The Libertarian – October 2021

Cover by Humanbot_Wafer
1Team Leader IntroductionIntroductionchiari.cord
2Thinking About YouCreativeJ-Naut
3The Art of Reaching OutInterviewclaryboy2109
4Where Fiction Meets RealityInformativeM1k3yK
5Survive The NightCreativehumania
6Spooky Scary SkeletonsInterview,-Spell
7Mom Pick Me Up I’m ScaredInterviewKerfuffle
8Meet the MastermindsInterviewhumania
9A New PerspectiveSpecial/Poembayeryaz
10That Escalated QuicklyCreativeKerfuffle
11Who Am I?Creativebayeryaz
12DIY: Halloween Costumes!Do It Yourselfbayeryaz
13Impostor SyndromeInfromativeMaxite
14Hello?Diary EntryAneha
15The Adventures of a Curious Diplomat – Part 2Community Submissionwarzo00

Team Leader Introduction

By chiari.cord

Cover by StrongTiger

Welcome to October’s Libertarian! This month, you might think we’re doing your typical Halloween edition, but we decided to give it a twist and look into another form of fear and horror. Although we still have some good old Halloween-themed articles, our focus this month was on the concept of breaking the fourth wall! This is a really interesting, yet creepy, thing to talk about, and we hope you find it as chilling as we do.

I am a person who gets scared really easily. Anything can automatically alarm me, and the theme we’re talking about this month has left me harrowed more than once. Although I love it when stories break the fourth wall and bring the audience into their world, the sudden realization of me knowing that the characters are either in touch with the real world or are somehow addressing me makes me feel really out of place. But I love it even more! I feel like our worlds are mixed, and that there’s a slight chance that whatever is happening in the story might pass on to my daily life (you can take this as something positive or not depending on the story, I mean I certainly wouldn’t want to connect with those in horror movies!).

This month has been my first time ever as Team Leader of the Libertarian. It was something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. But, this wouldn’t be possible without everyone who participated in the making of articles and graphics, and even without those who participated in our drawing contest this month (scroll down to see the results!), so a huge shoutout to everyone who participated in any area this month. I hope all of you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter, and we can’t wait to see you participate in the next one! Remember, we’re always watching… 👀

OCS Class 53 Congratulations

By Eliza4Forever

Thinking About You

By J-Naut

Cover by cagliore

It hurts. It hurts real bad. My head… oh my head! Ah! Curse you. Curse you for doing this to me! My mind has not gotten a moment of respite from thinking about that god forsaken day I set my eyes and intent upon you. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, you ruined everything. 

I was hungry, thirsty, and desperate for another piece of meat to bite on. You came just at the right time. So innocent, so fragile and oh so sweet looking. My heart started racing just at the thought of cooking up that plump fatty meat. You were out with your friends. A Friday bar night for the young colleagues at the uppity corporate job. I just couldn’t let you go. You went outside for a drag, smoking away the stress of a demanding job perhaps; a perfect opportunity for me. What happened next? Oh… think, think, think. Ah! I saw a stray cat, good bait. You young ones are so easy to entice. I scared it and it screeched, attracting your attention to the alley. I was waiting for you behind the dumpster but I had to let you get farther away from the crowd first. 

I ran away and you saw my shadow. God blessed me with an overly curious one like you, or maybe that was not a blessing at all in hindsight. You kept tracking me just like I wanted. Down the narrow, puddled lanes of a metropolitan city. Steam escaping into the air from the exhaust vents of the buildings. The moment was here for me to make my move. I ducked into a gap between two walls and let you pass me by. Just as you went three paces ahead I jumped out and pounced. I expected you to have decent reflexes and you did, I got scratched, punched and you even managed to land a couple good kicks but it wasn’t too hard to overpower a prey like you. I prioritized covering your mouth since I couldn’t allow you to ruin our meeting with some unwanted company but that’s when things went sour. You had some sharp canines on you, enough to even make me wince and yelp. I let my grip loose in shock which was just enough for you to push me away. 

I chased you like a rabid dog after a toddler. I hate bruised meat but the ground was slippery and you slowed down momentarily to look back on me. We fell and tumbled and… oh. Oh no it’s fading. Curses, curses, curses. What happened next? Oh where am I? What happened… I think it’s coming back…

Event Collage

By EmilioLevesque

The Art of Reaching Out

By claryboy2109

Cover by melisi142

Have you ever wondered what the Reach Out Program in USDF is? 
I got together with a member of JSD, who will explain more about it.

What is the Reach Out Program?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: The Reach Out Program is an avenue from all personnel to be able to open up their feelings or thoughts of resigning in USDF. As you may know, this is run by JSD and OSD and we personally review your submissions and do our absolute best to help you out. This is also a great way to bridge the gap between senior command and regular USDF personnel.

Who should apply for it and why?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: USDF personnel who are feeling generally demotivated, helpless regarding their career progression, and thinking of resigning are the ones that should apply for this program. The Senior Command is here to listen to their concerns and would help them seek/find ways to make their USDF experience better. We are here to help you out, especially if you feel like you’re being overlooked or if you feel like you’d like to seek advice that’s outside your chain of command.

What makes this program different from anything USDF has (for example retention)?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: This program is in direct line with JSD, OSD, and NSC – basically you’re bypassing the chain of command in this program. It goes to show how much we value each personnel in USDF, and we would be providing a really fast response rate for you guys. This program allows you to have a safe space to express your thoughts and for someone high in command to listen. The Senior Command is very much experienced and they’re the best people to go to especially if you’re contemplating resignations or getting demotivated, so that we know the best way for you to move forward.

In this program, how is it decided who we talk to when we apply for it?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: That’s also the special thing that the ROP offers. You, the sender, get to decide on which Senior Command Member you’d like to talk to 🙂 It’s on the last question on the form, in this way you would feel safe on sharing what you’re feeling.

What if we don’t know who we want to talk to? What happens then?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: While I can’t really delve into the details on who specifically should tend to the request if there’s no specified preferences, I can assure you that there will always be a JSD/OSD/NSC member that will quickly tend to that person. As mentioned from the thread, there will be no delays whenever a form is submitted!

As you mentioned before, this program assists personnel if they feel like they are being overlooked and want to resign. Do you highly recommend it to someone to consider before they decide to resign?

BG, VCSA idolayainerz: Yes, I would highly recommend them to take their chance to experience what it’s like to be in the ROP.

To find out more about the Reach Out Program and to find the form, head here:

Where Fiction Meets Reality

By M1k3yK

Cover by persol

The ‘fourth wall’, in essence, is the concept of having an imaginary wall or barrier between a fabricated or made up story and the real world. It is a common occurrence in some films to have the actors in the story break the wall by either addressing the audience, speaking directly to them or somehow beckoning to the fact that although they’re in their own fictional world or story, they are aware that an audience of some sort is watching them.

