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View Full Version : wRHG Tournament Round TWO: Lost and Found (SCORES ARE UP!!!)



Hewitt
07-22-2013, 10:44 PM
Victory came as swift as the rush of emotions that befell them for as soon as the bells tolled of their victory, their minds went blank and their bodies slumped to the floor. When they awoke, they each found themselves standing on a hexagonal stone platform surrounded by Nazca Lines an ancient writings scribbled all over the floor. No sooner did they get their bearings did one of their number speak.

"Kalena! You are alright. I'm hoping."

The swordsman glanced up to find a familliar friend...Corvon. He stood a mere ten feet in front of her, as fit and flabbergasted as ever. But her joys were interrupted by the sound of rumbling rock. A slight quake shook the entire stage as huge blocks of stone rose from where the Nazca Lines were. They covered the entire region with layers and layers of slabs until only the way ahead was clear.

"No!" Kalena shouted, banging on the walls were Corvon stood behind. But it was no use. He was gone once again.

Atop this labyrinthian monument was The Host, gleeful as ever. He had requisitioned this alien abode that once doubled as a sacrificial pit for the cosmic gods of war. Today however, it was going to be a test of courage, strength, and divine right...for only one of them in the end deserved to be called the god king of wRHGs.

"Listen well, gents. All you have to do is escape..." he began.



wRHG Tournament: Round 2 Battles


Remaining Tournament Fightersblakphoenix
Chamel
ErrorBlender
Lobotomizer
The Organization
saintmccaw - kicked and replaced by BirtDog
The Strongest



Recap: the Scoring System
The Pt. System remains fairly unchanged from the previous round with the exception of Antes. But we'll get to that later. Here they are again in case ya'll forgot:

Votals - Natch. In every voting period after both entries are submitted, every vote is worth FIVE POINTS.

Ante - These are "miniwagers" you can take on if you think you're losing just because of popularity power. For this round, Ante's will play a larger role and will be explained in the Theme below. But scoring remains the same: you take an Ante you have to work with and bet 5/10/15 points. If you fail to achieve it, you'll lose that much. If you succeed, you'll get 10/20/30 points in return! There will still be three categories: Easy/Medium/Hard.

Bonus Wins - In addition to the current objective of the Round, there will be an extra Bonus Win condition that is constant for all the Rounds. Points for this Bonus element will always be constant: TWENTY POINTS.

CNC Benefits - Competitors will get TEN EXTRA POINTS for every battle in this tournament they CNC. They must both vote AND comment why they voted for that person. It could be as simple as just liking some specific thing. CNC Points will not count if the comment is vague or unhelpful and you can only CNC a maximum of THREE times. Moreso, if the cnc is extremely detailed, explaining more than just one thing, the cnc-er will get an EXTRA FIVE POINTS.

Judge's Favor - In any of the votable threads in any round, if any of the three judges has deemed an entry very exceptional, fully utilizing the environment given to him, he will recieve Me or acute's blessing by announcing so. A judge's favor grants an extra FIFTEEN POINTS to your current score. Please note that when the judges vote in your battle that is NOT the blessing, but rather we will declare it in a separate post. The blessings also come when the Rounds are ending to prevent favortism or bias.



What do I do?
1. On the bottom of this post you will find this round's bracket as well as the conditions and theme which may or may not alter how the round will play out.

2. You must first post here as a sign that you are still alive and active with the following:- Acknowledge your participation by saying who you're fighting agaisnt in this round
- what item/ability you are currently carrying
- Also mention the Ante that you wish to take if any (Easy Medium Hard), otherwise just say "No Ante"3. You may then begin writing your entry as usual: with you as the victor. You may then post it in this thread as well when you're done. IN SPOILERS. Please DO NOT make your own thread. No googledocs. No textuploaders. You must. Post it here.

4. As soon as I have both/all entries of the same bracket, I will put up a voting thread in the battles section and the voting may commence. If your opponent fails to produce an entry and post here, he/she will be forced to forfeit and the other guy will move on to the next round (and recieve 35 points as voting points to boot)!

5. Aaaand that's it. You have until two weeks from now AKA August 12, 2013 to post all your entries. The deadlines for the polls themselves will be a week from whence they are posted.



Theme
Every Round will have their own common theme by which all participants should adhere. It could be anything: a special element, a unique win condition, a debilitating or strengthening modifier for either competitor. Anything. For this Round, the theme is called Lost and Found. Details are as follows:


The Maze
For this Round, the competitors are all trapped in one giant stone maze. Its walls are so high up, it is nigh impossible to scale and even if you try, The Host is bound to penalize and punish you severely (AKA You Can't Do It). That is to say, the maze doesn't have 7 distinct paths. One way or another, any one of you can and will or might meet up. The only sure thing is that you will definitely meet up with your opponent for the round.


The Key
Each participant will be carrying two things: A Key and A Rune. The Key is unique to each competitor in that it is required to exit the maze (which is located in the center where everyone started). However, the key that you all own will not be your own...but your opponent's. The goal is thus obvious: In order to finish this Round, you must defeat your designated opponent and acquire the key he's holding. The Key itself is indestructible and is in the shape of a small card.


The Trap (Optional)
The halls are also littered with a unique deathtrap catered towards each fighter's specifications. If you were the disadvantaged one in Round 1 then you know the drill: it'll be something geared towards your skills and weaknesses. You may encounter it if you wish (aka it's up to you to incorporate it in your story). Each participant will get a list of those settings in the bracket list below so you can think it over if you wish to do them. You may also, if you choose, encounter other people's Deathtraps in your story. You're gonna want to anyways heheheheh...


The Mixer (Optional)
As I mentioned in my preview, this is in the loosest sense an FFA (Free-For-All). You can and may encounter anyone of your 6 other co-competitors at any moment in your story as you navigate this insidous stone maze. You don't have to fight them all as you each have your own goals. How you will interact with each of the participants is totally up to you. Have fun with it :D


The Swap (Optional)
In addition to the chaos, The Host has also robbed from each of you an item or ability---something that makes you tick, and properly redistributed them to your fellow combatants for this Round. Note that he reshuffled your abilities but not your proficiencies, which means if you don't know how to use a sword, you won't be able to wield it as well as you think your character could. In other words, your abilities have been shuffled and there's nothing you can do about it!

Just kidding.

Remember that second item? The Rune? THAT is the source of your items and abilities. For as long as you own it, your (Clarification: The Rune looks like a tiny dodecahedral artifact, easily hideable in the palm of your hand. Upon closer inspection it appears to be glowing and throbbing with power. It comes with a strap initially found around your neck, but can easily be pockettable.) opponent's gear/ability is bound to you. That doesn't really mean anything, they can still steal your shit but they won't be able to leave the maze without it until your Rune is destroyed or the Round ends and your opponent escapes. But here's the thing: Your actual opponent isn't the holder of these Runes, but an entirely different person. A third-party. Whether or not you want to get your gear back is totally up to you. Now you may be asking "Why does it matter if I can or cannot fight my optional opponent for it if I'm just going to acquire it no matter what in the Semi-Finals?" I'll tell you why...


The Ante (Optional)
Antes this round are all the same kind, and are as follows:Easy - Encounter your personal Deathtrap Room and escape it.
Medium - Beat your opponent in your personal Deathtrap Room and escape it.
Hard - Beat your opponent in your personal Deathtrap Room and escape it, AND get your shit back from the third-party participant by crushing his Rune.
As usual, when you post here to acknowledge yourself, you must post your Ante if you desire it. The difference though is that in this Round, the same opponents can share the same Ante. That's right, you can all take the Hard Ante for all I care but know this: only ONE successful Ante to ONE bracket which means, if two of you choose to do a Hard Ante, only the better one will get the points for it. The loser will lose the points wagered. Who decides on how the Ante was handled the best will be up to the judges. Will you risk it?

Note that for the Triple Threat bracket, if all 3 will choose the same Ante only the best will get the full points, the 2nd best will get half the points, and the worst will get the deductions wagered. So if you're not up to it you might want to pick another Ante while the two others wrassle for it XD



"Mix and Match" Bracket for Round 2:

Lobotomizer vs blakphoenix (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?75672-wRHG-Tournament-R2-Kalena-(Lobotomizer)-vs-Zero-(blakphoenix))Kalena has lost her Earthen Blade and Corvon but gained Walden's Spectral Wolves. Zero has her key.
Deathtrap: An innocuously long and spacious hallway that when triggered with sensitive pressure plates beneath the cobblestones will have its floor area give way to reveal spikes. The plates have a pattern to them and there is a slight delay before the floor area opens up. The spikes are made of stone and are breakable and moderately sized. Slow careful movements can cause the plates not to trigger but only if you're aware where they are.

Zero has lost his Gem Encrusted Sword but gained Acel's Aether Shield and Laser Blades. Kalena has his key.
Deathtrap: An empty square room that upon having two or more people step into it, will shut the door and cause the walls to converge like a trash compactor. The only way to stop it is if someone is defeated.

Lobotomizer and blakphoenix have decided to go head-on-head with a Hard Ante.

ErrorBlender vs BirtDog (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?75582-wRHG-Tournament-R2-Bl-An-C-(ErrorBlender)-vs-Mccaw-the-Saint-(BirtDog))Bl.An.C. has lost his suit's functionalities (he's still wearing it but can't do anything with it except for the part that allows him to breathe and function) but gained Kalena's Earthen Sword and has Corvon with him. The Saint has his key.
Deathtrap: An eternally hazy hallway filled with fog. Not too thick but enough to only see sillouettes at about 8 ft. away. If one were to hug the walls, one would notice shadows of familiar figures dancing. These are the the wraiths of previous combatants...the Round 1 losers. While they have lost their abilities, they can still speak and latch onto you, putting an unnecessary weight on you or dragging you to an abyss-like hell if you're not careful.

The Saint has lost his Evil Eye but gained Chance's Blood Manipulation. Bl.An.C. has his key.
Note: saintmccaw has failed to acknowledge his presence for the past week. BirtDog has taken his place. But he must use The Saint's Bio still.
Deathtrap: A room with zero gravity. In the center lies a floating black hole that seems to serve as the room's gravity well. Don't go about touching it unnecessarily. This black hole device is housed by an electric cage powered by four tesla coils surrounding it.

Errorblender has initiated a Medium Ante.
saintmccaw has been kicked for inactivity. BirtDog has benched for him. Errorblender will get an autowin but the match will still go on for a Pt. Battle.
BirtDog is going for a Hard Ante.

Chamel vs The Organization vs The Strongest (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?75675-wRHG-Tournament-R2-Acel(The-Organization)-vs-Walden(The-Strongest)-vs-Chance(Chamel))***For the Triple Threat, only one of the other 2 opponents have your key. You must pick one.

Chance has lost his Blood Manipulation ability but has gained Bl.An.C.'s fully functional suit. Either Walden or Acel has his key.
Deathtrap: A mysterious door leading into...a nightclub. What. Every other door from then on leads back to the central dance floor where hundreds of sweaty ravers dance endlessly. Up above, the speakers are pumped with Chance's least favorite song in 69 different remixes, steadily driving him insane. The DJ's booth is there too and it houses a laptop from which the secret passcode to a door out of this hellhole is found. The problem? The password is on the lower side of the screen and the mousepad doesn't work. The down key on the keyboard is suspiciously missing and only one of the hundred ravers on the dance floor is carrying it. The laptop is also plugged to the wall and is missing its battery so it can't be taken out.

Acel has lost her Aether Shield and Laser Blades but has gained Zero's Gem encrusted sword. Either Chance or the Walden has her key.
Deathtrap: An eerily tranquil garden filled with white and puplish flowers. The ceiling above is cracked in a way that let's sunlight shine down on these beauties, and a small river runs criss-cross through the center of the place. There's barely any room to walk on however and in order to traverse the place, one must go through the flowers itself. Beware though as the plants are filled with particles of poppy pollen. The slightest nudge could send these tiny things into the air and a mere whiff could send someone to gradual hallucinatory madness. There's already a few of them already floating around thanks to a slight breeze coming from an indeterminable crack on a wall...

Walden has lost his Spectral Wolves but has gained The Saint's Evil Eye. (He retains his Antique Pistol.) Either Chance or Acel has his key.
Deathtrap: An extremely round and long hallway with a large 4-propeller industrial fan at the end. It turns on and a wall of spikes appear behind him (it doesn't move). It's a deadly wind tunnel!

The Organization and The Strongest have agreed to settle who's the genuine article (Get it? Article as in 'The', dohoho) with a Hard Ante on both sides.

Chamel pussies out and plays safe by initiating an Easy Ante.

Clarification on Triple Threat:

Also I just wanna clarify on the Triple Threat match. You must declare which of your other two opponents have your key. The fight will still be 1 on 1 and you do not need to take on the 3rd guy. The actual Triple Threat will come when the voting period comes in as all 3 of you will be put in the polls at the same time and the one with the least votes will be eliminated.


Bonus Condition
For this Round, the Bonus Condition is the theme of Irony. Of the seven of you, the BEST TWO participants who can best portray this theme the most in the most elegant way possible will acquire the bonus 20 POINTS. It could be anything from using an opponent's weapon against him (easy way) or using their personality flaw to usher their downfall (slightly harder way). For example, Kalena's thirst for justice causes her to pause for a critical split-second causing her to get hit first. You may no longer use that example ^^




If I may quote No More Heroes, are you prepared to enter the Garden of Madness???



ONCE AGAIN: If you have any inquiries or clarifications, feel free to ask them in this thread for both the benefit of me and your opponent.

The Organization
07-22-2013, 10:53 PM
http://i.imgur.com/dJMm4HS.png
Do we have to state who has our wRHG's key when we declare?

Hewitt
07-22-2013, 10:57 PM
Yep.

They're your opponent anyway so you are going to say it by default.

blakphoenix
07-23-2013, 12:48 AM
Mecha-Hewitt, you poopy face! Using my opponent in the example thus robbing me of an ironic option! Lol! I probably would not have even thought to use that anyway.

blakphoenix here ready to face off (or head off :rolleyes:) against Lobotomizer.

I've got sunshine in a bag with Acel's aether shield and laser blades. (My elements? Why are they always gone? I'm never in my element here! T_T)

I'm going to risk asking for a medium ante. (Be gentle it's my first time.)

The Strongest
07-23-2013, 12:51 AM
My entry depicting a victorious Walden shall be competing with those depicting Acel and Chance as the victors, they are my opponents whose key I may or may not actually have. Plot twist: It turns out that Acel really had Walden's key, Walden had Chance's, and Chance had Acel's
Walden possesses The Saint's Evil Eye.
I'm going to be rolling a hard-ante. Come at me, other two.

Mecha-Hewitt, since the Organization is in the triple-thread, I think the question was asking whether or not which of Acel's two possible key-holders was the one who would be holding the key for the entry had to be determined at this moment.

EDIT: Updated in bold.

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 01:00 AM
Oh right hahah, forgot the 3 of you were fighting.

Just mention that either of your opponents could have the key, just as you have so hilariously worded, Strongest.

ErrorBlender
07-23-2013, 02:52 AM
So everyone in the entire maze has abilities swapped, keys to escape distributed and all in all chaos.

I like it.

In the Hard Ante, does defeat mean anything other than beating the third party to a pulp? Can it be steal it back or something else?

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 03:26 AM
I define "Defeat" as: Not in the capacity to fight back. While they can offer it to you on their own free will, note that this is highly unlikely seeing as they need their current ability to survive.

ErrorBlender
07-23-2013, 03:30 AM
So it is possible to switch the runes if they can give it of their own free will?

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 03:39 AM
Well they can but that doesn't really do anything. Switching runes is just another way of distancing them. They'll still be bound to the user. The onnly real way to 'render the third party from fighting back' is to acquire your ability/items by crushing that guy's rune.

EDIT: I reclarified it in the rules ^^

ErrorBlender
07-23-2013, 06:33 AM
So when the rune is smashed, the ability automatically returns to their true owner?

Chamel
07-23-2013, 08:57 AM
Chance in a full body Kick-Ass suit... This will be quite fun!!

I, Chamel, hereby decree, that my Prized gladiator shall take on both Acel, and Walden, using only the android-suit to defeat them. He will be carrying either Acel's or Walden's key.
Acel shall have his key. And Walden...Will have Acels.

I like the sound of the bonus~ Chance's charming skills might prove useful in this ;)

Easy Ante!

WAIT ~ Can we write the three-way match? Or put a spin on it where all three are included?

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 09:20 AM
So when the rune is smashed, the ability automatically returns to their true owner?

Yep. that's how it works. So you can actually do it out of order if you're going Hard Ante...

...beat your Rune-keeper first THEN encounter your opponent in the deathtrap room.

...or maybe you encounter another person and you work together and shit.

So many things can happen.






Also I just wanna clarify on the Triple Threat match. You must declare which of your other two opponents have your key. The fight will still be 1 on 1 and you do not need to take on the 3rd guy. The actual Triple Threat will come when the voting period comes in as all 3 of you will be put in the polls at the same time and the one with the least votes will be eliminated.

So Chamel and The Strongest please reconfirm your ONE opponent to smosh. The Organization, I hope I cleared that up for you.

ErrorBlender
07-23-2013, 09:25 AM
ErrorBlender confirms his place in the tournament.

Bl.An.C. will wield the Sword Of Truth and is accompanied by Corvon in maze in the hunt for The Saint.

I will take the Medium ante since it goes better with the plot I have in mind.

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 09:31 AM
WAIT ~ Can we write the three-way match? Or put a spin on it where all three are included?

Though I did not intend it to be that way for balance purposes, you may do so. It's up to you :D

Chamel
07-23-2013, 09:33 AM
Sweet ~ already got a plot then!

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 10:03 AM
I made a tiny clarification about the Rune. Apparently I never described its physical appearance. Please check it out now.

Lobotomizer
07-23-2013, 11:15 AM
Kalena vs. Zero, her newly acquired ability from Walden to summon spectral wolves against his aether shield and laser blades stolen from Acel.

Corvon is stuck with Blanc, confused and clueless.

Rolling a hard ante as usual.

The Organization
07-23-2013, 01:36 PM
Target(s) verified. The Organization's Acel will now commence hostilities with The Strongest's Walden and Chamel's Chance.
Acel is equipped with Zero's Gem Encrusted sword. Zero has Acel's Aether Sheild and Laser Blades.
Acel has Chance's Key, Walden has Acel's Key, and Chance has Walden's Key
Hard Ante

The Strongest
07-23-2013, 03:16 PM
So, for further clarification, if I were to collect all seven of the runes, I would not possess all seven abilities contained within them? That was the impression I had got from the runes.

Do our characters have any reasonable way of determining which key actually belongs to which gladiator? Same question for the runes? (besides the fact that the abilities would likely be extremely recognizable. I'm running Walden as a relative newcomer who hasn't had the time to learn the ins and outs of everybody yet. His exposure to the Gladiators has been, so far, the R1 fight against Aiman and the slaughter in the prelims, during which he'd been focusing a lot more on his individual duels, and so hadn't really had time to connect abilities to faces.)

Is the Host close enough to interact with?

EDIT: Updated my original confirmation.

blakphoenix
07-23-2013, 05:58 PM
Hey Mecha, can I change to a Hard Ante? I just got a cool idea that I think fulfills it and I want to challenge my opponent's ante. Who could say no to a little more competition? :p

Chamel
07-23-2013, 07:58 PM
Quikie Q for Mr. Hew:

Can I have Chance in BlAnC's suit? Or just the cyan blasts and stuff?

Hewitt
07-23-2013, 11:50 PM
So, for further clarification, if I were to collect all seven of the runes, I would not possess all seven abilities contained within them? That was the impression I had got from the runes.

Do our characters have any reasonable way of determining which key actually belongs to which gladiator? Same question for the runes? (besides the fact that the abilities would likely be extremely recognizable. I'm running Walden as a relative newcomer who hasn't had the time to learn the ins and outs of everybody yet. His exposure to the Gladiators has been, so far, the R1 fight against Aiman and the slaughter in the prelims, during which he'd been focusing a lot more on his individual duels, and so hadn't really had time to connect abilities to faces.)

Is the Host close enough to interact with?

EDIT: Updated my original confirmation.

In order of your questions:

Yes.

By default, your path in the maze would definitely lead to your opponent. It HAS to happen. Now if you're adventurous and wish to add the others then that is your prerogative.

He's higher than the walls of the maze so you can't reach him but he's within sight because he loves to watch. He's perched on a natural formation of rock, eyeing the maze below. You can't really talk to him as he can't hear you but I bet if you did something he would notice.


Hey Mecha, can I change to a Hard Ante? I just got a cool idea that I think fulfills it and I want to challenge my opponent's ante. Who could say no to a little more competition? :p

Granted. I'll update things later. Nice to know you'll be going head to head with Loboto directly. It shall be glorious.


Quikie Q for Mr. Hew:

Can I have Chance in BlAnC's suit? Or just the cyan blasts and stuff?

He IS wearing it by default. The suit. The whole thing.



Also as usual saintmccaw is fashionably late. I hope he can see this in time. I don't want another almost-forfeit to happen :/

blakphoenix
07-24-2013, 12:04 AM
Sweet! Thank you your Mecha-Goodness! Prepare for absolute glory! (Activating combat mode)

Lobotomizer
07-24-2013, 12:18 AM
Hey Mecha, can I change to a Hard Ante? I just got a cool idea that I think fulfills it and I want to challenge my opponent's ante. Who could say no to a little more competition? :p

>Incessant gargling resembling a bundle of curses being spoken while frothing at the mouth.

The Organization
07-24-2013, 12:36 AM
ADDENDUM: The Aether Shield generator is now a wearable item, that is worn around the neck and activates automatically in combat. It can be detonated either by physically pressing it or mentally.

blakphoenix
07-24-2013, 01:24 AM
>Incessant gargling resembling a bundle of curses being spoken while frothing at the mouth.

Lol! You better be on your A-Game Lobotomizer or else you may need a....CAT scan? (I know this joke is getting old, but there's so much material that I can't allow it to go to waste. :P)

Hewitt
07-26-2013, 03:15 AM
I've updated the Ante's guys.


Aaaaand the Saint is still a no-show. I'm worried. If he can't declare and posts an entry right away that's going to have some serious deductions...

Chamel
07-26-2013, 06:53 AM
If saint doesn't show up, will his opponent get an automatic win or will the three-way 'battle' be split up for evening purposes..?

Hewitt
07-27-2013, 11:13 PM
Automatic win from the looks of it. R1 is suppose to root out all the inactives. This is just depressing. Sorry, Error.

ErrorBlender
07-27-2013, 11:15 PM
=.=

Never wanted to win like this.

EDIT :: I'm still clinging on the hope that he shows up though. He's been active the last round and I suspect that something just turned up that he could not refuse attention to.

The Organization
07-28-2013, 01:47 PM
8 days remaining...

Chamel
07-28-2013, 02:49 PM
I thought it was due the 6th...

The Organization
07-28-2013, 03:02 PM
I thought it was due the 6th...
I'm gonna pretend like its due August 2nd so I stop procrastinating

The Strongest
07-28-2013, 03:30 PM
I'm gonna pretend like its due August 2nd so I stop procrastinating

I thought that it was due the 2nd. Did I misread something?

EDIT: Oh, hey. It is due the 6th. I can procrastinate for another, like, 4 days. (just kidding.)

Chamel
07-28-2013, 03:41 PM
Well okay than:
SHIT I ONLY HAVE FOUR DAYS LEFT!!!!

Now I have a question... Acel keeps her speed and Demonic-transformation, right?

The Organization
07-28-2013, 03:48 PM
Well okay than:
SHIT I ONLY HAVE FOUR DAYS LEFT!!!!

Now I have a question... Acel keeps her speed and Demonic-transformation, right?



Acel has lost her Aether Shield and Laser Blades but has gained Zero's Gem encrusted sword. Either Chance or the Walden has her key.


The only real effect of the Aether Sheild being gone is that, it affects her accuracy and speed control as well as makes her vulnerable to all projectiles.
Since Acel can only use light weapons at high speeds, cause normal weps are to heavy, laser blades being gone only decreases her melee capability to slow attacks and h2h combat

Chamel
07-28-2013, 03:49 PM
Perfect >:3

*cue evil laugh*

ErrorBlender
07-28-2013, 08:06 PM
I didn't realize that the deadline was that fast approaching. Better get to finishing my part...

BirtDog
07-29-2013, 04:12 AM
I've updated the Ante's guys.


Aaaaand the Saint is still a no-show. I'm worried. If he can't declare and posts an entry right away that's going to have some serious deductions...

I'm still here....I will offer services. But I still wanna not just be a filler but a competitor.

But as always: Here to help (b^__^)b

Hewitt
07-29-2013, 05:40 AM
I'm still here....I will offer services. But I still wanna not just be a filler but a competitor.

But as always: Here to help (b^__^)b

Youre gonna have to ask ErrorBlender if he's fine with it. I can allow it if you wish.

ErrorBlender
07-29-2013, 05:57 AM
I'm fine with it. Its better to win by a match than by forfeit. :D

EDIT :: Althought I will still continue my battle with The Saint and not Dominic. I'm too far off in the story and plot to even consider revising.

BirtDog
07-29-2013, 02:04 PM
So I'll just fill in for Saint,until he returns. That ok,Mecha? Since I'm in the Losers Bracket.

The Organization
07-29-2013, 02:07 PM
So I'll just fill in for Saint,until he returns. That ok,Mecha? Since I'm in the Losers Bracket.
Welcome to the Jungle. We got fun and games.
(⌐■_■)

BirtDog
07-29-2013, 02:11 PM
Welcome to the Jungle. We got fun and games.
(⌐■_■)

That so? Then I'm going to slaughter you in my writing now....for no reason. XD

blakphoenix
07-29-2013, 02:26 PM
That so? Then I'm going to slaughter you in my writing now....for no reason. XD

Those aren't the next lyrics...and it didn't rhyme!

BirtDog
07-29-2013, 02:31 PM
Those aren't the next lyrics...and it didn't rhyme!

Are you whining? It Sounds like your whining.

The Organization
07-29-2013, 02:37 PM
That so? Then I'm going to slaughter you in my writing now....for no reason. XD
come at me bro! ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/www.ign.com/13644/2011/04/challenge-accepted..png

Chamel
07-29-2013, 02:55 PM
Organization, you going dooooooooown!!
By me of course :|

~♥

Nightlock
07-29-2013, 02:58 PM
I'm looking forward to reading the FFA. Everyone's availability to use every participant in their works? It's going to be epic. :D

Hewitt
07-29-2013, 09:47 PM
So I'll just fill in for Saint,until he returns. That ok,Mecha? Since I'm in the Losers Bracket.

Yep. Use thesaint's bio and his conditions. You're still in my Loser's bracket for your character. BirtDog, feel free to declare the Ante of your choice.

Btw, if TheSaint ever returns, he's out. He's had his time but his inactivity will pull everyone down.

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 12:28 AM
Yep. Use thesaint's bio and his conditions. You're still in my Loser's bracket for your character. BirtDog, feel free to declare the Ante of your choice.

Btw, if TheSaint ever returns, he's out. He's had his time but his inactivity will pull everyone down.

So am I writing as McCaw or as Dom? Because if I'm Dominic then I'll need a rune swap and a "danger" room.

And I dont know how Faire :rolleyes: this next question is: but can I get some extra time to write? I know it's due on the 6th but I think I'm 2 days behind at the moment and i technically still don't know what to write until my questions are answered =/

The Organization
07-30-2013, 12:30 AM
So am I writing as McCaw or as Dom? Because if I'm Dominic then I'll need a rune swap and a "danger" room.

And I dont know how Faire :rolleyes: this next question is: but can I get some extra time to write? I know it's due on the 6th but I think I'm 2 days behind at the moment and i technically still don't know what to write until my questions are answered =/
You're probably writing as Mccaw
I haven't started writing
╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 12:32 AM
You're probably writing as Mccaw
I haven't started writing
╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭

Oh...well I can do that, but that's kinda annoying lol. And
you are so going to win....wait....no...I'll win. I always win. Even when I lose. But I never lose. I always win.

Hewitt
07-30-2013, 12:32 AM
Yeah I'm extending teh deadline for everyone by half a week (3-4 days flexible). I forgot to mention that but there you go.

Also yes Birt. You have to write as Saint.

(I'll edit the real deadline post later)

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 12:34 AM
Yeah I'm extending teh deadline for everyone by half a week (3-4 days flexible). I forgot to mention that but there you go.

Also yes Birt. You have to write as Saint.

(I'll edit the real deadline post later)

Ok =/

It'll make Organization that much more foolish >=D (I'm being sarcastic by the way. No need to rub those the wrong way....again =( )


EDIT: I love the faces you make Org....can we be friends yet!!!! D=

blakphoenix
07-30-2013, 12:36 AM
Deadline extension? Deadline Extension? DEADLINE EXTENSION?!! cool...

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 12:38 AM
Deadline extension? Deadline Extension? DEADLINE EXTENSION?!! cool...

Remind me of: "Grow. Expand. Explode. Grow. Expand. Explode. Grow! Expand! Explode! Grow! Expand! Explode!

Hewitt
07-30-2013, 12:39 AM
BirtDog. Your Ante if you please... Will you match ErrorBlender or will you gofor Hard

The Organization
07-30-2013, 12:46 AM
Ok =/

It'll make Organization that much more foolish >=D (I'm being sarcastic by the way. No need to rub those the wrong way....again =( )


EDIT: I love the faces you make Org....can we be friends yet!!!! D=
Sure: ┐('~`;)┌

Great now I have even more reason to procrastinate ╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭

Nikx232
07-30-2013, 12:55 AM
When did you start using those emoticons btw?【・ヘ・?】

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 01:00 AM
BirtDog. Your Ante if you please... Will you match ErrorBlender or will you gofor Hard

I did poop my pants a little while i read this.....fear and dietetic problems simultaneously erupted within my soul and body...HARD ANTE!!! I guess it's because I'm playing with "house" money.

So Saint can't come back then? Which means I can't "win" right? I might win votes but E-Blends moves on, correct?



Sure: ┐('~`;)┌

Great now I have even more reason to procrastinate ╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭

So.....add me >=)

The Organization
07-30-2013, 01:59 AM
Perfect >:3

*cue evil laugh*

What kind of music does Chance not like?
┬─┬ ︵ /(.□. \)


So.....add me >=)
The Organization does not send friend requests, we encourage users to make their own decisions on to whether they choose to affiliate with us.

Chamel
07-30-2013, 07:20 AM
Chance hates Country music .-. Especially if it includes the banjo

ErrorBlender
07-30-2013, 07:36 AM
Hooray for extensions. Let's have a good fight BirtDog. :)

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 04:07 PM
The Organization does not send friend requests, we encourage users to make their own decisions on to whether they choose to affiliate with us.[/I]

Then we are at an impass...(is that a word?)
For I do not add others due to my GIANT EGGO.......draped in yummy syrup. Mmmmm......



Hooray for extensions. Let's have a good fight BirtDog. :)

Indeed. I have wanted a fight with you for a long time. Sadly, I still feel like this will not be my fight, since I'm not using Dom. But I'm going to have fun with it all the same.

The Organization
07-30-2013, 04:11 PM
Then we are at an impass...(is that a word?)
For I do not add others due to my GIANT EGGO.......draped in yummy syrup. Mmmmm......

Indeed. I have wanted a fight with you for a long time. Sadly, I still feel like this will not be my fight, since I'm not using Dom. But I'm going to have fun with it all the same.
I don't need a forum to tell me who my friends are :D
That being said...
http://i.snag.gy/Zdy3x.jpg
General Purpose wRHG challenge image

blakphoenix
07-30-2013, 04:16 PM
I don't need a forum to tell me who my friends are :D

Don't remind us less fortunate souls...T_T

lol jk.....T_T

ErrorBlender
07-30-2013, 06:31 PM
Indeed. I have wanted a fight with you for a long time. Sadly, I still feel like this will not be my fight, since I'm not using Dom. But I'm going to have fun with it all the same.

At the end of the day, friend, it is your writing skill against mine. We are just using the wRHG to make the best excuse to fight with our skills with words. :D

See you on the field, BirtDog. :D

BirtDog
07-30-2013, 07:16 PM
I don't need a forum to tell me who my friends are :D
That being said...
http://i.snag.gy/Zdy3x.jpg
General Purpose wRHG challenge image

I will. I will always be confident. {⊙^⊙}

Hewitt
07-30-2013, 09:37 PM
BirtDog. Your Ante? Or are you taking none. Please declare it.

Nightlock
07-31-2013, 12:09 AM
I did poop my pants a little while i read this.....fear and dietetic problems simultaneously erupted within my soul and body...HARD ANTE!!! I guess it's because I'm playing with "house" money.

Here it is Hewitt. :)

I like being helpful. ^^

BirtDog
07-31-2013, 12:05 PM
Thank you, Night-baby ;)

Hewitt there was a question attached to that too, just can't see it in the above quote.

Hewitt
08-01-2013, 08:54 PM
So Saint can't come back then? Which means I can't "win" right? I might win votes but E-Blends moves on, correct?

Yes. This match between you and Error is purely for fun now. The reason why you still hav to use TheSaint is because I created the Round prior to match that specific characteristic of saint's character. Winning this round doesn't matter as Error will still move on. BUT the Win-Lose-Point to be gotten to be acknowledged for the Hall of Warriors will still count, so you might wanna play for that.


Also sorry I was a bit occupied with stuffs. The deadline has been extended I just never changed the first post. The new deadline is August 12, 2013


Updated Frontpage for BirtDog's Ante and the new deadline.

BirtDog
08-01-2013, 09:27 PM
Yes. This match between you and Error is purely for fun now. The reason why you still hav to use TheSaint is because I created the Round prior to match that specific characteristic of saint's character. Winning this round doesn't matter as Error will still move on. BUT the Win-Lose-Point to be gotten to be acknowledged for the Hall of Warriors will still count, so you might wanna play for that.


Also sorry I was a bit occupied with stuffs. The deadline has been extended I just never changed the first post. The new deadline is August 12, 2013


Updated Frontpage for BirtDog's Ante and the new deadline.

I stopped at "purely for fun", all i need to know (b^__^)b

Hewitt
08-01-2013, 10:37 PM
By the by, I seem to notice that you guys also voted for less-battle-y stuff over at the Loser's Bracket. I can't really change the Semi-Finals because I've already set that in stone, so I would like to ask ya'll if you'd like the Finals to be something like Once Upon A Time. Poll's up.

The Organization
08-01-2013, 10:39 PM
Nay, it should be a space battle

The Strongest
08-01-2013, 10:42 PM
I definitely like the idea of options, and that is the reasoning for my vote of yes.

EDIT: Although, my interpretation is kind of the reverse of what you had, where the option to not do a battle is present. I, personally, think that wRHG should be a more combat-oriented thing.

Chamel
08-02-2013, 09:24 AM
As much as it seems, even though I probably won't get there, the Finals should be more battle-oriented (as said before).

Add a few twists to it of course, but keep the battles not kid-friendly :D

ErrorBlender
08-02-2013, 09:45 AM
Mecha-Hewitt, I must ask something about Bl.An.C.'s deathtrap. Do these apparitions have access to his memories?

Hewitt
08-02-2013, 10:13 AM
Mecha-Hewitt, I must ask something about Bl.An.C.'s deathtrap. Do these apparitions have access to his memories?

Nope. theyre just shades

ErrorBlender
08-02-2013, 10:18 AM
Ok then. Thanks.

The Organization
08-03-2013, 05:48 PM
I will be gone on vacation from August 8th to 12th, I'l try to get my submission in before the 8th

Hewitt
08-05-2013, 10:21 PM
I will be gone on vacation from August 8th to 12th, I'l try to get my submission in before the 8th

You better. I see you all the time in your RP. You have no excuse not to be able to churn something.

Lobotomizer
08-07-2013, 01:22 PM
Right so, after taking a look I've realised just how horrendously broken Acel is.

Let's take a look at the weapons. Barely any weight to them, but they are heated to such high temperatures that they can lop limbs off regardless of, well, anything, really. Any bit of contact with said weapons longer than a few milliseconds will likely melt them into subatomic goop. The main weapon has the length of a bloody zweihander. That's close to two metres of death. Again, no weight penalty because it's mostly just the hilt you're handling, and the need for activation is hardly a problem.

Zero has this in the current battle. And he is proficient with weapons. Cue death, and that's with just these two weapons. Heck, scratch the shorter blade. How are you going to lose when you can swing a laser blade of death the length of close to two metres? Who's going to get close?

