View Full Version : Zhelan(Lobotomizer) Vs. Winston(Kamiroo Wolf)

Kamiroo Wolf
08-16-2016, 01:47 PM
Alright, this is a tad late(if you can call 16+ days "a tad") due to some admittedly minor complications on my end, but we've got another battle coming on up!

This time we've got the demon keeper himself, Zhelan(Lobotomizer) (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?99534-Zhelan), pitted against the man with an unhealthy obsession for stick figures, Winston(Kamiroo Wolf) (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?99546-Winston)!

Zhelan stared at the man before him. Around him lay a crumpled mess of stick-like figures, black ink flowing freely from their motionless bodies.

“Do you intend on avenging every one of your fallen?” His voice was cold and hard.

Winston was silent, but there was a new emotion emerging from his expression. Anger. “What if I do?” He answered quietly.

In response, Zhelan tossed his blade away, folding his sword arm behind his back. “Then do as you will.”

The man must have hid a blade in his clothes, for when he threw himself into Zhelan he could feel a sharp pain deep in his abdomen. He crumpled wordlessly, as Winston staggered back in fear and disbelief.

He opened his eyes, catching sight of the nondescript plaster white ceiling. For a time he tried to return to sleep, yet it seemed as though every time he closed his eyes they sprung back up more alert than ever. He could do nothing to still the visions that passed through his mind. Strangely enough, he could only recall the few moments before his death, like a fleeting dream one woke up from.

Resigned to this fact he arose from the bed, idly glancing through the shoulder high window beside him. Dawn had only just arrived, and a chill autumn wind breezed through the room, leaving a comfortable chill that he did not quite dislike. Wispy clouds hang above the line of two storey buildings across the street, coloured an orange hue by the rising sun.

He turned his attention to Ilen, who slept soundly by his side. The dim light that filtered through the window was just enough to make out her delicate, childish features. Her cream yellow hair was spread across her sleeping face, unmarred by the dark mischief and condescendance that she was wont to hold. A slight frown emerged, for he could not withhold a begrudging appreciation of the sight. Strangely enough, it was her twisted nature that reminded him of her deeds, and when it was absent he could feel no hatred for her.

He brushed away a wispy lock from her lips. If she changed, perhaps he could have lived the lie her told her as truth. That she meant more to him. But would she ever, if he did not bring her close to him? A wry expression crossed his face. Though he knew nothing would move if he did not make the first step, he could not bring himself to.

A muffled murmur, and Ilen stirred. Her eyes opened a tiny crack as she blindly groped for him. He grasped her hands together, waiting patiently for her to be fully awake.

“Zhelan,” she yawned. “You are early.”

Once more, he noted that she no longer addressed him first the way his childhood friend had. “Only a little,” he answered simply.

She flashed him a smirk, lopsided from her drowsiness. “Died lately, have you?”

“Maybe.” He returned with a typical unsatisfactory answer, eliciting a frown from the other. He ignored it, reaching out for the brush at the dresser.

“Turn away, please.” He waited for her to comply, and began to brush her hair lightly. The strands parted smoothly from the teeth, and the knots he gently undid with his hands. They did not speak for a time, but eventually Ilen did break the silence.

“You have been pampering me, Zhelan.”

He decided to be dense. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“You would say that, when you have never cared for my hair until now?”

“I thought it would be a change of pace.”

She gave a small hum, one that held both thoughtfulness and mischief.

“Do you love me, Zhelan?”

His hand stopped for but a moment, but he caught himself in time to reply. “You would ask this so frankly?”

“Why would I not?”

He shook his head slowly, but as the silence drew out he knew he had to answer one way or another.

“I would not go so far as to say that I do. Perhaps in time.”

“In time?” She eased closer to him. “You wouldn’t mind, then?’

There was a long pause. “Apart from the fact that you have murdered my kin a decade before, no.” He answered as dryly as he could manage.
She did not answer immediately, but when she did it was in a mock indignant tone. “I thought you better than this, Zhelan. They willingly gambled upon their lives to seal myself. They lost, and that is all there is to it.”

“And I?

“You?” She smiled. “The irony in your assistance amused me. I was willing to keep you as...a plaything. But I too was careless, and so the fate I yearned to escape from...befell me once more.”

A light hearted shrug. “Ten years is a long time for humans, Zhelan. I have long forgotten my sealing, is it not time you did the same? Or is reminding me of what I’ve done yet another part of my punishment?”

Her voice seemed to wither as she finished, but he could not quite tell why. His throat was dry; as much as he needed to say he forgave her he could not, not with the way she worded her question. “Did you have kin?” He finally managed.

Ilen shook her head lightly. “No, never. Those similar to me we speak briefly, but we do not bond. Nor have I cared for many humans, if any. Perhaps…” Her voice grows silent. “Perhaps I do know little of your pain.”

“There is more to a bond than the pain of losing one.”

There was a drawn out silence. “Then, do you pity me, Zhelan?”

“It would be condescending of me to.” He answered plainly. “Our worlds are different beyond compare.”

She let out a laugh, but it was weak and dissonant, devoid of any vigor. “There you go, always giving the safe answers, avoiding questions where you cannot do so. “


“Thought I would not notice?” She cut in. “Just like the times you spoke to placate me, to treat me well when I deserved none?” She did not wait for an answer, but motioned to leave. “I will see you downstairs, Zhelan, whenever you are prepared.”’

“Ilen…!” He stood to reach out for her, but his leg had yet to fully heal, and in his haste he found himself stumbling toward the floor. Only, he found himself caught just before he reached the ground, and when he looked up he saw Ilen’s crimson eyes, reddened and teary. She must have noticed too, for once she pulled him to his feet she quickly departed, the door left ajar behind her.

He almost chased after her, but stopped as soon as he took a single step. Nothing came to his mind that would salvage the situation, he knew, neither could he apologise for deceiving her, not without confirming how much she had already deduced.

Mentally, Zhelan slapped himself. That is the very thing she saw through, the very thing that caused this to happen - placating. He decided he could only prepare to leave, taking just enough time that may give Ilen time to recover, and without her thinking he might have abandoned her. He brought his blade along in a cloth bag as an afterthought, knowing that there will be an encounter soon enough.

Why now, of all times?

He found her at the ground floor of the motel, and whilst she seemed to have recovered her face was devoid of expression. There was no trace of the twisted bemusement or childish enthusiasm she always bore. He worried, but there was nothing he could do nor say. He guided her to a nearby eatery, and she said nothing throughout their breakfast, save ordering her food. Neither did she once look at him, her eyes always averted to the scenery outside. The serving girl had offered him a sympathetic look, one he did not care to respond to.

Abruptly, Ilen began to speak, her tone clearly terse and unwilling. “You may have a visitor.”

He followed her gaze to the view outside the eatery. It took but a moment for her to understand her intentions, as he picked out a figure in the crowd loitering in the vicinity, clearly searching for someone. There was nothing to say he was not just an ordinary passerby, but Ilen had learnt to pick people out over the months by instinct or simple observation, and most of all, Zhelan recognised him.

“He can wait.” Zhelan said, and almost instantly regretted his words.

“Is your food so important to you, Zhelan?” Ilen asked, her tone just slightly different from her her usual hostile tone, yet equally chilling in effect. He opened his mouth to explain himself, but promptly closed it. If he should not placate, then what else could he possibly say?”

