PDA

View Full Version : Alphaeus (The Doctor) vs SaulMurphy (The Gentleman)



Alphaeus
11-28-2016, 01:59 PM
Behold, the battle of the businessmen, rage of the refined.

AKA -- dis gon be gud.

And, here are the battles:

Business Exams by Alphaeus (https://docs.google.com/document/d/12lxBTcBtpYt6H2pnyr7cJxo0qlcMtx3XAv7kqkfU5jc/edit?usp=sharing)

Transcendence by SaulMurhpy (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bTRC8mr1Yzx2nCwGUmh53Cal19MRiHbvcdV23T-24jc/edit)

And in case Gdocs don't work for you (as someone just told me)

He had received the summons. There was, of course, no way to properly decline it – he had been the one to sign up, after all. David sighed, and rested his chin on his hands. He spun around in his desk chair to see out the lead glass window, eyes tracing the borders of the panes – the gunmetal gray of the framing wove its ubiquitous patterns across the window. Miniature rainbows danced along these lines, refracted from the sun’s brilliant rays by the handmade glass. Air-conditioning staved off the heat and humidity outdoors, but right here the radiant warmth sank pleasantly into his bones.

He tapped his foot contemplatively, then slid the phone Altaer had designed for him out of his jacket. He tapped on it for a few minutes, sighing irritatedly at the necessary evil of using such an irritating device. Eventually he found what he was searching for, and lifted it to his ear.

The voice on the other end sounded impossibly stilted, and offered no greeting. “This is the Prince residence.”

David responded in his usual tone, professional and refined but retaining the disarming warmth he personally valued. “I wish to speak with George.”

The man whom David presumed to be a butler responded curtly. “I’m afraid that is entirely impossible. I can take a message and give it to Mr. Prince after lunch. First I would like to know who is speaking.”

David smirked. “My dear butler, I would advise you to transfer my call to whatever line on which George Prince will be able to converse with me immediately. My name and my messages are not intended for the ears of well-meaning but imposing servants.”

The butler blustered back his response. “This is preposterous! You cannot simply – ”

David did not heed the man’s tirade. “Give. Me. George. Prince. Now.”

The man remained silent for a moment, apparently contemplating something he heard behind David’s tone. There was a click, and then another phone began to ring. The man picked up promptly.

“I have ensured that it is imperative for my servants not to disturb me while I am eating, therefore I will take the liberty of presuming that this is of the utmost importance.”

David chuckled to himself before replying. “I assume you have received your summons.”

George hesitated before acknowledging him. “If by ‘summons’ you mean the RHG battle notice, then yes, I have. Might I ask who is inquiring into this?”

“Your opponent.”

David heard George rifled through some papers, then pause, presumably to read at the name written on them. “Ahh. Dr. MacBeth. I must say that I find it highly unusual to interact with my opponent before the battle.”

David waved him off, then realized that the man could not see his gestures when they were only speaking by phone, and laughed. “Hah, indeed. Still, I don’t want this to get…out of hand, shall we say. I have no personal vendetta against you – rather, I have followed your family with interest for years. You have – what’s the right word – potential.”

Mr. Prince sounded a bit wary when he responded. “I am uncertain how to properly take that statement, Doctor, nor am I wholly certain that I am fond of its implications.”

David ignored his comment. “I understand that you enjoy tea. There is an excellent café on the corner of Jackson and Eighth. Meet me there at three.”

He hung up before George had a chance to respond. The man would be there, because of curiosity if nothing else. He stretched, and adjusted his schedule accordingly.

___________________________________________

George was at a street-side table when his pocket watch indicated it was precisely three in the afternoon. He fiddled with his mithril combat umbrella -- Umbra -- casually, politely waiting to take his tea until Dr. MacBeth arrived. He had heard of the Doctor – few in this city had not by now, but it was doubly certain that such a prominent member as one of the Prince family always was kept aware of anything and everything noteworthy. The man was a regular Doctor Pretorius – universally loved by all positive factions, a medical wizard, and a polymath of multitudinous talents. More importantly, he was apparently sourced from the crème de la crème of society, and had the money and culture to show it. George, at least, appreciated that the Doctor had picked the appropriate time for afternoon tea.

David soon strolled down the sidewalk, and George nodded slowly to himself. The man was as impressive as the rumors held him to be, he admitted to himself. Quite tall and built with a serpentine power, he bore himself like a benevolent king. His style was bold without being flashy or gaudy, his features flawlessly refined without being even slightly effeminate. His eyes probed the people on the sidewalk, acknowledging their gaze with a beaming smile and a nod of his head. He stopped and squatted to speak with a young boy who seemed to recognize him. After ruffling the child’s hair, he rose and spoke a few words to the young mother, who smiled and blushed and shooed her boy forward. Eventually he reached George’s table, and only then seemed to be aware of Mr. Prince’s presence.

“Ahh…good afternoon, George. We will attend to business in a moment, but first – tea.”

George himself at attracted a bit of notice from the other customers and staff for his signature posh style, but after he had not ordered they had moved on to other business with only an occasional glance at the quiet and wealthy man. David’s presence, on the other hand, drew blatant stares. His white suit with crimson highlights was clearly crafted from some exotic material specifically for his body, and the massive emeralds that dangled from his ears spoke of the riches of dreams. If one man of subtle wealth attracted a bit of attention, him being joined by a well-known symbol of mysterious money and social prowess turned them into the absolute center of attention. An obsequious teenage waitress was the first at their table. “May I get you gentlemen anything?”

Though she addressed both of them, her gaze was clearly directed towards David. He waved her towards George. “My associate, first.”

Mr. Prince thought for a moment. “Darjeeling, please.”

She noted his order then turned back to David. “And you, sir?”

He heaved a sigh that exuded relaxed influence and smiled. “How about some Lapsang Souchong? And a platter of your cucumber-watercress sandwiches, as well. Enough for both of us.”

George gave him an apprising look. “I see you know your teas, my good fellow, although that is quite the potent brew you have ordered.”

David shrugged. “I am an American by birth, so the drink of the culture is coffee. I certainly appreciate an excellent roast, and even occasionally enjoy your standard black ‘cuppa joe,’ largely due to my days in the field. But by family and heritage I am a highland Scot, and will always prefer my teas. Such is in my blood. As for the lapsang, on days of late Fall’s indecisive middling heat I enjoy its rich, airy smokiness with subtle floral qualities.”

George nodded. “Ah. MacBeth. The name certainly gives away your ancestry. I should have guessed. So –” The waitress arrived with their tea, food, and the daily news with surprising promptness, then hovered nearby until David politely declined any further service. They both took a sip of their teas before George continued. “So, as it is my impression you did not request this tête-à-tête so that you could attempt an assassination or sabotage of our battle tomorrow, what is it you wish to discuss?”

David leaned back in his chair, smiling enigmatically. “Plans, Mr. Prince.”

He leaned forward, a sudden surge of his unnerving personal energy seemingly electrifying the air between them. “Your family is inarguably the resident royalty of the local scene, and maintains a noteworthy presence internationally in the business realm. As you may or may not have heard, I have spent years converting my family’s diminutive fortune into a vast warehouse of wealth – more vast than you can imagine. I, personally, use most of it in sociological and political endeavors I do behind the scenes. But by extension I am the founder and head of what you might call a union of humanity. We cover the globe, and number far into the millions. I seek to add those I can to our union, and such can be possible with you. Even if you do not become one of us, however, I could see us being allies to our mutual benefit.”

George had sipped his tea intermittently through David’s speech, and now set his cup down gingerly on the tiny saucer. David relaxed, took a sip of his own tea, and then casually snatched up a sandwich. Mr. Prince released his habitual grip on his Umbra, letting it lean against the side of the table, and spoke his mind.

“I perceive the purport of your words, and you have definitely aroused my interest in investigating this venture. Tell me, though, Doctor, why we should ally.”

David waited until he finished his sandwich to respond. “We – myself and my ‘union’ – do not per se need more allies, yet it is in this manner that we can continue to grow and thrive. In this city, though, we are woefully short on members and allies of influence. Our efforts have been remarkably successful in the middle and lower classes, as always, but the upper echelons here seem exceedingly difficult to penetrate. I have had the blessing of finding footing within the RHG itself, but nowhere else.”

George gave a self-possessed smile. “Of course you have had trouble. That is because most of the business in this city is owned and run personally by my family, and what we do not directly own we influence significantly, such that we might as well own it. To ‘gain a footing’ as you say in the elite of this city requires you to get a footing with the Prince family.”

David finished his tea and clasped his hands. “Precisely such a fact has been apparent to me for quite some time. I have patiently awaited an opportunity for our paths to cross, and while a battle is not exactly what I would have preferred, this will have to suffice. Now, I must add, that while obtaining your support would certainly be a wonderful boon to me, you yourself would not go unrewarded. I could certainly guarantee the members of my organization as consumers, as well as trade benefits with any businesses and political entities under my influence. That is precisely my offer.”

George tugged on his mustache thoughtfully and mentally measured the man that sat across from him. Though certainly not the kind of professional that might be hired by the FBI, when deeply involved in big business one tends to learn how to read others. His eyes narrowed fractionally. He did not like what he read – the man was a blank slate. Well, there was that strange aura that seemed to encourage implicit and complete trust, but attempting to look deeper beyond that was as useless as trying to peel layers off an iceberg. David was good. Far too good to make into such a close partner. A mockingbird sang its remix of stolen sounds as if to emphasize some hidden duplicity. George contemplated what he should say, but froze. David’s face had shifted ever so slightly. So slightly that he could not in fact pinpoint any precise change, yet it was there. In the eyes. Like he already knew George’s thoughts and feelings about this. Like he not only knew them, but had anticipated them. Like he was expressing some hidden level of contempt for Prince’s choices. The businessman shrugged off a sudden chill as the shadow of a passing cloud danced over them for a moment. He rose, his hand reaching for his Umbra.

“You, sir, are trying to buy me. If you find yourself at a disadvantage against me within this city, I say good! Leave it that way! Take your smiles and silver tongue to someone else. The Prince family has no business with devils likes yourself.” George started to leave, then turned, leaning in closer to David, who had not so much as moved or changed his expression. “Now let me tell you something. There are those who are aware of my influence and have posed queries about you. Those who do not precisely seem to be friends of yours. If you had been upstanding enough to fight me like a man, they would have continued to ask in vain. But since I find it dubious that you would allow the RHG to deal the punishment you deserve if I were to report your misconduct, I will see to it that others will wield the staff of Justice. Good-day!”

Mr. Prince stormed off, furious that anyone would attempt to buy his partnership. As soon as he returned to his house, he picked up the foyer phone. The polished brass handset felt cool to his touch as his fingers deftly dialed the number printed on a simple business card. The faint sound of his own breathing echoed faintly in the vast chamber of marble.

The person on the other end of the line answered lazily, his words even further slurred by an accent that was a mix of French and Arab. “I suppose my offer was more appealing than you led me to believe, no?”

Prince caught himself before he spoke, taking the time to regain his composure and remain ever the businessman. “Your offer has nothing precisely to do with my alteration of intent. I will ask, however, to keep this professional. You will make a payment of adequate valuation – preferably in precious metals – in return for my information on Dr. MacBeth’s current location.”

The man remained silent for a moment, then gave a harsh chuckle. “You have a deal, Mr. Prince. Now, tell me what I need to know…”

________________________________________

The silken embrace of his sheets welcomed Prince as he slid into his massive mahogany poster bed. He heaved a sigh as he let his body sink into the billowy eiderdown mattress, but could not relax. He remained tensed from what he had just seen. An email from the contact in Marseilles he had called earlier had arrived just as he was finishing his nightly business. It contained the picture of Dr. David MacBeth with his face and neck ripped apart by bullets, paired with a simple caption:

“Thank you, monsieur, for your compliance. I will see to it that your payment is delivered promptly. I suspect your battle tomorrow will go splendidly in your favor. Adieu.”

The image haunted him. All he had wanted was for that arrogant Doctor to be punished…not murdered. The contact had insinuated in previous conversations that he had merely wanted to hold David accountable for certain business dealings, not kill him.

George turned out the light, and stared at the patterns on the hand-woven draperies that covered the top of his bed and hung down in luxurious folds along each of the posts. The deep russet hues seemed to him the color of blood, blood that he had shed. Whatever MacBeth might have been, he did not deserve what had just happened. Still, he reminded himself again that he didn’t know what was being planned, and that it was not his fault.

The moonbeams that streamed through the tall glass doors of his balcony slowly curved across the room as their lunar progenitor worked its way ever across the starlit sky. Rest came to George, but it was the troublesome rest of an unsettled soul….

When he first heard it, the voice seemed to be nothing more than his own conscience. It was a soft as the whisper of sand slipping into the tender waves of a becalmed night.

“Betrayer…betrayer.”

He pinched his eyes closed more tightly, pulling himself further into his covers as if he could somehow vanish into the bed and escape his problems. It did not stop.

“Your hands, betrayer…can you feel it?”

George pulled his hands up over his ears, trying to turn away from the sound. The instant they touched his face, though, he realized they were covered with something cold and wet and sticky. He jerked them off his face, eyes snapping open into wide horror. He did not need to look to know, but something deep within him within wanted to see – see what he knew would be there, what he had already known was there.

Blood.

His voice wavered as he struggled to speak. He had seen blood and death, but this…this was not the blood of combat, but the wounds of an innocent heart. The smell of it stung his nostrils as if to inflame his very soul. He shook his head as he backed away from his own hands, keeping them stretched out in the vain hope that, perhaps, they could be lost in the shadows.

“No…NO….NO!! I shed no blood! I did not raise my hand against this man!”

The same sea-foam subtlety of the first voice now resounded from all four corners of his room, each spot just beyond the reach of the moon’s feeble rays. The murmured words drifted back and forth as if the very shadows were intoning a responsive liturgy.

“Betrayer…betrayer…betrayer…betrayer…”

He crowded back against his headboard, eyes frenetically darting around the room as his indictment was pronounce so gently, so quietly, so tenderly. Suddenly everything was something, nothing…the angles and curves of his gilded Victorian furniture now seemed a shoulder, now an arm, now the swirling twisted faces of the demons of hidden sin.

Another voice ruptured his fright. This one spoke with a lilt of pleasure, even humor, as its thick accent dripped out toxic words, each one laden with his own inner dread. “Well done, mon ami. He was right where you left him. Such an easy target. So trusting. No trouble…no trouble at all.”

He recognized the voice of his contact, and snapped his head back and forth to place the voice…then shuddered when he could see no one. It laughed, a sickeningly apathetic, conceited, remorseless sound.

