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View Full Version : wRHG Tournament R2: Acel(The Organization) vs Walden(The Strongest) vs Chance(Chamel)



acutelatios
08-15-2013, 03:50 AM
Click HERE for the rules of this Round... (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?74702-wRHG-Tournament-Round-TWO-Lost-and-Found-(Deadline-Extended))

***Antes are Extra Challenges that add twice the points wagered if successfully pulled off. They come in 3 Flavors (Easy Medium Hard). No two participants can have the same kind of Ante. For more info, click the link above.

The Organization has initiated a Hard Ante.

The Strongest has initiated a Hard Ante.

Chamel has initiated an Easy Ante.


Scoring:
- Votes are worth 5 pts. each.
- CNC-ing an entry gives you 10 pts. Detailed ones get an extra 5 pts. Maximum 3 CnCs per participant.
- Bonus for the Round is 20 pts. Bonus for this Round is the best depiction of Irony.
- Fulfilled Antes give 10, 20, 30 pts. and lost 5, 10, 15 pts if failed depending on difficulty
- Judge's Blessing gives 15 points if entry caught the Judge's eye.

Here are the entries:

Vicar 04: Acel (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?69640-Vicar-04-Acel)
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 be


Walden (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?73106-Walden)


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.

acutelatios
08-15-2013, 03:52 AM
Chance "Fox" Downtown (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?60177-Chance-quot-Fox-quot-Downtown&p=973979#post973979)

- 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.”


Scores will be tallied and calculated at the end of the round.

Vote fairly!
o w o

Chamel
08-15-2013, 04:28 AM
Yay I get my own post!
#itsthesmallthingsthatcount

Lobotomizer
08-17-2013, 12:33 PM
Alright, Blakphoenix had, through his little cncs, reminded me that I am obliged to partake in my duty to give my own, votes included.

I'll be brief, because I don't really have much to say. The entries were mostly good after all, or perhaps I'm too incompetent to find problems where problems lay.

Let's start with Thestrongest.

As expected, brilliant writing and descriptions. I feel that the beginning, however, seems to be much more longer than the other battles which ended quickly without much resistance on the part of the other opponents. Kalena was felled by a single shot, Saint was instantly pinned afterward with a blade through his hand and chest, and Acel had her fingers blown off before subsequently running away when the danger room was activated. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Walden, for the most part, was completely unscathed. The battles themselves are as bare bones as they could possibly get. Believable? I don't know, but it does make me feel that there is more to be desired, compared to what was written in the beginning and between each battle, and I haven't really seen how well you've portrayed the other characters because the interactions go by so quickly. The flowery description, at times, seem too much and or confusing to read, and it took a few tries for me to understand what just happened. Not a bad thing, perhaps, but I'd like to put that out there.

Right, and it's Theorganization's turn.

Your writing seems almost the opposite of Thestrongest. Where he had written plenty of descriptions, yours was peppered with simple dialogue. Where you could have added more during the dialogue, especially thoughts, it was instead followed by more dialogue. It's almost bare bones in a different way to The strongest. That's...that's almost like the biggest irony, wouldn't you think? In any case, the story itself isn't too enticing because it just didn't have enough meat on it. The addition of two characters are also just slightly confusing for someone who hasn't read your past stories, but I'm not going to spear you about that.

One big problem I have is the constant addition of comedic, slapstick acts; some funny, others not so. Now, I've had a slight chuckle maybe once or twice, but when you pepper your story with so many of these, it gets jarring and messes with the overall immersion that I would normally have in the story. Pepper is seasoning after all; it wouldn't do if you made your steak burn the roof of your mouth with every bite. A little is good, too much is not.

The last chapter seemed contrived, as though you've put it specifically so that you could fulfill the last condition of the ante. Acel swooped in, traded weapons, and left just as quick as she had come. Whether or not it was intentional, it does make your portrayal of the ante a little less...good? That's up to the judges to decide, however.

Lastly, Chamel.

