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About Balcerzak

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  • Birthday 04/23/1983

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    Eden Prairie

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    Blazing Sword

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  1. No explanation, just a halfhearted apology, and Misea walked away from a somewhat stupefied Mina (and a probably less-so but maybe still kind of surprised Seph). Like a magnet, she was drawn straight to her charge, nothing more nothing less. "Bwuh," the teacher muttered a small nonsense phrase, then managed some real words to the boy she'd helped hold off the eastern front with. "Can you believe that? C'mon, let's back to the fire and find out what exactly is what." Not even bothering to brush herself off this time, Wilhelmina gave a slight wave, as she turned and made her way back to the rest of the group. As she arrived, it seemed an impromptu question and answer session had already broken out, and she listened as two of the others rattled off their thoughts on what had just transpired. It was just the contractors and their escorts right now, Misea's friend had disappeared at some point during the scuffle it seemed. Mina briefly wondered if she be worried about that, but nobody else seemed to be. Part of her wanted to ask so many questions, but another more cautious side of the schoolteacher was worried she might give away just how green she was in this whole, adventuring business if she wasn't very judicious about the inquiries she chose to pursue. ...Then again, she supposed there was just the one burning one that mattered. Everything else was all gravy. "Almira..." this was no time for pleasantries, fully formal was the way to go. "You said it was likely Lucy was taken by a vampire. I have to ask now if that was really just a 'guess', or do you actually know that. I hate to imagine this, but... it wasn't you that took her, was it? How many lies did you feed me, to accompany your nuggets of truth?"
  2. The loud report of Seph's gunshot caused Wilhelmina to flinch. Shutting her eyes and saying a quick prayer in her mind, she managed to regain focus, and successfully channeled enough energy to summon forth a ray of white light that flared up and arced to the target. There was a light hiss, like that of steam rising from wet garment laid out to dry by a fire, and the vampire turned toward her instead of the boy, its attention drawn quite successfully, whether that was her intention or not. Suddenly, this seemed less and less like a good idea. Mina wasn't sure she'd actually done much more than make it mad, as at least visibly it seemed in as good of health as ever. Part of her badly wanted to ask if this was normal, well 'normal', but there was no time. Frantically backpedaling as it lunged at her, the teacher caught one heel on her other ankle, and tumbling backwards landed rather forcefully on her bottom. That was hardly the only shock, however. Perhaps more frightening was realizing there was a vampire she hadn't seen, one that had come barreling up from the south, apparently also intent on making a snack of her. The two undead collided with each other, and latching on hard to this unexpected opportunity, Wilhelmina conjured up another blast of white magic, catching both of them in its area of effect. Another gunshot, this time with an accompanying shriek, and a familiar voice saying 'Stand ready', as a shadow fell over Mina, with the group's contractor taking position beside her, where she deftly scored a severe blow on one of their two foes--having managed to untangle, for what little good it did them. Wonderful advice. Particularly the operative word, 'stand'. The young schoolteacher gladly took it to heart. "Up we go," she muttered lightly, as she pushed herself to her feet, somewhat awkwardly with one hand fiercely gripped on her tome, still open and ready for use. "And down you go!" she pointed and loosed another burst. It wasn't so much overconfidence, as it was desperately hoping that by speaking the words they'd be given power, come true.
  3. "So... stick with you then, you know what you're doing. Got it!" Things were a little ablur still, but there weren't any screams from people being wounded, so things had to be going at least a little alright. Mina pulled out her Lightning Tome, and rapidly flipped pages as she followed after the lanky youth, stopping about when he did, leaving her slightly behind and to the side of his position. Ah, yes, here it was. Starting the invocation, Wilhelmina began channeling magic, aiming it towards the same target. 15-10, light up the night