“I will be going, then. I trust you will stay safe.” He finally managed, and though he waited just briefly for a reply, he did not hear one before he left the eatery.

The man was a black bespectacled individual, of lanky build that suggested he trained a little less that he should have. Neither his hair or clothes were particularly well kept, nor were they too dishevelled, and that and his lopsided smile gave to a cheery but careless demeanor He did quickly spot Zhelan emerging through the crowds, but his smile faded just somewhat knowing he had been found first

“Seems like I’m not cut out for hide and seek, eh.” He gave a short laugh and held out his arm. “Zhelan, was it? Name’s Winston. Heard good things about you. Something about people not living after you’re done with them.”

Zhelan did take the hand, if with the slightest of pauses. “You must have known what to expect when you chose to meet me, then.”

A second laugh, this time noticeably uncomfortable. “Easy there cowboy. Someone ever tell you you’ve got a sharp tongue? I’m not out for blood. Never tasted good.”

Zhelan stopped himself abruptly, realising how quickly his words had become caustic. It felt as though his once solid composure had worn thin. “You are right, I apologise. What are you here for, then, if not to fight?”

“Huh,” Winston raised his brows and adjusted his glasses, as if not expecting an apology. “Maybe you’re really just misunderstood, huh? Well, I’d say the fighting bit is a tentative, not-so-confirmed kind of thing. I was just really looking to see what kind of a man you are. You kill, but you don’t look like you care for it. What’s the story here?”

“There is none,” Zhelan replied simply. “They knowingly gambled their lives , fighting and killing for their own reasons, and their deaths only a consequence. I...have no reason to risk my own to spare them.”

His voice became ragged at the end. He would have no trouble saying those words months back, but now Ilen’s earlier words hit him hard. Did she not think the same as he?

“You don’t sound to sure of yourself there, buddy.” Winston looked at him with a raised brow.

“...Perhaps I do feel some regret.” He lied with some finality. “But ask yourself if you would risk your life to spare your assailant. I am not as willing.”

“Well, yeah.” The man’s cheerful demeanor seemed to evaporate somewhat, replaced by a deep thoughtfulness. Briefly, he flasted the other a wry smile. “Bit hard to hold back on someone wanting your head on a platter, huh?”

“If you believe it merciless, then you can only choose to run. That is a braver solution that many would think.”

There is a long silence as Winston stared into his eyes, searching for some truth or reassurance, and he returned the gaze evenly without emotion. Finally, Winston broke free with an uneasy smile and a barely masked shudder, instead retrieving what appeared to be a notebook and pencil. “You’ll have to help me understand here, Zhelan, I’m not exactly convinced of your little argument. You won’t mind if we try this out real time do you?”

“You needn’t be convinced.” He gestured a hand to the opposing street. “If what you believe serves you, then I have no reason to change your mindset. You can be on your way now.”

“It’s less about convincing me that you’re right and more about convincing me you’re telling the truth, y’see. And I can’t go back without an answer.” He tapped the end of his pencil against the flat of the notebook. “How about we take a little spar, buddy? My creations against you.”

For the longest of moments Zhelan averted his gaze, seemingly hesitant, but when he does turn back his expression was more severe than before, marked with determination and a near imperceptible sorrow. “You will, then, recognise that your ‘creations’ will likely fall?”

Winston took a step back, convinced of the other’s reluctance, yet firm resolve to follow his principles. But the defensive smile he flashed showed that he was equally reluctant, yet had no choice in the matter. “Guess I have to, huh? How about we move on to somewhere a little more secluded?”

There is no preventing it, it seems.

“Then, lead the way.”

They found themselves in a quiet corner of the city, in a dead end of the streets that offered just enough space. There was no fanfare, no build up of music like in the movies. Yet in the silence the tension was almost palpable. Winston appeared to be less than enthusiastic, and the earlier intimidation had done no favours for him. His carefree demeanor gave way to an unease that he failed to hide behind a weak smile.

“You know, you could really stand to look a little less serious,” he joked.

“I have no intention of waving away the severity of this, and neither should you, as the one who began this all.” Zhelan’s voice was rigid and merciless.

He mock rolled his eyes, but the action belied the impact those words had upon him. “Bet you’re real fun at parties, bud.”

He withdrew a set of sketchpads, flipping the topmost one open before scribbling into it. Zhelan simply pulled his blade from its scabbard, placing the latter against the wall. The tearing of paper echoed in the enclosed space, and as he expected, several stick figures materialised brandishing light bladed weapons, varying between what appears a gladius to that of a spiked truncheon. He did not give pause, closing the gap between he and the figures with two solid steps. A flick of the wrist sends one head flying, and by the time they could react he had their numbers cut to three.

“Jesus…!” Winston exclaimed, only managing to look up at that instant, the truth of what transpired quickly dawning upon him. “Well don’t just sit there, folks, get him!”

The three encircled Zhelan for a tense few minutes, whilst he settles into a balanced stance, crouching slightly on his back leg with the other placed just lightly on the ground in front of him. The first figure came to him on his right, and he sidesteps to the left avoiding a vertical swing. He caught his momentum just in time to parry two attacks on his left by the remaining figures, and at the same time threw a frontal kick that sent it staggering backward.

The figures attempted to overpower power him, but he quickly stepped back from their blades, his sword slipping from under them only to cut horizontally at their necks. Black ink leaked onto the cement floor, a grim reminder of their fate. The final figure, having recovered, charged in a last ditch attempt. Zhelan simply parried the strike and let its momentum carry forward, before crashing his pommel onto its head. It collapsed lifelessly, joining the rest of its brethren.

“You’re a real piece of work you know that?” Winston’s voice was half-joking, yet awash with frustration. “You know i only needed one of them to take down the sun of an ancient god.”

Zhelan watched him scribble furiously into paper with little more than a disinterested expression. “Do you mourn for them?”

“What’s it to you? You're not going to play the pity game, are you?” Again, Winston failed to hide the accuracy of Zhelan’s words.

“You struggle to sacrifice your creations in place of yourself, for a cause that you are not even sure of.”

“Don’t talk as if you know me; I know damn well what I want!” Winston almost snarled, the tearing of paper growing violent this time. Four more stick figures materialised and quickly take positions around Zhelan. From his left to right, they were red yellow green and blue, the first and last handling staves, and the other two thick club like weapons. A mix of reach and weight. The man was learning as expected.

The blue one struck first, swinging the staff horizontally at his torso. He flicked his wrist slightly to meet the staff with his blade. Red came at him next with a frontal thrust. Having made only a slight movement, he was readily able to deflect it with a strike of the blade, and at the same time stepping into kissing distance with the other two who were advancing towards him. With yellow and green caught off guard by this aggressive maneuver that left them no space to swing, Zhelan bashed the latter aside with his pommel and, stepping away, cut down the former from shoulder down. Now facing red, he managed to block another swing of the staff, but was easily blindsided by a forceful blow to his legs by the blue figure. There was a grunt as Zhelan fell to his knees, but he twisted his torso in time to roll away from the two figures, breaking the pincer formation they had on him. Red swung first at his legs, and he took a quick step back, his front leg raised just enough for the tip to pass harmlessly under it. Blue then skirted around his right flank, twisting its wiry torso as it held the end of its staff with both hands to swing at his chest. He snapped his sword arm straight, blocking the blow just before it reached him before ducking a swing from Red. Blue withdrew its staff once more for a thrust, but Zhelan spun further right, avoiding it as well as a vertical strike from red. He proceeded to kick off with his back leg into a lunge, piercing the blue figure at the wrist. The staff dropped from its hands, and he took the opportunity to step forward and finish it off. The red and final figure hesitated slightly, but nonetheless swung its staff at Zhelan. He parried it and, with a few quick steps forward, brought his blade down…

...Only to see it parried by a new figure, purple in hue. It counter attacked with a swing of its weapon, a compact halberd, which Zhelan ducked under before once more resuming his stance.