“Here is your money…Judas…”

There was a swish as something landed in front of him with a tinkle. George eyed it warily, then began to reach forward. He paused in mid motion, noticing how his hands had left crimson pints upon his sheets and shirt as he had moved about. HIS hands. HIS prints, each one a witness to his own vile deed.

He grasped the bag, and felt the familiar feel of heavy coins. Revulsion gripped his body as the bag seemed to sear his very blood-stained hands, and he spasmodically hurled it away from him. It landed heavily and sent its contents rolling into the stream of silvery light that still slipped through his windows. A twisted fascination crept into him as he watched thirty silver coins skid slowly to a halt. The final one wavered after rolling on its edge, then fell to one side, rolling around…and around…and around. The noise grew louder, faster, drilling into his skull as it spun faster and faster ever closer to its end! He could hear the echoes in the silence, the sound reaching out and calling out and testifying to what was done!

He launched himself from the bed, landing on all fours, and smashed it flat with his palm, ending the torturous noise with a wet smack. George slowly lifted his hand, as his body shook with adrenaline.

The coin…had…STUCK!

The crimson stains on his hand were still moist, but had thickened into a gluey coating now held fast to this hideous symbol of consummate guilt. He flailed his hand, but the same blood that could seal a wound now sealed the coin to his flesh.

The chorus of condemnation resumed now, but this time it was not soft. This time it rose and swelled, like the bitter waters of his own soul now screaming their fury in his ears:

“BETRAYER! BETRAYER! BETRAYER! BETRAYER!”

He slowly rose from his feet, using his free hand to claw at the coin fastened on his other palm. Some unholy force had fused its vile silver form to his own skin…his own hands! His frenzied motion froze as the evil choral voices moved out of the shadows and into the light.

In each he saw the face of the man whose blood now soaked his hands and stained his clothes, whose soul-price now lay on his floor and in his hands, whose death had been caused by his own self-righteousness and his own wretched, despicable judgment!

Two of the forms were clad in silver robes the color of gravestones, and two were in the white suit of Dr. MacBeth that now somehow seemed to gleam as if the very light of heaven had been granted him. Each one bore the same lethal marks of the violent photograph that had been sent, each one smiled and extended a hand as though he was reaching out to a long lost friend. Each one was moving.

They walked towards him. The motion was slow, painfully slow, nauseatingly slow. His stomach tightened. He wanted to run, to SCREAM! But how?! How could he violate the unfathomable realization that this…was…his…DUE?!

They drew another step closer, their voices now melded into an unceasing unison – “BE-TRAY-ER! BE-TRAY-ER!”

Where ever he looked, there was one of them in his vision. Whenever he stared into its eyes, it would stop the chant and grin and say the words that he knew it would say: “YOU BETRAYED ME!!”

He fixed his eyes upon the doors to the hall, longing, yearning for them to open with the arms of his servants. Why could they not hear?! WHY?!

His breathe stung his lungs as the truth filled his mind like the numbing touch of death. There were no voices…there were no corpses…there were no Davids…there was only his heart hammering out the words that filled his mind in rhythm with his pulse…be-trayer…be-trayer…be-trayer…in its racing two-beat measure.

He realized the moon had finally met its nightly death as his German grandfather clock rang out the time – six peals. Had time passed so quickly in this fearsome vision? His contact’s languid laugh pierced the condemning chant, singing out as if reciting some awful mercenary song.

“Ha, ha, ha! Peal the bell, raise Heaven and Hell, not all is well!”

A sudden tranquility eased into his being. Doors. Ah, yes! The doors! They were his own personal gateway to peace.

He would join the morning.

His motions jerked with each cry of the Davids, but with each one his smile grew a little brighter, his actions a little faster.

He had what he needed now – the drapery-ties were thick enough. The Davids were almost upon him now, but it mattered not. He opened the doors to his balcony, and stepped out.

They followed him, of course, and he chuckled softly as he realized they thought he had nowhere else to go now.

It was only a few minutes later when George wept silently. His mouth moved, but gave out not a single sound. The invigoratingly crisp air of autumn swirled around him, bearing with it that singular scent of leaves and wood-smoke and earthiness that seems to be as much a part of the season as the gorgeous colors of the dead and dying leaves.

The sunrise was so…beautiful. And everything was so…quiet.

__________________________________________


Dr. MacBeth finished his tea with a contented sigh, and picked up the paper the waitress had left for him. Maggie was his usual server here, and she had come to know each paper he liked on each day. Today was Wednesday, and at the middle of the week he preferred the local news. The SP Clarion Post was the best quality paper of the city, not wasting time on topics that national papers could cover better but rather delving deep into the local culture with high standards for their reporting and material.

He glanced at the front-page headline.

“Prince Slaughters Staff and Hangs Himself”

He raised an eyebrow, and took a moment to read the lead-in.

“George Prince – leader of the long-standing business family magnates of SP City and undefeated Gladiator – was found dead early this morning by police on their sunrise patrol. He was reported as having hanged himself with drapery cords from the railing of his bedroom balcony. His hands had been covered with a strange dark red substance tentatively reported as a type of adhesive, and to one palm was glued, oddly enough, an authentic silver denarius – a type of Roman coin. Upon entry to his house, his staff was found dead, every member killed with a single shot to the head by Prince’s own Beretta.”

David shook his head, clicking his tongue disapprovingly. Most likely he would have to adjust his schedule this evening to accommodate his responsibilities with the RHG as their preferred coroner, particularly considering the relevance of his expertise in post-mortem psychoanalysis. He glanced up at the sun – a long engrained habit of checking the time by nature’s own clock – but saw that the clouds had thickened today. He stood, and the hooded man in silver sitting across from him did the same.

He smiled at Image. “Remarkable work. You make me quite proud.”

The figure gave a slight bow, its voice identical to David’s own. “I could wish for nothing more, Master. With your leave, there are many things I must be doing today.”

David waved off his Chaoid, grabbed his belongings, and strode away slowly. It was his custom to pay for his orders and tips early, just in case he needed to leave abruptly, so there was no need for him to linger now, either. The streets were full of cars, and the sidewalks mostly empty right now – Tea-time was right when most people were just preparing to leave work, making it a valuable time of peace for him. As he walked, Altaer seemed to materialize beside him. David shot a broad smile at the grinning Fixer. “Nice job with the accent and fake phone number. And balancing yourself on top of the bed without making the canopy flex…true genius.”

Altaer winked. “Hehe, practice makes perfect. Your moulage skills though…those wounds looked real. You’re quite the master mind. I’d hate to get on your bad side.”

David feigned shock. “I don’t recall ever telling you that you were on my good side.” They shared a brief moment of humor before David returned to the matter at hand. “Anyhow…it is quite a shame that Mr. Prince refused my offer, and even more pitiable that he failed our test of trustworthiness. But, I suppose I had to find out where he stood sooner or later – Nehushtan waits for no man.”

The walked in silence for a moment. The worn but carefully preserved buildings of the SP Historic Downtown seemed perfectly fitted for the soft grey light in which the clouds now cast the world. David noticed that the trees lining the streets had become skeletons. The chill in the air had grown. Autumn was fighting for its life, but Winter would soon triumph.

Altaer jerked slightly as water sprinkled his face, and cast a glance up at the sky. “Damn rain always has to catch you when you’re farthest from any shelter. Why the hell don’t we have hoods like your Chaoids?”

Dr. David MacBeth gave a knowing smile. “The whole secretive look of hoods is so terribly bad for our public image. It’s enough that I let you wear those old bounty-hunter clothes of yours. Besides…” he raised the long metallic object he had been carrying, “I brought an umbrella.”



It would’ve seemed like one of those days one should stay in bed. The doom and gloom of the future seemed to tingle just outside the senses and it was abundantly clear that things may go south rather quickly. George however wasn’t clairvoyant and had no premonition abilities. The day was like any other and he was needed elsewhere.


Having raised from his bed in a rather elegant fashion, The Gentleman proceeded to his early morning grooming. The Acta Sanctorum base sounded like a secluded island, bereft of all synthetic noise. His clan mates were all asleep at the early hour and the only sound that could be heard was of the few avian creatures stirring in the forest out back.


Where the sound lacked modern cacophony, his room was nowhere near old-fashioned. He had a state of the art tea dispensary, custom made for his every day hot drink needs. A simple push of a button of the blend you require and within minutes a cup will be served with a biscuit on the side. It was specialised to add the perfect amount of honey per blend of tea and there was no piece of technology in his room that he adored more.


He was enjoying a special blend of Green Tea, imported from South-East Asia. The texture lacked the traditional green hue, which one would expect from such a tea, and instead had a more natural brown coloring. It was great for detoxifying one’s body plus the added smidge of caffeine always came in handy for daily adventures.


After enjoying his first cup for the day, George proceeded to dress in a navy pinstripe suit; donning a plain white shirt with similarly blue neck tie. After giving his shoulders a unnecessary brush with his hand he rid himself of the stubble dotting his face, leaving a rather marvelous moustache in tact. In the mirror his grey eyes stared back at him as he carefully brushed his hazel colored hair back into a neat slick fashion.


The Gentleman rounded off his look with a pair of blüchers on his feet. It was very formal and the blue suede wingtip completed his color schemed outfit. On the way out of his room, George grabbed his top hat and umbrella both of which he never traveled without, and headed to the clan house front doors where his personal driver should be waiting.


Rolling open the metallic door, disrupting the lack of modernised sound with a clangorous tone, he stepped out into the front end of Acta Sanctorum. The warehouse seemed rather unremarkable from the outside; if only people knew the wonders it’s walls held.


George’s driver sat in a black Toyota Camry 2015. He didn’t feel like attracting too much attention for this particular trip and thus opted for a vehicle that wouldn’t receive a second glance. After slipping into the backseat the driver took off down the road toward midtown.


The drive was rather boring with nothing notable happening. This gave The Gentleman a perfect opportunity to think about what lay ahead.


It had come to his father’s attention that an old investor and rather large shareholder was planning a hostile takeover. In order to stop this, Henry Prince, George’s father, called a private meeting with the investor and asked his eldest son to be in attendance. No lawyers will be present for this will be a simple meeting to dissuade the man from his plan.


The problem however is the fact that the man had invested in Prince Incorporated back in the day when it first became a public company. His shares held far stronger weight in the scheme of business than the newer silent partners. Apparently the man used to be good friends with George’s grandfather having saved his life during the second world war.


Seeing as his grandfather had passed away and left the company in the care of his son and grandson, this was an interesting ghost of the past that decided to haunt them. The elder man (for someone who invested back in those days must be old) was obviously ambitious even at his old age. George speculated that he simply wanted to leave a substantial inheritance for his family and was cashing in one of his oldest chips.


Interesting fact about Hostile Takeovers is that there are many ways to go about it and many more to counter it. In the grand scale of things, it will always be slightly tipped in the favour of those defending their company. This is made difficult if the board members are caught unaware however. Which is the case in this scenario.


The elder gentleman must have planned this for some time due to investors making a rumble that they want to replace certain board members. Sadly the ones under employ of Henry and George are hearing these noises and want to give in. The day before, Henry called for a board meeting and it was the longest one to date.


“We are well aware that Mr MacBeth plans to usurp our power here at Prince Incorporated.” Henry said, addressing the members of the board. He was dressed in a newly pressed plain black suit. Armani was always his go-to brand, where in divergence, George enjoyed varying his style. “He has been using his influence as the biggest investor to cause discord amongst the others.” His father had similar hair to George, save for the mild greying at the temples. Best way to describe his nature was by comparing him to a Scotch. He was dignified and hard and over time he became far more rich in nature.


“This does seem to be a problem Mr Prince.” One member of the board spoke up. There were thirteen of them gathered there including the two members of the company’s namesake. The boardroom was rather large as if built for the purpose of large gatherings. But The Gentleman knew the real reasoning; it was a power play. If a company can afford to frivolously spend money on wasted space and expensive handmade furniture it means they are a thriving and rich institution. “I propose we grab the attention of the majority of investors who could outweigh Mr MacBeth’s shares.” Before the man could continue, another interjected.


“Don’t you think we haven’t thought of that already?” Henry’s brown eyes locked with his son’s grey ones. Usually they spoke volumes of wisdom and snobbery, yet now he simply seemed to think everybody surrounding him were fools. He did not weigh in just yet however. “Most have rejected our requests for an appointment. While those who had the nerve to face us said they are only willing to listen if we rid ourselves of certain members of the board.” Eleven eyes on the table drifted to the Prince family members briefly before they found the ceiling, window or table vastly more interesting.


Henry cleared his throat before replying. “This may be the case but as you well know we are not stepping down. I will not be bullied out my grandfather’s company and my birthright. Thus we will need to work through the company’s bylaws even if it takes us all night. There must be a loophole to use in our favour where we limit our majority investors’ vote on board membership.”


A few grunts came as the reply before an assistant handed each member a copy of the Investor Authority Company Laws. Everybody started working well through the day and into the night. Many arguments flew as one found a potential idea and others countering it with the fault. George wasn’t as business savvy as his father but after a couple of years one picks up a few things. Once a potentially flawless idea came up, and there were no arguments against it, everybody retired for the evening. It was then that Henry told his son that they were to meet Mr MacBeth the following morning.


As the car approached the metropolitan area of StickPage City, George started to contemplate whether the plan would work. It was relatively simple really. In one of the bylaws it stated that if more than the majority of investors do not agree on changing a board member, the vote would not proceed, regardless of a person’s portion of the company’s shares.


In Layman’s terms; even if MacBeth got all the high stake shareholders to vote alongside him in this matter, it is the amount of people and not the amount of shares that dictates whether or not they can vote. The vote itself however is based on the share value. If they can prevent MacBeth from having the number of people to go forward with the vote, then there will be no change of board members in the immediate future. A simple enough plan yet George still feels it will not go as smoothly.


The car came to an abated speed before gently stopping in front of an impressive high-rise. The building had a sense of modern professionalism which could be found in most business district skyscrapers. It sported thirty-three stories and reflected the morning sun onto the building across the street. Located near the top of the building one could see the name of the establishment in plain black colours; “Prince Incorporated”. George had finally arrived at his destination.


Bidding the driver farewell, he headed to the familiar doors of the metropolitan marvel. Many men wearing business suits, of far lesser worth than his own, were entering and exiting the foyer. Business does not stop even with a looming takeover. George entered through the rolling doors and was greeted with a unceremonious reception.


