Delegate's Discourse by Davelands, Delegate of TWP The past month has certainly been a busy one for The West Pacific. It started with Badger stepping down as Delegate and ended with a Zombie Apocalypse. It was an honor when Badger asked me to take over the Delegacy of The West Pacific. Although we had been working closely together for most of the past year, the announcement caught me by surprise. Taking over for such a legendary figure will be a tough job, but one that I enjoy taking on. My first task was to appoint two new Guardians. Rigels Light and Bran Astor are two people that I have known for a long time and trust will do the best for the region. So far they have exceeded my expectations. As far as regional policy goes, it will be very similar to what you have seen in the past as Badger and I have similar visions for the region. The West Pacific will be more active on both the Foreign Affairs and Military sides as we continue our policy of being more of a force in Gameplay. Locally, activity on the RMB and Forums continue to climb and I am encouraging more involvement in the regional Government and its various departments. It is a great way to make your mark in the region and work your way up to a higher position. To that end, I want to remind the region that the next round of elections are starting immediately! Lastly, I did want to mention the annual Zombie Apocalypse. The rule changes this year certainly hindered the larger regions like ours but I think we did great! We finished 2nd out of the 9 GCRs in terms of Most Survivors and found a potential General in Skymoot. I am looking forward to a great future for The West Pacific!!! How Should a Feeder Deal With Z-day? by Pergamon, Senator of The Pacific Last Z-day we did a free-for-all, organizing various teams led by Imperial Governors. The team with the most zombies won the previous event. This year we wanted to do it differently and aimed for most survivors, urging our nations to cure. However it's very difficult for a feeder to get everyone to work together. Most people tend to see these events as sandbox and fun, so they do whatever they please in the moment, without having any competitive mindset or the will to work together with others. Not only did it result in a whole lot of saltiness, but also in the ejection of hundreds of nations, since we tried to eject anyone flooding others with hordes. It ended up being almost a battle between the offsite community and the onsite community; while the onsite community did whatever they wanted and hence sabotaged the efforts of the offsite community, offsite community members actively participated, linking to NPO Senators the nations of Horders and Kill Squadders so they could eject them. Aside from the Nuke Event (which can be competitively led and also seen rather more as a contest) I consider that a competitive mindset during such an event as Z-day is of no use for a Feeder and rather belongs in an User Created Region in which every single member actually strives for the same goal; everyone can observe that especially isolated, well organized, active UCRs have been doing the best during Z-day. As such, I think the best option for any Feeder is to declare such an event free-for-all and organize the various teams like we did last year, because after this year's Z-day (ignoring all the complaints, whines, and bad blood over the ejection of nations that went against the regional agenda) the Region, the Feeder itself, still didn't do any better - or, well - it was completely pointless. What's Happening in The West Pacific? by Rigel, Internal Affairs Minister of TWP This month in TWP's Internal Affairs department we've been busy bees with the appointment of a new Deputy IA Minister and organizing countless inter-regional activities and exciting new things for our Citizens to do. Of these, we've introduced the Drunken Monkey Fight Club, we had a Spooky Story Contest, and we've started having Trivia Nights and Weekly Writing Prompts. In the future, we plan on expanding the Weekly Writing prompts, host an issue writing class, open up a one stop flag shop for people who make and need flags to get together, and coordinating a couple of super secret events that will be coming up in November and December. As for what's going on right now, we still have DMFC going, we'll be kick-starting the NaNoWriMo event, and Trivia nights are a weekly occurrence on the Discord! Your IA department has been hard at work to give you exciting new things to do, and it will only continue through the rest of the year! Pirates Ahoy! by Altino, Captain of TWPAF After a month or so of laying down the pirate law and getting the new theme and structure organized, TWPAF has spent the last month training and growing! With the help of some allies, we just finished off a hold on Mr Money Headquarters that was scheduled to last two weeks, but thanks to the nearly 60 pilers that were able to make it into the region, the operation was finished and the region refounded within a week. These impressive numbers were thanks in no small part to the Recruitment Drive lead by Captain Altino and her officers which