  4. Wilhelmina hadn't been wrong, the lad confirmed. Sigh. Well, not much doing about it. It seems like it had been just the other day she'd been joking with Lucy about how society was changing, how more frequently than in days past, women and men would see each other asleep, before marriage no less. Now it seems likely she would be joining those numbers. Ha! Who would have expected? Still, if anybody tried anything, at least in this group the women outnumbered the men, so there was that, at least. "I see," she answered, as Seph trailed off, missing entirely the fact that he seemed to stiffen and go on alert. "Suppose I'd better tend to the horses at least then, everybody else having run off to one thing or another." Now, Mina didn't really know much at all about handling horses. Just enough common sense that leaving them hitched up to a wagon all night without letting them free to stretch, at least a little, wasn't proper. Perhaps she'd a few of the basic ideas right, rub them down, maybe give them a brushing, things like that. But she really just wasn't quite prepared when, immediately upon getting one out of the harness--coincident from a shout coming from nearby, and perhaps because of it--the animal spooked, kicked and bolted. "Oh bother!" That wasn't how things were supposed to have gone down. At least Wilhelmina had been swift enough on her feet to avoid taking the kick, but as she moved to chase after the horse, as it exited the circle of firelight, she nearly bumped chest to chest with an armed intruder. Not good, not good. She was only vaguely aware of the shouting going on behind her, though a few words carried and stood out clearly. 'I'm not going back,' and 'Please help,' both of which indicated the small group was already going to have to earn their pay. ...Right then. Well it was a good thing Mina had been so attached to her new gifts. She'd made a bit of loop in the sash about her waist that she'd stuck the small staff through, and the tome was just tucked in nicely on the other side, no loop needed. So at least she wasn't going into things empty handed. ...But caution indicated she better start backing up toward the fire and the others. Especially as she caught a closer glimpse of the foe she'd nearly plowed into. There was something unmistakable, clearly sticking out in the pleased grin that arrested her attention. Fangs. "We've got trouble!" Incredibly redundant, no doubt, but she felt the need to shout anyway.
  5. The comment about 'sleeping under the trees' hadn't initially registered to Wilhelmina as meaning quite the same thing the speaker may have meant it to. At first, she'd merely assumed it to have meant sleeping on the road, not at an inn, without a roof over their head. But as one by one people filed out of the carriage, none of whom were carrying tents or other such shelter, a cruel reality slowly began to dawn on her. Eager to fight it off, and hope against hope something had been overlooked, Mina began to purposefully and urgently, though not frantically, search the various nooks and crannies of the wagon. Aside from the various weapons, tomes, and assorted other gear that had previously been shown, there was very little else of note that turned up. The metal case in the back, and while curious, it was certainly not of large enough size to contain the quantity of canvas or ropes she was looking for. In fact, the teacher's first assumption was that the chest simply contained more money, the other half of the funds promised them, presumably locked and secure. This notion wasn't dispelled until she had pushed it aside, and the lack of any metallic jingle coming from within, as well as its somewhat surprising lightness, very much gave it away that the contents had to be something else. Here was a pretty puzzle. Before Wilhelmina realized what she was doing she had knelt down close to it, tucking her legs up beneath her and a little off to the side as she did so, biting her lip lightly as she leaned in close for a better look. Would it be a warded lock, pin tumbler? Maybe combination? As she realized what she was thinking, Mina had to chide herself and break it off immediately. These people had been beyond generous, and one couldn't simply go breaking into others' belongings because it might be a fun challenge to see if they could, and because they were curious what lay beyond the lock. A little ashamed of herself, she slid it back into its original place and pushed herself back to standing, brushing dust from the front of her clothing before finally following the others to the rear of the cart and disembarking. "No tents, nor tarps, nor shelter of any kind," she grumbled a little to herself, turning to Seph and asking, "Is that typical when traveling this time of year?" Presumably he was more well versed in these matters.
  6. General US Politics