Olivia Beckham was all work and no play. She was poised in a black pantsuit with matching blazer and under her arm she carried a thick blue folder. The frilly white blouse she wore underneath didn’t suit her as there was nothing girly or frilly about her face. Frowning at her tablet, she was furiously tapping the screen as if it wasn’t obeying her commands. With every failed result, the folder seemed to be crushed further in frustration. Her short brown hair seemed especially groomed to compensate for the lack of composure her forehead displayed that very moment.


As George approached, the brunette raised her head from the device and showed signs that she may well redirect her fierce tapping to The Gentleman’s face; her brown eyes were hard as dried clay, the edges of her mouth quivered with fire, and to top it off her laugh lines seemed to display a far different meaning to what they originally were created for.


“You’re late.” She spat at him while she thrust the blue folder in his direction. It weighed a bit more than expected. Prince was about to retort but she knew him far too well. “I don’t want to hear your excuses. I don’t arrive early so you could lie in all day.” He merely nodded in reply. “And don’t even butter me up. Today is not the day for shenanigans.”


George couldn’t help but chuckle slightly at the use of the word ‘shenanigans’. The enjoyment was cut short as fictional daggers shot out of auburn eyes. “I apologise. I shall stay professional today.” It was difficult for him to keep his smile sincere but he was glad Olivia was his assistant. She may have a slight edge to her but she got results and never asked twice whenever he requested something from her.


The apology went over her head as she continued with the business at hand. “Shall we walk and talk? I have a hundred things to do and wasting my time on you is something I need to take care of quickly.”


“Understood.” The two of them started toward the elevators in the middle of the reception floor. It was quite busy in the massive room and George found himself wishing to be back with the peace that his clan house brings. However once his members awoke it would disrupt that peace rather quickly. Everyone in Prince Incorporated had an important meeting to attend to as they rushed around the foyer to one room or another; many of which were lining up for the multiple elevators. It appeared that George wasn’t the only one late to work that morning.


The Gentleman opened the folder and stroked his thick moustache as he analised the data before him. “What you have in your hand is the amount of investors for and against the management reshuffling. I will be candid however by saying it is a nailbiter.” It could be observed that the amount of investors for the reshuffle was three-hundred-and-twenty while the amount against was three-hundred-and-fourty-three. Thus Mr MacBeth was lacking two dozen investors for the vote to go ahead.


“Marvelous news Olivia. In your own personal opinion, do you reckon we have enough motive to sway our bothersome investor?” Umbra tapped on the tile flooring as they walked.


“I shall give my opinion once we ascend to the boardroom.” The tone suggested that what came next will definitely not be pleasant.


George and Olivia entered the first available elevator. Multiple people wanted to join them but a quick glance at the top hat made them change their mind. If he didn't know any better, he would’ve guessed the woman’s furious stare deterred them from entering instead. She had a fairly strong reputation for getting her way “or else”. Nobody wanted to find out what “else” there was and avoided her rather.


The doors closed and the bustle was shut out with it. A sigh of relief escaped the Gentleman’s mouth as he enjoyed the few moments of quiet. The silence was short lived as Olivia decided to raise her staggering opinion which caused his heart rate to accelerate.


“Okay, now that we’re alone, I believe you have little chance to retain your name on the outside of this building.” George stroked his moustache as her opinion sank in. He wondered why but didn’t ask for Olivia was the kind of person that will explain herself almost immediately afterwards. She demonstrated this trait instantly. “Mr MacBeth has the power to distribute his shares amongst anybody he pleases. I am sure as he is an elder gentleman he will have many contacts in which he can trust.” She flipped the file in his hands to a projection analysis report. “You see here? Finding twenty-four voters would be a piece of cake for the man and if the vote goes ahead... “ She flipped to the next page. “The amount of investors who are for the change have far higher share value than those who are against. We are simply lucky we have enough people keeping the vote at bay.”


George subconsciously adjusted his top hat upon his head and studied the analysis. It was very possible for this man to take over their company. Knowing that he was even attempting a takeover meant he’s planned this for some time and it wouldn’t surprise him in the least if by the end of the day a vote will take place that will change his future forever.


The Gentleman found himself wishing for noise again. The silence stretched on as he and Olivia stood there thinking through options to counter the takeover. There was nothing to do. Even if they flooded the market with shares, it would be a major financial risk. Yes, it may create more investors who could vote but whether they would participate or even vote against the takeover bid was difficult to predict or even control.


The lift came to a halt at the boardroom floor. As George exited the metallic box Olivia gave one last piece of advice before she returned to her job. “Whatever happens, fight this as hard as you can. I know I never say this because your ego doesn’t need any more stroking, but you are one of the best bosses I’ve ever had and it would be far less challenging for me to find someone else.” With that she left with a half encouraging smile.


Elevator doors now closed and with nobody to guard his back, Prince walked down the hallway toward the boardroom doors. A small grin decorated his face for Olivia did stroke his ego a tad. He may give her hell but the reason he hired her in the first place was because she relished and thrived with a challenge. Thus mixing the RHG and his duty to the family business, she had more than enough challenges to face daily.


If only she knew what obstacle awaited George on the other side of those doors.


The boardroom was still the same as it was the day before, however it felt bigger with the lack of board members in it. It was occupied by only two people. One was Henry Prince wearing another suit from his armani collection; plain black blazer tailor-fitted to his broad shoulders, matching trousers and wingtip ebony shoes. Deciding on a dark tie to round off his look, he had a stoic look in his brown eyes. George’s father was idly fixing his already prim brown hair with greying temples while gazing at the man of the hour.


The man sitting to Henry’s left was a young man, probably half a decade younger than George himself. He was slender and of similar physique to The Gentleman. His lengthy auburn locks flowed down near shoulder length with emerald colored pendants decorating it. He was a naturally handsome man and one could imagine most women would find his eyes alluring. They spoke of wisdom at a young age and in the light streaming through the window, they shone making him seem magical in nature.


Donned in a crisp white suit in contrast of Henry, the man had an eye for expensive material. The suit itself was made of fine silk and he wore it comfortably even confidently. It was a projection of his stature and power; money is clearly of no significance to this man and he liked to show off his fortune. The white silk was lined with golden thread and his shoes, also ivory in colour, seemed noiseless as the man was tapping his foot on the linoleum floor.


They both turned toward the newcomer and it was George’s father who spoke first. “Ah, George. Glad you can finally join us.” He didn’t sound as confident or commanding as he did the day prior. Could this young man pose a far greater threat? He may be an expensive lawyer on behalf of Mr MacBeth.


“Greeting father. I do apologise for my untimely arrival. There was a smidge of traffic on my way here.” The other man waited patiently as the exchange happened. He knew he would be the topic of interest soon.


“That’s okay. Now that we’re all here, we can get started.” George turned to the man contrasting the Prince family members. He took a seat opposite him and after a contemplative stroke of his moustache addressed the man.


“Good day sir, who may you be if I may ask?” Grey and calculating eyes met the intellectual ones, still shining from the light in a near superior way.


“You do sound awfully formal Mr Prince.” The man replied. Henry rolled his eyes at this comment. He too didn’t really approve of George’s formal vernacular. “Not to worry, I am Dr MacBeth. Nice to meet you.”


“The pleasure is mine.” George said dryly. Maybe this man was the grandson of Mr MacBeth here to speak on his behalf. The intellect that he saw earlier may only be because of a medical degree. The confidence he carried was probably from being self-assured in his profession. “Are you here to discuss terms on behalf of Mr MacBeth?”


Henry glanced at his son, worry lining his forehead. “No, I am this ‘mister’ MacBeth. I am the one who is planning on replacing the Prince name on the door.” This didn’t make any sense. How can a man, barely in his thirties, be the elder gentleman? He was lying or maybe Mr MacBeth passed away and thus his grandson was using his grandfather’s name as influence. This theory was shattered with the next statement. “You see Georgy. May I call you Georgy?” He continue before The Gentleman could tell him ‘no’. “I used to know your grandfather. A good soldier and a good man. He got shot during the Battle of Vire in Normandy. Luckily for him I was there to nurse him back to health. We fought in many battles after that and became rather good friends.


“It was after the Germans admitted defeat that we returned home and he wanted to start his own company. I gave him a small loan to start off and over time it thrived. I invested more into Prince Incorporated and was surprised to learn of his passing. I actually came to StickPage with the purpose of rekindling my friendship and maybe adding my name to the door. MacBeth-Prince Industries does have a good ring to it don’t you think? I digress. When I learnt that you boys are in charge now,” This caused Henry to flinch. He hadn’t been called ‘boy’ in decades. “I had to use my influence of course. I’ve learnt quite a bit from your grandfather about business terminologies during our time in France. Thus I now would like to tell you rather than discuss the terms of my takeover.”


It was a lot of information to process. George has met a couple of immortal people in his travels around the world and Dr MacBeth wasn’t any exception. This explained his youthful age and a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place. The shock that was painted on his face was more in regards to the finality in his adversary's voice. He wasn’t here to talk about a peaceful settlement. He wanted to replace his former friend’s family.


Henry wasn’t surprised by the man’s story; he probably heard it all before George arrived. If they do not go on the offensive now, they might as well roll over and submit like a puppy trusting its master.


“Proceed Dr MacBeth.” The quiet of the room disrupted by its youngest member.


MacBeth cleared his throat and reached under the table for something. There must be a briefcase under there for the whitewashed man produced two sets of files. He rose from the boardroom chair and almost glided toward Henry before tossing one set before him. George’s father didn’t waste a second as he started browsing its contents.


The investor made his way around and more forcefully placed the second folder before The Gentleman. It took some self control not to start scanning the papers but judging from the newly developed creases on his father’s forehead, nothing in it was good news and he could spare a moment of false confidence to get under his skin.


After MacBeth took his seat, he added a fiendishly satisfied smile to his face which only proceeded to shatter the mirage of morale that George aimed to muster. It wasn’t fooled by any facade and thus knew he won without hearing our counter offer.


The top hat wearing fellow scanned the pages of the document before him and his fears were realised. David MacBeth (for he signed it in his full name) has gained enough support for the vote to continue which in turn meant he will have enough investor power to usurp the Prince members and any associative parties if he so pleases.


Henry got up from his chair, a stoic anger rumbling beneath his eyes, and said: “I must make a quick phone call, if you’d excuse me.” A simple nod from David and a grunt from George as permission allowed him to vacate the boardroom.


The files were placed neatly back in front of the moustached man as he gave his facial hair a contemplative stroke. The daylight reflected ominously off MacBeth’s eyes and grey eyes were filled with the crushing realisation that his inheritance was about to slip from his fingers once more as it did a decade ago.


David subconsciously dusted off his shoulders that were spotless to begin with and cleared his throat unnecessarily. Before he spoke he pondered the ceiling as if trying to choose his words carefully. “Now that we’re alone, shall I discuss with you the true intention of my visit?”


This piqued a sense of intrigue in George. Who would go through all this effort if it wasn’t their ultimate goal? Who would attempt a coup if they weren’t planning on going through with it? This man was far more complex than meets the eye. “Go ahead.”


“I have done a little research into you Mr Prince.” If only George could say the same about David. “It was brought to my attention that you are the leader of Acta Sanctorum. Is this correct?” The Gentleman offered the barest of nods. “As you may not be aware, I run the Coils of Nehushtan. A modest clan to be sure and one bent on the goodness of mankind.” Strange way to go about ‘goodness’ George thought. “You possess a slight hiccup in my plans for furthering the goals of my organisation. Some members of your organisation are questionable and it would be best if they…” He paused to adjust his neck tie. “Weren’t in the way.”


Recruitment for Acta has yielded some interesting characters. A silent banshee and a grim wind-blessed swordsman. They were his adoptive family now yet he couldn’t see why they posed a threat.


Suddenly it occurred to him: Sebastian Gladstone. The former leader of Acta Sanctorum went to settle some business with his old organisation Halberd leaving the clan in The Gentleman’s care. Halberd specialised in some strange and questionable dealings and could well be a thorn in the side as someone as influential as Dr MacBeth. When George asked David about it, he confirmed as much.


“Yes, your ‘partner’ in crime as it were was, let’s say, caught delving into some of my more intimate affairs. He will be removed permanently and your wealth will be decimated if you don’t fulfill a simple request; Disband your clan and leave RHG forever.”


This was madness. Why would he care whether or not George was part of the RHG or whether Acta existed or not. They posed no opposition towards The Coils and in the grand scheme of clans wasn’t strong enough to start a war of any kind. As for his own strength, he wasn’t on par with anybody really, only recently taking on the son of a god and barely surviving.


“Why?” The words escaped his mouth before he could formulate a proper sentence. One word was all he needed yet it was unlike him to utter it without considering what he wanted to say.


“That is the question Georgy,” The Gentleman flinched at the uncanny nickname. “You are the catalyst of a probable doom for this city. I’ve seen many people descend down the path before you and you will utilise all your resources including Acta and Halberd to ‘do the right thing’,” He made quotation marks with his hands. “For the good of mankind but you my friend will mess it up.” To drive the point home David pointed his index finger at George. “Quite spectacularly.”


This was all hogwash truly. The Gentleman had no intentions of bettering mankind or destroy it for that matter. This man was forming a conspiracy to justify his own actions and Prince was right in the middle of it. Subconsciously his mind was taking offence as he gripped the hilt of Umbra. Adrenalin was filling his body now and the time for thinking straight was dissipating like mist before the dawn.


“Listen here creton. You have no right to come here, hold my friend and company hostage, and spew such nonsense as ‘I am the bringer of destruction’. I am a respected man and have nothing but ordinary ambitions for my life. If you’re instigating an altercation I am willing to give you one.” George didn’t notice himself rise and saw that he was pointing the sharp end of Umbra, his trusty indestructible umbrella, at MacBeth.


A smile formed on David’s face. “Tell me, where did you disappear to for months on end?” He was calm, patient; clearly a man who’s had a weapon pointed at him before. He slowly rose, the end of the umbrella following as he did so. “You saw the evil of man and it touched your very soul didn’t it?”


How could he know about that? It was true The Gentleman went in search of some artifacts in South America but it was hushed by everyone, only Olivia knowing his purpose for leaving. It was routine; scour the digsite, investigate ancient weaponry and antiquities, and return home with new items for his collection. The truth of the matter was, he was captured by a mob, left imprisoned for months with the archaeologists and tortured beyond measure. The gangsters had a sport though; Hunt or be Hunted. Either you found other prisoners and kill them, or the gangsters found you and murdered you.


Some of the scientists took the easy way out. A wooden stake to the throat can do wonders for someone who wished to end their misery rather quickly. The others who participated didn’t last long. George had a slight advantage and tried saving as many as he could. Once discovered however they were killed in his arms and he was tortured once more for not ‘playing’ properly.