Although most movies, shows or stories remain inside their fabricated world as if the audience does not exist and are not watching, it can be a very effective tool that directors can utilize to make a moment more comedic, extreme or suspenseful, depending on how they choose to put it in.

Breaking the fourth wall can be done in a few ways, it doesn’t always necessarily mean having a character look straight into the camera and talk to the audience. The first way, of course, is the one just mentioned, a character from the fictional world either talking to or briefly looking straight at the camera or, metaphorically, into the eyes of the viewer. A show that I’m sure came to mind first for most people would be The Office, one of the most streamed shows of all time, amassing over 50 billion minutes streamed back in 2020. This show utilises breaking the fourth wall by having the cast turn to the camera and look the audience dead in the eyes during either sarcastic, funny or annoying moments in the show. This brings the audience into the show itself and makes them feel like they are there, being stared at as if it was a moment shared between them and the character. Using this method of breaking the fourth wall is most common, as not only does it bring the audience into the show/movie/fiction, it can make those watching really feel how the person who is breaking the wall is feeling during the scene. This can, depending on the situation and mood of the scene, can either be a comedic moment, heighten suspense or give information that was previously unknown to the viewers.

The second way that a fictitious moment can break the wall is by candidly referencing someone or something that either has happened or is happening in our real world. A good example of this would be in Deadpool where the famous Stan Lee, acting as an innocent old man passing by, says “Nice suit!” to Deadpool, and he responds with “Zip it Stan Lee!” This is a comedic moment, as in the Deadpool ‘universe’ Stan Lee is just a passerby. It makes the audience chuckle due to the fact that the old man is Marvel’s most famous cameos. This form of breaking the fourth wall can get the audience feeling different from the previous form of directly addressing them, instead, it mentions something, usually a pop culture reference that a lot of people would get, and makes them stop in their tracks in a way giving them the scene a comical feel, as no one in that universe would fully understand exactly what the character speaking is referencing towards. Something this and the other wall breaking situation have in common is the audience feeling like it is a moment between the character and themselves, knowing that it is only them and the character who understands exactly what is being referenced. 

To conclude, the breaking of the fourth wall is an extremely effective tool in story telling or directing. If done correctly, it can make a good scene even better and get the watchers and readers truly immersed into the scene and more importantly, the plot.

Survive The Night

By humania

Covery by Humanbot_Wafer

It’s been six years and a lot has happened. Yes, but still. I have to find out what happened to this neighborhood. What? No! It is our job t- Hello? Ah, just great. –Louisiana, 1922

Samuel is going to a place that has been abandoned for a long time now. This dark forest is covering his car from sunlight. A detective should do their job no matter what happens, he always says. So, he gets out of his car and walks through this dark footpath. “She rules!” “Slice their tongues!” is what he’s seeing around these signs. At the end of the road, you can see an old English house surrounded by trees and moss. 

Without hesitation, he directly entered the old house. The door that made a creaking sound was opened and as expected, the house was very dark. Here and there he analyzed the house, and it indicated a house that should have been abandoned for years. there’s nothing special. But there are a few things that bother Samuel. There are many black and white photos scattered in the room. 

Suddenly, the sound of footsteps was heard from the bottom of the house, even though he had checked and there was no one there but him. He immediately hid and prepared his gun. When the sound of footsteps entered the room, the person was surprised that Samuel was in it. Then he introduced his name. His name is Troy. It was quite difficult for Samuel to believe the smoking old man with a gun in his right hand. Samuel asked him why he had brought it. The old man’s reason was simple, to kill mice. It all made quite a bit of sense to Samuel. This old man must have thought Samuel was a rat. 

Samuel got some information after interacting with this geezer: Troy doesn’t own this house, he’s just looking after it and that a woman tried to kill him. Then, the two of them went to the basement to find out the history of this house so that Samuel could go home soon. They were silent as they walked into the basement hallway, but as the silence subsided, a few pieces of tongue were seen lined up in a cupboard. Samuel started to slowly walk backwards, and Troy said “So you found it huh.” Samuel immediately ran to get out of the house and Troy chased.

 After he left the house he found a woman. The woman then asked what happened. The woman’s name is Zoe. Zoe then explains that Troy is her grandfather. His grandfather had gone mad from WW1. At that time, he lost all his family as a result of the war. Their tongues were all plucked out. Samuel then remembers the old photos. Zoe is the only surviving family of Troy. Zoe told him that her grandfather had killed and plucked out the tongues of the people around her. Zoe asks Samuel to save her from her grandfather. But there was a suspicion in Samuel’s mind because it said “She Rules!” on the signs that he saw as he walked to that place. There are 3 choices for Samuel to pick:

a. Go back to Troy and ask him what really happened.
b. Trust what Zoe said and save her from Troy.
c. Trust no one, and try to leave the area as soon as possible.

Spooky Scary Skeletons

By ,-Spell

Cover by TheBeatleDude2

Do you enjoy Halloween?

Lt dinsky – I do enjoy Halloween.

Col TraidKelly – I enjoy Halloween, yes. Most parts.

MSgt Saveth3bees – Good question! Halloween isn’t as popular here as most places, but I’ve always been intrigued by this holiday. It’s like turning something bad into something that can be appreciated – seeing the positive in the negative. I also remember visiting a lot of scary houses and attending certain Halloween events as a kid. That will always have a special place in my heart. So do I enjoy Halloween? Absolutely!

CWO5 Femae. – Well I really like the whole thing around Halloween, however, it doesn’t get celebrated much in our country sadly.

FADM princess81818, CJCS – I do now, but I didn’t really as a kid. Trick or treating wasn’t something my family did so it wasn’t something I looked forward to or saw many people get involved in. Especially compared to how big it is in the US. I do now though. As an adult I enjoy dressing up and going out with friends into the city to enjoy the night. I still eat sweets, but really it’s an excuse to dress up like a crazy person and celebrate. 

CWO5 warzo00 – Yes!

CW5 william5676 – Yes, very much.

MCPON Wijkagent – I do yeah, it’s not as big here in the Netherlands as in America or other countries, but I do enjoy it.

CWO5 ThedueIist – Yas!

SGM Manuel.Vazquez4 – I’m not really sure jaja, in Mexico we don’t celebrate Halloween, even though there are exceptions, but I don’t celebrate it so I guess the answer is no.

CWO5 Im__Batman – Yes I enjoy halloween.