It's good to see you do a story where there are absolutely no battles at all. Refreshing, but I have to say that it isn't very well done. From the start, the whole tutorial regarding the suit felt very much redundant. You can argue that it is necessary, but when it feels as though it took up far too much space, and most of the utilities weren't put into practical use, I'm left thinking 'what the hell is this for?'

Overall the story feels a little bland. Chance plays around with his new bling and feeling real swag. Chance meets Acel. Chance and Acel is stuck in Chance's horrendous death trap room and the two of them try to escape, breaking every single speaker before stealing the down key and finding the password. Suddenly, a Walden. The three escape together. It's to be expected; the supposed meat of the story, the battle itself, simply isn't there, but you haven't taken good measures to compensate for it. The story itself feels mostly tell instead of show and without many descriptions as to how the characters feel, the manner in which they speak (banter aside, which is what is spoken for the most part), the story instead becomes one grueling marathon to slog through, lacking in the spark and life that makes a story interesting.

As a side note, the formatting is quite disorienting. I preferred if you threw the dashes away and used line spacing instead for better readability.

And so...my vote goes to The Strongest. Congratulations.

The Strongest
08-17-2013, 10:14 PM
You're not wrong, I think. I was working to retire Walden, so I'm trying to capitalize on the unhinged depiction that Tantalum included in his battle with me. All the damage done to Walden was of a mental sort, and it played off of the sort of meta idea that everybody seems to insist on showing the whole gamut of everybody's abilities, with that gradual progression. Walden's ethos was based around adhering very strictly to that code, only raising his own ability level to match that of his opponent. So for this piece, I decided to explore what would happen if Walden abandoned the code he had been following for decades and, even if it was only for a little bit, he chose to take the (literally, as the writing ended up turning out) fast track to victory by circumventing the whole progression that I imagined the Gladiators had gotten used to and going immediately for bloody incapacitation. I think the term is sucker-punch, but I'm not sure.

And then there was the whole metamorphosis thing that I did which necessitates me rewriting his bio. I think the newer version will make more sense. At least to me, anyways. But now his weaponry is...meh. No, rewrite isn't going to work out. I'll have to undo the metamorphosis, maybe. Or just write in this completely tangential timeline where everybody else sticks to the Walden that doesn't probably have difficulty using an antique pistol.

I think I'm trying to just break Walden before this tournament ends.

blakphoenix
08-19-2013, 04:18 PM
Ok so these entries were not as amazing as I was hoping they would be. Perhaps they were just hyped in my head and I disappointed myself reading them, who knows. Anyway, all three of you could use the notes Lobo pointed out. Here are my notes that I hope may help drive some points home.


First of all, I love it when writers utilize eloquent and flavorful wordplay in their writings. But that is all that it must be, eloquent and flavorful. I really enjoyed your piece for the wording, internal conflict, and despair of it all. I must agree with Lobo in saying that the battles were a bit quick and not entirely believable. Also, there were a few instances where I enjoyed what you wrote, but got derailed either by its immensity or its displaced nature. I feel that most of these mistakes could have been fixed by some more proof reading, or even reading the whole passage aloud; that helps me sometimes. :)


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.
This is an example of what I stated previously. Select gems such as this, along with grammatical issues and the unnecessary additions of...things, constantly lessened my immersion in the piece.


He, Walden, was lost in the maze.
That is most likely a minor mistake, but it's not needed.


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.
These sentences are so similar in subject matter and phrasing that you could (and probably should) have simply merged them into one great clause, rather than a few weaker ones.


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.
This paragraph seems awkward to me. Also it's only two sentences, I feel if you merged it with the paragraph below it then it might have looked better. Correct me if i'm wrong on pointing this paragraph out.


The pistol was empty, and for Walden, the glass that so many liked to look at as life was empty as well.
On a side note, I really enjoyed this particular sentence; it made me smile.


From what he had gathered, that card was the key to leaving this maze. Literally.
This stuck out to me as you using your speaking voice rather than your writer's voice.

I enjoyed, and couldn't really find any mess ups in, the battle with Acel. Although the whole "Walden/Wolfpack" thing utterly confused me. I know that when he transforms his consciousness refers to itself as the wolfpack, but as I read I imagined that the wolfpack came out of walden and into it's own form. Did that happen or am I just a complete nincompoop?