Now that's already bad enough. Let's take something else into account like say...Acel's anti-projectile shield. That means being restricted to melee has no problems for her, especially since she's supposedly incredibly fast. Then there's the ability to detonate said shield. Well okay, tell me she can lose by not being serious. But then you'd need to have a drunken man trying to do a waltz at the same time in order to even lose a battle with this set up. Combat experience be damned, she has proficiency in melee skills, adaptable to melee situations and is painfully fast.

Well, what about hybrid and demon form? I won't even go into detail about how broken it is. You can read the abilities and judge for yourself. You don't need to even care about the cons of both, because it takes about half a minute to disembowel someone with a laser blade. What energy cost?

Now I might come off as whining about how the battle is unfair, but that isn't the point. Unfair challenges creativity, but it seems to me that Acel is just one broken death machine that shouldn't have seen the light of the day when it was conceived. And when you're at the point where this opponent can very easily lop of your head within less than a minute, the only thing that's going to happen is some convoluted or contrived, deus ex machina way to forcibly drive your way to victory.

And that. Is not fun.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 01:40 PM
Right so, after taking a look I've realised just how horrendously broken Acel is.

Let's take a look at the weapons. Barely any weight to them, but they are heated to such high temperatures that they can lop limbs off regardless of, well, anything, really. Any bit of contact with said weapons longer than a few milliseconds will likely melt them into subatomic goop. The main weapon has the length of a bloody zweihander. That's close to two metres of death. Again, no weight penalty because it's mostly just the hilt you're handling, and the need for activation is hardly a problem.

Zero has this in the current battle. And he is proficient with weapons. Cue death, and that's with just these two weapons. Heck, scratch the shorter blade. How are you going to lose when you can swing a laser blade of death the length of close to two metres? Who's going to get close?

Now that's already bad enough. Let's take something else into account like say...Acel's anti-projectile shield. That means being restricted to melee has no problems for her, especially since she's supposedly incredibly fast. Then there's the ability to detonate said shield. Well okay, tell me she can lose by not being serious. But then you'd need to have a drunken man trying to do a waltz at the same time in order to even lose a battle with this set up. Combat experience be damned, she has proficiency in melee skills, adaptable to melee situations and is painfully fast.

Well, what about hybrid and demon form? I won't even go into detail about how broken it is. You can read the abilities and judge for yourself. You don't need to even care about the cons of both, because it takes about half a minute to disembowel someone with a laser blade. What energy cost?

Now I might come off as whining about how the battle is unfair, but that isn't the point. Unfair challenges creativity, but it seems to me that Acel is just one broken death machine that shouldn't have seen the light of the day when it was conceived. And when you're at the point where this opponent can very easily lop of your head within less than a minute, the only thing that's going to happen is some convoluted or contrived, deus ex machina way to forcibly drive your way to victory.

And that. Is not fun.
Hybrid Form and Demon form have short durations 4-5 minutes tops. If she uses hybrid form it will go into Demon form but her energy won't be restored so she'll the duration won't exceed 5 minutes before she passes out. While Demon Form is powerful, its animalistic and predictable. The laser blades have an activation time and aren't truly light sabers. They also have a high energy cost, they literally drain the energy of whatever is using it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OXCChRZVDI
Her speed is limited by the fact that her brain still process information like a human, so just because she can move that fast, doesn't mean she can react that fast.
The Anti-projectile shield doesn't necessarily restrict one to melee as projectiles wear down the shield and piercing rounds or lasers completely bypass it.

Acel is broken in many ways, but her morals and personality will always hold her back. When she finally gets serious she'll be at a disadvantage because she's not an endurance fighter. Furthermore, she will always draw out a fight because she is under orders by the Organization to observe and gather as much information about her enemies as possible.

Aether Shield detonation is a double edged sword because of how long it takes for the shield to regenerate, about 30 minutes, and its activation time of about 5 seconds. But the explosion itself is survivable and of limited range.

She is basically a glass cannon, with gear to supplement her lack of defensive capabilities. Demon form only activates 5% of the time from serious injury and 50% of the time from Hybrid Form.

For your fight at least I understand your concern, but the laser blades can be disabled and the Aether Shield will harm the user if they do not have sufficient protection on the eyes and ears.

There is also the added fact that disabling or disrupting Acel's demon powers severely weakens her.

Chamel
08-07-2013, 01:48 PM
I'm using the fact that Acel is a complete loyal dog for the Organization against her, but people won't expect the ending where Acel gets taken out of the game. :3

Lobotomizer
08-07-2013, 01:51 PM
Hybrid Form and Demon form have short durations 4-5 minutes tops. If she uses hybrid form it will go into Demon form but her energy won't be restored so she'll have 30 seconds tops of conciousness, and while Demon Form is powerful, its animalistic and predictable. The laser blades have an activation time and aren't truly light sabers. They also have a high energy cost, they literally drain the energy of whatever is using it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmghtg1sCOQ
Her speed is limited by the fact that her brain still process information like a human, so just because she can move that fast, doesn't mean she can react that fast.
The Anti-projectile shield doesn't necessarily restrict one to melee as projectiles wear down the shield and piercing rounds or lasers completely bypass it.

Acel is broken in many ways, but her morals and personality will always hold her back. When she finally gets serious she'll be at a disadvantage because she's not an endurance fighter. Furthermore, she will always draw out a fight because she is under orders by the Organization to observe and gather as much information about her enemies as possible.

Aether Shield detonation is a double edged sword because of how long it takes for the shield to regenerate, about 30 minutes, and its activation time of about 5 seconds. But the explosion itself is survivable and of limited range.

She is basically a glass cannon, with gear to supplement her lack of defensive capabilities. Demon form only activates 5% of the time from serious injury and 50% of the time from Hybrid Form.

For your fight at least I understand your concern, but the laser blades can be disabled and the Aether Shield will harm the user if they do not have sufficient protection on the eyes and ears.

Again, why care about duration when you can lop off your enemy's head within seconds? You don't seem to understand how quickly a battle can end, especially with a weapon like that. You can argue that Acel will draw out a fight, but it's not going to happen in demon form. Thirty seconds is enough to kill, and 'predictable' is just a ridiculous reasoning. You said it yourself. Acel thinks at human speed and that limits her own physical speed. Right, can you do a thing if you know that Demon!Acel is going to go for your head? You can get the angle, velocity, time of impact down. You still won't be able to blink before you take the elevator to high heaven.

Don't even talk to me about percentages, because if it's there, it's there to be used. It sounds every bit like a cheat button that says 'press to win', as if her own equipment isn't broken as hell already. It's like Catie the fangirl all over again

The aether shield doesn't force others to go on melee. It allows Acel to get into melee range no matter what. Detonation can be non lethal, but it doesn't matter when you can simply finish the job after.

As for disabling the blades? Surely you have more sense than to call "emp vulnerable" a weakness. You're talking about something that currently, no single bloody wrhg in the lounge has. And even if they did, it would be just "one" wrhg.

She isn't anywhere close to being a glass cannon. She's just bad at lifting, and overly good at killing. She isn't explicitly squishy, and even if she dies easily demon form happens. Why are you even bothering to justify?

blakphoenix
08-07-2013, 02:09 PM
....Zero can emp blast in lightning form, but it shortens the form time...just thought i'd throw that in there, please continue.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 02:10 PM
Your points are valid but Acel is designed to be offensive and fast. But like I said the Acel can easily be defeated if you either disable her abilities, like Mccaw did, or take advantage of her moral reservations. Acel will never use demon form willingly, it only exists as a counter to something that would instantly kill her. Even if she use Hybrid Form, Acel will stop using it the second she starts to turn. All of her gear can be disabled, and are experimental technologies, it wouldn't be farfetched to have the device simply fail or malfunction.
You also have to take into her account her personality. Look at Superman, he is OP as hell, but he never cuts loose, Acel is the same way.
Acel is completely aware of how Demon Form works and will resist using it as much as possible, she will also never attempt to kill her enemy. In fact, winning a battle is secondary to observing and gathering data on her enemy.
So while you are right, that in terms of capability, Acel can over power most opponents, quickly, writing her as such a character would inaccurately portray how she would actually act in that situation.
So in that regard, the Acel you are describing, as the ruthless killing machine, doesn't actually exist.

Part of the problem is that Acel is designed to later become an RHG as well. It is very easy to write a situation in which Acel loses a fight, either b/c she simply gives up or is incapacitated.
You just aren't going to do it by pummeling her into the ground.

Edit: Also Acel is good at Melee, but not effective at Melee. She is dependent on her speed to both land her attacks and put power behind them. An experienced fighter can easily counter or parry Acel's blows.

Chamel
08-07-2013, 02:12 PM
....Zero can emp blast in lightning form, but it shortens the form time...just thought i'd throw that in there, please continue.

Thisbis actually helpful to me. Thank you kind sir

blakphoenix
08-07-2013, 02:14 PM
Thisbis actually helpful to me. Thank you kind sir

No problem Chamel. I left his abilities vague so that my opposing writer could have creative freedom when battling against him. I wasn't sure if that was the most intelligent thing to do but I enjoy freedom very much.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 02:23 PM
Also for those who didn't read my battle w/ Mccaw or read my preliminary declaration, here is a very important couple of lines:

"Your first mission is to gain access into the wRHG tournament and collect as much data on the participants as possible. Winning in the tournament is optional but encouraged as it will make the Organization look good at Stickpage. Since you aren't yet ready to participate in the RHG fighting and since you are new to stickpage in general, this will be a good way to get your feet wet. Good Luck, Cecelia."



“Despite this being an official wRHG challenge, you are under no obligation to the Organization to defeat the challenger. Your main objective will be to gain as much information on his abilities and fighting techniques as possible. Mccaw Rindar is a mystery to us, his records, even if they might exist, cannot be found online and we have no information on his previous battles. He seems to be a new competitor in the wRHG as well.” explained the Operator.

Acel is never required to defeat the her opponent, let alone kill them. In nearly every case, Acel is not the Aggressor.

blakphoenix
08-07-2013, 02:32 PM
I really hope I didn't just incur your wrath Lobotomizer, unless my character is broken cause now I'm self conscious about it. SPARE ME!!! >.<

Lobotomizer
08-07-2013, 02:48 PM
Your points are valid but Acel is designed to be offensive and fast. But like I said the Acel can easily be defeated if you either disable her abilities, like Mccaw did, or take advantage of her moral reservations. Acel will never use demon form willingly, it only exists as a counter to something that would instantly kill her. Even if she use Hybrid Form, Acel will stop using it the second she starts to turn. All of her gear can be disabled, and are experimental technologies,it wouldn't be farfetched to have the device simply fail or malfunction.
You also have to take into her account her personality. Look at Superman, he is OP as hell, but he never cuts loose, Acel is the same way.
Acel is completely aware of how Demon Form works and will resist using it as much as possible, she will also never attempt to kill her enemy. In fact, winning a battle is secondary to observing and gathering data on her enemy.
So while you are right, that in terms of capability, Acel can over power most opponents, quickly, writing her as such a character would inaccurately portray how she would actually act in that situation.
So in that regard, the Acel you are describing, as the ruthless killing machine, doesn't actually exist.

Part of the problem is that Acel is designed to later become an RHG as well. It is very easy to write a situation in which Acel loses a fight, either b/c she simply gives up or is incapacitated.
You just aren't going to do it by pummeling her into the ground.

Edit: Also Acel is good at Melee, but not effective at Melee. She is dependent on her speed to both land her attacks and put power behind them. An experienced fighter can easily counter or parry Acel's blows.
disable her abilities, All of her gear can be disabled, and are experimental technologies,
(My OC's weakness is cheese. That makes him totally balanced from his super saiyan powers.)

it wouldn't be farfetched to have the device simply fail or malfunction.
(ie. Deus ex Machina)


So in that regard, the Acel you are describing, as the ruthless killing machine, doesn't actually exist.
(You give a man a maul, and tell him to be gentle on someone. At best, you're still getting snapped bones. This is the scenario you're giving.)

Also Acel is good at Melee, but not effective at Melee. She is dependent on her speed to both land her attacks and put power behind them. An experienced fighter can easily counter or parry Acel's blows.
(Letting your weapon make contact with a laser blade which reaches temperatures higher than the surface of the sun. Strength matters in a weapon that can slice through virtually anything. Okay.)

Maybe this surge of sarcasm'll reflect poorly on the impact of my words, but I'm too tired and annoyed with you to continue with this for today. Give me ten hours to throw in something concrete.


I really hope I didn't just incur your wrath Lobotomizer, unless my character is broken cause now I'm self conscious about it. SPARE ME!!! >.<
If you're talking about your character broken, I don't know. Currently, he's an ordinary trained fighter equipped with laser blades. The laser blades are the problem. The laser blades were concieved by Theorganisation. Ergo, his fault.

If you're talking about the character abilities, I don't know. I haven't read it and I won't be bothered to read it unless I really have to read it.

Chamel
08-07-2013, 02:53 PM
Now I'm a little self conscious about Chance ;-;
Wait... Hey Lobo, if you got some free time, could you help me out with evening Chance..? A small request.? :D

Nikx232
08-07-2013, 03:00 PM
I feel I should point out that Acel is able to move faster than the speed of sound, which is typically faster than the human mind can normally react to.

(Speed of Sound: approx. 3.40*10^2 m/s at sea level) (Acel: "33 688.71 meters per second" which is about 3.4*10^4 m/s)

I can understand Lobo's worry about her moving around so quickly and laser blades, but I feel like the idea is that just because the person has the ability to do something completely outrageous doesn't mean they have to use it. (And it's not like that other person's who's problem was the research that would have to be backed into it)

I can see Acel (based on personality) using mostly her fists during a fight because her weapons are too dangerous to the other competitors, but at the same time (using a bit of physics) I fear her speed might have enough force to blow someone's head off. (Someone double check me and do the calculations) But then again, just because she can go ridiculously fast, doesn't mean she'll always, or has to, go at that speed.

This also brings up a few questions I had in mind:

Does this mean she can only choose to go in one direction and hopefully land safely because her mind cannot keep up with her speed? Is her movement speed is only limited to her running around, or does it also include her simply moving her hands around?

Edit: Also, please don't kill me too badly Lobo. I'm actually on your side as far as balance issues. (Although IMO, it's not something that's so bad that can't be discussed about between writers without the awkward tension...) ^^;

blakphoenix
08-07-2013, 03:03 PM
If you're talking about your character broken, I don't know. Currently, he's an ordinary trained fighter equipped with laser blades. The laser blades are the problem. The laser blades were concieved by Theorganisation. Ergo, his fault.

If you're talking about the character abilities, I don't know. I haven't read it and I won't be bothered to read it unless I really have to read it.

Yeah I figured you wouldn't if you didn't have to. I just realize now how much you absolutely seem to despise overpowered characters, or characters that you see as broken; your view on that subject tends to be right as well. With Chamel's request and your critiques on both catie and now Acel you appear to be gaining a title as The Great Equalizer! Lol. I must say, your critiques certainly have my attentions.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 03:08 PM
Acel typically only runs when she is wounded running out of energy, or her shield is disabled. Other than that she moves around in short bursts of speed. The faster she goes the harder it is for her to control where she ends up and the higher drain it has on her. She also gets tunnel vision quite easily. So yes she typically moves in one direction. She also moves her entire body at the same speed, to prevent damaging herself.
The laser blades require special training to use unlike the Aether Shield which is automatic, so despite Zero being skilled in weaponry that doesn't mean he won't just cut off his own arms when using them.
The Laser blades work basically like the plasma sword in Halo rather than Star Wars Lightsabers.
She also has to deal with drag, which the Aether Shield helps with at the cost of durability.

Nikx232
08-07-2013, 03:12 PM
When I read her profile about her using momentum to move her around a great speed, I first thought of her trying to swing an upper hook sending her fist into the ceiling. XD I really don't know why lol.

Also how do you incorporate the energy for her to stop the momentum carrying her? Or is it the fact that she has to let the momentum carry her until she can properly stop.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 03:17 PM
She has to boost in the reverse direction to stop, there is also drag, but the longer she fights the less she can use her speed safely because she needs both the energy to start moving and the energy to stop

Nikx232
08-07-2013, 03:25 PM
Awesome, I'm sure I'll come up with more questions later on for our eventual fight. (To be discussed later, but I'll make a time for it eventually)

Good luck with Lobo when he comes back. ^^;

Chamel
08-07-2013, 09:17 PM
HRGFHRGDHRGFHRGRHFHDGRHFHFHRHFH

I'VE BEATEN WRITER'S BLOCK AND BLAZING THROUGH MY STORY! I ESTIMATE TO BE DONE AT LEAST [2] DAYS BEFORE THE DEADLINE, IF NOTHING OBSTRUCTS MY TIME MANAGEMENT.

thank you for your time.

Hewitt
08-07-2013, 09:21 PM
I have bad news guys. From what Nikx is saying on the Loser's Bracket, it seems that even BirtDog has failed to show. I really hope he's just lurking but at this rate ErrorBlender really will have no one to fight.

Open to Suggestions guys. The very least is I know all 6 of you are active right now. Can you invite another benched? Do you want an extension? For the latter, I'm going to have to request you PM me a snippet of your work, just so I know I'm extending it for a reason.


EDIT: Nvm Birtdog is alive.

But JUST in case. If he doesn't show, I'm moving Chamel up to go against ErrorBlender in Polls only. Then the Org and the Strongest will go head to head for sure.

ErrorBlender
08-07-2013, 09:51 PM
So BirtDog's entry, if ever, in the Winner's bracket means nothing? Or will it still apply in a way that the battle between me and Chamel turns into a three-way?

EDIT:: Should I still pass a snippet of my entry?

Nightlock
08-07-2013, 09:55 PM
In the case that Birt doesn't turn in his entry for Saint, Chamel will be placed in your tournament bracket for the polls, Error. But, if Birt does make the deadline, nothing will change, everyone stays in their bracket, and you move on to the next round for sure. d(^-^d)

ErrorBlender
08-07-2013, 10:00 PM
Hmm...In any way, an opponent is an opponent and I'm glad I'm going to face someone. Be ready [whoever I will battle], I've gotten my motivation back! I've got one full day and two full nights to write this day and go for edits.

The Strongest
08-07-2013, 10:19 PM
Deadline...stop moving closer. Just...just stay where you are for a little while. Stupid words not writing themselves. Lazy jerks. Will be ready, probably. Just need some sort of word version of a strike breaker.

The Organization
08-07-2013, 10:24 PM
I'm really to far in to change my plans, its still going to be like my declaration

Lobotomizer
08-08-2013, 12:49 AM
@Theorganisation

You haven't bothered to say anything against my remarks, and frankly I'm too tired to give a damn. I only hope I won't have to actually deal with you the next round (whether it's because either of us lose), because if that happens I'll have to raise up another shitstorm. I'm still absolutely unconvinced that your character plays well, and 'just because she can doesn't mean she will' is one of the worse excuses for balancing, even if you gave something slightly more substantial than that. I'm going to pull up the same example of giving someone a maul, then telling him to be gentle on one chained victim. The truth is that things will break, and try as you will, you can't say that the maul, a big chunk of metal on a stick, is harmless by any stretch of the imagination.

Also, nick gave me something interesting.

<Nick> I was going to do the physics about that
<Nick> with a simple punch
<Nick> using her weight and top speed
<Nick> ....
<Nick> safe to say someone's head will get blown off

Fucking yay.

Nikx232
08-08-2013, 12:59 AM
Didn't I already say that back where ever it was and say that even if she could do that much damage, doesn't mean she would always do that?

Besides that was taking the top speed into consideration. :U

Sorry Lobo, I don't like being taken advantage of xP

Lobotomizer
08-08-2013, 01:09 AM
Right, I'll have to apologize then.

But my point still stands. Even at the speed of sound (that's 1% of the top speed iirc), a single punch will break bones, strength be damned. The more I look at the character the more my blood boils, because it's looking more and more overpowered as I stare at it.

The Organization
08-08-2013, 01:17 AM
I didn't respond because I wasn't convinced this warranted discussion. Frankly, Acel is not broken to the point that victory against her is unlikely. Even if I was to write a story like:
Acel ran really fast and blew every bodies head off with super fast punches the end.
It would be completely accurate based on her powers. However, I'm not getting votes because my character is stronger, I get votes based on my writing skills. In fact, Acel's strength is a disadvantage because its not hard to write a good story where she gets beaten especially since she has such exploitable weaknesses. Consequently, I have to write a believable and engaging story where Acel wins in a difficult fight.

If your looking for ideas of how Kalena could deal with Acel's gear, her Transient blade would disable everything she has, including her powers, and if we fought I would definitely describe them as doing such.

Your maul example is invalid because Acel knows full well how to use her powers, she won't use lethal force end of story. I left Acel's limitations up to interpretation but they are limited, She tougher than the average human, but she will still get hurt if she misuses her powers. If Acel ever moved her hand at high speed without moving the rest of her body, it would tear her arm off.

You're way to distracted by the physics of the character, this is fiction and the interpretation is liberal. The points are nitpicks, your maul is harmless if it is lying on the ground in a secluded area devoid of life. Give a child a gun and its a dangerous weapon, give a soldier a gun and its a dangerous weapon, but unless they are under orders, that soldier isn't going to kill anyone if they are following protocols.

I can list many scenarios where Acel could lose to a normal human, its not like we are talking Batman vs Superman here.

EDIT 1:

Right, I'll have to apologize then.

But my point still stands. Even at the speed of sound (that's 1% of the top speed iirc), a single punch will break bones, strength be damned. The more I look at the character the more my blood boils, because it's looking more and more overpowered as I stare at it.

looking at the physical capabilities alone is an incomplete assessment. Not only would Acel harm her self by attacking at high speeds like that but it would also go against orders, the only possible way she would do that is if she questioned her orders on moral grounds.

If anything, the only absolutes of Acel is that she will always follow orders and/or restrain from using lethal force.

EDIT 2:
Upon further thought, if we are bringing physics into this, then any force that Acel puts behind her attacks, an equal and opposite force would be applied to her. God forbid she miss, it would be like being thrown out of a car in an accident. Acel is by no means bulletproof, fireproof, lightning-proof, or able to parry a sword with her skin. Its not armor, it just toughens under stress, but its still human physiology.

EDIT 3:
Acel relies on her speed primarily for movement and adding some force behind her attacks, but she isn't going to punch someone at the speed of sound because that would not only break her arm, but it would be using Lethal force which goes against the Prime Directive.

Nikx232
08-08-2013, 02:19 AM
wow this got really awkward really fast o_o;

Lobo, she is kinda right about the distraction of the physicality's of her character. You're a great writer and I'm sure you'll get past that. Also, as Organ has mentioned before, Acel would probably be more wary of accidentally killing her opponent. Just because she has the sword of a thousand burning suns doesn't mean she's going to use it. (In fact, because of her personality, I don't think she'll be using it often directly on the person) I think one could also put down that her character cannot change directions just because her brain can't keep up, and if she's headed for a wall...splat I guess?

However, at the same time it's kind of hard to write against such a character that can evade almost every attack one has (without having to touch the ground mind you) and at that point it become a battle of endurance (which can be kinda long and harder to write, depending on the writer). Although there are some alternatives to use against her like location where one could exploit her weaknesses there, it seems typical for most writers having to do so because it feels...well kind of dirty...yea.

This also brings up another questions I had (If I'm stepping on anyone's toes at this point, I just want this thing to be settled already >.<)
1. Seeing how she can mover really fast, but has to use the equal amount of energy to stop herself. How much energy does she have exactly? (If you were to make her move at her top speed to move and slow down)

Once again, I'm sorry if I'm butting in. But I'm just trying to help Lobo be settled with some kind of answer he can be satisfied with. (However I think really fast girls bearing scary swords scare him.) But all jokes aside, I just hope you guys to come to some sort of conclusion soon. (with the least amount of bloodshed as possible) :T

The Organization
08-08-2013, 02:39 AM
Evasion entails that Acel sees the attack coming. Since Acel's fighitng style is dependent on her speed, she incredibly vulnerable to counter attacks and grapples. And projectiles, with even with her Aether shield a round moving at her as she was moving toward it would do severe amounts of damage and be completely unavoidable.

The problem with using abstract terms like energy, that its up to interpretation
The best way I could explain it would be that:
Acel has about enough energy for 4-5 minutes in Demon Form from the start.
The energy strain of demon form is 1750 as opposed to that of Normal for which is 250. The numbers aren't important, the ratio is. Demon form uses about 7 times the energy that normal form does, so I would reason that Acel has about enough energy for 35 minutes of normal use. Sustaining speed, using her weapons, or her health regeneration will drain from this pool as well. Acel's top speed would entail using 100 percent of her energy either in a single burst or over time, either way the g forces and friction would kill her immediately and she would have no energy left for demon transformation let alone healing factor.
So at maximum Acel will move at half her top speed because she needs the other half to stop.

35(at most) minutes of normal use would entail subsonic boosts

Chamel
08-08-2013, 06:50 AM
Sooooo I might be polled with E-Blends..? Alright, I can give it a go. My story would still depict a fight between Acel/Walden/Chance right?

EDIT:: Neeevermind. Went back and re-read the post.

ErrorBlender
08-09-2013, 03:14 PM
Well, I just realized that the deadline was until August 12 and NOT 10. I was sort of panicking already...

Chamel
08-09-2013, 03:24 PM
Haha! Keep your cool E-Blends. You got a couple more days.

The Strongest
08-10-2013, 03:32 AM
My apologies for any weirdness my piece may have. But as of now, I'm going into NaNoWriMo-style for finishing this by the deadline. Doesn't help that I may have kind of accidentally moved it up on myself.

Okay~! I've reached an "adequate" stopping point. Which means I get one day to expand and revise! You're going down, The Organization! You, too, Chamel! This piece, according to my sleep-addled head, will definitely be scoring a 10/9!

Chamel
08-10-2013, 09:22 AM
I sure hope my piece is up to par e_e Almost done...

Lobotomizer
08-10-2013, 11:04 AM
My apologies for any weirdness my piece may have. But as of now, I'm going into NaNoWriMo-style for finishing this by the deadline. Doesn't help that I may have kind of accidentally moved it up on myself.

Okay~! I've reached an "adequate" stopping point. Which means I get one day to expand and revise! You're going down, The Organization! You, too, Chamel! This piece, according to my sleep-addled head, will definitely be scoring a 10/9!

Best you do your job right; I trust you to crush everyone with the power of ⑨

The Strongest
08-10-2013, 01:08 PM
I am The Strongest of a relatively weak group, which usually dies in droves. I, at least, do not die in droves. Unlike the words I put to digital paper. I've decided that I'm actually equally happy with either victory or failure, at this stage. And now I need to swap Walden's bio around when this round ends.

Chamel
08-10-2013, 01:36 PM
Just know I won't be going down without a fight >:D

The Strongest
08-10-2013, 01:53 PM
01

From darkness into light. Walden looked around him at the arrangement of others like him. Gladiators, all of them, he expected. Some of them knew each other, some of them seemed less knowledgeable. And then there was Walden, not truly recognizing anyone, none of them truly recognizing him. So be it. Something seemed off, and a moment passed before Walden realized that it seemed he was unable to see through his right eye. Before he could comment on it, the maze that would become the real battleground began to really take its shape. So much was happening at once, Walden missed out on what interaction there was. Instead, his head seemed to be filled with the angry buzzing of flies. Ultimately, Walden found himself alone in a labyrinth, with nowhere to go but forwards. So that's what he did.

Wandering without a way to whittle the myriad of options down to a definite clear course proved to be tiresome, but it seemed to be Walden's only option. He had, during that time, discovered that he had a runestone of sorts about his neck, and some sort of a card within his pocket. Walden took the two items in his hands and examined each in turn. The rune proved to have a rather disturbing visage, with an image of an eye crudely carved into it with a blade of some sort. Despite the primitive technique, the depiction fell into the uncanny valley, and Walden was happy to tear the stone from his neck and tuck it into his pocket. The card was much less difficult to look upon, instead it showed an image of one of the other gladiators he had managed to catch a glimpse of before the walls rose, his name, and an inscription denoting the item as his key. Walden wondered a moment about which of the other six held his own key.

Just around the next corner, Walden found himself hearing a sound he hadn't been expecting, the baying of a pack of wolves. He didn't need to peek around the harsh edge to confirm his immediate suspicion. Those wolves were spiritual in their nature, much like his own. In fact, they came in the same number of his own pack: twelve. It was only when Walden sensed the unnatural madness that their spirits radiated that he recognized the pack as actually being his own. The realization brought him a measure of shock, though not one as strong as his previous fight's had been filled with. It seemed that it was not just these keys that had been shuffled amongst the fighters. Here, now, their abilities were, as well. But if she had received his wolves, then what had he gained?

A moment of recovery, and then Walden opted to take his peek. Looking past the dozen wolves that had yet to pick up on his scent, he found himself looking at the face of a young woman. Not just looking at her face, though, but directly into her eyes. Somehow, Walden had been detected by her before his own wolves. That revelation proved more disturbing to him than the first. Something else, however, managed to catch her attention, and she began moving in its direction without paying Walden another glance. He didn't seem to pose a threat to her, and it seemed unlikely that an ambush on her would prove successful.

It was the sound of his wolves leaving that clued Walden in that he was out of the danger zone for the time being. Walden pitied her for a moment, as the pack would likely make her a very easy target to pick out. That pity was dulled, however, by the realization that Walden's source of strength was also with that Gladiator. The realization gave him pause, and he took stock of what he did have with him to utilize in this fight. There was his pistol, and his cane. And, of course, the sword that was kept in his cane. What did all of that add up to, ultimately? At the same time, Walden felt oddly calm about his current condition. Maybe he could take advantage of his situation, somehow. If he could just find out what was wrong with his eye.

The aging Gladiator held up a hand to his defunct eye and waved it back and forth experimentally. No luck, however. That eye's functionality was still at zero. Almost on a whim, Walden made a conscious effort to will the eye back into working. A disorienting flash was his reward, as if suddenly half the world had come back into existence and then vanished again just as quickly. At least the eye hadn't been destroyed, somehow. No, it was just being finicky, it seemed. Perhaps it was the kind of thing that would get better over time. Or maybe he had better be thinking of finding himself one of StickPage City's excellent doctors, soon. This tournament would likely be the death of him, the way things were going. Three seconds was all the time Walden waited, then, before he proceeded in the direction that it seemed the woman with his wolves had been coming from.

The stone walls were more bland than not, not allowing him to readily see any distinguishing marks that he could take advantage of in order to proceed in a manner that could at least pretend to have a set and usable direction. He, Walden, was lost in the maze. Nothing was occurring besides walking.

Step. Step. Tap. Step. Step. Tap. Clunk.

The sound of his cane had become so familiar that it almost covered up the much heavier sound that of a metal boot approaching from the opposite direction. Walden was keenly aware of his weakened state, and so the appeal of a side path was greatly magnified when his gaze fell across it. As quickly as his body would allow, Walden got himself into that side path. Really it was just an intersection going down a similar path to the one that Walden had just left. But perhaps it would be enough to escape attention for the time being.

Heavy footfalls continued their way, and then they began to pass Walden. By some miracle, the heavily armored individual seemed more occupied with something other than checking alternate paths. Just plowing straight forwards, not even turning its head. Walden wondered for a moment if, maybe, it was a construct of the maze, as he didn't recognize Bl.An.C's figure. While the heavily armored behemoth continued forwards, Walden skirted around the corner and proceeded in the opposite direction.

It wasn't long before the series of one-sided introductions came to a close, though really Walden only a sudden blur speeding past an intersection he was approaching. The thought of what was happening crossed his mind, and he expected that blur to find the way out of this maze first, if only because it seemed like it could traverse its entirety the fastest. It made Walden conscious, once again, of how painfully slow he moved without his wolves. No way to correct that just then, though. Walden walked.

02

It was only a matter of time before Walden's walking brought him to a fight. In this case, the dice fell in his favor. The fight that Walden's walking brought him to was one already in progress. The woman from earlier was locked in combat with a stick figure sporting a blue headband, grey t-shirt, and black cargo pants. Said stick figure also seemed to be missing an eye. Walden didn't take long to put the situation together. At the same time, it didn't take long for Walden to attract the attention of not just one, but both of the fighters.

“You've got my eye. Give it back, or I'll take it back myself, with interest.” the Stick-man growled. Walden's irritated retort was stifled by the howl of one of his wolves. The action prompted the woman to turn herself to face Walden and the figure equally, forming an equilateral triangle of rather hostile feelings. The stick man was dripping with blood, but from the way he stood, it was as if he had not been wounded. The woman, on the other hand, was standing as if she had, certainly, been wounding rather severely. In spite of that fact, she seemed almost devoid of blood. At least, the blood that one would expect from the wounds that her body language suggested was not present. Fresh blood seemed to be forming, however, and Walden wondered how it was she was able to continue to stand, even. Powerful determination, perhaps.

“You're not even using it correctly. Do you know who you're stealing from? You're old enough to have heard of me, I'm sure. The stick-man continued. Walden, at that point, was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation. A free for all, of all things. That's what this was. And it was against opponents who he didn't expect to be able to keep at bay with a few wolves while being able to match an opponent's strength. There wasn't any way that he could win, it seemed. Walden searched the situation, tuning out the stick figure's voice. The woman spoke as well, but Walden didn't hear her.

From the distance he was at, Walden's shaking hand on his cane was an invisible action. But what his opponent's couldn't see, Walden could feel coursing through his blood. If he had had his pack, Walden would have been the Pack already. As luck would have it, that bullet was dodged. Somewhere in the usual pre-fight discourse, however, Walden found himself unlocking the power he had been issued. Perhaps it was his desperation to find a way to level the playing field, or perhaps it was because of the new perception on the tournament that he had entered that the Saint's Evil Eye revealed not just its secrets to Walden, but all the secrets around him. In that instant, Walden could perceive the exact locations of the runes and keys on both of his opponents. It was just a matter of taking advantage of that.

In the back of his mind, Walden could feel something holding him back, urging him against the path that he was beginning to look down. In spite of it, or perhaps because of the feeble arguments of the voice, Walden's own virtues and vices began to break down and mold together. The code of honor and the rage mixed together with the burden he felt he bore and the wonder at the world just beyond the land of the living. That strange mixture poured itself out into a mold that had been shaping with each transformation into the Wolfpack. Inside Walden, so close to being able to fight on the level of his opponents, but unable to find an honorable way to do so, something snapped.

In the same metaphoric motion, Walden's arm snapped up. As he was slowly breaking down, he had been feeling for his pistol, and when his fingers wrapped around the weapon, it was just as the tendrils of the hatred that had been eating away at him ever since he had first bound his pack to his will had wrapped about his heart.

The action did not go unnoticed, but their reactions were slow. Nobody had gotten serious about the fight yet, nobody had chosen to fight at their height just then. That progression, that inhibition, that chain that had held him back for so long...once it was gone, everything seemed to go so much easier.

Walden's arm had snapped up, directing an antique dueling pistol at the woman whose name Walden had never even known. And in the same span of a second, Walden's finger had pulled the trigger. The sharp retort of the pistol that continued to ring in Walden's ears even as the woman's body began to fall was nothing compared to the outrage inside Walden's own head. Decades had been spent enforcing a code that, for all intents and purposes, he was brushing aside as one might brush the dust off their shoulder. The pistol was empty, and for Walden, the glass that so many liked to look at as life was empty as well.

Whether he knew it or not, Walden's shot had not been aimed to kill. Instead, it had been aimed at the rune stone that bound his wolves to the woman. Behind it, in the same pocket, was an indestructible key. A deus ex machina that had been set up from the very beginning of the event.

Two wolves leaped for the stick man, and two wolves were dispatched as easily as one might swat a fly. But Walden's lack of inhibition continued even to this point, and he threw himself at the remaining opponent. Ten wolves broke apart and like liquid strength flowed into his body. Walden was fast, faster than any average human, and certainly faster than an old man who had just been relying on a cane could have ever been. The stick figure, another nameless fighter to Walden, found one of Walden's hands about his face, and a stone wall about the remainder of his head. A sharp glare was Walden's reward, but the Saint found that the arm that would have delivered his counterattack was stopped by a blade of silver-covered steel. Stopped doesn't quite capture what had happened, however. The Saint's hand had been stabbed clean through, and the blade hadn't stopped. Instead, it had continued into his chest, and even further still, it had embedded itself partly into the wall.

“Do you know who has claimed your power?” Walden asked the pinned Saint, his voice dripping with a venom that he had suppressed for years. “My name is Walden. Remember it, because if you hear it again, it will be the last one you ever hear.”