One day he broke, to gain the trust of the Latin-Americans he hunted down one of his colleagues. Since then he could always hear the screams at night that came from the man as a stone silenced him forever. Blood soaked hands were his reward and a chip of his soul was lost forever.


Seeing red for the first time since murdering the innocent man, George lunged his umbrella at David. If it could, his cool grey eyes would turn crimson with rage. The man before him had touched on a subject so suppressed that he wasn’t prepared for the feelings to engulf him.


MacBeth, anticipating a response, quickly dove out of reach. He was fast to retaliate however as he sprung onto the table and, while feinting a kick to the left (which George fell for), he came around from the right and landed a perfect heel to the side of The Gentleman’s face.


The moustached man fell onto the ground with a loud thwack. Luckily he still had Umbra clutched in his hand and after a moment of dizziness could open it above him. The result was the Doctor’s foot colliding with the Mithril surface of the umbrella. MacBeth groaned as the pain rippled through his body and he used the rebounded force to back flip onto the table.


George closed Umbra and snarled at his opponent. Forming a clear and concise thought was difficult as adrenaline and cortisol is released into his body causing fight-or-flight responses. Through his tunnel-vision all that mattered was David. The white suited man was a threat in more ways than physically. It was almost enigmatic how the sun shone off the golden embroidery of the ivory attire.


Finding time to get back on his feet, the now top-hat-less man set himself in an offensive fencing stance. MacBeth analised him through light eyes as the attack swept toward his feet. A quick jump and somersault resulted in the Doctor getting behind George, who in turn swung around to defend against whatever came next. Sadly he wasn’t fast enough as a well-placed jab into his shoulder caused The Gentleman to drop his umbrella.


Defenseless it was rather easy for David to knock him down once more, this time the back of his head hitting the table. The man shone like a beacon caused by the morning rays. A quick kick at Umbra made sure George couldn’t reach his weapon with ease. It ended under the boardroom table and with confidence the man spoke up.


“Just submit Georgy. You clearly are no match for me.” There was no way he would give up if the Doctor insisted on calling him ‘Georgy’ and thus a firm kick at the man’s gut silenced him for a while. David grunted as he double over and gasped for air as if it was a precious commodity. A sliver of hope, for he clearly did not anticipate George to still fight after being knocked down again.


The Gentleman rolled under the table toward his weapon and when he grabbed it emerged from the other end. The older man was rather nimble and had recovered from the kick. It probably took him longer to recover from the shock however. His agility was shown as he leapt onto the table to come down once more at George’s head. Opening the umbrella he deflected the kick but this time David landed nearby. He was within reach of the weapon and could easily be skewered.


Grey eyes focussed on his opponent and with a jab he attempted to end the man swiftly. Sadly a quick sidestep was all that was needed to cause the tip to miss completely. With his reach overextended, George tried swinging it sideways but it was caught in MacBeth’s hand.


“Someone’s a bit reckless today.” The teasing seemed unlike him and sounded rather ‘on-the-spot’ than characteristic. He janked the umbrella bringing Prince within range. He tried to fend off David’s arm but it was too late as he snaked behind George and a toned arm got him into a choke-hold.


Dropping his weapon, The Gentleman struggled against the arm but wasn’t successful for the man had him trapped. Trying a kick only caused him to be off balance and thus David grappled his body to the ground, wrapping his legs around him. His breath was thinning as the choke slowly closed his windpipe with every gasp.


“Do you submit?” Dr MacBeth knew he was in control completely. Not just of George’s body but his personal and professional life.


It was an utter defeat but being stubborn The Gentleman rasped: “Never.” Before fainting.


***


It is a strange experience being outside one’s body. Your physical senses are gone and nothing truly feels coherent and lacks all manner of mass. There is a dull sensation of pins-and-needles that rolls around in the subconscious and while one may feel alive it would send chills down a metaphoric spine.


This was exactly what George felt when he laid eyes on a world that wasn’t anything near what he was used to. He stood upon a plateau above the clouds with the stars dancing around in the midday sun. The sun and moon shared the heavens above and it all felt like it was meant to be that way. The strangest thing was the pulsating lights drifting from the clouds below. Irregular heartbeats made the fluffy masses seem alive.


The plateau itself was simply a patch of grass with boulders littering it at random like cushions would in a shisha bar. The seats themselves probably weren’t as comfortable however. Seated on two of the boulders near Prince was two strange figures.


Attempting to give his moustache a pull, he was shocked to find himself to be intangible. Looking down at his body he saw straight through himself at the grass below. It was this moment when he realised that he couldn’t feel anything; not his clothes, not the ground below him, or the air around him. He glowed in a gloomy blue hue, a representation of the navy suit he was wearing. George looked at the figures before him and cautiously approached them, thinking this to be some strange dream that was caused by David knocking him out.


As he neared them he could make out the genders of the people before him. One was a woman clad in a kaleidoscope of materials. Each one flowing in a breeze that wasn’t present at all. It was dull in comparison to her eyes however that shone in a similar rainbow of colours. Saying she had any specific eye colour would be similar to saying there was only one kind of star in the galaxy. Her hair in contrast was rather plain. It flowed down her back in long blonde locks with bells attached to certain strands. It was playing a rather pleasant melody in the wind-that-wasn’t-wind.


The other person was male and seemed a mess. Half his head was shaved while the other side was what happened to a person who put a knife into a toaster. He had heterochromic eyes; one was a swirly red flame and the other, a blizzard. His features were far more hardened in comparison to his fair companion. His dark grey hair colour was apparent in his beard that was riddled with a multitude of objects from twigs to cogs to a Hello Kitty wrist watch. As for his attire, he sported torn jeans, matched with a formal jacket and a grease stained vest below it. He was only wearing one trainer on his right foot but the laces were undone. The Gentleman would shiver if he had a body that was capable of doing so.


The uncommon eyes locked on the approaching phantom and the woman smiled. Their mere physical appearance washed over him like a tidal wave of imagination. George couldn’t possibly have created these beings in his mind but then again who knew what the mind was capable of.


As if sensing his line of thought the psychedelically clad female spoke; her voice flowing in rhythm to the symphony of bells. “You are not dreaming my sweet Prince.” Her voice was that of honey and a warm summer day in the park. “We are the gods of the Modern Pantheon.” Clearly George couldn’t have thought this up.


It was now the turn of the man. His voice on the other hand was similar to his sense of fashion. He mixed his accents, his pitch and even his sentence structure. “You beith speaking to this mortal yes?” He ended the ‘yes’ in a pitch so high that The Gentleman flinched. “Why ye doing such things?” It was a rumble this time. The fire in one eye leaked out but was quickly back in as if it never tried escaping in the first place.


“Oh hush now. I have my reasons.” Her fair comely mouth quirked in a sneaky smile. “My Prince, you must have questions. Ask! Ask! Please do.” It was strange hearing the speech in melody.


Having not been able to test his transparent throat for noise he aimed to make a throat-clearing noise but met no resistance and a squeak came out instead. Embarrassed he looked down at the grass before gaining confidence to talk. “Many questions indeed.” His voice sounded distant. “Why am I transparent?”


The crazed man laughed, tears made of ice leaking from his snowy eye. “This laddie here thinking of self no be thought us understanding?” It was a tough dialogue to follow. The ‘no be’ part was almost lost in phlegm sounds.


“I understand just fine, thank you.” She said to her accomplice. To George she said: “Well, as you may notice, you are no longer in your body. You have manifested in an image that you see yourself. Judging by the colour I would say you think yourself as a rather calm and cool person do you not?”


Contemplating this, The Gentleman did consider himself to be of impassive nature. However after recent events, it was probably not so true. As he thought this, his body shimmered and became a slightly maroon-esque colouring.


“He finds out of himself. He grows to know inner beingness.” The man made a good point, if badly phrased. He would’ve always thought himself as this cool, calm and collected person if he never had the opportunity to reflect on himself.


“I see. You may know me but I am at a slight disadvantage. Who may you be if I may be so bold to ask?”


The man claps his hands together and thunder came from the pulsating clouds around the plateau. “He thinks non-selfishly! Excellent ye are.” It was later revealed that that specific thunder lead one child to shooting up a primary school.


“I am the manifestation of luck.” The flowing rainbow woman said. “Many know me as Lady Luck and thus due to this I do not have a name. So please refer to me as such.” She looked over the man near her. He was picking at something between his toes. “This man here is the manifestation of chaos. He is called Lord Chaos. Yes, people tend to not be awfully creative with names and such, my apologies.”


This made Prince believe more than anything that he was dreaming. Lady Luck and Lord Chaos? It was like a very bad cartoon for children. But seeing as he was there now, he might as well continue this absurd fantasy while it lasted.


“Lady Luck, I am honoured to meet you.” Being pleasant never hurt anybody. To top it off he gave a bow as if he was standing before royalty. As he rose a rather strange question came to mind. “Who are these ‘people’ you refer to?”


Lord Chaos scoffed as if it was the most obvious thing in the world but it was Lady Luck who replied. “The people of Earth of course. Everyone has a faith in this deity or that and those who want to explain some unexplainable force but does not belong to the vast array of pantheons,” She paused as the bells’ tune did. A moment later the bells continued their song. “Well, they talk about their luck or karma or some other kind of thing. Thus the ‘people’ are referred to as our faithful gathering.”


This made sense to George. Those who didn’t really believe in anything would either deem themselves lucky in positive situations or think bad things happen due to bad karma. Looking around the plateau, he spotted multiple ‘cushions’ on which some of these Modern Pantheon can sit. A quick count brought his tally up to thirteen including the two stones on which Lady Luck and Lord Chaos sat upon.


“This is all rather fascinating. But how was ones such as you born? Most religions have an origin. What is yours?”


Lord Chaos scratched his bald spot first before glaring sidelong at his fellow deity. She met his gaze head on and turned toward The Gentleman. “Well, this may sound strange but we reside in the imagination of a writer.”


She didn’t continue speaking as if that explained it all. Inside the imagination of a writer? What is that supposed to mean? If people keep their faith to these gods subconsciously how can they, as powerful as they are, be stuck in the mind of some person somewhere? Thus even while he made strides to believing them it all fell apart after that singular statement.


“Well, this was a great talk but I do need to get back.” As George turned back the way he came he was surprised to find the two gods sitting in the exact same spot before him once more. He twirled around again and yet there they were. “What’s going on here?”


“This little sir-person does not get it yet.” His voice was rather normal this time around. “He shan’t be takings of any leaving until purpose of visit fulfilled.” And that time it was rolling like waves on the ocean.


“Yes, what my brother says is true. You first need finish why you’re here.” Lady Luck hadn’t stopped smiling the whole time they were conversing yet this time the brightness seemed mildly crazed.


He might as well continue riding the wave while he was here. As soon as he can get away he could forget all about this altercation. “What is this purpose you speak of?” He asked glumly.


“I have been watching you for a while now my Prince and you have what it takes.” She had stop once more due to the bells in her hair. “What I mean is: I want you to be my champion on Earth.”


The breeze-that-isn’t-a-breeze continued their songs on the bells while Chaos was admiring the pulsating clouds. Nobody spoke for a moment or two as Mr Prince contemplated what she just said. It may be that this is all real and he had the opportunity to represent a new deity on Earth. Then again it was so far fetched and surreal that he wouldn’t be surprised to wake up on his boardroom floor with no change in himself whatsoever.


Clearing his ‘throat’ George asked another question. “If this is real, for I still am not convinced I am not dreaming, what would being your champion entail?”


Lady Luck clapped her hands melodically. “I am simply glad you’re considering it! No offense is taken in your doubt for the moment you return to you body you will know it all to be true.” Chaos was scratching at his beard now and a few grains of rice fell onto the grass. Strangely, once it touched the plateau it disappeared and the gods thought nothing of this strange occurrence. “Being my champion means you get will be able to manipulate your own fortune to a minor degree. I think the modern term is ‘probability’. You can change the outcome of certain actions to a smaller extent.”


Manipulating probability seemed like a good idea but George wasn’t convinced yet. “Would I be able to switch on being lucky and then not, and if so, why would I ever switch it off?”


Lord Chaos giggled but abruptly stopped as he tried to fish out something from between his teeth. After revealing it to be a fly, the god flicked the little insect away. “This man standing afore me and thy can’teth comprehend power than if the power of which is spoken presented one opportunity to excel and transcendence of morality and weak and non-existent power possessed by male here.”


That sentence made little to no sense but luckily his companion was more used to it. “What my fellow deity is trying to say is that you don’t know how power works for you have lacked real power your whole life.” Which was true. George had always felt he wasn’t half as strong as many of his opponents in RHG. He always got through by the skin of his teeth but with power, even a little bit, it bridged the gap he’d been lacking his whole gladiatorial life.


“As for the extent of your abilities,” The representation of luck continued. “You cannot simply ‘be lucky’ all the time. You will have to focus on a certain outcome and lower or raise the probability of that outcome. For example: A person is aiming a gun at your head, you have a 98% chance that you will be killed. If you change the probability of that occurrence, then you would have a 85% chance of dying. Maybe the gunman gets distracted, maybe he gets a random spasm in his hand. The possibilities are endless.”


With a power like that, he would certainly be able to change the course of many of his battles to some degree or another. He did not know why he was hesitating for if this was real, he would wake up being more powerful than when he went under. If it ended up as a dream, he would most likely concede defeat to MacBeth in more ways than one. The decision was simple.


“I accept your gracious gift my Lady.” Not sure how to formally address his newfound god. “I wish to be your champion on Earth.”


This brought a big smile to the face of the colourful woman. Her rainbow eyes swirled far more fantastic colours and the sound from her hair played a cheerful jig. “I am very happy to hear this! Please approach so I may bestow my blessing upon you!” Her previously eerie smile was far more pleasant now.


George Prince, also known as The Gentleman, approached the goddess of luck carefully. As he was within her reach she placed her hands on his ethereal shoulders. A feat that seemed strange for they surely would’ve passed through him at any other point. Her clothing started to wrap around him, covering his body in a flurry of hues. Her kaleidoscopic eyes latching onto his ghostly grey ones and something occurred that could be described as a ‘shift’. In a way, everything within George’s past went from black and white and got assaulted by a kindergartener with too many crayons. Everything seemed brighter and he could actually see the influences of Lady Luck in his life, like tethers of colour pulling certain events in his favour.


In some instances he could see darker coloured tethers pulling him to South America. The cords pulled at his hands as he lowered the stone onto the scientist’s face…


When it finished George was on his knees and he understood how real this had been. A lot of the time he thought it was simply his own mistakes he made but it was revealed that even though he didn’t have a belief in any god, divine intervention had spurred him into action.