CMSgt Fearni – For this interview, it will be a yes. About Halloween, I really enjoy it and I’d love to see some children in spooky costumes, going from door to door for Trick or Treat activities. I’d love to hand over some treats like chocolate chip cookies, toffees, and Halloween themed sweets like bat shaped lollipops etc. As an adult, we’d love to go to a Halloween themed event, hang out with the adults as well as believe in legends of the spooky stories. Maybe some discussions on paranormal activities, speaking of ghost sightings etc. Adults get to drink Halloween themed beverages like Bloody Mary drinks.

What do you normally do on Halloween?

Lt dinsky – Well I used to go trick or treating with my sister when I was young. In high school I had a band so not really anything.

Col TraidKelly – Normally, I do one of two things: I either go to the yearly dance/party hosted by my city’s college that is open to the public, or I just stay home and watch a movie or two. (Not usually scary, though. I’m a wimp, haha). The next day, I go out and buy as much on-sale candy as my body can handle.

MSgt Saveth3bees – Nothing traditional, but we’re thinking of going to the Halloween event of a theme park called Walibi Fright Nights.

CWO5 Femae. – I usually go to an amusement park with my friends where they have a Halloween theme at that time. It is really fun as they usually have halloween events or people walking around in scary uniforms, so it all has a more spooky vibe

FADM princess81818, CJCS – I’ll usually go into the city with a few friends. There’s a lot more going on in terms of events and such we can go to. And dress up of course.

CWO5 warzo00 – I usually take my nephews trick or treating and do a little halloween party for them the day before.

CW5 william5676 – As a kid obviously trick or treating was the best thing ever but now as someone in college I would have to say I go to Halloween parties with friends, i’ll watch horror movies with my gf/friends, decorate the house a little, stuff like that

MCPON Wijkagent – When I was younger and lived in the UK, me and my brother were always changing into some crazy costume to scare other people haha.

CWO5 ThedueIist – I take my niece trick or treating and then we have a family party.

SGM Manuel.Vazquez4 – I might say that I wear a costume and go out to request candies with my family or friends, and decorate my house.

CWO5 Im__Batman – Well obviously I used to trick or treat but between covid last year and my parents wanting to be out of the house the previous one, It’s a mixed bag. Went and saw Venom one year on halloween.

CMSgt Fearni – To be honest, on Halloween, I make Halloween themed origami sets and decorate the house with origami. Be Jack O ‘Lantern to Scarecrows, Gremlins.

What’s your favourite Halloween treat?

Lt dinsky – Any kind of chocolate bar including almond joy, it doesn’t deserve the hate it gets 

Col TraidKelly – I think I’d have to say the mini-chocolate bars. Like, bite-sized. I’m usually a candy guy. Specifically sour candy. But on Halloween, chocolate is my thing.

MSgt Saveth3bees – Pink skull popsicles.

CWO5 Femae. – Definitely chocolate, any kind!

FADM princess81818, CJCS – Around Halloween I always see orange flavoured food. Which I love. My favourite I would say is these orange flavoured cookies you can get from Tesco which comes with icing so you can decorate yourself c: (also I love sushi)

CWO5 warzo00 – Hmm, toffee apples are great!

CW5 william5676 – Probably Skor chocolate bars tbh..

MCPON Wijkagent – Probably the ghost cookies.

CWO5 ThedueIist – erm; that’s alcoholic xD Vodka soaked haribos, innocent option; chocolate apples.

SGM Manuel.Vazquez4 – I guess it could be a box of milky ways, hershey’s chocolates.

CWO5 Im__Batman – Candy Corn. Send the hordes of haters.

CMSgt Fearni – My favorite Halloween treat is bat shaped chocolate bars that are made from custom mold. And my favorite beverage is Witch’s Blood.

Mom Pick Me Up I’m Scared

By Kerfuffle

Cover by nelcris

What is a really scary true thing that happened to you?

CMSAF HeyItsAllenArc
Three years ago, I remember seeing a ghost with a really scary outfit and look. I couldn’t tell the exact details, but he was carrying his head and he was chasing me. We were in the woods at that time and I was just exploring. After that, I never want to go back to the woods or do camping.

Capt Tjedshaul
A year ago my Grandmother let me stay in her house during her visit from America, however, she told me that they are going to be late and won’t get home early. Since I don’t want to go home I insist on staying in her house for the night so I go to their bedroom and sleep. I got asleep for an hour but suddenly woken up when I saw on the other side of the bed I saw someone lying there. I did not bother to look and analyze the room of who the person was. I just immediately ran out of the room. I can’t demonstrate my shock my heart beats faster at that moment as when I went down the stairs I couldn’t move, I was afraid and just decided to close my eyes then someone pats my back and when I have open my eyes my grandma has arrived and she was trying to wake me up and ask me to go to sleep on the room it turns out I have fallen asleep from the couch. I can’t explain what happened if that was only a dream or not.

CWO4 BetterGarlic381
Would have to be in high school on our year 7 camp. We went to a campground activity centre thingy and they had things like a mud run and giant swing. My friends somehow convinced me to go on the giant swing and it was easily one of the scariest things I’ve done in a long time.

CW5 Sorraia
I live out on a ranch, 15 or so minutes from the nearest town.  There is an abandoned church (was built in the 1900s) not far from my place. I think the scariest thing to date, as I was driving past this church which for me is weird because I never go that way. It was starting to get dark. As I rounded the bend to the church (it was on my left) I could see what looked like a figure standing near it. I’m far out from town so it’s pretty odd for someone to be out this way. I pull in to ask them if they need help, maybe they’re lost or their vehicle broke down. Thankfully I didn’t get out of my truck, because all of a sudden I heard a high-pitched screaming, and whatever this thing was now in front of my truck is now running full speed towards me. I reversed out and went a bit up the road and pulled over, I called 911. They searched the place, and the permitter never found anyone. This is odd because this church is surrounded by a high fence, the only way out is the road. To this day I haven’t been back to that church. I do not know what I encountered but I also don’t want to go back and find out.

One of my neighbours had the same experience (last week ran into them this morning), once again cops were called, apparently, they found the person. It’s some homeless guy who’s living under the church, this is why they couldn’t find him when I called. The high-pitched noise was apparently a broken whistle he used to scare off people.. he has some kind of mental health issues and has been taken for treatment. I still won’t go back to the church.

2LT Creta
When I was training as a cadet, a common exercise that all cadets go through would be a live-firing exercise at a very famous hill named after an animal. The idea for training to be carried out here is because it provides great overwatch support for other ground troops to begin what we call a Foxtrot Lima (flank left) movement, that is, suppressive fire to the opposition so that they can begin their assault. As my platoon was tasked to take over this over-watch support, we began our assault to the hilltop, and everything was fine throughout the entire exercise until we had to pack down our equipment. Since my training buddy and I were not tasked with any similar responsibilities in the past, we had to stay back to assist our trainers with this task. 