The Gladiator looked down at his pinned foe and found the key and rune stone he possessed. It didn't take more than a moment to relieve the Saint of such burdens. Bargaining chips and leverage, that's all they were.

Walden began to walk away, but his gait was unsteady. His body was stronger, certainly, but his mind couldn't keep up the utter ruthlessness that it had managed to resort to in that brief moment. Even if he had freed himself, however briefly, from the confines of his code, it was that same code that had kept the Pack down. Now he could feel the creeping sensation that the two wolves that had fallen in step behind him were eying him as prey, rather than looking to him as master.

Walden wandered, weeping silently for himself, for he felt within himself that he was slipping away.

03.

By the time Walden came upon the strange tunnel of metal, he had ceased to cry. He had ceased to do a lot of things, as well, such as see the walls of the maze that were not directly in front of him. He had seen his destination for quite some time. And he continued towards it, still, because that's where he knew his quarry to be heading. Where he had lacked a scent to follow, Walden had more than made up for in things to check in the form of direct visual confirmation.

Just on the other side, a woman whose outfit seemed to suggest the habitation of a future world quite unlike his own world affectations of an age long past was walking. More importantly, to Walden, was the fact that this woman was carrying a card bearing his likeness. From what he had gathered, that card was the key to leaving this maze. Literally. So Walden thanked his lucky stars that his prey was walking along a path that was not only running parallel to his own, but directly to a tunnel that had two entrances. One for her, and another for him.

A few moments of walking, and there he was, looking across the well-lit tunnel of metal at the one who stood between him and escaping. Walden drew his pistol, and saw that it was still unloaded. He began to take steps to correct that.

“You, there, m'dear. You have something that I treasure quite dearly, I think.” somewhere, the old gentleman was being made to dance like a puppet. Even as the honey-coated words were put out as bait, Walden continued to load the pistol, only looking up from his work to deliver his next line.

“I, in turn, believe that I have something that you desire.” Walden withdrew a rune stone that bore the insignia of The Organization on it, a symbol that Acel recognized immediately. She figured out just what it was almost as quickly as she could move.

“Therefore, what I propose is simple. I have grown tired of this fighting, and so I propose a contest. A foot race. You seem to be of an athletic disposition, based on a first impression. So I imagine that such an event would fit you like a glove.”

Walden anticipated an easy victory. After all, whatever her talents, she was ultimately little more than another human. Walden knew himself to be capable of besting any human, thanks to his spirits. He'd been keeping the same ten him the entire time, and their constant emotional noise had been getting to him to the point that he had simply begun to tune out even his mind. It was nothing but a bleeding heart, anyways, still mourning the loss of his honor without the Pack's interference.

“A race? I guess it's one way to observe your capabilities outside of a combat scenario. But I could have done that just as well by watching you run to catch the bus.” the woman replied. “You can call me Acel.”

“My name is Walden.” Walden replied curtly. He finished loading his pistol, but stopped what he was doing with it. “I suppose a starter pistol seems rather quaint, and it would give an unfair advantage to me. I won't have it.”

Walden considered for a moment, his dilemma, and then snapped his fingers in realization. He withdrew the key belonging to Kalena and held it up.

“When this item reaches contact with the floor of this tunnel, we shall begin. From this end, here where we stand, to the fan on the opposite side. If you would accompany me, we shall each place our item at that end. The first one to reach the items shall claim them both. Both did as was suggested, there, and then they both met at the flat-sided end of the tunnel.

Perhaps she suspected it, but Walden had been careful to conceal his intention of simply betraying her in that moment with a pistol round to the back.

“I hope you're ready to outrun a bullet. Because if you can't do that, then you won't be outrunning me.” Walden quipped carelessly. The banter-like disguise, however, had been expected, and so it was simply a mental note to Acel about the aging gladiator's enjoyment of the pre-fight routine.

Walden held up the card, looked to see that Acel was ready, and threw it ahead of him. The faint clack as it struck the metal surface was their signal, and they both began to run. In an instant, before Walden's treachery could even leave his head and form itself into actions, Acel was halfway across the tunnel. Walden could only look in shock as she completed the race, and that urge to cheat seemed to shrivel by the moment as he looked to see what it had managed to do: nothing at all.

As she was reaching for her prize, however, that deceitful murmur did succeed in doing something. Once again, it managed to pull the trigger. The musketball tore through the air, and by instinct more than by conscious decision, Acel continued to reach, knowing the Aether Shield could stop such an attack. Or it could have, if she'd been a bit faster in reaching for the rune and subsequently crushing it. The price for those few seconds was the removal of those same fingers that had been reaching out to take up the rune. Cut down in their prime.

Somewhere through the haze of shock and pain, Acel heard the Wolfpack's howl.

04

Walden had transformed, sinking into the Wolfpack to escape the damage he was doing to himself through his actions. The Wolfpack had no such thought process, it only sought to do damage to the target that it saw in front of it.

Acel didn't plan to die just then, not with her knowledge unreported. Recognizing the massive threat increase, she felt herself slip somewhat into her own inner demons. Hybridizing ruthlessness and compassion together, it was no different, perhaps, than Walden mixing the living and the dead fleshes together to form something stronger.

Acel didn't make a war cry, she didn't scream some inhuman syllable, she didn't make a sound. She simply ran forward, too quickly for Walden to react at first, and with fingers that moments ago had been rolling along the metal floor the hybrid-formed Acel slammed Walden into the side of the tunnel. It was when he felt the metal seeming to hug his head and upper torso that the deadly wind tunnel finally began to reveal its true purpose.

The fan began to whirl, and before Acel could run, one of Wolfpack's claws was gripping her leg, seeming to use her as an anchor to pull itself from the metal. Such was, perhaps, not the best idea, as the little envelopment would have served to keep him in place better than the fragile speedster could against the fan. The danger was made more apparent when, behind them, spikes emerged from the once-flat wall. It felt like a cliché twisted into something more original, but Walden wasn't there to appreciate such things.

The Wolfpack only saw its prey kicking it loose and using its ability to accelerate without regard to physics, and it couldn't stand for that. Walden stood between the door closer to the wall of spikes, so the only way was forwards, towards the fan. Using its claws to tear into the metal to gain traction, Wolfpack began to crawl forward. Acel was long gone. Something that wasn't quite as long gone, however, was the rune stone that Walden had once used to instigate this encounter, and the card that would have freed him.

Somehow, the invincible key digging into his flesh brought an odd clarity to the Pack's snarling. Staring into the face of the man that was buried at the core of the monster clawing its way steadily forwards, something changed in the already tottering balance of the creature's mind. In an unexpected resurgence, a sense of honor began to fill Wolfpack's mind, until the man who had given in to the monster seemed to begin to assert its control over the monster from within.

When Walden pulled himself out from the tunnel with the aid of his new body, Acel had apparently retreated. Walden stood up, key in hand, and walked towards the exit. The maze had changed him, but it had changed the Pack as well. Walden had walked into the heart of his own darkness, and now he emerged from it again. If he could defeat his own demons, then it seemed that it was necessary that he go out and show the rest of the other Gladiators the meaning of the word honor.


Fun fact: I've decided it would be better to just channel Rin Tezuka and declare myself done.

Chamel
08-10-2013, 09:38 PM
This is going to sound bad because it's so close to the deadline, but am I able to bypass a battle? Like no fighting, just using wits and even possibly a tag team?

Hewitt
08-10-2013, 09:57 PM
Do whatever you feel will win the crowd XD

Chamel
08-12-2013, 06:33 AM
Hewwy! Got a situation D:

Estimating less than 1k words away from finishing, but I won't be able to finish it tonight... I don't know how well others are doing either... So could I ask for at least a 1-2 day extension? Nothing much, just enough time to get a completed entry.

ErrorBlender
08-12-2013, 07:09 AM
I'm almost done. Just need intense amount of editing and such.

About your situation Chamel, I'd think that it would be like as Mecha-Hewitt had suggested to _Ai_ back in the first round. _Ai_ would continue his work and pass but he'd get a deduction of five points per day he'd exceed the deadline.

EDIT :: Finished my entry.


Bl.An.C. awoke, confused and in a daze. He retracted his helmet almost immediately to take in a deep breath. The air was fresh and he could clearly say that they were outside. Once he had his breath, Cooper gazed up from his position and gathered whatever intel he could.

From his vantage point, he was atop some sort of hexagonal platform where multiple lines spread and scattered across like a web. Immediately, his helmet whizzed back and his lone jade eye glowed alive. The emerald optic zoomed in on his surroundings, and saw the familiar faces of Ensiron and Chance as well as some recognizable ones from the lounge. The rest were new gladiators and these were the ones Bl.An.C. had taken note of.

Before he could do a complete scan on anyone, the ground shook slightly which set Cooper off balance for a moment. Huge slabs of stone arose from the ground and continued to do so endlessly until what seemed to be the peak of the sky. He was surrounded with massive walls of rock that created paths branching to every side of the hexagon platform he was currently standing on.

“Observation: A maze like structure built to keep us all in.” The android told himself and attempted to call for a wing pack in order to secure aerial superiority.

He waited for a few seconds until he realized nothing was materializing. Surprised, he attempted to reach Alice. “Query: Alice, are you there?”

All there was was the sound of static.

He was alone.

He retracted his helmet and placed his fingers on the bridge of his nose, he tried to think of what could have happened and what could be done. As he brought down his hand, it snagged something. His finger got caught in a string wrapped around his neck and allowed his digit to trace the string down towards what hung on it. It was some sort of amulet; a weird stone that glowed with power. He glanced to his side and noticed the sword from where he had stood. The weapon was stabbed to the ground and its handle stuck out at waist height. The android snatched it from its place and tested it out. He slashed at the air with unprecedented familiarity that even surprised him.

‘When did I – ?’ Bl.An.C.’s thought was cut short by a strong call from behind him.

“Milady!” A voice yelled from behind him. The android looked over his shoulder and saw a young man knocking ceaselessly on the stone slab.

“Query: Who are you?” The android called out to the young man.

“I’m Corvon.” He said, backing himself to the wall’s face. He wore a simple cloth garb, and his hair was neatly combed down. “Where’d you get that?” Corvon said surprised to see the Sword of Truth in the android’s hands.

“Statement: I found it.”

“Then give it back, it does not belong to you.” Corvon requested and even approached the android with his outstretched hand.

“Statement: No. It seems we are all gladiators here and I have the better weapon.” The android said. He twirled the sword in his hand and pointed it at Corvon. ‘How do I even know how to do that?’ he thought. The movement flowed out as if his body knew every movement, knew the weight of the sword by heart and the length of it as well. The point was already pricking at Corvon’s throat.

“Hey, wait.” Corvon stammered. “I’m no gladiator. I just accompany Kalena so that she remains unharmed.” He said, his arms raised to show no intention for harm.

Bl.An.C. retracted the sword and gazed around. “Query: So you are but a companion to the other gladiator behind that wall?”

“Yes.” Corvon answered truthfully. “Milady needs that sword to survive and me to make sure she does.”

The man took a few steps back. “So, I won’t allow you to leave without me getting that sword.” He said tersely as he shook. He knew what these gladiators are capable of. Slaughter, bloodshed and a bit more, there was an off chance that this one was like Trey but who could say?

“Observation: You are shivering, Corvon.” Bl.An.C. noticed. “Conclusion: You are not meant to be on the battlefield, only in the sidelines it seems from your movements.”

A booming voice echoed throughout the maze, it was The Host. "Listen well, gents. All you have to do is escape..." he began. The next sentences were elaboration on the rules, the runes and keys wringed on their necks with string and the switch ups. After his speech, The Host simply went silent.

Corvon and Bl.An.C. stood quietly, taking in the information given to them.

“So, I am stuck with you.” Corvon said.

“Affirmation: As long as this rune isn’t destroyed, you and the sword are bonded to me.” Bl.An.C. stared at the curious stone hanging on the string. Another was apparently hanging along with it, a golden card with a hole where the string could slip through and it seemed normal looking, except for the tribal design of an eye drawn horizontally with the words “The Saint” written neatly at the bottom. The card was obviously the key, the target of his opponent for him to get out of the maze.

Corvon’s spirits were lifted upon hearing those words. Maybe he could destroy that rune so that he would be free of this man and run off to find Kalena.

Bl.An.C., realizing the hope he brought when he uttered those words, glared at Corvon. “Statement: I know what you are thinking. You hope release by destroying the rune. Hypothesis: Let’s say you do and you manage to get the sword from me. How certain are you that you will survive the maze long enough to get to your companion?”

I have mage sight; I can find Kalena easily in this place. I can even dodge the gladiators!

“Continuation: Additionally, the gladiators are all hunting people and some know Kalena.” The android said. “…if they know you and your connection to her and manage to capture you. What are you to her then?”

Corvon swallowed. Dead weight… The mage was about to speak when Bl.An.C. immediately interjected.

“Assurance: I promise I will lead you back to your companion after my battle and an errand.” He said simply.

Corvon eyed Bl.An.C. watchfully, trying to discern whether he was lying or not. It was hard to tell since there was no intonation in his voice nor does the android move in any way as he talks. Then he was reminded that the person he was talking to had the sword.

Whoever holds the sword is bound to truth. He thought. Corvon breathed in deep and exhaled. “Fine. I will follow you for now.” He said finally.

“Suggestion: You may assist me in taking down The Saint. At least that way, my errand will end quicker and you will get reunited faster.” The android told Corvon as he gazed around to decide which area he was to go with.

“If that is the case…” Corvon said. “I will help. I know a trick, this might take a moment.”

The novice mage breathed in and closed his eyes. He removed any idle thoughts and gathered the magic he had. Slowly, colors began to spool into his head, threads of different spectrums moved sporadically until they had resolved into a sort of map of the stone labyrinth. The mage could see six spots running across the maze, one of which he could recognize as Kalena. He decided on tricking Bl.An.C..

“The Saint is this way.” Corvon said plainly. He pointed at the leftmost hall from where Bl.An.C. had stood.

“Query: How do you know?” The android stared at Corvon, his gaze unmoving which unnerved the mage a bit.

“I have mapped out the entire area already in my head. I can use my magic to pinpoint people.” It was an effort to keep from stammering but Corvon managed somehow. He followed Bl.An.C.’s stare eye for eye.

“Statement: Very well. We will go the other way.” The pseudo-android said, as he immediately faced the other hall.

“What? Why?” Corvon asked, as he ran towards the black suited man.

“Response: I wish to battle the Saint with my own weapons. I will have to find the person with my gear, in which afterwards, I will crush your rune and allow you to go to Kalena. I will escort you to her myself after I get my gear.” Bl.An.C. replied. “Request: If you may, keep tabs on the Saint.”

“Oh… sure.” Corvon said meekly. His plan failed and the novice mage sighed in disappointment. “What is your name then?”

“Statement: Bl.An.C.” The android responded.

Time passed by as the uncanny duo walked through the stone maze. Occasionally, they’d hear the scream of fellow gladiators and sounds of combat. The walls themselves shook as if they were struck with a powerful blast.

“Query: How close are we to the nearest gladiator, path wise?” The android asked suddenly.

“Well,” Corvon breathed in. “I’ll check.”

Bl.An.C. looked around as Corvon used his mage sight. He walked a few steps away from Corvon towards the T-crossing. The android’s auditory sensors immediately picked up the sound of steps increasing in volume.

“Statement: Corvon.” The android called out to his companion, the volume of his voice lowered to mimic a whisper.

The novice mage’s eyelids burst open and was about to say something when the android held his hand out to signal Corvon to keep quiet. Corvon nodded and stayed silent. Bl.An.C. held the Sword of Truth tighter this time. “Command: Attack when I give the signal…”

Corvon breathed in and nodded. His eyes widened. There really was a gladiator nearby.

Everything went silent, the android’s sensors picked up close to nothing. He inched closer to the intersection. The silence was broken when Corvon whispered as loudly as he could. “Bl.An.C.!”

The android looked up and saw the figure of a man with crimson red tentacles shooting out from his back. The tendrils flowed like a stream as they pierced the walls which allowed the man to traverse the maze easily. His jade optic zoomed into the tendrils, scanning the composition and returning viable data on what it was made of.

“Observation: The man has Chance’s power” He murmured. The tendrils were no doubt made of blood and most probably belonged to Chance.

The man traversed above the two until he reached the point where he was between them both. The bloody limbs retracted themselves from the wall, inevitably allowing the man to fall to the ground. “It seems I have found my target.” The man with a scar across his eye looked over his shoulder. He flicked his wrist and out came the card; it was golden like the android’s but held a green eye radiated with three lines. He stared at his suited target. “…Bl.An.C.”

“Statement: Saint.”

Corvon stepped back slightly; he could sense the blood, the living blood circulating in the tendrils. He felt like puking.

“The name’s Mccaw Rindar. Saint is just a tag name.” The man shrugged.

Bl.An.C. kept silent and twirled the blade in his hand. He assumed a stance, somewhat instinctively.

“So no talk eh, just fight?” Mccaw asked. “Well, if that’s the case.” The Saint smiled maniacally as the crimson tentacles points sharpened into blades. Their sharp tips pointed at Bl.An.C. “I have to ask though. Who is that guy?”

Mccaw gestured his head towards Corvon. “Never heard that the tournament allowed spectators.”

“Statement: He isn’t” Bl.An.C. nodded. Mccaw noticed the gesture.

Rindar looked back and saw the look of affirmation in Corvon’s eyes which seemed to switch from idleness to quick determination. Before he could register the trap he had gotten himself into, Corvon had already uttered a few words before he yelled at the top of his voice: “Arc flare!”

Corvon directed the flow of fire at the Saint; the novice mage’s open palm surged a laser beam of flames which inevitably reached Rindar and enveloped him in an explosive array of yellow fire. The blood user screeched in pain, a faint shade of himself was visible from the fire fingers and body contorted in sheer anguish.

The Saint’s cries of agony quickly morphed into hysterical laughter that caught both Bl.An.C. and Corvon by surprise. The flames slowly dissipated, embers licked at what seemed to be a covering of red coagulated blood. Rindar’s smile peeked through the crust of burnt liquid. “Nice try, mage.” The Saint uttered, his grin the most prominent feature of his face. The blood flaked and slowly drifted down to the stone floor as he moved. Slowly, the crimson tendrils retook their forms, the tips began to spiral and speed up. “I will make you bleed for that.”

Corvon swallowed and stepped back as Mccaw’s tendrils advanced. The android moved quickly as he rushed in, the blade felt comfortable in his hands as he attempted to strike at the blood user’s back. Unexpectedly, Rindar faced the android at the last second and brought turning along with him. The crimson appendages slammed at the android’s side and threw him towards Corvon. The mage staggered back as he saw the android’s body thrown in front of him. “You okay?” He asked.

“Reply: Never been better…” The android said. He stabbed the sword to the ground using it as support to bring him up. As he stood up, he felt a sort of power course through him from the sword, a cool refreshing feeling that he could draw from the blade when it struck earth.

The Saint had his tendrils advance towards the android. “DIE.” He muttered.

He couldn’t help ask. “Query: Corvon, does this blade have special qualities?”

“Yes,” Corvon replied quickly. ‘This man is a lunatic! He’s not even moving away from the attack!’ The mage intervened with a shout; he stepped between the android and the tentacles of blood. “Aegis!”

Four plates of gold manifested before the mage, all of which formed an impenetrable shield against the Saint’s attack. The tendrils of blood exploded as they impacted on the shield, scattering droplets of blood everywhere.

The feeling of this sort of power was new to Bl.An.C.; it was both exhilarating and shocking, to think powers like this are just out there. Corvon looked behind him as he maintained the shield. “Yes, that sword has power. It can rend the earth as long as it touches it.” He said breathlessly, both his hands were outstretched towards the aegis.

Several more impacts hammered down on the shield until the mage felt an extra weight clamped on. Corvon looked at the top of his barrier and saw the bloodied grin of the Saint.

“Knock knock.” Rindar chimed.

“Reply: Who’s there?”

Corvon sensed the blade’s magic at work and instinctively leapt to one side. The Aegis dissipated and allowed Mccaw to fall but his feet would never feel the earth below his feet.

Bl.An.C. swept the Sword of Truth upwards and ripped the earth as he did. A pillar of stone erupted from the floor and struck Rindar squarely at the chest. The attack launched the blood user into the stone wall, fractures and cracks spread like a spider’s web from the impact point. The android stormed towards Mccaw, trailing the blade onto the ground. The earth itself was magnetized towards the metal of the sword as it crept up and encased it in solid rock.

Rindar was wedged onto the wall, his face confused at what had just happened. His vision slowly cleared up as he saw an earthen weapon race towards his gut. Quickly, he mustered all the blood he had on him and focused it to scab in one area. The blow slammed him onto the wall and it crumbled behind him. Mccaw tumbled through the hole and into the corridor. He felt numb all over but forced himself to his feet. The Saint brushed of the dust from his clothes and felt an eerie presence within the area. He couldn’t see five feet in front of him due to an ominous haze that had engulfed him and the area around him seemed to chill his bones. Then he heard them. He heard voices.

Corvon rushed towards Bl.An.C., who now knelt on the ground. “You should not exert too much.” The mage said alarmingly. “You may be a warrior but that sword requires more than muscle to wield.” The mage attempted to help the android stand by grabbing his arm. The blood left over snaked towards the hole, slowly accelerating until little was left of it.

“Reply: I am no warrior, Corvon. I am a scientist.” The android said simply as he shrugged off Corvon’s help and climbed into the hole.

‘He may not be Kalena but they both are stubborn.’ He grimaced as he followed the blast android.

Bl.An.C. entered the hall. Everything about it felt wrong, the area was unnaturally dark and lit by a strange light above. An extremely thick fog moved with an invisible breeze. The light from the hole pierced through the pale miasma, shedding light to the featureless area. Corvon stepped onto the pale white floor. His eyes widened almost immediately. “Bl.An.C.! This place! It’s a—“ Before the mage could finish his sentence, the hole suddenly spiraled to a close. The area was suddenly plunged into a deep darkness. Bl.An.C.’s green eye and lines across his arms and legs were the brightest light sources as of now, the light above was faded too much that the only thing you could really make out was itself.

“Continuation: A trap?” The android eye faced Corvon.

“A trap meant for souls.” Corvon said grimly.

Right at that moment, faint whispers echoed around them. They were undecipherable mumbles but they screamed pain with their hushed tones. Corvon steeled himself, he was used to these things; the magical training he had endured encompassed the supernatural and things beyond life. Dealing with magic would eventually lead you to dark forces. “Bl.An.C. we need to get out of here.” He ushered the android. “Don’t listen to the voices.” He warned.

“Reply: My sensors indicate that there is no end to the corridor. Can you confirm this?” The android asked absently but he didn’t need confirmation. He simply gripped the Sword of Truth and ignored the mage’s warning.

“There is no escape unless we find the key. It should be somewhere here, Bl.An.C.” Corvon closed his eyes as he tried to summon up his energies. If he recalled correctly, soul prisons always have a key for the living to exit. It is usually somewhere within the area.

“Analysis: If what you say is correct, then I suspect the key is…”

Several bands of crimson surfaced from the thick fog and bonded themselves around the android’s arms and legs. The strips of blood coiled tightly around him and dragged him into the white haze. Corvon attempted to reach out and grab the android but he was too late. The fog began to enclose him; dark figures surrounded him, close enough to see that they’re human but too far to recognize who they are.

“What are you really?”

“You aren’t even part of this tournament…”

Corvon slammed shut his eyes and concentrated. ‘I need to concentrate. If that man is as stubborn as milady, he won’t survive without my help.’

“A burden.” The whispers mocked.

“Yes, that’s what you are…”

Corvon gritted his teeth.


The android body was thrown onto the maze walls. The bloody restraints released their coils and Bl.An.C. fell to the ground.

“You know? Your biggest asset…” The voice called out, unmistakably Rindar’s. “Is your biggest fault.”

The android gazed around and saw the multitudes of shades, all too far to reach but their whispers echoed louder the harder he concentrated on one.

“Give in…”

“…that sword isn’t yours.”

Bl.An.C. stayed vigilant, any one of these shades could be Rindar. His auditory sensors picked up the slight breeze; the android brought up his sword in time to block the tendril. From behind, hundreds of pellets bombarded the android. Bl.An.C. fell on the hilt of the sword, the blade’s tip stabbed the ground and the sword supported him.

“Weak…I can’t believe I lost to you…” The voice murmured. Bl.An.C. recognized this one; it was a recent fight. The blue brawler.

“Query: Lucario?!” The android asked astonished.

“The apparitions see your faults, you bucket of bolts. Give up!” Rindar’s voice echoed. Crimson tendrils lashed out at the black suit. The android’s body moved quickly, blocking most of the blows but most pierced through. The tendrils drilled through armor and into Bl.An.C.’s human flesh.

“Oh, so you’re human!” Rindar’s excited voice echoed. “So, the much better!” The android was being pummeled around, stabbed thrown into the walls.

“You are just human, Bl.An.C.” The voice of Lucario whispered. The android looked up from his position on the ground. The shade of the blue brawler stood a few meters away, the glow of his eyes stared at him. The blade was still in his hands, his body spazzed every time the blunt weapons struck down.

“It was just luck that you beat me.”

Hammers began to pound at the android’s back at quick intervals. The puddle of his blood began to spread but one thing had the android watching. The blood was moving. It was moving like a river downhill.

“It’s time I end you so we both can exit this maze. I’ll be alive though and you’ll be somewhere.” Mccaw snickered. The android rolled onto his back, his system HUD blared numerous warnings. The helmet whizzed back, revealing the pale face of Cooper Price. “I know where you are…” He breathed. Blood trickled down his cheek. Breathing turned into a chore, each breath was forced out from the successive poundings. “I…just can’t…”

“You can never beat him.” Lucario’s shade repeated over and over again. The words began to echo in Cooper’s head, slowly convoluting the man’s thoughts. Eating away at his desire to live.

The Saint emerged from the fog. Four of his appendages pointed themselves at Bl.An.C.’s chest and merged into one massive drill. The Saint’s eyes glowered with malice. “Goodbye.”

“No…”

The drill advanced quickly. Cooper moved his arms, forcing them to move was a chore but with all that remained, he brought out the Sword of Truth and blocked the advancing drill with the face of the blade.

“I will not give in this easily.” Cooper gritted his teeth. “Too much…to simply allow myself to die!”

“I admire your conviction, Bl.An.C.” The Saint smirked. “But it’s in vain, whatever you are working on. Now, if you please…”

The drill pushed further as the android’s strength waned.

“….just die.”

“I told you so,” Lucario’s voice whispered. “…never meant to win. Never meant to survive.”

Cooper’s breathing intensified. Was it really going to end here?

“Arc Frost!” A voice called out from the fog. A stream of sky blue energy cut through the haze and swept Mccaw Rindar off his feet. The blood user was slammed onto the corridor’s wall; the ice cackled as it froze the Saint’s body onto the wall, the mist of the beam itself flash froze the most of the tendrils of blood. The crimson appendages caked with ice fell to the pale white floor, shattered like glass as they crashed. The Saint was smacked onto the wall; the remaining blood tendrils lost their form upon his impact and spilled down to the floor. Corvon appeared from the fog, his eyes glowed an unnatural white. “Paegis, form!” He directed his hands towards the man stuck to the wall by ice. Four onyx plated structures bonded themselves onto Mccaw and the wall face. “Stay back,” Corvon yelled.

The Saint muttered curses and profanity. Corvon rushed towards Bl.An.C., surprised to see a human face instead of the jade eye.

“You..you are injured.” Corvon’s eyes widened from the amount of blood loss.

“No kidding…” Cooper managed a smile. “Sorry, I might not be able to bring you back to your lady.”

Corvon remembered that. Even with all this damage, he would remember that?

“No, I won’t accept anything else.” The mage refused. He brought out his hands and slowly applied them onto the most bloodied wounds. “You will fulfill that oath.”

“The voices…they’re right you know?” Cooper mused. “They’re telling me to quit.”

“Didn’t I tell you to not listen to those voices?” Corvon shook his head.

The android felt a surge of heat through his body, strength returned by the second. There were still pains but it was manageable. Cooper sat up, as he felt slightly better. Corvon nodded, the glow in his eyes began to fade. “I’ve used myself up, Bl.An.C.” Corvon said as he slouched and viewed the Paegis he had created. It was fading quickly. “The frost won’t hold him.”

The ice began to crack and fissure. “I will kill you both.” The Saint muttered, his teeth chattering from the cold.

The android stood from his position. “System check.” He ordered.

“System functionality: Sixty-five percent. Power: Eighty-eight percent. Armor state: Forty-nine percent. Weapon Call: Zero percent.” The suit replied. The android twirled his blade, gripped it with both hands and took on a stance. Corvon recognized this. It was the same stance Kalena uses.

The Saint dropped down to the floor, the pools of blood reformed into his usual weapons. The two gladiators eyed each other. Mccaw moved in first and attacked with his appendages of blood. Bl.An.C. advanced; he blocked each strike with the flat of the sword and kept moving as he trailed the Sword of Truth on the ground. The Saint proceeded to attack with a volley of blood bullets. The earth below the android rose up into a cliff which launched him into the air. The Saint smiled. “No earth up there!” He shouted gleefully. His directed his tendrils to pierce the android mid-air but Bl.An.C. deftly blocked each one perfectly. Cooper twirled in mid-air and extended both his arms as they gripped the blade.

“We end this!” Cooper yelled. The blade was brought down onto the Saint; a massive gash traced through his entire chest. The android landed gracefully on is two feet, did a complete turn and delivered a swift kick at the Saint’s body. The blood user was still standing. Bl.An.C. continued his assault of steel, surgically attacking the arms and legs of the Saint. As a final attack, the android twirled and allowed the blade to graze the ground with its point, drawing a complete circle as it did. The android slashed Mccaw right in the face, scarring his left eye. In a few seconds delay, a stone column rose from the ground and struck Rindar’s side, which sent the semi conscious blood user towards Corvon.

Bl.An.C. stood motionless, the Sword of Truth in hand. Had he killed the Saint? No. He knew he missed anything vital but all those attacks could prove fatal from the subsequent bleeding. He moved closer. The fog was thick but he could still make out the figure of Corvon and the Saint.

“You killed him!”

“Murderer!”

Bl.An.C. closed his eyes and remembered all those he killed in his blind fury. All those innocents – he couldn’t bear to see anyone after that.

Corvon scrambled back when he saw the Saint’s scarred body but then he saw something glint in the man’s pockets. It was the card and rune. Despite his growing need to puke from the slaughter, he grabbed the two items and stood up; he used his sleeve to cover up the smell. Bl.An.C. emerged from the fog, his face haggard from the stress and armor damaged severely. The once pulsating green glow was now but a faint light.

“Here are the items, Bl.An.C..” Corvon told the android, giving him the card and rune. Bl.An.C. reached out and claimed the items.

The card shone brightly in Bl.An.C.’s hand and blinded them for a few seconds in a flash of light. When the two opened their eyes, the fog had been cleared and the hall cleansed of the shades.

“Let’s go now.” Bl.An.C. said. Corvon nodded.

EPILOGUE

“Query: How are we supposed to know where your lady is?” Bl.An.C. asked, the helmet now back on.

“I used up my magic…it will take a while before I regain enough for mage sight.” Corvon sighed. “We’d just have to be lucky.”

“Query: Why are you – ?” Bl.An.C. was cut off by a startling sound. Snarls. They were the snarls of wolves.

Suddenly, the two realized they were encircled by a pack of wolves. “Those are substantial spirits…spectral wolves.” Corvon said. The android gripped his blade. They may have been ghosts but these still bore the rage of their living selves.

“Release Corvon, gladiator.” A female voice commanded from behind one of the wolves. Her hair was tied behind her head and she wore a simple dress. If it weren’t for her commanding stare, Bl.An.C. would have mistaken her for a civilian.

“Milady!” Corvon yelled, overjoyed. “Don’t harm him.”

“If he would willingly give you in, I would not harm him.” The pack alpha said assuringly.

“He’s brought me to you, he escorted me.” Corvon said. Kalena looked puzzled, she looked at the android, the man who held the Sword of Truth.

“Confirmation: It is what he says.” The android nodded. “Statement: Corvon has the rune that binds him and your sword to me.”

The mage fished out the small rock from his pocket and handed it over to Kalena. The android beckoned the mage to take the sword as well in which Corvon did quickly.

The swordswoman gazed the rune and the blade at her hands. “What is your reason? You could have slain Corvon and reduced my threat to anyone in the battle.”

“Agreement: True. That would have been the logical thing to do, especially in a time such as this.” The android confided but shook his head. “Statement: It would have been easy to kill him, easy to end it and hunt you down later in the tournament but I can never bring myself to it.”

“Why?”

“Reply: Morals. The fact is, I wish for peace.”

“Then why join the system of bloodshed?”

Bl.An.C. took a moment before he mustered up an answer. “Reply: I have my reasons.”

“Fine. I thank you for returning Corvon and my sword to me.” Kalena said. “And as a favor to you, I will allow you one of my wolves to accompany you. All in all, I ask you one thing.”

“Query: And what might that be?”

“To know the reason of your joining.” Kalena said. “When we meet again on peaceful or violent grounds, you will answer me.”

“Statement: I’ve got nothing against that. See you then.” The android said finally and walked away. The spectral wolf that accompanied him was big and seemed wary of his presence.

Several minutes pass as the android and his companion trek the maze. Bl.An.C. was hunting for the man with his gear in the labyrinth of slaughter. His thoughts were concentrated on how he was to beat the man with his technology with nothing but a damaged suit and a spectral wolf until static filled the com system of his helmet.

“Coop?” Alice said. “Coop, are you there?”

“Affirmation: Yes, Alice.” Cooper smiled. “Query: Do you know what has happened?”

“Yes, I do.” She replied. “I’ve been receiving commands from a similar suit to send in weapons, I could do little to counteract the orders but you’ll be glad to know who has the reins.”

“Query: Who?”

“It’s Chance. He’s one of your allies, right?” Alice said. “Better go find him and ask him nicely for your weapons. I’ve got a neat surprise for you too when you get them.”

“Statement: I won’t need to ask nicely. We’ll trade.” The android said as he gripped the rune in his hand.

blakphoenix
08-12-2013, 04:22 PM
Well I was holding off on posting this until late in the day, but I've proof read this to the best of my abilities and thought "Eff it! They're bound to catch something my eyes forbid me from seeing." I hope to have given you a battle you're proud to head off against Lobotomizer and I can't wait to read yours! :D

Final Hour of the Power Tower

The volley of elemental blasts continued to fend off the onslaught of demonic avian creatures with the assistance of Zero and Zeno. Deftly they felled one feathered assailant after another while maintaining their position atop the old wizard’s tower. Zero remained atop the tower so he could guard the central case holding his gems, as well as ensure the Demon-Avilon’s safety. Zeno took to the skies on the wings of his enemies, leaping from creature to creature as he slew them one by one. As another bird swooped down in an attempt to sink its talons into Zero’s chest, he dodged to the left and accompanied that movement with a swing of his sword at similar speeds. His blow found purchase along the creature’s side as it was cleft in two and slid along the tower top; the momentum it built up carried it over and off the tower’s edge. Zero refocused his attentions on the still bountiful swarm swirling through the air like smoke clouds, bearing an all-encompassing shadow of doom. ”How many more are there?” Was the only thought Zero’s mind could manage from observing the ominous scene; if he was to continue this battle, he would need the rest of his powers back.

Just as quickly as the necessity crossed his mind, his body was swarmed with a surge of familiar energies that coursed through his veins and sunk into the marrow of his bones. His sword emitted a barrage of light waves spanning the entirety of the humanly visible spectrum and died down soon after its flamboyant display of revival. Zero’s eyes were entranced by the lightshow and its swift ending revealed that he had returned to full power. Much like everything else in his duality filled life, this turn of events had a good side and a bad side. “Things are starting to look up.” He thought as he gripped his swords hilt with refreshed determination, but as he observed his gems another thought crossed his mind. “If the gems are with me, does that mean…?”

Just as quickly as the fear crept up his spine, his eyes observed the scene of the defensive expansions on the tower dissipate into nothingness. With Zero’s gems no longer powering the tower the duo was stranded up a creek without a paddle. The swarm seemed to take notice of this new development and began to flock in a more aggressive manner, the swirling smoke condensed into thick black clouds ready to release a downpour of death. The crippling despair did not set in for Zero until he witnessed the body of Zeno plummeting towards the endless abyss surrounding the tower. It was in this despair that the cloud released its torrent of demise aimed for the center of the tower. Without a moment’s thought, Zero found himself lunging for the Demon-Avilon hatchling still crying atop the gem case. As the helpless creature was inches from Zero’s grasp, a sheet of silence was placed upon the world covered by a blanket of darkness. Every ounce of light was concealed and Zero’s consciousness faded, engulfed in the shadows of reality and sealed away from the white light of existence.