“Do you truly wish to continue?” Zhelan finally asked. “I have shown you enough.”

“Not bloody likely. Not when I haven’t done a thing yet,” Winston snapped.

“And what do you intend to achieve by beating me?”

The lack of response signaled the continuation of the fight, but neither the figures nor Zhelan attacked immediately. The figures stepped slightly to either side, watching silently. Zhelan on the other hand simply stood where he was, anticipating even the slightest movement.

Then, the purple struck first, a safe thrust that Zhelan parried but knew could not punish.

Fast. More than the others.

That was why Winston still had confidence, just as he expected. There came a few more similar testing blows, and the battle began proper, as the purple figure feinted into a horizontal swing at his legs. He jumped, only to be forced to parry another blow from the red figure. The purple one withdrew quickly, jabbing once more at him whilst keeping distance. He parried the halberd away to his right, but it simply disengaged its weapon for yet another thrust. Zhelan quickly stepped himself to the right, whilst parrying the halberd away to his left. He attempted to pursue the retreating purple figure then, but the red one quickly intercepted with the thrust of its staff. He ducked, instead going for purple’s legs with a swift kick, his back leg still maintaining his balance as he did so. Purple buckled from the blow, but managed to retreat enough for the next kick to whiff. Its weapon gave way to Red’s staff, swinging downward to meet the still crouched Zhelan. But that fazed him little, for he easily met the staff with his blade. He jumped into the air and retracted his legs to plant both his feet into Red’s torso, using his free hand to catch the ground long enough for him to return to a standing position. The coup de grace to the stumbling red figure was interrupted by a timely thrust from purple that he was forced to parry aside. But purple simply hooked onto his blade with the head of its halberd. Zhelan was haplessly dragged into the dirt in front of Purple, but rolled aside in time to avoid a stomp. He recovered only just in time to his head away from another thrust of the halberd, furrowing his brow as the blade cut into his shoulder enough to draw blood. But Zhelan had enough. Gripping the still outstretched halberd by the handle, he launched himself up and forward to deliver a kick to purple’s torso. It wisely dropped its weapon, barely blocking the attack, and Zhelan once more caught himself before he fell. They stared at each other, neither moving an inch.

“Ask yourself if you truly want to continue.” Zhelan spoke, “I have shown more than enough. Or do you intend on avenging every one of your fallen?”

Winston was silent, but there was a new emotion emerging from his expression. Despair. “What if I do?” He answered quietly.

In response, Zhelan tossed his blade away, folding his sword arm behind his back. “Then do as you will.”

“Go on, kill him!” Winston yelled, but both figures hesitated at the command. They chittered in their alien language, and upon hearing them he could not help but collapse against the wall behind him.

“Well fine, you’re right. Fighting further than this has nothing to do with my mission. Just...just get out of here you sonofabitch. We’ve seen enough.”

For a moment Zhelan almost anticipated his death, hoping for a second chance to answer Ilen differently, but when it did not come he merely motioned to retrieve his blade and sheathed it in his scabbard. In his parting, he only offered a final few words. “Sacrifices have to be made. But so long as you take the steps to improve, no one or even you can blame yourself."

He found Ilen waiting at an intersection, no more than a few dozen steps away. As before her expression was cold and emotionless.

“You have been watching.” He noted.

“Is that a problem?” Her voice was hostile and accusing.

Only your safety, he almost answered in reflex. “No, not at all. Let us return to the motel, if nothing else.”

“You needn’t have bothered,” she spoke as she trailed behind him. “The child would have crumpled had you even touched him.”

“Then he would not have learnt,” He replied. “It is better this way.”

“Do you tell yourself this with every person you manipulate?” Ilen let out a bitter laugh. “Even I know better than that.”

There was the slightest of pauses, and Ilen’s next words were soft and near inaudible in the noise of traffic. “...And if only I had known.”

Zhelan swallowed, but his throat was dry. He could ignore it when Ilen went out of her way to guilt trip him, but this time her sincerity seemed all too genuine, and he was torn between the idea that it was a trap, or that she truly felt betrayed. They spoke no further, leaving him struggling to reach a conclusion.

[I]But are you a puppet; a mere toy mindlessly bending to the will of one you yourself have deemed more stable? You know the wRHG system isn’t all bad. In fact, you know better than most that there are many gladiators who depend on it and enjoy the way things are. Who are you to take that from them?

“Enough...” Winston murmurs underneath his breath, the porcelain mug clasped in his hands heating his clammy palms as the scalding dark beverage tips past his pursed lips. Hot chocolate in the middle of summer was less of a treat and more of an homage to the young man’s father, who often took him out of town for coffee after a hearty breakfast. Disgusting tradition, but once it’s a habit, it’s a habit. It’d been years since Winston last drank the caffeinated concoction, though. Far too many memories without even a fraction of the flavor to accent them. Hardly a worthy trade-off.

Around him the hustle and bustle of Stickpage city echoes, invading and devouring the building scraped skies. Each and every voice and sound of various objects obscure any evidence that the young man had been quietly arguing with himself, something the enthusiast could appreciate. More often than not, he’d be immersed in the lives of others, seeking out the wisdom of your average joe or jane and indulging in their collective experiences.

You once wanted to be like them. A fighter who thrives off the beating of others… though we suppose you haven’t fully deviated from the path. Working as a mercenary painting another man’s vision. What of your father? You don’t even know whether or not he’s alive and you’re wasting time. Not looking for him, but playing fetch for a master who simply wishes to collect exotic breeds.

“Enough.” Winston breathes into his cup, voice noticeably louder and taking much more daring sips as the brown liquid sears his throat. The words echo, drawing the attention of a few surrounding customers briefly before once again becoming immersed in their own little worlds. A few discuss work, others relationships, while the majority of the Quick-Stop Coffee Shop customers make plans for the future. One pair, comprised of two thin, pale-skinned women, speaks louder than the others, laughing obnoxiously and fearlessly mocking the establishment’s poor service with noses high in the air. Winston feels a twinge of sympathy for the waiter; poor bastard must be holed up inside in fear for his life.

Why did you join Sanctuary? Because “Sencarn” made sense? His cause made sense? We do not believe this is the answer. You don’t believe it either, and we know you don’t. Both paths require the bloodshed of the creations you call friends. Would it be safe to assume that killing them feels better if someone else gave you the order? As long as you don’t actively seek their killer? Perhaps you have been brainwashed into thinking that is ok?