Chamel and Org, you two aren't as special as The strongest so you don't get spoilers! :p

Cham: First of all, you have the weirdest deathtrap in the whole tourney and I love it. I also feel that because you decided to take the pacifist route, your writing lacked a bit due to an inability to highlight the finer points of non-combat. The whole intro where Chance figures out his suit was a great idea to add, but in the whole of the story it added little meaning. Well, that may have been stated a little harshly, it was just a bit too long for in comparison to what you wrote about him actually using it. I enjoyed Chance's character in this piece as well , I simply wish you varied your dialogue a bit more while you were flirting with Acel. There wasn't any real deep emotion in this piece either, I feel you managed to dig into the surface, but didn't dig far enough which left your entry a bit bland. Overall, I did enjoy the read and seeing your writing improve with each entry warms my heart... =,..,=

I didn't know we were in a playwright competition. Haha! I kid, I really do please don't kill my character in the RP. That story was mostly dialogue with some in-depth stage direction to litter the scenes with movement. I give you points for starting off your entry in a unique fashion, though it threw me off at first. I was like "Wha! Why? How? The maze? Country music?!" That's about the time that it hit me. Anyway I have no problem with your piece being mostly dialogue. My problem lies in the fact that the dialogue had no real substance outside of itself. At least, that's how it came across to me. Because I feel that this piece didn't get as much attention as it could have and it seems like you rushed it, I won't go through the process of dissecting it. I only hope that you don't conduct your future battles in the wRHG in a similar manner so I can have the enjoyment of taking it apart. :)

Though I did hype myself up and utterly dissapoint myself, it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy these reads. My vote goes to The Strongest. :D

The Strongest
08-20-2013, 12:33 AM
This is an example of what I stated previously. Select gems such as this, along with grammatical issues and the unnecessary additions of...things, constantly lessened my immersion in the piece.

Blakphoenix, are you trying to tell me that the...I think it was at least three times that I decided to dive into alliteration were, in any way, unnecessary?


That is most likely a minor mistake, but it's not needed.

Actually it was a tactlessly inserted reference to JJBATAS's depiction of Dio. That one was entirely deliberate.


This paragraph seems awkward to me. Also it's only two sentences, I feel if you merged it with the paragraph below it then it might have looked better. Correct me if i'm wrong on pointing this paragraph out.

I do agree with you there, actually. That one had even been one of the few bits that I had almost gone back and tried to revise during the word-binge that was the drafting of most of this piece.


On a side note, I really enjoyed this particular sentence; it made me smile.


Good, I'm glad!


This stuck out to me as you using your speaking voice rather than your writer's voice.


That's one of the lines that made me smile. Odds are it would be stuck there, even if I had made revisions beyond the few paragraphs.


I enjoyed, and couldn't really find any mess ups in, the battle with Acel. Although the whole "Walden/Wolfpack" thing utterly confused me. I know that when he transforms his consciousness refers to itself as the wolfpack, but as I read I imagined that the wolfpack came out of walden and into it's own form. Did that happen or am I just a complete nincompoop?

Using your options, you'd be a complete nincompoop. Wolfpack is what results when Walden brings all twelve of his wolves into his body for the benefits they give him. What invariably occurs is the twelve spirits overwhelm Walden, and he no longer maintains absolute control over his thoughts and actions. His body is what changes, the spirits fuse deeply with his own and form a new body, which is Wolfpack. Walden's like my understanding of a werewolf, but his transformation comes when he loses himself to anger, rather than with the full moon.

Also, to both you and Lobotomizer: Thank you for your feedback~! (and your votes)

blakphoenix
08-20-2013, 02:05 AM
Blakphoenix, are you trying to tell me that the...I think it was at least three times that I decided to dive into alliteration were, in any way, unnecessary?

Haha! The Strongest, are you naturally sassy? Cause that quote came across with some sass and I enjoyed it.