Darkness of the Unknown

Weightless…Thoughtless…Zero existed; his mind was at ease within this old and familiar space, it rested upon an in-between of emotion, happily angered and carelessly worried in regards to the filled emptiness he found his consciousness displaced in. He opened his eyes to inspect the shadows which held on to his consciousness; with a blank stare he remained observant of his surroundings. He applied force to the nonexistent floor his body was resting on so he could sit up and begin to search for a way back into reality. Once he lifted his body to a seated position his tranquil mind became alarmed at what stood in front of him. It seemed that even in the dark spaces that reality’s light cannot shine through, the light of Life can find a way. She stood on the same invisible plane as he did and inspected his body to see that it wasn’t damaged in any way. They locked eyes; Zero never lifted his blank stare and seemed to cast a gaze which pierced Life’s mortal shell: revealing her true nature. In silence they waited for something to occur, for someone to speak, though neither had a clue of how to start. After having not spoken to each other for nearly two hundred years, they seemed to have lost all sense of what connected them prior. The tension between the two was too much for Life to bear; she freed her sight and began gazing around the space.

“Ensiron…” She finally uttered his name in a soft yet sheepish manner. He did not respond nor did he free his vision and continued to stare through her. “…do you know where we are?”

Foolishly she locked eyes with him once more during her inquiry. He could see a look of remorse on her face but it did not resonate in her eyes; they appeared to be just as soulless as the last time he spoke to her. This observation pained Zero deeply, rubbing salt on nearly closed wounds only made them fresh once more and Zero finally loosened his eye’s deathly hold on Life.

“Yes…” His voice was bare and devoid of any feeling, yet Life could tell that Zero had aggressive emotions underlying his words as he continued speaking, “…this is the realm Space created that connects the three of us together so we can freely communicate.”

“Good,” Life responded carefully, “since you’re here it must mean that a part of you seeks our council?”

He didn’t respond immediately, not as a way to further the intensity between them but he didn’t know whether or not her statement was true. The fact that his mind entered this realm is enough to confirm her beliefs, but she wants to hear him say it; he wants to hear himself say it as well, finding the drive to do so is all that holds his lips locked. As he scoured his mind he found that there was indeed a parasite gnawing on his curiosity. It entered his body the moment he stepped foot in wRHG territory and has since festered into an infestation that craved satisfaction.

“Why am I here?”

Life responded with a slightly confused “Hm?” She didn’t know how exactly to start answering that question. He realized that it was a foolish thing to ask as the parasites began to chew more viciously on his mind.

“Why…” He spoke again. His voice lacked resolve as he was unable to find a foundation for his question. He tried to dig deeper in his mind, uncovering nothing more than “Why?” after “Why?” after “Why?” His search became more frantic with each unfinished yet unchanging question he uncovered.

“Why am I at the wRHG? Why am I with the F.B.I?” It wasn’t good enough. The parasites stopped chewing even though they too know this answer won’t satisfy them. As long as Zero quells their hunger for just a moment he may be able to find the answer they seek. Life was unaware of his internal struggle and answered the question he asked as though it was his intended course of conversation.

“I thought Kiarah had already told you. You’re at the wRHG so you can strengthen your mortal body enough to hold in your elemental essence. Once that is complete you will begin your quest across all of existence to become an ethereal, like you were born to be. As for your employment to Carson, I simply wanted to make sure that you always had a place to come back to. I could never provide you with a home, not like—“

She stopped mid-sentence, the next words that could have been uttered were not something to be taken lightly right now. Unfortunately she stopped a few words too late, Zero repeated to himself “a home…not like…” It was then that he stood in his field of “Why’s” blinded by a light which illuminated where he had to dig for the question he so desperately attempted to find. Life’s eyes widened as Zero locked his with her again and she could see the raw emotion and unstable energies flowing within his irises in tandem.

“Why…” He began to speak. His voice bore a definite clarity in its renewed resolve. “Why did you let Akiko die?”

As the question was released from his lips, so was the weight that he’d been carrying for nearly two hundred years. The tension Life had been attempting to avoid had found them and in no better light than the one it was shone in all those years ago. Their eyes remained fixed on each other, Life could see in his eyes the pain and longing he still felt. She wanted to ease that eternal suffering, draw in that longing for answers and affection, but that wouldn’t help him. If Zero is to become one of the Ethereals then he would need to stop lingering in the past and the only way to drive him forward was to hurt him more.

“Fine, the real reason I sent you to the F.B.I was so that you could begin taking steps forward again. You need…” She paused. She was about to utter the words she was taking so much care not to say, the same words she didn’t think would have such an effect last time. “You need to move on Ensiron.”

The invisible band that held the room in its weighted air, the tension, Ensiron, and Life collectively had now been broken of what bonds held them together. Ensiron’s face fell from its ledge of pain and longing, into the depths of hatred and anguish. He did not need to speak, Life could read him and wanted so desperately to comfort and console him but she knew she could not risk impeding his progress.

“Ensiron, I know how you feel. I understand your emotions—“

“Don’t!” Zero interrupted with a blazing intensity enflaming his words. “You may know how I feel, but don’t ever say that you understand my emotions!”

“En…Ensiron?” Life was in awe filled confusion, she had never seen him speak in such a manner towards her. The words continued to flow from his soul and drown her attempts to interject.

“You may have given emotions to humans and me but even though you know what they are, you’ll never experience them the way we do!”

“Ensiron, I…”

“You’ll never know what it’s like to make a friend, to be overwhelmed with joy when you see them, and to be overcome with grief at their death!”

“Ensiron please, I DON’T…”

“You’ll never know what it’s like to lose someone you care for, someone who understands you, someone who you want to spend the rest of eternity with, someone—“

“I DON’T WANT TO LOSE YOU ENSIRON!” Burst forth from Life’s lips against her own will. Just as quickly as it escaped, her eyes widened and her hands shot up to cover her mouth.

The two remained locked in silent eye contact, and for the first time Zero could see real emotion behind her sorrowful gaze. His raging anger was being corrupted by the spiraling depression of guilt; he began to feel more terrible for yelling at Life the longer he stared into her eyes. A shining teardrop escaped her eye and began trailing her cheekbone. She reached up to touch the foreign anomaly; her expression became one of complete bewilderment. She then fell to her knees and allowed true sadness to overtake her all-powerful being.

“You don’t understand Ensiron, I am the only Ethereal who knows and embraces these mystical powers Existence imbued within us known as emotions. The others believe me to have weakened myself because of this and treat me as if I’m not even a part of Existence sometimes. All I have to pride myself on is the help I offer you and now, if I lose you too…then…”

She was overwhelmed with grief once more and rendered unable to continue. After hearing this Zero understood Life more than he ever envisioned he would. He stood up, walked over to Life, knelt down, and hugged her; she cried in his arms as he began to apologize and for once, it was her that needed to be comforted.

Land of the Lost

“Every life has a purpose Ensiron; you would do well to remember that.”

Her last words haunted Zero, as they often did, he knew she bore foreknowledge that warranted her to speak such a phrase and it killed him to not know what she meant. Though his eyes were closed he could feel the all-encompassing darkness of his mind space fade and give way to the light of reality. He was down on one knee after his proposal to Life that they should never forsake one another again. His mind raced out of the tunnel of darkness and all that was reality surrounded him once more. The world felt cold and misplaced; a cloud of confusion hung in the immediate area and tension kept it from moving on.

“Kalena! You are alright. I’m hoping.”

A single voice cut into the cloud which gave cause for Zero to open his eyes. The sounds of rumbling rocks accompanied his visual discovery of the world. The noises allowed him to grasp a single image of the remaining tournament contestants all watching as a man and woman walk to meet each other happily. This image was replaced with walls of layered stone rising from the ground, thus separating them, Zero, and assumedly the rest of the contestants. The walls that rose formed a “T” intersection with him in the middle and both the left and right walkways leading away from the direction he was facing. He felt sorry for the two of them being trapped in a dangerous place where they couldn’t be together and hoped to help reunite them if the opportunity arose.

“Every life has purpose huh?” Zero repeated the words to himself as he stood up. He was startled when the task of standing was slightly more cumbersome than usual. He looked over his body and found a few strange objects: two were around his neck, a glowing object shaped like a dodecahedron and a large button, hanging on his waist were metallic hilts, one short and one large, and originally sticking out of his pocket he held up a card shaped stone with the name “Kalena” written on it.

“That’s her; maybe if I get this to her she can be reunited with that man.” It was a sound idea to Zero. He put the card away, turned towards the left walkway, and held his hand out in front of him. These walls came from the earth so why, Zero thought, shouldn’t he be able to simply force them back down? He swung his hand downward in an attempt to control the wall. When no response was given Zero panicked slightly, and then remembered that his necklace wasn’t on him. He grabbed two adornments around his neck and flung them off of him down the left walkway. He then failed at another attempt to control the wall and yelled in frustration.

“What? Why? First I lose five, now they’re all gone! If this keeps up I’ll never get to say my new catchphrase!” His eyes closed in quelled anger; he leaned his back against the wall closest to him and slid down to a sitting position. He was now facing the stem of the intersection as he asked, “What else could possibly make this more of a headache?” As if trained to wait for his cue, Zero’s ears picked up a familiar shriek sounding directly in front of him. Unamused, he lifted his eyelids to see the Demon-Avilon still only partially hatched staring back at him with all four of its beady, wide, and red eyes. They sat in a still silence as they stared at each other for seconds that felt like minutes to Zero. The Demon-Avilon began to open its mouths to ready another shriek and break the silence.

“You know with every shriek you make, your life gains less and less purpose.”

It halted all movement and slowly closed its mouth without making a sound. Zero was about to stand when he was caught off guard by the Confetti-Kitty using his head as a landing pad. It bounced off and landed just to the right of the Demon-Avilon. Zero stood up as it meowed and dusted off his clothes and hair. Knowing that standing still would literally get him nowhere, he picked up the bird creature and walked down the path on his right to pick up the necklaces he threw earlier. He looked down the length of the pathway and saw three off branches along its expanse. He lowered his head in annoyance and met eyes with the Avilon held under his left arm.

“Why haven’t you hatched yet?”

It let out a shriek in response and Zero started down the pathway. After placing one foot down on the path he was stopped by the sounds of violent hacking coming from his initial position. He turned his head to the left to see the Confetti-Kitty being tortured at the mercy of a hairball. With each intense hack its coat changed colors: “Hack: red” “Hack: blue” “Hack: yellow” “Hack: green,” Zero watched in horror, covering the Avilon’s eyes, as this cycle repeated itself three times over leading up to a final long drawn out “HACK!” with its fur flashing through the rainbow over the duration. A chocolate chip cookie then slid out from its mouth and on to the ground. The Confetti-Kitty fell on its side and its body stiffened; the life that once inhabited it was present no more.

With the indescribably horrid scene over Zero approached the corpse in time to watch as it faded out of reality, its body transferring into floating sprites of white energy and lifting to the heavens. He picked up the cookie and flipped it so the back was showing. A small white strip of paper was protruding out and Zero lifted it from the baked dough. “This is not the fortune you are looking for. :)”

“Aw man, I hate it when I get this one.” Zero whined with a stinging disappointment. He ate the cookie and decided to trek on into the maze so he wouldn’t become gripped with despair at his unfortunate fortune. Taking his originally intended path he made his way to the first off branch and decided to go along it.

Seeds of the Future
As he walked he found himself inspecting the Avilon’s egg, wondering why only his head hatched. After wandering the maze for hours, taking automated turns, he found himself at a crossroad with no idea of where to go. The grey stone walls of the labyrinth offered no assistance in guiding him, it seem any sort of markers even those that should be left by time held no grip on this maddening maze. Looking up at the overcast sky in slight frustration, he realized that the walls only reached so high; which gave him an idea. If he could get the Avilon to fly above the walls, he may get an idea of where to go. He placed the hatchling on the ground; knowing this was a demonic creature he assumed it would grow faster than a regular bird, his plan was wholly directed towards this hope being right.

“Ok, so the plan is I pull you out of your shell and you fly up and shriek in the direction that you see the closest living being. Got it?”

The Avilon made no response.

“Got it?” Zero reiterated expecting the Avilon to respond as it had in the past. No response was the only answer it gave; all four of its slanted red eyes seemed to be staring directly through him.

“Good!”

Zero keeled down and compressed the hatchling’s egg between his thighs for leverage. He placed one hand around its neck and the other on top of the egg for even more leverage. Their eyes met once more, both bore a resolve unbeknownst to the other: Zero wanted his plan to succeed; The Avilon didn’t want to die for its caretaker’s idiocy. With a nod of affirmation from Zero and an attempted shriek from the Avilon, he began to pull the hatchling free. When it didn’t work on the first pull, he released the tension on its neck and tried again, and again, and again. In this trance of piston-like pulling motions that failed to accomplish much of anything, Zero didn’t notice that he had an audience.

“Query: Are you choking that chicken Ensiron?”

The question caused him to stop as he was about to make another pull. Both he and the Avilon turned their heads to see Cooper, in his robotic glory, standing in front of the left pathway. The Avilon let out a faint shriek as Zero stood up to greet his cybernetic ally.

“Cooper, I’m glad to see you again!” Smiling as he spoke, he walked over to give him a handshake.

“Affirmation: It is refreshing to see a friendly face in this labyrinth.”

As Cooper completed the handshake Zero nodded and was then met with a sickening realization as they released their grips.

“Cooper, we are in the midst of a fighting tournament. I was assuming that the first person I ran into would be my opponent, so according to that, my face is anything but friendly right now.”

“Reply: Yes, we are in a fighting tournament, so don’t you think going with that assumption would be slightly illogical?”

“Illogical? Well we are in a magical tournament where anything can happen. I think logic would be the first thing that gets damned here; unless you know something I don’t?”

“Concurrence: It does appear that the impossible is possible here.” Zero watched as he grabbed the necklace around his neck. He was intrigued that it matched one of the ones he was wearing. “ Question: Have you thought about what purpose this rune around our necks serve?”

Zero lifted his rune as well, eyes fixated on the powerful glow it emitted.

“I thought these were some sort of ability binder at first, once that was proven false I was out of guesses.”

“Affirmation: You’re right it is an ability binder, though not how you would think of one. Clarification: It binds another fighter’s abilities to you while keeping that fighter from using them.”

“Oh!” With that mystery cleared, Zero reached into his pocket and pulled out the card. “Then what about this?”

“Clarification: At select points around the center of this labyrinth are three gates each with a single slot inside of them, with the precise measurements of these keycards. You cannot enter the gate without your card, for it scans not only the key but also the key holder to make sure they’re a match. Analysis: My card has ‘The Saint’ on it, therefore I am under the assumption that he may either hold or know the whereabouts of my key.”

“Well that certainly clears up everything; my card belongs to ‘Kalena’.”

“Query: Kalena? Expletive: Shit, Corvon!” Cooper turned towards the pathway he emerged from. “Statement: You may uncover yourself now. As you observed, this fighter is a friend who is also looking for Kalena.”

In the direct center of the pathway a small area of space became slightly distorted and from it emerged the man from earlier. Corvon was his name and he seemed to be indefinitely worried. He approached cautiously as though expecting to be attacked at any second. Zero could feel the magical power coursing through him, but something about him felt attenuated; like he could cause damage but used all of his will to not hurt a fly for fear of retaliation. In his hand was a large sword that looked out of place in his possession. Zero could tell they haven’t had any luck.

“So you haven’t found her either I see.” Zero pointlessly questioned.

“Statement: No, but I offered Corvon my protection until we find her.”

The Avilon let out another shriek which reminded Zero that it was still here. He turned to see that there was another guest present. It was Acel who entered from the pathway across from the Avilon; Zero and Cooper had met her once before in the chat room but they never held any extended conversation. The two groups stood at a distance, sizing each other up with silent empty threats to dissuade possible conflict from occurring. While sizing her up Zero noticed his necklace hanging around her neck and as he looked at her eyes he found a similar look of purpose. He was ready to confront her and retrieve his necklace, but Cooper held his hand in front of Zero to stop him.

“Analysis: It seems we are at a crossroads; Ensiron has your weapons and you have his. Suggestion: If you answer one question for me, you can trade weapons with Ensiron here and we’ll be on our way.”

“Why would I do that?” She responded with confusion and dominance, “We are trading on even grounds.”

“Observation: Ensiron has your swords and shield, things that he can use quite well. You are not much of a swordsman, but even if you could activate Ensiron’s sword you wouldn’t be able to use it to its full potential. Analysis: Getting your weapon back is more important to you than it is to Ensiron which is why you will accept my trade request.”

She appeared as though she was ready to respond, but she withheld her rebuttal.

“One question.”

“Query: What is The Organization?”

She held a straight face as though she was trained to answer this kind of question a million times over.

“We are a group devoted to the observation of the wRHG.”

Zero waited for more information but Cooper lowered his hand which was his cue to begin the trade. He began to step forward but was stopped by a slow movement from Acel raising her hand. She grabbed the rune around her neck and took it off. The rune was glowing in her hand for a moment; she crushed it in one strike. It released a burst of light mirrored around her neck and his; his necklace had returned to him. Acel picked up on Zero’s surprise and decided to clarify his confusion.

“I was assuming that by crushing these runes our weapons would return to us, but I didn’t want to test that theory until I could locate both weapons.”

“Query: How could you have been so sure that it would return to you and not simply be lost along with the rune?”

“It was merely an assumption, that’s why I was waiting to find the weapons.”

“What would you have done if my weapon was lost?” Zero worriedly questioned.

“Noted the effect and continued on my way.”

Zero was taken aback by her response, but decided it was best to cause no conflict over it. He took his rune off and smashed it on the ground. A light erupted from the destruction then quickly faded. With her weapons now returned to her and without another word she began to walk down the path Zero entered from. He summoned his sword, all the gems were glowing and he felt his power flowing through him once more.

“Good to be…back…in my element.” A smile, one that rivaled the immense satisfaction of an exiled god eating ambrosia for the first time in eons after wandering the earth, crept across his face. He looked at Cooper. “What was that thing with The Organization about?”

“Reply: I was just curious. Statement: Take Corvon with you since you’re guaranteed to find Kalena in this place, it would be more logical for you to have him.”

“What?” Corvon finally spoke up.

Statement: “I am off to fight my own battles, good luck to you Ensiron; I hope to see you again.”

“Don’t you want to take this sword with you for protection or something, Cooper?” Corvon offered, knowing Kalena would not approve, though he couldn’t allow his kindness to go unrewarded. Cooper turned back and grabbed the hilt of the sword, graciously taking it from Corvon. “Keep it safe, and promise me you’ll crush your rune as soon as possible.” He added before the transaction was completed.

Cooper acknowledged his request and walked down the path directly across from them, leaving Zero and Corvon to watch as he meandered down the pathway and finally turned at its end. Zero looked at Corvon who still appeared worried, perhaps now more so than ever. He smiled and held out his hand.

“I don’t think we were properly introduced, the name’s Ensiron but you can call me Zero if you like.”

Corvon shook Zero’s hand, skepticism still guarding his eyes.

“Hello, Ensiron. I trust you can help me find Kalena?”

“Well I have to,” Zero chuckled, “she has my key.” He smiled as he walked over and picked up the hatchling. Corvon looked at the creature with a fearful confusion; Zero noticed this and hoped that he could dispel these initial responses.

“It’s a baby bird that I was given so I could learn the value of a life.”

Corvon didn’t say anything, he simply nodded in agreement.

“Now what do you say we get going?”

Another nod and the two set off down the path Acel entered from, beginning to their quest to find the swordswoman Kalena.

Secrets of the Labyrinth

Corvon and Zero wandered the endless labyrinth for what felt like an eternity; Zero attempted to hold conversation with Corvon while they traversed together. Corvon made conversation a challenge because he was unsure of Zero’s intentions, but he slowly warmed up to Zero with the realization that his motives were pure. Corvon spoke of the reason that he and Kalena were in the tournament and Zero revealed that his new focus was to find out what happened to Zeno and the rest of the combatants that didn’t win. The duo made their way around a right turn to find an almost one hundred yard long spacious pathway with a large golden gate at the end of it, and roughly three quarters of the way down was a woman who appeared to be walking with great care; select sections of the path were missing up ahead but Zero couldn’t make out what those holes lead to.

“Kalena!” Corvon called out almost instinctively. She began waving her hands while shouting something inaudible.

“Did you catch what she said?” Zero wondered if Corvon’s ears had some sort of special attunement to Kalena’s voice.

“No, but with the way she is moving about and the missing sections of ground I don’t think it would be wise to—WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” Corvon was horrified at Zero’s careless action of stepping forward into the pathway. When Zero heard him shout he turned around with a smile on his face.

“Well I won’t be able to reunite you two if we don’t get closer. C’mon!”

Going against his better judgment Corvon took a step forward in unison with Zero. As Corvon set his foot on the ground, he felt it sink slightly and stop with an audible click. Both of them froze and Zero slowly looked back at Corvon with an expression of horrid shock. His heart sank as he witnessed the ground near the entrance dissipate into thin air; revealing a deep thirty foot chasm with a layer of stone spikes erected at its bottom. Without realizing he had stepped on another pressure plate, Zero dropped the hatchling, grabbed Corvon, and tossed him further down the passage in order to keep him out of immediate danger. The floor underneath Zero’s feet gave way before he could move again. Plummeting down the chasm he instinctively reached out towards the wall and ripped his hand back; a layer of rock ejected outwards below him, saving him from certain death.

Zero’s eyes scanned the randomly evaporating floor above him. His eyes were instantly locked on one object falling through near him; it was the shouting, plummeting body of Corvon. In response to his cries for help, Zero ejected another layer of earth for Corvon to land on. Just when all seemed safe, Corvon continued to fall behind the stone safety net; Zero had misjudged the distance. He was preparing to make a second attempt to save him when Corvon was engulfed by a shimmering light and fazed out of sight. Confused, Zero made stone steps leading him up the initial ground floor to see Corvon at the end of the path next to the now sword bearing Kalena. “Her rune must have been broken.” Zero let out a relived sigh as he made his way to the end to meet the pair.

“Hey there!” He warmly stated as he landed in front of the gate. Kalena noticed his entrance, but Corvon seemed gripped by both the relieved happiness of being by her side once more, and the despair of being left without her in this dangerous place.

“Kalena, never separate us willingly again!”

She paid no mind to his demand as she held her sword out towards Zero with a cold glaze over her eyes.

“Are you the one that helped Corvon in finding his way back to me?”

Zero put his hands up at the unexpectedly defensive response from her.

“Yes. Now would you mind lowering your sword so we can talk?”

“No.” She responded flatly.

Zero was slightly confused as he looked at Kalena. He had just reunited her with Corvon and was unarmed as well; “What more could she want?” He thought to himself.

“Why not?” He inquired

“Because I cannot trust you.”

Corvon interjected, hoping to dissuade her. “Kalena you can trust him, he said he’d bring me back to you safely and he did. He is a bit weird and reckless, also he has some annoying demon bird thing that he carries with him, but he seems trustworthy enough.”

“A demon bird?” Her eyes narrowed, “Why would you be watching after an offspring of evil?” She held her sword closer to his neck.

“Whoa! You don’t understand; it was given to me so I could learn the value of life and— oh my god it fell in the spike pit!” Zero’s eyes widened as he turned around to see most of the pathway gone and no hatchling in sight. He prepared to jump into the chasm when a caw sound emanated from below him. The Avilon had hatched and was nearly a quarter of the size of the adults. It flew out from the chasm and landed on Zero’s right shoulder, he noticed that one of its wings along with its tail feathers were white. Kalena lowered her sword at Corvon’s request and they both were now awkwardly staring at Zero as he pet the creature; it stood nearly nine inches in length off of his shoulder. He smiled at them and began walking towards the gate.

“Well, we aren’t going to leave this place by standing around here.”

He approached the gate while Kalena and Corvon engaged in a hushed conversation. Upon inspection of the gate Zero was confused, Cooper had said that they only had one slot but this one had two slots. He pulled out his card in hopes that staring at it would somehow clear his confusion. While doing this, Kalena and Corvon approached the gate as well.

“Two slots?” Corvon seemed just as surprised as Zero. “When Bl.An.C and I found the first two doors they only had one.” They all stood in contemplative silence. Kalena was still untrusting of Zero and the aura of defensive intensity she emitted resonated within him. Corvon had one idea cross his mind, “Maybe you should both put your cards in.”

Zero looked at Kalena who was still carefully watching his every move, he held out his card and she hers. Once the exchange was made they both inserted their cards. The gate began to glow, faint at first but the light grew in intensity quickly until it unleashed a final flash; all three of them covered their eyes and the Avilon let out a loud caw. The light faded and the group was slightly puzzled by what lay before them. An empty white room with another closed door at the far end about thirty yards away. They remained still with no idea of how to proceed; all of their senses screamed “It’s a trap!” but they knew it was the only path to take. Zero was the first to speak.

“Well, it looks like we have no other choice.” He woefully stated as he entered the room with the Avilon on his shoulder; it began to fly around the room when he stepped far enough in. He walked over to the other door and found there was no handle or any way to move it; an inscription was etched in the center that read: “Two will enter and stir the walls/ Death is certain unless one should fall.”

“Well that doesn’t seem good.” Zero said to himself as he read the inscription.

Kalena looked at Corvon who was more worried than before over the possibilities that lay before them.

“Kalena…” Corvon began to try and offer up an alternative

“I’ll go first, you follow after.”

Kalena’s mind was set and Corvon knew there was no other option; he nodded and awaited the worst. Kalena took a step into the room and before Corvon could follow behind her, a stone wall burst forth from the ground separating the duo once more. Kalena and Zero listened as Corvon pounded his fists on the wall while yelling indiscernible things.

“You!” Kalena exclaimed, brandishing her sword at Zero once more. “I knew not to trust you, once I let my guard down for a second you took the opportunity to single me out. Your guise of helping Corvon may have deceived him, but I knew better! To use one you knew I held close in order to trap me; that is sickeningly deceitful.” Her tone went from reserved and defensive to angered and disgusted at what she thought Zero’s intentions were.

“What? You think I planned this? I can barely plan what I want for dinner some days!” He knew that jokes wouldn’t get him far with her, but it was more of a reflex than an attempt to reason with her. She brought her sword closer to her body and held it with two hands, she positioned her legs shoulder length apart and lowered herself; a solid charging stance.

“It would not be the first time someone has gone to such lengths just to kill me.” She shifted her weight to her front facing leg, and Zero knew the time for talking was near over. “So long as evil infests this world, I shall be here to purge it.”

“Wait you got it all wrong! I’m here to find out what’s up with this tournament too.” She was silent, that wasn’t a comfortable thing for Zero so he continued talking in hopes that she would listen to him. “I entered this tournament by the will of another, and after seeing what it had to offer I’m a bit skeptical of its existence. I want to find out who the host is and what he has done to those that didn’t make it through. I owe it to the dignified warriors like Zeno who don’t deserve a horrid fate due to a simple competition.”


“So you wish to save those condemned to the will of the host?”

“Yes.”

She contemplated the validity of his claim. Zero only hoped that she could hear the genuine concern laced within his cause.

“You do seem to have an admirable heart, but I cannot allow the feelings of another to stand in my way of destroying the evil inhabiting the core of this tournament.”

Kalena remained in her stance; she and Zero were battling through their eyes, both attempting to exert their will upon the other. Knowing she would no longer listen to his reasoning, Zero drew his sword as well. Tension in the room rose with each passing second as neither appeared to budge in their resolve. A loud rumbling noise began to resonate throughout the room and both fighters released their stances as they noticed the walls moving closer. Zero watched as the Avilon cawed once more and landed by the exit which reminded him of the inscription “Death is certain unless one should fall.” He thought to himself then lowered his posture into a battle ready stance; Kalena did the same in response.

“I’m afraid that in order to stop the walls, one of us must be felled in combat.” Zero bluntly stated.

“Then let’s see whose resolve is stronger.” She seemed willing to accept his statement. “I’m certain it’ll be easier to find the answers you seek once you join the departed.” She added.

Strength of the Resolute

The walls of the room moved with the sound of imminent death that rapidly inched closer with each passing second. The two warriors clashed their blades a multitude of times, neither budging an inch in their resolve. The intensity between the fighters overshadowed the monotonous pattern of their attacks, Kalena noticed this and as Zero went for another swing against her she ducked below the horizontal slice instead of deflecting it. With nothing to stop his momentum Zero’s swing caused him to overextend his arm and slightly lose his balance. Kalena slammed her sword into the ground and launched a blunt pillar of earth into his abdomen; he was sent flying back towards the closed door. While in the air he unleashed a stream of electricity from his fingertips. The earthen pillar shifted shape and formed a defensive shell around Kalena’s body and nulled the attack. Zero landed on his feet and raised a secondary earth shell around Kalena’s. He began to laugh but was interrupted by the pain of that last hit. He looked at the Avilon who was still sitting by the door and smiled.

“Watch this, she’s going to let down her earth shell and be really shocked. She’ll probably say something like—”

“What?!” Kalena’s voice cut through the stone with a sharp confusion.

Zero laughed to himself as the second earth wall was also taken down to show an even more determined looking Kalena. She slammed her sword in the ground once more, unleashing a wave of stone spikes heading straight for Zero to shoot up from the ground. Zero charged a ball of flame in his hands and unleashed it in response. The sphere of flame traveled faster than the spikes and exploded at Kalena’s location just before the wave reached Zero. He leaned against the wall and let out a relieved sigh, but before he could catch his breath he witnessed Kalena rushing him from the smoke deftly racing atop the spikes to him. He held up his sword to defend himself but her strike met with more force than he was prepared to take. She pinned him against the wall with his own sword slowly cutting into his left shoulder.

“Admit defeat if you value your life.” Her voice was intensified by the situation at hand. If neither would submit then both of their lives would end.

“You know I can’t do that.” Zero replied nearly shouting as he tried to hold off her amazing power. Zero shifted his body to the right and dislodged his blade from his shoulder. Kalena shifted back as soon as she noticed his movements, but she was startled in her defensive retreat by one of the moving walls. Zero’s back was also against one and they stood a mere seven yards apart, this had to end.

They charged at each other both bearing what they thought would be the finishing blow. Their swords clashed and sliced along each other’s edge, generating a shower of sparks to cleanse the warrior’s pains and replace them with an adrenaline induced fury. Kalena drew her sword back first and loosed an overhead strike on Zero. He moved to the right and followed up with an underhanded slice upwards. Kalena took a step back to avoid the attack; she landed to see Zero regaining his footing. She charged forward once more with all her strength to stab at his stomach. By the time it was too late to falter in her assault, she noticed one of his gems glow a deep blue and his hair and eyes beginning to take on a similar color. A bright light engulfed both the swordsmen, and Kalena felt her sword penetrate something. Her hopes were raised for a moment, only to be stricken down when she was thrown to the ground with her sword being repelled by something she couldn’t see.

She landed with an accompanying splash that truly confused her; water began to flood the room at an alarming rate. Kalena stood up to see water cascade from his blade into the room and it was already at to her ankles. She started towards him but the current of the flowing torrent overwhelmed what little strength she still had, leaving her at Zero’s mercy. The small room quickly filled to the top and left no space to breath except for around Zero and the Avilon. Fighting against his urge to save her and the situation they were in, Zero watched as Kalena struggled for breath and water began to fill her lungs. Watching her body thrust about in the current he still fought with the urge to save her. As his will weakened and he thought to save her, the water in the room disappeared into thin air and Zero fell out of his form and onto his knees. He began coughing and sprayed the ground with a thicker and more crimson liquid. Struggling, he tilted his head up and saw, through blurred vision, Kalena lying on her back, unconscious, but still breathing. The stone door behind him retracted into the earth and let a cool refreshing breeze into the area. He laughed in disbelief only to be cut off by another violent bout of coughing. Using the walls to help him stand he looked at the Avilon that was already a few feet down the pathway of maze that the door opened to.

“This better be the exit.” He stumbled as he spoke, but caught himself along the stone wall as he walked down the path. The Avilon flew around the area and took its spot back on Zero’s shoulder. He looked into the bird’s eyes once more and laughed to himself as he spoke under his breath. “Shiver me timbers.” The bird cawed as if it too understood the joke.

He stopped and looked back at Kalena for one final moment, and then continued on his way. “When I find the host I’ll make sure you are one of the first I save.”

I battled with the length of this piece for quite some time in hopes that it wouldn’t be too long. All efforts towards this vision failed and I totaled out at 7,888 words. What I had originally planned to write could have possibly exceeded ten thousand words, but of course that would have been utterly ridiculous; being ridiculous would obviously be out of character for me of course. I’d also like to state that I went through five different pirate jokes before I settled on one that I thought was subtle enough to not take away from the writing, it wasn’t. This note has been added to make it 8,000. :)

The Organization
08-12-2013, 04:40 PM
Hewwy! Got a situation D:

Estimating less than 1k words away from finishing, but I won't be able to finish it tonight... I don't know how well others are doing either... So could I ask for at least a 1-2 day extension? Nothing much, just enough time to get a completed entry.
I'd appreciate a 24 hour extension, its really hard to write in the ocean without internet for 4 days. However, I can finish by the end of the day if need be.

BirtDog
08-12-2013, 08:03 PM
I'd appreciate a 24 hour extension, its really hard to write in the ocean without internet for 4 days. However, I can finish by the end of the day if need be.

Back from lurking for today to try and submit my entry but then I noticed a few comments
See...now I feel less like a bad person but more like....a coward. I won't "need" an extension, I hope, but lord knows getting one wouldn't be the worst thing for me. 1 day is all I need (due tomorrow) IF i get any.

Back to lurking.