Now, there was a very old urban legend about why this spot was named after that animal. It was believed in the past, during the colonization of my country, the indigenous people lived there with a group of hounds. Coincidentally, that hill was of course, yes, shaped like hounds. It turns out that during such colonization efforts, the indigenous people fought with all sorts of warfare they could, but ultimately suffered a catastrophic defeat that led to a severe bloodbath. In the last act of ensuring his pride remains, the leader of the indigenous people severed his hands and fed it to the hounds as he believed he had failed in his role and thus was unfit to lead his people, before jumping down the hill which of course resulted in his death.

Back to the present time, all was well with the pack down until I realized my buddy started to shiver for no reason. Soon he started speaking in Malay, and mind you he was a full-blown Chinese with no grasp of the Malay language or whatsoever. Of course, I knew something was up, and I tried to inform my trainers about it, only to realize that only the Master trainer himself was there and most of the other trainers had made their way down. My training buddy then said something along the lines of “It’s time for me to die with my people” – according to my Master trainer then. My buddy then did the unthinkable – he picked up one of our live firing weapons that was in a box, ‘cocked’ it and actually pressed the trigger with it aiming at his hands. I was absolutely bamboozled but of course there were no rounds in the chamber since we had withdrawn the equipment and checked clear. Since I had no idea of the story then, my first thought was why would my buddy hurt himself, and why at his hands? Then, my buddy started shaking more profusely and ran towards the edge of the hill. My master trainer and I ran and managed to pull him back before the unthinkable.

He continued to struggle, and let it be known that my master trainer was a part of special forces and that guy is HUGE. Both of us spent a good 5 minutes trying to restrain him on the ground whilst he was saying all kinds of things in Malay and soon he started crying. After a few more minutes he passed out, presumably from the exhaustion of the struggle. Then, we called for the help of others, and he was rescued down the hill, whilst I was told to join the rest of my cadets. A few days later, he was discharged from my training school, and to date I have yet to see him or know what he was doing. The scariest part of this story was that I recalled he told me something before we assaulted the hilltop that I could not fathom what it was then. He said “today, you and I will pay tribute to the indigenous people”, and here I am, sharing the story with you.

CMSgt imkoreangirl
I was driving at night on a rural countryside road, I was coming up to an intersection and slowed down the car. A motorbike drove across the intersection right in front of me, and from the faint light from my car I saw the motorbike driver, and behind him was another person. But they had no head.

CWO5 Legendmilk
Several years ago, I was staying at a cottage and the sky was starting to get pretty clouded up with smoke. When we looked into it we learned that there was a forest fire a few rivers down from where we were. A guy eventually came up to our cottage and told us that we were going to have to evacuate for the time being and to start getting ready to leave. My family and I then had to stay overnight at a motel. Luckily nothing reached where we were staying, and no one we knew was injured, but the entire experience during the time was pretty frightening! I remember my sister was pretty scared, especially since where we were, fires weren’t that frequent. We ended up packing most of our clothes, a bit of the food we had and some board games we brought up, as we had a decent amount of time to get out to a safe area. The trickiest part was just finding somewhere to stay overnight, since everyone else was trying to do the same thing!

CPO GreddyTrebs
One of the scariest moments in my life was when I was a 5-year-old kid. I was asleep, dreaming about ghosts choking me and one of the ghosts is the one that I always dreamt of since I was a younger kid. While they are choking me in my dreams, I couldn’t breathe in real life and I couldn’t move. I was still asleep but I knew that I needed to wake up because I literally can’t breathe. When I was almost out of breath, I suddenly woke up! I was gasping for air and sweating like hell. The reason I couldn’t breathe while asleep is that my face was facing the pillow.

CWO5 RusticPenguin
My fiancee (iAmbitious) and I had the opportunity to tour an abandoned penitentiary this summer. This was one of the coolest things I have ever done, but it was also very eerie. We were able to have almost full excess with our tour guide. We were able to go into their old buildings, inside the cells and showers. We also were able to go into the maximum security cells. The guides told stories of the riots and the things done inside the very cells we were standing in, and showed us where the man who killed Martin Luther King Jr was held right before he escaped. They had handmade shivs made by the inmates hanging on the walls. I would say the spookiest of them all was going into the execution building. We were brought into the back of the prison, and brought down a path. We were led to a building with two doors. One room was a “viewing room” where the victim’s family and the one getting the executive’s family were able to literally sit on bleachers to watch the execution. The next room was the actual execution room. There was a cell with a bed, a sink, and a toilet where the prisoner was held for sometimes over 24 hours waiting to get the call from the governor for the execution time. When the time came, they were brought to a chamber, and shackled to a chair. A pot of acid was placed under the chair, and tablets of Cyanide were dropped using a lever. Their faces were often covered, and the gas was strong enough to kill them. I was able to sit in the chamber in the same chairs that were used, and you could just feel the eeriness of the room. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.

Col .diplodocus., JSIG
My brother went with a few of his friends to an abandoned hospice a few towns over where I’m at. The hospice was abandoned after the SARS outbreak, so it’s been empty for over 20 years. He went at night obviously, and it was probably like 6 or 7 of them with their crappy flip phones and dollar store flashlights. The hospice is exactly what you’d expect it to be, they were these tiny little rooms with the very old-school looking metal bed frames. It was dirty and graffitied, mattresses were destroyed, there were some childrens toys left behind in the rubble. It looked exactly like it does in the movies honestly. There was this one very long hallway that had probably 20 rooms, 10 on each side. And at the end of the hall was a stairwell that led to another floor of another hallway full of rooms. So my brother walks down this hallway with his friends taking a video inside the rooms, looking around, he was picking up mattresses to look under them and what not. So he makes it down this hallway and he pans the camera up the stairs to see what more was up there and then turns back around and heads back down the hallway the way he came. As he was turning around, I noticed (in the camera footage), that there is this girl sitting at the end of the stairs. She’s got this long, jet black hair, she’s wearing this long white nightgown, and the flash caught her eyes so they were like that red colour. I look at my brother and I’m like “oh who’s the girl you’re with, I don’t recognize her” (I know all my brothers friends and their girlfriends, they hangout here often). And he goes “What? We just went with the guys, the girls were too scared to go.” So we rewind the footage and we pause it and there is this ghost of a lady sitting at the end of the stairwell.

Competition Submissions

Meet The Masterminds

By humania

Cover by KyleDillPickle

Few more days until the October Libertarian, are you guys ready? I’m ready, of course. But if you’re reading this now, it means that the October Libertarian has been published. Of course in Libertarian, as you might know, there are many people involved such as the writers and graphic designers. However, do you know that behind all of them, there are two people who manage whether or not this event runs smoothly. Who are they really? Surely you are curious about these two great people. They are chiari.cord as the Team Leader and Eliza4Forever as the Assistant Team Leader! Well, on this occasion I will interview both of them about their activities in regulating the Libertarian and also outside of the Libertarian.