“Shut. The fuck. Up.” The creator places the drink suddenly trembling in his grasp on the glass table, the cocoa spilling over the sides ever so slightly as a light flare ignites at the pit of his chest. The once vibrant and talkative outdoor cafe becomes a graveyard, Winston only able to take in a deep sigh and shut his eyes quietly as the sound of clinking china and a metal chair scrape against the concrete to fill the awkward, fear-ridden silence.

“Ex-cuse me!? I don’t recall either of us talking to you.” One woman from the rambunctious pair squeals,more like rat than mouse, practically a thin tree in the howling wind as the heels far too tall for her clop against the grey sidewalk. Quite honestly, she looked ridiculous. Teetering with each step, the sheer width and height of her forehead compared to the rest of her face makes the comparison the top of a palm tree unavoidable, the split ends shaking and dangling from her gargantuan scalp like the wilted leaves or at least a bundle of dried reeds, with a body akin to that of a tall multi-armed cactus, and exposed legs that, frankly, are in dire need of any form of moisturizer.

“You’re right, your problems are your own and I had no business interrupting you as rudely as I did.” Deciding it’d be best to just agree with the girl than explain, Winston restrains himself and raises his hand to her as a sort of half-assed apology, only to have her swat away the gesture and pull up a seat beside the dismissive instigator. “Really? Well, it’s your problem now.”

Doing her absolute best to fabricate a scene, the dark-skinned male adjacent to the troublemaker slaps his lap once, removing the white cloth from his legs and placing it on the table before rising to his feet and scooping up the backpack at the side of his chair. Arms folded across her protruding ribcage, the woman cocks her ostrich neck back, calling Winston out for attempting to pay for her silence as he retrieves something from his back pocket.

“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”

Drowning out the yapping broad, Winston flips open the notepad mistaken for a checkbook and bends down with a prolonged grunt. One woman’s child asks his mother for the artist’s multi-colored pen, whilst a passerby stops and scratches his furry chin upon inspecting the younger man’s drawing.

“Look, I currently don’t have the patience to deal with you. That’s why...” The eye-glassed man’s face falls blank, his eyes lazy behind their lenses and lips lazily set into a frown as he tears a page from the notepad. The woman expecting him to hand it to her tells Winston to fuck off, eyes expanding only to cover a portion of the open tundra that is her pasty forehead as he dunks the sketch in his drink, the paper instantly ruined by the chocolatey goodness as a large, pitch-black creature manifests from thin air beside the offender.

“Don’t kill or harm her. Just scare her enough to make sure she won’t be following me. Don’t care how you get it done, but please do as I ask.” Straightening his glasses and adjusting the straps on his backpack, Winston heads into the cafe building with wallet in hand as the stick figure he leaves behind takes his seat with sturdy eyes firm on the wide-eyed blonde.

“Whoever her waiter is, tell them I said to keep the change.” Winston removes a set of greenbacks from their leather casing, handing them patiently to the hostess as she readies his bill. The smashing of glass behind him echoes through the closed outside-area door behind him and the creator curses, drawing another set of dollars from his funds and handing them over before holding up his hand and refusing the bill, not wanting to stay any longer than he has to. With an apology he sets out, stuffing the leather in his side pocket before exiting the building.

On the outside people don’t seem genuinely worried. A few ask the big-headed woman if she’s alright, but slowly begin to disperse the moment her acquaintance steps in and tells them each to get bent. The rest stay behind, laughing and talking about the two under hushed breaths as they storm out of the establishment without paying in the opposite direction. Behind Winston the front door of the cafe chimes, the creator’s arms simply swaying at his sides as the abnormally large stick figure almost runs to catch up with its maker.

“Where to now?” It speaks, tongue dancing wildly in its mouth as the foreign language hits the artist’s ears.

You don’t have a direction, and now you’re stuck with a tag-a-long you honestly couldn’t care less about. For shame; another mistake on your part. Perhaps you should kill it. You have all the power you need in those fists of yours. End him, release the beast from captivity.

“Nowhere, really. Everyone’s at work, training’s done, not a whole lot left fo-” Halfway down the block from the scene, Winston’s shoulders jerks backward as he collides with a man not much shorter than himself. The other guy built like a brick and armed, however, the lankier dark-skinned male waves away the accident, not looking for any trouble this early in the day. It isn’t until the cream-haired child accompanying the man passes by that a sharp thread of ice shoots throughout Winston’s spine.

What a magnificent tremble! You recognize that man and his child, do you not? Why not introduce yourself? Apologize for that little mishap?

“I recognize them all right, all the more reason to keep walking and pretend that bump never happened.” Speaking to both the voice and the glaring stick figure behind him, Winston continues to stride down the chipped sidewalk as the stick figure at his side turns and begins to follow as well.

But why live in fear of a man whom you could call a dear friend in a matter of moments?

“Something deep in the pit of my soul tells me that guy has a lot more worries than making friends. To bother him or disrupt him in any way would be unnecessary.”

His eyes give away that he has seen much, but refuses to allow others to see it. Such a dull expression is more vibrant than any other! With all of his experience, why, we don’t think it is a stretch to assume he has caught wind of your father’s whereabouts in his travels.

“He has no relation to my father whatsoever.” Suddenly finding himself stiff, Winston dares sneak a peek behind his shoulder, only to see the opposing pair stop briefly to examine the scene he left behind at the now tranquil coffee shop.

But would it hurt to simply ask? If he doesn’t have the information you seek, then you could surely just walk away. While you are at it, relay to him the existence of Sanctuary. Perhaps someone there could aid him in whatever it is he seeks.

“Were you not just questioning the integrity of Sanctuary? For someone who makes up rules as they go along, you sure do contradict yourself a lot.” Realizing that he’s been talking to himself the entire time, Winston light-heartedly chuckles in embarrassment, doing his best to ignore the awkward stares from his companion.

“Do you wish to engage them?” The stick figure behind its creator follows the young man’s steel gaze. Flat fists clenched with back straight and eyes level as the figure awaits command, more obedient machine than loyal pet in behavior. The Oreo colored girl at the man’s side turns to meet the creature’s gaze, her expression a mixture of intrigue and challenge with her tiny eyebrows dug into her wide forehead. The man continues walking, the child’s focus shattering as her body jerks before turning and following his steps.

All Winston can do is curse himself.

“They know of us, Zhelan. Would it not be in our best interest to silence them before word spread even farther?” The hopeless girl coos, quietly making suggestions to her compatriot as they trudge past the slowly dispersing crowd of people. Zhelan, the man beside the girl, expresses his disdain for unnecessary conflict in a dry manner, suggesting instead that the two of them continue their supposed sightseeing instead of adventuring. It doesn’t take long for both the child and her companion to pick up the sound of footsteps. Not the common kind of footsteps you’d hear on the sidewalks of a bustling city but the kind of footsteps followed by the confused, frantic whispers of those behind you.

“Ilen. Get behind me.” Zhelan turns and places an open palm out in front of the girl, who defiantly blows the almost purely white hair out of her face. Just as the words escape from his mouth the towering figure emerges from behind the wall of people, tailed but not being followed by a man of similar stature. His dark skin glistens underneath the luminescent sunlight, face light in expression as he raises his hands to show good intentions. The stick figure, however, makes no such gestures, the man standing in front of the reluctant child raising a hand to clench the hilt of his blade as the creature seemingly grows larger with each step forward.

