country was falling apart.
Your mother, despite what he'd done, she wanted him back.
Lizzy, your mother is dead.
Just because he was your mother's husband doesn't make him your father.
Your mother loved that photograph. Represented everything she wanted but couldn't have. Not after she betrayed the KGB.
Your mother can't hurt you.
Your mother was not as bad as I understand why you might think she was, but she wasn't.
You remind me so much of your mother. I don't remember if I've ever told you that before, have I?

and another highly contrived ("Katarina Rostova").
I knew her as Katarina Rostova. One of her many names. She was a KGB agent.
There was a time in my life when I was quite sure I knew exactly what happened to Katarina Rostova.
Katarina Rostova was the cleverest, most resourceful woman I have ever known.
Katarina Rostova was a name that had been lost to history.
Katarina Rostova committed suicide in 1990.
Even saying the name Katarina Rostova has consequences, and now you see. Now you see what that name will make others do.
He has never referred to Katarina, when talking to Liz as just "Katarina", always as "your mother" or "Katarina Rostova."
And that spells that when it comes to Liz's maternal situation there is something hidden. Put it together with the charade and the coyness of the CIA around her, and is clear. The situation is not as simple as Liz's biological mother is Dom's daughter.

FAKERINA

The most intriguing thing Red has said about her is saying she is a ghost with no name:
RED TO THE TASK FORCE: She doesn't have a name. She's a ghost. Think of a name, any name, and that could be it.
And that seem to go with saying that he knew Liz's mother as "Katarina Rostova", one of her many names.
Everyone is more guarded around her. She is "our friend in Paris," "her", or "that woman":
DOM: Tell me what she said. Not your interpretation, her exact words.
RED: I'm not interpreting anything. She's coming for you, and she made it very clear she's closing in.... She knows you tried to kill her, Dom. She wants answers, but she also wants revenge. You set her up, betrayed her
It is interesting to note that not once has Ilya referred to Fakerina by name, to her, or to Red:
ILYA ABOUT FAKERINA: Our friend in Paris made a series of payments to him under the alias of Constance Drucker.
ILYA ABOUT FAKERINA: I underestimated her.
What is very interesting is what happens with Motya Morozov, who obviously knows Fakerina is not the right "Katarina" to bring:
RED: It's about the Townsend Directive. I understand it's been reactivated that you and everyone else who bought in are actively hunting for her.
...
MOTYA: Forget about The Directive. Forget about Katarina Rostova*. I'm not gonna help you find her. I'm gonna hunt her down, and I'm gonna kill her myself.*
and
RED: I guess we know who's third. I instructed you to contact me the instant you had a location on Rostova*.* ... I assume you found the lead on Katarina but, instead of calling me, attempted to bring her in yourself, hoping to relive your glory days and sell her to the highest bidder to keep you rolling in potato vodka and herring for the rest of your life. You're not the first one to underestimate that woman, which is why it was imperative that you call me.
MOTYA: There is silver lining.
RED: I can't imagine.
MOTYA: This one was with Rostova. Sold her information, but he wouldn't tell me what.
so for Motya, "Katarina Rostova" is who he is hunting, and "Rostova" is Fakerina who has information Motya wants to get to "Katarina". Red, like Motya, underestimated Fakerina. For Red "Katarina" is Dom's daughter. Even though he called Fakerina "Katarina" in Paris and when he talks to Patrick Masuda. But she was using the name Constance Drucker.
RED TO PATRICK MASUDA: What I got to do is understand why Katarina Rostova would pay to cure you of a fatal blood disease.
It comes to a boil when Liz point blank asks Red:
LIZ: Can I ask you a question? ... Was the woman from Paris my mother?
RED: A kindly woman comes into your life and takes an interest in you and your child. It's only natural for you to make that wish.
LIZ: Was it her?
RED: I know you don't want it to be true, Elizabeth, but your mother is gone.
What seems to me is that Red does not answer. Not really. Liz is asking a simple, direct question: "Was the woman from Paris my mother?.. Was it her?" The normal simple and direct answer is yes, or no. But that is not what Red answers: "your mother is gone." which is neither here, nor there. He is not denying that this woman is her mother, he is telling her that her mother is gone, and that would be simple for a simple, binary option. For most, the woman who gives birth to a child and raises the child is the mother, and the answer is binary. But if someone has more than one mother, it is not a binary question. One mother may be gone, and the other may have been one that was there. He is clearer the next time he addresses the issue:
RED: ...your desire for the woman in Paris to be your mother blinded you to the fact that she wasn't.
LIZ: It wasn't just my desire.
RED: So she told you she was Katarina?
LIZ: She did. And it's difficult for me to believe she wasn't.
RED: I was convinced my casket was authentic. It was nearly impossible for me to believe it wasn't. But it was a fake. And she was, too.
and we should ALWAYS remember the initial subterfuge when it comes to who Liz's mother started the very first time her name is mentioned.
RED: Mmmh I knew her as Katarina Rostova. One of her many names. She was a KGB agent.
this HAS to mean something, because Red knows Katarina's name, her real last name, because he knows who Dom is, he knows her cover husband, the one nobody talked about, as if he did not exist. But Red does not seem to know Fakerina's real name.
And how does Fakerina refers to Dom's daughter?
On the day you learned Katarina Rostova was still alive.
At least Fakerina believes that Ilya knows Katarina, Dom's daughter, as "Katarina Rostova." Fakerina believes Ilya's real name is Ilya Koslov, and she seems to believe Red is Raymond Reddington.
Edited to correct typo
submitted by TessaBissolli to TheBlackList [link] [comments]

Reverse Engineering Private iOS Frameworks in IDA Pro: A guide and troubleshooting reference that Hex-Rays didn't provide.