Hello chiari.cord and Eliza4Forever! How are you doing today? It’s been a busy week for you, hasn’t it?
What time did you sleep last night?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Hi hi! Yes it’s been a busy week, a busy month as well so far. Even though I wished I could’ve slept more, I went to bed at around 12 and had a nice 7 hrs of sleeping ;d

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: Hiii!!! I’m doing great, how about you? It hasn’t been that bad actually, but still pretty packed nonetheless! I slept at 1am!

Can you share a little information about how long this Libertarian preparation will take?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Oo yes yes, this is actually my first time leading the Libertarian but I have been participating in it for a really long time, and it usually takes about half of the month to prepare all articles and graphics, and the other half is used to prepare and organize everything so that it can get published and out for everyone to see!

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: It usually takes an entire month to prepare for the Libertarian, which means by the time this edition is published, we’re most likely working on our next edition already!

How can you help me work toward my personal goals and objectives regarding the Libertarian?

2ndLt chiari.cord: All the leadership team of the Libertarian is always there for all their project members. What we do to help and guide all of them (which are a lot of people) through their goals and tasks vary from time to time. However, they are all related to giving feedback on how to improve certain things about someone’s work, encouraging participation and interaction between different members by commenting on others’ ideas, being there for them and being able to help members if they need time or are lacking ideas to move on with their task. I think it also depends on the assignments that are created for each edition, like the themes and articles, because it’s an opportunity for all of those who are working on them to explore and expand their creativity, see how far they can go with a task. So it’s also helpful to give out tasks that will allow them to do so.

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: There are strict deadlines when it comes to working on the Libertarian, which I believe helps greatly with time management skills and planning – both of which are important when it comes to achieving your goals. We also allow a lot of creative freedom when it comes to writing articles or creating graphics and artwork, which can help you improve those skills.

You’ve been helping me a lot with that statement, but I’m curious about yours. What are your personal career goals?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Personally, I have a lot of goals. I like making small goals to keep myself motivated. For example, my goal was to create an interactive & fun Lib edition, and make everyone who’s working on it from OPA interested and participative. So far, it seems like I’m getting what I wished for! Then, other goals of mine are to interact with more members, and make everyone feel comfortable and welcome to USDF. Lastly, another really small goal (but with a big impact) goes into OPA Projects, and my ability to lead them smoothly, with as little problems as possible, and keep them within their expected deadline. That’s just some of them, I could go on and on but I don’t want to take up all your time hehe.

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: My goal first and foremost is to get back to the officer ranks, and hopefully become a member of JSD+ one day! I also plan to learn + become good at building and working with spreadsheets.

What career achievements are you most proud of?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Okay, I am the most proud of different things in my career. These are for example when I passed {W}, as I did struggle with it. On that same day I was told I passed and I also got OPA HNCO, so that was a happy & proud day for me hahaha. Then, ofc one of the things which happened recently is passing OCS! I was really proud of myself, because I had tried my best throughout the whole month, and it was pleasing to see it was all worth it. Mmm after that, I think the last thing I’ll mention is that I’m also proud of all the progress I’ve made as an OPA member and in it’s command! (and you could be proud of yourself for that too… #JoinOPA today!!!)

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: Completing OCS. Not to mention halfway through the course my wifi broke down, so I had to purchase emergency data on my phone which meant I had to do OCS on mobile (including the graduation ceremony). Another proud achievement I have is to see my ex-mentees make it in USDF! insert proud mama moment here

Are there funny moments when you were a Team Leader or Assistant Team Leader?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Mhhhh, well the funniest moments are probably from BWs this year, as I was A/TL. That’s also where the most stressful ones come from though HAHSH, but a lot of the preparation from that event was very funny, like that one game where we had to delay a game and redo the whole wired and room because more people than expected had shown up! This and many other moments were definitely what made BWs fun from a preparation point of view. That plus the people helping out or in command as well, I have some great memories about them and all the things we did to put together the big event of the year c:

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: The funniest moment I have to date is seeing all the submissions for the “Complete the bird” competition!!

What’s the best feedback that you’ve given to someone in the Libertarian?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Well, as I said before this is my first time as the Lib’s TL, so I haven’t had to send any official feedback so far. But we’ve got a lot of unofficial feedback for all the work on this edition, and it’s all great!

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: Hmm, if we’re talking about the most memorable ones then unfortunately I haven’t had any yet since I’ve only ever worked on 1 other Libertarian issue besides this one.

What do you love most about your job as Team Leader or Assistant Team Leader?

2ndLt chiari.cord: One of the things I always enjoy the most is coming up with themes or ideas for events. Looking for the best games, trying to come up with ways to relate it all to the theme, finding small elements that will fit amazingly with the overall event but that don’t require much, etc. It lets me and whoever I’m working with explore and think of the most random things ever, and make it into an event!

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: Definitely the submissions. Our writers and graphic artists are all super creative and it is always a joy to see what they come up with!

Now that we know it, what is your least favorite part of the job?

2ndLt chiari.cord: Oh my god 0-0 Definitely the thing I dislike the most is giving and sending feedback. It is no secret to those who have worked with me in events that I tend to do my part of the feedback all at once to just get it over with. Although this is something I’ve worked on with every project (specially my first ones, I got a full on course on how to provide better feedback), I feel bad whenever I have to send negative feedback, and I sometimes even struggle to find words to say in the positive ones. So yeah, definitely something I still have to work on, but the least favorite for me.

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: When people don’t submit their work on time and don’t communicate about it :’)) Dealing with that is not fun at all

Finally, what made you hire me as a writer? Be honest!

2ndLt chiari.cord: Well, all the previous events I’ve had you working on have had a positive outcome, and you tend to provide good and creative writings. So, as we were desperately looking for more writers, I knew I wanted you on the team ;d

CWO5 Eliza4Forever: Um HELLO?? Because you’re an amazing writer and it’s a no-brainer!!

Competition Submissions

A New Perspective

By bayeryaz

Cover by KyleDillPickle

It is once again that time of the year,
When my leaves turn orange and start to fall,
The time for my deep sleep is drawing near,
This is my favourite season of them all.

Day by day I see nothing really change,
He racks my leaves and waters me daily
Things, however, do seem different. How strange,
He no longer plays the ukulele.

I see he has lost the spring in his step,
Looking back on the years that have rolled past,
He no longer has his vigour and pep.
I hope this year with him is not my last,

Thought I cannot stand to see him in pain,
When spring comes I hope to see him again.

Competition Submissions

That Escalated Quickly!