EDIT: Slowly becoming a need... D=

Chamel
08-12-2013, 09:35 PM
Okay, so I managed to get to a computer and finish my entry! For all who read it, please keep in mind that I am a pacifist at heart... So yeah, not a lot of battling, just plot and story... Hope ya'll enjoy :D


- Ugh... Where am I... Chance's head thundered in pain as his eyelids fluttered open slowly. Strands of red hair clung to his head as if he had been sweating, but his body felt oddly cool.
- The last thing he could remember was running out of an abandoned factory after encasing his last opponent in a shell of blood.
- Chance shook the thought from his head, no time to reminisce; now was the time to figure out where he was, and why he felt so heavy. With a grunt, he managed to lift his torso and look down at his legs.
- "What the bloody hell!?" A yell that mixed worry and confusion all too well escaped his lips as he tried to scrabble backwards.
- Where his legs should have been, was a set of thin, mechanical legs that seemed to attach to his... Hips? As Chance looked up and down his body, his worry turned to confusion. His whole body was seemingly encased in some sort of mechanical suit. As he continued to search his body, he noticed the suit seemed to fit him well. He turned to the left and almost headbutted a wall, but drew back quickly out of reflex.
- It was an ordinary stone wall, but something was casting a jade-green glow on it's stony surface. As Chance continued to peer over his 'new body', he noticed lines that pulsed with energy ran along the suit. Little circles of these lines were apparent on his wrists, shoulders, and back. There was one more light however, and this one seemed stronger as it appeared to emanate from his head. Chance reached up and tried to touch his face, but he hit a tinted helmet with a light instead. At least that explained the 'bright light mystery'; there was lone jade light centered just above where Chance's eyes would be.
- "What is this?" He chuckled himself. At the sound of his voice, a small light flickered inside his cranial encasing. It seemed to stretch in front of his face as words started to appear lengthways across what appeared to be a screen.
- WELCOME. THIS IS YOUR LOVELY HOST HERE WITH SOME EXCITING NEWS! I HAVE SWAPPED ALL OF YOUR ABILITIES AND REPLACED REPLACED ACCORDINGLY! I HAVE ALSO GIVEN YOU SEVERAL ITEMS THAT YOU WILL NOTICE. AROUND YOUR NECK, YOU WILL FIND A RUNE NECKLACE! THIS IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR POWER WITH YOUR NEW ABILITIES!
- Chance paused his reading as the weight about his neck finally came to realization.
- "My my, a tricky host is sure to make a fun game." The red-haired man chuckled under his breath, slightly surprised that his helmet had not fogged up. Realizing he didn't have his famed blood manipulation ability, he read on with a frown.
- SECOND, YOU WILL FIND A KEY EITHER IN YOUR HAND OR NEAR YOU.
- Chance looked around and sure enough, there was rather small card key by his foot. He picked it gingerly and noticed a paw print engraved on the front of the key. More words blinked across the screen and drew Chance's attention.
- IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, THE KEY IS NOT YOURS! SORRY! YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO ESCAPE THIS BEAUTIFUL MAZE I HAVE CONSTRUCTED, WITH YOUR OWN KEY. YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND THE CARRIER OF YOURS ALONE, CAPTURE THE KEY, AND ESCAPE ALIVE! JUST TRY NOT TO DIRTY MY WALLS WITH YOUR LOW-LIFE CARCASSES, MMKAY?
- The end of the message caused Chance to crack a smile; the host really did have a cruel sense of humor.
- "This should be fun." Another chuckle escaped as the red-haired man gripped the key and stood slowly. The suit he was in didn't feel too heavy, but the extra weight would surely slow him down considerably. With a sigh he looked up.
- The walls of this 'maze' were incredibly high up, high enough to where no one could escape. Shaking his head within his helmet, he looked towards the only way he could go. Squinting for a better view, his vision zoomed in immensely.
- "Well, this suit has many surprises!" He chuckled, opening his eyes to see better.
- The long hallway eventually ended in a three-way split. That was certainly odd, even for a game like the one Chance was thrown into. Letting a ghost of a frown pass over his expression under his helmet, he started on his way, the zoom mode automatically disabling.
- As Chance neared the three-way split, something struck him as odd. The host had given him an android suit, which meant that someone had his blood manipulation ability. Someone also had his key; the one that would let him leave. With a glance at his metal-encased hand, he peered at the key he was holding. Chance saw the paw print and inspected it closer this time. The edges of the key reminded him slightly of claws, which only gave way for more mystery. Where was this Paw-Print key owner?
- A loud noise erupted from the path on the far left, bringing Chance out of his thoughts and into reality.
- "Well, looks like I'm not going that way." He smirked under his helmet, the jade-green glow barely illuminating his stark-white teeth, even through the tinted dome.
- "So that leaves two choices." Chance pondered his options and eventually decided there was only one way to decide. So crossing his arms, Chance faced the last two passages and began his theory. "Eenie, meanie, minie, mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go."
- On 'go' he started down the path in the middle of the three, the one that lead straight-foward. Peering carefully down the walkway, and with some assistance from his handy-dandy zoom mode, he noticed that several ways split off from the one he was currently in. There was no pattern, no directional hints; it didn't even seem like there were any traps.
- "A confusing maze where the only traps are each other...? Interesting... But it can't be that easy..." Chance muttered to himself, unaware he was speaking aloud. "I need to keep an eye out for unsuspecting traps."
- With a bored sigh, the red-haired man continued forward. In time, he decided that this was the perfect time to see all that this suit could do. As he turned a random corner, another 'screen' appeared on his helmet.
- "Oh! That's simple." Chance chuckled as he visually scrolled through the list of items. One of the items finally seemed to catch his rust-colored eye's attention.
- One of the options read 'Help', which was perfect, because that was exactly what he needed. There was one problem though... How was he supposed to select it? His eyebrows knitted together as he focused, hoping his willpower would click it for him, but he quickly found it was to no avail.
- "Why won't it just select it..?" He sighed. As soon as the words escaped his lips, the 'Help' button selected itself. A long string of words followed by options displayed itself in front of him.
- Most of the beginning he skimmed, merely because it talked about moving, which he seemed to catch on with naturally. Most of the points were either vague, or too simple; that is, until one topic piqued his interest. It read 'Usage and Weapons'.
- "Weapons? I'll need those for sure." He chuckled, concentrating once until he finally selected the option.
- One of the very first things he read was how to navigate through the system. It was controlled by either thought, which Chance felt incredibly stupid for not trying earlier, and speech. As Chance approached an opening, he used his thoughts to scroll through the various weapons that this suit carried. He needed to study up before he could really fight, so he decided to multitask; turning corners blindly whilst flipping through weapons and its details. Several of the weapons and applications really caught his attention. For one, the Wing Pack, which apparently gave whoever wore the suit the power of flight.
- "I have always wanted to fly..." He chuckled and turned a corner to the right."I'll save that for later."
- As he continued his 'research', Chance turned random corners, walking in a blind routine of turning right, left, right, left. He skimmed over several weapons that caught his attention, such as the Beam Blade, Iron Fist, Plasma Gun, and Shield Generator
- "These will come in handy. Especially this Wing Pack item. Oh? What's this?" Chance questioned the little 'button' to the left. It read 'EQUIP', so of course the red-haired man mentally clicked it.
- A small burst of light erupted from behind Chance, eventually settling down to create a soft cyan glow. He knee the wings had sprouted, but just couldn't see them.
- "Umm, flap wings?" Chance gave a simple command, but it worked. A single flap of his cyan-blue wings and he lifted off the ground. Albeit not too far, but it was just enough for Chance to laugh with joy, almost resembling a small child with a new toy. "This is great!"
- As he landed, he was already skimming through how to use the other weapons whilst willing the wings to dissipate. Apparently, he could only use so many at one time. The suit proved to be as interesting as it was capable; nearly fully-automatic with a single thought? Perfect.
- A smile broke out on his lips as he turned another corner and continued. He now had the basics of the suit down, all that was left was getting his key and getting out.
- "Now... Where to find that ke--" Chance began.
- His sentence was cut short by a sword lodging itself in the wall in front him, less than half a foot away. Along the blades hilt, seven different colored gems were embedded nearly symmetrically.
- "Shit. I missed." A woman's voice came from the direction which the sword was thrown.
- Chance turned in his suit, making the screens on his helmet disappear so he could see clearly. Standing in front of him was a woman who's blonde hair shone in the dim light of the maze. Her hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail, making her strange, iridescent, magenta eyes more clear. A frown of distaste settled on her lips as if she had tasted a bad wine, and Chance knew that feeling all too well. She was disappointed, but not worried.
- "Who are you?" Her lips moved gracefully as the words poured out of her mouth; commanding and calm.
- "The question is, who are you?" Chance cooed in response, never letting his helmet down.
- "I am Acel, Vicar class 04 of The Organization. Now answer me, who are you?" She stated, stamping her foot in an impatient way.
- 'The Organization..? Heh, I remember this one...' Chance's thoughts bounced around his brain while he looked at the woman. A rune similar to his was strapped around her neck, and in her hand was a key. A single, rust-colored, tear-shaped emblem was carved into it. 'She has my key! How do I get it from her..'
- "Answer me, or I will be forced to kill you!" She yelled, her strange eyes flashing for a moment.
- Improvising, Chance replied hastily, "I am Energy, Proto class 01 of The Organization." Chance bowed to spur the moment, hoping it would buy time so he could think of a better plan.
- "I have never heard of the Proto class." Acel merely stated, narrowing her eyes towards the mechanized Chance.
- "We are a new branch, used to test full-body suits for combat, sir." Chance kept his head bowed, his heart racing as the lies easily slipped from his lips.
- Acel began to walk towards Chance, making the suited man's heart race even faster. His eyes darted up to see if he could catch a glimpse of her, already going over evasive maneuvers in his head, just in case. However, nothing happened. Acel merely walked past Chance and pulled the sword from the wall.
- "I trust The Organization's choices, even if they may seem a little skewed." Acel sighed, placing a hand on Chance's metal shoulder. "Stand up. You are not my enemy, I can see that by the key in your hand."
- Chance slowly stood, keeping a close eye on Acel as she walked forwards, her hair bouncing in its ponytail as she stepped. All he could do was stare in awe after her as he realized that his improvising had actually worked.
- "Are you coming? You'll be a useful ally for me." She called over her shoulder. "Just don't slow me down, or I'll cut in pieces."
- She flourished the extravagant blade and continued on her pace. Chance had to jog to catch up to her.
- "So, ma'am, what can you do?" He asked Acel sheepishly, hoping that these questions would keep her from figuring out who he was too soon.
- "I don't know too much about this sword quite yet, but I have one other component that keeps me alive." She answered, not giving Chance a second glance.
- "And what would that be?" Chance knew the answer, he just needed to double check and make sure her power was not gone.
- Acel smirked and stopped suddenly, almost causing Chance to run into her.
- "Watch." She stated. Raising her blade high in the air, she drew back her arm and threw it with all her might.
- Chance started after it, but Acel held out a hand to stop him. "Wait."
- As the sword sailed through the air, Chance watched it. It started it's decent at a fast pace.
- "Now." In the blink of an eye, Acel vanished. The blade spun through the air as it neared the ground; only, it never touched the floor. Acel had reappeared under it and caught it by the hilt. She twirled it almost expertly and caught it with one hand, brandishing it one last time as if to prove a point. Chance couldn't help but slowly applaud the performance.
- "Perfect. You can scout ahead!" He shouted eagerly, running to catch up with her.
- "Excuse me? I am not a sentry, nor do I follow directions from lower ranks such as yourself; especially a beginning class." Acel glared at the man approaching her.
- "But we need to work together. Your speed and swordsmanship with my technological advances, we will surely win." Chance tried to win her over with his words, slowly nearing the woman. A look of thought crossed her face as she mulled over his words.
- Acel sighed and pinched the upper bridge of her nose. "Alright. But only because The Organization must win this tournament."
- Chance smirked from under his helmet; that was exactly the response he was hoping for. With another huff of annoyance, his female companion turned faced down the long walkway.
- "I will remain close-by when I scout, so that I may not lose your location. Stay put." With that, she vanished.
- Chance let loose a sigh of relief. His plan was working surprisingly well, but he still needed to be careful.
- Soon, Acel returned. She stopped dead in her tracks and pointed where she had just come from.
- "That way. Two lefts, a right, and one more left. It dead end's into a door." She said coldly. Without another word, she started down the way she came.
- Chance sighed. She was going to be a difficult one to keep up with. He once again started after her, as if it had already become routine. They walked in silence, save for their footsteps and a few distant thuds. They followed the blonde woman's instructions, taking first a left, another, followed up by a right. They walked in silence until they reached the last left. As they turned, they both stared; Acel was right. A door stood at the end of the hallway. Something seemed odd about it though; smoke surrounded the bottom of the doorway and it almost sounded like music was coming from behind the stone door.
- "Well this is interesting." Chance chuckled, walking towards the door and leaving Acel to follow him for once.
- The pair continued forward and through the fog, mere feet away from the door.
- "What do you think is behind it?" The blonde woman muttered as she placed a hand on the door.
- Chance did the same with his metal-encased hand. "A bog? Maybe some monsters? Or maybe the gas is deadly?"
- A soft click seemed to emanate from the doorway, and it swung open slowly. The two backed away; ready for an attack, but also curious. The door opened all the way, and it revealed...
- "A club?" The words slipped from Chance's lips confusingly. He was right. Inside there were tiles of fluorescent lights used as flooring. People all across the room were mindlessly dancing, as if they had no idea they were here. "What the hell?"
- Chance took a step forward into the room, followed closely by Acel. They both stared in awe around the room as people of nationalities lost themselves in the music. Heads thrown back in laughter, hands raised in a dance, couples grinding; all of it was happening at once, in beat to the music. It seemed like a perfect place for Chance, that is, until he heard the music...
- "Country?! How are they dancing to country music?! This is disgusting!" He shouted, throwing his hands up dramatically.
- "Is there a problem?" Acel asked, somewhat cautiously. She stared at Chance, causing him to sweat slightly in his suit.
- "Ah, I mean. Country music isn't really my style... It kind of... Drives me insane?" Chance stuttered throughout his broken sentence as the music assaulted his ears mercilessly. He tried hard to keep his act together, but the steady beat of guitars, banjos, and various other country instruments deafened his ears.
- The red-haired man cringed underneath his helmet, his teeth gnashing together as he tried to drown the music out, but to no avail. He turned back towards the door hoping that he could still leave. The door had shut behind them...
- "Shit! Is it locked?!" Acel noticed the door as well and tried to open it. Nothing happened; it didn't even budge a centimeter. "What do we do Energy?"
- "We need to turn off this blasted music so I can think." He muttered, his hands shaking in their metal gloves. Something managed to catch his amidst the chaos. "There, the DJ booth." He said pointing.
- "I see it." Acel replied, already starting to make her way through the mosh-pit of people. Chance tried to follow, but his progress was slow as the music seemed to drown out every single noise; including the sound of his own breathing in his head.
- "Hurry up. The sooner we shut it off, the sooner it will stop! Get your ass in gear!" The blonde woman shouted over her shoulder; she sounded almost angry.
- "I'm coming! Calm your tits, girly!" He shouted back.
- "Excuse me?" Acel was suddenly in Chance's face, her long blade at the neck of his suit. She growled under her breath, just enough for the fear-stricken Chance to hear, "Say that one more time."
- Chance chuckled under the safety of his helmet and quickly, yet with a large amount of difficulty, stood up straight. His height towered of the smaller woman, but she did not stray from her position.
- "Let's just try to get this blasted music turned off, got it sweetie?" Chance mused, dragged a cold, metal finger up the underside of Acel's chin.
- She struck it away with the flat side of her sword before stomping away, literally pushing her through the crowd. Chance managed to follow, despite the madness that the music was slowly ebbing into him. The only way he could even begin to focus is if he concentrated on Acel's ponytail; which seemed to bounce as she kicked a man out of her way.
- "Damn these people! They won't get out of my way!" She yelled.
- Chance chuckled as she continued to clear a path for him, although he doubted that was her intention. Even though his head was pounding and the sound was deafening, Acel seemed to be the only way he could shut out the noise. Right now, Chance could have kissed her; but he didn't feel like getting impaled, so he decided to think about it later. Besides, they had reached the DJ booth.
- For the setup, a single laptop was placed in the center of a colorful table. It seemed out of place amidst the neon dancers, the flashing lights, and the absurd Country song that seemed to be playing in loop.
- "How do we shut it off?" Acel asked no one in particular. She searched around for an off switch, but there didn't seem to be one. "I can't find the fucking switch!"
- "Take the battery out!" Chance yelled to her. The music seemed to flood his ears once more, and the sensation took Chance to his knees. The key with the wolf paw clattered to the ground and skidded a few feet away before coming to a stop.
- "Shut this fucking music off!" He shouted while grabbing at his helmet. He wasn't going to keep his sanity in check much longer if this kept up.
- "I'm trying! But the fucking mousepad doesn't work and the damned down key is gone!" Acel yelled back, a hint of worry edging into her tone. "Should I destroy it?!"
- Her hands were scrabbling in a blur across the keyboard and mousepad, hoping something would work. Her eyebrows were knitted together as she furiously continued her attempt to shut off the ridiculous song loop.
- "Just calm down and think, girly." Chance muttered through clenched teeth. "Just find a way to stop it."
- Acel seemed to freeze for a second before glancing at Chance. She narrowed her eyes and went back to looking for a switch or something.
- Chance on the other hand was still on his knees; his metal-encased hands grabbing at the table on which the laptop was set. His head was pounding, his heart racing, his eyes widening. The beat that mixed classic guitar, the fiddle, and several other country instruments was breaking down Chance's sanity at a rapid pace.
- Shit! I can't even think straight! Chance's mind raced with random thoughts as the insanity continued to flood his consciousness. Acel was doing her best to turn the music off, but her efforts didn't seem to be working. The continuous strobe of the multicolored lights shone off of Chance's metallic suit.
- Think! That's it A surge of excitement swept through him as he realized how to quell the music. His eyes shut abruptly as he tried ad hard as he could to drown out the music, even for a split second. His body became rigidly still, even his shaking had ceased.
- "Energy! What's wrong?!" Acel had noticed his sudden stillness and rushed to his side. She placed her hands on his cold, metal shoulders and shook him, trying to get his attention. "You better not be asleep!
- "Step back, girly." Chance muttered in her ear softly, just loud enough for her to hear over the loud music. "Things are about to get a bit explosive."
- A look of confusion swept across her face, but quickly turned to one of realizations and understanding as she stepped a safe distance away.
- "Plasma gun!" An involuntary shout came from Chance's lips as he struggled to stand. His left arm quickly morphed into what looked like the barrel of a blaster one would see on a Sci-Fi movie; long, jade green lines were etched around it. The 'barrel' hummed softly as a cyan glow began to emanate from the opening.
"You might want to duck, girly." Chance chuckled, his teeth clenched tight.
- Acel followed his orders and quickly backed away, a slow smile spread across her pretty little face as she fully realized Chance's plan.
- With a grunt, the suited man rose the 'barrel' of his blaster towards one of the speakers; a smile crept up on his face as he steadied and aimed.
- "Boom." Chance chuckled.
- A cyan blue bolt of energy erupted out of his Plasma gun. The energetic bullet sped towards the speaker at a rapid speed and quickly closed the gap. In an instant, the speaker exploded into a large amount of smoke and black shrapnel. Pieces of metal trailed smoke down towards the dance floor, but the dancers were oblivious even as some were struck down by larger pieces of the former speaker. Unfortunately the music kept going; a multitude of other speakers were stuck to the surrounding walls.
- "Acel! I could use your help!" Chance shouted. He turned towards Acel who had understood clearly.
- In a small whirlwind of movement, the blonde woman's eyes sparked with their iridescent purple. She sped towards one of the speakers on foot, zipping in between dazed dancers as she ran. She reached her target in no time; springing off her feet to launch herself high in the air she drew her blade swiftly. The thin metal material sliced through the black speaker like a knife through butter, cutting the material cleanly in half. The speaker's parts fell away from their original position and fell to the ground, crushing the dance floor beneath it. Acel on the other hand landed gracefully directly between the two giant halves, a serious yet accomplished look had somehow found its way to her lips.
- "Good! Keep it up, princess!" Chance yelled, fully intending to make her crack a smile. All he got was a fierce and silencing glare from his companion.
- All he could do was chuckle as he aimed his Plasma Gun. The music still blared loudly, but the decrease of two speakers was just enough for Chance to begin to focusing more clearly. One after another, he fired. The light blue bolts of energy erupted from his blaster and quickly found their mark. Speakers exploded into barrages of smoking shrapnel and sparks of electricity. The rubble fell upon the glowing dance floor and even onto several of the grinding dancers who seemed unaware of their surroundings.
- Acel was helping as well; she sped through the crowd at blazing speeds. She either moved the oblivious dancers away from the incoming rubble, or use her sword to completely destroy one of the many speakers. Her technique was flawless, even though her original experience was not so atoned to sword use.
- Slowly but surely, the number of speakers dwindled considerably. Soon, none were left. Pieces of metal were scattered across the floor underneath where the speakers were previously placed. Acel stood in the center of it all, her bright golden hair floating gently to land on her shoulders as her ponytail kept the strands slightly aloft. The lights from the multicolored tiles below her set odd highlights against her skin, but effect was stunning. Chance could only stare as she walked closer, thank God he was in a metal suit.
- He shook the thought from his head. Now it was a little easier for him to stand, just not to quickly for the god awful music had certainly taken its toll on him. As he stood, Acel noticed and rushed to his side, hoping to help.
- "Thanks Acel." Chance said. "You're quite handy with that sword."
- "Basic skills." She replied plainly, dusting her hands off once she made sure her metallic companion could stand. "Good... blasting."
- Her words were hesitant as if she weren't sure what to say or how to say it. The blonde woman looked away quickly and headed back towards the small computer on its little table. Once again her tight ponytail bobbed away, her posture straight as she walked. Chance scrambled to catch up to her and when he did, he accidentally bumped into her back. With a scowl she turned on him, her eyes angry but her face a pinkish-red.
- "Watch it ya klutz." She growled.
- "Y-yes ma'am." Chance stuttered a response and held his hands up in innocence. He could only watch as she bent over to examine the laptop. Her legs were kept straight as she bent over at a near perfect ninety - degree angle, resting her arms and elbows close to the edge of the table.
- Chance's eyes wandered, but only briefly, before averting themselves to a more tasking matter.
- "How do we get out of here?" He asked, glancing across the dance floor. The dancers from before seemed out of their trance, and had begun talking to each other amongst themselves.
- "I saw a door that way. I think it leads out of this hell hole, but some fucker designed the lock to be password encrypted." Acel sighed as she absentmindedly played with the broken mousepad.
- Chance sighed and leaned on the table, sweeping his eyes over the blonde woman. She really was spectacular, and the guilt of keeping who he really was a secret was slowly eating at him. He bit his lip subconsciously as he mulled over the horrendous feeling. After a quick argument with his inner conscious, Chance decided to finally tell her.
- "Acel.. I need to tell--" He started.
- The woman jumped up suddenly and brought her face closer to the right side of the screen. She motioned for Chance to come closer, never once taking her eyes off the screen. "Energy, come look at this." Her iridescent eyes lit up as her expression turned to one of excited curiosity.
- With an inward sigh, Chance moved himself closer to the woman to see what she was gaping at. Then it hit him. Even though the screen was a single-colored blue, the familiar grey color of a scroll bar was found at the right side of the screen. What was more intriguing was that there seemed to be a sort of extra space below the showing screen.
- "So what do we do?" Acel asked, tapping through the various keys as if they would work. Unfortunately none of them did anything, other than cause the woman to growl furiously.
- "Calm down Acel." Chance chuckled, placing his hands on her shoulders to try and calm her down, but to no avail. "Use your pretty little speed and look around the room, that down button has to be in here somewhere."
- The blonde woman grumbled under breath and seemed to reluctantly shrug Chance's hands away.
- "Fine..." She stuck her multi-gemmed sword into the floor swiftly and turned towards the crowd. "Maybe one of them has it." She questioned, squinting to look through the multitude of people.
- "That's using your brain, so run along and find it, 'kay?" Chance teased her, but she didn't notice.
- Like before, Acel vanished in no time. Her magnificent speed carried her swiftly through the crowd. It was hilarious to watch seeing that she quickly searched a single person and then if they didn't have it, they would be pushed away. A small chuckle found its way out if Chance's thin lips as he watched hundreds of people falling to their butts. The only clue as to where his companion had gone was the blond streak as whirled around people; her ponytail like a beacon as colorful lights illuminated the strands from underneath. Luckily it didn't take long for Acel to finish her search, and she quickly returned to Chance.
- "I guess you were right, it was in here." Acel said bemusedly, holding the down key between her index and middle fingers. A ghost of a smile rested on her expression as she prided her work, walking carelessly back to the laptop.
- A glint of something shiny caught Chance's eye however. On the table, he noticed his own card-key, that familiar crimson droplet icon apparent amidst the vast number of lights. He turned his head to see Acel fiddling with the keyboard, already close to snapping the key back into place. The suited man wasn't sure what to do; should he take it? Should he wait it out? The choice swam through Chance's head as he absentmindedly reached for key. His hand began shaking as it neared the small card; small beads of sweat appeared on his face under his helmet.
- "Energy, come look at this." Acel called, motioning him towards her.
- Chance's hand snapped away quickly and he approached her, wary of what she had found.
- "Look, I think it's the password." Her voice hinted excitement as she pressed down on the now working key. As she did, the screen casually scrolled down to reveal a long string of letters and numbers mixed with symbols.
- "Well damn, could they make this any harder?" Acel giggled.
- Chance stared at the beautiful blonde woman as she laughed, her shoulders rising and falling quickly, and yet with grace. His mind flashed an image of the card key and he remembered that he was here to win, not to be distracted by a woman.
- "Can you remember all this?" Acel's voice interrupted Chance's inner argument about why he was there, and he turned back towards the screen in response.
- "I think. Hang on, let me see if I can get the suit to copy it." And with that, the suit seemed to run through several protocols as it copied the password to the exact pixel of lettering. "Done."
- "Great, now let's get out of here." Acel quickly turned away and headed towards the door.
- Chance bit his lip underneath his helmet and reached for her sleeve, where he gingerly caught it.
- "Acel wait, I have to tell you something..." His voice was higher than normal, and the tension he was radiating was most likely palpable. Acel turned with a bored expression and shrugged his hand away before crossing her arms over her chest.
- "Yes Energy?" She said nonchalantly.
- Chance took in a deep breath before standing up straight and facing his female companion. "My name is not Energy. I-It's Chance... Chance Downtown..." The suited man withdrew his helmet from his face and let his bright red hair shine in the dim light of the club.
- Acel only stared at him; no hint of any expression on her face. No surprise, no anger, no hint of feeling betrayed. She kept the look for what seemed like ages as Chance's heartbeat flooded his ears with its continuous thumping.
- "And?" Was her only response. Chance was taken aback at her blunt response; how did it not shock her?
- "B-but... You aren't shocked? Not even a little surprised?" The words came out in a jumbled mess of shock and confusion, only causing Acel to roll her eyes before stopping him with a hand gesture.
- “Well one, I would never pair up with someone from The Organization without a letter of service issued by The Organization themselves. Second, you called me 'girly' several times. No one I know does that, other than you of course; besides, we mostly call each other by our designated names.” Her tone was in a 'matter-of-fact' kind of way, the kind that made people unlike Chance upset. Fortunately, the suited man was still in shock from the whole ordeal.
- “Um... Alright... I just felt like I, uh... Should've told you...” Chance looked around nervously before reaching up to scratch his head.
- “So then... Can we leave now?” The blonde woman reached up and patted his red hair before turning around with a smirk. As she walked away, it was apparent that she was making an effort to sway her hips more than normally; whether it was flirtatiously or mockingly, it still caught Chance's eyes.
- The suited man chuckled under his breath as he watched her leave towards the door, but something caught his eye. As he looked down, he saw his card key again; Acel must have forgotten about it. Now was his chance to grab it and run, but how could he betray her after all he had kept from her, even if she had already known? He could at least pick it up and return it to her... Right? Well that's just what he did. Chance picked up the small card gingerly and swiftly fell in step behind his female companion.
- “Well um... You dropped this back there... I decided that you should at least decide for yourself when you feel like giving it up to me...” With a sheepish smile, he held the card out to Acel as they walked. To his utmost surprise, she didn't stop, only threw her head over her shoulder and smiled at him.
- “Keep it, it will help you get out of this hell hole.” She gave Chance a little wink before stopping to lean with her back against the wall. The password encrypted keypad was to her right, and she motioned towards it with a delighted smile. “Go ahead, put in the password, dumbass.”
- The red haired man replied with a goofy smile, but instead of typing in the password, he placed a hand on the wall next to Acel's head. He leaned in close and flashed a charming smile. “And what if I didn't, girly? You gonna punish me?” He pushed his British accent to sound a little thicker, btu Acel only rolled her eyes and pushed him away.
- “Keep it in your pants 'Little Drummer Boy'.” She chuckled.
- “Name calling are we?” Chance smirked back. He turned to the keypad and brought his helmet over his face once again. The screen popped up with the password and Chance entered it quickly, ready to leave. As soon as the door opened, Chance stepped back in surprise. Acel's expression displayed her curiosity as she quickly turned around the edge of the door, but she soon followed in her companion's footsteps as she backed up, covering her mouth in shock.
- What they saw was horrid. A man who seemed to advancing in age, bloodied and battered, was propped up on the wall. His breaths were shallow and ragged, but at least he was breathing. His long trench coat like attire was stained in dark, crusted blood; it seemed as if an animal had torn his clothes to shreds. The man's eyes were closed and a cane, broken in half, lay by his side. Chance turned to look at Acel, but she was already gone, speeding to the older gentleman's side. Chance soon followed suit, keeping his helmet over his head for cautious purposes. As the duo kneeled by the man's side, Acel gasped.
- “Ch-Chance... He has my card...” She stuttered as she held up the small key card, the edge of it covered in blood.
- “Sir, what happened?” Chance asked, ignoring Acel's find. He placed a hand on the older man's shoulder and shook him gently.
- The man stirred and opened one eye. The white of his eye was covered in red lines and a dazed look coated his light-blue eyes. The man mouthed something but nothing came from his lips. His eye darted to Chance's side where the card was carried inside the suit.. The man shakily reached up and pointed towards the card. Chance followed the point and picked the card he was carrying out. Chance stared as the hurt man reached over and tapped the back of it. The card flashed and several things appeared on it. A name that read 'Walden' followed by a picture that resembled the man on the ground flashed before fading quickly.
- “Are... Are you Walden?” Acel asked the man, clearly having read the card with the suited man.
- A bloodied smile and an almost invisible nod of the head confirmed it; the man was Walden. As Chance looked between the fading picture on the card and the man in front of him, he realized that that needed to get out of there.
- “Chance. Look.” Acel broke his train of thought as she pointed to their right. Another door had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and it was clearly the Exit; Chance could feel it. He turned quickly back to Walden who's breaths were getting shorter by the minute.
- “Can you make it to that door? We all have our cards now, we can all get out and get you to a doctor or something.” Chance's heart rate quickened substantially as he lifted Walden's arm over his shoulder. The older man nodded weakly and wrapped his arm around Chance's shoulder; Acel quickly followed the two's lead and helped Walden up from the other side. Acel and Chance grunted under the man's dead weight, but finally managed to get him to his feet. As the trio advanced towards the door, Chance's head started swimming with thoughts.
- Why had he paired up with Acel? Why had he even thought about teaming up with her? Sure she was a good addition and she DID help him escape... But still. And why was he even helping this man, Walden? Apparently the stress of this cruel game that the Host had blessed them with was really starting to turn Chance's usual attitude. The suited man withdrew his helmet and let his red hair shine again, and the sight caught Acel's eyes before they darted away.
- “Acel, you go on ahead and leave. I'll take care of Walden.” Chance said with a slight smile. He reached over and slipped her card from her pocket and and slipped it into her hands.
- “Let's get this man out together first, alright?” She gave one of her charming smiles before resting Walden against the wall.
- They had reached the door and Chance's heart beat was pulsing rapidly; he could feel it in his throat. He glanced at Acel who seemed just as nervous as he was. His gaze wandered around the stone walls of the maze and finally settled on Walden. The sight of him was horrific with his blood stained clothes, his abandoned cane, and his closed eyes. With a sigh, Chance took Walden's card key and looked around where to insert it. Acel coughed and pointed towards a little slot in the door; one that looked just the right size of the card. Chance nodded and quickly inserted it, and watched as it was sucked away. The door opened with a hiss and a light seemed to peak from under the door as it slid upwards. Acel sighed and lifted Walden again, who's consciousness seemed to have slipped away.
- “Let's hurry this up so we can leave this blaster place...” Chance muttered.
- Acel nodded and lifted Walden through the door. The older man opened his eyes. One was black around the pupil and the other was bloodshot. He smiled through a bloodied mouth and mouthed a 'Thank You' before being enveloped by the light and vanishing. Chance gave a little wave and turned to Acel. He motioned for her to go next, but she was clearly reluctant.
- “How about we both go together..?” She muttered nervously. Her face was flushed and her cheeks were rosy; and all Chance could do was smile.
- “Alright, but... There's one thing before we go..” Chance chuckled. He stepped closer to Acel and wrapped her in his arms, bringing her closer. “Thank you for your assistance, madam.” And with that, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
- “No, thank you.” She replied. Standing on her tip-toes, she reached up and placed a quick kiss on Chance's lips. The suited man closed his eyes and embraced the kiss, the warm feeling of her lips on his completely enticing him. However, the feeling quickly vanished; just as Acel had. When Chance opened his eyes, she was gone.
- A sad smile crossed his face as he looked towards the darkening sky above him. He chuckled under his breath as he stared.
- “Truly magnificent, my Host.” With those final words, he turned swiftly in his full-bodied suit, and left. The bright light enveloped him in a warm embrace and he vanished.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

- On the top of the walls of the maze, a young man stood smiling. A gentle breeze coaxed his darker hair into the air. His smile was bright and he whispered to himself.
- “Magnificent indeed.”

Nightlock
08-12-2013, 09:37 PM
Woohoo~! Congrats Observer Protocol for turning in your Tournament entries on time. :D

Hewitt
08-12-2013, 09:41 PM
I'd appreciate a 24 hour extension, its really hard to write in the ocean without internet for 4 days. However, I can finish by the end of the day if need be.

I will give the extension of 24-? hours not because you asked for it, but because I was reassured by the others through PMs that theirs is on their way.

Personally, you in particular wouldn't need an extension if you didn't squander all your time on that SMT RP. Tell me I'm wrong.

EDIT: TheOrg admits to it in a PM. I was right.

BirtDog
08-13-2013, 12:51 AM
I'm done! Editing now! I live in California and it's almost 11. One more hour!

EDIT: DONE!!!




At the Bar


“…Kalena? Walden? Nice name dickhead. Aaaaaand Chance “Fox”…gay”
Saint took another hit from his bottle. *Belch*
“So these are the winners of round 1? Nice of the Host to send me this list, but when the hell am I going back for round 2? That little baby-bottle pop was too easy of an opponent.”

“Hey it’s closing time. Stop talking to yourself and get outa my bar” The Bartender said in an rough tone. “34 stickdollars for the beer an-……where did you get that whiskey from?”

“Wow….you know I have no idea. All I remember was walking behind the counter, pissing in that odd sink-shaped toilet you got back there and when I got back, I had this little f**ker in my hand. Isn’t he just the *hic* cutest thing?” Saint said with a still face.
“Why I outa-“ this was all he could get out before Saint chucked one of the empty beer glasses at the Bartender. “Agggh!!” the man screamed as the glass left his face cut up and covered in blood; Saint had left the bar while the man was preoccupied with the stinging pain of a thousand mosquitoes kissing his face.

Saint turned the corner and meandered down the alleyway, it was around midnight or so, tripping over his feet every few steps; he was shitfaced. Just then a rather ordinary looking person turned at the other end of the alleyway. He was wearing jeans with a small chain on them, presumably for his wallet, a black and white canvas-splattered shirt, green shoes, and had light brown hair. Saint was able to make out these details with a quick use of his Evil-Eye.

“Hey there Saint.” The young man said.

“Hey there…Green Shoe Gregor- *hic*-y?”

“The name’s actually Roberto. You can call me BirtDog if you want.”


“Got it, Bitch. How’s it going, Bitch? How can I h-*hic*-elp you?”

“……well you see Hewitt sent me. The Host?”

“Ohhhh…righ-*hic*-t. So are we going to fight? I don’t remember reading a “Bi-*hic*-tch” in the roster.”

Jesus Christ, this is what I’m dealing with? They better appreciate this. “I’m so glad that you’re actually my bitch for the next few days.”

“I’m about to slap you silly if you don’t talk some sense.”

“Just….just shut the f**k up and take it like a man.”
With that Saint started charging at BirtDog, ready to cave his skull in with the whiskey in his hand.

“God…you’re such a pain.” BirtDog said with an agitated look on his face.
The young man inhaled a very large breath as Saint drew in closer. A few feet before Saint reached BirtDog, the young man let out a bellowing screech. The sound emanated through Saint’s body and paralyzed him. He stood there frozen in place as BirtDog walked around the martial artist, admiring his work.

“Ok, let’s begin then. Sid, mind helping me a bit?”
The young man pulled a necklace out from under his shirt and smashed the little fairy glass that was on the chain. In a few moments a man wearing a straitjacket started to grow in front of BirtDog.
“My voice could use a break. Knock him out for me, and for God’s sake try not to infect him.”

The crazed man smiled wide as his very presence struck fear into Saint’s eyes; the martial artist had shit his pants
“God…you…did you just? F**k me! Why him!?” BirtDog complained while gesturing at Saint. “SID!”
Saint was met with another scream and fell unconscious.



Can you believe this shit?


Saint awoke with a hangover. His head was throbbing and the light from the Host’s chamber was like taking a chair to the head over, and over.
“Oh man…I went too far last night. This is definitely in my top 3.” Saint stood up, eyes half open as he surveyed his surroundings. He was in the middle of a stone plateau. He looked around and saw a few familiar faces.

“Kalena! You are alright. I’m hoping.”

Kalena, thought Saint, so this is the tournament round 2 then? My drunk ass CAN NOT handle a free for all right now.
A slight quake shook the entire stage as huge blocks of stone rose from the lines written into the ground around the participants. Saint was cut off from all the other contestants in a moment’s notice.

Thank Jai… “God…I could use another drink” Saint said to himself. He looked down at his hand and noticed the half full bottle of whiskey.
“Ah yeah! Thank you, Bitch.” Just then an image flashed into his mind. It was the crazed man in the straitjacket, looking into his very soul. “That was some hallucination last night…it better have been.”