“Thank you.” Was the only words he could say as Lady Luck returned to her original state, the bells dancing in the breeze.


“There is a slight cost however.” She said as The Gentleman rose to his feet. Of course there was a cost. A quote from a comic book came to mind: ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. “You will have to balance out good luck and bad luck for yourself. You cannot simply turn fortunes into your favour all the time. If you do not, ‘balance the books’ if you will, then you might attract the wrath of Miss Karma and she does love to cause unprecedented pandamonium on those who do not balance their lives. Do you understand?”


He nodded his understanding. George still felt the power in his body, almost like a tingling feeling all over your body accompanying the pins-and-needles he felt when he arrived on the plateau.


“Excellent, you may now return to your body my…” She was interrupted by lightning arcing from the clouds below. Instead of naturally forming its web of electrons downwards, it was flowing upwards in a twist of gravity. “What are you…?” She asked Chaos who simply bellowed.


“I would’ve want same as thy. An champion of sorts! Like this male person.” Chaos grabbed hold of the ethereal man and in similar fashion he was enveloped. A dust cloud formed around the two of them with bits of miscellaneous items floating within it. Fire and ice were now the focus for George’s eyes as he floated through his history once more.


Where Luck coloured his life, Chaos added shadows and shading. His shadow twisted as he approached his plane to South America. Dark rings formed below the eyes of the gangsters. His hands twisted into claws as it clasped the stone. The colour of blood staining his clothes formed the words: ‘Monster’.


If a ghostly figure could weep The Gentleman would, but sadly the emotions was far more intense than Luck’s was and he found himself on his knees once more, face buried in the grass.


“Chaos!” Lady Luck screamed, bells violently shaking. Her whole outfit changed to dark sombre colours as she faced the laughing man.


He was unaffected by her anger and simple said: “I think it time to take leavings.” He touched George’s head and suddenly there was darkness.


***


Returning to one’s body is a rather seamless process. Once your awareness kicks in you have full motor controls of all your functions everything you felt the moment you left returns like an avalanche.


The most surprising thing was no passage of time has passed on Earth during his time away. Thus George found himself in a chokehold by Dr MacBeth and the anger of earlier flooded his system with serotonin and thus for the second time that day he was not as calm as he should’ve been.


The biggest difference was that he was now the champion of Lady Luck if his vision rang true. Air was escaping his throat and clawing at the arm around his neck proved nothing. His time was short before he was truly left unconscious.


His rage helped him focus on one simple matter of probability; increasing the chance that he could escape David’s hold.


Who would’ve thought that the saving grace would come in the form of Henry Prince wielding a revolver. The elderly man, still sporting his Armani suit with the necktie slightly ajar, had come in during their grapple and pointed his personal weapon at the Doctor shouting something about ‘release’.


The pressure of the arm left George as he was discharged and pushed away. MacBeth slowly rose and faced the new threat in the room while The Gentleman coughed violently feeling like it had been an eternity since he last breathed.


“Mr Prince, you seem to misunderstand the situation. It was your son who attacked me first.” The truth of the matter fell on deaf ears as the middle aged man didn’t seem convinced. “I merely needed him to calm down but he was adamant on taking me out.”


“I don’t give one shit what you say. First you want to take my company and the next moment I see you choking my son who is still hacking on the floor.” Loss of composure seemed to be common in the Prince family that day. What Henry didn’t know however was that David was stalling as he tried figuring out how to safely take down the man before him.


The attack came swiftly. The older looking man didn’t have enough time to react as MacBeth slided below his aim and swept his feet out from under him. Prince senior’s head hit the table as he was knocked out. The revolver rolled away from him, still cold.


This clash gave George enough time to arm himself while standing unsteadily on his two feet. David turned with confidence toward him and was ready for the second round of The Gentleman Vs The Doctor.


A quick dart had MacBeth within attacking reach of Prince. He was about to disarm him as he’d done before except he was ready for it. The pressure-point-blow came at his shoulder but with a quick push of the arm it missed entirely.


George retaliated with a kick to his opponent’s ribs which caused the man to grunt and retreat. While he was still unstable from the previous bout, he was gaining confidence with each passing second. His rage was now under control. Once he saw his father on the ground he realised he needed to use his abilities to defeat the man and being controlled by emotions was not the way to do this.


It was time to stop being defensive and thus the Gentleman rushed toward the Doctor and Umbra came from the side to land a hit at the man’s midsection. David flipped backwards, his white attire flowing with him like a cloud.


Before the man landed, George manipulated the chance that he’d lose his footing and fall. It didn’t work entirely as he’d hoped for the man simply staggered slightly but was sure-footed immediately afterwards. It appeared that the manipulation didn’t always work exactly as one would hope but the fact that he wobbled was a positive sign.


MacBeth came at Prince with newfound vigour as he set his sights on a quick takedown. Glancing the revolver near his feet he moved toward his adversary and gathered the gun in his hands with one swift motion. Luckily George could open his umbrella as two rounds ricocheted off the mithril surface and into the boardroom table.


Using the sight impairment that Umbra brought, David leaped onto the table and ran across it to deliver a kick to the side of George’s head. Closing his weapon the moustached man, still not wearing his famous top hat, knocked the kick aside and the Doctor fell to the floor.


Countering quickly, Mr Prince tried impaling his opponent but he rolled away in time and used his core strength to get to his feet.


Dr David MacBeth had one trick up his sleeve that he hadn’t reveal earlier, of course thinking his opponent to be nothing but a mere mortal fool. Two clones of him appeared beside him. Both wearing the shiny suit with golden embroidery and their eyes also reflected the sunlight. Everything was identical from the white shoes to the auburn hair with talismans attached to it.


Taking on one Doctor was fine but three would serve to provide an extra challenge. The newly formed replications charged at George both wielding knives which he didn’t know David carried. Outnumbered, The Gentleman countered a swipe from the one and used the butt of Umbra to discourage the second. It appeared they weren’t easily daunted and kept coming. MacBeth was circling the table, eyeing the navy clad man.


After defending two more swipes at his body, he decided to retreat a few feet away to keep all three men in his view. He had but a moment to come up with a plan before the two clones descend upon him once more. It would appear the two clones are less prone to getting hurt unlike their creator who took a far more guarded approach to attacking. Thus a plan formed in George’s mind and there was simply one way to test it.


Using himself as bait, The Gentleman surprised the reflections by coming in for a full assault. He feinted a blow to the right of one and then bewilder them further by ducking between them instead. Thus the one tried deflecting the blow while the other followed him with his blade. The result was the one clone cut the other.


Due to their personality, of which they seem to have none, the bleeding clone didn’t seem to be offended by his mate’s inaccuracy and they spun around for another go. Opening Umbra, the shield managed to stop both simultaneous attacks. George manipulated the probability of the one attacking again and thus the result was his blade falling from his grasp.


This was an excellent opportunity, as the one was adjusting to the shock of losing his weapon The Gentleman closed his umbrella and knocked the armed one down. As the unarmed David clenched his knife he got impaled by Mithril.


The sound of the table was the only warning George got as the original Doctor leapt at him. His one arm grabbed hold of his shoulder as they both fell to the ground. Umbra was stuck in the impaled clone and thus it left his hold. It was another grappling match that ensued except this time the remaining reflection was helping to get his legs under control.


Needing to focus his power on one of the two assailants, he thought the probability might be more in his favour if he targeted the reflection. Thus he hoped to be rid of him while he contended with its creator. The result was far better than he expected.


He gave the clone a kick in the chest and it staggered backwards. As it tried gaining its balance, the replication tripped and fell straight through the window. No screams escaped its mouth as gravity did its job and David’s likeness plummeted to an unknown fate.


MacBeth’s grip suddenly weakened and The Gentleman took the opportunity to get out of his clutches. A swift elbow to the gut caused the older man to grunt and gave him an opportunity to get free. The impaled clone tried raising but found it rather difficult for obvious reasons.


David revealed to still be in the possession of the revolver and directed its power in his direction. Manipulating the probability of getting shot in the head, a pigeon flew through the open window. This distracted the Doctor and thus when the round left its metallic slumber it hit George in the shoulder.


A massive wail escaped The Gentleman’s mouth as pain coursed through his body and he instinctively clutched his shoulder. His power was still active for another shot was heard but the pigeon luckily flew past at the precise moment and turned into a feathered mess. Using the momentary distraction, the moustached man ripped his umbrella from the reflection and opened it in time as another two shots met his indestructible shield.


MacBeth discarded the gun and got to his feet. The clone on the other hand abruptly disappeared but David seemed to still be weakened, breathing heavily through his nose, his shining menace visage shattered.


“Do you wish to continue?” George enquired, while manipulating the probability of the resolution of their encounter. “I am confident we both do not need to continue this nonsense any longer. I am tired and in desperate need of medical attention and maybe a cup of tea.”


“I am not that easily defeated Georgy.” Defiant until the end it would appear. “You are wounded where I am simply tired. When it comes to endurance, I will surely win.”


He wasn’t wrong but luckily for Prince, Olivia and a handful of police officers entered the boardroom and for once it didn’t feel as large as it did earlier.


“Mr Prince, we heard gunshots and a man was seen falling from this room.” The cops were all carrying standard issue pistols and aimed them wildly at the two inhabitants of the room. Clearly neither of them were armed but the fact that George was clutching his bleeding shoulder was an indication of firearms were being used to some extent. “These fine officers are just inspecting what happened.”


“Allow me to explain.” David started but was cut short by a grunt from Henry.


The old man was slowly raising from behind the table and one of the cops were helping him to his feet. “No Mr MacBeth…” The Doctor mumbled ‘Doctor’ under his breath. “Allow me to explain.” Scratching the back of his head he explained to the police and Olivia how he found David choking his son on the ground and how he was knocked unconscious by the peculiar man. “What followed must’ve been self-defence clearly for there doesn’t seem to be a scratch on our guest yet here George stands, bleeding. For god sakes help the man!”


Apparently a paramedic crew was standing by right outside and took this as their cue to come in and tend the Gentleman’s wound.


“That doesn’t explain the body that fell from the building.” One officer said. By the emblems on his shoulder it would appear he was highest ranking police officer and thus in charge of the investigation. “A body, might I add, having an uncanny resemblance to this man.” He pointed at MacBeth.


“He is a gladiator officer. Has an ability to create clones of himself.” The Gentleman told them, wincing as the medics contain the wound.


Grumbling to himself David corrected him. “They are reflections, not clones. And why would it matter whether they were a spawned creation. You aimed to kill someone of my likeness.”


The leading officer agreed with MacBeth and thus after some debate from Henry and Olivia, both gladiators were arrested. David was taken to a cell at the station (recalling his reflection in the street on the way) while George was in the hospital being treated under guard.


After a few days of investigation by the police department, the RHG agency stepped in and announced that the matter was not a domestic dispute but rather an unscheduled arena battle. All damages were covered by the agency and both men’s charges were dropped.


Sadly, in order to balance out the good luck that George had generated in the boardroom he needed to cause himself bad luck and thus it came in the form of the vote going forward. After two weeks the investors, including Dr MacBeth, voted that the Prince board members be ejected from Prince Incorporated.


As for Sebastian Gladstone’s fate, he happened to escape from his imprisonment and thus after a brief phone call to George confirmed that he was bruised but safe and planning on going AWOL for a while.


With two rather generous severance checks in hand, Henry and George sat at the Prince Estate and reflected on recent events. One was sipping on a fine Irish whisky while the other enjoyed a freshly brewed cup of tea.


“What will we do now?” The youngest of the two asked his father.


“Well, I believe it was high time for me to retire in any case. Your mother and I are selling the estate and going to spend the rest of our retirement at our beach house in Bali.” He took a swig of golden liquid and smacked his lips in enjoyment.


“I am glad the two of you are taking on this venture, however I am still in the dark of what I need to be doing.”


“You have quite a bit of money son. Besides I am sure you could find a way to generate income in some well placed investments. StickPage City is the land of opportunity you know.”


George stroked his moustache as he regarded his father’s words. It was true. Many people are constantly beginning new enterprises. He simply needed to find one that is worth investing in.


“Anyways, who won the battle between the two of you?”


The Gentleman smiled. “Officially according to RHG, it was a draw for neither of us conceded. I believe I could’ve won it but I think in the end of the day The Doctor got the better of both of us.” This was true. Apparently Prince Incorporated will be no more and it will be renamed soon thanks to the majority shareholder with the spawning abilities.


“You did give him a pretty good go I’m sure.” As the sun was settling, George enjoyed his last moments on the estate which saw him grow from infancy to adulthood.


If you need to refresh yourself on the characters involved...

The Gentleman can be found here (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?77476-The-Gentleman).

My gladiator (The Doctor) has a link in my sig.

969_DoomsDruid_969
11-28-2016, 03:37 PM
Good shit my peoples. Davist likes.

1)givin it to the one with more gentlemanly coonduct
2)damn son. Dis pretty good
3) hngnh now I can't do my idea for our fight because it would seem plagiarized as fack.
4)Is the longshot-style champion of luck piwers canon? Because if so YEAHHHHHHHHHH

Urako
11-28-2016, 03:43 PM
Okay I don't have the patience to CnC everything, so I'm just going to explain my vote or absence of and why. I'm voting for Alphaeus because I feel as though Saulmurphy "cheated" and it took all the fun out of the story for me;

@Saulmurphy: After you're battle royal, I considered you to be the Resh equivalent of wRHG. But now I have been forced to reevaluate. It doesn't really feel like a fight so much as showcasing your character's new power. It was resolved in a deus ex machina (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina) sort of way with the new power and everything. And about your character's new power, I am very well aware of what luck manipulation is capable of and random or not (I forgot which your character has) it still makes your character unbeatable. Your story is beautiful and I hate to say it, but I would highly suggest forgetting the events of the fight.

Lets just say I'm never going to challenge you with your ability
I'm sorry Saulmurphy and I hope you can forgive me for these remarks, but it is what it is:(

Alphaeus
11-28-2016, 03:52 PM
Altaer’s only role here is voice acting…David, his Reflection, and his Rogue Reflection (Image) did all the dirty work of actually driving George insane. I’m not quite sure how you get the impression Altaer did that when I specifically mention four Davids as the only beings George sees, with the “contact” only speaking two or three times and tossing a bag of coins…

Urako
11-28-2016, 03:58 PM
Altaer’s only role here is voice acting…David, his Reflection, and his Rogue Reflection (Image) did all the dirty work of actually driving George insane. I’m not quite sure how you get the impression Altaer did that when I specifically mention four Davids as the only beings George sees, with the “contact” only speaking two or three times and tossing a bag of coins…

Yeah made I slight mistake there, can't say i'm not disappointed you didn't give Prince some chance, but i'm voting for you and edited my previous reply to say such. I made a mistake and after I saw Altaer I assumed he did everything.