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.
Were you using alliteration in that example? If so I wasn't critiquing that, I was more or less commenting on how I didn't entirely understand what you were saying and/or why you put it the way you did. It was that extra part in the middle "the depiction fell into the uncanny valley," I just did not get it. As for your defining of the werewolf and the Wolfpack, I totally understand that now thank you. Also, I give you kudos for calling me a nincompoop, I suggested it, you took advantage, and I appreciate that. :)

The Strongest
08-20-2013, 09:24 AM
Were you using alliteration in that example? If so I wasn't critiquing that, I was more or less commenting on how I didn't entirely understand what you were saying and/or why you put it the way you did. It was that extra part in the middle "the depiction fell into the uncanny valley," I just did not get it. As for your defining of the werewolf and the Wolfpack, I totally understand that now thank you. Also, I give you kudos for calling me a nincompoop, I suggested it, you took advantage, and I appreciate that. :)

Ah, your statement of "and...things" brought me to the conclusion that "things" were the alliteration bits. Are you familiar with the uncanny valley? I understand it as being that point where a thing looks very similar to being human, but it registers, still, as distinctly not human, and so it generally is interpreted as being a creepy kind of thing.

blakphoenix
08-20-2013, 09:43 AM
Well, now I am. I had no, absolutely, no idea that it was technical jargon. You should have capitalized it, then I would've thought "Oh, hey what's the Uncanny Valley?" haha. That clears up everything, thanks!

Lobotomizer
08-20-2013, 10:49 AM
To elaborate further on the uncanny valley, you can take an example.

Think of a robot, a humanoid one, but not entirely so. You would evaluate its appearance through its own qualities.

Now, take a robot who is almost very much human. It's shaped to look like a real human, move like a real human, and so on. You would no longer be judging its appearance on its own quality, but rather a human's. That's when your brain starts detecting all sorts of tiddly little details that deviates from what it considers human. What comes out of it is that the robot becomes creepy and, ironically enough, non-human.

Strictly speaking, as the likeliness of an object to a human increases, its appeal increases as well. But when you hit a certain point where the likeliness is just a tad too much, the appeal drops significantly, though rising back up as likeliness continues to increase, hence the name 'uncanny valley'

It's not exactly jargon; it's just a term for the phenomenon, and hence there isn't really a need to capitalise the words.

Boomerang
08-20-2013, 12:52 PM
Okay. Just spent like an hour reading this cuz I felt bad that not many people were voting on this one.

Org: I really liked the dialogue you put in to it. As lobo said, however, you didn’t have much descriptions. I did, unlike Lobo, like that you had a lot of jokes in it. I also have always liked that you try to put some meat into your own plot while your doing this. But the ante at the end did seem forced, like you forgot about it until the end and said “Oh, let me just do this real quick”.

Overall, I liked it just like the other two entries.

Chamel: A entry without battle is always a fresh relief, and the fact that you chose it instead of Hewwy making it like that (Ahem, Losers Bracket) makes it even better. I also kind of liked your interaction with Acel. Although, I didn’t like that you had this entire tutorial for all of your weapons for the suit, and you only used, what, two? You could have at least added some more meat to the plot to use the weapons and such. And Walden seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere in the end. How had he gotten so bloody? What was he doing behind the door? So many questions left unanswered

Overall, it was good and I had fun reading Chance’s sexual comments towards Acel and just his comments in general.

Now, The Strongest: Brilliant writing. It really seems like you could be a poet with the way you write. I also liked the way you described his mental battle with himself and the code. But what I didn’t like is the battles. It seemed like the whole story was pretty much his mental quarrel, while the battles ended in a paragraph. There were times where I didn’t fully get what had just happened, but maybe that was just the use of big words, I don’t know.

I think I’m going to go with The Strongest for this vote. Good battle everyone.

Chamel
08-20-2013, 03:32 PM
Thank you everyone for the CnC. Lobo has given me some useful insight for future, pacifist battles. And the rest of you who have so graciously given me your judgement and added criticism, I thank thee as well.

ErrorBlender
08-21-2013, 11:23 AM
TheOrganization's entry was a good read but it is more dialogue than action for me. If there was some moves as they talked, adjectives that portrayed a bit more on what they felt or did at that time, I think it would have made it a bit better. I could follow the battle, nothing wrong there. Overall, its a good read for me.