“That’s enough, now. No need to be as absolutely intimidating as possible.” The suddenly halted stick figure lowers its head and says something as though to redeem itself, it’s commander coming up behind it after a short period of seconds as Zhelan’s hand remains gripped on the handle of his blade. Disappointed in the lack of conflict, Ilen steps out from behind her keeper, ignoring all commands from the human as she approaches the relatively gargantuan creature with youthful curiousity.

“Can I help you, dark one?” The stick figure looks down on the girl and addresses her in a language it knows she cannot understand, eye’s calm and steady as the twelve-year old proceeds with her uncomfortable staring. Suddenly locked into the bottomless pit of her pupils the creature cannot help but feel a sense of endless falling. Refusing to break eye contact and submit to the child’s horror, the stick figure glares back, the two becoming locked in a tense clash in attempts to assert dominance.

“We don’t plan on keeping you two long,” The creature’s handler ignores the ongoing battle in the sidelines, focusing his attention on the opposing party member still on guard. “You’re Zhelan, right? New guy to the system? I’m not a gladiator myself but I was hoping to see if you could point me in the direction of a missing person.” Voice genuine and expression a mixture of light-hearted seriousness, Zhelan’s grip loosens. Whoever this fanboy is, he doesn’t appear to have any malefic intentions.

“While I can confirm my identity as Zhelan, I can neither confirm nor deny my place in this system you speak of. I will aid you to the best of my ability, but in turn I seek information. Are you willing?”

“Sure but I’d hate to keep you from your destination. Perhaps we could walk and talk?” The artist nods in no specific direction, the sword-wielding warrior opposed to him holding his ground as he shakes his head.

“Right here is fine. We’re not necessarily in any form of rush. You’ll ask your questions, I’ll ask mine, and that will be that.” Zhelan’s hand drops from his sword hilt to his chest, arms crossing as Ilen continues to stare down the dry-eyed stick figure. Refusing to cave the stick attempts a series of ridiculous and shameful face movements, the bored demonic girl beneath him not giving an inch as her cool eyes continue to drive into his rounded skull.

“Fair enough, I wouldn’t trust me either,” Winston begins, eyes digging into the back of his skull as goes lengths to recall his father’s features. “Let’s see… I’m looking for a man who is about… yay-high... scruffy beard, dark skin, grey eyes, looks kinda like a walking skeleton?” Forming all sorts of gestures with his hands, the creator continues to draw his father from memory in thin air, Zhelan only able to watch with a spiritless gaze as Winston practically conjures a twister in the midst of his many movements.

“Stop, stop, stop. That isn’t going to get us anywhere. You just described a majority of the homeless people we’ve passed on our way. Does this man have any defining features aside from his height or weight? Scars, markings, armaments?” Rubbing the bottom of his eyes, Zhelan continues to wait patiently, allowing himself to become absorbed in the scenery as various people of shapes, sizes, and appearance traverse around the sudden obstacle in the midst of a busy street. On the sidelines the black stick figure’s eyes twitch, his pupils darting around rapidly as his eyelids finally slam shut, Ilen’s face a complacent staple of triumph as the hulking creature recoils and begins to rub his closed sockets feverishly.

“Not that I remember. He’s just extremely skinny, emaciated even, with gruff features and- oh! His chest! On his chest he has a dark soft spot where his heart used to be! Know anybody like that?” Recounting the descriptions from his mother, Winston’s fist slams down into his open palm, Ilen suddenly back at Zhelan’s side as the stick figure blinks rapidly beside its own keeper.

“Sorry to disappoint, but Zhelan is not a person so lively as to ever be gazing at another person’s open chest.” The little girl jabs, the grown man at her side showing no sign of disagreement or affirmation as he speaks.

“Just as she says, I do not recall ever coming across anyone such as that in my travels, though your description is still irrationally vague.” The keeper responds, eyes narrowing as something emerges in the far distance behind Winston.

“That so huh… well nothing I guess I can do if you haven’t seen the guy. I would be on my way but you said you had a que-”

“Apologies for interrupting you, Winston. It would appear we have two new contributors to the conversation.” The stick figure interjects, stepping in front of its creator as two males come up behind the group of four.

The one in front, dark of skin with grey hoodie slung lazily over his shoulder and white wifebeater doing a terrible job of concealing the weapon at his back, hurriedly downs a can of orange soda and makes sure to place it gently on the ground. Meanwhile his companion, of much lighter complexion and practically hidden behind the boy in the front, continues to visibly shake, eyes darting from side to side in blatant paranoia as he whispers soothing lines to himself. Winston, the fanboy of the group, immediately recognizes the guy in front, his leaf green axe with rosebud crown piquing the creator’s natural talent for recognition as he steps out from behind his stick figure bodyguard.

“Well I’ll be damned. What brings you to the upper-middle class section of our fair city, Miss Oprah Winfrey?” Winston jokes, the boy laughing lightly at the uncommon greeting as his companion nervously chuckles, more out of peer pressure than genuity.

“I’m just surprised there’s someone here who might know who I am, actually. Just supporting a friend of mine, making sure nobody gets hurt. Got the popcorn, the soda, and even some neat 3D glasses if you got the cash. Want in?” The axe wielder removes a crushed up bag of popcorn and another unopened can of soda from the jacket pocket at his shoulder, offering both to the creator and his stick figure as Zhelan steps up beside Winston.

“I take it these two are friends of yours?” Hand once again on the grip of his blade, Ilen’s keeper asks the artist, calm and still eyes level with the armed visitor. The girl remains in the back, however, eyes fixed on the shaking companion behind the newcomer.

“Oh, no not at all, but I do recognize the one if front,” the stick figure enthusiast begins, accepting the soda and bag of popcorn before offering both to his creation and Zhelan, both of which deny the gesture firmly. “He’s a gladiator by the name of Ralic Raye, philanthropist type who forwards all of his winnings to the slum of his home city and ours. Claims the title of Sakura Descendant, though his friend is a mystery. Never seen or heard of him before.”

After a period of brief awkward silence, Ralic nudges the boy of similar age cowering at his side. Reluctantly, the cowardly challenger steps out, Winston and Zhelan only suddenly able to notice the stainless steel javelin strapped to his back as he submissively lowers his head in greeting.

“My-My n-n-name is… uh, Steve. Uhm, I’m uh… I’m here to cha-challenge Zhelan to a battle because...uh… no. ” The boy’s mouth struggles to find the words, his tongue tripping over itself as he hopelessly gathers the information he seeks. The descendant sighs, hand suddenly tightly gripped on Steve’s shoulder as the stuttering oaf becomes silent in response.

“Don’t hurt yourself there, pal . His name is Steve Aaron and he’s here to challenge Zhelan to an RHG battle. I’m going to be brutally honest: He himself? Not too cut out for violence. But he needs the money desperately, more money than I’m able to give him via split up donations. I told him there were other ways, but he insisted on this so… I’m just here to make sure things don’t get out of hand.”

Across from the pair of friends, Zhelan’s hand drops from his weapon once again, a nigh silent breath of air rolling from between his lips as Ilen raises a brow in genuine curiosity. Beneath Aaron’s gentle and shaky pupils is a fear manifested in violence, the wild terror like a ferocious beast lying dormant in the boy’s shifty, yet fierce opal eyes. If she’s noticed the same thing he has, then surely she eagerly awaits his response.