969_DoomsDruid_969
11-28-2016, 04:05 PM
Okay I don't have the patience to CnC everything, so I'm just going to explain my vote or absence of and why. I'm voting for Alphaeus because I feel as though Saulmurphy "cheated" and it took all the fun out of the story for me;

@Saulmurphy: After you're battle royal, I considered you to be the Resh equivalent of wRHG. But now I have been forced to reevaluate. It doesn't really feel like a fight so much as showcasing your character's new power. It was resolved in a deus ex machina (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina) sort of way with the new power and everything. And about your character's new power, I am very well aware of what luck manipulation is capable of and random or not (I forgot which your character has) it still makes your character unbeatable. Your story is beautiful and I hate to say it, but I would highly suggest forgetting the events of the fight.

Lets just say I'm never going to challenge you with your ability
I'm sorry Saulmurphy and I hope you can forgive me for these remarks, but it is what it is:(

And this is what happens when people aren't even given a chance to explain wha da faq they doing. Bit too much jumping to conclusions there me fam.

Urako
11-28-2016, 04:09 PM
And this is what happens when people aren't even given a chance to explain wha da faq they doing. Bit too much jumping to conclusions there me fam.

I was wrong about Alphaeus's version, but I only wish I could say I was wrong about Saulmurphy's version.

Alphaeus
11-28-2016, 05:32 PM
Just as a note... Saul wanted this battle to be a turning point for George. Either he dies (my job) or "evolves" (his job).

Just wanted to put a plan perspective on things.

Urako
11-28-2016, 05:37 PM
Just as a note... Saul wanted this battle to be a turning point for George. Either he dies (my job) or "evolves" (his job).

Just wanted to put a plan perspective on things.

Well all I want to say is i'm sorry I got mixed up by the epilogue. I read that little bit a tad too fast. But I still voted for you and overall your work was very well done if a tad one-sided. Saulmurphy's background was pretty good though.

Also, I didn't know his death would be permanent. It might've guilted me into voting for him so I'm glad I didn't know.

Edit: I might still face Saulmurphy in the future if his probability manipulation is properly balanced but I personally don't count on it. Nothing against you Saulmurphy, but probability manipulation is a very powerful skill.

SaulMurphy
11-29-2016, 02:03 AM
I feel as though Saulmurphy "cheated" and it took all the fun out of the story for me;

Fair enough...


After you're battle royal, I considered you to be the Resh equivalent of wRHG. But now I have been forced to reevaluate. It doesn't really feel like a fight so much as showcasing your character's new power. It was resolved in a deus ex machina (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina) sort of way with the new power and everything. And about your character's new power, I am very well aware of what luck manipulation is capable of and random or not (I forgot which your character has) it still makes your character unbeatable. Your story is beautiful and I hate to say it, but I would highly suggest forgetting the events of the fight.

Don't know who Resh is... But judging by my personal feeling that my Battle Royal was better than this, I assume I went down a notch from a level that this person was "in your opinion". And I admit it, it wasn't as much of a battle than my character getting buffed up on lucky juice but I've never truly enjoyed the simplicity of just fighting and real life duels end within seconds, thus I always enjoy making it more a story than an actual fight.

As for my Deus Ex Machina, I may have copped out the ending a tad... I am awfully guilty but as Alph would tell you, I was already a week late and kinda churned out an ending that is probably not my best work. At least you said my story is beautiful! Teehee. But I am not forgetting it and it will be canon for reasons I will explain soon.


Lets just say I'm never going to challenge you with your ability. I'm sorry Saulmurphy and I hope you can forgive me for these remarks, but it is what it is:(

I am not offended, truly I would also point all these things out from a third person perspective and THUS you're forgiven.


Just as a note... Saul wanted this battle to be a turning point for George. Either he dies (my job) or "evolves" (his job).

Just wanted to put a plan perspective on things.


Also, I didn't know his death would be permanent. It might've guilted me into voting for him so I'm glad I didn't know.

Yes, it is true that I told him to kill off my character. I was either going to create a new character that reflected the newer powers surrounding me or make George stronger. The truth of the matter is, I am slightly lazy and it has become rather difficult to think of ways that Mr Prince wins a battle without bullshitting my through half the time. Thus I need something slightly more believable.


Edit: I might still face Saulmurphy in the future if his probability manipulation is properly balanced but I personally don't count on it. Nothing against you Saulmurphy, but probability manipulation is a very powerful skill.

And I do look forward to this, and here is my reasoning that my "Probability Manipulation" may not be as Over Powered as it seems (It will be reflected in the character profile at the end of this battle):

1. He can either manipulate events to have a higher or lower chance of happening.

2. By doing so, the event may still either occur or not.

3. Thus in a story setting that I write the chances may be more for the benefit of my character but in the cases of my opponents writing maybe luck will simply not be on his side.

4. I am planning on adding a balancing mechanic whereby for every "Good" luck he generates for himself, "Bad" luck will randomly generate in a range of either annoyance to lethal.

There will be one more power that he gains (Due to the influence of Lord Chaos) but you can read and critique that once I add it to the character page (If I win).

Alphaeus
11-29-2016, 06:24 AM
Don't know who Resh is...

Just so you know, Resh is the guy who did "Umbrella" in the RHG animations. His last one, "Umbrella vs. FLLFFL" is considered by most here a landmark of RHG animations.

So, being compared to Resh is a huge compliment to your skill...as well as spectacular umbrellas (although his was better :P)

Urako
11-29-2016, 06:46 AM
I'll save my critique on Prince's powers for his character profile then. In the mean time, this is Resh's RHG (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?49073-Umbrella). and he was in three fights so far. here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A9Hv2Q1sKs), here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGHVBMwaZwU), and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe-IWFYd4Ps&t=1s). Now you know who I was comparing you to.

But his umbrella really is way better.

Ciel
11-29-2016, 07:31 AM
I've been lurking on this site as a guest for a while, but the stories written for this wRHG caught my eye. Before you proceed on to read whatever I have come up with below, I'd like to point out that I have zero actual experience with RHG/wRHG in general (aside from stalking threads), so please do think of this as a comment from an author instead of a gladiator player, yes?

On the topic of the battles: Both Business Exams and Transcendence were pretty well written. I admit to liking both plots, though I find myself liking the writing style of Transcendence a little more. Kudos to SaulMurphy on that. Though that is probably due more to a personal preference for descriptive writing more than actual standard variations - though no doubt, said variations do exist. It is, after all, why written works by different authors are different. Each carries with it a flavour granted only by that particular author, and I just happen to favour mine with a little more visual.

Business Exams was more action-oriented. Nothing wrong with that - however, I felt that the story was a little fragmented. When the story shifts to George, I found myself failing to understand, and required a little more reading time to comprehend. Still, it was quite the thriller, and I found myself re-reading the ending just to relive the moment. Because that umbrella. Kudos for that.
On a side note, a two-beat measure with a three-syllable word? I found that a little difficult to visualise, but I suppose the "betrayer" can't really be replaced by a two-syllable word. Any others don't seem to quite fit either.

Transcendence was beautifully written. A little less grandiose than the novels what I am used to, perhaps, but the descriptions were nicely done without muting out the action component. Still, you lost me at the introduction of the gods. Lady Luck and Lord Chaos? Yes, I must agree that it sounds like some kind of bad cartoon for children. Personally, bringing in the mythologic/divine aspect into a battle-oriented story seems a little clashing to me, but I suppose it is a logical explanation for the introduction of a new ability - the adjustment of probabilities. Also, you might have broken the fourth wall, but truly, walls exist to be broken.
Also, the description was vague on this point - I assume Chaos 'gifted' an ability when he grabbed George Prince?

Moving to the characters: I find The Gentleman quite intriguing, and his umbrella-fu does certainly pique one's interest. (And the inclusion of that handgun makes things a little more iffy, but considering the twelve bullets and a lack of proficiency in shooting... ah well.) In contrast, the Doctor has standard blades and guns - in the rather unusual combination of knives and rifles, which is a little disconcerting considering that rifles aren't quite as melee as the character is geared for.

Between the two, however, if there was a victor, I would assume him to be The Doctor. Not because The Gentleman is less battle-worthy, but because it is my opinion that The Doctor here simply outclasses The Gentleman. In a one-on-one weapons only, no abilities battle, it could go either way until The Gentleman is disarmed (or at least, until he loses his umbrella) - a point which does have quite the probability of occuring considering The Doctor's proficiency in hand-to-hand and melee. It would be his goal to disarm The Gentleman, knowing his reliance on weaponry to keep himself in battle. The handgun being present might as well be a minor distraction considering the low possibility of a kill shot, though I admit that it is not an infinitesimal chance.

Taking into account the abilities, the gift of altering probabilities does make The Gentleman quite the formidable opponent. Still, if one were to take into account the balanced cycle of good and bad, it would summarily be quite troublesome for The Gentleman - especially if the 'bad' portion of the cycle just happens to arrive at an inopportune timing - which is quite possible, considering that it is named 'bad luck' for a reason. Meanwhile, the reflections created by The Doctor are described to have the same fighting capability as the originals, which could be used to overwhelm. With the adjustment of probability, a chance of getting killed in battle going down from (example) 90 over percent to 80 over percent increases the chances of survival by 10 percent. Yet the bigger slice of pie is still "getting killed in battle", and it is not likely to tip to a 50 percent chance of survival from just about 10 percent because that would be kind of being too powerful - yes, even with the possibility of a epidemic-level backlash. Even if The Doctor can create only a single reflection at a time, it is likely that the job can be completed (especially when it is taken into account that the reflections can take a little more damage than the original) - that is, provided that The Gentleman doesn't land a killing hit on the guy.

So yes, to sum everything up, I'd vote for The Doctor, kudos to both Alphaeus and SaulMurphy for the amazing stories (Business Exams and Transcendence respectively), and I apologise for the extremely long post. Ciel out.

EDIT: My thanks to Alphaeus for correcting a mistake. I appreciate it. O w O

Alphaeus
11-29-2016, 08:55 AM
@Ciel...

First, glad to see a newbie taking the time for a thorough analysis. Congrats. Hope to see you in the wRHG as a fellow member.

Secondly, for long posts I suggest using spoilers.

They work like this: *super long post*

You make them by doing {spoiler=Title}content of long post{/spoiler}
Just replace the "{}" in my example with "[]" and you'll have the operable format.

Urako
11-29-2016, 09:39 AM
I've been lurking on this site as a guest for a while, but the stories written for this wRHG caught my eye. Before you proceed on to read whatever I have come up with below, I'd like to point out that I have zero actual experience with RHG/wRHG in general (aside from stalking threads), so please do think of this as a comment from an author instead of a gladiator player, yes?

On the topic of the battles: Both Business Exams and Transcendence were pretty well written. I admit to liking both plots, though I find myself liking the writing style of Transcendence a little more. Kudos to SaulMurphy on that. Though that is probably due more to a personal preference for descriptive writing more than actual standard variations - though no doubt, said variations do exist. It is, after all, why written works by different authors are different. Each carries with it a flavour granted only by that particular author, and I just happen to favour mine with a little more visual.

Business Exams was more action-oriented. Nothing wrong with that - however, I felt that the story was a little fragmented. When the story shifts to George, I found myself failing to understand, and required a little more reading time to comprehend. Still, it was quite the thriller, and I found myself re-reading the ending just to relive the moment. Because that umbrella. Kudos for that.
On a side note, a two-beat measure with a three-syllable word? I found that a little difficult to visualise, but I suppose the "betrayer" can't really be replaced by a two-syllable word. Any others don't seem to quite fit either.

Transcendence was beautifully written. A little less grandiose than the novels what I am used to, perhaps, but the descriptions were nicely done without muting out the action component. Still, you lost me at the introduction of the gods. Lady Luck and Lord Chaos? Yes, I must agree that it sounds like some kind of bad cartoon for children. Personally, bringing in the mythologic/divine aspect into a battle-oriented story seems a little clashing to me, but I suppose it is a logical explanation for the introduction of a new ability - the adjustment of probabilities. Also, you might have broken the fourth wall, but truly, walls exist to be broken.
Also, the description was vague on this point - I assume Chaos 'gifted' an ability when he grabbed George Prince?

Moving to the characters: I find The Gentleman quite intriguing, and his umbrella-fu does certainly pique one's interest. (And the inclusion of that handgun makes things a little more iffy, but considering the twelve bullets and a lack of proficiency in shooting... ah well.) In contrast, the Doctor has standard blades and guns - in the rather unusual combination of knives and rifles, which is a little disconcerting considering that rifles aren't quite as melee as the character is geared for.

Between the two, however, if there was a victor, I would assume him to be The Doctor. Not because The Gentleman is less battle-worthy, but because it is my opinion that The Doctor here simply outclasses The Gentleman. In a one-on-one weapons only, no abilities battle, it could go either way until The Gentleman is disarmed (or at least, until he loses his umbrella) - a point which does have quite the probability of occuring considering The Doctor's proficiency in hand-to-hand and melee. It would be his goal to disarm The Gentleman, knowing his reliance on weaponry to keep himself in battle. The handgun being present might as well be a minor distraction considering the low possibility of a kill shot, though I admit that it is not an infinitesimal chance.

Taking into account the abilities, the gift of altering probabilities does make The Gentleman quite the formidable opponent. Still, if one were to take into account the balanced cycle of good and bad, it would summarily be quite troublesome for The Gentleman - especially if the 'bad' portion of the cycle just happens to arrive at an inopportune timing - which is quite possible, considering that it is named 'bad luck' for a reason. Meanwhile, the reflections created by The Doctor are described to have the same fighting capability as the originals, which could be used to overwhelm. With the adjustment of probability, a chance of getting killed in battle going down from (example) 90 over percent to 80 over percent increases the chances of survival by 10 percent. Yet the bigger slice of pie is still "getting killed in battle", and it is not likely to tip to a 50 percent chance of survival from just about 10 percent because that would be kind of being too powerful - yes, even with the possibility of a epidemic-level backlash. Even if The Doctor can create only a single reflection at a time, it is likely that the job can be completed (especially when it is taken into account that the reflections can take a little more damage than the original) - that is, provided that The Gentleman doesn't land a killing hit on the guy.