TheStrongest's entry seemed like a silent movie to me. A monologue of sorts. There were a few dialogue, yes, but all in all it seemed okay even without the dialogue. The actions were well described, the emotions well given and descriptions thought out. I can give little to no critique here. Its simply a great read.

Chamel's entry was indeed a refreshing one. An entry without a battle was a nice thing to read but the thing is you'd have to have something in place of the battle, you could have added a bit more plot to your story to eliminate the lack of battle. A bit more plot and story and it would have been better. That's my two cents though. A nice read, still.
One problem I saw was that the wingpack doesn't flap xD. It's propelled by rockets.

Well, TheStrongest takes my vote in this one.

Nightlock
08-21-2013, 06:19 PM
I was in the middle of reading these, but plans have been formed and I can't finish now. I'll be back to edit and CnC later tonight. ^^ I promise this time LOL

EDIT :: OK, it's super late... or super early, I guess. I promised some CnC's so here they are. It's really long, so I apologize for that in advance... really though...


The CnCers, including myself, seem to have mixed feelings about your use of heavy speech and your sporadic comedy. I personally love good dialogue, and lots of it, in everything I read. In fact, too much description can really kill a story, in my opinion, without well written spoken word to break up blocky depiction paragraphs. So ultimately, I had no problems with your piece as I was free to imagine actions to pair up with dialogue. But, of course, that’s personal opinion, and I have to say that there really was very little descriptive remarks and ultimately that can come back to bite you. As for the humor, it was hit and miss for me, and with the total accumulated number of misses, I suggest you ease up on throwing too much into your future battles. The hits were good, so I know you know how to be funny, just make sure you edit so that it’s timed right and not out of place.

As I’ve done with my other CnC’s in round 2, I will say that I noticed small ironies, but they weren’t enjoyably creative. IMO, they meet the requirement, but I don’t believe you’ll qualify for the Irony bonus. And I also had problems with Chance wearing Bl.An.C.’s suit. Bl.An.C.’s use of sentence starters is because of the suit he wears, and so if Chance has a suit of his own, he would have to use sentence starters as well. You didn’t write them in, and honestly that bugged me a bit. There were also a number of typos that could have been easily fixed with a little more editing.

I highly enjoyed the chapter names and their relative connections to the events and characters within them, very creative. The addition of the two characters to advance Acel’s story were nice as well, and really had me questioning where you’re going to take them. I feel like I’ve just finished the latest installation of a book series, and now have to wait for the release of the next to find out what happens. And unlike the previous CnCers, I appreciated the last chapter. It might have seemed forced and rushed to some, but really Acel never declared that she was looking for the exit of the maze. Yeah, it’s assumed that each contestant would be looking for the way out, but Acel could just have easily start off on her own to look for her items. And with no clarification on how much time passed between her departure from Chance and her run-in with Zero and Kalena, it can’t be assumed that Acel just happened to come across them right out of the gate. Hell, the first chapter started the scene off midway into Chance’s deathtrap, and BTW I actually kind of like Country Girl Shake It For Me… it’s catchy :p. It sort of seems like I’m defending Org. right now, but really I’m just trying to make my point on why I believe that it was acceptable.

As of this moment, as I’m writing my CnC, you are leading the pack with eight votes. I don’t know if I set you up to fail with high expectations that were formed due to your score total, or maybe because I’ve read a past battle of yours that I truly enjoyed, but I honestly don’t understand how you’ve gained so many votes with this piece. That probably sounds really insulting and/or demeaning, as probably will the explanations to come, and I apologize, I truly do mean this to be constructive and helpful. But I’ll tell you now, I’m not voting for you because I had too many problems with this; all personal ones that don’t indicate you’re a bad writer at all or in any way.