By Kerfuffle

Cover by StrongTiger

Have you ever spent a night in jail? I almost considered it once, the rates were reasonable — even in solitary confinement! Fortunately, I had the opportunity to tour the place before I decided. In Ottawa, Ontario I stepped over the threshold of a 19th-century jail turned popular hostel with a friend. Our tour had taken us through the streets of Ottawa where we learned the history of various landmarks and their ghostly origins. I have a deep affection for ghost tours and I often find they are the best way to learn about a new city. Before arriving at the jail, my friend and I were arm and arm giggling at the ludicrous idea that our guide was dismayed to have never witnessed a haunting at our next location.

We stepped into a bustling hostel with young travelers returning from dinner or heading out for the night. Our guide told us about the particulars of the building and its 150-year history. It wasn’t until we climbed a staircase that we felt that feeling. Foreboding. The air was thick with silence in stark contrast with the floor below. We arrived at an empty guest room stuffed with a full bed and tight walls. The door was a standard cell of bars and space. I made a light joke about the kind of challenges a guest would have with privacy in a place like this. To this day, I think something heard me make light of a space that retained the horrid memory of its past — overcrowding, starvation, and despair.

Overwhelming, as we climbed, was the feeling of being watched and jeered as if the prisoners remained to regard us as their captors. We arrived at the solitary confinement cells which were tighter with thick walls and a solid door. Inside was the same style bed with little room for any other comfort. This time I said nothing. Our guide explained that guests of these cells often awake to the form of former prisoners standing at the foot of their bed or rattling their doors in the night. This time I made no jokes but stood reverent, my arm still looped with my friend more for comfort than companionship at this point. 

One of our other tourists said they saw someone very short enter a cell down the hall. We followed their direction, but the cell was empty. It was then that our guide revealed that the jails were filled with women and children in addition to male prisoners in its history. She remained dismayed to have missed a child’s spirit returning to their cell as all her colleagues had witnessed a real haunting in this jail.

We climbed the top stair of the building to death row, a narrow hallway of cells with several thick archways that once held large metal doors. Our guide told us the doors had long since been removed, as the ghosts of this space have often slammed the metal doors shut on visitors. Too many had lost fingers, she said, and the doors had to go. At this point, I had made up my mind that I never wanted to spend the night in a jail like this. My friend and I stood huddled near a wall in this hallway as our guide spoke, as far from the cells as we could get as if the brick of the wall would protect us from the violence. 
Our guide talked about how death row inmates were taken to these cells to await their execution. She pointed to a door at the end and said there was typically a priest so the inmates could have their final confessions before their public hanging in the square. The door was a plain white door, a stark contrast to the heavy doors and open barred cells though in theme with them, it had recently been bolted shut.


The door moved as we stared it down against a heavy slam. It may have been the quiet of the space but it was the loudest sound. In our shock, a heavy long bolt fell to the floor of the hallway with a plink which seemed to bring a woman near me to her senses. She screamed and ran back down the hallway. My friend and I had stiffened ourselves into the wall in fear whatever was on the other side of the door wanted us out. Our guide was stricken. After a long time she consoled the group and went after the woman who ran. The bolt rolled lightly on the floor as we collected ourselves.

She took us lastly down a stairwell with bars in the middle to keep inmates from jumping to their deaths. Those same bars were often used for private hangings of inmates sentenced by their jailers rather than the judges. Reeling from our experience with the door, all of us felt the distinct feeling of being unwelcome in that staircase. Something wanted us out of the space and was watching until we left.

I decided, as I sat outside the jail on the cold, Canadian street that I would absolutely never spend an evening in accommodations with such angry hosts. My friend and I decided to head into the bar attached to the jail to collect ourselves, an accommodation for the young travelers brave enough to stay there called Mugshots. Our tour guide joined us to celebrate her first haunting in the jail. I asked her if she had ever stayed in the hostel herself. She said no way, the inmates still live there.

Who Am I?

By bayeryaz

Cover by melisi142

It’s been a slow night. I guess that’s how things are in the suburbs, not much crime happens around here like it does in the inner city. I see now why the police here seemed so carefree compared to the cops at the precinct I transferred from. I was half expecting to not get a single case tonight, since it was already 3:00 AM. Abruptly my scanner goes off and I hear the static before the dispatcher clicks on,

“We have a 10-67 from 3075 Grey Eagle Drive, requesting immediate assistance. Possible intruder on the premises. Intruder may be armed. Any personnel nearby please respo-”

Finally, something to keep me busy. 

“Officer Warren here, heading to the scene now.”

I put the car into drive and flick on the siren, slamming down on the accelerator. I make it to the house in record time, and I’m greeted with a young couple frantically running towards my car. The woman tries to inform me of the situation when I step out of the car. I say ‘tries’ because she’s stumbling over her words so much I can barely make anything out. I attempt to calm her down to get a coherent story but I can tell that she’s in shock, as if she’d seen a ghost. The boyfriend, I assume, steps up and tells me there is a woman in this house and that she was watching over the couple as they slept. He claims this woman vanished when he went to switch the lights on. Sounds to me like these two watch too many horror movies, but it’s still my duty to investigate the scene, at least it’ll help ease their minds. I tell them to stay put while heading over to the house.

I push my way into the home and start scanning the area for intruders, it’s still filled with half opened moving boxes and unassembled furniture. They must have just moved in. Talk about having trouble settling in. It was definitely a rich person’s house, incredibly spacious and it seems to have one of those ‘modern’ designs you hear about so often. Marble floors, lots of large windows for that natural light and, of course, a swimming pool outside. For such an expensive looking house it sure was dimly lit, are they worried about the electricity bill or something? I should probably stay focused on locating the intruder, rather than on how poor I am compared to them. I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking about how crazy their story was. Maybe dispatch should have connected them to an exorcist instead of me, or would they need a priest in this scenario? I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve spent too long looking around downstairs. I headed upstairs since that was where the woman was last seen. 

The hardwood stairs of this house were uncharacteristically squeaky. As I made my way upstairs I could see that the lights up here were flickering, I also felt the temperature drop to the point I thought I should be able to see my breath. This must be my mind playing tricks on me, it was all too stereotypical cliche horror movies. Out of the corner of my eye I see movement and my eyes instantly dart over. It’s just their dog, a small white Terrier. Would have been nice of them to mention the dog beforehand, it would not have ended well if I shot the poor thing. The dog began growling intensely in my general direction, it wasn’t at me, it was more like it was looking at something behind me. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, someone was behind me. A conveniently placed mirror across from the stairs reveals that there is indeed a figure behind me. I could make out a pale woman in a blood soaked white gown, her long dark hair partially covering a badly cut face. Her face was shredded as if she had been in a motorbike accident and landed face first, there were sections that revealed bone and chunks of her face were hanging loose. Bloodshot eyes wide, she had a face splitting grin, blood oozing out of her mouth through gaps in her decaying teeth. I spun around fast enough to give me whiplash. She wasn’t there. 