Note: * All discussion of resources that can be obtained from InternalUI builds should be regarded as hypothetical and purely educational. Obtaining these builds without the express permission of Apple is illegal, and doing so is discouraged. All information provided here is purely educational. * This guide was written for IDA 7.5. It should work on 7.3 and above. If you're using a cracked version, Scroll down to the "Pre 7.3" section. The rest doesn't apply to you at all.

Crucial Performance Tips

General tips regarding IDA usage for iOS RE: * If you are not patient, do not use IDA on the dyld_shared_cache. You will lose your mind. * Modern versions of IDA come with a dark mode included. Google "IDASkins" if you are on an older version and enable a dark mode. Your eyes will thank you if you work at night.
A majority of the information in this article details the process of reverse engineering using the dyld_shared_cache, as doing such is poorly documented in official documents.

Terms used

Analyzing the dyld_shared_cache in IDA Pro 7.3 or later.

IDA 7.3 and later includes a powerful, improved shared cache toolkit. It eliminates the need for simulator binaries, and makes analysis possible when you cant get access to simulator binaries (InternalUI builds, no macOS, no x64 decompiler, etc.)
The documentation is not great, and as such, I've made an attempt at documenting my own experience with the software.
Everything described here was performed on a licensed copy of IDA Pro 7.5. Older, especially unlicensed versions, may not be able to handle all of these features.

Analyzing a specific framework from the dyld_shared_cache.

Do not "Load module and dependencies" option on "high level" frameworks. In iOS 13, with SpringBoardHome this results in loading 720 modules. This takes upwards of 2 to 3 days on an 8-core 4GHz 32GB-of-ram PC. In newer versions, due to consolidation, that number is down to ~400. You'll still be unable to use your PC for a few days at best. I have loaded an entire shared cache a total of 3 times. I could write a separate article on the unfixable issues that happen. It's not worth your time, I promise. Utilize the tools described below.
IDA 7.3 introduced powerful new tools for dealing with the cache. You can now load a single module and selectively load only segments you need from other locations in the shared cache. It can be a pain, but the alternative is much, much worse.

Load the framework you're interested in

  1. Select the "Load single module" option. Ensure you do not select "with dependencies".
  2. Wait for the module you selected to load. It shouldn't take long.
For this example we'll be using FrontBoard.framework.
Loading is the easy part. Now we get to go through the process of correcting IDA's failures, as certain functions tend to fall apart in the dyld_shared_cache subsystem.

Troubleshooting missing data (red addresses, garbage variable names, etc)

The first thing you'll notice is that the assembly or pseudocode generated is absolute gibberish. If regular assembly is gibberish to you, this is advanced gibberish.
Swap to the IDA view for this. You may not be able to read assembly, but the pseudocode view doesn't properly handle the new features.

Red addresses

Swap to the "IDA View", as it doesn't work properly in the pseudocode view, and right-click a red address. We are going to assume that the one you clicked was a reference to libobjc.dylib, although it could be any library or framework in the cache.
You'll see an option to load "libobjc.A:__OBJC_RO" or something similar, or an option to load the entirety of "libobjc.A". If you don't need to reverse the contents of "libobjc.A" (you don't), you should simply load only the segment IDA suggests. This allows you to avoid absolutely destroying your RAM and CPU when working in the cache, while also allowing you to make sense of the code within it.

The address is still red :p

IDA likely failed to recognize any information in the segment. This can be caused by a damaged database, if IDA crashed while processing data.
Click the address and you'll be taken to the memory location, and if that assumption is correct and you can see vertical strings of letters:
Your address is probably still red. If so, you've damaged your database. I'd advise deleting the database and starting from scratch. This is the fastest option.

offxxxxxxxxx (random hex address prefixed by "off") in your assembly

What causes this?
These represent "refs". You're most likely looking at a class ref that failed to load.
Fix
  1. In the IDA View, double-click the off_x variable to be taken to the classrefs segment
  2. Right-click the red memory address and load the suggested module segment.
A name will appear. Good. Go back to your function.
  1. Edit -> Other -> Objective C -> Reload Objective C Info
If it changes from off_x to selRef, classRef, or something similar, you can move on.
If it does not change, see below
What causes this?
IDA improperly guessed the type of a struct it loaded due to a missing segment.
Fix
  1. Double click the pink text if you haven't yet to be taken to the class definition in __objc_data
  2. Click the _OBJC_CLASS... item to select that line
  3. Open Edit -> Struct Var
  4. Select objc_class and hit OK
  5. A red memory address will appear. Load that segment.
  6. Make your way back to your function that you're disassembling.
  7. Edit -> Other -> Objective C -> Reload Objective C Info
  8. Cry, because it's finally fixed.
Repeat this for any variables you feel are worth spending the time correcting.