Lobotomizer was right on the money about the drastic differences between your piece and The Organization’s. As stated before to The Org., I truly enjoy dialogue and believe that heavily descriptive, blocky paragraphs can overload the reader. It’s a double edged sword to have so much detail be packed into paragraph after paragraph of story telling (I know; ironic that I, of all people, am trying to explain that too much detail can be bad). Yes, it paints a colorful picture, but too much coupled with rocky diction in the overall delivery can confuse the reader, as done with Blak and myself, and ultimately make some lose interest, which I’m sorry to say I am party to. I lost interest a few times, but was able to get to the end, so I’m not critiquing without finishing.

Other personal problems include the fact that you described the Saint as a stick figure. What? OK, yeah, in his wRHG character page, saintmccaw said he was a stick figure. But he also gave human characteristics that you could have, and I think should have, used. I literally cringed every time I saw that word. Stick. That, to me, seems like a really big ironic outcome. So much detail throughout the story, and here we have a clothed man made of sticks. Another personal issue would have to be Walden’s confrontation with Acel. The foot race, the shot, the fight, it was all distorted in the amount of vocabulary and word placement you used. Maybe I’m just uneducated, and was the only one who had trouble with it, but even so that lessened the intensity of it all for me. And I was totally confused when it came to the race to collect their item. I re-read the line about Acel reaching for the rune at least five times before I realized that you weren’t mistaking the card in the race, but indicating her attempt to get the rune on Zero. *Chuckle* Or at least that’s what I believe you described, because I’m not totally sure.

Again, I know this sounds demeaning and I do feel horrible if any of this has hurt you, or lowered your self esteem, or even made me an enemy to you. I just want to be truthful in how I received your story. And I do have compliments on your writing, so it’s not all negative feedback. You have an amazing vocabulary. It’s truly shocking, the level of English versatility you put out. And as hypocritical as this is, you did put in a lot of detail… and I love detail. I noticed a few ironies, definitely a big one, and if you planned them I think you might have a shot at the top two for the bonus points, and for that I say kudos.

You are a great author, just not one that I can back if you continue to style your paragraphs like this one.

Cham, I have a few bones to pick with you about Bl.An.C.’s suit. You’re a part of Observer Protocol, so you should know that it is the suit that makes Cooper talk in titles. So if Chance has on the suit he should have them, too. And at the end, the kiss, how did that occur with the helmet still on his head? Attention to detail, ally.

This was a truly refreshing story. After about two and a half hours of solid slow reading and critiquing, I feel sort of like Goldilocks coming across detail with this triple battle. The Org. lacked adequate detail but enjoyable dialogue, Strongest had an abundance of detail to the point of confusion and lacked dialogue, and Cham, IMO, found a healthy middle. In other words, it was “just right.”

Other than a few typos and weird sentences, I can’t really find anything to highlight as bad in your piece other than my nitpicking of Bl.An.C.’s suit. The other CnCers had problems with you describing what the suit is capable of, combat wise, and ending up almost pointless in the end because Chance didn’t fight… a person. I think that you described exactly what I would have done if I woke up and found myself trapped in a strange robotic armor. No matter what was going to happen later on in the story, Chance would have had knowledge of how to work the suit, and that is good description knowledge to have so I don’t wonder, “Hey, does he know how to work that suit by himself? How did he know to do that?” And he did use the suit offensively, so it wasn’t all for not.

I liked your big obvious use of the irony requirement. In a fighting tournament, you wrote an adequate piece without any fighting. Very good, very smooth, very unique considering you were the only one. I think you are definitely in the running for the bonus. Good job.

My vote?… Goes to Chamel. As I stated in his CnC, I think it was the most refreshing and the most balanced of the trio. Org. and Strongest, you’re both strong authors with very different writing styles, and I know you’ll only get better, as will you Cham. ^^ Good luck to you all.

EDIT 2 :: WAIT~ I do have something to add to Chamel's: It is absolutely, ridiculously, idiotically hilarious how you made... Country music... into Chance's kryptonite. xD I was actually laughing at how strange that whole scene was. His getting weaker, struggling to continue, hard time focusing. Colorful and creative it is, realistic... not even close. LOL

Nikx232
08-22-2013, 12:27 PM
Quick CnC:

Organ's:
Out of the three of them, I had actually found Organ's the easiest to read but only because I skimmed through a ton of the dialogue. While making the character's talk a bit more was an interesting tactic, I found that it really distracted from what the importance was from most of the story. Unfortunately, I also found the dialogue quite repetitious:

"Dialogue," how character reacts.
"Dialogue," how other character reacts.