“Alright, time to find out who I’m fighting.” As he surveyed the land he felt something tap his chest. He looked down and noticed a rune on a necklace he was wearing. He took the necklace off to examine it and noticed a hexagonal mark of blood where the rune touched.
“The f**k? This isn’t my blood” he said as he wiped it away to make sure there wasn’t a wound underneath it. He took a hit of the whiskey, set the bottle down, and continued questioning his environments.
“What kind of stupid ass place is this? And what’s with the stone jewelry? I better not have a wife when I get home.”
Saint felt around his body to see if he could find anything else. He found Jai’s tonto tied to his pants and a card in his pocket. The card had the name “Bl.An.C.” written on it and a small indent on the back corner of it, as if something was supposed to click into it.
“Bl.An.C.? The robot guy? I’m fighting him? Well it’s better than that pansy Walden. Ha! What kind of name is that?”
Saint slipped the card back in his pocket and returned his focus to the rune…after taking another hit of the whiskey.
“Straight to the brain! Yeah! …ok now, what are you supposed to be?”
The martial artists saw something on the center of the rune, it looked like a raindrop, maybe a tear.
“If this tear is supposed to mean something about me, then someone’s about to lose an anus.” Saint remarked. He slipped the rune into his pocket with the card.
“Ok, time to find me a Mr. Roboto and smack him around a bit.”
Saint was feeling a bit better, but still hung over. He rubbed his eyes for a while, picked up the bottle of whiskey, and took another hit. He grinned and closed his right eye. He started to scan the walls around him for a while, but soon he noticed something odd. Saint was unable to see through the walls, he couldn’t use his Evil-Eye.
“F**k. Me. So this is the game? No powers. Easy win for me.”
With that in mind the martial artist started to walk down the only path he could, whiskey in hand.


You think he’s smart enough to make it through a maze?


Saint was wandering through the maze for hours. He grew more and more frustrated with every turn, the only thing on his mind was how much use his Evil-Eye could help him at the moment…and how he wished he hadn’t finished the whiskey an hour ago. He kept hitting the bottle, hoping that more whiskey would suddenly appear for him to drink. Saint stopped and faced the wall of another divided path: one going directly left, one going directly right. He set the empty bottle on the ground and pulled his pants down and started pissing all over the wall, attempting to spell the word “penis”.
“P-E-N-N-I-…5? How the hel-,” just then Saint heard a noise through one of the walls. It was the sound of a very intense battle.
“It’s about f**king time!” exclaimed Saint as he shook himself off. He pulled his pants up and ran to the left, hoping this would lead to the fight.

The martial artist made the right choice. He rounded the corner to see 3 people fighting it out. An old man with a silver sword that had a curved cane neck for a handle, a fit woman with a glowing blade and shield, and a man wearing a combat suit with bright red hair sticking out from the back of it.

Anime-City!


“I found him!” Saint ran into the fray screaming “Leeeeeeroooooyyyyy!!! Jeeeeeenkinnnnsss!!”
His first target was the old man who turned to see what all the noise was about. Without a delay, rushing past the old man Saint slung his left arm across his neck, close-lining the sorry bastard. The old man hit the floor hard as Saint continued towards, what he assumed was Blanc, unsheathing his tonto.
“Domo-arigato mother**ker!” Saint shouted as he swung the tonto at “Blanc.” The android raised a shield from out of nowhere and stopped the blade. The martial artist could read this inept brawler’s movements easily; he brought his knee up to “Blanc’s” arm, sending the shield into the android’s face.

“Explative: Bloody f**kin’ dammit!”

“Eat it, Starscream!”

The martial artist followed up the knee with a set of Muay-Thai. One, two, three, knees to the chest, followed with another set of three elbows: one to each shoulder with the last one spinning into the chest.
“Appa-chai!!!!” Saint bellowed.
He leapt into the air and flipped his foot downwards into the android’s skull shouting, “Uzumaki Barrage!”
The android was lying on the ground, barely breathing.

“Suggestion: Please….stop…hitting me.”

“Give me the card and I will.”

“Not a chance.” The woman spoke from behind Saint.

She made a horizontal slash at the martial artist with his back against her. Saint reacted with a fluid motion: he ducked low enough to dodge the blade, extended his foot into her kneecap *crack*, then ended by lightly flicking the tonto behind him and into Acel’s forehead. The tonto was driven by Saint’s chi and easily pierced her skull. The blade and part of the hilt had vanished into her dome-piece.

“Like a bitch.” Addressing ‘Bl.An.C.’ once again,“The card. Now.” he demanded

“Blanc” reached into his pocket and handed his card to Saint.

“Walden? That’s not my name!” he said as he kicked the android in the ribcage.
The face-plate on “Blanc” opened and revealed the face of a young man with crimson hair.

“What kind of lame ass scientist dyes his hair? So gay.”
Saint pulled the tonto out of Acel’s head, lifted Chance up, and raised its blade to Chance’s neck.
“Where is my card?”

“I don’t know. My card is with that woman on the ground behind you. She’s my opponent.”
Saint dropped his body; it hit the ground with a deep thud, and frisked through Acel’s personal effects. He found a card on her; it read “Chance ‘Fox’”.

“You’re Chance? Reals? I fought Rudolph the Red-Haired Lesbian?”

“I’m a guy…”

“Not anymore” Saint kicked Chance in the groin. “Whatever, let’s see if this works.”

Saint pulled his card out of his pocket and tried clicking them together; no such luck.
“What the f**k?” Saint exclaimed as he noticed blood on his hands. Saint searched his body and saw his pocket dripping blood. He immediately pulled the rune out of his pocket.
“Shit dude! It’s bleeding? Hey! Ho-ho-homo, what’s with the blood?”

“That’s…the…power you were given. Don’t you know?” Chance replied

“Shut up! Who asked you what I know!” Saint said angrily as he readied another kick.

“No! Stop! I’m sorry!” cried Chance.

Chance started to slowly and weekly stand up. “Everyone in the tournament entered with a power or ability of some sort. I…got Blanc’s suit, based on all that blood on you, you got my blood manipulation ability, and your ability went to that guy on the ground over there.” He pointed at the unconscious Walden.

“That lying, wrinkly, sack of shit!”

“He never spoke to you.” Chance retorted

In a moment Saint’s foot hit Chance’s kneecap, crippling him once again. Saint made his way to Walden. He noticed the rune on the man’s neck with an eye on it.
“Yup! That’s mine!” Saint said happily as he took the necklace off the man.

“I’m so…happy for you.” Chance said as he attempted to stand up again

Saint put the necklace on and tried to use his Evil-Eye. Nothing happened.
“Hey! Tampon, my power didn’t work. What’s the deal?”

“Smash it.”

With that, Saint crushed the rune and felt a surge of power run through him. He turned on his eye and scanned the land. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…off. He found the real Blanc in no time.
“I’m off to fight Tincan. Peace!” Saint said from a distance.

“Wait! Crush my rune. I want my powers too.” Chance requested

“Why should I? You clearly don’t need it. Look around, I did your fight for you. Take their cards and forfeit the next round to me.” Saint responded as he threw Acel and Chance’s cards at the ground in front of him. “The last card is on the dude here,” he said as he nudged Walden with his body. “Walden…you definitely got beat up in high school with a name like that,” he said under his breath.

Chance hadn’t realized what Saint actually did. He HAD won his battle for him, he was done. “……do you want to know how to use my magic?”
“Make it quick I’m not stopping.” Saint said as he made his way into the maze, now with the path clear to Blanc.

“Just picture what you want to be made and any blood you want, that’s not inside someone, will turn into that.”

“Sweet.” Saint said as he parted. I’ve got something in mind. He thought as he willed the blood in his pocket into a small bottle of whiskey. “Bottom’s up!” Saint took a large hit of the blood then immediately coughed it up. “That…*cough* was not whiskey.”


The Real Mr. Roboto


Saint made his way to Blanc in no time at all, thanks to the Evil-Eye. With small uses and large gaps he was able to use it without being fatigued. All the while he practiced with Chance’s power, making little weapons with the blood the rune was leaking. Over time though, the amount of blood reserve he was able to access was getting bigger; at the moment he could only make weapons a little smaller than his tonto.
A few more turns and he would soon meet Blanc. Down one corridor; brandishing a blood-tonto, down another; wearing blood-spiked-brass knuckles, down another; a small whip, down another corridor; twirling a bloody bolas. “Nice” Saint chuckled.
When he rounded the last turn he found Blanc in a large room, alone, with four pillars that did not match their environment. They were made of steel and metal and sparked a few bits of electricity.
“What’s up…damn I am out of nicknames for you!” Saint shouted towards Bl.An.C.

Blanc turned around and looked at Saint, “Query: Are you addressing me?”

“Yomp!” Saint said as he made his way to Blanc’s side. He continued, “what’s with the uhh…nerd towers?”

“Affirmation: It is essentially a black hole generator, placed here, I presume, by the Host."
"Statement: it appears to be inactive though.”

“How could you tell?” Saint joked. Just then, a faint glow started to emanate from Saint’s pocket and Blanc’s armguard.

“Exclamation: What the?”

“That.” Referring to Blanc's question.

The two revealed their cards: Saint pulled his from his pocket and Blanc removed his from his armguard. The cards floated in air and started rotating around each other.
“Oh yeah. Let’s fight now.” Saint proposed “It slipped my mind that I need to beat you…I was having too much fun on the way over here.”

“Disagreement: No, let us see what will occur first.”

The two cards clicked together and started to glow. The four coils started to surge as metal bars shot from each one and connected it into the other, making a steel cage. The floor inside the cage opened up as a device started to emerge from the ground; on one end of the room a hologram of a door appeared.

“Clarification: That’s the exit,” mocked Saint.

Blanc looked at him in silence.

The device started to power up and the floor of the room started to break apart, while the tiles the fighters were on moved towards the walls. The prepping was done as the machine started with a giant flash bang that was quickly absorbed by the newly formed black hole. The tiles beneath the fighters broke apart and left them hovering in the air. The now one card was rotating in circles directly over the hole in the center of the room.

“This is some f**ked up shit right here” Saint said.

“Affirmation: I agree."
"Warning: Do not touch the black hole."
"Query: Shall we begin fighting?”

“I see no reason why not.” Saint replied as he used some chi to push him towards Bl.An.C.


DUN DUN DUN!!!


Saint drew his tonto as he made his way towards Blanc, using his blood manipulation he trailed the tip of the blade with a lengthy, bloody whip. Blanc activated his wing pack and blaster; he started firing several small shots as he flew towards Saint.

“Not cool,” Saint exclaimed as he was met by the energy cluster mid-flight. The force of the shots kicked him back to where he first left. Saint spun right-side up and braced his feet against the wall, then propelled himself forward with a tremendous force. He and Blanc were now moving at the same speed, on a crash course. Blanc swapped his blaster for his shield and summoned his beam sword; Saint turned the whip-like end stiff, making a full length katana. Without thinking of what a beam sword does to blood, Saint brought his blade to meet Blanc’s but was immediately surprised when his sword went through the blood as if it wasn’t there; the top half of the blood sword splattered and landed on Blanc’s face while the rest of it remained as a blade on the tonto. The beam sword had cut a large gash into Saint’s chest. Saint cringed at the pain in his chest as he flew past Blanc and made his way uncontrollably for the wall that Blanc came from.
“Blood is not thicker than Beam. Lesson 1!” Saint screamed.
Saint stabbed what was left of the sword into the wall to catch himself, he then turned around and activated his Evil-Eye. Blanc was coming in fast; 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…OFF! Saint spotted some interesting points in Blanc’s suit. There seemed to be glowing green parts of the suit that appeared to be the origin of Blanc’s materialization mechanics. Blanc was a few feet from Saint until he pulled the blade from the wall and pushed himself at an angle over Blanc’s reach. In a moment he turned around and grabbed the blood blade, it transformed into a bolas as he sent it through the air for Blanc’s person. Blanc used his wing pack to change his course without hitting the wall, he made his way for Saint once more, but was surprised at the flying bolas. It struck him in the face with a noticeable force. The bolas splattered across Blanc’s eye and sent him off course missing another strike at Saint as he flew by him. Saint was gliding in the direction of Blanc, he turned to meet him as he manipulated the blood from his chest around his tonto, changing its shape into a sawed-off shotgun.
“Eat blood! This shit tastes awful!” Saint screamed as buckshot of blood made its way for Blanc at dangerously high speeds. At the same moment Saint was struck by 3 missiles hitting his side and exploding, as the others set off a much more powerful blast in the opposite direction past him, sending him flying towards the machine.

“Who put that there!?” Saint yelled as he was sent barreling towards the device. He manipulated more blood to his gun as he sprayed several more shots into the towers. The bullets impacted with two of the tesla towers, creating a surging explosion that pushed Saint away from the machine. As the effects of the destruction took hold of the room the two warriors fell briefly before they regained their “footing” mid-air.
Blanc jettisoned himself to Saint who was on a collision course with one of the room’s walls. He raised both of his hands outward as gauntlets formed around them.

“Don’t fist me bro!” Saint screamed as he saw Blanc coming towards him. He crafted the gun into two separate items this time: a bottle of whiskey and spiked gauntlet. This shit better work. He threw the bottle at Blanc, who made no effort to dodge such a weak attack. The bottle crushed on his hands as he continued. Saint punched into the air as the spikes propelled towards Blanc. Blanc’s fists met the spikes as they pierced his gauntlets slightly before splattering over them.

“Threat: Give up. None of your moves have yet to affect me.”

“Bullshit! Watch this, you overpriced Bionicle. Ha! I still got it!”

Saint focused some chi and threw his tonto with a bloody baggy of blood hanging from it. The chi guided the tonto into Blanc’s cybernetic eye as the blood spread all over Blanc and his suit. Just before meeting Saint, Blanc’s gauntlets and wing pack dematerialized, but he was still flying towards Saint.

“Query: What did you do?”

“I’ve covered the materialization ports in your suit with blood.”
“Now watch. This is going to hurt both of us!”
Saint said as Blanc met him. Saint brought both his forearms, coated with an extremely thin layer of blood, up to Blanc’s metallic hands. The force of the impact had cracked the bones in Saint’s forearms; but, the movement of his arms at the impact shifted Blanc’s flight path slightly upwards over Saint’s person. Saint rolled with the hit and used the new positioning to curl and kick Blanc directly into the wall that was behind him. Blanc was sent flying into the wall without any way to materialize pieces of his suit.
The entire wall shook with the force of the impact, as the machine in the center of the room started to hum and spark as the two remaining coils could no longer maintain the black hole. The machine erupted in a massive blast. The black hole dissipated, the floor reappeared, and the holographic door materialized. The gravity in the room returned as both fighters fell from the tops of the room to the bottom.

“Enough of this shit already.” Saint said as he started falling to the ground. Blanc, unconscious in his suit, was falling alongside Saint. Thinking fast, Saint spun mid-air and used his legs to stand on top of Blanc’s body as they fell. When they hit the ground Saint was too injured to do anything else, Blanc landed first as Saint fell on top of him.


Aftermath


Blanc’s back was on the ground while Saint was strewn across him. Saint struggled to stand up.
“Ow! That f**king hurt!”

Saint stood with his arms hanging, looked at the destroyed machine, then at Blanc. He smiled as he had the chance to do something he wanted to do from the beginning. He manipulated the blood covering Blanc’s body into little fists, and had them strike the android over and over. “Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself,” he stated weakly. A moment later, he felt the rune shatter in his pocket and saw the blood fists turn back into liquid state.

“…I think my cellphone’s broken.” Saint very slowly reached into his other pocket and pulled out his phone. It was clearly broken.
“Yup.”

The card floated towards Saint as he was doing this, rotating in the air in front of his face.
“Oh right…this thing.” He could only raise his hand so much, that the card could lower into his weak grasp. He held the card in one hand and looked at Blanc’s eyepiece with Jai’s tonto still stuck in it; it was humming slightly, signaling Blanc was not dead.
“Hey…robot…guy…thing…if you lose that I’ll kick your ass…again.” Saint made his way for the door at the other side of the room, leaving his tonto behind with Bl.An.C.


Unexpected


As he approached the door the card started to glow and the doors slowly opened. Saint made his way down the single hallway.
“I love the smell of victory in the morning…it smells like……victory.”
The doors closed behind Saint as he made it further down the hall. Somehow, without Saint noticing, a familiar figured appeared in front of the martial artist. It was an image of Sid. The figment shocked Saint past the point of a bowel movement. Saint was frozen in fear, until he started to feel a sharp pain in his chest. Saint breathed heavily as he fell to his knees, he looked back up at Sid only to see an image of BirtDog replacing him.

“That was fun. Too bad you were never mine to begin with. I’ll be seeing you later…hopefully.”

The pain in his chest erupted as Saint let out a final groan and fell to floor. His body was motionless.
BirtDog grabbed the card next to Saint and continued walking down the corridor.







EDIT (after the official story was posted):With 5 minutes to spare- I had so much fun writing this. I hope no one takes anything I wrote too personal. And to everyone waiting I apologize for the wait. But man.....WAS IT FUN WRITING THIS!!! (b^_^)b

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 02:29 AM
Error vs Birtdog is now up:

http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?75582-wRHG-Tournament-R2-Bl-An-C-(ErrorBlender)-vs-Mccaw-the-Saint-(BirtDog)


Good Job BirtDog. Will you still be making your loser's bracket entry?

BirtDog
08-13-2013, 02:25 PM
Good Job BirtDog. Will you still be making your loser's bracket entry?

Yes, i see NO (forgot that in the first post) problems with having to rush that because it's practically done (yay), especially since the due date has yet to be announced. My only issue is this part in my story I really want to forcibly incorporate, so I've rewritten that part about 4 times. I'm looking at officially closing my last chapter when I get a break from this factory/work. It always makes me tired when I get home so I end up sleeping instead of writing most days: today will definitely be one of those days. I like my story, love it in fact since its non-cannon, but there's just these small parts that are wooping my buttocks.

When I get home, and if I have the chops, can I PM you the full writer's note I wanted to place in my story as Saint and have you edit that in? It won't change the story but I figured that I'd write a shorter one for last night so the edit time stamp didn't read over midnight.

EDIT: after all this is done I'm going to release a few developments about Dom as well as adjust some things about him so that he isn't so complicated to understand from future opponents POV

Nikx232
08-13-2013, 02:32 PM
I personally didn't have a hard time understanding him. The challenge for me was how to make his personality work with the challenge of this round, and thus it led to more specific questions that I had to ask. Sorry about all that by the by.

BirtDog
08-13-2013, 04:03 PM
I personally didn't have a hard time understanding him. The challenge for me was how to make his personality work with the challenge of this round, and thus it led to more specific questions that I had to ask. Sorry about all that by the by.

No need to apologize. I understand. I sort have cheated my way out of dealing with that by using kid Dom, before Sid was ever released, so I wouldnt have to deal with such extreme personalities.

Nikx232
08-13-2013, 04:08 PM
Nice, I've found a way around his personality as well using the Dom. I can't wait to see yours and how you portray them as little kids!
Little Haku~! *~squeals~* (*≧▽≦)

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 08:11 PM
Loboto told me his is on the way, he was just swamped by work. I saw his 8,000-word draft so I know he's good for it.

TheOrg better not be RP-ing today if he wants to catch up.

Chamel
08-13-2013, 08:17 PM
An 8k word DRAFT? o-o

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 08:23 PM
That's why he's our strongest seed. I thought that was pretty clear at this point XD

Chamel
08-13-2013, 08:25 PM
Well thanks Sherlock, I had no idea =,..,=
I'm just surprised, I guess I'm just fangirling a bit, eh whatevs. That's still pretty impressive, especially for me cuz I don't write more than 3k on school essays... :D

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 08:50 PM
That's why you're the lowest seed. The underdog if you will ^^ I thought that was pretty clear at this poi---

LOL. I'm just kidding. I'm not trying to say you suck. But you can clearly see now why the brackets were made that way in R1.

Chamel
08-13-2013, 08:54 PM
Don't get me wrong, I probably am the lowest seed XD But that doesn't mean I'm going down without at least a little bit of struggle!! (/._.)/

Besides, if and when I lose, I can finally get to OP's Origin story and a few battles I might have lined up :3 Either way, I SHALL FIGHT TO THE LAST CHARACTER

blakphoenix
08-13-2013, 09:16 PM
Lol! Hewitt! You are so straight forward! It's great. I'm glad to hear that our pieces will be similar in length, I expected as much.

BirtDog
08-13-2013, 09:16 PM
Nice, I've found a way around his personality as well using the Dom. I can't wait to see yours and how you portray them as little kids!
Little Haku~! *~squeals~* (*≧▽≦)

I hope I don't disappoint you. Little Haku is something I kinda made up considering the minimal personality one can draw from her childhood. Quick question, probably a dumb question too: does Haku get along with the demon? Well enough at least? Don't want to portray her unjustly, and it's not too late to re-write some of her dialogue.

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 09:18 PM
Speaking of direct, I have sent An ultimatum (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?74353-SMT-I-AM-HOLDING-THIS-THREAD-HOSTAGE-THEORG&p=1064946&viewfull=1#post1064946) to TheOrg. He has until after Loboto has submitted his entry to comply. Or I will not resist to eject him for wasting Chamel and TheStrongest's time.

It would really help if he can provide me with drafts of his current entry as this is bascially why I'm being so harsh. I believe he has done little to nothing since he made that RP. Prove me wrong.

blakphoenix
08-13-2013, 09:25 PM
And if The Org is ejected? (I have faith in her....him....it to make the deadline) does that mean The Strongest and Chamel move on for free?

Hewitt
08-13-2013, 09:28 PM
No, that means They will have a 1 on 1.

Instead of Triple Threat elimination where 2 move on, it will be a normal fight with 1 moving on.

Then there will be no more semi-finals for all 3 winners. It will just be a Finals.

Nikx232
08-13-2013, 09:52 PM
I hope I don't disappoint you. Little Haku is something I kinda made up considering the minimal personality one can draw from her childhood. Quick question, probably a dumb question too: does Haku get along with the demon? Well enough at least? Don't want to portray her unjustly, and it's not too late to re-write some of her dialogue.

She is not supposed to like the demon, *thinking in a kid sense* because the demon is scary?
The demon just wants to get along with her for what he did, but she still hasn't forgiven him yet. :]
If you'd like me to elaborate more just let me know!

BirtDog
08-13-2013, 10:40 PM
She is not supposed to like the demon, *thinking in a kid sense* because the demon is scary?
The demon just wants to get along with her for what he did, but she still hasn't forgiven him yet. :]
If you'd like me to elaborate more just let me know!

Actually thats what I did. I made him make an appearance but he didnt try to go all "Sid" on anyone (it's a children's story you sick bastard lol; i know you didn't assume that I can't miss a good joke) he was quite the "gentleman" for his age and was a key role in the moral development of the story. His presence could be seen as that driving force for morality...that's why I wanted to get it right.

TL;DR- I didnt make him evil at all lol

The Organization
08-14-2013, 12:00 AM
OPERATION 02.3: Round 2// Acel vs. The Maze
Chapter Three: Ponytail and a Pretty Smile
Hey girl. Go on now.

Chance winced reflexively at the single lyric that herald the next iteration of the song that brought him unimaginable misery.

He had lost count of how many times he had heard the song, but to his horror he found himself singing along...

“Stomp my boots in the Georgia mud...gonna watch you make me fall in love...” he hummed.

He grimaced as he ran his hair through his red hair, trying to regain his sanity in this hellhole of country music. The gesture was futile though, because he still found his foot tapping to the beat.

Ponytail and a pretty smile, rope me in from a country mile...

Coincidentally, a blond angel wearing a ponytail and carrying a large gem encrusted sword appeared before him. She seemed nice enough and seemed to radiate a happy sort of energy, but Chance knew that this woman didn't belong in this country club.

She was about or a seven or an eight although with enough drinks, she would easily be a ten. The strange thing was that Chance had recognized her, but he couldn't exactly place where he had seen her before.

Chance continued to look over her when she caught a glimpse of him and smiled back at him. In her eyes, he caught a spark of recognition. She was familiar with him as well. Immediately, she approached him, wading through the dancing bodies to where Chance was seated.

"Nice Gimp suit, how did you work in the glowing strips?" she mocked.

Chance ran his hand through his hair again, but simply brushed off the joke.

"Country girl, shake it for me girl," he replied.

"Hah, very funny," she said giggling a bit, "I'm Cecelia, Cecelia Q. Graves. On the job, my code name is Acel."

"Chance Downtown...I don't mean to pry, but what did you say you did Miss?"

"Well, I'm here to represent the interest group known as the Organization."

"Never heard of em, are you some kind of spy or something?"

"Well, If I told you that I'd have to kill you," she joked.

"What's a fine lady like you doing in a place like this." added Chance.

Although she had a tan, Cecelia's cheeks blushed slightly and she smiled nervously.

"I just got lost that's all." she replied.

Baby you know what to do.

"Really..." replied Chance, grinning like a madman, "Good luck, Cecelia. There's no way out I've tried."

"Well, I found the bathroom. There looks like there is a door down the hall but it looks like its staff only." added Acel.

"Then what the heck are we waiting for," cheered Chance hopping up from his bar stool.

Acel grabbed Chance's hand and led him through the mass of bodies on the dance floor. Chance could tell that she was strong; although Chance stood about a foot above her, she was easily able to pull him through the crowd.

She seemed to be leading him towards the DJ booth, but the closer he was to the booth, the more the lyrics pounded in his head.

Shake it for the birds, shake it for the bees.
Through the darkness, Chance followed the bouncing golden ponytail. It was then that he noticed the door under the DJ booth. How had he possibly overlooked it? The more Chance thought about it, the less sense it made. Why would the door to the bathrooms be placed under the DJ booth on the dance floor?

Without hesitation, Acel pulled Chance through the door into the dimly lit hallway. There were three doors, one down the hallway and two, labeled men and women respectively, side by side in the wall. The wall looked old, cracked in some places, and the entire hallway had a damp smell, but as far as Chance could tell, the two of them were alone.

“So…Do you want to do this here?” she asked eagerly.

Chance smiled wolfishly, “Whenever, wherever baby…”

“Honestly, I was wondering what you looked like under that helmet in the preliminary rounds,” she admitted, “but to think you look like that crazy blood guy…”

“Crazy…blood Guy?”

“Yah…his face looks remarkably like yours…are you two related?” asked Acel.

Chance chuckled heartily, “Cecelia…I don’t suppose that sword on your back belongs to you.”

“Well no I … Oh that gimp suit isn’t yours…”

“Yes, and?”

“You’re the crazy blood guy…” she realized.

“Most people call me Chance,” he joked, “and as for my blood manipul-“

Suddenly, the door down the hall opened and a tough looking security guard emerged from within. Without warning, Chance held Cecelia up against the wall, his lips locked with hers. She didn’t resist, but when Chance opened his eyes he could see the shock in her eyes.

Working his way around to his ear he whispered, “We need to look convincing, loosen up a bit. In response, Acel nodded once and closed her eyes. It was obvious that she didn’t have much experience in this sort of thing, but her toned muscles led him to believe that she was an experienced fighter.

“Chance…” she said, her voice wavering slightly.

Chance was too caught up in the moment to care, overwhelming Cecelia’s tiny frame. Slowly, his fingers traced around her waist.

“Chance.” She sternly repeated.

Without the country music clouding his mind, he could truly focus on what was important. Slowly, he slid his fingers down into the side of her shorts.

What happened next could only be described as remarkable. One second he was making out with the violet eyed angel in the dim club hallway, and the next he found himself back outside into the bright labyrinth surrounded by rubble. Although he was dazed by the sudden jolt, remarkably he was uninjured. Despite feeling like he had been hit by a car, the suit had protected him from taking any real damage. Furthermore, he couldn't hear the terrible music anymore so Chance was pretty much fine.

All Chance could see was the bright sky and the enormous walls that tried to reach it. Almost immediately, he was graced with the face of an Angel. She looked concerned, waving her fingers in front of him and same something that he couldn't hear correctly. The face disappeared, but Chance could feel Acel's small hands running over his body.

"Crap...She found it..." he thought to himself.

Sitting up slowly, Chance could make out Cecelia examining his key and his rune. The key was small, with the back design of a poker card, but on the front was a strange insignia: 12 silver wolf heads each with ruby red eyes. She also eyed the rune carefully, pulling out her own from inside her shirt and comparing the two. Despite small differences, the two runes appeared identical to Chance.

"If you wanted to see them, you could've just asked," suggested Chance.

Realizing she had been caught, Acel struggled to find an excuse, "Well I uhhh...you looked kinda out of it so I just..."

"Nevermind that," replied Chance nursing his head, "What the hell just happened?"

Acel became flustered, breaking eye contact and looking off to the side, "I kinda pushed you through the wall..." she admitted.

Chance's jaw dropped in disbelief. Cecelia was fit, but he knew that he was about a foot taller than her. The little angel packed a lot of power.

"You pushed me...through a Wall."

"Well, you pushed your hands into my pants..." she muttered.

"Ah...fair," conceded Chance, standing up to his feet, "Mind giving me those back Cecelia?"

"Yah sure..." she remarked, brushing of her shorts and tossing Chance back the key and rune, "Well, what now?" asked Acel.

"Well, you've seen mine, you might as well show me yours." suggested Chance, massaging his neck as he put the Rune back on it.

Acel fished her card out if her side pocket, and held it up to Chance. He recognized it immediately. It was purple and silver with a reddish fox in the center and the words "Club Flye" printed at the bottom.

"Looks like some kind of flyer," noted Acel before returning it to her pocket, "Do you recognize it?"

"Sorry," lied Chance, "Never seen it before."

Acel smiled eagerly.

"I've got an idea, I'll help you find your key, and you can help me find mine." suggested Acel.

"Why would you want to do that? This is a competition you know." joked Chance.

"I'm serious. My mission is to observe the competitors as much as possible and frankly...Winning seems kind of fun." she admitted.

Chance laughed heartily and patted Acel on the shoulder.

"You should be more honest with yourself Cecelia," he advised, "Now then, Onward!"

"Uh...yeah. Where to Mr. Chance?"

Chapter Two: Where’s Walden
Acel and Chance continued to walk though the garden coming to a clearing lit by a light coming from above them. Chance noticed that the roof seemed to block out all light, save for the large crack that lit the room.

"Hey...Cecelia, there something wrong with this place." he warned.

"What..." replied Acel with a strange drawl. She was so entranced with beauty of the garden that she failed to suspect that any threat could possibly lurk behind the violet and ivory petals.

"Snap out of it," remarked Chance putting on the black helmet attached to the suit. It had a single large eye that emanated a green glow.

Acel giggled a bit at Chance's glowing eye.

"Cyclops..." she muttered to herself.

"Huh what was that?" asked Chance is voice with a strange robotic voice.

"Its just...you kinda remind me of a friend of mine an-"

"Cecelia," interrupted Chance.

It was then that Acel felt a powerful and familiar energy spike deep inside the garden. Before she realized the danger though, Chance tackled her, right at the same time that a loud gun shot was echoed across the garden.

"Chance...How did you-"

"He's gone...This suit has some kind of heat sensor, it doesn't really work all that well though." said Chance picking himself and helping Acel as well, "This guy is so far away, how the heck could he see us let alone aim so accurately through all these plants?"

"I've fought this guy before," replied Acel, "His name is Mccaw Rindar, also known as the Saint. He has this strange ability...a demon eye that can see through any amount of solid objects."

"That sounds like a real problem."

"It has its weaknesses though...He can't use it for too long and since its only one eye, he probably can't focus on both of us." explained Acel.

"Ah, I get it. We split up."

"Exactly, Mccaw is strong, but he's got a one tracked mind. With that suit's sensors you'll be able to find him easier than I can. I'll lure him out."

"How are you gonna do that?" asked Chance.

Cecelia smiled, "I know how to be a good distraction," she assured.

In a burst of speed, Acel disappeared into garden.

"Well...Alright then." muttered Chance walking off in the opposite direction.

Unbeknownst to Chance, Acel had lost control of her speed because she under estimated how much traction she had in the garden.

"Waaaaah!!!" yelled Acel as she slid and crashed into a tree upside down. A faint mist of pollen washed over her.

"Still fucking around I see..." remarked a familiar voice.

In front of her was a very strange woman with graying blonde hair that fell up to her shoulders as she floated upside down.

"Oracle?! What are you doing here?" exclaimed Acel.

"Shhh...You need to be quiet...also would you fix yourself up? You're not a lot of use to me hanging on that tree." responded Oracle.

Acel landed with a thud on the soft ground. Dusting herself off, she stood up to face the floating mystic.

"What do you need my help for Oracle? I thought you could see the future." mocked Acel.

Oracle looked cross, "I never said I could see the future, I was just able to see your future. Oh and you might want to duck." she explained.

Once again, Acel felt the power surge of Mccaw's Evil Eye and ducked, the bullet piercing through the tree behind her.

"You ought be more careful, hence he make a window into your skull." joked Oracle.

"Yah, I noticed. For some reason, all I have is this pretty sword and well all its doing is holding me down...Now then, mind telling me why you're here?"

"I could care less about your petty tournament, but I'm here tracking down a very dangerous individual..." she explained.

"I don't remember telling you about the tournament." replied Acel suspiciously.

"Cecelia please...Don't be silly, why wouldn't I know?"

Acel scratched her head and realized the stupidity of her accusation, "Well...what does this dangerous individual look like?"

"When you see her, you'll know," added Oracle, "Now I have to go, see you soon Cecelia," she said floating high up in the air and flying away.

Oracle was always a strange woman, the more Acel thought about her, the more confused she became. But there was no time for confusion now, Mccaw was still out there and she had to draw his attention. Observing the bullet hole in the tree, along with the memory of the power spike that she sensed earlier, she was able to guess where Mccaw was located and began to head in his direction. If Mccaw was focused on what was coming towards him, there would be no way for him to expect Chance.

Acel didn't make the same mistake this time though; rather than boosting through the garden she instead pulled the weapon from off her back and held the sword as she walked carefully through the forest searching for any signs of life. Despite looking cheap and old, the sword was surprisingly heavy, and the gems embedded within the sword seemed to emit some sort of elemental energy. Acel knew from experience that tapping into such energies without knowing would be extremely dangerous, especially after the Laser Blade fiasco while she was still in the Academy.

The longer Acel walked, the more she realized how similar the garden was to the park of her first wRHG battle. In fact, there too she had fought against Mccaw Rindar. Both the Garden and the Park were filled with beautiful flowers, an almost unreal sense of silence, and absolutely devoid of any animals. She then remembered how hard it was to find Mccaw, unfortunately there were no black benches around.

It was then that she had an idea.

"Mccaw is really sensitive to insults...perhaps if I do so then he'll come charging in."

Albeit, it was a risky plan, and accidentally enraging Mccaw nearly got her killed the last time it occurred, but this time was different. She knew Mccaw would come for her, but she was expecting it and she had Chance backing her up all she had to do was keep her distance.

Slowly, she took a deep breath, then yelled to the top off her lungs.

"Hey Mccaw!!! Yo momma so fat, she's powered by nuclear fusion!!!"

Her insult echoed throughout the garden, but it seemed to have no effect. Acel braced herself, expecting a raging Mccaw to burst forth from the trees.

"Hmmm...Perhaps it didn't work..." wondered Acel aloud.

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" asked a voice from behind her.

Instinctively, Acel turned to see the stranger; he was an aging man with thick grey hair and pale blue eyes but only one was open. In his hands were a walking cane and an old looking pistol. He also seemed to be surrounded by a strange but powerful aura.

"That tree will make vibrations in the air, but with no one around to detect those vibrations then they do not make a sound." explained Acel.

The man smiled and chuckled a bit, "Good answer," he was quick to business though, "Now then, My name is Walden, might I know yours?" he asked politely.

"Cecelia Q. Graves, Vicar 04 of the Organization, also known as Acel." she responded, still suspecting the strange gentleman.

"Interesting...the Organization..." pondered Walden.

"Hold it right there," interrupted Acel, "you've never even heard of the Organization have you?"

"Well, I can't say that I have..." admitted Walden.

"Heh..probably no one has, joked Acel, "Alrighty then, Mr. Walden enough small talk. What do you want from me?" she asked.

"Hah, straight to the point. I like that. Well, I'm looking for your friend. The young man in the fancy suit." he replied.

Why is his eye closed?
The thought wracked her mind and the gears began to spin widely in her mind.

Acel raised the short sword despite it being heavy.

"Mind telling me what you need him for?" asked Acel.

"Let's just say, he has something that belongs to me..." Walden revealed cryptically.

"Let me guess...That eye, that you have to close, it lets you see through solid objects and you saw your Key in Chance's pocket." stated Acel, remembering the strange card with 12 wolves on it.

Walden laughed again, this time Acel could see his teeth though. For some reason, they reminded her of a wolf.

"Then you understand, this fight is between him and myself."

Acel shook her head, "Sorry, Mr. Walden, I agreed to help him I can't just turn my back on him."

Walden began to reload his flintlock, but Acel really didn't think anything of it. She was so used to the Aether shield protecting her she never really thought anything of projectiles, but she didn't have her Aether shield with her.