So yes, to sum everything up, I'd vote for The Doctor, kudos to both Alphaeus and SaulMurphy for the amazing stories (Business Exams and Transcendence respectively), and I apologise for the extremely long post. Ciel out.

EDIT: My thanks to Alphaeus for correcting a mistake. I appreciate it. O w O

Hi Ciel. Welcome! All constructive critique is allowed regardless of experience here. And like Alphaeus said, you're welcome to join any time.

Did you base your vote on character power? Because the voting system is based on which story is better, not characters. If you liked Transcendence more, you should have voted for it. Why am I saying this? Because there have been some really overpowered gladiators in the last few months and I really don't want it to be based on character power when it should be based on writer skill. If you ask anyone else, I think they'll agree with me in this regard. Just for future reference.

Crank
11-29-2016, 10:48 AM
Heh, apparently I forgot I have a pet peeve of the protagonist being too "Like me!" Kinda got me in the mindset of dissecting the ending like it was a biology lab

Personally, I like the Prince's new abilities. They're playful, and I really like that in a story!

Although...


“Well, this may sound strange but we reside in the imagination of a writer.”

Serif couldn’t believe his eyes and George stood there frozen.
FUCK

969_DoomsDruid_969
11-29-2016, 10:59 AM
@Irakeyou: I noticed that. Can we not?
@crank:I fail to understand the last bit.

Crank
11-29-2016, 11:10 AM
The bottom quote was from Saul's Battle Royal, so George met Serif, which puts Serif in the Writer's World. Also, technically, George met Dante, brother of Epsilon who was the 'brother' of my John, who was friends with August, an acquaintance of Hollywood. Are you familiar with the St. Elsewhere theory? (https://youtu.be/Uwk-wvVlvEE?t=5m48s) I just find it interesting!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, both battles were extremely good, and a nice change of pace from the traditional setup!

Ciel
11-30-2016, 01:35 AM
@Alphaeus:

I'd like to take my time to think of a concept for a gladiator, but I'll probably join sometime. And thanks, I'll remember that for next time!



@Urako:

I do agree. It is a written RHG for a reason, after all. And to answer your query, it is no.

The analysis of the battle between characters based on weaponry and abilities was because I thought that if I were to go into this, I wouldn't want to do things halfway. Analysing the story, in my opinion, isn't simply about who writes better, but also which story captures the audience more, which story made you (as a reader) feel for/with the characters, et cetera. In short, I find Transcendence to have a writing style that I agree with more, but overall, I prefer Business Exams, which is why my vote went to Alphaeus.

Transcendence has a godly element that doesn't quite agree with me, and even though the story was quite intriguing, I felt that Business Exams was overall more solid. Transcendence also seems more like an introduction to The Gentleman's new ability than an actual battle, and while there is a logical explanation, it doesn't sit quite right with me. The introduction is just that - an introduction. A story, on the other hand, comprises of more than just an introduction. (And personally, bad cartoon plots are a turn off for me.)
It should also be acknowledged that there are vague elements in both stories, despite being a little bit fragmented, Business Exams touched me more than Transcendence did. In terms of writing style, yes, Transcendence is a shade better at allowing the reader to more clearly visualise the world. But it was Business Exams that allowed me to feel for the characters in the story - to put myself in their shoes and experience the world as they see it - which is why I personally liked it more.

I can see why you'd be concerned - after all, a large part of the message was an analysis on character power, and I did seem to praise Transcendence a little more. Still, I hope this reply clears up on why I voted the way I did.

Urako
11-30-2016, 11:55 AM
@Crank: Its a very good thing that the fourth wall exists. Or at least that it used to before SaulMurphy's fight came along.

@SaulMurphy: Honestly SaulMurphy I don't dislike the break from combat. It's just that i'm not too keen on this particular story. I suppose in essence, I tend to care too much about the scripts of stories. When I said your story was beautiful, you pretty much nailed all the other aspects.

@969_DoomsDruid_969: Do you really want it to be based on character power instead of story quality? I assure you the negative consequences including less fights and story quality would spike.

@Everyone else: Does anyone else agree that winning fights should be based on which story is better?

969_DoomsDruid_969
11-30-2016, 01:14 PM
@Rake: Alright you misunderstand me. I'm gonna state my opinion on the matter. My opinion is straight up this. Yes. A battle between two writers should not be judged by the characters they are writing from. That is pants-on-head retarded. Straight up. As for what I meant by my earlier statement, I was pissed because I read this:

Because there have been some really overpowered gladiators in the last few months
and every time someone says that I become enraged because I assume they are referring to _x (who I thought we agreed not to talk about, because that char still #feelsbadman) and Al.ice, who I maintain is misunderstood. I assume this because I am a self-entitled little prick with a vendetta against this shit so I feelbadman and it takes me several hours to stop thinking about it(in between getting shit done).

Urako
11-30-2016, 02:33 PM
@Rake: Alright you misunderstand me. I'm gonna state my opinion on the matter. My opinion is straight up this. Yes. A battle between two writers should not be judged by the characters they are writing from. That is pants-on-head retarded. Straight up. As for what I meant by my earlier statement, I was pissed because I read this:

and every time someone says that I become enraged because I assume they are referring to _x (who I thought we agreed not to talk about, because that char still #feelsbadman) and Al.ice, who I maintain is misunderstood. I assume this because I am a self-entitled little prick with a vendetta against this shit so I feelbadman and it takes me several hours to stop thinking about it(in between getting shit done).

I barely even know the first character and I assure you it is in the past. I am not referencing your characters every time I say a character is overpowered. If I wanted to mention the gladiator in question, I would have. Honestly try not to feel defensive because its not directed towards or at you or your creations and getting defensive doesn't help you either. Now to get back on topic, I do not want to continue this conversation here.

969_DoomsDruid_969
11-30-2016, 03:07 PM
Alright glad we've cleared that up. Moving on!
I don't know why that is even a question though. I could come up with a character with INSANE full potential (:rolleyes:) and that would make me win? WTF is that? That would have almost literally no purpose. That would just be fucking bad. Please, nobody disagree, because I will have(assuming you don't want me to, although I don't know why I am assuming that)an aneurysm out of pure stupidity.

Urako
11-30-2016, 03:12 PM
Alright glad we've cleared that up. Moving on!
I don't know why that is even a question though. I could come up with a character with INSANE full potential (:rolleyes:) and that would make me win? WTF is that? That would have almost literally no purpose. That would just be fucking bad. Please, nobody disagree, because I will have(assuming you don't want me to, although I don't know why I am assuming that)an aneurysm out of pure stupidity.
I asked the question because I believe character power did in fact influence one of the votes but I think I explained it alright to the guy.

Alphaeus
11-30-2016, 08:02 PM
Assuming that SaulMurphy wins (which is not a certainty yet), I've already prepared David's tactful explanation for his failure to kill The Gentleman.

It's simple.

The Prince patriarch was not just a friend of David's but secretly Nehushtan's first Serpent. Thus, out of honor for that position, David refrained from using lethal methods on the boy (yes, boy). Otherwise, he would have just slit George's throat instead of wrestling him. :stickpage:

Also, David has decided against changing the name of Prince Industries. Again, an honor thing. Still, the business will be buried in the massive portfolio managed vicariously by Viktor Gustav -- Nehushtan's business manager.

Ciel
11-30-2016, 08:43 PM
@Urako:
Am I right in assuming that "the guy" refers to myself? I'm not offended, just wondering here because I find that vague explanations cause me a little disorientation considering the multiple people in this thread.
If you are indeed referring to myself, then my earlier reply should have clarified things. If you are still uncertain on several points, I would be more than happy to further elaborate.

Also, to answer the next query: I feel that characters play an important role in the judging. Of course, the work itself is the most major, but it is my opinion that the characters are fundamental to the story - without the characters, there wouldn't be a story. Still, it is of course unacceptable to judge a story solely based on the characters themselves - on who has more potential, who has cooler powers and stuff like that. What I felt that I should be looking out for were the following:

Firstly, the plot. How coherent was it? How well did it flow? Was it fragmented, and if so, was there a greater purpose to it - or was it a common recurring theme to the author's style? Was there sufficient worldbuilding? Did the story lose me at any point in time, and if so, was it my fault for not paying attention? Is the plot cliche, predictable or sounding like a bad movie plotline?

Secondly, my status as a reader. Was I thrilled while reading it? Could I visualise the story as I read it? Was I able to feel with the characters - their excitement in battle, their nervousness, the cold detachment? Were the descriptions vivid, lacking or just plain overdone?

Thirdly, characters. Were they real? Did their actions seem like what they would actually do, or was it an out of character to justify something the author wished for? Naturally, OOC is something that can be justified, especially if you're not writing your own character. Still, that doesn't mean that it makes for excellent reading, in my opinion.

Last but not least, on the whole, how did I like it? Was I satisfied? Do I want to read more?

I think that's about it for now. Generally, I find selecting pieces to be an instinctive process, due to preference. It's not quite right in my opinion to have everyone selecting winners based on solely the writing talent, but it's not wrong to insist that greater emphasis be placed on it given that it is a writting challenge. But in any case, the above are my opinions, and are certainly not meant to offend anyone. If you disagree, feel free to bring it up and we can have a healthy debate! (Or don't, and we can agree to disagree. (✿╹◡╹))

@Alphaeus: Just being curious here, but how did you pick the name Nehushtan? Did you select it for its biblical meaning or??

Crank
11-30-2016, 09:12 PM
Assuming that SaulMurphy wins (which is not a certainty yet), I've already prepared David's tactful explanation for his failure to kill The Gentleman.

It's simple.

The Prince patriarch was not just a friend of David's but secretly Nehushtan's first Serpent. Thus, out of honor for that position, David refrained from using lethal methods on the boy (yes, boy). Otherwise, he would have just slit George's throat instead of wrestling him. :stickpage:

Also, David has decided against changing the name of Prince Industries. Again, an honor thing. Still, the business will be buried in the massive portfolio managed vicariously by Viktor Gustav -- Nehushtan's business manager.
Heh, ya know, your characters can just lose sometimes, right?

Azure
11-30-2016, 09:18 PM
Heh, ya know, your characters can just lose sometimes, right?

Shh, let him continue to live in his little bubble.

Urako
11-30-2016, 09:28 PM
Heh, ya know, your characters can just lose sometimes, right?

Losing a literary battle can be a very traumatic experience you know:rolleyes:

Crank
11-30-2016, 09:29 PM
No I wouldn't

Fluidanims people shhhhh

ErrorBlender
11-30-2016, 09:36 PM
But Crank, don't you remember your battles in FA?

Azure
11-30-2016, 09:49 PM
I'm now feeling deeply reminiscent of when I was a fresh little bastard on FA.

Crank
11-30-2016, 09:50 PM
But Crank, don't you remember your battles in FA?
...

DAMMIT

Urako
11-30-2016, 09:56 PM
...

DAMMIT

Don't worry about it too badly. If there isn't a link to it, then it doesn't exist. Right?

You guys are hilarious by the way.

969_DoomsDruid_969
12-01-2016, 12:20 AM
I don't know what FA is

and I don't think Crank wants me to know -_-

TheOrigin
12-01-2016, 01:22 AM
I don't know what FA is

and I don't think Crank wants me to know -_-

Pretty sure they referring to FluidAnims

969_DoomsDruid_969
12-01-2016, 01:42 AM
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
in which case i do know what we are talking about
i'm bad with acronyms, clearly.

i am thoroughly amused now.

Alphaeus
12-01-2016, 06:34 AM
Heh, ya know, your characters can just lose sometimes, right?

LOL yeah!

But I'm not the one who wrote the battle with David winning (except for the intervention of gods) and then still taking over Prince Industries...

So far the only battles I've lost don't involve David...losing. It's rather funny, actually, that most of the people I've written against write their sides of the battle with David still winning more or less.

Azure
12-01-2016, 07:23 AM
I had you lose. I just didn't feel like killing anyone off. That's rude, don't ya know?

Alphaeus
12-01-2016, 03:50 PM
I had you lose. I just didn't feel like killing anyone off. That's rude, don't ya know?

I wasn't talking about the clan war, since there was a ton more involved in that.

And that might have gone differently if I had not over-loaded myself.

But that's a moot point now.

969_DoomsDruid_969
12-01-2016, 04:53 PM
Excuses, excuses. Understand I am clearly trolling here, because I would be curbstomped by either of you- which is funny, because I have been challenged by both of you.
-_-

Alphaeus
12-01-2016, 05:09 PM
Excuses, excuses. Understand I am clearly trolling here, because I would be curbstomped by either of you- which is funny, because I have been challenged by both of you.
-_-

You should fight one or both of us.

:stickpage:

Urako
12-01-2016, 07:17 PM
You should fight one or both of us.

:stickpage:

He's right Dooms. I've heard you say you wanted to be a better writer and pushing yourself like this is a great start. Other than that, there is one way you could never lose...



You could spar.

Alphaeus
12-02-2016, 06:58 AM
Alright...

So I've gotten around to CnCing SaulMurphy. I'm assuming he's won at this point, unless suddenly 3 people pop up and love my work.

Soo....

Overall, I like the whole plot. You're obviously a talented writer, so I'm really not going to bother going through that kind of muck just to point out a few mistypes/errors that you had...particularly considering I do the same thing myself, and so does everyone else I know.

My main critique:

It feels like you didn't really read much about my char. Whether intentional or not, you convey the idea that you really didn't care much about the battle -- all you wanted was to write about your character's new evolution.

Here's some examples:

1) Conversation. Dr. MacBeth (in your story) is talking sarcastically and demeaningly, using pet names and the like. Quite frankly, in your story David talks like Altaer, not David. In all of my stories I emphasis that David is extremely polished, refined, unflappable, and ever the professional. Not stilted like George Prince, but pretty close. You write him like some arrogant comic-book villain. You did not read much about David, obviously.

2) Powers. You write David generating two dumb Reflections...in short, his original powers. I CLEARLY state in his profile that his original powers are no longer valid -- his Reflection powers have changed (he generates one Reflection of any being within his line of sight including himself...this being is a perfect sentient replica of the original being except for being David's servant). Moreover, I have displayed his new powers in my last battle as well as my last several Olit works. Again, clearly you did not read either David's powers or any recent battles to see what he was like.

3) Combat. You did good indicating how skilled David was, but then you combine it with the tactical skills of a child. David has lived 120 years or so, been in numerous WARS, espionage, undercover work, etc as well as a number of RHG battles now. So why the hell did a fucking pigeon distract him?! This is an extremely lethal veteran soldier here...PIGEONS FLYING IN WINDOWS do no distract him. Secondly, you act like he intended to kill Prince. Now, I'm choosing to say that he DIDN'T want to kill Prince. Why? Because if David wanted to kill Prince, why try to choke him to death instead of using a single slash of a knife OR some of his medical/chemical gear he always carries (which you did not use at all) and is a large part of his character design.