“Winston, was it? I thank you sincerely for your time. I do hope we can continue this conversation at a later time. As for you, Steve Aaron, we’re going to have to respectfully decline your challenge. You do not meet the requirements I seek, nor are you currently in any state suitable for combat. If you’ll excuse us.” Wide frown and tiny brows inclined, the child refuses to move as Zhelan trudges past her and calls her name. A small period of time passes, Zhelan calling her name once more in a much more assertive manner before making an anticlimactic u-turn and grabbing the petite pouter by her onyx and ash dress.

“Now now, Zhelan, let’s not be hasty,” The girl writhes in protest, Winston, Steve, and Ralic alike dumbfounded as the little girl half Zhelan’s size appears to be putting up a good fight in resisting his pull. “Who are we to turn down such a pathetic creature in need? All he needs is to rough you up a little and the money is a good as his. Seems like the perfect trade-off to me.” She practically sings the venomous words, Zhelan showing no signs of his obvious frustration as he lets go of the child, her miniscule frame crashing toward the ground as science exerts its ultimate dominance.

“Ilen. We’re going. Further resistance will be met with a harsh contraction of sustenance for many days to come.” Going for the jugular, Zhelan’s threat hits its mark, the little savage spraying imaginary blood all over the cracked sidewalks as all her fight drains from the fatal wound. Food. Never fails. Arms limp and legs like immediately reduced to jelly Ilen follows, Winston and his stick figure quietly watching the scene from the sidelines as the sidewalk has become unusually barren. Perhaps it was the phrase “he’s here to challenge Zhelan to an RHG battle” that scared ‘em off. Doesn’t take much to scatter the masses of this town at “high noon” moments.

“P-P-P-Please don’t go… I r-really really need this…” Obviously being ignored, Steve quietly whispers to himself, begging both himself and the others to stop as the shaking ceases and his eyes become still with tears hanging off the edges, his fingers dancing up his right shoulder and onto the shaft of his javelin without hesitation. “Get your punk ass back here, motherfucker!"

Suddenly halted, the tired Zhelan and suddenly ecstatic Ilen turn, Winston and his stick figure being ushered away by a calm and collected Ralic as Steve draws his weapon and takes a firm stomp forward. Unable to fathom the sudden shift in personality, Winston turns to Ralic for an explanation, who responds with a glazed over “Jekyll and Hyde” remark as the two take shelter in a distant alleyway. Still within view of the action, Ralic pulls open his bag of popcorn.

“There we go… muuuuuch better. So much better. I get to see your cute faces for myself. Gotta say, you two aren’t much in the appearances department.” Eyes wide and buzzing about seemingly wildly, Zhelan makes no mistake in discerning that he is being sized up. Seeing no point in attempting reason, Zhelan dismisses Ilen and draws his weapon, the sword glinting in the sunlight as he drops the blade and grinds it across the ground around him in a wide oval. Remembering their last encounter, the girl fights back the urge to object, obediently making her way to the alleyway in which Ralic and Winston reside.

“A gay little flourish, but a fancy one nonetheless. This mean you accept my buddy’s challenge or am I going to have to beat the shit out of you until you hand over everything you’ve got?”

“Is that really necessary?”

With that the beast of a man lunges, the javelin in his grip twirling once in a fluid motion as the pale skinned aggressor flies through the air. Without remorse the spear comes down, intercepted instantaneously by a field of energy as Zhelan lunges with his own precise set of strikes. Aaron dodges and starts into a backpedal, recovering from the barrier’s recoil like magic as his feet move in a playful dance, his grin widening with each giddy hop.

“For someone who looks like they know a lot about swords and martial arts- wooh, close one- you really are shit with that thing!” Ducking a vicious cleave to the throat, Aaron twists and jams his javelin backward, it’s pointed edge lodging itself deep in the swordsman’s shoulder. Seeing opportunity, Zhelan focuses and nulls the screaming pain, the blood leaking from the still punctured wound squirting as he thrusts for the savage’s exposed side.

“Too slow!” Like an alert rabbit Aaron leaps, tearing his weapon from Zhelan’s shoulder as his body hits the hard concrete. Unable to care whether or not he impales himself, the shit talker rolls around, a mere child in a meadow of flowers, before he leaps back up to his feet and assumes a spear stance with javelin tip pointed downward and body bent back. Teeth grit behind closed lips the guardian holds his ground, sword firm in his hands and pointed toward the savage.

“That’s right! I’ve seen an asian movie or two!” Rushing forward Aaron jabs toward Zhelan, the demon keeper twisting around the pointed edge as he brings his weapon down. Just as nimble as it is ferocious, however, Aaron’s body leaps to the side, light as air as a swift shift blunted shaft strikes the swordsman’s ribcage.

They continue this way for what seems like an unnecessary continuation of minutes, blood and energy flying in various directions as Winston and Ralic view the action from their alleyway entrance, the two of them passing back and forth the final bag of popped corn kernels.

“So basically- gah, too much salt- that’s not Steve. It’s some disease he contracted from his mother, God bless her soul, that takes control when the kid starts to approach his inner demons. A unique trigger, mind you, since his mom just sorta went in and out at random. Calls itself Vagess, and boy is that guy an asshole. Word on the streets has it that Steve’s sister might be sick with the same disease, but there’s some really expensive treatment out there that Steve can’t afford by normal means. Long sequence of events unrelated to the current situation later and here we are.” The Sakura Descendant explains, confused as to why Winston won’t pass back the bag after he finishes thoroughly licking his fingers.

“But why Zhelan of all people? He could have just fought you and he’d be straight, wouldn’t he?” Winston wonders, offering the bag elsewhere. The stick figure accepts a couple bits of popcorn, his eyes fixated on the battle as Ilen, at his side, sips from the can of orange soda.

“Not exactly. When I say the treatment is expensive I mean fucking expensive. Like, in the deep hundreds of thousands area. He’s gonna need quite a few battles to raise that kinda money, and as much as I love the kid, I’m not willing to fight him that many times.”

“How pitiful it is when you humans can not control your own kind. Afraid he’ll run you through?” Ilen quips, the can of soda finding itself tossed lazily behind her once it’s served its purpose. Ralic looks at her for a short moment, taking in and pushing out a deep breath as he realizes she has every intention to litter.

“Well, no,” The descendant grunts, rising to his feet as he trails the rolling cylinder before picking it up, placing it in the trashcan beside Ilen, and sitting back down. “He’s easy to beat once he’s thrown everything he’s got, I just don’t want to have to cut up Steve in the process.”

“Can Steve still be cured?” The words swish around in the stick’s open mouth like mouthwash, his language falling on two ignorant ears as Winston translates for him, finally passing back the bag as he does so.

“Nope. After a certain point the creature inside manifests, and from then the suffering both stops and begins.” Tipping the bag back and spitting whatever seeds fall into his mouth, Ralic crunches the popcorn before rising to his feet and drawing the axe from his back.

“What, uh, what are you doing?” Winston asks with a meek expression, the leaf-like weapon almost breathing in Ralic’s grip as he steps out onto the battlefield.