"That's really quite disappointing...But that kind of loyalty is admirable," he said as he polished the gun, "What's an angel like you doing in a bloodthirsty competition like this?" he asked.

"You're giving me way to much credit," replied Acel, she I'm just here to complete my mission. I've got to observe the abilities of the wRHG's in the tournament."

"So you've got no investment in winning the tournament or fighting," claimed Walden, "what reason do you have to ally with him."

"The longer I'm here the more I can observe." she replied.

"See, that's what I don't understand. If that were true...If you had no desire to fight or win, you could have had acquired enough information from the preliminaries."

"Wait I-"

"Don't lie to yourself Cecelia. You could have forfeited in the first round, and even now your speed would allow you to easily avoid them."

"That's all circumstantial!" she retorted starting to lose her composure and patience.

"You want to win and you love to fight. Why else would you be here now?" he goaded.

Acel was speechless. Angrily, she grit her teeth and gripped the sword harder. Whoever this Walden guy was, he was not to be trifled with.

"What exactly do you want...Mr.Walden?"

"Exactly what you do Cecelia; a little fun. Say...I have a proposition for you Ms.Graves." he replied.

"What do you propose Sir?" asked Acel, her voice laced with suspicion.

"A simple game of hide and seek...You seek and I'll hide."

"Alright...Chance! Stay back!" yelled Acel.

Walden grimaced, realizing what she had done, "Was that really necessary?"

Acel smiled, "This fight is between us, if you want to fight Chance, you'll have to go through me."

"Fine then," agreed Walden opening his Evil eye and holding his pistol up at Acel, "No peeking."

Walden fired a third shot from his powerful pistol, the powerful bullet pierced through Acel's neck, missing both her esophagus and jugular vein, but exiting the base of her neck.

Acel fell back into a puddle clutching her neck. All the wound was bad, it could have been much worse.

"Ass..hole..." she muttered.

Despite the puddle becoming red with her blood, the wound already started to heal. Clutching her neck, she slowly stumbled to her feet. The bullet had successfully disoriented her, but she couldn't understand why Walden shot her in the neck. Walden was nowhere to be found; there was hardly a trace of him being there at all.

"Why had he fired at my neck?" she wondered, "If he wanted to kill me, he would have shot me in the head. Even at that range, I wouldn't be able to avoid it. Perhaps he was trying to slow me down? Seems logical...but again, why shoot me in the neck?"

Acel leaned up against the tree behind her. She was quite far from the crack in the ceiling, but she could feel a breeze coming from somewhere. Her breathing and heart rate slowed as she began to relax, speeding up the healing in her wound. Although her body had calmed down, her mind was running in over drive.

"Walden's not interested in me, he wants Chance's key. But Chance should see him coming...there's no way Walden's going to be able to find him without Saint's Evil Eye." she reasoned.

Almost immediately, Acel felt a spike in energy to her far left.

"Ah there we go..." she commented, rubbing her neck which had healed significantly. There was a small pinkish mark where the bullet had entered.

Cutting the plants out of her way with the the gem sword, she began to walk towards where she felt the spike. Walden seemed to have picked up on the weakness of the Evil Eye because he only activated it for a couple of seconds at a time. Whoever he was, he was probably an accomplished fighter.

Acel would prefer to use her speed but for exploration purposes, it was completely useless. The faster she moved, the less of the world she could see, and in this dense garden, she could barely see anything anyway.

While lost in thought, Acel heard a loud gunshot. She stopped instinctively, the bullet flying past her face and slamming into the tree on her right.

"What the hell?" she thought.

Was she wrong? Why would Walden shoot at her? Did he lie about Chance? All of these thoughts raced through her head.

"You're really not that good at hiding, are you Walden?" she mocked moving in the direction of where the gunshots came from.

Although, she didn't have any protection from Walden's gun, she knew that it was an old pistol that needed to be manually reloaded. If she could find him before he could reload, then she would easily win.

Acel began to sprint faster; she needed to move faster to avoid getting shot any further.

Eventually, she came across a huge tree in the middle of a clearing. It was so large that its branches, those not obscured by leaves and canopy, were large enough to stand on.

Suddenly, Acel heard another gunshot, but this time she felt a pain in her chest almost simultaneously.

"Shit..." cursed Acel as she tried to catch her breath. The bullet had passed through completely but it hit right under her left lung, knocking the wind out of her.

Clutching her wound, she rushed toward the tree to get out of Walden's line of sight. She ran instead of boosted to avoid worsening the wound.

Looking up at the tree, she knew she had to find him before Walden was able to find Chance.

Sporadically, Acel could feel the powerful energy emissions of the Evil Eye. Despite the power of the Evil Eye, Acel knew that it had some clear weaknesses and flaws. Because it was so pervasive, it was hard to focus on a specific object since everything appears transparent. Furthermore, even with a wide range of view, it was still a single eye. It couldn't give depth perception and since it could only be active for a short period of time.

Although, her chest was a bit sore, the wound had successfully closed up.

"Great..." she muttered under her breath.

"Walden! Ready or not, Here I come!" she called out.

Acel took a few steps backwards and then ran towards the tree. Agile she pivoted and began to scale the tree, starting to run up its sides. In order to protect her face, she pulled her arms up and boosted herself, racing up the tree at an incredible speed.

Although, the tree was quite tall, she managed to reach the top in a couple of seconds.

At the top of the tree, she realized how strange the garden truly was. It appeared to be a huge green house, with a small river going through it. However, the canopy was so thick that the majority of the river was obscured. Furthermore, the entire garden was covered by a large stone ceiling dome. The only source of light was the large crack in the ceiling, but the leaves seemed to reflect the light around the entire area.

While wondering how it was possible to even create such a place, Acel felt another energy spike coming from below her.

"I have you now." mocked Acel, dropping down to the branch below.

To her surprise, Walden wasn't there at all. Had she been mistaken? Did he figure out some kind of way to trick her senses? Impossible. There was no way he could even know about her ability. Right?

A sharp blade through the abdomen proved her dead wrong.

"You're not really that good at seeking, are you Cecelia?" rang Walden's voice. The cold metal seemed to burn as it continued to remain lodged with her.

"You bastard...How did you."

"Quite simple really," claimed Walden, "I noticed that every time I used this power you would notice it and follow in my direction. Although, you thought you were tracking me, I was actually leading you here."

Cecelia smiled, coughing up a little blood.

"Guess you had me figured out then...But whats to stop me from just running away?" she bluffed.

"At the speeds, you move at such an act would simply tear you in half. No, I don't need to kill you, I just need you out of the way."

"For Chance..."

"Exactly." said Walden pushing his can blade deeper through Acel's body, "Now then, walk the plank."

Acel chuckled a bit, even though it hurt to laugh, "You think you've got it all figured out dontcha?"

Walden smirked at Acel's bluff, "And what could you possibly do to stop me?"

"This." she said grabbing the sword blade with both hands and pulling in further, pulling Walden towards her.

Before Walden could react, Acel had taken them both of the tree trunk sending them careening towards the ground.

Spinning around, Acel managed to trap Walden underneath her, despite having his sword still in her stomach.

"To bad for you, I don't take falling damage." she mocked, boosting in reverse towards the ground. The two slammed into the ground, sending a huge amount of dirt into the air.

Miraculously, Acel had maintained contagiousness, despite the sword snapping into two pieces with her body. Gingerly, she rolled off of Walden, who was completely knocked out. Although he had multiple broken bones, he still had a very strong pulse and was going to be alright.

"Well...that wasn't so bad." remarked Acel, wincing as she pulled out the cane blade from her body.

In order to deal with the pain, she utilized a smidgen of her demonic energy, her eyes glowing a pale gold. The familiar flood of warm pleasure followed through her veins, and the sword wound that she had seemed to evaporate completely.

Tossing the broken sword on Walden's sleeping body, she noticed a card sticking out from his coat pocket. Fishing it out, she recognized it immediately. It was completely white with the black Organization logo on it with the number 4 printed below that.

It was then that Acel heard clapping coming from behind her.

"Well done, good show Cecelia."

Chapter One: A Teardrop’s Chance in Hell
"Chance?" asked Acel as she stood up and turned around to face the stranger.

Instead of the gimp-suited red head, Cecelia was greeted by...herself.

Well, not exactly. The doppelganger looked slightly different. Her hair was shorter and curly, and her skin was quite fair.

"Wrong...typical." she said derisively.

"Great...Another one," commented Acel, her eyes returning to their violet hue, "Mind telling me who you are?"

The woman disappeared simultaneously appearing behind Acel. The stranger wrapped her arms around Acel and whispered in her ear.
The movement was so fast, that Acel was totally stunned.

"I'm called Morrigan."

Acel pushed herself away from the strange woman and brandished her sword.

"Who the heck are you?" asked Acel again.

"Honestly..." chuckled Morrigan, "Do you really think you can fight me with that fancy antique."

As she said, that black flames began to rise up from her shadow and circle around her on the ground. Acel gripped her sword, carefully eyeing the dangerous looking flames. Rather than burning the grass and flowers they touched, the flames simply passed over the foilage, reducing it into black unrecognizable ash.

"Your the one Oracle was talking about." claimed Acel.

"Interesting," replied Morrigan smiling. She held her hand out and the strange black flames flew into her hands condensing into a small black orb of fire.

"She's quite the bitch isn't she?" mocked Morrigan.

"Hey, she saved my life!" shot back Acel.

Morrigan laughed again, "So quick to give your loyalty...Admirable, but I must admit I'm surprised you even made it this far." she squeezed the flaming orb, condensing it into a small black gem.

"What the hell are you talking about?!"

"Its simple..." she said appearing right next to her side, "You can't trust anyone...Not even yourself...Only me."

Acel smirked, "And why is that?"

"I simply wants whats best for you...what's best for me." she said placing the strange black gem in Acel's hand.

"I'm not entirely convinced..."

"Cecelia..." she said her voice trailing off, "Have you ever wondered what those dreams of yours mean?"

Acel turned to face Morrigan, but she was no were to be found."

"If you want answers...then completely my challenge..." continued Morrigan, her disembodied voice echoing throughout the garden.

"Cecelia! Run!" yelled Chance emerging from the forests, his arms making up a large cylindrical cannon that was glowing and aimed at Acel. Chance fired and Acel quickly boosted out of the way. The white hot plasma emitted eviscerated the flowers and left a molten crater.

"Chance what the heck?!"

"Its the suit, its out of control!" he claimed, the suit covered in emitting strange black sparks.

"I've got to find some way destroy that suit..." stated Acel.

"It's too dangerous, Cecelia you've got to get out of here!" called out Chance. The suit's huge gun disappeared and was replaced with a large arm guard on one arm and a powerful looking gauntlet on the other hand. Strange pads appeared on his shoulder's as well.

"Chance please...I've got this, i'm not abandoning you."

Ten spherical drones appeared above the suit's shoulder pads. each of them locking on to Acel. They reminded her of the drones that she had fought on the space prison, but instead of Gatling guns they had lasers.

"Ok, maybe I don't got this..." said Acel gripping her blade tightly.

The Laser drones circled around her preparing to strike. They simultaneously began to charge up and fired, but they were to slow to realize that Acel had already bolted into the forest.

The drones, tracking her heat through the forest, chased after her with Chance following in pursuit.

Acel was rushing now, both avoiding the errant branch or twig waiting to impale her and punish her for her recklessness, as well as the insane android suit that wanted to kill her.

The drones were good at keeping up with Acel but could not get a definite lock on her. But even this was just stalling; Acel needed to find some way to turn the tables and get back to Chance and destroy his suit.

While running, a drone popped up right in front of her. In a panic, she swung the gem sword downward completely destroying the drone, but sending her careening off course. She once again slammed upside down against a tree, a fine mist of pollen settling down on her nose.

"We've really got to stop meeting like this."

"Ah...I was wondering where you went, Oracle." as Acel picked herself up.

"I see you've met Morrigan." she stated, floating smugly in the air.

"She did something to Chance, I need your help."

"Sorry, I can't really do anything about that pesky ability of hers."

"What about your flames?" pleaded Acel.

"To be honest, I think you should just try to find away out of here without him. I can't do anything against Morrigan's flames and well he's a lost cause anyway." she explained.

Acel wiped off the pollen smeared on her face.

"I refuse to accept that Oracle, there's got to be some other way."

Oracle pondered for a second, wrapping her fingers around the graying strands of her hair.

"Well, you could always destroy his Rune." she suggested.

"His rune?"

"You know, that thing you picked up along with his key, he's wearing it around his neck." she clarified.

"Oh..."

"Also...you might want to duck again."

Although, Acel couldn't feel anything, she ducked anyway. Right above her head, a fist burst through the tree, splitting it down the middle.

"How nostalgic..." she thought to herself.

Spinning round the tree, Acel found Chance, his robotic fist stuck in the tree, struggling to pull it out.

"To easy." commented Acel, as she re-positioned the sword and drove toward the Rune in his chest.

With his free arm, Chance generated a powerful cyan shield, Acel's sword bouncing harmlessly out of her hand.

"Nothing's ever easy!" cried Chance.

"Whose side are you on?!"

"Well, I don't think that really matters right now!" claimed Chance as the gauntlet teleported away, allowing his hand to become free. With the shield still active, the suit force Chance to charge toward Acel, who was still distracted trying to pull her sword out of the ground.

Right before the Shield collided with her, Acel managed to free the sword but lost her grip sending it flying into an errant drone. As it malfunctioned, it fired a beam that ran right through the three other swarming drones.

Rather than avoiding the attack though, Acel decided to try and hold back the powerful shield; she needed to stay close to him to destroy his rune. The force of the suit was intense though, and from up close she could see Morrigan's dark flames racing across the suit.

"Shit...this isn't working. Chance! Try reading the instruction manual!"

"Ah here it is, it says to deactivate suit simply pat it on top of the head." he replied.

"Seriously?"

"NoooO!" Chance wailed.

Acel leapt back, allowing the Chance to slam into a near by wall. The wall cracked but the suit didn't even have a single scratch.

You could always try the Gem.

The silky voice of Morrigan rang in her ears.

"Why the hell would you want to help me?!" exclaimed Acel.

"What the hell are you talking about Cecelia?!" replied Chance.

"Uh...nevermind."

Acel fished the black gem out of her pocket and placed inside one of the empty gem slots, although it didn't fit initially, it morphed itself to fit snugly. After a moment of silence, the sword's blade became black and ebony flames burst forth from its edges.

The raw demonic energy raced into Acel and released an uncomfortable blood lust within her. Unbeknownst to her, her eyes were glowing golden.

Rushing toward her, the suit's had switched one of its arms back to its plasma gun and held the sword out in front of him, like a jouster.

In response, Acel didn't even bat an eyelash. Instead she simply raised up the ebony blade in the air. It violently erupted with black flames that seemed to pulsate from the weapon.

"Chance! You've got to stop! I can't control myself!" cried Acel, although she was smiling, her grin revealing fangs that had never been there prior. The demonic energy controlling her was different from that of her hybrid form. Rather than the pain and pleasure of the raw power coursing though her veins, this energy felt more natural and proper emanating from her body and resonating with the sword.

"Don't worry about me Cecelia, I'll be alright."

It was then that Acel had a slight flash back to her first mission in the Organization. She had lost her commander and her squad and was being hunted down by the angry natives she was sent to protect.

"I won't lose anyone else."

Acel swung the powerful blade down releasing a powerful black inferno that tore straight through the air toward Chance. In response, the suit lifted its shield and knelt down behind it. The torrent of demonic energy enveloped him and continued onward, creating a black curtain of energy that shrouded everything in its path, eventually slamming into the walls of the garden and bursting it open.

Just as quickly as the power saturated Acel, it departed from her; she dropped to her knees in exhaustion looking up to see a fallen Chance on the ground. Behind him was a scorched path of ash that lead all the way to a huge hole to the outside. The sword reverted to its normal antique look and the black gem simply dropped from its socket.

Against, her better judgement, Acel picked up the gem and placed it in her pocket walking toward's Chance's fallen body.

The gimp suit was completely gone, instead he seemed to be wearing some sort of tuxedo, lying there Acel feared that he wouldn't wake up.

"Dammit...I'm sorry Chance...I wasn't strong enough." she cried, tears steaming down her eyes.

Chance opened his eyes suddenly, laughing heartily as he did so.

"I had no idea angels could cry."

"You bastard...I nearly killed you, how the hell can I be an Angel?" she asked,wiping the tears from her eyes.

"Yah...but you saved me, and you chose to do so when you could've easily run away." he stated.

Acel blushed slightly, "Oh you," she said pounding him in the chest out of embarrassment.

"Owww oww, watch the ribs Cecelia."

"Ooops sorry," she apologized, offering him her hand to help him up.

"Nah...I think I'm just going to rest hear for a while..you go on ahead with out me." he suggested.

"You sure?" she asked, standing up and brushing the ash from her knees.

"Yah, I'll catch up with you later."

Acel chuckled, "I doubt that, I don't plan on walking you know."

Chapter Zero: Kalena and the Pussycats
The two fighters stood across from each other in the long empty hallway, waiting on the other to make the next move. The swordswoman carried a strange glowing, seemingly transparent blade. Pacing around her where what appeared to be the spirits of silver wolves. However, they did not growl or bare their teeth at the woman, but instead at the man standing across from her.

The swordsman was average height with a strong build and a disgruntled look on his face. In his hands was a strange knife. Rather than steel, its blade was made of a powerfully hot plasma. Strangely, the heat didn't seem to radiate outwards though, because the man's hand was completely fine.

"Kalena...mind if we take a break?" asked the man lackadaisically, his laser knife powered down.

"What the hell are you talking about Ensiron," she growled, under the influence of the wolfpack, "This is a fight, not a game."

"Oh cmon, lighten up will yah. Besides, if anything between nearly being impaled by spikes and having a light saber explode in my face, this whole damn thing is feeling pretty comical." Ensiron admitted.

Kalena sighed. The wolves started to growl, but she growled back and they whimpered in submission. The wolfpack had a strong will, but Kalena's was stronger.

"30 seconds. That's how long I'm going to give you." she conceded.

"Thanks, I really appreciate it," replied Ensiron as he sat down and fiddled with his one remaining weapon.

"If only this damn thing came with an instruction manual, you wold think they would just print them on the side of all equipment now a days." he complained.

Ensiron had managed to figure out the correct amount of energy he had to pump into the knife in order to keep it both active, and from exploding like the other one. However, at its current length it was dismal against Kalena's sword, and he needed to find a way to extend it.

"Having trouble there?" mocked Kalena petting her silver wolves.

"No way...This thing is pretty straight-forward, I just have to-"

"Fuck!!!"

The loud expletive echoed through out the hallway, peaking Kalena and Ensiron's attention.

"Who was that?" wondered Kalena aloud.

"Probably, some new combatant...Must've found the spikes..."

"I'm tired of all these monkey fighting spikes in this Monday to Friday hallway!!" yelled the voice again.

"Ah there she is..." added Kalena seeing the woman's bouncing blonde ponytail.

The woman smiled back but she blew past them, running Kalena's hair and muffing Ensiron's

"What the hell was that?" asked Ensiron.

As though the woman was some bad cartoon character, she stopped by sliding her feet, but stopped right on top of another spike pit.

"Why?!" she yelled as she grabbed the edge and pulled herself up before she could get impaled by the spikes.

Although, Ensiron was laughing at the silly display, Kalena was both stunned and angry at the spectacle this woman was making of herself.

"Oh, hi there," she said waving her hands, "My name's Acel, and I think I'm lost."

"Just keep going down that way, you know the opposite of how you came in?" mocked Kalena, still slightly annoyed.

"Ah...Thanks' hope I'm not interrupting anything."

"Oh no no no, I've been trying to get my stupid sword to work." complained Ensiron holding up the laser knife. Acel smiled and reappeared in a blur of speed right beside Ensiron.

"I'm guessing this is yours," she said pulling out the gem sword from her back.

"Wow, I thought I lost it thank you! How can I ever repay you?" asked Ensiron.

Acel took her rune off her neck and crushed it, the sword evaporating out of her hands and re-materializing in his.

"Break that rune thingy, and it'll return my stuff to me, That's all I could really ask for."

"Easy enough."

Ensiron grabbed his rune and crushed it into dust and the broken laser sword he had discarded earlier as well as the laser knife he had in his hand faded away, reappearing holstered to Acel's belt.

"Ah...Isn't that better?" she asked.

"I'd hate to interrupt, but your time is up. Ensiron." interjected Kalena.

"Excellent," replied Ensiron, standing to his feet.

"Thanks Ms. Acel, you've been a big help. Now then you should get out of here, I'd like to be alone with the lady." he joked tapping the red gem on his sword. Suddenly his sword became a giant flame and he began to radiate with heat.

"Lets get cooking."

Every wRHG entry I’ve done has a theme for the chapter styles that is somewhat related to the battle. Vs. Mccaw used TV shows as the title names, Vs. Luther Round 1 used Sonic Adventure 2 stage names. For this round, I originally intended to have the chapter names be mammals of the canine family. Pitbull, Wolf, Fox, and Bloodhound. However, because Chance was fine with Latin pop, I switched to a country song. The selection was pseudorandom; I selected a country song from the 2012 top charts of country dance music and found Country Girl by Luke Bryan. By sheer coincidence when perusing the lyrics I found the line “ponytail and a pretty smile” and it fitted perfectly for the scene so I made it the title. Chapter two and three followed naturally. Chapter 4 was a bit more difficult because neither Kalena nor Ensiron were fighting Acel directly. I wanted to find some way to incorporate both of them into the title. Since chapters names are basically up to the author I figured I would do the most obvious thing and dub the fourth chapter as chapter zero; I kept it consistent by making the chapters numbers descend.

I attempted a subtle irony in description that might blow over someone who either is unaware of Acel’s demonic heritage or who didn’t read close enough. It’s relatively new to me in my writing so I’m unsure of the correct amount of saturation needed to get the correct effect. It’s extremely simple. Essentially, Acel is described as angelic throughout the entire story, despite her being half demon.

The addition of Morrigan was intended to both compliment the return of Oracle as well as foreshadow the future of Acel. Furthermore, the Oracle in round 2 is slightly different than that of round 1 as she is more benevolent. She also represents Acel’s future exclusively, while Morrigan represents Acel’s past. This is partly due to the fact that the hallucinogens of the flowers causes her to have strong delusions, rather than the Oracle that Acel shared her mind with in round 1.

Morrigan also modified Zero's Sword to have an extra gem slot. The black gem that Acel used in the sword created a pseudo demon energy form, but it was very unstable and lasted for a single use.

The chapters aren't organized by size, but rather the main described character. Since I'm using a third person limited perspective, the protagonists is different from the protagonist's focus. For example, C3(C1) takes place from Chance's view with Acel as the focus. In C2 it switches to the true protagonist, Acel with Walden as the focus.

I underestimated the scope of the concept, but I want to sufficiently tell the story regardless of the word count.

Just realized how funny it is that the title is Kalena and the pussycats and she is accompanied by wolves, purely unintentional, I swear.

The finally chapter takes place inside Kalena's death trap.

Since Kalena has a sketch rather than a description of appearance, I just guess on what color her eyes and hair would beCited:
Bryan, Luke. "Country Girl(Shake it for me)." Atlantic, 2011. MP3.

Nikx232
08-14-2013, 12:10 AM
@Dog: Lol awesome! I actually can't wait to begin developing the story between him and Haku, but I'll have to wait until I get to that part and slowly carve away at this character development of a sculpture. *sighs*

@Organ: Yay! You finished your part! :D (Sorry you got chewed out by Hewy though >x<)

The Organization
08-14-2013, 12:49 AM
@Dog: Lol awesome! I actually can't wait to begin developing the story between him and Haku, but I'll have to wait until I get to that part and slowly carve away at this character development of a sculpture. *sighs*

@Organ: Yay! You finished your part! :D (Sorry you got chewed out by Hewy though >x<)
Given the amount of time I had to work on it, I shouldn't have underestimated how long it would take for me to put the story I wanted to write in words. You know what they say about hindsight.

Edit: Since I think so much faster than I type (To a huge degree), but I type fast enough to where I don't really notice the issues, I end up butchering my grammar in some places or even dropping words from sentences because I think that I have already typed it.

Lobotomizer
08-14-2013, 01:17 PM
The floor quaked and rumbled, and with them towering walls of rock rose into the skies, sealing the paths of every gladiator and separating Kalena from the very person she had hoped to meet again.

"...Cor...von?" She murmured, slowly slumping onto the ground. Her hand moved to the walls, but the unnaturally smoothed surface offered no crevice, nothing for her to break through, nor a foothold to climb with. Corvon was gone as soon as he came, and nothing could be done about it. She winced as pain shot through her back, a result of a few iron pencils that had struck her back. Deep, but not very lethal, serving to only frustrate her more.

Once, she was tempted to break through the mass of rock with her blade, but when she motioned to her sheath, it dawned upon her that even her other companion was gone from her possession. All she had was herself, her sheath, and...

Her hand unconsciously moved to her chest, where a tiny, nondescript pendant lay, hanging from her neck by a silver chain. Almost as soon as she had, however, did the surrounding air shift ever so slightly. Wisps that seemed to appear from nowhere swirled into the space before her, joining themselves into a vague, blob like form that gradually morphed into that of a...wolf.

She stared at this creature, not sure what to think of the situation. It looked every bit like the real thing; a majestic canine with a thick fur that streaked a deep brown, and had there not been bits of swirling dust around it, she might have mistaken it for the true, live version. It returned the gaze evenly, looking both curious and cautious of its new owner.

Finding it rather docile, she crouched to the wolf's level and gave the back of its ears a light scratch. It didn't object; rather, it looked somewhat content at the scratching, nuzzling her lightly in return. She gave a rare, faint smile at that. For now, it seemed to have accepted her as its master...or at least, a friend.

Finally she stood up, her expression now steeled with little trace of emotion. Corvon might be absent, as was her sword, but at this moment, it was of little concern. She had her duty, her goal, and if she had to see through it, she would have to forge on ahead without her old companions. Her hand left the pendant, and now gripped tightly around the top of her sheath as she strode through the twisted labyrinth, her newfound partner trotting beside her.
____________________________________
“...Kalena!”

The sound of Corvon’s fist slamming into rock echoed around him, but much as he wanted it to, the walls would not open from his will alone, only staring back at his agonised expression, cold and unforgiving.

He gave the wall one final punch. She’ll be fine, he told himself. Kalena would survive, like she’d always had, no matter the opponent, no matter the situation. All he needed to do was to find her in this twisting maze, and everything would turn out for the better. He shook his head and turned back to the maze, thinking of regaining his bearings, but no sooner did he do so did he realise he was not alone.

“Observation: ‘You seem lost.’”

A voice emanated from beside Corvon, sounding almost robotic in nature. Corvon took a step back, almost unbelieving of what he saw. It was a man in a black metallic suit, accompanied by blinking, faded lights that glowed a light emerald. A queer sight, to see something so absolutely foreign even in this world, enough to make him wonder if he wasn’t simply dreaming about some iron equivalent. At least, the mage hoped it was a metal suit, and that he was not conversing with an animated metallic golem of some sort.
“I...suppose I am,” he replied slowly, unsure of what to else to say. Was this an enemy, or an ally? He couldn’t decide. Already his mind was racing, wary of anything this person might possibly pull. After all, anyone in the tournament was an enemy to Kalena; surely the same would apply to him too?

“Statement: How very strange it is to see someone like that here. You are not an enemy, I suppose.”

He shook his head in response, not trusting himself to say more.

“Suggestion: Then how about we assist each other. We gain nothing in fighting; we may as well fight our battles together.”

The man in the metal suit paused for a moment, before adding, “Statement addition: Provided, of course, if you would fight my battle first before I fight yours.”

Corvon noted the last part of the sentence, but even if it weren’t there, the answer to that was obvious. He was suspicious, paranoid, and more to the point, he was more concerned with finding Kalena as soon as possible rather than to gain a potential temporary ally. One who seemed little less than trustworthy.

“I...cannot,” he answered, gulping in anticipation for the other’s reaction.

Contrary to his expectations, the man merely turned away to the direction of the path, “Statement: That is a disappointment. But at the very least, I’d wish for us to stay out of each other’s way.”

Corvon found himself unconsciously nodding in agreement. Time was of essence, and he had no intention of fighting someone who isn’t even remotely related to his goal. He motioned to move off to search for his companion, but then his eyes drifted to the man’s hands, and he froze almost instantly. Resting in his right was a simply adorned short sword, gleaming under the light with pronounced sharpness.

“Query: Is there something wrong?”

Corvon heard the man speak, but his mind barely registered the words that left the man’s mouth. He was too focused, too fixated on that very one sword that was wielded. The blade that was with Kalena for so long. Of course, The Host had, with whatever witchery he had in his disposal, swapped everyone’s equipment and capabilities. But that meant that he had one other way to assist Kalena. Gradually, his eyes lifted to meet the pendant that was strung around the man’s neck, and a foolish plan came into mind.

“I apologise, but could I have your name?” He spoke, his eyes still locked onto the pendant.

“Answer: You may address me as Bl.An.C.” The tone sounded vaguely curious, piqued by the sudden question that Corvon raised.

“My name...is Corvon,” he replied, now meeting the man’s gaze evenly. Or at least, where he assumed the eyes were, “I apologise, but that sword you wield...it is the possession of a certain friend of mine.”

Bl.An.C. looked down, glancing at the sword in his hand, “Statement: Ah, this weapon. You understand that if you are in this tournament, you would have to fight that friend of yours as well, don’t you?”

”No...I,” Corvon frowned. That was a good question. Was he even a participant in this? And if so, why was he allowed in here at all?

“I’m...not actually a gladiator,” he admitted.

“Statement: Intriguing,” Bl.An.C. nodded, seemingly thoughtful about the matter, “I don’t know why a non-participant would be here, but I assume you intend to help your friend by relinquishing their weapon.”
A nod was given in response.

“Statement: A shame. You understand that all I have is this blade. I cannot allow you to jeopardise my ability to fight, debilitated as it is right now,” Bl.An.C.shook his head, sounding almost disappointed.

Corvon felt a cold sweat drip down from his neck, suddenly realising what the man was implying with his words, “so you mean...”

“Statement: It is a pleasure meeting you, Corvon, but I’m afraid we were fated to fight the moment this round had began.”
+++++++++++++++
The maze seemed to comprise of snaking lines that seemed to have no visible end to them, twisting, curving to unimaginable lengths. Once, Kalena would have thought she had a straight path to move to, and the next she would find herself taking more left turns than normally possible, or encounter one fork in the path after another. Even as she stuck to the left at all times, it almost seemed as though she was going in circles, and not anymore closer to the exit or finding her opponent.

It was eerily quiet. Not a single sound indicated the presence of the other gladiators in the maze. Perhaps the walls were far too thick, or perhaps no one had gotten into a fight yet. Whichever the case was, the silence only made the travelling more unnerving. Shadows seemed to jump at her, and she steadily grew more wary of her surroundings, turning sharply at the odd sound or movement that would turn out to be something more mundane than she'd made it out to be. At the very least, she could be reassured by the fact that she had a wolf for a companion. One that she knew was of the spiritual plane, but a companion nonetheless, who seemed to give off a feeling that she could rely on it without fail.

Minutes passed, but they seemed like hours, for there was little to keep track of the time with, nor were there landmarks to even show the slightest bit of progress they have made. But the monotonous journey soon changed, when the next turn she took led her into a spacious room. Perhaps it was the sudden change in surroundings - the increase in space, the transition from a dirt floor to a series of engraved, irregularly shaped cobblestone tiles that lined the ground in a spiralling fashion. - that caused it, or just the sinister aura that seemed to emanate from within the room itself, but Kalena could feel a wave of unease wash over her. This was no ordinary room, and for some unfathomable reason, she swore that this very room was made...for her.

The feeling hadn’t gotten unnoticed by her companion either; it slowly stood erect, arching its back with its mouth parted to form a visible snarl. its attention was directed, not at the room itself, but at the other exit of it, just a little ways from them.

Kalena turned her head then, and no sooner had she did a man come walking in from the other exit. He looked relatively young, clad in a modern looking jacket that was dyed a jet black, accompanied by matching shirt and pants. Like the last opponent before, he looked absolutely ordinary save for his silver hair and grey eyes, the latter just barely visible in the distance. And yet, he seemed to give off an otherworldly aura that she couldn't decipher.

"Oh?" The man seemed to notice her, and gave a slight grin, "I didn't think i'd actually manage to find someone in this maze.”
Kalena stared at him for a moment, then loosened her tense shoulders ever so slightly upon realising that he seemed to hold no hostility. At least, not currently.

“...Likewise,” she replied, more out of courtesy than small talk. At the same time she bent down and gave the wolf a few pats. It relaxed a little when she did, but still remained alert, staring at the new visitor intently with its piercing eyes.

A moment of silence ensued, both staring at the other but neither saying a word. Even as Kalena was cautious of this man, even she wasn’t willing to enter into a battle without reason.

“So,” The man continued, hoping to keep the conversation going, “tough situation we’re in, huh?”

A nod, but nothing in the way of words. Despite this, the man remained persistent, stepping forward to introduce himself, “Name’s Zero. What’s yours?”

“...Kalena Eirwen,” Kalena answered, and after some hesitation, hazarded a question of hers, “you seem to be a pleasant enough person, what brought you to this system?”

“Does that mean only unpleasant people should be here?” Zero joked.

“For a system which promotes senseless bloodshed among people, would that be wrong?”

His smile faded when he realised that her words were no joke, “training. There is a...certain goal I have to achieve that I can’t do without it.”
“And you would fuel the cycle of violence for that very reason?”

“Yes.” A moment of of silence, before Zero challenged, “and you? On what grounds do you have to be here?”

“To judge those in this wretched system, and remove them from it with whatever means,” she answered readily.

He gave a hollow laugh, “you can’t judge people. No one can.”

Her eyes narrowed, the only indication of her flaring temper at his mockery, “and for what reason do you have to say otherwise?”

“I’ve seen through enough wars to understand. Morality is only seen in the perspective of your own. Judge all you want, but in the end you’re only imposing your own ideals on others. You’re no god, kid, your decisions are as human and theirs.”

Kalena snapped then, her voice raised in volume, almost to that of shouting if she hadn’t reined it in with what little control she had left, “should a criminal not be punished for his crimes simply because he felt it unfair? Should a king not be usurped because he felt his rule fair, yet his people suffer under his rule? Tell me, are you implying that justice is a flawed concept?”

By this time her words had grown loud that it almost shook the room. Her brows furrowed, lips parted to a near scowl, and her eyes, a gaze piercing through him with all the furious anger that she contained in her heart. Even the wolf beside her began to growl, arching its back to the Zero couldn’t help but take a step back at this sudden outburst, but it should have been expected; he was, after all, questioning the very motive she had for existing, even if he did not know the extent of it. But even so, he refused to back down. Stubborn pride perhaps, or just a need to set her right. Whatever it was, he countered her words with the same harshness,

“And what makes you think that you have the right to decide against what a person does with his life? Is it wrong that he gambles his life against others? What is justice, when you are trying to right a wrong that never existed?”

Kalena did not reply immediately, turning away with heavy breaths to calm her state of internal rage. “It seems that neither of us will convince the other; this argument is pointless to pursue,” she finally spoke, through her voice still quivered slightly.

"Yes," Zero nodded in agreement, feeling his own mood drop a little. He silently chided himself for even pursuing the matter; just because he had a wealth of wisdom with age didn't mean he had to flaunt it, and he swore he might've just made a new enemy too.

Kalena closed her eyes for a moment, then turned back to Zero with a cryptic expression, "hearing about your name had made me recall something."

Slowly, she pulled out a thin card from her pocket, its smooth, bone white surface glinting slightly under what little light that entered the maze. Etched on the front simply are four letters, “Zero”.

He widened his eyes in realisation, then fumbled in his own pockets, procuring an almost similar card, except this time its surface was engraved with Kalena’s name.

“Then I suppose we understand what has to be done,” she said in a soft, yet dangerous tone, “Let us cross blades. Only then will we truly know each other’s nature, do you not agree?”

Zero hesitated for a moment, but Kalena’s words weren’t wrong. He had no choice after all, not when each had the other’s key. “Fine,” he
nodded, drawing out a single baton-like object from seemingly out of nowhere. It fit snuggly in his hand, but nothing suggested it to be even a weapon for fighting with.