I don't mind losing to you because you're a good writer. But I would have appreciated a bit more effort on your part to at least represent my character to be...well...my character. When/if this becomes canon, I'm going to have to ask you permission to edit it a bit to reflect David instead of random-doctor-guy-who-happens-to-call-himself-David.


As a side note:

I like Luck powers. They're always fun and cool. The only thing that worries me is the bad luck thing. Like, using Karma with a random negative kick-back would be awful.

Scenario:

Altaer whips out his Colts and fires ten bullets at George in super rapid succession.
George:
HOLY SHIT I NEED TO GET LUCKY!
*blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9th bullets*
*After 9 blocks of skillfully shot bullets, his luck swings to the bad side*
*10th bullet smacks him dead in the center of his heart*
George:
"Well fuck."

Either you're going to have to SERIOUSLY quantify how his luck balances out, or George is screwed in every battle that takes requires him being lucky more than a few times in a row.

969_DoomsDruid_969
12-03-2016, 03:02 PM
David has lived 120 years or so,

Newfag. No one has noticed that Al.ice is older than most demigods by ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE.

demigods in my headcanon live for a few hundred thousand years.
Then you become an Elder Demigod, until you reach Divinity, and become a deity. This is assuming you live that long. Hercules did it.

SaulMurphy
12-03-2016, 09:26 PM
Good day everybody,

I have done some soul searching and taking in comments, the most helpful of which were Urako, Alphaeus and Ciel. And I have a couple of confessions to make:

First let me start by saying: I think Alph is a better writer than I am. He has a flow to all his work that I have yet to achieve. Yes, I like detailing my worlds to a great degree but I can never make each paragraph flow onto the next as beautifully as he can. I have to admit, due to the fact that I was a lazy piece of shite I faltered in many of my duties as a writer and put loads of responsibility at the wayside. Foremost would be my ending. Kind of strapped for time, I copped out on the ending in order for a quick resolution and so I hoped the first two thirds would carry the story (according to the polls, it seemed like I was right) but this is quite a bad way to go about things and it isn't a reflection of my current writing ability whatsoever.

Another example of my laziness would come in the form of poor research. I skimmed the Doctor's page to get a rough idea of what the character was like and only kinda read through one story (more like proofread than really read) and thus I reflect David MacBeth in a "cartoonish villain" way as my opponent pointed out.

I'm also guilty of using Alph's battle as an excuse to portray my character's new powers rather than actually fighting him (due to out of 21 pages, only 3 of them was actual fighting). This, I repeat, was not my best work. If you looked at my previous work, "Battle Royal" for instance, it is a far greater portrayal of my style of writing. Thus as much as I appreciate the four votes given to me, I am actually more surprised than elated.

My final point is this: Alphaeus won. By a mile. My story, as beautifully written as it is, is riddled with plot holes and garbage. Using Deus Ex Machina would be fine if explained well but in this case I was just being lazy.

I would like to officially give the title of this battle to Alph. He deserves it far more than I do and I do not want to win this battle with the mess of a story that I have posted. His story will be canon. I will create a new character (something I have been thinking of doing for a while now) and post it at a later date.

Is anybody opposed to this? If so, let me know.

Thank you for your time.

Vern
12-03-2016, 09:37 PM
Good day everybody,

I have done some soul searching and taking in comments, the most helpful of which were Urako, Alphaeus and Ciel. And I have a couple of confessions to make:

First let me start by saying: I think Alph is a better writer than I am. He has a flow to all his work that I have yet to achieve. Yes, I like detailing my worlds to a great degree but I can never make each paragraph flow onto the next as beautifully as he can. I have to admit, due to the fact that I was a lazy piece of shite I faltered in many of my duties as a writer and put loads of responsibility at the wayside. Foremost would be my ending. Kind of strapped for time, I copped out on the ending in order for a quick resolution and so I hoped the first two thirds would carry the story (according to the polls, it seemed like I was right) but this is quite a bad way to go about things and it isn't a reflection of my current writing ability whatsoever.

Another example of my laziness would come in the form of poor research. I skimmed the Doctor's page to get a rough idea of what the character was like and only kinda read through one story (more like proofread than really read) and thus I reflect David MacBeth in a "cartoonish villain" way as my opponent pointed out.

I'm also guilty of using Alph's battle as an excuse to portray my character's new powers rather than actually fighting him (due to out of 21 pages, only 3 of them was actual fighting). This, I repeat, was not my best work. If you looked at my previous work, "Battle Royal" for instance, it is a far greater portrayal of my style of writing. Thus as much as I appreciate the four votes given to me, I am actually more surprised than elated.

My final point is this: Alphaeus won. By a mile. My story, as beautifully written as it is, is riddled with plot holes and garbage. Using Deus Ex Machina would be fine if explained well but in this case I was just being lazy.

I would like to officially give the title of this battle to Alph. He deserves it far more than I do and I do not want to win this battle with the mess of a story that I have posted. His story will be canon. I will create a new character (something I have been thinking of doing for a while now) and post it at a later date.

Is anybody opposed to this? If so, let me know.

Thank you for your time.

While I can see where you're coming from, Saul, I still think there's things you're overlooking. I think you're looking too much for the negative in yourself and the positive in Alphaeus. You have received the recognition from the likes of Crank and Azure as the superior writer; both people I deem to hold a certain grasp over storytelling.

In the end people still have a majority vote for you and I would vote myself too, only I can't bring myself past a certain bias to come to read these battles. This is something I must take up with Alphaeus himself (yes you have your headsup, though don't act surprised), but trust me when I say that you shouldn't distance yourself from your victory over these reasons.

So no, I am opposed and do not think you should do this for reasons that are based purely on my perception of the craft of storywriting. I have read some of both of your battles (up to a certain point). Though as I said I haven't read it all and I think both Crank and Azure could give you a better opinion if they take the time for it (So I hereby invite both of you to also respond).

Though hey, I do get where you're coming from. I forfeited my own battle against Alphaeus for reasons that are similar to an extent.

Anyways, those are my opinions. Do with them what you will, I don't expect much to come from them anyways in this given situation.

Urako
12-03-2016, 09:42 PM
Good day everybody,

I have done some soul searching and taking in comments, the most helpful of which were Urako, Alphaeus and Ciel. And I have a couple of confessions to make:

First let me start by saying: I think Alph is a better writer than I am. He has a flow to all his work that I have yet to achieve. Yes, I like detailing my worlds to a great degree but I can never make each paragraph flow onto the next as beautifully as he can. I have to admit, due to the fact that I was a lazy piece of shite I faltered in many of my duties as a writer and put loads of responsibility at the wayside. Foremost would be my ending. Kind of strapped for time, I copped out on the ending in order for a quick resolution and so I hoped the first two thirds would carry the story (according to the polls, it seemed like I was right) but this is quite a bad way to go about things and it isn't a reflection of my current writing ability whatsoever.

Another example of my laziness would come in the form of poor research. I skimmed the Doctor's page to get a rough idea of what the character was like and only kinda read through one story (more like proofread than really read) and thus I reflect David MacBeth in a "cartoonish villain" way as my opponent pointed out.

I'm also guilty of using Alph's battle as an excuse to portray my character's new powers rather than actually fighting him (due to out of 21 pages, only 3 of them was actual fighting). This, I repeat, was not my best work. If you looked at my previous work, "Battle Royal" for instance, it is a far greater portrayal of my style of writing. Thus as much as I appreciate the four votes given to me, I am actually more surprised than elated.

My final point is this: Alphaeus won. By a mile. My story, as beautifully written as it is, is riddled with plot holes and garbage. Using Deus Ex Machina would be fine if explained well but in this case I was just being lazy.

I would like to officially give the title of this battle to Alph. He deserves it far more than I do and I do not want to win this battle with the mess of a story that I have posted. His story will be canon. I will create a new character (something I have been thinking of doing for a while now) and post it at a later date.

Is anybody opposed to this? If so, let me know.

Thank you for your time.

1# If I may say so, you don't actually have duties or obligations. You're supposed to just simply write for fun (although we may develop other reasons like competitiveness and of course balance is key as well but you clearly are well versed with that). Yes you messed up and have the right to feel sorry for it, but you didn't actually do anything wrong (except research, that is a pretty important duty because it represents another person's character but you clearly are sorry about it so i'm sure Alphaeus will forgive you). Just keep moving forward and try for the best.

2# This might be partially my fault for being a tad too harsh. Vern's right, you're being too hard on yourself. While i'm not a big fan on how your story turned out, you have earned the majority of votes. Just considering that one more time and their comments before you decide to forfeit is all I suggest.

3# And do whatever you prefer with your character, but do keep in mind that one story isn't worth killing him over. You said you were tired of your character though so if its time, it is time. Again, do whatever you think you will enjoy writing about.

Crank
12-03-2016, 10:45 PM
To be honest Saul, I liked yours more than Alph's, and talking about plot holes, maybe you had some of your own, but Business Exams had all of theirs clustered at the very end.

It's implied that George is somewhat of a local celebrity, and a pillar of his community. By this thought, his gladiator career should be at least somewhat well known. The newspaper states that all his servants had been shot in the forehead with George's gun, and kinda implies that he's who did it before hanging himself. George is a bad shot. Plural implies at least two, and I don't know how many coworkers you need to see get shot in the face before you run, but I'm guessing one will do it. Even if you line a bunch of people up, someone's going to catch wind of the situation and bolt, and with his marksmanship skills, a single shot to the head, consistently for this situation, is statistically unlikely.

After that, I've got like a full page talking down to me, detailing me the adventure like I'm a captured protagonist. Once David is alive, after that "Remarkable work" it's implied to be the set up. I didn't need all that.

Then, it wraps up with David having George's umbrella. Who just died, in the city where people know him. Who has significant piles of money, and motivation to kill George. Who was also scheduled to fight George. Who also met him the day he lost his mind. Who is also a doctor, and would likely have certain medical knowledge of trippy drugs and whatnot. Who is also not dead, like the picture George was sent in his email, which, if a business person is killed, I think email is a safe bet to look into.

If I'm RHG and not the cops, this is even more shady, because I of all people know about the fight, so if people just casually see David with George's trademark, I'm gonna lose my shit. I'm gonna not have him be M.E., report it to my superiors, and maybe defect to Sanctuary if hell isn't paid

Both battles were written really well, and sure, both had issues, but I think there were reasons for both sides of the votes.

If you don't want this point, I won't argue against it. It's your call if you'd rather forfeit the battle and build your new character.

Azure
12-03-2016, 11:44 PM
To be totally honest, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't just take the win and go ahead and make a new character after. Nothing binds you to keeping The Gentleman after your win; alternatively, if it's strictly the point you're worried about, since you have the lead, just consider it a spar. I think you're viewing yourself in too harsh a light, and you don't deserve a loss for that, especially when everything is pointing to a win.

Alphaeus
12-04-2016, 01:48 PM
Soo...listen.

I'm not accepting a "win" in a battle that I have "lost." Period.

I agree that you are being waaaaaayyyyy too hard on yourself, Saul. You wrote quite well, and hell, as Crank pointed out, I rushed my ending as much as you did yours...mine was just shorter. Not better.

So, that said, I could accept this as a spar if you want to that badly. Fine. Still, IMO, we should consider this as a battle. But that decision is up to you (because you got a win here that I'm guessing from the way things work a spar would main null? soo...idk if you should do that).

Now, let's say you accept this "win." What becomes canon is entirely different.

Look at my battle with Cruel. Cruel won, but the story that became canon was actually a story I personally wrote (with Cruel's permission) that involved a complete fusion of our two stories PLUS some extra material.

Therefore, what I would like to propose is this:

Accept your win, Saul. Truthfully, you deserve it. Sure, you made mistakes, but you didn't do THAT hellabad. I suppose you CAN forfeit to me, but...whatever. Just take the freakin win :P.

We chat in PMs or Skype or whatever to work out canon. If you want George to die so you can create a new char, we can go with my story, but just like with Cruel I can create a newer and more canon-worthy version for the both of us...totally independent of the actual battle.

Alright bud?

Crank
12-04-2016, 04:03 PM
It'd be hilarious if this ended up being a tie now!

And I feel like an ass, but I really did like the rest of your story Alph, just that last bit didn't agree with me

Alphaeus
12-04-2016, 04:18 PM
It'd be hilarious if this ended up being a tie now!

And I feel like an ass, but I really did like the rest of your story Alph, just that last bit didn't agree with me

TBH I can see how I screwed up. I rushed it to meet a due date. Saul then pushed said due date back, and I forgot to go back and fix it. So, no excuses on my part for letting that slip by.

SaulMurphy
12-04-2016, 11:01 PM
Okay, I will stop being a little bitch now and take some pointers from my own character's... well... confidence.

I will accept the result regardless of what it is (being a tie will be discussed between Alph and I with PM to sort out what will need to be done next). If I do win, Alph, you have my full permission to change the story to be a better representation of your character (which is where I failed the most I think) thus, once rewritten I would like to make that the canon for myself as well. In the case of your win I will accept it and create my new character.

Whether I create a new character is up in the air if I win. I might still do it, but I will decide that at a later date.

Thus, no. This will not be a spar then and no I will not forfeit the victory (no honour in that anyway). This was a clash of two good writers and thus even though it wasn't our best work in either case it is still a big deal and I will honour it as such.

You are a worthy opponent and maybe some friendly rivalry will occur between The Coils and Acta depending on the result. Should be fun going forward and I am now more than ever motivated to write better stories.

Alphaeus
12-05-2016, 06:02 AM
Alright man!

This is the Saul I wanted to fight, not that freaky dude that popped up on the other page :P.

Sounds good to me, and I loved the fight either way.

SaulMurphy
12-10-2016, 03:54 AM
Alright. The battle is settled and the smoke clears. Thank you for the fight Alph. If you're keen on rewriting my bit, let me know so I can make it my own personal canon.

Also a thanks to the voters and our ever vigilant critique givers. You're always welcome.

Alphaeus
12-10-2016, 01:31 PM
Alright. The battle is settled and the smoke clears. Thank you for the fight Alph. If you're keen on rewriting my bit, let me know so I can make it my own personal canon.

Also a thanks to the voters and our ever vigilant critique givers. You're always welcome.

Yeah, I'd like to touch it up a bit. Also shoot me any changes you want to see made regarding George.