inspired 22 new recruits to join the fearsome Pirates, several of whom have already gotten their first promotions. Raids at nearly every update are continuing to be performed in conjunction with TWPAF’s sister ship: EPSA’s Reavers of the East. TWPAF has also lead all of NationStates in a Halloween R/D “costume contest,” where both raiders and defenders tag regions in friendly Halloween style to gear up for the festivities. Our Guardians, Bran and Rigel, usually take the lead in TWPAF’s graphics department, but as they are serving as judges, other TWPers have stepped up to assist. Special thanks to Overthinkers for arranging TWPAF’s team, Strat for helping to write a beautiful WFE, and Ark for making a battle flag for the occasion. TWPAF Promotions This Month: Calradia from Greenhorn to Striker 10/5 Warlorder from Greenhorn to Striker 10/13 Aynia from Powder Monkey to Boatswain 10/23 Lynx from Powder Monkey to Boatswain 10/23 Vandoosa from Boatswain to Gunner 10/23 Equilibris from Greenhorn to Striker 10/24 Nowakbren from Greenhorn to Striker 10/25 Overthinkers from Sailing Master to Quarter Master 10/25 Spooky Story Contest Winner by Aynia I took a deep breath and looked at the sprinkler directly above me on the generic white tile ceiling. I could hear the beeping of the monitors that were already hooked up to me, measuring my heart rate and blood pressure. "It's a routine surgery." I told myself. "Doctors do this kind of thing every day and everything is going to be fine." I took another breath and shut my eyes but nothing seemed to be relieving the gnawing feeling in the pit of my chest. It wasn’t a routine surgery, but I was desperately searching for a way to make myself feel better. With a swish of the double doors another doctor walked in and headed straight for me. Relief and anxiety were two fencers, battling it out inside my chest as he started to ask me routine questions and explain the surgery. What goes through your head when you suddenly realize that as soon as he stops talking, you have a very limited time until you're dragged into unconsciousness? Surprisingly, not all that much. My thoughts were racing but the whirlwind amalgamated into one big mass of just thinking about the now. Before I knew it a nurse was standing over my head saying something about counting backwards from ten. I started to count out loud, hearing my voice starting to slur. "Ten." I thought I could hear some kind of rumble in the distance. "Nine..." I could feel the blood rushing through my veins in my ears. "Eight." The far wall of the surgery suite imploded with a blast that felt like it tore the muscles off my bones. I felt so hazy, but I was still conscious enough to realize what chaos was going on around me. Then suddenly there was nothing. My head felt heavy, like it was stuffed with rocks and cotton and my neck felt like rubber. My head wobbled and bobbed as I looked up and around the room. The beeping had stopped and the doctors were nowhere to be found. I let my head fall back on the table below me and sat there gathering my strength. In my short glance around the room I realized one giant detail: something was really wrong. I glanced down at my arm, seeing the dust covered syringe still sticking out of the IV line the doctor was using to sedate me. It still looked pretty full and that was probably the only reason I was conscious now. I'm not sure how long I lay there, but as I focused again on the chunk of missing tile above me where the sprinkler used to be I didn't hear a single sound. Eventually it didn’t feel like my head was made of concrete and I was able to sit up on the table. The downside to the anesthesia wearing off was that I was starting to feel the full force of the anxiety from not knowing what was going on. Was I still asleep? Did I die? Did someone attack the hospital? Everything felt solid and real. My head was slowly starting to clear and I could see the motes of dust floating through the air and smell the dampness creeping in from the rainy day outside and mixing with the smell of busted drywall and antibacterial soap. Wrapping the hospital gown closer around myself I clumsily slid down of the table and promptly skewered my foot on a piece of broken glass. I yelled out, quickly realizing that no sound was coming out. I tested again and heard only silence. Reaching down I slowly pulled the shard of glass from the bottom of my foot with a silent hiss before I started looking around me for something to stop the bleeding. There was a stainless steel cart with a closed drawer, and upon opening it up I found rolls and pads of gauze. Everything else seemed to be covered in dust and debris so I cleaned up the pad of my foot as best I could and wrapped the gauze tightly around it. The white cloth was quickly stained red but there was nothing I could do about it. Shutting the drawer, I couldn’t hear the metal sliding back into place, everything was as silent as it was when I woke up. I looked down at the small puddle and blood droplets on the floor and dismissed the idea of trying to clean it up. The entire room was a wreck and it was the least of my worries at this point. Looking through the place where the wall once stood I could see out of the second story all the way down to the street. There wasn’t a soul in sight even outside. I wondered if maybe there’d been some kind of attack and everyone had been evacuated. But then why did they leave me behind? The fog had almost completely lifted thanks to the stabbing pain of the glass through my foot. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears, but no sounds came from outside my body. I had to find someone, and I had to get home. Surely my family would be worried sick and looking for me at this point. I took a few experimental steps on my bandaged foot and found it was bearable. I limped my way over towards the door and realized I was leaving a bloody stamp with each step from the soaked through gauze. I chucked to myself. At least I wasn’t going to get lost. I turned out of the doorway to see the hallway torn open just like the previous room. It seems the whole corner of the building was torn to shreds. Though where the room I ventured out from was full of light from the gaping hole in the wall, the hall way was dark and dreary and the fluorescent overhead lights were dead in their sockets. There were emergency lights every so often, bathing the hallway in an eerie red glow. I turned to my left and wandered back towards where I remembered the elevators. It wasn’t far, but with the pain of putting any weight on my injured foot it took me a while to get there. Eventually I saw the steel double doors and had a moment of worry that maybe the electricity was out for them as well, but as I tried the button I heard the telltale whir of the elevator making its way up to the second floor. The doors opened with a soft ding and opened to reveal a dark interior. I had a sudden urge to take the stairs. Instead I leaned into the cart, keeping at least one leg out of the door in order to keep it from closing as I looked for the buttons. Above the floor numbers was a switch and with a short turn the backup lights gave just enough of a dim glow to be able to see. I banked on the fact that one creepy elevator ride would be easier than navigating the stairs with a gimp foot. The truth was though that I seemed to be fated to drawing the short end of the straw no matter which way I took. I slunk into the elevator, turning around to rest my back against the wall as the doors closed. When I opened my eyes I could see another set of bloody foot prints on the pale tile floor right next to mine. They seemed to stop right outside of the elevator door. Without thinking I reached out to try to stop the door from closing the rest of the way but I was too late. My palm met stainless steel as the doors closed and I started to descend down to the ground floor. My mind immediately began to race. There was no one with me the entire time. Had someone come this way before me? Had the footprints been there as I approached the elevator? I felt as though I was losing my mind. Nothing made sense to me anymore. I kept trying to make sense of what was happening to me but I couldn’t find any logical explanation for it. The elevator doors opened with a ping that startled me. I cleared my throat, seeing if maybe now I would be able to hear my own voice. I still couldn’t hear a thing. I gingerly stepped out into the lobby area and noticed immediately that while all the walls were intact, it looked as though nobody had been in the building in decades. The light shining through the windows was dulled to a haze as it passed through dust and dirt. The wallpaper was cracked and peeling, with what looked like years of water stains creeping down from the ceiling. The plywood top of the reception desk was splitting apart, and the tile under my feet was covered with dirt and debris. I leaned down to check the bandage around my foot. The bottom was already matted with dirt that had stuck to the blood seeping through the gauze. I stood up to put a little more pressure, testing to see if the pain would still be there. It throbbed, but it was something I could deal with. Taking a hesitant step I saw a figure move away from one of the doorways to the exam rooms. I quickly turned and, after realizing I didn’t see anyone anymore, I quickly limped my way over to the hallway. There was nothing. The only light that even reached this area was what came through the dingy blinds covering the left side of the hallway windows. To my right there were doors spaced intermittently down the hallway, each the entrance to an exam room. I briefly stopped to pull up one of the blinds to the windows. The cord was brittle and broke off in my hands, the blinds crashing back down to cover the window. I gasped and instinctively took a step back. Just then I saw it again. In my peripheral vision I saw a figure dart back into one of the exam room doorways at the end of the hall. I knew there was someone here. “Hello?” I called out. I still couldn’t hear my own voice, but I was hoping maybe I had made a noise. Just to be sure, I rapped a few times on the wall to announce myself as I began to limp down the hallway. I’d made it three or four steps before I