“Let’s start,” those were the last two words he spoke before he rushed forward, thrusting the baton straight at her in a bid to catch her off. Even so, Kalena reacted with almost inhuman speed, stepping back clear from his front. At the same time, a giant beam of light shot from the cylinder in his hand, reaching to more than two arms’ length and piercing through the air where she’d been.
Kalena frowned as she watched this display, her eyes narrowing ever so slightly as she murmured,

“How quaint.”
+++++
The battle commenced without a warning. No sooner did Blanc declare his hostilities did he rush forward, covering the distance between them with a single leap before swinging down the blade at his shoulder. Corvon, with barely any time to react, could only gather a small amount of energy to up a hasty barrier, a small translucent sheet that was to intercept the blow before it reached him.

But for a shoddy defense against a blade whose edge can cut through even the most tempered of metals, the result was obvious. The barrier shattered the moment it was impacted, giving the sword a free path to cut down at Corvon’s torso, tearing a gash through his clothing and into flesh before he could avoid it entirely.

“Nnngh...” The mage reeled back, pressing against his chest only to feel warm blood flowing freely down his hand and a spiking pain that made him more nauseous than ever. But before he could do anything else Blanc continued the assault, putting more pressure as he advanced with wide, arcing slashes that seemed to cut the very air itself. Yet Corvon was able to backpedal fast enough to match Blanc’s advance, narrowly avoiding strike after another. Eventually his opponent changed his attack, thrusting the blade forward instead to cover a larger distance, but that was what Corvon had hoped to see. Charging his hands with a thick layer of magic, he stepped forward and batted the side of the blade with a hand, the magic expanding violently with enough force to knock it wide off its trajectory. At the same time he struck his opponent in the torso with his other hand, the same blast sending the android stumbling back. Finally the mage swung back and, with all his might, punched him straight in the head, knocking him off his feet and onto the ground.

“Kuh...” Corvon bit his lip, wincing as pain shot up from his torso from the exertion. He put a hand on the wound and willed his magic to flow, clotting blood and stitching skin together until there was little indication of the wound having been there at all. But it was relatively shallow to begin with, and he couldn’t guarantee the next blow might not just lop a limb off. He had to finish this quickly. For both himself and Kalena.
He turned his head back to Blanc, who had, in that short amount of time stood up from where he was, seemingly bearing little damage from the attack before. Corvon cringed; it was something that he would’ve expected, seeing as he was facing a man clad in metal, but at the same time it became obvious to him that he wouldn’t be able to finish this easily.
“Statement: Not bad. I would have mistook you for a gladiator myself,” Blanc noted, dusting off dirt from his metallic suit.
Corvon gave no reply, because no sooner did Blanc finish did he lunge forward to strike again, as furious in his offense as he was from the start. He sidestepped the first slash, but the second grazed his arm, drawing a slit of blood. He had to get away, before he was shredded to pieces in a blink of an eye.

A few spheres of light were conjured behind him, brimming with vibrant energy before speeding straight at Blanc’s chest, forcing him to abort his advance to defend himself with the sword. The spheres shattered against its blade, knocking it back with each impact and bursting into shimmering clouds that glimmered from the sunlight. By the time the fog dissipated, Corvon had already taken the opportunity to run, his speed deceptively fast for the cumbersome robes that covered him.

Blanc pursued after him, blade poised to strike as he slowly closed the distance, but Corvon had other ideas. Without warning he doubled back, hurling a searing ball of flame that exploded in front of Blanc, who could do little other than to defend with the flat of the sword. Plumes of fire erupted from the impact, obscuring vision on both sides.

Corvon pulled a deep breath, stepping back as he channeled more magic down his hands, prepared to fire as much as he could to take his opponent down, but not a second later did the ground rumble beneath him, sending a torrent of stone spikes that shot through from the earth and tearing through his side. He could barely contain himself from screaming from the excruciating agony, clutching the wound as it bled freely.
Calm down, he told himself, calm down, calm down calm down. No matter how many times he echoed the words he could feel himself steadily panicking. His entire body quivered from fear and pain, screaming at him to run, and yet his thought of Kalena prevented him from doing so at all. He could only stand and quake in his boots, waiting for the inevitable to come.
And come the inevitable it did.

From the settling smoke, Blanc strode out, blade withdrawn as he confronted his opponent, his visor offering little premise to his emotions. It seemed to be a hopeless situation as the android brought his blade down upon the mage, who could only defend himself with a series of golden plates that barely intercepted the blow, groaning under the impact as blade met magic. But that was all he could do, before Blanc subsequently kneed him in the stomach, sending the mage reeling before he plunged the blade into his abdomen.
“Kuhh...” Corvon lurched as he felt the cold metal sink into his flesh, there was no pain, but the sickening sound that accompanied the strike was enough to tell him what happened. Was that the end? Was that all he could do?

He couldn’t believe it.

“Statement: It was good to fight you, Corvon, but I’m afraid this is the end of the line.”

He could feel the blade being drawn from him, letting his limp body sag ever so slightly. No, he couldn’t just let that happen. He’d yet to even help Kalena even once in this whole tournament...

Blanc was just about to pull the blade, now slick with blood, but not a second later did he feel a strong force gripping the sword, resisting his own efforts. He looked down, and saw his opponent clutching the crossguard of the blade with one hand, glaring back at him with intense determination. Determination that he hadn’t seen in a long time

“...You...!”.

The mage gritted his teeth, forcing his his own body to move despite his slowly diminishing strength. With one hand outstretched toward Blanc, he willed in what little magic he had left, surrounding his palm with an intensifying white light.

“Impact...!”

The light receded into a small sphere, shining with a golden brown strong enough to blind anyone nearby, before ripping itself apart in a giant, roaring explosion that was concentrated on Blanc’s torso. The two were blown apart from each other from the force, crashing and tumbling onto the dirt floor metres of each other.

Half a minute passed. The android slowly got to his feet, shaking his head as he tried to regain his bearings. The dust had yet to settle, having been furiously whipped up into clouds of dirty yellow, blocking his own line of sight. Despite the last ditch attempt, there was little to suggest he had been injured at all; his metallic body was scratched in places from the impact, and he could feel a throbbing pain at his chest, but on the whole, he was alive and well.

“Statement: A shame, I had expected more,” he said to himself with a barely audible sigh, dusting the dirt from his body.

His head swivelled to the ground, looking for the blade that was knocked out of his hands, but all that was around him was the sandy loam that covered the ground, nary a single glint of polish metal that indicated the presence of the sword of truth.

The dust slowly receded, swept apart by what little wind was present, but Corvon was gone. A trail of blood leading toward the inner maze, and the cracks on the walls were all there was to indicate him having been here.

A slow realisation dawned upon him. His hands flew to his neck, fingering the intricate chain that hung around it, but when they went down, there was but a gap between. The smooth, dodecahedral that was once attached to the metal links was gone. Ripped apart.
His lips parted to a grimace. Of course. The mage had been aiming for the rune this whole time. The palm strikes, the various missiles. Even the last ditch attempt was made to focus on the tiny artifact, not the wielder of it himself. He had been duped to the very end, blinded by his own offensive pursuit.

“Statement: Well done, Corvon. Very well done,” The android muttered to himself, slowly trudging deeper into the maze. He had no desire to pursue the mage; what was lost could not be possibly retrieved, and the fight was as fair as it could have gotten. No, he would have to complete the maze alone, and hope that he might find help on the way.

And on the briefest moment, Blanc wondered if Corvon himself had a part to play in the android’s lack of injuries...
+++++++++++
The laser blade crackled as it tore through the air, but Kalena was faster; in one quick sidestep she let Zero get into her range, and returned the thrust with a a flurry of strikes with her sheath, too quick to be defended against, before ending it with a single kick to the chest, which Zero was only barely able to stop with his free arm, softening the blow yet forced to stumble back a few steps.
The phantom wolf growled, stepping beside its new master, fangs bared and poised to strike. Zero gave an uneasy grin, rubbing his shoulder where an especially hard blow had hit. It wouldn't do for him to be careless even with this new toy of his, and the fact that his opponent had little more than a leather stick to fight with.

He stepped forward, swinging his blade in a wide, swathing arc that left a fanning black at its wake. Kalena wisely kept her distance, letting the laser pass just inches before her. Even as he pushed forward she seemed to know exactly where to go, her footsteps a frantic movement that seemed reminiscent of a dance; fast paced yet graceful. She was intent on waiting for him to slip up, he realised, but it wasn’t going to happen. He would simply corner her with his ridiculous range and...

*Click*

A sudden noise under his feet sounded. It was silent, just barely audible to the two of them from under the din of the fight, but just the mere sound of it spelt an ominous doom. Without even thinking, the two wisely evacuated, dashing back just before the floor tiles collapsed into a giant, gaping hole of a whole metre in radius that led into a dark pit. Had he not retreated, Zero would have found himself in somewhere he would rather wish not to be.

He stared at the pit with thinly veiled horror. Even Kalena’s eyes widened just a little as she looked on. The pit itself was surprisingly shallow, spanning just two metres in depth, except stone spikes lined the entire length of cobblestone, staring back at the two gladiators with their menacing, jagged points.

“Oh...damn,” Zero murmured, stepping back just a little more. But almost immediately he saw something darting at the corner his eye, and when his gaze left the pit he immediately felt a sharp pain as fangs dug deep into his right arm..

“Gah..you..!” He gritted his teeth as he desperately wrestled with the spectral wolf, struggling to open its clamped mouth before it tore apart more than just skin. But he had forgotten it wasn’t the only enemy in the battle. A few seconds later he felt the sharp thwack of leather whip against his side, .followed by a straight stab in the abdomen that sent him reeling.

Made confused by the sudden blitz, he could only strike back with a wild swing of his laser sword, made even more clumsy by the added weight on his forearm. Kalena made no effort to dodge, instead moving over to grab his hand mid swing and threw a punch in return, which he defended with his free hand. She proceeded to knee him in the gut, but he intercepted that too with his own leg. The two fought against each other’s limbs, each trying to overpower the other. Finally Zero resorted to slamming his head into Kalena’s, forcing her to stumble back in pain, stunned and bewildered.

He turned his attention back to the wolf, but right then it tore off a small chunk of flesh off his arm, skin and muscle together, before bounding back with a vicious growl. He could only barely stop himself from screaming in pain, swiping back at the wretched animal, only for the laser blade to pass through it as if it had simply phased out of the material plane then. It lunged at him after that, jaws wide open to clamp onto his leg, digging into flesh once more.

“Get off, damn you...!” Zero cursed, kicking it with his other foot with as much strength he could to get it off. Strangely enough, each hit seemed to connect, but it only served to make the wolf even more furious, shaking its jaws about to tear away muscle. Finally he swung the laser blade at it in desperation and it was forced to jump away, snarling. But before he could even pursue it Kalena was onto him, swinging her sheath down at his head. He stumbled back, throwing a wild swing at her as he did, grazing her shoulder with with a searing heat that cut so cleanly that the tissue was struck off without resistance. Kalena bit her lip in an effort to ignore the pain, continuing the attack with another thrust in the stomach. But the strike was awkward and desperate, easy enough for Zero to grab the sheath with his free hand, pulling both it and his opponent toward him before kneeing her in the stomach. She softened the blow by blocking it with her other arm, but she could do little against the following punch that floored her.

He could have ended the battle then, swung the laser blade just short of her neck and that would be the end of it. It didn’t happen, because not a second later was he knocked off his feet and onto the ground, struck down by Kalena’s wretched companion. It howled in fury, opening its jaws to tear the gladiator a new one, and it was all Zero could do to stop it just inches away from biting into his jugular. The two wrestled on the cobblestone, with Zero desperately defending himself before he was finally able to point the laser blade at the wolf, shooting a giant length of black that tore through its hide. It howled in pain, and that was the distraction he needed to kick it off of him.
He gritted his teeth, gripping the hilt to put his mind away from the numerous scratches and bites that now adorned his torso, standing up to destroy the damned beast with the final strike. It continued to growl at him, but it was obvious that, as ridiculous as it sounded, it was in no condition to fight as well as it previously did. Only its sense of duty made it stand its ground, staring at its opponent with determined eyes. Eyes that told a willingness to take the blow for its new master.

The sword was swung, but the blow never came. Instead the piercing sound of metal rang throughout the entire room. Zero widened his eyes, not daring to believe what he had saw. In front of him was Kalena, visibly panting from fatigue, her right hand now wielding a short sword that squarely blocked the laser. Despite the intense temperature that accompanied the laser, the sword kept its integrity, bearing not a single blemish from the prolonged contact. Immediately after she twisted her wrist, pushing his sword away to create an opening for a straight thrust, forcing him to disengage before she could do so.

“...I see you got your powers back,” he spoke with an uneasy grin, his eyes closed shut from the blinding light of the laser sword, “damn. Hard metal is definitely better than Star Wars.”

There was no answer, only the shuffling of shoes as Kalena slowly eased into a preparation stance.

Zero shook his head. Even with his personality he found little humour in the situation, “you’re not going to change your mind are you? Not even a bit?”

The answer came swift and firm, “you know as much as I do that there is no alternative.”

“Oh...I don’t know, maybe we could trade?” He muttered, giving a slight shrug. He opened his eyes, and though his vision was still tinted with white, he could see his opponent lunging forward, cutting the distance between them with a single leap and placing him within range of her. He hastily backed up, countering with a swing of the laser blade, which she simply parried with the flick of her wrist, angling her own blade just enough to deflect the laser from her before coming forward with a thrust. He sidestepped the blade, returning it with a kick the side, which she blocked with her free hand, only to be forced to leap back out of the way when he retracted the laser blade for another swing, cutting a long, deep gash through her torso.

Kalena gave a slight, barely contained gasp from the searing pain and stepped back, parrying the next thrust and forcing it down onto the ground before it could reach her before continuing her retreat. At the moment, the wolf which had watched this exchange haplessly leapt forward to attack, but Zero was prepared, retracting the laser blade before activating it again, this time facing the hilt at the spectral wolf. It gave a surprised growl as the laser streched to full length, just centimetres from its nose, and slowly backed off to its master's side, still growling with its fangs bared. The swordswoman slowly crouched down, petting it while retaining her cautious wariness toward Zero.
"Stay down," she whispered, "I'll be fine."

It gave a small reluctant whimper, torn by its allegiance, duty and feral instincts. Even so, it slowly backed beside her, letting the swordswoman continue her battle unhindered. Zero gave a frown at Kalena's actions, but showed nothing else to indicate disapproval or the like, merely readying himself for another attack.
They crossed blades once more, the clanging metal echoing throughout the room as steel met laser, each vying for an opportunity to strike at each other in a whirlwind of slashes and stabs that could barely be followed by the naked eye. Gradually it became apparent that Kalena had far better skill than Zero did, backed by years of live training and natural talent. With her weapon now at her grasp, she gave deadly swings that even Zero found hard to defend against. He was unused to the incredible lightness of his weapon, the need to activate it, and the need to gauge its length at all times, all of which showed in his awkward handling. But its range, at just under two metres, is still ridiculous, and it was the only thing that held his opponent at bay, even forcing her to retreat constantly while giving plenty of counters when she tried to advance. Within just a minute of close combat Kalena was already afflicted with a variety of wounds on her limbs and torso. Most of them light, but some more threatening, including the one at her torso, where blood leaked freely from it.

The turning point came when Kalena was slowly backed to a wall, having made little progress in her offense. It was clear that the battle was quickly drawing to a close. Sensing blood, Zero stepped in for the kill, only to see the swordswoman strike the wall behind her with her blade at the same time, sinking it into the rock. Zero paused for just a split second then, wondering just what she was thinking. A gesture of submission? Frustration? That moment of thought was what Kalena needed. From the wall, a giant pillar erupted forth, crashing forward with a raging speed. Zero, taken aback at this sudden move, was thrown off as the rock struck his side, sending him stumbling as it tore skin and flesh from the very impact. What happened? He could barely tell, disoriented by the sudden attack and the accompanying pain. Only within a few seconds was he able to regain his balance, only to hear a familiar, doomish sound.
*Click*

“Bloody-” He cursed excessively as he realised what Kalena had intended. He leapt off to his side without a single thought, just as the ground crumbled beneath him to reveal the very same pit. Scrambling to his feet, there was no time to even catch a breath as Kalena charged forward with a crushing swing, forcing him to defend himself with his laser blade set horizontally to intercept the blow. Not missing a beat, she followed it with a kick to the side, sending him stumbling stumbling before swinging her sword in a wide arc at his torso. He kicked back with his feet, leaping back far enough for the swing to just graze his chest before dropping into a roll, swinging in front of him as he recovered, stopping Kalena’s advance as well as cutting a vertical gash from waist to torso.
The two stared at each other intensely with laboured breaths, watching for just the slightest bit of movement from each other. Yet none of them moved from where they were, too exhausted and in pain to continue fighting recklessly. Kalena had gradually realised that even with her blade, dealing with Zero was quickly turning out to be a much harder task, especially when she gradually losing the power to fight; wounds littered throughout her body, and her blade felt much heavier than before in her grasp. She still had some energy left, but how long would it take for it all to diminish?

But there was little choice. She would have no help in this fight; she would not let her companion fall in battle, nor was there Corvon to save her at the last moment. Slowly, she crouched to a stance, her blade aimed at her opponent and ready to strike. Likewise, Zero did the same,waiting for his opponent to advance for a counterattack. There was no time for hesitation. With one breath she stepped forward, to finally put an end to this drawn out battle.

“...Kalena...!”

The sudden shout rang throughout the room, breaking the tense atmosphere and sending the two combatants into a grinding halt. From the doorway nearest to the two, a young man came rushing over, his tattered and bloodied robes trailing behind his figure. He was panting from exhaustion, and seemed to be as every bit fatigued as the other two were. But even so, his eyes were still bright and wide alert, driven by his sole desire to see his companion safe. But that changed when he saw Kalena, seemingly on the verge of collapsing, and his anxious expression turned to that of horror.

“Kalena you...!”

Kalena was no less shocked, but when she tried to right herself back up to confront him, she was assailed with a stinging pain from her wounds, and it was all she could do to keep herself from stumbling. That only made the mage’s concern skyrocket. He stepped forward, ready to be at her side, and for just a moment, Kalena’s eyes flickered to something almost close to fear.

“No...!” She cried out, but the word never made it into his head. Corvon was blinded and deafened by the need to be by her side, even to the miniscule creak as his feet stepped onto the pressure plate just a few paces from her.

There was no shout, not even a gasp as Kalena understood what the mage had done. She instantly leapt forward and spun her body around to deliver a crushing kick straight at Corvon’s stomach, enough to send the frail mage tumbling back a long distance away. And just as suddenly, the ground collapsed once more beneath her, and she was swallowed by the dark, nary a cry to indicate her fate as the floors reassembled themselves over the pit once more.

“Damn...!” Zero stopped short of the pit, having sprinted ahead to grab ahold of his opponent, but it was already clear that he didn’t have the time to do so. It happened all too quick, too sudden, that it almost felt as if nothing had transpired in the first place. His gaze flickered to the new comer, coughing on all fours as he struggled to recover from the kick. Who was this man? Was he trying to help Kalena, and just ended up killing her instead?

“K...Kalena?” The mage stared wide-eyed at the ground, his voice quivering as he gradually realised what he’d done. He scrambled forward, tapping the ground frantically, crying out for her name, but there was no response. He’d gone so far to help her through this round, risking his life just so he might give her the slightest advantage she could need. All so that she may accomplish what she’d set out to do, all so to prove that he could be of use...

...It was all for naught.

“Get yourself together, bud!” Zero yelled, breaking the mage’s panicked thoughts. It was hard enough to see this happen, and having this newcomer mope about was going to make it worse, “come on, if she’s alive we can save her.”

He didn’t wait for a response, stepping on the same pressure plate that did Kalena in. It wasn’t hard; there was a unique, snaking pattern to the tiles that he’d never noticed until now. He leapt back, watching the floor crumble once more.

“Go on, get her,” he tilted his head to the spike pit, grimacing a little, “I’ll keep the thing open while you’re at it.”
Corvon only nodded, too much in a daze to question his motives. He dropped himself into the pit without a moment’s hesitation, the magic at his feet keeping him aloft just enough for him to avoid getting stabbed by the spikes himself before he met the narrow ground between them.

“Kalena?” He spoke cautiously as he glanced about the pit, his anxiety rising. What if...what if Kalena had...

"How many more times will you call my name, Corvon?"

He spun around at the voice, to see Kalena standing amidst the sea of spikes accompanied by a large wolf, which seemed unaffected by the spike poking through its body, as if it weren’t there at all. Her hand clutched at her bleeding shoulder, and even in the dim lighting it could be seen that she hadn’t made it through unscathed.

“Kalena...I’m...” He half choked, running toward her with the most relieved expression he could ever make, but right when he stepped close to her he felt a sharp impact against his cheeks; Kalena had slapped him.

“Corvon,” she spoke quietly, lowering her hand. Even with her deadpan expression a serious tone could be heard in her voice, “your haste to help someone may very well lead both of you to your demise. I thought your master would have told you do.

“I’m...I’m sorry...truly,” he murmured, bowing deeply despite the smarting pain at his cheeks, almost making a right angle. It was his fault, but there was nothing more he could say or do to convey his regret.

“Look at me, Corvon,” she said, now much more lightly than before. The mage straightened his back, staring back at her in surprise.

“I...I am glad you came for me. I truly am,” she continued with some hesitation, as though she was choosing the right words to use, “the sword of truth returned to my side no doubt by your hand, and yet you still decided you had to do more to help. What more could I want from a friend? But rashness comes at a cost. You have learnt your lesson; do not repeat it.”

Corvon nodded slowly, feeling his cheeks redden just a little upon hearing her gratitude, “I won’t.”

She returned the nod, wincing briefly as her wounds started to smart again. Seeing, this, Corvon hurriedly said, “I’ll heal you.”

Kalena hesitated for a moment, unsure of whether to accept or decline. They had been given the grace of time by their opponent; what right did she have to ask for more?

“No,” she replied flatly, “at least, not here. I shall not take advantage of what time we have been given.”

“but-”

She interrupted him as soon as he began to protest, a firm message that she would no longer listen otherwise. Without an option, he only gave a sigh and agreed.
+++++++++
Moments later Zero watched the two leave the pit via an earth pillar summoned by Kalena’s sword, but when he was asked for a continuation of the battle he merely laughed and shook his head.

“No, no. I think we all know how this is going to end,” he points at Corvon, “you have him, and I’m almost half dead myself. I’d be asking for suicide.”

Kalena opened her mouth to object, but then closed it when she realised he was right. Corvon would fight, and even with him alone against an exhausted Zero the victor would be certain. He had no reason to continue, not unless he was foolish.

“Would that be a forfeit?” She asked slowly.

“Guess it would,” Zero gave a slight chuckle. Rummaging his pockets, he tossed his own key at her, which she quickly caught with her free hand.

“Take it, you’ve earned it.”

Kalena paused for a moment, eyeing at him with an almost confused expression, “I don’t truly understand just who you are, but I know you
have your morals, and I will respect that, as with your own viewpoints. Forgive my hostile attitude from before.”
Zero smiled, “I’ll have to apologise too, riling you up like that.”

“I...I’ll patch the two of up, then,” Corvon spoke hurriedly. With a few sparks of his own magic the two had their wounds sealed, though the deeper ones would have to require the body’s own regeneration to fully recover.

“If you plan on going along with your mission, then I’ll pray for your sake; it’ll be a long journey,” Zero directed his words at Kalena, “you’ve got a good friend by your side, if a little thoughtless.”

“Likewise. I hope the path you take will bear fruit,” she responded, “and that we may never have to cross paths once more.”

With that, Kalena and Corvon turned on their heels to leave after one last word of goodbye, leaving for the exit of the labyrinth. For a brief moment, Kalena's wolf gazed at Zero with curious eyes, only turning back to leave for its master when she had gone far enough. Zero watched their disappearing figures, sighing deeply to himself. Maybe he was a tad soft, but he found this conclusion satisfying.

“Yeah, it’s fine that way,” he spoke to noone in particular, resting himself on a section of the wall with a light smile, “it’s fine, if I get to see someone happy like that. Even if they don’t show it.”

There isn't much to say in 2am in the morning. The story went well, but become frustrating toward the end. I constantly questioned my writing, wondering if the whole battle itself was coherent at all, and I'm sure there were many parts that simply weren't well done. Would readers pick up on what I wanted to show in the story? Or just the mistakes i've made throughout? I hope at least the former, but the latter is refreshing too, in a way.

I tried to go closer to reality with the advantages on both sides, which tends to be the norm for me when I write. To be honest, that was what killed me in the end. I could barely think of just how I could have the battle end on Kalena's victory, given what she and Zero had. Maybe I should have just gone a little more wild with the earth manipulation, or more wolves. After all, being broken obviously isn't too big of a deal here. *snide jab*

As an extension of that, does the ending sound cheesy or abrupt to you? It probably does, but I guess I just ran out of ideas. Perhaps my opponent has done better than I on that regard, and if so it would be his own rightful win. It's funny, because I found Zero's seemingly generic cheery personality to be difficult to work with, and so the idea for how the battle would conclude was conceived within a few hasty minutes when I realised my initial plan wouldn't work.

Ah...Irony. I had initially planned for three events that would convey that, but it's been cut to just two. I'm sure they're easy to spot, unless I had the definition wrong. Not that having two means writing them well, but I had thought it would be funny to pepper the story with said theme. It's really tough to fight for two bonuses (ante and round bonus), though I guess having a little restriction wouldn't hurt, except in order to include everything I had to write I ended up with a monster of eight thousand words. It's really bad, to be honest.

Words words words...

At any rate, if you've read so far up to here, I must congratulate and thank you. I don't think I can ever steel through something like this in one session, especially when it's mostly just a battle. For the rest of the competitors here, good luck for the polls; I don't think voting will be as clear cut now.

Lobotomizer
08-20-2013, 11:55 AM
The polls will be over in a day. It's regrettable to see so little votes on the three battles.

Hopefully people might get on it soon, but I can't help but wonder if the fire had been long extinguished after the first round.

The Organization
08-20-2013, 12:01 PM
Perhaps the poll deadlines should be extended, I have been busy with stuff I was putting off prior. I can't vote without a proper review and CNC

blakphoenix
08-20-2013, 12:05 PM
It is sad, I mean, even the non-tournament lurkers aren't voting. This is kind of depressing. Oh well, I'm happy that I was able to write a nice story! :D

Boomerang
08-20-2013, 12:28 PM
Now I feels bad. I'm gonna read the stories and try to do some CnC so it's a bit more of a third party

Lobotomizer
08-20-2013, 06:15 PM
Well, votes for my own battle have a grand total of zero.

This is just sad.

Boomerang
08-20-2013, 06:18 PM
I'll vote for your battle later on tonight lobo. Hopefully others will follow suit

Hewitt
08-20-2013, 06:19 PM
Hey guys cmon this is ridiculous. Are you telling me that you don't want this to happen anymore? The threads are out. The polls are up. Why is no one voting? Why do you think cnc-ing is part of the points to be gained around here? You guys aren't dead because some of you PM me and post in this place on occasion. Cmon. I'm extending the deadline of the polls. Get your shit together guys.


Perhaps the poll deadlines should be extended, I have been busy with stuff I was putting off prior. I can't vote without a proper review and CNC

How hard is it to just click a button and watch things fly. The CNC can come later if at all. It's so sad that no one's even trying to vote all because they're afraid their say doesn't matter. I don't care how you all worked hard to get your shit up. If this tournament fails, it's easily your faults as much as it is mine.

The Organization
08-20-2013, 06:36 PM
You're right, but I typically don't vote till after my CnC so I'm not swayed by first impression
We've still got Semis, Finals, and Losers vs Winner assuming double elimination, participation needs to pick up. Granted school is starting for some, at least in America so I suspect that as a problem.
I'll get my votes and CNC later don't worry about me, but the concerns are real.

Chamel
08-20-2013, 06:49 PM
I think I only have one more to vote on... Could we advertise in the Chat Thread? :D

Boomerang
08-20-2013, 06:55 PM
Okay, tonight I'm making a point to vote both lobos and blacks and birts and errors. I just pretty much finished two of my current writings so I have time. Don't worry Hewwy, it ain't gonna die just yet.

Tantalum
08-20-2013, 07:32 PM
Hey guys cmon this is ridiculous. Are you telling me that you don't want this to happen anymore? The threads are out. The polls are up. Why is no one voting? Why do you think cnc-ing is part of the points to be gained around here? You guys aren't dead because some of you PM me and post in this place on occasion. Cmon. I'm extending the deadline of the polls. Get your shit together guys.

How hard is it to just click a button and watch things fly. The CNC can come later if at all. It's so sad that no one's even trying to vote all because they're afraid their say doesn't matter. I don't care how you all worked hard to get your shit up. If this tournament fails, it's easily your faults as much as it is mine.

To be fair, almost all of these entries are far longer than the average wRHG battle - and it was enforced for them to be this long, because the theme demanded it of them. Sure, it's good in that the writers get a pretty hard challenge, but the clear flaw is that not enough of us have the time to read each person's individual 4000+ word stories within a week.

One-read-a-day sounds possible in theory, but Lobotomizer's entry took me two, maybe three sittings, and I was half-busy failing with the Losers' bracket before then. I'll be sure to share a couple comments on xis and blakphoenix's in time, but just saying, I don't think the participants and lurkers deserve that much of the blame there.

Hewitt
08-21-2013, 05:32 AM
I wasn't even addressing you Tantalum. I'm aware you have your own entry to worry about. But seriously, 8000 words in 2-3 sittings? 8000 words is like 1 chapter from a novel. Or half a chapter. That's one afternoon. Unless your attention span is like a goldfish I doubt you'd have any difficulty clicking a button to vote for something that can be done easily. Like I said the cnc can come later.

ErrorBlender
08-21-2013, 12:25 PM
...And the waiting game commences.

Let's go guys keep the voting on. :)

Hewitt
08-21-2013, 09:43 PM
Nice to see some of the empty threads get some votes. I've extended the polls by another week as I've said.

If you know some folk over a the Loser's Bracket, please spread the word as well. We're all one big community here.

Hewitt
08-25-2013, 07:26 PM
This Round's halfway done. Just waiting a little more and judging the entries personally with acute.

Here's the Preview title for the semi-finals: Blow by Blow

Chamel
08-25-2013, 07:45 PM
ANTICIPATION IS WELLING INSIDE ME AT MAXIMUM SPEEDS! PREPARE FOR TOTAL DOMIN--

Oh wait, I have a weekly to finish...

*aborts*

BirtDog
08-27-2013, 11:09 PM
I AM ALIVE!!!!

I am currently reading EVERYTHING i missed. For now you can find me in the Original Lit. Loser's entry place for the next few minutes, then in the OL votal thingy,then I'll be back here...or somewhere lol

CHAMEL!!!! We have much to discuss when I am done. BOOMERRANG!!! You too ;D

Boomerang
08-27-2013, 11:11 PM
Hm? Things to discuss? Well im curious now

BirtDog
08-28-2013, 12:06 AM
It's about a colab in creating the 11th disciple with you ^_^

Chance I have a proposal for you in joining if you're still up to it. I'll create a thread tomorrow detailing my goals and explaining the foreground to this EPIC STORY!!!! (havent actually written much, or anything more, of it with me being occupied but that didnt stop me from brainstorming an entire goddamn world!!!)

But I'm too tired to do...anything else lol
So ill read all the missed battles and do my CnC's (and vote if I can) tomorrow.....i don't know, I might stay on but I feel like I'll avoid the battles because a CnC and vote from a tired person isn't the best and I want to be alert when i read the awesome entries.

Boomerang
08-28-2013, 12:15 AM
Oh yeah the collab. Still up for that. I may not be the best writer but i still go for all the writing things :P

BirtDog
08-28-2013, 02:12 PM
Oh yeah the collab. Still up for that. I may not be the best writer but i still go for all the writing things :P

Excellent answer. That's all I'm looking for. Would you like to colab with back and fourth messages (like ones here) or more direct like Skype or email. I'm cool with whatever, but I'm looking to be efficient with it. I want to get my ideas on "paper" tonight, get the idea out there and the sooner I can add you the better. I plan to pull people from here first (you guys get first pick) then have the rest in OL to fill in the other people: Both friend and foe (ye I got some foes too)

Lobotomizer
08-29-2013, 06:43 AM
And so the voting comes to a close.

Good luck for the bonus points people, that's all that'll be saving us now.

Boomerang
08-29-2013, 07:10 AM
@Birt yeah Pms are fine

ErrorBlender
08-29-2013, 10:10 AM
And so the voting comes to a close.

Good luck for the bonus points people, that's all that'll be saving us now.

The points. The suspense is killing me. :D

Chamel
08-29-2013, 10:19 AM
Hey Hewwy... Who advances..? Me or TheOrg..? We tied as far as votes, so are you going to poll us together with our latest stories, or do we write a completely new entry?

Lobotomizer
08-29-2013, 10:46 AM
Rest assured, Chamel, that if Theorganisation ever fails the ante, you'll be next in line for the next round.

Now pray hard that truly does happen.

Hewitt
08-30-2013, 12:59 AM
Sit back and relax guys, we're hard at work tabulating the results.

BirtDog
09-01-2013, 02:49 AM
Sit back and relax guys, we're hard at work tabulating the results.

I'll double check your numbers when they go public *clicks tongue, fires finger guns* as long as you're ok with it.

Hewitt
09-02-2013, 04:13 AM
Gonna have to turn you down. Well, you can, but it wouldn't matter as our say is final. :D peace out.

Me and acute are still deliberating on specifics so I'd just like to take this time to thank everyone for sticking with this till the end, and by the end I mean even cnc-ing and posting feedback or replying to those cnc's. Also extra special thank to BirtDog for volunteering to replace TheSaint at little to no benefit, Nightlock for his rather excellent and thorough cnc's, and Nikx & Boomerang & Ty for hailing from the Loser's Bracket to give an extra hand in what would've been an otherwise lonely round.

Chamel
09-05-2013, 08:33 PM
The anticipation is killing me...

BirtDog
09-06-2013, 04:04 PM
If you die that gets me closer to victory >=)

And it gets rid of a lot of blood, which is a plus for me lol

Hewitt
09-08-2013, 11:20 PM
Apologies for the delay. Been busy with life but as promised, I have the results at the end of teh week:

It was tough but after a bit of back and forth me and acute have deemed Lobotomizer and The Strongest with the best irony. They will be getting the bonus 20 pts. for this round! Without further ado here are the scores:


Participant
Votes
Points
Irony Bonus
Ante Bonus
CNC Bonus
TOTAL


Lobotomizer
8
40
20
-15
40
85***

blakphoenix
3
15
-
30
40
85***



ErrorBlender
5
25
-
20
35
80

BirtDog
3
15
-
30
-
45



The Strongest
9
45
20
30
-
95

The Organization
1
5
-
-15
-
-10

Chamel
1
5
-
10
10
25

***This. Was really REALLY close. Both guys were Semi-Finals material. I'm sorry the bracket turned out like this but only only one of you can proceed and with unanimous decision that honor goes ultimately to Lobotomizer!!! Despite that, if it were any other way I'dve let you both move on!

So the fellas in green have won this round and will proceed to the Semi-Finals! I hope you're ready to get out of your comfort zones because the next challenge is going to be a doozy. Depending on the situation it might be either harder or easier for you.

Anyways, let's tally the tournament scores from the previous round (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?73562-wRHG-Tournament-Round-ONE-Evening-the-Odds-(SCORES-ARE-UP!!!)&p=1039814&viewfull=1#post1039814) to see the new winning odds:

1st The Strongest - 210 PTS

2nd Lobotomizer - 200 PTS

3rd ErrorBlender - 195 PTS

blakphoenix - 160
Birtdog (proxying for thesaint) - 150
Chamel - 140
The Organisation - 120

Looks like The Strongest has climbed all the way to 1st place by feasting on TheOrg's ashes. It just seems like Loboto can't get into that golden place. And ErrorBlender inches slowly behind him. Who amongst these will ultimately win? Only time will tell...


This will be the bracket for the next round:

Lobotomizer vs Chamel

AND

ErrorBlender vs TheStrongest


The Semi-Finals' title theme is called Blow By Blow. Stay tuned for what exactly that entails.

ROUND TWO IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!!

I will let this thread sink now. Please be patient and wait for the next thread to appear. We are currently in the process of judging the Loser's Bracket. Till then, I'm lockling this now. Take all your endgame reactions and conversations back at the Discussion Thread (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?68791-wRHG-Tournament-Discussion-Thread-(Loser-s-Bracket-ROUND-ONE-IS-UP!!!)) until further notice.