It kind of made me bite my nails in anticipation waiting for the flow of it to change at least, but it never came. :'(
I had been drawn by your first piece of work which really caught my eye, so try to go back and see what you did differently there perhaps. :]

TheStrongest:
I had voted for yours because it felt like a novel that I could read through. Although, I didn't particularly enjoy the quick battle scenes, it probably worked out more in your favor to push your character arc ahead. (I would have preferred to see how you developed other peoples character though) Lastly, I feel like there were a couple of rough and unneeded sentences, but I feel that a quick edit would cover things such as that.

Good job on this fight~!
I expect to see more from you~!

Chamel:
Personally I found your piece interesting, but I feel that you were handed the shorter end of the stick being paired up against Strong and Organ. Like how the others have said, you piece lacked impact, needed varied dialogue, etc...but I think with time and more reading you'll get it. ;)
Keep practicing~!

Chamel
08-22-2013, 12:37 PM
@Nickey
I don't see it as drawing the shorter end of the stick, but more as a challenge :D Thanks for your time to CnC it though :) I'll definitely work on giving my stories a bit more 'oomf' next time.

@Night
Wow... I actually got a vote :D And that is one detailed CnC... Thank you for your time! :D

Thanks everyone for your time and CnC :D and even reading it!

The Strongest
08-22-2013, 04:04 PM
@Nightlock,

Considering the fact that the majority of the piece was me just typing words out between point A and B and seeing where things went, I'm not surprised that you're lost. I'm a lot more surprised to see the votes for my piece than you are, I think. But you dedicated, like, two paragraphs to apologizing for your CnC, it seems. I don't see how that's necessary at all. I can take it.

I disagree with you regarding my depiction of Mccaw the Saint. I assume human unless otherwise stated, and the fact that saintmccaw explicitly stated that his Gladiator was a stick figure meant that that's exactly what he was. In the same way that someone declaring their character to be a giant eyeball means I would write with a giant eyeball as my image for said character, or if a character was a dragon. The only exception is with figurative language, but I have no reason to believe that saintmccaw was speaking figuratively when he wrote that his character was a stick figure. I think I left out several of the Saint's features that differentiate him from other stick figures, but that's most likely because of the jerky way that I handled the fights. Written combat has always been my weakest point, so a lot of my writing tends to gloss over it when it comes up. I also disagree with your imagery for stick figures. The ones in my mind have a much smoother motion to them than I feel like yours do, with your description of sticks. I see a few bendy lines.

Regarding the rune confusion, I think that was me just completely screwing up and getting mixed up with who had whose rune. I'm almost certain that I had mistakenly believed the Saint to be in possession of Acel's rune when I was writing that, and so I took it from Walden. Alternatively, you can pretend that I just ignored who had what abilities and created my own shuffle for the piece, but that sounds like even more mistakes being made.

Nightlock
08-22-2013, 05:47 PM
Yeah I know I apologized a lot... I'm sorry. :p I always feel bad when I say something non-positive about someone's creation, and when it came to your entry I just felt there was abundance of that.

And a stick figure... is a stick figure, no way around that. Yeah, one could have flexible boomerangs for arms and legs to display elbows and knees, but picturing the best of animated sticks fighting Kalena and the pack of wolves definitely takes away from the imagination. When given the option to use human characteristics over the traditional SP stick-man in the writer's lounge, describing the character as a human becomes a near obligation, IMO. The rules do state that you could use stick figures for characters, but I quote: "full body appearances are highly recommended." The only stick figure character that I've come across is Luzoto's Lexel, but then again I haven't lurked that hard in the wRHG Character forum. Saintmccaw says he's a stick figure, I'll give you that, but then he followed it up with an appearance that could have easily been used to describe a full-fleshed human, and I just wish that you had done that instead.

I had a feeling there was a confusion about the runes, but didn't want to accuse you of it. It was confusing to read so I'm not surprised that it was the same to write.