Other issues

I'm likely forgetting some. I loaded a shared cache fresh and walked myself through fixing issues for the sake of this guide. I'll continue to add solutions as I encounter them.
Interesting Note: Sometimes, you'll see an address and click to load it in. "What on earth is 'GeoServices' doing in this function?" You might think. Upon loading, you'll see it was something like j__objc_retainAutoreleasedReturnValue_0. This is a byproduct of the shared_cache's optimizations, and as a result, you'll end up with several duplicate functions like this. A script to fix these needs to be written, eventually.
Typically loaded frameworks: libobjc Foundation CoreFoundation GeoServices ("trampoline")
I'm very interested in the concept of creating a "template database" that has data segments for these and others pre-loaded. If someone tries that, do update here with how that's done best.

Working with pseudocode from the dyld_shared_cache

Something you'll likely become familiar with is the statement (self + 10), where 10 is any 2 digit number. In objc source, you would see this as an ivar. If you've loaded in the relevant class information, you can help IDA display these ivars properly in the pseudocode view like so:
  • Right-click the a1 or self variable on line one
  • Click Y or "Set ivar type"
  • Change the class of self/a1 to the class shown next to it.
  • Change a1 to self if need be
Ivars should now be properly generated and shown in pseudocode.

InternalUI .development cache

While someone more experienced could speak to the exact purpose of this build of the cache, given that a dump was leaked to the general public I see no need not to discuss this.
The .development cache (which cannot be loaded in cracked IDA versions) appears to be a build of the shared cache that properly holds symbols for the libobjc, libsystem, and other libraries, instead of raw addresses.
If you're using Hopper or IDA 7.5, give the .development cache a shot.
Do note, I've had some issues with certain functions in it. I'm excited to see more information or research on the functionality of this object.

Other fun easter eggs in dumps

I'll leave these for you to find, but as a hint, look in folders that normally have no binaries and you might find a nice treat.
(not to mention the kexts, who needs kernelcaches anyways)

Pre-7.3 dyld_shared_cache analysis

I do not intend to pick a fight with illegitimate IDA users. The software is insanely expensive, I cannot fault anyone in that regard. If you are using an illegitimate copy, don't tell me, I don't want to know. Best of luck.
It's from a year of experience with it that I'm telling you: * Illegitimate versions of IDA cannot properly handle arm64e code very well. * Illegitimate versions of IDA cannot properly handle .development versions of shared caches available in InternalUI dumps whatsoever. It's completely incapable, and fails to process modules it loads. * Users of illegitimate versions of IDA should primarily stick to Simulator runtime binaries as detailed below. * Consider Hopper. It is capable of a few of IDA >7.3's features (arm64e, .development caches) and carries a much smaller price tag * Get comfortable with assembly if you intend to use Hopper. The pseudocode it generates is among the "least desirable" in the industry, and the assembly is easier to read. * Additionally, consider Ghidra. I'm not familiar with it, but others are, and can help you work with it. * Ghidra pseudocode I have heard is on par with IDA 7.0's pseudocode.
I've decided to leave the below sections in this guide for educational purposes, but using a cracked IDA here is more than likely a waste of your time compared to the myriad of options available. Additionally, I obviously cannot condone the usage of such.

If you are dead-set on using the arm64 shared cache:

Before you start analyzing the entire thing, I've already done that! I've publicly shared the fully processed cache here: https://developer.openpack.io/dyld_shared_cache_arm64.i64. Do not let my sacrifice of 4 days be in vain. Use this, don't waste your time.
It includes SpringBoardHome and 740 other frameworks SpringBoardHome depends on. It's a 13 GB file. Have fun.
This is not worth it, you have been warned. Please consider using simulator binaries instead.
Trying to search for a function name will crash IDA entirely. Close the Functions view and open the "Program Segmentation" window. Browse frameworks like this, and carefully scroll through to find the function you want.
Although you can work around the Function name search crash by using a full filter instead of the quick filter, this will cause decompilation to take several minutes while the filter is active. Additionally applying and removing the filter will take several minutes (but typically doesn't crash).

Simulator Binaries: the recommended solution on older IDA versions

The iOS simulator runtime is for you. x64 binaries that don't have the "Red Address" issue are available.
Find them here: /Library/DevelopeCoreSimulatoProfiles/Runtimes/iOS\ 12.4.simruntime/Contents/Resources/RuntimeRoot/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks
You may need to change the name of the folder for the simulator versions you have downloaded and installed.

dsc_fix.py Plugin

This plugin no longer functions, as the IDA SDK no longer provides the needed interfaces. Additionally, it needs to be updated for python3. Probably works on old IDA versions, do let me know.
submitted by _kritanta to jailbreakdevelopers [link] [comments]

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