Practically tumbling down the stairs, I ran out of the house as fast as my legs would allow me. I’ll be back for the dog I just ditched in the morning, let’s hope it’s still there. I made it to my car, startling the already frightened homeowners in the process.

“You saw her too, didn’t you?” The now more composed woman asked, her voice still shaky.

There must have been a look in my eyes which gave it away, she knew I had seen it too.

“Your house is… haunted.” I told them plainly, still in disbelief at the words coming out of my mouth.

I’ve seen enough horror movies to know what happens if they stay in that house. I wasnt about to be one of those stupid cops or non-believers you always see in these kinds of movies, the kind that ends up getting killed off later on. If I’m going to be some side character in their horror movie, I’m going to be one with some damn sense.

“Do exactly as I say and you’ll both be fine…”

DIY: Halloween Costumes!

By bayeryaz

Cover by TheBeatleDude2

It’s once again that time of year where we dress up like ghosts and ghouls to roam the streets and threaten beg strangers for candy. Hopefully, some of you will actually be able to go out and celebrate Halloween this year… unlike last year, but let’s not talk about last year.  We all love dressing up, whether it’s cosplaying as your favourite anime character or dressing up like your favourite movie protagonist. The problem a lot of us run into is not being able to find the exact costume we want and on the off chance you do find it, it may end up costing a small fortune! That’s where this article comes in handy, it’s all about D.I.Y halloween costume ideas. You will find 5 cheap, easy and fun ideas for you to try out this Halloween to help you dress to impress.

Plastic Surgery Patient

All you’ll need for this costume idea will be a sharpie! Additionally you can find ‘patient’ type clothing and bandages to help bring the look together. Things such as nightgowns work great for the ‘patient heading into plastic surgery’ look. 

Step 1. Use a sharpie to draw some mark-up lines on your face or any other part of your body where someone might get plastic surgery. You can find many examples of mark-up lines online or use the picture below as inspiration, get as creative as you want. Make sure to use a sharpie that is safe to be used on your skin and not to draw too close to your eyes or mouth! 

The next few steps are optional, but they will definitely bring the look together.

Step 2. You will need bandages you can get at your local drug store or even convenience store, the non elastic kind is preferred but any will work. Alternatively you can use a shower cap as well, like the picture above. Just use the bandages to wrap around your head and give a ‘fresh out of surgery’ look to your costume. You could wrap the bandages anywhere you think looks good, other common spots would be around the waist and neck. Those of you who are skilled with face paint or makeup can also add touch ups to make it seem more realistic!

Step 3. Using a gauze pad and a plaster (or surgical tape) over your nose bridge is something extra you can implement to improve the overall costume. If you go this route it might be worth adding some dark makeup under your eyes to give a better post nose job look.

A Rain Cloud Over Your Head

This is a really fun costume idea, you’ll see why at the end. For this costume all you’ll need is: Cotton balls, latex or craft glue, a glue gun, an old or cheap umbrella!

Step 1. Get your old or cheap umbrella ready and glue a bunch of cotton balls (or other forms of cotton you can find) to it using the latex glue. Try your best to make it look like a cloud, you have creative liberty here!

Step 2. To make it even more impressive you can add some fishing wire (or any other string you have) to the umbrella. Add some hot glue blots along the length of the string to act as rain drops or alternatively you can cut out raindrops from blue paper to stick on.

Step 3. Bonus points if you wear a raincoat or show up completely soaked! Something fun you can do with this is carry around a plastic spray bottle and make it rain on some unsuspecting victims, but do this at your own risk and preferably with people you know.

Cereal Killer

This may be the easiest costume in this list and it’s perfect for those of you that are looking for a last minute low effort costume that still gets people talking. What you will need for this costume is a cereal box and a knife (I strongly recommend making one out of cardboard for safety reasons!!).

Step 1. Buy and enjoy a cereal of your choosing. I personally would go for Cap’n Crunch, Sir!

Step 2. Get some cardboard and cut it out in the shape of a knife. Use some silver and black paint or tin foil to make it actually look like a knife and not some random piece of cardboard. Adding some red paint for blood on the knife is a killer touch 😉 You can optionally make a cardboard gun if you’re up for the challenge! 

Step 3. Don’t forget to be holding the cereal box and knife together, because if not you’re just a dude holding either a cereal box or a knife, and I’m not quite sure what’s scarier.

When Life Give You Lemons, Make a Halloween Costume

We all know the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I always found it to be a strange thing for life to give you, out of everything why lemons? Anyway, it atleast will give us an awesome Halloween costume. For this costume idea you will need a bag of lemons, a maker and a cardboard sign to hang around your neck.

Step 1. Use some string and thread it through 2 poked holes on either side of a cardboard panel, tie the ends of the string and boom you have yourself a sign to hang around your neck. Use a marker to write “LIFE” on the cardboard, alternatively you can just write it on an old white shirt!

Step 2. Buy a few lemons and put them in a bag or sack. When someone asks you what your Halloween costume is, just hand them a lemon and watch as the fear sets in their eyes as it sinks into them what you’ve just done.


This one’s a classic and all you need is access to a printer (or green/orange/red paper), glue, scissors, a cheap headband, and metal wire. You should also aim to master Simlish to make it more believable but that’s optional of course.

Step 1. Choose one of these 3 templates and print it out. If you’re drained and out of energy go for the red or orange one and if you’re full of energy go for the green one. A cool thing to do would be to make all 3 and throughout the night change out the plumbobs (yes that’s what they’re called) as you get more tired, when you change into the red one you’re ready to leave the party!

Step 2. Glue the template up and allow it to dry for a bit. Get a length of metal wire (16 gauge or similar) long enough to wrap around the headband and up into the whole length of the plumbob. You might need pliers in order to cut the metal wire. A glue gun would be great to use to help secure the plumbob in place!

I hope you will try out one of these D.I.Y projects this halloween! I look forward to hearing everyone’s stories on how it went and just how impressed everyone was with your halloween costume.

Impostor Syndrome

By Maxite

Cover by persol

What do Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, and Lady Gaga have in common? For as successful and accomplished as they are, they have all experienced feelings of self-doubt and even concern of being found out as a fraud; feeling that their accomplishments were just lucky or not really deserved. These feelings are all a manifestation of Imposter Syndrome, which is believed to affect around 70% of people at some point in their life.