    Are these troubles consistent and persistent? I remember seeing a similar issue once, but I thought it resolved itself on its own. If you could better document what's happening, it might help with a diagnosis more than just an anecdote.
  7. How is using only 3 units in Lyn's Story "optimal"?

    Good luck on the attempt, it's a fun run to do, and while I think the difficulty may be overhyped, it's possible that's only true if you overprepare.
  8. General US Politics

    I mean, it's also important to remember that for the first 100 years, while the immigration policy was as open as you say it was, the country was also abusing relations with native americans to expand and take their land. By the timeline you presented, it looks as if the time immigrant restrictions started coming in hard was also around the time the Pacific had been hit and there was no more "free" expansion to be had. Unlimited immigrant entry doesn't come without cost. Given the choice to go back in time and change things, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable advocating free entrance for all if it meant endorsing exploitation of the native population.
  9. The brief stroll to the waiting carriage gave Wilhelmina a little time to work on recollecting herself, but only a little. The whole... extravagance of it all was just impressed upon her anew as an assortment of martial weapons spilled out of a sack the expedition leader had opened, essentially telling the others to 'dig in'. Free equipment, on top of a generous salary? It was with a faint sense of unworthiness that Mina reached out to grab the staff offered her, feeling all the more emotional about it as unlike the others she was somewhat singled out. Words were... hard to come, for a moment. She opened her mouth, then closed it, not quite trusting her voice not to crack, instead choosing to smile brightly, nod deeply, and wipe at the corner of her eye with her free hand. A moment or two later, Wilhelmina felt more composed, and finally managed, "Oh yes, this should be very much more than adequate." She'd also heard mention of tomes as well, she would have to see about picking up a copy after the rest of everyone else finished getting equipped and cleared out of the area. No need to get caught up in a traffic jam, after all. Making her way around to the front of the wagon, she caught sight of the young one taking a drink from the cutest little juicebox. One of very much higher class than the those she sometimes served her students... but that did give her an idea. Some small way to repay these folks' limitless generosity. "Oh, um, I hope it is not too much of a delay, but as I had not initially been aware of your proposal, there are a few minor items I should get in order back home before I depart. Lock everything up, and all that you know? Tell the neighbors I'll be away, so they don't start a search party for me as well. Those kinds of things? I promise I'll be right back, and I'll leave the rod and money here; I'm not trying to cheat you." Mina turned back to find Misea, and gently press the staff back into the older traveler's hand. Then she gathered up her skirts and hurried off down the road to her abode. The minor orders of business were all handled briskly, and few were notable. However, while she was there, she did pick up a few things, for Miss Mira's sake. One cherry-flavored juicebox, hopefully not too plebeian for her tastes, and several learners. The road would be long, and while the girl seemed at least decently studied, it wouldn't do to leave a gap in her education. Perhaps she had a good grasp of medicine, or history, but who was to say where she stood with mathematics, or poetry? Like it or not, there would be learning this trip, Wilhelmina swore that to herself as she finished packing then made her way back to the waiting entourage. Hopefully they were not too put out by her absence.
  10. How is using only 3 units in Lyn's Story "optimal"?

    I thought I remembered one of the hackers actually found pointers to the correct location for what HHM reqs should have been, but maybe that was just a fever dream.
  11. What is "blitzkrieg"?

    Presumably 500 or less, assuming 以下 (which given Japanese developers doesn't seem unreasonable).
  12. How is using only 3 units in Lyn's Story "optimal"?

    I mean, ferrying people across trigger points in one of the most difficult maps in fe6 (chapter 21) was definitely I thing I have used him for in the past. Fliers do it better, sure, but you can deploy a ton of people there.
  13. How is using only 3 units in Lyn's Story "optimal"?

    I blame writing my response before having any coffee this morning then. And yeah, Marcus is really OP, only maybe Finn really comes to mind for someone who puts in the same amount of work in their respective subseries. I would weigh in more on the rest of the matter, but it feels mostly like the dead horse has been pretty well beaten. I mean, I am an occasional archer apologist (Dorothy has a bit of a soft spot for me for putting in work in a draft, for example) but, honestly, I don't think there's that good of a case to be made here unless the pace the player is utilizing is particularly deliberate, and all ranged units attack before all melee ones to minimize all counters entirely. Which is an odd definition of optimal, but if "least damage taken" is your criteria of choice, I guess. shrug?
  14. How is using only 3 units in Lyn's Story "optimal"?

    I would hesitate to call Victory or Death midgame.
  15. Super Robot Wars ∀: Deep Space IC Thread - Part 3: Crisis Point

    Vera's sister's protests had wound down, thankfully it didn't seem like she'd have to be subdued or anything, that would've been awkward, and probably would have led to calling the deal off altogether. Differing opinions aside, Thorvald was satisfied with this conclusion. Standing back up from the crouched position, he crossed his arms across his chest and nodded. "Very well." Elaine had had a curious question for Vera, who was in the middle of dancing around the answer when Jessica and Hannah showed up. Their presence would have been much more welcome much earlier, when the situation was more tense, balancing on a razor's edge. But to arrive now, when things had seemingly been settled as amicably as could be expected with an Apotheosis agent? Hopefully nothing would be disrupted back into chaos. When the enemy lieutenant asked him for his decision, a moment of confusion, then he answered, hopefully filling in his befuddled captain as well. "Ah, I'm sorry, I thought the agreement had already been made clear." Stepping forward, next to the teal-haired gamer, he turned around and put a hand on her shoulder. "Captain, we have a new prisoner. Apparently even Apotheosis acknowledges the Riese as the safest place on earth." "That said, Vera, I do have one final thing to say," he looked back at her. Hopefully it would be a fair exchange. "At least let the boy talk to his father... before we end up rescuing him. A comms call couldn't be that out of the question, could it?"