“Ending this. Don’t interfere, it’s going to look really bad from your perspective.” Taking the axe in both hands, Ralic aims the rose bud at the end of his axe toward Zhelan, Winston rising to his feet and asking what he’s doing as the axe wielder shouts. “Pin 'em, Vagess!!”

Not averse to cheap tactics, the savage known as Vagess rushes Zhelan, absorbing a clean blade through the gut as he tackles the resilient opponent. For a scrawny teenager, Steve Aaron weighs almost double what the keeper would have guessed, his arms struggling to push the multi-personalitied creep off of him as Vagess proceeds to rise and strike Zhelan a couple of time in the head. Ralic, making no rush out of jumping in, lowers his axe toward Zhelan, the sweet and succulent fragrance of the rose bud polluting his lungs as blood begins to leak from his lips.

Why do you sit and watch this? You should be helping him.

Winston remains seated, the stick figure at his side already on its toes and ready to engage as the swordsman goes limp. Looking frantically to its creator for approval, the creature begins to grit its bared teeth.

“That is… dirty…” Ilen frowns, slightly squirming in place as she watches Zhelan lose. As… momentous as the occasion is, the girl can’t help but feel… something as Ralic raises his axe and strikes Vagess in the back of his head with the blunt end. Her heart tumbles down her ribcage igniting the pit of her chest on impact as though a match to a puddle of flammable oil. The savage’s body falls limp, the sakura descendant turning and giving the remaining trio on the sidelines a half-assed thumbs up before asking of their aid. Winston and the stick finally rush, whilst the cream-haired girl remains by her trash can with legs like lead against the concrete.

“Get up,” The child begins, heart like fire and head like a raging tempest as she watches Ralic lift Zhelan’s body. For whatever reason, she has the overwhelming desire to lash out and mutilate the descendant, her eyes burning a hole through his skull as he slings the unconscious warrior over his shoulder.

This isn’t the way things were supposed to happen. Ilen’s tiny teeth dig into her lip, the girl to slam her feet in protest as Zhelan’s injuries continue to leak onto Ralic’s wifebeater. The two of them had been through a lot. He’s obviously going to live. He’s suffered worse injuries. She isn’t supposed to care. So why now of all times does she want to see his eyes open? To see him standing over the scrawny and bloodied newcomers?

“Ok, so the nearest RHG care center is...” Ralic scans the surrounding area, examining street signs and searching for ambulances as Winston steps forward, Steve Aarons body being cradled by the black stick figure at his side.

“Actually, Ralic, I know a place around here for free...”


“An unfamiliar ceiling?” The groggy voice of Zhelan rasps and scratches the keeper’s throat, his hands dancing along the cotton sheets across his chest as recollections of the previous events slowly piece themselves together. Judging by his surroundings, he has neither reset nor passed on, the spilled colorful liquid across the carpet suggesting he’s more likely in someone’s home than the Lord’s kingdom. The pillow at the back of his head puffs, his black hair trickling down his neck as he rises to see the coffee table complete with biscuits, orange juice, and strawberry jam. Accompanying the pristine glass table is a contrasting fireplace, it’s dark colors standing out amongst the light, classical hue belonging the rest of the room.

A hotel? Perhaps someone’s mansion?

The gemstone chandelier above Zhelan swings gently, his mahogany door flying open as an old man comes through with a towel and bottle of name-brand cleaning agent.

“Well, welll! Awake are we, young man? Sorry about the mess! Been a whole lotta ruckus ‘round here since that little rapscallion of yours came into the base. Boss nearly had a heart attack seeing that demon, boy I tell ya!” Scrubbing the stained carpet vigorously, the old man halts to raise and offer Zhelan his free hand. The man takes it, shaking it once before shaking off the covers and rising to his feet. Arm slightly numb and legs half asleep, the body wraps on Zhelan hug his chest as he retrieves his shirt from the back of one of the coffee table’s three chairs.

“Ilen, the girl. Where is she?” A sense of urgency in his guest’s voice, the old man taps the floor with his cane in attempts to remember the important details.

“Last I heard she was with the boss. You might wanna get your move on if you wanna see her alive and well, sonny! The boss don’t take too kindly to demonics bein’ a ‘holy man’ like himself. They ain’t far at all, just down the hallway to the right, through the library, past the canteen, past the boiler, through the garden, to the left of the armory, and down that hallway. Can’t miss it.” Grinning from ear to ear, the old man nods and goes back to wiping down the rug, his tree branch never leaving his hand as presses against the white fabric.

With that Zhelan is out the door and pursuing a light jog down the hallway. The almost barren building appears massive, his body falling apart with each step as he remembers the end of the fight between himself and Steve Aaro

For about an hour or so the keeper traverses the labyrinth only to exhume a sigh of relief as he finally comes up on the armory, the titanium door like a massive bank safe as he turns and heads down the hallway. A sense of panic quickens with his heartbeat, the silence of the corridor taunting him as he finds his hands on the doorknob and entering without permission.

“With as much conviction as that man had, you’d think he’d have second thoughts about abandoning me in his place of operations.” The demoness muses, her tiny hands rummaging through the drawers of their captor’s desk as Zhelan approaches the captor turned infiltrator.

"One should think twice before molesting a room littered with cameras.” The keeper criticizes, his voice a sudden flat, neutral tone as swats the girl’s hands away. She pauses, quietly sliding the desk drawers back from whence they came before dismounting the leather and hardwood swivel chair.

“The act fails to hold its weight when your heart is practically beating out of your chest, Zhelan. Do try and master your own body before you attempt to restrain mine.”

Another brief pause.

“Tell me, did you enjoy being so easily overcome?” The demoness gives him the side eye, climbing back onto the couch she had been stationed on before their captor had abandoned her to pursue other matters. Zhelan’s hands rise to his bandages, his fingers flicking across each individual layer of wrap. Whoever had done them was poorly trained in doing so.

“Do I appear as though I enjoyed it?” As close to a snap back as the she is going to get, Ilen crosses her arms before once more coming to the ground and approaching her keeper.

“If that is your attitude, then it would be safe to assume you won’t let it happen again. Especially not in my presence.” Even with direct eye contact, the words manage to trail off in the end.

Zhelan allows himself a half smile, warily embracing the child once more for a short moment and bringing her head to his bandaged chest as the office’s lights glare overhead. He loosens his grip, arms on Ilen’s shoulders as he looks her in the eyes with a noticeable hint of compassion in both his voice and expression.

I love you too.

“Ilen. You have my word."

Kamiroo Wolf
08-21-2016, 01:13 AM
Welp, I'd hate for this to fly under the radar, though I do suppose people have lives to attend to. Perhaps I should put 2 week(or more) timers on these from now on.

I can't really say much for Lobo's story. It's good all around in my eyes save for a few grammatical/spelling incidents but other than that I think he did pretty well! The fighting scene was a fighting scene(an enjoyable one at that), the characters felt believable, but if anyone else has anything else to say it'd be much appreciated by me at least(as I'm sure I left a lot out in my half-assed CnC).

08-22-2016, 12:48 PM
Augh. Keep checking the polls late. Will make efforts to read and vote as soon as I possibly can. Should at least throw ONE vote your way!!