Imposter Syndrome doesn’t just take one form or feeling though. Experts have identified a few different ways it can exhibit. Someone may feel that they’re a failure if they can’t do the work all on their own, while another person might feel tremendous pressure to succeed in all areas and work as hard as possible because of feelings of inadequacy. Some are staunch perfectionists who feel that their work is always flawed, while others feel they need to study and research all there is to know about a topic because they don’t trust their own expertise.
Recognizing when one is experiencing this phenomenon can be hard to pinpoint, but one of the easiest ways to tell is when you consistently reject compliments or praise given to you about your work, consider your success to just be a matter of luck, or regularly question your own intelligence or competence. Imposter Syndrome gets its name because one becomes convinced that through these doubts, they’ve “tricked” others into seeing them as more capable or worthy than they actually are — ergo, they’re imposters.

If you suspect you have Imposter Syndrome, then therapy can be very effective in helping provide guidance in navigating the challenges. Outside of therapy, one can also try a few different things. Speaking to a friend or trusted mentor can help one get a third-party perspective, and sharing your concerns and doubts can ease the burden of those feelings. Objectively looking at one’s own doubts can be good, as confronting them and giving them a reality check can reveal them to be unfounded or improbable. Finally, try to avoid making direct comparisons between yourself and others. We’re all uniquely talented and capable, and you have gotten to where you are at on your own merits.

Modesty and humility can be positive traits, but when one truly believes that they don’t deserve the praise and recognition that they have achieved, then we start to get into the spectre of Imposter Syndrome. Still, for a condition that sounds like a horror movie title, it is one that is relatively benign and one where you will find yourself in excellent company.


By Aneha

The Adventures of a Curious Diplomat – Part 2

A Community Submission

By warzo00

Video by melisi142

It was just another ordinary day as the diplomats ventured out onto an expedition, but little did they know, they may not all make it back together. After briefly visiting each agency, exchanging pleasant greetings to each one, the diplomats slowly began to come to the end of their expedition, when Richard and James became distracted and accidentally lost track of where they were supposed to be going. 

It was in the second to last agency that both boys lost their way. It was just a regular visit to the White House but Richard and James quickly became intrigued with an ongoing conversation. As they silently got distracted by the conversation, minutes passed before they realised the rest of the team had moved to the final destination. “Hmm, where did they go?” James asked Richard, “I don’t know, let’s just stay here”. As minutes passed, the conversation slowly came to an end and the HQ gradually got quieter. After a while both boys decided it was time to leave and began making their way towards the exit. “Wait for me! I need to tie my shoelace”, Richard exclaimed, James came to a stop and leant against a wall. 

It looked just like any other wall, nothing special about it… when they heard what appeared to be the sound of cogs turning. “Wait, what was that?!” James worriedly questioned, by this time the White House had gone quiet and there was no one else active. “Whattt, I have no i-“ Richard began, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw what had made the noise. “Look!”

In the distance, a low wall had suddenly become a shimmering of light, as, with a clunking noise, it progressively began to separate. Both boys looked on intrigued and after a few moments the wall had completely dispersed to reveal, what appeared to be, a secret passageway. They looked on in disbelief and slowly, but cautiously, began to walk towards it. “What on earth is that?’ One of them called out, but the HQ was empty, they stared at each other, shocked at what they had just discovered. After a few passing moments they began to enter the passageway, their curiosity had once again got the better of them. 

As they entered, they noticed a dim light shining at the end, with the rest of the short passageway plunging them into darkness. Using the far light as a guide they slowly etched their way towards it… into the unknown. The corridor had been well built, although was visibly ageing, the paint peeling off in corners, slight cracks in the walls and the floor covered with a slight layer of dust. As the pair cautiously creeped to the end of the corridor, they noticed it was relatively empty with just the occasional door on the way to the end. Upon reaching the end, they noticed the beacon of light had beamed from a slightly ajar door. They put their ear to the door in an attempt to distinguish any inside voices. 

There didn’t appear to be any voices radiating from the room, although it had clearly been used recently. “Let’s explore!” James whispered to a worried Richard, who sheepishly followed behind. “I’m not sure about this, someone could come back and then we’d get in trouble James!”, Richard exclaimed. With just a grunt of acknowledgement in reply, Richard quietly continued to follow James in his exploration of the mysterious room. 

The room, professionally and formally furnished, clearly belonged to a high ranking official. A large, elegant, chestnut brown oak desk was the main centrepiece of the room, with formal office chairs situated in front and behind. As moments passed, the pair carefully continued to explore the room, when suddenly a choir of voices could be heard echoing down the hallway, seeping into the room. They were trapped. 

The pair looked at each other, their eyes filled with panic. “I told you this was a bad idea” Richard angrily hissed at James. James knew he was right and now they were both going to end up paying for it. As they scanned the room for a possible hiding place, Richard’s eyes locked on a gap under the desk. It was small and compact, but both of them managed to squeeze into it. Now they just had to hold their breath and hope no one noticed them. Soon after hiding they could hear the door opening and three sets of footsteps entered the room.

The footsteps inched closer as they made their way to the chairs, one set walked to the seat directly in front of where the diplomats were hiding. They were dangerously close to being discovered. As the occupants began, what sounded like a very important conversation, they recognised the voice in front of them as the President’s. They dared not make any sort of sound and silently covered their ears with their hands, knowing they would get in serious trouble if anyone ever found out they were there.

After what felt like a lifetime, they noticed the occupants getting up, uncovered their ears and could hear all 3 occupants head to the door, closing it behind them. They hadn’t been discovered, they stared at each other with relief in their eyes. They waited a few moments to make sure they had left for good, before they got up and tiptoed towards the door. They pushed the handle down when they realised it was locked.

“Great, we’re locked in, now what do we do James?” Richard asked in a panicked voice. “There’s a window up there open, let’s try and get through it” James replied. Richard looked in the direction of James’ gaze. There was a window a little higher up, slightly open, the gap was small if they pushed it open a little more they’d be able to get through it. “Here, give me a leg up and I’ll pull you up after” Richard whispered. 

After getting up to the window ledge he quickly pulled James up and they climbed through the window. It was at ground level so the jump down was an easy one. What they didn’t anticipate were the security cameras. Outside was a large grass area, they could see USDF HQ not far away, but first they had to pass 3 security cameras. 

“Keep along the fence and I think we can make it” James whispered, Richard could sense the touch of guilt in his voice. “This was a real adventure James and there’s no one else I would have wanted to go on such a thrilling adventure with” Richard reassured James as they slowly etched their way across the large lawn, making sure to stay close to the fence at all times. 

Finally they had got to the end, no camera appeared to have caught them and everything was still calm. As they slowly continued to make their way across to HQ, the pair each thought about the adventure they had just had. They were no stranger to adventure but this had definitely been their most thrilling yet. 

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