heard a return knock. I passed the first two doors, then stopped to knock again. Hesitantly I passed the next couple of doors, coming to stand just outside the last open room. I reached forward to knock on the wall then steeled myself to look in the room. I took a last step and turned to look in the doorway and found…well, nothing. The room was dark and as dirty as the reception area. Suddenly I heard a return knock again, this time back towards the beginning of the hallway. As I turned the doors all slammed shut in rapid succession until the last one slammed just inches from my face. I shut my eyes as I felt the wind blow over me from the force of the door shutting. I opened my eyes and slowly took a step back. I couldn’t waste any more time here. I had an overwhelming need to get to my own home. The knocking started again as I made my way back down the hallway, intensifying until it sounded like a crowd of people were trapped in each exam room, beating at the doors to break free. I forgot about the pain in my foot as I sprinted the rest of the way out of the hall. Making my way back to the reception area I saw the elevator doors closing, cutting off the flow of what looked to be blood that had been pouring out of the elevator car. I could still hear the pounding of the hallway doors and ran for the exit as quickly as I could. I reached for the handle and the reception telephone began to shriek. My heart was beating so hard I could feel it against my chest wall. I tried to ignore the phone and get out the door but the handle seemed to be jammed. My breathing picked up and I could feel as tears began to sting my eyes. The elevator dinged again and I couldn’t stop myself from turning to look. Blood began rushing out as soon as the door had begun to open. It poured out all the way from the top of the elevator. As the doors opened more I could see that the elevator car was completely full, and as I recognized what it was full of, the bodies poured out and down from the elevator, carried on the slick waterfall of blood. I stood frozen, watching as the flayed bodies writhed and gasped on the floor. I squeezed my eyes shut and turned again to the door handle, pulling hard to attempt to dislodge it. I felt frantic, I was pulling and jerking the door handle, but it wasn’t budging. I began hearing beeping like a heart monitor, keeping time to the gruesome song of whining and wailing coming from the bodies on the floor. I felt light headed, and I knew I couldn’t control my hyperventilating. The moans were getting louder, and I could begin to hear whispers in my head. I shook my head back and forth, trying to clear it, but the whispering became more and more pronounced until I could hear it right next to my ear. “Do you want to go home? Do you want to see your family?” I shook like a leaf as I began losing control in earnest. I shoved my shoulder against the door, yanking back on the handle in a desperate attempt to escape. “Do you want to see your family? You’ve got to come around first.” With one last yank the door seemed to fly open and I threw myself out onto the sidewalk. I gasped as I felt myself falling through the air, everything moving in a blur around me. I knew I was going to hit the pavement hard, but I was free. I sat up with a gasp, expecting to feel the cold sidewalk beneath me, but instead I only felt the cool sheets of the hospital bed. I expected to see rot and ruin surrounding me, but instead I only saw the pleasant face of the nurse next to my bed. I fell back onto the thin pillow, feeling the last of the fear draining out of my drugged mind. Looking up I noticed a sprinkler head in the middle of the ceiling tile over my bed. It was all just a dream. To me it felt like I’d only been trying to escape the building for 15 or 20 minutes, but in truth I’d been under anesthesia for hours. “There you go. Just lie back and relax.” The nurse looked down at me with a smile. “You gave us a bit of a scare there. There were some complications and your heart stopped beating. We don’t expect any more issues, but the doctor will need to see you in the morning.” Her voice softened. “You were technically dead for almost 20 minutes.” I laid in the bed, looking up at the sprinkler on the ceiling trying to make sense of what had happened. The nurse took another minute to see that I was ok and I watched her walk towards the door. She opened it and slipped out, but what she didn’t notice was that I could again see the rotted and ruined hospital waiting outside my door, as well as the bloody footprints she left behind… Editor's Farewell Address by Halo Dear Reader, I have very much enjoyed being The West Pacifican's editor-in-chief, but the time has come for me to leave this role to allow me to focus on my other duties. I will still make myself available to assist in editing. Your new editor-in-chief will be Sylven. She is new to the region, but has been active in NS for a while. Sylven is very enthusiastic, has great ideas and has editorial experience! This last issue of "mine" was really almost all her work, with a little guidance from me. Please welcome her warmly to The Best Pacific.