08-24-2016, 11:59 AM
I'm not sure how vocal I've been on this in the past, but Lobotomizer's run with Zhelan sends shivers through me in a way few writers- and characters- can so consistently nail down. It's a bit troubling for me to approach or attempt to explain, but where before I could happily scrape the bottom of the leaderboards, generally avoiding conflict, and sticking to my own projects while popping my head in to vote every now and then, Zhelan and Illen are slowly, steadily, swallowing my attentions whole. While I can't say the same for Kamiroo Wolf and Winston, I'm typing this after coming off of my piece for Sanctuary's collab, which in no small part features Winston, and had me interacting with his writer on a level I could not have reached entirely of my own. So when I saw the battle was posted, I felt both of the writers here had earned my attention- regardless of my position to offer it- but I had the sneaking suspicion that Lobotomizer- or Lilwen, Diancie, Damien- whatever being or force is responsible for Zhelan and Illen- would've somehow laid stake on my heart.

And well- that was the case. Lobotomizer's story gets my vote. I am willing to try and offer more in depth CnC if asked. Know that I am immensely proud of both of you if it were, or is, ever unclear.

08-24-2016, 09:13 PM
I'm not sure how vocal I've been on this in the past, but Lobotomizer's run with Zhelan sends shivers through me in a way few writers- and characters- can so consistently nail down. It's a bit troubling for me to approach or attempt to explain, but where before I could happily scrape the bottom of the leaderboards, generally avoiding conflict, and sticking to my own projects while popping my head in to vote every now and then, Zhelan and Illen are slowly, steadily, swallowing my attentions whole. While I can't say the same for Kamiroo Wolf and Winston, I'm typing this after coming off of my piece for Sanctuary's collab, which in no small part features Winston, and had me interacting with his writer on a level I could not have reached entirely of my own. So when I saw the battle was posted, I felt both of the writers here had earned my attention- regardless of my position to offer it- but I had the sneaking suspicion that Lobotomizer- or Lilwen, Diancie, Damien- whatever being or force is responsible for Zhelan and Illen- would've somehow laid stake on my heart.

And well- that was the case. Lobotomizer's story gets my vote. I am willing to try and offer more in depth CnC if asked. Know that I am immensely proud of both of you if it were, or is, ever unclear.

Chrome you just spent 90% of your speech talking about yourself, then leaving the rest of the 10% with nothing but vague shit that helps absolutely no one. Classic Chrome.

Well I'm sorry to Be the Salmon as it were and go against the flow, but Kamiroo is the clear victor here. Nevermind what the polls say, Kamiroo, your piece is superior to Loboto's deceivingly verbose pound of flesh. It doesn't matter if you wrote the better fight or the better characterization. All that is pointless, if it doesn't flow well. And that is the main reasoning here: Kamiroo's work flows better. Does that sound familiar? Well, unless you have excellent memory, this is exactly what I said last time when I solely voted against Kyra despite all odds to her fame.

To put it simply, Kamiroo's work can be read end to end without much eyebrow raising or pause editing. He knows his words well though limited, and chooses the proper way to phrase them. This in comparison to...well.

Kamiroo, you said that Loboto's work is with but a few grammatical errors. Well, I admire your humility, at least. But let's not kid ourselves. For in the first 10 sentences alone, I've already stumbled into a minefield.

Sidenote: Wow, when did lobo retire whats-her-name? | Okay I just read the sheet. My bad, it's still Kalena except now she and her companion are genderflipped and they use spirits instead of magic :D Carry on.

His voice was cold and hard. <-- How is a voice cold? How is a voice hard? A personality can be cold, but a voice cannot. A voice can be coarse. But not hard.

“What if I do?” He answered quietly. <-- I think you mean softly, but that could still be improved. If it were just the two of them there, what's the point of being quiet unless you don't want to be heard. But he clearly responded in the next sentence so...

He crumpled wordlessly, <-- Redundant. It's like saying "He shouted loudly." Think for a second how to opposite could be: is there such a thing as a person collapsing articulately? No. Ergo, you can only crumple one way. So there is no need to embellish.

The man must have hid a blade in his clothes <-- It must be a blade. I mean people might assume that the object might be Winston's erect penis instead. BUT, if I told everyone beforehand that it's a blade, people won't speculate, right? This is lazy storytelling. You're telling the reader straight away what it is instead of letting them figure it out for themselves through the implication of the next sentence. I'm pretty sure if you left this part out, the sentence wouldn't change in meaning and you retain a dramatic effect.
Reading further on, I see this is a dream. Still doesn't excuse the narrative style. The readers didn't know it was a dream until after this part. It should have still sounded non-omniscient as far as openings go.

for when he threw himself into Zhelan he could feel a sharp pain deep in his abdomen. <-- Redundancy again. Since when is pain not sharp if coming from that context? I suppose if Winston had a hard-on for his enemy...okay okay I'll stop with the gay jokes.

catching sight of the nondescript plaster white ceiling <-- I feel that having to say its nondescript just makes it ironically significant that it is nondescript. Whereas, if you just say 'the plaster white ceiling', its nondescriptness would have been implied for us from the getgo. And then you go and add "catching sight" which implies the ceiling was something notable to spot. It's the phrasing that's wrong. Also, a room has a sense of touch, smell, and sound. I feel that would've framed the scene more properly than as if we were watching this unfold.

Bonus: She flashed him a smirk, lopsided from her drowsiness. <-- 1) She's drowsy. That implies lethargy. Yet, she is able to "flash" a smirk. 2) A smirk is an ironic/sarcastic smile. Okay, but then in the next phrase you say the smile is only lopsided from being drowsy. So which one is it? Is she smiling drowsily, or smirking quickly and not sleepy? This entire thing is a paradox in itself. tl;dr Lobotomizer's work is wrought with pretentious writing; things that sound good but really are just there to make things look good. He needs to leave this draft alone for a day or two, study for university to get his mind off of it, then come back with a dictionary and a cold hard editing streak.

Kamiroo's work, though not as "good" in terms of the plot and character (in comparison btw. on its own, it passes for me), at least is something I can get into. Get engrossed in, and rightly so seeing how long this thing is. And finish.

I will need a bit more time letting it settle, but when I come back for a reread, I will give you my CNC as a divine reward for impressing me, going up against scary ol' Loboto and not regretting it.

08-25-2016, 08:09 AM
Chrome you just spent 90% of your speech talking about yourself, then leaving the rest of the 10% with nothing but vague shit that helps absolutely no one. Classic Chrome.

Yes, I'd like to publicly apologize for sharing my opinion of the thing we're voting on. And offering CnC if desired.

You're apologizing too, right?

08-25-2016, 06:46 PM
Chrome. Once again, it was a joke.

You've really got to loosen up man. I barely say anything anymore when you speak your mind :D Just embrace it all

08-26-2016, 12:42 AM
Chrome. Once again, it was a joke.

Your jokes are shit, and you pressed the space bar twice here.
This is unacceptable.

08-26-2016, 01:11 AM
Congratulations Chrome, for having a post 100% dedicated to other people

Kamiroo Wolf
08-26-2016, 09:35 AM
I thank the two of you for at least reading and posting something. I also thank the voters for not letting this be a one vote win match x3

I forgot to make the polls public(even though I swear I did o.o must have still been really tired), but it's pretty clear who the winner is here lol. Thanks for the fight, Lobo, hope we can do it again sometime(within the initial deadline of course) when I become available.